Being Mindful

Counseling TidBits

For an answer, go to the place where there is no thought and listen.
Who cares if you are enlightened forever? Can you get it in this moment, now?  ~ Byron Katie

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Re-wiring the Brain

Counseling TidBits

youAre

We CAN re-write our own history… 

One of the fastest ways to rewire the brain (in changing any behavior or emotion) is to stay in the present moment. When we take in a sunset, catch the scent of a spring flower, dance, or tune in to body sensations like our heart rate, breath, the tightness in our muscles, we are activating the right-brain, creating new neuro-pathways.

But what about the thoughts that keep arising? Whatever judgements/opinions you have that take you away from the present moment, I invite you to write on Byron Katie’s worksheet: the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet. That is where all fearful, or “stuck” judgments about others, the world and self belong.

Katie shares her philosophy:

So how do I come to know what is true and what really matters? I identify and question the thoughts that take my awareness away, that take “me” away from my life now and plunge…

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What Is “Awakening”?

Worth Reading Off the Web – The author, Scott Kiloby is an international speaker on the subject of freedom through non-dual realization, a Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor/Registered Addiction Specialist.

EveningofLight

EveningofLight

Awakening is a living, breathing, constantly unfolding moment-by-moment adventure.

The Head-Awakening

What gets passed off as awakening is a certain shifting that happens, where one sees that they are not the concepts in their heads. In awareness-styled awakenings (there are different awakenings that look and feel differently in different traditions – awareness-styled is just one), the shift usually involves some sort of non-conceptual realization of awareness, being, presence or no self that seems to be an end point at first. It can be a sudden or gradual shifting, but people generally report this kind of change in perception. Things are seen to come and go within awareness inseparably or things seem to come and go but there is no self to be found.

Because this opening reveals a profound seeing that separate things, including a separate self, are not really there, it is easy to see why the proclamation of “I’m done”. In many ways, one is done – done with seeking as a self in time and in thought. But this is only a head-awakening. Even in a head-awakening, it can feel as if the body is open and transparent at first. But given time, areas of the body that are dense with the feeling of separation start to become conscious.

There are at least two other big areas to be navigated after a head-awakening.

1. The baggage of mental concepts around awakening itself.

2. The body.

Let’s start with the mental concepts. In my experience, there is a desire in many people to grasp mentally what has been realized. There are elaborate conceptual frameworks devised to “make sense” of awakening, just as this writing is a conceptual framework. There’s nothing wrong with having a conceptual framework, until it becomes the new mental prison. Just as there is a rush to a head-awakening, there is often a rush to neatly place the realization into certain conceptual boxes. There are many boxes. All the buzzwords you hear in awakening circles can be imprisoning boxes, including:

• “we create our own reality”
• “everything is just a concept”
• “nothing is true”
• “life is a divine mystery”
• “oneness is the ultimate truth”
• “no self”
• “awareness”
• “I AM”
• “all there is, is THIS”
• “The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao”
• “The Middle Way”

People can spend years after a head awakening endlessly identifying with all sorts of mental stuff around the awakening. This is the time when people desire to be teachers. I went through it. It’s really very innocent and comes from good intentions. But what gets passed off is only what a teacher has realized, nothing more. And many times what gets passed off are ideas about static, fixed things that are taken to be objectively true and real. Spiritual experiences and realizations get concretized into doctrine or dogma or “this is the only way” type thinking.

Eventually, what becomes important is the living of the realization itself, rather than the conceptualizing and understanding of it.

Conceptualizing goes on, but things are held a lot more lightly and non-seriously. The Living Inquiries were born out of my experience of being first immersed in certain boxes and then turning attention towards the moment-by-moment living and seeing.

The Body

The body has its own say in the matter. There are other chakras – not just the crown and mind’s eye. The heart can feel heavy, dense and closed for years after a head awakening. So can the root chakra, the sacral, the stomach and the throat. The result is often an arising of addictions, anxieties, self-limiting thoughts, grasping after understanding, issues with money, depression, big ego trips, issues with control and jealousy. I found this out by proclaiming that I was done too early. My issue was the continuation of certain addictions long after the head awakening. In my conversations with other teachers, they reported similar things. It takes a while, sometimes years, after a head awakening to fully see the darker, denser aspects of the body that remain closed. This is why becoming a teacher right after a head awakening is not a great idea. It’s like the blind leading the blind.

Adyashanti speaks eloquently about the post-awakening dilemma. Somewhere between 3 to 7 years after an awakening, the other shoe drops. Everything that was held in the mind and body and that was not seen through in that awakening will come up and bite you. It’s like it all wants to be seen and released. And it can be painful. You can even wonder why you started the awakening process to begin with. The body awakening doesn’t happen through seeking. It happens just from remaining open and working with those energies in skillful ways.

Try working with a therapist on this “Shadow” self. It is the doorway to greater and greater levels of evolution and freedom.

Article Source: http://kiloby.com/premature-claims-to-awakening/

Waking Up From Our Illusions – Alan Watts

Worth reading from off the web!  Posted by

“This is IT! So you don’t need to do anything at all… It’s just the way it is. What’s required is a sort of act of super relaxation.. It’s not just letting go. It’s being with yourself as you are without altering anything.” ~Alan Watts

luxfon.com_17596

“When you look for your own mind, that is to say, your own particularized center of being which is separate from everything else, you won’t be able to find it. But the only way you’ll know it isn’t there is if you look for it hard enough, to find out that it isn’t there.

And so everybody says ‘All right, know yourself, look within, find out who you are.’ Because the harder you look, you won’t be able to find it, and then you’ll realize it isn’t there at all. There isn’t a separate you. You’re mind is what there is. Everything. But the only way to find that out is to persist in the state of delusion as hard as possible….

So if a person believes that the Earth is flat, you can’t talk him out of that. He knows it’s flat. Look out the window and see; it’s obvious, it looks flat. So the only way to convince him it isn’t is to say ‘Well let’s go and find the edge.’ And in order to find the edge, you’ve got to be very careful not to walk in circles, you’ll never find it that way.

So we’ve got to go consistently in a straight line due west along the same line of latitude, and eventually when we get back to where we started from, you’ve convinced the guy that the world is round. That’s the only way that will teach him. Because people can’t be talked out of illusions.

There is another possibility, however. But this is more difficult to describe. Let’s say we take as the basic supposition–which is the thing that one sees in the experience of satori or awakening, or whatever you want to call it–that this now moment in which I’m talking and you’re listening, is eternity.

That although we have somehow conned ourselves into the notion that this moment is ordinary, and that we may not feel very well, we’re sort of vaguely frustrated and worried and so on, and that it ought to be changed.

This is IT! So you don’t need to do anything at all. But the difficulty about explaining that is that you mustn’t try and not do anything, because that’s doing something. It’s just the way it is. In other words, what’s required is a sort of act of super relaxation; it’s not ordinary relaxation.

It’s not just letting go, as when you lie down on the floor and imagine that you’re heavy so you get into a state of muscular relaxation. It’s not like that. It’s being with yourself as you are without altering anything.

And how to explain that? Because there’s nothing to explain. It is the way it is now. See? And if you understand that, it will automatically wake you up!”

~Alan Watts~

Creative by Nature

“This is IT! So you don’t need to do anything at all… It’s just the way it is. What’s required is a sort of act of super relaxation.. It’s not just letting go. It’s being with yourself as you are without altering anything.” ~Alan Watts

luxfon.com_17596

“When you look for your own mind, that is to say, your own particularized center of being which is separate from everything else, you won’t be able to find it. But the only way you’ll know it isn’t there is if you look for it hard enough, to find out that it isn’t there.

And so everybody says ‘All right, know yourself, look within, find out who you are.’ Because the harder you look, you won’t be able to find it, and then you’ll realize it isn’t there at all. There isn’t a separate you. You’re mind is what there is. Everything. But the only way…

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Loving Without Exception

An Interview With Byron Katie

 ~ Worth reading! … from off the web

Omega: Your experience of “waking up to reality” was very dramatic. Such experiences won’t happen to most people, so how can the rest of us awaken?

Q_ThoughtLetsGoOfYouKatie: Thought by thought.

People think that they need to get “enlightened” in order to be free, and nobody knows what enlightenment is. Yes, it’s in the sacred texts, and yes, this guru or that lama says he has attained it, but that’s just a concept; it’s the story of a past.

The truth is that there’s no such thing as enlightenment. No one is permanently enlightened; that would be the story of a future.

There’s only enlightenment in the moment. Do you believe a stressful thought? Then you’re confused. Do you realize that the thought isn’t true? Then you’re enlightened to it. It’s as simple as that.

And then the next thought comes, and maybe you’re enlightened to it as well, and maybe not.

Omega: Most of our actions seem to arise out of thoughts and beliefs, even ones we perceive as altruistic, like caring for others or ending injustice. Where does the impulse to act come from once thoughts like “it’s not right to treat people like that” are dismantled?

Katie: I’ve heard people say that they cling to their painful thoughts because they’re afraid that without them they wouldn’t be activists for peace. “If I felt completely peaceful,” they say, “why would I bother taking action at all?”

My answer is “Because that’s what love does.” To think that we need sadness or outrage to motivate us to do what’s right is insane. As if the clearer and happier you get, the less kind you become. As if when someone finds freedom, she just sits around all day with drool running down her chin.

My experience is the opposite. Love is action. It’s clear, it’s kind, it’s effortless, and it’s irresistible.

Omega: What is your opinion on the state of the world today? What do you feel we can do about it?

Katie: The world will be at war as long as the mind is at war with itself. The mind at war with itself wages war with any other mind, and that produces war in the world—all of it. If we can’t find peace within ourselves, where’s the hope for peace in the world?

I love the world, because I love the mind that created the world. I see the goodness and beauty in everyone, and everything is a gift given for me and for all of us.

If you don’t love it, question your mind until you do. That’s the best thing you can do for world peace. Create peace in your world, and then the rest of the world will follow.

Omega: What do you believe in?

Katie: I believe in the power of every human being to end suffering.

Omega: Can you describe the freedom that comes from not believing anything?

Katie: No. When I first woke up to reality in 1986, I felt that if my joy were told, it would blow the roof off the whole planet. I still feel that way.

Omega: What has life taught you?

Katie: To question everything, to remain open-hearted, and to serve the freedom of others as though it were my own. Because it is.

Omega: Do you have a daily practice?

Katie: To love without exception.

Source: http://www.eomega.org/learning-paths/body-mind-spirit-personal-growth/loving-without-exception

What do you think? Does Byron Katie’s simple wisdom appeal to you?

The Paradox of Inherent Perfection

An excellently articulated discussion about Being of the World yet freeing the self of participating in (what is optional) suffering. Profound, yes?

The Conscious Process

Monk protests: “But Master, yesterday you said that Mind is Buddha.”

Ma Tsu: “That was like offering yellow leaves to a child and telling him it is gold — just to stop his crying.”

Monk: “And what about when the child has stopped crying?”

Ma Tsu: “Then I say, Not Mind, Not Buddha, Not things!’

The Mind is the Buddha’ is like medicine. ‘No Mind, no Buddha’ is the cure for those who are sick because of the medicine.”

Ma Tsu’s teaching above is one effective method the Masters employ to tear away any lingering remnants of borrowed support, leaving the disciple with nothing to fall back on, no comforting religious consolation or conceptual crutch to cling to. The purpose is to fully plunge them into the Unknown, or “the Realm of the Real Dharma”, as Huang Po poetically calls it, beyond philosophies and partial realizations. It’s also why Ramana…

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