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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Being Consciously Aware

By Pamela J. Wells

When you are consciously aware, you are 100% present and consciously aware of your thoughts, what you are doing, what you see, hear, smell, feel. You are fully present and not off somewhere else in your mind. You are not thinking about the past or the future. You are mentally present and aware of what you are doing at that moment. If you are washing dishes, you are 100% present and consciously aware of washing the dishes. You are not mentally distracted by something else. When someone is talking to you, you are 100% present, consciously aware of what they are saying to you. You are listening to every word that they are saying and not thinking about something else. Conscious awareness involves the mind and being alert, being aware of what you are doing or thinking or seeing in the present moment. Awareness, by itself, does not involve the mind and thinking. What I am talking about is conscious awareness. I will discuss awareness in another article.

Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk, teaches the Art of Mindful Living, which is being awake and aware to the present moment—what you are doing and who you are with—whether you are washing dishes or driving your car, you are mindful of what you are doing. You are mindful of even the smallest tasks: walking, sitting, eating, and brushing your teeth. Being consciously aware or mindful of what you are doing at any given moment is a great way to relax and calm your mind and be fully present in what you are doing. Thinking about other things, such as dwelling on things that you need to do, or thinking about something that happened in the past, or worrying about the future, only causes stress. 

Copyright © 2012 Pamela J. Wells. All Rights Reserved

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Love of One & Love of All Merge Together in Love

~Excerpt from I Am That: Dialogues of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Questioner: In order to find the reality, one should discard all that stands in the way. On the other hand, the need to survive within a given society compels one to do and endure many things. Does one need to abandon one's profession and one's social standing in order to find reality?

Maharaj: Do your work. When you have a moment free, look within. What is important is not to miss the opportunity when it presents itself. If you are earnest you will use your leisure fully. That is enough.

Q: In my search for the essential and discarding the unessential, is there any scope for creative living? For instance, I love painting. Will it help me if I give my leisure hours to painting?

M: Whatever you may have to do, watch your mind. Also you must have moments of complete inner peace and quiet, when your mind is absolutely still. If you miss it, you miss the entire thing. If you do not, the silence of the mind will dissolve and absorb all else.

Your difficulty lies in your wanting reality and being afraid of it at the same time. You are afraid of it because you do not know it. The familiar things are known, you feel secure with them. The unknown is uncertain and therefore dangerous. But to know reality is to be in harmony with it. And in harmony there is no place for fear.

An infant knows its body, but not the body-based distinctions. It is just conscious and happy. After all, that was the purpose for which it was born. The pleasure to be is the simplest form of self-love, which later grows into love of the self. Be like an infant with nothing standing between the body and the self. The constant noise of the psychic life is absent. In deep silence the self contemplates the body. It is like the white paper on which nothing is written yet. Be like that infant, instead of trying to be this or that, be happy to be. You will be a fully awakened witness of the field of consciousness. But there should be no feelings and ideas to stand between you and the field.

Q: To be content with mere being seems to be a most selfish way of passing time.

M: A most worthy way of being selfish! By all means be selfish by foregoing everything but the Self. When you love the Self and nothing else, you go beyond the selfish and the unselfish. All distinctions lose their meaning. Love of one and love of all merge together in love, pure and simple, addressed to none, denied to none. Stay in that love, go deeper and deeper into it, investigate yourself and love the investigation and you will solve not only your own problems but also the problems of humanity. You will know what to do. Do not ask superficial questions; apply yourself to fundamentals, to the very roots of your being.

Image: The Artist 2 by Fran Hogan at publicdomainpictures.net

Friday, February 24, 2012

Free Awareness - Non-Essentialism: What is 'Awareness' really pointing to?

~Bentinho Massaro

Awareness is just a word. An empty label. It means different things for different people and everyone initially tends to think of awareness as something that is really existing in and of itself. We turn it into a thing. We essentialize it by for example identifying a particular experience or state of mind, as being 'Awareness'.

The very word awareness, if used skillfully, is a tool designed to counter that. because awareness refers to 'the cognizing of experience' rather than any single one experience as opposed to other experience. Thus, don't hunker down into any particular experience as being more ultimate than another. That just keeps the dividing- and seeking mechanism going.

Visit Bentinho's Website at: Free Awareness

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Awareness - Mind - Matter

~Excerpt from I Am That: Dialogues of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Questioner: The Absolute or Life you talk about, is it real, or a mere theory to cover up our ignorance?

Maharaj: Both. To the mind, a theory; in itself -- a reality. It is reality in its spontaneous and total rejection of the false. Just as light destroys darkness by its very presence, so does the absolute destroy imagination. To see that all knowledge is a form of ignorance is itself a movement of reality. The witness is not a person. The person comes into being when there is a basis for it, an organism, a body. In it the absolute is reflected as awareness. Pure awareness becomes self-awareness. When there is a self, self-awareness is the witness. When there is no self to witness, there is no witnessing either. It is all very simple; it is the presence of the person that complicates. See that there is no such thing as a permanently separate person and all becomes clear. Awareness -- mind -- matter -- they are one reality in its two aspects

Q: What comes first: consciousness or awareness?

M: Awareness becomes consciousness when it has an object. The object changes all the time. In consciousness there is movement; awareness by itself is motionless and timeless, here and now.


Q: We were discussing one day the person -- the witness -- the absolute (vyakti-vyakta-avyakta). As far as I remember, you said that the absolute alone is real and the witness is absolute only at a given point of space and time. The person is the organism, gross and subtle, illumined by the presence of the witness. I do not seem to grasp the matter clearly; could we discuss it again? You also use the terms mahadakash, chidakash and paramakash. How are they related to person, witness, and the absolute?

M: Mahadakash is nature, the ocean of existences, the physical space with all that can be contacted through the senses. Chidakash is the expanse of awareness, the mental space of time, perception and cognition. Paramakash is the timeless and spaceless reality, mindless, undifferentiated, the infinite potentiality, the source and origin, the substance and the essence, both matter and consciousness -- yet beyond both. It cannot be perceived, but can be experienced as ever witnessing the witness, perceiving the perceiver, the origin and the end of all manifestation, the root of time and space, the prime cause in every chain of causation.


Q: What is the difference between vyakta and avyakta?

M: There is no difference. It is like light and daylight. The universe is full of light which you do not see; but the same light you see as daylight. And what the daylight reveals is the vyakti, The person is always the object, the witness is the subject and their relation of mutual dependence is the reflection of their absolute identity. You imagine that they are distinct and separate states. They are not. They are the same consciousness at rest and in movement, each state conscious of the other. In chit man knows God and God knows man. In chit the man shapes the world and the world shapes man. Chit is the link, the bridge between extremes, the balancing and uniting factor in every experience. The totality of the perceived is what you call matter. The totality of all perceivers is what you call the universal mind. The identity of the two, manifesting itself as perceptibility and perceiving, harmony and intelligence, loveliness and loving, reasserts itself eternally.


Q: If the reasons are imaginary, why should the suffering be inevitable?

M: It is always the false that makes you suffer, the false desires and fears, the false values and ideas, the false relationships between people. Abandon the false and you are free of pain; truth makes happy -- truth liberates.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Why Walk When You Can Fly?

Based on the acclaimed book, Why Walk When You Can Fly?, this inspiring and transformational movie teaches you to soar beyond your fears. Discover the freedom that lies within and learn to love yourself unconditionally, as Isha Judd shares parables and stories that will make you laugh out loud, and the next moment move you to tears. As she teaches you the powerful facets of the Isha Judd System, you will begin a journey of self discovery unlike anything you have ever experienced before.

Explore Uruguay's breathtaking scenery, as Isha presents profound truths derived from her experience of unity. Meet the fascinating animals she uses to explain the beauty - and also the comical insanity - of our human experience, and learn that happiness and world peace are the responsibility of each individual. Move beyond doubt and insecurity, and dive into the depths of your being.

The time has come to spread your wings... 
And fly.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Adyashanti - Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

Adyashanti dares all seekers of peace and freedom to take the possibility of liberation in this life seriously. He began teaching in 1996, at the request of his Zen teacher with whom he had been studying for 14 years. Since then many spiritual seekers have awakened to their true nature while spending time with Adyashanti.

The author of The End of Your World, Emptiness Dancing, and True Meditation, Adyashanti offers spontaneous and direct nondual teachings that have been compared to those of the early Zen masters and Advaita Vedanta sages. However, Adya says, "If you filter my words through any tradition or '-ism', you will miss altogether what I am saying. The liberating truth is not static; it is alive. It cannot be put into concepts and be understood by the mind. The truth lies beyond all forms of conceptual fundamentalism. What you are is the beyond—awake and present, here and now already. I am simply helping you to realize that."

A native of Northern California, Adyashanti lives with his wife, Mukti, and teaches extensively in the San Francisco Bay Area offering satsangs, weekend intensives, and silent retreats. He also travels to teach in other areas of the United States and Canada.

"Adyashanti" means primordial peace.

Note* The video is not very clear, visually, but the audio is good.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview - Bentinho Massaro

The moment I started to trust more in this natural presence, something happened. Most of all I became more at ease by the day, and additionally books and teachers of a more direct nature started to cross my path that 'confirmed' the way of direct trust in what's naturally here. Each of these books and teachers still got analyzed and mapped automatically, but simultaneously they helped me to let go more and more of that intellectual structure that was still very active and convincing at times.

Ever since my allegiance shifted from 'thinking' and 'other teachers' towards trusting in this intuitive sense of natural presence, that simple and always already present awareness has become more and more obvious in this experience.

This natural presence reveals the unity beyond all ideas and concepts and there is nothing that ever affects it. It's completely stable, ever-present and unchanging awareness. Yet it is not 'out of this world' or 'detached' in any way. In fact, it allows us to be completely engaged in life, for the first time really, without fear for our thoughts and emotions or those of others. There is a loving freedom present in and as every experience, without exception.

Experiences come and go, but they all come and go within that which is effortlessly aware of them. When this awareness becomes obvious to us, than not only is it discovered to be unaffected by whatever appears within awareness, but the unity of experiences and awareness is gradually (or suddenly) revealed.

This then neutralizes the power that experiences seemed to have over us, and there arises a natural freedom, love, wisdom and joy in the midst of every experience.

With Free Awareness, I hope to be able to provide some sort of simple and accessible structure, that can support you in directly awakening to that which is already wide awake at all times.

With gratitude and love to Life itself, in all of it's self-benefiting appearances,

Bentinho Massaro

Beyond the Ego: Part 1

Khen Rinpoche Lobzang Tsetan, now the Abbot of Tashi Lhunpo, was born in Stok, Ladakh, India where his family encouraged him to study Tibetan Buddhism in Tibet.

(To see Part 2 and 3, go to YouTube)

Happiness Is Fleeting. True Joy Comes From Within

By Pamela J. Wells

We are happy when things go the way that we want them to, when we accomplish something, when we achieve a goal, when we win a game in a competition, or win a promotion. When things do not go the way that we want them to we are unhappy. When we do not get what we want and expect, we become disappointed and feel down.

Happiness is fleeting. It cannot be sustained, because it is dependent upon circumstances to change to what we want them to change to and once we get what we want, if we get what we want, happiness is felt and then it dies, because it has been fulfilled; so, in order to feel happiness again we must set another goal, which requires circumstances to change for the better, where we ultimately achieve our goal.

Our thoughts create happiness. Happiness is an emotion—a byproduct of our thinking. Happiness is not stationary. It is always moving. We’re happy one minute and then were unhappy the next. We may even achieve a goal and become happy, but during those feelings of happiness we may get unwelcomed news about something that upsets us and then we are no longer happy. Our focus on accomplishing and achieving the goal is now turned towards the problem that upset us.

Joy is naturally within us, regardless of what happens in our lives. There are no expectations for happiness, but a complete acceptance for All That Is, which includes when things go our way and when things do not go our way. We are ok, either way. Joy is experienced when the mental chatter of the mind is silenced and we are at peace. The mind covers up the natural joy that is inside of you, if you let it.

You must release all attachments—to other people, to material objects, to expectations, and to outcomes. This does not mean that you have to stop pursuing goals. You can have goals, just do not get attached to the outcome of those goals, expecting for them to make you happy. You will only get a temporary, fleeting feeling of happiness when you achieve a goal. Enjoy the process of pursuing a goal, instead of focusing on the outcome. The goal is easier to achieve when you enjoy each moment, the day-to-day process of taking action towards achieving the goal.

We tend to push happiness off as a destination to reach in the future, when we have joy available to us right in the here and now. All that is needed is to release all negative thoughts and perceptions that take us away from feeling our natural joy. The more at peace you are within, the more you will be able to experience true joy. Going within and being consciously aware of what you are thinking, on a regular basis, will help you to change your thoughts to more positive ones and to drop the ones that are of no use to you and that only bring you down. Life is a joy that is lived in each moment, where time is not a factor and there are no expectations.

Copyright © 2012 Pamela J. Wells. All Rights Reserved
Image licensed under Bigstockphoto.com

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Excellent Website with Information on Theravada Buddhism

Access to Insight is a website dedicated to providing accurate, reliable, and useful information concerning the practice and study of Theravada Buddhism, as it has been handed down to us through both the written word of the Pali canon and the living example of the Sangha.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Take Nature With You

By Pamela J. Wells
Published: February 8, 2012

Your true nature is with you wherever you go. When stress comes, remember nature and that it is always there within you. Go to a place of pure nature as many times as possible, where there is no rush hour, no drama, no stress, no anger, no fear, no emotional turbulence, no mind chatter, no talking—where you are not analyzing everything and anything, not thinking about problems. Your chattering mind is totally turned off, and you are able to see, feel, hear, and touch nature. Your mind is quiet. You are just, simply, being. You are in awareness only.

Copyright © 2012 Pamela J. Wells. All Rights Reserved

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Causeless Happiness ~Adyashanti

The pursuit of happiness outside ourselves can only lead to sorrow because anything attained can be lost. Even the search within ourselves can lead to suffering because of unconscious beliefs and misperceptions. In his sword-swinging yet playful manner, Adyashanti cuts to the heart of what's really true and points to the causeless happiness that comes with knowing the sacred reality of who we are.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

We all breathe and exhale the same air, so how is it that some think that they are more superior to other life forms?

By Pamela J. Wells
Published: February 2, 2012

Accepting all life, we know that we all breathe and exhale the same air. It is not contained and only available and given to a select few. The ego—our imagination—is full of notions, such as thinking that one is special and therefore more deserving than others or that one is inferior to others; yet, at the most basic level, each and every living being cannot live without oxygen. At all times, we are inhaling and exhaling the same air. It is the delusional mind that creates egoic fantasies to make up for perceived inadequacies.

Copyright © 2012 Pamela J. Wells. All Rights Reserved

Creative Commons License 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Never-Disparaging Bodhisattva and Earth-Holding Bodhisattva

By Thich Nhat Hanh

Sometimes healthy, energetic bodhisattvas, like Never-Disparaging Bodhisattva and Earth-Holding Bodhisattva, wear ragged clothes. Earth-Holding devotes himself to rebuilding roads and bridges in order to restore communication and contact. In today’s world, there are countless broken bridges and innumerable Earth-Holdings devoting their bodies and minds to rebuilding bridges of communication and understanding among individuals, nations, and cultures. Wherever Never-Disparaging Bodhisattva goes, he offers words of encouragement: 

“You have the strength to go forward. 
Believe in yourself. 
Don’t succumb to low self-esteem or passivity. 
You will become a Buddha.”

His message is one of confidence and self-determination. I think about the peasants in the countryside of all the poor countries of the world. Do they have someone to encourage them to believe in their own abilities so they can build a future that they, as much as anyone else, have a right to? Our world needs millions more bodhisattvas like Never Disparaging.

Excerpt from Thich Nhat Hanh's book "Fragrant Palm Leaves: Journals, 1962-1966