How to End Suffering

“To stop suffering, stop greediness. Greediness is a source of suffering.” – Buddha

This I know for sure, that fear can be the cause suffering.

Fear manifests itself in curious ways.

The most compelling of which is the tendency and need to identify with a self separate from others. This separate self promulgates the need to seek fulfillment outside of oneself through the perpetual chasing of accumulation and attaining through things, power and people.

Even the search for enlightenment is a searching for something in the future outside of this moment, outside of being here right now.

To be happy, is to be with what is and to be in need and want of nothing. To be content with presence, which is conditionless. It is to surrender your own desires — for isn’t greed, a manifestation of fear, the search for security, power, and status?

What if the universe, amidst your lack of fulfillment, dissatisfaction or feeling of mediocrity, is gently pointing you towards surrender and a letting go of your own desires, plans, purpose,, mission and plan? To instead trust and actually embrace the not-knowing the uncertainty?

It is non-identification and non-resistance which facilitate, create, and manifest fearlessness and true power.

Your mind, instead of being your enemy, is actually your teacher. Be the witness to your mind and be the kind, compassionate friend to the mental noise, because that is how the mental noise and the need to identification with your thoughts dissipates.

We focus our eyes on the world and define our hearts and bodies through the culturally sanctioned filter that defines worth and meaning.

We feel helpless because these definitions are not real and the mind, the incessant chatter that seeks itself in others,, in society’s voice, isn’t real. It’s a perpetual seeking and a perpetual longing that is never satisfied.

It’s exhausting.

Until we are in tune with being, all our doing is futile and not rooted in the law of abundance and potentiality. Be rooted in being and the rest will come in due time, not out of trying and effort, but because the universe intrinsically honors that which resonates the vibrational energy that is in alignment with itself.

So how do we continually practice non-identification, the key to freedom from fear?

By noticing and becoming aware, like a third party witness, of the ways in which we resist each moment that arises.

Oftentimes we contrast the present moment to how we think things should be instead of allowing things to be as they are. Whenever we place a should on anything, we are resisting the moment and not allowing it to unfold. Pain and suffering arises from this resistance.

What are your patterns of resistance–how does it show up in your life?

How do you consistently wish things to be different from how they are –can you see how this pattern of thinking leads to suffering?

All of us carry in our minds an ideal of how we think our lives should be.

What would happen if we unconditionally allowed life to be, however it is, instead of wishing it were different?

We disallow contentment through this pattern of contrasting how life is and how we think it should be. Notice how you compare your life to the picture in your mind of what it should be.

When we contrast and compare our moments we are not here. We are dwelling on the future, which is merely a mental image. We do this because we are afraid of what is. Allowing our experience of each moment to be as it is, is in essence a meditation because we are not resisting, we are allowing.

What Are You Waiting For?

“What you seek is seeking you.” – Rumi

What if you could be as happy as you will ever be, right here, right now?

What if all the financial freedom in the world could not buy you the happiness, joy and peace that you could have right here, right now?

What if the secret to having it all, was believing that you already do? Not in the material sense, but in in a way in which having “it all” would not even matter. Because when we are truly alive to each moment, when we surrender our hearts, our thoughts, our desires to the stillness that beckons us in each breathe that we take and each heartbeat that we feel, the peace that we seek in some future security or materialistic gain becomes secondary. For in each moment that we step out of the confines of our minds, we are free.

When being present to each moment, no matter the form that it takes, becomes primary, happiness no longer becomes something that we need to seek or even wait for. Our lives no longer become a paper chase, each moment no longer becomes a stepping stone, and every person no longer becomes an advantage for gain.

When we shift our purpose, we shift our meaning in the world, and happiness no longer becomes something that we wait for when x and y happens.

We resist the forms that life takes when we want things to be different than they are. We accept the forms that life takes when we allow things to be just as they are and can recognize the good in even the bad.

If who we really are is eternal and if our identities are not our thoughts and our bodies and our mortality, then why do we allow our minds to convince us that happiness is something outside of ourselves, something that needs to be sought, attained, and bought?

When we search for happiness outside of ourselves, it is only because we have not already cultivated it within ourselves. We look on the outside when we have not cultivated the awareness of that which we already are.

What are you waiting for?

Perhaps in the waiting, you have missed out on all the miracles in each moment, dreaming of the rainbow that was there all along.

Each time that we fall into the belief that the future can provide fulfillment, happiness and security, we are in alignment with the ego, fear-based thinking, that needs something outside of itself to feel complete. This is ultimately the greatest illusion and the most elusive cause of unhappiness.

Isn’t it ironic that the thing we chase after in order to bring happiness is the very thing that prevents us from being happy?

If you are looking outside of yourself for happiness, you have forgotten who you are. If you need someone or something to fulfill you, look at why you need these in the first place. The chase and pursuit of happiness outside of oneself is never-ending because it can’t be found there, in some other time or place or person.

It can only ever be found, here, regardless of the circumstances.

Do You Know Who You Really Are?

“To meet everything and everyone through stillness instead of mental noise is the greatest gift you can offer to the universe.” Eckhart Tolle

We are not free until we have discovered who we really are.

We are not touch with who we really are until we have broken out of the routine, monotonous conditioning of our overthinking and confines of our thoughts.

Thoughts in and of themselves are limiting — most of the time they become the mental noise that pervades the space in which we inhabit.

This constant mental noise distracts us from actually being present to life, present to ourselves and we live and walk in a trance, blinded to our own thinking mind that is constantly analyzing, judging, blaming, scheming, planning.

The filter of mental noise blocks us from this divine perceptivity, wisdom and creativity.

We are most “ourselves” when we exist beyond the realm of thought and in the realm of inner stillness, openness, and compassionate, unconditioned awareness.

Too often we identify with that which is not ourselves. How we perceive ourselves in the eyes of others and base our worth on whether they can provide some sort of affirmation. The most compelling substrate we use for this is money because money equals power in our culture.

We recognize who we really are when we stop identifying with our thoughts and step out of that mindspace of thinking and into that eternal presence and awareness that is love.

We forget and fail to live and miss out each day that we forgo to live with presence because we have too much to worry about in the future.

We tell ourselves that only when we have greater security and money, only then will we be able to be present. We tell ourselves that today just isn’t a good day and that we are too busy to take the time to be aware, to smile at another person, to open the door for someone.

Are you consumed by your thinking mind and does it control you? Or are you free of your thinking mind, do you life with thoughtless awareness, unburdened by the need to cling to an identity that is constantly seeking itself through the world?

Practice presence exercise:

What are some routine things that you do everyday that you can make into active meditations? Any activity can be an active meditation when we bring presence and awareness, a blank mind, to whatever we are doing.

The daily activities I enjoy bringing greater awareness to include driving, brushing my teeth, working out, washing dishes, and eating meals.

Instead of making presence a black or white duality in our life, we can gently and compassionately incorporate it into each of our daily activities until it becomes a habit we don’t even think about.

How Does Avoidance Show Up in Your Life?

“People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own souls.” – Carl Jung

Whenever we avoid or circumvent a fear in a our life, in the moment it feels like comfort, like we are avoiding the pain, the hardship, and the strife of having to deal with the fear.

But what is even more painful than challenging and facing our fear directly is avoiding the fear. Because the very thing we are avoiding having to face will show up in other areas of our lives.

When we avoid our fear, if manifests in a multitude of other forms and it reconstitutes itself emotionally as reoccurring nightmares, anxiety, rage, boredom, overeating. It manifests physically as excess body weight, digestive problems, body aches, migraines and fatigue.

One of the most insidious ways that we cope with our fear is through compulsive behavior.

We have conditioned ourselves to use any tactic necessary in order to not have to face that which we do not want to face. Those circumstances and issues that provoke feelings of unworthiness, boredom, purposelessness, lack, or uncertainty, confusion, or stress, can make us turn to behaviors to short circuit us having to deal, having to take responsibility, having to find a solution.

But every time we escape or run or avoid, the pain remains.

We do not get through and get past the pain via avoidance. We get through and past the pain by facing it, feeling it, questioning it, and examining it.

In what ways does avoidance manifest in your life?

What pattern of avoidance predominates in your life–does it pop up most often when you are dealing with physical ailments, certain relationship triggers such as rejection or lack of validation?

Perhaps it is not the fear itself that you need to run away from but the running behavior in and of itself. Perhaps what’s stopping you is not the fear but your intolerance of feeling your fear.

Your running behavior is a sign from the universe that you should run to this fear.

Instead of allowing this fear to control your life (via running – whatever you avoid ultimately controls you), it is time to confront this fear and whatever uncomfortable feelings it brings up for you.

As long as you keep avoiding it, whatever it is (i.e. bodily discomfort, a chronic physical condition, an assignment), it will keep popping up in other areas of your life to teach you the lesson it is trying to teach you.

We don’t learn the lesson unless we are willing to listen and to learn. We learn nothing when we continually to avoid via compulsive behaviors of any kind.

And there will always be fear in your life, it’s how you cope with it that means everything. As long as we are human and alive there is fear because there is the unknown.

It is human to fear yet we die every time we choose to run from ourselves rather than accepting ourselves. We die every time we numb ourselves instead of being present to the discomfort and the pain that resides in our bodies.

Notice the triggers that make you want to escape. Whether it is that evokes feelings of emptiness, loneliness, and worthlessness in you. Whatever it is that makes you feel intolerable and brings up an insatiable craving to drown in a substance that is anything and anywhere but here and now, notice that. The secret to escaping the compulsion is the awareness that you are never ever getting away from anything.

Just be here, now, that is all you have to do.

Each time you are present, you get closer to resolving the fear that you so desperately are avoiding.

How Your Unconscious Beliefs Shape Your Reality

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will control your life and you will call it fate.” – Carl Jung

What stops you in your life?

What is it that holds you back from chasing your dream and doing what you have always wanted to do but haven’t?

As long as you hold onto the core belief of unworthiness, even subconsciously, your reality will be shaped by this belief.

Your actions, motivation, and ability to accomplish and fulfill your destiny [alignment with your true self] is jeopardized.

We are in alignment with who we really are, source, when we disidentify with our thoughts, with the thinking mind.

We gain ourselves when we lose ourselves.

How do we disidentify with our thoughts and this deep sense of unworthiness?

By acknowledging and recognizing how our adherence to the core belief of unworthiness influences our thoughts, beliefs, and actions.

It’s not wrong to hold onto this belief and there is no shame in doing so, because we all do it. However, as long as we live from an inner state of lack, deprivation, from this myopic
feeling that we do not deserve love and abundance, we shortchange ourselves.

How does the belief of unworthiness manifest in our lives?

When we settle because we do not believe we deserve and can have better.

When we look outwards for approval and validation.

When we stay safe and comfortable instead of challenging ourselves beyond our comfort zone. When feelings of hopelessness and despair creep into our hearts.

When we blame others instead of taking responsibility for our brokenness.

When we make excuses such as “I don’t know” because it’s always easier to make excuses than to risk losing.

As long as we hold onto the idea that we have time and that there is time to fulfill our creative passions and desires, we withhold ourselves from abundance because the only time we ever have is now.

It is a false illusion when we believe that we can find our security in some future time or place and through possessions.

In doing so we are merely seeking ourselves in a place where belonging and security cannot be found.

But our purpose can felt in our body in this moment, in the awakening of our own hearts to be fully present.

When we can unfold to this presence and stillness within ourselves, we tap into the universal source of love that drives us to dream, to do what we want– fearlessly.

Notice the voices and thoughts that arise from your conditioning, the voices that tell you that you can’t, that you don’t deserve, that you are not good enough.

For it is the continual belief in those thoughts that perpetuate a lack of fulfillment and gratification. That perpetuate a lack of motivation and direction.

When you step outside of the framework of your own thinking mind and see you for you, it is like taking the collar off and realizing that you never had to wear the collar.

It is like stepping outside of the prison cell and realizing that the door was never locked.

It is like winning the game and realizing that the only rules that existed were the ones that you created.

Stop defining yourself. Step outside of definition and into presence, being. Who you are cannot be defined. Nor can the limitless creative potential that is within you.

How to Feel More Fulfilled

“There are two ways of being rich. One is to have all you want, the other is to be satisfied with what you have.” – Anonymous

We spend most of our lives wishing and wanting things to be different from how things are and we perpetually live in a constant state of dissatisfaction.

I’ll be happy once I get a job. I’ll be happy once I quit my job. I’ll be happy once I leave this person. I’ll be happy once we get married. The list goes on.

Perhaps the frustration and dissatisfaction that we feel is a sign to make peace with where we are.

Making peace with where we are is not a matter of resigning to the life circumstances we are in and it is not taking the lazy way out by avoidance and engaging in inaction where it is needed.

Making peace with where we are is the ability to fully be where we are in complete totality and to allow our attention and presence to be fully immersed in each moment, regardless of how much we resist or dislike our current life circumstance.

Because if we cannot be happy where we are now, we cannot be happy anywhere.

That searching in and of itself represents our own resistance to what is. It is the exact opposite of acceptance.

Acceptance is the key to contentment. It is your willingness to allow you attention and present to be here, right now, no matter what.

It is your willingness, your surrendering to the way things are right now regardless of how things show up.

The conditions that we place on our ability to be happy are always changing and it is the ego that puts them there.

When you want something in your life to change, it is a pointer, a sign that something in you needs to change.

We focus on the external and forget that the external is a reflection a manifestation of the internal.

What aspects of your life–relationships, career, health–frustrate you? Do you tell yourself that once something about those aspects changes, you will be free, you will be happy?

We can’t be present because we fear the present is not enough. We fear that we are not enough. We fear that we are not doing enough. We fear that our partners are not enough. We fear that we do not have enough.

We live in this constant state of inner deprivation, looking to our outside conditions to fill this emptiness, this insatiable hunger for more in order to feel “enough.”

So we constantly ruminate about the future and its ability to provide the fulfillment we seek, the outcome that we yearn for because now is just not enough.

We tell ourselves that fulfillment, contentment, satisfaction and enlightenment are anywhere but here but that once we achieve, attain, and become this or that, then we will have made it.

And so we are never, ever truly happy.

And so our lives becomes this constant search for that culturally defined phenomena of living the American Dream. We busy ourselves, we distract ourselves, we numb ourselves.

Fulfillment cannot be found on the level of form, because form always changes.

It is when we take a step back from looking and searching, when we surrender our thinking minds to the deep stillness and presence underneath our minds, that we feel the stillness and peace that is our true nature.

When we look abide and rest in this place of inner stillness, free of mental noise, there is a deep satisfaction there.

Isn’t it ironic that the peace and satisfaction that we search for is here all along, if only we will stop running from it, and chasing illusions that we believe will provide it?

 

 

How to Love Others

“Wear love everywhere you go.” – Colossians 3:14

We spend much of our lives in our thoughts, however, how much do we spend outside of ourselves?

The repetitive patterns that make up our daily thoughts are mostly the same, and have to do with the story that we have about ourselves, the world and particularly the people in our lives.

What story do you have about people and how does gender, race and sexual orientation color your perception of others?

Any preconceived ideas that we hold about other people is a filter that can be a barrier to connecting with them.

Each time we choose to despise or resent another person, we are choosing to reject a part of ourselves. We cut ourselves off from compassion which has no conditions.

What does it mean to be outside of yourself? It means to step outside of of your thinking and into the awareness, the field of presence that surrounds you.

When we are truly present, we are able to see others for who they really are, without judgment.

To truly see other people for who they really are is to see others with compassion because every person has experiences that have made them unique.

Every encounter we have with every single person in this world is an opportunity to love, to connect and to relate in a new way.

Each time that we connect with someone, there is an expansion in our hearts, there is a vibrational energy that resonates and grows within us. This particular vibration is the same frequency that attracts more love, abundance and opportunity into our lives.

Each time we judge, denigrate or look down on others, we cut ourselves off from receiving more love and abundance in our own lives.

Each time that we choose to love and accept others regardless of who or what they are, particularly if they are difficult to get along with, we invite greater forgiveness, compassion and acceptance into our lives.

Every time we connect with other people in this way, the way of loving them unconditionally, we are in essence living in alignment with our true purpose, our true essence.

When we live in alignment with who we really are, we experience joy and we desire to share that joy with others.

It is easy to judge and to look down on other people, especially if they are different from us. However, every time we do, it is only because there is a part of ourselves that we cannot accept and are attempting to reject through this projection.

The more you practice love and are able to connect with others, to see yourself in them, the more you also attract others to love you in the same way.

What would happen to our lives if we focused less on accumulating, attaining and doing, and more on being present to others, listening and genuinely attentive to the world around us?

What would this world be like if everyone practiced this and focused more on being present to this moment and to having authentic connections with other people?

Sometimes all it takes is a smile, a compliment, or eye contact, but it means a world of difference.

Our presence has an impact on others and it is powerful to recognize our own ability to impact others in a positive way, to walk  with love wherever we go, no matter what.

How differently would you feel and act if you knew everyone around you accepted and loved you unconditionally?

Be that unconditional love and hold no conditions on extending this to other people, even if they seem superficial, judgmental or uninterested.

What matters is that you know who you are, be who you are regardless of how the world is.

When you vibrate this positive, loving energy, notice how the world around you changes.