What is the Mind and Where is it When We Leave the Physical Body? (Or where do we go when we die?)

What is the Mind and Where is it When We Leave the Physical Body?

(Or where do we go when we die?)

Where do we go?
Where do we go?

As a psychic and a medium, is it any wonder that these types of inquiries are natural for me?  What really ‘is’ mind?  And where is it when we leave the physical body? What about death?  Where do we go when we die? Do we keep consciousness?  I’ve spoken with or better said connected with the consciousness of loved ones on the other side who are communicating in tandem with their loved one’s here—current exchanges so that I don’t need a lot of convincing that there is something of us that remains connected.  It’s not easy to make those connections and they are fleeting or quick and then gone light lightening in the sky but there have been enough of those flashes over the years that I no longer need convincing because the client validates those quick impressions that are received during a reading.  But that’s not exactly the point that I want to make with this blog post.

It’s just that a moment ago I came across some information in an email that puts into words that which I described (or tried to) in my last blog post concerning mind and consciousness.  I lost consciousness due to a severe infection of kidney which is very untypical for me.  (I am in excellent health, verified again via various test in the hospital where I was treated when I did faint– passed out as they say.)  I passed out of the every day level of consciousness and into Continue reading

Feel Alone, Different, Like an Outcast? How Much Do You Unveil About Yourself to Others?

lonelyThat settles it!  Someone emailed me this morning asking me a question that I’ve been considering since last night.  Essentially, to bottom-line it, the individual is dealing with certain life challenges which (it sounds like) cause feelings of being alone and disconnected from the rest of the world.  I was just reflecting upon this very thing myself last night with my own physical setback here, realizing how lonely it can be (if you let it) when you’re ill or sick.  It feels very isolating–especially in my own case in that I could be contagious and purposefully avoid others and don’t blame people who would avoid me.  ‘Shoe being on the other foot’, I’ve done the same thing.  Someone coughs or sneezes or grabs for a tissue out in public, usually I’m the first one to go the other way.

But then again, this individual asks about deceit or pretending to be ‘normal’ like the others in the world (whatever normal means anyway) because the illness isn’t as obvious as a sneeze or cough.  The person finds it easier to tell those white lies or fib a little about things link vocation/career and in all relationships with others feels ‘abnormal’ in the world whilst otherwise there are no outward signs to the contrary.  Basically, the person asks me how I feel about this or if it were me how I’d handle it all.  But before we go further….

Fair warning:  I may ramble or meander being still under the influence of previous days worth of Benedryl and other such antihistamine and decongestant type drugs that my body ingested.  Then after being ‘too far gone’ and letting this “head-cold turn spring allergy” get out of hand and grow into a monster with various heads, the busy doctor’s office finally fit me in and AZithromycin (aka Z-pac antibiotics) are now fighting the battle with me.  So that’s why–I’m woozy and (until now) too ‘out of it’ to respond to email or sit at a computer in order to even focus long enough to blog or type anything meaningful.  But if you hang in through this maybe we can come out the other side with something worth the writing for me and the reading for you.

Again, for clarity’s sake, the individual with the question does not have a physically contagious malady and in fact it is not anything obvious to the casual observer (according to their description), which honestly I imagine to be more difficult than otherwise.  Why?

Because all expectations from society or ‘others’ in the world is that there exist in each life those common societal conditions considered to be ‘normal’.  But either way, maybe with my own little condition here (temporary one hopes), there’s a little something within me that can qualify me to give an answer or insight, albeit a small one.  After all, this is only a week for me whereas for this other individual, likely it’s been a lifelong issue.

But then again… well, wait.  Let’s consider it.  I think most of us spend our days here trying our best to feel normal and fit in and for the most part we can deceive ourselves into thinking we are.  Others seem to accept our explanations of ourselves as we covey those lines that mean, “I’m just like you.”  In fact, most of us probably do this more subconsciously than we realize.

I’ve long been aware of how I go ‘to the level of’ the person that I’m communicating with in order to establish a common thread in which to relate.  Take, for example, people who have a Virgo-Victim type of work ethic in the world.  You know the type.  All they talk about is how many long hours they put in and how early they rise in the morning and how crazy their boss is and basically… well, you get the idea.  You surely are not going to establish a common ground to relate to them by describing your life as one in which your values are totally different.   For example, maybe you’ve learned a few things and one is to work smart and not long or perhaps you’ve inherited a lot of money that changed your previous work ethic  Who knows why but let’s say that your life situation is totally different and doesn’t require those long hours.  Or maybe you simply aren’t wired to work 14 hour days at Walmart — and I just made that up; not knowing how many hours Walmart employees work in a day.  But you get the idea.

So are you being deceitful if your way of life is simply different (for various and sundery reasons) and…. well, here’s an example.  Let’s say I used to have a job once upon a time like that one perhaps and so can honestly relate and say, “Whew honey!  I hear ya’ sister.  Been there done that!”  So am in being deceitful?  Or maybe I did some work for my own business in which I worked day and night without much rest (like when I created my first website).  I was a self-employed task master!  (sometimes being your own boss you can be more of a slave-driver than any outside employer).  Either way, I can still relate and don’t have to feel dis-connected.

Well, okay.  Maybe those are silly examples.

I think it’s more a matter of ‘taking it on’ in a way.  In other words, helping the other person feel better about who they are by sort of pretending to meet their standards of how they see normal.  It’s like playing their game with them so that they feel okay about who they are and what they’re doing.

Sort of like agreeing with a crazy person–why would you try to convince them that their not if they are?  Now it’s true that they would think that it is ‘we’ who are the crazy ones when in fact it is ‘we’ who realize it is them!

Now who is crazy and who isn’t–pretty silly thing to speculate, right?

I don’t know if it’s best to pretend you are similar to others to help them feel okay if it makes you feel ‘not okay’.  But then again.  Whose to say whose crazy and who isn’t and whose okay and whose not?

The thing is that everybody is really alone with their own stuff and is pretending to be part of the conditioned society.  Ever hear that story about the emperor who has no clothes?

Being different — you being the only one willing to admit the emperor guy is naked –can be a lonely place to stand BUT ONLY IF YOU LET IT.  And that’s a key.

Got to toss in another one-liner and that’s the saying about feeling lonely in a crowd.  I’d pose to the individual who emailed the question about feeling deceitful by pretending to be like the others who can brag or discuss their life because it’s more accepted by consensus society to consider that everybody feels that way at a core level but most people spend the majority of their life trying to ‘fit in’ and be like what the consensus standards dictate.  Why do they do it?  Not all, of course, but some are afraid to be different or not-accepted.

In the end, we are born alone and we die alone but now we’re here we are with others; yet each of us is unique and different while at the very exact same time, we’re all the same!  A Zen riddle or a Paradox.

But most people don’t think about these things–too busy trying to fit in and make their mark or to achieve something to prove they are/were here.  Not all, of course, we have others consumed with helping others in some way and doing it going to a selfless level and so they probably never consider these kinds of things.  Good on them!

We’re all like that at times too of course.  Maybe the thing to consider is that we’re not like all people at all times–we have some similarities to others, always.  To find those and to relate to them is not being deceitful unless you believe it is.

Generally, ‘its a pickle’ as the saying goes.  And how a person views a thing or an attitude or a life situation is a personal decision.  I’ve felt like the outcast in my family and in any career or job I’ve held throughout my entire life and my work with intuition and astrology is fringe as compared to society at large.

I’ve not felt that separation from others so acutely until recently with regard to my health.  I’ve been sick before with flu or respiratory symptoms–bronchitis or the flu but never before did I feel as alone or cut-off as this time.  It was a different experience and one which has given me moments to pause, thinking toward the end-of-life scenario possibilities that we all face eventually.

What have those moments of pause revealed?  One thing that comes to the fore is how precious life is and what a gift it is and the realization of how much of my life I’ve spent resisting the many gifts Life as offered me by worrying about things like the gosh darn bills that come in the mail every month and the monthly rent that’s due!

I’m nearing 68 years old which by today’s standards is still young but when I was a child that was really, really, really old!  Anyway, life is more precious to me all the time and a few side trips into isolation from illness enabled me to have a preview of what my end days may be like.  And I see how it is a choice.

Isolation (whether forced or imposed) and whether it comes from being the oddball in society in any way — be that way due to illness of any type of different-ness  — is a gift really.  Those feelings  arising from that situation come to us as a catalyst to go within and reflect, resulting in the ability to make a choice as to whether or not we permit them to create a guilty state of being or a lonely state of being.  Its a choice.

To the person making the inquiry, I’d add this  To consider the fact that we (he/she and I) are aware enough to consider these matters is also a rare gift.  And we can use the awareness to create (or ‘be’) an example in the world which is either positive or negative but either way which creates by its very nature “teaching moments” as the saying goes.

No, I don’t mean that we have to ‘spill it’ to people who don’t care or who are strangers.  With those folks it’s probably best to play the game (pretend to be who they can most easily accept) in to help them (not ourselves) feel comfortable with interactions.

But to those who we do open up to and do reveal or expose ourselves, we do so and hope to create some awareness in those others or perhaps plant a seed in some way.

Is this making sense?  I mean look at a physician, a doctor..  Is it appropriate for him to go around examining people when he’s at a picnic or at the gym doing his workout?  The doctor doesn’t reveal himself when it’s not appropriate either.  Would it not be the same with anyone else?

I am feeling a bit weary now being that the antibiotic and I are still ‘fighting the good fight’ as the saying goes.  And the body is telling me to rest a bit now.

I don’t know if there may be a line here or a word or two here in what I’ve written today that is helpful to the email inquirer or to the casual reader of this blog.  I can only hope.

Oh, and one thing that has come from my own recent challenge is that it has create a desire within me to ‘visit the sick’ in some way as a volunteer in the community.  Now that I’ve had the personal experiences of how that feels–that loneliness of being sick–which I do not choose to entertain it (choice), it has inspired me to help others who may be feeling this alone feeling which I choose not to forget.

Anyway, I no longer volunteer at the soup kitchen (I lost my place with that when I moved) — this may be a way that I can do a little something on a volunteer basis again and I intend to look into it.

Perhaps, as a suggestion, the one who feels deceitful about their life could find (like me) something to do as a volunteer to help balance out those feelings.

Well, the person did write and asked me how I would handle it or what I would say about his/her “unveiling their true self to others”, using his/her words.

I will end this with the hope that there’s something within this post that you can use for your next step or as at least a partial answer to your question.

Another thought as I conclude, is that in some areas of my life, such as in places within my own control where i can keep a certain illusion of anonymity or where I feel there may be a greater acceptance, I tend to reveal quite a lot. Such as in my classes or in this blog, my website or weekly newsletter.  There’s a time and place for everything. One has to ‘read’ the situation, become sensitive, and follow ones intuition about what to say to who and when about one’s identity.  I always say the stomach or the ‘gut’ feelings can lead us to knowing when to speak and when to be quiet about ourselves.

I don’t tell every tom-dick-harry or man-on-the-street that I dig Divination, do Tarot, love Mysticism,  Buddhism and Hinduism (a few of my interests) and that I do astrology or that I teach about intuition or ‘read’ energy for others.  It’s still fairly well Fringe for the most part–I get that.  Not everyone is going to understand I’m not in cahoots with “the devil” like one of my own sister’s believes!  Also, one does have to maintain a certain sense of humor.

I’ve nearly worn myself out now…  I think what helps is to try to remember that we’re all alone with who we are and our divine self, the one within and that nobody is ever  going to ever fully understand us anyway–for me there’s a certain freedom in remembering that.

Time to lay the recovering body down a while for now….

Bottom line:  All is Well and Exactly as it Should Be!  

Patterns of Thought, Neurons, Psychic Development and Spiritual Evolution

Neurons Gossip
Neurons Gossip

Patterns of Thought, Neurons, Psychic Development and Spiritual Evolution

How do all those things relate?  Patterns that I’m referring to have to do with what sometime’s I’ve heard called “gossipy neurons” or “ground consciousness” — either way, karmic repetition.  I really appreciate how the Dalai Lama of Tibet has joined Buddhists theory with scientific theory to understand the mind and how it works.

So patterns of thought and neurons that react to stimuli (see What the Bleep Do we Know?) — gossipy neurons!  I love that image of neurons gossiping and we could then see how and why the work of Byron Katie has been helpful to so many–i.e. question that thought and who would you be without it?

Neurons gossip — stimulus happens (some life event or experience) and then old dialogue begins accompanied by old pictures.

In my work as a psychic I’ve learned how to listen to observe to create a space for information to come through and I can’t have any neurons gossiping in the background when i do this.   I think meditation and working in those areas with the mind enables one to recognize when ground or karmic consciousness takes over or said another way, when the neurons start gossiping and firing and kicking up those old connections.

When we notice those neurons gossiping we can become aware and break those old patterned connections through intention–creating a new pathway, one that includes compassion and love instead.

I often point out how psychic development (I offer an Online Course) is an aid to our personal spiritual evolution.  This is yet another example!  Awareness rocks!

Revive or Release? Review your most cherished core beliefs – a New Year’s Clarity Exercise

Getting clarity in 2015 despite the ego not wanting to appear to be ‘the fool’

Core-BeliefsThe mind holds beliefs and the ego/personality wants consistency and doesn’t want to appear ‘The Fool’ even to itself; therefore , a result of this can relate to how we tend to follow our own habitual ways of thinking without changing them.

We can then start appearing a bit delusional to others because the ego unchallenged and unaccustomed to letting go enough to examine a belief (stories) can be really thick.

Again, ego/personality wants consistency and status quo and prefers not to change because to change may mean we’ve been wrong which horrifies that part of us.

However, if we have the courage to question those core beliefs it can be a huge relief.

Yet, we can (at first) become shocked, angry, and unsettled especially when we realize these ideas that we’ve been anchoring into were only stories that we told our self.  Again, to let go of those stories represents inconsistency and this frightens the ego/personality part of the psyche.

What happens when we do question and release some of those beliefs that need to be discharged is that we experience a huge relief and real liberation.  It’s like when you’ve been holding something in your hand or in your arms for or a very long time and when you get to put it down—ahhh, what relief.  Right?

In doing psychic work sometimes I see folks who hold one particular belief about the spirit world that affects every aspect of what they do; but it causes confusion because that belief doesn’t square with all other experiences.  They may call me hoping I will validate a belief that they are trying to be consistent with but doesn’t resonate fully anymore.  I see how they struggle with it not wanting to change the habitual thought and  how they go back to clinging to it and then letting it go again—it takes courage to open your mind sometimes.   It can be frightening, shocking and very unsettling when one’s reality shifts suddenly.

There’s no need to berate one’s self after seeing the light–it is best to see it as a necessary part of the path and the process of growth and evolution.

Another example.  I knew a person who as an adult well into her 40’s blurted out one day that her aged mother was responsible for her lifelong and current overeating problem because her mother overfed her as a baby.  She was serious about this lifelong belief and when I did a double-take and repeated back to her what she had just said because I could hardly believe my ears she became momentarily enraged and shouted back, “Well, who else’s fault would it be?”  This is a true story and really drives home the point that I’m writing about.  This individual had, obviously, never questioned her own assumption and carried it for decades.  It could speak to an overall tendency to blame others, not take responsibility in other areas of life too.  I don’t know if she has let it go fully or if she is still holding it but hopefully you get the point I’m trying to make through this example–we hold to the strangest beliefs sometimes without realizing it.

It’s the New Year 2015 and we’re one week in now so I thought it to be a good exercise for myself to sit down and write down on a steno pad my deepest-held core beliefs and examine them.  This of course requires bare-bones honesty and deep contemplation.

I used the 12 houses of astrology to list 12 areas of life and then to examine those, asking myself if any could be erroneous or ridiculous beliefs I’m still holding or that I’ve outgrown.

Going through this exercise is radical because it really makes you come face-to-face with what ‘you’ believe and it may be an eye-opening experience helping you to see the points-of-view which you’ve held that you may not even have been aware you were holding.   Releasing those, I believe, is a way to help you on your way to enlightenment.

You may, through this exercise, see that you no longer agree with your old self and recognize inner conflicts which have been holding you back or keeping you from clarity and preventing you from being fully open to the grace of the universe.

If you wish to give this New Year’s exercise a whirl, here are 12 life categories you may like to use to stimulate your review.

My suggestion is that for each category, ask yourself what is your most cherished core belief.  These categories are based on the 12 houses of astrology.

Some of the houses hold more than one basic category or meaning.  The suggestion is to select the one category from each house that seems most significant for you. This is a good exercise to come back to, perhaps starting with one house category on one day and the next on another.  All categories or areas don’t have to be accomplished all at one sitting.

Some beliefs you may wish to keep holding which  will serve to rededicate your values; but others may need to be laughed at and sent out of your mind and heart and on their way!

The 1st houset: the self, demeanor, physical body, public image, and vitality.

The 2nd house: money earned and material goods; what is valued; issues of survival and self-reliance

The 3rd house: immediate surroundings, siblings, short trips, left brain/intellect, communication

The 4th house:  self-image, family, home, origins, heredity, and the nurturing parent

The 5th house: creativity, love matters, pleasure, leisure, children, self-expression

The 6th house: everyday life/routine, daily work (job) and colleagues, mentors, small animals/pets and health

The 7th house: relating to others, partnerships, other people

The 8th house: power/control issues, psychology, occult, passions and crises, transformations, death, financial investments, inheritance, other people’s money and sexuality

The 9th house: philosophy, long distance travels, abstract and higher concepts (right brain), religion, and foreign matters.

The 10th house:  social success, professional destiny/career, authoritative parent

The 11th house: friends, collective projects, supports and wounds

The 12th house: spirituality, what is hidden,   difficulties, solitude

If you do work with this exercise and find it helpful, I’d love to hear from you.

You can email me:  joystar777@gmail.com.

 

All’s Well That Ends Well

alls well that ends wellWarning: mostly boring stuff.  This is a journal entry that I started on Facebook and it started to get too long so I finished it here.  I picked up a few documentaries at the video store the other day–one was on hiking Kilimanjaro.  And the other entitled “When we left the earth” about the space program, NASA and the astronauts.  Found both very enjoyable and no problem to ease into watching after leaving the gym today.  The last 10 minutes on the treadmill required mental discipline to get through but even though it’s Friday, I didn’t accept any excuse from the weak mind that kept offering excuses to quit prematurely.

They were giving away free T-shirts so picked up a few for myself, daughter and granddaughter; so soft and a nice little treat.

The last of the pottery Xmas gifts are being fired and tomorrow I will finish one of the last ones.  Hope to go the movies later to see Hunger Games with some of the family and aside from that, just waiting for news about an upcoming move to my own apartment.

This little place which is like a little house of it’s own has a front and back porch for my plants and steps up with a railing–not many; maybe 6 or 7.  The whole apartment area which is more like small little houses is really surrounded by woods and a creek is nearby or so I’m told—its a gem to find a place surrounded by woods here in the city.  Another bonus is that it’s not far from family and even closer to the gym than where I reside now.

Yeah, so I’ve been renting a few movies which help to keep my mind away from wanting to attach … well, you know this saying, right?  My Dad used it all the time, “Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched”, he’d say to me.  Evidently, Dad (rest is soul) noticed the tendency toward disappointment in me at an early age.  It’s taken all these many years to finally integrate that message of non-attachment.

The other day I was listening to a Buddhist teacher who said when you begin the path of awareness and mindfulness that you sometimes do a lot of karmic clearing all at once.  This brought a moment of consolation for the difficulties that I’ve experienced integrating here from my hermit lifestyle in the woods.  The Winter Solstice before even considering a move (or having the foggiest hint that I’d be doing so) I remember standing up on the mountain ridge behind my house hanging i-Ching and Buddha coins on a sweet little naturally growing live white pine tree which I assigned as my personal yule tree.  I clearly recall that I asked for more knowledge about Buddhism and “to become more Buddha-like”.  Yep, that could have done it!  LOL  I’m not kidding –really, I’m not.  I was quiet serious about expanding knowledge about Buddhism at the time.  And actually, not long after that (there being no sanghas in those old mountains, I learned about Vajra TV which I considered to be a miracle!)

And now that I’ve left the mountains, I will be happy to be once again in my own little nest.  (I’m sharing an apartment with my sister and niece–add that one to the challenges faced since moving here.)  Anyway, when the move happens (and it will eventually!),  I plan to eat better, cook healthier food.

simple life
Mentors Channel posted this on Facebook today; I relate

You know… I look back over my life for the past… well,  since the summer of 2012 (and we’re soon to be in 2015 in a few weeks) and realize even more so now how this “heap-load of intense karmic clearing” could really be a viable or possible truth.

I hope not to have incurred further or additional karma these past few years, but if intention is part of the cause/effect karmic equation for the future, this may ease any future karmic consequence.

One can only hope for the best on a karmic level and to offset that to perform good deeds, so tonglen meditations, and  as they say accrue merit to create good karma to balance.

Anyway, I can correlate so many Buddhist teachings with my experiences over the past 2+ years and while I may have struggled a good deal with reality/life, many realizations have occurred.  And this is one more thing to be grateful for.

My daughters have their apartments all decorated for the holidays now.  I hope for them that they experience that time goes slowly so that they can enjoy their Christmas trees and bright things each day.

In contrast, and as for me as I’ve grow older, it seems that holidays come and go so fast that it’s hardly worth the effort to drag the decorating stuff out before you have to put it back again.  I gave my holiday decorations to my girls for that and various reasons.

I know that I will be releasing even more items/things/stuff, giving more away since the new apartment will be even smaller than the old one that I had here.

Anyway, speaking of releasing, somehow I lost a few pounds recently and this time I hope to keep that going! I think I owe a thank you to the treadmill. 🙂 I am so grateful to be able to go to the gym.  I want to get back into swimming soon too–all these big plans.  LOL

Letting things go…  materially, emotionally and mentally!  And as Shakespeare wrote, “All’s well that ends well” and yet it is still debated if that play was a comedy or tragedy.  Perhaps, like all of our lives, both.

PS– oh, and that apartment house I mentioned… it’s an 11 (numerology).  But then there I go again; you’re right about those chickens Dad.  Yeah, I’m psychic and my intuition tells me things but it’s still better to take Dad’s advice.

Better put in another video.  🙂

Peace, the Present and Morning Predictive Voice

December 1 2014 snow

I’ve had better days on the path.  Right now the desire is to write about peace.  When we remember that present conditions will not last indefinitely, it helps.  It surely does.

Peace is a state of perfect balance or still-point of well being in an ever changing world of causes and conditions that are in continual flux.

When we’re at peace, our outlook is positive and clear and our dreams seem as if they are within reach–a level of optimism accompanies it.

Life presents challenges.  We get triggered.  Disappointments happen.  People can be… well, no sense going there, right?  Like I said, it wasn’t the  best of days and sometimes the best of us have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and climb back up on the horse and keep going.  What horse? The horse of mindfulness.  I’ll explain in a moment.

I woke this morning with a warning of sorts. You know those moments between sleep and full waking consciousness, right? That’s the point at which I clearly heard (as if I was speaking to myself, as these things typically go)… I was saying to myself, “Don’t let anything anyone says today upset you.”  I argued with the voice a bit knowing who I would be seeing later in the day.  Then I promptly forgot about it.

I remember it after the fact.  It turned out I did start to become upset but went to the studio to finish an art project and then hit the gym to work it out that way.  There I was doing chin ups at the YMCA when that OMG moment hit.  I remembered the words that I heard that morning!  The person I went to see did say some things… suffice it to say, it did take me back a bit.

Then, if that wasn’t enough, I came home later to hear fowl mouthed roommate cursing into the air several times throughout the evening even with my door shut.

Since coming down from the mountain there have been numerous challenges to my previous hermit lifestyle which (let’s face it) I still maintain to some extent to keep my sanity.  And I’m gradually learning not to let circumstances overwhelm me.  I have been able to respond in a low-key manor while still remaining true to my principles.

Why respond in a low-key manor?  because otherwise awareness is lost when drama ensues and without maintaining awareness or mindfulness (by being sucked into someone’s drama or my own past triggers) what happens is that peace flies out the window. And with it those dreams that seemed within reach drift farther away and well-being doesn’t seem so “well”, pardon the pun.

Am I just learning this stuff?  No, of course not.  Just applying it more consciously when life is more challenging.  Like I said, I’ve had better days but the voice this morning was right about not letting it upset me.

You know when I remembered the morning voice?  When I was thinking nothing at all because I was using all my might to pull my body up by my arms.  I was completely open and in the present moment, much as I was when first waking and like as I am when doing a psychic reading.

I will add one more thing and then will get to sleep (it’s getting late).  I realized my physical body reacts to triggers (like to day what other people say shouldn’t upset me–so sayeth the voice) when my emotions and mental faculties seem to be less reactive, the physical body felt like it took a couple of physical ‘hits’.  I could separate those out and found it interesting.  I don’t think I’ve been aware of it before–the physical body having memory and responding on it’s own apart from mental body and emotional body.  The physical body reactions seemed separate and more pronounced.

I always find it awe inspiring that some part of me or some energy of Divine Mind is a step ahead of me, knowing what’s about to happen and wiring back to me particular heads-up guidance.

When I heard a roommate’s foul mouth cursing loudly more than once this evening, I had to smile a little.  Remember the ‘morning-voice message’.  Okay, good buddy 10-4, message received (good ole’ CB radio talk).  Let there be Peace!

 

Wakeful Contentment: Everything is OK– You, Your Situation, The World

Everything is really OK message

We hear a good deal about “being awake” and “being present” and “being enlightened” and “mindfulness” — or at least I do.  In places where my mind hangs out (books, twitter, facebook and forums) people toss those terms around a lot — they’re prevalent.  I contemplate this a lot since like most everyone else the outer world (samsara) keeps stimulating my own inner drama and all I want is peace and happiness like everyone else.

I have to keep coming back to it.  To what?  I’m talking about that sense of well-being that comes from mindfulness and presence.

I love that sense of well-being!  That wakeful contentment!  I call it “contented happiness” because that state of being seems to be core or the baseline state once layers of  mental ‘this and that’ thin and create an opening for that state to shine through.  Its there, it’s always been there–just like the quote on mind training from Ajahn Chah (quote below) states.

And just like  Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche  says, “We are so familiar with the tumultuous reactivity of our mind that mental chaos feels quite normal.  Opposing that or the opposite polarity to that mental chaos is joy, that profound sense of well-being that comes from being in a completely wakeful state.

You know this state, right?  You must have had moments like I’m going to describe and hopefully days, weeks or months–perhaps years or a lifetime if we’re really on the path.

We drop the anxious chatter in our mind. We release a big sigh and think, “Wow, everything is really OK: me, my situation, the world.”

This becomes my new goal, my new mantra and a feeling that I intend to expand and send out to the world.  I actually read those words that are in quotes above in a book and every level of body and mind did cartwheels and acrobatics across the room!

cartwheels

YES!  I know this feeling!  this truth!  Until now, I’ve called it “contented happiness” but I do like the way it is expressed simply and recognizably:  “Wow, everything is really OK–me, my situation, the world.”

The Quote: Training this mind… actually there’s nothing much to this mind. It’s simply radiant in and of itself. It’s naturally peaceful.

Why the mind doesn’t feel peaceful right now is because it gets lost in its own moods. There’s nothing to mind itself. It simply abides in its natural state, that’s all. That sometimes the mind feels peaceful and other times not peaceful is because it has been tricked by these moods. The untrained mind lacks wisdom. It’s foolish. Moods come and trick it into feeling pleasure one minute and suffering the next. Happiness then sadness. But the natural state of a person’s mind isn’t one of happiness or sadness.

Leaf red 350 x 304
The mind is naturally calm like a leaf that is NOT being blown around


 This experience of happiness and sadness is not the actual mind itself, but just these moods which have tricked it. The mind gets lost, carried away by these moods with no idea what’s happening. And as a result, we experience pleasure and pain accordingly, because the mind has not been trained yet. It still isn’t very clever. And we go on thinking that it’s our mind which is suffering or our mind which is happy, when actually it’s just lost in its various moods.

The point is that really this mind of ours is naturally peaceful. It’s still and calm like a leaf that is not being blown about by the wind. But if the wind blows then it flutters. It does that because of the wind. And so with the mind it’s because of these moods – getting caught up with thoughts. If the mind didn’t get lost in these moods it wouldn’t flutter about. If it understood the nature of thoughts it would just stay still. This is called the natural state of the mind.

— (Ajahn Chah, Training This Mind)

The Law of Attraction and The Secret have there place, BUT…..  there is, I feel, greater accomplishment in enhancing a state of  acceptance of things just as they are. We stop reaching for what we want. We stop trying to control our comfort zone. This letting go leaves us feeling peaceful and optimistic. We have not strategized to attain this state.   It’s more like the absence of trying to manipulate or influence our circumstance.

PS — currently transiting Saturn is conjunct natal Jupiter in my 4th house.  I’m waiting for word about an apartment to open up for me.  It could be any time but waiting is challenging.  I can see how Saturn right on Jupiter is creating a delay (Saturn often is though to carry with it the archetype of ‘delay’).  The 4th house of course is about home –THE home.  This blog post is like … well, physician heal thyself.  LOL  Accepting things as they are while I wrestle with the strong inner desire to move.  I trust astrology and that Saturn delay is beneficial/Jupiter for my future housing situation.  Meanwhile, everything is really OK–me, my situation, the world.  🙂

The Nature of the Mind – The Nature of Reality – The Fascinating Study of Enlightenment and the Karma of Ego

nature of the mind

This is IT for me, you know?  Contemplating the nature of the mind and reality makes it all bearable.  No.  Not right.   Much more than bearable; it makes life a total celebratory event.

You see, we all think (or feel) that we have our own personal single mind that is so very real because it experiences and recognizes things.  Yet, how often (if ever) do we stop and examine those experiences that the mind thinks are so real?  Break them apart, open them up, see what’s there at the core–do people do that?

Trauma or crisis can help us contemplate this type of thing (or not)–happiness too; any intense experience.   Many times doing that drives us to addictive distraction instead of some level of enlightenment and joy.  But if we really examine the experiences that the mind is having and we do so carefully, and we really contemplate this experience that this mind has and we look for that mind that has this crisis or happy experience, we cannot find a single thing!  Not one single thing but a blend of many components that we call “consciousness’.    It’s NOT YOU!

Here’s what I mean–there is no solid mind or self at the core of the experience or no real experience-ER.  I know, it sounds crazy if you’ve never thought about it but give me a chance to explain.

Consciousness has many various components–parts!  You know like a car, a vehicle has many components, parts–engine, tires, frame, door and so forth.  Is not our mind and our consciousness the same?  Consciousness has awareness of visual objects (forms, shapes, colors) and then there is awareness of sound, touch (tactile consciousness), taste consciousness and all these are separate parts or functions of the mind.  It’s like the car analogy–separate parts, gas tank, gas pedal, speedometer, steering wheel and so forth.

Consider the experience of anything for a moment–it doesn’t have to be crisis or trauma.  Anything.  Happy experience let’s say.  If we consider that each type of consciousness recognizes a particular field of experience (sound awareness or consciousness recognizes sound and visual consciousness is aware of shapes and colors of forms)… if we consider this as part of any experience we see that each of the types of consciousnesses function in an independent way from the others.

So the mind is a blend of consciousnesses and not one single unit or not one single, unitary thing.  Rather it is a compound object just like the car, the vehicle.

There are said to be six consciousnesses and in some books I’ve read there are eight.  And one of those eight include the consciousness which clings to the notion of EGO or “I”.  And another consciousness that is part of what we think of as “me” is called ground consciousness — and I wrote about this a week or so ago.  

The ground consciousness  stores information from all other levels of consciousness and accumulated past lives.  You can see how this level of mind would easily support the idea of an individual identity called “me”.  It would seem so ‘real’ but it is a grouping of consciousness; a grouping of experiences.

To explain further, it is fairly easy to grasp that the visual consciousness perceives objects–that’s the potential of the visual consciousness.  If you look at a red cloth, you see red.  If you look at snow on a mountain, you see white.  We are able also, quite obviously, to see things in succession–first seeing one thing and then the next with one thing disappearing and the next thing appearing in consciousness.  So visual consciousness is multiple and successive and has the potential to see many things at once and so is not single or solitary or one thing.  Nor is it one single solitary unit of time.

strawberry fields foreverEven if we could isolate a single solitary unit of time, it would only occur within the framework of ongoing consciousness because awareness is never static–its fluid.  So every moment has to relate to a previous moment and a future moment—meaning, it is not any more singular than we ourselves are.  The future moment is the present being the past in relation to it.  Yeah, I know that last sentence is pretty deep; but the point is that time is not solid, solitary and static and neither is consciousness and neither are we!  

There is no single unit of identifiable reality in either the external world of appearances or in the subjective mind.  Even space does not have a fundamentally real, inherent existence. Space is not a compound, and does consist of various parts like the car or like our mind.  Space is not a thing–it seems to exist but it is the negation of a particular appears of anything else.  Even the space in a room only exists because of the walls–take away the walls and the space that you thought existed in the room is not there and only depended upon the walls around it to appear as if it existed.

So the whole point in this blog post brings me to the point of liberation–even if I can’t fully understand it all in a way to describe it in words; in an experiential way I’ve known this truth from meditation…   it’s all true.

For example, in a contemplative meditation last evening, I tried to find… well, I asked, “Where is Joy?  Where am I located?”  It took less than a nano-second to realize I’m not my body and once you get past that basic truth, look for the location and you will find it’s everywhere!  And now here!  and nowhere!

And this, my friend, helps me to chill-ax (chill out and relax) and to see the humor in it all…. appearances are empty forms!  And again, quoting the Beatles once more, in the Strawberry Fields song, “Nothing is real; and it’s nothing to get hung about.”  

DEDICATION:  May this post help another in a way that is in divine order when they come upon this post–for this is my true intent in writing it today!