Thursday, 18 January 2018

Personal transformation


“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
― Albert Einstein

How many times have you heard or read this quote?

What does it mean?

To transcend your current reality or something much, much bigger?

Think about it.

How do you raise your consciousness?

Perhaps you need to consider your beliefs. Can you drop them to allow in something more beautiful?

The thing is, if we truly want to change our lives and those we serve, we have to find a way to outsmart our ego. If we don't, then we'll remain fastened to the wheel of small self.

Is there a practice that might help?

Yes. 

To be fully present to this moment.

Personally, I do that in zazen but even in witnessing mode -- i.e. you witness your thoughts -- there's a step change.

I suppose in the end it comes down to one key thing: how much do you value (your) life? 

I mean, if you're just about OK with how things are then you'll never look beyond your current world order.

Blessings and much love


Julian

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

What are you waiting for?


I love life.

Again.

I love life.

Sure, it's replete with angst, pain and discord but I wouldn't have it any other way.

My work, if it's about anything, is to convince you that you should and can do anything.

Not to live out of ego but to come alive to True Self.

And that means dealing with your deepest fears, acknowledging your frailty and challenging your worldview.

Of course, if you think it's out there, it will never happen -- i.e. bliss-consciousness. You'll be wrapped so far around your finger of death-dealing fear that you'll give up at the merest whiff of failure.

My mantra:

awaken, to true self.

That simply means to come alive all body, mind and spirit.

In essence, not to give a f*ck what others think and lean into life with everything you've got.

I mean, come on, if someone told you today that this day was all you had, do you seriously think you'd live out of fear and do what you're told or been conditioned to believe is real?

Blessings,

Julian

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Your angst is your liberation


I know, it sounds whacky:

"What, you mean I've literally got to go to the edge [and sometimes beyond] to move forward with my life?"

Yes.

You see the thing is, we all have a map of the world. Mostly (if you study the AQAL model of Ken Wilber) it's rooted in one of the four quadrants. I'd hazard a guess, it's in the quadrant devoted to the materialist, i.e. the person who makes sense of their life by trying to order the outside world.

But it never works.

For a start, our reality doesn't work that way -- it's an inside-out job in case you hadn't noticed. Not just that but even the most determined and or deluded person in the world (except Donald Trump of course) can't order their circumstances so that none of their outside-in plates drop out the sky.

Where does that leave you?

In a bad place; namely, you keep going round and round in circles where unless you're able to wake up your state of consciousness towards something more non-dual, you'll continue to play the same internal monologue, i.e. I can't make sense of this world.

You might be one of the lucky few -- the very few -- who wake up to samadhi or True Self but it's unlikely. Of course, you might deliberately decide to place yourself in even more harm's way in the hope of making your angst so bad that you immediately manifest a non-dual state. Trust me, I wouldn't recommend it. In fact, I think it's stupid to try to engineer an even worse fight or flight response. Worse still, it might be fatal!

No, if there's one thing I'd do is accept that the unexamined life is your life's work and by enquiring within you may not wake up to True Self but you might live with more equanimity in a world that's intent on crushing your soul.

Blessings,

Julian

Photo by Joshua Sortino


Monday, 15 January 2018

Falling down



Never be afraid to fail.

In fact, if you live on the edge but never leap, you'll never come alive to True Self.

Of course, in this Instagram et al. world, everything's f*cking perfect.

It's not.

It's sh*t.

It's hard.

It's death dealing.

But then again, right now, is the universal God that exists for us all if we'd only get out the way.

Perhaps it's me but I'm sick to death of everyone telling me how perfect their life is and how by dint of changing my habits, I can have a better life.

NO I CAN'T.

And I don't want it that way.

I want to know that I gave a sh*t and gave it my best shot. So what if I don't have a slew of toys and faux experiences to mark my life.

I want it real.

And that means falling down again and again and carrying on in the face of insuperable odds -- mostly of my own construction.

In the end, all I'd say is that the more real you can make it the better. Don't compromise for anything. Be contrary. Shout the odds when you see inequality. Don't give up on what you believe is true.

As if I needed to remind you, life is very short.

Now go make it happen.

Big love,

Julian

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Is this the life you want?


Right now.

In this moment.

Not tomorrow, nor yesterday.

It's a simple question but it carries with it such import.

Of course, you can parse it up -- e.g. work, social, money, career, family, love -- but what I'm referring to is:

is the life you're living allowing you to be you -- all body, mind and spirit?

If that sounds too much to take on, then simply focus on the physical body.

Are you looking after yourself?

Right food?

Right sleep?

Right exercise?

If not, why not?

Possibly it's because your mind -- your thinking self -- isn't on it.

If that's the case, perhaps you need to undertake (not for the first time) a process of radical self-enquiry, namely, Who am I?.

The thing is, despite what we're told, life is not perfection. It's what is, right now, in this moment. But it pays to follow your instinct just once in a while and go through your fear, not round it, as otherwise you really will find that in a few years time life has passed you by to the point where the effort of change is simply not worth it.

Let me ask you again, is this the life you want?

Blessings,

Julian

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Words that define you


I don't mean labels -- e.g. lawyer, doctor, entrepreneur -- rather those that shine a light on True Self:

Compassion
Kindness
Thoughtfulness
Love
Tenderness
Silence
Open-hearted
Warm
Giving

This is never about perfection -- a bit of shadow work never goes amiss -- but instead being the change that you want to see.

More to the point, when someone stands to give your eulogy, how would you like to be remembered? For the things you did, the stuff you owned or the people you touched?

Blessings,

Julian

Photo by Jez Timms

Friday, 12 January 2018

Returning to Zen


Zen is life.

Life is Zen.

No dogma. No creed. No right or wrong.

Don't ask me why but Zen has returned both in practice and form.

Will it last?

Who knows, but having a practice and being held by a beautiful sangha is everything.

Right now, I've no expectation.

I'm moved.

That's enough.

Blessings,

Julian




Thursday, 11 January 2018

Paying attention


In this busy, chaotic world, we're disposed to do as much as possible.

Instead, do one thing at a time...with full attention (all body, mind and spirit).

Do it as if it was life and death.

Extreme?

Not really.

Because, if you think about it, doing one thing with full attention is life.

(If instead, you're racing through things as quickly as possible then you'll likely lose touch with reality but worse still, you'll end up feeling that little of what you've done really mattered.)

Blessings,

Julian

Photo by Isaac Benhesed

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Steven Pressfield on Investments



Here is the link to the short blog piece which explains more about Mr Pressfield's choices but in case you want to skip the read, here's the quote that particularly grabbed my attention:

“I’ve never invested in the stock market or taken a risk on anything outside myself. I decided a long time ago that I would only bet on myself. I will risk two years on a book that’ll probably fall flat on its face. I don’t mind. I tried. It didn’t work. I believe in investing in your heart. That’s all I do, really. I’m a servant of the Muse. All money is on her.” -- Steve Pressfield

I suppose it begs the question, what are you investing in?

Blessings,

Julian

Don't look back in anger


Yes, I know it's a rip off of the Oasis song, but it's how so many people live their lives: backwards.

At the risk of stating the bleeding obvious, the past is the past.

It's over.

Done.

Finished.

And in case you want to argue otherwise, whatever you think it is, it isn't now: it's just a memory trace which you fuel by (mostly) an unhealthy addiction to your thoughts.

But, as I keep saying over and over, you are not your thoughts. You might think you are but you're not, no more so than your arm, your leg or your heart -- all essential for survival and which make up our supposed being-ness.

The truth is I don't much care if that's where you live. It's your choice.

What I care about is pointing to reality, i.e. True Self, where you live fully present to this moment, in all that it offers.

You might think it's better here than there (in the past). It's not. It's not anything. It's before thinking; it's before you get lost in your thoughts; it's awareness of no-thing.

Be there, now.

No, don't try and turn off your thinking -- as if you could! -- but drop the notion that you need to get anywhere to be anything and witness all that arises -- thoughts, feelings, emotions.

Better still sit in silence for an hour with your eyes open or shut and say nothing, do nothing and stop wishing for anything in particular.

But you won't I bet because you want something to come of it. You want the Big Prize that everyone else is promising; namely, to be this uber version of yourself.

Trust me, sitting still for an hour per day isn't going to give you that. It's not going to give you anything except perhaps a greater awareness of everything that you're not.

In the end though, all of this -- living in the past etc. -- is a choice. You're either willed to enquire within or you're not, and nothing I say will make any difference. But trust me, one day you'll understand that in living out of your thinking and accepting it as true was the day that life passed you by.

Blessings,

Julian