Enlightenment

The leap of faith

The Tao te Ching says:
He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened

Everyone,on one level or another, is searching for enlightenment; the state of mind and ‘beingness’ that transcends the apparent ugliness of the world we perceive. Enlightenment has been described as a journey; a journey of self examination in which we have to change everything we know and understand about ourselves; and possibly you may think that it is reserved for a select few. You can be forgiven if it sounds like a lot of hard work!

The truth is it isn’t a lot of hard work and it is not for a select few; you don’t have to suck on yoghurt, nor do you have to become a toothless yogi and renounce all your possessions and sit in an uncomfortable position for hours on end gazing at your navel to become enlightened; but by gaining enlightenment you will certainly experience a completely new perspective of life but most importantly your self. The only things you will need to sacrifice and renounce is your current beliefs; that which you have been taught is true and correct; or that which you think is keeping you safe. None of them exist but may have been working for you up until now. Change is the only constant in this world.

Enlightenment is a state of mind in which you begin to live a life from a completely different understanding and intellect; it changes your old thoughts (those ones that tell you what you think is true and probably unconscious of) into new and self empowering thoughts. If you knew how close you are to enlightenment right now, would you jump at the chance?

I get asked the obvious question “If enlightenment was that easy why isn’t everybody enlightened? “. The truth is this: You are already enlightened but you may not be conscious or aware of it. Enlightenment is such a personal thing; all you need to do is understand your present condition; stop fighting it (yourself). If you sat still long enough to create a bit of silence within your mind you’d discover that the silence itself is enlightened.

The biggest challenge is to silence the mind. And this is the fundamental error. You don’t have to silence the mind; it is already silent. Your brain is the one that makes all the noise; your mind is the one that observes it all; your powerful mind is the one you’ve been searching for all this time and maybe didn’t know it. I’ll repeat it: enlightenment is a state of mind. Discover your mind again and you discover enlightenment; be the enlightenment (live it) and you live your life as an ‘enlightened one’.

Your brain, your heart and your body is a technology that far out-reaches anything mankind (or humans if you’re wanting to be a bit PC) could possibly create. The mind is that part within you that is unconditioned and unseen. If it is focused upon the yelling and screaming of the brain then that is all it will be able to create in your external world. If it is focused upon the heart, it then begins to create “your hearts desires”. Attitudes change and with the change of attitude comes a change of the perception of your life; your thoughts will become things that you can work with and easier to focus upon . The path to enlightenment involves understanding the technology of the heart and brain and how it can either work for you or against you. This is probably the most difficult part of the journey because we have been taught a lot of stuff about the brain and the mind that is completely error ridden. But we believe it without question; therein lies the problem. We have forgotten to question the truth of some of the education we have received; to question and investigate a belief or our education is a right we seem to have forgotten; we, for the most part, have taken someone else’s ideas as fact without the process of investigation, we’ve become lazy and solely reliant on those who think they know, when maybe they don’t! Religion is a fine example! Cross the barrier of belief and question those teachings and you find you self being branded as a sinner; an outcast at least; our right to question our education has received the same treatment; how dare we question those that know! Maybe they only know in part and its all a theory? The inherent freedom of your mind is the beginning to your own enlightenment. There’s nothing wrong with education but it is your choice to question it or not; to accept without question is also your right but maybe doing you a lot of harm in the long run. And yes I’ve just had a rant; I’m not apologising for it!

Your enlightenment depends on your own ability to question every belief you have taught yourself (via experiences in life whether good or bad) or have been taught by others. This is the only mental exercise you need to follow at this stage. It takes time but as you begin to accept that there’s a flaw within those beliefs and values you hold so dear, you begin to open up the possibility that none of them matter anyway; in essence you are beginning to give your unconditioned mind a chance to show you something incredibly different and so much more enlightening; the more often you question the quicker the expansion. The ‘light bulb’ moments become more frequent.

The mind doesn’t think; that’s the job of the brain, and it doesn’t feel; that’s the hearts job. The mind is quite steady and impersonal as it observes everything; it is the energy that creates that which it is focused upon.

And here’s the thing; I don’t want you to take my word for it; if you’ve read this with an open mind or a closed one, it doesn’t concern me at all, I’d rather you experience it for your self; become your own mental scientist; allow your own inner discoveries, it’s a lot of fun! Your ‘self ‘ (that which you are) depends upon it. Know and Enjoy yourself!

If you feel you require help with any of this please do not hesitate to call or email me.

Tony Kane 0474 570 063

Email: tonykanecounselling@gmail.com

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Meditation & Becoming The Observer

The Problem: Being Unaware of Thought

The problem is not what we think and not that we think; thinking is easy and we connect with our thoughts without a moment’s notice.

“Thinking is easy and we do it all the time without even knowing we are thinking”

Within this statement is the secret of reconnecting with our reality as beings of creation.

  1. Thinking is easy. This part of the statement is fairly obvious. It’s easy! Too damned easy!  But we do it all the time and there’s no way you are going to stop it. Yes you can slow it down but to try to stop it is almost impossible unless you’re really good at being mindful and have been meditating for a number of years, in which you consciously stop your thoughts and enable consciousness and awareness. But the plain fact it is that most who try meditation find it extremely difficult, haven’t got the time or find it an arduous task. Or we’ve become lazy!
  2. Because thinking is real easy, so many people aren’t aware they are thinking in the first place. Awareness is the ability to know when you are thinking; it’s not necessarily the content that is the issue; although without some sort of awareness of what thoughts are being processed, depending on the person, some thoughts may be extremely damaging.
  3. Then there are those who have become addicted to thought and can’t or won’t release themselves from their thought life. They have completely identified with their thoughts and believe this is who and what they really are. In this state of mind, all sense of personal power has been lost and everything external becomes a powerful and uncontrollable force in which there is no ease of living. Life becomes exhausting, a drudge, boring and in most cases, a huge fight for existence. They have become victims to themselves and no-one else.

This is: “I think therefore I am” in which your thoughts become your creation.

An Awareness Exercise to Try

Being ‘Aware’ is, most definitely being aware that you are thinking. It goes further than this though, in that, the object of the exercise is to become aware that you are the awareness. The more you sense that you are the awareness, you will sense a freedom and greatness within you that has no connection to your thinking at all. (Please don’t try this while you are driving or focusing on an activity that may cause injury. Pick a time that is relaxing and comfortable for you in which you are doing nothing. This time is for you and you alone)

1)      At any time during the day or night, stop what you are doing whatever it may be. Allow your thoughts to materialize.

2)      Observe them without entertaining them or connecting with them. Don’t judge or label them. Just observe them.

3)      Now, ask yourself “Who is the observer of my thoughts?”

4)      Once you have sensed or located the feeling of being the observer, focus on it (the observer). The observer is Awareness; you have connected with awareness itself and the awareness is the real you, without being interfered with by thought.

It’s almost like looking through the window of your mind, knowing that the mind and its thoughts are not the real you; the real you is the one looking through the window; Awareness itself.

Meditation

Meditation does the same thing if followed correctly. If you have a quick observation of the above exercise, you may notice it is a form of meditation with your eyes open or while you are doing things in the here and now. Meditation in the here and now is the most important ingredient to discover awareness of self.

Attempting to create a world by imagining positive scenarios is nice and one way of connecting with your desires but does nothing, on its own, to create an awareness of self, if that’s as far as it goes. In a way, you’re in a dream state without the ability to create your dream; it has the potential of becoming a frustration and the death of a perfectly valid and potential way of life (your life being the one dreamt of).

One of the best ways to create your dream is to view it in meditation but as the observer (as in the exercise above) or as the awareness of your dreamt of life. The observer or awareness of the dream is power and creation energy in itself. It is the one behind everything, making it possible to create your dreams.

I have always asked myself “Do I want the dream or do I want to be the ‘creation energy’ itself to create the dream?” In itself, the dream is nothing but a desire that is pointing you back to the origin of creation; the origin of creation is within you and not within the dream. My answer has always been to discover the origin of creation and not worry about the dream because I know the origin of creation already knew about the dream anyway; the origin of creation is the energy that runs through you right now. It doesn’t stop because you cease to become aware of it. It is always there, always has been and always will be. It is you; but you are not it and that is the issue most people have to deal with. Another way of saying this is: “You are not creation in itself but creation in and of itself is you”; you can’t become it, you become aware of it because it is already you. It is a paradox that may not make any sense at all unless you are beginning to understand ‘Awareness’ of yourself. Another very apt paradox to contemplate is: “Everything that you desire to be can only be found in the nothing that you are”.

The Here and Now

Paradoxes have a way of confusing the mind and bringing us into the here and now. Another way to understand the ‘Here and Now’ is through the use of the word ‘Presence’. Presence is being aware and conscious of ‘Now’. It is the only thing that exists outside the mind. The mind will attempt to keep us within the past or create a future based on known events (memories) that have happened in our lives whether they are good or bad; it then tries to create a future based on those same events, none of which exist in the present moment; the ‘Now’ moment. To experience life outside those thoughts of past and future is to experience the only thing that exists; the Present Moment or ‘Presence’ itself.

There has been a lot of confusing information regarding how to experience ‘Presence’ but the answer is actually fairly simple. As and when you decide to experience being the observer of your world; that is, the thoughts and dreams you are having which are being created by the mind; or become awareness itself, you have automatically walked into Presence. You quite literally become Presence in that minute moment of time. The longer you practice being awareness the longer presence sticks around.

This is “I am therefore I think” in which all creation exists and becomes your thought.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and have been able to remind yourself of the creation that you are. Your perfection, your life and all that is available to you can only be found within you; have fun with the ‘Awareness Exercise’ and discover yourself. You may be interested in The Happiness Project in which all the above is taught and in which the participants, very easily, learn to become aware and conscious of creation itself.

Self Awareness

The Body

Self Awareness is not something that comes without a bit of work but you can begin to be aware relatively quickly. The starting point, of course is to begin to be aware of your ‘self’. Throughout history, there have been so many teachers and sages pointing to a separate ‘me’ which is permanent and more real than the ‘me’ that is perceived as being the body, including the thoughts and feelings being experienced within the physical body.

Try this and you will see what I mean:

  • Go to a mirror and observe your body for a few minutes.
  • While you are observing your body, look into the eyes of your image in the mirror
  • Now ask yourself (either quietly or aloud) “Is this my body?”
  • Now, who asked the question? Your body or something else that exists within your body?
  • Who or what is observing your body? Who is the observer and what is being observed?

This would suggest that at the moment the question was asked, whatever owns the body is not the body. And the body is not a permanent entity; it changes over a period of time and finally ‘gives up the ghost’.

Thoughts and Feelings

What about thoughts and feelings; aren’t they the ‘me’ or ‘I’? They may seem that way; in fact they may seem more ‘me’ than the body; but the truth of the matter is that thoughts and feelings come and go just like the body, and most of them are not our own or not under our control. The ego is affected by these thoughts and feelings, but the thoughts and feelings are a process of the brain and essentially not solid or real; they have no form. If thoughts and feelings are not real, then it would suggest that the ego is not a ‘thing’ in and of itself; it cannot be destroyed nor should it be considered for destruction.

The identification with thought, feelings and body is the issue that keeps us from being aware of the real self. When you become aware of the silence between thoughts; focusing on the silence, you will become aware of awareness itself; you will become aware of your real self. If you have been able to experience the ‘Mirror Image’ process above, you will have begun a process of ‘consciousness’ or awakening.

The Self that is No Thing

After experiencing the above process a few times, you will, hopefully, get a sense of being an observer; observing your body (physical) and, with a bit of focus off your mind, observing your thoughts and feelings (mental); almost as if they are not the ‘you’ you thought you were; but you are living in a body that looks the way it does and it experiences thoughts and feelings that can be observed but not have to be entertained or argue with.

The observer is what I call the ‘Natural State’. For you, enlightenment may only go as far as this level of consciousness, but there is more yet. As I understand it, if you have experienced separation from your body and thoughts, you are experiencing your Natural State otherwise known as your Ego free from external influences; some know this as spirit or essence of self. This is the way you were born before you were taught to think and allowed your thoughts to take you away from your essence. It has no form but lives within one (your body); it has no identification with anything apart from itself. It is no ‘thing’ but it is the real you.

Once awareness and consciousness is activated within a person the realization that all things are a part of the aware self and not separate from it becomes very apparent; in fact the aware self is the creation of all things but knows it is not creation itself. To intellectually understand this, it has to become a discovery via experience only. No words and no thought can adequately explain any of it.

But Wait! There’s More!

The more you step back and discover space or silence, the more conscious of consciousness you become aware of; you become consciousness itself. Consciousness itself is that energy we have inadequately called God. God, from my point of view, is Creation itself. It needs to be understood, if you haven’t understood it yet, that God is an energy that pervades everything that exists, has existed, and is yet to exist, which includes yourself. God/Creation is moving through you right now and is conscious of all your thoughts and feelings, actions and reactions. So apart from stepping back from your body, thoughts and feelings, you can step back from your ‘Natural State’ and become aware of the power of consciousness and creation that you are. Once completed, you come to the realization that because you are creation, there is no need to concern yourself with the issues that are outside of yourself that create anxiety, depression, illness and dis-ease within the body. They are there but cease to exist within you.

Creation is your right

You can then begin to create your life the way you have always dreamt. Your dreams have always been the indication of what and who you actually are. You have probably been chasing them; some have been created but then again maybe not. As you begin to become conscious and aware that you are creation, you will discover the understanding and knowledge that you are the dream right now. You begin to create your desires as if they were actually happening in the present moment. For most people this in itself is a dream; that is because they have not been able to step back from themselves to discover what they rightfully are. Most get disheartened and give up living a life of ‘boring normality’. If this is you, you need to know that you have as many chances to begin the process of creation any time you want. Right now is a great time! Never give up!

It doesn’t stop

As you become aware of your very powerful self, you will also discover your authenticity. You will become what you are and who you are; your ego will happily portray to the outside world that which you know is the real you, without any care or hang ups about what others think. You exit the ‘matrix’ and enter reality, affecting the world around you in extremely positive ways. You will become fully aware that the world and everything in it, including other people around you are connected to you through creation; you become one with creation and the rest of creation becomes one with you; no separation at all.

Relationships begin to heal

During my counseling with couples, I have taught couples to be aware and conscious of themselves and not necessarily too much of each other; this brings each partner into an awareness of themselves as creation and love; the two major foundations of all relationships. I have witnessed the relationship itself take on new life as each step of awareness comes into being within each partner. As each step is followed, new life begins to pour from each partner to each other. Healing within each partner takes place and therefore the relationship follows the healing. Not only does the relationship heal, but if there are any children involved, they too become participants and are healed of any damage created by the dysfunctional relationship. The partners become one with creation and each other, simply because they now know they are one and always have been; no separation! Rather than being ‘in love’ with each other, you are fully aware that you ‘are love’ with each other.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and have been able to remind yourself of the creation that you are. Your perfection, your life and all that is available to you can only be found within; have fun with the ‘Mirror Image’ process and discover yourself. You may be interested in The Happiness Project (click on link) in which all the above is taught and in which the participants, very easily, learn to become aware and conscious of themselves as creation. I leave you with a little poem written by Kalu Rinpoche:

“We live in illusion and the appearance of things.

There is a reality, we are that reality.

When you understand this, you will see “you” are nothing.

And, being nothing, you are everything.