our own guru

(Science and the sages agree about most of what follows.)

Can a person who doesn’t believe in a god or gods have a spiritual life? Yes, I think so. So, where does a person look for spiritual comfort and release?

The ancient sages assure us we are fully equipped to function as our own guru. All we need is valid information and then following it. 

Where is the information which might help us understand and find the most direct path to commune with the universe? Our beings have the complete set of senses we identities use to exist and to run our lives. We owe everything to our bodies: the human animal whose intelligence we desire to claim as our personal product.

The being’s able brain created our identity

(Our “I” is a pattern in the brain which responds to its adopted name and thinks itself real. It is real, it’s a real pattern in the brain running on energy supplied by our human animal. It’s highly probable the identity doesn’t take up space just as thoughts don’t take up space and some thoughts like “My name is _______ .” live on as patterns, as memory.)

to fit in with other humans, and while very young, we become hardwired into language because it was the best tool around we didn’t already have.

Our beings are usually trapped in language for decades before some of us begin to look for a better way to experience life via a personal spiritual dimension or a “church” with only one member. The sages assure us…

Meditation is the best tool to use to aid in controlling the habitual language use by one’s brain. Meditation is capable of giving one the feeling of all of a sudden looking over the edge of the Grand Canyon for the first time.

Change is accomplished by not fearing the loss of total control by allowing periods of no-thought to happen daily.

Resting the mind, eating for health, and exercising daily eventually sets our body’s chemical structure on its best setting, which is to say, one has less stress and may be able to lay waste to old prejudices with fresh points of view jumping up out of nowhere.

Meditation over time keeps one’s identity and one’s being moving in a positive and fulfilling direction. After meditation is an everyday thing, it can become an all-day thing and with it a warm feeling of belonging extending to edge of the universe.

Nothing is separate? Doing is everything?

Is the battle in life which counts the most the battle with our own selves? “I’m so busy, it’ll be OK to skip meditation because tomorrow I’ll be back on track.”

How does one stop battling?
By not attempting
to be perfect?
It’s OK
to
live a
day without
meditating! Do we promote the
perfection ideal
because
it’s able to
keep the ID alive
and existing in a language world?

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getting to silence

Knowing how to meditate allows us to rest our thinking to the point of having no thoughts for periods of time.

Some folks claim all types of weird and fantastical things one can experience by meditating.

Magical thinking is passe, yet many because of their heritage cling to it. It really is a great comfort to believe there will be an eternity of bliss for the faithful. When it doesn’t take place, he or she will never know it. It’s a win/win situation…specially for the hell-fire-and-brimstone preachers.

Meditation is good for undoing stress, and meditation is also a way to commune with one’s being (one’s body and steed).  This communion happens during the silent periods of meditation. Meditation allows us to become more positive.

Imagine what a relief it would be for the language going on in our brains all of our waking moments to gradually become still, silent. Meditation gives the body and brain small vacations.

Getting to silence is not easy because we are hooked on language because it’s the best tool available. 

So, we use words – listen to words – or produce thoughts constantly. This is why music and good stories are so restful because they can take us away from ourselves for a while.

Meditation is
the dimension of silence,
and it’s free and open to all humans.

Classical meditation:

We sit or lay down and get comfortable and begin to relax our body parts one at a time from the top of the head to the bottoms of our feet or the other way around.

Then to slow down our thinking, we put attention on our breath by noticing the air going in and its coming out again and again. There are tiny hairs at the openings of our nostrils which are affected by the flowing air of our breath which can be sensed if noticed and can capture our attention.

It’s normal for us to eventually begin to use words while meditating, and when we do, don’t worry about it because it’s natural for the mind to reestablish its normal activity, and we’ll eventually notice the thoughts, and without a sense of failing, we’ll go back to noticing our breath again or we’ll begin using a mantra again: Ommmmmmmmm…Ommmmmmmm again and again until we notice our thinking and will return to noticing our breath or a mantra again. 30 to 45  minutes daily will put us on firm path. We can break this amount of time into 10 or 15 periods or have a single period of meditation.

Daily meditation is best because its affect becomes greater and greater, yet any amount of meditation is good for us.

i dream therefore i am

Below is my attempt to introduce some of the greatest insights ever dreamed, and they suggest there’s another mindset available to us, and as the mindset sets in, the sages say a person becomes harder and harder to offend.

Indian sages have described reality as having three parts:

The main reality is the world of truth. Truth is everything existing. Us too. All is truth. Only truth can exist. When a lie is told, it will always be true a lie was told. Situations cannot be any other way.

The next part of reality is non-truth. It is composed of nothingness: the total nonexistence of physical things, non-truth = non-being, non-existing

The last part of reality is dreaming and is called maya. The dictionary definition of maya is “the illusion or the appearance of the phenomenal world” which is to say dreaming is the illusion or the appearance of the world which comes about when we experience our surroundings via our senses.

Maya has no real existence because it’s not physical, but it’s also truth in a way because the dreaming actually happened. Maya is a combination of the first two parts of existence: the real and the not real together at the same time.

Why think about maya? We dwell on maya in order to realize we dream even when we are awake. The brain is full of maya and produces it automatically. Maya is the state between being and non-being developed by the brain.

Our minds interpret what we sense, so what we get is secondary and not primary. The primary is reality itself. And between the primary and the secondary the sages say a dream is formed. (The dream might be of having a better wife or wanting a more caring husband or thinking about a friend who’s a real friend or thinking of friend who might be an enemy or the dream of having a new car, etc., etc.) Dreams aren’t real but they have happened and are happening.

All of this means dreams don’t last but atoms do. The search for fulfillment could be called Let’s get to know the Atoms. Since dreaming keeps one’s identity in place, I dream therefore I am. By daily interrupting the unbroken dreaming habit, one can come to know truth.

What advice, if any, would you expect here? If you are searching for that something extra in life, start meditating

(classical meditation: relax by sitting comfortably with eyes closed and repeating a mantra and/or relax by sitting comfortably with eyes closed and paying attention to the breath)

and read what the sages have left for us. Do these things (daily is best) and you may experience being an actual part of the Universe knowing for sure you are not separate and knowing you belong.

Don’t rush because you are able to rush. The trip is the thing. Become constant with the philosophy “easy does it.” Life’s greatest adventure is not a dash for the finish line. Not having to complete life’s greatest adventure will bring it within reach. So be cool.

If you don’t know where to start, I recommend Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind (Informal talks on Zen meditation and practice) by Shunryu Suzuki. Also, the recorded conversations (in book form) of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh are excellent regardless of the mess he got into here in the U.S.

 

desires

Does the possibility
of having
our
desires
come true the
theme of human life?

And without possibilities would make life how?

Skills are complete and all desires are fulfilled…
What happens is one long day after
another in a wilting
utopia?

Luckily ours is
an open system with
chance always having a role
however small.

Was it yes or no for a long time and
when maybe came along,
life was born?
If so,
was the
next big thing
the idea of why?

picking the lock

Is language a beautiful cage? Knowledge is a very useful thing, but does it fall short of knowing?

If so, how does knowing come about?

The sages say there’s a time for both knowledge and knowing. Knowing comes from the deepest parts of our being and is felt by a deepening awareness.

If so, how does a deepening awareness happen?

Desiring it, then searching for it, finding a path to it, then practicing it by walking along the path. Why not give some time for the adventure of seeking out the deepest issues of life and living as a human being?

How will you experience knowing more deeply instead of experiencing the state of being full of knowledge?

When you venture into nature where you live (gardens, parks, shaded streets, a potted plant in your home, etc.) and give special attention to the life in the plants, insects, and animals, you start to notice in a different manner (having as few thoughts as possible helps), and you may begin to see and feel the connection with life by knowing (feeling) every bit of it contains DNA as you do and has evolved to its present state just as you have. Then you may begin to realize you are not separate. We already have the knowledge that all life on our planet is built from the most common elements in the universe. But how am I able to feel life?

Knowing is a feeling fed by awareness, not something recorded somewhere. I’m not an enlightened being, but I’ve searched and found a path which feels right according to my knowing. I’m still stuck in language like almost everyone, but I’m in a place where I have the tools to pick the lock if I dare to use them.

Getting out of the language cage by taking the time to experience silence without worrying about or desiring what may happen or not happen is what the sages say is the proven way to pick the lock of knowledge.

all of a sudden

What would we do if all of a sudden we had to communicate without asking questions?

Someone would have to invent the question and then give the shocking news to the world of the discovery of a new golden tool and how it works. If questions hadn’t come into existence, we might be going around giving each other commands like: Give me your opinion! And I mean it!

Were there questions before language? Perhaps using body language, a gesture, or grunts of a certain tone? I wonder about the moments when a human first asked a question as we do today and got an answer.

Do animals ask questions? Do insects? Earthlings like us couldn’t function properly without them. Are questions instinctual?

Does our type of civilization require questions? Asking for something in a courteous and polite way generally gets the information or object we want or need.

The questions of science aren’t that easy because the answers are usually unknown to everyone. Sometimes in science, it’s like asking for a sweetener, but no one knows for sure if a plant like sugarcane exists, and the search begins.

There are at least nineteen forms of the word question, five noun-definitions, two verb-definitions, and the word is used in the expression of at least nine different phrases.

hat’s next?

hat about doing ithout diphpherent letters of the alphabet?

springing like a lion

A young student hears the word awry which is not familiar and wonders “What does the word awry mean?”

So, wanting to settle the matter, the enthusiastic student begins to look up awry in a dictionary at a library, and after a long search, is unable to do so.

Discouragement can follow in a situation as this by perhaps thinking “Why did I waste my time?” or “Am I dense?” or “Will I ever be competent as I need to be in English?” But this student wasn’t easily discouraged and thought “I’m going to find out why I can’t find this word awry” and asked the nearest adult “How do you find the word awry in the dictionary?”

The answer came back “It’s better to know how to spell awry before trying to look it up or, if you have the time, you can try to find it by reading through the words in the ar listings.” The student replies “I just did that.”

The adult thinks for a while and says “If you have a set of encyclopedias and can think of a subject where the word will probably be used, you can then look the subject up and read the article to find the word. However, it would be hard to choose a subject which uses the word awry, plus you would have to know what awry means to choose an article to read.”

Then the student, realizing the adult probably couldn’t spell it either and having a full cup of persistence, launched into all the words starting with the letter a and fell asleep about fifteen minutes later and was shaken awake by a stern “No sleeping in the library.” In those days, the English language, without malice, was constantly springing like a lion upon its learners and users. And still does to some extent.

Today we usually find a spelling by typing our best guess into a computer. The lure of money brought spell check software into being. Now it’s better than ever and it’s free and everywhere. Let us poor spellers of the world bow down to the lowly and holy computer and its programmers.

In the early 1980s, Word Finder: The Phonic Key to the Dictionary became a solution to the age-old situation described above while that age of agony was still happening.

To solve the problem, the book used a word’s sound (without its vowels) as an address to find the word, so awry would be found near the top of the R address, cynic under the SNK address along with scenic, snack, sink, sneak, and sneaky, etc.

The few sales of this reference book these days is an example of the way disruptive technology works. Today Word Finder is purchased by unsure spellers as a one-time insurance payment against the power going off. Imagine a poor speller having to write a letter or proposal by hand and wanting to spell every word correctly.

Where are the places or times where analog beats digital? The biggest one is anytime electronic power cannot be used.

Could there ever be such a thing as digital food? Is that what software is? What about digital medicine? Are we already halfway there? Will digital always have to have an analog setting for it to function?