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.

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the game of life

I’m imagining I’m in my crib slobbering and goo-gooing and in comes the one I love to see, and my mouth opens wide squealing and my legs kicking and hearing sounds and seeing lips moving and smiling, and I’m picked up and the lips kiss my forehead and cheeks and the one I love puts me back down into the crib. I feel so very good as I pull myself up bobbing and weaving to stand in my crib unaided for the first time.

Down the road I came to recognize a sound and decided the sound was referring to me. I became me, the name, the ID: the one who will eventually choose and figure. My body is the one seeing, feeling, smelling, etc. Today I’m guessing I’m an arrangement in a powerful brain inside of a body which has mobility, language, and will. The last one is critical and is my specialty, it’s my duty to choose. And starting out it was easy.

I didn’t know where I came from until I was told by a girl in my Sunday-school class that I came out of my mother’s stomach. And I asked my mother and she said so too.

I went to church three times a week with my mother for years and they taught that I had an eternal soul inside of me, and to be safe for all eternity, I had to believe and trust in Jesus to be saved from terrible punishments that would never stop.

So, I believed and trusted. Yet I still wasn’t totally honest all the time, and I treated others as I would like to be treated but not all of the time. I was caught shoplifting a pocketknife when I was twelve. Knives weren’t kept under glass when I was a kid. This episode in my life turned out to be a good thing.

The important thing is I was and am a normal human being. I, like everyone else, have either a constant flow of language going on inside of me, or I have language coming out of me, or I’m paying attention to language sounds coming from my surroundings.

Our desire to continue this constant gathering in and reeling out of language must be the reason why there’s a hugh market for entertainment. It’s a wonderful thing to have the opportunity to relax and hear and see the best ideas and things going and to read what others are recommending. What a relief it is to be entertained. 

As one matures, one eventually and naturally wonders about the answers to questions like Does my life have a purpose? and Why am I here? Unless your mind has been made up for you. Which is usually the case until one starts to think for one’s self.

However, it’s not likely we carry around from birth a purpose to complete, and it’s more likely a purpose can find us by appealing to us and then convinces us. How so? Purpose can’t talk but situations can pull thoughts out of us. For a long time I’ve thought there’s no special purpose for anyone, and circumstances help to make it so. 

Beyond giving our gifts to the world, what is there? Can we give something to ourselves? Can one explore without becoming religious? The spiritual philosophies of the East appear to be the oldest and best. Excluding Hinduism’s many gods, is there anything else besides Buddhism and Zen Buddhism which comes close to the depth of their spiritual insights?

Are Buddhism’s ideas about personal fulfillment or enlightenment valid? Does communing with one’s being plug one into the universe? Can existing without language   for a while each day eventually bring a realization which completes a human being?

Countless sages in the past agree there’s more to life than a life where one’s identity dominates all of the time. This is because of its ancient position of decider and planner. 

A normal type of life is all we can expect when normality is all we want. The search-for-enlightenment meme is one of the oldest memes existing. 

No search is necessary because the sages agree our wonderful and powerful carriage is the key. Commune with it silently and it will take you home.

Desire will prompt an adventurous baby to climb out of its crib to explore. Does language represent a special crib which naturally, without malice corrals the normal life?

We don’t notice the corral because being occupied with language has always been the case. There’s no expectation of anything more after death except an afterlife. Is the belief in a never ending joyous or torturous afterlife the ring in the nose of the followers of most organized religions?

Are we all dreaming and snoring, and this rumble is the breath of identity: the wonderful and powerful tool of language? 

the genius has appeared

In Alan Watts’ 1966 book The Book On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, he details the world-wide disruptive force of organized religions on humans and religion’s use of our fear of the unknown to trap gullible children and adults with with the promise of a joyous eternal life after death and by using the same beliefs be able to escape a life of eternal torture. And then almost all religions say, you must choose our beliefs to make it happen. In this way religion divides humanity.

After covering the above, he states:

“It might seem, then, that our need is for some genius to invent a new religion, a philosophy of life, and a view of the world that is plausible and generally acceptable for the late twentieth century, and through which every individual can feel that the world as a whole and his life in particular have meaning.”

“our need is for some genius” The genius has appeared!

His name is Sam Harris. He’s already known world-wide via his many books, essays and articles in which he uses reason to assist others and uses it too to work against folks who divide up humanity by spouting magical stories and promising “happiness ever after.”

Now comes his tour de force:

Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion

If interested, the above link will take you to the book on amazon.com so you can get a taste for yourself.

In a century or two the book could have billions and billions sold and may have the title The Message because that’s what it is.

is death the thing

Is death the thing? Has no one ever reported back from death: real death, utter death, complete death? Are the stories we hear of an actual afterlife from folks who haven’t died throughly?

They came back from a near death experience perhaps remembering a dream while on an operating table or the visions of a drowning victim who is later revived, etc. and not from a complete-death. There are scientific explanations of how and why these visions and dreams could occur during a near-death experience.

In a complete-death occurrence, the identity is no longer supported by the animal, the human body. So the identity disappears or evaporates because the neurotransmitters and electronic signals of the brain are no longer working. Language has gone kaput. Would there be no visions after one dies completely? 

Does nothing exist or happen which is not in the theater of the natural…even though sometimes a thing may appear to be a miracle, it is natural and has a rational explanation which may be evident or hidden and not come to light until much later.

Here are two examples: dinosaur bones seemed to be miracles in the nineteenth century, until we found out the earth was over a billion years old, and today we know it’s over four billion; and we thought the sea shells near the mountain tops proved Noah’s flood really happened, until we found out the mountains were pushed up from the sea and are huge chunks of the earth’s crust, and so forth and so on.

If there is such a thing as real magic, it may reside in the quantum part of our universe which is everywhere, but the magic there may be unknowable yet still be natural.

Our human body is the only thing standing between us and complete death. Physically and rationally, would the identity’s evaporation or its winking out of existence be the natural result of a complete death, regardless of our dreams and desires to live forever?

Unless real magic comes to the rescue and the faithful rewarded.

Great story…but what are the odds?

Dreams of an afterlife and our desire for an eternal existence require faith because they are dependent on actual magic which has almost no possibility of existing. But the dreams give hope to the gullible (us humans) and we all suffer and gain to some extent from this human foible. Would the world be a better and a totally different place had the idea of an afterlife never occurred? It’s hard to imagine the idea not happening because we humans are such wishful folks.

Did our desire to live on after death create religious organizations? Who wouldn’t go after this grand opportunity for control and money: You can have guaranteed joy forever for a bit of your faithfulness and money, on the other hand after you die, you’ll receive eternal punishment for not going along with us.

Are “eternal souls” creations of the human brain like the all-knowing and all-powerful gods are?

death awareness

What about death? Is it a friend or foe? Or does death come with both?

Fear not death…because we will surely die. Fear will not change the fact. After thinking about death for a while (about always moving toward the inevitable), not fearing death begins to make sense. Starting each day knowing we are already dead in a way or in a sense can assist us in becoming better humans. It brings a new spice: a fresh way to look at things.

Death awareness can bring more confidence and more confidence gives more courage because death awareness will prompt us to think I may never get another chance to say… or do… or be…(whatever the situation calls for). Action comes more easily. Courage builds confidence and more confidence builds courage.

To paraphrase the bard … To seek more awareness or not to seek it is the question. Death awareness can assist us to speak up when there is a need for someone to speak up. And it might give us new priorities, new missions, and new challenges: adventures we might have easily put aside in the past.

When we take note of our death, it can give us ideas like, Now is always the time I can change directions. and Too much resting is not good for me; do I want to die already? and What’s on my bucket list?

Death awareness allows us to treat death with respect and not with fear, and it keeps reminding us of our freedom to choose and that time is limited.

 

life’s fountain

What’s seeking about? It’s finding a path and developing the courage to practice regularly without expecting anything and as much as possible to be ready for everything? We seek to find and express and experience our deepest self, the human animal, our connection to the universe.

What is it about death? Does a type of death hide the being away not long after birth and does the shadow of death occupy the time needed to set things in order? However, if I know how to seek, might I be able to get to the things that really matter before death? To be, to vibrate in harmony with the isness.

What is it about time? Is it that it’s always today? We know it’s always “now” but is it that we don’t feel the nowness? Is this why sports and entertainment are so appealing?

What is it about life? Is it that life’s fountain flows for a good while and can give enough space to set things in order? Is it that if I keep procrastinating, I might not be able to get to the things that matter?

 

we identities

As my body dies, will I evaporate as I loose my ability to think as my brain looses its ability to function? Is this the only non-magical explanation for the ending of our existence?

After death do our bodies merge with earth sooner or later? After death will we exist as a memory then a record and then no more? How will this happen? Usually records which are no longer useful are eventually lost or deleted. Or will records last for ever in a digital world?

Three thousand years from now, records of our present day found by a researcher might be very interesting and entertaining to the machines and hybrids and the surviving humans. The folks alive today might be forgotten or be heroes in the stories of the social revolutions of the ancient ones.

Will we identities always be natural additions created by our own animal? Are we able to merge with our creator, our ride, by becoming silent? If so, what’s in it for us? Can we uncover a sensation of being everything, the feeling of being completely plugged into the universe.

As we know, being alive on the earth is the real deal and we get to be part of it as human animals and as creations of the animals we ride. What does that make me? Am I a unit of self-consciousness organized by my brain as an individual pattern, a pattern of software sporting a name? Am I a walking talking pile of awareness? Is the universe a giant chunk of awareness fashioned by gravity?

***

Thomas Edison said “The chief function of the body is to carry the brain around.”

***

“Our brain…weighs three pounds and has one hundred thousand miles of blood vessels, contains more connections than there are stars in the Milky Way, is the fattest organ in  your body, [What other thing besides this powerful organ could have created each of us?] could it be suffering this very minute without your having a clue.”

— The above quote is from the newly published book by David Perlmutter, MD with Kristin Loberg titled Grain Brain, The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar — Your Brain’s Silent Killers