Saturday, June 23, 2012

Media, the new Buddha-teacher

Back in the days of the Buddha, enlightenment was almost impossible to attain. Today enlightenment is much easier to attain. Not because we're nobler beings, not because we've grown. But simply because we have access to a much, much larger  amount of data about living. We see other peoples lives, fictional and otherwise, play out in cinemas, on tv, on facebook, in games. People are everywhere, and their lives are described in minute details in the public.

We now more about the pitfalls of being human than ever before. We know about sins we do not commit ourselves. We learn about the challenges of other people all the time. And the brain dissects all that data and it compares them to you and your life.

And you only need to do one thing to make all that knowledge help you on the way to enlightenment. You just need to be aware of what is going on in your mind.

Today most people experience enlightenment in some form or other. Extreme sports is the pursuit of that golden moment of enlightenment where the acts you do makes you forget yourself and enjoy the pure joy and fright of the moment. That is enlightenment. That is freedom.

Bored people experience enlightenment when they find that special moment where somehow it all makes sense. Busy people feel enlightenment when suddenly there's no more to do on the todo-list.

Buddha didn't have all that data, but he sat him self by the road and watched life roll by, he saw people passing by, and he gathered data about life. Day after day. Until suddenly his brain reached the tipping point and enlightenment was unavoidable.

Today, Buddha, would sit still in front of the tv for a month, and he would be enlightened. He would play games for weeks, driving himself to exhaustion, and he would reach enlightenment. Or he would dive into the worldly pleasures until they were no longer pleasures and he would become enlightened.

Today, Buddha is you. Just watch, be aware and let life go on, and you will get there. Enlightenment is for everyone.

Buddha was right, but now he's wrong.

The middle way that the Buddha found is no longer applicable. Not really. His insight is no less stunning today than it was way back then, but all of those Buddhis practices are relics from a different age.

You don't have to live in seclusion to find enlightenment. You don't have to say no to the world to let go of the world. You don't have to live healthy to find the way. In fact, all you have to do to find the way, is to wake up.

And for most of us, the awakening is not sudden. Enlightenment doesn't hit you like a brick wall and changes everything. For most of us it takes years to wake fully from that worldly dream we call reality. And still, we are more awake today than we were yesterday, and we will be more awake and aware tomorrow than we are today.

And setbacks are ok. It's quite ok to relax if you've worked to hard. It's ok to step back to humanity and enjoy the comforts of good company, Jack Daniels, Viagra, cigarettes or Joints, or what ever kind of stimulant you prefer. You can dive into a hedonistic lifestyle for a while, just to ease the pressure.


As soon as you've taken that first step, there is nothing to stop you from being more aware. Nothing will stop you from waking up. As soon as that first step is taken, enlightenment is coming to you. All the wordly pleasures that you might take refuge in as reality is being taken apart, will serve as pitstops. You can stay there for some time, but sooner or later, you will, by your self, want to move on.

So don't worry about you faults. Don't worry about your addictions. Don't fight them. Notice them. Notice how you enjoy it and why you enjoy it. You don't have to fight it or even do anything about it. Actually, fighting it, is the worst thing you can do. AA is not a cure for alcoholism, it's just a sustained fight against the acts of alcoholism. No wonder AA-people still call them selves alcoholics: The fight against it, maintains the AA inside.

Now, just to be quite clear: You can lose your way. You can become such an addict that you will always fight enlightenment. You can become consumed in the fight for the next fix. But still, notice it. Don't fight it. Just notice what you do, why you do it and how you like doing it.

Just take a few minutes right now. Look out. This is the world. Forget the pressure of work or the IRS. Forget about your lover, your child, your family. For just a second, just be you. If you find yourself thinking about things, just acknowledge the thought, and then try to let it go.

What you will see is a world that just is. The people over there? They have no intentions, they have no hidden agendas. They just ARE. As are you. There is just existence. THere's just this moment. And in that moment the world may exist, but all the mental projections of hope, love, hate, fear, joy, sadness are gone. They do not exist until you let them exist. There is no hate in the world. There is no sadness in the world. There is no Joy, no fear, no hope, pain.. there is only the physical world around you. All else is you. Forget about you, and it will be like letting go of a 100 pound backpack. It will set you free.

Just for a moment.

And next year, that momemt will be twice as long. And the year after, you might be able to remove yourself from the equation at will. And if you get that far, enlightenment is just around the corner.

Forget about the Buddha. Forget about scripture. Forget about gurus or holy men. Only remember that all you see in the world is created by you, and just start to be aware.

Go get it Tiger, enlightenment is so cool !!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Meditation doesn't have to be 'spiritual'

Although meditation is very often, if not always, associated with some spiritual practice, it doesn't have to be. There are very good rational reasons to meditate, and don't worry; you don't have to visualize Lotus-gardens or Buddhas to get the benefits.

Meditation is just one thing: being aware of what's going on inside of you. Most of the time most people look out upon the world and most of the time most people think about all the stuff out there. Meditation is to be aware of what is going on in your mind.

You can meditate anywhere and anytime. You don't have to sit down, you don't have to be isolated, you don't have to be calm.

In short: Forget all the stuff you've heard about meditation. You only have to do one thing to get started: Notice your self.

Now, some people do this without even thinking about it. It's just a way of life. I do it all the time. I notice as much as I can.

But why should you even bother? Because it pays. You will learn things faster. You will be calmer, most of the time. And when you lose your calm, you will regain it faster. As you start meditation, you will gain more and more control over your life. When something happens, you'll be better at handling it. When everything goes wrong, you'll find a way out faster.

So, how do you do it? Simple. Just notice what happened. What did you think? What did you do? What happened? Every time you notice yourself you store data about your self. And when your brain has enough data, it will tell you something you never noticed about your self. Oh, the reason people get pissed off at me is that I actually sound pretty arrogant sometimes. Oh, the reason he pisses me off, isn't that he's just annoying, but that he's existence reminds me how fragile I am sometimes.

And every insight, banal and simple as it may seem, will slowly transform your life and you'll suddenly find yourself master of your own mind. What that means is that you'll be able to optimize YOU in any situation. Nervous when talking to people? Start meditating and sooner or later you'll be able to NOT be nervous.

And again, it's soooo easy: Just notice your self. Make your mind linger, just for at second, and reflect on what just happened. When you get more used to meditating, you'll be able to reflect on things as they are happening.

Trust me, it's worth it.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The things we aren't but think we are

What are you really? It seems to me finding out what you really are, is the hardest thing in life. It's difficult to figure out, and it's often very hard to face the illusions we have created through a lifetime.

You are not an illusion. You really are in this world, you really exist. But what are you?

I cut off your arm, and you're still you, right? You get older, but you are still you, right? Sure, the person you were a year ago, did not contain all the stuff that you contain now. You have new memories, maybe you've changed your attitude somewhat, you may know more things and more people. But I bet you still think you are the same person.

Most of us think like that. This is our life, and the experiences we've had through life is something we've experience.

A few years back I realized that the only thing that is really me, is the thing in me that doesn't change. I can not be the person who like sports, cause a few years ago I didn't like sports. So, the I in me, must be the one who can change my attitude. I am not my attitude, I am the one who experiences my attitudes, even when they change.

I'm not the lover, the fighter, the sleeper, the thinker, the debater, the writer... I'm none of those things. I am the person who can be all those things. Like I am a person with an arm, I am a person who writes.

It's so obvious really. We even say it, but we rarely get it.

And we don't even have to get all spiritual about it. I don't know if we have souls. I don't know if we are spiritual beings. And I don't care.

What I do care about is finding ways to empower my self. And when I feel that I am something, I do not empower myself: I limit myself. Saying you are one thing, stops you from being something else. That is a limitation.

And the way out? Stop defining yourself. You can be good, you can be mean. You are not good. Neither are you mean. You are something that can be both. At different times, you have been both. You might even have been both good and mean at the same time.

Stop confusing what you can do, with what you are. Stop thinking in specifics about yourself. It limits you, and oh, by the way, it sets the world ablaze with conflict and war.

You are. And so, you can be a lot of things. But none of those things are you. They are only things that you can be. Even movie stars are not really moviestars. They are something else, that has the capacity to do what they do. Al Pacino is not the actor Al Pacino. Justin Bieber is not the singer Justin Bieber. They are, they exist, but they aren't anything. They are not even their names.

They are. Period.

The power of 'so'

There is one word that is so powerful that it can change your world. That word is 'so'. The reason that it's so powerful is that it frees your mind and soul from things that are messing with your mind.

Someone just said something hurtful to you? Best response is "so?". Cause what does it really matter what others say about you? The only place this matters is in your mind. And you have the power to release yourself from that burden. Just say "so?"