Our Cognitive Center

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There is a self or cognitive center within the body and it identifies with all sorts of experiences, programing, desires, impulses and does all sorts of stuff. And yet it can be clearly realized that it did not create itself nor the capacities and circumstances it was born into and lives within.

This self is not the author nor source of any of it. It is a secondary process, more like a commentator on what is happening. It has a lot of opinions and judgements but no power. Because it is at times very aware of its own powerlessness, it has fear, anxiety, depression and seeks for more power, control and understanding. It is constantly seeking in one form or another… and it is not the source of seeking either. It happens.

In a moment it can be realized that this encapsulated self is a function of the totality of being and does not exist in and as it imagines itself to be…as an encapsulated self.
There appears to be a separate self. It does not do itself. This can intellectually be seen very easily if one is honest about their direct experience. But the other possibility is this secondary function disappears completely
It doesn’t matter at all whether it does or does not disappear except when it does there seems to be much less struggle and more peace, presence and joy within the human organism.
This is a description, not a prescription. ❤️

Natural Spontaneous Meditation and Recognition

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What we call our conscious mind or  “me” mind is a very small, encapsulated part of the totality of our Being. And yet it is the part we are most deeply identified with. All around it (actually nonlocally) are other aspects of dynamic intelligence, intuition and unconditional love keeping us alive as an expression of the animating intelligence of Being.

NATURAL MEDITATION is relaxing our identification with the on-going commentator or voice in our mind which we call “me,” and allowing something much greater to take over.

For some, initially this can be frightening and resisted as “me,” seems to be loosing control (as if it ever had any) and disappearing into the vastness of Being.

This is natural, effortless – (because “I” am not doing it), spontaneous meditation. Many capacities and levels of consciousness that have been outside our normal “me” mind are now realized. There is direct awareness of our seamless connection as the cosmic animating Intelligence of the universe.

 Natural Meditation is similar to an apparently independent computer suddenly realizing it has always already been connected to the Internet, the World Wide Web, and is now realizing and actualizing this profound connection.

If you feel a “thrill” while reading this, that thrill is IT responding to this message! Relax into this feeling, open to it , and allow it to take over. It will reveal things way beyond the “me” mind’s capacity of  believing and knowing as it is transcendent yet immanent in the on-going trance of “me,” thought and language.

Wonderful awarenesses will be revealed, realized and actualized. This freedom of unconditional love  and intelligence is now expressing out into this world through you as you.

“There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio,  Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” ~ Hamlet

NAIKAN: Developing an Attitude of Gratitude ( this is an article I wrote for a magazine many years ago)

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After many years of learning and practicing techniques from the great spiritual traditions, both
East and West, I have discovered a handful that are truly effective and actually transform our lives for
the better…techniques that anyone can practice, no matter what their background or belief or lack
of belief.
One of the most powerful and useful practices I have discovered is the Japanese practice of
Naikan. Naikan means “inside looking.” Its origins are in the Jodo Shinshu school of Buddhism but
is not a Buddhist practice. In this century, Yoshimoto Ishin, a self-made millionaire, discovered the
usefulness of Naikan in his own awakening or enlightenment. Since he wanted to make this wonderful
practice available to everyone, he eased the physical restrictions and modified the procedure
somewhat for laymen. Dr. David K. Reynolds, a psychologist, learned Naikan in Japan and brought it
to the United State as an essential aspect of his Constructive Living training.
What now follows is my interpretation of Naikan as I teach it in the Hara Training at The
Awakened Heart Center for Conscious Living. If you want to know more about Naikan and
Constructive Living, please contact the TODO INSTITUTE: http://www.todoinstitute.org/naikan.html
Naikan is a transcendent way of life that leads us beyond ourselves to enlightenment. Naikan
enables us to develop a deep attitude of gratitude and respect for all of our life based on our actual
experience. To practice Naikan, we do not have to believe anything. All we have to do is accurately
report the truth of our daily life.
Many of us have learned to be victims in life. We experience life as full of problems and we have
no recourse other than to complain. Things are just not turning out the way we think/feel they should.
“Poor, poor, pitiful me.” Everyone and everything is doing it to me and I’m doing the very best that I
can against all odds. This is the victim stance and much of our social structure supports and reinforces
the victim racket… it seems so real!
Naikan frees our attention from our victim stance and focuses it on the fact that we live in an
incredibly supportive and nurturing universe. Naikan deals with facts, not opinions or hysterical
reactions. For instance, if I practice Naikan right now, I realize I am typing on a typewriter that has
served me very well for years. Someone made it for me and it was sold to me at a price I could afford,
even though it took over 100 years of technical research to develop such a fine instrument. I am
thankful for my typewriter. I am thankful for the paper I put in it. I am thankful for the portable phone
beside me so I don’t have to get up each time the phone rings. And the technology that developed the
telephone cost millions of dollars — yet I only have to pay a few dollars a month to use this awesome
technology. I am thankful I have a job to pay for all of this. I am thankful I have time to write this
article. I am thankful for the garbage man, the mail man, the people who built my house, my car, our
roads, our town. I am thankful for the magazine that publishes this article and for you, the reader, that
reads it.
As we practice Naikan sincerely, we begin to realize, from the very depths of our being, that we live
in a completely interdependent universe, that we could not survive without others, that much more
is given to us each day than we could possibly give back, that our simple daily lives are dependent on
thousands of people and millions of dollars just to get us through our day. As we practice Naikan,
we come to realize, from deep within, that our life is a wonderful gift filled with opportunities and the entire universe supports us being who we are. As we practice Naikan, we stop being victims, we stop
complaining, and become masters of our lives expressing respect and gratitude in everything we do. We
begin to see clearly what a wonderful gift our life is. We are sincerely grateful.
The practices of Naikan that I recommend to begin with are four. I recommend doing them for 15
to 30 minutes right before bed, right before you go to sleep, except the fourth one which you can do
anytime. 1) Ask what you have received from others today. Include everything such as where did you get
the bed you are sleeping on, who changed the sheets, who made the clock by your bed for you, wrote
the book you are reading, who taught you how to read. Once you get the hang of it, the list is always
endless and always humbling. If we tell the truth, we have always received much more than we have
given. 2) What have I given to others today? Be honest. It is good to see that we have given less than
we have received. It is very important not to get involved in guilt and inadequacy here — that is not the
point at all. The point is to directly recognize that we are not separated, isolated creatures but part of a
much greater process that transcends our limited personality. We are completely interdependent with
each other. We are part and parcel of a much greater whole. As we continue to practice Naikan, we begin
to recognize that everyone and everything is an aspect of this one dynamic whole. 3) What trouble have
I caused others? Again, the point of this inquiry is not to create guilt or shame but rather to recognize
we are far from perfect and yet this amazing universe continues to have us, support us, take care of us.
As we practice Naikan, we begin to move from “I, Me, Mine” to the wholeness of “Us, We, Ours.”
There is no longer a “Them” because we realized “They” are “Us”. 4) Do secret services to others
in which you receive no recognition. This practice is especially useful in relationships that are going
through difficult times — whether at work or at home. We stop looking for something to complain about
and instead look for situations in which we may be secretly useful. We become a secret ally to our
supposed foe. We become supportive to the interdependent whole that we are.
It is important to do theses practices daily and sincerely. In a very short time we will notice an
amazing change in life and in ourselves. Our whole attitude changes for the better. We are actually
becoming free of our self-obsessed neurotic narcissism and begin to live joyfully in every aspect of our
life. If we make a sincere and deep commitment to Naikan, we can actually realize true enlightenment
and be free.
Again, Naikan can be practiced by anyone of any faith or lack of faith. It requires no belief, only
an honest assessment of the facts of our life. If everyone practiced Naikan, just imagine what the world
would be like!
And now I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Dr. David K. Reynolds:
“I have never met a neurotic person who is filled with gratitude. And neither have you!”

Awakening

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“Spiritual” awakening does not seem to be in anyone’s hands – it happens to some apparent people.
When the compulsion to awaken happens, there is nothing to be done. Yesterday in satsang, I compared it to a spinning top. Almost all societal, familial, religious, spiritual, psychological and personal injunctions are to keep your top spinning as fast as possible. But when awakening begins to happen, the top begins to slow down and wobble. So we rush off to find a way to keep it spinning, a new teaching, a new project, a new relationship, a new course or seminar,…whatever.
But slowly, slowly, the top goes back to wobbling and then one day it just falls over and stops forever. And then it is seen there is no top. It is not something we are, it is something we do.
Our satsang is full of wobbling tops. Some have fallen over. Those that want to keep spinning as fast as possible do not stick around for long! This is a description, not a prescription. You know whether you are a wobbling top or not!
And special thanks to all the wobbling tops who come to satsang! 🙏❤️🙏

Satsang and Direct Transmission

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When I speak of “transmission,” I mean the direct recognition triggered by intelligent energy that seems to come from outside the apparently encapsulated “me-mind” and frees the apparent experience of limited awareness from the prison of belief, thoughts and concepts into the direct recognition of being the free, open, unobstructed field of awareness, love, and wisdom.

No matter what may be discussed or practiced, the foundation of satsang is this direct transmission of grace and resting as awake all-inclusive seamless awareness.

Satsang is a special transmission outside the scriptures, before words or thoughts arise. It is a direct pointing to one’s essential freedom and recognizing one’s true unborn nature prior to any beliefs, concepts or ideas.


The encapsulated “me” mind is a tension, a resistance. It is something that is done, it is not what we are.

Something wants you to wake up!

“The winds of grace are always blowing.” ~ Sri Ramakrishna

“All things are perfectly resolved in the Unborn.” ~ Bankei

The secret is to relax.  You are Home.   ❤️💥❤️

What is authoring you?

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“I WAS A SPIRITUAL SEEKER FOR MANY YEARS and had been with really, really great gurus and teachers. I had received tremendous benefit from them on many levels. And then after reading Wayne Liquorman’s first book, No Way by Ram Tzu, we invited Wayne to our center. I thought he would be a very interesting and amusing teacher, but did not expect him to have too much impact, especially with me. What I didn’t know was that outside my conscious awareness I had been building up critical mass around a certain essential issue of life and Wayne would be the one who dropped the feather that would bring everything tumbling down.

During one of his satsangs at our center, then known as The Hara Foundation, Wayne said something like, “If you are really authoring your life, wouldn’t you be doing a better job of it? Wouldn’t you always be happy, healthy, wealthy, successful, enlightened and in love? Well, wouldn’t you?”

Simple enough statement. Certainly something to be considered and looked at. But at that moment, I had reached the tipping point. Critical mass had been reached. I had a powerful satori, perhaps the most profound revelation of my life. I saw beyond a shadow of a doubt that “I,” as an apparent separate self, am not authoring “my” life or any aspect of my life. “I” am powerless. That whatever “I” have clearly has been given to me. Including whatever powers and abilities “I” imagine I have.

Is this also true for you?

Although this was seen very clearly at the time, it took several years for the repercussions to fully filter down. I didn’t speak about it for awhile because it was so clearly seen that it seemed obvious that everyone knew this.

How could it be otherwise?

If you still have the idea that you are the author of your life, then lets try a simple experiment. Stop thinking right now for one minute. No tricks, methods or techniques like hitting yourself on the head with a hammer or sniffing ether. Using only your “free will,” which you claim to have, stop thinking right now for one minute. How hard can this be? That means the voice in your head that is always talking to you is completely silent for one minute. It isn’t saying something like, “I got this, this is a piece of cake,” or something similar. That voice is so familiar that most people do not even notice it yapping at them all of the time because that voice in their head is what they think they are.

If the voice stops, “they” disappear.

There is only silence. Pure awareness. No internal commentator.

Give it a try. One minute. Be honest. How hard can it be?

 

Grace

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(A response to a friend)
Yes, you are blessed!
Grace is unbidden, unmerited, unearned, undeserved and freely given. Who knows why?
The only wise response is profound gratitude…
I was up very late one night many years ago watching Billy Graham on TV – God only knows why — and Billy started talking about grace!
I was amazed! For the first time ever we were completely on the same page!
Humility arises when it is very clear we are empty flutes played by the breath of God.

A True Guru

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This essay was written in response to a question someone asked about gurus –

A true guru (sat guru) can be of any culture or religion or no religion at all. They are a clear channels of divine grace. It is not their doing or choice, it is grace’s doing. They are an empty flute. Guru is not a status one achieves thru intent or effort or training. And it can happen. Through grace. Grace happens outside the realm of the do-er, of the “me.”

And the student usually comes to the guru with a “I’m Not OK, but the Guru is OK,” mind set, because the flow of grace through the guru draws them.  In Transactional Analysis this would be Not Ok Child to OK Parent.
Many people seem to need and want this relationship, a mommy or daddy to tell them what to think, feel, and do. Humans are herd animals ( my friends prefer I say social beings instead of herd animals) and like to have an Alpha male or female lead them around. This is just the way it is and always has been.

BUT if the Guru is clear and honest, they get the student out of dependence to an Adult to Adult, I’m OK , You ‘re OK relationship as soon as possible. And they play together in the Divine Play as  Natural Child with Natural Child.

In Shaktipat or true spiritual baptism, the ascent of grace awakens the student to the realization, “God dwells within me as me, and in everyone else. There is only God.” A true guru knows this and knows the winds of grace are always blowing. They know the disciple is always already as much God as the guru is, they just haven’t recognize it yet. The guru just keeps pointing it out one way or another until they do…and it happens by grace.

But you can’t have a successful cult if you keep empowering the students. Most who claim to be gurus have spiritually by-passed, are narcissistically encapsulated, and want power and adoration. “I am god but you are not and here are all the hoops you have to leap through if you ever want to be like me.”

True enlightenment is a loss of something – the loss of a sense of a “separate” self, an autonomous doer. There is not the loss of a functional cognitive center within the body. It is the way the body is designed. I AM, there is no me.

We are empty flutes with the winds of grace blowing through us.

The truly great Indian sat gurus of the 20th century – Nisargadatta Maharaj, Ramana Maharishi, Bhagwan Nityananda, and Neem Karoli Baba,  did not run off touring the world seeking disciples and spreading the good news. They stayed at home allowing the Shakti, the power of grace, to do all of the work. They let go and let God, so to speak.

I am using the word, “god,” for the sake of simplicity but you can plug in any word you are comfortable with,  The Mystery, The Unknown, Tao,  Pure Consciousness, Being, The Implicate Order, The Matrix,  Christ Consciousness, This, That, Them, whatever.

The great way is beyond all words. And yet it is always here as you. Without you, nothing exists!

True Meditation

TRUE MEDITATION is being still and letting go of identification with the “me”-mind, with thinking and trying to figure everything out. It is deeply relaxing, opening and letting go. It is taking our hands off the steering wheel of life for a little while and allowing the power of Consciousness to awaken other capacities, dimensions of being, awareness, intuition and revelation that are seamlessly expressing the wholeness of all life. These revelations then flow into personal awareness, and the relationships and activities of our everyday life. They manifest as loving kindness, compassion, wisdom, intelligence, insight and the ability to act skillfully and effectively in the world. There are no words to accurately express this. And yet everyone can find out for themselves!bigstock-131716193

Only Don’t Know

There are many revelations and, for lack of a better word, experiences such as bliss/joy/love or wisdom/insight/recognition that are transcendent to the person and their biology, and do not fit neatly into any human conceptual category. Words are used as humans try to communicate with each other, but words lead many to thinking they know what is being pointed to, when clearly they don’t. They also may assume that because they haven’t had the insight, experience or revelation, then it must not exist, can be explained away or is some form of delusion.

“The Tao that can be spoken about is not the true Tao.” ~ Lao Tzu

I usually just don’t talk about many things as it leads most people to look for the lost key under the street light of their personal knowledge and experience rather than where it actually is. Not within the known.

In Zen it is said, “Open mouth already a mistake.” And for good reason.

The human mind likes to make sense of experiences and put them into nice little conceptual boxes. So the tendency is to think, “Oh- I know what that experience is. It must be neurotransmitters, or hallucinations, or wishful thinking, or delusions.”  “If it is not within my experience or realm of knowing, then it must not be valid.”

“Everyone takes the limits of their own vision for the limits of the world.” ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

The elephant in the room is not only different than we think, it is different than we can think.

As Shakespeare points out, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

Only don’t know.

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