Seek and Ye Shall Find by Deborah Schoeberlein

Love love love this post!! Sooo true and meaningful.

You know how it goes: If you’re searching for personal meaning — in a fortune cookie, horoscope or even a HuffPost bog — you’re going to find it.

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How Mindfulness Can Enhance Relationships by JOE WILNER

My husband and I are celebrating our engagement anniversary today. We have only started meditating together this year after our Vipassana meditation retreat. This article is very useful! All the tips are gold!

Even happy and well-adjusted couples struggle with stress and life challenges.

 

The Mastery of Love by Zoya Lu

Love…. There has been written so much about it.

Rumi

“I love my friends neither with
my heart nor with my mind.
Just in case heart might stop,
Mind can forget.
I love them with my soul.
Soul never stops or forget.”

Happy Valentine’s Day to YOU! A timely teaching from Byron Katie, enjoy! xoxox

Why Your Networking Sucks — And the Secret to Doing it Right by Therese Schwenkler

What great, awesomesauce advice !!!

 

Eckhart discusses the many faces of meditation and its ultimate essence: realizing the precious spaciousness in the depths of the moment.

All meditation is about accessing the spiritual dimension within you, which the Buddha called EMPTINESS. Not perhaps the best translation of the original term … SPACIOUSNESS would be a better translation than EMPTINESS.

So, finding that dimension within you, accessing  that dimension and living your life with the awareness of that dimension, which means living your life with awareness, rather than just with the mind.

So, usually people think that when somebody believes in God, or angels or the afterlife, then they are spiritual,  that makes them spiritual but that is not necessarily the case. Millions of people in this world who believe in God and have no access and not found within themselves access to the spiritual dimension.

So, we are here, in the case of some of you, perhaps new to this, for some of you to get a glimpse to this as we sit here, and watch and listen, I will endeavor  to put you in touch with that depth within you, without which your life is frustrating, and without which everything you undertake, every endeavor and every activity,  ultimately becomes frustrating.

And for others, we are here just to deepen it, to provide a reminder on a conceptual level,  to deepen the dimension they already have access to within. So that it can be sustained in everyday life. On thing is  accessing the spiritual dimension in a meditation setting, like here and now, which is already a good thing if you are able to do that, when you sit still and become still inside, another thing is to carry that with you so to speak, so that it is there when you lead your life; when you do things, talk to people, interact, even when you think, to have that in the background.

So we have 2 steps.

The first is to realise that within  you, you are not being disturbed, externally, by your mind, for e.g. what is he talking about? as the mind does not understand conceptual , conceptual mind alone is not sufficient to make a satisfying experience for you this 30 to 40 minutes here so for this to be a satisfying experience you need to have at least a glimpse of what it is that I am pointing to and a glimpse also of that which underlies the words ultimately you can only glimpse that in you, there is a stillness behind the words; as I speak within myself, and there can be stillness within you as you listen to the words.

That is already a glimpse into the spiritual dimension. A realisation that on the one hand, on one level you have the auditory perception, you are listening to the words, the visual perception, you are seeing this image and on another level you also notice that there is some stillness inside you. Where the mind is not active no need to think to add to something to this experience. You can just let it be as it is.

So the dimension stillness begins to arise or you become aware that it is there. It is always there, that is the strange thing. Always there, all-pervasive, and yet most people still don’t know that. Of course that is very much like telling a fish that there is something called water and the fish says “where? I can’t see anything called water, can you point it out to me?”

So, this is my task, to point out water you are swimming in water inside you.

As I pointed out in the beginning the Buddha called the spiritual dimension EMPTINESS which would be better translated as SPACIOUSNESS and Jesus calls it the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN which translated into modern terminology if you change the word Kingdom which is an old-fashioned concept, to DIMENSION, which is a more modern concept, the DIMENSION OF HEAVEN, you can even translate heaven into a more modern concept, to make it work for you, as a pointer. What is Heaven? Some languages have sky as the same word. what is the sky or heaven? It is SPACIOUSNESS; THE DIMENSION OF SPACIOUSNESS is the  KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.

So the Buddha calls it that, Jesus calls it that, and TIME magazine calls it mumbo jumbo, which is also true from the perspective of the conceptual, conceptualizing, mind. If you are totally trapped in concepts, thoughts, then it makes no sense! And do only thing you can conceive of  a spiritual is some belief system! You say “oh these people have belief systems, these spiritual have all kinds of weird beliefs”; and of course it is not that at all.

so, it’s already there, it’s already present within you, the strange thing is it is continuously overlooked because your attention is drawn into sensory perceptions, experiencing with your senses, reaching out with your senses, listening, touching, smelling , seeing,  everything demands your attention and your attention is drawn even more strongly – the interpretations of your mind – in other words – thought activity which actually can make you forget a large part of sensual perception in modern humans, contemporary humans, there’s more thought activity than sensory perceptions, so you are being drawn yes to sensory perception, but even more so in mind activity, and then drawn also into emotions that accompany mind activity.

So your life consists we could say basically of the 3 levels, sense perceptions, thoughts and emotions. And what is overlooked is the deeper dimension in which the 3 others exist, that’s the spaciousness within you. It is always there, it is just a question of re-directing your attention to it but that is not absolutely right to say that but unfortunately language works like that. As you sit here, let’s just go through it again, you are aware of sense perceptions especially visual and auditory, yes, there may be some thoughts arising in your mind, now whatever thoughts arise in your mind here and now, obviously quite irrelevant, but that’s another matter, there may be thoughts arising from time to time, so while you are listening you may think “what’s he driving it, when are we going to start our meditation?” etc

Mumbo jumbo! Thoughts come and go and you may have emotions.. restlessness perhaps. or a thought about tomorrow what’s going to happen tomorrow and you have an emotion associated with that as we sit here notice there are these levels operating in you, and then you could ask yourself

who or what is it in me that notices these things – these sense perceptions ?

what is it in me that is aware of sense perceptions? aware that there are thoughts, aware that there is an emotion?

And that is who you are at a deeper level of the transcendent or the spiritual dimension, the awareness of all this. The still spacious consciousness  in the background so to speak. You could call it, just to briefly use an analogy, be aware of the canvas on which your life is drawn, painted.

An ancient question in spirituality is “who am I?” and if you look closely you will see that you are not your thoughts, you are not your sense perceptions,  you are not your emotions, they come and go! what remains is consciousness, awareness, that’s the water that the fish didn’t know about as far as you are concerned. and it is an amazing thing when you realise that there is a great depth in you than your surface life, that consists of sense perceptions, thoughts and emotions, they come together in different forms , so every human has a somewhat different story of coming together of sense perceptions, thoughts and emotions – form the human being, the person and they come together in each person slightly or in a very different way.

So it’s a coming together of this that this creates the temporary form that we call the person, but that can only exist in the light of consciousness, without that there is nothing there, nobody.

So your life is a little bit like this, you are watching your screen, let’s say cinema screen, all kinds of things happen there, of course the screen is inside you, so let’s imagine there is a screen inside your mind, and on that screen your life is being enacted, with your thoughts, sense perceptions, things happening, drama, this and that and wow it’s so interesting or it’s so dreadful or I can’t stand it anymore, I want more of it! I haven’t had enough yet! and so on ….

And suddenly you realise that there’s a screen that’s inside you and you are the projector, you are the light of the projector, and that changes, of course, fundamentally the way in which you relate to the events on the screen! How does it do that? well you can see for yourself! If you see that you are the light of the projector, it adds this dimension of awareness to what you are witnessing on the screen. It gives you a certain detachment from what happens because you realise that there is something more essential or fundamental in you than all the things that are going on in that screen! And if you don’t know that … you’re totally drawn into the events on the screen and for most people sooner or later the events on the screen turn into some kind of drama, “nothing lasts for very long”, “there is no security in my life”, “why do things always have to be so frustrating?”, but then you always look for more, on t he screen, for something , a solution on the screen, it;s never there, pseudo solutions come from time to time and happy moments … and then again ….that’s because you do not know who you are or what you are! it doesn’t matter whether we call it who or what. Who or what you are ESSENTIALLY –  which is the light of consciousness. which is the projector, which can be sensed, within you at any moment like NOW as an aware presence. You can sense it, not as something that you are aware of, it is a self awareness, you cannot sense it as an object that arises in your consciousness, you can only sense it as yourself, as the eternal subject of all experiences.

So you can never  say (pointing at it, outwards of you) “aah there it is! there I am, there is the awareness! ”  It’s never THERE! You can never say “I see it” or “I have it”, Jesus said “The Kingdom of Heaven is not ” … you can’t say “oh look it’s over there! or look! there!”, but I tell you he said “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you!” – not “over there or over there!” In other words it cannot be made into an object. You cannot make yourself into an object of knowledge, also at this point of self-realisation, realising yourself as the consciousness, right now, there’s nothing that you need to know about yourself conceptually or through thought activity, in fact the more strongly you feel the presence that YOU ARE, the less thoughts there are, there may be some thoughts that arise, but you are no longer attached, or IDENTIFIED  with every thought. Drawn into every thought; there’s the screen – remember the screen is inside you – and you are the LIGHT. And then you have the awareness in your life, the conscious awareness. And that changes the way 1st it changes the way in which you experience your life, with spaciousness, things come and go but there’s no longer the clinging to them, some drama may still happen, but you are not totally drawn in, there may be disturbances still on the screen, but there always is some part of you then that is there, aware, watching , what happens out there, watching your own reactions, there is a little bit of , if you see old Buddha images, all the good old Buddha images have a hint of a smile and what that means or points to is the smile that comes, whether it is an actual smile or an inner smile, when you are not totally drawn in to the world of form. What happens on the screen , there is some freedom, there is a smile. So how you experience your life changes as the spaciousness comes in, and then how you do things also changes. How you interact with others, and there is always an element of spaciousness, when you interact with people that’s a wonderful thing, if you do not have that, all human interactions are very problematic and ultimately always unsatisfying. If there is no spaciousness, and this applies to the slightest interaction, the most short, casual meeting with a stranger, or intimate relationships, people you have lived with for a long time, if there is no element of spaciousness, it’s not a satisfying relationship. It can appear to be satisfying for a short time, for e.g. until the honeymoon is over, but then you realise “oh… !”, no matter with whom you have your honeymoon with, if you had your honeymoon with the Buddha, if you could not see the Buddha with spaciousness, all you could see is the  limitations of that particular life form! And as a form, the Buddha too, or Jesus or whoever, has his or her limitations. So how does that operate when you look at another human being? or you talk to another human being? You are aware within yourself of the fact that you are conscious you can sense the presence of consciousnesses in you, sometimes I use the word stillness to point at it , so you look at another human being and he or she is talking to you, you listen and you watch in that still space, or you look at another human being and you are not interacting, just looking and you look without labeling or if labels arise that say something about that human being, you are aware that it is just a mental label, and you see that there is the presence behind it, that you are the light of presence.

so it’s an awakening, there is much more alertness in your life, an AWAKE ALERTNESS, that watches and perceives. And much less a judge of what is being perceived. Some judgement may happen but you are NOT completely drawn to it. That’s the practice. that’s the meditation. It starts HERE NOW.

I’m inviting you now to enter with me that beautiful space of as much as you can of not thinking. Are you able to be conscious and not think? this is an opportunity to get a glimpse of that or deepen that ability in you just aware presence, sense the presence that you are without needing to say anything in your mind, the voice in your head rests, and you haven’t disappeared! isn’t that strange! because many  people think they are the voice in their head! it takes them over! and now the voice in the head subsides and you can sense very clearly that who you are essentially has not disappeared.  In fact you sense your identity more clearly, more strongly, and that is your essence identity, you actually are beyond all the things that happen on the screen of your mind. Again I am inviting you in this moment to rest with me, not to go to sleep, not to become hypnotised, I am not interested in that, I am inviting you to rest in that simple presence. And sense this presence , the sensing and the presence are ONE, I can sense my presence, subject and object, but when it actually happens -it is not actually happening, you see how inadequate every word is! – there is a self sensing of consciousness. and when that comes you might notice a slight elation almost, an aliveness, a heightened sense of aliveness, and that’s a beautiful place to go to when you have a moment and that happens many times during the day, even in a busy life, a moment when you choose to go into presence. And choose not to think. And then presence so to speak grows in you, so to speak, and the person recedes a little , and when we use the expression to grow spiritually we mean the person becomes less dense and the presence arise more and gradually the presence is what speaks and acts through you, your mind gets tuned into presence and you say things that come out of presence rather than the old stuff.

So the shift then happens from being trapped in the person and the arising of that which is beyond the person and that is the metamorphosis of the caterpillar which is the person into the butterfly so to speak.

If that happens on a large scale on our planet it would be the equivalent of the arising of a new species because a human being living in presence is very different from a human being who is unaware of that presence, who operate without that awareness; and the human being that lives in presence creates a different world from the human being that lives  completely trapped in their conditioning.

Relationships: True Love and the Transcendence of Duality by Kim Eng

During my travels, one of the most frequently asked question is “What is it like to be in relationship with an enlightened being?” Why this question? Perhaps they have the idea or image of an ideal relationship, and want to know more about it. Perhaps their mind wants to project itself to a future time when they, too, will be in an ideal relationship and find themselves through it.

What is it like to be in relationship with an enlightened being?

As long as I have the idea in my head “I have a relationship” or “I am in a relationship,” no matter with whom, I suffer. This I have learnt.

With the concept of “relationship” come expectations, memories of past relationships, and further personally and culturally conditioned mental concepts of what a “relationship” should be like. Then I would try to make reality conform to these concepts. And it never does. And again I suffer. The fact of the matter is: there are no relationships. There is only the present moment, and in the moment there is only relating.

How we relate, or rather how well we love, depends on how empty we are of ideas, concepts, expectations.

Recently, I asked Eckhart to say a few words on the ego’s search for “love relationships.” Our conversation quickly went deeper to touch upon some of the most profound aspects of human existence. Here’s what he said:

Eckhart Tolle: What is conventionally called “love” is an ego strategy to avoid surrender. You are looking to someone to give you that which can only come to you in the state of surrender. The ego uses that person as a substitute to avoid having to surrender. The Spanish language is the most honest in this respect. It uses the same verb, te quiero, for “I love you” and “I want you.” To the ego, loving and wanting are the same, whereas true love has no wanting in it, no desire to possess or for your partner to change. The ego singles someone out and makes them special. It uses that person to cover up the constant underlying feeling of discontent, of “not enough,” of anger and hate, which are closely related. These are facets of an underlying deep seated feeling in human beings that is inseparable from the egoic state.

When the ego singles something out and says “I love” this or that, it’s an unconscious attempt to cover up or remove the deep-seated feelings that always accompany the ego: the discontent, the unhappiness, the sense of insufficiency that is so familiar. For a little while, the illusion actually works. Then inevitably, at some point, the person you singled out, or made special in your eyes, fails to function as a cover up for your pain, hate, discontent or unhappiness which all have their origin in that sense of insufficiency and incompleteness. Then, out comes the feeling that was covered up, and it gets projected onto the person that had been singled out and made special – who you thought would ultimately “save you.” Suddenly love turns to hate. The ego doesn’t realize that the hatred is a projection of the universal pain that you feel inside. The ego believes that this person is causing the pain. It doesn’t realize that the pain is the universal feeling of not being connected with the deeper level of your being – not being at one with yourself.

The object of love is interchangeable, as interchangeable as the object of egoic wanting. Some people go through many relationships. They fall in love and out of love many times. They love a person for a while until it doesn’t work anymore, because no person can permanently cover up that pain.

Only surrender can give you what you were looking for in the object of your love. The ego says surrender is not necessary because I love this person. It’s an unconscious process of course. The moment you accept completely what is, something inside you emerges that had been covered up by egoic wanting. It is an innate, indwelling peace, stillness, aliveness. It is the unconditioned, who you are in your essence. It is what you had been looking for in the love object. It is yourself. When that happens, a completely different kind of love is present which is not subject to love / hate. It doesn’t single out one thing or person as special. It’s absurd to even use the same word for it. Now it can happen that even in a normal love / hate relationship, occasionally, you enter the state of surrender. Temporarily, briefly, it happens: you experience a deeper universal love and a complete acceptance that can sometimes shine through, even in an otherwise egoic relationship. If surrender is not sustained, however, it gets covered up again with the old egoic patterns. So, I’m not saying that the deeper, true love cannot be present occasionally, even in a normal love / hate relationship. But it is rare and usually short-lived.

Whenever you accept what is, something deeper emerges than what is. So, you can be trapped in the most painful dilemma, external or internal, the most painful feelings or situation, and the moment you accept what is, you go beyond it, you transcend it. Even if you feel hatred, the moment you accept that this is what you feel, you transcend it. It may still be there, but suddenly you are at a deeper place where it doesn’t matter that much anymore.

The entire phenomenal universe exists because of the tension between the opposites. Hot and cold, growth and decay, gain and loss, success and failure, the polarities that are part of existence, and of course part of every relationship.

Kim Eng: Then it’s correct to say, we can never get rid of the polarities?

ET: We cannot get rid of polarities on the level of form. However, you can transcend the polarities through surrender. You are then in touch with a deeper place within yourself where, as it were, the polarities no longer exist. They continue to exist on the outer level. However, even there, something changes in the way in which the polarities manifest in your life when you are in a state of acceptance or surrender. The polarities manifest in a more benign and gentle way.

The more unconscious you are, the more you are identified with form. The essence of unconsciousness is this: identification with form, whether it is an external form (a situation, place, event or experience), a thought form or an emotion. The more attached to form, the more unsurrendered you are, and the more extreme, violent or harsh your experience of the polarities becomes. There are people on this planet who live virtually in hell and on the same planet there are others who live a relatively peaceful life. The ones who are at peace inside will still experience the polarities, but in a much more benign way, not the extreme way in which many humans still experience them. So, the way in which the polarities are experienced does change. The polarities themselves cannot be removed, but one could say, the whole universe becomes somewhat more benevolent. It’s no longer so threatening. The world is no longer perceived as hostile, which is how the ego perceives it.

KE: If awakening or living a life in an awakened state does not change the natural order of things, duality, the tension between the opposites, what does living a life in the awakened state do? Does it affect the world, or only one’s subjective experience of the world?

ET: When you live in surrender, something comes through you into the world of duality that is not of this world.

KE: Does that actually change the outer world?

ET: Internal and external are ultimately one. When you no longer perceive the world as hostile, there is no more fear, and when there is no more fear, you think, speak and act differently. Love and compassion arise, and they affect the world. Even if you find yourself in a conflict situation, there is an outflow of peace into the polarities. So then, something does change. There are some teachers or teachings that say, nothing changes. That is not the case. Something very important does change. That which is beyond form shines through the form, the eternal shines through the form into this world of form.

KE: Is it right to say that it is your lack of “reaction against,” your acceptance of the opposites of this world, that brings about changes in the way the opposites manifest?

ET: Yes. The opposites continue to happen, but they are not fueled by you anymore. What you said is a very important point: the “lack of reaction” means that the polarities are not fueled. This means, you often experience a collapse of the polarities, such as in conflict situations. No person, no situation is made into an “enemy.”

KE: So, the opposites, instead of becoming strengthened, become weakened. And perhaps this is how they begin to dissolve.

ET: That’s right. Living in that way is the beginning of the end of the world.

 

 

Powerful insights from Eckhart Tolle

The more shared past there is in a relationship, the more present you need to be; otherwise, you will be forced to relive the past again and again.