realization

i fucking love. 

we are not merely ourself.

we so often see ourselves as this self-contained identity in this body - bouncing off, rejecting and accepting other entities - people, things and ideas. when the truth is, we are the action itself. we are the collective rejecting, accepting, bouncing. you can't accept or reject what i say without me being here for you to accept or reject. it's a mutual experience. and we ARE that experience. realizing that fact takes us from an isolated individual to a collective being. yes, we still retain a unique perspective on the activity, but realizing that we are not merely an observer, but an integral part of everyone else's experience brings us closer to the truth.

we are all one.

we are meditation.

what is meditation?

it's letting everything be everything, so that we can be eternity.

it's thinking. it's not thinking.
it's hurt and love, short and tall.
sight and sound, spring and fall.
it's a good days and bad,
your life and your dreams.
a hot meal. a cool breeze.

it's trusting yourself.

if we are always one, then what is there to gain?

realization that we are, that we always were.

we can be everything.

we hold all of these ideas. ideas about who we are, what happens to us, what we do, whether our experience is unfair or just. we believe in these ideas. we take them for granted. we accept them as fact.

what can rip us from this ignorance?

only we can.

being who we are as throughly as we can, as we are. not how we think we should by means of our understanding of these ideas we accept as true or false.

we can accept delusion and enlightenment as one. there is no difference. we can be at peace with our self, others, and our environment with zero separation - through acceptance. forgiveness.

we are time itself. we are form and mass and all of the perceived differences between them that equal our complete experience.

let go.

we can't do anything.

we can be everything.

non-duality

we think in twos.

on and off.
right and wrong.
up and down.
left and right.
light and dark.
yes and no.
front and back.

there is one, and then there is the other. and there are an almost infinite number of increments between the two. but you can't go more one than one, or more two than two. as if they extended on forever.

but what are we really experiencing?

without up, there could be no down.
without light, there could be no dark.

they are intrinsically connected to each other.

what exists? everything. and nothing.

what do we experience? only a small portion.

imagine a pitch black room. what can we see? nothing. it's not that anything has disappeared, but we can not experience it visually, because it is all the same. without a difference, we are unable to perceive anything. all of our senses operate on the same principle.

we don't experience things, we experiences differences, which are select parts of the whole, but only when a difference exists to perceive.

stop.

what are you looking for? what's out there? what's inside you? why do you think you can find it? why do you think you have it?

who's telling you this? who told them that? where did it start? how would you know for sure?

stop. just, stop. and keep going. just go.

let go of letting go


to let go of letting go is to be awareness itself.

do not try to control it. do not look for something in particular. just be. let it come to you. you can not go to it.

there is a state of mind, when we do something, that is more open - expanded. it is not "i" that is doing "something". there is just "i". this happens because "i" know there is only "this". why "i" do what i do is determined not just by myself, but by the actions of every single thing since the beginning of time. and with that in mind (for that reason) this moment is clarified.

i can see what it is. it is me. it is all me. it is all you. it is us.

meditation tip

you aren't watching the thoughts.
you aren't counting the breath.

you are the watching of the thoughts.
you are the counting of the breath.

you are the watching and the thought.
you are the counting and the breath.

realization in letting go

realization is like this simple fact: no matter how fast you turn around, you can't see the back of your head. it seems obvious, perhaps too obvious. hidden in its simplicity is great complexity. this simplicity fools us into thinking we "get it" when in fact we are far from the truth.

so we must let go of these notions. we can't control our life, because even the controlling is part of life itself. life can't step outside of life. it is all encompassing. you are everything.

relief comes from this realization. relief comes from letting your guard down. relief is living pure life.

normal is relative

we think we know what normal is until we get completely out of normal and develop a new "normal."

it's the same normal, only different.

what we think we know, who we think we are, are only what they are as long as we think they are.

and as long as we know, it is nearly impossible to think any other way. to unlock a deeper "you", we must be open to believing that we don't know.

and even then, we must be pushed far beyond what we are to realize the ever deepening reality of our true self.

as we walk the path, our mind elevates

the more aware of ultimate reality we become, the more we see things for what they truly are. our actions become more deliberate and confident. we think about the consequence of our actions more, and think about whether we should or shouldn’t act, less.

we are better at understanding the present moment and become better at using all of the resources available to us, right now. while at the same time, we aren't stuck on what isn't. not hung up on the past, on what could have been, we see things for what they were and use the memory of the total experience to our advantage, in the present. 

we stop contemplating how things could have been different, or could be different. we accept everything for how it is. we effectively use our raw being, emotion & knowledge, to act in the present moment, to change the “future.”

no separation, no suffering.

i know this world is all delusion. and this is me playing within it.

life and death are but an illusion. yet still we live and die.

we should make the best of it and help others do the same.

love for the sake of loving. think to think.

laugh to laugh. hate to hate.

but understand there is no substance behind these things.

there is no separation between your hate & their laughter.

treat them as you want to treat yourself.

because you know them as an extension of yourself.

because their body & mind is your body & mind.

the only difference is your perspective that they are different.

with conscious mind we can change this.

and why wouldn't we,

if we could end all suffering?

the art of nature

this morning while sitting outside, a brisk rustling noise caught my attention. about a hundred yards away two squirrels were chasing each other around the trunk of a large tree. across the street, directly behind these guys were two blue birds, darting around yet another tree in a similar pattern. whether these animals were playing, or vying for territory i don't know. but something clicked in my head.

all i could see was the beauty in their dance. i saw the raw creative spirit of the universe playing with itself. i thought to myself, this is art.


art beyond words. art beyond thought.


all is, just as it is, for the sake of nothing & yet, everything. we too are this wonderful nature, and nature is everything.

nature is a holistic process. these animals didn't know why they were born, or how they had gotten to los angeles, or why they had run into this other animal with whom they were dancing - and it didn't matter. they were dancing all the same.

why then do so many people take this beauty for granted, or worse - take advantage without respecting it as an extension of themselves? because a vast majority of us are oblivious to this perspective. we do everything we can (unknowingly) to separate ourselves from nature (from which ironically, we are inevitably inseparable) for our own selfish reasons.

we see ourselves exclusively as this body, which is in this world - yet separate. perhaps we also see a soul within this body that is essentially and eternally "who we are" which can exist in some form without this body, after our body dies. and we see other people out there in the world who are, in this respect, the same as us. we watch as animals chase each other around. and we hear the wind dance through the trees. and we smell pine needles in the air and feel the sun on our skin. but as humans, it's very difficult to just exist with these sensations. we are cursed (and blessed) with the cognitive ability to take experience one step further. we can watch ourselves watch all of these things. it is this process that creates the illusion that there is a separation between us, and everything else.

we can think about thinking. this is an amazing gift, one that we struggle with every day of our lives. did we think the right thing? should we have thought a different way? did we act according to how we think we should think? we get caught up in this infinite loop.


maybe we aren't as smart as we think we are. or maybe, as smart as we don't think we are.


the good news? we can free ourselves from this mental trap. how? merely by recognizing it for what it is!

ok, to be honest, it really is that easy in principle...but much, much harder in practice. we must open our minds to a great degree. we must open our perspective to a point where our perspective is indistinguishable from that which we are perceiving. just as the squirrels are at one with their dance, we are one with ours. (zen practice can help you realize this way. for some it may come overnight. for others, many years. but it will come. you will see.)

as humans, because we have the conscious ability to debate our existence we have the tendancy to separate ourselves from nature - and just about everything that isn't "us", whatever that means to you. and while that is true to an extent, it isn't exclusive. we can be both "out there" in the world and "here" in our bodies, with no separation in between.

as our conscousnes expands, we see that we "are" more and more things we previously thought were just "out there." and as we realize we are these things, we soon realize that they are us. and while on the surface, it might sound as if these concepts were one in the same, they are certainly unique.

the realization that we are truly one with nature gradually deepens, until even the realization itself is realized, and disappears.



then suddenly. all that is left is nature itself.



what is instinct?

you know what it is. animals have it. trees have it. it's a way of acting without conscious thought. like a computer program. and once you realize who you are, you will clearly see that we are 100% instinct too. the only difference is, we've tricked ourselves into thinking we are “free” to make our own decisions. we think we act independently from the world around us. but it is impossible to remove ourselves from this universe. we are dependent on it and it is dependent on us.

the best meditation technique

every religion, sect, and group have their own recommendations on how to attain a clear mind, or how to attain enlightenment, or how to get or not get whatever. it can be confusing! who do we listen to? who’s “right”?

what is the best technique? i'll give you a hint: it doesn't fucking matter.

regardless of your meditation technique, whether it is shinkantaza, mindfulness, or something else altogether. they will all lead to realization, so long as you realize that whatever you do is merely a technique, and that eventually you are going to throw it away.

do not attach to the technique itself. one day you will not need it. always be aware of the fact that what you're doing begins and ends within itself.

you may think it is a means to and end, but it is not. if you find that hard to wrap your mind around, you're not alone. you only need the technique as long as you 'think' you need it.

one day it will click. and you will know when it does. and when you finally realize that you don't need the technique, you are free to continue to use it in a beautiful new way. a way that you never imagined possible. this is realization. this is what can't be taught - only hinted at. just keep going and you can see for yourself.

trust those that have gone before you. if you think the technique is helping, then allow it to help you, but have faith that this stage is very temporary. you don't have to rely on faith forever. eventually you will throw it away too.

the day will come when you will know what the ancestors knew. and you will be free.

a feeling beyond feeling

i've recently come upon this new experience.

the side effects are not unlike that feeling you get in your chest when you're deeply in love. but that feeling is not it. i'm not advanced enough in my practice to properly explain what i feel, but it's there. it's a feeling of whole-ness. this one-ness with all things that goes beyond being connected. it's full integration and it changes the way i deal with absolutely every aspect of my life. i want to share this feeling with everyone, but i don't know how.

team sports & mental clarity

tonight, i played a team sport (basketball) for the first time in months. i noticed something was different. i wasn't playing for myself, i was playing for us. i was less afraid to go for it. in the past when i had the ball, i would worry about passing it, and worrying about how my teammates might be judging me for my game. but tonight i was just doing what i thought was best for the team, yet not considering directly what my teammates wanted me to do.

it felt as if i had elevated to a plane of consciousness where the air was crystal clear and thoughts were free to flow uninhibited by pollution. whereas when i played before, i would let anxiety hold me down and it would severely affect my decision making. today i was just playing, moving naturally without any concern of doing the "right thing." which in the past consisted of me trying to guess what my teammates wanted me to do, and then doing that, even if it wasn't natural. this took a lot of my conscious ability (we can only think of one thing at a time, after all). and then when i made a mistake, i would blame myself. and a feedback loop would start and it was hard to get out of that funk. i was no longer enjoying myself.

but today, i was living for each moment, not dwelling on the past, not letting it drag me down. yes, the past mattered because i needed to remember who did what in order to be able to other than how it could possibly affect the course of the game. i could clearly see the egos of some other players being bruised, because they weren't performing well, and i remember thinking to myself how silly that was. you do your best in that moment...which is (obviously) what you did, because what else could it be? and then you blame yourself for it! it's not clear to them, but it was to me. and i felt a separation from them, yet i also felt closer to them for our difference, because i knew what they knew and what they didn't know was that we were exactly the same.

the mental chatter within my head, with my head, was minimal. i felt lighter in a way i can't quite explain.

(one of) my kensho(s)

no, i do not think i am enlightened. but i do think i've had a number of moments of deep realization. 

at the time these moments seem important. but as time passes, their glimmer fades. in one way, i feel no different about then than i do thinking about what i had for breakfast this morning. in another, i respect their significance and how they have helped me to grow.

i'd like to share one particularly deep kensho experience. it wasn't my first, and i've had a few since, but none were as deep and moving. this is what i wrote immediately afterward. unedited.


it happened upon reading these words from a commentary on the gakudo yojinshu:

"there is no use thinking. this is a great activity that is completely separate from the thinking mind. here, this is teh true nature of the no-self. there is this true nature of selflessness."

when i read this, the most clear understanding of ultimate compassion struck. i felt this "great activity" and suddenly i felt i knew why anyone felt anything...because it is not them, ultimately, it is all buddadharma. which, in a way i knew already. but in this moment i felt it in a way that surpassed my original face value understanding.

it lasted for some time and after a while it became slightly unnerving, because for the first time i was seeing what it was like to be another person. and then i felt that if i told this to somebody, they would think i'm crazy. and then i thought, maybe i am crazy. the verdict is still out on that.

if my first thought was, "oh shit" my second was "it doesn't even fucking matter. i'm exactly the same as everyone else." and i was. we are. the only difference was i knew it.

before zen, you think you are yourself. then you learn that you are everything. then you realize that you are both. and then everything begins to fit into place. and from this point your mind is open to an understanding previously impossible for you to understand.

you then have the opportunity to gain perfect balance. you have a chance to feel your center. this center is neither inside you, nor outside you. it is definitely in a previously unfelt area between you and the outside world, it is both you and the outside world simultaneously.

i have very little regard for the memory of this experience, but i appreciate that it has allowed me to grow.

state of zen teaching in america

i get the impression that many teachers are teaching Buddhism at a very low level. i don't disagree with what they're saying, but in my mind i'm thinking, "why stop there?" maybe the teachers are "dumbing it down" to reach beginners?

but then i thought, if that's the case, the students don't know that, and they may mistake this half baked teaching for the real thing. so even if the teaching is helpful in a way, i think it's bad in the long run.

once you start to understand the truth, things like the precepts fall into place on their own so why not start at the top and let the things that most teachers talk about, just fall into place without having to discuss the obvious?

and when i say "top" i actually mean "bottom" because i think our actions grow out of our understanding naturally. or that's the way it works for me. the roots and trunk of the tree feed the leaves. so fertilize the ground and the leaves (precepts, etc.) will grow healthy and green.

if it sounds like i know what i'm talking about - i don't think i know anything. i just think.

how to deal with bullshit


penetrate everything with your actuality.

people will try to bullshit you. don't let them control you, yet don't try to control them. don't fight their opinion, yet don't let them walk over you. allow them to be who they are. the difference between you and them is who you are. killing them will kill you.

act as you are.

when people act with hostility, they expect you to react one of two ways. they expect you to push back, or to get the fuck out of their way. but there is a middle path.

there is a way to neither act nor react. this can not be taught. it can only be experienced directly. you will only understand through practice.

when you act in such a way, they may be confused. they may not understand this mysterious confidence that you embody. this is ok. you are just yourself. you act and react in the moment with absolute compassion. and because of this, you don't expect a certain result our outcome.

follow your true self - and all, as it is, will be revealed.

zazen and the ego

intellectual understanding is one thing. it is important. zazen goes beyond this. i think to understand intellectual understanding is to know its limitations and as long as you are not deluded into mistaking it for the way, it is healthy and advantageous.

however zazen goes beyond this. and you can not be zen if you do not let go of the conscious thought that is merely a small part of the dharma. to go beyond is to be in the present moment fully. it is knowing that everything is perfect as it is and there is no need to change a thing, no matter how it is. this is difficult, because we think in terms of good or bad.

these are opinions and nothing more than that. they are not absolute. it is the ego that controls this attitude, which is why it is important, vital, to see that the ego is merely a manifestation of the present moment and is in no position to control or decide what is good or bad. how could it, if it is it?

when the floor drops out


if you haven't had a moment where you were just thinking, or doing, and the floor dropped out from underneath you...leaving you with nothing to hold onto, in the most amazing way...then keep questioning everything.

that may not be a popular perspective, but hear me out. some of you have had these moments of clarity, call them what you want, when everything just "is" and it all makes perfect sense. and while we are in that state of transcendence, it is just as it is. immediately afterward, when our everyday mind comes back to us, the contrast of "is-ness" and the way we've always just known it to be create a spectacular sensation. and i don't think that is something to downplay, though it often is.

yes, after some time passes, we realize it was really nothing special after all, because all we were seeing is us how we always were. but we'll always remember how we felt at that time. and whether we realize it was nothing, or if we cling to it, it exists just the same. and we should appreciate it, and encourage it. because it may be a small step, and perhaps even a mis-step, but it is none the less a step and without success AND mistakes we are destined to stay where we are.

and while it could be said we always are where we are, let's just understand that we all know that already.

suffering - ain't nobody got time for that


there is no this becoming that. there is just this and that.

we think that there is this period of transition, from one state to another. if you're hungry and you want to make a sandwich, you go to the store to buy bread, peanut butter, and jelly. once you get back, you make the sandwich and eat it, relieving your hunger.

now we tend to believe this action as transitioning smoothy from becoming hungry, to going to the store, making and then eating the sandwich. you may believe, due to this misconception, that the point of the exercise is to satiate your hunger.

however, each moment is its own, completely independent of the moments before and after. each moment is complete in itself. there is no need for the moments before or after to exist. there is no point then to any particular moment, and thereby no point to any series of moments, or as we think of them - our life.

and that is a beautiful idea. think about it. it is the freedom to be who you are - to be everything that you want to be. it may not be apparent, but we go through each day, carrying an incredible amount of pressure to "do the right thing." but we can relieve ourselves of "purpose" and we can see everything we do as the most important thing we've ever done.

and when this realization sinks in, we have nothing to fear. a life without purpose is not a scary thing, because we naturally act in every moment with complete sincerity and purpose. we naturally do the right thing.

drop a glass jar on the wooden floor. it shatters. in the moment before the glass shattered, what happened? think in almost impossible to measure increments. well, nothing happened. it was not broken, and then it was. that is how we live our lives, whether we recognize it or not.

we are, or we are not. there is nothing in between.

it is in this truth that zen's attention to detail arises. every thing, every moment, every action - is just as important as the other.

there is no need to rush home from work. there is only traveling between the two locations. there is no need to rush to cook your meal so you may eat it. there is cooking and then there is eating.

all of the time we spend in our lives doing things, is just like this. we may not realize it, thinking one moment is better than another. but this is not true. if we can see them as equal, we can appreciate every moment to the fullest extent! not just the moments we deem "better."

when we are in no rush to move from one thing to the next, we can slowly begin to let go of our pre-conceived opinions of the world, slowly begin to relieve the world of all the unnecessary suffering. if each moment is equal - each person, tree and animal we meet, are all our equals.

there is no time for hate or prejudice in a world that appreciates each moment, and each person for what it is, and who they are.

why do we do what we do?


for most, it's about achievement - getting something.

but for us, it's all about action - doing something.

and not because we think we should, but because we know that's all there is. we have settled in a most peaceful place where nothing is lacking. it is all as it is meant to be.

we do to do, and that is everything there is.

the meaning of life

what is the universe?

simply put, it is "something."

as opposed to what? "nothing"?

precisely.

our universe exists because it also can't exist. and what is the alternative to the universe, which is everything? nothing.

and not the typical "nothing" we think of as empty space, because empty space is something to us. space is particles of oxygen, waves of light, sound and among other things, the distance between everything, and everything else. so even if we created a total vacuum in space, void of every particle and wave, we would still be left with the concept of distance. distance may be nothing more than a concept, but that is something!

the "nothing" we are discussing goes beyond even the idea of nothing itself. in our reality, if there is no former, there is no prior. and if there is no prior, there is no former. to have a universe, there must also be the possibility of no universe. they are mutually dependent.

so if the universe is everything we could possibly imagine no matter how we evolve, then how can we conceive what a lack of everything is? we can't. but we can try. and if we can try, then why not try?

think about the concept of perfection. many people think they've seen at least one thing in their life that was perfect. this however is not possible.

the truth is, if one thing is perfect, then everything is perfect. if nothing is perfect, then perfection is "nothing." which is different than the saying "nothing is perfect."

let's think of our universe as "perfect chaos" and leave "perfection" to the realm of nothing. if everything is perfect, what we're really saying is everything is exactly the same. because once one thing exists, it must have a counterpart. and consciousness must acknowledge a difference, at which point there can be no perfect unless an imperfect choice is made. of course that imperfect choice is made by the same consciousness that shattered perfection to create that one thing. so in a way it too, is perfect. but again, we're still sticking with the definition of perfect as "nothing."

but back to the shattering of perfection. why did it shatter? because it had to for us to conceive that it did. what shattered it? the existence of the possibility that it could... all that can be said is that what was once nothing, is now something. different, yet one in the same. yes this is a paradox, but it adds up. patience.

now that we have a better understanding of what the universe (life) isn't, we can attempt to understand what the universe is (the meaning of life.)

any further probing of what life isn't, will continue the paradox. so it can be understood that to explain what life IS will lead to the same conclusion. they are inextricably linked. this is where the reality within which we live resides. this place could be thought of as "the middle way."

what is the middle way? it is neither thinking nor not thinking. it is what is happening outside of, but also including conscious thought. non-thought. what happens if we stop conscious thought? things continue to happen. something is always happening inside and around us. even after the death of our personal perspective as we know it, the molecules that made up our body continue to exist in relation to all the other particles and waves in the universe. it is this relation BETWEEN the particles that creates THE particles. the relation is neither particle, nor either particle.

we can't stop it, or make it go. it just goes. and if we let go and stop pushing our self around, we'll keep moving, even after the death of our mind and body.

so then it could be that the existence of this action is the meaning of life, because this action is the only constant that can be. this ever changing, always moving action exists for no other reason that it can exist.

and this action is the meaning of life. this action is creativity.

there is no conceivable beginning or end to creativity. it can not be created, abolished or controlled.  anything that attempts to control creativity is merely a servant of itself. if it ceases to exist, then it never did exist. if it is created, it always existed.

not even death can separate us from creativity. there is no escape. it is WHY we exist.

trust in it. it is you.

you are pure creativity.

recognizing this is crucial to letting go.

letting go is crucial to enlightenment.

what makes a buddha?

buddhas do. without hesitation.

because they are one with the universe, they have realized there is nothing left to do.

as it is.

we can find this place too. it is us, after all.

letting go of letting go.

being fully present right here, right now.

where space, time and consciousness meet. part II

if our ego does not exist, in a way 'we' do not exist. so what is this body, this mind? we have feelings and desires, experience pain and pleasure. it can't therefore be nothing.

"this" as in everything that you can think of, is an instant. it is an instant that quickly transitions to another instant, which transitions into another instant. these moments are not separate and do not exist independently from one another. they are seamless and could be thought to be happening so quickly that there is only persistent instance of reality that is universally dependent on every aspect of itself. every aspect of this instance, what we perceive as reality, relies on the relation of every imaginable and unimaginable piece of itself. everything from the furthest start from earth to the slightest breeze that graced the earth billions of years ago to how you feel about yourself right now is related and dependent. no thing is independent from this ultimate relationship that shapes the reality of this instance, of "now."

imagine you have an itch on your head and you reach to scratch it. in a traditional concept of our reality, something caused the nerve endings on you scalp to send a message to the brain which it interpreted as an itch, at which point you thought to scratch it or not. agreeing it was serious enough to act on, you raised your hand to your head and scratched your head. this process happened very quickly over time. there was a cause (the itch) that happened in the present, as time continued we spent that time thinking about what to do before reacting. so that by the time we scratched our head, the initial itch had already happened, and as such could be considered to be in the past. when perceiving the world in this way, we could say that we are always living in the past, reacting to situations that happen spit seconds before we notice.

to summarize - our brain is processing the past as if the past were now, but actually "now" is in the future and we are thinking in the past, all of which is happening right "now"!

read that as many times as it takes to make sense.

because we can't escape form "now," all thoughts of past and future events are superficial any only exist in the bind, which as also created the concept of space and time, or space-time, to help separate every element of our reality into things and events. we are an instrumental piece of all action (the sum of all things interacting together.) without consciousness doing what it does, our reality doesn't exist as it does.

we are more than a mere observer, we are the observed.

with this line of thinking, there is no way to poe anything is the way we think it is. it is in all likelihood something else altogether. but we take for granted that what our consciousness perceives as what really is and that that's all it is. this like dreaming within a dream. by removing the inner dream and awakening we become the dream itself and no longer cling to anything within, as we realize we are everything and if we are everything we have nothing to fear. nothing to lose.

we are not this body and mind that travels forward in time, day by day. we are more than that. we are where space, time and consciousness meet. traveling nowhere, but always changing, always acting. when we realize we are action even in not acting, we are liberated in a way that can not be written or communicated in any way outside of direct experience. this is the path we walk.

buddhism year one


a year ago i knew nothing of buddhism. outside of phil jackson and steve jobs, i knew nothing of zen.

i didn't get into zen buddhism because i was looking for anything specific. i'm a curious person and i like to know how things work. so when i stumbled upon meditation, which quickly led me to buddhism, i had to know "why?" and for no other reason i started down the path...or as i like to think, jumped in.

i saw that despite how real something appears, it's bullshit. and despite being total bullshit, it's completely real. i learned that there is no beginning and no end to this, or anything. if it exists, it exists. and if it doesn't, it doesn't. and that's it. there is no in-between. and that encouraged me to let go of whether it was bullshit or real or both or neither.

i experienced an intuitive nature to life. inherent nature exists in everything and it can't be measured. i learned that any measurement, for that matter, is arbitrary. what's right? what's wrong? everything. and nothing.

i felt myself as a reflection of everything. that consciousness is a sum greater than it's parts. that the same could be said for anything. and when we follow it all back we find an unexplainable nothing. and that nothing is somehow everything.

i've learned that doesn't make sense. and that words are essential, but ultimately mere tools. they hold no mystery or power unto themselves. and anything that can be learned is not worth knowing unless you know that simple fact.

and, a lot more. at times, it felt like i was being thrown down a white water rapid, frequently smashing head-on into rocks and being scrapped along the bottom.

things have calmed down recently, and i'm looking forward to year two. the rapids have transitioned into a placid ocean (at least for now). the land which i once had to have my feet secured to at all times is beginning to disappear over the horizon. and think i'm ok with that, because i think i have everything i need right here.

so here, a year later, i've come so far, but i haven't moved an inch. nothing has changed, yet it all feels different.

where space, time and consciousness meet. part I


we are always our activity. more accurately - we are activity.

the 'our' part of the first equation is redundant. and we are never more "activity" as we are before we begin our journey to enlightenment. ironically to realize this we must step away from this, which gives us a new perspective on who we think we are.

how do we get away from our self? how do we step outside of our body and mind? we realize that we are the relation between us and everything previously thought to be 'not-us.' friends, enemies, trees, water, mountains, fire. we exist in the space between who we think 'we' are and what we see as outside of us.

meditation, depending on who you ask could have any number of purposes. one of those purposes could be said to separate yourself from your being, physically and mentally.

as we find our perspective widening far beyond what we previously thought possible, we see that many of the things we clung to as parts of "us" that we thought we depended on, simply don't matter. and we are eventually free to throw away the biggest crutch we will ever encounter - the ego.

but this is just the beginning.

at this point we realize that we have created yet another 'good' ego that we used to throw away the 'bad' ego. and we see that to throw away this newly created ego, we must step away again, creating yet another ego. and so on it goes infinitely. realizing that there is no escaping this cycle is an important realization. at this time we begin to understand that there is no ultimate understanding that can be had as long as we are what we are - everything. the universe can not escape itself. anything we think exists the instant we think it, and disappears the moment we forget. your eyes can not see themselves and this is the same of consciousness.

the only remedy to this spinning, is to let go. and then let go of letting go. there is no escape, because it is what it is. it always has been and always will be.


the answer to every koan, ever

the koan - a paradoxical question, typically with no logical answer. we are told we must "be one with the question." but what does that mean?

here's a simple koan: there sits a goose in a glass bottle. the opening is too small for the goose to get out. how do you get the goose out of the bottle without killing the goose or breaking the bottle?

before you try to think of an answer, think about this.

an answer only exists in relation to a question, and a question only exists in relation to our self. if our self doesn't exist, then neither does an answer or a question.

if a question can not be answered with dualistic thought, then what? throw it out! the truth lies beyond logic. think about the question, why does there need to be an answer? because you think a question exists and therefore there must be an answer. but what if you didn't see a question? or what if you saw so many questions that the question ceased to be a question! because questions as well as their answers are relative. it's kind of like saying the same word over and over again. it begins to sound strange, because words only have meaning in relation to other words.

now let's get deep.

a koan can not be answered with an "answer." a koan must be answered with direct understanding of the situation. and that situation is one where all things and thoughts in space and time become one.

it is only in our mind that anything is separated into opposing pieces. it is only in our mind that we create rules by which these pieces must act. for every "right" answer there is a "wrong" answer. and by these rules of right and wrong, we live and die. so if rules aren't rules until we think of them as such,  what are rules before they're rules? certainly they always exist in some form, for we can not have the universe without the law of gravity. right?

this answer - "it" just "is."

and if it weren't? it wouldn't be!

could it be nothing? yes, within the concept that nothing is everything. but how is that possible?

it is only when your mind choses to include or exclude something from another that space and time exist. if hypothetically, you heard all frequencies of sound at the same time, do you think you would be able to discern one from another? now, what if you heard them from the day you were born to the day you died? and they never wavered in pitch or volume with not a moment of silence in between. would you hear anything?

and so everything becomes nothing.

this is the realm of zen enlightenment. this is where the line between dualities begins to blur, and eventually disappears altogether.

this is the answer to every koan, ever.