Responsibly Projecting Your Reality

compassion

A very common stumbling block on the Path to Awakening is that after coming to terms and experiencing that you are indeed living in your own projective reality – after the initial excitement wears off, “Wait a second, what are the implications?”

The implications are that you are both 100% responsible for not only your emotions but that you are also 100% responsible for your projections…

You want to be happy, and you don’t want to suffer so you realize you must maintain the view of complete responsibility for the relationship to the world and all relationships that are created by your own mind.

And you can’t just change your thinking…your speech and actions, which are the active derivatives of your thinking, must also change. Far from realization being a passive exercise in sitting and meditating the results are reflected in your conduct.

Yes, you are projecting your reality – therefore it is not the case that your thoughts, speech, and actions don’t matter – the opposite is true. Your thoughts speech and actions matter tremendously because everything is empty of inherent or intrinsic reality…your love, compassion, generosity, and your conduct creates your world, combined with your focused attention and insight.

The willingness to play in the field of your projections wisely determines the very reality field you are playing in.

Mindfulness Based. Wise and Inspired Counseling. In person, by phone, or Skype: 941.416.1890 or michael@mbsgroup.org

Shine☀️

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Wish to neither possess nor be possessed. Covetousness is not love. Attachment to illusion is not loyalty.

Allowing possessions to define you is a tacit admission that you have no idea who you are at all. So let’s state it cleanly – you have not owned anything, do not own anything and never will.

It may appear to you as though you are profiting, but in the end you are only feeding the delusion. You know very well that all of these appearances could be gone in a moment, so just what kind of investment is this? Don’t you think it’s time to stop allowing these illusions to consume your remaining time?

Transparent and vulnerable self-observation is the first step in awakening inner revelation. You will see that your experiences do not form you – you form yourself by understanding your experiences.

The character in this movie of yours seems to have all of these very interesting ideas about you, but all of his ideas keep coming up short – and are still all about him.

Make an allowance to stop betraying your wisdom. It’s quite possible to perceive your ego without being involved. When you make peace with yourself you’ll be at peace with everything. Isn’t it time for peace?

When we do not realize the formless nature of all things, we cling to these forms, and when these forms change, as they inevitably do, we suffer because of our attachments to them.

In order to bring light to the world you can’t be afraid to shine. To truly shine we must resist clinging to the false promises of materialism. The greatest beauty lies in the greatest clarity.

“He who laughs at himself never runs out of things to laugh at.” ~Epictetus

Mindfulness Based. Wise and Inspired Counseling. In person, by phone, or Skype: 941.416.1890 or michael@mbsgroup.org

Don’t be too important to ask for help. And don’t be too scared. Don’t let your problems consume you and those you love.

Letter To A Friend❤

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Your first obligation as a dignified human being on the contemplative path is to stop inviting chaos into your life and the lives of those you love.

You have outgrown yourself.

The same old tired identity and life plan just isn’t working anymore. It’s time to retreat inward and gather your resources once again. You must discover yourself in solitude to learn how not to be be defined by others and the world.

When you look within to discover the depths of the pain and your own being at the end you will find nothing, and then develop this fortitude – resist filling the void. Rest in the not finding. Love, that not finding anything when you look for yourself is the finding. And in that resting you will discover your true value – that your nothingness is neither a vacuum nor a void, but instead is the ground of your limitless potential. You have a voice that doesn’t use words – that voice is silence. Listen to that voice.

Every emotion you have ever experienced is the relationship to your own projective reality – not to any other world or person out there independent of your own mind. It is your deepest pain that will empower you to realize this highest awareness.

Everything that seems to be happening to you is only appearing on the screen of your own consciousness – when you realize this nothing can harm you or make you afraid. When reality is observed through this lens you will know that the suffering you have experienced only happened for you to discover your depth, humility, compassion, quiet grace and dignity. You will love the freedom that comes from no longer seeking approval and validation. You will relieve yourself of denying your pain to make others comfortable. The transmutation will be painful, but don’t fear that you are falling apart, you are only turning into something beautiful. Allow every pain to be a teaching, make an allowance for your every suffering to move you closer to realization.

This time try loving yourself instead of loving the idea of other people loving you. No matter what you say I will keep telling you that you are important, loving, intelligent, worthy of your own self-respect, beautiful, creative, brave, strong and able until you realize it for yourself.

Mindfulness Based. Wise and Inspired Counseling. In person, by phone, or Skype: 941.416.1890 or michael@mbsgroup.org

May you be happy, may you be well, safe, peaceful and at ease.

Truth Statements

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There is no going back once the lid on the box of deep personal insight has opened. Like a butterfly trying to return to its cocoon, a place that used to be all it knew, what was once warm and comforting, now seems small, toxic and claustrophobic.

 

Destructive habits, emotions and relationships operate, manifest, and thrive in the unconscious ecology of projective experience. Shining the light of awareness onto our destructive tendencies and taking responsibility is rewarding, and revealing but facing the truth of self-deception comes with a requisite amount of pain and resistance to change.

 

As painful as self-sabotaging behaviors can be, the allure of the known and familiar seems far too often to have an almost magnetic appeal.

 

Sometimes there is simply no happy medium, no way to have your cake and eat it too, meaning it is simply impossible to live having both the wisdom of introspection and the destructive relationship or habit. It’s going to simply be one or the other. One option is to return to the cocoon, to the familiar pain, and the other option is a vast space of endless possibility.

 

Don’t be afraid to step over the line, a demarcation, a personal rite of passage – to leave the destructive relationship, habit, and emotion once and for all. Cold turkey. This is called a moment of truth. We encourage our friends and clients to find a destructive tendency or even relationship and to make a truth statement.

 

A truth statement is a powerful intentional statement. A truth statement is a promise to never return to the former aspect of our lives that we unconsciously manifested. Never again.

 

An example of a truth statement is Gandhi’s or the the Dalai Lama’s truth statement of non-violence (ahimsa). Under no circumstance will I ever commit violence to another. Personal truth statements are very powerful – serious business; Not for the meek. When you gather your courage and fortitude, examine the destructive tendencies and relationships in your life. I urge you to make a few truth statements every year. Some relationships or tendencies simply are not manageable. They have to be severed and cut off. No looking back. Game over. When we can no longer bear the weight of our own justifications; when our rationalizations have become intolerable.

 

Life is in the present and ahead, so be brave and make the space, an allowance for personal transformation: “this time I’ll reenter into my life and world consciously, I’m done with the pain.”

Next act, next episode please. It’s time to move on now.

Prayer for the World❤️

  
When other’s hearts are on fire, be patient, be the cool water. Nothing good has ever come from violence, and nothing good ever could. Please think before unleashing the next round of pain. Honor the dead by honoring the living. Have the foresight to see that revenge will only breed another generation of hatred. An eye for an eye is leaving everyone blind. There will be no victory through violence. This does not have to be us versus them, because there is no us versus them except for those whose eyes are shut to the broad view of the needless cycle of pain. Anger is our closest enemy.
Every act of extremism from both sides breeds more extremism. Forget who started it. Be a part of the peace that ends this. What has been done is so horrible that we can no longer hear what each other are saying. People’s behavior at all times is a reflection of the state of their relationship with themselves. If you wish for peace than you must be peaceful. It’s very simple – you cannot continue to attack and retaliate if you want peace. Violence does not bring peace. Compassion brings peace. Love brings peace. Forgiveness brings peace.
May you be the medicine for those who are sick. May you be a bridge for those who wish to cross over. May you be a lamp in the darkness. For those who are weary, may you provide a resting place and shelter. May you be a guide for those on the path to light and peace. May you bring sustenance to those in need. For as long as there is suffering, may you endure until all beings are freed from sorrow, until all are free from pain.

THE PRAYER OF ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI


Make me an instrument of your peace,


Where there is hatred, let me sow love.


Where there is injury, pardon.


Where there is doubt, faith.


Where there is darkness, light.


Where there is sadness, joy.


O divine Being, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love.


For it is in giving that we receive. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned. It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Angels Among Us

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A smile in a moment of despair; someone to hold your hand; someone to guide you when you needed direction; a word of encouragement when you least expected it. The teacher who took the time to help you understand a difficult subject. An open door when your hands were full. A job offer when things weren’t looking so good. Someone to hold you in the dark. Medicine when you were sick.

A ray of sunlight, a gust of wind. A glass of water to quench your thirst. There are angels if you’ll open your eyes.
Angels come in other forms too: Perhaps your Mom and Dad. Your child. Family or a friend who needs assistance. Angels come in other forms you’d least expect: A homeless person asking for help. Someone who cuts you off in traffic. An unkind word. Cancer. A terribly painful and difficult relationship. Betrayal. The loss of someone you truly loved. Death and dying. Lessons on gentleness, generosity, patience, impermanence, the fragility of your life – the lessons are abundant.

The greatest teachers in your life, the greatest teachings, the lessons learned – you don’t know who is who exactly, angels come in many different forms. In the tradition that I have matured in, we come to understand that they are everywhere, you just have to open your eyes. Perhaps you’re an angel in the making, temporarily fighting off the demons. Look beyond yourself, beyond the ordinary view, in your life right now, there are people who are trying to help, love, and cherish you. Open your heart. Life is very different with this change of view – beautiful and magical, a series of unending teachings and instructions. A gift. Do you see them?

Happiness and Poverty Mentality

  
Pure present moment joy. Once you leave Bangkok and travel northeast into the jungles and rice fields of Issan province this is what you’ll find: A way of life called, “sanook,” in Thai – it means to find the joy in whatever you do. 

When I left investment banking and became a Buddhist monk this was where the first forest temple (Wat) I lived in was – and the experience inalterably changed my life for the better. Living in Thailand shined a stark light on what has become an obvious and evident truth – that true joy comes from the inside – and exudes and shines its way out through expression, speech and action.

When I first arrived in this rural area near the Laotian border I thought everyone – all of these happy people were impoverished. It didn’t take long to discover that it was me who was lacking. Poor and desolate. That with all of this money, education and ambition that I was so incredibly vacant, so uninformed and pathetically poor – immersed in what I have come to understand and termed as, “poverty mentality”. Poverty mentality is in opposition to joy, it is falsely seen through the eyes of consumerism and materialism as something to cultivate and even admire. The attitude and stance that nothing is ever enough: To always want and need more – to never be satisfied. Insatiable craving and thirsting for more and more. In retrospect I don’t know how I didn’t see it. 
There is no real sanook in consumerism – just temporary and fleeting gratification from mundane pleasures that are mistaken for happiness, but far from well-being. There’s nothing wrong with material things as long as you know their actual worth: that all things actually have no inherent value beyond the conditioned mind that assigns and attributes a price to their perceived function.

The first day as a monk I begged (Buddhist monastic tradition) for food from a young woman with two infants who lived nearby in a small corrugated tin shanty. I’ll never know her name. She fed me in the rice field that I was walking through that day – she simply placed rice and vegetables in my bowl and offered prayers. There are fewer humbling experiences than begging for alms. How to accept food from someone who has less than you? Only to quickly realize she had so much more. Sitting outside on a thin rice mat smiling with her children and hands in prayer. She was so rich and so filled with the joy of generosity. 

I never felt so poor as that moment. In that time and space it occurred to me almost instantly that my ambitious values and constant craving were at odds with harmony, contentedness, peace and love – even for myself. Right there in the middle of that rice field thousands of miles from home my knees buckled and I wept and wept. That was the day I gave up, let go and truly started to give in. That was the day I found my good heart and began to discover the joy in the easy naked simplicity of just being. Sanook. 

May you be happy, may you be well, truly peaceful and at ease 🙏❤️🌷😊

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Ultimately Speaking

Not until you let go of everything that you crave and cling to will you receive all that you truly need. Furthermore – if you will simply pay attention you will recognize that you already have all that you need, I promise it is only the craving for more that stops you from realizing this. How could you ever have more than being a part of everything?
Finally you will need to let go of the person you think you are to discover what you just might already be. Only by releasing the grasping to the various identities you’ve unnecessarily created will you see that everything you’ve longed to become was already a part of you.

Relax the craving and the grasping. Everything is fine as it is. Everything is fine in its own place. There is nothing to cling to or control. There is nothing to fixate on, nothing to adopt or reject. Everything is free just as it is. Relax into this awareness, release the striving. Relax and observe the appearances of the mind like stormy weather passing through a perfect sky. You will burst into laughter when you discover that you have made a big deal about absolutely nothing for far too long now.

May you be happy, well, safe, peaceful and at ease.

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Completion

There is no greater pleasure than to see someone go through the metamorphosis of spiritual, emotional, and psychological transformation. So thankful to be a part of the process as my friends, students, and clients move from a wisdom that was fractured and transform to a living and loving wholeness. So grateful.

With certainty I can state – that when it’s all said and done, the entire path of transformation will conclude with the realization that you are enough, perfect, and complete in your own being; that ultimately speaking there was never ever anything wrong with you at all. Each day rediscover your worth, value, and inner dignity in heartfelt silence beneath the chatter. If you’re going to self-talk anyway – then try obsessing and ruminating about the things you love about yourself.

Remember this as often as possible: there may be a few temporary obscurations in the way and veils that need to be lifted, but overall you’re already lovely and complete.
Everyday the world may be dragging you around and yelling at you, “This is important! That is important! You need to worry about this! You need to worry about that! You need to get your shit together!” And everyday it’s up to you to get your mind right and pull back and place your hand on your heart and remind yourself and say, “No. This is what’s important.”
Refocus on the powerful, magical and synchronistic part of your life where kindness, generosity, and love flow from you easily. That’s the right place.

Stop waiting for the world to give you what you want and falsely think you deserve – you’re responsible for providing those things to yourself. Stop trying to change others and circumstances and instead refocus and work on changing yourself until you can accept yourself as you are. Heaven and hell are not separate places – they are states of consciousness. You create your reality and reside in that reality – within your own mind.
You’re already whole so stop looking for your other half or something outside of yourself to complete you. What other people think of you is none of your business, tend to your own garden. This is another day, another opportunity to be yourself as you are – perfect, whole, amazing and complete. It is your life’s work to recognize this.

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#vulnerbility #healing #present #compassion #commonsense #motivation #happiness #coaching #life #now #healthy #mind #acceptance #forgiveness