Let's say someone won't listen to you

Let’s say someone won’t listen to you.

About the importance of having some time and some attention in the world of Being.

Not, as in, meditate ten hours a day, but as in spend some time every day in the pursuit of Stillness and spend as much of the rest of the time as you can, having a foot/ sole/ soul/ attention in both the worlds of doing and of being.

I’ve spent a great deal of my life in love with the NOW, and have countless rewards that have come from that.

And I have a friend who has spent countless years being a “winner” and has the narrow idea that success only counts in the world of DOING.

He teaches a fair number of people, and is, to my mind, letting them down by ONLY showing them wonderful techniques for DOING success.

To the point of never mentioning meditation, or mindfulness, or the “now” without some sarcasm, as if these are just for losers. And boy oh boy, is he obsessed with being a winner and helping his students become winners.

And to be honest, his DOING winners are encouraged to bring health and love and creativity and lack of anxiety into their worlds.

He even encourages people to be “awake and aware (and accurate)”.

But only as a tool to make the winning more winning-er, not for the pure joy and vitality of being present.

In fact, he has an absurd non-proof that no one can be in the now, by showing a stopwatch count from an iPhone in hundredths of a second, as if being present weren’t an escape from the mental world of clocks and concepts.

And why won’t he look at another view.

Too busy, too stubborn, too arrogant to listen.

Oh, well. We’ve all been that way.

And, here’s the fun thing:

From the world of being, if I’m in my world of BEING, his listening or not is his business, his world, his problem.

BEING is about the world that’s left when words in the head and concepts and self-definitions are gone.

This is not the usual world, except for children (which is why they are pronounced the guides to the Kingdom of Heaven), and athletes and musicians in the flow. With musicians often playing for the pure joy.

Athletes, sadly, have some prize that are searching for, so like awake and aware being stolen as tools to “get somewhere,” the flow to win the gold, though amusing and often thrilling to viewers around the world, put these athletes in the seal who gets its reward when it performs category.

However, the easiest and sweetest being is to simple sit and cultivate stillness of the mind.

Not fighting thoughts.

Cultivating stillness.

Not demanding stillness will pay off later (one book absurdly sells meditation as a way to improve your sales quotients, which it probably will, as would a good walk, and a hug, and a joy, and an energy exercise, but beside the point in the same old way: Being is seen as a tool for Doing, not a delight in it’s own sake.)

For it’s own sake.

For your own sake.

Who are you, when the identity of winner or loser, or age, or sex, or job, or high school this and college that and marriage history this and books you’ve read that.

Leaving being all the me/ my/ me/ my, what’s left?

BEING IS AN EXPERIENCE.,

Not necessarily understood.

(One of my teacher once said: don’t think, realize).

Being is an experience. Often scary to people because it is not trying to “get somewhere.”

And

often deeply relaxing because with no-where to “get to,” you are already there, already here, already now, in the now that lazing and amazing rolls and waves and flows into the next now.

You are here now, experiencing the glory of being, the glory of being alive.

With no-where to get, you can exult in the glory of Being.

We can end on a rarity: a useful tautology:

THE GLORY OF BEING IS THAT YOU CAN GIVE YOURSELF OVER TO EXPERIENCING THE GLORY OF BEING.

Enjoy your being.

Enjoy your day.

What and who is God? What and who are you????

“For love of God and country.” This came to me as the starting phrase. It goes in interesting directions.

Perhaps the country part came up because of the serious mess of our country in this year of 2019.

More important for today was this:

WHERE DOES GOD FIT INTO A SANE AND SOUL-FILLED LIFE?

Short answer:

Right at the centerl

And how?

Like this . . .

God could be felt and intuited as Reality.

Don’t think, realize God is Reality.

God is the trees and the sky and the light in the leaves and is ou miracle bodies alive, right now, on this miracle planet.

God is also war and poverty and sexism and racism and all those messes.

They aren’t God so much as the mistakes of humans who have forgotten the glory of Life. These messes are a long story, the story of humanity’s inhuman treatment of our fellows.

Short story: almost always from fear.

Which almost always leads to the selfisness being marital quarrel snd wars and office hatreds, and all that world of dislike and anger and jealousy and bitterness and resentment.

Selfish. Selfish. Selfish.

I’m that way sometimes. You’re that way sometimes.

And a mess is soon to follow if we don’t catch it soon enough.

And how to catch it?

Wake up to now.

Wake up to the miracle of our “enemies,” no matter how imperfect they are.

Wake up to the humor:

I’M IMPERFECT.

YOU’RE IMPERFECT.

AND THAT’S PERFECT.

Ego, ego, ego is the spiritual/ Buddhist way of saying the selfish, selfish, selfish thing.

The me, me, me orientation that forgets that there is a Reality deeper than words.

Look closely: all our complaining, bitterness, resentment is wrapped up in words.

And in the me, me, me that’s “not getting enough.”

The me, me, me that is not who we really are is also entirely a word thing: our age, our job, our history, our sex.

And who are we?

Back to Reality;

Back to “LIGHTENMENT.”

STOP THINKING FOR THREE SECONDS.

WHAT’S LEFT?

Any hurt, worry, regret, emotional stress?

No.

Words feed that.

Without the words, what’s left???

BE STILL AND KNOW YOU ARE GOD.

Stop thinking of 3 seconds.

Lightenment.

Lightening the heaviness of dragging around a me.

Lightening the load of having to be right, be the victim, keep all that false word identity going.

Stop.

STOP.

JUST THREE SECONDS.

WHO ARE YOU?

GOD?

Find out with curiosity, love and gratitude.

Life is easy in lightenment mode.

Enjoy your day.

Enjoy your moments.

Enjoy your string of pearls nows

Loving the Now - - - the‘ trick of sick

Being truly present is deeper than we usually realize.

And that depth makes it ALWAYS and place of peaceful ease and a usually a place[ of happines,

Why?

In the true present there are ]no words in our heads.

Those are pulled some past word storage] space.

Try this : look at the sky with no words like blue or sky beautiful in y0ur head.

No thought- - - just you aware of the sky experience without the sky words.

Hang out there for three seconds- - - that’s ‘lightenment.

Peaceful, yes?

And I have been tricked from this by body pains.

A\ burning rash, that was hot and fiery. If felt in the present the fire ]just was.

But once the words snuck in : too much, not fair, when is this going to end, all fiery but doable now zsolt swept away.

Same with a deep cough- - - how long, not fair, can’t breathe, a treatment that was supposed to work didn’t and Prac is out the window.

Always something to learn.

Balance , Learning, and the brain - - - some Feldenkrais® fun

What is learning?

Noticing a difference that makes a difference.

People radically underestimate learning by imagining that it’s all about thinking.

It’s not.

It’s about the perception of differences. Like your thumb and your little finger. Something a baby doesn’t know until she learns. Useful for eating, for piano, the violin, putting on clothes.

A friend of mine is working on returning to better balance.

Dick Staub, a great person. This lesson is for him.

And . . .

Anyone who loves learning, or who wants to be more co-ordinated.

And have fun.

Go to a wall without stuff on it.

Put your hands both on the wall for balance.

Back up a little and lean the top of your head, or someplace near the top, on the wall.

Lean in a little, feeling the weight going from your feet all the way to your head into the wall.

Use your hands for stability.

The Fun:

Take your right foot, and put it in front of your left foot and to the LEFT of it.

So your feet aren’t as usual. Right foot is to the left of your left foot.

Get the right foot as far back as you can easily do, so it’s kind of beside the left foot, and to the left.

Now:

Shift your weight:

To mainly the right toes.

To mainly the right heel.

To mainly the left heel.

To mainly the left toes.

Round and round this circle go.

Feel this in your feet, spine, hands, head.

Breathe easily.

Go much slower than your habit wants.

Have more attention and enjoyment that your habit wants.

Stop and rest.

Then take your feet back to normal and lift your head off the wall.

And take baby steps

SIDEWAYS> So you can keep both hands on the wall.

Walk this easy walk, but feel your feet as perhaps different.

STEP TWO:

Head on wall again.

Right foot to the front and left again.

Do the circles the other direction.

Then the baby walk again.

STEP THREE AND FOUR:

Head on wall again.

Right foot behind the left leg and over to the left of the left foot.

Step 3: circles one way: toe/ heel/ heel/ toe

Slow and aware and enjoy.

Then baby steps.

Step 4: circles the other way.

Baby steps.

STEPS FIVE, SIX, SEVEN , EIGHT

HEAD ON WALL.

LEFT FOOT TO THE RIGHT, BOTH IN FRONT AND BEHIND.

CIRCLES IN BOTH DIRECTIONS.

Awareness. Enjoyment. Learning.

Think, notice all the differences your brain is learning and hence building new neurological circuit:

Feet on non habitual sides.

Weight in different places

Use of wall to do a mini mini head stand.

Letting your brain learn new weight and feet and toes and heel distributions.

More.

You notice.

You enjoy.

. . . .

Once, I got food poisoning in a idiotic way. Ate some salmon I’d given to friends in vinegar and they hadn’t refrigerated it and gave it back after I was gone a week.

Bury it I told myself.

Dug the hole.

Put most in.

Smelled it. Smelled good.

Took a bite.

Then buried the rest.

Later, immense dizziness and disorientation.

I needed to walk somewhere, since I needed to move a computer and the grass was wet, and I couldn’t fall back on the fail safe movement when balance is way off: crawling.

Knowing I couldn’t crawl, and being way out of balance, I recalled this “game.”

And did it.

And could walk.

Not great, but hugely improved.

PS, if you think you should bury the salmon, do.

PSS,

Do this, even if your balance is great.

Do it with eyes closed.

Slower.

Learning is noticing differences.

See how wonder-full it is to notice new small differences.

Cheers,

Chris

The Pursuit of . . . Happiness . . . Stillness . . .the Empty Now

The Pursuit of Happiness.

What a nice phrase, and it’s all American, one of the proud moments, the Declaration of Independence. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Sadly, most people are confused about what “pursuit” was back when this was written. It wasn’t seeing after and chasing. It was more like the cultivation, as in a hobby. The pursuit of gardening, the pursuit of stamp collecting, the pursuit of leisure, the pursuit of bridge, good conversation, friendship.

The seeking, chasing after trap gets us where many of us live: I’ll be happy once . . .

Once I get the right mate, job, place to live, clothes, records, etc.

Always later, and often, since the orientation is to later, later, when people get the right job or mate, they are so used to striving for something in the future, they don’t enjoy that, because they are busy scheming, wishing, wanting the next to be found later batch of happiness.

Happiness can come to the child when it gets the ice cream cone it is desperate to lick.

And, many children, simply at play in the simplest of play, are happy just because play is their real nature and happiness is their real nature.

Ours, too.

Ours, too.

Meditation is the pursuit of stillness.

It’s the pursuit of peace, in the sense that if we are in harmony with the world, and not believing our thinking (plenty on this throughout the book) we are naturally at peace.

Before meditation.

During meditation.

After meditation.

The goal of meditation is to hang out in this peacefulness and see how it can deepen, and what occurs in this deepening,

Stillness, too, the stillness we pursuit, not chase, but dwell in as much as possible, the world without words, this is a vast universe of exploration.

How to be curious without words.

How to discover without words to explain all this.

That’s the pursuit, the pursuit of stillness and the world without words.

Another way of saying this:

Meditation is the pursuit of BEING.

We can be human beings, and human doers. And we can wisely blend the two.

But with so much of life weighted to the doing side, meditation is a chance to pursuit the being of our real and deep existence.

And . . . almost by definition, this is a place without words.

This has been said like this:

THE TAO THAT CAN BE SPOKEN IS NOT THE TAO.

And the pursuit of that silent, very real, deeply real world of who we are without the yammer: what a pleasant pursuit.

Another Secret to Happiness

yJkkkEuBSgyWZ41xMCZkwA.jpg

Life is short.

It is important to waste some time.

Which means, live outside the clock and the rush of time.

Do less.

Go to nature.

Feel the life in you.

Feel the life outside you.

Speak gratitudes to nature.

Speak gratitudes to the being alive you.

Do less.

With lots more attention to the ongoing Now.

This will bring happiness.

Enjoy your day

One Secret to Happiness

E0OfBXydTjGgUXq42fiXhg.jpg

“Don’t worry. Be happy.”

Wisdom from Alfred E. Neumann of MAD magazine. Seems to be a joke. As if he wants people to be dumbbells to be happy.

And there might be a hint in there,

“Don’t worry,. Be happy.”

On the posters of Meir Baba, Indian saint, and enlightened fellow.

Maybe there is some wisdom after all,

And how not to worry.,

Don’t think.

Don’t think in the words in the head yammer, judge, compare, complain, plan, regret sort of way we spend huge chunks of our life.

Don’t think in the empty minded way that we can make love or watch a sunset, or, if we are lucky: walk in nature.

Or even luckier: walk through our house.

To think is to fall for a trap, confusing the map with the terrritory,

Call it sky all you want, or just look at and love it without a word.

Try out the difference.

Call that “sky” “blue” and what more do you really have than just soaking in that particular wave length of beauty and wonder you are taking in right now,

Try this ,

Go outside or go to a window.

Look at some nature you enjoy,

Breathe deeply and know you are breathing.

Breathe with awareness and sense your fingers and toes and spine and smile and stop thinking for 3 seconds,

Just you and nature , Nature outside and the Nature of you being alive right now,

What happens?

Peace?

Contentment?

Happiness?

Here’s a possibility: in the present, free from ‘thinking,” we are happy, because WE AREN’T USING ‘THINKING”

TO MAKE OURSELVES UNHAPPY.

Take away the unhappiness and stress we create with thinking.

What’s left?

Happiness,

Experiment.

Happiness could be three seconds away.

Cheers,

Chris

Deeper Connection with Anyone - - - the 5 minute/ 5 minute game

XN%Q57duR02OoAirjUutcA.jpg

Love in the Moment

Listening in the Moment

The 5 minute 5 minute Game

Changing your Life in 20 minutes


People don’t listen.

They sort of listen to the beginning of what someone is saying.

And then stop listening except for the smallest smallest amount, putting their attention instead on formulating their oh-so important response.

Then look for a slight slow down in the talkers speaking.

Then they interrupt to insert their oh-so important response.


The first speaker, robbed of a chance to finish, or maybe even get started, immediately begins to non-listen and formulate their counter interruption.


This sucks.

The game of this chapter is one cure for that.


It is practice in real listening, the giving of attention, in the present moment.

Is not love very much the same as giving attention in the present moment without demand or judgment?

This is where being present and love merge: real, unhurried listening.

This is good for your relationship.

Any relationship. (I’ve done this with strangers, with kids, with groups having a pleasant but boring Thanksgiving dinner, with a shy girlfriend who all her life had never really not been interrupted and who burst out crying when she was finally listened to)


This is a way to build and to deepen love.

It can be romantic love.

It can be deep friendship.

It can be human connection so radically missing in the era of texts and media bombardment.

People are lonely.

People are not in the Now.

Lives are often fairly meaningless.


This is a way out.


This is part of the reason that Carol and I were able to go from “sort of” friends, to “We’ve found our life partner in twelve hours.”

We did this back and forth for at least three hours.

How about you give it a try for twenty minutes?


This doesn’t have to be with a romantic partner, or in pursuit of a romantic partner. (Though if you want a Soul Mate, deep listening is going to be part of the soil in which your soul work develops)


Find another human, or group of humans.

And play.


Listen/ Love Building/ Presence Building / 5 minute 5 minute Game

Sit facing each other. Eye contact.

(Or have a small group, no more than 6, in a circle. )

Set a timer for 5 minutes (3 minutes if going around a circle)


Talker: One talks

From the present

About what they notice in the present, about what’s important in their lives, about what comes up when given the stage and no hurry.

If in the circle, the speaker never comments on what anyone else said, or on any of the people in the circle.

If two people, for the first couple of weeks, refrain from any comments on the other person, or what the other person said.


If the speaker “runs out of steam”

  1. Just be silent for the rest of their turn. And people or the other person give them full attention as if they were talking

  2. Talk of gratitudes

  3. Talk of present awareness

  4. Be vulnerable/ honest: I want to say something brilliant and can’t think of it


Important: if the speaker “runs out of steam,” no helping, encouraging “You can do it,” and no falling for, “You go ahead now, I’m done.” They aren’t done until the timer chimes.


One, or several listen

Present

Following breathing

Anything else they like as a presence opener (Sensing feet and hands, sensing heart, smiling, feeling gravity, noticing colors)

Hear each word

Whisk away the usual thoughts of your oh-so important response (since you won’t say it, anyway)

Do not interrupt.

NO INTERRUPTING.


This might be “hard.”

Good. That’s when it’s deeply necessary.


Go back and forth at least twice.

This can be addicting in a very positive way, so go back and forth as much as you have time for.


I did this with a church group when visiting an old high school friend (old friend who was sixty like me at the time).

We went several rounds with their leadership team.

Several said they knew more about each other at the end of this then they had learned in 4 years of being together.


I did this with a volunteer and her niece at a garden I was creating in Sonoma, California, known now as the Sonoma Garden Park. At the end the niece said that if she and her mom could do this, it would completely change her life. 


As I mentioned, the shy girlfriend, who as youngest in the family and ex long term partner and co-parent with an extravagant artist who sucked all the air out of the room, when she was finally listened to, burst out crying.


At one yoga retreat, we were sitting on the grass just starting this is a small group, and the cook came to join us. Said it changed her life.


Most people are starving for real connection.

Most people are starving for a chance to express and explore without interruption.

And even this, most people are starving for a chance to deeply listen.


Why?

Listening is Love.

Love is who we are.


Love is good.

You are good.


Listen well today, in talking or not.


And . . .


Enjoy your day.

Soul Mate: Finding Yours, Deepening Existing, Connecting to God/Life

+WzxqpEBSYiRcIg30jLdUA.jpg

The Miracle Re-Viewed

Finding not just our Lifetime Partner

Finding a Soul Mate


On that magical day of June 20, 2015, Carol and I blossomed in our twelve hour “non-date” from sort of friends, to realizing with bliss and unbelief that we’d found the lifetime partner who the day before had seemed “almost impossible” to find.

“Almost” is the key word, because it allows, if we let it, that the miracle can slip through, no matter how small the odds.

We slipped through.

We found the mate.


What we didn’t realize, and one reason this book has needed so long to write, was that we had as well, even more wonderful, and absolutely necessary to a full human life, found a Soul Mate for the rest of our lives.


Now, let’s dispense with the ordinary meaning of Soul Mate quickly.

Usually it is a shortcut for saying we have found Someone who is Really Really Great. The famous Mr./ Mrs./ Ms. Right.

We get along. We have fun.

We have traded looks for money for fun for sexiness and have gotten ourselves, in reality a Resumé Mate.

Not a soul mate.

And sometimes the Resumé Mate ripens into a Soul Mate.

Usually not.

Two pretty/ smart/ hip (asleep) people buy the house, have the pretty children, go through the sleeping life and miss the amazing opportunity: create a soul mate connection with your mate mate. They drift through life with the children and their business to disguise the essential emptiness of their lives.

So be it.


This book is for those who want more than that.

This book is for Five Groups of People, 

  • People wanting to Find their Soul Mate

  • People wanting to Deepen or Discover or Rediscover the Soul Mate in their Marriage or Relationship

  • People wanting to Deepen the Soul Mate in Friendships

  • People wishing to leave behind Depression and Despair and return to connection with the Soul’s natural state of Peace, Love, Ease, Presence, Joy and Happiness

  • People wishing to Deepen their Soul’s connection with God/Life.


And let me share some of the components of how Carol and I were laying the foundation for Soul Mates, though we didn’t know it until later, and are now, almost daily, delighting in discovering what we have and didn’t back then know we would have.


One

We practiced deep listening

In the Now


One way that the hour and a half “meeting” morphed into a twelve hour feast and discovery triumph was that for several hours we listened to each other deeply.

We played a “game” from the book that I’d gone over to have Carol’s help with, as I’ve said before the precursor to this one.


What was the game?

One person talks for five minutes.

With a timer.

The other person is present

The other person “just” listens

No interrupting


Then you go the other way.


Back and forth.


This “game” subverts the usual non-listening that happens in most conversations, where each person is “thinking” of what they want/need to say, and waiting for the soonest chance to interrupt.


Real listening is soul work.

Listening in the present is soul work.


Listening to the birds outside: with yammer in your head, you won’t hear them.

Listening to your friend or lover: with yammer in your head, your oh-so-important interruption, you won’t hear them.

Listening to your Soul: with yammer in your head, you won’t hear it.


Two

Wisdom quotes, setting the stage for a Lifetime’s work

“Be Still and Know I am God.”


From really listening to Carol I knew how she was searching for the depths of real Christianity. From a lifetime of dipping into the New Testament on the hunt for the spiritual heart of what is usually a formulaic bunch of narrow minded people, I knew there were diamonds of wisdom in there.

After several hours I asked this:

What are your favorite Bible quotes.


One of hers was Be still and know I am God.

If she’s wanted deliberately to seduce my mind and soul, she couldn’t have picked anything better.

Why?

For years and years, since 1966, I’d been in love with the Now.

And had discovered over the years that talking about the Now is not the same as living in the present.

The Now is our experience of the ongoing present moment without words about this ongoing experience.

The words are not in the now.


In other words, to be truly present meant :Be still and know I am God. 

Where God is Life in the glory of the miracle of the moment.


Three:

Wisdom verses, mine

Love Your enemy


Talk about Life long work. Loving your enemy sounds impossible.

It’s not.

But it’s real work.

It starts with both parents.

Without fail, those who haven’t learned to love their parents, no matter how imperfect and/or awful, can’t really have a Soul Mate.

They don’t have their own Soul yet.


Also, those who have not forgiven their “ex-“ can’t find their soul mate.


And “Loving Your enemy” is one of the reasons this book has taken so long for me to be prepared to let it loose into the world.

One reason was that I was not close enough to some clarity on Enlightenment to release a book titled Love, Lust and (Healthy) Enlightenment.

The other was that, very very normal, although I’d found my partner and soul mate, I still didn’t have yet the true clarity to love, like and adore her when she was in grumpy or mean or neglecting or otherwise imperfect states.


And Jesus, not enough of a fun guy/ joke maker for being a Rabi, a tribe of people usually full of jokes, has His closest thing to a joke (to my mind) in his remarks on LOVE YOUR ENEMY.

ANYONE CAN LOVE SOMEONE WHO’S TREATING YOU GREAT.

AND WHEN THEY GIVE YOU A HARD TIME, THAT’S WHEN YOU DISCOVER WHAT LOVE REALLY IS.


To that effect.


This is lifetime work.

This is why we have an imperfect mate.

They get to push our buttons, until every pushed button can turn on to love.


Four

Listen to outside wisdom

The Brene Brown TED talk on Vulnerability


We listened to this twice in our twelve hours.

She had real wisdom to pass on.

Go ahead and be weak and admit it.

Go ahead and be afraid and admit it.

Go ahead and want something and admit it.


We turned to each other : 

What can we say in vulnerability.


I want you.

I can’t believe it but I think I’ve discovered the lifetime partner I thought was “almost impossible.”

We agreed.

The Miracle was happening. Almost or no almost, it was/ we were happening.

Enlightenment as Loving the Simple and Loving it Now

1HouJIt+Qs63kb5fIjLoxA.jpg

Love

Loving

Loving Wha Is

Enlightenment is Now


There is no hurry to “be” enlightened because enlightened is just a word. Who wants to “be” a word?

And what is enlightenment is awaking to an ongoing love of Reality an ongoing love of What Is.

Blah, blah, blah.


Let’s make it simple


Enlightenment Game #2:

Start a series of sentences with “NOW I AM AWARE . . .”

and then after the . . . add the phrase, ‘AND I LOVE . . .”


If you are aware of a sore back, this might be a bit of a stretch.

So cheat a little. (“Cheat” in the right understanding can be using your noggin to be smart and creative about something instead of the way other people’s rules, or your rules say it “should” be done.)


Enlightenment Game #3:

Look around you in the present moment.

Listen around you in the present moment.

Sense and notice touch, in inner proprioception in the moment.

Search for things you like or love.

Then do the earlier game:

“I AM AWARE OF . . . AND I LIKE/ LOVE . . .”


Go slowly.

Keep finding in the present moment something you like/ love and combine awareness with liking and loving.

“Now I am aware . . .”

“And I like/ love . . .”


What does this do for you?

Can you feel a kind of lift off?


Remember: keep cheering. Scan for the simple joys and pleasures of life.

“Now I am aware of my toes. And I love my toes.”

“Now I am aware of my fingers. And I love my fingers.”

“Now I am aware of smiling. And I love smiling.”

“Now I am aware of the blue sky. And I love the blue sky.”

“Now I am aware of breathing and being alive. And I love breathing and being alive.


Enjoy your day.

One enlightened moment of loving what is after another.