Buddhism, Guided Meditation, Hinduism, Society, Spirituality

Episode 23: Just Walk! A Guided Meditation

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Busy or not… we can all meditate!

Walking meditation has a long tradition, and it isn’t something I just made up right now on the spot — and I thoroughly enjoy this practice, living in a busy city. Walking meditation has always been common in Zen Buddhism and throughout India, with a plethora of practitioners of different religious / spiritual / and traditional backgrounds. It is used to break up long bouts of sitting practice, known as Zazen, or as a practice on its own.

Wildmind Meditation explains it particularly well:

”Anything we do can become meditative, including eating, driving, washing, cleaning the house, and of course, walking. Historically, Buddhist monks in India would make walking an important part of their daily practice, remaining mindful as they walked around performing the daily tasks of life such as fetching water or going to the bathroom, as well as when on the alms round as they begged for food by going from door to door, and as they simply walked from one place to another as they crossed the country. It was natural for them to make the simple act of walking into an opportunity to develop mindfulness and lovingkindness.”

Since everything can be a meditation, theoretically, then we can also turn the simple act of walking from place to place or setting the intention to do this into our days. It becomes very pleasureable just to walk and notice bodily sensations, getting used to being back in our bodies when often our minds are overwhelmed.

Try this method with me and tell me how it goes!

Buddhism, Philosophy, Reincarnation, Society, Spirituality

Episode 22: The Cycle of Birth, Death, & Caffeination

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It occured to me that I am in the cycle of birth, death, and caffeination. The first two are inevitable, and the second is my choice.

Coffee is like a grounding force inside my consciousness: as black, without sugar, maximum three and minimum one cup per day. It’s an ironically bitter, valuptuous, force that gets us legally high and becomes a staple in the day of multiple days.

We all have at least one idea or perception that we cling to, forcefully, as if it’s our last breath. Like that man who laid down to die with £20 in his hand, hoping he could still spend it.

In this episode, we go over some of the pitfalls of waking up — including why we don’t automatically fall into that state of non-dual awareness we are after.

The episode and my blog, here down below, are different. Here, this blog goes lightly into the deep edge of how the mechanism works to keep us from waking up. My episode goes hand-in-hand, speaking more personally and intuitively about this mechanism, so have your go at both!

As always, here we go…

The mind is a big player in the game of life, and she has been switched on since our birth, creating our physical and mental perceptions, our ideas about life, abstractions, responses to pain and pleasure, and pretty much every other facet of our personality we take for granted. This is the bubble of “me”, and everybody lives in their own; indeed, a person from the UK has mightily different values from somebody residing in the Amazonian jungle! For example, I have had the belief instilled in me that hard work pays off, and we must work hard for our money. Deep inside there somewhere is also the basic belief that if I’m not busy enough, then I’m not worth enough. The first is completely cultural and came from an idea my parents had from their parents whereas the second is personal and family-orientated (meaning that not all people in the UK follow that basic belief). So beliefs and perceptions can range widely from the societal level down to the personal level, and each individual becomes completely unique in their viewpoint of the world and themselves to try to make sense of what is going on their “screen”.

The screen of consciousness is not normally seen as a screen but as a true and accurate projection of what’s taking place. Whether that be sight, sound, emotion, or a recurring situation (potty training your kid, perhaps, or going to the gym like it’s a religion), we believe it’s all real and we’re in control of making the whole thing up.

That’s partially true. We have decided to make it all up, but not from “our self” — but from the standpoint of Awareness itself — which is responsible through all our life changes from birth until death. But we don’t recognise that. When we’re in the thick of it, we carry all our projected baggage and see mostly endless rows of bags: essentially, the construction of the self.

The easiest portion of ourselves to cling to is our body — if we have any doubt we exist, we can rely on our body to confirm that we do. (Deep sleep, comas, and being under aneasthetic cause loss of awareness of the body lead us to believe we don’t exist for a while. Think about that!)

So our brain sort of hallucinates a basic self-image into our consciousness that stays with us for a matter of time — until it changes, eventually. Maybe once we viewed ourselves as a serious person and now we’re a relaxed person. We had a different self-image when we were 16 than when we were 26. It’s all relative and constantly changing, but if we can’t see that that is the case, then we can “get stuck” in ideas about ourselves that no longer serve us. It happens all the time.

But I believe that consciousness is always looking to expand its awareness, capabilities, and smash down limitations of the mental, physical, and spiritual realms; we let go from time to time. It’s just that the ultimate smash-down is the death of the ego itself. And that is not going to happen overnight. So we have to be aware of the fact that there will be limitations and setbacks. This is a natural part of the awakening process, so don’t give up!

Maybe that’s why Buddhists says it might take lifetimes…

Buddhism, Internet, Philosophy, Society, Spirituality

Episode 16: Internet Series: Effects on our Consciousness

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Artwork by Alex Grey – https://www.alexgrey.com/art/

What is internet doing to our state of consciousness as human beings?

Are larger companies monopolising us by creating themselves out of thin air, based on our belief in them? How does this affect small businesses and individuals alike?

What will the internet, Google, Instagram, and these platforms do to us and our children if they exert control based on the power we give them?

These questions and others will be explored in this part II of my “Internet Series” — see part I: De-Google Yourself.

We seem to be blinded into the notion that “we need the internet to survive” today. Smartphones, Google, and the upcoming 5G — our dependcy on these devices further gives them power rather than us obtaining our own power through the food we eat, the way we treat our bodies and minds, and the way we interact with other beings.

The internet is so smart that it is now installed in refrigerators, so every time you remove a carton of almond milk or potatoes, it knows you’re getting low and will write you a new shopping list to order more. You are no longer thinking or making considerate choices about your body, your health, or who you are buying from: a computer is doing it for you. This gives your power away so you keep creating purchasing patterns so the business you buy from is making decisions for you — perhaps to the same business again and again. And it’s all under the guise of convenience.

If we’re not conscious enough, striving to become evermore efficient, we will lose our true efficiency and hand it over. But we can’t say that we haven’t considered the consequences.

If we as “customers” and “consumers” of the internet, apps, and online shops keep this as our main reality, here is a possible forecast:

  • The internet will feed us our food on our couches with applications like Just Eat and Uber Eats as we lose the motivation to cook or make an effort to move based on our wants or needs. This will have vast implications on our health. We will become unknowledgeable about what we are putting into our bodies as orders are placed and fed to us (What are the exact ingredients? What care went behind our meal? Is the space we ordered from clean and suitable for cooking?) which could lead to more physical diseases.
  • The small business with a physical location will disappear as orders are constantly placed online. A few monopolise the market, like Amazon, who take a percentage from craftsmen and small businesses who actually create and maintain their products or creations (books, films, etc).
  • Physical service to others will become obsolete, because human interaction is already declining. What will happen to going into a doctor’s office to be checked out when you can describe your symptoms on Skype? Will people move from their home to get a massage or haircut? Will religious and spiritual centres disappear as people obtain more information stand-alone, rather than with older, wiser, beings?
  • Impatience will increase as our attention spans become shorter and shorter

The best thing that can happen, though, is that we realise our societies are becoming out of control with dependency on technology, and go back to:

  • Looking each other in the eyes
  • Cooking and being aware of our bodies and their needs; going to the market to buy food from knowledgable farmers who have so generously grown and prepared our food for us
  • Collaborating with others in real life out of empathy, compassion, and service to them in physical reality
  • Having more physical and mental energy/space which is conducive to a happy life and nurtures creativity, problem solving, productivity when things need to be done, and strength when performing physical tasks
  • Turning around from the big giants, refusing to buy duplicates and rubbish; buying instead from small businesses and conscious creators, like artists (musicians, wood-workers, metalsmiths, custom guitar or violin makers, painters, sculptors, jewellery artisans, etc) who spend enormous amounts of energy and time to channel “God” into the world, spreading beauty, creativity, true individuality, and essence which we are all capable of
  • Spending more time in nature and outdoors, not struggling to think or strategise when unnecessary
  • Being more aware of our environment or surroundings when in a building or outdoors, including other people who are with us
  • Devoting more of our life to being present with ourself and others
  • Improving our focus, motivation, and clarity of mind
  • Putting others first as we rely less on social media and our own ego / false persona it creates and seeks to maintainAnd finally…
  • Using technology and the interet as the tool it is meant to be rather than a dependent reality
Buddhism, Satsang, Spirituality

Episode 12: Going to the Roots of “Being”


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In this episode, we talk about Be-ing and how to “get there”. It’s a bit disingenuous to say that anybody can “get there”, because in reality, there’s nowhere to go and nothing to do. It is a recognition of Being and going back to your roots.

This is what is meant by the great perfection; meditation. To be, and to simply watch your thoughts, emotions, sensations, patterns, concepts, and basic human experience arise and pass away from moment to moment from one eternal, unchanging, permanent place. Any moment.

If all is passing through and changing, then what is left?

As always, give me a shout at curiousbodhi@zoho.com!