Free online New Year’s Day Guided Intention Setting

4 pm, EST (Toronto time), on New Year’s Day, Saturday, January 1, 2022.

Inability to stick to a new Intention is not you, it is the old thinking you are using. Bring a friend and RELAX online for 30 minutes as Rob Owens guides your new process to achieving your private goal. Use the power of your subconscious mind to succeed.

Relax! Instead of making a New Year Resolution that quickly fades from consciousness,

why not join us in choosing, creating and embodying an Intention that has a symbol,

a color, a sound that is unique only to you!

This is event is limited to 15 tickets for participants to preserve group mind

as we practice. Act now!

Life is difficult….

Things happen that we do not want. The things that we want do not happen.

Life is unsatisfactory. All of us seek peace and harmony, because this is what we lack in our lives. Even if we are free from unhappiness at this moment, we can remember a time when we were miserable, we can foresee a time when unhappiness recurs.

Our personal dis-satisfactions are not limited to ourselves. As we go about our day we unknowingly share our suffering with others with irritability, manipulation, restlessness, a discontented attitude. Because the atmosphere around each unhappy person is vaguely unsettling to everyone who enters it, anyone adjacent begins to feel agitated and unhappy too. In this way, individual tensions combine to create the variety of tensions spreading through our North American society.

Ignorance, or more simply, to ignore reality- or what is real- is a powerful root of dissatisfaction. If I am unhappy in my relationship I need to acknowledge it as truth to fix things.

Through meditation we find the truth. We learn to approach the truth in a workable manner, a bit at a time, working slowly but steadily to make our lives better. When our lives are better, everyone else feels better too.

Suffering is common to everyone, it makes no distinctions. Therefore the remedy for suffering  must be equally available to everyone. You are not too busy, lack the time or inclination to help yourself. You are not the unique person whom meditation will not work for.

Don’t be discouraged by presuming that your busy life means you can’t meditate.

Don’t think that you need to attend a retreat or monastery to begin to relieve your suffering.

A nun or a monk who forsakes home and worldly responsibilities in order to follow a path has the opportunity to work more intensively, to assimilate the teachings more deeply, and therefore to progress more quickly, but the practice of meditation is not reserved for zealots and hermits.

Certainly a period of time must be given to the task of learning how to practice; but after these first steps, one can be able to apply the teachings of meditation to daily life.

If meditation is truly a way to relieve suffering, then as we progress in the practice we should become more happy in our daily lives, more harmonious, more at peace with ourselves.

Simultaneously, our relations with others should become more peaceful and harmonious. Instead of adding to the tensions of society, we should be able to make a positive contribution that will increase the happiness and welfare of all.  To follow the path we must live the life of truth and purity.

Through these pages I hope to share my experience , strength , and hope as we progress away from suffering and toward enlightenment.

Peace and abundance to all.   Rob

From Autopilot to Awareness

Thinking no more depends on our conscious contact with it than walking depends on our continuously keeping track of the position of our arms and legs.

Proof: after learning how to ride a bicycle, the ability remains within, despite having not ridden one for many years. Just get on and go! How is this?

These actions require constant balance, rhythm, distance perception… our brain is thinking from “stored consciousness” enabling us to walk or ride.

This is good because stored consciousness frees up the “conscious” part of the brain to handle more complex tasks- using our example- thinking about avoiding dangerous potholes in the road, or deciding to continue or turn back  if it rains.

Knowing that we have these two kinds of consciousness gives us a choice. What if we could bring both types of consciousness to bear? We can.

With practice it is highly effective.

But we can be tricked into using stored consciousness decisions when the unexpected arrives. The popular phrases “snap judgment” “coulda, woulda, shoulda” are words of regret for lack of conscious thinking. “Ballpark decisions” and “knee jerk reactions” are similar excuses.

Next time you are surprised by something that demands a decision, I would challenge you to schedule an appointment with yourself, to think about it later. Start with small stuff, until you prove to yourself this works.

Now, put the issue out of your conscious mind until the appointment is due. Try hard to do this. Try harder.

Scheduling time with yourself to think on problems allows our stored consciousness flexibility to intuitively examine more than one solution.

At the appointment with yourself you now have two abilities; one from the conscious thinking part of the mind, plus another from the stored consciousness mind that has been working on the task over time.

Reactive is rooted in “stored consciousness”, what I call the autopilot mind. Responsive comes from our conscious, awareness mind.

Wishing you Peace and Abundance- Rob

Experimenters with the Human Condition

Apple seedsEach of us has everything it takes to be full human being. Think of the progression to full humanity like the seeds of an apple tree.  

Every apple seed holds the promise of growth to a new apple tree, and each seed contains all of the genetically inherited experience of previous generations of ancestoral apple trees. 

Yet also within the seed is a spirit of what we cannot see, let’s call it a wisdom, an intelligence, that knows how to become a fully functional apple tree, with a trunk and branches and blossoms and apples with seeds.  

The invisible wisdom is there to start the seed growing, only when conditions are exactly correct. This invisible wisdom also guides the steps from germination to flowering apple tree, as well as applying the inheritance of previous generations as the tree grows, flowers and produces new apples with seeds. 

Like the apple seed, you posses everything required to become fully human, but what do you do with, or do you even acknowledge the invisible spirit of wisdom? Do we have to wait aimlessly until conditions are exactly correct for the seed of full humanity to sprout?

Meditation can open a channel of discovery into what it is to be fully human, by clarifying the concept of spiritual wisdom. This first allows us awareness of invisible wisdom. With awareness and determination we can then cultivate favourable conditions for the seed of full humanity to sprout and function as its maker intended.  

Too often we dis-function in the human condition, appearing like amateurs freely provided with all the tools, building materials and maintenance equipment for a full construct of humanity.

But we sometimes fail to build the set as given by the invisible wisdom, having discarded the free instruction manual it also provides. We flail around as if lost in a swamp, when meditation can help recover the instruction sheet of what we need for full humanity.


Letting Go of Results

Tightrop walker woman copyIn Europe and North America we are results driven people, this proven by the paradox that we likely come to meditation and mindfulness practice because of pain, anger, depression or fear, with avoidance of these symptoms as the goal.

The “goal” paradox is, that the benefits of meditation/mindfulness appear when we deliberately unfocus on fixing problems. When a student says they are interested in being more relaxed, enlightened or pain-free, what they really say is, “Right now, I am not okay, I can’t accept where I am at”.

But with practice, we discover that eliminating the drive for results can yield something like what we want; better awareness of our natural psychic balance, despite the unbalance. Acceptance becomes a key that unlocks the door to enlightenment.

If we are teaching meditation and mindfulness it is essential to embody this concept of natural innate balance in the face of students who come to us results driven, wanting to get somewhere, anywhere, other than where they are at right now.

But befriending ourselves right now is prelude to an enlightenment that germinates naturally, without force, flourishing under the right conditions that meditation and mindfulness create.

The teacher’s own practice and talk should embrace the knowledge and confidence that a willingness to accept all student’s innate ability for mindfulness creates a global climate that conducts growth and inhibits scepticism, doubt or inhibition.

Suffering Christmas

Amidst tChristmas present shop cart jpeghe Christian holidays, when attachment to desires and gratification can become inflamed to a fever pitch by advertising, it becomes obvious that Christmas causes as much, or more suffering, as it does joy. We know this, so why do we continue to suffer?

Buddhism, a study of discovery and eliminating suffering, claims a major cause of misery is attachment (desire). Examine, the Buddhist way, why some of us become hyper-agitated, temperamental and succumb to mass advertising this time of year.

Attachment manifests in four areas:

1. Attachment to sensual gratification (feels good, then suffer through craving for more)

2.  Attachment to “I”  ego “mine” (as attachment to self-image, possessions, things associated with “us”  “we” “ours” including people, suffer through loss, decay)

3. Attachment to rigid and unyielding views, beliefs, prejudices (suffer through denial of the truth, being proven wrong)

4. Attachment to a group, ceremony, ritual, shared beliefs (suffer through persecution, competition, power mongering, frustrated ambition)

Though we suffer when our desires are not granted or when our beliefs are proved wrong, and we also suffer again when our desires that are fulfilled then become boring, broken, corrupted, stale, are proved false, evaporate or are stolen – or we suffer when the children run out of batteries Christmas morning (sic)!

If only we could get what we want! But have you ever noticed that when we are actively seeking desired objects that we become agitated?  As proof, ask someone who is buying a new car or a cell phone, both powerful symbols of desire and attachment to self-image, if they are as a calm as when shopping for toilet paper.

But attempts at control through self restraint only increase mental tensions and require enormous energy to maintain. We tire out, the dam of self-suppression breaks, releasing a destructive flood of overindulgence, hedonism and gluttony.

Controlling the mind, like we do in meditation, will help with attachment, and is the start on the path deep to the roots of suffering. Further training and insight into one’s own true nature is required to cut out the roots of attachment, ignorance and aversion, but even small steps are fruitful and very powerful.

“Every journey begins beneath one’s feet” said Lao Tzu. Rather than emphasizing the first step, the author of Taoism regarded action as something that arises naturally from stillness. And stillness is cultivated through meditation.

Why meditate?

The question is, why would we seek to meditate?

It is probably safe to say that we are feeling uncomfortable, agitated or suffering, and perhaps we are thinking that meditation might be a tool to alleviate this. But how will it work?

To begin answering that question, let us examine what leads to these feelings in the first place, for it is only by discovering the roots of suffering that we will be able to use meditation to help with it.

Llet’s consider that actions lead to suffering.

Physical actions – deeds – wrongfulness in deeds can bring suffering.

Vocal actions – words – wrongfulness in what we say to others can direct our own inner suffering outward to others, who can mirror it back to us, and share with others.

Mental actions – thoughts and ideas- wrongfulness in thoughts and ideas, how we talk inward to ourselves, are the seeds of vocal and physical actions.

It is important to make a distinction that mental actions precede vocal and physical actions.

Understanding this, then if we expect meditation to ease our suffering isn’t it natural to see that instead of simply making us feel relaxed or feeling good,  meditation would somehow  influence our actions ?

Would it also follow, if the above is true , that meditation could influence our reactions as well ?

If this makes sense to you, watch your three modes of actions for a time, watch the actions of others around us and most especially watch our reactions. 

Previously I mentioned that an agitated person affects everyone around them.   Now we can see how our levels of action can cause suffering to ourselves and how “contagious” it is to others.

If mental actions are the seeds of all our other actions, and actions are the root of suffering, then gaining some control over the mind might be the first step in gaining some mastery over the art of living.

This is an important step on the path to peace and enlightenment