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

Inviting Mindfulness to the House of Consciousness

see thru hseThink of our conscious mind as occupying a house. The ground floor living room is where we live consciously day to day, entertaining ourselves and friends. We like to be there.

Think of the basement as our ‘stored consciousness’…  a repository where we keep many unused things, including troublesome emotions from the past.

Troublesome emotions are stored dormant feelings, like seeds waiting for the right conditions to sprout. If we entertain these emotional seeds without conscious thinking, as if we should feed and water them, they do sprout, growing up through the basement ceiling. They show up in the living room as plants of anger, fear and resentments.

Untouched by our inventory, seeds of these old hurts gradually morph into snarled mutant seeds not resembling the originals. If we neglect to examine our inventory of seeds they further accumulate crystallized lumps of suffering. This is how stored consciousness affects our view of today and others in our living room.

The living room contains our ‘mind consciousness’. The living room is where we conduct our daily activities and enjoyments. The living room contains our conscious perception of what is going on around us, and how we interact with it. The living room contains today… what is here and now. Being present, aware in the moment is mindfulness.

Much goes on with everyone in the living room. Someone says or does something that touches a seed of fear, anger or jealousy in the stored consciousness in the basement. That touched seed awakens anew.

Mutant carrotSprouted, if we neglect or deny the basement sprouts, they grow into the living room,  showing up as revolting mutant plants not resembling the original.

If we allow them to spread, they infect us, spreading to the guests we have touched.

Now, everyone is suffering.

If we are mindful of this sprouted seed of negative energy from the stored consciousness (basement resentments) we can invite the energy of mindfulness to the living room, overcoming the invasive growth from the basement.

Applied mindfulness helps inventory which seed in the basement is causing the trouble, to dispose of it. Mindfulness allows us to refuse to feed or water the seeds we have failed to  examine. Mindfulness clears the living room of negativity and resentment, enabling enjoyment of life and happiness.

What’s in your “basement”?


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.