Articles about the art of living from the heart. Allow more Zen to enter your life. All articles written by Nino.

Be-Create-Be cycles

Creating our life consciously, by manifesting our dreams, is commonly approached in terms of a linear trajectory between desire and realization, between vision and outcome. From our mind, we approach the creative process in a straight line. Even though most of us know life moves in cycles, we tend not to apply this principle in our creative process. What you want to create doesn’t matter. The same principle applies for art as for starting a business, shelter for the homeless, a new laptop or perhaps psychic abilities. Most of us work our way towards our goals, although some may believe that isn’t necessary anymore, once you get the trick of the law of attraction. This is magical thinking. Magical thinking is detrimental to your actual success, but that doesn’t mean there can be no magic. Magic is a principle of life itself, like other high-vibratory elements such as love, compassion, presence, emptiness and equanimity. Magical thinking is a contradiction in terms, as thought cannot create magic. It can only create imaginary constructs and beliefs. This doesn’t mean the mind has no creative power. This just means thoughts by themselves do not have create power.

Mind is the space that harbors thoughts, wherein a lot more happens than just thinking. Intention, feeling, the vibration of the desire; all of them live there, in mind. Equally important, next to these creative forces, is perception of what is happening now, of your abilities, of your skills and your joy. Your self-awareness is this moment, in all of those facets of your being. Then, you follow – in your perception – the course of events from past to present. You are aware of your life’s cycles. You know what is behind you, how your life is unfolding and in what theme’s. This makes you conscious of what you’re working on, where you are moving towards. There’s greater and smaller cycles, cycles within cycles. Not until you have a general view on these movements, will you know how and even what to create. Life creates for you, as well, from your vast subconscious space, the iceberg under the water. In the approach to manifesting our dreams, we tend to draw a straight line across all these cycles, not even considering them to be of influence to what we wish to bring about. That is why a linear method of vision to outcome so often doesn’t work. It seems practical, but it cannot really be applied to reality, which is always moving in this iterative motion of cycles.

How do we work with the cycles of life, while being creators in the process to learn to harness creative power. It is not as easy as it often is portrayed in the well-known books like “The Secret” or techniques like energy pulling. Energy pulling is another visionary technique to magnetize a desired outcome towards you. In the process of doing such an exercise, realize it will cost you something. If you start moving energy around, you will need to exchange it with something you have. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing, yet it can surprise you when you didn’t take into account energy comes at a price. Source energy is free, infinite and potent. Energy that already exists (you pull something towards you, stating it is already there) needs an equal exchange. Often I see this painful drawback people find themselves in, after having relished a period of high energy manifestation of their dream life. Apart from a questionable motivation behind their desires (not in all cases) they’ve moved so much energy inwardly, it has to be balanced. Also, in many such cases, their manifested reality turned out not to be too well aligned with their true self. I always stress this if the subject comes up. If you want to aid creation as a sovereign being, be sure you’re not creating more of the same. By that I mean, not more of the same of what is already here too much. Lots of programs are aimed at wealth, getting more than you need, conquering your private space in the world, wanting, wanting, wanting. The argument of being able to give more once you have more, contradicts the whole principle of the forces behind these techniques. Why not start with your real goal in the first place. You begin where you are. You move forward from there. Your desire might be to set up an intentional community. But how do you know that’s the right thing to do? Is it just a nice idea, to reach lots of people this way? Is there truly a deeper plan behind it, moving things along, or is all of that just thinking? Ask yourself, do you really know your plan is from the deep dwellings of your soul?

If you want to create in harmony with creation, you will not have to trade energy. Source is abundant, infinite, because it brings itself into form. It has done this with you, you are this energy. Source inspires you through your soul’s desires, infuses you with a contagious drive to move forward. You have to tune in to that movement, otherwise you’ll miss it. Mind chatter prevents you from hearing, until you start to listen. Once you found this frequency of stillness, creating in alignment with life becomes so much easier. We’re too impatient with life, believe waiting is a dirty word. Waiting is not as in passive lethargic hanging around in boredom. Waiting means we acknowledge ourselves to be an organic part of life, needing to adjust to the changing environment while we take each step deliberately, purposefully, into the direction of our vision. Our vision is not a static, two-dimensional drawing of images and ideas. It’s a living substance, inspired by our very soul who paints it artfully before our very eyes. Moving ahead in small steps prevents us from running all over the place, being obsessed with results in comparison with our ideas. When they do not match, we feel like a failure. No, that’s not the way. Failure is what we get by doing things from thoughts and ideas that are so often not our own. We have accumulated enough failure feedback to start doing things differently. Individually we will reach such a point, as also collectively. Collectively we seem to need more failure feedback, before we can move into alignment with life and stop acting like hungry ghosts. Failure is the doorway to learning to do things the right way. The right way cannot be molded into some formula that works for everyone. However, the principles behind life will not be ignored, as we cannot escape life. Working in accordance to natural ways should never become clouded with quick and simple ten step programs to reach your success. Life isn’t cheap like that.

Being deeply and intimately involved in the process of our own life might sound basic and perhaps a little old school. I love old school, but I’m also very interested in contemporary practices. They must however have a solid ground. Most of this stuff is still too wishy-washy, no matter how popular it is. Popularity is no measure for quality and depth, as we have seen with so many things in the past. To be is a first, create from that place where you can rest in your own being, then move forward and be there; repeat. You’re actively involved moment to moment. That’s not boring, even though mind chatter might try to convince you of that. There will be people, perhaps quite a few, who don’t like this kind of criticism on manifestation techniques. Some think there’s some dark program behind discouragements of such methods. I must tell you, I have had similar suspicions not that long ago. I was entertaining the idea, trying to lure people into The Now was a way of distracting them from their mission to create something into being here. Form what I’ve come to know, my investment in The Now, in Zen, was never an obstacle to creation. In fact, inspiration became stronger and stronger as I invested attention into the moment, including everything; thoughts, emotions, sense perceptions, the body, the mind, the heart. These suspicions came up at a pivotal point of my practice. It was a deepening into the timeless realm, the stillness, where the water becomes so clear, you see aspects of yourself you didn’t see before. Only now, these deeper aspects were not controlling me. I had to adjust to this new way of being. It is a way of being where you see yourself, without being at the mercy of personal whim all the time. There’s a much greater being there, in all of us. We have to be willing to meet this being first, before we can know if what we are trying to manifest is the right thing. Inspiration has a quality of freshness and depth, it feels so different from mere imagination. With this knowing, all of my suspicions against the Now movement vanished. Becoming a creative force requires a relinquishing of the small vehicle of creation; the persona. With the words of a renowned teacher, I conclude this article.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” – beloved Jesus




Groupie consciousness

The meaning of the term groupie originally was a person in utter, uncritical adoration for a music band, or star. Young girls could lose their wits completely at the mere sight of The Beatles, or Michael Jackson. Boys would turn to jelly over Gloria Estefan or Britney Spears. Nowadays you can watch groupie behavior in lots of other venues and circles. Even on social media you find groupies of all sorts. Since much more people have become “famous” in their online community, they’ve gained a celebrity status that works in similar ways. The only thing they might suffer less are the paparazzi. Not completely though, since a new kind of news media also found its place in the online social scene.

This is interesting, because it shows something fundamental in human behavior. Groupie behavior, in its most elementary form, reveals the drive of humans to follow alpha people. This is nothing new. The animal kingdom shows this in obvious ways. Society has become complex, so where it concerns humans, it may appear to be more or less obvious in different situations. Seeing how this works online, one thing becomes clear. Our whole society is still mostly built on adoration of alpha charisma. The only thing that changes, is what alpha charisma looks like. As our psychology changes, it develops into more convoluted shapes. What is attractive and interesting changes accordingly. This is however not an evolutionary process. It is a fractal-like reshaping and reforming of basic patterns. The alpha adoration is still there. Is has not disappeared, it merely takes on a different face. It is still embedded deeply into our mythical, archetypal drama. We want to free ourselves from it, but are we really succeeding? That is a question worth asking.

If anything, we’re gravitating towards leadership with a strong single-point leverage, instead of more autonomy. Leadership can be political, but mostly leadership has been scattered across lots of other domains such as the arts, religion and economics. Leadership may be less obvious in the arts, yet what appeals to the human psyche more than the arts? The arts tell us who we are, what drives us and translates our dark and light into images, sounds and movement. This is an indirect leadership quality. In the arts we see an interesting element of immortality, which rarely applies to other areas. Often times, artists lead difficult lives, barely receiving any recognition while they are alive. After their passing, their work may receive proper recognition in cases where there’s a depth to it that goes far beyond human attraction. Art with a timeless quality will survive throughout the ages.

For someone to become a star, groupie consciousness has to spot some type of alpha essence in the person or work. Worship of the artist often exceeds his or her work, as the alpha pattern of the creator is what propels success. The work itself emanates this alpha element, otherwise it cannot sustain its status. Pop music uses a formula to arouse this alpha pattern in, for instance, boy and girl groups. The music follows this same formula. Image and style are the main ingredients, emphasis is on appearance. What all this eventually leads to, is more of the same.

The people involved can barely lead their life with a descent amount of privacy. Then we say that’s the consequence of being famous. Sure, it is. Yet we have to ask ourselves why that is a consequence. It’s not a consequence of something they do. It’s a consequence of how we behave towards the alpha. We simply can’t seem to help it. You can see this on a large scale, but even on a minor scale. We behave like groupies on any scale. There seems to be a desperate craving to be recognized ourselves. We want the attention of what we believe to be of more importance, of more value, than ourselves. You see girls almost literally selling themselves to stars, simply to be with them. But this is an obvious example. Less visible examples can be pointed out throughout social media. People either get attention as an alpha or want it from an alpha.

What all this perpetuates in our world, is not so easy to describe. Conditioning of minds instead of freeing them is one result. People are taught what is interesting, beautiful, before they can figure it out for themselves. Everyone exchanges recommendations. They need to have a sense of security to invest time, energy or money in what seems safe, whether it is consultancy, books, artworks, movies, real estate. We are shifting weight where it may not entirely belong prematurely, leaving a lot of chances for good material outside the perimeter of recognition.

It is a fact; this is a strong force in our society. It has a deep connection to the Animus and Anima. We fall in love with things in our vulnerability to seduction. We’re seduced into things more than we dare to admit. In that sense, Freud has all but left the building. Without passing judgment onto these facts, it’s important to admit they’re there, that we do behave this way. And before you might react and say this doesn’t go for all of us; I don’t think any human being has been granted the privilege yet to be detached from our mythical background. Archetypes are us and we embody them. Therefore, Anima and Animus are intrinsic elements of the psyche. We may be about to start transcending some of that as a collective, but we’re not there yet.



What you should know about Zen

I like watching video’s on Youtube from different teachers. Not because I’m looking for something I would not be able to find in my own practice. I’m fascinated by the infinite amount of angles teachings can be given as a means to awaken. There’s more than a few approaches to reach self-realization, although in the final hour you have no say in it. It has to reach you, whereby the one who wants to reach for it disappears. This can happen in moments of shock, either frightened, in awe or relaxing just a bit too much. Zen is impossible to define. It teaches us the art of not doing, without being passive. Everything happening from a realized state has meaning and purpose, without the conventional stance on what is meaningful or purposeful. A pure Zen practice therefore never looks the same from the inside, moment to moment, although it often appears that way on the outside. Zen meditation – Zazen – is just sitting. What comes, comes. What falls away, goes. What is realized, is no longer believed but known. Everything is allowed to be exactly as it is. To relax to such an extent brings a hardship. The mind doesn’t want to. It needs movement. It thinks what is not here into being, shaping our inner world.

Modern, non-traditional teachers often have their own approach to induce the process towards awakening. What strikes me as typical, having watched so many of them over the years, is their deliberate attempt to portray traditional practices as expired in the new era, the new age or other reference to us being at a pivotal, auspicious time in history. While that might me the case, the way in which they portray how traditional teachings work according to them, clearly points out they do not have a clear understanding. Some even mock Taoism, Zen, Buddhism and the like. It’s of course very easy to make fun of something when you don’t understand it. You can say whatever you like in front of an audience prefering the modern approach. They probably already have a resistance to what looks old and outdated.

The funny thing is, to the present day I have yet to find this “new” Dharma. Every single time – and by that I really mean every single time – they use old techniques, reference to what has been written in the 2.500 year old sutra’s, make use of a slightly bent or twisted version of, mainly, eastern philosophies and add their juicy vinaigrette.

Modern teachings are about unique selling points. They claim to be different, standing out of the mass and truly bring awakening, a good life and the power to the people so to speak. I have studied them nonetheless, because I wanted to know what makes their modalities, systems and practices unique. The funny thing is, to the present day I have yet to find this “new” Dharma. Every single time – and by that I really mean every single time – they use old techniques, reference to what has been written in the 2.500 year old sutra’s, make use of a slightly bent or twisted version of, mainly, eastern philosophies and add their juicy vinaigrette. That’s the part where suddenly you are in total control over your own life, where smart shortcuts and spiritual chiropractic maneuvers will bring you bliss like you have never felt before. Follow your bliss is not a bad pointer, but before you can understand where your bliss is, you have to get to know the depth of who you are. If one thing would be a pillar for a good and sound practice, it would be to always start there. As long as you’re oblivious to your own nature, what else can come from what is not you? What good can come from a false center of identity, from what is still firmly believed by the mind and ultimately the least true? You have to be wiling to not know first, before you will come to know and to be at last.

In Zen, discipline is the flagship as a means to single point focus the mind. This has many functions.

In Zen, discipline is the flagship as a means to single point focus the mind. This has many functions. One of the most important functions is a straight jacket to prevent its insanity from the mayhem it is capable of creating, once it thinks it is enlightened, holy, special, legendary, bestowed with supreme wisdom. It’s a psychic straight jacket to keep illusion at bay. It may still go wild, but after a while it cannot do this without you noticing its every move. The door to the realm of truth is entered from there. You enter Zen from there. Through your own insanity, by seeing thinking for what it is, you’re launched beyond the threshold into your own space, through the gateless gate as often referred to. Only from that moment forward can valuable things be given. This is the position from which right view is the only possible angle. There’s no guarantee you’ll stay there, because mind, however vast and transparent it has become, still hears the voice of the world.

None of us can outrun life, because how can we get away from it? There’s nowhere to go. Once you begin to realize things are not the way they appear to be, the tables turn.

We’re often unaware of what happens inside us. Only by really wanting to know what is true within, can we also know the unborn. Before we start the journey of inner exploration, there’s no way we can have our way with life, in life, without paying the piper somewhere along the line. This might sound discouraging, but it is not. Life will find you wherever you try to hide from it. It haunts you because you act as if to fall prey to it. Otherwise, you wouldn’t run. The way you run is personal. You can do this either subtly, or obviously. None of us can outrun life, because how can we get away from it? There’s nowhere to go. Once you begin to realize things are not the way they appear to be, the tables turn. Then you begin to see that what you were chasing after, is really chasing you. You’ve seen it and it wants to find you now. Life wants to show you her true face. It wants to make you see your true face.

The reward for knowing thyself is beyond any thinkable reward we could ever desire. We do not have to do this alone. We can still touch the old teachers, also some new ones who are willing to honor 2.500 years of wisdom and still add something contemporary, without selling it. It happens because they’re competent and unbiased. They are like that, as they have witnessed what has to be witnessed before any meaningful work can begin.



The man from Sedona

“How on earth did I find this man?” I wondered. Looking back to the genesis of this magical journey to Sedona, I was suddenly struck by the unfathomable ways in which circumstances came together. Booking the flight, executed in a whim, was the easy part. As always, whenever I decided to make arrangements for a trip, the flight details would become the template for the interior of the journey. As crazy as it may sound, contrary to what most people do when they book their holidays, looking for places to stay came last.

Thus the pathway found its route to the day I came to meet Mr. Charles. Standing at his doorstep, the reality behind all the plans and joyful anticipation had set the new stage. I was wondering how he was in real life, what kind of room he had in mind for me. As I rang the doorbell, I became aware of a strange quietness surrounding this place. Breathing in Sedona’s oxygen, recognizing it as the ultra-dimensional dwelling so many people talk about, Mr. Charles’ house felt even more strange.

As he opened the door, an ear-to-ear smile with a hospitable greeting made up the first impression. “Please come in, be so welcome my friend,” he said. We shook hands and exchanged the obvious formalities about finding the place and how I was doing, being in Sedona. I felt welcome beyond the usual. He treated me as if I had been away for a few years, now finally returning home. Not in an overly emotional fashion, just appreciating my move. He showed me my room, making a spectacle of the neat gadgets like the air conditioning, fan and window shutters. His simple, grateful innocence made me aware of something I rarely see in men nowadays. Without any fuzz about material items, he was genuinely enthusiastic about his home and everything in it. Just being happy with what he had, without showing off. He left me with a well wish to feel right at home, showing me where the coffee machine was and all of life’s necessities.

It was only afternoon. After getting some of my things in order, I decided to take a short drive and a walk nearby. Mountains in Sedona will call you out every single day. You cannot be in Sedona for 24 hours without a hike. It borders the impossible to not spend at least an hour or two amongst the rocks each day. The vortices have such distinct qualities. During my hike, I promised myself to remember to ask Mr. Charles about them. I’m sure he was adept at the sites, the energies and their effects, being a native Sedona citizen. I would first see to it I got some groceries, as my stay was not like an all-inclusive arrangement. I was allowed full access to the kitchen and premises, yet I was on my own. I like traveling that way. No attachments, just living the free spirit life with good company.

Meals in Sedona are a treat, if you find the right places. I was getting to know some of them, as it wasn’t the first time to be there. During dinner, I was reminiscing on the previous trips, the year before. Those were shorter. I had made the first one to get a taste of the energy, while I stayed for only a few days on a whirlwind holiday including San Diego and Sedona. They often say, it is best to tiptoe the vortices first, before the plunge. The second trip was exclusively a Sedona journey with a four-day retreat during the winter solstice. So many memories over such a brief period of my life. Enough memories for a lifetime. I could only imagine what that would mean for a journey of a whole month, of which Sedona was the initiatory venue. Having started off with again, a retreat for the summer solstice celebrations, I would enjoy Sedona’s vortices by myself for one more week.

The key Mr. Charles handed to me opened the front door of what was now my temporary home away from home, as he called it. Walking towards my room, from the living room I saw him standing in the backyard. He was conversing with another resident, drinking coffee, smoking what I would later come to know as a tasteful original, organic blend or american tobacco. As I proceeded to my room, he waved at me with his typical, be-welcome-friend smile. I decided to join the gang in the backyard. He invited me to have some coffee, a smoke if I would. I in return offered a pale ale I bought at the store that afternoon. I had wanted to try it out, not being that available and popular overseas in Europe. I decided to take one for myself as well. The other resident would come back later, as she has other things to tend to.

A peaceful joy overcame me, sitting with him and his dog in the backyard of beautiful Sedona. We didn’t exchange a word for minutes. The desert twilight was deepening, while space and quiet began to fill the sky, the ground, the moment. I looked at him, while he was staring straight ahead. Suddenly he uttered an inquiring “Yes?” as if he had heard a question I was barely aware of. I didn’t really know how to ask the question. I sensed something about him and this place, this house. I guess I wanted to know in every way possible, what mystery was behind this man. The question lingering in my mind was: “What is this place?” He suddenly shook his head, laughed and said: “Man, I’m still amazed you stepped through that door,” while he pointed at the front door of his house. “Hell, I’m even amazed you found me on the internet.” I smiled back at him, inquiring what he meant by that. He began to explain how people would always hesitate to come in, to be in his presence even. He didn’t really explain why, he just mentioned people canceling their reservation last-minute, or something else that would come up, preventing them from taking residence. Apparently, I was one of the few who didn’t hesitate for a second. I recalled the moment he invited me to enter through the door. I honestly couldn’t think of any sort of resistance. I only felt the welcoming atmosphere, which I decided to express explicitly in our beyond strange but magical dialogue.

What followed was an exchange of information, experience, origins, archetypal patterns even. I still have trouble translating that contact. I don’t think I will ever be able to. I can only refer to some of the things we said. One of those things was his predisposition towards forms and fields of consciousness. His dog would react to topics we were discussing. Entities and other critters and creepy ghouls would try to enter, he said. His dog was super alert. Normally people would lose me as soon as they brought up entities and similar stuff. Not because I dismiss the truth in some of that. Most people who talk about these things are on the heavy side of the spectrum. I tend to believe a suspicious stance towards these type of energies is generally not helpful. Somehow though, his approach was different, more genuine, real, unbiased in a way. I was able to follow his take on invasive energies that control this world, how Sedona was a sanctuary of sorts and how that pisses them off beyond belief. No matter what you believe about these influences, one cannot deny they’re there. Any conceptual explanation tends to be a limitation of the totality of the truth behind it. Nevertheless, the existence of these forces, as well as our own, are a fact. What matters most is attaining an empowered attitude about them. Mr. Charles struck me as someone who had figured that out.

Many conversations followed during my stay. He turned out to be outspoken about almost every mainstream spiritual concept the masses had gotten used to. He didn’t deliberately oppose ideas or dismiss them. He simply saw beyond them and could not comply to any system of ritual, dogma or consensus. Whenever I meet new people, they more of less match with certain archetypes or combinations thereof. Spiritually conscious humans follow a certain pattern of awakening, a path that strikes similarities with saviors, teachers, sages, magicians or the like. I had great trouble fitting Mr. Charles into one of these categories. Not mentally, but the sense of it was, he emanated a completely new, unknown archetype. Undeniably, our resonance had something to do with it.



Why karma is not a bitch

Some words will never get their original meaning back. Words like enlightenment, devotion, sacredness, grace and prayer have been forever tainted with misunderstood meaning, using them to define what they do not stand for. On this list of words, one would probably reach a place at the top 5: Karma. It’s not that karma is poorly defined, nor is that the case with any of the other words. Its connotation has just been living its own life, through the channels of strongly biased opinions and views.

So often, Karma is seen as a divine instrument of retribution. Penalty over sinful deeds, merit over virtuous ones. This incredibly simplistic view on karma is supposedly been abused by religious institutions. While the front-end of some forms of Buddhism and Christianity appears that way, beneath the surface there are many other angles on karmic laws and how they operate. Though some relation to sin and virtue is still there after digging deeper, it is brought into a much broader light, presented as actually being a much more complex mechanism.

Having done some reading, something began to dawn on me. I remembered quite a dramatic event from some time ago. A bullfighter, in the middle of his act, was struck by a sudden episode of empathy towards the animal. As his eyes opened up that very instant, he stopped and sat down in deep remorse. It was his last bullfight. Later, reports revealed this story turned out not to be entirely true. Still, it speaks to us because we know the power of a moment of repent. We know it, because its divine quality is undeniable. The essence of such events is, that in a sudden flash of reality, grace descended upon us and shows us what we are doing. I found this story to be one of spiritual significance. I am certain of this: that whenever a human being sees what he has done, it will forever change him. A full aperture on reality will blow ignorance to pieces.

In light of recalling that event, I saw something wonderful. A vision on karma that would knock the conventional image of the divine court off its pedestal. Because you see, when you only include action and consequence in the law of karma, you are leaving out the intelligence of the divine in its most breathtaking appearance; grace and awakening. Grace can do many things, but it always operates in service of our growth, which in turn is in service of all life. From that vantage point, I understood that karma was in service of all life, a natural law that exchanges energy to restore balance in an ever ascending motion.

I suddenly saw how pointless it would be to arrange exact repercussions and rewards for our actions. We would not learn a thing. If all a murderer gets is punishment, the only result is his conditioning to avoid it. If he doesn’t care about the consequences, which is not uncommon among severe mental cases, so far for the effectiveness of penalty. Sure, the man or woman is locked away, not doing anymore harm. But that is how our justice system works. In terms of natural balance, nothing is gained by confinement. Over the course of lifetimes, nothing would change by penalty and reward alone. On all dimensions – physical, mental and spiritual – circumstances have to be arranged in such a way, more awareness can drop in to evolve situations beyond their present status. Karma is like the emulsion that binds all energy together. It is powered by the Universe’s intelligence to find the shortest way through from moment to moment.

Expressions of our immensely grotesque nature often invokes anger. It makes us want to get even, an eye for an eye. Because an eye for an eye is known for its ultimate stupidity when we look at history, deep down we must know the Universe would never be this narrow-minded in executing our sentence from life to life. It is driven by ways to show more than what we realized before. We are given opportunities to wake up. Good fortune often – not always – turns out to be the least effective vehicle to awakening. So if good karma leads to good fortune, it also leads to the dream state. Adversity is like an artifact of karma, a footprint of what needs to dawn into your life. So is synchronicity.

We cannot explain these things by looking at extremes. On atrocities carried out by war criminals we should apply other questions first. On a gobal scale, you cannot explain laws of karma in a way that sheds any light on its dynamics. You need individual experience for that, because only you as an individual sees into your inner world. Your inner world plays an important part in how karma magnetizes circumstances in your life. No, karma is not a bitch. It is a benevolent force, protecting and orchestrating the balance of life and all forces in the universe. We are not its slaves. We and all sentient beings are its instruments. Without them, karma would have no channel, joyous evolution would be impossible.


The hidden realms behind spoken and written language

I have been seriously neglecting this blog page. There are several reasons for it. Mainly, my focus is currently on writing a book on ways of working with the mystery of life and Spirit. So most of my attention has been captured to finish that endeavor. But things are coming to completion now, so I decided to re-aim the literary Bifrost towards the blog arena again.

A movie called “Arrival” tells the story of aliens coming to Earth. Communication must be established to understand their intentions. In attempts to communicate to them, humans learn that the visitor’s spoken word has no correlation to their written word. This is how I came to think of a question. I wondered if there was a correlation between what I say and write. And I discovered that often, there isn’t. So I started to look into reasons why that is.

I discovered that the realm my mind aligns with during writing, is a very different one from when I speak. The setting for a dialogue is different, which is obvious of course. But something else is aligned differently. Awareness is locked into another dimension when I am with people, making it difficult to speak about the things I write about in the depth I experience reality. This has to do with intention to be more of a listener, a presence, in conversation. I am often more silent in presence of others, because I’m locked into a state of being rather than a state of inner reflection. In writing there’s no interaction that has to be given space, so awareness shifts to a deeper realm. There, I perceive different levels of existence, having more fluidity to go back and forth between them, unlocking different types of insights.

I’m not talking about saying different things to different people. Or saying something else than what you are thinking in the moment, wanting to present yourself a certain way that does not reflect who you really are. That’s a misalignment within your psychological structure, creating imitated behavior in one scenario, authenticity in another. I’m talking about what you can access and convey in different contexts and situation.

I noticed the state of presence during writing and speaking was not different. What was different, was the space created as a result of presence tuning into the situation. When you are with other people, there’s a synthesis on the mental-emotional sphere that brings togetherness. This togetherness has a distinct texture, fragrance, feel to it. Within that sphere, your presence and that of others populate it. This shared sphere is like a mind melt. Presence within the sphere yields to certain limitations. These limitations are a representation of mutual resonant insights of the joined minds in togetherness. It is by that definition impossible to explore beyond the boundaries of shared reality, unless there’s a willingness to transcend the mental-emotional domain altogether. That rarely being the case; even if your perception of reality is ultra dimensional, when the willingness to transcend views is absent in the other, there’s no way you can access more than what the shared sphere allows. When you extract your presence from that sphere, togetherness ceases.

So the choice is not whether to try to inspire someone, or invite someone to a broader perspective. The choice is whether you can see the limitations of the reality you share with them and respond accordingly. When shared reality doesn’t provide for deeper access to what lies beyond the horizon, you can choose to remain with them nonetheless. Perhaps it is not you, but them who are inviting you to a deep field view. Can you acknowledge the fact you don’t know if they may have secrets for you to unravel. Perhaps you are missing out, because you think the limits come from their perception. Perhaps your views are blocking the view. The only way to know for sure, is to remain available within that sphere. Regardless of what you say, listening can open dimensions never suspected to be there. When you bring this attitude, there’s always a chance to learn something.

And so I have come to see how my speech has little to no correlation to my writing. And now I know why. Perhaps it would be different if I record a monologue, but that lacks togetherness. In spiritual sessions like Satsang there’s a willingness from almost all participants to go beyond what they know and feel. That creates the energy to allow for transformation, transcendence, access to presence in a much more powerful way. The speaker is of course blessed with an innate power of presence, yet he or she also rides the waves of the high quality togetherness created by the audience.

Being open to what you don’t know is always a good starting point. Beginners mind, as they say in Zen. Sharing insights is as important as finding new ones. Finding them in unexpected places brings a new quality to exploring mystery. Behind every face, big secrets of life are waiting to be found. Then you become a treasure hunter, instead of remaining at the museum only displaying artifacts.

Antonino ❤

The purpose of crisis

Miraculously, even as circumstances haven’t changed since the crisis began, the crisis is experienced to be over as soon as the dust settles within. Much can be said about the nature of a storm raging through the familiar landscapes of your life. Regardless of whatever is said about it, the raw taste of its reality is the only thing that matters when you’re in it. It is also the only thing that can teach you what you have gained from it.

Looking back to what was happening to me over the course of the past months, I honestly can say I do not find it difficult to be present in full allowing of what is. I’ve actually discovered trying to escape the situation is far more painful. It only makes its inevitable nature more evident by administering severe shocks of reality. Feeling distress is therefore also a part of the process. I wrote a post recently, at a moment when I was in quite a desperate mood. The strange thing is, even during these dark hours, life seemed to be in order. A being okay while things are not okay at all; it sounds like this terrible cliché so often uttered in the non-duality circles. I wish to attempt to give this some nuance, in order to share what I have come to see as the purpose of a crisis.

While awareness will not really have an effect on what happens, it will have a profound effect on you and how you will move on afterwards.

There’s two ways you can be okay with something. You can come from a place of defeat, where you simply throw in the towel and rest in the fact you cannot change what is happening. While this is a great first step, it shouldn’t be the only step. When you stop there, the process takes its course with you as the victim of events. You will not be aware of what is going on, except for what appears on the surface. You will have a phenomenal perception of the process, thereby missing the deeper layers of the why, how and for what this is all taking place. While awareness will not really have an effect on what happens, it will have a profound effect on you and how you will move on afterwards.

I feel very blessed with the perseverance to pursue inner stillness. Not to quiet the mind, but to be able to witness and become what doesn’t move. Although enlightenment and awakening is not achieved through any means of meditation or mindfulness practice, it prepares a more stable ground for the part of our nature that is ever evolving. When realization comes, a more spacious room is ready to invite reality. I would not dare saying I have achieved realization. I have had awakening moments and there is a background I’m aware of, brimming with clarity, but this is not an uninterrupted realization. In applying all of this in practical ways, I do use it in difficult times.

What is true in my experience is not my perception of phenomena. It originates from what is beyond that – that which cannot be named. It cannot be recorded, it can only be pointed to. Any memory I have of seeing what is true, is a pointer to what the truth revealed for me.

I always have this innate love for truth. By that I don’t mean truth in concepts and ideas, not an intellectual form of truth. In fact, the truth is never written or spoken. One of the wisest books ever written even states it in the beginning: “The Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name.” The love for truth for me is to be truthful to what I can “see” rather than what I can intellectually know. What I intellectually know as true, always has to be a derivative of what has been true in my experience. What is true in my experience is not my perception of phenomena. It originates from what is beyond that – that which cannot be named. It cannot be recorded, it can only be pointed to. Any memory I have of seeing what is true, is a pointer to what the truth revealed for me. By “seeing” I mean the sense of what is real. From a state of silence, this seeing is the foreground.

As my situation of crisis became almost unbearable at some point, there was something in me that suddenly worked up an appetite for investigating matters. I wanted to know the reason, the mechanism behind all the dark clouds and bad weather that seemed to be aimed at me quite deliberately. There is an intelligence behind these mechanisms I very much loved to expose. So I had to sit and inquire in silence, started to go back to the basics and be present for longer periods of time, making life meditative again. Because for some reason I didn’t seem to find that important anymore. I’m not even sure how that happened, although an injury with a severe inflammation was the beginning of the spiral downwards.

The result of all the distractions eventually was a huge lack of discipline and preoccupation with the outside world, mostly. Let that be the first important point taken. The crisis showed me what happens when you start living your life without order or discipline. While there were others anchors in place at that time, somehow the vertical alignment was pretty off. So I was glad to be made aware of how far you can slide off if you don’t play an active part in your own dharma practice. Thinking I was well beyond that phase, it’s good to be shown your place again.

You cannot rely on memory. It has been researched that memory changes as our personality changes. When we undergo a significant change within ourselves, we perceive the past very differently.

Being mindful from that point forward, sitting with the crisis changed from being a shaking tree trunk in a perfect storm, to the ultra deep field view of very very old trauma. When old stuff is being put in your face like that, you realize there’s nothing you can do. You can only witness and revisit what has happened way back then. What was true in that ancient past is not important, I also found out. Because the wisdom and clarity that was not present in those moments, can be given right here right now. All I have to do is see it for what it is. That means that I have to witness my own suffering from the point of view of today. If you ponder on what it meant to you in the past, you go astray on conclusions and assumptions. The reason for that is simple. You cannot rely on memory. It has been researched that memory changes as our personality changes. When we undergo a significant change within ourselves, we perceive the past very differently. Funny detail;  I was listening to a radio program discussing this topic, when I was under the MRI for my injury. So witnessing past trauma from the perspective of what it does to you now, is key.

Without going into details of bullying, abuse, loss and living conditions, the depth of the healing was unlike anything I would have ever expected. Several years back I followed a course on NLP for a year. From there on I practiced this for a while and used all kinds of models and modalities to “fix” personal history issues in myself as well as others. While I could never fully be true to these techniques, I now understand something I didn’t back then. The full presence of clear seeing has that much more intelligence, “it” knows exactly what to do and what is required to bring the appropriate healing. And so I let it. I would only “facilitate” to be present with the deep gaze, while divine intelligence worked its way through, revealing layer upon layer what was once buried and forgotten.

The brightness of your spirit was never dim. It was the eclipse of what was unresolved in you, that made appear the world so dark. What is unresolved in us is not always our doing, because our lives are not our own.

After a while, this process became kind of exciting in a weird way. I got to find out so much of what was lost. When the gaps of the past are closed, things make sense in a new way. Forgiveness can come spontaneously, by seeing the light that was hidden behind the clouds of misunderstanding. Suddenly you realize; life did you no wrong but the breaking of shells that needed to be cracked. Life did you no wrong, as by the ignorance of others as well as your own, things could not be set straight in too dim a light. The brightness of your spirit was never dim. It was the eclipse of what was unresolved in you, that made appear the world so dark. What is unresolved in us is not always our doing, because our lives are not our own. We have an interrelated being together. What one does, affects all the others. And so I have come to realize, forgiveness is not personal or even between two or more people. Forgiveness is the instrument for collective liberation. Unresolved energy always seeks the shortest path to equilibrium, whether that comes through a thousand lives or just one. Therefore, nor our suffering, nor our prosperity, is really ours. We cannot take ownership of it. The only thing that is important to take ownership of, is the power of presence to let the divine intelligence heal it through us. That, to me, is the true purpose of crisis.