Meditation vs. Escapism

In our western society, there is a popular misperception which leads people to view meditation as a kind of escapism… like you’re escaping from reality by “allowing your thoughts to drift away.”
 
But what exactly is it that you’re escaping INTO, when you stop holding on to your thoughts?  Where do you go, when you leave the world of your mind? Continue reading

View from an Aeroplane

View from an Aeroplane

The Earth.

Look at this massive thing.

A glowing ball of blue and white.

A planet
Floating in space
Glowing with light,
Teeming with life.

“I” have grown
From the surface of this glowing ball.

Like the fish,
and the cloud.
And you.

But what makes me ME?
And what makes you YOU?

Are not we all “I?”

Then who, in fact, is “You?”

Open Your Eyes

Sit back, relax, and watch
The empty stage of your mind
As experiences arise, take over, and pass away,
Engulfing the theater,
In IMAX 3D and Dolby Digital Surround Sound.

But stay alert!
Use your breathing as an anchor,
Or you’ll be thrown from your seat,
Whisked by thought into a dream,
Losing sight of the stage,
Lost in your mind,
Believing the dream to be reality.

So hold on tight as you observe,
The waves of Mind as they roll through
Changing, swirling around you.
Hang on to your breath now, as you
CLOSE YOUR EYES.

Transcending Happiness and Sadness

In 2010, I spent some time in a Theravada Buddhist Monastery in Southern Thailand. While I was there, we had a 10-day silent meditation. The monks communicated with the laypeople only by posting things on a bulletin board in the dining hall.

One day, I woke up and walked to the dining hall. There was nothing on the bulletin board except for the above image. Sad -> Happy -> Neutral.

At first, I thought that the monks had gotten the order wrong. I thought it should be “Sad -> Neutral -> Happy.” Why would anyone want to go from Happy to Neutral? It didn’t make sense to me.

But, over the course of the 10-day meditation, as I began to let go of the ideas of “good” and “bad,” and my emotional state began to come into my own control, I began to understand. Continue reading

How to Cure Bipolar Disorder With Meditation

“Bipolar Disorder,” is a psychological disorder in which the sufferer swings rapidly between extreme mania and extreme depression. Bipolar is a terrible, debilitating disorder, which is becoming more and more prevalent in our society, and can only be treated with powerful psychoactive drugs.

Or, at least that’s what the drug companies want you to believe. o.0 Continue reading

Anthony De Mello on What Love Is

Often we think of love in relation to romance, attraction and desire. But is this really love? Or is it need?

“Wherever there is desire there is a threat [of not fulfilling that desire, or of losing the object of your desire]. And where there is a threat, there is fear. And where there is fear, there is no love, because we always hate what we fear. And perfect love casts out fear.”

— Anthony De Mello

Energy = Consciousness

This video has arisen from the very fabric of existence itself.

If you’ve ever wondered what those crazy hippies mean when they say vague, pseudoscientific stuff like “consciousness is energy man,” or “even inorganic matter is conscious in some way, man,” then you might enjoy watching this video. Alternatively, you can read the transcription by clicking “Read the rest of this entry.” Continue reading

The Journey To Where You Already Are

It’s a funny thing. Hilarious really. As long as you are pursuing happiness, you will never be happy. As long as you are seeking enlightenment, you will never be enlightened.

Seeking and pursuing are, by definition, directed AWAY from here and now, toward another place and time. Happiness and enlightenment, on the other hand, can only be found in the dimension of aliveness that is HERE and NOW. Anything that you DO to attain happiness or enlightenment is actually a step in the wrong direction.

So what in the nine hells of Atlantis are you supposed to do??? Continue reading

What is God?

The word “God” holds many different meanings for many different people.

The one definition of the word “God” that would satisfy (just about) everybody is simply this: “God = The Highest Level Being, which brings everything into existence, and upon which the existence of everything depends.

Abraham, widely considered “The Father of Monotheism” in the West, perceived this Being, and when he did, he told everybody about it.

Unfortunately, the Modern Christian, Jewish, and Muslim God is NOT the same one that Abraham saw. The Deity that billions of Westerners worship today is NOT The Highest Level Being, which brings everything into existence, and upon which the existence of everything depends… as will be simply and undeniably demonstrated below.

In essence, Western Religions are doing what the Bible warned them NOT to do: worshiping something that is a step below the level of the One True “God;” i.e. “an Angel.” For, by their definition of God as a Deity, they are inherently limiting it to something smaller than, created by, and dependent upon EXISTENCE ITSELF. Existence Itself is The Highest Level Being, which brings everything into existence, and upon which the existence of everything else depends.

“God” does not EXIST. “God” IS Existence. Continue reading

What is Happiness / How to Be Happy

We are as happy as we decide to be.
– Abraham Lincoln

WARNING: This article will teach you how to generate happiness at will, and be completely happy all the time. This may seem like a good thing, but keep in mind that this power is very dangerous if you don’t know how to control it. Just like any drug, happiness can become an addiction. Addiction is characterized by using a drug in a way that is maladaptive. Many people who learn how to be happy all the time lose all desire to make money, get resources, and do all the things that we are evolutionarily programmed to do, because they’re just happy with the way things are. They often end up becoming happy homeless hippies, starving artists, or (if they’re smart) Buddhist Monks. Most of them don’t have children, contribute much to society, or live lives in line with their evolutionary destinies. This is the definition of “maladaptive.” Please read my article “Stop Trying To Be Happy” before you read this one. You have been warned. Read on at your own risk. Continue reading

You Don’t Exist

Philosophers have been asking for centuries: “Who am I?”

Theologians have been asking: “What happens to ‘me’ after I die?”

Psychologists have been asking: “What is the nature of ‘self’?”

People have been pondering these existential conundra for millennia. For some reason, the concept of “self” really stumps most people. For thousands of years, people have been forced into the incomprehensible, irrational, unscientific conclusion that “the soul is supernatural, and is beyond the reach of human logic.”

The Buddha’s answer, on the other hand, is simple, rational, and powerful.

You don’t exist. Continue reading

Neuroplasticity: Mold Your Own Brain

Did you know that meditation actually changes the physical structure of your brain? In fact, so does playing the violin, smelling a flower, and brushing your teeth.

Up until the 1970s, there was a widespread belief in the scientific community that once the brain is finished growing (adulthood), it stops changing. The consensus was that the brain just is as it is, and that’s it.

We were wrong. Continue reading

How to Cure ADD / ADHD Through Meditation

Meditation is a brain-exercise that is good for a lot of things. Ultimately, it is designed to make you happy & successful in life, as well as making you completely impervious to suffering and unhappiness. It also happens to obliterate all kinds of “mental disorders” along the way. Lucky for Little Timmy and his Teachers, ADD / ADHD is the first to fall. Here’s how it works. Continue reading

What is Meditation, and How Does It Work?

There are many, many forms of meditation. From tai chi, to raking sand, to sitting and watching the breath, to physical sports… the term “meditation” spans dozens, or even hundreds, of different types of activities. The one thing that all of these activities have in common is their profound effects on the human brain.

We use meditative techniques to develop, and strengthen, our brain’s ability to concentrate. (Before you say “I don’t care about that,” read on to see how increased concentration makes every moment of your life infinitely more powerful). Continue reading

The Difference Between “Nice” & “Kind”

The difference between “niceness” and “kindness” is night and day, yet people often use these two words interchangeably, assuming that they’re “basically the same thing.” Well, I hope that I can help clear up that misconception with this article.

A little preview: Kindness is rooted in GOOD, niceness is rooted in EVIL. But more on that later! Continue reading

Why Our Current Psychiatric Paradigm is Inherently Flawed

Modern Western Psychology (our entire paradigm of analyzing the “unconscious mind”) is based on the idea that through thinking, analyzing, and understanding, we can treat and cure the disorders of the mind.

The problem is that most of the disorders that we attempt to treat through thinking and analyzing are arising from that very thing: thinking, and analyzing! Continue reading

Right-Brain & Meditation

Wow.

My friend just sent me an amazing video; an extremely powerful presentation by Jill Bolte Taylor. Ms. Taylor was working as a neuro-anatomist at Harvard University when she experienced a stroke in her brain’s left hemisphere. She experienced first-hand what it was like to step back and forth between right-brain and left-brain functioning.

I would highly recommend watching this clip all the way through; Jill is a very moving speaker. I actually had tears in my eyes by the end of her presentation. I rarely recommend videos, but this one is well worth your time.

The “right-brained” experience that Jill describes is very similar to the way I experience the world through meditation, and “being in the Now” (Eckhart Tolle style). Continue reading

Become a Supervert! Transcend Introversion & Extraversion Through Meditation.

Why do some people like to ponder, while others love to socialize? Why is the introvert so good at math, while the extravert is so good with people?

Is there a way that we can combine the good parts of both the Introvert and the Extravert, to become — something never seen before on the face of the Earth — a Supervert?!? Continue reading

The Benefits of Meditation

Our “western” society is extremely thought-oriented. We pride ourselves on logic and reason. I grew up in this society, so I know how it is.

As a teenager and young adult, I suffered greatly from the effects of an over-active and out-of-control mind. I spent (literally) thousands of hours thinking about psychology, analyzing others and exploring the depths of my own mind, in order to “be my own therapist.” I was constantly analyzing my mind, how it worked, and how to make myself “happier.” It didn’t really help. In fact, it kind of made me crazy for a while.

If some long-haired tie-dyed Tommy-Chong-sounding hippie came to me at that time, and told me, “Hey man, all you’ve got to do is meditate man,” I probably wouldn’t have given it much thought. If some no-haired sober-faced orange-robed Buddhist monk came to me and said “You must meditate in order to conquer Dukkha!” I would probably have thought he was just some crazy religious person expressing some crazy dogma from his belief system.

There are dozens of these people on the Internet, yet none of them were able to reach me in my time of need.

What I really needed was for someone to put meditation in terms that I could understand through my thought-oriented “Western” paradigm. I needed someone to explain why I should meditate, and how it would benefit me. Meditators always talk about the “benefits” of meditation, but they tend to put them in such vague terms as “finding your center” and “living in the now” that most western people don’t even know they’re talking about!

The funny thing is, now that I have experienced the benefits of meditation for myself, I can see that it is actually the solution to all of the problems I was having as a young adult. It is the solution to the problems of tens of millions of people across the USA and European Union, who are currently wasting billions of dollars every year on psychiatric treatment and drugs that are only making things worse. Meditation is the cure for the “disorders,” but it won’t just take you back to “neutral;” it will take you all the way up, into the realms of boundless joy and happiness. And it will awaken you to the spiritual reality of consciousness itself.

So, without further ado, here is a short list of the benefits of meditation, in western terms. Continue reading

Meditation for Christians, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, Agnostics, and other non-Buddhists

I believe that one of the most common misconceptions holding back the widespread adoption of meditation into the western healthcare system is that meditation is seen, in some way, as a “religious” activity, or as a “Buddhist ritual” of some kind.  In truth, meditation (as it’s used today) is simply an exercise to strengthen the brain. Continue reading