My Son Stopped Me In My Tracks With This Comment

I returned home from yoga as you do on a Saturday morning and commented to my family as I walked in the front door that it was a glorious perfect day outside! To which my son replied, “No it’s not Dad, it would be perfect if it was raining!” He had a very valid point and he was thinking very differently to me. I was thinking about myself and how lucky we were to have such a beautiful day, where he was thinking about the needs of the planet where. Here we were one hand the middle of winter with clear blue skies, 25°C, and I was swimming in the ocean. What bliss! But on the other hand here we were in the middle of a drought, we have ice caps melting, and rainforests burning. For the rest of the day I had mixed emotions, I knew that this glorious day that I was experiencing here in Sydney was partly a result of the planet cooking and us humans were turning up the dial on the hotplate.

It’s completely undeniable now that things are deteriorating environmentally on our planet and the ability to correct this anomaly is getting slimmer and slimmer. I know many of us experience some level of futility and frustration at not knowing what we can do to bring about change but I also think if we all collectively made a number of minor changes in the way we live our life that we could have a huge impact and make things a whole lot better.

So I have outlined a few things that I feel that if we tweak our lives a little bit, the compounding effect of that could be quite substantial. Now admittedly some of these things go against the grain of how we’ve been programmed by deeply condition systems. The main one of these systems is the system built on spending more money. The entire economic and capitalistic system requires us to keep spending more money which means buying more things, so we have more successful businesses. Anyone in economics will agree that this is what’s required to keep the economic system flourishing. This is one of the systems that is deeply flawed because not only is it leading to environmental disaster is also keeping us completely trapped in a debt spiral that is seeing the banks make more money than they have ever made before and more of the world’s population chained to more debt than we’ve ever seen in the history of humankind.

So here are a few ways we can transcend the system and makes some minor changes that collectively will make huge differences:

1. Buy fewer clothes. Do we really need the copious amounts of clothes in our wardrobe that we need to change every season as a new style comes out? This is something I’ve been exploring a lot more lately, and I’m taking a bit more of a Steve Jobs approach by wearing the same clothes over and over again. I’ve even realised that as some of the fashions have changed I was able to take some of those clothes to a tailor and have them adjusted so they still would look wearable with the current trends. I’ve also got in the habit of repairing my clothes when they have holes in things in them. I was about to throw out some old jeans because they have holes in them and then recalled that when we were kids my mother would always stitch holes in our socks and jumpers to get a few more years out of them. I took them to a seamstress and she has patched them up and I reckon there’s another 5 years left in them!

2. Fly less. Now I’m going to be very hypocritical here because I’m about to go on a substantial tour flying across Australia, America and Europe for my film and book The Portal https://entertheportal.com/ that is coming out soon. This does challenge me because I know the impact those flights have on the environment is quite significant. There are some ways to navigate this by offsetting my flights by buying carbon credits, which gives me a little bit of peace of mind. I can’t help but look at my Instagram feed this time of year and noticed how many people are posting photos of their holidays from Bali, Greece and the likes of Spain. Flying is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and I think we need to start thinking more about this extravagance of holidaying all over the world until we find a better solution for the impact that those flights are having on our environment. Hopefully in the future will have another form of travel that won’t be so impractical on the environment but in the meantime if we are flying, buying carbon credits might help?

3. Eat less red meat. One of the main causes of the burning of the Amazon rainforest is farmers needing more land to grow cows for meat. The meat consumption on the planet is higher than it’s ever been before which is leading to not only a rapid deterioration of rainforests but also huge increase in the methane gas emissions cause by cattle. If you are a meat eater perhaps consider eating more fish or chicken and reduce red meat intake.

4. Buy fewer products packed in plastic. Recently I noticed how many shampoo and conditioner containers we had in our bathroom. And I started to think about how many households will be in the same situation across the world. And this is just shampoo and conditioner! So I went down to my local wholesale grocer that sells bulk grains, legumes and herbs and spices, and noticed that they are now also supplying things like shampoos and conditioners in bulk. I was excited by this and realised that we can now just have one bottle for each and top them up regularly from large containers in the store. We’ve also resorted to buying as much produce as possible from our local growers market and find as many ways as possible to do grocery shopping that doesn’t include using things packaged in plastic. It’s become a bit of a playful game in which everyone wins.

5. Use solar energy for our houses and cars. I’m only renting currently and so our house doesn’t have solar panels even though we requested it with our landlord. But in our future house ideally it will be completely solar efficient and having spoken to some solar panel installers, I’ve been told that it costs less to install solar panels than the current energy costs of our house. My ideal situation would be to have a house that was 100% solar energy that also fuels my car. This is neither complex nor difficult, the technology and capability is available right now and it’s a direction we should all be moving in as fast as possible.

These aren’t massive changes but admittedly they do take time to implement and some of these I’m guilty for not following my suggestions entirely. But I realise that just these five changes alone, if everyone were to make them, it would have a huge effect on the planet. Of course there are so many other ways that we can make a positive impact, but these five stood out to me. Perhaps you have some suggestions? Please share them below. I just don’t think we’re going to be able to get governments, industry and the system itself to make the changes and it really is just going to come down to individuals like you and me to start making different decisions. Let’s hope we make these changes fast enough to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

__________________________

To exlore some of these ideas further you might like to read my latest film and book The Portal that was created to inspire humankind into a new era and is about the ability for inner change to bring about a powerful planetary shift.

Exploring the role crisis plays in our evolution—and the mental programs we’re born into—this experiential film and book bring to life the stories of six people who have used stillness and mindfulness to move beyond trauma.

An unusual blend of technology, love, human potential, philosophy, brain hacking, stillness and inner peace, THE PORTAL is a film and book that humanity needs Right Now.

You can find out more here!

How to Cure Insomnia and Dive Deep In Meditation

If you are struggling to go deep in meditation or fall asleep at night it usually means the same thing…an addiction to thinking. I used to have the most chronic insomnia, taking me hours to fall asleep each night, and that changed dramatically to the point where I would fall asleep in minutes! In this short video I share some tips on how to fall asleep quickly and also go deep in meditation.

Going Deep In Mediation and Curing Insomnia

Are you struggling to go deep in meditation OR suffering from insomnia? Well in this video we cover both of these and how you can sleep better and go deeper in meditation.

Posted by The Stillness Project on Saturday, 6 July 2019

__________________________

Tom is a meditation teacher, author, corporate speaker and personal coach. He provides one on one coaching as well as group coaching in his Zen Academy for Transformational Leadership. For his 21-day, meditation program Faster Deeper Bliss click here. To contact Tom about receiving his guidance or booking him to speak at your company click here.

How To Find Your Life Purpose

During a recent coaching call, one of our Zen Academy members had a perplexed look on her face.
“Why are you looking so confused? What’s troubling you?” I asked.
“I literally I have no idea what my life purpose is? I just don’t know what I am supposed to be doing,” she responded in an exasperated manner.

You may also feel that lost sense of not knowing where or ‘what’ you are meant to be doing right now. It’s a dilemma many of us face, one I have been through myself. So many people are on the treadmill, feeling lost, turning up to an uninspiring job each day then coming home to watch Netflix. It’s very rare to find someone that is truly passionate about what that are doing and are really clear about their life purpose.

There is a way through this stage though, and I find it’s about stripping back to simplicity, and not over thinking it. In fact, the solution I feel is completely opposite to thinking, it’s BEING. But we will get to that in a minute.

Finding your life purpose doesn’t mean you have to go and quit your job, join a charity or go live in an ashram. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, finding life purpose and Self-Realisation comes way after the base needs of financial security and shelter. So being broke and not having a home to live in isn’t a good base for finding your life purpose. So regardless if your job is fulfilling or not, foregoing financial stability to find a life purpose isn’t a path that I would recommend. Stay in your job for now because this isn’t about what work you are doing it’s about how awake and aware you are.

Our primary life purpose is to discover our inner being. Over everything else, this is our number one purpose. We go through life very distracted by and attracted to the outer world, the world of ‘getting things’ and ‘having experiences’. This outcome oriented source of fulfilment is so compelling and luring that we tend to ignore the inner world of Being, which is very subtle. Being is the inner silence, it’s the source of wisdom, it’s the source of love and it’s Light. It’s eternal, it’s unshaken and it’s divinely blissful. It is also ever-present, only it is easily overshadowed by a thinking mind and feeling body. So for most of us the state of our inner being is ignored and undiscovered.

There are many ways to connect to this state of Being and I find meditation to be the most accessible for me. In meditation, we transcend the limits of physical and mental form and connect to the quiet of Being. With regular daily practice this awareness of Being and Presence will stabilise more and more. Once this becomes more established in our experience of daily life, then you will start to get impulses or cognitions that will compel you to express that wisdom, love and light in some way shape or form. It won’t come as a desire, rather more of a creative impulse that you will spontaneously act on.

So if there is no clear direction for you to express yourself through a life purpose, then keep connecting to the inner being in your daily meditation, go about your day with your job or what other activities that you are doing, and in time the impulse will come. It might be to write a book, become a nurse, do yoga teacher training, make a film (think long and hard about this one, it was much harder than I thought!!!) or it might even be that you join an ashram and meditate all day. There’s no right or wrong and after a while of that you may get another impulse to express Being in some other way. It will be a natural flow.

This is the greatest gift that we can give to the world- for you to simply transform from a stressed anxious angry person to someone stabilised in Being and feeling light and loving. This is your number one purpose to start with. Upon sharing that with our Zen Academy member on the fortnightly call, I could see a huge weight lift off her and she smiled and felt much lighter. All the complexity had melted away and simplicity remained.

______________________________

The Zen Academy For Transformational Leadership is a fortnightly coaching program for people who are ready to go out into the world and be a conscious leader. These sessions aren’t for everyone, they are for people who are open to diving deep into spiritual discussion regularly, are ready to take action when the impulse arises and are willing to make a financial commitment to be a part of this. To find out how you can join in on these fortnightly coaching calls click this link here and book in for a one on one call with Tom.

How To Meditate When You Literally Dont Have Time To Meditate!

So a couple of weeks ago I wrote an article talking about how we often don’t make time to meditate because we have positioned something higher up as a preference than the deep fulfilment that comes from meditation. Usually it’s the case that we have the time to meditate but it’s just not as a high-priority as some of the other things that we are choosing to do. However there are circumstances where we literally will just not be able to find the time to meditate. Today I will share with you some tips and suggestions on how to meditate when you literally have no time to meditate. This was inspired by an inquiry I had from one of my students today, (thank you Beth) who has a newborn child and really is struggling to find time to meditate.

This is common now for many people as we take on more demands than ever before and there will be days where sitting in a chair and closing your eyes for 20 minutes to do a meditation may just not be possible. It is those days that we need to be adaptable and look at alternatives for a meditation practice.

Meditation doesn’t have to always be an eyes-closed, withdrawing-the-senses-from-the-outer-world experience. We can incorporate a meditation practice while we are driving the car, while we are pushing the trolley in the supermarket aisle, while we are preparing dinner, and while we are at kid’s sport. It just takes a little practice and a little tweaking on what our understanding of meditation is. Yes, sitting in a chair, closing our eyes and transcending deeply into the quiet inner world beyond thought and the senses is a very powerful and effective form of meditation. One that I highly recommend we do on a daily basis.

However being present in an eyes open state, and completely in this moment without the fluctuations of the mind traversing into the future and the past is also an effective meditation practice. Being present and mindful of being the embodiment of love in each moment regardless of your environment is also a meditation practice. Freedom from emotional fluctuations in the feeling body, experiencing the subtle and blissful state of Being is also a meditation.

This can all be done throughout your day regardless of how busy you are. So yes you might have a lot of things on, and you might have no time at all throughout your day to sit in a chair and close your eyes and dive deep into meditation, however that doesn’t mean that you’re unable to be blissfully present in each and every moment. That is your meditation on those days.

So here are some tips to meditate when there is no time to meditate:

  • In the shower, pick up the soap, smell it, assess what fragrance is in the soap, feel the warm drops on your skin, and have gratitude that you are able to shower with clean warm hygienic water. There are many people in the world right now that this is not possible.
  • While on the way to work, either on the public transport or while driving, take time out from listening to the radio or a podcast, don’t go on social media and don’t read the paper. All of that is mind wandering into other people’s thoughts. Sit and be present. Can you be there, and empty the mind of thoughts. This won’t be easy, but with practice you will have glimpses into a space with no thought, just Being present.
  • While at the supermarket, take in the sounds around you, what do you hear? Be aware of the smells around you, what do you smell? What do you feel on your skin, is it cold or warm in there? Come to your senses and just observe that.
  • When cooking dinner, prepare your meals with love and do it slowly. Be aware that the food you are preparing is to be consumed by you, your family or friends. Be mindful that the energy that you are preparing and cooking with will go into that food. Ask yourself am I the embodiment of love now?
  • Before bed, turn off your phone, turn off your wifi, turn off your TV and anything that is bright or noisy, and then sit at the foot of your bed on the floor. Just for a few minutes close your eyes, place your hands over your heart and repeat slowly five times: “I Am The Expression Of Love.”

So there you have some very simple suggestions to help you meditate when you have no time to meditate. Perhaps you have some suggestions that you might like to share with us? We’d love to hear them below!

____________________

Our monthly meditation coaching sessions are becoming a huge hit around the world! Feel free to check out our Inner Sanctum monthly meditation coaching. It’s less than $1.90 a week! Our last session had a big response with attendees saying:
“Your description of deep transcendence brings me to tears.”
“Wow, Magnificent! Thank you Tom.”
“A brilliant focusing of the concepts developed through meditation.”
“I always feel so invigorated after these sessions, thank you Tom!”

Why My 16 Yr Old Son Skipped School And I Was Ok With It

Friday morning at breakfast and my 16-year-old son tells me he isn’t going to school today. “Something much more important has come up” he tells me. He’s marching in the city with 40,000 other kids to help the government wake up to the climate crisis that’s unfolding before their eyes. “The thing is Dad, the 60 year olds in government don’t care that much, they know they won’t be here for another 50-70 years, but we will. We have to live with this and they don’t!”

What moved me about yesterday’s march was the genuine level of passion and integrity behind the voice of these youths. This was not a day to skip school… this was a day to make change. They really are concerned for the future of this planet.

But another question was asked at breakfast, by his sister, who asked us all: “Do you really think it will make a difference?” This wasn’t asked in a negative futile way, more at a deep level of enquiry as to what needs to be done to make a change for the better.

The beauty of democracy is that a government will make most of its policies on the need to win 51% of the countries vote to retain power. The challenge with democracy is that if that 51% of that country have a mindset that isn’t progressive and for the enhancement of society or the planet, then that will influence the government’s policy. So as much as the march was for the government, it was also to help sway more people to join in the movement for change.

I often struggle with my own impact on climate change. I recycle my paper and plastic, I pick up plastic when I’m at the beach and turn off the lights to save electricity where possible. But as most people feel, it’s so far out of our reach that we feel helpless. I feel that the immediacy of the need for change has to come from the top down AND bottom up.

Governments can influence policy when it has the courage to do so. Last December, Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City said they would remove diesel cars and vans by 2025 with all of Norway to phase out conventional cars by 2025 also. So yes things like this can be done when governments are willing to implement policy over big business.

But what about from the bottom up, i.e. the grass roots of society? This will require more than recycling our newspapers and plastic cups. It’s going to require a complete shift from a consumeristic “need more to be happy” mind set. It will only come when we transcend the programming that getting new things will make us happier. It’s been proven through numerous studies that prioritising our extrinsic values over intrinsic values will NOT make us happier. What this means is that if we feel we will be happier when we get more clothes after excitedly purchasing them from an online store and having them arrive in the mail at our doorstep, then think again. Studies prove this is not the case. If we think we will be happier when we get the latest sofas and rugs delivered from IKEA because we were tired of the old ones, then think again. Studies prove this is not the case.

As long as we have a yearning to have more so that we can be happier, then we will continue on this path of deteriorating conditions. Living from a state of lack, with a sense that there is a hole to be filled by acquiring ‘items’ is a big part of what is driving our climate crisis. This will change when we are fulfilled more from the inside. How do we do that? By assessing what our intrinsic values are and then putting more attention on them. Intrinsic values are what it sounds like, they come from within.
Some intrinsic values are:
• A sense of purpose
• Loving relationships
• Having a sense of inner fulfilment
• A state of calm
• A connection to the Divine or God
• Gratitude

When we have an increase in our intrinsic values then we will be less geared to seek fulfilment through external ways and if this happens in a scaleable way, then we will start to see significant change to the way humans impact the planet. When we combine that with change from the people at the top like governments and corporations, then we really might start to see some big changes! Sounds promising right?

 

Tom is a meditation teacher, author, corporate speaker and personal coach. He provides one on one coaching as well as group coaching in his Zen Academy for Transformational Leadership. To contact Tom about receiving his guidance or booking him to speak at your company click here

How To Bring Back The Love On Valentine’s Day

Today is Valentine’s Day, a global day of celebration for love. Although for many people, whether they get a big bunch of flowers, chocolates or fancy dinners or not, feeling love simply won’t happen today.

There’s one big barrier to feeling love….FEAR. Having spent a lot of my life in some state of fear or anxiety I know all too well that the feelings of fear and love cannot co-exist simultaneously. We may feel one, or the other, but not both at the same time. We can have the most wonderful partner in our life but if we are in a state of fear or anxiety, then love will be absent and a feeling of disconnect will take over.

It’s a remarkable design of the body to protect us from dangerous situations. Our body’s primary objective over everything else is survival. If we are faced with a marauding tribe or a sabre tooth higher on the open plains, our body would immediately shift into sympathetic nervous system state. This would change the brain functionality from the frontal lobe of creativity and intuition into the survival mode of reptilian brain. Our breathing would change, our pulse would beat faster and our blood sugar levels would increase. But more importantly, our biochemistry would change. Our body will start pumping cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine into the blood and cut out any release of melatonin, serotonin and oxytocin. Oxytocin is the biochemical responsible for generating the sensations of love, empathy and kindness. When faced with a dangerous situation that may require you to fight or flee, the sensations of kindness, empathy and love are not going to be very useful at this point so for efficiency, the body shuts down any release of these biochemicals.

This is all well and good on the wild plains 10,000 years ago however in our nice comfortable and safe environment of modern day society, this extreme stress response doesn’t have the same requirements. I’m noticing ever increasing levels of anxiety, overwhelm and stress in the world today. With this will come reduced levels of empathy, love and kindness. This is a big price to pay, for a society without love empathy and kindness is not a society I’d like to contemplate too much.

There is a distinct correlation to feeling fear and egotism, ie. our attention being centred directly on ourselves. Anxiety and fear is all about the ‘I’, the ego. It’s extreme narcissism and when you are in that state of anxiety and panic, it’s very difficult to switch over to feeling love and kindness for others. In that state the ego demands all of our attention and everyone else’s needs get ignored. We shift from feeling part of a community, with the ability to feel connectedness with others, to being self-centred and self-obsessed. Anxiety and fear wreak havoc on our relationships, depriving the vessel of it’s most essential ingredient for it to flourish….LOVE. If even someone is showing us levels of love, in this state we are unable to feel it or acknowledge it.

There is a way to change this and it’s not by trying to feel love. That simply won’t work. Something has to happen before love enters the picture. We have to shift out of the sympathetic nervous system state to reduce fear and anxiety, so that oxytocin can be produced and love can prevail. If we want happy healthy loving relationships then we have to eradicate fear first. Sounds simple I know, however it does require some steps which I have listed here that can help reduce fear and anxiety in the body.

1. Twice a day meditation. When we quiet the mind, we move the body out of the hyper stimulated state of sympathetic nervous system state and into parasympathetic nervous system where the reversal of SNS occurs. The body spontaneously will produce more serotonin, melatonin and oxytocin in that quiet state. The challenge is that when we are stressed and anxious, sitting still in meditation can be quite difficult which leads me to the next step

2. Physical exercise. Work out, get up a sweat and burn off some of the cortisol! Sitting in a chair all day or slothing on the sofa aint going to cut it…you have to release those biochemicals that are expecting you to run from danger or fight your way out of it.

3. Re-wire your brain. Sounds like a complex process but really it means change the way you think. Our minds can default to fear based thoughts vey easily…mine certainly has a tendency to do this and so I’ve spent many years working on recoding my mind to think differently. Anxiety and fear is our mind distorting our currently reality and creating a fantasy world of future scenarios that aren’t real. So observing the mind and catching it before it leaps forward in to fear based fantasy land is key to being calm. As Eckhart Tolle says: “All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time and denial of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future, and not enough presence.”

4. Connect with Being. This comes back to point one. In deep meditation we surrender our individual status and transcend all forms and phenomenon. WE become one with presence and pure awareness. We simply are. Amness. Being. Self. No story, no drama, no future, no past. In Being we become one with unconditional love. We discover we are love. It shines out of us. The ego or small self fades and what fades with it are all of its fear based sensations and thoughts. As Anita Moorjani said in her book ‘Dying To Be Me’: “I knew that was really the only purpose of life: to be the love that we are.”

Love is our essence and fear will hijack it from you. It’s like a thief that sneaks in and steals it from you and from your relationships. To reconnect to our lovingness, we have to remove fear first. Less fear more love. That sounds like a much nicer world doesn’t it? Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

Tom is a meditation teacher, author, corporate speaker and personal coach. He provides group coaching through his Zen Academy for Transformational Leadership. To find out more about joining this global community click here.

Should You Drink Caffeine?

I often get asked if I drink coffee, and the answer is no. But that doesn’t mean that you should or shouldn’t. In this video I share very briefly why I don’t drink caffeine and whether it is something for you to consume or not. Enjoy and any comments please drop them below.

 

Tom is a meditation teacher, author, corporate speaker and personal coach. He provides one on one coaching as well as group coaching in his Zen Academy for Transformational Leadership. To contact Tom about receiving his guidance or booking him to speak at your company click here.

The One Thing You Need To Do To Feel Fully Alive!

Norman Doidge, author of the Brain That Changed itself once said: “We must be learning if we are to feel fully alive.”

Our plasticity and changeability is one of our greatest gifts. We have this ability to grow and transform into something new all the time. Yet adding to this, Tim ferris once said: “People will choose unhappiness over uncertainty.” I know this feeling well! For 26 years I stayed in a job where I felt like a square peg in a round hole. The fear of leaving that certainty was greater than the quest to be happy. As the years went by I was becoming more disenchanted with my life and the work that I was doing. It showed up in my work as I became sloppy and made many mistakes. Management weren’t happy, I wasn’t happy and a spiral started to happen.

I felt trapped and didn’t know how to get out of there. We create these perceptions of who we are based upon our life experiences. I’d been a broker for more than half my life, what else could I possibly do?! I felt an inkling of what I wanted to do but certainly didn’t feel qualified or capable of doing it. You know when you get that mental loop going round and round in your head that is sabotaging your life? This was me! I kept hitting a glass ceiling then sabotaging everything by making poor choices that hurt me and other people. Years went by with these patterns until the discomfort became so great, that I knew it was time I had to do something about this. I wasn’t feeling alive, and as Doidge says, if I wanted to feel alive, I needed to learn more!

In today’s world, technology is a blessing and a curse. We are now saturated in data, we have access to an unlimited flow of information available to us in the tiny gadget that fits in our palm. Yet on the flip side, we can learn anything, anywhere and anytime. I have coaching clients now on remote islands north of Finland, Venezuela, Mexico and South Africa! There is no limit to what we can learn- from advanced spiritual practices, entrepreneurial skills, computer programming, macrame and animal husbandry! Vishen Lakhiani said in one of his recent articles that: “the trend is clearly showing that more and more people are leaning towards becoming transformational consumers, and are more likely to invest a lot more of their time improving themselves.”

This is the time to give birth to a new you. Here at The Stillness Project we put transformation at the forefront of what we do. As you can see by our new website! We felt it was time for growth, for change and for the new site to really embody more of what we are. We hope you like it! When we resist growth we will stagnate. Dr John De Martini once said “If you are green you grow, if you are ripe you rot.” Keep growing. Grow in your relationships, grow in your health, grow in your knowledge, and grow in your spiritual development.

______________________

Tom is a meditation teacher, author, corporate speaker and personal coach. He provides one on one coaching as well as group coaching in his Zen Academy for Transformational Leadership. To contact Tom about receiving his guidance or booking him to speak at your company click here.

Why It’s Time We Stop Loving Ourselves And Looking For Love!

It’s time to change a deep-rooted program in our culture. One of our greatest quests in life is to find love and to love ourselves. This has to stop.

This is where you say: “What!? Are you crazy Tom? Why would you say such a thing??”

What does love mean to you?

For so many people there is a lot of pain and suffering connected with love. We hear words like broken-hearted, loneliness, heartache, loss, and grief. I recall myself feeling that deep emptiness, abject misery and darkness sweep over me when I felt I didn’t have any love in my life.

When love is in the form of duality, that is, there is you, and then there is love, then we are in the realm of possibility that we may not experience love. If it needs to come from someone, then we are exposed to the chance that it might not come. Or it might come, and then it might be removed. Even the idea of ‘loving yourself’ implies two things, you and love.

This perspective has been the source of so much suffering in my life and billions of people across the world. The deep aching sense of separation between who we are at our deepest level and who we perceive ourselves to be leads to a sense of loss, loneliness and separation.

Only yesterday I had a student sharing an insight that they needed to learn to love themself more. I asked them to pause and reconsider this statement. As long as there an ‘I’ that is seeking love or to be loved, then we are missing the Truth. When we strip away the duality, strip away the ‘I’ that seeks love, and we will discover that we were never NOT LOVE. It is, was and always will be YOU.

The big question is how? Love is what remains when we remove all the noise, all the emotions, all the thinking. Clearing, clearing, clearing is the task at hand. We give so much attention to thinking and feeling that it is like a noisy cacophony that drowns out what is always there – the simple presence of LOVE. Daily meditation will help strip away that noise. Transcending the field of forms and phenomena is the process of being in the essence of our love. Then when this stabilisation into our essence becomes more established that it is, was and always will be within us.

Seeking love is the illusion, BEING love is the Reality. BE LOVE.

____________________

Our retreat experiences will support you into the exploration of your inner lovingness. We have a range of upcoming retreats in Byron Bay, Sydney, Melbourne and Bali to suit your needs. Click here to find out more.

retreats Banner

A Juice With A Buddhist Monk Revealed The Root Cause Of All Suffering

I had the pleasure of meeting a young monk recently who spent six months a year meditating in the mountains of France in a Buddhist monastery. We caught for a juice at Bondi Beach to discuss Buddhism and enlightenment.

I was going through a time of personal discovery and I was curious to hear his perspective on the cause of suffering. His response was remarkably simple and it completely changed my perspective on things. I recently had a family pet pass away, a family member that was sick, I had to move house, I had been in a minor car accident and I was grappling with constant challenges in a project that I was working on. It felt like there was a weight of burden fall over me.

The Buddhist monk put things very simply by saying that there are really only two causes of suffering:

1. We have this deluded idea that things will be permanent when in actually fact ALL forms and phenomenon are impermanent. Everything will pass and attachment to things staying the same will cause suffering.

2. We perceive ourselves and the world around us through our limited awareness as separate entities. The notion of duality, i.e. two things, is also the root cause of suffering.

I sat with this for the rest of the day in deep contemplation. I observed all forms and phenomenon and saw them for what they were…transitory things that will come and go. Family, pets, friends, cars, money, trees, my body, even the sun will all come and go. Nothing is permanent. My existence is like a blink of an eye lid in the history of the Universe. I come, then I go. Here and gone.

The next one was much deeper. It’s one thing to intellectualise that all things are One, and nothing is separate, but to experience this is altogether different. But at the subtlest level of existence this is true…the Unified Field of Oneness is the subtlest level of reality, a Uni-verse. One thing. And when there is one thing, there is no-thing that I am not. Then if I am all things there is no-thing lacking and no holes to fill in. We pass through life with a constant ache, trying to fill in perceived big black holes in our life. As we continue to fill all of these holes, like college degree, paying off the mortgage, getting married, making money, we find that there are simply more holes that keep opening up! It’s a never ending yearning that is never fully satiated. The ache continues to eat away inside me. Get more, need more.

Is the answer to continue to explore Oneness and realise there are no holes to fill? Yes there’s action, but what if the action was born out of completeness and an expression of fulfilment not for fulfilment?

This a simplistic perspective into the complexity of life. It doesn’t answer the dilemmas of plastic in the oceans, prejudice and racism, hunger and homelessness, domestic violence or the gazillion other issues facing humanity and the planet. But it sure got me thinking….

 

zen academy