I am here where everything is as it is. I am free without owning anything, not even myself. I am without labels, without résumés, without titles, accomplishments and therefore I do not perfectly fit into this world where everything - even the spiritual - is measured, weighed, analyzed and evaluated. I am what I am and I express that every second of the day, in every breath, as breathing, living and constantly dying. This is the truth. This is the enormous grace of being.
And then one morning you wake up and you realize that the heaven you sought and the hell you wanted to escape, were just a dream. There is no departure and no arrival. What is, is here. What is, is now. What is, is reality. The smell of coffee in the morning, the rain, the tree, the love, the tears – it’s all you. Everything was just a simple misunderstanding. Everything!
Everything that caused you grief, everything that made you cry, everything that made you doubt, all the things you thought would give you joy – a misunderstanding. You ARE the joy! You are your own magnificent play and absolutely nothing can go wrong. You are the call, the one calling, and also the one being called! Heaven is not only within – it’s what you already are. Hell is the misunderstanding, the obscuring dream and you are beyond. Listen to your call for freedom. Jump into the unknown
Spirituality is also allowing everything to be as it is, to place no demands on reality in any way. It is fallling into bottomless peace and beauty. It is being loved totally, perfectly, as you are.
It is loving others totally, perfectly, as they are. It is total forgivness, for you and everybody else. It is a love that goes beyond likes and dislikes.
It is coming to a complete stop. It is seeng that nothing needs to change. It is being what you are and allowing others to be what they are, even if they deny themselves. Even if they deny you.
It is giving up striving. It is allowing the unavoidable. It is the deepest initmacy with yourself, the world and others. It is complete fearlessness. It is a complete coming out of hiding because every part of you is bathing in the most lovely light.
The truth is not hidden but because we love mysteries we say it is. All the beautiful messages of all the religions and sages around the world have changed nothing. It hasn’t made the world a better place. We still kill and hate one another. For thousands of years nothing has changed.
That is because thruth is nothing that you can read about and learn in the same way that you learn the ABC:s. Truth is something you find inside, even though there is evidence of it outside.
Truth is something that has to be discovered by each and everyone, individually. If they want to. That is why truth can be open in plain sight and still nothing changes. That is why truth can be told and not seen.
Truth goes beyond belief. Truth goes beyond what you think you are. Most people are not ready to give up what they believe is true in order to find actual truth. But that is what is needed. The complete giving up of all beliefs. How else would you be able to make room for truth?
“Love is all you need” may be true but as soon as we start asking “how do I get love?” all is lost. Not even to ask “how do I give love?” is quite good enough. Because your idea of love is a belief and it may not tally with someone else’s beliefs and perceived needs. And what will you do if your love is rejected? If nobody is happier because of the love you give?
A better question to ask would be, what is love? Or better yet, what is true? What do I know for certain? What do I actually know that can never be denied in any circumstance? And be prepared to go wherever that question takes you.
That is the direction in which you will find truth, and love, and freedom. If you look hard enough, if you are willing to give up everythng. And I mean everything. And I mean willing.
But how many of us are really willing? How many of us even have that interest? And so the truth will continue to be in plain sight and continued to be denied. And the world will go on as always. This is no problem, really. The interest can not be manufactured. Either it’s there or it’s not. You will know if it’s there for you. The fire inside is a sign, the continuous looking.
The trick is to not look for what you believe about truth, but for truth itself. Truth is not an object. Truth is not an acquisition.
In a sense you are not the one discovering truth but truth is discovering you. You may not even know why you want it. But in the end you will discover that truth makes everything intensely interesting and vividly alive.
Between the end and the beginning nothing has ended and nothing has begun. Between farewell and expectation nothing is defined. In that moment; freedom, love, forgiveness. Let love begin for ever, let forgiveness ever be new, let freedom be for all. Happy 2016!
When I started out searching for a greater meaning in life I had no idea what I got myself into. Not that I had a choice. My life has forcibly and insistently put me on track for the search for freedom.
That’s how it showed itself to me, the search for freedom. It can also present itself as the search for truth, God, nirvana, enlightenment, awareness. It has many, many names.
Knowing what I know now I would never recommend anyone to get into serious seeking. Because if you do your whole world will shatter. The only ones I’d recommend it to are those who are so fed up with the world, or so intent on knowing the truth, or God etc, that they don’t care whether they live or die.
The world as you know it is the price for freedom.
It will cost you your deepest most cherished dreams (this includes all spiritual dreams and ideals). It will cost you your most cherished beliefs. It will cost you some relationships. (Warning! Do not build a new, more spiritual world. It’s still the same world, just in a different clothing.)
Freedom costs everything you are.
Who’d want that? Well, some crazy people do. When I realized what it would cost me I wanted to get off the train! But by then the train was moving full steam ahead and all I could do was to put down my luggage and be on with it. There is a point of no return on the spiritual path. When that point is you won’t know until it’s too late.
Spirituality means realizing, in a very tangible IN-YOUR-FACE sort of way, that you don’t have any control. That you are powerless even regarding the most obvious and simple details of yourself, maybe especially those. Anybody noticed? You don’t have any control of yourself. If you think you do, it’s most likely imaginary.
You can’t control yourself. You can’t control others. You cant control the world. You can only let them be free.
This is a painful process. There may be fear, terror even. The fear may be nameless or there may be scary things happening on the outside that will teach you (in no uncertain terms) that you are not in charge. The severity (and it can be severely severe) of the situation depends on how much you have been holding on to untruth, how much you have been holding on to the image you have of yourself. It also depends on how willing you are to let go of that image.
In short, it depends on how much resistance you put up.
You see, spiritual search is not about getting what you want. It’s not about being happy. Although that is what attracts most people to the spiritual field. Spiritual search is about loosing everything. The quest of getting what you want belongs to the world. Period. Being focused on getting what you want is worldly. Nothing wrong with that at all but it’s important to know what is what.
That is why the new age movement is worldly and many religions too. New Age says: “If I think positive thoughts and raise my vibration I will get what I want.” Religion says: “If I am good and do what God wants, God will reward me and give me what I want.” And you are stuck in the endless game of trying to get happiness.
If you want to be worldly, be worldly. If you want to be religious, decide if you want the worldly strain or the spiritual one.
If you want to be spiritual, be ready to loose everything and be very comfortable with not getting what you want.
Of course to stay completely in the world will not prove to be much better than going on a spiritual path. You will be mercilessly tossed in the worldly merry-go-round. If you stay in the world your only hope is doing your duty with a thankful heart and doing right by yourself and others and, most importantly, giving up the attachment to specific results of your actions. You can build a fairly happy life on that. (It’s not as easy as it sounds, though.)
It’s all up to you and how much you want to see the truth of you really are, how the world really is. Or, let me rephrase that: It’s not really up to you. If you embark on a serious spiritual journey eventually it’s not you who decide. It’s something else, much deeper in you, that will pull you and push you.
Of course, there are great benefits to enlightenment. You will know the truth of who you are. You gain complete relaxation. You loose all shame, guilt etc. You won’t feel the need to hide anything about yourself and nothing – nothing - can hurt you. You will feel like your most natural self in every situation.
And you gain access to bliss whenever you want. That can be fun to play with. Apart from that, no I definitely don’t recommend spiritual search. In my early days, just as I had gotten on the train, I would recommend spirituality to people. But not now.
If you’re already on board, relax, sit back and let life unfold. Because it is also the most rewarding (and the most paradoxical) life experience you can have. If you don’t mind loosing everything!
With the greatest love imaginable to all the bodies in this world, and to all the starved souls, trying to get heard.
See everything within yourself. See every untruth, every denial, rationalization and condemnation. Leave no stone unturned.
See every fixation, obsession, attachment, dependence. See the structure of how you think things must be. See every suffering you endure. See everything you shy away from. See everything that gives you a sting of unwelcome emotion.
See how you blame the world for the sting. See the ways you fight it. See how you blame yourself and how you condemn your being.
There is nothing you need to do or fix. Only see the truth of yourself and that truth will set you free.
A person is born.
A person wants to be happy.
A person thinks it can only be truly happy if x, y or z is in place.
A person feels worried, depressed or angry if x, y or z is not in place.
A person feels happy if x, y or z is in place–for a while. Often it turns out that x, y and z didn’t actually bring the happiness it was supposed to bring.
Now we are at ground zero, so to speak. From here a lot of things can happen.
A. The person feels empty and depressed after it realizes that the promised happiness didn’t last or that it wasn’t as good as imagined.
B. The person tries to find a way of coping with the fact that happiness is fickle. This is where denial, indulgence or addiction happens.
C. The person starts doing a lot of things (changes diet, exercises, meditates, bungy jumps, travels, prays etc etc etc) to find happiness in a new way. Hint: not much will change. Sometimes this seeking never ends.
D. The person realizes that happiness is not attached to objects. From here real change is possible.
Now, objects are a broad topic. Examples of objects are: physical things, the body, the world, relationships, health, feelings, thoughts, memories, experiences. In short everything that is not the Self.
What the Self is, is an even broader topic.
Let’s just say that it’s the essence of your existence. The reflection of it in the mind, known to all, is the sense of I, the feeling of being.
Objects will never satisfy you completely. Ever. No matter what all articles about happiness will tell you. Sure you will find some relief in following the advice of some of them. But most of all it will leave you confused and in endless search. Because it’s never quite “it.” Even religion can end up being a confusion.
Here’s the deal: You are what you seek.
You are the love, the happiness and the freedom. You need to do absolutely nothing. You don’t need to change one bit. You are perfect the way you are.
Only most of us don’t look at ourselves that way. That’s because your identification with your body, the cultural training we have received since birth, is so strong. It causes you to think you are the body and that you are separate from the world, which is an entity outside of you, supposed to satisfy your desires, i.e. make you happy.
You have been trained to look outside for happiness. And you have sort of been trained to think that you are bad, or at least not good enough.
It is so simple. You are what you want. Ok, I can hear some protest here. “No! I DON’T want myself. I want to add something to myself, that’s the whole point!” Well, you may not want the person because the person is a burden. But, I promise, you want what you are because that is freedom. You are freedom. You have been trained to confuse the Self with the body.
From day one on Earth we are taught to identify with our body, our feelings, thoughts and memories. We are told that is what we are. Sadly, that is also where suffering begins. That is where our desire for the world or ourselves to be different begins.
If we believe that happiness is supposed to come through our body we think there is something wrong with our body.
If we believe that happiness is supposed to come from the world we think there is something wrong with the world.
If we believe that happiness is supposed to come from our relationships, we think there is something wrong with other people.
And on it goes.
The truth is, the body, the mind, the world, etc. will never be the way we want, exactly when we want. Ever. We can keep trying for that until the day we die.
Or we can see that what we want is already here. Beyond our ideas of what we think life is supposed to give. Beyond our ideas of what it is we think we want. Beyond our ideas of what we think we are.
You are it. Right now, you are what you want. No addition necessary. Learn to trust and, little by little, your glory will be revealed.
When you can be with all aspects of yourself without condemning or running away, you are in meditation whatever you happen to be doing. When you stop trying to improve yourself (ironically bad habits have a tendency to fall off by themselves when you stop obsessing about them), you notice that the whole improvement game was designed to keep you imprisoned.
Eat healthy, work out, be good–all of those demands enslave you even though you might think you will be free once you achieve your ideals. You won’t. You will just feel empty because those goals were false to begin with. At least if it was some kind of happiness you were looking for.
Sure, take care of your body but don’t be its’ slave. Be good but don’t make it into a “thing” to be proud of.
What I say is really simple. It’s worth trying. Just be who you are and see what happens. Sit with yourself. Pay attention to yourself.
Or perhaps you feel that it’s others that need to change. That they are impossible and wrong. Wherever your telescope is pointing towards it is yourself that you see. It’s just another way for you to imprison yourself. Leave others alone. They do what they need to do. For whatever reason. Just like you.
If you choose to stop running, if you choose to be who you are, you will travel through a confusing jungle of shoulds, musts, have tos–fears and desires–before you come out in the clearing of yourself. Just keep going.
In the end you will find that nothing needs changing. Not yourself, not others. Then you won’t meditate to achieve something. You will meditate spontaneously because it feesl so darn good. You will love your body because it gives you pleasure but you won’t be its slave. You will enjoy the world but it won’t frighten you. It will set you free.
Now you have become a beacon of light in the world because you are grounded in yourself. You are authentic and true. For the forst time you can trust yourself fully because your heart is your guide. Not your ideas, not your emotions, nothing outside you. Your heart. Your heart sings with a clear voice and you will hear it as soon as you close your eyes.
Maybe you feel that I am totally wrong. After all there are so many wrongs with yourself and/or the world. Maybe you feel that there are so many things you have to fix before you can be happy.
I’m telling you it’s not true. You are what you need. You are already complete as you are. All you need to do is listen. All you need to do is trust. All you need to do is to drop what was never you–thoughts, feelings, ideas, beliefs, opinions, hopes that have invaded you from the outside since birth.
You are not your body. You are not your thoughts. You are not your feelings. You are not your ideas. You are not your beliefs. You are not your opinions. You are not your hopes.
You are beyond all of that.
All you need to do is walk through that jungle without getting distracted. Walk towards your light. Trust yourself, that which is beyond your thoughts, feelings etc. You won’t get lost. Allow yourself to be your own guide. Trust and be fearless in your trust.
No matter how many friends you have, no matter how large family you have, how many clubs you are a member of and how many people admire you – you are fundamentally alone. You are born alone and you die alone.
This sometimes makes people feel afraid. We do anything to avoid feeling lonely. Anything. But loneliness is not the same as being alone. Being alone is a fact. Loneliness is an experience. Some people experience loneliness when they are alone and others don’t. Some people even experience loneliness when they are with others.
We are alone.
When we dare to face this fact we are free – independent, authentic, spontaneous.
I am alone. I watch life through this body. This body is my instrument of existence. I could not exist without it. Yet I am not this body. I am aware of my existence through the body. There is no other way for me to be aware of my existence.
Yet I don’t own this body. It’s not mine. It’s a body among others. I maintain it but I have no real control over it or over its relations. I might try to control things around it. I might believe that I have control and I might think that it’s my responsibility to control. That always ends in misery.
There are feelings but those are the body’s feelings. There are thoughts but those are the body’s thoughts. The mind is a part of the body. I feel the feelings fully, deeply, helplessly. I watch feelings and thoughts as they come and go. Because that’s what they do. They come and go all the time. It’s no big deal. It’s really no big deal.
The body’s problems are not my problems. I deal with them, though. It has become my job for some reason.
Managing a body and its life is like being a gardener. You sow, you plant, you maintain, you reap. Or rather you watch how things are sown, planted, maintained, reaped, because you are in a natural garden where everything happens spontaneously.
The body’s relationships are not my relationships. I am not in a relationship at all. I am not in relation to anything. The body is. The world is. They interact. I watch.
My memories mean nothing. I am not my past. It can never define me. I once let it define me. But if I let my past define me, or if I let anything define me, I have immediately limited myself. All of a sudden there is a list of what I am and what I am not. With that list comes lists of things that I can do and things that I cannot do, lists of shoulds and shouldn’ts
Then I am imprisoned. Then I have identified with things that don’t really belong to me, things outside myself. I will then be in constant need of those outer things to keep defining me. I will be dependent on them. I will be nothing without them. I won’t know who I am and I will feel confused, afraid – and lonely – without them.
At that point you either revolt or conform deeper to what everyone else is doing. (Because everyone has been taught that this is the correct way to live and we go on teaching it to our kids.)
It’s not until I accept that I am alone that I can be who I really am, at the deepest core. No conflict, no confusion, no struggle exist there. At the deepest core there is only love. When everything has dropped love remains.
Now there is love to be. Now there is freedom to act according to your own nature. Independently, authentically, spontaneously. In the world. Among others. Whether they live from their core or not. You are. You alone are free. We all are.
Charlotte Brady about love, life, God, poetry, writing and abiding in the heart at every moment. This is where flesh is spirit and spirit flesh in raw unadulterated devotion. Life is worship!