Archive for August, 2011

Your Thoughts are NOT the Problem
August 18, 2011

Oftentimes on the spiritual path we conclude (or are told), that our thoughts are the cause of our suffering. Indeed, how many times have we said to ourselves, “Grrrrr!, my thoughts are driving me crazy!! If only I could turn my @#$% mind off!” We believe that if we can just find a way to somehow prevent thoughts from occurring, we will experience peace and happiness.

However, as you know probably all too well, trying “not to think” is an exercise in futility and often leads to even more suffering. At some point, it can dawn on us that thoughts seem to come and go all by themselves, or unbidden as I like to say.

However, the really, really good news is that even though you cannot control your thoughts (neither their content nor duration), it turns out that in order to experience authentic joy, peace, and contentment, you don’t need to! All that is “required” is that you investigate one thing:

Whether or not the person your thoughts

are referring to actually exists!?

In other words, we assume, without having actually investigated it ourselves, that the “person,” the “I,” the “Me,” “the self,” that arising thoughts refer to actually exists! Again, I am not talking about the thoughts themselves, but this so called “person” or “individual” they are referring to– that needs to be looked into.

Does this “I” you believe yourself to be really exist? Or, is it more like a mirage: it appears to be there, but upon close inspection it is seen that there is no actual substance to it. It exists only by inference, and thus is an illusion.

I like this quote I came across on facebook, as it describes my experience:

“I have carefully investigated. I have observed everything from the tips of my toes to the top of my head:and I have not found anything of which I could say ‘This I am’.” –Jaya Lal Khanna

Remember, it doesn’t matter what thoughts are going on about if YOU know the “person” they are talking about doesn’t exist. It’s the belief in a separate, fictional story about a “me” that never actually existed that causes suffering. Seeing through the story, which does not require changing or stopping thoughts, is what reveals the causeless love, joy, peace and freedom you have always been.

–Michael Jeffreys

What does Vision ALONE tell you about objects?
August 9, 2011

I was looking at the refrigerator in my kitchen, asking myself what vision ALONE told me about my experience. I saw a lot of white color presenting itself (like the baby blue is in the above photo) before me (and a hum that was of course auditory in nature and felt so independent from the color. As if they were only connected by my thoughts which puts the pieces together and creates the illusion of a refrigerator.), when it hit me that I had never seen the back, rear sides, bottom, or the rear top of the refrigerator!

Then, I turned around and looked outwards toward my living room and noticed I couldn’t in fact see the back, or all the sides, or bottoms of ANY object! That my mind had simply filled it in thank you very much! Everything was ASSUMED to be a solid, separate, “really there” object, but in fact was never investigated. WOW! It can be quite stunning when it hits you that you NEVER see an object in it’s entirety, but only a portion of it depending on the angle you are looking from. Seeing this can be quite helpful in that it can remove a lot (if not all!) of the solidity and weight the mind tends to assume is present in objects, even though vision alone makes no such claims.

-Michael Jeffreys

There is no past, present, or future; there is only NOW
August 7, 2011

“Nothing can take place without a past, otherwise where did it come from? But the past doesn’t exist because it’s already over. So if you need the past in order for there to be a present, but the past doesn’t exist, than neither does the present.Then, if there’s no present, there couldn’t possibly be a future! If there’s no future, nothing bad will happen. If there’s no past, nothing bad ever happened. That takes care of anxiety and depression.”

-Michael Jeffreys & Thea Hartman

YOU and your EXPERIENCE are Inseparable
August 1, 2011

You don’t dry your hands on a towel, you have the EXPERIENCE of drying your hands on a towel. Try to notice the difference; it’s very subtle. The towel doesn’t actually exist outside of your experience of it. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s what’s actually happening.  It can be seen ONLY when you pay strict attention to your direct experience (meaning just your 5 senses) and then notice that THAT is all you know, whatever your experience is. You know nothing outside of your experience of it. You = Your Experience.

Right now I am looking at my computer monitor, but I only see color. No computer monitor beyond this experience of it am I aware of. My fingers extend out and come down with some force onto the “keyboard”…  “TAP” “TAP” “TAP.” Sound appears in my awareness as a sort of soundtrack to this movie I am experiencing and is all I know.

So, Color, tapping and the hum of the air conditioner, some tightness in my body–which is all the body that I am presently (since that’s all that I am aware of), and my visual experience of two arms extending out from “me” even though there is no “me” here! This is my current DIRECT experience. What else could I know? I am, you are, our experience! You are not an “I” having an experience, you are simply the naked experience, whatever the experience. So, there is no “you” beyond what you are experiencing. You and your experience are inseparable.

Don’t allow the mind to inject thoughts, memories or feelings into your present moment inquiry (and even if you do, that’s perfectly fine since then THAT will be your current experience, since that’s what is. You see, you can’t get away from this, since no matter what you do or what happens, you are ALWAYS (as in never not) having an experience!).

Simply go by what you actually experience NOW and ONLY what you experience NOW. Is there anything else than this? No, because if there was anything else you would have an experience of it, i.e. you would be aware of it. So all you are is Awareness having one experience after the other. Or, as Rupert Spira said, “You are Experiencing experiencing your Experience.”

-Michael Jeffreys