Q: What is the best way to suffer? New MJ Awakening Blog
May 3, 2017

dandelion

Q: What is the best way to suffer?

MICHAEL: Believe your thoughts.

“My belief that life should be…” new MJ Awakening pic quote
January 23, 2017

mj-my-belief-that-life-should-pic-quote

My belief that life should be/look/feel a certain way in this moment in order for me to be happy is the root of my suffering. -Michael Jeffreys

Bookstores & Does Santa Exist? new MJ Awakening Blog
February 6, 2015

does santa exist book cover

I did something today I haven’t done in years… set foot in a real live, honest to goodness, brick and mortar bookstore! I road my bicycle to Barnes & Noble at the 3rd st. promenade in Santa Monica to A) get some exercise, and B) pick up Sam Harris’ books, “Free Will” and “Waking Up.”

I could have downloaded them on kindle, which I have done the last few years, like with Joey Lott’s books, and which I like as it makes cutting and pasting excerpts for posting easy. But I found myself missing holding a real book that I could actually write in, make notes in, highlight to my heart’s content, and of course, sniff that great new book smell! 🙂

While I was there, this book, “Does Santa Exist?” by Eric Kaplan caught my eye in the philosophical section. Both Joey Lott and myself have used the example that just because Santa is a fictional character, doesn’t stop many from believing (at least to some degree) that he really exists. (The analogy being that our very own “self” is also unfindable, but it doesn’t stop most from believing it’s what they are). Eric raises the interesting question: is it possible for a person’s mind to BOTH believe something AND not believe it??

After reading the first chapter in the bookstore, and really enjoying the clear, conversational, and at times humorous yet profound writing style, I ended up getting it too. Well, I COULD say that’s why I bought it… but actually it’s just what happened. 🙂

-Michael Jeffreys

 

p.s. Here’s an excerpt from the book which I too have noticed: some concepts can be linked to the thing it is pointing to (meaning it can found in our direct experience) and some can’t:

“If we want to know if Santa Claus exists, couldn’t we just look out there and see if there is an object in the world that corresponds to my belief? But what does it mean for a belief to “correspond” to a thing? Is it a clear idea or just a fuzzy metaphor that’s too murky to illuminate what exists and what doesn’t? Consider the following thought experiment:
 
Imagine a field so big we can play the biggest game of red rover in history in it. Imagine we could open up our skull and have all the beliefs get out and stand on one side of the field, holding arms. On the other side of the field stand all the things.
 
One by one, the beliefs call out what they are about. When the belief in Africa calls out his name, “I’m a belief in Africa!” the actual object— Africa— raises its hand, and they go off to a side field labeled TRUE BELIEFS. “Bees ! I’m a belief in bees!” “Great! We are bees! ” And they go off together.
 
“I’m a belief in the planet Neptune!” “I am the planet Neptune! Let’s get a drink!” And off they would go paired up. At the end of the day, a few beliefs would be left standing on their side of the field . They raise their hands : “I’m a belief in the lost continent of Atlantis!” And nothing answers on the other side. There is no lost continent of Atlantis.
 
“I’m a belief in pixies!” No answer. There are no pixies. “I’m a belief in Santa Claus!” No answer because there is no Santa Claus. The belief in Santa Claus is wrong because there is no Santa Claus to correspond to it. The first problem is that our beliefs don’t separate themselves into little bits.
 
How would we count beliefs? Is my belief that Africa exists a superbelief made up of beliefs in all the people, countries, and animals that I believe are in Africa? Or is it part of a larger belief that the world is divided into landmasses? Or a still larger belief that there are such things as physical objects of which Africa is an instance? All and none.
 
My beliefs form a web or, better yet, a world. If anything corresponds to anything , it is the whole assemblage of beliefs, all linking arms, who correspond to the whole assemblage of facts, all linking arms. My mind corresponds to the world as a whole.
 
But there’s a much more serious problem. When we imagine playing our game, we imagine that we ourselves are standing in the field somehow adjudicating the game. We are looking at the beliefs on one side of the field and the things on the other. But when we look at a thing and see it, that is just another way of saying we believe that that thing exists .
 
There is no way to step outside ourselves and examine the world and our beliefs from the side.”
 
-Eric Kaplan (from, Does Santa Exist?)

“A story is just a story unless it’s believed” …new MJ meditation picture quote
June 19, 2014

mj belief buddha pic quote

As I work with individuals one-on-one, the #1 thing I do is…
February 10, 2014

still

As I work with individuals one-on-one, the #1 thing I do is LISTEN from a space of PRESENCE. I often begin my sessions by saying, “You have my FULL attention, please share with me whatever is on your mind.” And then I be quiet. This non-judgmental space allows the person to share openly and freely… and at some level, oftentimes that is all we really want is to be genuinely heard by another.

Yes, I do jump in with comments if/when I sense/feel/intuit a transparent belief that may be running (a belief that the person unconsciously holds as “the truth” and so does not see it as a belief, but “the way it actually is”). Together, we take a look at this belief and see if it is actually “the Truth” (which cannot be contained by ANY single perspective!), or merely one view point? (Not wrong or right, just extremely narrow and painful as long as we insist on holding on to it.)

Often during our time together the person will begin to mirror my stillness and the two of us will just naturally and spontaneously go “radio-silent,” and become still. And from this place of stillness, right here and now, I ask them if they can find any problems? Sometimes, almost begrudgingly, they exclaim, “no!” And we laugh…

-Michael Jeffreys

The illusion is that if you don’t like something you can’t be HAPPY! (meditation picture quote)
December 13, 2013

MJ quote and happy puppy

The heaviest thing you will ever pick up is a THOUGHT… (meditation picture quote)
July 10, 2013

MJ thought quote vista

Brightness knows not darkness
January 31, 2012

“Brightness knows not…darkness…” – Em Be

Sometimes someone’s post on facebook will spark something in you. For example, after reading Em Be’s words above, it somehow hit me very clearly/deeply that ANYTHING that appears to you can ONLY be fully WHAT IT ALREADY IS. So, in Em Be’s example above, Light can ONLY be light. It can never “know” darkness because it can only be what it is. It sounds so obvious now as I write this, but somehow seeing this clearly eluded me for a long time.

Looking back (oh, now I am in trouble! ;), I can now see that there was this tendency active within me to try to immediately change a feeling or perception that “I” felt/was perceived as negative or painful.

Again, what “landed” for me after reading Em’s quote, was that whatever I am experiencing in the moment can ONLY be, fully, whatever it is. It was in fact my urge to try and change something “mid-stream” that was causing so much pain and suffering. Let everything be as it is, without needing it to do anything except be fully whatever it already is… as YOU rest in the changeless awareness that you have never not been.

-Michael Jeffreys

Remain Naked
September 14, 2011

My facebook post from today:

“Nothing that you can “know” will change what you already are… So EVERYTHING you think, believe, hold as true or not true, are sure of, etc. is an add-on. You came into the world 100% naked… stay that way. ” –Michael Jeffreys

One of the comments I received was from a gentleman named Jim Minter who asked a good question:

“I came in 100 percent naked and fully present. What the heck happened to being conscious at all times?”

And this was my response:  “Amnesia/the dream/trance/beliefs, societal conditioning/mirage identification/… and it’s all perfectly fine when you see it for what it is. It’s the forgetting our true nature and pretending that we are something we are not… like watching a movie and forgetting it’s a movie. The good news is that no matter how scary a movie may seem, it can never hurt you. Once you realize this, then you can REALLY start to enjoy the show from a whole new perspective that has always been there, but was covered up by the show!”

And for this Blog let me add: Staying naked means not adding anything to what you intrinsically are. So if clothes are what you use to cover your body, then thoughts and beliefs are what you use to cover your essence. And your essence is YOU, stripped completely bare of EVERYTHING. If there is anything you still believe or think you “know,” it just means that for right now, you’d prefer to keep some clothes on. No problem… but also, no Freedom.

-Michael Jeffreys

Stop Believing Your Thoughts
May 26, 2011

Awakening can only happen when you stop believing your thoughts. Thoughts are concepts so believing them keeps you stuck in a conceptual world. Once you stop believing the mind’s chatter, something else will become very obvious to you. That something is right here, right now. It has no qualities… it simply is. Call it Life, the Tao, Brahma, I don’t care what word you choose. “This” can never be defined, so your definitions and your labels, no matter how shiny, do you no favors. But know this: “THIS” is YOU, and YOU are IT.

What I have discovered is most of us are very uncomfortable NOT thinking. We say we want peace, but when we actually start to get quiet inside, we panic because it feels so foreign to us! And this is understandable given that we have spent almost our entire existence 20, 30, even 50 years or more, thinking almost our entire waking existence! Letting our thoughts come and go without paying attention to them is not something most of us are very good at. However, as I often say, you can improve at being more present by practicing being more present.

Here are some tips:

1. Know that thoughts arise spontaneously; you have no control over them.
2. Since you have no control over when or how they arise, it also follows that you have no control over their content. Thoughts can be about anything!
3. Even though there is no “quality control” when it comes to thoughts, we mistakenly assume they are valuable. They are not. In fact, they keep you from getting in touch with your Higher Self/Intuition/Universal Consciousness, where real wisdom comes from.
4. Learn to ignore your thoughts. And don’t disagree with, try to change or push away your thoughts. Let them be. Like an unwanted house guest, as soon as you stop paying attention to your thoughts, they will go away (settle down) on their own.
5. Put your attention on the stillness from which thoughts come from. Silently watch your mind and see if you catch the moment a thought appears. The funny thing is, when thoughts know you are watching for them to appear, they get shy and often don’t come!

As Adyashanti says: “What are YOU? You are this moment, minus everything you think.”

www.mjeffreys.com