Practice meditation for eleven minutes in a coffee house. Put on a timer. Focus on being present to your body, breath, and ambient sounds. Letting go of fleeting thoughts as they arise. Be here: on the spot. Sometimes it's helpful to gaze at your hands on the table holding a book. You want to look normal within a social environment - not calling attention to what you're really doing. Notice when you slip away into "elsewhere". Return. Do this practice until the eleven minutes are up. You'll find this practice carries over into your everyday life. You become more present to your life moment to moment.
Love runs the universe. That's all you need to know. One day you wake up "in love" not with someone but Life itself. You are free; it gets easier to walk the streets and situations in love with Life itself; beyond pleasure and pain, joy and grief. Presence itself becomes enough, even more than enough.
The "Collaborative Intelligence Laboratory" emerged while teaching 500 students "Introduction to Computers on behalf the the School of Engineering at UC Berkeley. Students and myself engaged in on-line dialogue using a web-based discussion system. These where the web's early days. The Internet amplified the ability of groups to dialogue, plan, and share information. A world of viewpoints beyond political and geographic boundaries suddenly opened up. Along the way, the idea of a "Collaborative Intelligence Quotient (C-IQ)" emerged. Every group has a certain C-IQ.
Eventually, I let all these ideas pass when offered a position within the Peace and Conflict Studies department; thus dropping the "C-IQ" focus to deal with something far more difficult - the study of war and peace. Still, C-IQ may be what "saves the world". We now live connected to a "net" that includes almost all the world. Time will tell.
"Time, money and love" is a magic trio. Several combinations of "time, money and love" are possible:
Time on your hands but little or no money.
Large sums of money but no free time.
Lots of love but not enough time and money.
Other combinations are possible. Extreme variations throw societies out of balance. Extreme differences between rich and poor are harmful to a society. People stop seeing each other as human beings and start identifying with their particular social class or status. Harm comes upon our relationships when the time, money, and love ratios are extreme.
The Internet is our collective global nervous system; thereby creating a serious dependency on connectivity. Stores often don't sell food unless their cash registers are on the network. Alternative backup systems need to be in place and occasionally tested.
From early childhood we are taught the virtues of dogged persistence. But sometimes the better wisdom is to "give up". This is giving up when you start to realize that your losses are greater with completing the project at had hand than just walking away.
Stillness is like an old friend within our deepest Self. My first glimpses of deep stillness happened during childhood and adolescence. Those moments seemed more important than the rest of life. Perhaps everyone encounters stillness but few talk about and share its power and beauty. Among places and situations where I found deep stillness:
• A freshly painted room in my parents house. I was maybe 4 or 5 years old.
• Walking home from school looking and feeling each step along the way.
• In my room, as an adolescent, slowly watching the twilight turn to night.
• By the ocean shore looking toward the horizon.
• First formal meditations sitting on the floor.
Cultivating stillness, which is also called "meditation" or "mindfulness" is an important medicine for the ills of our times. Why not take a few minutes, now, to be still? Mind quiet, body motionless, breath steady. Neither grasping nor rejecting what is happening all around, just let it all "pass through you". Stillness. Stillness. Upon returning to activity - one may be blessed with a sense of greater ease in life.
There are times when we just don't have time to meditate and it has a negative effect on the mind due to the chaos and noise that surrounds us. Our mind becomes like a pinwheel; every thought becomes like a gust of wind spinning it faster and faster until we become overwhelmed by its constant motion. Yet, there is a simple way to connect to peace and it only takes a moment. When you are alone or in a safe place make the sound 'aum.' Aum is said to have four sounds:
“A” emerges from the throat, originating in the region of the navel
“U” rolls over the tongue
“M” ends on the lips.
The last sound is silence.
It is in this silence we can rest and let the pinwheel stop for just a moment before returning to our day. Feel the vibration which surrounds you as you are able to rest in peace.
Pure light is right behind this cellophane wrap. I can see it. I could touch it even...only if I made the choice to finally tear it away. But it’s that choice which is the hardest. To shed everything and step towards it. Be one; truly luminous. I can see the cellophane. But I don't want to walk through. I'd rather compromise and continue to watch the pretty light...
Perhaps, our greatest asset in life is to be trusted. When young, I had a retail job where I had the responsibility of opening up the store. Remarkably, the owner entrusted me with the keys to his store. Amazing that he entrusted me with so much responsibility for all his goods. I responded by making sure that I did everything right. Holding on to those keys, making sure that no unknown customer would take them and use them. To be entrusted with the store keys made me more trustworthy.
Take a look at this collection of images on the "trust". Much can be learned. Enjoy. Here's an example:
Going past images and sounds – a “you”, non-you, opens another way of “seeing”. Mystics and scientists extend themselves into such extraordinary extra-dimensional views. We buy food, entertainment, and things – not happiness. Daily contemplation of basic truths, prayer and meditation – in the morning, afternoon and evening; ease and happiness spontaneously arise. By good example and state of being, those around you will be encouraged. Your happiness belongs to everyone. No need to convince anyone. Blossom like a flower; the rest takes care of itself.
"We must do away with the absolutely specious notion
that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten
thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all
the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense
of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that
everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to
Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have
inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to
inspect inspectors. The true business
of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they
were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a
Basic reality cannot be realized by words, thoughts or pictures The Ultimate cannot be realized by words, thoughts, or pictures Un-expressible it is Beyond knowledge it is Go toward stillness until arriving at peace beyond understanding There within nowhere the you that is you just is
1972, the following are the words of Lakota prophet John Fire Lame Deer published in the book Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions. "Only human beings have come to a point where they no longer know why they exist. They don't use their brains, and they have forgotten the secret knowledge of their bodies, their senses, or their dreams. They don't use the knowledge the spirit has put into every one of them; they are not even aware of this, and so they stumble along blindly on the road to nowhere -- a paved highway which they themselves bulldoze and make smooth so that they can get faster to the big empty hole which they'll find at the end, waiting to swallow them up. It's a quick, comfortable superhighway, but I know where it leads to. I've seen it. I've been there in my vision, and it makes me shudder to think about it."
We quest for knowledge of stars and atoms, forgetting the knowledge of Life and soul; and, recklessly subduing the earth and each other. It’s time for a new alliance of humans, earth, and cosmos; and humble submission to the Source of all-that-is.
There's a sense of wonder within us. When we're children the world is full of wonder – everything looks new – permeated with deep feelings of wonder and awe. The sense of pure existence is all pervasive and natural; but, we age and get focused on “things” forgetting being. Our work is to recover that.
The word "God" is loaded with all kinds of meanings. We can speak of God in many ways - and all of them would be right and also wrong from one perspective or another. To me, God is a word for Ultimate Reality - a cosmic sense of Presence within and all around. On a small 3x5 card a few months ago, I wrote the following:
It's that simple. And, that difficult! I urge people to surrender to the mystical and the unknown. We can't ever get to the "bottom" of reality. It's awesome, is it not?