Has it ever occurred to you that pretty much everyone lives in their own world? Has their own viewpoints on things, their own opinions and presumptions which they each use to arrive at a totally personalized conclusion on reality? The world, as you and I see it, is a personal dream which admittedly appears very real. And yet you and I can see through the illusion at any moment, when we fix our internal gaze on the unchangeably real. Anything that sounds so simple, is for the mind an object of ridicule. But I ask you, who would ever really want love, were it something only effortfully attainable, set up to then generate even more complications?
We generally associate dreams exclusively with sleep. We are hardly aware of the fact that we move around in a constant dream, as soon as the mind is no more attending to the present moment. Our understanding of the usefulness of time and space has been limited to searching, finding or creating things and experiences that should fit into, or be removed from, our lives. Our so-called daydreams are being dreamed practically unceasingly, even with assigned definitions such as concepts, plans, wishes and will. Depending on the choices I make, I can totally casually identify my siblings in the dream as lovely or unlikable, pleasant or repulsive, by having constructed such views of them. After such a painstaking categorization process, how could I see a person under a different light than the one I have internally shed on him? And were then a sibling in our shared dream to behave in accordance with these preconceptions of mine, how can I not applaud myself for having formed them, affirming my right to see and evaluate each person exactly as it subconsciously suits me?
So this is indeed how I see in the dream all who are close to me. I dream them up exactly as lovingly or flawedly as my perception reveals them to me. Thus, for example, I can be spotting in another person inadequacies which are visible only to me because of my narrow point of view. I then obviously need to point out to other people these errors, and consequently also my anguish for not being understood, as I somehow strangely seem to be the only person noticing some things. Which could likewise be a definitive sign that the way I am embodying my part of the dream here, is not especially gracious. Why am I doing this to myself, enduring by my side such apparently inferior people? Have I lost my wits a little bit? Yes, exactly, that has to be it.
Just do an experiment for a few days, and don’t be so eager at recognizing in the other person the blemishes which annoy you or even make you angry. Stop looking for opportunities to strike and to raise yourself above them. Look beyond the unwelcome and identify what truly hides behind it. Because if they had no light in them which once united you, they could not be so close to you at all. Their light is still there, only you and I, we have unfortunately foolishly lost sight of it. Or in other words, we behold only the familiar, because we ourselves can no longer perceive the light in our own hearts without a doubt.
Luxus Lazarz translated by Leon Hieros
You think this is just another day in your life?
It’s not just another day!
It’s the one day that was given to you…
It’s a gift!
It’s the only gift that you have;
And the only appropriate response
If you learn to respond as if it were
the first day in your life
and the very last day,
then you will have spent this day very well!
Begin by opening your eyes
and be surprised
that you have eyes you can open!
That incredible array of colors
that is constantly offered to us…
for pure enjoyment!
Look at the sky!
Really look at the sky; note how
different it is from moment to moment
with clouds coming and going…
Open your eyes! Look at that!
Look at the faces of people you meet!
Each one has an incredible story behind their face.
Not only their own story, but the story of their ancestors.
All that life from generations
and from so many persons around the world,
flows together and meets you here…
Like life-giving water,
if you only open your heart and drink…
Open your heart to that incredible gifts
that civilization gives to us!
You flip the switch
and there is electric light!
Turn the faucet
and there’s warm water
and cold water…
and drinkable water!
A gift that
millions and millions in the world
will never experience…
And so I wish you
that you will open your heart
to all these blessings
and let them flow through you;
that everyone whom you will meet on this day
will be blessed by you…
Just by your presence…
Let the gratefulness
only flow into blessing
all around you…
it will really be
a good day!
Brother David Steindl-Rast transcribed by Leon Hieros
Hi! I was meditating this afternoon, and what came to mind –because of questions that I received this morning through e-mails– is this: that very few people are aware of how breath plays an important role in your state of mind.
For example; did you ever feel as if you have no energy at all, for no apparent reason? Did you feel tired, even after sitting down for a long time?
Well, let me give you one fact; and this is going to be very simple; but very important knowledge.
Your brain requires three times, or more, energy, oxygen, than the rest of your body. And this is all done with your breath.
Now, there are a few things that you might not be aware of.
One, is that when you feel out of energy, it is because you might have retained the breath –unknowingly of course; unconsciously– because of some negative thinking.
Also, you find that even when you try to meditate and watch your breath, you’re trying to control your breath; without realizing it.
So one important fact to understand at this point is this:
You, as an ego, do not breathe.
It is the spirit essence in you
that breathes you.
The essence in you
in perfect harmony.
So if you were able to watch your breath [closes his eyes for a quiet inhalation and exhalation] –going in; going out; in perfect harmony– you begin to feel good; automatically. Because your body is being replenished, so to speak, with energy (sometimes referred to as qi or prana) and so therefore you’re getting what you need.
But there are two things that we do all the time; all the time.
One is we try to control the breath; and I’m not talking about deep breathing, like in qigong or in yoga. No. That is essential, that is very important, because we have to learn to breathe from the stomach.
So as a matter of fact, to know how you should breathe, place your hands on your stomach now, and take a deep breath.
Don’t take it from the nose –sniiiff– like that.
Take it through the nose by blowing out a balloon with your stomach [demonstrates].
Once you learn to breathe deeply, then you will find that even when you sit very still and watch your breath, you’ll find a perfect harmonious rhythm.
If you, at any time, while meditating and watching your breath, you try to control your breath, that’s your ego; control; taking over. So you’re the kind of person that likes to get your own way; you want to be in control all the time. And the real control, is not you. As far as your body is concerned, it is your breath.
And number two –another important fact– is this: that whenever you begin to feel as if there is a pause in your breathing rhythm… You hold your breath, okay? And at the moment of holding, you are thinking something negative. Isn’t it something?
But we do not realize that: how much energy it takes to even think a negative thought.
So, as a matter of fact, right now, let’s give it a try, okay?
You’re watching this. Close your eyes for a moment, and start watching your breath.
OK. Now, as you watch your breath, go with the flow.
Now I’m going to ask you one thing, as you watch your breath.
Are you controlling your breath?
Ninety-five percent you’re doing so.
But it’s good to know.
Because when you know
you’re controlling your breath,
all you have to do is simply learn to let go!
And allow the breathing to create its own balance and harmony.
Nature is always working perfectly. All you have to do is allow it. See?
Number two is, when you are retaining your breath,
it is because every time you think a negative thought…
It’s alright now; you’re still watching your breath.
Just let it go in and out…
Do nothing; do not control…
Just watch it.
Feel you’re being breathed, in other words.
Allow nature to do the breathing.
Do not breathe yourself.
Now I’ll tell you what.
Think a negative thought now. Any negative thought. Any worry… feeling of lack… trepidation… fear, guilt… whatever.
OK. Think of it right now.
Did you find that while you were thinking that,
you held your breath?
Even a little bit?
Every time you hold your breath,
you’re not sending energy to your brain.
And that’s why you begin to feel tired and exhausted.
And sometimes you can really feel bad to the point where it makes you sick.
So this is imperative –especially for those of you who teach qigong, and who teach yoga, and… any exercise, actually– is to learn to be one with your breath.
When you learn to be one with your breath,
then it is very easy to learn how to meditate.
Burt Harding transcribed by Leon Hieros
Thank you dearest Betty!