The Leaves On The Stream

My Private Oasis

My Private Oasis

SEDONA, AZ—I watch the leaves—yellow and gold and red and brown—drift along the stream in the desert outside Sedona. Occasionally, a curved leaf falls upon the water and it slides up-current, blown by the wind, dodging in and out of the other oncoming leaves—its shape acting like a sail.

It’s beautiful and it’s pure and it’s mindless.

Sitting next to the stream, in my camp chair, in a private oasis that I stumbled upon by some miracle, I pull open my laptop and type this.

This morning, in Flagstaff, I sold off some DVDs (I buy them used, burn them to a hard drive, then sell them back). With a $16 store credit in hand, I went to the cashier to apply it to another DVD collection when the cashier said, “Oh! You get your purchase for free.” She explained that two people per month get a free purchase, purely at random and this was the first she’d experienced, so I smiled and I thanked her and I handed my $16 credit to the next customer I saw and she was surprised and grateful and amazed at my foolishness and I walked out the door and felt alive and blessed and I left Flagstaff behind me and I travelled south to warmer climes.

When I awoke this morning, I thought about how poorly NonAbusers was received and it angered me because I truly thought this idea could change society and I realized that all the problems in this world are caused by egos and apathy and the problems of NA are just a reflection of exactly that—people too afraid to join or people who just don’t care.

Then I looked out from camp at the forest and the squirrels and the crows all foraging for food and I hear in my head my mother’s voice repeating what she told me the other day when she said, “Don’t give up on them Wayne.”

When I think about the world’s problems, about NA’s problems, I just get frustrated. Only one in a hundred spiritual seekers—what should be the most moral people on the planet—only 1% felt brave enough to say publicly, “I won’t abuse you.”

The mind, the ego, the fears. No wonder the world’s going to hell. Maybe Mankind’s just not ready for peace. Maybe they’re not ready for Her.

“Don’t give up on them Wayne.”

But then I looked back at the still forest and I stepped out of my mind, and I pulled away the self-contraction and my boundaries disappeared and I expanded and the forest and the squirrels and the crows all arose and lived inside of me…

And I felt bliss.

And in this bliss, the rest of the day, like the leaves on the stream, flowed beautifully.

Humble. Compassionate. Kind. Loving.

A Tiny Tree In A Large Forest

A Tiny Tree In A Large Forest

FLAGSTAFF, AZ—To wake up, you must transcend the ego. One in a million can do this by accident, but for the rest of us, we must weaken the ego first.

As I inferred over on this NonAbusers blog post today, weakening the ego makes us humbler, kinder and more understanding.

Wonderful traits.

But we’ll never gain them by thinking about them.

The ego is humbled by failure. The ego is weakened by mistakes.

Live in Mystical Oneness. Put yourself to the test. Fail at it time and time again.

Make your mistakes, be called out as a hypocrite, screw up and be embarrassed (feel the ego resisting?).

Every time you fail (“experience runs deep“), you will grow more humblecompassionatekind, and loving in the process.

Humble. Compassionate. Kind. Loving.

These are not the traits of the ego. These are the traits of the Divine in us all.

Humble. Compassionate. Kind. Loving.

To feel these—to live these—aren’t they worth a little embarrassment?

The smart have their books—the wise have their scars.

Eroding The Ego

Soft Needles

Soft Needles

FLAGSTAFF, AZ—Though it is getting colder, I’m still in Flagstaff awaiting a couple of things: Some NonAbusers shirts and my vehicle registration. An odd feature of the nomadic life is that, while mail magically appears out of thin air for most, for nomads we have to go out of our way to receive it.

Everything has a cost, but as for everything of value, a little pain is worth it.

Here’s the thing: From what I can tell, a little pain is a requirement for any worthwhile growth, whether that growth is financial, emotional, mental, physical or spiritual.

I was exchanging emails the other day with a long-time reader (I’ll leave his name out as he doesn’t appear to mention it on his site) about how a personal blog—even an anonymous one—acts as an excellent tool for eroding the ego. Oddly enough, confessing your humanity publicly—confessing how you are pretty much like everyone else on the planet—is painful to the ego.

How odd is that? “I am a lot like everyone else and my ego hates it.”

Your ego wants you to be perfect, but, ironically, it won’t let you be perfect. Why? Because it is afraid of failing, so it does everything in its power to keep you from even trying.

As I recently found out, a lot of people are resistant to taking a simple vow to no longer intentionally harm others. This resistance boggled my mind, but as I discovered, this resistance is because their ego fears they will someday break the vow—that they will fail to be perfect.

This is the same reason why people talk about their spiritual beliefs, but don’t walk them: Their egos don’t want them to fail at living up to them.

If you want to weaken your ego, if you want to be closer to the Divine, if you want less of you and more of Her, … then you have to be willing to confront your ego head-on.

You have to be willing to fail.

For any serious growth to occur in your life, you ARE going to fail and it IS going to hurt.

But…

But you will also grow and thrive and reap all the benefits of living authentically. You will fail repeatedly, but you will also live true.

The smart man has books. The wise man has scars.

And I’ll take those scars any day of the week.

And the Frog Master Sat

My Frog Master

My Frog Master

PORTLAND, OR—Yesterday, the 12th of August, was the five year anniversary of my relationship with the Frog Master. So I thought it appropriate that I spend some time in the spot where I first met him and revisit his message:

Separation from the One arises from thoughts.

Yesterday, on a little rock in a little brook, as if waiting for my return, the Frog Master sat.

I saw him, smiled and took a seat on a rock—the very same rock that started it all. The view was the same, overlooking a tiny snow-fed stream and a small open field and the peak of Mt. Hood.

The brook murmured gently, I took a photo, and put the camera aside…

And the Frog Master sat.

I got comfortable and expanded. As thoughts would come up, I’d shine the Light of Awareness on them and watch as they’d evaporate and their power over me would vanish…

And—still as a stone—the Frog Master sat.

Adyashanti once told me that his teacher once told him that it takes between 5 and 15 years after enlightenment for the mind to settle and quiet down.

My mind is less noisy than it was five years ago, but still more noisy than I’d like—but when it is still, or when I’m aware and can push away or dissolve the thoughts, a vastness and peace fills me.

As I sat there, just as the vastness happened, I glanced down spontaneously…

And the Frog Master sat.

The quiet mind is the bliss state that so many spiritual seekers seek, the radiant glow of immersion in the Present Moment. No self. No self-centeredness. No separation. And yet, unlike the Frog Master, the awakened are aware of it all.

I looked down for confirmation…

And the Frog Master sat.

To transcend the mind—not to beat it into silence or to ignore its usefulness. To drop expectations, to stop measuring one’s development against the mythologies, to relax and let go. To surrender completely to Her will.

And I sat and I’d flow between the Mind and the Light and the Source—different states of contraction, different levels of immersion in TaoGodHer.

And as I’d flow between these states…

My Frog Master sat.

The Shadow Falls

The Broken Forest

The Broken Forest

CAMP 3 (or 4), MT HOOD, OR—I’ve been feeling particularly dark lately. Though it would be easy to blame it all on work, I secretly believe it’s all Michelle’s fault. She’s wrestling with her Shadow, and as any Mystic/student relationship worth its salt is, there’s an almost constant… reflection of her life in mine.

Last I read Ken Wilber (which was awhile ago), he was advocating doing Shadow work in conjunction with other integral practices to help the seeker progress along the spiritual path. I wholeheartedly agree—though, as you will see, the Shadow may reveal itself all on its own.

Shadow work is any technique that helps you uncover deep repressed emotional and psychological material. I spent years with Holosync for just that purpose and still swear by its benefits, but as Michelle is finding out, as the ego decays and loses its repressive energy, the Shadow will awaken.

And yesterday at work my chakras started dumping out junk again, until ANOTHER one stuck. I spent about an hour writing it out last night but didn’t get to the bottom of it before I was too tired and had to go to bed. Negative energy and emotions are EXHAUSTING. I don’t know how I, and therefore most human beings for that matter, have lived with all this junk stored away on a permanent basis.

I believe one of the reasons you feel so much lighter and happier after the ego drops away is because the Shadow, with nothing left to hold it in, ejects from the system and vanishes. All that dark matter, the “junk” as Michelle calls it, disappears.

The spontaneous eruption of the Shadow, as painful as it can be, is also a very powerful indicator that the ego is finally dissolving.

See also my Dark Night of the Soul.

How To Dramatically Increase Your Luck

The Subtle Light of Life

The Subtle Light of Life

CAMP 3 (or 4), MT HOOD, OR—I came down off my mountain to hang out with Randy the Mobile Kodger for the afternoon. When I told him I’d been thinking of using the term luck instead of synchronicity he spontaneously slid into his Southern Baptist Preacher persona (which anyone who has been around Randy for more than five minutes is quite familiar with), and sang its praises.

Synchronicity is just another word for Luck. Good luck. Outstanding luck. Luck bordering on the magical.

From a consistent standpoint, I am the luckiest person I have ever met, and I know at least a dozen people who would agree with me.

I may not have won the lottery (yet), but I have consistently good luck. Outstanding luck. Magical luck.

Why? Because the less there is of the Wayne-thing, the more there is of the Divine-thing, and the Divine-thing has all sorts of resources at Her disposal.

So how do you dramatically increase your luck? How do you “get lucky” on a consistent basis?

  1. Live as if you never die. Research the evidence of the Soul and recognize there is zero evidence to the contrary. Then start living as if you live forever. Your ego (the State-Your-Name-thing) will take a serious hit—and that is a very good thing when it comes to getting lucky.
  2. Open to Radiance. Feel the natural Love you have for yourself, then open and allow that Love to flow outward onto others (people, plants, animals, rocks). Surrender to this Love and whatever naturally arises. Your ego will take another serious hit.
  3. Practice Emptiness. Dig out and drop everything your mind says is true about the personal self. The personal self (ego) is an illusion and it’s all in your head.

Do these practices one at a time or concurrently, but if you do them one at a time, then I strongly suggest you do them in the order above. Pretty soon, there will be far less of “you” in your life and a hell of a lot more of the Divine.

And the less there is of you, the more lucky you’ll get.

The Gateless Gate

There Is No Gate

There Is No Gate

MT HOOD, ORMichelle is standing right in front of the Gateless Gate. All she has to do is step through. I can’t pull her through, nor can I sneak around behind her and push her through. Why? Because the Gate (separation) doesn’t exist. It’s all in your head. It’s built by the ego.

It’s called the gateless gate (an imaginary barrier that seems very real) because once you experience the me (the Gate) as just a mental construct, you “look back” and see it was all in your head. It’s not there anymore.

When you do step through, you lose the ability to say who or what you are. If you look at the last line of what I wrote yesterday, about my mom confusing me and TaoGodHer, you’ll notice that in the same sentence I do the same damn thing! And I do this all the time.

I don’t know who or what I am anymore and this doesn’t bother me in the least. In fact, I think this is a perfectly natural attitude for people who’ve stepped through the Gate. There is simply no Me-thing. There’s a Wayne-thing, a contraction that functions in the world, but that doesn’t feel like me anymore… it feels like other.

Here’s what I wrote Michelle yesterday to try to help encourage her to step through the Gateless Gate. If you’re close to the Gate, if you too are on the edge of the Void, then I hope this helps:


This is very, very, let me say it one more time, very important:

If you can see it, then it isn’t You.

If you can see or experience it, then it isn’t the Real You.

Right? There have to be TWO things there, You and that which you see or experience.

Tolle said on his realization (me quoting from memory), “I realized I hated myself. Then I realized who is hating who? Are there two of me? Which one is the real me?”

See my video Mystical vs Non-Mystical Enlightenment around the 1:20 mark, as my fingers, representing my boundaries, snap and disappear.

Don’t get hung up on what you ARE, but focus on what you are not.

Don’t try to define what you are, you can’t. I can’t tell you what I am—I do know I’m not made of “ORs” (this thing or that thing), but “ANDs.” (You are in control of yourself, AND you’re not in control of yourself.)

You’re right there on the edge. The Gateless Gate is right in front of you.

Are you your thoughts? Are you your experiences? Are you your memories? Are you your emotions?

Or are you that which experiences these things?

Don’t just think on this. Feel it. Go into Radiance, pull away and drop anything that is “not You”… anything that you can see and experience.


PS: I apologize to anyone to whom I didn’t post a testimonial from. Though I read every comment and email, I often forget to save compliments to my Testimonials folder (which is where I assembled the page from)—must be that discomfort-with-compliments thing I mentioned. I’ll try to do better from now on as I plan on updating that page on a monthly basis (much like I update the Favorite Photos page every month).

The Ego Is Just A Bunch Of Thoughts

Lake Tahoe On A Windy Day

Lake Tahoe On A Windy Day

LAKE TAHOE, CA/NV—The final event which led to the dropping of my ego was sitting next to a frog (my Frog Master) and wondering how he could sit still for hours on end while sitting still for hours on end was driving me crazy.

This event led to the following:

I realized that thoughts weren’t real… and everything I knew about myself consisted of thoughts.

And that’s the gist and importance of the previous post.

What are you without your thoughts?

Bonus: The email exchange that started this thread, to which I am grateful…


(P___’s response to The Subtle Senses Of Self post.)

Fundamental sense of identity. Thanks for the list of definitions. Having read your posts for well over a year now I have a fairly decent grasp of what you’re pointing to when you talk about “radiance”, “emptiness” and the “soul level”. But it’s nice to have you clarify the terms.

I think your taxonomy is more complicated than it needs to be.

I grew up in the northeast US of A near the Hudson river – a major geographical landmark and commercial waterway. Other people live near the Potomac river, or the Mississippi river or the Nile – all great rivers, full of history, commerce and geographical significance.

Now – look at a full photograph of the Earth – a 3D globe is even better. There are oceans labeled the “Pacific”, the “Atlantic”, the “Indian Ocean”, etc. But it is also abundantly clear that there is just “One” body of water on our planet. The Earth is seventy-five percent covered with water – it’s all over the place. The Atlantic and Pacific oceans are connected – as are the Indian ocean and the Arctic ocean and the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. In fact it is wrong to think about them as being different, or separate seas that are somehow “connected”.

All the rivers all over the world and all the lakes and all the ponds are composed of the same water from the same great source. It is all “ONE” great body of water that is all over the place and we just arbitrarily name different areas of it with different names. There is no”connection” between them. There is no “them”. There is only the water – pure and simple.

And this is made crystal clear by just looking at a good map or a globe of the world. There is no logical deduction to be be made. You don’t have to “reason” this out. It is “slap you in the face” plainly obvious if you just take the time to look.

So it is with consciousness and our innate sense of self. The self that we all experience, the mind that inhabits all of us (and which we inhabit) is the GREAT MIND – the oceanic consciousness that envelopes our world – and likely the cosmos beyond. There is no other mind. We are not little bits of consciousness walking around trying to make connections with one another. We are all the same magical and mystical being but located at different spots and calling ourselves by different names – “I am the Hudson. Which river are you?” Hah!

I think it plays too well to our analytical, logical intellects to define different “levels” of selfhood. It makes the intellect/ego think it can reason or manipulate its way to oceanic awareness. “I’m almost there – just one more level to climb”.

You’re already there. There is no climbing or self-improvement to be done. We just have to stop mis-identifying ourselves with the limited, unique specifics of our lives.

PS – I agree that there is a “level” of realization beyond that of universal selfhood. Once you fully understand that you are the universe and the universe is you – it is possible to experience a form of consciousness (?) that leaves all traces of selfhood behind. You reference Adyashanti in this regard. I call it the “Realm of Isness” – my own particular wording for something that really can not be talked about. Naked reality? The ground floor of existence? That which simply IS?

Wishing you the best – P___

And keep on keepin’ on.


My blog post in response.


(P___’s response)

You are 100 percent correct. There is the naked, pure, absolute reality that is flooding our senses all of the time every day – and then there is the constant flow of abstract thoughts, images, memories, etc that we lay over the real world. We often confuse the real with the abstract.

They say there is an equator around our world. If I traveled south to its location I doubt that I would see it. Could I pick it up? I doubt it. There is a north pole on our world. What would I see if I traveled there?

At this moment, as I sit with a keyboard in front of me and gaze out the window at the trees beyond, I see the world that is before me at this moment – NOW. I hear the voice of my wife in the other room – NOW. I feel the chair beneath me – HERE and NOW. And I am part of everything that I experience. I see the world with MY eyes. I hear the world with MY ears. I am an integral, necessary. and inescapable part of all that I experience – and it can not be otherwise. So am I merely an extension of the world, or is the world merely an extension of me?

Maybe the world and I are extensions of each other. Where do I end and it begins?

I didn’t mean to confuse the real with the abstract. My use of the water/ocean metaphor was meant soley as a means of illustrating to the unenlightened how our sense of identity can be both particular and universal at the same time. But it was only meant as a metaphor.

Words are devilishly slippery things. I suppose its sometimes better to just be silent and let the world/nature speak for itself.

P___

Keep on keepin’ on


(My response)

I knew you’d get it P___. Wasn’t sure if it would offend you, but I knew you’d get what I was saying. :)

I am just as guilty (as I hope I made apparent in the post) of confusing thoughts/beliefs with truth. Thoughts are tenacious little bastards!

But as I pointed out in the comments, I hope people realize that I experience the flow between the different selves, the different lived experiences of self-contraction. What you and I were talking about was the Nondual, the Emptiness, the One without an other, and I was just experimenting to see how much was true (me as everything I perceived) and how much was belief (TaoGodHer as Everything). Doesn’t mean beliefs aren’t true, just life and thoughts become friendlier and more flowing when we can distinguish between beliefs and reality.

Anyway, I got a lot out of the post too, so thank-you! :)

Be well,

Wayne (Wirs)


(P___’s response)

I subscribe to your posts because it is very clear to me that you have “been there and done that” and are sincerely trying to bring others along the “pathless path”. I appreciate this greatly and hope that you continue.

I wish you the best. And thanks for taking the time to reply.

P___


END OF THREAD

Now go back to the top of this post and really contemplate it. What are you without your thoughts? – Don’t answer it, feel it.

Negative Reinforcement

Too Much Mind. Too Little Light.

Too Much Mind. Too Little Light.

FRESNO, CA—When it comes to spiritual development, I’m a big fan of negative reinforcement. If it sucks, you’ll tend to avoid it. So un-Buddhist of me I know, but it works (I’m not a Buddhist).

In this forum post, I respond to micherts comment about the analytical mind and how I use my dislike of the mind to strengthen the Love/Light in me.

Turns out, Thomas Merton might have been a fan of negative reinforcement too:

In humility is the greatest freedom. As long as you have to defend the imaginary self that you think is important, you lose your peace of heart. As soon as you compare that shadow with the shadows of other people, you lose all joy, because you have begun to trade in unrealities and there is no joy in things that do not exist.

-Thomas Merton

Volumes have been written about what Merton says in just three little sentences. Beautiful.

As long as you have to defend the imaginary self that you think is important, you lose your peace of heart.

In other words: If you keep defending your personal self (imaginary self), then your life is going to suck.

Bad dog! Bad! Drop that right now! You bad dog.

Negative reinforcement: Bad for dogs—good for you.

(All silliness aside, read those three sentences again. Powerful words.)

Between Self and No-Self

Frog Master Stand-In

Frog Master Stand-In Contemplates the Gateless Gate

WICKHAM CP, FL—For your next emotional roller coaster—and don’t kid yourself, there’s always one just around the corner—I present the following practice:

Imagine my Frog Master sitting on your shoulder for the next few days, seeing the exact same physical world as you are seeing.

Why is he not being affected by these events? Why is he so much better than you are at dealing with the world?

Keep this visualization in mind as you go through the next few days.

Now keep in mind, I’m not saying be like the Frog Master, I’m saying live the experience, suffer if that is what you feel, but ask yourself, “Why isn’t the damn Frog suffering?”

“Why are these events affecting me—why are they affecting everyone else here—but they’re not affecting him?”

I’m turning comments off on this post because this is not a lesson to be discussed or analyzed.

This exercise is designed to be lived and experienced.

It is designed to wake you up.