Staying humble.

Why stay humble in life? Many people will tell you to do so because there is always going to be someone better out there than you, that’s one reason and it’s a great reason, I’d like to offer more reasons though from another perspective. I feel being humble shows wisdom. When you start delving into spiritual teachings and you learn the oneness and interconnectivity of all seemingly separate things you realise you have no choice but to be humble.

What can we truly take credit for in our lives? We didn’t pick our parents, our culture, our genetics, our initial religion, morals and values that were taught to us, we were taught our language, anything we excel at in life another person gave us their knowledge on the subject, skill or craft, the majority of us don’t make the food we eat the drinks we drink, the clothes we wear, the cars we drive etc…I could go on and on but I hope you see my point…

We feel proud of our achievements, we feel like a separate entity, but if we look closer that is just being ignorant. What we call ” Me” is a team effort, everyone in the world has their place, everyone is needed for something, most of us don’t like the situation we find ourselves in but we must realise everything and everyone is how it is for a reason. It’s natural to feel proud of our achievements or our appearance or our intelligence or whatever, but behind the pride we should feel gratitude to all the people that have, are and will support us and that support comes from the entire world in one way or another.

From the simple cleaner to the powerful business man, everyone is playing a role, everyone is ” God playing dress ups”, when you look at another you are looking at another part of yourself. Be humble for the simple fact that you as you see and feel yourself to be can’t exist alone, it’s impossible, there isn’t you living a life, the essence of what you are and the essence of everything is life.

Just something to think about, thanks for reading, at the time of writing this it’s New Year’s Eve 2018, all the best to you all in 2019!

Simon Coleman.

Meditation, how to do it..

The title is a bit misleading, there is more than one way to meditate but in this post I’m going to share how I personally do it, if it doesn’t resonate with you that’s perfectly fine, we all need to find what works for us.

Meditation is the formal practice of mindfulness, Mindfulness is the informal practice of meditation, the two work together and strengthen one another, I’ll get into mindfulness in a future post.

As for meditation, one of the most important aspects is our posture, we need an alert, upright posture, but like anything there is always a middle way. We don’t want to be too tense and rigid but at the same time not too relaxed, an important aspect of our posture in meditation is that our back remains straight and unsupported. It needs to remain unsupported to keep us awake and alert, our mind and body work together, a sloppy posture makes a sloppy mind.

We can sit crossed legged on the floor, on a chair ( with our back unsupported) or we can use a meditation bench, which is what I personally use, a picture of it is found below, you kneel on it and it takes the pressure off your legs.

However you decide to sit though make sure you are comfortable, that you can maintain the position for at least 20 mins. Like I said earlier the posture needs to be upright, alert and stable. We want our body to be able to hold this posture and remain still for a set period of time, when we hold our body still our mind eventually calms down and becomes still too. My personal posture is in the picture below while I sit on the meditation bench.

Once we are settled and comfortable in our posture we want to close our eyes and bring our attention to our breathing. It’s preferred to breathe in and out of our nose but if you can’t, breathing through the mouth is perfectly ok too. Our breathing should be felt from our diaphragm not our chest, chest breathing promotes shallow breathing, we want relaxed breaths from our diaphragm. To focus on our breathing means to become aware of the feeling of it, to be aware that it is happening, the reason we become aware of our breath is because it’s a present moment experience, we have no option but to be in the present when we focus on it.

I view following my breathing as a kind of a home base though, as I follow it, if something else grabs my attention say a sound, a feeling, or even a thought I focus on that which has grabbed my attention, become aware of it then return back to home base, the breath. Meditation is about becoming aware of what’s happening while it’s happening and accepting what’s happening with non judgement and openness.

We can’t do meditation wrong, the only goal we have is to just sit still for a certain period of time and watch what comes up, some meditation sessions your mind will be racing and that’s ok, become aware of that and accept it’s happening, other days your mind will be calm and peaceful, that’s ok, become aware of it and accept it’s happening. What we are trying to do is to just sit, be open and accepting to whatever arises, to realise we see the beginning and end of every thought, feeling, perception and sensation, to realise because we are able to do this it means we can’t possibly be any of those things we do become aware of.

Meditation as I mentioned earlier is the formal practice of mindfulness, what will slowly begin to happen the more you practice is that you will take the accepting, non judgmental attitude that you cultivate on the meditation cushion into everyday life which is the secret to inner peace. Peace comes from acceptance of what is, even if it means we must accept that we can’t accept a situation.

All we must do is just sit and watch. Watch frustration come and go, watch boredom come and go, watch feelings of calm come and go, our job isn’t to achieve any particular experience or state but to realise you are that which all experiences and states come and go within.

I usually meditate for 45 minutes per day with my longest being 3 hours and shortest 5 minutes, you can sit for any length of time, what’s more important than time is consistency, doing 10 mins a day is better than 1 hour once a week, treat it as showering or brushing your teeth, it’s daily hygiene for the mind.

I’ll leave it at that for now, any questions or thoughts feel free to leave a comment below, thanks for reading.

Simon Coleman.

The Ego, it’s not evil, it doesn’t and can’t be killed.

The Ego, discussed so often in spiritual teachings, many times its made out to be the evilest thing, the root cause of all of our personal problems, but if we really look at what the ego is we will find its not only not a problem but it’s an essential function of the human experience.

The reason the ego gets such a bad rap isn’t because it’s essentially evil but because the majority of humans believe the ego-self is all they are, they believe the story the ego tells them is reality and when you believe it’s all you are it is bound to cause problems.

So what is the function of the ego? The only function of the ego is to give us the illusion of separation, to make reality appear as a countless number of people, places and things and to make us appear as a separate entity amongst it all. An important word I just used was ” illusion” an illusion is something that is not what it appears to be, the whole end goal of the spiritual path is not to get rid of the ego which is in fact impossible, but to see through the illusion of the ego, to see its just a storyteller and that’s perfectly ok.

For people that insist that we must get rid of the ego to find peace, I can tell you we experience a state of egolessness every night, its called deep, dreamless sleep. In that state we experience no time, no space, no self, no world. It’s a state of bliss and peace, that state never leaves us but in the dream and waking states it gets hidden when the ego reforms, with it comes the illusion of time, space, a self and a world.

To truly understand and live the spiritual life is to understand the fundamental idea that all reality is from the one source, it never ultimately has problems or makes mistakes, the world as it appears to us is an illusion, we don’t have to get rid of the illusion, we just need to see through it.

We should be grateful for our ego because without it we couldn’t experience the wide variety of thoughts, feelings, emotions and experiences that we do, and like I said, the ego isn’t the cause of all our problems, its believing thats all that we are that is the problem.

Trying to get rid of our ego is our ego, it is not only impossible, unnecessary and going to frustrate us, its not even required to do, all that is required is to see who we really are and everything we thought we were will cease to bother us, the illusion continues, believing it doesn’t. I have so much more to write on this topic, including how to see through the ego but I’ll leave that for a future post, take care and thanks for reading.

Simon Coleman.

Meditation, why bother..?

Meditation, why bother? To someone looking from the outside it may seem like one of the most unproductive things you could do, sitting still in silence with eyes closed and not moving for a set period of time, couldn’t that 20 mins to an hour be better spent doing something more productive?

Our minds are addicted to thinking but too much of it causes problems, Our bodies enjoy resting but too much inactivity isn’t healthy either. Our minds need a set time to remain still just as our bodies need a set time to engage in activity.

Our minds feel a one size fits all approach solves all of lifes problems, it feels “ doing” whether physically or mentally solves all problems. In certain situations we need to take action, in other situations we need inaction, especially with our feelings and many useless thoughts. Our feelings require no action, negative thoughts require no action, if we don’t learn how to sit with and face uncomfortable thoughts and feelings, to learn how to “ do nothing” with them, we are always gonna be trying to fix, get rid of, or react to uncomfortable thoughts and feelings, reacting is the worst thing you can do, especially in the midst of anger.

What meditation can teach us is the ability to observe thoughts and feelings arise, watch them come and go like a person watching the traffic pass along a busy road and become detached from them, to realise they aren’t us and more importantly give us a chance to respond to situations not react.

So much trouble in our lives comes from reacting to thoughts and emotions, if we learn to harness the ability to remain calm then take action, our lives would go a lot smoother. Another thing meditation can teach us is non distraction , in a world full of distraction and reaction learning the ability not to react and not to be distracted is a great assest, the majority of people are reactive and distracted, so if you aren’t like the majority you have an advantage.

There are many more benefits to meditation but I thought I’d mention just a few to get anyone new to the topic interested. To sum up, the ability to watch your thoughts and feelings in a detached way without reacting to them and only responding if the situation calls for it is powerful, the ability to remain focused and not distracted is another powerful benefit.

In a world full of impulse, emotion and distraction, the ability to do the opposite will improve your life tremendously, this post was just to peak your interest, in a future post I’ll talk about ways to practice meditation, particularly mindfulness meditation, I’ll also discuss how mindfulness and meditation are really the same practice, with one strengthening the other, until then thanks for reading.

Simon Coleman.

Unconditional love, it’s the essence of what you are.

Unconditional love, it’s not something you do it’s something you already are. Unconditional love means unconditional acceptance, it means that no matter what happens, it is allowed and accepted to happen.

In an earlier post I mentioned that we are all living a double life, look outwards into the world and we see our egoic life, a life filled with time, space, separation, fullness and conditional love. Turn inward and we see our divinity, we see infinity, eternity, emptiness, non separation and unconditional love.

Our egoic self, the self we believe ourselves to be can only love conditionally, that’s just the reality of it, we love the people we love for a reason, due to conditions, it’s not a bad thing its just is what it is. The closest our ego can come to unconditional love is parental love, that is the love a parent experiences for their children.

The essence of all reality is God, the Universe, Brahman, the Tao whatever name you wish to call it, and you are never separate from that, you are that. When people say “ If God is so loving why does he allow bad things to happen?” The problem with that statement is thinking God is separate from its creation.

If the essence of all is “ God” then God has no choice but to love unconditionally. Our minds judge good and bad, our minds have preferences but our minds can’t understand ultimate reality. The fact that something is happening means that it has already been accepted.

The essence of what we are is unconditional love, unconditional acceptance. We don’t have to try, trying is for our egoic self. The whole take away message from this post is that we are never doing life wrong, even in our darkest moments, whenever you feel lost, hopeless or like a failure just know you are always unconditionally loved because that’s what you are at your centre, you can’t do life wrong, you are the essence life itself, you are loved.

Simon Coleman.

You’re living a double life..

You’re living a double life, we all are, most without realising it. So what do I mean by that? What I mean is that when we truly see who we are at our core we will find that, yes we are human but at the same time we are divine.

“ TAT TVAM ASI” a famous quote from the ancient Upanishad texts translates to English as “ Thou art that” in other words, whatever the indivisible essence of reality is , whether we call it “ God”, the “ Universe”, “ Brahman” etc, what you are at your core is that, you aren’t appearing in the world, the world is appearing within you.

Hearing something like this for the first time may sound strange if we were only exposed to the religions that see a creator God on one hand, and us as it’s creation on the other. Viewing life that way though always makes us feel like we are foreigners in the universe, that we are on probation so we better do the right thing or there will be consequences.

We see a separate creator and we see us, I’m here to tell you we aren’t placed into this world but we grow out of it, a fact that seems so obvious yet we seem to over look it. Everything is divine, all waves that appear separate are the ocean, they are all water. All people, animals, plants, objects etc are all divine are all “God” playing dress ups.

The ying yang symbol is a symbol of opposing forces that are always one. We only experience time because it appears in something timeless, we only experience space because it appears in something dimensionless, we experience constant change only because at our core we are changeless, all movement is in relation to something that is still and you are that timeless, dimensionless stillness.

The sense of being alive, the sense of “I am” is the divine within all of us, it’s never aging, never going anywhere, never has problems, is ever present. It’s so plain and obvious most of us never even realise it, most of us never realise what a miracle it is to be alive. We are so caught up looking outward at our human experience that we forget to look inward at our divine experience.

We are living a double life, we are human yet at the same time divine, we appear as many because there is only one source of all creation. Whatever we have, are, or will do is perfectly ok, is always meant to be how it is, just realise you’re never doing life wrong as you are the essence of life itself.

Simon Coleman

What we are seeking is to die before we die…

I love music, a song that I can’t stop playing recently is ” Shallow” by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. I, like many also love singing along to songs I enjoy. Like many great songs, around the 2.45 mark the song really peaks as the drums kick in and Gaga hits the high notes, it’s a beautiful moment.

In the midst of singing along to it and really getting into it you come to a point where you really lose yourself in the moment, it’s a wonderful feeling and it got me thinking that what we truly seek is the disappearance of our sense of self which occurs in moments like that.

Why do we look forward to sleep? Isn’t it because when we close our eyes and this world dissolves, we slip into deep sleep, we are in a state of peace, there is no sense of ” Me” in a world, it’s just total peace.

When we are in the company of loved ones, or in the midst of passionate sex, or engrossed in a fascinating book or movie, when we are in a large group cheering on our favourite sports team, if we indulge in drugs or alcohol what are we really doing? If you look deeply you’ll find we are trying to lose ourselves in the moment. I shouldn’t say try, actually I should say that is what happens.

The good news I can tell you is there is no self to lose, it’s merely an illusion and the illusion of self isn’t something that is bad or needs to be gotten rid of it just needs to be seen as a process, as a price we pay for being human it’s called ” our ego” and despite what people may tell you in spiritual circles it’s not evil, its not a problem, it only causes problems if we believe that’s all we are.

This site is dedicated to slowly make you see that there is no self, that problems appear to our ego but never to what we truly are, that we don’t appear in the world but the world appears within us. Words though fail terribly, words can only point to the truth not fully explain it, but I hope to craft my words in such a way that it can be seen for yourself intuitively.

Simon Coleman.