Q: Why are we here? What is the meaning of life?

A: The meaning of life is experience.

Q: Can you offer advice on how we can be in the world but not “of” the world?

A: This means that you live in this world, you incarnate in here, but you are also aware of: more than this reality, awareness itself, and what your spirit came here to do.  So you are aware of these three realities.

Incarnation allows our spirit to experience what it wants/needs to experience in material form, and awareness makes us automatically aware of this.  All three need to be attended to in order to be a fully integrated being.

Some religions and teachings focus on the materiality of this incarnation only. Others teach you to transcend this material world completely, that this world is just a dream.  Both have something missing from the big picture.

While it is true that you want to transcend this material world, it is more accurate to say that you want to transcend the idea that only the material world exists, to become aware of awareness itself, and to become aware of your intuition, which is a window into viewing what your spirit longs for, what it came here to do.  But how does one do this?

The first step is to become aware, to allow yourself to believe that there is more than just the material world.  This belief allows for the reality of awareness and spirit to enter into your conscious awareness.

Once you become aware of this expanded reality, focus on your awareness.  When you do this, you more consciously live your life, allowing you more of a bird’s eye view of what is happening so that you can act more in line with what your spirit has come here to do.

So, step one, open yourself up to awareness.  Step two, put your attention on awareness.  Step three, become fully aware of what you are doing.  Step four, you will naturally develop your intuition, one of its functions being to make you aware of the longings of the soul.  This is a continuing, meditative existence.  It is a continual process. In this way, you are living in the world, but are aware of much more.  You are in the world, but not of it.

As an aside, I think I should talk a little about the material world, intuition, and awareness.  

Open your eyes, and you see the material world.  It is what is.  That’s easy to see.  When you look at the world, what is looking is awareness.  It is happening automatically.  So the material world is what is, and awareness is what sees the material world.

If you focus on awareness, eventually you will also become aware of intuition.  What is intuition?  It is an internal, automatic knowingness that is in constant communication with you that is often overlooked because of our natural preoccupation with the material world.

To become more aware of intuition, focus on awareness.  This will make you more present in the moment to experience your existence more fully and automatically develop your awareness of intuition.

These three things — the material world, awareness, and intuition — seem pretty simple then.  The confusion comes about when the ego steps in.

While awareness makes you automatically aware of the material world and your intuition, sounding very simple, what your ego does is come along and comment on everything.  It makes so much noise and is present so much of the time that people think that their ego is what they are.

To help yourself out of this confusion, once again, concentrate on awareness.  This will allow you to see your ego for what it is, an automatic movement, based on past fear that occurs within your consciousness.

Once you see how automatic it is, and that it occurs within your consciousness, it becomes another thing, just like someone’s voice or a TV in the background, as you observe your life.

(continued from previous post)

There is meditation of ego consciousness.  This meditation is not best done in a quiet space, unlike the awareness meditation. It is analogous to a meditation on the inner parent consciousness.  It is actually best done while partaking in your everyday activities.

During this meditation, you watch your ego, as you go about your activities of daily living.  You watch yourself eat breakfast, you watch yourself read the news, you watch yourself watch TV, you watch yourself go to work.  In this way, you become very aware of your ego, and as you become more aware, you naturally align yourself more with your higher self, your witness consciousness.

This can become very automatic, and is a great meditation to perform every day.  Most people know about sitting down or lying to meditate, but do not practice this type of waking, day-to-day meditation, and, therefore, their sitting or lying meditation is confined to the meditation cushion instead of filling their daily lives.

In this way, you can perform sitting or lying meditation for years with little to no change.  Incorporate waking walking meditation into your life, consistently, every day, for a huge shift in consciousness.

It is important to note that the parent consciousness often does not accept the animal consciousness (inner child), or the adult consciousness (witness consciousness).  It is often the source of criticism, prejudices, and strife, both inwardly and outwardly.  Also, by not accepting its other parts, its keeps us stressed and limits our spiritual growth.

It is important to note that the parent consciousness (ego) is rooted in fear, and its biggest fear is losing control.  It sees accepting the adult and child consciousness as losing control, and this is why it is constantly at war with them.

There is also a meditation of the animal consciousness, or what is known as the “inner child.” This mediation is best done by watching what happens when you are stressed, upset, want something, and so on.  It is the part of you that wants what it wants, when it wants it, and if doesn’t get it, it will pout, be outwardly aggressive, inwardly aggressive, or passive aggressive.

It is important to watch this part of your consciousness when it arises, and not take action on its behalf.  Taking action based on the feelings of the inner child will most often result in unwanted repercussions later on or immediately in life.  This is also the most difficult meditation to perform.  To watch your animal consciousness in the heat of an argument is a very difficult and advanced thing to do.  

So, as you can see, all three meditations bring you back to the ultimate meditation, the meditation of consciousness.  Perform the inner adult (witness) meditation during times of peace, the inner parent (ego) meditation during your daily life, and the inner child (animal consciousness) meditation during times of stress.

All three will strengthen your higher self, or witness consciousness, and ultimately allow for a more peaceful, happier life.

Q: What is meditation? What is the best way to meditate?

A: First, it goes without saying that there are many, many different ways to meditate.  To determine the best way to meditate, you first have to decide what you are going for.

It’s best of course to be completely honest about this.  If you say that you are meditating on awareness, but the whole time you are concentrating on opening your chakras, your results are going to be very mixed up and inconsistent at best.

Are you trying to manifest money? A lover?  Are you trying to relax? Are you trying to open up the chakras, or open up to the siddhis? Or are you trying to become more aware of awareness itself?  I’m going to tell you about meditating on awareness.

First, most people in meditation circles are aware of meditations based on awareness.  This is best done in a relatively quiet space, where you are really doing nothing but being aware, aware of where consciousness takes you.  This is really a meditation of witness consciousness, or your higher self.  It is also akin to becoming aware of the inner adult persona, who is balanced, rational, and loves all parts of itself like its children.

This may become a meditation where you become very aware of the automatic nature of your ego, constantly making noise, trying to figure and refigure things out, in the past present, and the future.  It’s curious how the ego is constantly trying to rewrite and reconfigure events of the past, the present, and the future.

This meditation may also make you much more aware of your surroundings and/or the constant presence of peace which surrounds and envelops everything, like the air we breath.

But there are other meditations of awareness.  These are important because to be free of the dominating nature of the ego, we must be aware of and accept all parts of ourselves at all times, whether it be while it’s quiet, noisy, during the day, and during times of stress and conflict. Only by knowing all the parts of ourselves and accepting them can we be free.

Continued in next post.

Q: What exactly is the ego?  How do I free myself from it?  How do I get out from under its control?

A:  The ego is really a figment of our imagination.  It is a collection of thoughts about itself, the world, the way things should be, the way they are, and so on.  It’s the sum collection of our thought patterns.  It is not a real thing, and is always changing.  It is very real as a collection of thoughts, but very unreal in that if you don’t think of it, it takes a back seat to witness consciousness, which is more in line with what you really are.

How can it be real if you witness something, and your perspective changes, your ego changes?  The only thing that stays constant is the witness consciousness.  The ego is always changing, morphing into a thought process that tries to make sense of the world, because it sees itself separate from the world, out of control, and it’s scared.

The ego is always looking for security by imagining someway it can get (imaginarily) control of the world.  Really, our ego has no control of the world, what is happening in the world, or even how our ego is imagining things.  If there is any choice, and this is debatable, it is the choice to put our attention more on the witness, to let the ego and the world be as it is — to let the world and your ego be exactly as they are.

Now this does not mean to act out of the ego, to do what it tells you, or to be a victim of the world and its goings on.  It does not mean to be lethargic or passive in the world.  Quite the contrary.  When you choose to identify more from the witness, choices about action become much easier and automatic.  It’s like consciousness itself is running our life, making our decisions, rather than the ego.  We become perfectly aligned with what is, in perfect sync with life’s evolution.

By the way, when we are totally identified with the ego, the ego seems very big, it seems like a really big deal.  Everything is so dramatic.  However, the more you become aligned with witness consciousness, the smaller the ego looks, the less important it looks.  Eventually, you cannot even take the ego seriously.

Everyone has an ego.  The point is not to get rid of the ego or kill it off.  The goal is to recognize the ego and all of the ways it keeps you in the game.  This frees ourselves from the control of our ego, and lets us live and experience life.  This is the way to get out of the control of the ego.

Also, the ego is not “bad,” just as a thought that you need to go to the bathroom is not “bad.”  It’s just a collection of thoughts about its perceptions, being unaware of itself and the witness consciousness.   It’s an automatic thing.  Do you want to see how automatic it is?  Just sit down, in quiet, with no distractions.  I know most people think this is hard, but actually all distractions are manufactured by the ego.  In reality, peace, tranquility, and silence is the background in which our ego exists, and makes its noise.

So sit down quietly.  Notice all the thoughts that appear to the witness consciousness:  I’m not doing this right.  I should be working.  I should be making dinner.  I’m bored.  This isn’t working.  Where did these thoughts come from?  Are they automatic, or did you make a conscious decision to think them? The answer is obvious.  They occurred automatically.  If they occurred automatically, and you have no control over them, what responsibility for them do you have?  

You own them, they’re yours, but in reality, you don’t have control of them.  You’re not to “blame” for them.  The choice you have is what you pay attention to, and what you believe (although this is highly debatable as well).

When you choose to align with witness consciousness, you get to choose what to do with your ego’s thoughts.  Do you listen to them?  Do you act on them?  Do you even believe them?  The choice becomes yours.

Also, the more you align with witness consciousness, the more choices miraculously occur.  Witness consciousness allows in more choices for you to make, especially ones that seem “out of the box.”

Q: What should I do when someone is angry at me or treats me unkindly?

A:  The best thing to do is to try and put yourself in their shoes. What are they feeling, what is their perspective?  What are their past experiences in life, and how is this affecting their point of view now?  How are they viewing you?

This practice pulls you out of the duality of victim/victimizer, and puts you into the experience of compassion.  There’s always a reason why someone acts in a certain way, and usually it has very little to do with you.  Usually the person who is experiencing anger is acting reactively from their ego.  Don’t take it personally.

To take it personally puts you at odds with the person, which the person can consciously or unconsciously perceive, and keeps the drama going.  To see the person compassionately usually takes the energy out of the anger, and often times will take the person back, out of their angry state, and make them realize that their anger has very little to do with you.

Of course, to practice this takes time and dedication with identifying more with the watcher than your ego.  Be patient, and practice this consistently.  Often times it will resolve and issue.  If it does not, it will free your energy up to make much better decisions.

Should you confront this person about their anger?  Should you discontinue associating with this person because of their anger?  When you are watching from the witness instead of reacting from your ego, the choice will become clearer and clearer with time.

If you could imagine for a moment that all beings are connected (which they are, just bring your awareness to this.) Now imagine that someone or something has offended you, has been mean or rude to you, or just has a different opinion than you that you really don’t like.

Imagine now that this person is a part of you, like your hand or foot.  Your hand or foot is hurting you, from and injury, infection, etc.  What would you do with your hand or foot?  Would you get angry at it, or try to hurt it in some way?  Obviously not, this would in turn hurt you.  

You would try and heal it.  You might bring it to a doctor to look at it or to get some kind of medicine for it.  Why do we treat people differently then, when they are part of us?

In the future, when you are upset with someone, see what it is that is hurting in them, so that you may help or at least be compassionate with them.  People in a negative state of mind are more appropriately labeled diseased.  They are living out of a negative energy field that is hurting them.  They do not deserve your anger or judgment.

Understanding them would help them be released from their negative state, while allowing you to disconnect more fully from you ego and open your heart.  In this way you are both healed when viewing someone as part of yourself.   This is one of the key steps towards enlightenment.

This approach toward people and their problems is contagious.  When you practice this patience and understanding with one person, that person will more likely practice it with another person, and so on.

Do this next time you have a conflict with someone, either outwardly or in your head.  You don’t even need to take any outward action toward this person.  Just follow the instructions as outlined above, and you will be healed.

Q: Are my pursuits in trying to start my own business another attempt at my ego to survive and something I should surrender now, or are these pursuits necessary for me to continue in order to live a more spiritual life?

A: You already know the answer to your question; the ego is always trying to survive, that it’ll use any chance it gets.  But that it doesn’t matter near as much what you do, but rather, where your consciousness is concentrated.  Is it totally identified with your persona and its actions? Or is it gradually becoming more identified with the awareness that it is?  Events come and go, life flows through you. What matters is what you identify with.  This is the choice that we make in every second.

Q: What is the difference between the small self and the Self with a big ‘S’?

A: If you take the small self, and take away all of its attachments, its opinions, its points of views, what you’re left with is pure witness consciousness, the highest expression of one’s self, the big Self.

Q: How do I communicate with this?

A: First, you have to acknowledge that there is a big Self, and a small self. Then, you have to admit that communication with the big Self is even possible.  Most people do not know about the big Self, and those who do think they have to enter into some trance state — some meditative state — in order to communicate with it.  Just the opposite is true.  The big Self is always there, it’s just that we’re too busy paying attention to, and are addicted to, our day-to-day drama.  Others think it’s heresy to think that we have a higher Self with which we can readily communicate.  Meanwhile, they put an altar at the feet of their egos — that’s the real heresy.

To communicate with the higher Self, we first must admit that we have a higher Self, then we must put faith in the act of communicating with it. Then, we may ask for permission to speak with it.  Then, we wait patiently with faith that communication will come.  In my case, when I am feeling peaceful, either during the day or at night, I will ask “Are you there, Big Me?”  Oftentimes, a voice will come back and say “Yes, I’m here, I’m always here”.  Then I start up a conversation.  And when Big Me speaks to me, I listen, just listen, the best that I can.