…we are powerful beyond measure
May 30, 2011, 8:05 pm
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“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

~Marianne Williamson

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For once in your life…
May 28, 2011, 11:07 pm
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“Time to cash in your chips
put your ideas and beliefs on the table.
See who has the bigger hand
you or the Mystery that pervades you.

Time to scrape the mind’s shit
off your shoes
undo the laces
that hold your prison together
and dangle your toes into emptiness.

Once you’ve put everything
on the table
once all of your currency is gone
and your pockets are full of air
all you’ve got left to gamble with
is yourself.

Go ahead, climb up onto the velvet top
of the highest stakes table.
Place yourself as the bet.
Look God in the eyes
and finally
for once in your life


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You will soon realize…
May 27, 2011, 9:43 am
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“Some changes look negative on the surface, but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.”

~Eckhart Tolle

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Only This One is Fit
May 24, 2011, 10:52 pm
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There is only Now
May 23, 2011, 9:42 pm
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There is only Now.

If there is only Now,

then Now is all there is.

And so… ALL… that IS…

is NOW.

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What is my core message?
May 21, 2011, 9:27 am
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Evolving with Empathy
May 20, 2011, 8:22 am
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No One is Enlightened
May 18, 2011, 9:20 am
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Many people who are new to awakening (and even those who are newly awakened) seem to believe that spiritual realization is an accomplishment to add to their spiritual resume, a personal possession to hang on their wall (virtual or otherwise) and proudly display to anyone willing to pay attention. But this attitude completely misses the point and reveals a deep misunderstanding of the nature of awakening itself.

Awakening happens in the absence of a separate self; indeed, the realization that there’s no self here to awaken is the reality that we awaken to. Everything is functioning perfectly just as it is, illumined by the glow of consciousness, which is the substance and essence of what is, and no separate someone is necessary for any of this to occur. In other words, the inherent, already enlightened nature of reality reveals itself to itself in your absence–and somehow, mysteriously, this revelation is registered here, in this body and mind.

Zen master Dogen puts it this way: “To study the truth is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by all things. No trace of enlightenment remains, and this no trace continues endlessly.”

So any attempt to claim enlightenment as your personal attainment is doomed to failure, because an enlightened person is an oxymoron. As soon as you attempt to hold on to enlightenment, it slips through your fingers. In your complete absence, with no separate someone present to claim it, enlightenment shines. Here are a few lines I wrote at a retreat many years ago:

The separate self can never become enlightened,

No matter how many retreats you attend.

Everything is just the way it is. That’s enlightenment.

~Stephan Bodian

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Extract from “On Having No Head”
May 16, 2011, 7:10 pm
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The best day of my life—my rebirthday, so to speak—was when I found I had no head. This is not a literary gambit, a witticism designed to arouse interest at any cost. I mean it in all seriousness: I have no head.

It was eighteen years ago, when I was thirty-three, that I made the discovery. Though it certainly came out of the blue, it did so in response to an urgent enquiry; I had for several months been absorbed in the question: what am I? The fact that I happened to be walking in the Himalayas at the time probably had little to do with it; though in that country unusual states of mind are said to come more easily. However that may be, a very still clear day, and a view from the ridge where I stood, over misty blue valleys to the highest mountain range in the world, with Kangchenjunga and Everest unprominent among its snow-peaks, made a setting worthy of the grandest vision.

What actually happened was something absurdly simple and unspectacular: I stopped thinking. A peculiar quiet, an odd kind of alert limpness or numbness, came over me. Reason and imagination and all mental chatter died down. For once, words really failed me. Past and future dropped away. I forgot who and what I was, my name, manhood, animalhood, all that could be called mine. It was as if I had been born that instant, brand new, mindless, innocent of all memories. There existed only the Now, that present moment and what was clearly given in it. To look was enough. And what I found was khaki trouserlegs terminating downwards in a pair of brown shoes, khaki sleeves terminating sideways in a pair of pink hands, and a khaki shirtfront terminating upwards in—absolutely nothing whatever! Certainly not in a head.

It took me no time at all to notice that this nothing, this hole where a head should have been was no ordinary vacancy, no mere nothing. On the contrary, it was very much occupied. It was a vast emptiness vastly filled, a nothing that found room for everything—room for grass, trees, shadowy distant hills, and far above them snowpeaks like a row of angular clouds riding the blue sky. I had lost a head and gained a world.

It was all, quite literally, breathtaking. I seemed to stop breathing altogether, absorbed in the Given. Here it was, this superb scene, brightly shining in the clear air, alone and unsupported, mysteriously suspended in the void, and (and this was the real miracle, the wonder and delight) utterly free of “me”, unstained by any observer. Its total presence was my total absence, body and soul. Lighter than air, clearer than glass, altogether released from myself, I was nowhere around.

Yet in spite of the magical and uncanny quality of this vision, it was no dream, no esoteric revelation. Quite the reverse: it felt like a sudden waking from the sleep of ordinary life, an end to dreaming. It was self-luminous reality for once swept clean of all obscuring mind. It was the revelation, at long last, of the perfectly obvious. It was a lucid moment in a confused life-history. It was a ceasing to ignore something which (since early childhood at any rate) I had always been too busy or too clever to see. It was naked, uncritical attention to what had all along been staring me in the face – my utter facelessness. In short, it was all perfectly simple and plain and straightforward, beyond argument, thought, and words. There arose no questions, no reference beyond the experience itself, but only peace and a quiet joy, and the sensation of having dropped an intolerable burden.

~Douglas Harding
The Headless Way

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In the sky…
May 13, 2011, 8:26 am
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In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west;
people create distinctions out of their own minds
and then believe them to be true.


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