The discomfort zone

seed to expression

If you can get comfortable with the discomfort zone, the place of rapid growth, then you have in large part won life my friend. Anything that you can conceive of in the way of achievement, of becoming, must and does inevitably involve the process of constantly pushing through what were previously boundaries and establishing new and newer comfort zones.

Befriend the discomfort zone.

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The greatest discovery unknown to man; Self-discovery

Just as entire continents had to be dis-covered and then mapped out so that others could also follow in the footsteps of the early pioneers, so too it is with man’s ultimate destination, that of self-realisation.

When you possess the map, are convinced about the destination and are fully aware of the benefits of going, the voyage itself becomes simply a matter of embarking. As with any journey, each person must depart from where they are and therefore the individual map will vary with each person depending on where they are traveling from.

Before any voyage worthy of the name is ever undertaken, one must have first heard of the destination and found a good, strong reason for embarking. The next stage is gathering more information so as to deepen ones conviction and build confidence. Then comes the planning stage, one begins to collect and assemble detailed maps and points of reference. For the journey to actually begin, the unique coordinates of each adventurer must be taken into account and the first step has to and can only be taken from where you currently are.

In relation to self-discovery the maps exist just the same as the ones set down for various geographical locations. They are only a little more scattered and must first be assembled by each individual self-explorer. Most people seem to have misinterpreted and misunderstood many of the maps or their segments and so it is no wonder they keep going around in circles and never actually arrive at the desired destination.

It is called self-discovery for a reason. You must discover it for yourself. Not that help isn’t freely available, it’s the discovery part that seems to trip most people up. Read the words and take them literally; dis-cover ie. un-cover, meaning findable because it already exists, although under a cover, under the surface or disguised.

Keep the pot on the boil

To bring a large pot of water to the boil takes time, it is a relatively long but straight forward process. Once it has reached boiling point though, it retains its temperature for a long time after it is taken off the stove and requires much less effort or heat to bring it to boil again.

In just the same way you can become aware of and take full advantage of this principle in your own personal endeavors. Whatever discipline or practice you apply this to, you can clearly see that it operates unfailingly. In relation to exercise and keeping fit for example; if you go through an intense period of exercise like a boot camp, you reach a level of fitness that is way beyond what it was previous to the regime that got you there. However after this intense period is over, maintaining this new level or staying close to boiling point, is comparably easy.

On the one hand it now requires much less “heat” than the original, intense regime that actually caused the “pot to boil” but on the other hand, the new level’s “maintenance mode” is now also greater than what it was before. The difference lies in the way it is experienced, with much greater ease. The temperature so to speak, has been raised by a notch but the energy and effort required to do this is the same or less than what it was before.

There is no limit to how this principle can be applied and it is worth knowing that it works just as reliably in matters of the most important, those concerning awareness and spiritual awakening. When you arrive at new levels of understanding and provided that you know what to practice and how to practice, then all you have to do is, well, practice. In the early stages of one’s path the practice, whether it is apparent or not, is actually to deepen the level of faith because there is still some time lag between effort expounded and the harvesting of its benefits, but from a certain point it becomes a self-perpetuating, upward spiral of joy as the rewards are instantly recognised and experienced.

Thus a new and good habit is born, for when an act becomes easy through constant repetition it becomes a pleasure to perform and if it is a pleasure to perform it is man’s nature to perform it often. When I perform it often it becomes a habit and I become its slave and since it is a good habit this is my will.

“The final goal”

Call it what you will, the final goal, the supreme reality, kingdom of heaven, enlightenment, self-realisation or simply a return to the natural self as I like to think of it.

By its very nature, the immensity of this state of being is only ever truly understood once arrived at. It could not be otherwise because the very act of realisation, the claiming as one’s own, comes about by way of understanding.

Before this stage is reached and one of the obstacles to it, is simply the fact that it is incorrectly seen as a resting place, perhaps the ultimate resting place. In a sense this is partly true, for coming to know One-self is the ultimate relief, and an integral part of that relief is the knowing that this peace can never again be lost.

However, in order to clarify things and perhaps assist you in the deepening of the all-important understanding, you should know, that far more than being “just” a resting place, this most desirable state of utter fulfilment is predominantly a launching platform. When you rotate into this new, most magnificent reality that is the birthright of every being, it is finally seen for what it really is, a starting point for high adventure.

The miserable, illusory and petty life you once lived and were so attached to is traded in for something incomparably more exhilerating, love-filled and wonder-full, and so if you could fully comprehend at least this part in its entirety, then the mustering up of energy required to do what needs to be done becomes a non-issue and the “final goal” is yours for the taking.

The mind trick that corrupts & snatches away your most valuable possession, the present.

Not long ago during a (for me) profound bit of insight, I was gifted with an unusually deep understanding of one of the minds most cunning mechanisms.

Essentially what the mind is doing all the time, for it cannot work with the present moment, is that it makes you pay($) attention to a re-membered past moment or one imagined in the future. Both are unreal substitutes and nothing but mental constructs. The stamp of reality is and only ever will be in the intensity of the ever-present now moment regardless in whichever way it may be manifesting itself, now.

The mind does this by making you believe that a moment remembered from the past or one imagined as a potentiality in the future, could be more fulfilling than the moment you are currently experiencing. This becomes a mental habit and proceeds to diminish and dilute the real now until it is seen and abandoned. Remembering and experiencing a highlight moment from the past is simply no match for the living present. Once you begin to stay more and more focused in the now, even the most mundane experience becomes, or rather remains pure bliss.

When the awareness of your own radiant being is seen for what it really is, the nourishment finally begins to flow from an unlimited source that you realise comes from within and all that is external becomes equally irrelevant in the effect and sway it once used to possess over you.

Ultimately all of this is indeed very simple and straightforward. The motivation behind all of man’s focused efforts is that we want to feel good and this inevitably leads to the search of finding out why we don’t.

Unwind the mind

This idea of unwinding the mind surfaced itself during a recent meditation and I realised that that is exactly how it feels for me on the level of sensation. By deliberately focusing on the breath, which through the attention alone slows it down, I can literally feel how the mind and its activity is being unwound or deflated through lack of its only form of sustenance, attention.

To conquer the mind with the mind itself, like pointing a laser beam into a mirror, is a task whose guarantee of success is reserved for only the brightest and most committed individuals. But there is another way that is much easier and anyone can not only learn to use, but already does unknowingly.

It is the process of by-passing the mind altogether, the most effective and instantly accessible technique for realising the unfathomable peace of pure and simple being right in this now moment.

To be continued….

Freedom from the “what next” compulsion

Being free from the obsession of “what next” isn’t so much a thing that you consciously go out to achieve but rather something you notice, like a persistent itch that suddenly stops. And what a relief it is to be focused in the present moment, not for the moment, but abiding there (here, now) permanently.