Be-ing

1263 Relax and Succeed - Simply be it's a mindful activityMake no mistake, as inactive as it it might seem, it is an entirely serious psychological and spiritual practice to simply be. Today the lesson is no lesson. Today we practice the idea of understanding. You always were perfect and always have been. Try actually living like that’s true just for the day, even if there’s a part of you that has trouble believing it. Just for the exercise, try it.

Today your job is to be clear. Allow all you encounter to pass through you, only offering your own input when it is absolutely necessary, but avoid the tug and pull of unconscious habit. Do not think, avoid opinions, keep your mind silent. Today, only respond to what is necessary to respond to, and spend as much as your day as possible in a pure state of being.

It isn’t easy at first, but it is natural, so practicing is easily worth it. Free yourself. Put all of your attention on it. Be.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations locally and around the world.

Background Noise

1098-relax-and-succeed-be-still-and-listenTo many people, there are sounds and then there are words. Words communicate specific ideas between specific people, whereas sounds are more general. Words are intentionally spoken but, other than music, a lot of daily sound is simply the sound of living. It wasn’t for anyone.

If you’re in the forest, sound might mean birds and a waterfall; in a city it can mean sirens and traffic. But to most people that is background. Unless you’re a sound person in film or possibly a composer, for most people those sounds are habitually subtracted from our consciousness. Subtracted. As in; you’ve removed some reality.

If we really want to hear someone we’ll ask the people around them to be quiet. We’ll want to focus on that one voice. Words seem very intentional. Background noises appear less so, but not to whoever or whatever made them. That’s because we handle sound much like we handle the thought-experiment from yesterday about looking versus seeing. We listen for things, we rarely just listen.

1098-relax-and-succeed-the-sound-of-rainIt is because we place such a massive emphasis on words that we’re often lost. If we have a problem and we need an answer, we turn the problem into words and we ask people to give us advice in words. But words are symbols for the world, they are not the world. And people lie all of the time for valid social reasons. So if they’re symbols, and they’re often misleading, why do we use them so much to find our way?

Making matters worse, we spend all day treating these word-symbols as though they are solid, because we see them not as descriptions of the world but rather the world itself. We believe when we then transfer the words to the insides of our heads that we’re continuing to manage the real world using our minds, when it’s really just our ego juggling a bunch of symbols.

In truth we’ve trapped ourselves in an illusion and we’re trying to get out of a symbolic world by using even more symbols. It is the symbols that create the famous Buddhist illusion. When the Buddha speaks of ego, he speaks of mistaking a superficial description for a thing itself.

When you talk to yourself that is 100% symbols. Someone can drive a car without thinking of all of the words associated with driving a car. People aren’t behind the wheel going, “alright, blinker, shoulder check, all clear, lane change, blinker off, check rearview mirror….” etc. They’re just driving. Can you imagine being like that with people?

1098-relax-and-succeed-silence-isnt-emptyIn today’s meditation your job is to flip the world over. Rather than making the words important and the rest the background, you’re going to start ignoring your ego and focusing on the world itself. You want to trade words from outside your head or inside your head for just plain listening. In fact, this practice is often so unusual today that people aren’t even sure how to do it.

Don’t cycle other’s words, or words from your past. Don’t discuss things longer than necessary. Look for a conclusion to the need for words and then take action. The idea is to try to stop using words as soon as you can, and then trade that for active listening. Again, it’s like the difference between going to a big crowd of people and looking for someone, versus noticing someone you know because your eyes and mind are open.

All you’re trying to find today is three things you couldn’t have known or learned were it not for the way you were listening. Three things you realised through sound but you learned it from sounds other than words. If that seems abstract to you–if you’re not sure what I mean–if my words are unclear; just try listening to the world. Then maybe, like seeing a friend you didn’t know was there, you will be able to hear this lesson clearly. 😉

Forget all the words. Be present instead. And have a wonderful weekend everyone.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organisations locally and around the world.

Input vs Output

Do want a quick, easy way to improve your life regardless of your circumstances? Spend less time focusing your attention—your consciousness—on what you want to impart to someone else and way more on trying to truly understand their perspective. Because an ego just hears a view and then either agrees or disagrees with it instantaneously and purely out of habit. You can see this with politics where 99% of the people arguing have no clue what the actual 530 Relax and Succeed - When you know how to listenplatforms of any of the parties actually are. They are bashing their preconceived ideas into each other rather than actively listening in the hopes of gaining a better understanding of the world.

A person living Clearly will more often listen to people openly. Maybe they’ll learn new reasons to agree with their current view. Or maybe they’ll hear reasons to change their view. But if we’re not listening and we’re not flexible and open minded with our views, then we’re in ego and we will suffer. Because our views will be hard and solid and inflexible and that also makes them brittle and breakable. But if we’re flexible, we can wrap around an opposing idea, we can incorporate it, or we can even adopt it. In short: we have more freedom.

It is possible to listen to people as an activity unto itself. So you’re not listening for a purpose—you’re not even listening to understand. You’re not listening to see how their opinions 530 Relax and Succeed - I speak so much bettercompare to your opinions, nor are you listening to accomplish anything like make someone feel better. You’re just listening. No agenda. This is what it is to be aware. This is how you get to witness the beauty and elegance that is this incredible world. You just need to be quieter inside.

The opposite of quiet is noisy. Noisy is you talking to yourself about what other people should have done, or should have said, or how they should have acted. And maybe you’re telling them those things or maybe you’re telling other people how upset you are because of those things—it doesn’t matter. If you’re saying it to yourself, the person you’re upset with, or gossiping with someone else, you’re noisy inside and you will suffer for it. But if you’re not back-talking in your head or in person, then the energy that is you is free to focus on listening. And that’s when you hear the things that help you know what you should really say. If you should say anything at all.

Remember—you either output or input. Do less offering, suggesting, blaming, explaining, etc. and just be. Don’t want to change the world. Don’t want it your way. Just, as Paul McCartney suggested, let it be. Be active in your quietness. You will always hear the wisdom if you’re truly listening for it. And that sounds like a great way to ensure a great day. Enjoy yours.

peace (and quiet). s