Monday, December 3, 2012

The Truest Sentence You Know.

"All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know." -Ernest Hemingway

Existence has no inherent meaning.  We are the writers of our own stories. Each breath is a word and sentences write chapters and ideas can flow as freely as we want them to. The trick is not becoming but allowing.
Does a waterfall have to convince itself to tumble down?
Do rivers need to be convinced,
or are they carried along by their own momentum and innate knowing of what to do?

If we come out of this universe, this earth, and nature which surrounds us why do we feel we should act or live differently than the stars or trees which peacefully stretch upward in a seemingly effortless fashion?

Perhaps the trying, the seeking, the analyzing, the striving is what should be put on pause. Perhaps what we need to do is let things happen.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Deciding not to swim against the current.

     It's amazing how, some lessons, we have to keep re-learning.  Self doubt never goes away no matter how many seemingly world-shattering events we've pulled ourselves through. Friends grow apart and it's always surprising. 
Every group of friends I've had, however seemingly perfect in it's entirety at any given moment, ends up splitting, sectioning off, and eventually fading out. When things are so great in any given area of life it's easy to forget that it won't be that way forever, or even long at all. What seems like "normal every day life" becomes a memory so fast I'm often left wondering what the hell just happened, especially when faced with expressions of a friend "wanting things to go back to how they were." 
I want to ask them, "How do you ever expect that to happen? People grow in different ways, evolution is inevitable. Nothing can stay." while a nostalgic part of me also wants the same thing.

This is extra motivation to live each moment as though it is new, and treat each interaction as though it may be your last with that person because it often will be. 

Interpersonal dynamics are about as easy to pin down or define as the wind. Every subtle gesture or subconscious attitude shapes these infinitely malleable relationships. Our neurons mirror each other, our moods and consciousnesses are in a constant state of exchanging information whether we're aware of it or not, we are all more impressionable than we'd like to admit.

"Here’s something most people don’t know about the human mind: It’s ridiculously easy to make literally any piece of unreasonable bullshit make perfect sense, to make any conclusion look solid, to rationalize things beyond recognition. All it takes is belief. Believe in something, and your mind will fill in the blanks with the necessary info to make it look like it’s true, no matter how untrue it is." -Manimal

For these reasons I will treat each being I encounter in the most conscious and present way. I won't let my brain go on autopilot and start making all kinds of associations based on that person's behavior of the moment or something they said. I will treat each individual moment and each individual as simultaneously unique and tiny pieces of the unchanging whole. Change is unchanging.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Grabbing the Reigns of Connection!

Do you ever feel isolated? Alone in the company of many, or seeking connections that go deeper than the average discussion of the weather or how the Olympics went?

I crave this every damn day. That kind of connection and open conversation where I can express my every true thought without fear of judgment and epiphanies flow like the Nile happens every once in a while for me. Not often at all, and not often enough. I used to think it just took a certain type of person that I got that vibe with perfectly, for that to happen. And though meeting and connecting with kindred souls is beautiful, I've also experienced that connection with people I didn't hit it off with immediately after meeting them.

These interactions, whether with those kindred spirits or people very unlike me, are some of the most fulfilling experiences I've had. I have been brainstorming ways to induce more of this experience, and feel I am onto something big. I do not take full credit for this idea, since it was inspired by multiple people and ideas, but I'd like to spread it as far as possible.

The idea is to start asking people questions. Everyone, your mother, boss, closest friend, etc. It sounds simple but I've already had great experiences directly resulting from it. I'm a firm believer that everyone has something to teach us, if we just remain receptive. Ever have a day or moment where someone you initially judged as having absolutely nothing in common with you ended up teaching you something or sharing a great conversation with you and leaving you surprised, elated, and humbled? Me too. Why shouldn't this be happening every day when the potential surrounds us at all times? I meet people and I want to know their life story; Their greatest fears, passions, intense memories, longings, etc... but it's just not socially acceptable to ask your waiter these questions. It can come off as intrusive to some people, and not everyone is comfortable baring their soul for people to see. (This is another area I'm working on; being unabashedly myself, vulnerability and all).

What are some disguised ways to get to the heart and substance of a person? A great one is "If you could go back in time and tell your high school self something, what would it be?" This is just a fun idea to think about that nearly anyone would enjoy answering, but also immensely personal. You'll get some slightly humorous answers, ("Which sports team was going to win on the bet I made!" "To be more confident so I get get a bunch of chicks!"). Yes those are quotes from my lovely dad and brother.
But either way it's cool and revealing, and you learn about what's important to the person immediately. I am working on a list of thought provoking questions to ask people, and I'm going to start using them daily. Instead of complaining that there's no interesting conversations going on around me, I am going to try to create them.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Holistic Decision Making.

Last night while in that strange no man's land between waking and sleeping(a great place for ideas, I've recently discovered), I realized something.  I've been smoking cigarettes more or less for the last 6 years. I shudder when I think that that much time has gone by, but indeed it has. One thing I've noticed in my quitting stints is if you fail once, you're back to square one. Go 5 days without a smoke, awesome! Friend comes over and offers one and you say screw it, you're screwing yourself.

As much as I've kicked and screamed and searched for loopholes in this simple and painful truth, there is no such thing(for me at least) as "just one"... and it's hard to convince yourself out of a cigarette when "just one" is not that harmful. I realized I have been making segregated decisions, rather than holistic ones. Instead of "I'm choosing to be a smoker", I think "I'm just having one cigarette", when that is not the case at all. Actions set the foundation for habits and thus life. It's easy to make a bad decision that takes just a moment when you think of your decisions as isolated incidents, but when you look at the very real fact that your entire existence is made up of those small moments, you take them a little more seriously. Thinking about whether or not I want to spend my life smoking is much more conducive to my goal than thinking about whether or not I want to smoke in that moment(which I do, of course).

Later on after the idea developed a bit further I realized that this truth applies to everything: Our eating habits, our thoughts, the way we talk to ourselves and others. We are creatures of habit. This is undeniable.

Every decision you make is not a decision about what to do; it’s a decision about who you are.” -Neale Donald Walsch

Friday, July 6, 2012

The foundation of experience.

       Be open to any and everything that crosses your path. Take your time in experiencing life, give your complete attention to someone, cook a meal and enjoy it thoroughly.
A friend of mine told me about a quote that said "How you do one thing is how you do all things". Keeping this in mind, I'm not even exaggerating when I say that I had an existential breakthrough of pure bliss while simply peeling and eating an orange at work, because I surrendered myself fully to it. I let myself experience it without seeing the peeling process as a hassle or reading something while eating or mentally reviewing my grocery list at the same time.

We all rush through our daily events or obligations as if we're hurrying to get to something else, only to rush through that when it arrives. I often find that I get so caught up in looking forward to free time that I find myself being unable to put on the brakes(mentally speaking) when it actually arrives. And I end up not being present for it!

What are you rushing towards? What are you preparing for? Your life is NOW. Your life is all these "mundane" tasks you rush through each day. You are in complete control over the way you're going to perceive yourself and the events around you. The mood you are in affects how much you notice and what you focus on. If you're in a bad mood, you literally have tunnel vision. In a foul mindset, everything that happens to you throughout the day is going to prove to you that your foul mindset is justified... So why not try living without judgement and see what happens? See each moment as completely and utterly unique, because it truly is. You're always a new person, it will never be this day or this moment again. Treat it as such.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The journey and the truth.

     I've been on what you could call a "spiritual pursuit", "self exploration journey", (insert another random cliche here) for almost 2 years now. I replaced snorting pain killers with searching for meaning and happiness. I researched, compiled data, collected books, recorded progress, you name it.

I've had plenty of "this is it!" moments where I felt I had struck the proverbial meaning of life goldmine... only to find that my new found passion-flame would steadily lose momentum and burn out, every time, usually over the course of a few short days. It felt like I was going around in circles, diving into questions and philosophy, discussion and pondering, only to get jaded and withdraw completely, begin getting lost in mindless distractions again, grow bored of that, rinse and repeat.

I attended my second group meditation meeting Monday evening and the guy leading it used a brilliant metaphor that helped me see these apparent "cycles" as something a little different. He said we're all moving in a spiral motion, as is the motion of the universe (I have definitely noticed and thought on this before: DNA strands, spiral galaxies, the Fibonacci spiral, etc), but every time we reach the same spot in the cycle we are reaching it from a new(higher) perspective and understanding. I felt this to be utterly true.

What I've been realizing lately is that I(and you, and that other guy over there) tend to get caught up in concepts and techniques and end up missing the point.
I can't tell you how many times I've sat down to meditate and had to scold myself for not being able to focus on the method I was using. How many times I have focused so much on knowing my idea thoroughly to ensure that doubting Thomases couldn't throw me off, only to get too stuck on my wealth of "knowledge" to reap benefits of the idea. I cannot possibly relay how many hours I've spent arguing about philosophical concepts... Or how much time and energy and reading I have devoted to trying to find the technique or practice or philosophy that would finally work for me, keep me at that optimum spiritual peak, and out of the seemingly endless cycle.

I've taken psychoactives to aid in meditation(which they do, a lot) and have reached a deep meditative focus, free of mental chatter and ridden with pure awareness of the universe and my consciousness. In other words, the state I am seeking. While in these states I seem to come to a conclusion that "it" is all about simply existing. Just BEING. There is no big secret other than that.

All the intense "need"ing to verbalize the notion, relay it to others, understand it, remember it, etc, are distractions from the pureness of simple being. I have gotten stuck on a feeling that I could only reach this understanding by catalyst or reading about ancient techniques, or a Buddhist retreat, or mastering the idea so that no argument could beat it, when a simply drive with the music on and windows down can be as spiritually enlightening as an Ayahuasca ceremony in the woods.

Although all the chaos and pain and ugliness and inherent "searching" of the human experience is just as much a part of it all, and completely necessary(how could it not be?), the key is simply existing.

"To say yes to one instant, is to say yes to the whole of existence.
-Waking Life

Monday, April 9, 2012

Complete and utter honesty, sans filter.

I've unearthed a subconscious fear of speaking my mind. My ever changing truth. My internal convictions. Fear of being deemed inconsistent, pseudo-spiritual, pseudo-intellectual, "hipster", ignorant, delusional, arrogant, too wordy, too incoherent, trying too hard to seem smart, revealing too much, being called out, being looked at as "out there" or being perceived as just saying things to seem "out there" or project an image of uniqueness.

I'm deciding right now to accept myself and my fluid and ever changing philosophy, I want to hit those lows and hit those highs and feel free and feel suffocated and embrace and bask in the interconnected continuums of existence. The universe is inconsistent, and I am the universe, and so are you, so embrace your inconsistency and be "weird", "dorky", "nerdy", "crazy", etc etc. :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sense your surroundings.

If ever you must despair on life's paradoxical behalf,
Glimpse the crisp air,
Breathe in the essence of trees, barren or blooming,
Churn in the cycle and vibe the transition
Rain or shine
Comforting warmth or bitter frigidity, thus is existence
and you are it.


What is this nameless and indescribably enveloping void? Holding a gaze can be uncomfortable or magnetic. You can't look but you can't look away. You will miss something if you do but if you don't the spring of your tension gets twisted and twisted until...? What is this imminent and unknown threat and what would happen if we decided to transcend it?
Would we actually see each other?
Is the thought of that too much to bear?
The thought of being bare,
of removing our masks and "protective" eye wear.

Perhaps something so familiar is also an unfamiliar and a never ending opportunity to lose yourself and find yourself at once.
Simultaneously expressing your individuality and your connection to the whole.
The windows to the soul.

Friday, March 16, 2012


We all think things and don't say them.

We omit thoughts and feelings yet get angry or disappointed when our expectations are not fulfilled.

We are afraid people will not understand certain parts of us yet we haven't bared them or only do so once every blue or purple moon.

It's easy to forget that everyone processes information differently, and because of this we tend to hold others to our personal standards and reasoning.
Banish preconceived notions, because with them, you will see everything as confirming your existing model of the world.

Seeing is believing? No, believing is seeing.