Saturday, 26 September 2009

The Seed of Universal Power - Determined Compassion

Source/copyright: Wikimedia/John Hill

I was speaking with a high Lama some time back, and he commented, "There are people who come on the Mahayana path (the compassion path), but without going through the Hinayana/Theravadan path, their foundation is incomplete, and their base is shaky."

For all those for whom that was gobbledegook, don't worry. Ten years ago it would have been that way for me too. However, there is something very important about determined compassion as the entire path for ultimate happiness. Consider that we are all in a world of samsara, or suffering. There is dissatisfaction in some, if not most parts of our lives. As human beings, we are failing to address our most prevalent disease - that of dis-ease.

I had that too. I was severely dissatisfied with my life. Heck, I STILL get dissatisfied with my life. It comes with the package. What's the difference between me and everyone else, though? I know how to come out of it. And in spite of the fact that I've been teaching this ever since I figured it out by accident, new ways of seeing it are constantly evolving.

So Kaye, let's get to the point. Why do you call it the seed of universal power? Power to do what?

It has the power to relieve suffering and achieve peace, once and for all. Don't you think that is a universal power? There is nothing complicated about it. It has two components - determination and compassion. Why determination? Because we are stuck in our own paradigms, and it will likely be painful (at least at first) for us to escape it. If we do not have the determination to grasp the nettle, as it were, then escape is impossible.

Freedom is hidden in the one place where we will least expect to find it - in the midst of pain. Determination to find it is what founds the entire process.

Compassion is a different story. It is about empathy and kindness. And compassion is not just for others, but also for oneself. Having compassion for self means being appreciative and kind of what has been done. However, it has a quality of lightness about it. It is not allowed to devolve into selfishness. On the contrary, it is the act of selflessly placing others above oneself that allows us to transcend fears.

Compassion is about the greater story. From the Mahayana viewpoint, you could look at how much more other people are in need, and use that to inspire your actions. Because there is vision, there is inspired action, and determination. Because it is not for personal gain, the element of grasping selfishness is transcended.

Thus, determined compassion is really a very sneaky way of overcoming psychosis.

When watered with Wisdom, it becomes a very powerful vehicle for enlightenment, but that is a story for another time. Suffice it to say that misapplied determination can become mule-headedness. Compassion without insight becomes idiot compassion. So buyers beware!

The Final Goal is a Story, The Final Step is Peace

I've just had a brief look at the questions I have received for the free teleseminar tonight for the Plateau Point. Firstly, I was staggered by the huge response although it was announced only at the last minute. Secondly, it struck me that many of the questions come from a place of dissatisfaction, whether it be dissatisfaction in being able to do more, or to find the perfect man.

The key here is differentiating between reality and expectation. Look carefully at what you are aiming for. Then ask yourself why you are aiming for it. And if you dig deeply and honestly enough, you will find an answer that will sound something like, "I want to be happy." or "I don't want to be in pain." And if you dig even deeper than that, you will find that that arises because you imagine that things can be somehow better than they already are. As your awareness gets stuck on that, a longing arises. Or, as Chogyam Trungpa would say, you get horny about it. There is a blind, instinctive grasping that arises. And from there all the misery, desperation, denial, grasping, manipulation and heartache arise.

It is the acting on, or allowing yourself to be swayed by, these instincts that begins the wheel of suffering. Without it, you would be at peace. Why? There would be nowhere to go, nothing to do. There would be no goal, no dissonance between reality and desire. The story would be ended, and you would have taken the final step.

Does this mean we should all sit around in total acceptance doing nothing? How very inefficient! If doing nothing was what I advocated, then I would have a great following preaching to rocks. Rather, being at peace is the final step, because it really frees you to do what you are passionate about. It frees you from the fear of being disapproved of, of being inadequate, of being undeserving. In that, you can do what you really wish to do, not what society says you should. It frees you from the need of a relationship, and because of that you can actually have one. It frees you to find peace amidst the craziness that is the world, because you see the perfection of it all, dropping the goal, that story about how it could be different.

In that moment, you become free to move from vision to vision, from ecstasy to ecstasy, and not be bound with "dealing with" hurdles and obstacles.

So with all the stuff people have come up with, here is a question I have myself, "How much work have you done lately to find peace?"

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Manifestation and the Problem of Interdependent Origin

Manifestation is a subject that many have tackled in various ways, using various tactics. However, there is a problem with most techniques that seems to have slipped by unnoticed by most. It is the problem of interdependent origin. The idea is that one problem will have multiple causes. Each "problem" is likely to be linked up with tons of other issues in one's life. Hence, to look at it in isolation is a mistake. Yes, in some cases, it will be possible to solve the problem, if it happens to be a relatively isolated issue. In others, it will be more difficult, but still possible. That is why the best manifestation processes always allow for deeper issues to arise and resolve them.

However, in the larger scheme of things, problems are Gordian knots. You either solve all of them at once, or not at all. Each one will slightly influence the other, and if they are not cleared, the manifest result of one project is likely to be skewed in unexpected ways. That's why manifestation is tricky.

The key then will be to cut at the heart of the knot, the part from which all this emanates. It has to do with the self, unsurprisingly enough, and the sense of self/identity. Before problems become physical, they arise in the mind. Look at the Paradox of Manifestation for a deeper discussion to this end.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Shunyata as a Transformative Principle

"If you are facing difficulty, meditate on the concept of shunyata."

This is a common enough saying in Tibetan Buddhism. However, it only really hit home today with me. Shunyata meditation is a coping mechanism. Shunyata itself is the realisation (or, at least the concept) that everything is inherently "empty", and so difficulties will eventually resolve themselves. It's a sophisticated way of saying, "It'll be all right in the end, dear." Or so I thought.

It can certainly be related to on that level, but there is more. As our conscious awareness becomes patternised and stuck in certain belief systems, enhanced by "experience", we can lock ourselves into a stuck pattern, or a plateau. Whilst one does not need necessarily to deal with the stuck pattern directly, this is what meditation on the shunyata principle does.

I usually recommend working with complete surrender and compassion to get around stuck states and situations. More recently, I also talk about trust, faith and intention. All this can be combined with the power of decision, which I talk about here. Meditating on shunyata, however, we befriend our situation, and quit mentally shrinking away from it because we think it is unsolveable. Through applying our attention and awareness to it, the "stuckness" dissolves and it becomes more fluid and malleable. In that way transformation is very possible, and even quick.

All those approaches work. It is as though you were swimming underwater and your foot got caught in a rope tied to an anchor. Instead of trying to pull yourself up, which is the instinctive thing to do, you go down to the rope to untie it. This is what meditating on shunyata does for you. It is effective by gently easing your foot out, and not straining so that the knots don't get tighter. It takes the panic and desperation out of the picture.

The power of decision is the use of force. It says, "I will solve this one way or another." It is a commitment that says you will do whatever it takes to get free of that rope, including cut your foot off. Clearly, decisive power works on a different level of manifestation than shunyata. See Levels of Manifestation for more details.

Faith, trust, intention, compassion and surrender are all extremely high level copouts. They do the miraculous, because you effectively transcend all problems without having to deal with them. You become one with the water, and the rope slips off because it has nothing to hold on. It does take a leap of faith though, and if you are uncertain or unclear, or even if you aren't, there are likely to be bits of your that remain "solid" in this metaphor.

Nonetheless, shunyata has its role, for it emphasizes the cyclicity of things, their mutability. So, by meditating and applying your conscious awareness to the mutability principle, it automatically becomes more a reality for you. So meditate on shunyata not only as an acceptance of what is, but as a healing principle of transformation, for it gives you the hope that things can turn completely around. Hope develops into actual experience.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

The Levels of Manifestation

Kaye, why do you tell us to do conflicting things? On the one hand, you say be determined and willing to do whatever it takes. On the other, you talk about surrendering. Isn't that a contradiction in terms?

Yes, I do talk about apparently conflicting things, but they appear conflicting because they are not considered in the context of the level of manifestation you are discussing. We can think of manifestation as being on several levels:

1. Physical
2. Emotional/mental
3. Spiritual

On the physical level, action reigns supreme. Taking clear, methodical, massive action creates the results you want. In other words, if you want new batteries in the remote, go to the shop and buy some. This is how results can be created on the physical level.

On the emotional/mental level, we devise strategies to conserve energy. It is possible to employ strategies like the 80/20 principle, taking the 20% action that creates the 80% result. We develop determination, resilience and focus. Mental clarity and goal-setting are the forces that direct this level.

On the spiritual level, however, we surrender. Having engaged the first two levels, we trust in God and let go. That is the surrender effect. It is through this detachment and surrender that miracles are allowed to happen. Faith and trust facilitate this process.

This may sound like old hat, but the mix of manifestation skills is different for different people. Whereas a person may succeed by relying largely on the first two levels (included in this group would be many of my colleagues from Cambridge University), he may also employ the third level. There are things which, in spite of perfect execution at the first two levels, still do not materialise. This has to do with the spiritual level of manifestation. Does anyone understand this level fully? Not that I know of. We only know certain spiritual factors which seem to contribute to success. Even then, it is not foolproof.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Knowing It Is Done

In traditional self-hypnotic programming, we are told to end the session "knowing that what we program for is done". This knowing it is done has been misunderstood and misapplied to disastrous results. The key is coming from a place of confidence and abundance, and of decision. If we artificially create a sense of knowing e.g. if we say to ourselves, "Oh, I don't really feel it, but it says to pretend it is done, and I really want this to happen, so I'm going to pretend it has..." then we are coming from a head intention of fear, rather than a heart intention of life-affirming abundance. We have failed to make the decision to succeed, and thus doom ourselves to failure. Done this way, it has done nothing more than affirm our insecurity and indecision.

Thus, it is important to clear our doubts, a subject I have addressed on many an occasion before, and then to progress from there into a place of genuine innate confidence (GIC), and not an artificial one. Thus, we say, with the faith of a king who expects his commands to be obeyed, "It is done."

Monday, 7 September 2009

The Power of Decision

Source/copyright: Wikimedia/Ltshears

The power of decision focuses energy into a power burst. The difference between those who succeed and those who don't is the decision to be successful, no matter what. There is no "What if this happens to me?" There is only courage behind the decision to succeed. Once you have made a clear decision that you will accomplish something "no matter what", then it is as good as done.

It is this attitude, which I imagine to be like a lion's roar, this challenge, which draws up the energies of the subconscious and the conscious into one burst. In that moment, it cuts all fears, because it has already committed to its goal, and is ready to take all the hits necessary to make it. It is a stance of bravery and courage that subdues fear.

It is a stance of commitment, for it says, "I choose you as my goal, even if other areas are compromised." That is the essence of "no matter what" (NMW). This cuts through the psychoses related to conflicting goals. When you choose a powerful goal to focus on, focus on that one only, as the overarching goal of your life. Everything else must bend down to it, and give it the respect due the King of the Forest when he roars.

It is the stance of power and self-esteem, for in making that decision, it affirms the life-giving power of "Yes!" It has no tolerance for self-pity or lack of self-worth. Instead, it runs ahead and smashes through the puny wails of uncertainty and inadequacy.

It is the power of patience, for in eradicating all inner uncertainty about the result, the overwhelming confidence allows the decision-maker to confidently and patiently await the correct moment.

It is the stance of complete surrender. Surprising as it may seem, when you make decisions correctly, the outcome is irrelevant. The race is run, and the deed is done. It is now simply a question of getting it done or, as warriors of old might have thought of it, "getting killed in the process". There is no longer any if, and because of that, there is no question of whether or not it will be done. All forces are unleashed towards the goal, and because of the certainty of decision, whether or not it actually comes to pass is irrelavant. It is this irrelevance and releases the last safeguard on the subconscious strength we have hidden within ourselves, and allows us to succeed.

Truly, the strength to succeed is within, only waiting to be summoned by the roar of decision.