Zen Professor

A Path to a More Fulfilling Life

Tag: buddhism (page 2 of 2)

Suppression Is Not Surrender

When we try to avoid an emotional reaction we are likely to exacerbate the problem because we are not dealing directly with it.

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Be In This World Not Of It

What does it mean to “be in this world not of this world?” Might it have something to do with consciousness and the direction of attention? In order to understand how to utilize this teaching in our daily life, lets explore the science behind human energy. The human energy system is more important than it’s given credit for. We can see evidence of its value in science, religion and philosophical teachings.

Einstein’s Particle Theory of Light

Every time a particle of light (a photon) hits an electron it knocks it out of the orbit of its atom. This is why violet light (made of high energy photons) causes the electron to bounce off with high speed. Red light, because it is a lower frequency, works in the opposite way. It seems important to note here that high frequency light has a short wavelength and vice versa. In addition, the higher the frequency the higher the energy and vice versa.

High frequency light waves contain larger packets of energy (quanta) than lower frequency light waves. Further, this difference is quantifiable and is in proportion to Plank’s constant (*h=6.63 x 1027 erg-sec). Gary Zukav explained the phenomenon thusly:

“When a black body is put over low heat, the first color it glows is red because the energy packets (quanta) of red light are the smallest energy packets in the visible light spectrum. As the heat is increased, more energy is available to shake loose bigger energy packets. The bigger energy packets make the higher frequency colors, such as blue and violet.”

According to Zukav, “subatomic particles are not ‘made of’ energy, they are energy.” He went on to write that they are “interactions of energy with energy.” This idea seems to be a good lead into the chakra system, and how it fits in quantum physics and what it means to us as human beings. 

The Energy Centers of the Body

In the chakra energy system of the body, which is where the emotions are generated, the root chakra is said to be red, which is the lowest frequency (400-484 THz) and has the longest wavelength (620-750 nm) in the visible light spectrum. This is why fear for our life produces the most destructive emotions. They are emanating from the root chakra, which is where our basic sense of survival comes from. The same could be said about the other “lower” chakras, the sacral (orange) and the solar plexus (yellow). The sacral chakra is largely responsible for our sense of well-being and the solar plexus for our sense of control. When either of these beliefs are threatened, the corresponding chakra produces destructive emotions, such as anger, jealousy, shame, and the like.

In contrast, the crown chakra is said to be of the color violet with the highest frequency (668-789 THz) and shortest wavelength (380-450 nm). The crown chakra is related to our sense of connectedness with the universe, and therefore, when we are centering awareness on this chakra there is no felt fear, simply because we know we are part of the eternal source energy and only the physical body is subject to destruction. Similarly, the remaining “upper” chakras, the ajna, throat chakras operate at a higher frequency and therefore, produce the higher frequency “positive” emotions (such as joy, excitement, and happiness).

Destructive Emotions and Energy

It could be said, then, that the destructive emotions are those which lead us closer to matter (of this world) and the so-called “positive” emotions lead us closer to source energy, or the higher vibrational energy of the chakras located furthest from the earth (i.e., heart chakra and above). This also points to theological ideology of “heaven above” and “hell below.” What is it above and below? The heart center.

In this case, the “middle way,” prescribed by the Buddha, is keeping awareness centered on the heart chakra. If we lean too far above, we place too much emphasis on spirit (source energy), which causes a disconnect between us and our environment (including friends and family), but if we lean too far below, we place too much emphasis on the body world (matter), and we become disconnected with source energy.

This seems to be what Christ meant when he said not to “store our treasures in heaven.” If we place too much emphasis on the spirit world (the world of energy) we will miss the messages we are to learn from being “in this world.” However, if we place too much emphasis on matter (of this world) then we will forget that we are beings of light (the intelligent energy that shapes the matter), and be relegated to suffering through the erroneous identification with duality. In turn, we would be lost in a sea of confusion because we would be “of this world” rather than in it!

Energy and Healing

Gaining a better understanding of the chakra system can aid in the healing process. We can visualize the color associated with the chakra in relation to the part of the body in need of healing (balancing), and in turn, harmony can be restored. For example, if our illness is in association with experiencing chronic stress over finances, then picturing the color red and placing awareness on the root chakra (at the base of the spine), will put our mind in the proper frequency to balance that particular chakra.

What this amounts to is keeping the mind in the present moment experience, feeling the energy flow in the body, and letting it go. In turn, the energetic system will remain balanced and the energy will flow freely, optimizing health. Indeed, illness is caused by blocked energy, which is why some have referred to disease as “dis-ease.” When the energy is blocked in the body we experience disharmony, and if this dis-ease continues for a prolonged period of time it will manifest into a disease. Balancing our energy system is an important step toward stress relief. Therefore, to optimize health, stay in the present moment and be here now!

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Going Beyond Thinking

 

“I am not what you think I am. You are what you think I am.” 

-Buddhist Saying

When we judge another we are actually feeling a part of our self, deep in our subconscious, that the conscious mind does not like. Indeed, Carl Jung once said, “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” The tension we feel when another irritates us, then, is coming from the conscious mind in disagreement with the subconscious mind. In psychology, this phenomenon is referred to as cognitive dissonance. To remedy the situation all we need do is feel the tension in the body and allow it to relax, while at the same time, letting go of the thoughts associated with it. Then the “split mind” becomes one in the silent stillness of the present moment.

To be “of one mind,” then, is to have awareness centered in the now, rather than in the past/future reasoning of the egoic, “split mind” of dualistic thinking; of good and bad, black and white, right and wrong, etc. This is the place between thoughts, the silent stillness of aware presence that lies beneath the level of the mind. It is where we find “the peace that passeth all understanding.” And why does it go beyond understanding? Simple. It goes beyond thinking itself. And how do we get there? Get in the gap between thoughts, and be here now!

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Know Thy Self, Love Thy Self

“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.”

The Buddha

One night I was sitting in the hot tub gazing at the nearly full moon when suddenly I had a very lucid thought about just who and what we truly are.  As I was sitting in silence feeling the stillness of the night, the words, “know thy self” came to mind, followed by “love thy self,” and the meaning hit home deeply as I felt a strong sense of compassion for the parts of me that have suffered, and which in turn, became a great teacher.

I have to say, when I had first heard of the idea “love thy self,” I had only an intellectual understanding of what it meant. However, that night while gazing at the sacred moon, I actually FELT compassion for hurt Jeff. Consequently, I now truly get what it means to love thy self. And it is powerful!

“Know thy self.”

One of the main teachings it boils down to is simply living in the eternal now and being of one mind. This differs from the perspective of the split mind, where we have created the identity of “I,” which can be described as the person I want or intend to be vs. “me,” which is the person I want to improve upon. The latter is the one we must develop compassion for, as it is the one who has suffered. And this is the very reason we attempt to improve upon it; because quite simply, we do not want to suffer.

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Remembering Before The Birth of the Ego

When we seek to discover heaven or nirvana, we must know that it is ineffable and no one can describe it to us, they can merely point us in the right direction. We must discover it for ourselves, and to find the right path, we must be here now!  -Jeffry C. Beers

In Buddhism it is taught that there is no “thing.” This is often misunderstood. It is not teaching, as is often thought, that the world is an illusion. Instead, it is the idea of any solid, permanent object that is the illusion. Every object is merely vibrating energy.

This has been demonstrated to be true over and over again by quantum physics. As physicist Niels Bohr puts it, “If quantum mechanics hasn’t profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet. Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.” Ironically, we had a better understanding of this as babies, before object permanence set in, which is why many ancient teachings speak of “remembering” rather than “learning.” They implore us to remember what we knew before the birth of the ego.

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Traveling at Life’s Speed

Available on Amazon and Kindle

 

In this book series I have described a path to total self-awareness. For me, it all started with reading inspirational literature, contemplative walking, introspective reflecting and journaling. In the first book of the series, Peace: The Art of Mindfulness to Eliminate Stress, I wrote about mindfulness and how we can program the mind to change our default progressively from constant mind chatter, to less inner dialog, to mindful chatter, to mostly silent with intentionally directed internal dialog.

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Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life

“Your mind will always believe everything you tell it. Feed it faith. Feed it truth. Feed it with love.”

Rhonda Byrne – The Secret

The idea presented in this quote is SO important to our fulfillment! And all we need do is continue to remind ourselves to keep our mind on what we want to experience. Our attention will give strength to the attitudes and intentions that we focus it on. If we think negative thoughts, we support negative outcomes in what psychology calls the self-fulfilling prophesy.

Insert the Antidote

One helpful technique that can be used to train the mind to send only positive thoughts is this: Whenever the mind sends something you don’t want to experience just insert the antidote, which is to say, insert the opposite thought, the one you want to have happen.

For example, imagine you are applying for a job that you want, and the mind sends you a thought like, “I can’t get that job; I don’t have enough experience!” Upon noticing the thought immediately insert the antidote, such as, “I can get that job; I have the right kind of experience,” or, “I can get that job; perhaps experience is not everything.”

Soon, the mind will be conditioned by you instead of the culture you grew up in. Take control of your life. It starts in the mind!

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Stop Thinking!

“Even after enlightenment, you still have to do the laundry.”

A zen master

I have been reading a lot about Zen lately, and it can be quite confusing until one gets used to the dialog, and the line of thinking, or more accurately, NOT thinking. This quote reminds me of one of the most famous Zen teachings, “when hungry, eat; when tired, sleep.”

When looking at this teaching on the surface, it seems quite trivial. However, when one looks deeper the wisdom can be felt, and that is key to all the teachings.

Beginning the Search for Fulfillment

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