Zen Professor

A Path to a More Fulfilling Life

Tag: emotions (page 2 of 4)

Using Thoughts to Get What You Want

One day when I was a teacher, I had a surprise opportunity to practice what I had learned about directing thoughts. As soon as I walked in the door I noticed a red light flashing on my phone, indicating there was a message. At that time in my life I no longer coached basketball, so messages on my phone became almost nonexistent.

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How to Avoid Conflict and Resolve Issues

Once, when I was a teacher, I experienced valuable life lesson on how to avoid conflict, as I had a student test my resolve. The student, I’ll call “Laura,” had been tardy to class often and I had been following my standard protocol. However, on this day Laura took it to a new level. Never before had a student continued to be tardy after I had followed all the steps created to deter their late arrival, including a verbal warning, followed by a written warning, detention, and finally, office referral. Laura had already reached the referral stage and was still continuing to show up late, including on this particular day.

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Our Purpose is to Experience Life

If we were to ask the Universe, “What purpose would you have me serve?” the answer would be simple. The Universe would say, “Pay attention to life so I can experience it through you.” In the absence of the ego and judgment, that’s exactly what would happen. Universal Consciousness, or Christ Consciousness, is allowed to experience life through our senses when we come from the place of the authentic self. This is why many spiritual teachers explain that we are not the doer. Once the psychological self is recognized and released, there is no self doing anything. There is only present moment awareness acting out of the place of awakened consciousness. Life then experiences Itself through you. Continue reading

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The Meaning of Socrates’ Allegory of the Cave

Once, I went on a walk through a park in my neighborhood. It was a still mid-morning and the sun cast a shadow on the sidewalk from the trees that lined the path. The huge evergreens that bordered it seemed to protect the park from invading forces. In the center, there were many multi-colored deciduous trees with shades of green, brown, and red, and the flowering buds displaying the newness of spring took me by surprise. At one point I stopped and stared at a bee investigating one of the new found treasures. It was darting in and out of a white flower rising from a shrub that was not yet in full bloom, moving from the flower to a closed bud merely promising to bloom and back to the flower once again, as if it was asking, “What are the rest of you waiting for?”

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The Sea of Infinity

The following story is taken from my book, The New Season: Journey Toward Enlightenment. I have presented it here in order to demonstrate the symbolism of some of the most profound ancient teachings to be found. More importantly, I hope to provide examples of how to incorporate this wisdom into one’s daily life. I hope you enjoy it:

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The Importance of Feeling Connected

Life often gives us examples of how we are connected to everything. I once read a story about a man who could “tap” another person and cause them to turn around, even though twenty feet or more separated them! Is this even possible? In the story it was stated that, out of forty people who passed by, only four failed to turn around when this man mentally “tapped” them. That is  remarkable!    (From The Lost Season by Jeffry Beers)

“Part of life’s beauty is that we are all connected, so that beauty is in me as well”


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Freedom from Disruptive Emotions

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.    -Viktor E. Frankl

In order to be free from disruptive emotions, we must learn to become the witness of them. When we can watch our thoughts and emotions without acting on them, we create a space between the thought/emotion experience and our choice of action. In contrast, if we are not present enough to witness our mind and body, we come from the place of ego, which is to say, we re-act out of past experience, rather than act out of the present moment. When we react, we are acting in a similar, programmed way to past mental conditioning. Ironically, we are not choosing to act at all and instead, allowing the past conditioning to choose for us.

For example, someone who is an “angry person” has, in his past, most likely been rewarded for acting in an angry manner. In turn, his subconscious mind is lead to believe he will get what he wants from others by the use of anger. Consequently, when he wants another to comply with his wishes, he will react angrily. In other words, he will act in a similar way to a past experience because he believes it will help him get what he wants. However, all he will really do is create disharmony in his relationships.

The Falcon and the Quail

There is a story told by the Buddha of a young quail and a falcon. One day the falcon swooped down from the sky and snatched up the quail in its talons. As she was carrying the little quail away, he began to cry out, “Oh why did I not listen to my parents, I would not be in this predicament.”
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How Do We Become Less Judgmental?

“A thought is just a thought, nothing more.”

A key component to learning how to watch thoughts non-judgmentally is to simply become aware when we are judging them as good or bad. Most of us do this nonconsciously all the time. Some thoughts are “good” and other thoughts are “bad.” It is important to recognize that thoughts are neither good nor bad, they are benign.

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Get on the “Right” Frequency

“It is by surrendering to life that we become in tune with it.”

In the book Mutant Message Down Under, Marlo Morgan tells of a tribal leader describing the salutary effects of desert flies as they crawl all over the Aborigines, including in their nose and ears. The tribal leader shared how the flies clean out the wax and sand that accumulates, helping them to hear, which is vital when it comes to survival in the wilderness. In addition, they clean out the nasal passage, which helps them to breath. This is especially important in the desert given that one must breath out of one’s nostrils when it becomes extremely hot. The flies help to make this possible.

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So Within, So Without

The World We Live In

Our bodies are an inner universe, in relation to the outer universe, and the two together form our Universe, Buddha Nature, Christ Consciousness, God consciousness, or whatever you want to call it.

First, always keep things in perspective. When we look at the vastness of the Universe, both inside and out, things we consider as problems don’t appear nearly as great. Second, this demonstration shows the physical side of the teaching, so within, so without.

However, so within, so without goes deeper. Our inner state becomes our outer experience. For example, when we are angry, or agitated, or frustrated inside, we attract people into our current life situation who are angry, agitated, or frustrated. Or, if we are currently working on a project, such as home repair or attempting to learn a new skill, and we become frustrated, agitated, or angry, all the problems or obstacles that might come up when attempting to learn a new skill or make repairs will come forward in full force. Anyone who reflects back on their experience often enough will clearly see the truth in this fundamental teaching, so within, so without.

Look Inside to Find Karma

When you are experiencing difficulties in life, ask yourself this: What is my inner state? In addition, when you are experiencing life flow along smoothly, ask yourself the same question. Soon you will be in a position to notice any inner disturbance and consciously choose to calm the inner self, BEFORE the consequences of the inner turmoil manifest into your physical reality. In turn, you will be creating the experience you want to have in your life.

This is the meaning of karma, and it is what Jesus meant when he said, “As you sow, so shall you reap.” Moreover, the higher we rise in consciousness, which is to say, the more we discover the conditioned ego in us and act independent of it, the sooner we will notice and experience the effects of karma. Before long, we will find ourselves in a position to consciously manifest our desires in the physical world, with no need to learn from karmic energy.

With Growth Find Freedom

That is what karma is. It is our teacher, in that it helps us to learn how to grow spiritually. In other words, with the growth of conscious awareness, the need for lessons from the cause-effect nature of karmic energy lessons. And it is the conditioned ego that creates the karmic energy, or tension in the body that presents itself as our teacher. To release yourself from karmic energy, just become intensely present, feel the energy in the body, and allow it to flow, without acting on it. When your inner body is calm and you are completely in the now, you are free. Liberate yourself, and be here now!

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