Fist Full of Dollars

I don’t do spiritual practices in order to have specific experiences. I find that the process has its own momentum and I don’t need to organize it as such.

I’ve also learned that there is nothing special about the experiences, no matter how amazing they seem at the time.

One tends to chase after experiences such as bliss and oneness with what we will, for convenience, call God. But these experiences come and go, they are not the prize, and are often just a big distraction. They can even be a trap, because one gets overly fascinated and focused on having these experiences, when really they are just things that happen along the way…you are supposed to keep moving forward and expanding.

It’s like walking into a room with one dollar bills strewn all over the floor. You can get distracted and spend lots of time gathering them. What you are not aware of is that this is in fact your very own palace and that your throne and the real jewels are further along, through many other rooms. You can spend a lifetime picking up dollar bills, or even finally go to the next room, which is littered with something else that seems valuable but is actually unimportant. I’m sure you get the picture.

If you need to have more of these experiences, or any other experiences, you will. The most you will need to do is make room for it. Just be aware that it’s too easy to become fascinated with the experiences. It’s one thing to acknowledge that they are mind blowing or beautiful or life altering. They are. But grasping at them or trying to acquire more of them or worse, confusing the experiences for enlightenment, is going to divert you from the real treasure.

Instagram post 2103137030108064410_7135779923 How useful is my advice? ⠀
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In my Peerless and Mastery courses, I give a lot of practical ways to quiet the mind. Is this useful advice? Yesterday I did a private consultation in which I reframed my client's perspective: Is this mental chatter even a "problem" that you need to do something about? Do you even NEED to quiet the mind? ⠀
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It seems very different, these two perspectives. One is that you need to master the mind, learn techniques to turn down or even shut off the chatter in order to claim enough space for that elusive *something else* to emerge. What is it? Wisdom? Presence? Your Essential Nature? The other perspective is that holding onto this idea that mental chatter is a problem that needs to be remedied so you can claim some kind of pristine awareness, perfect awakening, is in fact just part of the mechanics of seeking...part of the same mind mechanics that generate the chatter in the first place. ⠀
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Both perspectives are true, depending on what level you are operating from. This is important to understand. You seek, you seek outside yourself, and inevitably you seek through the experience and wisdom and advice of others. But you can only digest and use the advice that is appropriate to your level. That's why you'll come across teachings that you feel in your gut are *true*, and yet if you try to apply them you get really weird or no results. They lead to more confusion. Then more seeking. But you're pointed in the wrong direction! You need the advice and teaching that is not only true, but true for you...where you are.⠀
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And that means also that when you are no longer where you are...when you've moved past that into truly new territory, a fundamentally new level...your old methods, the old teachings, the previous advice...may no longer be appropriate for you anymore. This is so hard, because they were true and they did work. Those practices are like old friends. You are faithful to them. But they are not old friends. They are steps on a ladder that you leave behind without looking back as you move ahead. The only precious teachings are the ones you need, the ones that are appropriate for you right now.

How useful is my advice? ⠀

In my Peerless and Mastery courses, I give a lot of practical ways to quiet the mind. Is this useful advice? Yesterday I did a private consultation in which I reframed my client's perspective: Is this mental chatter even a "problem" that you need to do something about? Do you even NEED to quiet the mind? ⠀

It seems very different, these two perspectives. One is that you need to master the mind, learn techniques to turn down or even shut off the chatter in order to claim enough space for that elusive *something else* to emerge. What is it? Wisdom? Presence? Your Essential Nature? The other perspective is that holding onto this idea that mental chatter is a problem that needs to be remedied so you can claim some kind of pristine awareness, perfect awakening, is in fact just part of the mechanics of seeking...part of the same mind mechanics that generate the chatter in the first place. ⠀

Both perspectives are true, depending on what level you are operating from. This is important to understand. You seek, you seek outside yourself, and inevitably you seek through the experience and wisdom and advice of others. But you can only digest and use the advice that is appropriate to your level. That's why you'll come across teachings that you feel in your gut are *true*, and yet if you try to apply them you get really weird or no results. They lead to more confusion. Then more seeking. But you're pointed in the wrong direction! You need the advice and teaching that is not only true, but true for you...where you are.⠀

And that means also that when you are no longer where you are...when you've moved past that into truly new territory, a fundamentally new level...your old methods, the old teachings, the previous advice...may no longer be appropriate for you anymore. This is so hard, because they were true and they did work. Those practices are like old friends. You are faithful to them. But they are not old friends. They are steps on a ladder that you leave behind without looking back as you move ahead. The only precious teachings are the ones you need, the ones that are appropriate for you right now.
...

Instagram post 2091627249157287834_7135779923 My birthday is like my own personal New Year. I love spending my birthday by myself, out in nature, suspended in this liminal space between what was and what is to come. ⠀
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This morning I went out before dawn to the beach and spent the twilight with a handsome flock of shorebirds and a school of what looked like baby sand sharks, playing in the tide right up to the sandy shore. ⠀
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It's a relief to be here, no one asking me to be anybody. No one telling me who I am based on their personal storyline. Though, I suppose that is not entirely true. I met a bird this morning who looked me over and said, "You look a lot like that woman who fed me."

My birthday is like my own personal New Year. I love spending my birthday by myself, out in nature, suspended in this liminal space between what was and what is to come. ⠀

This morning I went out before dawn to the beach and spent the twilight with a handsome flock of shorebirds and a school of what looked like baby sand sharks, playing in the tide right up to the sandy shore. ⠀

It's a relief to be here, no one asking me to be anybody. No one telling me who I am based on their personal storyline. Though, I suppose that is not entirely true. I met a bird this morning who looked me over and said, "You look a lot like that woman who fed me."
...

Instagram post 2086679336581021573_7135779923 Into the unknown. ⠀
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How many of you can relate these days? ⠀
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I've been busy the past few months. Kind of amazing how much effort it's taken, just to throw myself into the unknown. Finally, I put my entire home into storage and hit the road, before dawn on a Sunday, and drove away. Hundreds of miles, to a friend's house -- the first chapter in my life without a home. I guess that makes me nomadic. Nomadic sounds more elegant than homeless! Over the coming months we'll see just how "elegant" it ends up being. ⠀
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My goal is to get enough money together to leave the country for a year. Work remotely from SE Asia, where I will have more time to devote to the work I love.⠀
⠀
For now...into the wall of fog. Into the unknown.

Into the unknown. ⠀

How many of you can relate these days? ⠀

I've been busy the past few months. Kind of amazing how much effort it's taken, just to throw myself into the unknown. Finally, I put my entire home into storage and hit the road, before dawn on a Sunday, and drove away. Hundreds of miles, to a friend's house -- the first chapter in my life without a home. I guess that makes me nomadic. Nomadic sounds more elegant than homeless! Over the coming months we'll see just how "elegant" it ends up being. ⠀

My goal is to get enough money together to leave the country for a year. Work remotely from SE Asia, where I will have more time to devote to the work I love.⠀

For now...into the wall of fog. Into the unknown.
...

Instagram post 2029905118510284214_7135779923 In martial arts, one expects to be thrown to the ground, hard. You know it will happen, so rather than avoiding it, you learn to fall well. There is a point in sparing when you know it’s over and you are going down. Up until that point, you are using all your Upright strategies. At that very point of recognizing the reality, that you are going down, you immediately switch into your Falling strategy.⠀
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In life, you need to have both. But you are almost never taught to a)recognize and admit that you are going down and b)how to do that like a pro.

In martial arts, one expects to be thrown to the ground, hard. You know it will happen, so rather than avoiding it, you learn to fall well. There is a point in sparing when you know it’s over and you are going down. Up until that point, you are using all your Upright strategies. At that very point of recognizing the reality, that you are going down, you immediately switch into your Falling strategy.⠀

In life, you need to have both. But you are almost never taught to a)recognize and admit that you are going down and b)how to do that like a pro.
...

Instagram post 2027722388909372413_7135779923 You are in a dismantling phase, a transition. It is painful and confusing, and I’m sorry, but there is no way to escape those feelings, even through “spirituality”…which can be one of the worst detours ever. It is not the last one you will go through. It happens at the end of certain stages or cycles. This is a huge accomplishment. It doesn’t ever feel that way, but getting to the end of a cycle and letting yourself actually digest and alchemize all the dead mind stuff and old persona paradigms rather than continue to find novel ways to prop them up so that the show can go on for another season…this is awesome. Congratulations are in order!⠀
⠀
The process is yucky, and I can’t make it feel any better, except to let you know you are not alone. And also, this may be really most important…there is nothing wrong with you. When you hit the wall at the end of a cycle and nothing really works anymore, your first reaction is that something is WRONG and needs to be fixed. You work like mad trying to find a way to fix it. Your scour books, blogs, forums, ancient texts…whatever! There is nothing wrong with you. It does not feel good to be in The In Between, but you are exactly where you should be.⠀
⠀
You can spend a long time in this liminal space, but you don’t have to. It will be hard anyway, but you can make it harder than necessary, or…only as hard as it needs to be.

You are in a dismantling phase, a transition. It is painful and confusing, and I’m sorry, but there is no way to escape those feelings, even through “spirituality”…which can be one of the worst detours ever. It is not the last one you will go through. It happens at the end of certain stages or cycles. This is a huge accomplishment. It doesn’t ever feel that way, but getting to the end of a cycle and letting yourself actually digest and alchemize all the dead mind stuff and old persona paradigms rather than continue to find novel ways to prop them up so that the show can go on for another season…this is awesome. Congratulations are in order!⠀

The process is yucky, and I can’t make it feel any better, except to let you know you are not alone. And also, this may be really most important…there is nothing wrong with you. When you hit the wall at the end of a cycle and nothing really works anymore, your first reaction is that something is WRONG and needs to be fixed. You work like mad trying to find a way to fix it. Your scour books, blogs, forums, ancient texts…whatever! There is nothing wrong with you. It does not feel good to be in The In Between, but you are exactly where you should be.⠀

You can spend a long time in this liminal space, but you don’t have to. It will be hard anyway, but you can make it harder than necessary, or…only as hard as it needs to be.
...

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