Fist Full of Dollars

Buddhist art.

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.

Beautiful Sleepwalkers Series

Woman looking out at the ocean.

What’s The Endgame?

Today we talk about the swag bag of enlightenment. And what happens when your bag is empty. Why does it seem that your spiritual quest…

View of hills from a train.

What’s the Point of Lucid Dreaming?

Seeking or avoiding boredom in dreams. But it’s really telling, that combo. Pleasure seeking and avoiding boredom. What does that mean to you?

Light reflected in tunnel.

Seeking Enlightenment in Lieu of Getting Yourself in Hand

Are you using spirituality and the search for enlightenment as an excuse not to fix your mental, emotional, relational and financial problems? The experience of…

Neon sign that reads: this is the sign you've been looking for.

Happy Pizza & the Meaning of Everything

Lifting the veil and coming back empty handed. There used to be an infamous pizza joint in Phnom Penh called Happy Pizza. Who knows how the…

Buddha statue with golden hair.

Will enlightenment make you happy?

Enlightenment does not happen to improve life. To an unenlightened person who is inclined toward happiness, life can be glorious. To people who tend toward…

If the world isn’t real, why should I stay?

Reader Q&A. If you’ve got a ticket to Nirvana, why should you stick around ’till the curtain closes? A reader observes that people are unreal,…

More Basic Human

Hand under water.

Continuing in the Face of Discouragement

I gather, guard and transmit my power, my essence, my signature. It’s really quite effortless and natural at this point, but can you even imagine…

Bush with the word breathe.

Learn to navigate your mind intentionally

How to interrupt thought loops and take control over your own mind. Still want to stay in Default Mode or are you ready for an…

The Truth About Parenting, Childhood Wounds & Growing Up

Whether you’re a parent or not, this is important for everyone. A lot of the issues that come up in parenting are really not even…

Dark view of tunnel.

How to manage being overwhelmed by thought loops

What to do when you go from one thought loop to another? How to deal with the sheer number of these programs? Getting an accurate…

Reflection in eyeglasses.

Feeling Guilty About Things Other People Do

So, there are several different components to this bit of programming that you’ll want to investigate further and become aware of. This is a pattern…

Room filled with furniture.

Everything Must Go!

Yes, I hear you. You’ve got stuff you need to think about. Work issues, practical issues, it’s not all just emotional stuff rattling around in…

Dew on a spider web.

Inquisitive vs Acquisitive: Inquiring Minds Want to Know

The mind is not your enemy, unless its actions and mechanisms remain unexamined. Becoming intimately familiar with the levels, processes and different modes of functioning…

Mental chatter and deprogramming

Mental Chatter is the Mind’s Default Mode

There are parts of your brain that register and process various types of experience, and another that narrates it. In default mode, they activate almost…

Boys playing in water.

Lighten Up: Emotions

One thing that happened when I awoke is that my heart emptied out. That sounds terrible, doesn’t it? As if my heart became hollow. That…

Two toy figures.

The Power of No

It’s the perfect time of year to practice saying no. Not an apologetic no, the one where you have to qualify and explain and justify…

Person looking through a hole.

Observation: your greatest ally

Should. The word seems innocuous enough, but when you find yourself using it in the context of your spiritual work, it’s a cue to stop…

Sunflowers.

What’s Your Ratio? Spiritual Consumption vs Practice

Are you serious about spiritual evolution, personal growth, deprogramming the mind, mastering your thoughts, emotions and focus? This bad habit may be holding you back.