Arrive September 12, 2010Posted by Ash Kaushesh in Truth.
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Do you see that you are like a kid in the toy store who has forgotten that she came to the store with her mother? Are you so involved with achieving, arriving, and attaining things that you want to want them more than you wanting what you already have? Are you so involved with making money, acquiring things that you have forgotten what you are working towards? Are you so busy making your tomorrow comfortable that the fragrance of enjoying life today has left you?
This constant striving to arrive wears you down, makes you bored, heavy without cause, and triggers you to lose the most precious things of all, which is not a thing to attain but has always been with you, your nearest companion, never changing, and permanent – the present moment, the now. Just like the lightening bolt depicted above, it only strikes once.
See how much time and energy you spend in comparing, contrasting and causeless worry about precisely what you do not have any control over – past, future, and people in your life. See how you try to manipulate, change, and control what you can not – past, future, and people in your life. Comparatively you spend little to no effort on what is in your control – studying yourself, managing your emotions, and deepening yourself – or at least, perception of what you think you are. You are not just a bunch of reflexes – getting agitated or sad when other things, people, or circumstances don’t go your way. You are not just a puppet of the world – you are the world as it would not exist without you.
The best way to come out of the misery is to realize and accept that you are miserable.
See for a moment, today, right now how having no expectations from the present moment, completely open and available to it, and allowing everything and everyone that comes to be as it is, as they are, changes the equation. When you surrender to the present, you become still instead of agitated, you become open to what is around the corner instead of being bored, and you become light and free to enjoy what you have now instead of heavy thinking about tomorrow or the past.
When you ask the ultimate question – who is heavy, sad, bored or worn down – and you ask it earnestly, sincerely and intensely, you will find nobody. That part of you that loses the present in fear of tomorrow and non acceptance of the past is a “it” fabricated by the survivalist mind, society and culture. The real you, the ever present space where all life happens, the source of it all is without problems, and is timeless, indestructible, unmistakable, vast, endless peace.
All you have to do is accept that lightning strikes only once – your complete presence, availability, and openness is needed for you to be saturated with the nearest, most intimate, and most powerful joy of cosmic proportions. Be open to life without asking for results, do what you do without focusing on its benefits, and appreciate all things that you have – most of all appreciate the appreciator of those things – you and your now, and you will arrive, achieve, attain every moment.
Fear, Anxiety, and Pain August 14, 2010Posted by Ash Kaushesh in Truth.
If you don’t ever suffer, please ignore the following words.
Why do you keep going around in a circle of needs, wants, efforts, fulfillment, fear, anxiety, loss, and then pain? Why do you create suffering for yourself and for others? Why are you never satisfied – as if all the things you crave and the people you try to influence create only temporary happiness and then they create immense grief? Why are you looking for yourself in other people’s opinions, approval, and understanding?
The truth is that the world you perceive through your senses and desires is complicated, contains polar opposites, and it is all-inclusive. Behind every pleasure there is pain; behind every success there is loss; after acquiring any luxury, there is boredom and craving for more – the cycles are endless.
When you first placed your hand in the fire to feel the heat, you didn’t know what it was until that experience differentiated it from the opposite – the cold. You can’t call yourself healthy unless you have been or seen sickness. You need to go through the trips of wanting more tomorrow, different from today, and creating your identity by putting others down, and suffer enough to finally know that none of it will ever satisfy you – at least not for long. You are lost in the idea created by your desire to achieve that permanent peace through people and things out in the world that you forget the most essential key that you knew as a child – you can’t look for the ultimate in the world, it is found within. Only when your fear, anxiety, loss, and pain is strong enough to know that you don’t need all the suffering, and that is when you will ask yourself – is it possible to permanently cultivate the graceful unending, eternal, boundless, unopposed, effortless peace that has no opposite?
The way out is simple. You have to know the game and the player – which is nothing more than yourself and your endless desires. Me, Me, Me Me, mine, them, theirs, why did they, why don’t they, why this, why not this, I want more, I want better have kept you in your prison of suffering, and you keep playing the game on yourself and others. That personal hunger to know who you are also goes around in the world and tries to impress people, and looks for their approval as if asking – am I good enough? That personal hunger to have more than others, be better than others, find permanency in being superior, put others opinions down, argue, gossip about them, and compare and contrast. That personal self creates problems in your mind – even on a sunny beautiful day with plenty of food, a nice shelter and loved ones around – of not having enough, fear of losing it all, and about what someone said to you or they did to you.
The truth is that you don’t have any problems except for the mental attitudes, blocks, identities, and stories that you create in your mind for yourself and others.
The truth is that your anxiety arises from not fully accepting your circumstances and what is happening in your life today. Nobody has ever found profound peace unless they have fully surrendered to everything good or bad and stopped the blame game on themselves, others, economy, or God.
The truth is that your pain arises from being so hard on yourself and not forgiving yourself or the others for what you did to someone, yourself, or what they did to you in the past. Nobody has ever found profound peace unless they have fully forgiven themselves and others.
The truth is that most of your fear arises from losing what you have – an anticipation of the future being worse than today. Nobody has ever seen the future and chances are, you never will either.
The truth is that you needed some of that basic wanting, fear, and anxiety to grow, survive, make it to an adult in a basic survival mode. However, somehow your adult thinking, analytical mind in an accumulating mode kept these states growing to wanting more of things and to be better than others. Your mind always thinks of tomorrow as holding a better outcome than yesterday and today, so it keeps you in the loop. Your thinking mind has made you forget who you truly are, as you were as a child with a pure heart and a clean slate who was in the kingdom of heaven – abiding peace and acceptance.
Given that, because you know that everything in the world is fleeting – the opposite must exist – something that does not disappear and does not go through the cycle of pain and pleasures. That something is the ever-present peaceful unchanging source of it all. The reason you know that there is impermanent happiness and sadness exists because something inside you knows that there is something opposite to that which is permanent and peaceful.
True permanent, graceful, unending, eternal, boundless, unopposed, effortless peace that has no opposite can only be found in knowing who you truly are. Once you know that, you start to see your circumstances and the stuff of your life not as obstacles, but help in overcoming the fear, anxiety and pain. Even when the circumstances of life seem opposite to the flow of life – such as death, loss and disease – through acceptance, non-resistance, and love for yourself and all that exists, the profound real peace will have the pull strong enough to guide you towards the action aligned towards overcoming the emotions of fear, anxiety and pain.
To start – unconditionally love and forgive yourself in all your past, tendencies, humanness, body, circumstances, attitudes, needs, hopes, and goals. This can cause everything else to fall into place by burning the pain that you feel from fear, anxiety, non-acceptance and loathing. Your true self knows how to live in the full presence of today, accepting all of life as it comes without resistance of it, and helping to reduce others suffering by being the benevolent peace that has no opposite.
You will still be able to hold and enjoy things but their coming, going, breaking, losing them won’t cause the pain and suffering anymore. Events will happen as they happen – even with tears in your eyes, there will be the unshakable peace within you – the source of it.
Nobody said it better:
“Know Thyself” (to find the key that unlocks nothing but unopposed, unchanging, unwavering peace that emanates from nowhere but within you)
“Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” (Your true nature and the permanently abiding peace)
“For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” (The source of peace in you that has no opposite)
And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Which is here, now, ever-present, within you)
There would be no flight without air April 3, 2010Posted by Ash Kaushesh in Life and Death.
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..and this duck wouldn’t exist without water. Everything in this world has it’s place. Things of similar and opposite nature exist in just the right combination, just the right contrast, and just the perfect balance. This entire world exists because of contrast between things of seemingly similar and opposite nature. You need the other side of the paper to make it so, and the words on that paper couldn’t be realized without the space around them. There must be night to realize the day. Pain must exist for you to feel happiness. For every joy that you feel – there exists equal amount of sadness – funny thing is – you need the sadness to know the joy. If there was no pain in your life, you would have no idea what happiness is. But how temporary that happiness is, equally impermanent is that pain. We live on borrowed time, borrowed senses, borrowed perception to feel all that exists – but you and I exist just at the right time, just for the right contrast and just for the right balance. You are equally important in this entire play of life and nonlife. Your existence is needed for something, somewhere, for some time period to be realized and perceived – and so is your non-existence.
Because all that you know is temporary – everything you touch, everything you own, your every vehicle, all your wealth, everyone you know is impermanent and is going fade away in a short period of time, including you – there must exist something that is permanent and does not die.
All that you see, feel, touch, hear and perceive is only there because you are here to experience it – all of which is the impermanent. You weren’t here a few decades ago and you won’t be here a few decades from now. All that exists around you wasn’t here a few million or billion years ago and won’t be here a few million years or billion years from now. Where does it come from and where does it go to? It all comes from and goes to what you can’t see, feel, touch, hear or perceive – which is the permanent. It is where all things come from, and all things disappar to. It is the enegy that can’t be created or destroyed; it just changes it’s shape and form. It is the origin and end of all things including you. You are as part of it as everything around you – living or dead. You are it. It can’t exist without you, and you can’t exist without it.
Just like this duck exists for you to be human, you exist for this duck to be. Your life has a unique, important and perfect place in this world. You are important beyond your comprehension, however all that is not you is also important beyond comprehension. The secret to life is to not judge and fight all that is – including pain and suffering - you don’t know just on the level of your personalized thought how important all that is. All your answers can be realized once you accept the dance of life.
Sooner or later though, you will have to relinquish and give up all that you know – all that you touch, all that you hear, everyone in your life, all your memories, all your degrees, every home you own, every thing you call yours, all happiness and sadness – you just don’t know when.
Once you accept that there must be something permanent in you and all of this impermanence, you realize that who you truly are is as immortal as it is going to be. All that you carry around in your cells will fade away, become part of the dust, gets recycled in a few thousand, million years and will be incorporated in that duck that you thought was so much different and not a part of you; the only things that don’t get recycled are your pain, suffering, joy, and happiness.
As there is no flight without air, there is no appreciation and adventure for life without knowing how fleeting and important everything in it is.
Our True Nature March 21, 2010Posted by Ash Kaushesh in Allowing.
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I am always amazed by how open to life, how receiving of the little miracles, and how allowing of the profound enjoyment of living the children are. My son Evan knows how connected to life he is – effortlessly.
There is no judgment of people, events, past, or future. He knows no discrimination of racism, color, ethnicity, or language; to him, we are all people who either are helpful and nice, or selfish and mean. He does not worry about recession, pollution, politicians, or global warming; his only worry revolves around where and how, where and to whom he is going to receive and give love to, and not feeling hungry or pain. He does not complain about the weather, bills, wardrobes, gas prices, death….
He is open to life. He either enjoys what is happening right now, or tries removes himself from the unfavorable. He is not trying to get anywhere, or wait for something tomorrow, next year, later in life, to make it “all perfect”. He is fully at peace where he is, being open to life, ready to receive the little miracles of raindrops on his face – without carrying any story or burden of the past, or any worry of the future.
We all came that way. We lost that feeling of adventure, miracle, and openness when the “world” told us that other things were more important to worry about and enjoy – just turn on the TV and they will tell you what to worry about, complain and discriminate against, and what you need to buy to be happy and more fulfilled.
We will get that feeling back – unfortunately, for most people it happens very close to when they are about to die. But for some, it happens sooner – and it can happen for you and me right now - with openness, acceptance and allowing of a child’s heart, which is our, and most animal’s natural state of being.
Looking Beyond The Main Attraction March 1, 2010Posted by Ash Kaushesh in Truth.
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It always amazes me where I find the most beautiful framable image; most of the time it is opposite and away in a corner from the “main attraction”. I framed the above image facing in the opposite direction to the most photographed site in Arizona – the Cathedral Rock.
In everyday living, I have learned to look beyond the appearance to find the real meaning, the background beauty, or the hidden truth. Most of the time, my mind used to see things either favorable to the needs and wants I had, or the opposite. Once I started to see beyond the relative mind made judgments, the whole world of endless possibilities, beauty, and miracles became visible, audible, and perceivable.
I used to get to a venue to photograph, early before twilight hours, worried about my camera settings, whether or what I might have forgotten. I used to be so wrapped up in capturing the picture that thousands of others before me had; I just wanted to see if I could take the photograph “better” than them, only to get disappointed by the weather, light or others around me who had the same idea. It was a miserable hobby.
It all melted away when I started to spend more and more time just sitting there, looking, perceiving and decided to stop suffering.
Endless beauty started to flow into my camera automatically that soothed all cells of my body and being.
Every light spoke wonders, no venue was better than others, and I started to see miraculous framable beauty everywhere; especially where I had never looked before. It became a humbling privilege to photograph and just be there as an observer, rather than a mission to photograph and “capture” the image for a prize and show-off.
I am not waiting to catch the big one January 15, 2010Posted by Ash Kaushesh in Uncategorized.
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There was a time in my life – seems so long ago – that I was perceptively wasting my time away – unsure of who I am and what I am here to do. The feeling of not having it all, or being complete used to feel like a knife’s edge cutting into me every day with stressful grind of work, seeking momentary pleasures and full of fear of losing what I had. With a feeling of being not good enough, my mind was some place else while my body suffered. I was waiting for that big catch: something in the future was going to make it “all perfect”. Whatever I had, was not quite enough. Where ever I was – no matter how beautiful and safe the situation – I was never there to quite fully live and enjoy it. There was a heaviness to life. I suffered like you do – like most humans live – in a constant state of mental chaos. On top of it all – my mind was trying to find the relief in addictive behaviors and the answers in religious groups, texts and charismatic people.
While capturing this image were one of the very first glimpses of what it means to be awakened - the answers that I was looking for were nowhere to be found but within me. The stress and the knife-edge I was living on and with were all fabricated by my mind. The mental chaos was my mind running wild attaching itself to a future or past events, while ignoring what was the most important thing of all – the preciousness of right now. Instead of feeling and appreciating fully – the rock i was standing on (my physical body), my mind was too busy trying to jump from it. Instead of enjoying the overwhelming colors of sunset and the evening (appreciating life as is, and everything in it), my mind thought that nothing was not good enough and there must be more to it. Instead of knowing who I am – one with and part of this amazing creation – my mind filled me with chaotic thoughts of distress and stress.
I don’t live like that anymore. My eyes are wide open. My mind is not running wild. My peace is deep. My resolve is vast. My existence is now. My answers are within me. I feel very lucky to be alive – here and now. All it took was a realization that I am not my brain, forgive, allow, and a giant leap into the unknown – to detach my mind from what it finds safe and familiar.
I am not waiting to catch the big one (expecting some big event in the future is going to make it all perfect). I am happy catching small ones, and fully savor the flavor (enjoy, appreciate and honor what is today and here).
Every moment matters. Every breath counts. I don’t want to miss anything.
Endless deep serenity January 1, 2010Posted by Ash Kaushesh in Nature.
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Why aren’t there stressed out depressed non-human animals?
There is a belief that most humans have not shared by most of the animals – that life is meant to be heavy, difficult and full of stress. There is a passiveness to life most non-humans enjoy – that has a flow and acceptance of all living and non living forms – imbued in their every action and non action.
As a biologist, I have had the privilege of observing animals and plants in their habitats and niches numerous times performing their ecological dance, and have always been captivated by the ease of living they exhibit. Unlike humans who feel the separateness from the earth, each other and the nature. They feel and live in oneness with it. Unlike our species that is headed to self-destruction through systematically destroying all that sustains it, they take only what they need and strive for the balance. In contrast to human race – members of which divide the lands, kill each other for the holy books that the others read, and deeply long for acquiring more and more, the millions of other species don’t.
The balance of their existence with each other and the earth will re-establish far after humans race has destroyed itself in the name of invention, innovation, comforts and progress. The least civilized will prevail – those who are one with the flow of life and the deep essence of the purpose of the universe. Those of us who have realized their purpose, and have merged it with the purpose of it all – to know that it is one and the same – find immortality and a deep serenity that has no end.