Moving mindfulness: making the transition from sitting meditation to engaged, moment to moment wakefulness
The effort of living versus the peacefulness of meditation - a false dichotomy
Many practitioners of mindfulness will recognise a feeling that while their lives are definitely enriched in a profound way, there is sometimes still a feeling that actually living life - paying the bills, feeding the children, going to work, dealing with situations - is demanding but sitting in meditation, on the other hand, is a refuge.
Meditation is not a happy trip
This is not the case for all meditators. Meditation is not supposed to be a technique for getting high or managing to “attain” anything. In fact, trying to “attain” is evidence of the very problematic thinking that the practitioner may be able to transcend with practice.
The reality is that the same peace that is available to us when we are in “zazen” sitting meditation is just a mindset switch away from us while we are in the thick of it. Sounds great, doesn't’ it? But it doesn’t seem very feasible when you’re behind on a deadline and your laptop is running painfully slow. Nope. You’re too good at your practice for that kind of trivia to affect you? Let’s imagine you’ve just lost your job or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer.
The point is that nothing you can do in meditation is ever going to stop any of the negative stuff from happening. It is ironic really that when we look at one of the great stories of a religion that is strongly associated with meditation - Buddhism - we see the young Siddhartha Gautama being sheltered from suffering by his parents. Every kind of misfortune is hidden from him. One day he decides to sneak out of his living quarters and he is taken around the town by a chaperone where he sees poverty, sickness and death. Meditation will not stop poverty, sickness or death - for you or anyone else.
Likewise, in Christianity, salvation and the spiritual path are not going to save anybody from poverty, sickness and death. Jesus himself suffered greatly before, it is believed, he was then crucified, and he is the the father, the son and the holy spirit for Christians.
Positive actions in a negative environment
The point then is that it is naive to think that meditation practice or faith in Jesus is going to somehow ensure that nothing unfortunate happens to you or around you. That said, meditation practice and faith in Jesus may help you become more effective in dealing with life (as a psychological mechanism). By controlling our own behaviours, our emotional response and our mindset we are controlling several behaviours that give rise to outcomes. Just because you do have the right attitude, think the right thoughts and take the right actions does not mean you still won’t get a kick in the face. As Stallone’s Rocky character said, “It’s not how hard you can hit. It’s how hard you can be hit and keep moving forward.”
What I have tried to achieve in this post so far is to deliver a realistic expectation of what mindfulness practice or any kind of spiritual or psychological improvement practice should be about. It is not about achieving every goal you ever wished for or obtaining every “thing” your heart desires. If that is still how you think you will find contentment or happiness you are reading the wrong post. It that is still how you think you will find contentment, somebody lied to you and you need to cleanse that kind of thinking from your mind because it will only lead to frustration and unhappiness.
What can I expect from mindfulness then?
There are a tonne of social media memes that point to the real truth but it doesn’t seem to sink in for most of mankind. You may be able to have some influence on the outside world but the vast majority of what’s going on around you is out of your control. The sooner you deal with that, the quicker you can make a difference where it counts - yourself. Guess who is in full control of your self?
When people meditate for the first time, one of the first things they notice is the sheer volume of visual, auditory and sensory thoughts and feelings they are hit with. Of course meditation practice teaches them how to still the pond but these mental entities will still arise by themselves. So we are not in full control of our inner world either. The thing that needs to change is the self.
What is this thing called self?
The truth of self is “no-self”. Self is an illusion. At best, self is the overall deduction of who we are based on all memories and experiences up to the present moment, and our state of mind is the result of a complex moment to moment calculation based on the “self” variable, the desires and expectations of that “self”, its perception of what’s happening “to it” and how that perception compares with the desires and expectations that “it” has. That was a tricky sentence to write. It may be a tricky one to read so feel free to read it again.
How can that possibly be a self. Our memories are not set in stone. Sometimes they are not encoded properly. The editing can be terrible both in terms of what bits of perceived reality we choose not to remember and which bits we take with us. Memories often corrupt with time. As for experience itself, it is only ever in this moment, so we are relying on memories, which are faulty, for our grasp of previous experiences.
The laws of quantum physics undoubtedly indicate that matter and antimatter should always be equal in their quantity. (...)
What we call matter is simply everything that is composed mostly of quarks, that aggregate into protons (positively charged subatomic particles) and neutrons, and also of electrons (which are negatively charged). Together, they form atoms.
On the other hand, antimatter can also create atoms of the same characteristics and overall electric charge, with the only one difference: their nuclei consist of antiquarks (antiprotons and antineutrons), while their mantle is being filled with positrons (electron’s positively charged counterparts).
However, if you were to combine atoms of matter and antimatter, you would get a huge explosion of energy. Atom and antiatom would have completely annihilated. They are exact opposites.
The laws of quantum physics undoubtedly indicate that matter and antimatter should always be equal in their quantity. Whenever pure energy is converted into particles, a pair of matter-antimatter particles pops up into existence. In accordance with that, one could posit that in the beginning of time there should be exactly the same amounts of matter and antimatter, after which they would have annihilated, making this universe lifeless, composed of pure energy only.
Nebo D. Lukovich
My son and daughter are captivated by technology. As most of other teenagers, they simply adore their mobile devices – smartphones, tablets, or laptops. I must confess that I’m not that much different. The lone distinction between us is perhaps that I’m much less tied to technology, but still, I’m perplexed at its capabilities to better our lives in so many different ways.
The famous Sci-Fi writer and futurist, Arthur C. Clarke, said: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Indeed, we are seeing the sheer verity of this observation. What would my great granddad say if he could view the wireless video conversation between people from different regions of the globe? Wouldn’t that be a moment of utter amazement? Or, what would be our reaction to the technological advancements of humanity in the year, say, 3000 (if humanity survives without big setbacks or disasters)? I believe it would look like pure magic to us.
But, is technology the only way of easing our lives in this material world? Can people live without technology at all? There are many people living without it, yet they are often happier than we are. Look at those intact tribes, you can sometimes notice a kind of profound happiness on their faces. Look at some hermits and ascetics, you can recognize deep peace, love, and joy radiating from them. Yet, there are many people living in the midst of civilization’s storms, still finding inner balance and ultimate happiness.
Do we really need technology? What are we actually living for in our lives?
Of course, there are many answers to these questions, depending on concrete individual preferences. To my mind, or better, to my heart, we need the Truth only. We are ultimately on a quest for inner liberation. However, we are undoubtedly tied to this physical world, and to thrive in it, we are inevitably facing the need for technology. It eases our lives, it helps us a lot in so many ways.
Technology is a result of the scientific approach, hard work, and creativity. Since science is slowly beginning to unite with spirituality, technology will almost certainly follow that tendency.
Holographic view paradigm
We are living in a holographic universe. This means that every part of it contains all information on the whole universe. This also implicates that we, as human beings, contain all information on the world outside, and vice versa. What is inside our being, corresponds completely to the outside world, in a symbolic form, though. Further on, all our inner parts, whether conscious or subconscious, are symbolically projected outside, appearing in some forms in our external world, as our own body, friends, enemies, pleasures, or disasters.
More importantly, the holographic hypothesis in a metaphysical sense leads us to an unavoidable conclusion: everyone is completely responsible for their own life, as everything outside of them is but a warped projection of their inner being.
I will not try to convince you of the veracity of the holographic point of view here, as that would require much more of your time here. However, I must note that we already have many clues in modern theoretical physics, neurology, biology or psychology that are indicating the plausibility of the holographic principle. A lot of quality material on this you can find in the famous book “Holographic Universe,” written by Michael Talbot.
Technology as externalization
The holographic view on life tells us that anything in our external reality corresponds to something within us. In this case, technology is also a projection of some aspects of our inner world.
Actually, technology is an externalization of our suppressed or forgotten inner powers. By suppressed or hidden innate powers I’m pointing to various kinds of the so-called siddhis, which are mental or spiritual powers or abilities that are products of spiritual advancement through practices like meditation or yoga.
Now we are on a slippery terrain, at least from the scientific point of view. Unfortunately, modern science is still very confined to its prejudices related to the accepted natural laws. Thus, everything which is apparently not possible is simply non-existent and therefore not worth any serious exploration. But still, there are so many confirmed accounts of the so-called paranormal activities, with numerous mental or spiritual powers possibly involved. That fact just cannot be ignored.
So, what is the connection between particular sorts of technology and these innate powers? They are deeply linked through the holographic principle. If there is a suppressed or exaggerated part of a being, it will symbolically express itself in the external world, sooner or later. As the human mind is being developed, its veils of ignorance, caused by too much thinking and many misperceptions, are amassing, too. This results with gradual suppression of our genuine abilities inherited from the ancient times. In turn, after a few millennia of collective suppression, they are inevitably beginning to express themselves in the external world. Through machines.
For instance, take a look at television technology. It is corresponding to our inner vision or seeing things far away. Sound devices? They relate to hearing things far away. Communication technologies? Telepathy. Car and other means of transportation? Teleportation or bi-location. Virtual reality? Astral projection. The list could be endless.
Nevertheless, for an individual person, their abilities accomplished through technology are obviously far less reliable and permanent than the corresponding siddhis (if achieved), as the former are dependent on the mechanical devices and their usage can be extended to the one’s life span, at maximum. We definitely cannot take material stuff with us after our physical death.
Technology as a superorganism
In his remarkable book, What Technology Wants (2010), American author Kevin Kelly focuses on human-technology relations and argues for technology as the emerging seventh kingdom of life on earth. The book invokes a giant force – the technium – which is "the greater, global, massively interconnected system of technology vibrating around us." It becomes a kind of a superorganism.
A superorganism is an organism consisting of many smaller ones. There are many sorts and levels of superorganisms. On the material level, the examples include social insects such as ants and termites. Even individual multicellular organisms can be considered as superorganisms.
Yet, there exists a multitude of superorganism sorts that we are unaware of. For example, every living species is actually a superorganism itself. It also strives for its own survival, while adapting itself to the environment in a best possible way, using even some sort of collective intelligence. Moreover, there are many invisible, energetic entities, the so-called “morphic fields,” which are accumulations of particular kinds of mental and emotional energies, such as pain, sorrow, fear, anger, various addictions and so on. They all tend to survive and expand, by feeding on their “hosts,” human beings.
We can look at technology as a superorganism, too. Similar to viruses (don’t forget that the majority of viruses is not harmful), it uses its own creators (or the “hosts”) to reproduce and improve itself. It has “sneaked” into the human minds and that way provided itself with the certainty of replication, expansion, and improvement. And that is happening all the time all over the world, indeed.
Artificial intelligence and self-consciousness
There is no doubt that computers and robots will become super-intelligent, sooner or later. The big shift is already happening at this moment. The AI systems have unquestionably become a reality. However, the more important question is whether the machines will become self-conscious or not.
As said above, being an externalization of our suppressed abilities, the technology itself is an outer projection of our inner powers. As the people around us, who also mirror our inner being (as we mirror them), technology can be self-conscious as well.
After all, why not? Consciousness is everywhere. Accordingly, it’s already present within technology, too. But, can it become self-aware? I believe, yes. It has to develop a kind of a mind-structure first, a kind of ego or personality, able to focus this innate consciousness, onto one, single point of space-time. Then it will be able to become aware of itself, to ponder its own existence.
Alien machine intelligence
In my opinion, there is a significant possibility that the dominant intelligent species in the universe are self-conscious machines. Some sort of biological life is required for technology to be developed, but once it becomes self-conscious, it may overrule their creators and exponentially develop and replicate itself, without any real limits. This sounds unsettling.
However, having in mind that our universe is roughly 14 billion years old, the very fact that we still exist here on Earth, (relatively) undisturbed by such alien species, tells us that machine civilizations out there, if existing at all, are probably benevolent or just mind their own businesses.
Benefits of technology
Is technology bringing real and lasting benefits to mankind? Is its development reducing the overall amount of pain and suffering? Is it benefiting the spiritual growth of the human race?
It’s really hard to conclude. As the majority of scientific and technological inventions have been benevolent and well-intended, humans have also created nuclear bombs, torture devices, countless weapons and much more.
Let us focus first on well-intended inventions, such as the invention of the automobile. Before this means of transportation was invented, people had been using more primitive ones, like cabs (which can also be considered as a kind of technology), horses, or they were simply walking. Seemingly, that discovery has hugely increased human well-being. Suddenly, people were able to pass over long distances with significantly less energy, time and pain. They were able to meet with relatives and loved ones who were living in distant places, to do a lot more versatile businesses and so on. However, as the automobile was becoming faster, the number of car accidents was increasing proportionally. Innumerable lost lives and heavy injuries that the accidents are bringing, always in an unexpected and most horrifying ways, are producing huge pain and despair all the time, all over the world.
In addition, if we take into account the ill-intended creations, like weapons, we might even assume that technology has brought even more pain than joy to the mankind.
Yet, there is no equality between the previous and following total level of suffering or well-being.
The surge of creativity and hard work invested in inventing and developing new things are marking the difference between the overall state of people’s well-being before and after the invention. In the above-mentioned example, there were countless bigger and smaller rushes of creativity throughout the history of the car’s invention and subsequent development. All those new ideas and hard work, invested into the development of science and technology, bring about the shift in human development. It may bring a lot of pain in the beginning though, but in the long run, it increases the overall welfare of people.
Moreover, technology is giving us more and more options and possibilities, some of them being "good," some "bad." But the very fact that it's providing us with progressively more solutions is the additional advantage of technology in general.
Technology as an amplifier
We can clearly observe that technology is simply an amplifier of human abilities, whether they are “good” or “bad.”
Are the technological advances followed by the corresponding spiritual growth of humanity? Mostly, yes. It’s because the technology is simply an externalization of our inner being. As our being is spiritually developing, it must develop its abilities as well. First, it works mostly through the externalization of the innate hidden powers, and only then, gradually, it overcomes the barriers of suppression and thusly releases the real abilities.
Nevertheless, this is a very slow process. Those hidden powers are being released gradually, with many unwanted side-effects. All the while, anger, sorrow, and fear, as lower kinds of inner powers are also being externalized, i.e. manifested as destructive technology, such as various types of weaponry.
Perhaps the most frightening possibility of abusing technology is using it for mind-controlling purposes. It’s already happening in some secret services and numerous researches hidden from the public lights. Nevertheless, there is a cure to all these dark sides of technology – spiritual growth, the expansion of consciousness. It is also happening right now all over the world and that very fact gives us a big hope and even confidence that everything will turn out to be good.
Generally speaking, technology is great. However, we shouldn’t be attached to it. We must not depend on technology. We can use all of its benefits, but without attachment.
We can develop inner abilities which are correspondent to the particular benefits of technology, but also without being attached to them.
The key is to free ourselves from any attachments. One of the tools which can be used for freeing from the attachments is the Reintegration System.
Ultimately, do we really need any kind of inner or external power (siddhis and technology, respectively), to control the reality? No. We need the liberation only. That’s our ultimate goal, whether we acknowledge it or not.
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What_Technology_Wants#cite_note-3 (The seventh kingdom of life, Edge Foundation, Inc., July 19, 2007. Retrieved February 21, 2011.)
 Jerry A. Coyne. Better All the Time, The New York Times Book Review, November 5, 2010. Retrieved February 21, 2011.
 Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superorganism
 More on this at http://www.re-integration.com/morphic-fields.html
Personality is a cloak
One of the most consistent sensations that practitioners of meditation experience is the sense that all the things that the individual would usually hold dear and personal as "me" are illusory. They are just superficial layers that can be stripped away. One is not the body. One is not one's thoughts. Furthermore, one is not one's personality.
Surely this is all based on subjective observations? Well, yes, however there is lots of evidence that proves that personality is no more fixed than whether one decides to grow their hair or not.
People who have suffered brain trauma often exhibit completely different personality traits afterwards, and split brained patients who have had their corpus callosum severed to prevent severe epileptic fits sometimes appear to have two personalities under the same scull - one for each hemisphere of the brain.
Our personalities can be changed because of intense psychological events as well. One's personality can almost be described as the latest paradigm for understanding how to relate with one's world. Based on previous experiences and knowledge of the world, it is generated to create the best possible outcomes for the whole person.
For many, once they have matured into adults there may be no reason for that paradigm to change. Others may be forced to reflect and re-evaluate because of the experiences that life throws at them. Then there are those that don't know how to change. They break down, rebuild, break down, rebuild.
Psychoactive chemicals can change the personality, at least temporarily and often in the long term. Mood disorders come about because of changes in neuro-chemistry.
There's a point here. Whatever the unit of consciousness is, it is not the personality. There is never going to be a "spirit version" of me strolling through the corridors of Yorkshire trying to talk to a medium. If there ever was one, which me would it be? My current self, my ego, has evolved through many versions.
During meditation, identification with the superficial self dissolves. The deeper the meditative experience, the richer and more global one's consciousness becomes and less fixed to the body that hosts it.
Where does consciousness live?
If one's arm is chopped off, consciousness is still there. Consciousness is there regardless of the thoughts or lack of thoughts going on in the mind. So consciousness does not live in the mind or in the body.
When did consciousness arise?
This is where things get really interesting. Consciousness, pure awareness, has always been there. It doesn't suddenly appear at a given age although many exponents of AI would argue just that - that consciousness emerges when intelligence reaches a critical level. If that is the case, then the rest of this article is pointless. Many meditators would argue that there is a quality to the meditative experience that gives the practitioner a very direct knowledge that "this" is not something that can be reproduced. It IS life itself and it is universal.
If consciousness was present in the 40 year old, it was present in the 20 year old and it was present in the 10 year old even though placed side by side nobody can deny that the 40 year old version and the 10 year old version of the same person are so different as to not be the same person. So let's trace back further, to a 1 year old, 1 month old, foetus and beyond to the cell. Was the same consciousness in the cell? Why stop there? Is consciousness the "God particle" itself?
Gas cooker theory
Until recently, I used to think of mankind as being 8 billion gas rings on top of a giant gas cooker. Consciousness is the gas. When you consider the mechanics of a gas cooker, it is absurd to think that all these different rings feel so special and individual and want to fight against each other, compete to be the best, when they are all burning on the same gas source.
This analogy falls however because from birth to death, consciousness does not rot or burn or change. It is a constant.
Syringes on the ocean
So maybe a better way of looking at it would be to consider each individual life form (let's stick with humans for simplicity) to be a hollow vessel, a syringe, floating in the ocean. Now we have 8 billion syringes all full to the brim with the same substance - water from the ocean. From birth to death each syringe draws in more of the ocean and then once peaked the ocean water is gradually leaked from the syringe back into the ocean.
This means we are all connected right now but it goes much deeper than that.
What is time?
We all know that subjective time is completely different than objective time. How many times the world spins or revolves around the sun has no relevance is one is sitting in a dark room with no frames of reference. Subjective time depends on the perception of change and the rate of change. Five minutes can seem like a lifetime and time flies when we are having fun.
Defining time is very tricky therefore. It doesn't really exist as all we have is now. Returning to the ocean analogy, it doesn't matter if the syringe sucks water from the ocean now, next week or in 40000 years, it is still the same body of water. Therefore that body of water connects all the syringes not just now but forever.
Consciousness is timeless
Like the ocean, consciousness therefore can be seen as timeless. Your body is hosting it just as mine is and just as our great, great, great grandmothers hosted it. Same consciousness, different vehicles and THAT makes a whole load of other wonderful ideas possible.
If one's consciousness is at the core of all life and all matter, if it has driven one forward from the very first cell division, and if it is the thing that gels one with every other living entity that ever existed, does exist and will exist then those that claim to read minds may be telling the truth.
Telepathy may be either a fluke malfunction or something that can be nurtured and learned, a way of breaking out of one's own body and tuning into shared consciousness. Isn't this how hacking works when computers share a network?
Seeing ghosts may be the same mechanism. If time and space are illusion because consciousness is everywhere and always at once, then arguably one could be seeing through the eyes of another from the past....or the future.
If, as touched on by quantum physics, the way matter reacts depends on how it is observed, then perhaps telekinesis occurs when one hacks into the "consciousness" of objects on a sub-atomic level and changes their behaviour or even their placement in time and space.
It's mind-blowing but the truth is within you
The bottom line and the thrust of this article is that everything we know came from mind and everything we will know in the future will come from mind. It appears that the whole universe is within waiting to be unlocked. Scientists and artists alike celebrate great minds like Einstein but let us not forget that he was a deep, deep thinker - a visionary. Everything we have achieved in the material world from our knowledge of physics, biology, chemistry and the natural world has come from ideas first.
If we are really seeking the truth, we should be looking inwards.
Nebo D. Lukovich
Mindfulness simply means to consciously live in the present moment. You have to do any activity fully conscious of yourself and of the activity itself.
Although many people don’t consider it as strictly spiritual, mindfulness indeed is a purely divine practice. It leads you to your True nature, while dissolving your inner conflicts softly and almost imperceptibly. Moreover, every conscious moment in the Now will gradually accumulate and make your whole life easier. It will abate or even prevent challenges.
When mindfulness becomes your intrinsic way of living, you will enjoy every task, you will become light and, in a strange way, even transparent. You will start sensing some inexplicable joy and deep inner peace. You will feel love more and more, both to yourself and people around you.
Mindfulness dissolves your inner conflicts softly and almost imperceptibly. Pure consciousness in everyday life will enable you to do any task perfectly. All your relationships will gradually improve in various subtle ways. You will be at perfect harmony with the world; your body will move lightly and flawlessly; your mind will function impeccably whenever needed, and all your actions will be done in the most effective way. Thus, if you drop a thing or stumble upon something unexpectedly, it is a clear message from your divine core: awaken, be present, feel your Heart!
However, without regular meditation sittings, your mindfulness can easily lose its foundation. Therefore, it is highly recommended to practice them concurrently.
You have countless varieties of meditation at your disposal. You can choose one of the modern types of “pure awareness” or “body awareness” meditations, for example like those presented by Eckhart Tolle. But, you can also stick to traditional approaches, like numerous Buddhist or Yoga meditations. You could also practice the loving-kindness meditation, which is, in my opinion, very important. Keep in mind, though, that some of these traditional methods require the practitioner to stick with all other practices within that particular system.
It is essential to discipline yourself and have at least one, 15-minute meditation session every day. However, I would recommend to create an everyday habit of meditating twice a day, at least 15 minutes in the morning and the same duration in the evening. These sitting sessions should be scheduled to the same periods of the day, if possible.
Meditation will release huge “amounts” of inner obstacles to any of your life goals, and will gradually erase all your negative tendencies, including laziness. What’s more important, the steady meditation practice will give you additional love, health, strength, calmness, creativity and smoothness in your life.
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