From the desk of:
Shafin de Zane
Author: Redefine Your Reality

   One of the first things I try to clarify to my students in class and clients I work with is why we want to leave our old life behind and begin a journey towards the boundless unknown (whether inwards or outwards). It’s a long, strange and enchanted road that takes us off in directions we neither signed up for nor imagined.

  It’s also a journey that involves facing our deepest fears and stretching to the very limits of our patience and endurance. Just like the “red pill” in the Matrix, “waking up” is just the beginning, of taking some real responsibilities in the "game of life".

   So why bother? Why not just stay with the stocks, steaks and the TV shows? The answer is simple but few people ever understand the issue with good clarity...

It's  about greater freedom you see: inner and outer, primarily inner freedom and secondarily outer freedom. And its about a richer sense of being; how to translate that in other words?

It's about a more expanded sense of reality: more quality, more magic, more love, joy, playfulness and wonder.

  When we finally commit to the journey of awakening, that is synonymous with expanding our awareness to see more, feel more, understand more, and, most importantly, love more. In this context, loving more is synonymous with being more: being something more than just an ego trapped in a bag of dying skin.

  When we finally truly realize that...

  a. We are not just an isolated individual ego, a stranger in a strange world, and

  b. Greater union is greater being, we aim not towards deeper romantic love, but towards becoming transparent to the cosmos.

   A very strange sort of living begins when that happens: the mountain still remains the mountain and the homeless bum is still the homeless bum, but then the mountain is no longer just the mountain and the bum is no longer just a bum. Everything becomes multi-layered, interdependent and co-arising.   

  Still reading?


  There is a story where the teacher says to the new student: "You must be crazy, otherwise you wouldn't be here."

  So lets go a little bit deeper:

   The experience most people call “I”, that inner monologue and social personality, that we identify with very strongly, is a verb, its an action we perform with our brain, and not a thing that we are.

  The "I" most people feel is who they are, their real identity, is actually a dynamically generated phenomenon, a useful illusion created by the brain that serves certain practical purposes for playing the human game on planet earth.

  The "I" is usually made up of the following 4 layers:

  • First, I have my social personality: you know, the persona. How I behave based on what I think other people are thinking about me.  
  • Next layer in the "I" cake is thinking: This is the sub-vocal mental monologue I usually associate my own self with. The way this works is in the background I have pure awareness without content, and this incessant mental monologue just clogs up the whole system, so to speak, so that my awareness becomes dim in every other area of life experience other than this never ending chatter. As Robert Frost would say, "I can see flowers from a passing car, that are gone before I can tell what they are". 
  • Then there are emotions that color thinking with fire. Emotions work as jet fuel to make us just do that thing. The word emotion comes from Latin emotere which means to move. So emotions make us move, but not before igniting our thoughts with their particular color of fire. Why am I feeling angry? It must be because he had some ulterior motive for saying what he said. Could be. It could also be that you are feeling angry because you didn't have proper bowel movement today, or that you had too much caffeine and your body is producing stress response and so you are generally feeling jittery, or that what he said reminds you about someone else who said the same thing, which is fine when heard one time, but it has already been said a hundred times, and you are just tired hearing it the 101th time from this person again, and that's why you feel angry, even though the one who actually said it in the present moment said it for the first time, and now feeling quite confused why you are angry, and wondering if you are a weirdo. 
  • Subconscious neural patterns that produce those emotions that color and trigger thinking (Hint: a lot of these patterns are our 98% chimpanzee type behavior, behavior patterns we inherited as a member of the mammalian-primate family, of course in much more complex human social behavior form).

   And then of course there is the "Fifth Element", the "I" that is before all content and memory, pure awareness itself: the most mysterious phenomenon in the known universe, our communication channel and connecting portal to infinity.

   This "Fifth Element" is why we practice meditation regularly. We do not find it, we do not chase it, we do not try very very hard to concentrate so we can finally see it. We simply slow down and then stop doing all the extraneous movement we are doing inside and outside.

  When we stop throwing pebbles on the lake, the full moon is seen on the water. 



  Normally, making the socio-cultural-narrative "I" is a semi-voluntary action like breathing: sometimes we are in conscious control and sometimes we are not.

   The “I” is not all of you, it is part of you - which should be obvious from the fact that when we sleep deeply there is no “I” happening, yet the trillions of biological functions go on happily in the background.

   What we see, hear, touch, think through the filter of "I" is not all illusion, it’s not nothingness - it is truth but only subjective and relative truth that, with a bit of training and discipline, can be experienced very differently.

  In other words: the world we experience is much more fluid than what we usually suspect. And there are many ways to leverage this mutable nature of reality for fun and ease of living.

  Unfortunately we are living through a time when most humans feel completely bound within a mindspace surrounded by  walls made up of the following forces:

  • The culture we grew up in and that specific cultural mindset.
  • Your present brain programming: that was NOT programmed by you or your best interests, but randomly by your early caretakers, school teachers, friends of immediate surroundings... and later the media, ideological leaders, political propaganda du jour, etc.
  • Economic system of the day that forces us to live our lives in a certain way, whether we like it or not.
  • And of course current religious myths and scientific misconceptions.

  This means our brain and mind, that is capable of reflecting infinity, which is our boundless identity, is like a panther hopelessly stuck in a mental cage. His vision, in the words of poet Rilke:

“... from the constantly passing bars, has grown so weary that it cannot hold anything else.

It seems to him there are a thousand bars; and behind the bars, no world."

  Great adventures are waiting for us: adventures that can lead to discovery of worlds upon worlds inside and outside, non-existent till now, yet just a breath away.

  But courage is necessary.

  And willingness to be totally honest with our own self is necessary.

  And a total and complete unwillingness to settle for the second best is necessary, even if it means risking death on the path to freedom.

If these three components are in place, you are ready to begin.

  It’s a long journey, never ending really, but every day we walk the path, it’s a day filled with wonder and new discoveries expanding our inner-space exponentially. The opposite involves saying no to the calling that is within our hearts; and living a life too small, in a cage with a thousand bars, and beyond the bars, no world.

A chain of events that leads you to where I am continues from this point in about 10 minutes...