An interesting little Facebook note came my way asking me to write 25 things about myself and pass it on. I felt that it was an opportunity to share some teachings with people who might never have been exposed to such ideas. It’s mostly a summary of things I have picked up from Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie. So, here is what I originally wrote (I later went back and made it more of an autobiographical note as the instructions suggested). I will take these ideas to a deeper level in my next post.
1. I like collecting seeds of wisdom and sowing them around the world in an attempt to make it a happier, greener place to live. Take only that which resonates with you and forget the rest.
2. You are not the thinker. Your thoughts are not who you are
3. You are totally at the mercy of life. You don’t live life, it lives you.
4. Believing your thoughts eventually leads to suffering (i.e. boredom, discontentment, complaining, frustration, anger, etc.)
5. Let everything be just as it is, without mental labels
6. Now is all there ever is. Everything happens, and has happened, in the present moment. You are, and always will be, present.
7. Your thoughts create a veil of stories and labels that prevent you from seeing what life truly is
8. Give your fullest attention to what you are doing right now as often as you can
9. Pay attention to the feeling of your inner body, or your breathing, as often as you can
10. Listen to the voice in your head as it talks about everything around you. Know that those thoughts are simply part of your past conditioning and are not who you are. Do not judge yourself for having them. Just notice.
11. Who are you really? If you set aside your mind made identity, what’s left?
12. Everything you have ever experienced was necessary to bring you to where you are now, which is exactly where you are meant to be.
13. Who would you be without your story, without your name, without your history?
14. Look at where your hands are right now. Look at how you are sitting. Did you plan that or was it just a happening?
15. There is my business, their business, and God’s (reality’s) business. If you are in someone else’s business you are not living your life.
16. All of your judgements toward others are actually about you. When you judge someone, look to see if you can find an element of that judgement living within yourself.
17. Everyone, including you, is doing the best they can given their present state of consciousness. If you had lived their life, you would be acting in the same way they are.
18. All war, on a personal and collective level, stems from believing your thoughts to be true
19. What is, is. You can argue with it or accept it.
20. If you can witness your thoughts, then you are obviously not your thoughts. You are actually the witnessing presence behind those thoughts.
21. Pay attention to the empty space that contains all things.
22. Pay attention to the silence underneath the sounds, the silence between words or thoughts.
23. Look at the things in this world as if it was the first time you had ever seen them, as if you had no previous knowledge of what they were. What was it before you knew what it was?
24. Ask yourself “Who am I?” and direct your attention inward. Don’t look for and answer with the mind, just focus your attention at the source of the question. Who is it that asks the question?
25. The story of who you think you are is what prevents you from seeing your true nature as consciousness itself. Awareness is who you are. You have never not been aware.