“Meditation is not about building yourself up or trying to be a certain way.

It is not about becoming a peaceful person
 or a wise person or even an enlightened person.

In meditation you simply become aware
 of what is here.
 You turn your focus 
back upon yourself and notice what presents itself. 
If you do this, the ego structure begins to be peeled away, behind all the desires, distractions, opinions, beliefs, worries
 and emotions.

Behind everything that the mind has built upon itself in order to feel important
 and in control is something overwhelmingly tender and vulnerable, even painful. A sense of being very small and alone
 and all of the fear and helplessness that goes with it begins to appear.
 And by survival instinct,
 you don’t want to feel it, you don’t want to see it.
  The very drive of the ego is to get as far away from this vulnerability as possible. You want to fit in or at least stand out.
Nobody wants to be a nobody.

But if you can, allow yourself to feel it.

If you can surrender and allow yourself to be that small helpless nobody, if you allow it all to be as it is at the very core, 
then you fall into the essence which is behind it. 
You become immersed in what is behind it.
 And that is love,
 that is peace.

You do not have love and peace 
as though it was an object to attain, you dissolve into it. 
It bubbles up from your essence and spills into every level of your being
 because you have let go of the very idea of trying to be a ‘someone’.

A true introduction back-to-self, to know the essence of who you are is to know the essence of your creator.”

How to meditate click here

289-208-6867

ken@gofindyourself.ca

How to Wake-Up before You Die with Ayahuasca


It’s been six months since doing Ayahuasca at Rythmia Costa Rica and my world has been rocked!

What brought me originally to Rythmia was to cough-up a big nasty hairball of a dark and painful past. My hopes were that I could clear my path forward by answering some of life’s simplest, yet most difficult questions such as: Who am I? Why am I here? And, who shit in my pants?”

I came close to death on several occasions in my life, mainly due to alcohol and drug induced behaviour that lead to several Nascar-worthy car crashes, some epically stupid ideas, and many mindless stunts that somehow, I managed to survive. One weird near-death experience was from being bitten on a remote Thai island by one of the most poisonous snakes on the planet. To get me off the island to a hospital on a Sunday at 5:30 am in 90 to 120 minutes before my brain exploded (side effect), was nothing less than a James Bond chase scene. If anyone is curious, I made it.

Another epic near-death experience where I ended up in the emergency ward was from doing too much cocaine, which collapsed my lung and sent my heart in a spasm. That one I’m not too proud of.

If you like high-speed car crashes, then this one is for you: At 140kms an hour my Audi GT slid off a country road and took out a 100ft of farmers fence while doing six barrel rolls. I crawled from the wreckage of what was once my shiny brand-new sports car to what basically looked like a stepped-on smoldering pop can. I walked from that one too.

My life as a young man, and immature adult, was basically falling off of motorcycles, jumping out of burning cars and swinging from vine to vine looking for Jane and her girlfriends.

Not until I was on my knees, naked, and in tears in complete surrender that I gave up fighting myself. I remember that very moment in my living room with a bottle of wine in my hand, (a delicious Burgundy), a rolled up $100 bill in my other hand, looking up to the mystical heavens with tears in my eyes begging for God to help me… “please send me an angel to save me” I cried, then I passed out. (The angel did come true, but that’s another story:)

This is where my journey to “find-myself” started.

After that low point of hitting the dirt once too many times, I decided I needed help and went for therapy and counselling. I wore holes in the couches of my psychiatrist and psychologist, I went to palm readers, energy workers and some spooky fortune tellers. I read tons of books, sang the bible for a while, did hypnosis, then went to India, Thailand, Nepal and Bali and joined a Monastery and an Ashram. I prayed with swamis and monks, climbed the Himalayas, studied yoga, and even stopped talking for a while on several occasions, including meditating in silence for ten days straight.

During that period, I had was fortunate enough to see death up close by watching a body being burned on the banks of the Ganges River in Rishikesh India, and again while living in a Buddhist Monastery in Thailand, both to observe and contemplate the temporal nature of life, especially my own. Looking at a pale corpse with no-make up in plain sight from a few feet away is a reminder we shouldn’t waste our life watching TV, but the real lesson from the Buddhists is that we have to die before we can awaken; meaning our ego has to die. As the Buddha proclaimed under the Bodhi tree, “I am awake”, which was his acknowledgment that it was his end-of-suffering.

Watching a body being cremated up close painfully showed me my lack of respect for myself and my oblivious disregard for my life, but that didn’t solve my mystery or problems; it just showed me I was on the long road of broken glass in bare feet with no happiness in sight. None of those life experiences above WOKE me up or moved me to a deeper state long enough to look into “myself”and find out why I was so fucked-up and dissatisfied with life. Eastern wisdom traditions teach that pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. I just didn’t — couldn’t figure out the difference.

Then I did Ayahuasca. (read here)

At first, nothing noticeably really changed in my life immediately after my Ayahuasca experience at Rythmia. I mean I didn’t want to become an astronaut or billionaire, or some big important person or do anything especially mind-blowing to get attention. Actually, the effect was somewhat the reverse.

I ‘ve already had success in my life despite my behavior and style, but after my experience with Ayahuasca, I was slowly “letting- go”. Yup, the download I got during my Ayahuasca trip was just to let-go of everything; stop fighting, stop resisting, stop trying to hang on and control things in my life, and especially- stop being the victim of my emotions and thoughts!

I needed to let-go of the fear that drove me to the pushing and grinding for “more”, for “bigger”, “better”, “faster”. I started to recognize the “little me”, the “ego” behind my actions and fears and my feelings that- “I’m not enough, and I need to prove I am!”

Ayahuasca gave me a little “nudge”, a nudge that pushed me off the course I was on.

It was like I moved 2 degrees to the left or two degree to the right, not sure which one, but the “nudge” from my Ayahuasca experience was just enough to change my trajectory, my path, the direction I was going. Imagine a ship sailing on course in the ocean, then some jerk touches the wheel and turns it just 2 degrees. After a few days, the ship is perhaps thousands of miles from the course it was on and is now completely in another ocean. Of course, they would give that guy an old-fashioned skulling, but just think, the farther you go and the longer the time you are on this new course, the farther the distance is from where you would have ended up. The original shift is small and subtle, but as time goes on it has a massive impact that affects everything and every part your life. This “nudge” has actually saved my life, and my marriage, and I am eternally grateful:)

Over the last 6 months after leaving Rythmia, this nudge has slowly and skillfully been burning off old toxic behaviours and habits; it’s been like a slow death of my old ‘self’ and the slow realization and awareness that I am beyond the self, beyond the “poor little me”,the ego-self that was ruling and ruining my life.

My awakening.

I am becoming more aware and conscious of all things everyday; it’s like I am growing.

I now almost always identify and observe the “Ego” as soon as I feel my negative emotions arise. These emotions get switched-on from negative thoughts, and then gets transferred to poor behaviour and decisions. When I feel these thoughts coming on, I practice letting them go I don’t attach or hang on to the negtaive feeling and just let it run its course until it dissolves into nothing. It’s like when letting these fearful, angry, jealous, etc., thoughts and emotions come in my front door, I just observe them and watch them pass by me, then watch them go out the back door. I don’t stop them and serve them tea anymore! Hanging on to those emotions is how you get in trouble and start spiralling down.

The more I do that, the more I weaken the ego and the more I release the negative emotions attached to these negative thoughts of past negative experiences. I now get over my negative emotions; I don’t hide them, I dont suppress them or sweep them under the carpet anymore – they are dealt with and dissolved. The more observant I become of “letting-go”, the more I become conscious and awake to my real-self and watch my inner happiness grow. Simply put; I am not my thoughts, I am not my feelings, I am not my emotions!

This letting-go process has changed how I see everything now, who I am becoming, and how I interact with the world around me. It has changed my emotion of “desire” into “acceptance”. I don’t want the same things I used to want before. I’m beginning to understand that “less is more” and letting go of all material desires is freeing.

Desire is a negative emotion; it actually means “attachment” in the sense that if you don’t get the thing you desire, you’ll be disappointed and let-down and, in some cases, you will bend your moral compass to get whatever it is you desire at that moment. In other words, you are emotionally negatively affected if you get the thing you desire, or you don’t get the thing you desire; either way it is attachment.

I once met someone who had totally let-go who explained to me that for every key on my key ring is a responsibility, a debt, a payment, an attachment. With this, comes the struggle of initially getting it, then keeping it, looking after it, and the fear of losing it. It doesn’t mean to not have a car or a home, it just means don’t let that become your identity, your symbol of your worth, or give it more meaning than what it is. Collecting “things” can be a huge burden.

At an early age we are taught the word “mine” which is argued to be critical mistake, because then we “attach” to it instead of “share” it; we take possession and make it a part of emotional identity and then begin to hold on to it with the fear of losing it. The worry, the anxiety of hanging-on is crippling to some people who have built a whole identity around their material possessions and status.

Let’s face it, we’re in a system designed to keep us in debt and distracted from day one until we die. Along the way in the game of Life, we’re bombarded with things to buy, that we don’t need, with money we don’t have. It’s a system that keeps you voluntarily feeding it as it feeds off you. We’re constantly being milked like cows because we’re believing what’s on TV and in the mainstream news, and social media.

When looking on social media, we feel bummed how good other people look and how much fun they are having. We’re an open target because we’re brainwashed on what to buy so we can feel better about ourselves and show others we’re cool and we “made it” and we “fit-in”. Our inherent negativity and lack of self-worth is constantly being preyed on, by others and by our very own ego. This is the same ego that tells us meditation is silly and you don’t have time for it, and it doesn’t do anything anyway, so why start.

 

We all want to get off this ride.

We’re now so absorbed and distracted by social media, call it “digital slavery”, that we can’t stop looking at our tiny screens long enough to notice that the real world exists around us because we’re too busy chasing dopamine hits from our social media accounts. Real relationships are just a face to face conversation away, but now we are avoiding them because we are fearful of rejection. According to studies, many young people now do not know how to socialize “in-person” as they cannot understand the language of facial expressions because their main communication has always been texting. It’s like a lost art, but sadly, its simply called “conversation and socialization”.

Nature is also telling us how disconnected we have become, she is our greatest teacher if only we would listen to her. She’s telling us something now, but we’re so consumed with technology, and idolizing celebrities and making stupid people famous that we are unable to connect and empathize with her to see what’s actually going on. The clock is ticking.

Meanwhile we’ve never been unhappier and more disconnected than ever. We’re on massive amounts of prescription drugs, so much so that all the water tested in North American rivers and lakes have traces of pharmaceuticals from what goes down the toilets.

Corporate unconsciousness and profitability has its nasty downside. Does the staggering amount of Round-up, pesticides, herbicides, artificial ingredients and GMO’s in our food have anything to do with ADHD, neurological disorders, food allergies, cancer, dis-ease and shorter life-spans?

Hey, I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but let’s not put our heads in the sand either; that’s called being “unconscious,” and that is our biggest epidemic right now- “unconsciousness and spiritual ignorance”. We have a spiritual deficit on this planet, and I’m not talking about divisive religions, I’m talking about “ conscious energy”, our connection to “source” and the “oneness” of everything and everybody.

Awakening.

I now personally don’t represent being one of the unconscious anymore, “I woke up”. Just like the millions that are waking up, energetically forming all the positive energies of light and influence on this planet to all life, to each other; sharing, loving, caring to all- no matter if you’re green, blue, sex oriented in any direction, male/female, square, round or so unique there is no name for you- you are no better than me and I am no better than you- I am inyou and you are in me. I am the fish, I am the tree, and so are you. We are all made of the very same ingredients; it’s all connected, we are “one”; We are all star-stuff. Carl Sagan

“Waking up” is to open our eyes and see what is going on in ourselves, and around us- the distractions, the stress, the craziness of life and the world, and reconnect with our souls and get our “living” back.

It’s about going past the noise of thoughts and seeing past the blinders, through the veils, so we can connect to our true inner selves and find the truth. It’s going Home. Home, like the womb of the universe, is where we came from; the cosmic energy before our first breath, and throughout our life and after our last breath.

We are “source“ the inhabitants of our bodies. When the body is done, our energy “soul” leaves and is re-birthed again and again. That is how the universe works, and science is proving it now. Scientists are now calling our universe “just one big thought”- wrap your head around that!

WE are not separate, WE are eternal. When we harm someone we harm ourselves, when we destroy mother nature, we destroy ourselves. We will always be the first victim of our anger and violence, and we will always be the reciever when we give.

We are all starving for real conversation- real intimacy- real love- real relationships- real beauty- real values- real connection, and with that comes love, respect, compassion, forgiveness, truth, honour, inspiration, and the list of higher vibrational states goes on. This frequency is the only thing that matters, it’s the only thing that will send us all into another direction of where we’re heading. Imagine a bunch of bankers who wake-up, and a bunch of greedy corporations who wake up? Imagine the changes we would see? But, they won’t do it themselves; they will when there is an “awakened society”stemming from the flow of source-energy that is stronger; the frequency of love that overshadows all.

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, will we know peace.“ Jimi Hendrix

My 12 Buddha-style cool moves to Wake-Up

· I did Ayahuasca at Rythmia to open my heart and find a new path

· I decided to take action to stop my suffering by letting-go

· I am Meditating twice a day, in the morning when I get up and before I go to bed. If I’m lucky I do a third meditation in the afternoon.

· I have completely restricted myself from TV and limited my social media time and the mundane

· I am reading books on consciousness, lots of them, and I am enjoying the space between the thoughts, as they grow:)

· I am now experiencing my life and the world through my own eyes and not through a screen

· I am trying my best to eat only high vibrational organic, non-GMO plant-based foods

· I am drinking, almost exclusively, room temperature spring water from a 15-litre glass jug (no toxic plastic, no waste)

· I am continuously practicing loving-kindness daily with myself, my family, and everyone I meet

· I am fully engaged in attention and connection when speaking to people

· I am sharing my love and strength with others at every opportunity

· I am constantly inquiring and resolving and letting-go the deep-rooted issues that are holding me back from who I really want to be and the happiness I truly deserve

“And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?” — Rumi

If you need a nudge” to WAKE-UP, try Ayahuasca. I worked for me big-time!

Thanks for reading. Lot’s of hugs and love:)

++Watch this, it will “nudge” you:)

Yep! this is me below:)

A friend of mine recently asked me about meditation and sports performance. Her boyfriend is a young pro golfer and is trying to mature his game. In other words, he’s trying not to lose focus and fall apart on the course when under pressure. When you are talking about golf, that is by far the biggest challenge of the game.

Golf is a serious mind game where if you don’t have your head in the game, keep your cool and absolute focus, you’ll wish you stayed home. One crappy shot can destroy a golfer’s lead and turn their game into a tailspin with a cascading domino effect of utter shame and humiliation.

But golf is also like many other sports in that way, and many other professions and scenarios of talented and inspiring individuals who make art out of their play and push their personal envelope to the edges. Achieving anything you desire takes action, it also takes determination, focus and sheer commitment. But these things are just the processes, the real carrot is what it gives us. This is where accomplishment, pride, self-worth and acknowledgment come in. If you take it one step further, performance is actually about melting into your essence, joining your energy force and that of the natural universe around you into a flow of your own true potential and divinity. It’s a high, and it’s the most beautiful place in the world.

Some people call that “the zone” or “the flow”. Many top performers know what it is but can’t put it into words or explain where exactly it comes from and especially understand how deep it runs through them. They just know when they drop into that space, time stops, things move slowly and nothing else penetrates that magical arena- they are fully gone into the ether of who they truly and actually are. This is what meditation is.

Finding your zone isn’t just for top performers or golf.  The bigger game is life itself. 

When I was explaining this “zone” and “flow” to my friend, which I have worked hard at myself, I found I was explaining “life” as I know it. If you have ever watched the Disney movie “Finding Nemo” there is a scene where Nemo and Dora meet a creep of tortoises riding the oceanic conveyor belt and Nemo and Doro swim into it and hook a thrilling ride. The belt is much like the “zone”, it’s a current, an energy, a force that envelopes you and carries you in a protective field towards your goals, your life purpose. We all know the saying “Let the force be with you”, and the metaphor is that there is a divine invisible force of energy all around us that we can tap into that gives us ultimate power and carries us in a positive direction and materializes basically anything we really, truly want.

 So, let’s talk about how to get there. Hence, meditation.

Meditation is a process of refining your focus to the point that your mind becomes free from the incessant distraction from thoughts that come into our attention sometimes hundreds of times a minute and perhaps thousands of times per day. Your mind is darting here, darting there, tripping into the future, drawing you back into the past constantly. Its sizing everything and everyone up automatically and many times without your own awareness or consent. Your mind is like a wild horse, a drunk monkey, a crazy spinning out of control lunatic yelling in your head, and it’s exhausting, and its where suffering comes from.

To be able to be in control of your mind is the “zone”. Spiritually it’s called sumahdi, enlightenment and or nirvana. To calm your mind is to give it something else for it to do than its usual random thinking and troublemaking. To overpower this monkey-mind takes practice, not unlike learning how to golf, speak another language, get abs or straight A’s; it takes effort, focus, determination and commitment. It’s like building muscles. Your mind is a muscle and the more you work at “stilling” it (controlling it from running amok), the more you will experience the zone, otherwise called joy, peacefulness, tranquility, happiness, compassion and love. These things will automatically flow into your life when you make room for them. This is the art of living, this is where anything can happen to you and you will be firmly grounded in yourself.

A dear friend of mine who is a monk in Thailand explained the monkey-mind to me this way: Imagine you are trying to put a monkey in a box. At first, the monkey is running around everywhere, and you can’t catch him. After a while of trying, you start to learn his moves and you become quicker at trying to catch him. Finally, you catch him and then put him in the box. But before you can get the lid on, he jumps out of the box and starts running around all over the place again. You catch him again and put him in the box. He escapes again, and this happens over and over again until the monkey finally gives up because he realizes you’re just going to put him in the box again. Eventually, he just gives up and stays in the box quietly and doesn’t try to escape. That is the process of training your monkey-mind and achieving a meditative state and practice.

When you develop this skill, you will ultimately and eventually have an experience that will forever change you. I remember all the early stages of my meditation practice where I sat in frustration not quite understanding the jest of it, other than it would help my lack of happiness in my life.  Yet, I stayed diligent, got training from someone who was a deep meditator, and I sat, and sat, and sat.

…it turned out that I was sitting in meditation for hours.

Then one day as I sat with sincere conviction, I closed my eyes, focussed my attention to my inhaling breath, then my exhaling breath in a rhythmic way, I slowly turned the lights off, turned the motor to my mind off and put the monkey in the box. He didn’t move. He just stayed there silent. I sat there for what seemed like only minutes, but it turned out that I was sitting in meditation for hours.

It’s hard to describe where I went, but the best way I can explain it is that I drifted to the other-side. It was like stepping off the noisy busy streets of Manhattan and through a portal out to the other side where I was now on a deserted white sandy beach oasis, with the sound turned off. I was completely aware that I was aware, yet, I wasn’t thinking, I was just “being”. There was a flowing energy pouring over me that I can just describe as pure “love”. I connected with my whole being, melted into myself and in a flux of beaming white energy coming from me and around me. I felt overjoyed with compassion, understanding, peace and joy. I connected to myself within myself. I turned inside out, and back in to myself. In all my years of living, I have never felt anything like this before. I was now was changed forever. I now felt I understood why I was here, who I was and how things worked. Its difficult to explain, but everything we think we see that is happening is only happening in our mind. We are the witness to ourselves in this play and we have such power over that because deeper down,  that is where all things really exist.  This I will explain in future posts.

Perhaps, before my first breath was breathed into me at birth, I was there in that place, the ether of no-thing-ness, and everything. Perhaps, after the Iast breath I take, I will dissolve into it again until the next life is birthed, my next first breath. All I know is that the more I frequent that place, the softer, well rounded, happier and content I become. I am a changed person as a result, I don’t sweat the small stuff, I live knowing that each moment is all there is and that there is so much beauty in it all. I have become conscious enough to breath in what’s around me. I realize that we are all one, no one is an outsider. No one is ugly, no one is less.  I rarely judge anyone, including myself, I let things be as they just are, in all the beauty that they behold. I give my attention, I am present in the here and now more than ever. I can focus and shut everything else off completely for extended periods, including negative emotions.

The more I float into this flow, I realize that no matter what- I will be just fine regardless of the extreme. You can take everything away from me, but I will still behold the greatest gift in the universe; my sturdy understanding of my connection to the whole. I know that this force is with me, it’s in me, it’s in everything and everyone, we just have to tune into it like a turning the dial to a radio station and it goes from static to clear sound, from nothingness to ‘no-thing-ness’.

In this zone you can create whatever you want, you have the cosmic consciousness all around you manifesting and guiding you. Tune into it and let it carry you and you will see your game shift, and that’s because your life shifted.

 

I’ve suffered at times from being an asshole during my life. I can’t say I knowingly have worked very hard at it, but if you had asked my employees, my family and the general people around, at times you would think I went to college and got a degree for it.

Like any “a-hole” out there, when we act like one- most of us don’t realize we are. Often, we’re excused as having a chip on our shoulder, being highly motivated, a hard-ass businessman or simply being angry at a lot of things in life (unless things go our way). We generally leave a path of destruction, mostly the carnage of other people we’ve been in contact with-  those who have worked for us, with us, our spouses and even our children.

There is a reason for this.

Some people say it’s being pulled-off the nipple too early in life, which has many meanings, all of which I tend to agree with. Whether you weren’t fed on time, were ignored, abandoned, didn’t have your needs met in some form or another, it has affected you and created who you are today.

Founder of Rythmia, Gerard Powell says that these experiences make us split with our souls somewhere by the age of five or six years old. He too split from his soul and became an asshole (his words, not mine). Some people, as a result of this “neglect” or “soul splitting”, turn us into being angry impatient assholes, I was one of them.

When you feel abandoned, neglected or unimportant early on in your childhood, you strive for attention, recognition and worthiness. This creates a lot of problems because you are angry, your needs weren’t met, and you desire attention and become either a show-off, a bully, or a materialistic needy person to find and prove your worth. In order to meet those needs, the needs of others don’t matter to you – meet the asshole.

In order to fix myself I have done years of therapy. After realizing that wasn’t working, I turned to eastern philosophy and wisdom traditions such as yoga, tantra, meditation and mindfulness. That has helped tremendously, and I am no longer a “class-A” asshole. I do however, have some dust in the corner of my closet and I committed myself years ago to continue to relentlessly work-on to becoming the best version of myself, and therefore have fired myself from being President of the “A-hole” club.

This leads me to my Ayahuasca journey to Rythmia Life Advancement Centre in Costa Rica. This is where I came to dust my closet and find the piece of me I feel is missing. This is a place you go to profoundly change who you are, into the person who you want to be. 

First off, Costa Rica is awesome, the locals are great and the natural beauty is breathtaking. Rythmia is located in the Guanacaste Province, an hour by car from Liberia airport. The resort is beautiful and although not on the ocean, it has a gorgeous pool and it shares the vast property of the JW Marriot which is located on the beach, so bathing in the Pacific Ocean isn’t far away. Rythmia is a safe, remote and peaceful setting.

Ayahuasca is not a vacation…its work.

The program at Rythmia isn’t for slackers. You have to lean-in and subject yourself to the unknown skeletons in your closet. The more effort you make to attain your goal and the more you let go of control, the more you get out of it. You have a lot of work to do, emotionally and physically. Classes and workshops, hydro-colon therapy treatments, messages, meditation, yoga and reflection time are a must to prepare you for the energy draining ceremonies. These side-duties all adds up to keeping you on the road to your awakening and coming out the other side a new you; the one you’ve been longing for, the person you were always meant to be.

How do I know this? Well, it goes like this: As I mentioned above, something happened to us early in life which caused us to lose a part of us, and that is our soul has split from us. Yes, your soul, and we only “merge” again with it when we die, unless of course you go find it before that.

At Rythmia, you go soul searching. You must walk right into the fire! You go in the fire and get your soul and bring it back into you. How? By drinking Ayahuasca, and going through the process of uncomfortably purging the darkness and pain of the past and opening up your subconscious mind and letting it be guided by the energies around and in us- by the intuition and wisdom of plant medicine.

The whole tradition of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon honouring plant medicine during ceremony is an incredibly spiritual experience. I was in such gratitude at every ceremony night of being able to experience this healing modality.

The Maloka, (the hall, including the yoga platform), had eighty mattresses spread out on the floor, each with a pillow, a blanket, and a bucket with roll of toilet paper at the foot of each bed. In the centre of the room against the wall was the alter where the shaman serves out his/her lovingly concocted brew, much like a Michelin Star chef meticulously creates his signature dish. This area is also where he sits with his tools: Wira– dried bamboo leaves from the banks of the Amazon river. These leaves are fastened together like a bouquet and thought to contain the wisdom of the river from the wind blowing it down the banks.  The Wira is used like a fan to move and clear energies.

Chindu is a tonic of herbs, oil and water blended and to be administered by the shaman spraying it out from his mouth onto you. There are two types of Chindu: one is sour and used to clear energy, the other is sweet; to put good energy back in.

When the shaman sings, it is known as “Icaros”. Wikipedia describes it as “a South American indigenous colloquialism for magic or alchemy, or any esoteric modality by which an experienced user can channel their energy to manifest their will”.

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The first night ceremony

…was extremely difficult and painful as I wretched into a bucket for hours. The shaman’s say that the negative experiences in your life are collected in your body and stay there until you take them out with Ayahuasca. Much like a garbage truck collects garbage, you suppress or allow these negative emotions to stay in your body. Enough of these energies can create a lot of dis-ease. The plant-medicine is there to “take out the garbage’. The idea behind Ayahuasca is to make you “purge” out those negative energies in one of many forms such as vomiting, diarrhea, yawning, scratching, sneezing. Yes, this is the hard part, but this is how it works. You need to break down those stored emotions so they rise to surface. Just like your body makes you throw-up excessive alcohol in order to protect itself from being poisoned, your body becomes ready to purge out the toxic emotions thanks to the healing powers of this plant-based medicine.

I hallucinated like crazy, seeing the most vividly beautiful visions of floating objects and mechanical devices that are too bizarre to explain that were moving and transforming into shape after shape in a flowing ebb. Under the shaman’s watchful eye, he saw I was purging continuously and came to my aide and sprayed me with Chindu and rubbed me down with Auga de Florida (concoction of herbs, water and oils). Seven hours and two shots of Ayahuasca and a bucket of vomit passed by,  I was left exhausted emotionally and physically, but I felt lighter, less darkness – higher in vibration. I knew I was on my way to my healing.

I do think the reason I got so beat up on the first night was that I was meditating weeks before setting my intentions to go very deep into this experience and completely surrender and let Mother Ayahuasca do whatever she needed to do to me so I could get my answer. I opened the door wide for her to come in, but I actually opened the barn doors for her to drive a truck right through it, and right over me.

I call this surrender “walking into the fire”, and liken it to – “jumping into oncoming traffic”. Yup:)

The second night ceremony

…was a little more centred in the ancient tradition and the Ayahuasca was a different brew, slightly stronger which deepened my experience into the subconscious mind of fluttering images of people that were in my life that I had some trouble with, especially those I am distant from. I realized these were emotions I attached to them that didn’t serve me any longer that were boiling to the surface to be released.

I repeatedly saw a matrix of brilliantly colourful transforming rubix-cube-like boxes that continued to move within each other and rebirth continuously. I was tripping out and it reminded me of my earlier LSD days. I only vomited once this night, but yawned uncontrollably, purging the emotional negative energies that arose. By the second glass of medicine I started having visions of intricate geometric designs and moving machinery and cavernous tunnels that would close tight whenever I moved towards them. I was on a chase to find a path to the next level of the game that was playing out in my mind, but each time the vision would change forms and leave me falling into an continuous unfolding of tunnels and paths that changed directions and would never let me in.

The night ended with me learning that I needed to let go, stop resisting or trying to control the storyline, and instead of searching, I should have relaxed and let the paths and tunnels do their own thing and come to me instead. It was about surrendering and relaxing into it. That was my lesson to take forward to the next ceremony.

The third night ceremony

…was by far the most theatrical, intense and emotionally uncomfortable. The theme was the divine feminine and the shaman and her assistants were all women. They sang and chanted and played instruments all night as opposed to playing recorded music the previous two nights. The music on the previous nights was amazing and something I have never heard before. It was incredible. However, the live music accompanied with women singing added an element of emotional richness and mixed with the strongest medicine thus far, had the effect of trippy LSD hallucinations to the entire night. The energy was so intense that a few participants reacted wildly with “Linda Blair” outbursts that elevated the energies that were brewing in the Maloka. It was frightening to some people, but they were also resisiting the “what-isness” of the moment and refused to let-go.

This night I managed to drink almost three shots of Ayahuasca and inhaled through the nose two “Rappe” servings (ground ashes of tobacco and herbs) from the Tepi Pipe that are used to stimulate the pineal gland and the chakras.

I eventually managed to go outside and stand beneath the most magnificent stars I have ever seen in my life. The Guanacaste area of Costa Rica has no large cities so there is no reflective lights in the night sky, the air is pure and you can see deep into space. I admit that I was really high, even wasted at the time, but the stars really were so incredibly abundant and bright that I had no doubt that we are not alone in the universe.

The fourth night ceremony

…was the biggest, longest and best. This is the grand finale here at Rythmia. It starts at 7pm and goes to 10am, and what a show it is. Gerry brings in a shaman by the name of Mitra, a beautiful authentic loving soul that exudes a massive amount of love and kindness. He is accompanied with his crew of assistants who are talented singers and musicians as well. Mitra dresses as a traditional Peruvian shaman medicine man and sings and chats the ancient wisdom of the rich Ayahuasca songs.

I was the first to drink

…the brew that night, and soon after my first drink of Ayahuasca I was spinning in a tornado of emotions that bumped and grinded me from the inside out. I never vomited the whole night, or had diarrhea, I just churned inside in pain and nausea, and because of this I was nearing my emotional breaking point and the realization of who I had become in my life and what I didn’t like about myself.

This person isn’t the one I wanted to be anymore. I wanted to rid myself of the discomfort I have felt my whole life; the lack of my true divine self. Until this night I have been struggling to find a sense of wholeness, happiness and inner peace, I was now at the gate of finding out who I really am.

A most significant part of this night is the Blessings the shaman gives to you. He and his tribe dance and chant and spray you with Chindu and use the Wira to move the energies and thick smoke from the Kappal (tree resin) that is periodically permeated throughout the Maloka.

It happened.

On each ceremony night I had the luxury of being across from the shamans and the Ayahuasca alter. This particular night I was very grateful for my short distance to him from my mattress. There were four blessings in total, each with around twenty people in them. People sat in a semi circle around Mitra. I couldn’t muster up the will to make it to any of the previous blessings because of my nausea, and finally I had to crawl from my mattress across the room to join the final blessing. I hadn’t broken through yet and got my “miracle” as Gerry called it, so this was my last chance to get it. It was “last-call”.

I sat there shirtless with my hand over my mouth to prevent myself from puking on the floor in front of me while Mitra and his tribe chanted, danced and played music. This rhythmic energy he was building started to awaken my soul, and soon I felt like a cobra swaying up straight from a basket on the floor. I couldn’t prevent this and I didn’t start this. I was in a trance for what may have been fifteen minutes and then all of a sudden he stood in front of me it happened.

It was like a car turned on its headlights in my eyes, and my body snapped to attention and straightened.  An angelic energy started pouring over my head and down my torso and then – BOOM! – I was looking right at my estranged brother who I haven’t seen in twelve years. His face with looking at me, his eyes in a blank stare, I just sat there stunned and not understanding why I was seeing him. That was until “I” stepped out beside him. The little boy”Me” when I was six or seven years old was now standing in front of me. We stared at each other, I was looking into the eyes of this young innocent boy, and all of a sudden it came to me why he was there, I just started to howl and sob uncontrollably, I couldn’t stop.

As I sat there in the semi-circle with tears rolling down my face and snot coming out from my nose as the dancing and blessings were going on, I was staring at this little boy whose heart was just broken; the point where the pain of being shunned was so great that it had divided me from my soul.

(As a kid, I was known for my anger and tantrums almost from birth, I’m not sure why, but that is another story I will uncover I’m sure. However, my only brother, my big brother, didn’t have the patience for my behaviour back then and throughout my young adult life to this very day, so he turned is back on me then and discarded me. My brother had been my hero my whole life, I looked up to him, he was very intelligent and a strong athlete who became a very successful man).

As a boy, and a teenager through to an adult, I never could get his attention or his affection. I can’t blame him for turning his back on me, I was a lot of trouble and always have been and he had his own life to create. Therapists used to ask me who’s love I wanted most, my mothers of fathers? I could never answer that. But, now I know the answer: it was my brothers love that I wanted most.

In the Meloka, shirtless in a semi-circle of people, bawling my eyes out, I called that beautiful boy by holding my arms open. He was soon in my arms and we were hugging and crying together. He looked at me with reassurance- like he was at peace, and as I looked at him I promised never to let him go, to always respect and regard him, to forever protect him and love him always. We stayed in an embrace for what seemed like hours. I was crying in bliss as we were both engulfed in light, I felt my heart soften, open wide as it filled, I felt alive and happy like never before. For the first time in my life I didn’t feel pain or emptiness there, just shear complete joy and love.

The ceremony had stopped at some point, and although I never once opened my eyes throughout it, I managed to crawl to my mattress where I sobbed for another hour in pure love, happiness and gratitude that I found myself, found my soul.

I found myself – I now love myself – I found my soul, – I found my miracle.

My life is forever changed.

Metta

 

 

 

 

A few words before we go.

Click the picture above to watch and listen to our gabbing about what our upcoming Ayahuasca experience may be like at Rythmia. We’re not sure. We’re kinda freaked out (Kelly, my wife, more so). Luckily for me, I think my brain is on a “time-lapse”, so when something frightening happens, by the time I click-in, it’s already past. The event is over, and I’m OK. I think its kinda like non-skid breaks or an airbag; a built-in protection mechanism.

So, why freak out? Mostly, because the fear and anticipation of facing yourself and your scary monsters becomes very real very fast. And what may you find in that closet full of skeletons said the ghost? Hmmmmmm.

It’s the same reason we don’t say “sorry”, or stop and talk to beggars , or look at someone in a wheelchair, or don’t deeply look into someones eyes and connect. It’s because we’re not comfortable with ourselves, with who we are, because we really don’t know ourselves, we haven’t cultivated pure love, self-love, selfless love for others and ourselves. Something got in the way, something closed our hearts at some point in our lives, even if it was just for a minute. And when that moment happened, when we were a little kid, a teen, a adult, our hearts changed, we changed, we lost our innocence. Something happened that took it all away in a flash, and we are forever changed from that moment forward.

Unfortunately, we sometimes don’t remember what it was that shook us so deeply, badly, and sadly. Some of us know exactly what that moment was, and we never forget it. It still burns and hurts, When we think of it, we shake, we tremble, sob or get viciously angry. We carry this burden and it affects everything, your relationships, your  work, your life.

But…there is light and self-love.

There is an access point to find the key that just might change the way you feel about this incident, this crime, this obstacle that has affected the way you have behaved and interacted your whole life. Mostly, it probably has changed the way you feel about “you”.

This first/single incident has coloured your perspective, your thoughts, your thinking. Just like a pool ball that gets hit by another ball and suddenly is projected in a whole new direction and path of trajectory. This is life, constantly being pulled our pushed in directions by events and things you want to happen and things you don’t want to happen.

But, you didn’t want or ask for that negative life-changing event early in your life to happen did you? You didn’t even know it was coming probably. It just happened. And now here you are all grown up and its come along for the ride all these years. Maybe its time to get rid of it? That would be a very good idea indeed.

I was lucky enough to learn how to self-heal myself, but it took me the better part of my life floundering and self-medicating my pain through work, sex, alcohol and drugs. I carried around a lot of pain, and it showed in many ways, and the best escape, the only escape was numbing myself in a not-so-good way. Only when I exhausted that road and fell to my knees I sought help. This is where I decided to go inward and find my true-self. I started looking for the root causes of my suffering and learned from others, found teachers and meditated and meditated and meditated.

Here is what I was taught from a monk in Thailand who I learned to love:

Johan, the Dean (second in command of the Monastery of forty monks), a kind beautiful loving soul of a man in his early fifties took a shine to me, especially when he found out I could fix and build just about anything. One day while replacing a roof on a Kuti (tree-fort on stilts in the forest), he asked me what has been bothering me since I entered the monastery. His eyes looked deep into my soul and there was no hiding, he could feel my whole being. So, like a little school, I started rambling on about my life.

As he intently listened with pure presence and love, he put his hand on my shoulder and gave me the following lesson (monks love to do this)

1- Meditate for as long as it takes to become still (use my cheat sheet here if you like) until when you are peaceful and quiet and your mind is steady and calm. Stay in this peace for another 5 minutes or so just to make sure your mind is completely free and open.

2- Now slowly walk bath in your mind as far back as you can in your life to your earliest memory. Really dig deep. Think of your earliest memory, the very first memory you have. Where you five, ten, three, or one years old? When is the earliest memory?

3- When you have gone back as far as you can to finding the very earliest memory-dig even DEEPER. Go back to even further memory if you can. If you cant then stay there and observe what was happening, where you were, who was there and don’t judge it. Let is be, just be the witness from above observing it.

4- Then, open your mind to something that happened just before that last memory. Something else was going on, something else was happening, something else before that last memory,  maybe seconds before it, minutes before, hours before. Sit and let it come to you. Open yourself, open your heart and let that moments before your last memory come into focus. Let any resistance go. Completely let the image in. Take as long as it takes to shine the light on it..

5- When you find that “moment before”, you will see visions, you will see something you think you’ve never seen before, but there will be some familiarity to it, because it did happen. You just might find that you were being hugged, you were playing, you were happy, you were with your friends or doing something you really liked, or that your thoughts about happened, really didn’t happen the way you think, that its not really correct or true; its a comprised story. The truth of who you are is in the moments before that big event. If you look “before” that event, there is something there that will change your story.

Go back and find that loving kid full of joy and love, she’s there, she really is, and go hug her.

Maybe what happened was an accident. Maybe what happened wasn’t intentional, maybe they didn’t really know any better because of their own limited beliefs, their own messed up childhood and it’s not your fault. Maybe you were really loved. So sit with that with compassion. Compassion for them, and compassion for you. Why? because letting go of the burden, your sad story, so you can start loving yourself is what your heart needs. It what you need, and what those around you want for you. To be free.

Go find it. Why stay in your house, (of the mind)?

I do know this worked for me. I stopped feeling abandoned and unloved and not-good-enough. I regained self-love. All fo a sudden, everything I was already learning fell into place and I felt a deeper sense of belonging, self-love, joy and happiness. I was finally on the path I was so longing to find. I found that part of me that was taken away.

For those people who have suffered truly horrific experiences, I am deeply saddened and I have no idea how horribly you suffer, and my love and heart goes out to you completely. With love, may I suggest Ayahuasca at Rythmia, the first medically licensed ayahuasca retreat in the world, or some other reputable facility. It has helped so many people and its a far better alternative to toxic pharmaceuticals and continued suffering. But, please do the research, google it, watch people talk about it on youtube. Gerald Powell, the founder of Rythmia has a compelling story I recommend. Here is another amazing film I highly recommend, its called The Reality of Truth.

Notes on Rythmia: along with four Ayahuasca ceremonies, yoga twice a day, meditation, pranayama (breathing techniques), veg and vegan organic meals, and life coaching, its situated on beautiful private resort property.

Thank you for reading:)

Metta (lovingkindness)

 

 

As I pack my favourite pants, a sweet pair of hand-sewn Tibetan yoga pants that I bought in Kathmandu Nepal and put them into my carry-on suitcase, along with some t-shirts, beach shorts, and running shoes, its bitterly cold and snowing outside. In a few days, I’m leaving home for a trip of a lifetime, a trip that just may well deliver on its promise: “to change my life.”

The funny thing is, my life is already forever changing. Sometimes it’s going backwards, some times it’s going sideways, sometimes it’s going forward and some times it’s just moving along in no particular direction. That is life, at least its my life. I try not to judge it – it is just what it is. I know I raise some people’s eyebrows or even frustrate them with my self-styled strut, but it’s none of my business what other people think of me.

I have experienced a lot, seen a lot, dove into many things with wild abandon. I’ve always enjoyed the thrill, the excitement but also the tranquility of deeply peaceful experiences where time stood still and nothing moved, not even my heart at some moments. Through all of these experiences and moments I have moved in direction, I’ve always asked the question: “what is beyond the place where I am at now?

So, I’m off to ask the Wizard, or better known as Mother Ayahuasca, the answer to this very question. In the end, I hope she grants me my wish and my life will change, yet again.

Will I be afraid to see the man behind the curtain?

My destination is Rythmia, located in Costa Rica. It’s a beautiful private resort aimed at giving people their “miracles“, where they “find themselves” and the elusive answers to their burning questions about “life” and “who” and “why”. Rythmia however, was my second choice of places to go to experience Ayahuasca.

My first choice of doing Ayahuasca was a lodge two hours by riverboat to a remote village up the Amazon River in Peru. It has no electricity, no comforts, no flushing toilets, it’s just really raw, as raw as the jungle around it. Here you trek through the jungle with the Shamans to learn about the bountiful natural medicines gifted to us by mother nature in the form of plants. Only 3% of the fauna in the Amazon is known to outsiders, including Western medicine and science, and we have no idea what the rest is, but the Shamans do. They use the jungle plants for all their illnesses, from cancer to diabetes to just about everything else, and they have treatments and cures for all of it. They also use it to communicate with nature and spirit, to heal the heart, to share wisdom and protect the tribe. There is a deep reverence and respect for nature here, its their history, their culture and their pathway to the beyond.

Ayahuasca brew produces DMT (Dimethyltryptamine) a type of hallucinogen, also called the “spirit molecule”. Our own body produces it as well, which is mostly experienced at birth and death. They say that the after death experience of bliss and light is the release of the DMT. It is apparently manufactured in the Pineal Gland, otherwise known to be the home of our “Third-eye”. Funny how that works;)

Here in the jungle the Shamans gather the Caapi vines and the Chacruna plants and a brew is made from it. The vines are first pounded to fibres and the Chacruna leaves are added in a pot along with some other plants used to provide a specific treatment such as cleansing, removing obstacles or providing protection and so on. The brew tastes really bad, and vomiting and diarrhea often occurs, which removes parasites in the system, as well as dark toxic energy stored in you. I have experienced this affect myself during one of my Vipassana mediation retreats, a purging of toxicity within where my body odour exuding from my pores was so foul, I had to take fifteen showers over the tens days of the retreat.

The Shamans, also known as “Medicine Men and Women” use these plants mainly for energy work. Ridding the body, the mind and soul from negative and dark energies created from past painful childhood experiences that follow us through our lives and drag us down.

Here, in these sacred ceremonies of drinking “Aya” (spirit soul)- “waska” (rope) which means “Vine to the Soul”, you enter into altered states of consciousness and open the closet door of skeletons in your life.

This is where you come to face-to-face with yourself.

I do know from experience that resisting and fighting against whatever shows up in my life usually causes some pain in one way or another. So “acceptance” of what is – is my motto; to see every difficulty or problem as a challenge, as a way to grow and learn for my higher good. There are no mistakes, there are only gifts. However, with our internal mind-made doors, locks, gateways and hidden paths to our true-self, I am taking a short-cut to dig deeper into my soul to see what I cant see, and learn what I do not know.

Almost all people who have experienced Ayahuasca afterwards say they now understand what they need to do to become better versions of themselves. Many have seen their whole life flash before minds-eyes from birth to finish during their Ayahuasca experience. They can see things that really happened that their mind has blocked and held in secrecy since. Our brains are hardwired to shut down during shocking experiences or trauma and bury events in the hidden caves of our minds that would have otherwise destroyed us completely or dramatically changed our path. Not only that, our brains will sometimes simply colour or filter experiences to protect us and alter the facts. Its problematic sometimes going through life based on twisted facts, things don’t line up and we have a dis-function.

I’ve always wanted to know how I could be a better person on a soul-level, not just behaviourally.

I will be experiencing three Ayahuasca ceremonies which are guided by the Shamans where I will drink the potion then lay on a mat and listen to their chanting and music. This is where I will wait to meet Mother Ayahuasca who will hopefully show me the real man behind the curtain.

Stay tuned.

Metta

 

 

 

 

What if you are perfect the way you are? What if you were enough? How would that feel?

I’ve been thinking about this for a while.

One thing for sure is that you have to do to stop feeling like you are not enough, and don’t need “more” to feel better and be happy is to stop looking outside and start looking inside. “Stuff” can’t, and will never-ever make you happy. It will give you only temporary comfort or pleasure, so it never lasts. And “clinging” to your “stuff” creates suffering as most all wisdom traditions teach.

I realized in order to find my true happiness, I had to find “myself”.

That is where I started, and that is exactly what I set out to do. From this point forward, my life started to completely change.

Then I put on my Spandex and went to a yoga class.

I was the only guy in the room full of ponytailed women in Lululemon. I was also out of shape and the feminine energy in the room was so amazing it started wafting over to me. Sitting in a meditation pose at the beginning of the class was the first time in a very long time, I felt a calm and peaceful force inside me.

I originally started yoga as a recommendation to relive pain from a sports injury, but soon I was doing yoga at home too, and that led me to meditation and mindfulness, and that led me down the rabbit hole into my-self.

Over the years I searched to find myself in books and in teachings from people like Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Michael Singer, Thich Nhat Hanh, Jack Kornfield, Osho, John Kabat Zinn, Yogananda, Mooji, Ram Dass, Swami Sivananda Saraswati, Pema Chodron, Sadhguru, Dalai Lama, Swami Sri Yukteswar, Ramana Maharishi, Jayakar Krishnamurti, Bentinho Massaro, Michael Singer and Tony Robbins to mention a few.

I went to India and slept in Ashrams, joined Aarte and Satsangas along the Ganges, travelled with Swami’s, (ordained men and women of the cloth), through villages listening to ancient wisdom from elders and Guru’s. I went to the meditation caves in Gangotri India in the Himalayas and dipped in the glacial waters at the foot of the Ganges.

I climbed in the Himalayas in Nepal with a Buddhist guide for eight days and joined in meditation in the ancient temples of Kathmandu. I lived in a forest in a six-foot by six-foot hut within a Monastery in northern Thailand where acceptance meant shaving my head, beard and eyebrows, eating once daily at 8am and waking at 3:00am daily to start meditating in a massive temple. At 5am I went on alms walk with the monks through the village to receive food from the villagers for our daily meal. This was one of the most humbling and clear moments of my life.

In southern Thailand, my meditation teacher Tobi, in Phuket who I studied with for three weeks told me to “contemplate death” before I left him to island hop. Two days later I was bitten by the second most poisonous snake in Thailand while on a small island far from any city where it was a race against time by stolen boat to get to a hospital; the entire episode was like a scene out of a James Bond movie.

I also went to Ubud Bali to immerse myself in Yoga and learn about Buddhism and do walking meditations along rice fields. I also studied and continue to study Mindfulness and Meditation, Hinduism, Buddhism and Yoga also at the University of Toronto. These are just some of things I have done and learned to find my inner-self and my foundation.

I’ve learned a lot from my travels and the deeply spiritually connected people I have been blessed to have met. I have learned life-lessons from successful entrepreneurs I’ve bumped elbows with and made friends with. But, I’ve also met a lot of successful people and everyday people who admit something is missing in their lives and are all now feeling lost and trying to find themselves.

“The planet does not need more ‘successful people’. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.” Dalai Lama

I no longer see money as the object. I also see mankind in some trouble; humans needing refocussing, the planet needing love. So many people especially seem unfulfilled, lost and tired, but rarely want to admit it and don’t know where to turn or how to change it. Many people I know, including me, are asking “Is this all there is? What am I doing all of this for? I want to get off the hamster wheel. I want to live. I want to be free!”.

There is nothing wrong with working hard and striving, but it’s when we become lost in it, “the chase”, the need for “stuff” and wanting “more and more”, this is when we begin to suffer, this is when the planet suffers. There is a balance, and when that comes from a place of being centred and “knowing thyself”, we make wiser choices in our lives, for ourselves, and those around us. That is how we change our world.

Back to the drawing board?…Nope

You are probably like me- wondering what it would be like to start all over again, wanting to start fresh, to do something meaningful and deeply rewarding and spiritually fulfilling.

What would you change if you could start all over again? Would you want to move to the country, a small community, work your own garden and watch your kids grow? Or would you simply want to create a balance in your life where you get to actually experience all of it on a deeply profound level while attaining your passions? Do you want to take a simple approach to life and yet build something awesome that’s supported by your heart?

For me, it’s not about a money driven career. I’m learning to live simply, where less is more, and building something really cool that is part of the solution and not the problem. Money is a by-product of following your passion, it’s what you do with it that matters.

I get all this “go-go-go” mindset and the “improve yourself” and “be the best you can be” noise out there with an infinite amount of coaches and teachers and seminars to join, but if at the core you aren’t stable and connected to yourself and can’t answer the question: “who am I?”, maybe you need to find yourself; you’re true nature, your deep passion for life.

“You already have what you’re looking for.”  Allan Watts

We all look “outside” for our happiness, in other “things”. From being empty and very unhappy in my own life, I started to look for answers, and what I learned from all my experiences, study and travels was that I only needed to look inside and realize I’m much bigger than I could have ever have imagined, (big topic and more of that to come). That was my journey and the more I focussed on that, the more everything came together and the more rooted and content I became; it was that “pinch of salt” in the soup of my life that was needed to open my eyes to deeper meaning, fulfillment, joy and love. We all can have it too.

The process has been nothing short of amazing and life-changing for me, and the closer I move to it, into it, the better I keep feeling and the more my life improves. This expansion is much like the blooming of a flower.

This might be a good place for you to begin the process to get off the dizzy ride and the digital slavery of our electronics and raise your head up and start to learn more about finding yourself Slowing down and smelling the roses, becoming grounded and connected, and seeing you can have more with less; less looking outside and more looking inside.

My life now is about sharing what I know, the stories and experiences and teachings that made huge impacts in my very being, the lessons I have learned and the love that keeps rising in me.

With simple practices, simple lessons, and starting to meditate you will immediately start experiencing changes inside and the way you look outside. Come for the ride of your life by joining me in the unfolding of your true-self.

“If your thoughts are beautiful, then everything that happens to you is beautiful.” Sanskrit saying

 

Thanks for reading, and start meditating and being mindful. It will change your life:)

So what is mediation all about? Please don’t think its creepy or something only hippies do or people in orange robes who chant. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Alexander Bell, The Beatles and a bunch of celebrities have made it a part of their life. So just think; what it did and does for them, it will do for you.

Here is a kinda deep explanation of what meditation is. Trust me, it will start to make more and more sense the more you meditate.

Meditation

…is not about gaining an identity or trying to learn to be a certain way. It is not about trying to become peaceful or wise or even enlightened. In meditation
, you simply become aware. You become aware of “what is”.

In meditation you turn your focus back upon yourself and notice what is revealed. When you do this, the ego structure begins to crumble and you will see what is behind all the desires, distractions, opinions, beliefs, worries
 and emotions.

When you go behind everything that the mind has created in order to feel in control and important is something
 quite tender and vulnerable, and perhaps overwhelmingly painful.  A feeling of being unimportant and alone
 and all of the fear and helplessness
 that goes with it surfaces. Your survival instincts want to protect you, you don’t want you to feel it,
 you don’t want to see it.
 The ego’s protection is to get as far away from this exposure and vulnerability as possible. You want to be important, to fit in or at least stand out. Who wants to be a nobody.

But, if you can allow yourself to let go and feel it, if you can allow yourself to be that small helpless nobody, if you just allow it all to be as it is
 at the very core, then you fall into the essence 
which is behind it. You become immersed and meld
 into what is behind it. And that is infinite love, that is peace in your heart.


You do not hold love and peace
 as though it was an object to attain, you simply dissolve into its beauty and depth. It bubbles up from your true essence and spills into
 every level of your being because you have let go
 of the very idea of trying to be a someone, you detach from your ego.

A true introduction back to self, to know the essence of who you are is to know the essence of your creator.

end

So, I hope you begin to understand that it’s really all about finding yourself.

The next blog, I will explain what “chatter of the mind” is and how you can overcome it. This will bring me into the topic of Mindfulness and how you can introduce it into your daily life in a hundred different ways.

Metta 🙂

 

“You can only lose what you cling to”- Buddha

I understand these words deeply.

“Clinging” is what we all do, have been conditioned to do it from childbirth. One of the very first words we learn is “mine”. Innocent, but destructive, the idea of ownership is engrained into our ego. “Clinging” or “to-hang-on-to” is suffering as the Buddha put it. We suffer when we lose grip of what we think is important, and that can be just about anything from a partner, to a car, to your own personal story of what happened to you last week or twenty-five years ago.

When we hang-on to anything in fear of losing it or desiring more of it, we are setting ourselves up for punishment. Why? Because nothing lasts. Simple. Everything is in a state of decay, including you the minute you were born. Why? Because your time here will soon end in the grand scheme of things, which is unavoidable.

Your relationships will to soon come to end too when someone dies or walks out. Your job will end. Your car will break. Your clothes will wear out. Your coat will fall out of style. So, investing in the notion that something is yours will ultimately cause you some grief when its gone. It will also cause you suffering when you have it and worship it and hang-on to it. Your Porsche is simply a nice car of masterful ingenuity and engineering, I’ve had a few, and unfortunately, they made me feel “special” as I ego-tripped behind the wheel everywhere I drove. I ego-tripped even when I wasn’t behind the wheel. It became part of my identity, fortified my ego, made me feel important, and that is “clinging”.

I learned on my travels, especially to India, that less-is-more. I saw people who had nothing, and many by choice, happier than people here at home who seem to have everything. I learned in Thailand to let-go of everything, including my outward appearance when I was asked to shave my head, my beard and eyebrows and wore only white so I could live with the monks in a monastery, and try to live without my ego. Setting yourself free of the burden of the need for appearances and possessions to make you what you are is extremely liberating.

I used to spend a lot of money trying to stand out and be special. My ego signed me up to lengthy and expensive contracts and purchases. Keeping all those balls in the air because I thought I had an image to grow and protect caused me so much angst I could hardly sleep at times worrying about my finances and whether people liked me enough. The trap is there for all of us to fall prey to, just look at the ambitious companies out there trying to sell their wares with a barrage of aggressive marketing aimed at you generating debt for things you don’t need.

 

Your own story is maybe…

Hanging on to your story of who or how you got hurt in the past is by far the most damaging force and resistance to moving forward in your life. Regardless of what material possessions and financial wealth you acquire in your life, your “story” holds you a prisoner from you being free to find true happiness and joy. I know this for a fact as I used to blame my parents for abandoning me at a very early age.

They didn’t put me on someone’s doorstep and run away, rather, they left me with babysitters since I was a baby so they could go and work and start a new life and family in a foreign land as immigrants. They didn’t know that I would grow up with a chip on my shoulder and be an angry resentful show-off who begged for attention. That is why I have a history with doing very dumb and dangerous things in my early years throughout as an adult even into my forties.

My behaviour of having one foot on a banana peel and the other on the edge of a cliff while doing shooters was my personality, and everyone knew it, but deeply inside I was broken, afraid and very insecure. My “story”, this one I’m telling you of feeling abandoned, gave me the green light to excuse me of blame and responsibility, after all it was my parents fault for everything that happened to me, right?

Once I learned to meditate, learned to open my mind, nurture forgives and gratitude, my story began to dissolve and I started feeling free and alive, and joyful. I could slowly see the veil of illusion lift from my “mind-created” stories. Stories are just that, created in our “mind”. And all of these stories are from information filtered from our version of our experiences.

In other words; what you believe of yourself may actually not be true.

I love people, all people, especially the funny ones who have gotten over themselves. Kids are good at this. No wonder I love kids and dogs so much. I actually love all animals and all people, even the ones that do bad things, because I have no idea of their story and what they must have experienced. I just have compassion, and compassion is love.

I love meditation and being in the present moment. I love sitting on a rock or a bench and breathing in the scenery or mountain air. Everything I see is a story unfolding; people experiencing life and me experiencing them, and they experiencing me. There is beauty in everything and everyone once you open your heart and realize we are all One.

For those who want to hear me, I believe I am but a ladder for people to wake up. Wake up and realize they are really here, deeply, connected and part of the whole fabric of life.

I don’t heal, I don’t fix, I just share. That brings me great joy.

I have never declined giving money to a beggar. Who am I to judge.

I want to live on a beach, part of the year. I want to live in the woods, part of the year. I want to live on a farm, part of the year. Most of all, I want to deeply live every day.

I’m not a fan of the rat-race. It’s a trap. It was put there by greedy people at the expense of others and it intentionally keeps us unconscious. Humanity can do much better, and that is what I’m a part of.

I love business, I enjoy challenges, especially outsmarting myself. But I know I can’t find myself and true happiness in things or stuff. Business that’s centered around the wellness of the planet and its inhabitants is what is needed the most and provides us with the greatest opportunities.

I know there is a better way, a more meaningful, kinder, loving and sustainable way. You know it, I know it. We need an authentic life, authentic people in our lives. We need to put down the distractions, close our screens, and engage with life, and love deeply.

I believe enjoying every bite, feeling every step, listening to every word, and experiencing it through the heart in the present moment. That is the key to life.

This is what I believe. This is me. There I am.

“Just Do it!”

Nike’s famous statement applies in meditation practice as well. You can’t start anything unless you actually start! So, why not try something new that will bring amazing changes to your life. Like all new things, it takes effort and practice. Just think of tennis, golf, driving, running distances, learning languages and so on. The more you practice the better the results.

So I laid out a nice technique below and set of instructions to begin your new practice. Try it out and see how you feel. Then do it again and again until you can’t go without it.

 

THE MEDITATION PRACTICE

Commit conscious intention to meditate daily at a specific time for a specific length of time desirably in the same peaceful setting . Start with 15 minutes, then graduate.

PROCESS:

Meditate (concentrate) on an object of attention like the subtle feeling of air passing by your nostrils. Gently come back to it when you lose focus. Repeat. Don’t judge yourself and think you can’t do it. You never gave up on learning how to walk or ride a bike, did you? You are beginning and developing a muscle.

Meditation is about clearing the mind from the chatter and thoughts about the past and future. It is about being in the present moment and letting that unfold into a state of clarity, bliss, kindness, self-love, compassion, joy and happiness. The more you meditate, the deeper those feelings and senses become. I’ll cover a lot of that in my blog:)

How to Meditate

6 POINT PREPARATION

SET MOTIVATION

Have a clear sense of purpose, remind yourself why you are meditating. Is it calmness, peacefulness, relaxation, awakening, enlightenment?

GOALS

 What do you hope to accomplish this session; not giving up? remaining patient?

EXPECTATIONS

Be easy on yourself. Hold goals lightly- just enjoy and savour any achievement and let go of any resistance or judgement.

COMMITT TO DILLIGENCE

Engage whole-heartedly. Resolve to practice diligently no matter how it each sitting goes.

REVIEW POTENTIAL DISTRACTIONS

Do a quick inventory before you practice; ie problems, stresses, what your mind is occupied with, regrets, doubts. Acknowledge them and set them aside for now.

ADJUST YOUR POSTURE

Get comfortable.

Adjust any supports.

Head, neck, back aligned- not leaning in any direction

Shoulders even

Hands level with each other, either clasping in your lap or hand on each knee

Lips closed

Teeth slightly apart

Tongue on the roof of your mouth, tip of your tongue slightly toughing your teeth

Eyes closed, slightly down. Eases tension in face and forehead

Breath through your nose, lips closed

Relax and enjoy

Scan your body for tension, then let it go

Your body should be like a lump of soft clay, soft and stable, completely pliant

 

Now follow the 6 Point Preparation above, then the Process, also above. Enjoy

“And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?” – Rumi

You don’t suck, and here’s why…

Damn, you’re awesome, you really are amazing!

You know why? Because you’re here, you exist, you are alive, and that’s a magical answer.

The odds of you being alive and reading this is 1 in 480 billion! Yes 1 in 480 billion according to a recent study. That’s is pretty damn incredible if you ask me, and that is a lot to be grateful for.

Just think, you made it this far from coming out of the infinite universe as a tiny speck made up of molecules and atoms and star stuff that all aligned to form “you”. Yes you, the one with your own unique DNA, fingerprints and quirky personality existing here on a grain of dirt in this massive universe floating in a colossal cosmic soup. It’s pretty incredible. Rarely do we ever sit and think about just how special and lucky we really are to experience “l-i-f-e”. Don’t believe me? Have a look at this chart below.

Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 9.18.17 AM

As impressive as this is with the jaw dropping odds of existence we are blessed with, which are truly beyond comprehension, we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t bitch and rant about life anyway.

Humans have an insatiable appetite for complaining and not being satisfied and always looking for “m o r e”.

Don’t buy into the culture

What if I told you that all that striving to “be better”, “be smarter”, “work harder”, “look better” and the non-stop obsession to “climb the ladder of success”, to “eat or be eaten”, is exactly why modern society is the mess that it is and is the reason for all our personal and collective suffering we are facing today. Further, this ravenous obsession with consumerism to want more at any cost is wrecking havoc on the planet with our disregard for nature. We’re just so wound up on “M-O-R-E” that we’re losing ourselves.

I believe our egoic human tendency of competition, “look at me” “look what I can do” has a direct correlation to why we’re sicker than ever and taking more drugs than anytime in history. The population around the world in developed countries are getting fatter, and suffering from depression and mental disorders, especially in North America. Society as a whole is simply more miserable and unhappier at any other time in our history.

In this superficial society of a fake virtual reality through the advent of technology, we judge ourselves against photo-shopped images of others. We see glossy pictures of happy people who seem like they have it all and we feel bad and less that we don’t.

I used to search for “more” outside of myself. The belief if I had just this or just that, I would feel complete, that I would be a somebody. That new shiny phone, that new car, the bigger house, the cool job, and that photo-shopped Instagram picture of myself I just posted is all an illusion, and it doesn’t equal happiness, it’s just “stuff” and appearances.

But, in this technological world of happy-washing with doctored pictures, what is real anymore? Shopping to find ourselves” is ingrained into our culture and consciousness. Our attention is very valuable to companies that want sell us stuff. It is a vicious game to be caught up in the world of consumerism and feeling less hoping for the next thing that will give us a temporary dopamine hit. Once you’re hooked into that rush, happiness starts to dwindle, even evaporate.

You can’t buy happiness!

But you start being mindful and can buy meditation lessons, and that’s kinda the same thing.

So here is the deal in my opinion: invest in finding yourself. Start looking inside for balance, comfort, and feeling good, especially about yourself and who you are in this very moment. The more you turn inwards and be present and gather a deeper appreciation for who you are, the more you realize you need less of everything else.

Remember the odds of you being on this planet, hold that in your heart as you become richer in experiencing your life everyday and every moment.

Metta