1) “You don’t need a reason to be happy. If you do that reason can be taken away.”
2) “‘What do I do then, now? Where do I go from here?’ Dan asked Socrates.
‘Who cares?’ He yelled gleefully. ‘A fool is ‘happy’ when his cravings are satisfied. A warrior is happy without reason. That’s what makes happiness the ultimate discipline—above all else I have taught you.’”
3) “Reality never matched their dreams; happiness was just around the corner — a corner they never turned. And the source of it all was the human mind.”
4) “There is no need to search; achievement leads to nowhere. It makes no difference at all, so just be happy now! Love is the only reality of the world, because it is all One, you see. And the only laws are paradox, humor and change. There is no problem, never was, and never will be. Release your struggle, let go of your mind, throw away your concerns, and relax into the world. No need to resist life, just do your best. Open your eyes and see that you are far more than you imagine. You are the world, you are the universe; you are yourself and everyone else, too! It’s all the marvelous Play of God. Wake up, regain your humor. Don’t worry, just be happy. You are already free!”
5) “Sometimes sorrow, sometimes joy. But beneath it all remember the innate perfection of your life unfolding. That is the secret of unreasonable happiness.”
6) “And so I awoke to reality, free of any meaning or any search. What could there possibly be to search for? All of Socrate’s words had come alive with my death. This was the paradox of it all, the humor of it all, and the great change. All searches, all achievements, all goals, were equally enjoyable, and equally unnecessary.”
7) “The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”
8) “Act happy, be happy, without a reason in the world. Then you can love, and do what you will.”
In A New Earth, author Eckhart Tolle shares his open-minded & progressing ideas to help you achieve the peace of God which surpasses understanding, as Jesus spoke of.
He helps you gain insight into the harming effects the human ego can have when unchecked, which is a core element holding you back from peace.
As you work on decreasing the ego in your life(techniques included in third section), you will grow in conscious awareness, staying present in the moment–alert, listening, less consumed with compulsive thinking, resulting in abundant peace & joy.
One of the main messages from this book is that you are not separate from life. You and life are one, you are whole, together, but our egos thrive on division; division from everything—life, others, and even yourself.
A few other fundamental concepts from the book include:
—Life to the fullest is lived Beyond Words
—The human egos current grip on humanity and what you can do about it
—Techniques & Parables to help you achieve peace
These 3 fundamental ideas and the best quotes each have their own section with the theme of being connected to life flowing through each section.
“The meek are the egoless. They are those who have awakened to their essential true nature as consciousness and recognize that essence in all “others,” all lifeforms. They live in the surrendered state and so feel their oneness with the whole and the Source. They embody the awakened consciousness that is changing all aspects of life on our planet, including nature, because life on earth is inseparable from the human consciousness that perceives and interacts with it. That is the sense in which the meek will inherit the earth.”
I have been and am still working on a longer summary of each section(which I may or may not finish), but here are the shortened versions of each section!
You can be part of the shift toward this new consciousness, this New Earth.
Take your time & enjoy!
—Life to the fullest is lived Beyond Words
We live in a world overrun by words and thinking.
Do you ever reminisce about childhood and wish to feel that joy & aliveness once again?
That joy is found when you don’t have a stream of endless thoughts, when you are in the present moment, acting “in the zone” or “flow” with no thought in mind.
“Some of those people who, through creative action, enrich the lives of many others simply do what they enjoy doing most without wanting to achieve or become anything through that activity.”
“You are present when what you are doing is not primarily a means to an end (money, prestige, winning) but fulfilling in itself, when there is joy and aliveness in what you do.”
Thoughts come in different forms but their main form is through words.
Here are some related insights from Tolle:
“We often believe that words are facts, but in the end, words are just another thing created by humans!”
“When you look at it(anything) or hold it and let it be without imposing a word or mental label on it, a sense of awe, of wonder, arises within you.It’s essence silently communicates itself to you and reflects your own essence back to you…
…This is what great artists sense and succeed in conveying in their art…
…When you don’t cover up the world with words and labels, a sense of the miraculous returns to your life that was lost a long time ago when humanity, instead of using thought, became possessed by thought. A depth returns to your life. Things regain their newness, their freshness.”
“And the greatest miracle is the experiencing of your essential self as prior to any words, thoughts, mental labels, and images.”
On that note—TELEVISION!
“So does TV watching create inner space? Does it cause you to be present? Unfortunately, it does not…
…Your mind is inactive only in the sense that it is not producing thoughts. It is, however, continuously absorbing thoughts and images that come through the TV screen. This induces a trancelike passive state of heightened susceptibility, not unlike hypnosis…
…That is why it lends itself to manipulation of “public opinion,” as politicians and special-interest groups as well as advertisers know and will pay millions of dollars to catch you in that state of receptive unawareness. They want their thoughts to become your thoughts, and usually they succeed…
…Television has this in common with alcohol and certain other drugs. While it provides some relief from your mind, you again pay a high price: loss of consciousness. Like those drugs, it too has a strong addictive quality.”
Another thing your thoughts influence is your idea of who you are.
“Nobody can tell you who you are.”
You will learn more about this idea in the next section on the ego—that a current belief is that you are defined by your accomplishments, relationships, career, race, height, skills, etc, but this is NOT who you are. What you are is much more than these transient identities.
“It’s okay to try and figure out about yourself, but don’t confuse knowing about yourself with knowing yourself…
…The psychoanalysis tells you about yourself, they tell you about how your past has conditioned your behavior and thoughts but it is not you Tolle says. It is content, not essence. Going beyond ego is stepping out of content. Knowing yourself is being yourself, and being yourself is ceasing to identify with content.”
“Knowing yourself deeply has nothing to do with whatever ideas are floating around in your mind. Knowing yourself is to be rooted in Being, instead of lost in your mind.”
“You are not the ego, so when you become aware of the ego in you, it does not mean you know who you are – it means you know who you are not. But it is through knowing who you are not that the greatest obstacle to truly knowing yourself is removed.”
“Give up defining yourself – to yourself or to others. You won’t die. You will come to life. And don’t be concerned with how others define you. When they define you, they are limiting themselves, so it’s their problem.”
Tolle discusses how there are no absolute truths, although people often define themselves and others in an egoic way that they believe is true. It’s not.
“We need to bear in mind here that nothing we say about the nature of the universe should be taken as an absolute truth…
…Neither concepts nor mathematical formulae can explain the infinite. No thought can encapsulate the vastness of the totality. Reality is a unified whole, but thought cuts it up into fragments. This gives rise to fundamental misperceptions, for example, that there are separate things and events, or that this is the cause of that…
…Only the whole is true, but the whole cannot be spoken or thought. Seen from beyond the limitations of thinking and therefore incomprehensible to the human mind, everything is happening now…
…As an illustration of relative and absolute truth, consider the sunrise and sunset. When we say the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening, that is true but only relatively. In absolute terms, it is false…
…Only from the limited perspective of an observer on or near the planet’s surface does the sun rise and set. If you were far out in space, you would see that the sun neither rises nor sets, but that it shines continuously. And yet, even after realizing that, we can continue to speak of the sunrise or sunset, still see its beauty paint it, write poems about it, even though we now know that it is a relative rather than an absolute truth…
…So let us continue to speak for a moment of another relative truth: the coming into form of the universe and its return to the formless, which implies the limited perspective of time, and see what relevance this has to your own life…
…The notion of “my own life” is, of course, another limited perspective created by thought, another relative truth. There is ultimately no such thing as “your” life, since you and life are not two, but one.”
I love the above message from Tolle even though it took me multiple times of reading it to get a good understanding of what he meant. To really realize that you are not the ego/labels/etc that you thought you were. That you are not separate from life, you are completely connected.
As you begin to understand that who you thought you were isn’t who you are, you may experience some insecurity and uncertainty.
“There may be a period of insecurity and uncertainty. What should I do? As the ego is no longer running your life, the psychological need for external security, which is illusory anyway, lessens…
…You are able to live with uncertainty, even enjoy it. When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life. It means fear is no longer a dominant factor in what you do and no longer prevents you from taking action to initiate change…
…The Roman philosopher Tacitus rightly observed that ‘the desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise…’
…If uncertainty is unacceptable to you, it turns into fear. If it is perfectly acceptable, it turns into increased aliveness, alertness, and creativity…
…Many years ago, as a result of a strong inner impulse, I walked out of an academic career that the world would have called ‘promising,’ stepping into complete uncertainty; and out of that, after several years, emerged my new incarnation as a spiritual teacher.”
“Don’t let a mad world tell you that success is anything other than a successful present moment. And what is that? There is a sense of quality in what you do, even the most simple action. Quality implies care and attention, which comes with awareness. Quality requires your Presence.”
You are so much more than how you or anyone else has defined you.
There is beauty beyond words. The joy you once felt as a child you can feel again.
—The human egos current grip on humanity and what you can do about it
“The ego could be defined simply in this way: a dysfunctional relationship with the present moment.”
Our egos are sculpted from the day we are born. We are given labels of who we are and people have an idea of how our future will be. These thoughts, which are expectations, have huge impacts on how each human life unfolds. The reinforcements of people telling us who we are become an obsession until we are constantly thinking that “this is who I am,” and defining ourselves with specific words.
These thoughts get reinforced into the child until they are living completely through their ego, labels & judgments of who they think they are, and this grows stronger throughout life when it is unchecked.
“Many people don’t realize until they are on their deathbed and everything external falls away that no thing ever had anything to do with who they are…
…In the proximity of death, the whole concept of ownership stands revealed as ultimately meaningless…
…They also realize that while they were looking throughout their lives for a more complete sense of self, what they were really looking for, their Being, had actually always already been there, but had been largely obscured by their identification with things, which ultimately means identification with their mind…
…‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs will be the kingdom of heaven.’
Poor in spirit means no inner baggage, no identifications. Not with things, nor with any mental concepts that have a sense of self in them…
…The kingdom of heaven can be the profound joy of Being that is there when you let go of identifications and so become ‘poor in spirit…’
…This is why renouncing all possessions has been an ancient spiritual practice in both East and West. Although this will not automatically free you of the ego…
…The EGO will attempt to ensure its survival by finding something else to identify with, for example, a mental image of yourself as someone who has transcended all interest in material possessions and is therefore superior, is more spiritual than others.”
“Ego is no more than this: identification with form, which primarily means thought forms.”
“The more people identify with their minds, the more they suffer…
…If the sufferer could look at her body without the interfering judgments of her mind or even recognize those judgments for what they are instead of believing in them—or if she could feel her body from within—this would initiate her healing…
…Those who identify with their good looks, strength, or abilities experience suffering when those attributes begin to fade and disappear, as of course they will.”
“‘I’ always leads to suffering sooner or later. To refrain from identifying with the body doesn’t mean that you neglect, despise, or no longer care for it. Enjoy and appreciate its attributes while they last. Right nutrition and exercise too.”
“The ego isn’t wrong; it’s just unconscious.
When you observe the ego in yourself, you are beginning to go beyond it.
Don’t take the ego too seriously.
When you detect ego behavior in yourself, smile. At times you may even laugh.”
One area the ego can be unconscious and bring suffering upon itself is in relationships.
The ego is constantly on guard, defending itself to maintain the identity it has been giving itself.
Tolle gives these words:
“The ego is always on guard against any kind of perceived diminishment. Automatic ego-repair mechanisms come into effect to restore the mental form of ‘me’….
…When someone blames or criticizes me, that to the ego is a diminishment of self, and it will immediately attempt to repair its diminished sense of self through self-justification, defense, or blaming. Whether the other person is right or wrong is irrelevant to the ego. It is much more interested in self-preservation than in the truth. This is the preservation of the psychological form of ‘me.’ Even such a normal thing as shouting something back when another driver calls you ‘idiot’ is an automatic and unconscious ego-repair mechanism. One of the most common ego-repair mechanisms is anger, which causes a temporary but huge ego inflation. All repair mechanisms make perfect sense to the ego but are actually dysfunctional. Those that are most extreme in their dysfunction are physical violence and self-delusion in the form of grandiose fantasies.”
“In addition, gossiping often carries an element of malicious criticism and judgment of others, and so it also strengthens the ego through the implied but imagined moral superiority that is there whenever you apply a negative judgment to anyone…
…If someone has more, knows more, or can do more than I, the ego feels threatened because the feeling of ‘less’ diminishes its imagined sense of self relative to the other. It may then try to restore itself by somehow diminishing, criticizing, or belittling the value of the other person’s possessions, knowledge, or abilities. Or the ego may shift its strategy, and instead of competing with the other person, it will enhance itself by association with that person, if he or she is important in the eyes of others.”
Tolle says to do nothing when someone criticizes or blames you.
—Check out the parable in section 3 “Is that so?”
“Making yourself right and others wrong is one of the principal egos mind patterns, one of the main forms of unconsciousness.”
“All you need to know and observe in yourself is this: whenever you feel superior or inferior to anyone, that’s the ego in you.”
“The stronger the ego in you, the more likely it is that in your perception other people are the main source of problems in your life. It is also more than likely that you will make life difficult for others. But, of course, you won’t be able to see that. It is always others who seem to be doing it to you…
…The more the sufferer sees himself persecuted, spied on, or threatened by others, the more pronounced becomes his sense of being the center of the universe around whom everything revolves, and the more special and important he feels as the imagined focal point of so many people’s attention. His sense of being a victim, of being wronged by so many people, makes him feel very special. In the story that forms the basis of his delusional system, he often assigns to himself the role of both victim and potential hero who is going to save the world or defeat the forces of evil.”
“Each person is so identified with the thoughts that make up their opinion, that those thoughts harden into mental positions which are invested with a sense of self. In other words: Identity and thought merge. Once this has happened, when I defend my opinions (thoughts), I feel and act as if I were defending my very self. Unconsciously, I feel and act as if I were fighting for survival and so my emotions will reflect this unconscious belief. They become turbulent. I am upset, angry, defensive, or aggressive. I need to win at all costs lest I become annihilated. That’s the illusion. The ego doesn’t know that mind and mental positions have nothing to do with who you are because the ego is the unobserved mind itself.”
“An emotion is the body’s response to a thought…
…Emotion in itself is not unhappiness. Only emotion plus an unhappy story is unhappiness.”
“In Zen they say: ‘Don’t seek the truth. Just cease to cherish opinions.’ What does that mean? Let go of identification with your mind. Who you are beyond the mind then emerges by itself.”
Now that you seen some of the toxicity of the ego it’s time to look at what can happen when you live without ego.
“It comes as no surprise that those people who work without ego are extraordinarily successful at what they do. Anybody who is one with what he or she does is building the new earth.”
“All truly successful action comes out of that field of alert attention, rather than from ego and conditioned, unconscious thinking.”
Living awakened, without ego, includes modalities of acceptance, enjoyment, and enthusiasm, Tolle discusses:
“Each one represents a certain vibrational frequency of consciousness. You need to be vigilant to make sure that one of them operates whenever you are engaged in doing anything at all – from the most simple task to the most complex. If you are not in the state of either acceptance, enjoyment, or enthusiasm, look closely and you will find that you are creating suffering for yourself and others.”
“To sum up: Enjoyment of what you are doing, combined with a goal or vision that you work toward, becomes enthusiasm. Even though you have a goal, what you are doing in the present moment needs to remain the focal point of your attention; otherwise, you will fall out of alignment with universal purpose…
…Make sure your vision or goal is not an inflated image of yourself and therefore a concealed form of ego, such as wanting to become a movie star, a famous writer, or a wealthy entrepreneur. Also make sure your goal is not focused on having this or that, such as a mansion by the sea, your own company, or ten million dollars in the bank. An enlarged image of yourself or a vision of yourself having this or that are all static goals and therefore don’t empower you…
…Instead, make sure your goals are dynamic, that is to say, point toward an activity that you are engaged in and through which you are connected to other human beings as well as to the whole. Instead of seeing yourself as a famous actor and writer and so on, see yourself inspiring countless people with your work and enriching their lives. Feel how that activity enriches or deepens not only your life but that of countless others. Feel yourself being an opening through which energy flows form the unmanifested Source of all life through you for the benefit of all.”
But the ego is tricky and tries to find other ways to make it focus on itself, such as dwelling in the past or worrying about the future.
“Your personality, which is conditioned by the past, then becomes your prison. Your memories are invested with a sense of self, and your story becomes who you perceive yourself to be. This “little me” is an illusion that obscures your true identity as timeless and formless Presence.”
“Two Zen monks, Tanzan and Ekido, who were walking along a country road that had become extremely muddy after heavy rains. Near a village, they came upon a young woman who was trying to cross the road, but the mud was so deep it would have ruined the silk kimono she was wearing. Tanzan at once picked her up and carried her to the other side…
…The monks walked on in silence. Five hours later, as they were approaching the lodging temple, Ekido couldn’t restrain himself any longer. ‘Why did you carry that girl across the road?’ he asked. ‘We monks are not supposed to do things like that.’
‘I put the girl down hours ago,’ said Tanzan. ‘Are you still carrying her?’
…Now imagine what life would be like for someone who lived like Ekido all the time, unable or unwilling to let go internally of situations, accumulating more and more “stuff’ inside, and you get a sense of what life is like for the majority of people on our planet. What a heavy burden of past they carry around with them in their minds.”
“When you make the present moment, instead of past and future, the focal point of your life, your ability to enjoy what you do – and with it the quality of your life – increases dramatically.”
“Your Being then does not shine through form anymore – or only barely. Through nonresistance to form, that in you which is beyond form emerges as an all-encompassing Presence, a silent power far greater than your short-lived form identity, the person. It is more deeply who you are than anything in the world of form.”
—Techniques & Parables to help you achieve peace
Parable–Not Minding What Happens
“J. Krishnamurti, the great Indian philosopher and spiritual teacher, spoke and traveled almost continuously all over the world for more than fifty years attempting to convey through words which are content – that which is beyond words, beyond content…
…At one of his talks in the later part of his life, he surprised his audience by asking, ‘Do you want to know my secret?’ Everyone became very alert. Many people in the audience had been coming to listen to him for twenty or thirty years and still failed to grasp the essence of his teaching. Finally, after all these years, the master would give them the key to understanding.
‘This is my secret,’ he said. ‘I don’t mind what happens.’
…Does this mean you can no longer take action to bring abut change in your life? On the contrary. when the basis for your actions is inner alignment with the present moment, your actions become empowered by the intelligence of Life itself.”
How to be at peace now?
“By making peace with the present moment. The present moment is the field on which the game of life happens. It cannot happen anywhere else. Once you have made peace with the present moment, see what happens, what you can do or choose to do, or rather what life does through you. There are three words that convey the secret of the art of living, the secret of all success and happiness: One With Life. Being one with life is being one with Now. You then realize that you don’t live your life, but life lives you. Life is the dancer, and you are the dance.”
Don’t seek happiness
“If you seek it, you won’t find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness. Happiness is ever elusive, but freedom from unhappiness is attainable now, by facing what is rather than making up stories about it. Unhappiness covers up your natural state of wellbeing and inner peace, the source of true happiness.”
How to live a life of abundance in all aspects of life
“Try this for a couple of weeks and see how it changes your reality: Whatever you think people are withholding from you— praise, appreciation, assistance, loving care, and so on – give it to them.
You don’t have it? Just act as if you had it, and it will come.
Then, soon after you start giving, you will start receiving. You cannot receive what you don’t give. Outflow determines inflow. Whatever you think the world is withholding from you, you already have, but unless you allow it to flow out, you won’t even know that you have it. This includes abundance. The law that outflow determines inflow is expressed by Jesus in this powerful image: “Give and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap.”
How to be enthusiastic
“Enjoyment of what you are doing, combined with a goal or vision that you work toward, becomes enthusiasm. Even though you have a goal, what you are doing in the present moment needs to remain the focal point of your attention; otherwise, you will fall out of alignment with universal purpose.”
How to recognize when ego begins acting in your life & what to do
“SEE if you can catch your voice in the head, perhaps in the moment it complains about something, and recognize it for what it is: The voice of the ego, no more than a conditioned mind-pattern, a thought.
…Whenever you notice that voice, you will also realize that you are not the voice, but the one who is aware of it. You are the awareness that is aware of the voice.
In the background, there is awareness. In the foreground, there Is the voice, the thinker.
…In this way you are becoming free of the ego, free of the unobserved mind.
The moment you become aware of the ego in you, it is strictly speaking no longer the ego, but just an old, conditioned mind-pattern.
Ego implies unawareness.
Awareness and ego cannot coexist.
Every time the ego is recognized, it is weakened.”
Parable on accepting everything without taking any of it personally
IS THAT SO?
“The Zen Master Hakuin lived in a town in Japan. He was held in high regard and many people came to him for spiritual teaching. Then it happened that the teenage daughter of his nextdoor neighbor became pregnant. When being questioned by her angry and scolding parents as to the identity of the father, she finally told them that he was Hakuin, the Zen Master. In great anger the parents rushed over to Hakuin and told him with much shouting and accusing that their daughter had confessed that he was the father. All he replied was, ‘Is that so?’
News of the scandal spread throughout the town and beyond. The Master lost his reputation. This did not trouble him. Nobody came to see him anymore. He remained unmoved. When the child was born, the parents brought the baby to Hakuin. ‘You are the father, so you look after him.’ The Master took loving care of the child. A year later, the mother remorsefully confessed to her parents that the real father of the child was the young man who worked at the butcher shop. In great distress they went to see Hakuin to apologize and ask for forgiveness. ‘We are really sorry. We have come to take the baby back. Our daughter confessed that you are not the father.’ ‘Is that so?’ is all he would may as he handed the baby over to them.
The Master responds to falsehood and truth, bad news and good news, in exactly the same way: ‘Is that so?’ He allows the form of the moment, good or bad, to be as it is and so does not become a participant in human drama. To him there is only this moment, and this moment is as it is.
Events are not personalized. He is nobody’s victim. He is so completely at one with what happens that what happens has no power over him anymore. Only if you resist what happens are you at the mercy of what happens, and the world will determine your happiness and unhappiness.
The baby is looked after with loving care. Bad turns into good through the power of nonresistance. Always responding to what the present moment requires, he lets go of the baby when it is time to do so.
Imagine briefly how the ego would have reacted during the various stages of the unfolding of these events.”
“Non reaction is not weakness but strength. Another word for nonreactor is forgiveness. To forgive is to overlook, or rather to look through. You look through the ego to the sanity that is in every human being as his or her essence.”
“In Zen they say: ‘Don’t seek the truth. Just cease to cherish opinions.’ What does that mean? Let go of identification with your mind. Who you are beyond the mind then emerges by itself.”
A Parable on Peace: “This too will pass”
According to an ancient Sufi story, there lived a king in some Middle Eastern land who was continuously torn between happiness and despondency. The slightest thing would cause him great upset or provoke an intense reaction, and his happiness would quickly turn into disappointment and despair. A time came when the king finally got tired of himself and of life, and he began to seek a way out. He sent for a wise man who lived in his kingdom and who was reputed to be enlightened. When the wise man came, the king said to him, “I want to be like you. Can you give me something that will bring balance, serenity, and wisdom into my life? I will pay back any price you ask.”
The wise man said, “I may be able to help you. But the price is so great that your entire kingdom would not be sufficient to pay for it. Therefore it will be a gift to you if you honor it.” The king gave his assurances and the wise man left.
A few weeks later, he returned and handed the king an ornate box carved in jade. The king opened the box and found a simple gold ring inside. Some letters were inscribed on the ring. The inscription read. This too will pass. “What is the meaning of this?” asked the king. The wise man said, “Wear this ring always. Whatever happens, before you call it good or bad, touch this ring and read the inscription. That way you will always be at peace.”
This too will pass. What is it about this simple words that makes them so powerful? Looking at it superficially, it would seem while those words may provide some comfort in a bad situation, they would also diminish the enjoyment of the good things in life.
“Don’t be too happy, because it won’t last.” This seems to be what they are saying when applied in a situation that is perceived as good.
…this story points to the fact of impermanence which, when recognized, leads to non-attachment. Non-resistance are the three aspects of true freedom and enlightened living.
Those words inscribed on the ring are not telling you that you should not enjoy the good in your life, nor are they merely meant to provide some comfort in times of suffering. They have a deeper purpose: to make you aware of the fleetingness of every situation, which is due to the transience of all forms- good or bad. When you become aware of the transience of all forms, your attachment to them lessens, and you dis-identify with them to some extent. Being detached does not mean you cannot enjoy the good that the world has to offer. In fact, you enjoy it more. Once you see the transience of all things and the inevitability of change, you can enjoy the pleasures about the future. When you are detached, you gain a higher vantage point from which to view the events in your life instead of being trapped inside them.
What to do when you’re with people
“When you meet with people, at work or wherever it my be, give them your fullest attention…
…The human Being becomes more important than the things of this world. It does not mean you neglect whatever needs to be done on a practical level. In fact, the doing unfolds no only more easily, but more powerfully when the dimension of Being is acknowledged and so becomes primary.”
How do you measure true success?
“The world will tell you that success is achieving what you set out to do. It will tell you that success is winning, that finding recognition and/or prosperity are essential ingredients in any success. All or some of the above are usually byproducts of success, but they are not success…
…The conventional notion of success is concerned with the outcome of what you do. Some say that success is the result of a combination of hard work and luck, or determination and talent, or being in the right place at the right time. While any of these may be determinants of success, they are not its essence. What the world doesn’t tell you – because it doesn’t know – is that you cannot become successful. You can only be successful…
…Don’t let a mad world tell you that success is anything other than a successful present moment. And what is that? There is a sense of quality in what you do, even the most simple action. Quality implies care and attention, which comes with awareness. Quality requires your Presence.”
How to love yourself
“To love is to recognize yourself in another.”
How to feel the peace that surpasses understanding
-Realize what the ego is and how it works.
-Allow forms/labels that you once identified with collapse and that will lead to the ego collapsing since ego is identification with form.
“When there is nothing to identify with anymore, who are you?”
Tolle goes on to say:
“When forms around you die or death approaches, your sense of Beingness, of I Am, is freed from its entanglement with form: Spirit is released from its imprisonment in matter.
You realize your essential identity as formless, as an all-pervasive Presence, of Being prior to all forms, all identifications.
You realize your true identity as consciousness itself, rather than what consciousness had identified with.
That’s the peace of God.
The ultimate truth of who you are is not in I am this or I am that, but I Am.
Circumstances and people then become helpful, cooperative. Coincidences happen.
When you yield internally; if action is possible or necessary, your action will be in alignment with the whole and supported by create intelligence, the unconditioned consciousness which in a state of inner openness you become one with. You rest in God.”
Parable on Entering Zen
Can You Hear The Mountain Stream?
“A Zen Master was walking in silence with one of his disciples along a mountain trail. When they came to an ancient cedar tree, they sat down under it for a simple meal of some rice and vegetables. After the meal, the disciple, a young monk who had not yet found the key to the mystery of Zen, broke the silence by asking the Master, ‘Master, how do I enter Zen?’
He was, of course, inquiring how to enter the state of consciousness which is Zen.
The Master remained silent. Almost five minutes passed while the disciple anxiously waited for an answer. He was about to ask another question when the Master suddenly spoke. ‘Do you hear the sound of that mountain stream?’
The disciple had not been aware of any mountain stream. He had been too busy thinking about the meaning of Zen. Now as he began to listen for the sound, his noisy mind subsided. At first he heard nothing. Then, his thinking gave way to heightened alertness, and suddenly he did hear the hardly perceptible murmur of a small stream in the far distance.
‘Yes, I can hear it now,’ he said.
The master raised his finger and, with a look in his eyes that in some way was both fierce and gentle, said, ‘Enter Zen from there.’
The disciple was stunned. It was his first satori – a flash of enlightenment. He knew what Zen was without knowing what it was that he knew!
They continued on their journey in silence. The disciple was amazed at the aliveness of the world around him. He experienced everything as if for the first time. Gradually, however, he started thinking again. The alert stillness became covered up again by mental noise, and before long he had another question. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I have been thinking. What would you have said if I hadn’t been able to hear the mountain stream?’ The master stopped, looked at him, raised his finger and said, ‘Enter Zen from there.’”
“Give up defining yourself – to yourself or to others. You won’t die. You will come to life. And don’t be concerned with how others define you. When they define you, they are limiting themselves, so it’s their problem.”
“The sapling doesn’t want anything because it is at one with the totality, and the totality acts through it. ‘Look at the lilies of the field, how they grow’ said Jesus, ‘They toil not, neither do they spin. Yet even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.’ We could say that the totality – Life – wants the sapling to become a tree, but the sapling doesn’t see itself as separate from life and so wants nothing for itself. It is one with what Life wants. That’s why it isn’t worried or stressed. And if it has to die prematurely, it dies with ease. It is as surrendered in death as it is in life. It senses, no matter how obscurely, its rootedness in Being, the formless and eternal one Life…
…Doesn’t the existence of any goal imply that there is a temporary disruption in that harmony with the present moment and perhaps a reestablishment of harmony at a higher or more complex level once the goal has been attained? I imagine that the sapling that pushes its way through the soil can’t be in total harmony with the present moment either because it has a goal: It wants to become a big tree. Maybe once it has reached maturity it will lie in harmony with the present moment.”
“Acknowledging the good that is already in your life is the foundation for all abundance. The fact is: Whatever you think the world is withholding from you, you are withholding from the world.”
“Those who do not attempt to appear more than they are but are simply themselves, stand out as remarkable and are the only ones who truly make a difference in this world…
…They are the bringers of the new consciousness. Whatever they do becomes empowered because it is in alignment with the purpose of the whole…
…Their influence, however, goes far beyond what they do, far beyond their function. Their mere presence – simple, natural, unassuming – has a transformational effect on whoever they come into contact with.”
“Many poets and sages throughout the ages have observed that true happiness – I call it the joy of Being – is found in simple, seemingly unremarkable things.”
“True happiness is not caused by the thing or event, although this is how it first appears”
“There are two reasons why we don’t see this unity, why we see things as separate. One is perception, which reduces reality to what is accessible to us through the small range of our senses: what we can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. But when we perceive without interpreting or mental labeling, which means without adding thought to our perceptions, we can actually still sense the deeper connectedness underneath our perception of seemingly separate things.
……The other more serious reason for the illusion of separateness is compulsive thinking. It is when we are trapped in incessant streams of compulsive thinking that the universe really disintegrates for us, and we lose the ability to sense the interconnectedness of all that exists. Thinking cuts reality up into lifeless fragments. Extremely unintelligent and destructive action arises out of such a fragmented view of reality.”
“The notion of ‘my own life’ is, of course, another limited perspective created by thought, another relative truth. There is ultimately no such thing as ‘your’ life, since you and life are not two, but one.”
“The meek are the egoless. They are those who have awakened to their essential true nature as consciousness and recognize that essence in all “others,” all lifeforms. They live in the surrendered state and so feel their oneness with the whole and the Source. They embody the awakened consciousness that is changing all aspects of life on our planet, including nature, because life on earth is inseparable from the human consciousness that perceives and interacts with it. That is the sense in which the meek will inherit the earth…
…A new species is arising on the planet. It is arising now, and you are it!”
“If uncertainty is unacceptable to you, it turns into fear. If it is perfectly acceptable, it turns into increased aliveness, alertness, and creativity.”
“The decision to make the present moment into your friend is the end of the ego. The ego can never be in alignment with the present moment, which is to say, aligned with life, since its very nature compels it to ignore, resist, or devalue the Now. Time is what the ego lives on. The stronger the ego, the more time takes over your life. Almost every thought you think is then concerned with past or future, and you sense of self depends on the past for your identity and on the future for its fulfillment. Fear, anxiety, expectation, regret, guilt, anger are the dysfunctions of the timebound state of consciousness.”
“Not what you do, but how you do what you do determines whether you are fulfilling your destiny. And how you do what you do is determined by your state of consciousness.”
I hope you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed the book A New Earth!
You might also like one of my most viewed posts: 5 Life-Changing Takeaways from the Book, “Way Of The Peaceful Warrior”
Share this message and ask how you can be part of the New Earth!
How much time do you spend in your mind?
I have spent quite a bit of time in my mind, and have realized that I am more fully alive when I am NOT living in my mind.
It’s good to rationalize and make the best choices you can, but it’s even better when you can make those choices without thinking too much. This takes practice…
Would you like to live a more present life, being more in the moment & less in your thoughts?
“The birth of the mind is the death of the senses,” says Dan Millman, but it is by living through our senses that make us feel most alive. This is why many people drink alcohol or do drugs; it is because they want to escape their thoughts & live more in the present moment. Well you can reach this state of mind without the use of drugs or alcohol.
So how can we get back to living through our senses in a healthy way?
Through Mindfulness Meditation: Defined as “Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”
We live in a world where distractions are all around us. The cell phones we carry with us at all times may be our biggest distraction; they have the ability to make you anticipate a text or call, bring you social media updates, or give you some “important” news. I keep my phone on silent 90% of the time and have most of my notifications turned off. I rarely watch the news because most of it is there to put fear into its watchers.
So in this World of technology & constant distractions, how can we make time for practicing Mindfulness Meditation?
To begin, you don’t need to make time for practicing Mindfulness Meditation. You can practice it in the morning as you wake up, on your commute to work, during work, and at any moment during your day.
Example of practicing Mindfulness Meditation:
It is nice to take a specific amount of devoted time for Mindfulness Meditation, but when you are just beginning you should try to practice it within your already established daily routines. The next time you are commuting to work, practice observing the things around you. Get into your senses. Don’t think about what you are seeing, see. Don’t think about what you are hearing, hear. Don’t think about what you are feeling, feel. Don’t think about what you are smelling, smell. Taste.
Don’t label the traffic as “good” or “bad,” allow it to be as it is; see it & hear it. Don’t label the weather or other drivers, just observe them, letting go of your thoughts & tapping into your senses. It’s simple, but we make it difficult.
As you practice this, there will be a tendency for thoughts to arise, and they will. Be patient with your thoughts. Hear them in your head and then go back to observing. Take a deep breath when needed, putting your focus on your breath and then your surroundings, free of judgment.
“Turn on, tune in, drop out,” said Timothy Leary. There are many interpretations of this, but it can also relate to Mindfulness Meditation as you are dropping your thoughts & tuning in to your senses.
“You’ve become bored to things because they exist only as names to you. The dry concepts of mind obscure your direct perception.” Dan Millman
Millman also discusses this state of mind as Satori, “which is the warrior’s state of being; it occurs when the mind is free of thought, pure awareness; the body is active, sensitive, relaxed, and the emotions are open and free.”
Reading Dan Millmans, Way Of The Peaceful Warrior, has helped me get more into this mindset.
Getting into the present moment helps us stop dwelling on past thoughts, and to stop anticipating the future. Millman says, “Stay in the present. You can do nothing to change the past, and the future will never come exactly as you plan or hope for. The warrior is here, now. Your sorrow, your fear & anger, regret & guilt, your envy and plans and cravings live only in the past, or in the future.”
Overall Mindfulness Meditation is when you look at everything surrounding you without labeling it or judging it. You don’t look around & think “I see a chair, a cup of water, a tree. I’m tired. I need more money.” You just sit and observe, letting go of thoughts as they arise. This requires practice as all great things do, but it can be done! You don’t need to drink that 6 pack of Bud Light each night to relax. Dilly dilly. Drink in moderation sure, but this mindfulness practice can help you live more fully in a healthier way.
Again, don’t judge your thoughts as they arise, be patient with them.
The more you practice this, the more awake and alive you will feel throughout your days. You can practice Mindfulness Meditation wherever you are, and I highly encourage you to practice it everywhere.
Use your thinking mind when you need to take appropriate action, and then take action & live in the moment. Choose to pay attention to your surroundings on purpose. Stop letting your phantom mind drag you backwards. Don’t believe everything you think, we are often wrong anyway. Practice Mindfulness Meditation throughout your day. It won’t always be easy, but you have a choice.
“Old urges continue to arise, but urges do not matter; only actions do. A warrior is as a warrior does…Action always happens in the present, because it is an expression of the body, which can only exist in the here and now. But the mind is like a phantom that lives only in the past or future. It’s only power over you is to draw your attention out of the present.” Millman
Some of the answers to our biggest question are found not in thinking more, but in thinking less. In being in touch with your senses, you are able to live fully.
Let us get back to our natural and blissful way of living. Regain your curiosity for life. Learn & observe all things.
“There is no path to happiness. Happiness is the path. There is no path to love. Love is the path. There is no path to peace. Peace is the path.” Millman
“My name doesn’t matter; neither does yours. What is important is what lies beyond names and beyond questions.” Millman
I encourage you to listen to and read anything from Dan Millman, Alan Watts, Ram Dass, Eckhart Tolle, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Thich Nhat Hanh & all the many other teachers of living a fuller & happier life in the present moment. You can read a summary of Way Of The Peaceful Warrior, by Dan Millman, by Clicking Here.
Let me know how you practice mindfulness! I love connecting with like minded individuals.
Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives
Book Written By Dan Millman
Click on Dan’s name above to go to his website & learn more about him. (Also can scroll down to go straight to the 5 life-changing takeaways if you’d like).
Growing wise through personal and spiritual experiences, this story follows a World Champion Gymnast, Dan, who seemed to “have it all” in the eyes of society. Even though he had everything he desired in the physical realm, he was still not happy.
I think many people can relate to this^. We get what we think we want and then find out that it doesn’t bring lasting fulfillment. We hear about rich & famous people committing suicide, although many people often desire that famous/rich life. Dan is still alive & well today, but he went through many struggles to be able to live life beyond his ego.
“I feel good, sometimes I don’t, ay,” said Drake in his popular song “God’s Plan.”
Everyone feels bad at times, no matter how much ‘success’ they have in this world. And it’s okay to feel bad, even though the media only portrays happy people having a good time. Remember that what you see on tv usually isn’t an accurate example of real life. You can check out an article I wrote on accepting our feelings by Clicking Here.
Anyway, one night, while Dan was still in college, he went to a gas station after waking up in the middle of the night. He met a unique old man who he named Socrates later on. (“Socrates” never told Dan his real name).
Socrates became Dan’s guru/mentor/teacher. Helping to enlighten Dan, Socrates teaches him many things throughout the book that ultimately opens Dan’s mind and allows him to awaken; to be happy now without a reason. Like many people in the World today, Dan was living through his ego before he met Socrates. He pursued worldly pleasures & accomplishments only to find out that those “fulfilling” moments don’t last. Led by his teacher, Socrates, Dan is able to experience life beyond his ego, and live in peace.
The “living in peace” phrase just created another thought through me; we always say Rest in Peace when someone dies, but why don’t we ever say Live in Peace when we are living??
Way of the Peaceful Warrior was one of the first books that had a big impact on my life. I read it for the first time when I was around the age of 19, and have continued to read it again & again.
After I finished reading this book for the first time it immediately became my favorite book, and remains my favorite to this day. It opened up my mind to new ideas & a different way of viewing & living life. Way of the Peaceful Warrior has helped me live joyfully in the present moment, to be happy now without reason, to focus on things that really matter, to take action instead of dwelling in thought, to live non-judgmentally, & to live life in love.
I do not always remain in this state of bliss, but when I accept my feelings & situations as they are, this brings me peace. I shared this earlier, but click here if you’d like to read an article on this.
The author, Dan Millan, said he wrote this book “to inspire, uplift, and to remind readers of life’s bigger picture & higher promise.” This book definitely inspired me & gave me more insight into the bigger picture of life.
“Be happy now, without reason, or you’ll never be happy.”
~I truly believe that this book should be read throughout schools all around the world. The ideas & ways of thinking this book explains could benefit the education system & our future tremendously~
In this post I will summarize some of the main points of the Way of the Peaceful Warrior. I will discuss how I have been using what I’ve learned from this book, will provide you with many of my favorite quotes from the book that relate to each takeaway & I’ve added some thought provoking quotes from the book at the end. Thank you for reading & Enjoy!
**I also want to encourage you to not just read this, but to put these ideas into practice. Ask yourself, “How can I apply this to my life?” These life-changing ideas need to be more than just read. Be patient when practicing these, & continue to remind yourself of these ideas throughout your days for them to become second nature.**
1) BE HAPPY NOW, WITHOUT REASON.
- Millman’s words helped me see that happiness lies in the journey, not in the destination. Many people are working at jobs only to make money for retirement. Retirement does not equal happiness. I have used this knowledge to do more of what I love & to practice being fully present in each moment. I am able to enjoy the ‘little things’ in life, such as a cup of coffee, a book, playing basketball, teaching, hanging out with family/friends, and the list goes on.
Why waste half your life doing things you don’t enjoy doing if you have an opportunity to do something you enjoy?
Happiness happens now, in this present moment. The future never really comes, the future only happens as another present moment.
Here are great quotes from the book that can open your eyes to being happy now, without reason:
* “‘What do I do then, now? Where do I go from here?’ Dan asked Socrates.
‘Who cares?’ He yelled gleefully. ‘A fool is ‘happy’ when his cravings are satisfied. A warrior is happy without reason. That’s what makes happiness the ultimate discipline—above all else I have taught you.’”
“Reality never matched their dreams; happiness was just around the corner — a corner they never turned. And the source of it all was the human mind.”
“There is no need to search; achievement leads to nowhere. It makes no difference at all, so just be happy now! Love is the only reality of the world, because it is all One, you see. And the only laws are paradox, humor and change. There is no problem, never was, and never will be. Release your struggle, let go of your mind, throw away your concerns, and relax into the world. No need to resist life, just do your best. Open your eyes and see that you are far more than you imagine. You are the world, you are the universe; you are yourself and everyone else, too! It’s all the marvelous Play of God. Wake up, regain your humor. Don’t worry, just be happy. You are already free!”
“Sometimes sorrow, sometimes joy. But beneath it all remember the innate perfection of your life unfolding. That is the secret of unreasonable happiness.”
“You Don’t need a reason to be happy. If you do that reason can be taken away.”
“And so I awoke to reality, free of any meaning or any search. What could there possibly be to search for? All of Socrate’s words had come alive with my death. This was the paradox of it all, the humor of it all, and the great change. All searches, all achievements, all goals, were equally enjoyable, and equally unnecessary.”
“Act happy, be happy, without a reason in the world. Then you can love, and do what you will.”
“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”
2) You are much more than what you think
Live in the Present.
- Our thoughts limit our experience. When you can let go of your thoughts, you can be fully alive in the present moment. The answers you seek lie beyond thought.
“My name doesn’t matter; neither does yours. What is important is what lies beyond names and beyond questions.”
“The birth of the mind is the death of the senses”
^^ I’ve been realizing this more & more lately that we are most alive when we are not dwelling in thoughts. We can take time to have rational thoughts, but take some time to meditate in nothingness. Let go of your thoughts by focusing on your external environment. Tap into your senses. What do you see? Hear? Smell? Taste? Feel? Try to do this for at least a few minutes.
When you are only in your mind, thinking, you are never fully in the present moment. Practice focusing your attention to things outside of you.
* “Satori is the warrior’s state of being; it occurs at the moment when the mind is free of thought, pure awareness; the body is active, sensitive, relaxed; and the emotions are open and free.”
“Remember, every-moment satori.”
“The warrior is Here, Now.”
“You have to ‘lose your mind’ before you can come to your senses.”
“Stay in the present. You can do nothing to change the past, and the future will never come exactly as you plan or hope for. The warrior is here, now. Your sorrow, your fear & anger, regret & guilt, your envy and plans and cravings live only in the past, or in the future.”
“Your business is not to ‘get somewhere’ — it is to be here.
“You have been immortal since before you were born and will be long after the body dissolves. The body is Consciousness; never born; never dies; only changes. The mind — your ego, personal beliefs, history, and identity — is all that ends at death.”
^^This quote reminds me of the philosophy stoicism. I wrote a post about it that you can check out by Clicking Here.
3) Life is much more than what you can think.
- This book helped me view the external environment without judging it. Instead of looking outside & thinking “Ooo I love or hate this weather. There is a bird & a tree, and wow that car is going really fast,” I practice just looking outside & dwelling on what is, letting thoughts come & then go like passing clouds. I practice not judging things around me, seeing them just as they are, with no thinking needed. I am not like this all the time, but it is good to practice this technique!
“You now see everything through a veil of associations about things, projected over a direct, simple awareness. You’ve ‘seen it all before’; it’s like watching a movie for the twentieth time. You see only memories of things, so you become bored. Boredom, you see, is fundamental non-awareness of life; boredom is awareness, trapped in the mind. You’ll have to lose your mind before you can come to your senses.”
“You’ve become bored to things because they exist only as names to you. The dry concepts of mind obscure your direct perception.”
“Like most people, you’ve been taught to gather information from outside yourself; from books, magazines, experts. Like this car, you open up and let the facts pour in. Sometimes the information is premium and sometimes it’s low octane. You buy your knowledge at the current market rates, much like you buy gasoline. Like this gas tank, you are overflowing with preconceptions; full of useless knowledge. You hold many facts and opinions, yet know little of yourself. Before you can learn, you’ll have to first empty your tank.”
4) Actions are more important than thoughts.
“Your thoughts are like wild monkeys stung by a scorpion.”
Don’t believe everything you think; I have heard this phrase many times & it relates to this idea.
We can’t always control what we think, but we do have control of our actions.
Yes, try to think positive & focus on the best, but don’t try to force thoughts away. Embrace them; let it come & then let them go like clouds passing by.
“You don’t need to control emotion,” Socrates said. “Emotions are natural, like passing weather. Sometimes it’s fear, sometimes sorrow or anger. Emotions are not the problem. The key is to transform the energy of emotion into constructive action.”
“Old urges continue to arise, but urges do not matter; only actions do. A warrior is as a warrior does.”
“. . Action always happens in the present, because it is an expression of the body, which can only exist in the here and now. But the mind is like a phantom that lives only in the past or future. It’s only power over you is to draw your attention out of the present.”
Paying attention is also an action, and one of the most important actions:
“A Zen student asked his roshi the most important element of Zen. The roshi replied, ‘Attention.’
‘Yes, thank you,’ the student replied. ‘But can you tell me the second most important element?’ And the roshi replied, ‘Attention.’”
Practice paying attention.
“Ultimately you will learn to meditate your every action.”
“Use whatever knowledge you have but see its limitations. Knowledge alone does not suffice; it has no heart. No amount of knowledge will nourish or sustain your spirit; it can never bring you ultimate happiness or peace. Life requires more than knowledge; it requires intense feeling and constant energy. Life demands right action if knowledge is to come alive.”
“Full attention to every moment is my desire and my pleasure. Attention costs no money; your only investment is training.”
5) On Life & Death.
* “Experts devote their life to training. Masters devote their training to life.”
“I’ve tried to show you by example that a warrior’s life is not about imagined perfection or victory; it is about love. Love is the warrior’s sword; wherever it cuts, it gives life, not death.”
* “Everyone tells you what’s good for you. they don’t want you to find your own answers. they want you to believe theirs.”
* “‘Why worry? Better to live until you die. I am a warrior; my way is action,’ Socrates said. ‘I am a teacher, I teach by example. Someday you too may teach others as I have shown you—then you’ll understand that words are not enough; you too must teach by example, and only what you’ve realized through your own experience.’”
“The World out there, is a school, Dan. Life is the only real teacher. It offers many experiences, and if experience alone brought wisdom and fulfillment, then elderly people would all be happy, enlightened masters…
..But the lessons of experience are hidden. I can help you learn from experience to see the world clearly, and clarity is something you desperately need right now. Your intuition knows this is true, but your mind rebels; you’ve experienced much, but you’ve learned little.”
“Think of death as a transformation — a bit more radical than puberty, but nothing to get particularly upset about.”
“Death is not sad; the sad thing is that most people don’t really live at all.”
“Where are you? Here. What time is it? Now. What are you? This moment.”
“You fear death and crave survival. You want Forever, you desire Eternity. In your deluded belief that you are this ‘mind’ or ‘spirit’ or ‘soul,’ you find the escape clause in your contract with mortality.”
“Wake up! If you knew for certain that you had a terminal illness – if you had precious little time left to make use of your life and consider who you are, you’d not waste time on self-indulgence or fear, lethargy or ambition. You do have a terminal illness – it is death. Be happy now, without reason – or you never will be at all.”
Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed these book notes as much as I enjoyed the book. I think many people can relate to this incredible story.
Let us be happy now, without reason, and we will live our best life.
You can purchase The Way of the Peaceful Warrior book from Amazon by clicking here if you’d like.
More thought provoking quotes from the book:
* “So I’m a fool, huh?” Says Millman. Socrates responds with, “We’re all fools together. It’s just that a few people know it; others don’t.”
“Your mind is your predicament. It wants to be free of change, free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death. But change is a law, and no amount of pretending will alter that reality.”
“Enlightenment is not an attainment, it is a realization. And when you wake up, everything changes and nothing changes.”
“How do you know you haven’t been asleep your whole life? How do you know you’re not asleep right now?”
“Understanding is the one-dimensional comprehension of the intellect. It leads to knowledge. Realization is three-dimensional — a simultaneous comprehension of head, heart, and instinct. It comes only from direct experience.”
“Focus all your energy not on struggling with the old, but on building the new.”
“Embody what you teach, and teach only what you have embodied.”
“Stress happens when the mind resists what is.”
“There are no ordinary moments!”
*Story about a younger traveler, Milarepa who has been seeking enlightenment everywhere. He eventually sees an old man carrying a heavy sack down a mountain & thinks the man knows the answer to his question…
Milarepa says, “‘Old man, please tell me what you know. What is enlightenment?’ The old man smiled at him for a moment, and swung the heavy burden off his shoulders, and stood straight.
‘Yes, I see!’ Cried Milarepa. ‘My everlasting gratitude. But please, one question more. What is after enlightenment?’
Smiling again, the old man picked up the sack once again, slung it over his shoulders, steadied his burden, and continued on his way.”
I had to read this story^ a few times before I understood it. I hope you can see it.
“Life is not suffering; it’s just that you will suffer it, rather than enjoy it, until you let go of your mind’s attachments and just go for the ride freely, no matter what happens.”
“If you don’t get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don’t want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can’t hold on to it forever.”
“Reading the future is based on a realistic perception of the present. Don’t be concerned about seeing the future until you can clearly see the present.”
“Meditating an action is different from doing it. To do, there must be a doer, a self-conscious someone performing. But when you meditate an action, you’ve already released all thoughts, even the thought of, ‘I.’ There’s no ‘you’ left to do it. In forgetting yourself, you become what you do, so your action is free, spontaneous, without ambition, inhibition, or fear.’”
“The journey is what brings us happiness not the destination.”
I hope you enjoyed the quotes as well as the summary! Now it’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice! Start today, ask “How can I apply these ideas to my daily life?” Let these ideas sink in to who you are.
I also recommend reading Dan’s second & third books in the Peaceful Warrior trilogy. (Sacred Journey of the Peaceful Warrior & The Hidden School) which you can purchase from Amazon if you’d like by clicking on their title.
Get the books from a library or buy them; either way it will be worth your while! I read both & thoroughly enjoyed them.
Happy Reading! I wish you well on your journey toward becoming a Peaceful Warrior.
The first time I remember wanting to be an actor was after watching Jim Carrey starring in the movie, The Mask. I watched it on VHS! Do you remember those?
I enjoyed watching Jim in his many roles as I was growing up, and so he was one of the first people that gave me inspiration to become an actor.
But after getting a little older, I realized that “no-one” can actually become an actor..right? Wrong. If no-one could become an actor, how are there actors? ..“Because they are born into it” or because they “got lucky,” is what many people say.. Oh.
That is the mindset when you grow up in a small town that is 2,000+ miles away from Los Angeles.
So I continued living my life as a kid with little responsibilities, focusing on school, athletics, friends and family….and catching crayfish
I’m on the right side holding the crayfish above Peter’s head. Thank you Ginny for the picture!
The older I got, the more people asked what I wanted to do with my life, because that’s what happens when we get older right.
I never really had a good answer for them. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I think that most people don’t know what they want to do so they just choose a generic field to study and then they follow through with it. They end up living a 9-5 life that they don’t really enjoy so that they can spend their money on a house that is used for sleeping and a car used for driving to work.
Alan Watts says “That’s just stupid to live like that. Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.”
Ask yourself “What do I really want to do with my life?”
After two years of being undeclared in college, I literally had to choose a major, so I chose Sports Administration with a Business minor. I thought, “Well I like sports so I’ll try this.” Throughout the next years when I got closer to graduating, the thoughts of what I want to do with my life came to me again.
I thought, “I think I would really like to be an actor.” But not knowing how I could become an actor was a big obstacle for me. Philosopher Alan Watts inspired me in his video “What if Money Was No Object?”
After listening to many of Watt’s speeches, as well as reading and listening to Ram Dass, Dan Millman, Dale Carnegie, Steve Jobs, Tim Ferriss & John Lee Dumas, I really knew that I didn’t want to work a 7-3, or 8-4, or 9-5 job that I did not enjoy going to for the next 30-40 years of my life so that I can retire and “be happy.”
(Recent inspiration from: Marcus Aurelius, Eckhart Tolle, Mark Manson, Ryan Holiday, Tony Robbins, Derek Sivers).
So even after knowing I didn’t want to have that 8 hour a day job at somewhere I don’t enjoy, I thought it would be a good idea to get my Masters in Education to become a teacher.
School was never that hard for me, but there were definitely some overwhelming times while I was getting my Masters Degree. I had the end goal in mind, of getting this degree, so I knew that I was going to get things done whether I felt like it or not.
My First Movie
Anyway right before I began my Master’s Program, there was a movie to be filmed on my Universities Campus (I.U.P.). That movie was Southpaw, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams and 50 Cent, directed by Antoine Fuqua.
When I found out about this, I asked myself, “How can I get involved with this movie?” So I googled information about the movie and found that they were looking for people to play as extras in the movie. I went to an audition for the movie, they asked some questions, took some pictures and I was on my way.
I didn’t receive a call for weeks, and the movie began filming so I thought that I was not going to get a call.
But one day, I was working as a Sports Information employee in the building where Southpaw was being filmed, the K.C.A.C in I.U.P. and I went to a bathroom. As I was at the urinal, a man came into the bathroom and went to a urinal nearby (there were only 2 or 3 urinals). So I struck up a conversation, asking him if he was involved with the movie. He responded by telling me that he was the director.
It was Antoine Fuqua! The man who directed Training Day with Denzel Washington.
Anyway, I asked him if he needed any help with the movie and that I would work for free. He asked if I would like to be an actor. And I jokingly said, “Well I have the face right?” We both laughed after we washed our hands and were exiting the bathroom. Once outside the bathroom he called someone over. They came over and he told them to get my information down and put me in the movie.
I got a call the next day to be a character as a press/media journalist for the movie during the boxing scenes. I got paid and also got to personally meet 50 Cent, while being in the vicinity of Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams.
Anyone who has worked on a movie set knows that they are long days, usually between 10-14 hours of work, with a lot of chill time in between shooting scenes. It’s not for everyone, but I loved it.
I had my first taste of what being on the set of a feature film was like. It was exhilarating.
I had met another actor on set who told me about an agency he was with in Pittsburgh who frequently sent out casting notices, so I got involved with them after working in this film.
They helped me get into two more huge movies and two tv shows.
The movies were: Concussion & Love The Coopers.
I played a NFL Employee in the movie Concussion and a Diner Patron in Love the Coopers.
The TV shows were: Banshee & Mindhunter.
I played an amish protestor as well as a news reporter in the show Banshee (did multiple episodes), and I played a police officer in Mindhunter.
I recently got into a commercial & a paid student film that I will talk about shortly.
Each set is a unique and wonderful experience. There is no set that is exactly like the next, which makes acting exciting. It’s also fun when you get to meet some pretty famous people and work with them.
While I was working as a police officer on the set of Mindhunter (which is on Netflix), I was able to meet and shake the hand of David Fincher, the director who also directed Fight Club, Se7en, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and many more.
David Fincher was awesome. Everyone respected him on the set and he directed with a confident and knowing vision. I was also able to talk a bunch with the two main characters, Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany. They both were very nice to everyone on set and I could tell they were having fun while being serious about their work.
The food on big sets is also delicious.
Anyway, that all began in 2014 during the filming of Southpaw, which aired the next year in 2015.
The year is now 2018. I moved to Colorado in 2017 and landed an Acting Teacher job in my fifth month of living here. I was a full time teacher in PA before coming to CO & substitute teaching every day. I have a local agent, I filmed a real estate commercial in January that is now airing locally, and did a paid student film this past November which I had a blast doing! That crew was so fun to work with.
I had an audition today, April 4th, that I think went really well, and I have another audition tomorrow.
A long time ago I had a dream of being an actor. As a child I had a belief that it was possible to become a paid actor, until I grew up and found out that “no-one” becomes an actor.
I’m here to tell you that it’s possible.
Your dream is possible.
Feel free to message me if you have any questions about acting or how to get involved. If you want to talk about the movies or shows I’ve been in, message me, & I’d love to hear about your acting stories! Comment below or email me at Kthompson7814@gmail.com.
I was listening to famous blogger Mark Manson get interviewed by Marie Forleo Here when he said something that inspired this whole post. I believe that this idea can help everyone in their daily lives.
- “The starting point is simple, start asking WHY about everything.”
“What if I’m wrong?” “What if my assumption is wrong?”
The more I think about this subject, the more I see how IMPORTANT it is to question ourselves.
“Don’t believe everything you think” is a quote that has impacted my life in great ways.
Author Dan Millman wrote that our thoughts are like wild monkeys stung by a scorpion.
Our minds are running all day; thoughts appear like clouds passing by, some stay longer than others, but some quickly pass by. So how can you and I let go of these “clouds?”
1) As Manson would say, “There’s no ‘how.’ It’s all in your head.” There is not much you can do other than try on a new perspective and ask, “What if my assumption isn’t true?” What would that mean? And then psychically traverse the answer.
- So write down 5 things in your life that you could potentially be wrong about. Question those deep assumptions you’ve had about your identity for years. For example, “I am lazy” I am not an attractive person” “I don’t know how to talk to people” “I won’t ever be happy” “The world is going to shit”
The more emotion you have behind these assumptions, the more important it is to write it down and CHALLENGE IT!
After you have written down 5 or more assumptions, go through them and write down what it would mean in your life if it were wrong.
It may not be easy but it’s worth it! Anyway how confident can you be in your own beliefs if you’ve never challenged them? Try to see the “other side,” and when it does appear more likely and more valid, join that side!
2) THINK THROUGH YOUR THOUGHTS to see if what you’re thinking is irrational or not.
For example: Say that you get a little nervous to go to the gym or grocery shopping. But why? Because you have to step out of your COMFORT ZONE.
You are comfortable inside your apartment watching TV & the thought of leaving will disrupt your comfort – so you think..
It’s crazy how the mind can trick us to stay exactly where we are. But if you want to do anything significant or really even just anything, you need to leave your comfort zone. It’s worth it. The pain you will feel later on in life due to staying in your comfort zone will be much worse than the temporary discomfort of going for what you want.
-This can relate to asking a girl/guy out.
-Performing at that open mic night you’ve been considering.
-Joining that group you’ve been thinking of joining.
-Anything that has to do with doing what you want.
People are afraid of all sorts of things & that’s okay. You shouldn’t try to strive to be fearless, you should strive to TAKE ACTION when you are feeling afraid.
I have learned that it’s not about how I think or feel, it’s about what I do!!
Don’t believe everything you think! Question your assumptions and thoughts, and start TAKING ACTION!!!
Stop wasting time caring about the wrong things; things that only worry you. Start caring about things that truly matter to you!
Click the BOOK PICTURE below to buy Mark Manson’s NY Times Best Selling book that can help you do all of the above!