Thoughts can be a prison.

Being attached and identified with our thoughts and the thinker can create a prison (which is an illusion), and and it can be torture to live from that place; you are not really living right now. You’re living in the past and future.

There is no peace there.

It is constant grasping and striving.

It never delivers what it promises, and it can obscure what’s happening now, if we let it.

That prison we can live from and not even realise, is dead and not real, it’s just a map, and it’s not really who you are. The map is not the territory.

Thoughts aren’t who you are. If you’re constantly in your thoughts, how can you see that they aren’t you?

Thoughts come and go, but there’s something that always stays. You could assume the thing that stays is the ‘thinker’ or the ‘observer’ of the thoughts. But do you think thoughts, or do thoughts just happen? Do they come from somewhere you aren’t aware of? Do you ‘hear’ them, then claim to be the thinker of them?

Thoughts will do things like compare, make plans, present regrets to you, judge things, and narrate what’s happening even when a lot of the time, none of that is really needed. It’s a powerful tool, but I would ague, it’s not you.

Thoughts work in time, and if I always listen to them and believe they will deliver the goods, they actually takes me out of the raw experience of reality. They takes me away from what I actually want, they’re not capable of giving me what I actually want. (What I want is: aliveness, realness, truth, meaning, presence, salvation from the prison of being stuck in thoughts and identified as the thinker of them). The list of what I want, are still concepts, when faced with the reality of those things, it is quite terrifying and magnificently mysterious and beautiful, to me.

I have spent the majority of my life identifying with my thoughts and identifying with thinking them. This might not be everyone’s experience. But it is certainly my experience and I imagine many others too.

I’ve taken the constant commentary in my head to be me, and who could blame me, it intuitively feels true and I assume it is true. But you can only see the problem from the solution. You can’t see the problem from within the problem. In other words I could only see that it wasn’t me, from having a break from the identification with thoughts.

We don’t realise that the prison door is always unlocked, it seems to me that we are not our thoughts, we are not the thinker of them. We don’t have to listen to them, believe them or act from them. In reality, we are free to use them when we need them and not use them when we don’t need them. But many of us, myself included seem to not know this, and therefore not see ourselves more clearly and not be ourselves without identifying with thoughts and the thinker.

Thoughts are only one part of the misidentification of our true nature. But it’s okay, it doesn’t really matter, all of this is just words pointing to something.

You don’t need to do anything, except maybe to be open to this idea. Things just happen all the time in us that isn’t in our control. The seeing of this might happen too, we can’t make the seeing happen, but we can experiment with it through things like meditation, isolation tanks, being in a state of flow in activity etc, and get little glimpses of it.

I’ve found this to be true, meaningful and valuable to me. I hope it is for you too, if not, that’s absolutely fine. Maybe the words are dead for you and nothing jumps out as alive, we can’t make that happen or control it.

Things just happen, and we get to experience it all.

Meditation and ‘enlightenment’ are available to every one.

There is this picture of what meditation looks like and what ‘enlightenment’ looks like. And we seem to believe that that is it, and anything else isn’t it. And it can make me feel like it’s not for me, and that only certain people get it who are special, but that’s not true at all.

To me, meditation looks like someone sitting crossed legged with eyes closed, hands with palms resting on legs, sitting on top a mountain or temple, with Eastern traditional clothes on. This image is understandable because meditation came from Eastern cultures, but all that is, is tradition, it’s made up by humans and I think it can be misleading. That image isn’t the only way to meditate. You don’t have to limit yourself to that.

In my view, you can meditate while you’re doing absolutely anything, while you’re washing up, taking out the bins, wiping your baby’s arse. What you are doing has no bearing on whether you can meditate or not. You don’t need anything to meditate except a mind. You don’t need the ‘right’ place, the ‘right’ cushion, the ‘right’ clothes.

But at the same time, sitting in a quiet place maybe in nature to meditate, is also enjoyable. But I just don’t want that image described above to put anyone off meditating, it’s not that image, the image isn’t it. What’s going on inside is where it is.

It’s the same with ‘enlightenment’. To me, someone who is ‘enlightened’ has a big long beard, is old and grey, wears beads and Eastern loose robe like clothing. If you don’t look like that, then you’re not as enlightened or wise as the people that do look like that.

Again, in a way, this is absolute bollocks, it’s just tradition, it has absolutely nothing to do with actual ‘enlightenment’.

Any one could be ‘enlightened’ and they might not even know they are, (because they don’t have the context for it), and no one else could tell they were, because it’s an internal thing.

This is where fake guru’s come up, if you look the part, people can often assume you are the real deal, and if you don’t look the part, people can often assume you aren’t the real deal. If you’re interested in this, see the documentary Kumare.

In reality the way you look externally to other people, has absolutely nothing to do with what’s going on inside you.There could be thousands or millions of people who are ‘enlightened’ but you wouldn’t know to look at them. It’s an internal shift in the way you view everything.

The image of ‘enlightenment’ can be very misleading. You might think that the person who looks the part has something special that you don’t, and that you need to look like them, follow them and have their lifestyle to ‘get it’. But you could be a welder who has tattoos and swears a lot and ‘get it’.

Tradition is fine, but it’s not ‘it’. What’s ‘it’, is inside, where no one can see. That’s where it’s happening. The outside could look like anything.

You don’t need to do anything to ‘get it’. You don’t need the ‘right’ clothes, the ‘right’ lifestyle, the ‘right’ hair style etc. You just need a mind, and an opportunity to drop your attachment to all your conceptual thought, to drop the striving and control and take a step out of your own way and let something more powerful than you take the reins within you, and there you go, you’ve got it. (not that you can try to get it, just see the opportunity when it comes, and take it, you can’t make it happen).

I don’t want anyone to be put off or mislead by that one image, or by the word ‘enlightened’.

Otherwise, you might discount it, looking for something bigger and better, thinking it is something grand and special, when in reality it’s very simple, immediate and the most ordinary state of existence, that’s there all the time, and has never changed. You could call it ‘the reality of who you are’ , or ‘your basic state’. I don’t know, i’m not the best person with words. Words aren’t ‘it’, they can only point to it.

The way I see it, we are ALL already born ‘enlightened’, this is what being is, and we just grow up forgetting who we really are, and take ourselves to be our thought systems or something. That’s all.

Less is more; having ‘more’ is a trap.

Many people seem to like a vast choice of things to wear, and enjoy the dopamine hit of new things, and enjoy being fashionable. Which is fine, but it comes at a cost; the cost of time, energy and money.

I’m finding that less is more. I used to think the more the better. I used to think more clothes, more choice, more information means more value. But I don’t think that is necessarily true! For me now, more choice and more information means less value, because it’s too much to process and the real value drowns in the too much.

I’m very grateful to have the freedom of choice, but I find so much value in being deliberate and intentional with my choices and priorities.

I feel more lightness, more peace, less stress and less overwhelm because of adopting the minimalist philosophy.

For a tiny example, I now have 1 belt and 2 pairs of trainers, which are my favourites. (One’s I actually wear and feel good wearing).

Since being more intentional about all my possessions, and looking at whether I use them or enjoy them or not, I don’t have to fret about what to wear as much, or waste time deciding, or spend money on new things I don’t need or love.

I don’t care if I wear the same things often, that’s really not what matters most to me in life. Less time deciding, more time experiencing. Maybe that’s just me.

One big way we mess our kids up

“We’ve spent lifetimes thinking about our problems, but so little time actually shining the light of awareness on what is actually happening.” – Joey Lott

In my opinion and from what I have learned, one big way people can and do mess their kids up, is by not being aware of and integrating their own shadow parts of themselves (unwanted & rejected parts of self) and then they can project whatever issue they might have, big or small onto their kids, and the kids grow up and do the same to their kids and it perpetuates.

All is not lost though, because at any time, anyone can do this inner work, although hard, it’s possible. And we can undo our conditioning and integrate our shadow parts, not only for the wellbeing of kids, but for the wellbeing of ourselves and every single person we have relationships with/interact with.

We don’t have to do anything, we can do what we want, but if people are suffering, I believe this is important work.

Carl Jung’s, Jordan Peterson’s and Joey Lott’s work on this is a God send.

For anyone suffering with problems for a long time that they have never found a way to fix them; problems like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, addiction, obsessions etc. Joey Lott has an incredible online course that I can personally vouch for, that you can check out here. (Hopefully it’s still open to join, if not you can sign up to his email and receive updates of when it will next be open) Obviously this isn’t the only way, and there’s lots of good help out there. But this is one that I have found to be very effective and really get to the root of my problems.

I don’t know what it’s like to be you, you don’t know what it’s like to be me.

There’s so much I don’t understand.

I don’t understand the mindset you’d have to be in to want a baby. Or the mind set you’d need to have, to kill someone or go to a prostitute, or to want to jump out of a plane for extreme sport, or what it’s like to be schizophrenic, or be on LSD, or be a rock star, a nurse, or to have been a Jew in Nazi Germany. I have no idea what it feels like to be homeless, an extrovert, a man, black, old, disabled, and it goes on for infinity.

We often all get misunderstood and judged at some point, whether it’s to do with: sexuality, race, creed, gender, disability, elderly, mental illness, homelessness, survivors of war/other traumatic events, soldiers of war, prisoners, sex workers, introverts, HSP’s (highly sensitive people), shy people, INFJ’s (the rarest personality, 1% of population).

We often hear about how various groups of people are oppressed, and that some of these groups are more oppressed than others. This is sometimes called the ‘oppression olympics’. But how can we compare and measure oppression? The labels of experience are endless and we’re all totally unique in the way we view our world, interpret it, and experience it.

There are as many ways of viewing the world as there are people. We can sometimes relate to one another, but we can’t KNOW what it’s like to be a particular person, unless you are that person. And we can’t KNOW what it’s like to have a particular experience, until you experience it yourself. Even then, you’ll experience it through YOUR mind, not anyone else’s, so it’s interpreted in a unique way. 

Trying to imagine what others experience can help you find compassion and empathy for people. Judgement, on the other hand, could lead to discrimination, division, even hate and war. In my opinion.

Stuff to remember:

  • Don’t judge what you don’t understand. (Easy to say it, hard to live it.)
  • Everyone is unique.
  • Everyone struggles throughout their life.
  • Comparison is the thief of joy.
  • You can’t compare experiences or points of view.
  • No one can read your mind.

Hey, I could be wrong, just my thoughts.

 


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Helping strangers.

Mind Fuel Pick-Ups

What do we all do when we read a really good book or see a great film? We lend it to someone or recommend it to someone, who we think would like it or benefit from it. Which is great, passing on good stuff, helping our tribe out.

But what if we expanded our feelings and cared about strangers too? I had the thought of wanting to do this, and I wish there was some sort of community board to add things to, but a lot of people wouldn’t look at that and it would only be in one place. I like the idea of leaving things on buses and benches, for people to pick up if they like the look of it.

So now, after I’ve read a print out, flyer or poster, instead of putting it in recycling, is put them around my environment, so that strangers can benefit from them too.

Some people might consider this littering, but I don’t because the idea is that someone will take it – that is the intention of the post-it saying ‘take me’ on each one.

It’s valuable information that I’ve gotten something from, and I want to share with fellow humans, in the hope they will get something from it to. And I’d like to believe that fate will determine who will pick it up, and maybe it will enter someone’s life when they need it or are ready for it.

So we’re calling them Mind Fuel Pick-up’s, and we will keep doing it. We have much compassion for our fellow humans. We all want to be happy. Hopefully this action goes towards improving people’s minds, lives, and society, even just a little bit. Even just to know that strangers care about them, could maybe improve their day. Imagine if more people did this…

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Schools are pumping out half-made humans.

It seems to me that the education system is too focused on making a living rather than making a life. There’s always exceptions of course, but generally speaking in at least the standard UK curriculum, schools aren’t incentivised at all to provide education to create well-rounded, happy, healthy, decent human beings. It’s not a priority. What is a priority for them seems to be producing employable consumers.

I don’t think this is the fault of the schools, they are answerable to the government. They HAVE to deliver the required curriculum, or they get backlisted. The government represents us, so it seems within our rights to get the kind of schools we want. The government obviously has it’s own agenda. I don’t understand how they don’t see the following list as super important and include it in the curriculum.

Where will people learn about things such as:

– Self-expression/finding out who you are
– Personal finance (for example student loans and lifetime debt!)
– Mental health
– How mental health and physical health are connected
– How to be a good parent
– How to raise a dog
– How to deal with emotions
– Mindfulness and meditation
– Diet and nutrition
– Critical thinking
– Life fulfilment
– Stress management
– How to run a house
– Relationship communication
– Race issues, gender issues, sexuality
– The importance of play and relaxation
– The importance of time in nature
– The importance of work/life balance
– Spirituality
– Community and cooperation
– Sustainability

Where can we learn this stuff as children if not schools? You can’t rely on parents to teach all this stuff.

It’s all essential stuff. Without the knowledge of these things, decades can be spent trying to correct everything and cause much pain and suffering. It pisses me off.

Maths, science and english are obviously really important, but they won’t help you if you have depression because you didn’t learn about emotional regulation and the importance of work/life balance! No wonder most people are unhappy and dissatisfied with life. (That’s my personal observation and opinion).

Children will grow up to be a part of society, so why doesn’t society give them all the tools they need to be happy, healthy and well-rounded? It’s mutually beneficial to educate them fully so they’re better citizens and better people.

Pupils themselves are pushing for ‘life skills’ to be taught in schools, but there’s more campaigning to be done before it’s in all schools. Holland are ahead of us in lot’s of ways, including teaching mindfulness in schools. Let’s get schools to help make whole humans, not just half one’s! Maybe schools can acquire curriculums from organisations like The Representation Project. 

I think this stuff is worth questioning and thinking about. You know my thoughts. What are yours?

Do you have any thoughts you want to share? Please get in touch at: mindfuelstuff@gmail.com, we’d love to hear from you. If you enjoyed it, help me out and share it so other people can benefit/enjoy it too. Thanks.
 
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