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Finding Ecstasy in Absurdity

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The merry-go-round in the sky spins round

And up and down while spinning around

And sometimes it breaks down.

Never pausing, never ending, chaos roams the universe.

Galaxies collide, stars dim, black holes devour everything.

Nations plan for war as casually as state dinners.

Ironically named smart bombs annihilate wedding parties, and red rain falls.

Love grows bitter with treason, hearts harden like stone when love stalls.

Heroin shooting parents torment their children, raging people pumping bullets;

Chaos everywhere—in meditation gardens earthworms mobbed by ants die deaths of a thousand cuts; locusts strip clean fields of green; bacteria feeds on everything; the earth rumbles and cities crumble; the wind blows and homes explode; unremitting rain drowns everything on the plain.

As the earth spins round love can be found—and Puccini Arias, morning mists in flower fields, acceptance, compassion, and authenticity.

We ask: why soak the earth with blood? 

What drives depression, suicide and genocide?

Why born one way, commanded to be another?

Why pain, why sorrow?

Why not always Puccini Arias, morning mists in flower fields, acceptance, love, compassion and authenticity?

Like the Oracle at Delphi, theologians and philosophers answer us—don’t kill, don’t steal don’t lie; love one another; don’t mess with another’s mate; do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

To escape from suffering, contemplate beauty, sympathize with others and self discipline yourself.

The noted philosopher, Spinoza, reminded us that whenever anything in nature seems to us ridiculous, absurd or evil it is because we have but a partial knowledge of things.

The Indian mystic, Krishnamurti, urges: don’t philosophize just be aware, just be—and toxic emotions will slip away.


Just be he said, silk blouse unbuttoning

I am she said, slippery blouse sliding to the floor

Uncertainty both admitting.

 When fully aware we just are, she said

Perception without toxic emotions, he said

Uncertainty receding, let’s fuck she said

Ancient China Teaches Acceptance

A man named Sei Weng owned a beautiful mare which was praised far and wide.

One day this beautiful horse disappeared.

The people of his village offered sympathy to Sei Weng for his great misfortune.

Sei Weng said simply, “That’s the way it is.”

A few days later the lost mare returned, followed by a beautiful wild stallion.

The village congratulated Sei Weng for his good fortune.

He said, “That’s the way it is.”

Some time later, Sei Weng’s only son, while riding the stallion, fell off and broke his leg.

The village people once again expressed their sympathy at Sei Weng’s misfortune.

Sei Weng again said, “That’s the way it is.”

Soon thereafter, war broke out and all the young men of the village except Sei Weng’s lame son were drafted and were killed in battle.

The village people were amazed as Sei Weng’s good luck.

His son was the only young man left alive in the village.

But Sei Weng kept his same attitude: despite all the turmoil, gains and losses, he gave the same reply, “That’s the way it is.”

So where does all this leave us?

Emptying ourselves of toxic emotions and accepting fate, we see realms of beauty and serenity with clear bright eyes opened wide.

Joy beckons and fills up our senses. Primordial energy absorbs us like a raindrop falling into the cosmic sea and we find ecstasy in absurdity.


While in a comfortable position prepare yourself for pondering.

Picture yourself trying to decide what clothes to wear, what food to eat, where to go, what to do, how to behave, how to pay the bills, what’s right and what’s wrong.

Observe the effect this activity has upon your mind, your body and your heart.

Picture yourself in a place you consider peaceful and calm: an alpine mountain with pine fragrance in the air at sunrise, a redwood forest, a bluff overlooking the ocean, or a church.

If you can actually go there, that would even be better.

Mentally shed all your possessions and let your consciousness encompass the universe from the beginning of time to the end of time.

Let the boundaries of your consciousness dissolve and feel it blend in with the primordial Godhead.

If any emotions or judgments appear, let your consciousness observe them without any struggling.

Do not resist by thinking “I don’t want the emotions or thoughts.”

The emotions and the thoughts are “what is,” so just observe and let them dissipate like the morning mist while you joyfully expand into primordial energy. 

Here’s another one: Picture yourself on the planet Earth and visualize your atoms, particles, and underlying energy resonating and interacting with the energy of the Earth.

Feel yourself at one with the Earth.

Relax and just be aware without thinking or making judgments of any kind.

Picture the Earth, a mote of dust gliding into the void.

Let your awareness flow over the Earth, see it slde across the solar system, observe it spread over the Milky Way, the universe, and finally, feel it empty into the boundless sea of primordial energy.

See it and feel it until it becomes as real for you as the rising sun.

A classical Zen Awareness exercise:

Being chased by a hungry tiger you are forced to climb over a cliff and hang onto a vine.

One hundred feet below—two more hungry tigers are waiting for you to drop.

You spy a beautiful wild strawberry plant loaded with ripe berries glistening with dew.

You focus your attention on the berries and pick and eat them slowly one by one —how sweet they are!

Observe your state of mind.

Carry it a step further: the vine breaks and you fall with total awareness of the air flowing around you.

Again imagine yourself climbing over the cliff; this time you are screaming and cursing.

You don’t notice the strawberries; you lose your grip and claw and scream all the way down.

Death is inevitable.

Ponder on choosing which way you choose to die and note the choice which leaves you with the satisfied feeling that under the circumstances it is the best you can do.

Send your comments to me, Neil Bezaire, at I would enjoy hearing from you. Attention will be paid.



Consciousness and Me

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Defining pornography is impossible.

United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart in 1964 abandoned his efforts to define pornography by saying that I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be pornography “but I know it when I see it.”

To which a wag commented, “It’s in the groin of the beholder.”

Defining consciousness is likewise impossible.

But you know it when you see it.

It’s in the heart of the beholder.

Teilhard de Chardin, a world renowned scientist, explored the nature of consciousness in his book, The Phenomenon of Man by extrapolation from what is known.

He observed that when matter is traced backward in space and time it becomes finer and finer until, at the level of subatomic particles, matter fluctuates between mass and energy.

And beyond the subatomic particles, beyond matter, there is only primordial energy, primordial consciousness.

Chardin reached the conclusion that Primordial Consciousness and our Consciousness is one and the same—there is only Universal Consciousness.

It’s the whole ball of wax. 

Why does consciousness

Hide in dark crevices

Like my beloved

In a Chador?

Who when revealing herself

Brims my heart with joy.

Over thousands of years of recorded history many names have been applied to Primordial Consciousness—Jehovah, Allah, God, Jesus, Buddha, The Light, Para Brahman and Shiva being just a few.

Consciousness is also known as “What is,” “Truth,” “Love,” and “Me” as in “Consciousness is the me that is not affected by the physical.

For example, if my leg is cut off, does it diminish the essence of who I am, the “me.”

Consciousness is that ineffable infinity that withstands every effort to be labeled or named.

It cannot be squeezed into the box.

Naming God is one thing, experiencing God by whatever name is quite another.

There are many ways one can experience God and they all require that we follow the path of our heart.

Following the path of our heart requires that through some form of meditation we expand and deepen within ourselves authenticity, awareness, acceptance and compassion—in a word: goodness.

Hectic modern life makes it difficult to practice formal sitting meditation where one quiets the mind by following one’s breathing in and breathing out.

But there are many ways to quiet the mind and one should use whatever method is suitable to one’s own inclination, physical and mental condition, and lifestyle.

You might try sitting in a comfortable position and imagining a golden thread pulling your head into alignment with the erect spine.

Slowly breath in and breath out and become totally aware of the inflow and out flow of your breath to the exclusion of all else.

Whenever thoughts intrude do not resist them, follow them moving across the back of your eyelids and letting them disappear on their own.

The purpose of the exercise is to let the toxic emotions like anger, fear, greed and lust dissipate and leave your mind clear and serene.

When we observe without judgment, without thinking, without desire, without anger or fear, we are observing with pure awareness, and at the same time we are experiencing consciousness, the light within, the God within.

Zen people say that staying in the moment is living your life “every moment Zen.”

Staying in the moment gives rise to pure awareness, pure seeing which observes without judgment, fear, or emotional disturbance.

When you stay in the moment time slows down, the chatter in the mind diminishes and the world becomes brighter, lighter and more peaceful.

Try imagining yourself observing a rose.

See the rose take your breath away and fill your heart with joy before any judgment, desire, emotion, or thought intrudes.

At that moment, before any judgment, desire, emotion, or thought intrudes, your pure consciousness is expressing itself by pure awareness.

You just see the beauty in the rose, without judgment, or desire to pluck the rose from the bush.

The Dalai Lama has observed that we all are the same in that we all want happiness and we all want to avoid suffering.

He also observed that when we are loving, understanding and compassionate we tend to be happy and when we are angry, greedy and judgmental we tend to become un-happy.

Paradoxically by thinking more about the welfare of others we increase our own happiness.

By our example we reduce the bad vibrations around us that our so toxic to ourselves and others.

This approach is followed by “Y. E. S.” a non-dogmatic program created by Dr. Thomas Hedberg which he dedicated to the personal and spiritual growth of the individual.

Y.E.S. focuses on achieving a better understanding of the self, a richer relationship with others, and a more personal experience with God (Primordial energy).

The program is enormously successful and has spread around the world, to North and South America, Europe and Africa and Asia.

Y.E.S. is based on the premise that focusing on the goodness of others, in helping the other grow and experience their inner light opens up a clear path to our own happiness.

Consciousness as an awareness of the primordial energy, of God, guides human affairs by assigning to them a moral value.

Our consciousness enables us to convert the electrical-molecular activity of the brain into value.

Organized religion is a great depository of spirituality and accumulated wisdom which can help us follow the path of our heart.

Regretfully, over the centuries organized religion has created a bureaucracy which is more inclined to self aggrandizement than advancing moral human values.

Instead of promoting a brotherhood of man the bureaucracy has operated in ways that push humanity into warring camps—woman vs. men, Muslims vs. Christians, believers vs. non believers, sect vs. sect.

When the Buddha was asked: “Are you God?” He replied: “No, I am awake.”

In Zen Flesh, Zen Bones when the monk was asked “What is Buddha?” he replied “Dried dung.”

Even more shocking is another comment: “when you meet the Buddha on the road, ‘kill him’.”

These are efforts to shut down the mind in an effort to break through to consciousness.

The Buddha urged his followers to rely upon themselves, to rely on the path of their own heart, to rely on their own light.

And when you meet the Buddha on the road, “kill him.”

Awareness Exercise

With your mind’s eye, trace your evolution backwards to the big bang and beyond.

Contemplate the primordial energy that gave birth to our universe.

Gaze upon it with an empty mind, a mind free of thoughts, judgments, and emotions.

Allow the primordial energy to reveal itself to you.

Maybe nothing will reveal itself to you in the beginning.

But later, maybe in weeks, maybe in months, or even years, a glimmer in the mind and a movement in the heart, like a spark, or a sliver of light will cut through everything and you will know that all is imbued with Primordial Conscious.

If you become impatient or discouraged, do not censure yourself, just quietly observe your impatience, discouragement, and censure until they dissipate and you are back with your quiet observer that sees but never judges, your quiet observer that can encompass the universe and embrace the primordial energy.

While evolution of our physical aspect has slowed down, our psyche has cast off its terrestrial moorings and is gaining speed as it heads out across the cosmic sea.

When all prisms drop I clearly see

Bright white sails above the frothy foam


My arms open wide to embrace the light.

COMMENTS: Send your comments to me, Neil Bezaire, at I would enjoy hearing from you. Attention will be paid.


Dying is Difficult

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Talking about death in polite society is like farting at a cocktail party; people tend to become embarrassed and agitated if the subject of death is brought up in conversation.

Although it’s certain all of us will experience it, it’s almost impossible to get others to talk about it and to compare notes on it.

“It” being death.  

And the phenomenon of death is generally not a subject taught in schools.

Maybe it’s my octogenarian age, but I like exploring the topic of death.

I’m not referring primarily about the biological process of dying, although I believe everyone should have some idea of what to expect.

I’m interested in the various ways people die and the choices we have in the matter.

Do I close my eyes to the various possibilities open to me, or do I just go along with the default system, which usually starts with a 911 call, followed by a trip to the emergency room. 

And then depending upon the situation, an MRI or CAT scan is performed, a stay in the ICU follows where you’re hooked up, wired up, intubated and drugged.

After the medical warriors, with their formidable arsenal of technology, have beaten back death once more, you’re sent home patched-up and pallid, weak and wobbly.

Then, when Death inevitably gets close once again, the lamentable cycle is frantically repeated–911 call, ICU, hooked up, wired up, intubated and drugged.

The cost of each trip could easily be hundreds of thousands of dollars, and a great amount of anguish—depleting both the family’s resources and the body’s energy.

At the end, Death appears in the ICU to unlock the door to your prison and allow your soul to take flight towards the light.

Surely there has to be a better way to start out on what I believe will be the greatest adventure of my life. And I find it confusingly amazing that society discourages us from discussing the possibilities.

Einstein wrote to the widow of an old friend, Besso, that death is not the end, and the fact that Besso departed from this strange world a little ahead of him means nothing.

People like us, he told her, know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.

Immortality doesn’t mean a perpetual existence in time without end, but rather resides outside of time altogether.

Einstein found it peculiar that society finds it difficult to accept biological death as inevitable.

The poet, Dylan Thomas, expressed society’s sentiments as follows:

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light

We spend thousands, hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions of dollars on medical resources to squeeze out a few extra days of life like we squeeze out the last bit of dried toothpaste.

Doctors train to squeeze out the last brittle bit of toothpaste no matter the cost.

If left alone our exhausted body in its own good time would die naturally.

I suspect that because we have ignored the prospect of death and haven’t given it much thought, when death draws close we think it’s “lights out,” annihilation, and our mind and emotions become agitated and we panic.

And we all know that discussing how medical resources should be allocated is political suicide for a politician.

He or she might just as well swallow a cyanide pill.

As part of the training to become a hospice volunteer, students perform mind exercises where they imagine themselves dying.

The instructor takes the students through the dying process step by step.


Picture yourself lying in the fetal position. Step outside your body and observe yourself lying there. Ask yourself, “What is me?”  Continue asking yourself, “What is me?” and get a feel for it so that you see, feel, and understand me.

Imagine your left foot disappearing. Is your me diminished in any way? Next imagine your right foot disappearing. Is your me diminished? Imagine the rest of your body parts disappearing one by one. After each part disappears, ask yourself, “Is my me diminished?” Finally, when all your body parts have disappeared, including your head and brain, ask yourself, “Is my me diminished?”

The world has only finite medical resources so it becomes a matter of their wise allocation.

Children and young people should receive what ever medical resources are required to keep them in good health because society depends on them to maintain a robust society and to support the old people no longer able to work.

Older people like me only need to receive treatment for the common ailments and in the end receive palliative care to make the end of our life comfortable.

One can reasonably question whether it’s really a good use of limited resources to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for open heart surgery, organ transplants and chemo therapy just so old people like me can hang around a few extra days on the planet.

And especially when there’s not enough resources to meet the medical needs of children who have their whole life before them.

I wonder if the allocation of medical resources is perversely inverted because old people are organized and vote and have political clout while children have hardly any political clout at all, especially if they live in poverty.

In most cases death is attended by irrelevance, futile attempts to hold on and control.

Even if the dying person wants to let go, the families frantically worry the doctor to continue the Sisyphus task of keeping their loved one alive.

The doctors, because of their training and out of fear of malpractice, hook up the dying person to the machines, inserts needles into their arms and tubes down their throat in a vain effort to beat back death.

Ideally, death for the elderly should be a serene experience under supervision of Hospice. In my hospice volunteer service I visited dying patients to give the caregiver a four hour break from caring for their loved one.

The patients usually were serene and seemed to have no fear of death.

During our conversations they would tell me how they felt about dying and what their expectations were after their biological death. Even though I told them, I often wondered whether the person realized how much I enjoyed our conversations and how much I learned from them. The smile on their face and the joy emanating from their eyes would fill my heart with joy.

An excellent book on this subject is

Death: The Final Stage of Growth by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

COMMENTS: Send your comments to me, Neil Bezaire, at I would enjoy hearing from you. Attention will be paid.



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By a man without passions I mean one who does not permit good or evil to disturb his inward economy, but rather falls in with what happens and does not add to the sum of his mortality. Chuang Tzu

Disquietude is always vanity, because it serves no good. Yes, even if the whole world were thrown into confusion and all things in it, disquietude on that account would be vanity. St. John of the Cross

I can accept life’s offerings or reject them; but I must live with the consequences in the end.

Rejecting what fate is offering leads to unsuspected suffering.

When I accept my destiny my life becomes more carefree.

Acceptance is simply willingness to endure things without useless complaining.

It means doing the best one can and wisely leaving the rest in the hands of fate.

Doing our best is within our control, but the results of our efforts are beyond our control.

For example, when we travel between our home and the grocery store (any point A and point B will serve just as well), no matter how well we plan the trip and no matter how careful we are in carrying out our plan, there are just too many things happening in the world over which we have no control that can prevent our trip from going exactly as planned—nails in the road, other vehicles, pedestrians, car breakdowns, illnesses, car hijackings, drunk drivers, airplanes falling from the sky, and so on.

Acceptance is a mode of living.

It means going with the flow.

We live in the acceptance mode when we observe what life is presenting to us without anger, fear, or resentment and proceed serenely from there.

 Honda is a good corporate example.

When the United States government set strict standards to reduce pollution emissions, Honda said simply that it would have to work hard to meet the standards.

It did so, and on time.

By contrast the American carmakers complained that it was unrealistic of the government to expect them to meet the strict standards, dragged their feet, and fell behind.

Life’s unfolding presents us with a kaleidoscope of events to which we must respond—a friend betrays us, illness strikes, we are reprimanded in front of our co-workers, we lose our job, our investments fail, a loved one dies, and so on.

Acceptance is a way of responding to such situations.

Acceptance requires that we observe without censure, fear, or anger what life presents to us.

Acceptance requires us to quietly observe, and allow our mind to settle down so that we are observing with detachment, with pure awareness.

Observing with pure awareness clears our vision and enables us to put forth our best efforts.

Acceptance of what fate has in store for us leaves us in a state of detachment, a state where bias does not cloud our vision and fear does not weaken our ability to act effectively.

Struggling with what fate is offering uselessly wastes our energy.

The Samurai warrior contemplated life and death with equanimity.

Pure awareness and detachment enabled Zen-influenced Samurai warriors to respond to danger with lightening quick moves.

Acceptance requires that we observe with detachment.

A state of pure awareness arises when anger, fear, greed, and the like, do not cloud our vision.

Observe what happens if we are angry and we wish that we were not so angry. We have created a tension between the reality of our anger and the concept “we should not be so angry” thereby not accepting the fact that we are angry.

Suppression and refusal to accept our anger—to accept reality—creates tension between the reality of our anger and what we wish, and our mind is in worse condition than when it was simply angry.

Look what happens if we refuse to accept the anger, and struggle with it.

Our mind, which before was only in an angry state, now has the additional turmoil and stress caused by our efforts to suppress our anger and our wish that it, our anger, didn’t exist.

Observe what happens when we accept our anger and note what it is doing to our mind and body.

We feel adrenaline pumping, and blood rushing to the brain.

Does anyone need tell us that anger is bad for us—for our physical and mental health?

Notice what happens when we look within and allow our silent observer, our consciousness, to simply observe the content of our mind, without thinking about it, judging it, or trying to suppress it.

There is no struggle; there is only the reality of our condition and a consciousness that is clear and free to observe that condition.

When a loved one betrays us and we start to hate him or her, our silent observer can see the hate within us.

If we gaze on the hate without judgment or desire or efforts to suppress or reject it, we will presently see the entire processes of hate.

We will see how it arises because of a judgment we have made.

We will see it clouding our minds and making it impossible to see the person we hate as they really are.

We will see hate’s corrosive action upon our minds and bodies.

When we see the entire process of hate and its effect upon us, our hate will gently melt away like the sun-kissed snowflake on the garden wall.

When we look within and see our mind chattering like a flock of wild parrots, or we see that our desire for ever more power, wealth, and fame is causing us anxiety, thinking something like, “God, I wish my mind were peaceful and calm,” will only increase the chatter in our minds and add to our list of desires.

Philosopher and writer Aldous Huxley said this about acceptance:

This is, perhaps, the most difficult of all mortifications—to achieve a “holy indifference” to the temporal success or failure of the cause to which one has devoted one’s best energies.

If it triumphs, well and good.

If it meets defeat, that also is well and good, if only in ways that, to a limited and time bound mind, are here and now entirely incomprehensible.

The Latin term amor fati means to be in love with fate.

Amor fati allows us to not pursue happiness but to let it ensue as the unintended side effect of accepting with detachment whatever life offers us.

 Amor fati gives us vision to see from Himalayan heights and to live a robust life no matter what fate has in store for us.

Three Things: First: Awareness; Second: Changing Oneself; Three Acceptance. Easy to say—hard to do. But worth the effort.


 This is a classical Zen Awareness exercise:

Imagine yourself being chased by a hungry lion and you are forced to climb over a cliff and hang onto a vine.

One hundred feet below are two more hungry lions waiting for you to drop.

You notice a beautiful wild strawberry plant loaded with ripe berries glistening with dew.

You focus your attention on the berries and pick and eat them slowly, one by one.

How sweet they are!

Observe the state of your mind.

Carry it a step further and imagine the vine breaking and you falling.

Can you fall with total awareness of the air flowing around you?

Imagine yourself climbing over the cliff again; this time you are screaming and cursing.

You don’t notice the strawberries; you lose your grip, and claw and scream all the way down.

Death is inevitable.

Ponder on having to choose which way you are going to die.

Note which choice leaves you with the satisfied feeling that under all the circumstances it is the right one.

COMMENTS: Send your comments to me, Neil Bezaire, at I would enjoy hearing from you. Attention will be paid.



Changing Ourselves

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The ancients recognized that to change the world one must begin by changing oneself.

Changing ourselves does change the world, the cosmos even, because we are part of it all.

To the extent we change ourselves we change the whole fabric of humanity.

The law of radiation and attraction states that we all radiate vibrations which affect others, and their vibrations affect us.

It is almost impossible to disguise these vibrations.

But when our toxic emotions bring us and those around us unhappiness, we can modulate them so that they bring us a satisfying measure of peace and happiness.

For example, if extensive and persistent misanthropic inclinations cause us psychic pain they can be changed for ones own benefit and that of the world.

Some morning after we wake up we might find ourselves in a bad mood: we do not love our mate, or our relative, or our associate as we once did.

In fact, we are downright hostile towards them.

Perhaps they didn’t properly respond to our kindness and on a subconscious level we have tallied things up and discovered that they owe us.

If they owe us just a little, then the response might be mild irritation; if they owe us a great deal, and in addition they have committed an unpardonable offense towards us, the response might be homicidal rage.

But is their anything we can do about that?

After millions of years of marching with the unknowing herd down evolution’s highway, we humans veered off onto a high road with scenic turnouts where we can pull off, quietly reflect, sort through and discard unwanted baggage, share information with our fellow travelers, lend a helping hand, serenely view our inner life, and see where we are headed.

Slowly but unmistakably we are discovering that we can modulate our emotions.

With pure crystalline awareness (one free of toxic emotions) we can look beyond the skin, flesh, and bones, beyond the atoms and molecules, beyond the subatomic particles to the essential goodness of all things.

Pure awareness collapses our boundaries which enables us to experience the Primordial Energy in all things.

Empathy, compassion and love for all beings arise out of the state of pure awareness.


Pure Awareness …

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 “If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.” William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Pure awareness is the state that comes when toxic emotions like fear, greed, lust, anger, censure, pride, envy, hate, prejudice, anxiety, and all the rest, melt away like snowflakes on a warm sunny day.

When in a state of pure awareness the mind is still, vision is clear, and one is in a state of flow, completely absorbed and enthralled by the moment.

We might have experienced this state while listening to a symphony, or singing in a choir, or standing on a promontory looking out over the sparkling ocean under a clear blue sky or listening to a friend tell a story.

When our vision is clear and our mind is still, we experience the essence of things.

The essence of things is their divine quality, the primordial consciousness that supports all existence.

Experiencing the essence of things in others collapses our boundaries and we experience our oneness with all that is and we become more compassionate, authentic, and joyful.

Pure awareness is free from conflict and the seeds of pain and sorrow.

If one is judging a rose—it is past its prime, the stem is too long or too short, and so forth—then it is impossible to experience the rose with pure awareness.

Judging the rose immediately puts up a barrier between us and the hapless rose.

 The rose is kept at a distance while we compare it to the abstract rose we carry around in our head; we are here, and the rose is there while we are judging it.

But if we silently observe the rose with pure awareness, without thought, censure, or judgment, pure awareness unites us with the essence of the rose and fills our heart with joy.

We experience a rattlesnake with pure awareness if we remain calm and at a safe distance, and do not succumb to prejudice, fear, and loathing.

We can see the bright sun sparkle in its eyes and the beauty of the distinctive pattern of its skin.

We can see the gleaming white fangs and the hypnotic rhythm of its dancing tongue.

If there is no emotional barrier between the snake and us, we experience its essence and become one with its essence.

But censuring a rattlesnake prevents us from experiencing it. We experience only fright, loathing and agitation.

Censure is what causes us to rush away in panic and return with a double-barreled shotgun and blow the snake to smithereens.

Is it possible to love ourselves with pure awareness, without censure?

Observe what happens when we censure ourselves.

When we are angry with ourselves we think: “I should not be angry with myself.

That censorious thought creates a duality.

We are angry with ourselves, but we think that we should not be angry.

The tension between the reality of our anger and the thought “I should not be angry” creates anxiety and more self-reproach, which accelerates into a downward spiral.

Note what happens when we observe our anger with pure awareness—when we observe without thought, emotion, or censure.

There is no tension or anxiety when we observe “what is,” instead of an image of what we think.

Authenticity sets in and our anger melts away, maybe not quickly—but it’s a start.

And there is an added advantage: We are not anxious, because we avoided a conflict between the images that we shouldn’t be angry with our friend, and the reality that we are indeed angry with him or her,

When we observe others without any hidden agenda, prejudice, fear, anger, lust, greed, censure, or attachment, our mind is still and clear, our boundaries expand to include the other.

We are united with them more than any vow, wish, hope, or idea could unite us.

 This pure awareness arises only when our mind is still and our vision is clear.

It cannot arise if we attend to others while trying to control them, sell them, hold on to them, fear them, or seduce them.

These things make it impossible to get beyond elements of possessiveness, control and judgment.

The Zen masters used the term “every moment Zen.”

This term contains the dual concept of “pure awareness in just being” and also the concept of “intending to act in ways that contribute to the welfare of the cosmos or in the very least not add to the pain, misery and sorrow one sees in the world.”

A common example of can be discovered while driving a car. One usually drives while the mind is elsewhere, including censuring other drivers, anxiety about being late, the impression we are making with our snazzy new car, and so on.

Is it possible to drive with pure awareness and with the intent to contribute to the peace and serenity of our little corner of the cosmos?

Try it and see what happens.

Drive along with pure awareness and the intent to not cause any anxiety, anger or physical harm to other drivers and to ourselves.

See the road, its texture, its condition and become one with its essence.

See the other drivers and give them a smile when eye contact is made, be fully aware of all traffic signals; make full stops without any rushing, stay in the moment and drive every moment with pure awareness, every moment Zen.

Awareness Exercise

While in a comfortable position prepare yourself for pondering on discernment.

Recall to mind someone who creates in you strong feelings of fear, anger, loathing, revulsion, hostility and the like.

Allow the body to relax but not collapse.

Relax the muscles of the face. Do not focus your eyes; allow them to stare off in to space.

If a strong emotion arises, do not try to suppress or censure the feeling, just

Observe it and allow it to pass through.

Observe the details of the person—the color and highlights of their hair, details in their eyes, ears, nose and mouth, and so forth.

Allow your jaw to go slack and relaxed. Continue watching the person, the details of the person, not your conclusions of what kind of person this is.

If any thoughts or emotions arise watch them as they glide through your image of the person.

See if you can see where the thoughts or emotions come from and where they go.

Eventually (if not this time but some other time) your mind will be perfectly still, no thoughts or emotions are passing through, and what you are left with is the reality of the person, warts and all.

COMMENTS: Send your comments to me, Neil Bezaire, at I would enjoy hearing from you. Attention will be paid.