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desire

WHEN I FORGET MYSELF – I feel I lack something. The moment feels so empty. I feel so bored. Isn’t there something going on? Let me check my phone, e-mail, Facebook. Maybe something is happening? Maybe something better, more or different, than just this moment? I am always looking for another experience than the one I have right now. What’s wrong with me?

IT WORKS EVERY TIME – because when there is an exciting e-mail – I experience a little high. A small dose of dopamine is injected into my brain and I feel BLISS. But after a short while, when I have read the e-mail and it wasn’t as exciting after all, the bliss is gone – I experience boredom again. But then its time for lunch! I can enjoy that nice sandwich. The bliss is right back!

AND SO IT GOES. As long as I keep the good experiences coming, problem solved. Not quite. Because pain comes when the experience goes. And the pain continues as it arises in the mind as a desire to experience it one more time. So all day long I am busy chasing experiences so I can experience as much bliss as possible. And at the same time trying to avoid experiences that give pain. Just like a running wheel for mice. It is the wheel of samsara. The wheel of the endless desire, satisfaction, pain, desire, satisfaction, pain, desire, satisfaction, pain, desire, satisfaction, pain, desire, satisfaction, pain, desire………

rat_race

THE WAY OUT is to return to the SELF. It is to realize that I am the source of my happiness. Experiences come and go, but I am always the same, before and after an experience. What makes me experience bliss when a desire is fulfilled is not the experience, but the experience removes my feeling of lack. When the feeling of lack disappears, bliss which is my true nature appear. It has been there all along, but has been suppressed by my feeling of lack.

THE SELF IS AWARENESS, existence and consciousness. This is who I am. All experience appears in me. Without me, there is no experience. All experience is an experience of myself. The SELF is always blissful because it lacks nothing. It is full, whole, complete and contains everything. There is no place where existence and consciousness is not. It is like space. There is no place not permeated by space.

BLISS, WHICH IS MY TRUE NATURE, is hidden from me, because I consciously or particularly subconsciously, tell myself I lack something. But I am longing for what I already have. I think an experience can solve my problem, and it does, but only temporarily, until a new desire comes along. When I return to the SELF, realizing who I am, temporary satisfaction transforms into permanent contentment. That is the trick – return to the SELF.

MY HAPPINESS is not dependent on experience – I am always happy – happiness is my nature. Remove the feeling of lack, which is caused by my wrong identification with the person that I think I am: This limited person with a body, personality, relations, job, education, history and a place to live. Instead identify with who I really am: Infinite existence, consciouness and bliss. I was never born, I will never die. My own awareness. So simple. It is always there.

IT IS ALWAYS THERE, but is not being noticed. It is like seeing a hand, and not being aware of the light making it possible to see the hand at all. Awareness is the light, making it possible to experience anything at all. As Jesus said: «I am the light of the world.» He knew who he was. Do YOU?

So what do YOU lack right now to be happy?

joy-child

PS. «The one who does not feed the senses, the senses returns to the Self, leaving the longing behind.» Bhagavad Gita.

trh_shifting_time_artwork

Forandring gir kun mening i forhold til noe som ikke forandrer seg. For at jeg skal ha en opplevelse av at 30 minutter har passert må dette være i forhold til et opplevende vitne som er det samme og upåvirket av tid. Dersom jeg sier jeg har flyttet meg 30 km fra A til B, må jeg også ha et referansepunkt. Det er det samme opplevende vitne som har vært det samme både før og etter.

Tid og rom er for de fleste en realitet. Skal vi nå et tog eller fly er tiden virkelig nok. Men som i de fleste opplevelser glemmer vi å inkludere oss selv. Vi legger ikke merke til det opplevende vitnet som alltid er det samme og som alle endringer skjer i forhold til. Livet består følgelig av begge disse dimensjonene. En verden som eksisterer i tid og rom, og en dimensjon av tidløshet.

Verden krever vår oppmerksomhet og tvinger oss til utadvendthet. Jo lenger ut mot overflaten av livets karusell vi befinner oss, jo raskere spinner begivenhetene rundt oss. Stress er ofte omvendt proporsjonalt med graden av overfladiskhet, høyt tempo og ikke nok tid.

Meditasjon er en metode til å sette ned tempoet. Det tvinger oppmerksomheten til innadvendthet. Det oppstår en situasjon hvor det er mulig å finne hvile der hvor det ikke finnes tid.

Dette er mer enn en talemåte, fordi det finnes ingen tid. Tid er ikke virkelig, men en beskrivelse av forandring i det som ikke forandrer seg. Tid er en mental konstruksjon. Det er en måte å måle avstanden mellom opplevelser. Det eneste som er virkelig er øyeblikket, akkurat nå. Men øyeblikket eksisterer ikke i tid. Øyeblikket har ingen begynnelse eller slutt, det bare er. Det går ikke an å beskrive eller fastholde hvor fortiden slutter og øyeblikket begynner. Eller hvor øyeblikket slutter og fremtiden begynner. Øyeblikket er evig. Øyeblikket og evighet er det samme, det er uten tid.

Meditasjon blir en slik måte å «stanse tiden», selv om tiden alltid har stått stille fordi det er ingen tid. Sann meditasjon er tidløshet. Meditasjon blir en slik oase av ro ved å fjerne seg fra alle ytre forandringer i en kort periode og vende tilbake til seg selv.

Dette perspektivet vil en ta med seg ut i den ytre verden. En vil la seg innvolvere i livet og delta, men det skjer med en voksende evne til å være tilstede i øyeblikket. Bortsett fra at det er ingen andre steder å være tilstede enn i øyeblikket, oppstår en større ro. Å tenke på fortiden eller framtiden skjer fortsatt i øyeblikket fordi det finnes ingen annen virkelighet. Den tidløse dimensjonen av virkeligheten kommer nærmere. Når en forstår at det finnes ingen tid, får en svært god tid.

A friend of mine told me about Bone & Body Clinic in India. A friend of hers had been in a wheelchair for 20 years after a traffic accident. With the treatment from Bone & Body Clinic, she is now walking, dancing and running again!

With my own back issues and increasing stiffening over the years due to a rheumatic condition this got my attention. In January 2018 I enrolled in their program.

After 2 months stay I experienced a great improvement with more flexibility, bigger range of movement and dramatically better skin function and reduction of psoriatic skin rashes. This is the beginning of a longer healing journey, but it has turned a gradually degenerating condition around from pessimism to optimism. A gradual process to better health and quality of life is now going in the right direction.

Although many of the results at Bone & Body Clinic can seem miraculous, making the impossible possible, it is a two way process and very demanding. This is not passive treatment, but active training and participation is required. This hard work!

People come from all over the world with a strong motivation to improve their health. This creates a unique environment and highly charged atmosphere of dedication, concentration and compassion and bonding with the others in their healing journey. People come with a variety of conditions, from severe cases to lesser adjustments. The treatment is highly individualized suited to a long range of conditions related to spinal problems, bone- and muscular issues, digestive disorders, – basically most malfunctions of the body.

Check out their website. Really make sure to check out the testimonials. Listen to Raay who after years of scoliosis and migraine finally have found joy. Ajeetdev who is the woman mentioned in the wheelchair tells her story. My story is there also, by the way.

This treatment is now available for the one dedicated. Help is to be found. I really want to share this – if this is for you, make sure to check it out.

And a big thank you from the bottom of my heart to the wonderful work of Ringo, Miranda and all of the dedicated staff. This is indeed life transforming.

PS. Bone & Body Clinic has two locations i India. Goa from October- March and Dharamsala in the north form May-August. A program will also be available in Portugal in September 2018.

Bone & Body Clinic

solRestaurant Söl er nytt friskt vårskudd i Stavangers kulinariske hage. Tre unge kokker og en servitør med erfaringer fra kokkebransjens toppnivå realiserer drømmen om sitt eget spisested. Konseptet er norske råvarer med hovedvekt på å fremheve grønnsakene, naturlige smaker og moderat dominans av kjøtt og fisk.

Menyen er en 5 retters middag, – punktum. Prisen er i underkant og femhundrelappen. Om vinpakken ønskes i tillegg kan beløpet dobles.

Allerede før en er kommet til desserten av fruktsorbet og hjemmelaget iskrem føler en at dette var billig og vel verdt pengene. Tilbakelagt er en kulinarisk reise av spennende smaker så stilfullt, konsentrert og delikat komponert at det etterlater en salig i sjelen. Dette er så hinsides hva de fleste vil kunne få til i sitt eget kjøkken. Det er en god grunn til å gå på en restaurant på et slikt nivå for nettopp å oppleve noe nytt. Det er ikke hver dag en får oppleve den alkymistiske prosessen av hvordan virkelig god mat kan forvandle kropp og sinn og løfte stemningen til sublime høyder.   Restaurant Söl er en opplevelse.

Både maten, interiøret, stemningen og serveringen er uhøytidelig, usnobbete og avslappet med en underliggende merkbar vibrerende nerve av profesjonalitet og konsentrasjon i alt fra servitørens første møte med gjestene, til introduksjonen av rettene og arbeidstempoet fra det åpne kjøkkenet i bakgrunnen.

Takk for maten !

PS. Söl er med referanse til en lokal norsk tangsort.

Adresse: Restaurant Söl – Hetlandsgaten 6 – Stavanger

 

 

buddhas-enlightenment

I know who I am. The search is over. I cracked the code of life. I understand the game, how the world of illusion is a set up. I am like the slave in Plato’s cave who understand that the world I experience is just a projection onto a screen. I have broken the chains of ignorance. I can walk out and unite myself with the light source of consciousness. The source of life giving life to all. I am intellectually free.

To be intellectually enlightened is not enlightenment, awakening, moksha or Self-realization. But is better than nothing. It is only a beginning and a small, but important step towards true awakening to my own being.

The problem with intellectual enlightenment is that it applies only to 10% of my mind. The rest 90% is still deeply conditioned into believing that I am this body, personality and with a package of experiences, a story, relationships, talents, age, gender, nationality etc. I still have a slave mentality, although I intellectually have freed my self.

Enlightenment is still more that increasing this percentage up to 100%, it is also to go beyond the mind. To transcend the mind and experience consciousness. This is logical and intellectually impossible. It is as difficult as for a torch to light on itself, or an eye to see itself without a mirror. But it can happen because consciousness is self aware. Consciousness is the light that shines by itself, and does not need another source of light.

Consciousness is non-dual. The one without the other. Consciousness is all there is. There is nothing outside of consciousness and existence.  That consciousness projects a dualistic world of opposites is equally impossible. Maya or the dualistic world of illusion is called what makes the impossible possible. Enlightenment is reversed Maya, making the impossibility of experiencing the Self possible through the transcendence of the mind.

There are no techniques for transcendence, equally as there are no techniques for falling asleep, or waking up from sleep to the waking state. It can happen for the one who has made the right preparations becoming qualified through spiritual practice.

To experience the Self is not an experience in the normal sense where there is an experiencer and the experienced. Enlightenment is pure awareness experiencing its own being, limitlessness and bliss, without an ego to take ownership of the experience.

To be intellectually enlightened is not bad. I highly recommend it. It gives a lot of peace, insight and confidence, but it is not enlightenment. It is only a beginning. It takes you to the roof and the limits of the mind where the next step is transcendence.

Transcendence can take place through other paths, the intellectual understanding is not the only way. The paths of love, action and meditation are equally important. But to know what you are doing is always good.

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Running

Sylvi Listhaug har truffet en betent nerve i hennes uttalelse på Facebook om at «Ap mener terroristenes rettigheter er viktigere enn nasjonens sikkerhet». Et nærmest samlet Storting, norsk presse og det meste av politiske synsere overgår hverandre i fordømmelse. Arne Strand i Dagsvavisen kaller det for den verste politiske uttalelsen i etterkrigstiden og ekspertene mener dette er høyrekstrem hat-retorikk. Arbeiderpartiet kobler dette sammen med 22.juli og mener at Sylvi Listhaug håner ofrene etter massakren på Utøya.

At dette er langt fra hva Sylvi Listhaug mener spiller ingen rolle fordi dette er en sak som kan utnyttes for helt andre mål enn moralsk indignasjon. AP tapte forrige valg så det suste. Med mistillitsforslag mot justisministeren kan AP nå utnytte dette moralske kaoset og tilrane seg regjeringsmakten. Nå kan Jonas Gahr Støre endelig bli statsminister likevel.

Bortsett fra dette skitne spillet og en uhederlig og kynisk måte å bli landets øverste leder fortjener Sylvi Listhaugs uttalelse å ses i den konteksten den antakelig er ment og fra perspektivet av landets justisminister.

En stein i skoen for enhver justisminister er utvilsomt Mullar Krekar. Han er leder for en terroristorganisasjon, men har i årevis fått beskyttelse og fritt opphold. Mer nærliggende og snarere elefanten i rommet, er det faktum at tusenvis av identitetsløse asylsøkere oppholder seg i Norge. Mange blir i landet også etter avslag på søknader om asyl og går under jorden. Muligens er antallet på størrelse med en middels norsk by.

Enkelte av dem kan være krigsforbrytere, kriminelle og terrorister. Dette skal selvsagt ikke mistenkeliggjøre alle asylsøkere, men overfor personer uten identitet har landets innbyggere i prinsippet ingen sikkerhet. Frp er vel det eneste partiet som mener at det er viktigere å beskytte norske borgere mot personer myndighetene ikke vet hvem er ved å plassere identitetsløse asylsøkere på lukkede mottak.

I en slik kontekst er spissformuleringen verken uhyrlig eller høyre-ekstrem. Den er sann. Sylvi Listhaug er justisminister. Beskyttelse av norske borgere er hennes fremste anliggende. Hun gjør bare jobben sin.

james_swartz-bigJames Swartz often criticizes other teachers and their teaching. Although not criticizing the person, but the teaching. According to James, it is part of the vedanta tradition to oppose and criticize wrong ideas. Hopefully this is in line with such an attitude. In other words, nothing personal.

In fact I like James. I spent 3 years listening to his teaching daily. I organized a seminar with him and we worked together creating several illustrations for vedanta teaching. His teaching changed my life equally transformative as when I discovered yoga and meditation 40 years ago. In fact, I still listen to his talks as he is a good teacher, with great humor and has a talent for teaching advaita vedanta to a western audience. Also he avoids or at least tones down, the guru circus so common. He comes across as a friend and guide. His teaching clarified for me a lot of confusion in the spiritual world and was a huge relief.

His basic idea, as I understand it, is that enlightenment is not an experience, but an understanding. I am already enlightened, so I cannot do anything to become something I already am. There is no awakening, because consciousness never slept. This cuts through the dominating dualistic spiritual materialism in most of the spiritual world of chasing exotic experiences to make my personal ego special. What a relief to get rid of that idea, which was the foundation of most of my spiritual search.

According to James, moksha is much more accessible than previously thought. All you need to do is crack the logic, understand the teaching and voila: Moksha!! Normal enlightenment time according to James is 2-3 years! Well, I am there now. I understand the teaching fairly well, but I am not enlightened. I realize that enlightenment or moksha is a much more subtle process. Understanding the logic is just the beginning of advaita vedanta.

Nobody is going to tell me that when yogis sit in caves for years and years that they do not experience anything besides endless boredom. Of course it is an experience. And probably they are blissed out of this world and prefer such an existence 1000 times to an ordinary life of searching for happiness here and there. Enlightenment is an experience beyond the mind. The intellect cannot go there, but intuition can. The way to get there is through meditation, a teacher, ethical training, sadhana and becoming thoroughly qualified. It is the third stage of the teaching, the integration or the nididhyasana phase. James is good on the two first phases, sravana and manana, listening and reflection, but seems to stop there, and claims moksha is achieved when you get that far. Then you can drop vedanta and go on living your life happily.

It is strange how James can deviate so much from his own teacher Swami Chinmayananda. According to James there is no awakening, no special states of experience, no path, nothing to be gained and no destination.  Here is what his own teacher writes:

« Seeking is fulfilled only in gaining the sought. In its great Awakening, only when the ego merges into the Infinite Self, where nothing else exists, in the State of Aloneness is the goal reached, the destination arrived, the Supreme State of Total Satisfaction gained. In this Awakening alone, can all seeking end.» From Swami Chinmayananda commentaries on Astavakra Gita. p. 241.

It is obvious that James only takes one to the doorstep of Vedanta. In that, he does a good job. But he does neither introduce nor encourage or personally exemplify the nididhyasana phase which many teachers equals with intense meditation, sattvic lifestyle and other qualifications of an enlightened person mentioned in the scriptures again and again. There seems to be a great awakening and experience in the end of the rainbow of the spiritual search after all, but is not an experience in the normal sense. It is much more subtle, and beyond experience. It is a turning away from the world, seeing there is nothing there and embarking on an inward journey of much greater depth than James seems to present.

It is bad taste to critizise ones own teacher. I am very grateful for his teaching and I might misunderstand, but reading more of the works of his own teacher Swami Chinmayananda and his teacher Swami Sivananda, it is clear that there are huge discrepancies, where what James presents is an apple fallen quite a distance from the original trees. For the serious vedanta student, check it out for yourself and make your own judgment. There seems to be much more to vedanta and moksha than students of James is being presented. There is the third stage of the teaching of integration for those who are ready.

If I have misunderstood James teaching – I am only to blame and will apologize in advance. Do not take my word for it – check out other vedanta sources and see for your self.