Monday, February 20, 2012

Authentic Expression & Bare Attention

by Joel D Zenie

Bare Attention is Reality uncluttered by the activity of a thinker who interprets and imagines according to past conditioned influences that have shaped perspective. This Attention clears perception and opens up the path of the Real, of What Is, not to become docile or resigned to human limitation, but that in humility there is an openness and connection with Peripheral Reality, so one is expressing harmony (or grace) in action, and altruistic/compassionate action at the highest level. To spend a lifetime clinging to the conditioned and biased personal view, to the past, not questioning one's own conditioned mental process, is to limit oneself to a narrow, mechanical, small minded and inauthentic way of thinking, feeling and living.

Attention to what is does allow for the desire to creatively express Self, allowing the inner to manifest as the outer, and with artistic appreciation that goes beyond the purely left-brained scientific, empirical, and often sterile observation of the outer perceptual reality. What we call objective truth is really a subjective story, a projection of mind, some of it individual and most of it a collective hallucination of consciousness. Previous conditioning has created the perception of "what is now" and it is essential to honor this as well as recognizing the need for changing it, not by discarding reality (what is) in favor of an ideal (what ought to be) but by acting in harmony with life as it is actually happening, in alignment with here and now. It is the only effective win-win good for ALL concerned way of acting spontaneously, authentically, creatively and artfully in the world... from the inside out.

The question that arises now is whether it is okay to put the love of Self (including close family, partner, friends, etc) first, after many years (as a western world raised individual) of having been disconnected from the really precious part of being alive, and not just as another physical human body (with a little egoic mind) looking to survive and make a success of itself in "the outside world". It seems that the transition to inwardness for many of us seeking to awaken spiritually is a full time occupation, sometimes a struggle and other times an infatuation... this individual life I call authentically my own is a new and exciting discovery, with much evolution and self expression to unfold.

While keeping this mindful awareness intact, which is attentive to surroundings, people, and the world at large, and has an interest or openness to peripheral connection, I still find it is a bare undeniable fact of existence that nearly all my time, interest and attention goes to my self and what I call *my life or life path*. Because I believe this to be true of most everyone in the world today, everyone who is human, I raise the question as to whether this self-absorption is a most necessary and natural evolution with regard to where so many of us are inwardly and also living within the conditions of the outside material (modern, western) world.

It is my perspective that as open as I am to understanding and accepting Universal Truth, the world I live in and the path I trod today is a very much an INDIVIDUAL Truth that is sometimes in perfect harmony with the Tao or Way of things and other times troubled, turbulent, full of turmoil. Either way you look at it, light or dark, it is the only Way that I know to simply Be who I really and truly Am, following the guidance of this Heart's Desire, and living in the Clear Light of Spiritual Illumination.

As Mohandes Gandhi famously said you have to "be the change/love you want to see in the world". Our first and foremost responsibility as spiritual human beings is in being true to Self, and living each moment from the Spiritual Heart of Being.

Aha! News ~ Insight for 2-20


  1. Self sufficiency and the full expression of personal potential are what the Self seeks, the independence of being in charge, in control, and never in need of anything from anyone, AND the the freedom to live your life to the fullest, unobstructed by worldly problems or the weight of many little responsibilities. The moral of this essay is quite simply that one needs both an active (and hopefully satisfying) Spiritual and Individual life, both peripheral and central (respectively) in perspective and focus, where each healthfully and harmoniously complements the other. The Spiritual Life lays down the "Ground of Being" foundation from which all potentials become possibilities, within the realm of what is Real and True to the Self and Larger Universe that surrounds... Conversely, the ability to live one's life to the fullest potential and be maximally self sufficient, is what makes Spiritual contentment with the Here and Now (Reality) a fulfilling and ongoing experience.

    The reason Individual and Personal growth is central and crucial is that without progress on the individual level, the Now (or momentum) of life only stagnates, and one feels at the mercy of a precarious and often oppressively dominant "outside world". Most live with this oppression mildly, on different levels, many not satisfied with their occupations or the lack of freedom to explore, be adventurous. It becomes crucial at some point to live this day as though it might be your last, and refuse to live in fear. Take bold risks in life and move ceaselessly onward and forward along the path, remembering to smell the roses along the way...

  2. Being content with Reality naturally and necessarily brings in the opposite emotional energy of *creative discontent*. One learns how to be content with life as it is happening, with whatever one gets, and yet not be at all content to be too passive and keep things at the same state or level for long. My contentment with now remains steady just so long as I am actively living this moment to it's creative fullest, from the inside out... from center to periphery.

  3. Joel D Zenie

    The Spirit Life establishes a deep appreciation, gratitude and contentment for what one is/has now, positively serving the purpose of individual self expression by harmonizing and working effectively with what is. Conversely, the will and intent to express and reach one's fullest creative potential, this moment and into the next, is what is required to remain content. I choose to live and operate from such a state of creative discontent, knowing that more joy and discovery is always possible and doable with each fresh new birth of life experience. In this way I remain in the flow of contentment, knowing that I've given my best.