From the Outside In

MyZen_Logo-ORNOne of the reasons for our mutual disconnect is because of this one fact: Most of us live our entire lives from the outside in, instead of the inside out.  And, to realize our own true nature from the outside is said to be impossible.

What does this mean?

In plain English, it simply means that most of what we decide is true about ourselves comes from the outside universe. Whether its our parents’ or friends’ perceptions of who they think we are, or from the media and all its forms telling us who we need to be, most of what we think is true about ourselves ultimately comes from our external reality. And there’s only one reason why this kind of thing is so affective at tying us to the surface of life: We were never taught how to trust our own hearts, or informed that everything we need to know about who we are comes from the inside.

Those who know independent thought are a detriment to the fabric of mass culture and society. The worst enemy of a government isn’t terrorists; it’s independent thinkers who see through the lies that we’ve been conditioned since birth to believe. Anyone who sees through the lies, who recognizes the mass conditioning that we have been spoon-fed since we were children, might rise up against that authority and power. The path of Buddha is to take that fight up internally, to fight our own demons, and to them help others recognize and fight their own demons. But not everyone makes that peaceful choice.

Ironically enough, the most direct path to Enlightenment actually comes from us learning to trust our own hearts. In fact, most of us were conditioned out of what we knew to be true when we were children. That beautiful, unfettered mind we naturally possessed when we were kids is our True Mind. It’s our True Nature, and the purest expression of our humanness. The mind of a child may lack filters, but it also accepts every possibility as possible. We also know how to use our intuition, our imaginations, our keen sense of others’ feelings and emotions and states of being. Our very survival depended on it!

It’s one thing to tell ourselves that we are all connected or that we live life to love and to be loved.  It’s another thing entirely to live that realization from our awakened, fully-formed selves, when we remember our True Nature, and also remember that everything we ever needed to live a fully-realized was always within us all along. Part of the reason so few of us remember that we are Enlightened from the day we’re born until the day we die is this one thing:

It takes great courage to sit with one self.  Most avoid it at all costs!

Society does absolutely everything in its power to distract us. There are few things more powerful (and potentially more dangerous) than a fully-formed adult human who can see past the illusions of this reality and peer directly into our own soul, into our True Nature.  Trusting our own hearts wholly and completely is what the very core of every spiritual tradition is about, including Zen Buddhism.  What we find when we truly sit with ourselves, is the answer to our frustration, to our agitation, to our discontent; it’s that beautiful, completely connected Original Mind that has been buried under years of conditioning and distraction.  It’s the place where genuine, unshakable happiness truly does exist.

How to Recognize Our Poles are Reversed

One of the inherent powerful aspects of being brainwashed into believing the lie of who we are, is that most of us, by nature, want to cling to the illusions and delusions. Much of how we define ourselves is wrapped up in who we believe ourselves to be. And, when something comes along that challenges our long-held beliefs, we tend to resist. Even the above paragraphs; you may have a desire to write them off as “conspiracy theory” or “sensationalism” or “exaggeration”, but that’s nothing more than verification that you are trapped on the surface of life because of the conditioning that is preventing you from living a full life.

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