The Remote

The external world is my television. I am the projector and I have access to the remote if I choose to take control. Our external projection is a reflection of our internal state. That is a fear inducing thought. We have full control to change the channel? It’s much easier, regardless of how unfulfilling it may be, to walk the path guided by others. To take back the remote means that we are now in full control and responsible for every action we take. Here is the thing. By choosing not to take the remote, we are still fully responsible. The state of the outer world is a reflection of your inner world. We are all responsible for the show that is playing outside of us. The more we watch the same show, the more we encourage it to keep playing.

It’s time to take back your remote and change the channel.

This is what came up for me in savasana, some light morning thoughts yesterday on a cloudy Friday morning:-). We get comfortable with a particular channel, mine being my my current business as an example. I don’t want to change it because it’s so familiar, so comfortable. Even though its clear that it’s not my path, I know how to navigate my way through, but teaching yoga, leading meditations, performing comedy, speaking on stage, writing and running workshops around the evolution of human consciousness, inspiring others to turn their gaze inward, to experience the power of mind and the exploration of energetic body (which is the next evolution of humanity if we don’t completely fuck it up). Being a leader that leads from the front? Where will that take me? Thats an entirely different scary ass channel.

How about when the heart is broken? How about when it cracks instead of closing it back up, that we explore, we go deeper within. How will that project? How will that shift the internal and eternal? This heart of mine has been more like an Airbnb then a permanent residency. I don’t let people stay too long because if they do and one day decide to leave then I am left with this gaping hole within. Lets say I do open up for the long term stay, take the risk and one day she or he or they leave, instead of closing up, can I remain open, dig deeper, explore the depths of this heart, to dive into emptiness, the pain and come out the other side?

Have you ever noticed when your heart breaks, how raw you feel and how others notice a profound shift in you even if its for a brief moment? Despite how tired you may be from the sleepless nights, others see and feel you a little more then usual. They may say, “wow, you are really glowing today!” or “you are looking beautiful, did you do something with your hair?” (I get neither, probably because I fill this cracks up with a concrete like material). The outside worlds notices. A broken heart is an open heart and an open heart pours onto others the sweetness of what it means to be human at its core.

We are responsible whether we take control of the remote or not. Our external projections are a reflection of our internal state. Are you willing to change the channel? To begin creating a different show? Can you live and show up in this life with an open broken heart, the place where the nectar of our true state of being flows from?

I am responsible.
You are responsible.
We are all responsible.

Lets not fuck it up.

Lego

Treat these words like pieces of Lego.

Lego pieces to build a new foundation.

We are so thirsty for change.

We build the new on the old,

only to find our self returning back to the mould.

We yearn for something more, something new,

A deeper desire, from a deeper place.

A desire that wants to jump out from every cell within your space.

Beautiful moments happening every second, every hour, every day,

yet we speed by the sweetness of life, leading ourselves astray.

For the car crashes, we slow down to see,

we crave to learn more, we raise our curiosity.

Spotlight shined on the darkness of humanity,

light, ironically, housed in the dark.

I consume words as consciously as I consume food.

Current events a thing of the past.

It’s not that I don’t care, it’s that I care too much.

The upward battle to align with self,

thriving to survive in an expired ecosystem.

Behaviour that is killing the micro and the macro,

Killing me, you and all living beings.

Don’t you see that your attention sets the intention?

That the words you are eating are oozing out of your being?

You are what you consume, so the question is,

Who are you?

Beethoven’s Keys

He impacted the world through the piano. His soul shined and sang as his fingers danced on the keys.

What is my piano? How will I share my souls song? To express my music without the worry of whether others understand it?

What’s more important then singing and dancing the ways that I know how?

As I write, I am beginning to come alive.

As I allow the words inside of me to fall onto paper, I feel the space being created within.

I feel lighter, my breath moving freer.

The fog is beginning to clear, the heart space filling with the light from above.

So blessed to have all these outlets, to bring my PH level back to neutral.

Neither acidic nor alkaline, the chemistry of my being a fine balance.

Teetering always on the brink of chaos, of losing control.

The book, the cushion and the mat bring me back home.

Rooted below, connected above, shining front and back.

A life worth missing

I just returned back into the Matrix. I completed my second 10-day Vipassana course. Its a silent meditation retreat. No talking, writing, reading, drawing etc…This second time around was a much more challenging experience. I woke up every morning ready to go home, not because of the retreat but because I missed my life. When it was day two, I was thinking about day three. When it was day four I was thinking about day five. It was a mental, emotional and physical journey that was well worth it but I had the white flag by my side ready to wave it every morning. The one thing that kept me going was on the even number days they served deserts. It was even day desert day!!! YUM. I jumped out of bed with a little extra jump in my step. Day eight was the best. They had chocolate cake. I had two pieces. For a moment, I forgot about day nine. The simple things in life:-).

I’ve always left Toronto in the past and yes, I missed my family and friends, but I never missed my day to day life. Not to this level of intensity.  This time was different and the deep work I’ve dived into the last few years has certainly begun to pay off. It has paid to create a life that is aligned with the root of my being but I couldn’t have done it without deprogramming myself the last four years which included two rounds of Vipassana. Ten days of silence accompanied by ten hours of meditation per day, results in creating a lot of space within.

Today in yoga class, my teacher Shivalee yelled softly (if anyone can yell softly, it’s Shivalee), clear your mind! I thought to myself, shit, if I clear anymore I’m going to dissolve completely. I’m so open, raw and empty. My heart and every cell of my being seems exposed to every possible sensation this city has to offer.

Meditation, regardless of intensity or even style, begins the process of removing habitual roots, roots that no longer serve us. A meditation practice helps to create space within so we can plant new and fresh seeds. Many of us have all these deep desires to shift and live a more aligned life with who we are at present, but there is no space in the soil within to plant anymore seeds.

A little secret. To create space in the external world it requires us to create space in the internal world. It’s a profound magic trick that anyone can do and all is needed is to sit for five to ten minutes per day. Stillness and silence are the only ingredients in this recipe. One more little secret. It’s not about stopping our thoughts. If that is the game you try and play then you are playing to lose.

Here is one of the little things that unpacked during my days of silence. This is for the big city meditators:

1. Focus on your breath moving in and out of your nose. Just your natural breath. No manipulation. If you like, simultaneously focus on your breath filling and opening your heart (a lot of magic and power lives here).

2. You will eventually travel over to thought. A thought about work, your lover, your kids, your laundry or maybe chocolate cake. I know, who wants to stop thinking about chocolate cake? Not this guy.

3. The moment you notice getting lost in chocolate cake, return your focus to breath. This is the sweet juice of meditation. This is how to strengthen the self awareness muscle.

4. It’s not the breath, it’s not the thoughts, but the part where you notice and pull back from thought to breath. That my friend is the key to meditation, that is the way to develop, strengthen and expand your self-awareness and if you want to play a game, that dance from thought back to breath, that is the game to play.

Self-awareness is an ever evolving muscle that can never grow enough.

Good to be back in the matrix. If you see me in person I will probably hug the fucking shit out of you. It may get uncomfortable. I apologize in advance.

Kickstarting the energetic revolution

Dear Being,

You want to clear me,
But don’t you see?
You can’t clear the one that is the clearer.

Your’s truly,
The Mind

The mind is not something to be cleared. The mind is something to master, to control and to move consistently throughout ones body. It is the lawn mower, the weed whacker, the root extractor for our entire being.

The mind is a true multi-tasker as it can activate multiple areas of our body simultaneously.

The mind is like a pinball in a pinball machine.

Today our mind spends most of its time in the brain pinging away obsessively, triggering the same sounds (i.e. thoughts) over and over and over again.

It’s so annoying that we plug in our headphones and blast our music to drown out the repetitive, seemingly permanent thoughts. We binge watch Netflix (guilty as charged) and consume alcohol and drugs because it provides a temporary relief from the everyday.

I get it. I did it (sometimes still do). All of it and then some.

I have no regrets getting hammered. No regrets getting high. No regrets drowning myself in music and binge watching hours and hours of television, just to distract the fucking mind even if it was just for a brief moment. I welcomed any temporary relief with open arms.

In my twenties I began to contemplate and pose the question, “what is the difference between mind and brain?” but never received a clear answer. In fact most people never even thought about the difference. Like myself, many spoke about the mind and brain as if they were the same.

“I need to free my mind” or “I need to relax my mind” or “my mind is so exhausted”.

What are you freeing it from? What are you relaxing? What is exhausted?

I’ve learned, when we make these statements, what we were actually referring to is our brain.

So how do we separate the mind and brain?

I began a meditation practice in my mid-twenties and to be honest, I had no idea how to meditate or it’s purpose, but for whatever reason, it piqued my curiosity. Deepak Chopra in his book The Seven Laws of Spiritual Success, spoke about the following three practices in his first chapter:

  • Meditation
  • Sitting in Silence
  • Spending time in nature

I didn’t know how to meditate but I understood silence and spending time in nature, so that is where I began.  

Many of us start meditating and more often than not come to the conclusion “I can’t stop thinking. I suck at meditation”.

Here is a little secret I’ll share with you. The goal is not to stop your thoughts. It is not to quiet your mind or clear your mind. To attempt to clear the mind is like saying I want to stop my heart from beating and still live.

Meditation is a practice to gain control of our minds, to move and free it from the brain and consciously connect and activate the rest of our being.

As you learn to control your mind and to move it throughout your being, you inevitably reach deeper places within your own body, you begin to clear the roots from the seeds that were planted by all those who surrounded you. Seeds planted by your family, your teachers, your friends, society and the mainstream media.

You connect with yourself at a very cellular level, beginning the process of resetting and clearing the weeds that have been preventing you from seeing and rocking your full Self.

If it’s not clear yet, it’s not the mind that you are trying to simmer down, it is the brain that you are trying to give a break. The poor brain. The mind (pinball) is just dinging it so excessively that we have created a multi-billion dollar industry around treating mental illness.

Mental illness is a result of parking our minds in our brains and neglecting the rest of our being.

Why is meditation so hard?

Why can’t we sit and just drop out of our brains into the rest of our body?

Even for those who have been meditating for years, why can’t we stay whole and balanced and not get caught up in our brain so much?

If I miss one day of meditation I can feel my mind being dragged back upstairs. It’s like my mind is made of iron and my brain is the magnet.

Here is the deal. Our entire ecosystem is built around the brain. In this concrete capitalistic jungle the brain rules and our minds job is to adapt to the environment. It is our beings survival mechanism.

Have you ever gone to the cottage, to a yoga or meditation retreat or on a vacation where you engulfed yourself in nature? By the end of it, how relaxed did you feel? How connected were you to your body? Your entire being? How quiet and calm was your brain? Isn’t it incredible how sitting our ass on the beach in front of the powerful energy of the ocean or in a cabin in the middle of a forest eases the minds chokehold on our brain (or perhaps its the brains hold on the mind)?

Whether its the mind strangling the brain or its the brain placing demands on the mind, its important to develop awareness around the difference between the two because this will allow us to begin the evolution of our individual and collective consciousness and kickstart the energetic revolution.

Nature knows how to just be and when we spend time with it, we adapt to it’s stillness. When we come back after a spiritual retreat or a relaxing vacation, we can’t sustain it for too long because the dominant energy of our big city life is to park our mind in our brains. Even if you don’t want to, your mind will end up there unless you consciously develop a daily meditation and physical practice.

Yoga, running and other forms of fitness are complementary to meditation as it helps our mind connect with our whole body.

A few years back on a retreat in Costa Rica, I experienced for the first time the power of physical movement and meditation while being surrounded by nature. Meditation is incredible for taking control of the mind and physical movement compliments it beautifully.  For example, yoga opens up the body to allow the mind to enter with ease, to travel beyond the confinement of the brain.

The mind is the bridge between the physical body and the spiritual body. Many will say, I don’t believe in the spiritual being. Like meditation, accessing the spiritual body is not a belief, its a practice.

A recipe to elevating your consciousness:

  • Learning to sit in silence for 5 minutes a day will develop self awareness.
  • Learning to sit in silence in nature connects you to a deeper intelligence that resides in the earth’s core.
  • Learning to sit in silence, spend time in nature and meditate, you will begin connecting to universal consciousness from within.

Don’t wait for science to make your move.

We have an incredible opportunity to take control of our destiny, to consciously elevate humanity. We have a choice to create the world we want to live in. It’s about each human being playing their part in elevating their own consciousness and it begins with the mind. Focus on mastering, getting control by taking over the remote and becoming your minds guide. Begin to explore and activate your whole body.

We all begin at the surface but eventually, with time and practice will reach the depths of our Self.

You are so much more than what you are displaying at this very moment. To be completely blunt, humanity depends on you. This is no longer a spectator’s game. We don’t have time to wait multiple lifetimes. It is in this moment that we need everyone to enter the arena and play their part.

We parked our minds in our brains for centuries and it worked. It evolved the brain and it served us well but’s it’s time to take control of our minds and begin designing a new ecosystem that involves human intelligence from head to toe, involving every fucking cell within our body.

I’m not asking you if you want to take the blue pill or red pill. I’m saying take both. .

For a brief moment we give ourselves a mini vacation from the incessant thoughts of our brain which is activated by the mind. We drown our minds till it has no choice but to surrender to the rest of our body. Drowning and distracting the mind is like keeping a beachball under water. As soon as the hand releases (i.e. the buzz fades) the mind pops right back up into the brain.

It’s not that we have lost our mind, it’s that we have lost control over our mind.

 

 

Masturbation – To release or not to release?

Men carry the seeds of humanity. How much energy does each sperm hold? I don’t know, but considering its the seed of life I’m going to say a fucking ton. How is that for scientific measurement?

Every time we ejaculate we release our energy and if we shift our mindset and see ourselves as primarily energetic beings as oppose to mere physical beings then we can begin to explore and feel the pros and cons of masturbation.

A few points from my own experience with masturbation:

  • Personally, I carried guilt and shame around the act of masturbation (a result of eastern/Islamic upbringing in a western world). Every time I pleasured myself the weight of guilt and shame would way me down so much that the next day I fell into a mini depressive state.
  • Simultaneously, I was energetically exhausting myself because each time I masturbate there is an enormous release of energy which required a day or two to recover (for some it could take weeks).
  • We can’t talk about masturbation without bringing in the world of pornography and it’s excessive consumption due to accessibility and quality. We are programming our brains, especially our youth in a way that is unhealthy and results in physical, emotional and energetic mistreatment and abuse towards others, especially women. The ‘why’ here requires a much deeper exploration, but one thing that results from excessive consumption of porn is unrealistic expectations.

Admittedly, my experience with porn wasn’t all bad. Yes, it wired my brain in some unhealthy ways (fortunately I don’t have an addictive personality and I consciously controlled consumption) but in many ways it taught me how to have sex. How and where else would I have learned? It’s not like we received a penis manual in Catholic or Islamic school (I know, shocking, no penis manuals in religious school?).

We inherited a very powerful tool that came with zero instructions.

I cannot speak for everyone, I will only share what I have experienced and practiced. Since January 2015, I’ve stopped watching pornography and aside from three to five times (only once this year), no masturbation. Yes, only three to fives times in three years!

Don’t worry, nobody has been harmed in this longitudinal study.

Cutting out pornography and masturbation greatly improved my dating life. I had the energy, drive and desire to really get out there, be social and connect with women and not just romantically.

I learned that intimacy comes in many forms.

If you are interested in experiencing a life without masturbation and pornography, I would check out the Tim Ferries challenge from a few years ago called NOBNOM. No masturbation or booze for 30 days but sex is permitted. Obviously no porn unless you like torturing yourself.

As a man, if you are living in a major city like Toronto or New York then withholding from masturbating without alternative ways of moving your energy can lead to discovering your miserable Self. Here is a link to Taoist Secrets of Love, Cultivating Male Sexual Energy (closet thing you will ever find to a penis manual) which teaches you how to distribute and move the energy from your pelvic floor.

It’s only beneficial to NOT masturbate if you have a partner and/or learn to distribute and move the retained energy throughout your entire being.

The question that I get is, why do you not get tired after sex but tired after masturbation? The reason according to Taoists and Ayurvedic texts that I’ve read is that women have unlimited yin energy which replenishes our energy and balances it out after we release.

This brings to surface another idea that I have been developing an awareness and deeper understanding around. On the surface men seem to want to sleep with every women that enters their orbit and are obsessed with a women’s physical body. However, what I believe we are actually thirsting for when we go deeper is a women’s yin energy to balance our yang energy.

Then why are we so focused on the physical? Well, this is where porn but equally the mainstream media comes into play. We have put an incredible amount of importance and emphasis on the female’s physical body. Just stand in line at any pharmacy store and scan the magazines by the checkout counter.

For many, a life without pornography and masturbation is unimaginable. I understand. I’ve lived with that mindset like most men.

Three reasons that I am able to live my life without pornography and masturbation:

  • Practicing yoga and meditation helps move and distribute my energy throughout my entire being. I have recently dived into kundalini yoga which among many benefits, helps move my energy from the pelvic floor.
  • Learning and working towards mastering Taoist sexual practices which I am far from mastering, makes me a better lover and also helps when I’m single.
  • My improved dating and sex life is a direct reflection of seed retention, my energy has increased and my brain has created new pathways which has led to attracting incredible lovers.

We are all unique in respect to our sexual needs and desires. All I request is that you play with your Self (I know where your mind just went) in a different more evolved way and begin paying closer attention to your own energy after consuming pornography, masturbating and having sex.

After three years of almost no masturbation or pornography here are a few shifts and benefits I’ve experienced:

  • Relationships with women evolved from a predominantly physical connection to a more energetic connection.
  • Appreciation for the beauty of a women’s physical body is still there but l only desire women that I connect with energetically which narrows it down to a few and I no longer suffer from what Barry Schwartz calls the Paradox of Choice.
  • The ability to retain my seed leads to functioning at a higher vibration. When we begin functioning at a higher vibration we attract different types of lovers, friends and also aligned life opportunities.
  • Alcohol, drugs and unhealthy foods are counter intuitive to the preservation of this seed so desire to alter my state of mind lessened over time. Plus, the high I feel from all the excess energy I distribute throughout my body is like none other.
  • Increased intimacy with my partners. When the root of a connection begins with our energetic being, making love is taken to an entirely new level.
  • Dating real women as oppose to Friday night dates with my laptop naturally led to more intimacy, a more fulfilled life and decreased loneliness.

Warning: Drawbacks when you cut out pornography and decrease/stop masturbating:

  • Your right hand will lose it’s best friend. It’s sad, but I promise, it’s fucking worth it.
  • You will experience more intimacy in your relationships and not just romantic relationships.
  • You will connect more deeply with your Self
  • You will create space in your brain to think about something other then imagining where you want to stick your penis which leads to a 1000% increase in productivity.

The road to syncing the physical, energetic and spiritual body I believe is the ultimate goal of humanity. Most are overly obsessed with the physical being, some with the energetic and others with the spiritual. However, the conscious evolution of humanity is to move towards a collective synchronicity, but it begins with the energetic body, because it is the bridge between the physical and the spiritual.

In my experience, preserving the seed of life is a wonderful place to begin to connect more deeply with my energetic Self.

The Unknown

She randomly enters my thoughts and dreams

The way I want to be around her, I can’t

So I remain my partial self in her presence

Sometimes there are whys that cannot be explained, nor should they

Sometimes all that is needed is trust, belief in the unknown and
the mystical force of the universe

You don’t know which way to go so you remain where you are and
thats ok

Movement overrated

Mystical forgotten

Logical on top of mind

Love comes in many forms

From many directions

The only way to digest is to just be

To embrace

To believe

To observe the magic

To soak in the blessing

To be grateful for the mystery and the unknown

The Unseen

I consume energy
It is so natural that I don’t
even notice it at times,
If I don’t seem like myself
It’s because I’m not
I’m another.

Can someone who is closed be reopened?

If someone who is open become closed?

If the answer is yes to the above then how do we do this?

How do we become conscious of the energy we consume?

How do we become conscious of the energy we distribute?

How can we be conscious of something that cannot be seen or touched by most?

Have you figured it out?

If yes, what are your tools to being conscious of the input and output of energy?

Do you believe this is an important part of your Self, important enough to consciously build awareness around?

The same awareness we have around the food and drinks we consume, around the hugs we give and receive, around the words that we consistently exchange?

Just by reading these questions, just by pondering them, just by having a conversation with another and exploring them, you have begun expanding your self awareness around this untouched and unseen part of you and you have shifted your sense of Self and of the others around you.

Your orbit is pretty bad ass wouldn’t it be nice if you became more intimate with it?

I love your unseen even when it unknowingly consumes me, even when it is so dark and I can’t see.

Hey dummy, life is this way

This piece by Robert Rausenberg captures my upbringing perfectly.

Born and raised in Toronto by Indian immigrants doing their best to raise me as a Muslim and sustain eastern cultures. From the age of six I grew up in a town where I was one of single digit brown peeps, surrounded by Jewish, Italian and multi generation Canadians, east and west contradicted each other consistently outside and inside of me.

They all pointed me in different directions and it was hard to carve out an authentic path when everyone is enticing you too join their tribe. My answer to all this confusion? To join all the tribes, to be everywhere all the time. I mastered the art of adaptation and simultaneously each group fed a different need of mine.

Some were into hockey, others basketball, others read, discussed politics and were big foodies, some just loved to have some drinks, smoke joints and play video games while others like to go for all night parties and drop some serious mind altering substances. Some were spiritual, some loved to dance, play board games and others loved to go for walks in the park.

I played in a lot of different worlds and feel lucky for it, but it wasn’t all fun and games. When being yourself is not your full-time job, the mind body and soul can get tired and confused. There was a ton of inner conflict that parked itself inside of me. I would have to keep a lot of secrets, like I couldn’t tell my parents that I drank, smoke, hung out with girls and went to clubs.

I couldn’t mix different groups of friends because they were so different and had unaligned interests. I danced between groups all the time, wearing multiple hats. This sort of upbringing was fun but the secret lives weigh on you and always having to be only a part of yourself is fucking exhausting. What to do?

Which way to go is confusing for most people, but if I could have used one set of guidance it would be this:

Learn to spend time with yourself, meditate, sit in silence, go inward and expand the internal self.

Now, would I have understood this in my teens and twenties? Maybe, maybe not but I still think it is valuable to plant the seed to discovering the authentic Self within our children.

Seeing Red

A partial photo of a piece by Barnett Newman. What looks like a piece of canvas with red paint is so much more. He created this piece for the viewer to have an immediate intimate experience in contrast to the distant experience of other murals found in church’s and public buildings during that time.

Intimacy is even more distant in our time,
Religion has made it impossible to connect with Self,
We are always chasing something, convinced that all goodness is outside of us.

Intimacy is instant,
Intimacy is within,
Intimacy is now.

It is not something in the future,
A place where we continuously reach our hand out towards,
Something that the minute we think we have it,
It is not where we thought it would be,
Turns out it was just an illusion.

My mind made its way to the synergy between religion and capitalism.

Did religion create capitalism or did capitalism shape the religion of today?
Are they separate?
Is it time for a new religion for humanity or perhaps we need to just put back the humanity in religion?
Humanity in religion is currently absent, just like humanity in our governments.

Neither serve the greatness of all but the pockets of a few,
They wrap themselves with security blankets sewed from the blood of others.
Afraid to lose their status and decrease their bank accounts,
Hiding in the illusion of certainty.

Intimacy has indeed been lost.

We need more humanity.
We need more red.
We need more Newman.