If you're interested in conscious living, then likely you're just as equally interested in Zen but simply not knowingly interested.

Usually Zen is associated with Japanese culture and religious or Buddhism practice, but true Zen (or at least the way this site uses the term) is emphasizing the value of conscious living.

Zen and conscious living come together and go hand-in-hand. Hence, conscious living without Zen is a huge oversight and vice-versa because these are not two.

"Conscious Flex: Zen & Conscious Living" is designed to offer a partnership of how these seemingly two are actually one movement.

Zen is the foundational spaciousness or presence from which conscious living derives. In the same manner that an artist, inventor or intuitive actions come from the stillness in the silence of non-movement.

In other words, Zen is a resting in the powerful space of not thinking about thought, not doing anything about doing, not trying to be the solver or understander, the knower collector but simply allowing the intelligence of life to flow through you and as you.

What is described can be thought of as meditation or accessing our intuition, but it's actually just natural living.

Often you will see kids in a natural resting space or presence and we tell them "snap out of it" because we think they are in "lala land" or "fantasy land" and not paying attention but actually they are simply being completely present with what is. It's natural to just rest and be, that's the flow from which insight and wisdom arises from.

Hence, conscious living is also the natural flow of how life organically expands upon itself. Consequently, conscious living is Zen living, when it's pure and without conceptual overlays.

  • Time is an Illusion which has Major Consequences

    When I say "Time is an illusion", I'm not talking about an abstract spiritual idea, metaphor, or any other type of teaching which requires that you abandoned logical based thinking. I'm talking about something extremely rational and based on direct experience and scientific evidence.

    What is Time?
    Time was invented as a tool to measure. What it measures depends on the conceptualization of its value. In other words, for example, it can measure the average lifetime of a human life, and this information can be used for a purpose that provides value to human life.

    However, it's quite literally only a tool created out of a mental construction. In other words, you can't go out in the world of objects and physical matter to bring back an object that you can call time. You can't grab time and say; "This object in my hand, this is what time is." because time doesn't actually exist outside our minds.

    If something is a thing, it can be measured and identified has having qualities; if it's real and holds true to the reality of the physical world. Some things that we can't grab with our hand, still has matter or energy which can be measured. For example, light can even be measured. In science, there is an ongoing debate if light is a particle or a wave of energy, but never-the-less, since it has energy (or is energy), and contains matter, it can be measured. Time, however, can not be measured because itself is a mental tool invented to measure.

    On a psychological level, we believe time to be real because we have a tangible material, called a clock or watch, yet that is the physical tool that was created by humankind to measure qualities. In the same way a ruler was invented and designed to measure the distance between objects. But, that physical object isn't measuring actual distance because we made it up. An "inch" or "centimeter" is a mental construction. The words are made-up, the measurement is made-up, the space between the objects that can measured is made-up, and the whole conceptual framework is made-up, but taught as fact, because it's valuable.

    It holds such value in our society, that if you want to function in this society, you must literally be a slave to time. In the same way we are all slaves to money, which is also an invention of the mind. We, as a collective, are slaves to our own mental inventions. It's actually a form of mental illness to invent mental ideas that enslave.

    In the history of inventors, most all inventions were designed to help humanity live life more comfortably and then society takes that invention and uses it to enslave itself.

    Yet, no matter how you want to slice it, time is an illusion in the mind. Time is relative to the state of consciousness in which time is being perceived. In other words, time can go-by fast or slow, depending on if you enjoy what you're doing. Hence, it's all perspective because it's all mental and relative to subjective experience, not objective fact.

    The logic behind this, is that it's easy to notice that time never moves. When you think of the past, you're thinking about the past, right now. When you think about the future, you are thinking about the future in this present moment. When you have a memory of a past event, that memory is happening here, right here, in this timelessness. A picture of the past, or a scar being seen in the moment, is not proof that a past existed, it's evidence that this timelessness changes perspective based on subjective experience.

    A Mental Construction Fabricated by the Mind
    The idea that something happened in the past; thus, you have a memory related to the past, and a scar on your body related to the memory -is a series of connecting ideas that are happening right now. An idea begets an idea, begets an idea, and before long you develop a story that is very convincing. But if you look at it rationally and logically, it's just a mental construction fabricated by the mind in order to measure events and your experience to it.

    This is very simple to understand. If you have a memory, where are you having that memory? Are you having it in the past or right now? Obviously you don't magically travel to an imaginary past every-time you have a memory. So, what is a memory if it has absolutely no ties to a tangible past? The past cannot be measured. There is literally no evidence that a past existed. The past has no links or connections anywhere, except in thought, which is just made-up words.

    Thoughts, words, language; just another tool we created, which has involved to the point of creating mental constructions. Again, this can be used for value or to enslave. Mostly we use it to enslave ourselves and each other, just like time.

    Time never moves, it's always here now. Now is timelessness. Now is all that exists, since all other notions of time happen in this nowness. Now never moves in time, because time is never not now.

         now now now
      now             now
    now      \       now
      now             now
        now now now

    The reason this simple logic is challenging to register, for most people, is two-fold:

    1. The obviousness that time never moves, is so intimate to our experience, that we completely disregard that fact, and take it for granted, based on the closeness of it to our experience.

    Much like light is taken for granted because it's such a common experience and intimate to our everyday lives. It's easy to miss and simply forget the obviousness of it. The question "what is light?" rarely (if ever) enters our minds because we see it all the time.

    2. In our society we don't value the fact of timelessness. It's not used or treasured in our society. More accurately stated, we don't notice that we use it, in fact, if it were not for timelessness, our mental construction of time, that we use so often, couldn't exist, but instead of valuing that fact, we disregard the obviousness and simple logic of it in favor for our idea of time.

    In the same way we disregard light and only focus on what the light allows us to see. We value more what can be seen, than the source (light; not to mention consciousness) which allows everything to be seen. As mentioned, have you questioned what light is? Yes, it comes from the Sun, but what is it? What is light made of? What is that energy radianting from the Sun?

    Most of us don't have time to examine or research such questions. By that, I mean, most of us are such a slave to our own mental construction of time, that we don't have enough energy to invest or investigate the value of things which our society doesn't value.

    The Timelessness of the Microscopic World 
    Light is an amazing thing because it can appear to be a particle, if it's being measured while active. Or light can appear as waves of energy, if you don't measure it and only measure the end result. It seems to do extremely unlogical, weird, and unexplained things when it's not being measured.

    In fact, when it's not being measured, it can appear to be both a wave of energy, a particle, neither, both, and all simultaneously. The combinations of what is possible, when it's not being measured is immense, if not infinite.

    To get a better idea of how this works and what experiment was used to discovered this phenomenon, watch the video below:

    As a society, we value the particle, or what can also be known as matter, physical, material, substance, tangible objects, etc... For the most part, energy is unseen and we don't value or pay much attention to the unseen world. The microscopic world, the world that is unseen with the naked-eye, etc... is disregarded as if it doesn't matter as much.

    However, if we begin to value the energetic world, we will see that energy is interconnected with the physical world. If we stop measuring our timeless existence by conceptualized time, but by how much value or enjoyment we receive through what we are doing, our entire society would shift in a brief measurement of conceptual time.

    Time is Relatively Experienced as a Subjective Phenomenon in the Mind
    However, it starts subjectively. You can begin to experience time differently by understanding the mental framework which holds it in place within your mind. That alone can free you from the burden of it, since it's relatively experienced as a subjective phenomenon.

    However, the enjoyment aspect can be beneficial too, since time doesn't feel to exist if you're doing what you enjoy.

    The mental idea that makes-up time does hold value, but we as a society, have forgot to use it for the value it holds. In fact, we worship it to the point that we have mapped out our whole entire existence based on this one mental ideas alone, and this is normal, but very unnatural. Hence, we eat when it's time to eat, instead of when we are hungry. We sleep when it's time to sleep, instead of when we are tired. We wake-up when the alarm goes off, not when we naturally wake.

    The Major Consequences of Believing in the Concept of Time
    Not only this but because we are slaves to our own mental creation of time, we don't have enough time to prepare healthy meals, so we eat extremely unhealthy foods, like fast foods or prepared foods. We eat chemicals, we drink chemicals, we breathe chemicals; because chemicals are fast solutions. We use radiation to cook food, because it's fast. We don't take the time to have an honest and open vulnerable connection with people, because we don't have the time. "How are you? Good. And how are you? Fine." We look for instant solutions to all of our challenges, because we enslave ourselves with time.

    All this is to be expected though, it's very natural that if you live your life unnaturally, then unnatural consequences will unfold. In other words, time, money, and thoughts are all false fabrications of reality. They hold no actual existence outside the mind, so naturally nature will not align with ideas of it.

    In fact, our ideas have major consequences to ourselves, and the very life supporting system of the planet we all need to survive as a species. Nature is a dictatorship; we either follow the natural rules of the game or we perish, simple as that.

    What we value, is obviously not serving us and is in fact killing us. If we are to survive as a species, we need to value what is real, not mental constructions and ideas of what we think is real. To do that, we need to unlearn our preexisting conditioned ideas of reality based on the upbringing of our society and culture. Simply unlearning the false ideas or simply noticing them, is enough to arrive at the solutions automatically.

    Normal Versus Natural
    Once we let go of our ideas of what is normal, being natural is effortless. We often confuse normal with natural. Most assume this reality and the way it's manifesting itself based on the collective perspective of humanity, is reality. But 95% of what we think is reality is based directly or indirectly on our false ideas of reality. We see the world based on what we think of it. We are seeing our thoughts of reality, a thought overlay of reality, not reality itself.

    Reality is timeless. It's simple to see, if we're willing to take the time to notice. That is to say, if we stop, for just a moment, right now, in this presence; it's obvious that there is only this presence and all other notions of time are constructions in our heads. You can always pick your idea of time back up, all it takes a moment to stop and ponder, investigate, question or inquire into your actual direct experience of this concept we have labeled "time".

    Time Doesn't Repeat, We Do
    Usually the only time when people acknowledge that time is new, is at the beginning of the new year.  "Happy New Year!" we say, as if time is only new after a year, since we don't know what is going to happen this year. The truth of the matter is that we don't know what is going to happen within the next instance, since every instance is new. Time is always fresh and new because there is no time. Time doesn't repeat itself, we do.

    We walk around like we know what is going on. We constantly think we are in time, we constantly think that what we think is accurate and correct, we are constantly mistaking mental concepts as actual reality, we are constantly thinking the same thing 95% of the time, constantly recalling "the past" (as if that's something real), living in memory (as if memory could repeat itself), we are constantly stuck in the rut of what we think is happening; and thus, we experience reality as if it is time-based.

    We take the concept of time and philosophize a whole framework within it, thus, it can feel as if our entire existence and experiences are time-based because we are barely ever (if at all) noticing the mystery of life within timeless reality. Every instance, there is nothing but mysteriousness and strangeness (the fact that life is here at all, is weird), but we conceptualize everything into knowledge and miss what is actually here.

    Next time you're eating an apple, really be present to the taste of the apple. Notice the feel of the apple in your hand. Notice the feel of it as you sink your teeth into the apple. As you chew the apple, notice the texture, the quality, the taste, the bite size piece getting smaller in your mouth as you chew. Notice how it really feels as you swallow the chewed apple bit.

    The experience described above, that we call "eating an apple" is an incredible and mysterious phenomenal experience. As is every experience in life that we take for granted. The reason we take the experience of "eating an apple" for granted and stop experiencing it as an phenomenal experience, is because we filter the experience through our knowledge of it. We filter the experience through our past experience of it (as if we already experienced it once before and therefore know what it is). We take what is thought of as known and experience the known, not the reality. We experience our thoughts of reality, not reality itself.

    Experiences Don't Pass (There is no Past)
    Past experiences are not experienced. Experience is synonym to life and is as constant as life is. Life is not separated into experiences, it's continuous. It's continuously now. Experiences don't move, life doesn't move, our thoughts about what we are experiencing changes. Thoughts move and change, but thoughts don't move through time. Only thought can think that another thought is different. Thoughts are words and all words are empty. Words only seem different from each other because we give words different meanings.

    We think "I'm just eating an apple". As if we experienced that already, but what actually happened is that we were given ourselves back to ourselves. The first experience you ever had of "eating an apple" didn't reveal to you the knowledge of what that is, it revealed to you what you are. What was already there within you. Experiences show you yourself, not something about something else. And what you are is a mystery. You cannot be solved, you can only be what you are. No experience is ever giving you knowledge of anything but what you are. So the experience of "eating an apple", doesn't give you knowledge of what that experience is. You don't now know what an apple is. Just because we call the mystery "an apple" doesn't define what the experience is. The word "apple" is just a label that means nothing but the meaning you give it. The word "apple" could have been "oboulcaninte", which means what? Nothing. It's just a label we use to express something which cannot be expressed. But we make it up and pretend as if things can be expressed because the expressing of it holds value for human life.

    All human progress and inventions has depending on language, up to the point that language was invented. Hence, it contributes to the comfort of human life, that's its value.

    However, we think "I'm just eating an apple". As if we know what that means and then insert knowledge as an overlay of the experience. Hence, the experience becomes less present, less felt, less sensed through the senses of the body.

    The body is always completely present because it doesn't lose the sense of presence through ideas of what is presently happening (only the mind can do that, which in fact is never present). Yet, it seems obvious as an experience that if the body is completely present and we are not completely present to the body, then we are not conscious of our body or our actual experience of the body. The truth is that most people are not often aware of being present to their own body. If they were, they would never lose the sense of what this present is and how it's experienced without the conceptualization in the mind of thoughts.

    Thoughts seem to be extremely more important than they actually are. Thoughts are very useful in the value that they can provide, but we rarely use thoughts as the tool of value and instead as an overlay of every experience. No matter how articulate or lengthy thoughts and words are, they can not ever capture the experience of what is actually here because thoughts are not designed to understanding reality, thoughts are just a tool to be used, in the same way a hammer is used to nail. But you wouldn't ask a hammer what the meaning of life is, that's not its purpose. Thoughts are to be used as a creative device to improve the environment in which the body lives. Thoughts cannot improve what life is by philosophizing about life, this is pushing the tool way beyond its capabilities. You understand life much more by being present to it, then you will with a lifetime of conceptualizing life through thoughts and knowledge.

    That isn't to say that knowledge doesn't have its place. Knowledge allows life to grow and learn from itself. Thus, since we have pushed thoughts past their intended use and function, it can feel as if thoughts and words have the power to transform, but it's not the thoughts that do this, it's the letting go of conceptualized thoughts about life (which don't serve). Hence, if I say "there is no past" and those words take you to a place where you are able to become present, then you might mistake my words as the source of your presence, but the source is actual in noticing the presence; the presence that is always here. It's consciousness which notices, not thoughts. Consciousness notices and conceptualized thoughts (ideas that stick) are naturally dropped. The power is in consciousness and becoming conscious of what is here, thoughts do not have this power.

    There is a lot that can be said about presence and what happens when life is experienced through thoughts instead of presence. For example, all fears are produced in thought, and we are conditioned to relate to each other through thoughts, not the unconditional presence, etc... Many articles on this site point to exactly this. Many books can be written about this because it's so in-depth and ingrained with our everyday living. Presence and becoming present to it, is the source of many insights and realizations. But these revelations are not happening in thought or to thought, they are happening through the noticing of habitual conditions. Conditions which are activated through the conditioning of culture (enculturation).

    Time is not real, the value it provides is real, but only if it's not overused, abused, or believed to be real.

    Didn't it take time to write this article?
    If there is no time, then there is no duration of here to there.... but you are there and I am here, right?
    And isn't there space between here and there? If there is no time, then there would be no space between here and there.

    Duration in time, is a concept in thought, nothing more. There is no time.

    You could say "it took time for me to write this" but the time it takes depends on the perspective of the subjective experience. A perspective is a mental happening, in which there are immense qualities, depending on the perspective that is believed. Hence, time is a perspective of mind, not a physical reality. Moreover, there is only now and now never moves. It's never not now, so it didn't take time to write this. I start writing it now and 15 minutes later, it's still now.

    We tend to think of it as a new now, which means it's a different now. A now that was now then, but is now present. A now that passed by into the past and somehow turned into a present now. But now is constantly new, never is now not a new now. It never shapes into an old now, a past now. When is the present moment considered a past moment? Where is the boundary or line between the past and present?

    If you measured with the tool of a clock, you could say, it took 15 minutes to write this message to you, but again the clock is a mental concept created to measure. Time itself doesn't exist in any measure because it itself is a tool for measurement and therefore is not an actual reality in the true nature of reality. Just a concept of reality. An illusion we created out of our mental ideas about life. Not life itself or what life is.

    In fact, everything that anybody could speak about is nothing but a concept. You cannot capture life through a thought, no portion of it can be captured. Thoughts are made-up words for communication, nothing more. When we use the word "time", we are not describing anything real. However, when you use the word "apple", you are describing something real in reality, unlike the word "time". But there is a big difference between words that point to something physical and measurable versus words that point to mental concepts, nothing real or measurable outside the mind of thoughts.

    If you're here, now, in this beingness of presence; time is not experienced as a believed concept. It's not experienced as a concept that has any reality to it. It's useful and valuable, but not real, none the slightest. Your experience of time is the same, but your view on it is not stuck in a psychological belief that you live in a timeline.

    "Then" and/or "there", are also spaces which point to mental concepts only. They are useful concepts, but there is always only here, now, no space or time. The scientific world of quantum physics, shown in the video above, proves that all possibilities, when not measured, are presently available because there is no time or space in which things are happening. The electrons don't follow a space in time, unless measured.

    It's like in a dream. All the dream content is consciousness itself. There can seem to be a "you over there" and a "me over here" but it all happens within the consciousness of the dreamer. There is no actual "there", it's all here in consciousness. We are both that one consciousness. Here in the same "dream", also known as, the same consciousness. It's quite a challenge to recognize this, realize it, and understand it; until the mental concepts are seen through as false.