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.

  • The Secret of Life!

    The secret to life is that life is not a secret. Life is revealing itself to you, is very un-secretive and shares every secret with all of life. Therefore, the secret of life is to notice what is already there revealing itself and exposing every life secret.

    There is this ever-present never-changing awareness. This is who you are, unaffected by observing the images/appearances of life. In this article I am going to point to how this awareness is ever-present, where its life secrets are revealed, how this awareness is unaffected by observing everything in life, what the mind does, what life is, what death is, how fear is self created, what the purpose of life is, if goals matter, why there is no growth, and more.

    In order to point to this awareness, I am going to a metaphor that closely relates to how this awareness perceives life.

    The Movie Screen Metaphor
    This awareness is stuck, it has nowhere to go and nothing to do. It's comparable to watching a movie screen. All of life is this playing movie on the screen of awareness. To the awareness the whole of life is the totality of the movie screen.

    For example, when you walk, to the awareness you are not walking at all. To awareness, when you so called: walk, all that is happening is the images/appearances on the screen are changing. Nothing else is happening except the images/appearances changing. In other words, when you see your legs moving, you are not walking, you're just noticing the screen of the movie. When you're watching a movie, you're not going anywhere, the movie screen is just changing the view that you see. If you were to take your finger and feel the screen, it would be flat, just like a picture on the computer screen.

    All senses even feeling are like this to the awareness. When you feel your leg touch the ground (while the other leg is in the air not feeling the ground yet), to awareness all that is happening is the feeling of the screen is changing it's image/appearance of the feeling sense.

    To better understand this, take your finger and place it between two keys on your keyboard. Do you notice the space between the keys because the solidness of the two keys between the finger? Or do you notice the space between the two keys on the keyboard because the space is there? In other words, is it the space that gives rise to the feeling of the keys, or is it the keys that give rise to the space? There is no way to distinguish between the two because there is only one awareness being aware of it. To awareness when you feel something, all that is happening is the feeling of the screen is changing. The awareness does not change, the screen changes. To awareness it does not matter if something is felt or not because either way awareness is still there. The awareness does not change, the screen that awareness is viewing changes. Rather the view of the movie is changing through seeing or feeling, the screen is still just a screen.

    If you comprehend this correctly then you realize that it doesn't matter what you do or where you go in life because life is still the same movie screen. There is no way to escape or change awareness, awareness is stuck in the theater watching the movie screen. This is why all is life is one thing because it's all the movie screen. The body you see is part of that movie screen, the people you see are part of that movie screen, everything you can observe is the movie screen. When you move your head, the head is not moving, the images/appearances are moving on the movie screen.

    To awareness (which is who you really are) there is no such thing as spiritual truth because it's all on the screen. People spend most their lives seeking truth, thinking they are getting somewhere, but they are not moving, they are not going anywhere and every truth they find is just part of the image/appearance on the movie screen. There is no image/appearance on the movie screen that can be truth because the truth of who you are is the viewer of the images/appearances on the movie screen.

    The Keyboard Example
    That awareness is aware of both the keyboard keys and the space between the keys simultaneously because both are the same-thing (on the movie screen), they both are the same-thing because there is only one thing being aware, your awareness doesn't separate the difference between these two things by observing it. The mind separates things by thinking that it is observing something different and this is what causes suffering.

    The Mind Separates the Movie
    You don't go to watch movie that has nothing but joy in it, you like to watching the conflict/sorrow because you know that it's temporary and makes the joy parts much more fun to watch. You like sitting there watching the movie, because you do it out of entertainment value. You accept whatever images arise on the screen because you know you're unaffected by it.

    The problem here is that people have forgotten that they are only watching a movie and at best they think they are watching a series of movies, so they divide the movie into segments. When one 'segment' of the movie 'ends' (pain), they rate the movie. Yet that was not the end of the movie, you can't rate a movie until you watched the whole thing. That pain was leading up to some joy but they missed the joy all together because they focused on the pain. All pains will eventually lead to joy because the movie is always changing.

    The suffering starts when you start trying to change the movie. When you stop trying to change it then pain is allowed and when pain is allowed, then it's moved through quite quickly and now the joy can come faster.

    People experience more pain then joy because they hold onto that 'segment' of the movie: they keep talking about it, they keep remembering it, they keep bringing it back up, they keep showing to others, they keep replaying it over and over again. That part of the movie was not meant to be played over and over again, let the movie keep playing.

    Just enjoy the movie: it could be a horror, a comedy, a drama, a inspirational film, etc... but whatever is playing, enjoy it by knowing that it can't be changed by you. Learn to enjoy all the varieties of movies, you can't have an inspirational movie playing all the time, eventually that would cause boredom, that is why you can't have joy without sorrow.

    This Life (Movie) is Only Possible Thanks to Opposites Appearing
    This movie would not be playing at all if it were not for the opposites of everything being there.

    If everything was empty-space, then there would be no forms to experience the empty-space. And likewise, if everything was solid-form then there would be no empty-space for the form to be aware of itself as something. Take away one and the other could no exist, therefore neither is independently there on its own. Take away all the solid-forms and nothing would exist. Take away all the empty-space and the solid-forms could not exist. They need each other to be anything. Everything/nothing complimenting each other. Take away one and the other is not there.

    In other words, if everything was only joy, then no joy could appear on the movie screen. The concept of joy wouldn't even be fathomable. It's through the appearance of sorrow on the screen of awareness that allows the appearance of joy to exist.

    Life is the Only Thing Existing, Everything Else is Appearance
    The only thing that doesn't have an opposite is life (life is the awareness of who you are). People assume that the opposite to life: is death, but really the opposite to death is birth. Nobody knows what this present moment right now means. If one could take all the ideas, concepts, beliefs, and all the assumptions they have about life and discard them, they would see that life (this movie screen) right now holds everything.

    In other words, this life (this movie screen) can not be understood, it's a mystery that can't be solved. The mind likes to solve things, understand things, and see meaning/purpose. It sees meaning through labels: "This is a computer screen" now it has a label, a meaning to it. This thing you're seemingly looking at is not a computer screen (or piece of paper, if you decide to print this off), it's an appearance on the movie screen of awareness.

    The mind can intellectually understand what I am pointing to, but understanding it and having a direct experience of it is vastly different. People who point to enlightenment/awakening/ascension/nonduality/liberation/nirvana/advaita, etc.. , they are living in a world of paradox, everything that has an opposite to anything else is one thing (one movie screen) and because everything has an opposite, either or choice becomes irrelevant. They cancel each other out.

    When you really realize this, you will not care what happens on the movie screen because you will see that you don't have control over how the movie plays itself out. The whole movie of images/appearances will become irrelevant because once you try to change the movie, you will cause the movie image/appearance of suffering to take place.

    When you realize this, you will see that this awareness of who you are is there even if there are no images/appearances arising. This awareness is infinitely boundless. Beyond this awareness where there are no images/appearances of anything arising on the screen, you will be unaware and aware at the same-time because this is the place you came from, it's above and beyond any logic or understanding: it's pure unmanifestation. Everyone has awareness, but in the larger sense, this awareness is one awareness.

    In other words, 'everyone' seeing different images/appearances on their movie screen is the same one awareness that derived from this same one unmanifestation. There is only one of us here viewing the images/appearances from another perspective of itself (another seemly location in the seemly world of the same one movie screen). This unmanifestation is the all of everything, it is the everything/nothing that allows the one awareness to be aware of seemly individual movie screens, yet it's the same movie screen appearing. Therefore, the awareness being aware of the images/appearances from its own perspective, is a limited perspective but only limited by that perspective. The perspective doesn't limit the awareness because the one awareness is the whole of everything viewing the one screen. The one unmanifestation and the one awareness are the same one thing.

    You can intuitively sense this through the awareness that is aware of all the images/appearances. The direct experience of this intuitive knowingness is found by realizing yourself as this awareness and as the awareness of images/appearance on the movie screen of awareness.

    Therefore, upon so called death, all that is happening is that the movie screen of appearances/images changes to viewing the unmanfestation. The awareness is who you are and that awareness can not do anything except be what it is, when there is no movie screen being viewed, then unmanfestation will be viewed.

    No fear
    There is nothing to fear what-so-ever on the movie screen because it's just a screen. Even the fear of death is ridiculous, but 'instincts' will arise on the screen of awareness in order to keep the movie screen playing. Other than that, there are no other fears that arise when this is seen.

    I can't see any purpose to any of this from here, other then experiencing oneness as oneness itself. In the unmanifested/awareness that oneness can not be experienced as something because it's known as everything/nothing as it is. Experience can only happen on the movie screen and from the images/appearances on the screen changing. Having said that, I can't say it's purposeless, it just doesn't seem to matter to form a conclusion of purpose or purposeless.

    However, the more I experience this movie screen from sitting in the seat perspective of knowing myself as awareness, there seems to be a purpose that is provided through having fun with the images/appearances.

    In other words, it's like having a lucid dream (being aware that you are asleep in your bed having a dream) and when a lucid dream happens you can do almost anything. I like trying to fly in my lucid dreams because I realize it as a dream and I know even if I fall from the air, the pain is not real. It's much like a lucid dream, there seems to be aspects that can be shifted.

    Now realizing it's just a movie screen in which you have no control, doesn't mean that goals don't arise (life goes on much the same, what arises on the image/appearance screen still arise). Goals can be quite rewarding in the image/appearance, but don't be disappointed if the goal doesn't appear the way you imagined. When the image/appearance of desire arise on the movie screen of awareness: have fun planning to accomplish that new appearance (hence goal), have fun working towards creating that appearance, have fun with all the appearances you have now while you work toward that new appearance. Life can be fun when you realize it's all appearances. The whole point seems to be saying 'enjoy this life while it's here'.

    Everything covered in this article is pointing to you as infinite awareness and since awareness is the whole of everything, you are already complete, perfect, infinite, full. There is nothing to add to you here on this movie screen.

    Therefore, don't get lost in the concept that any goal is going to add to you or cause you to grow in anyway. There is nothing to learn, nobody to grow, nobody is growing, nothing that you can experience will add to yourself. You do not grow through life experiences (How can you grow through an image/appearance?).

    You are not here to remember anything, in fact forget everything you know and you will see the truth of you as described here. As conscious as you are of this life (movie screen), consciousness does not grow because the awareness behind consciousness is you and that awareness is the one of everything.

    Unmanifestation Verse Manifestation
    This life is awareness being manifested as images/appears on the movie screen (life is the movie screen). This life is fun when it's seen as that because the unmanifestation is seen as well.

    In the unmanifestation, there is oneness, just like the manifestation. The only difference is that awareness is viewing the oneness of the one movie screen, rather then viewing oneness as everything/nothing or uneverything/unnothing. When there is nothing to view, no images/appearances, then nothing/everything is happening as unnothing/uneverything. As you can imagine, that is a very unlive/living place to reside, you are always residing there but when it's unknown that you are still there because the movie screen is distracting you, then you can now play. Can you see how life is a gift to yourself for yourself to experience yourself as seemly separate parts of yourself?

    Life's Secret
    The secret of life is that there are no secrets, everything in this article was starring you in the face the whole time. None of the explanations in this article were ever kept hidden from you. How can oneness hide from itself? Everything that seemed hidden was only an illusion. Illusions are not real so how can illusions hide the truth of you. Illusions are only possible if you buy into the illusion being real and that was the whole point. How could oneness experience itself as oneness without this movie screen?

    Any Questions?
    Not like I have all the answers, in fact I know nothing, which is where the explanations in this article derived from. Anyone coming from a place of not knowing anything and innocently looking at what is appearing, would arrive to the same conclusions in this article because the truth of your being can not hide in the illusions forever.