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.

  • What Does Enlightenment Feel Like? The Concept of Déjà Vu

    Some questions can not really be answered, without adding more confusion into the mix, but here is an attempt anyhow.

    While in New Zealand, I had some alligator pizza. Knowing this, some people will ask what it tastes like. It tasted like nothing I ever tried before, but if I had to compare it to something, then I would say chicken. Of course, it doesn't taste like chicken, but that is as close as I can come to comparing it to something else that is commonly ate.

    When the question "What does enlightenment feel like?" arises, I used to just come as close as possible with words by saying "it feels like nothing and everything simultaneously". There really is no way to answer it in a context that can be understood, so it can only be pointed to.

    There are different ways of pointing and the way of pointing that seems to arise here most, is what I would label as intellectual pointing. Which simply means that 'people' are met where they are and pointed out of it. Basically it boils down to: grabbing the attention of the mind, leading it out of one concept, into another concept, then getting rid of both concepts; so the mind has nowhere to stand.

    Another way of pointing is what I label direct pointing, which basically means talking around truth as close as possible with words and never leave room for the mind to understand anything. This kind of pointing is designed to frustrate the mind and cause it to give up. Through the mind exhausting itself, what is revealed is true nature.

    There are many more seemly different types of pointing and it really doesn't matter which one is used, because what is being pointed to is spontaneously unpredictable and can never be pined-down. It can 'happen' through no-pointing at all, at any time, under any circumstance and either way it doesn't matter because all of this is it.

    However, intellectual pointing is about seeing what concept is being held to arise the question. In this case, the concept that arose the question, is the concept that enlightenment feels different than living an ordinary life. Enlightenment is very ordinary and doesn't feel any different than everyday living, yet there is something that apparently happens. A realization is recognized.

    In order to explain the feeling of this realization, I am going to use the concept of déjà vu. Remember that déjà vu is just a concept I am using to explain the feeling of the realization. Like the beginning of this article, using chicken to explain the taste of alligator, it's not quite right, but it's close.

    Déjà vu is French, meaning, 'already seen'. This is the experience of feeling no-doubt that the same experience has happened in the past already. It's usually an intense feeling that the past is repeating itself exactly as before, except you're unsure as to what happened before, you just somehow know that whatever is happening, in that instance, is duplicated precisely as a previous experience that was already experienced.

    The experience of déjà vu described above is from the perspective of the mind. When in fact, déjà vu is not the past being presently perceived, yet it's awareness seeing itself everywhere. It's like looking in the mirror and recognizing the appearance you see. "Oh, I already seen that appearance." Of course you seen that appearance already, because that appearance is you. You literally recognize every observable appearance as you and that is something the mind can not understand because the mind has a remarkable ability: to separate appearances into objects, label seemly every object, and recall the seemly labels in the present moment through recognizing past patterns of such appearances.

    In other words, déjà vu is seen to be the feeling of an exact past experience being perceived again because that is how the mind filters every experience (through patterns of the past). If déjà vu was experienced without the filter of the mind, then you would have the feeling of enlightenment (awareness recognizing itself in everything it observes).

    Therefore, déjà vu is the closest thing to the feeling of the 'enlightenment' shift, but it's not the same because usually always déjà vu is experienced through the filter of the mind, which gives the experience of déjà vu a fixed perspective (which translates the experience of it as being past).

    Through the experience of déjà vu without the filter of the mind, there is no fixed perspective. Awareness recognizes itself everywhere it observes and simultaneously since it recognizes itself everywhere, it realizes that it's every perspective and no-perspective. When you realize yourself to be every perspective, then you recognize that you are no specific perspective, therefore, you are no-perspective. Hence you are everywhere, but you are not there to be everywhere. Everything (you) is occurring on its own accord without you (no-you).

    As mentioned, déjà vu is just a concept of the feeling experience that shifts the perspective into enlightenment. However, enlightenment is not about sustaining a state or experience because awareness is not limited to any temporary state or passing experience, in fact, awareness is all states/experiences, as one. All changing states and experiences are only there to show awareness to itself. After the showing of an state/experience that shifts perspective into no-perspective, it doesn't matter what state or experience come and go because they are all seen as one state/experience.

    As a result, after so-called enlightenment, life is mostly very ordinary. The only difference is that the illusion is seen through, so if the illusion is seemly there, it doesn't matter. In other words, after awakening to enlightenment (which can happen gradually or suddenly or anything else in between) the feeling of life is mostly very ordinary, with a shift of perspective in the background. The states/experiences range from an intense déjà vu, to such a subtle feeling that the sense of an individual self seems to have come back, but the seeing of this shift, is seeing that the illusion is not real, rather it's there or not. In other words, it's seen that there is no-self there to care what states/experiences come and go because all state/experience are one state/experience seemly appearing as different states/experiences.

    Consequentially, this is not about searching for a déjà vu experience, I only tell you this so you have an idea about what it's like in the feeling of the shift. However, having said that, it's not limited to such an experience. Enlightenment can reveal itself (awareness realizing itself everywhere) at ANYTIME and under ANY circumstance.

    In fact, right now, as you consider yourself from the perspective of an individual self, awareness is realizing itself in everything it observers, it's there very subtle in the background. This is about accepting that things look separate. By accepting it and realizing that things will always feel in a somewhat ordinary way as states/experiences come and go, you can begin to accept the apparent separateness, but feel the subtle background of oneness in the seemly separate things.

    The nature of the beautiful and magnificent mind is to separate things, there is no way around that construct completely. Yet there can be a perspective shift that allows something else to be noticed. It's just about bringing it from the background, to the foreground, but you can't do it, awareness does it, on its own accord, you have no choice in the matter.

    Sometimes something very subtle and slight will be noticed, sometimes something fully intense like déjà vu will be noticed, and anything and everything between. Usually it's very spontaneous and unexpected, but it can gradually come too. You never know what to expect, so don't expect anything. Just relax, have fun, and be playful while investigating and experimenting with awareness.