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 Rarest Quality of Consciousness

    Hey... I realize that I Am Consciousness and to identify with thoughts is what causes the illusion of believing that this temporary human form is what I am. The temporariness of thoughts are easy to see through, but emotions seem to be different than thoughts. I'm interested in your reply on the difference between thoughts and feelings.

    There is this unshakable happiness, it's not an emotion or feeling, it's consciousness itself. This constant unshakable joy is one quality of consciousness. Since it's a quality of consciousness, it's ever-present and constantly here.
    When consciousness is not realized fully as what we really are, there can be thoughts which seem to cloud or overlay this unshakable happiness, since consciousness is not noticed. Yet, there it is, in the background. As the conditioned thoughts seem to be in the forefront, this is all that is noticed. When thoughts are noticed, but not the unshakable happiness, conditioned emotions arise based on the type of thoughts that are noticed.

    The spiritual idea or teaching in nondual circles, is to notice the temporariness of thoughts, then they drop away. Which works, for a while, because in the light of becoming conscious to thoughts, thoughts do drop away. However, the other half of why this happens is because whatever is unconscious, doesn't want to be seen. Therefore, in the light of consciousness, unconsciousness will drop away, because it wants to remain unconscious.

    Unconsciousness is almost the most powerful force in the universe because it is a genius at hiding. It's the part that hides from your consciousness. However, there is this primary source of consciousness, which is constantly aware and never tricked by the unconsciousness, this is where the unshakable happiness stems from. It's this wholeness, that is the most powerful force in the universe (it is the universe). One can always tell if this wholeness is being lived because the unshakable happiness will be permanating all existence.

    As a collective humanity, it's extremely rare that one is abiding as this primary source of consciousness, which we all are (this one consciousness). However, if one is constantly abiding as what they are, there is only unshakable happiness as a constant and permanent beingness. When this is fully present, as a way of being or a way of life, conditional emotions do not arise.

    Conditional emotions are conditioned within us and learned behaviors based on our upbring of the collective culture. which every human is born into. These conditional emotions are not natural to what we are, but they are normal to the society of humanity. These are false emotions which arise when the unshakable happiness is not noticed and thoughts are present as a foreground experience.

    There comes a time when conditional emotions can arise in the forefront and simultaneously unshakable happiness is noticed as a background hum, but this takes an extreme amount of maturing to begin to notice because unconsciousness doesn't want the unshakable joy to be noticed. It wants all the attention, and we are very well trained by this collective society to overcast what is constantly here, by using many different methods that we call normal.

    The simultaneous of unshakable happiness in the background and the conditional emotion in the foreground can happen for a while, until another aspect of maturing happens, where one realizes that the unshakable happiness can be brought to the forefront, instantly, by just feeling into it. This is where the gap between conditioning arising and unshakable happiness being a way of life, begins to close.

    When one abides in this state of consciousness, it's felt by others because we are feeling beings. Feelings are much different than conditioned emotions. Feelings allow you to have empathy, compassion, understanding, heartfeltness, love. Which are all qualities of the primary source of consciousness itself. Feelings are not what the consciousness is, but a quality that comes out through the human when the primary consciousness is being lived as an embodiment.

    However, it's common that people do awaken to these feelings which are qualities of consciousnesses, and never even realize where it's coming from (the primary consciousness).

    Usually, at a certain point of maturing into this awakening to quality feelings, it gets easier to feel into others, because you are more aware of the awake feelings within yourself, and this feeling nature is a step forward into consciousness and out of unconsciousness. Unconsciousness has emotions and some conditional feelings, but not quality feelings that stem from source consciousness, because unconsciousness or identity bases most of its existence on thoughts which are dead, dry, dull, empty of quality or essence.

    There is a quality of awakening, usually the first aspect of awaking, that opens up when one begins to notice the awake presence of consciousness as what they really are. In other words, one realizes what they really are as consciousness itself, as you clearly describe ("I Am Consciousness").

    Also as you describe, this realization can come about through unidentifying with the mind of thoughts. In other words, noticing that all thoughts are conditions of culture; not your thoughts. This realization usually comes with an undoubtable sense of wholeness, completeness, and doneness; since consciousness itself is wholeness and completeness. Most who speak about spiritual awakening are speaking about this quality of awakening.

    However, if one is awake from the mind of thoughts and also awake to the nature of quality feelings, this awakeness can feel into the place where words arise from when listening to another speak. If one is speaking from only an awakeness that's awake from the mind of thoughts, their words will not be spoken from feeling. There is a sense of dryness to their speech, a lack of aliveness and presence to their speaking. When speech is not present, there's a type of repetitive vocabulary that tends to be easily mimicked and predictable (using the same examples, metaphors, and constantly referring back to the same concepts).

    Many times, even if one has first awakening to their feeling nature, then later awakened from the mind of thoughts; the second awakening often closes the feeling nature because it can get confusing, to the conditioning, how the true nature of reality can be both non-personal (awakened from mind) and intimate (awakened to quality feelings) simultaneously and without conflicting each other.

    In fact, the biggest challenge to awakening is fully blossoming into the heart center of quality feelings (empathy, compassion, understanding, monjugement, embracing, heartfeltness, open, available, vulnerable, loving) by noticing the repetitiveness and hiding that often happens after one awakens from the mind of thoughts.

    There are many areas where one can get stuck in a rut, after awakening to the mind of thoughts. Many remain stuck in these challenging areas for years, and even decades for a high majority, since one doesn't have to open to the vulnerability of awakening to the heart center of quality feelings, which requires that we break through the thick layer of protective crust around our hearts.

    This crusted layer got molded around our heart, when we were children, through the conditioning of unconsciousness, which runs wild in our collective culture. As children, we were naked, exposed, and vulnerable with our feelings, but after repeatedly having our cherished innocence of raw feelings being smashed and stomped on, we have learnt to hide this part of ourselves. We have hidden this natural expression so well, that we even deceived ourselves into believing that our non-compassionate actions and dishonesties are justified.

    When one awakens from the mind of thoughts, what was once personal begins to be seen through as false and a non-personal way of relating begins to unfold. This non-personal movement has an unattached and non-responsible sense about it. And when one is still asleep to their feeling nature, they have a new way to justifying their questionable actions, through this non-personal movement. Hence, one can become even more numb to their feelings than they were before awakening.

    However, this movement of non-responsibility, is only awake to a portion of what is actually happening, and thus, the movement is incomplete. Despite the incompleteness, this movement feels complete and whole because whenever one bumps into the true nature of reality, it is complete and whole unto itself; and this gives the sense that there is nothing else to awaken to. An undoubtable doneness type of feeling unfolds, which is a quality of what consciousness is. Consciousness is, there is no becoming it, it is simply always being what it is.

    The other quality of consciousness, which can seem paradoxical and is only realized when one awakens to their feeling nature; is that consciousness is always being and simultaneously it's always becoming. The unconditioned and the conditioned. The consciousness and the unconsciousness. The witness and the ego. The form and formlessness. The human is always becoming (learning, growing, progressing), the witness is always being (no learning, no growing, no progress).

    When one is awakened from the mind of thoughts and this portion is all that is realized, you will often hear the details about the Being, but the details about becoming are not mentioned.

    The portion of the movement that is incomplete, when one is awake only from the mind of thoughts, is having the ability to respond through the heart. This natural movement that responds through the feeling center of the heart, is both non-personal, yet intimate. Both unattached, yet fully embracing. Both non-responsible, yet has an automatic and effortless ability to respond and relate to itself as love.

    This quality of love, it loves without reason, since it's a quality of consciousness. It's a spontaneous, natural, and effortless movement that loves all living creatures, when it recognizes itself everywhere. Hence, when it's completely awake to itself, the "I Am Consciousness" is both everywhere (located everywhere) and simultaneously nowhere (unlocatable).

    When consciousness is recognized as everywhere, this recognition comes from feeling, through the heart center. It's a very different kind of quality, then when this recognition is realized on the level of freedom from the mind.

    When there is a freedom from the mind of thoughts, consciousness is recognized as one consciousness, not so much that it's everywhere, but that there is one consciousness and there is nothing else. Everywhere you look, is like looking at a movie screen, thus, you're not looking everywhere, you're only seeing appearances on the movie screen. Appearances seem to be happening, but they are happening on the screen of consciousness.

    Hence, there are no feelings towards the appearances, because they are only appearances of consciousness. It's very unattached and non-personal, like viewing the world through the lens of a camera. There is an indestructible sense to it. Consciousness is untouched and unharmed by any appearance. The whole world on the other-side of the camera could be burnt to ash and consciousness would be unaffected, still remaining infinitely present as what it is. There is an unconcern of what happens in the world of appearances, because it's realized that there is only consciousness and therefore consciousness is taking care of itself.

    However, when consciousness awakens to itself through the heart, this one consciousness sees itself everywhere. The appearances are cherished, loved, and embraced as itself, thus, all appearances are treated as whole, complete, perfect, mysterious, and beautiful. There is a gentleness, caring, compassionate, and giving quality to it because it naturally supports itself through action. Hence, if there is harm to any appearance, it naturally moves to free itself from harms way. It is realized that harm can only happen through the innocence of unconscious conditioning and it automatically moves towards that which is unconscious.

    Yet, the way it moves, is through the ability to respond from the heart, thus, it moves naturally and effortlessly as compassion, understanding, empathy (treating others the way you would like to be treated), etc..

    The movement from the non-personal that happens through the freedom from the mind of thoughts, is not a movement through action towards the appearances, but a movement that remains constantly unmoved, even as movements on the level of appearances are effortlessly happening. Hence, both the moved and unmoved are simultaneous. This is the complete movement of how consciousness moves when it's awaken to itself on both levels; unmoved by appearances, yet moves towards the appearances of unconsciousness through compassion and understanding (seeing all as whole and complete, as itself is).

    Consciousness doesn't move to punish, there is only itself, why would it punish itself? Consciousness doesn't move because it sees something wrong, rightness and wrongness are not natural to it (these are learned conditions by culture). Consciousness doesn't move out of a blaming or judging energy, for who can be blamed or judged for the innocence of unconsciousness? Consciousness that is awake to itself on the level of heart, doesn't defeat, cut down, remove, get rid of, prove wrong, or seek justice over unconsciousness; it simply notices what is happening and embraces unconsciousness with unconditional love.