Buddha Awake

Jim:  Oh, excuse me, Sir, what time do you have?  I believe you may be mistaken as it’s right now.  And, my friends, it’s always right now.  Can it be any other time?  So, if you have the time and are interested in writing your life history rather than reviewing it, creating a reaction rather than waiting for one, and being the person you’ve been waiting for – you’ve reached the right destination.  Come into the laboratory.  Take some ingredients down from this shelf:  a healthy dose of serendipity and a spoonful of synchronicity.  Combined with honesty, open-mindedness and a willingness to try.  Combine all these ingredients and perhaps you may be ready to Fish Without Bait and live a life of full-impact mindfulness.  Keeping that in mind, I’m asking everyone to reset their internal clocks for Buddha standard time – the present moment.  Welcome aboard.  Today, as always, I’m joined by my good friend, co-host and producer of this program, Mr. Mike.  Mr. Mike, did you get enough sleep last night?

Mike:    Oh, I believe I did.

Jim:    Do you feel awake?

Mike:    Wide awake.

Jim:    And, Mike, what does being awake mean to you?

Mike:    Being aware, knowing what’s going on around me, and not just going through the motions.

Jim:    Sure.  So, Mike, there’s many quotes and sayings associated with the Buddha.  And, this is just one of them that I believe has been a bit massaged over the years.  So, it goes one of the students asked the Buddha – are you the Messiah?  No, answered the Buddha.  Are you a healer?  No, the Buddha replied.  Then are you a teacher?  No.  I am not a teacher.  Then, what are you, the student exasperatedly asked.  And, the Buddha replied, I am awake.  So, Mike, what would you say?  What would you think if you asked somebody who or what they were and they replied I’m awake?  

Mike:    Well, if I wasn’t prepared for it, it would certainly seem to be a kind of weird answer for sure.  But, in the context I see that he is aware – he is aware of everything that’s around him.  And, hopefully – probably beyond that.

Jim:    And, this was one of the main ideas, the main philosophy of the Buddha – to be awakened.  To be enlightened.  And, actually, if somebody would say that to you, you might think they were being a bit sarcastic or obnoxious.  The idea here is to avoid running our lives on auto pilot.  And, running your life on auto pilot certainly is tempting.  It’s always the easier, softer way that we’re looking for.  We’re looking for cars that drive themselves, and machines that think for themselves.  There also used to be a band that was fairly popular – and I believe they’re still active called Asleep at the Wheel.  Mike, let me ask you, what happens when somebody is driving and is asleep at the wheel?

Mike:    They’re no longer in control, and bad things can happen.

Jim:    Bad things can happen.  Usually an accident.  Perhaps followed by some tragedy.  There’s a quote by Eckhart Tolle that says the modalities of awakened doing are acceptance, enjoyment, and enthusiasm.  Each one represents a certain vibrational frequency of consciousness.  You need to be vigilant to make sure that one of them operates whenever you are engaged and doing anything at all from the most simple task to the most complex.  Boy, that sounds like a lot of words.  However, the message here is awakened doing.  Awakened doing involves making choices.  What choices are you making?  And yes, I’m talking to you.  Are you thinking from your thoughts, from your environment, from outside influences?  Or are you thinking at them?  There are many people out there who talk about being present in their life, your life.  There are many CDs and motivational speakers and talks about how to be present.  So, Mike, what we’re asking people to do is participate in a concept we call full-impact mindfulness.  To be and have awakened doing.  Remember, you’re the only one that can cause yourself displeasure or discomfort.  There is a Buddhist teaching, and it says to awaken is to learn the art of living.  To master the mind and bring it back to the reality of the present moment.  To unite mind, body and reality.  To awaken is to bring the reality of the present moment to life.  To be mindful.  And, to be aware of the present moment.  To be awakened is the essence of Buddha’s teaching – to be walking through life merely sleepwalking or existing is a tragedy.  With full-impact mindfulness I would like everyone out there to examine their comfort zone.  I would like you to think of that right now.  What is your comfort zone?  Is it a place where you can go to destress?  Is it a place where you can release anxiety?  Or is it a place where you retreat to – to escape or to avoid life and responsibilities?  Being asleep at the wheel.  I consider everyone out there a balloon with an infinite capacity for expansion.  However, by continuing to remain in your comfort zone, you are unable to expand.  Let me ask you, where does growth take place?  Is it inside?  Or outside the comfort zone?  When you’re restless, irritable and discontent, one might try to ease that through drugs, alcohol, or other forms or other types of agents which take you away from your thoughts and feelings.  I call those a good wake-up call.  And, when you’re having those great - you’re having a moment that you can truly use to fully impact your life.  I’m challenging you to look at this.  To stand back and examine those barriers and bonds that you’ve created – that comfort zone.  Is it depression?  Is it despair?  Is it alcohol?  Is it drugs?  Is it food?  Is it avoidance?  Remember, we talk about using fear as a vehicle.  We confront fear.  We use its energy.  Mike, could you imagine how much energy there is in fear?

Mike:    It could power cities.

Jim:    It could power cities.  People run whole lives on fear.  Let’s stop running away from it and use it.  Like people use the tides.  People use water to make hydroelectricity.  Let’s use that.  Let’s step back.  Step back and use full-impact mindfulness.  Let’s embrace that fear.  Let’s embrace your life.  Remember, the ability to label and describe are so, so, so important.  Identifying and labeling those bonds and barriers – so we can expand that balloon beyond those boundaries and fully participate in your life.  My goal, my challenge for everyone out there is to go through your life bursting with joy.  And, this isn’t saying there won’t be periods of sadness, drama, bitterness, anger and hurt.  However, by embracing these moments and understanding them – being able to label and describe them, participating in life, you can tingle again – as we discussed in a previous podcast.  I hope some of this information got under your skin.  I hope I hit close to home.  This isn’t a podcast about starting a friendship circle.  It’s not my job to please you.  This is the wake-up call.  This is the podcast.  This is how we walk through life Fishing Without Bait by avoiding setting unrealistic expectations on ourselves and allowing others to set them.  However, remember we are going fishing.  We’re walking through life with an intention.  Our intention is to catch something.  Our intention is to participate.  And, with full-impact mindfulness that means participating in every moment.  Taking the lead.  Asking questions.  Remember, question everything.  As in a previous podcast we once said one must learn the rules so we can properly break them.  My challenge out there for everyone today is at least once a day, sit down and describe everything around you – how you feel, what you see, what you hear, what you taste.  Describe it accurately to yourself and you will be in that moment.  Your mantra for today – your mantra for now, is I am right here and it is right now.  I am right here.  And, it is right now.  I would love to hear from everyone out there how they participate in their lives, and perhaps if full-impact mindfulness has had some impression on you.  Remember, these are challenge podcasts.  I’m challenging you.  As in previous podcasts, I’m double-dog daring you to get involved and active in your life.  No one else is your activity or cruise director.  There is no one who has the responsibility for your happiness except you.  It’s all on you.  Please continue to listen to these podcasts as we have an interest in participating in every moment of your life.  And, one of the best ways to do that is to impact others’ lives.  Your challenge, as always, is to do a kindness for yourself and do a kindness for another.  Until another day, Namaste.  

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