Friday Night Group – article in the Goderich Signal Star

April 22, 2014


How Am I to Live My Life?

April 13, 2014

When you ask the question, “How am I to live my life as a human being, when I have the pressure of earning a livelihood, raising children, and having a good marriage?”, it all seems enormous. Most of us are concerned with earning a livelihood but I’m concerned with how to live. We don’t receive any education in this direction, because our education is geared towards fitting in to the economic environment at that particular time. Most of us do the daily grind and party on the weekends because our life has become so purposeless and meaningless and everyone is really terrified to ask the question, “Is there more?” Those who asked this question at a very superficial level are looking for some magical thinking, some extraordinary spiritual experience. If not, they are still looking for some secret or esoteric teachings, and believe that they can manifest the great things to happen in their life. They never seem to understand or ask that question of how they manifest the pain in their life. This is where we are also conditioned not to look, not to find out for ourselves if we can be free from all our psychological suffering and problems.

Most people practice the psychology our forefathers practiced and was handed down thousands of years ago. The psychology of external control unfortunately prevents human beings from reaching their potential.  You see the brain is the instrument that houses our psychology.  That brain is thousands of years old and still responding with primitive instincts and reactions.  When we grew in technology and our brain was able to grasp processes like the Internet, mass media, particle physics, etcetera, we broke into a new consciousness in our brains. Our brains are in crisis because it houses the conditioning of the past. The awakening of the brain is its discovery that thinking and thought and the brain itself are just a material process. Thinking is beginning to see that it is just a limited thing but giving itself all types of qualities it doesn’t have.  Thinking wants to have special powers, and is constantly creating realities to suit its egocentric point of view, the same way old time and new time religion does.

In a human being’s search for meaning and self coming to terms with its own inadequacy and limitations, it has begun to create false realities of having super powers.  The lies of abundance and depravity from the book and movie The Secret is a true indication that people believe they have manifestation powers as an escape from the reality of their ordinary life.  As the ancients created extraordinary realities through religion to fulfill their meaningless and purposeless lives, mainstream media are doing the same by creating fantasies, vampires, witchcraft, mind powers, etcetera.

All this prevents human beings from truly gaining an understanding of what it means to live a spiritual life and flowering as a human being. This flowering begins by seeing things as they are and looking deeply into oneself and one’s daily relationship with people and things in your world. The crisis is in your own consciousness is your own daily relationships and removing all external psychology and living from internal psychology, which is the message behind all religion.  The only thing that can set human beings free is themselves. They must be earnest about breaking all illusion and seeking truth. Truth is a living thing and there is no path to it. Every living thing in nature knows this and lives it. Human beings are the only creature on the planet that invent realities to suit their purpose and exploit, kill, and massacre, in the name of religion. We are so conditioned to be Liberals, Conservatives, NDP, or nationalistic.  We don’t see that a truly spiritual person wouldn’t even participate in those movements.

In our daily lives we are at war with the people and attached to the things we have got, and the fight with that creates our conflict and our brutality. It is one planet, one people, and one purpose, which is to get along help those in need and find a way to live in harmony with mother Earth.

Coach Bri

Mental Training by Rich VanHuizen

December 30, 2011

I am customizing my personal mental training program…
This is what I just wrote to start my rough copy:

20 minutes per day

To be fully prepared for the moment when it comes, so that when the moment comes, there is no reaction; there is only the natural response.
Mindful to always respond with awareness: to be fully in tune with the things around me.

Then I began to think of the moments that I’ve had with significant people in my life such as relationships, past and current teammates, and Brian O’Reilly.
Brian was my coach when I started to make a big transition in my life.  When I began to look at things through a different lens.
The rough copy of my mental training program above reflects this transition that began in 2004.

Brian and I have studied the brain and relationships, we’ve also done workshops and role-plays.  The most impactful thing that I’ve learned through all of our moments together is the value of being prepared.

When I am un-loving, I am not preparing.  If I am not constantly watching myself and my own behaviours (preparing), I will be mean to the people around me.  When I am mean to the people around me I am not realizing that my unpreparedness shows itself when the shit hits the fan.  When I am unloving (gossiping about, criticizing, judging) and that person calls me out on it, I look like a fool.  I look like a fool because the truth revealed itself and the truth is that the damage to the relationship is my doing.

When I live my life prepared, I am constantly watching myself.  I am constantly responding to situations.  For instance, if I see an injustice, I speak up and share my truth about it.  I am constantly doing this when I see the value of being prepared.  Then, when the shit hits the fan, the truth, once again, reveals itself.

This way of living is extremely rewarding.
I often fail to live this way because I think that living this way is draining.  To be prepared to address every drama and injustice in your life each and every moment seems like a heavy task.  It seems draining.  Yet, when you do it, when I do it, we notice how energizing it is.  How energizing and rewarding it is to constantly speak the truth!!  Yet I am lazy.  My preparedness falls away because I simply blame others for my unhappiness.
What does preparedness look like to me?  Committing each day to bring an expectation to speak the truth with love in every moment.

I’d like to share how this life training has impacted my daily life.
I am in teacher’s college.  In my Grade 6 practicum placement I decided to use the community circle as a teaching tool (a community circle is where you move the desks out of the way and make a circle with the students and my chair, I am just one of 28).  I use the circle most often when I sense that there is a shift in energy in the classroom and there is unhappiness in the group.  We get in the circle and we just talk.  I do my best to build an environment in which the kids feel safe to say whatever they want.  I do this with my demeanor and by being honest myself.  I talk about what I’ve noticed in the classroom (such as bullying), and then I share how I have been a bully to a particular person in the past week or that day and I share the story of what happened.  I share what I did wrong, why I did it, and how I wish I had handled it.  The presence of honesty is so natural and so relieving to the kids that it simply and naturally paves the way for incredibly honest conversations.  The kids open right up and share and share and share and it does incredible things to the level of trust in the classroom.

I couldn’t do this if I wasn’t prepared.  I couldn’t do this if, when students in my classroom are disruptive, I shut them down and used anger to deal with my ineffectiveness as a teacher (aren’t they being disruptive because the teacher is b-o-r-i-n-g?  When was the last time you sat through a conference or a workshop for your job that was boring and you chose to sit quietly and attentively?  We expect our kids to do that from 9:00 to 3:30 every day? I digress).  I couldn’t do this if I wasn’t aware and awake to the needs of all of my kids every day.  If I didn’t pay close attention to the mood of my students and the things they said to each other and the feelings of loneliness and pain that my students had.  I couldn’t do this if teaching was simply a means to tell the kids what they needed to hear to meet my curriculum expectations and get a paycheck.  Having these types of rewarding conversations with my students in the community circle began with having individual community circles with my students in the hallway, on the playground, while helping them with their work, while listening to why their homework isn’t done.  It began with being prepared – prepared every day to respond to situations and speak to injustices.

When I am effectively doing this what am I doing?  Choosing love over judgment in each moment.  This requires preparation.

Rich VanHuizen
Beach Volleyball

A Question about Awareness

November 29, 2009

At one of your talks you said that awareness is the seed of transformation! Can you please comment on this?

When we are talking about transformation we are not talking about a shift from one level of thinking to another higher level of thinking. Awareness is its own movement and without it we are practicing external psychology. External psychology based on choice is a method towards greater effectiveness but is still limited and can be full of its own self-centered activity. Self and its methods towards happiness, from religion, politics, meditative practice, to yoga, are all created by the thinking process. Therefore they are limited and a vain pursuit in meeting one’s own needs in a way that creates relative sense of order that leading to being well adjusted. To be well adjusted to a society that is violent and deeply self-centered is not healthy mentally. Awareness is something that can’t be sought or practiced; it is not the result of a vain activity to quiet the mind or bringing the body under submission. It is when quality is found in the mundane and boring. To be aware is to recognize your own irrationality and its effect on the environment and the environment’s effect on you. In whatever environment you are in, seeing how you are related to the persons, things or ideas, is to come to terms with what is. In that actuality there is transformation of self consciousness into a process not touched by thought. Only then is one in true freedom.

Awareness Has No Cause

June 15, 2009

I have come to see you because of something you said at a Friday Night Group.
One of the members of this group was there and he was causing a lot of problems, judging people and trying to get a fight going. He seems so unable to, as you call it, evaluate himself. He was very good at evaluating them but there came a point in that meeting where you locked eyes with him and told him to leave himself alone. Now there are two things that I noticed in him: One, was he was very afraid of you and secondly, the more important one, was how you seem to be aware of things that I am not. So my question is this: What is this awareness all about?

Okay, so you wish to understand this thing called awareness. Can I ask why?

Well, if I was more aware I think I would get more out of things, I guess?

So your inquiry is to get something out of this awareness. Is that not a self-centered approach to the problem?

Okay, yes it is. So what?

Is awareness a self-centered movement? Or is awareness stopped and non-existent when one is self-centered?

I kinda see what you mean but not fully.

In order to find out what awareness is, must we not find out what awareness is not? Then from there discover how unaware we are.

I am not sure! I feel aware sometimes. But then it doesn’t seem to last long.

Of course!

Why do you say ‘of course’?

Anything willful, planned, by effort, by imagining or by drugs cannot make one aware.

So you are saying it can’t be forced.

Yes but much more than that! Awareness has no cause, being unaware has a cause.

Which is what? What is the cause of unawareness then?

To be preoccupied sir. That is simple then isn’t it?

When you put it that way yes! So then why are we so unaware?

The brain is always active, thinking sir, it is on override. Thinking enters places where it has little value or meaning.

Those places are?

Thinking has very little value in the area of human relationship. It gives one the illusion of relationship because you think like someone else or like a group of people. This has been our downfall sir. Surely you see that!

I think I do but it seems too deep for me.

Yes that is another thing that thinking does to avoid the issue.

What issue? And I think you have just called me lazy.

No sir, the fact is we are lazy! You are only not lazy when there is some pleasure in it for you, when you find the motivation, no sir?

Yes I see that. But relationship?

Sir, relationship through thinking is only association. People who are united through thinking are united through beliefs, be they religious, political, philosophical, or economic, it is all so superficial. Relationship implies being connected, contacting, being in movement with.

So can you say I am connected through my faith or religion?

No sir, that is not true!

Why not?

That is simple to see! Because being connected through anything that thinking creates like religion, philosophy, etc, is going to separate you from some other group which then leads to conflict and war. That has been our history of life on this planet – lot of things put together by thinking and the denial of relationship because of those things.

That is amazing!

Yes! If you see it and remain with it! Relationship in life is the most important thing. Not the job you have or the car you drive. But a deep connection first sir with your being. You are not the things thinking says you are. You are far deeper and richer than that. To see the fact of that one must refuse to enter any relationship or give importance to any relationship that is based on what thinking has put together.

Then how do I live Bri?

Sir, most people are struggling for human connection, socially we have great difficulty finding love and security.

No doubt about that!

See why sir? Because the things that are supposed to bring us security, like money, a job, religion, my family, bring conflict and conformity. When I don’t conform to the demands of another, I am left out! Thrown out! Relationship and connection come about when thinking is quiet, when I have no judgment, no preconceived idea about myself and or another. This is the movement of compassion; it arises in the ashes of all my self-centered thinking. So many people are unaware sir of what is happening, how quickly life comes and goes and at the end of our years most people’s brains are worn out. They are dazed and confused by their conflictual lives. Conflict breeds its own energy, rising out of the mechanical process of thought which fuels the war machine and has been doing that for one hundred thousand years. Relationship, connection is a more subtle movement which blooms in awareness. That awareness is not something that has any relationship to thinking – one cannot think oneself aware. When you are in discord or conflict, hurt, jealously, fear, greed, we poison everything we touch. To be aware of these movements as they are happening in you without trying to get rid of them is meditation. In that meditation awareness is the cornerstone of all relationship, thinking is perceived and torn out. In that we are free and that freedom is the movement of love, compassion and intelligence.

You strike a hard bargain.

No sir, bargaining is another form of trying to get what we want. I want nothing from you! Just see the truth of what is being said. It has nothing to do with me really. I’m not trying to convince you of anything.

Well you’re doing a damn good job!

Maybe you just see the truth of what is being said.

Yes maybe! Thanks. May I come again?

Of course!

Coach bri

Can One Seek God?

July 7, 2008

I love this little cabin you have. There is such quietness in here. Every time I have been here the same feeling is here. It was like this at your other place too.

What was sir?

This feeling I have!

Well maybe you are making it up; sorry but doesn’t the feeling exist in you sir?

Well it does but the cabin is creating it too!

Sir, the cabin is a dead thing! Perhaps you are giving it life as we do to move the light off us. Or is the comment on the quality of the cabin, that it is well made and put together by a skilled carpenter?

Okay, I guess that is a better way of putting it.

So what have you come to talk about?

As you know, my search for God tires me out.

Then why search?

Because I must!

Yes sir many people are ambitious for God, money, enlightenment, sex, stocks, bonds, a bigger house… It is all the same really isn’t it?

With all respect, I don’t think so! To search for God is something I do that doesn’t benefit me. It is a selfless thing to do.

Sir, sorry that is the most arrogant thing to say.

Why is that?

Your search for God means what sir?

I think it is plain enough to see, the love of God, whatever you want to call it.

Yes, so you are seeking something. Right sir? How do you describe the thing you are searching for?

Well, I call it peace then! You can’t argue with that can you? When I leave you, I feel more peaceful.

Sorry sir. That is not my intention.

You mean you don’t want people to be more about peace? Are they not coming to you for help?

Yes sir they are and I don’t help them.

Then what do you do?

Together we break illusions that we are caught in.

Okay so you seek to break illusions.

No sir! You either break them or live in them. If you are caught in a trap you must understand the trap you’re in otherwise you fall into that trap again, in a different form.

So what is the trap you think I am in?

The seeking for God.

So seeking is a trap?

Well it must be!

And how is that?

What is God to you? Or your picture of truth then.

Okay, what is yours? Why should I tell you mine and you poke holes in it? You may have a better picture of God than I do. It may be more refined than mine.

That is my point! Whatever picture I have of God, is it not put together by myself, my self-centered thinking?

So then you don’t have a picture of God then?

Sir it is not the point to have or not have. Look at the facts. Anyone’s picture of God or any picture or image thought puts together is limited because it is not real – it is cultivated by one’s thinking, and all thinking is egocentric in these matters.

I still don’t get it. You are telling me as a minister to not have an image of god. That’s absurd!!

What is the point of the image or any image?

To know what to look for!

So the image you have is the correct image?

For me it is!

That’s the whole point – is that not what everyone is doing? They think the image they have is the correct one, the superior one. No one ever says, “I have the incorrect image of God and he over there, they are more correct than I but I want to believe in the incorrect image”!

I get your point. Every time we get together I feel like my mind is being sliced in two. You are always the teacher and me the student. I would like to teach you something for a change. After all, I am the minister!

Sir, in our discussion I am learning.

Well it doesn’t seem like it.

That is just another image. If I am not putting these questions to myself then we are not questioning together.

It doesn’t seem like that!

To keep the brain in a state of learning one must be aware of the relationship and lack of relationship, which is a continuous process. Therefore there is no need to seek.

Well, isn’t that then seeking to be aware?

No sir. Learning is in the present. Seeking is the past. The thing sought is a picture put together by the past. If you think of building a house or you actually do the building. It is too different things.

Yes I see. Doing the building means so much more. And you are saying in that process experience and thinking have to work together.

Yes partly. Sir the human brain is always chasing or seeking something. It is a superficial movement going on in the brain and one of the sources of our disorder.

To seek is disorder.

Yes sir. Whatever picture or image you create about God, it is a self-projected image or one’s self according to one’s self. Therefore the self will make God in our image, and we are willing to kill and hurt others to protect our image.

Well that’s for sure. So why does our mind do this seeking?

Seeking is one of our deepest conditionings. The mind is always chasing something. It thinks that through improving itself, by reading, yoga, and meditation systems, it can reach God, truth or something beyond. To find what is beyond thought you can’t use thought to find it. It can’t be found. Maybe the ending of all this seeking is the birth of something else. In the ashes of thought perhaps the phoenix rises.

Thank you for seeing me. I enjoy our discussion yet I do fear them. I hope someday to come to Friday night group. It is rather far away for me.

You can always stay over sir!

Thanks. Sometime then!

Coach Bri