Taking care of more aspects of our health and well-being

There has been an odd myth in modern western culture that said that we cannot take care of certain aspects of our own health through our lifestyle.

Fortunately, that’s changing, and it has been for a while.

We know that by acting healthy, we can maintain good health into old age. (Staying physically and mentally active, and perhaps even doing forms of yoga, meditation and inquiry.)

We know that by exercising our eyes, we can maintain good eye health or sometimes even reverse eye problems. (I used glasses from my teens. Started eye exercises in my mid-twenties. After a few weeks went back to the eye doctor who said my vision was good and I was in no need to glasses. And when I asked, she said that poor vision can’t be reversed….! My vision went from mildly near sighted – 0.75 to normal.) See f.ex. Natural Vision Improvement by Janet Goodrich.

We know that the mind can be trained. We can train a more stable attention. We can find kindness and love towards ourselves and others. We can even recognize our “true nature” (the layers of it). And all of this can be invited in and made into new habits. See f.ex. shamata (stable attention), ho’oponopono, loving kindness/metta, tonglen, holding satsang with parts of ourselves (kindness, love), and forms of insight meditation and inquiry (recognizing the dynamics of the mind and our human nature, and our true nature).

We know that by making a few relatively simple changes, we can maintain health free from (most or all) infections diseases, and many other diseases. See f.ex. K.P. Khalsa (my herbalist).

We know that by making similar simple changes, we can prevent and even reverse tooth and gum problems. See f.ex. How I healed my Teeth Eating Sugar by Joey Lott. (I am just starting this now.)

We know that tension and trauma can be released in a simple and natural way. (Neurogenic tremors, Tension & Trauma Release Exercises.)

We know that the source of stress and distress, and even trauma, can be recognized and even undone through inquiry. See f.ex. The Work and the Living Inquiries.

There is a lot more here, and it keeps being further explored, adapted to our current modern culture, and widely available. Some of it – such as the effects of some types of meditation – is gaining increasing attention through research.

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Joey Lott: Spiritual Speciesism

Normally, what we mean by saying that one is spiritually awake is that such a person no longer identifies in some sort of exclusive manner with any particular form. Instead, such a person knows herself or himself to be unbounded. Which is fine. This is a perfectly sane discovery, in my opinion.

And, I might add, it’s nothing special. In fact, although I cannot know this for certain, I highly suspect that this is the effortless, natural experience of all wild living beings. Frogs. Rivers. Trees. Mountains. The reason I suspect this is that it seems to me that these beings have no reason to suspect otherwise. Without the stories and concepts that we believe then it seems to me that the unbounded connectedness of all apparent forms, the timeless nature of all that is, is perfectly self-evident.

I see no reason to call this “spiritual”. Because to call it spiritual suggests that it is somehow special or apart from something else. But by nature of the unbounded nature of what is there is no possibility of special. There is only what is.

– from Spiritual Specisim by Joey Lott (it’s worth reading the full article)

What he says resonates with me. Living within nonidentification is natural. It’s what plants and animals – and the rest of life – does effortlessly.

And yet, humans are unique, just as any other species is. Our strength is a certain form of cognitive ability, where other species have other strengths. And none is inherently any “better” or “worse” than those of any other species. They are just different.

We humans are very young in learning how to use our cognitive abilities, which is why we tend to create a lot of problems for ourselves at individual (suffering, confusion, beliefs) and collective (wars, injustice, ecological harm) levels. Our cognitive abilities are themselves very young, and our familiarity with it – and attempts to learn how to live with and from it with more wisdom – is also very young.

These cognitive abilities flavor the expression of life in a unique way. A way that sometimes includes identification, and sometimes nonidentification. And all species, and all individuals, gives their unique flavor to life’s expression. It’s all life exploring, expressing and experiencing itself in a myriad of ways. None inherently any better or worse than any other.

In general, I really like what Joey Lott writes. And I also see that I feel more comfortable adding a few things, making it a slightly “more complex simplicity” as he calls is.

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A more complex simplicity

In You’re Trying Too Hard, Joey Lott talks about a more complex simplicity.

I like that way of talking about it.

Joey Lott’s simplicity is a simple simplicity. And I find it beautiful and very helpful. It’s a direct pointing to the utter simplicity of reality.

For others, the simplicity is equally simple, and also more complex. It’s a richer simplicity.

It’s a simplicity that allows for practices, soul centers, development, voices, shadow, projections and more.

And all of that is happening within and as the simplicity. It’s the play of the simplicity.

When the simplicity is very clear and in the foreground for me, I too tend to favor a simple simplicity.

Right now, there is a draw to a slightly more complex simplicity, exploring all the things I am exploring here, and also noticing the simplicity it happens within and as. And seeing if I can find any of it. Can I find a shadow? Soul centers? Development? Projections? Or even a thought? A sensation? An image? Sound? Awareness? Emptiness? Can I find any of those as a real thing?

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Joey Lott: The Best Thing That Never Happened

Finally, maybe you can discover that there is nothing virtuous about awakening to the simplicity of being. Rather, it’s just the dawning of sanity. It’s just the recognition that you cannot actually find anything separate and that all there is, is this, whatever is happening right now. And since there is nothing separate, there is no possibility of escape. There is no possibility of avoiding your own experience.

– Joey Lott in The Best Thing That Never Happened, p. 57.

I am reading Joey Lott‘s The Best Thing That Never Happened, and enjoy it very much.

He writes in a refreshingly simple, clear and ordinary way about living a life where reality has awakened to itself.

I would definitely recommend this book as essential reading for anyone interested in the topic, along with books by Adyashanti and a few others.

I am also reminded that any writing on this topic is helpful if held lightly, and taken as pointers for own investigation. And they may be less helpful if held tightly and taken as more solid and real. (He would probably be the first to agree.)

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Joey Lott: The complete welcoming of all of it

In my experience, awakening to what is, is the end of suffering. However, it’s not as I imagined it would be. I used to have fantasies about how awakening to the simplicity of being (also known as enlightenment, nirvana, satori, etc.) would mean that everything would be lovely all the time. I wrongly imagined that it would mean that all the “bad stuff” would disappear.

But it’s not like that, in my experience. Rather, it is the complete welcoming of all of it. Nothing goes away. Nothing changes. Rather, reality is no longer imagined to be something apart from what is happening right now.

This is it. This right now. There is nothing apart from this. So welcome it all because it’s already happening anyway. And finally, it may be possible to discover that this is who you are. Being yourself couldn’t be simpler.

~ Joey Lott from The Best Thing That Never Happened

It’s a complete welcoming of all of it, since that which already “allows” and “welcomes” is what awakens to itself as that. It’s a shift in identity, out of ideas and images to what all happens within and as. It’s very ordinary, since it’s already here. It’s very simple. It’s complex too, in the different ways it’s discovered, expressed and clarified. And it’s difficult to put into words since words is contained within it, and it cannot really be touched or described by words.

Also, as he says, nothing changes in that content of experience is free to stay the same. And everything changes since it’s a dramatic shift in identity.

It’s also interesting how some spiritual traditions, and some individuals, get absorbed in clarifying this, sometimes making it appear special and invaluable. While it also is very ordinary and simple, and our lives and the content of our lives doesn’t necessarily change.

And although it is ordinary and simple, it is also invaluable. It allows for a life lived from more clarity and love. And our life may change for the same reason, aligning with clarity and love.