By Diane Donovan-Vaughn 02/02/2017

Here we are swimming in a sea of our own perceptions, colored by the beliefs we have formed throughout our life. The water in our personal aquarium is often unviewable, outside of our ability to notice any more, long since birth, relegated to remain our filter of ordinary reality. Our brains are often busy making images for us and creating realities that do not exist in this particular time in space. When I say over and over that the brain is lying, I am saying that the brain is excluding, fantasizing, judging, and categorizing reality by limiting your view of it.

If the brain says it is “TIRED” then the body slumps and mirrors the command. It might be saying, “I AM TIRED OF LIFE.” If the brain says, “LIFE IS HARD” the body feels like is has weights attached to it. The reason to watch your personal loud sentences that create physical and emotional reactions is so that you can begin to step outside your ordinary view of reality. Loud sentences can reveal the filters. The affirmation I am doing, “LIFE IS EASY” literally feels like it has the ability to levitate a weight off of my shoulders.

Words alone create this change in ordinary reality. However, the challenge is to notice what you do not notice and to say what you do not believe. How long have I been practicing mindfulness and affirmations? How long have I spent in nonordinary reality? How long have I missed the filter in my brain that one sentence removes? We all have these filters all the time. It is not necessary to believe the correction when you say it but watch how you feel when you say it. One sentence correction can lift your view outside of your tank.

“Oh my God! What if life is easy?” What will you see and feel if you look for hard? What will see and feel if you look for easy?   Believe it or not, the sentence commands the brain to find it. Reality is very accommodating with the brain. Yes, the brain may argue about all the ways life is hard. It is simply trying to get your view back in line, the only one that should be true according to the view it holds. The only reason to see the world through the filter, “Life is hard,” is because of fear and its companion control. Direct your brain to look elsewhere and it will.

To navigate the world, we come to an agreement about the sights around us. Look at the chairs on the floor. Your mind has a filter that has dismissed the object into the background of your thoughts. You do not have to notice the chair once you selected one and you may only stop to redefine it if you become uncomfortable enough to get your mind’s attention.

Along comes a shaman or a mystic to knock some sense into the head. The Shaman mystic sees nonordinary reality but we are not the only ones. Some people just naturally see it and they are often crazy simply because they cannot navigate in and out of ordinary and nonordinary reality.   You can find nonordinary reality when you take hallucinogenic plants or drugs. With this method, you are vulnerable and can also become permanently stuck in nonordinary reality by mistake, which I have encountered more than once. Shamans and mystics use plants, drums, dancing, breathing, spinning, chanting, postures, mudras and more to achieve contact with nonordinary reality. Churches use rituals like reciting the rosary.

Mindfulness practices create contact with larger and larger portions of reality. When you practice mindfulness, you can notice all your filters. You might notice a pain you carry, a thought that repeats, a feelings of hopelessness or desire. These filters create ordinary reality, that which we do not really see but accept as the only reality. The belief creates the reality and it will appear solid. Mindfulness reveals a glimpse into the larger expanse of nonordinary reality, just outside your tank and for a moment in time, you see that your filters are optional, changeable and limiting.

You do not have to find a mind-altering drug to get outside the filter. I literally have stepped outside the filter spontaneously and gratefully returned to ordinary reality throughout life. We often call this moment of insight a miracle or a vision. We all have the ability to do it but conformity, brainwashing and plain old fear of the unknown keeps it from happening. If all is working correctly, the brain is designed to return to ordinary reality because we use this view to navigate the world. The goal is to expand your view, not to give up your ability to function. As you expand, the potential outcomes expand into pure abundance. You feel free, peaceful, connected and open. Remember that the feeling of like and dislike are not filters but are simply directed by them. Your feelings can also be spontaneous reactions to fluctuations in the environment. These are often controlled by your poly-vagal nervous system and happen without thought.   In fact, the brain will start talking fairly quickly after you are triggered. This is the moment you can use a ‘STOP sign’ because the explanation will be your filter. If you are truly safe, just breathe and back up. Be silent and mindful. Look around and check out the world. Stand down if you are safe. Tell the brain where to focus now, hopefully back into the expanded view of oneness?

The mindfulness lesson today form The Buddha is Still Teaching (Selected and Edited by Jack Kornfield) is titled “The Unity of All” taken from the book True Patriotism: Some Sayings of Mahatma Gandhi (Edited by S Hobhouse).

Gandhi said, “I believe in the unity of all things, and I believe that if one person gains the whole world gains, and if one person falls the whole world falls to that extent.”

Gandhi was a mystic. He sees nonordinary reality, the reality that everything and everyone is connected and not separate as the brain would have us believe.

When the shaman hits you on the head, the crown chakra open and you see the luminous fibers connecting all that is. Humans appear as an egg of luminous fibers, almost as if we are in a cocoon of light connected to the rest of the universe. Inside that cocoon of light, you are not alone. You are not separate. Look again at that chair you picked when you sit down in this room. How did that chair get here? I ordered it for you and paid for it. How did I do that? Why did I do it? How did that chair get created? The mind is judging and dismissing more reality than you can imagine. Surrender to a reality filled with peace, love, compassion, and that you are never alone. Relax and then see the web of connections that your brain has left behind.

Let’s practice.

Take a deep relaxing breath, in though the nose and out through the mouth. Place your attention on the center of your chest, inside your heart, as you become the observer of your thoughts, your feelings, your body and your sensations. As you inhale, imagine pulling luminous light from as far out in the universe as you can imagine, into the crown of your head, flowing into every cell of your body, into all your thoughts and all your feelings. Breathe in the life force. Exhale your brain filters and beliefs, heaviness and fear. Breathe easily and effortlessly. Feel your connection to the rest of the universe. Say silently to youself, “I am all of that!” and then hear the words answer back, “I am.” One more time, when you observe your connection to all that is, say, “I am that, I am.” Relax and allow this connection to permeate every cell of your body and observe your life force expanding, your eyes to see and your ears to hear.