The Art of Having Problems


The reason so many problems are perceived in our lives is because we are conditioned to live life through the formula: Retain and discard.

Look closely, and you will see that this is the framework used in our daily lives. For most, it is the only way we know how to approach life.
We seek greater experiences and try and retain them. We discard people and things that no longer fulfill our desires. These are the intimate relationships we know based on “give and take.” Even for the spiritual seekers life becomes about retaining what is “good” and marginalizing what is deemed “bad.”

The spiritual seeker is still playing the game of opposites-denying themselves certain foods, activities, sex, etc. hoping to rearrange them self to look a certain way to say, “Finally, look I am enlightened, I need nothing, I enjoy nothing.” Yet, the frustrated “I” swings on the pendulum of…

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By Atreya…

Atreya Thomas:

In spite of the fears beneath the bones-beyond the anger.

Across the fluttering fields of thought- above the strands of time.

Here and now rests the perfect love as it is-in all things times and places.

A perfect reflecting surface for the play of opposites-playground for pointless wins and losses.

For You.     For Us.     For One.

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Dear Atreya. Do religions have a purpose? How come Christianity or any of the other religions do not lead to enlightenment? If they did, clearly the world would be a better place.

In the beginning of most spiritual journeys, “God” must be perceived in a concrete form as something separate from our self. This is so the devotee can pour himself into the symbol. “I am going to surrender my will to a higher will, etc.” If there is no symbol of a power greater than our self, than we will always continue to rely on “me,” which gives continuity to ego or a sense of exclusive individuality, hence building it up. So, religion in this manner is helpful in creating this symbolic receptacle. For example, “claiming Jesus as lord and savior” helps relieve a tremendous burden of responsibility, and there are many testimonies from people who have felt a breaking down of ego through this proclamation. The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism also break down the “me” if one pours them self into it and practices diligently. AL Halaj, can show you…

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Tim interviewed on Spiritual Book Club dot com

I’m honored and humbled to have There Is No ‘Other’: Ego vs Heart featured on the blog of

You can read the interview here:

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Fear of “getting all spiritual”

I used to be afraid of ‘getting all spiritual’. After feeling like organized religion had let me down in so many ways, I began to equate ‘getting all spiritual’ with being tricked… with believing lies.

From then on, I wanted proof. I assumed that if I could perceive it with my physical senses, it must be true. Anything outside of the scope of concepts could not be proven; therefore, if I believed in something I could not see/hear/taste/smell/touch or conceptualize, I was going to end up playing the fool… believing lies… and suffering more.

Yet the truth is, I am not this physical body. I am not this mind (therefore, I am not mind-based ego). And as my friend Atreya says, there are only two things we can be afraid of: something concerning the ego, or something concerning the body. Since neither is my true self, believing them to be real is a mistake.

As it turns out, when I believe what I see/hear/taste/smell/touch/mentally conceive to be reality, I am believing a lie. I am mis-identifying with the transitory and imagining it to be permanent. The path to truth is to discard what is perceived via the physical senses. Reality is beyond thought. Not “irrational”… but “extra-rational”. Fear of ‘getting all spiritual’ is ego-based fear.

Atreya, you said it best: as long as I mistakenly believe the illusory self to be true, the risk of egoic paranoid thinking will continue to be extremely high. My fear of ‘getting all spiritual’ is, in itself, a painful symptom of believing a lie. The doorway out of this suffering is to recognize my true identity as The Absolute.

When I gently recognize ALL thoughts (including these) and perceptions as movement of the mind, then I can rest in the peace and freedom that is my birthright.

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Foolish Cousin Ego (Chapter One of the forthcoming book There Is No ‘Other’: Ego vs Heart)

What happens when we realize that the ego is not what or who we are?

Trip to Pine

CHAPTER ONE (For more info, visit

Foolish cousin ego

Come back here and have a seat next to me. Sit here with me in the sunshine, here in the back yard. Feel the warmth of the sun on your face. Here, have some water. Have some sunshine. Have some lemonade. Have some delicious food. Have some company. Have some quiet time. Rest. Relax. You’ve been working so hard to find yourself… to take care of things in the way a man of goodness would, and does. You’ve been striving to do and be the right thing for so long… Sit and rest. Set down those heavy bags. No need to worry: I’ll have someone carry them to your room for you. Filled with anxieties and worries and concerns and deadlines and storylines and masks and passwords and keys and backup hard drives and floor mats and extra boots…

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Best day of your life?

What’s the best day of your life?
Is it a birthday? A wedding? First love? Special vacation?

Often, we associate the best day of our lives with some seemingly special occasion that appears to stand out from all the others. But actually, there is only one correct answer: Today. The best day of my life is today. The best moment of my life is right now. Because right now is all that exists. Right now is all we have. Today… this very moment, as you read these words, is all you have.

Anything else, birthdays, anniversaries, funerals, celebrations, dances… special events… all of those are nothing more than memories. Memories are habitual thought patterns creating the illusion of a solid story and an actual identity. But remove those thought patterns and the past disappears. The future disappears. They are revealed to be what they truly are: empty concepts. Mentations.

The best practice you can ever have is to recognize and embrace truth. The truth is, the only day of your life is today. The only contact you make with reality is in the present moment– like a needle making contact with an album on a record player.

Therefore the best day of your life could only be one possible day: today. Embrace it.

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