by Zen Gardner
December 9, 2014

from ZenGardner Website

Spanish version





Anyone who thinks waking up is simply a spontaneous event or some kind of cake walk hasn't woken up yet.


It takes a lot to arrive at the door of discovery as well as courage to open the door. In fact, all of the doors, as life is a series of decisions on where to travel and what to do when faced with the myriad of options presented before us.

Ask anyone who's in any sort of awakened state and despite their present calm brought on by strong conviction for truth, I dare say they've been through the mill in their life to get to where they are today.

It may seem like peaches and cream to an outsider looking in at some of the more ethereal spiritual conclusions many arrive at in the course their travels through life, but I guarantee you there was a lot of suffering, confusion, physical, spiritual and/or mental abuse and times of darkness and despair along the way. It's part of the process.


You don't just walk-out of the matrix when you've been programmed and enslaved to it your whole life, nor quickly shed your old warped belief systems like overalls as you step into some kind of sanitized room filled with baby lambs and laughing children.

There's a price to pay. It's all part of the process.


And so very well worth it, and more...




Honest Evaluation

It's not easy either to be fully honest about ourselves, what we have been during our lives, participated in, those we have hurt along the way, the amount of selfishness we've displayed.


We think we hid it from others since we were in denial about it or thought we were clever in how we think we got away with it.

Not so, and it eventually comes back to bite us at the least as weighty baggage if we don't get honest about it. And this is one of the toughest parts about truly waking up. As our true self arises the old false self gets exposed, and it hurts to face it usually.


And it's not a one time thing; it's a long process of getting honest, allowing ourselves,

  • to be exposed

  • dealing with it

  • letting it go

  • then admitting we need healing in deep dark corners of our fabric

And then asking for, allowing and receiving the healing.

It's a long road, yet it is all based on one decision. You want the Truth.


The rest follows and no matter how challenging, we rise to it and pass through because of that resolution of the heart. The hardest roads are for those who continue to cover up and fight to protect the whole idea of their old self, or even some form of new self.


For them, as it has been at times for all of us, it can be like being lost in the woods and after hours of searching without a compass or sense of direction we land up right where we started.


Tired, discouraged and disillusioned, blaming circumstances or whatever instead of the fact that we didn't allow ourselves to listen to our spiritual compass of the heart because we hadn't been cultivating a life of honest realizations.


About ourselves and the world around us.





The Bold and the Brave are Normal People who First Face Things - Then Overcome

I don't know why this hit me today.


I think it's because it's been happening to me a lot for some time and continues to unfold. Areas of my life I thought I'd overcome or in some way transcended are coming back via relationships gone wrong or hang-ups reappearing in strange ways. Or just plain fears I haven't wanted to face that still plague me.

I spent much of my life in denial about many things to keep the pain of my past at bay. It doesn't work that way.


I had a rough upbringing in a seriously dysfunctional family. Physically we were upper middle class and seemed to have everything going for us, but spiritually, psychically and emotionally it was a twisted torture chamber of sorts.


I think most of my generation went through this kind of spiritual turmoil.

Ask anyone who's honest and woken up. They were not only beaten up by life but gave quite a few beatings themselves. That's why they're so loving. They realize they not only hurt many people in their selfish pursuits, but participated in many many more beatings with their tongues, compliance with gang like social behaviors to be accepted and cool, and worst of all withheld the love they knew they should have shown along this rocky road towards self discovery and release from this parasitic self destructive "world" we've been born into.

I think this inner knowledge and resultant guilt and shame is what shuts many people down.


It subconsciously makes them think they're not worthy of love and truth. It's essentially a very clever mind control program we've been coerced to participate in. Much like the soldier who is reduced to a barbaric murderer for whatever "cause" they've been told they're fighting for, it degrades the human psyche and stifles the spirit, trapping beautiful souls in an endless cycle of guilt and self loathing which only results in more forms of violence.


The very sad suicide statistics of returning veterans is one obvious outcropping of this.

But I contend the worst form is this ongoing mass co-justification system. Those trapped therein are the walking dead. They knife themselves daily in one form or another in some sort of masochistic ritual of self degradation.


This can manifest as a player within the capitalist system of greed, thuggish behavior again justified by social "norms".


It can be any form of self promotion which comes with a cost to others for personal gain, again based on this strange concept of competition. Sports are a good example of how violence, even within systems of rules, is justified and encouraged. And if you can get away with dirty tricks and not get caught that's also fair game.


The whole capitalist system is based on this.




Honesty Can Be Brutal - But Only to the Old Self

I'm not talking about being honest with others here.


While important if done in love, it too can be very destructive if it's just a form of lashing out or self centered release no matter how cleverly couched. This type of behavior happens because we haven't come to terms with ourselves yet. And that's the most important part and should be addressed first. It's not easy, and is a lifelong process.

Coming to terms with these very personal realities hurts. There are dark corners that need the light of truth. It takes time, but it can't be avoided. It will surface if not addressed, and the best time to do so is when it appears or comes into our conscious awareness.

I'm not talking about futile self centered introspection.


These things have a way of bubbling up and they're not overwhelming if tackled head on. It's only in recent years that I've begun to understand the lifelong effects of my family upbringing.


These sublimated issues appeared throughout my life that followed and it got more convoluted as time progressed.


It's not all bad, as much of this suffering is what drives the seeker to keep pursuing the truth, since deep within us we know there is release. Until then, those abusive behaviors plague us and put up a smokescreen trying to keep these unsavory realities suppressed and forgotten.


Quite the cycle, but I think we all experience this one way or another.




I Feared a Fear and it Came Upon Me

One of the most powerful attractors is fear.


When we have a fear of something it can literally bring on what we are fearing. There's an old sci-fi movie well worth watching called Forbidden Planet that powerfully illustrates this amongst other dynamics.


Another is The Martian Chronicles that illustrates how our minds conjure and manifest our reality, a phenomenon long understood by mystics and sages and now even confirmed by modern mainstream science.

This is why we need to identify and face our fears.


There are all kinds of fears, from,

  • fear of failure to fear of lacking

  • fear of losing things

  • fear for the safety and well being of our children and grandchildren

  • fear of death,

...on down to singular phobias such as fear of heights.


These are powerful drivers and affect our motivations, actions and perceptions.


Fear of being discovered for who we truly are is one of the most powerful. What grips our psyche is often a sense of guilt or shame for something we feel is wrong about us that we don't want discovered.

That's why denial is so rampant amongst humanity. Instead of being encouraged to simply be who we truly are, we're told to conform and pretend to be something we are not, with usually unattainable ideals and self images that set us up for certain failure.


It's a vicious cycle once again and a loop that needs to be broken no matter what it takes. It's a long road overall but one we're all traveling together.

Shame is one of the most crushing human emotions. It hurts so much we have to bury it under many layers of self deceit just to keep functioning in society. We've all suffered from it and will no doubt keep encountering it, as no one is any type of pillar of perfection.


But that's where the pursuit of truth is the best antidote, as we can deal with these things as they come up and not let them fester like an infected splinter in the mind.


This wonderful empowering reality gives us the courage to take these on more and more spontaneously and is so liberating. That's where a good sense of humor comes in and not taking ourselves so damn seriously.


We're all a mess but when love dominates then our shared weaknesses are actually what bind-up together as our communication grows more honest and loving and openly caring while we continue to approach and draw near to the light of truth.





Let It Go

Realizing we were born into an abusive system designed to keep us down and disabled is a wonderful discovery.


Until we realize our originally pristine hearts and spirits were deliberately coerced to become willing accomplices in this violence upon ourselves and others, the guilt and fear of being "found out" will plague us.


The easiest tack for your ship to take is straight into the truth with the realization we ultimately have nothing to defend, that that's the false self and a bad movie that needs to be chopped up and hit the editing room floor.

However, we carry this psychic baggage to varying degrees and we need to be aware of it, and address any spiritual hangovers that still plague us.


Honesty comes first, and exposure to ourselves and perhaps those near to us. And then the healing can begin. It may require some assistance from a spiritual healer or counselor, it really depends.


Over the past few years I've had a very profound experience with Edna of Earth-Heal and her assisted treatments that synchronistically began at the same time I got back in touch with my estranged older brother and sister.


Since this time of reconnection we've been sharing childhood memories and how our lives were affected by those traumatic influences, which the treatments addressed without even knowing about them. Quite remarkable.

I'm not saying everyone should do this sort of treatment. You'll know when it comes to your attention what's best for you. Universe is very cool in that way.


I know meditation and other sincere spiritual practices as well as entheogens such as ayahuasca are wonderful at bringing truths to light and then taking one past the unsavory realities into the marvelous realm of the loving eternal now, knowledge of which is the ultimate empowerment.


This, or similar experiences however they transpire, deliver the individual from attachment to all that baggage as we become the observer and release attached identity with this egoic self reinforced by a lifetime of less than conscious actions and reactions.


This is why christianity appeals to so many as the initiation is based on 'unconditional' forgiveness.


But this is available to anyone, anytime and anywhere and not hinged on any type of entity. There was no original sin and you don't need anyone's forgiveness but your own. The rest will follow as we open our lives like flowers and honest and loving communication evolves naturally.


Reconciliation with others then follows. But we must forgive and release ourselves first.

It can be an extremely emotional event releasing these pent up attributes but it's so worth it.


It doesn't necessarily mean spilling our guts out but that too can help if done with the right people and in the right setting. Again, deep spiritual practices as well as natural psychic healing medicines such as ayahuasca or other medicinal plants have a beautiful way of addressing these deeper issues and then letting us release them as we step into the divine and experience the unconditional love that awaits anyone's discovery.

There will still be conflicts and issues.


We all have to deal with our own infirmities. But the knowledge of the true reality of conscious awareness being our essential nature and releasing our attachment to this false identity we've been engrained with our entire lives is paramount to overcoming.

I just wanted to share my thoughts on this as it's been surfacing in my own life. Deep seated fears are the toughest to let go of, but let go we must. Some we've entertained for so long we almost count them our friends or necessary companions, like the proverbial elephant in the room.


One important aspect to realize is that this goes along with the concept of embracing the dark that's been discussed a lot lately. If we see it as a good vs. bad paradigm we're really missing the point.

It's about truth and love versus fear. And some fears are not that easy to identify, nor release.


But as we continue on this marvelous yet often rough road of discovery all things will come to light, but in a very loving and synchronistic way if we just keep on keeping on in all loving sincerity.

Unconditional love is awash in our marvelous universe.


Why shouldn't we dive in and revel in it? It's not a matter of deserving it, it's a matter of accepting it and in so doing bring more light and loving truth to our darkened world.