Consciousness… Week 02

a Moment for Wisdom…


A Moment for…




“The boat moves in the river, but water should never enter it. Though one lives
in the world, the world should not occupy one’s mind.” 

Sri Ramana Maharshi




Personal Wisdom:


How “occupied” are you with the conditions of the world?  How much attention do you give the world?


How focused are you on your own Self?  How focused are you on the health and happiness of your own body?Your emotional and mental states?


Do you have a regular meditation practice?  (If not: why is that not important
to you?)


Societal Wisdom:


 Are the systems and structures of your society in balance?  What will it take to bring them into balance and harmony?



a Moment with Sharif…




For most people in this society, the only things they think of, the only things they seem able to think of, are the things of the Breaker world. Their boats are full of water.  For some, it seems as though their boats are MADE of water.


This quote echoes Jesus’ statement about being “in it, but not of it”. 


Just like standing up in a canoe, walking through this world takes… balance.  On the one hand, we can act like the world was completely unimportant and focus only on ourselves.  This denies the purpose for which you were born – you were born HERE, on this small rock circling the Sun.  If your existence here was completely unimportant, you would have been born somewhere else… or not at all.


On the other hand: this existence, bound in space and time, is a temporary way-station.  Regardless of the religious tenets to which you hold (if any), two things are true:


  1.  You came from somewhere.
  2. You are going somewhere else.

So, how can you be completely surrounded by water, and yet not get wet?  The key is not being occupied with the world.  Pay attention, but don’t get completely absorbed in what’s happening.  Stay focused on REALITY… that which lies beyond the five senses.


Living in this world, this “reality”, is like being in a movie theater.  You are faced in one direction, looking at a brightly lit screen in an otherwise dark room.  No matter what happens on the screen, no matter how exciting or how scary or how 3-D the images appear, deep down inside, you know that they are only images.  They have no reality, outside of the darkened room, and for the 90 minutes that you paid to be “entertained”.


While you are in the room, you may react as though the images are “real”.  You may cry at the “sad” parts (highly paid and skilled actors, performing a scene that your brain/heart
interprets as “sad”), you may laugh or scream at the scary or funny parts (actors again performing a scene).


The first motion picture was a 30 second film of a locomotive coming down the tracks toward the viewer.  Early movie patrons would run screaming, or faint at the sight of the train about to “crush” them.


Or, perhaps a better metaphor would be a dream.  Until you awaken, you believe that the “dream” is completely “real”.  Your heart races at the scary parts, your body responds to the erotic parts… The dream is “true”… until you wake up.


Now… HOW do you wake up?  In our sleep dreams, most of us are programmed to wake up at a certain time, or an alarm clock (or a full bladder!) wakes us up.  In this “world-dream”, how do we wake up from our collective trance?  Not so easy, when every part of the “dream” is designed to convince you of its “reality”!


I believe we wake up by paying attention.  Paying attention to what is “real” means paying attention that the world of our collective experience is no more “real” than a movie.  When we get to that point, our inner eyes begin to open…







Consciousness Exercises:


This week’s “Consciousness” exercises:These are exercises in how to pay attention to what is happening in the world… WITHOUT getting caught up in it.  These exercises are designed to help you “wake up”, just a bit, to the conditions of the world.  This


  1. Pay attention to the times when someone asks you to be afraid of something or someone.
    1. Pay attention to who is asking/suggesting that you be afraid.  Teacher? Doctor? Neighbor? Spouse? Opponent? Ally? The “news”?
    2. Pay attention to what is supposed to be making you afraid.  A political situation? Economic? Health-related? Personal/intimate?
    3. Say (out loud and to the person, if possible): “I choose not to be afraid.  Fear does not motivate me to act.” (Smile, if appropriate.)
    4. Then: continue to discuss the situation/person/object.  Do not withdraw from the conversation… only withdraw from the fear invitation.

 NOTE: Remember – some “fear” makes sense, is rational and for your own good!  For example, someone may say, “Don’t go down that street – there’s an unchained rabid
dog on the loose!”  If so… don’t go down that street!Paying attention means… paying attention!


  1. Pay attention to the times when you are asked to withdraw or separate from  someone.
    1. Pay attention to who is asking/suggesting that you practice exclusivity.
    2. Pay attention to the reason for the proposed separation.
    3. Say (out loud and to the person, if possible): “I choose not to separate from (you/others/Person X).  Even if I do not agree, I will still consider (you/others/Person X) to be my brother/sister.” (Smile, if appropriate.)
    4. Then: continue to connect and converse with the person.

 NOTE: Remember – just like with fear, some “separation” makes sense, is rational and for your own good!  For example, your doctor may say, “Person X is contagious – you should avoid them for the next two weeks.”  Send flowers, but stay away!  Or, a friend may say, “Person Y has been drinking and becomes abusive and violent when drunk.  You should avoid him/her right now.”  Make a firm plan to connect with Person Y… as soon as they are sober enough to hold a conversation.







All photos by Sharif Abdullah, unless otherwise noted.








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10 Responses to Consciousness… Week 02

  1. Leonora says:

    “…the world of our collective experience is no more “real” than a movie.”
    Wait….the movie IS real. It is a real movie.
    Our five senses DO sense Reality=the rabid dog, the fire, river, tree, the “here”etc.
    But they just don’t sense ALL Reality=there is more going on in many dimensions, and all at once, and everywhere. I think it’s like the visible light spectrum. We can see that, but most of us just can’t see the rest of the spectrum that is invisible to us.
    However, with training and experience, and perhaps this is part of what you mean by “paying attention,” our range of perceptions can be increased, for example learning to feel and work with Qi/Chi, which is not normally part of Western cosmology.
    Also, words fail. “Reality” is a slippery one…

    • Sharif says:

      Leonora, what you are saying is really important.

      Yes, the movie is “real”, on multiple levels. It is a real reel of film (or digits on a DVD). You can hold it in your hand. When we shine light through the film, or process the digits on the DVD, colored lights flicker that our minds interpret as Luke Skywalker fighting Darth Vader (for example). We all see the same thing… the collective imagery becomes part of our collective psychological construct.

      But… what do we “see”? That’s the point that I was trying to make when I said that “…the world of our collective experience is no more “real” than a movie.” If I believe that what is being depicted on the screen is an accurate and honest rendition of something that has occurred in 3-dimensional reality… I AM BELIEVING AN ILLUSION. There is no Luke Skywalker, no lightsabers…

      I am not saying that the movie has no value. I’m not saying that there are no moral lessons to be drawn, or even that we should not be entertained. I’m just saying that we should value the movie for what it is, NOT as a representation of ultimate reality.

      And, we should value the world of our collective experience the same way. Draw our moral lessons, our values and principles from it. Watch out for the rabid dogs, and look both ways before crossing the street. And know that what we are experiencing is NOT the whole picture, not the ultimate reality.

      None of this is to contradict you in any way. I see these comments as harmonizing and building on each other, like the Beethoven I’m listening to in the background. The instruments are all playing different notes, “saying” different things… yet they all indicate a deeper harmony than any one can alone.

      You may want to refer to this past “Moment” for another take on the issue of “reality”:

      More on this subject of “reality” coming up in subsequent “Moments”!



  2. Thanks again. Such wisdom is needed in times like these.

  3. Susie says:

    Love the picture, the quote, the message and the exercises! Excellent! With all the horrible news today and so many people/governments/corporations acting so uncaringly, greedily, etc…, it is easy to get lost in the “dream.” However, fear is something that we can choose or not choose as a response. In general, fear is not a place I spend much time occupying, but I find I respond in anger to a lot of the crap going on these days. Anger at its base is a fear response. I try replace it with the reminder that everything is working for all of our highest good, but that is a struggle at times. Positive action helps somewhat, like sending respectful messages to my elected representatives urging them to stand up for the good of the People and supporting people and organizations that I feel are doing good works or spreading good messages. I still have a long way to go before achieving today’s quote.

  4. Holly Wells says:

    I’ve noticed that a lot of the fear I feel has to do with me, personally, feeling inadequate or limited–“I just don’t have what it takes to deal with this!”

    Recently I hit a very low point and, by grace, was led to following affirmation:
    “I want to live my life fully. I can live my life fully because I have all the resources I need to live my life fully. I celebrate those resources and use them freely.”

    Now I use this often. This can really turn me around when I’m feeling inadequate, limited, or angry at myself. And that’s the best place for me to start to contribute to the greater good.

  5. Richard Hunter says:

    I needed this today. Thank you. It was refreshing.

  6. Greg says:

    The exercise really makes the wisdom clear. We have a responsibility to our world, just as we have a responsibility to ourselves.

    I wish the exercise had mentioned anger and lack. Fear, anger, and feeling of lack are all toxic emotions that should not be fed. But they are only toxic in excess.

    Creating a world that works for all requires paying attention to both ourselves and that external reality. But, we need to nurture every seed of transformational consciousness and to bless, love and separate ourselves from the influence of the Breaker story as enacted by our neighbors, friends, and family.

    Thanks to everyone else who commented.

    • Sharif says:

      Yes, we’ll be getting into the other emotional states as the “Moments” progress. And I fully agree: those emotional states are “toxic” only when they become our primary expression — only in excess. The person who tells me that they cannot get angry, or they are always happy… well, they just aren’t paying attention to the world that I see. I’ve got a few refugee camps I’d like to take them to…

      You said:
      “…we need to … separate ourselves from the influence of the Breaker story as enacted by our neighbors, friends, and family.”

      Yes, correct. And, I know that when you say to separate from the influence, you don’t mean to separate from them. It’s only through our connection in energy that others will be able to make the shift to higher frequencies of being. As you know!



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