November 26, 2020

INSTANTLY ZEN

Namasté dear one. On the last episode of season 3 of my podcast (listen to “Live Free with Selena Sage” here), I announced that I was taking some time away from social media. Between then and now, I’ve been developing Instantly Zen, which I’m so excited to introduce! (I’ll share details about what it is at the end of this post because this message is focused on how Instantly Zen came to be.)

At the time that I disabled social media (way back on October 17th haha), I knew that I needed to take a step away from everything. I felt something new trying to bubble to the surface and I needed to block out all of the noise.

In the silence, I generated a lot of ideas, and I’m so thankful for persons in my “inner circle” who gave me feedback, both helpful and harsh haha, to get me closer to what this idea needed to be.

I admit freely that my first idea / presentation was off the mark, but putting it on-screen and sharing it allowed me to process it; the feedback I received helped me strengthen it; and as I developed it, I ended up weaving in parts of the original idea that were worth keeping.

I say this because often times we try to process ideas in our heads and resist sharing them with others for various reasons. Those reasons for not sharing can sound like: “It’s not ready,” “It’s not perfect,” “They will steal it,” “They will tell someone else who will steal it.” But please let me tell you that original ideas are never really ready or perfect; most people don’t have the know-how or energy to actually develop and execute the idea like you can; and if you have that concern about a person stealing or sharing your idea with the wrong person, they probably shouldn’t be in your inner circle.

That said, know, too, that thoughts are constantly changing, so the mental-development method is not really that trustworthy. Instead, I find there is great power in taking a moment to jot down random ideas that come up, and choosing to work through the idea that you vibrate with on the highest frequency (meaning, you keep thinking of it or it stands out).


Once you’ve made that mock-up, treat it like a first draft and share it with only a very small number of very trusted people (two or three) that will give you honest perspective. Then, prepare yourself for both positive and negative feedback and stay open to both. Don’t let negative feedback discourage you, and lean into positive feedback (even if it’s your own belief that it will work) to fuel you as you take the next steps forward to fine-tune your first idea.

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November 22, 2020

MEASURE OF PROGRESS

What is the measure  of an aspirant’s progress in terms of authentic attainment? They must evolve to such maturity wherein they are capable of bringing mental chaos back to silence, without requiring outer assistance.

from “Writing on Water” by Sri Mooji

Once you recognize your power to simply observe mental chaos and bring it to silence—and you are able to use this power effortlessly, whenever needed—you have mastered transcending your monkey mind :)

This seems a fitting time to tell you that I am in the process of developing events to help you do just that! Stay tuned for upcoming announcements on this new offering I’m excited to share! :)!

Namasté and love,


Photos: This morning in Ponta do Sol, Cabo Verde :)

November 1, 2020

FIND THE ORIGIN

This morning, I brought one of my favorite Taoist books with me to read on the rocks by the sea (just got splashed! Haha)

A passage that really resonated today is from verse 52:

In the beginning was the Tao.

All things issue from it;

all things return to it.

To find the origin,

trace back the manifestations.

from “Tao te Ching” by Stephen Mitchell

This passage reminded me of two questions from my first book,Meditative Questions,” which I’ve added here (images from the ebook) for your own contemplation:

Find more about “Meditative Questions” at zentaobooks.com

When you discover the Source of all, Oneness is clear.


Namasté and love,

October 29, 2020

TRUTH

The one who surrenders  everything, including himself, and the one who finds  nothing, including himself, discover the same Truth.

from “Writing on Water” by Sri Mooji

Morning walk to Sinagoga, morning meditation on the nature of truth. Let go of all to find all.

Namasté,


My hidden perch in the rocks :) for peace and shade ;)

October 26, 2020

SUNRISE

All this [world] is conjured by magic;
It’s only the water of a desert mirage.
Beyond all differences, beyond all forms,
Truly, there is only Shiva alone.

from “Song of the Advadhut” by Swami Abhayananda


Namasté,


Photos: Sun rising this morning in Ponta do Sol from my perch on the rocks by the sea :) Namasté.

October 26, 2020

A Restful Week

So very thankful for a restful week (last week) with dear friends in Cha D’Igreja at beautiful Casa no Caminho / Haus Am Weg (link to my previous post about this wonderful place here)!

Resting in a hammock was my vibe all week! (Obrigada dear Diane for the photo haha ;) The week before had been overly active, so last week was necessarily restful. Hopefully I’ll find the right balance this week ha!

While visiting a beach I love there, I wrote the following haiku:

Acceptance brings calm

Merging back into what is…

Calm and endless sea

—-
The message for me is that tranquility is always within our reach, for it is our true nature.

Here are some of the pictures from the week that inspired the haiku directly, and indirectly haha:


(The visit also included a stop at the dam near there to see how much water had accumulated from the rains this year—an amazing amount! :)! Normally what now looks like a lake is bone dry! This is very good for our island.)

—-

Though the haiku shares my key takeaway from the week, I was reminded of my own need to take time away sometimes to rest the body-form and reconnect with myself as Self haha The costume of personhood can be exhausting, but that which we truly are is changeless, formless, and tireless. May we know ourselves to be that and live as that.

When you are not thinking of what’s next or what’s passed, who are you? :)

Namasté and love,

October 18, 2020

TOO MUCH FUTURE

It often happens during my sunrise walks that some moment of clarity shines through. So, in what might become the first in a “sunrise series” of posts, there is inspiration to share a bit of that reflection.

When we are feeling anxiety, stress, or even confusion, this is generally a sign that we are living too much in the future.

Future living means that we are trying to decide long term plans, or worrying about what might possibly change or disrupt those plans. We may be confused about what to do when considering the long term ramifications of certain decisions.

The truth is we don’t know what is going to happen! So all of this stress and anxiety is built upon our imagination alone.

Peace is presence. And presence is what you truly are. It is the infinite space between your last thought and your next thought…vast and endless quiet that is peace itself.

Without thoughts, worries and stress have no anchor, and no place to land.

Whenever anxious feelings threaten to overwhelm you, that is your cue to dispassionately observe your thoughts and remain as that observer.

Things are never as urgent as we think, so release yourself from that urgency and do only what you need to do in this moment. Trust in the power governing the entire universe.

Namasté.


Photo from morning walk to Sinagoga from Ponta do Sol (6:56am) here in Santo Antão

October 17, 2020

SOCIAL MEDIA BREAK

This morning I decided to disable my social media accounts.

While I’ve loved using those accounts as a mode of sharing and connecting, I started to feel an energy drain. Social media was taking too much of my attention.

I even felt a little hesitant while disconnecting and I didn’t like that feeling either.

At some point, I may decide to re-activate social media, but for now I’m happy with this decision.

As a result, I’ll go back to using this blog to share written thoughts, and I welcome you to connect with me here! :)

Namasté.


Photo: Sunrise here on the island of Santo Antão, Cabo Verde (the sun later emerged from the clouds)

October 7, 2020

PODCAST REFLECTIONS

As I near the end of the third season of my podcast, “Live Free with Selena Sage,” (available here) there is a feeling of amazement that one idea has become almost 150 episodes!

But before launching into thoughts, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you and others around the world who have pressed play thousands of times and continued to support my little podcast! Your kind messages, excellent questions, and positive vibrations have served as wonderful encouragement for me to continue to press record ;) I also have tremendous gratitude for everyone who recommended that I host a podcast! All of those shared ideas were seeds that, once watered, became the podcast. Thank you!

As I think back on all of the seasons, it is even hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that I’ve created so many episodes in one year! Wow! Haha Though I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things (haha), I did not think I had so much to say about nothing haha!

Understanding our true state as actually being no-thing is simple enough to recognize from experience, but harder to believe and live this truth.

It is for that reason, I think, that the podcast became a mixture of spiritual pointings from great masters and practical advice to live a more peaceful life. Once our lives feel more peaceful and balanced, the leap to ultimate freedom does not seem so great.

As a counter-point, the leap from a chaotic state of mind to no-mind might seem impossible! But in fact, if we come to recognize that this chaos was created by the mind to anchor us in this human experience, automatically distracting us from our true nature as no-mind, it becomes easier to unravel.

For me, the podcast has been an experience in the art of saying something when there is really nothing to say! haha All of the great masters advise keeping quiet about these great truths, and I believe it is because a lack of perfect understanding and embodiment can cause confusion in one’s self and others.

While I make no claim to perfection, and freely voice my own growth on the podcast, it is my hope that the messages on the podcast inspire rather than confuse, and delight rather than depress :)

“Live Free with Selena Sage” was born out of exhaustion from the negativity that seems to be present in every media outlet; and hope that sharing messages from masters might inspire others during a time that has felt (to many) more uncertain than ever.

Recording these talks continues to inspire me to read great spiritual texts and wisdom from the masters to find those messages that make me do a double-take and read again and again. Those are the messages that I feel inspired to share with you, those are the messages I’m inspired to try to further illuminate.

I always tell myself that I will take a big break between seasons to focus on whatever other creative projects I have brewing, or to simply rest…it will be interesting to see if that really happens after season 3! Haha I will have to wait and see, too! Haha A few of you have recommended that I start reading bedtime stories for the “Calm” app hahaha! Maybe this is also another idea for a new season haha ;)

Thanks again for your loving-kindness and support.

love,

Photo: Sharing a few views from a visit to Sinagoga Beach…one of my favorite places on the island! (Here in Santo Antão, Cabo Verde)

October 2, 2020

THE CURIOUS CASE OF THE 5 CENTS

Today, I had a moment of linguistic misunderstanding at a convenience store checkout that spawned a podcast episode (listen to “Talk 45” here) and now this post haha

First I’ll say that living in a country that speaks a language other than your first/primary language is a difficult thing. Even as I’ve learned the native Cape Verdean Portuguese based-Creole, I find that my brain sometimes doesn’t switch as quickly as I might like. It’s hard to explain, but when I’m speaking Creole, if I can’t think of the word I want, my brain kind of blanks…then I search for the nearest available word I know that comes close. If none of that works, I then switch my brain back to English and re-think what I’m trying to say. I may speak the English words out loud, and then substitute another Creole word that comes to mind if they still don’t understand.

What all of that means is that it’s complicated. I’m thankful to get by successfully on most things, but sometimes I have brain blanks. Today was one of those days haha Here’s the story:

After purchasing pistachios and fruit juice, the cashier told me the total, but I only really heard the dollar part ($4.—). She spoke quietly, the store was loud, and I didn’t want to ask her to repeat herself. (Also I’d just hiked 4 miles and had 3 more to go, so I wanted to keep moving! Haha) To simplify things, I just rounded up and gave her $5 to cover any remaining change.

When she handed back my change ($0.50), she said, “Sorry I don’t have $0.05,” and I responded, “No problem, I’ll just take a mint,” which is the customary way change shortages are handled.

But she had already moved on to the other customer in line and indicated she would have to finish checking him out before she could ring me out for a mint. Then I got confused…normally a mint is handed out without anything being done with the register. So then I looked at the receipt for the first time and next to the Portuguese word for change was $4.56. I asked her how that was meant to be my change when I only gave $5 haha My brain was muddled.

By now, it may be clear to you that $4.56 was my actual total, so she had actually given me an extra $0.05! (Pennies are pretty much not even used here.)

I became a little embarrassed and smiled shyly under my mask, something she would not have been able to see. Anyway, she’d moved onto a new customer so I think I said, “Ah ok,” with a simple nod of my head. She gave me a nod back but before I could say more, I was basically pushed toward the door of the little shop by a customer trying to leave. So I left.

But as I walked away, I realized I had not said thank you, or apologized for my misunderstanding. I thought several times about turning around, but as I got back into my stride, it seemed like it would be much ado about nothing. Still, the situation kept replaying as I walked, and I thought of all of the things I could have done differently.

Even though this situation was no big deal (we’re talking about $0.05!), I thought about how I actually had $0.05 in my wallet and could have given that to her when I realized I owed more. Silly stuff.

Finally, I caught myself and realized I was working myself down a rabbit hole of my own making—even while walking next to the beautiful ocean!

I took a deep breath, focused my attention on simply looking at my thoughts…then I watched as they faded away (this always amazes me!), turned up my music in my headphones, and smiled at the ocean. Instantly clear of that madness, I resolved that I’d stop in the shop on my way home, talk with her to thank her, and then properly settle my account. I put it out of my mind and enjoyed the rest of my hike.

Though my podcast today touches on this, I think it’s worth saying that this is something that happens to us all sometimes. We can get caught in a meaningless cycle of negative thinking about something that doesn’t even matter, or something that is out of our control! This kind of thing can throw off our whole day and change our mood.

If this happens to you, I encourage you to watch your thoughts, shift your focus, and move into ‘gratitude mode’ (look around or within and notice what you have to be thankful for!) to disrupt that cycle!

I enjoyed my time at the beach I hiked to, but that is not where the story ends! Haha

True to my decision, I went back to the store before going home (planning to talk with the cashier and give her the $0.05)…but, of course, she wasn’t there! Haha There was a different cashier and I knew immediately that trying to explain all of that would be counterproductive, so I really and truly let it go. Instead, I noticed they’d gotten a shipment of fruit since my earlier visit, so I decided to buy kiwi, grapes, tangerines, and my favorites—green apples!

While picking out fruit (note: usually the employees at this store do this because the fruit is accessed behind the counter, but I’m a frequent customer so the employees kindly allow me to pick my own fruit), another customer started asking me questions about the grapes. I handed him a bag to look at and politely told him I didn’t work there haha Then, I directed him to the cashier who answered his question about price.

He decided to buy the grapes I’d handed him and, get this, the cashier asked I’m him if he had $0.05 as she did not, and couldn’t make proper change for him. I quickly said, “I do!” and reached into my wallet to fish out the nickel I knew was there haha

I happily donated this $0.05, feeling like I’d achieved some balance on the karmic scales haha The kind stranger I gave the money to got his change and tried to give me $0.10 to make up for my nickel, but I politely and repeatedly declined, not wanting to mess up the scales again haha! But there’s more to the story…

The total for my fruit came to $23.15, and I paid with $30.20, the closest I could get to the total. And guess what? I received my same nickel back (in addition to $7) as change!! Hahaha!

It seems clear that I was meant to keep that $0.05, so maybe I’ll have to frame it or something haha Indeed, this nickel somehow inspired three good deeds—3 separate acts of paying it forward by the cashier, me, and the other customer as he kindly attempted to overpay me back haha. It inspired a lot of reflection by me and the reminder that things rarely go according to plan and we must not let our minds take us away in those instances!

When we go with the flow of life, we let comes to come…and we let what goes to simply go (things comes, let them come…things go, let them go). In our resistance to what is, we can create a lot of unnecessary stress for ourselves.

I’m thankful for these reminders and the kindness of those attached to the chain of events today tied to the magical 5 cents! :)

with love,

Photo: Me on the beach just after taping the podcast today. Laughing at the madness, looking up with gratitude. :)

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