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Now and Zen

by Brad Jensen
Copyright 1996 Brad Jensen All Rights Reserved Permission is hereby granted for any publication in electronic form.

Introduction: Lucid Living

Most people dream each night without knowing at the time, that they are dreaming. They observe and interact with people and situations within the dream, without becoming aware that it is a dream.

Some people have learned to awaken within the dream, and realize that they are dreaming. They then take control of the dream, though often only for a brief moment of time at first, and direct the dream.

An exercise that people do to help induce these ``lucid'' dreams is ask themselves, many times a day, ``Am I dreaming now?'' The idea is that if you aren't sure, you are probably asleep and dreaming.

But you may become aware that much of your daytime life resembles a dream. The secret wisdom of many mystical traditions is that the outer, waking life is a dream also, and that your life is one total experience. The change of wakefulness from night dream to day dream is one more of degree than of kind.

Then the thought you may begin to consider is, ``Is there a way to develop greater wakefulness in my life, no matter how awake I already think I am?''

I believe this is so. I have studied many different ways of thinking, and I have brought together the special thoughts that help me reveal my self to me.

If you read something in them, and say aha! then you know you have that thought in yourself also. Some of these thoughts may cause your mind to itch a little. Some may make no sense whatsoever.

Share these thoughts with the people you love, and the people who annoy you. Opportunities for growth will result.

I did not invent these ideas. They have existed through the ages. I have tried to state all but the simplest thoughts (such as, ``Thoughts are things'') in my own words.

You will certainly see thoughts that you recognize. Great minds all follow the same pathways, and all minds are great.

I would like to thank the many teachers who have helped me in this life, and others. I would like to thank the many students who have helped me also.

If you are unsure if it is proper to focus so much attention on your own life, and on improving your state of consciousness, here is something to consider:

The ultimate selfishness is to ignore your need for change, and go on hurting yourself and others.

The following thoughts may be used as a basis for meditation, daydreaming, as a starting point for life changes, as a solace when you stub your toe, as seeds of greatness for your inner self to nourish.

My goal is ``Lucid Living'' : to become more aware, so I can grow with more joy, and less pain. I hope these thoughts help you achieve your goals more easily, also.


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