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If the Truth we all seek, whatever that may be, is to be found at the top of a hill, how can you find the direct route, the clearest path?
Know who you are.
Live with thought-free awareness. The mind is the source of the suffering blocking your path; only when controlled and quieted can Truth be found. A thought can give you a headache, but does not define who you are. Close the lid, turn off the screens, end the illusion by ceasing to believe in it.
Relinquish desire. Demand less; give more. Be content with you as you are.
Repress nothing. Express yourself fully in whatever way is right for you: shout, scream, cry, laugh, dance, protest, be silent or paint a picture. Be authentic, honest, open and truthful to yourself and all around you.
Be guided by your conscience, the heart-centred voiceless voice guiding your actions whilst gently pointing the way. If your heart tells you to do something, do it; if your mind tells you then reflect first for a while and tread with caution!
End your dependency on all that is perishable. Relationships break down, loved ones die, a well-paid job ends, your body ages. Celebrate being alive in every way. Death is but the shedding of an old overcoat, age the aging of physical body.
Take care of the Earth, our Mother. What we do unto this Earth we do unto ourselves. Living with this awareness and accepting fully your role as custodian and protector of this Earth is an important step in your journey towards Truth. Ask no longer what this Earth can do for you; ask instead what you can do for the Earth. When the time comes for you to leave your body do so with love, leaving behind an Earth enriched by your presence.
Live lovingly. Fill your life with love. Every loving act, no matter how small it may seem, brings peace to you and all around you. Express your love to all that lives: the plants and trees, the animals and birds, your brothers and sisters and the Earth herself. Immerse yourself in love totally, completely.
Stop blaming God. Be aware that we are all responsible: we have created the seedbed for the violence and destruction now casting its dark shadow over all that lives. Understand your responsibility: all your actions will be in complete awareness of their outcome and with no desire for reward.
End your perceived individuality, separation and sense of isolation, the product of your Westernised mind. Embrace all that lives with love as kindred living spirit.
Be free. Your freedom – your birthright – comes in freeing yourself from identification with mind-body-ego and all associated baggage. Be free of desire, expectation, fear and anxiety as you experience a sense of peace and liberation the like of which you have never known before.
Unique as you are there is no separation and so much shared feeling, common ground upon which we all stand for me to support you and you me.
Be free.
Be who you are.

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Born in Suffolk in 1949 I have been a painter and writer all my life. My inspiration is found in nature in front of the living landscape where painting becomes a connection to our precious Mother Earth and an act of deep meditation. I specialise in gouache and oil painting using reproductions of my work to illustrate my published books and articles. Several of my paintings have become limited edition prints and I have work in collections worldwide.
A lifelong interest in meditation has culminated in a deepening understanding of Self Enquiry and my first book on this simple but profound Practice was published in 2010. My second book, "Self Enquiry: On Being You. A Journey into Truth" was published  by "O" Books in 2016.
I lay no claim to Divine lineage, I worship no Guru or Divinity. My understanding of the importance and profound nature of Self Enquiry has grown as life is lived and the Practice applied to all that is presented to me. But then Self Enquiry is just This.....
I now live in Bridgwater, Somerset from where I pursue a combined programme of creativity and meditation taught to others through Satsang and retreats.

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This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Yes Michael said it all in the second sentence. ‘Know who we Are’. When we come Know our natural state we see at last clearly the limitations and confines the psycologivcal mind had on us and once again feel free. Of course we always were, just thoughts in myriad ways telling us we were not. Here’s to simply being ourselves… together as one..

    Thank you for the reminder Michael, I look forward to the release of your new book in March.

    1. Your “natural state” – who you are – is ever present, unchanging and untouched by all that is experienced. As you live your life your mind fills with thoughts and accumulates memories becoming ever-heavier baggage carried throughout life, your story to this point seeming to define who you are. The only place these things exist is in your mind. They are in the mind and of the mind; the clouds blocking the sun.If there were no thoughts and memories there would be no mind. Both mind and ego do not exist. In Self Enquiry, as the Practice is employed, the mind quietens, memories of past experiences lose their grip on you, the fog lifts and the clouds disperse leaving you free to be who you are……..Thank you for your kind comment.

      1. Beloved friends.
        You replaced my word “thought-less” with “thought-free”. Is it possible to to live without thoughts? Our most basic functions are driven by thoughts: “I am hungry, I need the toilet, I am going for a walk……” etc. But we can live with less thoughts. Take for example fear, that thought-driven emotion now crippling America and many across the globe. Think less fear, I suggest, and you will feel less fear: the illusion will vanish.
        Secondly I did not write about Mindfulness but about Self Enquiry, a similarly ancient and profound Practice. There are important differences not least in regard to the concept of mind. In Buddhist Mindfulness the mind is seen as an entity to train and control; in Self Enquiry the mind is seen as an illusion to quieten into stillness. We can end all illusion by ceasing to believe in it. Self Enquiry is a simple, radical and a direct path to Truth……
        Thank you.

        1. Thoughts are necessary for survival. To eliminate thoughts would not be good. However, what I think the author intends for us to do is eliminate thoughts that aren’t necessary. When he says to eliminate thought he is encouraging us to move toward meditation. Clearing the mind allows you to be present and in the moment. It is during this state that we can get closer to the source. Changing thought can be a desired action. When you begin “self talk”, listen to your words and ask yourself, are these words self destructive? If so, change them. What you put into your conscious, you manifest in the physical world.

          1. Thank you Len. Most of us are addicted to thinking. A thought -seed, once planted, thrives on your attention, fear, imagination and expectation taking you on a roller-coaster journey into semblant reality leaving you wondering: where did it all start?. The media, corporate business and our politicians all play on this understanding: in planting these seeds into the minds of a fearful and insecure population control is achieved and a market created for whatever product is being peddled.
            Through the Practice of Self Enquiry you can end this addiction in an instant. Be quiet for a moment, focus inwards and ask : who thinks this, who believes this, who is tormented by this, who is being taken for a ride. “Me! I am!” Go to the source and ask : “Who Am I?” reflecting on this question without seeking an answer and ask it as each new thought arises.
            Your restless mind is the source of your suffering. Only when controlled and quietened, through vigilant effort, will liberation be achieved and True Self realised.
            Neither thought nor memory defines who you are……..Thank you.

  2. Thank you for allowing me to share this with your community. Whilst a little saddened that there has been no response I do hope that someone somewhere has read this and gained something from it. Because, after all, we are all in this together as we embark upon another year which seems set to present us with great challenge and change. In a world confronted with social, political and environmenta upheaval on an unprecedented scale the journey into Truth – to discover who you are – is potentially more challenging than it has ever been and at the same time never more important.
    With my love and thanks go in peace. 28 December 2016

  3. Michael, your profound article says it all! It’s a wakeup call to all of humanity. The minute we stray from love we loose ourselves. My experience, given our conditioning, it is hard to make the switch to loving yourself and hence being yourself; unless we find the triggers that allow us to do so (through our experiences). I make this claim because of my own struggles. I started getting a glimpse of this on the mountains of the world where I was forced to be completely in the moment – where I couldn’t think of yesterday or tomorrow or my wows, since the next step or activity were the only things that mattered. In this space it is very hard not to be enthralled by everything that surrounds us – even enthralled with the magnificence of our bodies and ourselves. The nice thing is, we do not need to climb Mt. Everest to experience this; my life changing experiences started with hikes to Mt. Everest Base Camp and the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. What a blast. Thanks again for your wise message.

    1. Thank you. Yes there are those times, places and experiences that somehow sharpen things bringing such focus and clarity into our lives. These are often referred to as moments of enlightenment. But, as you say, we do not need to be at the top of a mountain to experience This. Our journey through life is one of many side shows and distractions, leafy lanes and pathways and sometimes rocky places where we would perhaps rather not be. Experience is an integral part of this journey. Some experiences seem trivial others are profound and “mind blowing”, but all carry a message giving an opportunity for us to learn and to grow in awareness. It is up to us how we process this diverse experience and harvest from it what it has to offer in our journey towards Truth.
      Whilst I cannot control who knocks at my door I can decide who to let in…….
      Immerse yourself in Love: Love your Self, Love your brothers and sisters and Love this precious Earth. Every loving act, no matter how small it may seem, will bring peace to you and all around you…..With my love and thanks.

  4. Michael – I appreciate your words, your thoughts expressed here.
    I was delighted with your response to one comment, including this:

    “Be quiet for a moment, focus inwards and ask : who thinks this, who believes this, who is tormented by this, who is being taken for a ride. “Me! I am!” Go to the source and ask: “Who Am I?” reflecting on this question without seeking an answer and ask it as each new thought arises.
    Your restless mind is the source of your suffering. Only when controlled and quietened, through vigilant effort, will liberation be achieved and True Self realised.
    Neither thought nor memory defines who you are.”

    Yes – lovely – thank you!

    Joanna Free

    1. Thank you Joanna for your kindness. Essentially this is the Practice of Self Enquiry. Often described as “the direct path to Truth” whatever that may be. Self enquiry is an ancient Practice embraced by the major Religions and one which has inspired many figures in world history. Why am I here? What is my purpose? Why do I exist? “Who Am I?” Whilst it does not claim to alter or eradicate our past in focusing on the root cause of our suffering Self Enquiry provides us with the tools and ability to change our perception of this suffering, to rid ourselves of the baggage carried within our minds for so long, bringing peace and healing into our lives. Over the years I have seen this work in the lives of many with complex health issues, including addictions, quite often as a fundamental aspect of an holistic approach to an individual’s needs. Although our past will not disappear it can no longer trouble us. The only place it exists is in our minds. Experiences, thoughts and memories, no matter how painful, do not define our Truth, who we are. In knowing This we are free……
      Needless to say Self Enquiry is enmeshed in a wealth of complex documentation and texts. My book set out to clarify this material and make this profound, simple and radical Practice accessible to those who are ready for it….
      With my thanks and sincere best wishes for your important work.

  5. Beloved friends. Thank you once again for sharing my words with your community. It is a joy and privilege to connect with two more of your members. I would like to leave you at this time with the following message:
    Recently I had the opportunity to embrace a young Muslim family and apologise for the great injustices inflected upon them and their beautiful religion by so many of us in the West. In gratitude they blessed me and I blessed them……….Yet we continue to see this scapegoating by corrupt and prejudiced politicians with an agenda.
    No God of any religion condones violence or hatred in any form. On the contrary such behaviour is condemned totally by all faiths. Islam, alongside other religions, has lived in peace in many lands for hundreds of years…….
    “In this world hate never yet dispelled hate. Only love dispels hate. This is the law, ancient and inexhaustible.” (Dhammapada)
    God is Love. Every act of love, no matter how small it may seem, will bring love and peace to you and all around you. I pray that one day soon we shall all live together in peace and with love.
    With my love and thanks. Michael Vincent. 8 November 2017

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