Sweet Surrender

the-power-of-surrendering

Fear of being controlled and fear of losing control creates a futile attempt of trying to be in control.  All of this is based on fear/ego.

The need for control is an addiction.  It is an addiction that most people have.  The need for control is probably the biggest Sin (Self-inflicted non-sense) / Fear (False evidence appearing real) that we have as human beings.  It is what stands in the way of a life of love, joy and peace.

It is this control factor that prevents us from being able to surrender and the paradox is the only way to find that which we seek (love) is to surrender.

This is the ultimate wake up, to understand that there is nothing to find through seeking outside ourselves. Grace is knowing we are not lost and never were.  Surrender, acceptance and forgiveness are all the same experience. It is through surrender, acceptance and forgiveness that Grace enters our experience.

We don’t know we are love so we start seeking it outside ourselves.  Our attempt to do this is why we fall into false belief’s that someone or something is trying to control us or we fall into the false belief that we can control someone or something outside of ourselves.

This fear of losing control and being controlled usually begins when we are very young.  It is what causes us to build up ego defenses.  This fear is what disconnects us from our true nature.  We forget that we are love.  So in a way we become unnatural and we start to create a pretend self, a false self.  We then actually start to grieve for our true self (but we are not consciously aware of this).  That is how all addiction starts.  This grieving for the true self creates suffering.  We bounce around in the stages of grief, anger, denial, bargaining, and depression, but we never reach the final stage of grief which is acceptance.

When we know we are love we can surrender to what is.  We are no longer seeking love because we know we already have it, we are it.  Our true nature is love.

Sweet Surrender – John Denver

Lost and alone on some forgotten highway
Traveled by many, remembered by few
Lookin’ for something that I can believe in
Lookin’ for something that I’d like to do with my life

There’s nothin’ behind me and nothin’ that ties me
To somethin’ that might have been true yesterday
Tomorrow is open; right now it seems to be more
Than enough to just be here today

And I don’t know what the future is holdin’ in store
I don’t know where I’m goin’, I’m not sure where I’ve been
There’s a spirit that guides me, a light that shines for me
My life is worth the livin’, I don’t need to see the end

Sweet, sweet surrender
Live, live without care
Like a fish in the water
Like a bird in the air

Are Soul & Spirit different?

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Are Soul and Spirit different?  Yes, in duality they are, but in oneness they are not.

This is my morning contemplation.

I have been trying to forgive myself for creating some recent suffering.  This is what created the suffering… I took something personal,  I tried to change something outside of myself,  and I judged.

I listen a lot to others because I am not usually in a state of trying to figure things out. I usually just am without much of an agenda other than to be present. I am in a state of surrender. I listen because I have compassion. But truly if we are not trying to figure things out would there be that much to talk about. If we do not talk about the past, about others or about what we are trying to achieve in the future…..what’s left to talk about? If we were fully present we would be more in a state of experiencing what is instead of what was or what will come?

This is what created my suffering… I was talking about the past, I was talking about someone else and I wanted to know what the future held, all of this was coming from fear.

As human beings we are becoming aware that all is One…all is Spirit….but most of us are not living it yet, so we are still seeking it. This prevents us from being present and it also keeps us going back and forth between love and fear. Fear is a contraction and love is an expansion. This process of contraction and expansion is like a birthing process, we are trying to be born into Spirit. We know that duality is not the absolute truth and we cannot help but to seek the truth until we become the truth, until we return to Oneness of Spirit.

The Soul is what appears as a unique form, it is what’s evolving. It’s what is trying to remember it’s oneness with Spirit.

Each of us thinks we are separate from each other and separate from Spirit. We do not know that the ocean is in the drop of water, we think we are just a drop of water separate from the ocean.

The Soul is what appears as temporary but is evolving in it’s remembrance that it is eternal, that it is one with Spirit. Spirit is Causeless, it has no beginning or end. When we become one with Spirit in human form, we are off the wheel of karma, we are not reactionary, we no longer experience cause and effect because we are one with the Causeless. But if and until that happens we will keep having reactions to what appears to be an external cause to the effect we are experiencing.

The Soul is constantly moving towards Spirit. When the Soul evolves to remembering it’s oneness with Spirit, it wakes up, it merges into oneness. It no longer is separate. This is experienced as Pure Awareness.

Awakening does not come easy because we want to cling to our separateness thinking it is the true self. We feel we will disappear if we let go of the false self.

Spirit has no qualities, it is not good or bad, right or wrong, it just is. It is Pure Unconditional Love.

Oneness is our natural state.

All experience is experienced by the Soul, but when you wake up, there is no more experiencer, there is just experience.

Awareness of Awareness

It’s all about Presence.
Unknowable to the intellect, obvious to the innocent heart.
~ Burt Harding

Recently I wanted to try to express to some close friends that I needed to take a break from being “the listener”. I personally did not want to continue to create any more stories or listen to the stories or others. I wanted to express that I was not ending the friendships but I was going to be spending time in silence. I did not want them to take my silence as rejection. It’s not that I did not care about their experiences or have compassion. I have compassion for all of us who are on this journey through life. I am just at a place of surrendering to what is and not trying to or wanting to figure anything out with my mind.

My communication did not go well. I ended up getting caught up in emotional reactions because I felt I was not being heard. This was hard for me to understand because of all the listening I had done in the relationships. I eventually realized that I again was making up a story in my mind and in reality there really was not a right or wrong, a good or bad, just another pointer to what is. I had to return to the truth of my being. I had to let go of the distorted perspective that my mind wanted to create. I had to see the story I was making up and let it go. I had to find my way back to Unity, Oneness, Love and Grace.

I am not sure why I am being called into silence but I trust it. I just have not figured out how to stay connected with others and not get pulled into the mind and stories and trying to figure things out. I don’t want to talk about how to get to oneness, love, peace and grace, I want to be oneness, love, peace and grace. And I know that I Am.

I am at a place of knowing there are no answers, I am no longer seeking. Silence and the stillness it brings is the only answer there is.

We may have a fear that if we let go of seeking that we will experience a sense of hopelessness, a sort of nothingness or emptiness, but in truth that is when we connect to all that is. When we allow ourselves to experience emptiness we find fullness, nothingness becomes the doorway to all-ness.

I think there are different stages of awakening. First we believe that what we seek is in the external, then we shift to internal seeking and finally we reach a place of knowing that they are one and the same.

There’s no one to believe in awareness, you can only be awareness. You cannot become awareness, you already are awareness. But because consciousness is inside this body also and consciousness is also the child of awareness, it’s the form of awareness. So awareness experiences itself with the assistance of consciousness and the body and you feel a sense of I Am. I Am is actually the Christian name for Awareness.

Documentary – “Beyond Thought”

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/beyond-thought/

To my friends…..
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and right-doing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”
~ Rumi

Human & Divine = Wholeness

Human – Relative Truth: The human condition encompasses the unique features of being human, particularly the ultimate concerns of human existence. It can be described as the unalterable part of humanity that is inherent and innate to human beings and not dependent on factors such as gender, race, culture, or class. It includes concerns such as the meaning of life, the search for gratification, the sense of curiosity, the inevitability of isolation, and the awareness of the inescapability of death.

Divine – Absolute Truth: The absolute truth is without conditions.

An insight that has become crystal clear to me is the importance of integrating my human self and my divine self. I am beginning to feel grounded in that integration.

There is nothing more important than love and the expression of love through relationships.

We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known. And when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection. Love is not something we give or get, it’s something that we nurture and grow. A connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exist within each one of them. We can only love others as much as we love ourselves. Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare. ~ Brene Brown

I believe that real love can only be experienced by making soul contact with oneself first and then with others who are capable of making a soul connection.

It takes tremendous courage to allow oneself to become vulnerable enough to make soul contact. Most of us have layers and layers of conditioning, fear and defenses that have covered our soul with a hard shell of protection.

If you are able to work through the fear and make soul contact it takes a conscious effort to sustain it. Most people can’t. Eventually frightened parts of the personality come up front and the soul is hidden behind fear. Love and fear cannot be experienced at the same time, we are experiencing either one or the other.

I know for myself living from frightened parts of my personality will never be enough. I must live life from the soul level. I am willing to do the work of staying awake in my own life and to invite relationship with others who are capable of participating in authentic soul based relationships.

As a child my first spiritual awakening revealed my soul and connected me to the infinite/absolute truth. As an adult I had a second awakening when I realized that the majority of people either never make soul contact or forgot how to get back to the soul, to return to love. I realized that most people live out their lives in fear or at the most have glimpses of real love. They live from relative truth alone. There is nothing wrong with relative truth, but without any understanding or connection to absolute truth a human being cannot evolve. There is much beauty in relative truth, it is the human part of us. But to be whole one must also connect to their divine self, otherwise they will try to make other people or addictions their source and be doomed to a fragmented existence. The integration of the human with the divine allows wholeness to be revealed with the outcome of spiritual and human maturity and the ability to love unconditionally.

I believe we are heading towards a final stage in human evolution where we will become One with Karma.

Krishnamurti once said of the Divine Plan: “The really important thing is … the knowledge of God’s plan for men. For God has a plan, and that plan is evolution. When once a man has seen that and really knows it, he cannot help working for it and making himself one with it, because it is so glorious, so beautiful. He knows, he is on God’s side, standing for good and resisting evil, working for evolution and not for selfishness.”

The more I know about the manner in which life is designed, the more awe-struck I am. In the end, I’m so taken by the beauty and the genius of the design of life, that I can only serve it.

At the lowest levels of the overall setting, it is relatively true that we have free will. But at the highest level of it, we see that God was the only doer of any action. Brave is the individual who would hold to the absolute truth that God is the only doer, true at the highest dimensional level, at the lower dimension where 99.99% percent of the population would not recognize the truth of that statement. I have faith that these percentages are changing, even if it is only one person at a time, one day at a time.

“Truth is what stands the test of experience” ~ Albert Einstein

“Believe nothing just because a so-called person said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books, believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it. Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true.” ~ Buddha

Under the Radar

Yesterday I had a long conversation with my youngest son about conscious awareness, wholeness and spirituality. We also talked about our society and our perception that it is focused on materialistic consumerism, shallowness and pretense. We shared a sadness in the fact that we live in a society that is lacking authenticity and true connection.

I consider my son to be a very authentic person of high intelligence, sensitivity and presence. He is not loud, demanding and attention seeking. He has a quiet demeanor and would not necessarily be noticed in a crowd. You will not find him on Facebook boasting and collecting “friends”. He currently works in a library and has completed his education towards teaching Art. He is one of the most secure humanly and spiritually evolved people I know. He will most likely create a life to match who he is. Will this bring him riches and fame? Maybe not. Will he live a life of authenticity and contentment? Probably so.

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The conversation with my son got me thinking about what motivates people towards lives of pretense or lives of authenticity? I believe that most people are seeking attention in order to feel validated. In a sense they are trying to prove their worth. So the more money, materialism, fame, spotlight on stage they can create the more valid they might feel. But what is the price for this kind of success? To me success is living a life based on authenticity and core values.

From a young age I have used creative writing as a way to validate myself and to stay connected to my personal truth, my essence/my soul. This is what I am doing as I write posts for this blog. It does not matter if anyone ever reads it. It is more or less a personal diary. It is me talking to me.

If I am able to encourage others to live a life of authenticity that would be a bonus. Mayybe if we work together towards a society based on authentic living we will evolve into a society of connection, depth, love and compassion. I believe it is possible, one day, one person at a time.

As I review my values I realize that I may live a life that is “under the radar” but it is an authentic life as I already know my worth and have nothing to prove.

1. Connection to Source
2. Mindfulness
3. Family
4. Overall Health
5. Independence
6. Unconditional Love
7. Trust
8. Silence
9. Integrity
10. Respect
11. Equality
12. Vulnerability
13. Communication
14. Creativity
15. Stability
16. Simplicity
17. Growth
18. Order
19. Commitment
20. Encouragement
21. Contribution
22. Comfort
23. Wholeheartedness
24. Joy
25. Authenticity

Closer I am to fine

My morning contemplation brought insight into the importance allowing has to being. The more I attempt to control myself or others in anyway the further I am from the present moment and to my own being-ness. Allowing may be one of the hardest things for a person raised in our western society to do. We are conditioned towards doing and achieving. Usually this leads to having some kind of agenda involving competition and also a never ending pursuit of happiness, a seeking and striving for some perfect finish line where we feel we have reached success.
I learned at a very young age (kindergarten, I believe) that the hare missed out on all the beautiful things along the road towards the finish line because he was in such a hurry to get there and to win the race. I have lived my life at a very slow pace (like the tortoise). This has been a blessing and a curse. I have often felt the value I have for the present moment and taking it all in has not been shared by those around me. I could not speed up and they could not slow down. I could not be anything other than who I was and neither could they. It has seemed at times that nature and animals were my only true companions. Humans seemed so preoccupied to get somewhere other than where they were.
I am not suggesting as adults we don’t need to be responsible and contribute, of course we do. But I think if we give more attention to what is to come than “what is”, we miss a lot and we miss the people in our lives. I think the term getting ahead of ourselves speaks for itself.
My barometer has not been winning or happiness, it has been presence and peace. It has also been fullness of being, which includes the good, the bad and the ugly of humanity, feelings and all, to be wholly human, knowing that I can never transcend the human condition, but I can embrace it.
There is no escape or bypass from the human condition. But when we accept this, everything becomes sacred, everything becomes a miracle.

“Closer To Fine”

I’m trying to tell you something about my life
Maybe give me insight between black and white
The best thing you’ve ever done for me
Is to help me take my life less seriously, it’s only life after all
Well darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable
And lightness has a call that’s hard to hear
I wrap my fear around me like a blanket
I sailed my ship of safety till I sank it, I’m crawling on your shore.

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain
There’s more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.

I went to see the doctor of philosophy
With a poster of Rasputin and a beard down to his knee
He never did marry or see a B-grade movie
He graded my performance, he said he could see through me
I spent four years prostrate to the higher mind, got my paper
And I was free.

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain
There’s more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.

I stopped by the bar at 3 a.m.
To seek solace in a bottle or possibly a friend
I woke up with a headache like my head against a board
twice as cloudy as I’d been the night before
I went in seeking clarity.

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain
There’s more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain
There’s more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.

We go to the bible, we go through the workout
We read up on revival and we stand up for the lookout
There’s more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in a crooked line
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine
The closer I am to fine
The closer I am to fine

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

love-vs-fear

I have been going through some intense challenges and changes for over a year.  Some of the challenges are over and I have accepted some of the changes.  However I have been experiencing extreme stress for a long time.  I willingly allow myself to feel all my feelings, the good, the bad and the ugly, knowing that the depth of my sorrow becomes the height of my joy.

My so-called low feelings such as sadness can feel dark, heavy, and dense.  But I do not resist these feelings, I allow them.  Sometimes when one is going through multiple and ongoing difficult times, it seems they will never end.

Recently on a fairly warm and sunny day I went for a stroll around my property.  I did not have a particular destination or agenda.  I was in a place of allowing.  A moment arose where I came to a natural pause.  I just stood there, I really had no thoughts, I was just experiencing the moment, I was just being.

In this moment I was filled with light, everything became light, I did not know where light began or ended, the light and I were one.  Time stood still.  I was in a state of pure awareness.  All was peace, all was light.  For a moment it felt unbearable.  There was nothing for me to hold onto.  I was in a state of complete surrender.  Because I have been practicing allowing for a long time, even though the experience felt unbearable I was able to continue to allow it, to let it be. Tears began to stream down my face as the light penetrated every cell of my being.  What now comes to mind is the book entitled, “Embraced by the Light”.  A true story of a woman’s near death experience.  But I was not near death, I was the nearest to life that one can be.  I was being embraced by the light.  I was being cleansed, healed, unburdened, set free, and loved.  The light seemed to have a presence of unconditional love.  In the light I felt a presence that was loving me, embracing me, cradling me as a mother cradles her baby.  I could not feel the ground beneath my feet.  I felt no weight at all.  I felt no boundaries.  I felt a cleansing through and through.  It felt as if day was breaking in my soul and the light was so bright it exploded from inside out.  I am struggling now to find words for the experience, I think the best I can do is, Amazing Grace.  I was so awake, the light was so powerful.  I felt that if I tried to see the light with my human eyes I would be blinded, I could only experience it.  In a way my human sight was not involved at all.

There was a moment where the light was so bright with such a high energy I felt that I would merge with it and not return to my normal state of being.  I think somewhere within me I knew I was being given the choice.  It was as if I was having a telepathic conversation with the light, I was being asked to decide if my highest desire was to merge with the light or return and share the light with others.  If I decided to merge with the light I may or may not remember my personal self upon returning to my normal state.  The moment I made my choice I experienced a gentle release from the love and light that had me in its embrace.

I have no idea what the time frame of this experience was.  Maybe it was only minutes but it also felt like many lifetimes.  What I  learned about myself, life and the reason we are here is more than I can share in a post. I will be spending some time trying to translate this conversation before I forget what I was shown.

I know now that we choose to come here, we choose to be here and we choose when we leave…..then we choose again….. and again….and again, until……

The heavier the burden, the closer our lives come to the earth, the more real and truthful they become. Conversely, the absolute absence of burden causes man to be lighter than air, to soar into heights, take leave of the earth and his earthly being, and become only half real, his movements as free as they are insignificant. What then shall we choose? Weight or lightness?” 

Milan KunderaThe Unbearable Lightness of Being 

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You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

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So many times in my life I have found myself in a work situation or a personal relationship where it felt like the person or persons wanted to have their cake and eat it too when it came to what they were requiring of me.  Now I understand that when I am feeling this way it is a red flag.  It is time to stop and examine the situation and/or relationship.

When I start to feel this way it means I am at some sort of impasse. I need to make a choice or remain stuck and feel victimized.  Similar to being stuck in a traffic jam, I have to decide how I will deal with the temporary impasse.  I can sit idly and accept the situation, I can start thinking about what my options are once traffic starts moving, I can pull off onto the shoulder of the road and start walking (a choice with not so good consequences), I can turn on some music or audio book and enjoy the moment the best I can.  I can consider if there would be a better route to this particular destination the next time, I can feel victimized and start finding someone to blame for the cause of the impasse, etc, etc.  Then based on all my options I have to make a choice.  My choice will be based on the consequences of my decision and on my preference of what I want to experience.  If my preference is to feel victimized then I will start to blame someone.  Whatever choice I make will reveal to me my true state of mind.  And if I understand I am choosing to have whatever experience I am having I can no longer claim victimization and if I do I have to realize I must like the feeling and therefore I am not really a victim because I am choosing it.

I have always believed that I can have anything but I can’t have everything.  If we try to have our cake and eat it too we are under the belief that we can have everything.  When I find myself in situations or relationships that are requiring more than I can give and still keep my balance, I must be willing to see that this situation or person wants to have their cake and eat it too. It is up to me to show them that they have to choose to either treat me with fairness and equality or I will have to leave.  Just as much as I realize that I can have anything but I cannot have everything the same applies to others. There are many people and situations that will try to have their cake and eat it too, if we let them.

 

The Tru-Man Show

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The other day I was trying to express to someone that sometimes I feel that people are pretending, not being “real”.  In response I received a quizzical look. 

Later in the day I was thinking about Eckhart Tolle talking about the importance of not playing a role.  Then I started thinking about the new trend of people talking about the importance of being authentic.

I started to reflect over my life and how I have felt the importance of not playing a role, the importance of being authentic.  I really did not know how to pretend or play a role.  But, it seemed that sometimes my “realness” was not easily accepted by others, especially if it challenged the status quo or rocked the boat of any system I found myself in.  Or if in my realness I would express any of the so-called negative emotions like sadness or anger.  These were emotions that were supposed to be kept to myself.

I am a very sensitive and feeling based person.  My navigation through life has been based on listening to my inner most feelings.  I have wondered at times where my place is in a society that in a lot of ways feels fake.  I do not find my values reflected in our society.  Values such as compassion, patience, humbleness, mindfulness, integrity, silence, connection to higher self, respect, equality, vulnerability, simplicity and oh yes, authenticity.

There are two different levels of functioning – mental and emotional. Most people live their lives in their heads, which is why we have such an emotionally bankrupt society.  We have to learn how to get out of our minds (pun intended) and connect with our emotions.  If you feel you are “going out of your mind” then good, start feeling your feelings.  ~  Excerpt from Rebirth by Keleah LaRoche

Having a spiritual awakening at a very young age, I thought everyone had such experiences, but as my life unfolded I became confused because people seemed to be behind some kind of wall of protection, some kind of hiding.

A friend of mine has often said that he believes that we are all born with a form of amnesia, that we forget that we come from spirit or we forget our very soul.  My response always has been, “I didn’t forget”.

We stumble and fall constantly even when we are most enlightened.  But when we are in true spiritual darkness, we do not even know that we have fallen.  ~ Thomas Merton

Could it be that the majority are living in spiritual darkness?

Then there is the question of something called “Spiritual Bypassing”.

Spiritual bypass is a defense mechanism. Although the defense looks a lot prettier than other defenses, it serves the same purpose. Spiritual bypass shields us from the truth, it disconnects us from our feelings, and helps us avoid the big picture. It is more about checking out than checking in—and the difference is so subtle that we usually don’t even know we are doing it.

The shorthand for spiritual bypass is grasping rather than gratitude, arriving rather than being, avoiding rather than accepting. It is spiritual practice in the service of repression, usually because we can not tolerate what we are feeling, or think that we shouldn’t be experiencing what we are feeling.

As I child I was sent to church after having my spiritual awakening.  I already discovered the Christ within.  So when they started preaching about being God-fearing and hell fire, I had no idea what kind of God they were talking about.  The God I knew was not something to fear and was not outside of me.

It has always seemed to me that to be whole one must merge the mundane with the divine, our human self with our spiritual self, our shadow with our light, the absolute with the relative.   This is why from all the religions Buddhism has appealed to me most, it is the Middle Way.

We are by nature, already spiritual.  We are not here to transcend our humanness, but to learn what it is to be truly human.

Our society sometimes seems to be black and white, a society of extremes.  On one extreme we have Narcissism and on the other extreme is Spiritual Narcissism and Spiritual Bypassing.

The character disorder of Narcissism is the complete denial of the true self in favor of the projected image of oneself.  This means the narcissist denies what he/she really feels and pretends that “all is well”. One has been conditioned to put on a happy face and focus on presenting an image to the world.  In the case of spiritual narcissism, one puts on a spiritualized image, pretending to be enlightened when, in reality he is far from any true enlightenment.  ~ Rebirth by Kaleah LaRoche

One of my favorite movies is “The Truman Show”.  Truman was adopted as a baby by a movie production company.  He grows up inside a movie set (but he thinks it is real life).  In the end he begins to discover an inner knowing, an inner truth, the Tru-Man.  This eventually leads him to escaping the illusion of the movie set.

From the movie The Truman Show:

Christof, “Why do you think Truman has never come close to discovering the true nature of his world?” Christof’s response, “We accept the reality of the world with which we are presented, it’s as simple as that.”

So in closing I make a vow to live as a Tru-Woman no matter what realities I am presented with.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdwuW8n3JYA&list=PL86FC5F0AD263028C

Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose

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One of my favorite sayings is from the Janis Joplin song, “Me & Bobby Mcgee”; Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose. .

What that line means to me is when you have nothing left to lose you are free.  In other words when you are really practicing the art of detachment you are free from attachment.  But when I started thinking about the meaning of attachment and detachment practiced in our society, attachment is a positive and detachment is a negative.

I have always felt that the best things in life are free.  Love for example has to be free or it’s not real. It cannot be confined or controlled.

I believe the soul is free to come to earth and free when it leaves the earth.

I became aware that I was a soul having a human experience at a very young age.  To me the soul is our eternal self and our personality/ego is our impermanent or temporary self.  The soul to me is pure; it does not need to be “fixed” in any way.  Maybe somewhere along the way as we are pulled from the spiritual self into the secular self we begin to forget that are born worthy, whole and complete.  So begins the process of trying to prove our worth.  We start to put conditions on ourselves and others.  Our love becomes conditional.

I have always been drawn to nature and to animals.  I did not feel any pretense (charade, sham, façade, make-believe, deceit, deception, simulation) from nature or animals.  Unfortunately I did feel strong pretense coming from a lot of people in my surroundings.  I did not know how to pretend but it seemed that being natural and real was not going to be accepted.  It seemed that the goal of my elders was to teach me the ways of the secular world and how to best fit into it.  But somewhere within me I knew this could mean a diminishing of my soul.  I wondered if there was a way to be in the world but not of the world.

It seems to me that the only evolving man has to do is to return to his true nature, to what is eternal and never-changing.  We would not lose our uniqueness if we were to live from the soul.  All souls are unique.

To me evolving is not about learning more, attaining more, becoming more or complicating and trying to perfect what is already perfect.  Why does man try to make a name for his self?  What does that even mean?  To me evolving is to return to what is natural in us, our soul. When we know we are already worthy, we have nothing to prove.  We can be our true self and from that true self express ourselves and bring light into the world.  When we do not feel worthy we are always trying to prove that worth and that is what leads us into temptation (thinking that we will find something outside ourselves to make us feel alive and worthy).   What if we all knew we are already enough, that we did not have to improve ourselves?  What if success was knowing that we already have within us all the answers that we seek.  What if we could relax into life knowing that we are a soul and will be naturally nurtured by life itself?  If we did not take more than we needed for our own survival, would there be enough to go around?  Would anyone be starving or cold without a place to call home?

There is nothing I need to add to my soul to make it better.  There is nothing that my soul seeks to find.  It is whole and complete.  It is my conditioned self, the false self that on some level bought into a bill of goods being sold, the message you have to make something of yourself.  You have to earn your right to exist.  You have to prove your worth.   I did not hear a lot of messages that I was already myself and that I just needed to let that out into the world without changing it or improving it.

I relate in so many ways to St. Francis.  It was said that St. Francis could see beauty where others could not.  That he saw the world opposite of most, as a poem and an adventure to be explored…..

One of my favorite lines from the movie about St. Francis, “Brother Sun, Sister Moon”….

In our obsession with original sin we do often forget….original innocence. 

And I so love this outlook of St. Francis….

I have often watched the larks in the field around my home, they’re such humble modest creatures who need only a sip of water and a few berries in order to live and soar into the heavens.  One day I found myself thinking, that we too could be happy if we were content with little like the larks, if we could live as they live, singing and thanking the lord who created us. 

I wish this peace on everyone, on this lovely day.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vX2yn3qheHU

Misfit

imagesmmmMisfit (oddity, eccentric….weird, unconventional, unusual, peculiar, strange, oddball, loner, nonconformist, rebel)

As usual I woke up centered in my heart and soul.  I consider my connection to my heart and soul to be my true self.  It is only from my true self that I can speak my personal truth.  Unfortunately it can be difficult for me to stay centered in my heart and soul continuously throughout the day.  I find it very difficult to not speak my personal truth and so I often find myself being quiet instead. I experience this as a kind of self betrayal.  The main factor for this self betrayal is fear.  Fear of making waves, fear of breaking the status quo, and the main fear of not fitting in. 

One of the reasons I write in my blog in the morning shortly after waking is that is when I am closest to my personal truth.  (Meditation, Nature, and Animals help me to re-connect. They hold no lies, nothing is hidden. This feels sacred to me, a way to re-connect without conditions.).  It is at these times when I can hear my own unique voice and also feel a connection to God.  That connection to God for me is a connection to absolute truth and purity, the highest and lightest energy there is.  It can be difficult to stay in alignment with God as I go about my day.  It can be difficult to find ways to communicate to others from this place of purity.  It is a language that most of us have forgotten or never knew.  It can be a struggle to find ways to bring such high energy into the density of consciousness that most of us function from.   

It seems to me that the biggest self betrayal is that of adaptation.  If you adapt to the “norm” long enough you may start to forget who you truly are.  I liken it to the analogy of putting a frog in a pot of cold water and slowly turning up the heat.  The frog won’t know it is being slowly cooked to death so it does not jump out of the pot.  To me the pot symbolizes the status quo, the norm. 

So, this morning I want to honor myself and all the other misfits of this world.  I want to encourage myself and others to be our true self.  We cannot change the world but we can be the change we want to see in the world.  Being a misfit is a good thing.  It means you are awake! 

We all want to belong but if we have to sacrifice our true self in order to belong, I would say it is better to be a so called misfit. 

Belonging

Belonging is the innate human desire to be a part of something larger than us. Because this yearning is so primal we often try to acquire it by fitting in and seeking approval.  Which are not only hollow substitutes for belonging but often barriers to it.  True belonging only happens when we present our authentic and perfect selves to the world.  Our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self acceptance.  Fitting in is the primary barrier to cultivating true belonging.  Fitting in is about accessing a situation and acclimation to it.  We acclimate out of fear, shame, comparison, judgment etc., etc. 

Authenticity Mantra: Don’t shrink; don’t puff up just stand your sacred ground. 

Vulnerability Mantra: Show up and let yourself be seen. ~ Brene` Brown

Excerpt from a poem/song I wrote about Jesus….. He walked alone against the crowd, a quiet man among the loud.  They’d push and he would bend, a freak of nature, a passing trend. 

Preacher of the good life, mistaken identity, born at the wrong time, and still the blind follow the blind. ~ Francis Christian

Was Jesus a misfit?  (oddity, eccentric….weird, unconventional, unusual, peculiar, strange, oddball, loner, nonconformist, rebel)

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Loving Fear

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This morning I am contemplating on the two most powerful energies in our universe, love and fear.  I am realizing that it is not possible to deny that I have both energies flowing through me.  It does not seem logical to me that I can rid myself of fear by denying it or resisting it.   It seems to me the only way to have love be the leading energy in my life is to love fear. 

Everything I understand love to be would never try to control or resist what is.  I feel that it is the resistance of fear, the wanting to get rid of fear that causes it to stick to me like glue.  To me one of the main actions of love is allowing.  Ultimately true love is unconditional.  When we try to eliminate fear we put a condition on it and this is done from the energy of fear not love.  Fear cannot rid fear, control cannot rid fear, only allowing and accepting it can we ever release our self from the exhausting task of trying to control it.  Always the answer to peace, love, joy, and harmony is found in letting go and allowing  something higher than our small conditioned mind to take the lead.  

I relate love and fear to light and dark.  Our world exists of both we cannot have one without the other.  We would not know our wholeness if we did not accept that we have within us light and shadow, this is what creates depth.   It is through the acceptance of everything as it is that we are set free.  To me this is what it means to be liberated, a true form of enlightenment. 

 

The Rivers Flow

The minute you try to hold onto or control someone or something outside of yourself you take yourself out of the flow.

To me the flow is God and we can let go and go with the flow (as some of us old hippies still say).  When you try to hold onto or control someone or something outside of yourself you separate from the flow, from God.

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Life is like a river flowing on and on, ever-changing. Sometimes it flows slowly and sometimes swiftly. It is smooth and still in some places, yet downstream may be riddled with sharp rocks and rapids. It is shallow and warm near its banks, yet deep, mysterious and cold in the middle. And all of it is the river.

From an energetic perspective flow is your optimal state.  Life is never stagnant; you can’t stop it from changing. As soon as you believe you’ve attained a level of stability sure enough, something happens to shake your foundation. And it’s your interpretation of the “something” that creates the disharmony. Just as with the river – no one aspect is better. Life is life.

The optimal state of being is flow….energy is like water and when we are in a state of flow every experience in life just washes through us….you become like a non-stick surface.  In that state no matter what is happening around you, you remain untouched.

~ Panache Desai

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wj80UcBXeW4

Roping the Wind

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I took a program once that involved a lot of internal inquiry.  One of the goals was to help me more clearly define my life purpose.  One day the wise woman offering the program said to me, “you are like trying to rope the wind.”

Due to uncontrollable life circumstances I had to leave the program before completion.  So I never pinned down my final life purpose statement.

In the midst of reading a book today I had an ah-ha moment as I began to recall the expression roping the wind.  I was thinking about what the expression actually meant. Then I realized that part of my difficulty in finding the right wording for my life purpose statement was because I have always felt the purpose of life is spirit based.  Somehow trying to define my life purpose through words was taking me further away from actually experiencing my purpose.

I am eternally grateful for what I learned about myself while taking this program and feel honored to have spent time with such a wise sage.  I believe that everything happens for a reason and even though life circumstance prevented me from completing my intended goal, I know all was /is divinely orchestrated.

Excerpt from “The Imperfection of Spirituality” by Ernest Kurtz

Said the Master, “which of you know the fragrance of a rose?”  All of them knew. Then he said, “Put it into words.” All of them were silent.

What is spirituality? To have the answer is to have misunderstood the question.  Truth, wisdom, goodness, beauty, the fragrance of a rose – all resemble spirituality in that they are intangible, ineffable realities.  We may know them, but we can never grasp them with our hands or with our words.  These entities have neither color nor texture, they cannot be gauged in inches or ounces or degrees; they do not make a noise to be measured in decibels; they have no distinct feel as do silk, wood, or cement; they give no odor, they have no taste, they occupy no space.

When we attempt to “define” spirituality, we discover not its limits but our own. This way of be-ing defies definition and delineation: we cannot tie it up, in any way package it or enclose it.  Elusive in the sense that it cannot be “pinned down,” spirituality slips under and soars over efforts to capture it, to fence it in with words.

Spirituality has nothing to do with boundaries.  Only the material can be bounded, and the first thing “spiritual” is not is material. “Spiritual realities” are understood quite simply as those that, like the wind or the fragrance of a rose, one can experience but cannot literally see, touch, or especially, possess in the sense of command.

Letting Go

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Once a man was walking through a forest thinking about his tendency to always be angry.

“I just don’t want to be angry anymore”, he kept thinking to himself.

Deeper into the forest he saw this wise sage standing by a tree – actually he had his arms wrapped around the tree.

“O great sage”, said the man, “can you help me?”  I have been plagued with anger all my life, and I just can’t stand it anymore.  Can you give me your teaching?”

“I can certainly help you”, said the sage, “but first I have to wait until this tree lets go of me.”

“But, sir”, said the man, “the tree is not holding onto you, you’re holding onto it.

The sage smiled. “That is my teaching,” he said, and let go of the tree and disappeared into the forest.

~ “Why does this keep happening to me again” by Alan Downs

Is there something that you feel you want to let go of but feel like it has a hold of you and therefore you think you are not able to let go?

 

No Expectations


Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.

~ The Ninth Beatitude – Alexander Pope, 1688–1744

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When I can lower my expectations it is so much easier to stay in equanimity (composure, calmness, poise, self-control, level headed).

It can be very difficult to welcome each day with “no” expectations, but it is one of the many things that can create a loving and full life experience.

When I do not have any expectations I am always in a state of gratefulness and a state of grace, then everything that I experience is like a miracle.

If I live my life with expectations I will always be disappointed.  Life and people are never what I expect them to be.

How can anyone or anything meet my personal and preconceived expectations?  This is not possible.

If I approach life and people through the filter of my expectations I have entered a delusional state of mind that believes life and people “should” be something different from what they/it actually is.  This puts me into judgment and when I am in judgment I lose respect for anything that I am judging.  Reverence for life and people cannot exist if I expect it/them to meet my expectations.

So, if I am feeling disappointed by life, by people, I have to do a reality check and ask myself what were my expectations?  What story did I make up in my mind that life and people are not complying with?

My preference is to be surprised by life and people, it is soooo much easier and life is so full when I have no idea what is about to unfold.

“To find your life’s purpose, have no judgments about your life, no expectations and give up the need to know what happens tomorrow.”

~ Caroline Myss

“When you meet life with an open heart and no agenda you can never be disappointed.”

~ Panache Desai 

Pineal Gland: The Transcendental Gateway


The Pineal gland is a little organ situated between the right and left hemispheres of the brain, in the exact center of the brain, and has long been thought to have been a vestigial remnant of a once larger section of the brain. The common perception is that the Pineal gland is an evolutionary leftover just like the appendix, but contrary to Western science and medicine, the Pineal Gland is the Master gland. The Pineal Gland is your 3rd eye or Seat of Clairvoyance (the power to see objects or events that cannot be perceived by the senses). It is also known as the Eye of Ra or Heru (God). It allows you to commune with the Creator and with positive force spirits in other dimensions.

“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” (Matthew 6:22).

Jesus is not talking about the two eyes that you see the physical world with. Rather, he is talking about your Pineal gland, or what ancient cultures called the “third eye!” Jesus refers to this as a single eye because the pineal gland would not have a left and right hemisphere like your brain.

Meditation has a profound effect on consciousness, and I believe it is one method that can energetically awaken the pineal gland, or your third eye.

Your pineal gland could be a doorway to a higher state of consciousness. This does not mean that the physical you goes anywhere, but rather, the higher you is realized by a spiritual experience where your pineal gland is awakened.

A pineal gland that is “full of light” is representative of an extraordinary spiritual experience, where we transcend consciousness on the physical plane and merge with God on the spiritual plane. The pineal gland has more to do with the seat of the soul and consciousness than the actual brain, and thus, this type of experience with the pineal gland could expand your consciousness.

It is an interesting coincidence that the Biblical Jacob saw God face to face on the island of Pe-ni-el and his life was preserved.

“So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”  ~Genesis 32:30

This occurs after he climbs the (chakraic) ladder through the three lower chakras, and sees God with angels at the top (seventh chakra: seat of Christ consciousness).

Jacob’s ladder signifies the ultimate connection between God and man and Heaven and Earth

Could our spine be our individual Jacob’s Ladder and the Seven Chakras be the steps to climb to awaken to Christ Consciousness?

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http://humanityhealing.net/2010/09/pineal-gland-the-transcendental-gateway/

 

Breakdown, Breakthrough, Integrate

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All that is false ( false meaning whatever makes us feel separate from God) begins to breakdown, sometime piece by piece or sometimes by hitting some sort of bottom.  Whatever we have used to hide behind stops working and try as we might we cannot continue the sham.  All the false images we have created start to give way and disintegrate right before our eyes like sand slipping through our fingers.  Just as we cannot hold onto sand once we open our fingers, the same is true about trying to hold onto an image that has been shattered to pieces.

At this point we can be a bit dazed and confused.  We might feel like we are neither here nor there.  We are no longer clinging to the past and its conditioning but we are not quite fully present either.  Then another shift happens and just like Alice in Wonderland stepping through the looking-glass everything is changed.  We begin our journey into new territory, a breakthrough to another side of life not previously known to us. XfHg6

We begin to surrender and open up allowing for an integration of our divine self with our human self.  Our personality aligns with our soul.  The pretense is over and we are now connected to our true self.  We are whole.  We are no longer trying to find the missing pieces of ourselves in the external world.

When we try to live our lives without knowing that we are divine as well as human, it is like we are constantly trying to walk up a steep mountain feeling like we will never reach the top.  We do not recognize we have been walking on the top of the mountain the whole time.  Once we recognize this we can relax and breathe easy and stop trying to reach a perceived better destination because we understand that we are already at the highest point.

Trying to live without allowing divine energy to flow through us is like having access to fresh flowing water but only turning the faucet on enough to let a few drops of water flow through.

Without the guidance of divine energy we are walking a dark path holding only a small flashlight able to see only glimpses of what is right in front of us.  Through the integration of our divine self with our human self we realize we are one with all that is, we are illuminated from within bringing light to all that is.  Knowing we do not have to fear what hides in the shadows because there are no more shadows, nothing is hidden from our sight.  We enter a never-ending expansion of love, abundance and connection.  Trying to become something more ceases.  We come to understand that we are good enough just as we are, we know we are worthy of love and always have been.  We relax into our beingness and open up to the peace that passes all understanding.

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An inner calmness promised to the believer who has a thankful attitude based on unwavering confidence that God is able and willing to do what is best for us. Our trust in Him brings about  peace that transcends human intellect, and human analysis. God’s peace guards us from anxiety, fear, and worry.  We let go and let God.

Falling In Love With God (be love now ~ ram dass)

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Falling in love is a desire to merge with, to be completely immersed in love and be loved by the beloved.  You want to know your beloved more and more intimately.

True, sometimes you have to prime the pump before your heart is open enough to love that deeply.  You begin a process of purification to get into a position to fall in love with God.  You become disciplined not out of guilt, shame of moral responsibility, but out of an incredible yearning to be pure enough to be with God.

There is no time off in this game, not because anybody’s keeping score, but because you can’t stand moving away from the light. The longing and despair of separation wake you up. 

In this loving moment you begin to appreciate a new way of being. When you stop for a moment, when you dive into the presence of this moment, the drama goes on, but it’s all just love. You just climb into this moment.  Being in the moment moves you out of time.  It’s the timeless moment.  In the moment is eternity.  In the moment is God.

In this loving awareness of each moment there is also surrender, surrender to the moment, to your soul.

Then when you look at another being, you are looking at love.  Sooner or later you are going to be in love with the whole universe. You’ll be sitting in a place where it’s all just one love.  You are love, you are with love. You are in the state of love with all beings.

We learn how to love the universe just the way it is. We learn how to see the universe as the beauty of God’s law made manifest.  We learn how to accept the responsibility that we are all one consciousness in many bodies.  We are One Family.

Love is what’s melding the universe together.  You love everybody and everything more and more until you love all things in the universe, and you identify with all things and become the One.  When you dive into the One, you find emptiness, because there’s no experiencer in the One.  The love brings about that melding, that jump from being everything to being nothing, from being somebody to being nobody.

Love is the emotional color of the soul.  Unconditional love is the color of enlightenment, unfettered by personal barriers or distinctions, devoid of ego, yet reflecting the highest Self. It’s like sunlight unfiltered by clouds or the taste of water from the purest spring. 

~be love now~ ram dass

Compassionate Communication

 

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I have spent the past eight years in a place of observation.  I have been trying to understand and learn about the causes of conflict, separation and suffering.

I consciously have chosen to take time in my life to do this.  I have not been in a place of judgment or blame (of myself or others), but more so in a place of contemplation.

In order to create the space in my life to do this, I had to set some limits on my “normal” ways of being.  I had to learn to set healthy boundaries, be still and detach and in the process I risked losing some relationships.  I risked becoming a target of others judgment (mainly from a lack of understanding).  I did not feel I needed anyone’s permission to make a choice that I knew in the long run would benefit myself and anyone I interact with in a positive way.

I see this choice as an act of self-responsibility and self-love.  My goal has been (and still is) to heal anything that was/is preventing me from living a life of wholeness and unconditional love.  The main healing has been/is letting go of any past hurts and/or preconceived future hurts.  My focus has been on becoming present and wholehearted, first to myself and then to others.

My way of doing this has been and is mystic centered.  Mystic: A person who seeks by contemplation and self-surrender to obtain unity with or absorption into the Deity or the absolute, or who believes in the spiritual apprehension of truths that is beyond the intellect.

I recently decided to dedicate the next six months to a year to specific spiritual disciplines.  Meditation, Prayer and Yoga are daily practices for me.  I do not use these practices as a way to escape my human experience.  I see them as inner pathways that lead to a deepening of the human experience and a conscious and complete incarnation of the divine self with the human self.

I have always been a HSP – Highly Sensitive Person.  I have been told by others that I am “too” sensitive.  Personally I thank God for the HSP’s walking this earth, the artists, poets, writers, musicians, ministers, therapists, healing arts professionals, etc. etc.  To me they are like a canary in a coal mine; they have reactions in body, mind and spirit to what is toxic in our world.  They are not shut down and emotional numb.  They feel deeply.  They sense and know things long before the majority.  Some animals sense when a disaster is about to hit and they react long beforehand and try to find their way to safety.  When a human has this experience they want to warn others and not just save themselves.  They also want to be of service to the suffering in this world.

I have so much respect for people who are on the front lines so to speak, who are in service to others from a place of loving compassion.  Not only people who have an active business but people who carry the message of love and truth in their every day endeavors.

Another avenue of focus for me is learning to be a Compassionate Communicator.  For me compassionate communication is the bridge to healthy and loving relationships.

Link to a quick tutorial on Compassionate Communication

file:///C:/Users/Irma/Desktop/Compassionate%20Communication%20sources/A%20Quick%20Tutorial%20of%20Marshall%20Rosenbergs%20Compassionate%20Communication.htm

Excerpt from a quick tutorial on Compassionate Communication:

The ability to keep observation and evaluation separate is the highest form of human intelligence ~ Jiddhu Krishnamurti

Some common types of evaluations:   

Judgments
Analysis
Interpretations
Labels
Projections

It’s a simple fact that we all tend to habitually and automatically evaluate and interpret whatever we observe. This probably had survival benefits in the jungle by helping us predict what might be running after us on the trail. But when we are in non-threatening situations this “skill” of evaluating, interpreting and imagining often doesn’t serve us at all – instead it adds unfortunate, even poisonous meanings to what we observe, . We often add information that is not actually there, usually by reaching into our past for similar situations, and then we can imagine that someone is saying something or meaning something that they are not. This is also the process that causes worry – our uncontrollable imagining that undesirable things will occur. These imaginings and projections are one of the main causes of conflicts.

Most humans are not conscious of this process within themselves. When we see or hear something, instead of just noticing it for what it is, we often react – we worry about the implications of it by creating dire scenarios in our mind and then getting upset with them; we project out what we think the other person is “really” doing or meaning and then we get angry about what we think; we go into our past to similar situations, but of course bad ones, and decide that “we’ve seen this before” and then judge what we are observing as bad. There are endless ways we use our mind to add more than what is really there – and then to get upset about it. And to boot, we hold on dearly to what we imagine too, as though this creation of our mind is absolutely true, and we rarely think to verify it before we pronounce our judgment! We are very skilled at finding ways to get upset.

So the first skill in Compassionate Communication is to develop the more advanced skill of being aware of what we are observing and how we are adding our own extra content: our imaginations, worries, projections – and interpreting, analyzing, or labeling it. We simply want to bring this process into consciousness so that we can check to see if our thought about what we are observing is indeed correct or if we need to adjust it.

The simplest way to experience this is to imagine that you are a video camera. If there was an argument going on between two people, a video camera would report exactly what they said, and how loudly, and with what facial expressions. But it would not interpret it and say, “These two people fighting, and they are fighting because one of them is an idiot and the other is acting like a victim.” Only humans would try to add that extra content, and interpret it that way – and then start an argument about whether it is true or not. So let’s practice for a bit being a video camera and see if we can just report the facts.

It’s understandable that we want to free ourselves from powerful frustrations. And the most effective way is to do the normal steps of Compassionate Communication:

1 – Observe clearly without evaluation what happened
2 – Experience and acknowledge our feelings
3 – Look for the values, desires, importance and needs that seemed to be threatened or shattered by the situation

As this process becomes a natural part of our life, doing these steps will often resolve the desire to blame without even needing to talk to the others involved, but even when we do want to talk to them, we will be able to share our experience, taking complete responsibility for our feelings and not needing to accuse or blame another.

The Compassionate Listening Project

http://www.compassionatelistening.org/

Book on Practicing the Art of Compassionate Listening http://www.compassionatelistening.org/store/books

Compassionate Communication website

http://www.ashevilleccc.com/index.html

Book: Inner Empathy: Opening Ourselves to the Heart of Self-Compassion

http://www.ashevilleccc.com/book_chapter.html

Finding Center

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We are born into this world with purity of soul (the essence of who we are), a clean slate if you will.  If we are born into a family that functions from a place of wholeness and who are living from their center, they are able to create a sacred space around us and honor our essence, our soul.

They do this by loving us unconditionally, nurturing us and mirroring love.  They consistently model holistic living, they are congruent in their communication, what they feel, say and do all match.  When a child born into such a family reaches an age of self expression, they are listened to, honored and encouraged to live from their authentic self.  They are guided towards what they show a healthy interest in, they are guided toward healthy self expression, they feel loved unconditionally.  They develop self confidence and have no self doubt of who they truly are.   They are not easily knocked off center because their sense of self is secure.  The world cannot write on the slate of who they are because there is no room to do so, that slate is filled up with who they know they are.  They do not allow the outside world to define them.

This does not happen for the majority.  Most of us are born into some kind of dysfunction.  We do not develop secure selves.  The combination of not developing a secure self and not staying connected to our essence can leave lots of space for the world to start writing on the slate of who we are.  Sometimes this happens to the point of forgetting who we truly are, making it very difficult to find and keep our center.

On some level we will always feel a sense of dis-ease until we recover our true self, our center.  Usually those of us that enter some kind of recovery are doing so because we recognize that something is missing.  We may not be able to identify that what is missing is our true self, but we know something is preventing us from living a peaceful and fulfilled life.  There are those however whose self was severed at such a young age or so deeply that they don’t know the difference.  They may not have a reference point to a true self.  These people sometimes become very self centered.

How can you tell the difference between someone who is self-centered versus centered in self?

The self-centered person thinks the world revolves around them.  The centered in self person knows that the world revolves around everyone, equally.

It can take a lot of work to recover your center.  If you have been living your life based on a false self you may have a lot of disentangling to do.

O, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive. 

Meditate: In part meditation helps to untangle this web of deceit.  When we sit in stillness everything that is not of truth has an opportunity to rise up and be released, leaving only the truth behind.

Do a fourth step: Making a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves aids tremendously in finding our center.

Set healthy boundaries:  Knowing where we begin and others end creates a clear definition of the true self.  If you have lived for many years without healthy boundaries it may initially cause some havoc in your relationships, but that calms down eventually.  Sometimes people who are not for your highest good may be released from your life.

Finding a person who can listen from a place of neutrality and non-judgment can be very helpful in finding your center.  This can be a therapist, a sponsor in a recovery program or clergy.

Keep an internal focus

Forgiveness (more about this in an upcoming blog)

Mindful Presence (more about this in an upcoming blog)

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

Meditation Is Finding Your Center by Swami Kriyananda

Meditation teaches you to relate to life and to your environment from who you are, not from the way others view you. The average person is like an eccentric flywheel. I don’t mean a flywheel with an offbeat personality, but simply a flywheel that isn’t centered properly. The faster the wheel turns, the more violently it vibrates. At a certain speed, its vibration may actually cause it to fly apart. Most people are frequently in danger of “flying apart,” at least mentally. Living at their periphery, not at their center, they vibrate more violently the faster they whirl through life. It is safe to say that few people think of themselves as even having a center. They are forever “on edge.”

One problem with living at your periphery is that it forces you to relate to other people at theirs. They, in turn, will be “on edge” with you. Your understanding of them, and theirs of you, will be a view from the outside; it will therefore be superficial. As opposed to the concept stated earlier, “center everywhere, circumference nowhere,” most people perceive life as “circumference everywhere, center nowhere.”

The secret of understanding is to get mentally inside whatever it is you are trying to understand—to gaze outward, so to speak, from its center rather than inward from its periphery. The secret of understanding other people is to identify with them at their center. To find the center of anything or anyone, first withdraw to your own center and project your feelings empathetically from that point.

Meditation is the process of finding your own center. Techniques exist for doing so, but success depends also to a great extent on holding the right attitudes. Let me first discuss some of those attitudes. Then in the next chapter I’ll discuss the techniques.

Self-Acceptance

The first attitude fundamental to “centering” is self-acceptance. You are who you are. Make the best of it, and envy no one for what he or she is. Don’t draw comparisons between you and others: Encourage yourself, rather, in your efforts to attain your own highest potential. Self-acceptance will come progressively as you try to live up to the highest that is in you. Unless you are already in superconsciousness, you cannot but recognize the fact that an inner conflict exists between your soul’s call to the heights, and the siren call of temptation to the depths. You can’t laugh off soul-longing, though you may try. Soul-conscience is not something imposed on us from without. It rises spontaneously from within ourselves. Often in history, soul-conscience has pitted individuals against society—it brought Jesus Christ to the cross, and Socrates to the poisonous cup of hemlock.

True conscience is innate. It is the silent voice of the soul. To achieve self-acceptance, you must be clear in your true conscience. Such clarity comes only when we accept that our higher Self is our eternal reality. Needless to say, one doesn’t achieve this degree of self-acceptance in a single leap. So long as you sincerely resist your lower impulses, and strive toward your own inner heights, your conscience will be reasonably clear, and you will find yourself able to achieve that measure of emotional and psychic relaxation without which it is not possible to find rest at one’s center.

Kindness

Acceptance leads to the second attitude necessary for finding your own center: kindness. To achieve that clarity of conscience which is the companion of self-acceptance, you should practice kindness also toward yourself. You’ll never overcome your failings by hating your shortcomings, nor by hating yourself for indulging in them. Of course, you shouldn’t allow kindness to excuse them. In true kindness to yourself, you should work, rather, to strengthen yourself in virtue. Seek always your own highest potentials. If this means being stern with yourself occasionally, so be it. But never be judgmental. Kindness is necessary also for understanding other people. In fact, without it, there can never be acceptance of them. By kind acceptance you will find yourself intuitively aware of them at their center.

Attunement

The more you attune yourself from your center to the center in everything, the more you will find that there is a sympathetic inter-relationship in the universe that makes possible the perfect understanding of all things. Depend not on intellectual analysis, which separates things and compartmentalizes them, but try to feel the heart of whatever it is you are trying to understand.

Anandamoyee Ma, a saint with whom I spent some time in India, was illiterate. But if scholars asked her to explain some difficult or obscure scriptural text, she would do so to their full satisfaction. All she asked was that someone read it to her first. She once told me, “I could speak English, if I concentrated on it.” She went on to say a few words in English, laughing merrily as she did so.

Paramhansa Yogananda could converse easily with people of specialized knowledge, such as physicians, using their own terminology as though he’d been to medical school himself. As another example, a lady in Mexico City who spoke no English had a private interview for one hour with Yogananda, who spoke no Spanish. “I don’t know how it happened,” she told me years later, “but we understood each other perfectly.”

A Process of Unlearning

Finding your own center, then, is not a process of divorcing yourself from objective reality, but of touching that universal center of which all objective reality is a manifestation. To do so bestows far greater than normal comprehension. And this comprehension differs radically from the usual understanding gleaned from superficial facts and observations. Wisdom gained from tuning in to one’s own center is not at all like going to school, where the goal is to learn. Meditation is a process of unlearning. I don’t mean that we should try to forget all the knowledge we acquired at school. That knowledge has its place, and its own usefulness. Meditation, moreover, is not a path to intellectual ineptitude: Quite the contrary, it greatly sharpens the intellect. What we must “unlearn,” instead, are the limitations of delusion imposed on us by our egos.

Unnecessary Suffering

I am wondering what causes unnecessary suffering.  When do I experience unnecessary suffering?  What tends to bring me out of suffering and into peace?

I can conjure up all kinds of suffering the minute I mentally leave the present moment (which for the most part is a peaceful place without suffering….unless I am projecting fear onto it or someone else is projecting their fear onto it and then the present moment can quickly change into whatever fears are being projected).  Of course there is true suffering happening all the time, this is not the suffering I am speaking of.  I am speaking of the unnecessary suffering that we all can conjure up with our minds.

We have been conditioned to experience the world as a world of duality, black and white, right and wrong.    But, is this the truth or only what we have been conditioned to believe?

When we live our lives from the place of duality we are setting ourselves up for unnecessary suffering.  We can become so trapped in judging life and people as right/wrong, good/bad, either/or etc. that we become reactionary (unnecessary suffering begins here).

Once we enter judgment we also enter the cycle of seeking pleasure and avoiding pain.  Because obviously pain is bad and pleasure is good….right?  Now we are in for a very daunting and exhausting ride.  It is daunting and exhausting because it never ends, we can never get off the ride until and unless we choose to let go of the rigid belief in duality.

I believe that if we put our focus on perfection instead of wholeness we are setting ourselves up for a lifetime of disappointment.  There are no perfect people, or perfect anything.  If we can let go of our illusion of control long enough we could learn to accept this truth.  We would stop harshly judging ourselves and each other.  We would let go and let God.  We would become kinder and gentler people.  It is our illusion of control that pulls us into the duality belief system.  Why do we create this illusion of control?  Maybe we believe that if we can become perfect enough and create a personalized perfect world we will be able to avoid pain and live in pleasure.

We have been conditioned to believe that one day we can actually reach out and grab that brass ring and live happily ever after.  And look out to anybody who tries to break our denial that this can’t happen or who says or does anything to break into our fantasy worlds that we have created for ourselves.  Those fantasies can only last if you build a fortress around them and keep the rest of the world out.

When I ask myself if I could wave a magic wand and choose a perfect fantasy world (which can only come with a fortress locking me in and others out) or an imperfect reality of a vulnerable and surrendered heart (where true suffering is experienced but accepted as part of life)….what would I choose?

I would choose to be awake to it all, with the cushion of the unconditioned acceptance of the grey area, the middle way.

Grey Area:

A grey area is a term for a border in-between two or more things that is unclearly defined, a border that is hard to define or even impossible to define, or a definition where the distinction border tends to move. (To me there is great peace in the acceptance of this uncertainty…the mystery of life. When we accept this mystery we are lead down a path and through a gate where we can leave definitions and certainty behind and enter into the realm of infinity).

The Middle Way:

When the Buddha renounced his princely world he became an Ascetic.  He lived on very little food and his body became skeletal. He was very severe in his methods. He tried various forms of asceticism but still he failed to accomplish his goal.  Eventually he realized that his approach was wrong he determined that the best path was one of moderation… A middle-way between indulgence (pleasure) and abstinence (pain).  He is said to have drawn a metaphor between the way we think and act and a bow string on a musical instrument. If a bow string is too taught it will snap when played; if it is too loose it will produce an inferior tone. Likewise, said the Buddha, we should walk the middle path to achieve optimum results. It was at this stage when he followed “The Middle Way” he reached Enlightenment whilst meditating under a Bodi tree.

Emotional Sobriety

A friend sent me the letter below by Bill Wilson.  I found it to be so insightful I wanted to post it on my blog.  In my observations it continues to be a big missing link not only with people in recovery programs but in the general public.

This is the substance of a revealing letter which Bill Wilson wrote several years ago to a close friend who also had troubles with depression. The letter appeared in the “Grapevine” January, 1953.

EMOTIONAL SOBRIETY

“I think that many oldsters who have put our AA “booze cure” to severe but successful tests still find they often lack emotional sobriety. Perhaps they will be the spearhead for the next major development in AA, the development of much more real maturity and balance (which is to say, humility) in our relations with ourselves, with our fellows, and with God.

Those adolescent urges that so many of us have for top approval, perfect security, and perfect romance, urges quite appropriate to age seventeen, prove to be an impossible way of life when we are at age forty-seven and fifty-seven.

Since AA began, I´ve taken immense wallops in all these areas because of my failure to grow up emotionally and spiritually. My God, how painful it is to keep demanding the impossible, and how very painful to discover, finally, that all along we have had the cart before the horse. Then comes the final agony of seeing how awfully wrong we have been, but still finding ourselves unable to get off the emotional merry-go-round.

How to translate a right mental conviction into a right emotional result, and so into easy, happy and good living. Well, that´s not only the neurotic´s problem, it´s the problem of life itself for all of us who have got to the point of real willingness to hew to right principles in all of our affairs.

Even then, as we hew away, peace and joy may still elude us. That´s the place so many of us AA oldsters have come to. And it´s a hell of a spot, literally. How shall our unconscious, from which so many of our fears, compulsions and phony aspirations still stream, be brought into line with what we actually believe, know and want! How to convince our dumb, raging and hidden ‘Mr. Hyde‘ becomes our main task.

I´ve recently come to believe that this can be achieved. I believe so because I begin to see many benighted ones, folks like you and me, commencing to get results. Last autumn, depression, having no really rational cause at all, almost took me to the cleaners. I began to be scared that I was in for another long chronic spell. Considering the grief I´ve had with depressions, it wasn´t a bright prospect.

I kept asking myself “Why can´t the twelve steps work to release depression?” By the hour, I stared at the St. Francis Prayer … “it´s better to comfort than to be comforted.” Here was the formula, all right, but why didn´t it work?

Suddenly, I realized what the matter was. My basic flaw had always been dependence, almost absolute dependence, on people or circumstances to supply me with prestige, security, and the like. Failing to get these things according to my perfectionist dreams and specifications, I had fought for them. And when defeat came, so did my depression.

There wasn´t a chance of making the outgoing love of St. Francis a workable and joyous way of life until these fatal and almost absolute dependencies were cut away.

Because I had over the years undergone a little spiritual development, the absolute quality of these frightful dependencies had never before been so starkly revealed. Reinforced by what grace I could secure in prayer, I found I had to exert every ounce of will and action to cut off these faulty emotional dependencies upon people, upon AA, indeed upon any act of circumstance whatsoever.

Then only could I be free to love as Francis did. Emotional and instinctual satisfactions, I saw, were really the extra dividends of having love, offering love, and expressing love appropriate to each relation of life.

Plainly, I could not avail myself to God´s love until I was able to offer it back to Him by loving others as He would have me. And I couldn´t possibly do that so long as I was victimized by false dependencies.

For my dependence meant demand, a demand for the possession and control of the people and the conditions surrounding me.

While those words “absolute dependence” may look like a gimmick, they were the ones that helped to trigger my release into my present degree of stability and quietness of mind, qualities which I am now trying to consolidate by offering love to others regardless of the return to me.

This seems to be the primary healing circuit: an outgoing love of God´s creation and His people, by means of which we avail ourselves of His love for us. It is most clear that the real current can´t flow until our paralyzing dependencies are broken, and broken at depth. Only then can we possibly have a glimmer of what adult love really is.

If we examine every disturbance we have, great or small, we will find at the root of it some unhealthy dependence and its consequent demand. Let us, with God´s help, continually surrender these hobbling demands. Then we can be set free to live and love: we may then be able to gain emotional sobriety.

Of course, I haven´t offered you a really new idea — only a gimmick that has started to unhook several of my own hexes´ at depth. Nowadays, my brain no longer races compulsively in either elation, grandiosity or depression. I have been given a quiet place in bright sunshine.”

Bill Wilson

Attitude is Everything

Let the Mystery Be

My insight in this morning’s contemplation is the need to surrender all.   I intend on sitting in peace of mind and to take a break from the questioning mind.

So, I will not be continuing with my blog for now.

I came across a song that expresses my current state of being.  If you decide to watch it….her face at the end of the video says it all!

Lyrics to Let the Mystery Be

Everybody’s wonderin’ what and where they all came from.
Everybody’s worryin’ ’bout where they’re gonna go when the whole thing’s done.
But no one knows for certain and so it’s all the same to me.
I think I’ll just let the mystery be.

Some say once you’re gone you’re gone forever, and some say you’re gonna come back.
Some say you rest in the arms of the Saviour if in sinful ways you lack.
Some say that they’re comin’ back in a garden, bunch of carrots and little sweet peas.
I think I’ll just let the mystery be.

Everybody’s wonderin’ what and where they all came from.
Everybody’s worryin’ ’bout where they’re gonna go when the whole thing’s done.
But no one knows for certain and so it’s all the same to me.
I think I’ll just let the mystery be.

Some say they’re goin’ to a place called Glory and I ain’t saying it ain’t a fact.
But I’ve heard that I’m on the road to purgatory and I don’t like the sound of that.
Well, I believe in love and I live my life accordingly.
But I choose to let the mystery be.

Everybody’s wonderin’ what and where they all came from.
Everybody’s worryin’ ’bout where they’re gonna go when the whole thing’s done.
But no one knows for certain and so it’s all the same to me.
I think I’ll just let the mystery be.
I think I’ll just let the mystery be.

Lover Earth

Today I am so grateful for the sunshine, wind, birds, life….

My connection to the earth has been life long.   It has been my friend, my protector, something I could always depend upon.

I was so aware from a young age of being one with the earth.  I could feel its unconditional love.  When I allow myself to be totally present, I understand that the life that flows through me is the same life that flows through all, from the tiniest insect to the mightiest mountain.

Thank you Lover Earth.

The youtube below is so beautiful….if you watch it you might want to have a tissue at hand.

Higher Love

In taking my morning “spiritual temperature” this is my mantra for the day…

Enjoy Whitney’s version in the below youtube link….Nobody sings it better….May her soul rest in peace!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNbadNyHBSU&list=UUeWPdzkyAv27DlbdYjdAKaA&index=27&feature=plcp

Think about it, there must be higher love
Down in the heart or hidden in the stars above
Without it, life is wasted time
Look inside your heart, I’ll look inside mine

Things look so bad everywhere
In this whole world, what is fair?
We walk blind and we try to see
Falling behind in what could be

Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love, oh
Bring me a higher love
Where’s that higher love, I keep thinking of?

Worlds are turning and we’re just hanging on
Facing our fear and standing out there alone
A yearning, and it’s real to me
There must be someone who’s feeling for me

Things look so bad everywhere
In this whole world, what is fair?
We walk blind and we try to see
Falling behind in what could be

Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love, oh
Bring me a higher love
Where’s that higher love, I keep thinking of?

Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love, oh
Bring me a higher love
I could rise above on a higher love

I will wait for it, I’m not too late for it
Until then, I’ll sing my song
To cheer the night along

I could light the night up with my soul on fire
I could make the sun shine from pure desire
Let me feel that love come over me
Let me feel how strong it could be

Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love, oh
Bring me a higher love
Where’s that higher love, I keep thinking of?

Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love, oh
Bring me a higher love

Higher Love lyrics
Songwriters: Winwood, Steve; Jennings, Will;

Both~And

My morning pondering brought up a review of a concept that was brought to my attention, that has proved to be beneficial in my personal growth.  The concept revolves around two seemingly simple words that hold great impact; these words are Both-And.

So many times in my life I am tempted to go into a place of judgment, a place of right and wrong.  This creates either-or thinking, which in turn sets up a win-lose situation.  We can never find peace from the position of win-lose, we will only find peace when we allow for win-win, Both-And.    

It is so easy to fall into the way of “doing”.  However in order to be in a place of “being” we must let go of judgment.  In order to truly live with a non-dualistic mind we must be willing to move into Both-And.  This brings acceptance of all.  It takes us out of black and white thinking.  It brings us out of our polarized positions and opens our minds and hearts.  This is true Unity.

I can easily fall prey to judgment of my own self, my thoughts, my feelings etc. Especially if I want to show the world what a loving and “good” person I am.  It is so easy to want to believe that we are the “good guy” in this story of life.  But in all reality we all have so-called good and bad within us.  We all have light and dark within us.  We only become One within ourselves when we embrace Both-And.  It is so important to integrate the seemingly two sides of ourselves.  If and until we do we will never have peace.  We will always be fighting against something in ourselves or seeing a fight outside of ourselves.

My prayer today is that we all find a way to move from us and them thinking to we thinking.  After all we are on this ship called Mother Earth together and none of us will get out of here alive.  We may as well relax and enjoy the ride and each other.  What affects one of us affects all of us.

So my goal today is to be kind to myself while I learn to embrace true oneness, true non-duality.  The sunny side of me along with the storms, for I am Both-And.

Second Innocence

In my morning pondering I started to replay in my mind a part of a conversation I had with a friend yesterday.  I was wondering why this particular part of the conversation was rising up to be replayed.  What this usually means is there is something that was unsettling and I have a need to replay it, to catch what I might have missed in the original conversation.  Kind of like when a sports game keeps doing a replay so they can see what they might have missed and need to see more clearly in order to make the right call.

In my replay I could hear myself saying to my friend, “I am so naïve”.  I repeated this multiple times.  I believe I also said that I think I always have been and may always be “naïve” to one degree or another.  As I was saying this I was feeling like my naïveté somehow was a detriment.  But, what I realized in my replay is that my naïveté has also been my saving grace.  It has allowed me to be open-minded and open-hearted.  It has allowed me to stay softened through life’s challenges.  It has allowed grace to carry me through my darkest hours.

The following is an excerpt from a book I have been reading.  As synchronicity would have it, this is the page I opened up to after my replay and determining the right “call” for me.

As we leave magical thinking in the sandbox of our mind, we can find a deeper magic, the magic of awakening beyond what we think ourselves to be.  There is a remarkable innocence in this, not a naïve or gullible innocence but a second innocence, a deeply awakened innocence through which our intimacy with the Mystery of Being ripens ever further, leaving us not longing for Home but sitting at the hearth, resting in the magic of everyday, grateful to be here one more day.  ~ Spiritual Bypassing by Robert Masters ~

You can have anything you want

I’m holding on—holding human
Human thought—human need
I need it now—maybe sooner
Love keeps calling me

You can have anything you want

Love may hurt you
but love will teach you
when to flee and when to fight
when to roll the dice

There’s nothing new
but something’s changing deep inside me
I hear your voice
It’s almost ageless
changing what is real

You can have anything you want

Love may hurt you
but love will teach you
when to flee and when to fight
when to roll the dice

Roll the dice…

Coming in for a landing

As much as I love the “spiritual” life, I want to shift my focus to the “human” life.  Not that spiritual and human are separate things, of course they are not, but to create balance I want to give my attention to the human condition and the struggles we go through when we are trying to integrate our human self with our spiritual self.  I have created a blog titled, Close Encounters of the Human Kind.  My first post is, “There is no way out but through. Here is the link if you would like to visit  http://closeencountersofthehumankind.wordpress.com

I have said many times to safe people in my life that sometimes I feel we have created a world that is not safe for our souls to land.  But, we can all play our individual parts to make the world a safer place, one day at a time, one hug at a time, one heartbeat at a time.

In my new blog I will cover all kinds of topics regarding the human condition.  This is my way of coming in for a landing.  This is one of the many ways I am beginning to create a safe place for my soul to land.  My hope is to expand in my awareness of myself and share my journey.

Note:  The purpose of my blog is to create a journal of my thoughts, feelings and insights.  So my writing is really me talking to me.  If you read my blogs and find them interesting or beneficial for your own self growth… this is icing on the cake for me.  My willingness to share my personal insights and put them out into the universe is a symbolic act on my part.

Less is More

“It was as if I’d been entranced from birth into a collective nightmare of separate individuals struggling in an alien universe for survival, satisfaction and significance.”  One by Jerry Katz

It seems that for most the prime directives of their lives are to complete their education, get a job, own a home, cars, things, etc.  But sometimes these things end up owning you.  This defines the American dream, along with continued pursuits for happiness, which seem never-ending, especially if one is looking for happiness externally.  Our Western society sells us a bill of goods and most of us buy into it.  That bill of goods is what we strive for our whole lives, hoping to reach the American Dream.  This works out really well for the powers that be.  Most of us buy the bill of goods and take the bait, hook, line and sinker without thinking for ourselves.  We can easily spend our lives as trained robots feeding the machine of consumerism.  It can be difficult to go against the grain; the pull to fit in is a strong one.  The American Dream is very seductive, creating a trance like state and before we know it we have fallen fast asleep in order to dream the dream.

We can break out of the original mold of the American Dream. We can wake up from the dream realizing that truly the best things in life are free…. A bird’s song, a child’s laughter, the wind, sun, rain, the breath of life, love, touch, relationships. We can set aside things that don’t really matter and create lives that express our individualism, depth, connection and meaning.

We are of no lesser worth if we don’t own a massive house full of stuff, a big polluting car, the finest clothes, college degrees, all the newest technology ….on and on ad nauseam.

We can create a new dream by taking a more minimalist approach to life when it comes to things.  We can open up space for presence in our lives when we come to understand that less is more.

(please excuse John’s language…)

You only see the world You make

Living our lives moving away from pain and towards pleasure (unconscious reactions based on fear) we are without conscious choice.  When we consciously choose we are no longer controlled by unconscious reactions to external circumstances, giving our internal power away to perceived pain and perceived pleasure.  When we are reacting unconsciously we give away our energy to the constant movement of trying to move away from pain and towards pleasure.  It controls us as much as any addiction.  I believe it is the “main” addiction.  We can consciously make a choice to live in love and peace.  When we become still and our soul aligns with our personality we become one within ourselves and therefore we experience life as one.  Judgment ceases and we no longer seek fulfillment in the external world.  We are not judging life as good or bad.  We no longer seek pleasure and avoid pain.  We live in acceptance of all that is, without judgment.  We recognize that our eternal being is not controlled by external circumstances.  So no matter what the external appearances may be if our eternal being is at peace and in love that will be our experience. As Bonnie says in her song, “Whether your sunglasses are off or on You only see the world You make”.

Don’t have to humble yourself to me,

I ain’t your judge or your king
Baby, you know I ain’t no Queen of Sheba
We may not even have our dignity,
this could be just a powerful thing
Baby we can choose you know we ain’t no amoeba

CHORUS:

Are you ready for the thing called love
Don’t come from me and you,
it comes from up above
I ain’t no porcupine,
take off your kid gloves
Are you ready for the thing called love
I ain’t some icon carved out of soap
Sent here to clean up your reputation
Baby, you know you ain’t no Prince Charming
We can live in fear or act out of hope
For some kind of peaceful situation
Baby, how come the cry of love is so alarming …CHORUS

BRIDGE:

Ugly ducklings don’t turn into swans
And glide off down the lake
Whether your sunglasses are off or on
You only see the world you make

CHORUS OUTRO:
Are you ready for the thing called love
Don’t come from me and you,
it comes from up above
I ain’t no porcupine,
take off your kid gloves

Are you ready for it
Are you ready for the thing called love
Don’t come from me and you,
it comes from up above
I ain’t no porcupine,
take off your kid gloves

Are you ready for it
Are you ready for love, baby
Oooh yeah babe
Are you ready for love

Nothing is mine by nature

When you give yourself away you find that a new and more real self has somehow been given to you. When you are a donor you mysteriously find yourself a recipient-of the very gift you gave away. Nothing else is really yours. Your health, your works, your intelligence, your possessions-these are not what they seem. They are all hostage to fortune, on loan, insubstantial. So the saints are right. If I am nothing, nothing that is mine is anything. Nothing is mine by nature. But one thing is mine by my free choice: the self I give away in love. That is the thing even God cannot do for me. It is my choice.

Four Loves ~ C. S. Lewis 

Don’t Fence Me In

How do we keep our spirit (strength, courage, character, guts, fortitude, determination, heart) in a society that requires domestication (to become tame, broken, disciplined, trained)?  Another way to put this is, “how can we be in the world but not of the world”?  Can we be free in spirit and domesticated?  Can we be wild and tame?  Is it either or?  Do we have to choose one or the other?  Of course these questions are rhetorical and given as something to ponder on.

The opposite of tame is wild and wildness seems to scare the heaven (bliss, rapture, ecstasy) out of most of us….which would land us in hell (torture, misery, torment, agony, nightmare)?  I am guided this morning to look wildness in the face and make friends with it.  It is fortunate and unfortunate that I have not lost complete contact with the part of my spirit that is ……shall I say untameable: (of an animal or person) not capable of being tamed, subdued, or made obedient. 

Fortunate for me and sometimes unfortunate for those who attempt to dampen, squash, control what is untameable in me. I am still learning not to buck too hard as to scare anyone but instead I am learning to gallop away and take my wildness out for a ride, then I can return (still with my wildness in me but kept somewhat self contained).

I said somewhat….not completely!!!!!

Another way to look at this is through the concepts of conditioned and unconditioned, the conditioned self (broken in, habituated, hardened, accustomed) versus the authentic self (genuine, real, valid).  If we do not honor the authentic in ourselves can we honor it in another?  ….again rhetorical… Can we learn to love the wildness in each other?  Can we learn to honor each other’s freedom?

It seems to me that wild horses are able to do what we as humans seem to find impossible. They can run together, in harmony, in wildness, in freedom, not one leaning on another but each in their wholeness.  What beauty!

In Silence

A poem found me this morning and struck a chord so strongly I wanted to record my thoughts around it.  As synchronicity has it a friend mentioned Thomas Merton, she was looking for a book of his autobiography.  I did not say anything at the time but I felt a sort of resonance (kind of like an echoing in the ethers).  In a strange way I felt a resonance with his spirit and felt a kind of recognition, kinship or knowing.  When my friend mentioned his name I did not know who he was.  I kept feeling this strange resonating, not with the name so much but a feeling of being watched, guided or visited by him through spirit, even though I did not know who he was.  I almost called my friend to share what I was feeling because it was so strong and I wanted to try to understand what it was.  But instead I just allowed the experience to continue.  This morning in doing a search on the internet for something else, I saw his name and it was connected to a poem.

Briefly sharing some of my thoughts and feelings from my morning contemplation (this was before the poem found me). ……Who am I?  Where do I go in silence?  Who am I without words?  Who am I without all that is supposed to define me, yet in silence holds no meaning?  Where do I go when silence is allowed to lead?  Ahhhh… to bathe in silence, a liberation from self, to be absorbed in silence, to be held and loved by silence, to drift in eternity becoming the silence itself.

I now understand what the experience was about.

In Silence

Be still.
Listen to the stones of the wall.
Be silent, they try to speak your name.
Listen to the living walls.

Who are you? Who are you? Whose silence are you?

Who (be quiet) are you (as these stones are quiet). Do not think of what you are still less of what you may one day be.

Rather be what you are, be the unthinkable one you do not know.

O be still, while you are still alive, and all things live around you speaking to your own being, speaking by the unknown that is in you and in themselves.

“I will try, like them to be my own silence: and this is difficult. The whole world is secretly on fire. The stones burn, even the stones they burn me. How can a man be still or listen to all things burning? How can he dare to sit with them when all their silence is on fire?”

~Thomas Merton~

Thomas Merton, O.C.S.O. (January 31, 1915 – December 10, 1968) was an Anglo-American Catholic writer and mystic. A Trappist monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky, he was a poet, social activist, and student of comparative religion. In 1949, he was ordained to the priesthood and given the name Father Louis.[1][2][3]

Merton wrote more than 70 books, mostly on spirituality, social justice and a quiet pacifism, as well as scores of essays and reviews, including his best-selling autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain (1948), which sent scores of disillusioned World War II veterans, students, and even teen-agers flocking to monasteries across the US,[4][5] and was also featured in National Reviews list of the 100 best non-fiction books of the century.[6] Merton was a keen proponent of interfaith understanding. He pioneered dialogue with prominent Asian spiritual figures, including the Dalai Lama, the Japanese writer D.T. Suzuki, and the Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh. Merton has also been the subject of several biographies.

The Spiritual Path

This morning I am contemplating the meaning of the spiritual path.  I am questioning what my spiritual path has been and is.  I am reflecting over my life and wondering what has prevented me from continuously remaining in love and peace.

The questioning of external realities began for me after a life changing experience at eight years old of what I would call an awakening to grace, God awareness, soul remembrance and connecting to my essence (it is hard to find one term that fits the experience).  I was graced with the understanding that it is possible to experience an inner heaven.  What confused me was why everyone was not in this place of love.  My soul received a kind of shock every time I would experience something less than love. So I gravitated towards the things in life that did not create a feeling of separation, like nature and animals.  Eventually I put up a protection so I would not experience pain and confusion that sometimes happened when interacting with some people.  Unfortunately this protection blocked out some of the bliss that can be experienced when being completely open to Love/God.

My biggest angst in life has been the feeling that everyone is in a hurry to get somewhere.  I always felt that wherever you are is where you are and wanted to be present, open and in love with the present moment and whoever was sharing the moment with me.  A feeling of being fully awake.

So, what does all of the above have to do with a spiritual path?  Spiritual:  holy, sacred, divine, devout, mystical – Path: trail, pathway, conduit, channel

When I examine the meaning I am brought back to that feeling of where is everyone going?  Even the most spiritually proclaimed do not seem to be fully present.

My conclusion….  Perhaps if we could just stop searching we would realize that the true spiritual path is not a path to a certain destination of something more, something better.  Is it possible that there is not a spiritual path per se?  What if we sat in complete acceptance and realized we are the path itself.  There is nowhere to get to.

One final note that I realized in my pondering….  Suffering comes from wanting something to be other than what it is.  So to ease my suffering I have to accept that all I can do is let go of any remaining protections to shield myself from possible painful external stimuli, return to the oneness of  Love/God, be fully present and accept that a lot of the time I will be alone in that presence.  I have come to realize that even though sometimes I feel alone around others, I am never truly lonely when I am in the presence of what is, in the presence of Love/God.

Namaste!


Wake Up!

“Wake up! Wake up! Soon the person you believe you are will die, so now, wake up and be content with this knowledge: There is no need to search; achievement leads to nowhere. It makes no difference at all, so just be happy now! Love is the only reality of the world, because it is all One, you see. And the only laws are paradox, humor and change. There is no problem, never was, and never will be…. Release your struggle, let go of your mind, throw away your concerns, and relax into the world. No need to resist life; just do your best. Open your eyes and see that you are far more than you imagine. You are the world, you are the universe; you are yourself and everyone else, too! It’s all the marvelous Play of god. Wake up, regain your humor. Don’t worry, just be happy. You are already free!” from Dan Millman’s 1980 way of the peaceful warrior.

The Middle Way (Beyond Fight or Flight Response)

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I have been giving a lot of thought as to what causes us to not live in peace and harmony more often than not.  I am writing this as an observer of myself and others.  My purpose is to learn from unnecessary suffering.

So, what is happening when we have an inner reaction to an external stimuli and that reaction causes us to waiver from the middle way of inner peace?  How can we respond from a place of peace versus fear (which is fight or flight response or better said reaction)?

Part of solving this puzzle is to understand the human brain which is a triune brain (three brains in one).

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Brain One:    Center of the Brain “R complex” snakes, lizards

Brain Two:    Wrapped around Brain One “limbic system” or “old mammalian brain” dogs, cats

Brain Three:  Outside Surface (Wrapped around Brain Two!) “neocortex” primates, especially human primates

(To read more about the triune brain click on this link) http://www.psycheducation.org/emotion/triune%20brain.htm

When we are in fear (actual or imagined) we are reacting from our reptilian brain (fight or flight).  This part of the brain is necessary for reacting to life threatening events.  If we allow ourselves to react to life events that are not life threatening from the reptilian brain we will be leading very unconscious lives based on fear.  We will be on the defense and on the lookout for the saber tooth tiger we know is going to attack at anytime.

We are able to make a choice through our emotions and behavior when we function from our limbic brain.  From this brain we can manage the fight or flight reaction, we can make a choice how we respond.

When we are functioning from our cortex brain we are in control of purposeful behaviors and decision-making.  We are most conscious and aware in this brain functioning.

As I am writing this I am seeing the triune brain as creating three realms of experience, the Underworld, Mid-world and Upper world.  Underworld (Hell – Fear) Mid-world (material – matter- third dimensional living).  I am not so sure that we have fully embraced the Upper world of Heaven.  Maybe we will evolve a fourth brain. Maybe our spiritual masters evolved a fourth brain of  Consciousness.  Maybe they were trying to tell us that we can do the same if we follow their disciplines.

Anyway…back to the fight or flight response… Another way to look at this is from the perspective of passive-aggressive behavior.  Flight is passive and fight is aggressive.  Neither of these behaviors works well for resolving situations that take us away from peace.  The middle way is neither passive nor aggressive but a sort of open assertiveness that creates a win-win outcome.

It is also helpful to imagine a pendulum swinging from one extreme to another, when we enter the middle way we rise above both extremes.  Here is a cute analogy of the middle way…A little ant, clinging to the tip of a pendulum, was swinging giddily to and fro, just as we swing to and fro, clinging to our emotions: love and hate, joy and sadness. We identify ourselves with them, we are them. After some time the little ant tired of the ceaseless, relentless movement discovered that he could climb further up the pendulum to a different and more restful world. If we emulate the little ant, no longer identifying ourselves with extremes, the pendulum goes on swinging but somehow we know that we are not that constant movement.

The Middle Way – Peace!

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Desiderata (Latin: “desired things”)

When I was a young teen my brother gave me a poster.   I read it with great curiosity.  I resonated so strongly with what I read that I taped the poster to my bedroom wall and vowed to read it every day and abide by its wisdom.  I did this for years until I moved from my patents home.  Today, feeling a bit discombobulated (as Sandra Dee used to say in the movie Gidget..yes, this is actually a word meaning a state of confusion) my memory brought me back to the wisdom from my childhood poster.   

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

— written by Max Ehrmann in the 1920s —

Calling All Angels

Angel: a divine being who acts as a messenger of God

In my morning reflections I am recalling an experience in a hypnotherapy session (facilitated by a dear friend).  I was guided to my earliest memory.  I found myself in what I described as a city of gold.  In this city there was complete peace and harmony.  The spirits abiding there glide gracefully about.  They just had to think where they wanted to go and they would appear there.  The absolute love that I experienced affected every cell of being.  I then was guided to a room where there was a long table surrounded by what I interpreted as counsel.  I immediately knew (through telepathy) that their counsel for me was that I had to go back.  This created extreme sadness in me as I did not want to go back to separation, conditioned love, and disharmony.

When I awoke this morning I felt that absolute love and grace that I experienced in the hypnotherapy session.  I was thinking about the human experience and how at times we seem to be wandering aimlessly.  Then a wave of truth came over me and I could see we are all angels, but we don’t all remember that we are.  I could see that within each person wandering aimlessly through life is an angel gliding graciously back towards home.  I could see through the illusions, I could see that behind all darkness is light, behind all fear is love and above all suffering is grace.  I could see ever so clearly that at any moment we have the choice to remember and experience grace; I could see that we are all angels.  I wept in surrendered humbleness.

Please enjoy the video below; it is very touching…..

Calling All Angels by Jane Siberry & KD Lang

Santa Maria, Santa Teresa, Santa Anna, Santa Susannah
Santa Cecilia, Santa Copelia, Santa Domenica, Mary Angelica
Frater Achad, Frater Pietro, Julianus, Petronilla
Santa, Santos, Miroslaw, Vladimir
and all the rest

Oh, a man is placed upon the steps, a baby cries
and high above you can hear
the church bells start to ring
and as the heaviness, oh the heaviness, the body settles in
somewhere you can hear a mother sing

then it’s one foot then the other
as you step out onto the road of hope
step out on the road
how much weight? how much?
then it’s how long? and how far?
and how many times oh, before it’s too late?

calling all angels calling all angels
walk me through this one
don’t leave me alone
calling all angels calling all angels
we’re tryin’ and we’re hopin’
but we’re not sure how…

ah, and every day you gaze upon the sunset
with such love and intensity
why it’s ah, it’s almost as
if you could only crack the code
then you’d finally understand what this all means

ah, but if you could…do you think you would
trade in all, all the pain and suffering?
ah, but then you’d miss
the beauty of the light upon this earth
and the sweetness of the leaving

calling all angels calling all angels
walk me through this one
don’t leave me alone
calling all angels calling all angels
we’re tryin’ and we’re hopin’
but we’re not sure…

calling all angels calling all angels
walk me through this one
don’t leave me alone
calling all angels calling all angels
we’re tryin’ we’re hopin’
we’re hurtin’ we’re lovin’
we’re cryin’ we’re callin’
cause we’re not sure how this goes

Fear is just pent-up beauty

To transform fear into love we have to embrace the fear and see it as a gift.  Resisting, denying or trying to run from fear as if it were a fire-breathing dragon will only exhaust us in the end. We cannot run forever.  When we turn to face the dragon we see the gift it holds for us. The gift is that fear is just pent-up beauty.  Fear holds blocked energy, blocked life that has been festering and not going anywhere.  When we accept the fear, that blocked energy is released and transformed and we are free to fly!

Let your soul guide you

Often, upon first waking up in the morning I am given my writing assignment for the day.  When I awoke this morning I was in the purity of my soul, still in the surrendered state of sleep, but somewhat conscious.  I allowed myself to stay in that surrendered state and consciously experience the luscious feeling of being at one.  As the conscious surrender continued I felt like I was in a warm liquid bath, being embraced by unconditional love.  Then another part of me thought, I “should” get up and start my day.  As soon as I had that thought I started to come out of surrender.  I left the state of oneness when my ego spoke up and wanted to take over.  I now had become two – I entered back into duality (ego & soul).  I could actually feel my soul not wanting to take the back seat.  Then I felt/heard the words to a Sting song….”Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot”.  I wondered what I would choose to do if I let my soul guide me.  What would I choose to do if I allowed my soul to be in the driver’s seat and sent my ego to the back seat?  I immediately became aware that I would make very different choices, not only throughout my day but in the direction of my life.

So, I allowed my soul to take the driver’s seat and gracefully got out of bed and effortlessly glided downstairs.  I mindfully made my coffee and chose to sit down at my laptop to share my given writing assignment.  I am realizing that in order for my soul to be my guide I have to consciously choose it.  As I am writing this I am aware of the ego wanting to take over, it does not like being in the back seat.  I gently try to ease its fear (it is full of fear), I assure it that it has a purpose and will not disappear completely, but that it should get comfortable with being in the back seat.

How can you tell if you are allowing your soul to guide you?  If your soul is not guiding you than what is? 

 

(Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot video by Sting)

Let your soul be your pilot
Let your soul guide you
He’ll guide you well

When you’re down and they’re counting
When your secrets all found out
When your troubles take to mounting
When the map you have leads you to doubt
When there’s no information
And the compass turns to nowhere that you know well

Let your soul be your pilot
Let your soul guide you
He’ll guide you well

When the doctors failed to heal you
When no medicine chest can make you well
When no counsel leads to comfort
When there are no more lies they can tell
No more useless information
And the compass spins
The compass spins between heaven and hell

Let your soul be your pilot
Let your soul guide you
He’ll guide you well

And your eyes turn towards the window pane
To the lights upon the hill
The distance seems so strange to you now
And the dark room seems so still

Let your pain be my sorrow
Let your tears be my tears too
Let your courage be my model
That the north you find will be true
When there’s no information
And the compass turns to nowhere that you know well

Let your soul be your pilot
Let your soul guide you
Let your soul guide you
Let your soul guide you upon your way…

An Open Heart

I have been pondering on Love & Fear / Expansion & Contraction.  I am coming to realize that any time I allow myself to contract (go into fear) on some level I am believing that by contracting into fear I will be able to protect myself from harm.  The bargain that is made in that moment is I lose consciousness by believing in the illusion of fear.  I am actually giving it power.  It takes a tremendous amount of energy to shift back and forth between love and fear, the opening and closing of the heart.

We cannot expect that fear will not challenge us, it will (unless and until we become permanently enlightened). But, if we do not resist it, if we relax into it, it will pass through us (after all it is transient and illusionary) and dissolve into love which is eternal and always waiting to welcome us back home to our true self.

What would happen if we learned to love fear?  What if we fully accepted it?  Is it a true statement that love conquers all (including fear)?  I think that is a true statement.

Is it possible to keep an Open Heart even in the face of fear?  Can we learn to let Love protect us instead of fear?

“In Venice in the Middle Ages there was once a profession for a man called a codega–a fellow you hired to walk in front of you at night with a lit lantern, showing you the way, scaring off thieves and demons, bringing you confidence and protection through the dark streets. ”  Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

May Love be your “codega”

 

 

Wholeness not Perfection

“The challenge is not to be perfect, it’s to be whole”

~Jane Fonda~

Isn’t that the truth??  That’s what it’s all about.  Until and if we become whole in body, mind and spirit we will always feel a sense of dis-ease.  When I use the term dis-ease in connection to wholeness I am relating it to the soul, a feeling of being at dis-ease in the soul, not at peace.  There is no denying the feeling.  You know if you are at peace in the soul or not, you know if you are feeling whole or not.  The trick about achieving wholeness is you cannot achieve it by trying to be perfect.  This will actually take you on a detour down a road that does not lead to wholeness.  One way of knowing if you are trying to be perfect is judgment.  If you find yourself judging yourself or others, it is a sure sign that you are “trying” to be perfect.  Wholeness comes through acceptance and love.  This does not mean that you do not use discernment of what is right or wrong for you, it means you do not judge something as being right or wrong for everyone.  Another sign of attempting perfection is blame.  There is no one or nothing to blame.  It is our responsibility alone to move towards wholeness.  We do not get there by self blame or blaming others.  The other key difference between “trying” to be perfect and wholeness is the “trying”.  Wholeness does not require trying, it requires “allowing”.  We simply allow, let go, and let our wholeness rise up into our conscious awareness.  When we awaken to our innate wisdom, purity of spirit is revealed.  This is our birthright. 

 
Emotionally whole

  • getting in touch with and taking personally responsibility for getting my basic needs met every day
  • sharing my concerns and worries with people who will listen, and in turn being there for them
  • live within a healthy balance between my work, passions, creative outlets, chores, relaxation, nourishment and exercise.
  • Not neglecting any of those areas and making course corrections as needed.

Physically whole

  • taking care of my physical health through proper rest, exercise, hygiene, stress reduction, sex and diet
  • owning my energy and using it in the areas I choose to focus on
  • taking care of my appearance in order to feel, enjoy and attract healthy energy

Spiritually whole

  • embracing and having spiritual needs met, including: feeling connected to the spiritual realm (meditation/prayer are some tools for connecting to the spiritual realm. Also being connected to a spiritual community)
  • surrendering to “what is” brings serenity.  Learning to respond and not react in unhealthy ways to the stresses faced every day.  Not allowing yourself to be pulled into pieces by the diverse stresses of money, time, relationships, etc. (not trying to control all the things beyond your control).  When we start to feel fragmented by being in the world, we have to remember our truth, that we are spiritually whole.

Merging the Mundane with the Divine

I have noticed that throughout my life I have felt a persistent inner power struggle. I have been able to identify this inner power struggle as a pull either towards the physical (earthly, mundane, society and family of origin conditioning) and a pull towards the spiritual (the essence of my soul).

This inner power struggle reached a pinnacle when I began the journey into middle age.  In the process of doing a lot of inner work and implementing spiritual disciplines, today I am reaching a place of being able to discern what this inner power struggle has been about and what I need to do to end the inner power struggle and create inner peace.  I see the second half of my life as a process of moving towards oneness by making peace with the inner power struggle and by merging the Mundane with the Divine.

Merge:  combine, unite, come together, join, become one, Mundaneordinary, routine, commonplace, monotonous, unexciting, boring, dull, tedious, uninteresting, humdrum, dreary, Divine:  heavenly, celestial, godly

By applying the spiritual tools of prayer and meditation towards building a strong foundation of inner peace, I have been able to move closer to oneness.  These spiritual disciplines allow inner space for the acceptance of duality.  I have experienced duality as the physical and spiritual being in  oppositional resistance within myself, feeling like if I choose one I will lose the other.   This is part of the human condition that has to be seen and experienced differently within each of us if we hope to ever manifest an external world that will reflect wholeness and oneness.

This acceptance is not a onetime event but a process.  We humans live most of our lives with an inner conflict, in a paradox, a push and pull (power struggle) within the human physical self which holds a Heavenly soul.  To find inner peace and end the power struggle we must find a way to unite what feels like opposing forces.  We can transform the physical into the metaphysical, without losing contact with either one.  For me this involves finding ways of merging the Mundane with the Divine, creating a relationship between the two that is so close it becomes one.

“When you know that you are eternal you can play your true role in time. When you know you are divine you can become completely human. When you know you are one with God you are free to become absolutely yourself …”   ~ Mother Meera ~

The Witness

The Witness is the thoughtless observer within us, or a state of being in consciousness that is purely witnessing life take place without contemplating differences.  It is a state of complete acceptance without personal bias to alter the event, find fault, take credit or judge. Reactions are present but not with any forethought or designs on the outcome, going with the flow in a thoughtless state of observing, which consequently is minus the doer or ego. The Witness is the Soul’s first contact in consciousness, the birth state of being, before the mind developed with a personality causing the Doer to step into the picture. The Soul, Self, or Awareness is the Watcher of all and on its own sees nothing but Eternity and God, but when the Watcher is attached to consciousness it turns into the Witness of the world. Then the witness eventually turns into the Doer after staking claim in the world as an independent thinker, so the mislead mind is the doer, and the witness is consciousness without thinking, and the pure Watcher is Reality without the witness. Cultivating the pure Witness back into the forefront of your life is the purpose of meditations and a very important step for the Spiritual Seeker.

Reclaiming the universal witness that exists in all living creatures, can be done during active times and inactive times. These different states of witnessing are both relatively hard to master, however well worth the effort, and the inactive Witness is the most important part of spirituality. Meditation techniques are geared towards different states of witnessing, and the experiences that follow are milestones on the spiritual path. Any activity in life can be done by remaining in the moment as the Witness, and this is a good step in getting control of the mind by falling back into the Witness, keeps the mind at bay. Many spiritual experiences happen within different layers, but experiences in the “Samadhi State” are on a deeper level yet, which can change your outlook or understanding on life and God. In all cases, besides the finale awakening, the experiences are an indication of transitional periods in spiritually, which can be good or scary, and usually untranslatable.

The spiritual process through meditation delivers emotional stability and balance into one’s life, and it can also help you control the direction of your mind. The constant redirection towards spiritual techniques or being the Witness strengthens your control over the mind, allowing you to guide it and find the advance stages of thoughtless meditating. The pure Witness of this basic formless life force (consciousness) within is the last meditating stage before one slips into the “Samadhi State”, which is beyond observing. It can be a long process, depending of course on your determination, but keeping the mind in silent repose is the key cornerstone to Enlightenment or Self-realization. For then, there is no way to go but further in, now that the world is rendered useless, discarded as the primary attention getter you create a new focus on the Eternal God.

The above practices are helpful in quieting the false self and can lead to a sense of awakening, if this is what we believe we need to do.  I personally believe these practices help to open us to accepting grace, which is always there waiting.

The One Ultimate Reality offers no self-help teaching, path, practice, course, seminar, or therapy: all of those are made by egos and for egos. The Teachings Of the few True Incarnations who have lived are Founded primarily on Grace; and secondarily on the follower’s passionate inviting and allowing of, and thus participation in, That Grace. The true follower is looking to Reality to be Used and Consumed By That, rather than to use and consume It.
~Dava

What is enlightenment?
It is nothing. It is not an event that occurs, but is ever-present, already existing in everything. This needs to be strongly emphasized, because most people make the mistake of thinking of it as some kind of dramatic happening, some kind of “spiritual experience.” No, it is simply the fading away of ignorance, and the realization of our true nature, which is unbounded, limitless, beyond the realm of space and time. This fading of ignorance is happening slowly in everything and in everybody. Everything is moving back toward the knowing of reality, which is revealed only when ignorance is gone.
~Tim Gerchmez

We are never left without a witness of the Eternal, and in our greatest moments- in those flash-like visions of mystic grandeur- we know that we are made of eternal stuff, fashioned after a Divine Pattern.

~ Ernest Holmes ~

*If you wish to learn more about the Samadhi State, this site explains it well http://higherselfguides.com/free-articles/good-questions/what-is-samadhi/

I have no personal connection to this site.  There are many ways to learn about the Samadhi State.

Hard Edges

This morning I am thinking of ego, image, fear, and protection (all kind of the same thing).  They all bring a feeling of hard edges.  So I go within and ask myself, do I have these hard edges, if so where do they show up in my life?

They show up when I can’t look you directly in the eye because I feel I have something to hide – hard edge, when I believe our differences make any difference – hard edge, when I forget to greet the day in gratefulness – hard edge, when I shut down any of my senses- hard edge, whenever my heart is not wide open – hard edge.

If I ever start to believe I have become enlightened, I vow to humbly and kindly lower myself from my righteous perch of piousness to the realization that the closest I can hope for is a merging of my humanness and my divinity.  I will move towards softening the hard edges of the ego allowing my underbelly to show, revealing an ever so sweet tenderness, understanding, vulnerability, transparency and a never ending love.