Awareness

“With awareness, we awaken to cure what is not meant to be endured and endure what cannot be cured, and from this place, we live in the moment, where suffering is optional.”

The One Truth That Never Changes

There are so many people on social media today that know the truth. They become frustrated, even reaching states of anger, anxiety, and depression, why because they know they are right, and the other person is wrong. And these truths that each believes are opposites from one another. Who is right, you ask yourself, and you say why I am, of course!

We find and post articles and studies that support our beliefs. We post videos of others who say what we believe, and therefore, that makes us right, and that rightness becomes even more locked into our psyche. We see ourselves as our beliefs, and we lose connection with our true nature, our heart, our soul. You may think I am exaggerating here, but anger, anxiety, and depression do not arise from our true nature, heart, or soul, it arises from who we believe ourselves to be.

You cannot see clearly if your mind already knows the truth. You hold onto those beliefs so tightly that nothing else can be seen or heard. Nothing else can get past the wall of beliefs you have built. You will fight to the end to make your point because YOU are right.

Any parent has experienced this with their child at some point. The five-year-old wants what they want, and they know they are right. The teenager has done the research; they know what is right, and no one can tell them otherwise. Our age does not matter. Perhaps you can remember being that way as a teenager. Are you still that way, or have you become that way?

Has everything from your past that you thought to be true still valid today? Can you find examples throughout history and the world where someone’s truth caused death and destruction? Have wars started from believing that something is right, and then it turns out not to be true?

Have you ever thought about this? Probably not much, most people don’t. We quickly move on to the next thing that keeps us distracted from being present and staying connected to our hearts. We spend all our time in the mind following its guidance without awareness of where it is leading us.

The mind works this way, jumping from one thing to the next all day long, all lifelong. Without awareness, we identify with the thoughts, and then we create beliefs, concepts, and stories around them, and then we become right, and everyone else that does not believe the way we do, is wrong.

Is there a truth that never changes? Yes, we can find them but are they valid for everyone or just for those who believe them. The one truth that never changes is that many things condition us. If you can see this truth or feel it in your heart, you are waking up. Continue to question your thoughts. Are they true, or are they a distraction from truth? Observe them as they arise entirely unsolicited. Only the unconditioned-self can answer truthfully; your mind will only find a way to convince you otherwise; to mislead you and distract you from living an honest, authentic life.

Becoming Free From Unsolicited Thoughts

Unsolicited thoughts are not your friend. You must notice this undesirable habit of automatically identifying with your thoughts. They should be observed and questioned by bringing awareness to them; then, they will lose their power over you. One question you can ask yourself is, do I know this to be one-hundred percent true?

You are not your thoughts, and when you identify with them, they rise to power and begin to control your disposition and the direction of your life. No thought can pull you into a story without your consent. The more you bring awareness to them, the less power they have, and eventually, you will be grounded in the present moment again.

Note: Do not try to stop your thoughts; this will only keep you trapped. Many of you have wanted to do this during meditation and failed. The aware and awake do not identify or attach to thoughts. Then they do not hang around. They float by like a cloud in the sky instead of turning into a storm.

How much time do you spend on the what-ifs of life that never happen? How different would your life be if your unsolicited thoughts did not drag you away from the present moment? How much more energy would you have to be present with what faces you now? Know that where your attention goes, your energy follows. How can you create or manifest what you want when your energy is depleted or is directed toward the very thing that you do not want in your life?

The first step is to use your awareness to notice the automatic and endless flow of these unsolicited thoughts. No one can do this for you. You must be willing to begin to pay attention, step out of the stories your mind tells you through these thoughts. Become the observer, and watch what is happening. Your mind may say, how do I do that? And I say that you already know how to do it, so trust that you do. Any thought that says you cannot do this, or you do not know how is observed, isn’t it?

Few dare to do this, so know that you are among a courageous few if you do. Be kind and gentle to yourself when you slip, and you will falter from time to time, particularly in the beginning. However, if you stay with it, things will only continue to improve in your life.

Please do not take my word for it. I want you to have a direct experience that this works, that is the only way you will know the truth of what I speak and use it. So, try it out if you dare. What have you got to lose except a few thousand or so of unsolicited thoughts per day?

A Model for Healing

Once you consent to a non-healing thought, which means to identify with it, you will instantly slow or stop the healing process. You will be unable to create what you desire unless you become aware of these thoughts and let them go.

The letting-go process will happen naturally through awareness of these unhelpful thoughts. If any other action is needed on your part, it will be clearly shown to you, so gently pay attention. Some examples of these thoughts might be, I cannot get better, I will never change, this is not what I want, this is just who I am, or any thought that states what you desire cannot happen.

Can you feel the resistance in the examples above? It is essential to become aware of your resistance—the resistance to the healing that you seek.

I have learned from my healing journey, and that of others in my private practice, that you must never give in to these kinds of thoughts or allow them to control your choices.

Remember, never give up on your intention to heal. Because if you do, it will most likely not happen. In those moments, for example, when feelings of disappointment, frustration, or failure show up, and they might, you must step forward in faith and continue to follow your unbending intention.

Let your pain and suffering propel you forward, instead of holding you back. The thought that pain and suffering are your only problems is a problem; with this belief, you only see them as harmful, bad, and dark, which brings resistance and avoidance. Seeing them only as harmful is a perception created by your conditioning. The wise person will recognize that these experiences can guide you toward healing as well. When you only see them from the narrow view of negativity, they naturally become an overwhelming or unwelcome issue.

If you only look at your situation through a dark and narrow lens, you will never find the path to freedom. Notice I said freedom here and not healing; that is because real healing does not always show up in the same way that the mind has shown you or the way that you desire. However, if you remain open to receiving whatever shows up, it will always lead to greater freedom. That means accepting what is without conditions and continuing to move forward using your intuition as your guide. Use your mind when you need to, but do not let it use you, because its unasked-for help will mislead you. Lead from your heart and not your head.

Do not let the thought that you will not heal or get what you want to be another reason for discouragement. Use your awareness of these kinds of thoughts as motivation to inspire you to forge ahead without hesitation, because true freedom can offer you so much more, not just healing, but in other ways that you never imagined.

We Can All Do Better, Start Now

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” -Maya Angelou

Did you notice that Maya Angelou did not say when you know better, you will do better? She said, when you know better, do better. Yes, it is a subtle difference but an important one. Just because we no better does not guarantee that we will do better, does it? If that were the case, the world would be very different than it is today.

You would think as a moral and civilized society that we would? Yes, I know there are times when we do. However, many times we do not, right? Have you ever wondered why that happens? Surely you are curious enough to wonder, aren’t you? It is easy to point figures at the government, some other person or entity, but have you ever asked yourself why don’t I do better when I know better?

For example, you know you should not eat that dessert or a particular food, but you do anyway. You find a way to justify it, just one more time, which turns into ten more times.

We all know that staying healthy requires exercise, but many do not take the time. Saying, I am too busy to exercise, I will start tomorrow, or perhaps you begin for a few days or weeks and then quit. Why did you stop? Was there a valid reason, or did the mind make one up for you?

Then there are problems like racism, the environment, and a host of other movements and issues that we may personally feel needs to be addressed. Still, we have yet to do better either collectively or individually.

We know when we have done something wrong, but we make excuses. It is not a big problem, so why should I trouble myself. Yes, we are masters at not doing what we could but instead opting to do what we want, no matter the consequences. I am sure that you could add to what I mentioned above; it seems endless to me. How about you?

Would you be willing to pick one thing or area in your personal life and do better? Where do you know better and yet struggle to do better? Pick one and make a permanent change for the better. You are more than capable of following through this time, so make it happen. When a thought comes in, or the mind tries to distract you from doing better, say no to the distraction. You will not regret it, so start now.

Going Home

I had a dream the other night that I was teaching people how to go home. No, not the physical place where we live, but a more profound place. A place that we all have experienced.

Going home has a particular meaning in the Christian faith and perhaps for others too, where after we die, we go to be with God and our loved ones who have passed away. I do not want to speak about a belief or the afterlife. I want to talk with you about the here and now.

We have all experienced the loss of time, deep joy, or a feeling of happiness that was so strong that the rest of the world disappeared. At least it seemed that way. Perhaps it happened while watching a sunset or spending time with your family or a lover. Maybe it happened during meditation, prayer, or just taking a walk. You may notice it can happen any time while doing anything or nothing at all. These experiences happen when we are immersed in oneness; when we let go of our identity with personhood and the ego is no longer in charge.

I called it an experience, but in truth, it is not an experience, it just seems that way. What you think of as having experience is the recognition or remembering of your authentic nature. We have identified so strongly with the life of personhood that we no longer feel, see, or remember our oneness. It is still there, always, and forever. However, the mind says that it requires effort to get back to it, that it may not be possible in this life, that it is separate from us or some other story that keeps us searching instead of being. And we have been so conditioned to believe what the mind tells us, that we follow its direction without question.

Therefore, whether you believe it is possible, takes effort, can happen instantly, or could take a long time, first, realize these are all just thoughts. Start by asking yourself this question. Do I know with one-hundred percent certainty that this thought is true? This question will bring clarity if answered honestly. Therefore, ask yourself this question around any thought that pops up. You will find it useful anytime, but especially so when you perceive the thought to be negative.

Simple right? Yes, of course, it is, but beware, when you go up against the cunning mind, it can be challenging. However, if you are willing, pay attention, and remember to ask the question, you will immediately begin to see benefits.

What Have You Traded Love For?

Our society has traded…

LOVE for indifference

LOVE for hate

LOVE for anger

LOVE for resentment

LOVE for _____________

Without LOVE, COMPASSION, KINDNESS, and EMPATHY, we become a society of unconscious beings who put their wants and needs first. Living life this way leaves us feeling lonely, empty, and sad. We look to get more material things, wealth, and power to gain a false sense of security. We struggle with everyday life, feeling there has to be more to life, never realizing that what we seek cannot be found externally.

For those who have the courage, the willingness, and an unbending intention, a more profound journey takes place, one that will bring more balance between our external and internal worlds. We cannot find this balance by just seeking more knowledge or using our intellect alone. It cannot be found by going to church, the synagogue, mosque, or other worship places, without continuing to do the work after leaving these hallowed halls.

Once again, we must connect with the tenderness of the heart, just think of small children, how open and joyous they live. How quickly they let go of their upset. The brash and hard exteriors we have falsely created to protect ourselves only leads to conflict, hurt, and suffering. You only have to look around to see this, feel it, and hear it everywhere across the planet.

You have a simple choice that, for many, will be hard to make. However, at some point, whether now, on your deathbed or somewhere in between, a choice will be made. Just remember that not making a decision now is a choice.

When enough people begin to go inward and explore self-inquiry, everything will change for everyone. Will you be one of the courageous beings who steps towards your True-Self? Or will you continue to hold tight onto who you have become?

Finding Peace and Stability

Many believe that God resides outside them, a place they call heaven. People say when I die, I will be with God, or when a loved one has passed, they are now with God. Well, I say that God is within you, within everything you see, feel, and touch. If you are always looking for God outside yourself, you will never know lasting happiness or peace, because it will always come and go. If you pay attention, you will see that nothing in personhood is stable, and I know of only one place to find stability.

It is not until you begin looking within that you will find your true nature; that you will find your True-Self. Start self-inquiry today and find your way back home now, not later, or someday when the body dies. Discover the peace and stability that is always with you.

If you are an atheist or have other beliefs than in a God, you will also find this peace and stability through self-inquiry because when we know ourselves from this fundamental place, we discover the truth.

Begin to reconnect with the heart of consciousness by connecting with your physical heart first. Place your hands on your chest and feel the heart beating. Let go of any thoughts, feelings, or physical sensations that pull your attention away from being with God’s pulse, the Universe, or Divine Creation. Pick the label or word that works for you. Do not allow the mind too step in and distract you. It might say this is too simple, or it will not work, or I do not like this word or label. Watch the subtle way it creates an uncomfortable feeling in the body and all the other ways that it tries to take your attention. Come back to the beating heart and feel the peace that is greater than any distraction the mind can create.

Do this anytime you find yourself in worry, stress, or anxiety, whenever you want to feel the peace and stability of your True-Self. As you begin to experience this, you ground yourself in the present moment and your experience of personhood shifts. You will again remember what you have always known and forgotten. Come back to this simple practice throughout the day, if only for a moment. Anchor in the truth, so the mind’s ability to distract you will be weakened. Discover this through direct experience and not from a place of knowledge. Watch the mind say yes, I know this to be right and then send you in another direction. Do not try to stop the distractions; this is another distraction. Do not identify with them, and then they will have no power over you.  The mind will not stop trying to distract you, so let those distractions be an opportunity instead of a problem. Let them be a beacon, the guiding light, your wakeup call back to your True-Self.

“I have lived on the lip of insanity, wanting to know reasons, knocking on a door. It opens. I’ve been knocking from the inside.”

 ― Rumi 

The Blame Game

Do you ever get tired of all the blaming that goes on these days? It is the fault of the liberals or the conservatives, which is not the reality. If you cannot see that both parties are to blame, that the root of the problem is not a political party, but some of the people that make up that political party, then you are blind to the truth.

If you think all the good and right people are on this side and not that side, you need to wake up. Belonging to a particular political party does not make you a good person or right. Belonging to a specific church or religion does not make you a good person or right.

We are good people when we love one another and treat everyone equally and with respect. We are good people when we are kind, compassionate, and empathetic. We are good people when we make good choices and learn from our mistakes. We are good people when we dare to do better because when we know better, we should always do better. Of course, as we see in the world that does not always happen.

So let’s start learning from our mistakes and start doing better. Doing better will not be accomplished by pointing figures at one another but by questioning where we can do better personally. Instead of expecting someone else to be different, we need to take a closer look at ourselves.

You can complain all you want, and all it will do is cause you to suffer, worry, and live in fear. Stop thinking that your way is the only way. Start to quiet your thoughts long enough so you can feel some peace again and realize we are all in this together. If you cannot give love, then show some kindness. If you cannot be kind, then be patient. If you cannot be patient, then say nothing. Get support, ask for help if you need to, love yourself first, will make it much easier to be a good person.

Six Feet From the Truth

If you are a white person and you believe you are not a racist, that you were not conditioned in some way by your past or you overcame your conditioning about race, then the words on this image should ring true.

Can you know what someone else or another race has experienced in their lives without having experienced it for yourself? You cannot. You can only imagine you do. You only have to look at your own life and troubles to know this is true.

You can acquire more knowledge, but knowledge does not translate to experience. However, it will increase understanding, empathy, and compassion, which is sorely needed now. Therefore, educate yourself, especially about white privilege. Do not just think you already know what this is, because too many only ignorantly think they do, and many more do not believe it exists.

We must stand up for what is right, for human decency, to look with our eyes at the truth and see. To feel in our hearts what we know to be morally wrong.

To allow any group or individuals actions such as looting and burning to sway our support for the greater good is a lapse in judgment and moral character because who is to say that you might not be next because of your skin color, beliefs, or religion. Do not think you are not vulnerable because of your white privilege.

One could say, it is always easier to social distance and maintain six feet of ignorance, than it is to risk getting up close and seeing the truth.

Time to Understand and Know

We hate before we understand or know.
We do not take the time to understand or know.
We express anger before we understand or know.
We make judgments before we understand or know.
We make assumptions before we understand or know.
We stand in righteousness before we understand or know.
We disdainfully look at others before we understand or know.
We sit on the seat of white privilege before we understand or know.

Do we have to understand or know before we show compassion, empathy, kindness, or love?

What can you really understand or know? The truth of someone else’s experience cannot be known if we have not shared the experience. We cannot know someone else’s suffering if we have not carried their burdens. It can only be imagined, and that is not the truth, that is not reality. It is more comfortable to sit in judgment than to understand or know.

Human beings are souls of the Divine creator, no matter their religious beliefs, skin color, country of origin, or any other difference your mind points to, or says this person is not like me. Does everyone have to be like you to be accepted by you? Does everyone have to look like you, walk like you, talk like you to be approved by you?

When fear arises in you because of these differences, what do you do with that fear? I know the fear feels real to you, but do you need to be afraid? What if your fear was an indicator to take the time to get to understand and know, to see this person, their religion, or country on a deeper level, what would you find out? Would you find that perhaps at the core of their being, they are no different from you? Would you find that they want the same things for their children you want for yours? Would you find that they practice their religion for the same reason that you do? Would you find that many teachings in their faith are the same as yours? How would you figure this out unless you take the time to understand and know?

Sharing and feeling the burden and pain of others is genuine compassion.

It is time that our differences are no longer seen through our conditioning. We cannot allow our senses to be the guiding force of our reactions; we must respond appropriately from a place of understanding and knowing.

We must wake up and reach deeper to connect with our oneness, our sameness, and not just our differences. We must take time to understand and know what others are going through before we react from a place that does not reflect the truth of their experience. What would we find if we make this effort? Are we willing to try, or is it too hard? Would the world change if we did? Would we finally understand and know.