“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.”
You will never find God by looking out into the world or through the path of knowledge. It is not a matter for the mind. You will never find God thinking that you will only meet him, her, or it after you die. Know too that God does not have human characteristics in its natural state. It cannot be described by words it can only be experienced. Furthermore, you do not have to wait until you die to have this experience.
As long as you attach to personhood and your senses, you will be tricked by the mind and your thoughts, making this experience an elusive one. The mind is a master of distraction. Do you already know this fact?
The world is held captive, not by bad people, but by misguided thinking. However, you do not have to stay hostage to this habitual thinking. You can break free when you want and do not let your thoughts tell you otherwise.
Remember, that many of the beliefs and thoughts that arise in the mind have been instilled in you from a very young age. Therefore, know that it may take some practice to be free. Nevertheless, you cannot fail, because how can you fail to become who you already are, you only need to remember this by experiencing your real nature once again.
In your heart, you know the truth. Take some time to be quiet, drop down from the mind and into the heart of God. I assure you that as long as you do not pick up your thoughts and walk away again, you will remember your real nature.
Keep this as a reminder, you will never find God through your thoughts.
Become the observer of the mind, and retire as its playmate. Use it when you need to, but do not let it continue to use you as it has for so many years. Once you do, the experience of God will find you, because God is not separate from you, and has not forsaken you.
The only thing that separates you from God is a thought and your belief in that thought.
The Good Struggle sounds funny I know, but we all experience it at some point in our lives. It is when something hard that we go through turns out to be worth the struggle. Can you think of something that has already happened to you that proves this point?
In the context of awakening, our struggle turns out to be good when we begin to recognize our conditioned self. That means we start to see in ourselves certain behaviors and thoughts that we can no longer tolerate. They make us feel uncomfortable in some way, and we now realize that they have been with us for some time, but we did not see them, or we have ignored them.
This process can begin in different ways. However, for many, it happens once we start to question our lives. We may feel a calling or that there has to be something more to life. However, often something traumatic or difficult happens in our lives and these events shake us up, and begin to wake us up.
Once this happens, we start to see these behaviors and thoughts that were before out of our conscious awareness. Sometimes you can even see this playing out in the actions of friends or family members; however, it is much harder to see in our own lives without awareness.
Things that you might notice are that you feel uneasy, out of balance, or more emotional. Fear, anger, anxiety and other uncomfortable feelings come up more often and stay longer. Your thoughts may urge you to believe these feeling have just started and were caused by someone or something else in your life. Yet somehow, you know this is not true, and that they were there all along.
Once the light of awareness starts flowing in, the mind fights back to stay in control. Therefore, dealing with everything that is coming out makes things more difficult for a time, this should not bring concern but instead optimism. It can even feel better or easier if we just go along with our thoughts and ignore what is happening, but I can assure you this is not true. When the real self is calling us, there is no turning back, and if we ignore this calling, then our struggle can evolve into great suffering because of our resistance.
We often think that we are supposed to have a mystical or spiritual experience to awaken or we want the quick fix. Then we spend years going from one thing to the next, one teacher or workshop waiting for this to happen or chasing a similar experience that happened before, not realizing we are going nowhere.
For the majority, having this kind of dramatic moment never happens, and we end up in more distress over the years. Once we experience our true nature and the light of awareness begins to flow, things will happen naturally and without much effort. However, we must remain watchful so that we do not fall prey to the tricks of the mind because it will easily betray us through our conditioned thoughts. So yes, you may feel at times this is a struggle, but I assure you once again that it is The Good Struggle.
People have felt the need to judge others since the very first humans on the planet. Therefore, it does not surprise me that so many continue it today and of course, it is much easier these days to get into other people’s business with the internet and social media. However, that does not mean that we should just because we can.
It does not matter if the events were recent or happened decades ago. Now I understand if someone continues immoral, illegal or wrong behavior, that person should face the consequences of their actions. However, this should happen through the legal system, and if not unlawful, then it should be resolved appropriately by those involved but not by those sitting on the sidelines.
I did many things when I was younger that I would never do now because I learned from my mistakes. I certainly would not want to be judged today for only those actions.
I had a drinking problem for many years and know that I did many things wrong including drinking and driving. What if I could not get a job now or fired from one today for a DUI in 1977. Does that seem fair, especially since I have been sober for 31 years?
What happened to forgiveness, should something someone did 30 years ago say more about who they are today than all the things they have done since then?
Each one of us needs to ask ourselves what have I done in the past that I would not be proud of or want to be judged for today.
I am reminded John 8:7 from the Bible “So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Surely, you do not have to be religious to understand that judging others is wrong.
Therefore, the next time you want to comment on someone else’s behavior take a pause. Do you have all the facts? Does what you are about to say come from the heart or your head? Why do you feel the need to comment? Are you an outsider looking in, and if you are, do you have a right to judge that person or their actions?
There are always better choices to be made than to judge someone.
“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” ― Mother Teresa
Do not expect to live in a peaceful world or be peaceful in your own life if you cannot let go of your judgments for others or yourself.
Read my new post on Elephant Journal.
Having reached my 62nd birthday this past week, I can see how far I have come in life, and yet for many years, there was a feeling that there had to be more. And you know what, there is, and it is easier than you might think to find.
I have spent years on the spiritual path searching and following a calling that resided deep within me. Can you relate to having a calling or feeling like something is missing in your life, or intuitively you know there is something more to life? If you do, then keep reading.
Do you think that how you feel is based upon what happens to you? Or do you have a choice in how you feel no matter what happens to you?
What would it be like if instead of allowing what happens to you to dictate how you feel, that you could make a choice of how you want to feel about anything that happens to you? I am here to tell you that this is not only possible, but that is how things are supposed to be. Your feelings do not control you unless you let them.
In truth, you can change your feelings any time you want with a little desire, some intention, and a keenly developed awareness. The next time you find your feelings taking control or out of control take a deep breath and remember that you can feel different if you choose too.
“The ego’s root feeling is that if I do not hold myself together there will be a falling apart into something chaotic and difficult. So there is anxiety, an energetic anxiety which is located in the body, in the whole energetic system of the body and interpersonal turbulence reminds us again and again C’.” ~ Dalai Lama
Falling apart to me means letting go of that which no longer serves us, which means letting go of your conditioning. Conditioning contributes to the person you have become and how you interact with life, it is not the real you that is under all that conditioning.
I explained it this way to one of my clients. When NASA sends a rocket up into space at some point, the rocket drops its booster because it is no longer needed and they keep the main rocket from soaring to its destination. Our conditioning is like the booster; at some point, it begins to weigh us downs and prevents us from soaring in life.
The thought that, “If I do not hold myself together there will be a falling apart,” keeps us from living in the present moment. We must admit the truth to ourselves and stop believing our thoughts, which have no basis in reality. Listening and believing only in our thoughts lead us in a needless never-ending cycle of despair, worry, anxiety, and suffering.
Self-inquiry can expose this kind of wrong thinking every time and remember that we can feel that we are right without being right, but that we cannot be right without feeling right. Therefore, if you are not feeling centered and peaceful pay attention to how you are thinking and be open to a little self-insight.
What I am about to share with you may feel contrary to all that you know. All that society has taught you. However, what follows can bring you more peace than all your seeking put together. We are conditioned to think that we are not enough, that we have to change in some way to become something better; to do more and if we do, our reward of a better life, peace, and happiness will come.
Have you ever wondered what makes us think this way?
When in fact, what we seek we already have, but we cannot see it because of all our conditioning, busyness, and misguided thinking.
All the searching you have done, even all the letting go, and healing has not led you to the place you seek. Has it? There always seems to be more letting go, healing and seeking to do on your spiritual path and in this life.
So what is the answer? First, begin the New Year by setting aside some time to be quiet. I know that many of you find this hard to do because you think that you must stop all thought to meditate, to be quiet. However, this is not true. You do not have to quit thinking, just let your thoughts be. Do not follow your thoughts; let them float by without attachment. Can you become the watcher of your thoughts, rather than the thinker? This may seem like an unusual request but try it.
Remember that when you were born, you had to learn to walk. You did not come out of the womb wearing track shoes and running. Therefore, be patient with yourself because you will attach to the thoughts that say you are not doing it right, you do not know how or that you do not understand.
These are the thoughts you want to watch float by, by becoming the watcher. From this place and with practice you will begin to reconnect with the real you — the one that lies beneath all the conditioning, beliefs, and ideas that you have accumulated over the years. This is who you have become, and it is not who you are; it is not the real you.
In addition, throughout your day be with what is. Do not wish things to be different. Do not try to make them different, become the watcher. This may not be easy at first for some of you, but I can assure you, this intention to breathe the life of each moment just as it is has what you seek already in it.
If you find yourself getting frustrated, notice that you are no longer watching and that you have started running with your thoughts again. Take a breath, reset your intention and become the watcher. Every time you notice that your thoughts have carried you away, bring yourself back. It is natural at the beginning for your thoughts and habits to take you elsewhere. So be gentle with yourself when this happens to you, take a deep breath and become the watcher.
Remember, you are not your thoughts or habits, and they are not in charge of you. Bring yourself back to the calm and peaceful being that you are deep within and feel the presence of the real you once again. This ongoing, even intermittent practice and experience with presence is all that is needed to feel and experience this higher truth for yourself.
I want you to experience this for yourself because this is the only way it becomes real for you. Books and teachers can only point the way you must allow peace back into your life, and no one can do that for you. You must have a desire to experience it for yourself and be willing to practice. You cannot fail when you remain steadfast to your unbending intention to experience more peace in your life and to live in the now, to live life with presence.
If you have questions, please contact me, you are not alone, and I am here to help in any way I can.