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.

Your Habits, Conditioning, and Narrow Focus

We have become so narrowly focused on all the things occurring outside of ourselves, that we feel a loss of control in our lives. Of course, this kind of thinking leads to anxiety, stress, worry, and fear. These types of psychological problems are becoming all too common for us these days.

External problems can appear to be the same to specific groups of like-minded people and not as problems at all to others. That is because of each person’s conditioning, and the beliefs created out of that conditioning. In other words, it is how we think about things that tell us whether or not it is a problem.

The conditioning we receive is instilled at such a young age, much of it before the age of seven, that it is never questioned. This conditioning becomes the foundation that we build on to become who we are now and what we believe. When enough people believe and think the same thing, it creates what we see in the world. That is because we make choices based on our beliefs.

Could we have been misled or built our views on incorrect information? Is there more to us than what we see with our eyes and think with our minds?

If you narrowly focus on one thought long enough, then it can become the truth for you, and then all your choices going forward will be based on that new belief. This unreliable information then makes us think things that are not true. For instance, I am not good enough, I am not smart, or I will never be happy again.

Many have come to the point where they are at the mercy of their thoughts and feelings. At times, they find that their thoughts and feelings are overwhelming. There seems to be no way to be free from them, which again creates more anxiety, stress, worry, and fear.

When you slow your thoughts down by paying attention to them, and you begin to question them, you can start to discover and unravel your conditioning. Self-inquiry like this will lead to freedom from your conditioning and creates a very different life than what you are experiencing now.

We unconsciously attach to our thoughts and habitually follow them. These thoughts arise spontaneously without any conscious effort on our part, and you can see this taking place with awareness. They are not based in fact but often accepted as fact. They are born out of our false foundation. It will require effort for most people, particularly in the beginning, to break these habits, to uncover their True-Self, and to shed the skin of who they have become.

Know that anyone can be free, no matter what your mind and thoughts tell you. The challenge is not to believe what the mind tells you and not to be tricked by its subtle and cunning ways. This is because you are more than your mind and body. The only way that this idea becomes a reality for you is to have direct-experience of your True-Self. Otherwise, your mind will use this lofty concept to keep you a prisoner, and you will be lost in a maze of thoughts leading down a path with no way out. Rest assured, in my words, that there is always a way with awareness.

Living Without Fear, Worry or Stress

The following words are not meant to change your mind in any way. They only point to something that you can experience for yourself. This is important because it is only through direct experience that we can begin to awaken.

Please know that what I am sharing has nothing to do with religion, and is available to anyone interested in waking up to the realization of his or her true nature. Finding the way to where I point is not about traveling any distance, but experiencing your real nature, which has been in you all along.

The life we live in personhood is not stable. We are continually dealing with fluctuating emotions, body sensations, and feelings. The person we see in the mirror, our false sense of self, is constructed by the mind and overlays our true self or true nature.  Anyone who looks with an open heart at his or her life can see the instability. On the other hand, our True-Self is unchanging and eternally stable; having direct experience of your True-Self is life changing. If this is something you are drawn to, then keep reading.

Think of it like this: when clouds cover the sky, we no longer see the sun. Does that mean the sun is not shining? Of course not, it never stops shining, but we do lose sight of it and may wonder if it is still burning bright. Once the sense of self is constructed, like the clouds blocking the sun, we lose sight of our real nature, but it is always there and can be seen anytime we let go of this false sense of self.

It is not difficult to experience your real nature; just know that your mind will challenge you. It wants things to stay the way they are, and it will use your thoughts and senses to carry out this effort. Because of this, anything that feels hard, difficult or challenging means your mind has tricked you, and you have become attached to something the mind created to distract you. Let the feeling of effort or struggle be a sign that you need to let go.

Remember these key insights:

  • You will not lose anything of importance in your life as you know it now.
  • Any fear, anxiety, worry or thought that arises comes from the mind and is nothing more than a distraction to keep you from experiencing your true self.
  • If you do not like where you are going, you can stop at any time.
  • Waking up is not about fulfilling any desire that comes through thought. It is a calling from deep within, something you feel, a soul-full call to be home again and to live through the experience of your true nature.

Have you ever asked yourself?

  • Where do my thoughts originate from anyway?
  • Do I painstakingly create each thought with loving care?
  • Are all of my thoughts important, relevant or even true?
  • Am I aware of my rambling and misguided thoughts that happen all day, every day?
  • Have I noticed how many of my thoughts are repeated daily?

Once you begin to hear your thoughts more clearly by bringing awareness to them, you will see how absurd and untruthful they can be. Notice how they can hypnotize you, and steal the present moment away from you. When you wake up out of these stolen moments, without chastising yourself bring your attention back to noticing them once again, and this is how you begin to break the mind’s hypnotic habit.

As long as your identity is tied to personhood, the body, and the idea that you are separate from everyone and everything, experiencing God or your real nature will seem elusive. Remember this life of personhood that we take to be who we are is nothing more than a vehicle for consciousness to experience itself. To believe this is one thing, and to experience it: life changing.

Deconstructing the self, the identity that began developing at birth, will not happen in the same way your mind tells you. As I said before your mind will find ways to challenge and distract you. It will tell you stories. For example, it might say, you are so close to awakening, I bet this next thing will be the one. Then years pass by of you doing that next thing, and yes, maybe your efforts have changed your personhood experience in positive ways, but you still have not arrived at where you are being called. Surely by now you should be enlightened.

Perhaps your seeking even with all the positive changes has been a distraction from you having a direct experience of your pure self. We can spend our whole lives seeking this experience, being distracted by our thoughts and mind from our intention and our true self. We can even have moments of what we believe to be this experience, something powerful, unique or special only to fall back into personhood because we were tricked by our mind once again. Please do not misunderstand, the mind is useful for our lives, but should it be directing your life, or only engaged with when needed?

In truth, what we seek, we are, and it is only when we let go of the controlling and deceiving thoughts that we can rest in the eternal and infinite space, which is our real nature. This is the only place you will ever experience stability in your life because living only in personhood will never be a stable environment.

We do not have to believe everything we think, and we do not have to follow the endless flow of thoughts that the mind generates. However, we can still live in personhood with all of our experiences and not be attached to the roller coaster of emotions, feeling and uncontrollable changes that come with it. We can experience life as it was intended while residing in the spaciousness of our real nature.

Experiencing your real nature is simple. A good starting point is to notice that you can witness your thoughts, emotions, and feelings. In fact, from this place of observation, you can witness all activity without attachment. Once you see this, notice how it feels and what you experience. Does it feel stable and peaceful? Does it have any boundaries? What can you discern?

When you have experienced this awareness, you will see that even this observer can be witnessed. Ask yourself, am I watching from personhood, from this place the mind will be involved. Or am I watching from a state of presence? From this place, you can still notice that something is watching even though you feel peaceful. The mind may also tell you at first this is it. Finally notice when you watch from pure awareness, your real nature, you will see there is no other watcher.

Remember that I said that the mind would challenge you, so it is important not to attach to anything that arises from the mind; stay as the witness and do not be caught in any thought traps. Always come back to being the witness, notice the activity of the mind. This will help you to begin to break the habit of following your thoughts, emotions, and feelings, which can overwhelm you once you attach to them. Be sure to include all things generated in mind however the mind perceives them to be: good, bad or indifferent. One day attachment to thought and this habit of following your thoughts will be broken, and you will no longer be interested in or distracted by the endless flow of misguided thinking.

If you start to worry, become frustrated or feel out of balance in any way, know that you have been pulled back into personhood by the mind. When you experience your real nature it feels effortless; if it is causing strain, it is because you are attached to something that is leading you astray. Perhaps your thoughts are saying something like, this is hard, I cannot do it, I do not deserve it, or yes, this may be meant for some people, but not for me.

A step toward awakening is to realize that your operating system, which is your current way of thinking and beliefs, may not be your best ally going forward in creating the life and world you want, and this becomes clear once you start observing your thoughts and beliefs.

Below is the middle verse from a poem called “A Great Wagon,” from the Persian poet Rumi:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,

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.

Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other”

doesn’t make any sense.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.

Don’t go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.

Don’t go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill

where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.

Don’t go back to sleep.

Follow where I have pointed, and I will meet you in the field that lies beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, where you can live without fear, worry or stress. May you hear the rumbling and let it go to find your way home. Do not go back to sleep, wake-up, wake-up, wake-up and we shall be in the oneness of pure awareness.

Where is your ATTENTION?

What do you want in your life?

Is that what you think about during the day?

On the other hand, do you spend all your time thinking about your problems, the problems of the world and the people who anger you?

I can assure you that if you only focus on what you do not want; in fear, worry, frustration, and anger, you will never create what you do want.

Are You Feeling Overwhelmed

Are you feeling overwhelmed by life? Maybe you are feeling this way because of the current political changes or all the problems you see in the world. Maybe you have health issues or someone you love is ill. Maybe your job sucks or you are out of work. Countless things can happen in our lives that make us feel this way. We can even feel overwhelmed by our pursuit to discover our True-Self, to awaken, to follow a spiritual or religious path. Perhaps you do not even know why you feel this way, you just do.

In these situations, it is common to feel fearful, anxious, angry or other feelings that we find difficult to deal with over a sustained amount of time. In these states, we always have our attention focused on the wrong thing. It is no longer in the present moment, although we might think it is.  Instead, it is fixated on what we think will happen and not on what is actually happening. It is impossible to stay in the present moment once you have entered into one of these states. Our mind will speculate about future outcomes, which rarely come true. It is important during these times to remember to bring your attention back to the present by letting these thoughts go.

Start with this fact. Know that no matter what is happening in your life or in the world, you will be OK. How many times in your life have you felt that things were terrible or not going your way? Yet somehow, everything worked out in the end and most of those times even better than you expected.

One key is to begin to recognize that you are looking everywhere for what is already in you. We think that we have to pursue our divinity; that it has to be found through workshops, books, church or some type of devotional practice. All of these practices and pursuits can keep you thinking that it is out there somewhere and that you have to find it through someone or something else. I can assure you this is not true. I am not saying that you should not do these things, but they alone will not give you what you want. Because they cannot give you what you already embody.

Many feel as though something dramatic must happen that will change them forever. While it is true that some people may have a dramatic experience, please know that this is not a requirement for finding what you seek. Expecting this or trying to recreate an experience will only slow you down. All that is required is to recognize that you already are what you seek.

Ask yourself if what you are doing is a form of denial of what you seek. Is it saying I am not a spiritual being now? Does it reinforce the idea that you have to do something, to become something different? If it is, then you might want to take a step back and ask, who is thinking this thought that I am not a spiritual being? Who is observing the one who is thinking that thought? Is there a difference between the person having the thought and the one observing the person having the thought? Who are you really?

What I am saying is that if you can see the truth of who you really are, you will live a more joyous life. You will make a greater impact for the causes you choose to support and you will help a greater number of people because you will be living from your True-Self. Your feelings of anger, fear and overwhelm will be transitory events in the beginning and eventually never seen again.

What will you choose the next time you are feeling this way? Will you choose to follow the speculative thought? On the other hand, you could choose to stay in the moment and let the speculative thought go.

This Love, Loves Everyone

Love, loves everyone; it is not conditional. We live in a world where terrible things happen, but this does not mean that we cannot forgive. If we do not open our hearts, we will continue to suffer. The world will not change by an election of new leaders, a million person march or protest. It requires the closed heart to open and to allow grace back into our lives. It requires the infinite amount of love within to be freed from the depths of our being.

Take a moment today to look out the window or if weather permits to go outside and just watch the birds. Allow the beauty of creation to come back into your life and let your worry and stress go. Leave your thoughts behind for just a minute to connect once again with nature. For it is here that you can awaken to what has always been with you. It is simple; it does not have to take a lifetime or lots of hard work. Just be willing to receive and allow this love to fill you up once again.

Worry is not LOVE

Last week I put the following quote on my Facebook page:

You cannot worry about someone and love them at the same time. Most people mistake the emotion of worry for the emotion of love. They think that worrying about somebody means that you love them. –Abraham

I resonated with this quote and felt called to go a little deeper, because worry says so much about our lives. Perhaps you do not agree with this quote. It may be easier to see and understand by looking at how worry makes you feel, because in the same way that worry is not loving towards another, it is also, not loving towards yourself. Do not take my word for it, just think back when you were worrying about something or someone. How did it make you feel, stressful, uncomfortable, and maybe anxious? Are these loving feelings? Did you feel wrapped in love or suffering? When we take the time to pay attention to what we are feeling we often get the opportunity to change our lives in very positive ways. Unfortunately, we are usually on autopilot and do not pay attention, we only react.

In addition, when we worry we are telling the Divine that we do not trust its guidance and in the same breath, we have lost our faith. You cannot have faith and worry at the same time. It is impossible and if you do not have faith then you certainly do not trust the Universe to provide the highest outcome. In reality, you feel that you need to control what is happening. Unfortunately, you did not have any control to begin with and the only other option was to worry. This causes needless suffering, unless you can release your desire to control the outcome, other person or situation.

Look, I know things do not always go our way, but haven’t they always worked out? Of course they have, and when we settle into that new place, many times the result is greater than we could have imagined. Therefore, the next time you fall into worry, put the brakes on and take a moment to ask yourself if you want to keep worrying or can you just let go. Letting go is the most loving thing you can do for yourself and everyone involved. Remember to notice your feelings, are they loving or not, because this alone can wake you up.

Short and Sweet #173 – Lasting Peace

“Everything you are against weakens you. Everything you are for empowers you.” – Wayne Dyer

I would go on to say that everything you are for only empowers you temporarily and that it is important not to attach to either, but to allow whatever is happening to happen without attachment. From this space, there is no place for disappointment, anxiety or suffering. Happiness comes from being in this place, not from attaching to what empowers you because that may go away too. How do you think you would feel when that happens?

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Short and Sweet #141 – Focus On What Is Different

Too often, our attention remains only on what is wrong in this world and in our lives. Over time, this becomes our view and we wonder if things will ever change. We forget that we live in a universe that is in constant change and we stop looking for this change. From this place, we no longer see what is different, what has changed and what is changing. We begin to feel that things are dull or boring, even hopeless and we perceive this as our normal state.

Simply put everything in this universe is made of energy, from the car you drive, the body you inhabit and the stars above. When all of our attention is focused on what is wrong our energy feeds this pattern, the wrongness. Therefore, we our energetically strengthening the very thing we do not want in our life.

If you want your life to be different then it is important to focus on what you want instead of what you do not want. This does not mean you ignore what is present in your life; however, it is helpful to shift your focus and energy towards what you want. Focusing only on what is wrong makes you feel more hopeless and anchors it more deeply into your life.

How do you begin to make this shift when things are turned completely upside down in your life? On the other hand, how about when things are going well and life seems to flow with ease, perhaps you have become complacent on your journey without even knowing it. No matter where your life is, you begin this shift by noticing what is different, no matter how subtle. Notice I did not say better, but different. This is an important distinction because change and growth is not always pain free because of our own resistance to it. When we begin to see what is different we recognize that things are changing. This begins to bring hope back into our lives once again and this energy feeds our desire for something different to occur. With the right intention different will always lead to better with patience and persistence.

In the end, you are the only one who can look for what is different in your body, life and the world. It is always there however, you are free not to see it and continue to focus on what is wrong. This is a moment-by-moment choice sometimes. What will choose today, tomorrow or even this very moment?

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What’s on your mind? I am always open to questions and comments or for a healthy and supportive discussion about these topics.

Short and Sweet #138 – Human Misery

When we look at human misery, we see two kinds when only one exists, that is our personal misery and everyone else’s. Misery is constant for some, while others only experience it at specific times and then there are those who see it fluctuate in and out of their lives every day.

Many bring the misery of others into their own lives and then suffer because of it. Then there are those who feel compassion for what is happening to someone far away but will not feel this misery in their own lives. Still others fall into misery because they feel close to a situation or energetically connected even if it is happening thousands of miles away. Moreover, there are those who are impacted more by what is happening to someone else than in their own life. They feel they have no control over what is happening and this overwhelms them in their personal life.

The mind tells many of us that someone else’s misery is separate and different from our own. However, the truth is that all misery is rooted in a singular connection to the creative energy of the universe. If we want our misery and the misery of others to stop, then we must change our understanding of how things work. We must realize that when misery shows up in our lives whether personally, to a friend or halfway around the world it is a reflection of our inner state. The perceptions, beliefs and social conditioning that we have accumulated over our lifetime will reinforce the false belief that it is separate from us or that nothing can be done about it in our own lives.

It will be impossible to recognize this when you try to identify it through your own thinking-self. Because the mind will always confirm that your perceptions, beliefs and conditioning are correct, unless you begin to awaken to the False-Self that spins these tails. Better yet, awaken to the True-Self, which will shine a light on the shadow of the False-Self and allow you to let it go.

Question what your thoughts automatically tell you or confirm. Know that if you see misery anywhere that you can help release it by self-inquiry. Look deeply within because it is there that healing will occur. Once you release it completely you will not see it anywhere because it will no longer be created. Know that whatever you release from within will change you and everyone else. In addition, know that you are always safe and can face whatever comes up from within. All ways lead to the True-Self if you seek from awareness. From this place, there are no wrong choices.

 

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What’s on your mind? I am always open to questions and comments or for a healthy and supportive discussion about these topics.