Responsibility to create and realize your Heaven on Earth

Heaven beyond human life is a bit inconceivable…just as the things we consider ‘miracles’ are nothing to the Power that created it all.  Whatever we ask for is small time in comparison to creating the entire universe.  Similarly, designing and discovering our Heaven on Earth probably isn’t all that big a deal for the One Power either.

And why is it our responsibility to realize our Heaven on Earth?  Well…whatever created us gave us awesome powers, including the ability to perceive and create beauty, as well as the ability to feel good and to smile and laugh and play abundantly and sing and dance with joy.  So, there’s a lot of fun to be had on this planet.  It can even turn into a total Funfest if we let go of our inhibitions and embrace the moment.  Alas, many ways to have fun and to enjoy, and because of this it seems reasonable that what created us wants us to experience the fun and joy that is at our disposal.

So then, as far as you can imagine, what would be something like your Heaven on Earth?  Earl Nightingale defined success as the progressive realization of your worthy ideal, and Heaven just seems to be another word for your worthy ideal.  What’s your worthy ideal?  What’s your Heaven?

The wonderful thing that as we progressively realize our Heaven, our Heaven expands and opens to even more possibilities.  We might begin by thinking our Heaven is any reality in which we’re doing work that we love, and then once we begin doing work that we love, our vision of Heaven expands to include more ideal circumstances.  Hence, the realization is always progressive.

My Heaven…also a Heaven I’d think would be wonderful for everyone…

is a community where people live simply and sanely, content with just a few material possessions, fully believing, realizing, and knowing that the treasures truly are in Heaven, and the best things in life are free.  The people in this community cherish the gifts we’ve been freely and abundantly given at birth, including in the ability to train and control the mind and body to realize Peace and Happiness and Love and all those worthy ends that we desire, that are pure and good for all.

This is a community where people desire God, people seek God, and people know God.  And perhaps we even know our interconnectedness and essential oneness, if that is the truth.  We freely and fearlessly express ourselves, connect deeply with each other, and laugh and play and sing and dance abundantly.  We also spend time studying the great texts of the world, including the leading texts of various religious traditions, embracing that “Truth is One and paths are many,” so we seek a holistic understanding and knowledge.

We eat whole, healthy, foods in community, praying and giving thanks together.  Appreciating the every day gifts!  Cherishing the abundance!

And we listen deeply to what is being said by each other and by the universe and by God. We listen to our hearts and trust the voice within.  We seek to know the Truth and serve in the Light of Truth, to heal, and to evolve.  Also, nothing is wrong with growing in gratitude and joy and laughter, tuning into the Cosmic Joke, God’s Divine Play, lila.  

We spend time together in stillness and silence, working together to train our monkey minds and becoming more peaceful and loving towards all.

We also enjoy nature abundantly and connect and revere all forms of life.

That is Heaven, for me.  Oh yeah, and we accept and enjoy every moment, always grateful!  So really, this moment is Heaven.  It’s independent of the external circumstances.  We realize underneath every pain, adversity, and / or suffering, there is a seed of goodness .  It’s all for good!

Awesomely enough, the ashram where i’m headed off to live for a few months, if not a few lifetimes, harmonizes with many of the qualities of Heaven listed above, if not all of them.  So i’m excited to see how my understanding of Heaven continues to evolve as it becomes realized more abundantly.  Who knows!

And as much as part of me is tempted to bring no books or notecards or anything with, simply armed with the water bottle labeled, “Love and Gratitude,” the ultimate Truth being simple and pure, for now i’ll have some books with me :)  Although, always open to change, and before i head out the door maybe i’ll leave all the books.   It’s a mystery!

Either way, immense love and gratitude for everyone and everything who has been part of the journey thus far.  And i realize the journey continues indefinitely.  In some ways we can start anew, and we die and are reborn each day, even each moment, and also it’s all cumulative.  Meanwhile, we can always accept complete, unconditional forgiveness of all that’s past and embrace the present moment while working to abundantize the future.  I am at peace with the past and love it for all that it has offered and continues to offer as i occasionally reflect and find new nuggets of gold.  It’s all so abundant!  So much learning, so much growth, so much goodness.

Ah, freedom.  The truth shall set us free! :)  Free to enjoy always, it’s abundant!

For now, Hallelujah!

And let’s continue to create our Heaven as much as we can.  God wants the best for us :)

 

What’s a religious life?

Basic theory…

a religious life, or a religious moment, is one experienced with appreciation, gratitude, or reverence. The more moments of appreciation and gratitude and reverence we experience throughout the day, the more we’re living religious lives.

Religion is about appreciating / revering / being grateful for life despite all the trials and tribulations.  Remembering that after so many storms give birth to abundant rainbows.

What does it mean to seek first the kingdom of God and His Righteousness?

My theory is…

In the Kingdom of God, you feel good, all the time.
So, feel good. When you feel good, you’re connected with the Kingdom.
And the ways to really feel wonderful involve prayer, meditation, and/or expressing gratitude. Essentially, we feel good in a whole, natural way by being aware of God and the abundance of gifts.

Once you’ve sought and found the kingdom of God and are feeling good, you act.
Feel harmonized, aligned – feel good! – then act.
If you don’t feel good and act, you might do some silly stuff.
But, if you prioritize feeling good, and then act, you’re actions will be in harmony with the goodness that you feel internally.
Essentially, take care of yourself first, and then take care of the world.

Ensure that you feel good, then whatever actions you take in the world will generate more feelings of goodness.

You can only give what you have, so have the feelings of goodness within and then send them out to the world by staying attuned and in harmony with those good feelings. Good feelings are like God-feelings :)

What is Most Helpful to the Most People?

Hmm.  Sounds like a highly extraverted / yang question.  Like…”What’s the most I can do?” or “How can I best serve the Highest Good of All?”

And yet, the mind returns to the words of Howard Thurman: “Don’t ask what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Perhaps Mr. Thurman is right.  If so then, the question to ask would be, “What makes me come alive?”  And also, to answer that ask, “What does it look like / feel like for me to come alive?”

To speculate on Mr. Thurman’s words, “coming alive” could look like a smiling, joyful human doing creative work, engaging in a focused way, enjoying every bit of it.  All the while, the one who has “come alive” remains connected with Higher Purpose and a sense of destiny, clearly aware and understanding of how present moment activity is serving to create a more abundant future for oneself and everyone, bringing more love and peace and joy and health and happiness and harmony, higher consciousness and awareness to all.

“Coming alive,” then, might be called that enthusiastic state when your activity is goal-oriented while also enjoying the process.  Not only is it goal-oriented, but you’re also aware of how you’re serving the entire universe and all creation by your thoughts and actions, so that you are at complete peace and feel whole in your actions, intentions, and direction you are heading.  Success, defined as the progressive realization of a worthy ideal, in this case, means that your worthy ideal is one that serves everyone and everything in a wonderful way.  Your actions are connected to serving the good of all, and in this way – selfless.  And in the selflessness, or self-forgetfulness, you have so much peace every step of the way.

Alrighty then!  So the one who has “come alive” has a clear sense of Higher Purpose and joyfully serves the whole, the All.  And why would they serve the All?  Perhaps, because in some way, they identify with Oneness or Unity Consciousness, understanding the interconnected of us all, like we are all children of God, or whatever other language you might like to use.  So what’s good for me is good for you, and what’s good for you is good for me.  We are One!  And life supports life, and with this perspective it’s easy to want to serve everyone and everything, because ultimately that is serving you.  So selfishness or selflessness is somewhat of an illusion, because ultimately it’s all just the One Self.  Unity!  Or, to use language from an eastern tradition, everything exists in the Tathagata Storehouse.  And, if you’d like, All is well in the Tathagata Storehouse :-)

If the answer to “What’s best for the world?” is “Whatever makes you come alive,” then this sounds very much like Gandhi’s prescription, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”  No matter how much is going on in the world, all we can ever most directly influence is our own experience of reality; our thoughts, our feelings, our actions.  So the best thing we can do for all the world and all creation is to be our personal best; to utilize the gifts we’ve been given responsibility and power over in love and service to the Highest Good of All.  To use the mind and body and heart and soul with love and wisdom, that is our task.  To think good thoughts, to take good actions, to send love and gratitude to everyone and everything we come into contact with, to constantly feel good and generous and appreciative for this wonderful gift of life, perhaps this is our mission.  To orient our thinking towards answering the question, “What can I give?” and “How can I serve in this Present Moment?” maybe this is something we can strive for.  To free ourselves from attachment to dogma and thinking that things should be a certain way, and to move into a more accepting attitude towards each and every moment, ultimately embracing the mystery of existence and cherishing whatever before us – this sounds like a worthy endeavor.  To move beyond judging people and instead choose to accept and love everyone no matter what, and to see the Holy Spirit and the Beauty and Goodness in All – let us train ourselves to live in this reality!  To stop demanding so much, and instead be grateful for the simple things, even just to enjoy breathing – we can do this!

Another one of my favorite eastern sayings is “Wu Wei,” which can be translated to mean, “In doing nothing, one accomplishes much,” or even, “In doing nothing, one accomplishes everything.”  Think about how many ‘problems’ come from us taking actions and consuming things; how much destruction comes from human activity!  Yet, we create a lot of goodness as well, but wouldn’t this seem like a more peaceful, loving, and holy world if we all spent more time ‘doing nothing?’  That is, what if we all spent more time simply sitting, listening, maybe looking at a flower, or the beauty in another person?  Wouldn’t we all consume less and want less if we want spent more time sitting in stillness and silence?  Maybe there’s a tendency for us to look for peace and happiness in the external world, but isn’t there also a possibility that we have immense riches and an entire kingdom within ourselves?

Recently, Thich Nhat Hanh’s wisdom of “Breathe, smile, and go slowly,” has began to resonate with me again.  Especially going slowly.  It can be hard to really appreciate what is before us and the miracle of this present moment when we go quickly.  Literally, physically moving the body quickly makes it much more challenging for us to look at anything and see the beauty in it.  It also makes it harder for us to truly listen to all the sounds around us, or to hear the sound within us, the breathe and the heart.  When we drastically slow down, either to the point of stillness or moving at a sloth’s pace, it becomes much easier to create good feelings in the body and to appreciate all that is before us and within us.  Going slowly, it also becomes easier for us to direct our thoughts to whatever elevates us or brings us a sense of peace.  Going slowly, we can reconnect with what matters most and cherish all the gifts of life and consciousness.

Physically moving the body slowly can be very difficult.  Ironically enough, it’s hard to go slowly.  Perhaps one of the best ways to begin would be to challenge yourself to do for 30 days a time, no excuses!  Spend 5 minutes a day for 30 days in a row, either sitting still or moving the body very slowly, whether it be a slow walk or slowly curling and uncurling the fingers, or just witnessing the breath – give yourself the gift of observing the miracle of the body, and to revel in how amazing it is that the body can do anything, and how much works of the body occur without conscious understanding.  By doing this, we can become aware the intelligence of the universe (perhaps the Mind of God) that works in us and through us and is a part of us.  And we grow in appreciation of the gift of the body that is with us always, at least – so long as we are embodied ;-)  The miracle of the present moment becomes all the more apparent, and we realize that we truly have everything we need to enjoy our here and now.

What does the world need?  What makes you come alive?

Joy!  Feeling joyous and grateful life itself, for the gift of the mind and the body, just for being in the here and now!  What more do we really need than this moment?  Isn’t consciousness enough for here?  Isn’t consciousness enough for now?

The first three words I received from What Is when I asked for three words I could commit my life to: “Hallelujah. Listen. Relax.”

Grateful for this present moment and for life – praise God!  Praise Goodness!  Then we simple listen to what is happening all around us and within us.  Listen to the body, listen to the mind, listen to nature, listen to conscience, listen to What Is.  And relax, because fundamentally we know all is well.  All is mysterious, all is!  All is, we are, somehow – someway – it happened, and we’re it!  Ah, mystery!  Relax in the listening and in the gratitude for the miracle of life itself.  The present moment offers more than enough for us to enjoy.

So perhaps the best thing we can all do for the world and all creation is to enjoy.  Enjoy, enjoy enjoy.  Live in a state of joy.  Love everything, including your physical body, mind, and all that you are.  Cultivate the gifts.  Seek knowledge that enlightens, empowers, and liberates.  Seek Peace Within, and remember to enjoy the present moment.  Or, as it’s been said, “Follow your bliss.”  Oddly enough, following your bliss might require courage, it might require you to overcome a fear or two or twenty.  Overcoming fear can be tricky business.  Alas, you can always just let fear go, and it goes.  Drop the burden and there is no one there to carry it.  Instead of fearing, you can choose to enjoy.  And detach from the fear, even detach from overcoming it, and realize that anything that you want to do ‘in the world,’ is unnecessary.  There is nothing we can do to earn the love of God of the support of the universe.  Our very existence and our awesome powers of consciousness and awareness assure us that we are loved and cared for and forgiven no matter what – and in this way there is really nothing for us to do.  Just enjoy.  And enjoying comes in abundance with a remembrance and awareness that we are unconditionally loved and forgiven, always and forever.  What created us cares for us each and every moment.  And, what created us is powerful enough to create the entire universe, so certainly it’s powerful enough to satisfy any of our individual needs and desires.  In fact, what created us is powerful enough to bring us what is perfect for us, each and every moment.  In this way, the Present Moment is perfect for us.  It offers us everything we need, including the perfect message for our learning, growth, evolution, and movement towards higher consciousness and awareness.  To grow in love and gratitude for the Here and Now, maybe this is our mission!  “All you ever need for fulfillment in life is awareness.”  Our task is to remain aware of the awesome, limitless creative power that brings us into the here and now and created all of it, and with this awareness we can live in a constant state of love, gratitude, and always joy.

It is in the breathe :-)

Hallelujah!  Listen. Relax.

 

p.s.  In many ways, what the world doesn’t need is more books.  Or more words, for that matter.  The highest truths have been written over and over again.  Less common is it for them to be spoken from one to another, and even less common is for them to be lived.  And what does it look like for them to be lived? It looks like love!  It looks and feels like joy and gratitude in abundance!

So then, why do i choose to write?  This writing is done in a state of joy, with feelings of love and gratitude and appreciation.  And it helps train this consciousness to be more conscious and aware and to love more.  And it is creative expression, which i think is one of the reasons we human bodies are here, and it’s one of the ways we enjoy.

Instead of writing to write, this is more of writing to enjoy.  And enjoying while writing.  It’s not so much about the what we do as it is the how.  “Do it with joy or not at all!”  Begin with how you’re feelings, feel good!, and allow that feeling to move you towards whatever action.  Stay with the good feeling though :)  and whatever actions follow will inevitability be good as well.  Prioritize the vibration!  Vibrate abundantly, joyously, lovingly, gratefully.  Be the abundant human magnet and attract so much goodness into your world.

My Favorite Teachings from the Bible

“Ask and it shall be given unto you. Seek and you shall find. Know and the door shall be opened unto you.”

“Perfect love casts out fear.”

“Be cheerful for I have overcome the world.”

“He that believeth on me, the works that I do he shall do also; and greater works shall he do.”

“Store up treasures in Heaven…for your treasures are, there your heart will also be.”

“Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Hallelujah! All we have to do is ask and receive. How simple and wonderful!

Of course, our asking and receiving is most effective when we are aligned with the will of God, which is the Perfect Love.

When we ask with Perfect Love, we are seeking first the Kingdom of God, and surely we shall receive abundantly :-)

Meanwhile, we realize that the very best things in life were given to us for free. The mind, body, heart, all that goodness, is free! Hence, the treasures are in Heaven. Care for the mind, care for the body, care for all the free gifts and cherish them. “A good man can lose his fortune and make a new one in no time at all.” When our treasures are in Heaven, in the heart and in the mind, the material world becomes a playground, and no moth or rust can destroy our treasures, nor can thieves break in and steal. For our treasures are in Heaven!

So we are commanded to be cheerful! For why not? We have our treasures in Heaven, and Jesus serves as an example for our ability to accomplish miracles, and he then tells us that we can also do this and even more! He has overcome the world, and so can we. It’s just a matter of remembering that we can choose love, and perfect love casts out fear, and remembering to store up our treasures in Heaven, not on earth. So many reasons to be cheerful :-)

Instruction Manual for Life Pt. 1

1.  Enjoy Breathing.  Know God.

After some consideration, these two are largely one in the same. When we realize that we’ve been given the gift and the power to choose to enjoy our breath, something that is always with us, then we discover the freedom to enjoy each and every moment.  It is always a choice.  Given this great power, to consciously choose to enjoy each and every moment, it seems that the true nature of however we came to be must be inherently good.    Therein we discover God :-)

How do you enjoy breathing?  Associate something wonderful with it, like God, gratitude, life, vitality, healing, consciousness, peace, love, joy, friendship, support, etc.  The breath is a resource given to each and every human being, and through practice, we can train ourselves to enjoy our breath, even every breath.  Since the breath is with you each moment, you can then enjoy each moment!  Ahhhh wouldn’t that be wild…to enjoy every single moment?

The first step to enjoying breathing is awareness of breathing.  So inhale deeply through the nose, become conscious of breathing, and smile, and release abundantly in gratitude :-)

“Seek first ye the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness,” means seeking Heaven.  What is the nature of Heaven?  If Heaven is anything like a present moment experience of joy, peace, love, bliss, then our mission is to create that reality while we are here on earth.  The more we enjoy and help all enjoy, the more we are seeking that Kingdom of God and realizing it.

When we are happy, joyous, peaceful, loving, grateful, we are living in the Kingdom.  And the more we experience the Kingdom, the more we naturally share the Kingdom and help others find the Kingdom.  More significant than ‘learning’ about the Kingdom via books and people, our experience of the Kingdom inspires, liberates, and leads all more abundantly to the Kingdom.  It’s not what we know but how we live.  We teach and lead primarily by example.

One Relationship

As much as there are individual human beings on this lovely planet earth, we are only ever in one relationship. Hence, we find that our positivity or negativity is contagious and might be carried with us throughout the day.

We know people who are optimists and those who are pessimists. It’s an outlook on life. This view of life and the world ripples out to all of our ‘individual relationships’ and moment-to-moment experiences. Our view of the world, or paradigm, is what determines how we perceive reality, and our paradigm is a relationship we are in all the time. It is really the one relationship we have with reality.

Different people may draw out different aspect of ourselves and stir us to feel one way or another, but ultimately whatever we experience is contained within the confines of our paradigm, our worldview, our belief system. Change your paradigm and everything changes. As i read the other day in a book by Dr. Wayne Dyer, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

Believing is seeing. What we believe we will see. And those beliefs ripple out to color every experience we have in life – from now, to here, to here and now, to now :-)

The paradigm / worldview / belief system can also be called our relationship with Reality. What do we believe is real? And whatever you believe, you’ll likely find convincing evidence for it. That’s when pragmatism is fairly useful: believe that which returns results that you prefer. So…pronoia, believing people exist to hep you, is a much more pragmatic belief than paranoia.

….
Interestingly enough, before beginning this post i thought it would be more a God-filled message, but currently it seems to be more intellectual and using reason…oh well ;-) Love is everywhere!
….
The relationship we have with the Reality can also be called the relationship with Truth, the relationship with the Universe, or the relationship with God / God’s Creation. We can view this relationship as a holy one, as sacred, as divine – and as i read this morning – a reverential relationship.

Instead of an I-and-It relationship, it can be I-and-Thou, a relationship of reverence. (An idea accredited to Martin Buber)
….
Walimg yesterday, embracing the “Peace is Every Step” way, synchronizing my breath with my steps and mentally repeating “Peace” with every step, until i saw an address #1234. Thanks to a friend, whenever i see basically any numbers in sequence i think “Priorities! What are my priorities?” Numbers are a way i think God/the universe communicates to us.

So when i saw these numbers and was reminded of priorities, i initially laughed, thinking something like “Come on God! I’m thinking about Peace, you’re telling me that’s not a priority?”

Eventually i decided that to sing and enjoy the gift of the present moment was more of a priority than internally experiencing the Peace. So I started to sing/chant a simple line first gleaned from Albert Schweitzer, “Reverence for Life.”

As i walked past trees and grass and flowers, looking all around me, i moved into a state of reverence for all the life. And i was so present! Ah, being present is wonderful.

The One Relationship we are in is always in the Present Moment. Our relationship with the Present Moment is all-encompassing. Sure, people can effect it, but ultimately we have the power within us to be aware of the relationship with the whole that we are always in.

No matter the external conditions, we can be in a reverential relationship. We can be in an abundant, loving, grateful, joyous relationship with our Here and Now. It’s a choice. And when we make that choice over and over again, we start living in that reality naturally.

This same principle of One Whole Relationship with Reality and the Present Moment also applies to how we experience abundance in our lives. If we presumably think we have a fairly abundant social life do not experience financial abundance, then really we’re limiting ourselves in all dimensions of our lives. Because life as an integrated process! Life does not separate itself; it is whole. So if you want to experience abundance financially, experience abundance socially! And experience abundance mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually – realize the entire Reality is superabundant and provides more than enough of everything you need to enjoy your Here and Now. It is so abundant!!!

Or sure, you could see it as scarce. It’s simply a matter of perception. Neither perception is necessarily right or wrong – we are free to subjectively experience reality however we choose. When we’re conscious of this awesome freedom and power to choose, though, i don’t really know why anyone would choose scarcity ;-) Abundance is way more fun! And even finding a single penny on the sidewalk can be a totally abundant experience if you let it be. Express gratitude for the abundance already in your life and for the abundance you are experience right here and right now and the abundance will continue to grow and multiply!

One of my favorite quotes from Bob Proctor, “All you will ever need for fulfillment in life is awareness. Just so, all you will ever need for abundance in life is awareness. Shift.

And remember, we’re all only in one Relationship with the Entirety of What Is, Here and Now :-)

God is Good Hallelujah!

Or, as my dad likes to say, “All is well.”