The Key to Happiness

Hallelujah ūüôā

Happiness is not dependent on anything outside of ourselves.  The Source of Happiness is Within.  We need not go looking for Happiness Рit is with us always.

To access this ever-present Happiness, the key is – awareness. ¬†As Bob Proctor says, “All you will ever need for fulfillment in life is awareness.” Similarly, all you will ever need for happiness in life is awareness.

What is awareness?  You can think of awareness as the prevailing context of life which you experience.  Awareness is similar to our attitude.  For happiness, focus awareness on the Presence of Happiness.  Act as if Happiness is already present, and soon it will reveal that it has, in fact, always been present.  It is not anywhere outside, but it is entirely within and accessible every moment.

Another way to access this ever-present Happiness is to shift one’s attitude. ¬†The attitude represents the context which we think we live in. ¬†Do we play the role of victim regularly? ¬†Or do we own responsibility for everything we do, or even for everything others do too? ¬†The level of responsibility we accept in our lives reflects the level of empowerment we feel, which reflects our attitude. ¬†Everything reflects! ¬†The more we accept responsibility for everything about our lives, the more we own the Reality that awareness of Happiness and the experience of Happiness is a choice we can make moment-to-moment-to-moment.

To cultivate an attitude of Happiness, focus on the positive. ¬†The mind is a double-edged sword. ¬†It can be used to invent¬†atom bombs or cure disease. ¬†It is up to us how we put it to use. ¬†The mind is a tool for us to use – so let us rise to the level of responsibility where we train the mind to be used only for good. ¬†To train the mind to live in an awareness of Happiness, look for the good in everyone and everything. ¬†Look for the Beauty. Honor the Sacredness. ¬†We need not focus on people’s negative qualities. ¬†We can choose to focus on all the things we admire in others – and if we keep on looking – we will certainly find things to admire in everyone and everything. ¬†We begin to appreciate everything around us, and feelings of appreciation uplift us to higher realizations of Happiness. ¬†We can look at a trash can as trash or we can see it as a Divine Sculpture. ¬†It is up to us. ¬†We have that freedom. ¬†Train the mind and all the senses to be aware of that Divine Essence in All, and Happiness is guaranteed.

If Happiness is always available and present, why don’t we continuously experience? ¬†Desires, opinions, judgments – in a word – ego. ¬†The Buddha said the source of all suffering is desires, and desires arise from our opinions and pseudo-knowledge about things. ¬†Really, it is all just ignorance. ¬†We desire things that aren’t really good for us, but we think they are. ¬†The big leap of faith and liberation comes when we say, “Not my will but Thy Will Be Done.” ¬†We trust in God. ¬†We see that the ego/mind is constantly playing a game of sense gratification and selfish gain, and we accept that there is something far greater than these fleeting phenomena. ¬†When we say, “Thy Will Be Done,” we are surrendering our intellectual arrogance and vanity, and in turn we realize our freedom. ¬†One of the greatest reliefs is to fully accept and embrace, “I know nothing!” ¬†Try it out.

When we look at things thinking we know something, we judge them and set them up as good or bad.  Ultimately, we suffer.    The ego loves to have a sense of being right, but the Higher Self can accept all things are equally created and Divine by Nature.

So, the key to Happiness?

Accept it!  It is already present.  Just be aware of it. Enjoy its Presence!

Look for it everywhere in everything.  It is always Present.  Goodness abounds РBeauty abounds!

Trust in God.

 

Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

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For Happiness, Give Up the Selfishness

Hallelujah ūüôā

 

Joy in life comes from living for the welfare of all.” – Gandhi

How does selfish spoil your happiness?

Isn’t focusing on getting and gaining and experiencing things just for ourselves exhausting?

A neat trick for increased energy, perhaps unlimited, is to let go of all selfish concern and align totally with serving and giving.  In a pure, dedicated, devotional spirit of serving and giving, the human vessel becomes like the Energizer Bunny.  It can keep going on and on and on!  Selfless service, giving, and generosity are incredibly energizing.  Connected with a pure intention, we hardly ever need to sleep.  And, when we do sleep, even that sleep is aligned with the pure intention, and we honor that by sleeping we are serving.  Every moment is an opportunity to align with the pure spirit of serving and giving.

Even eating can be performed in a spirit of service. Enjoying the food and being in a relaxed state of peace while eating is a service itself, and the eating can also be understood to nourish the body so that it can continue to serve, physically and mentally.  The spiritual service is every moment, internally a matter of attitude and awareness, and then whatever acts happen externally on the physical plane of the world are just a way that pure internal intention manifests.  Ultimately, the service is in being joyful and peaceful itself, and only goodness can flow from that internal awareness.

Sometimes, in the moment, we might pose the question, “How can I serve?” and we might find it seems like there is nothing externally to be done. ¬†In moments like those, we can simply direct the awareness within, do our best to abide in a peaceful and loving energy field, and perhaps – if you feel so inclined – send out silent blessings to everyone and everything around us. ¬†Silently blessing is a service opportunity available to us every moment. ¬†And when we bless something, it doesn’t even have to be an animate object, much less a human. ¬†We can always bless inanimate objects like computers, mugs, cell phones, sidewalks, etc. ¬†So, as you can see, the opportunities to bless are limitless! ¬†As are the opportunities to serve and give ūüôā

When we align with the spirit of service and giving, we free ourselves from the limited confines of the small human identity.  We realize we are here not just for our small selves, but we are here for the whole.  What good are we if we are not of service to the whole?  If we are only focused on gaining for ourselves and experiencing pleasure for ourselves, who really cares if we are around, anyway?  It is a joy to be a service, and truly the gift is in giving itself.  The giver of a gift is actually the one who receives, because every time we give is an opportunity for us to get outside of our ego and our selfishness and expand our identity to that of a servant of humanity, a spark of the Divine.

Selfish thoughts and acts are painful. ¬†Selfless thoughts are painless. ¬†The Supreme Truth lies beyond both. ¬†“Unselfishness is God,” says Swami Vivekananda. ¬†If God isn’t Supreme Happiness, what possibly could be?

So forget about being happy – in many ways that is a selfish concern. ¬†Rather, just focus on serving and giving and loving, regardless of whatever brings you – just focus on being a servant of all humanity and loving all of life – and all the happiness will follow. ¬†So yes, you might say you are serving to be happy – and really that’s all fine because it all leads us to the same Supreme Truth, and that pure loving energy that is beyond all thoughts and beyond all selfishness.

“The Dedicated ever enjoy Supreme Peace;¬†therefore, live only to serve.”

Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

How to Unconditionally Love; Giving; Joy

Hallelujah ūüôā

Remember the goal of life.  It is not for gain, but for giving.  By giving, we purify the ego and ultimately transcend the illusion of fear and the illusion of separateness and we realize our Oneness with One and All.

Giving, Giving, Giving.

Totally let go of concern about personal gain, and, “What’s in it for me?” ¬†Instead, only think of, “How can I serve? ¬†What can I give?” ¬†Giving, giving, giving.

Let your life always be about giving, every moment focus on it. ¬†Forget about gaining anything for yourself. ¬†Trust that in your alignment with serving and giving every moment, you’ll be provided for by that which you’re serving and giving to. ¬†Ultimately, you are not serving and giving to anyone personally, but you are serving and giving to the All, so the All will take care of you. ¬†Trust completely – and through direct experience, by totally alignment with a spirit of service, giving, and generosity – very soon you will know beyond a doubt that you are taken care of.

As the saying goes, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and all else shall be added unto you.” What do you think is the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness? ¬†The Kingdom of God is freedom from all fear, and all fear arises from the illusion of separateness, thinking that we have to focus on gaining for ourselves to survive and keep on living. ¬†In the Kingdom of God, we are free from all fear and sense of separateness; we are One and Eternally Safe and Supported. ¬†And what happens when we know we are Eternally Safe? ¬†His Righteousness! ¬†What is His Righteousness? Giving, giving, giving. ¬†Serving, loving, giving.

When we really we are safe and supported no matter what, then we give up the silliness of focusing on personally gaining and acquiring things for ourselves; we realize the great joy and freedom of living only to serve the entire creation and all humanity. ¬†We transcend all petty-mindedness and connect with our True Nature which is in everyone and everything. ¬†There is nothing to fear. ¬†There is simply joy waiting forever, waiting for us to realize it when we surrender our ego and our fear and open to the grace and glory of God – which is the freedom from worry over any ‘person,’ and instead living for the sake of living, because living is inherently joyful. ¬†Only when the ego stirs up all kinds of stories and dwells on the past and worries about the future do we lose touch with the inherent Joy always present.

Joy is ever present, available to us always. ¬†It is what we are. ¬†We don’t have to do anything for joy. We simply have to be aware to not get caught in any illusions that would disturb our awareness of the Joy. ¬†One of the grand mistakes and illusions that catch so many people is thinking that happiness is outside of ourselves. ¬†We project happiness and value onto things, people, experiences, etc. ¬†We think happiness is something to be gained in the world, when really it is always within us. ¬†It is our True Nature. ¬†Nothing outside can bring us happiness.

As Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj says, “Happiness dependent upon anything is utter misery.” ¬†At the very least, it is rude for us to attribute the source of our joy and happiness to another person or anything outside of ourselves. ¬†Imagine projecting all your happiness onto a relationship with another person….how stressful that would become! ¬†We think, “Only if I’m in a relationship with this person in this way can I be happy…otherwise I’ll be miserable.” ¬†Truly, we’re already making ourselves miserable if we’re thinking that way.

It is sad to think how we can so easily lose touch with our happiness because things don’t seem to be the way we want them. ¬†Such is the nature of the mind that is programmed to keep an animal alive. ¬†It is always focusing on gaining and experiencing pleasure. ¬†It fears for its own life. ¬†Poor little ego mind! With higher awareness, we can melt the ego with compassion, and let it know truly there is nothing to far. Through direct experience, we can educate the ego and awaken it to the great joy in giving, the joy that is always present and reveals itself whenever we let go of focusing on our own wellbeing and instead, focus on others. As Gandhi says, “Joy in life comes from living for the welfare of all.”

 

Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

 

Give Thanks; Love Your Enemies

Hallelujah ūüôā

Realize that the goal of life is something like spiritual growth, which means aligning more and more with Truth and the Power of Love.  The goal, ultimately, is to become increasingly more loving, to the point where our love becomes unconditional.

In times of challenge and adversity, that is when our ability to love is tested most. ¬†Can we love someone who is being mean, even hateful? ¬†Yes! ¬†It is possible. ¬†“Hatred does not cease by hatred; hatred ceases only by Love,” says the Buddha. ¬†Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” ¬†It is perhaps the greatest challenge to love those who seem to wrong us or do ill to us, and the greatest challenge to love in those circumstances is also the greatest gift, because in those moments we have the opportunity to truly be channels for Divine Love, Infinite Love. ¬†In those moments of greatest challenge, we can embody the Pure, Unconditional, Love of God. ¬†Of course, we can embody that Love all the time, but in those moments it becomes particularly clear whether we are divinely loving or not.

How can we be unconditionally, divinely loving in the time when it seems like all our buttons are being pushed at once, when it feels like we’re being hated and wronged in every way?

One of my favorite ideas around love is the idea of agape. ¬†I understand agape to mean a love for another not based on what they have or what they do or who they are, but a love for the infinite potential and divine essence of the other. ¬†Whether or not that other is currently being a totally open channel for the Holy Spirit and God’s Love and Will is not our issue to discern or not – we simply acknowledge that everything has that capacity, and we love for love everything for that capacity. ¬†The Divinity of all shines forth. ¬†Even if another seems hateful, we Love because we know they have the capacity to be a perfect channel for Divine Love, because they are Divinely created, and even we love them because by being hateful, they are giving us all the greater opportunity to practice unconditionally, universally, divinely loving. ¬†It is easy to love virtuous and happy people, and we know we’re making progress when we find ourselves experiencing immense love and compassion even for those who seem wicked and hateful. ¬†We can have divine compassion for them and for all humans dealing with the human condition. ¬†It is not easy!

Ultimately, we can realize that everyone is our teacher, and they are teaching us love. ¬†We can see that those who have caused us the greatest challenges in our lives are truly the greatest gifts from God. ¬†They give us that crystal clear opportunity to practice unconditional love, or to become all the more brutally aware of our blocks to love. ¬†Are we really going to withhold our love from someone because they are screaming or yelling or cursing? Because they call us names or steal from others or hurt others? ¬†Have we not done the same? ¬†As Jesus said to those who were ready to stone the prostitute, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” ¬†We have all trespassed against the natural law of Love, have we not? ¬†So we can have compassion for ourselves and for all – and we can see that none of the sin is really personal – it is just a result of the human condition. ¬†We love and have compassion for all embarked on the journey of life with the human condition – and we can choose to love no matter what, connected with the divine essence present with them always.

We love our enemies because they are our greatest teachers and provide the greatest opportunity to practice unconditional love.  Our love does not have to be dependent on anything.  Even to those that hate us, we can seek to give them something, to be generous toward them, and to love them.  That is true freedom, peace, and joy.

We can always give thanks for the grand opportunity we have to love, to give, to serve.

Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

The Role of Jesus in Our Life

Hallelujah ūüôā

Life, like energy, cannot be created or destroyed.  It can only change forms.

Anyway…

Jesus!

As Dr. David R. Hawkins says, “We don’t have to become Jesus or Buddha.” ¬†Rather, we acknowledge their presence already. ¬†According to muscle testing research, ¬†Jesus Christ is within all of us, now.

So, rather than giving ourselves 50 lashes and fasting for weeks as a form of penance for not being completely like Jesus, we simply acknowledge His Presence.

To be continued…

God Willing!

Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

Leading Guided Meditation Part 2

Hallelujah ūüôā

This morning, after leading a guided meditation, a few key points became clear.

  1.  A proper introduction to the practice is most valuable!  In addition to explaining the process for the practice this morning, also offer an explanation of how they can take this practice home with them and practice by themselves.
    1. Let the students know that you’ll be practicing various techniques, and hopefully one of the techniques resonates with them so that they can take it home with them and practice regularly. ¬†Let them know that an ‘Om’ will signify the beginning of a new technique.
      1. Also, let them know that all the techniques are tools that we eventually need to let go of. ¬†The tools are to calm the mind, but ultimately the process of meditation takes us beyond the mind completely, so we don’t want to be attached to the tools, but keep them in their proper place. ¬†The tools are there to serve us, not we to serve them. ¬†They help us train the mind so that we become its master rather than slave.
  2. After each practice, bring closure. ¬†For example, if the focus is on the sound of the breath and listening to the breath, consider a transitional statement and guidance going forward with the practice, rather than just ending the practice with an ‘Om.’
  3. Before beginning: remind them that everything worth while takes time.  No one has bypassed the mind the first time.  So the process of practicing concentration and meditation is like training an innocent puppy.  As we practice, we are not to set up thoughts/the ego as an enemy, but rather see it as totally innocent, and melt it with compassion and understanding.  We can see the ego/thinking process identifies with the animal body and is concerned with its survival Рwhich in many ways is a totally reasonable concern.  So, instead of condemning the ego and the thought process, we just witness it and melt it with compassion.
    1. Progress in concentration and meditations happens daily and naturally and benefits when the welfare of the calmness of mind is taken into consideration regarding all activities of daily life: from food choices to conversations to movies to music.  Everything adds up and either contributes to our peace of mind or its disturbance.
    2. When first beginning practice, don’t expect anything. ¬†Just commit to practice out of a sincere interest in the truth, freeing oneself from the illusion that happiness is something to be gained externally, and to confirm the spiritual teachings directly via one’s own experience (e.g. The Kingdom is Within).
    3. Inspire them! ¬†Give the students all the inspiration they need – but be weary of slipping into a preaching mode. ¬†Be sure to speak sincerely and enthusiastically but not preaching. ¬†Meditation is not so much about what is heard but what is unheard, so even as they listen to instruction they can listen to the silence out of which all sound arises. ¬†Allow the whole experience to be meditative rather than something intellectual (i.e. the instruction). ¬†Turn giving and listening to the instruction into a meditation itself! ¬†Don’t get intellectual. ¬†Prioritize ‘being’ rather than ‘doing.’
      1. On that note, clarify that the techniques are ‘doing,’ but the end of meditation is pure being. ¬†It is ultimately about being, not doing! ¬†The doing can just help calm and purify the mind, and when the mind is calm and pure it is easier to go beyond it.
    4. Be so clear in your preparation that you know exactly the steps you will guide them through so that you can communicate the plan ahead of time. ¬†Then again, don’t want to burden students with ideas to cling to about future expectations…sooo be weary. ¬†All for fun!
    5. Have fun ūüôā ¬†Enjoy it. ¬†During the whole process, hold an energy of gratitude for the opportunity to give and be of service. ¬†The giver is truly the receiver! ¬†Giving is a great opportunity to grow spiritually – and that is what we are here for!

Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

What is the Truth?

“Put no ahead above your own.” – The Buddha

Whatever is the Truth, know it by your direct experience. ¬†Don’t take anyone’s word for it.

Furthermore, if the Truth means pain and suffering and misery, what’s the point?

So if pain and suffering and misery happens to be the Truth, I might suggest….by all means…defy it!

If Truth doesn’t mean absolute Peace, Happiness, and Freedom, why would we align with it?

So, to pursue the Truth, it might be helpful to operate with the assumption that the Truth is generally positive, even supremely positive.  If you were the Creator of the Universe, what Truth would you create with?  If you have the power to create everything, by what laws would you allow creation to operate with?

Pretend there is no absolute Truth.  Instead, you can pretend you determine the Truth.   What would be the Supreme Truth, according to you?  What would the Supreme Truth be that would really, absolutely and positively serve you best?

Trust that whatever is best for you is actually already the case. ¬†Trust that the Truth of Reality is just that. ¬†Everything that happens is the very best for you. ¬†Test this out with your own direct experience rather than just taking it as mere fact. ¬†How? ¬†Whenever something occurs to you that seems anything less than the very best, question it intensely. ¬†I’m confident that if you dig deeply enough into any event, you can come to se how the event could very well be the absolute best thing for you. ¬†Even stubbing a toe, you can see the benefit in it, and you can see how it served you. ¬†Everything serves you! ¬†Look for it. ¬†Trust in it. Confirm it via your direct experience.

With a certain level of honesty, you can come to agree that it’s best that not everything you wish for comes true. ¬†If everything you thought of instantly manifested in the physical plane, that really wouldn’t serve you.

You’ll find that the way thinking and manifesting and action manifest is actually already perfect. ¬†It is fantastic that our thoughts don’t instantly manifest on the physical plane. ¬†We’d all be in great trouble!

Look for the perfection underlying Creation as it is. ¬†Trust that Creation exists perfectly and serves you perfectly. ¬†It is good it doesn’t give you everything you ask for instantly. ¬†That would be no fun! ¬†See how Creation is optimally fun and optimally conducive for your growth, learning, and spiritual evolution.

“You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free.” Jesus

If Truth binds us, why would we want anything to do with it?  Rather, put absolute freedom, freedom from all fear and worry and anxiety, as the metric for truth.  If it instills fear or worry or anxiety, trust that it is not in alignment with Truth.  Prioritize the Truth РFreedom Рand watch how the fear, worry, and anxiety dissolve.  There is nothing to fear in the Light of Truth.

Gloria in Excelsis Deo!