Maybe…

For the Highest Good – Amen!

The great “maybes” of this journey through life…
Maybe there is more to life than partying, drinking, and getting together with a girl?
Maybe I can learn something from books?
Maybe enjoying the company of people is a skill I can learn?
Maybe there is such a thing as wisdom?
Maybe I can learn wisdom by asking people who I admire?
Maybe I can become more like people I admire by talking to them and spending time with them and copying what they do?
Maybe I can learn something from successful people?
Maybe success is something I can study, be it social success, economic success, health success, spiritual success?
Maybe I can study humor and become more funny, entertaining, and enjoyable to be around?
Maybe I’ll meet some really great people by volunteering?
Maybe whether or not I have fun and enjoy this moment and life is all up to me?
Maybe I have the power to choose to enjoy or not?
Maybe I can learn a lot from homeless people?
Maybe I can experiment with life and do crazy things, if for nothing else than for a good story?
Maybe I would learn something by blindfolding myself for a week?
Maybe I would learn something by fasting for a week?
Maybe I can simplify my life and give away some of my clothes?
Maybe I can wear the same outfit every day, and maybe I don’t have to think about what I wear each day?
Maybe studying philosophy and religion would benefit me?
Maybe I can learn something from Jesus, from Buddha, from the great thinkers and men and women of history?
Maybe there is more to life than winning?
Maybe the world will end soon, so maybe it would be good for me to pursue the Truth?
Maybe I will die soon, so maybe it would be good for me to focus on things I really care about and things and people that really matter to me?
Maybe its a good idea to not take this life for granted and to cherish each day and each moment?
Maybe I can be happy while sleeping on the floor?
Maybe I can be happy without having any money?
Maybe I would learn something valuable by spending a week homeless in New York City?
Maybe I can live the rest of my life without using money?
Maybe I can live each day as if I am in a Heaven on Earth?
Maybe I can align my life with the teachings of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount?
Maybe I can give to the one who asks, and not even need to think about it – and just trust that it is a good idea?
Maybe I can love everyone and everything, unconditionally, no matter what?
Maybe I can forgive everyone, including myself?
Maybe I can let go of all grudges and resentments?
Maybe I can be happy always and enjoy every moment?
Maybe this is eternity? and if this is eternity, maybe it would be a good idea for me to start enjoying it?
Maybe I am One with Everything?
Maybe God is All That Is?
Maybe I can know the Truth, and the Truth shall set me free?
Maybe God is taking care of everything?
Maybe the world is fine just as it is, and it is not my duty to save the world?
Maybe I am free already, and maybe the only thing that binds me are thoughts of desire?
Maybe desirelessness is perfect bliss?
Maybe I don’t ever have to think again?
Maybe I can let go of everything and trust completely in God?
Maybe I don’t need to be attached or averse to anything?
Maybe I can let come what comes, and let go what goes, and maybe I can remain content the whole time?
Maybe what I really am is invisible?
Maybe all fear is an illusion and not based on truth?
Maybe God is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient?
Maybe God is Love and Peace and nothing else?
Maybe Love & Peace is the ultimate law of the universe?
Maybe the Kingdom of Heaven is Within?
Maybe Peace and Happiness is always within?
Maybe I always have everything I need to enjoy the moment?
Maybe separateness is an illusion?
Maybe scarcity and lack is an illusion?
Maybe adversities are blessings in disguise?
Maybe I am a student and life is the teacher?
Maybe Reality is Perfect already – as it is?
Maybe everything is beautiful?

back to the mundane… 😉

Maybe if I eat healthier foods, I’ll feel better and enjoy life more?
Maybe the quality of the foods I eat do affect the quality of my consciousness and quality of life?

Maybe meditation really is the key to everything?
Maybe the way to have everything is to not want anything?
Maybe everything is occurring spontaneously?
Maybe everyone and everything is already beautiful, perfect, infinitely good, and 100% Divine?
Maybe the greatest service I can offer humanity is feeling peaceful, loving and enjoying what is before me in this moment?
Maybe prayer is powerful and benefits all creation?
Maybe I become what I think about, so maybe I better think some good thoughts?
Maybe the more I give, the more I receive?
Maybe giving to charity and volunteering is the surest way to acquire great wealth?
Maybe ‘Thank you’ is the only prayer I ever need to say?
Maybe God is present everywhere at all times and in all things?
Maybe every hair on my head is already counted?

Maybe cleanliness really is next to godliness?
Maybe an apple a day really does keep the doctor away?
Maybe there really are no great acts, but only small acts done with great love?
Maybe love is a fruit of every season, within reach of every of hand?

Maybe none of these are really questions, and therefore the question mark at the end of all these sayings is not appropriate?

Maybe the key to happiness is giving and contributing to the welfare of all?
Maybe acting selfishly is the dumbest thing I could ever do?
Maybe living only to serve One and All is the best way to live?

Maybe I can be free in this very moment?
Maybe heaven or hell are really within the mind?
Maybe heaven or hell are really only 1/10th of an inch a part?

Maybe desiring to serve the Highest Good is the only desire worth having, or maybe even that isn’t worth it?
Maybe letting go and trusting completely in God is the best way to live?

Maybe we are all here to experiment and explore and to share our experience and thereby we all serve as each others students and teachers and grow together and become healthier, happier, and more peaceful and loving together?

Maybe any beliefs or ideas or dogmas I hold in my mind are totally worthless and I can let them go?
Maybe memories don’t really serve me at all and I can let them go?
Maybe I can let go of everything, and just be fully present with what is?

Maybe as long as I’m doing my best to love everyone and everything, and forgiving myself when I screw up – maybe nothing else matters?

Maybe we really are all doing the best we can, so maybe finding fault in anyone or anything is actually fallacious and maybe it really makes more sense just to feel compassion for us all, suffering in our ignorance?

Maybe life is suffering, and maybe there is an end to suffering?
Maybe Jesus and the Buddha actually knew what they are talking about?
Maybe the guidance offered by Jesus and Buddha is actually worth listening to and following?
Maybe there is infinitely valuable information I have yet to learn?
Maybe there are things I can learn that will greatly enhance all aspects of my life?

Maybe every moment is a blessing and a gift?

Maybe there are greater pleasures in life than food and sex, and maybe if I give up food and sex for just a day even, or 3 days, or 7 days, maybe then I’ll get a taste of the much greater pleasures in life, and perhaps maybe I’ll receive a glimpse of the Kingdom of Heaven within?

Maybe the perfection and glory of God is shining forth, always and forever?

Maybe God is providing perfectly for me and giving me all I need, every moment, moment by moment?

Maybe God is the only thing that is Real?

Maybe the purpose of life is to have fun?

Maybe the purpose of life is to learn and to serve?

Maybe the purpose of life is to unconditionally love?

Maybe the purpose of life is to know and serve God?

Maybe every moment offers a perfect opportunity to love, to enjoy, to celebrate, to melt, to play, to laugh, to smile, to dance, to sing, to be kind, caring, gentle, and compassionate?

Maybe sitting in stillness and silence is a service to the entire Creation?

Maybe thinking good thoughts is a service to the entire Creation?

Maybe, if I ever need help, all I ever have to do is say, “God, please help me!” and I’ll receive all the help I need?

Maybe if I ever need guidance, all I ever have to do is ask for guidance?

Maybe, truly, in order to receive anything, all I ever have to do is ask?

Maybe I can have anything I really want in life?

Maybe life is already complete and total and perfect, and for me to want anything is actually me just being ignorant of the perfection?

Maybe I can take a vow of silence for the rest of my life, and maybe that would be the greatest service I could provide?

Maybe we are one, and we are infinitely powerful?

Maybe we are Love and Peace itself?

Maybe….

OM Shanti

Glory to God in the Highest!

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Deep Rest

For the Highest Good! Amen.

No thoughts – no problems.
Or at least, uplifting thoughts –> uplifted, relaxed consciousness.
Relaxed consciousness = relaxed living.
Relaxed living means low stress.
Low stress means low tension.
Low tension means not much need to rest.

The real thing though is…
going beyond cravings, desires, attachments and aversions.
To give up wanting things, that’s powerful.
To see through the illusion of desires and wants.
To see that desires arise from the illusion that happiness is outside of ourselves.
And then to look within and remember and accept that happiness is truly within.
With that awareness of the Kingdom Within, then the desires for external gain can let go of.
Like opening a fist – unclenching. Free.

Not holding onto things. Not clinging. Not allowing yourself to get caught in the illusion that happiness comes from outside of yourself.
Wear the world like a light garment. Like a cape…for the most part you don’t think about it. It is just there for you, it serves its purpose, but you don’t have to think about it. You are aware of something before you, infinitely greater than the light garment you are wearing. Keep your eyes on the Infinite Greatness, and forget about the light garment of the world you are wearing on your back. Sure, take care of if it gets stuck on a tree or who knows what, but don’t obsess over it.

Exhaustion comes when we look through the glasses of desire, craving, need, and lack.
At any point, we can take off our glasses.
Remove the glasses. The glasses are basically made of thoughts. So take off the glasses and feel that you are taking off the thoughts.
Set the glasses aside. Set the thoughts aside.
Just be aware.
To be aware does not necessitate thinking.

Like seeing a sunset, the best part of the sunset experience is seeing it before the thoughts come in to tell you, “How beautiful is this?”
You see the sunset and there are no thoughts.
There is just awareness.
Only seconds later do thoughts come in to editorialize, “Ah yes, this is a beautiful sunset.”
Yes, it is a beautiful sunset, but the greater beauty is experienced before the thoughts of beauty. Real beauty transcends thoughts, even the thoughts of beauty.

Every moment can be like witnessing the glories of a sunset.
Just keep letting go of the editorializing, the opinions, and the judgments.
Let go. Relax.
Take off the glasses.
Set the thoughts down.
As the saying goes, “Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!”
You’re not asked to think in that process, are you?
No!
You just let go.
You trust completely.
You accept safety, security. You accept goodness. You accept positive intention. You accept opportunity and abundance and fun and wonder before you.
You let go of thinking. You become present. Totally present – free from past and imaginative futures – which really only exist on the level of thoughts.

Real rest.
Like a baby in the arms of the mother.
Like being the sun itself – rather than just a ray of the sun.
We try so hard to individuate ourselves, to perpetuate our sense of separateness and uniqueness.
Why not instead, dissolve into the oneness?
“Know that by knowing which all else is known.”
Know the essence, then you can play with the nonsense.
The sun is the essence, the rays of the sun are the nonsense – yet ultimately it is all the sun.
SO we think we are separate rays of sunlight, but if we look within, we see we all come from the same source.

The sublime…
before the thoughts arise, beauty abounds.
Thoughts arise, beauty remains, but the awareness of it diminishes.
Lift the screen, remove the veil, take off the glasses.
Go to the space that is present before the thoughts arise. Live from there.
See…the thoughts don’t really add much value to life.
Life is far more enjoyable basking in the awareness that is present before thoughts arise.
Thoughts are really more like a burden than anything else.
Is all pain and suffering not just a thought?
No thoughts, no problems.

Of course…
No thoughts is pretty advanced.
So one can start with thoughts of thanksgiving, gratitude, appreciations.
Thoughts of love, peace, prayer, meditation.
Mantra repetition.
Choose one thought and stick to it.
That is giving the mind a great vacation.
So much energy is consumed mentally with all our opinions and judgments.
Instead, just focus on one, uplifting, powerful idea.
Stick to it!
And notice how much more enjoyable life becomes,
and how much more energy you have,
and how much less sleep you need. How much stronger you feel!

I remember – for a while my spiritual practice throughout the day was simply
breathing in Infinite Love
and as exhaling, thinking Infinite Peace
hundreds if not thousands of thoughts a day on
Infinite Love
Infinite Peace
those were good days!
Of course, it was difficult to connect with people,
but at the same time – it really didn’t matter,
because amidst the glories of Infinite Love and Peace,
people take care of themselves.

Glory to God in the Highest!

Learning from Suffering

For the Highest Good! Amen.

Note: Suffering here means any negative experience, if even only for a second, a negative feeling or emotion.

I spent the other day with a friend, and at points throughout the day we laughed uncontrollably and bickered over little things like the merits of tofu and the car AC settings. At one point, I also expressed some frustration and perhaps even projected some blame on my friend and took on the role of playing victim – like how he asked me to go with him to see the doctors and then proceeded to make 5 other stops and spend the whole day out into town. I felt a bit taken advantage of, so to speak. Alas…

Looking back on the day, there were many high points, and my friend shared with me two stories of infinite value that served to demonstrate great spiritual teachings. One of them demonstrated the value of living a simple life and how often having more material possessions can actually seem to decrease from the quality of our life and relationships, and the second story demonstrated how we always reap what we sow, and everything balances in the end, and if we are really being mischievous, we might be scared straight by a big Italian Mafioso character. We are all provided abundant learning opportunities! And there is no escaping the justice of God and the supremacy of Love and Peace as the ultimate law of the universe 🙂

So, sure – throughout the day I felt like I was missing out on opportunities to be of service in other ways or perhaps to earn money or to read and learn new things – but ultimately I did come away from the day with great stories to share and fun memories overall – and was also given great opportunities to practice communicating to my friend my concerns in a non-harmful way. So…the day was really full of opportunities!

When I look back on the day – I can see that the mental suffering I experienced came from several different thoughts / attitudes that are not really in harmony with spiritual truth:
1. I projected lack upon myself, therefore felt the need to be gaining and acquiring material things, and hence felt like I was missing out on earning opportunities.
2. I had a sense that “I know better than this,” and that sense of “knowing” is really in a sense – lack of faith. If I had total faith, I could have relaxed and smiled and enjoyed every moment of the wild ride of events of yesterday. This also led to me setting up dualities of right and wrong, good and bad, etc. which led to a greater sense of separation, feelings of lack, etc.

What else?

Well..I’ll just share where I see the mind wandering…

Perhaps one of the greatest events of the day was when I saw what seemed like a very nice, new-ish BMW pull in to the McDonalds drive-thru. It made me stop and think, “What kind of person is driving a BMW and eating at McDonalds?”
Not to say there is anything wrong with such a person, but it helped me see a bit how much of an illusion pursuing material gain might be, or at least to help me see past it as the be-all and end-all of what it means to be successful and the purpose of human life.
I cannot say this is as a fact from direct experience, but I have a hunch and imagine that there are plenty of wealthy people who have nice cars and luxurious homes who experience far less happiness than I do. Not to say that we are competing for who experiences more happiness, but ultimately our day-to-day happiness is the real game to play and really the only game worth playing. What good is it to play the game of “How much money can I acquire?” if it does not necessarily compliment the game of “How much can I enjoy today? How happy can I be today, all throughout the day, every moment?” That is the game we all really care about! Unfortunately, we are blinded by the lures and seductions of the material world and forgetting that enjoying life matters far more than how many 1s and 0s we have in our bank account.

So, seeing the guy in the BMW was a wake up call for me, reminding me that material gain does not guarantee making smart choices regarding health or happiness. As I heard someone say the other day, “wealth just magnifies what you already are.” So then, rather than concerning about accumulating material wealth, better to concern about becoming loving, pure, peaceful, compassionate, happy, grateful, generous, kind, gracious, happy, fun — so that all that gets magnified 🙂

To learn from suffering,
we must be patient!
We must be willing to endure.
And look for the meaning!
Become a student.
What is the suffering teaching me?
What lesson can I learn from this?
How can this service my spiritual growth and evolution?
How can this suffering progress me on the spiritual path?
How has this suffering exposed my selfishness and my attachments and aversion?
What is this suffering showing me that I need to let go of?
How have I come to forget God? How did I get caught and deluded by the world?
How can I be more loving, more generous, more peaceful, more content, more compassionate, more kind, more grateful?
What do I need to remember next time – in a similar circumstance – so that I don’t suffer again but instead enjoy the moment and give of my best?

Sometimes, it can take some time for us to see the meaning and the message.
But once it becomes obvious, we let go of the suffering and our feelings of being the victim – and we accept the gift with gratitude.
We grow spiritually, and return to our natural state of peace and happiness.


General reflection..
on the great spiritual goal of unconditionally loving and everything and everyone…
How am I doing?
I’ve got to work on loving…
myself! Or rather, loving this human pet and appreciating it. Sometimes ‘i’ condemn it for its less-than-mindful eating habits. As I cultivate the witness and tune into the Divine Play, i think the behaviors of the animal will become more mindful, more loving, more holy – and also my awareness will shift to be compassionate anyway, so the animal can really do whatever it does – and I’ll see it all with compassion…and the compassion will probably melt the thing!
Compassion, that’s the key for me right now. I tend to project blame or lack or insufficiency or less-than-best onto people / behavior (Including my own pet) – and really I just need to see with compassion – to know that we are all innocent. No one is intentionally trying to hurt me – and we are all doing the best we can. So I don’t need to go blaming people – but anyone I feel like blaming – rather it probably makes sense just to feel compassion for them, and to feel compassion for myself for even wanting to blame and play the role of victim. Compassion for all.

Why compassion? Because we don’t know anyone better! We are all innocent, doing the best we can, given what our life experiences have taught us thus far. If we knew better, we would do better. So compassion, and even gratitude. Gratitude is another good antidote rather than wallowing in victimhood. I can just choose to be grateful for any and all opportunities to be of service rather than critique the system or whatever mental dramas I get into. I am not here to save the world…but if anything i am here to save myself and thereby benefit all by being loving and peaceful and happy no matter what! And that is the greatest service any of us can offer, because in that way we raise the entire ocean itself, and all ships are lifted. So, raising the internal state of awareness is my duty – and the dramas and games of the world can serve that purpose. My duty is to remain aware, awake, loving, peaceful, grateful, playful. Seeing beauty and perfection, what else could really matter?

To see the beauty in a trash can and in a weed – that’s noble work! And those moments of oneness with beauty, how could that not benefit all humanity? The consciousness is connected …so treating oneself to those sublime moments of uplifted consciousness uplifts all, if only a little bit.

One of the key lessons in life that I am still working on – but I’d say is perhaps the greatest lesson when fully understood because it speaks to the nature of Creation and our oneness and to what really matters…
“There are no great acts – only small acts done with great Love.”
What really matters is the Love. The act itself – who cares? In the ballpark of St. Paul, he might say something like, “If you feed a million people but have not love in your heart, it profits you nothing and it matters not!” His words on Love are all about having the Love – and if you don’t have the Love then whatever you do isn’t worth so much. The Love is what counts.

So we don’t need to get caught up in feeding billions, speaking to millions, reaching the whole planet with our words and our message…but rather if we just become that which is worthy to be witnessed by the whole planet – that serves as an example for us all, totally pure of heart – free from all the selfishness, free from all illusion, immersed in Love, in the Oneness and Allness – if we become that – that is real, eternal, infinite Service. Becoming is the great service and work of our lives. Having certain things and doing certain things can lead to us becoming perfect instruments of Divine Love and Peace…just remember it is always about the becoming – that is what matters. Ultimately, we are already That which we are to Become, so really it is just a matter of becoming aware of that.

Become aware!

Jesus said…the kingdom of God is within!

How would life be if you were constantly aware of the Kingdom of God Within? How happy would you be? How grateful would you be? How much would you enjoy life? How glorious would your life become? Constantly aware of the Kingdom of God Within…wow what a life!

Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

How to Become More Valuable

For the Highest Good! Amen.

I saw a Dr. Phil clip that highlighted, “Winners do things losers don’t want to do.”

Not that I’m a fan of the duality of winners and losers, but the point is that there are some things we all naturally don’t want to do. As an example, the human likes comfort – so — if we had our choice — we’d all probably choose to sleep on a comfortable bed, sleep as long as we’d like until we feel ideally rested. We’d also like to all eat the very best food, perfectly seasoned and prepared. I think it is safe to say that, most people – given the option – would choose the comfortable bed and the delicious food.

On the flip side, what is it to voluntarily choose to sleep on a thin mat or even on the floor, and to eat bland food, or even to fast? Safe to say, very few people “want” to do those things. Yet, there are a few who feel inspired to make decisions in their lives. Who are those people?

The people who choose to sleep on a floor and to eat bland foods are those who are seeking to gain mastery of the animal cravings, desires, appetites, etc. These people are seeking to fully awaken to the Kingdom Within that is independent of external circumstances. Ultimately, they are seeking the direct experience of the fact that truly our happiness and peace and joy and all valuable, uplifting awareness and experience of life is not dependent on how comfortable the human vessel feels or how much food it is given or what kind of food it is given. Yes, truly one can still experience happiness even if one has not eaten for days and feels sleep deprived.

This isn’t to say I’m encouraging us all to go eat bland foods and sleep on the floor – I’m just using it as an example of some life decisions that most of us would clearly not prefer, and yet a select few – with a certain goal and an understanding of how to progress toward the goal – will choose such decisions.


The point – whatever our goal is, there is a sense of giving up something lesser for something greater, and then – when realizing the greater, we will see that the sacrifice was quite minimal and well worth it.

To think, would you be willing to give up sleeping on a mattress and instead sleep on the floor if it guaranteed you a sense of permanent peace and happiness? Of course! Who wouldn’t? Now, I’m not saying it is a guarantee. But, for a certain individual, if they feel like making that decision would increase the quality of their life / awareness, then sure – why not test it out?

Whatever the goal, whatever direction you are going in, how could you increase your progression? How could you become more valuable to the people you serve? How could you increase the services you offer?

For me, by my life I’d like to inspire the practice of meditation, spiritual study, selfless service, simple living and high thinking. Then again, I’m not concerned with inspiring anyone else. I know that the only person I ever need to inspire is myself. If I am inspired, and do my best, making daily progress, then that is the best I can do – and what happens beyond that is not up to me. I can exert to the best my ability, and then surrender what happens to God.

For me to become more valuable, and continue to inspire myself, I need to keep developing daily disciplines that increase my sense of health, happiness, and awareness of the Presence of God / the Kingdom Within.

Currently for this month, my practice is completing a full integral hatha yoga practice, with deep relaxation and breathing, before I eat anything for the day. Some of the yoga postures I practice can feel a bit uncomfortable or challenging, but just like lifting weights – it is a demonstration of prioritizing the long-term. To prioritize the long-term is incredibly valuable. The short-term seduces us, but to prioritize the long-term leads to enduring health and happiness.

I’ve found that with this morning yoga practice, I’ve also been eating healthier and happy to eat healthier foods that maybe are a bit less tasty. I also find my meditation practice has increased, and I’m also more inclined with engaging the mind in reading, listening, and writing.

And now, currently, I’m working on bringing a greater sense of cleanliness and order to my living space. What feels better than having everything in its place?

For me…to become more valuable…
I hold the spiritual practices recommended by Swami Satchidananda and his teacher Swami Sivananda in very high regard. I have not come to fully implement all the recommendations in my daily life, but that is generally the direction I am moving in, even though sometimes it looks like 2 steps forward and 1 step back.
In general, the direction is more regularity with sleep and meditation and cleanliness and service and communication. It is great, because the teachings really do address all facets of life.

Alas, as much as I consider myself a spiritual aspirant, progressing daily and gradually implementing upgraded daily disciplines into life, sometimes I am asked to play the role of teacher. And to teach, I think the best way to teach is from direct experience. Hence, every 30 days provides an opportunity for me to try something new, test it out, and then I can speak from my experience on the matter.

So here we go…I think the next big step I’m gearing up to take is for 30 days…
– 1 meal a day.

That one will be fun! Quite a challenge, no doubt…and there is a chance that it might not be the appropriate one for me to take on at this point, as much of the service I render is bringing an elderly woman to meals and she obviously prefers if I eat with her then sit and stare at her…so what else might be good?

I put off ‘waking up at 4 am’ because I am living with the same elderly woman and she regularly wakes up in the middle of the night (and wakes me up…:-))

The other, less super strict / disciplinarian vibe task I could take on, perhaps more feasible, is more meditation throughout the day. Perhaps the days meditation schedule could look something like…
– 7 – 8 am
– 1145 – 1215 pm
– 545 – 615 pm
– 10 – 11 pm

If I stuck to that, that’d probably be good! Although, it’d be safer to start with 3 a day, because I’m only at 2 a day on average, so baby steps!

So then…initial planning phases for becoming more valuable. This month, sticking with the commitment to morning integral yoga practice before eating anything, and next month looks like it will be a commitment to a 3rd daily meditation. Which reminds me, one month I made it a rule that I would not eat until I meditated twice that day, so for that month I basically skipped breakfast. That was a powerful practice – but even then it didn’t necessarily guarantee meditating before sleep.

Oh, what I could definitely give up – that would be challenge — is to give up snacking! That’d be a great month long challenge, something that I don’t think I’ve ever really taken on before either…so that’d be a good one! No snacking would also pretty much guarantee more gratitude and consciousness and mindfulness during every meal…sounds like a good direction to go in! (I guess 1 meal a day is a similar challenge – but this could even look like 3 meals a day…so taking it easy on myself…slow and steady wins the race!

Anyway…
Love is Real!
All else…who knows?

The 3 commonly agreed upon characteristics of God – omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience. That means…God is present always, aware of everything that happens, and is all of the Power —- so then…we have nothing to worry about 🙂 Just in case though, if there is any concern, know, “God is Love and Peace and nothing else.” – Dr David R. Hawkins.

Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

How Can We Be Free From Suffering?

For the Highest Good…Amen!

To end suffering, stop wanting anything. Stop desiring anything. Stop seeking anything. Just be like a baby in the arms of the mother. As a friend said to me the other day, “Experience the effortlessness of your being.”

Suffering comes when we clench our fist and think that to succeed we need to clench even more and more. Relief from suffering comes when we realize that the solution we’re looking for is to unclench the fist and open the hand, relaxed.

The mind can manufacture endless stories about how we screwed up in the past and could be in a better situation than we are now. The mind is great at leading us to think that we are a victim or that we are guilty and whatever else. That is the mind clenching, holding onto its sense of separateness. The mind/ego fears for its survival, and thinks that it will die if it doesn’t keep clenching.

Our Higher Self can witness the dramas of the mind and executively decide to let go, release, unclench. To unclench requires willingness. Are we willing to let go of the drama? Do we see that this mental story of drama is leading to suffering?

Sometimes the suffering can feel like it is a good story to keep giving energy, to keep juicing. And, maybe it is! If we suffer enough, then we might inspire ourselves to finally let go and change. Like the story about someone holding a hot coal, the time to finally drop the coal is when you no longer even have to ask and you drop it automatically. As long as you are asking, maybe you need to hold onto it a little longer. Finally, it will be too hot, and you’ll drop it.


I notice mental stories/dramas come up over and over again, the same repeated story that projects blame on someone else or myself, and ultimately leads to experiencing some sense of suffering. Because – to feel like one is the victim or to feel like one screwed up is a subtle negative state that can be categorized as suffering. So then, why do I allow these stories to keep come up, and how can I totally let them go?

With one of the recurring stories, I sat down with it and analyzed it deeply. Is this true? What’s the reality of this situation? What are others ways of looking at this? How is this actually a blessing? What can I learn from this? How can I learn from this so it doesn’t happen again? What are the lessons to take away from the scenario?

In the context of learning, everything can be seen in a positive light. Everything is a blessing. To have the patience to sit back, relax, and analyze a scenario is one way to transform mental suffering into something meaningful.

As Viktor Frankl talks about in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning – with any event, as long as we can find some meaning in it, we don’t have to suffer. If we feel things are meaningless – like, “I lost all this money,” or “This relationship ended,” or “I’m sick and getting sicker,” – if stories like that manifest and we don’t take the time to find meaning in it – to find a lesson to learn – to find a blessing in disguise – to see the good in the situation – to see our opportunity to contribute and grow and become better – then yes, we will suffer. But the meaning is always there. We just have to look for it.

So…how to be free from suffering?
There needs to be some context – some over-arching attitude toward life – that you are willing to apply in all situations, in all circumstances, in all conditions – no matter what!

So to adopt the attitude, “Everyone and everything around me is my teacher,” means moving through life, every moment, as a student, constantly learning or looking for the lesson. In this context, even if you get hit by a car, robbed, and your house burns down – you can sit back and say, “There is a lesson for me to learn here.”

Ultimately, from a spiritual perspective, one of the primary lessons to learn in this school of life is that, “Happiness, Peace, and everything Good is Within.” As Jesus recommends, “Wear the world like a light garment.” Be in the world, but not of the world. We can move and be in the world and engage with all the material things while keeping an awareness that affirms, “Peace is within. Happiness is not dependent upon external circumstances. I have the freedom to be happy always – it is just a matter of being aware of that.”

What are some of the other key lessons to learn?
Well…no matter what level of consciousness someone is functioning at…just to be learn that there is always something to learn – that is fantastic! And, if you’d like, to embrace the idea that the major lesson of life leads to ever-increasing happiness, peace, joy, serenity, all the positive emotions/experiences, etc. So, the more ‘learned’ someone is, the happier they are. That is the sign of real, successful, spiritual learning. Real learning leads to great happiness, peace, happiness, joy, compassion, gratitude, appreciation, all the good stuff!

So…

To be free from suffering,

we come to accept that ultimately – all we really want is to be happy in this moment. Happy, peaceful, joyful, grateful, whatever resonates with you – realize that what you want is an internal state that depends on awareness.

Realizing that what we want is within, and fully knowing it – beyond mere believe but coming to know it experientially – and remember it absolutely – then we can move in the world without being affected by all the various things that come and go.

With this understanding and awareness that what we are seeking is within, we become increasingly vigilant of those things that occur on a ‘more within’ level than the material world — what I”m referring to here is the world of thoughts. We see that thoughts are actually outside of us – and that what we’re looking for is more within than our thoughts. We see that thoughts are actually like events happening in the world. To watch a person score a touchdown in a football game is similar to watching a thought story come up about when you were in kindergarten and counted to 100. Notice the thought is a thing, just like a spoon is a thing. Whether you are aware of a thought/story or a spoon, in both cases – you are aware. You are the witness. You observe the thought; you observe the spoon. Because you are observing it, you are not that thing. You are the observer of that thing.

Just like the body. You observe the body breathe and move do all its thing. You have the great fortune of watching a human body live – and every now and then if you consciously think about it – you can exert the will to control the body in a particular direction or way of behaving, but even that is limited. If you watch the human go about the day, you’ll see most of the time it is just on auto-pilot.

So yes, happiness is even beyond the body. Because, if you think about when you feel happy – maybe you feel happy right now – how conscious of you are of the body? Maybe as you read this, you are a bit more conscious of it, but really the body is just like anything else in the room. You can choose to focus awareness on it, or not. And, the awareness of happiness can be present regardless of whatever is being observed internally. It just matters with what eyes we’re observing the world. Do we look at things and say, “I have to possess that” or even, ” I have to destroy that,” or “This is good, this is bad,” or are we simply looking at things non-judgmentally, not with any stories about them, but just accepting things and allowing them to be as they are – witnessing as a neutral observer.

The main thing is…to realize our happiness is not dependent on external things. If we internally promote the idea that we need certain external things in order to feel happy, we are setting ourselves up for misery. The greatest treasure is within us – we are already that which we ultimately seek. So, knowing that we are already that happiness itself, that happiness is within, we can freely be among material things without clinging to them one way or another.

Whenever you catch yourself feeling disturbed, annoyed, angry, etc., notice how you were not “Wearing the world like a light garment,” but were perhaps taking it a bit more seriously than Jesus recommends. Notice how you were projecting happiness on a particular outcome, and because that outcome didn’t happen, you are experiencing some sense of unhappiness. And then, re-affirm that the Kingdom is Within. Close the eyes, take a few, slow, deep breaths, force a really big fake smile and even let out a few big fake laughs, — and then perhaps look for the lesson to learn from the scenario. Aside from the scenario teaching you that you will continue to suffer as long as you project happiness onto external things and don’t wear the world like a garment, what else is the lesson for you?

“No appointments, no disappointments.” – Sri Swami Satchidananda


The main thing I learned from writing this…
Well…
The heart feels very open.
There is a sense of watching the human body do its thing, clicking away with the keys, etc., while the real “I” is somewhere else, yet aware of a few things in the material world.”
The witness…cultivating the witness…
Quite entertaining to watch the human rather than identify with it. Just watch it go about its business.

What else?
I am certainly guilty of occasionally projecting happiness outside myself. Particularly with the recent flurry of bitcoin fun, I’ve felt a bit caught up in that wave – borderline obsessing over the rollercoaster of the price. So what is that – a financial concern? Eh…I think it is actually just for fun. Interestingly, I wouldn’t know what to do if I had more money. Wearing the world like a light garment, there is a clear understanding that the world doesn’t need to be saved. We are all here being provided optimal scenarios for our spiritual evolution. Of course, if I see opportunities to be of service, I embrace them. The key is to not cultivate the thought that, “Unless I do this and that and the other, I’m a failure.” Although, in a sense, such a thought can lead to spiritual progress. Anyway, realizing the world doesn’t need to be saved is a way of demonstrating trust and faith in God. God created the world and is handling it all just fine! Of course, we are each moved to service in the divine way.

Alas, this human pet is being moved to bed. And as it moves to the bathroom and moves to sleep and such, I will remain the witness. Watch it move! And watch the thoughts…if the thoughts are a bit unruly – then yes, think good thoughts. Otherwise, no need to think anything. Just witness and enjoy the show! Make funny sounds with your human pet, play and have with it. Take good care of it. Treat it well. Moderation.

“Simple living, high thinking.” – Mahatma Gandhi.

Role model success! What kind of success are you looking for? If you are looking for spiritual success, where better to look than the Sermon on the Mount and the life of Jesus? Buddha’s life and the Dhammapada, Gandhi’s Life. Mother Theresa…all different ways of living a holy life, some living more in the world than others, but all certainly wearing the world like a light garment. Even if they rendered incredible service and fed millions, the great spiritual giants still did not think they failed if they didn’t feed one more person. They reason they fed some many or taught so many or meditated so long was because that action – for them – was the action that facilitated their connection with the presence of the Peace Within, the Kingdom Within, God Within. Feeding people is a great way to know God. Meditating is a great way to know God. Studying scriptures and standing against negativity and standing for non-violence and truth is a great way to know God.

Glory to God in the Highest!

The Greatest Feeling…Alignment with Spiritual Teachings!

For the Highest Good. Amen!

Do you ever get the feeling that someone did something really stupid, and you aware of the stupidity, yet the other person is not? And perhaps you start thinking of all the things you’re going to say to them to point out how stupid they are, and then the opportunity doesn’t present itself so you wait.

You go home, and are still thinking about how wrong the other person is and how right you are – up on the very high horse of moral superiority!

So there you are on your high horse of moral superiority, riding along steadily, and you start to write a letter to the person, telling them how stupid they are – more or less.

You read over the letter – and you see that all of what you said is truthful and beneficial. Certainly, your letter has plenty of information for the other person to learn from. You are providing tremendous value! What a generous soul you must be.

And then you remember what the Bhagavad Gita says about austerities of speech…

The 4 qualifications for right speech:
1. Is it truthful?
2. Is it kind?
3. Is it pleasant?
4. Is it beneficial?

Oh…

Well foooey!

I can say truthful and beneficial all day long, because I am up on my high horse of moral superiority and can see everything from here, but is anything I’m going to say kind and pleasant? Hmm…

So interesting to see that all of these things I felt so justified in saying actually turn out to not be kind – or at the very least they are not pleasant.

Then, having written this great letter, I see that must re-write it, and perhaps delete all of it.

And so I re-write, and it becomes such a pleasant letter to read, without any of the criticism – or if the criticism remains it is at least shared playfully, and so everyone benefits with no hurt feelings! What a great feeling… 🙂

The point being…

Yes, we could probably all endlesssly criticize each other and point out each other’s faults and pretend to be helping each other grow with our overly critical eyes…

but is any of that kind or pleasant?

And if it isn’t kind or pleasant, do you think the other person will actually hear us?

This reminds me what Swami Satchidananda used to say to people going home from silent retreats.

He’d recommend – if anyone asks you how the retreat was – you just say, “It was fine.”

If they ask you again, say, “No really, it was fine.”

Only if they continue to ask you, maybe ask you a 3rd time, or three days in a row, then you can share with them some details.

If the person asks you 3 times, then you can see that they sincerely care and are not just making small talk, and then perhaps they are ready to listen.

So really, do we need to go around giving people unsolicited feedback? As Napoleon Hill says, free advice is worth just about as much as you pay for it!

Better to keep quiet. We are all learning. Whose to say your perceptions are even accurate? If you are perceiving flaws in other people, those flaws are likely within you – so instead of verbalizing the flaws to others and thereby exposing your own flaws, why not just look within and go to work on yourself?

As Jim Rohn talks about – you’ve got to work harder on yourself than you do on your job!

So then, to close, I’d like to re-affirm working hard on myself!
Looking critically at my beloved human animal’s own behavior, I can see it really would benefit from:
– going to bed earlier and waking up earlier. That’s simple enough!
– Eating more mindfully, and abstaining from late night snacking. That sounds pretty clear!

Okay then – that sounds simple and clear enough.

Then that leaves with – how do I handle the daytime activities?

My favorite approach which seems to lead to great variety and opportunities in abundance –

Give to the one who asks!

More or less, I’ve been embracing ‘giving to the one who asks’ for the past 5 or so years…and it seems to be working pretty well! It is a fun game to play with the Creator. Like saying, “Okay God. Whatever anyone asks me, I’m going to say yes…so…let’s see who and what you send my way!”

Of course, I leave some minimum room for discriminative discernment, and likely would not give my life savings to someone who asks…but then again…maybe I would…who knows 😉

Giving to the one who asks, moment to moment, freedom to live spontaneously!

And speaking only what is truthful, kind, pleasant, and beneficial…now there’s a real challenge!

Love and Peace in Abundance

Clarity: The Direction I’d like to Go in

For the Highest Good! Amen.

More…
– Meditation!
– Prayer!
– Mindfulness!
– Gratitude and Appreciation!
– Selfless Service!
– Seeing Beauty in All Things!
– Walking in Nature!
– Playfulness and Fun!
– Simplicity, Organization, Order, and Cleanliness!
– Discipline!
– Dedicated and Devotional Action!
– Smiling and Laughing!
– Giving and Generosity!
– Gentleness and Kindness!
– Study of the the great spiritual texts and teachers!
– Deep breathing!
– Relaxation!

Less…
– Mindlessness!
– Laziness!
– Eating!
– Sleeping!
– News Browsing!
– Thoughts about worldly stuff!

Start…
– waking up early! Even by 7 would be a great start, gradually, progressing to 6, 5, 4!
– Feeling relaxed and grateful when eating – present to the gift!
– Trusting completely in God, every moment! Fearing nothing, loving all, knowing all is well!
– living only to serve!
– dedicating every moment to the Highest Good!
– being a channel for Divine Love and Peace!
– Abundantly giving, loving, and serving

Stop…
– Mindlessness!
– Snacking!
– Greed!
– Selfishness!
– Petty-Mindedness!
– Lust!
– Fear and concern about the future!
– Getting caught in worldly stuff!
– Forgetting the Truth!
– projecting happiness on external things!
– thinking about subjective pleasure and gain!

Yay!
-The primary resolve this month is to take good care of the physical body with stretching / exercising, breathing practices and meditation before eating anything…
-I can see that a really good next step to take would be to commit to going to bed early and not snacking late at night. Not quite sure if I’m totally ready to give that up yet…(perhaps because I still have a few snacks ;-)) but soon!
– then not eating at night or using the computer at night will make it easier to go to sleep, and then easier to wake up early, which allows for more time for self-care and spiritual practice in the morning, and to have a great day, every day!

So…I’d say that’s the general direction on the physical level.
And now I have this watch vibrating every 12 minutes – taking a deep breath, saying a prayer, smiling and laughing and feeling grateful! So that is helping advance the internal awareness…

Hooray Life!

Infinite Love and Peace