How to Transcend Selfishness

Hallelujah ūüôā

What is selfishness?

What does selfishness look like?

Selfishness is essentially destructive and / or harmful.

It can look like laziness or excessive activity. ¬†Selfishness lacks balance. ¬†It is totally centered around the experience of the individual without consideration for the welfare of others, and really it even lacks considering the welfare of the individual. ¬†Even though selfishness is centered around the individual, it does not actually look out for the welfare of the individual. ¬†Rather, selfishness harms everyone and everything in the long-run. ¬†It doesn’t even benefit the perpetrator! ¬†So it is really a lose/lose. ¬†In the short-term, a selfish act like stealing can look like a win/lose, but when seen from a higher perspective, considering the long-term, we all know that stealing doesn’t even serve the one who supposedly gained from the theft. ¬†Even the thief is a loser! ¬†So selfishness is like that.

To go beyond selfishness – consider winning in the long-term. ¬†Short-term wins can look like sleeping an extra few minutes, eating three more slices of pizza, cheating on a test, stealing a candy bar, condemning homeless people, etc. but when any of the aforementioned actions are looked at from the long-term perspective, we see that they really don’t serve anyone. ¬†They don’t serve the evolution and liberation of the soul, which is what we are primarily concerned about. ¬†The earth is a school for learning, and when we act in ignorance, we don’t learn much. ¬†We might learn a little, but the learning from such actions would only be from finally admitting how they are truly painful, and that they don’t even serve us in the short-run. ¬†The minute we steal something, part of us feels bad. The minute we go past our limit and overdo, we know it, and some part of us regrets it.

Transcending selfishness requires sincerity and awareness. ¬†In Reality, the truly selfish thing to do is to prioritize your own peace and happiness above all else – because that is what we all actually want. ¬†So by all means, be selfish for that! ¬†The best part about this kind of enlightened self-interest is that it also benefits others. ¬†Because it benefits both ourselves and others, it can hardly be said to be selfish at all, or at least it is equally selfless. ¬†When you’re engaged in actions and a way of being that seems totally selfish nd also totally selfless and serviceful, that’s how you know you probably struck gold and are aligned with Truth.

Service-orientiation is the great liberating perspective to free us from selfishness. ¬†It can even be a simple focus on serving ourselves, but not just with sensory pleasures and short-term satisfactions – rather though serving ourselves with long-term fulfillment and peace. ¬†That kind of service to self serves all. ¬†Or, just forget the small self and focus on serving others – that will equally serve yourself because you’ll experience the joy of giving and transcend the illusion of separateness. ¬†When we live to serve, we realize higher consciousness and awareness that liberates us from so much darkness, ignorance, and illusion. ¬†It is only the ego that dreads service; ¬†the Highest part of all of us knows how enjoyable and pure and wonderful service is.

By all means, serve! ¬†Serve yourself by prioritizing your own peace and joy and happiness and all else, and serve others by doing the same ūüôā ¬†Or, forget yourself and just serve others however seems most natural in the present moment. ¬†Giving brings harmony. ¬†Love and give. ¬†Live only to serve! ¬†It liberates every time. ¬†Even in a moment, even if you find yourself engaged in an entirely selfish act – just stop – dedicate it to the benefit of humanity – and continue. ¬†Notice the energy shift. ¬†Notice the freedom. It is all within.

 

Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

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Key Habits to Human Flourishing

Hallelujah ūüôā

By no means do I claim to strictly follow any of these recommendations – but from personal experience I can truly say that when they are adhered to, the quality of life generally increases. ¬†Of course, everything in our lives is interconnected – not one of us is an island – so generally to improve the quality of our lives, we’ve got to improve the quality of life every moment, which is an internal job – a matter of attitude and awareness – rather than just external quick fixes like cleaning our room ūüôā ¬†With that in mind, perhaps we will start by looking at some external “quick fixes” and then more of the “inner work.”

Externally:

  • Clean your room ūüôā ¬†Cleanliness is next to godliness. ¬†One of Benjamin Franklin’s nightly habits was “to put everything in its place.” ¬†Keeping our environment in order shows that we respect what we’ve been given (or what we’ve earned) and that we are doing our best to treat it well. ¬†The way we treat any one thing reflects how we would also like to be treated. ¬†By keeping our space neat and orderly, we demonstrate that we are worthy of that same level of clarity. ¬†A clean room also paves the way for a clean mind. ¬†When everything is in its proper place, the mind can relax and go within to the Kingdom rather than dwell on ways to externally ‘save the world.’ ¬†A great step along the way to surrendering saving the world is to first just take care of your little part of the world, keep your own room clean, and then know you’re doing your best by setting an example. ¬†You don’t have to go cleaning everyone’s room – just keep yours clean – that is enough. ¬†By example we lead. ¬†(Writing this in the midst of a mildly disorganized desk, go figure. – and I can tell you part of the mind is thinking “when is this going to get organized?” So…maybe now is the time to do it.)
  • Sit down, relax, express gratitude, and pray before eating. ¬†We must think we are mighty important to not have the time to sit down and pray before eating. ¬†“I don’t have time to pray before eating…I can be making $50 right now!” ¬†Or perhaps it is the grip the taste buds have on us that tell us the taste must be experienced right now, this instant!, not later. ¬†Poor little pet ego. ¬†Poor ego dominated by animal instincts not based on any sort of higher truth. ¬†The ego enjoys wolfing down food and eating in a hurry and not honoring God before it eats. ¬†Why? Because it inflates the ego’s ego – its sense of importance. ¬†The ego loves to think that taking care of itself is more important than truly enjoying the moment or honoring the presence of God. ¬†In Reality, a vastly enhanced quality of life awaits all those who are willing to bring moments of pause, reflection, and gratitude into their daily lives. ¬†Before meals a great time to relax, to pray, and give thanks for the gift of food, the gift of life, the gift of all!
    • As far as ‘my’ personal experience goes, cultivating a proper relationship with food has been a rollercoaster ride. ¬†Supposedly, according to some of the great teachers like the Buddha, the two greatest impulsive desires the human animal has are for sex and for food. ¬†They practically go hand-in-hand. ¬†Hence, I’ve also heard that often when people have challenges eating properly, it might very well stem from lack of healthy relationships with people. ¬†Instead of cultivating healthy relationships with people, we turn to food to fill that void. ¬†Anyway, that is just a theory and probably not confirmed by scripture anywhere, so take for what it is worth. ¬†Scripture is a much greater authority than any so-called ‘philosophical musings.’ ūüôā
    • Point is – sit and pray before eating food – give thanks – and watch as the quality of life improves. ¬†Gradually, one can bring these moments of gratitude into all areas of life – from waking up, brushing teeth, drinking water, reading a book, writing, doing work, hanging out with friends – before every act there can be a moment of gratitude which automatically enhances the quality of the entire experience. ¬†So simple! ¬†Yet, not that easy to practice. ¬†Patience, Patience. ¬†Baby steps. ¬†Maybe start with a 2 second prayer of saying, “Thank you,” before eating, and build from there.
  • Stretch or Walk or Exercise, move the body in some sort of way. ¬†I used to be big into lifting weights. ¬†And to be open about it, it was totally vain and primarily done to attract members of the opposite sex. ¬†At the same time, health feels good. ¬†What feels even better is setting a universal example, one free from selfishness and lower qualities like vanity. ¬†So discover a way of physically caring for the body that keeps you away from obsessively looking in the mirror and flexing. ¬†Hatha Yoga is a balanced way to take care of the body and feel good. ¬†It is also generally free from vanity because of its balanced approach to caring for every part of the body, and really with a focus on developing a calm and peaceful mind.
  • Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. ¬†Foods close to nature – enjoy them! ¬†Why depend on great big machines to create your food? ¬†Then again, if you do eat food made by great big machines, that is also a great opportunity to practice gratitude – and to connect with the entire story of the food – to see the story of the food from its origins to appearing in front of you – which is of course the entire story of Creation itself! ¬†All for fun. ¬†Don’t take food too seriously, and don’t disillusion yourself by thinking that food can bring you happiness. ¬†Use food to nourish the body and mind and receive it as a divine gift. ¬†Cherish it. ¬†Respect it. ¬†Just like money. ¬†Use it for good. ¬†Processed sugar tastes good for a moment and feels pretty bad for a lifetime. ¬†Is it really worth it?
  • Read or write or speak or all of the above. ¬†Have some intellectual input and output. ¬†Once again, just don’t get caught in it and start feel prideful about how much you know or how smart you are. ¬†Exercise the mind without exercising the ego. ¬†Just take care of it like a pet!
  • Sing or chant. ¬†Use the voice, shamelessly, if nothing else – when no one is around. ¬†Sing your best. ¬†Sing your favorite songs. ¬†Chant your favorite songs. ¬†We have all been given voices to use. ¬†Use it. ¬†Enjoy the sound. ¬†Get over caring about how good it sounds or not. ¬†Just play with it have fun.
  • Dance. ¬†Same as above. ¬†Just move and jump around to music. ¬†It doesn’t really matter how it looks. ¬†Just have fun moving the body.
  • Laugh.
  • Appreciate the Present.
  • Breathe Deeply. ¬†Present Moment, Wonderful Moment.
  • Serve. ¬†Give. ¬†Act Charitably.
  • Lie down and relax.
  • Go upside! ¬†Hang over the bed, or learn how to do a shoulder stand or headstand.
  • Twist it out.
  • Reach up to the heavens and down to the earth.
  • The above three basically means stretch, stretch, stretch.
  • And meditate, meditate, meditate. ¬†Focus the mind on one uplifting idea. ¬†Build that mental discipline to concentrate the mind and feel the entire consciousness being uplifted.

 

Basically, one of the problems we might find ourselves facing in life is, “What to do with all this time?” Especially when we give up the money game – i.e. working for money – we might find ourselves with an abundance of luxury time to do with as we please. ¬†If we give up the illusion of seeking happiness in the world via external gain and acquisition, we’ll find ourselves pleasantly liberated to simply do what we love and to be in love with whatever we do. ¬†Nonetheless, sooner or later, we might reach a point where we run out of things to do! ¬†And then, it might seem very natural to take up what we might call, ‘work,’ but when we do it in this spirit, it won’t be ‘worldly work,’ but rather it will be ‘work’ for ‘work’s sake,’ what some call Karma Yoga – selfless service. ¬†Spiritual work is action without concern over whatever benefits we receive from the action. ¬†Spiritual work is not for external gain, but is a natural consequence of internal peace. ¬†So, by all means – do whatever kind of work you’d like to do – so long as you’re connected with that internal peace. ¬†As Gandhi demands, “Do it with joy or not at all.”

It is easy to make a list of things not to do.  Yet, ultimately, everything and everyone can serve as our teacher.  Everything is our teacher!  Nature is here to serve our spiritual evolution, not the other way around.  Nature and the entire Creation is our great teacher.  It serves us.  And by allowing us to serve it, we are actually being served.  When we serve, truly we are being served Рfor otherwise we just might die of boredom!  Being able to serve and contribute to the wellbeing of all is a gift.  It makes perfect sense to be grateful for opportunities to serve and learn and evolve spiritually.

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So, instead of focusing on the million things to supposedly not to do, we can just focus on the positive things to do.

Do smile. Do laugh. Do play and have fun.  Do love yourself.  Do love your neighbor (the one you are with).  Do express gratitude.  Do care for the physical body with proper nutrition and movement.  Do pray.  Do meditate.  Do reflect on your day.  Do read.  Do write.  Do study.  Do Sing. Do dance.

So then, what it boils down to is Being ūüôā ¬†All the proper doing arises from True Being. ¬†When one is Being Truly, the Doing appears beautiful no matter what – even if that just means sitting in meditation.

Bring the Being into the moments we take for granted Рbrushing teeth, using the bathroom, drinking water, eating food, saying good morning and goodnight.  Those are the best moments to practice, and by practicing in those moments, our entire lives become filled with the sense of Being, filled with total Love.

 

Truly, the work is internal.  Building positive external habits has to do with internal processing and awareness and attitudes.  Cultivate positive attitudes, and the entire life gradually becomes positive and uplifting. There is nothing to force or rush.  Attitude is foundational, and with a strong foundation we can build anything.

Of course, forcing some external habits – like smiling and laughing – can help to liberate one from the drama of the ego and lead one to discovering one’s own freedom, thereby choosing a positive attitude rather than feeling like a victim of circumstance. ¬†So by all means, fake the smile and fake the laughter. ¬†Fake having fun and fake enjoying life. ¬†Pretend you’re just acting it out. ¬†Pretend like you’re enjoying every moment. ¬†Pretend it is all for fun. ¬†Pretend you’re loving every moment. ¬†Pretend you’re so happy and grateful for this gift of life. ¬†Pretend you know it is all a game and God is taking care every moment. ¬†Pretend you have a completely perfect and full relationship with that Power which is everywhere and always present, all-knowing, and all-powerful, and that that Power unconditionally supports you and loves you. ¬†Just entertain the notion ūüôā

 

If Judging or Demonizing – Let Go, or Try It

Hallelujah ūüôā

This article is inspired by my tendency to project negativity onto dairy products, including cheese. ¬†As if eating or not eating cheese would really result in spiritual advancement. ¬†The key with all spiritual advancement is letting go of attachments and aversions, which is on an unseen level. ¬†So, whether or not one has cheese is really irrelevant – what matters is if one thinks they can’t be happy without cheese, or if on the other hand they think they’ll never be happy within 100 miles of cheese. ¬†In both cases, we can see the absurdity – yet the ego/mind still thinks it makes sense.

So, if you find yourself adverse to cheese, perhaps caught up in some self-righteousness bout veganism, perhaps try a piece of cheese and notice how the world doesn’t come to an end. ¬†There is a chance the body might actually have a negative response to it if it hasn’t consumed dairy in a while, but chances are that in moderation the cheese will not drastically effect the health and wellbeing of either body or mind. ¬†You might notice a bit more mucus when you blow your nose the next morning, but that’s not the end of the world either, is it?

Of course, one doesn’t have to go trying cheese if one finds oneself condemning, judging, or demonizing it. ¬†‘Trying it’ might just aid in freeing oneself of the ignorance of condemning it in the first place, but ultimately the freedom can be had internally without relying on an external action. ¬†One need not try heroin in order to be free from condemning or demonizing it.

The internal process of freeing one from an attachment or an aversion can be as follows:

  • Identify that which you are attached or averse to. ¬†To use the example of eating cheese, the example that sets, the process by which it came about, and the detrimental health effects on the body. ¬†Notice, the aversion might initially just look like to the idea of cheese, but when we examine the aversion more closely, we find that there are particular payoffs the ego/mind derives from holding to such an aversion. ¬†If the aversion were merely to cheese and cheese alone, there is no payoff. But considering that the aversion is really to the health effects of cheese and the process of cheese and any violence associated with producing dairy, we can see how there is ton of juice for the ego/mind and it can really feel prideful from all of its intellectual arrogance. ¬†The ego/mind feels strongly that it knows something that is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and it thrives off the seeming righteousness.
  • Continuing with the cheese example, we can ask, “What is really good about cheese? What lessons have I learned from cheese? ¬†How has cheese served me in the past? ¬†How has it served mankind?” ¬†We can consider all the hungry people that cheese feeds, all the satisfaction it brings to people (if only temporarily), the livelihood it brings to dairy producers, who knows how many great leaders of history have been fed by cheese, etc. ¬†There are certainly at least two sides to every coin!
  • Until, with an aversion – it is as though we are naturally aware of all the cons. ¬†But then we can consider the pros, and with humility we can see that we are in ignorance and are incapable of accurately balancing the pros and cons to truthful assess the value of cheese.

All attachments and aversions arise from ignorance.  In Reality, there is nothing to be attached or averse to.  All is as it is, Divinely affirmed by virtue of its existence.  Who are we, what are we to assess anything beyond its Divine Essence?  Spiritual Evolution and Freedom is about letting go of our intellectual arrogance and the pride and vanity we get from thinking we know something that is right and something that is wrong Рand instead surrendering all that to God, and being with God in affirming the Divinity of all Creation; living in the awareness that all form is fleeting, it is for fun, and we are not meant to attach ourselves to that which is impermanent, but rather we can store up our treasures in Heaven and cling to the unseen Reality of Love, Truth, God.

Remember Рthe world is for fun!  It is the perfect school.  It exists to liberate us.  If we find ourselves feeling attached or averse Рgreat! Рthose attachments and aversions are the perfect opportunities for heightened awareness, surrender, and spiritual growth.

Gloria in Excelsis Deo!

 

 

Surrendering to God

Hallelujah ūüôā

Fundamentally, simply put Рaccording to the great spiritual teachers throughout history Рthere is really only one thing to be surrendered to God, and it may manifest in an variety of ways.  That one thing for us ultimately to surrender is ignorance.

Ignorance can look like selfishness, fear, anger, greed, impatience, lust, gluttony, jealousy, ¬†playing victim, projecting blame, violence, suffering, harm, ingratitude, pride, attachments and aversions, clinging, craving, falsehood, dishonesty, sneakiness, hurriedness / rushing, frustration, vengeance, intellectual arrogance, judging, criticizing, complaining, guilt, shame, misunderstanding, hate, etc. ¬†Reading over that list might not make anyone to good, but it at least can serve to wake us up to what we might call shortcomings, errors, or mistakes, and see that anything we consider “less than our best” simply arises out of ignorance.

Ignorance of what?

Ignorance of our True Nature!  Ignorance of the Truth!

As Jesus says, “You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you Free.”

When we know the Truth, we are set free from all the ignorance and internal suffering that accompanies it. ¬†Truth is Supreme Knowledge which frees us all ignorance and all illusion. ¬†when we truly know the Truth, we no longer fear and we no longer desire. ¬†In Truth, we abide in awareness of God and absolute knowing that that which is Omnipresent, Omniscient, and Omnipotent is taking care of everything every moment. ¬†In Truth, we realize that truly, “The Lord is my shepherd – I lack nothing.” ¬†Lacking nothing, there is nothing to want, and wanting nothing – there is nothing to seek – so we remain blissfully content and peaceful in all circumstances. ¬†If there is any “want,” it would be that ‘others’ might also receive the grace to abide in such Divine Truth, yet even with that, the Truth sets us free – for we know in Reality there are no ‘others,’ – that the world is perfect as it is – and there is nothing that needs changing – for God’s Will reigns Supreme always and forever.

When in Truth, all burdens are lifted, and we realize that God is and always has been carrying everything and doing anything. ¬†Only in our ignorance did we think that we were doing things and that the world needed saving. ¬†In Truth, we realize that all the Power is God’s and there is no world that needs saving. ¬†We are free from all that illusion!

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So then, let’s get to the process of surrendering to God!

On the path to totally surrendering all ignorance, which you could think of surrendering both everything you think you know and everything you don’t think you know, there are prior surrenders to make.

One key surrender is to surrender the idea that you are the body and the mind.  Rather, you have a body and a mind, but you are not those things.

Another key surrender is to surrender the entire process of thinking/mentalization, and to surrender the payoff the ego/mind gets from thinking. ¬†The ego/mind is programmed for survival of the animal – it operates with the understanding that through its thinking it can gain things for the animal that help it survive and enjoy its life. ¬†Ordinarily, it is easy for us to identity with being that ego/mind, rather than being the witness to it, or the consciousness that comes before it. ¬†If you watch the mind, you can quickly become aware that you are not your thoughts, nor are you that which is thinking. ¬†Thinking happens on its own, spontaneously, and as you watch the mind you’ll notice how many of your thoughts are non-volitional and simply arise out of seeming nothingness as a result of patterns, circumstances, etc. ¬†You can tell your mind to stop and it won’t – it just keeps on thinking. ¬†So to surrender the idea that you are the mind or that you are that which thinks with the mind is a big one. ¬†To surrender thinking about things and energizing thoughts leads us to a higher state of consciousness where we become the witness to the mind and creation – watching the grand Divine Play without identifying with anything that is seen in it. ¬†Instead, we realize that we are more like the invisible audience to the Divine Play. In Reality, no thinking has to occur in order to ensure survival, for survival is entirely dependent on God, and also life – like energy – cannot be created or destroyed. ¬†We are Life, and we shall always be that which is Life. ūüôā

Instead of identifying with the human animal body and mind, just witness and watch it. Observe it going throughout the day, like a little karmic wind-up toy, just doing its doing, sometimes acting selflessly, at other times it is perhaps a bit selfish.  Either way, just witness the animal.  As you watch it, the selfish ego games it can play become less and less interesting, and a joy reveals itself that comes with the awareness of the watcher/witness.

Note on direct experience: After writing the above paragraph, just preceded to walk around and explore the place where I am. ¬†And true confession! – I totally lost awareness of the witness, and instead was curiously engaging with environment, exploring every nook and cranny and finding it all so interesting. When identified as the human, we project value upon the world outside of us, valuing what we consider to assist in our selfish gain and experience of pleasure. ¬†What doesn’t lead to us experiencing pleasure or gaining materially / emotionally / mentally / spiritually, etc., we don’t value and generally are not aware of. ¬†On my exploration, I focused on very specific things without holding in mind the general awareness of the witness. ¬†The show and story of the world can be so fascinating and entrancing to our ego that is always considered about pleasure and gain. ¬†Holding onto the witness in day-to-day life can be challenging, but it is also more enjoyable than engaging in and identifying with the daily story of the ego/mind. ¬†Why is it more enjoyable? ¬†Because it closer to the Truth! ¬†And the Truth sets us free from all the burdens of ignorance and suffering and selfishness which – the greatest relief indeed.

When abiding as the witness, there is no projection of value onto the world. ¬†Instead, we realize the world is just a Divine Play, we are the audience, and so we appreciate and enjoy all of Creation equally. ¬†Every moment, the Divine Play may reveal itself in a new way, yet the Divine Play as the context for all experience remains. ¬†The content changes, but the context remains the same – and in the awareness of the context we progress toward Supreme Truth, Realization, and Liberation. ūüôā

The ego loves feeling ‘involved’ in the Divine Play and as an active participant in it. ¬†It likes feeling important and special and like a game-changer. ¬†The ego loves the idea of saving the world, helping others, and also just gaining for itself and experience sensory pleasure. ¬†What it doesn’t particular enjoy is the idea of allowing the world to run by itself without its involvement. ¬†It wants to feel needed. ¬†In fact, the ego may very well insist that without it the world wouldn’t be able to run at all. ¬†Hence, it is a helpful to remind the ego that, “The human race has survived for thousands of years without you.” ¬†Of course, the ego is worthy of respect – and not to be set up as one’s enemy. ¬†Instead, as Dr. Hawkins recommends, “Treat the ego as a pet and melt it with compassion. Like a puppy, it simply doesn’t know any better.”

When witnessing, we can see the ego occasionally stir. ¬†For example, if sitting in meditation and watching the ego/mind, one might begin to notice a desire arise to go back to work or eat breakfast or watch a movie or whatever it might be. ¬†To melt it with compassion, you inner-dialogue can be something like, “It’s okay ego, you’re just doing the best you can and are operating from ignorance. ¬†It is really okay for us to just sit here and be and enjoy the moment. ¬†God is taking care of everything.” ¬†Interestingly, the ego can even get kicks out of ‘being spiritual’ or ‘engaging in spiritual practice’ which may initially helping with building positive habits and discipline, but ultimately that all needs to be surrendered. ¬†To meditate to prove one’s superiority to others is definitely not the point. ¬†Meditation, in its highest sense, arises out of a desire to know the Truth and out of compassion for the human condition and all life – or whatever you consider a totally pure purpose and intention – to serve the Highest Good!

Spiritual practice is not about inflating the ego, but it is about purifying the ego and ultimately transcending it. ¬†We melt the ego with compassionate understanding, not by setting it up as our enemy to conquer. ¬†Everyone and everything, even the ego, is totally innocent, and, like a baby, is simply operating from ignorance and doing the best it can, given what it has experienced and claims to know. ¬†Poor little ego pet! ¬†It really is just doing the best it can…even when it lies and cheats and steals and inflicts pain and suffering upon itself or others. ¬†It is simply caught in the ignorance. ¬†With awareness, we can lift the ego out of the darkness of ignorance, shine the Light of Love and Truth upon it, and melt it with compassion. ¬†Witnessing the ego/mind nonjudgmentally is a great way to become aware of its workings and ultimately to quiet it and put it in the backseat rather than the driver’s seat of life.

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As long as there are desires remaining to have and do things in the world, then cultivating the awareness of the witness probably will not sound all that appealing. ¬†The primary illusion is that happiness is something to be found and gained externally. ¬†In Reality, the source of happiness is always present within. ¬†We are not separate from the happiness which we seek. ¬†Yet, in ignorance, the ego/mind thinks that happiness is ‘out there’ and it needs to run about seeking it via experiences, book learning, material gain, etc. ¬†Until we give up the short-term pleasure of seeking gain externally, we won’t experience the long-term fulfillment that comes with abiding as one with our True Nature which is Happy and Peaceful Always.

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Reflecting more on the personal experience of the day…

Curiosity is what you might call another key surrender. ¬†Curiosity is an excuse the ego will use to do just about anything – even drugs! ¬†In the name of curiosity and seeking new experience, the ego/mind will poison the human body physically, mentally, and emotionally. ¬†It will eat toxic foods, read toxic books, watch toxic movies and TV, and participate in toxic conversations. ¬†To advance spiritually, the curiosities of the ego have to be surrendered to God. ¬†Instead of curiously sniffing every corner of the world like a dog, the Higher aspect of ourself has to reign in the curious ego/mind and direct its attention toward that which is assuredly spiritually uplifting. ¬†One doesn’t have to read every so-called spiritual text in the world to make spiritual progress – but the ego/mind would like you to think that it does. ¬†Rather, one can simply take one word – like kindness – and apply at all times, in all cases, in all circumstances, no matter what – and that alone is enough to make tremendous spiritual advancement. ¬†Practicing to live in alignment with a single word rather than a whole encyclopedia of spiritual direction is also a humbling practice that requires surrendering much intellectual vanity of the ego. ¬†The ego loves to claim to know about everything and be righteous in everything it does – so to surrender that intellectual arrogance and curiosity is a great surrender.

Trying to do 1000 different spiritual practices is really just a trick of the ego, setting itself up for failure, so that then it can play victim on itself and have a pity party. ¬†Better to put down all the books, turn off all the TVs and screens, and just practice unconditional forgiveness and kindness, no matter what. ¬†Pretend you don’t know anything. ¬†Just practice kindness and forgiveness in all circumstances. ¬†Even if it looks like there is nothing to forgive, just forgive what is anyway. ¬†Just be kind to everything you’re experiencing, even if it looks like there is no conscious presence accompanying you. ¬†Be kind to trash cans, doors, cell phones, and scraps of food on your plate. ¬†Forgive the toilet, forgive the floor, forgive the trees. ¬†Embrace the Reality that there is that which is everywhere present, and that Presence registers every moment, and we are accountable for every moment. ¬†We are held accountable! ¬†So to embrace a consciousness steeped in kindness and forgiveness is a powerful practice that sows wonderful seeds for the future and the present.

Forget all your knowing. ¬†Forget the supposed knowing of healthy foods, proper exercise, what to do with money, how to communicate effectively with people – forget all the worldly details. ¬†Just put total faith in the practice of kindness and forgiveness and allow that powerful energy field to do all the work for you. ¬†Let to go of labeling everything. ¬†Thinking that a chair is a chair does not change the chair, nor does it really benefit except it gives the ego a bit of juice and pride in that it then thinks that it knows about something. ¬†Better to project one consistent label onto everything – something like ‘Divine’ – and let it be at that. ¬†Or, just project that all objects are worthy of kindness and forgiveness, so project that on them.

There are worldly goals and spiritual goals. ¬†Worldly goals lead to short-term, fleeting pleasure. ¬†Spiritual goals lead to long-term fulfillment and maximum service to humanity. ¬†Spiritual goals are also based on Permanent Truth and that which is Real. ¬†Thereby, realizing the fulfillment of spiritual goals is not something that happens on the physical plane, but it is rather doing work on an unseen level. ¬†Forgiveness is not a tangible act like holding the door for someone, yet it is far more powerful. ¬†Spiritual goals and spiritual work deal with the unseen level of intention and attitude. ¬†Spiritual goals are about evolving our awareness so it becomes more and more aligned with Love and Truth. ¬†They involve surrendering the ego/mind obsession with the world and instead to prioritize one’s relationship with Truth, Love, God above all else. ¬†Spiritual goals deal with the eternal, so the realizing the Goal also serves one eternally.

What’s holding you back? ¬†What’s holding me back?

Sensory pleasure. ¬†Illusions of saving the world. ¬†Ignorance that leads to judging some things as right and other things as wrong. ¬†Seeking to gain materially and financially in the world. ¬†Wanting to please everyone. ¬†Wanting to learn about spiritual information and read spiritual texts (rather than simply surrender to embracing one spiritual practice unconditionally). ¬†Wanting to process understanding in written words and share it with people (this ;-)). ¬†Wanting to serve humanity (which in itself certainly isn’t ‘bad,’ but it is based on illusion and ignorance. ¬†The world is perfect as is, and to serve humanity, one need not directly feed hungry people; doing spiritual work and aspiring toward the ultimate Spiritual Realization benefits all Creation maximally). Projecting ‘wrongness’ onto ‘problems’ in the world like wasted food, hungry people, poorly educated people, dirtiness, etc.

So then, we’ve got to surrender all that! ¬†Really though, if we just surrender the thinking process itself and the illusion that we are the thinker or that we are the ego/mind but instead fully embrace and surrender to being the witness of the Divine Play, the above ‘obstacles’ will melt. ¬†Everything melts with Truth, for Truth sets us free! ¬†All the obstacles of the ego/mind melt with compassion. ūüôā

Compassion means realizing that suffering is the underlying condition of all conscious beings. ¬†Except for perhaps fully realized, enlightened beings, we all suffer – because we are all in ignorance and to some degree still identify with the fleeting, small, human animal body/mind – so we ‘think’ we are impermanent and going to die so we have fear which leads to suffering. ¬†On some level, until we reach the Supreme State, the ego/mind leads us around in the world operating from a sense of lack and scarcity which means suffering and incompleteness and imperfection, so it constantly seeks to gain, bring completion, and move closer to perfection. ¬†Reality is already complete and perfect and absolutely abundant – God provides perfectly every moment- and when we wake up to this realization on a full-time basis, we are free from the suffering. ¬†Until then, compassion is a powerful baseline perspective to operate with. ¬†Remember the suffering and illusion that all are operating with – they think happiness is outside themselves and they have to gain things externally to be happy and they think they are doing things to perpetuate survival and they think they don’t have all they need and fear dying, etc., so have compassion for that ignorance. ¬†It is only by Divine Grace that someone comes into that higher state of Spiritual Realization anyway – certainly one who achieves that state would never take personal credit for it. ¬†So, compassion for all. ¬†And compassion that all are doing the best they can according to what they’ve experienced and what they know. ¬†If they had experienced differently and been educated differently, they’d be doing differently.

We live with acceptance of What Is, trusting in God completely, aware of the underlying perfection of Reality As Is, letting go of our need to project labels and judgments and opinions on everything, and simply relaxing as the witness, enjoying the Divine Play ūüôā

Surrender the pleasure of thinking with the mind.  There is much greater lasting, eternal pleasure to be reaped.  Also, it is far more entertaining to watch the mind and see it as part of the Divine Play Рa show being put on for you, Oh Divine Audience.  For that, we can give infinite thanks!

Gloria in Excelsis Deo!