Here’s affirming that each person who reads this enjoyed a happy January and is looking forward to an even better life in the year ahead. One way we can guarantee a greater life for ourselves and our loved ones, effective immediately, is through spending more time in a lighthearted state. Lightheartedness is our greatest weapon against all the ills of today's world. If we can manage to spend more time being lighthearted, we will be surprised how much more enjoyable daily life will be.
The way this world is set up is very strange--the more difficult it gets for people on the outside, the easier it is to turn within and do the inner work we actually came here for. As a planet, this current cycle is the darkest of all, and most people have a hard time in their physical lives. Yet, for those souls who choose to use this time to deepen their spiritual growth, this cycle presents a great opportunity for upliftment and elevation.
When it is darkest on the outside, inner work happens naturally and spontaneously on the inside. We simply need the conscious intent to be more present, more alert and aware, and definitely more lighthearted.
The state of this world as we move into February, at least if one pays attention to the media, seems to be a time of madness. Yet, the opportunity is present now for significant advances on the spiritual path if only we make use of what is currently available and be sure to apply the principles of Truth in our own lives.
Remember that everything is not as it appears to be, and that there are profound and even sacred processes going on behind the scenes that are not readily observable.
If we practice the principles of Truth, we will actually feel more alive. It is obvious if we look around, perhaps walking down the street in our neighborhood, that some people are simply more alive than others. Some have a bright expression in their eyes, a twinkle of a smile, and walk along with great awareness as though they enjoy the very act of walking, or they are engaged happily in whatever they are doing. Such people love what they do in each moment, regardless of the details.
On the other hand, other people have a dull, lifeless expression in their eyes, they move about as though they have hardly any energy or spirit, and they are obviously not happy, and not enjoying what they are doing. They might even be expressing negative emotions, which is among the very worst obstacles to spiritual growth.
Simply observe and you will see that some people live in a greater degree of aliveness than others. People live on various levels of energy, and some live at a higher vibrational level of energy than others. All this is centered around the degree to which one is present in the existing moment.
Some great questions have come in over the past 2 weeks, so let’s get to them.
Ann: This week a friend's words dislodged a relentless waterfall of thoughts. I was completely aware that the problem was my own and that "she" had nothing to do with it. Trouble is that no matter what I did, I was unable to stop, shift, or stabilize the onslaught of thoughts. I could barely find the space between two thoughts, much less stay there, even though that particular practice has been especially potent for me recently. The continuous flow of thoughts, and my inability to slow them down...much less stop them...caused me to panic at one point.
Question: When a samskara is triggered that causes such an intense reaction, is there anything that can be done other than to stay with it, watch with awareness, and use the will as best you can at the time?
DRB: That is a great question and goes right along with many of the comments that came in during the last two weeks (posted in the "comments" below the January 15th entry). There were some great questions and answers, and I hope you will take the time to read them. It seems that many people are reaching a similar point in growth at a similar time. Sometimes it happens that way when groups are working on the same things together.
The true answer to your question is covered in the lessons of the course. It would be unlikely that I could fully cover the answer here on the blog. As you go through the lessons, you will see that your mind works differently than it did before you began the course. Simply reading and contemplating the lessons enables you to let go of previous mental conditioning and stubborn patterns of thought and emotion, and to actually think and feel in new and expanded ways. When you start to think and feel in new ways, your whole life becomes new. I am sure you have already observed this to be true, and it happens again and again as we grow.
Ann, it is very good that you can see the onslaught of thoughts. Most people go through life never even seeing how out of control their mind is, and assume that being lost in thought is a normal way to live. So just the fact that you are seeing what you are asking about is in itself a sign of growth and maturity.
You will see that it is impossible to “get rid of” an onslaught of thoughts or anything else we are focused on. We cannot get rid of the darkness in a room. All we can do is turn on the light. When we turn on the light, the darkness is already gone.
To be free from such an onslaught, or from any other samskara or tendency, we must have an alternative, an option, to replace the onslaught with. This is a very important step. Getting rid of thoughts or any condition is like getting rid of the darkness. We must “turn on the light” or replace them with something greater.
As we explore in the lessons, the onslaught is too fast to replace it with something else at the moment that it happens. Once it starts, we can only observe it, and the more we truly watch it, the less it will affect us.
Our preferred option or replacement must be created in advance, so that we will know immediately where to focus our attention instead of being pulled along by the onslaught. This is explained in detail in the lessons, but for now that will give you something to work with.
Lisa: I recently completed reading "The Secret," and not long after a friend told me about your blog and course. I am wondering if your course teaches the same ideas that are written about in "The Secret?"
DRB: "The Secret" serves as a nice introduction to the basic principles, and is a great help for beginners on the path who are discovering these truths for the first time. The Course of Training available through email explores on a much deeper scale the principles on which "The Secret" is based.
I appreciate "The Secret"--both the book and the movie--and feel that they serve a great purpose in activating and awakening an interest in learning about the principles necessary for success and happiness. Especially in today's world we must learn how to approach life positively. Yet there is much more to understand for greater spiritual growth and personal development.
The Course is an approach to each moment of life, and we begin by exploring the principles that must first be understood before even greater principles can be comprehended and instilled. This is a process that happens from step to step over time, and cannot be gotten from a book in a way that is permanent and lasting and truly transformative--lasting transformation requires an ongoing commitment to a path of study and self-observation.
If we only read a book, we will be momentarily excited and enthused by the ideas, yet that excitement and enthusiasm will tend to wane as past tendencies of thinking and feeling (samskaras) take over again. In order to overcome the conditioning of the past, a program of development is required, a path to lead from one step to the next, as well as the work necessary to break free from past tendencies and habitual patterns of behavior and reactivity.
The Course of Training through email offers the opportunity to grow from wherever we are right now to a greater state in the very near future, which will be "now" whenever it is experienced as our present Truth. Of course, the Truth of the present moment is true right now. All that is "lacking" is our recognition or realization of the Truth that is eternally unchanging. This is the Truth of our own eternal Being.
Knowing this Truth, living joyfully in the present moment, we live in perfect freedom in this world and while in this very body.
This is why our course is entitled "Living in the Truth of the Present Moment."
Jo: If you were to give us one attribute to focus on during the month of February, what would it be?
DRB: the attribute we all need to focus on most now is lightheartedness.
Due to the current state of the world, it is very important that we avoid getting caught in seriousness or heaviness of any nature. Being too serious or heavy will pull us into a darkness that can be difficult to extricate ourselves from. This is a time that maintaining lightheartedness will be extremely fruitful.
Be laughing, loving, and a little bit loony.
Remain steady in seeing the humor in things. As much as possible, don't take any situation, any other person, or yourself, too seriously. Especially with the state of the world today, it is important to approach life lightheartedly. If we become too serious, we will be vulnerable to negative emotions, and once we get involved in negative emotions, we forget all about the inner Self and get totally lost in egotistical melodramas.
If you want one thing to focus on during the month of February, focus on being lighthearted. The more lighthearted we are, the easier it is for others around us to be lighthearted as well, and the more those around us are lighthearted, the more joyful and cheerful our world will be. If we wish to contribute to the state of the world around us at the current time, then focus on being lighthearted above all else.
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