Monday, January 3, 2011

Returning to Love

Let’s share this meditation together
to begin 2011 in the highest way.

Returning to Love

Sit comfortably and take a few long, slow breaths.
Go back to recognizing the pure, undefined,
undifferentiated, unmodified, formless Awareness of Being—
That in you which knows that you are, which knows, “I am.”
Understand that this Awareness is universal—
it permeates and pervades the entire universe at all times.
It is not different from the ever-present nature of Grace.
It is beyond all circumstances and situations.
It is beyond all karma. It is beyond all samskaras,
all tendencies to describe or define.
It is free from that whole play—
unmodified, undifferentiated, and undefined.
There is nothing to think about Consciousness.
To think is only to contract Consciousness.
Go back to being aware of your own Awareness.
Be conscious of Consciousness.
Think of your heart as being filled with love.
Be aware that love is pouring into you
with each breath, expanding the area of your heart
far beyond the space of your body.
See it as a warm, golden, liquidy love.
Feel its warmth and soothing nature.
Let everything you have heard or read so far
be dissolved into it.
Fall in love with your Self.
Live in love.
Understand that the same Self within you
exists in all others.
Love the Self in you and love the Self in others.
The Inner Self is The Divine,
Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent—
All-knowing, All-powerful, and All-pervading.
Seeing the Divine in all, life becomes very simple.
Everything is very easy
once this becomes the primary focus and emphasis.
Melt into the golden white Light of the Self
and be absorbed in your own love.
Keep returning to love as the highest priority.
Live in that love.

For information about the Course of Training written by D. R. Butler and available by email, write: for English or French translation

For Spanish translation of the Course, write:


Ari said...

Volume 2 Lesson 9.

wow. that was amazing as you called "a change of pace".

I love hearing about your old teacher (the balmy old man) and this Great lodge of Mystics. I wonder if his work was ever published as a text somewhere?

that was wild stuff.

Scott Marmorstein said...

I have returned to Love!
This prayer helps me a great deal!
Love it! Thank you SO much!
Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this lovely way to start this new happy year, today, and everyday.

I just printed this to hang up where I can read it at least once everyday.

Living in love,

rico said...

How the world appears to us, how the mind interprets the vibrations that comprise phenomena, depends for the most part, upon the paradigm we have in our mind. Kind of like the operating system on a computer. Even if the mind is largely quiet the artifacts of our paradigm still can affect our experience.

Those of us who have lived our lives in the West typically accept and apply the scientific paradigm to "reality" as reality. Even those of us who have seen the flaws in this paradigm still "process the data" (even my metaphor is "scientific") through the artifacts of that paradigm.

But the "scientific" world view is not the only view even if it is dominant not only here in the West but increasingly around the rest of the world as well. There is another paradigm that I have recently (re?)discovered, a different world view. It is the "magical" paradigm. There are events, experiences, that are natural in the magical paradigm but so foreign to the scientific paradigm that this event would go unnoticed to one operating entirely from the scientific model. In fact talking about such things to a "scientist" might get one admitted to the looney bin.

The Lessons teach us that the world appears to us according to the thoughts we hold in our mind. It appears it's not just a matter of taming the wild ramblings of the mind, it also matters what we think is possible.

mohan said...

Thanks for this bit of guided meditation. It was very refreshing and I'm certain it will remain so throughout this month. I am reminded by this post and by my current lesson that Grace and teaching is transmitted in, and through, in between, behind, and even independent of the words being used.


Colette said...

Thank you for drenching me in love, new again and again. Karuna-Colette

Brenda said...

Thank you, I am melting in LOVE. What an incredible way to start our New Year. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Happy New Year.
Lots of Love, Chiti

Stuart said...

What a sweet way to start the year! I had just read my current lesson at breakfast, and now this meditation has taken me to a great place. Whatever needs to happen on the "outer" level, my experience of now is strong, clear and loving. Thank you!

Sukala said...

Ahhhh, you've offered the goal in an expansive meditation. In lesson 29 this morning (before visiting the blog) I felt awe at the science of creation, and relief that only two of the 36 levels of creation require purification. Grace, which the lesson notes as ever present, awaited me in the form of this Conscious-meditation to spend more time in reality. Thank you for deepening my understanding constantly and for this. HNY.

D. R. Butler said...

Sometimes when we can't seem to accomplish what we want to do, or when we just can't get going, it's nature's way of telling us it's time for rest and rejuvenation. The myth that 'hard work' leads to success has created much misery; in truth success is the result of correct thinking.

One's capacity to do something when he has to is directly proportional to his ability to do nothing when he chooses to.

D. R. Butler said...

Does it seem a little paradoxical to realize that you are no one who could possibly do anything, yet somehow your Presence is required?

divya said...

Love is all pervasive.
It is everywhere
All the time.
Remember those times when you
Were so filled up with joy
And ecstasy inside?
A birthday party,
At the beach,
Or the birth of a child.
Maybe just looking out over
The ocean and being.

Love is here and there,
Never high or low.
It can be wherever you go and
All that you are.
Once the knot is opened in your heart
That says that this is not love
Or that is not love or
He is not love or
She is not love.

When that happens it all explodes
into everything
You see and
Hear and
Emanating out like colors of the
Rainbow permeating all with its light.

Yes,love is all pervasive.
It is everywhere all the time.
It's at Mother's Day celebrations
And Thanksgiving feasts.
Most of all it's inside your heart where it
Dwells so subtly and quietly until it
Reaches out to those around and
Starts to envelope them until
All is changed
Into itself
Permeating and

Chris said...

Your statement that success is the result of correct thinking really struck me. Another way that I would say it is that it's about being in alignment with one's dharma, in thoughts, words, and action. As we've discussed, one can think all kinds of positive thoughts to attain success in a realm of life, yet if it is not our Dharma, our Heart calling, to attain that particular thing, of what use is it?

And there are other things I could think about in a positive and expansive way, yet which I will not attain this time round.

As a 40 year old software engineer, it's too late for me to be a professional football player, but if I did I certainly wouldn't play for the Jets!

D. R. Butler said...

You've interpreted 'correct thinking' rather loosely.

I didn't say anything you think about can happen -- like flying or playing for the Jets. That wouldn't be 'correct.'

'Correct thinking' includes a certain degree of practicality.

I doubt you'd really be happy as a member of the Jets anyway.

Chris said...

Not this year at least, with the Patriots on their romp.

What exactly is "correct thinking" within the context of your statement that "success is the result of correct thinking"?

We've learned in the lessons that as long as we have to think, why not think expanded uplifting thoughts. Yet with the practicality you mentioned, there seems to be more to it than expanded and uplifting. This is where I thought dharma came in...

Anonymous said...

I like what you said about the paradox of being no one and yet being fully present. Perhaps the key then is to awake in this light of love (which I often do each morning) and remain a no one as I go about my udual day.

ER said...

Practicality! I remember wanting to become Rudolf Nureyef 2...then I realised the body I had inhabited would not serve that purpose and I decided to become the best Hamlet ever! And then I saw: the body was female!!! so i opted out for green peace warrior:) The balance between downsizing and practicality still evades me but I will hit it one day. Please forgive my being flipant. On this occasion I couldn't help myself plus the dawn chorus in the middle of snow of the last couple of days calls for springtime silliness. I completely understand if I don't see this on the blog
Lots of Love

Naganath said...

Such a great affirmation for new year's RESOLUTION. Your meditation in tune with the universal Truth and clarifies my feelings going into this new year. Thank you.

Love, Naganath.

Bob Dahl said...

More than once when I read the part of the current lesson (V2, L9) that discusses the principle of induction I have felt the hair on my head raise up. Quite an accomplishment seeing as I am bald (hehehe). Ram, than you for sharing the LOVE of sharing the space of coming into contact with yogis or siddhas.

Michelle Synnestvedt said...

Lesson 37 is rocking my world Ram! I can't say enough how much I LOVE it!
besides the rockin sublte body stuff I love the whole point you make on the illusion of powerlessness. I think this really hits home because as a child I was brought up in a house hold with a recovering alcoholic and "admitting powerless-ness over addiction" was a huge message.
It is a subtle line I think... and one I have contemplated from childhood.
If one believes they are capable of overcoming "ego addictions " unyoked...meaning without the only true power of the present moment I guess they are "powerless" on a relative scale. To face samskara with incorrect thinking maybe futile.

Michelle Synnestvedt said...

@ you know I am on the "quest for magic" In a cool way, I was thinking the only way we can deconstruct and reconstruct the paradigm is to remain in the present moment so we can be aware of the structures we were unaware of. The discrimination we use to search through the rubble for hints about what foundations we have based our world view on is part of the process and that search is only possible right now...searching for the artifacts in the present moment :)
WE are some pretty amazing guides through this rubble!!!!!

I so love our Ram Maharaj!!

Ralph Yarber said...

Volume 2 Lesson 9

This new lesson feels like a whole new level of Sadhana. I feel honored to read the teaching of your first teacher and thank you for sharing those teaching with us.
New Years Meditation, "Golden Liquid Love" Haaaaaa There's nothing better.

rico said...

Being in the Moment makes all things possible. I mean this literally, it is not a slogan. In the still space there is no separation between the individual and the infinite.

When we chose to dance, how we dance depends on how we think about what occurs Now. If we frame the dance in the magical then we step outside the limits of our Western way of seeing. Not that there is anything wrong with the scientific way of seeing. If I want to take my physical body to the the moon I'd probably want to rely on a space craft. But that's not the only way to get there

CDM said...

Ram, this is a beautiful meditation. I am using it as a lead-in to deeper meditation. I agree with Marta's comment on FB that it would be wonderful if you could record this for us. Would enjoy hearing that loving and lovable Mississippi drawl of yours again. In any case, if I listen closely, I can hear it with my inner ear. Thank you for sending so much love our way.

D. R. Butler said...

Chris, in correct thinking, there is an equality regarding 'expanded' and 'uplifted' and everything else. On the highest level divine Consciousness pulsates even in the most contracted and deluded states. The only difference lies in our own awareness of the Truth of Being in the present moment.

To be more practical, I'm sure I could fly if I honestly believed I could fly, but there is no way I could possibly believe it. I know I currently manifest in this human physical form, and there's no way this particular human form flys.

So 'correct thinking' includes that which is plausible. No matter how expanded and unlifting our thought might be, there's still a part of us that knows when it's implausible, and so we can't actually experience true belief in it.

Of course, it's not that 'incorrect thinking' is wrong or bad. Usually it simply leads to more strife and conflict, and to less contentment with the way it is.

Correct thinking, on the other hand, is whatever leads to contentment.

Michelle, I've had similar feelings towards the culture of admitting powerlessness and describing oneself as a permanent addict. I realize a lot of good work has been done in this area, yet there is a point that we have to go beyond it, to the space where there is no powerlessness and there is no addict. Many systems work to achieve certain goals, but eventually a time comes to go beyond those particular goals.

The ultimate goal, of course, is to realize there is no goal.

Chris said...

Ram, what you said makes me think that what holds us back from manifesting as a more fluid aspect of the divine dream is in fact an aspect of mind that keeps us anchored in this world as we see and understand it.

In dreams we can fly and become animals and do other very strange things. The scriptures saints and shamans tell us that this world is no more real than the dreams we have at night. I know that there are shamans who can transform themselves into animals, others who can operate outside the strict confines of time and space. I've heard some stories about the great saint Bhagawan Nityananda that corroborate what I've heard from the shamanic world as well.

It seems that in this time and culture we find ourselves in we've all basically made an agreement that we're playing by a certain set of rules concocted by rational mind.

I'm not so sure that this is bad, as it's another thing to come into harmony with, but isn't it a shame that we've lost touch with a way of relating to the Divine that allows for more fluidity in this particular dream? This is what your course has always inspired in me.

When I think along these lines I cannot help but draw an analogy to the movie "The Matrix". I've often felt that this is a very spiritual movie, as the protagonist is limited to the seeming rules of the program he's in until he stops believing in those rules. Another movie along those lines, that I really love, is "The Truman Show", in which Truman realized he was living in a fabricated reality, and slowly the cracks in the facade started showing and he eventually finds his way out.

I don't know that the folks who made those movies know of the deeper realities their stories are alluding to, but they certainly spoke to me.

Michelle Synnestvedt said...

@ Chris,
we can live in as MUCH of the Universe as we are able to at anytime. Most of us as you say are limited by what Rico has been calling the Scientific paradigm of the West.
I agree that the more we see the limited constructs we have been choosing to be victimized by, we step into a much larger universe than we were living in before.
I know Beethovens ability to live in and know an expanded musical universe is beyond my capacity for sure. He has access to a language I don't have.
The more we anchor into the Present the more access we have. I also do believe it is about what kind of game we wan to play....there are games (lila) that engage us more deeply with the world and those that keep us on the "outskirts"...I guess the fun part is choosing how we want to play once we realized we are the "baker of the bread we eat"

Naganath said...

D. R. Butler said...
Does it seem a little paradoxical to realize that you are no one who could possibly do anything, yet somehow your Presence is required?

Naganath says,

No, this makes Perfect Sense:
from the (non)perspective of Self/Consciousness/Awareness, there is 'no one' nor 'no thing' yet we/"I" are only purely present and only require the awareness of Presence to recognize we exist beyond all limitation of thought and being. The Shakti/Guru is alive and does all. "The Guru is the root of all action" and She is us. She is Presence personified. To be not present is to forget.

Scott Marmorstein said...

Something much, much, much larger exists and is present than our notions about the Self. Making a change there changes a lot here. One need go backwards inside to discover the immensely rich inner tapestry on which one thread can be pulled to make enormous outer changes.

D. R. Butler said...

Response to an email regarding someone's negative and fearful thoughts:

I wouldn't worry so much about having scary thoughts about things going poorly. It's simply part of human nature to think this way, and just about everybody has such thoughts from time to time.

The good news is that such thoughts generally aren't focused enough to actually direct or generate creative energy. and end up affecting nothing in a real way. Things can be going quite perfectly in life even though the mind is coming up with all sorts of things to be concerned about. This is the time to pay no attention to the mind, or at least not take it seriously.

Have faith deep inside that everything is going perfectly and just as God in His infinite wisdom has planned for us. Don't pay much attention to freaking out, even though the mind might be very convicing regarding the apparent fact that something is going wrong. Keep referring to your lessons on a regular basis, and you will gradually find yourself thinking in an entirely new and expansive way, and the old patterns will fade away.

Scott Marmorstein said...


When we finally become expansive, is it then safe to say that the patterns themselves (like freaking out) begin to break down and stop causing a strange outer reality for us?

Genuinely curious.

Charlie said...

I came to Comments to ask for some practical advice and found the very last one already addressing my situation somewhat. Funny, huh?

I'm on Lesson One, which I recognize contains everything I hope to learn before I'm done. From one perspective, it looks like my life is falling apart around me, even as I try to hold the perspective that everything is OK and as it should be. I've recognized that it's Karma and there's really nothing to work on, except to let go of my judgments about it and not to get lost in obsessions about what could have happened or what will happen next. I've noticed that when I wake up in the middle of the night with a cold sweat about a fear or regret or something I may have to face, my challenge is simply to "not freak out", I guess. And to not obsess about what might happen next.

So, what do I focus on, laying in bed in the middle of the night with total lack of stimuli around me? My mind wants something chewy and tasty to engage, like "how did I get here" or "what's going to happen". Instead, I'm trying to shift my focus onto to the present, which may be as subtle as the feel of the sheets against my skin, or the pain in my shoulder, or the fact that I'm in a strange bed I'm not used to being in? (It's no wonder it's hard to maintain - my mind is offended by such a "menial" challenge.) I would like to say I can focus on my feelings of "self love", but right now it just feels like words. So I put the "I love myself" words in my head instead of the drama words, and it seems to help because I made it through another night. Is that the right approach, and maybe the best outcome I can hope for while I'm in the middle of it?

Chris said...

Michelle & Scott, Beautiful, thank you. D.R., your comment was exactly what I needed to hear right now.

rico said...

Charlie, the trick is to gain some perspective on the mind to step back from the onslaught. If you can find some place to stand while the torrent rushes by, the flood of thoughts has less impact. One way to do this is to focus on an uplifting thought like the one you have used. Another very effective one is to simply focus on "I am". If you couple that with a focus on the breath, inhale "I" exhale "AM" it can be very powerful.

In any event the deluge will eventually pass and you will come out the other side stronger from the experience. The most effective thing you can do is to re-read your current Lesson as often as you can. I can recall a time when I was going through similar circumstances. The Lessons were my island of serenity in the midst of the insanity.

Colette said...

Maybe freaking out is a good thing because it makes me run to my lesson even more. It keeps me honest and allows me to see that I am still capable of getting hooked, especially if I do not stay present. LOL, Karuna

Ursula said...

Can I ask you please since you yourself have just gone through a serious hospital procedure, how can one stay in a loving space when racked by physical pain?
As I age my body is coming up with all sorts of aches and pains that are terribly intrusive on my peace of mind.

Renee said...

What an awesome meditation! What wonderful comments, questions and answers! Thank you.

I just wanted to say that reading lesson 18 makes me want to dissolve into the words and live in that world. Hopefully, reading and practice will take me there! Wait, let me change that to: "Reading and practice will take me there"! I believe it.

I had a good freak out for a month back in December. Part of me was watching the freaking and knowing I could stop it if I just read the lessons more and practiced their principles. But that part could also see that part of me was enjoying freaking out - it felt familiar. Egotistical melodrama extraordinaire! Hey, it was a really good freak out!

So, I'm back. Wiser in a way, for having had the front row seat. I'm here to practice, see, feel and believe in the highest and best in everyone. Even me.

Love and light to you all!

D. R. Butler said...

Scott asked, "When we finally become expansive, is it then safe to say that the patterns themselves (like freaking out) begin to break down and stop causing a strange outer reality for us?"

We are already expansive -- we've just identified with the contraction.

Patterns themselves break down when we no longer care about them or react to them. They eventually just run out when we stop fueling them with our attention. When they come up, the best we can do is to watch them while maintaining our own highest state.

Outer reality will always be strange. The only reality that might come closest to 'making sense' is our inner Reality, which is unconditioned and unmodified.

Charlie, you can't 'not freak out' or 'not obsess' on something. The 'not' gives it power. You are only on Lesson 1, so there is still a great deal to become aware of. The main rule of thumb is to focus on what you actually prefer while giving no thought or attention to what you prefer being free from. Believe it or not, freeing your attention from something is freedom from that thing. Our attention had us bound all along.

Ursula, I'm sorry to report that physical pain seems to be an aspect of physical karma. Through the aid of my teachers, I have attained a lot in my 65 years, however I must admit that I have never become free from physical pain. I've come to accept it as part of the body, part of the physical incarnation.

The best we can do is to focus on what feels good and what makes us happy. I know this sounds pollyannish to some, but anyone who actually tries it soon experiences its power. Allow space for the pain natural to the body, and focus on what you prefer.

All these things are discussed in depth in the course. They are simple and easy to know, but they are subtle and difficult to practice. The course gives us an opportunity to actually practice.

Alan said...

I hate to admit it, but my body has become so stiff and weak that it has become difficult to successfully do any exercise at all. I don't even know where to begin to get myself out of this rut.

D. R. Butler said...

Thanks for your honesty. Many could say the same thing, but aren't able to admit it even to themselves.

Start off with simple stretches. With just a little practice you'll soon find that you can stretch further. The body does correct itself if we give it the slightest guidance and opportunity to do so.

Kay and I put on some of our favorite music and dance. We combine our dance with yogic stretches. It's fun to exercise to music you like, and this will keep your energy moving instead of allowing it to stagnate.

Just do something. Never allow yourself to totally give in to inertia. Once we go there the aging process speeds up. We maintain youth with focused activity. A little effort never hurt anyone, and it's far better to wear out than to rust out.

Anonymous said...

I started out the course pretty strong. Making it a priority to read daily in the lessons. However it wasn't too long into the course that I seemed to get sidetracked and felt slightly overrun by my daily activities and the course began to fall by the wayside.

Since then I read a post you wrote that I understood to say...don't try to go back and read what you have missed, just read what has most recently arrived in your inbox (this may or may not have been a correct understanding on my part). I am currently printing out this lesson ready to recommit myself to reading it every day. However I do feel as if I am "missing" key information and need to go back and read prior lessons. Especially those that explain karma.

I guess I am writing just to get feedback on if my "plan" is appropriate. I appreciate all the wisdom of the course and that which you share so openly in your blog posts.

Kay Butler said...

Your letter reminds me of myself (and so many others, some of us who've been reading the lessons for 35 years or more and still have to deal with resistance to simply reading). Reading and re-reading the lessons is all we're asked to do to get free from all that holds us down, so why do you suppose we have such a difficult time with such a simple sadhana? Nobody likes to do what they 'should' do, I guess--must be the inner five-year-old.

I print out at least three copies of the current lesson as soon as I get it. We keep a copy (as well as the back issues) in a magazine basket in the bathroom, so there's no excuse not to pick it up for at least a page or two whenever we 'rest' there for a few minutes. And I keep a copy beside the bed and one in my purse, guaranteed to hit a page or at least a couple of paragraphs to contemplate before falling asleep or in the waiting room at the Dr's, etc. (I've even been known to read the lesson in the checkout line at the market.) When I worked in an office, I would take the lesson to my car on my coffee break and come back to work feeling rejuvenated. Now that I work at home, I also keep the file open on my computer and read from it there in off moments.

It's a matter of making it a part of daily life, integrating even a page or two a day into life makes all the difference and sometimes I just stop and say to myself: You DO have 5 minutes right now! (Post-it notes work too)

And of course that first reading of a new lesson is so blissful that I have always made it a priority in life to set aside enough time to print out and really savor the whole thing the day it arrives and to read it in its entirety as many times as possible during the two weeks--it's what I do for ME, on all levels of my Being.

Another hint is to go back and reread the lesson about a week into the next's all new because so much has taken place on the inside since the new lesson came out. Reading the old one from the new point of view can't be described, but has to be tried to believe it.

In any case, don't get down on yourself for it...just keep fitting in the reading in whatever creative ways work for you, enjoy the ways the mind and heart open up whenever you use the willpower to remember your intention to turn the attention to your lesson for even a few moments. And always substitute gratitude for the tendency to resist, because it's pretty easy to summon up a feeling of gratitude for being given this portable form of grace and study in this lifetime, right where we're at in our own life, if we simply read and reread.

And, yes, if you are 'behind' in your reading, you can consider yourself 'caught up' if you are reading and rereading your current lesson. If you feel you missed something, read the lessons you missed at your own pace, and everything you need will come to you. Also, D.R. is well aware that most participants take a while to appreciate the power of regular rereading, so if something is really essential it is bound to come around again at the perfect time.

Much love,

Alan said...

I'd love to see you and Kay doing your yoga/dances.

D. R. Butler said...

Yes, it's quite a sight.

There are probably people who would pay to see them, and there are also those who would pay to not have to see them.

Anonymous said...

I sat alone tonight-in my despair
hoping you would comfort me
instead, you ran me over and ripped out my heart
the next time I’ll be waiting
lying across the road


D. R. Butler said...

That's a cute little poem, but I detect some blame and also some self-pity in it.

It makes me wonder what are you giving, what are you offering to the other?

Usually, when we feel we don't get what we need to get, it's because we aren't giving what we need to give.

Anonymous said...

My comment/question is in regards to the current lesson - On page 5 you talk about it is not our place to fix someone, even if we think that we are helping him. The rule of thumb is to let the other be unless he asks for help or advice.

Being the mother of two teenage boys I find this extremely difficult to do at times. I know in my heart I should let them try, and fail, so that they may experience life on their own terms. But I feel that if I do nothing by just sitting back, leaving them to their own devices they will ultimately not achieve their full potential and just coast thru life doing just the minimum to get by.

It is an ongoing struggle where I see other parents who push their children to achieve and it appears those kids are thriving - doing so much more with their lives and succeeding. I think "Am I doing the wrong thing? Should I be like the others and push my children to succeed?"

I know my dharma as their mother is to guide them and be there for them when they need my help, but is it also to give them a push or two along the way?

I know you have raised a wonderful daughter and was just wondering what your perspective is on this situation.

D. R. Butler said...

My daughter is truly wonderful, and I also have two sons, now 26 and 22, that I am also very proud of and pleased with.

I'm not sure that pushing children to succeed always results in a thriving adult. I have usually found that too much 'pushing' can be very destructive, especially in terms of one's emotional state. Thriving is one thing, but it doesn't always correspond to happiness or contentment.

I feel the best approach for teenagers is to be there for them and to offer support when it is needed. By this age their karma has strongly kicked in, and instead of trying to get them to do or to be anything, it is better to tune into what they are naturally becoming, all on their own. Who and what they become will not be because of anything we do or don't do at this point.

To help them simply be themselves, and to express themselves freely, is the greatest gift and the highest guidance.

Anonymous said...

even though I don’t feel a need to
explain myself- or the poem -
I think
you may have misunderstood
what I was trying to say -
or maybe you’re being so insightful I
can’t really understand what you’re trying
to tell me-
I hate when that happens


D. R. Butler said...

It's all perfect:)

Far be it from me to try to tell anyone anything.

It's hard enough to tell things to people who actually want to hear them. Therefore I gave up trying.

Yet I'm certain it's all perfect.

Chimene said...

Dear Ram,
In you Facebook article you say: Dharma is doing whatever is necessary to be in harmony with our karma. Through the activation of subtle will we can simply be in harmony with our karma, with no other action necessary.

So let say I have a difficult relationship with my mother, being in harmony with that is not necessarily being in a harmonious relationship with my mother, but being in harmony with the fact that we are not in harmonious relationship? Like saying everything happens for the best even thought my mind can really see that in the moment.

I have tried so hard to make that relationship work but as time goes by it seems only to get worse, I seem to hit one brick wall after another, despite my best efforts to harmonize things, so I am trying to rethink this in a whole new I on the right track?

Thank you, Love

D. R. Butler said...

Chimene said, 'being in harmony with that is not necessarily being in a harmonious relationship with my mother, but being in harmony with the fact that we are not in harmonious relationship?'

Chimene, that is exactly it. You can be in harmony with the fact that you and your mother are not in harmonious relationship. If you can do that, you have done your part, and it is really the most you can do.

Being totally in harmony with parents is a very tricky deal. There are so many years of stuff that has built up subconsciously, so many rigid patterns of perception and reaction.

Your mother might not like your lifestyle. Therefore it is hard to be in perfect harmony no matter what you do, at least if you are to be true to yourself. This is simply an example, of course.

We wrote above how it's so important for parents to accept their children's choices, decisions, and ways of living. This can be very difficult for parents who are bound by their own conditioning and ideas of how things should be.

So, yes, be in harmony with however it is, even if it isn't ideally harmonious in the way everyone would like. Many aspects of karma must simply be accepted and come into harmony with. Very little in life will turn out to be ideal. In fact, ultimately we have to be free from all ideals.

Kay Butler said...

My comment is directed @ Anonymous' poem: "I sat alone tonight-in my despair / hoping you would comfort me / instead, you ran me over and ripped out my heart / the next time I’ll be waiting / lying across the road"

When I first read it, I was reminded of Tulsidas and this is what it evoked in me: "tonight I was giving in to despair / thinking comfort would somehow come from outside myself / or from Above / well, you entered my Heart and wrung it like a sponge / please come back any time and do it again"

chimene said...

Thank you Ram for your answer, it is comforting in a strange mind doesn't like the idea of not fixing things up. But as you said, if I can be in harmony with being in disharmony I will have done my part. Well that is still a lot of inner work for me to do, letting go of the ideal mother-daughter relationship...

So thank you again for your words of guidance, they are like a sign post, at a crossroads, on a dark night, when you feel kind of lost: "Living in the TRUTH,
TURN RIGHT". And they give you hope to keep moving foward...

Lots of love,

Anonymous said...

Kay -even though I still don’t feel
the need to explain the poem-
because poets never explain themselves-
however -I am no poet-so-
you’re correct- that was exactly what the
poem was meant to convey-
although I thought it was
more indicative of Rumi-
but what do I know - I was just so thankful
for the experience that the poem
wrote itself- i’m not sure why I sent
it to the blog-maybe so we’ll are know that
what we’re doing is true and that
the space of the heart is real -
sometimes I forget-
thanks again to you and Ram for
always being here and comforting


ER said...

I can't remember thanking you recently. I have been absorbed practicing this from my lesson:
"Contemplate for a moment what it must mean to exist in a state that
is neither seer nor the seen, neither subject nor object."
I picked up an Osho book I borrowed a while ago, opened randomly and read something in support of this. I thought to myself "I don't know why I bother reading anything other than DR coming in manageable quantities so one gets to practice rather than just read and agree. Then I have been practicing this walking to school or in the middle of a noisy playground and experiencing total fusion. When I snap out of it I always have a smile on. So thank you.

Renee said...

I'm grateful to all of you for posting things here for me to learn from.

To ER: When you said, "I don't know why I bother reading anything other than DR coming in manageable quantities so one gets to practice rather than just read and agree." I have had that thought so many times, too! It's all the Truth, but when DR says it, it is something I can work with and understand inside as opposed to in my head.

Kay, thank you so much for interpreting rc's poem. I was floundering with it. And rc, thank you for writing it and confirming Kay's interpretation. The whole exchange has left me with a wonderful feeling.

Chimene, I work on the same thing, and get a lot of mileage out of it with my kids. I love how when I return to the present moment, my frustration of having things not going well is just zapped.

Love to all!
(Go Steelers!)

Anonymous said...

hey Ram- I’m reading the current lesson and I’m amazed and confused at the same time-you said-

If you feel that your karma brings you down, the thing to do is
whatever is necessary to break free from the samskaras corresponding to
that particular karma. Samskaras are the seeds of karma. The samskara is whatever attaches you to that particular karma. Without that attachment you would be free of it. Karma is simply the outer
manifestation of samskaras.
In truth it is not really our karma that brings us down; it is our
identification with the samskara itself. As we grow in awareness, as we expand our perspective, we will gradually break free from all samskaras.

So- this is a truly an amazing perspective - but I’m not sure I get it. So let say that you just got your pink slip in the mail and you're losing you job. I think everyone must have some fear-or samskara of loss. So after you get notice of losing your job you have that fear inside of you. Maybe you can sit and meditate and the fear of loss subsides- but when you get up from your meditation- you're still unemployed and that creates more anxiety and fear. So with the job market the way it is and all the mortgage foreclosures it’s a lot of stress---- --
so my question -are we doing this to ourselves by having that samskara in the first place- so it manifest as karma- ouch- and it’s very difficult to break free from this karma and samskara when your blood pressure is going through the roof and yet we’re supposed to try to free ourselves from the samskara- i’m not sure how that’s done- I know you said we have to have a whole new way of thinking about things-and I agree- but it seems some samskaras and attachments are so strong -
anyway i hope I made myself clear im looking forward to your answer


D. R. Butler said...

That's a huge question, and one more fully answered in the lessons themselves than in a comment here.

It's true that we have to establish a whole new way of thinking about things. The loss-of-job and attachment-to-job is a powerful cycle that can only be overcome by a whole other cycle in which there is freedom-from-job.

This does't mean we don't have a job. We all have to do some kind of work to sustain ourselves in this world, and the loss of a job can be a major emotional catastrophe. Someone close to me recently lost her job, and I can feel the pain of their whole family.

It takes practice and discipline to develop the kind of prosperity-consciousness so that we feel secure and cared for independent from having our job or current source of income.

If everyone suddenly stopped taking the course, it would definitely have an effect on my whole family. So, two things, I have to offer something that is not easily available anywhere else, and I have to know that supreme Consciousness placed me here for a reason and will take care of all needs if I simply fulfill my reason for being here.

I relate to your question and understand it fully; yet it can only be fully answered through the process of the lessons of the course. The answer is not simple enough to contain in a couple of paragraphs. Since you are participating in the course, simply be open to the answers as you experience the process of progressing through the lessons. It will all come to you.

Alex said...

I've become so used to enjoying your long essays as blog entries that I was thrown for a loop with your short poem this time. Is there any reason you decided to cut back on what you offer?

D. R. Butler said...

Alex, actually I upgraded what I offer. There is more wisdom in that simple poem that in any of the longer entries. If you imbibed every line of this month's entry, you'd find yourself completely transformed. Don't think more is better, especially when it comes to words. The greatest scriptural texts in the world contain very short sutras.

If you want more to read, perhaps more entertainment to keep yourself amused, go back and read the 'Self-Interview' published September 1, 2010. That one is always worth another read.

Scott Marmorstein said...


Wow...I really understand where you're coming from and how hard it is. We cannot hope to 'change our thinking' in a short period of time of lessons. I don't know which lesson you're on, but regardless, it takes a lifetime of inner work to begin to change the habits and patterns that we naturally draw to ourselves...

I've been through a number of personal catastrophes in my short time here on earth, and I shattering in many ways. I have been an inch from pure destitution, and that is not an exaggeration since most people do not even really know my upbringing.

Sometimes, what it comes down to is the most potent thing we can rely on, and that is our faith in ourselves, in our strength of character, our ability to persevere through adversity, and our ingenuity and the loving help of unexpected friends and old friends alike. We never do it 'all alone' and that is the boon of any crisis. I'll give you a very big key and hint to get through something that can be very disturbing and that is this: focus solely on the sweetest thing in your the point of absorption, if possible. Really give it your all, and act as though it were going to the gym...really exercise this with all your might. In my case it sometimes helps to lower my head and let my gaze fall to the floor, or outside the window.

After that you'll feel a 'tiny' bit better... Work that feeling like you would work a muscle every moment of each day and keep looking for something, anything positive you can possibly focus on. Above all, you can't allow yourself to fall into the mode of 'despair' or all will defnitely be lost. Call on friends, be more open, and be open especially to positive outer change. See what happens. God bless!

Kristopher said...

Happy New Year everyone! RC's questions and Ram's beautiful comments bring forth the following from me to share with all of you. I'm currently unemployed and moving to another state to support my parents in there later or last years. In the process I'm leaving behind a lifestyle, friends, support, my two beloved dogs,many things I'm not only quite accustomed to, but I'm beginning to see, quite identified with being "who I am". In making this move many things have fallen in place to support the action, like magic! Unseen, unexpected assistance of all forms has shown up from every direction to support this! Best of all, a window of perception opened that is quite revelatory. There is a razors edge I feel like I'm walking on. As the course promotes the practice of thinking only of what you do want (that feels good) and not what you don't want, I'm having an accelerated intensified experience of this. Most often I allow myself to experience positive thoughts about this move, my service to my parents, and all of the unknown wonderful opportunities that are and will be created through these actions. Then, in an occasional moment I wander off to loss of my beloved dogs and all of the other "endings" that inevitably transpire in a major life transition. The comings and goings. The gap between these sets of thoughts and feelings is so wide; in moving out of a contented blissful state I step into something I can best describe as insanity. Intense fear and feelings of loss, like the world is coming to an end. Feelings-though I allow myself to experience and accept-that are not ones I care to hang out with a lot. Often, the process of sadhana, for me, has presented these huge shifts to step through into a more expansive understanding. The letting go here doesn't particularly feel pleasant, yet I don't enjoy the suffering so consequently it feels like there is no other choice. I feel like I'm walking through iron walls of samskaric tendencies with all this. It's like walking into a great void and trusting it's warm and fuzzy in here! After years of practice it feels like the more I practice the less I know. These days I particularly appreciate having the course and it's steady wisdom as my friend and companion.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, as someone who is very dear to me would say to you, "How fortunate you are!"

Remember that your karma doesn't happen TO you, it happens FOR you. Consider this an opportunity to observe that in each present moment you always have what you need for that moment. You may not have what you need for tomorrow but you will always have what you need for today. When tomorrow is today, the same will be true.

The problem is not that you're losing your job, the problem is your attention is focused on a future that doesn't exist.

Your life is fine right now but your mind is telling you it isn't, and you're believing it.

Anonymous said...

thanks Ram - thanks Scott
I know that both of you have been through a lot lately and because of that it helps me keep things in perspective - i’m reading “Cold Mountain” right now -and when you think of some of the things that people have to go through it helps you to realize that freaking out and feeling sorry for yourself isn’t really an answer- in fact it really does bring us closer to who we really are- so i thank you both with your replies-it does help know that other people share the same experiences as you do -
thanks again


Divya said...

I am noticing that I have to return to love every moment as I watch what thoughts come up for me.
This week I broke up with my boyfriend for the third time as he is moving to another town.When I put my thoughts on what happened etc...I don't feel good. I feel like another failed/past relationship. But when I put my thoughts on what feels good which is that it is leading me to a new improved relationship, I feel so much better and in a state of excitement and anticipation. When I think about all the good things that I have gotten from the relationship, I feel non resistance. I want to love the man who has just walked away and bless him for what he has paid forward for me and for himself!
I love the course I am contemplating "We are what we think. All arises with out thoughts. With our thoughts we make our world. Speak or act with a pure mind And happiness will follow you as your shadow, unskakable." Thanks Ram

Colette said...

Thank you all so much for your sharing and support, it brings tears to my eyes and so much love to my heart.

I find it so easy to get caught and infatuated with my own shakti and am so grateful for the course and its access to lightheartedness.

I have been self-employed my whole life and living on the edge the whole time. I am very slowly coming to realize that the only safety that there is being in harmony with what comes unsought and not being a no, just courageously stepping into each next as it arises, acting true to my own nature and seeing what shows up. My whole life has shown me that everything ALWAYS works out for the best, even if it does not look like it in the moment. A Heartful of Love and Blessings, Karuna

mohan said...

Well, I for one have been continually blown away by this month’s “Return to Love” poem entry and find myself wishing for more time before a new entry is posted. I’ve been using these words as a guide to such sweet meditations.
I just thought I’d share this quote by Washington Irving posted in today’s Quotation of the Day on The Free
“An inexhaustible good nature is one of the most precious gifts of heaven, spreading itself like oil over the troubled sea of thought, and keeping the mind smooth and equable in the roughest weather.”

chimène said...

hello Ram, hello everyone on the blog.

I have a question regarding something in my lesson, you explain how dreams are glimpses into a longer lasting, subtle reality; you say we experience the subtle senses in our dreams, and have sublet experiences.

So as I have shared before I am working on being in harmony with not being in harmony with my mother.
In the days following Ram's answer, in my dreams, I kept trying to fix up the relationship, trying to make her see my point of view, I talk to her, get very angry, feel frustrated, sad nothing is happening between us on the physical level, we haven't seen each other in 2 years, but subtly a whole lot is happening...or is it? Is it really me and my mother caught up in this subtle relationship or is just my own frustrations being reflected in my dreams?

That's really the core of my questions, when we dreams are we in contact with the subtle body of the people we are in the dreams with? So in this sense, can we be in contact with people that are deceases, not incarnated at this time, people we are not talking to, haven't seen for years ect...
how can we best understand what we experience in our dreams in terms of relationships ?


Colette said...

Through the course i am coming to understand that the first place to start is myself, to stop separating myself or judging myself, because it all is really myself alone. I get to be who ever I want to be in the conversation. I truly get to discover the miracle of love or whatever i choose to focus on in each now. All i can see in this moment is the absolute blessing that all my selves are to me. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti,Karuna

Taylor said...

Dear D.R.,
Thanks for sharing in my current lesson about your being shy with others when you were younger and realizing during meditation that you were actually uncomfortable with yourself, not others. You then describe how you started to remind yourself to relax with yourself and with others as well.
I've been experimenting with this reminder as well and find it, well - relaxing!
I'm not sure if it is our American rajasic culture (or growing up with family who smoked and drank caffeine all the time) but I feel that this is something helpful for me and that in some unconscious way I have not been relaxed. I am sinking into this intention of relaxing and I appreciate its effects...Ahhhhh.
Do you still have to remind yourself to relax or is it second nature by now?

D. R. Butler said...

Taylor, anything consistently practiced becomes second nature after a while. At first you have to use will power to remind yourself consciously, and this makes an impression in the subconscious, and before long you are doing it subconsciously, or without thinking about it.

Being relaxed is pretty natural to me now. I don't really have to remind myself to relax. But this is only after years of actual practice, after many conscious reminders of what I aspired to experience as my natural state. The principles do work if we practice them. That is the best thing about the kind of work we do--the results are profound and tangible. It is not a matter of theory.

Michelle Synnestvedt said...

In lesson 38 while I was reading the sentence that says we can move from being a reactor to a creator..I realized in that moment that reactor is an anagram of creator.....hahaha pretty cool! They share the same letters they, they resemble each other and yet depending on how the letters are keeping company with each other the meaning is so different. Reaction and Creation are contained in each other!

ER said...

Thanks for the tip of things to come Michelle. Have been sitting on DR's note on Karma versus dharma and yesterday had this picture of swirls of transparent water flowing over each other. I am creating this swirl which works with but in a different direction to someone else's swirl and they are all interdependent and flowing in the same great stream reaping benefits along the way. So who is the creator and who is the reactor? the Great I?!

tdh said...

Blessings to you Kristopher. I also have been through some huge life changes, including what felt like huge losses, at times -- who hasn't? What comes to mind, besides sending you blessings and love, is "Trust". Thank you for your post.

Sukala said...

Chimene, I relate to your dream about seeing a person who you have conflict with in waking state, and in dream, conflict is there too. This has often happened to me, about people who have a significant role in my life. Whenever I identify I'm holding back my love and spontaneity and make a decision to change, it seems to get worse for a while. It's like God pointing it out to me as if to say, are you sure you want to let go of this pattern?
Last year at work there was a new employee who I felt jealous about and although she was warm I wasn't. After six months I opened enough to contemplate and to want to change our relationship to kind and warm. For the last six months I have made continuous effort with minimal change in our outer relationship. At times I've thought, why bother? I'm the only one giving... But then I remind myself how I set the tone when she arrived. This gives me the courage and strength to keep going.
About a week ago, in a dream I saw her warmly reaching out, smiling at me. That day at the office, we encountered each other a few times. Smile, smile, smile.
My dreams have often helped me see more clearly especially when contemplation is done, sometimes over a significant time.

Devorah Feinbloom said...

Thank you Ram for the crystal clear transmission that comes through you. Wy do I come here? I want to remind myself everyday of who I really am. This space is like a homing device lining me up to the highest frequency. To become an expert at anything takes 10,000 hours says Malcolm Gladwell in his book "the Tipping Point". I give my 10,000 hours to Living in the truth of the Present Moment because after experiencing all the sex, drugs and rock and roll so to speak - I understand that what is at the core of anything is the flow of the TRUTH. it is the only thing that is really important in my life.
I do know those days where I feel I have been "hit" by the truth and I am in the flow of life without effort. The love is free flowing, It is very contagious.

I have experienced much transformation in my life - much through bodywork, meditation and car accidents. In 2003 I was in a serious car accident - a head on collision. My chest smashed into the steering wheel. The car was totaled. I was "told" at the time of impact - a voice in my head, an angel who knows where it came from...I needed to do a liver cleanse! It came "out of the blue'. After my first cleanse, I offered a class to clients and I have been leading liver cleanse programs ever since. By the way, from an outsider's perspective they would have thought that I was in excruciating pain and miserable after smashing my chest on the steering wheel. On the contrary, I was in pain and ecstatic for 2 weeks straight. So transformation can sure be unexpected and shocking

Michelle Synnestvedt said...

Thanks Ram for another great blog.
Transmission. This is why I come here. I have always felt that when I align myself with my Heart amazing things happen, deep insight, and mysterious change on a level that sometimes can not be easily articulated at first. When this desire to align with the flow of what is powering me and everything in this and every moment is coupled with a group intention..well truly miraculous things occur.
I have been blessed with great "formal" teachers and from the transmission I have received from them a sensitivity has increased my ability to soften to this transmission that the great Heart is always offering in any and every form.
It is a great boon to have the opportunity to spend time in the company of seekers and students who desire true Knowledge, it is also rare. So I do not take this connection lightly and feel blessed to have a space to meet and even more grateful to Ram for his loving service in offering this.

pug lover said...

I feel so good about having access to the Course again. After reading only lesson 2, I found myself in a contentious meeting of homeowners. I no longer wanted to be the part of the "contentious" aspect of the meeting, so I decided to try humor, and it got me through feeling good about myself. No need to attack these people -- they are just doing the best they can. The issue was not earth-shattering, so I let it go (but still made my points). I look forward to more opportunities to move ahead on my spiritual path.