Friday, July 1, 2011

So Many Teachers -- Who to Trust?

Sometimes I visit the pages of various Facebook friends, especially those that maintain a dialogue of a high nature, just to see what is going on out there.

First of all, the fact that we can, at any moment, tune into various real-time dialogues actually happening among people in various places of the world, is like science fiction to me.  Just a few years ago only a few visionaries knew that it was possible—science fiction never quite picked up on it before it actually happened.  It was a well-kept secret.  Today millions take it for granted. 

The possibilities for the future are endless.  We don’t have to be in the same physical space anymore to have a very deep and intimate communication, dialogue, or relationship.  Participation on Facebook is one of the best ways currently available to keep up with all that’s going on in the spiritual community.  It’s a way of keeping us aware of what is happening on the innermost levels.  It performs a function that the media cannot provide, for it is not controlled by the same forces that control the media. 

The views presented are not limited to one particular perspective, as you get to hear from people who come from all paths and traditions, at least if you have enough variety in your friends.  It is a fascinating amalgamation of spiritual energies coming through in the present moment.  Remember the present moment is the only reality.

The popularity of the Internet has led to a proliferation of spiritual teachers, each with his or her own little niche or specialty.  We can’t keep up with all of them; we can’t practice/follow/read/hear all of them.  How do we know what is best for us?   How to trust a teacher?  Which one to listen to?

So I visited the page of one friend, in my habit of arbitrarily picking out some friend’s page to check out what's happening, and there was a very interesting dialogue going on there.  It was a long discussion of various spiritual teachers available today, and the various perspectives posters had of them.  I was amused.  It was an updated version of a dialogue I’ve overheard in one form or another since the 60’s, only the names have been changed.  The primary teachers who were being visited and talked about in the 70’s are gone; today there are new teachers.  Where’d they come from?  Who to listen to?

Coincidentally (?) I next visited a Facebook group, ‘Satsang, and Spiritual Teachers,’ and at the top someone was sincerely asking who are considered to be the truest and best teachers available today.  It was interesting to go to two different and unrelated pages on Facebook, and basically the same topic was being discussed.  But this happens a lot.

Two ideas coming together often lead to an intuitive insight.  As I saw these two related threads one after the other, I had an intuition that on some level some degree of this is probably happening with a great many of us, perhaps even more predominantly than anyone suspects.  Who do we really trust, anyway? 

Facebook has made it possible for anyone to become a philosopher and to present himself as a teacher.    Just as I do, people voice their thoughts as though there is some profound truth to them.  And, of course, something can usually be learned from them, because if we’re truly open, we can learn from anything and anyone.  Still, since I’ve been active on Facebook I am amazed at how many self-proclaimed ‘teachers’ there are—those who have never been trained, prepared, and instructed by his or her own teacher to go and teach others the Truth of Being.

I was fortunate enough at the age of 15 to come in contact with a man who had spent 17 years in the lamaseries of Nepal and Tibet, and who wrote a correspondence course that transmitted a clarity of understanding and a palpable experience of the Truth of Being.  He had left his body the year before I discovered his course, so I never had actual physical contact with him, except through his wife.  He saved me from being attached to his physical form, for the whole training took place subtly.

His wife was 50 years younger than the teacher, and she continued to send out his lessons over the years, until she finally passed on several years ago herself, and I developed quite an interesting communication and relationship with her.  (The 50 is not a misprint.  He was in his 80’s and she in her 30’s when they married.)

Interestingly, I dreamed just a couple of nights ago of being with her, which probably brings all this up for me, and there was that same uplifting light-filled experience I’d always had in my dreams of the teacher himself—which were numerous and which happened on a regular basis for many years.  I can still vividly recall certain discussions we had in those dreams, mostly in the form of him answering my questions.  

I remember when he showed me with one glance how the entire cosmos was put together and how everything worked.  It was a totally amazing experience, as it was not something that took time, but was an instantaneous revelation.  I am reminded of when Krishna first revealed his true form to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita.

If I were to attempt to tell you who he was, or what tradition or lineage he actually represented, you would probably think I was about two french-fries short of a ‘happy meal.’  He wasn’t publically known.  He was careful not to be.  He didn’t have a mass of followers.  He emphasized often that the value lies in the teachings, never in the teacher.  Teachers will come and go; teachings of Truth always remain the same.

The well known and popular teachers that we all know about and discuss on the Internet might not approach the attainment or development of someone no one has ever heard of, except the small band who somehow come in contact with him or her and experience what comes through as a subtle transmission.

Such beings avoid becoming ‘public’ at all costs, for they know that public knowledge of them would only bring trouble.  They deliberately remain secretive and known to only a few.  It is the way of the world to take down a saint, just to put him in his place, just to prove he wasn’t so great in the first place.  Once upon a time there were crucifixions; now there are internet sites that will give us all the dirt while happily continuing to look for more.

The more well-known and public a teacher becomes, the more scrutiny is placed on his (or her) personal life, and the more criticism he attracts to himself.  The more well known you become, the more vicious the criticisms and personal attacks become.  Internet sites spring up just to talk badly of you.

There are dark forces that come through the general public that act to bring such people down, leading to witch-hunts, crucifixions and such.  The general media has never been kind to spiritual teachers—preferring instead to write an expose regarding some ‘inside gossip’ they picked up on.  Seediness sells.  The Truth doesn’t appeal to the masses, and in fact they look unfavorably upon anyone who purports to teach the Truth. 

Do not assume a teacher can pass on something to you simply because he or she is popular or well-known, or have large followings and circus-like scenes wherever they go.  Following the spiritual scene since the early sixties, I can assure you that the great majority of such  teachers come and go.  Don’t get attached to bodies, forms, or personalities, for none of these are the source of your true inner connection to your own Being. 

The farthest we can go on the path, if indeed we ever really ‘go’ anyway, is to be fully established in our own inner Being.  There’s really nothing else to do—everything else happens naturally and on its own accord.  We think of it as our life.  In reality it is a performance.

Never listen to someone who tries to convince you of something or win you over, or who acts and speaks so that you will think well of him.  A true teacher is detached from the fruits of his work, and whether someone gains anything from him or not is according to their own karma.  He has no interest in how another sees him or whether he is liked or appreciated or approved of.  If others are attracted to him, it is because of what comes through him.  He does not take it personally.

As the Christ put it, It is not I that doeth the works, but the Father within, that same Father that is within you.

A true teacher can’t go around being your best buddy.  If she is true, she will never appease the ego, she will always keep the ego a little bit uncomfortable.  Otherwise she is not fully functioning as a teacher, she is only a friend.

Especially don’t pay attention to teachers who explain themselves regarding anything.  The Shakti (spiritual energy) doesn’t explain itself; to do so would be contrary to its nature.  It doesn’t need to cause you to think in any particular way.  How you think is up to you.  A true teacher will never present a dogmatic system of beliefs.  Rather, she will free you of the limiting beliefs that already hold you down.  Specifically, he or she will free you from the shackles of the mind and ego, and teach you to think for yourself.

The saint can’t help having a human, personal life as long as he or she is incarnated in a physical body.  She won’t have a halo, she won’t walk on water, she’ll only shatter your concepts about who you think you are.  She might lovingly and compassionately smash your ego into pieces.  In the end, she simply reveals the Truth of Being and leaves us established in our own Self, independent and free.

The primary thing regarding a spiritual teacher is your actual inner experience of contact with him or her.  Your own heartfelt experience, and nothing else, tells you whether there is something to be gained or not.  Your mind might think he or she is ‘off his rocker.’  It doesn’t matter; go by your feeling.

We recognize Truth from within.  If something lights up inside us and feels ‘it’s true!’ then we recognize the Truth when we hear it or read it.  If we don’t recognize the Truth of something within ourselves, then it is best to not readily accept it as true.

The greatest teachers come from the heart, not the head.  The teacher’s words might not make any sense, yet you experience a profound opening in your heart.  You experience something inside yourself—a light, an insight, an exaltation, some sense of new possibility, of pending new life.  Yet you might not even remember what they verbally communicated.  It is not something that happens physically or mentally.  It is a subtle communication, a subtle transmission. 

The words of some teachers might make perfect sense, yet there is no inner heart experience.  They have only words, ‘recycled wisdom’ of what they’ve read or heard and then put into their own words.  There is no transformation on the mental level alone.  Transformation does not come through mental activity.

The connection with a teacher is always a heart connection, and there is no denying it.  Falling in love makes no sense; it is not a rational happening.  Neither does being attracted to a particular teacher. 

A true teacher passes on spiritual energy that gives a palpable ‘boost’ to our sadhana and our state.  If there are only ideas and words to be learned, and especially if they are simply ‘beliefs,’ there is nothing of value to be gained.  Mental sadhana alone is not sadhana.  It is only mental activity. 

True sadhana is the opening of the heart to the experience of unconditional love, which leads to supreme bliss. 

When a group of readers of an article I wrote for a magazine in the 70’s encouraged me to begin writing a course, I was led to call my teacher’s widow for a chat.  We had communicated for many years at this point, and she knew me well.  I asked her if I was actually ready to do this.

I can still hear her words, “Isn’t this what you’ve been prepared for all these years?  You know the principles as well as anyone.  Go forth and fulfill your destiny.  He will guide you from within every step of the way.”     

When I actually wrote the first lesson in the summer of 1975, I heard my teacher’s voice clearly in my head, (I have a copy of several of his radio talks from the 50’s, so I know his voice), and it has often been a simple matter of taking dictation.  We can understand that our course is the modern or contemporary expression of the ancient principles that were passed on from this teacher and his ancient lineage. 

As the vibrational energies of the earth become more intense, as the earth evolves, knowledge of the principles of Truth are needed more than ever.  Those who do not live by them will be lacking in endurance and tolerance.  Also, presentation of the principles has to be updated now and then or it starts to sound too old-fashioned, even though the teachings are eternally the same.

You might wonder, now what does all this have to do with the topic on spiritual teachers and who to trust?  Surely he could have been more specific than this.

To me, the answer is quite clear, although I just wrote it and haven’t yet read it.  It came through like a telegraph.  You might have to read it more than once.  I know I will.  You might have to read between the lines.  I know I will.  As with all my writing, it is a subtle communication.  It is not a communication from mind to mind in the usual sense.

Be most open to a teacher who is established in living in the Truth of the Present Moment.  Yet don’t expect the teacher to be ‘ideal’ in any preconceived way.  He, or she, might be or do everything you would never consciously want in a teacher.  Yet be sure that he is real, sincere, and true to himself and others; see that he is in no way pretentious or pretending to make a good impression, for these are definite flags.

I love this quote from my first teacher.  It expresses something so profound so clearly, yet it is so subtle I wonder how many will actually hear and understand exactly what is communicated.  Come back to it now and then, for, like the lessons of the course, it can be understood in a deeper way with each new reading.

He, or she, is great who feeds other minds.  He is great who inspires others to think for themselves.  He is great who tells you the things you already know, but which you did not know you knew until he told you.  He, or she, is great who disturbs you, irritates you, even affronts you, so that you are shaken out of your habitual ways - fairly pulled out of your mental ruts, lifted up above the commonplace.  He may be a teacher, or a speaker, or a writer, a clergyman, or a scientist; or he may be a close friend.  It makes no difference who or what he is, or may be, but it does make a great difference what he means, and can do, to you.

The writer, for instance is great whom you alternately hate and love- whom you cannot easily forget.  In his private, personal life he may be proud, arrogant, crude, coarse, irritable, even absurd, or even immoral... I grant all that . . . . and yet be great.  He is not great because of these reprehensible qualities, but in spite of them.  The apparent inconsistencies and inequalities of his nature may contribute in great measure to his power, just as the rocks, boulders, chasms, woods, mountains and valleys make up the grandeur and majesty of the Yosemite, or Yellowstone Park.
 


To fully take in this quote, you have to accept, or at least consider, your own inner greatness.  We are so shy about thinking of ourselves as great, thinking it to be arrogant and egotistical.  Oh she thinks she’s so great!  Yet it is not egotistical to think of ourselves as great; it is egotistical to think lowly of ourselves, to feel we are less than great, that we could never truly be great.  That is what ego does.  We often think of ego as patting ourselves on the back, but actually it’s more of reducing our own sense of worth, of seeing ourselves as far less than we truly are.  It is the nature of the ego to focus on faults.

A true teacher, even though our ego reacts from time to time, ultimately helps us to feel good about ourselves and to see ourselves in the highest way.  Someone who makes you feel even worse about yourself can never be considered a true teacher.

Ultimately no one can tell you who your teacher is.  At some point it becomes obvious.  And most of us have more than one teacher, perhaps during different periods of our life.

Recognizing a teacher is like falling in love.  So here’s a tip: fall in love with your Self and be your own Teacher.  This is my truest and most sincere advice.  Yet, actually doing this is often difficult to achieve on our own.  We all need just a bit of guidance from someone who’s been there and done that.

Ultimately, of course, we will live in love with our Self and be our own Teacher, for there could be no other conclusion.  It is simply a recognition of the way it always is.  The Truth always exists within and never without.  Look within and you will know the Truth without any doubt.  Look outside and you are lost, and doubt will haunt you at every turn.  Remember love.  Love is always the best bet in any case.

For information about the Course of Training written by D. R. Butler and available by email, write: drbutler.course@gmail.com

French: drbutler.course@gmail.com

106 comments:

Mitra said...

thankyou for once again being the unclouded mirror of my own inner being,,,everything you said, shared ,is how my life experience have gone...no concepts no ideas no forms,.. only the truth of the moment with all its extremes and contradictions...nothing to hold on to..teachers,or teachings..sure i am attached to those great beings who have nurtured and inspired me...but the only truth i have ever known is a open heart in the present moment...non-judgemental awareness..and a gentle spirit...and playfulness with alot of laughter..its like surfing the moment...Just like the song goes WHAT A LONG STRANGE TRIP ITS BEEN...rock on D.R.

Scott Marmorstein said...

This is by far the clearest and most beautiful blog from you I have read in quite a while. It speaks to many things I have been questioning over a long period of time, answering unfailingly everything I have had doubts or confusions about in the past. Thank you so very much.

On some level I have known all of this before, but it is great confirmation and an expansion on my own intuitive understanding, but it is also far more clear than my own inner articulations. Again, thank you.

Michelle Synnestvedt said...

Ram, thank you!
Once again you must have been sitting on my shoulder as I was walking with a friend having this very same conversation 2 days ago. I love how entangled we all are- like a great hive :).
There is a wild paradox I have been watching. On FB as you mention, there are so many teachings/offerings/teachers and beautiful and profound TRUTHS offered, like the last status you wrote about love. We may all agree on the Truth because the KNOWER recognizes ITSELF in what is offered...so there is an inner "yes" that arises. And from this inner "yes" we could fool ourselves that we have "gotten" something. but the paradox is that the SELF knows the Truth and recognizes that in those moments and yet the personal identity thinks it knows but doesn't know a darn thing and has no idea what the Truth really means.
We can collect little tid bits or slogans along the way but unless there is integration that happens by coming back again and agin to the Principles, well..then we may "sound" or "feel" smart/spiritual, but it's all just bluff and bravado. Without application, we will stay stuck, mesmerized for a moment or two watching the light of truths shining on the surface of our awareness until the "next best thing" comes up ad we get bored. In a way, we have to TEST what seems to be true out again and agin by living it and seeing from life experience if.. this really works? what does this really mean? Having the courage to really hang with things, to come back again and again to things, year after year..lifetime after lifetime, is how the Truth takes ROOT in us. Any teacher that can channel that kind of encouragement to STICK TO IT, is well..the real deal, and there is only ONE real teacher moving in all these forms :) Thanks for inspiring me to keep coming back to the Truth!

Anonymous said...

thanks Ram! Beautiful....and thank you for writing your blog and online course...

I feel it's led me to an explosion of bliss in my life...

Tom

divya said...

I love that you are speaking about this. I have noticed it coming up for me with people around me saying things my path. I almost fell into that hole. Yet, remembered thanks to your advice, that I need to look inside myself for my experience of my path. My experience is so rich. I am so happy to have found the path I have because the teachings. I have actually come to the point where I hear my mantra all the time inside of me. I feel that it is leading me each day to the perfect place to be and the right things to do and say. It is allowing me to be other places and know that all is Consciousness. I see the picture of my teacher on my wall and she speaks to me-- The other day she told me that she was here just to remind me of who I was!

I love Don Juan's quote A path is only a path. "Does the path have heart is the question. If it does then the path is good; if it doesn't, it is of no use.Both paths lead to no where but one has heart and the other doesn't."

My path has led me to the heart and to the SELF. May we all find the path of heart for ourselves. Thanks Ram.

Christina said...

Ah...this is going to strengthen me when others question my continued affiliation to my path in light of negative stories which abound. Yes, difficult for some to understand how it seems I can allow questionable behaviour in my teacher/s...at one time it was difficult for me but I am glad I worked through it rather than just accepted without question, as it makes my connection more authentic and up for examination by others. Ah, that word "guru"! Guaranteed to get people's stuff going! A beautiful teaching, D.R. Yours in love xxx

Colette said...

What comes to me when I read this blog is trust your own heart. Be willing to surrender your limited concepts and your desire to look good. Walk forward fearlessly knowing that your life is shaped by what you think about, so think great thoughts. See greatness in everything that you are and that you aren't. Realize that you are always supported, that there is an infinite intelligence that lives inside you is who you truly are. Trust that, and you can never fail at anything.

I feel so grateful for all of the great beings that share on this blog. I learn so much from everyone of you. Thank you Ram for providing the space that we get to meet in.

Jill Chandralekha said...

When I rediscovered my teacher this century, he had become a very successful meditation teacher in Australia with a beautiful ashram and even more beautiful devotees, having been able to powerfully retain and transmit the original Shakti. Even through the years that I lost track of him (pre-google and when he had left for Australia) I would have meaningful, uplifting dreams about him that kept me closely connected through my heart. Now that life has come full circle, I am grateful to be connected again with that great Shakti and darshan hugs. I encourage everyone to look inside and find what works for them, and to keep an open heart and mind. It’s very individual and grows over time. I will also add that your course, DR, was also a strong influence in my life back also back in the ‘80’s. I am doubly grateful to re-connect with you now! It truly feels like life has come full circle and I feel very blessed to have such wonderful teachers in my life!

Michelle Synnestvedt said...

I have a question I have been pondering.
In one of the lessons..maybe 46 or 47 you mention there is one thing you can't change, the moment you are born and the moment you die..you say that karmically these two bookends are set for this life time.
The reason I have been pondering this especially the death of the body part, is because 3 family members in the last year have been diagnosed with cancer, one recently passed. She fought up to the last second with every known treatment over and under the table. Now my 23 year old cousin who has been fighting stage 4 for about 1 year, who they say has exhausted all hope, is now in Alabama searching for a miracle cure in the last "3 weeks" they have estimated she has.
Witnessing this process has opened up many questions. I see the importance in the dharma of trying to maintain the health of the body, for two reasons. 1. it is a show of gratitude for the life we have in this body and 2. what ever time we do have we may as well try and keep the body strong so we can enjoy what time we do have.
I also see that everyone will choose to deal with health issues in what ever manner they decide is appropriate for them.
I guess the contemplation is, well, if the day your body dies is already set, on another level, what is the point of all the "treatments" for 'terminal disease'? If there was some "cure" would it come from the treatment or from the fact that it isn't your time to go yet?

Purnima Orlandi said...

I absolutely love you! I love you because you blow my mind and because I can be myself. Because I feel like every word you write is directed to me, and I know you are writing to everyone. I feel that personal connection that only your course and writings give me. My life's transformation was sudden and very clear. My shaktipat experience was an explosion of light within, awakening, brilliant and purifying. All the vices dissapeared without my help. If it were to me I'd still be going at it or dead.
Yet, the sadhana aspect, the daily understanding I got from your earlier course and from satsang at Harry and Helen Kottler's house. They read the course as well and had a class based on drawing that using the teachings, we would draw whatever situation was going on and process it with an uplifting approach.
The course NOW has been as instrumental as it ever was before and even more.
Ultimately through Grace we all have to discover the Truth Within ourselves.
Harry used to tell me lot's of stories of the Indian saints. Some were butcher's, other's sat on top of garbage heaps, one was a prostitute and so forth...Yet, coming in contact with them would change you. Give you a boom and uplift your awareness.
Thank you for sharing your first teacher's quote!!!
When I look into the eyes of my master, the concepts of good and bad melt away and just love pours out.
I love you D. R. Butler! Thank you for all that you ARE!!!

D. R. Butler said...

Michelle, your questions are very deep, as they usually are. I loved the idea of the 'death of the body part.' I certainly hope none of my body parts die before I'm ready to check out completely. I'm ready to go when it's time, but no dead body parts while I'm still here, please.

You openly shared your list of friends and family who are transitioning to the subtle realm, where we all were before we took our first inhalation in this body, which began this particular physical incarnation.

If I were to share all the people I know who have a similar number of sick, recently departed, stage 4, whatever, we'd be reading this list for a long time. We're all going to leave, and the older we get the more obvious this becomes.

Just a few days ago we learned of the death of Douglas Buchanan, a great student of the course for many years, along with his wonderful wife, Shirley, who both helped many people in various ways in their lives. Douglas posted often both here and on Facebook. Many were sad to see him go, including myself. It is poignant when course participants pass on, for they are like family; yet it is a part of life.

Or I could tell you about Kay and her sisters, two of whom are definitely nearing the final exhalation at the appointed time. Investigate almost any family and you will here poignant stories of life in the physical world.

Why treatment for terminally ill patients? As far as I have observed, it maintains hope. Even in the final weeks or days, it is much more pleasant to be hopeful than hopeless, which is a sad way to exit a grand lifetime (whether we realize it as such now or not.)

According to scriptures I have read, as explored in detail in the lessons of the course, the time of death is set at the same time as the time of birth. Physical karma includes the amount of time we are to be here. Some of us sign up for shorter stays than others.

Don't think it's sad for a young person to leave this body. Be happy that they had such a short amount of karma to go through. They're not going to be sad when they wake up on the other side. What a relief it will be to shed this physical body.

As you know, all the rest is in the lessons.

D. R. Butler said...

Purnima, that quote from my early teacher is quite powerful in a very subtle way. It challenges our preconceived notions of what it is to be a saint, to be great, and even what spirituality actually is.

When we look at photos of the great Beings, we can tell they aren't people who gradually became outwardly saintly. They are beings who realized the Truth of their own Being in spite of their physical manifestation. We can't recognize great Beings through how they appear, or by how they behave, because they all have wonderful disguises to throw us off. There is a certain Presence. It's either present or it isn't. No guesswork is involved.

D. R. Butler said...

Jill, you are a great example of how people of all paths and traditions, with their own teachers, can enjoy and benefit from the course.

The course is all-inclusive and excludes no one. It is no particular path. It includes all in every way. Everyone who participates agrees that it helps them understand and practice their own path all the better.

Michelle Synnestvedt said...

Thanks Ram,
The maintaining hope makes sense to me. I am only sad for the family members who will be grieving and who don't have the good fortune to be taking your Course.
It is hard to articulate what I am trying to ask and say, I guess I have come to a sense of acceptance about death in a new way for myself. Witnessing the fighting was what brought up the questions. I just wonder if we all were taught at a young age that the time of death is set, how would we choose to live the last year of a life if we were diagnosed with terminal illness? Maybe instead of chasing after myriads of imaginary cures, we would settle down and find hope and peace in the present moment...that is what I am coming to for myself.

ari said...

Often in the last weeks of dying a person is hanging on out of guilt. Family members are encouraging the dying person to "hang on" and "fight".
It's the wrong message. The last stage of dying is unmistakable. Please give them permission to go. Often when done so the person passes quickly and without the guilt of hanging on.

D. R. Butler said...

Michelle, the scriptures I have read, which I trust to present Truth in the purest way, often mention the importance of being aware of one's death, of knowing that death follows us around watching over our shoulder,the beneficent benefactor, the great relief, waiting for the right time--the 'right time' being determined by karma.

At this point, I don't presume that I'll make through any particular day or night. Any moment could be the last. And I say that knowing that I'll be around for quite a few more years. There is more to do. It is not finished. Still, it is very blissful to live in a state of absolutely knowing that our next moment could be our last.

Yet when it's finished, I'm ready to go. The only reasons left to remain in this body are family and work on the course, including interacting with others on the Internet regarding the peculiar function I play as I live out this karma.

If I knew I had a year to live, one thing is true: I would not use it looking for a cure. I would bask in the bliss of the Truth of the Present Moment, because that Awareness of Being within us is never going to die. It never goes anywhere.

In the present moment we finally experience love and bliss as they truly are. They do not exist any other time. The death of the physical body is like a raindrop bouncing off pure awareness. 'Wow, what a weird incarnation that was.'

D. R. Butler said...

This was posted in a thread on Facebook after a new friend read something I wrote for the first time: This was just posted by a Facebook friend who read something I wrote for the first time:

'DRB, After a very busy week, I just now got around to reading your profound post. Thank you, as I am glad for it. It seems that you speak from a wisdom that energetically translates. I find that rare. It's as if the idea you write about transfers to me the reader and is more readily integrated as i accept the viewpoint. I just love the message. namaste'

Harshada said...

Wow- so many illustrious comments! It is late at night now. Tomorrow I am off to sit in that seat myself, leading a retreat of many sincere seekers.

All I can say is that I have sat on both sides of the padukas now. It's ridiculous, actually, that anyone would consider me their teacher, but, alas, grace is mysterious and confounding.

What I can see as a teacher is the way that grace- or the bestowal of grace, seems to be chela-centric. Meaning, I used to think that my guru was shooting some grace at me, or giving me something. But it seems more like people's actual kundalini draws the grace. Their very unfolding draws grace from whatever source it can. Even an imperfect vessel-
Grace is so merciful.
The teacher is important in so much as it is good to have an embodiment of that grace or the context of a relationship with a person to for that grace to play out in.
I think it does help if the teacher is not full of shit. It also helps if he or she has some experience in sadhana. Even more if they have the time and bandwidth to serve their students and help to supervise their unfolding.

I am looking forward to spending some time in nature before the retreat starts this weekend by myself where I can sit with the elements and have my sails filled.

I am so grateful to Ram and the other wonderful teachers I have had along the path. Thanks everybody!

Kristopher Stillwell said...

This is reading number two of the magnificient new blog entry. I am struck this time by the final line of your teachers quote. "The apparent inconsistencies and inequalities of his nature may contribute in great measure to his power..."

I'm uncertain as to why that stands out for me and mustering a question about it is challenging, but here goes. This flows quite well with a continued contemplation about where my focus is moment to moment and becoming unconcerned as to the peculiar ways I show up in the world.

Why would these apparent inconsistencies and inequalities contribute to the manifestation of power?

Is it by way of our simple allowance of what is, that we as a container for the shakti hold more then?

Thank you, to all here. I truely experience Heaven regularly through us. Deep gratitude.

Ghayas said...

On the first day of each month, when I receive both my new lesson and the new entry on the blog, as well as I discover the first reactions of blog participants to the entry, there is this raw feeling of abundance, of being connected to a Source of Teachings, to a lineage of Teachers, to the Truth. It feels simply good. It feels truthful, simple, yet promising, rich, very rich. I liked the descriptions of Ram's first teacher, his quote, the description of Ram's interactions with this teacher's wife. Life is full of great possibilities and beautiful encounters. It is all a matter of staying open, simply open to the Truth, open to the Heart. I am grateful for having known in my life about some circles where great beings, great teachers, were vibrating on highly refined frequencies, like this circle on this blog. Less than two decades ago, I could not even imagine that such circles existed. Thank you. Ghayas

D. R. Butler said...

July is a month of great celebration for us. My birthday is July 4, Kay's birthday and our wedding anniversay is on July 20, and the first blog entry was posted and the first lessons of the course were sent out in July of 2008.

Please join us in a celebratory mood this month.

Some who have been with us for a while have already sent in birthday contributions, and we are very grateful for that. The extra donations that come in this month are be very appreciated by us; they come at a very good time and will be put to good use.

We share something we can hardly put into words. It is an intimate sharing of the Truth of Being, but such a statement might mean different things to different people, depending on their degree of spiritual understanding.

There will be an abundance of golden-white light this month. You can open up to it in your heart, or even in the ethers. Just tune into the golden white light and open up and allow it to fill you.

It is available to you in an unlimited supply. Yet don't go to the ocean with a cup. Allow yourself to be filled completely.

Anusuya said...

Hi Ram...wanted to share perspective on some of what Michelle asked. We've done terminal illness for over 5-1/2 years...Pat is more than 5 years overdue for death with his particular diagnosis. We've wrestled with whether or not to treat, particularly with the most recent recurrence, so this is an ongoing contemplation for us. I believe Baba's command to contemplate our deaths made the process easier than it would be otherwise. When Pat started treating this time, it was our doctor who convinced us to give it another shot...she loves him and really believed she could give him more time...she was not motivated by many of the things people say oncology practice is motivated by. Treatment has been positive again, especially since it alleviated the pain cropping up as the cancer spread, and it hasn't been as nasty as the rest. He forgets how bad it is quickly, once it is over. We surrendered to the idea that it is highly likely cancer will be what takes him out. He would be gone if we hadn't treated the cancer aggressively multiple times. Seems to mean it was not his preordained time yet and that the treatment was part of the karma that keeps him here, as odd as that sounds. Hard to let go of the body and those we love, but in some ways I am thankful to be prepared for the eventual loss of this dear being, and have the opportunity to appreciate many things more deeply than I would otherwise in the present moment. Lately, when things seems particularly difficult I remind myself that we agreed to do it this way this time around. Treatment is just another aspect of living in the truth of the present moment.

Scott Marmorstein said...

I make it a regular habit to sit on every side of the padukas, Harshada, and since they are small, wooden, and portable, it's very easy to do this. The magic slippers are fun to behold on any side!

I'm actually a little full of shit myself. I just tend to stand in front of them and do puja, unless I have them on an airplane with me. Wait a second! You were being figurative. Leave it to me...

The commentary here is outstanding, and it is warranted. This blog entry has numerous focal points for anyone, seasoned wood types like yourself or wet log people like me, to behold, absorb, contemplate, and clarify from deep within. All jesting aside, truly there is a little something for everyone in this blog entry. It has story, which is a rich tradition in and of itself, it has intrigue like in the piece that stood out for Kristopher, it has ringing (my ears are still ringing) Truth that does an enormous job of making each person stop in their tracks and take it all in. Kind of like what I imagine the Grand Canyon would do for a truly sensitive person.

This is one of those posts that is so close in energetic resonance with an actual Lesson of the Course that there is not any wonder why we have (and I note many a teacher has commented on this post already) paused to take note. But I'm just saying all the stuff you already know. Kinda like saying something without saying anything. There's a lot of inference in this here entry, and it demands our contemplation and for us to take time with it. It's not a once over entry. I hear the Teacher speaking throughout. I will listen over and again. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I have no interest in being a teacher and in fact, I know it is not my destiny. I can't even teach my dog to roll over. However, I have also observed guru's grace flowing through me and to others which always amazes me and I realize that it comes from God to them - I have nothing to do with it. People I would never think of trying to teach are usually the ones that get the most grace and blessing and it is always a spontenous happening. I was walking in a grocery store just the other day and a little girl was throwing a pretty good temper tantrum while her mother was holding her. As I walked past I suddenly felt like my guru was looking at her and a great inner smile welded up from inside of me. That little girl completely forgot what she was up to and looked right into my eyes (well not my eyes I was no longer there in that moment). It was the most uplifting experience for me and I was filled with so much love and devotion for my guru. I can't think of a better life than to have God's grace flowing in and through us.

rico said...

"Why would these apparent inconsistencies and inequalities contribute to the manifestation of power?"

Kristopher your question has hooks. It caught my attention and has been hooked there for a while. Here is what it stirred up.

It seems that one of the primary functions of an authentic teacher is to blow our minds! To blow apart those structures of habitual thinking that house our delusion. What better way than to manifest in a way that is outside of our preconceptions.

Baba Rampuri calls it deconstruction. Ram calls it, becoming "No One". A great teacher shows us how to let go of our limitations. Some blow them to smithereens!

Ghayas said...

Ram,
Is the ache a person infatuated with another one feels analogous to the ache the mystics feel for the inner Lover ? There is somehow something pleasant in this ache...could it be that it is so because it is the soul's nature to feel that way towards the Absolute ?
Where the Gopis infatuated with Krishna? Is it the same inner space that is stirred when one is in love with another person and when one is in love with God?
Ghayas

Kristopher Stillwell said...

Brilliant Rico! I'm just gonna go with what got me going from your comments. I knew quoting this line that the word power was a key word there.

Historically, power has had a loaded and negative connotation for me, yet, I've always been drawn to people who exhibit great qualities of power!

Examining this further, wielding power for myself has meant delusion and precariousness in my deluded world. I wonder how much of this is related to a Christian upbringing where phrases like-the meek shall inherit the earth, and so much emphasis on sheep, abound. I don't want to inherit the earth and I show up pretty unsheeplike! Perhaps you get what I mean.

Bringing this full circle, related to choosing teachers and the issues of power wielded or unwielded on either side. I'd imagine this is a core issue for many in teacher-student relationships.

Thanks again, Rico, always a treasure trove.

Volker said...

I remember a Guru to said, if you follow more than one teacher is like using two boats to cross the river, ¿Where will you end up?

I guess you might end up in the water. or perhaps quite confused.

This has been my experience, after falling in love with a true teacher, my mind still wanted to compile "The Teaching" and going to other teachers to make up for what my teacher wasn`t saying or perhaps to what I was not listening...

The result? I end up quite confused at some point. I didn´t know whom my teacher was...

Then again and again, the answer came from the heart. I didn`t know why did I know that my teacher was her, that my family was amongst the people that fell in love with the same teacher I fell in love...

That is the same teacher that we shared in common.

Today I base my main practice on reading the course and trying to apply the principles, and as I do miss the target (so to speak) But I don`t give up and stand up again, and again.

This Blog Entry "So many teachers -- Who to Trust? came quite as a "coincidence" that I renewed my subscription for One more year of the course. And also by unsubscribing from the postings from other teachers in Facebook. I did it without reading, it came to be quite clear that I cannot create a coherent work by following the comments of many teachers.

I know that I am in syntony with this lineage... I can see the hints.

Thank you Ram

I Trust You!

D. R. Butler said...

Ghayas, yes, yes, and yes. Your understanding is correct. It is always the same on one level or another.

The poet-saints often wrote about the 'pain of separation.' It is a very intense, palpable, and essential experience for fully merging with the Infinite. Whether for the lover, or for the Beloved, we feel that pain of separation and we wish to draw closer, we wish to be one again.

Perhaps in the beginning the Gopis were infatuated with Krishna, but as their sadhana matured they began to see Krishna in everything, in a tree, a flower, a cow, and even their husbands. The whole world became Krishna for them.

It is simply another way of understanding that the entire universe exists within, and as, the same divine Consciousness we have always been.

At any rate, your understanding is definitely on the right track.

wonderthoughts said...

Top class blog entry. Top class. Thank you too.

D. R. Butler said...

Volker, I truly appreciate your communication. Yes, ultimately all that we receive of a spiritual nature, or of an awakening and liberating nature, comes from the same Teacher.

For a long time I saw various paths, and then after I met my physical teacher I began to see all paths as variations the same, as just another way of saying it or realizing it. My Teacher has come through many different forms at different times, yet ultimately it is always the same Teacher.

Everything you say is correct. Once you find a true teacher, you recognize intuitively that you will get everything you ever need from him or her, and that he or she will eliminate for you everything irrelevant to your sadhana, saving you a lot of time and energy searching for something that you'll never have any use for.

We can understand different paths as different rays of the same Light. Each ray might be unique and all-encompassing, yet all individual rays are always emanated from the same divine Light.

rico said...

Volker, I had to look up the meaning of the word 'syntony' (the state of being adjusted to a certain wave length; A condition in which two oscillators have the same resonant frequency). I almost posted something earlier after reading Michelle's first comment but bailed because I couldn't find the right word to articulate my feeling. Syntony nails it.

When we come across a teacher who resonates with us the attraction is unmistakeable. If we stay with that teacher for a while we become more attuned to that teacher's wave length, almost like tuning in to a station on the radio. When we tune in to this "radio station" a subtle communication takes place that bypasses the thinking mind entirely. The Lessons act as a kind of tuner to dial us in. When more than one of us is tuned in the effects can confound normality.

Bindu said...

How I met my teacher

The first time I heard him speak something in me KNEW. It was as if someone was actually speaking my language. For the very first time I heard my own inner Truths expressed outwardly. Things I didn’t even know I knew. An enormous feeling of relief and joy overwhelmed my senses. I was no longer alone. While part of me exalted in the experience, another more human part was horrified. At the time I had no desire to be involved with this scruffy hippy-like character, or his strange band of followers. I was shocked and appalled, and glorified and frightened.
Never-the-less the words he spoke those 30 some years ago, opened my heart and have been the guiding light of my life ever since. Encouraged to test the principles, not to believe, but to experience, I applied the principles in my daily life until I became new. The greatest joy was when after several years he reappeared in the form of these Lessons. On this planet at this time there is no greater PATH. Strange as it may seem, my Truth arrives twice a month via the airwaves. All I have to do is download, print and read.
Humble Gratitude, and Love fill my days.
Bindu

J said...

Thank you all for this great connection. Happy Birthday to us all.
I want deepen my relationships with people.I beginning to enjoy all the posts as much as I like to read d r's.
I remember a line from the Puranas about 23 Guru's. Earth ... birds ... blogers.

Chris Forsyth said...

Great job, Ram. I asked for inspiration this morning for the novel I'm working on. Specifically I have been looking for an obstacle with which to confront the hero in Chapter 12, and proceed from there to see how he deals with it, or not. You have given me the answer here, and for that I am truly grateful.

D. R. Butler said...

Chris, the comments here often amaze and astound me, but yours is one of my favorites. We can't wait for for the novel.

D. R. Butler said...

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your generous contributions that make our participation in the course possible. You know who you are.

Naganath said...

Just needed to say the latest Lesson (Vol. 2 Lesson 21) is astounding. It truely hits home and takes things to a whole new level. Gratitude abounds. Love, Naganath.

D. R. Butler said...

A private note written to a participant in response to her emails: fwiw

Listen to me this time. I'm not going to directly write you to tell you this very often, because it's all in the lessons. Anyway, get it this time.

Open up and understand the Truth. You've been taking the course for all these years, yet you won't apply the principles in your own life. It is so frustrating! I know you read them. I know you know the principles. Why won't you practice them in your own life?

Why is it that you can't ever be good enough for anyone? Why do you insist on seeing yourself that way? God himself dwells within you as you, just as you are! Accept being an avadhut and go about your life in love and peace.

You are the only person who writes me to talk badly of others. Everyone else who writes me, who knows you, says only good things about you. You think they see you in bad ways. In truth, you are the one seeing them in bad ways, and you create that reflection for yourself, and this is the world you live in. Step out of it and be free.

Why don't you start seeing and honoring God in them? You're so obsessed with how much they look down on you that you don't see the brilliant light shining through them. You've forgotten to see the Golden Light in yourself.

All these things you tell me are only karmic details. You can describe your life in any way you want. I know you read about the importance of how we describe things in the lessons, why won't you practice the principle in your own life? Describe things in ways that feel pleasant to you; refuse to describe things that feel bad to you. My daughter Sara learned this when she was 10 years old. It's time for you to learn this. It's never too late.

You know I have only love for you. I don't have time to write like this to everyone. Please let it make a difference. You don't have to be this lowly person you've created yourself to be. No one else sees you this way. Please stop seeing yourself that way.

Love yourself and see only the Highest in yourself. Your own awareness is no different from pure Consciousness.

Also see the same Self, the same pure Consciousness, in all others. This is what to see and relate to regarding others. There is no reason to get caught up in temporary appearances, words, or anything else that won't matter in a hundred years. In the end we'll all be singing around the same campfire.

Lotus said...

I have posted several times re. my husband who has suffered with complications following a bone marrow transplant. It is with a sad and heavy heart that I tell you he passed away on 6/26. While I was grateful to see the man in that worn-out, broken body find relief, I feel immense grief for the loss of the man who walked into the hospital to get the transplant last August.

I continue to struggle with issues similar to the ones Michelle mentioned...karma vs. free will. In saying that the exact time of our birth and death are pre-determined, does that mean there is nothing we can do (even though we have free will) to change that?

I don't remember the exact verse, but somewhere Patanjali says in the Yoga Sutras that suffering that has not yet happened can be avoided. In looking at my husband, certainly his illness caused him a great deal of suffering. Is Patanjali saying that by making different choices, he could have avoided that suffering? But because the time of our death is predetermined he would have died anyway? From some other cause?

Or is it as Anusuya said,"we agreed to do it this way this time around"? I am just trying to make some sense of what has just happened and why.

I have prayed for understanding. What I have gotten back during meditation is..."He chose this. It had to be this way. It was decided a long time ago. It is for the greater good." Maybe it's time to trust in that answer and move toward acceptance. If there is any more anyone could offer that would be helpful, I would greatly appreciate it.

With much love,
Lotus

D. R. Butler said...

Anusuya has said it well. "We agreed to do it this way this time around."

The time and means of exiting the body are determined long before the incarnation begins with the first inhalation. How we treat our body might affect our health and therefore allow us to enjoy the time we're here to the fullest degree, but nothing can change the time of death.

I've seen it too many times. A friend of mine was a young man who was a world-class physical trainer. Many famous people were his clients, and having worked with him, I know he knew his stuff. Yet he died at a very early age of a heart attack.

Another man was a doctor who was a specialist in nutrition. He had written several well known books, and he was seeing my oldest son Jnani, giving great advice on what was needed to be as healthy as possible. Then, at a relatively early age, he died in an auto accident.

On the other hand there are countless cases of people who have very unhealthy lifestyles, breaking all the guidelines for good health, who have remained healthy and lived to very old ages.

It's all a matter of karma, like everything else in this life. We can't experience a condition that is not our karma; it is not possible. Neither can we avoid it. Karma is final.

Eugenia said...

...and yet in that predetermined karma you managed/chose to find time and space for and with each other. Hope you get to bless the luck and rest in the acceptance

Scott Marmorstein said...

Anusuya, my heartfelt condolences. It does sound like you have heard the right message to me--exactly the right message.

I agree with everything Ram said too. I know from my own experience that I should have stayed dead after having had a heart attack for 3 days and then driving across the country only to end up in a hospital. After they de-clogged my artery for me and sent me home my heart healed to fast and I was rushed back--that killed me. But I didn't stay dead. I "should be dead" according to the doctors. It just doesn't work like that. Most people die right away, within an hour of having a heart attack without medical intervention. That goes to show that indeed, you can't die truly before it's your time. And even if you do die, it's short lived if it's not your karma, your time. Also, nothing could have prevented me from having that horrific experience.

I have heard it said that Patanjali was not "prescribing" a way of life, he was instead *describing* and hence having a much longer conversation about a way of life with his students, for which we weren't privy. So it seems unnecessary to get weighted down in philosophy at this point. Your message is a good one, and it is only time to move into the grieving process however long that lasts. Sending you lots of love!

Bindu said...

Lotus,
I read your message with great love and compassion. Although we have never met physically I feel that we know each other intimately. In an earlier post you wrote about your experience of grief concerning your husband’s illness. Your words were so eloquent and full. It was as if you were me. I thank you for sharing so openly as it has helped me to understand and appreciate the perfection of my own life experience. I also know the suffering of loosing a loved one. I send you love and light and see you at peace as your dear husband is at peace.

Lotus said...

So where does free will come in?

Thanks,
Lotus

D. R. Butler said...

Free will is our capacity to think what we choose, and to direct our attention where it will do the most good and have the most pleasant results. That's about it.

It's a subject discussed in depth in the lessons of the course.

Lotus said...

I am taking the course, but am only on lesson 13. I look forward to diving deeper into karma/free will in future lessons.

If I am hearing you correctly, free will is nothing more than our choice to harmonize (or not) with our karma. Is that what you are saying?

Scott, thank you for your validation of the messages I have received. A lot of things "come" to me, but I am only just now learning to trust that they are coming from a higher source.

Eugenia and Bindu, thank you for your uplifting and loving responses. They gave me a feeling of being "held". I am grateful.

Ram, as always, thank you for your words of wisdom and insight. I feel as though I am searching for the truth that lies within this karma to help me move on.

With gratitude,
Lotus

D. R. Butler said...

Lotus, over the next few months you will come to understand karma and free will, and a host of other topics, on a more refined level than ever before.

Not much in life actually makes sense. The course is a way of making sense out of life, and learning to live in harmony with the present moment just as it is.

Being in harmony with our karma as it is, is a very important principle. It is among our highest priorities. Free will, however, is more specifically the ability to think what is pleasant and uplifting instead of what is unpleasant and contracting.

We can think what we choose, and what we think is what we get, since thought is creative. We cannot control what happens 'to' us, but through using will to direct attention, we definitely determine what happens 'in' us.

All this will be explored in the lessons just ahead of where you currently are.

Thanks for your absolute openness in your sharings. You share things many people could not.

Lotus said...

Well, I may not be able to make sense of what has happened, but by sharing it, I can at least give it meaning. If even one person is helped by hearing our story, then sharing it gives purpose to his suffering. And that makes me feel good.

Thanks for all your help as I try to get my arms around it.

Love,
Lotus

Jane said...

Lotus, Thank you so much for sharing your journey with your husband and all that you've been through. I was thinking about you recently (even though I don't know you on the physical plane) while my husband was in the hospital for most of last month. Your perseverance during difficult physical karma inspired me to stay as strong and steady as possible. I'm becoming increasingly aware of how the support of our community on the subtle plane uplifts and strengthens me. My love and support are with you as you go through the grieving process.

While we didn't experience anything nearly as challenging as what Lotus and her husband went through (and my husband is home recovering), the Lessons helped me to drop trying to 'make sense' out of what was happening (especially during crisis). Since I was on Lesson 38 at the time, I practiced the exercise as a lifeline by trying to see everything as "good drama" which can never disturb the unifying and underlying perfection and repeating "Om purnamadah..." whenever I could think of it. Every time I started feeling helpless, a strong surge of shakti reminded me that The Source is within.

Ram, I have a question that came up in reading Lesson 39. Usually when I see a samskara manifesting, I identify its flavor (ex - jealousy, anger, etc.) but in Lesson 39 you describe 'extreme agitation' as the 'ultimate villain.' I can see that this is true -- no matter what samskara comes up, it is always (or at least often) accompanied by an adrenaline rush and rooted in fear - the sense of separation. Based on the Lesson, I am thinking that perhaps I should drop the need to be so analytical and focus more on recognizing and dispelling (replacing) the agitation the moment I'm aware of it. Does that make sense or not? Any suggestions are most welcome.

With immense love and gratitude...Jane

D. R. Butler said...

Jane said, 'I am thinking that perhaps I should drop the need to be so analytical and focus more on recognizing and dispelling (replacing) the agitation the moment I'm aware of it. Does that make sense or not?'

It makes perfect sense to me. Analyzing agitation is only the ego's way of wallowing in agitation. If the ego wants to dwell on something, get completely lost in it, it analyzes it and figures it out so that it can come to a greater understanding about it. That's its primary way of indulgence.

Of course, understanding is not developed this way. Understanding comes from within, as intuitive insights. It is not a mental process.

So, like you said, we recognize and dispel samskaras (or any form of agitation) as they come up, and the key word is 'replace.' We can't dispel something without replacing it with something, so we decide (in advance) how we prefer to focus our attention, and then when the samskara or agitation comes up we immediately replace it with something more pleasant and uplifting, something more freeing.

At first it requires conscious practice, but after a while it becomes subconscious and then is our natural approach to life. Those who truly participate in the course gradually master this principle through consistent practice.

D. R. Butler said...

A comment I left on someone's thread:

It is true that we do not mean 'the blood-pumping physical heart,' yet we also do not exactly mean the mind, either. Most think of the mind as manas, the conscious, thinking mind. Others understand there is also a universal Mind that creates our perception and experience of the universe, and which enables us all to live in the same world. There are different levels of mind. But the 'heart' we speak of refers to an energy-field that corresponds physically to the area of the physical heart. The heart chakra is also here, but we are not limiting the experience of the Heart to the heart chakra. It is the deepest space within us, our innermost Self. It is beyond the mind, although it contains the mind within itself. The Self is the witness of the mind.

D. R. Butler said...

Another comment I made in a thread on someone's Facebook page:

God also exists within and between the words. Here God writes and there God reads--it is the same God having the experience of either one, or both, and everything else for that matter. Only this one shared God, or pure Awareness, understands these words. There are not two or more that understand what is being written. There is only One of us.

Jane said...

Ram - Thank you so much for your response to my question. Who knows how many more lifetimes I would be feeding the samskaras if it wasn't for the Lessons. Of course, I have to continually practice but feel so much more clarity!
Happy celebration month to you and Kay!
Much love and gratitude, Jane

Anonymous said...

Ram: Are there any techniques that you could recommend for training the attention?

D. R. Butler said...

Yes, they are covered thoroughly in the section of the course titled, 'Attention, Conscious Intent, and Will.'

Such things are difficult to teach without the step-by-step process of the course, which makes it easy to master.

First of all, how's your concentration? See how long you can focus on a candle flame without your mind wavering. If you should have a clock or watch with a second hand, focus on it until you can go two whole minutes without your mind wandering.

Without developed concentration, it's very challenging to control the attention.

D. R. Butler said...

In a thread on a friend's Facebook page, a man said to me, 'so when you see injustice you don't get angry?' The following is my response:

Anger is one of the lowest of emotions. Usually our anger is much worse than whatever it is that we're angry about. Anger is basically us telling God that He didn't do a good enough job with His creation of the universe, and that instead it should be in this way that we consider to be ideal. Therefore He should listen to our good idea.

As for as 'injustice,' I never see such a thing. I know, intelligently, that injustice exists, just as justice exists. It's just another polarity, another pair of opposites. I wish people would celebrate the many justices as much as they do the few injustices they find.
In my view of the world, physical details are simply the manifestation of karma. The physical world works on a cause-and-effect basis. Everyone experiences their own karma. Everyone creates his or her own karma, and then reaps the fruits of what was sown. How do we know that the ematiated woman in Ethiopia, too tired to bother to wipe the flies off her face, isn't experiencing the last lesson her soul needs for total enlightenment and liberation? Things are not as they appear. There is no injustice except in the mind of the perceiver.

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

When I was a kid we used to play this game called "Sardines" which is kind of like a reverse hide-and-seek. The first person goes and hides, and everyone scatters and tries to find him/her. One by one people find the hiding spot and join in, a cluster of "finders". It gets quieter and more still, until finally the last person is left wandering, seeking, until finding.

The other day I thought this game is like a metaphor for me about the process of our lives and sadhana, especially being part of this community. One by one the individual souls finding their way back to Consciousness then patiently waiting for the rest.

I feel that part of me that KNOWS, that resonates deeply with D.R.'s writings and the wonderful comments on the blog. And I also feel sometimes like that person wandering around seeking, looking, still playing the game.

Anyway, somehow I got HERE and it's made all the difference.

Gratitude, KJ

Jim said...

This week I'm working with the course in a new way. At night before bed I read a paragraph and then begin my night routine of stretching. While doing the exercises I mull over the paragraph I've read. The mulling reminds me of eating. There's the biting off, the chewing. Some things go down easy, some are rough to swallow. Ultimately all are nourishing.

The other night the theme of the paragraph was "everything is perfect now". This word -perfection- is very chewy and not going down easy. DR, though you have been clear that by perfection you don't mean ideal, it is taking me awhile to separate the two. As I am doing my stretches I am resisting this word -perfection- and then the thought pops in my head: seeing everything as perfect now is accepting the moment's IS-ness. Later review reveals that the lesson says as much.

So then saying the present moment is always perfect is not so much an analysis of the moment, holding it up to a set of standards, but a choice to view the moment without judgement, holding it up to no standards whatsoever, instead surrendering to it and accepting it as it is, in all its IS-ness.

Paul said...

I've seen others talking about it on here before, but I've just had my own experience of my new lesson suddenly upgrading the level of my experience of the course. I just had my first reading with my new lesson, and suddenly it was as though I saw everything with more clarity and certainty than before. "Progress on the spiritual path" seems so different now than it did all those years of trying out various paths and teachers and practices. This is something I didn't expect when I first, even hopefully, began the course. Now it's something I can't explain at all. Can you help, D.R.?

D. R. Butler said...

Karen Jo, I enjoyed meeting your daughter online. At 14, she's the youngest facebook friend I have. I like her openness and her attitude.

Great post, Jim. Everyone should read it again. Jim was really tuned in when he wrote his comment above.

Paul, can I help explain? Nope, I've given up explaining. I finally realized that it never did any good. The course is not about explaining anything.

What is relevant is your own current inner experience. Dive deep within and explore it and experience it completely. See where all it takes you, see what is familiar about it, see what never changes about it. Come to know it so well that you can go back into this expanded space simply by deciding to.

The course works because it works. No explanation is possible. For most who participate, no explanation is needed.

The answer is ultimately in the lessons, yet it takes a somewhat refined intellect, a certain subtle vision and intuitive insight, to fully recognize and appreciate it.

The answer doesn't fully blossom as our own wisdom until it is recognized and appreciated.

eddie89 said...

Why do we say the world is as we see it instead of the world is as we think it? Is there a difference?

mohan said...

I know I haven't posted in quiet a while, but driving home tonight the moon was post-card perfect and I was overcome by devotion to the Guru. I started quietly chanting and my heart and mind became so sweet and still. Happy Gurupurnima to everyone to all.

D. R. Butler said...

Eddie, 'we' don't say it, but it is said in the 'Yoga Vasishtha.'

The world is as we see it, because through the power of 'seeing' we create our own personal universe. We think we see it, therefore we accept it as real. In reality, we believe in its reality, and then we see it.

The would could not be as we 'think' it, because our thoughts don't really affect the world, they only affect our own perception and experience of the world. Thinking is very mechanical, yet most people don't realize that everything they think has some effect, depending on the intensity of focus and concentration and the degree of emotional energy energizing the thought.

The world is as we see it. Our thoughts are only our own cocoon, our self-created limitations of our perception and experience. We experience the effects of what we think, but it does not change the world outside our own experience.

rico said...

Maybe Eddie’s question would be better phrased as “our own world is as we think it (is)”. Ram’s response brings up an interesting question; does the world exist outside of our experience? If all experience is subjective how could we know? You could say that there are certain things we agree on as objectively real but isn’t that agreement also a product of what we think?

Those of you who know me would probably say I am one of the most practical people you know. So what is the practical application of such questions as I have posed? Damned if I know.

My favorite example of the application of “objective reality” is the instance where no one in their “right mind” would step in front of an oncoming bus. Well, I heard a story told recently by a highly respected, and very practical, teacher about how his own revered, and very practical, teacher inadvertently stepped in front of an oncoming bus and NOTHING HAPPENED! The bus went by and the revered teacher found himself standing behind the bus completely unharmed!

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” - The White Queen – from Alice in Wonderland

Perhaps you’ll think I’m mad as a hatter. But that would be your reality.

Vandita said...

Not only my current lesson talks exactly about that which I have been pondering or working on for the last few days, it turns out that NOW I am doing the exercises of my current lesson BEFORE the lesson arrives!!! How cool is that?

I wanted to write to you here to thank you so much with all my heart because a huge samskara has just been erased from my system. I thank you because of how clearly you explain the nature of samskaras. Because of that, followed by something that you just posted on Facebook, a huge fear that I had just went away.

From this transformation I have learnt that each one of us has a great impact in other people, who then impact other people, who then impact other people. We are SO responsible for everything that we make others feel. That impression that we create in others may stay with them for years or even for lifetimes…

I also learnt that everything we get is exactly and literally what we ourselves give to others.

I just found out that a way that I had of treating others has been the exact way (and the reason why: fear) some other people have treated me. I am blown out by this. By transforming this pattern and emending my fear (asking for forgiveness and regretting what I did), the other people who treated me like I was treating others came back with love to my life. It was an immediate response with no communication in between. It´s like: Somehow I know you changed, so I change.

Is there anything cooler and more satisfying than this? Not to me. Hail to inner freedom! Thank you so much Ram for all the wisdom your lessons brought to my life!

Aditya said...

Just received my latest lesson in the Correspond-ence Course which was exactly what I needed right now the way what a drowning man needs is air.

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

Vandita, I had the same experience of spontaneously doing the new "exercise" before I had read it in the lesson. I was in a transition period (moving) with my family, which usually brings up stress for me, but I found myself being quite lighthearted and cheerful, more than I had ever been I think. My kids and I ended up laughing the long drive North. They definitely picked up on my state.

When I had a moment I opened my new lesson and the exercise was to remain as lighthearted and cheerful as possible over the next two weeks.

So fun! We are all very lucky.
Love, KJ

Scott Marmorstein said...

Information is the meal. Applying the principles of truth in the present moment is like digestion. Abiding in true Wisdom and Knowledge is the after effect of the whole process, and can't be faked--it's literally the energy your Being gets when the meal is fully digested, and is readily apparent in one's atmosphere.

Then there is a release of old negative patterns, sometimes internally, sometimes externally in the form of how we engage with others, or privately with ourselves. We call these 'kriyas' sometimes or samskarik backlash, but it comes to the same, a dying off or a 'burning' up of the deeper older levels. The Course via email is the Great Meal that provides transformation...assuming you eat the meal instead of just reading it to agree with it.

Kristopher Stillwell said...

Lesson 25 has rattled my cage. The shifting must be quite major stepping into this new form as the lesson describes regarding "Attention, Concious Intent, and Will". Each time I read the lesson I would get sleepy, fidgit, get distracted, want to give up, go numb. I know for certain I have waited all the life (and God knows how many others) for some one to talk sense about what is the most effective way to live in this world. It's here right in front of me, finally! I can feel the heat being turned up now. Fortunately (LOL), Lesson 26 arrives like soothing silk and is readable, yet now I finish a day of lesson review and feel like some one took all the Legos apart and put them back together differently. At this juncture of the course I think I need to really comprehend mentally what's written, yet, energetically, I feel all jumbled up inside. I hope you are all laughing!

D. R. Butler said...

Scott knows. He speaks the Truth.

Kristopher, we are empathetically understanding. All of us have felt these ways (or, in some cases, will feel these ways in time.) (How does he know for certain that everyone feels these ways? Couldn't there be 3 or 4 who don't feel these ways?)

Yes, certain lessons rattle your cage, and others are soothing to the soul. A delicate balance is required. We get what we need when we need it.

The further into the course you go, the more rearranged and jumbled you might sometimes feel, because rigid concepts and limited perspectives from the past are being rooted out and dispelled so that you can finally be free from them. Then you can see and experience the Truth naturally and spontaneously.

Sometimes the old has apparently fallen apart, but the new has not yet quite taken form, and during these times we might feel particularly jumbled. Trust the process and where you are being led. A lot has to happen before we can truly live in the Truth of the Present Moment.

Kristopher Stillwell said...

I recall many times feeling undone at the Gurus House or in Her Presence-even otherwise, but this feels different, very specific. I recall Baba saying you engage in sadhana to clean up your mind or make friends with your mind(or something like that). God Bless, this course it is the Maha-mind roto-rooter. Your kind words, nevertheless, are much appreciated, Ram.

Vandita said...

Karen Jo, so it is clear that the course works on a much more refined and deep level than "reading and re-reading" the words..... I find these experiences so amazing! Thank you for sharing yours!

Michelle Synnestvedt said...

Hi Ram,
In lesson 2 volume 2 you say
"We have the illusion that we live in these isolated bubbles, that our thoughts and emotions are just within our own world, having no affect on others. This is because we don’t realize how our thoughts and emotions dwell in a subtle realm where everyone’s thoughts and emotions meet, mingle, and blend. It’s all taking place together, bouncing off each other, not divided, individual, and isolated as we ordinarily presume."
I couldn't help but think about something funny that Baba Rampuri and my guru said. Babaji about a year ago was talking about how the akashic record was getting so full of garbage. He said it with a smile, but now it means something deeper. I was taught when I was a child that everything we do and say resonates to eternity. Now granted eternity is, well pretty big. LOL so it won't get clogged up, but the akashic record here will.
I remember in my gurus message on Silence she talked at length about silence being a precious commodity that we are losing access to just because of noise. I thought she was only speaking about outer noise because of how she presented it. Now I see that the inner noise is being projected outward.
Like the trash and pollution that is taking over the earth, the inner noise is the trash of the subtle realm. WOW this really give pause and inspires me even more to nurture quietude. I am grateful that thinking ALL the time has lessened greatly with the Course :).

Naganath said...

I feel like a worm in a frying pan at high heat. Burning up, sizzling loudly. I guess that is perfect for me right now.

Love, Naganath.

Melissa Abbott said...

Hi Ram and Everyone else posting here. I read this blog when it was first posted and was going to leave a comment but I had out of town company for 2 weeks and was so busy at work that I was reading things but not having time to contribute. Now tonight I have read thru all the comments and I am astounded by them. Layer upon layer to contemplate and RAM...ohhhh, I certainly love your directness and no holds barred synthesis of the discussion. Thank-you Suya, Bindu, Michelle, Ari, Mitra, Scott, Colette, and Jill, the discussion is stellar!! I am going to re-read and re-read..One of the best blogs EVER! Thank-you everyone!!! Love it :)

Anonymous said...

I've been practicing bringing my attention out of the mind and back to the present moment. One thing I'm noticing is that sometimes when I do this it almost feels as though my attention is so involved with thoughts that the outer world isn't even there and it materializes in front of my eyes when I bring my awareness back to the moment.

Could you comment on this Ram?

Thank you

Ghayas said...

Ram, in one of my recent lessons, you mention a talk you gave at Tiffany's yoga studio that Kay recorded. Could you please broadcast it on Facebook or the blog to all of us. This talk, or another of yours that could be very recent, or even to be given. Please say yes !!!!!!!
Love, Ghayas

Ghayas said...

Just thought about s.thing: spiritual knowledge given freely is wasted and underestimated (especially on FB). People would have to sign in to listen to the talk only if they offer s.thing before.... G.

D. R. Butler said...

Ghayas, we're considering making available to participants of the course my reading of a selected lesson, for those who might like a cd to listen to instead of a lesson to read in certain situations, such as driving down the road.

We'll try one and see how it goes. Who knows what could happen next? It's up to course participants to help create the course as we go, such as suggestions like these.

Anonymous said...

Ram: Could you give me an idea of what a person would do if he wanted to stop being conscious of lack and start being more conscious of prosperity? I'm having a hard time understanding how you could stop being conscious of something that's been there your whole life.

You said thoughts don't change the world just your perception of it. How does that apply to lack consciousness and prosperity consciousness?

D. R. Butler said...

I will get to answering the two questions from anonymous very soon.

For now, a post I made in someone else's Facebook thread:

My experience and observation has been that the teachers I value and trust most were told by their own teachers that it was time for them to go out and teach. This includes myself, who was told that by 3 different teachers, but that is irrelevant. I am sure there are those who've read enough books and taken enough classes that they can clearly verbalize the teachings in a working way, and it is even helpful to others on a certain level of development and understanding. Then there are those who just naturally know it. I could say my own daughter is one of these, but then again she grew up in an ashram. Bentinho doesn't really have a teacher, as such, just some influences, like Krishnamurti and Ramana Maharshi, neither of which had physical teachers. So, I agree, it's however it shows up, and it is what it is. I think in the final analysis a teacher is one who is actually capable of transmitting the experience of the Truth to others. If there is no transmission of energy, if it is not experiential, it is only a discussion.

Taylor said...

Ram,
In my current lesson, intellect is listed as higher mind, discrimination, intuition, and inspiration. I had thought that discrimination was a function of manas - conscious mind. My understanding was that it was about making good choices and I assumed that it was the conscious mind making those choices.
My manas doesn't understand how buddhi is working!
How does buddhi discriminate?
Thanks as always.

D. R. Butler said...

Continuing in the same page on the other's FB page, after a few other posts from others, I wrote the following:

Anyway, the 'scandals' are very silly, as well as the people and groups on the Internet who primarily focus on discrediting great teachers on grounds of their personal lives. Anything in a human body has karma just to be here, and it is definitely human karma. They might be perfect, yet their personal lives could never appear to be ideal. There has never been a living ideal human being with a halo and a beautific smile. There never will be anyone like that.

The teachings, the principles of Truth, are communicated or transmitted on a much sublter level than has nothing to do with the individual's personal life, or what he has or has not done as an individual.

These people who go around pointing out the imperfect as though they are proud of their discoveries, or their ability for seeing imperfections, are only wasting their own time and energy, and are infatuated with their own ego (which includes their own 'opinions' of things, which for the most part are meaningless.

We're the ones who've determined what should or shouldn't be done by our spiritual teachers. A true teacher is beyond ordinary conventions and cares nothing about appearances or what others think; our projections upon him (or her) do not affect him in the least. Such a one is not involved in rules or morals, but is a force of nature.

D. R. Butler said...

Taylor, discrimination is not manas; discrimination is buddhi. Manas is the conditioned, thinking mind in contact with the external world and objective humanity.

Descrimination is distinguish the temporary from the eternal. There's no way manas could do this. It only has opinions, gathered from what it has read and heard from others all it's life.

SriKalima said...

Speaking of "intellect, higher mind, discrimination, intuition, and inspiration"

I recently ran across a research study that found patients with Fibromyalgia reported doing better when they decided their own exercise intensity over what is prescribed by their doctors. They had lass pain during and after the exercise. The study found that patients should monitor their own exercise intensity and decide for themselves what level to do.

From my point of view this is connected to the wisdom inherent in your own intuition. Ram, thought you might be interested~ To speak in your terms of buddhi & manas... perhaps someone with FM who approached their exercise/yoga from the manas might just think they didn't want to do it at all :) but from the perspective of buddhi you would inherently know the level your body needs each day.

Michael said...

@Colette — reading what you wrote earlier was like breathing pure oxygen while I was under the weather. It was clear that the words were issuing straight from the great and compassionate Self we all share. Somehow your words soothed me in a way my own could not. Such is the power of participating in this community: our joys are doubled; our sorrows, halved. Thank you for channeling the divine encouragement with such simple clarity. 

Sukala said...

I was introduced to my main teacher, my Guru, by my sister. She invited me to a weekend event 30 years ago to receive spiritual initiation from her Guru. I listened but decided "this isn't for me". The teacher knew better and on the morning of the event, I watched myself go through the motions of getting ready and driving to the event, aware that 'this is strange' and telling myself 'I'll just have an open mind". Once registered, I sat on the floor and whoomp! My mind dropped into my heart. No thoughts, just peace and peace is what I'd prayed for 12 years earlier.

I've not wanted other teachers. There was a transition when the Guru passed on and clearly indicated his successor.
When I finally met her in person, I hugged her. There was nothing tangible, only energy. I didn't understand then, that not only did she show me who she really is, she showed me the conscious energy that I am. Along with that sweet, divine gift was the hidden arrow that pierces attachment to anything. That's how it's been with my Guru-teacher.

It's lovely to have this forum to share, stay focused, and deepen the teachings. Thank you!

Love,
Sukala

D. R. Butler said...

The teachings are already as deep as you want to go. As deep as you go, the lessons will meet you there and from there guide you to the next step.

Lynne Bhanu Shulman said...

I just enrolled in the course and am looking forward to learning. Not just with my head but with my heart. I have been re reading the first lesson waiting for the next one. There is some sadness of some perceived loss that it is no longer part of my original affiliation. What about the guru what about baba? what about the "living master with the special grace bestowing powers"what about pujas, chants, ALL the rituals. i was so wrapped up in for so many years including the correspondence course. Because none of that makes sense to me anymore and dont want to particpate in that organization, i don't want to "throw the baby out with the bathwater" What i have seen on this blog and the facebook pages make sense. Ram you truly seem to have no ego invested in this and you still seem to have the ability to explain, transmit and guide. so i am trusting you and all that goes with that. I want to apply these understandings in my life in a way i haven't been able to do in quite some time. Of course the title of this blog is perfect for where i am right now with my confusion and doubts. thank you

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

Remember how exciting it was to read books about magic as a kid?

Taking D.R.'s course (and reading the FB/blog comments) is like actually finding the secret door to Narnia, rubbing Aladdin's magical lamp, taking a flying carpet ride to new lands. It's Open Sesame to a cave of jewels, a portal to all the magic and mystery and wonder I could ever have wished for. Real and surreal at the same time, mind-blowing that such an experience is here for us now.

Also the most practical down-to -earth guide to being in this world that I (we) have ever received.

KJ

D. R. Butler said...

Anonymous, the thing to do is to develop the consciousness that you already have all the money you need. That's what has to be accepted. Accepting going more and more into debt is very negative and limited thinking. Think what makes you feel good, not what makes you feel bad. This is not pollyanna. It actually works if you try it.

Money is particularly amenable or tractable when it comes to applying the principles of the course, particularly those presented in the first year and a half.

You have as much money as you are conscious of having. It's not the other way around. Even if it's been your longtime experience of lack and loss and deprivation, deny the evidence of the senses, which are temporary and had their causes in the past, and feel how you would feel if you already have all the money you ever needed. That feeling is the Creative Principle.

Taylor, Buddhi or Intellect is the higher mind and the source of discrimination. It is that aspect of our awareness that distinguishes the temporary from the eternal. Manas is the conditioned mind that we relate to others (objective humanity) with. Without it we couldn't relate to the physical world, and we would be put in an institute. Manas is what organizes all the input from the 5 physical senses and the brain into a coherent reality that is apparently shared with others. As we break free from the conditioning of manas, Buddhi shines through more brightly without any effort and intutive insights become the norm.

Lynne, your enthusiasm is precious and your attitude is priceless. You are the perfect new course participant. Just be careful not to mention copyrighted names or places when speaking of the past, even anything we might have shared together. The present moment is always our focus. I strongly recommend that you read an entry from sometime in 2010 titled, 'What About the Guru?' It responds to questions like yours.

Lynne Bhanu Shulman said...

Thank you Ram, for your kind encouragement. I spent some hours going through the posts from the 2010 "What about the Guru?"
Whew, just what i needed to hear about. Seems like everyone had leftovers to some degree. It was very helpful to put my sadness/nostalgia, worries about "wasted" time into perspective and return to the present. Thank you

D. R. Butler said...

Chimene asked a question on Facebook about dealing with the challenges of being the mother of a 2 and 4 year old kids. It's a quite common thing, and he is my reply:

Chimene, all I can say is I know the feeling. I had 3 children of my own, and now Kay's daughter Tiffany has a 2 and 6 year old about a half-hour's drive away, which is the same number of years my first two (the boys) were apart, and the dynamic is so similar and familiar. 2 and 4 are in some ways harder now, but as they get older it will make it easier because they will be near the same age and can relate to and play with each other, leaving you much more freedom. I have heard young mothers with multiple young children admit that they felt it was certainly the worst time of their life, if not the end of life as they knew it. This period is temporary and will pass. It is a time to develop patience, and keep being more patient and more patient, realizing there is nothing more important for you to do right now than that. It is a fulltime and demanding job, but it is your karma, so what to do? Use it as sadhana to work on yourself. Indeed, they are two great teachers for you, and always will be. As you see who they become as they get older, well, there is no greater feeling than knowing what great souls came through the world as your children, and how honored you will feel for being their mother.

mohan said...

“feel how you would feel if you already have all the money you ever needed. That feeling is the Creative Principle.”
I so appreciate this aphorism. It’s like I have this internal ashram that I live in and the room I keep finding myself in is the poverty cave. It’s all dark, damp, and lonely and I go there to meditate on how much money I don’t have. Meanwhile, the Guru is in the next room leading a whole bunch of people in an ecstatic chant in the bright sunlight. I know I’d be much happier in that room and that all it takes is getting up and going there, but still I linger in the darkness because it’s just so familiar and “real”. So I change my thought patterns to see the humor of this silly room and this silly meditation on lack and all of the sudden the walls are blown out, the darkness is gone and I’m chanting with everyone else without even having to get up and move.
“His divine power has given us everything we need…” II Peter 1:3
Love
mohan

D. R. Butler said...

Lynne, I wish everyone who still has any 'guru' issues would simply read that entry and the following comments. It's so simple.

D. R. Butler said...

Someone asked me on someone else's Facebook page, in a thread, who was Kay and exactly who was she to me? The following is my reply:

Kay is a great wife and partner for me. I can't imagine anyone more suited for the 'position'. believe me when I say it is not always easy for her.

I have known her since 1976, when I was a guest teacher at a 'yoga convocation' in upstate NY, where many teachers of the time converged for a week. She has been a participant of the course, in its various forms and incarnations, ever since then.

In the early 80's she came to the ashram I lived in and eventually became the office manager for the course I wrote. In the 25 years I offered workshops, in all the major cities of North America, plus London, Barcelona, Brussels, and Mumbai (then Bombay.) In all that time she went to more of these weekend workshops than any other one person,

In London our first speaker called in sick at the last moment. I went to Kay early that morning and said, 'Guess what, you're giving the first talk today.' Of course, at first it was somewhat a shock to her, but she was already used to working with me and flowing with whatever is, and she recovered nicely to give a beautiful talk that the primarily British attendees totally enjoyed. Lulu was at the workshop and was my host for the week I was there. I think I'm rambling here.

Kay has been with me 'through thick and thin,' and without her my lifestyle would be much less enjoyable and fulfilling. Not only that, there would be no Course of Training via email as we know it without her knowledge and expertise in her own role.

We play all the different roles for each other that a man and woman play, yet primarily we help each other to break free from samskaras and ego that are obvious to the other but perhaps invisible to ourselves. This way our relationship becomes a vehicle for awakening.

We are like the two worms sticking out of the ground. One says to the other, 'Who are you?' and the other replies, 'I'm the other end of you, silly.'

Colette said...

Dearest Ram,

Thank you for your sharing about Kay. It was as I've always suspected. She occurs for me as a very thoughtful caring supportive person and much more.

Mohan, thanks for making me laugh. It's amazing how similar we all are and how all the same to have our little caves that we like to get lost in. I find it fascinating how laughter shakes us out of it. Thank you for sharing yourself with us. Lots of Love to All,Karuna Colettedistsco

Sukala said...

It's the 31st and my new lesson has arrived. Before entering in, I need to return to the teacher topic.

I felt the truth of Ram's response, to my sharing from a couple days ago. Actually, what I felt was his teacher's teaching speaking which Ram has described in some lessons. It was my time to actually feel it.

I need to add - it wasn't just that I didn't want another teacher other than my Guru, I never actually wanted any teacher/s. My Guru once said, you need a big ego to be able to take what the Guru gives (or something to that effect), sparing me embarrassment about having a big ego. How's that for compassion.

I felt the pain though, of having a big ego, reading Ram's description of having Kay in his life. It became for the first time for me that marriage is no less than two teachers and two students. As a single woman, I always thought I was afraid of commitment. I feel the real issue is about husband as teacher.

Love,
Sukala

Michael said...

Mohan, I felt richer just reading your post. Thank you for your candor and for your faith. What more perfect disguise, I ask myself, than for a jovial, rich God to take the form of my samskaras, which so commonplace, so ordinary, and which take themselves so seriously? I have been a serious seeker too long. Too much time have I spent privately preening myself for all the hours spent reading, praying, meditating, contemplating. Maybe I can't stop being serious, but I can and will start seeing my seriousness as God. Seeing the samskara for what it is makes all the difference. If it weren't for my participation in the Course, I am certain that I would not be able to see all the stuff I formerly identified with.

Vandita said...

Dear D. R., I have one more question :)

In the process of breaking free from samskaras, that 'liberation' may take place in different ways. When I realize that I have a repetitive reaction (A), I can decide in advance how I want to feel and react instead of (A), and work on that.

But also, when because of grace, or because of a good alternative session, or because of life, I suddenly become aware of a samskara that has been with me for years and that I had no clue it was with me, and in this this huge moment of Consciousness I have this huge realization about the reasons and the consequences of such a samskara, does this also fully expel the samskara from me?

I feel the freedom, I know I am a different person now, but do I have to work on a new approach that I want to have that will take the place of the already burnt samskara? Or can I just rest in this nice feeling of freedom, of the new me, knowing that love or that something great is going to take place now instead of (A)?

Thank so much for your answer!

Chimène said...

Dear Ram,

I have a question in the same line as what Vandita so clearly explained at the beginning of her entry: the process of breaking free from samskaras.
My question is that in the lesson I am currently reading I was surprised that the exercise at the end was to focus several times a day on our formlessness - does this work as well on samskaras as consciously replacing reactions with preferred responses ?
how do these two practices work together.
thank you
love to all
Chimène

jay cohen said...

Thank you Ram.
Jay Cohen

Anonymous said...

For some time now I have been wanting a new perspective, a new technique that would allow an experience of enlightenment right now, rather than constantly working or making an effort so that the experience might occur sometime in the future. The notion or concept was that I am unable on my own to have such an experience....I thought or believed it would occur through God's grace and since it was up to Him, all I could do was make an effort and hope He would grant my wish. This is not true. It is totally up to you and once you decide it is time, God's grace will be there for you. We are not beggars to God. He is here to serve your heart's desire. And when it happens it will happen because you want that and when happens, it will be in the present moment. Thank you D.R. for your course that serves all true seekers!!!

Sarah Hoffman said...

Great post and reminder on Oct. 27, 2011....So easy to get complacent just because the lessons are coming in and laying on the table besides one...Doing is the only way to BEING..;-}

Sarah

mama sadhaka said...

Thanks for pushing us to actually walk our talk. I've been reading the lessons frequently, and trying to imbibe them and embody the teachings. It helps to be retired, to really focus on my spiritual and physical health. I've also been taking lessons in the Alexander Technique, which is a way to work with the body to inhibit habitual reactions and live more consciously. Seems like a good combination with the course on Living in the Truth of the Present Moment.