Saturday, October 1, 2011

Skeptics and Cynics—Money—Kind and Wise Taxi Driver Revisited

Occasionally on Facebook someone will put me into a ‘group,’ usually of a spiritual nature, which blends with my own nature, and I never know what to expect there.  Some are mostly sincere, and that is good to see.  However, what has stood out most clearly about many such groups is the amazing degree of skepticism and cynicism. 

One group, with several hundred members, discusses spiritual topics and has posts or links for various spiritual teachers, and yet most posts on most threads contain some degree of skepticism and/or cynicism, which also includes doubt.  In many, who think of themselves as 'spiritual people,' there is much more doubt than there is faith.  It’s as though they hope the Truth is true but don’t quite yet believe the Truth is true.

On my own Facebook page, which maintains a dialogue of a certain level among people of all religions and spiritual traditions, there is very little blatant skepticism or cynicism simply because they wouldn’t be comfortable with the feedback they would get from the others.  The little that comes out now and then is mostly of a very subtle nature, and the one expressing skepticism or cynicism or doubt on this level is not consciously aware of doing so. 

In fact, in many cases, were I to point out to a person, ‘You’re being a little cynical aren’t you?’ the reply would almost invariably be, ‘No I’m not!’  Sometimes this is followed by something like, ‘You do not understand me.  If you really knew where I was coming from, you would see that there is not a cynical bone in my body.’

People do not like to be told what they are doing.  Well, their ego does not like it.  The indwelling Identity doesn’t mind, but the ego hates to be called on what it’s doing.  If you say to a person, ‘You’re being defensive,’ they’ll almost always immediately reply, ‘No I’m not!’—which is a totally defensive statement.

Or sometimes you can say to a person who is being grumpy, ‘You’re being grumpy,’ and instantaneously they’ll smile sweetly and ask in the gentlest voice, ‘Now what would make you think that?’  The ego has various nuances, and it transitions from one to the other very smoothly, without our even noticing.  Like Gurdjieff once said, ‘The one who sets the alarm clock at night is not the same one that the alarm clock wakes up in the morning.’

Just as a fun exercise, observe yourself and see if skepticism, cynicism, or doubt come up in ways that you might not ordinarily notice or be aware of.  You just might learn something valuable about yourself through seeing something new, as though for the first time.  When you see something new about yourself, as though for the first time, it is the most valuable form of Self-Knowledge.

Someone wrote and asked if I could concisely explain the money thing to him.  He admitted he was having financial troubles and having a hard time generating the income that he needs, and wanted me to simply remind him once again in a way that, hopefully, he could finally get it.

This is basically what I told him, for anyone who can use the same information.  Money is possibly the most amenable thing in the world when it comes to manifesting according to our consciousness OF it.  One reason for this is that it does not exist, it is not real; it is a conscious concept.  These days people tend to pass money back and forth over the Internet.  How would that be possible if it were a real, tangible thing?  Do you think there’s enough gold in Fort Knox to cover all the existing ‘money?’ 

If the stock market goes up, the amount of available money increases.  When the stock market goes down, money disappears.  It doesn’t change hands; it disappears, it no longer exists.  If we understand that money doesn’t even exist, that it’s only a conscious concept, we can somewhat grasp the understanding of how easily it is controlled by our consciousness OF it.

People with money have prosperity-consciousness.  People without money have poverty-consciousness.  The cause is in consciousness, the effect is our financial situation.  If we feel in our own heart, in our own consciousness, that we don’t have enough money, there’s no energy there making it possible to generate any.  If a person is conscious of having all that he needs, opportunities arise and situations develop that make it possible to generate money.

The secret to financial security is to KNOW without any doubt that you have all that you need.  If you have the consciousness of having all that you need now, there is no reason that this condition should change later, in the future.  Our consciousness of any quality determines the reality of it for us, in our own personal life.  The objective world around us is only the mirror, the reflection of the Subjective world within.  What we create on the inside determines what manifests on the outside.

All this and much more is discussed thoroughly in the lessons of the Course of Training, yet this is the concise answer, or explanation, or exploration, of how the money thing works.

You might remember Kind and Wise Taxi Driver.  If you don’t, please see the blog entry of June 1, 2011—it is certainly worth a read.  We had a visit from Narayana on his birthday last month, which is how he usually likes to spend his birthdays.  This time he became 59.  You have to understand that I have known Narayana since he was 16.  And he hasn’t changed yet.  He is still the same in every way, although his wisdom has evolved over the years, and there is a slight aging process happening physically.  If I hadn’t seen him in those 43 years, however, I’d recognize him immediately. 

Aside from his sister that lives in LA, (imagine her surprise to start reading the front page lead article and the first thing she sees is her brother’s name,) I am probably as close as anyone to being ‘family’ in his life.  In October of 1974 I met an incredible meditation Master who  transformed my entire life and made me into a teacher.  He asked me to lead a meditation center for him.  At the very first satsang in January, 1975, Narayana was there.  Several years later there was a blizzard in NYC.  It hit on the night of our satsang.  I said to the person I was with then, while looking out the window at the utter intensity of nature, ‘It looks like no one will be here tonight.  It’s too bad for anyone to go anywhere.’ 

A few minutes later the doorbell rang.  Narayana had walked through several feet of snow to get to the subway, and then had walked quite a long distance with snow blowing in his face from the subway station closest to us.  He was, of course, the only visitor present.  The three of us had a wonderful satsang.

For many years now, he has driven a Taxi in Manhattan during the evenings.  He could write a book about all his experiences.  Maybe Martin Scorsese would even make a movie about himJ

Narayana presented us with a copy of the September 11, 2011, Los Angeles Times.  The lead story on the front page was about the 9/11 tribute in Manhattan near Ground Zero.  The first two words in the article was Narayana’s name.  The writer of the article was the same man who inspired the character of the journalist played by Robert Downey Jr in the movie ‘The Soloist.’

Turns out, when this journalist came to Manhattan to cover the original 9/11 happening, he hailed a taxi and was picked up by Narayana.  Narayana essentially became his guide for the whole time he was here, and he wrote an article about his experiences with Narayana then.  Coming back for the 10th anniversary, the writer called Narayana and asked him to escort him about and be his guide again. 

So he wrote the 2nd article about him, 10 years later.  Narayana was quoted a few times, but what most sticks in my memory was when he was quoted as saying, at Ground Zero, ‘This place shows how we should never forget how quickly our lives can end.  This present moment is precious.’

You have to understand that Narayana driving around New York City is like a mini-ashram on wheels.  If you hail his taxi, you are in for satsang, regardless of what you expected or how big of a hurry you are in.  He interacts with many different people on any given night, and you never know who might step into his taxi.

He was telling us that not long ago a woman stopped him and got in the back seat and that she seemed to have a frustrated energy about her.  As he got a better look at her, he saw that it was the actress, Marisa Tomei.  One ironic ‘coincidence,’ is that the movie that really kicked off her career was ‘My Cousin Vinny,’ and it happens that ‘Vinny’ is Narayana’s birth name.  (Yes, he’s from Brooklyn, too, still lives there.)

So when she exhibited this frustrated energy, he asked her what was bothering her.  She replied, ‘Just relationship problems.  They get me every time.’  Narayana said, ‘Are you not focusing on the present moment?’  She sat up with a start and said, ‘What?’ as though she couldn’t believe what she was hearing.  So they had a nice chat on their way to her destination, and by the time they got there she was totally calmed down and in a cheerful mood again.  Of course, Narayana give her the address of the blog and encouraged her to take the course, as he does with many lucky passengers.

Anyway, just a quick note to catch you up on Kind and Wise Taxi Driver.

We have ‘space’ for an exchange or two from last month’s comments.  Terry asked, ‘I really liked this paragraph: "Ego is not created by thought, as someone suggested. It is a sense of duality and separateness that exists even before the first thought arises. Impure or conditioned ego identifies with the thoughts of the mind, the feelings of the emotions, and the actions of the body, and believes itself to be the thinker, the feeler, and the doer of bad and good actions. I had "thought" that the ego arose in the moment with the "I" thought where i-dentification occurs. It seems a closer look is needed at the "sense of duality and separateness" which is prior to the I thought.’

The response was this:  Terry, the primary philosophy behind ego coming before the first thought is mostly simply the fact that ahamkara (ego) is the 15th tattva, while manas (thinking, conscious, waking mind) follows that as the 16th tattva.

A deeper answer to your question, going higher up the tattvas, might be the 6th tattva, which is the Maya tattva. During the first 5 tattvas there is still no sense of separation, but various nuances of Awareness becoming aware of Itself. At the 6th tattva, the Maya tattva, there is a split between subject and object, where there appears to be a difference between the conceiver and the conceived, the knower and the known, the seer and the seen, the experiencer and the experience, which are in reality all the Same, and which is obviously so in the first 5 tattvas. Anyway, all this happens before the first thought.

Finally, a ‘comment’ shared last month, which was originally posted in a relevant thread on Facebook:   The subconscious is formed and molded through conscious concentration and repetition. If we do something consciously often enough, it will be passed on to the subconscious. Therefore we have to make sure that we feed it the right 'food' in positive and uplifting conscious thoughts. So the process of 'conditioning' the subconscious happens through habitual conscious thoughts, and what we consciously accept as true. Then the process of sadhana is the purification of the subconscious impressions, which we know in Sanskrit as 'samskaras.'

Thank you for joining me for our chat this month.  Hopefully you will read it more than once, as you can experience for yourself simply by doing so that it will be good for you.  You can be sure that I, if no one else, will read it againJ

For information about the Course of Training written by D. R. Butler and available by email, and a free lesson, write:


Anonymous said...

I wonder if I ever rode in a cab with Narayana? Seems one would know instantly. New York is definitely a place where you never know in what form God will show up! Thanks for the shakti vacation from the shkati life, Ram. I am truely blessed by all the Narayanas in my life. I love the relaxed and easy feel of this blog entry, it's effortlessness is comforting.

Anusuya said...

Your Narayana stories always make me laugh and feel so happy. I love the image of him cruising Manhattan in his mini-ashram sharing shakti with all who enter. It's such a beautiful example of carrying our dharma into our moment to moment existence.

Renee said...

Oh oh oh! This is such a wonderful blog entry! We can be kind and wise drivers wherever we go! Even if we never roll down our windows to speak to another, or pick up a passenger besides our own children. I actualy spend quite a bit of time in the minivan, and considering it a space for satsang is such a wonderful idea!

I had originally come here to post something wonderful from my current lesson (35).

"It’s not that our concepts from the past take up 75 percent of our consciousness, while awareness of the present takes 25 percent. It would be great if it were like that, but consciousness is only one, it is filled by one thought at a time. So if we are clinging to our ideas from the past, it fills personal consciousness to the brim. This is why there
must be an emptying out, a letting go, so that the past can be flushed from our psychic system, and we’ll be continuously refreshed and expanded by what is new. Of course, it helps to give up fear of the unknown. Trust that the unknown is even greater than the known.” (D.R.Butler, Lesson 35, page 2)

I could contemplate this forever and get more and more out of it each time. What an "A-ha!" It is so obviously true, because there is only this present moment, and there is only ever one thing happening. Is it Presence or Ego? Awareness or Past Condiditioning? This is exactly what I have been trying to get at for a month now, and here it is in my current lesson.

"To be willing to grow spiritually means that we are ready to admit that the world and our life are not exactly as we have previously known them to be, but in Truth are much greater than anything we have imagined.

As simple as it sounds, it is a rare person who ever truly reaches
this point. It is so easy, and so tempting, to hold onto old viewpoints, old perspectives, and old concepts. After all, we’ve been very invested in them as our reality for a very long time now. This is where the letting go comes in, the emptying out, and being without clinging.

There is no room for the new until the past is relinquished."

(I hope copious quoting from the Lesson is Ok here. It's all just so good!)

Blessings, love, light, and happy a-ha moments to all who read this at this most auspicious moment, the only one there is!

Melissa Abbott said...

Having had years of being NOT so prosperous and struggling with work issues.... I even trained and got a degree for something that I really wasn't suited to do. SO I have a few things to say about this which I hope just supplements your blog. Doubt is such a "bring down" for all the energies one needs to generate to be a prosperous person. Prosperity consciousness is more than just not having doubt. It is also about having a lot of love and enthusiasm for whatever you are doing. According to my dictionary, Enthusiasm originally meant inspiration or possession by a divine afflatus or by the presence of a god; belief in special revelations of the Holy Spirit. In studying this concept and looking how this applies to making money ( which is just universal energy). it means that seeing god in all the smallest details and menial things and creating a special enthusiasm for these details WITHOUT attachment is a huge secret. So if you take "not having doubt" to another level...seeing god in even the smallest details and this means the nasty voicemail from a dissatisfied customer or a boss who thinks being mean to employees is a good way to get results. So seeing god and reacting to these things knowing that you are reacting to god and that bringing your most special enthusiastic energy to dealing with each and every moment without being attached to the outcome of your actions. The reason not being attached to your actions works is because your not caught up in the outcome. This frees even more creative energy you can be using to seeing god in everything. If you are asking yourself, "How can I see God in everything here?" rather than "I have to turn this unhappy customer around or I am going to lose this account and therefore lose money and how am I going to do it?" couple this with "what a jerk, I hate this unhappy customer...I am too good to be treated this way" which is a level of negativity you bring into the mix. This is where you sabotage yourself... You are not too good to do any aspect of your job! I truly believe that people who think they are too good to do anything to improve their job shouldn't be doing what they are doing. There was a book written in the 1970's called "The Peter Principle" which was how employees are promoted until they reach the level of their own incompetence. If you are feeling so overwhelmed at the job you have been given then it is quite possible you have reached a level that is just plain too hard for you, possibly it isn't a suitable job for you. This doesn't mean you aren't "good enough". It means you are more suited for something else....what to do? Realize, this is because you are not bringing your ENTHUSIASM to each little detail. But in this economy can anyone be so Idiosyncratic as to not grab whatever reins they are given and get with the program but quick! The way to get with the program quick, is to not think anything is beneath you and that you can't learn some new tricks. So yes, DOUBT is huge...but its the type of doubt where you think you are too good to get the coffee, pick up the trash off the floor, open the door for your boss, or come in early and make a list of all the things you MIGHT do to overcome the myriad obstacles of the day. Having said this, you don't do this so you will make do it just BECAUSE IT IS GOD...and when you get a paycheck at the end of the think...oh and they pay me to do this too!! if you are surprised and delighted that they actually pay you to see god everywhere...then you are doing your job....If you are worried and thinking about your paycheck all week and counting your pennies till payday...You aren't doing your job right. period... Maybe serving coffee at Starbucks or working in a Deli might be more suitable. If it is, and this is where you CAN see god in each cup of coffee then there is NOTHING wrong with you. Prosperity is where we see god in each moment....

rico said...

How do you know what you see in another is actually there and not just a projection or a reflection?

Scott Marmorstein said...


I'm certain I'll read this one again. I usually have to, because some things are beyond my scope of understanding at an intellectual level. I get it at a heart level which you would think would be sufficient, but I try and integrate heart and mind as best as I can these days, not out of a sense of obligation but out of a sense of playfulness. To see if it can be done.

I don't believe I've ever gotten into Narayana's cab, but I'm sure he and I would have a nice conversation if we did. Some of the things you point out in here about how people feel and are defensive or are cynical and so forth apply big time to children, it's easy to spot these traits in children and sometimes even in other people if you are present enough and paying attention, but it is as you say not so easy (or painless) to recognize the same in yourself--especially if someone else points it out for you. I know maybe one or two people that are humble enough to actually admit when they are reacting to something. Sometimes good friend of mine will say, "Are you being grouchy?" I immediately respond, "Yes I am!" in a mock angry tone. I do admit it, but herein lies the rub...gotta be careful (I do) to make sure it doesn't just become a 'justification' for my reactive behavior in the present moment. This usually draws a grin or giggle from me and I am able to let it go faster than usual. I wonder who else has developed some useful tools.

By the way, my 'word verification' today says "toomered" which sounds funny to me.

Anonymous said...

As I reflect on your thoughts about money, I am aware that I have ALWAYS had what I needed--"our daily bread"--even in the most challenging times, e.g., unemployment. Makes me aware that gratitude should be my continual refrain. I even had a vow of poverty for a long period of my life and never was in need. Everything was shared.

Now I do still keep trying to simplify my life but somehow keep accumulating things that demand time and energy to care for them, organize them, find space for them, insure them, etc. and all the ways we clutch things to us. I admire those who choose poverty out of complete trust that they will be ok, no matter what. This is beyond me right now, but at some point have to reach this detachment spiritually. I find myself more of a coward than when I was younger.

Something from a previous lesson that touched me relates: "Everything worth having, everything worth keeping, everything worth carrying over into the future, will remain on its own accord, and not because we are tightly clutching onto it." (14) I don't have to worry.

Eugenia said...

Thank you for the wonderful blog and the juxtaposition of Narayana and cynicism. I speak from a helium balloon existence whereby I adopted cynicism just so I could stay on track. It has been fun playing with opposing points of view. Problem with cynicism, rather than direct the balloon, it pops it; apply it in literary analysis and you kill the book. Now I know about D.R. Butler and some wonderful meditations. They are the sandbags that do and will get this hellium balloon past any blizzard to the satsang. And it is really good to know that Narayana made it there
Love to all

Narayana said...

I remember going to Rams center and being the only visitor for satsang several times. Can you imagine that? The only one. How did YOU miss it? Yet there was always this distinct feeling that he was with everyone. That it{satsang} was stretching out to the outer limits including all those who could not make it.

Colette said...

Ah Narayana, the one that frees you from rebirth spreading his blessings on the world. I hope one day to meet this special man in his cab so that I can thank him for the love that he radiates out into the world. I thank you again, and again for the love that you and Kay radiate out into the world through the course and social media. Much Love to all Karuna-Colette

James said...

Applying the principles. I had or created the insight that applying the principles is the power of kundalini. Whenever I apply effort I am mother kundalini. So just doing it is it.

Purnima Orlandi said...

I really enjoyed this one Ram! I can relate to Narayana, and how he has a mini ashram in his cab. It's not what you do in this world that matters but how you do it! It's amazing when we meet people all of a sudden that give us a burst of shakti or a different take on a "problem" we may have at the time.
Melissa I like what you wrote about doing your job and treating it as serving God. I do that in Real Estate, and sometimes do more that what is "expected" of me, like help clean my clients homes de-clutter, ect.... It is really amazing because now when I get a new client, I ask myself, I wonder what the lesson will be in this transaction? There is always a lesson and it adds to my experience and the clients experience rather than just a purchase or sale of a home.
My husband is coming out of a divorce with alot of debt. He is paying for child support, spouse support, credit card debt and even her student loan, that she refused to pay even after the court told her to. Last night he was upset and overwhelmed and I read a little from our current lesson which tells to set a priority to be centered in the heart, instead of automatically reactive and see how it changes things (lesson 5 Volume 2). I also told him about the blog and hope that he has a chance to lok at it. I told him abundance is related to your consciousness OF it. He looked a me and said "how can I pay the bills if I don't have enough?". I said, let's learn how. I know one thing, focusing on not having is just going to emphasize the lack of awareness and give you more of that which you don't want, but focus on.
Thank you for this blog and this space to work through these issues.

Avivit said...

Scott, you were asking who else might have developed some skills so this relates to that.
When I observe myself being defensive and I notice I am hiding behind it/playing some not so honest game...if no one is there to bluntly point it out to me, where I have to deal with it immediately, I often find someone to tell it this way I expose myself and cann't or don't keep playing any game or pretend something. I expose the issue to the public so there is no way back and no procastinating forever. It's obviously not as "burning" as when someone unexpectedly exposes my behavior...yet it does help me do the internal work I know is beneficial.

Volker said...

I Love what you say about money!

When i was younger, I dreamed of stip naked the economic theory through psychology. One of the things that came to me was that Property was a concept, not an objective reality.

How our whole world economy pends on a feeble concept that everyone seem to so hipnotized with. (I mean, even my self so far so good)

But some how I still regarded money as "something", unconsciously.

Today reading this Blog... I think I understand my early insights in a new way.

Now coming to the subject of Marisa Tomei... I have been a great fan of her ever since I saw the Guru Movie, She even mentioned Your teacher (some how my teacher too) in that movie.

Well, now I go to sleep!

Good night Ram, Marisa and Everyone!


D. R. Butler said...

Rico: 'How do you know what you see in another is actually there and not just a projection or a reflection?'

Good question. If you see something in another that is actually there, you simply notice it, but you have no feelings about it. There is no emotional charge. For example, you see a black cat, and you acknowledge that the cat is black. It's a simple fact and you have no feelings about it either way.

If you are projecting or seeing reflections, you almost always have corresponding emotional reactions. You might not like it; something about it might bother you; you might have an intense fear of or aversion toward; you might tend to be defensive and to make wrong and be right. All these things come up with a projection or reflections.

Something about it feels off to us. What is off is that we don't recognize that it is our own projection, or a reflection of something we don't want to acknowledge and own about ourselves.

Lynne Bhanu Shulman said...

I don't think Ram says this just this way in the lessons and i don't know who did "Nothing has meaning except that which you give it". The course does say this over and over in so many ways. I do create my responses to people places and things all the time. Over this past year i have been not only unemployed, but seriously physically ill and yet with all the bills and discomfort i had and still have the choice to spiral into fear, anxiety, despair OR trust,surrender,and truly feeling that everything is ok and will be ok for me. I am not delusional, i don't ignore or pretend that bills have to be paid and my body needs help and my spirit need nourishment. i really do trust that everything is the way it is supposed to be and that i do have everything i need. I have not gone hungry. I was able to pay for a years worth of the Lessons, it is a way of life to believe and act in a way that keeps me in the present moment. takes practice and awarenss. Rams,lessons shore me up in times of doubt, the people i meet on this blog and Ram's page help me with their wisdom and their own questions. i kind of live in narayanas taxi without ever leaving home :)

Colette said...

Bhanu, you share brought tears to my eyes and gave me great hope all at the same time. You are truly an inspiration. Much Love,Karuna

Eugenia said...

Reading your answer to Rico I will admit (before I get found out) to partially being "clever". This question is not coming from the heart but is regret rationalised, flipanticised and, why not, cynicallicised: To rephrase it is like nits, you don't know what they are and therefore are not repulsed by them until you've caught them. And I wonder would it not be wonderful to recognise them before you come close enough to catch them? Wouldn't it be good to spot them in the distance and keep your hair out of the way? I expect you'll tell me of Karma and growth and I accept that the process of catching lice and learning to get them off is so tasty as to be indispensable. But I still want to hear the answer whatever that may be if you please

D. R. Butler said...

Purnima, make sure your husband reads the part in the blog entry that addresses the money thing. Also, there are so many principles in so many lessons of the first two years that can be applied to developing prosperity consciousness, and using that to permanently replace poverty consciousness.

I totally understand that feeling of 'If I don't have enough, how can I pay the bills?' This is very logical. My mother had to deal with this one her entire life. I am very familiar with it, having experienced a lot of insecurity in my earlier life.

The conscious mind cannot see how it is even possible to change anything for the better. Therefore it is best to not get involved in the conscious mind at all. We don't need to know the details of how it will work out. Trying to figure out the details with our conscious mind is simply a way of assuring that it never happens.

We simply need to tell our 'Father within' what we have need of, which He already knows even before we ask, and AFFIRM, not beg, plead, or supplicate, what we truly want. The next step is to generate the FEELING that our highest ideal and aspiration is ALREADY REAL. Once we experience the feeling of it already being real, in subtle reality--because we have actually 'seen' it in our mind's eye--there is no power in the cosmos that can prevent it from manifesting in the physical world, in our own personal life. This is truly the Secret of the Ages.

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

D.R., even though I am in the second year of the course, I so much appreciate this summary of prosperity consciousness you just posted here. It's a great distillation and I am grateful for your generosity and compassion in sharing again in this blog space. I am going to copy it and put it on my bureau. Some of us just need to hear it or see it a couple hundred times!
Love, KJ

Karen said...

I am very grateful for the blog reading I did tonight. First is Ram's answer to Rico's question. I have often had the same question, Rico. Thank you for asking Ram about it.

The second thing is that I wound up reading the 2/2011 blog post first. I actually thought I was reading the current entry until I started noticing the dates on the comments. It seemed really fresh new, and it was exactly what I needed to read tonight. :) :) :)

It started to be a long scroll to get to this current blog: kept moving forward one blog at a time. Then I saw 'Home' and clicked on it. It got me to this blog entry fast. Home, indeed.

D. R. Butler said...

There were a couple of questions near the end of the comments last month that I waited until this month to answer. Vandita, our Spanish translator, describes an experience she had, and then says:

"For the first time, after hearing you talk about the importance of living in the Present Moment for years, I think I have finally grasped a bit of what this really means. Nothing else is important or needed as I am present. Nothing that I have experienced in life is better than this. I love being here and now.

My question is why I lost it for a couple of days, why it came back on its own, and if just the effort to be present is enough to keep it here.

Thank you so much for your answer and for being here!"

Vandita, it is totally normal, no matter how present or disciplined we are, to 'lose it' for a couple of days. Most people lose it more often and for much longer than that, and even more people than that never (consciously) have it in the first place and therefore have nothing to lose.

If there is a 'why' to your 'losing it' I imagine it could be easily explained by taking a look at your transits during that time. If a couple of planets get too close and a momentary tension rises between them, people on earth 'lose it' for no apparent reason whatsoever. (See my quote from Gurdjieff near the end of last month's comments.)

As for why it came back on its own, it is because of the strong sadhana energy you have developed over years of sincere aspiration and consistent practice. The Shakti builds up within you from regularly reading the lessons for an extended time.

Because of this, even when you 'lose it,' the Shakti of your sadhana is so strong that your highest state returns very quickly no matter what planetary tensions momentarily knocked it out of whack. (I love to challenge the translators.)

Is simply making the effort to be present enough to keep you here? Yes. Living in the Truth of the Present Moment is the highest way we can live, and it all comes from refusing to consider the past or future when they are not relevant. Unless they are relevant for some reason, thoughts of them only cause trouble. The antidote is to come back to the present, come back to the heart, and come back to your love.

D. R. Butler said...

Last month, Anonymous asked, "Could you paint us a word picture of what life would be like to live as a totally free person? I have a hard time imagining what it would be like to live in total freedom."

You have a hard time imagining what it would be like to live in total freedom because total freedom is being free from the mind, free from imagination.

Nisargadatta Maharaj said: "There is only imagination. It has absorbed you so completely that you just cannot grasp how far from reality you have wandered. No doubt imagination is richly creative. Universe upon universe are built on it. Yet they are all in space and time, past and future, which just don't exist."

So we can never imagine or expect or anticipate it. If we knew what enlightenment was like we would already be enlightened. What we usually think of as enlightenment is totally off the mark. The mind simply can't grasp the reality of it. One reason for this is that it is simply too simple. The mind does great with complication, but not so well with simplicity. Yet, the highest Truth is simplicity itself.

Paint a word picture? We've already discussed how this is impossible. The highest state cannot be captured in words.

There have been, however, some hints from the scriptures and from enlightened beings to have some idea which direction we are going in. For the most complete exploration and experience of this, it is a matter of participation in the Course of Training via email, although even this cannot be comprehended until it is actually experienced, because it does not at first glance even seem rational that it could possibly be true.

One quality of a totally free person is that they are completely spontaneous. There is no thought behind their actions or words, no motive or agenda. It is as though life happens through them for the greatest benefit of everyone around them.

Another quality is that they are consistently lighthearted. Only ego can be serious. They might assume another apparent feeling or disposition under certain circumstances, or around a certain person, if it is what is needed or helpful in a particular situation. For example, a free being might display anger toward another, yet there is always a twinkle in his eye and his anger is always directed toward the samskara, or some aspect of conditioned mind and ego, to help burn out the obstacle or block for the one who has come to him for help. My Teacher was quite harsh toward me at times, and once even said I was 'disgusting.' Yet, I knew that behind it all he was saying mantras in my behalf, and that everything he said and did was all for my ultimate good.

Another quality of a free being is that he or she remains the same in all circumstances and around all people. He doesn't automatically react to anything, he never becomes defensive, he never explains himself, and he never considers that anything he did or said was a mistake. This could sound to the uninitiated like a huge ego, but he is so identified with the Shakti, or God's own Divine Energy, that he has full faith that only the Shakti acts and speaks through him.

He is fearless. He sees the One in all. He sees the same Consciousness everywhere and in everything. He sees his own Self in everyone who comes before him. He knows we are all the same while we think he is different from us.

These are only a few hints of what it is like to live as a free being. For the whole exploration into this topic, including living in a way to go in this direction, I strongly recommend the Course of Training. Like I said, no one can anticipate the effects in advance. It has to be experienced to be believed. Anyone can try it for a short time simply as an experiment to see if anything happens as a result. What to lose?

D. R. Butler said...

Even though the enlightened state cannot be captured in words, we could go on and on listing the qualities of a free being according to various scriptures and other free beings.

An important quality is that such a one is totally non-judgmental. He looks up to nothing, and he looks down at nothing. He lives in a state of equality-consciousness, where everything is completely equal.

He is beyond polarities, or pairs of opposites, like good and bad, or right and wrong. All these are conditioned ways of thinking, and he is beyond conditioning.

(Hopefully the women who read this are free enough from ego and sexual identification to object to my predominate use of 'he.' We obviously can be talking about either sex, and I know how to do the 'he or she' thing, but for now it is easier to write the way I learned as a teen than it would be to try to remember protocol, which is distracting.)

A free being has no likes or dislikes. Everything is the same. He sees God equally in everyone. His primary function in life is to help others see God in themselves.

He is mostly playful, and he sometimes becomes childlike. (Not childish.) He can relate to scholars and dignitaries, yet he remains simple and unsophisticated. He is always true to his own nature, and never considers the dharma of another to be his own.

He might have preferences and inclinations, as these are energies that naturally accompany the human incarnation, but there is no attachment or desire, no motive or agenda, and no attachment to the results of his actions. He is free from ego and mind, and puts them to good use for the good of all around him. He performs his actions as though they really mattered, while inwardly knowing that they don't matter in the least.

More than anything else, and the most concise way of understanding a free being, is that he or she lives in the Truth of the Present Moment.

D. R. Butler said...

I think the last unanswered question from last month's comments is from Michael. If there are other questions I have missed, or if you have ever asked me a question that I did not respond to, or even if a question happens to pop up sometime, please post your question here in the blog and I promise I will get to them.

Michael asked, "What does it mean to fully participate in the Course?
How am I applying the principles into my life as it is? How am I incorporating the understanding that we are the same little one into my current awareness?"

Well, the way to most fully participate in the Course is to apply the principles in your own life as it is right now.

It does not matter how much we 'know.' Knowledge is useless when not applied. In fact, it can be harmful, for if we have knowledge that we never actually apply in practical ways in our own life, should someone come along and offer to show us how to actually do that, we'll invariably feel that we 'already know it' and therefore will be closed to learning anything new. When people do this their spiritual progress comes to a crawl.

Anything that we already know can be understood in a higher, or subtler, or deeper, or more expanded way. If we think that what we know is all there is, we are stuck and go through life like running in molasses.

Understanding our own knowledge in a greater way is explored in the section of the Course called, 'The Evolution of Wisdom.'

So, fully participating in the course, and incorporating your highest understanding into your current awareness, is primarily a matter of continuing to learn something new, over and over, as an ongoing process, seeing a previous understanding in some new and deeper way that is actually transformative. If you think you already know all you need to know about something, then you are toast. May as well sit back and watch TV.

Incorporating our highest understanding into our current awareness is also practicing the principles of Truth in practical ways in your own daily life, your moment-to-moment existence. It does no good to merely agree with it theoretically.

Some people 'agree' with the principles of Truth and then go out and teach them to others, while not being able to actually apply them in their own life to any consistent degree. Don't do that. Apply your wisdom now, or what good can it possibily do you?

This is participating in the course. This is fully participating in life. Otherwise we simply float in a dream.

Rick said...

I always find the topic of the tattvas quite fascinating... thanks for the short explanation in this month's blog.

Anonymous said...

Could you explain how walking and sitting could be spiritual practices?

Anonymous said...

Hey Ram,
I was reading my recent lesson and became aware of a dilema I was experiencing. ...In it's simplest form...There are times when I am feeling pretty good about things ( e.g after reading a lesson) while my wife is miserable about one thing or the other. Often,when it seems like things just won't get any better, my response will be to simply leave (escape) the situation rather than stay in an environment where there is so much negativity. My gut is telling me that if I were a more loving husband I would not be experiencing this karma in this way....maybe there is some truth to this.

I am also aware of the fact that I do have control of my experience and that it is not dependant on others or what is outside of me....But it seems like this is such a regular experience in which I am always being asked internally to 'make things better' within myself...Using a sports analogy, it's kind of like watching a team that always's hard!....Thanks for the lessons, they are really helpful!....Mukunda Mollica

Avivit said...

A few years ago before leaving a spiritual community and returning to my homeland, I and many others like me were offered a job search seminar. On one of those days the Master appeared and she asked the teacher, "Do you teach them how to be a millionair"? She then went on to tell us she had asked another devotee who was transitioning as well, "How much money would you want to have in your bank account?" This woman took a moment and then said...well...I think 50 thousand dollars would be enough. Then the Master said, you are a Siddha, you are the Self, why do you ask for so little when you can have it all?
And she spoke of Poverty Consciousness...and recognizing Grace in our lives. She said to us all "envision how much savings do you have". And I say...envision how much any - thing you's your wonderful consciousness.
This course of training teaches and reminds us of our true nature, the neverending omnipresense, omnipotence of Divinity within us. Once we get that, we can never return to poverty consciousness. If there is no end to could there be an end to abundance and prosperity?

D. R. Butler said...

Avivit, thank you so much for your beautiful share. There is so much practical wisdom in it. I hope everyone reads it well, and often.

Anonymous said...

I sometimes tend to think that my "lack consciousness" is what has kept me close to God in my life and has driven my spiritual practice to some degree. When I think of prosperity consciousness I tend to approach it with inner caution, fearing my practice could suffer as a result.

D. R. Butler said...

Rick, in future lessons, you will understand the tattvas quite experientially.

Anonymous asks how walking and sitting can be spiritual practices. Here is something very important to understand about my approach to sadhana: everything is equally a spiritual practice. Truly, what is not a spiritual practice? It all depends on the consciousness brought to it.

I can sit in meditation and think of all kinds of worldly things. I can go to a movie and experience deep meditation.

Walking and sitting are both ways to meditate. Why sit or walk if you are not going to meditate? This doesn't mean you have to walk with your eyes closed. Practice open-eyed meditation. This doesn't mean you have to ignore others during conversation. If you can't meditate while you're talking to another, then what's the point of meditating at all?

Everything is a spiritual practice. Simply carrying around this corpse waiting to happen is a spiritual practice. It simply depends on how you are directing attention.

All this, of course, is explored fully in the Course of Training.

D. R. Butler said...

Another anonymous chimes in, only this one signs his name. Why not simply put the name in the space? I used to try to number anonymouses, only it got to the point that I could no longer be sure which anonymous was which.

Mukunda, I am very happy to hear from you. I haven't gotten a question from you in many years. I hope all is well in your life. (And what I really mean by that is that I affirm your well-being in all ways.)

I realize that you have not reached the section in the course, 'Inner Growth Through Relationships,' where we focus on all aspects of relationship with everyone in our life. Even so, I know you know the principles of right living.

I know nothing of your wife, who she is, how long you've been married, or anything else. I'd love to hear her perspective of things, but obvious that is not practical right now.

Once couples become familiar with each other's quirks and foibles, or samskaras, then there is always something to have knee-jerk reactions about, as well as long-term resentments and habitual hostility.

In most cases, this cycles back and forth with periods of love and affection and the true enjoyment of each other's company. If this pleasant cycle never kicks in, then something is fundamentally dysfunctional in the relationship.

Women have this samskara to deride and denigrate men, especially their partners. Before the women get in an uproar and deride and denigrate me, I will quickly add that men have their own ways of being equally disrespectful to women, but it is a little different and is not being discussed in the current exchange--although certainly it is something worth looking into for any man, including Mukunda.

In terms of sadhana, it behooves you to see everything as positively as possible. Do not take your wife personally, or get defensive, or feel that you have to explain yourself, or fight back, for all these things add to the destruction of the relationship.

Remain cheerful and lighthearted throughout it all. If she's one that pumps up the volume when she gets going, and you've long since gotten the point, I recommend a good pair of Mack's earplugs.

Some relationships cannot be saved. When it is your karma to be in the relationship, nothing in the world you can do will end the relationship or enable you to get away from it. On the other hand, when the karma is over, there is nothing in the world you can do to keep it going, no matter how hard you try. The Shakti simply goes out of it. Then it is truly time to go your own ways and seek out better lives for yourselves.

I know you have the grace to resolve this particular problem in a positive way that will work out best for both of you. Much love to you.

Lance said...

Speaking of skeptics, I'd like to say that I am extremely guarded when it comes to accepting teachers and teachings. Many great beings, including my Baba, have said, never accept a teacher or teaching without scrutinizing him or her thoroughly, and most importantly the effect they are having on you. The proof is on the inside. Ram, you, this blog, and the Course are a great gift. It is in the Shakti (energy) of it, it is in the teachings and in your methods for keeping us engaged with it. If one truly embraces what you are projecting here into this world, it will have a very positive, transforming effect on their life. Thanks Ram

D. R. Butler said...

This anonymous says, 'I sometimes tend to think that my "lack consciousness" is what has kept me close to God in my life and has driven my spiritual practice to some degree. When I think of prosperity consciousness I tend to approach it with inner caution, fearing my practice could suffer as a result.'

Well, that's fair. Both these things are possible, although neither are probable.

'Prosperity consciousness' is simply KNOWING in our Heart that we have all that we need, and that in the 'future' we will always continue to be supplied with what we need. Being conscious of this makes it much more likely than if we are unconscious of it, as thought is creative.

There is no way this should distract from sadhana. Read Avivit's beautiful sharing of what her Master said about prosperity consciousness. It is so true, on all levels of being, and especially in the highest sense.

'Poverty consciousness' is doubting, fearing, or dreading that we will not be supplied with our needs. Yet, if you think back, you entire life is one long string of examples of your needs being supplied to you without you even asking for it. It just happens, but it is much more likely to happen if we are conscious of it instead of unconscious of it.

'Poverty consciousness.' according to this perspective, is doubting, fearing, or dreading that our needs will not be met. With this to deal with, it makes sadhana much more difficult. Instead of being conscious of the process of sadhana happening continuously, we get sidetracked and spend much time and dissipate much energy in our egotistical melodrama, or our worry, or our sense of insecurity, and we lose sight of the reasons we ever thought to do sadhana in the first place.

Go to one of the countries in Africa where many people are starving and ask them, 'Would you like to be enlightened? Would you like to know the one Truth, that, knowing which, you know all relative truths? Would you like to know the Secret of the Ages that will enable you to attain anything that you should aspire to?'

Invariably, to a person, they will reply, 'No thank you, what I'd really like more than anything is some food.'

Poverty-consciousness does not help sadhana in the least. Being anonymous, I have no way of knowing whether you participate in the Course of Training or not, but I would venture that you don't, since following a very short time of reading the lessons, it would be very challenging to ever take 'poverty-consciousness' seriously ever again.

D. R. Butler said...

Sometimes letters come from participants of the Course with questions regarding situations in their lives, or with negative and limited descriptions of how their lives are currently going, and I often have to wonder, why are they not simply rereading their current lesson?

Often a problem or question is presented to us, and almost invariably the solution or answer is in their current lesson. If not, there have often been innumerable lessons they have already received that explored in full what they are asking or complaining about.

Now don't let this discourage you from writing. I honestly don't mind addressing your questions, and when they are offered as contributions to the blog, the exchange can be helpful to very many people.

I know that you have a full life in addition to referring to your current lesson, or reviewing some past lesson, and the most common excuse for not reading the current lesson more often is 'lack of time,' which is a rather absurd reason, considering that time is all in our mind and does not exist in reality.

Invariably, we do what we want to do, what we choose to do, what we prefer to do, and all the rest often comes under the category of 'not having enough time.' Perhaps you haven't yet reached the section of the Course on priorities, but if you have, you might definitely want to review those particular lessons.

I am not displeased with anyone or with any particular person's actions or words. I am already pleased, already content, no matter what you do or say. All that is your business. I am simply suggesting, or hinting, that if you placed a slightly higher priority on rereading your current lesson, and actually applying the principles of Truth in practical ways in your own moment-to-moment life, you would not only notice a huge improvement in the appearances of things as well as your own inner feeling and experience, but you would actually experience for yourself how utterly and invariably powerful the principles of Truth actually are--if you make real-time efforts to actually live that way, and not simply agree with the principle in theory and then think you 'already know it.'

'Already knowing something' makes it impossible to learn anything new, and when we stop learning what is new, we stop growing altogether.

Be open to what is new. The raw newness of the moment is actually all around you all the time, but actually 'seeing' it is somewhat elusive and takes consistent practice and determination.

Avivit said...

Ram said (9th of october):
'Poverty consciousness' is doubting, fearing, or dreading that we will not be supplied with our needs. Yet, if you think back, your entire life is one long string of examples of your needs being supplied to you without you even asking for it. It just happens, but it is much more likely to happen if we are conscious of it instead of unconscious of it.

I, Avivit, tend to have these kind of pictures or visions in my mind from which I understand things visually and easily sometimes and I want to share one regarding this that Ram wrote.
Poverty Conciousness is like a small...window/paradigm. It's wonder one feels fear and dread of what is "out there" beyond the wall, beyond the known. Prosperity Consciousness or Consciousness of Abundance is like the never ending Universe to which there are not only no limits I can see, but also I keep seeing miracles appearing and approaching...floating all around like stars and planets and commets in the sky. So when there is no limit, no tight window, I know all possibility is around me and far far beyond what I can see in this present moment. If I can "see it" (in my minds eye), if I am conscious and awake....I am surely also going to "recognize it when it's floating around me or toward me. If I cannot "imagine it"...or say "recognize it" it is probably going to float by without me even noticing.

Ram, you say that if we'd go to Africa and ask "Would you like to know the one Truth, that, knowing which, you know all relative truths? Would you like to know the Secret of the Ages that will enable you to attain anything that you should aspire to?'....they would probably say I want food...actually they are living in the present moment...they experience hunger so they want food....first food NOW. It is said that we need to come to this world, have a body, to attain obviously there is the "evolution" of consciousness and opening to evolutionary...haha. And if we aren't the doer anyway....then things happen on their own in their own timing anyway....right?

ps: thank you Ram for your kind words about the sharing I gave me courrage to write again.

Asherah said...

"Some relationships cannot be saved. When it is your karma to be in the relationship, nothing in the world you can do will end the relationship or enable you to get away from it. On the other hand, when the karma is over, there is nothing in the world you can do to keep it going, no matter how hard you try. The Shakti simply goes out of it. Then it is truly time to go your own ways and seek out better lives for yourselves."

My relationship karma must be over cause my relationship of many many many years is falling apart around me. big ouch yet what a lovely way to hold it. Thank you. So what has happened? I don't experience completion or space or karma being done. It feels contracting and churning of more stuff.

Ashera said...

Dear Ram,

I read what you say about those who write of themselves with problems that are addressed in their present or past lesson and taking time to read and reread and to apply. When I read I then feel "Why discuss at all because I do already have the answer and know i need to apply the principals even more presently." Yet I also wish to respectfully offer a perspective as one is just beginning to dare to write of my petty complaints.

I am one who reads and rereads and mantras and applied as fully as I can more than daily and have been since I've started this wondrous course (and before in other lessons that I've learned). I feel embarrassed to write publically. I don’t want to wine nor complain yet I do want support and to feel the love. I know that it emanates from inside yet I am enough challenged right now that I can more easily connect to my heart by the reflection of my mirror from outside.

How then do I ask for the support I desire? I do get awesome revelations from the present and past lessons. The exchange of hearing it from someone who is in this moment connected to their heart helps me. The conversation with a live being speaks to me differently than the lesson. I know I do this for others when I am connected.

So how, without negativity, does one ask to bask in another’s light for the purpose of support, connection and nourishment without draining the relationship?

Love, Light and Respect

Avivit said...

Asherah you said: "I feel embarrassed to write publically. I don’t want to wine nor complain yet I do want support and to feel the love."...and "how do I ask for the support I want?".
Well..I'd say you just did! yeah!!

I remember in one of the lessons of this very course of training, Ram shared about coming to NY when he was quite young and he was trying to recognize who are the people who "know how it all works" so to speak...and I don't remember the exact words, yet he spoke of realizing that all the people where actually a bit lost and not knowing how does the thing work and looking too for someone who might know. So you, like me ,sometimes, might think some others know it all and have who knows how much experience expressing themselves publically but I guess that many are just like you and me.
I am used to getting ridiculed and even almost getting stoned (and I don't mean drugs) but stoned by my family to this day, when I express my ideas, ways of being and ways of thinking...still, after reading this blog for a while I get to read how often people are compassionate and caring and I need to fly out of the nest so... "with a little help from my freinds" (Joe Cocker) I do...I do...I do.
And I am so happy you have found the courage to express what you need because there is more chance you will get it as we are "hearing it". I feel happy you did. Thank you!

Asherah said...

I am so curious. "When the karma is over..." What does this mean? closed book, end of story, flatline? Is this the "be open to spiritual growth different than expected" thing? The Shakti has moved out. So what is the residual energies? Is that like your answer to Rico that the extra energies is ones own projections?

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

Avivit, I loved reading your Abundance visualization. Thank you for sharing it! I would like to try that when I feel contracted. Blessings to all, KJ

Richard said...

After reading my current lesson only twice, I experienced that the course had upleveled me once again. I have this recurrent experience that I think the course is one thing, and I appreciate what I've thought it was and my life has already changed in obvious ways, and then suddenly I'll get a lesson and realize that the course is an entirely different thing that I had previously believed it to be, which was already good enough for me. I'm beginning to see there that will be no end to this upleveling process, and that ultimately nothing lies beyond the course except the Self.

Richard said...

What I intended to say at the end, was to ask if anyone else experiences anything similar to this, and if so, in what ways?

Andrea said...

I have been having some trouble the past month or so, and I was hoping to have a conversation with you if you are willing.

I feel as if I am not practicing very well. I feel like one big emotional bubble after the next. Always ready to pop and ooze out all over at any instant. Major loneliness is coming up for me. As well as disappointment in how I am living my life - feeling like I am not good enough, not successful enough, and a disappointment to my family. I understand moving through these emotions on a theoretical and hypothetical level....I just feel like I am not putting my practicing to work. Feeling sorry for myself, blaming myself and others, reacting, obsessing over samskaras, wishing outer circumstances were different, not enjoying life, complaining all the time, attaching to thoughts and emotions.

The loneliness is so painful and intense. It follows me everywhere....always underneath ever moment and sneaks up on me. It makes me feel uncertain about my life choices - like maybe I want to have a child or maybe I am not with the right partner because he cannot be with me all the time. I feel like I cannot even answer these questions. I keep going back and forth....not knowing what my heart is saying.

And I recently feel like the practice is craziness. I find myself dissecting every situation, thought, and emotion. Either the practice isn't working or I am doing a shitty job at putting it to work. (Most likely the latter) I am not enjoying life very much. And there are moments where I wish I could just go to sleep and never wake up. No, I am not suicidal, but I just wish I wasn't here anymore. It would be easier - to escape and not be aware of all my bullshit melodrama anymore. Do I just have such intense and MANY major addictions to my melodrama? Is it always this painful for others?

I don't want to go on and on and on and on. I am allowing myself to write this and then move on from the melodrama for the moment. I just want it to go away. And I want to enjoy life. And I don't want to feel like a hypocrite anymore. I teach this stuff in my yoga classes...and I feel like I am not walking the walk. I am just teaching words without any meaning or experience behind them. Like it is fake. I feel fake without a purpose or meaning right now.

Thanks for listening.

Margaret said...

AS a newcomer to your course, I do have a few questions...

How aware are we of the Truth of the Present Moment when we are not embodied - in the 'between' or 'eternal' time when we are not walking around in physical form on the earth? Is our ego present then? Do we bring various 'conditionings' with us when we are born?

If we had what appeared to be memories or flashbacks to previous/different lives of ours when we were children, what are/were those?

Colette said...

Dear ones when I get stuck in the Yakkity Yak in my head one of my anchors that helps me out comes from a lesson in the course, "You don't have to pay attention to everything that passes through your head. In fact, it's far better not to." That was quite a revelation for me. Love, Karuna

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

Andrea, I honor your bravery in posting so honestly here. I wanted you to know it had been heard. I believe that just in your posting you might begin to experience a shift, because you are opening yourself to the energy of the Course and this community and Awareness. Right now do whatever practical helps uplift you and takes care of yourself in this challenging time-- read the Course everyday (or even earlier lessons) and whatever else. I like to keep a list of those things for me which include listening to chants of OM, walking in the woods, reading certain books etc. As for the loneliness, perhaps can you just "BE" with the actual sensation as peacefully as is possible and see what it is trying to tell you? One year, before I started this Course again, I had intense grief come up from the past I had never processed. It kind of blew me away, but each day I tried to accept it and be with it until it finally worked its way through and I was much freer afterwards. I love (Buddhist nun) Pema Chodron's books "When things fall apart" and "The Places that scare you." Honor the heart and what it is showing you that you need to harmonize with . I agree with Colette, too about not paying so much attention to the things that the mind generates, the thoughts that can drive us crazy. Thanks for sharing of yourself and keep tuning into the energy here and the Course. Blessings, KJ

Asherah said...

Dear Andrea,

I was very touched by your heartfelt ego-drama. I often get pulled myself.

You are doing the work. Just by thinking and remembering and reading and rereading and thinking of the lessons daily really does change your vibrations and over time you do find that you pull out of your drama a little quicker and for a little longer time period. Really truly! Sometimes my mantra is just "learn to tolerate this discomfort" "Come back to the present. Come back to the heart. Come back to your love" over and over and over.

It is a fascinating journey.

Love and light

D. R. Butler said...

Ashera, what a plethora of questions. I was just trying to see if I could spell plethora, and I'm still not sure if I did, and feel too lazy to lift the dictionary.

About your relationship, just let it go. If it can go, it's best to drop it as soon as possible. Never hold on to anything. You'll have your hands full with the ones you can't get rid of. Sure, there are all those emotional attachments, but just work through them and allow them to go through you and out of you and be finished with them, and know that you have worked through a significant chunk of karma.

'So how, without negativity, does one ask to bask in another’s light for the purpose of support, connection and nourishment without draining the relationship?'

You have done that simply by writing. Once you commit to participating in the course, you are already supported, connected, and nourished, more than you might ever guess. The Course of Training is not simply some printed lessons to read--that's only the outer manifestation. The true Course is an inner process, and it includes how you approach every moment and every situation in your life. The course is maintaining a certain awareness as we go through daily life. The course is Living in the Truth of the Present Moment.

You will discover that you are more supported, connected, and nourished than you could even conceive with the conditioned conscious mind. It is an unfolding process, and it all happens within your own Self.

Come back and read these same words six months from now, and you'll understand everything written even more clearly than you do now.

Debbra said...

To Andrea: Thank you for sharing yourself so openly and honestly. Colette's comment reminds me of a wonderful bumper sticker I once saw. "You don't have to believe everything you think." I think we don't realize how much choice we actually have in each moment, as far as the thoughts we entertain..and then believe. Reading and re-reading the lessons more frequently, especially when you are having thoughts that bring you down, will be a big help to you. I am always amazed at how effective and transforming tuning back into the lessons can be. All the best to you, Andrea.

D. R. Butler said...

Andrea, I have to go somewhere, but if you happen to read this before I get back, please tell me whether you participate in the course or not.

If not, I strongly suggest you to give it a try. You seem to have several areas that need work, and the only way that can really happen is through the process of reading the lessons of the course.

When I return, I will respond to your question, as well as the others I haven't gotten to.

Debbra said...

Avivit, I want to take a moment to thank you for your wonderful and inspiring comments here. Such a sweet sincerity is flowing though you. I too, really appreciate your post on envisioning abundance. Ever since I read it, it's like something has enhanced my ability to envision prosperity and abundance in my own mind and life. I see the miracles and possibilities as golden coins, sparkling, cascading down from the heavens, like the coins coming from Lakshmi's hands. No obstruction..filling in the space all around me and beneath me with golden light. An open flow. In your previous comment you wrote about the Master saying, "You are a Siddha, you are the Self. Why do you ask for so little when you can have it all?" That has been resounding in my mind and heart ever since you shared that, thank you once again!

christina said... know, I used to love all that stuff about tattvas...I know it's great, and it's important, but now I just much love is pouring through me as I read this...this really is the present moment. Thankyou for the whole post...blessings upon you, Ram, and everyone who has commented.

D. R. Butler said...

Okay, Andrea, I just read your comment again. From reading it, I'm fairly certain that you do not take the course. If you do, then you did not give the first few lessons a very comprehensive reading.

First you need to understand that you do not have a bunch of problems; you only have one problem. That problem is simply the way you think. You need to unlearn the way you are thinking and replace it with something more positive, uplifting, and inspiring. Words are very powerful, and the language we use creates our personal reality.

My answers to any particular questions you asked would do no good whatsoever until you commit to learning to think more positively. I don't often do this, but I highly recommend the course via email to you, especially if you are teaching any kind of yoga or meditation.

The address for a free lesson and info, in case you are interested, is

D. R. Butler said...

Margaret, your questions are cute, and yes, you are very new to the course, and you've hardly had time to even learn the terminology it would require to answer your questions.

"How aware are we of the Truth of the Present Moment when we are not embodied - in the 'between' or 'eternal' time when we are not walking around in physical form on the earth? Is our ego present then? Do we bring various 'conditionings' with us when we are born?"

When we are not embodied we are totally in the present moment, since there is no sense of time. Time and space are elements of the physical plane only, and are not even relevant to other planes of existence.

To get an idea of this, observe your dreams very closely. How much of a sense of space or time do you have in them? How long does it take to flip from one universe into another? How coherent are the transitions? It is a whole different way of perceiving and experiencing reality, or rather, a whole different reality. It is not so based on what is logical, reasonable, or rational. It is more a realm of deep feelings, feelings so deep that when we are woken up in the middle of the dream, we can only briefly bring it into waking consciousness, and then it is lost because we can't contain it.

Yes, the ego (ahamkara) is present between incarnations because it is an aspect of the subtle body, along with the mind, intellect, and memory. (Westerners often understand the mind and intellect to be synonymous, but in Yogic psychology there is a specific distinction between the two, and they perform two different functions.

Do we bring conditioning with us when we are born? Yes, the conditioning, or samskaras, is what pulls us back into another physical body in the first place. Samskaras are the seeds of karma. The only reason we take a physical incarnation is to experience of cycle of karma, with each incarnation taking up where the last one left us, as far as our degree of Consciousness or Awareness is concerned. The goal of the game as a whole is to break free from samskaras, and learn to watch and experience life as an entertaining movie.

'If we had what appeared to be memories or flashbacks to previous/different lives of ours when we were children, what are/were those?'

Those would be memories or flashbacks of previous incarnations. It is quite common when we are young, but we usually only consider it to be 'imagination.' Interesting, very few of us even understand what imagination is.

Roberta said...

Avivit..Hello, and thank you for sharing the words of the Master. I was also at that workshop. I remember she had come to talk with us, but I had forgotten this portion of what she had said. I'm grateful to be reminded that I am the Self and I have been given everything. She also asked us if we appreciated the value of what we were being given -- referring to the seminar. But really, I wonder, how much do I appreciate the true value of all that is given to me?

I have just recently started the course and I'm looking forward to expanding my consciousness around abundance. I also just started reading this blog when D.R. lost his electricity and lessons were sent out late last month. What a treasure! I'm finding that whenever I have a question, it gets answered here.

It's nice to reconnect with you in this way, Avivit.

Amy said...

Hi, Everyone! I am so happy to have re-found Ram, the Lessons, and this community. Thank you all for connecting and giving the Shakti so many ways to express. I have been about to bust, wanting to share this experience:

I was driving to a business meeting this week, and heard the intro to Fresh Air on public radio. Terry Gross was interviewing the creators of a new TV series called "Enlightened." Interesting name I thought, and turned up the volume. It's about a professional woman (Hey, I thought, That's like me. I'M a professional woman!) who attends a meditation retreat (Hey! I'VE attended meditation retreats!), and struggles to maintain her newly found state and meditation practice after returning to "regular" life, home, work, etc. (Hey! I'VE struggled to maintain that state after retreats or visits to the ashram!). They played a sound clip of her internal monologue during meditation - instructions to herself to relax, focus....followed by a parade of thoughts like, My hands are really wrinkled...I'm 40!...I'm dehydrated....I should drink more water.....(Hey! How many times have I had THAT meditation?). By this time I'm laughing out loud. Turns out the main character went on her retreat because she was so stressed at work (Hey! I've been stressed at work.) that she had a meltdown.. at work. (Hey!....ummmm....well, yeah, but I never pried open elevator doors to continue a teary tirade at a co-worker like she did....). She was demoted when she returned from her retreat (Hey! uhhhhh....Not me. I was fired.). And her name is Amy.

OK, that's just freaky. MY name is Amy.

I read Ram's advice to refer to my current Lesson. And this is how it looks to me tonight:

Lesson #3 talks about the mind and the ego defining and describing us (Hey! I'M defining and describing myself! lol), and that pure Awareness just witnesses the play.

So there I was, watching and enjoying this TV show about a professional woman named Amy who has a stressful job, has a meltdown at work, goes on a retreat, meditates, comes back to work, has some karma, makes some effort, etc., etc. And I'm interested, I'm enjoying the play, and of course I know that's not me (Hey! THAT'S Laura Dern!).

Having witnessed that play on TV, I am now experimenting with Witnessing the play of my day-to-day life. (There's this professinal woman named Amy who sometimes gets caught up in her emotions, who goes to meetings, who some people like and others don't... on and on....but that's not who I really am.) When I remember, when I can sustain it, there is so much energy, delight, and wonder.

Lesson 3: "When we we get this - that the mind will never get it - everything begins to seem somewhat like a big joke, and we start to see the humor in life as it is."

Also in Lesson 3: "cultivate gratitude." So my prayer tonight is, Thank you, Lord, for this gift of the Lessons, for Ram and Kay, for this online satsang, for all the sweet seekers who share their struggles and joy here and offer their love and support. Thank you for the joke you played, and for helping me "get it." May we all Laugh Out Loud.

Sweet Dreams and Love,


Vandita said...

Thank you so much for your answer!!! Learned something new out of whack ;)

D. R. Butler said...

Andrea, after revisiting everything, and seeing the source of your question, I do now realize that you do participate in the course.

I so appreciate your honesty and willingness to share with us what you are going through.

Still, it all comes back to what we think is real, what language we use, even to ourselves. When negative, contracting thoughts are replaced with positive, expanding thoughts, everything is transformed, and we view life with a new eye.

Lots of love to you.

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

Amy-- I just love this share! Thank you, you gave me something interesting to contemplate about how we can look at our lives. And welcome, Roberta. I've been taking the Course for almost two years and it is continually a source of surprise and excitement what unfolds. I feel happiness when I read here of others discovering it. It's a special community. KJ

Lotus said...


My heart truly breaks for you. I, too, have had periods of time where I had so many similar feelings. It sounds so simple to just change your thinking or think more pleasant thoughts. And in fact, it is that simple and that is all it takes. But when you are concealed and contracted as you now are, it is really, really hard.

As humans, we constantly move between that place of concealment and revelation, forgetfulness and remembrance. Sometimes I think we are meant to forget so that we can learn even better how to remember. But often we get stuck in that place of forgetfulness and the shift can be really hard…especially if we’ve been stuck for awhile.

I think the loneliness that you feel is loneliness for your true and authentic self. On some level, you know the ego is currently in charge…that you have lost touch with your essence…with who you truly are. You feel that separation and so much of your sadness comes from that. Of course the ego loves this and wants it to stay that way. There is nothing more threatening to the ego than your spiritual growth or your movement back to that place of remembrance. So the ego wants to keep you right where you are and puts up quite a battle to stay in charge. All your feelings of fear, criticism, blame, reaction, and resistance are coming from the ego, but they are not who you are.
In order to oust the ego from its throne, you have to find a way to re-connect with the divine essence that is truly you, and you need to learn what does that for you. Because believe me, you will forget again. You need to recognize the signs of forgetfulness/contraction early, know what it takes to make that shift in your thinking, and get that process going quickly.

Sometimes this struggle you are in is referred to as a “dark night of the soul”. I just had a long stint in one of those myself. Reading and re-reading the course lessons was critical to my pulling out. But it was not easy. I had just lost my husband and the grief (while healthy to experience) was a very heavy emotion.

I also think that you have to reach a place of surrender…a place of surrendering your limiting thought patterns and the ego. At least that’s the way it was for me. I meditated daily, kept up my yoga practice, read and re-read the course lessons, prayed, and worked hard to identify all the thought patterns that did not serve me…to acknowledge that they belonged to the ego and not to me. At some point, in the midst of all that work, grace literally came in and I felt the shift. It was immediate and quite tangible.

Since then, I just stay on top of it…sort of like your weight. If you see a pound or two creep on, you nip it in the bud, and get it off. The same with negative thoughts…if you see one or two crop up, you say that’s not me, and you replace those thoughts with the ones you have decided represent your truth. So, it does get easier once you pull yourself out of the hole you are currently in.

I would also encourage you, as hard as this time is, to see the good in it. It is such a time of deep growth and transformation. Be open to it, embrace it, and find gratitude for it. I will hold you in my heart, sending love and courage your way as you continue to move through this dark night of the soul…this period of forgetfulness.

All my love,

Colette said...

Amy Thank you for making me laugh out loud.Karuna

Shyami Nazzaro said...

Andrea, since you have been participating in the Course, this might relate to your situation. I have had the experience many times that when I feel very connected within, some part of me assumes (and this is beneath the surface, not my conscious mind) that this new understanding is assimilated, and firm, and that the associated obstacles have been overcome. And then, insidiously, my conscious effort can become less directed, and then suddenly I say to myself, "Hey, my state isn't good! What just happened here?" And I see how far from my Self my inattention allowed me to wander. And when that happens, I think it's time to get back to basics, see the Course's message as completely new. Even start reading from the start of the course. Whatever brings you back to that moment when you read your lesson and said to yourself, "Yes. This is the Truth. This is my True Self." So I would say, take it back to the start, and see it all with new eyes. And also, have firm trust that this challenging time will pass, and that you are preparing to cast off many untrue notions about yourself and life.
Thank you for your share. Much Love and many Blessings to you...

jean in TX said...

Amy, I loved your joyous share--and truly--may we all laugh out loud.

And Gosh, Narayana, I would love to ride in your ashram cab--its almost enough to go to the Big City for.

Love to all.

Andrea said...

Thanks to many for responding to my original posting. It speaks volumes about the community that the course has created. So much love! I was out of my regular day to day life for several days - spending time practicing, meditating, and in VERY good company. It was a wonderful gift of Grace to have these past three days to connect back to and remember the Divine light and love that I am. Yes I do take the course, and found myself in that dark place of the soul for the past month or so. It is amazing how quickly we forget if we don't continue the work and allow it to seep in to the deepest levels of ourselves. Thank you for the encouragement and reflection of the highest. The reminders were helpful and appreciated. Many blessings to all.

Avivit said...

D.R. writes on October 13:
"First you need to understand that you do not have a bunch of problems; you only have one problem. That problem is simply the way you think. You need to unlearn the way you are thinking and replace it with something more positive, uplifting, and inspiring. Words are very powerful, and the language we use creates our personal reality."

I find this truth so simple and yet the most powerful simplicity ever!!
As the years pass, I realize more and more clearly how all my experience of this world is the CONTENT of the CONTEXT of the Matrika Shakti or Power of words.

Wether Nonviolent Communication, positive thinking, creating conscious Intentions or becoming more conscious of the meaning of words and their use....the whole thing revolves around words.
Stepping out of this as I understand it, is stepping out of time and space or "out of the picture" and being the witness and not creating any content.
Still, as long as watch myself creating content or "reacting" and birthing ideas and words...I do my best to choose words-sentences-stories as wisely as I am able to....cause I'm going to eat the soup I'm cooking....and it's not been not always yummy.
Actually I learned in D.R's previous course, in the 90ties about the power of words and I can never express publicly so much gratitude as I experience! How could I? the body is a time space limit no? great to reconnect.
email me:

The master even said that the stockmarket goes up when we value it. Collective sentiment moves the market or value up!
and we do damage by having low self esteem or low understanding of donations. "everything comes to Selfreferential" she said and how we value.

Anusuya said...

Have been contemplating the five actions both in our inner life and outer life. Maybe that's a given at this moments in our lives, but I noticed a desire to explore this again came up a few months ago. It's been reignited as we contemplate death more deeply, since this is such an outer manifestation of dissolution. Creation, maintenance, dissolution, concealment, and the greatest of all...grace. Would love to explore these cosmic functions more deeply in a lesson.

jean in TX said...

Dear Ram, just got my new lesson and am in awe. Not just of this lesson but of this blog and the course, all of it. What great karma that I crossed paths with this. And I just went back to read July's blog and have to tell you that back in the fifties, on Sundays I would go with my Daddy while he made his house calls and I'd sit in the car and listen to the radio. Twice--just twice, I heard Dr. C's broadcast but what he said rang such a resounding gong of truth in me I never forgot. Now I can't remember the words but what He said I KNEW was true. He ended both broadcasts I heard with a phrase or admonition that's on the edge of my consciousness. What was it he said?
But bottom line, thank you dear, dear Ram for fulfilling your destiny. Cannot imagine my life without the Shakti of this Course in it.

Colette said...

I am present to being extremely grateful this morning for all the generous beings who contribute to my life by taking the course and by coming to the blog. This also includes the people who don't write anything but simply do the work. I am grateful to you all. Love and Blessings, Karuna

Asherah said...

Dear everyone,

I also want to express my deepest gratitude in being within this kula and for all of your wonderful love, support and remembrance.

It was soo fascinating to be completely disconnected and floundering. I knew I needed to implement my will to my intention of “come back to the present, come back to the heart, come back to my love” yet I had not developed that muscle strong enough to do it. So I went through the actions and asked for support and plugged away till in one instant, I connected. Speechless… clarity, gratitude, love, groundedness converged. And of course the physicality is different than expected. Thank you Krishna and Arjuna for your conversations on attachments to the outcomes. The out come is not what is important. Being connected is.

Thank you, thank you, thank you,

Bindu said...

D.R, as I re-read my new current lesson, whlle drinking my morning coffee, I wasn't feeling to peppy. When I finished reading I got up to start the day and realized I felt wonderful. Full of energy and well-being. "Hpw odd," I thought. "I know I wasn't feeling well. Now I feel great." It took me a moment to appreciate what had changed. Me! Although there is incredible wisdom, and power in all the Lessons, this one fairly shouted at me. The quotes from your early teacher fill me with the certainty, " I am the "master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul". Not only do I understand It is up to me to exercise vigilence in all my thinking I am powerful enough to do so. When I think about your work I sometimes wonder what would have happened if you had not written these Lessons. Like Jean from Texas I'm glad you fulfilled your destiny It would have been a real pickle if you had gone awol. Lots of love. Bindu

Stuart said...

Dear Ram and Kay,
I really enjoyed this lesson (first of many readings) so much! It feels like one where I need to be especially careful to give it the reading and contemplation it deserves. Thinking about things like the relationship between "to object" and "an object", our opportunity and obligation to exercise our lighthearted awareness so that we can create consciously, and about the physical/subtle body relationships.
At the moment, life is feeling very beautiful to me. Seeing some of the ups and downs as subtle weather, and really getting into enjoying and appreciating life. My days do feel very magical. Also catching "myself" when the automatic and reactive come up. So I send thanks, blessings, and permission to publish any excerpts from this, if they are ever useful. Continuing to encourage others to investigate your Course as I make new friends and deepen relationships with old ones.
Next weekend, I'll be the host for the Shaktipat Intensive here in Houston, and glad that I can bring my good state to it. I have you and your lessons, in large part, to thank for that good state.
With love,

Christina said...

Thankyou Amy for making me laugh so much!!! life is just so fascinating and if we can always see the funny side of it, it changes everything we feel... you really are so lighthearted...fabulous. This whole post is superb. What a gift to the world. Love to all.

ari said...

greetings folks.
It's great to be part of this course. I've moved into the third year of the course and would like to make a contribution.
The first year of the course what stood out for me was the emphasis on staying present and developing a conscious intent and using your will to change whatever it was you wanted to change. This was significant for me because I always felt like one needed to accept everything as is. While acceptance is important I used the lessons to make some changes in my life.
I work in health care and am involved in some pretty hairy situations with people dying and families in great distress. Staying cool under some very hot circumstances and communicating effectively is very important. I've felt great fear in the past during these circumstances and did not always communicate well with others. I "accepted" the fact I was quiet and didn't like to stand out. It was too much of a contraction.
So I started to visualize myself being very confident and cool under duress. I also visualized being a dynamic communicator. It was very uncomfortable to do so. Even the visualization part. But I insisted on breaking this pattern that has held me back professionally. It took some time but the changes were amazing. I feel much more comfortable in these highly charged situations and am not very proactive communication. A fellow nurse that I have known for a long time in the hospital recently told me "I used to think you were this quiet guy who never said much but I see you as an alpha dog now". While that may be one persons perception it just made me chuckle. No way nobody could have called me an "alpha dog" even a couple of years ago.
Year two of the course was about relationships and our responsibility to stop blaming our significant other for our samskaras. I never saw myself as an angry person in any way. But I started to evaluate my communication a little more honestly. I noticed i would get angry if my wife took my coffee cups to work and left them there. She also kept leaving garage light on despite me telling her to turn it off. I feel ridiculous just writing this but that's the way it was. So instead I pictured myself noticing the coffee cups missing and being light hearted about it. Again it worked because it's important to develop that substitution ahead of time, by the time you come to that particular situation, it's purely a habit.
Now moving into year three I am enjoying seeing life as a game and not being so serious about things.
Thank you all.

Michael said...

On your FB page, DR, you invited us to contemplate something like, everything that happens is God's will. God is at the base of every action, every happening, in the mind or on the "outside." He exists as the base of the mountain of my life as it is right now. There can be a lot of activity at the summit, along the flanks -- even fierce storms and avalanches -- but the base of the mountain is vast, mighty, solid, still and the same. It supports all the activity with perfect equanimity and compassion -- even love. Being conscious of God as my base is helping me use every one of my thoughts, every sensation, as fuel for spiritual practice. As I write this I am aware of a large elliptical cloud of nervous energy pulsating across my upper chest. It is not a particularly pleasant sensation – it feels like my heart is in my throat, which is a typical feeling when I post ☺
When I focus my attention at the base of my pelvis, I tune into a massive stillness, a profound honesty that feels more authentic than anything I have ever thought. This base-ic awareness I now know to be the Heart, the conscious, compassionate Ground from which springs all thoughts, all emotions, all actions, and events on every plane of existence.

Taylor said...

Most of the time, my awareness is in the present moment. Especially concerning the past, my awareness hardly ever goes there. However, I do find that I still get a tug into the future especially since I've gotten a couple of clues of future karma in this life that I find intriguing - so speculating about it happens.
Is this typical human experience or should I focus on bringing my awareness back to the moment when wandering to the future happens?
With thanks & love.

Jane said...

Every month I think - “the blog entry and discussion are better than ever”. This month is particularly amazing to me because I am learning so much from reading about how 'others' are applying the lessons in their lives and it is inspiring me to practice, practice, practice. Thank you to everyone for being so open and so specific. And of course, thank you Ram and Kay for making the course, blog and FB so readily available.

rico said...

Taylor, planning for the future is a necessary activity to survive and thrive on this planet for most of us. If I didn't cut firewood last year I'd have no firewood to burn this winter. Sometimes planning is what is done in the moment.

There was an earlier posting about envisioning a prosperous future. Certainly better than worrying about a difficult future. Many of us have the tendency to think we don't deserve prosperity or a wonderful life. Until one is fortunate enough to come across the Course the prosperity option may seem unattainable.

By prosperity I don't just mean financial prosperity. 'Emotional' prosperity is perhaps more important. By that I mean the sense of having a fulfilling life. This notion has been popularized as finding your bliss. Finding and pursuing what it is in life that you really want. Not the superficial stuff that maybe makes you happy for a few minutes but the pursuits that that fill you with joy. We are each one of us unique expressions of the Divine and that uniqueness is expressed when we follow our bliss.

Jim said...

Ari, it was great to read your post about the changes you've made through the practice of substitution. Now I'm fired up to step up my own practice. It's helpful to see how other students of the course apply the principles in real time in their lives.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I'll see that I'm stuck in a melodrama, I fully recognize that's what it is and yet it just keeps on playing in my mind over and over and over. It's almost like my mind is stuck in a loop. It reminds me of having something sticky on your your finger and you try to shake it off and no matter how hard you shake, it's still there.

What's the best thing to do when you find yourself in this type of situation?

AC Lambeth said...

Hello everyone! This is the first time I'm posting. I've been taking the course for about 9 months now and am so grateful for D.R. and Kay and to discover this wonderful kula.
I have been learning the lessons of prosperity consciousness for a long time, as I and my husband are writers. Sometimes I have felt that I am just twisting in the wind, not always knowing where the money will come from but also KNOWING that it will be there, because it always is, it always has been. I've also seen that needing to make money has encouraged me to take opportunities and be creative in ways I might not have been otherwise, brought experiences that have enriched my life, and introduced me to people who are true blessings. I have realized that every experience has been a gift, and when I look at life in this way, I no longer fear or worry for the future. I think this is what faith must be: not hoping that life will be a certain way but accepting that the way that life is right now-- with whatever financial situation-- is perfect.

Asherah said...

Dear Anonymous,

I have been having the same exact experience of having a negative loop in my thoughts and unable to just stop. Since I can only have one thought at a time in my head, I've taken to singing out loud. Sometimes I just sing lalalalalala, sometimes mantra and sometimes Norah Jones. :)

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

Hello, everyone. Thanks for the recent shares. "Anonymous", I loved your question about the melodramas. (By the way, if you feel comfortable it is so nice when we know each others' names here. We are a group of kindred spirits) I think it is great you are noticing the dramatic thoughts in action; for me, the awareness of them has been a huge first step. I liked how D.R. named them "melodramas"-- gives me a code word to use in my head.

Keep reading the lessons and doing the work. Almost two years into the Course, I realize I am so much less interested in melodramas now than I used to be. If they come up, they are generally with my beloved husband of almost 25 years. Sometimes I watch compulsions come up which I would have acted on immediately before leading to a distressing experience for us both since he would react with anger or frustration. (i.e. Asking him to put things away in the house "my way"-- if he loved me why wouldn't he :)? ) I have to admit, at times I can still feel a strong compulsion to say something I just KNOW is going to end up in unhappiness for us both. I try to let it go now by just watching the tendency and thoughts. If I feel I MUST say something, I try to find the most lighthearted approach and shift gears if old patterns get re-started. Sometimes I screw up, but the improvement is very noticeable. I guess the biggest help is I am just way more generally interested in staying in a good state and feeling the Love than I used to be in the drama or winning anything.

A great D.R. quote that helps is "Come back to the moment, come back the heart, come back to our love."

By the way, I believe our whole culture is drenched in tendencies towards melodrama, from talk shows that "teach" us to deal with conflict by screaming and accusing each other, to shows I even enjoy that keep us entertained by creating a drama as soon as two people feel a connection. So we have to fight hard against the conditioning to drama.

AC Lambeth, I love that you posted for the first time! I hope you will keep coming back. I enjoyed your share and I am sure others did, too.

Blessings, all- KJ

Taylor said...

Rico, thanks for helping to clarify my question. I know about planning - have my wood pile along my carport. For almost a year, I've been envisioning my life as I would like it. And, my life is bliss ever unfolding.
I was asking about daydreaming and I've decided to give myself permission for daydream time!

Leela said...

A Great affirmation I have been using lately is, 'I live in fulfillment.' It soothes something in me just by repeating. An insecure part feels the need to 'make sure' that everything is alright and that I am indeed getting what I want. This is such a tiresome preoccupation! What if we just assumed that right NOW, we ARE being fulfilled! What a difference, no need to guard against anything, no need to control anything! It would all be assumed to be part of our trip to the fulfillment of our request. We could allow ourselves to relax into life, trusting that we are heard and answered! We could bask in appreciation and gratitude NOW, not later, ok later too, but feeling fulfilled NOW. I LIVE in FULFILLMENT!

Scott Marmorstein said...

D.R. I feel a little more than overwhelmed when trying to read all the comments on this blog, a good number of them from you. Yet I will commit to that when I have some time and more fortitude.

I just have two simple observations and I'm not sure if/where it applies here but maybe you've noticed it to, and maybe other have as well.

First Observation: sometimes when people want something with fervor, they are denied it. It could be an object of desire (like a computer or tv set or some such, a car-what have you) and for whatever reason the object of desire is completely denied at every turn. It seems to be because of the way in which the person holds the there might be negativity about "never really getting that thing" so of course, that's what the Universe interprets to be true.

Second Observation: Sometimes a person has pure motivation, and has no story and is not clouded by emotion. They think, "why shouldn't I have the thing I desire? I will enjoy it." There is a subtle sense of entitlement in a thought/feeling like that. YET...such people do invariably get the very thing they want. I recognize that such people don't necessarily have to have any special 'spiritual background' for such phenomena, but that this is how life unfolds for them based on their predominant feelings, beliefs and attitudes.

Okay, one last small observation...the 'spiritual people' often do not get the things they are wanting or looking for. Also...curiously enough, many of these same spiritual people are often lacking in financial abundance and I wonder why I have always noticed this trend. I suspect that the value of 'God' or 'Realization' or 'Liberation' somehow usurps the value of money...and ironically, money and God are not only not separate, but One and the Same, just as I understand Food to be of that divine nature also.

Anything you can add?

Anonymous said...

Life is innately and wholly appropriate and, whatever arises in my world presents me with an opportunity for my progressive evolution.

Taylor said...

Thank you for sharing your affirmation, Leela. I'm basking in your good company.

Asherah said...

So now I'm using Daffy Duck to chase the negative thoughts.

Ram wrote: "the important thing is not to understand your wife's projections onto you, but to understand your own projections onto her."

It just hit me that they are all mine. I hold onto them. Not the other way around!

So I think of Daffy Duck when he is a tiny miser in an oyster shell holding onto the pearl demaning "Mine, mine, all mine." and i repeat "mine, mine all mine" and get a good chuckle. lol


rico said...

Scott, I've been contemplating your musings and this is what arises for FWIW. It seems that 'spiritual' types may have a subconscious resistance to getting what they want since we often hear that desire is the cause of suffering. Perhaps this admonition fosters this subtle block to the flow of abundance. We also hear that a wise person is content with what comes unsought. Another seeming admonition against wanting something.

I struggled with this myself until I started chanting the Guru Gita and noticed that in the text it says the Gita removes all hurdles and grants the four goals of life righteousness, wealth, pleasure and liberation. It says one definitely obtains whatever desire one may entertain.

It doesn't say all you get is liberation! Now I'm sure some of it has to do with karma and some of it has to do with the lessons we need to learn. But it's right there in probably the most highly regarded text of our Tradition. One can obtain whatever one desires.

The suffering comes from holding onto the outcome. A big part of drawing what we truly need and want is letting go, letting go of the idea of not having it. The Goddess will give us whatever we believe to be true. And that applies not only to wealth and pleasure it applies to liberation as well!

Debbra Bhadra said...

I want to thank everyone for the profoundly uplifting comments here! What a joy to read how all of us are doing the work of the Course and sharing the fruits of that growing awareness here.

Karen Jo, I can feel the steadfastness of your sadhana in your words. It's so true that, as I employ the principles moment to moment in real situations, they begin to sink in, and I have truly begun to lose interest in melodramas (lo and behold!) And if they do start up, the energy feels so off and out of place very quickly.

Ari, I could relate to your coffee cup situation, and had a chuckle. :) Just this morning, during a work situation that could have had an 'unpleasant' outcome, I thought, let me be ready to be OK with any outcome, let me see myself taking it all very lightheartedly, no matter what. It is so important to be ready for, and head off old mental patterns before they have a chance to get you going. And so empowering to have a strategy!

Debbra Bhadra said...

Scott, your observations are so interesting. I've thought about this before, about why so many 'spiritual' people tend to have prosperity issues. I don't really know, but I wonder if it has anything to do with seekers of the truth incarnating with some very specific remaining karma to work out here. Issues of the Spirit, and not necessarily of the world. Those with tendencies toward a tenacious lack of material abundance might be left with very few options open, but to turn to God, to do the remaining work. This reminds me of the words of poet-saint Hafiz:

"Come, join the honest company
Of the King's beggars -
Those gamblers, scoundrels and divine clowns
And those astonishing fair courtesans
Who need Divine Love every night.

Come, join the courageous
Who have no choice
But to bet their entire world
That indeed,
Indeed, God is Real."

So, just my thoughts on this subject. It certainly has been the story of my life..and so I very much welcome the Course, and the opportunity to apply the principles of abundance now to my life. Could it be that in the end we can have it all? :) Much love and gratitude to all!

D. R. Butler said...

Excellent post, Scott. A lot to chew on there.

One question I have: Who are the 'spiritual people?' What distinguishes them from unspiritual people, or from just regular people? If we were around certain people whom I consider to be the most 'spiritual' of all, there might not be anything about them that anyone would consider 'spiritual' at all. In fact, from appearances I doubt that anyone just seeing me or being around me might categorize me as 'spiritual' in any way whatsoever. So I truly wonder what a 'spiritual person' is.

As far as who gets what, aside from karma, it is extraordinarily simple, whether one is in the least bit 'spiritual' or not. When, as you say, 'someone wants something with a fervor,' they are obviously conscious of lack, of not having it--otherwise there would be no fervor to get it.

We don't get what we want. We get what we are conscious of having.

Even the most subtle desire is the consciousness of lack--of not having what is desired. This repels any opportunity we might have of ever getting it. To 'get' something--and personally I prefer to be cheerful with what comes unsought--we must affirm its existence, at least in subtle form, which will invariably be reflected physically.

If we are conscious of already having something, there is nothing that can prevent us from having it. If we are conscious of not having something, there is nothing that can make it possible for us to have it.

Regarding the 'spiritual people,' a lot of people can read a few books or articles on the Internet and pick up a bit of knowledge and think they have become 'spiritual' as a result. Or they might even attend a few yoga classes or meditation classes, learn how to chant in Sanskrit, and go on to practice these things at home on their own. They can do excellent hatha yoga postures, meditate for hours without breathing, repeat a mantra, either out loud or silently, burn incense from the local ashram, put up some pictures of saints, wear yoga clothes, dress in white, grow or cut their hair, change their diet and lifestyle, give up their pleasures, wake up in the middle of the night to do their practices before the day begins, and speak glowingly of the fruits of their practice to others--yet they know nothing of the creative nature of thought, do nothing to change thought patterns to be more uplifting and cheerful, or to do whatever is necessary to be in harmony with others at all times, or KNOW that their income is commensurate with their degree of CONSCIOUSNESS of wealth or poverty--which alone is the determining factor.

Just because one is a 'spiritual person' means nothing in regards to how proficiently they function in the world, or their capacity to generate an income that actually meets all their needs and more, which is easily possible if a person actually learns to think for themself.

This is why we have a Course of Training. We can learn how to live in complete freedom and contentment whether we are 'spiritual people' or not. There are even people who consider themselves 'too spiritual' to take the course, which they feel is beneath their understanding.


D. R. Butler said...

Bindu, I am very happy to hear how completely you are open to the Shakti of the lessons. When you know you are tired or exhausted before reading, and then you fill full of energy and ready to go after reading, then you are getting the nitty-gritty of the course--which is not something to be learned in words, but the capacity to receive a spiritual transmission of a transformative nature.

Naganath said...

Somehow income comes through a feeling of contentment and fullness. When I focus on it, I can feel content and full of the wealth of the knowledge that everything is perfect and I have everything. It is a subtle feeling and requires no real effort. It is a Knowing. It is All Shakti: the Knowing, the Money, the Being, the No Lack.
My family sees me as a spendthrift and does not understand how I able "to support myself" or "make ends meet"; at least that is the impression and feedback I get. I do not know how they see me but they do not think I am normal; "spiritual"? "different"? "wierd"? Who knows? Who cares?
Money spend on "spriritual things" or travel and such is like shakti exchanged for shakti--an investment that pays eternally. It is all Grace and if "my circumstances" change and I become the fellow dancing in the median of the interstate, I am certain I will feel the same contentment, joy, and Knowing that I Am Now.

ari said...

"We don't get what we want."
"We get what we are conscious of having."
This is from DR.'s post above. What an awesome couple of sentences to contemplate for our lives.
Every night before I close my eyes I say the following:"thank you father for the great wealth that you have bestowed upon me and my family. Thank you father for the great health that you have bestowed upon me and my family".

Vandita said...

In Vol 2 Lesson 21 you say:

"...In a sense, our subtle body exists indefinitely, and has its own ‘life’, while going through a series of incarnations in the same way that in this life we go through a series of dreams as we sleep. Sleep is underrated, misunderstood, and unappreciated."

It is very unusual for me to remember dreams during sleep time. However from time to time I do remember very vivid experiences of a high nature that I guess take place during sleep, since I cannot recall them from this physical experience, and they seem to me even more real than the physical encounters.

Would you please explain what is the importance of sleep and dreaming, and of remembering/not remembering dreams?

Thank you SO MUCH!

D. R. Butler said...

AC Lambeth, I enjoyed and appreciated your post. Thanks for joining our merry band of posters here and for contributing to the ongoing dialogue.

I remember the days of freelancing well. I never knew when money would come or where it would come from. Some days a check would arrive in the mail. It was greeted with great gratitude and jubilation. Most days it was the rejections and sending out everything again to different places. My mailbox was like a portal where manuscripts arrived and left again daily. I was prolific. A lifelong habit. I tend to write.

One day 4 checks arrived at once, and they were all totally unexpected. Ah, bliss. Talk about the days of highs and lows. I truly tested and relied on the principles to get me through, and I have no idea what I would have done without the training I had received since my teenage years. I had to practice over and over KNOWING that money would come, and miraculously food was always bought and the rent was always paid.

These days prosperity is an elusive state for most all of us. I'm still living on the checks that come in the mail and whatever arrives through Paypal as contributions for the course via email. Nothing has changed all that much, except the nature of my work, and I provide a much greater service these days. The income is just to keep the bodies going. Service is the focus.

Service is the 'root-cause' of money. The greater our service, the more comes back to us. It is extremely important to KNOW beyond any doubt that we will always be cared for in all our ways. Regardless of appearances, God did not just stick us here and then leave us to our own devices. We are always guided and cared for, from WITHIN, if we only learn to listen.

Once again, great to hear from you, AC. Come again.

Scott Marmorstein said...

Thank you very much, Ram. I really appreciate your answer and your version/description of 'spiritual people' which is the same version I have in my own head. How could that be? I used to be one of those 'spiritual people' in so many ways.

To some degree I am still 'a spiritual person' as I have some pictures of people I admire on my walls, and have little tangible artifacts I keep in special places to remind me of some treasured parts of my history. If I'm going to think about the past, I might as well look back on it and smile and love what it was. All the 'horrible stuff' is only for my forgetfulness and I am blessed with a healthy dose of forgetful juice in that way.

I tend to remember all the great times in my life very easily, but anything else becomes a blur or smudge in consciousness.

I have a question. You say to KNOW that you have everything at least in subtle form. I can at best 'know about' it (intellectually) but it does not equate to a FEELING as though what I KNOW is true. At least not always. I am not particularly having a 'problem' as it were, but I am curious about how to KNOW something that doesn't yet exist even in my feeling. Is that truly Creation? I am just beginning to peak into the inspiring possibility of this 'knowingness' rather than 'knowing aboutness.'

For example, I can know all about India, but it doesn't make me Indian. I can know all about money, but it doesn't mean I know I have it. I recognize that this is a global samskara for many, especially when one simply looks to our national economy, it is a reflection of the poverty consciousness at large.

I look forward to your wisdom. How is it possible to know something you don't really know? Or does one address whatever is resistant or unbelieving in the first place before the other can take root?

D. R. Butler said...

Scott, that is a truly great question. Truly great questions tend to bring things out of me that I've never heard before.

It's not about knowing 'about' anything, like about India and about money and the other examples you mentioned.

You said, 'You say to KNOW that you have everything at least in subtle form.'

Then you went on to ignore the principle in several different ways. It's so challenging to truly understand a simple sentence, a simple principle of Truth.

You, of all people, are skipping over the part about 'in subtle form' almost as though you don't recognize the significance of the words.

Can you visualize a candle flame, or a rose, in your 'mind's eye'? I imagine that you can do this rather easily. When I first started this path in my teens one of the first things in my own sadhana was developing the ability to concentrate and to visualize. Without them, we have very little power in this world. With them, our power is unlimited.

Through practice, you can visualize a rose so clearly and vividly that you can bend over and actually smell it, the subtle fragrance of a rose. When you can do this, this rose does exist subtly. It is not mere 'imagination' as though your mind's eye counts for nothing. What you 'see' with your mind's eye is subtle reality.

You asked if this is truly Creation. Yes, it is truly Creation. It is the Creative Principle at work. There is nothing in this world that is more powerful. It's literally being aligned with the Creative Power of God.

So this question of prosperity. Yes, the internation economy, the economy of the world, is in the worst shape of our lifetimes. We see this reflected everywhere, to the boarded up stores on our streets to the long unemployment lines. It is not currently a time of mass prosperity, as we have experienced from time to time in the past. Such things always happen in cycles.

As you know, I encourage participants of the Course of Training to learn to be more focused on the subtle body and subtle realm than on the physical body and realm, which is very short in duration in comparison. It seems like we have a long life, but a bug probably experiences itself to have a long life also. On a scale of cosmic or even astronomical events, our lifespan is extremely ephemeral. We are here today, gone tomorrow. We don't even have that long of a half-life, which manifests in the form of the memories others have of us. Before long they are all gone too.

My how I meander. The babblings of a madman.

(Continued in the next comment.)

D. R. Butler said...

Regarding our finances. Obviously it is best to position ourselves where we don't collapse when the outer world collapses, where we remain unaffected and undisturbed no matter what happens out there.

The only way to do this is to develop the sense of reality regarding the subtle realm, and truly getting it that it is not mere imagination. It is much more real than this world.

This physical incarnation is like the subtle body having a dream--the dream of the jiva. We never left the subtle world. We live there even now, only most of us are largely focused on the physical world only.

Each person has a 'feeling' regarding their personal financial situation. That feeling is our subtle belief about the state of our finances. The subtle world is a world of feelings; in fact, all our feelings take place subtly; feelings are not a physical phenomenon.

If we feel somewhat shakey about our financial foundation, then the reality of our situation will probably be a little shakey. If we live with the feeling that whatever money we truly need always comes to us whenever it is needed, sometimes in the nick of time, then this is the reality we will experience.

To KNOW something as a subtle reality you literally have to deny the evidence of the senses. You have to see that this physical world as it is now, in all aspects, are the result of the past. It is the experience of seeing the past happening in front of your eyes, which we do all the time.

Subtly, however, in visualization and concentration, something entirely new can be created, something unprecedented. However, we have to ignore the apparent reality of the current physical manifestation. At first this feels somewhat like sticking your head in the sand to avoid outer reality, but by holding our preferred reality in our heart subtly, KNOWING that it is ALREADY REAL, as an emotional feeling, then there is no force in this world that can stop its manifestation.

Do not think of details of how it will be accomplished. Something much greater than the mind takes care of all the details. Simply create the feeling that you would enjoy if your greatest aspiration were already a reality. When you establish this feeling as your inner reality, then you are participating in the process of Creation.

Ghayas said...

Ram, you say "create the feeling that you would enjoy if your greatest aspiration were already a reality." I don't know what to pick as "greatest aspiration", really. Is it a symptom of depression ? I want to be happy, content and fearless, these feelings I am sure of wanting to experience constantly, but I really don't see which great aspiration should be realized first so that I would enjoy these feelings. Could these feelings I want to experience exist by themselves, without being related to anything else ? Also, you mention visualization as a very valuable exercise in order to experience the creative power. I don't know what to visualize ! Am I being lazy here ? I want to be happy, content and fearless, that's it. If I meditate practicing to hold these feelings, is this considered a visualization ?
I thank you in advance for helping me with this, because each time I read about the freedom to create my reality, I feel like a bird asked to fly in any direction he wants, but who does not know where to go. He just wants to be outside the cage (he's pretty clear about that one), free and happy, without necessarily a specific destination or direction to chose.
Love, Ghayas

D. R. Butler said...

Ghayas, you seem to know what you want. You want to be happy, content, and fearless. So feel how you would feel if you were already happy, content, and fearless. It is very simple.

I shared my aspiration in one of the lessons: I wish for everyone to be happy together, and to feel included and part of the whole. I wish for us to be one big happy family, with everyone getting exactly what they need. This is the primary thing I wish for.

D. R. Butler said...

Vandita, the importance of sleep is that it allows the subtle body to recharge the physical and psychological self, which would both become exhausted and depleted without sleep.

Dreams are subtle experiences. It is of no importance whether you remember them or not. The main thing to understand about a dream when we wake up, assuming we remember what we dream, is how did we feel about the dream, and what feelings did it leave us with? If there is a message to them, it has to do with our own feelings about them.

Avivit said...

When I was 15 years old, some guy in school took my hands to palm "read" them and he saw in both hands a "simian Line"...a single heart line going from right to left straight forward and he said to me (and I have till this day no idea who this guy was nor if he knew much about palm reading)...he said "these are very special lines and they mean you will always have what you wish for".
This fortunate event,was strongly imprinted on my being and I remember having this inner certainty that he was right. It became something obvious in my mind. 20 years later, there was a time I was concerned about my incoming money and was experiencing worry and fear of lack. Not present moment poverty but "thoughts" and imaginings about some unexisting future.
I met a Vipassana teacher who taught me how to create Intentions and the most incredible intention that goes like this:
"I have everything I need and much much more".
He said that if I ask for example for 5,000$ a months and I suddenly need more...I'd be stuck....but if I place no limit...and say "everything and much much more", I'd always have all and more...much more. So again I was taught something that had no limitation and had a subtle center to it...."not of this world", no limits.
I hope any of this is helpful to you.
And a last comment on not getting what I ask for. Sometimes it might not be "ripe" for me....and other times I accept not having what I wished for as a lesson in "surrendering that too".
I find SURRENDERING one of the most exquisite lessons...when I surrender I feel like a hollow bowl....completely open...enmpty and full at the same time as I am one with ALL. What more can one ask for?

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

I'd like to share that there is something about this month's blog entry and all the comments that seems to be coinciding with my being able to finally begin to "get" at a deeper level what it means to create our reality.

I keep coming back to the words "Already True" or "Already Real". D.R. has written them in many places in the lessons and here but it's starting to sink in a bit, like water nourishing a deep part of me, and also flushing out the old "that can't be so" doubting part of me.

D.R. has said that something happens in the second year of the Course, that if we read it faithfully we will start to experience change and upliftment at the subconscious level. I do read work with the Course steadily, and his words feel right on! Something NEW is happening here that I can only watch in me with joy and peace.

Another thing that has happened in this second year now is I am noticing my use of WILL (which, if you are on an early lesson, he goes into extensively). This WILL helps me stay aligned with the highest intentions which makes me more willing to take some chances trying out this "Already True" Principle. It's Already True I can trust myself completely. It's Already True I am protected and safe.

Love what D.R. wrote about shifting our focus to subtle world; I feel that happening, too.

To all of us in this wonderful community! Let's keep going!! Love, KJ

chris said...

I sense a change of tone in Ram's writing for the lessons in volume 2. He seems to really be calling us out, "Are you doing the work or not?". Our exercise this lesson is to “1. Practice controlling every thought”...contemplate what that really means, and 2. “Observe how you act and speak to others” watch the tone of your voice and the nature of your expression especially to your loved ones (paraphrased). These pointed directives, the subtle change in tone, coupled with what I'm reading from Sally Kempton about breakthrough meditation has cultivated a renewed energy in me (note, I avoided the word "seriousness").

The exercise of controlling every thought made me remember a verse from 2 Cor 10:4,5 "The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." It's a whole new ball game for me as I commit to actually controlling EVERY thought. There really is no reason to spend one moment of this life in abject unawareness. The more moments I spend IN THE MOMENT the more joy and contentment I will experience and the greater a blessing I will bring to every being I come in contact with.

As I observe my awareness becoming captive to thoughts, and then letting them go, there is a sensation of picking up sticks and putting them in the fire. The thought or fantasy arises. There is a grasping, an attachment to the thought – I grasp the stick. I become aware of the grasping – I lift the stick. I let go of the thought – I drop the stick in the fire. There are so, so many sticks. The fire is getting bigger and hotter, though.


Colette said...

Thank you Karen Jofor your wonderful shares in this blog. It helps me to realize that I don't have to do all the work myself. All of you work, and this pulls me forward with you. I work, and I pull you forward with me. And the best part is, it is just so much fun. Love to all, Karuna

D. R. Butler said...

Karen Jo, if you are finding the 2nd year powerful, just wait until you experience the 3rd year.

The opening of the 1st year makes the experience of the 2nd year possible. Similarly, the opening that takes place during the 2nd year, makes possible the amazing empowerment of the 3rd year.

If someone read the 3rd year without reading the two years preceding it, what they would receive would be very limited compared to those who had experienced the 1st two years previously.

Scott Marmorstein said...

"Subtly, however, in visualization and concentration, something entirely new can be created, something unprecedented. However, we have to ignore the apparent reality of the current physical manifestation."

This is what says it all to me. That and the bit about smelling the rose subtly etc.

In actuality to reach into the subtle realm, we have to IGNORE (not deny, as there is subtle acknowledgment) but IGNORE the direct evidence of the senses. THIS is the piece that would be so hard to do, yet so deeply required if one is to manifest a different experience of reality.

I agree and thank you for everything you have said. If someone comes here and doesn't understand that, then they aren't taking the Course.

Asherah said...

Dear Karen Jo,

Here, here, you speak my heart exactly.

I also am experiencing a deeper truth of love, conciousness, graditude, and empowerment.

I am soo grateful for my blessed luck to be here in order to extend this love out there for all the universe to bath in.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.


Vandita said...

Scott, I loved your questions about creation. Ram, I loved your answers. Thank you so much to the both of you!

Asherah said...

Oh Chris,
I so love your stick analogy. What a hot fire I also have.

Michelle Synnestvedt said...

Dear Ram and ALL,
you said:
"Vigilance is an essential key to the achievement of all goals, whether of a physical or spiritual nature.
It is important to be in touch with your warrior nature. Never become totally oblivious to it. Otherwise you will experience an egotistical sense of powerlessness."
I am noticing lately how much more challenging it is to be vigilant when I am severely sleep deprived. I still notice the one who watches and doesn't have a story about fact it is not exhausted at all, but holding this as a steady awareness in this condition of the body, is some serious sadhana!

RAMAN said...

This is a wonderful thread with great sharing. I am curious with the use of the word 'ignore' in the last few threads. 'Ignore' is a doing word with an implication that an action is necessary. The thought or concept of 'doing' in my experience creates a dualistic state of mind not very conducive, especially “when the possibility of something entirely new is to be created on a subtle level”. At this level different words will create different mind ambiences for different people and are more or less useful. I find a helpful word is 'indifference'. By implication, it is not really a 'doing' word. I can BE with my senses completely (indifferently) and simultaneously “hold my preferred reality in my heart, knowing that it is already a reality”. I do not have to ‘do’ anything except relax into and BE fully with my perception as it is.

Much love, Raman

Ashoka said...

Dear Ram, Kay,and other Fellow Participants,
Thank you so much for everything you have been writing...your comments and responses. I've laughed and felt solemn, heart broken and consoled; and as Ram says, have seen how very much we are all alike.
Not knowing how much I could add to the discussion, I usually just read, but in light of the strong suggestion Ram has made...let me tell you that on the second disc of the "Shogun" series on dvd, the character of the Japanese lady translator gives a wonderful, brief summary of the principle of Living in the Truth of the Present Moment. I was watching it for the first time, as I've had the flu for almost week (may none of you get it!) and was so delighted to listen to her monologue unfold, right on point with my life, our lessons, 31 years after taping! Happy to know I had not left the stream of being at work with you on our lessons...
I love it when the Universe speaks in Sound Surround!
Love to all, and happy trails.

Thank You! said...

Thank you Kay and Ram for your posts regarding the explaining ego. They were very helpful. I'll patiently await (try anyway) future lessons.