Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Special Note to Participants of the Course of Training

This will not replace the November entry to be posted on the 1st or at least during the first few days of November, and it will be a really good entry, so prepare to open up wide.  We'll have a lot to cover.

The blog serves certain functions unique to itself.  Any course participant who does not keep up with the current comments following the entry to the blog is simply not getting all they could be getting from the course.  One way, of course, the blog is different from the lessons is that the blog is public.  Anyone is welcome to come here, as we are all-inclusive, and not exclusive in any way.  People of all traditions and backgrounds come here.  The comments in the blog are a great way of seeing how much alike we all are.

I loved the dialogue in the comments last month.  They were more like I had hoped the comments would eventually be from the very beginning--more personal, more open, more dialogue among each other and not just with me, sharing more openly and truly getting to know each other more deeply.  It is important for participants of the course to be able to converse among themselves, to share experiences and insights with each other, to discuss the course together, to get to know each other better.  Then the community truly grows, organically, naturally, and we come to realize just how much we are all the same, and why we are sharing the experience of the course together, and more and more, as we progress through it, we see and understand exactly what that means.

Yes, much progress has been made since the current course first started a bit over 3 years ago.  By reading the sharings in the comments of the blog, and also on Facebook, where we have a satsang of a different nature, and which is even more public, we can easily see the impact the course has had in various people's lives.  Many of you have done absolutely great, and have worked to make the principles of Truth your own, so that you can live according to them without any longer having to think about it.  Many could not have done much better in any way; they have given it their all.

Others, though, could do better.  I do not write like this often.  I believe others are most helped through encouragement, support, and inspiration; not through being told how they could do better.  Yet, every now and then, it becomes necessary in order for me to completely fulfill my own function in working with you.               

A large number of you are not reading, or referring to, your current lesson often enough.  You are not receiving full benefit of the course if you only read a lesson once or twice and imagine you know the contents.  It does not matter how familiar your mind becomes with the ideas presented.  There is a certain energy transmitted through the act of surrendering to read it, and simply by referring to a few paragraphs here and there during the day, or at night before bed, we tune into that energy as well as to the Truth of the Present Moment.

The course is not about learning ideas and concepts, like you would to be able to repeat them to another, as though you already knew it, or as you would for a test on the contents, like you had at school, to check out your memory and reasoning powers.  The course isn't like that.  It is a process that, through surrendering to reading it more often, tunes us into an incredible energy, as well as to an incredible Love and Light that is palpable and undeniable.

Even more than not referring to your current lesson enough, you have to be more diligent about applying the principles in practical ways in your own moment-to-moment life.  I do not care to discourage anyone from writing what is going on with them, for when we share, especially in public, like in the comments here or on Facebook, we become revealed to ourselves in ways that wouldn't be possible if we hold everything in and never express ourselves to another in open, real, and honest ways. 

Even so, questions come and descriptions of one's life often arrive when the very answers and solutions are in one's current lesson.  It's like we don't see exactly what we need even though it is right before our eyes.  We read something, agree with it, think how wonderful it would be if everyone else knew it as well, and then in a few moments or hours or days, we are acting completely contrary to the principle, as though we were completely ignorant of it and had never heard of it.

It does no good to simply 'know about' something, or to 'agree' with something.  Neither does it matter in the least if we 'disagree' with something.  It's only a certain stance the mind has taken.  Either something is true or it isn't, and it matters not at all whether we agree or disagree.  Instead of trying so hard to be understood, or to prove our point, it would be much more expansive to open up to discovering the Truth no matter where it leads.  And we cannot see the Truth unless we see something NEW.  Seeing what is familiar is not Truth.  It is only familiarity.

A basic principle of the course, presented very early in the lessons, is to treat everyone with love and respect.  I have asked that this be the mark of one who participates in the course: that he or she relate to all others with love and respect.  Yet some are still argumentative, challenging, contrary, unfriendly, even hostile.  Not to me, of course, but at your own home, around the very ones we are closest to and love most.  Sometimes we are downright nasty.  Yet, if we were asked, we would insist that we treat all others with great love and respect.  We love to attribute to ourselves qualities that we haven't come close to fully developing.

We refuse to see certain things about ourselves; we are blind to certain tendencies.  And if a loved one were to point out something to us that was obvious to everyone except ourselves, and which would be very helpful for us to know, we might only accuse the loved one of describing us in negative and limiting ways, for always seeing us in the worst ways.  If we take this stance, we can never learn anything new about ourselves, and when this happens, no further growth is possible.

If you take the course, read the lessons more.  See what happens when you tune into the energy of the lesson, which is on a completely different level than the written words.  There are some who go into great states of bliss simply by reading their current lesson, yet afterwards they couldn't tell you a single word they had read.  Don't ever think you 'already know it.'  If you do, you miss the whole point of the course.  It is not something to 'know.'  It is a way of life, an approach, an attitude.  It is meeting life head-on from the highest perspective possible.

Reading the lessons transforms the ways our mind works, and rewires our conditioned tendencies in ways that lead to breaking free from them, and to enter something new and more expanded than before.  Still, mere reading is not quite enough.  The principles must actually be practiced.  It is not enough to simply agree that they are great ideas, and that they will surely lead to a better and freer life someday.  They have to be practiced in real life, this day and every day.  They are not something to try later, when you have more time, or when you are in a better mood.  Practice the principles even when it is difficult to do so.  This is when we experience the greatest growth.

Okay, something moved me strongly to write this.  How many taking the course will even notice that it is here?  Only those who check the comments regularly, to see what is new, to stay up to date.  Those who assume there's nothing worthy of their time and attention until the November blog is posted might miss this altogether.

What I hope is for us to eventually reach the point that we could never possibly miss a message addressed to all participants of the course simultaneously, regardless of what particular lesson they might be on.  This message can be understood and applied at any level of understanding.  Open up and let it open you up on the inside; open up to something completely new.  Only then is it possible to go on to the next thing.

The November blog entry will be posted in a few days, and I look forward to your comments both here and there.  It will be well worth your time to give it your all, as many subtle teachings are being transmitted.

For information about the Course of Training, available through email, and a free Lesson 1, which comes in two parts, write to: drbutler.course@gmail.com

178 comments:

Richard said...

Thank you,DR,for the reminder about the benefits of 'your' inspirational course. My day would be incomplete without reading the current lesson, and from time to time the blog. Its value to me is beyond anything I can express in terms the mind might understand. I have great gratitude that the course 'found me'; the gap that i experienced between this one and the ending of your previous course was a relatively empty time. Thank you. SGMKJ.

Stuart M said...

I love reading the lessons in the morning to help set the tone for the upcoming day. Of all the things I can do for myself and the people I love and care about, checking in with myself through the Course is most beneficial.

If the inquiry about, "How is my state? Am I in touch with what's real? Am I flowing in the stream of loving energy?" didn't require the repetition D R talks about, I would live 24/7 at a higher level of consciousness than I actually do. At least I know that my current lesson is the cure.

Still I haven't been a regular reader of the blog, except at the beginning of the month. Time for a new habit!

James said...

I have some problem applying the teachings. I have read that it is a powerful samascara or more that is hanging me up. I also admit I have writers block when it comes to revealing alot of personal stuff. I think its shame. Anyway I do read the lessons. I am on the feelings section. I still have alot of anger. I hold most of it in. I do therapy. Laugh more. Ha ha yoga.

Avivit said...

Thank you D.R. for this extra Post.

I want to say that I definitely always find myself reading all your things with a smile on my face....sometimes I have to smile wider when I notice it again.
Bliss in The Present Moment !

How could I ever EVER thank you for everything....and myself for being present to your offering???

ps: I've noticed that your dream, the one you told in the 1st lesson is ocurring bigtime...well....I am noticing it.

LOVE LOVE and only LOVE!

Shyami Nazzaro said...

Thank you Ram, for being such a diligent and dedicated teacher. It is always great, and very welcome, to be reminded how we can always improve upon our current level of effort. I feel moved to say that you are awesome! :) Thank you, thank you, thank you. May we all commit on ever deepening levels. I know I will! There's so much inside to discover. What a blessing it is that we've been given this Course, and this wonderful community of seekers. Who could ask for more? What a golden life it's turned out to be! Thank you for telling it like it is! :) Many blessings to you and Kay.

Jim said...

This very morning before reading your new entry, DR, I thought about how I wanted to commit to reading the lessons more. There's stuff in my current lesson that I really want to get, but sometimes I choose distraction over traction. So I appreciate your reveille at dawn as it were.

Currently I read my lesson several times a week, but I visit this blog nearly every day, occassionally missing a day on the weekend. I've been way more committed to the blog than the lessons. There is something invaluable about hearing how other students of the course apply the principles in their specific lives -- and of equal value is hearing how other students are struggling. Few things suck worse than thinking I'm the only one not getting it.

So I've been pumped up over the activity in October's blog. Everyday there has been something new, with no lull in activity. So much has been shared and given that I've been speechless, which is how I get when I have too much to say. So much I've wanted to respond to, but the words can't keep up with the speed of subtle. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and seeing that this is college football season, I offer this image: a stadium of 80,000, the home team is playing an old time rival and has just scored the winning touchdown as the clock ticks to zero, and the place goes nuts. That's how I feel about this month's blog.

Debbra Bhadra Nazzaro said...

Thank you Ram, for this special post. It feels like a beam of light shining right into the heart of the Course! And like the lessons, not only does your post consist of words of teaching and inspiration, but also a bright subtle energy that is quite palpable.

Something I have noticed when I am reading the current lesson for the ump-teenth time, is that I feel like maybe I'm not absorbing as much as I had been in earlier readings. Yet at times like that I also notice the subtle energy behind the words in a more pronounced way than before. Even after only a sentence or two. And that energy is what refreshes my state and brings me back to my heart and the present moment again.

Thank you for the reminder, and for caring for all of us in this way. We have a few days before the November post. I plan to read this post many times over until then. Or better yet, print it out to refer to often!

Much love to all :)

Linda Choate said...

Hi Ram,
Love that you tell it like it is. Appreciate the loving nudge to read the lessons more. I wish I could say that this simple task was easy for me but its not. But your consistent reminders help.
Thank you also for posting the link to the blog from facebook. For some reason its easier for me to go to facebook everyday and I often forget about the blog.
Thank you for being a great teacher and thank you for being in my life.

Terry Mc said...

Just here in the moment is where the blog and the lessons converge. Thanks for the reminder of the fullness of the moment and how the lessons and the blog can tune one into it.

Melissa Abbott said...

Loved this Post D.R.! Thank-you for the direction and strength to be a pillar for us and give us this reminder!

Nikki A. said...

Thank you Ram. It is a bit of a wake up call. I have to remember that "liking" a comment or posting one myself is not a substitute for applying and practicing. I feel like I do need to take more responsibility for my growth and the stay closer to the course. Thank you.

Cathy said...

Hey, let's see if I can actually post a comment. Love you. Love the blog. Love the lessons. All you need is love dove.

Cathy said...

This is an excellent reminder for all of us. Thank you. I tried a post before and I still don't see it. If it doesn't come up this time, I'll go read my lesson instead.

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

D.R. what a treat to read this entry as I am waiting in the Memphis airport several hours for my plane. (Wireless + D.R. blog + hot tea= good spirits anyway!). I want to add wholeheartedly:what you are saying, my heart knows-- it's True.

You say, "Reading the lessons transforms the ways our mind works, and rewires our conditioned tendencies in ways that lead to breaking free from them, and to enter something new and more expanded than before."

In the second half of my second year of the Course, I actually can kind of feel it happening, the re-wiring process! I am able to try applying some of the principles now (such as "feeling it is Already True") that before were so difficult because of old unconscious resistances and doubts. It's still a work in progress and I am committed. Yes, for me the Course is about the energy behind it, the state I feel when I read it or even think about it.

Gratitude, KJ

Chimene said...

I love this extra entry, maybe for members of this course, who did not know you before, there seems to be too much mystery around how the course works - it's not rational enough - but what I would like to say to them is that with the past course as well as with this one, there is a mystery to how it Corresponds to your life- if you want to know what direction you need to take at any time, read a paragraph or two or your current lesson, chances are you will read exactly what you need to break free from whatever you are dealing with...I missed this so much when it was not in my life and now that it is back, well the mystery continues to unfolds. So just read your lesson, any part of it, any time.

Leela said...

D.R. I am sooo amazed at the timing of this entry of yours! I woke up today saying,"Ok Leela, today its on!" No excuses, no procrastinating, just a solid commitment to apply my freedom of choice in every moment. So all day, in my moments of Presence I aligned myself with fulfillment. I was so lighthearted...it was like I had taken a victim-be-gone pill! Thank you with all my heart for all that you give! I so appreciate your gentle reminders to 'do the work.' Love, love, love, Leela

Ron MItola said...

Thanks, Ram. I love the lessons and enjoy reading the Facebook page. I have a problem sharing. I just never feel like I have anything to share. If something strikes me when I'm on Facebook I don't have a problem posting a thought. Just opening up to share something doesn't come as easy. Try as I may I don't have anything to say. But, I love it just the same.

Michael said...

So easy for me to pat myself on the back, yet my heart is still hungry for the ful experience of the Truth. I can't get enough of your words, Ram. Thanks for the wake-up call. As St Francis of Assisi said, we might as well begin again, for up to now we have done nothing.

Ghayas said...

Thank You Ram. Much gratitude to all what the Course is adding to my life. I am enjoying more and more my life as it is, embracing it more, and fantasizing less about what it could be. This for me is a big deal. Love to all the community of the Course.

Cris Santeiro said...

Ram, thank you for your guidance and for taking such good care of us. The lessons are such a gift. I agree with all you said. As an "old student" of your course, I am aware of the energy that is transmitted thru the words, as well as the truth that you teach, which helps me in every aspect of my life.

As you say, we really have to focus on applying the principles. I realized recently that there is a certain samskara that I need to look at and change my behavior. I have been reacting with bad thoughts to someone I feel has been unfair with me. I want to be disciplined and use my will power to break free from these thoughts. Instead, when I get a bad thought, I will replace it with sending him blessings and praying for his highest good.

I do want to live from the highest. I want to live from a space of love only. Thank you for the Course, which makes this possible.

Daniel Stern said...

Ram, I enjoyed this last lesson very much as I had been thinking about your teacher and the course he taught, and there he was in the new lesson. I also appreciated the commentary on married life, as I had decided as a teen-ager, watching my parents interact, to never marry. " One to boogie" was great too: I used to say, "it only takes one to tango! " to describe the basic laws of relationship, (when I would have a moment of insight.) Also great were the comments on the discipline of watching your thoughts, and your tone as well. So often I have caught myself talking down to my friends, and not even being aware of it. How to stop? Unceasing discipline, every moment of every day. Well said!

Charles said...

Oh, so beautiful. No matter how "right" we do things, such a push always brings more and deepens our determination. I'm so happy I went back to the course! I have a very intimate relationship with it, it's part of my life and itself is very much alive. If there's one wish I can make is to always be open to receive what it carries. Always be ready to let it live and grow inside myself.

I have to say I was missing out on the blog, but this entry clearly shows me that it's totally a part of the course, sharing its wisdom in yet another global way.

For me, putting the course into practice is something I can hardly describe. But let me try... There is something, like at my core, which has a certain steadfastness. Like a constant contact or connection with a force inside. It can always and constantly be reoriented, realigned. The course puts me in touch with this living steadiness and tells me this is the most natural thing and that even though it's great to "be in touch", the secret of it's power is to be "constantly touching". And a reminder to forget about the attitude of "one day becoming", applying right now what we are because that is what we are. There's a lot to be letting go in that process, but its really a process of bliss.

There's a poem I read a long time ago, from St-John of the Cross. Lost track of it, but it was expressing with much inspiration "knowing in unknowing", "my mind fell like a hailstone in that vast expanse of consciousness". If we can stand strong to our own Truth, it's of a great beauty to let ourselves be touched by the teachings of the course in ever expanding ways.

chris said...

I confess I often find it hard to keep up with the blog and fb, but I certainly didn't miss this post. I so appreciate the challenging admonitions as well as the encouraging ones. It's not all soft and tender on the path. There is an element of sharpness and stern discipline required which all the great teachers understood (while never losing the playful lightheartedness at the same time). I want the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth.

love
chris

Susan C. said...

I can't imagine at this point in my
life being without the lessons or this community. I am still struggling after alll this time and support with application when times are hard. reminders like this one help me get off the "poor me" slump and get me back to the truth. Thank you Ram for hanging in there with us!!

Rick G. said...

I have found that understanding occurs at various 'depths'. A superficial reading of the lesson will yield a superficial understanding of it, and in the re-re-reading of the current lesson, the I am opened to deeper levels of perception and comprehension.
But despite appearances, it is not really so much a mental process involving thought, as it is an opening up within to the awareness of my own true nature.
How could I ever provide enough thanks for such a great gift!

EcuadorDeb said...

The value of the course is found in repetition and the reprogramming of the subconscious mind. I currently read three lessons each day...the current lesson, a review, and one from the old course. If I ever notice that my mind wanders as I read, I make it a point to reread that paragraph or sentence over again with great attention because I figure it is something my ego is trying to avoid. Reading a lesson with the intention of discovering the answer to a problem or concern you are currently grappling with will invariably provide an answer. So thanks for the reminder...I'm going to do that right now.

tommeered said...

I really love the course, and this is a great reminder to put a little heat on it. Right now I'm practicing dedicating my life and efforts to the Divine. Yesterday I had a new shift: instead of to a silent Lord in heaven, I made a silent offering to my own Self! I started laughing! However, I will admit I forgot about it until just now. So, today I will work harder at remembering throughout the day.

Cynthia Henderson said...

Thanks Ram,
I admit I don't check in with my lessons or the blog often enough, but have noticed that the way I interact with others is changing little by little ... and when I have a difficult interaction, I find the space to contemplate my part in it. I'll make more effort to connect.

Because of inconsistent "study habits," I usually I don't share my experiences or problems unless I feel strongly moved to do so. Therefore, I will make an attempt to "pick up the pace!" Thanks for being here for us!

Justin said...

I loved this post. Thanks for putting it up, D.R. I am early in the course, and reading the section about how our thoughts create our reality. Last week, after many years of putting it off, I began meditating. And my experience with meditation so far is exactly why I put it off all those years. It's difficult. It's noisy in my head, and it's easy for me to grow frustrated and give up. Getting to even glimpse what lies beyond ego and thought is elusive.

This is much like a lot of experiences in my life right now. The day-to-day work of choosing different is simple, and very hard to do. I am very attached to my samskaras, and I think that if I can just point out how I am right, or have been wronged, then that will clear the way and I'll be able to let it go and move on. This post helped me to remember that we don't do the work just when it's easy. The point of the work is to be able to stay in the present even when our old habits are working to pull us out of it.

I believe that I am more than my mind's activity, than my ego's voice, but I have so little experience of that greater self. For now, I work to clear away the clutter and trust that I'll see it when I'm ready to.

Devorah said...

Always look so forward to what you write and what others share. I love our community here. I was "instant messaging" one of the participants last week on the day of the intensive. I asked her a question and her answer created in me a great shift. So not only are the posts entraining us to the Present Moment but the community of committed seekers are great mirrors for us.

I took a fall this morning on black ice and was feeling disoriented. As soon as I read your post I could feel the strong heat expanding from my heart and the inner smile returning. Thank you.

The last point I want to make is that the lessons have showed me how deeply entrenched I am in certain beliefs. It has been unpleasant to experience how hard it is to replace the negative feeling with positive feelings in some cases, however, I am deeply grateful to be able to see by own illusions and I know with continued practice it will get easier and easier.

With great love and gratitude,

Marga said...

I read the lessons at lunch, as a way of counter-acting my tendency at that time of day to get a little too wrapped up in my mind. The repetition of reading the lesson daily is helping create new grooves in my habitual responses. Deep gratitude...

Thanks for the encouragement, D.R. - I have to admit that I've never even checked the blog until now. Kay's email led me to it. Thanks for the prompt. I will be checking in regularly now.

Darlyne Niranjani said...

I have not reread the lessons I received and found that it was difficult to focus my attention. It seemed familiar and something I already knew. But, I forgot about the energy transmission from re-reading, so I will renew my efforts and see where it leads. Thanks for the reminder.
Darlyne Niranjani

Elias said...

I read the entire lesson several times. The energy of receiving a new lesson is usually alert, and I enjoy the flow of words and messages. I read entirely the first time, and maybe a few more times. On other days, I start reading again, after a while I find myself holding the page, but my eyes are closed, and my mind is totally still, then the mind come back and starts wondering, 'what happened?' It does not feel like sleeping, just being in an empty space with eyes closed. Some other times, I cannot follow the words in the lesson, even though I read them already a few times.

Alison B said...

I've been knocking myself out of the lighthearted place by saying yes to people and taking on too much. This has been difficult because in the past few weeks I found the rhythm that really works best for me, and this isn't it! Several times this week I've actually said No, and clearly, but allowed myself to get manipulated into a yes anyway. I would rather practice what I know to be true and will do my best to get to that place.

Sally Joy said...

Definitely have not taken advantage of the opportunity to dialogue in this way. Will have to contemplate why. In my case, maybe it's "time" and/or simply just keeping it all internalized. You are right that the outward expression of the lessons can exponentially spread the vibe/learning...and being open about what I've been learning can settle the lessons deeper in my bones, so to speak. I'll make the effort to come out of the closet more about my spiritual journey. It is good to be encouraged.

AC Lambeth said...

Thank you, DR, for challenging us! Sometimes I've found myself grow complacent in what I think I know, and that's the moment when I close to learning and opening to the present moment.

Since joining in the course, my life has changed. When you talk of that rewiring of the brain, I, like you, Karen Jo, am starting to feel it happening. I am better at watching my thoughts and reactions in situations-- though too many times this doesn't happen until afterwards. Still, I hope this is an improvement, and I appreciate the challenge to keep working and practicing more.

DR, I was struck by your insistence that Truth is new, and that if something is familiar it is not the Truth. This idea excites me, but I'd like to understand it better. I have believed-- and gathered from the course-- that Truth resonates, and that when something is true, we can sense its rightness. To me this means it is familiar in the deepest sense. I have believed that true wisdom is simply remembering who we are in the present moment, beyond all the drama, behind the veil of maya. Maybe this is one of those paradoxes you talk about in the 13th lesson, and the holding of both ideas creates a third thing? Thanks for helping me along. I feel like a baby taking his first steps.

I am new to reading the blog and am not a big Facebook user, but thank you for challenging me to participate. Just in the past month of reading the blog and posting once I feel a part of that kula in your dream. I'm happy to be here with all of you and send you love from New Orleans!

Sylvia in Colorado said...

It is probably me to whom you refer as getting behind on our beloved course. I so much appreciate this extra reminder, Ram. It is not because I wanted to get behind on my lessons and have not been reading them every day. I have missed my lessons and I have missed your teachings these past 2 months. It is because I've had a family crisis of Titanic proportion (at least this is how it feels) over the 90 year old Matriarch in our family, our mother, who we had to move to a nursing home which is a 4-hour drive from me, the medical power of attorney. Suffice it to say, there is now a fracture among family members. I have been sad about this to the point of tears stinging my eyes right now. There are so many levels of personal pain going along with this family situation. Thank God/Guru for many blessings and miracles throughout, even though I know I did not pass the test from our lessons. Talk about samskaras, many times per day, I had to start cutting samskaras out of my psyche and feeding them to this giant mental shredder I created. This mental exercise did seem to do mental housekeeping.

I have thought of/joined our evening gatherings often and I just came home from the recent intensive, which was just what the doctor ordered.

After reading your letter, Ram, I feel like I have been happily jolted back to reading the lessons I do so love and joining the elevation/expansion I almost always experience from the lessons. You are a life saver, again and again.

Love, love, love to everyone taking this course, especially those who write/share. What a wonderful group of souls. I read every word and love your postings.
SGMKJ

Fred G said...

Thank you for this post. I appreciate the notification via email that a new entry is up as I yet do not make a habit of coming to the blog.

I have noticed that I read the lesson completely and fully the first time. After that initial reading I tend to read them a bit quicker and hone in on the the juice which is often 'bold' text, sometimes towards the end, and certainly includes the practice for the weeks ahead. I always have it with me on my ereader. Thank you!

Jane said...

Ram - Thank you so much for your special note! As Avivit said, I'm feeling us all together in the dream you described in Lesson 1. This understanding is a shift in perception for me. When I first read about the dream, I didn't feel qualified to be included. Thanks to the course, I'm intensely aware of the reality of the dream and it is supporting my efforts to APPLY the lessons in my life. So challenging - especially when some of the most obstinate samskaras (for example - panic and anger) pop to the forefront before I'm even aware of them. However, with rereading the lessons and practicing their contents, I am much more apt to become aware of these automatic reactions and replace them more quickly.

Thank you also for describing the practical ways we can interact with each other in the community. I wasn't clear about whether it was appropriate (or not) to address anyone specifically. So I appreciate the clarification.

Much love and gratitude..

Anonymous said...

I am one of those that often refrains from responding to the blog entries or facebook entries. There are so many eloquent, heart felt responses, I feel a little shy to add to what I concur with or what triggers me. I mean it's easier to press "Like" on the facebook entries, then really take the time to put into words my experience, however brief or lengthy. And I realize in with holding from this sacred community I'm ultimately with holding from myself. And when I witness you, Ram, your unconditional commitment, your vigilance, to be in your Truth and share so widely about your truth and The Truth, I have to say on this auspicious day, time for me to break out of the box and share mine! With many blessings and love. BTW this is Pam Thiel. : )

Discernment Times, EzWebManifesting said...

Great reminder! In my current lesson it talks about "shocking situations" and the day before I read that piece, I had a major shocker in my relationship. A situation that triggered "stuff" I THOUGHT I had released a long time ago. So then I began different contemplations of the situation and my reaction to it ... being objective most of the time. What I arrived at was, yes, I had released that "stuff" that triggered it all but not my response(s) or my attitudes which led to several ah-ha moments, as I kept peering in to me, I uncovered a raft of self worth issues that had ... before this situation ... remained invisible. I am so grateful that my journey up until now had allowed me to amass my depth of inner courage, else I never would have stepped beyond the triggering field of debris to see what was beyond that scope. Plus, it's not that this whole situation was so "painful" it just required arduous determination by me to move forward and not want to be stuck anymore. I found refreshing and sometimes scary levels of desire to move forward with who I am and where I am going. And, hey, I have had more shocking events and they are all opening doors - I just take them one at a time. OMG, without expanding my inner courage I would be lost napping or watching TV 24 hours a day. Applying the lessons to me - not someone else - is really working on so many levels. Your sharing in the lessons works with me. Love and Blessings, Steu

Dad said...

Here we go, third attempt...I love this blog! There is freedom in discipline. I agree that the reading of the course daily elevates my state, changes my perspective and it opens the door to contentment and compassion. Thank you for staying connected to us via blog, facebook, and the lessons.

Purnima Orlandi said...

Here we go...I love this blog! There is freedom in discipline. I agree that the reading of the course daily elevates my state, changes my perspective and it opens the door to contentment and compassion. Thank you for staying connected to us via blog, facebook, and the lessons. I think I figured it out now, earlier sent it via Michel,s google. We send you our love from Hawaii!(Purnima)

Alison Schers said...

Thank you for the message and for your generosity in always wanting to help me. I will read my lessons more often and challenge myself moreso to make it real in my life. I've noticed that it is harder for me to do when I have to make decisions about my kids - I worry versus trusting so clearly I can improve there.

I check the blog often and appreciate the questions and wisdom shared there by the community. I'm sorry I don't share more - perhaps as I get more lighthearted I will be able to share more freely. :)

BreathWorks said...

One of the main places I'm focusing on being less reactive is in the car to how the mind sees 'reckless careless drivers' and immediately reacts with the impulse to shame the drivers. Of course I "know" better, and I'm working to "do" better. The same "feeling" tone shows up when my mind perceives "injustice" and wants to react there (often it's ideas for how to react, upon notice, are really intense, and not stemming from the compassionate unknown.). So thank you for this entry. Just like my lessons, it's right on time with my intention.

Asherah said...

OH MY GODDESS!!!

Just went through a major samskara release and this morning, within the space of a 1/2 hour, got knocked out of that lighthearted and free state and moved right back again with the help of a dear person. Then I received your wonderful email. This journey is moving extreamly fast now. 1/2 hour for me to loose it and fully regain "it" is glorious!!!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you

Shanti.

Anonymous said...

Your sweet wake up call came just at the moment I was thinking that I really have to take the time to read the blogs more often and comment as well. This is particularly important for me as I have never been one to share...a kind of shyness perhaps...or a lack of self worth. I realized its time to break free of this old pattern that dates back to grade school.

Ever since I began your course in the mid-70's the synchronicity has amazed and delighted me. I am now on lesson 4 of the current course and the process is the same but on an even deeper level, as there is not that much time anymore to take all that is given for granted. With each lesson I receive from you, which is corresponding (love the title "correspondence course") to exactly what is happening in my life at the moment, the Shakti also sends me the same teachings from other sources and provides the perfect opportunities to put them into practice. I feel so protected and taken care of, as if I'm being compelled to finish the work that I'm here to do, right here and now!


Thank you for being here for us! SGMKJ!!!

Scott Marmorstein said...

I'm feeling pretty good about my level of involvement in all areas and to the best of my capacity and ability. Thanks as always for the reminder to ratchet it up a notch. :)

Jenn Asplundh said...

Thank you so much for this special entry, and for bringing our attention to it! I confess that I rarely, if ever, read the blog. It feels like one more thing to try and schedule in. Maybe once I get used to checking it, it won't. I am willing to believe that it is another great tool that I could use in my sadhana.

I also appreciate the nudge to step up how I work with the lesson. Lately, I haven't been reading my lesson before bed (too many late nights, and I just have to close my eyes when I get in bed), and I can feel the difference. I really miss it. I still refer to it throughout the day at least once, but ending the day with the principles floating through me seems to make them penetrate more deeply.

I so appreciate all you offer, and the prodding comes at the perfect time (of course!).

Thanks so much.

Nancy said...

I have been finding it more difficult to get back into the habit of reading every day after starting the course a couple of months ago. In the "old" course I used to read 3-4 pages every night and it was my main practice at the time. I missed it greatly for years. Now that I have the opportunity to read the lessons again, I have not yet gotten back to the habit and the result is that I only read the whole lesson twice, rather than several times. I hope I will let your post be the catalyst I need to get back to several pages every day. Thanks for being so consistent all these years. (I did have this thought while reading the post: don't you get tired of writing the same thing over and over and have people still not get it?) Much love and gratitude.

Lynne Bhanu Shulman said...

Ram, thank you for re - minding me.
i cannot fully participate if i am not putting these principles into practice. Like Nikki A said it is more than clicking on the like button or posting a personal comment. I recently have been contemplating A LOT that i can't think one thing and experience another. training my mind doesn't have to be a tedious process. as you said it can happen through reading and re rereading the lessons and putting what is learned into daily practice. I do admit to falling into self pity recently and have been consciously turing my thoughts towards more positive and pleasant images and ideas. this post turned out longer than i thought it would. the course means a lot to me. practicing the principles is a priority in my life. i want to be able to "walk the talk"

Kristopher Stillwell said...

We have entered each other and become part of the same, as we always were. I will inquire more deeply into the lessons. They have become the central post of my understanding.
I agree Nikki, we can always go deeper.
Thanks for the urging, Ram.

Stephani L. said...

It feels like a firey time. Time for a coming back to what's most important and really valuable in our lives. Thank you for your lessons and your wisdom. I am grateful to have the lessons to read and re-read often! It's hilarious how the very moments during which I read the lesson can be served by lesson. Each day presents opportunities to apply the work. Thank you for your loving reminder to work. It's so helpful to remember that the most significant situations to which I can apply these lessons are closest to me, in my own home, with my closest relations, those persons and moments I unfortunately tend to least and take for granted. Thank you. Love.

Brenda said...

Thank you Ram, at first I was resistant and then open. Coming back to my heart, I embraced it all. Thank you for reminding me, I needed it. Gratitude, mmmm, delicious!

Naganath said...

Thank you for the reminder. I found myself being a little more lazy and not reading the course as regular a I should. Of late though, I have been applying the principals more and have been more aware of my thoughts and feelings.
The latest lesson with all the quotes from your Teacher seemed very cryptic to me, until after the recent meditation Intensive. Now the current Lesson has much deeper meaning and I understand the words better. There is a much stronger connection and I feel more aligned to the whole process. I find that my mind is easier to observe and that applying the principals makes life so much more enjoyable.
Glorious Shakti. My loin cloth stays on and I am throwing off the ego instead.

Renee said...

That new blog post...part of it is directed at me, I know. It feels egoic to admit that publicly, but obviously you know. I have lesson 36 and, maybe not coincidentally, have been wondering lately about my social anxiety in groups. This weekend coming up is full of Halloween parties with people I don't know. I'm pretty good one-on-one with people, seeing them as One and the same as me, sending them love and light as we are talking. Today at the gym, I was breathing in and out and the universe was breathing with me. And I've made a lot of progress in my main relationship - so much that I don't even feel like the same person sometimes, the way I am not reacting to things that would always set me off. However, groups are another matter, and this lesson gives exercises for just that.

"We are always relating to our own Self. We are always relating
to the mirror of the universe. Therefore send only good energy and
good feelings. Give only your best; give only blessings. Don’t worry
about having to be anyone or do anything or respond to someone in
any certain way. Simply give others your best, wish them your best,
be an uplifting energy in their lives."

Thank you. The gifts of the course never cease to amaze me.

Renée

the cats mother said...

very apt the bit about hearing what people say in criticism and not shutting down at that point but staying open to it when it comes from a place of love. a close friend pointed out a couple of my shortcomings this week and i am quietly dealing with it, have ordered a hit man to sort her out!

also good to see something noticed that when we share here in writing, it shows us another angle to our thoughts which we might not have had we not taken the thoughts out of our heads and printed them on an open forum.

love it as always with gratitude

ambika said...

I agree that participation leads to integration in a very natural way. As we begin to imbibe and undergo vibrational changes, we we're always new and our relationship to the material evolves at the same time. A little prod here and there reminds us to keep the material fresh, as each step of the way our understanding deepens leading to new openings...almost like a fractal experience...or maybe it is a
fractal experience.

ambika said...

The repetition trains the mind to see fractally and function fractally which expands our consciousness to enable us to experience multiple levels of our beings. At least that's what comes through for me...

Anne said...

Ram, thank you for the constant reminder. Sarathi and I read the course and daily discuss it and refer to it when we speak and when we get a new "understanding" from it. I believe we can't be reminded enough because we're always forgetting. If we didn't forget, we would "realize". I know in my most current lesson I had to reread your teacher's quotes several times before I began to get their messages. Even now I'm sure there is more to uncover. And it is the actual rereading to gain my own understanding that makes the internal changes. It's kind of like to really make an inner shift, you have to become the truth of what you read. How many times have I read the truth but still am not the truth all the time. So, someone telling me obviously doesn't work. I have to get it myself and that can happen by reading and rereading the course. I must confess that I do have trouble remembering each lesson's particular homework. However, I do the best I can and always remember the major principles. Thanks to you Ram.

Sukala said...

It's only in the second half of my life that I've been able to reveal myself. In fact, it's such a regular part of my day that without it, I feel less intimately connected with myself and others. After meeting my Guru I stayed close to the practices he/she gave: meditation, self-inquiry, reading the lessons, AND sharing with the community.

I encourage you, Daniel, to keep looking at the two areas you mentioned. One of the greatest allies we have on any spiritual path is self-inquiry. e.g. Does talking down to my friends bring me more joy or lessen the joy? That type of questioning is helpful because you're not judging yourself, it's more like being an interested witness of Daniel's life. Staying lighthearted helps me stay true to the path as a seeker and a student. It's been a real gift and easier to do since I started up with Ram's course again 2yrs ago.

Love,
Sukala

Divya said...

I am currently working with anger and worry. It has been invaluable to me to reread the course. I have found worry to be an addiction which when observed and changed to a better thought is really helping me. I also am watching when I begin to feel aggitated so that I can change the thought to something more positive. Its working! Thank you.
with love. Divya

Nancy Narayani said...

Hi Ram, I am one of those people you are talking about. At first I read the entire lesson every day and fell into meditation. I did this on a regular basis. Now it is different. When things get tough, as they have for me, I don't read thelessons regularly or at all. I recently understood that I want and need to be open, to experience.
something new. I have prayed for this very thing this past week or or so. And now I read this special note on the bloc. Thank you. Your words are exactly what I needed. I recommit to daily reading of the course and practicing its principles. Blessings to you. Nancy Narayani

Karen said...

I really appreciate this special note. I've read these things in the lessons. Having it all in one place like this gives added impact for me. The ego within me is really, really resistant to reading some lessons. Lesson 27 is the most recent example. I am writing down the lessons that are almost impossible for me to interact with. If I go back and read them later I'm sure I will recognize pattern(s) in their content. The importance of the blog hadn't sunk in before. Now that it has, I'll be checking in more regularly to read comments. with Love, Karen

revati said...

i was meditating (kinda) this am after reading a page or 2 of the lesson, then i heard the sound of a new email on my phone, it was yours,
i read it, and yes,
this is me, iam guilty of all of the above, i have taken the course since almost its very start, and yet, day to day, moment to moment i forget, i forget to not react, that god is in me and everyone, especially my family, who i really react to.
thanks for the strong reminder, it takes practice, every moment...

Marisa said...

This is my first post and I guess I'm only doing it because you asked, Ram. My history is to stay in the background and watch. Although I am continually amazed by the power of the Course, I have never taken the time to introduce myself or thank you and Kay for making it available. So…thank you so so much. I appreciate you two and everyone else that contributes to this community. I read the blog and the comments and Facebook and will try to step out of my comfort zone and actually post occasionally. This is a safe place!

Doug said...

I am just finishing up my first year of this course of training. Spurred in part by DR's special note, this seems like a good time for a status report. While it is fair to say that the last year has ushered in an improved evenness of temper and general elevation of outlook, I can certainly see much room for improvement in the moment to moment application of the
principles of the course in my life.

I read several pages from the currently lesson each evening. Still, between my morning meditation and evening lessons, I am mostly forgetful of the awareness of Awareness. Yet, many days I am full of joy for no reason in particular. I do try to
redirect the mind around the more obvious melodramas that come up, and I have gotten better at it, but many little things still slip by and bigger ones can still catch me despite my best efforts.

How is it that we know something is the right thing to do, intend to do it, but in fact do not do it with any consistency? Some well known pundit once wrote, "You can will yourself to action, but you cannot will yourself to will." This seems to reflect the predicament I often find myself in and is one of the blockages that this course of training will help me navigate. It seems to me that one of my tasks is to create a wealth of willpower. (I am looking forward to that section of the course). I know I have this willpower to apply the principles consistently, to remain present, despite the evidence of my senses and the story I narrate of my life.

There is some subtle balance still being developed betweeen being present and the maintaining an ongoing evalution of my inner state. To the extent that my attention is on telling the story of my inner state, I am not present. This observation applies to my mediation practice as well.

Jill Chandralekha said...

Thank you for the reminder. It's good to be reminded. I've been working so hard lately that I've had practically no time for anything else, but have noticed last week how increasingly negative I've been feeling... so it was great to dust off my recent lesson and realize I was making all the mistakes that you described in there. Well, the good news is the present moment presents a wonderful new opportunity. I think that's what Mick Jagger meant by "time is on our side." ???

Jean in TX said...

Hi dear Ram and all who are here-- how juicy this post is, full of good stuff Yes! I confess! I haven't read my course every day-- but I do my homework religiously--or spiritually, as it were. This time (2.22) it is to remain light hearted, no matter what and (aaargh!) to notice any tendency to bicker. I'm in SC with my seriously injured son whos in a lot of pain and the course has come to the rescue again and again and again. Won't go into the particulars but I experienced anger coming up over wanting to be right when I remembered the quote in my current lesson about anger--" Just drop it!". How simple and easy. Almost
instantly I noticed my ego slink away and i was able to be back in the moment with my son. Lightheartedness is one
heck of a lot more fun than anger. Thank you, dear Ram
and dear Kay, for the Course. What an impact it has on
my life and my sadhana.
Also in this lesson you said "We need to actively practice
stretching our capacity, so that each day we are able to
accept, to include, more than we could the day before."
What a way to live my life, always looking forward to the
new dance step God has for me to learn: 'Yes, but can you
be in harmony with this?" (This is one of my favorite anti-aging tricks.)
Love and thanks always. What would I do without you?

kirsty said...

Thank you for the big nudge. It was a thrill to see the extra post.

I faithfully and happily read the current lesson every morning, usually several pages,always mindful of the exercises, and then dip into Sally Kempton's new book. It is startling how the pieces fit together.

Vigilance is the difficult bit. To always remember the purpose of what we are doing and the ways to achieve it. I have been really concentrating on lightheartedness, letting things be and the change is quite apparent, in that even my husband has noticed.

Jim's phrase,distraction over traction, resonates.So easy to lose the picture.

So. I am faithful to the lessons but, being something of a luddite, I do not check Facebook frequently, nor read all the comments on the blog. Also, there is the time factor. I will shape up!

After following this path for about 30 years,much has changed, largely due to you and your articulate energy-filled words.To say I am grateful would be an huge understatement.

I don't like posting for fear my ego takes over but here I am, as requested.

Blessing to you and Kay for all you do for all of us.

Julie said...

Thank you for this kick in the butt, I truly needed it, and as always, perfect timing. Things in my life have been intense, and the more fiery they get, the harder it is for me to stay on course. And so, the spiral begins. I find myself in old samskaric patterns, in doubt, of wondering "why me", painful feelings that I take out on my family. I feel like you have been in my house, my mind, my heart with this post.

So, yes, I could do better, a lot better. I will read the lessons daily. I will read the comments here more often, and begin to participate in the conversation (I can't even say more, this is my first time writing, another samskara of not feeling that what I have to say is interesting enough). I do read the FB posts daily, but don't comment there either. So, I will begin to do that as well.

When I find myself in this kind of perceived challenge, it is always my practices, an opening and realignment of my heart that gets me back on track, and feeling, seeing, and remembering the Light.

I appreciate you, D.R., and the community so much. I feel a connection, and so much love and support. I am newer to the group and the course, and am so thankful that it found me.

Gratitude and love to all.

JoanneB said...

I read the Lesson every morning. It takes me right inside like an arrow on its target. That is the easy part. But when I read something that I do not understand - that my mind just can't wrap its head around - well then, that is not so easy. But something always happens...It took me almost two weeks to see two words: 'conjure up!' I finally got that it's ok to practice feeling excited and all warm and good inside even though it wasn't coming easy. And that that's why we practice. This recognition was huge for me! Guys, do not underestimate the power in re-reading the Lesson. Thank you, Ram. I am so grateful for this Course.

Ann said...

decraIt seems that nothing strikes the heart harder than a reminder of something that you know is true!This blog certainly is a zinger, and as hard as I think/thought I was practicing it is still the perfect antidote to laziness. The years of taking the lessons have changed and improved my life so dramatically that sometimes it is too easy to become complacent and simply "enjoy" the "improvement".
Still, when I hear the inflection of my words to another I am often horrified. I do want more from this life than I am allowing me to receive and so once again my intention is directed to greater diligence. So much gratitude I have.

Anonymous said...

I'm facing a very humbling situation, where it is obvious that my perception how I deal with colleagues, is experienced quite differently by my environment.
It is what you say, I agree and believe on the principle, but miss out to apply very simple, concrete ways.
There is à deep seated fear keeping a 'safe' distance. Due to that distance, I miss out on the most genuine connection with people around me. Instead of anticipating the other persons view, I reason only from my owm limited view: by doing this I isolate myself from others: the scary part is I feel a strong connection to my heart, therefore so surprised to be out of touch with my environment.

Your blog reconfirms that action is key, and following up on committments made. Thank you.

Jean said...

Hmmm mm....wrote late last night and it didn't appear--bottom line of my attempted post: thank you dear Ram and dear Kay for your awesome sadhana of the course and for the heads up about keeping up my end by re-reading my lesson daily. Keeping the homework uppermost in my mind makes all the difference in my life. Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude--my cup runneth user. Love always

Anne said...

Thank you Ram, for this blog piece.
It is strong and resonate, inviting me to be a 'warrior'. To bow courteously to my opponents, the 'excuses' against doing better, and then with courage, trust and joy plunge more fervently into mastering this game of life, and imbibing the Grace of the beautiful and powerful Truth of the present moment teachings that you are able to make so available to us.

Yes I too feel the challenge to step up my efforts in solidly reading and applying the lessons to the best of my ability. I was also not aware of the role of the blog in the process, except for an occasional enjoyable and insightful read.

As a fairly analytical sort of person, I also feel the need at times read thru the lessons with respectful attentiveness and focus as if I was doing a holy sanskrit chant for instance... I mean to not necessarily stop a lot to think about what I'm reading in the moment, but to let it flow thru me, as an energy and feeling.
After doing a couple of readings like this, I start to feel in a clearer state to actually 'think' and remember various points more, and how I might apply them, as if the energy of chanting-reading has helped clear a space in my mind for some seeds of knowledge to bear fruit? (Don't know if this makes sense to anyone else.) And then the highlighter pens and occasional marginal notes tend to come!

For me at the moment, it seems to be good to find a balance between readings that are more to get into the 'feeling', or flow of the particular lesson, and readings that are more consciously for understanding application of the learnings. The latter focus seem to work better when I'm not too tired : ) Either way, repetition is the vital common ingredient. Thank you.

glo007 said...

ditto. all of the above! ;)

Harshada Wagner said...

I love Ram's challenging focus about how we are toward each other.

In my days of ashram training, I often noticed a syndrome where people would be very sweet and kind to one another when they were in the presence of the guru- especially if the guru was being sweet and kind to someone. But then, when they were away from the guru's personal presence, they would become nasty.

There is a bit of that in most of us. There is a disease of thinking there is a time to be in our spiritual, kind, wise, persona and "the rest of the time". There is a powerful parcel of freedom and shakti when we decide that indeed, we are ALWAYS in the presence of the master. That every time is a time to be at our best- and when we are in a time of spiritual satsang, or in the personal presence of a master- that time is also a time to be real and bring our snarlies if they indeed are true for us then.

It's accepting that in the Living Present, we are deeply good and wise. It's not putting on a mask, but getting out of our triggers and trances and being Real.

Amy said...

(Breathworks, Thanks for your post on traffic sadhana. Ditto.....)

This blog entry by Ram is for me both uncomfortable and beneficial. I read it Thursday night. That morning, in traffic, I lost my temper and yelled at another driver (who of course couldn't hear me). As soon as the words spewed, I remembered - the Lessons, the state I aspire to, and that Ram has specifically mentioned tension and anger related to being late and to traffic. That we can do years of sadhana and then at the first little aggravation, act as if we'd never even heard of the Teachings. There was a brief moment of self-flagellation, which was replaced by the recognition that at at least I had become aware of my actions, and the gap between them and how I wanted to be. And then that awareness (as I looked back, after reading this message from Ram) morphed into a sort of self-congratulation for recognizing my own anger (which of course would have obvious to the most casual observer. No elevated state required.). I did calm down remembering "I will arrive at the perfect time."

Reading this message from Ram that night, I was so busted! I referred back to my current Lesson. Yep, it's in there: "We ignore the inner bliss that naturally bubbles up from inside us and we focus instead on obstacles or problems...Our state is determined by what we choose, consciously or unconsciously, to focus our attention on." (Lesson 4)

It's brought into focus for me: not enough to read and "understand". To be as I want to be, in all circumstances (even the most mundane and routine AND predictable), it will take more will, more vigilance, more conscious intent. It also will take a plan.

Thank you, Ram & Kay,
Thank you, fellow students. Love and Joy and Happy Driving!

(Sylvia, my heart goes out to you and yours in this chapter of family Dharma. May you, your Mama, and everyone come to rest in the Heart, and be happy and healed. Much Light and Love to you all.)

Roberta said...

I want to add my thanks, DR, for the course and all the many ways you support us in building community. I read the lessons many times, but not daily. I'm making a commitment to read my lessons every day next month, tune in to the energy they hold and practice what I'm learning.

I've been reading the lessons for 6 months now. Before I started, I couldn't sleep very well because my mind was racing with negative thoughts and judgments about the people close to me. I didn't think I had a choice in that, and I shared a lot of my negativity with others. I was pretty stressed out. It was amazing to me to learn I could just stop thinking those thoughts, just drop them.

I also started observing my words and the kinds of things I said to people. I was astounded to notice how often what I was about to say was intended to stir up some melodrama, or add to the drama already going on.

I've started being more responsible for my thinking, listening more, and being more in choice about how I speak. I'm sleeping much better, I'm happier at work, life is more simple. I've often wished I had an Owner's Manual for life -- the Course in Training has become my manual.

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

Oh, I have loved reading everyone's comments! What a wonderful treat.

I have been contemplating some practical things I do to stay up with the blog and D.R.'s FB page. On my lap-top, which I use at home for work every day, I always keep a tab open at top for each of these sites. That way it is an easy click when I am between tasks or want a "treat."

The only problem was I started getting too drawn to these things which at times distracted me from my duties, so sometimes I put a "window" on top for work and keep the D.R. ones underneath until I know I have some time to play.

Also a while ago another of our community shared that she printed off an extra copy of the earlier lessons and had them made into a bound book. I just did this and almost two years of the course is now in this great little spiral bound book from the local print shop-- it didn't cost that much and now I can introduce the practice of re-reading older lessons.

My new paper copy one becomes quite dog-eared and ragged by the end of the two weeks (tea stains and all) and ends up all over the house. I tend to check in with it almost every day, ranging from a paragraph to the whole thing. However, I have to admit, my zest for it is at its peak when it first comes and is this blast of Shakti!

Loved hearing the new voices here. I also wish there were a like button, I would have liked them all.

KJ

Taylor said...

Thank you Ram. I got the message. As my current lesson says, "How can I chop off the neck of your ego if you never stick it out"

Brent F said...

Ram, one of my habits is to be reactive, so what came up for me when you told us we need to read the blog was, "I don't want you telling me what I need to do!" But I notice that my reactions are softer than they used to be as I continually work on noticing my tendencies and replacing them with gratitude. So, I watched that blip of a reaction and decided to read this post and skim the comments as you recommended. I know that the discipline of sadhana is to go with what's suggested or pushed. So, here I am. There is much I could say.

I know from observation that there are a few things I need to do to stay grounded as my mind can spin into all kinds of things. I need to meditate, get exercise, play and write songs, and read the lessons. I notice how off base I become when I don't do these things regularly. I also like to share insights about the teachings with my wife, who is a Kadampa Buddhist. The teachings are the same yet some of the words and practices are different and I learn new perspectives from talking with her.

Each time I read part of my lesson I go into what I would describe as an altered state. Often I meditate after reading a few pages. This "space" is important to my well being. I always get one or two or three ideas from each lesson that I contemplate and get new insights regarding them. It seems like a cumulative process of learning, like when you learn chemistry in grade school, and then middle school, and then high school, the teaching and learning expands in new ways each time--deeper and wider. There are always new things to see and experience and new ways to live into the teachings.

One other quick story about replacing "negative" feelings with positive ones. I was looking for a parking space the other day and someone pulled into the last space right before I did. Again, my first reaction was "Damm, if I had just been a minute sooner I would have gotten it!" But, almost immediately, I thought, "I'm so glad that person was able to find a parking space." I had to drive to another location where I had to walk much farther to get to my destination, but the good feeling of "exchanging self for others" (a paraphrase of a Kadampa teaching) gave me such a good feeling that I was fine taking the extra time to park and walk.

I think this is a simple example of putting the teachings into practice. It works, and it feels good!

Brent F said...

One thing that seemed like a revelation to me after reading and contemplating a recent lesson concerned the various states of existence, which I've heard about for years. I often wondered why an enlightened being needs to dream as I've been taught that dreaming is about working out subconscious things from our daily lives and I didn't think the Guru needed to do that. The revelation I got, which I'd like you to confirm if it's true, is that we all live in all four states all the time and that dreaming is simply a way to bring the subtle state to the forefront by "shutting down" the conscious state so that our experience in the moment is of the subtle realm. Does that make sense?

Naganath said...

This seems apropos from my latest lesson:
"Observe and come to know your own self-created image. Contemplate what might be necessary to break the image and go beyond it."
--D. R. Butler

D. R. Butler said...

Jill Chandralekha, I just read and posted your comment, and just as I clicked on it to post, the satellite radio station I am listening to played, 'Time is on my side,' by the Stones. It was a very fascinating 'coincidence.'

Eugenia said...

You are so right. Most definitely need to step it up. Having a major shift of consciousness no words of mine can do justice. Everything is so unutterably beautiful I don't want to waste time sleeping or otherwise tending to the body, after all in the west nobody has died of lack. When I do inadvertently sleep it is more like walking through a curtain where I carry on via a different perception. I might feel I missed something and retrace my steps to find that I perceived it so deeply that no waking state of mine could have covered it. I might find I need to stay awake and find the beauty so intense that I have to look away. I might wake up and find myself at my destination even before I realise that this is what it was. I go meditate under the tallest trees in order to build the presence to live up to the beauty of the day and still it is bigger than me. I know things not in an "AHA" way but in a casual "how could it be anything else". I know when I used to talk of "the unbearable lightness of being" I did not quite get the point I am at now and I know when I talked of spending some time in heaven I did not perceive the multidimensional pixelisation of consciousness as it merges with the wonder around it. When I went over my last lesson I knew I was on track with my homework. I also know that I may act "human" as I try to merge my current perception with all of the past knowledge, spiritual or otherwise that has become so irrelevant. Maybe I am blubbering . Maybe this is not fit for sharing but at least you, my teacher, know where I am at now and yes it is a lot of homework but I can't let another moment go by without living up to it wherever that may be. Looking forward to your support
Love

Jill Chandralekha said...

How cool! That's grace! I'm grateful for that grace and for the gift of your course! ♥

Bindu said...

Humbly grateful for the course, for the blog and for the community. Thanks for the reminder to up the intensity as there are always new insights, and new ways to apply the principles. Can't imagine how theese past few years would have been without the course. Its the best. Love it, love you all.

Virginia said...

Thank you D.R. I needed reminding to read the lessons more and practice more. I am especially tuned in to practicing light heartedness, non-seriousness. It is hard, but worth the effort.

Blessings,

Virginia

D. R. Butler said...

Wow, I finally caught up with the comments that have come in and got them all posted. I can't believe how many of you have come out of the woodworks, or out of the closet, or wherever you've been keeping yourself. It feels so great to see all of you posting, making yourselves known.

This is the way I always dreamed the blog could be--a community that feels free to share anything with the others, and for participants of the course to get to know each other as real people. You'd never believe how many truly amazing and special people participate in the course, but most, as we have seen, rarely share in 'group' activities.

Most of you probably know that I spent 20 years living in an ashram. Some of you might have odd ideas of what an ashram is, especially if you have never experienced one, and of course they are all different from each other. All we need to know for now is that for those 20 years I had to be with people, work side-by-side with people, eat meals in the same dining room and attend the same programs with all the same people. It was a far cry from my current blissful hermit-like lifestyle. (Kay and I enjoy being alone together.)

What I learned from all this is that it's impossible to go very far very fast in sadhana if we try to do it all alone, and on our own, and remain hidden and unknown to others. It is necessary to have a group, a school, a kula, some kind of community to share sadhana with. If you don't have people to bounce things off of, it's hard enough even knowing what you think, much less how your thoughts and assumptions hold up when bounced against the outer world.

Also, we can never fully see the ego unless we are around others and their own egos. When our ego interacts with another ego, either, hopefully, we see the ego more clearly for what it is, or we become even more deluded by thinking we are right and the other is wrong.

Make use of the opportunity to relate to others like yourself, others with the same understanding and aspirations that are important to you. You will learn so much from other people if you open up and share yourself with them.

For years I was a holdout. I wanted to be alone, I wanted to work alone, and I didn't want to discuss spiritual principles with others. It was almost as though I had to protect myself, otherwise I could be too exposed and blow my cover, my image, and I would be nakedly revealed to be only another ordinary person.

Gradually I began to surrender to working with the other teachers, exploring various ideas and approaches with them, and we learned so much about ourselves from each other.

So we do have a community here. We primarily meet here, and we also meet more informally and casually on Facebook. We can interact with each other and get to know each other. It is really good for participants of the course to know each other, and to be able to discuss things with each other. So many misunderstandings are clarified this way. We have to earn hermithood, and to do that we come completely in harmony with all others, and are left in balance in all ways regarding other people.

I thank those of you who rarely or never post for being brave enough to post in this thread, and I also appreciate the intentions of many to actually keep up with the blog now in a real way. There is a real Shakti (spiritual power) available in being up to date and connected in real time as a community. We are not in this world alone. There is no reason to pretend to be.

D. R. Butler said...

I simply wanted to point out that I have written many comments here similar to the one just before, and if a person who takes the course doesn't read the comments of the blog, then a great deal is missed that in reality constitutes the fullness of the course. The course is not only lessons. The course also includes all this that we share together, and all interactions of any nature.

Kurt Asplundh said...

I look forward to the next lesson (circa 1st and 15th of each month) the way I used to look forward to whatever the next song was going to be in the first set of a Grateful Dead show...

Debra H. said...

This was a great blog. I have taken this course since its inception and I can most certainly feel the difference when I read the lessons more often or less. i know I am practicing the teachings more consistently even when it's challenging to do so. One thing I noticed is that I tend to be the person people call when they are in turmoil or have problems. In the past I would listen, sympathize, reflect, commiserate, etc. and try to help them feel better. now I have so much conviction about the present moment, the tricks of the ego our state of mind that when friends and family start to go into their patterns of misery, I can very easily speak with conviction about how there is no suffering in the present moment. Suffering exists in the past and future. It's our job to see the gifts that we are being given constantly and to remain loving and lighthearted.so, some friends get it right away and even call me more often and others stopped calling all together!

Brent F said...

So, Ram, please give some suggestions about how to read the comments. The blog post is clear and fairly concise. The comments run the gamut, though, of profound (in my judgment) to very repetitive. I do not want to take the time to carefully read more than 100 comments each month. I can skim them and focus in on the ones that are interesting, but then I might miss something pithy. In this age of being bombarded with technology and instant messages on the cell phone, music in elevators and doctors' offices, and dozens of e-mails every day, how would you recommend balancing time to be alone, do our jobs and family responsibilities and to read dozens of comments on the blog?

As new technology comes on board we are not trained about how to use it responsibly. For example, I joined Facebook thinking people would post great links and profound insights. Instead, many of my Facebook Friends post little tidbits about how things are going in their day. After awhile, I hide these posts and rarely post myself. It can be overwhelming and, frankly, distracting from focusing on what I think I need to do to create balance in my life. What would you suggest? Thanks.

Lyle Glatzmaier said...

Thank you Ram,
…the blog is a great share, what a wonderful family. I pretty much read all entrees and look forward to the responses. This blog prompt me to write. It seems everyone taking the Course is responding, (Kay is behind my response). What I need to do is practice the Principals. It is so easy to forget. Maybe if I were to share more often this would be helpful in fulfilling just that. I am also, ‘your loving servant and friend.’

Mitranand said...

Love the comments , love the post,,don't really have much to say other than checking in and enjoying the blog..i always have gratitude for the lessons and company of those who share this experience..JAI MA

Colette said...

Whewie 92 comments, all I can say is thank you. I got to see a lot and laugh a lot at myself, it was rollicking good fun. I still have a long ways to go on the relaxing thing LOL. With the help of the course and all of you, I know that this will change. Much love to all, Karuna

Ananda said...

This is my first entry. I had made an attempt to add to the blog a few months ago, but was unable to. The blog server kept refusing my entry. I figured, well, maybe I should take the hint and just listen. That is what I did. On the other hand, I was not treating the blog as a part of the course anyway. I felt the urgency in your email and special blog entry; I will now make it a part of the course.

As I have read through these blog entries, I have noticed that the bloggers here do not blame you—the teacher—for not achieving their enlightenment yet. They are, for the most part, focused on what their roles are in the process. That is impressive, positive, encouraging and astonishing to me. Currently, in America, teachers are to blame if students do not do well on standardized tests. I am an elementary teacher. Despite my instruction, motivational techniques, bonding, pleading and support, those students who do not do their part to grow academically usually don’t. Those who follow my guidance usually do well. Do we blame our dentist for our cavities if we neglect to floss and brush at home each day? Education is complex. This professional predicament I find myself gives me the opportunity to practice treating perceived failure and success equally. I can also observe my tendency to feel the role of the victim.

This community is a positive one. The people here are working on themselves. I have taken this course since the late 80’s and spent a lot of time at the ashram where you lived. During that time, I was amazed at how you were able to teach these ancient principles in so many ways, in so many lessons. This course does correspond to my life. Still, despite all of my experiences on my path and with this course, I am perplexed by my lack of urgency. One deep breath brings me to better place. Why do I take myself away from that place? Where is my will, my sense of urgency to stay there? I have been given the tools and knowledge for enlightenment. You keep reminding me of these gifts. You support me and encourage me to use them. It is up to me. I am now going to frequent this blog regularly as a part of the course of training to assist me in this regard. D. R. your email and special blog entry startled me. Thank you.

Ginger said...

Although I read the lessons often I had no idea that so much activity was happening on the blog. I'm thrilled to know this and will return :-) Thank you!

With beauty, style & grace,
Ginger

Anne said...

Been revisiting the blog again, reading more comments, catching the ones I missed first time ... and DR's response too, wonderful! I was really struck by your comment DR about needing to 'earn hermithood'. Lol.
I can relate to that desire at times to want to simply avoid the human race ; ) Fear a part of it, truth be told, along with being somewhat of an introvert by personality.
Now I am opening up more to appreciating that not only 'should' I be a more active participant of this spiritual community because it is good for sadhana, but that it is actually wonderfully supportive and enjoyable to do so!! Learning, stretching my comfort zone, losing fear of being judged as not being good enough, being foolish, or slow, or ... etc. : )

All good grist for the sadhana mill ... learning to be freer, braver! Finding that inner feeling of connectedness and recognition and compassion for all of us ... as we journey on, learning, burning [but it's okay and safe!], honouring and accepting with greater equanimity and peace my/our 'journey' to date, whilst also being open to new growth, freedom and insights in each fresh moment. Learning to Trust this process, trust each other, trust the Grace. Thank you.

Taylor said...

Sweet. I loved hearing from everyone. Doesn't it feel like our community was just showered with grace. Thank You, Beloved.

Scott Marmorstein said...

It seems to me like there is a delicate line between being serious about something and being too lighthearted.

Can you speak to this, Ram?

Sarah Hoffman said...

Seeing the reminders on facebook and receiving emails to check the blog are very helpful...being new to the course in this century I'm still developing my routine of even checking the blog posts...I'm diligent with the lessons, yet I can see the added value of communicating with the community here.


I dont have anything especially profound to add here but one big Thank you to the Universe for being led back to this course!

and thanks Ram!

Sarah

Christina W said...

Thankyou all for your open and truth-full comments, and to Ram for your touch of strictness...I need kicking into shape sometimes! I have to say I spend as much time with the Course etc as I can humanly manage, and BRENT F, I know when I asked Ram the same questions about life/Course/Fbk etc balance, he said our loved ones are more important than anything. It is a real challenge to be as involved as I would like to be, and so can only do what I can. I attempt to be with the teachings as wholeheartedly as I can when I'm with them rather than skimming them in order to keep up, which is what I had started to do. I also think I have nothing of interest to say and that it's all been said! Almost like I'm posting a comment just to say "I'm here"...I know in my heart I'm here and constantly referring to the teachings, or noticing when I'm not, just that I'm not always online. Brent F, thanks again for your wonderful comment, and gratitude to all for all the palpable Love.

Sylvia in Colorado said...

...responding to Julie, your description of your life becoming intensely firey, making it harder to stay on our course ... Julie, your posting resonanted with me (along with dozens of other posts); thank you for writing and for sharing! For me, throughout this long melodrama of entangled samskaras, for the past 2-3 months, I fervently kept trying to stay on course. I have been constantly reminding myself that this soap opera is not the real deal...it was like I was spraying insect repellant to stop the swarming of karmic mosquitos around me.

Like you, Julie, I did find myself caught in one of those old samskaric patterns. It made me wonder how I let myself get caught here again: in doubt, wondering "why me", painful feelings. Taking the recent intensive, plus all of my mental/emotional realignment, has brought me back to the state of balance and equinimity, thank God.

With Ram's kick butt letter to all of us, I too feel like somehow Ram knows all of my recent personal life, as though Ram was somehow invisibly following me.

I have read all 98 postings to date; thank you to each of you.

Ram is it possible for you to actually time travel and visit one of us? I've wondered this about you and about other spiritual teachers for a long time.

Leigh E. said...

I, too, am one of those people who generally stay in the background, and I am posting here because of your request, Ram, and Kay's e-mail. I love the course because there is so much shakti in it, and such absolute love and TRUST. I read your first course very faithfully, every day, and I continue the same practice with this course. I often make notes and refer to them several times a day. For example, I am working on love, compassion, kindness and forgiveness, as well as cheerfulness and equanimity. The refrigerator has notes: remember, only the present is real, and what you think is what you get. Recently, we were evacuated from our home due to wildfires. My whole world was turned upside down, and the entire experience felt surreal; like being in a movie. There was no way for me to do very much, so I read the course. It gave me courage and comfort, and continues to do so every day. Many blessings to you and kay for all the work that you do to make sure we all get this wonderful course. My goal is to read the blog commenta more faithfully and participate more. I really want to get all I can out of the course. I don't want to miss even one thing!

Kevin said...

Dear Ram-
It was a nice surprise checking email this morning, and receiving your unscheduled visit– I must admit I was kind of subconsciously wondering this very morning, ‘Hmmmm, I wonder? Is there still anybody out there, still thinking of “little ol’ me”? Somebody interested in connecting in a higher way?’ That age-old lament of… ‘God? Are you still there?’

In any case, I love trying to be one of the ones that is actually interested in doing the “work” of being present. Yes, admittedly for me, it is “work” or it does at least feel like work on many of the days. Even ‘hard work!’ But noticing what it feels like when I’m not conscious of it simply being just ‘work’ – that’s when it begins to feel like drudgery – and what a miserable way to live that can be!

I do read the lessons every morning as part of my daily routine – and I do notice that even though I’m very excited about the arrival of the newest lesson, feeling like I want to move on – move forward. Pretty consistently it is in those last days of re-reading the current lesson for the 14th or 15th time, that I notice that a word or sentence that hadn’t struck me before, jumps out – and I have a nice little moment of ‘Holy Cow! This is what Ram must mean when he constantly talks about doing the repetition’. Simply put, constantly trying to notice what is “new” in this moment is an excellent way to live. Cooling suave on a sunburned face.

Observing ‘spiritual posturing’ in myself, and others has been a big turn off to me in the past, and has done a lot to turn me away from my own community of so-called seekers. I Love that you post on Facebook odd little personal comments or seemingly random music links that resonate with me and I love, and maybe even especially the ones that confuse me, and leave me thinking ‘really? – how strange’.

Please, please, please – never give up on the dream of being with, and connected to, a group of folks interested in actually doing the work in the present moment. Some of us are slow – but so grateful that there are ‘teachers’ out there willing to share their own experience and encouragement, and continue to grow with us along the way.

When I found your course (via Facebook) it was like finding fresh water in the desert. Like God answering, “Yes – I’m still right here!”

Okay – I’ll go re-read todays lesson now. Please just know that there are many, many quiet ones out here – crying tears of our own Hearts Gratitude, for you being exactly who you are, in exactly the way you are, and for being willing to share that with us all. Now, if we could all just know and Love that about our very selves – perhaps our communications with each other would be much more Respectful and Loving.

Peace Brother! – I’m so very happy to be connected – and Pray, Pray, Pray, to be one of the ones sincerely and soulfully willing to do the work!

With Love, Kevin

D. R. Butler said...

Brent F. said: 'So, Ram, please give some suggestions about how to read the comments. How would you recommend balancing time to be alone, do our jobs and family responsibilities and to read dozens of comments on the blog?

'I joined Facebook thinking people would post great links and profound insights. Instead, many of my Facebook Friends post little tidbits about how things are going in their day. I need to create balance in my life. What would you suggest? Thanks.'

Brent brings up good points, as always. You were a regular workshop participant, Brent; the comments of the blog are like a combination of the Q&A and sharing sessions of the workshops. In other words, what was once physical is now manifesting more subtly, and particularly through what we know as 'cyber world,' where more of us can meet simultaneously in real time. The number of participants at workshops was greatly limited. The number who can participate in the course and blog is unlimited. Any number of us can meet and share here, and ask any relevant questions of the moment.

So I suggest you elevate or upgrade the way you see the comments. They are not here to waste your time. They have to be worth reading in order to get past me, who okayd each comment before it is even posted. Those that are irrelevant or inappropriate or simply not worth reading never get posted in the first place; and occasionally I even edit the comments a little simply to eliminate what is not really relevant, as I did for what I quoted of your comment here, so that it will not be a waste of anyone's time to read it.

As for Facebook, it seems you have the wrong friends. Borrow some of mine if you like; there are plenty to go around. When I read my 'news feed' on Facebook, it is exactly as you described above: 'great links and profound insights,' and I might add, some great quotes that later turn up in future lessons of the course. Facebook is a great source of great quotes.

I admit I either unfriend or 'hide' posts from those who are inappropriate or who post things like, 'I walked my dog to the post office today.' It's nice of them to walk their dogs, as most dogs need far more exercise than they get, bringing up all sorts of problems as a result, but I don't need to read about it.

So I have great Facebook friends and great comments to read when I read over their contributions.

As far as balancing time, that ties in with the section of the course titled, 'The Importance of Priorities,' which might not sound very spiritual, but which is extremely important in sadhana as well as daily life.

Do what needs to be done for you to live according to your own dharma. Put family and loved ones first, and make sure their needs from a husband and father are met. Perform your work in this world as well as possible without being a perfectionist. Make room for referring to your current lesson, as well as the blog entries and comments, which are relevant and helpful to your sadhana, or spiritual growth.

Then, if you have time left over, and care to, join us in our satsang and ongoing dialogue on Facebook, which is mostly for fun.

D. R. Butler said...

Our good friend and course participant Scott Marmorstein writes: 'It seems to me like there is a delicate line between being serious about something and being too lighthearted. Can you speak to this?'

Scott, I've never heard of being 'too lighthearted.' Maybe you refer to being silly or whimsical or attempting inanely to be funny in some way, or acting in some other way that would not be categorized as 'serious,' but yet is not true lightheartedness.

Being lighthearted is our most natural and our 'highest' and clearest state to be in. It is when we are most being ourselves. It is our true nature.

Seriousness is invariably related to ego.

However, there is a lot of silliness or inanity that people might think of as being lighthearted, that is not being authentically lighthearted at all.

If this response leaves something unanswered for you, please let me know by posting it here.

D. R. Butler said...

Some people think they're being lighthearted when they're being sarcastic or cynical.

Sarcasm and cynicism are both very far from being genuinely lighthearted.

Anne said...

Ram, Brent F, thank you for asking a great question and Ram for responding so clearly, compassionately, helpfully. I'm going to print out Ram's feedback on this : )
I'm noticing now that if I check the Blog every day from day of posting at least once, then I probably will find the comments coming thru a few at a time and I can read them as they come, rather than going back and attempting to catch up with maybe 100 plus. Another reason to check in to the blog each day as far as possible : )
Actually I'm getting into the swing of it now ... before Ram's message I was only an occasional blog-reader, more a facebook-er .. now I'm trying to change that balance, and am finding it very valuable to do so. xx

Peter Goodman said...

Hello, D.R. - i am a simple friend of your on Facebook. i am not (yet) a part of the lesson group your refer to. BUT, your reminder to open to life and meet it authentically with honesty and truth is a great teaching a wonderful reminder everyone can gain from. So pranam's to you. many blessings to all. Peter

Dolores Alvarez castilla said...

Thank you so much, Ram For giving us the opportunity to receive an extra blog! One showing us why you are a great teacher! Thank you for reminding us that it is about Respect and Love! That it isn't about smiling, and getting it when we read it. But to applying it in every moment of our being.
We all hear what we need to hear! But do we really hear? We all need a reminder that we need to apply ourselves with the valuable information that is being transmitted from the teacher to the student! With Great Respect and Love! I am your sponge! SGMK JAY!!

Frank said...

Ram, My turn to come out of the woodwork after receiving the invitation. I love the course. I have been reading and rereading lessons written since 1986ish. I am grateful for the reminders I receive from the course, the gentle and sometimes humorous reminders especially at those times when I get stuck in forgetfulness and self-imposed suffering. I once heard (in an ashram talk) that there are three Beings who we will never be able to repay our debt to; the teachers, the ancestors, and the gods. But I will never stop trying to express gratitude. Thank you for your writings in the course! Love, Frank

Volker said...

There is always something that can be done better, something extra we can give...

This is something I have thought about, but I guess I have to apply it now...

What if I could read one previous lesson in the morning or the blog in the morning, and my current lesson by night?

What if I could start Meditating along with taking the course?

What if I could do some Hatha Yoga to let the Course energy flow better through my body.

Your message encourages me! May be I wont be able to do all of the above, but to AIM higher will certainly enhance my life even more.

Thank you!

I only feel gratitude because I can feel that the Course has indeed changed my life in many different ways, I know I can participate from a more open space, with a shaper focus, and apply the principles even more.

Thank you for your post and your encouragement, I believe it will bear fruits in our Sahadana.

Love,

Volker

Charles (Vaikuntha) Deschênes said...

While I was waiting for comments to appear, my contemplation produced this little piece:

I have a very distinct feeling that what I am is much more expanded that I could ever foresee and what is preventing myself from experiencing this is only an attitude of being closed to it, desperately clinching to my known comfortable limited idea of myself.

Charles (Vaikuntha) Deschênes said...

@AC Lambeth: here's my take about the Truth, familiarity and being new. I think you're right when you talk about it being a paradox. My intuition, combined with what I've heard from great beings is that it's the most familiar thing. Not in the sense of being like what we're used to, but in the sense of recognition. The "awe" moment you can experience while having an insight about the Truth is one of recognition of being that which you are experiencing. This would be my interpretation about Truth's familiarity. On the other hand it is also living, not stale. It is ever new and flowing like a river in it's natural blissful, eternal present moment.

gino said...

what a beautiful place to be,to tune up, is this blog.
from the lessons i find difficult to think and to feel "as if" something is already true.
my mind continue to see that i am trying to change what is real and i have a sense of falsehood.
it is like i can't take off and remain in the land of desiring what i already have.
but i continue to try.
love to all.
i am happy to be here with all of you,
gino

Kathy said...

Thanks for the "spiritual push." my intent is to read my lesson every morning. Sometimes, it just doesn't happen. However, I do find myself practicing the course principles more and more. Certain things stay with me, and when the "old samskaras" raise their head I can sometimes catch myself and say "don't do the knee jerk reaction, break the pattern, be loving here." for this alone, I have great gratitude. Yes, I agree, we either believe it or we don't. That's another thing I am always trying to remember. Sorry I haven't been more of a blog participant these days. It is really just a "not enough time in the day issue" with my schedule right now. Once again, thanks for the push.

Scott Marmorstein said...

Ram,

No that perfectly explains the difference to me!
Thank you very much!!

Vicki Hilger said...

I too mused about Scott's question. It seems you can be too serious, but never too lighthearted. You could be seriously lighthearted, or even lightheartedly serious, but never too light of heart. Sometimes I get silly, whimsical and inane ,all at the same time. But that errs on the side of light.

The humour of the old course and the new have been particularly attractive to me The blog has sometimes followed up on that, to my great delight.

Sylvia, i dont think Ram time- travels, except to travel out of time. He just lets the Shakti flow, which is something we all do at times, and can do more often with practice, and the Course's guidance. In the mid 80's i took a course at the Ashram. We were given a verse from the Guru Gita to contemplate and give a three minute talk on. The training was as much about how we spoke, as about the words we spoke. We were learning to get out of the way , invoke Shakti, and let her do the talking..i was young, inexperienced, and nervous,but my talk was incredible, and afterwards, my entire body vibrated to my fingertips. Conversely, the next woman's talk was pretty bad. Our tutor asked her if she had remembered to give it over to the Shakti, and had not. Sometimes, this was also referred to as 'coming from the heart'.

This training has been invaluable to me over the years, especially in times of difficulty. The Course is teaching us all to come from that place all the time, not just in crisis. Then we too surprise ourselves with what comes out of our mouths, and how lightheartedly funny or fiery it can be.

Love to all, Vicki

Debbra Bhadra said...

Brent F, Regarding your question to Ram about how to read the many comments here: It's true 100+ comments are a lot to read. One way to approach it is to check them every day, starting in the beginning of the month when the current post is new. Then you are only reading the comments posted that day (plus any previous ones you care to re-read). It's much easier to keep up that way, and more is retained than when you are reading so many at once. I myself am committing to keeping up in this way, beginning with the November post here.

Thanks Ram, and to all for these thoughtful and most helpful comments. :)

Linda said...

Ok- I will come to the blog if that is what is necessary to read the words of truth. Easy change considering the alternatives.

Anonymous said...

Would you put more in the lessons about overcoming fears? I seem to get overtaken by anxiety and various fears before I even realize it. I know the principle is the same as overcoming anger, but the fears seem to be reasonable to me at the time. Sometimes I don't even know why I'm anxious - it just seems to come out of nowhere.

D. R. Butler said...

Anne and Debbra Bhadra beautifully responded to Brent F's comment about reading the comments of the blog.

Checking in daily, or at least regularly, is the way to go. If you wait until there's more than 100 comments to read, of course it will be discouraged.

What if I wasn't interested, or didn't have time, for the comments? This place wouldn't be quite the same--it might not even be here.

D. R. Butler said...

Anonymous wishes to overcome anxiety and fear. For one thing, both anxiety and fear are based on 'not-now' consciousness. In the present moment, there is nothing to fear or to be anxious about. Living in the Truth of the Present Moment takes care of so many 'problems,' 'obstacles,' and 'distractions.' In the present moment, these things simply do not exist. They exist in mind and time only.

The opposite of fear is love. We fear what we can't love. Replace fear with love, or love what you once feared, and your entire life will be transformed.

When anxiety arises, simply think to yourself, 'I thank you, Father, (your inner connection to or oneness with Omniconsciousness and Omnipotence) for your care and guidance, and I KNOW that you care for me and guide me in all my ways.' Saying something like this, silently, to yourself, or even out loud, is an expression of gratitude, and gratitude trumps anxiety every time.

Margaret said...

I will also try to make more of an effort to post on the blog. I would just like to say how thankful I am for the Course and how reading it has been so valuable for my growth. My husband had encouraged me to take the Course many times over the years, as he has been a long time participant. For many reasons, I didn't do it, and now that I am retired, I have a lot of time on my hands to indulge myself in the teaching. I wish I had started sooner! Thank you, D.R., for the love and wisdom you impart - very prescious indeed!

D. R. Butler said...

Someone mentioned in one of the comments that it is easily to go to Facebook and read and post there than it is to come to the blog.

I admit, this is true, there is a little more effort required to make it to the blog. This is true for me too. It is much easier to just hang out on Facebook and come to the blog when I have time, than it is to spend time at the blog and go to Facebook when I have time. Yet I got a strong inner commmand that more emphasis needs to be placed on the blog, and it will be for everyone's good, except for those unwilling or too lazy to come here. I don't worry about roping them in, because with their approach they won't get very far in sadhana anyway.

The Guru told me that I had a tendency to 'spoonfeed' people, and that I didn't make them work hard enough to receive teachings of Truth. Of course, in the Course of Training itself, you get a little of both; you get some spoonfeeding, and you have to do a little work.

The more we work to receive an elevating teaching, the more we value it and the more it becomes a part of who we are. If it comes too easily, it slips away too easily as well, and is quickly forgotten or never once applied.

So, admittedly, it is a little more work to come here--for you and for me. But let's give it a shot and see what happens.

It's not that I'm leaving Facebook by any means. Many of you came to first know me there. Facebook has been a primary way of spreading the word about the course, since we grow through word of mouth only. Hopefully those of you who have benefitted from the course will continue to promote it on Facebook or whatever resources you might have at your disposal.

I don't feel right about 'advertising' as a means for the course to grow. I love that it spreads by word of mouth, and that those who love the course tell others they love about it. This seems the most real and organic way for the course to grow, so I will continue to depend on you to spread the word.

Lance said...

I have been busy lately with livelihood related matters. I tend to fall asleep to reality more when this happens. The only antidote to this is by me being a bit more diligent. So I welcome Ram's suggestions. I can always find a little time to read the lessons and the blog, which carry so much and both are such a great tool.

Margaret said...

Thank you for your advise, D.R., to the question from Anonymous about fear and anxiety. I will remember to be thankful for God's love and protection when these feelings arise, as I have been experiencing this due to unpleasant physical symptoms that can be quite scary.

kirsty said...

I may be one of the few that find the block easier than facebook so it is pleasing that the deeper intent will be found here.

About lightheartedness. Could be that some think giggling and laughter is the answer but the feeling is that it goes many layers deeper than that and is more difficult to achieve consistently. Worth working for, though. And easier with the guidance we get here.

Pamela said...

I was introduced to the correspondence course in the mid 90's by a woman I consider to be a spiritual mentor for me (I miss her) and during that time we used to speak almost daily. She got a big laugh when, at the beginning I very seriously said that I could see myself progressing fairly easily with these principles if I didn't have to deal with other people! I have recently re-discovered the course (lesson 5 arrived today) and I have to say that Ram's 'blog call' gave me pause...'stuff' has come up, especially the people stuff. Well, I really do desire progress along the path, so I'm taking the opportunity to jump in, and say, 'hi, I'm here and glad of it!' That wasn't so bad. Thanks for being there.

JB said...

Dear D.R.,

I am happy about your last entry above and that you might give more attention to the blog. I am not a big fan of facebook as my time is limited and as I already spent a great deal of my day on the computer at work - in my spare time I like to do things outside the techie world. I definitely find that our exchanges are deeper on the blog; they do remind me as well of the Q&A sessions we had in the workshops you led earlier on. I resonated with Brent F.'s comment above and think that, as with anything else, we do need to use discrimination in the amount and type of information with let in our system.
However I do like to come back on a regular basis to the blog. I even made a point of checking the blog first when I log on my computer and to give it more priority than the news or reading about politics or anything else - I know for sure that I always find here something positive and uplifting. Thanks for being with us in this way and to all who are participating as well.

tommeered said...

Just wanted to chime in on the "being too lighthearted" thread. As someone with a solid sense of humor, and having even been a professional comedian, it all comes down to intention. I notice that when I'm being "lighthearted" to get someone's attention (hello ego!) the vibration created is quite different than when it comes from a natural and spontaneous love of people. True lightheartedness.

Anne said...

Thank you DR for making the time to be part of the blog whilst acknowledging it is a bit more effort to do so! I hadn't paused to see it from your perspective in that way, until you said it : ) I'd seen only from my 'own' perspective of energy, time, etc.
Okay, so if Ram can make the effort & find the time to be here, then surely I can too! We are all in this adventure together, it feels like!

Even 'baby steps' towards this is creating new habits and patterns for me, and challenging the samskaras that can and do hold me back in life. What can hold me back from manifesting better outcomes, new uplifting habits, etc is a 'perfectionist' streak. Mixed in with fear and sense of being the 'doer'.

Like, if I feel that I can't do an action 'perfectly' first time off, then I get frozen and won't or can't attempt it at all, in case I fall short or will 'fail'. Esp. when compared to 'someone else' lol.

I'm now thinking, far better to try something, invest effort but in a balanced way; not massive, anxiety driven effort ...
Eg. in this instance hypothetically if I had just come to the blog; it might be like 'I have to read, digest, memorise and understand each and every 130 comments previous to now. OMG. Oh it's too hard, to tiring, too much .... so I won't do it at all" etc.

Surely in this hypothetical situation, it would be better to feel, 'Ok, right now I have eg 20 minutes to enjoy reading Ram's original post, and some of the comments following. I will do this with interest, and focussing on the heart, trusting that I will see, receive, and understand what I need to at this time". [This strategy might apply in my case, to reading and imbibing the Lessons as well.]

Somehow getting thru any initial obstacles to just 'doing it', helps create that feeling of inner satisfaction and spaciousness, and the sense that busy-ness and 'overload' is often itself just a pattern of worry or anxiety born of habitual modes of thinking, and that thinking and acting otherwise, can change this too!

Suddenly Time seems so much more 'elastic', other things seem to get done more easefully and in a shorter time, when ingrained fear feelings of 'no time' etc are gently but persistently challenged. Grace seems to step in!

And practice makes it better. Eg. we don't expect an elite sportsman to be 'perfect' right away; they have to start small and gradually build up their capacity and stamina and skill, etc.

In the present moment, there truly is infinite, expansive abundant energy and 'time' ... and what needs to get done, does; with Grace of course. That is something that I am working on understanding and applying, right now. xx

D. R. Butler said...

We just tied for the second highest number of comments of any thread of comments that has come before, which was 136.

That was for a month, and we tied the number within a few days.

The most comments we've ever received was 157, following the blog entry of July, 2010. I'm not suggesting we deliberately try to break the 'record,' but it will be interesting to see what happens.

Rick G. said...

Such a powerful reminder from lesson 2:
"Come back to the moment, come back to the heart, come back to your love."

What advice could be better than that?

Margaret said...

Anne's comment about being a perfectionist reminded me of something D.R. says in the lessons about "gently" willing our mind and intentions to turn toward positive thoughts. That word "gentle", really spoke to me, as I tend to be too hard on myself often. Learning to love and respect myself is a lesson that has been really speaking to me lately. That's not to say that I don't think we need to be disciplined in our walk, but we need to enjoy the ride, too.

AC Lambeth said...

The Truth is living! I love that, Charles D! Thanks for your response!
And that's why it's important to connect with those around us who are on the path-- our kula-- here through the blog. Because as important as reading Ram's words and soaking up their energy is playing in the river of truth as you call it, dipping our toes in, swimming and splashing around, discovering the way it is constantly revealed in the here and now.

Margaret said...

Dear All –

I have been reading the posts on this blog entry and it took quite some time for things to bubble up to where I could respond. Of course, when I first read the blog I thought “That’s not ME; I’VE been reading my lesson completely every day”. Bingo – pride and ego…

I recently started the course at the recommendation of my husband & because I had been in a dark place since being laid off from my teaching job. I am not used to being depressed and I really wanted to see some sunshine again. Things are getting better, but I do slip up.

I need this course in so many ways. I am grateful for this course in so many ways. It helps me and should an appropriate teaching job become available again, I will be better prepared. Seventh graders can be somewhat trying, they are beginning the process of figuring themselves out – drama, drama, drama. They can be pretty funny, too – and sweet and insightful. I loved my kiddos, but I digress… I seek a better handle on not reacting, but responding to their needs. Being a role model for them is at least as important as trying to pour a little math into their brains.

Should teaching jobs not become available for me, I will still be better prepared for this life’s challenges. A good thing for me and everyone close to me.

Now – this did occur to me while I was kind of stuck in traffic. I’m not sure what that means in my quest to be present in the moment. Popcorn brain – I have such a popcorn brain. All of these thoughts keep popping up, distracting me from the moment at hand.

Yours, Margaret

Ashoka said...

Hi,
My comment appeared yesterday, a while after I wrote it, but is not here today. Do some of them disappear?
I wasn't going to comment about it, but then the 'comment block' just showed up on my screen, so I guess I'm supposed to speak my question.
Like Bhadra, I commit to checking more often, startiing with today, November, and to simplify by making it my homepage. (But I've always enjoyed and went right to Ram's fb postings, my old homepage.)
Lots of love.

Scott Marmorstein said...

Ram,

Just on a pragmatic note, I wanted to say that there's a little trick I do which has nothing to do with laziness or anything else like that. Personally I find it helpful to determine ahead of time how much time I might devote to the blog or to Facebook. When I'm feeling taxed I barely do either one but that's because life can get rich and full.

Sometimes I am determined to make the blog a priority for a day and then Facebook for another day. If I feel I have time and energy I can do both. When I feel like I need to just 'chill out' and not think too hard I avoid the blog...it is easier by far on Facebook than to come here and read through everything. It's just a matter of working with your inner priorities.

To me, this blog is of great value, and Facebook often annoys me for multiple reasons, and seems to get 'other people' downright angry but I also recognize it's all 'free' of charge. Anyway, the point is we can pick and choose how we want to use our time which is a great device for me, and may be useful to others out there who might not have thought of it for themselves.

Lots of love on this beautiful Fall day!

Ivy said...

I keep reminding myself to check out the blog and then promptly forget as I get busy with my day. I'm one of those who likes to be in the background. Thank you for the wake up call. The more I venture outside of myself the easier it seems to get. I have noticed with the arrival of each new lesson the more I want to refer to it. I enjoy rereading the lessons receiving more each time.

Ananda said...

Ram,

In one of your responses, you wrote—“ Yet I got a strong inner command that more emphasis needs to be placed on the blog.” Please write more about how this process unfolds for you, how you have learned to have faith in these commands.
The command you received had a profound influence on my relationship to the course and blog, which I know will only have beneficial effects.

My mind is active and loud. I tend to chase it. I know that I receive inner commands; however, things are so loud and distracting in my inner world, it is hard for me to discern if it is merely my mind, or a command. It would be a great blessing to be able to clearly hear the commands and advise coming from my higher Self as I go through each day with my family and all the people I interact with in my work.

Also, in one of your entries a number of months ago, you mentioned Edgar Cayce. Is there, something that will be happening in the world, something we should be preparing to encounter soon? On one level, this is why your special blog entry startled me.

Ananda

Holiday said...

hey everyone, i've just started this course and didn't realize that the blog was part of the training - good to know!

it's amazing to find that there are so many others out there in this community expanding, stumbling and then rising again to new realizations and greater heights.

i'm really excited to engage with you on this blog - many thanks, DR and Kay, for everything that you do.

Asia0912 said...

Love and light to everyone here. I have had the experience, as others have, of finding an answer to that day's concern by reading or re-reading in my current lesson.

Anusuya said...

Found my new lesson when I woke up this morning. Loved D.R.'s story about his son Shane's recent visit. It was beautiful, and light, and profound. It delighted my heart. Then suddenly I was sobbing, like some part of my heart had broken open and everything came gushing out. Funny to see the way the energy moves in things...how things that are seemingly unconnected are part of a greater whole. The cosmic dance.

Evie said...

I have been traveling and just now read the blog entry, and as always, it's the perfect message at the perfect time. I don't post very often because I mostly get any questions mysteriously perfectly answered within the lessons themselves or through a comment someone posts here or on Fb - the course unfolds through everything around me and I am so grateful for all the grace.

Vicki Hilger said...

Just got totally blasted reading Vol.2, lesson 1. Walked into that bedroom with you (you sexy thing) and was immersed in the feeling of that light, had to close myeyes and sit with it awhile. Oened them to look outside -a patch of sunlight through the darkness of a wintering forest shines on and through the brilliant red leaves of my Japanese maple. Wet and shimmering, they are transparent and brilliant against the dark. Light within, light without. The feeling remains, and I read on , until i hit 'blah, blah, blah' and I almost fall out of my chair laughting. You certainly have a way with words. May I quote you? Often? And I'm only on page 6.

Yes, Volume 2 is taking it up a notch, and reading the recent blog and ensuing comments has been a good prep. exercise for it.. I'm fastening my seat belt.

Love to all, Vicki

Dave Silverstein said...

This is my first time contributing to this amazing blog. I love reading all the comments. I usually don't think I have much to contribute and maybe that's true. However, I think in my case that's just a way for my ego to play the part of Mr. Hermit and hide away.

So, here's to the present moment where I can start fresh once again. I try and read the current lesson every day as well as visiting Facebook.

I'm currently on lesson 17 which deals with treating everyone with love and respect and seeing the highest in ourselves and others. I've been married for over 27 years and I'm amazed at how I can still be quite cynical and a bit nasty to my dear family members.

If my wife says my voice is sometimes too loud and her ear hurts when I'm standing right next to her. I should honor her response. It's almost like I don't believe her. My ego doesn't want to have anything to do with it. Yet, if it was anybody else I would be apologizing immediately.

Since this incident happened I've been getting all these great insights into how I communicate and react with others, especially family. The more I re-read my lesson the more it sinks in.

Thank you Ram and Kay for the sweet push to the tush to get me rolling again. I'm certainly going to try and visit this blog on a daily basis. Love to you all.

Laura Flora said...

Thank you so much for this reminder. I am definitely one who could participate more fully. Yet, what has been amazing to me, is that with even a little exposure, I have made huge shifts. My relationships with partner, parents, and colleagues have all shifted for the better in huge ways this year. What I find has shifted, of course, is my perspective of them as I have increased my ability to see them in the most positive light. Freedom ensues. All the better then, that I participate even more fully. Thank you for your dedication and service to us all.

D. R. Butler said...

You guys have showed yourselves, shared of yourselves, introduced yourselves, and revealed something of your thinking in these comments. It is a very fascinating process. I truly appreciate your contributions in any form.

I also recognize that many of you are readers and not posters, and that it is a matter of one's own nature and preference, and that it is as perfect as everything else.

We are generating and creating a greater feeling of community, which I feel is very important. Being a part of a community, while being yourself, and true to yourself, in all ways, will soon reveal how your very presence contributes to the community.

It is important to share a sense of community, to know there are others out there just like you and involved in the same process that you yourself are. It creates the possibility for a whole new level of sadhana.

Thanks so much to all the new people who have come forward for the first time and revealed that you exist. Thanks for sharing in our Love.

Colette said...

How dear you all are, I can't tell you how often I LOL at the different statements that are so like the ones I would make where the things that I'm working on. It is truly comforting to realize how would like we really are and how unique the same time we really are. Or as a great clown by the name of Wavy Gravy might say "We are all bozos on this bus together". Thank you all for including me on your bus. Much Love and Many Blessings, Karuna

Mahima said...

Very new to reading here, only two days ago, a friend who takes the Course told me to check out the Blog! I am so grateful for his mention and have been reading almost non stop over the past couple of days/nights. Seeing how we are more similar than different and ... the loving sense of community here.

Tonight drinking in that which Ram shared about fear and anxiety ... which were 'strong and scarey' today and in recent months, along with sadness.

"The opposite of fear is LOVE. We fear what we can't love. Replace fear with LOVE, or LOVE what you once feared, and your entire life will be transformed.

When anxiety arises, simply think to yourself, 'I thank you, Father, (your inner connection to or oneness with Omniconsciousness and Omnipotence) for your care and guidance, and I KNOW that you care for me and guide me in all my ways."

I want to 'inscribe' this to the inside of my head and heart

Thank you, Thank YOU ... I am enjoying and drinking in all of your shares, and at times feel I want to STOP as I feel a bit 'overwhelmed' ... didn't even eat today until just a half hour ago !! (8pm) Sometimes it felt as though staying here was trying to keep my mind 'occupied' so the fear/anxiety would go away or leave for awhile; it is the kind that seems to 'come out of nowhere' ... I live alone and can feel on the verge of tears or cry a little, and I question 'what to DO' .... meditate, yoga, walk ... but then when I have done these things... it comes BACK ... sometimes.

I want my happy, inspired, content life back! And I have no idea what that looks like, so much has changed over the past year. I have read so many things here, much that is familiar, but then I get confused 'where to start' ... So many helpful and heartful things shared here ?? Like I said right now feeling a bit overwhelmed ...

Thank you again for being here ... ALL of you. I feel I am in such compassionate company. I am looking forward to hearing/knowing more about the Course. I wish I didn't feel so rushed to 'get over' this. And hope I can have more balance around reading here right now. Feel I need a very simple direction, one that I 'hope' I can follow consistently <3

Thank you for being HERE ... mahima

Anne said...

It's so lovely to read the comments in the blog of people who have posted since yesterday since I last looked! If I read each day, then I can easily keep up with the latest comments...
Sometimes I feel a bit awe struck by your honesty and also how insightful, humble and wise you all are... Such 'great company' to my own efforts, just knowing we are all in this together, whether we participate in a quiet sort of way, or are more expressive and post often! All learning, growing clearer, sometimes slipping a little, but then starting over in the new moment, joyfully, & doing our best! Lovely to know you are 'out there' .... xx

Anusuya said...

Wow. I am thoroughly impressed by the response here. The sense of community that the course has always given me is shining through in this moment, through each person who shares. I have belonged to several cyber communities over the past few years...what an amazing phenomena. They have had different focuses since several were cancer groups, another is a healing group; then there's my FB clan, and of course this blog. They are all blends of people I have physically met and many I will probably never meet. Yet the connection is so deep and strong. It's a great experience of how we connect in the subtle realms. So happy to get to know more of you here. We can all grow and thrive with the support of this community. Namaste Dear Ones. I feel blessed and honored to keep the company of such great beings.

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

Dear Mahima,

It made me happy to read your post. If you feel that way about the energy of the blog you will absolutely love the Course! I do so hope you will try it (you can even try the first one for free).

I am 47 years old and having been doing sadhana (spiritual development practices) for 25 years. I have been taking this Course for almost two years and I have never felt freer, lighter, more at peace, more content, more confident in my service to the world etc.

Most importantly, and I know this might sound strange, the continual practice of taking the Course has re-wired something in me. I was always a very anxious person, especially as a child and teenager. It runs in my family genetically and as I got older I learned some great coping techniques through therapy, meditation and so on. So I thought of myself as an anxious person who had some great ways to deal with it in the moment.

But you know what? In the last few months I can't think of myself as anxious anymore. Sure some particular stressful life event might challenge me but I feel protected and guided, filled with Love, as you quote here in a way that has I think just smoothed away the old anxieties and fears.

I am not saying this is some easy won thing. We all have to put in our self-effort. But there is Grace in this Course, be assured. Blessings to all, KJ

Naganath said...

Read my latest lesson that just arrived yesterday two times: once to myself, once to Garuda. Garuda kept sayin, "AMEN!" "THAT'S RIGHT!" "THERE YOU GO!" "YOU GOT THAT RIGHT" and "RAM, that crazy son of a bitch!" I always feel I am reading it to her so she will get the message of the lesson. She always feels that I am the one who needs to understand what is being taught. Ahh, the sadhana of relationship.
The lesson required two readings. (Lesson 29, Vol. 2)

Margaret G. said...

Dear Mahima
You mentioned in your post that you didn't know where to start in order to get focused on dealing with the turmoil you are experiencing. If you haven't started taking the Course, I would suggest that would be the way to help you get grounded. The Course gives you very practical suggestions of what to focus on in each lesson. I wish you love and contentment in all you do.

Ron MItola said...

Well for the last few days I have had some weird things happen. I have seen your face RAM everywhere. The last lesson I couldn't put down and stayed with me the entire time before the new one arrived. I even waited a day to re-read it again. However, your face kept popping up even when I tried to watch a little football. What does that mean? The last few lessons have really hit home and constantly with me. Different than usual. Closer maybe. Try not to not to think about that so much as the lessons themselves. Anyway, having a wonderful time!

Vicki Hilger said...

Mahima, I suffered from the feelings you just mentioned for several years. I called them 'weird feelings' because there was no apparent reason for them. They got worse and worse, in spite of the practices I was doing,including the Course. Then, about a year ago, D.R. recommended Scott Marmorstein to us all. He's a healer, and you'll find him in these comments, a couple of times. By clicking on his name you can go to his web site. I've lived in a weird feeling free zone for almost a year now. Everytime I walk in nature, where those feeling used to overwhelm me to the point of crying, I now notice a new neutrality, and I look inside to see that there are not even any remnants of that pain.

Of course, I have continued to chant, meditate and study this Course, as well, in order to fill with joy the space left by the departed pain.

We are so supported on this journey home. Once, years ago, I heard my Guru ask how we thought we could give, when we couldn't even receive. Knowing myself to be some what demanding and selfish,I decided to practice receiving. I received, and received and received, until, spontaneously, I began to share, and to give, and to want to give. And the more I gave, the more I wanted to give, and the more I was given.

Ram's point, with this blog, is that there is so much receiving to be done. Funny how it takes effort to receive.
And then, maybe we feel like sharing, a little. I even had to learn to use the damn computer.

Love to all, Vicki

Naganath said...

It just hit me: If our actions are the results of planetary movements and we as individuals do not really DO anything, then we only have control over our attitudes and how we react (or do not react) to our karma; therefore, we should all be dancing in joy all the time! Love and Wierdness Profound, Naganath.

Andrea said...

Thanks to DR and to everyone who has shared their light here in this blog space. I am more of a reader than a writer myself. But here goes...

Last month I posted on the Blog for the first time. It was great to hear everyones' kind encouraging words. Solidarity of the kula keeps me going at times. But what was the most useful piece of information was when several people, including DR mentioned that I should enroll in the course!! I am on my third year of the course! Clearly I wasn't applying the principles. It was a great wake up call. I was laughing as I read those responses. So thanks to all of you for the kick in the pants. And DR, this special message you posted is exactly what I needed. Part of me felt like I just got scolded by my parent...that I better shape up and start practicing!

Love and Blessings to all of you.

xoxox
Andrea

Colette said...

Mahima,I hear a very familiar voice and tormentor when I read your post. Do not despair, you don't have to pay attention to that voice, in fact you could even tell that voice a joke. I often do even while I'm panicking if I tell that voice a joke, if I laugh out loud it's amazing how it would can and will recede into the background. Sometimes laughter is easier to connect with when you are in fear than love, at least it is for me. When you laugh at yourself and your mind then the seriousness dissolves and the love is easy to access because it is your natural state when seriousness is this is not present. I hope this was helpful for you.


I can't tell you how helpful The Course is by its repetition in ironing out the little glitches that catch us up in our minds. Keep remembering repetition is the mother of skill that's why it's called spiritual practice.

I apologize for the unasked for coaching, but you sounded so much like how I get at times that I couldn't contain myself. After all, were all in this together.
Much love and many blessings, Karuna

D. R. Butler said...

Andrea, I am so happy to hear from you. You know, I knew immediately that you took the course, but I had to pretend that I didn't, because the questions you were asking had all been answered in the lessons you had already received. So, it was like for all intents and purposes, it was as though you weren't really taking it.

I am happy you enjoyed a good laugh, and that you appreciate the little boost.

Sylvia in Colorado said...

Between reading Ram's kick-butt letter to all of us and then receiving lesson 29 of Volume 2, I am feeling a huge humbling, at minimum.

Since I have had this feeling many times before in sadhana, it is probable that this is simply part of all sadhanas from time to time, especially the part of feeling surprised and wondering if I have ever learned anything. What the heck is going on here? Maybe it is just the ego/mind writing this comment, but I am taking that risk so that I can read what others might say about what seems like setbacks in sadhana. Many times, I have been able to see the value in an ego bust and have been able to laugh. Right now I am surprised to find myself feeling as though I am starting all over again at Vol 1,
Lesson 1 of the course in 1979! Feeling discouraged, whoever this is.

PS I can laugh at my word verification "butguins."

AC Lambeth said...

Vicki-- I love how you say that it takes effort to receive. I've recently realized my tendency to say "thank you" back when someone thanks me! I've been making an effort instead to say "you're welcome" and I notice that when I do, it feels as though not only have I received their appreciation, I have given myself some respect.

marduc said...

Dear Ram,

From now on, I will try to participate in the blog, now that I understand the importance of sharing our experiences and understandings, and the great power, inspiration and support we can receive through this new way of having satsang, of sharing and learning from other's understanding and love, this will undoubtedly help our inner growth.

Love to be part of it all and for sure I will start participating a little bit more.

All my gratitude always and all ways,

SGMKJ

Michelle Synnestvedt said...

Dear Ram,
lesson 9 volume 2 is the most extraordinary lesson I have come to so far. It is an energetic PORTAL. It is an immediate experience of the most intense magic..it is altering in so many ways. I was talking to y advanced asana class the other day about the absurdity of how "isolated" we are when we "practice". we have not even begun to tap into our potential. I keep talking about the subtle POWERS /SPIRITS of the Earth. we can call on the subtle power of the sky is we need to stand tall..why try to do it "alone" The earth is our body..the universe is our body and yet we keep showing up to class "trying" from this place of complete and utter DISCONNECT. We have access to SO MUCH..it is hilarious how small we keep pretending to be. Thank you for this lesson..it is my favorite so far..or at least in this moment LOL!

D. R. Butler said...

Thank you for sharing your enriching comments with all of us, Michelle. Being such a great teacher in your own right, it is a cool example to openly reveal when you acknowledge and appreciate what you are being given.

That lesson is one of my personal favorties as well. Like you say, it is a portal into a whole new way of seeing and understanding things. It is a peek into the future that we are living into; a glimpse of where we're headed.

So many people comment about how they reach a point in the course and realize that the course is a whole greater thing than anything they had previously grasped, even though they already loved it and had benefitted so much. As our understanding deepens ('The Evolution of Wisdom'--one of the early sections of the course, and something important to understand) we develop the capacity to see things for the first time that we had never seen before even though they were always present.

There are various levels of initiation. An initiation gives us a greater awareness and understanding of what we already thought we knew. It is an expansion of personal consciousness.

What you experienced in this lesson is only a sign of what is to come. We've only explored the tip of the iceberg so far. Many great portals lie ahead to take us to greater depths of experience.

The average person would have no way of understanding or even comprehending what the course is actually about, or what level it actually takes place on. Others have some idea, but think they have to go all the way to India to get it, lol.

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

Hi-- I LOVED reading about lessons to come and Portals and so forth-- an exciting "stay tuned" feeling while everything is ALREADY so magical. I feel so very lucky and blessed.

I resonate with what some have written here about receiving. I have been working on that, too. It is easier for me to give than receive, mostly. I do find I long for things-- love, appreciation, attention-- but when it comes it is almost like getting a bright flash of light that is TOO bright-- I don't know quite how to hold it comfortably and feel worthy.

With the energy of this Course, I am feeling more and more my own True Worthiness within and realizing that receiving is part of the cycle too. Sometimes I want to give so much to those that I love, then I realize that God or the Inner Self or the Divine Spirit or Grace feels that way about me and us! I am going to let it in. Blessings, KJ

Charlie R said...

BUSTED! But now I'm back on track. God, I love life and I'm so happy! Thanks for this space and the gentle guidance it provides!

Jane said...

Hi Sylvia - Thank you for what you shared on the blog. I can relate! (assuming I'm interpreting your comments accurately) I also started the (previous incarnation of the) course around the same time (1978) but restarted the lessons after you - just approaching the end of vol 1. I've been contemplating the whole issue of what appear to be 'setbacks' recently because I've seen some (what I thought were purified/transformed) samskaras re-emerge and tighten their grip - often sneaking in at vulnerable times as in the middle of the night after a period of stress. It has made me think about what happened after I received spiritual initiation and in some ways spiraled downwards until certain samskaras were purified. I've been trying to stay in touch with what my heart believes - i.e. to trust the process - that whatever samskaras need to be dislodged and 'worked on' will be and that 'I'll' ultimately be able to maintain the 'in the present moment' state identified with the one Self.

However, the ego loves to judge how well I'm doing in my sadhana. It loves drama -- for example, I felt so uplifted by Karen Jo's comments about her anxiety dissipating since I still can see the anxiety samskara operating (and didn't even recognize its existence for many years) but at the same time, felt what's wrong with me - am I not trying hard enough? etc. I wholeheartedly believe that all the answers are in the grace-inspired lessons and that grace will lead me to whatever I need on the physical plane to become freer and lighter.

It seems that many of us have signed on in this lifetime for accelerated growth (which isn't always comfortable) and the amazing thing is that thanks to Ram and Kay, we are together. What great karma!
All my love to you and everyone.

Mahima said...

Karen Jo - Thank you so much for your kind thoughts ... I too have been doing sadhana for about 38 years, just 'new' here:) Also had a lot of therapy years ago, and have done counseling myself. So happy to hear how the Course has had it's way with you ... and that you are feeling peaceful and content. Thank you so much for your comment to me, and the good wishes. I also have enjoyed some of your other postings as well. Blessings be.

Margaret G. - Thank you for your encouragement and wishes of love and contentment. I am currently reading the first lesson ~~ and will continue to read the blog and comments, as there is a LOT here! Blessings and love to YOU !

Vicki (Karuna) - Thank you for your thoughtful and caring comment. 'Weird' ... yes, up and down ...:) Not sure if you were saying you have had a 'session' with Scott and since then are 'free' of the 'weird' or you just mentioned his name in passing. I have seen Scott here on the blog and enjoy his comments. I have checked his website and will be listening for guidance about a 'session' with him. So happy to hear that you can now be in Nature and feel 'free' .... it's funny as NATURE is where I can feel a 'respite' most of the time. I'm trying to get out and walk at least once a day and find it helpful while I am out. Giving can be such a healer, and for right now I'm doing that mostly via computer or phone with a few people, but not feeling to go out and be active with that ... where to go ? AND yes, receiving can surely HUMBLE us ... I feel I am learning about that more and more :)

Colette (Karuna) - I am so grateful that I do have a pretty great 'sense of humor'! It's probably been my 'saving Grace' thus far :) In the middle of tears, I often start LAUGHING some point; yup laughing and crying at the same time .... Guess God/Goddess is trying to say 'see it's all ONE' ... lol !! Thank you for writing and sharing your 'light touch'.
Love, peace, joy and blessings to you, Mahima

BreathWorks said...

Michelle, thank you for your post! I've more recently found myself often and spontaneously speaking like you mention...the Divine Help being pointed out through the Forces moving through the elements, nature, the breath, the water in the body, etc....and this push within me to remember for myself and remind those I work with to ASK...to let go of notions of having to do anything alone/unassisted. "Knock and the door ***WILL*** be opened unto you." Not might be, WILL be. There's this sense that the active principle of Grace is making it's willing and limitless capacity to assist more known than ever.

Mary S said...

"Practice contemplating what it might be like if you were already realized, already enlightened. What will you be like once you have reached the end of your spiritual journey?" Lesson 32

At least we are not asked to practice it but only to practice contemplating what it might be like.

I am contemplating myself as somehow at rest, peaceful, no matter what comes my way. I am contemplating myself as living is a state of wonder and gratitude, not missing opportunities to gaze into others' eyes, even or maybe especially strangers, to see their beauty and to see with great compassion the struggles they have endured, to see their uniqueness, to recognize the eternal uniqueness of every moment and every fragment of reality that I may happen to notice. I see myself as truly being awake. Right now it seems as if this awakening might be too much to contain.

At least this is the beginning of my contemplation....
Thank you for the opportunity of this lesson.

Mary S said...

Ram and All,
I am trying to understand the concept of the subtle realm/subtle body. You wrote above: "This physical incarnation is like the subtle body having a dream .... We never left the subtle world. We live there even now, only most of us are largely focused on the physical world only...." You and others seem to live so comfortably with a concept that is quite foreign to me.

As I understand the belief, we come from the subtle realm and return to it when this physical life is over. And you also said that it is the realm of feelings and where our dreams and feelings come from.

Some of my questions are: What makes the subtle realm any better than this present realm which is charged with so much beauty, such magnificence? I am left with the impression is that the subtle realm is quite chaotic and not a place of serenity, being the source of strange dreams, desires and unruly feelings.

Don't we need to find serenity here, and not miss our chance because, before we know it, we are back in the subtle realm, back in the chaos?

I expect I am misunderstanding, so please explain the concept further. I am on lesson 32 and know there have been many allusions to the concept but maybe I overlooked a fuller explanation to which you can refer me, or maybe it is in a future lesson. Thanks.