Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Eternal Serenity of All Things

Not long ago someone said to me, ‘So these are the things I need to focus on to get my life more on track.’  And she started listing all these complicated and irrelevant things that she was going to keep in mind to do, so that her life would generally be better.

I finally interrupted her and said, ‘Please forget all of that, for none of it will do you any good whatsoever.  All you have to focus on is the eternal serenity of all things.’

We make things so complicated and difficult for ourselves.  Sometimes we wonder why life seems so hard, never realizing that we ourselves are the one making it hard.  If we changed our attitude, our approach, our perspective of things, and our thoughts and feelings about whatever is happening, everything would be so much lighter, so much more fun.

All we need to focus on is the eternal serenity of all things.  Nothing is going wrong anywhere.  Nothing bad is happening to anyone.  I know that it appears that such things are happening, but maya is very powerful and very convincing, and things are not as they appear to be.  

Focus on the eternal serenity of all things.

Thank you for your great responses to the special blog entry posted about a week ago.  It has already broken the old record for number of comments following a blog entry that was originally set following the entry of July, 2010, and it has only taken a few days. 

My heart soared when I saw so many writing to say that they never realized how much uplifting activity was going on here, and how such a great feeling of community was in the comments, and promising to make a more regular stop here to keep up with and possibly interact with the others in the blog comments.  I was extremely happy and grateful that you had truly ‘heard’ the message in that special entry, and if you haven’t yet seen it, especially if you participate in the Course of Training, please read the previous entry and all the great comments following it as well.

There have been some excellent Q&A exchanges in the comments recently, and some of them are good enough that they deserve a more prominent presentation, so that others can have easier access to them.  If you have already read them, please be assured that reading them again will be surprisingly beneficial.  Also, I have enhanced the answers for this blog entry.
Rico:  'How do you know what you see in another is actually there and not just a projection or a reflection?'

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

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

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

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

I can sit in meditation and think of all kinds of worldly things. I can go to a movie and experience deep meditation.  So which is the true spiritual practice?

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

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

All this, of course, is explored fully in the Course of Training.
Scott Uddhava Marmorstein—healer, personal guide, writer, and teacher, whose website is—wrote in several questions, including an observation about ‘spiritual people.’  This was my reply:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Regarding the 'spiritual people,' a lot of people can read a few books or articles on the Internet and pick up a bit of knowledge and think they have become 'spiritual' as a result. Or they might even attend a few yoga classes or meditation classes, learn how to chant in Sanskrit, and go on to practice these things at home on their own. They can do excellent hatha yoga postures, meditate for hours without breathing, repeat a mantra, either out loud or silently, burn incense from the local center or ashram, put up some pictures of saints, wear yoga clothes, dress in white, grow or cut their hair, change their diet and lifestyle, give up their pleasures, wake up in the middle of the night to do their practices before the day begins, and speak glowingly of the fruits of their practice to others.

Yet they know nothing of the creative nature of thought, do nothing to change thought patterns to be more uplifting and cheerful, or to do whatever is necessary to be in harmony with others at all times, or KNOW that their income is commensurate with their degree of CONSCIOUSNESS of wealth or poverty—which alone is the determining factor.

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

This is why we have a Course of Training. We can learn how to live in complete freedom and contentment whether we are 'spiritual people' or not.

Scott chimed in again with this:  ‘You say to KNOW that you have everything at least in subtle form. I can at best 'know about' it (intellectually) but it does not equate to a FEELING as though what I KNOW is true. How to KNOW something that doesn't yet exist even in my feeling? Is that truly Creation? For example, I can know all about India, but it doesn't make me Indian. I can know all about money, but it doesn't mean I know I have it. I recognize that this is a global samskara for many, especially when one simply looks to our national economy, it is a reflection of the poverty consciousness at large.  How is it possible to know something you don't really know? Or does one address whatever is resistant or unbelieving in the first place before the other can take root?’

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

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

Then you went on to ignore the principle in several different ways. It's so challenging to truly understand a simple sentence, a simple principle of Truth.  You, of all people, are skipping over the part about 'in subtle form' almost as though you don't recognize the significance of the words.

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

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

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

So there is this question of prosperity.  Funny, my original teacher that I came across at 15 had been sent by his Master in the Tibetan lamasery where he had lived for 17 years to America to teach the principles of how to get out of the depression and restore prosperity.  Of course, this is exactly what happened.  Now, in a sense, at least from your questions, the same thing seems to be repeating itself again.  People need to once again learn how to create prosperity.

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

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

Regarding our finances. Obviously it is best to position ourselves where we don't collapse when the outer world collapses, where we remain unaffected and undisturbed no matter what happens out there.  The only way to do this is to develop the sense of reality regarding the subtle realm, and truly getting it that it is not mere imagination. It is, in fact, much more real, and much longer lasting, than this world.

This physical incarnation is like the subtle body having a dream—the dream of the jiva. We never left the subtle world. We live there even now, only most of us are largely focused on the physical world only, like being hypnotized without knowing it, which is usually the case.

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

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

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

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

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

Scott’s partner, Michelle Synnestvedt—hatha yoga teacher supreme, teacher of hatha yoga teachers, and owner of, and forms a team with Scott for healing, aura cleansing, and balancing of chakras—had this to say:  Volume 2 Lesson 9 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 is altering in so many ways. We have access to SO is hilarious how small we keep pretending to be. Thank you for this is my favorite so far...or at least in this moment, lol.’
I responded:  Thank you for sharing your enriching comments with all of us, Michelle. Being such a respected teacher in your own right, it is a cool example to openly reveal your acknowledgment and appreciation of what you are being given through the form of the course.

That lesson is one of my personal favorites 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'—the title of 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, as Impersonal Consciousness is already fully expanded.

What you experienced in that 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.

I posted the following near the end of the comments following the previous entry:  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 is very important. Being a part of a community, a kula, while totally 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 and that you actually do read the blog. Thanks for sharing in our Love.

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