Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Precious Holiday Gift Especially For You

My mind is trying to accept that it is already December.  Not only that, it is the last month of 2011.  The year will soon be gone, finished, over with forever.  We’ll refer to it as ‘Hey, remember what happened back in ’11?’  Coming soon is…ta! ta!…2012—the year of destined great changes that affect all.
Actually, from our own individual perspective, the primary thing that matters, isn't it, is how we and our loved ones are affected.  This is only natural.  And the very best part is, it is an infallible and immutable truth that we have the power to determine in advance how any situation will affect us.
We do not have the power to determine what happens to us.  Whatever happens to us is determined by karma.  However, thankfully, karma has no power over what happens in us.    This is determined wholly by us alone in the present moment.
The trouble is that most people fail to recognize that they actually possess this power, and when we do not actually exercise our God-given free will, our perception and experience is determined by whatever patterns and tendencies we habitually live by. 
In each new moment the universe presents us a completely clean slate to begin from.  If we chose to, and exercised appropriate will power, we could create a beautiful new reality right here and now.  Instead, we habitually bring the past over and superimpose it upon the present.  This way, we never consciously realize we could easily change something if we simply used our innate and inherent power to determine our own intention--something new, more expanded, and more pleasant than before--along with the will power necessary to implement it.
It is all so simple.  Yet, while knowing this and agreeing with it wholeheartedly, we rarely are conscious enough of what we are doing and thinking in the present moment to ever apply the principle in any practical way.
Yesterday on Facebook I posted, ‘Many people who come here think they already know that they create their own personal reality through the activity of their mind.  They have accepted as a fact that thoughts are creative energy.  Yet, few actually practice the principle in a practical way in their own daily life, and continue to deal with obstacles and problems that they create in their own mind, and then wonder why things are going so badly.
I have been formally or officially communicating principles of Truth since 1975, and I began my studies and practice in 1960.  Since then, I have seen and heard a lot.  I have had the good fortune to know firsthand how the sadhana of many different kinds of people was going.  I learned about people through what people openly and honestly shared with me over the years.  I thank God every day for the great fortune of coming across and getting to know so many great people.
One of the primary things I have learned about people is that all of us are much more alike than most of us would ever think we are.  Over the years I have had the opportunity to stay with many people of various types and lifestyles, including all areas of America and while leading weekend workshops in five other countries as well.
And I have seen beyond all doubt that we are all very much the same.  We might look different, we might dress differently, we might be of various colors and cultures, yet fundamentally all human individuals are basically the same inside.  Even the fact that we have such variant karmic conditions and situations to live in, such as one person is wealthy and famous, while another is a taxi driver, does not mean much at all in the grand scheme of things. 
Each person only experiences what in going on in his or her consciousness, which is determined by the thoughts the individual is focusing his or her attention on at the time.  There is no existing exception to this whatsoever.
If I could give each person who reads this a holiday gift—and I would dearly love to—I would give them the gift of knowing that they create their own personal reality, from one moment to the next, by their habitual thoughts and predominant mental attitude.  This is truly the Secret of the Ages.  There is no greater knowledge than this anywhere.
Many who see themselves as ‘spiritual people,’ which we discussed in depth in the previous (November) blog entry, look down on the teaching that thought is creative.  They say it is only an ego-trap to go around making any attempt to create a greater life or to transform our own state, which includes our vision and experience from moment to moment. 
Instead, they practice more advanced avenues of sadhana, such as focus on devotion to whatever they consider to be their higher Power, sacrifice, surrender, seva (selfless service), kirtan (chanting in Sanskrit), mantra-repetition, performing rituals, hatha yoga, meditation, showing up at spiritual gatherings (satsang),  and so on and on—whatever we do to try to get to wherever we think we’re going.
There is nothing whatsoever wrong with any of these practices.  They are all divine and have profoundly beneficial effects on those who practice them.  In fact I myself have practiced each of them at some point or another, many of them over long periods of time, otherwise I wouldn’t even know what I was talking about.  They are all very valuable practices, and they each serve a great function for anyone who openly and sincerely practices them. 
I will never put down another person’s practice or tradition.  All types are required, and each type serves its own function.  Different people are open to principles of Truth in different ways.  Many who have experienced many paths and methods have found our Course of Training, for example, to be perfect and ‘form-fitting’ for exactly what is needed in this present moment.  For other people, the lessons of the course would in no way be relevant or even sensible.  They would require a different type of path.
There is a path for everyone, and it is important that we find our own path and never try to do another’s path.  The Bhagavad Gita says, ‘It is better to do one’s own dharma imperfectly than to do another’s dharma perfectly.’  The paths of Gurdjieff and of Krishnamurti, for example, are completely divergent, yet at the end of each is the same goal or endgame.  Ramana Maharshi was very different from Ramakrishna, and neither of them were anything like the Buddha.  Yet they have all created or transmitted authentic paths for attaining knowledge of the Self, and even more so, the experience of the Self. 
A true teaching does not simply impart information.  A true teaching carries with it a certain energy or power or Shakti that enables the open and sincere student to actually experience the understanding inherent in the teaching in an experiential way, and not simply as theoretical knowledge.
No matter how ‘advanced’ we become in our sadhana, it still remains a Truth that what we think is what we get.  What good does it do to meditate 20 years if we’re still going to think about what we don’t want, hardly ever focusing on what is actually preferred.  If we’re going to indulge in unpleasant feelings when they could be replaced naturally and easily simply by changing the focus of our attention, what is the point of spiritual practices? 
It is the ‘elementary, basic’ principle that everyone seems to know but few actually practice in practical ways in everyday, daily life.
Once again, my gift to you this holiday season is the reminder of what you already know, although the significance of your knowledge is much more profound that you might ordinarily think:  Thought is creative energy in motion, a cause of an eventual effect corresponding to the nature of the thought that caused it. 
This is the way the world works.  The great text, the ‘Yoga Vasishtha,’ which explains everything about how the universe works and how the Universal becomes the individual, is basically transmitting this simple Knowledge over and over in many different ways—which is the only way it can truly be communicated or learned.
The Truth cannot be imbibed merely by agreeing with it.  Sadhana is becoming so attuned to and aligned with the Truth that we finally realize that we ARE the Truth.
We are what we think,
having become what we thought.
Like the wheel following the cart pulling ox,
Sorrow follows an evil thought.
And joy follows a pure thought,
like a shadow faithfully tailing a man.
We are what we think, having become what we thought.
~~The Dhammapada (believed to have been written by the Buddha)
We have space for a couple of exchanges from last month’s comments.  I truly recommend reading through them.  The heart of the blog is the comments, not the entries.  I look forward to the comments that will come in this month as well, and to interacting with you.  Now I’ll post my responses to a couple of recent questions relevant to this blog entry.
Chris, there is no directive in the course to use creative power to change anything about your life, especially if it is perfect as it is and you have no desire to change anything.
That principle is only for people who are displeased with some aspect of how their life is currently manifesting, and who need to know the principle for the transformation of some condition or situation to something that is more helpful and dharmic—or what is for the good of all, which is in truth the primary aspect of dharma.
If you see everything as perfect all the time, then you can think whatever you want all you like. Or you might not think at all, who knows?
Of course all feelings serve various functions and purposes. This is explored with great clarity in the lessons of the course. Fear has a purpose, anger has a purpose. However, some people have the misfortune of fear and/or anger imposing themselves upon them unnaturally, and experiencing fear and anger when it is totally unnecessary and serves no purpose other than to bring them down to a more fearful and contracted state.
The principle deals with the unwanted and unnecessary fear and anger, not the useful and necessary kind.
When reading the lessons, it is important to read everything in the context in which it is presented, as well as seeing each statement or contemplation from the highest or most expanded perspective possible. Perspective is everything when it comes to how we see what.
Chris was not satisfied.  He wrote back to say, , 'My whole personal beef with the whole "creating your own reality" thing is that it could be used as an ego trip.'
Neither of us knew at the time was that this would be the inspiration for the current blog entry.  I responded:
I truly understand your 'conflict' with the 'creating your own reality' thing. It sounds like a lot of other things that have left a bad impression on some, like 'The Secret,' for example, which many people liked a great deal, but which many didn't, for the same reasons you bring up yourself--that it wasn't really the highest approach to spiritual development.
Here is the reason I present the principle in the early part of the course: We use this Creative Power all the time anyway, only we do it subconsciously, according to conditioned patterns—which are primarily and persistently thinking about and creating the very things we do not want and which do not serve us or anyone around us in any positive way.
Since we use this power anyway to create all our troubles and obstacles in life, why not be conscious of it and its true potential? Truly, most people are totally unconscious of the principle, even though they unknowingly use it to create their own personal life, including all that is difficult about it.
If you create your reality through what you predominantly think, don't you want to know about it?  Don’t you prefer to actually know what you are doing?
The first year or two of the course, while presenting the highest principles of the Truth of Being right from the beginning, also focus on helping us to get our physical lives in order, so that we can enjoy harmony and prosperity in daily life.  Only then are we truly ready, open, and receptive to delve into deeper principles.  
We can't be committed to our own spiritual path if we are constantly distracted by egotistical melodramas in the mind, which result in a disorderly and largely dysfunctional life.
As mentioned, everything is revealed from the beginning. Nothing is held back for later. It's just that, two years after first reading Lesson 1, you go back and read it anew and you are amazed at all that is in there that you didn't even notice the first time through. This is because your awareness is now awakened and expanded to such a degree that you can literally see things that you once just couldn't bring into your consciousness.  A greater clarity arises—which we know as ‘The Evolution of Wisdom,' which is an early section of the course that explores much that must be understood before true progress is possible.
Basically, it is that everything we know and understand can be known and understood on a more expanded level. That is why the course is not about ‘presenting new information.’  There is no new information available anywhere, unless you are interested in scholarly pursuits. 
The course is about the generation and reception of an elevating energy that expands our perspective from the inside, and presents us with an entirely new vision and experience of life.  Of course, this can neither be truly comprehended or accepted without the actual experience of the course.  This is why Lesson 1 is freely available to anyone who requests it.
Enjoy your holidays.

 For information about the Course of Training written by D. R. Butler and available by email—along with a free Lesson 1 so that you can experience what happens for yourself—write:


Omkar Naderi said...

If we do not have the power to determine what happens to us, what about Conscious Creation you posted about in the last blog entry? We can consciously manifest something into our existence. Isn’t that going outside karma? And how can these techniques, like “The Secret” be beneficial for spiritual development? And why would it not be beneficial for spiritual development as some people say?

D. R. Butler said...

We always manifest our life into existence, moment by moment, even now. It is not 'going outside karma.' It IS karma. Only mostly we do not consciously use this power; we think our life into existence subconsciously, according to past habits, patterns, and tendencies. This is the way most of us live. Still, the law of manifestation is quite alive and well.

How can 'manifesting something into existence' be good for spiritual development? You have already manifested your life as it is into existence, do you feel spiritually uplifted?

'The Secret' is fine for what it is, although since I was telling my friends about it as a teenager in the early 60's, I don't know how big of a secret it is. There is certainly nothing wrong with it. But if someone came asking me how to best know God, I wouldn't tell them to go read 'The Secret.'

Scott Marmorstein said...

If you're feeling confused by what you read here or elsewhere, or are not understanding what other people are saying it can be understandable. Whether one believes in astrology or not, we are currently being influenced by the alignment of the planets and in particular the planet Mercury (the planet of communications) which is in 'Retrograde' and this is a time when it can be more difficult than usual to interpret meaning or even understand what someone is really saying to us. It simply requires extra effort on our parts to really pay attention to what we are hearing, seeing, or reading right now.

Thanks for this beautiful post, Ram.

Marga said...

Ok, Ram, here goes. This is a question I've been wanting to ask for many years now and I think the question is finally, fully ripe in me.

As a vedic astrologer, I get to witness this principle in action in peoples' lives on a daily basis: "Thought is creative energy in motion, a cause of an eventual effect corresponding to the nature of the thought that caused it." The way I see it, a person's birthchart describes energetic potentials (that have been caused by thought,) and a person's current thoughts mold those potential energies into a lived reality.

My question is this: Is it at all useful for a person to know about these energetic potentials (the karma indicated in their chart) before really living and applying this principle about creative thought?

And an offshoot of that question would be, can an astrologer (or psychic or healer or therapist, etc.) who doesn't fully live this principle yet have any ultimately uplifting effect on their client?

Immense gratitude for your guidance on this.

Taylor said...


Thank you for this heart-felt holiday gift. I love it. I am completely satisfied and don't need to receive another gift this season!

Just this morning, I replaced a negative story by sitting still for a half hour and letting it go.

Ah, it's a new month and almost a new year. And, today, this moment, it's a clean slate for me.

thanks & love,

Debra said...

This is a great blog, that I'll be rereading and imbibing. I read somewhere that the consciousness, the power of the Universe is always there to give us what we want, what we create. It is like the drive thru speaker at a fast food restaurant . "May I help you?" "Yes, I'd like a blah, blah, blah," "OK, anything else?" The voice in the speaker isn't trying to change our mind, it's just to provide whatever and as much of whatever we desire. The Universe is the same, yes?Maybe I read it in the Secret....? :) The challenge for me is the moment to moment awareness of creation and not falling in to the traps created by samskaras, and beliefs.

Bob said...

I sometimes wonder what would happen if everyone in the world were to suddenly receive everything that they want. What if 3 billion people were suddenly driving Hum-V's? What about the millions of people in the middle east that want nothing more than to destroy their neighbors?

If everyone were able to manifest what they wanted, we might destroy the planet in an orgy of consumption.

Just as a great teacher has prescribed Four Gates of Speech, perhaps we should have some kind of filter on that which we choose to manifest...?

D. R. Butler said...

Marga, so, your question for many years. Astrology gives one a karmic map of the incarnation at hand. It is very helpful to have the knowledge of one's chart, to know what the current influences are, what kinds of things are best to do now and which are best to avoid now. Astrology can be very helpful in understanding what is happening and knowing what kinds of action are best to take.

However, the way you worked your question, no, it is not 'necessary' for one to know such things in order to practice the principles of right thinking. One does not have to know about anything in order to practice right thinking. And by 'right thinking' I mean thinking what is pleasant for pleasant consequences instead of thinking what is unpleasant for unpleasant consequences. It is as simple as that.

Your second offshoot question is also worded interestingly. You don't have to 'fully' live the principle before you can be helpful and uplifting to others. If you lived it fully you'd probably be a Guru instead of an astrologer.

It is enough to live the principle the best you can. Simply your intent to live the principle has an uplifting effect on others who come to you. You don't have to be perfect before you can help them. You share your own understanding, your own state. This is all we have to share with others.

D. R. Butler said...

Bob, you comment reminds me of all the wrong ways of understanding the principle. It is one reason I hesitated about posting this one. Did you honestly read the blog entry closely? I said nothing about manifesting desires. I said nothing indicating everyone should have everything their ego wants.

I simply wrote that since what we think is the cause of all situations and circumstances of our personal life, why not think uplifting, pleasant thoughts instead of contracting, unpleasant thoughts?

Very weirdly from my point of view, since I first came upon this knowledge in 1960 at the age of 15, most people in the world have no idea of how the law of cause and effect or the law of attraction is behind every detail of their lives. People think thoughts are nothing of any significance, whereas they are creative energy in motion. We take our divine power to think creatively for granted, and use it subconsciously, according to habits and patterns, instead of consciously, applying our current understanding of the principles of the Truth of Being.

terry said...

I liked contemplating Marga's post: "The way I see it, a person's birthchart describes energetic potentials (that have been caused by thought,) and a person's current thoughts mold those potential energies into a lived reality." One way I see it is that we are all unmanifest until we through thoughts create an identity description in the moment and it outpictures as a reality and karmic picture show complete with "our body" and "other bodies". The possible "usefulness" of astrology is in giving a psychic pattern (channel) for our reality to manifest through and as. It is not who we really are for we are that which surrounds and encompasses thought and all possible variations of realities. It is like a hologram..astrology can be a pattern the laser projects through to give a 3d image of actions, but the images are set by subconscious thought-feelings in the moment. Just some thoughts...and may not be in line with Kashmir Shaivism!

D. R. Butler said...

Terry and Marga, I think you guys are really on to something.

nikkiA said...

I enjoyed reading this so much and will read it again. I also enjoy and get so much from the comments. It is both liberating and a little frustrating knowing I am creating my experience 24/7...but for tonight I am going to go with "liberating".
I love how you (D.R.) seem to be able to meet us at whatever stage of development we are at..I am still a novice at Conscious Creation..but bit by bit it gets more clear. Can't imagine life without the course at this point. Very grateful for this..

Marga said...

Wow! Thanks Ram, and Terry and Scott! The answer to my question came through on so many different levels..

It's a huge relief to hear that simply my intent to live the principle has an uplifting effect on others. Even though on one level I feel the same Being present in each of us, on another level I feel a responsibility to not harm others through my ignorance. I guess as I eventually grock, on deeper and deeper levels, that we're all the same, I'll be able to relax into the service part of this existence more and more.

Terry, I like the hologram analogy and the reminder that we're not our charts; rather, "we are that which surrounds and encompasses thought and all possible variations of realities."

And thanks for the reminder about Mercury retrograde, Scott! Boy can I feel that today..

Thank-you, thank-you, for the living dialogue on this blog!!!

betsie said...

I read whatever happens to us is karma but whether our inner state is affected by the current karma is up to me. i have the power to experience my karma as "good" or "bad" by how i choose to think about it.

D. R. Butler said...

Marga, forget about hurting others with your ignorance. Don't take what comes through you so personally. It is simply coming through you. Be an open conduit and let it flow. It has nothing to do with you as a personality, or with what you consciously know or don't know. Train yourself to be a good Vedic Astrologer and then let it happen.

You don't really think I personally identify with the stuff I write, do you? To think that I personally could say and do all that I say and do is absolutely absurd. I've been trained to do it by the best, and now I simply allow it to happen.

D. R. Butler said...

Betsie, yes, you can experience your karma as 'good' or 'bad,' according to how you think of it. In reality, however, karma is never either good or bad. It is simply karma. Our goal is not new and improved karma. Our goal is to break free from the karmic movie and to relax and enjoy it without being identified with it or taking it personally.

Shakespeare said, 'Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.' Nothing has ever been truer.

betsie said...

Thank you Ram for your comment on my entry. Again and again I need to be reminded that I am not the doer but the observer and...I do get glimpses of that state. These glimpses are so powerfull, they keep me practicing!!!

Renee said...

This is such a wonderful blog entry! It made me think of what happened yesterday and the fact that the course never disappoints. If I actually practice any one of the principles, something amazing happens every time.

Yesterday morning, I had committed to imagining what it would be like if I were Self-realized. What would that feel like? It felt great! Until the afternoon when I was blindsided by an egotistical melodrama that I was struggling to let go. I’ve taken the course long enough to know that if I rolled around in these thoughts, I would only manifest more ugliness. How to break free?

I started by sitting quietly and breathing calmly. I used my will power to turn my attention to the sensation of my emotions as nothing more than vibrations along the nervous system (which is also in my current lesson). Then I just looked at my heart and having over time now, it just opens wide up.

Then something new happened. Something I could not have predicted. I felt as I looked over the scenery in front of me that Awareness is vast. Enormous! There it is! Here it is! If I were Self-realized, I would be aware of this Awareness all the time. I would *know* that I am only looking out of these little eyes on this little part of the earth, but in truth, if I am Awareness, I am vast, expansive, limitless. How could any thought possibly perturb such a one?

Mentally finding myself in a melodrama wasn’t exactly fun. Without it, however, I would not have had the opportunity to do some more work. My heart still feels so expanded. Again and again, if I do the work, I am rewarded beyond my wildest thoughts. Each time it happens, I see there is more to see. The best part of the course is that it works, and works again, and works again. I must simply be willing to practice and open to change particularly when I'm in the middle of mental muck.

Simple, but not always easy to let those old thought-habits go. But because it works, I keep trying and working. With much gratidue andn love, thank you, Ram.

Ashoka said...

You said,"Since we use this power anyway to create all our troubles and obstacles in life, why not be conscious of it and its true potential?" This is as insurmountably logical as it is kind, generous and merciful. Thank you, Ram and Kay, for these lessons. Thanks you for your blessings; and many blessings upon You!

Marga said...

Yep, that is exactly where it's at for me right now - not taking what comes through me so personally.

So with all of you as my witness, today I'm creating an image of me being a totally open conduit for the Shakti, in whatever way she chooses to flow through. And I'm choosing to see that that is all that has ever happened anyway, with every body, no matter what my mind thought was going on. Thank you, Ram!

Chris_G said...

Dear Ram, thanks for this blog post as contemplating this all again has showed me things about my perpetual descriptions and judgements...

One question about your recent comment, you said: "Our goal is not new and improved karma. Our goal is to break free from the karmic movie and to relax and enjoy it without being identified with it or taking it personally."

Some of us end up with rather unique karmas of being spiritual teachers, healers, and doing various types of helpful work in the world that promotes balance and harmony on various scales.

Is this also part of the karma we are to break free from? Or if one has this kind of karma, is it something that keeps getting stronger. Since "Karma is simply karma" (not good or bad), are we at risk of breaking free from the karma that gives us our role and identity in the world?

sukhdev said...

Loved your quote in the last lesson Ram - "The Guru is the worst enemy of the ego", and I concur having spent  four months in India with my guru in 1971-72 at the tender age of 23. In the absence of the physical form of the Guru a spouse makes an admirable substitute. My Guru compared marriage to a jeweler's tumbler where two precious stones in the rough are beaten against each other to knock the sharp edges off and produce bright shining gems. 

Cris Santeiro said...

Ram, thank you for your Holiday gift - I'll take it. I do really believe that we will experience that which we hold in our consciousness. For me this has been my life lesson, and a huge one. When I first heard this concept, my whole world seemed to change and my perception became so much lighter.

I don’t experience many unwanted thoughts and don’t dwell on them. But I don’t feel I use my power of creation to create situations that I want – kind of like “The Secret” (which by the way I did not like.) The way I mostly experience this teaching is by welcoming what comes unsought. I choose to have right understanding and perception even when things don’t seem like they were going my way. Realizing that something is part of my path and honoring it as such is an amazing practice for me, which has become my default. Some of the most blissful moments I have experienced are in these instances. I can only attribute this to awareness and grace. This is the greatest gift I have experienced in this lifetime.

D. R. Butler said...

Chris_G, when I said we must break free from karma, I did not mean to snuff it out. Our entire physical incarnation is nothing but a cycle of karma. To break free from it doesn't necessarily mean to change it, but simply to not be identified with it. Break the egoic attachment to personal karma.

Being somewhat of a 'spiritual teacher'--at least according to my Facebook page--I can see that this is the karma for this particular incarnation. I could say that it is 'my' karma, but who would be this 'my' that I would be referring to?

You honor your karma for whatever it is. One of the aspects of 'my' teaching and mission is to train teachers to be better teachers, and to help finetune the understanding of those whose karma it is to pass on understanding to others.

Yet, I don't identify with this karma. I don't involve ego with it. I see it as a somewhat absurd happening, for I on my own certainly wouldn't pick myself as someone to help train other teachers, yet this is what has manifested and what I have been trained to do by those much greater than myself.

So by breaking free from karma I don't mean that the karma crumbles and ceases to be. Indeed, your karma lasts exactly as long as your body holds out, for when the karma is finished we exit this body, and it returns to the elements of the earth from which it came.

D. R. Butler said...

Chris, your understanding seems very good. It is perfect to not use the 'power of Creation' to create or manifest anything, for surely enough is already created or manifested to last for a lifetime. It is quite enough that we simply come into harmony with that which already exists. This is the true spiritual work--to simply live in harmony with what comes unsought.

Thank You! said...

I am looking forward to reading the new blog entry tonight! I have just done my first reading of lesson 5. The idea of the ego explaining itself is sticking in my head (not my heart). The idea resonates with me intellectually. Will someone please offer some more on this. I definitely feel resistance here and want to change my experience.
Much Gratitude

Anonymous said...

I want to "like" many of these posts. The quality offered here just gets better and better.

Agnes said...

Dear Kay and DR,

Thank you for the quick response. As I finished quickly reading the material you sent, it dawned on me that what this lesson One is asking me to do is just like meditation. Bringing back my attention to the present moment is exactly what we are doing when meditating, bringing back our concentration to the Mantra, breath, what ever one uses to stop the mind chatter, to stop running back and forth between thoughts of the past and the future...And while we concentrate on the Now, we connect to the All there is, the Eternal Consciousness of the Universe...So this could be an amazing, continuous, blissful state of meditation!!!!

You also talked about your dream, of a Community where we all search for deeper self-knowledge and a serious effort to actually DO the work, instead of just talking about it...I also had that dream and I am yearning for the pleasure of the company of those like-minded souls.

I was also reminded of the book I've read many years ago: "The road less travelled". I don't much remember the details; what I do remember is the author talking about the fact that we as humans are LAZY to make the effort, to actually do what we need to do, to improve and evolve as human beings. I could not agree more, and admit to being one of the lazy ones...not always, but way too often. So I hope these bi-weekly reminders will keep me on the path toward being in the moment and being increasingly more and more Aware of the Awareness.

Wow, I am so not a writer, but everything I just wrote came without any hesitation, thinking, or reserve...Maybe because I feel that freedom of being myself and sensing that I will be heard! What a joy!
With grateful anticipation,

D. R. Butler said...

Thank You!, thanks for your recent post. Often participants come upon some totally new idea in one of the beginning lessons, and like you they quickly want it explained, which is interesting, because what you want explained is the idea of not going around explaining yourself.

Ideas presented in the first six months or so are being introduced and will be explored much more deeply as we go along. If you find something you resist in Lesson 5, well, flow with it the best you can, and then see what Lessons 6 & 7 and so on say about it. Chances are very good that the principle being discussed will become more and more clear as you go along. There is nothing in Lesson 5 that you are expected to completely and perfectly already understand. Everything will become more clear in a most natural way and at the perfect pace as we progress through the lessons.

As far as you question, the thing about explaining yourself is that only the ego is keen to explain itself. Somehow we think that if we can only explain ourselves clearly enough that someone else will understand something significant about us that they didn't understand before we explained ourselves. Imagine, first of all, how much self-importance it takes to even feel this way.

Now, observe how you really feel when someone else starts explaining themselves to you. Are you interested? Not really. Are you impressed? Not in the least. If you clearly observe, you'll see that it's very boring to listen to someone explaining themselves. Not only that, most of the time people are explaining themselves to me I already understood what they are explaining at least as well as they do before they ever started the explanation.

Only ego has a desire to explain itself. And only ego demands an explanation from another. Why should anyone have to explain themselves to us? Who do we think we are?

Also, it's a dissipation of Shakti. In feeling the need to explain yourself to someone, you are effectively handing over your power to that person. It is much greater to remain mysterious and inexplicable than it is to go around explaining yourself all the time.

Anne said...

Thank you for our beautiful holiday gift, DR. It feels so juicy and sweet : ) No need to wait to Christmas or NY to open it either. Being content with what comes unsought is my lofty ideal too. Loved Chris S's post.

Where I can get challenged is if something 'unsought' comes along that I may feel not ready for, or perhaps is too intense or demanding in some way .... and I find I actually don't WANT to surrender passively to it, and just say 'yes' necessarily all the time.
So is it just ego to want to hold back sometimes, and be 'realistic'? Eg with time, energy, work demands, income, people demands etc?

My feeling from the lessons and life is that it is ok to not be totally 'passive' re. the unsought challenges of life. That god is in 'no' as well as 'yes' ; )
Can being in harmony with life involve proactively bringing about what is best for all concerned including ourselves, (as far as we can do this)? Is this how it works, for spiritual growth; that "surrender" isn't the same as being overly passive and disregarding our own welfare, or of course other peoples, either?

My subtle belief used to be more that a REALLY surrendered person was one who was virtually a martyr; eg. they never complained, they smiled thru all suffering, they accepted everything and avoided nothing, even if it made life very difficult. Even created suffering in a way, as a spiritual test for purification.. Maybe like the Christian mystics, who lived in cells and ate bread and water or wore chains or hairshirts and denied themselves virtually all but the minimum to keep the body alive, so as to try to keep focus on God. Or many less extreme examples of self-denial too. Eg even St. Teresa Of Liseaux [sp?], who endured the fellow nun who drenched her in water every time they did their washing together, as a test of God, rather than, eg. asking her if she could stop it!

So I guess I wonder, how do we manifest the ideal of being content with what comes unsought, when we know that we truly aren't cut out to be a marytr lol, .... and don't want to be passive all the time ... as compared with simply being greedy or selfish and cloaking this in the justification of "I need it" ???
xxx Bindu. Any feedback would be appreciated : )

Omkar Naderi said...

Is the ego supposed to die? What is supposed to happen to the ego over the course of sadhana -- are you supposed to not exist? Or is the ego supposed to stay and you love your ego? Can the ego ever go away completely -- is that enlightenment? I am actually almost "not existing" since I have used the creative power of my mind to think about this for so long, and I want to exist again...but I heard from someone who said he was completely realized that people don't reach the goal because "they want to exist." I want to know if he is full of shit or if there is any truth to this. I really need to demystify this spiritual issue, which is a huge concern for me, and my mind will not listen to my own wisdom about this matter and will only stop trying to not exist if it hears from someone who really knows about this matter fully. And if I am supposed to not exist, I need to be able to fully understand why so I can allow it to happen.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Ram for this Holiday GIft. I once herd a swami say that," The present is a Gift and so that must be why they call it a present". After taking the course for some time my understanding has expanded on the principals of thought and their creative potential in my life. Don't get me wrong however I do struggle with changing old destructive thought patterns. Especially those that are so ingrained in my system that I don't even recognize. Seems to me the best way to recognize these hidden patterns is to find that silent place within my self and observe with out criticism or mental comments, but to just watch what flows though my mind. Everything that flows through is really ok, Im choosing not to react to it but to just become aware of it. When I become aware of a pattern that doesn't fit with my intension to become a better and happier person to my self and everyone I come in contact with then I can replace the old pattern with a new and up lifting pattern of thought. I can't tell you how helpful this has been for my life. I am not the same person I was even a year ago. Stress levels have dropped just by using this process. This has also changed my relationship with existing karma, I accept the karma I have created in the past. I am responsible for my own future karma . Thank you again Ram for this most wonderful Gift- The Truth of the Present Moment. Love and Blessings . Ralph Yarber

Devorah said...

I am speechless. This blog and the amazing comments are so complete. I feel still and filled!
There was one comment about explaining oneself where I could feel my body tense and I watched my ego take offense - of course it was a comment about the ego! I got to watch it and then chuckled.

I just started Volume 2 Lesson 1and I love the Warrior aspect of the Self, the relief pitcher! What a useful analogy.

This course is my life line. I am so grateful to have the karma of being with all of you!

James said...

Thank you everyone. Thank you Ram and Kay for your holiday gift. I am using it. I took a moment to open up and receive it. There is work involved. I would like to have a chart with these pleasant thoughts. I am thankful I have the time to read the course and the blog. The part about relaxing, " Our goal is to break free from the karmic movie and to relax and enjoy it without being identified with it or taking it personally." It takes some rereading this to hear it. What is the difference between contemplating your statement and creatively thinking pleasant thoughts.
Someone shared today about taking one idea and staying with it. Like being hard on oneself. Dissolve the knot. May lots of good cheer be your lot.
Shakespeare said, 'Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.' 'Much ado about nothing. Comedy. I would love to get that for the holiday.

Omkar Naderi said...

I have another question which I have been seeking clarification over for years but unable to find a true answer: I have created an unpleasant reality for myself, exactly as you described in this blog, because I have been trying to become "desireless." I have heard liberation is complete desirelessness. I have therefore tried to be desireless in order to be liberated, out of fear that I would not become liberated any other way, and finally have become "desireless," but it feels like I have disabled myself rather than liberated myself. For example, I am 24 years old and my biggest desires involve women as is for most young men. However, I have created a reality through my intention where everything, including women, appear neutrally to me and without any lust or desire attached to them. I have almost totally lost interest in ladies and it scares me. I have realized that doing this is severely limiting me and disabling my social life, among other things. I realized one cannot function in life without desires; then, how can it be true that liberation is a state of desirelessness? To live in the Truth of the Present Moment do you have to renounce desires, since desires keep you in the future and in bondage? I am worried that I will be forced to give up all my desires when I reach the goal of sadhana, and especially afraid of having to renounce sexual desire completely (which has practically happened to me already from focusing on this fear so much). I am scared and really confused and would appreciate your perspective on this issue. Bottom line question: Can you be liberated and have desires at the same time?

Mayuri said...

Oh what a relief to not have to explain ourselves all the time! I get lost just in trying to figure out what the heck is going on... If I let go of what I "think" is happening and instead just show up and be present in the moment, then I am available - not some ghostie writing on the wall. Why I just said that I don't know but I am going to go with it.

Someone asked me a question recently about my work and my mind went blank. For me there was nothing to explain - When I try to explain what happens when I paint or write or sing - the magic goes away, the shakti goes away. There is a mystery, and I have great respect for this mystery. Sometimes it is magical and beautiful and poetic and touches peoples hearts and sometimes it is crap - ah, but there is the judgement. Sometimes the "crap" could be just what is needed next. Who knows?

It's all about this mystery moving through us, and astrologically or what ever our karmic map may be, it comes through us all in particular forms.

I so appreciate the tools that you give us to approach life anew, in the present moment. To wake us up from what ever dream may be playing out at the moment and say, hey, Who is driving this bus anyway?

much love!

Jim said...

Today I caught myself feeling habitually annoyed by some reoccuring commotion. As I was attempting to make the adjustment to see the situation in a new way, this thought ran through my head in the voice of those old-school announcers who introduced the sponsors of television programs: This karma is being brought to you by Past Actions.

D. R. Butler said...

A couple of comments on Facebook threads that I wish to share here as well:

Most of the best comments are found hidden in threads, both in FB and in the blog, and it takes some commitment to actually develop the discipline to read through the threads and actually see what all of value is in there. I am more likely to hide great tidbits in threads than to blare them out for all to see.

It reminds of being with the Guru at the end of a program. Many people would stand up and clear out of the hall as soon as the program was over. They had been sitting for a while and needed to go to the bathroom or just stretch their legs if nothing else. Yet a small group would linger behind with the Guru for as long as she was there. And then when most people had cleared out and there were only a few of us, that's when she would say the best stuff. She would start revealing things that she preferred not to say tojust everyone who just came for the program and left. People would hear about it and get all envious and determine to stay behind next time, yet as soon as the next program was over most of them, like a herd, would hurry out again. Whatever pulled them out was somehow more powerful than their intention to remain behind in case there was more to come.

* * *

I love how you say that you're just angry in general. You know what, most everyone else is too. Anger comes up in us out of habit and tendency, a samskara, and then we look around for something to be angry about. It is actually very great not to blame the anger on something in particular, but to simply admit that it is just plain anger. Not that 'you' are angry. You simply recognize it as anger. 'Oh, there goes anger. That's an award-winning anger.' We don't have to identify with it.

D. R. Butler said...

Anne, I am surprised by your questions. Wherever did you get the idea that 'surrender' or 'being content with what comes unsought,' means being passive, saying yes all the time, not caring about your personal needs, etc. Where do all these ideas come from? They are certainly not in the course.

Krishna told Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita that liberation is attained through actions and not through inaction.

There is nothing in the least spiritual about being passive. In fact, to make true progress on the path you must be proactive and even dynamic. You must generate the energy needed for whatever is needed.

I am really amazed by your silly questions. You do take the course don't you?

I just don't understand where people get these ideas.

D. R. Butler said...

Omkar Nederi, Anne is enlightened compared to you. In both your comments the questions you ask are absurd. I keep telling you to get out of your head, but you seem stuck in your mind. Also, you have the most wrong ideas about the spiritual path of anyone I know. Everything you say is totally off the wall. Where do you get this stuff?

I can't work with you on an intense personal basis if you're not going to study the lessons and learn what is in the course. Nothing you ask has anything at all to do with anything that is in the lessons. It all comes from the past, from other sources, and from your own imagination.

Why would a 25 year old man supposed to be free from sexual desire? That is ridiculous and unnatural.

Your ideas about desirelessness are all wrong. You really need to forget everything you think you know and start all over. Focus on what is actually in your current lesson. Stop asking these questions that are all over the place and have nothing to do with what is in the lessons. I don't mind you asking questions, but the subjects you ask about are nothing I write about. If you would be one-pointed on the course you would naturally clear up a lot of wrong understanding you have.

An enlightened being doesn't have desires as such, but he or she can certainly have preferences, and they do what they are spontaneously inclined to do. Everything is so much simpler than you make it. You have to get free from your mind and your spiritual trip. You get lose in your own trippiness.

You said, 'I heard from someone who said he was completely realized that people don't reach the goal because "they want to exist."'

First of all, anyone who says he is completely realized is definitely not realized but is simply on the biggest ego trip of all. And people don't reach the goal because 'they want to exist'? How does that make sense, and how is such knowledge applied in any practical way. The problem with most so-called teachers, especially when they think they are already enlightened, is that there is no practical way in which to actually practice their teachings. They are just muttering off the top of their head. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I do that myself. But really, the statement doesn't truly make sense, does it?

I will answer all the questions you have about the course, but no more questions regarding things you've heard from other sources. It's not a good use of our time.

Vandita said...

24 years ago my mom was already an experienced meditator who had tried to bring me into that practice, which I felt I could not do. But then she gave me one of your lessons from that time. As I started reading, my eyes could not get out of the words, and I kept reading, and reading and asking for another lesson and for another lesson. And the magic begun. Back then, I used to think: "I do not understand well what this means, but I feel so good, I feel so good, I feel so good" As this amazing sense of exaltation kept taking over me. It is incredible to me how after so many years so much of that knowledge is a part of me now, and how I always get something new to learn and work on from each new lesson. Freedom does not end. Thank you so much for your absolutely incredible work!

D. R. Butler said...

Another comment from Facebook:

In truth, everyone 'sees the Light' all the time. Once again we are like the fish searching for water. How do you think you see what you see? It is the Light that illumines everything--the perception through the eyes, thoughts, images, feelings, dreams, deep sleep. All these things are illuminated by the one Light. Otherwise we could not see or be aware of any of it. 'Seeing the Light' is not a meditation experience. It is that which illumines and sees the experience, or is even aware that there is meditation. So do not hope to see the Light sometimein the future. Be aware that the Light reveals everything on every level of your life right Now. Otherwise there would be only darkness.

Kay Butler said...

After reading the two responses to Omkar and Bindu, I have mixed feelings…well, not exactly, I have strong feelings. For those of us who know you and know that everything you ever say is said with a twinkle in your eye, I’m sure your responses to them are just perfect. However, if I’m coming to the blog this month for the first time and I read that INCREDIBLE blog entry and I’m so excited about this newly found thing, so I move on to the comments and then, wham! I’m assaulted with those two responses from the writer of the blog.

Okay, I’m not ‘feeling strongly’ anymore, but I do want to at least offer here a little explanation/disclaimer that the writer of the blog is a guy who likes to ‘stir things up a bit’ and, at the same time, a guy with a twinkle in his eye, no matter what he’s writing, or to whom. Love, Kay

D. R. Butler said...

LOL. The only person brave enough to send in a comment since my two outbursts is Kay.

Maybe it was reading all their questions all together and something just came up in me, something very familiar, as I had experienced the same feeling with the Guru many times, when I was the one being 'corrected' or 'adjusted' or 'finetuned' or whatever.

In the many years I spent with the Guru, I learned many, many things. And I can say this very truly: When he spoke to me with disgust and revulsion I learned much more quickly and more deeply than I did if he was sweet to me about it. Those were the lessons that were burned into my soul and that I could never forget.

You know, I'm personally not very big on PR. People might say, 'Oh, D.R. is a jerk, he's mean to people when he responds to their questions. He has no sensitivity.'

And do you know what? It doesn't affect anything. Neither they nor whoever they are speaking to would never take the course anyway. Other people say, 'Oh, you should take D.R.'s course, it has changed my life.' For the most part, that doesn't affect anything either. Now and then it hits home with someone who is open and ready, but for the most part whatever we say regarding such things falls on empty ears.

I could have gone through Omkar's questions one by one and politely answered them, but it would have been a waste of both our time. His questions are mostly intellectual curiosity. Spirituality is much simpler than he makes it. This is not my first exchange with him. I wouldn't speak to a person so directly if it were our first communication.

As for Anne, she's participated in the course for a long time, and she knows the drill. She is clear about where I am coming from and understands the process.

As for people coming here for the first time, well, they could think, 'At least he doesn't beat around the bush. He gets directly to the point, and doesn't spare the ego in doing so.'

If someone is offended by my responses, then they really aren't good candidates for the course or the work we do here on the blog anyway.

My love is unconditional and uninterrupted. I openly accept each person who comes here. Everyone is included, and no one is excluded. However, to be in relationship with me, you can't try to protect the ego. It doesn't work that way. When I was with the Guru he said, 'The Guru is the enemy of the ego.' Well, I'm certainly no Guru, but I guess something of that did rub off on me.

Asherah said...

Thank you so much. This is a wonderful gift. The whole journey is a wonderful journey. I just birthed a drum today and that was a wonderful journey. Met lighthearted and wonderful people, made music, and wandered in nature, What a blessed life. I guess today was a wonder day.

Interesting how during the day some ego drama wanted to enter my thoughts. I could notice my heart pounding fast and my emotions were quickley getting dark. Facinating that in those moments I could see it happening and avert it. It was uncomfortable and a little difficult but not insurmountable. AND IN THE MOMENT I COULD SHIFT!! Not a day or two or month or year or two later!

Thank you.

Colette said...

Ram. I love the fact that you are just you, it makes it easier for me to be just me. Since i can not successfully be anyone else anyway its a great relief. I found the questions amusing, but then i was not being asked to answer them. I am so happy that it is your job amd not mine. I was not laughing fro a place of making them wrong, just from how human we all are and how our concepts can suck us right in.

Thank you for the perspective that the course give us so we can sort through the menu our minds create and discern what is tasty and what is not. Love to All, Karuna

Omkar Naderi said...

I'm not assaulted or offended by D.R.'s responses. I was actually looking for someone who knows what he's talking about to tell me how delusional I am to get me out of this "trippiness" I've been on, which is extremely damaging to me. Sometimes it is hard to get yourself to know you're delusional by telling yourself you're delusional; the delusional part persists until you receive enough comments from the outside world to get your subconscious mind to change by making new impressions on it. Thank you D.R.

Vicki Hilger said...

I'm pretty brave too. Most of us here know enuf about 'Guru Rage' to know that while one eye shoots fire, the other one twinkles. Also, I know that you know, that if you say something to someone, that they can handle it. And they must know it too, on some level. We certainly aren' t here to make nice all the time. But I'm kinda glad you're the one, who said it, cause if you hadn't, I or someone else might have. Anyway, even new visitors to the blog have to be pretty strong to stick with it. At least some concepts about spirituality might get busted really fast.

So Omkar, above all I'd say it's time to lighten up and have a little fun. Get laid, even. (Ram, I'm giggling, you'll probably edit this for sure.) i suggest writing down some really fine desires - like getting some good sadhana buddies who like to joke around, watching some of Ram's music on facebook, reading Scott's jokes, rent a few really funny videos, the world is your veggie burger, be merry, or as my husband's Guru Kirpal Singh always said, "Go Jolly".

Terry McEldowney said...

I just checked back in on this thread and saw an old reflection that I thought I would comment on. Omkar, I went through a similar process of insanity (or is it in-sanity? Ha!). A lot of "spiritual" truisms were around in the 1970's and a very goofy doublebind for the mind is "losing the ego to be enlightened." I tried back then to blast it away with various chemicals as well as incessant mantras and chanting, acting in ways contrary to my nature which were a subtle judgement of "others" - closing off avenues of expression will indeed burst the dam and you may find that working egos are less easy to find, LOL! Check it out with D.R. who may remember some of my ashram karma where I was silent for long periods (years I think), but the mind only had mantra and goofy ideas of spirituality. The truth is "don't should on yourSelf" because you are perfect however you manifest. You cannot make yourself less than God no matter what you do in this dream of a world or any other dream you witness. Great beings have manifested in all sorts of karmas, didn't affect their underlying anchor in the Self. Desires come and go and yes there may be times when the energy makes it very easy to ignore "others - including the opposite sex", but that is the divine energies business not yours (ego's) Ha! There is some truth in Let Go and Let God rather than grab the tail of the Shakti and think you are becoming "more spiritual". I say this with great love as listening to you I heard old aspects of myself and the creation of "spiritual suffering" by limiting thoughts about what is spiritual. Dance on my friend, find joy and follow that back into the source, or drop in to the space between two thoughts. Also, the Lessons are the Shakti, Holy Spirit, God's intelligent energy pulling you in to your true Self. Lay your baggage down on the train and take a ride courtesy of the Divine!

wonderthoughts said...

Dearest Omkar,

Your problem is in your statement "...I am looking for someone who knows what he's talking about to tell me how delusional I am to get me out of this "trippiness" I've been on, which is extremely damaging to me."

- No one knows what he's talking about. They talk, you listen. Absorb what the heart can hear. And talk back, if its coming from the heart. Otherwise let it pass.
- Are you waiting for someone to come and tell you, you are delusional? Keep waiting.
- Trippiness is awesome, if you are in it and merged with it. The moment you identify "this is the trippiness I am on", the juice, the rasa, the flavour of the trippiness goes. Then it is all mind. And the mind is too full of itself.
- "Damaging" is a tough, hard, harsh word; especially when used on yourself. See if you can find a better word. Often our words land up creating an image in the mind, which then through its creative function could out play it.

Here is my advise.
- Fuck your mind and just be.
- Stop trying to figure out everything.
- Listen.
- Do the practices, moderately (with a light touch).
- Play a music instrument, or sing and dance a little.
- Focus and ground your energy, in one or two external activities and then through them, build your inner understanding.

You are beautiful and you are God. Now just let the "mind" drop. OK.

No time right now to elaborate on the sex energy part, but later -:)

Anne said...

Hi all, back to read and post. Yep I squirmed, then smiled, then dusted myself off, am learning more about 'surrender' as opposed to old stereotypes that must be almost sub-conscious. Omkar, I'm so glad to read your response. You got what you needed, as did I, and you know it : ) Well done.

You are blessed to be in the company of great Souls, DR and Kay, and also the other great comments people made, like Terry. You are still a young man, and have a really wonderful life ahead of you, as well as Now. If you catch your mind/ego torturing you with concepts and such about what being 'spiritual' and 'self realised' is like, just come back and re-read the advice DR and others have given you here, young friend. No need to make yourself suffer, or listen to the "someone" who thinks he is self-realised and tells you what to do .... have compassion for him but don't confuse or worry yourself or get into debates about it ... you have all you need HERE. Truly.
Stick with DR Butler, and the shakti and process of the lessons, and trust that. I reckon people who are under spiritual delusions of grandeur are more dangerous than the most 'worldly' company, just because they may be less easy to recognise if we are vulnerable, and have a few illusions of our own. Save yourself the bother of more mental unhappiness. Trust your heart, your instincts. I'm sure that you do truly know that you are in a safe place here, and are in good hands.

Learn how to have some fun, as someone suggested! Use some discrimination of course, but don't doubt your worthiness or be afraid to be a human being : )

So I have some work to do, and so do you! Lets smile, see the humour, and refer to our lessons deeply. As others alluded to, the blast rightly understood is not to belittle us; but to help us experience right understanding by showing up the guises and postures that ego takes.

We are very blessed. And if anyone 'new' reads this and wonders, don't be afraid. I was smiling even as I was reading my scolding, and yes on ego-level, I was squirming, but in the end who cares? This ego-I is so boring, even to me at times, so 'been there done that', so 'last lifetime!' Time to be a noble, strong and cheerful goddess, and to gently retire the martyrish, timid little goddess: ) xx

Charles (Vaikuntha) Deschênes said...

We're only a few days into the month and a lot has been happening here already! I heard somewhere that around now, things would start to "accelerate" somehow in the world. I guess this is true. Thanks Scott, for the reminder about possible confusion, conveniently placed at the top of the comments!

Omkar, I love it how you have trust in Ram's feedback. Do trust what you're being presented with, and glide into the lessons without too much "trying to understand" to perfection or trying to follow the instructions with perfection. But try to imbibe yourself from the words and keep this beautiful openness I see, so you can understand from a different space, in new ways, while applying these understandings very simply into your day to day life.

Thank you for this gift, Ram.

Cristina Santeiro said...

Omkar, I am happy to see your response to D.R's comments. It shows you have understanding and that you are sincere about your sadhana. If we all ran away every time our egos get bruised we would not attain much. Also, when D.R. says something to you, he is really teaching all of us, don't think you are the only one with this samskara. You also give me strength to keep going when my ego gets bruised and I feel like running away. Love to you.

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

Omkar, I just wanted to say that I was touched by your sharing so openly with us in the blog community, and was glad to read today here and on DR's FB page that you are beginning to feel freer.

I am a 47 year old woman, a mom of two kids, and have been taking this Course for almost two years (though I also took it many more in its other incarnation). It's not easy to be in the 20's, just hang in there and keep going. I hope you will stay true to the Lessons, just keep reading them over and over and you will see, your subconscious stuff WILL be changed.

In some ways your questions reminded me of my own mind in my teens and twenties. I grew up in a Catholic family and went to some religious trainings that were quite rigid, sin and Hell-focused. My mind would tie up in knots and I was scared and confused much of the time.

Sadhana helped me a LOT over the years but truly it has been the energy and wisdom in this Course and the community that has accelerated my freedom even in these past few months. I am like a different being inside now from that once anxious person.

I am sending you my support and blessings in your journey. Just be dharmic and do what feels "intuitively obvious", come back to the Heart over and over, and don't "worry" about what you "should do" so much if that is possible. Let God express through you perfectly as Omkar, play your own role in this life which will not be the same as some imagined "Yogi". Let Omkar be grounded and play and express without fear.

Blessings to all. Love, KJ

Love, KJ

Amun said...

Dear Omkar, I see you've gotten a lot of feedback here and I'm hoping you take it well and with the love it comes bundled with.

I have one more thing to share from my own experience. When I was 24 I visited the Ashram and spent a good chunk of time with the Guru. I had all kinds of ideas that sexual relationships with women were a distraction from my sadhana and to be avoided.

I am now 41, in my second marriage with a beautiful soul that I am growing more deeply in love with, and I have four amazing children. None of this would have happened if I did not allow my sexual nature (which also is divine) to find a natural expression in relationship to a woman.

Yes, it is intensely hypnotizing and sex itself is an "expenditure" of vital force. However, the other side to this is that the exchange of energy between two lovers who have love and respect for each other is one of the most wonderful things in life, and can open a doorway for the experience of the Self.

My relationship with my wife has not robbed me of any opportunities for spiritual growth. In fact, I have found my partner is a great teacher and mirror to help me see myself more clearly, and this greatly helps me to keep from getting too lost in my own delusional stories.

Kay Butler said...

“Thank you!” said: “The idea of the ego explaining itself is sticking in my head (not my heart). The idea resonates with me intellectually. Will someone please offer some more on this. I definitely feel resistance here and want to change my experience.”

So this will be about ‘explaining yourself’ (myself)…it often seems that at least once a day Ram (a term of affection for D.R., if you’re new here) mutters, “Explaining herself again,” and once again I have to notice that very nearly everything I say can be filed under the heading of “explaining herself.”

I’ve come (finally) to see that it is an aspect of self-absorption (as opposed to Self-absorption) to respond to everything with an ‘explanation’ as to why I said or did or felt something. Another aspect of self-centeredness that I recognize is the almost constant verbalization of whatever is going on in the mind, almost absentmindedly. (You can imagine how that goes over really big living with Ram.)

And I’m recognizing that is true for almost all of humanity, that it’s not just me but everyone that feels mental chatter must be spoken aloud—like, “I’ll tell you all my thoughts and when I’m done you can tell me all yours, but I’ll probably be listening with half an ear because I’ll be thinking of what I’m going to say next.” And that is the plight of humanity in general (e.g., just listen to the conversation in the dentist’s waiting room between people who don’t even know each other).

But take heart, if it’s taken me 35 years of reading the lessons (and 11 years of living with Ram 24/7) to get around to addressing my own self-absorption, you who are younger than I have the opportunity now to recognize how much of what you say is actually effluvia, or at the very least unnecessary to add to the ethers around you…’boring’ is one word to describe it. See? I just wrote a long explanation explaining about how I explain myself. Good time to stop. Love and Light to all today.

chris_g said...

HI Kay,
Thank you for your comment. I remember quite well D.R.'s warmth, his amazingly dry humor, and the sparkle in his eye.
Yet, participating through this medium leaves a lot to be desired. Yes it's great that we can communicate in this way, but there is so much lost in not being together in person. I don't know that I'll ever be able to see that a virtual gathering is anywhere near as wonderful as being together in person.
This is why I'll ask again for something with a bit more connection to who D.R. is - like an audio podcast, or a conference call or something like that. For instance, if there were a way to post an audio recording of Ram reading his blog post to go along, there is so much that comes through the quality of his voice.
Maybe someday...

Shirley said...

I remember reading a story about Baba. . . I think it took place in India. As the story goes, Baba was on a rampage. He was raging through the dining room like a storm cloud, shouting at people, throwing dishes (OK, it probably grew in the telling), and in general intimidating people. He stepped out on the porch and spotted Amma (?) quivering behind some bushes. He walked over to the bushes, pushed them aside, looked her directly in the eye and said, "How was I?" He, and you demonstrated beautifully how anger can be used as a tool, not a weapon.
The exchanges on the blog site also reminded me of some of the correspondence between you and Douglas.
We are all getting exactly what we need from the lessons and the blog.
Love, hugs, blessings,
"Also, too", it sorta reminded me of the Addams Family, when Gomez would say to Morticia, "I love it when you speak French!"

D. R. Butler said...

I just posted this on Omkar Nederi's Facebook page:

Omkar, thanks for being a good sport and being open to greater understanding through our exchange in the comments of the blog. Some were privately discussing the exchange, and here is what I said to them about you: 'He will be fine. He shows great promise, is very sincere, has a good heart, and is actually willing to openly listen instead of to just take things personally.'
Thanks again for being open to seeing what is New.

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

Amun, AMEN!! I loved your share. The householder path can indeed be a great one to experiencing our growing awareness of our Divinity. (If that is our dharma and karma) I love that I can do this path while being a mom to my two kids and a wife to my husband.

I used to think a lot of ego work got done in my marriage to my husband but WHOA now that I have a teenage daughter and 10 year old son in the mix, any ability to take myself seriously or see importance is being quickly crushed.

Yet we all laugh in my family more now than we ever did, and the little yelling moments are more like quick rainstorms. The Course is the lifeline that enables me to find Grace in this everyday domestic drama.

Mary said...

In Lesson 32 we are asked to "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?"

I was grateful that I was not asked to practice "being" already realized but only to practice contemplating what it might be like.

My attempt at this contemplation is as follows:
I am contemplating myself as somehow at rest, peaceful, no matter what comes my way. I am contemplating myself as living in a state of wonder and gratitude, not missing opportunities to gaze into others' eyes, loved ones and 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 and part of All. I even look upon myself with compassion instead of judging my inadequacies and constantly explaining/defending myself.

Here and now my sense is that this "awakening" would be too much to really contain, like the metaphor of coming to the ocean with only a cup.

Thank you for the opportunity of this lesson. I find the recommended "practice" for each 2 weeks an opening if I really spend time with it.

Charles (Vaikuntha) Deschênes said...

Chris_g, I have to say I have a different experience. I find this incarnation of the course (if you look at it as a whole, with Facebook and this blog's posts and comments) a very different experience, but a more constant one. There may be less of a "rush", but there's constant work and teaching happening. For sure, a physical gathering would be awesome, and I too, would like that. But only if it feels the right thing to do at the moment and only if it gives more power to the experience of the course, long term.

Shirley, I would also add that there was actually no anger as such. There was only love, expressed into a way which is the most beneficial for the one receiving it :)

Charles (Vaikuntha) Deschênes said...

Mary, this is a great contemplation you're being given! I would be curious to know how you draw the line between "practice contemplating already being realized" and "practice already being realized". What makes you more comfortable with the former?

Dave Silverstein said...

Wow! this is some blog. I just read the original post and most of the comments. I feel like I've just gone through several incarnations of my own in a very short period of time.

The gift that Ram has given us, that we create our own reality in each moment is something that I'm just beginning to now understand and more importantly experience. When I wake up, the first thing I do is thank God for all my blessings. I try and carry this feeling of gratefulness throughout my day. When my state of mind is tested, "melodramas,etc" I use whatever will power I can to change the negative thoughts into positive ones or I think of something cheerful instead. The accompanying feeling of lightness and love from the heart is key.

Now, I do stumble on occasion and have to get back on my horse but thanks to the constant support of re-reading these lessons, there is a strong center that is gradually manifesting(its always been there) gracefully, touching my sub-conscious.

As my current lesson states, "When the subconscious takes over after continuous conscious repetition, the new feelings begin to arise on their own, without our having to consciously consider them ever again."

I'm truly seeing how powerful this work is. I find it takes constant effort and will power but the rewards are life transforming.

D. R. Butler said...

Following our exchange here in the comments of the blog, Omkar Nederi posted this in a thread on my FB page today:

‎"The Shakti (Universal Energy) makes certain you get exactly what you need once you are one-pointed on the path." That is exactly what I received from you and Michelle today, D.R. Thank you. Really, what you said was EXACTLY what I needed to hear, exactly. I have been suffering constantly, the equivalent of eternal bliss reversed around as constant suffering because I have been trying to force enlightenment. I just couldn't see how else it could happen, what else I could do. I think I may write a book someday called, "I Want to Make Myself Enlightened," describing the dangers of trying to do this. I created a subconscious block for myself, blocking out my own small self, because I thought enlightened people don't have a small self, blocking out desires because I thought enlightened people don't have desires, blocking out attachments, blocking out everything. It was physically painful, in my head/body, it felt like there was something stuck and I can't even begin to describe all the other things I created for myself by trying to copy realization, as you put it, and only blocked myself from everything. I have been looking for a way out of this block for the past 2 years. When I read your response, the block has instantly started to go away. I knew I needed to let go of enlightenment but it didn't make sense why into you explained it above, how the ego is the one who desires enlightenment, and ego goes about doing what is necessary to be enlightened. Now I know for sure I don't have to do that anymore; before, I was scared that if I stopped seeking enlightenment, it would never happen. That is why I am very thankful to you, D.R. Your work has really helped this one young man become free.

D. R. Butler said...

A recent Facebook post:

In Kashmir Shaivism the Self is, in Sanskrit, Prakasha and Vimarsha. Prakasha is the Light that illumines or illuminates all objects, conditions, and experiences; all the perceptions of the senses, the thoughts of the mind, and the feelings of the emotional body. Vimarsha is that which sees and knows that which is illuminated. So the inner Self is basically the Illuminator and the Knower of what is illuminated.

Scott Marmorstein said...

Okay I'm more than a little curious about something. I must preface this by saying that I have not read every single blog entry of yours, Ram. Only the ones since slightly before I began taking your Course.

That which I am most curious about is...Love. I know you speak about Love as being the individual who would think to seek it. "How can you feel love when you ARE love," was how you put it to me once when I wrote to you privately. I understand it very well.

But tell me, is there any difference between Joy and Love? I see that one is an even lighter and more expressive aspect of the 'other' (since I don't believe they are separate except for connotation and semantics). Would you be able to say in what ways a person may hope to lookout for this experiencing of Self as Love, and Joy...I do mean Joy in particular.

What I really read a lot more about, and often speak about, is just how difficult and challenging the path can be. And to be fair, the Path to full recognition has a good deal of deconstruction as its requisite. While talk of Peace, Joy, and felt sense of Self as Love, is certainly alluded to, I see no specific remarks about it hardly anywhere as a kind of emphasis. Personally I am much more inspired when I read poetry from Rumi and Hafiz than say...Ouspensky (even though I love and feel oddly refreshed by his offerings also).

I read from others their trials and tribulations, their understanding (whether faulty or True) but there is a real sense of ... discouragement if you take my meaning from the bulk of the words we often read, or hear from those in a position to explain to us about the Path. I'm not putting down the natural rigors that invariably arise as one attempts to consciously thwart our (subconscious) mechanical nature of action and reaction, and so on. These things are quite difficult to overcome of course, because of our exceptionally long relationship and identification to them. They should be difficult in some sense, otherwise the game stops being fun too (ha! I just found a moment of Joy in the concept of struggling against the predictable machinations of the ego/mind.) Though that is more of a slight thrill rather than a true and abidingly Powerful sense of Joy that I am referring to here.

So the question is not: "Where's the Love" but more to the point, how does one freely expand their awareness of Joy in the present moment? I know you will (and should say to this question; just read the Course already! And I do... -:) ) It really sounds much easier than it actually is in present moment application. I say this not because I am personally struggling on this matter, I have a great many things in life which obviously and subtly reflect my Joy and I find it rather more easy to willfully place my attention there. Yet I suspect this is not the case for so many that would otherwise enjoy a powerfully uplifting moment if ...there was more encouragement? Can you help me finish this thought or give some extra clues? After all, it is certainly on par with the Holiday Spirit is it not? By the way, I did reread the blog and loved it all over again. I thank you for this marvelous monthly contribution to all!

Mary said...

Charles, thank you for your comment on Dec. 6. You asked how I draw a line between practicing the contemplation of being already realized and practicing already being realized. I guess I am more comfortable with the former because the latter seems presumptuous for me. Makes me nervous, as though I am claiming something I know I am not. But if I am just contemplating that desired state, I can be more open to whatever images, perceptions, feelings that come. Also, I suspect D. R. might have a reason for his phraseology.

Ghayas said...

Today it really hit me ! At some point this afternoon, I suddenly saw how for the major part of the day -- if not throughout the whole day -- the thoughts playing in my mind, and the feeling stirring inside myself came down to : "Feeling judged, blamed, guilty, threatened, object of contempt, etc., over and over and over". Only the memories, and the present outer people were basically variyng, but the feeling was the same. It hit me ! I realized that beyond my outer actions, that was mainly my experience of the day, this inner drama. So I told myself: "Ok, then, that's your predominant feeling, of today, and yesterday, and the day before. If you die now, your subtle body will leave basically in this state. What an achievement for a lifetime !" It felt pretty boring. So I grabbed a sheet of paper and wrote the description of this predominant feeling: "I feel myself being blamed/judged/criticized, by X or Y". Once I finished, I wrote my replacement for it: "I feel myself being loved/accepted/protected/approved/blessed/guided/ nourished/uplifted/ by an inner force at the center of my Being." I share my conscious intent with all of you to focus on this latter feeling. I have been occupying this physical body for the last 38 years and a few days. When I will leave it, it is this feeling of self-approvement and confidence and conviction that will characterize my subtle body.
Please approve it all !!!! LOL

D. R. Butler said...


I want to address your question about what is the purpose of the blog. Obviously, it is of a dual nature. For one, it is the public face of the course, and participants of the course are encouraged to make the blog link available to others who might be interested. The blog gives people a taste of the course, as they get some idea of what principles are explored in greater depth in the lessons.

The second purpose, though, is to maintain a 'workshop' like atmosphere in the comments of the blog, for the benefit of participants of the course. This is where all participants of the course can ask their questions in a way that everyone can benefit from the exchange. Deep and intense work happens here. This is possibly more obvious to those who participate in the course and have that foundation of understanding.

Here is my perspective: if I were a new person looking for something that the blog and course might fulfill, and I came across the exchanges you refer to, I would be even more interested in the course after seeing that some real work was being done instead of catering to people's egos. Anyone who would be turned off by it probably are not good candidates for the course anyway.

Anyone who reads all the way through, including Omkar's response back to me, and the exchange between Kay and myself, is bound to learn something they were not aware of before. This will be the experience of anyone who is a true candidate for the course.

So the blog exists to introduce the blog to the public, or to friends whom we send the link to, hopefully along with a recommendation.

The blog is also a place where we do intense work as a community in the exchanges and dialogue in the comments. Many have had deep revelations and breakthroughs here. Omkar is only a recent example.

D. R. Butler said...

Scott Marmorstein, that's quite a question, even for you. I know you are asleep now, so I will respond to you as though in a dream, and you will receive the answer subconsciously, and then when you wake up and check out the blog, you will find your answer in the physical world, which you can receive consciously.

I have a feeling when you get to certain sections in the course, such as 'Love Is Where The Heart Is,' or 'Living In Your Own Secret Heaven,' you will come to experience and understand the true nature of love more than you might have ever expected was possible.

For now we have to go through what we have to go through until we are somewhat free from ego and samskaras, which include all our erroneous presumptions and wrong beliefs. Only then can we be truly open to receiving, retaining,and appreciating the Highest Beauty inherent in our Divine Self.

In my own experience, I can't differentiate between joy and love. They are, like you say, both ways of referring to the same experience.

I remember sitting near the Guru for hours at a time, simply watching her interact with others in darshan. And I would feel this most amazing feeling. It was like being totally joyous and totally filled with love at the same time. And there would be no rational or logical reason for it. It arose on its own and pervaded my being. During such times I certainly could not have distinguished joy from love--they were both aspects of the same experience. I suppose it is what the yogis mean when they speak of experiencing ecstasy.

In the course you might notice that I refer to it a state of exalted well-being. When love and joy blend, there is this pure exaltation of the highest nature.

Love is the secret sensation of the Self. If the Self has a feeling, the closest to describing it would be love. Yet it is not a love for anything in particular. It is not a romantic love or a possessive love. It is just love for the fun of it; love for the joy of it. And this is the truest love. Love has nothing to do with another. Love is our own eternal Identity.

Ouspensky is one part of the course. Rumi and Hafiz are another part. There is no conflict between them. They only represent different approaches for different people. For some, Rumi and Hafiz make no sense at all, but they love Ouspenksky. For others, Rumi and Hafiz speak to their heart, while Ouspensky seems too intellectual.

From the beginning of the course, a primary teaching, or principle, is to love your Self, and to recognize and love that same Self in all others. If there is any one principle that represents the course, it is this one.

Over time, we learn not only how to do this, but how to simply allow the experience to naturally happen without 'doing' anything at all, and to naturally live in this state as our own.

Love your own Self. And see and love the same Self in everyone. Then you will see love everywhere, and your very Being will be nothing but a pulsation of joy.

Scott Marmorstein said...

Thank you very much, Ram! See, even just reading that is a kind of encouragement to some students. I hope I didn't give a strange impression that I was no fan of Ouspensky, as I love all the Great Teachers and appreciate where each of them are coming from because at certain points they all must address all the levels and aspects to the Work, Growth, and the Self.

So all I'm pointing to I guess for now is just how nice it is when I see people saying or referring to states of Joy like you expressed having experienced with your Guru--I also felt the same around her, that mixture of one and both at the same time...only recently is it recurring to me for no reason at all, she's nowhere in plain sight.

I love the tough, nitty gritty aspect to the Work (there's no skirting it for sure) and I also love the Lighter side of the Work, the places where people directly experience that uplifted, exalted sense of Joy.

I don't know if you listen to a lot of the modern music but it reminds me of this, there are certain beats and rhythms that occur, one high note then an immediate low note, then ten more high notes of varying degrees, and then low notes and then bass percussion that stomp in the background. No wonder the kids get up and dance like there's no tomorrow, it mimics the beats of life in an interestingly subtle way.

Again, thanks for answering my question. I hope it also inspires others to continue to move forward when some things feel dreadful, lost, or hopeless. We can always dance, appreciate, and as you say, come back to the heart, come back to one's love, come back to the breath. Hey...come back to your tea or coffee for that matter, don't spill it on yourself by getting lost in a melodrama of the mind! :-)

Chimene said...

Hello Ram, when Scott speaks of encouragement - your answer was a great encouragement for me:
"Over time, we learn not only how to do this, but how to simply allow the experience to naturally happen without 'doing' anything at all, and to naturally live in this state as our own."
It is the Light at the end of the tunnel that I recognize - and I totally relate to in my own sadhana, when we go through the intense deconstruction of the ego that is painful and a struggle, then we "naturally" find ourselves in a state of Love and then there is the A-ha moment: "so this Love was here all along...this simple pure feeling of well-being ..." this has been my experience and this is what keeps me going...Love to all.

Sukala Boyd said...

PS Grace is ever present in my loving FEELING and therefore, quick to respond each time I demonstrate my choice to be happy. Sweet, just got that:)


Asherah said...

My samskaras are so prevalent. I am seeing them more and more and they still overpower me. I don't feel strong enough to just change my thoughts. I read and reread and I try to keep myself in good company and it really is too hard sometimes. I don't know what else to be. I try not to take to heart when I feel this way and just hang on till I'm connected to my love again. Just hang on. so I'm writing to hang on and to be in good company and while i"m here i re read.

At this moment there is a lull in my thoughts. thank you.

Charles Deschênes said...

Thank you Mary for your answer. Thank you Scott for your question. Thank you Ghayas for your honesty and openness. Thank you Ram for all of this.

I feel thankful today. And it does bring out joy!

Asherah said...

So it seems my dharma is to learn to differentiate between the karma realm and the subtle realm in order to move more into the subtle realm. I am able to tell the difference in the moment now but still feel unable to shift my attention back to my intention of staying lighthearted. Wow such a pull. Why does not the subtle realm pull as strongly? Or do we?

I am so grateful for all of you here. I know in your own ways these issues are what matters and the journey is key. Thank you all for your shares.


D. R. Butler said...

Another teacher wrote that the ego could either be enlightened or unenlightened, that the core of ego is universal spirit.

I responded in his thread:

You and I seem to have different ideas of what the ego is and what function it serves. You said, 'The core of ego is universal spirit.' Well, of course, everything is ultimately universal spirit at its core, there is no doubting that. Yet, I refer to the ego that in Sanskrit is known as 'ahamkara.' It is the sense of separation and difference, of duality and seeming multiplicity. It appropriates everything to itself, including the actions of the body, the thoughts of the mind, and the feelings of the emotional realm.

In Kashmir Shaivism it is the 15th of 36 tattvas, or levels of creation. (Mind (manas) is the 16th and buddhi (intuition, inspiration, discrimination) is the 14th. It is a long way from the 1st two tattvas, which are the Shiva/Shakti tattvas--God and his power to perform his play as a dance for his own enjoyment. The best the ego can do is to identify with the upper tattvas (light, love, empathy, compassion, pure Consciousness) instead of the lower tattvas (body, emotions, thoughts, and egotistical melodramas) as it usually does. This is the purification of the ego. But, respectfully, there is no way the ego can ever become enlightened.

Jim said...

The word ego sometimes doesn't help me in the moment. If I call out the ego with the word ego, sometimes the ego will object and begin an argument, or, if in a thoughtful mood, will prepare a dissertation complete with annotations and footnotes. Of late I am getting some traction by calling the ego the attitude. There it is, the attitude. The ego has been getting embarrassed by this and doesn't have much to say in response.

Colette said...

Ashera, Have you ever tried laughing at yourself when you find yourself stuck in your unpleasantness? I find that it works quite nicely to return me to lightheartedness. Love and Blessings, Karuna-Colette

Asherah said...

Dear Jim,

I love the attitude thing. thank you!!!

Colette thank you for the re-reminder of laughter and lightheartedness. Yes, yes!

I spoke my truth and the whole thing just settled, went blank, flatlined to quiet. Funny how connecting to truth does that.


betsie said...

I have the feeling that letting go of some aspect of the egois like pulling myself out of sticky mud. but the feeling that comes once i detect and resist a pull of the ego is worth every bit of mud. The lotus rising out of the mud and opening up. i am less perturpt by the ego in action; i know that freedom comes if not today then tomorrow. it takes time and a lot of patience to see where my thougts and actions come from. i recall my Teacher saying it does not get easier but it certainly gets more exciting. i have a sense of that excitement. i love satsang in this virtual form.

Bettina said...

Thank you, Ram, for being so precise, to the point and still so simple in your way of putting things. I loooove your comments and always did.

I just wanted to express my immense gratitude for having found you again after all these years and for having satsang in a new wonderful!

It's a great gift to have the Course as a constant companion where-ever we go, also practically speaking. The magic and power of the Shakti between the lines is that it realigns and strips away all outdated and unnecessary concepts and wishes. I found within the last week of starting the Course with lesson 1 my life has become much more simple through all the clarity I got. I feel a stronger focus, determined to stick with it and I'm witnessing more easily, too. There is a warriorlike caracteristic to it, paired with a deep underlying feeling of bubbling joy. What a holiday gift - couldn't be greater! My heart sings...

Lots of Love & Joy to all of you!

Kalindi said...

Ram, I am working on Lesson 3. In there you speak about the ego as the sense of identification...saying it identifies with and thinks it is the doer of all the actions in our lives. Question: Does this mean we are really just acting out our karma when we "do" things like get a job, have friendships, etc.
So not until we move into the present moment can we act at the highest level?

Justin said...

This blog post, coupled with my current reading, Lesson 9, have been great. I'm becoming less and less surprised at how well they fit and address my current situation.

Yesterday was my last day at my job, and today begins what I hope will be the beginning of a great and exciting new path. I have been very excited by the idea of finally and really getting down to the business of what I'm here for, of finding that, finding opportunities for expression of that, and so forth.

I am also finding that my samskaras have been waiting for this moment as well, and are ready to open the gates of panic, to worry, and to sabotage my efforts. They have already informed me that I'm not handling my layoff well, even though I officially don't start it till Monday.

I am working to stay singly focused, to remain positive and cheerful, lighthearted and grateful. It's difficult, because there's a lot of noise in my head these days. I ask this question unsure of whether I'm missing an obvious point (no such thing as a stupid question? Listen to this!), but so be it:

Can you give me a little guidance, Ram, on how to find the balance between directing my energy toward what I want and remaining aware that I have all that I need if I just avail myself of it? And where do I find that belief or awareness that I'm well taken care of in midst of the fear of financial ruin?


D. R. Butler said...

Kalindi, your question is much more complex than it seems, since it seems so simple.

If we are completely driven by samskaras, then, yes, we are simply living out our karma no matter what we do, for the samskaras are the seeds of karma.

If we decide to do sadhana (practices for spiritual growth and development) then we stop be driven completely by samskaras, and learn to insert our own free will based on our updated understanding. Instead of blindly following a samskara (subconscious tendency) we instead do what we know is best for ourselves as well as all those we are in contact with. In Sanskrit this is known as dharma.

Here's the thing: Either way, the props, the background for the stage of our karmic play is already determined. For example, we can't change where we were born. We can't change who our parents were. The general background and stage of our life has already been determined.

We can activate will power to think what we choose to think, which determines what we feel, as well as how any experience will affect us. We cannot determine what happens 'to' us, but we entirely determine what happens 'in' us, if we 'will' it. If we fail to activate will, then we will simply follow past patterns and tendencies.

All this is explored in detail in the lessons of the Course of Training.

D. R. Butler said...

Justin, the fear of financial ruin runs rampant in the world today. Do not tune into that or you will tune into the subconscious waves that presently grip humanity.

As explored in later lessons, we breathe in vibrations similar to what we are thinking, this way increasing their power. We exhale vibrations corresponding to what we are thinking and feeling, and this goes out into the ethers to affect like minds who tune into it.

One of the primary things we learn in the Course of Training is that the subtle world is infinitely more powerful than the physical world. In our ignorance, we project power into the physical world and other people, but in truth all power lies within and comes from within us when we tune into it. Of course, if we are unaware of inner power, there is no way we can express it for the betterment of the world and the upliftment of humanity.

Once you become established in the truth that the subtle world is much more powerful than the physical world, then you know that if you create the feeling that your greatest goal or aspiration is 'already true,' you have activated the most powerful force in the world, you have tuned into the Creative Power of the universe.

You have not gotten to the lessons that discuss this in detail. Be patient and practice what you already know is true. When you create something subtly, and feel that it already exists, nothing in this world can stop it. That is truly all you need to know, yet much greater understanding of this will come with practice.

Anonymous said...

First of all I want to express how being lead back to these lessons has been such a blessing. Thank you so very much that my karma has manifested this!

I know this is a busy time for you yet I have a question when it's convenient. In the blog this month the question was raised by someone along the lines of "how can you tell who the spiritual people are"...from within a strong voice immediately spoke "WE ARE ALL SPIRITUAL"....

My husband has no interest whatsoever in the lessons, nor would not want to discuss anything in them...and that will be one of my greatest learning platforms as time goes by I'm sure...

Now my conscious mind and ego keep going on and on about this issue...and sometimes the melodrama tornado's totally consume me and to actually FEEL the present moment in order to let this just blow over is overwhelming and difficult at best...some days its no struggle at all.

I do not believe he and I will ever share this knowledge in conversation in this lifetime, yet I realize he possesses all this knowledge within himself, as we all have it. Are we able to talk our conscious minds and egos into calming down about such things? I know it will come in a future lesson but briefly, how does the ego become purified? Sometimes I can step off the tracks of the oncoming ego train but this right now has me tied down to the tracks.

Thank you again and best wishes for the holidays..;-}

D. R. Butler said...

Anomymous, I could write long lists of the wives whose husbands had no interest in sharing the path with them, and of the wives who would not share the path with their husbands.

If you love your husband, then just love him, have compassion for his pain or whatever he happens to go through. Enjoy your marriage as it is, enjoy the things you do share in common. Especially find things you can laugh together about.

It is a great joy when we are able to find and live with someone who shares the spiritual aspects of life with us. Yet it is also very good karma. Most people have to learn to deal with something else, including having no partner at all, which is no better or worse, just different.

This goes way back. Even the Gopis (milkmaids) fulfilled their dharma as wives to their husbands and mothers to their children, yet in their hearts they all loved Krishna. In modern terminlogy, we live our relationships as fully and lovingly as possible, yet we love God, we love the inner Self--which, as you say, resides equally in your husband.

Sometimes it is a matter of discovering on what level can the principles be discussed. Gently see if you can find any opening in him that would interest him in any way. All the great beings talked to us about the things we were interested in so that eventually we would become interested in what they actually had to give us.

Probably the most important thing is to actually practice the principles in your own life. When you become more loving, accepting, forgiving, cheerful, and lighthearted, he will be a lot more interested in the difference that has come over you.

I knew of one couple where a wife asked her husband why he had no interest in her practices, and he answered, 'You're as critical and grouchy as ever. It obviously does you no good. Why should I do it if it's not going to change anything?'

Good point.

D. R. Butler said...

Marga, from above, if you're still reading, I just read your astrology newsletter, and not only does it present great information, it is very beautifully written. I do not know how to tell others how to get it, but you may do so here if you wish.

D. R. Butler said...

Posted on Facebook:

The word ego is used a lot, although most do not truly understand its meaning. Let's put it this way. Seriousness is ego-based. The Self is never serious. The inner Self expresses as great lightheartedness. The ego can never be lighthearted.

Colette said...

Dear Anonymous,When my husband was alive he to had little to know interest in my path, and when I focused on that we would feel more and more distant from each other, I would be subtly be making him wrong for that and he could feel it. I was subtly watering what I called the seeds of our relationship. When I focused on what was great about him and was One in our LOVE than we drew closer in spite of the stresses of his long term illness on our relationship.

I am hoping that if I am graced with another relationship that I have grown enough to mind my own business and focus on what is truly important which is the LOVE we have for each other. I am also sure that there will be breakdowns and breakthroughs in this process of evolving as apparent different beings. May you have great joy in you process of Self discovery with your husband, now and always, Karuna

primsbysarah said...

Thank you gain for the December "gift blog" . Every month is a "gift blog" I am discovering!

As I read the response to my question regarding my husband not being interested in the Lessons at this point, I saw your additional post from facebook about, "seriousness being only of the ego"...I was so caught up in seriousness at the time I wrote the inquiry... when I was done writing it, my husband then asked me(without knowing I was writing it) "..Can you print me out a picture of the Grinch to put on our mailbox?" What an ego-buster there! Fabulous ego lesson there!

Thank you so much!!!


Marga said...

Wow - thanks for reading the newsletter, Ram! I was moved to share it with you this month because your exchange with Omkar and Kay's interaction with you helped me sort out my current understanding of the nature of desire and the nature of fulfillment, which is the theme for this Mrigashira total lunar eclipse we had this morning. is where to go to sign up for "The Cosmic Almanac" (my vedic astrology newsletter.) There's a link at the bottom of the home page to be added to the list for future mailings.

If anyone wants to read this month's version about the lunar eclipse and "prinana shakti" - the power of fulfillment, you can email me at

Deep gratitude to you, Ram and Kay, and to this community, and to this living dialogue.

D. R. Butler said...

Colette-Karuna, beautiful comment, and great advice for anyone.

Margaret G said...

Dear Anonymous: Never say never! My husband was a participant in the Course for many years before I, fairly recently, became interested in taking it. He would speak about certain principles to me, but I really wasn't that interested. But, gradually,as I saw real changes taking place in him (some quite radical), I became more intrigued as to what the Course was about. Needless to say, the benefits are wonderful and I only wish that I had started sooner, but I know the timing is perfect. D.R. is so right about just accepting and loving your husband the way that he is. That's what my husband did with me,(although I think he was a saint putting up with me sometimes)! I now see how I need to apply this to my relationships with others, especially loved ones around me. Love and encouragement, Margaret G.

Sarah Hoffman said...

Thank you Karuna and Margaret G for your beautiful, heartfelt, and generous comments regarding spouses and Self discovery. A wise woman once said to me in regard to marriage.."If you are not stepping on each other's toes, you are not dancing close enough"

I am just getting acquainted with this blog and now I can see what a true asset it is in conjunction with the lessons. I will refer back to this often...and keep on dancing!

Thank You! said...

This is very difficult. It has been difficult every time that I have thought about it and over the past 4+ months, I have been practicing (and improving at) staying in the truth of the present moment to help me stay healthy. I know that staying in the truth of the present moment could help me make this decision, but I have not yet succeeded in that task.
I need to decide whether or not to take on more debt and stay in my home for at least 2 more years with the possibility of losing it then or move on now. Neither is a good choice, especially without a plan, and moving now would involve a monumental effort, the strength (emotional) for which, I'm not sure that I have.
How can I use the teachings to help me make a decision?
With Gratitude.

D. R. Butler said...

Thank You!, see my comment of December 10, 3:12 pm.

Sometimes we have a tendency to read the answer and then ask the question.

Margaret M. said...

Thank You! – your question(s) from Dec 11, 2:15 resonate with many people, myself included.

I do not know which lesson you are on, but I am reading lesson 7, which states “Dharmic ways of acquiring money will present themselves naturally in our life, without us having to ‘struggle’ to find them” and “Be conscious of already having everything that could possibly be needed – even as it remains momentarily unmanifest”.

I am simply trying to relax into the reality of those statements. I tend to be somewhat impatient, so it can be a difficult thing to do, but persevere.

If you can, wait for an answer to come to you – 2 years can be a long time…

Best Wishes, Margaret M.

D. R. Butler said...

What two years?

Margaret M. said...

Oh --

He/she said "I need to decide whether or not to take on more debt and stay in my home for at least 2 more years with the possibility of losing it then or move on now."

So, two years... Maybe I misconstrued, but it sounds like the immediate worry is payment on more debts.

Margaret M.

Darcy said...

This is my first post here. I appreciate and thank all those who are here, it's given me strength to be open and free. I had written you D.R. a personal message regarding living with chronic pain a few months ago. Since finally having my full attention on your course and having time to absorb the first few lessons. Im truly acknowledging that I am far beyond what my body is -- my pain is not me. It exists (perhaps as an illusion) but the hardware in my spine reminds me, it indeed flows within. But I believe I'm getting-it. It's not me. I am coming to peace with the pain. Because I know there is something much greater, something so much larger than physical pain, and since vaguely touching pure awareness of being. My outlook on life (which wasn't bad to begin with), just became so much brighter. I can be still --  in a moment of intense pain, and continue to find my way to it's beauty. The pain actually dissipates when I'm awake and profoundly aware of it's presents. I am enjoying life in every moment. It is indeed much easier to be light hearted than lay in the dark, angry, frustrated. I now know whatever life brings my way, I'm okay. I'm no longer afraid. It is so beautiful to actualize the power that goes beyond: body, mind, emotion etc... I'm new to your teachings. Wow, to know this is just the beginning, wonderful! I now see the past two years have prepared me and brought me here to your course.  It does take conscious practice, no doubt, but all you describe in your lessons are so relevant and really so simple when we just relax and are present in our own truth. I am Home. Heartfelt Thank you D .R. With great gratitude & love,

Colette said...

Dear Darcy Thank you for your reminder of beginning again, the joy of discovery that we are not limited by our body or circumstances but only by what we allow our selves to dwell upon.Your freshness gave me a lift, and I did not even realize that I needed one, as I felt in a pretty good space to begin with. Blessings, Karuna

Justin said...

Thanks very much, Ram, for your answer. I have become more conscious of how I think and talk about my situation, and am mindful of the power of those thoughts and words, how I use them, and where I aim them.

I am taken with the idea of feeling like my aspiration is already true, because, like so much else I've come across in the course, it's not about fighting old habits head on, it's about seeing there is something greater. I see it as not so much figuring out how to counteract something, as opposed to no longer giving it power. Unplugging it.

Many thanks, and to Margaret M., who reminded me about Lesson 7's message about dharmic means presenting themselves.

Chris_G said...

My Holiday Gift Confession

Dear LITPM Community – I have a confession to make. Since my questions were partial subject of the current blog post, it seems like a good time to make the confession.

I have had a lot of resistance to the teaching/principle that our thoughts create our world. This is due to the teachings of a particular tradition that I participate in. From the perspective of this tradition, trying to create a reality would be an expression of mind energy, and the orientation of the teachings in that tradition are much more towards surrender, acceptance, and an embracing of whatever arrives in life with Heart. It seems to completely agree with another perspective that is shared by D.R. within a given context, but doesn’t in any way negate the principle of “What you think is what you get.”

So here is my confession – despite my mental resistance around all of this, I have lived an amazing example of the principle in my own life. Of course, truly speaking, every event of life is an amazing example of the principle, but this one was truly dramatic.

When I grew up I had severe respiratory allergies and asthma. My father was a medical doctor and he provided a steady stream of the most powerful drugs of the day for treating the allergies and asthma. I won’t bore you with the exact drugs I was taking, it’s enough to know that they worked for the symptoms but the side effects of the medications were really bad for me, and had me in a pretty severe ADD type of state for most of my childhood.

During my late high-school years I noticed a strange phenomenon that happened again and again. I would go to school every day and on most days I took the three medications that addressed the symptoms and would get through the day fine. But occasionally I would be sitting there in class, feeling great, and then I would realize to my horror that I had forgotten to take the medications. Within minutes the wheezing would start, the nose would start running and I would be miserable for the remainder of the day (or until I ingested the medications).

Despite being pretty doped up by these medications, I found that I was still able to learn from the situation. I noticed after this happened for about the 20’th time that I never started feeling crappy until the thought came into my head that I forgot to take the medications. I watched the phenomenon unfold for a while longer and came to the conclusion that the only reason I would start feeling crappy was that I held the idea that the medications were the only things keeping me in a good place. In essence, the reliance on medications was all in my mind and it wasn’t the medications that were helping me but the thought that the medications would help me. At a certain point I did an experiment: I made the firm mental determination that I didn’t need the medications anymore and without consulting my father the MD I stopped taking all of them.

What happened? Nothing! No sudden allergy attacks, no asthma, no panic. I would say that if my symptoms at their worst were 100%, I was able to get down to about 20% just from shifting how I thought about them. Several years later I learned to manage the rest of them through eating well and avoiding certain foods, now I’m down to 2% and living a good life.

With such an amazing experience of the power of using willpower to change my thoughts and thus my life, why do I experience so much resistance to accepting this power in all aspects of my life? It is an interesting question and one I will be contemplating.

Kathy said...

I would like to ask about this same topic and it's helpful to see others grappling with this too.

I have been reading Russell Simon's latest book and he says on the one hand that if we are comfortable and happy in every situation then the obstacles we perceive between us and happiness will gradually disappear. Doesn't that sound like the course?

Then on the other hand he says have the courage to embrace a lifestyle that is uplifting and break free from the lifestyle that is holding you down. I can understand that too.

This latter one I can identify with because I am living next to a mentally ill person, something like Charlie Sheen.

What I don't yet understand is how to tell the difference between the stuff that is holding me down and the stuff that I need to practice being happy around.

I have read in the course that there are times when the situation is just not acceptable and should not be tolerated.

How do we tell the difference?

Do I move or do I practice feeling serene or both?

Cynthia Lynn said...

Dear Ram ... Thank you for this course. I'd like to share a recent experience about waking up in anger from an anxiety-ridden dream. Usually I would carry the toxic feelings of such dreams around with me all day, but that particular morning - Saturday, yes, the morning of the recent lunar eclipse - as I lay in bed awash in mental discomfort, I started breathing slowly and deeply, reviewing all the things I would normally "blame" for how I was feeling. Then I started listening to my heart's gentle responses: "no, it's not "because" of this or that ... no, it's not "because" of the eclipse ... (maybe you really shouldn't eat at midnight), etc., etc." until finally I got up feeling rested, refreshed and filled with gratitude and no residue of anger or anxiety. It was a great relief to finally be able to observe these feelings and not identify with them.

Thanks also for the reminder in lesson 31 about practicing forward bends and stretching the body ... I've begun doing some simple yoga asanas and have also renewed my meditation practice and within a very short period of time, have noticed positive results in important areas of my life.

Asherah said...

Kathy, oh my gosh i went through the exact same thing. for 6 years i tried to be ok. a year and a half ago i chose to leave and move on feeling that it really was unacceptable to remain. I also left my husband as he was not moving. So there are more things involved in the scenario that one might expect as it really is all about your reflection and chosen experiences and not just the neighbors perceived actions.
Justin - rereading 7 - thank you so much -
Chris g - I also am contemplating this thought where i have evidence of thought produces results yet i limit it to only certain aspects in my living. Why? I guess why doesn't matter. For me I just begin with every breath to re-remember my intention of living and being in the light and sharing the shine.


Jim said...

I caught the fever and tuned into that financial panic place yesterday, and indeed there are some pretty good swells on those subconscious waves that DR talked about on 12/10. At days end I joined the Lesson 7 review group.

Some years ago I had an awesome dream about bearded sadhus on surf boards navigating mega waves with aplomb. They were incredible beings - cool, wise, even-keeled, athletic, steady, dynamic, eyes as deep as oceans. Trailing behind them was a middle aged guy who was tentative and struggling to balance on his board, but he did manage to keep pace with the sadhus. When I think on that dream I feel renewed, less prone to the fear of tanking, whether it be financially or spiritually.

Chris G, great post. Thanks for sharing your story. I also have resistance to the teaching our thoughts create our world. When I'm reading about it here or in the lessons, I'm all for it, but then I'll go and operate in real time like I never heard that teaching. Yesterday I found myself perplexed by this and I went back and read DR's post from 12/10 3:12PM. Here's what stood out to me: become established in the truth that the subtle world is much more powerful than the physical world. This is the crux of it for me. It would be best to keep the company of the surfin' sadhus than with the ramblings of my unbridled mind.

Kalindi said...

Dear Ram, Thank you so very much for you crystal clear answer to my question. The tenacity of my ego responding to situations in my life is amazing...sadhana (which I am doing) must be the answer to getting it to losen its hold. Really looking forward to getting much more into your inspiring course. Sending you much gratitude for these lessons and the blog. Kalindi

Naganath said...

Just wanted to point out that this blog is really a Lesson in itself. The shares and experiences are truly amazing. A whole 'nother level. There is so much Love here. WIth Gratitude and Love, Naganath.

Kevin McPheeters said...

Dear Ram and Course Community–
Thank you so much for this month’s (and last month’s) dynamic and thoughtful “conversation” taking place here in comment section of the blog.

It seems and feels so appropriate that during this “holiday” season this is the conversation we are having.

I have felt like a child sitting at the grown-up table, listening intently to all that has been said. Many, many times I have wanted to chime in, and voice my own thoughts and share some of my own experiences – but just when I thought there was an appropriate break in the conversation for me to add my own perspectives – some one else would say basically (or exactly) what I was thinking and I felt again content to just listen, and see where all this would go. In my minds eye the conversation did feel like a family gathering at a holiday banquet – complete with some “aunts” and “uncles” that had perhaps had a bit too much to drink and were talking a little loudly with overly fabricated conviction! But it was all fun – and we are fortunate to be grounded in the Truth, or at least in the common goal of seeking the Truth.

What percentage of the 6 billion folks on this planet – have even heard of Kashmir Shavism? Or, have been fortunate enough to ever have ever been in the company of a True Living Master, if even for a just a little while. I’d wager it is an incredibly small percentage of the human mass – and that is something to be truly grateful for, is it not? No matter which way the conversation goes, or what suffering, or confusion is expressed? We are all so fortunate!

I was lucky enough to have a very vivid dream a few nights ago where my own beloved Guru appeared! This is a rare occurrence, yet it is something I wish, and hope, and pray for every single night as I fall asleep – so when it happens it really gets my attention. In this dream he was just there in my living room, stretched out on my couch waiting for me to come home from my day. He graciously let me grab his feet and feel flooded with Joy and Love (yes, there is a difference in my experience). I asked him why he had come, and he told me it was just because I had called him – in the dream it was like he was a very busy person who couldn’t stay long and needed to get back to the things he needed to do – but he wanted me to know that I was never forgotten and he always hears me, and he just wanted to say “Hi”. This is exactly how he was in real life, and before he left his body – I was blessed in that he did show up in my city and made sure that I knew he was there for me, and accepted me exactly as I was, and would always be there for me no matter what.

I’m not really sure why I am now speaking up now, and sharing this particular thought with you all – I think it has to do with Ram’s comment about the subtle realm being so much more powerful than this physical realm. I forget that particular Truth all the time, and I know I probably will again. Probably even in the next hour or two, once I get on the freeway on my way to work and encounter my fellows out there in the hustle and bustle of this delightful, and miserable play of being “me” among “you all”.

This is my long-winded way of expressing my deepest gratitude to you all - for all the positionalities and perspectives expressed at our holiday banquet table.

Wishing you all Peace on Earth, and Good-Will towards all. May we all see God in ourselves as our very beautiful and unique Self and recognize that, in each and every other being we encounter. May we all feel great Joy as winter comes upon us, perhaps especially in the knowing that spring is sure to follow – and we can all choose to observe all that unfolds with Love, as the very foundation of our being.

Merry Christmas and the best of new Years to you all!

D. R. Butler said...

Kevin, you ask how many people in this world have ever heard of Kashmir Shaivism. You are right, there are very few. More today than 20 years ago for sure, but even when I was in India and taught classes in Bombay, hardly any of the upper-middle class Indians who came to the classes had ever heard of Kashmir Shaivism. Most of them are familiar with Vedanta, but very few had any real knowledge of Kashmir Shaivism. It is a rare yet extremely powerful tradition.

D. R. Butler said...

A comment I posted on a Facebook thread:

The thing is, with powerful personalities like Gandhi and Martin Luther King, the truth is that powerful universal forces were behind their actions and their impact on humanity around them. If you had asked Gandhi or King what they did to accomplsih so much, I bet anything they would answer something like, 'I never did anything. I was just being myself. It all just happened.'

The other night I was listening to Paul McCartney talk about the phenomenon of the Beatles. He was saying that there was nothing that any of them did in particular to cause such a huge impact on the world. He said they just did what they did, just made music, and the phenomenon around them just happened on its own, without anyone doing anything to make it happen.

It's a very subtle subject, and possibly not one we could come in complete agreement about in the scope of this thread. It's just that human individuals don't in themselves cause world-changing events to happen. They're simply playing their own karmic role. The transforming Power comes from a much higher, and subtler, level of Being.

D. R. Butler said...

My response in a thread on Facebook in which someone states that will power is only an illusion:

Respectfully, free will is not an illusion. Free will is the greatest power we have been given by our Higher Power, of any name or description. We have the power to choose what to think next, which determines how we will feel and how things will affect us.

We do not have the power to determine what happens 'to' us, that is karma. However, we definitely have the power to determine what happens 'in' us.

Conditions, situations, and circumstances are all karma, but how we see and think and feel about these things is totally up to us, if we but have the courage to actually activate will power. Most people, of course, habitually follow their subconscious tendencies, known in Sanskrit as 'samskaras.'

You can activate free will to think uplifting, pleasant thoughts instead of contracting, unpleasant thoughts. Once again, this is the only power we have. We may as well use it for our own good as well as for the good of all others around us.

Chris Griffin said...

Dear D.R.

In your experience do you see that there is a point where the individual will surrenders as a clear conduit for the Divine Will? In other words, surrenders to be in complete harmony with the supreme Self in the unfolding of the present moment?

If it does so, once it has done so can it be said to exist?

Steu said...

Thanks Ram and Kay! These last two weeks have been incredible openings ....
It's funny how I "think" I am a spiritual person and have progressed, yet reading these lessons I am so enriched at levels I have never touched before. Yes, my life is revealing a fresh sense of innocence in various nooks. These are not really shadows - those areas where I have "bad" or "negative stuff stored or filtered. For the first time in my 50 some years I am feeling accomplished at accessing levels within my fabric that are releasing perceptions .... in astonishingly pleasant musings.

..... the other night I woke up and actually was enjoying the "isness" for a while before my thoughts and ideas geared up and took me out of that present momentness .... the beauty is I caught my self leaving the isness ... getting caught in the arising thoughts .... but I had the awareness of isness and then leaving it ...... a remarkable opening to me :-) Love and Blessings - thanks to all you do and be! Steu

rico said...

Chris, it seems that what dissolves is they IDEA that there is an individual separate from the Divine. When that happens your other questions don't matter.

chimene said...

my husband and I were reflecting on the birth of our son Walid this past 12-12 it was the most easeful of the three births of our children- and what was the big difference? past experiences ? not really.
Actually, if there is one thing that really added something to this experience was The Course - applying the Creative principle in a real, potentially stressful, uncontrollable situation was what made the difference.
For my part, maintaining the feeling of the end result was the key, "easefulness" - Like in the lesson where Ram shares how on each of his flights he would visualize himself arriving at his destination, in a specific state - it was this powerful practice of visualizing with feeling and not trying to figure out how it would come about, that was the key. Amazing!!
How about you? Any situations, concrete and potentially stressful, in which the creative principle has seen you through?

Cynthia Lynn said...

I'm currently on lesson #32, and these sentences really stand out for me:

"No matter how others might see or experience you now, imagine very clearly and know beyond any doubt that by a year from now everyone who knows you will naturally see you as an extremely lighthearted and life-loving person. By establishing this reality in your own consciousness, it radiates outward through the aura of the subtle body. Your subtle aura greatly influences how others see you."

I've long been suspicious of overly happy people ... didn't trust them; they didn't seem genuine; I refused to be pulled into their "game."

However, this past Sunday, I attended a memorial celebration for just such a person. Everyone who spoke about her, remembered her infectious joy and her ability to make them feel that they were the most precious person alive!

I was a bit dumbfounded and also felt somewhat ashamed, because although I liked and respected this person, I could never open up to receive what she so freely offered. I tend to hold my joy in reserve; afraid to give too much of it away; afraid of losing it; afraid of being perceived as unsophisticated ... a silly fool?

The funny this is, about a couple of weeks before her passing, I "saw" her at the post office ... she walked in, with a big grin as usual; I greeted her, asked her how she was feeling ... but something felt strange (I thought she was bedridden), so I didn't engage her in conversation ... and at the end of her memorial celebration, I realized this wonderfully happy woman had appeared to me to say "goodbye," and was sharing her joy right up to and after her physical end.

I would love to believe that it's possible for me to be known in that way ... as someone who freely shares her joy and love for life.

Thank you Ram (Thank you Kate Asch).

Charles Deschênes said...


I'd say both. Although I would rephrase as "reconnecting with inner peace" instead of practicing serenity. But that might be just a personal preference, as practicing something we already are on some level seems to me that it creates an extra layer which is not needed. Our creative power can be supported by the way we describe things, so I choose to describe my inner state as closely as possible to the actual state I wish to become aware of.

Then, only from that space of serenity can we rightfully what we should put up with or not..

@Chris Griffin

I, too, would like to hear about this from D.R. but I love Rico's answer. I could add that one cannot say that it exists nor that it doesn't exist... Pardon me, I just love paradoxes! At an early age I was in a philosophy course. As an exercise of logic, the teacher proved to us, with complete and valid logic two things: the existence as well as the non-existence of God... I then realized there has to be something above the mind...

Mukunda said...

Cynthia Lynn,

That's an amazing story about your 'good natured' friend...Thanks for sharing that, especially in the context of the quote from lesson #32....something to aspire to!

Michael said...

In the early lessons you encourage us to develop the habit of reminding ourselves to "come back to the Heart, come back to the moment, come back to our love." It sounds so simple, but I realized that after three years of taking the Lessons, I had become a little lax. You also invited us to take a minute at sunset to thank our Heavenly Father for hearing us and seeing to all our needs, for unconditional approval. Resolution: I'm recommitting myself to regularly coming back to the Heart and thanking God. I really want to feel what my Self is showing me right now. Maybe it is a flash of recognition that all actions arise from the inner space. Or the sense that I am the Awareness that looks out of everybody's eyes now.

Cynthia Lynn said...

Thank you Mukunda ... Lesson #32 is so FULL!

The part that's grabbing my attention now is D.R.'s discussion about "right and wrong" and how we get caught up in our judgement of ourselves and others. I find I'm most wanting to prove others "wrong" when they're saying or doing something similar to things I've said or done that I don't like, or which have brought me pain or discomfort of some sort ... or when their circumstances are mirroring some part of my own with which I'm not currently at ease.

I've long recognized "opportunities to let go," but I've been stubborn & resistant about choosing that course ... I wanted to PUNISH them! {:-O !!! (GEEEZ!)

I am grateful to be closer to accepting and FEELING that I DO have a choice to create a different paradigm for my life ... I want that now; I didn't FEEL it before!

Asherah said...

I am so loving everyone here. Thank you for all your shares as many of them are just what I'm pondering.

So I notice that I am addicted to the physical and psychological reaction to rejection!!!!! So much makes sense with this awareness including ancestral patterns. I am able to notice the many ways in one particular relationship that I "react" within this addiction. I am beginning to stop the automatic continuing samskara, ie. the things I say and do back, but not yet the personal feelings. I am setting up a different response of amusement with myself that I am again feeling this way. I look forward to the time when I notice that I used to have an experience around certain word phrases.

I am so grateful to be able to see the difference between "reaction" and "response" and to begin to notice more specifically my "reactions" and my “responses.” This gives me a place to go, an opening rather than just a wall.

Om Guru

D. R. Butler said...

Response to a comment on my Facebook page:

Anyone who starts off a comment with 'I am still impure enough...' is already off the track in my book. There is nothing impure about you. 'Thoughts of disrespect' only exist in the mental realm and have nothing to do with who you truly are.

Also, strange as it might seem, being disrespectful is never being 'truthful and sincere.' That is only a justification we offer ourselves, to feel okay about it. In truth, we are expressing our own samskaras, our own misunderstandings, our own ego, our own conditioned mind. There is nothing truthful and sincere about it, although the ego surely sees it that way.

Being truthful and sincere is expressing your true Self outwardly in this present moment. This true inner Self is always, by nature, loving and respectful.

Roy said...

I've been considering starting anew with meditation. Can you give a short tip, a phrase, a word, that might be helpful in starting over with meditation from a new place?

D. R. Butler said...

Meditate on being a hollow reed.

Sylvia in Colorado said...

Does anyone remember that old song, You Light Up My life? This blog for November and December is lighting up my life brighter than ever!

I love Kevin's analogy: reading this blog is like Kevin I am a child sitting at the grownup table during a large family gathering. I am struck by how profoundly honest our "family" is growing to sharing troubled areas of our sadhana and sharing about embarrassing and/or breakthrough ego sharing what has worked for you, we all learn from one another. Thank you, each one, for sharing on this deep level. It helps me to relate and then grow from your experience.

I want to share a recent experience which relates to what others have written about mind and body. I have had physical chronic pain almost since birth until now, 70. Recently I read something in this blog about Scott M's healing work. I had a brainstorm and I asked him if he can do healings at a distance, which (long story short), we did over the phone. Further into the session, he said, "Sylvia, I have a sense that you may need to thank your body, and parts of your body, for what they do to support you." OMG! That hit home! Just the day before, I had told my son that I had been given a "lemon" for a body when I was born.

I have stopped saying and thinking this way. Scott recommended that I thank different parts of my body every day for one minute. Now I recommend it to anyone who has physical chronic pain or illness. I have always awakened each day with deep gratitude for all the blessings in my life. I almost always name a dozen or more people, events, blessings I am thankful for. But I have never put daily thought into thanking my various body parts and happy, smooth, painless body functions. This seemingly small change has brought greater peace and strength to my mind and body. I am also using the thought pattern Ram is teaching us of imagining myself as already healed, strong, painless, samskara-free, radiant, lighthearted and happy.

Thank you to Scott for that session and to Kevin for your letter about our blogging "family" around the festive table, sharing with one another with great respect. The child in me is absorbing like a sponge the shares, wisdom, reflections and words of wisdom that everyone writes. Most of all, thank you, Ram and Kay!!! If it wasn't for you, your loving service and your "course-writing" karma, we would not have any of this exceptional bonding.
Much love to all from the high country in Colorado, sylvia

Colette said...

I had an aha moment, This is a reminder to all of us who are still struggling with the sense of unworthiness"The SELF is already attained." Our sense of unworthiness is the last thing to go. May we all let it go and relax into the sensation of the HEART our true resting place. Blessings to all, Karuna

Magaret said...

D.R. - here is part of my journal for today. Share if you think it would be helpful to anyone.

Christmas Eve and I have just finished my reading for the evening. With this lesson (8) I keep coming back to the statements:

“Painful experiences are best forgotten. We can do this once we discharge the emotional energy held in the memories corresponding to those experiences.”

I totally agree… Great idea… The problem is/was how do I accomplish this? I’ve been feeling like there has been this formless negative energy just dragging me down and I wish to be rid of it. How can I switch to good and positive thoughts about my experiences with J? How can I put these things into a positive light? She still – months later – exerts a negative and controlling influence in my life and she shouldn’t have that power. I shouldn’t give it to her. I doubt she wants it.

So, into my head pops a wish for her to have constructive experiences in her Karma; progress in her journey towards enlightenment; that her presence will bring light to all she meets. At first I thought this was funny in a sarcastic kind of way and it brought to mind the quote from Romans:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

The more I think about it, though, the more real it becomes… Isn’t that what we all want and need? Progress on our journey; light to all we meet. Grace to J, grace to me. I wish her well and the world is a better place. She is who she is, no more blame, no more labels (and she doesn’t need burning coals dumped on her head).

Vicki Hilger said...

Sitting in silence with Kurt, lights low, reading the heart-felt comments, preparing my mind for a Christmas Eve meditation. Six inches of fresh snow outside, not a sound, fresh cold air. Cats curled in chairs, phone off, all is well. More and more time has been spent with the course, facebook, the blog - endless circles of Satsang. I glide into meditation with ease...

D. R. Butler said...

I love your post, Vicki.
Such contentment, and the perfect example of 'being at ease.'
Love to you and Kurt.

Vicki Hilger said...

Margaret, blessing J. is the best way to play the game. (Burning coals? That enigmatic bible!) I've been blessing those whom I can't reach any other way for some time, and always see results, especially in myself. I bless criminals, suicide bombers, etc., and of course, all their families, victims, victims'families... And, closer to home, my neighbours and community. Many years ago Kurt bought into a large acreage with other members of his spiritual group, but over time, though we built and live here, the others sold,sometimes to people who had no inkling as to the origional intention, and caused no end of trouble. I was pretty unfriendly to the last guy to buy in, holding an old grudge from 15 years before, plus he was a smoker, drinker, meat eater and wanted to sit on my personal beach, where I chanted, and smoke and drink beer. We said some stuff to each other. So I decided to lighten up and began blessing him, and by extension, other people in our group and community that I might not feel comfortable with. Eventually I began to see him on the road, he'd roll down his window, we'd smile and chat, and I actually advised him one day to try blessing a third member of our land group who was causing him grief. Well, she sold out to him, the rest of us have become friends, and Kurt and I attended this fellow's Boxing Day party for the 3rd year in a row. A couple of years ago, he and his partner came over for tea, and we were laughing about what a bitch I'd been. They asked me why I changed, and I replied I'd decided not to be such a tight-ass any more. When I'm with them now, and other families in our tiny community, I feel so much love for them all. So who changed? Probably, just me.

D. R. Butler said...

My how you've changed since I changed.

Sukala Boyd said...

One of the gifts I receive from the Course is self-esteem. It’s fascinating how my interpretation of events changes as I apply what’s given.
In the work week before Christmas I was mentally preparing for a certain staff meeting. We have two office locations, and the electronic calendar showed that the meeting would be held at the office I work in. Despite checking this detail at least twice, the location was actually at the other office. I’d seen something I wanted but not what was actually there.
I called, made my way over and arrived late. The chairperson graciously gave me time to get settled. Feeling somewhat relaxed, I listened as this came out of my mouth. “This experience has showed me: What I see is what I get. I was certain the meeting was at the other office. I’d even inwardly expressed gratitude about all of us meeting there! This was a tangible experience of how we all get what we expect in life.”
As the chairperson gave an “aha” in recognition of this truth, I was in awe at the change in myself I’d just witnessed. Rather than feeling badly about my mistake, I accepted it with wonder and shared it from a place of empowerment and maturity.
I love myself and appreciate my life more and more, as the transformation goes on and on through the grace of this course.

With love,

Vandita said...

I was about to ask you to please talk about LOVE here or in Facebook for us to enter the new year in love, and because I love the way you talk about it, it is absolutely contagious.... But I am already drunk in love after reading your lesson 25 of the second volume. Thank you so much!

D. R. Butler said...

As far as Vandita is concerned, the more love the better.
I don't know that I've ever met a more loving person.

Vandita said...

The more love the better. Oh please bless us! Just anticipating your words makes me nervous... your answer the first time I asked you about love (with my broken English,) changed my life FOREVER...!

D. R. Butler said...

I just posted this in a Facebook thread:

I know everyone's life is speeding up. It is what is happening in the world right now. The thing is, the Course, in its various forms of lessons, FB, blog, interactions with me or others also in the Course, are specific ways to keep up with the quickening of the frequencies hitting the planet at this time. It seems like a lot to do, but doing this will make it much easier to do everything else.

Vicki Hilger said...

Here we are, at the gate of 2012. In 1939, at the first Christmas of WWII, King George VI of England included in his Christmas speech part of a poem by Minnie Louise Haskins. I found a copy of it, framed, in an antique store about 30 years ago, and read it often. Called "At the Gate of the Year", it goes like this:

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year,
'Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown'.
And he replied 'Go out into the Darkness and put your hand
into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light
and safer than a known way'.
As we venture hand-in-hand into the bright unknown of 2012, may we continue to see the highest in ourselves and others, may we bring out the best in one another, and may we always remember that we are never alone.

Karen Blum said...

The Exercise in Lesson 31 is to imagine what we want our lives to look like 12 months from reading the lesson. We are to give it as much feeling and possible. So I have created and written my "bucket list" for the next 12 months.

As soon as I committed the list to paper, I brought it from the realm of my imagination into this reality we share. As soon as I wrote the list, the steps I need to take (at least initially) became apparent.

Some of the things on the list are things I've been afraid to try. Can't say for sure whether I've been afraid of failure or afraid of success. It doesn't matter. I am on my way, and I trust Grace to refine the course.

What makes this list different (from list of resolutions I've written in the past)) is how I begin each goal statement. There are no "I want to's" , or "I envision" or "I plan to" or "I will" beginnings. All my statements begin in the affirmative: "I am" "I continue", "I have". I am structuring them so they show that the goals are already completed.

I'm happy for the exercise and even happier that I am doing it! It has given me guidance that has been lacking in my life. I have a flexible road map.

Naganath said...

I just re-read this post. Suddenly, it hit me: one day those words will be so pedestrian and like 'duh.' The practices and effort we make NOW will spread in Consciousness like wildfire. And what seemed like work and a hopeful way to be will be a perfectly normal state of being.

Margaret G. said...

Vicki Hilger: Thank you for that beautiful share. A lovely way to begin a new year and every moment - hand in hand, heart in heart with God.

Eugenia said...

Funny, I remember wanting to drink from the river so I was guided to it. By its side I wanted to be part of it so I jumped in and was carried away. Now as I am practicing my strokes I see the light play in the water and my new year calls me: Be Beam
Happy new year all

Asherah said...

Oh Karen I love the "Iam" and "I continue." love, love

Cynthia Lynn said...

Thank you Karen Blum!
It's always been challenging for me to make lists of goals or resolutions ... your approach of beginning each goal statement in the AFFIRMATIVE so that they already show completion feels very powerful to me. I will sit with my list once again, and reaffirm each goal as having been completed!

May Everyone Have a Blessed and Joyful and Abundant New Year! <3

Cynthia Lynn said...

Dear Ones, as blessing for each moment and the New Year, I would like to share a favorite poem (maybe some of you are already familiar with it):

"Breathing in,
I establish myself
in the present moment.
Breathing out,
I know that this
is a wonderful moment."

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Bhadra Nazzaro said...

Only a few hours left now until we enter the New Year. 2011 brought me to this Blog, the Course, and to Facebook, an amazing cyber-community of devoted seekers of Truth. It's hard to imagine a year more blessed and filled with positive changes..and yet I know that is exactly what is to come!

I want to thank you, Ram, once again..and all who take the time to read and post here. This is true seva and fellowship, and a way we can all uplift the world, beginning with ourselves and spreading outwards. Much love as we move into the New Moment of 2012!

Shyami Nazzaro said...

Vicki, thank you for sharing that poem. I love the line, 'Go out into the Darkness and put your hand
into the hand of God.' Swoon! :) It becomes more and more reassuring and just plain exciting to know with certainty that God is really with us in every single moment, and could never be otherwise, and that the mystical experience of union with the Divine is what we are all being drawn towards.

Sukala Boyd said...

What an awesome year, 2011. Thank you, for opportunity after opportunity to learn to be. What a demanding year, a real sink or swim year to get real, contribute and participate. I got my face on FB, made a few friends, and am now expanding my ability to navigate the subtle realms. Is this what the course has been guiding me toward?
Goodbye, 2011, I love you and all the gifts you provided so generously! May I do the same. What sensations of love, sometimes it feels like my heart will burst. You're the greatest, 2011, now like a grandmother, heralding in 2012 so gently, sweetly and persistently too. So I extend my hand to 2012... closer... nearer... we won't stop now, we're almost there!

Happy New Year everyone!


Sylvia in Colorado said...

Vicky Hilger, my heart is touched and uplifted by your wonderful sharings in the last few days. Thank you so much.

It is early New Year's Eve here and life is good. I feel so much gratitude for each person in the course and on this blog. I cannot imagine my life without what we have together here. May Kay and Ram be especially blessed today. You do so much for us...even while you probably have your own personal life dramas...or maybe not...either way, thank you.

I often wonder how Ram keeps up with blogging here and there, writing the course on all it's levels, family life, and then normal stuff like eating and sleeping. I am just so happy and overflowing with gratitude that we are entering 2012 with Ram and Kay. How did we get so lucky!

All day I have felt like I am expertly riding a 30 foot wave...although I have never surfed in my life. Now that's a giggle all by itself!

May we all ride the wave supporting each other by reading our current lesson; by sharing on, and reading, this blog; and by sending our highest blessings to one another. May we who are taking the course grow in numbers and strength in order to support those who write and publish it. Anyone new to this course, a warm welcome with love. Don't be shy, jump right in, and ride the wave!

Shasta Connect said...

Hey DR and Kay, thanks again on sending the lesson to me. My life over the last several years, like many folks I have encountered, is about letting go and letting go some more. I could tell my story, but I sense it would not provide much energy to moving forward.

Reading the lessons I know that we all have a story, but what is more essential is what we are going to create - now. There is so much juice in that awareness - what to create now.

For me, being more attuned to the present moment - now - is rocket fuel to whatever I am doing or being. That being attuned gives me the inner strength to walk my talk and .... ummm, that is so enriching and satisfying. That is the kinda undescribable happiness that I never received from money or other people .... or anything else.

This attunement that the lessons help nourish and guide me with, make my life so juicy and so cellular. I don't have to keep looking for life to give me anything any more. Wow, that is so large for me in my journey - to be able to say that to you.

Your lessons rock my world and keep me rooted - in what is real and everlasting.

Thank you with all my heart in sharing your journey and these lessons with me.

Love and Blessings, Steu

Vinata said...

Thank you so very much for the Course and all its many gifts.  People often tease me about reading in public.  I become so absorbed, I lose all awareness of what is around me.  This past week this went to another level.  I was reading the blog and comments while on the elliptical at the gym.  A friend commented:  You were so intense over there, I wish I could work out like that!  The truth of the moment was so funny.

Then today, I derailed.  It was a rough morning at the studio and I lost focus on the present moment.  I was rattled, negative, and spreading that vibe around like typhoid Mary.  However, at the post office the nice lady behind the counter just kept naming positive qualities of the day...the sun was out, it was lunch break,  the weather is nice, and something inside me responded by putting on the brakes (think of the old Road Runner cartoons here)... and my "I" heard the gift this woman was trying so hard to give me.  I responded with: God Bless you for bringing me back into the present moment.  You are right, it is a beautiful day.

Thank you again for the Course...I am certain participating in it helped catalyze my awareness today.

stevedav said...

So, I'm reading lesson 15 and I realize that I am not yet to a place where I can feel/be in harmony with the violence, greed and human atrocities that are happening around this earth. I understand what you're pointing to on an intellectual level, but from a feeling, somatic level I'm not there. . .yet. Just making an observation on my own place on this path.

Kaunteya / Tom said...

Dearest Ram
Reminds me of what the Guru said once, ~" to be enthusiastic, like these teenagers, just act enthusiastic and you will feel enthusiastic "
in the same way, as you suggested to be lighthearted, I act cheerful and lighthearted and that is what I feel and experience
Kaunteya / Tom