Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year--Self-Interview Part 3

Q:  So, it’s the first day of 2012, and you’re going to do the self-interview thing again?  Why don’t you just wish them happy New Year?

A:  Happy New Year, everyone!  May the upcoming year be your most excellent yet.

Q:  Sweet.  So if you’re not going to write a New Year’s blog message, what sort of questions shall we go for?  Do you want to talk about philosophy, Eastern religion, practical living, or yourself?

A:  You’re a terrible interviewer.

Q:  Okay, let’s start off with why anyone should bother to read this blog.

A:  This blog is for people who are sincerely interested in living in the Truth of the Present Moment.  There are a lot of people on a spiritual trip, who define themselves as 'spiritual people,' that have not yet gotten to the point where they’re willing to do whatever it takes to remain in the Truth of the existing moment, which is the only reality there is, the only true life there is.  Most people live in their imagination, and to tell the truth, are hardly aware of what is actually going on around them.  They live in a dream-bubble floating through time and space, occasionally bumping against other dream bubbles—objective humanity.

Q:  Are you saying that the past isn’t real?  It happened, didn’t it?

A:  Well, yes and no.  It happened, relatively speaking, but on a larger scale, it is essentially no different than a dream such as the ones we wake up from after sleeping.  In reality, none of it actually happened.  The ‘Yoga Vasishtha’ refers to this physical world as ‘an illusion of longstanding duration.’  When we leave this body, it’s like waking up to a subtle reality that is much more real and familiar to us than this world of karma, which is kind of awkward and clumsy in comparison.  Instead of saying, ‘What a strange dream that was,’ it’ll be more like, ‘What a strange incarnation that was.’

Q:  Are we in a dream now?

A:  Again, yes and no.  The dream is happening; it goes on in waking life, whether we take it seriously or not.  If we are unaware of the changeless nature of the Self, then we are most probably caught up in the dream and think of it as reality, or ‘real life.’  If we are aware of the eternally changeless nature of the Self, we enjoy this karmic dream as we would a good movie or play.  It is actually a performance for our own delight, but instead of lightheartedly playing along, the ego takes it all seriously and makes everything into distressing and stressful circumstances and situations.

Q:  Where does the dream of life come from?

A:  Mind.  This apparent individual human life is a fictitious imagining of the Mind, which is creative in nature.  Ordinarily, our life is an outer manifestation of the past conditioning of the mind, which we know as subconscious mind.  Most of what we do, think, and feel, and how we act, is the result of subconscious tendencies, known in Sanskrit as samskaras.  They are the original invasion of the body-snatchers.  They make us say and do things we have no true feeling to say or do, and act in ways that we have no desire to be and would never choose to be.  When we say, ‘I’m not going to be this way ever again,’ and then a while later we are being that way again, that is a samskara—a past impression that reproduces itself over and over even though we’d prefer that it go away.

Q:  How do we break free from this?  Are there ways to make it go away?

A:  First we have to realize the truth of our predicament.  Should the great majority of people read what has been written so far, they will either consider it new-age mumbo-jumbo, or will think there are some interesting ideas, but will have no sincere interest in pursuing any of it further—especially when it comes to actually changing anything.  The ego is insidiously resistant to change.  It insists on remaining as it is, and it wants nothing to do with change unless it’s in charge of the details itself.  Even if one were to recognize a good idea, the ego, with one ‘excuse’ after another, would prevent him or her from ever actually applying it in real life.

So the first step is simply recognizing the truth of how it is—that we are actually chained to a fence of samskaras that will do everything in their power to prevent us from changing anything about ourselves or our life as it is.  The samskaras only want to reproduce the past over and over in an endless cycle.  This is why most people can never break free from the life they are presently chained in—because they cannot see any possibility beyond the samskaras, or do not understand the samskaras themselves for what they are.  Most people are totally ignorant of all this.  It is the state of the world we live in.

Q:  So how is it possible to see that something greater than what we already know is actually within reach?

A:  The soul (in Sanskrit, jiva) goes through its own evolution.  It is what incarnates from one body to another, each incarnation taking up, in conscious development, where the last left off.  At some point, when it is truly ready, it comes across someone who is happier and freer than itself, and it has reached a point, has suffered enough, that it wants to know how it is possible to be happier and freer.

That is when we find something that begins to reveal greater possibilities and a new direction to move in.  We find a book that engages us in a new way, we come across a yoga or meditation class, we meet a teacher, or someone tells us about this blog and our Course of Training via email, which I can say without any fear of successful repudiation that there is nothing else like it anywhere. 

This might at first seem like a great presumption, or even pompous arrogance, but after 50 years of sincere searching, and being fairly familiar with everything available on the ‘spiritual scene,’ I have found nothing even close to it, other than my own Teacher’s course written in the 40’s and 50’s.  Any participant of the course will tell you that they have never seen anything that compares to it.  It might sound strange coming from me, but coming from them it sounds like sincere appreciation.  Read the comments of the blog, or the postings on Facebook, to get an idea of the ongoing dialogue among course participants.

Q:  How can you account for the fact that you are associated with something unlike anything else available?

A:  For the life of me I’ve never been able to figure that one out.  I am fairly certain, however, that it has nothing whatsoever to do with me personally.  It happens in spite of me, and certainly not because of me.  I am sure that it has something to do with the teachers I have studied with and what they have passed on to me that is to be passed on to others. 

Q:  How is it that you are so certain that what you write about is actually true?

A:  I have applied the principles of Truth in my own life, and have seen for myself that they are infallible and immutable.  There is no question about their power once they are actually applied in real life.  They are not something to ‘believe’ in.  I encourage people to believe nothing, and to prove what is true in their own lives.

I am not interested in communicating something to only be believed or agreed with.  Whether anyone else believes or agrees with something or not is of no consequence to either them or to me.  I come from the experiential school.  The principles of Truth explored in the Course of Training can be experienced right from the beginning, with Lesson 1, or for many people, just from reading the blog.  There is no dogma, nothing to believe or agree with.  Never believe anything you can’t prove true in your own life.

The course is simply a clear and modern presentation of the ancient principles regarding the Truth of Being.  In a sense, it is an awakening of who we truly are.  Participating in the Course changes a person’s life on every level.  It is a process to be experienced, and one lesson leads to the next, so that there is a progression on whatever level of sadhana one might be on.  The course can be taken on whatever level of understanding you have attained, and wherever you are, it will meet you.  It is not ‘elementary’ for anyone, regardless of one’s background or previous experience.   

Q:  So what’s your perspective on the prophesized events for the year 2012?  Is there anything real to it or is it all hype?

A:  You know, I was just watching something on CNN that covered, in order, all the physical and natural catastrophes that happened somewhere in the world during 2011.   My wife Kay and I were watching it together, and we turned to each other and agreed that if that had been foresight, or seeing events ahead of their time, or knowing in advance everything that was going to happen, it would have seemed very scary and possibly even unbelievable that all that could happen in a single year. 

It has been prophesized by many different traditions that unusual changes will occur in the year 2012.  Considering 2011 as a prelude, you’d have to think the planet is heading in a direction that includes a certain degree of upheaval, inwardly as well as outwardly. 

Anything, you know, is catastrophic for whomever it’s happening to.  My mother died suddenly at the age of 43 in a car accident.  For me, who had just turned 21, that was as catastrophic as it gets.  So anything that happens is a big deal for those it happens to, and for those who know them.

Probably we’ll see more of what we’ve seen in 2011.  The worst could certainly be yet to come, but the good part is that the best is yet to come as well.  I don’t have any inside information about it.  I’m only an observer.  My perspective, and what I encourage in those who work with me, is that whatever happens, even if it at first appears catastrophic, is gradually leading to something much better than anything we’ve yet experienced.  In the end, as in the beginning, there is only perfection. 

In my eyes, only something wonderful lies ahead.  A new birth, on any level, is a wonderful opportunity for growth.  If you are not interested in growth, then simply be content.  Contentment is the highest state anyway.  There is nothing that needs to be attained.  All we need is the recognition of the Truth of the Present Moment.

In one of my responses in the comments following last month’s entry—which included some really good exchanges—I discussed the importance of understanding that the subtle world and the subtle body, in which we currently reside, are much more powerful and substantial than the physical world and the physical body.  The subtle body entered the physical body at the first inhalation, and departs on the last exhalation.  The connection between the subtle and physical bodies is the breath and the nervous system.  Through the nervous system, the physical and subtle bodies merge as one.

If a powerful bomb went off next to our physical body—which strangely happens to some people in this world—the physical body would only return to the elements of the earth from which it came, while we would simply find ourselves once again focused on the subtle body and subtle world instead of the physical body and physical world.  The actual experience would be somewhat like waking up from a dream.

Once we are fully established in the awareness that the subtle body and subtle world are more permanent and more powerful than anything in this physical existence, and that nothing in the physical world can affect the subtle body in any way—unless we allow it to in our own thinking, which would be a lack of discipline on our part—we lose our fear of anything bad happening; we lose our fear of death and destruction. 

Physical destruction seems like a big deal when we are focused on the physical body and physical world, but when we are firmly established in our subtle reality, physical destruction is seen as just another apparition in the ongoing play of constantly-changing appearances.

Q:  That seems like a lot to take in.  Knowing all that, what do we do?

A:  Knowing all that, we enjoy the simple delight of the present moment.  Our experience of the present moment can be whatever we choose it to be, unless we only passively repeat the past over and over again, and then how will we ever experience something new?

We know we are following the path of Truth as long as we keep seeing what is new.   Something ‘new’ for us is like a signpost telling us that we are on the right path.  When everything seems old and familiar, when it feels like we already understand everything worth knowing, then we can rest assured that we have strayed from the path, and we need to come back to the present moment, back to the heart, and back to our love.

This is presented in the first 2 lessons of the course:  Come back to the moment, come back to the heart, come back to your love.  It is such a simple thing to remember, yet it is so powerful to simply remember that doing this is all that is required, and that it takes no time at all.  It is a simple willingness to return to the present.  All thoughts that distract us from the Present are dropped and noted as irrelevant. 

The Truth exists only in the Present Moment.  There is no other time to Be.  Be in the Present Moment and you will be everywhere at once; you will pervade and permeate the cosmos.  There is nothing more to do.  There is only to Be.  In our culture and society a great importance is placed on ‘doing,’ and very little value is placed on ‘Being.’   Yet, in a conscious, awakened community, ‘Being’ would be highly valued, while ‘doing’ goes on, as dharmically necessary, in the background

This is living in the Truth of the Present Moment.

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



Lyle said...

The something ‘new’, the ‘sign post’ for me, is practicing the Principals in each Lesson. /The Principals are the ‘present moment.’ What I want to be able to share on this blog, is the practice of the Lessons… I believe with the intent to do so it will make the lesson come alive. I have in the past given attention to each lesson but, not to my full extent; I have to renew my efforts and look for the ‘new.’ Each reading of what Ram has to say; ( we can feel the love and energy), the positive suggesting ‘you can do it’ attitude has to rub off on to us. He truly puts the ball in our court.

JB said...

Dear DR and Kay,
Thanks for this blog and this most amazing course you are offering. Happy new year to you, your loved ones and all who share this path of transformation.
Like you I have no idea how the course works but I know one thing for sure: it works - there is an unmistakable energy about it; sometimes subtle - sometimes very explicit.
When I woke up this morning, one of my thought was: oh God, 2012, now we are going to hear all those predictions ... and then I went and read your new blog. I just loved the way you put it: no matter what happens, let's remain content, let's stay in the present moment. Another of my thought this morning was: this year, I will keep practicing even more one of the major thing that I have learned from the course: I will practice consciously relaxing not matter what, I will stop worrying about getting everything done (one of my favorite samskara ...); I will enjoy my life. So these are my resolutions this year. Once again many thanks and all the best in 2012.

Anusuya said...

Happy New Year to our course friends and family. My resolution for the year is to remain grounded in one of the course contemplations that Ram mentioned in this self-interview. "Come back to the moment, come back to the heart, come back to your love." Love you all ♥

Karen B. said...

Q: Pete and Repeat were on the fence. Pete fell off and who was left?
A: Repeat
Q: Pete and Repeat were on the fence. Pete fell off and who was left?
A: Repeat

I fell for that one when I was a kid. I don't know how many times I said, "Repeat", despite my growing frustration/annoyance/and wanting to strangle the Repeater. I gave the right answer,didn't I? Why am I still getting the same response? Can't you hear me? What's wrong with you? I know it's not me!

Once I became aware that my own response was the cause of the repetition, I felt so stupid. And that's the way it is. :)

Happy New Year!

Vera said...

all is a dream, even that I am actually this human person; I am That which precedes the form of whatever, whether being human or any form. Right now writing is happening and flowing through these human hands. All flowing out of the One Field of pulsating/creating energy. There is nothing needed to be done or become-- it is all happening spontaneously from the One Field and the Formless is what any of us are, expressing in the Dance of Endless Forms.

Scott Marmorstein said...

I wonder who will understand the full significance of what is written in here. It seems obvious and simple but it is nothing like that. Rare are those who will truly live in the present moment, and blessed beyond measure will be the world for those who do. Thank you for the gift of your blog, your Course, and for the role you play in this Play.

CDM said...

Ram, thank you for making the blog and the lessons available. As I read these words, fear of the future and sadness about the past dissipate as if by magic, and contentment returns. What a great gift for 2012. One of a kind.

Anonymous said...

Out driving yesterday I played with the feeling that I was floating on a river, watching the mail in my truck being delivered like flotsam floating up to shore at its appointed destination. No effort, no doing, just watching my day unfolding through its own momentum. A lot more fun than my usual mode of doership with all of its hurry and worry! Happy New Year, Chandra, and other dear ones reading this. And thank you, Ram, for keeping the simplest of truths new and fresh so I can hear them anew again and again.
Ellen in Tyler, Texas

sukhdev said...

Thanks, Ram. What a great way to brgin this journey into the New Year.

Michael said...

2012 is Year One -- the year in which I make conscious appreciation of our Oneness the top priority in each moment. Providing I am free of preoccupations, when I look at someone else, a recognition opens up where I feel that we are the same age, the same sex, the same color, the same intelligence, the same inner tickle , the same awareness. It is suddenly surprisingly obvious we don’t have two different minds, but share the same Mind, just as two waves share the same ocean. I’m always pleasantly surprised when this happens. When I tune into this recognition of Same I feel like I’m giving myself and the other the most wholesome gift I can, a gift with no strings.

mukunda said...

Hi Ram, Kay, everyone....Happy New Year....

I see that Ram posted this entry at 2:35 am so that explains how he spent his New Years Eve.....We all appreciate your efforts so much...Thank You....

Today happens to be for me the beginning of the second year of the course (in it's present form)and I'm sure it will surprise no one who takes the course to hear that it has been so beneficial.

It's not even noon time yet on this first day of 2012 and already so much has happened (inside). I read some of Mark Twain's Autobiography recently and he remarks that anyone who really thinks they know him well actually only have a very small fraction of an idea of who he is based on what goes on in his mind in one day....I can understand that....Thank God for the perspective given in the course that allows me to more easily watch and observe and put a more enlightened perspective on all the bizarre thoughts that seem to come up and catch my attention to varying degrees.

As we woke up together this morning, the first thing my wife said was ..."2012 is going to be so hard"...In one sense, I can certainly see where she is coming from....There are several situations going on that do not appear to have any simple solution. When she said that however I was able to 'shift' to a place of staying in the present and not creating a bad feeling within myself.

What she was thinking of I'm sure was the difficult year we are going to have with my 15 year old son who has autism and who defintely does things much differently from your typical kid...Having a child with autism is a whole sadhana in itself...

But this brings up something that I think I need some help with...How to be compassionate to her/others when they are going through something (a melodrama) that I can see and accept in a whole other way. I have been 'accused' of being in "La La land"....and of being cold and unfeeling.

Maybe this doesn't have just one answer as it requires judgement and sensitivity depending on the situation... Again, one of the great benefits of this course is that there are a group of people who are working on themselves who are there to discus these things with... Thanks....

Bhadra Nazzaro said...

Hello everyone, and Happy first day of 2012, even as it is still Now, and always will be! lol

Still, it's wonderful to celebrate pivotal moments and special days, so here we are on a day when most people are contemplating new beginnings.

Of all the New Years I can remember, this one feels the most new. I feel like I am standing on some new plateau, with a clear road ahead. The possibilities seem endless, and I know that together we will all be venturing into new and ever expanding perspectives.

After six months of studying the Course, and getting to know all of you here and on FB, I can truly say I am not the same. (Like Scrooge, "I am not the man I was!" :)

May we all go froward in light and love..May we all grow in our ability to shine our light onto each other and into the world. That way, as Ram says, 2012 will be so much better!

Ivy said...

Thank you Ram for the course and your blog. I love the way the blog was written as a self interview. For me it was humorous. I spent New Year's Eve with my husband and 15 year old son at a live PG rated comedy show, a fund raiser for our zoo here in Billings, Montana. I know this inner work is not all fun and games but I do appreciate humor. I was one of those living in my imagination and thought I was being spiritual. Then I started to notice the dream. There were things that seemed preposterous where I thought this can't possibly be true. I could see the silliness of it all. Sometimes I'm resistant and stuck in the past. At least I can see it. I love what you said about a sign post to being on the path of the truth is seeing something new. I have experienced that over and over again. It gives me hope. Here's to living in the truth of the present moment!

Terry said...

As my karmic friends from Texas say "Now its Now again!" Here we are in a new moment with a new opportunity to see the infinity of Now in a new way, and the correspondence course can be a doorway that opens to the infinity "We" already Are. The Kingdom of God is my Father's House are many mansions... In each "new" Now we have the opportunity to see and be aware of our infinite nature as God manifesting through and as us, and allow those pesky samskaras to dissipate into the nothingness they always are. Thanks for opening doors onto the Now and the Love that is already present!

John Clark said...

Happy New Year. Here's my question for the new year.

We often say that nobody really makes us sad or angry. It’s just our reactions to things that cause these feelings to come up? Can we say the same thing about positive feelings like happiness? Many times people say “Oh, you made me so happy?” Is the principle the same? Can someone or something make you happy? Are positive emotions something you created in exactly the same way? What I mean to say is do all emotions originate from the same source?

Purnima Orlandi said...

Happy New Year 2012 to Ram and Kay and all here on the blog, Facebook and who take the course!
"Come back to the moment, come back to the heart, come back to your love. It is such a simple thing to remember, yet it is so powerful to simply remember that doing this is all that is required, and that it takes no time at all. It is a simple willingness to return to the present."
This is the way, to contentment and liberation, through our heart, through our love, and the willingness to return again and again to the present. The course teaches the tools to nagivate through life and life's melodramas, highs and lows. Thank you Ram for your blessed Heart!

Cynthia Lynn said...

Happy New Year Ram and Kay and fellow course participants!

I too am feeling a lot of gratitude for being able to participate in this journey with all of you ... This journey has definitely enabled me to see my life from a more elevated perspective and not get bogged down in the dramas that unfold around me.

Perhaps even more important is that the study of the course is enabling me to let go of past occurrences that kept me entangled in anger, guilt, remorse, rage ... I now know that I don't need those feelings to "protect" me or make me feel strong ... I choose light, love, beauty ... TRANSFORMATION!

I am so grateful to the course, and to all of you!

Taylor said...

Bravo, bravo, bravo. It's such a joy to read questions and answers that are so crystal clear, that resonate with my own experience and inner wisdom, and that are so inspiring to practice the discipline necessary to apply the principles in daily life in order to grow. That's what each precious year is all about - right?!
Happy 2012 everyone!

Ghayas said...

Thank You D.R. for the new blog entry. So much to chew ! And yet so much compelling to stop chewing anything at all, and to just sit actually and be with the breath, with the inner feeling of contentment, and gratitude, to delve into the inner refuge of the Heart, beyond the constantly changing outer physical world. Thank You for the Course, for this daily, practical reminder.

Anne said...

Such a wonderful message ... uplifting, encouraging, blessedly playful too, so supportive.

It really gives us a taster of the Course, I feel; not just in the words themselves, but in the 'shakti', the wise and loving energy of Truth that is conveyed and embodied in DR's words. This like all DR's pieces can be fruitfully read and re-read, over and again! New sparks of insight ignite!

What Scott Marmorstein said earlier and kinda quietly, slipped in amongst the beautiful comments offered so far, stuck with me, so I went back re-read his words. They touch something deep within ...

"I wonder who will understand the full significance of what is written in here. It seems obvious and simple but it is nothing like that. Rare are those who will truly live in the present moment, and blessed beyond measure will be the world for those who do. Thank you for the gift of your blog, your Course, and for the role you play in this Play."

I do not yet understand the "full significance of what is written in here", except that Truth bubbles thru and beyond the words themselves, and beckons invitingly to the hungry, yearning heart.

The Course lessons are leading me in the right direction, within. Deeper than the mind with it's patterns, opinions, and rooms full of redundant thoughts. I know that there is a lot more to 'understand', and that the Course is for me an integral, blessed part of the process.

It's almost like the words of the course are a 'teaser' at times, that engage the mind so that the inner work can happen, like an earthquake happening deep under the surface. Yet the words themselves also contain so much grace and interest too!

Another aspect of the Course that I find so valuable is that it is 'there', always, my dear companion and faithful friend, ready to help me, remind and point me in the timeless direction of the the Truth.
I just need to bathe myself in it's holy waters, daily is best : ). And as DR has said, it is the repetition and consistency that subtly takes us deeper and 'nearer' to actually experiencing that Truth in each moment ... that ironically we always have been and are!
Each re-reading so generously, patiently, helpfully meets me as I am, where I'm at, and nudges me back towards my heart's true yearning, that is always there.

I suddenly had the image of the course, (or is it DR? or even myself?) being like a smiling playful bottle-nosed dolphin, nudging the ball in the pool back on track, and having fun in the process!
Thank you DR for the blog, your Course, and facebook participation!

Darcy said...

Words don't describe how significant this post is to me.
As JB writes: "Like you I have no idea how the course works but I know one thing for sure: it works - there is an unmistakable energy about it; sometimes subtle - sometimes very explicit.".  And  Yes, Scott M. I feel, understand (to my fullest capacity) what your saying. Terry brilliant, always appreciate your feedback and yes Taylor Bravo and amen, to all! Thank you for your posts.

My 'Egotistical melodrama' today. As I woke up late this morning,  realizing my husband did not wake me either. I was trying to gather my myself, put on my robe to say good bye. As they were approaching the door and  about to leave the house. I was saying 'mommy loves you, have a good day'  then I noticed my sons hair, it had not been combed and his face was not washed, after  barking something to the sorts of: 'Wait I need to clean him up! Don't go, Wait You didn't wake me!' ...My husband then turned (with-out my son seeing) and gave me a VERY harsh look, they then  continued on their way. I stood in the doorway for a moment flustered, wondering why he was angry? I then burst into laughter! (I'm still cracking up as I write, thinking of that  look!).  'I' was the one who woke up late, I had not woken myself up, I did not clean my son up before school --and I was wondering why 'I' was getting a dirty look!  My husband had let me sleep in, packed my sons lunch, clothed him, and was quietly leaving the house. He was being thoughtful! ... If ever the current lesson hit home it was now [wink]. Quoting from my current lesson 5   "The one sure thing about any egotistical melodrama is that It will have nothing to do with the truth of the present moment." ...." When someone pushes our buttons, they're showing us where our ego lies. We should honor them for doing so, not fight with them or make them wrong."  I called my husband at work, thanked him for letting me sleep in,  and for getting our son ready and off to pre-school. This is just a touch of the Course and lesson that's so essential for grasping and understanding: 'What can I learned from this?'  'What exactly about my ego has been exposed this time? Im present... learning, practicing and am beyond thankful to you  D.R.  and all, for lighting the path in the moment.

Much Love & Happy New Year to all from Denmark. :)

Anusuya said...

Reading our new lesson to Pat this morning and came across this. “We have a certain karmic lifespan-nothing can keep us alive longer or cause us to “die” sooner than is destined from the time of birth. Such is the karmic design of life.” This was interesting to me after a conversation with my Mom yesterday. Pat has been in hospice care at home for over 2-1/2months. We have practiced a form of energy healing called tong ren for a number of years and have been able to improve his quality of life through years of late stage cancer, so I have been very grateful for this practice. My Mom is not much of a believer in things such as energy healing, so her comment caught me by surprise. She asked if maybe it was time to stop using tong ren…was it possible that I was prolonging his life? I quickly explained my view that if we were all destined to leave at a certain time, which she did not dispute, then all I was doing was offering him better quality time since I could not in fact prolong anyone’s life. She was at peace with that explanation, but I thought it was interesting that she was asking me at all. Hard to imagine he could still be here when it seems like the energy that has been poured in is what keeps him here. So I guess that would be the karma part…it is our karma to continue working with him till his appointed time arrives. We all play out our part in the dance of life. Loved how quickly the answer was mirrored back in the new lesson that arrived last night.

Scott Marmorstein said...

Mukunda said, "But this brings up something that I think I need some help with...How to be compassionate to her/others when they are going through something (a melodrama) that I can see and accept in a whole other way. I have been 'accused' of being in "La La land"....and of being cold and unfeeling."

Being the parent of any child is already a difficult sadhana in and of itself. Kids test the limits of our capacity very naturally. Therefore, to work with an autistic child is ten-times the work of any other. A long time ago when I lived in Texas and had my massage license I worked for a company that sent me out to do massage with autistic children. I often saw how drained the parents were, how desperately they fought for emotional control most of the time, or at worst simply 'checked out' of the situation because it was too hard.

I empathize. It doesn't seem to me that you are without compassion for your wife or child, it seems to me that compassion for yourself may be overlooked at some moments. There are no easy answers to any of what you asked, but the best thing you can do is what you already described yourself as doing which is making the shift, over and over and over again. You have to create a brand new samskara, the good kind, where you create a groove of positive and uplifting energy and it would be helpful for your wife to do the same.

Repeating something like, "This is such a great day, thank you Goddess/God/Universe" upon waking literally begins to shift the samskaric pattern of waking up feeling dread. We've all been given a strange hand to play out, and no one is without some kind of inner battle. We are here to make the best of what we're given, and until we can come into harmony with what is, the situation won't change. So repeat a new pattern, an uplifting pattern until eventually the addiction to past and future are forfeit and the eternal Now comprises your awareness. With that then would go a deep and abiding Trust in the Play of this life. It will make all the difference and impact your family, including your son in ways heretofore unseen and unrecognized. It'll change everything.

Bhadra Nazzaro said...

Hi John, No one can really make us happy, any more than anyone can truly make us sad. As you pointed out, it's our own reactions that cause these feelings to come up.

Happiness certainly feels better than unhappiness (Ram refers to it as euphoria and its opposite, dysphoria). Yet if happiness or feelings of well-being are dependent upon someone's words or actions, or any outer circumstances, then it would be merely the opposite of unhappiness, and not the true equipoise of the Self, which arises naturally from within, without any cause.

Sarah N H said...

Happy New Year and such a refreshing and uplifting blog post once again. It is so wonderful and helpful to read the comments that follow as well.

Come back to the moment, come back to the heart, come back to your love have become the most valuable words in my life. The image that comes to my mind here is that when a samskara comes in like a tidal wave, and at some point when I can rise up and repeat these words, it's like climbing on a surf board and riding out the eventually, it rolls on..."Now is always Now" is a great surfboard to ride..

These lessons have become the wax on my "surf board"...I've never physically surfed but hey, that really doesn't matter!

Thank you for sharing everyone and thank you Ram!

Melissa Abbott said...

A Very Happy New Year of fresh beginnings as we constantly come back to the present moment, come back to the heart, come back to the Love. Yes yes, the love is inherent in each present moment, how ...oh how we forget, oh how we regret. Breaking the chains...breaking out of the free! May we all take the time to constantly and lovingly find our own inner selves this year, in each moment, in the middle of each breath. How great! It feels joyous and immediately uplifting to live in this power. The power of the present moment. The power of the Self!

Anonymous said...

I read what Mukanda wrote and it brought to my mind David Whyte's poem "Everything is waiting for you": 'Your great mistake is to act the drama as if you are alone; as if life is a progressive and cunning crime with no witness to the tiny, hidden transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny the intimacy of your surroundings...'. Thank you for The Course and the comments and perhaps this poem only speaks to me. But what I love is that in reading others', it expands my vision. Thank you, Cheri in Mead, Wa

Vinata said...

A Great Teacher once taught me that all this stuff, the news, the daily comings and goings of this world were something he called: "THE KARMIC REPORT". I have held this teaching in my heart for many years and it has held me steady. Now my job puts me in an almost daily position of helping others hold steady, and I try to using their terms and language.

The Practices of this course, and all spiritual practices, I have selfishly seen for many years for how they impacted me. You, Kay and Ram, are showing me how these are reaching out in concentric waves to help so much more than me.

Thank you. I was going to write in with questions, but you answered them in the blog. SMILE.

Mary Ellen Langieri/Vinata

CARMEN said...

Kay I am sorry for the loss of you sister, because even knowing they are more than well now, we miss them in our lives anyway. I send you both my love and I don't even know if this is the right place to express this but I'm sure you'll receive the intention of love.


Cynthia Lynn said...

I love Scott M's response to Mukunda: "You have to create a brand new samskara, the good kind, where you create a groove of positive and uplifting energy ..."

I have been contemplating samskaras; it seems they're always spoken of in the context of negative reactions ... I have been wondering if there are POSITIVE samskaras ... I was trying to think of some "GOOD BUTTONS" ... the kind I would LIKE to have pushed ... I'd certainly rather be in that groove than the negative one ... {:-D !!!

Amun said...

The author is right. There is nothing else like this course. I can say without hesitation that through the course I receive the same benefits that I used to receive sitting at the feet of my enlightened master. Why this should be true of reading something that comes in the email is perplexing and paradoxical. In fact, it is so strange that my mind argues with me and tries to make it not true. But when it comes down to it, one can argue with almost anything in the world, but the one thing it makes no sense to argue with is one's own experience.

cristina said...

You are so right and that it is so simple to come back to the moment, the heart and love, but it is hard for all the habits (samskaras?) that we have acquired through life.
I want to thank you for reminding me of the breath that takes us back to the moment. I am taking care of my aging mother and that breath has helped both of us to get through very tough moments in the hospital and at home!
May 2012 be a fantastic year for everyone!

D. R. Butler said...

Cynthia Lynn, it is true that in the course we refer to samskaras in the sense that they are what we have to break free from in order to break free from the conditioning of the ego and mind, so that we can see things as they are instead of as they appear to be or as we think they are. So the lessons give them a kind of negative connotation.

Scott and I actually had this dialogue not long ago in the comments. There are positive samskaras and even neutral ones. One simple example is that most people have the samskara of brushing their teeth every morning, and would feel extremely weird about going through their day without doing so.

D. R. Butler said...

Amun, I loved your comment so much that I even reposted it on my Facebook page in a relevant thread. I remember being with the Guru and thinking with my mind that what was happening wasn't logically or rationally possible, that they must have slipped something in the food to make everyone, including myself, very happy and loving, regardless of what appeared to be going on outwardly.

To think of Shakti and Grace as coming through the words that appear through email every two weeks to be printed out for easy access, seems irrational and absurd. Still, it was a fact that many people received Shaktipat (spontaneous awakening of the dormant divine energy within each of us) simply through reading the Guru's books. Divine Energy can be bestowed through the printed word if the Guru's Shakti and blessings are conveyed in them.

I also have a precedent to what is today experienced by many. I started taking a correspondence course written by my first Teacher when I was 15 in 1960, and the lessons of his Course, which extended for 14 years, changed my life, and imparted to me much of what I share with you now. Since he left his body a year before I came across his course, I never knew him physically. Yet I know him as well, if not better, than anyone I know physically.

D. R. Butler said...

Mukunda, catching up to your question, raising any child is a sadhana in itself, and I can imagine that parenting a child with Autism would be especially challening. It is all karmically determined, as I'm sure you understand. Your son knowingly took the incarnation of an autistic child and you knowing agreed to be his father at some point before either of you incarnated. Karma doesn't happen by chance or accident or coincidence. It is very exacting.

As far as others going through melodramas, you compassionately give them the space to go through whatever they have to go through. If it manifests as criticism or hostility, you have to not take it personally, and know that they would be that way to anyone in the same situation. We must have great compassion on each other's samskaras.

Getting angry at another because of his samskaras is totally irrational. It's not like he can change them because he decides to or out of his love for us. It takes a lot of conscious work, in Sanskrit known as 'sadhana,' in order to change a single samskara.

So when dealing with another's samskaras, the basic guidelines are to not take it personally, don't get defensive, don't fight back, don't point out that it's his own projections, and say nothing to make him wrong. Simply have compassion and love him. The samskara is temporary and will pass very quickly if we give it no energy through focusing our attention on it.

You most quickly change a dog's unpleasant habit not by criticizing him or punishing him, but by ignoring him. If he gets no attention for it, he quits
out of his own boredom.

Eugenia said...

My lesson this time felt like having my grumpy old headmaster for tea (understand that as you will). So I sent a few questions off to the ethers because it's fun to be spoonfed from time to time and/or all the time. And this is what the ethers sent me back as I woke up this morning: "You are not what happened to you in the past" and "This is the season for spontaneous adventures,biting off more than you can chew, being unashamed, embracing the unknown, casting off restraint,breaking old patterns, being a bit naughty, laughing until it hurts, eating new foods, taking exotic trips, loving with abandon, going a little too far, speaking from your heart, making ridiculous money doing what you passionately love, waking up in wonder, going to bed exhausted, making new friends, letting go of old relationships, discovering new beauty in those you love and unlocking the infinite potential of your most remarkable life." So the dog is dead, long live the dog! These are our instructions for the year. Hope you all enjoy the prospect. By the way the word verfification shows aderclu which I understand as "other clue" in Tarzan speak"

kirsty said...

To connect with Scott M. and his positive samskaras and also JB, who, like me always wants to be on top of things to be done, I have a small suggestion, to take or toss. As a trained hypnotist, I was taught that the subconscious will not accept a negative thought. It is very important to put every change we would like to make into positive words.Instead of thinking " I will not do something," or " I will stop doing something" remember the power of positive thinking and stress the opposite. "I will do this..or that." An example could be: Instead of " I will not smoke." which is negative, a person could say "Smoking is bad for my body. I will take care of my body". In the latter case, the thought is positive and smoking isn't even mentioned. Just my two cents this morning.

michael said...

One of the gifts of the Course for me is the context it provides for experiencing life, or understanding those experiences in a way that allows me to be in harmony with what happens and to act or be in a way that creates outcomes that make it easier to simply be present rather than reactive. For me a samskara is like a default setting on my computer. If I don't consciously intervene or choose my behaviors I will react in the same old patterns with the same old results. Seeing the samskara over behavior for what it is and recognizing it allows me to be aware when it is being triggered and choose a conscious response. Without that practical intervention my life resembles a looped tape of repeated cycles, which gets pretty boring, undermines confidence and may lead to depression. After years of reading the lessons I find that the lessons create context for understanding experiences and experiences lead back to the lessons in a dance.

And the subtle state and dreams, well, they now provide insights and interventions which I doubt I "would get" in the waking state. Stunning insights that change the paradigm in an instant.

If one is content with the same old same old you have no need of the Course. If like me the Peggy Lee lyrics "is that all there is to life" has had you looking for something beyond the familiar cycles of life that constantly repeat themselves. Treat your self to the Lessons. Game changer big time.

Renee said...

So many beautiful comments! I wish I could "like" them all. Ram, I like this entry as an introduction to the Course perhaps even more than the original one you wrote! This is just wonderful - so accessible and engaging. Or maybe that's a testimony to how far I've come with the course since I read the first entry. Hmm.

I love the part about not needing to believe anything. Try it yourself and trust your own experience. Such an open invitation. Yes! Let me see how this works in my life! Look! It's working!

There are so many gems in this entry, I could never mention all that resonated with me. I'll just say thank you. :)

Mukunda, I also wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you. It would be neat if I could talk to you more about parenting and sadhana. I have three children, ages 6, 5 and 3. The five year old has some special need or needs, but we aren't sure what we're facing. For how many opportunities he gives me to work harder on being in the moment with his mild issues, I have often wondered how deeply parents of autistic children must dig each day, maybe even each moment, into their spiritual work whether they want to or not. :)

Much love to you all!

Mukunda said...

Scott , Cheri, Cynthia Lynn, Ram and all....Thanks for your insights!.....

Anonymous said...

I was just in my mind about something and decided to sit down and read the blog. I'm glad I did. "I" was back by the end of the first page. It's amazing where the mind can take us. It's just a matter of stopping it and returning to the present moment.
I'm glad Ram didn't go into a bunch of predictions about 2012. I am really wanting to experience joy in each moment and be open and empty to what can happen in 2012. I look forward to love and a deeping in my practices into the self. Happy New Year!!!

Marga said...

From the blogpost: ". . . nothing in the physical world can affect the subtle body in any way—unless we allow it to in our own thinking, which would be a lack of discipline on our part . . ."

Something about the phrase 'lack of discipline' really struck me.

I might like the way that sounds, to have all the responsibility for my own state placed squarely on my shoulders because that way no one "else" is in control of my destiny. But hoooooo-eeee! When it gets right down to it, it is deeply uncomfortable to know that it's my own lack of discipline that creates the ferris wheel of stories that I live in. That means that every time I have allowed myself to be yanked out of this present moment, (every time I have experienced separation or have had my experience dominated by some decision I made in the past,) I have essentially handed my power to something outside myself. (Which I realize is an oxymoron - something outside myself - but hey.)

This course is white hot. Not always comfortable. And I too am in full agreement with its author: There is nothing like this course anywhere. It's not about the words or grasping concepts to take home and use as nice strategies for getting something I think I want. For me, participation in this course is going straight to the core and undoing my "me" project. Thank-you to the Grace in this course for every ounce of discomfort, and for the undercurrent of deep, abiding bliss.

A question: what is meant by "positive samskaras"? Positive in the sense that this is a beneficial button to have pushed (like Cynthia Lynn is asking)? Isn't identification with being someone righteous and loving and wonderful just as binding as identification with being a dirty rotten scoundrel? (Can you point me to the interchange between DR and Scott M. on samskaras?)

Jim said...

Best to all in 2012. The inside story behind the mayan calendar ending this year is that, back in the day, the calendar writers union couldn't work out a contract renewal so they went on strike. By the time a deal was worked out, the empire went into chapter 11.

Anyway, I liked Marga's comment participation in this course is going straight to the core and undoing my "me" project. My own me project has been a heady stream of self-analysis. When I learned about contemplation on the yoga path, I realized the difference. Worry and control, which are somehow related (they are at the very least cousins) were at the root of many of those self improvement moments.

Mukunda said...

Hi Renee,
Thanks for the thoughts!....Sometimes I think it's just helpful on some level to have people who are there to listen..especially those with a perspective that you trust (for example, people who tune in to this blog)

I definately understand that parenting any child can be a sadhana/spiritual practice as I can see the efforts that my brothers and sisters go through with their children. I think having a child with special needs just places you a little bit more outside the to speak, and as a result you are opened up to a lot of things...

Of course, a lot of this can be seen as intense spiritual practice...For example, I've always been someone who was concerned 'a lot' about what other people thought about me... in particular, I almost never have wanted to inadvetantly offend people...Now I get a chance to practice all the time... having to just drop my concerns about what someone might be thinking about me because of the way my son chooses to interact with the world that is 'way different or rude'.

And again, as any parent knows, there are a lot of joyful and (very)humerous scenarios that occur...and to be honest, I've learned to have a lot more patience and compassion for people who are not exactly acting the way I think they should.

Most of my biggest fears are concern about the/his future...All the more reason to practice staying in the present moment...

What would be really hard would be to not have a 'spiritual perspective' or a Course like this one to use as an anchor....So I'm sure we could have a long conversation about parenting a special needs child...Thanks again

Amun said...

Ramji, Your message sparked a few other questions for me. You mentioned your Guru and your first Teacher. You have been very veiled in talking about this first Teacher, and I am growing increasingly curious about him. Can you tell us more about him, such as what tradition he came from? Have you ever felt a conflict between his teachings and those of the Guru lineage?

Also, do you consider your current course to be a vehicle for initiation? Also, does each lesson carry its own Shakti, its own medicine; or is it that all lessons are a vehicle for whatever a person needs at the time they read it?

This is all very mysterious stuff, and I really like it and appreciate you making this available to us all through your years of sadhana.

By the way, I am not A-nun or A-mom or even A-mum! I guess Amun is close enough to Anon, we'll leave it at that...

Cynthia Lynn said...

Well, I didn't take the time to make a conscious intention to put my attention on any "happy buttons" or positive samskaras before an important meeting today, so I've just experienced one of my usual plunges into the samskara of resentment (I won't drone on about the petty details because I want to release them) ...

Reading through the blog and comments again has helped pull me out of that state, and I'll look for the post b/w Scott & D.R. about positive samskaras and read my current lesson ... AGAIN! {:-O

Grateful to be here!

Amun said...

Dear Marga, a reflection on the "positive samskara" phenomenon. Here's an example: I have a growing habit of turning to this course. As a habit, it has its own momentum and has cut its own groove in my being, and is thus a samskara I suppose. This is a good one.

Or take the habit of taking a deep breath and pausing when anxiety flares up. A good thing.

Being perpetually happy might not be a positive samskara at all. Some people are addicted to happiness, they feel that if they are not happy there is something wrong. As I have moved through my life I've seen that there are times when it is not appropriate to be happy, we need to feel grief and anger at certain times.

So a "Happiness" samskara might not be a good one to shoot for, even if it does manifest pleasantly for a while, the result might end up a bit one-dimensional.

I am increasingly appreciating how Ram talks about being "in harmony with emotions". This is really speaking to me as I experience them. When I get angry with my son after he has been beating on his sister, it is real anger. But being in harmony with the anger means I don't fight with it, I don't suppress it, I let it arise to do its job and then I let it go. I imagine that when I am really good, that it will really be gone, but I still feel a bit of a zing from it that hangs on for a while.

If I am happy, I enjoy being happy, but being in harmony with happiness means I don't try to keep the happiness going 24/7.

One of my teachers talks about Joy being a meta-emotion, where one can feel joy while also feeling anger, grief, sympathy, or fear. As such, joy is the connection to the Heart, which is always available. And within me it does seem to help keep me from getting stuck in one emotion.

So from my perspective, the best samskara would be one that keeps me coming back to my heart, back to joy, back to the source of guidance, like the navigator of a ship that keeps checking the compass to make sure the ship is going in the right direction.

Lynne Bhanu said...

I come back to the Course and this Blog and the facebook page like returning to a favorite pool of water in the nearby mountains. It takes some effort to get there but i am always refreshed just like coming back to the heart, to the present moment.
You all are in my heart and have so much wisdom. You are ever new to me. thank you all for being here.

Chimene said...

Hello D.R and Blog gang, Happy New Year!

Thank you for this new blog entry that I am just finding the time to read- I especially like it when you talk about 2012 - there are a lot of misunderstandings concerning the Mayan prediction for the end of the world on Dec 21, 2012 - actually it is the end of a long cycle (one that has other cycle within it) so necessarily the beginning of a new one, of a new era, so as you said it can be seen as catastrophic but also as the beginning of something better and newer than anything we have yet experienced - The ancient Mayas had great wisdom and I like to believe they sensed a great change in paradigm for humanity not just a catastrophic end...

Sylvia in Colorado said...

I join everyone so far on this blog in wishing Ram and Kay a wonder-filled, loving, nurturing, blessed 2012...the same to this bright and shining community...all lovers of God. One person mentioned The Karmic Report...I laughed. I had forgotten that Ram used to call the gloom, doom and despair on the news the karmic report. Vera, I loved your entry about our formlessness. Your descriptive words helped me inch closer to that state of...I'll call it freedom. Anne I loved your entire entry, every word. I felt my whole body saying, yes, yes, yes.

I agree with Darcy, words really cannot express how much the course and this blog mean to me, how much support and sweet acknowledgement there is here.

Amun, thank you for your analogy to this course, Ram's entry and this communication between us being like an anchor and a compass through the seas of life.

D. R. Butler said...

Amun, I think I have finally gotten your name right. You ask fascinating questions and you are very clear in your communication. I appreciate that.

I have no idea what lesson you are currently on, but as you progress through the course you will gradually learn more about my original Teacher, and even see quotes from his writings. Eventually his identity will be revealed when we reach the place that we can understand and appreciate who he is.

In a sense, the highest teachings, the greatest principles, are explored in the first few lessons. Nothing on this level is held back for later, although later we will better understand what is communicated in the early lessons.

There is another level in which certain things are not revealed until it is certain that the aspirant has reached a point of development that such revelations make sense and are appreciated for what they are in the greater view of things. There are certain things that, evolved though we might be, are not revealed until after a certain point of certainty. Also, the development of being able to keep certain things confidential is essential. There are certain things you just don't want to see all over Facebook the next day. Otherwise the Shakti or Spiritual Energy is leaked and dissipated.

If I were to reveal to you now that my Teacher was the 11th Incarnation of the Bodhisattva, some would have no idea what that meant or referred to, others would feel that it is prepostrous and that I am risking my credibility by making such a ridiculous and unprovable statement, while a very few might experience that it is something of great significance, whether the mind completely understands it or not. There is a great deal of significance in this world that the mind has no idea of.

Were there any conflicts between his teachings and the Guru lineage? None whatsoever. In fact, his training helped me to understand what I received from the Guru lineage, while the Guru lineage helped me to clarify and fully come to appreciate the principles of Truth that I learned from my first Teacher.

In fact, the two balanced each other perfectly. I basically presented the principles I had learned from my first Teacher and proven as Truth in my own life, cloaked with the terminlogy, perspective, and focus of the Guru lineage that I represented for many years. The two approaches blended together perfectly as one, and still do.

Amun asked, 'Also, do you consider your current course to be a vehicle for initiation? Does each lesson carry its own Shakti, its own medicine; or is it that all lessons are a vehicle for whatever a person needs at the time they read it?'

This is a very curious question for me to answer. A truer, more objective answer might come the active participants of the course, who know what they have experienced out of that participation. From my perspective, I simply write what I enjoy writing about and what is most fun for me to try to clarify in verbalization.

As a stab at an answer, I'd say that yes, there is no doubt in my mind or heart that the current course is a vehicle for initiation. Once I asked the Guru what about the prisoners who would never have the opportunity to meet the physical Guru, and what should I tell them regarding that.

Baba said, 'Tell the prisoners that they will get everything through the course.' I've contemplated this a lot over the years. In a sense, aren't we all prisoners to some degree? And, through His grace, we get everything through the course.

As for your last question, both things are true. Each lesson contains its own Shakti and will have a certain impact if we are open and receptive to it. Also, each lesson is a vehicle for whatever a person needs at the time they read it. Both things are true simultaneously.

Vicki Hilger said...

What exquisite, Shakti -filled and clearly expressed comments I've read here in the past few days ! Everyone went straight to my heart, and resonates there still. You are all so great ! In my new lesson, Ram suggests being being different and out of character, spontaneous, and surprising. I've been working on that for a long time, and I find that what happens is I grow less and less opinionated and serious. I've always loved my own sense of humour, but where it once leaned more toward cynicism, today it is much more fun and lighthearted. I laugh so hard, out loud, at my own jokes, and that makes me want to laugh even harder. Ram says 'Be drunk; be intoxicated; be giddy...' For some reason, I've been feeling this way all week. 'Trust your own inner impulse'. Yes! Trust your own inner Hafiz . Sometimes, after shooting from my inner hip, I suddenly doubt myself and think ' now I'm in trouble ' . When that self-doubt comes up, when the ego 'distrusts and dismisses' my words or actions, I go back to the feeling I experience while shooting. Did it really come from a pure place, or did it contain some charge, some emotion. More and more often, as my own heart grows lighter, I find that I'm responding more, reacting less. This is the fruit of the practice, yes, this is the fruit of the effort and the Grace of our beloved Course and the Great Ones from whom it flows.

Amun said...

Thank you Ram for your answers. I am in the second year and I'm excited to be in this process with you. "Prisoner" could be a good analogy in my life. Prisoner to my karma, my obligations, what I have manifested in my life. While there are a lot of restrictions, I wouldn't change anything. Saturn has been doing a number on me for the past 7 years. It's amazing that the course fits in so well.

Colette said...

Samskara: predisposition; pure purgatory right; consecration

It is predisposition from past impressions.. It is one of the five aggregates, according to Buddhism. They are impressions left in the mind after any experience.

Second definition; it is one of the 12 links and the causal chain of existence, according to Buddhism.

Third definition: it is the rite performed with the help of sacred syllables(mantra) to restore a thing to its original pure state.

These definitions come from "A Concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy" by John Grimes.

As you can see Sanskrit like many other languages is contextual in nature. There is no good or bad in the words Samskara itself, just like there is no good or bad in the word karma itself. It's what we experience that makes it so for us. May we all experience the heart and may all our Samskara's take us there. Much love to all, Karuna – Colette

Kay Butler said...

Happy 2012 to everyone. This just came in from a participant of the course: "I put the lesson on all my devices and no matter which one I open I always take a moment to at least read a paragraph... so the lesson is on my phone, my iPad and my of which is always near due to the demands of my job, family, and life in general. The lessons, for the computer savvy, can also be put into pdf format and then stored on an eReader (like the Kindle)." Now this is what I like to hear... since the foundation of the course is repetition, I love it when people share how they make it easy for themselves to stay attuned to Universal Intelligence through taking a moment with the current lesson.

D. R. Butler said...

Facebook exchange between Kyle Siddhartha Griswald and myself:

KSG: A simple way to explain what I said is that if you dig 10 wells 10 feet deep in search for water, you may not find any. However, if you dig one 100 feet then you are sure to find it.

As for the person who needs a break, there is such thing as too much spiritual 'food'. If you keep on taking it in without 'digesting' it, there will come a point when it will become very difficult to keep ingesting it. I myself feel this way. It's difficult for me to read right now.

DRB: Interesting that you should mention that story. I first heard it at the very first program I ever took with Baba, in October of 1974, and he would repeat it from time to time. It is a great analogy. The thing is, as you dig down that hundred feet certain things change as your perspective is expanded and your perception and exprerience are more refined. Be careful to not mistake these 'changes,' on whatever level, for other wells 10 feet deep. Sometimes it's only another aspect of the 100 foot dig that we haven't yet recognized or acknowledged.

As for your second paragraph, once again I ask, how would you take a break from living in the Truth of the Present Moment, and why would you want to? This is what the course is about, not reading. Will you feel better if you go back to your emotional reactions, your mental assumptions, and your egotistical melodramas? That is what 'taking a break' usually amounts to.

In Patanjali's 'Yoga Sutras' he makes a big point about the importance of sadhana being 'continuous and uninterrupted.' From that point of view, 'taking breaks' is like taking two steps forward and one step back.

Of course we need breaks from mental stimulation, which you seem to be talking about if it's difficult for you to read. Everyone goes through periods of not wanting to read, of not wanting to use their minds in trivial ways. However this has nothing to do with what is being explored in the current dialogue.

Again, if our sadhana is basically living in the Truth of the Present Moment, how would you take a break from it, and why would anyone want to?

Marga said...

Thank-you, Amun and Colette, for your responses to my question about "positive" samskaras. I can totally appreciate your point, Amun, about being in harmony with emotions. And Colette, I hear your point about there being no good or bad in the word samskara itself.

I'd like to re-state the essence of my question. Rather than pose it as a question, this time I'm going to phrase it as a share.

Although I don't claim to know how it works for every being, I know what has happened here, in me.

Until I caught a true glimpse of my true Self, my little project of being a spiritual person was basically samskaras reinforcing my limited identity. Especially the so-called "positive" samskaras. I had to first realize the fact that my idea of who I thought I was was a fictitious character made up of thoughts. After that, then something really got kicked into high gear - something that makes a phrase like 'Living in the Truth of the Present Moment' begin to make sense.

Before having this true recognition of Who I truly Am, the one performing all the positive habits, checking that the ship is going in the right direction was simply my limited notion of myself, fortifying itself, strengthening itself. As I've heard it referred to before, it was like the cookie monster being in charge of the cookie jar ;)

Food for thought.

D. R. Butler said...

Love your comment and your contemplation, Marga. Your communication of the subtleties of your inner experiences is very clear.

Marga said...

Thanks, D.R.
I had to summon a lot of courage to post that. I thought you might not approve it. Primal fear. This course is teaching me on so many levels.

D. R. Butler said...

People have the funniest ideas about themselves.

Avivit said...

There are times in which my ego takes pride in not falling so low as often as I used to, and then there are times, like lately, in which the ego is quite often horrofied, to notice how low can I still fall? The Mind has Turbulence these days.
I've been watching the tendency of wanting feel the juice of getting back at someone or a group, the juice of ridiculing, the pull to be harch and even the tendency to make war....impatiens and more "wonderful stuff" coming up lately. Oh Man!!!! Honestly, the mind has been quite busy and meditation has not been very quiet. Sometimes I am on the verge of crying when I am pittiying myself. What a drama. (I must smile for a moment).
And the preference to the drama instead of smiling at the drama...
This quickening of time does it in two ways, it helps me get back to the Present/Heart quicker and at times, too often lately for my taste,
brings the whole wave of animal nature rise.....and with it the horror and the shame as I take it personally, forgetting who I really am.
scott said: So repeat a new pattern, an uplifting pattern until eventually the addiction to past and future are forfeit and the eternal Now comprises your awareness.
I do....I do my best...:)
There is also a wave of sadness that there is so much malice and crap visiting the mind. And so at some sweeter moments I remember I am learning to hold it all... breath deep, repeat the mantra, cry if necessary, and be compassionate to my own mind.
But I have a need to cry out loud now....(I tend to stay in a silent corner when I go through tough times).

Sarah N H said when a samskara comes in like a tidal wave, and at some point when I can rise up and repeat these words, it's like climbing on a surf board and riding out the samskara. I loved this! thank you...its brings fun in. I guess I could benefit from a few comedies at this time.
And in my current lesson, so BINGO as always, D.R. says: for our exercise: observe your human self in action, see al the sloppiness you still allow in your life, admit your laziness and your resistence to actually applying the principles, see that you are as human as anyone in this world and there is nothing exceptional about you whatsoever. Then, knowing all that, know that you are a perfect expression of God...
After so many years of reading D.R.'s course I still am baffled at how each time it's just the perfect lesson....only God knows!
I send my gratitude to all of you for sharing your hearts here! It aligns me again and again with the highest truth.

Bhadra Nazzaro said...

Such wonderful, wise and well-contemplated questions and comments are being posted here! It seems to me that the students of this Course have really risen to a new level and it is clearly reflected in these comments. Ram, didn't you say recently that the pace would pick up? So it has!

I feel it in my own life. As I am remaining committed to reading and re-reading my current lesson, staying tuned in here and on FB, the current of Shakti continues to be swift, and is filling me to the degree I can remain open and flow with it.

Vickie, I love what you wrote about, being different and out of character, a practice. I find this happening with me and I love it! A little scary sometimes, learning to trust this new me. The one who laughs, as you say, loud and hard..mostly at myself! :)

Yesterday, while waiting on line at the cell phone store, I realized I was fully enjoying the present moment, and everything seemed so light and blissful. I could clearly see the Self acting out all the parts of salespeople and customers..all just a part of me! I felt like I was on a mountain top, rather than in a cell phone store.

What I want to say though, is that when we first began talking to the salesperson, his consciousness seemed tense and far away. As I spoke to him..resting in that place..he gradually opened up and became so relaxed and helpful, and light. When we left he seemed like he almost didn't want us to leave! So amazing. And I am SO grateful to see the way that, just by being committed to doing this work, just by being who we are, we can be a light and a help in this world.

Thank you Renee, Amun, Sylvia, Marga, Vickie..and so many others, and Ram! What a treasure we have here! Love and thanks to all.

Scott Marmorstein said...

"There are times in which my ego takes pride in not falling so low as often as I used to, and then there are times, like lately, in which the ego is quite often horrofied, to notice how low can I still fall?"

Avivit, you are talking about the ego "my ego" which implies separation. It is somehow a problem? Ego identifies with what it sees and or experiences. The mind thinks, and the thoughts are not "yours" so there is something Aware and Witnessing all thoughts, feelings, fantasies, and dualities. The ego is what is identifying with whatever it is conceived of as "falling" or "rising" one way or another. The passing show of these inner fantasies, emotions, and feelings has nothing to do with Who You Are, and simply "what's happening and appearing to That which Sees it." If you listen to say some really good music and burn some incense, you will notice the senses begin to do something with that.

The best thing you can do is ignore the impulse to act on any particular experience that comes up from within. Ignore or deny the sensations that move through Awareness, and have an intention towards inaction on such things. Watch and offer the Light of Awareness to shine through their rather diaphanous quality, which all 'appearances' are, simply the illusion of a problem, rather than something truly concrete. The more you practice this, the more value gets placed on the Awareness of the Present Moment and the impulses get bored and die down on their own. Just thought to share that for some reason.

Bhadra--beautiful, thank you!

Bhadra Nazzaro said...

Avivit, I have always enjoyed and learned a lot from the things you share. And today you are courageous, and so wise to bring your current experience here, to this community. Just by sharing, contemplating it, and bringing it into the light of day..even shedding the tears, you shift the dynamic and its hold on you.

It sounds like your current lesson is right there on this topic. I have noticed too, that the very things we are asked to work on in a given lesson, are the issues that suddenly arise from out of nowhere. The Course is so alive!

So thank you for this, and all you've shared. Your openness, honesty and longing will surely attract the Grace to move you through!

Cathy said...

This is a question, which is not necessarily related to your January blog, which by the way is very enlightening. I consider the course to be non-denominational and consider it a 'prescription for living,' for lack of a better term. Although I realize the course is steeped in Eastern philosophy and religion, you often quote other great teachers and prophets such as Jesus and Buddha. Now for my question: I've heard many people along with yourself refer to their gurus with great reverence. (Well,not always.) I'd like to have your definition of what a guru is and what role he/she plays in the life of believers. In other words, who gets to be classified as a guru and why do they have so much power. This may seem naive to some of you, but it's something that's puzzled me for quite some time.

D. R. Butler said...

Cathy, far from being a naive question, it is actually a very good question. Very few people in the West have good understanding of the Guru--even those who claim to have one.

The qualities of a Guru are listed in several Eastern texts, especially the Kularnava Tantra. First of all, a Guru must be an enlightened being, one who is firmly established in the experience of the Self, and who is free from all ego and samskaras. An enlightened being is not necessarily a Guru, but a true Guru must be enlightened beyond any doubt.

Secondly, the Guru must have studied and trained under the careful guidance of a genuine Guru who is of an authentic lineage (the Shakti--spiritual power--is in the lineage), and also his or her own Guru must have given the command to function as a Guru for others.

Primarily, the Guru is the grace-bestowing power of God. The Guru may or may not be a teacher. Some are very simple and uneducated, even though they understand experientially the wisdom of the scriptures. They bestow grace.

In India there are traditionally 4 reasons people go to a Guru: 1) for prosperity or even a job; 2) for a proper marriage parter; 3) for children; and 4) spiritual guidance and upliftment.

Bhagavan Nityananda had a woman come up to him and ask for a child. Without a word, he threw a rock at her. She grabbed up the rock, took it home and put it on her puja. Nine months later she had a baby.

Sai Baba of Shirdi was asked why he fulfilled so many frivolous desires. He replied, 'I give them what they want in the hopes that one day they will want what I have to give.'

What the Guru has to give is the initation on a path that leads to enlightenment, or being established in the state of the Self.

There is much more that could be said, but this will give you a good idea.

D. R. Butler said...

After reading over my reply about the Guru, one thing that should be mentioned is that the Guru is not a particular person, body, or personality. The Guru principle works through one, but it is nothing personal from the Guru's point of view. The Guru would never accept credit for apparent miracles happening around him. In fact, the only thing he will usually say about them is that they are the grace of his own Guru.

When someone is thinking, 'I am the one doing this good deed for another,' there is ego involved, and therefore no true Guru. The Guru Principle flows freely only through one completely free from ego.

The Guru is a mysterious subject. I could write lessons and lessons about it. (Once did, in fact.) My own Guru told me to transmit the experience of the Self to others and to also teach others what a true Guru is. Through the grace of his command, it happens through me effortlessly. I could go on all night.

Avivit said... say to me that I am talking about my ego, which implies
separation...and ask "is it somehow a problem"?. feels as a problem when the emotions and are very turbulent.

When the separation between the observer and the ego seem to be just the thinnest layer, if I could call it that way. (At times the separation between them feels thicker/stronger than other times).
Maybe I am confusing feeling these
feelings as if they are "re-actions" already....feelings of shame, being horrofied
and the ego is so happy to juice these once more to the bone....tsss..
It's like layers of happenings...a dream within a dream within a dream, within a dream...
It is easier to notice who I am when the turbulence isn't so it is
recommended to practice
so that we are ready when the turbulences arrive...:) just need more practice...that's all! haha...
and learn to enjoy the YoYo (that thing on a string)effect.
Thank you Scott. You helped me contemplate deeper.

And talking about turbulence and ability I'd like to share one of those dreams I once had at siesta time in an ashram. This happened probably in a 3-5 minute extremely vivid-quick-dream.
I dreamt I was on my own with the Guru in a room while she sat on her Guru's seat. As she was
going to breath in, I got the most outrageous thought: "hey...I will breath her outbreath and get some
good amount of shakti in". I was excited as a child from it. As I breathed and sucked her outbreath real deeeeep, I felt as if in a grand turbulence
under the ocean....I didn't know north from south nor east from west of so much energy.
So the second was so strong I couldn't really take it and felt even nauseous.
By the third time I thought..."here she goes again and got ready...yet..
my mind said...."hey...this is too strong for you...don't exagerate." It wasn't easy to give up...yet I was wiser and let it be and realized that I shall learn to sip shakti a bit at a time....cause I can't even hold it all at once if I don't have the apparatus so to speak.

Bhadra thank you for your kindness. I loved your definition of the Course...being so alive! I think its the best definition in the least words I've ever heard!

Scott Marmorstein said...


I love your dream, it's beautiful. You know what I find extra beautiful about it? The fact that your Guru (I know of whom you speak) is actually your greatest Reflection. She is your breath, and your breath is hers. The Light and the Shakti you took in was coming back to the Awareness of the Present Moment, you had the most perfect mirror. It seemed like you and her were separate...But only by a thing reflective glass. The extraordinary experience of Light and Shakti/Bliss that filled you was already coming from you, just consciously allowed to be accepted because it seemed to come from "her" as though she were "out there", and of course being in the Subtle and Dream State, we are all Players within the dreams we dream, we are every conceivable object, every feeling, and that which Witnesses it all too. Thanks for sharing!

Maybe taking some deep breaths in and out on purpose, inhaling through your nose and out through your mouth whilst remembering that dream you shared will fill you up with exactly that experience once again! Let us know if you try it what happens. :)

Michael said...

My first Teacher, when asked what was the most important and effective practice, always replied, Worship your own Self. So I'm going to do an experiment. With your support and that of the Lessons, I'm going to replace some of my doubts with keen vibrations of adoration. Today we celebrate Epiphany in our church. Christ was born in a smelly, dirty manger, surrounded by animals and let's be honest, what do animals leave behind? So the experience of the grandeur of the Self arises out of the murky mind. Shepherds, who were somewhat akin to untouchables, had the sense to adore him, alongside the Wise. The true Nativity is in my heart and yours. Come, let us adore.

D. R. Butler said...

John Clark, to answer your question, yes, the principle is the same. We can be inexplicably happy, without anything happening or anyone else doing anything to cause it. The thing is, the conditioned mind and ego don't trust inexplicable happiness, because it doesn't fit in with our rational view of the universe. We think happiness must have an identifiable cause in order for it to be valid.

If we understood that our true and essential nature is lightheartedness and cheerfulness, we don't question happiness when it arises. When we're involved in objective humanity and egotistical melodramas, we don't recognize happiness when it arises.

You have another question:

"Would you agree that the best thing one can do to help the world is to love his or her Self?

...and would you agree that the meaning of love your Self just means that we delight in this present awareness of consciousness and exist in a state of bliss and lightheartedness?"

The answers are yes and yes.

Loving and honoring our own Self allows us to recognize and love and honor that same Self in all others as well. We never actually experience true love until we love our own Self. Not the egotistical, self-absorbed self, but the eternally changeless Self that exists as the Awareness of Being within all individuals.

Your last paragraph is a great description of how it is.

D. R. Butler said...

This is something I posted in a thread on Facebook:

The free-fall yoga that I 'practice'--by doing nothing and simply focusing on Being.--has no form or precedent; nothing to do or not do; it defies description. We have to learn to do less and be more. Of course, our true nature is that we already are everything, so there's nothing more to be, yet this isn't our ordinary experience, which is focused on a culture and society that places great value on doing and little, if any, value on being, which instead is totally taken for granted.

Yes, the free-fall is letting go of everything, surrendering it all, even precious concepts and ways of seeing, experiencing, and understanding things. It is leaping off the cliff into the Great Unknown. Let go of the past and the future entirely. The only safety net is the conscious Awareness of our own inner Being.

Then there is nowhere to land or to not land, no jumping off point or landing point, no 'splat' at the end. The free-fall in itself is enough, and through the acceptance of it we experience contentment and bliss.

Avivit said...

Scott, I just breathed for a while as you suggested with the awareness that its all one ...the same breath/air...same
emptiness....same no-thing....and it takes me into Joy immediately!
Thanks for mentioning we , her and I, are not separate...remembering that dream I forgot to become conscious of it and now I can look at this dream from another perspective as well.

And this also connects me to D.R's last comment: The free fall yoga that you mention that you practice.

D.R., when I read about this practice : doing nothing and focusing on Being...I must say I remind myself to just Be a lot....and here comes my issue for which I will be happy to get guidance.
When I am in this state of Being for a while, at some point the mind/ego starts to have thoughts like: "is it ok to just Be? And for how long? haven't I taken birth to make some effort? what if I get to the gates of heaven (smile) and God does this waving with his've been a bad girl...what did you do with all your time?
I am still looking outside for the certainty that what I am choosing is the right thing to do....fear of getting reprimanded and that is a samskara which has a good grip on the mind as it still returns very often!
Do I just smile at it? or is there anything I am confusing here?

Darcy said...

Reading through the currant comments. I thank you all for your insights. A back- and- forth from D.R. has stood out for me. D.R.s response: "As for your last question, both things are true. Each lesson contains its own Shakti and will have a certain impact if we are open and receptive to it." If I can attest to anything, it is this: All my lesson have had such a pure powerful Shakti. This weeks lesson has had a huge transformative vibe to it. Answers to questions popped up in the last two pages. The words 'if you are receptive to it' ...this is a Key Component. I headed to countryside with no computers or or cell phone for a couple of days with my family. I've returned to D.R.s FB post : "Free Falling Yoga" --Wow, Nothing could be more relevant to what Im experiencing in the present moments. A profound euphoria that resonates, regardless of what I'm experiencing in the physical body and mind. All that is Everything, and Nothing -- lies in that space in-between thoughts. "Free Falling". In gratitude. D

Michael said...

In the lessons you encourage us to "fall in love with our own Self." I decided to try it as an experiment. I began by replacing a few of my doubts with tender adoration and a nippy affection. The following morning I woke up in a new world. Somehow in those few hours I fell in love - with no one in particular. It's a miracle. I feel like Snoopy doing the happy dance. This love is solid, massive, fragrant, pervading everywhere. It's all the perks of being in love with none of the problems. Ram is right - you really can fall in love with your own Self, ' cause the Self is already in love with you. Actually, the Self IS love - our Teacher used to talk about how the feeling of being in love - that gooey giddiness - is how the Self feels all the time.

Sarah N H said...

Oh , I forgot to add, thru all my spiritual studies, none have had such an immediate and profound effect on my life as Living in the Truth of the Present Moment. It's like coming back home...Peace

robert said...

Hmmm...The free fall. I always thought that was what I wanted and then when I get there I run to Mama (spelled Manas). I had a truth touching the other day when I got that at core, I don't want to exist, which feels like an aspect of free fall. There is just so much to hold onto so conveniently though:) Go figure...
Thanks and Happy to all.

D. R. Butler said...

Avivit, you quoted me as recommending 'doing nothing and focusing on Being,' but nowhere did I say anything about doing nothing. I said to experiment with focusing on Being as much as we ordinarily focus on doing. That doesn't mean to stop doing what needs to be done.

In the Bhagavad Gita Krishna says to Arjuna, 'Enlightenment is attained through actions, not through inaction.'

We all have a certain dharma. What is it? It is whatever is happening, whatever is obvious for you to do right now. Even so, while living according to our dharma, we can simultaneously focus on our inner Being, which existed before we took our first breath as an infant, and which will continue to exist millions of years after we exit this temporary physical form and it returns to the elements of the earth from which it came.

Angelica said...

Dear Ram,
I´m writing for the first time since I started this course a year ago. I took your last course for 4years and it made a change in my life, but this one, along with my spiritual practices had made the difference!!!.
2011 was a breakthrough in my life, and I just want to share that I felt so confused that I started therapy to try to "untangle" some issues that were going on in my life, and It really helped me to discover and recognize patterns, samskaras, (some of them where really hidden for me!!) that have driven me through my life and, as you say, I kept repeating them over and over, whether I liked them or not.
So, now that I know what some of my samskaras are, at least the ones that I want to work with now, it has been easier to me to take my attention to the present moment every time I realize that I'm in my imagination, the past or the future. And now, I can remember to change my thougts, then change my feelings and then my experience of the moment.
I can only say thank you so much for this wonderful course and the opportunity of having a practical way of going where I want.
May 2012 be a wonderful year!!

Chris Griffin said...

Dear Avit,

My experience is that when I really get into the space of being, I find myself being moved into doing almost without effort. The movement of action starts from the space of being and almost doesn't involve me. My whole involvement in this seems to be more about letting go and allowing. When this happens, the things that happen (the things that "I" do) are sometimes quite surprising, but they are always perfect. At some point, the doing from the space of being becomes too strong and the mind rushes in to regain control. Over time, I have been able to do from the space of being more and more, and to Trust.

When I have fear and uncertainty about what I want to do, I usually just need to Be more deeply for a while and then I find myself doing what my Heart guides me to despite the layers of fear and uncertainty.

An interesting thing happened this weekend. I went to a "Clown Training" to learn about being a Clown. I'll skip the reasons why I did this unless someone is interested. The man teaching the workshop, Moshe Cohen, was just wonderful. He taught us that it's only when we are rooted in and connected with our own feelings that we can bring joy to others. Even when we were playing sadness, grief, anger or fear, when we did so with a connection to our own joy it was amazingly funny, and brought a lot of lightness and laughter to the whole class. I would have never imagined that playing with fear could be hilarious!

Moshe had us experience the place of Being through doing some exercises inspired by Butoh dance, in which we performed certain movements in incredibly slow-motion. Doing this connected me to the state of Being and the entirety of the space around me very powerfully.

As the class progressed, I saw that all of the principles taught in the course were solidly present as the "secret key" to what he was teaching us. When it was my turn to clown I did not think about what I wanted to do. Rather I just turned to the place of Being within me and let the action flow from there. I wasn't 100% successful with this each time, but when I was I found that the movement and activity that came through me was spontaneous, powerful, and incredibly fun!

At one point we were practicing throwing confetti in the air as an expression of jubilation. I was exhausted from several days of clowning and just wasn't feeling it, and so in my clown-space I just decided to allow what I was feeling and throw my confetti into the air with grief and sadness. I moped across the room wailing in agony and then stood there with a sad face and with a great wail of anguish I threw the confetti into the air and started to wail and moan. The sheer preposterous nature of this act caused everyone around me to completely break out in laughter, and in that moment I lost it and the sadness flooded into joy also. It's amazing how much joy is present in everything.

Avivit said...

D.R.: The sentence you wrote "focusing on Being as much as we ordinarily focus on doing" is so clear and I shall write it down to have it in front of me.

I guess I sometimes confuse myself to avoid doing certain things...nice trick but it doesn't leave me very peaceful for long!

Thank you!

Sylvia in Colorado said...

My current lesson, Volume 2, Lesson 33, page 8, has a quote that I dearly love. The author is John Roger. Please, Ram, who is this gentleman? I tried to Google his name, but all names had an "s" on the end as in Rogers.

The quote is as follows: "The Light is in everything;it's in every aspect of your experience and your expression. You have never been less than the Light. The Light is not sitting around, chanting, and looking holy all day. The Light is the total beingness of all consciousness, on all levels, at all times. The Light is everywhere. When you accept that you've made your first step."

We probably all recognize that Ram has been teaching this all along; for many decades. Reading this quote, it is difficult to tell who came first, Ram Butler or John Roger, because they both sound the same.

Lately I have experienced shift after shift, some smaller and some giant leaps. One shift was several lessons ago when Ram was talking about Shiva and Shakti, husband and wife. I adore that lesson. Then suddenly "Living in the TRUTH of the Present Moment" made a major shift for me! Suddenly, after 3 years of taking this extended course, the meaning of the word "Truth" stood out for the bright and shining light of pure consciousness. One step further, the word "Truth" became the bright, shining, playful, lighthearted Shiva. I have never and will never see or say "Living in the Truth of the Present Moment" again without experiencing TRUTH as SHIVA. At the same time, Shakti, Shiva's beloved, danced for Shiva to her heart's content. My own heart sang Ommmmmm. And I saw the play of conscioiusness beyond anything before. Gratitude abounds!

Then this additional quote in my current lesson took on an even more expanded light...with even greater love.

Vicki Hilger said...

My present lesson says that on the blog " great interactions take place there, and they contain their own Shakti. There are discussions there that exist nowhere else." We might also add that they contain a level of awe, respect and love rarely seen elsewhere. And humour. Is it just me, or is everyone, like Chris, exploring their "clown chakra" this year. Maybe it's my lesson. " From Rumi : Let your LOVE be Disgraceful....CRAZY... and Wild. If you're TOO Holy and careful....God will escape you." Don't you just love this? To stop trying to control the universe and just laugh. To just free fall, bungee jump without a bungee, chant without words, dance without music.... Ram quotes Osho "Suddenly you have melted, suddenly you are liquid, no more solid, but flowing." I want to thank you all for inspiring me though your comments today, You are all so great.

Anonymous said...

Hello, all-

Thank you for your comments, questions, and interactions-- and to DR for this wonderful self-interview.

I have been contemplating one of DR's core and consistent messages from the Course-- one most of us have seen by now-- "Come back to the Moment, come back to the Heart, come back to our Love".

I had always before focused on the words "Moment, Heart, and Love." But now I am noticing that the "come back" part is quite significant. Because we go through these cycles, even while faithfully reading the Course and doing sadhana. The mind can wander like a little child distractedly walking away in a department store, captivated by all the interesting things around her.

When my energy feels low, when a "mood" sweeps through me, when a samskara is triggered, when I feel flat or lacking in the joy I felt spontaneously last fall and now know is even still present within, I am trying to say to myself "come back". And so I will remind myself to come back to the moment, back to the heart, back to our love.

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

Hello, all-

Thank you for your comments, questions, and interactions-- and to DR for this wonderful self-interview.

I have been contemplating one of DR's core and consistent messages from the Course-- one most of us have seen by now-- "Come back to the Moment, come back to the Heart, come back to our Love".

I had always before focused on the words "Moment, Heart, and Love." But now I am noticing that the "come back" part is quite significant. Because we go through these cycles, even while faithfully reading the Course and doing sadhana. The mind can wander like a little child distractedly walking away in a department store, captivated by all the interesting things around her.

When my energy feels low, when a "mood" sweeps through me, when a samskara is triggered, when I feel flat or lacking in the joy I felt spontaneously last fall and now know is even still present within, I am trying to say to myself "come back". And so I will remind myself to come back to the moment, back to the heart, back to our love.

Lyle said...

There is closeness with those who connect with the Course. I feel this is a family where we can share our love and concerns, wanting to know the truth. The first few years, since 1996, when I started the Course…I wanted and had to share the teaching with everyone, coming to realize that they appreciated my passion but mostly, where not interested. I mentioned this because; what an opportunity to get the fire back in the belly, to really dig down deep and bring to life every moment and share our experiences.

Lynne Bhanu Shulman said...

Scott, your response to Avivit about his dream was beautiful and so filled with Shakti, also a great reminder to me about continuing to remember OUR/MY breath. The breath we all share.
And Ram, You always manage to bring me back to the present moment. What you wrote about Loving ourSelves before we truly can love another, so perfect for me at this time. I truly have gotten to a place where i know I am filled with Love, I am Love. and when i forget that, I do look at a small statue of Shiva Dancing with one foot on the figure of Forgetfulness, or come back to the lessons in your course, and this blog and your FB page. I am filled with Gratitude for what is offered here.

Mitranand said...

I just wanted to say HAPPY NEW YEAR to D.R.and Kay and family and all who visit this blog and fellow students of the course..I am happy to be part of this community who share a love for the writings and guidence of D.R...I am so very very grateful for the lessons of the course. It has beome a major part of my practices,,,It is a very gentle way to reprogram your sub conscious , through the process of daily reading your current lesson..pretty simple and thats how it works ..Besides other practices i do ie;( meditation and asanas and mantra and chanting.)Reading the course is what i do to cultivate and become aware of that ever present clarity of mind that comes from being fully here, in the essence, that is what the course does for me...that crystal clear pure awareness that is ever present is where i rest..the unconditional loving space of openess and a posistive outlook is what i get from the course ...warm regards in 2012 i got a feeling it will be a really good year om

Avivit said...

Thank you Chris for all you've written and the wonderful share which connected me to my inner smile!

I have experienced that space where things happen on their own...when time slows down and it feels like all is in slow motion and I watch it all effortlessly happening on its own...yet these fine days I feel like what someone once told me: how do they get a chicken to stand still for photo shooting? one grabs a chicken by the feet and turns it really quickly above one's head in circles, like we would a bucket of water that we don't want spilling, and then quickly one sets the chicken on the floor and they are so stunned that they stand still for a while.
I truly don't know if this is truely done, but lateley I've been feeling like that a shaken and confused that I am somewhat stunned yet not in the stillness where all is effortless, just a bit lost...! lost can one be??? if it's all the SELF.

James said...

I enjoy hearing the shares about what teachings people are applying to there lives. It has answered a question I had. That question was how can I keep in mind all the lessons I have come in contact with already. Some lessons I want to keep on with. So when someone shares about their current lesson it helps me stay in touch with the larger lesson. My current exercise is stay focused on compassion for all. Seeing a hard put homeless person on a cold evening riding the subway put me in touch with compassion.

Justin said...

Avivit, one of the things I am trying to do is be open to whatever the Universe has to give. And thanks to you, I am surprised to know how to get a good photograph of a chicken. And for that I am grateful!

Great to read what everyone is writing on here. And a really great message for the new year. No matter what happens, let's be present and open to it.

Happy New Year everyone, and happy every new moment.


D. R. Butler said...

"You will always have these two classes: those who praise, who glorify, and those who disparage or oppose. The best thing is to listen without getting disturbed. But if the situation demands it, there is also some point in answering back. The number of intelligent people in this world is not very large.

"Even the greatest saints, such as Jnaneshwar and Tukaram, who were absolutely pure, were disparaged by people. But that is only due to the times, and one should not attach any importance to it."

Justin said...

And those who disparage, Ram? I imagine they can examine their words and the animating energy behind those words. And beyond that, I'm not sure I know.

I don't think I misread your comment as a response to Avivit in light of my response to her. If I do, please discard this. If I don't misread, Avivit, if you took my post as mocking, I am very sorry. It may not matter to you what I said or how I said it, but it matters to me that I did so. I have a long history with sarcasm. Along with that has come regret for the things I've said or written. It's a samskara of glibness.

I'm a little sick to my stomach about this, but it got me to re-read your posts here and admire again your sincerity. I'd like to learn something from it.

Sukala Boyd said...

This was the best week of my life - despite appearances! On one lunch hour with two co-workers my voice got louder, as I lost awareness of Awareness, trying to make a point. After lunch, awash with feelings and emotions, I recognized that my contribution to the discussion wasn’t helpful. I was making them wrong. This has been the topic of my current lessons and I’ve nodded vigorously in agreement, wishing others would stop doing this.

That evening I looked for the Truth and a solution. I slept little searching for the key and committing to whatever it takes to change. In the morning what came up was to meditate and allow the work to happen there on the subtle level rather than initiating further discussion. I’d been pondering the need for some realistic action steps toward my NY’s resolution of seeing the same Self everywhere. During meditation one action step was revealed: deeper listening.

While preparing for work I asked for the support of grace from Bhagawan Nityananda who has recently been celebrated on my spiritual path and who has been there for me countless times when I’ve asked for help to change a tendency. That day with clients and at lunch time I resolutely applied deeper listening: ask and listen, ask and listen. Each interaction was harmonious. Listening more than talking I became quiet enough inside to feel and discern when to speak and when to let it go. This inner process was calming for me and there is no doubt my clients experienced the benefit. An amazing side effect was despite little sleep, I felt refreshed. This, versus how draining counseling had often felt. Guess what? It’s not the clients who drain me ...

Yesterday my final client of the week was a man with Mayan ancestry. As I listened I realized I could understand him despite a thick accent. That amazed me. He didn’t know about my NY resolution when he shared this word: Inlakesh, and said it means: “Hello to you who are another me”, referring to a person or an object. It tangibly confirmed how one action step brings me closer!



D. R. Butler said...

Justin, I have no idea what you are talking about. I suppose I could read further up the thread and figure out what you are referring to, but I'm not in the mood.

This is something that has made you sick? It is something that is going on in your own mind only. No one else even knows what you are talking about.

Learn from that and you will have learned a good one.

mohan said...

From my current lesson "Every single moment we can think: O Lord, thank you for appearing as this." For today at least, this is my highest mantra. The resulting contentment is instant and undeniable.

Avivit said...

Naaaaa Justin.....I didn't take your response as mocking...I understood it in a way that made me laugh and happy I wrote such a funny description about the chickens....some lightness is always wonderful! No worries, you didn't chicken me out....I can only chicken myself out!

And by the way...I feel much more centered again. Surrender/acceptance does wonders, always.
Monday I will have surgery and heard I will have internet access at my hospital I will be happy to be in this space with you all if its the case.
No...I am not worried....just extra excited and somewhat curious for the experience of "out of the ordinary" if one could call a single thing that way.
PS: D.R. your sentence: Focus on Being as much as on Doing has turned into a senior!

Karen Jo Shapiro said...


What an inspiring and wonderful New Year's resolution-- Talk about making 2012 the HIghest!
Thank you for your story. Blessings to all, Karen Jo

Colette said...

Sukala thank you for your share, may we all come to a deeper listening. Your share brought tears to my eyes. May it bring us all to a deeper understanding of the divinity that we all are. In Gratitude and Love, Karuna – Colette

Anusuya said...

Things remain intense on the home front but we have had the great good fortune to spend more time with other students of the course than usual this week. A dear friend and long time fellow student is visiting so I can catch up on a bit of rest this week. We also had another student come read a couple lessons to my husband and hang out with him so I could run to the airport then we got to visit with her. And we had a visit from Rico. My point about all this is that we have had more than our usual share of laughter and it has been a delight. It's fun to notice how different it is to hang out with others who are "Living in the Truth of the Present Moment" along with us. We all share a very deep connection whether here on the blog, on D.R.'s facebook page, or actually meeting in person with the local course participants. I feel very blessed to share the journey with like-minded souls. It has been truly laughing, loving and little loony (which has been part of my recent contemplation).

Our current lesson has us focusing on our body of light. Had to laugh when a picture of my husband got taken this morning. It appeared that he was surrounded by a soft white light in the photo, like he has practiced the lesson well. Om Shanti ♥

Darcy said...

Hello all,

Love all the comments, and thank you Chris Griffin.

As I read along them just prior to posting I became a little anxious. I was just talking to some friends in regard to how at times, it CAN be uncomfortable for me to post on blog-sites, as much as I love reading the dialog, absorbing the insight, love and gratitude here. I realize there's an apparent samskara that needs to be released. So I returned to my lesson (5), the answers are always there in my current lesson and it always eases me back into the lightheartedness of the present moment. So, here I am happy and with the beautiful passage of wisdom from my current lesson: " ...Without the interference of the ego, there would be no problem whatsoever. The ego is a fascinating feature of the individual, and it is important for us to see it as it is, and to eventually break the spell it has over us. A large part of the 'work' we do on ourselves has to do with breaking free from the confines of ego and the suffering it causes." We always think our reactions are about someone else, or some external situation. Reactions are only the ego acting up. Look to see what is reacting and why. The pure Self has no reaction. Only the ego reacts."

D.R. & Kay, Thank you for perspective. In great gratitude,


D. R. Butler said...

I love when people quote from their current lesson. Not only is there a certain Shakti to it, and brings readers into the present moment, but participants who have gone on to other lessons can look back and see quotes from their older lessons in a new way, with a greater understanding.

Many have mentioned how when they go back to review a previous lesson, they see things in it they never saw before, and understand what is presented from an entirely new perspective.

Debbra Nazzaro said...

It's always so inspiring to see the principles of truth in action in our life circumstances, so I'd like to share this with you. The other day I had a very fiery and unpleasant exchange with the phone company about some charges on my phone bill that were not only incorrect, they were the result of fraudulent activity. No need to go into it here,..suffice it to say I got off the phone after almost an hour with it still unresolved.

This is the first time in a long time (since beginning the Course and participating here with all of you) that I had an experience that knocked me so far away from the peace I've been residing in.

I saw very clearly how the mind wanted to chase and relive the conversation. It really stood out! And I also saw that I was in a much stronger place than I'd ever been..and I could just drop it after a few minutes.

HOWEVER.... if I let it back in for even a few indulgent moments, each time it was digging a deeper and deeper groove..and each time it became harder and harder to let go of. Not only that, I began to feel it in my body as physical discomfort. I was amazed at how clearly I was able to observe all of this happening.

Ah-ha! I suddenly saw the importance of QUICKLY letting unpleasant things go. I was literally watching the groove form in my mind each time I went back to that conversation. So..what a blessing this whole experience turned out to be! A direct illustration of the value of quickly letting unpleasantness go, now seen with crystal clarity.

Jane said...

I am experiencing a wave of intense and immense gratitude for the Course and our cyber community. I love the term shared by Sukala - 'Inlakesh' "Hello to you who are another me." That's how I feel reading the comments on the blog and it strengthens my ability to maintain that perspective on a daily basis. Every person who shares helps me to practice the exercises in the lessons. In fact, when I see the ego/samskaras trying to control my experience, I feel that a whole community of seekers is with me, supporting my efforts to replace these old patterns. This form of peer support is so heartening (even though sometimes the ego doesn't like it!). Likewise, I send my support and love to everyone especially those of you who are experiencing challenges that can be painful.

Sometimes my ego judges whether I'm imbibing a portion of a lesson. I/ego was very frustrated with myself because I didn't think I was absorbing a quote from Gurdijeff but as I was lying in bed early one morning, the understanding seemed to emerge from my heart as a familiar truth and the application to my life became apparent. The lesson for me was that the ego/contracted mind will never easily accept what is being transmitted in the lessons, I need to stay in the space of the heart to receive the gifts.

As Ram said, references to particular lessons are so beneficial -- rereading is an amazing experience - 'why didn't I see that before?' and having a glimpse of what is coming inspires me to look forward to wondrous opportunities to live in the present moment.

My love and appreciation to all - Jane

Justin said...

The last couple of days have been a great lesson -- "a good one" as Ram said -- to me and how my mind is ready to form all kinds of connections and bring old feelings into the present. The whole thing has been like a thunderclap, and has, like when lightning strikes close by, gotten my attention.

And then I got the new lesson (Lesson 12) yesterday, and I read this. "The ego has a tendency to maintain anger or disapproval regarding something that happened in the past. Or we keep bringing up our memory of a past-happening as an excuse for indulging in certain negativities that we are addicted to." And then later in the paragraph, "Then we indulge in being the victim, or perhaps even bask in martyrdom."

One of the most amazing parts of this whole thing has been the complete lack of perspective I fell into, and how, like an addict, I was obsessed with "the fix." Even after Ram responded, I still had trouble letting it go. And like what Debra mentioned, I noticed that each rehearsal of the samskara, each etching in of the groove, each time I replayed the egotistical melodrama that I'd written and produced in my own head made it harder to escape.

I'm thankful it happened, and happened here, so that I could see it in the light of the present moment. And now I too feel like I know how the chicken that's been whizzed around over someone's head feels. Someone please take a picture.

Best to you, Avivit, during your surgery. I will keep you in my thoughts on Monday.


Margaret M. said...

Justin --

I just read your post, including the comment from lesson 12. I am not yet to that lesson, but the quote really describes my last year (2011) and the habits I am trying to lose.

This morning I caught myself mulling over old 'injuries and injustices' and wondering why do I DO that. Being a martyr implies unpleasant things are happening (to ME). What rational person invites unpleasantness into their lives?

I always thought I was a rational person. I always tried to be rational, but now I am learning how blind I can be and have been. I'm thinking it's a good thing to be a dizzy chicken if it helps me/you to wake up to reality, so I've kind of joined the clutch...

I am glad for the company here on the blog. I always pick up something from my visits here each day and it is fascinating to see how each person picks up what they need from the conversation.

Who knows how many people you have helped with your entry? You helped me. Best wishes to Avivit during surgery from me as well.

Cynthia Lynn said...

Dear Avivit ... blessings and light for your surgery on Monday; Anusuya, thank you for sharing how Pat was surrounded by soft light in the photo ... that was wonderful!

Sunday chuckle: while reading my current lesson, Ram says, "First, we must decide in advance how we actually prefer to be." ... then this song, "Only if.." by Enya comes on over Pandora: "Only if you want to, you can find a way; if you really want to, you can seize the day ..."

Generally I skip that song; have never clicked it as a "thumbs up" ... it's just tooo peppy; tooo happy ... tooo much like a Dr. Pepper jingle! Well, tonight I gave that peppy, happy song a thumbs up, and I imagine (because now I can't get it out of my head) that this little song will become my "auto reminder" to choose lightheartedness!

Cynthia Lynn said...

Ram, I do have a question from Lesson 33, page 3, where you said in bold type:

"Fortunately, our passions and desires do not go with us to the subtle life beyond." and a couple of paragraphs above that, you state: "Our consciousness and predominant state goes with us in the subtle body as we continue life in the subtle world ..."

Wouldn't a person's passions and desires, which create karma, continue into their next incarnation? I'm not clearly understanding the difference between one's predominant state and one's passions and desires ... for instance, what about people who have intense passions and desires in this life, or who commit crimes of passion ... don't those tendencies from a previous life, come over with the subtle body?

Sylvia in Colorado said...

Justin, thank you for your courage to share with us your recent experience (on 1-25)re: how we can grab onto a samskaras and replay it, only giving the samskara increasingly more power. You described what I have been going through for the past year related to a highly emotional family decision to place our 90-yo mother in a nursing home. One of my roles in this game of life is that I am the only daughter with 3 brothers, coupled with being the Medical Power of Attorney. One of my brothers is the financial executor. One more piece to the plot is that my brothers and my mother have always been extremely melodramatic and highly reactive. I have always been quieter and not so dramatic. At least this is from my own perspective.

Anyway, in this sistuation, I was using my lessons, I thought I was keeping my cool. It took effort, but I was bringing all the contentment, gratitude and love I could to all interactions.

Then my "favorite" brother pulled out the trump card, overriding my medical decision, and I lost it. I am not one to yell at people, but I did that day! Even my son said, "Mom you lost it."

Long story short, ever since then, I've been giving myself Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (kidding) by repeatedly pointing my mind toward the love and peace in each present moment. Around Thanksgiving, 2011, I did a wonderful long-distance healing session on the phone with Scott M. He taught me how to RESET my mind. That session helped immensely. I want to pass on something else I discovered to everyone who can use it.

In the course lessons emphasizing the value of creating inner contentment and gratitude in every moment, I had some trouble instantly creating contentment. However, I discovered that, my deep sense of gratitude for so many gifts and so much grace from the Universe, not to mention this very course, is a quicker way into contentment in each moment. So I first start remembering what I am grateful for, one by one, and my heart/mind become mellower and sweeter until I reach contentment. Works like a charm for's probably comes more from God's pure Grace and has nothing to do with charm or even me. Let me know if this helps anyone on this blog. I would love to hear from you. Much love and contentment, Sylvia

Sarah N H said...

Healing and comforts thoughts to Avivit this day first off..

I had a dream the other night where a scenario was going on as usual, nothing unpleasant as seems to often be that I'm " back in school", always a learning environment.. All ages where present yet somewhat divided in age groups...we were all settling in to begin or continue our learning experience and I began to feel a disconnect from my inner peace as "younger" people in my dream where separating themselves from the "older" people..then loud and clear "Come back to your Joy, Come back to your Peace" rang thru me. I repeated it like a mantra..and remembered from my previous lesson #9 " No one else can cause these things (personal discomfort), because ultimately there is no second power" I'm comimg to terms with the aging body issue. The feeling of profound peace rushed my body and the dream images turned into a formless tranquility. I was able to bask in that before waking. I find more and more when in the "dream state" , the principles of the course are right there as well. Its so comforting.

The value in referring to past lessons is becoming fast apparent to me. I love how there are threads from previous lessons in each present lesson even though each I'm only reading in the now moment. The continued reminder to Come back to Joy seems simple yet so profound and does take work. I'm supremely happy to be doing the work.

Thank you for sharing everyone. Thank you Ram and Kay always.

Jim said...

Anusuya, you say "Our current lesson has us focusing on our body of light." Well, I think you all are transmitting that focus quite powerfully, because I tuned into it last night, and I'm not on that lesson (per se). I sat to meditate after doing some Qi Gong exercises and my sense of self suddenly shifted from being flesh and bone to begin a field of energy or light and I had an awareness that my physical body was an outgrowth of that light. I thought to myself: where did this come from? and then thought about the course and the people who share alot here on the blog about the subtle realm. I could reason that doing the Qi Gong helped bring me to the awareness, but I found it interesting that there is a group of students who I don't have any direct contact with focusing on something that I experienced independently.

Debbra Nazzaro said...

Again, so many clear and insightful entries here! I feel so fortunate to have access to such collective wisdom and experience. I can appreciate your comment, Jane. You said, "The lesson for me was that the ego/contracted mind will never easily accept what is being transmitted in the lessons."

It's true, the mind and ego play such tricks to keep us away from the truth. It's really kind of funny when you think of its desperate attempts! Another form of that happens to me sometimes when I am reading a particular lesson or part of a lesson, and the brain just repeatedly glazes over, or is just chit-chatting away with itself about everything under the sun, just to avoid focus on the paragraph at hand. When that happens I figure there must be something pertinent here that the ego would just love to avoid! Sometimes I even have to read it aloud in order to triumph over the internal noise. It works though.. :)

Oh, and here is the funny post script to the phone company story, which I posted here a few days ago. After my most unpleasant conversation Friday, the one from which I learned so much about letting unpleasantness go..even though I thought the issue remained unresolved, I found out today that the charges were removed from my bill! Even though I was told I'd have to pay. LOL !

Vinata said...

When I first participated in your previous Course t was all with my brain. I could not get enough..."Okay, got that...more please!". Now, call me judd, I am beginning to get that the reading and rereading is more like practicing a musical instrument. Instead of developing muscle memory, though, it is more like developing Astral muscle memory?

Karen B. said...

Here is my amazing (to me) experience of the past couple weeks.

On January 5th I was admitted to the hospital. On January 8th I was discharge with a diagnosis of congestive heart failure. I cried and cried after the doctor left the room. I had the lesson with me and started another re-read.Here are some of the things it said:

"All power originates from within. The secret to expressing or manifesting power is the consciousness of this benevolent power. We cannot express power that we are unconsciousness of".

"We have the power to determine in advance how any experience will affect us."

"...with the right attitude we can bounce back from any setback better than ever. If we contract an illness or some injury, we can think, 'Woe is me...I'll never be the same; or we can determine to come back stronger than ever. How any experience affects us is a product of our mental attitude regarding it.'

I immediately began to to use everything I have learned in the course about Conscious Intent, Attention, and Will, and Focus.I applied these tools to having heart failure. I did this once and then let it go. It was done. I took a nap. When I woke up, I started asking the RN's about about ways I could take care of myself.

After discharge I was given an appointment with a cardiologist quickly. It was not the one I saw in the hospital. This cardiologist told me she didn't know why I had been told I had heart failure.(Excuse me???)

We went over the lab work together (I'm a retired RN)and she (the second cardiologist)was right: the numbers simply didn't match up. My lung were clear, had no noticeable edema, etc., etc.(The doctor who saw me in the hospital is competent and well respected. He is also one of the second cardiologist's partners. I have no doubt that the lab work must've looked different to him. In fact, quite a few things were different in the hospital.

So all the lab work that was done during my admission was repeated and some more besides. I was wondering how many more tubes of blood would be drawn before I qualified for a transfusion!

So I saw the cardiolgist again today and my labs are still negative for heart failure, the lungs are fine.... In fact, she said she was happy with how I'm doing!!! I do however, have a cardiac issue that could lead to heart failure if I don't take care of myself. I've had a 12 alarm warning!!!

So I'm trusting you won't call the psych hospital and tell them there's one on the loose. :) :) :)
It really is what happened. If it wasn't for the course, I'd have had no clue about doing what I did to help myself in the hospital. None! The course totally supported me in reaching my highest outcome.

Just one more thing... you know how when you read a lesson there is always something that jumps out as especially for you? When I read the lesson prior to going to the hospital, there something about some people being surprised and unprepared when they find out death is near. I remember thinking, " I hope that one isn't for me." I haven't been able to find those words in the lesson since I've been home. Nevertheless, those words got my attention and had me working on an attitude adjustment ahead of the curve.

D. R. Butler said...

Jim, one major aspect of the Course is to generate more Light into our life. And you are right, it does have to do with more and more participants focusing on the Light, and this focus in itself, with our combined inner power, transmits Light. The actual lessons are only the most outer form of the Course. Once we are committed to whatever process the Course leads us through, including the exchanges going on right here, we see that there is a lot more going on in deeper levels than what we are ordinarily conscious of. Gradually, a whole new world opens up, a world of love, joy, beauty, and Light.

D. R. Butler said...

Cynthia Lynn, there is a vast difference between one's predominant state, and one's passions and desires. If our predominant state is passions and desires, then we are in trouble. We would have more work to do than I even care to think about.

Passions and desires are not a state of being. One's true state of Being is permanent, even eternal. Passions and desires are fleeting and temporary. The less attention we give to them, the freer we are.

Sukala Boyd said...

A client I assisted last week lovingly said, “I can see your light, it’s glowing and growing”. I pondered his words and realized I experience my light as a feeling of contentment. This contentment is very new for me. In Vol.2 Lesson 6 it is described this way: “…it is best not to consider contentment to be an ordinary emotion. It is related to the indwelling bliss, which has no opposite or polarity, and no cause or cessation…As Ramana Maharshi put it, it is an ‘effortless awareness’ “.
I notice some behaviors that accompany the sensation of contentment and I take note of the behaviors so I can find my way back to contentment. One is focusing on Awareness within. Another is taking refuge in my inner peace and silence when I’m with other people and listening.
I attribute this new contentment to something new and something old – to the solid foundation of many years of sadhana, then adding the course two years ago, and recently, reading the blog regularly. Adding the blog stretches my comfort zone -- which I’ve discovered is saying Yes to abundance. I also said yes to having fun facebook texting.
Today I caught up on a few days of blog entries. I was truly blown away at the quality of each one’s contemplation. What courage and heart! I jotted down two quotations from other students’ lessons. One is from Karen’s wonderful sharing that illustrates so powerfully the inestimable value of rising above our thoughts and feelings. Another one is from Sarah’s incredible dream and interpretation.
The blog’s wealth is golden. Reading the entries today, I felt like I was reading the best of my own journals. It’s that intimate a connection and support.

With love,

Michael said...

In your opinion, what are the characteristics of a person who is worthy of holding the Shakti?

Scott Marmorstein said...


Am I on the right track to say that feelings are more subtle and refined than emotions? Emotions seem to be physical reactions of the body to subconscious (or even conscious) thought/thinking. Whereas feelings seem far more subtle and light.

I might feel uneasy about something, let's say, but I may not show it outwardly. But if I'm afraid and go into fight or flight mode I'm going to run and shout etc.

I may have a good happy feeling about something, and again may make no show of it until the happy feeling is confirmed like say...when I win the lottery, that may be the time I jump and shout for joy etc.

I might feel a whiff of grief without it bringing me to tears, this would just be a feeling. If I dwelled on the thoughts that caused the feelings to go deeper I might find myself bawling (an emotion).

Is there anything I'm missing here? I feel as though I read it in one of the lessons but can't quite find it. I'm sure I didn't come up with this on my own..but it feels like partial insight, and partial memory to me.

Many thanks in advance!

Marga said...

Avivit, I hope you're healing well from your surgery - sending you Light to your hospital bed where you have internet access and are possibly reading :) And Karen B., what a remarkable story. Really, so many incredible insights here ... how blessed we are to have this ... so rare.

Ram, I have a question about the teacher: In this hide and seek game the Self is playing with itself, isn't it inevitable that everything ultimately returns to the Self? And if so, why would there be a need for a teacher?

I hope my question doesn't read as cheeky; the sincere intent behind this question is to know what a teacher is. And beyond that my intention is to understand what the relationship with the teacher is, all the while that I know mySelf and the teacher to be one and the same.

Debbra Nazzaro said...

Hi Scott. What comes to me about your question is that we often use the word 'feeling' when we really mean 'emotion'. To some, feelings and emotions can mean the same thing.

Isn't feeling when we have a 'sense' of something, an inner prompting or inner knowing? As in, 'I get a good feeling about taking this job'. Sometimes we say, 'I had a sad feeling', which in that case seems more like an emotion, not a feeling.. even though that word is used.

Sadness, anger, euphoria, dysphoria; I'd think of those as emotions. And a feeling might be a message from within, on an intuitive level. Emotions do seem to be more connected to the physical body, as you say, in response to thoughts and conditioned reactions. As always with words, it's good to carefully choose them to be sure we are employing the correct usage for the context. I'm sure Ram can explain this further. Just thought I would give it a try. :)

D. R. Butler said...

For many years my ego did my sadhana for me, striving to become 'enlightened,' as though the final result would be an enlightened ego. Then the ego could say, 'I did it all myself; I didn't need anyone's help along the way,' as though there were 'others' to be impressed by our great attainment. Ego can impress ego, but what's the point? Ego can do sadhana to a point, but eventually sadhana comes down to freedom from ego. Then the form of sadhana changes into something we never thought would be sadhana. Ego is such a small little section of Self, yet it thinks it's everything.

D. R. Butler said...

Michael asks: 'what are the characteristics of a person who is worthy of holding the Shakti?'

A person must first understand and appreciate what is being 'held.' One must be committed to sadhana, and incorporate every aspect of life into sadhana, or else the Shakti will be dissipated when he is taking a break from sadhana.

Such a person must also be able to keep it within himself, never revealing what is confidential, never trying to 'dazzle every fool' with his spiritual attainment.

D. R. Butler said...

Scott, when something brings you into the space of 'bawling,' it might be an opportunity for great purification. Our Guru told me that crying is very purifying. It is not good to stifle crying, grief, or anger--although expressing anger to others only creates undesirable karma.

In the course I regard feelings as what could be thought of as 'higher emotions'--such as love, compassion, lightheartedness, cheerfulness,the experience of harmony, and an exalted sense of well-being. These basically include whatever feels pleasant.

Emotions contain what could be thought of as the lower, baser emotions--such as hatred, anger, resentment, jealousy, envy, agitation, irritation, uneasiness, and so on--basically any feeling that is unpleasant.

This is why I always say, focus the attention on what is pleasant, and refuse to allow the attention to habitually drift to what is unpleasant.

Feelings and emotions usually follow thought, although they can come up on their own, out of the blue as it were. Usually, though, it we think about what is pleasant, we experience pleasant feelings, and if we think about what is unpleasant, we experience unpleasant feelings. The principle is so simple that even a child can understand it.

Marga said...

Thank-you, Ram. I love this: "...eventually, sadhana comes down to freedom from ego." Or as you say in Lesson 14, "...the degree to which we are involved in ego is inversely proportionate to the degree to which we see and experience the Truth of the Self." I guess my ego was thinking that since I could cognitively grasp the logic of what's going on, that maybe it was exempt from being rooted out ;) Sneaky little bastard.

So I'm getting that the teacher dismantles the whole construct of ego. I'm sure if I'm wrong about that I'll be shown.

I am loving contemplating this: "Ego is such a small little section of Self, yet it thinks it's everything." That teaches me that ego is part of how this whole existence functions - that it doesn't have to be gotten rid of - just seen for what it is.

I'll keep sitting with your words.

D. R. Butler said...

Marga asks: In this hide and seek game the Self is playing with itself, isn't it inevitable that everything ultimately returns to the Self? And if so, why would there be a need for a teacher?

'I hope my question doesn't read as cheeky; the sincere intent behind this question is to know what a teacher is. And beyond that my intention is to understand what the relationship with the teacher is, all the while that I know mySelf and the teacher to be one and the same.'

Interestingly, on in Westerners does this question arise. In Buddhism and Hinduism, which together make up the greater part of the world, the idea of a teacher-student relationship feels like a very natural and important aspect of life.

You ask, if everything is the Self, why the need for a teacher. The key to the answer is understanding that the word 'need' throws the question out of whack. There is no 'need' for anything. It's like asking, what is the need for trees, what is the need for the grass? Why anything?

As the poet-saint Van Morrison says in one of his sonnets, 'It ain't why, it just is.' I find it a great statement and often recall it to myself. So, like the trees and the grass, teachers just happen to be a natural part of the whole.

In reality, the teacher-student relationship, or in Eastern terms, the Guru-disciple relationship, is one of the most fun and fascinating things in life. My teachers have made my life much more interesting and fulfilling that it would have been without them. Most of the fun I have had is outwardly relating to a physical Guru. It is great drama, one of the great rasas of life. Rasa refers to a feeling or experience, but it is much more than that. English just doesn't do Sanskrit justice.

Your question isn't 'cheeky' at all. We don't think that way here, we don't have categories of questions. Each one is what it is, and represents a certain perspective of life. The answer is the other side of the question. Without the questions, there are no answers.

Regarding your last statement, in the East there is a common saying: 'God, Guru, and Self are one.' This is essential understanding. The Guru or Teacher is that higher aspect of our Self doing whatever is necessary to free a certain bound aspect of our Self that experiences itself as separate and different from the Self--and therefore in pain or suffering to some degree. Suffering ends when Oneness is realized.

Why I met the physical Guru, the first time I was in front of him and he was focused on me, I looked deeply in his eyes and strongly experienced that he was no one 'else,' that there was only one of us present.

It has been said that the only difference between the Guru and disciple is that the Guru knows we are the same while the disciple still feels separate and different to some degree. When that knowingness of Oneness occurs, all distinction between Guru and disciple fades away.

There is always only One. This fact is never untrue. It's just that something in us forgets and feels separate and different again--vulnerable to suffering again--and therefore the need for a Teacher:

To remind us of the Truth once again.

One of the Indian poet saints said,'God allows us to forget the Truth of the Self so that we may enjoy the great experience of remembering the Truth once again.'

That is really the long and the short of it.

D. R. Butler said...

Marga, we were writing to each other simultaneously, as I was answering your question from before, which I am just getting to.

The thing about the teacher dismantling the ego is a perfect way of saying it.

Don Juan told Castaneda, 'The first job of the teacher is to destroy the student's view of the world.'

It is impossible to see and experience new and expanded possibilities until we first let go of the old limited reality we have believed in for so long.

Darcy said...

Headed to the little cabin. No Internet this weekend, just printed lessons in tow, that's all I need. Only a few months of the course and an amazing transformation is taking place.

Now that Im breaking free from the influence of ego, true sadhana begins. I'm finding great laughter taking place from what ego once took so very personal. When applying my highest understanding while absorbing my lessons. I live in grace, harmony, joy and bliss. Here, now. That's what 'Living in the Truth of the Present Moment' is all about. It's that simple.  From current lesson 6, I love this: "in a sense, our life as we know it is like a virtual-reality game -- a virtual reality of a human experience. The chief mission of the game is discovering who we actually are. It is the 'greatest game invented' ....for now the key is self-inquiry: Who is it that is playing and enjoying the game?".  Lesson 5 and now 6 are pivotal for the beautiful unraveling that's taking place. Im 'burning the seeds of karma through breaking free from the many samskaras. And all that's required is imbibing the Lessons. Holding you all in my heart.

With great gratitude, love and lots o' laughter in this life of a dream. Happy unravelings.

Thank You D.R. Kay, and All!

D. R. Butler said...

How could the Omniscient and Omnipotent Self possibly feel overwhelmed in the face of petty samskaras? Is the elephant annoyed by the butterflies? If you are overwhelmed, you are assigning the samskaras much more value and power than they actually have.

To be sure, you could forget about them now and if you never again brought them up in your mind you would be totally free from them. If they ever come up again, it's just a test to see if you can maintain your equanimity and poise. If you do this, they quickly go away again. They wish to create a disturbance. If we remain undisturbed by them, they wilt from lack of attention and die of their own boredom.

Marga said...

Yay! Thank-you, Ram! This is a major feast that I'll be digesting for awhile.

I have had that same experience of the physical Guru - that there was only one of us there.

I have that same experience of this course, actually. One movement, many words.

Margaret G. said...

I love this quote Ram: One of the Indian poet saints said,'God allows us to forget the Truth of the Self so that we may enjoy the great experience of remembering the Truth once again.'
What freedom and comfort that gives me and gratitude for the mystery of being human and divine at the same time. Thank you for this, Ram.

Sylvia in Colorado said...

Like Margaret, I too love what you wrote, Ram, on the 19th. I am sure I have read the same words from you over and over, but something here went to a deeper level. It is wonderfully enlightening to know that I can choose to brush off a samskara like a pesky fly. From now on, my intention is to first recognize it IS a pesky samskara. Secondly remember to give it no power over me. Let is fly on by...and pass the test.

Ram, I have a question. It is my understanding that the more we read the lessons, this is one way to burn off those seeds of this part correct?

Then is reading this blog another way of changing karmic patterns? It seems like I just answered my own question above, but I want to make sure I really got it.

Cynthia Lynn said...

Today started out as kind of a "weepy" day ... feeling fractured; not taken care of ... oh well, new moon and all that ... but I really wanted to put some pieces together; not just carry on with my usual reactions to such feelings.

I reached for my lesson, which actually turned out to be 4 lessons prior. Then I found my current lesson, but was prompted to read the earlier one (which was still in my hand) ... and there were the words that helped make it all come together ... not on the first page, but on the page that was showing when I "inadvertently" pulled it out from the middle of a stack of papers on the table.

After reviewing that lesson, I was able to continue to the current one, and more pieces came together so that I was able to finally pick myself up and get on with my day feeling at ease and cheerful ...

There are no accidents; we have what we need in the moment we need it ... just one of the reasons I am grateful for this course. Thank you!

D. R. Butler said...

Sylvia, I wouldn't flat out say that reading the lessons in itself burns out the seeds of karma. Through reading and rereading the lessons, we tune into ways of seeing and experiencing things that are free from the seeds of karma (samskaras), but we have to carry it over to everyday life and actually apply the principles of Truth when it counts.

Reading the lessons and the blog regularly helps to liberate the mind from its old patterns and conditioning, and to open up to new and expanded ways of seeing and understanding the world, life, ourselves, and others.

The lessons counteract previous patterns, and offer pathways to break free from the old and to open up to the new. If we only see what is old, we become rigid and old within ourselves. When we see what is new, or an old understanding in a new way, we keep growing and remain youthful in mind and spirit.

Cynthia Lynn said...

On January 14, 2012 9:37 AM, Mohan said, 'From my current lesson "Every single moment we can think: O Lord, thank you for appearing as this." For today at least, this is my highest mantra. The resulting contentment is instant and undeniable.'

My heart leapt when I saw this, because I often offer a similar prayer when I sit down to eat (especially since I'm not a vegetarian): "O Lord, thank you for appearing as this delicious food, which nourishes, sustains, protects and delights this body; may all beings receive nourishment today!"

And after reading Mohan's post, I see I can use this mantra in every situation: delightful or not: "O Lord, thank you for appearing as this!"

Colette said...

Sylvia in Colorado thanks for sharing the word pesky it was really useful to me this morning. It has tickled my funny bone and lightened me up. Your a jewel. Karuna

Leland said...

Many years ago I had a serious problem in my marriage, and I wrote to Ram about it, as clearly and concisely as possible. Before long, he replied to me. What I first noticed was that his reply was taking everything I had told him to a whole new level, a perspective I had never considered before.

The second thing I noticed, after a while, was that apparently the serious problem was no longer a problem. When I thought back to when the change had happened, I could see that everything changed after I read Ram's reply. I don't have any idea why. This was just my experience.

I share this so that perhaps you will not take his answers to your questions for granted. I have observed many times how he answers questions by raising the perspective, and have seen how many times, as in my own case, he responds to people in a way to carry them a little higher or a step further along the path. In my case, the problem disappeared altogether.

It is significant that D.R. is currently this accessible to answer the questions of anyone who makes the effort to verbalize one. I hope most people here appreciate what is available and what we have access to.

mohan said...

Thank you, Cynthia, for reminding me of that post. You know, since then I’ve received a new lesson and, naturally, it has become preeminent in my conscious thought. When I read your post, it reactivated the power of that mantra. Now, guess what, the resulting contentment is STILL instant and undeniable! Thank you O Lord, for appearing as this.

Cynthia Lynn said...

Glad we could both benefit from that Mohan!
... and now the Lord has appeared as our current lessons! {:-D

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

This month's lessons have had me contemplating the nitty gritty daily details of how I treat my closest family, my teen daughter, ten year old son, and my husband. It is so humbling that after years of sadhana and work, I can still trip up unconsciously falling into old patterns with those I love the most. (Though I DO see the changes and improvements!)

My Lesson 48 wisely says "We get angry and annoyed at the one we're with because of our own uncontrolled tendencies. There is this 'thing' in most human beings that has been passed down culturally through the generations that tends to be contrary, contentious, and hostile toward those who become too familiar-- even if they are the most important people in our life."

I just love how the lesson makes me aware of things that suddenly seem obvious and gently helps me over and over to come back to my love.

Sometimes I feel like if I can just master the lesson Principles completely day to day in my family amidst all the ordinary fray (and they are truly beautiful beings that I enjoy the company of.... it's just that "thing" in human nature!)....well, that will be enough to give me a state high enough to radiate to the world.

Thank you Course for helping me to see it is all perfect just the way it is. Love to all here in this fabulous community, KJ

Colette said...

KJ just remember that you are also perfect, just the way you are and just the way you aren't. Much love and respect,Karuna

Anonymous said...

Ram: I've been having some difficulty with something from the course and I'm sincerely hoping you'll have something to say that will help me to understand what's happening.

I run a small business out of my home. Last year things had slowed down in my business about 15 or 20% over previous years so I decided to use the practices from the course in an effort to improve the situation. The course makes it sound so simple so I thought, “what better way to prove the principles in my own life?”

I started imagining what it would be like if all of a sudden my financial situation made a turn for the better. I imagined having more customers for my business and plenty of money to do the things that needed to be done. I felt great gratitude that things were going so well and for all of my customers that made it possible.

I started doing this every day before meditation, just using my imagination constructively and creatively. Throughout the day, I ignored the evidence of my senses, as you had suggested, and continuously described things as going great and I felt very pleased.

Almost immediately, the evidence of the senses started growing more and more strong. Business rapidly declined and things started looking pretty bleak. I stubbornly persisted with what I was doing and continue even to this day.

The problem is, as I'm sure you can guess, that as I continue to affirm, visualize and feel that things are going great, they continue to decline. This has been going on for many months. With the help of the course, I'm creating harmony inside myself with what is happening and quite frankly, I feel very good.

I know that I always have what I need because that has been proven in my experience dozens of times. But, though I know on some level, and have for quite some time, that my thoughts and feelings create my experience, it would certainly be nice to see an outward display of it in my life.

Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated.

Vinata said...

Flew home from Phoenix yesterday. Want an opportunity to put the Course into practice just travel by air. In my heart I now OWN a new mantra, "present moment, present moment". Once I was on my first flight home I went back and reread and re-highlighted Lesson 1A and received SO MUCH. Good thing. When at the gate of the last flight, my boarding pass which had a seat assignment (and the flight was full) denied me boarding, saying: no seat assigned. I'm pretty sure a semi-crazed look went across my face but I held onto present moment....and arrived home in Avoca ahead of time. Again, thank you both for the Course. Hugs and love, Vinata

Sylvia in Colorado said...

Leland, I have thought of what you said (on 1/22) a million times over the past 3 years. You said, "It is significant that D.R. is currently this accessible to answer the questions of anyone who makes the effort to verbalize one. I hope most people here appreciate what is available and what we have access to."

NO KIDDING and AMEN, Leland. Thank you for saying this, although I would bet that most of us have considered the asset of having Ram so accessibly available in our lives as a huge blessing. I have! I do!

Of course, we will always have our lessons. I still even have some lessons from the old course around here someplace. I wouldn't be surprised if these current lessons are bound and sold in bookstores someday.

Having "lost" Ram once for 6 years, and having missed him and the lessons so much, I am doing my best to read the blog and use the lessons to the best of my ability on a daily basis. It helps greatly that I am recently retired.

Plus it seems important to ask Ram the really important questions now. And do everything we can to "get it" now! Anyway, this is my own personal take, not to sound like I am preaching.

I attend a small study group on each lesson (usually lasts 3 hours) meeting every 2 weeks. This is after we have read the lesson as close to every day as possible for two weeks. It is a lot of time invested, but it is with a hugely thankful heart for this highest intention is to carve into those neuro-pathways of my 70-year-old brain by retraining it to live, breathe, and laugh as the observer of the TRUTH of the present moment.

I can almost hear a resounding "How lucky are we!" Thanks to Ram and Kay, two of our best friends.

Darcy said...

TRUTHS of: Living in the Truth of the Present Moment. "What you think is what you get"

I wont bore you with details but I had a major break-through this past week. I broke free from one tough tight holding on samskara. One I wasn't aware even existed until last week. One that has opened the gate to all that needs freeing.
I have been dreaming of dancing. Doing the stretches to prepare for dance. This is just one beautiful heartfelt affirmation of the the lessons. This weekend, today I danced, I slow danced with my husband, and danced (as the dancer I was). Simple, basic moves but ones with great meaning.  Since having three levels fused on my spine with stainless-steel and  titanium two years ago, I haven't been able to dance. Today is now! Muscle memory is still alive and well. Who knew ( D.R. knows!) ;) I can now once again feel the music in my being -- my body follows. I believed,  I did. I believe, I do. Without hesitation or question, I dance!

From lesson 6: "Once we break free from all samskaras, we are truly free. Ultimately there is nothing else to be free from. The samskaras are our bondage; break free from them and we are free from bondage to the physical world. The key to freedom from our prison lies within us, in pure Consciousness, in the space between thoughts. Absorption in and prioritizing of the outer, objective world is is the prison we are bound in."

Dance, body mind and soul! Love to all!

Harriette said...

Free-fall yoga has totally captured me. I have read and reread again and again. I am embracing it or it's embracing me; perhaps both. Words to live beyond words. What a gift. Love and gratitude . . . .

D. R. Butler said...

Vinata, I love your enthusiasm. You're on Lesson 1-A and your sharing is very beautiful. Thanks for joining us here so quickly. Some people take a while to make it here:)

Sylvia, thank you for your sharp perceptions shared through your 70-year-old brain. The fact that your mind is so clear is an inspiration for all. You have posted here since we first began the blog in 2008, and I love your posts now even more than ever.

Darcy, thank you for how you so openly share your experiences of applying the principles since you began the course 3 months ago. You have been so open regarding your sadhana and your perspective of things, and I love that. I love your willingness to share your inner experiences with us.

D. R. Butler said...

Harriette, meant to include you in the previous post. You are simply delightful in all ways. Your participation in the course has been a great support.

D. R. Butler said...

Okay, Anonymous, what to do with you? How many Anonymous's do we get here? At first I tried to number them, so I'd know which was which, but finally I realized I didn't know which was which to begin with, therefore numbering them would be totally arbitrary and meaningless.

You think you have problems, these are the sorts of things I have to go through.

From reading your comment, you seem to be applying the principles correctly. I am not certain how much you have the 'feeling' down, though--how it would actually 'feel' if your aspiration were 'already' real. This feeling is the creative principle. We can do all the positive thinking and visualizing and imagining in the world, but without that feeling of it ALREADY BEING REAL, nothing will significantly change.

Here is something else to consider. Sometimes a great sadhana is to come in harmony with the way things are instead of being focused on changing anything.

In reality, in the world we currently live in--which is determined by karma and is in no way accidental--just about everyone's business is down 15-20%, and many have done much worse than that, often going bottoms up. It is just a sign of the times.

You know, economics on a general large-scale perspective is not going to get observably better in the world for a while. A lot of us will have to get used to having less.

Continue to have gratitude for all that you have and have been given, for many people in this world have much less, and far too many have nothing at all, and are actually lacking in what they truly need. Be thankful if all your needs are met. During this time, this alone is a big thing.

We do not have to be affected by worldly karma if we remain in our own heart and within our inner subjective Self. If we do, then what we think is what we get. We are then not limited by outer limitations. This guidance is included in the lessons of the Course, as you know.

Feel as though all that you could ever possibly desire is already real. Maintain that feeling. If you want enlightenment, KNOW that it is already real. Don't think it's something that will come later. Enlightenment only occurs Now.

As you mentioned, once you set the conscious intention, all these obstacles came up and things apparently went downhill. This is how the outer world, and our own samskaras--which are primarily responsible for the details of our outer world--come up to challenge us as soon as we decide to do something differently, something contrary to our previous conditioning and our repetitive tendencies and habits, which all happens subconsciously, and is not under conscious control.

We maintain conscious control by establishing something new to take the place of the old tendencies, and by using will power to actually replace them whenever they come up.

All this is explored in great detail in the lessons. You're getting there. It is truly a process that takes place over 'time,' even though it all happens in the Present Moment. It is quite challenging for the mind to take in.

Contemplate what it means to be in complete harmony with things exactly as they are. In many cases, this is much more important to spiritual development, or living in absolute freedom, than changing the way it is to something we prefer.

This is not complacency, which is to be avoided. It is contentment, which is the highest attainment.

Darcy said...

Thank you D.R. for your kind encouraging words, and to ALL here in this community, for allowing it to happen. :)
With Loving Light & Gratitude,

Sukala Boyd said...

Too funny, as in If I don't laugh I'll cry, how after my incredible experience of inner contentment two weeks ago, my mind's chatter became louder than ever. Thanks to past experiences, I recognize this as my inner creative Power's way of saying, 'this is what you want to be rid of? are you absolutely certain you will be happy without it?" This week it's an effort to remember my goal is contentment. It's always been this way though. My most pure, highest feelings create the experience and then afterward, it takes remembrance. My current lesson Vol 2 Lesson 5 says, I must set my priorities. That's the truth! This is a perfect example of what the lesson is conveying and how to apply it.



Avivit said...

Hi all....I am back home and feeling well. Thank you all you my sadhana Kalyanmitras (Brothers & sisters)for your Blessings. Grace and Blessings allow me to be home so soon & even take care of myself and my dog (female) Shusha...I am sure she thanks you for my Blessings too!
In my new lesson D.R. starts with "We can meet in the Heart, anywhere, anytime"....and that made my heart swell as I was meeting with you all without any chatter about it.

I am rereading quite a lot of the comments this month and find myself amazed how incredible they are. Most of them seem sparkling new to me despite knowing I've read them not so long ago.

Maybe because of strong physical pain I found myself feeling even more in the observer stance at the hospital and at times even felt weird having or somehow being connected to a body....taking care of if we are two.

My current lesson (V 2 - L 22)blows my mind! it speaks of things I've heard in many ways before yet for some reason, said in THIS way it makes me aware of it in a much deeper way and just one example is: "Most people focus on their needs being met and their own perspective being right. One truly being commited to sadhana focuses on understanding empathetically the others perspectives and needs, even if they are different from his own".
This went into me like a command and my mind said "but ofcourse, why even for my own sake would I want to give importance to any opinion arising in the mind?let alone to fight for it"
This whole lesson is filled with cutting diamonds for me....and I shake my head again, wondering how the heck did I get so lucky???
Margaret (Jan 15) said: I'm thinking it's a good thing to be a dizzy chicken if it helps me/you to wake up to reality, so I've kind of joined the clutch..."
and it got me thinking about the turbulence I was in a few weeks ago and in that dream sipping the Guru's Shakti...and see now clearly that being in a turbulence or being dizzy teaches me to "let go", surrender and the quicker I let go...I get to the eye of the hurricane...and back to the silence of the heart!

Love Love Love

D. R. Butler said...

Since the Supreme Being created fun, laughter, humor, good times, and lightheartedness, I feel these are the essential qualities to promote--not anything contained in words or ideas.

I do write words and ideas, yet much more than that is happening. If we can tune into what is behind, between, beneath, and beyond the words, a whole other experience comes into play. Words and ideas are only as good as the experience they convey or bestow.

Most of us have 'known' the words and ideas for many years. New facts will not help us. More than anything, we need to open up to a greater understanding of what we already know.

Jim said...

Sukala, I have that experience a lot, an epiphany and opening followed by a return to the old way of seeing things. There are days when the lessons or this blog deliver such a dose, and in those moments it's like going from being cooped up in a small room with no windows to looking out at an expanse of ocean or mountain vista, and then going back to that little room. Mind expansion followed by some contraction. I'm convinced that's why the human brain has all those wrinkles in it -- stretch marks!

Tony Aditya said...

Hello again. Seems like if Ram is good enough to put up a post every month, I can at least check in here monthly (by contrast with stopping by to read the comments, which I am delighted to do at least once a day.)

This month I am working with attention, conscious intention and will. Ram puts all three together and articulates how they work, which makes sense of each of them in a way I never really understood by looking at them separately. Then in a recent lesson Ram commented that samskaras – those automatic habits of thought, feeling and action – take several forms, including aversions. Bingo! A long-standing characteristic of mine popped into view as an aversive samskara. And attention, conscious intention and will are just the tools required to take it on.

Some background: I was born and spent the first years of my life in Texas, where every male child is born wearing a T-shirt saying: “Don’t tell me what to do!” When I left Texas for good at age 12 and shook the dust of the place from my feet, I kept the T-shirt.

Fast-forward 50+ years: I am driving a very familiar route in my hometown when my beloved wife, who has a long-standing habit of saying out loud whatever thought occurs to her, says: “I usually turn left here.” From deep within, in a ripping snarling black rage, came: “Don’t Tell Me What To Do!” Of course as an evolved yogi I didn’t actually say that; instead I reasonably replied “I’ve driven this route hundreds of times and turning left is not the way to get where we’re going!” From the hurt tone in her voice when she said “You don’t have to be so mean about it” I inferred that mine was not the cheerful, lighthearted response I had hoped for.

OK, DTMWTD samskara, you’ve got my attention. Now what?

First, it was pretty easy to decide that I did not want to snarl at my wife – in fact, except when DTMWTD shows up, I never snarl at her at all. My Conscious Intention, after a bit of work, became clear: I treat my wife with loving kindness. I held that in my awareness until loving kindness felt completely real; that is how I treat her.

So now I needed to create a replacement feeling for when DTMWTD shows up, and I blush to admit that DTMWTD just cuts through my Loving Kindness like a hot knife through butter. I needed something much more potent, and my initial thought (“No, samskara, you are not going to tell me what to do!”) seemed a little self-defeating. This took some time and contemplation, but suddenly it popped up: “I’m free!” The awareness of “I’m free!” is a powerful ecstatic light that simply eliminates the darkness of DTMWTD and from that place loving kindness just flows naturally.

OK I’ve got my tools: pay attention for when DTMWTD shoes up, apply my will to react with “I’m free” instead and respond with loving kindness. This is work in progress, so all I can tell you now is, it has worked a few times, and a few times DTMWTD had me by the throat before I even noticed it was there. And one fascinating time DTMWTD showed up, I put my attention on it, thought “Are you kidding me? I’m free!” and watched good old DTMWTD just slink away.

That’s me this month, doing the work. See you all around the blogsang campfire.

D. R. Butler said...

Well, if nothing else, we certainly have a variety of personalities posting here.

Shyami Nazzaro said...

Ram, since you posted on your Facebook page the other day about finding the humor in your bad feelings, and about remaining lighthearted, I have been adhering much more to staying lighthearted no matter what, to the extent that if seriousness descends, it sticks out like a sore thumb and I just laugh to myself about whatever it is I felt serious about. And it doesn't feel like faking feels like choosing what perspective I look at something from. I feel like I have received such an immeasurable gift in this understanding about lightheartedness... It really has magic in it, and has the power to keep one afloat no matter how rough the seas seem to get. I have started to feel unsinkable. I feel like I understand something about the sheer buoyancy of Great Beings that previously I could only guess at. And I can feel my disposition changing...the proclivity of the mind to clamp down on things, to contract, to therefore experience the "heaviness" of life (which was only there because I thought it was!), is really fading in a most miraculous way. I sort of feel like, if a menu was presented to everyone of emotional states to adopt, I would say to everyone, "I recommend the lightheartedness!" My love to all. With immense Gratitude...

D. R. Butler said...

Shyami, I like your post a lot. Yes, lightheartedness is a big thing, more than most of us give it credit for. I'd love to tell people that one of the highest, most advanced of the principles of Truth is to approach all of life lightheartedly, and to remain in that lighthearted state as often as possible and for as long as possible. Yet if I told most people this, they wouldn't take it seriously:)

People refuse to accept that the highest, most refined, subtlest, most expanded states, experiences, and truths are also the SIMPLEST. The more complicated we make it, the further from the Truth of the Present Moment we go.

Our life is whatever we make it to be. It can be heaven, and it can also be hell. It all depends on what attitude and approach we bring to it. If we remain lighthearted, we will experience life as heaven. If we become too heavy and serious, we will experience life as hell.

Asherah said...

I have a question regarding how to know what is the dharmic way to proceed with karma as the structure. I have come to a definition that helps to a point. This is, dharma as a guideline of maneuverability to align within the cause and effect of karma to create more light, beauty and goodness. Light, beauty and goodness all around yet sometimes it seems that it could be light for me but not the other or visa versa. Since the other is also me, how do I know whose goodness I go towards? How can I know what is everybody’s goodness?

I am grateful to be able to ask this question.

Jane said...

Tony, thank you for describing the process of addressing your DTMWTD samskara (Jan 26). It has helped me immensely.

I've known for a long time that I had a 'love to hate ____' samskara. It was particularly strong in my childhood and kept me feeling protected and safe (or so I thought). Through sadhana, I became aware that the 'love to hate' attitude was so useless and destructive. I've become aware (thanks to the lessons) that it is still there, albeit in more subtle form - more along the lines of 'like to be hostile towards_____' - I have to admit that the rush I get from this samskara is very seductive and addicting but lately I've increasingly become determined that it has to go.

Reading your post gave me more distance from the samskara and is helping me to see it without identifying with it - as in 'there it goes again...interesting...' I'm still in the process of replacing it when it comes up -- I've tried various ways including is seeing the 'other person' as the same Self but it hasn't been too effective unless I can also feel it.

Shyami's and Ram's comments about lightheartedness are so encouraging (and something I need to read again and again in the lessons). Shyami - I love your references to feeling unsinkable and "the sheer buoyancy of great beings".

Much love to all - I feel so incredibly blessed to have cyber satsang daily - I'm learning so much more than I could possible learn otherwise and also cherish how much is going on between us on the subtle level....

Tony Aditya said...

Jane, thank you. Your post beautifully shows the personal benefit we all get from hanging around this cyber campfire (and its powerfully real subtle counterpart.)

Re: replacing -- I find that I first have to find something that is already real to me -- I feel it and know it directly -- before I can find a replacement. Mostly thinking one up doesn't work for me -- whatever comes when I really need it is always perfect.

D. R. Butler said...

In my thread on Facebook:

Many people find cause and effect very easy to believe in or agree with. However, it is rare to find someone who actually had activated will enough to truly apply the principle in practical ways in one's own life.

We 'believe' in cause and effect, still, we act and speak in all sorts of ways that create undesirable effects. It takes a special person to actually change their approach to life, in ways that actually benefit other people, that creates more pleasant karma than the previous approach did.

This is one reason we have a Course of Training via email. Most people already know these things in theory, but few have been trained how to actually apply the principles for the benefit of oneself and others in one's own life.

'Believing' in something or 'agreeing' with something is very mediocre compared to actually practicing the principle in real life.

D. R. Butler said...

If anyone does not already know this, the best way to read the comments is to first click on the title of the entry. This changes the page where the entry leads straight into the comments so that the print is larger than if you come here at the bottom of the entry where it says 'comments.'

That initial little click on the title makes a big difference.

Ghayas said...

Dear friends, my discovery of 2012 is the Laughter Club here in town. Each thursday for one hour a group of people meet in a studio and, being guided by a animator we laugh. The principle is the following: "We don't laugh because it is funny. It is funny because we laugh" Some warming exercises in the beginning for the abdomen and relaxation at the end of the session. Even though it feels we are "faking" it in the first few exercises, something real does open up quite soon and real laughter bursts enough to decide to come back on the following week. Ram, I found a tool to help me do better with the eleventh command !!!! My osteopath yesterday noticed a significant difference when she worked on my diaphragm. I'm so happy I found that. Love, Ghayas

Colette said...

Hi folks, this particular paragraph from my lessons hit me right between the eyes "What if every time a tendency to worry arose, for example, you were to immediately use the awareness of worry as an alarm clock to wake up and return Truth of the present moment? Worry is never related to the Truth of anything. It requires the sense of another time, usually some imaginary 'future' in which something bad or unfortunate might happen.

I confess to being a worry addict. It is a revelation that I can use this addiction to bring me immediately back to the present moment with my replacement behavior simply by activating my will, attention and intent. Maybe this will be useful for any other worry addicts that might be out there. Much Love and Many Blessings to All, Karuna

Eugenia said...

Avivit good to see you back. Ashera your question rang a bell or too and then this popped up: "If anything needs to be changed in order for us to be in harmony, the change must take place within ourselves. The only work to be done in is what needs to be resolved inside ourselves. We are our only patient. We never have to work on anything or anyone else. Changing outer conditions or other people will never free us. Changing whatever is necessary about ourselves in order to be in harmony with outer conditions and other people is the path to freedom." In context, if you had spent as long as I have praying for your French teacher to get a flat tyre, only to see them in class waiting for you, you would know it is impossible to impact negatively anyone no matter how badly or how little you desire it. And this is what sweet Kay wrote to me a while ago when I had an issue similar to yours: "You'll always do the most appropriate thing for yourself and those you love by staying attuned to that space we all meet in, the space of the lessons, the space between thoughts." Funny...the way Kay says stuff

D. R. Butler said...

Colette, thank you for your honest and open sharing. There are many 'worry addicts' among us who simply do not recognize that it is an addiction, with its own chemical substance like any other substance abuse. Most people don't realize negative emotions are addictive. Many are addicted to worry, others are addicted to anger, others to sadness and self-pity, and some are even addicted to paranoia.

Once we see them for what they are, breaking free from them becomes much easier. If we truly see that worry and anger are addictions, we are much less inclined to indulge in them when they come up.

Asherah said...

Eugina, thank you for your comment. Exactly what you and Kay said about applying principals and harmony is what I automatically did and a voila happened. I had resentment as my addiction unable to replace it. Anyone remember the60s movie The Amazing Journey about scientists making some people microscopic to journey inside a body? In one scene, crystalline antibodies attached themselves on someone and smothered him. Well, resentment appeared again and suddenly these luminescent antibodies of light smothered it and WOW it really transformed! Not pretend transformed but REALLY! Then I started coming into harmony with the situation I had questions regarding my dharma. And wouldn’t you know it, it shifted into something that we both were satisfied with.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you…

Kathryn McC. said...

Colette, this is so very timely. I’ve just come from dinner and checked the blog. We are on the same lesson! This is what it was like at dinner: I noticed it was quiet as I sat down to eat and then as I ate, I found myself starting to make mental lists, what needs to be done next, who I didn’t call, preparing for work, what the week would be like, Worry! So then I’d refocus, back to the present, the absolute okayness of the moment, the beautiful plate of food, start eating and then, ‘bing’ I was looking around for something to read! I refocused again, and again left the moment. I just couldn’t believe what a habit I had formed! I have been eating worry! My poor food, not even looked at. My poor stomach, so put upon. Well, now I have the alarm clock!
I know this habit started at work and then spread, from being in a hurry, from a meal being one of the few times in a day when I am relatively to myself. Instead of relaxing, I’ve begun to use the time to get thoughts in order, “hear myself think”. I know I used to be able to take time and enjoy a meal, but I’ve become addicted! The mind is trying to be so “efficient” and do several things at once. Crazy. Because I have noticed this during meals, I intend to practice there until I can start spreading just being in the moment out in a larger diameter. Just doing one thing at a time. Finding the center and calm of every moment.
I am grateful to the lovely veggie plate tonight for helping me, grateful for you, friends, and very, very grateful for the course. Love, Kathryn Ann

Darcy said...

Shyami, thank you for you post on the 27th. I also love how your refer to: "feeling unsinkable" & "the sheer buoyancy of great beings". You've described what I'm experiencing so beautifully. In gratitude. Much lightheartedness & love to All! :)

Jane Walmsley said...

Thank you Ram and Kay for the Course, and thank you to all of you for what is happening on this blog and on FB. It is something I have fallen into this month,and it is a feast I look forward to reading everyday. I "took a break" from the Course about a year ago. I was up to lesson 6 when my daughter started to go off her schizophrenia medication and a long downward spiral started for her involving a lot of stress for the family. I wasn't fully engaged with the lessons and I just stopped printing them off. I had read the blog before I started the Course but didn't realise exactly what was being offered. Towards the end of the year a friend told me she had started the Course and I realised that she was already up to the same lesson that I had been on. This was enough to get me reading again - the Course, the blog and FB threads. I read, re-read a bit later and absorb the new. One of my many favourite quotes is this, which I am trying to fully digest:
"Observe your human self in action, see all the sloppiness you still allow in your life, admit your laziness and your resistance to actually applying the principles, see that you are as human as anyone in this world and there is nothing exceptional about you whatsoever. Then, knowing all that, know that you are a perfect expression of God..."
D.R. Butler
The valuable advice you gave Mukunda, about dealing with another's samskaras with compassion and love is another thing I am practising every day. Amazing Grace.

Colette said...

Kathryn Ann if this has just started at work I am sure you will be done with it in short order, for me it started much earlier and has to do with being severely punished for making little mistakes so I became worried about making them. My father was a functional alcoholic and was often irrational in his behavior towards me hence a need to be perfect and worry about what would happen if I were not. I know that this is coming up right now through grace so that I can break free, and that is what my intention is to be lighthearted no matter what. Love to all, Karuna

Francis Lazaro said...

Our statements have the power to affect others, like our negative emotions, which have an impact on the nervous system of others. Some of us have developed the ability to protect ourselves from these vibrations to see us not stained by them, but most people have no choice but to be adversely affected when given the occasion.

Regarding the second paragraph of Lesson 29. Could you give us some clue about how to protect ourselves from these negative energies intentioned sometimes do as much damage?