Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Potpourri of Living in the Present Moment Nuggets

My oldest son Jnani and his wife Paula just left today following a delightful visit.  They live in LA, where Jnani is a film editor, and they are fun people to be with.  This month's entry will be very special. Some great questions have come in recently, and I will answer a few of them here.  I will quote one question as it came, answer it, and follow that with a series of responses to certain questions.  Some of these responses were to specific people, so there is quite a variety of subject matter covered.

The first question is one that often comes in various forms, and over the years I have answered it in various ways.  The question has been currently expressed very interestingly, so it will be fun to see what comes out as a response, for all of us. 

Carol writes:  'You speak about "thought as creative energy."  My understanding is that "thought is a product of Mind."  How does one who wants to transcend the mind and live in "infinite-experiencing consciousness," navigate this life simultaneously contracting his/her perception to focus on the creative process-seeing all creation already existing in subtle form in the universe--thereby drawing it into physical existence. How can one reconcile both intentions....this apparent dichotomy?  Can a liberated jiva have the freedom to do both? The Yoga Vasistha suggests one must have both feet in the same boat--or is the creative process more relevant to one level of yoga more than another, a developmental process, part of the steps to achieving liberation?'

It is interesting to me how this question keeps coming up, and why is there a seeming dichotomy?  Remember, I was first exposed to this knowledge when I was 15, so to me there is no dichotomy.  It seems to be coming from certain spiritual teachings that have become popular over the last few decades.  Westerners understand these things conceptually and intellectually, and can even expound on it for others, and yet the truth is--is the understanding being applied in some practical way in everyday life?  In more cases than I like to think, the answer is no.  As a rule, we do not tend to actually live according to what we have conceptually agreed is true, and have even been inspired by.

Someone sincerely writes of wanting to live in "infinite-experiencing consciousness," and be a 'liberated jiva,' and yet the next time you know it she is reacting negatively to something her husband said that she didn't like.  Carol won't take this personally, as she knows that I am writing to many different people simultaneously and using her question as an example of something that keeps coming up in the minds of people.

The thing to understand is this: most of us are in our minds most of the time, and most of us also agree that we create our personal life through the thoughts we think.  So we're creating our life as it is from moment to moment according to how we think anyway, regardless of whether we 'believe in' the principle or not.  The Truth doesn't require our agreement. 

It's certainly okay to aspire to "infinite-experiencing consciousness," but to consider what we think from one moment to the next as 'a developmental process' in the early stages of sadhana is very naive.  People like to think of it as basic and elementary understanding, yet no one actually applies it in their life. 

It comes from the way spirituality has been taught and approached over the last 40 years or so.  We think we are supposed to go beyond the mind, yet we use our mind all day long to create negative feelings, tensions, stresses,conflicts, figuring out things, getting things right, getting everything done, and it's a little ways down the road before we get back to "infinite-experiencing consciousness," which, when it arises, is only another thought, after all.

Do not underestimate Mind.  Mind is not limited to the conscious, waking mind, known in Sanskrit as manasManas is what people think of transcending when they transcend the mind.  Big deal.  There is a great general misunderstanding regarding this.  We will learn more of this later.

The following is the collection of 'responses'--probably whether you can make sense of them or not is irrelevant:

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.

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 as well as themselves, and 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.

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.

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.

Anyone who has the question you presented would be well served to look into the Course of Training via email, as one aspect of the course is answering this very question in a way that is actually transformative and makes a practical and palpable difference in your life. Your question is very easy to answer, but merely reading the answer won't in itself change anything. That is why we offer the course.

The answer is simply that you 'replace' 'unfruitful habits and distractions' with actions and habits that are more fruitful. The simplest natural law is to focus only on what is pleasant and to refuse to even consider what is unpleasant. This is easy to know, but does 'knowing' it make a difference in how you experience life? It does if you actually apply the principle. Many would think that refusing to consider what is unpleasant is being unrealistic, or sticking one's head in the sand, yet it is simply a possible way of viewing and experiencing life--if one has the discipline to actually live this way. 

Toby the 'how to's, why's and wherefors' are in the lessons of the course. As mentioned above, such things cannot be learned simply by knowing the answer. Otherwise you could just read a book or an article and improve. People who participate in the course are those who have realized that nothing changes until there is a commitment to the process of transformation. Transformation doesn't happen simply by 'knowing about' things.

In addition, why bother with 'spiritual practices'?

Any 'spiritual practices' that are different from the rest of life are ultimately a waste of time. The only true 'spiritual practice' is going through your moment-to-moment daily life seeing the play of Consciousness equally in everything, seeing everything as equally divine. All other spiritual practices are very mediocre.

Gordon, 'Is it acceptable for 'spiritual' people to choose to divorce and not continue with the tapasya within their marriage?'
First of all, there's no such thing as 'spiritual people.' The only difference in people is that some see the unity of all things, while others don't. 

'Divorce' has nothing to do with sadhana or spirituality. It is just a part of life. On one level, it is simply a legal term. On another level, it is two people sensibly realizing that their karma as a couple is over, and harmoniously separating, wishing the other well, and going their own ways. This is the most dharmic conclusion to a relationship whose karma is finished.

Shyami here's a great karmic lesson: Much of sadhana is simply coming into harmony with what is. Life is set up to test you at every turn. Parents have to deal with unacceptable behavior in their children. Children have to deal with unacceptable attitudes and traits in their parents. Couples in relationships have to accept a thousand distasteful things about each other in order for the relationship to work. Nothing is handed to us on a silver platter--here, an easy life, you deserve one. That is not what the physical plane is all about. We do not come here on vacation. We are here to come into harmony with our karma, which is however our personal life presents itself at anytime, including all relationships, and especially family. So the work, ultimately, is simply coming into harmony over and over again.

Margaret, this question regarding your quote from the lessons is one of those things that is answered through the process of the Course itself, in its various forms. Primarily, the answer goes back to replacing what's not wanted with what is actually preferred. Again, though, merely knowing this is not likely to change anything. That's why we have a course--not to learn new facts or information that can just as easily be found on a thousand sites on the Internet--but to learn how to actually activate change and true transformation, while immediately learning how to be in harmony with however it is--which is actually the first major step toward truly changing anything, if, indeed, anything is ever worth changing.  For most people, the only thing that actually needs to be changed is their attitude.

Scott, I admit my statement seems a bit radical. I am certainly not 'against' meditation, nor do I discourage it. I have practiced meditation for many hours over many years, beginning when I was 15 in Mississippi, of all places.

I suppose more accurately I could have said that any 'spiritual practices' that are not or cannot be applied in a practical way in daily life is ultimately a waste of time.' And I still don't feel comfortable with the term 'spiritual practices.' In reality, we do whatever practices we do in order to purify the mind and the ego, which leads to a greater freedom that is hard to comprehend until we actually experience it. It's only 'spiritual' in our own mind, in our own way of describing things. There is nothing inherently or absolutely 'spiritual' about the process itself. These days people have lost track of what true spirituality is. Instead all these limiting concepts have arisen around it. When people get too trippy about it, it turns off others and gives spirituality a bad name.

True spirituality is seeing the play of Consciousness in all things, seeing that everything in life is a manifestation of divinity, as there could not possibly be anything else. True spirituality is living in harmony with the contents of each moment of life. True spirituality is living each moment in contentment. True spirituality is recognizing Love and Light not only within us, but AS us, as our own true nature.

True meditation is being aware of Awareness, conscious of Consciousness. Meditation is recognizing the Awareness of Being as our own Self. We can sit and close our eyes for a while if we want to, but people also do that while thinking the most bizarre things. True meditation happens anytime and all the time. It is not something we begin or conclude. It is what is going on all the time, and sometimes, when we 'meditate' we tune into that which is already always happening.

Where did God come from? God didn't come from anywhere. God was always already here. God has no beginning or end. Everything else comes from God, or is God in that particular form, or situation, or relationship, or whatever. There is nothing that is not of God. The Absolute must by definition be in, around, and beyond all things. Nothing exists separate from it. It is the All, the Alpha and the Omega, and nothing else has ever yet existed.

For information about the Course of Training written by D. R. Butler and available by email, along with a free Lesson 1, write:



Michelle Synnestvedt said...

Dear Ram,
I have been going deeper into observing and asking what it means to "be in harmony" in relationship. I am lucky and fortunate to live in harmony with my beloved and so the typical places one may need to work to "come into harmony" are in harmony. So I have been looking at the places that are not in harmony. I feel that there has been a shift in coming into acceptance about "the world out there" -hahaha. I may not agree with or align with choices that are made that cause harm to any form of the ONE, and I can accept that this is part of how the play unfolds and that there is karma playing out..a mysterious web of cause and effect that will forever remain mostly 'the dark side of the moon.'

The focus is a deeper look inside myself. What is it to come into harmony with all things? To see and feel connection in All things, to LOVE and RESPECT All things? Would eating an animal be in harmony with that animal for me? Would it be in harmony for the earth? Would it be loving and respectful?
What about Nature? How am I in harmony or disharmony? Am I respecting Her?
As I am searching for the truth, I see that relatively "truth" is local to is not universal because these relationships are eternally changing.
The deeper I look, the more I see that everything I choose to do, how I act, what I say, what I buy, how I think, is either a step towards greater harmony or less. And the once 'seemingly simple principles' are becoming infinitely more subtle, and more layered.

Once the most obvious layers of reaction and disharmony have harmonized, I am left with staring at the tip of the iceberg.
Which leaves me in the wild play between harmony in the relationship with forms that change( karmas) and BEING Harmony ITSELF.
It is Harmony Itself that sheds the light on what actions /thoughts may be disharmonious..and this is a guidance from the inside out AND the outside in.

D. R. Butler said...

Wow, Michelle, I've really missed your comments recently. I realize you are busy with your new project, but it's good to hear your wonderful mind at work once again.

You asked some wonderful questions that, of course, only you can know the answers to. One of the main things you said was, 'What is it to come into harmony with all things? To see and feel connection in All things, to LOVE and RESPECT All things?'

As you are well aware by now, for me this is definitely the crux of the matter, and you have stated it perfectly as well as concisely. This is truly the question we all need to ask ourselves.

Anyone reading this believes in 'love' and 'respect' as great principles. Still, all that is important or even relevant is, 'do we go through our day being loving and respectful to each person we come across, including our loved ones, and even including ourselves? (Our Self.)'

My Teacher taught that the highest sadhana (spiritual practice) is to greet each and every person with great love and respect. This is about what it comes down to.

Otherwise we can meditate and chant until we drop, we can do devotional rituals for years on end, we can study scriptures until we can no longer see straight, but there has still been no true transformation unless we can recognize the highest in everyone and treat each person we come across with great love and respect--even our husbands and wives, our parents, and our children, as well as the black sheep of the family. In many cases, we ourselves hold this distinction.

Melissa Abbott said...

When creating the transformative vision of "presence" as in being in harmony with the expanding and contracting consciousness of any given moment, isn't important to have dispassion and discernment not only for yourself but for others as well. Sometimes it is good to know that you can love and respect from a distance and not everything has to be up close and personal. It seems that so much is going on constantly in the subtle realms and so much of our lives is not paying attention to it that we can get caught up in ignoring the subtle queues the universe is always giving us..... The subtle vibrations can be deep and strong or as light and wispy as a web...

Pamela Lia said...

The phrase 'an embarrassment of riches' comes to mind between the blog, the Facebook postings and of course THE course, I am flooded with gratitude for my good fortune! Most often I read without commenting, but I feel very much in harmony and energized by my participation, today particularly so - I can't help but want to share this with you. I'm sitting here trying to do justice to the abundance in my heart, but I just can't. Thank you for everything!

Purnima Orlandi said...

Ram thank you for this month's blog! I love it! Thank you for teaching me how to simply Be and love life moment to moment. It makes sense that truth is simple. All the rest are ideas and theories, processes...i love the course and just signed up for another year. It has transformed my life and therefore my children's lives and husband 's life too. My priority now is to live at ease. To stay at ease in everything I do and in all situations. Love you!

Neville Campbell said...

Have enjoyed your FB comments in the last few threads Ram, especially those about seeing and hearing with simplicity and not trying to cultivate creative emptiness.
I love it when it comes darkly without invitation.

D. R. Butler said...

Pamela Lia, it seems to be a time when everyone is energized by their participation in the course. Everyone just got their new lesson, there is a brand new blog entry, and also there's just a lot of Love and Light and Shakti (Spiritual Energy)being radiated at this particular time to all those whose hearts and minds are open and receptive enough to receive it. Even in the midst of madness and chaos in the world, it is a great time for those of us who are attuned to the Heart.

D. R. Butler said...

I feel there is something very special about this particular blog entry. I would love for it to be read by as many as possible. If you have any capacity to help make this possible, if only to post the link wherever is appropriate or to forward the link to any who might be interested, it will be greatly appreciated--and possibly by more than you might realize.

Julie Chimes said...

Many years ago I photocopied a lesson from an earlier incarnation of the course, so my husband and I could read it simultaneaously. It was my turn to have the 'diluted' version but one line had been shrunk by the copying process, so I had to get a powerful magnifying glass. Being in 'serious' mood at the time I was complaining to my husband that I found the course somewhat serious...holding the glass over the tiny typeface I read, ' time the ego gets very small'. From that day onwards, this course has helped me rediscover the inherent qualities of laughter, joy and playfulness, that had become buried under a pile of guilt. I was often sent to my room as punishment for laughing and not taking life seriously enough, which I always found searingly unfair as my step father was a professional comedian! I thank you Ram for your gift of translating the language of the soul and for being instrumental in helping me know that so-called spiritual growth is experienced as a lightness of heart and that delicious bubbling up of pure Joy.

Asherah said...

Thank you for these nuggets. I am begining to be in harmony with typical places and that is very inspiring for me. Actually seeing life as a game where what happens and especially how i feel about it doesn't matter is freeing for me. And yet, what i do does matter in that i want to do what brings me and others in harmony with karma. What an interesting play. The vegas nerve feels good this morning.

Sarah N H said...

Besides an immensely growing experience of gratitude, each blog entry and each new lesson leads me to understand what true harmony means my present whatever level I am able to experience it at the time.

The questions and answers are invaluable to me in regards to grasping how much we all share in our Soul's evolutionary process.

Lance said...

I love this blog and where it started with Ram addressing Carol's comments on liberation and manifestation here on earth. I have also thought about that subject a great deal. A great saint who began coming to America from India in 1970 was very much of a traditional Indian yogi. A worshiper of the Shakti. He loved chanting and the traditional path of the Indian yogi's. In this philosophy the universe is Shakti or the power of God. However he once said something that struck me quite deeply, and is quite profound if you look deeply into it. His statement was "the Shakti goes where the mind goes". Wow, when you think about it, the mind is directing everything with-in us and in our lives. It can't be said enough. To do our "practices" and then go back to all our habitual ruts of thinking can be so self defeating and yet it is how we tend to live. We can be like the driver of a car, stuck in a ditch, gunning the engine but really not getting to far and sometimes going further into the woods. Spiritual practices are a great thing. However, over coming our habitual patterns of thinking is a task that can not be over stated.

Lynne Bhanu Shulman said...

Coming into harmony with people, places and things has left me very quiet recently. I find nothing to complain about. Weird because this is the primary way in which i used to interact with people. I know that sounds weird but now that i don't engage in "isn't it awful"..i don't have much to say that most folks want to hear. Someone commented that i must be depressed. I thought about that and concluded that if I am I certainly am not worried. I am quietly joyful deep inside and even with the most difficult external circumstances, family, health, finances(none of which look "good" on the surface) If it weren't for the Course and this blog and FB page I wouldn't have the framework that feels so supportive. I really like what you said about spiritual practices. Everything is a spiritual practice not just meditation, chanting etc. Smiling, dharmic actions, giving the benefit of the doubt to everyone, forgiveness, laughter, anything positive seems like good "spiritual practice" to me. I am sure more will be revealed to me as i continue on with this life and more comes into my path for me to make choices to come into harmony and acceptance on a moment to moment basis. in the meantime...putting the Course into action. Being aware of me and my thoughts and actions in relation to this world. Respecting others views I still have a ways to go as Michelle said as thing become more subtle.

ari said...

This has to be one of the best blog entries I have ever read from you DR.
"If we can just focus on the pleasant and not bother with the unpleasant".
It goes back to actually be willing to practise this intently and in each moment.
I love it.

Dave Silverstein said...

Hi Ram,
As I was reading my new lesson I came upon a wonderful quote, "Compassion is helping another to be free from his own mind, not imposing our thoughts on him as well." I never thought about the word 'compassion' used in this context and it has expanded and deepened my understanding.

There are so many times that I speak words that are so unnecessary (or explaining myself)that are a waste of energy. I realize that when you are coming from the present moment then there really is 'nothing' to say because that true state of just 'being' says everything.

Most of what I have to say in normal conversation involves thoughts of the past or future NOT the present...and as my current lesson states, "The past is dead and the future has not yet been born." Obviously, for social grace we converse with others but there has to be more discrimination on my end.

I guess what I'm realizing on a deeper level is how important my awareness needs to be in every moment,to speak only when necessary and from that pure space of love.

Sandy Ventura said...

It is quite a task... but yet "living and loving in the moment" is all it comes down too. A few years back I did an exercise that trully changed my experience in that way. I was asked to dwell deep into imagining what it would be if I knew I would die in 24 hours... What would I do?
Who would I see?
Where would I go?
The exercise consisted in writing down every little thing that mattered, in those last 24 hours.
I started to understand that life is not about the past, is not about the future, because neither of them exist! What we treasure NOW is all that matters. But here is the thing... we get distracted of the NOW oh so many times... Sometimes I wounder, what if we could just simply erase clocks and time itself from the face of this Earth? What would happen? How would we react? How would life be?
I find it hard to imagine what the implications of that would be... Why do we even have time to begin with? Is it because we are experiencing a realm of relativity, where everything is relative to it's opposite?

Chuck Cheyne said...

Yes, let the mind be, let it chatter. Leave it. Focus on and be as the Heart, listen deeply. This blog and the lessons are an invitation beckoning from the heart. Now there's a choice: From the mind - deciding what's wrong or right with what's written, whether you agree or disagree depending on how it fits with your concepts. Trying to figure it out.Trying to understand it.
Or - using them as pointers to what Is.Listen deeply, relax, Here It IS. Such incredible Joy, Love, Peace in just Being. So simple. Ha.

Anonymous said...

There is something very special about this particular blog entry! For me, I simply hear a resounding yes!, yes!, yes! as I read.
I am particularly related to Michelle's comments. The mind for years found differences in things and circumstances. When that kind of mind arises these days I actually feel physical pain and a rather quick and urgent preference for the motive of harmonious action. I notice more easily how the mind is creative action in it's movements.
There is much chaos in my physical life as it continuously reorganizes itself. Yet, most moments I find harmony as it is now.
I find that relating to each person from where they are is flowing more smoothly than at any other point in this life. What do they need to hear now? How can I be in harmony with this one now?

Debbra Nazzaro said...

I love being reminded of the simplicity of the Truth. Ram, you said, "There is nothing that is not of God. The Absolute must by definition be in, around, and beyond all things. Nothing exists separate from it. It is the All, the Alpha and the Omega, and nothing else has ever yet existed."

It helps to pause every so often and remind myself of that. It's really pretty funny when you think about it..nothing else is happening here at all, except That!

If, in the middle of some crazy play of events, or the whipped up imaginings of my mind..I can just remember what's really happening here, which is nothing but God (Me!) masquerading as everyone and everything, it resets the whole experience, like suddenly waking up from an unpleasant dream. :)
Thank you, Ram and everyone for sharing this journey!

Darcy said...

 It's so beautiful to witness and really feel the Shakti that increases with the revealing of each new lesson. It's beautiful with all the Gems in the new blog entry and comments. I feel radiance, love & light. Thank you all.

 While  imbibing my lessons I feel further guidance from  the Devine that resides in all. Wonderful things are happening naturally while  dharma pervades. A short while ago I had an MRI that showed one of the stainless steel screws in one my vertebra  was pressing on the nerves, (which was causing a lot of pain). I understood I was to have another surgery to correct it. I was fine with it -- that weekend I danced for the first time in years with love and grace in my heart. I didn't feed into the drama of what will be or 'may, be'. I stayed present, happy and grateful for all that I have. Two days ago I returned to my doctor,  he took an x-ray. The screw seems to have shifted. They can't explain it. No surgery 'now'.  I only want to feed into the positive side. I am pain free many moments. And I'm grateful for the present moments (which is all we have).  I've also just found out that they've past a law in the country I now live which recognizes the benefits of acupuncture. It is free under the system here. And I've  signed up for treatments. :)

Lesson 7: "Replace the worry habit with the consciousness of abundance. -- abundance of everything, including, peace, contentment and love."

"The forward thrust of life is growth, expansion, transformation, and evolution. Allow yourself to freely flow with these natural expansive energies. There is no way you can get worse or lose anything, unless you go backward in your mind. The reality is that our life is like the gradual blossoming from a bud to a blossoming flower."

Im so grateful to you D.R. Love and abundance (of everything) to all. :)

Cristina Santeiro said...

Ram, what a great blog entry! I have learned through years of doing my sadhana that feeling comfortable and content is a result of my own thinking and actions. There is nothing out there that is causing my state to be one way or another. It is only my response to life that makes me feel content or not. Thank God I have learned that it starts and ends with me. I am the creator of my world, and I also have the choice to create what I want. This has given me a great barometer to know when I am in harmony or not. My default is to look at anything that causes an unpleasant feeling within. That is the work for me, and the chance for transformation lies therein. I just had a very "unpleasant" experience in something that happened to me. I had to look at the samskara that caused this unpleasantness and bring it to the light. And that is the way to transformation for me. That is why also unpleasantness is a very good thing even though I don't like it, but it brings up things that I do not like to look at, and puts them right in front of me so I have to face them and make a choice. Do I want to continue feeling like this or is there a higher state I would like to experience when this circumstance happens?

Vinata said...

WOW! Lesson five is crazy awesome. It brings so much into focus for me. I am a survivor of PTSD and very much used to be an adrenaline junkie in all the worst ways. I got tired of being trapped in the mire of it all and sought help. Only after that help was I able to really begin putting the principles of the Course into practice and grow back into being a strong healthy person. Of course then there were a zillion new I was no longer the shut-down person my husband had married. This lesson gives me so much understanding; not just about my perspective, but also my husbands. It gave me the ability to feel compassion for people still trapped by their addiction to their dramas. Thank you for such practical and meaningful teachings.

D. R. Butler said...

My post in a thread on another's Facebook page:

I recognize that rolling of eyes and slaps on the arm. What is truly great in a relationship is if we can say anything whatsoever to the other at any time, and the most harsh reaction we could expect would be the eye-rolling or the slap--to have an ongoing agreement to never react negatively, and to be sure we understand exactly what the other is saying and where he or she is coming from before we bother to respond. This leads to a great relationship.

D. R. Butler said...

On my own Facebook page:

Can you imagine one army of ants lined up against another for ruling rights over someone's back yard? Or, better still, one group of ants proclaims that if they are elected, they will make it a much better back yard--even though, obviously, they have no true power to change anything. We think presidents and governments and political parties have the power to change things, when in truth everything on earth is being determined by planetary influences.

As Gurdjieff said many years ago, two planets deep in space get momentarily too close to each other, creating a momentary vibratory tension, and the effect on Earth is that people immediately begin slaughtering each other.

That particular post was apparently a little controversial as some people didn't like that their ego wasn't in control after all, although of course they didn't exactly word it that way:)

It's simply a certain way of understanding things. Planetary influences do not replace 'free will,' which is actually the only power we as individuals have, in that we can consciously choose what to think, instead of mechanically repeating the tendency in ways that cause chaos and inharmony in our lives.

Jane said...

I've had a question formulating in my mind recently about reading the lessons and whether I was taking the 'right' approach or not. Especially since the end of Vol 1 and beginning Vol 2, I've noticed an inner dialog taking place when I read the lessons, which goes something like this:

Contracted Mind: 'You're not getting better re-read that sentence/paragraph before you continue...maybe it is too advanced for you...etc...

Witness: Just keep reading the lesson - no need to re-read any sentence obsessively before you go on, that won't help to imbibe it. It is being absorbed at a deeper level than your contracted mind can track...and practice is essential.

Then I read the following comment Ram posted on FB:

"The only relevant Truth is that which remains eternally changeless. To understand what this means is one reason we have a course via email, to grasp the Truth of the Whole step by step, at a pace that the mind and ego don't immediately reject. If certain things are presented too fast or too early, there is so much resistance from the ego and mind that everything is rejected and no longer considered."

This comment seems to explain why there has been a shift in how I'm imbibing the lessons. They seem to be circumnavigating the ego and entering into my heart. Practicing feels like a taller and taller order but one that I am up to because the energy in the lessons is providing unfathomable support.

Kay Butler said...

Hello to the lighthearted souls who meet together here around the cyber subtle campfire. Thanks for keeping it burning so warmly.

This week Brian Cadman wrote (shared here with Brian’s blessings): “Dear D.R., I have been studying your writings since the early ‘90s. After such a long time I am used to the feelings and changes that can occur in the readings. I hope that I am not wasting your time by asking a question which, perhaps only I really know the answer to, but I wanted to at least ask your comment about my current experience while reading.

“Almost every time I sit with my lesson at the moment I feel myself being heavily DRAGGED into sleep to such an extent that I only notice that this has happened AFTER I wake up and notice the paper of the lesson, or my Kindle, in my hand.

“I always have felt a lot of Shakti with the course but this phenomenon is surprising even to me after such a long time of experiencing it. Anyway, if you have any comments on it I would love to hear from you.

“Finally I would like to thank you again for every single word you have ever written. The course has been for many years and still is the most valuable thing in my life.

“From the course I have learned that true wealth does not consist in having lots of things but rather in truly being able to appreciate and use whatever I have. The course has taught me that that appreciation only lives in the present moment.

“Thanks a lot Ram,... From the bottom of my heart thanks...Brian”

In my role of Mom in this Mom and Pop organization, I spend time every day in communication with people via email who love the course as much as I do. It’s an honor. AND... I get to be the one to send everyone their beloved lessons.

To the One who makes the course possible in this world, I give all gratitude and power.

Love to all who read this, and hopefully D.R. will also have a response to Brian’s question.

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

"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." (D.R. from this blog entry)

Yes! It's what's behind, between, beneath, and beyond the words that makes this course so incredibly special, so unique. Every lesson really does convey an experience that is not the ink on the page or the characters making up the words.

Today I had the experience of getting a "subtle adjustment" within, some strengthening of my will, some focusing of my mind. I am so very grateful for this training.

Kay, I loved your share here. We appreciate you and your service so much! Love Karen Jo (KJ)

D. R. Butler said...

From Facebook:

It's been 37 years since I wrote the first Lesson of the Course and mailed it out to the first 12 students. My Teacher told me to 'learn the course well,' so I have always been the first and most eager participant. Some great desire/knowing came up in me at 15 and I knew I'd spend the rest of my life living as I now am. It is presumptious to write something that is worthwhile for anyone else to read, but someone has to do it. My mind sometimes wonders how all this happened. I was a simple fellow from Mississippi, from a simple family, and then all these things happened in my life. Why? How? I can accept the concept of karma simply from the example of my own inexplicable life. Just sharing a condensed form of my unwritten autobiographical novel into a FB post. Love to all.

Cynthia Lynn said...

Things have been going quite well, but today I experienced "... a test to see if you can maintain your equanimity and poise:"

A rather obnoxious woman was pacing around in our small neighborhood supermarket, making wise cracks about their being only one cashier. Since she only had a couple of items and seemed to be in a hurry, I offered her a place in front of me ... we do that a lot in my little town. She declined, indicating she wanted to "keep them on their toes" ... when I asked her why, she said it was fun; a way to have an interaction.

I seemed to be the only one who found her "interactions" annoying ... everyone else in the store just politely answered her obnoxious questions, and went about their business as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening ... I looked at her face ... she was not having fun, she was being a! ... or, was I the only one feeling that?

Calmer now, after contemplating the experience, I realize it was a set up! I watched the whole thing as a movie, and still there was that part of me deep inside that reacted; took it personally; wanted her outta there!

Grateful to the course, meditation, contemplation, good company, and everything else that sustains me and helps me get back to center a lot faster than ever before!

Cynthia Lynn said...

... and thank you to Dave Silverstein (February 2, 2012 11:59 AM) who said, "As I was reading my new lesson I came upon a wonderful quote, 'Compassion is helping another to be free from his own mind, not imposing our thoughts on him as well'."

Dave's comment helped me see that had I not said anything to the person at the grocery store, and just stayed present in my own heart, instead of getting caught up in judging her attitude, I probably could have avoided all the gunk that stuck to me with her reply ... but, it was a "set-up" so I guess I had to get pulled into the play, even if only briefly, in order to "learn a lesson."

D. R. Butler said...

Cynthia Lynn, often the most we can do for others is to be compassionate for how they unknowingly cause themselves to suffer, and to allow them the free space to go through whatever they have to go through to experience their karma and someday attain freedom--assuming, of course, they are not harming or infringing on the rights or space of others.

There are not many Siddhas (perfected beings) in the world, and the chance of coming into actual contact with even one of them is slim, as well as highly auspicious karma should it occur. Everyone else in the world is working through their own stuff. Some are consciously working on spiritual development, and others cannot even comprehend the possibility or reason to do so. Either way, it is too much to expect perfection or an ideal person in all ways. It takes a lot of compassion to make it through life harmoniously, much less to enjoy a loving, respectful, and supportive relationship.

Sukala Boyd said...

Julie, I appreciated your sharing (Feb 2) “Being in 'serious' mood at the time I was complaining to my husband that I found the course somewhat serious...holding the glass over the tiny typeface I read, ' time the ego gets very small'.” That would feel to me like hold the glass and seeing my Teacher peering up at me with a smile! I'm sometimes instructed by my Teacher to look for signs of her Teacher.

Lance, thanks for the reminder “the Shakti (energy) goes where the mind goes”. I re-intend to remember this golden key.

Cynthia Lynn, the setup you described is one I recognize. For me it's a samskara of rescuing others, when in fact no one needs rescuing. It’s much lighter these days, as only I need rescuing from my samskara, and it happens through the Course of learning, applying it and participating on the blog and FB with others. Thanks for the tip, it was lightened me up to read your experience.

With love,

Vicki Hilger said...

I have just passed considerable time rereading the blog and the comments, and have only reached Feb.3 ! that's because I am reading and rereading each comment so slowly, it seems, taking time to savour and allow the revealed wisdom of each dear one, as if it were the Course itself. And that , of course, is because each one is imbibing and reflecting the experience of the Course so completely, that the comments seem like the Course. It's as if there is only One speaking here. My current lesson says : " It takes commitment to steady and persistent work, including the setting of right priorities and the exercise of willpower to make sure the priorities are actualized." The lesson describes priorities : " Love and compassion over hostility and contrariness; gratitude over complaints; focusing on the best instead of interpreting everything in the worst possible way - all these are perfect examples of setting priorities." With our steady effort we gradually lose the tendencies to overreact, blame, argue, sulk. This doesn't mean that we are wimps. Huh-uh ! Just new and creative approaches (not ' stupid ' approaches, as the Guru once said :) ) I just received a bill for $225.00 for a guy to come out and look at my dishwasher, which refused to act up in his presence. Once I would have been on the phone and on the rampage so fast. This time I thought, I'll send a cheque and a sweet letter, reminding him that he only had to go 10 miles round trip out of his way that day, and not the 100 or so he claimed. I'll pay him an adjusted amount, and tell him I'm sure it was just a little mistake, and I look fwd to our next service call :). I already know that whether he accepts my response, or insists on the first bill, I really don't care. Already in my heart I feel love and compassion for the guy, he works hard, and had spent the entire day far from home, driving up and down the valley, trying to find people on logging roads. I'll let him have the final say. God, how I've changed. Who is this woman? I think I'm in love ! :)))

Naganath said...

Vicki, loved your comments and felt the same way: these blog entries are truly a blossoming of the course through these beautiful souls, like yours. To see the experiences of the Course manifesting in "others" lives is pretty phenomenal.

James said...

My thanks to everyone who gives their understanding to the blog. The practices seem to become part of life. Ram your comments about the practices deepens my experience of them. One thing I do is ask what can I bring to my practices -gratitude. What can I bring to my life gratitude, contentment. This course saves me day in and day out. Thanks again to all.

Brent Flickinger said...

I have been contemplating being in harmony with things as they are. A girl threw a cup into the street in front of me. My old reaction would be to get upset about littering. Instead, as that started to come up, I thought, "The best way to be in harmony with this is to let it go since I could not change her." Later a friend suggested just sending her love. Boy, this sure feels better than stewing about it

Brent Flickinger said...

I am contemplating my first lesson about setting priorities. As I was trying to get my mind around what that might mean I had a visceral experience. In yoga class my priority has been to stretch as much as I can, to be the best in the class. Last week my priority was to notice what my body needed and move or not move according to what was needed. It was a subtle shift, but a teaching on how to set a priority for my actions that is more in harmony with what is needed inwardly rather than allowing my ego to set a priority based on an idea of what I should do or what would make my ego swell with pride.

D. R. Butler said...

Brent, you have come so far, I am so proud. Remember how upset you used to get if someone threw a can out the car onto the side of the road? It drove you crazy. Now you were able to endure, tolerate, and flow with someone throwing out a cup in front of you. Good going!

D. R. Butler said...

I was just revisiting some dialogues in the older threads, and in the 9/10 comments Baba Rampuri posted the following: (Baba Rampuri, the first Westerner to ever become a Naga Baba, is now a Mahant of the Juna Akhara, the oldest and largest group of Naga Babas, one of the most ancient, strangest, and most mysterious of all the various authentic traditions in India. To be a Mahant is a great honor.)

Ram Butler is part of an ancient Wisdom Tradition, not just because he is a disciple of a great yogi who carried on this tradition through his lineage, but because he is a storyteller capable of moving knowledge through time and place. And this is how the tradition works. There are no instruction manuals, the texts are all storybooks! And the storybooks are the stories, some heard, some remembered, but written down. They are all esoteric, for they require commentary.

Ram Maharaj questions himself, "Do you honestly feel true transformation is possible through simply reading words, as in the lessons of your course? Isn’t there some kind of inherent limitation in the written word?"

I'll emphasize his answer in traditional terms. An oral tradition differs from a literate tradition in terms of authority, assigning it to a voice or a chorus of voices rather than a printed text. Gutenberg and the printing press marks the beginning of our Speech of Consumption, as the new mass media has things to sell - first of all, ideas. And, indeed, the very first market pitch was that, yes, true personal transformation from reading printed words was possible - from all the Bibles that were being printed, and thus Bible thumpers were born.

All words whether spoken or written have their limitations without guidance or commentary. But words that are used as a means of selling an idea, however sublime, remain in the speech of consumption, and not in a wisdom tradition.

In a literate tradition, story is frozen on the page. Once the ink dries, nothing may change. There is basically only one Bible sanctioned by the Christian Faith, ok, a couple of versions with somewhat minor variations.

But, the “Ramayana” and “Ramcharitmanas” are only two versions of the many thousands of stories comprising the Story of Ram, and even these two disagree on very major points. Many of the stories have never known ink, and in fact can change from one telling to the next. There are always more details and story trails to discover. This is why storytelling in the oral tradition maintains “living story.”

This is where the significance of words may change. Words may become hooks and signposts. No longer must they remain in their frozen identities.

What I find most impressive about Ram’s blog is that he is storytelling living story that links and connects with other living story in a grand network of the Indian wisdom tradition.

What Ram calls the inherent limitation of the written word, I call its frozen identity, and as long as it remains isolated, it is indeed a major limitation.

Transformation becomes possible through connection, identifying oneself with a greater analogy that sacred ritual, some theater, and storytelling provide. So by simply reading and discarding words, as we do with our other consumer items, no significant transformation will take place, but by using those same words in their expanded potential, with authoritative commentary, and the BLESSINGS of the speaker, in this case, Ram Maharaj, a lot more becomes possible.

I recently wrote the following to Ram: “Good work. You will probably say, "It's just Guru Maharaj working through me." But, of course, and that's just the point. He doesn't work through everyone, but only one or two. That's my experience. He does the choosing.”

I think we are all lucky to have a running daily discourse accessible to many people, capable of connecting us to a wisdom tradition.

Chris Griffin said...

Dear D.R.,
You have stated that each participant in the course receives what they need through the course.

I don't dispute this in any way, but I am curious as to how you understand this: By what power does this happen? By which tradition is this granted?

In Baba Rampuri's comment on Facebook, he stated that just because a person may be true Guru does not mean that he has to take on any special role for any other person if they are not meant to have that relationship.

I'm wondering if, in your view, the course has a greater universality than a particular lineage or tradition. If so, how does this happen? I have come to believe that the traditions are extremely important and are indeed the source of all spiritual blessings. But I am open to being wrong about this.

Brent Flickinger said...

Chris, in the same way we study the nature of the Mind to understand all its subtleties, I think it's important to discuss what a "word" is, how it limits Reality, how it can also help with understanding; how its shakti can flow and touch, and also how it can become trapped and rigid. The ongoing dialogue of the blog keeps words from being locked in. Thus the importance of commentaries and the oral tradition.

One thing I've noticed growing up as a Christian is how people take a teaching of Jesus' and universalize it. After I came into relationship with a living Master I realized that the words are always addressed to specific people and their situations AND I can also learn something for myself from the teaching. For example, when Jesus told the pious rich man he was doing well and to keep it up, the man asked if there was anything else he could do. Jesus told him to sell everything he had and give the money to the poor. The man went away sad, I think, becuase he couldn't do it.

Now, some people will take thsee words and say, "Everyone should sell what they have and give the proceeds to the poor." However, you can see this teaching as challenging this man to give up the atttachment that is closest to his heart. Then you could ask yourself, "What attachment is hardest for me to give up?" This would allow you to be affected by the words, feel what the rich man might be experiencing, and be touched in a way that might transform your own situation.

rico said...

Chris, I’ve been contemplating your question. When I first read it, it didn’t connect with me. Then I read Brent’s response and, click.

My take on Baba Rampuri’s comment is reflected in my relationship with him. While he is indeed a guru to his chelas he’s not my guru so our relationship doesn’t take that form. While he is undeniably a powerful Baba and the shakti of his ancient lineage flows through him, he relates to me as a friend or big brother might much the same way Ram relates to me. The relationship I had with my Guru was quite different.

If you read the excerpt from Baba Rampui’s earlier Blog comment (9/3/10) you might note that he said that Ram is part of an ancient wisdom Tradition. Baba Rampuri’s approach is as traditional as it gets. Ram’s is much more universal in that the way he tells the story incorporates aspects of many traditions. What flows through the Lessons, you might discover, has the same Source.

I would agree that it seems to take a connection to an ancient tradition to facilitate connecting on the deepest levels. There are many teachers out there but if their authority is not connected to a tradition, a lineage, they probably can only show you part of the way there (here actually).

lance said...

I was reading this blog tonight. D.R. was talking about really learning what we already know so to speak and I really got hit with something. The more involved I get with D.R."s teachings the more it hits me. Forty years ago I discovered a book and a teaching we all know by Ram Dass, "Be Here Now". The message Ram Dass brought home from India was "Be Here Now". When I read this back then I understood it on one level. However, here I am 40 years later truly learning to "Be Here Now" by applying principles to bring about an inner transformation, to free my mind from all of its concepts and patterns. Forty year.....and the Dance continues.

D. R. Butler said...

I will get to Chris Griffen's question in a moment, but first I feel to share a couple of posts from my current thread on Facebook. Here in the blog they are more likely to be safely retained for posterity, should that ever be relevant:

First this:
Speaking of chakras, you can't expect the top of the mountain to stand if the bottom of it is taken away. It is a complete whole. The chakras make a complete whole in the same way that the fingers and thumb contribute to making a completely whole hand.

The majority got stuck halfway up the chakras, usually in the second and third chakras, which generally represent sexual and egoic energies, respectively. The heart chakra is the opening of love and compassion. Upwards from there is the Light. It is all a part of who we are. Sadhana is breaking free from wherever we might be stuck and completing the final leg of the journey upwards.

There was a question about how Will relates to the chakras.

I responded thusly:
Ordinary self-will, which is related to egoistic pulls, desires, habits, and tendencies, happens in the 3rd chakra, which is the center of ego. From there we can decide whether we wish to focus downward or upward, although most people don't know they have the power to make this choice.

Higher Will corresponds to the divine plan for us, is aligned with God's will, and is experienced as our 'heart's desire.' It will be experienced as a deep desire, yet it is not related to egotistical agendas like ordinary desires; it corresponds to our higher Self acting and speaking through us. Divine Will receives spontaneous intuitive guidance from a higher Source--where the individual merges with the Universal--and higher Will directs it according to divine design, which is experienced within, subjectively.

What determines divine design?

For each of us, the answer to this question is the key to why we're here, to why we bothered to take this particular birth.

D. R. Butler said...

Lance, I appreciate your post and relate totally.

Rico gave an excellent answer to Chris's question, as usual--he is pretty consistent--and Brent made a good point as well.

I was just now rereading Chris's question as for the first time. What is it the lessons say about seeing what is new?

Chris wrote, in part: 'You have stated that each participant in the course receives what they need through the course. I don't dispute this in any way, but I am curious as to how you understand this: By what power does this happen? By which tradition is this granted?

'I'm wondering if, in your view, the course has a greater universality than a particular lineage or tradition. If so, how does this happen? I have come to believe that the traditions are extremely important and are indeed the source of all spiritual blessings. But I am open to being wrong about this.'

Chris asks an excellent question. I can tell because I feel that a clear answer will be challenging. Since my Guru told me that I would answer all questions perfectly, it's basically up to his grace anyway.

Chris, I agree that traditions are very important, even essential. The Shakti (spiritual power) is in the lineage; it comes not from a particular person, body, or personality, but from the power of the lineage itself. In your question, which I did not include in my quote, you mentioned Baba Rampuri. I feel, for example, that in our particular relationship, similar to what Rico said, we basically relate as good friends who appreciate each other. That is true at one level, yet on another level, as a Mahant of the Naga Babas, our connection with him opens us to the Shakti and blessings of the entire Naga Baba lineage, which goes way back. He is no longer just his own person, in the usual sense. His 'position' carries both power and grace, and gives blessings even through mundane words and actions.

I have studied with, been trained by, and offered my services to various traditions over my life. I feel as though I imbibed and somewhat carry on something from each. My first teacher represented an ancient and powerful lineage, a lineage of great Light and Love centered around the lamaseries of Nepal and Tibet. Even now this lineage spills over into the writings. I cannot explain it. I can only observe it. I write more about this in the lessons of the course, but this is enough for now.

I was also one of Ram Dass's first students when he first returned from India and wrote BE HERE NOW. I have had many encounters and exchanges with Ram Dass, and he strongly influenced certain aspects of my understanding and presentation.

(Continued in next comment.)

D. R. Butler said...

I met an authentic Siddha Guru from India in NYC in 1974, and this directly impacted my life for the next 28 years. It gave me a certain training, experience, and perspective I could never have had otherwise. I was taught how to be a communicator of the principles of Truth. Ultimately this goes far beyond the words. It is a spontaneous tranmission of energy.

I even have a little Gurdjieff and a little Krishnamurti in me. They both played some role in my development and understanding.

In my own experience, it all blends together into One. It all becomes the same lineage, and I sense a higher Source behind of all it, putting all this together in some kind of coherent and helpful way.

I know that each participant of the course receives what they need through the course because this has been everybody's experience for many years. Many share their experience of the course both here in the blog comments as well as on Facebook almost daily.

To complete the anwer to your question, I would say that yes, the course is more universal than any one path or tradition. It has not rejected any path or tradition. In fact, it includes what is undeniably true in all paths and traditions. On some very practical level they all say basically the same thing. This is where the course comes in. Everything is blended into one.

Yet, no tradition that ever directly influenced the writings is in any way diluted. The writings are not a hodgepodge, a quilt of various spiritual influences from here and there. Somehow it all came together simply through the happening of my life. I cannot deny it. I did nothing to cause it, yet it has happened.

So Chris asks, 'So how does this happen?'

And all I can say is what I have shared above. Other than that, I haven't a clue. I don't know why I have this particular karma or dharma. There is nothing about me on a personal level that would indicate I would or even could do anything like this as my 'work,' or as 'what I do.' From my perspective, it is a curious and droll phenomenon. All I can truthfully say about it is, It is what it is.

Devorah Feinbloom said...

D. R. you wrote about the difference between the will of the ego and the Divine will and this is so deeply important to me with each and every decision I make.

My husband and I have been house hunting. My husband found a house in a great neighborhood that he thought was a good fit for our needs and finances. Initially I didn't really like the house but since my personality and likes are very strong I really wanted to listen and "see" the house through my husband's eyes and try to see what he saw instead of my typical way of doing business of blowing something off if I just don't like it. (this is a gift of the course - not to always be right and let the ONE dance between us.)

The house has some good bones and very interesting layout and we did make an offer on it yet I haven't felt the divine wills' YES. IS the divine will always clear?

We just seemed to be moving forward. The inspection process showed exactly how much needed to be fixed in order to be safe and move in. We had to do some negotiating of the price and it has all felt like pressure since the inspection. We were able to negotiate a better price based on the inspection and we felt good about it but the truth is the finances were getting more tight around it. We knew the windows were old and would have to be replaced but we wouldn't be able to replace them until next year. We were told by the seller's broker all the windows will be working when we move in. Yesterday we heard from our lawyer that they cannot promise the windows will be working. That is insane. (or a sign)

Then I heard from the realtor that they will be bringing a handyman to see what he can do about the windows. I guess what I am saying is that now both my husband and I are getting the feeling that we are being guided to walk away. I will look at the windows on Monday and if they don't work, we will walk away. Is it possible that the divine will was guiding us in silence letting us go this far into the process (or maybe we have been missing the signs along the way)?

Maybe what I am asking is, is the guidance in the heart something that is always there, always clear or we should just trust we are being guided until we feel clear what our divine guidance is?

THank you for your love, for hearing and listening underneath my words and for your unconditional love.

Hugs to you and Kay.

Chris Griffin said...

Thank you D.R., Brent, Rico. In a way I was trapped in words, trapped in mind. It seems to be part of my nature to question everything, to try to see deeper into it.

Colette said...

We for the most part, already know the statement, "What you think is what you get." So in this moment I am contemplating whether or not I actually pay attention to this. I am happy to say that this is getting better and that means that all of you are doing very good work. The reason I say this is because for every step forward any of us take we are affecting everyone else, and of course everyone else's affecting us. For this reason I thank you all. I can thank all of my great sadhana brothers and sisters for making it easier for me to get down the road.

This is a quote from my current lesson;
"Once we are clear about what we want, attracting or creating it into everyday life is the easy part we do it all the time, except that we habitually tend to attract or create the very things we don't want. If we are to use creative power – which we do simply by being a thinking, feeling individual – let's consciously use it for our own good and for the good of all those with whom we come into contact." Here is my request notice what is the way you want it to be in your life right now, as it is and focus on that and I will do the same. I Love You All, Karuna

Brian said...

As you know, I have already asked a question about feeling VERY groggy while reading and I know, since my words have appeared on the blog, that Ram must already know about it and perhaps has decided that my answer must come from myself through the course.
However, yesterday as I was reading it, my Kindle fell out of my hands at least four times before I was half way through the lesson as my reading literally pulled me into sleep.

This phenomenon feels strange to me mostly because of its intensity and narcotic power.

I was in hospital last year where I was given a drug for anaesthesia and that experience was almost the same as I now feel while reading my course.

Since Day One with the course, beginning in 1990, it has always been my experience exactly at the moment that my eyes fell upon the printed words that I feel 'Plugged In' to the Shakti, an experience of quiet spaciousness then accompanying the reading.

These days though it is becoming increasingly difficult to get through my reading at all since within less that 60 seconds of starting I am starting to feel that intense 'Pull of Morpheus' which simply will not leave me alone.

I apologise for being a pest with my question but since this phenomenon is sort of interrupting my reading I thought that I would risk raising the issue again.

Perhaps because I AM the Mystery of the course is why I love the Mystery of the course so much but sometimes a question arises about The Mystery which somehow won't leave me alone.

I hope you can shed some light on what I have written above.

Thank You again--- For Everything....


D. R. Butler said...

Devorah, I thought I had already responded to you immediately, as I had intended to, but I see that I haven't.

If you don't feel good about the place, walk away from it. Don't accept something when there are lingering doubts.

Wait until something comes up you feel really good about. You might not find the absolutely ideal place, we rarely do, but you can find somewhere that you feel good about.

D. R. Butler said...

Brian, as I was reading your question, I could find myself falling asleep.

The lessons often pull people into a deep meditation. There is a certain level of meditation that is very similar to sleep. It is that state halfway between sleep and wakeful meditation.

It doesn't matter too much if you're awake while you read the lessons or not. It is the energy of the Course that pulls you into meditation, not the words you read. In a strange way, the words are almost irrelevant. Yet, they are helpful for making sense of the experience to the rational mind.

A lot of people read a lesson and then feel, 'I have no idea what I just read, but I sure feel a lot better after reading it.'

The communication is not really to the conscious mind. It is to the subconscious mind and beyond. That is why the lessons are primarily experiential and not intellectual. They are to be experienced. Understanding will come later, or it could also come immediately, yet it is not the primary goal. Wisdom is greater than understanding.

Darcy said...

D.R. I appreciate your response in regard to Brian's question. :)

My love, blessing and gratitude go out to my fellow Course participants and all those here in the blog.

A dear friend and beautiful  person took her life several days ago. She was eighteen. I began to try and make sense of it all. I tried to wrap my mind around it. I stopped reading my lesson for two days. I momentarily lost touch with the present moment. Taking care of my three year old and grieving it was easy to make excuses to not find time to read my lesson. I finally cleared a moment and read one paragraph and then further my entire lesson. Through the Grace of the Course. I am at peace once more. My 'understanding' that, that is not of the mind is clear (the more I drink from the well the more my thirst is quenched). From moment to moment --hour to hour with every new reading I find different new insights. Only from the mind or rather egos perspective was I confused and overwhelmed by lower level energies. It never ceases to surprise me how the lessons are always beautifully  filled with the Universal Energy (Shakti). It's essential  for me (even in the moments of so much stimulus) to return to my lesson for clarity. I am once more in 'Correct Understanding' of life and our experiences. This ones for you Anastasia :) Lesson 7: "Deep within, we each share the same ocean of Consciousness. Each of us, as an individual, is simply a momentary wave in the vibratory movements of time and space. For this reason, it is good to be primarily focused on our eternal nature, on that aspect of that never changes and that will be exactly the same a hundred years from now. To focus on the ever changing is to invite various pains and sufferings as things, including bodies, come and go. Our peace of mind comes only when we consciously rest in that incredible stillness deep within us that is eternally unchanging."  

Eternally grateful :)

William said...

I have watched your output over the years, have taken the course throughout all its changing forms, but have noticed that only recently are you this available and accessible for people to interact with. For six years, as you write about, you were completely out of touch with everyone, and hardly anyone even knew where you were. Before that, it was difficult getting to you through the people around you--which I suppose was their job. How could you have had time for everyone?

Anyway, if this is too personal simply don't post it, but I am wondering if there is any particular reason that a teacher of your caliber (clarity) is suddenly so accessible, both here and on Facebook, not to mention the course itself, which is the best part. Is there any answer to this question?

D. R. Butler said...

I admit, I did contemplate William's question for a while before I decided to actually post it. In a way it's an interesting question. In another way it is an irrelevant question, being a living in the present moment kind of guy.

Still, I get it, most 'real' teachers, you can't just send them a question on their site or facebook page and expect a very quick or in-depth answer. This is not the case with all 'real' teachers, as some of them are quite available right now, but the more famous one becomes, the more unavailable they tend to become because there's simply not enough to go around.

You mentioned I seemed inapproachable in past years. There were very specific reasons for this, the most practical being that there simply wasn't enough time to talk to everyone or individually answer all their questions.

Through the advent of the Internet, it is now possible to reach unlimited numbers of people at once. It is easy to address everyone simultaneously, so that everyone can benefit in their own way. And who knows how many people will read this, or how many new people might find it and read it in the future. I have no idea. I never think about it. I always write to myself, knowing the same Self dwells in all.

Why am I available and accessible right now? You know I am not one for explanations or reasons for things. The only true answer is that it is the way it is right now. I have the energy and the time to relate to people through this medium. While it is possible, while there is a demand, an interest, why not go for it? We still have no true idea what is ultimately possible.

One other point, from my own perspective. I have no idea how long it might be possible to maintain this level of activity and interactivity. I don't 'know' of anything that might end it anytime soon, but we know that people at my age have strokes, heart attacks, kidney failure,loss of vision, etc., or could get run over by a fast moving truck on the road. Both my parents died instantaneously, both while driving a car. I learned of the deaths of both through telephone calls. There were no goodbyes.

So I do what I do because I still can. If people are in any way helped or inspired to touch the Truth within themselves, then all the better.

Charles Deschênes said...

Brian, I've experienced that a lot... But somehow now it's different. I almost miss that "drowsiness"... But actually, in place there's a vigilance, a onepointedness, feeling like a blade being sharpened. And that focus brings itself as I move away from the page and then my primary "work" becomes sustaining it, not as an understanding, but as life itself.

Darcy said...

I'm so grateful D.R. That you have been so accessible. You have touched my life in a way that's is profoundly magical. Thank you!

Happy Valentine's  Day all. I wanted to send my love out and post a little share from a this morning. 

My husband and I disagree on some things in regard to rearing our three year old son. I live in Denmark now but grew up with the American tradition of Valentine's Day. I told my husband that I was going to buy some organic chocolates for my youngest son today. He said: "NO, don't give him sugar" and made a grumpy face. I reminded him that is was valentines day and often we give chocolates in the states on this day. He was not happy-- I could see it in his expression and hear it in his tone. He shook his head and said: "do what you feel is best in your in your heart.". I smiled, and said okay. I went and bought my son some little organic chocolates and some wooden hearts to paint. I'm SO grateful to even live in a world that I  have the means to do so.

Btw This would have never happened a year ago, in fact we had the same argument and had a miserable day and didn't acknowledge my tradition with my youngest. Today with the Lesson at heart.  I heard my husbands words "Do what you feel is best in your heart" and I did exactly that. I didn't argue or buy into the 'I'll push your buttons, you push mine.'  I've respected my husband buy only buying a small amount (rather than the huge I would have liked too)  but still followed my heart. 

I will feel love and witness it in all I come in contact today, and in every unfolding moment in Living in the Truth of the Present Moment. 

In loving gratitude,

Mary S said...

Today my mind is emptying and my heart is filling.
Happy Valentine!

Jean said...

Thanks so much dear DR and Kay. Between my lesson 2.29 and this blog I'm able to choose to keep focusing on that vast unbounded space that is consciousness instead of indulging my ego's devotion to the madness and chaos of the melodramas it so loves. Each time I read my lesson or the blog, my soul feels like it's had a bath and all the crap that might have clung to it by my inattention is washed away. Over and over, I give thanks to God for this Course and your willingness to be such a clear channel for this Truth. (sometimes--lots of times-- whether im reading a lesson or contemplating words from the lesson, I feel your original teacher coming through loud and clear.) It is with great love and gratitude that I send you this. Such amazingly great karma that you are in my life. Love always.

Randy RR said...

My first entry finds me present with fear and concern that my comments won't add up to so many I have read that in my judgement are written well. My ego instantly wants to tell me your writing capabilities are not up to par. I feel an obligation to enter something cause the lessons indicate that can help my growth. I did find the one post interesting in an area of my life about triggers in my life. Before starting these lessons about 6 months ago I was reading and listening to various books and tapes about being present and I also wanted to work on my anger in a few areas of my life. Golf, impatience with driving and a few others. My own children have commented on the difference in me and I think it's hard to look at ourselves and REALLY know if we are evolving into a better being. At least according to my kids and some others close to me, I am. Thank you for the time and care you put into these lessons Dr Butler.

Darcy said...

Beautifully expressed Jean.
Amen. :)

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

I am absolutely loving my new lesson! It is volume 2, lesson 2, the Incredible Power of Feelings. Since I have spent my whole working life in service positions such as clinician and coach I have studied and seen feelings from so many angles, believe me. So I am absolutely blown away by the practical power and sense in this lesson-- more powerful than volumes of books I read on psychological theories in school. I wish that every child could make it up to this lesson which is a primer on life, really, taking us/me step by step through how to work with feelings.

This is "doing the work" and it really speaks to my soul.

I can't pick a favorite quote, but why oh why did no kind person ever say the following to me as a child:

"It is also important to understand that it is okay to feel anything you are feeling. There are no 'bad" or 'good' feelings, so there is no reason to be judgemental about them. Certainly don't feel guilty about them, for guilt is the worst feeling of all." (DR)

Wow. I felt guilty about my feelings all the time as a kid and have remnants even now. (Catholic training, family upbringing etc.) I am going to study and apply this quote and all the other good stuff in this lesson.

Blessings to all-- enjoy your new lessons!

Jessie said...

On page 4 of lesson 3 you write:

"Hard times do not exist in the present moment. They exist in the mind—in language and in time.

Right now, nothing bad is happening. In fact, everything is currently happening exactly as it has to happen.

The universe we live in exists in absolute perfection. Everywhere in the observable universe is a miraculous flow of perfect harmony and balance. Yet we can describe what is happening in our own lives in ways to convince ourselves that something bad is happening or that something is going terribly wrong."

Maybe part of my frame of mind as I read this was influenced by the fact that I was reading it in bed with a bad case of the flu - but I think I would have had these questions anyway

1-what if something really difficult or traumatic is happening in the present moment (i'm not talking about the flu - something more difficult than that)? Then for the duration of its happening is it a "hard time"?

2-I'm someone who is very concerned about the health of our planet right now, knowing that some of things I consider to be bad are currently happening, toxic gas drilling, climate change, nuclear waste occupying a great swath of Ocean on its way from Japan to California - I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the statement "Right now, nothing bad is happening. In fact, everything is currently happening exactly as it has to happen." This is a stumbling block for me and I think it obscures my ability to take the teaching in fully. Can you help?

3-Truth be told I have been feeling quite sorry for myself this weekend and physically wiped out so I am in fact eager to embrace the teaching that "The universe we live in exists in absolute perfection. Everywhere in the observable universe is a miraculous flow of perfect harmony and balance. Yet we can describe what is happening in our own lives in ways to convince ourselves that something bad is happening or that something is going terribly wrong."

I know I am describing my own life and circumstances negatively to myself right now and I can see how with right effort I could shift that or at least I see the glimmer of how that is possible, but again the stumbling block is considering other people's circumstances, ones far more difficult than mine, I have a hard time seeing all the suffering as absolute perfection, so much I that I appear to see in the observable universe is exact opposite of a miraculous flow of harmony and balance. I know that this contrast is part of what is addressed in the course - I'm just definitely getting stuck on it right now. I'd greatly appreciate any further guidance.

D. R. Butler said...

Jessie, not to discourage questions, as all questions are welcome, as the simple effort to articulate a question opens us up to a new insight we've never heard or considered before. Still, I have observed that almost all questions from someone on Lesson 3 are questions that will answered fully in your upcoming lessons--much more fully than I can do them justice here.

It seems that something in you sincerely wishes to know the truth, yet you have set things up through your own thinking and attitude where the truth is not really something you wish to hear, for the truth is very different from your current view of things.

I am happy that the idea of perfection appeals to some deeper aspect of your Being. Most of what we see happening on the planet today is a karmic play, the dance of nature doing what nature does, including humanity at our present state of development.

Yes, it is sad to see all that happens to harm the planet. Yet all that is happening now has been prophesized for many years by various traditions. Even Edgar Cayce described it exactly as it is happening, many years ago.

When the world has gone mad, when there is ignorance, rigid dogmas, and misinformation all around us, it is a great time for sadhana, for spiritual work on the path to freedom.

It is also okay to be totally free right now, without any further ado, as there is fundamentally nothing to 'wait' for. Yet, if you're not quite ready for that yet, we'll continue with more ado.

You are right when you say you are describing your present circumstances negatively. Remember, our own descriptions appear as reality to us. If we don't like something, instead of changing something out there, or another person, we only have to describe things differently. It is amazing how the world changes accordingly.

You have no idea what 'other people' actually experience. If you are witnessing suffering courtesy of mass media, and allowing that to upset you, then you are actually caught up in a world that does not in actuality exist. Do you really think mass media presents the Truth?

If your idea of 'suffering' is what you have seen in others, through the media or otherwise, you only know what you project them to experience. We have no idea whatsoever what another person actually experiences, regardless of what it looks like.

I knew someone when I lived in NYC who was sledding down the hill on the street after a snowfall. She lost control of the sled and ended up hitting a light pole with a tremendous force. The next thing she knew, she was floating over her body watching two rescue workers work on her body. One of them said, 'I don't think she's going to make it.'

During this whole experience she always had a deep sense that everything was ultimately okay, even perfect. She had no sense of anything going wrong, or of any suffering, even physical pain. She had to spend a few days in the hospital, but afterwards she was fine. She said that this experience changed her whole outlook on life.

Nothing ever gets that bad, no matter what you fear. Therefore, describe things as you want them to actually be, and in ways that feel pleasant. Never even consider what you do not want, or what feels unpleasant. The application of this single principle has the power to change one's entire life.

Mukunda said...

A few thoughts on a couple of the recent posts.....Brian and many others have commented on 'falling asleep' while reading the lessons. When this starts to happen to me I usually take it as a sign to meditate for a little while until I'm refreshed enough to read the lessons....Of course, that's not to say that the sleep like state isn't beneficial....but mostly I prefer to be reading and following the lessons.

Randy RR comments on anger and golf.I'm with you Randy....Actually, I am really looking forward to the golf season this year because I believe my game is going to be much better based on the principles taught in the Course.

Jessie asked about a couple of things including How can things be perfect in the moment (if you are experiencing pain, for example). Recently I drove to my parents home for a week end to visit. Just before I was ready to leave I pulled a muscle in my back shoveling their drive way. I decided I had to leave to get home and tried to drive home only to be stopped about an hour away with throbbing pain. The attendant at the Thruway booth seemed to be very unconcerned with my plight and overall well being when I described my circumstances. I had to park my car at a local Mc Donalds and get my brother to pick me up and bring me back to my parents. Of course, now I wasn't going to be able to get to work the next day where so many important things were already scheduled. While I was waiting for my brother I decided to try and read my current lesson but I couldn't really concentrate on it so I just closed my eyes and focused on staying in the present moment.

It took about two weeks to fully recover....

By coincidence, My Sister, who also takes the Course just happened to ask Ram a question about pain earlier in the blog that exactly reflected some of my questions. Ram provided a very thorough response
(although I don't remember the date of her post and wouldn't try to quote Ram, but a weak attempt at a paraphrase might go something like this... We are living in the material/physical world and a part of that is to work out karma that is physical in nature).

In any case, I looked back on this experience and while I'm not exactly anxious to have a repeat back injury....I recognize that without the Presence of mind...and even a little sense of humor...that I had at the time, it would have been so much worse.

Last but not least....Thanks to all the courageous contributors to the blog,..and especially Ram, who is so available...

Kaunteya said...

Dear Ram:
Reading and slowly absorbing Lesson 1 A.
Trying out this witness thing to see if what I am practicing is the most appropriate.
What I do is become aware that I am that Blue Light that fills this human body. Then I focus on seeing through the eyes of this body from that perspective. I seem to then shift further back, sort of from the back of my skull. It seems to detach me from the normal experience and I feel like I am is subtle. You wrote that such things are 'simple', is this simple shift what you mean? Are there more appropriate approaches or is this what I should focus on?
Seeing the positive in situations is something I believe I have been working on for a long time, maintaining a cheerful and positive attitude most of the time. Although shockingly last night this character went completely crazy for a bit and a lot of anger, self-pity, blaming others, frustration, being overwhelmed, despair etc etc manifested inside and out....I couldn't seem to or want to snap out of it.... This morning it seems so a breakdown...even threw a cup and smoked cigarettes last night....pretty wild. Quite the melodrama, would have made a great movie. But then, as you write, it is for our own entertainment (didn't feel like it last night though) lol
What is THAT all about? I am in what most would call a situation of very dynamic and challenging outer change. Kind of a big whirlwind came by and swept me up. It appeared I made the choices but this character entered my life and seemed to mesmerize me. Our family has moved to a new area, we have built a fancy new house (that is not yet done), we are in debt (previously we were financially secure and retired) and I am trying to scramble to make money. Pretty dramatic changes. During it I remember Gurumayi's words to me, "Change is good".
Is this episode last night just samskaras rising up or the ego fighting back or just crap to learn to watch or WHAT?
Strangely I just wanted to post a few words....but this feels so good and right to go on...
Love the blog and open sharing of everyone. Thanks to all!

Al MacDonald said...

Hi Ram,
This may seem like a strange question, but it is one that has been occupying my mind a lot lately. It seems that for a lot of my life I have been taken care of very well, but I have been living a fairly normal American life. Work, and live comfortably, paying my bills month to month, and contemplating “spiritual” ideas, and trying to apply them.
In the back of my mind I did have a desire, or wish that perhaps if I had a large chunk of money, then I could allocate more time to the pursuit of spiritual understanding and growth, without the worry of dealing with financial details.
Well, it seems that this dream of life may be bringing me exactly this situation. I have ended up with a significant percentage of ownership in the company that I work for, and it looks like the company will be bought fairly soon, for a significant sum of money.
As much as it seems like a great thing, I am struggling with it. First, I find that I haven’t even received any of the money, and I am already worried about losing it. Second, I have more and more been trying to live in trust, knowing that whatever I need always comes to me, rather like the teaching of the Medicine Buddha. I have become more and more used to this style of living. The dream of life always seems to come through in one way or another.
But with the prospect of a large sum of money coming, I’m worried that this may change. It makes me think of how you describe the world as a dream, and at times you are totally transfixed with what happens in the world. I can imagine that I may end up in such a situation.
On the other hand, it feels like this could just be another form of test, to see if money would ultimately tempt me back into the dream of the world, forgetting more and more who I am. It may also be that it is coming because there will be a need for it.
I’m just wondering if you have any thoughts or advice for me on this front? I know many people seem to have the opposite problem, but strangely, it feels as confusing to have too much as it does to have what seems to be not enough.

Debbra said...

Jessie, I remember also having very similar questions about that section of Lesson 3. I can only say that it's true, as you move through the progression of the lessons, reading and re-reading and absorbing on deeper and deeper levels, you see and experience the truth that nothing bad is ever happening, and the universe exists in absolute perfection and balance; that it is all in what we see..and how we see.

Now on Lesson 16, I continue to marvel at how the principles have seeped in bit by bit. All just by a commitment to opening to the truth of this life. One thing that helped me accept this on face value when I first read Lesson 3, was the part that read:

"The universe we live in exists in absolute perfection. Everywhere in the observable universe is a miraculous flow of perfect harmony and balance."

I thought of what I knew to be true from a physics standpoint, that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Balance. The whole physical universe must exist in a state of balance to even exist at all. Like a huge mechanism all interconnected by every ebb and flow of movement. So even things we see as "bad" or harmful must be happening for a reason..having to do with ultimate universal equilibrium, or karma. Thinking about it that way allowed me to initially hold what the lesson was saying, and as time and repetition and lessons go by, this understanding continues to expand and take root.

Mary S said...

D R,
I think Jessie on 2/15 posed the inner conflict very honestly and succinctly and it is one I still struggle with even after 38 lessons.

According to your response, one has to hold two seemingly contradictory ideas at the same time, namely "the world has gone mad" in its various forms of horrible suffering which we inflict on one another and on the planet and "everything is perfect right now." Kind of makes for a good headache trying to think both at the same time. You have resolved it so it no longer bothers you or disturbs your serenity.

I spent a retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh who also has some wisdom around this. He and his monks and nuns practice a form of "engaged" Buddhism. They do not ignore the world and those who experience suffering but actively do what they can to relieve suffering but recognizing their limitations and maintaining their own inner peace and recognition of interdependence as their best contribution.

For now I more or less avoid the mental conflict by concentrating on what little I can contribute--seeing myself as only a tiny particle in an immense mystery. I so want to "fix" it all according to my conception of how it should be. This I am coming to recognize as ego with quite a dose of arrogance.

Eugenia said...

"describe things as you want them to actually be, and in ways that feel pleasant. Never even consider what you do not want, or what feels unpleasant." So I look at it as a trip to the arctic circle in winter. And this whole creation as we witness it is like the Aurora Borealis swishing overhead. It flashes and vanishes and we feel awe. This world and this life as DR says is not a vacation but we don't visit the arctic circle in the middle of winter to see the dark and describe it to ourselves. How do you describe the dark anyway? We come to see the aurora but we don't grieve when she momentarily stops flashing. And if we are beams ourselves we enrich the show of the beams in our proximity. No beam ever worried about the long dark around it. Just something this conversation brought to my field of vision. Please don't post if it is too far out.

Sukala Boyd said...

I love this course! It keeps me on track and helps me stay motivated toward my priorities, those decisions I make for creating harmony feeling peaceful in daily life. Yesterday I had planned to learn a large amount of info for a new system at work, then found the system isn't working properly. I got into drama and fear. After a while I felt exhausted and recognized, I really can't afford this. Looking beyond the surface I saw the fear was about being left behind. My current course lesson Vol. 2 #8 describes why drama is so damaging: "Every time we give in to unpleasant emotions...we are not being true to our conscious intents. We are ignoring our priorities." This lesson gives an awesome image of the "inner warrior" and I sense that developing this visually will be beneficial for such times. There's something very amazing going on here!


D. R. Butler said...

I've been looking over the past few comments in the thread, especially the posts from Jessie, Kaunteya, Al MacDonald (any kin to Ronald?), and Mary S. They all are basically around the apparent dichotomy of the perfection of all things vs the difficulties and sufferings of individuals or even masses of humanity.

The essence of several of the questions, especially the ones presented by Al MacDonald, serve as excellent examples of how we get lost in details.

The principle that the entire cosmos exists in absolute perfection includes the perfection of all the karma we have created and must experience (cause and effect.) The divine perfection of all things includes the samskaras, or subconscious tendencies that make us do the things we have long since determined we prefer not to do. It includes the play of ego, which appropriates everything to itself, and thinks it is the body, the performer of actions, the experiencer of feelings, and the thinker of thoughts. Not only that, it assumes that if it thinks something, it must be true.

All of this is included in the perfection. This is an essential truth to understand. Divine perfection includes the human play in all its angst and folly.

We are pure formless Spirit enjoying a virtual human perspective, to see, for the fun of it, what an individual human life is like. Only we have forgotten that we were playing a game and that we are only having a virtual experience. Now we identify with the character as who we actually are and consider everything in its life to be real. We have totally lost touch with our own Truth--pure, formless Spirit.

This is why we have a Course of Training--to learn the principles (laws) governing the game of human life, and to learn to play this game well. Once we understand that it is a game, and we learn exactly how to play the game, it is then great fun to do whatever is necessary to Master the game.

Don't get lost in details. They will only drain you of energy and enthusiasm. Remain focused on the perfection of your life as it is, and SEE it the way that makes you happy. 'What' you see is determined by your own vision, not the other way around.

Remain focused on contentment and fulfillment, and all the details of life will miraculously take care of themselves. This might include you doing what is necessary, yet from a state of contement, what is necessary becomes intuitively obvious and not something to 'figure out.'

Anonymous said...

Dear Al,
Thanks for sharing your experience of coming by way of lots of money. It's a great reminder for me. I have sometimes thought about obtaining lots of money. Even the thought of acquiring money brings up the fear of losing it!

I'm not happy to hear that you are experiencing this fear, but it is reassuring to me that the work I have to do is right here and right now, and not in some hypothetical future in which I have what I think that I need.

Still, I wish you the blessings of receiving the resources that will allow you to live the life that you dream about

Omkar Naderi said...

Dear Ram,

I found lesson 18 in my mom's printer on how Feeling Creates Reality and once I saw how it was about manifesting desires I had to read it. Thank you so much. It revealed an aspect of manifesting desires that I didn't know about before - not tampering with them over and over again after you put them out. I have heard before that to manifest desires you need to think about them over and over again for at least 68 seconds at a time to create enough vibration to bring it in. Is this really necessary?

I know you are going to say this is a very mental question but I am going to ask anyway for my own good reasons: I want to ask if an enlightened being can manifest desires since they are "desireless." The reason I am asking is that I have to get over my misconceptions about enlightenment since I have a lot of wrong concepts about spirituality that cause me to suffer...I tried to stop seeking enlightenment as you told me to do, but the Shakti continues to put me in the direction of the present moment/enlightenment...I cannot stop the process of my sadhana towards freedom. Therefore, I am trying to see how I can be in a state of freedom and have desires at the same time and free myself from the idea that I will have to ever renounce my desires for girls, etc., even if I did become enlightened. Also, I am wondering if a connection to the Self allows one to manifest desires better. Thank you very much. - Omkar

D. R. Butler said...

Omkar, the Buddha said that the root of all suffering is desire. Therefore,knowing this, why would you want to manifest desires?

Desire is insatiable. If we satisfy one desire, another desire immediately takes its place. Desire is never satisfied. Therefore why have manifesting desires as a goal?

Do you really think that you know what is best for yourself? You are still a very young man. What if you have intense desires now, but in 10 years you will see that they mean absolutely nothing, and that trying to manifest them would be a complete waste of time? Therefore, is it really a good idea to manifest desires when as you mature your desires will become more and more refined until you finally go beyond desire altogether?

The ancient Eastern scriptures say to 'Be content with what comes unsought.' You will eventually come to see for yourself that contentment is the highest goal. Yet, a 'desire' for contentment is contradictory in terms.

Haven't we already discussed your 'desire for girls'? You're a young man. Desiring girls is natural for someone your age. Trying to renounce it will cause all sorts of undesirable emotional and mental problems.

I did tell you to stop 'seeking' enlightenment, but I didn't tell you to stop the natural process leading to enlightenment. Enlightenment, for one thing, is reaching the point where you finally realize there is nothing to seek. You can't 'find' the Truth, the Self. You can only BE it. It is Who you have been all along.

You ask, 'I am wondering if a connection to the Self allows one to manifest desires better.'

Exactly 'who' is it that could be 'connected to the Self.' In order to be 'connected to the Self,' you'd have to be different and separate from the Self, and there is nothing like that. There is only the Self. This is your true Identity.

That which imagines it could be 'connected' to the Self is only the ego. In reality, the Self is always who you truly are. All of life is a vast play of the one Self, which is pure Consciousness, or Awareness of Being.

Anonymous said...

Omkar. Maybe you should find yourself a girlfriend. That will satisfy your desie for girls and also give you the opportunity to engage in the great path to enlightenment called being in a relationship.

Anonymous said...


I am so relieved to be reconnected to the Course. To be in the company of so many sparkling reflections of the Divine...

It brings me back home...such beautiful souls expressing that Yearning, that Love, as 'we' each share the dance of all this...

Perhaps that is why this separation all happened, this puzzle that 'we' all try to figure out...because it is so sweet to again and again glimpse that joy of Reunion...

So many words that this person could write but all would fall all comes down to being thankful, being with. Reunion! Ah!

with Thanks - Kaunteya

Naganath said...

Naganath wants to know: Are there any "good" samskaras?

D. R. Butler said...

Well, brushing your teeth is a very useful one.

Jim said...

Omkar, we came from the same mold, man. I remember well the previous exchange that you had last year with DR. When I read your words I feel like I'm reading out of the journals I wrote in my 20's - some of that time living in an ashram.

You talk about getting over your misconceptions about enlightenment. If I look back at the path so far, it would seem that much of the process of sadhana consists of letting go of preconceived notions of what the process of sadhana is. And similar to what you said, notions about what freedom is.

Much of my sadhana would be well served to be labelled with this disclaimer: professional stunt men used - do not attempt. Including the four or five years of celibacy in my late twenties. Those years did cure me of codependant attachment that plagued my attempt at relationships - grow a backbone and not get completely lost in another's world. But the oats I didn't sow then were fruitful and multiplied on their own. The time away didn't do anything to free me of desire. In fact, trying to overcome desire seems to have bred more desire. It has been this swing of polarities, of attraction and aversion.

On last thought: as with everything, if there's heavy seriousness around it, it is the shadow self, the ego, not your light, not your truth. From my current lesson: "Sadhana is not a struggle; it is a gentle effort, a warm remembrance of the Truth. We will understand this more and more as we continue to spiritually mature."

D. R. Butler said...

My response to a question about questions in a Facebook thread:

I felt your question was very interesting. How many questions are answered depends on who asks them, and the group that hears or reads the answer. Your question could be answered in many different ways, depending on, among other things, what you truly wish to know, and what aspect of the answer feels best to emphasize so that you will get what you need.

Of course, it all happens beyond the mind, for if I thought about any of it, I would have to depend on the limited knowledge of the conscious mind, determined by previous education and general exposure to life, and it would surely result in a case of the blind leading the blind.

What has a name to do with what I teach?

First of all, it brings up an interesting question in its own right: what do I teach? And 'who' actually teaches, or 'learns' for that matter? To me, what is always most interesting is 'how' is the teaching or transmission of Truth even possible.

I must admit I looked to see if you participated in the Course of Training, which gives some practical perspective on what is actually taught and how, and by whom. I discovered that you do not, and so I wondered what it was that you thought I taught?

Even so, one who participates in the course is encouraged to keep up with and participate in the comments of the blog, as well as the ongoing dialogue we maintain here on Facebook. So there is an element of the 'training' that happens through these two venues, through interaction, and through sharing open and honest interaction with others who can learn from it in their own way.

There is this Sanskrit word, lila, or leela, which means the play, the dance, the sport. Many of the most principle teachings come not through philosophical commentary, but through the leela, the sport, the dance, which happens here in the form of dialogue and interaction.

Something is learned from all this. How many in the two threads about my name have mentioned how hard they were laughing or how funny they found it? Why? It is inexplicable, except to say that what was happening was the leela, the play. Who knows what some might have gotten out of it? Laughter leads to the greatest openness.

So, to answer your question, a name has nothing whatsoever to do with what is taught. However, through the leela of dealing with a name, teachings happen.

Sukala Boyd said...

"Like" - The "Like" button is one of many reasons I like finding us all on Facebook. With relish I read and contribute at the end of my work day. Ram, it's so true about the laughter. A thread I read last evening had me in stitches. I wondered, 'what's so funny?' and could only conclude, it's the energy. I appreciated reading your comment here that "laughter leads to the greatest openness". The rest of my night was so magical. Even my cats lay side by each at the foot of my lazygirl chair during Glee. I showered them and the atmosphere with love because of the gift laughter! Many thank you's.


Naganath said...

Do you ever think that you are not as spiritually advanced or karmically pure as some of the others who participate in the course, blog, or facebook exchanges? That maybe you are just a voyeur to this process? When you think about it, believing that you are less than others here is really, really super funny. We are reflections of each other, we are One playing the many. How fun!

Marga said...

Hello to everybody here. I hear myself in so many of the questions you all are writing in. And having written in with many similar angst-filled dilemmas, I see that the best remedies have been to:
1. Keep on reading the Course
2. Keep practicing the principles in the Course
3. Keep exposing myself to D.R. and the community around him through the lessons, the blog, and Facebook.
4. Keep LMAO

Something pretty extraordinary is happening to me. A few weeks ago I woke up with the thought, "The love affair with thought is over." And then I had a big chuckle because that came to me in a thought. Well over the next few weeks my thoughts kicked up the best protest they possibly could. I mean, they were putting on a really good show. Like, they were dragging me through all my horrors and anxieties and fears and desires. They could have received an academy award for their performance ;)

And each time I had my knickers in a twist over something, I'd go and read my course or something on FB or here on the blog, and invariably I'd end up laughing my butt off. D.R., I especially loved how you described yourself on your wall as being temporarily miffed at F.B. for changing your name from D.R. to D.r., but then later on with that same post I was laughing so hard at the way you were poking fun at yourself and the absurdity of it all. It was a very high teaching for me!

All my self seriousness can't survive that hahaha tidal wave! Who'da thought you could laugh your way to enlightenment? I know one thing for sure - if that's an option, that's the one I'm signing up for.

Debbra said...

Oh my goodness! I just came by here this afternoon because it's been a few days since I read the comments. It just keeps getting better and clearer. Reading everyone's well-steeped comments and Ram's responses is like riding a laser beam straight into the Heart of everything. I don't have a lot more to add today, except to say how very beneficial it is to keep coming here, and to FB, and keep reading and re-reading the lessons. Naganath asked if there can be good samskaras. Yes, and may this study and sangham become just that!

D. R. Butler said...

There is a link to an interview with me in English with Spanish translations on my Facebook page.

The address to the interview is:

I will also see if I can link it at the bottom of the comments.

Kaunteya said...

Dear Ram
I loved seeing you in that interview!
Thank you for sharing.
I just copied the address you gave and pasted it in google and it worked great.

Karen said...

I have just started the Course again. Wow! It is so great to experience the Shakti through its wonderful pages. Forgot how profound those spaces between the lines are. Such a boon to make the heart connection with this wonderful community.

I remember learning that the Guru is not an individual, but the Grace bestowing Power of God. It brings me great joy to realize that I have the opportunity to experience that Grace when I connect with the Course.

Having been on a spiritual journey that has taken me to to many different teachers and practices, I'm learning to "just be." Looks like I have here the perfect tool to do so.

Just very grateful, happy & excited to be here!!!

Love, Karen (Kanti) <3

Karen Jo Shapiro said...


I am so glad you found your way here! I had the good fortune to re-discover the course (took it in the 80's until it stopped) through a friend who told me about it a little over two years ago, and it has been a part of my life again ever since. I felt a joy to read your words; I can relate to the feeling in every single sentence you wrote.

You will see that this community is an amazing new addition to the course in paper-only version. To be able to communicate with each other like this (and Ram's FB page) has been priceless. Stop by again and again. Love to all who make this what it is, KJ

Shanta said...

I'm one of those people with a deep samskara of feeling unlovable and unappealing to men. All my adult life, I've wanted to share my sadhana with a life partner, but every time a meet a man I'm interested in, he becomes interested in someone else. I finally thought the samskara was gone when I met a man who I've been talking to for the past year and I thought cared about me - but now he has disappeared also (after telling me he was interested in finding a partner and asking me if
I had any friends he could meet).

I know that the whole course is about becoming free of the samskaras, but somehow after a lifetime of work on myself (I'll be 60 in a few months), I don't seem to get it. It's very hard for me to ignore objective reality, when I see myself aging in the mirror and I keep having "outside experiences" that reinforce the samskara. I would like to finally overcome this, but I'm not sure how to convince myself that I'm deserving of love.

Cynthia Lynn said...

I haven't been on the blog or the public facebook page in awhile, but just want to share that I'm really enjoying studying the lessons and even more, I'm enjoying the changes that are taking place in my life ... changes like: having more patience with others, being more open and accepting of others ... being a better listener and helping others feel better by feeling better myself ... the list goes on, and I am filled with deep gratitude!

I hope everyone continues to read their lessons, practice the exercises and enjoy the positive changes that take place in their lives.

Love, Light and Blessings,

Al MacDonald said...


Your post makes me think of the following teaching that has really helped me a great deal.

It is useful to think of love, joy, abundance, friendship in terms of giving and receiving, rather than taking and getting. If you have this as your deep intention, the world acts like a mirror to your intention.

And here is an easy way to see what happens in a mirror.

Stand in front of a mirror. Now look at your reflection, and reach out, and imagine that you are going to take something from your reflection. Notice what the reflection does (as you take from it, the reflection takes from you).

Now conversely, see what happens when you try to give something to your reflection. As you reach out to give to the reflection, the reflection reaches out to give to you.

I have found this to be a powerful image and contemplation that has helped me a great deal.

For me, when I feel like I am not succeeding at something, I try to look at where I am blocking the flow with expectation and taking than offering an open flow of giving and receiving.

Good luck to you. It can be hard to accept the reality of what is. But if you can do this fully, and be filled with gratitude for what we do have in every moment, life can seem so much more fulfilling.

Al (Ram - No relation to Ronald I'm afraid :)

Colette said...

My dearest Shanta, I would like to offer a thought for you to play with. Your keeping in existence the very things that you don't want by focusing on them. It is something we often do, and it is so much easier to see it when it is someone else. I know it as the place I am listening from and this place because it has feelings associated with it draws to me what I'm focused on. When I'm currently working on is shifting that place inside myself. I don't know if this is helpful for you or not, or for anyone else who might be reading, and I hope it is. All I know, is that I am sending it to you with great love and with great respect, because I'm absolutely sure that you are a great soul. Love and Blessings, Karuna – Colette

Taylor said...

Shanta, you are most deserving of your our Love. When I shifted my focus to my inner love and became primarily interested in That, it was not very long before the love of my life showed up. And, I was not waiting, so it did not matter to me how long it took!
As Ram says in the lessons, Love your own Self. Everything falls into place after that. Whether that place includes a sweetie becomes secondary.

D. R. Butler said...

Shanta, you understand that you are deserving of love through becoming aware of your true nature, which is absolute Love. Your own inner sensation is love. We have these silly ideas that we can find love in or around or with another person, and yet the only love we will ever experience in our whole life is the love that is right this moment emanating from our own heart. When we look outside ourselves for love, we miss the source of love, which is within our own inner Self--which IS love.

Your samskara is quite common. It can be even more intense if you never felt like you got enough love or attention or appreciation from your father. This makes you go through your whole life feeling that you 'aren't good enough.' This translates to feeling unworthy of love.

Indulging in that black hole of a feeling of being unappealing to or unliked by the opposite sex sends out a very repelling vibration. When we feel we need nothing, but instead are focused on what we have to give, our vibration is very attractive. But 'wanting' something repels others away from you.

It feels somehow you have failed to recognize or appreciate your own beautiful femininity. You don't see the Goddess in yourself. You have to recognize and appreciate what you have to give, what you have to offer, before you can expect anyone else to.

Yep, approaching that mirror at age 60 does a number on the psyche. You wonder where this totally different face and figure came from. You get the feeling that nature is trying to tell you something.

Women on the street who once would have glanced at me with momentary interest now seem to regard me as invisible, or at least irrelevant. Which, again, makes me feel as though nature is trying to tell me something.

When you start hitting that 50-60 range in years, the best you can hope for in a partner is someone who shares the same interests and has a similar sense of humor, and who is capable and willing to enjoy simple companionship with you, regardless of what you do or don't do. It's time to give up trying to impress the opposite sex. Find someone to be a friend to, offer love, respect, and acceptance, and you could find yourself with the perfect partner.

I say 'could' only because it is many people's karma to live out much of life alone--which is every bit as valid a lifestyle as the other and it is very important that we learn to remain content and fulfilled while being alone. If we aren't happy with being with ourselves, no one else will be happy being with us either.

Kaunteya said...

Dear Ram
I wake up and go to the computer and come to these comments....just can't wait. It is such a beneficial addiction for me. If there are new postings I gobble them up, if not I am momentarily disappointed but then always read something and feel that bliss.Then I read Kaunteya's comments (that's 'me') and part of me sees that play more clearly...that 'we' are all writing to ourselves!
Wanted to share a posting from the 'December' comments as to me it is very powerful:
'Reminds me of what the Guru said once, ~" to be enthusiastic, like these teenagers, just act enthusiastic and you will feel enthusiastic "
in the same way, as you suggested to be lighthearted, I act cheerful and lighthearted and that is what I feel and experience
Kaunteya / Tom'
Thank you!

Sukala C. Boyd said...

Dear Shanta,
I could relate to your conundrum. Until fairly recently, I felt lonely especially on weekends. A couple of years ago, a line from a movie started to play in my head from Runaway Bride,something like:
"I don't know what kind of eggs I like best" The point was that after years of sadhana, I knew logically that I was lovable. The truth was that I hadn't taken time to know myself. I'd focused more on and outer stuff and outer appearances (how people looked or talked). So how could I appreciate, value and love myself when my focus wasn't on love itself.
I hadn't given much, as Al mentions above. Neither did I one of the most important things: healthy personal boundaries. In addition to giving and loving, this is likely the most important thing in securing a healthy relationship.
By contrast, my sister has strong personal boundaries and takes no BS, not even from cool guys. Probably never has. As a result she's always been attractive to them. Still is at 60 something.

There are signs when I turn another corner in self-knowledge. Like the other day. I was exiting the grocery store when I shared a spontaneous, beautiful smile with a man coming in. Like last week. I woke to two semi-erotic dreams in one morning, showing me a new level of comfort with men. A Jungian dream therapist would say, "don't you mean, you have a new comfort level with the male energy in you?" Yes. I do. I'm becoming more confident, comfortable with my own company, and caring less what other people think of me. These are 'traditionally male characteristics' that men and women need to possess. This is what I mean by 'self-knowledge' and boundaries.
I understand that relationships are karma. Darn! However, to keep one requires personal self development. For this reason I generally do what my sister does: taking Ram's Course of Learning being one of the biggies.

All this assists me to know and play the game of life so it's more and more fun. First principal is learning to be happy and in love with me. I hope this helps Shanta. There isn't a short-cut, I tried. By the way, I'm 60 :))


Vicki Hilger said...

I read a half a month's worth of comments this morning and thought I wanted to respond to them all. They were provocative, compassionate, uplifting , helpful, funny, and full of the wisdom of the Course. At the end, I felt like some of us do after reading the lessons - I couldn't remember a specific thing I'd read, but I felt good all over. I tingled. When I came over here to write my comment, the dyslexia box with the magic words that let you in to Ram said " Please prove that you're not a robot". For some reason, that tickled me - I'm tingling, you idiot. Robots dont tingle!

My lessons have been stressing the value of lightheartedness, and with each read, more of the heavier samskaras get lifted away. Having successfully emerged from a 2 year depression and illness, I can truly feel the sunshine on my face, while even minor annoyances bring forth only the slightest grumpiness. I particularly resonated with, and felt a new understanding of, the moments of enlightenment that Ram talked of in 11-7. I long ago let go of any worries about or thoughts of future enlightenment, but more recently had begun to take it for granted that I was really not going to get there, considering how long I'd done sadhana and how little time I had left - and how I saw myself as such a rebel and a rascal anyway :)) The Course has contributed to a shift in understanding of the deeper significance of those momentary experiences of fun, joy, humour, lightheartedness, being in my love and heart. Forgetting is just the space between those moments :) That space becomes shorter with practice . The space between the samskaras expands. The space between the moments of forgetting contracts. " When the mind is clear in the moment, and no longer prone to projection, delusion, and false identification, the Truth reveals itself within us naturally and spontaneously." (11-8)

Rob said...

I watched your recent interview with keen interest, appreciation and delight.

It is amazing to see how the lessonsof the course seem to correspond to needs and circumstances that I encounter.
The writings help me to overcome obstacles and open my self to the comfort of inner peace.
It was a pleasure to finally see and hear "you in person."

As you clearly outlined in your talk my mind and ego love to play games with me. The lovely "play of consciousness." There are some mysterious aspects to your interview that intrigue me.

Why were you drinking from a bottle in a bag?

What was the cap on the bottle?

My ego was so mesmerized to know why you were doing this and it focused on that mystery.

A question that arose to my your physical body healthy?

During the interview there were a number of references to your website and your course.

Why did you make reference to your blog?

Is this your dharma...sadhana...bhakti?

with respect and love I thank you for your presence and sharing of awareness.

D. R. Butler said...

Since you bring it up here, I'll share the answer I gave in the comments of the blog:

Wow, Rob, you are delving deeply into the inner mysteries, aren't you? I loved your questions.

Why was I drinking from a bottle in a bag? What I was drinking was Poland sparkling spring water with essence of lime. The black holder is to help keep the water cold. The reason I would take a sip now and then is that I tend to get thirsty after talking for a while.

What was the cap on the bottle? Hmmm, that's a little tougher. It is a green bottle cap, and presumably it's made of plastic, although I honestly couldn't say for sure. It came from the store along with the bottle. The reason the cap is screwed on the bottle is to keep the water from spilling should the bottle be accidentally knocked over.

Is my physical body healthy? For a man who will be 67 in July, my body is in excellent health. I can still put the palms of my hands flat on the floor in a forward bend, which most people my age would probably find challenging. Of course, you get no idea of this by watching the interview.

I appear as though I couldn't move if my life depended on it, but I'm like a cat that way. Not long ago someone sitting next to me accidently knocked a glass of water off the counter and I caught the glass in mid-air with one hand before a drop was spilled.

Why were references made to the blog and course? I do not think I referred to them myself in the interview, which is all I had to do with the video. I was a guest on a show, '2012 and Beyond,' that has a different guest each time. If you look it up on Youtube, you'll see that there are quite a few shows available that they have done in the past.

I was not involved in the production or presentation of the video in any way. I imagine they must always reference the work of their current guest, as a courtesy. Don't you think it is a good idea for people who enjoy the interview to know how to find the blog or check out the course? If they want to know more about what I am talking about, they wouldn't know how to find it if the addresses were not presented.

Besides, Marta (Vandita), translator and editor of the Spanish version of the course, arranged the interview, as the show is basically in Spanish. Vandita felt that making the video available might help to increase the number of participants among Spanish-speaking people.

Your questions remind me of a story of when a woman heard me for the first time speak to a group in a course at the ashram I lived in. After the talk, she said to some others who had been present, 'Why would they allow a man to give a talk who was obviously intoxicated? And not only that, he kept drinking the entire time!'

Constantly Wired said...

Hola D.R.

Tengo una prejunta, ... I mean I have a question for you. As long as you are answering mundane questions about the stuff you drink. I have a long time love/hate relationship with Caffeine. As a long time spiritual practitioner, do you have a feeling as to whether caffeine is good or bad for someone with an interest in spiritual growth? In looking at your video interview, you are so relaxed it's hard to imagine you've ever had a cup of coffee in your life.

You are a fascinating character, I do declare

D. R. Butler said...

You are right, I've never had a cup of coffee in my life. The reason is that I never liked the smell of it, still don't even like being near it, don't even like coffee ice cream, and I never had the slightest urge to actually drink it.

However, it has nothing to do with spiritual principles. They always served quite strong coffee in the ashram. Whether one partakes of caffeine or not, or anything else for that matter, has nothing to do with spirituality.

Nothing in and of itself is either spiritual or not spiritual. Especially regarding what we 'do.' Anyone who feels guilty for doing something 'unspiritual' has gotten some very bad information, or has misunderstood the information they got.

Being 'spiritual' is seeing God's play equally in everything, and seeing everyone you come across as an individual expression or manifestation of the divine. Being spiritual is loving and respecting all others, and recognizing their oneness with our own inner Self, which manifests in all these bodies and peers from all these pairs of eyes. Being spiritual is recognizing the Divinity of your own eternal Being, and ultimately realizing that everything is equally included in the same Divinity.

Spirituality has nothing to do with what we eat, drink, smoke, or anything else. Such ideas come from old-fashioned and certainly outmolded ideas of spirituality, including orthodox religions. None of the actions of the body taints the indwelling Self to any degree whatsoever. It remains eternally pure and perfect.

Spirituality has to do with the Light we see inside, and with radiating that inner Light outwardly for the benefit of others around us. It has nothing to do with what we do or don't do.

Cynthia Lynn said...

Slowly catching up on the posts ... very interesting and insightful.

Something just jumped off page 8 of my current lesson (#36) ... this powerful sentence reads, "Direct the attention to where it is most beneficial ..."

Earlier today I spent a couple of hours with a friend whose mind was all over the place as she tried to make a decision about moving to a particular condo; she asked me to accompany her ... she was in a similar state earlier last week, worrying about her cat, and trying to drag two of us into her drama. I've seen myself go into these maelstroms of negative thinking, but I am fortunate to have a couple of really "clear" "sadhana-buddies" who help me get back on track. I also have the lessons of this wonderful course, and have been practicing my intention to see myself happy and lighthearted.

This evening, while washing dishes, my mind went to an unpleasant experience from the past, & I heard my higher Self respond, "... this thought is neither happy nor beneficial" ... and my mind stopped and went back to being one with the washing of dishes!

Then I sat down to tune into my current lesson and read the sentence mentioned above. Blessings to everyone for a wonderful week!

Ellen said...

I'm new to the lessons and I have a question which I think is probably answered in many places but I wonder where to look: How do u stay present when you are planning for the future; for example, making lesson plans for my art projects this week with two year olds and other things? Thanks so much. Millions of blessings, Ellen

D. R. Butler said...

Ellen, you're right, you are very new to the course, and over the next year your vision and experience of things will be greatly expanded. You will see this for yourself.

You ask how to stay in the present moment and plan for the future. When else could you plan for the future? In the future? Nope. The only time you can prepare lesson plans or anything else that lies ahead is now. You can't wait until later to make your plans, or you'll never get there.

Living in the present moment is extremely practical. It is not complicated at all, but the mind tends to make it much more complicated than it needs to be. When we are truly focused in the present moment, free from the fog of unconscious thoughts and habitual mental patterns, we become more competent and efficient than ever.

We make much better future plans now than we do if we lose touch with the present moment. It is truly the only 'time' we can ever do anything. If you ever do anything some other time, I'd love to be the first to know about it.

Ellen said...

A couple weeks ago I wrote a comment and attempted to post it and failed. I just gave up and went about my day. I have been reading everything from you, D R, the Course, which I am new to, fb posts and this blog.
As before, I had to laugh when I realized today that I was unable to post a couple weeks ago because I wasn't in the moment and paying attention to what I was doing, I was all over the place.
I am enjoying every bit of this. I have had the same experiences as some others of making strides and then finding my mind fighting to occupy the moments.
We had a slight disappointment the other day and my husband noted how my reaction was so different from days past in that I took it in stride, remained positive and spoke of what I wanted and how I wished to feel now. Yay! That feels good on all levels. Thank you every day.

With love, Ellen

Darcy said...

Hello dear D.R. all,

I'm so moved by all the comments, love and compassion here. I truly appreciate what Marga expressed about the Course and Vicki reading the blog, it's encouraged me to do the same ... and wow! It's amazing! I'm now also imbibing all the comments from past blog entries. They are complete lessons in their own. What a beautiful place to be wrapped in such grace filled, insightful wisdom. What a blessing.

I keep returning to these passage from lesson 8: 
"The Truth is that all that ultimately exists is Pure Consciousness. Pure Consciousness, the inner Self of all, permeates and pervades this entire universe and exists within you as your own Awareness of Being. When you think, *I am Pure Consciousness*, you are thinking a thought of Truth."

Love and light to all and one. :)

Kaunteya said...

Dear Vicki
Your comments keep coming up in me and I'd like to thank you. You write:
'the dyslexia box with the magic words that let you in to Ram said " Please prove that you're not a robot". For some reason, that tickled me - I'm tingling, you idiot. Robots dont tingle!'
Well, I tingle too but I love to think that I am a robot. At least in the sense that I am not this body but rather the witness watching the now. I find this perspective very freeing and give a subtle bliss.
Thanks again, I need all the reminders in all the forms I can grasp!

Kaunteya said...

Dear Rob
Thank you for your 'mundane' comments! Since I live in the 'mundane' world they struck a chord! Your and Ram's dialogue made me chuckle...Now when I drink from a water bottle it has a special intoxication to it. I may even try some Poland sparkling spring water with lime - I want to drink from that source Ram drinks from!