Monday, September 10, 2012

What in us is Eternally Changeless? Living Among the Constantly Changing

If you are reading this blog for the first time, I strongly recommend that you also read the previous (August) entry, if nothing else, although there are also many other worthwhile entries and exchanges in the comments that are all archived for anyone who cares to visit or revisit them.

Communications of a spiritual nature happen very differently today than in years past.   I recall the 70’s and 80’s very vividly, and remember how spiritual communication happened primarily through physical gatherings.  During those years we could never have imagined anything like the Internet.

The Internet and cyber-world exist today because it is attuned to the vibrational changes happening in, on, and around the planet Earth, as well as our whole solar system.  We are in the process of entering a new age.  If we could glimpse past this particular time and place and see how things are actually changing, it would be very obvious.

The world as we have known it is crumbling.  One day the postal service will be seen in the same way that we now see the pony express.  The world is changing faster than we realize.  From day to day we don’t realize how much a child grows or how much we age, yet over time the changes become quite obvious.

In the same way, from day to day we can’t see the changes our earth is going through, yet over time they will become quite obvious.  In just a year from now, look back and it will be very clear what is being referring to.

Have you noticed that time has speeded up?  Changes happen faster.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that we age faster, although in some cases this is possible.  In fact, depending on how we choose to live and think, youth can be extended even longer than before.

When time speeds up, space becomes more compressed.  The world is smaller now than it was a few years ago, especially in our consciousness of it.  In cyber-world we can be simultaneously in contact with people all over the world.  We can relate as though there is no distance at all, and we can exchange a lot of value in a relatively short amount of time.

One aspect of these changes is that we, the humanity of Earth, experience our vibrational level becoming finer and subtler, so that the actual experience of life happens faster, and feels fuller, although all that is actually changing is the vibrational level we live in.

It is always good to be versed in universal principles of Truth.  Even so, these days we need this understanding more than ever before in our lifetimes.  There are Beings that look over and guide the spiritual upliftment of the entire planet, while others work with certain individuals who are ready.  Some of these Beings are invisible and not currently in human form; others dwell in remote areas of the world and guide us telepathically.

The most enlightened Beings who live in the highest state consistently are often hardly known at all.  Most people, even in the 'spiritual scene,' have never heard of them, as they do not attract attention to themselves.  They deliberately remain unknown.  There is nothing to be gained through their interaction with the profane world, and much could be lost.

Teachers are needed for all levels.  Beginners need teachers to teach them the basics, and advanced seekers need a teacher to show him or her what they haven't already seen about themselves, and what is the next step to take.  Many teachers can share knowledge, but only a few can actually transform our state, our experience, and our vision.  These usually come from an authentic lineage, for the Shakti (spiritual power) is in the lineage, not the individual.

In our dreams at night we get glimpses of life in the subtle world.  It is much more varied and diversified than physical plane experiences.  In the subtle world you can flow from universe to universe; the physical world is limited by space and time.  It is challenging to put into words an experience that the mind will have trouble understanding anyway, no matter how clearly presented.

Someone asked, ‘Am I there?' and 'am I getting there?'  Who is this being that you are assigning the 'I' to?  When you ask, 'Am I there?  How will I know?' it is as though the ego hopes to one day be enlightened.  What else would care whether you are 'there' or not?

That which is not enlightened will never be enlightened.  That which will ever be enlightened is already enlightened.  Enlightenment is not something you can comprehend with the mind, because such a state goes beyond the mind.  You also cannot get there through stressful struggle, because where you are going is where you started out from.

Someone else asked, 'Is the state of ananda (bliss) something we are aware of through the physical sensations?’

Physical sensations alone are too dense to experience bliss or ananda.  Bliss is not an emotion, and has no polar opposite.  It is part of our Being and is never absent.  The only thing that might be absent is our awareness of it.  It can be experienced during any physical or emotional state.  It is best experienced as an exalted state of well-being.

It doesn't require any effort to experience bliss.  Your true and eternal nature is already blissful, so it's only a matter of tuning into what is always already true.  You are simply a bit caught in the mind, which is pretty much like everyone else.  If you could truly get into the space between thoughts, wherein you experience the Universal instead of the individual, you would discover that bliss is already present.  As long as you are trying to attain something that you don't already have, that very effort will be your primary obstacle.

As a participant of the course, you will find that you naturally experience bliss in your life more and more, without even knowing why.  It happens not through effort, but through opening and letting go.

We use 'course' for lack of a better word.  It is also a 'training' regarding the principles that govern the universe, including individual karma, and a 'process' that leads to transformation and expansion.  The experience of the course is different for each person who participates, for each makes of it what they will, what they want, and what they need.

Someone else said, 'Please offer the complete course for free.  Truth is free.'

I responded:  I know what you mean about how the course should be free.  The Truth, after all, IS free.

Yesterday I had surgery to repair 2 hernias, and today my abdomen hurts to move, to get up or down, to sit, to change positions while lying, to blow my nose, and to clear my throat.  Even so, I stubbornly continue to clear my throat.

It is difficult walking from room to room.  And the pain just sits there like a hideous blob in my abdomen.  Now, why is it that I have to pay for all this?  Why is it not free!  Hell, they should pay 'me' for having to endure it.

But the nice community hospital provides a great service.  Should they perform surgery for free, and then go off to their day jobs?  The surgeon has spent many years in school and learning through internship, and many other years serving others with his skill.  Why is it that he should offer his services for free?  I guess he'd also have to get himself a day job.

The Truth is the most valuable thing there is.  Nothing else compares to it.  Sure, It IS Free.  Yet, for us to open and expand enough to see and experience the Truth within ourselves, AS us, it is necessary to go through a certain process.  And just like the surgeon is essential for surgery, it is helpful to have a guide through the process.

For many years I was keyed on doing my spiritual training by my own terms.  I didn’t want a ‘guru’ or anyone telling me anything.  I read books, listened to tapes, and in Manhattan  I had access to all the different teachers that came through.  I could pick and choose whatever I believed to be helpful and ignore the rest.  Then at the age of 29 a teacher came along who actually blew away my perspective of reality; with his help, I began to experience and live in a world that I had not previously known to exist as anything other than perhaps a fond fantasy. 

My eyes were opened to something that I could not have come upon through my own efforts.  That’s what really blew my mind.  Yet we mostly live with infinite Mind contracted into the form of whatever the current melodrama might be.  The mind literally becomes what we think.  In reality there is no difference between the mind and the thought.  The thought is simply the current form or shape the mind has taken.

I've spent—as of this writing—the last 52 years learning, training, preparing, practicing, and communicating principles of Truth that anyone can embrace in his or her life for surprisingly effective results, especially greater freedom.  My Teacher told me to pass it on to others.  So this is what I ‘do’—I pass on to others what was passed down to me.  And it wasn’t available for free.  I paid dearly.  Still, this ‘payment’ initiates a process that continues until it is finished.

Few people can even imagine, in the beginning, what a ‘free mind’ actually is, and what it means in real life.  So our Course is simply a guide through the process from here to there and back again.  Why should this be free?   Should I, too, get a day job, and write the lessons by the midnight oil?

How would Kay and I live?  How would we help get my daughter Sara through college?  Can't you see the way life has to work in order for the most people to experience the most benefit?  In Sanskrit this is known as 'dharma'—doing what is simultaneously best for everyone concerned.

The Truth IS free.  But to get from where we are to the full recognition and experience of the Truth requires not only that we go through a purification process, but also that we give something of value in exchange.

Truth is free.  Yet a certain subtle transmission of energy cannot happen, cannot be sent or received, unless it is 'paid for.'  And it’s not that it’s held back.  It is just the way the universe works.  It maintains a certain energetic balance.  

Some people are, due to their upbringing, subconsciously stingy, although they would never ‘think’ of themselves that way.  They want to keep what they have.  As someone remarked recently, you can participate in the course for the price of a pizza each month, and yet people don’t want to part with the little bit of money suggested as an exchange for active participation.   We have to reach a point where we truly want it and are truly committed before we will understand the value of exchanging a little bit of money for spiritual wealth.  In fact, many participants, after a while, contribute more than the suggested amount, and they receive a great deal out of the course.

The course is not for everyone.  A certain kind of person finds it the most meaningful thing in life, feels renewed and rejuvenated by it, while others find it totally irrelevant.  Truly, all in all, very few will ever even hear of it.  You who read this are among the few who have.

Someone commented, 'I feel a sense of relief knowing I will continue to make human mistakes, but now and in the end I have a divine nature.'

That is a real biggie, a Maha understanding; most people tend to think that spiritual progress is becoming a greater person than we are now.  That might also be true, but it is not the essential understanding.  That would be firmly established in knowing we already are of a divine nature, regardless of what the body, mind, or emotions are doing.  They are only the play, the drama of this world.  These are not things most people easily understand.

If there were such a thing as 'sins,' self-judgment would be right at the top, along with passing judgment on others.  Ultimately, no matter how long it takes, or how many lifetimes, we must be firmly established in the understanding that everything is perfect and purely divine exactly as it is.  This is the ultimate realization.

Finally, someone wrote, 'To look myself in the mirror and say, "I love you". To say, "I forgive you". To say, "I accept you exactly as you are".  That is not an easy thing to do for me.... It should be the most natural!'

When these things are hard to say to ourselves, we are thinking of ourselves as ego, mind, and body.  Ego, mind, and body have disappointed us again and again.

When we realize we are not limited to ego, body, and mind, and that our true and eternal essence is very beautiful, supremely pure, and totally perfect, then love arises spontaneously.  This inner Light, which was never born and can never die, is our true Identity.  Once we realize who we truly are, it is most natural and effortless to love the eternally changeless Self within.

You can't 'wonder about' anything in the space between thoughts.  That space is Infinite, and never wonders about anything.  The space between thoughts is non-thinking.  You can't be in the space between thoughts and ask yourself if you have attained the highest state.  The space between thoughts is wordless.  It does not care about attainment, but sees it only as a notion of the mind.  It is already all there is and all there will ever be, the Seer of all that is seen and the Knower of all that is known, so It already knows there is nothing to become.  
The play of the mind is the play of Consciousness.  Pure Consciousness, or pure Awareness, is experienced in the space between any two thoughts.

Thank you for joining me here.  I look forward to this month’s comments.

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



Colette DeVore said...

My heart is cracking open right now. I feel so grateful and so full. Why do I have the tendency to turn away from this love? It is so silly really. I am surrendering to this deep well of love inside of me. This lesson that I'm on has been absolute bliss for me. The Gandhi quote contained within it struck the deepest courts inside my being. If I want anything this is what I want. This is who I want to be in the world with myself and with everyone I know and don't yet know.

"I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings. My wisdom flows from the Highest Source. I salute that Source in you. Let us work together in unity and love."

What could have more meaning for me than that?

Let us forget who we think we are and embrace the truth. Let us stop defining who we think others are and embrace the truth. Love and blessings to you all my dear ones, Karuna

Jessie said...

Hi D.R.
I'm working with something from lesson 16 right now. Where it says "there is no way we can experience radiant health while maintaining the consciousness of illness.' This really resonated with me. And it brought up the following question: I'm currently working with an acupuncturist who has asked me to keep a detailed food log - noting everytime I eat something that doesn't agree with me in any way. I have a lot of resistance to doing this and one of my reasons is that is seems to be putting me in a paranoid state of mind, one of looking for discomfort or maintaining a consciousness of illness. Any words of wisdom on this?

D. R. Butler said...

Jessie, it depends on your degree of commitment to working with the acupuncturist. If you trust him and feel to do as he suggests, then go ahead.

Personally, I would never do anything like this. In the first place, I would never care to keep a detailed food log. I don't even like to think about things like that. And, like you say, 'noting everytime something doesn't agree with you' keeps you looking for something wrong. I prefer the perspective of the Course, which is maintaining the consciousness of Radiant Health.

All health care professionals have their own system and ways of doing things. I'm sure the acupuncturist only wishes to help you. Still, you have to decide if that is something you care to do or not.

Sparkle said...

D. R. writes: "The world as we have known it is crumbling." I think how true a statement and it is happening so quickly. The first feeling that comes up for me is fear, especially when I see what is happening to the earth so quickly and to all species that depend on the earth for sustenance.

But then everything has always been crumbling--second law of thermodynamics? All creatures--animal, vegetable or mineral-- have always been coping with this reality. So why am I so vulnerable to
fear? Perhaps due to the incredible speed of the change we experience now.

This awareness then led me to a feeling of gratitude for teachers like D. R. and the communities developing around these teachers, who work at preparing us spiritually to maintain serenity and even experience bliss no matter what we may face.

When my father was dying, I asked him if he was afraid. He said that he was not afraid but was looking to whatever "the next adventure will be."

Vicki said...

II'm happy that you bring up the money issues from time to time.They are an important topic and represent the deeper samskaras of fear and entitlement that can really hold one back. In my own sadhana, I often pictured myself clinging to a ledge while Grace pried open each finger, forcing me to let go. One of those fingers was  stinginess, and it was as detrimental to me and my own well-being as it was to others.  As it gripped the ledge in fear, while at the same time my mind told me that the world owed me a living,  I denied myself so many opportunities for growth, with the mantra "I can't afford it", or "Why should I have to pay for it?". 

 When I finally released that death-grip, I began a 3 decade journey that flowed from the original denial, to grudging payment, to willing payment , to willingly giving more that was asked from me.   I witnessed every step of that journey.  I actually saw how it was proceeding. I took steps to urge it along.  In the forth stage, I began to experience so much joy in having arrived, not only at a place where what I had could benefit others, but where I could truly feel that Grace has a plan for my life and that includes the flow of abundance from my own open hands to others. As a result of the journey,  I live with full faith in God's loving  support and protection.  Whatever we offer to the highest in ourselves is repaid infinitely through our ever- increasing access to our own wisdom and  joy.  With each offering we settle a little more comfortably into the house of no-lacks.

Jim said...

Years of skin rashes led me to work with a nutritionist who asked me to keep a food log of what I ate. I thought I ate healthy, but the log showed me otherwise and opened up my awareness to my ignorance around good nutrition. So at first I disagreed with your response DR, but now I must also admit that I see how my approach to finding a solution to my own condition is another control trip, spending time energy and money on my 'war on rashes'. I admire the state of mind that allows someone to not take illness so seriously, which we are culturally prone to do, and focus instead on what health is at hand, and as the course often states, focus more and more on the radiance of our subtle selves. 'He not busy being born is busy dying' sang Bob Dylan in his song 'It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)'.

D. R. Butler said...

Bob Dylan also said, 'Nothing is better, nothing is best; take care of your health and get plenty of rest.'

Beej Galvan said...

Love it! Love your choice of music too...I was seeing the stream too :) Speedy healing to you! Thank you once again.

michael said...

Love the thread of giving and honoring the way of the world...the necessary cycles of exchanges which open and expand life and honor part of the nature of life. While resources may be relative for each of us, the principle is the same that to give opens us, breaks down limiting notions of who and what we have and without the giving there can be no receiving. As a tennis coach I learned this lesson the hard way. Gave lessons for free and after a while there were no students, and it was not because I was not competent at teaching. It is no less true for any path of learning or mastery which we pursue. It is the paradox of having to give to receive...and it can be so freeing to give to others in honor of what they bring and in gratitude. The dharma of life...what serves us all. And the samskara or limiting notion of holding on to what I have...well it continues to show itself but it is more of a play these day and a chance to laugh when I see it presencing... And the Course its a cheap price, an extraordinary bargain for the value. The real price is what is exacted of the partcipant for whom it has real appeal and that is not measured in money but what you bring to the game of life....the unburdening of baggage and least in my experience of having taken the course for a long time.

Bob Sonnenberg said...

I am glad to hear you writing about the world as we know it crumbling. What we are doing here is the only preparation that will count as time goes by. Many are only concerned with outer preparation. That's not a bad idea but that's only a small part of the picture. Thanks.

Naganath said...

We give so much power to money. But what is it really? It is shakti, as the Guru has said. But where does that shakti come from? Our own intention? One day, in the not too distant future, what we consider "money" will be passe, nonexistent? But the Love and shakti will be greater than anything money could have ever bought.--Sri Naganath.

kirsty said...

There is also the simple and straight-forward tendency for people to value and actively partake in that which they pay for. As a former hypnotist, it was obvious that those who invested in a session did better than those who did not. For them it was just a lark and not serious.

Chimene said...

thank you Ram for this post it was a breath of fresh air in my busy hot

sparkle said...


Hoping your recovery is going well, that you experience less and less pain and are getting all the rest you need. All the best!

Anusuya said...

The blog is powerful this month. I decided I would read it aloud tonight instead of my lesson. As I moved through it I could see why. It was like reading a lesson. Pat felt like he came to listen since I invite him along, and left behind a sparkling shiny energy. Will meet you in the subtle realms.

Darcy said...

Colette and Michael thank you for your comments. I'm right there with you. Beautiful shares.

Michael, yes!: " the Course its a cheap price, an extraordinary bargain for the value." ...and then some! ;) I'm SO grateful it's offered at such a low costs. Thank you Ram and Kay for making yourselves and the Course so accessible to those of us who are on limited budgets.

With great love,

Anonymous said...

I can't thank you enough for the Course, and for your dedication to making it possible for us to have access to it. It has been a life-saver for me. I don't know how I would manage without it.

My circumstances cause me a lot of fear, and although it's frightening to know that my fear is creating more of what I don't want, at least the Course is taking me in the right direction. I'm hoping there will be a section on how to deal with fear soon in the Course.

D. R. Butler said...

The Upanishads say that we we see 'another,' fear arises.

As long as we are conscious of power external to us that is possibly more powerful than we are, as long as we live in duality, we give fear a place to roam.

The secret to living fearlessly, which is a prerequisite to being a free Being, is to be more established in the consciousness of Oneness. When we realize that true power invariably comes from within, and that the sense of an external power is delusional, there is nothing worth fearing.

Tony (Aditya) said...

Checking in at the blogfire – In my recent lesson Ram asked us to revisit something from six months ago, where we created what we wanted our life to be like in a year. He asked how we are doing in living into that creation. As Ram recommends, I won’t share too much of my inner creation, but some things stand out:

Part of my creation included an unshakeable grounding in light-hearted cheerfulness. I notice that this is now largely the case; light-hearted cheerfulness has become my “default” setting that is there almost always whenever I stop to notice. Sometimes it’s not, and that feels so odd that it quickly pulls me into noticing what I am feeling, acknowledging it, and letting it go. Light-hearted cheerfulness then arises.

Some interesting things have happened along the way. In my future creation I noticed that I was walking around in a body that felt light, strong and flexible, despite being Ram’s age and at the time heavy, not-so-strong and quite stiff in joints and muscles. In the intervening 7 months, in a very easy shift of eating habits, I have lost about 25% of my body weight and the stiffness has just melted away.

I also noticed in the future I in fact had all the money I needed and was completely at ease about that fact. This lead me to figure out and write down a specific amount of income I would need in the intervening year; I included having that income as part of my creation. Seven months into it the income has already arrived, with no special plan or effort to generate the work.

Interesting how things you just notice as part of your future creation manifest in your life.

Sandra said...

I'm in the second year of the Course and am really enjoying it, many thanks!

Anonymous said...

I have had issues with money over the years. Yet, the money for the course has always been there. When I first received it, I was in an anchorage in Dana Point. A friend thought I could benefit from it. She was so right. At that time, I paid $5.00/ month!! I continue to notice that when I just stop contributing out of fear of lack that more lack happens in my life. When I contribute, it seems the universe just opens up in so many ways showering me with abundance.So I am learning through the course to live in the moment and enjoy my life.Thanks Ram!

Anonymous said...

As always, thank you for shedding light on, well, everything! Tonight the wisest thing i can say is life is so different than 2+ years ago when I began this iteration of the course. I enjoy the lessons and learn so much. I usually feel quite the beginner. Thank you all!

Ralph Yarber said...

D.R. To start with I am eternally grateful for your course. I read the lessons daily and benefit from the wisdom that you share. I like to contribute more than you ask for because first of all I don't want you to get a day job, you already pretty much work 24/7 on the course thats not to say your at your desk writing the lessons but I feel that your love and compassion for course participants are always on your mind. You have always been there for me in times of trial and good times, I feel that you will always be there for me even after this incarnation ends.
I have taken the course now for 5 years and have experience the changes that have resulted from following the principals that you introduce int he course. Along with that is a certain energy or current or flow that assists me in making changes in my life that benefit me greatly. I love that there is no dogma n the lessons and we are allowed to create our own best way of practicing the principals. Lately I have been experiencing what I call " striping it down". This is watching how my conditioning of mind makes judgements. For example when I see some one who is obviously don't doing well like a supposably a bun on the street. I immediately drop that judgement or strip it down and look a little deeper into that person , my findings have been little by little I am seeing everyone as the same once I come out of the ego, minds set of separation and find myself in a state of oneness or wholeness. I find the more I except my own perceived short comings and love myself unconditionally the more I love others in the same way.
I love what I am becoming after staying with the course and practicing the principals of truth that D.R so lovingly offers at an amazingly low price in this day and time. I like everyone else like to get free stuff. Go to McDonalds buy one and get one free. Your happy for a few moments. What Ram offers in the course last for eternity. Now is that a deal of a life time. With Gratitude, Ralph

Amy said...

tnfetp 51Tony, Thank you for your share. What a great reminder.

Ram & Kay, May you have an easy day and feel all the love coming your way from the Blog & Course Community.

Love to All.


Christine S. Boyd said...

As I was about to turn a corner the other day, I spotted a friendly looking hitchhiker going the other way. I rolled down my car window and called out, "Remember to donate a couple of dollars to your driver". I laughed at myself as I rolled the window back up because it occurred to me what a perfect message for a large message board for all hitchers to see and then reeling it in again, I realize I can work on myself, never mind others. I got a bit too generous with someone else's property the other day, My bad, when I allowed a sick friend to download some CD talks to her Ipod. While cautioning her that these were only for her personal use, I made up my mind to offer a donation to the source. It only felt fair and to use your word, dharmic. Yet something in me has delayed. Yes I've called twice and they haven't been available. But the real delay is internal as a distinct reluctance (should I give $150 or $100. Maybe $75 will suffice. C'mon now, you pledged $150. Oh, ok.) I liked Vicki's focus on awareness of all these circumstances and the inner dialogue and I find, time and time again, awareness grows wings of change and dharmic action follows.

With love,

Sarah said...

Yesterday I was standing in a long line at a gas station/quickie mart...bleary eyed from a late shift at the psychiatric hospital i work at, and I hadn't slept long enough the night before. A lady at the front of the line (that was about 10 people deep)took forever to pick out about 12 different packs of cigarettes, lottery tickets, was freely chatting with cashier, and was oblivious to all those waiting in line behind her... the place didn't have an inviting smell, the hot dogs on the roller cookers were sizzling even though it was about 9:30 AM, people were coughing and sneezing freely, bad Musak played way too loud on crackling speakers... and the customer line just didn't seem to move forward...The cashier's face changed from somewhat friendly to not so friendly as the same lady at the front of the line was still chatting away and not moving on....

While watching all of this, a profound sense of Peace and serenity came over me... I had the sublime experience that this scenario was exactly as it needed to be, perfect in it's present moment, and there was no other place that was so perfect for me to be ... I remember thinking "this is no accidental cluster of events." As sure as the planets continue to harmoniously float on there orbits thru space, the long stinky line I'm in at this quickie mart/ gas station was the most profound place I could be at this present moment... I was wrapped in a state of such comfort and Love.. what felt to be the changeless comfort and peace of the Love of God... I felt the presence of the Divine in every being in the place, and especially the oneness in the karmic experience we are sharing in this physical incarnation.

And then, I was finally at the cashier, paid for my goods and left.. smiling and at peace.. I truly attribute this experience, and being able to experience the grace of God in such a mundane earthly scenario, to my daily dedication to reading the lessons of the course. Thank you Ram. Well worth the price of a pizza I'd say... love to all..

D. R. Butler said...

Love your beautiful sharing, Sarah. A great example for all of us.

Anusuya said...

"If there were such a thing as 'sins,' self-judgment would be right at the top, along with passing judgment on others. Ultimately, no matter how long it takes, or how many lifetimes, we must be firmly established in the understanding that everything is perfect and purely divine exactly as it is. This is the ultimate realization."
Was feeling like I need to really get this message and get over judging myself. Thanks Ram! And as I was contemplating this I came to read any missed blog comments and saw Sarah's delightful share. A perfect example of understanding that everything is perfectly divine reflected back. Love when people share their experiences applying the lessons in their lives.

Dave Silverstein said...

Ram, In my current lesson, there are reminders that you give us of how you personally practice staying in harmony with each moment as it presents itself. The one I've been working on and resonated with was having a conscious intent to remain cheerful and uplifting for the sake of others as well as oneself. That is actually a full teaching in itself.

This afternoon I experienced an emotional state exactly the opposite, where this overwhelming sadness came from inside my being, snuck up on me and really gave me a 'ride', it came from nothing conscious that I was thinking about at the time. As I observed these emotions, I had this insight..".Be in harmony with it." As I did this there was a feeling of acceptance and acknowledgement of how sad I was feeling....and wouldn't you know it as soon as I accepted it, POOF, it disappeared, leaving me with an open heart filled with love and gratitude for all the blessings I have in my life...being in harmony with what is.

The lessons always amaze me by their uncanny ability to know what is most needed in my life. The insights I receive from the Course are true gifts of the heart from the heart, and I am so grateful to you, Ram for these blessings.

Alison said...

I do hope that your physical recovery from your surgery is going well. You're always there for everybody else, and sometimes I forget that you're in a body. I may be a slow student, or not very evolved, because I know you say that Bliss is our natural state, yet I don't seem to experience it. I'm hoping to experience it. I look for it. I think I experienced a little of it while looking into the eyes of a Oneness Blessing practitioner from Brazil, though I was unable to hold her gaze for more than 8 or 9 minutes, and to complete the meditation, which I think was about 30 minutes. I plan on doing more of them, and hope to complete one soon.

Avivit said...

In lesson V2-L37 D.R., you wrote:
There is an inner Light that is more our true Self than our physicall body could ever be. The physical body is merely carrying the inner Light around from point to point in the physical world, relatively speaking, as the inner Light is by nature formless and all pervasive."

You know hoe they say the Guru's words are Chaitanya? they have a living power....
Yes....some words/sentences go so deep and this is the case for me with these. Since I read them I am walking around being aware of the Light...of what the Light makes possible...for me to see and recognize and be aware of and I feel so grateful....extra extra cause I walk around with the sense of Majesty. And I decided since to draw everyday a small circle with a dot, (just a symbol I chose)on my hand by the thumb so I can always see it and not forget...and if I forget...its right there so I soon come back!!! its not like a tatoo because I have to redraw it often and it keeps it and me very alive.

The excersize suggested in that last lesson suggested:
begin to focus on your Inner State as much as possible, and in a new way, a way that you never have before. don't know what you eat D.R. :) but you definitely allow magic to happen through you, that comes through to me....Thank you! XOXOXO

Then this current Lesson (V2-L38) suggests as an excersize "to see how often and for how long you can experience your self as Being, Consciousness and Bliss - Satchitananda" how can I not be appreciative for my own Being? and my life...and my amazing good fortune....I keep thinking how on heaven did I get so lucky to have such great teachers and such a good chance to wake up?
How will I truly....EVER be able to give back what I have and keep receiving? How???
how can one even measure something like that?
Thank you all contributors in the blog and really add so much to my life, each comment!

Marga said...

I'm having a similar experience as Dave.

I am sensing that some pretty strong events are in store for us all over the next 3-4 months. Sometimes a wave of fear will wash over me around this knowing. Sometimes it feels like these feelings are part of the collective experience (not particular to me personally.) When I stay with the emotion on its own and accept it fully, not push it away, it can truly just flush through me. Oftentimes though, my mind gets involved and begins making stories about the feeling, spinning off into lots of worry and what-if scenarios.

I am currently on a lesson that explains how to work with replacing unpleasant thoughts with other more uplifting thoughts. I am finally, truly grocking that it is well within my power to determine my own experience in the present moment.

Like Dave, I am struck by the uncanny knack of the lessons to be assisting me where I am in my development so precisely.

Colette DeVore said...

In my current lesson it suggests asking myself what is new for me now? What I notice is I am more aware of my inner conversation and what takes me towards or away from the me that I came here to be. the coolest part of the change is that I do not beat myself up for not being myself, I just laugh and keep moving forward. Thank you Ram for the tools that have allowed me to make this shift.

Melissa Abbott said...

In a recent lesson I received you said: " If contentment could be purchased, it would come with a very high price tag, yet it can be ours for free when we realize the Truth of our own Self."

Just love this statement, it is so true. We almost have to give it all we have to give, to get to the point where we GET our own self. It has been a life long journey and yet, everything is available in any given moment if we are willing to notice, connect or enjoy it. Life is just so enjoyable. Been noticing more and more that the comfortable part of hanging out with ones own self is that we can be as true as true can be with ourselves. It is when we aren't telling ourselves the truth or we are living in a bunch of crazy stories about ourselves that we aren't in the moment. Stripping off all the BS and just resonating in the flow.
Been working all summer with my bee hives in my bee yard and garden. The thing about hanging with them is that they have an amazing supreme intelligence and if you aren't completely in the moment being around them, you could get really fearful with thousands of them landing on you and buzzing around you. Observing them is such a lesson because they are completely in the flow of nature and life. They are constantly creatively procreating by buzzing around the Flow-ers and pollenating everything with natures sweetness and nectar. The buzzing is like the sound of the universe hurling through space. The more I hang out with the bees in the moment, the more I can relax about other stuff in life because even though the bees are focused and busy, they are also relaxed naturally unless you do something to upset their world like bump the hive and scare them or bang around them without being in the moment. The moment you are NOT in the moment around them, they let you the focus and lessons around them have been a lot like the truth of the present moment lessons. It was super fantastic to get this summers lessons in Vol3 about living in the "Flow" I am out in the garden, in the flow-ers and staying in the flow with the Bee's...Bee in the Present Flow-er Moment!!

Bob Sonnenberg said...

Thanks for the beautiful comment about you and your bees. How true. I have hives here in the city where I live. The have helped me connect with nature like I never have.I am going to copy that comment to remind me of the truth there with the bees.

Christine S. Boyd said...

A letter arrived in my inbox to say I will be starting the 4th year of the Course soon!! How wonderful and how quickly the time went by. Thanks to the course I made the most of time. I paused to ask, what if I had not accepted the invitation to take the course?

I'm so glad I jumped into the water! In these three years, I've become more true to myself, learned to work with goals and priorities, and have seen many of them arrive in my life. Some real challenges have been met e.g. at work place, because of the support of the course in my daily life. This week I delayed responding to a situation at work until I had read my current Lesson. It was such a support, and next day, I handled a potentially reactive and emotion situation with kindness and gratitude instead, surprising the heck out of me, nevermind others involved. I'm such a nice person!! and that's a lot to say, given where I was a few years ago, stuck in the what's-in-it-for-me mentality. I enjoy sharing the link and other things you offer for that purpose.

With love,

D. R. Butler said...

I know that you judge yourself too harshly, and I am telling you that there is no need to do that, because only pure Consciousness exists as you, as you are right now in this very moment. The divine Self shines within you, radiates from you, yet you doubt yourself and focus on your faults. This in turn causes you to be judgmental of others, and even taking them to task for it. Yet only divine Consciousness dwells within them as well as you, and there is nothing going on anywhere other than the play of Consciousness.

Jim said...

DR, how did you know?
There is an underlying thread that I am beginning to hear throughout the course material. Could it be that this is why the course corresponds with our seemingly varied individual lives in a real time current way? And why DR can write a few sentences that contain so much - that feeling that my whole life would be on a different level if I lived completely just these 50+ words. Last month it was a different bunch of words and before that another bunch etc. but the same feeling of getting everything I will ever need in a small bundle. We get the simple truth of every now in every now.

Amy said...


Thank you, thank you, thank you for this loving message. Amy

Naganath said...

Needless to say, it takes more effort to focus on the practices of the lessons when one's mind is compromised by illness, depression, tiredness, or other impairment/impediment than when one is flowing with the Bliss. However, I will say that the lessons and the practices take less effort and are more fruitful now, in this moment, than at any other time in my life. Gratitude and compassion under all circumstances aids in the flow of life.

Dave Silverstein said...

Ram, in the Blog you talk about being in the process of entering a new age, that time has speeded up and that our vibrational level is becoming finer and subtler...there are Beings that look over and guide the spiritual upliftment of the entire planet.

I was going to show 'my' knowledge of different dimensions, visiting other worlds in meditation...and then I again read the title of the current Blog, "What in us is "Eternally Changeless? Living Among the Constantly Changing".

Then I had this insight, I can talk about all this multi-dimensional stuff forever,...However, when I closed my eyes just for a few moments, I got in touch with that place of stillness. I intuited that, this is what I really need to practice...visiting this sacred space of my own heart and eventually living there all the time.

margaret garner said...

Dave Silverstein: Your comment reminds me of a quote that Ram shared in my a lesson of the Course: Self inside self. You are nothing but me. Self inside self, I am only You. What we are together will never die. The why and how of this? What does it matter?... Yeah, I have a lot of questions about the hows and whys that my mind wants to know about, but it will always be searching for more. But, I love what you say, Dave, about the true contentment that resides in the space of our Heart. Love to all.

Jake Birdsong said...

One of the things I’ve begun wondering recently is why it feels so good to help ‘another.’

I live in a suburban development of Baltimore, MD where most homeowners spend their weekends in the yard maintaining their property. I’ve lived in this house my entire life with many of the same neighbors, so we all have a good relationship.

The house directly to the left of mine sits against a stretch of woods. The two sisters that live there lost their jobs in the great recession and are on their own for the most part. In summers while I was in high school, I’d maintain their yard for $20 week. It was gas money and I was working outside which I enjoyed anyway. When I went away to college, they would have a friend come over once a month just to cut the grass.

Recently, I started noticing that no one was coming anymore to maintain their yard. There is constant landscaping work to be done including trees that have fallen over, bushes that are growing out of control and their grass is a foot high. The vines that have been rapidly consuming the house all summer are beginning to intertwine and connect on their front porch, making it difficult for anyone to enter and exit the house.

Several months ago I noticed that it was getting out of control. I’ve gone back to cutting their lawn every time I cut my own. They tried to pay me in the beginning but I told them I just wanted to help out. I know how much a simple thing like that means to someone in need, or at least I thought I did.

As I said the words “Oh it’s no problem I’d just like to help out,” I was immediately overcome by a warm feeling of somehow having helped myself, as well as my neighbors. I began contemplating why it feels so good TO ME to help another person. Through the process of lending a hand to another, I had somehow made a contribution to a very real part of my own Being. The same Self inside of me appreciated performing the service as much as my neighbors appreciated receiving it. I vividly saw how much we all share in common. From an expanded perspective, my contribution wasn’t towards any one person but towards the Self that exists in all of us. That's why helping others feels so good.

Hariette said...

"Presence." What a word in our new lesson! So expansive. Never-ending. It is what we are.

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

I love my new lesson! (vol 2-17) I'm on the section "Inner Growth through Relationships" and my last lesson talked about how a large part of what we are going through in our growth process is the opening of the heart.

Then I got to practice it in real life as deep relational challenges came to the fore. Now I have this new lesson and my heart feels even more open to soaking in its energy.

I know, I just know, Ram has written a lot of these same things (in my now lesson) before so it is mind blowing how new it all seems.

How do I love my lesson? Let me count the ways:

1) It's practical: "If we feel the person we are with is not loving or affectionate enough, the thing to do is to be more loving and affectionate. Don't make it the other person's responsibility to change or improve something. Let's first see what we can contribute."

2) It's cosmic: "An individual puts out an energy-- a radiation, a vibration, or a feeling-- to another, to the universe; and then through others, or the universe, in some form or another, we get the same energy, vibration, or feeling back. This is the simplest way to view the law of karma."

Well, okay, I see I would be quoting the whole lesson if I go on this way. So I will offer up my gratitude for such a heart opening course.

By the way, Jake I loved your reflection on helping others. Blessings to all this community.

Karen Jo Shapiro

D. R. Butler said...

Great sharing, Karen Jo. It gives a good glimpse of what the lessons can be like.

Ellen said...

Hi D.R. <3

I am on lesson 17 currently. When it comes to talking about others and describe them in negative or limiting ways, or even describing people at all, limiting as just with the use of words, I wonder how I can practice this and still follow my assignments correctly for my studies in graduate school (for early childhood education). I am required to write detailed field notes and observations of children as well as other teachers. my heart is so delighted to hear all your words.
I do see there being a potential conflict with your teachings and my assignments-- and I'm wondering what is really in the best interest of all and what to do. I feel when I work with children I am always seeing and describing them in the highest possible ways, or so I hope!

When it comes to evaluating teaching practices, I'm required to "judge" more and analyze for my papers and discussion groups. There are some things I've seen and heard about teacher's doing in the classroom that are very upsetting to me, that most people would "agree" on are upsetting. As I write this I have just described a "negative" which is exactly I think what you teach us not to do in the lesson....which is why I am posing this question.

How do I follow the practices of not describing in terms of following a)my assignments and b) some sense of a "moral obligation".... how should I engage with my studies in a way that will be best for the upliftment, spiritual evolution, for the benefit, of all ?
I've been thinking of ways that I can best do this...
And I'm not sure what to do. ...
its such a helpful concept that uplifts humanity ... and yet describing others and analyzing and judging them seems to dominate so many fields of academic study... what would happen to the world if the order was threatened....

I am so grateful to your course and your love and to everyone else for writing....
Happy Pitr Paksha
<3 Love Ellen

D. R. Butler said...

Ellen, there is no conflict. Describing how someone is doing, even if they are doing poorly, is not necessarily a 'negative.' It can be objective, and yes, helpful.

When it comes to studies or work, we have to be practical. All principles of Truth are very practical when applied to everyday life. Understand the essence of the principles, and don't confuse them with being a conflict to studies or to work.

The Shakti is always practical. It is never unrealistic,and it never presents a conflict of any nature.

Jean said...

Felt absolutely compelled to come here and write-- don't know what it'll be but I'll write it down.
My recipe for bliss: take one current Lesson, snuggle up in bed with it, right before you go to sleep. Read all or part of the Lesson. (Add one cat, or more, if desired. this is optional.) Spend the rest of the night in love on the subtle planes with all participants of the course. May be repeated as often as desired.
For me this is a failsafe recipe. Love it. Thank you, DR and each One who participates. Wow! I love you.

Christine S. Boyd said...

Thanks Karen Jo.
Your words are especially helpful today:
".... Don't make it the other person's responsibility to change or improve something. Let's first see what we can contribute."
In one work that I do I have been puzzling about the expectation because there often are mixed messages. This is the missing piece of the puzzle, a true guideline.

With love,

evelyn said...

I signed up again for the course on a friends recommendation. I have had to play catch up and read 3 lessons in less than 2 weeks and try to practice the teachings. That has been a challenge but it has been enjoyable.
I have a long history of struggling with my past and certain life experiences which I always felt shaped my future. Now I'm wondering if it did. This lesson has told me that it doesn't matter if past experiences did or not. When I think about that, I feel so light.
Tonight I had a long talk with my son who is also struggling. He is not open to these teachings and I allowed his problems to become mine. The key here is that following the conversation I was able to recognize it. Now if I could recognize it before I open my big mouth and talk like a Mom, that is the ticket.

Taylor said...

Sweet sharing, Jake. Love your conclusion: "The same Self inside of me appreciated performing the service as much as my neighbors appreciated receiving it. I vividly saw how much we all share in common. From an expanded perspective, my contribution wasn’t towards any one person but towards the Self that exists in all of us. That's why helping others feels so good."

I always enjoy your enthusiasm for the lessons, Karen Jo.

And, Jean, love your recipe (for success). cat optional ;-)

If you're like me and enjoy reviews or previews from the lessons, then here is a gem from my current lesson (vol 2.29):
"If we have no conscious intent and make no effort to apply our God-given willpower to return the attention to our conscious intent, we are a walking, talking bundle of samskaras; we are not even present."

grateful for the Grace to be participating in the Course,

D. R. Butler said...

Taylor, you say you've having a hard time posting in the blog comments, but you actually ended up posting the same comment 9 times.

Jake Birdsong said...

We talk a lot about quieting the noise of the mind. Our strong identification with our thoughts is the root of all of our melodramas.

It has been said that our responsibility is not to somehow go BEYOND the mind or act like we don’t have a mind – we need it to fufill our karma. I may have just answered my question, but could you expand on the role of the mind in spiritual growth and development… What role does the mind play in helping us realize our true Self?


D. R. Butler said...

Jake, I am also answering emails you've written privately. The best answers come when the question is asked in the blog comments, for then the exchange benefits all of us.

Who is 'us?' If you are one, you already know. If you aren't, it cannot be explained.

The questions you ask are explored thoroughly in the first two years of the Course, and you are still in the first year, so be patient.

Read your question above and note your use of 'our,' 'I' and 'we'--'...our strong identification...we don't have a mind...we need it...' Contemplate exactly who you are talking about.

'Who' has identification? 'Who' doesn't have a mind?' 'Who' needs one? You are injecting an imaginary character whom you take to be yourself. There is no one to 'have' a mind; there is only the egotistical identification with thoughts. There is no one to have an ego; there is the ego which identifies with the body, mind, and emotions, and considers itself to be a particular person. When you fully understand this, you will understand your own question on a much subtler level.

'What role does the mind play in helping us realize our true Self?'

In short, we need the understanding that mind is creative in nature, and mind-in-motion, or thought, creates situations and conditions in accordance to its own nature. For example, thoughts of joy lead to joy, and thoughts of sadness lead to sadness. And so on.

Once we understand that the mind is creative, and that thoughts are actual psychic forces that affect us and have their effects in our life, then we understand the incredible importance of controlling what we think, so as to think only thoughts of a positive and productive nature. This is the key to mastery to this physical world and the land of karma, but of course it takes more than merely understanding this with the mind; it takes actual practice and participation in our own life. This is why we have a Course.

Ultimately, the Self exists in fullness between each and every two
thoughts. The contracted form of the Self is the mind, so thoughts are merely the bubbling up of Consciousness. It is when we are not thinking, and the mind is not in motion, that we experience the pure Awareness of the Self.

The mind can help in this process by thinking thoughts that lead toward the realization of the Self, and by ceasing to think thoughts that lead us into egotistical melodramas having to do with the objective world of other people, or objective humanity.

It takes no time to be realized. That which ever will be realized is already realized. That which is not already realized is only a figment of our imagination.

D. R. Butler said...

As I was reviewing the comments above to see if there was anything I hadn't responded to, I found another one written by Jake on September 30, in which he asked why it feels so good to help others, and keeps up the yard of his elderly neighbors and notices that it feels as good to him as it does to them.

Jake, we would be overjoyed if some younger person came and cleaned up and shaped our yards, for we are no longer able to keep up on our own. I can just imagine the joy and appreciation the elderly sisters must feel when you do that for them.

This is the great secret of the universe. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." This is the secret to contentment, and also has the added benefit of creating only pleasant karma from here on out. It's when we do unto others what we wouldn't want done to ourselves that we create unpleasant karma.

The primary principle here, though, is that it is better to give than to receive. Service is such an essential element in the enjoyment of life. For one thing, service is the soul of money. When we serve others, we are magically compensated in ways we might never have expected.

In this darkest of ages (Kali Yuga) there are corrupt means of acquiring money, and they are often powerful forces in this world. Although this may lead to riches and worldly power, it can never lead to contentment. Contentment comes only through service.

Service is the key to contentment. This blog, and answering your questions, is my service, offered with no compensation necessary. I maintain a Facebook page for satsang (meeting together as a means of spiritual unfoldment) as a service. Of course I enjoy these things also; by serving I serve myself, yet it brings me great contentment that these offerings bring something helpful into the lives of others.

Of course, those who participate in the Course, which is the full presentation of the principles of Truth, do compensate us so that we have enough to cover living expenses, as well as to help send my daughter Sara through college. Many appreciate that particular form of service so much that they send us much more than we ask for. In this way we are able to offer some scholarships for those with strict financial limitations, as well as some other things that contribute to creating a better course for everyone's benefit.

Any truly content person will tell you that it is their service to others that brings them the most contentment; and that whatever financial rewards come their way as a result, while practically useful, are not the main thing.

Vandita said...

How do I know the difference between a samskara and a normal response to a situation? I keep getting contradictory messages from a person that I love, and each message absolutely changes my past, present and future with regards to this individual. This unsettles me so much. Is my feeling off a samskara? Or is it a normal response to that craziness? How to know if I need to work on myself on this subject...? Thank you for your answer!

Mayuri said...

My heart is deeply touched by reading the comments here. I feel as though I have been sitting around a warm fireplace with my dearest friends in the world. The love and sense of peace and contentment is epic. How do we thank each other for all that we so lovingly give with open hearts? May we keep our hearts open, may we practice the teachings that D.R. generously shares with us. May we all snuggle up with a lesson, and perhaps a kitty or a doggie... : ) or what ever we love, and rest in the company of truth.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ram and All,
I read the Blog and Comments and I feel connected to each of you. I want to hug each of you and fulfill all of your needs and dreams. How can I share how radiant and sweet you all are. To actually share with others who yearn for 'God' the 'Self' the 'One' . . . what great fortune! Ram, I would be delighted to cut your lawn etc, but it seems mine needs cut as well. Ram and Kay please know how grateful I am for the treasures you have guided me to! Namaste! . . . now to prove I am no robot!

Anonymous said...

Dear Ram,
The exercise for these two weeks has been to “practice seeing God in everything. See everything as the play of Consciousness. There is nothing that is not God. Everything is His play. See everything as God’s play.” So I am sharing a little morning poem that came about from this:

Deep inner feeling

of Gratitude for this

moment of dogs lying quietly

a raven chuckling outside

the streaming sun in the east window

A blue cup filled with fragrant warmth

spice and cream, the hum of the fridge

Quiet of the neighborhood after the school bell

Garbage truck in the distance, busy lifting

Willow tree flutters, loosening twirls of

Shadows on the neighbor’s house

A thought that quiets into a

pool of eternity

So, that is it, doesn’t have a name yet, but tat tvam asi, I AM THAT is all around the page it came from. I guess that must be the name. I also had a question about the Doctrine of Recognition from p.2 of the lessonV2, 13, but just now as I read it over, I realize you were quoting there From it! That wasn’t clear to me before, but okay, I see. Which tells me again, that every bit of time spent with the lessons will reveal just that much more--another doorway, another window opened, a candle lit, a key turned, a delight shimmers-aha!
Thank you for this dear Ram.
with much love, Kathryn Wade

Anusuya said...

I like to come to the blog every few days and catch up on the comments, and give myself some time to digest them. D.R. - Your comments to Jake offer a lot to contemplate. So much offered in so little space here on the blog. This is a great opportunity when we can articulate our questions. Loving my lessons so much too. This new volume is the the best ever!

kirsty said...

Some questions are very difficult to put into words.
In my present lesson you speak of the demise of the karmic body. There is also a sample of your Teacher's writing. He goes through the stages from ante mortem and post mortem.

First question. Since this would take some time what happens when a body is suddenly burned up or destroyed in some way? Some traditions wait a few days after death before cremation. Is this a benefit?

Your Teacher explains how a soul can be detained in the plane of desire, encircling the earth.

The next question is to ask whether this is where spirits reside that seem to visit some people still in their karmic phase? Or do they come from the next level, where The Real Man has traveled to devachan?

A man I know receives guidance from spirits, he says, though there is a lot of interpretation that goes into what he receives.I am having a hard time with this, wondering if he is simply tuning in to the greater Mind and his own conscience, or actually being nudged by spirits from another world?

If this makes no sense to you..feel free to ignore it.To take or toss, right?

Anonymous said...

Questions! How I love to ask them. Strange how they are all gone!
I wake knowing that it is my choice - I can delve into the elightened moment now, OR I can wander into the deluded web of past anxiety and future worry.
I walk into a dark room and you have shown me how to find the light switch. Thank you Ram!
Love, Kaunteya

Michael said...

Contentment comes only through service. I have been taking refuge in contentment and gratitude, trying to bring my attention back to it whenever I see it leaning toward trains of thought that doesn't feel good. I understand that if I persist in this simple practice, I will get all the guidance I need, and will find it easy and natural to offer my service whenever and wherever it is needed, without resentment.

Anonymous said...

I am intrigued by your mention of Invisible Beings, and Enlightened Teachers who work behind the scenes. To them, and you, I extend my gratitude and an openness as they/you best see fit. I feel deep changes, yet suspect that is but a drop. May I be open to All!
Love, Kaunteya

Mayuri said...

This quote from my current lesson came to mind in response to what was posted here about fear. D.R. says: "Many people have a problem with fear. Fear arises when there seems to be two or more powers. It is primarily the fear of an external power, as though something out there, or another person can be the cause of our own experience.

The Upanishads say, When you see another, fear arises.

We over come fear with the firm realization that we are the one and only cause of our own experience, from one moment to the next. No external power, or other person, can possibly cause us to experience anything. We must be willing to assume responsibility for creating all our own experiences. "

Kevin McPheeters said...

I’ve been going through a bit of a rough patch in the last couple of weeks, and it seems to have culminated in its inevitable crescendo in the last few hours - so that's a good thing.

Uncomfortable as it has been, the process re-ignited a longing within me to get back to a simpler time - back to a time when the "Pause" was still pregnant, and not just a Void (to twist a recent quote from a friend).

Ram’s on-line Course has been my number one, never fail refuge, for when the world gets strange, and when my very own thinking or ‘mind” seem to start to working against me and all my best intentions and efforts to live a happy life seem to falter.

Leaning what the mind actually is, and how to live in greater harmony with it – is one of the indispensible teachings of the Course - and learning how to direct that Creative Power of mind in a more effective and positive direction, has been my constant salvation as these current times seem to be speeding up and get trickier and trickier to negotiate.

So I came back to this Blog this morning, which is were I was able to first reconnect with Ram, and revitalize my connection to what he offers and what I felt so powerfully back when I first discovered Ram as a Writer and Teacher over fifteen years ago.

There is a lot of power in this place - this Blog. Specifically and purely because it is where Ram answers direct and specific questions from individuals even those that do not participate in the Course - and the value of that is indeterminable in my opinion.

I think it can sometimes be easy to forget that while Ram may often appear to be just good ol’ easy going Ram - he is also an open channel to a great and powerful line of Teachers that flow through him with conventional and practical wisdom and humor. These Great Teachers have clearly blessed Ram and granted permissions to allow Their Will and Wisdom to be passed on through him in his own sweet and a often hilarious way. The power and purity of that wisdom is unquestionable to anyone that is clear enough to see the Truth, or that has a sincere longing to wake up.

We in this fortunate group that have found Ram here through this blog, and who have taken advantage of what he offers by posting here in the comments section may 'know' that, but I for one feel like I need to re-awaken to that fact *now* in this moment. Not to separate Ram out, or make him special (though He is) - but to recognize what is given and join the best of me, and what I can actually offer to that Universal and noble effort.

Thank you Ram! And I especially thank all of you that have asked the very questions I have longed to ask and received answers that have made my won days lighter and have made my connection that that which I seek flow that much quicker.
with Love always in all ways-

D. R. Butler said...

Vandita asked: 'How do I know the difference between a samskara and a normal response to a situation?'

Vandita, a true response always feels good. The samskara doesn't quite feel right; there's some tightness somewhere.

You know I always say to respond instead of react. When we automatically react, we are always acting from samskaras, as we have been conditioned subconsciously. This is especially true if an unpleasant or contracting feeling comes up an an integral part of the samskara.

When we consciously respond, we respond in a way we presently know is the best way to respond to restore or maintain harmony. We don't react based on the past samskara, the past subconscious impression. We do what is absolutely best, and we feel totally good about it; there is a pleasant and uplifting feeling about it.

There is a vast difference between a samskara and a conscious response. One feels bad and the other feels good. It is very simple. It is simply a matter of being aware of present reality.

D. R. Butler said...

Kirsty asked: 'First question. Since this would take some time what happens when a body is suddenly burned up or destroyed in some way? Some traditions wait a few days after death before cremation. Is this a benefit?

'The next question is to ask whether this is where spirits reside that seem to visit some people still in their karmic phase?'

Kirsty, it is best to wait three days before cremation. That is about how long it takes for all the work in the body to be completed and for the soul to totally depart.

Spirits from the subtle world visit us all the time. Problem is, we take it to be our imagination and dismiss it as meaningless.

Do we watch over our dogs and cats, do we protect them from danger and make sure their needs are met. Sure we do, and many of us even more than that.

If we have such love for our pets, imagine how much love someone in the subtle world loves us to watch over us. We are often silently spoken to. But we don't always listen.

Spirits from various lokas or astral planes can visit here, but not unless we invite their presence. Subtle beings don't invade our privacy; they're not 'peeping toms.' Yet they are instantly here if we call on them. We have to initiate contact and issue an invitation.

We can always be aware of the invisible ones around us. If we assume they don't exist, then at least later we will learn the truth. Maintaining an awareness of subtle communications helps us to tune into them. It's sometimes like tuning into the radio station just right so that it sounds good.

We go into this in the lessons much deeper than we can here. It is important to be totally ready and prepared for the final moment, which exists ahead at some mysterious time.

kirsty said...

Thank you, Ram, for answering my questions.

Of course other questions arise. The idea of initiating contact with surrounding spirits seems most attractive but are they always benevolent? Are they people I have known? Possibly caution is advisable?

Sounds kinda scary, to tell the truth..though there is surely a fascinating, helpful and beneficial aspect. Also sheer curiosity.I look forward to learning more...

Ghayas said...

I feel like asking a question, but I don't know what to ask, so I'm just sticking out the neck of my ego again for another chop (the one of two months ago was very helpful). So please, Ram, go ahead.
Love, Ghayas

Debbra said...

Hello fellow travelers. Kathryn, I just read your most mind-stopping beautiful poem, which you perfectly entitled "Tat Tvam Asi" (I Am That). Reading the words imparts the experience, puts me right there in that present moment, "..a thought that quiets into a pool of eternity" Thank you for sharing the fruits of your practice.

Kirsty, I like the questions you asked about the subtle realms and beings..and Ram's response. This understanding is something I have noticed evolving over the past year plus of participation in the Course. When I began, my awareness of subtle life was very limited. In opening up to the lessons, vibrating along those frequencies for some time, somehow there is an awakening to that reality, which is right here, and was here all along.

The most important step for me has been that as this awareness of the subtle develops, the fear of death, and what is to come when this body and cycle of karma is finished, is dissolving, and is replaced by a knowing that nothing really begins or ends..or happens at all. As Ram said above,

"Maintaining an awareness of subtle communications helps us to tune into them. It's sometimes like tuning into the radio station just right so that it sounds good.

We go into this in the lessons much deeper than we can here. It is important to be totally ready and prepared for the final moment, which exists ahead at some mysterious time."

More and more I feel this is what the Course is giving us. The means to live here now, in this Present Moment, to the fullest.. and the freedom to exit gracefully when that time comes.

Shasta Connect said...

DR and Kay, loved this month's post ... so honest and full of just plain Truth. You are writing like never before - or it is that I am hearing and feeling you as never before? Not sure and don't care, just content that I am present enough to be here sharing your journey.

You said, " It is challenging to put into words an experience that the mind will have trouble understanding anyway, no matter how clearly presented." That pretty much sums up my participation in this course. Some days I cannot explain it to others - or even myself. Yet, I can always feel "it" when I tune it to that oh-so subtle world, which - thanks to your course - is being more visible to me every day.

You work has opened so many doors for me. I am sending you gratitude and compassion for sharing your journey and heart with me - so openly and so honestly.

In the 15 or so years of reading your courses, consistently I find a way to tame my mind that i have not found anywhere else. Truly, my mind is no longer an obstacle that I cannot see but a challenge to travel deeper into my heart ... and the journey is exquisite.

Brother, you rock my world.

Love and Blessings, Steu

D. R. Butler said...

Oh Ghayas, you're so needy. Do you always go around begging for attention?

Leela said...

Hi Sweet Ones,

D.R., I just Loved, "As long as you are trying to attain something that you don't already have, that very effort will be your primary obstacle." I LOVE This!!!!

I have this little question that has been buzzing in my ear (Melissa Loved the Bee image/story!!). My question has to do with the practice of replacing negative with more positive thoughts/emotions and what one of my recent lessons, has explained as allowing an emotion to finish. My question is when do you actively replace and when do you allow for something to finish? What is the difference? In my experience, the allowing for something to finish seems to ushering in a level of acceptance that was not previously there. But in recent, it feels that I am still calling into my experience that which is unwanted by revisiting the story over and over again. It feels like I am, almost, addicted to the story and perception of myself and circumstance. So much so that I am not allowing for the change that Answers. I feel I keep coming up against the same wall within myself and am not sure which approach is needed. Perhaps I just have to assume that I "already have" it!

Thank you! I Love you and all that you do, Endlessly!


Ghayas said...

Ram, that sounds strangely familiar. My mom used to tell me the same thing during my whole childhood and beyond. She was forty when I was born and in the midst of her menopause when I wanted attention. So I was barking up the wrong tree. This is maybe the origin of this samskara that you just masterfully pointed to.
Thank You,

D. R. Butler said...

Leela asked, 'My question is when do you actively replace and when do you allow for something to finish?'

Leela, I love when you participate in the dialogue. Your questions are always clear and offer opportunities for extraordinary exploration. And, really, how many people have I known since they were born? It is very auspicious. You have always been family.

To answer your question, they are both the same. They both happen simultaneously. Except for wording it in different ways, there is no difference between the two.

D. R. Butler said...

Ghayas, I love your openness, and your complete willingness to take whatever is said in a positive way, and seeing what can be learned from it. It is a rare and valued quality.

You remind me of a swami I knew around a Guru, and it was said that the swami was addicted to the Guru's verbal abuse, and that he would feel dejected and depressed if the Guru didn't verbally abuse him during any particular day. I witnessed one of these abuse/attacks myself, and on one level it was extremely intense and on another level it simultaneously felt very funny. (Lots of Shakti either way.)

I witnessed a roommate of mine in the ashram in the 70's to be verbally abused by the Guru, and my roommate actually responded, 'More, Baba, more!'
The Guru, of course would simply glare and walk away.

The Guru loves each person unconditionally, yet criticism and 'verbal abuse' in the form of seemingly angry outbursts are directed towards samskaras (subconscious tendencies) or certain rigidities in the ego, to help 'burn' them out of us to aid us in our path to Freedom.

Some people have the karma to have a physical Guru, and others never come close to one. Yet both types can participate in sadhana equally well, depending on how well we can apply the principles toward any unexpected situation in any given moment.

Debbra said...

Great light bulb moment, Ram, and great question Leela. My ears really perked up on that one, because this has been my experience. Having to witness the emotional wave until the moment when you can let it go. It doesn't just go away even though you have seen it for what it is. It has a life span, and this is so helpful to know, not having come to this lesson in the Course yet.

The active replacing, and the allowing to finish: "They happen simultaneously". Of course. And also nicely eliminates the need for all the trying. :)
Thank you, and love to all.

Jim said...

Earlier in the month there was discussion about the good feeling that comes from helping others. In that vein, here's a quote I found today that really speaks to me.

"You will find that the mere resolve not to be useless, and the honest desire to help other people, will, in the quickest and most delicate ways, improve yourself."
-- John Ruskin

Leela said...

Thank you So much D.R.! We are family, for sure! I was thinking about that just the other day!! I feel So much Love and Appreciation for the role you have played, and continue to play, in my life! I just Love you! So fortunate!

I am still digesting your wonderful answer, but it has already clarified so much of my relationship with the replacing practice/technique. I have been, unknowingly, feeling that by replacing something, I am resisting its existence. To know that while I am replacing, I am also Allowing, whatever it is to finish, well thats priceless. I feel so much easy acceptance in allowing something to finish. I feel the Power of the replacing practice in a new way. Thank you, so much!!!

I just wanted to add that I really enjoyed your back and forth with Ghayas! I love his willingness to stick out the neck of his ego and his willingness to openly digest and grow from the exchanges. Beautiful!

Marisa said...

Hi Ram and All! My mind has a question that I would like an answer to although my heart somehow seems to understand it already. In my current lesson the subject of how the feelings of euphoria and dysphoria are polar opposites and the experience of one necessitates the experience of the other as nature balances all things. It says that we must move on beyond the realm of polarities. In a previous lesson - and one that I have found much comfort and growth in - we are taught to practice "feeling" contentment and gratitude. My question is whether there are polar opposites of these and if one must necessarily experience them? On the surface it seems that there must be opposites to every "feeling" or "awareness."

As usual, the answer will probably be very obvious just as soon as I post this! Thanks

Michael said...

I have wondered at times about where things are going to end up in the world with all the agendas going on with various people who have power and influence. I have wondered how we should understand our roles - does Ram has any ideas of the future world that indicates things can be more hopeful than might otherwise be apparent based on the apparent directions things are going towards? Can cumulative spiritual awareness bring purification to the baser, self=serving influences? It seems they've always been part of history and kali yuga maya, but never in such global level.

Michael said...

When I've done sanskrit hymns petitioning guidance for a positive perspective when things get tough, I have the impartation that the future is bright. So in light of this, and the apparent entropy of things in the world, I guess the question is whether the practices and visualization can still lead to circumstances that are above par amidst the chaos of the world movie. I know the inner state is the main focus.