Thursday, December 6, 2012

Holiday Self-Interview

        Q:  So we’re doing yet another interview.  Why?

A:  Mostly just curious about what kind of new questions you’ll come up with.

Q:  How is the Course coming along, and how are you doing in relationship to the Course these days?

A:  The unfoldment of the Course of Training via email has surpassed anything I might have thought or felt about it when we first got started.  Something very powerful comes through, and I am amazed at the impact it has on me, as it was quite unexpected.  Something in me asks, ‘Where did that come from?’  Of course, the question isn’t as mystifying as it was at the beginning.  I understand the process more now than in the beginning. 

The Course is a great divine Gift, and works according to grace, although this usually takes a long time to truly understand.  The true understanding comes when we actually experience the Truth of what is happening.

Miracles do happen.  Mostly it’s a matter of giving something the space to be and the possibility to happen.

Q:  What do you mean by ‘miracles?’

A:  The occurrence of something unexpectedly transformative.  Something extraordinary, beyond the scope of what most consider the ordinary, the ‘normal,’ and which is usually a limitation or an inhibition.  The world, and our life, is not exactly as it appears to be.  Something even more powerful is going on behind the scenes, and the best way to know what that is, is to understand that the physical realm is only a temporary reflection of the subtle world within. 

The inner, subjective realm is the source of Power, and the consciousness of inner power enables you to access and apply it for beneficial results, for others as well as yourself.  Just don’t identify with the power, or the ego will pull you and your new-found power into an exquisite melodrama.  This meets all the requirements for an egotistical melodrama:  happening in ‘time,’ described in words, involving other people, and usually regarding the past and sometimes the future, but rarely connected in any way to the present moment.

Once we recognize and experience the inner Reality on a consistent basis, we go beyond the temporary melodrama and whatever importance or significance we had assigned to it.  It was simply the recurrence of an old subconscious pattern.

Q:  Anything new and exciting happening in your life?

A:  Yes!  We've begun monthly online workshops.  This way we can meet in real time, with human voices and faces.  The next online workshop is December 16.  To learn more about these, and me in general, go here:

Q:  What do you think is the most important aspect of the spiritual path?

A:  Truly speaking, the spiritual path is a myth.  It is not something that actually exists, yet we create some image or feeling regarding it within ourselves.  Each individual has a whole different idea of what a ‘spiritual path’ is, and one person’s spiritual path might be another person’s hedonism.

In the context that the spiritual path is a process we are each on whether we are conscious of it or not, the most important aspect is to realize that the end goal will be to arrive at where we started from once we consciously defined ourselves to be on a ‘spiritual path.’ 

When we arrive where we started from, we realize that everything we sought was all within us all the time, from the very beginning of memory.  There has been no time that we have not been looked after, guided, and cared for.  That which we seek is playing the game of seeking, knowing that in the end It will only find Itself.

We had to go through the process of sadhana, or some level of spiritual practices, to realize that all along we were, deep inside, what we were always looking for, what we had been yearning for a long time, often wondering if it actually existed.

Q:  So people who practice their yoga and/or meditation, who believe in the underlying unity of all things, and who practice the principles that lead toward spiritual development and expansion, even perhaps the principles outlined in your own course, are never going to get anywhere except where they started off from?  What’s the payoff?  What the point in participating in such a process?  It seems from what you say that it all eventually leads nowhere.

A:  Your question indicates some inherent misunderstanding and perhaps even some mistrust.  The payoff is everything; it is the sense of having and doing and being the greatest you can attain in this lifetime.  It is also doing what you do as though the effects of what you do actually matter, while knowing within yourself that nothing matters at all.  Truly, if it is all the same, if only One exists, then what could matter?

We do what we do out of the pure joy of doing it.  We do what we love, and we love what we do—from one moment to the next.  In fact, love is our primary feeling, our primary inner sensation.  The more we understand the Truth of the Self, the Truth of Being, the more we live in love.  If love is absent, we are to some degree temporarily delusional.  Truth cannot be recognized or experienced when there is no love.

Of course, there is always love; it is never truly absent, for it holds the universe together.  What is lacking is our awareness of love, or we fail to focus our attention on love. 

Love never goes anywhere.  It is more who we truly are than any other identity, and than any way in which we can describe ourselves in words.  Descriptions are limiting, and have the power to create limitations where they never otherwise exist.

Love is misunderstood by most people.  We explore this quite extensively in the Course—all the varieties of love, and the true unconditional love.  The more aware we become, the more we realize the reality of Love as our own Self.  During the time we are unaware, and there is a knot in the heart, love seems long lost and impossible to regain or experience anew ever again. 

You can see that the realization of the reality of Love is quite a major occurrence.  In fact, compared to anything else, it is everything.

So the payoff is that we open the heart and live in love.  Nothing can improve or enhance this experience; nothing can add to it.  Living in love we see the entire world as a play of Consciousness, and our personal life as our own karmic movie.  When we can relax and enjoy the movie as it is, we are free.

Q:  Why did you decide to do a self-interview in December, the holiday month?

A:  You wanted to do it, so I agreed.

Q:  I’m fairly certain that it was your idea.

A:  Be clear about this, this is your thing.  I just agreed to answer your questions.

Q:  Okay, do you have anything to say about the upcoming holidays?

A:  Happy Holidays everyone!  Enjoy them to the fullest.

I feel that every day can be a holiday.  We can always celebrate the day, this day of our life, when we are actually alive.  What is greater than to honor our moment of actual existence?

Besides, I’ve spent time in India, and they have so many saints and gods that there is always something to celebrate.  I never knew a country could have so many holidays.  But I learned to revel in them, as they always served bandharas (big feasts) with really yummy food.

May this be the happiest holiday season of your life—to each blessed being who reads these humble words.

Q:  How did you end up in India?

A:  How could someone with my background not end up in India?  I was a teenage yogi.  The Eastern scriptures and texts were the only ones that made sense to me, and I had a double major in English Literature and Philosophy, so I had checked out quite a few ways of seeing and understanding things.  Of course I wanted to visit India, the land in which yoga was born.  I wanted to meet real Masters, to hang out with evolved Beings.

Q:  And did you?

A:  Oh yeah.  Did I ever.  I would not be the same today if I had never met them.

Q:  So is there something outside us, separate from us, that we must get from another?

A:  Absolutely not.  The greatest Teacher, the truest Guru, points us toward our own inner Self.  Even the Christ said, “The kingdom of God is within you.”  The greatest Teacher tells us to turn within, to love and worship our own inner Self. 

If a teacher tries to convince us to follow him, or to be devoted to him, then beware of such a one, for he is truly the ‘wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing.’  If he wants something from you, he has nothing authentic to offer you.  Only a Teacher who needs nothing whatsoever from you can give you anything of value.

This doesn’t mean it will be ‘free.’  To receive anything of true value, it must be paid for.  People don’t understand this, especially Westerners.  In India, you’d never even approach a great one without an offering.  To the Eastern mind, the offering makes it possible to receive blessings.  It is a universal law—when we give we open up to receive.  If we are too tight to give, we are also too tight to receive.

This principle is especially obvious during holidays such as Christmas, when people give freely, expecting nothing in return, and this giving makes them happy.  They feel good about themselves simply because they offered someone a gift.  A true joy arises from this.  During this season the principle at work becomes more evident than usual.  We simply need to learn that we don’t have to depend on a holiday to have the opportunity to give.  We can live this way, and it is a truly fulfilling way of life.
 Q:  Any final words to those who might read this?  Any principle in particular you wish to make a point of?

A:  The last subject was a good one—the one regarding offering.  Offering of ourselves, offering what we have, is a way of truly surrendering to the universal flow, for when we give we open up the gates to receive.

Be mindful of Service.  We come to this world to realize the Truth of the indwelling yet all-pervasive Self, and also to serve those around us, those whom we naturally come in contact with in the course of our life.  If we live for ourselves alone, we will never be fulfilled; we will remain disappointed and frustrated and perhaps even cranky. 

If we do what we can to add to the happiness of others, or to make their lives just a little bit easier or more rewarding, the subsequent joy we experience within ourselves might be surprising at first until we get used to it.  If we live a life of service, then we find that we always have everything we need.  It is a very mysterious principle, yet it is invariable and unfailing.

Don’t think of love as an occasional romantic occurrence.  See it as a way of life.

        Thank you for visiting with us here at the blog.  In the comments to follow we can meet, mingle, and blend.  Always love your own Self, and always see that same Self in all others.  In this way you live in the vision of the Truth.

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




Ghayas said...

Thank You very much D.R. May you as well experience the happiest holiday season in your life.

kirsty said...

On my first reading of this 'Self-interview', it is the joy that strikes me most strongly. The sheer joy of taking this trip even with the hiccups that personal karma often presents. Below the stresses and strains of life, below the pressures and expectations that frequently come with the Holiday Season, there runs this steady current of extreme Joy and Love...and, on this 'spiritual' trip we can learn to tap into it. Gads! Am I ever glad I came along!!!

Anonymous said...

My life has expanded in leaps and jumps since joining the course a little over a year ago. oh, I Love reading every word you write. Always make me smile, -with your lightheartedness and authenticity. You warm my heart and soul. What a holiday gift. Thank you, Ram! And warmest loved filled holiday wishes to you, and yours!


Lance said...

Speaking of miracles happening, the other day I had a very interesting experience of spontaneously applying the principles of being present. My wife and I went for a walk. While we were walking she said you seem a bit tense. I said I am. I have to make a couple of calls today that involved procuring most of my winter income. She made a comment about how nothing matters, and I said of course. However, there is a practical side of life. We are human with minds that are effected by stuff. The discussion got more contracted on my part. I have a lot of imagined pressures and responsibility involving work, and I got very upset with her responses. This lasted for a few minutes. As we were walking, she suddenly grabbed my arm and said, let's try this. She started skipping, holding onto my arm going La la la la..... la la la. I was watching this contracted space I was in, but I started skipping with her anyway, while still upset...watching this darkness. Suddenly this hilarity just broke out of me. The absurdity was just too much. I couldn't stop laughing. The humor came up from the space of the observer. I've been in a good space ever since. Thanks Deb, Love You.

Debbra said...

Thank you Ram for the amazing, funny and touching post. Was sitting here by myself, laughing out loud as I read:

"Q: Why did you decide to do a self-interview in December, the holiday month?

A: You wanted to do it, so I agreed."

Ha ha! and at the same time how better to underscore that there is just this One, watching everything and playing all the parts! :) This Blog entry is truly a special one. So many profound teachings throughout. Think I'll print it this time, to have handy to re-read and share.

I look forward to the December 16th workshop! Happiest of holidays to you Ram and Kay, and to every beautiful Heart in which we all rest as One.

Tom Mc said...

I am pleased to be taking your course. It has given me many insights and allowed me to start discovering who I really am, as well as other great mysteries. Perhaps the most profound change has been my sense of empowerment. I no longer see myself as hapless and drifting along. It is so refreshing to have such powerful lessons offered in such a humorous and clear way. While to philosophy behind it all is sublime, my mind doesn't have to struggle with fancy language and dry words. In fact the words are anything BUT dry- they feel full of postitive and uplifting energy. I would encourage anyone to do as I did and request the first 2 lessons, which are free. See if it touches you.

Scott Marmorstein said...

I guess you're just like me, Ram. Or perhaps it's the other way around. There are so many people inside this mind to talk with, so many interviews could go on and on. All different fractal fragments of the one Self we all share simultaneously.

I really enjoyed reading your self-Self interview. Very amusing and astute as ever.

D. R. Butler said...

Perhaps some will be disappointed that I do not seem sufficiently threatened by what's supposed to happen to the world around December 21, coming up very soon.

I agree that major energetic and vibrational changes are coming to our planet, but this has already begun. If you haven't noticed, you must not have been paying attention to what is going on in people's lives. Even the weather is changing.

I also feel this will be an elevation or upgrading of how the world is, energetically speaking. People who are working to expand consciousness and awareness will find the new energies to their liking, for what is happening is an expansion, an elevation.

Most people are going through something relatively intense right now. No one has written to say that life is humdrum. If we look and see what is already happening, and has been happening for a few years now, we will get some idea of what is coming in the future.

Unfortunately there will be more floods, hurricanes, tornadoes,drought, earthquakes, and all such things before it is over. Many people have had their lives uprooted already, and this will happen to many more in the time ahead.

Even so, those who are doing inner work, who are open and ready for the Truth, and who aspire to live in the present moment will find this a fertile time for self-development and transformation. This is exactly why many of us are here.

kirsty said...

I have an odd question bugging me. If it is inappropriate for this column, please feel free to edit or delete it.

What happens when the earthworm, trout or deep sea squid 'dies'? Since it is part of Infinite Life, does the Real Worm, free from the earth-plane migrate through astral realms to reside in an appropriate loka?

Does the trout, probably not having passions and desires ( or does it, hunger may count? )avoid kamarupa?

These animals seem so 'in the moment' all the time that it is fun to imagine them simply slipping into Infinite Life seamlessly and easily.What a nice thought!

D. R. Butler said...

Kirsty, I find it hard to believe that anyone could think up that question. Never been asked what happens to a deep sea squid when it dies before.

All these creatures have the same life force in them that we have within ouselves. However, they have no manas (conscious mind) or ahamkara (ego) but are only composed of the lower tattvas. Our subtle body which reincarnates in one physical body after another, each taking up in conscious development where the last left off, remains part of us when we leave this world. The subtle body is composed of mind, ego, intellect (buddhi) and memory (chitta), and none of these are in the lower animals.

All of which is a convoluted way of saying I haven't any idea of what happens to such creatures when they depart from earthly bodies, but it is very different from what we experience, because of all that is contained in our subtle bodies that they are lacking.

kirsty said...

Well, I did think up the has been bugging me.

I can appreciate that these animals, and even gulls and mosquitoes have no ego or conscious mind and maybe no intellect...but surely memory is there? And some power of reasoning? I think now of dogs, cats, crows and elephants. We've all seen them reason and remember, haven't we?

Nevertheless...I like the idea of them slipping over to be underfoot and overhead in subtle realms. Wouldn't that be fun?

Thank you for responding and I look forward to the Workshops that you are arranging for us. After these, please rest on your laurels and have a splendid Holiday.

Love, Kirsty

Susan B. said...

Hi Ram,
I am a "post graduate" from courses written by you in the past and did, indeed, find them life transforming. My understanding that this transformation was because the actual source of the courses were a result of you following your Guru's instructions to write the course, correct? It was the Guru's transforming power. From your current blogs you seem to be saying transformation, permanent change, is likely to happen by committing to and practicing the ideas of The Truth of the Present Moment Course. Is that because you feel that this course is from your inner Divinity? And that this Divinity will transform the reader? Is the premise of the course based on a kind of awakening of the inner Divinity and thus leading to joy and bliss? Or have you let go of the awakening and shaktipat concepts? Happy holidays to you and your family too! Susan B.

D. R. Butler said...

Susan B., I have to admit that is a very strange and unexpected question. You are actually asking about something very subtle. It is not an easy question to answer, simply because of the limitations of words.

The same Shakti and grace present in the old course are even more intensely present in the current course. The old course was perfect for that time, but for this time the current course is much more relevant. The current course, for me, simply takes up where the old one left off, and is exactly what is needed for today.

Why would you think that grace had left my writing? Surely there has been no evidence to anyone that there is any less Shakti now than before.

The course comes from a very high place. This has always been my experience, and apparently the experience of many others as well. It has nothing to do with me personally. It certainly does not come from any 'inner Divinity' of mine that will 'transform the reader.' No, if we are waiting for inner Divinity from me we will have a long wait.

The Course is a culmination of several lineages that I have come across and received the blessings of over the past 50 years. It can't be traced to any particular path, yet it contains the essence of all paths. It offers an experience of the Truth of the present moment in the simplest, clearest, most concise way possible.

You said, '...the premise of the course based on a kind of awakening of the inner Divinity and thus leading to joy and bliss.'

No, this is not the premise of the Course at all. The Truth is that inner Divinity is already awakened. Nothing 'leads' to joy and bliss, for joy and bliss are already present as our own true nature.

The Course is not about getting anything or becoming anything. It is about recognizing the Truth of what already is. The Course focuses on bringing us back to the present moment. When we realize the Truth of the present moment, we realize our own inner greatness. We see that we are perfect and pure just as we are.

'Becoming' something is a complete waste of time. Even if we were to actually 'become' something, it would still be very mediocre. What we already are is much greater than anything we could become in some other time.

Kay said...

These workshops are working in me like wind through a tunnel, clearing out whatever obstacles might get in the way of serving wholeheartedly without identification. Thank you all for that. We waited a long time for workshops to come back, and personally speaking, they are carrying more power to transform than ever before. I'm honored to be part of this incredible time of all our lives, and honored to work with all of you. Exciting days ahead!
Love, Kay

D. R. Butler said...

Speaking of workshops, we are having a FREE Webinar Thursday evening at 9 PM Eastern, 6 PM Pacific. Here is the link for information about it. If you've ever wanted something to invite all your friends, this is the perfect time to introduce to who we are, what we do, and what we're about.

Free Webinar Thursday, December 13, 9 PM Eastern, 6 PM West Coast:

D. R. Butler said...

You are invited to a free Webinar this coming Thursday evening, 9 PM Eastern and 6 PM Pacific.

Our Holiday online Workshop will be for 3 hours, including a nice break, this Sunday, 1:30 PM Eastern and 10:30 AM Pacific.

This link will tell you all you need to know, how to register for either, and you can also find more info about us, what we do, and what we're about:

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

Susan B--

I could relate to your post as my mind went through a bunch of questioning when I found out about the new course a few years ago. I had taken the earlier version like you, anchored in my spiritual path and Teacher, and my mind really wondered if there was a point to a new course for me, I had so many boxes of old lessons on my shelf. And should I spend the money on myself for this? Would it be worth it? etc.

Luckily for me, my friend (with whom I had taken the earlier course) very convincingly told me I would "be happy" if I took the course now offered. I did and I am.

My experience is there is something both so familiar and so new in the energy of this course, it truly feels like Grace, and it really does feel to come from a very high energy as D.R. just wrote. My whole life feels different now.

My (unsolicited) advice is circumvent the mind's questions a bit (I don't think there is any way for my mind to understand it) and just jump in and try it for yourself, even the first free lesson. Feel the energy for yourself, the familiar and new experience of Grace. As my friend told me, you will be happy.

Love, KJ

D. R. Butler said...

These are excerpts from a response to a private message. Some others might find them applicable in one way or another:

If you can't get away from your situation, you know it's your karma, but if you can get away, the karma is over, or at least it changes form. Kay and I can hardly stand living with one person, I can't imagine living with a house full. Of course, Kay and I have a lot of love for each other, but it's still challenging to live with another person.

Mainly, just stay away from negative emotions as much as possible, yours or theirs. Use it as an exercise to see pure Consciousness disguised as all these other people, and find humor in the weird ways Consciousness finds to manifest in. Stay as lighthearted as possible, both when alone and with the others.

Saturn is the planet of restriction, and when I hear someone has a lot of Saturn in their chart I usually find that they are experiencing a lot of restrictions in some form or another. I'd say that about describes your situation perfectly.

Deal with it the best you can as long as it is in your life, and when you can get away and create your own space that you can retire to.

FB said...

Just one of the reasons every word of this blog entry is immeasurably valuable:
The karma I am experiencing now has much physical limitation and challenge (not like winning a lottery or any outer things that may readily bring a smile)...NONETHELESS,when I apply 'miracle' as this blog entry explains 'miracle' is a miracle, a 'boon', a gift...So much can be learned through the physically limiting and challenging karma! Wow, now that brings a smile! Readily!
Eternally grateful,

D. R. Butler said...

This was also a response to another:

A lot of people have that initial impression, that the spiritual path is a passive approach to life.

In the Bhagavad Gita Krishna explains to Arjuna that the secret to liberation is action, not inaction.

Staying in the present requires you to be 'on' more than anything else.

All actions take place in the present moment. Use your creative energy and do great things in your life. You have a good mind; use it well.

It is far better to be dynamic than to be passive. Yet we can only be dynamic in this present moment. We can't be dynamic in any other 'time.'

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your answer concerning my questioning about the past course compared with the present one. First, I will keep reading this one as a previous bloggervencouraged me to do and discuss it with my "study partner". However, I would like to attempt to answer your question," why would you think that Grace had left my writing?" I'm not sure it has because I haven't read it long enough but this course seems different in that you state the inner shakti is already awake and yet our lineage, your Guru & mine, awakened your shakti and mine so it could make true transformation. it's not like I feel like I'm in a special club or something but
it seems like you are leaving initiation out of this course. Is this because initiation from a Master is not so available anymore? Blessings and thank you.
Susan B

D. R. Butler said...

Susan B., when did I state that the inner shakti is already awake? In the course we don't really go into that topic very much at all, except for understanding the essentials

Honestly I do not feel you are qualified to know what communication comes through the writings, because you do not participate in the current course, and the whole experience happens through the process of the course, in the variety of forms it takes for us, from time to time.

I don't think anyone who participates in the course would agree with anything you have said about it. I also don't think any of them would agree with you that initiation is left out of the course.

Initiation from a Master is as available as it ever was, and perhaps even more so. Yet during these times the form that initiation takes is different than it did 20 or 30 years ago.

Thank you for your feedback. I love hearing feedback from people who do not take the course, as it always gives new perspectives for me to explore. Enjoy your evening. Here is it 11:11 PM on 12-12-12.

Anonymous said...

'Miracles do happen. Mostly it’s a matter of giving something the space to be and the possibility to happen.'

Oh... oh... how amazing to REALIZE that a whole life could be lived out of just this one sentence.

Unending GRATITUDE unfolding: Thank You

Susan Bruzas said...

Hi Ram

Thanks for yor response to my questions. I do, by the way take your current course and am now reading lesson 3. Last night I learned my sister escaped the shooting at Clackamus Town Center in Oregon City, Oregon where 10,000 people were Christmas shopping. I was stunned when she told me this and profoundly grateful she had been protected and saddened that people had died. The only thought that got me to sleep is this moment in time has passed. She is okay and I, thank right in this moment she's still in my life. That was the truth of the present moment. So, thank you dear Ram for this wisdom and blessings to you and your family. Susan Bruzas

truthofliving said...

Dear Mr Butler,
First time I visited your blog and am quite impressed with your thought process, especially about 'LOVE'.
Firstly, I too think that the understanding of true LOVE is perhaps totally different from what actually it is. Your statement that Love sustains the integrity of the Universe speaks volumes of this difference. It is also true that the Life force sustains the integrity of the Universe and hence the Life is nothing but Love? The way one loves one's own self too is totally different from our understanding of Love and therefore understanding what is love from loving one's own self is fundamental and essential. Many misinterpret Christ's words " Love your neighbor as thy self" as loving others selflessly. But what He meant, methinks, was that you should first Love yourself and understand what true Love is and then love your neighbor accordingly.

D. R. Butler said...

Welcome, Truthofliving. It's good to have you here. Sounds like we have a very similar understanding of love.

D. R. Butler said...

Someone asked about prayer. My response:

in my view of the world I see 'God' as our own inner Consciousness or Awareness of Being. It is not limited to this body, but is eternal and all-pervasive. The only Creative Power is Mind, both on a cosmic scale and an individual scale, so what we think is what we get. This should not be accepted as dogma, but can easily be proven true by anyone who applies the principle in real life.

Therefore, the only true prayer is not begging, pleading, or supplicating, but affirmation. As we Know it will be, in our heart (with feeling), so shall it be. Through mind we are one with the Creative Energy of the universe.

D. R. Butler said...

See information regarding our upcoming Holiday Workshop, on this Sunday, December 16:

Kathryn Wade said...

In my latest lesson you mention that the etheric or causal body is related to the deep-sleep state. The mind is happy because it has earth, water, air and fire to point to, but the idea of ether, well, it takes something else to experience it, it can’t be seen. I have some kind of “concept” of “it”, I suppose, but words or descriptions, feelings, don’t quite seem to work, still there must be some semblance of consciousness of it because I am conscious/ exist.

You say, “we have to be conscious of it if we are to experience its existence,” so, I’m looking to clarify, to be more conscious of it, to recognize the experience. Is it the etheric state that is experienced when one is having deep healing work done, or say, at the workshop yesterday, if one started to nod into “sleep”? Because you speak of this state as being restorative and rejuvenating, and the workshop certainly was that.
You say “If we focused on the deep-sleep state without actually ‘falling asleep’, we would enjoy a very deep meditation.” How or where does one “focus” on deep-sleep or ether?

Also, the mind keeps getting hung up a bit on the word “causal”---does that mean Cause, as in cause and effect? Is the causal body from residues, perhaps, of cause and effect? or is this a little side-track thing the mind is needing?

All insight and help appreciated and thank you for a fantastic workshop.

Kristopher said...

I've noticed when a samskara or habit comes up again an again I can put my attention to it softly but with focus and simple watch it again and again dissolve. Some habits sustain themselves somehow in spite of the use of this tool.

What are the subtle components of how we consciously participate in the dissolution of any given samskara?

Why do some samskaras persist over years anyway? Are we really the orchestrator of it's dissolution?

Anusuya said...

This is my favorite of the self interviews. Very powerful. Really seems like the course is coming through on a whole new level recently. Have noticed the 3rd Volume of lessons which is currently winding down from "The Art of Flowing" topic seem unlike any that have come through previously, in any incarnation of the course I have experienced.

Also really feel another big shift after participating in the Holiday workshop. Feel much more at peace with where I am in the pressnt moment, although nothing in my outer life has really changed.

Happy Holidays to all! ♥

D. R. Butler said...

Anusuya, it is true, the Course seems to be hitting everyone on a higher level these day, including myself. Volume 3 is definitely new territory we haven't navigated before. Thanks for your beautiful share.

Kristopher, it's not that certain samskaras persist for years, it's that certain samskaras persist over several lifetimes. Most of our major samskaras (subconscious impressions, automatic tendencies) are those we were born with, already in the subtle body. We had to choose parents who would condition us according to the samskaras we came in with. Samskaras, remember, are the seeds of karma.

We don't need to dissolve samskaras. That would be like dissolving the darkness. The only way to get rid of the darkness is to turn on the light. In the same way, the only way to break free from a samskara is to 'replace' it with a preferred response or way to be. This process is explored fully in the lessons.

D. R. Butler said...

Kathryn Wade, you question is above, before Kristopher's. Yours is a very deep and complex question. You are asking about things that we don't really have the words to properly talk about.

Yes, there is a deeper sleep that is a very rejuvenating meditation. Sometimes this happens when we are getting a big blast of energy, or when we are hearing ideas that consistently go beyond the mind.

There is a quote in the Yoga Vasishtha: "He is awake but enjoys the calmness of deep sleep; he is unaffected in the least by pleasure and pain. He is awake in deep sleep, but he is never awake to this world. His wisdom is unclouded by latent tendencies. He appears to be subject to likes, dislikes, and fear, but in fact he is as free as space. He is free from egotism and volition; and his intelligence is unattached whether in action or in inaction."

That quote is not exactly easy reading, although in fact it is actually very simple. Still, we have to contemplate and meditate on each phrase and idea to allow the true meaning to gradually sink in, because it is not something the mind immediately understands.

What does the sage Vasishtha mean by, 'He is awake but enjoys the calmness of deep sleep; he is awake in deep sleep.'

There was a time, almost 30 years ago now, that I was in the ashram in India, and in those days the Guru would sit in the courtyard and it was very informal, so one could just go up and talk to him about something. One day I approached him with this question of being in sleep while awake, for many scriptures speak of the same thing. And he seemed very interested in my question and told me it was very important to understand, and we talked about it for a while.

As he spoke, I observed him very closely, and it was as though he was speaking in his sleep. He is actually in that state of sleep even while awake and speaking to me. The understanding of this is, as he said, essential.

We discuss this whole process at length in the course, but there is just too much subtle stuff to get into in the blog. Thank you for your great question, though.

Jake Birdsong said...


Public speaking, presenting, or performing in any capacity has always been extremely difficult for me. In college, on the first day of each class, I’d skip to the back of the syllabus where the presentations and final projects were likely to be found. If I found a presentation or speech I’d have to give that would involve me standing in front of the class for more than 5 minutes, I’d drop the class and figure an alternative course route for meeting my credit requirements. The same goes for dancing, or playing music, or anything where I’m singled out and expected to perform. I’ve noticed that once the eyes in the room land on me, I feel this tremendous energy that has frequently choked me up and made it difficult for me to carry out the performance (hands shake, voice trembles, lose my thoughts). Even if I know the subject cold, even if I’m presenting to friends or family, as soon as the eyes land on me the intense energy of simply knowing that the focus is on me has been extremely difficult for me to deal with.

Something in my gut is saying “Jake, not only do you have to be able to get through a performance (speech, presentation, etc) but you have to become comfortable with it. I’m not going to tell you why right now but you’re meant to be working/communicating with a lot of people.”

In light of this voice, I’m being coached on this topic, I’ve joined toastmasters, and I plan on signing up for a public speaking course. But why? I don’t have an answer for that simple question. It’s easier to push through a boundary that’s difficult when you know why you’re doing it.

This is the biggest mountain I have to climb in my life (thus far). I’m aware that thinking about it in this way (as a big mountain) only makes it a big mountain. My question is this: why does part of me feel so compelled to overcome this fear? Why can’t I just settle for being someone who avoids the spotlight? I know that I’m free and can decide to do as I wish, but it’s the weirdest feeling being pushed from behind while part of me is forcefully resisting.

I’m not looking for the answer as to what I should do – I know no one can possibly know that but me. Anyone’s thoughts on this are welcome.


rico said...

Jake, most of us feel some (or a lot of) trepidation when it comes to speaking to a large audience. Trust me it doesn't help to know why. The butterflies still appear and the intensity still arises. I've come to realize it's not these sensations that cause problems it's the frightening thoughts that accompany them. The trick is to take your attention off the unpleasant thoughts and focus on that part of you that is aware of the energetic tsunami. Once you direct your attention towards that part of you that is always serenely watching then the rest of it is just background noise. Even the folks that seek out the spotlight get butterflies before they go on. I suspect they too turn their attention within and in so doing tap into the flow from which all creativity arises.

Dave Silverstein said...

Jake, I can only say your question sounds like it could come from me. I too have avoided situations where I am expected to 'perform' in front of others over many years.

I suffered stage fright and literally passed out giving a speech in elementary school. My hands would shake and I just wanted to disappear. What I've learned over these many years is that it's a lot easier being the seer, the one looking out at all the 'others'. Being the seen is inviting the self-conscious ego into play. I think Toastmasters is a good idea and I've been thinking of participating in it myself.

Since I started taking the Course again and doing Sadhana over the many years, I feel a lot more comfortable with myself when I do find myself in 'front' of others. To me it's all about being in harmony with what comes up in me. If speaking or performing in front of others is something you need to experience, then the Universe will provide the 'stage' for you to work it all out. I really admire your courage to face this. You are not alone. I need to contemplate this as well. Thanks Jake.

The Fam said...

Jake, its just that your Bright Light wants to share and shine! So let it! Allow yourSelf/Light to manifest however it does in front of others. Maybe explore what exactly the fear is of. Is it making a mistake, is it failing, is it a fear of being exposed or is it just standing out? Maybe when you figure out what the fear is you can befriend it and play with it!

Place your attention on whatever successes you have, however minor, at first. Loosen the identity with One that has this issue. Tell another story! This whole situation is a helper. By giving you something to have to come into harmony with, in this way, you will be able to offer others this, as evidence and help them do the same on their varying issues! You got this!

With Love,

D. R. Butler said...

Jake, thanks for your very good question, and I also appreciate your openness and honesting in bringing this up here.

About 35 years ago, I was being introduced as a speaker at a yoga ashram. As I was being introduced I said inwardly to the Guru, 'I don't have enough shakti (spiritual energy) to give this talk.'

As soon as I thought that I heard his voice inside my head, very vividly and clearly, and he said, 'You are right, you have very little. However, I have enough to get us both through.'

After that experience I never felt self-conscious again. I always spoke as though speaking to the air, to space, being totally alone. I'm never speaking 'to' anyone.

I see you've gotten great support since you posted your comment, and I am happy about that. Dave made a good point regarding being the 'seer' vs being the 'seen.' Always be the seer; never be the seen. We are the one looking out, not the one being looked at.

Always talk as though you're talking to yourself. Never speak as though you're talking to someone else, especially someone that you 'hope' understands what you are saying, and perhaps even agrees with you. Never care whether they 'get' it or not. You've done your job. They have to do theirs by getting it.

Most important of all, whenever you speak, always enjoy yourself, always make it fun for yourself. If you're having genuine fun, then your audience will have fun also. If you're not experiencing it within yourself, there's no way you can convey it to another, no matter how clearly you might be with your words. Don't get caught up in communicating concepts. Communicate experiences.

kirsty said...

This is a great description of how it appears when D.R. is speaking in his Courses. His audience often appears to be listening in a state of sleep! The result? We are all gathered in a state of seeming sleep, listening and learning.

And it is quite wonderful.

Devorah said...

Ram, that is the best advice on public speaking I ever heard!

In keeping with that advice of speaking for my own pleasure, I am someone who loves words and has found words very sacred. I love the study of the Torah and the texts you offer in the lessons because each of these words is backed by so much grace. I see, feel and hear their power or perhaps it is the power behind the words and I try to be respectful of them by saying what I mean. There are others who are "wired" more like me and can say so much with so little and then there are those who say so little with so many words.

Where I struggle is when, at times, I find it hard to come up with the words that I wish to express. I am usually the last person to make a comment in a group of friends because the words don't flow that easily and sometimes they don't flow at is like the words are hidden underneath something and I have to first try to feel what I am feeling to pull the words through. And this is especially true when I feel something is out of balance in relationship. Then I have a hard time being direct and often ask some close friends for some advice on how I might say something so it comes out in a non- confrontational way.
I wonder if I have some kind of blockage in my 5th chakra. I am also wondering here if I would use any of the same rules as the public speaking rules, speak as if no one were in the room or just surrender to the way it is and be at peace with it all.

Thank you for the best gift ever...the lessons are a steadfast friend.

Happiest Holidays to you and Kay.

May we all be blessed to find the inner light and cleave to it.


Leela said...

Thank you D.R.! I wanted to say that I absolutely Loved this Blog entry!!! So many treasures here! I Loved what you offered Jake, too! I want to send this Amazing community the Happiest of Holiday wishes!! I Love you, All!

With Love, Love, Love.


Jake Birdsong said...

I just want to thank everyone for their wonderful recommendations for overcoming this old fear of public speaking.

I'm noticing a commonality in what everyone is saying: be the seer, not the seen.

Thanks to you all, I'm now able to see that I've always had the perspective that the 'crowd' is watching me and I'm the center of attention during my presentation (I'm the seen). Standing in the place of the seer will help me manage the "energetic tsunami," as rico named it.

Wow. I need to practice this. Perspective is everything and I need to rewrite that old tendency to be the seen.

Thank you so much. Everyone's post has really helped me. Time to put it into action.

I hope everyOne here has a wonderful, grace-filled holiday.


D. R. Butler said...

Very nice, Jake. I am happy to see this. This is a very big thing, something essential to understand sooner or later. If you can learn at such a young age that you are always the 'Seer' and never the 'seen,' it will transform your entire life, and you will be more prepared for your true destiny.

D. R. Butler said...

Today is 12-21-12. Enjoy a happy, peaceful, and pleasant day. It is a good day to meditate, or to simply focus your energies and attention inward. Consider being outside as much as you can, unless the weather is bad.

We can all be open to the idea that something wonderful might happen, today or over the next 3 days. What if we actually are being upgraded or elevated in vibrational frequency? Hey, that's fine with me. I feel finished with the old vibrational frequency anyway. It's time for something totally new.

Marga said...

Happy, holy Solstice to you, Ram, and to everybody here - all the Beloveds. Today I'm feeling such peaceful gratitude for the abundance of Light in my life. So my thoughts naturally turned to you and my Present Moment community and I wanted to connect.

My current lesson is of course, the most perfect lesson for me, for this Solstice energy upgrade time. (Lesson 36.) It mentions letting bad feelings float across our screen of consciousness like clouds through the sky. I've had plenty of opportunity since Dec. 14 to practice this. There have been many little "miracles" as a result of this practice. Where before I might have felt bad about myself due to a less than enlightened feeling coming through, by letting the feeling go without attaching to it as you suggested in the course, this pure sky Consciousness has been coming more fully into view. And such quiet bliss it is, to not be caught in "the weather."

Sending you deep appreciation and Love.

kirsty said...

I am fascinated by the sensible thoughts and ideas for dealing with apprehension about public speaking..or any time when performance anxiety is a problem; stage-fright, competitions etc. I used to have a hypnosis practice, mostly showing people how to use self-hypnosis for various problems. 'Course, lots of this is simply the power of creative thought...<smile) we know. Anyway many of the clients came because of performance anxiety.

Happy Holidays to All.

And... D.R., if you have the time, or inclination, a few words on learning to Breathe correctly would be much appreciated and utilised.

Lots of Love!

D. R. Butler said...

From an exchange on Facebook:

Anne Bindu Lindsay, you put it very well: "I sometimes find it challenging to fully trust my right to happy thoughts and experiences if I don't feel I've 'earned' them according to some fairly refined moral compass."

This is exactly our problem: we don't think we deserve to be happy. We don't think we're good enough to be worthy.

Yes, it is very good to develop virtues. I prefer the approach of going beyond the polarity of virtue and sin. Really, what does it mean to cultivate virtues? Can this be done in any practical way that is of true value?

EVERYTHING is a manifestation of Consciousness. Virtue and sin are equally composed of the same Consciousness. Develop virtues if you want to, if you think this has some value for you, but most of all develop the capacity to see the play of Consciousness in all things equally. Then you will discover the true meaning of happiness.

Michael said...

I notice that sometimes when energy feels mucky, happy thoughts aren't easy and grouchy thoughts are more natural. So when there seems to be no rasa or inner good feeling, and wellbeing is not great, sometimes it's practical to just yank the attention from wretched "me-ness" and watch a sick engaging movie or do something interesting. Having had a moral religious background, I now love learning something amoral like market trading which is neither good or bad, just intense. And it can be so fascinating that the mind has to get engaged and drop all the melodrama to focus.

I then notice the muck feelings have no feedback loop of thought and can more easily diminish... more positive thoughts can then be focused on.

Bettina said...

We just had the festival I was co-organizing called BhaktiBeats 2012 over the weekend of the winter solstice, for Yoga & Music. Wonderful atmosphere, lots of joy, lightheartedness, friendliness, Love, coming together to share the light, many moments of being touched...everything flowed so nicely and easily. Grace so present. - With my heard filled with gratitude I can't help it to praise people for their efforts and contributions. In the Shrimad Bhagavatam (and in my current lesson of the Course) it is stated: "He who realizes the Lord God, the Atman, the One Existence, the Self of the Universe, neither praises nor dispraises any man. Like the sun shining impartially upon all things he looks with an equal eye upon all things..." I'm aware of the possibility of blowing up someones ego, however on the other hand I love giving praises as a way to show appreciation for someone else, for their greatness. It feels so indifferent to me holding back on this. Any comments?

James Donohue said...

So great to check in and read the latest blog again. I am noticing a certain subtle relief feeling when I read the comments. I also experienced this taking the workshop. My latest lesson has a similar content for me. The lesson is like being in the workshop. D.R. talks about the subtle space of the lesson is better than being physically present together. It moved me to take the last workshop. For today I like the part about seeing everything as the play of consciousness is the most important thing. I had a feeling like A. Bindu about being worthy enough to receive. I am letting that go. I am worthy enough to hear all the great wisdom that goes through here. Thanks to all. May your will to be merry be solid.

Christine S. Boyd said...

This stood out for me as true and marvelous, "When we arrive where we started from, we realize that everything we sought was all within us all the time, from the very beginning of memory. There has been no time that we have not been looked after, guided, and cared for. That which we seek is playing the game of seeking, knowing that in the end It will only find Itself."
As I apply your Course and practice creating happiness by being conscious of what I am creating in the present, I have glimpses of the reality of those words. I more frequently feel the joy and freedom I felt in my young years. It reminds me of William Blake's stages of Innocence, Experience and Higher Innocence.

With love,

D. R. Butler said...

Bettina, I love being reminded of quotes in the various lessons. They are my favorite quotes, of course, or they wouldn't be there, so how can I not enjoy seeing them and being reminded once again?

I hear what you are saying and it is a great question. Of course we would prefer to say all great things to people. We love and honor them, and want only to support them, so why wouldn't we want to shower them with praise?

As a 'teacher,' though, a communicator of Truth, there has to be a delicate balance. Singing their praises only can be hard for their ego to take in proper perspective, and it can sometimes get inflated, so we do someone a disfavor if we praise them too much.

I had the great fortune and grace to spend over 25 years in direct relationship with a genuine Guru of an authentic lineage. Oh my, I can never be thankful enough for all I learned from him just being around him and watching him relate to others.

He was by no means a people pleaser. He didn't smile to be polite; he smiled when he was amused. He didn't issue many compliments at all, and usually if he said anything good about you, it was when you weren't around, and you'd have to hear about it from someone who was. He was always laughingly putting down the ego in every opportunity that presented itself, and I got where I could only be amused when he ignored me or said something embarrassing about me. Yet every now and then he would say something to you of a positive nature, and because it was so rare, it was greatly treasured and transformative.

Anyway I learned from personal experience that more growth might be offered by sometimes withholding praise, and offering it only in special moments that truly mean something.

I know exactly what you mean, though. When simply relating to whoever shows up in my daily life, I am fairly pleasant and much more likely to say something of a positive nature than negative. I never consider it 'my place' to 'work on another's ego'--so many terms to toss around--but I do notice that sometimes people react in unexpected ways to me, and it has nothing to do with me personally.

A lot could be said about this. I am happy you are participating in the course, as we will touch on all the nuances of this.

Jean said...

Dearest D. R, it is with great love I write this. It's been a month or more, most probably more, since I was on this blog and somehow id forgotten the waves of sweet shakti that emanate from it. Wow. Just awash in it. I read it the other night in bed and had my lesson under my pillow and was carried into an incredibly sweet place as I slept. When I woke up in the morning I felt someone was shining inside me-- just lovely-- and that shining when I recall it is still there.

It's just past midnight here on this most holy day of Christmas. We went to 5:30 Christmas service which was so beautiful and I've finished making ambrosia and have my tamales ready for Christmas breakfast with my five year old grandson. I am so grateful to be in my body at this time and thank God for these lessons which allow me, when I remember--and I do more and more-- to experience the juice of every moment. What an opportunity the lessons are.

D.R., I do not understand this-- but each time when I read my lesson and come to your words at the end,'going to you now are the love and good wishes of your servant and friend,' it's as if my heart is pierced and I can feel love pour out and tears fill my eyes. Whatever it is I am infinitely grateful for your selfless service and friendship. I send you and Kay and all who read this and the lessons love and blessings of this Christmas season.
Love always,

D. R. Butler said...

May your heart bubble over in Christmas ecstasy. May bliss be dripping from your presence wherever you find yourself today. May you be saturated in Christmas Love. The Love of the Christ is with you always.

FB said...

Studying Lesson 22:
On the first page is the statement: ...“feeling impacts our personal reality. What we are feeling determines how we see and experience the world, ourselves, and others.”

So on one hand I view those with the karma to be physically able as well as physically worthy to be with their Guru, etc. as role models I hold in high esteem. Intellectually I love, respect, and cherish everyone, until I view them as ‘advanced’, (truth is that ‘better’ is the accurate word, but admitting this reveals my shame, my ego, hence avoidance is called into action, have to laugh, it is so funny!), then the “I’m lowly, despicable, etc.” kicks in and I feel/become that way. I see the samskara reinforcement process here…
“not good enough”, shame-increasing self contempt-increasing shame-alas! ‘the circle game’.

My son just walked through the room saying his friend is going through a tough time. We agreed whatever uplifting and encouraging words, thoughts, and prayers we can offer are beneficial and important, and it is ultimately good that she goes through this painful time so she can learn what she needs to learn and be free of, and be lighter and happier.

I am smiling and uplifted, grateful, encouraged, and delightfully awed, as the answer to my question came so immediately! And so graciously!
I am so fortunate, this process is everything. The Course is such A Friend and guide.

D. R. Butler said...

FB, in future lessons we explore the 3 malas of Kashmir Shaivism, which are the mayiya mala, having to do with maya, separation, difference; the karma mala, having to do with identifying with good or bad actions; and the anava mala, which is primarily the sense of being unworthy and not good enough, leading to feelings of shame and inferiority. These are things that through the process we are experiencing, we will eventually be free from.

Bettina said...

Thank you Ram for chewing my question and sheding light on it from different sides. I also love hearing about your times with the Guru; it makes these teachings so alive, for you base them onto your own experiences.

Here my next questions: After the December workshop I heard of different people on FB who went into some kind of "sleep state" during the webinar, which happened to me too. It seems to be a frequent phenomenon, which pleased me hearing about it, for I just thought I wasn't attentive enough or too tired, that I slipped away and didn't consciously hear a part of the course. It happens to me in meditation too, although it doesn't quite feel like sleep, for the head doesn't drop. On the other hand I try to "attain" (ego?) a state where I'm fully alert and awake, thinking this would be more fruitful and with more purpose, even though getting there feels like hard work, like lifting myself up above some tamasic heaviness. It's much easier to go beyond thoughts by going kind of numb.-- I observe myself being still so judgmental about different states, as well as about the chatty mind with all its projects and ideas. In this way I feel like a raw beginner over and over again. Sometimes I experienced that a focused reading of two pages of the course helps me to get my act together more efficiently than half an hour of less focused meditation loosing myself in thoughts and bringing me back over and over again. To work against this tendency to drift away it helps me to do visualisations and affirmations rather than just trying to observe what is, which gives me too much space to wander. The inner „conscious work“ is like reading an "inner course" to hold on to with my mind. In this way I'm not getting the impression to waste my time floating around in the past and future, pretending to meditate.

After having described all this:
Does the Course have a different purpose than meditation? What's the specific benefit of meditation, that the Course wouldn't fulfill ? Which state of meditation is the one to preferably head for and spend regular time in (knowing that some states happen through grace and can't be created)? It looks like I'm thursting for some renovation of my practice, throwing out some unnecessary behaviours before the New Year...

Having the chance to pose all these questions fill my heart with so much gratitude for the incredible selfless service you and Kay are doing. What a gift to have such guidance around the world... OM

Naganath said...

Meditation is so the mind can get beyond itself. The Course, the same.
I do not intend to be trite and defer to the blog master for his response, also.

D. R. Butler said...

Bettina, there is so much in your comment. I actually think I could write a whole lesson based on your questions. Maybe I will someday, for I don't see any other way to fully answer them.

Watch this aspect of you that is judgmental about states and meditation experiences. Only the ego is judgmental. Ultimately all states are equal, for they are but various manifestions of the same Consciousness. What is important is what is it that sees and knows what state we're in.

Some participants of the course are into meditation as a practice, while others practice no formal meditation as such. Read in the right way, reading each lesson is a meditation in itself. Each sentence is infused with its own power and meaning. If we are absorbed in a lesson, we are in a true state of meditation.

Meditation is always happening. We can't start or stop it; we can only tune into what is already going on. It's not something we can take personally. Meditation is experiencing the space between thoughts. Meditation experiences are only experiences; the essential thing is the Seer and the Knower of the experience.

Be the Seer, not the seen; be the Knower, not the known.

I am so happy you are participating in our course, Bettina. It will greatly enrich your capacity to pass on greatness to your many yoga students.

D. R. Butler said...


We will enjoy a great year. Thank you for participating in our blog community.

Avivit said...

Happy New Year to all. After reading Ram's last comment on participating...I thought I'd at least share the Love and Gratitude in my Heart with you! We will enjoy a great year! Si senior!

Jim said...

New Years Eve: after a week of getting more sleep than usual, hanging out in front of a warm fire, and watching a lot of college football (in short: relaxing), I found myself getting stirred up about assorted relationships and situations from the past year that didn't pan out so good, office politics, powerplays, etc. As is my tendency, I believed I was getting new insights into what had happened, underhandedness on the part of others that I had been unaware of at the time. A feeling of powerlessness came over me followed by a resolve to more diligently watch my back and to make sure to be ready next time. As usual, the ensuing emotional tempest felt envigorating at first but quickly turned sickening, especially after a week of taking it easy.

After a couple of hours of this, I realized that I might not be closing out the year in the best way. I remembered how the course points out that many of us tend to be addicted to negative emotions and find ways to stir them up so we can get a high off them. Then I had a thought that had never occurred to me before: maybe I wasn't seeing the facts clearly at all. Maybe I was reorganizing memories to fit around samskaras, tendencies. Best of all, I was recognizing this in real-time, catching the tendencies in action.

Today I began a new lesson and, as if to acknowledge this new insight, the following paragraph appeared therein: "We tend to remember those things that correspond to our samskaras; everything else passed on by. This is why, even now, memories and samskaras are intricately linked to each other. Whenever we understand the true connection between samskaras and memory, we have a genuine breakthrough in understanding."