Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013--What a Wonderful Year It Will Be


I am very happy that 2012 is over, aren’t you?  2013 is a year we can begin building something new, both in our individual lives and in the world around us, of which we are a part.
I always love a new year.  I highly value the new, for only the new is true.  The old is past, done, finished.  Many of us have a strong tendency to take the past and project it into the future, so that we continue to live the same old life, being the same old person.
Aren’t you tired of who you’ve been?  I would never again want to be who I have already been.  Been there, done that.  Out with the old, in with the new.
I write a Course of Training with the same title as this blog, ‘Living in the Truth of the Present Moment.’  Practically, participants receive a new lesson on the 1st and 15th of every month.  Participation includes reading and rereading each new lesson, referring to it as often as possible in the two weeks before the next new lesson arrives.
As we engage in new ways of seeing and experiencing our life, the world, and other people, a transformation happens that is incomprehensible before it is actually experienced.  Do not take my word for this.  Nothing is true simply because someone says it is so.  Try it for yourself.  Prove the truth to yourself.  By applying principles of Truth in practical ways in your own daily life, you will see and experience the transformation that occurs as a result.
Someone recently sent this message:  “I love your blog and Facebook page, but I have resistance to beginning the course because I have been studying principles of truth for many years, and I cannot feel good about starting at the beginning of the course and going through the basics once again.  Isn’t there a way of starting off with more advanced lessons?”
I hear this now and then in different ways from different people, who are too ‘advanced’ to start at the beginning of the Course, with Lesson 1, like everyone else has, and I always have to smile.  There are no ‘basic’ or ‘advanced’ lessons.  Every lesson is as advanced as the consciousness of the one reading it.  The lessons can be read on many levels, depending on the level of understanding the reader brings to it.  A truly ‘advanced’ participant will see ‘advanced’ teachings in Lesson 1.
The first year of the Course, or the first 24 lessons, are among the best I have ever written anytime before now.  The blog only gives a taste of the Course.  Many participants of the Course are themselves teachers of some specialty or another, and help others in their work, and yet they find the lessons of the Course invaluable to their own development.  No matter how knowledgeable or advanced someone might be, their understanding can be deepened and refined.  I experience this myself every day.
Everything we already know can be understood in a deeper and more refined way.  This is what is known as the evolution of wisdom.  We can have a great insight, and then months or years later come to understand that same insight in an entirely new and expanded way, and even later on, we might exclaim, ‘Oh, that’s what it really means!’
Even our understanding of the Truth of the present moment evolves.  Our understanding of ‘Truth’ evolves, and our understanding of ‘the present moment’ certainly expands as we go along.  All it takes for this evolution of wisdom to take place is the sincere longing for and openness to the Truth.  This attitude attracts everything that is needed for the Truth to be experienced, although later on we might understand it even more deeply than we do now.
One of the most astonishing things for a person to realize is that most of the ‘knowledge’ he has accumulated is false knowledge, or relative knowledge at best.  Most of what we 'know' is either utterly false, or that knowledge somehow limits us in what we can be and how we can express.  In Kashmir Shaivism this is known as ‘limited knowledge.’  It is the knowledge we ordinarily take to be true, but which actually limits our abilities and capacities to be and do and express.
We are entering a new year, 2013, which has never before existed, or at least manifested on this planet that we inhabit.  Whether we believe it or not, we can be, see, and experience something entirely new this year, something we have never previously experienced.  That will be one of our Intentions in the blog and in the Course of Training via email.
As is our tradition, let’s conclude with some responses to questions in last month’s comments.  We’ve found that everyone gets whatever they need from the answer, without knowing the specifics of the question, which sometimes are very obvious.  Many of these particular questions came from yoga and meditation teachers, or other writers and speakers who do their work primarily to uplift, inspire, and serve others:
I hear what you are saying and it is a great question.  Of course we would prefer to say only 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 all the time?
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 at every opportunity that presented itself, and I got to the point that 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 that is powerfully positive, and because it was so rare, it was greatly treasured and powerfully 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 to something I say in unexpected ways, 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 whole topic, which is quite profound.
There is so much in your comment that 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 manifestations of the same Consciousness.  What is important is that which sees and knows the 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.  Our mind isn’t running through its usual patterns if we are focused on the lesson.
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 very happy you are participating in our course, as it will  enrich your capacity to pass on greatness to your many yoga students.
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.  To communicate effectively, especially subtle principles difficult for the mind to grasp, it is very important to be established in the Seer and to never even consider being the seen.  In truth, we are the one looking out, not the one being looked at.  It is very important to understand this, especially if we are to teach and guide others.
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.  If we care whether they get it or not, we won’t have a lot of shakti or power in our communicating.
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.
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 light 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 experience.  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 was actually in that state of sleep even while apparently 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 questions, though.

I feel in my heart, and therefore KNOW that 2013 will be a great year for each of us and for all of us, individually and as a community.  Let 2013 be the year of expanded clarity and Love.

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

French: drbutler.course@gmail.com

 

60 comments:

rico said...

The question from the person who wanted to start with the "advanced" lessons made me smile. Since you started writing the Lessons I think there have been at least 4 different incarnations of the Course. With every new incarnation I started at Lesson one and each Lesson one was more powerful than the last lesson I read which in some cases was a few hundred Lessons into the previous Course. In fact there was one incarnation of the Course where those of us who finished it actually graduated! But to say I was thrilled, when you began writing this new Course, would be the understatement of the decade. Aside from the fact that the Lessons follow a sequence with one building on the understanding of the prior, the number that's at the top of the page is irrelevant as each Lesson meets us right where we are and corresponds to what's happening right now in our lives. Sounds miraculous doesn't it. Well, it is!!!

Vicki said...

Happy New Year Ram, Kay and everyone. Thanks for the reminder, D. R., about the evolution of wisdom. Even a cake has to spend plenty of time in the oven, especially if it's in an old 9x13 pan, it tends to stay pretty soggy in the middle for quite a while. Meanwhile, the outside edges might appear a little crispy. But in the end, it's quite tasty . Anyway, that's a little metaphor for my experience of sadhana and studying the Truth of the Present Moment. My mind sometimes totally rebels against rereading - not because it thinks it knows everything, but because it just likes a new package. I just have to stick in a toothpick, test for stickiness, and pop it back in the oven for awhile longer. It's a process, for sure.

Melissa Abbott said...

Aren't we all asleep on so many levels, even in our supposed wakeful states?

Vandita said...

This sentence has called my attention: "There are no ‘basic’ or ‘advanced’ lessons. Every lesson is as advanced as you are. The lessons can be read on many levels, depending on the level of understanding in the reader. A truly ‘advanced’ participant will see ‘advanced’ teachings in Lesson 1."

I started reading your lessons 25 years ago, and back then I could not understand what they said. However as soon as I put my eyes on the written words, my inner state would change into something really beautiful. So I kept reading. This is the mystery of this course. I believe there is no end to freedom, and that is why as you get more and more free, freedom is seen in different ways. Inner freedom.

A friend of mine is taking this course and she reads her lesson before she goes to sleep. Then she reads it again on the next evening. She says that on the second day it´s like reading the lesson for the first time, since she cannot recall anything from the day before. However, on the day before the lesson was answering all of her questions from that day, and on this day the lesson is answering all of her questions for today. And this happens non stop for the 15 days that she is reading it.

D. R. Butler said...

Rico, it does seem as though you have always been there. You understand the principles of the Course about as clearly as anyone. This is the most words I've seen you write at the same time in a long time.

Vicki, yep, I understand the cake metaphor. In India, when someone attempts to teach and lead others before he or she is actually prepared to do this, it is said that such a one is 'half-baked.'

Melissa, yes, of course.

Vandita, it sounds as though your friend truly knows how to get the most out of the Course.

chimene said...

Thank hou Ram for this new year entry. what caught my attention was not worrying about whether my students get what I am talking about. I worry about that a lot actually and it is very draining as you say. but isn't that too part of my job? If you could clarify what the dharma of a tea her to young minds is?

Dave Silverstein said...

Ram, I ike what you say about communicating effectively. So many times when I try to communicate a story or experience I feel this rush of energy which feels 'ego' based as though I'm looking for approval (happens at home). Most of the time I really DO care if someone 'gets' what I have to say...that's again when I know (usually after the fact) that what I said made no sense at all.' Be the Seer not the Seen'.

What I AM discovering is to keep conversation simple. Talk when necessary but don't waste people's time. I actually need to focus on every word so there is a 'divine' feeling of 'giving' to others not just simply waiting for someone's approval. I'm beginning to notice how much of what I say is totally useless. Plenty to contemplate in this new year.

Maureen said...

Today was the first time in all these years that a friend asked me "What are you doing?" I was expressing to her some ideas that I have gotten somehow over the years of coming into harmony with myself in the present moment and coming from Love. She even wrote down the web address for the course!!! I agree with Rico that each lessons is exactly where I am at the time. I too, like Vandita never remember from one day to the next yet somehow it has gotten through. Recently, I was remembering I AM THE SEER NOT THE SEEN at work whenever my mind who go off on a tangent. It was amazing how just those words brought me back to mySelf. I continue to look at my life each day as something new. I am basking in the newness of 2013. Thank you D.R. for this course in my life. I will always grateful. Blessings to you and Kay.<3

D. R. Butler said...

Chimene, that's an interesting perspective. The dharma is a little different when you are a teacher preparing students for the world, and they actually do have to 'get' what you are teaching in order to be properly prepared for the future.

The two qualities a teacher needs most are enthusiasm and inspiration. If you are enthusiastic and inspiring regarding your subject, the information is transmitted and received with much more energy and openness.

Still, we can't ever communicate something with the feeling, 'If I could just get your to understand this...' This takes us too much into duality, and communication then becomes very difficult. When you teach, KNOW that young ears are hearing and young brains are understanding clearly. This will help you to achieve your objective.

Melissa Abbott said...

Ram, Happy Happy New Year, 2013! Really liked the part about being asleep and awake in your New Years Post when I read it yesterday. It rang a bell for me because, to me that your lessons are a little like doing a little reading and contemplating and then "Voila" little bits of our sleeping selves wake up, little by little, lesson, by lesson...it is very subtle, sometimes the most banal and ordinary of posts can awaken parts of ourselves that were sleeping.

Mayuri said...

Chimene, what is the dharma of a teacher who touches young minds? That is a beautiful question. I love what D.R. says about enthusiasm and inspiration. Children feel the state you are in as you teach, more so than the subject matter. I remember a teacher who was a substitute for a class I had no interest in, usually, but he was so excited and inspired about his subject that he opened the class by drawing a line on the board and asking us where it ended.... we were all drawn in by his unique teaching style, and his enthusiasm. I feel that the greatest thing you can give to young minds is a love for what you are teaching. Stay as excted and enthusiastic about the subject as possible.

I taught elementary art in public schools for many years. My practice was to hold my classes for the upcoming day in meditation in the morning - at which time I was often gifted with new inspirations or with solutions to problems that made the classes flow better. I also listened to an incarnation of our course as I drove to and from work. I loved the state that listening to the course put me in. This helped me to be in the best possible state for teaching. Teaching for me is seva - selfless service, and each day I refreshed my intentions to be the best teacher I could be. Oh, and the week ends? Always so welcome!!!!

BreathWorks said...

For the last year, with my daily reading of my current lesson, I read an earlier lesson. I start this "review" with Lesson 1 last January. I write "review" in quotes because it's rather tongue-in-cheek; so much more than a "review".

Coming up on January and completing the first year newly, I've given thought to starting at the beginning again while continuing with the ever-unfolding current lessons.

Transmission is the whole enchilada, but some people like red sauce, some like green, some like none, and some like lots and lots of cheese. So how the transmission gets dressed up is individual. In the end, it's becoming so clear that there is only One transmission in the guise of many different enchiladas. Ha ha ha....

Jimena Marquez said...

Thank you Ram for your answer. Thank you for your beautiful share Mayuri. (This is Chimene)

Scott Marmorstein said...

Ram,

In this course, are we creating a virtuosity of excellence in our actions, thoughts, and deeds? I am making a subtle distinction between deeds and actions here, and you don't need to address every point. I'm asking overall if this is the aim of the course?

I've been taking it for quite a while, as you know, but I don't feel any more or less advanced than when I began reading it--so I can't relate to whoever wrote to you about it. I enjoy reading your course, and I feel it has many nuggets of great wisdom. It has the most practical wisdom right up front, in the very beginning of the course as far as I can tell. As the lessons progress, it starts being something else; something perhaps more akin to a transmission of sorts. If someone is open to it, they'll benefit. If not, they won't even if they read it for a million years.

Anyway, these are my questions and my observations as well. Sending love to whoever does or doesn't participate.

D. R. Butler said...

Scott, it is great seeing you here again. You always have such a down to earth, no-nonsense approach, and it's refreshing.

You know, I don't feel any more or less advanced than when I began writing it. 'Advanced' is a very relative word, as it compares this to that. What would it feel like to be more advanced? If anyone has the answer to this one, I will be happy if you will share it here with us.

I wouldn't say that in the course we are 'creating' anything in particular. I like the way you say, 'virtuosity of excellence in our actions, thoughts, and deeds.' I've never thought of it that way, but it certainly has some merit.

I would probably say that through living in the present moment, we can 'respect' every action, thought, and deed, or anything we do. We can brush our hair with respect, we can work with respect, we can relate to others with respect, we can ride the subway with respect, we can rest and relax with respect. When we respect everything we 'do,' and in fact, each present moment of life, we live in the Truth of the present moment.

The Course focuses on living in the Truth of the present moment. One person can tune into the present moment and think the truth is that his back hurts. Another might tune into the moment and think the truth is that she is experiencing hurt feelings because of something someone said to her.

Now the thing is, is this the 'Truth'? They are relative truths, as they come and go, have beginnings and endings. The Truth, however, does not come and go, has no beginning or end; it always remains as it is.

The Course is about tuning into this and living more and more in this state, being more consistently present. We are each as 'advanced' as we will ever be. The question is, do we recognize the Truth? Are we aware of what is real in the existing moment, or are we lost in thought?

So, you know, I could go on and on, but that's all in the course. Thanks for visiting us.

Anne said...

Dear Ram, Kay, and blog and Course friends, Happy and shiny new year of 2013!
Thank you very much Ram for this sparkling blog piece. For my first reading, what really stood out was a wider and intuitively deeper appreciation of what "meditation" is. I will practice approaching the lessons as if I am going to be meditating ... with a focus and respect that will support me in that. I love this .. "meditation is always happening. We can't start or stop it; we can only tune into what is already going on." It helps me realise that meditation is not only a certain 'practice', that looks a certain 'way', and that is supposed to elicit a certain 'result' ... it just .... is! Thank you.

It links in for me too with your answer to Scott, about 'respect' ... respecting every action, thought, deed, etc. I feel when I remember to do so, that I can evoke a state of meditation, like when I don't 'rush' and allow my actions to be more conscious, graceful, respectful ... more like mini 'works of art' perhaps, moulded out of the substance of each moment of time?

Dave, I loved too your comments about respect in the context of keeping conversation simple. Yes that resonated, so I clearly need to learn to not 'waste people's time'; or my own for that matter ;)

One other thing I wanted to share, because I found it sweet and so perfectly timely. Just as I was reading Melissa's comment to Ram about "really liked the part about being asleep and awake ... " At that very moment, my lovely dog Lily who was lying quietly near me on this hot afternoon, started to make those little doggie noises they make when they are having a lucid dream. I glanced down at her and noticed that even though she was in some sense 'asleep' ... she was making the dream-noises and twitching a bit, her eyes were actually no more than half-closed! It occured to me that in her own way maybe she is expressing this very state ... partly alert, yet in another state of awareness where she seemed to be semi-witnessing herself ... as I know if I had touched or distracted her she would have immediately come into her body in the 'present'. Anyway, it struck me as a timely and rather amusing example of a natural awake-asleep state being experienced, and how we can be in different states of consciousness simultaneously.
PS: I think cats are especially masterful at how they can be relaxed yet still 'alert' fully. If something of interest catches their attention they can be so present, immediately ... even if they had looked in a deep slumber a few seconds earlier! xx

Dave Silverstein said...

Ram, I used to 'think' so much about how great it is to be 'advanced' in everything. One of my samskaras that still rears it's head is the one of being an 'expert' in something. To this day I still see that 'other' one, musician, writer, adventurer, lover....anyone that I know is so 'gifted' in that something...and I know in my 'heart 'that I'm so much greater then all of that 'ego' identification. Yet, at 60yrs. old I still get so 'addicted' to finding my 'career', my 'passion'. Create a new identity if you will. The energy it takes to keep up with this 'charade' of 'being' and controlling this character is so draining. It takes a tremendous amount of energy. I always loved the expression, "Let go and Let God'. That's a lot more 'heart centered'.

It's such a delicate balance. I feel so much love yet I am very aware of how rigid these concepts and ideas can constrict me. So, when Scott and you talk about 'advanced', it 'resonates' with that samskara of mine, doing something that 'pleases' others (becoming like this person or that person) yet it only puffs up my ego very tempoarily. Ultimately, there's no point to it. My created intention (which I've been practicing) the past year is being in harmony with everything that comes up in my life. These samskaras are popin' like firecrackers on July 4th, independence day....beautfiul gift.

Jimena Marquez said...

Thank you Ram for that beautiful answer . In my experience I Have become more advanced as I am less interested in my own mind games, in my own descriptions of the world and I can more simply come back to being...love

James Donohue said...

I find it helpful to hear respect my actions as you said D.R. My lesson is talking about getting these three together thoughts, words and deeds all in a row. Thinking one thing and doing that. It is great to hear I do not have to identify with feelings like anger. In the lesson you talk about really giving up anger. I guess not identifying with it is one way. Being more focused on the truth or headed in that direction rather than being lost in thoughts of a shady nature. Your description of anger is frightening in the impact it has on all levels of existence. To deal with this your suggestion in the lesson is to participate on the blog. Again happy new and new and new.

Marga said...

Ram, Thank you for Lesson 37. One thing it's transmitting to me is the value of beginner's mind, seeing each moment as new, dropping the past, or even any sense of having a past, and living from what is here, right now. What I'm noticing is that the thoughts about "advanced" come from a sense of time passing, and a sense of having a history, having somewhere to get to. How precious it is when it is revealed that these notions are overlays to the present moment. Anyway, I also want to thank the person who had this question for you, about more advanced lessons, because that notion of advanced is setting off an interesting "undoing" in me. May we all return to the original Beginning, here in this moment, in 2013!!!

Danielle said...

If you had to describe exactly what it is that is taught and learned through taking the course you write, in as few words as possible, what would you say?

D. R. Butler said...

Danielle, what a question. That's a big answer to put in a few words.

I suppose I might say that if someone had the job of collecting all the essential information that is contained within all philosophies and spiritual paths, and synthesizing them all into a single generic training that contains everything necessary, the result would be something very similar to our course.

Sarah said...

Always such a refreshing and expanding experience, reading this blog...and even more so , reading the Lessons!

What first came to me after reading the blog and the comments... the "issue" of advanced vs. beginning Lessons. Thru reading and rereading the Lessons, I am always reminded that there is no Truth but the Truth of God... so therefore, there can be no advanced vs. beginners Truths, and for that matter beginner vs. advanced Lessons. There is no "advanced" Truth of the Present Moment.. it Is what it Is, always ... The Present Moment, perfectly created as it Is, now and forever, no beginning and no "advanced" ending, just IS....

Thank you Ram and Kay, and the entire Course Community. Happy 2013!

Anonymous said...

Hi Ram,
Just wanted to share a recent life experience that I had.

My brother and sister and I all met in Florida to visit with my parents. In the past these trips had been 'fun' vacations but this time it was more like a check in to see where my parents need support and "how can we help" as they are having a lot of physical and medicalissues as they are aging.

I know that this kind of thing is common now for Parents and there children to go through and it helped me a lot to read a book about this kind of 'caregiving' before hand. One of the issues addressed in the book was the complications that come up between siblings who each have their own viewpoints and personality....(and ego).

My brother and sister and I (despite a combined 110 years of sadahana and spiritual practice)were clearly at odds with each other. I can only speak for myself but all those familiar feelings and thoughts related to not thinking others respected my opinions, were doing things on their own terms, were wrong in the way they were approaching this, etc, etc was causing a lot of inner stress. In the mean time, our plans to help my parents seemed like we were actually creating more problems than we were solving.

At one point I was able to take a few minutes to go out on the back porch and just close my eyes and reflect on our lessons and the fundamental message of 'come back to the heart,come back to the present moment'. I was also able to think about my own ego and my concerns about how the others, my sister, my brother, my parents, are seeing me...with a recognition that I'm creating alot of that in my mind. Then I thought about your Autobiography of a Nobody awareness....which lightened my whole feeling to a point where I felt like I could again go out and interact reasonably with the others. As a final step in the process I hummmed the words to the Beatles song 'Fool on a Hill' inwardly to myself.

To make a long story short.....things came together quite well and when we left Florida I think all of us felt like we had accomplished some things that will make life easier for them...and that grace played a huge role.

I think without the lessons that are such a huge support in my current life...and of course, the pracice that all 3 of us have done over the years, this easily, easily could have become a disaster.

Thanks again for everything you do to remind us of who we really are!....Mukunda

Al M said...

Pretty much all of what we heard about Dec 21, 2012 was not what the Mayans themselves said. Recently there has been made an excellent documentary film on the Mayans (by the Mayans), where they talk about this period of time, and their prophecies about this time. It is very well done, and you can watch it for free (they ask for a donation) until the 15th of January. After the 15th you can watch for a small fee. The link is here: http://www.shiftoftheages.com/ .

I know this comment is not so relevant to the blog posting, so I'll leave it up to you Ram if you want to share it, but I thought it may be interesting to the readers here.

Vandita said...

Of course my current lesson is responding to the recent karma in my life, and it is making me ask myself questions.

My lesson says:

"Nothing outside us ever has the power to affect us. This idea is repeated over and over, but it takes most of us a long time, and much repetition, to consistently experience the truth of it—that there is no true external power, there is only one universal Power, and it is not different from our own inner Awareness. This understanding is essential."

I really want to move one step forward with this. If someone unexpectedly expressed a lot of anger toward me, and that affected me, that is not a power that affected me, since there is no power outside my consciousness; so I have been affected by the way I think and feel around unexpected anger? I guess so.

So, what can I do to be in the awareness that the lesson is talking about? From the moment the situation starts.

I say this because I think after being affected I usually know how to regain my center and not be affected anymore, but I would love to know how to not even be affected in the first place.

Thank you so much in advance for your answer.

D. R. Butler said...

Vandita, we have discussed this whole process in detail in earlier lessons. We create in advance an alternate way of being to 'replace' the old pattern as soon as we see it arising.

Just like we can't remove the darkness from the room, we can only introduce the light that dispels the darkness, which was simply an absence of light. In the same way, all negativity is simply the absence of positive energy, which would immediately dispel the negativity.

The replacement must be created in advance, because the samskara (habitual pattern of reacting) is too fast to wait and do it in the moment. We have to be prepared for it as long as it has enough energy to manifest itself, and every time we consciously 'replace' it with a chosen alternative that has already been created in advance, its energy grows weaker and weaker.

I know you could explain this as well as I can. Some things, even though we 'know' them and could explain them to others, need to be heard in a new way, on a more expanded level than before, and the only way this can happen is to verbalize the question, even if we already 'know' the answer. Then we see something new and unexpected, and finally true transformation takes place.

Someone expresses unexpected anger toward you. First, have compassion for his tendency to be angry. Second, do not take it personally; you are not the only one he gets angry at. If possible, be amused by the fact that someone thinks something is important enough to be angry about it.

You do not have to continue as you are, although, of course, your essence or spirit remains eternally changeless. If there is something in the relative, objective world that you wish to change for your own benefit and perhaps the benefit of others as well, replace it with what you prefer, and persist on seeing the new way as an already occuring reality. Very soon your physical senses and brain will confirm that it is true outwardly as well.

D. R. Butler said...

Al M., Kay and I watched most of the movie tonight and will finish it tomorrow. It is very fascinating. It certain presents a different vision of the world and quite a different approach to life than anything most of us know. Thanks for sharing. I even recommend it to others.

Once again, the link is: http://www.shiftoftheages.com

It is about Mayans, with Mayans, and also made by Mayans. Certainly worth a watch.

Malkarani said...

Given that our thoughts create our future, how does one integrate positive thinking with absence of expectations?

Say I have an audition coming up. On one hand I want to put myself in the mental vibe where I have already gotten the role, I got it! On the other hand I don't want to have expectations because I have already experienced the damage of expectations.

Or I'm into a guy and at the moment the whole thing is a little iffy, and on one hand I want to stand positive that he loves me, so that I can allow that future to manifest, on the other hand I'm scared to have expectations that he loves me because I know that those very expectations may be the very hindrance to my desired outcome.

It seems that visualizing a positive outcome (or feeling the feelings as if you already have what you're hoping to get) creates expectation just by itself. And it seems that "being free of expectation" doesn't allow for a vision of the future you're hoping to manifest for yourself.

You know what I mean? I appreciate your experience in this.

D. R. Butler said...

Malkarani, experiencing the feeling of your aspiration already being real is not anything similar to an expectation. Creating the feeling of the immediate actuality of something creates it in the subtle realm, so that on that inner realm it actually IS already real.

Expectations are a mental tendency where we presume something will happen. We expect our loved one to say the ideal things all the time, and if he or she doesn't do this, we're either angry or upset or disappointed that our expectation never came true.

Ordinarily we easily justify our anger toward someone because some expectation was not met. 'I am angry at him because he did not tell me what I expected him to.'

The priority is being in harmony with everything exactly as it is. If we are not in harmony with something, this creates some kind of conflict or tension that leads to some form of unpleasantry.

The Creative Principle lives within us, and is expressed through thought blended with feeling. If we are experiencing the reality of something that causes harmful or destructive conditions around us, then we do have the power to replace it with something more preferable.

Doing so is not an expectation. It is KNOWING the outcome in advance, which leads to its actual physical manifestation.

Vandita said...

Thank you for the answer. Yes, there was something new in it for me.

It did not occur to me to prepare and visualize a different response. I guess I did not think there is going to be a next time!

My wonder was why it got me, and I loved your suggestion of 'not taking things personally'. I find it easy to come back to stillness 'after' the event, and the visualization suggestion is great so that there will not even be a start again. Thank you so much!!

Leela said...

In my last Lesson( V.3,L.8), you quote your teacher, "Learn therefore, to Breathe correctly."

I have been wondering what he means by this. Is he referencing a certain technique? Perhaps, something you have already covered and I am not able to recall it? Thank you, oh so, Much, for All that you do! This whole adventure, known as, Living in the Truth of the Present Moment, is Fantastically Delicious! Thank you, for All of it!

All my Love, Always,
Leela

D. R. Butler said...

Leela, that is a great question, and yet it is not so simple to answer as it might at first seem. There is so much to understand about correct breathing. For one thing, only if we are consciously breathing are we actually aware of what we are doing in this present moment. If we're breathing unconsciously, chances are the mind is running on conditioning, preventing us from actually experiencing the Truth of the Present Moment.

The breath gives us prana, the life-force that enlivens and animates the body. The more consciously we breathe, the more present we are as we breathe, the deeper we breathe, and the slower we breathe, all combine to determine the energetic level of the prana available to us now, perhaps in a way that was not as powerful or as fully available before now.

Conscious life differs for each individual according to the quantity and quality of prana (or shakti) available to the individual--and what is available to him is exactly how much he can be conscious of or comprehend at any given moment.

Some of us are immediately open and ready. We understand the Truth with equanimity and free from attachment. We have nothing to cling to, no attachments to limit us or to restrict our freedom; we experience ourselves as an energetic flow, merged with the Whole of All that happens, and all that doesn't happen as well.

The quality and quantiy of prana or shakti available to us at any moment determines on our total openness to it and our consciousness of it. If we are truly open and ready, we are willing to leave past concepts behind, and to open up to a reality so expanded and pure that we see why it was impossible to ever bring it into the 'understanding' of the conscious mind.

We breathe in vibrations from the ethers around us that correspond to our own inner consciousness at the time. If we are cheerful and lighthearted, if we are open to spiritual awakenings at any unpredictable manner at any moment in our life, then we breathe in the vibrations of others around us on a similar vibrational level; we attract to ourselves even more of the positive energy that we were putting out. We inhale, not in the 'air' as we ordinarily think of it, but in the ethers around us, energies corresponding to our own predominant energies.

In the same way, we exhale into the ethers, into the world and to others around us, vibrational energies corresponding to what we are inwardly feeling and experiencing. If we are feeling good inside, then others aroud us feel better without even knowing why.

As you can see, there is a lot to explore for those who are sincerely interested. This is why we need an ongoing, 'alive' Course of Training, as it is a way of connecting into what needs to be done next, and as a way of understanding all this in a way that is obvious and natural. If what we need to know next is not already intuitively obvious, it soon will be--unless certain rigid or habitual concepts of the mind prevent us from seeing what is obvious.

Thoughts can easily get in the way if we don't understand them in right perspective. The Course covers everything we need to know regarding this, to help clarify our understanding of our own knowledge and our own practice.

Yes, there is much too much to cover in this space. This is why we have the lessons, as a guide and companion along this mystical, mysterious, and magical ride on the way to living in the experience of the Truth.

Purnima Orlandi said...

HAppy New Year Ram and Kay and all participants of the blog, facebook and course!
I love what you referred to as the course being an "alive" Course of Training!
That's how I experience it, as alive, vibrant and attune with the present moment.
When I started being interested in a "spiritual" way of living 20 years ago yoga seemed to be the best approach for me. Yet I found it so hard to do. Soon though I met a film director in LA and we were talking about Paramahansa Yogananda's kriya yoga lessons and I mentioned they were too hard for me to do. The friend suggested I go to meet her Guru who was "alive".. So I did! From that moment on I understand what it means to be alive! Grace is a gift, a gift that unfolds and the more I see it the more it expands into each and every moment.
I then started to read the lessons and they changed my life!
I was no longer a slave to bad habits and loneliness and NOW in this course you have taken me to a deeper place filled with revelations and an opening to love others.
I thank you each and every day for the vehicle that you are D.R. Butler!

Leela said...

All I can say is Thank you! I, very much, enjoyed your thorough response! Its funny, because in contemplating what was meant by "Breathe correctly," several things came. One was being conscious of the breath and how that gives you audience with the Present Moment and also, what we are radiating, breathing into our environment! I have caught myself, over and over again, in the midst of a quick and shallow breath and then to trace it to what I am offering vibrationally. It has felt frenzied or frantic, running from one thing to another!

Thank you, so much for your precious time and answering! I love it, your response has given so much to read and reread. I will visit it, again and again!

Love, Love, Love,
Leela

Jane said...

As 2013 commences, I want to thank Ram, Kay, and everyone who participates in the Course, Workshops, FB and Blog (whether by commenting or just reading). I'm learning so much from the comments/questions and the replies. I'm touched that so many seekers are willing to expose the ego to the fire of purification. Speaking of which..for years, I thought the goal of sadhana was to get rid of the ego and samskaras. Thanks to the lessons, I'm understanding that it is a matter of 'purifying' the ego and 'breaking free' from the samskaras -- quite a significant difference!

This is where I occasionally feel stuck: Sometimes I use my conscious mind to avoid feelings that apparently need to be experienced and processed (e.g. grief); consequently, I feel caught in a draining downward spiral. I can't always distinguish between what thoughts/feelings I need to immediately replace and what I need to feel and process. Sometimes I can't even identify or name the feelings. As time goes on, and particularly after the workshops, my intuition seems to be guiding me more reliably but it is still an issue for me. Suggestions welcomed or maybe it is just a matter of continuing to read the lessons and practice the exercises...

Much love to all. Many blessings in 2013!
Jane

D. R. Butler said...

Jane, we don't 'avoid' feelings. We experience our feelings. Especially one like grief, which must NEVER be suppressed, but should be experienced fully until the finish. All feelings have a beginning and an end, but we stuff it or sweep it under the carpet, and so it never gets finished.

At any rate, grief is not considered a negative emotion. It is a very powerful human feeling. Experiencing grief is one of the ways we develop compassion.

All feelings should be felt and processed. Feelings aren't really what we 'replace' with something else. Usually we replace automatic reactions with something more preferable and actually helpful to the situation, but this must be done in advance. As you know, the whole process is fully explored in the lessons of the Course.

Michael said...

I had once read a book about problem transformation that relates to the work of Milton Erickson, the great medical hypnotist. The book describes 1st order change, where things are changed "inside the box" and 2nd order change, where things are changed by going "outside the box". 1st order change ends up being like a thermostat usually, and things revert into their usual range, like with attempts made to change the dynamics between a teen and the parent by themselves. 2nd order change is deeper and somehow transforms the over-ruling structure of the problem - it's kind of the way Milton worked - by doing things that had a folksy common sense wisdom to change the "same old same same old" by giving assignments requiring unaccustomed activities and perceptions. Once he had a woman who was suicidal about not being married and who had a gap in her front teeth go to a water fountain at work and then squirt water thru the gap at a coworker. He chased her down the hall and within a few months, they were happily married...

I was thinking how sometimes we do positive thinking intentionality work, getting good effects, yet without wanting to, undermine those efforts when upsetting mindsets get triggered by some events or perceptions. I wonder how permanent roots can be formed that withstand ups and downs, in other words, how to form deep causal roots of a positive nature that are "stronger than dirt" and get beyond the usual ups and downs of planting good seeds, then later losing a good state, inadvertently planting weeds and then back again...

D. R. Butler said...

Michael, there are several Michaels who take the course, so I don't know which you might be, or even if you're perchance a Michael that doesn't take the course at all.

It's almost hard to believe that you take the course, because of the very nature of your question. You say, '...we do positive thinking intentionality work, getting good effects, yet without wanting to, undermine those efforts when upsetting mindsets get triggered by some events or perceptions. I wonder how permanent roots can be formed that withstand ups and downs...'

In the course we focus on maintaining a single Identity that is indivisible and indestructible. This Identity, or this inner Self, does not get triggered. Nothing in the objective world has enough power to trigger it in any way. In fact, it is already the 'permanent root' that has already been formed and which very easily withstands ups and downs--in fact,doesn't even notice them.

The trouble is that instead of remaining focused on our true Self, we allow the samskaras (subconscious impressions and tendencies) to be affected by external stimuli and 'triggered' into something completely irrational and unhelpful in any way, if not emotionally negative and draining, often with the additional results of being disrespectful to others.

A large aspect of the Course of Training via email is that we are taught how to live in an unreactive state. As long as we are subjective to emotional reactions, we cannot depend on ourselves to be who we are or to even know what we are doing.

Remain steadfast in your true Self. There's no reason to keep allowing the samskaras to have their way with you forever. At any time you choose you can put an end to it, and be Master of your own life.

Vandita said...

I loved yesterday´s workshop. Thank you so much for it.

I had a question that did not reach you. Actually, I had an answer but I wanted to get your answer, because I know it will enhance mine for sure.

My answer comes from a Rumi poem where he is asking you if you really want to put your head in the shackle of Love. He says 'do not complain then about the hardships and difficulties; keep your mind quiet when they come. At the end, your rusty chains will become gold."

My question is what it takes to be (in) the highest state love. Because I believe love is like an iceberg, mundane love being just the tip of it, existing so many deeper levels to the experience of love.

And I learned through your course and workshops what inner love is, to some level. Now, those beings who when they look into your eyes totally trespass the limits of your eyes, your personality, and express such an immense love, my question is what it takes to reach that deep state of love.

Does one have to lose everything, go through constant loses in love until he finally gets what love truly is. I have never known anyone else who has fallen in love so many times, and been loved so deeply so many times, to never see that 'continue' in the expression of what everyone else goes through, like continuing together in that love.

Jake Birdsong said...

Dear Ram,

The mind is never satisfied, is it. I mean, it might be for a moment or two but it seriously enjoys spending its time engaging in thoughts that distract us from complete inner contentment. We talk about this all the time and it’s just so fascinating to me how much earnest effort is required to consciously choose each thought so that the impact is one we would actually enjoy.

As we talk about, the mind is helpful in going beyond our ordinary limited descriptions of things through perspective shifts, re-frames, and positive descriptions. But if we really want to be at our best, we must go beyond its constraints of description all together, good or bad. Is this accurate understanding? Infinite peace and satisfaction seem available only once all is still and quiet, mentally.

I want to make sure I am understanding this correctly: the mind is helpful in clearing a pathway to our true Self which is truly the source of happiness/contentment – not the underlying thoughts that we’re so addicted to, even if they have a good feeling to them. Could the mind be thought of as a tool that help us carve this path to the Self, in addition to “helping me find my keys, remember where I parked…"?

I feel like I’m going in circles so I’m going to stop. Anything you offer here is so deeply valued, as always.

Love,
Jake

P.S. Blessings to Kay as she undergoes her operation. We’re all praying for a safe and speedy recovery for her.

D. R. Butler said...

Vandita, aren't you just beginning the section of the Course, 'Love Is Where the Heart Is'? Or maybe you are just coming up to it. The answers to practically all of your questions are contained in those lessons, so you are right on schedule.

I imagine it could be necessary to experience some degree of "Does one have to lose everything, go through constant loses in love until he finally gets what love truly is?" See, the thing is, we can't lose what we haven't got. We can never own or possess another's love, so how could we ever lose it?

The only 'winning' in love is realizing that Love exists ONLY in our own Heart right Now. The only 'losing' in love is by failing to realize that Love exists in all its totality and glory within our own Heart right now.

An important aspect of the process is coming to realize that Love is an essential quality of our only true existing Self. When there is no love, the heart is blocked or closed, and some egotistical melodrama has taken over the mind. This has no effect on Love, but it has a great effect on to what degree do we actually experience the Love available, right now in this present moment? This is something that can grow and expand over time.

Love is the sensation of the Self. It cannot be ended or taken away. What has no beginning has no end. Love is how the inner Self FEELS. It never began and can never end, for it exists ONLY in the Present Moment, which is essentially the eternal Now.

It is pure Consciousness, pure Awareness of Being, that can be experienced as ecstatic love, once we fully realize the only One to love is our Self, and through realizing and SEEING the exact same Self in all other beings simultaneously.

The essence of this is that ultimately all that matters is that we love our own Self with all our Heart, and then that we see the same Self peering from the eyes of all others, and we love all others simultaneously as we love the our own Self, which is the inner Self of all. Ultimately there is no difference between the two.

Therefore Love cannot be lost or gained. We can only recognize it, become fully conscious of it here and now, and appreciate it, ultimately honoring it for the great role it plays in our life.

D. R. Butler said...

Jake Birdsong, I am always happy to see your comments and questions. They always come from a good place, and it is great that such inner maturity manifests in one so young as yourself.

Your comments always make it obvious that you have very good understanding. It is now a matter of refining the understand you already have. This happens in the natural process that occurs as we progress from one lesson to the next every two weeks.

You said, "it’s just so fascinating to me how much earnest effort is required to consciously choose each thought so that the impact is one we would actually enjoy."

You are right. This is perfect understanding. Many people don't get the 'earnest effort required' part of the equation. I am so happy that you have started this path at a young age, for you are understanding things that others don't understand until a much later age, if at all.

It takes a long time, through experimentation and application of the principle, to fully grasp the true meaning of certain things. Do we understand that we are pure and perfect just as we are, that we never made a mistake or a wrong decision, that it was karma and had to happen as it did? Do we understand there is no way to make a mistake or do the wrong thing? Things can only happen as they are intended to. Nothing is random or coincidental. The details of conscious life are blended together so miraculously, yet we hardly give thought to what Power or Intelligence magically takes care of all the details--as long as we do our part.

Keep doing what you are doing, Jacob. You really do have a good understanding of subtleties, and you can develop and expand this through the process of the Course, whatever convenient form the Course appears in for you now. Remain attuned to your current lesson, and you'll do just fine.

D. R. Butler said...

The following are excerpts from a response to something in a thread on a Facebook page:

Regarding your question, the only things that can affect us are our own thoughts, our own awareness, where our attention is focused. Others do not have the power to affect us unless we give them that power through believing in the other more than we believe in ourself.

We determine through what we create in inner consciousness what will be real for us in the outer world, which is basically a reflection of what we have created in inner consciousness through the power of thought.

Others can only determine their own experience and feelings. When we blame others for our experiences or feelings we only reveal our ignorance.

We always and invariably determine our experience and perception through what we think and choose to believe. Through describing something in a certain way we begin to see and experience conditions and situations manifest exactly according to our descriptions and beliefs. We experience as reality what we describe to ourselves and assume to be real.

So our own experience has nothing to do with how others think or act. They themselves are affected by their thoughts and actions, no one else. We determine our own perception, experience, and all feelings according to what we are thinking and how we are focusing our attention.

With greater awareness, we start to see how how we have created through descriptions, thoughts, and beliefs our life as it has manifested. When we change our descriptions, thoughts, and beliefs, things change in outer life exactly according to the inner changes in thought, attitude, and feeling.

Kay Butler said...

Hello and love to everyone who reads this. A letter came today from a long-time participant of the Course. I thought it might be relevant to some of you as well, and would like to hear Ram’s comment on it, as well as any comments you, the reader, might care to share. Here it is, in edited (and anonymous) form:

Hi, Ram, I would like to learn from my reaction to your first online class so that I don't impede my own spiritual growth. My mind said: “This is soooo in the moment,” then, “Sipping his drink, people commenting every second on everything that is said. Why aren't they just listening? Why am I getting distracted by them? Does Ram have to talk to Kay that way? Is this what a real relationship is? When is he just going to get to the teachings. This is so tiring. Everything he says is in the course. He only calls on friends from his past, etc., etc., etc.”

I understood as I took this Workshop that perhaps the thing that keeps me from living in the moment is my judgment of the moment. I am extremely critical of myself and, of course, critical of others; and my expectations are often thru the roof. I'm workin’ on it, ok? Can you say anything to assist me to move forward here with my growth around this particular experience? I don't often follow the blog, but I will now, in hopes of some comment towards my experience. Thanks for being a profound teacher in my life.

My response to her letter follows in the next comment. Love, Kay

Kay Butler said...

My response to her letter is in the next comment. Love, Kay
Here is my response to her very open and honest letter: I'm glad you wrote regarding the first Workshop. It's good to hear how people handle what comes up for them during the Workshops. I'm going to ask Ram to comment on your question (anonymously) in the blog because there might be others who felt the same ways. That first workshop in November seemed designed by Pure Grace Herself to, as Ram often says, "expose everything so it can be expelled" from the system.

I'll say this about that first Workshop: We were entering a totally unfamiliar technological territory that day, after several days of non-stop troubleshooting online and on the phone with our producer Steve, tech support people from our phone company and from the internet platform we were using that day, etc. We were still online and on the phone with those people even after the workshop had begun. We were all stretched to new limits in our practice of tolerance, endurance, and remaining in the Truth of the present moment while understanding that everything is happening perfectly for the benefit of all.

It was clear that our great Friend, the Energy of Transformation, was using the Workshop to bring up whatever reactions might be hiding in the recesses of the mind (as the workshops are intended to do). Ram and I are so used to living with each other as one, that it was very easy to slip into expressions of our exhaustion-stress, and then very easy to step back out again and carry on in love.

And there is the function of the Course in a nutshell. When we can do that, walk that razor's edge and keep returning to love, we're fully practicing the principles of Truth in daily life.

Our Guru said that "even burnt seeds can still sprout" (speaking of samskaras), and nobody is immune to there being unsprouted seeds lurking in the sub-consciousness. Another thing we were told by the Guru: "The difference between a perfected Being and you is that the Siddha stays angry for 3 minutes, while you stay angry for 3 days." That one has always kept me going. It tells me that the quicker I can step out of the reaction and back into the present moment, the quicker I can reach the 'perfected' state right now.

We are all 'enlightened' in the moment we choose to come back to the moment, back to the heart, and back to our love. Sadhana is a matter of doing just that, as soon as we recognize that we have once again succumbed to the stress of the moment and are willing to give it up for the Truth of the moment. Regardless of how many years a person has been doing sadhana, there will always be those 'tests' of our willingness to simply step out of melodrama and back into love.

Notice in your own life how much more willing you are now to give up stress and aggravation and irritability and come back to love; and notice that the frequency and duration of your stumbling back into melodrama diminishes with practice over time.

In our life together, Ram and I have many such moments, and they define our life of living together in love and a true desire for freedom from that which is limiting to freedom.

Thank you for writing, and I'll be watching the comments to the blog to see what Ram has to say about all this. With love, Kay
Ramji, do you have anything to add to my response to Anonymous?

D. R. Butler said...

I loved these questions: “Sipping his drink, people commenting every second on everything that is said. Why aren't they just listening? Why am I getting distracted by them? Does Ram have to talk to Kay that way? Is this what a real relationship is? When is he just going to get to the teachings. This is so tiring. Everything he says is in the course. He only calls on friends from his past, etc., etc., etc.”

Ah, the honesty, the openness--many people think these things but few have the courage to express them and bring them out into the open.

That first workshop, although it was a great experience for all who were actually there, isn't exactly my most shining memory. Not only was it our first time, but the platform we were using was totally unsuitable. We have changed to something much nicer and easier to work with. There are no more comments, but only D.R. on full screen. After 3 workshops, things are starting to run much more smoothly.

I particularly loved the comment, "Everything he says is in the course." I have to admit, this one is true. Everything I know is from the course. If I knew something worthwhile that wasn't in the course, then the course would be incomplete. Of course, the course has not finished for anyone yet. We are each going as fast as we can, for the Omnipresent and Omniscient Consciousness is compassionate enough to let us each progress at our own most comfortable rate.

Then the line, 'When is he going to get to the teachings?' My mind used to do this all the time around the Guru. 'When is he going to stop being so mundane and get to something substantial? This is getting pretty boring.'

Yet, as my mind was thinking such things, I'd notice that I was beginning to experience this incredible inner energy that obviously had nothing to do with what was going on outwardly. I would go in states of deep meditation or bliss. Yet my mind is going, 'When will he get to the highest teachings?'

We don't offer workshops to present new facts and information you might have never run across. I don't know if there really is something like that. The workshop is an experience of the Present Moment, and moves us along rather quickly in our process, however we describe that process to ourselves. The Workshop is an initiation and offers a transformation on inner levels. It doesn't have the first thing to do with what I talk about.

As for calling only on friends from the past, I have to say that over half the people I called on that day were people I did not know and had never spoken with in real time before.

As far as how I was talking to Kay, Kay has known me and helped me in Workshops for over 30 years now, and has lived with me and worked fulltime on the Course with me for the last 10 years or so. Her ego is not so sensitive that if I speak to her in a way to most quickly get things done, she's not going to take it personally and feel that she has been treated badly.

Kay understands why I speak to her in whatever way I am speaking to her. What we have developed together in over 30 years is not likely to be understood by someone coming across some aspect of our relationship for the first time.

I might speak to her abruptly because that is what is needed in the moment. She understands that. She also knows that later on I will probably coo in her ear.

Chris said...

Dear Ram & Kay, I was excited to hear about the "In Depth with D.R. Butler" series to start on Feb 7. Do you have more information about this? Is it a series of workshops?

Volker said...

Chimney, I am not a teacher but there is a bit of a teacher in me, When there is something to explain I usually try to think where the other comes from, not assuming that he knows what I know or that comes from the same background or that was raised up with the same paradigms that I was raised with.

I try to gauge how does the other persons thinks, what is his/her background and try not to put strong or elaborated statements that might take his/her attention away, I rather ask fundamental questions that make them think about the subject in question.

Ram, on regards to Advanced Lessons, I do believe that it depends on what level we are talking. If we are talking about the ultimate "achivement" the waking up of consciousness. Lesson 1 is all we ever could possibly need if we have the ears and if we can apply what Lesson 1 states (that I cannot completely remember now) But on the other hand, there are advanced lessons, there is a lerning curve, that indeed extends to the infinitum.

I can say this because I belive there is a lot to master in the lessons, that I haven´t mastered so far. I wish I could just start all over with the lessons and pay more attention to detail and build a stronger foundation.

So how can I have a foundation if there are no advanced lessons?

For those who desire "advanced lessons" why are you still looking for lessons? if you are so advanced you should know by now that silence is ultimate achivement.

D. R. Butler said...

Chris, I don't think an official announcement about the upcoming Relatioship Immersion has been made public. I will provide an answer to this question asap for everyone. One thing I know is that beginning February 7 we will meet online once a week for an hour, in which we will explore all the subtleties and nuances of relationship--any kind of relationship. Everyone is almost always in relationship, whether they think of it that way or not.

Following the 3 sessions of the Relationship Immersion, on Sunday, March 3, we will have our next workshop, which is open to all yet the finale of the Relationship Immersion as well. The Workshop will explore the topic, 'Inner Growth Through Relationships.'

I highly recommend the Workshop for anyone who wishes to better understand the dynamics of relationship in everyday life.

D. R. Butler said...

Volker, I like your comment a lot. There is a lot to chew on. It is true that Lesson 1 gives us all that we need, but it takes most people many lessons until they finally understand what was originally presented in Lesson 1.

The truly amazing thing is that Lesson 1 is free to anyone who writes to ask for it (drbutler.course@gmail.com)

It is true that there is a lot to master in each lesson that we have not quite mastered yet. The lessons serve a certain function of pointing out to us what remains unmastered so that we know what is necessary for mastery.

You will experience in the Course that there are 'advanced' lessons. They will just hit you differently than most others, and stretch the mind a bit, pushing your capacity to understand, and the result is that you feel that you truly are discovering something NEW that is also profound--which you will agree is a rare but precious combination. There is nothing so blissful as coming upon something truly new that is also actually profound.

What we have, however, moreso than 'advanced lessons,' are 'advanced readers.' In the course, each lesson is as advanced as the reader. As we go through the process of the Course, in whatever forms the Course takes for us at any given time, we will find that our understanding and experience becomes much more refined.

So it is the 'advanced' level of Consciousness that we bring to the lesson that causes the lesson to be experienced as 'advanced.' Almost everything seems advanced when we are truly open to seeing and understanding what is 'new' and what has been heretofore unknown.

Silence is not our 'ultimate achievement.' It is not an 'achievement' in any sense of the world. Silence already exists at the beginning, even before the first thought has arisen, and is as aspect of our true nature. Stillness is also an aspect of our true and eternal nature. So instead of an 'achievement,' it is more a 'recognition' of the already existing Truth.

It is this level of Truth that we refer to when we refer to Living in the Truth of the Present Moment.

Jim said...

At the 1st workshop, a few minutes in I noticed I was feeling impatient, but then I looked around. It was Sunday, I was in my study lounging on a couch in front of a big screen TV with a glass of iced tea, hanging out with DR. Then I remembered what I wrote to DR when I started the new course (paraphrased): "for me, taking your course has always been like hanging out on a porch in the country on a lazy summer day, with a nice cold iced tea, talking in a relaxed way about the fundemental principles of living a good life and while we're at it talking about ancient scriptures in a laid back way." Dang, I was living the vision. I immediately felt content.

Eugenia said...

I am picking up from Vandita's 21/1 and your response 23/1. It makes me wonder about what these "portals" of mine are: certain ones of anything that one encounters that suddenly and inexplicably bring one to the very centre of one's love and whenever you encounter them the in-touchness is equally intense but never the same. It is like walking through corridors of frosted glass and suddenly one pane is a mirror. Even meditation doesn't work as instantly and profoundly as these "portals". So what are they? does anyone else feel this way? Having encountered the feeling how can it be expanded? Is this another out-there-Eugenia post? Does it even have an answer?
Love

Kathryn Wade said...

Have heard and I have used the phrase "It's All One" but it has been on more of an intellectual level than on an experiential level, although I must have some recognition of the truth of it, to be even interested in it.
Was struck today with seeing...that "space between thoughts"...isn't really a space, is it? I mean, as in that Idea of space where there is a Vacuum of sorts, where there is Nothing...
because although that "place" "space" is a super fine and indescribably infinitesimal thing/not thing concept/ not concept, like Ether, LIFE? -there is no way to draw a boundary ---as there is only One---There cannot really be this gap, just like there' s not really Any thing --where does it stop or start? The idea of boundaries are concepts of linear thought, while existence is going on in all directions---direction is another idea...you may have written about this, I'm not sure, but
I had a fleeting glimpse of this, like a little shock of recognition--but now I feel the mind is grasping at it, trying to make sense of it and covering it over, -- I want to expand it more--where? how? It’s like I saw or knew for a moment -lightbulb! and now trying to capture it-words drawing circles around it as it slips away like mercury
You said the Guru said it's necessary to Ask, so I am asking for help--especially since the mind is causing fear and starting chatter--like--is this right, am I going crazy, I don't think so, maybe this is nothing, all that--REally, what should i do now, just leave it?

D. R. Butler said...

Kathryn, the Truth comes in glimpses because it does not exist in time. When your mind tries to make sense of it, you go back into time and lose touch with that glimpse of the Truth, which exists only in the present moment.

The space between thoughts isn't really a space, in the sense of emptiness. What is space, seeming emptiness, filled with? It is filled with Love. Love connects the entire universe and makes it One. Because of Love there is no separation, yet a person will experience separation as long as there is no love.

Vandita said...

Thank you for your answer to my queston on Jan 21st.
I believe i did not articulate it properly, sorry for that. My question is, there is a difference between mundane love, inner love and that 'radical' love that some people express, as when they look into your eyes they knock you out and you can see clearly that they are 'in another place', so to speak. And I wanted to know how to get to the radical thing, although maybe you already answered.

Rumi talks about 'seeing the fragments of myself dance before my gaze', not even knowing who he is anymore, so I guess that is the ultimate losing, and that is why my question does one have to lose everything.

The other factor I just find it fascinating, not having the 'normal' thing that seems to go on for everyone,and of course your answer is my understanding of things, and I know that for me things could not smf should not have been be different.

Jane said...

Kay - Thank you so much for posting anonymously one of the course participant's reactions to the 1st workshop. I could relate but would never have admitted it until reading that someone else had been so honest. Over time, I have come to accept that the ego/conscious mind often rebels when exposed to the Truth and, as you indicated, a lot of 'stuff' comes to the surface to ultimately be expelled from the system (or at least exit faster without so much drama). As a result, I'm more likely to watch the flux and not be as distracted by it as I was years ago when I sometimes even left programs a few minutes early because, apparently, the ego didn't like being submitted to the fire of purification and it became extremely restless.

Even though my mind was chatting away during portions of the workshops, I noticed that when Ram articulated the teachings, they seemed to crystallize and enter me on a deeper level than just reading them on my own. It gave me a greater appreciation for the value of repetition and re-reading the lessons.

Similar to anonymous's comments I did hear my mind saying 'when is Kay going to react to Ram, how can she control herself?' but at the same time my heart recognized that you are both so focused on loving service that there doesn't seem to be a sense of separation between you. At any rate, I reminded myself that I once concluded that my Guru was (chauvinistically) not giving proper recognition to his translator only to hear him announce shortly thereafter that she was his successor. So I often ask myself, what does my mind (manas) really know about anything?

Much love and appreciation to you, Ram, and all.
p.s. Just this morning I perceived that my 'will' is much weaker than I've previously been willing to admit to myself -- It is a refreshing feeling because I can now see that I need to focus on strengthening it so that I can more consistently practice the principles of the course. I am so eternally grateful for the lessons!

Kathryn Wade said...

Thank you, DR Butler, for consistently pointing to and addressing this, --”back to the moment, back to the heart, back to love --and, Love is where the Heart is.” Thank you for the encouragement and offering opportunities to experience this.

D. R. Butler said...

Kathryn, nothing makes me happier than when people take advantage of the opportunity. Interestingly, relatively few recognize the opportunity for what it is. Thank you for being one to recognize it and to take advantage of it. Just the capacity to do this says a lot about a person. It is very easy for the mind and ego to think, 'No thanks, I don't need that.' One has to be very open to actually be willing to try something new.

Vicki said...

This talk about teaching and portals brought back a strong memory, and led to a deep feeling of grief and acknowledgement at the same time. It was the 70's and I had met my Guru, but I didn't see myself as having the experiences that others proclaimed ( loudly, with microphones, lol ) to be having. I would find myself in the classroom, teaching a Spanish verb, or introducing a new word, and my head would begin to tingle strongly, and my eyes would tear up , and I would feel immersed in love, and I couldn't stop to wonder, " what is this?" and I would still be talking. It happened a lot. I know the classes felt it too, there was so much love, it was extraordinary. And then, I was fired. Of course, it had to be; my destiny lay elsewhere. But for some reason, reading these last few comments, I was suddenly back in that room, feeling that profound love, and I began to cry, and I feel such deep grief for what I lost there - or is it longing for what I am reaching for? Such is the power of just coming to this blog.