Monday, April 1, 2013

Each New Moment Is a Clean Slate

According to Kashmir Shaivism, each second is created anew by the Perceiver.  What we think of as the 'past' is only mind stuff.  The entire cosmos lasts only this moment.  Then the next moment we create it from scratch all over again.  Of course, most individuals are on cruise control and simply recreate the past moment and go from there, giving us the illusion of time.  This is why I always say that each new moment we have a blank slate and can create anything we can imagine.  Most, however, simply drag the past into the present.

Strangely, many do not realize that change happens only in the present moment.  We think something will change later.  We should be more interested in what is changing now.  Even more than that, we should be more interested in the eternally changeless.  The constantly changing is fascinating to the mind, but the eternally changeless is blissful to the soul.
Each present moment the universe is created in Consciousness.  A pure Being sees only the play of Consciousness.  An ordinary individual differentiates and describes situations and events and then automatically reacts to his or her own descriptions.  Most people never realize we are doing everything to ourselves—we are the cause of every effect that affects us.  Nothing outside us has the power to affect us unless we allow it to in our own thinking.

There have been some great exchanges in last month’s comments, and I’d like to share my responses to a few questions or comments that came in:

I'm not asking anyone to be free from emotions. However, breaking free from 'negative' emotions, and especially from 'expressing' them, which creates horrendous karma, is a very important step in sadhana.

In the lessons of the Course we recommend replacing negative emotions like anger, resentment, fear, worry, and agitation with the higher feelings, such as love, joy, cheerfulness, compassion, and lightheartedness. This of course takes will and focus of attention, which is explained in the lessons.

What you're calling a 'mood' is what I call an egotistical melodrama. In reality, true 'moods' are not different from the gunas. We may be influenced by the moods of tamas, rajas, and sattva, but these are very different from negative emotions.

When we have such incredible power in the present moment IF we are conscious of it and IF we apply it, there is nothing that should linger for weeks or months. If there is, we're simply caught in a negative emotion and won't let go—or bother to replace it with something more positive and enjoyable, which is possible in any present moment.

"I just want to know who to blame..."

You don't blame anything. Go beyond blame altogether. Never blame another, and never accept blame from another. What good would it do, practically speaking, to know whether to 'blame' the mind or the ego? They work as a tandem. The two of them together create what we call 'egotistical melodramas.'

"How do we ever get free of what is projected out onto the screen of consciousness which must be the objective world?"

We get free from it by turning our attention to the Subjective realm within, understanding that the outer objective world is only a reflection of the inner world.

"It's been quite a problem encountering people who simply refuse to see things any way but the traditional way."

Like it or not, these people make up the large majority of people we come in contact with in this world. Most people do not understand that the mind creates the reality they see and experience. There is no way we can make them see this.

It is hard enough teaching principles of Truth to people who sincerely wish to understand the Truth. It is impossible to share the Truth with those who have no interest in understanding it.

*    *     *

I do not think that you get it that certain things come up to challenge your standards and ideals. Otherwise, you'd have no basis for declaring yourself 'unsuccessful'. Isn't, after all, that whole concept based on standards and ideals?

What is success? To me, success is being happy and content. Success is loving what you do. Success is thinking well of yourself and others.

As far as being successful in my work or not, who knows? Far too many still know nothing of the availability and power of the lessons. And of those who participate in the lessons of the Course of Training via email, far too many are too lazy or unwilling to refer to their current lesson often enough, which is the physical form of the transformative process for participants of the Course.

And then, how many actually apply the principles presented in the Course in their own lives in practical ways? For too many it is still far too easy to trigger a negative emotional reaction. Too many continue to allow the most limiting thoughts to linger in their minds, producing limiting conditions and situations in their personal lives.

Some people are simply not open to anything save their own rigidly narrow view of things. This is truly sad. Life is hard enough as it is; not understanding how it works makes it feel so much harder.

So, what determines success? 'Making it big' is temporary and often a rocky road. Many who had 'made it big' have had tragic endings.

I'll stick with being content and fulfilled, with being really happy with the way things are and with the simplicity of this present moment.

Try it. Prove the Truth for yourself.

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Are you certain your friend is fully capable of recognizing an enlightened being? Certainly not many people have this talent for knowing who is merged with the Absolute and who isn't.

You bring up some points that aren't in accordance with my own way of seeing things, as we are using certain terminology to have different meanings.

In my understanding, when you're free of samskaras, you're free. These deeply ingrained subconscious impressions are very powerful, even in intelligent and educated people.

Simply speaking, samskaras include attachments and aversions, identifications and compulsions, and addiction and inhibition. Of course, when we really look into these, as we do in the lessons of the Course, we see that these six simple categories cover a lot of territory, as we can make long lists of the ways we are involved in each category, which requires acute and honest self-observation.

An enlightened Being is free from samskaras and ego. He or she is no longer controlled by thoughts or habitual subconscious tendencies. One who is Awake sometimes but not Awake other times is not enlightened. We are all Awake sometimes and not other times. Some, through practice and the development of will, become more proficient and consistent about being Awake than others who never bother to practice or to even be aware of the process.

This is basically the answer to your question about different stages of enlightenment. Enlightenment is not like becoming a super hero and suddenly having powers. Enlightenment is being firmly established in the Awareness of the Truth of Being. If the experience is inconsistent, then it is just another person doing sadhana, not an enlightened being. So the stages are simply resting in the state of enlightenment more often, and for longer periods of time. A higher 'stage' is simply a greater degree of consistency.

                                      *     *     *

I thought I was very clear in the entry that I didn't care much for the idea of 'reaching' people. True teachers don't seek out more students. Instead, true students seek out a true teacher.

The only way I might actually care to 'reach someone' is that I know there are many people out there who would enjoy and benefit from the Course as much as the ones already participating. To offer the principles of Truth in ways that they can be understood and applied in the modern world is a great thing. It would be very good if more people, from their own openness, discovered them, but I am not going to send out anyone searching for those people, and I certainly have no desire to 'convince' anyone of anything. If a person is happy with himself as he is, then I am happy for him.

It is no more difficult to be a Master these days than it ever was. And it is true that they have relatively few students around them. An authentic Master does not directly communicate with the masses. They do not even reveal themselves to the profane world. The charismatic personalities with big followings that we hear a lot about are not necessarily true Masters. A true Master does not make much of a public scene, and very few people ever even hear of one.

The principles of Truth offered in the Course of Training via email will never be 'watered down,' unless hundreds of years down the road someone edits the lessons according to their own understanding, or intentionally aiming them for the masses. Then the watered down teachings might become the dogma for a religion. It wouldn't be the first time such a thing has happened.

For now, there is nothing anywhere similar to the Course of Training. Of course, there is no way to understand what this actually means without actually participating to see what happens as a result.

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



Divya said...

I have been working with the lessons for many years. I read them many times a month and attempt to do the exercises at the end of the lessons. They have made a big difference in the way I see my life and I am very grateful. What I find fascinating is that I am excited to read the next lesson because it holds the answers to what I am going through at the moment. For example in my current lesson the exercise is to "make sure my thoughts, words,and actions are all perfectly aligned and in sync." It has been easy to say one thing and do another for me. Now, I am practicing holding myself to it. This is a practice of coming into harmony with my own self. It feels good to me.

Ghayas said...

Thank You very much Ram for your post. I won't take it personally !!! Even if each time when I read something like : "how many actually apply the principles presented in the Course in their own lives in practical ways? For too many it is still far too easy to trigger a negative emotional reaction." I feel "Gee, how did he find out ?"
Just this morning when my four year old didn't want to put her socks on and we were late to school, I exploded in anger, while few hours before, I happily copied on my wall the exercise of my current lesson about responding instead of reacting in the coming two weeks. Sadhana goes on ! Thank you for the constant reminders. Much Love. Ghayas

Vicki said...

It's amazing how I can read the blog one time and think, "Oh yeah, very nice," or, like today, when I'm preparing for what may be a difficult conversation, and wanting to be very clear and stand very strong, I can stop at each teaching and see how that can relate to my 'thing'. I can know that by doing so, I have allowed the various points you make to go deep inside. I may not remember them at all when the time comes, but they will be there to guide and protect me, and help me to hold firm to the Truth, and they will arise when needed.

Jim said...

Divya, I've been working with the lesson you speak of for the last two weeks, where the exercises is aligning thought, word and action. Thanks for sharing what it means to you. I have been curious how others might be working with it. For me I looked at it like the thought was the seed, the word was the growing sprout and the action was the full grown plant. Mostly I was on the look out for 'the bad seed' and would use the exercise like a mantra when I found myself harboring angry or limiting thoughts. I'd say or remember "THOUGHT WORD ACTION" so as to stop watering the dark thought with my time and attention.

Vickie said...

"The constantly changing is fascinating to the mind, but the eternally changeless is blissful to the soul." and I see why I love the Course where mind and soul merge into One: it appears to constantly change and thus occupy my mind...but the undercurrents of power and energy have not changed in all the years I've been studying with you and so it is that it continues to nourish, guide, and inspire me! many thanks always.

Lynne Bhanu Shulman said...

i do remember when when my emotions would "get the best of me". And looking back i can see how i allowed myself the drama of anger or hurt. I spent a few relationships honing my dramatic responses and hanging on to them to the point that my responses became more important than the person i supposedly loved and was upset with.
So much has changed over the years with the help of the Course and then this past year my understandings rocketed in application. with my participation here and the facebook page and the workshops.There is no other time than now. Period. All the sayings are so true AND able to be practiced easily. Each moment a new beginning. What you see is what you get. What you resist persists. I don't fight with my tamasic tendencies anymore. I don't fight for long with anything.the drama factor in my life has become non existent. when i miss it i certainly know how to reach into the past and hang on. :) Thanks to persistence in the Course i can wipe the slate clean any time i notice.

James said...

Thanks for the new slate comment. Coming back to it. Stepping back. Wacth. Letting go.
It is a relief to begin on a fresh note.

Christine S. Boyd said...

I've never really understood what enlightenment is, probably because I wasn't ready to understand it. It's really helpful now to see this: "So the stages are simply resting in the state of enlightenment more often, and for longer periods of time. A higher 'stage' is simply a greater degree of consistency." I recognize that an enlightened state is within me, that's what I touch or rest in the more I apply the Course and manage my mind and emotions successfully. Speaking of success, I relate to your definition.

With love,

Vicki said...

My Difficult Conversation went a lot better than I ever imagined. I think it was because I was well prepared (and yet spontaneous) and had the Intention to be lighthearted. I read my lesson, the blog, I wrote some notes, I contemplated my motivation, my feelings, my Heart's desire, and I put myself in advance in the shoes of the person who was trying to one-up me, and whom I would be discussing in the D.C. I didn't want to whine, complain, or badmouth, but I did want to stand in my truth and be very firm. I wanted to hold on, as you advised me one night on your facebook status about control, in the face of someone's egotistical melodrama. And yet, not knowing the level of understanding of the person I would be speaking with, the moderator, the decision maker, I was prepared to surrender all and lose something very important to me, IF the person were to take sides against me. I was not willing to stay in an inappropriate situation. And I prepared in advance how I wanted to feel if I were to lose my case. This is something the Course has taught - to know how to replace negative feelings, and to be prepared. In the end, I found myself in an engrossing and empathetic conversation with a being of some maturity and many years of sadhana, and I enjoyed every minute, and emerged with what I wanted. The other person got something too, but it wasn't something I cared about.

The entire process, which took me deep within to a place where I had to review my life at this time, and know what I truly wanted and what I was willing to honour and defend, was supported at every step by my lessons, and by discussions and comments that I've read here and on your facebook page. I came to a new place of detachment, of willingness to let the decisions come from a higher power, yet, to be involved in the decision making at a certain level by bringing clarity to a situation I'd been foggy about for some time. If the decision had gone against me, forcing me to resign, I imagined a feeling of relief, of freedom from responsibilities. Instead, it went in my direction and I find a certain joy and renewed enthusiasm that something I love has the potential to continue for years to come. My conclusion is that it's a good thing to shake the tree sometimes, to wake up from lethargy and things we take for granted, and to be forced to take a good look at what we are willing to commit to and to be involved with, and what is unacceptable. I feel a great deal of gratitude and humility for what I have experienced. I do believe my relationship with the Course has required, and will continue to require, that I examine my life more closely and with regularity.

Vandita said...

So, regarding the paragraph on enlightenment, that comes from your answer to my question last month. Buddha was practicing meditation and austerities for years, until he realized it had helped him gain a great control over his mind and body, but that was not the enlightenment he was looking for. And then he got enlightened as he decided to sit under the Bodhi tree and not move from there until Awakening happened. And it happened. People like Metta Zetty or Ekhart Tolle, Ekhart got enlightened in the midst of a depression. When I hear Metta describe the nature of Reality there is Truth in it, it is the same description that the sufis offer. She got enlightened in a dream, where she met this spiritual being who woke her up. Did they suddenly lost all their conditioning as they had the awakening experience? Is that possible? I want that.

Lance said...

Lately has been a time for waking further from the dream of life. Sometimes I ask myself, "what am I doing here in D.R. Butler's course of study"? Well some answers recently came to me.

I just read something from an ancient Indian teacher on training the mind. He said, "If an Antidote comes as soon as a defilement comes, then you are practicing well. If the antidote is not there when you need it and the mental defilement takes over, then you are not doing well. You have to practice more".

I don't think I have ever run into any teachings that serves as a better antidote to all the ego and mind stuff that plagues humanity than D.R.'s course of study. It seems like everything we learn ends up a concept that holds us back from seeing reality. But when we are constantly just trying to perceive this present moment where everything exists, there is no room for mental defilement that just wants to steal our innate happiness, born of our awareness of that which exists right now.

rico said...

It seems that our idea of "enlightenment" is often the biggest obstacle to "enlightenment".

Yvananda said...

To me it is difficult to admit or to really agree that every moment is a clean slate. I try, but, there is a lot of resistence to it, and I don't want to fool myself in saying yes but thinking no in reality.

But, I found a way to come close, beacause my mind is ok with the idea of each new day is a clean slate. Whatever mistake I did, or whatever I did not do is washed up, and I have a new opportunity to do what I know is right, or do what I know I am supposed to do.
In this way, I am gentil and comprehensive with myself rather than judgmental and negative.

Vandita said...

Keep on explaining Rico, please.

D. R. Butler said...

Vandita, I have trouble with the phrase 'got enlightened' or 'getting enlightened.' Enlightenment is not something we 'get.' Enlightenment is living in the realization of what we are--our true and eternal nature.

The Guru said to me, 'Why do you want something you do not already have? If you can get something you don't already have, then you can also lose it. Find that which you always already have, which you can never lose and which no one can possibly take from you, and you will be conscious of God every second of every day.'

I am not convinced that Metta Zetty is an enlightened being. She is just another teacher from what I can tell. And I am not even sure if Tolle is enlightened.

When Tolle's first book, 'The Power of Now' came out, I got so many letters from people who took my course at the time saying things like, 'This fellow Tolle has taken all your ideas from your course and written a book based on them.'

I like Ekhart. He is a very pleasant fellow, and I don't get any sense of ego from him. Still from my perspective he needs to work on a greater opening of the heart and become less mental in his presentations. He's good at tuning people into the moment, but I am not sure how much he tunes people into love.

Kay and I went to see him talk in Manhattan--a good excuse just to go somewhere--and we sat about as close to him as one could sit, and it was a very pleasant time. He seems fairly anchored in the present moment, and I doubt seriously he would mislead anyone in any way.

True enlightenment is very rare. You can't honestly go around telling people they're already enlightened, as Metta does, because this appeals enormously to the ego, which has tried for years to get enlightened--an enlightened ego--but it doesn't do much good for someone to think they're already enlightened before they've even begun sadhana. We really cannot be an enlightened ego.

Even so, of course, once we consistently maintain our own Awareness of Being, there is no higher we can go, no freer we can be.

Vandita said...

So beautiful Ram. Thank you!

Vandita said...

I sent a note yesterday through my iPad, but I am not sure it got in, I don´t know if this is iPad friendly.

I said thank you so much, so beautiful!

Brent Flickinger said...

The course is a living process. So often the very teaching I read and "understand" confronts me in the moment, and I have to either apply the teaching or suffer.

Recently I was going through my stuff of feeling a victim for not being treated well by my boss in how things were not communicated to me until I sought out answers. I struggled with whether or not to say something; I did not want to approach him unless I could be lighthearted about it. I practiced what I would say and how I would say it if I chose to.

I had the opportunity recently to tell him in a fairly casual way that it would have been easier for me to hear what he had to say if he had handled it a certain way. He did apologize but did not seem comfortable talking about it anymore.

I read my lesson the same day that said if I react to what someone is doing/saying, then the issue is mine--something being reflected back to me. If I don't react, then it's the other person's issue and I can know because I can feel compassion for her/him.

When I saw what I perceived as his discomfort talking about it, I felt compassion for his way of being; I did not react with my stuff. It was so exhilarating to read this teaching and be able to apply it right away.

A few days later I was with a group of people and one of them began to irritate me with her manner. I focused on seeing myself from the highest place of love for myself. Amazingly, the irritation diminished. That intention to replace a negative feeling with a positive one, and to focus on putting my attention on a "higher" plane really worked!

I've "known" so many of these teaching for years, yet each lesson now teaches me one or more subtleties that I live in the present situations of my life. Jaya jaya the teachings!!!

D. R. Butler said...

Nice post, Brent. Glad to see you more active here.

D. R. Butler said...

Vandita, sometimes when it seems to take a long time for a post to appear, it's simply because I've been away from the computer for a while, which is good for me.

I cannot even remember the last time I actually did not approve of a post and rejected it. Just about everything that comes here gets posted. Still, I have to at least check, because there are some strange and undisciplined minds out there.

Thankfully yours is not one of them.

Eugenia said...

I need to ask you a question. After all this time I still don't know how to harmonise with the moment because what is a moment? Been taking walks by the beach and then it becomes clear as each wave breaks differently. Could take 1000 consecutive photoes and none would match yet harmony is not an issue. Then you have spiritual moment which is rich and full...but always different, the awareness; physical moment which is such as it is after the spiritual has splashed it; the emotional moment that is table-tennised from physical to spiritual, observation to awareness. In my experience they are all making fools of each other, combining them is a testament to the obsurd. Then my son was teaching me how to draw an impossible triangle and I saw my difficulty: I follow a line and naturally expect it to lead a certain way: the front at the front; have a certain sence of perspective of a shape that isn't even there. So I focus on the spiritual moment and loose sight of the physical or the reverse. So please tell me what is a moment?

D. R. Butler said...

Eugenia, in being in harmony in the moment, the key word is 'harmony' and not 'moment'. Therefore, just live in harmony with whatever comes up.

A moment is a moment. There is only a physical moment, because only in the physical world is there time. There is no spiritual moment. When it comes to spiritual, the time is always NOW.

Krishna White said...

What is you understanding of the experience where the Many becomes the One, when Prakasha & Vimarsha is the only awareness and where the fragmented state of feeling merge into equanimity? Do you feel this state can be or will be continuous experience for the human race.

If I can experience this state once, kinda like back when my heart fist burned in the fire of love, it is something that can be sustained?

D. R. Butler said...

Krishna, this is explored rather deeply in our Course of Training via email. Prakasha is the Light that illumines all realms of existence, while Vimarsha is that which perceives and understands what is being illuminated.

This is not a future state to be attained. It is the way it is right now. The true nature of Awareness consists of Prakasha and Vimarsha. Right now, this moment, the both exist in all their fullness. God exists right now in all His glory. All that is lacking is our awareness of the Truth.

You can experience this state once if you want to. To sustain it is primarily a matter of living in the Truth of the Present Moment. In this present Now, this fire of love is all that exists. In time, the mind creates the universe once more, and we are affected by the universe we create in our own mind.

Colette DeVore said...

Oh my darlings, let us be free. Dance like the wind that blows through the tree. Let your hearts delight guide your way. Let love lead you on forever and a day. I am so glad we can all play.

I just started the part of the course called "The greatest game ever invented". Woo hoo! Today I'm playing the possibility of being delighted. I hope you will all play with me.

Jake Birdsong said...

Dear Ram,

In my most recent lesson you write: “Any unpleasant feeling can function as an alarm bell: Do not go there! There is not even the slightest value in considering a negative emotion or taking it seriously for any reason.”

What about using the realization of a negative emotion ‘coming up’ to look within and see what is being disturbed? I’ve learned a tremendous amount about myself and what is responsible for any comfort/discomfort I’m experiencing seemingly only through the pain.

Using our willpower to focus our attention on our intention will allow me to see the Truth of the situation and prevent me from creating a melodrama. It is a bullet-proof formula. But if I’ve missed this step, and I create this whole story before I even realize that I’m doing it, and the emotional rush begins to flow, the first harmonious step that I take involves (dare I say requires) simply acknowledging the disruptive feeling’s momentary existence – it’s momentary truth with a lowercase ‘t’.

Oh where I’d be without my lesson. Lost.


Brent F said...

Had a few minutes to eat a bite between things. I read a page of the current lesson. I could feel the subtle shift of awareness.

Vandita said...

I believe I am starting to understand what equanimity is.

A certain feeling-response that has been with me for so many years that I cannot even remember has been ripped away in a one day work that someone did on me. I have gone through these processes of self-transformation quite a few times already, but this time it´s been so clear how as that feeling is no longer existing, and therefore no longer acting on, I observe a situation that only three days ago caused so much pain, so much distress, and my body looks for the feeling (the body has got a memory), it looks for the usual feeling reaction, but it just cannot find it!

So, it amazes me that there is just no reaction! I flip out to not feel any intense feeling, not positive nor negative, to not be able to get into the usual mental description and entanglement about the situation.

So, equanimity means seeing everything like this, like an observer. Not taking it into a personal level. This is really cool.

Jane said...

Sometimes it seems the longer I take the Course, the more I see the ego in action. Lately, instead of feeling discouraged (which I know is one of the ego's methods to maintain its grip) I've been trying to immediately assign these thoughts to the scrapheap of samskaras which I visualize being burned in a yogic fire. Then it is easier for me to go on to a positive, uplifting thought. Hopefully, this will lead to being able to immediately replace the samskaric thought without any interim steps.

I am also more clearly seeing how my reactions to others' samskaras are about me. My current lesson (which I think Brent may have referred to above) says: "If it is their samskaras we are seeing, we are most ikely to feel compassion and understanding. If we see our own samskaras that we have projected onto them, we tend to feel reactive -- there is anger and resentment...." Even though I've read that concept many times, it is now sinking in at a deeper and more pragmatic level.

Everyone's shares, questions, and of course, Ram and Kay's service make me feel so connected and help me to practice the teachings on a daily basis despite the ego's resistance...

michael said...

Since beginning the section of the course entitled Love Is Where the Heart Is, I find that I am living more of my life focused on the experience of love in the present moment.   When I am in the waiting room instead of picking up a book or working on my phone I simply sit and focus within, on the radiant space I share with the occupants.   It is becoming increasingly apparent that thinking about my personal life is unnecessary, because things will happen on their own.   Instead of trying to improve things, I am more inclined to simply accept and approve of them the way they are.   One of my great joys in life is when I observe the rays of love expanding in my heart and healing any attachments or aversions that might arise.   I know that the love I am feeling will continue to solidify and expand as I pursue the lessons of the course. I am very grateful for this section on love.

kirsty said...

I woke this morning, at 5:02 am, then drifted back to sleep and had a long involved dream, colourful and fascinating which I cannot recall now.

When I woke again it was 5:04 am.!

Then I rose and read the wonderful old story of Krishna and Narada, who was to fetch the glass of water.

Need I say more? Well, maybe "WOW!"

Vandita said...

Kirsty I loved that! Thank you for sharing it.

D. R. Butler said...

Jacob: "What about using the realization of a negative emotion ‘coming up’ to look within and see what is being disturbed?"

Jake, that is a very perceptive observation, and also an essential step. The very first thing we can do with a negative emotion is to see it, recognize it in action. We can say to ourselves, 'Wow, here I am being reactive (or angry or agitated or whatever), who would've thought it?'

Once we clearly see what is disturbing our state, then we know what to prepare a substitute for, as explained in the lessons of the Course. Instead of reactive, we can be cool, poised, undisturbed. Since we have the power of free will, we can be whatever we choose, IF we realize we have that choice and use our will to choose what is more preferable.

D. R. Butler said...

Jane: "Sometimes it seems the longer I take the Course, the more I see the ego in action."

Of course it would work this way. At the beginning, the ego is so large that it controls everything. It's kind of like not seeing the forest for the trees.

As we do the actual work of personal development, the ego grows smaller, and soon it gets small enough that we can actually see it for the first time.

Of course, what happens then is that we freak out because upon seeing our ego for the first time it appears so huge. We do not realize it simply got small enough that we could finally see it.

Then the real work begins.

Brent F. said...

I've been wondering if my increased understanding of death as a transition rather than a loss or tragedy will translate into a different experience when I'm confronted with the "death" of someone close and dear to me. Then I read something in my current lesson (as I always do)that speaks directly to where to put my attention: "For our exercise this time, practice focusing on the solidity of your own existence." This exercise and the words leading up to it do speak to my "issue." Thank you, oh great, omniscient Consciousness!

kabir said...

My current lesson states, "It's very easy to participate in this life without getting personally involved once we are aware of the possibility."

My understanding after contemplating this statement is, it's very easy to love things as they are. Why? Because my inner being - the subtlest part of my nervous system - is permeated by the rays of Divine Love.

Jane said...

Ram - Thanks so much for your comment. I laughed out loud and felt delightfully hopeful when I read it.
Love and gratitude...

D. R. Butler said...

Vandita, I love your description of your experience of equanimity. It is a state that is very challenging to put into words, as there are no verbal concepts that truly capture it. But your experience described it beautifully.

It can be a bit unnerving when we begin feeling equanimity clearly for the first time. The ego aspect of us feels most comfortable either liking something and feeling good about it, or disliking something and feeling bad about it. It is a bit disorienting when we truly do not care one way or another, when we start to perceive the true equality of all things.

So the ego will resist the state of equanimity. It might jump on the idea of it, of course, and even appropriate it to itself, feeling permeated with equanimity. Of course the first words or actions that someone does or says that he doesn't like, suddenly equanimity vanishes and automatic and predictable reactions takes its place.

Not only might it take a while to experience a true state of equanimity, it is also hard to remember it when things come up that trigger habitual negative emotions. In addition to this, it takes a while to get used to the experience of equanimity, as we are usually so accustomed to either like or dislike something, to feel good about it or to feel bad about it. Feeling nothing about it is disconcerting until we get used to it through maintaining the experience.

Tanner said...

It might just be me and the way I see things, but it seems that fewer comments and questions are coming into the blog, as though there has been some strange cosmic slow-down of the dialogue, as you like to call it. Is this just my imagination, and if not, why do you think it is happening, or not happening, this way?

D. R. Butler said...

Tanner, be assured that it is not only your imagination, although I agree that it is often more difficult than most people think to distinguish reality from imagination--especially right now. Many of us would not believe what most people are imagining these days, or the extent to which they live by their imaginings.

Astrologically--the influence of the planets, moon, and sun upon human individuals--the planet Earth as a whole, including the herd of humanity upon it, is going through an extremely intense time.

Around the end of 2012, a lot of hoopla was made about the changes that would be coming to earth and life on it. These changes are starting to actually manifest, and April, May, and on into June will be a very intense period of time for the world in general, as well as individuals.

One of the effects of this will be that people will have a harder time than usual focusing on spiritual matters or the process of self-development--I can talk about the same thing without using the word 'spiritual'. People in general, for example, will find it harder to make it to the blog, to read the other comments, or to actually participate in interaction and exchange in dialogue.

People who participate in our Course of Training might find it more challenging than usual to read their current lesson or to tune into it on an ongoing basis. In general, people might feel less likely to begin or continue such a Course as ours--as it goes straight into the Truth of the Present Moment--and during this time most people will not want to go there. They will be too entranced by the melodramas going on around them and in them.

During the planetary transits of the next couple of months, simply do the best you can, focus the best you can on referring to your current lesson, and don't be hard on yourself--don't get judgmental, regarding others or yourself. Be calm, cool, and poised, no matter how challenged you feel.

Remain in that state of equanimity for as long as possible each time you remember it, and you will develop that particular 'muscle'. We can't do it without actually practicing.

As we approach the summer months, the intensity will begin to let up. Life will feel easier and more pleasant. The desire for spiritual growth and for interaction with other seekers of Truth will return, perhaps even greater than before.

Vandita said...

Thank you, thank you and thank you for that answer! It clears things up even further.

I can see how my attention is so much willing to focus again on the good/bad stuff, so with your words I understand that tendency. I also understand that things are not so much a matter always of working myself out to attracting 'good' stuff and avoiding 'bad' stuff, but they are more a matter of how I respond to whatever comes up. So from equanimity, it does not really matter.

No need to get an answer to the question that I sent to you yesterday.

Thank you!

Jim said...

DR this is good to know. I've been aware of the same thing with the blog here and my motivation to participate and read my lessons. A couple of paragraphs, half a page tops (though yesterday's paragraph made a big impact on the day). February & March also were crazy intense over here, felt like there was a planet right in our backyard doling out some influence. But keeping in action mitigates the planetary blues. I wrote a song with the lyric "I don't care what's in retrograde, just give me a hoe just give me a spade."

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

Thank you D.R., for these words about the upcoming months. I found them comforting and also a timely inspiration to keep making good efforts to keep re-reading my lessons, and also turning to the Source within-- even when things feel "entrancing" on the outside.

This community is a precious one. Thanks to all of you who share here. Blessings KJ

Anonymous said...

There is a bit of a conundrum for me dear friends & dear Ram in responding to your blog. Most often I read it, sit with it and it feels quite complete unto itself. So it's rather comical when I make an attempt to respond (having done this sometimes) and discover that my fingers do no typing. Apparently, this time it worked!

I do actually have another comment, miraculously!

I have noticed as "time" goes by the lessons prove out to be more on autopilot in terms of their power and capacity to enact cessation of a samskara or what ever wisdom they empower to be of service and live effectively. Perhaps a more conscious involvement of mine would empower this even further, who knows?

BUT! I often feel like a simply fool involved in whatever folly and watching the work of the teachings doing powerful and benefecial things no matter what.

Cheers & love to all participating and reading.

Ellen said...

I still feel like I am very ignorant of the truth and spend my time caught up in my mind --- even though I apply the teachings --- I feel if I had some experience of truth I would be able to apply more easily ... Or feel it in a more grounded and real relevant way ... I don't know

D. R. Butler said...

Ellen, how can you not have some experience of Truth? Truth is your very nature. There is nothing to experience that you have not already experienced. You could not live if your true nature were not Light and Love. So it is a matter of recognizing the already existing Truth, the Truth that always was, is, and will be.

We look at the world like a painting, seeing figures yet ignoring the underlying canvas. The Truth is like the canvas of the painting of the world. We can see and function in the world, but it is good to remember that the painting of the world could not exist without the underlying canvas to support it.

We do not see the Truth because it is far too simple for our mind to grasp. It is like a fish wishing it had an experience of water.

You mentioned your time caught up in your mind. This is the problem. So the process is not about attaining something you don't already have. It is more about getting rid of what you don't need; when you remove the unnecessary clutter, the Truth becomes intuitively obvious.

Debbra said...

Thank you Ram for the reminder about the intense times we are moving through right now. And thank you Tanner, for asking the question! Just in the last 24 hours I have felt the strong urge to renew my intention to come here more, and to re-dedicate myself to reading and imbibing my current lesson. It helps so much to remember that this general tendency you describe is happening now. Having always been one to focus deeply on the lessons, I've been wondering, why am I slipping so..and at the very time when I need to apply the principles more than ever?

Earlier this morning I re-read my lesson with new intention and felt an immediate lifting and clarity. Not subtly either, but in a very noticeable way my perspective shifted back to simplicity and light. And now here I am at the Blog, and I see this wonderful exchange and am heartened.. filled with gratitude for you all here. We are surely making it through to calmer waters.

P.S. Jim..great lyrics, "just give me a hoe and a spade.." In muddled times, I love the clarity of a simple, clear task. A sink full of dirty dishes can be a ticket to heaven! :)

Santiago said...

This I learnt from you: For those seeking to respond to life from the level of the Self, there are three things to keep in mind: First, to continue to FEEL the Self; secondly, to interact with others while remembering that they are the said Self; and, thirdly, it is necessary to consider the environment and events just as the drama played by the Self. In addition, those who are aware of the Self, they live in joy, and past and future remain dormant for them. Santiago

Eugenia said...

Congratulations to you and Kay. I have a question on the subject of "inside and outside" please. We often discuss attachment to external circumstances versus reliance on internal capacity. I am confused about where "external" starts especially in relation to stuff we invite/take on. Say I take on a tree; I water it, keep the ivy off it, ensure it has enough space to grow. Every time I look at it, it expands my soul and my glee in return expands its body. We have this enormous vein of bliss between us and if one of us goes through a phase the other retains the strength of both till they re-embark on their abundance. Then someone cuts the tree.Then what? Where is "I"? Thank you