Friday, August 9, 2013

Death, Dying, and Living in the Physical World

In 1993 I experienced major surgery—I was told afterward that I would have been dead in two days if it had not been performed.  I remained in the hospital for a month, on IVs, not allowed to eat, hardly able to move, always hooked up to stuff, including several tubes protruding from my belly monitoring fluids.  Another larger tube went up my nose and down my throat.  My abdomen was somehow stapled back together.  My stomach was being continuously pumped.  I had a catheter, for God’s sake.  Somehow I sensed this wasn’t the greatest shape I had ever been in.
Friends would come for a visit, and I could tell that they assumed I was going through a horrible ordeal.  I could see the sympathy in their eyes, which, in fact, I sincerely appreciated.  Yet for me there was never any sense of suffering or pain at all, no sense of anything going wrong or anything bad happening. 
For the first few days after surgery, I could not remember what I had once thought was so interesting about this world.  I knew that there had always been something very vital about this world, but I couldn’t remember what it was.  The world as I’d always known it suddenly seemed so very irrelevant to anything in the present moment.  I could see that others felt I was experiencing pain and discomfort, even though I could no longer relate to those experiences.  They were very far away, a part of someone’s dream.
As I gradually got stronger, I became a bit more grounded than I had been the first couple of days, during which I could not relate to the body or the world at all.  As I regained my strength and became more grounded, I started to relate to the body and the physical world more and more, as though being pulled back among old friends I had temporarily forgotten.
The experience gave me a perspective I can never forget.  When the physical body became irrelevant for me—which will be true for all of us within a hundred years from now—the outer world was simultaneously no longer relevant.  The truth is, most of us would be astonished how irrelevant so many of the things are that capture our interest and attention and seem so important in the moment.
Previously I might have felt it would be interesting to keep up with this world after we leave it, like knowing what’s going on here: what films are winning the awards, who’s going to the Super Bowl, how all our friends and family will continue in their lives, stuff like that. 
Once I had the experience of being disassociated from the body, though, the whole physical universe as I had known it became completely irrelevant.  I couldn’t even remember what about it had seemed so interesting, so vital somehow, as though life revolved around it.
Okay, I can hear some of you thinking:  But what about our loved ones, won’t we be able to keep up with them?  Won’t we somehow know what happens to them, what becomes of them?
All those with whom you are in relationship, you already had those relationships subtly, in the astral realms, long before you ever met in the physical realm.  We have deep relationships with souls who are not even currently incarnated.  Don’t you sometimes dream of souls whom you don’t know in this current life?  When you dream of them at night, you experience a subtle contact with them; you have visions of your subtle relationship, which in many cases goes on for several consecutive incarnations, if not forever. 
In the end, in my vision of things, we’ll all be singing around the same campfire—“everyone is here; no one is excluded.” 
So this is how we ‘keep up’ with loved ones, through our already existing subtle relationship with them.  Any true relationship happens primarily on the subtle realm.  The physical relationship is simply a reflection of what exists subtly, and is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the true relationship. 
Therefore death doesn’t take us away from anyone, and birth doesn’t put us any closer to them.  The relationship is always of a subtle nature; it is only vaguely related to the bodies, for the purpose of this particular incarnation, or cycle of karma.
Still, we do not necessarily maintain our interest in the physical world following our transition to the subtle realm in the way that we might think we would.  I suppose we could remain consciously focused on the physical world if we were really attached to it, but that would be standing still in development.  It would be somewhat like remaining focused now on how we were as an 8-year-old—cute, but there are just a lot more expanded directions to take than to be obsessed with a past stage of development.   
Our conscious mind, because of its attachment to the past, has not yet caught up with our present state and true development.  The mind is always a little behind because it thinks it has to first describe, define, or figure out what really happened in the past, when we could be much freer by simply forgetting about it. 
The past led up to this.  We wouldn’t be here if it were not for the past leading up to this moment, right now.  Yet the awareness of the Truth of the present is much more rewarding and fulfilling than constantly reliving the past merely because that is our habitual approach.  Each of us approachs life in our own distinct way.  Are we approaching life as we have clearly realized is the greatest way, the most loving and compassionate way, or is our approach merely a habitual pattern that we do without even consciously knowing about it?
It might momentarily be fascinating to see and experience past stages of development, but it would get old very quickly, and we definitely wouldn’t want to live there again.  The energy level of the past would seem very slow compared to what we have become accustomed to.  We’d soon want to get back to our present life, as it is right now, and right now.  In each present moment, we always have a clean slate.  Do we want to create a great legacy, beginning now, or do we only wish to constantly repeat all the habits and patterns of the past, not only bringing the past into the present but projecting it into the future as well.  Unknowingly, perhaps, we make this choice each moment.
The subtle nature of our life does not die, does not end when we depart this temporary physical temple.  There is only a transition from one realm to another, and the transition has more to do with our focus and perspective than with any actual existing reality.  We will go from here to a place where we have been all along.  We just had this ‘dream’ of a physical incarnation.
Know with full conviction that there is no such thing as ‘death’.  No one ever dies, or ceases to exist.  Whatever exists now always has existed, and always will.  That which apparently has beginnings and endings is a temporary illusion.  When the body returns to the elements of the earth, we are still that same One we have always been, and all our various ‘relationships’ still exist in the same way they primarily exist now—subtly.
We never need to clutch or cling to anything in the objective world.  When the outer world disappears, we are still here, and we will be aware of this presence to the degree that we remain one with the formless Awareness of Being that is Consciousness itself.
There is no ‘death’ in which anything is lost.  The physical world is only a reflection, a mirror, of the subtle world.  Nothing happens at the end of this incarnation that will be in any way unpleasant or painful.  Nothing is ever lost.  What is here is all that exists.  Or as the Vishwasara Tantra says, “What is here is also there.  What is not here is nowhere.”
I know there is always grief when a loved one passes on.  It is among the natural order of things.  Never repress this feeling.  Allow grief to all come out—crying is very purifying—until you reach a point where it has passed, and suddenly you feel infinitely lighter.  Some degree of grief is in everyone’s life; it is as essential as breath for inner growth and developing inner strength.
People come and go.  Even if you love them with all your heart, you can still be detached.  No particular individual lasts forever.  We ourselves are only here for a few moments in the grand scheme of things.
We explore all this in great depth in the lessons of the Course of Training, which is like a handbook for living in this body and this physical world.  We never got a ‘how to’ book when it comes to living in this world, an 'instruction manual' to refer to when times seem confusing or bleak.  We were kind of just thrown out here, with the assigned task of finding our way home again.  There is powerful knowledge, which comes from very ancient times, which show us how to live happily and lovingly in our own life. 
This knowledge has always been known by only a few.  The reason is not that everyone else is excluded, but simply because they aren’t interested.  It is available to all, yet only a few are truly open to receiving it and applying it in their own life--which is much more essential than knowledge alone.

For information about the Course of Training, ‘Living in the Truth of the Present Moment,’ and a free Lesson 1 to glimpse how the Course works, please write to:
The Course is also available in Spanish and French, thanks to some very dedicated people


FB said...

Once again, priceless! Thank you.

Purnima Orlandi said...

Thank you D.R. Butler for this entry! It is so timely. I lost a good friend recently, had not seen him in 13 years or so but had great times with him. I feel like he is still around and even though he died in PR I can subtly sense him around me if I want to communicate.
I'm very open to hearing and meeting some that have passed into another plane, if we've had a connection. I've many times given messages to their loved ones.
It's not something I do, it just happens to me.
Thank you for sharing! I've posted on my FB page in hopes that this truth can get to others. Blessings!

Carly said...

Thank you so much! This post reminds me that I'm only here for a moment. My husband said that to me a few years ago and my understanding of it is so much more expanded now than it was then.

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

Dear Ram,

I feel like I have read big chunks of this before-- perhaps a course lesson or another blog post. And yet, as happens mysteriously and magically with your writing, I imbibed it on a whole new level this time. I thank you deeply for the wisdom, peace, and comfort here. Love KJ

Katie Lorah said...

Thanks for another wonderful blog. You said, "There is only a transition from one realm to another, and the transition has more to do with our focus and perspective than with any actual existing reality." Can you expand on that, please? Thank you.

Divya said...

I appreciate your post on this. I too feel more detached as more of the people around me pass over. Today, would have been my sister Joan's birthday. She passed in 2009. To tell you the truth, I feel her more now than I did when she was alive. She comes in the form of people I meet named Joan and in other subtle humorous ways. It's funny she told me she would haunt me after she died. It scared me when she said that. Yet, all I feel is love from her. Truly, we do become one with Consciousness as you have said Ram. I enjoyed your sharing at the beginning about how you felt so detached from life that you wondered what was so important at all!

Boni Lawhorn said...

I was meditating, and became aware of my sister who passed last September. The form of missing her has changed from sorrow to softer acceptance; even happiness at being more an dmore aware of her subtle presence and form. Your article on death and dying was perfectly timed, as it happened. Your writing reminds me of why I am here (what I can understand of's not so important as just being here present) and how to live more consciously and gracefully. Thank you Ram, for your commitment to your writing and sharing living in the truth of the present moment . My gratitude is immense.


Anya Toff said...

If meditation is about letting go of all desires and purposes then why meditate? A purposeless meditation does not make sense, yet I keep going back to the mat.
The desire to have a fruitful meditation does not let me be the person I was before I began my spiritual journey while the monkey mind does not let me focus during meditation. I am like a fish out of the water. What is going on? I am hopelessly stuck. Please help me.

D. R. Butler said...

Anya, the greatest advice I can give you is to try participating in the Course. That is really the only way I can fully answer your questions in a way that you would truly understand, and that would lead to a transformation. For one thing, there are misunderstandings throughout your questions--the kind of things one who participates in the Course would never think to ask. Besides, you do not ask about anything that is actually explored in the Course.

Meditation has nothing to do with letting go of desires and purposes. Where did you hear that one? What is your idea of a 'fruitful meditation'?

Seriously, nothing personal, but I wonder why I get questions like this. It's not just you. If people write to ask about something actually in the lessons of the Course, I am happy to respond. But when I get questions that have nothing to do with what is in the lessons, usually because of something someone else said or wrote, I hardly know how to reply.

In the Course, reading one's current lesson IS meditation. You cannot read a lesson without going into meditation. The lessons convey an actual experience, not intelletual concepts.

You feel like a fish out of water because you don't really even understand your own questions. They arise only from misinformation or misunderstanding. If I were you I would start all over, and since you ask, the best place to start would be Lesson 1.

D. R. Butler said...

Katie Lorah, you asked me to expand on this: "There is only a transition from one realm to another, and the transition has more to do with our focus and perspective than with any actual existing reality."

Truly speaking, this is another topic that is best answered by participating in the Course. It is hard to clearly articulate the full answer in one or two paragraphs.

For now, when we transition out of the physical world on the last exhalation, the change is primarily determined by what our attention is focused on, and the perspective we have of our new reality. We have a certain focus and perspective in the physical body, but when we drop it like a snake drops its skin, our focus and perspective are likely to change.

Of course, the more we are focused on the inner realms, the less change we experience, except that the outer distractions drop away. If we are primarily focused outwardly, on the world of objective humanity, then the change can be quite shocking to the system.

You'll see that the lessons explore all of this in depth, and you will discover a great deal more regarding the nature of the transition and the next realm of existence.

Julian C. said...

Thank you for your post, Ram. I letting go of distractions, including thoughts, and becoming more in tune with the deeper and more subtle aspects of reality seems like a good way to get past the mind and the dream. Might this be the true purpose and value of meditation?

Tom Mc said...

"In the Course, reading one's current lesson IS meditation. You cannot read a lesson without going into meditation. The lessons convey an actual experience, not intelletual concepts."

"the more we are focused on the inner realms, the less change we experience, except that the outer distractions drop away."

My current Lesson suggests to focus on formlessness - I quite enjoy that (with great help from the 'blob' on your Facebook site a week back...)
Wow! I finally get to a properly working computer and all my not quite formed questions are answered - LOL! Thank you! <3

Mandala Healing Art said...

Even though I have been a Course participant for 2 years , these blog posts are more and more enlightening each month... thank you D.R.

This posting brings up a question.. all of my life I have been one to take "naps" in the afternoon... even as a child, I have had the experience that as I waken from the nap, I feel myself come back into the physical plane and,as I believe I am coming back to "body" awareness I experience a strong vibration or jolt... what I can liken it to is coming back into ego awareness possibly. All of the sudden I experience the illusion of duality that exists on this physical plane..and a sense of "fear" or agitation arises, and then I immediately repeat a loving affirmation of some sort to center my thoughts.. any insights would be appreciated. I have expressed this with others who share in the experiece. This came to mind from your description that when we transition from our physical body, it is neither painful or unpleasant. Thank you once again.

Michelle Synnestvedt said...

Katie Lorah,

I would add to D.R.'s response, that at least in my experience, we are going through transitions in states of Consciousness every day, throughout the day and night and yet may not be paying attention to the subtle shifts in perspectives, because they all feel "seamless".
For example. when you wake up in the morning, there is a transition between the dream world you were in that was a subtle world that may have seemed completely real while it was happening, and yet when you 'wakeup" to the waking world, your perspective shifts easily into the world you are now in.
When we are dreaming, we have a subtle body that can do all sorts of things that the physical body can't do. We can travel at great speed. fly, morph into other beings, and time and space are almost irrelevant. When we wake up we re-adjust to the "rules" of gravity ect and even know that we were 'just dreaming" so there is a change in perspective.

Then there is also a space in between dreaming and waking when our persona is "asleep"...and then the mind starts up again and worlds are created again.

Michelle Synnestvedt said...

D.R., thanks for the blog.
The part I loved the most was when you were describing the beautiful transitions between the two sides of the 'same coin'. The "world" whether subtle or physical can never be separated from That which is aware of it.
The creative principle or Power to create a world is eternal. I call that power the GODDESS, and she will eternally dance for her Beloved who is the Witness of all form.
The body made up of these elements will pass away as you said, and yet there will always be infinite bodies in infinite forms whether "physical" such as stars, humans, animals, ect, or some subtle forms such as thoughts, emotions, ect.
Your experience of forgetting why the "world" was so interesting reminds me of the great Indian stories of Shiva going off on his long periods of meditative retreat, and yet that is always interrupted by his continual arousal from "sleep" by the dance and call of his beloved Shakti who draws his attention back to HER. They again dance in an ecstatic embrace~in this eternal marriage between activity and stillness, or being and doing.

Sukala C. Boyd said...

This is such a valuable topic to explore and come into harmony with.There was a time when I honestly thought death is for everyone else. I really couldn't fathom myself dying. In a great way, this tells me why I didn't accept death as a reality - because it isn't! But as I enter my '60's, it is ever-present. No-one is untouched by it or, as you said, left behind. I gain courage from your Course, not only about death and change, but about life and change. What before I would have run away from, now I face and move through and into harmony. There is so much transformation in the Course that challenges are resolved when I least expect it, just by being willing and open.
With love,

D. R. Butler said...

Michelle and Sukala, thanks to both of you for your insights and clarity. Every perspective adds to greater understanding.

Andy said...

I have seen people remark before that the further they go into the course, the more they experience its power, and they understand and appreciate the lessons in a much greater way than at first, when we felt we could not hope to understand. The deeper into the course I go, the more I understand what it is, where it comes from, and what it leads to, or its purpose for being. Why does this happen? This gradual understanding that we develop over time, that could have at first not been considered. How is it that the course seem to go deeper and deeper with each new lesson?

D. R. Butler said...

Andy, I do not know the answer. I only know that this has been my own experience, and many others have written that it has been their experience as well.

Partly it's just that we cannot comprehend or expect what is possible through a course via email. Many people have their own idea of its limitations, and this idea or projection gradually fades away as we actually experience what the course is and what it does.

I can hardly comprehend or believe it myself. I can easily understand why it might seem on appearance or in ideation as something that no one else could believe either, until they actually try it for themselves.

Anne said...

Your response to Anya seemed a little harsh to me. Is this any way to attract new people to the course? Maybe you could be more sensitive and kinder.

D. R. Butler said...

The only one who will know how my comment was received is Anya herself. For all we know she could have thought of it as the perfect response.

I do not play games with people. I do not say things only because their ego wants to hear it. I am sincere and honest no matter what I say. One who is ready for the Course will respond positively to that sincerity and honesty. If the ego is offended so easily, they probably wouldn't get very far in the Course anyway.

It is important to see how a prospective participant receives feedback. If they want only pleasing feedback, they need to find a less intense way toward Self-discovery. There are plenty of 'teachers' who attract students by appealing to the ego. Yet if after a while the ego is still as unchallenged as ever, no real progress is made.

I am definitely kind. Whether I am always 'nice' or not is another matter. Only the ego will bother to be 'nice', and then we have the blind leading the blind.

People have studied with me for many years because they have learned from experience that they can always trust what I say, knowing that I will never perpetuate an untruth, and they appreciate the complete honesty that is offered to whoever cares to share the path to the Self. It is a very loving and compassionate process; yet the rough spots are often what ultimately free us from ego and allow us to break free from all ignorance and limitation.

Anonymous said...

If I dare I would like to make a comment about Anya's question. My comment is really a statement about what has become very clear to me during all the years that I have been reading Ram's Course.

That feeling that used to arise in me when I had a question about something would often drive my crazy and cause me to desperately crave an immediate answer. Back then I thought that as soon as I had an answer that the answer itself would relieve me of the tension caused by the question.
My experience of the Course has revealed something to me which has changed everything and I now realize that it is CONTRACTION itself which gives rise to confusion and the pressing urge to question. Once contraction is released then there is no need for any answer because it is clearly seen that the question no longer exists.

How AMAZING this Course is. How FULL to the brim. Resting in the course is, for me to bathe in LIMITLESS LOVE a love which effortlessly eases all contraction and irradiates with LIMITLESS contentment.

Anya, I know how you feel, I know how important that feeling of needing an answer is but I hope that soon, through the course you too can see that answers are not the solution, simply because the Course will REVEAL to you that there never was any real ignorance.

This Course HAS BEEN, IS and ALWAYS WILL be the most valuable evidence of LIMITLESS Grace in my Life.

FB said...

Just a share:
This morning I awakened clearly realizing (thus confirming) that I don't need anyone's approval anymore! Family members, friends, former co-workers, etc all were in mind yet dissolved was that need to please for their approval. I realized without the obstruction that need created prevented a flow, a harmonious, gentle, easeful flow of love and positive relationship with myself and all others. And gives me (and others who deal with me in any way) a freedom. A refreshing and easeful, uplifting freedom! This in turn deepens and allows me to experience love and acceptance for me and all others. Wow.
I think this is called 'an insight'.
What great fortune
I will save and read this again and again so I don't forget it...and slip into old ways again.

michael said...

How can I coordinate Attention, Conscious Intent and Will to increase my awareness of the Truth inside me, and all the goodies that come with that awareness, such as freedom from worry and fear?

Avivit said...

Dear D.R., I feel as if you've written this blog post for me especially. My 91 year Mama is slowly-rapidly dying these days. Slowly cause it sometimes I wish she would die quickly or even at once so that she doesn't have to go through this difficult phase of helplessness. Mostly she sleeps and we turn her body from one side to the other to avoid pain and more ugly stuff. Quickly, because its been rapidly escalating in just a few weeks from a humanly form to a kind of package.
Truly there are diverse emotions comming up yet mostly i find myself emotionless. It is I suppose because I know all is fine just as it is and only the body is facing its final days....yet at times I find myself wondering if I am detached or what? It is a mixture of compassion and then "nothing at all". At times there is helplessness or even anger comes through as there is nothing more I can do for her....only Being Present.
What I can truly say is that it is, maybe because of the helplessness of the situation, Being in the Truth of the Present Moment....:) Nowhere to hide or run......just watch what IS and changes. For some reason I don't cry much yet...I am not even sad.....maybe I get even jealous of her going back HOME.....and that does bring an ache, a longing that aches into my heart. And I am really curious to know how will I experience our relationship after she parts. Wish I could be the one to slip over to her side to say hello....
Thank you for this post....for some reason I feel as if you thought of me in this situation now.....:) comfort.....seeking for comfort amd I?
Shalom to all from the burning middle east :)

D. R. Butler said...

Nice to hear from you, Avivit, from the burning Middle East. Your part of the world seems to have its own special karma. When I hear news about the Middle East it reminds me of when I was a teenager, because way back then the news was what was happening in the Middle East. Has anything really change in all those years?

I understand your feelings regarding your mother. From my perspective you had her a long time, as I lost my own mother when I had just turned 21; she was 43. You have had yours for over twice as many years. Have gratitude for all you have been given.

I also understand the pain of it seeming to drag on so long. My mother died instantly in a car crash, so there was no process leading up to her passing. I had a similar experience years later when my dad died instantaneously from a heart attach. So I never experienced that long process gradually leading up to death. It was all very sudden for me. I learned about them dying from phone calls. Never said goodbye.

You know we explore all this much more deeply in the lessons of the Course. I am happy that the blog was meaningful to you. Much love

D. R. Butler said...

Michael, you ask 'How can I coordinate Attention, Conscious Intent and Will to increase my awareness of the Truth inside me.'

You must be in the section of the Course titled Attention, Conscious Intent, and Will, to even ask that question. The whole section, composed of several individual lessons, was written to fully answer your question. How can I explore on the blog what took several lessons to cover in full in the Course? At least you're asking the right questions :)

Avivit said...

Good morning from the "eye of the Hurricane" in the burning middle east...:) (I mean Israel....not me although I am quite calm myself) and regarding your question "has anything really changed in al those years?"
well yes, the scenes do is a bit crazier around does feel weird to be surrounded by egypt and syria where people die like flies each least in the scene.

Incredible at it always is, in my current lesson (Vol 3 - L 12) you tell of the death of your own mother :).....your lessons are such a support to me....always! infinetly magical!
My father died from a heart attack after telling a joke, while I lived in Germany and I too was told on the phone....that was quick. I just wished I could say a clear goodbye. Maybe with my mom I am getting a chance to say it. It's a long goodbye though....:) but i do feel so grateful to her for all she is and has done & I see the many many lessons and experiences I am getting by being near while changes happen to the brother and I get to be really closer by the situation. I also always wondered how would I behave in difficult conditions so this is a time to see some fruits of sadhana indeed.

and.....congratulations to FB....your post has made me happy with you!

Tara Chinmayi said...

Dear Katie...thanks for asking the helped me see some things that i have been wondering about...Ram's answer so fine! And Ram,remembering how it felt when you were in the hospital deathly ill as you were was a very painful strange time for me..i lived far away and didn't get many reports on how you were doing..i went around to various holy places and lit candles for you and made offerings and so on...anyway...during that time i remember that when i was saying prayers for you i would go into this deep stillness like i had never experienced layers of wind and then total stillness...soft beautiful feelings would come through...thanks for sharing your true life stories with us!

Leela Jasmine said...

Thank you!
SO very timely, as Always! The exact phrase, "Nothing is ever lost," has come to me many times in the past month and with it, a sense of awe and wonder. There was a period in my life when it seemed I lost everything. I am now recognizing that all that I thought was gone, never really left. All that I thought I lost is Present and even more harmonious in nature, ie relationships. I Love the idea that loss isnt really real, but rather a changing of form. Thank you. I feel SO soothed by this!
The last sentence of this month's blog, has really struck me too, "It is available to all, yet only a few are truly open to receiving it and applying it in their own life--which is much more essential than knowledge alone." I love the responsibility that bestows. I love the emphasis on receiving. Receiving seems to be such an active, yet not exertive space. To receive feels like actively opening up to what is Already here, widening our gaze. Thank you. I Love you and value you endlessly! Leela

Colette DeVore said...

The lesson that I on has me focusing on that which is solid within me and never changes. The fruit of this is amazing as it allows me to be and laugh at myself with all my petty likes and dislikes and to realize that everything and everyone is a part of me worthy of worship. Than you Ram for being the channel that you are, and thank God for the great adventure that is my Life.

Kathryn Ann Wade said...

Hi Collette! Sounds like the same lesson I'm on. (I love the photo of you and your dog).
Ram, I am having trouble around the word 'solidity' because it conjures up for me, a physical property...something with structure. Also, now I am seeing that things which appear so solid, are actually full of space and moving around, too.
The idea that comes up for me about the Light, the indivisible and indestructible true Nature would be on the other end of that, rather than a physical, gross something, it would be etheric, beyond super fine, it would be something I can't even imagine--beyond ideas. But maybe these definitions are holding me back. You have used the word solid for something i have held to be absolutely non-solid, like how can the Light be solid? Perhaps you are using it in a way which would be to gain that turn of perception -away from the common thought where we believe the constantly changing to be real,-and towards the understanding that our true Nature, which cannot be cut, wet, etc, is actually the invisible Existence holding up everything and is so permeated through everything, It is the only It there is, as in solo, whole, One. Solid Love! Laughing now, enough thinking... wow, thanks for the practices you give.

Vicki Hilger said...

Vicki Hilger I particularly love the exercise you gave for this week, at the end of my current lesson. I took one of the phrases you gave me and repeated one third on each out breath as I fast-walked/ deep breathed in the woods today. On the in breath, I used my mantra. It required great focus to remember the words of the 3 part phrase, "I am Consciousness and Bliss, smaller than the smallest and greater than the greatest." It went like this: Mantra/ I bow to my inner being ...Mantra/ I am Consciousness and Bliss... Mantra/ I am smaller that the smallest... Mantra/I am greater than the greatest. Then I would do it all in reverse the next round. Wow! Try that for 20 or 30 minutes. I couldn't let go of the focus or I'd immediately lose my place and have to start over. It saturated my mind, just as you suggested it should. When I finally sat down quietly by the river, my entire being was pulsating with a strong inner energy and I was easily able to keep my inner focus for some time. In that way, I explored and experienced my inner state, which is how you described one of the purposes of the Course in a recent facebook post.

Tom Mc said...

Deep thanks for your offerings Ram!
"There is powerful knowledge, which comes from very ancient times, which show us how to live happily and lovingly in our own life."

As this body weakens and the increasing awareness that it's time will soon be up.... I feel a lack of understanding of what is 'next'. I would appreciate the veil being pulled back a bit.
Can you guide me a bit with this? What is next?

And, no matter which of us 'goes' first, I want you to know that you are most deeply appreciated. I send you a Heartfelt hug and my Love, Kaunteya Tom

mike said...

Are certain states of mind karma? Can we be established in the Self and have a sluggish or agitated mind?

D. R. Butler said...

Mike, karma includes the circumstances, situations, conditions, and relationships of our personal life. Our state of mind is either a habitual pattern or a conscious choice, or free will. Karma does not determine how we think. That is up to us.

We cannot be established in the Self while having a sluggish or agitated mind. This is what prevents us from enjoying the bliss of the Self. For this reason, much of sadhana (spiritual growth) is the purification of the mind.

kirsty said...

I have noticed, and people I know have noticed that when one thinks of death and dying there is a small voice that says, "No. not me! This won't happen to me."

It seems clear that this must be a subtle voice, from the subtle realms, reassuring us...and actually being truthful because we will go on after dropping this human body.A voice to listen to and be comforted by.

Tom Mc said...

It just IS. It feels so simple!
...when I remember.
And a great and appreciated gift, that company that brings remembrance.
Funny, this play... and I can just sit and bask, Ah!

Al M said...

All forms come and go, only that which is real and unchanging remains the same and is real. What god creates lasts forever. God created you, so you last forever. But then forever doesn't really mean anything, because there really is no time. Come back to God, and feel his pure love. Nothing else matters, or is more comforting than that. You can feel God's love now, in this moment. Be with him now. It will not be any different then, when you die, you are already with God, and when the form of your body ends, you will still be with God. But if you are still attached to the form when you die, it will be more of a painful transition. God still loves you more than you can possibly understand. He is patient, and will wait for you to come back to him forever. God does not judge. He loves, loves, loves, and gives you all that you ever want.

God did not create the world, that is our creation, our dream. Dream big, and bring God's love to others in the dream. Give. You always have more when you Give, not less. This is the mystery of life. And feel God's love with you always.