Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Talks Available for Downloading Now

This is not actually the new official entry, which will not be posted until June 1.

This is a reminder that 4 sets of talks, with each set containing 4 talks each, from our In-Depth Immersion Into Inner Growth Through Relationships, are available for download now.  Although all the various aspects of relationship are explored, it is also a complete Course for inner development or spiritual growth.  Go here for more information about what is contained in each talk:

http://livemagnet.com/stayinginthepresent/

For a sample excerpt from one of the talks, go here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=5vs-vcwdlz4

For more regarding all that we offer, visit here:

http://stayinginthepresent.com

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Being D. R. Butler


Well, I’m definitely no John Malkovich; still, this month I’m going to be totally self-indulgent.  Last month I started talking about some principles of Kashmir Shaivism in the first paragraph—a very impersonal approach, and usually more appropriate.  This month I will write a little about myself—rare insights into the inner workings of D. R. Butler’s mind.

Sometimes when I begin writing, my mind thinks,
What’s the point?  Not many are actually going to read this anyway.  No one cares that much about it, why bother to keep writing?  You’re getting old; slow down and take it easy.  You’ve written enough for one lifetime.  If you haven’t made your point by now, just let it go.

I know it is only my mind talking to me, running some old trips, tapes, and stories the mind likes to ruminate over, and yet I also know that on one level it’s all true.  No matter how inspired the writings, only a few will read them, and fewer still will really care what they say enough to actually apply them in their own lives.

I also know, of course, that there are people who, mysteriously and inexplicably, many even after years of reading my writings, will still read whatever it is that I write next.  They have proven the principles true in their own lives through applying them in practical ways.  So please don’t feel you must comment to comfort me, to reassure me that you actually do read the writings and find them helpful in your life.  From your feedback in various forms and places, I do know you are actually out there.  Otherwise I really wouldn’t bother.  I would just keep a journal.

Still, from my point of view, all that I am and all that I have to offer is only a small drop in an endless ocean.  Even so, the drop must have some meaningful purpose, otherwise it wouldn’t exist.  This goes for each of us—all us drops in the ocean of Consciousness.

I had an early begin­ning.  At 16, in high school in Vicksburg, MS, I wrote my first ‘course.’  It was available to anyone at my school who wished to learn how to think more positively and better their lives as a result.  I think I charged 50 cents a month to pay for mimeographing costs.  A surprising number of classmates and others started taking the ‘course,’ and years later one of them wrote to me to say that he still reads those lessons and finds them ever-inspiring.

So it was always in my blood, so to speak, or my destiny—however one wishes to look at it, even since I first began the study and practice of yoga, meditation, and the principles of creative thought, and at 15 began a correspondence course on the Truth of Being, written by a Master Teacher (Teacher of Teachers) who had lived for 17 years in the lamaseries of Tibet and Nepal.

He was born in India and educated in England, entering Oxford University at the age of 15.  He was eventually sent to America by his Master in the lamasery in Tibet to first help the people gain the knowledge necessary to raise themselves out of the depression at that time, and also to teach the Truth of Being to whomever was ready and open for the highest teachings.

I supported myself during my 20’s through free-lance writing—primarily short stories and motivational and inspirational non-fiction.  There were a lot of magazines around then that don’t exist today.  One of those articles, titled ‘As You Think, So Shall You Be,’ gathered a lot of attention, and many people wrote to me through the magazine to find out if I had books or a course.

These people, in fact, encouraged me to begin writing a course further exploring the principles presented in my article.  And so the very first lesson of the original Course was printed and mailed out to the original students on August 1, 1975.  That was 38 years ago, at the time this is being written.

Interestingly, as I took the very first Lesson 1 to the printer, Vishnu Press, I ran across Ram Dass and a couple of fellows with him.  We had spent time together several times before that, yet it felt very auspicious to meet him right outside the printer, the very first lesson in my hands as we talked.

Since then I studied a lot, contemplated a lot, experienced many well-known teachers, spent over 20 years in the ashram of a powerful Yogic Master, and have in these years gone through an entire evolution of spiritual understanding.  Now I write about things from my current perspective, which is so different now than it was just 10 years ago.  As for 20 years ago, forget about it.  I was like a spiritual dunce, relatively speaking.  Even so, people read the writings and found them helpful, proving beyond a doubt that I was only the typist and that something far deeper than what I think of as ‘myself’ was behind the content and transmission the lessons provided.

I have observed and experienced all aspects of spiritual training and have presented in the current Course of Training what is most essential to enjoy life and, if desired, to go all the way on the spiritual path.  Or, if you don’t care to go anywhere, then you can learn to be content and fulfilled in this present moment, the only existing moment there is.  This, after all, is the highest goal, for ultimately there is nowhere to go, and contentment is the highest state.

As is written in the Vishwasara Tantra: 
“What is here is also there.  What is not here is nowhere.”

Such an expanded teaching in such a pithy statement.  Yet, if we understand ourselves and the process of our own life, we also understand everyone else and the process of everyone’s life.  When we understand ‘here,’ we also understand ‘there.’  Ultimately there is no difference; it is only a polarity, a point of reference in the physical world.

So I write.  In a sense, I take dictation from some undefined yet vividly clear and anciently familiar inner voice that seems to come through my heart instead of my head.  The writings are the updated principles of Truth, as relevant and applicable to today’s modern world.  The teachings themselves are not ‘updated,’ of course, for they remain eternally the same. That is why they are ‘Universal’—because they apply to all people at all times in all places.  Only the presentation and approach is ‘updated’ for today’s world and the current understanding of contemporary people.

As people go through the lessons of our Course of Training, available through email, they begin to understand the Source of the principles and the spiritual energy inherent in the transmission that occurs when one begins the Course.  I recognize that it comes from a space far beyond the individual mind, no matter how astute one’s mind might be.

If you come here to our ‘blog’ on a regular or semi-regular basis, you know I like to include some of the exchanges from previous months’ comments that other readers can obviously relate to.

Someone wrote, "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 to be so huge. We do not realize it simply got small enough that we could finally see it.

Then the real work begins.

Another wrote, “I believe I am starting to understand what equanimity is.  I observed 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, 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.”

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.  Yet 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, because it kind of robs the ego of some of its primary activities—like habitually reacting to the same thing over and over, worrying about things, disliking things, and so forth.  True equanimity kind of takes those things out of range.

The ego might jump on the ‘idea’ of equanimity, of course, and even appropriate it to itself, feeling itself to be fully permeated with nothing but equanimity.  Of course the first words or actions that someone does or says that the ego doesn't like, equanimity suddenly vanishes and automatic and predictable reactions take 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.

Someone wrote, “
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?”

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 during this time.  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 more and more, 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 unfoldment without using the word 'spiritual'.  ‘Spiritual’ has become an in-word that has many meanings to many different people.  People in general, for example, will during this time 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 be inclined to go there.  They will be too entranced by the melodramas going on around them and within their own thoughts and emotions.

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 by external forces.  This pressure will soon pass.

The development of equanimity is a very high priority.  Remain in that state of equanimity for as long as possible each time you remember it, and you will develop that particular inner 'muscle'.  We cannot do it without actually practicing, anymore than we can master anything with the physical body without training and preparation.

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

The best we can do for now is to remember our ultimate aim, our highest priorities, and activate enough will power to tune into those things that deep down mean the most to us.  It is very important that we keep marching toward the Truth, no matter what obstacles or discouragements are tossed in our path.  This often includes the words of other people.

It would be great if all other people were supportive and encouraging, but we are more likely to find the opposite.  The mass of people tend to have a down-pulling effect on other people.  This is why it is important not to allow another’s words to affect you in a negative way.  Listen to your heart always.  Love is where the heart is, and love is the key to the conscious experience and appreciation of divinity.

Of course, that divinity exists whether we experience or appreciate it or not.  It depends on whether we wish to live in the Truth of the Present Moment.  If it is true, why not be aware of it?

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


 
French: drbutler.course@gmail.com