Sunday, October 20, 2013

Life, Teachers, the Mind, the World, ect.


There have been a lot of question and answer exchanges in the comments over the past few months that most people have never seen.  Since we contribute to others’ experience and understanding by verbalizing questions for clarity, this month we honor those who are willing to ask the questions that we all share but don’t know how to verbalize.
When we make the effort to verbalize a question, even if it is a question we could answer ourselves if someone else asked us, it opens up reception of a new communication, and we learn or imbibe something new, something we might have never guessed we needed to learn.  In the same way, we learn what we need to know simply by reading the exchanges initiated by others, because basically we all need to learn pretty much the same things. 
Q:  A teacher of hatha yoga asked, ‘The class seems to be going great, but sometimes I start feeling self-conscious, and then I worry if everything will fall apart.  How can I counteract this?’
A:  About 35 years ago, I was being introduced as a speaker at a yoga ashram. As I was being introduced I looked at the Guru’s photo on the wall and inwardly said to him, I don't have enough Shakti (spiritual energy) to give this talk.
As soon as I had that thought I heard his voice inside my head, very vividly and clearly, and he said, You are right, you have very little.  However, I have enough to get us both through.'
That little exchange has been the underlying essence of my sadhana, and after that experience I never felt self-conscious again. I always spoke as though speaking to the air, to space, being totally alone. I'm never speaking 'to' anyone.
Always be the Seer; never be the seen. We are the one looking out, not the one being looked at.
Always talk as though you're talking to yourself. Never speak as though you're talking to someone else, especially someone that you 'hope' understands what you are saying, and perhaps even agrees with you. Never care whether they 'get it’ or not. You've done your job by revealing your own Truth. They have to do theirs by opening up to it, which opens them to their own Truth—which is always and invariably the same Truth..
Most important of all, whenever you speak, always enjoy yourself, always make it fun for yourself. If you're having genuine fun, then your audience will have fun also. If you're not experiencing it within yourself, there's no way you can convey it to another, no matter how clearly you might be with your words. Don't get caught up in communicating concepts. Communicate experiences so vividly that you audience also has their own very strong experiences.
Q:  Another teacher asked, ‘How do you go about telling the student about his weak points or misunderstandings when I’d much prefer to tell him only good things about himself?’
A:  I hear what you are saying and it is a great question. Of course we would prefer to say only great things to people. We love and honor them, and want only to support them, so why wouldn't we want to shower them with praise?
As a 'teacher,' though, a communicator of Truth, there has to be a delicate balance. Singing their praises only can be hard for their ego to take in proper perspective, and it can sometimes get inflated, so we do someone a disservice if we praise them too much.  At some point we only contribute to ego, and a true teacher can never do this.
In my earlier life I had the great fortune and grace to spend many years in direct relationship with a genuine Guru of an authentic lineage. I can never be thankful enough for all I learned from him just being around him and watching him relate to others.
He was by no means a people pleaser. He didn't smile to be polite; he smiled when he was amused. He didn't issue many compliments at all, and usually if he said anything good about you, it was when you weren't around, and you'd have to hear about it from someone who was. He was always lightheartedly and laughingly putting down the ego at every opportunity that presented itself, and I got where I could only be amused when he ignored me or said something embarrassing about me. Yet every now and then he would say something to you of a positive nature, and because it was so rare, it was greatly treasured and transformative.
Anyway I learned from personal experience that more growth might be offered by sometimes withholding praise, and offering it only in special moments that truly mean something.
I know exactly what you mean, though. When simply relating to whoever shows up in my daily life, I am fairly pleasant and much more likely to say something of a positive nature than negative. When it comes to my children, of course, I speak as positively as possible, as the dharma of a father is a bit different than the dharma of a teacher.
Q:  Does the Course have a different purpose than meditation? What's the specific benefit of meditation that the Course wouldn't fulfill? Which state of meditation is the one to preferably head for and spend regular time in (knowing that some states happen through grace and can't be created)?”
A:  Watch this aspect of you that is judgmental about states and meditation experiences. Only the ego is judgmental. Ultimately all states are equal, for they are but various manifestations of the same Consciousness shared by all. What is important is what sees and knows the state we're in.
Some participants of the course are into meditation as a practice, while others practice no formal meditation as such. Read in the right way, reading each lesson is a meditation in itself. Each sentence is infused with its own power and meaning. If we are absorbed in a lesson, we are in a true state of meditation, for the lesson takes us out of the mind.
Meditation is always happening. We can't start or stop it; we can only tune into what is already going on. It's not something we can take personally. Meditation is experiencing the space between thoughts. Meditation experiences are only experiences; the essential thing is the Seer and the Knower of the experience.
Be the Seer, not the seen; be the Knower, not the known.
I am happy you are enjoying our Course. It will greatly enrich your capacity to pass on greatness to your many yoga students.
Q:  Someone asked a few questions regarding the current state of the world.
A:  I agree that major energetic and vibrational changes are happening on our planet; this has already begun. If you haven't noticed, you must not have been paying attention to what is going on in people's lives. Even the weather is changing.
This will be an elevation or upgrading of how the world manifests, energetically speaking. People who are working to expand consciousness and awareness will find the new energies to their liking, for what is happening is an expansion, an elevation.
Most people in the world are going through something relatively intense right now. No one has written to say that life is humdrum or happening ideally. If we look and see what is already happening, and has been happening for a few years now, we will get some idea of what is coming in the future.
Unfortunately there will be more floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, earthquakes, financial upheavals, and all such things before it is over. Many people have had their lives uprooted already, and this will happen to many more in the time ahead.  This is why it is so important to develop awareness of the principles of Truth.
Those who are doing inner work, who are open and ready for the Truth, and who aspire to live in the present moment will find this a fertile time for self-development and transformation. This is exactly why many of us are incarnated here at this particular time.  Those who are only attached to the outer world as they know it will have difficulties.
Q:  ‘I’ve heard that a definite quality of a great being is fearlessness.  How do we permanently vanquish fear?’
A:  The Upanishads say that when we see 'another,' fear arises.
As long as we are conscious of power external to us that is possibly more powerful than we are, as long as we live in that kind of duality—recognizing that ‘another’ has power over us, we give fear the freedom to roam.
The secret to living fearlessly, which is indeed a prerequisite to being a free Being, is to be firmly established in the consciousness of Oneness, as well as the knowledge that ALL power originates from within. When we realize that true power invariably comes from within, and that the sense of an external power is delusional, we experience that there is nothing worth fearing.
Q:  One fellow wrote describing his many faults, flaws, and imperfections.
A:  I know that you judge yourself too harshly, and I am telling you that there is no need to do that, because only pure Consciousness exists as you, as you are right now in this very moment. The divine Self shines within you, radiates from you, yet you doubt yourself and focus on your faults. This in turn causes you to be judgmental of others, and even taking them to task for it. Yet only divine Consciousness dwells within them as well as you, and there is nothing going on anywhere other than the play of Consciousness.
Q: “I feel I am so identified with the mind?  Aren’t we supposed to get free from the mind” 
A:  Read your question above and note your use of 'I' and 'we’.   Contemplate exactly who you are talking about.
Who' has identification? 'Who' should get free from the mind?'  You are injecting an imaginary character whom you take to be yourself. There is no one to 'have' a mind; there is only the egotistical identification with thoughts. There is no one to have an ego; there is the ego which identifies with the body, mind, and emotions, and considers itself to be a particular person. When you fully understand this, you will understand your own question on a much subtler level.
Q:  'What role does the mind play in helping us realize our true Self?'
In short, we need the understanding that mind is creative in nature, and mind-in-motion, or thought, creates situations and conditions in accordance to its own nature. For example, thoughts of joy lead to joy, and thoughts of sadness lead to sadness. And so on.
Once we understand that the mind is creative, and that thoughts are actual psychic forces that affect us and have their effects in our life, then we understand the incredible importance of controlling what we think, so as to think only thoughts of a positive and productive nature. This is the key to mastery to this physical world and the land of karma, but of course it takes more than merely understanding this with the mind; it takes actual practice and participation in our own life. This is why we have a Course.
Ultimately, the Self exists in fullness between each and every two
thoughts. The contracted form of the Self is the mind, so thoughts are merely the bubbling up of Consciousness. It is when we are not thinking, and the mind is not in motion, that we experience the pure Awareness of the Self.
The mind can help in this process by thinking thoughts that lead toward the realization of the Self, and by ceasing to think thoughts that lead us into egotistical melodramas having to do with the world of objective humanity.

It takes no time to be realized. That which will ever be realized is already realized. That which is not already realized is only a figment of our imagination.

Q:  Can you tell me simply and concisely why it might be good to continue reading this blog or consider taking your course of training?

A:  The only reason is to learn to live in the Truth of the Present Moment.  Many people think they are in the present moment, but on the level of ‘my back hurts’ or ‘I’m so angry and irritable,’ or ‘here I am, walking with a good posture.’  All such things on the emotional or mental level are very temporary and usually pass very quickly.  The Truth is eternally changeless, never fluctuates, never comes or goes. 

All there is arises from this Truth of Being.  All spiritual paths, all yoga and/or meditation, all Buddhism, all of anything else, eventually leads to living in the Truth of the Present Moment.  Our Course of Training simply goes to the heart of the matter without any trappings to trip on.  It focuses from the very beginning on what everything else eventually leads up to.

For information about the Course of Training written by D. R. Butler and a free month, write to drbutler.course@gmail.com

The Course is also available in Spanish and French.

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