Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Preciousness of Each Moment

March was the first time in a long time that there was no blog entry.  A lot has been going on in my karmic movie, or my personal life, whichever terms you prefer.  A lot of different words and ways of saying things designate the same basic thing in essence.  People even have arguments saying the same basic thing in different ways.  Thing is, most people would rather win the argument than know the truth.
If this is your first time here, welcome.  This is not a ‘blog’ in the traditional sense, but rather an exploration of various principles of the Truth of Being.  The ‘Truth of Being’ is not just a ‘new-age’ thing to say that I picked up a few weeks ago.  I was first introduced to the principles in 1960 at the tender age of 15.  It was also during this time that I began my own discovery of living in the Truth of the Present Moment, which presently has become simply a natural way of being.
What takes us out of the Truth of the Present Moment?  Words.  Thoughts.  Automatic reactions.  Expressing negative emotions.  Living in our own egotistical melodramas.
Let’s begin with words.  Words are immensely more powerful than many of us are aware of.  A certain word or phrase can make us react in some way that we know is not the Truth of us.  After our reaction, we might feel foolish that we reacted to someone’s words.  The Sanskrit term for the power of words is matrika Shakti.  My Guru said, “Do not let the matrika make you dance.”
A group of words leads to a thought.  Rather, the group of words with a coherent meaning is the thought.  A thought is nothing more than a certain group of words that we have given meaning to.
On one level, our thoughts are generally insignificant.  They are not nearly as interesting as we make them out to be.  Also, most of them are, at best, some variation of some aspect of truth, or something relatively true for now.  Most thoughts are just mental clutter.  The space that exists between any two thoughts, or any two words, is very blissful and freeing.  However, it is a great process to gain the simple ability to maintain the gaze between two thoughts.
Most people cannot even conceive of a silent, still space between thoughts, between words.  They might even consider such a space as boring.  Thoughts lead to activity and stimulation, which many people are unknowingly addicted to.  Many people are only comfortable with plenty of activity and stimulation.  This leads to egotistical melodramas, and we get lost in them and lose all touch with the Truth of the Present Moment.
Egotistical melodramas is one of the key terms in our Course of Training regarding Living in the Truth of the Present Moment.  In short time we begin to recognize egotistical melodramas for what they are; not merely in retrospect, but as we are in the midst of them.  We learn to catch them ‘red-handed.’
We must develop the capacity to see what limits us and keeps us in some degree of ignorance, for only after we are able to see what holds us down are we finally able to recognize the very best of ourselves.  Truly, most all people are much greater, in essence, than they conceive themselves to be.  They limit themselves to constrictive or contracting concepts.  This is why we must learn to go beyond all concepts, and open up to the willingness to see something new—the Truth of our own Being, the Truth of the Self.
Briefly, an egotistical melodrama requires words and thoughts (to describe the situation and what is going on—which we take to be ‘reality)’.  The egotistical melodrama usually requires other people—often includes conflict, or an expression of negative emotions, and they take place in ‘time.’  In the present moment, they don’t even exist.  They exists in thoughts, and thoughts require time. 
The present moment is absolutely silent and absolutely still.
The present moment is the space between words or thoughts.  If we could rest in that state, we would live in absolute contentment.  Truly, contentment is the highest aspiration.  Once we are content, we have attained all we can attain while dwelling in this physical body.
Due to a rigid conditioning from the past, we cannot be content simply by deciding to be.  We can decide to remain content forevermore, and yet the next time someone says something we don’t like, we are caught up in an emotional reaction.  So a comprehensive and coherent ‘training’ is, if not required, at least highly recommended.  On our own, our head is spinning its tires to get free from snow, ice, sleet, sand, and mud of the mind.  We need something that helps us see what direction we’re going in and what is the next step.
At least this was my own experience with my own Teachers.  Simply through being in subtle relationship with them, my state would expand to a much greater degree, leading to a greater transformation, than anything I could have possibly done on my own, depending entirely on my own feeble efforts. 
Anyway, we each do what we can do, right?  I sit here and write having no idea of where this sentence will go, much less what will be written in the next sentence.  In a sense I am taking dictation, having no idea what I will write next.  I am simply the typist.  All my writings are much more amazing to me than to you, the reader, for you might think you know where these words come from, while for me it is a great mystery.
Some questions have recently come in.  I will respond to them here:
Someone wrote, "I don't feel I value or appreciate the preciousness of each moment.
“Here is my question:
“What is it about being in THIS BODY that is so precious?  I want to fully appreciate the preciousness of each moment and am open to fuller understanding."
Being in this body is so precious because it carries a precious cargo.  It is our dharma to protect the precious cargo at any cost.  What if you could actually experience that nothing is inside this body other than God or Consciousness?  What if you were truly aware that you are carrying around the Lord everywhere you go?
If you felt alone with God, would you experience the preciousness of the moment? Well, in truth, you are alone with God right now.  God is peering through your eyes, hearing through your ears, and so on through all the senses.  There is no one in this body but God.  There is no middle-man.
When you fully understand this, you live in the consciousness of the preciousness of life.  You see that each moment is to be cherished and celebrated, because it is a distinctive part of the life you are living here on the planet Earth.  Why not cherish and celebrate each moment of life?  Is something ‘else’ going to happen?
This is how you experience the preciousness of the present moment.
Another wrote:  I have a strong sense of late that I did not give earlier lessons the required attention throughout the back half of volume one, in particular the section on ‘attention, conscious intent & will’
“I feel that ongoing events in my personal life are the result of a strong sense of self-doubt along with lack of clarity & there are earlier lessons that would assist me in breaking free from the corresponding samskara – which has undoubtedly led me to a current life situation that is rather unpleasant.
“Perhaps the best approach would be to discontinue where I am currently at with the lessons, to enable me to return to volume 1 for the coming period?
Your advice would be appreciated.”
No!  Do not do that.  One of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking they should suspend their current lessons in order to ‘catch up’ with all the earlier lessons they did not give their full attention to.  Sooner or later we realize that the Course is not merely about the words in lessons, although reading them nurtures us inwardly.  Myself, I would never gullibly accept the truth of that simply because someone else said it.  I would have to prove it true for myself, by actually applying the principles of Truth in practical ways in my own life.
Listen, only a very few ever gave the earlier lessons their full attention.  Only a very few fully saw the great value in the section on ‘Attention, Conscious Intent & Will.’  It is a section of the Course designed to help us master our personal life in order to be free to explore other, subtler areas later in the Course.  By ‘personal life’ I mean anything perceived or experienced in regards to the karma of the individual being.
Any major principle that was explored earlier that you feel you did not give enough attention to, will come back to you in other lessons.  Nothing in the Course that is essential to understand will be mentioned only once.  The only way we can fully experience or imbibe major principles of Truth is through repetition.
The Energy (Shakti) of the Course is a process far beyond reading words either printed out (preferable) or online.  The primary practice of the Course is to focus on your current lesson as much as possible, for in your current lesson you will get the answers you need.
It takes the average participant of the Course approximately 2 years to fully understand and appreciate what the Course actually is.  Hopefully you will be above average.  
The Course is by no means merely about reading words; it is tuning in to a certain Energy or State that will help you move in the right direction, and know what the next step will be, and what the end-goal might be.  These answers will come to you from within yourself, which we ordinarily think of as ‘intuition.’  Nothing comes to us from outside our own Self.  The greatest truths arise from inside us, perhaps stimulated by what a Teacher says or does, yet we know we already knew it, we just never thought of the words for it. 
Because of the time it takes for most people to see and experience what the Course in truth actually is, and the opportunities available through participating in the process of the Course, everything in the first two years is primarily designed to get one’s personal life cleaned up and running in a competent, orderly fashion.  Those who think they can succeed on the ‘spiritual path’ without first mastering physical life have deluded themselves once again.
Depending on your love of reading, you can continue referring to your current lesson whenever possible, and in addition you can take time to gradually read the past lessons that you feel you didn’t imbibe at the time.  Remember, just reading the words of the lesson expands and transforms our understanding and experience.  By referring to the current lesson daily—perhaps supplemented with some reviewing of ‘older’ lessons—gradually trains and disciplines the mind. 
When you reread earlier lessons you find that you see meanings you never saw before, and new insights arise—because of the change in your state since originally reading it.  You will see things now that you were unable to recognize or take in during your previous reading(s).
If you stop the Course, thinking you can ‘catch up,’ you block the flow of spiritual energy required for inner development.  There is in reality nothing to catch up to. The Course is about living in the Truth of the Present Moment.  If you understand your current lesson, you understand all you need to know for now.  To get your life in order, and in harmony, you simply need to actually apply the principles in the lessons in all areas of your daily life.  Look at what you have been thinking that allows you to think of your life in the way you described.
One final exchange:  Someone wrote:  “What are the primary things that you feel are necessary for inner development?  I believe I might better focus my mind if I had some perspective or overview of what is happening and what we are here for if I had specific suggestions to follow.”
You know, I have been writing lessons for 39 years, culminating in this current Course of Training which explores all aspects of the Truth of Being—or the reality of the one Self simultaneously expressing as everyone.
From the title of the Course and the blog, you might guess that I feel it is essential to live established in the present moment.  Why?  Because the present moment is the only ‘time’ it is possible to experience higher feelings, such as love, compassion, and kindness.  If you get lost in time, you are once again lost in the negative emotions of egotistical melodramas, which take up the time of your life if you let them.
It is important to love your Self, and to see and love that same Self in all others in your karmic sphere, which pretty much includes everyone you have any relationship or contact with—otherwise, they would never come into your life.  First class spiritual growth is available through the awareness that the highest sadhana is to be in harmony regarding all other people, including their words and actions.  To live in harmony with everyone all the time—regardless of what they do or say—leads to a great inner state.
Above all things, love and respect yourself.  If you want something from another, be the one to give it, for only in this way will you be fulfilled.  Understand that you alone are the Source of your perception and experience.  When we understand the Truth, we realize that nothing outside us has any power over us whatsoever.  It seemed to have power over us before, but that’s only because we allowed it to.  Understand that you are first Cause of everything you see and experience.
Think positively and creatively.  Never think badly of yourself, or look down upon yourself.  Always remember that only the Divine dwells within and animates this body and mind.  Respect your Self.  Only in this way can you generate or experience true respect.  Never expect others to respect you—it is of no concern of yours how they see you.  Respect yourself and you will be happy and free. 
You have to think highly of yourself in spite of what others say; you can never think highly of yourself because of what others say. 
You live in your own creation.  This is the Truth.
For information regarding the Course of Training, and the first two lessons, or essentially the first month of the Course, write: drbutler.course@gmail.com
The Course is also available in Spanish and French.


Bettina said...

Now I know, why there was no entry in March, for you gave such an abundance of wisdom about the Course and its purpose here in the April entry, Ram. I couldn't imagine a better summery of the Course of Training. The blog is indeed a wonderful addition to the lessons, for it brings you back to the roots of the course and is a bit like an additional lesson in itself, a root lesson, so to speek. I love the directions about how to use the Course, for it is also a direction of how to live your life: be in the moment (read the current lesson), deal with what' s at hand in the best possible way (apply the principles talked about) and reflect on what was, when you have time (and repeat older lessons if you feel inspired to). To live with the Course is diciplined flowing rather than pressured mind-cramping. It teaches multi-levelled being rather than even more intellectual spacing off. And last but not least: the words of the lesson are like silence. A friend of mine wrote recently: "We have a poster in our house, which reads, “Silence is Better than Bullsh..”. Enough said." To receive words with the quality of silence is true meditation, while reading. Amazing! - Never before I was able to weave spirituality or a spiritual practice so easily into daily life and actions. If this is not the greatest gift on the spiritual path in our modern life, I wouldn't know what is... -- Endless gratitude!

Divya said...

The realization of how precious my life is has been shown to me by my participation for the past 4 years in the Course Truth of the Present Moment by D.R. My life is not the same. I have had the realization that I am God and God is my friend.
I can create my own reality by my own thoughts. It is happening and I am so happy. Than you D.R.!

Melissa Abbott said...

Each moment that we remember the truth in the moment, we are remembering god. Because what is god but the invaluable, priceless moment?

FB said...

I just read these words in the 4/1/14 blog,
“The present moment is absolutely silent and absolutely still”.
This sentence clarifies for me just what living in the present moment means, or is.
Just contemplating it takes me into that space.
In a past lesson or FaceBook entry you, D. R., wrote these words; (which I wrote on a post-up that is hanging up on my computer, I often read it), the words are:
“That wordless state,
Lightheartedness of divine life,
Awareness of all that is”
One of my greatest joys is sitting at the computer desk that sits right in front of 2 large windows. Outside these windows is a lot of foliage that consist of tall rose of Sharon shrubs, a large burning bush, grass, cardinals, wrens, robins, a humming bird or two at times, squirrels, and beyond all that is a loving neighbors home, and a huge maple tree in their back yard. Be it spring summer, fall, or winter, feeling the beauty carries me to a state beyond external visuals and conditions…I frequently find myself in that wordless, lighthearted, awareness of divine life state; a simple, pure, free, content, and grateful state. “That wordless state…lightheartedness of divine life…awareness of all that is”.
The words, “The present moment is absolutely silent and absolutely still”, open up a deeper awareness and appreciation of this…I am even more appreciative of and grateful for the course, my true companion, limitless thanks Ram and Kay.

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

This blog entry is so filled with beautiful, practical, uplifting wisdom and experience. Thank you! Just like the lessons, it fosters a tuning into the same state the words talk about. That is why I can't get enough of the lessons!

I have been taking the course for 4 years. ALmost never is there a day I don't refer to my lessons. I am not a high discipline, and certainly not a boot-camp kind of person. I find the reading and re-reading process of the lessons simply a delightful, self-nurturing special part of every day. More and more as soon as I dip into a paragraph or page I find myself staring off into space, in a meditative peaceful joyful Light state. The course is clearly supported by a very powerful and caring energy.

This course is as close as I have ever come to magic, and mystery in this world.

Blessings, Karen Jo

Sarah said...

Thank you for this Blog entry to add with my Lessons for this month.... |

My experience after 2 1/2 years in this current course of the lessons has been is as you mention.. learning to see God in the eyes of all we meet, and that of course is only possible by returning to the present moment of any situation....I work in the medical field. I see folks of all shapes, sizes, and ages in various states of "dis-ease". Admittedly , it is challenging to remain lighthearted and "at ease" thru the exams I am required to perform on such people who are present due to discomfort and physical distress. Thru the Lessons, I almost automatically can step back in my mind and heart, return to the Present Moment of the situation, to see and FEEL God peering thru the eyes of those I realize I am Blessed to be working with.. the same God I AM, and there is truly only one of US really present. Today for example, I worked with folks ages 4 yrs to 80 yrs, and I realized that the same God is within all...ageless.... Thank You for this blog and the Lessons Ram and Kay :)

Carla Orlandi said...

Thank you for this D.R. Butler. You are the key to my life going so well.Reading the lessons every 2 weeks for the past five years has transformed my life!
I can sense it within me. I'm a better ME and I can handle life with such ease. I truly love the course and the blog!
Here's a few of the highlights on the my last 5 years reading the course:
1-Married my amazing husband Michael, we both read the course together.
2-My Real Estate career boomed from 0 to over 50 sales in the past 3 years. I received many awards at work :)
3-I went to the Academy Awards as a host for the Armed Forces network.
4-Got an acting role in a film that is in theatres now.
5-My relationship to my children has deepened and flourished. My step son has changed incredibly and graduates high school next month!
6-Our move to San Diego has been a blessed move.
7-I found my biological family after 21 years searching in San Diego!!!
8-I feel connected to everyone I meet. Can understand their lives without judgement.
9-I love and cherish my family and the story of this life.
10- All of the above from reading the course!!
So with that said, living in the truth is learning to live in bliss, recognizing the light and love within me and all others. Seeing grace in all situations and loving life as it unfolds moment to moment. Thank you for this gift!

John said...

I can "testify" to "everything in the first two years is primarily designed to get one’s personal life cleaned up and running in a competent, orderly fashion". During my first two years of the Course I went back to college; I moved twice and bought our first home; I changed jobs three times and ended up with the company that I eventually retired from; I began to see my Lessons reflected in the people, events and circumstances of my life and started to accept how wrong my understanding of things had been up to that point. All these years later, it is so clear that those first two years of the Course formed a foundation that allowed so much wonder, abundance and joy to follow.

Karen Blum said...

Very happy I was prompted to come back to the Blog! This is one of the best entries I've ever read. I have a wonderful friend, and I am sending her an email link today. In fact, I'm sending it to a couple others, too. If they follow the link, they won't have to take my word for how great the Course is. Love to you!

Jim said...

"Most people cannot even conceive of a silent, still space between thoughts, between words. They might even consider such a space as boring."

I am reminded of a joke that my high school physics teacher once told during class:
Q: why did the man bang his head against the wall
A: because it felt so good when he stopped

So it is with my experience of thinking. I have thunk so many thoughts to the point where it felt so good when I stopped thinking. If anything keeps me going on the path, it is recalling the bliss that can experienced when the mind is still and transparent.

Glad I took the time to visit the blog today and reconnect to that experience. In particular this line, standing alone and in bold text, regrounded me that bliss:

"The present moment is absolutely silent and absolutely still."

D. R. Butler said...

Great list, Carla Orlandi. You always apply what you learn in practical ways in your daily life. Your words, your expressions, are always so positive and uplifting, both here and on Facebook. You have an elevating and lighthearted effect in the lives of those who know you; you've been the perfect servant, even when you did not know that you were serving. You've been a consistent participant right from the beginning.

D. R. Butler said...

Jim, I like the way you think. Or rather, the way you don't think. I related to your comment a lot. In the lessons I write how I finally realized that thinking is agitating, and in some cases even leads to anxiety.

We reach a certain point in self-development, in 'sadhana', in spiritual practices--they're all just different ways of alluding to what we do to experience and maintain an expansion of consciousness--to the point that we actually become conscious of Consciousness.

Or put simply, as you did yourself, it's just resting in the state of supreme contentment that we experience when we gaze at the space between any two thoughts. It is very simple, yet we have to learn how to do this, how to develop the capacity to direct attention to the absolute silence and stillness of the present moment. Thoughts require time. The space between thoughts is the Truth of the Present Moment.

D. R. Butler said...

We all have our individual sadhana, yet there is a certain group sadhana we share by being here together. One of the greatest things is to feel free to share our true thoughts and feelings; with others sharing their own process, we learn how much alike we all are.

Through observation we learn that those we looked up to, or down to, are much more like us that we ever realized. Even the most advanced Beings still have a certain sadhana they must follow to the end, and part of it is getting out everything that we might feel embarrassed or humiliated by. When we see that everyone else is the same way, and in the same boat, we get a much greater understanding of what being on the path means.

We see we don't have to feel guilty or unworthy about certain ways we are. We see that everyone has things that make them feel secretly guilty or unworthy.

One way we can use this to our advantage is to write out whatever we feel bad about regarding ourselves. How do we feel unworthy or impure? What do we do that seemingly leaves a mark, a taint, on our soul?

You can post here if you want to share with the group thing, or you can just keep it to yourself; the writing of it alone releases a lot we are holding onto.

If anyone wants to play this game, your might be amazed how purifying and freeing it can be.

Avivit said...

Hi D.R., your last sharing is definitely an incentive for my following share:

My brother's twins (31) have their birthday a week before mine and it was decided the family would celebrate together in a brunch at a park.

I tend to invest in the gifts I give to them each year and ordered snickers from europe and sew for each pair a special cloth bag and wrote a heartfelt blessing card for each one. At the park we exchanged gifts and I received from them (twins plus the youngest nephew) a Gap gift card, something I always like receiving cause it is definitely usuful to me). No blessing card. On the gift card's tiny cardboard, it was written in 6-7 words how they appreciate and love me. That was it.

I was shocked both by the gift card sum which was even smaller than last years gift card and by what my mind worded as them not having taken a moment to invest in a heartfelt blessing card. I felt disregarded, alone (considering my mother died some months ago). I felt they "passed on" a gift and did "what the least necessary but without really caring about me. I felt like an idiot having once again invested "so much more" than they do.

I could see all the drama come up on my screen which made me want to go home and be with my dog on our own.
I cried a bit without them really noticing and remembered my mother's sayingto me: There is nothing comparing to a mother. You'll truly understand this after I am gone". (by the way I have no children)
I did understood it now. Only a mother really is so extra attentive to ones needs....past present future up and down and around. Who would "see" me and my being the way she was conscious of "me"?
Despite noticing I was judging and I could as easily back off any judgement if I chose to, I did not...I was cooking in that sour juice. I "had to say something about it, with the intention of: we can all learn from this for the future. :)

Ofcourse after getting it all out the next day I felt more quiet. They agreed partially with me and consider new ways for next year.

After days I look back again and wonder to myself...if I had'nt said a word.....would I be as quiet now just because time has gone by and it does calm.
I can recognize the ego making a dramatic move to get what it thinks it needs. I recognize how difficult it is at times to simply let go of "being right and getting all that attention. Of wanting to be even.

I really wonder if someone who is way ahead in sadhana still has those boughts of needing attention from outside? does it still come up till the end? (end of the negative ego)
yes....only from this question I recognize the shame I still feel by being needy of attention sometimes.....:) ai ai aiiiiii

hoppyglowingdarren said...

Hey kiddos. I'll bite. This is an unedited cut from notes I write to myself, voices that I hear and/or listen to:

One last thing -- while Khalil was cutting my hair I thought "I am a failure in life " even as I have never had a more
Productive and fulfilling year. But I looked at myself through Mar's and Mark's eyes like in that dream and thought I had painted myself into a corner with my choices even as I affirm there is no other dimension than this one. Then I think "well they see your spiritual posts in Facebook and say "well of course he has to be spiritual because his life is shit. That's when people get spiritual to excuse their unambitious choices in life."

Todd said...

I wanted to just share with you an experience I had today. I had not been printing my lessons out and have just been using my ipad to read them. Today I was cleaning my desk out and came across 2 older lessons in print. I decided to read them again. It was amazing how powerful it was to read them from actually holding them. The Energy emanating from them was powerful. I then printed my current lesson out and did the same and experienced the same thing. I was immediately drawn into deep meditation. It really was a huge validation of the power of this course and the Grace behind it. Much Love, Todd

D. R. Butler said...

That reminds me of something that happened many years ago, during the 'snail-mail' era. A Course participant in Arizona wrote that she was being visited by a good friend when the mailman drove by and delivered what she was expecting--her new current lesson.

She had been looking for an opening to encourage her friend to try them for himself. On this day, she simply asked if he would go and bring her the mail.

She watched him walk to her mailbox, reach in, and suddenly jump back for a moment. When he got back to her, he pointed at the envelope containing her new lesson, and said, 'When I held this envelope I suddenly felt this blissful energy flow right up my arm and over to my heart.'

Aha, she thought, now's a good time to tell him about the Course.

Anyway, it's not going to always be so dramatic, but I agree with you that there is something special about having the printed lessons on paper. I know a lot of people read them on tekky gadgets, and maybe that's just a sign of the times. I'm old school, myself, and I'm happy that my wife Kay prints one out for me.

Mark said...

I can say that I had a similar experience. I only just started the course in January of this year, and I was reading the first few lessons on my tablet. It was kind of handy, I could pull out the tablet, and read the lesson. But then recently, my tablet was acting up, and I sent it in for service.

Since I didn't have the tablet for a while, I printed out the current lesson instead. I found that I was able to get a lot more out of reading the lesson printed out on paper. Somehow it seemed like I missed a lot of what was said, reading it on the tablet, as compared to reading it on paper. I figured it was more "environmental" to use the tablet rather than paper, but it does make me feel better if I use recycled paper.

Plus, having the lesson on the tablet, made it more likely I would get distracted, if an email came in, which doesn't happen when I sit with the paper lesson..

Anyways, I'm going to print out all my lessons from now on! After doing this, it makes me want to reread the other lessons. I may do this in the way described in this months blog post.

Divya said...

Re-read the blog just because it makes me feel good. It puts me in touch with the present moment again and again. What I am noticing after finishing my 4th year of the course is that I am able to let go of the melodrama almost immediately. I have been having some car issues the past few weeks. Lucky for me I went into the dealership for an oil change and they listed everything that needed to be done--around $2,000 worth of work. It was all typical of what a car needs at this mileage. Anyway, I could have been upset but instead I just told myself the money will come. I called my private mechanic and he was going to do the first part for a fraction of the cost. Today, I went in for the rest. My mechanic Fernando said to me "About the estimate we need to talk." He then took a phone call. I was just reading my current lesson on going with the flow. I said my mantra to myself. When he got off the phone, he said to me "We got the parts for a lot less than expected and we want to pass the savings on to you!" It was $200 less than the estimate!! The whole morning I was bringing myself back to the present moment. I knew I was going to be sitting for 3-4 hours--waiting. I told myself I would reward myself by going out to lunch. It was only 2 hours! My life has been going like this for quite awhile--so much less melodrama and more happiness with who I am. I am very grateful Ram and Kay.

Michael Vetrano said...

Are there any prerequisites to recognizing the Truth of our Self - that It is not the limited individual as the conditioned mind insists, but actually is the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent One?

D. R. Butler said...

Michael, the prerequisite to recognizing the Truth of our Self is to know that there is nothing separate from the Truth of our Self to recognize it.

vickie said...

"what do we do that leaves a mark on our soul"? The longer I read the course, the more I am aware of so many levels happening simultaneously. When I am still with the Moment, I can know ease and recognize so many levels of thankfulness and contentment. However, moving into action of any kind, despite my best intentions, sucks me back into contraction, inhibition, and a sense of insufficiency, even if it's only on a level just under my conscious thoughts. I seem to stop breathing and power on through to "get whatever it is done" as if some prize awaits the completion, each action some proof of either worthiness or its opposite. How to stay in the Moment in action without fearing each action to be proof of the actuality of my lack? Stillness seems to be the truth of my soul while action appears to stir up nothing but taint. Catching myself sooner, returning to the Truth, identifying the inhibition, taking a breath and offering the actions once again all seem to help...and praying some day, I can be as still in action, as I am in times of quietude. And there it is...a new intention, to offer my attention to and focus my will power toward. thank you for this place to interact and discover--

D. R. Butler said...

Vickie, you can experience stillness and action as one. They exist simultaneously. It is as though the action is the painting while the stillness is the canvas. The stillness never moves; it is where the Witness resides. Yet without action there is nothing to witness.

Work a little bit on focusing your attention in the direction that you know is best for you, and don't allow it to gaze at anything distracting. As you progress in the Course, it will become more and more natural for you.

Anonymous said...

How can I improve my thinking so that I arrive at solutions to problems instead of endlessly dwelling on problems? I want to be solution focused.

Anonymous said...

I have been contemplating the preciousness of each moment.
In a recent lesson you mention "The best way to know God is in human form. In no other form can we do this."
this feels completely 'right' to me.
However, you also write about how "You will put aside one body after another in the course of Your evolution from dimension to dimension...for developing as wonderful, in itself, as this world has been"
My understanding would benefit from any 'fine tuning' you could offer, as I seem unclear: are we to know God in this human form; or will we be continuing to evolve 'after' in other dimensions? clearly I don't fully grasp how the two perspective mesh (perhaps it is as simple as they don't 'have' to?)
Tom Mc

James Donohue said...

I have a tendency to put myself down.
It can even sound playful. Yet it is disrespectful to myself. I recently fractured my hip. Now I am home after rehab. I went out to exercise some yesterday. I over did it. Now I have the flu. Something is telling me relax. Stop pushing. Seems the consequences of my actions are getting more painful. Thank you all for this great course. I read it often. I have to laugh. It is a consolation to hear'This too will pass' and put your attention on this precious moment.

D. R. Butler said...

Anonymous, the only true answer of how to improve your thinking is through participating in our Course on Living in the Truth of the Present Moment. If you already participate in the Course, perhaps you should give your lessons a little more time and attention, for it sounds as though you are not practicing even the most basic principles.

I can give a short answer to your question here, but it is unlikely that simply through reading this will lead to growth and transformation. The transformation happens through participation in the Course.

Yet the answer: Think only of what you want and refuse to even consider what you don't want. Don't even put it into words. Thank only of what is pleasant and refuse to even consider what is unpleasant. That is how simple the truth is.

Yet, just from reading this, will we suddenly practice it fully and consistently?

So this is what the Course is for: to undergo whatever is necessary to develop the capacity to simply think of what we want and what is pleasant. It is so amazingly simple, yet we actually need to be 'trained' to consistently practice the principle regardless of what shows up on the outside.

Asia 0912 said...

On this weekend of spring holiday, I want to share what the Course of Training has meant to me and how it is helping me to have a wonderful day today.

My spiritual life has been greatly challenged by my mother's health situation. She has lived with my husband and me for several years, and was fully functional when we first invited her to live with us. It has worked out for us much better than it might in some families (sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't; I hope that people who can't do this feel no guilt whatsoever). But it has been difficult, particularly in the last three years, when her health has been declining. She is just back home from a month of hospital-rehab-hospital. She has congestive heart failure. She is remarkably mobile and independent for a 95-year-old person, but that doesn't mean she doesn't need a lot more attention from my husband and me then she used to – she does.

It has been harder than I imagined it would be to see her health decline. And when people say things like, "How wonderful that you can take care of her now like she took care of your when you were young!” I remember the ways in which, due to addiction in the family, she was not able to take care of me when I needed it. It's also true a healthy youngster becomes more independent as time passes. It has been hard for me to have the opposite in front of my eyes on a daily basis.

And yet – today I am so happy that I feel like that line from the spiritual that says, "Lord, I can't sit down! Cause I just got to heaven, gonna look around!"

Here are some of the things I have learned from the Course of Training that make this possible:

1. That I can be content, that I can feel God (by whatever name works for you) inside me and as me, no matter what is going on outside of me.

2. That focusing my attention on what I want really works. A friend from the Course suggested that I imagine how I would feel if I had all the help I need for my mom and that I picture streams of helpers coming to me. I said to myself, “Yeah, right!” but did it anyway. Yesterday, on the Friday before Easter (which is a work holiday in much of my community), three professional helpers came to the house. And I'm realizing what I can ask of some friends who said, “Let me know if I can do anything to help.”

3. That I have a choice in where I place my attention. I can move my attention away from habitual thoughts that are negative and place my attention on an outlook that is positive.

I am starting my fourth year of the Course. These changes have not happened immediately. Habits of thought and behavior that developed over decades have not disappeared overnight :-). The Course builds in the kind of repetition and reinforcement that have allowed me to make real changes

So, thank you D.R., for everything.

And if you are even thinking about signing up for the Course of Training, I suggest that you do so.

Love and best wishes to you all!

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

I loved your share Asia 0912! I am also in the fourth year of the course and I can also say that it is truly a process of development over time-- just by reading and re-reading and practicing the principle, a subtle muscle has been forming which is making it easier and easier for me to direct my thoughts and attention. I marvel at this development which is quite magical and wonderful.

So to Anonymous: if you are earlier in the Course, just keep going and you will see for yourself. And if you haven't tried the course, it is truly one of the best uses of money and time you will ever find in this world.


vickie said...

Simple words...and significant outcomes! Your earlier response Ram opened whole new perspectives and experiences for me and then (coincidentally) my next lesson picked right up and continued to expand on it with so many specific things to explore and experiment with. I have been able to identify a longstanding habit by which I split subject and object and literally cripple myself, and I have been able to begin practicing a new way of moving through it. Your words continue to resonate strongly for me, and I know there is more I will learn from allowing them to steep in my awareness. Thank you for the service you offer that allows such an avenue to exist for us all--

Mark said...

Sometimes I find myself feeling like I don't belong in groups of others, and I would say that I have this feeling here as well, although this is certainly one of the more safe places that I experience, as it is rather anonymous. Somehow, I feel like I'm on the outside, the oddball that doesn't fit in. More and more I am able to be comfortable with my own company. I find that life has been pushing me to feel comfortable with myself recently. But I still struggle sometimes with feeling like I don't belong with other people in the world. That I am somehow unworthy to participate in interactions with them.

In a way, when I'm by myself, I can experience the beauty and wonder of the moment. But when I'm with others, I seem to get self conscious, especially around certain people, usually ones that seem to be "important" in some way, then I really clam up, and want to hide.

I'm wondering if you have any advice on how I can overcome this feeling? Or if it is even necessary to overcome it?

Thank you! And thank you so much for your great offering!

rico said...

Mark, when you feel uncomfortable in a group your attention is focused on what appears to be happening out there. When you are comfortable by yourself I'll bet your attention is more focused on what is aware of your experience. Even when those uncomfortable feelings arise that same awareness is still there letting you know about that discomfort. Try putting your attention back on that awareness rather than on the discomfort. When you're alone you have the opportunity to become very familiar with what notices, what is aware of that easy feeling. Once you become familiar with the awareness that's behind that easy feeling it will become increasingly easier to notice that same awareness when you are in a group. When you put your attention on that awareness you can watch those uncomfortable feelings arise then dissipate. After a while you'll probably realize that those important people are just like you in that you both share that same awareness. Then you may feel like you're "alone" even in a crowd.

Michael Vetrano said...

What is my true nature?

Mark said...

Thank you Rico for your beautiful words. You have given me much to contemplate and work on.

Best Regards,

Mark said...

Michael Vetrano, your true nature is consciousness. The Shiva Sutras say that God also known as the Self or "Atma" is Consciousness. My Guru says God dwells within You as You. To understand this, and come to experience it, I highly suggest you take D.R. Butler's correspondence course. It is a very unique offering.

Jude said...

I certainly appreciated the workshop the other day, and am still sorting out the learning from that. It is so true that one gets what one needs from the Shakti.

Here are a few examples of my learning. Hearing that questions are actually door-openers for the question to be answered hit me hard. Somewhere in there I truly got that my questions are, and would be answered by the Higher Powers. My Faith increased, my sense of relationship to the One increased.

2. Setting intention NOT to influence karma, BUT to build a positive, pleasant inner state. THAT cleared up a lot of confusion I didn't even know I had. I was always reluctant to set intentions for outer accomplishments, and then had some fleeting idea that I was lacking because of that. Chatter.

3. The BEST. The phrase "shatter the sentence", when referring to replacing negative thoughts with ;positive thoughts. I have read about and studied the matrika for so many years. This was a huge breakthrough. I usually think about replacing a negative with a positive thought, being focused on the psychological content of the thoughts. The phrase "shatter the sentence" catapulted me into the realm of the actual power of the matrika shakti and a method- shatter the letters, the words, drop them back into the great light filled void- for re-directing that power. I knew instantly that I could do that inside of myself, and immediately began.

4. Ram's examples of his own conscious intentions was a great help. Although the lessons certainly include these, hearing ram speak of them really made a good modeling for me.

SO, dear ones, Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, one more! In September I had a magnificent dream in which this Master Painter--this being moved so fast I could not see him, but, he gave me painting lessons and in the dream I worked on 4 canvases. In the waking state I then actually did 8 paintings, using the methods and the paintings in the dream for the seeds of my work. Pretty surprising paintings came out, and I will have my first art show this summer!!

All to say that I SO appreciated your speaking of the subtle plane in the way you did. I know I have a strong aware connection with the subtle plane, especially in the example I just gave you.

It is home, and it certainly contributes to a much more pleasant feeling about the Big Transition.

Over and out for now!


FB said...

I have re-read the this blog 3 times since the May 4 on-line workshop and each time so much more understanding comes up for me. I got so much from Mark and Rico April 28 to May 8 exchange as I have the exact same perceptions and feelings as Mark to work with! How fortunate to be led to read this today!
How wonderful the Course, the blog, the workshop and everyone's exchanges are. Thank you Everyone, EveryOne!

Tom Mc said...

In my latest Lesson you write:
"There is a point where time and space merge and become essentially the same; at this point the physical world is more clearly perceived and experienced for what it is."
Since this is my last regular day reading this Lesson it stands out as something I don't fully 'get' and I feel a call for refinement of my understanding. It is a great contemplation. Does this refer to the state of stillness? An awareness that each present moment is new; in which sense there is no past or future - all being created in this present moment? That all of 'this', the physical world is not a function of time as it is newly created in each 'now'? And that 'space' is (just like on t.v.) an illusion on that glowing flat screen?

A second question:
is this 'physical' world a projection (in each now) of individual consciousness, using the mind/senses etc. Or is it a projection of the Universal consciousness? Seems I can glimpse either perspective (although the Universal one is a challenge, LOL) Perhaps both are simultaneously valid?

well.... seems to be a third question... :
you write, "The chances of the mind understanding the Self are about the same as a single grain of sand being able to understand the boundless ocean."
Yet my mind (or perhaps it is not my mind?)is driven to try. This seems to lead to insight and 'aha!' moments. Is this correct understanding or a trap the ego?

Thank you for your continued guidance (with everything, LOL)- it is deeply appreciated.
Tom Mc

Tom Mc said...

now I get this, “preciousness of each moment!” God is savouring each rasa of this experience! As I lumber around in this body, I am taking him around – like a treasured guest – showing him the sights and sounds. And he is laughing at the rasa, the flavour, of each moment. Whether I am eating ice cream, riding on a horse in a carousel, viewing Niagara Falls, or even watching a melodrama in my life, or slowly walking up the creaking stairs in this creaking body... he is laughing and enjoying it all!

Anonymous said...

"Let's not forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives and we obey them." --Vincent Van Gogh