Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy Celebration Month


July is a month of celebration for us.  The Course was born in July.  If you go all the way back to the beginning of the blog, you will see that it’s all there; you will see that the very first blog entry was July of 2008.  We celebrate Kay’s birthday on the 20th, and my own birthday on the 4th.  (I came in with a bang.)  The 20th is also our wedding anniversary, as we were married on Kay’s birthday (by her daughter Tiffany.)

So we invite you to approach the month of July as a time of celebration and appreciation for what we have received from the blog, and for those who participate in our Course via email, it is an auspicious time to feel our appreciation for it.  My own appreciation of the lessons of the Course has expanded a great deal since we first started back in 2008. 

I have a clearer understanding of where the lessons ‘come from.’  This was always a great mystery for me.  It was obvious that such teachings could not have come from the person that I believed myself to be.  My first Teacher transmitted the principles of Truth very clearly for me, and the Guru bestowed the Shakti to enliven the lessons, so that the Spiritual Energy of the lineage comes through the lessons to all those who are open and ready.  Even I could not doubt their authority

If you read every entry to the blog as it comes out, and especially are engaged in the comments following the blog entries, then you get a lot out of it that is helpful and beneficial for you.  It happens through grace.  To me, it is the grace of the Guru—which is scripturally described as the ‘grace bestowing power of God.’  It is enough to simply understand that spiritual growth happens through grace.  That is, simply because you are earnestly open to experiencing something entirely new, something happens inside you that is clearly something that you could not have done or understood or seen on your own.

I share this primarily because the transmission of the Principles of Truth, along with the Energy (Shakti) and will to actually apply them in our own life, happens to a much greater degree if we actually recognize and appreciate what exactly is happening.  Can it be experienced as a transmission of higher (more expanded and refined) energies?  The lessons as well as the blog are not, and never have been, mere words, you know.  It takes a great deal of openness and trust to truly acknowledge and appreciate the transformative process that is actually happening through this totally unexpected form.  Our karma has brought us together (otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this.)

In the final comments of the previous entry I promised I would answer the remaining questions in this month’s entry.  Of course, it isn’t really a ‘blog,’ is it?  It’s simply the most convenient form of mass communication available today.  In the blog you are actually getting ‘mini-lessons’ that give you a realistic glimpse of what the lessons of the Course are like, except that the lessons are designed to go from one to the next, so that the unfolding or growth happens naturally and spontaneously simply by focusing on your current lesson.

The first unanswered question is this:

“My question relates to working in a corporate / professional environment. I struggle at times to truly practice the lessons in the workplace. Seeing perfection in things goes against the grain of the very nature of my work. I am in a senior position where my role, essentially is to find flaws in the performance of people and negate them for the betterment of the business results. For me to let go & see perfection, I fear I would be out of work.”

There is a specific dharma (righteous action for the benefit of everyone involved) that entreats us to give our very best to our job.  In your case, in the realm of your job, perfection might require you to find the significant flaws in someone’s performance.  Someone’s got to do it.  So the job dharma trumps the idea of seeing things perfectly, (which in this case is actually ideally—otherwise, we would already see the perfection of whatever is without any effort or conscious engagement). 

Seeing things perfectly includes seeing you performing your job as perfectly as everything else.

The perfection already exists, whether we see it or not.  Learning how to see and experience the already existing perfection is one aspect of our Course via email.  Lots of teachers can tell you what to do, but very few actually transmit how to do it in your own life.  Lots of people have presented the idea that the present moment is the only reality, but do they actually live focused in the present moment?  No, chances are they are entangled in the mind and ego from time to time.

Lots of teachers present the principle I call simply ‘what you think is what you get.’  But can they consistently focus on pleasant, uplifting, and cheerful thoughts?  Chances are some egotistical melodrama has their attention.  So even more than learning what to do, we need to learn how to do it.  This is the foundation that brings about an actual transformation.  The potential for transformation is one reason that we take birth in a physical body.  Occupying this temporary form, experiencing the karma that comes with the body, presents a great opportunity for transformation, which is what the individual human life is all about.

Another question in last month’s comments was, “My only question at this time is how to occupy the mind when I am in the present moment.  Love and contentment stays for a while and then follow the thoughts.”

I love this question.  It is a living contradiction, and a great irony.  In the present moment there is no mind.  There is pure Awareness.  This is the Truth of the Present Moment.  When we start to occupy the mind, we lose present-moment-awareness.  The mind brings us back into time and space, back to the outer world, to the world of objective humanity.  The space between thoughts is universal, infinite, and pure Consciousness.  Then the next thought brings us back into this karmic reality.

The present moment is the space between thoughts.  It is always, eternally, the same space of pure Awareness.  It is changeless.

Someone wrote this:  "I have a query about what is madness?  This has been an ongoing quest since childhood.  My mother suffered greatly with paranoid schizophrenia.  And just recently a colleague's nineteen old year son took his own life.  He had a history of mental illness.  In a spiritual sense, I would really like to hear some words from you on the subject."

I am not quite sure what to say about madness.  Often I feel like a madman.  The famous artist, Salvador Dali, once said, 'The only difference between me and a madman, is that I'm not mad.'  I'm not so positive regarding myself.  I could easily be a madman and not even notice.  In fact, it wouldn't surprise me in the least.

Some people have an imbalance of chemistry in the brain, causing unnecessary depression and anxiety, and present-day antidepressants are able to restore the chemical balance.  This is okay.  An Indian woman doctor swami told me many years ago in India, “Medicine is Shakti too.”

You say you want to hear some words in a spiritual sense.  Well, paranoid schizophrenia is largely because of a lack of alignment between manas (conscious mind) and ahamkara (ego).  If these two are not properly connected and balanced, then some form of mental illness is the physical manifestation.

The most important thing to understand is that each incarnation is only one of many that take place one after another, with perhaps some rest between, whereas a very worldly person, attached and addicted to the things of this world, will reincarnate rather quickly due to his or her desire to return to this world.

An incarnation dealing with any kind of mental illness is only working out a certain karma a person needs to finish.  There will be many more incarnations for this soul that will be completely free of any sign of mental illness.  It is only a certain kind of karma, which will expel itself very soon, allowing the incarnated being to experience a much greater incarnation next time around.

The next two questions in the comments were very poignant.  One was from a woman I’ve known for a long time; I’ve known her daughter since she was 16, and now her daughter’s son has become violent.  Excerpts from her comment:

“How can you tell if/when you are really in harmony with a situation and are observing from the heart, or if you need to develop greater compassion in order to get to that point?  Now here's a little background for the question.  I'm definitely looking at the backside of life as I'll be 80 next year.  Gratefully I have taken the lessons for nearly 38 of those years.  My daughter's 21 year old son was diagnosed a paranoid schizophrenic four years ago with addiction a complicating factor.  My grandson is a danger to everyone, and especially to my daughter as he continually threatens to take her life.  This generates some really strong feelings in me.  Yet often these same feelings seem to be in neutral.....even absent.  Then I begin to ask, Where is my compassion?  Do I have any or have I been kidding myself?  And this brings me back to the above question.  Always with love, Ann”

Dear Ann, I wish I could just reach out and give you a comforting hug.  We had one of our early workshops in the 70’s in Ann’s home in Rome, New York.  After moving to Hilton Head, her cheerful, smiling, radiant face started showing up every year for our workshops in Atlanta, and it always felt so good to see her glowing eyes again.  So I hate that she is going through these things (I did not include details of her husband’s declining health).  She has a lot on her karmic plate.

And the comment following that was from a man who had to call the police on his own son, since he was becoming violent and dangerous.  Such things are tough karma.  When our children or grandchildren start becoming violent and/or irrational, or out of control in any way, it calls for tough love.  We have to be compassionate, we have to be unconditionally loving, and yet we must be strong enough to deal with the situation and the person effectively, and from a position of strength.  It is our dharma to do what we can to prevent loved ones from acting recklessly, in ways that could alter his or others’ lives.

Ann, it feels to me as though you have plenty of rational compassion.  It also sounds as though you are also being detached from it all, which is a really great sign.  You are approaching 80 years of age, each of them well done as far as I can tell.  You’ve lived a great life and done the best you could for everyone involved.  It should be obvious that not much is expected or required of you at this point.  You have done your work, and you have always been true to your dharma.  I’ve known you for a long time, and I have nothing but love and respect for you.  Please give Holly my love and assure her of my subtle support.

Be there for her if you can be helpful, but don’t impose it on her (which I am sure you would never do.).  Be supportive and encouraging.  But don’t take on any personal responsibility for how any of this works out, because it’s all going to be the same to you no matter what happens.  It is hard to be detached from our children’s karma, as it unfolds all on its own, having nothing to do with us.  And karma can be very fleeting.  Everything will work out as it always has, and you and she will always be cared for by the elder brothers who live among us in subtle form.

Margaret Peloquin, who does wondrous healing work up in the Gloucestor, MA, area wrote:  “I am noticing that I'm reading the Lessons more frequently now that I have copies scattered throughout the house!  I always thought it would be wasteful to print extra copies but I'm experiencing the convenience as well as the value of repetition so much more these days.  (It's like I've been wasting the Shakti in the Lessons by not making several copies.).  I know it's all been perfect as it is now. Great revelations though.

“As I continue reading about the radiant Light I realized that my Polarity training taught me that concept and I've been doing it for myself as well as for others during healing treatments.  It's such a powerful tool for optimal health.

“I've incorporated it into my yoga classes as well either during the opening or closing meditations, drawing this Light in through the chakras and out into the energy fields.  Very cool.  I know I get blasted by the Energy.  I hope others feel its power.....but then, I am working on not being affected by what others think!”

I mention these people’s names because they included their name in their questions among the comments of the previous blog entry, and since I didn’t answer it for them then, I am responding to it here and now.  Probably it is still here and now regardless of when you read this.

Margaret is an excellent example of how one aspect of our Course is to prepare teachers to be better teachers, and through the process of participating in the lessons they experience a refinement and upliftment of their understanding and experience, as well as a greater capacity to transmit it to others.  Many participants of the Course are teachers, leaders, and guides for others; a clear understanding of all the principles of Truth presented in the Course is essential to being the best possible teacher or guide for others.  Without this understanding, it is the blind leading the blind.  

Margaret, I know you have been a great help in the lives of many others.  I am happy to hear you are learning the value, after all this time, of rereading the lessons, as there is great power in repetition.  Many people never have that realization, and it takes the average Course participant about two years to finally discover, realize, or experience the power of repetition.  I am also happy to hear you are focusing on the Light.  I am certain that your focus on the inner Light will be transmitted to your own students and clients, and that is a truly great service in this world.

Someone wrote in a question that I often hear in various versions from different people.

"D.R. can you explain why someone who is aware of your course, even aware of what it might offer, doesn't jump at the chance to participate?  It can't be the cost since it's cheaper than the cost of a couple pizzas a month.  I can't imagine someone is so busy that they can't find 10 or 15 minutes a day to read it.  This is one of life's great mysteries for me, knowing what the course has to offer."

My response to this is, I don't know. I know that many more people would enjoy and benefit from participating in the Course, just as many before them have already experienced, but I imagine for the large part they don't have the karma to ever hear about the Course, or for it to ‘register’ should they hear about it.  When someone is ready for the Course, usually he or she magically learns about it through some unlikely source, gives it a trial, and then inexplicably remains a participant for life. 

There are people participating in the Course who have received the lessons for 40 years now.  They are great people, with an unsurpassed foundation of understanding, and the majority of them have helped many other people as well.  They are people I deeply respect.

Back to your question, I would love for more people to learn of the Course.  It wouldn’t be a big deal for me personally, but I have the knowledge, from many years of feedback, that most people who give the Course a trial end up benefitting greatly from it, and even transforming their lives.  It has the power to change people's lives in ways that would have previously been undreamed of.  I know that anyone who participates in the Course is taken care of for the rest of his or her life.

Ultimately, though, regarding why someone wouldn't start the Course, even knowing about it, is a great mystery to me.  Some just aren't ready.  If one isn’t ready he can’t possibly appreciate the value and power of the principles of Truth.  Also, many doubt that the highest Truth can be communicated and transmitted in this particular form. 

Written lessons via email can seem at first as a rather dubious source for the Truth.  All kinds of stuff is available now, and some can offer visuals that require even less effort to understand.  There are many good teachers with something to offer.  Yet, especially for teachers who didn’t have a Guru to carve them into true teachers, it is good to have contact with a teacher’s teacher, to make sure everything is crystal clear.

As I’ve mentioned before somewhere, I will be 70 this month.  I first came across yoga, meditation, and Creative Thinking, or the Power of the Mind, when I was 15 in 1960.  I’ve seen a lot regarding the ‘spiritual scene’ over all these years, all the teachers who have come and gone, always having helped someone and perhaps many.

Anyway, I’m now too old to feel that I am deluded, or that I am being egotistical or arrogant to share the Principles of Truth as I have come to know them over all these years.  I’ve learned to trust whatever I put out there, and to know that it is elevating to read, as this is my experience while writing it, or, later, while reading it.  I’ve learned what’s essential to know, and I’ve learned what is completely irrelevant.  In the Course I share the essential, while leaving out the irrelevant.

I have a firm conviction that these writings allude to pure Truth, considering all the limitations that are inherent in words alone.  I cannot describe or define the Truth, but I can allude to it in ways that enable you to see and/or experience it.  This is just something I’ve observed over the years, along with the feedback received from Course participants, sharing their own transformations.

I hope you have enjoyed the ‘blog’ entry for this month.  My intent has been to share something of value, or perhaps something simply humorous, something that might even spark the beginning of true transformation, or a real-time psychic booster shot for the already transformed.  Thank you for reading this month’s offering, and for being open-minded and open-hearted enough to take it in.  Thanks to those of you who participate in the Course for your loyalty to the Training.  Thank you for making it all possible with your contributions.  Thank you for being here and for being you.  In this whole cosmos, you are one of a kind.

If you wish to actually experience the Couse of Training, you will be immediately sent information about the Course, and a complimentary Lesson 1, simply by writing us at:  drbutler.course@gmail.com

The lessons are also available in Spanish and French.

If  you have enjoyed this and feel that it is worth sharing it with others, please send them the link to the blog, or post it in social media if possible.








32 comments:

Colette DeVore said...

I am wishing you and Kay all the best in this month of celebration.

I just want to share how much I appreciatethe process of 'getting rid of what I have'nt got' as my dear Baba would say. You continue to give me many aha moments through the course the most recent of which is allowing myself to stand in the flow of love as it comes out of me towards others so that my giving and receiving are in better balance. Thank you for being the typist and thank Kay for her continual organizing and logistical support. Love anf Blessings, Karuna

Narayana Bury said...

''''HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAM""" Your birth is Truly a celebration! That's why firer works will resound for the birth of a country, and the birth of someone like You who speaks to our Heart. There is something about the warmth of July that brings out the warmth in people. It really is a time to let in more Light, and then let that Light spread out to each other. Your courage to have walked the path of Truth for so long, to Be Present, and come from such a deep space of understanding, is an Inspiration to anyone who yearns to Be more real with them self. You give a Meaning to Celebration. Something to Exalt, with Great Good Cheer, between us all. The truth is, YOUR ONE OF A KIND! Now I have a simple question. What does it mean to be protected for the rest of our lives, by taking the course? HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAN.

Stephen Pappas said...

Happy Birthday Ram and Kay! Happy Anniversary to you both!
This blog entry was like honey for me - it ended too quickly.

I resonated with the first answered question regarding the gentleman so working in a corporate atmosphere, who's charged with see what's wrong.
I've been a designer and stylist for 35 years now and always seemed to have an uneasiness regarding the judging of what could be improved, what's beautiful, what doesn't work, what refinements could be put in place - it's what I'm charged to do. Reading your reply gave me great ease and release - Thank you!
I really listen within while I work, after I've heard the directives from the creative director or clients - I go inside (wherever I'm at and ask what would make this sing? The answers come in images, words and feelings and it's always spo on. Not by my experience alone, though through the director or clients satisfaction.
I keep aware of this always, and with your answer above, I'm sure it will expand greatly!
In 20 minutes it'll be my 28th year of meeting my teacher, who I inadvertently met you through. "I'm so Happy I can hardly stand it"HAPPY HAPPY Birthday and Anniversary to you both. A boon in my life you both are. Thank pales in my gratitude - though Thank you!

rico said...

I enjoyed reading this month's offering. There was an answer to one of the questions that seems to need some clarification. You said,
"In the present moment there is no mind. There is pure Awareness. This is the Truth of the Present Moment. When we start to occupy the mind, we lose present-moment-awareness. The mind brings us back into time and space, back to the outer world, to the world of objective humanity. The space between thoughts is universal, infinite, and pure Consciousness. Then the next thought brings us back into this karmic reality."
A (perhaps) superficial reading of this would/could feed into the common misconception that stopping the mind/not thinking is the object of the Game. That one cannot be in the moment and still entertain thoughts. Since thinking is essential to functioning in the world and interacting with our fellow travelers that would leave a large chunk of one's life outside the present moment.
Of course it's essential to become established in/familiar with the space between thoughts but one can still think and be aware of Awareness, no?

Karen Jo Shapiro said...

D.R., I really enjoyed reading this blog entry. I love when you write about the course itself, and how it is so much more than the words. Absolutely that has been my experience over these past 4+ years with this course. I read it for the energy in it, and my own continued transformation. Reading it when I can in the day is my mini-meditation, and has taught me how to, with a shift in subtle will, attention, and intent-- feel a lighter, brighter state within.

The other day we had relatives over and I didn't realize I had taken a moment to close my eyes and uplift my inner state (ala the course) until my daughter teased me about napping.When I said it was really a meditative moment, my other relative became very interested one could learn to shift one's state so quickly and easily. I saw that the many repetitions of reading the lessons really do start to seep into the fabric of our everyday life moments.

Happy happy July celebration month. I will be celebrating this course in my heart! Love Karen Jo Shapiro

Kay Butler said...

Hello to everyone...a participant recently wrote to ask: "When we do a action, when is it working off and completing karma and when is building new karma? I understand that when things happen to us it is karma, but my question is about my actions and distinguishing between building new karma or working through karma..." My response:

A very universal question, and one that it takes a whole Course of Training like Living in the Truth of the Present Moment to completely understand. The quick answer is this (and it is also the bottom line of the whole Course): What we are thinking right now is responsible for what we are feeling right now. And feeling creates reality for the individual. It doesn't take any 'time'; it is immediate--with each passing thought pattern that we give our attention to we are creating the feelings that will tend to dictate our next action.

In each moment we have the opportunity to choose to think something that will result in pleasant and productive feelings, or to get lost in the old patterns of thought that are buried in the subconscious and are responsible for the 'karma' we experience right now.

Over time, our habitual thought patterns will create 'karmic' situations and circumstances by attracting into our life the people and events that correspond to those habitual patterns--whether positive or negative.

You asked: "If a person leaves a marriage and child, is his karma over with that relationship and marriage or is he building and creating more karma?"

It is not the 'leaving' that creates the karma...it is the feelings that you have about it. When we can get clear on our reasons for habitually acting in a particular way, then the patterns that created that action will be neutralized and won't create further karma for us...and that is what sadhana (inner work) is for--to train us to think only of what we want and to refuse to think of what we don't want.

That is why we 'do the work' of delving into (becoming aware of) our own thought patterns and feelings and learning about our own habitual ways of thinking and feeling. The Course is here for that purpose...it shows us how the Universal Laws work, it gives us the Principles that we can see at work in our own lives as life corresponds with our current lesson, and it gives us ways to implement Principles of Truth that will allow us to put the past behind us and move forward without creating more karma.

I am going to post the essence of your question (anonymously) to the comments of the new article on the blog because, as I said, it is a universal question that D.R. and other readers will likely be happy to take a stab at. In this way we'll all get to hear what the Voice of the Course has to say.

Please know that as you keep reading and re-reading your current lessons you will understand more and more about the mysterious ways of karma. For now, just understand that what you choose to think in this moment will determine your future karma and free you from the past. And be disciplined to the best of your ability in thinking only of what you want and never of that which you don't want.

With love,
Kay

Jake Birdsong said...

Dear Ram,

It is my understanding (from the lessons) that when we die, there's not much difference in our experience from when we were in a body. In other words, if we dwelled primarily in a contracted, limited state while embodied, and particularly at the time of the final exhalation, then from the "time" we exit the body until the next incarnation, we dwell in very similar or perhaps more intense realms that match our state while we were in the body. If we spent our time feeling bad about ourselves or angry much of our lives, etc., then our subtle experience will be similar after we pass until we reincarnate. Could you please help me clarify my understanding if any of the above is inaccurate or could be more precise?

Presuming that the above is how it works, how does one maintain a relationship with a loved one who passes who primarily remained in a negative realm while embodied? I don't presume to know another's experience or true state. But for the sake of understanding, let's say that a loved one who passed did dwell in a more contracted state while embodied then we ourselves choose to. While both individuals are in a body, it's possible to still maintain a relationship (although our ways of relating may be limited because of the differences between our states) because we're in a body. I can physically go see the person and spend time with them. I may not be able to share certain aspects of myself with this person, but I still love them and have a relationship with them which is seemingly made possible by the fact that we can physically spend time with each other.

When they pass, and they drop their body, is it possible to still maintain a subtle relationship given that they are presumably still dwelling in the same lower realms they were while in the body, which we ourselves may choose not to visit? Now that we don't have a body to at least visit them in person, is it truly possible to have any connection with that individual whatsoever if their focus and state is "out of range" so to speak from our own?

Thank you for helping me better understand the dying process and subtle relationships.

Much love to you,
Jake

D. R. Butler said...

I am going to try and keep up with the questions in the comments this month. Still, even if I get 'behind', (which to me is just where I'm at) you know you will eventually receive your perfect answer.

Rico has studied with me for many years and has very good understanding. I am more apt to see him give a clear answer to a question than to see him with a question himself. Still, even when you have good understanding, you can deepen your understanding considerably simply by making the effort to verbalize a heartfelt question, even though if someone asked you the same question, you would give them a perfect answer. Even so, this month Rico has a question:

"You said,
"In the present moment there is no mind. There is pure Awareness. This is the Truth of the Present Moment. When we start to occupy the mind, we lose present-moment-awareness. The mind brings us back into time and space, back to the outer world, to the world of objective humanity. The space between thoughts is universal, infinite, and pure Consciousness. Then the next thought brings us back into this karmic reality."
"A (perhaps) superficial reading of this would/could feed into the common misconception that stopping the mind/not thinking is the object of the Game. That one cannot be in the moment and still entertain thoughts. Since thinking is essential to functioning in the world and interacting with our fellow travelers that would leave a large chunk of one's life outside the present moment.
Of course it's essential to become established in/familiar with the space between thoughts but one can still think and be aware of Awareness, no?"

I repeat this comment simply because there is a lot to gain in the reading of it. It is also a very essential question that goes deeper than mere curiosity. Stopping the mind and not thinking is NOT the goal of the game. I do not know if it is possible to be completely free of thoughts on all levels, since there is that basic level of superfluous and superficial thoughts and emotions that just go with the body, with the incarnation. They are designed to go on, and it is a waste of time and energy, with nothing gained, to try to stop it.

The mind is a wonderful servant and a lousy master. The mind is very effective for living in this world when we are in control of it, but many things get very screwed up when the mind is in control of us, simply because of habitual patterns that began years ago, if not in previous incarnations. The mind should be healthy and one-pointed, capable of concentration and visualization; it is with the mind that we become co-creators with God. But when words begin to tell us negative things about anything, or convinces us to feel guilty about most everything we've ever thought or done. Negative mind is lower mind: dismiss it, ignore it. Higher Mind considers the highest, most liberated thoughts that help us to feel better and better about ourselves and others.

So it would be ludicrous to tell someone to stop thinking. The goal is to think only freeing, uplifting thoughts that feel good, and REFUSE to think unpleasant, contracting thoughts that only make us feel bad.

We can also meditate, which is focusing on the space between thoughts. That space is infinite, eternal, and pure Consciousness. Still, we can live in this space and still use the mind for practical details in this world.

D. R. Butler said...

Narayana Bury asked the following: "What does it mean to be protected for the rest of our lives, by taking the course?"

Narayana, you don't think the Course is coming from this 70-year-old man living in Northeastern Pennsylvania, do you? It would be cute to take credit for it, but it would feel so absurd I couldn't even take the thought of it seriously.

The Course has a powerful Source. There are two different lineages involved, which sounds strange to fundamentalist yogis, who might think only one lineage should be accepted. Still, that is not the way my life worked out.

The Course is guided and supported by our 'Elder Brothers,' or very high, yet invisible beings who watch over us and guide us from within, in the form of our own 'inner voice.' Everyone who commits themselves to sadhana (spiritual practices for inner growth and expansion) has invisible beings who relate to them in a similar way that we relate to our pets. With an open-hearted person, dogs and cats and so on are expanded in their own spiritual journey, and this is how the 'Elder Brothers' see and relate to us for our own growth and well-being.

More than anything, the Course is a connection to Higher Powers, to Beings whose only purpose is to help guide our spiritual development. This is why, for those who remain loyal to the Course for many years, will be taken care of for the rest of their lives.

D. R. Butler said...

Other great questions have already been presented, and I will get to them as soon as possible. Until then, read what is already here until you truly absorb it so that the Wisdom Religion becomes a part of your essential Being.

Ghayas said...

Thank you for this beautiful month entry, dear Ram, and happy birthday and anniversary, to you and Kay ! Much Love. Ghayas

Brent Flickinger said...

Dear Ram...I received a wonderful lesson on meditation a couple of months ago, but I don't recall you discussing it earlier in the Course, and it's certainly not described and referred to as an essential practice throughout the course. Please let me know why that is, and why it's not introduced sooner. Thanks. Love, Brent

Tom Mac said...

As far back as I can remember, I have sought higher and higher Truths. There comes a point when this seeking edges into new territory, beyond concepts and the mind. Then, it is like jumping off a cliff with eyes closed. It would be an unimaginable (and foolish)journey to take without being open to guidance. The old familiar framework has to be left behind, replaced with an openness to the 'new'. This is growth... and freedom.

The writings have been my companion for many years. The energy that flows through the Course is a wise and loving friend that I can always count on to support me and to be a catalyst for beneficial growth whenever I am open and ready. I become more me, freer, more aware of that which is truly 'real'. There is no dogma, rather the shedding of conditioning and limitations. What unfolds is a revealing over and over again: awareness of the subtle and unchanging. Nothing is forced, all is presented openly, to be questioned and accepted - based on my own experience. The Lessons provide me a unique, stable touch point that mirrors to me exactly what is most suited to me. It's all for my own upliftment.
I am grateful

:) Happy Birthday D.R.! :)

D. R. Butler said...

Brent asks why meditation is not emphasized more in the Course.

Brent, by the time a person gets around to beginning this Course, they either meditate or they don't. We don't have many participants who come to the Course without ever learning to meditate. Take you, for example. Since I have known you for a long time, I know that you have had many years of meditation training and practice. What could I say to you that you don't already know about meditation?

Another answer is you cannot be absorbed in a lesson and NOT be in meditation. Every sentence reveals something to contemplate, or triggers new insights. Reading through a whole lesson is a wonderful meditation.

Anyway, there are many competent teachers of meditation. I will leave that subject for them. Not many, however, can transmit what comes through the Course. The state I go into when I am typing a lesson is the deepest meditation I can imagine, and I have seen that it also becomes the experience of any open and sincere reader.

The Course is not about methods and techniques. It is about coming back to the present moment, coming back to the heart, and being centered in a state of unconditional love. You are asked only to think pleasant thoughts and to refuse to even consider thoughts that are unpleasant; to think only of what feels good, and to refuse to consider what feels bad. It sounds so simple, yet it leads to the greatest state and a supreme experience of life. Take nobody's word for this. Practice the principle in your own life and see what happens as a result.

Over time a participant of the Course can immediately move into a state of deep meditation simply by willing it, or by simply deciding to do so. What was once meditation becomes one's usual state, and meditation becomes something previously unimagined.

D. R. Butler said...

I am finally going to approach Jake's question, which to be truthful, would be better served in a lesson, and I will respond to the question in greater detail in a lesson than I really have space for here. Not that it will take you a long time to get there, for much is explored about the dying process and subtle relationships throughout the Course. Jake and I share a subtle relationship, for we have never met physically, yet we know each other very well. He is among our youngest participants, and I see a great future for him.

Generally, in the physical realm, we are among people in all sorts of states. Those in an expanded state have to live side by side with those in contracted states, although the latter will be much less aware of the difference, and might not recognize it at all.

In the subtle realm, however, we are mostly attracted to those who live in a similar state as ourselves. It has been well said that, 'birds of a feather flock together.' Therefore, someone we knew physically who lives in a contracted state is someone we might have no interest in whatsoever in subtle life. On the other hand, nothing is impossible, so primarily it is a matter of what we prefer, of what we choose. Nothing will prevent you from still knowing someone in a contracted state, but the reality of it might be repelling to you. If you insist on knowing them anyway, this is an attachment that we will bring with us into our next incarnation.

I'm going to leave it like this for now. Like I said, much more will be said about this in the lessons of the Course, so that your understanding will be clear and complete.

D. R. Butler said...

Hey, I just noticed it's my birthday.
Happy Birthday to my Self.
I came into this world to do exactly what I am doing.
Relatively speaking, it is nearing the end.
When I leave this world, please know that I was ecstatic at the time of transition, and remain so beyond time itself.

vickie said...

Many years ago I wrote you a letter raging at my own anger that still spilled out in spite of my best efforts to clear it or control it, and my sense of the futility of meditation and the like since nothing was working. You offered me the advice to shift my efforts to focusing on that which never changes....At the time your words did give me pause, but for the life of me I really couldn't get it...I mean everything changes, right? But I couldn't stop reflecting on it and chewing on it over time. Now here we are and you are 70 and I'm not far behind...and my heart offers you unspeakable gratitude for all the years of sharing the most amazing love that truly has never changed at all--only deepened, only become more steeped in gratitude, only become more of a treasure and reliable north star and compass. Thank you for giving my mind worthwhile things to ponder, and supporting my heart while it has continued on unfolding in its own good time. Thank you for continuing to allude to the very best of possibilities for us all, and for affirming always that these possibilities are already true, and the actual nature of what is real--thank you for shining the light, being the light, sharing the light--Happy 70th Birthday to you and congratulations on an incarnation well done! enjoy it all--

Vicki Hilger said...

A dear friend who takes the Course was visiting today, and arrived very excited and worked up, regarding a family drama overseas, where she no longer lives. I sat her down and we discussed the principles of the Course, concerning dharma, karma, and drama, and she then had a very pleasant morning picking fruit without her worrying-hat on. Then, I read the blog over lunch - I've always loved to read while I eat, and what better than the blog or a lesson ( altho I do admit it's more often the newspaper - let's be honest here! ) When I finished, I immediately fired off an email to this same friend, knowing that she probably rarely visits the blog, and sometimes misses reading her lessons too. I told her how this blog could remind her about the power of /behind the lessons, and their importance, and I also wrote , that since her son is schizophrenic and perhaps has addictions too, she would surely find some very relevant q and a here, that would help her considerably. I included the link to make it easy for her.

You talk in the blog about teachers, but I think it's important to know that no matter how isolated, or unimportant, or unconnected with the world at large that we may think we are, that when we feel in our hearts that it's the right moment to speak up to someone, and tell them what we know to be true and helpful in our own lives, that we can take courage from the lessons and our practices, and do so. Our hearts will tell us, urge us, when it's the right thing to do.

Jessica said...

Dear Ram,

Thank you for the course it is my daily connection to the truth, I was so happy ti find that you were writing again. I am currently reading lesson 47 and yesterday had this sudden realisation that the challenges I am currently going through are an opportunity to practise the undisturbed state.

Most of the time I am amazed at how unfearful and calm I feel about my current situation - my work has all but stopped flowing and in the past this would have totally freaked me out. However this morning I woke up feeling 'down', nothing particular has changed outwardly, there was no trigger - it is just a feeling I have woken up with. Now I know this is is all part of the challenged to holding the undisturbed state and I also know that this samskara of depression is one that has been strong in my world although much less since beginning my sadhana with the Guru.

I know that part of me wants this outer situation and inner feeling to shift and change and that's not it either - the undisturbed state is being undisturbed whatever is happening - but I do feel the frustration of it - a of 'enough already!' feeling.

So my question is this, do I just sit with what is and witness it and continue to focus on the undisturbed state or is there something more I could be doing to release this samskara?

Dave Silverstein said...

Dear Ram,

I notice whenever I speak to friends now about 'spiritual matters'...there is always a reference to our Course of Training. I've never had a good memory for facts and as I get older, well you know the old memory ain't gettin' any better! However, what I'm finding is from reading the lessons, now more then ever, there is this deeper 'heart connection' so words flow out of me that I don't even have to think about....And the great news is that I'm experiencing what I'm talking about...It's not just plain Dave talking....it's God (me)...and I say this with complete humility and gratitude to the Unseen Beings of Light, my own higher Self.

So, in this month of July filled with many celebrations...I honor your birth, Kay's birth, your wedding anniverary...but most of all for the Course which to me continues to give so many blessings...I am just overwhelmed with love and appreciation....I feel my heart's love continuing to guide me in all ways.

Brent Flickinger said...

I'm aware that what is happening in the course is beyond the mind, yet my mind often witnesses the results with awe (perhaps much as you feel, Ram, when you see the words on the page). I will describe myself as a "networker." I meet people through my work, get to know them, take a deep interest in who they are and what they are about, and then I often connect people who may have common interests or goals. I'm always delighted when the Source seems to provide these connections and as things unfold with projects, I witness what seem to be incredible results.

For example, as an urban planner, I work in some neighborhoods where disinvestment has been going on for decades and it seems that new life will take decades to be reborn. Yet I go into the neighborhoods looking for the positive and envisioning what could be, even in small ways. Circumstances brought together seven neighborhoods three years ago to fight something. I suggested that they would be more effective working together and doing a plan for the area, which has many assets. I started them on a planning process. At the same time, a parallel process was starting with some of the major institutions. I halped to connect the processes and facilitated the early meetings. To my amazement, the effort took off, people stepped up, and three years later they have an awesome plan and are recognized as a great partnership by City government and the leaders of the institutions. What I thought would take decades has unfolded remarkably in just three years.

I am filled with joy and gratitude for the movement of the Shakti, and also for the practices I do just reading and contemplating the course, and watching the lessons unfold in my life. I know that the regular practice of reading and contemplating and imbibing the lessons is creating miracles in my world. I want to get a bumper sticker that says, "Sadhana works!!!"

D. R. Butler said...

Jessica, you can 'just sit with what is and witness it and continue to focus on the undisturbed state' if you are truly in an undisturbed state. There is nothing separate from an undisturbed state to witness it. The Witness and the undisturbed state are One and the Same.

The only way to immediately forget the samskara is to forget about it and never allow it to enter your consciousness again. It is also important to immediately replace it with something more joyful or content to occupy that space in your consciousness that was once filled with depression.

D. R. Butler said...

Brent Flickinger, I loved your sharing, but I want to pick on you anyway, as usual.

You said, 'My mind often witnesses the results with awe.' The mind is not the Witness and has no power to witness; it can only think and doubt. The inner Self is the Witness of the mind. If we truly look at the mind, it stops. Try it and see what happens.

These last two responses from me are obviously very connected to each other, so I would read both of them in concert.

Walter said...

Dear Ram,
I appreciate the questions that are being asked about dying and the moment of death. I starting to get up in age now, like some of us who have followed your teaching for a long time. I'm interested in the moment of death, what follows, and how to step through death in the best spiritual way. I once read that death can present a moment of potential enlightenment. Thanks Ram and Happy Birthday!

D. R. Butler said...

Walter, death and dying are explored quite thoroughly in the lessons of the Course via email.
There's not much to add to that here.

Brian said...

Hi Ram and Kay
I wanted to take moment to show my gratitude to you both during this special month for you all. Just a couple words to say thank you for all the course has given me. In 1990 or began reading the lessons and I noticed how I became lighter and happier in so many aspects of my life. I even dealt with difficulties better. As time went on I began to trust this connection to my heart and often would take the course with me to read and get guidance or uplifting feelings that helped me through out the day. Over time I felt a huge transformation and trusted this inner guidance more. And today the way I play music or work my dealings with others are all better. I've realize 3 or 4 or my most heart felt dreams in life and it is because the course gave me the love and confidence to pursue them. So thank you thank you thank you for this wonderful gift Ram. Wishing you and Kay many blessings throughout this month

Brian

D. R. Butler said...

Some 'Anonymous' wrote a detailed account wanting me to explain something that happened about 35 years ago. It bored me then and it super-bores me now. Some people need to get a life.

Becky said...

I've been practicing and reminding myself to think only of what I want and catching myself when I think of what I don't want. However, sometimes it seems like this is a way of escaping and avoiding what is at hand. I understand, too, that thinking of what is desirable is a way of creating it in the suble plane. I'm in a difficult and confusing situation in my relationship and financially and am unsure how to proceed. Is thinking of what I want beneficial or is it just avoiding what is so overwhelming? Much love and many thanks to you all.

Tom Mac said...

As my long time relationship continues with the Lessons of the Course, I am aware more and more of how deeply it offers me the awareness of who I Am and the empowerment that comes with That. Thank you!
Tom Mac

James Donohue said...

Thank you for another great blog and celebration time. I tried two previous posts. Hopefully this one makes it in. Enjoy the new season coming on.

Tom Mac said...

Becky, your recent post intrigued me. Especially when you describe your situation as 'difficult and confusing'. Perhaps you might reflect if that is what you intend your focus to be, as that is the way that you describe it.
It can be very subtle to perceive/transform 'want' and 'desire' as clear, positive affirmations and intentions - full of gratitude and surrender. From my understanding and experience it is all karma with which we need to come into harmony with.

Ravi said...

Hi Ram, I was wondering about some Karma that showed up along my path and now I assist others, through my seva, in dealing with it on their paths; the issue is Sex and Kundalini Awakening. In your vast experience, do you see correlations between these two and can you share some wisdom about that connection? Many people even come into the experience of being addicted to sex, along with all the other addictions, but this one seems to be very powerfully connected to Kundalini. Do you see that? I remember once you writing that people with lots of sexual energy and ease of making money have lots of Kundalini. Thank you for your thoughts, Ravi