Monday, December 18, 2017

Holiday Cheer for All

December is the holiday season, and it is an excellent time to practice lightheartedness and cheerfulness. Many people are disheartened these days by certain downward cycles in the external world. They walk around with worry and anxiety on their faces, coupled with all the anger they keep buried in their psyches—angry at life and the hand they were dealt, at everyone around them for, mostly, just being themselves, and even angry at the weather. If they are driving and another car passes them, they get angry. Who does he think he is?
We are so quick to be offended by any imagined slight, and then we justify our anger. Of course I’m angry, look at what he said to me. As though Jesus Christ himself would be angry if anyone had said or done the same thing.
Please do not think it is natural to be this way. It might be normal to be this way; it is the human condition, after all. Still, with the recognition and application of the principles of Truth in each new present moment, we can burst free from the confines of habitual, contracted thoughts and emotions, and begin to glimpse the glory of the light and love that lie eternally within us.
The natural way for a human being to live is with gratitude and appreciation for all of God’s gifts, with optimism regarding the future, with great cheer and lightheartedness, and with unconditional love and compassion for all beings in his or her psychic sphere. These days our sphere of experience and influence includes cyberspace, something unimagined just a few years back.
Celebrate your holidays with great love. Love your Self, and recognize and love that same Self in all those around you. This is the true way to celebrate—absorbed in love and appreciating all beings for being exactly as they are.
Enjoy your meals together with great joy, with lighthearted conversation and much laughter. Everyone will feel uplifted afterwards, and even digestion will be improved.
This is also a time of giving, of freely offering what you have to share with those in your lives. Sometimes it feels challenging to give when we feel we hardly have enough as it is, yet through the act of giving we open ourselves up to receive even more from the universe. It is only through giving that we can receive, and we receive much more than we give. It is the act of offering that initiates the opening.
Many of us do not understand how constricted we are when it comes to receiving. Many, from various aspects of past conditioning, don’t feel like we deserve anything really good, or that we are worthy of very much. This is because we don’t recognize or appreciate the divine Being that occupies this shell of a body. If we knew Who was actually in here, we’d naturally love and worship our own Self all the time. In this way we live in perfect contentment and bliss.
Through giving, we come in conscious contact with that higher aspect of ourselves that is capable of giving something worthwhile to others. This awakens us to the very best of ourselves, and through practice we naturally live in this way.
We are concluding the year 2017. Let’s go out living and loving and giving it our best shot in all ways. Let’s go out being our best and brightest, and offering the best we have within us to all those with whom we come in contact.
Remember that the greatest Truth of all is the simple Truth of the present moment. Be present now, bring your attention to the existing moment, and learn to live in that subtle space between thoughts. The activity of the mind is not nearly as interesting as we have always presumed. More than anything else, it is distracting.
Love everything unconditionally, including yourself—all the movements of your mind and emotions—and through practicing love become an embodiment of love. When we leave this world and this body with the final exhalation, all that will be remembered of us is how much love we shared, how much we gave. All else was irrelevant, no matter what we think we did or did not accomplish in this lifetime. In the end, how much love we shared with others while we were here is all that will matter in the least.
I send you my very best, and all the love of my heart is offered openly and freely. Happy Holidays to everyone.

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D. R. Butler said...

The thing is, with powerful personalities like Gandhi and Martin Luther King, the truth is that powerful universal forces were behind their actions and their impact on humanity around them. If you had asked Gandhi or King what they did to accomplish so much, I bet anything they would answer something like, “I never did anything. I was just being myself. It all just happened.”

The other night I was listening to Paul McCartney talk about the phenomenon of the Beatles. He was saying that there was nothing that any of them did in particular to cause such a huge impact on the world. He said they just did what they did, just made music, and the phenomenon around them just happened on its own, without anyone doing anything to make it happen.

It's a very subtle subject, and possibly not one we could come into complete agreement about in the scope of this thread. It's just that human individuals don't in themselves cause world-changing events to happen. They're simply playing their own karmic role. The transforming Power comes from a much higher, and subtler, level of Being.

D. R. Butler said...

Do you remember your early days on the spiritual path? For a while it seemed important to 'appear' as though we were on the spiritual path--wearing 'yogic' clothes (maybe white or orange, preferably the 'real thing' from India), certain catch phrases (greeting other suspected yogis with 'namaste!', repeating 'OM' on the subway), being able to slide naturally into a Sanskrit chant, exactly as though we know what we're chanting, or sitting in unattainable postures while meeting with others.

I lived for 20 years in a large ashram of an international organization. The Guru was recognized as a saint by devotees around the world. He had obvious powers. This was big time spiritual stuff! People had amazing experiences. Anyone who doubted was simply missing out.

After a few years in the ashram, and traveling around as a teacher, I began to notice that those who were obviously more developed, who 'had more Shakti', who had the best understanding, were not those who 'appeared' like spiritual people. Their actions and words were natural, simple, spontaneous, and grounded in real life.

Over time, I found myself becoming more natural, simpler, more spontaneous, more grounded in real life. I stopped seeing differences between 'spiritual' and 'ordinary'. Everything is spiritual if you experience divinity. Experiencing divinity is not lying down spaced out. It is being fully present and appropriately dynamic.

D. R. Butler said...

Our perspective expands as the ego diminishes. When the ego is quite solid and in control of things, everything is seen and understood through the perspective of the ego. As we do sadhana and the ego begins to shrink, our perspective broadens and deepens. The same things that were understood before can be perceived in a new way once the ego has shrunk just a little bit. Even our right understanding of the ego is dependent on our freedom from the ego.

Becoming free from the ego is a gradual process. It can’t happen overnight. If we were suddenly stripped of our ego, we might panic. It might be very disorienting. So, in most cases, it must be a gradual process. Otherwise, the realization that we are not who we thought we were could be overwhelming. Over a period of time, certain things happen to us and we go through certain experiences that are like peeling off layer after layer of the ego.

In many cases, we have no idea of what is actually happening or why, until we see in retrospect the effect it has had on us. The actual effect of something is more substantial than how it appears, or what we think about it at the time. Sometimes we may think something is silly or stupid or completely irrelevant to us, and later we may see that it keyed some major transformation or insight. Sometimes we even think something terrible is happening, but afterward we will see that the overall consequences were quite beneficial.

D. R. Butler said...

Did you ever lie on the ground and watch the sky at night? I did this often, in my front lawn in Vicksburg, and I would just kind of...reasonate...with the sky, the moon, the stars. It all made perfect sense at the time, and I had no questions about it. Later, in the mind, questions arose, with faint glimmers of answers.

I am reminded of living on 12th St between 5th and 6th Avenues in Greenwich Village. That was where I landed when I left Mississippi in 1968--now considered the most eventful year in history. On the 3rd floor, I had a cat, and he would sit there at the window, unscreened of course, and stare down wide-eyed at all the sights and sounds. To me it was cars, taxies, sidewalk walkers, people calling out, horns blowing, lights flashing, so on and so on, but to Oscar, it must have seemed a cacophony, no coherent patterns, making no sense at all. Or maybe it did. Who knows?

I reached a point where I gazed into the sky and saw it much as the cat saw Manhattan activity. Many years after that it became clear that, just as I could see and hear the same vibrational activity on 12th St as the cat and make some sense of it all, there are Beings who can gaze into the sky, and it all makes perfect sense to them. Perhaps like reading a map, or watching a performance, or the screen of some higher Being's Internet, or perhaps Someone's front yard.

Sitting here now I write this on my computer, and friends around the world will somehow see it almost simultaneously, as though we were all just sitting here together. Some will respond, saying hopefully something surprising or unexpected, as we delight each other just because we can.

D. R. Butler said...

In the center of pure Being is Love. There is also a sense of supreme well-being. Yogis call it ecstasy. It's like, "Oh, this is what life is all about! This is amazing!" This an exceptional discovery. Love is much more than what we have been conditioned to believe. Love is our innermost state. It is a state of great wonder. When we discover who we are, we see that we are Love, and we understand Love for the first time.
Happy 2018 to each of you!

D. R. Butler said...

However we see or treat someone else, we are actually seeing or treating our own selves that way. After all, the same One, the same Awareness of Being, exists in the other body as well as our own. Therefore, however we treat others, we experience the consequences accordingly. All actions and intentions return to us like boomerangs. This is how karma works.

If we do what is possible to help others to be happy and free, we will experience great happiness and freedom ourselves. If we love others, we will experience great love. When we give out our best, the universe returns its best to us. If we give importance and priority to petty matters, petty matters will consume us, and we will lose sight of the inner light and lose touch with our inner love.