The Course is a system of mind training is what it really is. Its main objective is to reduce fearful thinking and guilt and to promote forgiveness, kindness, healing and inner peace. It is easy going. Students typically share with me that the course opens them to joyfully experiencing and practicing loving kindness. You might begin with this video introduction, <‘What It Says’>.
Friends may join weekly ACIM Zoom sessions.
Any level student will be welcome. All of the study materials are free. There is no charge.
From A Course In Miracles, let’s examine the opening statements:
Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.
A Course in Miracles makes a distinction between the real and the unreal; between knowledge and perception. Divine “Knowledge” is truth, under one law, the law of Love. “Truth” is unalterable, eternal and unambiguous. Truth might be unrecognized, but it will not be changed. Truth applies to everything that God created, and only what God created is real and true. This is beyond learning because it is beyond time and beyond the limited awareness of processing thoughts, feelings, and perceptions.
Truth has no opposite; no beginning and no end. Truth is real, unchanging and it is the serene peace of faithfulness.
“It is particularly helpful to remember applying it when we read in the news about such fearful things as terrorist attacks. If there is anything that seems frightening to us, we can remember this opening statement and it can remind us again that we need not make illusions of attack and death real in our mind. We can return to the Truth. It is our choice. We need not make the sharp edged children’s toys of belief in separation real in our mind. We can ask the Holy Spirit for a different way to see what seems to be in front of us. The Holy Spirit reminds us that there is only Love or a call for Love. And no matter which it is, the appropriate response is Love.”¹
Program Description Introduction and Principles of Miracles from A Course in Miracles
Fear originates from fractured ego mind-like-experiences. An experience of fear is an experience that reinforces belief in separation. Fear is a sharply occurring illusion. Every fearful experience is useful only to remind us that the peace of God is real truth. So, with practice, fear becomes a signal that a fractured ego mind-like-experience is really a call for help and a need for healing, peaceful faith.
The ego cannot understand the difference between real and unreal. With practice, peaceful faith will remove the habits of fear and fearful thoughts. So, if we practice using the opening statement we’ll understand and remember that only Love is real, no matter what sensations or images appear. Consciously return to the serene peacefulness of faith. Practice reinforces our enthusiasm and motivation for continuing training and studying the Course. …
. 1 “A Course in Miracles” Foundation for A Course in Miracles. Web. 06 May 2016. <facim.org/what-is-acim.aspx> .
Any level student / teacher will be welcome. The training sessions cover all 31 chapters, the Song Of Payer, and the Manual for Teachers. Students will have the reading assignments and online resources before each session. There are no fees or expectations. My main objective is to extend joy and to promote discovering serenity, honesty, openness and comfortable willingness to advance in spiritual growth.
“Authentic wisdom is the ability to monitor yourself at all times to determine your relative state of weakness or strength, and to shift out of those thoughts that weaken you.” Wayne Dyer, 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace
I was reflecting on authenticity and that as I am out and about or busy with my work that the love that I seek is not really Love… but that it is a state of consciousness in my mind and that it really is based on body sensations and notions, however subtle, that are not true and wholesome like the ideal of love. True love does not come and go and it cannot be found in the world and as I stayed with this, with the stillness, I knew love cannot be found one moment and then lost in another. This presence with Love is timeless, without objects and it might be characterized, although there are no properties in the stillness, I’m saying it is a Self-knowing, Self-recognizing peaceful and serene consciousness of I know this awareness.. a consciousness I recall the experience of as like I’d been in a deep sleep and it is refreshing like a deep object-less sleep.
‘Tis the season for some to take offense when a store clerk says “happy holidays” instead of “merry Christmas,” or when a coffee chain converts to plain red cups for the holiday. The “war on Christmas” trope seems to surface with Black Friday sales, but who is actually at war?
It is easy to imagine saying “merry Christmas” as another cudgel in the culture wars between Christians and the irreligious. The actual story, however, is much more nuanced. Public Religion Research Institute asked a nationally representative sample of Americans whether retailers should greet their customers with “happy holidays” or “season’s greetings” — rather than “merry Christmas” — “out of respect for people of different faiths.” Although a slim majority of those with a preference want retailers to say “happy holidays” or “season’s greetings,” we found that preference depends on your level of tension with the culture where you live. To explore these cultural tensions, we analyzed the PRRI data jointly with the 2010 Religion Census results.
According to the findings, evangelicals, on average, strongly favor “merry Christmas” and seculars prefer “happy holidays” or “season’s greetings.” But the war on Christmas is not simply a religious divide. One of the more surprising findings is that the Bible-Belt South does not show the weakest preference for “happy holidays” (54 percent). That distinction belongs to the Midwest (44 percent). One reason for the difference is African-Americans (20 percent of the South in this sample), who strongly prefer “happy holidays” despite their high levels of religiosity.
Preferences, not surprisingly, are filtered through a political lens, with Republicans opposing “happy holidays” at the strongest rates and most consistently across the nation. Republican responses probably reflect opposition to political correctness as much as (and perhaps more so than) spiritual sympathies. Republicans as a whole (30 percent) outpace even evangelical Republicans (38 percent) in their anemic support for saying “happy holidays.”1
Since Christmas is such a public holiday — people put out displays and pass out cookies, and they feel compelled to wish people some version of merriment — it is no surprise that reactions to it vary across communities. Non-Christians and the nonreligious in states with large white Christian populations are the most likely groups to urge stores to adopt a “happy holidays” regimen. Support for “happy holidays,” however, drops dramatically for secular citizens in largely nonreligious states like Oregon. In these areas, the social stakes are low — Christmas is not an entre to conversations about what church you attend, but more about presents, ugly sweaters and Santa. In such nonreligious states, secular’ support for “happy holidays” is the same as it is among evangelicals nationwide (48 percent).
The next time you hear or read a media dispatch about the war on Christmas, such as Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller’s threat to slap the next person who says “happy holidays” to him, realize that it does not reflect a national war but rather local skirmishes. There is no orchestrated war against saying “merry Christmas,” but it is important to recognize that Christmas can be a potent symbol that reflects inter-group tensions and signals exclusion to some Americans.
As we argued in a recent piece, Republicanism also appears to trump religion when it comes to anti-Muslim views.
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace; Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is error, the truth; Where there is doubt, the faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek To be consoled, as to console; To be understood, as to understand; To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive; It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
New Year’s Resolutions Being LOVE sending LOVE as best we are able…
I always make a set of resolutions for a new year and I always keep them… I am quite sensitive to being sure that I can keep my resolutions by making progress, not by perfection. One part of my resolutions this year is to make better use of social media. I want to continue my personal growth and use what I discovered in these past years as a blogger as good experience for my own personal growth. I’ve learned a lot about myself through blogging. I use what is best for me and I move on in growth to process what you guys say I can do to improve me. I post what I discover and it may therefore be helpful to you. We need each other. [Note: I use Facebook more so also now because I am making faster progress there.]
In past years, going back to the first time I used social media to help me at making a resolution, I set out for a year to eliminate regrets; well, more specifically, to rid myself of discontented futile regrets… having no regrets seemed far too difficult. So, I set myself out to dismantle the regrets of my past. I hope to write about eliminating futile regrets in the future. It was quite a useful and positive resolution for me.
This morning, I read advice posted via Doug Christman. The blog post included a quotation that I loved.
“The fact is that those who do not see themselves but who see others, who fail to grasp of themselves but who grasp others, take possession of what others have but fail to possess themselves.”
~ Chuang Tzu
The blog post is linked below. I like the advice in this post as well. The advice relates to using social media and to self-discovery. I want to add some commentary. My hope is that I will complete my own making of yet another perfect resolution (for me) in time for 2015. I’m getting closer. . Here is some of what I think that the article may do for improving upon a solution. The post makes reference to social media as though using social media is a problem. Possibly it is a symptom of suffering. However, I think using social media is for me a tremendous blessing. Also, the post addresses suffering from relating with others – what I call ‘over relating’ with others.
First, problems themselves are not the source of suffering from over relating with others. Lack of a cohesive spiritual evolve-ment is the problem of mental suffering – over relating with others is a symptom. Using social media as an escape for interpersonal relating in the real world certainly is not solution. The suffering in the real world continues or changes but continues and it is likely to somehow also inject its pain into our social media use.
We tend to want to control others rather than our own reactions – however, relating requires giving of consideration and being understanding. Listing a set of prescriptive resolutions that are reactive isn’t a solution. We’d end up with New Year resolutions that crumble and fail in the first hours of 2015 if there isn’t a spiritual solution in the lessons. I’ll stick for this post to the advice as was listed in the blog post.
1. Spend less time on social media and get back to real life. This is probably not a solution for anyone that is feeling a lack of self-esteem and general good feeling about themselves. Instead, use daily interactions to improve relationships. The situations that cause upsets or low energy are symptoms of suffering that may be going unnoticed if we’d not have a reason for using our time more wisely. Perhaps use social media less. However, making use of social media to accomplish goals and to connect with experts and to learn about self-awareness is a better use of social media.
2. Stop worrying about how other people view you. Good advice! People that cook up dramatic representations – of their victim stories – of pain and suffering – of what (they say) is being done to them – believe they have a need to vent or get justice or to change the other guys. Meantime it may go unnoticed internally… they are the source of their own discontent… of their own irritability… and of their own restless complaining. They need help; and yet, they don’t know how to seek and receive the help that they desperately need. Getting in a mentoring program and recovery from processing themselves as the abused victim is a step into personal freedom from worrying about how others may be understood. Seek to understand more so than to be understood… find mentors that understand how this works.
3. Stop listening to other people’s views and advice on what you ought to be doing. I like the advice: “Just listen to your own inner voice and intuition.” However, we are not the masters of the universe. The advice included, as well, “Use your own divine “Global Positioning System (GPS)” for where you need to be and what you need to be doing. You will find that you will feel so much more connected and you will embrace your life with a positive and optimistic perspective.” I’ll add that if advice is a source for suffering, then perhaps the suffering really is internally generated by rebelliousness and instincts that are over working and undermining the relationships.
I like the fourth one, as is.
In fact, it really may be the key point of blog posted list.
4. Focus on your own goals, desires and wishes. Consider what you’re doing or what you should be doing, and then do that. Don’t worry about what other people are doing. Mind your own business. You need to stay focused and always know what is worth keeping in your mental toolbox and what would be worth pitching. Ask your Higher Self for guidance. Spend your time thinking and doing things that are helping you be happy, healthy and in harmony with your true authentic self.
Do you make New Year resolutions? Are they helpful and doable? What might you add to this topic on resolutions?
Here is another source that I looked at;
helping me as I set out this year-end
to make a New Year’s resolution:
This Saturday morning (1/3/2015), I will be joining a mentoring the mentor group. It was my desire to form one this year and I was unable to do so. However, last week, a mentor asked me to mentor him and I felt inspired to ask him if we could do our work together with another mentor associate of our mutual acquaintance. He agreed and so did the other man… and so, it got set into motion. I am very happy about this development. I know we will all reap benefits from this work with each other.
My blogging here on WordPress is much less since August. In 2015, I probably will post here only 3-7 times each month and additionally, I will continue to also reblog posts that I love. My contact page is the best source for getting in touch with me if we haven’t already created a way that works for doing this..
How did Thanksgiving come about?
Here’s a politically correct version:
Why is Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday of November?
The first Thanksgiving Day celebration was a three-day feast held during the fall in 1621. It happened between September 21 and November 11. As you may know Pilgrims were joined by the local Wampanoag tribe, including their leader, Chief Massasoit.
Various communities celebrated a day of thanksgiving afterwards as they deemed fit. However, in October of 1777 all 13 colonies celebrated a day of Thanksgiving.
The first national day of Thanksgiving was in 1789. President George Washington proclaimed Thursday, November 26, 1789 to be “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer.”
In wasn’t until October 3, 1863, that President Abraham Lincoln called for and issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation. It declared the last Thursday in November was to be a national day of “thanksgiving and praise.”
Afterwards, presidents honored the tradition and annually issued their own Thanksgiving Proclamation until in 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt did not.
Since the day would fall on November 30th that month, retailers strongly complained to President Roosevelt that 24 shopping days before Christmas would be too short for profits that they counted upon.
Since most people did Christmas shopping after Thanksgiving, the extra week of shopping seemed essential for the economy.
So the Thanksgiving Proclamation of August 31, 1939 declared the date of Thanksgiving to be Thursday, November 23, the second-to-last Thursday of the month.
The change caused unforeseen confusion — dates had previously been established for school schedules, football games, special events, entertainment, and family vacations.
During the following year, many governors could not agree with the decision to change the date and refused to follow it. The country became split on which Thanksgiving to observe. The nation went into a bit of a panic and there was great debate.
In 1940, 32 states and the District of Columbia observed the Thanksgiving on November 21. 16 states chose November 28th. The conflict finally came to the Congress. On December 26, 1941, Congress passed into law that Thanksgiving would be henceforth the fourth Thursday of November.
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 there was an armistice; a temporary cessation of hostilities in the First World War was declared between the Allied nations and Germany.
On June 4, 1926, Congress passed a resolution that a “recurring anniversary of [November 11, 1918] should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations.”
Beginning in 1927, November 11 became known as Armistice Day.
In 1938, Armistice Day became a legal federal holiday in the United States.
In 1954, the 83rd Congress amended the 1938 act that made Armistice Day a federal holiday, replacing the word “Armistice” with “Veterans.” From then on, November 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
In 1968, Congress passed a Uniform Holidays Bill which created three-day weekends for federal employees — and to encourage tourism and travel — by celebrating four national holidays (Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Columbus Day) on Mondays. At that point, Veterans Day was made the fourth Monday in October. President Gerald Ford signed a law returning the observation of Veterans Day to November 11th beginning in 1978.
Britain, France, Australia and Canada also commemorate the veterans of World Wars I and II on or near November 11th. Canada has Remembrance Day, Britain has Remembrance Sunday (the second Sunday of November). In many countries in Europe, it is common to observe two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. every November 11.
In the United States, an official wreath-laying ceremony is held each Veterans Day at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery. Parades and various other celebrations are held in the states.
I want to say thank you to all American Veterans past, present, and future. I believe we should thank you every day of the year for your service.
NOTE: I believe inpeaceful dialog, not war to solve national and international difference — however, the images of this film are how our veterans live during war situations and we owe them a deep respect and to honor them.
Marianne Williamson dives into some of the world’s greatest challenges and the concept of how our global society is experiencing a global mutation. The points she makes will motivate you to think of what we can do—and think—as a collective unit, to overcome society’s challenges, heal our spiritual malignancies, and thrive through this global shift.
1. The Practice of Living Consciously 2. The Practice of Self-Acceptance 3. The Practice of Self-Responsibility 4. The Practice of Self-Assertiveness 5. The Practice of Living Purposefully 6. The Practice of Personal Integrity
Branden introduces the six pillars — six action-based practices for daily living — providing a foundation for self-esteem and explores the central importance of self-esteem in the five areas of the workplace, parenting, education, psychotherapy, and the culture at large.
No one may be successful if bypassing their basic needs for self-esteem. The ego is not a thing to fight against. It is not even available for debate. The ego is a sense of needs that we may mistakenly believe is the self. However, by opening to greater self-awareness, we come to understand that the ego is just a function of temporary needs messages. I hope that this program and the related links are helpful. I know I attain growth by reviewing of these basic life skills.
To date, one of biology’s greatest achievements, mapping the human genome, is only just beginning to translate into medical advances. But in 2014 there will likely be more headlines about another type of study in genetics that is already impacting everyone.
We are referring to a different aspect of our genome, which radically revises a model that is decades old, dating back as far as the original discovery of DNA. In the original model, the effects of our genes were considered to be fixed and unchanging, controlling every aspect of our physical makeup, behavior, and susceptibility to disease. Not just eye color, height, and other physical characteristics were predetermined by inherited genes, but perhaps all kinds of behaviors, from criminality to belief in God.
The new model, however, portrays a more fluid, dynamic genome that responds quickly, even instantly, to all that we experience, including how you think, feel, speak, and act. Every day brings new evidence that the mind-body connection reaches right down to the activities of our genes. How this activity changes in response to our life experiences is referred to as “epigenetics.” Regardless of the nature of the genes we inherit from our parents, dynamic change at this level allows us almost unlimited influence on our fate.
Theories of evolution and genetics have long taught that genetic mutation is entirely random. However, genetics has been gradually stepping into a new era of “self-directed biological transformation,” a mouthful perhaps, but with great significance in each word:
Self-Directed: Voluntary activity in your thoughts, feelings, habits, and desires. This is the realm of personal choice
Biological: Effects at every level of the mind-body system, including reactions by your genetic material
Transformation: Major shifts in cellular activity leading to physiological changes
This means that control is being given back to each person; we are no longer seen as puppets of our DNA. The human genome is set to be the stage for future evolution that we ourselves direct, making choice an integral part of genetics. This is in stark contrast to the “biology as destiny” view where genes override choice. Unless decisions, lifestyle, environment, and personal preferences are included, a full picture of the mysteries of our DNA cannot be attained.
The speed and extent of change at the genetic level would astonish researchers even a few years ago. Yoga and meditation, for example, can trigger almost immediate responses in genetic activity. Exercise, a balanced diet, good sleep, and stress reduction—all well-known for improving bodily function—exert beneficial effects via our genes. So the next frontier will be to discover how deep and lasting such changes are, how much control we have over them individually, and how they can be passed on to future generations through so-called “soft inheritance,” in which the parents’ life experiences and behavior directly influence the genome of their offspring (transmitted via the epigenome, which controls how the activities of our genes are turned up and down).
How Genes Deliver Results
Genes don’t simply switch on and off but work on a sliding scale, more like a rheostat. In addition, genes communicate fluidly, so that the old view, where a single gene determined a single characteristic, like eye color, must be revised. There are some genetically determined characteristics that require only a single gene, but they are relatively rare. The vast number of genetic influences are created by a dance or symphony of genes delivering dynamic input to the whole system.
Between any two persons’ genomes there are an average of three million differences or mutations. The implications for medicine are major. Only 5% or less of disease-related mutations are fully penetrant, i.e., guaranteeing a disease when inherited. For the remaining 95%, other genes, lifestyle, and environmental influences also determine disease risk.
The Emergence of Self-Directed Biology
The mind and emotions directly affect gene activity, and since the mind is the source of a person’s lifestyle and behavior, it directs one’s biological transformations. Self-awareness holds the key to this process of self-transformation. Consciousness is invisibly reaching into the biochemistry of every moment of life. In your body, as in every cell, regulation is holistic, self-generated, self-organizing, and self-directed in concert with consciousness.
Darwin didn’t know about epigenetics and “soft inheritance.” Otherwise, he may have written a very different treatise, in which evolution wouldn’t solely result from random gene mutations. Self-directed evolution is the emerging paradigm.
As emphasized in our recent book, Super Brain, we believe there is also a better approach to understanding the brain. Your neural networks are being reshaped with every thought, feeling word, and act. This process is intimately tied to genetic activity. Today you will casually perform some very mysterious actions: As an aware being you will imbue your desires with intention (“I’ll have the tuna salad”), direct your attention to specific objects and aspects of the world (“Just look at that sunset!”), and experience the shifting landscape of your inner world (“This movie is boring”) as you navigate the terrain of your mind.
However, no research has been able to define the scientific basis of these actions. There is no explanation for how the firing of action potentials in trillions of synapses made by billions of nerve cells actually produces an experience.
This is a perfect example of how the map isn’t the territory. The wiring of your brain is ever-changing, depending on your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and habits. Many millions of dollars are being spent on the connectome, a complete mapping of the brain. But this will not explain how genes and neural circuits work together to bring us consciousness.
Brain and genome maps must be aligned with the fullness of human experience, since what you think, say, and do today shapes your genetic future. Nothing less than the equivalent of a “consciousome project” will suffice to serve this loftiest of scientific endeavors.
I was inspired Saturday to look more into what I read in a blog by my friend Eve. I was really impressed on what I found out about from many articles on the life and spiritual blessing to humanity of Mirra Alfassa, also known as The Mother.
There is one divine Force which acts in the universe and in the individual and is also beyond the individual and the universe. The Mother was only for all this. She did her work here in the body to bring what was not yet expressed in this material world so as to transform life here – we may regard her as the Divine Shakti (the “empowerment” of primordial cosmic energy). She was that in body, but in her whole consciousness she was always with all aspects of the Divine and she was as an agent of all changes. Her mission clearly was for all Godliness and not religiousness.
Born Mirra Alfassa in Paris on 21 February 1878, The Mother established Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, and in 1968 an international township, Auroville. She had left behind spiritual deprivation saying:
“I came into contact with many people who said that they had a great inner aspiration, an urge towards something deeper and truer, but that they were tied down, subjected, slaves to that brutal necessity of earning their living, and that this weighed them down so much, took up so much of their time and energy that they could not engage in any other activity, inner or outer. I heard this very often, I saw many poor people — I don’t mean poor from the monetary point of view, but poor because they felt imprisoned in a material necessity, narrow and deadening.”
“I was very young at that time, and I always used to tell myself that if ever I could do it, I would try to create a little world — oh! quite a small one, but still… a small world where people would be able to live without having to be preoccupied with food and lodging and clothing and the imperative necessities of life, so as to see whether all the energies freed by this certainty of a secure material living would turn spontaneously towards the divine life and the inner realisation.”
Four great Aspects of the Mother, four of her leading Powers and Personalities have stood in front in her guidance of this Universe and in her dealings with the terrestrial play… regarding the structures in symbol of spiritual development. [Wikipedia]
The Matrimandir (Sanskrit for Temple of The Mother) is an edifice of spiritual significance for practitioners of Integral yoga, situated at the centre of Auroville initiated by The Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. It is called soul of the city and is situated in a large open space called Peace. Matrimandir does not belong to any particular religion or sect. [Wikipedia]”
EACH time that a heart leaps at the touch of Thy divine breath, a little more beauty seems to be born upon the Earth, the air is embalmed with a sweet perfume, all becomes more friendly.
How great is Thy power, O Lord of all existences, that an atom of Thy joy is sufficient to efface so much darkness, so many sorrows and a single ray of Thy glory can light up thus the dullest pebble, illumine the blackest consciousness!…
Thou hast heaped Thy favours upon me, Thou hast unveiled to me many secrets, Thou hast made me taste many unexpected and unhoped for joys, but no grace of Thine can be equal to this Thou grantest to me when a heart leaps at the touch of Thy divine breath. At these blessed hours all earth sings a hymn of gladness, the grasses shudder with pleasure, the air is vibrant with light, the trees lift towards heaven their most ardent prayer, the chant of the birds becomes a canticle, the waves of the sea billow with love, the smile of children tells of the infinite and the souls of men appear in their eyes.…
Tell me, wilt Thou grant me the marvellous power to give birth to this dawn in expectant hearts, to awaken the consciousness of men to Thy sublime presence, and in this bare and sorrowful world awaken a little of Thy true Paradise? What happiness, what riches, what terrestrial powers can equal this wonderful gift!
Krishnamurti claimed allegiance to no nationality, caste, religion, or philosophy. He spent most of his life travelling the world, speaking to large and small groups and individuals… more
Freedom from the Known
Pursuit of Pleasure Jiddu Krishnamurti
We said in the last chapter that joy was something entirely different from pleasure, so let us find out what is involved in pleasure and whether it is at all possible to live in a world that does not contain pleasure but a tremendous sense of joy, of bliss.
We are all engaged in the pursuit of pleasure in some form or other – intellectual, sensuous or cultural pleasure, the pleasure of reforming, telling others what to do, of modifying the evils of society, of doing good – the pleasure of greater knowledge, greater physical satisfaction, greater experience, greater understanding of life, all the clever, cunning things of the mind – and the ultimate pleasure is, of course, to have God.
Pleasure is the structure of society. From childhood until death we are secretly, cunningly or obviously pursuing pleasure. So whatever our form of pleasure is, I think we should be very clear about it because it is going to guide and shape our lives. It is therefore important for each one of us to investigate closely, hesitantly and delicately this question of pleasure, for to find pleasure, and then nourish and sustain it, is a basic demand of life and without it existence becomes dull, stupid, lonely and meaningless.
You may ask why then should life not be guided by pleasure? For the very simple reason that pleasure must bring pain, frustration, sorrow and fear, and, out of fear, violence. If you want to live that way, live that way. Most of the world does, anyway, but if you want to be free from sorrow you must understand the whole structure of pleasure
To understand pleasure is not to deny it. We are not condemning it or saying it is right or wrong, but if we pursue it, let us do so with our eyes open, knowing that a mind that is all the time seeking pleasure must inevitably find its shadow, pain. They cannot be separated, although we run after pleasure and try to avoid pain.
Now, why is the mind always demanding pleasure? Why is it that we do noble and ignoble things with the undercurrent of pleasure? Why is it we sacrifice and suffer on the thin thread of pleasure? What is pleasure and how does it come into being? I wonder if any of you have asked yourself these questions and followed the answers to the very end?
Pleasure comes into being through four stages – perception, sensation, contact and desire. I see a beautiful motor car, say; then I get a sensation, a reaction, from looking at it; then I touch it or imagine touching it, and then there is the desire to own and show myself off in it. Or I see a lovely cloud, or a mountain clear against the sky, or a leaf that has just come in springtime, or a deep valley full of loveliness and splendour, or a glorious sunset, or a beautiful face, intelligent, alive, not self-conscious and therefore no longer beautiful. I look at these things with intense delight and as I observe them there is no observer but only sheer beauty like love. For a moment I am absent with all my problems, anxieties and miseries – there is only that marvellous thing. I can look at it with joy and the next moment forget it, or else the mind steps in, and then the problem begins; my mind thinks over what it has seen and thinks how beautiful it was; I tell myself I should like to see it again many times. Thought begins to compare, judge, and say `l must have it again tomorrow’. The continuity of an experience that has given delight for a second is sustained by thought.
It is the same with sexual desire or any other form of desire. There is nothing wrong with desire. To react is perfectly normal. If you stick a pin in me I shall react unless I am paralysed. But then thought steps in and chews over the delight and turns it into pleasure. Thought wants to repeat the experience, and the more you repeat, the more mechanical it becomes; the more you think about it, the more strength thought gives to pleasure. So thought creates and sustains pleasure through desire, and gives it continuity, and therefore the natural reaction of desire to any beautiful thing is perverted by thought. Thought turns it into a memory and memory is then nourished by thinking about it over and over again.
Of course, memory has a place at a certain level. In everyday life we could not function at all without it. In its own field it must be efficient but there is a state of mind where it has very little place. A mind which is not crippled by memory has real freedom.
Have you ever noticed that when you respond to something totally, with all your heart, there is very little memory? It is only when you do not respond to a challenge with your whole being that there is a conflict, a struggle, and this brings confusion and pleasure or pain. And the struggle breeds memory. That memory is added to all the time by other memories and it is those memories which respond. Anything that is the result of memory is old and therefore never free. There is no such thing as freedom of thought. It is sheer nonsense.
Thought is never new, for thought is the response of memory, experience, knowledge. Thought, because it is old, makes this thing which you have looked at with delight and felt tremendously for the moment, old. From the old you derive pleasure, never from the new. There is no time in the new.
So if you can look at all things without allowing pleasure to creep in – at a face, a bird, the colour of a sari, the beauty of a sheet of water shimmering in the sun, or anything that gives delight – if you can look at it without wanting the experience to be repeated, then there will be no pain, no fear, and therefore tremendous joy.
It is the struggle to repeat and perpetuate pleasure which turns it into pain. Watch it in yourself. The very demand for the repetition of pleasure brings about pain, because it is not the same, as it was yesterday. You struggle to achieve the same delight, not only to your aesthetic sense but the same inward quality of the mind, and you are hurt and disappointed because it is denied to you.
Have you observed what happens to you when you are denied a little pleasure? When you don’t get what you want you become anxious, envious, hateful. Have you noticed when you have been denied the pleasure of drinking or smoking or sex or whatever it is – have you noticed what battles you go through? And all that is a form of fear, isn’t it? You are afraid of not getting what you want or of losing what you have. When some particular faith or ideology which you have held for years is shaken or torn away from you by logic or life, aren’t you afraid of standing alone? That belief has for years given you satisfaction and pleasure, and when it is taken away you are left stranded, empty, and the fear remains until you find another form of pleasure, another belief.
It seems to me so simple and because it is so simple we refuse to see its simplicity. We like to complicate everything. When your wife turns away from you, aren’t you jealous? Aren’t you angry? Don’t you hate the man who has attracted her? And what is all that but fear of losing something which has given you a great deal of pleasure, a companionship, a certain quality of assurance and the satisfaction of possession?
So if you understand that where there is a search for pleasure there must be pain, live that way if you want to, but don’t just slip into it. If you want to end pleasure, though, which is to end pain, you must be totally attentive to the whole structure of pleasure – not cut it out as monks and sannyasis do, never looking at a woman because they think it is a sin and thereby destroying the vitality of their understanding – but seeing the whole meaning and significance of pleasure. Then you will have tremendous joy in life. You cannot think about joy. Joy is an immediate thing and by thinking about it, you turn it into pleasure. Living in the present is the instant perception of beauty and the great delight in it without seeking pleasure from it.
Our true home is in the here and the now. Thích Nhất Hạnh . Yesterday perhaps I understood for a moment what Thích Nhất Hạnh teaches, in his book, that “Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.”
Today, I look again, and there is a new awakening. I am still and I learn that perhaps when we cling to a past, it may not seem harmful and it may seem natural if we are disturbed to allow this. Yet, the stillness allows me to know this is suffering.
Still Cling is perhaps meant in a manner of speaking as emotionally forming around the possession or being right/justified about a situation that involves blame of others and even as important perhaps it may describe the feeling of shame that we might Still Cling onto that then will keep us stuck from any progress as though we are jailed by the delusion.
In his book, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation… Thích Nhất Hạnh says, “The Three Kinds of Pride are: (1) thinking I am better than the other(s); (2) thinking I am worse than the other(s); and (3) thinking I am just as good as the other(s).”
In the stillness of now I see that I may live in the dream manifestation of past emotion as the dream. I see also the freedom in mindful stillness. In this moment then, in Honesty now, I am free to let go of perceptions. In a now moment, I am the dreamer. Thus I am free in any such moment from suffering to Still Cling. In a regular practice, I may expand personal freedom.
These moments of awareness dissolve many illusory perceptions in days and weeks of practice. .
. WisdomFilms, a genre in contemplative life-enhancing media, offer short films as a way to stop, take a breath, and come home to yourself, restoring balance to your mind, heart, and soul. By featuring spoken wisdom from today’s most acclaimed voices in self-help and spirituality, these films can help to create sacred space within and without, providing personal sanctuaries of profound beauty and peace.
I have written about war and peace, I have written about gender equality. I have written about people living in violence. Today, I am writing to the world about yet another human tragedy. I don’t know how bad racism is everywhere in the world, but I feel it is getting worse in America. I am an old lady, but I have a black hoodie that says peace on the front. When I wear it, I wear it with the hood up. I wear it that way for Trayvon Martin. I wear it because I realize that more people will look at it on the body of a 5’2″ blonde white woman. I wear it because my grandfather told me about the Holocaust when I was nine years old. He gave me a book of photographs in black and white of the piles of dead Jews, Poles and Gypsies. He sat…
So, I want to recall the most important contribution that I think I found about the truth. Meditation promotes well-being by reducing stress, depression, anxiety, blood pressure, addiction, by boosting immune systems and by improving our memory.
Forty years ago,Matthieu Ricard, a French genetic scientist left an intellectual life, moved to India and took up a study of Buddhism. He is now a western scholar of religion and he was recently claimed by brain research scientists to be the happiest man on the planet.
His daily routine of meditation made possible amazing brain scans demonstrate that if he is meditating on compassion, Ricard’s brain produces a level of gamma waves never before reported within neuroscience literature.
While his is the pinnacle of measures, you to may change your brain. You have the capacity to heal including all of your emotional confusions. If you set out to accomplish this, you can gradually increase your awareness and your inner peace by mindfulness. You can transform your brain, create new neural circuits and change the way your brain neurons more efficiently will communicate with each other.
Actually – this is new in that our awareness is arising with greater interest… the mathematics is so complex – but most of the complexity is because physics misses the simple observational intuitive contemplation that is the basis for scientific inquiry… we ought not try to create a complex reality when our purpose is to be in alignment with what is – observe, contemplate – let it sink in and feel it … its mindful goodness … we are channels for creativity – not masters of our realm … see also: The Spin On The Black Whole – Science and Spirituality You Tube
I contemplate my inner self – similar to the illustration, being inside and being there an inside of inside and inside of that and on and on and spinning like a kids ride – it’s a trip on being more of everything that is and less about thought. Idle thought isn’t much as real as it may have seemed before this. Special thanks to Eve– my friend Evegot me wondering about this “new” physics a few months back – little do I know and still there is so much fun to be discovered … so nice!
Take some time… invest in your well-being
and… share this one around. We are only beginning to understand what we are finally beginning to share. I know from dedication that working on living in solutions takes time and plenty of collaboration.
Is it possible for meditation to be utterly effortless? To experience the depths of being in any given moment of our lives-not just while we practice? Not only is it possible, explains Eckhart Tolle, but it is the very way we come to touch the essence of meditation. Tolle discusses the methods of meditation and their purpose: accessing the richness and power of pure presence.
Who is Eckhart Tolle (Amazon)?
Spiritual teacher and author Eckhart Tolle was born in Germany and educated at the Universities of London and Cambridge. At the age of twenty-nine a profound inner transformation radically changed the course of his life. The next few years were devoted to understanding, integrating, and deepening that transformation, which marked the beginning of an intense inward journey. Later, he began to work in London with individuals and small groups as a counselor and spiritual teacher. Since 1995 he has lived in Vancouver, Canada.
Eckhart Tolle is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Power of Now (translated into 33 languages) and A New Earth, which are widely regarded as two of the most influential spiritual books of our time. In 2008, A New Earth became the first spiritual book to be selected for Oprah’s Book Club as well as the subject of a ten-week online workshop co-taught by Eckhart and Oprah.
Eckhart’s profound yet simple teachings have helped countless people throughout the world find inner peace and greater fulfillment in their lives. At the core of the teachings lies the transformation of consciousness, a spiritual awakening that he sees as the next step in human evolution. An essential aspect of this awakening consists in transcending our ego-based state of consciousness. This is a prerequisite not only for personal happiness but also for the ending of violent conflict endemic on our planet.
This is a voyage into achieving everything you want without making a single request for yourself. This is a process. Begin today with this focal video — each time you breath in you breath in the colossal power of the universe. Each time you breath out, let go of all that may be harmful. Realize you are the potential for love, laughter and joy. Breath in and feel this potential growing in you. Breath out and feel the release of the past and wounds. Click on the image to visit my ripple-ing page… make giving loving kindness a practice, daily.
Epigenetics is a foundational Frontier Science for Positive Human Evolution.