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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Don't Take My word for It

Why am I going on, and on, and on about changing the way we think? lol  Because I believe it is the answer to everything :) Why take my word for it when so many more wiser individuals have said the same thing?

Nothing but your thoughts can attack you.
ACIM: Lesson 26:4:2

As a man thinketh, so does he perceive. Therefore seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world.
ACIM: Chapter 21:Intro:1:6-7

As the mind, so the person; bondage or liberation are in your own mind.
Satchidananda (2012) The Yoga sutras of Patanjali. Buckingham:Integral Yoga Publications page

So by changing your mind, you change everything.
Satchidananda (2012) The Yoga sutras of Patanjali. Buckingham:Integral Yoga Publications page 9

Do not model yourselves on the behavior of the world around you, but let your behavior change, modeled by your new mind.
Romans 12:2 ( Jer.Bible)

Set your mind on the things above, not on the things of earth.
Colossians 3:2

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.  When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.
Buddha(https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/thoughts)

Change your thoughts and you change the world.
Norman Vincent Peale ( https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/thoughts)

A man is but the product of his thoughts. what he thinks, he becomes.
Mahatma Gandhi (https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/thoughts)

All action results from thought, so it is thoughts that matter.
Sai Baba(https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/thoughts)

And we could go on and on and on.  You get the point.  I will soon leave lesson one but before I do I want to make sure that we all know just how important our thoughts are in determining the quality of our lives and the world we see. If we want to change our lives, we need to change our minds.

All is well

Friday, January 19, 2018

Look to what words point to...not the words themselves!

The truth is that you are responsible for what you think because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice.
ACIM:2:VI:2:5-7
 
 
 Words are powerful tools that help us to learn how to create a positive life experience.  We should be mindful of the words that create thoughts. At the same time we are cautious of the words we use, we can't get too hung up on them.

I love this analogy.




 
There is a story found on this wonderful site I would like you to check out called High Existence . (Please see the references at the bottom of the page).  In this story a Zen teacher was walking on a beautiful moonlit evening . He was asked a question by one of his brightest students, who was walking beside him,  about the troublesome contradictions he found amongst the words of the Buddhist doctrine. 
 
The teacher answered the boy by calling his happy dog who loved to fetch everything to his side.  The teacher pointed to the moon and told the dog to fetch the moon for him. The dog sat where he was, wagging his tail, staring at the teacher's finger. 
 
The teacher then warned the boy not to be like his dog who was confusing the pointing finger with the thing pointed at.
 
Words are only pointing fingers, guideposts leading us to a greater understanding and knowledge. They, in themselves, though powerful are not knowledge.  Be mindful of them, learn from them but know you must fight your way through them to the truth they are pointing at.  
 
All is well!
 


Story  from:
High Existence (n.d.) 7 Zen stories that just might give you a glimpse of enlightenment. Retrieved from http://highexistence.com/7-zen-stories-that-give-you-a-glimpse-of-enlightenment/
 

Lesson One: Learning the Hard Way

 The Mind that accepts attack cannot love.
-ACIM Chapter 7: VI: 2:1 
                                                                                                
I literally heard myself, less than an hour ago, saying to my son while I literally wagged my finger in his direction. "I can't sit back and watch you do this!  You(!!) need to get up and be responsible. You should know better by now: This isn't how adult life works!" I heard myself. I seen myself.  I cringed but I just kept going.  I felt the limitation, the imprisonment, the pressure, the projection, the blame, the guilt and the guilt shifting.  I felt some sick relief from the heaviness of my own guilt. That relief did not last but a second.

I soon felt like a complete  failure as I stood over him with my finger out. "What a hypocrite I am! What a terrible parent!!" I thought to myself. I watched with horror as I spouted out my toxic words. I just yesterday felt so compelled to do a video on the three words to avoid. I did exactly what I said not to do. I used all those three words and a lot more.  Wow!

I did catch myself...eventually... and I sat myself down on the side of his bed.  Of course having   full fledged symptoms because of my emotional reaction had something to do with my need to stop. As I sat there I began to see and "feel" clearly. I knew my worry, my fear, my parental guilt and helplessness had just all come out of me in a whirlwind of emotion, like  a fire ball of yuckiness I spit out of my mouth and onto him.  "You take this stuff!" I was in a sense saying.  "I don't want it in me.  I don't want to have to deal with it. I don't want the responsibility for it.  I don't like the way it makes me feel." I threw it viciously at him. 

I could try to justify it by saying I had to be the parent.  I had to speak to him about his behaviour.  What he was doing was "wrong" and unhealthy. I had to make my point! I had to "make him see" what he was doing.

That, however, was not healthy communication. That was not Love. That, my dear friends, was a form of fear based attack!

Who did I attack?  Obviously him. I also attacked myself.  By trying to provide for the insatiable needs of my little "me" who sees the bodies of others as separate forms of reality, who assumes attack is everywhere and forms defenses against them, and who believes it has the right and power to control these other sinful bodily beings with "guilt"... I attacked the greater "I" .  I attacked the true Self...that which I and my son are inseparable parts of.

When fear is the basis of our communication we attack and reinforce this crazy notion of how separate we are.  We do not connect, resolve conflict, heal our wounds or "help" the other person. And we do not help ourselves though that seems to be our motivation at the time...to project the sting of being human outward onto someone else so we do not have to experience it. Hmm!

Our faulty belief system, devised and maintained so expertly by the ego, creates illusions upon which we act. We see our experience as human beings as something that causes pain. We see how deserving of lack, scarcity, guilt and punishment we are  and we do whatever we can to diminish or eliminate that pain at ego's guidance.  Often that diminishing means we have to project our pain outward onto someone else who we assume is separated from us by body borders. We attack! Or if we find some semblance of pleasure, of "sense", of light in our delusional states we may fear it will be taken from us...so we protect  our illusions at all costs. We defend! When we spend all our energy, time and resources on attacking and defending that which really isn't even real...we do not do what we are here to do. Love!     

I am not here to determine how my son lives his life.  I am not here to fix his problems or anyone else's.  My son is not mine. I think of these  lovely words from  Kahlil Gibran:

Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.     (https://quotefancy.com/quote/848351/Khalil-Gibran-Your-children-are-not-your-children-They-are-the-sons-and-daughters-of-Life              

I am not here to determine and enforce what is right or wrong for other people.  I am here to love!  That's it.  To teach love.  To learn Love.  To expand Love! What I did down there in his room this morning was not Love.  It was merely self-preservation.  I was attempting to protect ego.

Your thinking has done this because of its power, but your thinking can also save you from this because your power is not your making.  Your ability to direct your thinking as you choose is part of its power.
-ACIM Chapter7: VI:2:5-6

In my awareness of my word choice and my behaviour I found a remarkable thing happening, My tone changed.  I calmed down.  I took a deep breath to think about how I was going to rephrase what I had to say. Then I said. " I love you and I am worried about you.  I am concerned about your choices but this is my worry and my concern.  I own it. I am challenged in my ability to cope with this in a healthy way.  I am trying but as you can see I am having some difficulty.  I can and I will master this but in the meantime I am concerned about what my reaction to your choices is doing to our relationship.  I want you to have the healthy happy life you deserve and I feel great frustration, anger and disappointment when I see you making choices I see as unhealthy. I still tend to "react" in ways I don't want to. My frustration and my worry are not good for me, it is not good for you and I don't want to feel this way any longer. This is what I want from you....and this is what I am willing to do if you do that...  These are my choices and my limits.  If you continue to make the choices that you are making I am afraid I will do the following.....to protect my health, you and our relationship."

Wow!  Game changer!

It didn't change him right away.  I didn't get what I wanted from him right away! But it changed me! I felt lighter.  I felt freer.  I felt Love! I see now that he is up, making other healthier choices...his choices...for him.

I have to smile...as I see a little bit of ego slipping away.

All is well.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Three Powerful Words to Avoid


We need to avoid three powerful words when in the process of changing the way we think. These words are:
  1. "You!!"
  2. Can't
  3. Should


    Unlisted Videos:


You!!

https://youtu.be/lrSqLf1tAro

Can't

https://youtu.be/YPm0UOMRKhg

Should

https://youtu.be/dC8A69FNbog

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Lesson One (Continued) : Change Your Thoughts not the World.

The greatest difficulty is the mental resistance to things that arise, and the underlying assumption that they should not be.

-Eckhart Tolle

When we talk about the importance of changing our thoughts we must consider the above quote from Eckhart Tolle.  We must be willing to put aside our resistance to what is.  We need to stop looking at the world around us and what it supplies as "attack" or potential attack. 

A Course in Miracles refers to our view of the world as one of "vengeance"...always anticipating that we are going to lose something from it, or we will not get it...or someone will take it away...  so we constantly defend and attack with our resistance.  We cannot change the world...but we can change how we think about the world and when we do that the world changes.  For as Lesson 23 states: ," every thought you have makes up some segment of the world you see".

You are creating the world you see.  You are the image maker.

There is no point in lamenting the world.  There is no point in trying to change the world.  It is incapable of change because it is merely an effect. But there is indeed a point in changing your thoughts about the world.  Here you are changing the cause.  The effect will change automatically.

All is well.

References:

ACIM...Lesson 23...page 34

Foundations for Inner Peace.(2007) A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume. Third Edition. Mill Valley: Foundations for Inner Peace.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The In Between

There are things known, and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.
Aldous Huxley


My last entry was a little challenging to understand...I did not articulate the way I wanted to...I did not teach the way I wanted to...so I did not learn the way I wanted to.  :) I understand that this talk about " the real world" and "illusions" is confusing.  Even more so is this talk about who we really are. What makes the teachings from A Course in Miracles so challenging for many of us is that its very simple lesson lies beneath an immense task of undoing the way we presently think and see the world.  I know for myself, before I could even begin to grasp the spiritual significance of A Course, I had to grasp the psychological teachings.  These teachings are the basis of my own preferred learning in psychology.  Change your thoughts; Change your life." One way of doing this is by focusing on the opposite of the things we do not want in our life.

Let's see if I can simplify the major points I was trying to make taking a step by step approach towards understanding:
  1. Step One: Know that for most of us, the world is how we uniquely perceive it using our five senses.  Think about it.  Whatever you look upon is just light that is reflected into your retina in its unique bent and crooked way.  It is then  taken to the brain by the optic nerve where it will be interpreted. Your brain will make sense of it in the way your brain makes sense of things.  Your mind which is a collection of memories and past images; recorded teachings and explanations  from others and  thoughts and assumptions about what this thing you are looking upon should be....will provide much of that perceptual detail.  So what you eventually "see" is a product of your senses, your memories, past learning and your expectations.  It is  very much unique to you.  Is it not? Your perceptions determine the world you experience.
  2. Step Two: We need to question our physical senses as being a trust worthy way of looking at the world.   We tend to focus on the physical and the visible but that is not necessarily truth or all there is. I think it is obvious that most of us look at the things we can see, touch, hear, taste and smell as being the only "real" things in our world, right? If we see it ...it is real.  If it can be experienced by the five senses it is truth. Yet, our senses provide unique experiences for each of us.   Is it possible that these five senses are limited in what they can show us?  Some of us, for example, have a different visual acuity.  Are only those people who have 20/20 vision experiencing reality and the rest of us living with blurred illusions? Let's conclude that our five senses are not enough to justify what is real and what isn't.  How often do we question if we are perceiving correctly or at least wholly? Is it possible that there is more?  If there is more, can we be more?  Can the person before us be more than what we see? Can the world be more than what we experience?
  3. Step Three: What are you perceiving and experiencing now? Are you perceiving lack or plenty?  Beauty or ugliness; light or darkness; illness or wellness? Know then what you are perceiving now may not be unchangeable because the means by which you determine their reality  are not as trustworthy as you think. (In all actuality anything that can be changed is not real...but we will stay away from explaining that more until we master these steps.)  Maybe there is more to be had out there.  Maybe you are capable of more because you are more than this limited focus.
  4. Step Four: If you want more, focus on more.  Go beyond what your five senses are telling you are real right now to what you want.  Know that whatever you think is happening  right now...good or bad... is just a result of your perceptions (which we determined are not that trust worthy for gauging reality) and your thoughts about the past.  Choose to think differently.  Seek out the opposites of your unwanted experiences
  5. Step Five: Watch your Wording.  Change the thoughts by changing the words you use to create or recreate thoughts.  Use positive uplifting words, and stay clear of the negative words that create a sense of obligation, effort and unease in you
  6. Step six: Watch your feelings.  How do the thoughts make you feel?  If you feel good, you are going in the right direction.  If you feel uneasy, disbelief, or a great deal of effort it is time to stop and re-examine your thinking again.  Once it feels right, keep going!!!
  7. Step Seven: Stand back and watch what happens when you truly change the way you think and feel about your world. Your world will actually change.  You will see it differently.  You will experience it differently.  And it will be different...giving evidence to this notion that your world is in your mind. Light will shine in on the darkness!
All is well!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Lesson One: Changing the Way We Think Using Opposites

What do you want? Light or darkness, knowledge or ignorance are yours but not both. Opposites must be brought together, not kept apart.  For their separation is only in your mind...
ACIM Chapter 14: VII:1:3-4

Changing the way you think by knowing what you want.

How do we begin to change the way we think and the way we see the world? We need to look at what we are thinking and seeing now and know we actually want the opposite of that.  We need to look at what we have now and know we want more than this? We have to see the contrast in this world and use it here, knowing at the same time it doesn't exist in the real world...and the real world is what we want.

Huh?

Back to Rephrasing our Thoughts

We have spoke of this before so it isn't new. Getting what we want begins with knowing what we don't want and focusing on its opposite... what we do want.  If you have poverty in your life right now, what do you want?  More poverty?  Probably not?  You want financial freedom.  If you have loneliness in your life right now, what do you want?  Connection.  If you have illness in your life right now, what do you want?  Wellness, wholeness. If you have stress and anxiety in your life right now, what do you want?  Peace. If you have sadness in your life right now, what do you want?  Happiness, joy.

Getting what we want all begins with where we place our focus which can be recognized by our thoughts and words. When you are talking to others or yourself about your situation, what do you tend to say?  Do you speak more about what is going on around you that you do not want or do you speak about what you do want, the opposite of what you got going on.  Too many of us get stuck in the  same old repetitive story about those things that are occurring in our lives right now that we wish weren't.

The trick is to be aware of where that mental energy is going; to know that what is going on to you or around  you is probably a result of that directional flow; know you don't want it and be willing to change it.



On the physical level...in this world we think is real but really isn't...we can use opposites to change that flow. Be aware of how many times you use terms that indicate a lack of financial abundance, scarcity, and poverty?  How many times do you catch yourself saying or thinking, "I am so broke; I don't have enough; I can't afford that"? I guarantee, the more that thought flows through your lips or mind, the more broke you are going to feel.  And the broker you feel, the more scarcity will show up in your life.  Yuck!

How many times do you say, "I am sick," "I am alone," "I am so stressed"? Well...STOP IT!!!! lol.  Replace those words with their opposites.  You do not have to jump up the ladder rungs to a positive affirmation if it doesn't feel right,  if you do not believe it...but you can begin by saying, "I want to feel financially free. "   From there progress to, "I am willing to feel finically free," to "I deserve to feel financially free" and finally to "I am feeling financially free. "  It is a step by step process of not only thinking but feeling...using opposites that will eventually become unnecessary when you discover the truth of who you really are.

We use so many words that please ego but are foreign to the Spirit within us...words like "can't, have to, should, must".  Words that imply we are powerless and limitless and if we even want to find even remote peace in this life time it requires effort and guilt. Let's get rid of those words too.  Let's look at their opposites: words that inspire hope, grace and ease like "can, choice, choose, will, and willing"

Our perceptions of the world and life change with our wording. We get closer to the truth with every change in perception. Perception is the medium by which ignorance is brought to knowledge. ACIM Chapter 14: VII:1-7.  The knowledge we are looking for is that all  these situations that surround us that we consider negative or difficult do not have to be...they aren't real.  We were meant to have abundance, grace, ease, Love, peace and joy and we can have it...if we simply change the way we think.

All is well in my world.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Lesson One (continued): Changing the way we look at the world

 
One has not only an ability to perceive the world but an ability to alter one's perception of it; more simply one can change things by the manner in which one looks at them.
-Tom Robbins (http://www.wiseoldsayings.com/perception-quotes/)

What kind of a world do you see when you look around you? Do you see a "good" world or a "bad" one?  Do you see a fair world or an unjust one?  Do you see a kind world or a cruel one? Do you see a beautiful world or an ugly one?

Hopefully, it is understood at this point, that the world you are viewing right now is simply a projection of what you perceive using your five senses.  Every adjective that you apply is simply your perception.  There is no such thing as a bad world or a good world.  There is no such thing as a sad world or a happy world.  The world is whatever you think it to be. Hamlet tells Rosencrantz, in Act Two; Scene Two, in reference to Denmark feeling like a prison to him, "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."  

You judge and measure the world around you with your body, your ego-mind and your limited sense of time and space. You determine what kind of a world it is. What you see isn't real anywhere but in your mind?

We have a choice between two worlds.  In order to see one, you must give up the other.  You can not look upon a "good" world and a "bad" world at the same time. It is either/or. We can look about us and see Heaven or we can look about us and see hell? One will free us and bring peace and joy; one will imprison us (as thoughts of Denmark did for Hamlet) bringing fear and suffering.  Where would you rather be?  If you had a choice, and you do,  what kind of world would you rather see? Most of us would say Heaven, yet too many of us are still seeing hell. Which one is real?

According to A Course the hellish world we see and perceive using our five senses is not the real one.

The real world is not like this.  It has no buildings and there are no streets where people walk alone and separate. There are no stores where people buy an endless list of things they do not need. It is not lit with artificial light, and night comes not upon it. There is no day that brightens and grows dim.  There is no loss.  Nothing is there but shines, and shines forever. ACIM:Chapter 13:VII:1:1-7, page 254
 
How do we Change the Way we see the world?

Changing the way we think is a process.  We have looked at the world in one way for so long it will require more than a new pair of glasses to see it differently. Here are some steps that you might find helpful:
  1. Be willing to see it differently.  That is the first and most crucial step.  You have to want to change the way you think, to want God's version of reality over ego's.  Are you there yet?
  2. Realize that ego's version of reality is an illusion and when we ascribe to it, we are delusional.  When we let go of it, we are healing.
  3. Know that ego's world  offers us nothing. Everything you see, taste, touch, hear and smell as you look around you is meaningless.  Everything you think is meaningless. The real world is the inner world that can not be understood with the five sense or with thought and it   offers us everything.
  4. Make a conscious choice for healing.  Choose Heaven over Hell
  5. Know that every time you look at the world and feel strain, fear, unease you are slipping back into ego vision again.  At those times, call for help from above to guide you away from ego perception and into the truth.
  6. Know that every time you have a loving thought, you are well on your way to freedom.  You will soon be seeing the world for what it really is.
But seek this place and you will find it, for Love is in you and will lead you there.(ACIM: chapter 13: III: 12: 10, page 245)

All is well in my world.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Lesson One: Changing the Way You Choose to Think.

Change your thoughts and you change your world.
-Norman Vincent Peale

Choosing Wrongly.

I felt myself straying from peace today.  I found myself worrying over and resenting some choices my 20 year old son who is still so very young in many ways was making. I have been in this situation with him many, many times over the course of his life.  I know that what I am feeling is fear .  If I had to sum up all the feelings of anxiety, worry, guilt, shame, anger and resentment I felt while I watched him make choices I judged as unhealthy over the years, I know what I am experiencing is really just fear. In a nutshell I fear, induced by a collection of past memories. 

I don't want to feel this way.  I also don't want to project my fear onto him when what he truly deserves and needs from me is love. When I am fearful I judge, blame, assume, accuse, express anger, focus on the negative in behaviour, forgetting and excluding the positive and I growl and yell. This doesn't help him.  It doesn't help me. I get nowhere but down!

Fear is a Choice

I would like to say that my fear is beyond my control, that the circumstances validate the worthiness for fear.  I know people would look at our situation and say, "No wonder why you are afraid.  You would be crazy not to be."  Truth is I am crazy for allowing fear into my life.

I am learning, the hard way, that fear is actually a choice I make.  I and I alone am responsible for the fear I feel right now. "When you are fearful, you have chosen wrongly." (ACIM: Chapter 2:VI: 3: 2). I have chosen wrongly and it is up to me to do something about it.  The correction of fear is my responsibility and that brings me back to today's lesson.

We Need to Change the Way We Choose to Think!

I have said this again and again: the world we perceive is in our minds and in our minds only! I will take you back to that lovely piece of  Sanskrit wisdom shared in Satchidnanada's translation of The Yoga Sutras (2011): So the mind, so the person. Bondage or liberation is in in your own mind."   (page 5)

A Couse in Miracles takes this saying a little farther: The truth is that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think." (ACIM;Chapter 2:VI: 2: 6-7; page 29)

Until we get that, this first lesson may be challenging to understand but understand it we must if we want to step out of a fearful circumstance and embrace the Love that is there and always was there. Our thoughts bring on feelings. Fear, according to A Course  is the opposite of Love and fear and love are really the only two emotions that exist.  We either love or we fear. We act out on one of these two emotions.  Our world is a projection of one of these emotions.  We can choose to see a world that is fearful or a world of Love.  What would you choose?

The Steps to Correction

When you find yourself tensing up, uneasy, worried, guilty, doubtful, ashamed, angry and acting with strain when faced with the behaviour of another or a life circumstance,  there are steps to correction we can follow.  They go like this:

  1. When we find ourselves acting out of fear, we must first recognize we are doing so.  We must be aware and willing to accept that at that moment we are allowing fear into our life. 
  2. We must see it as a choice.  Choices not only make us accountable, they give us the power to change.
  3. We must accept our responsibility for it and its correction.
  4. Then we must be willing to choose differently than the way we were thinking: usually like victims of circumstance and the poor choices of others. Our willingness to change the way we choose to think is probably the most crucial step. With that willingness  to choose differently, the correction will be so much easier.
  5. We choose Love instead. 
  6. We change the way we think. Any thought that brings about Love instead of fear are the thoughts we need to focus on.
A Course sums up these steps beautifully:

Know first that this is fear.
Fear arises from lack of love.
The only remedy for lack of love is perfect love.
Perfect love is Atonement.
(Chapter2:VI:7:5-8, page 30)

What is Atonement?

Of course, I am no expert when it comes to explaining the lessons of  A Course in Miracles.  There are others out there that make its teaching their life purpose and do so brilliantly.  Please check out the work of Marianne Williamson and Alan Cohen, to name a couple. My understanding of Atonement is this: Atonement is the result of undoing our false thinking, getting beyond the clutter of mental modifications in our mind,  and seeing beyond the  ego to what is really there. Atonement happens when we change the way we think.  It will only come if we choose  to think differently... when we choose the real over the unreal; the eternal over the temporary and Love over fear. 

We can change the way we think.  We begin by choosing to.

All is well in my world.

References:

Foundations for Inner Peace (2007) A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume. Third Edition. Mill Valley: Foundations for Inner Peace.

Sri Swami Satchidinanda(2011) The Yoga Sutras. Yogaville: Integral Yoga Publications.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

I am here only to be truly helpful.
ACIM (Chapter 2:V:18:2)

  As I mentioned I am studying A Course in Miracles again, as well as The Yoga Sutras and some Buddhist teachings.  I am open to everything that comes to me and believe me, it has really been coming too me lol. The more open I am to learning, the more the learning tools seem to land on my lap.  As is the way.  Some of the teaching tools I am studying from would have at one time seem to have been too bizarre for me to even consider. Now I am soaking up what they have to offer like a thirsty sponge.

Though there will be lots of tools, lots of teachers, lots of experiences in my own learning that I will share, I have to stress that my own  way of learning is just that...my way.  You will have your way as you will be guided to go.  I don't want anyone to get caught up on the tools and teachers I am using...just the messages being taught.  Try your best not to "judge"... just to hear and feel what is being shared. Find the message within. If you hear a resounding "Yeah!" within yourself...go with it.  If you don't...go without.  These messages from every tool and every teacher I offer here  are universal.

A Course in Miracles speaks to me for reasons I cannot even understand yet.  Despite my initial resistance to the terminology, it calls me back to it again and again. Not because of the teacher, not because of the terms used, not because of the Christian philosophy or even the psychology references which I understand so well...but because of the message.  It is the message that resonates in my core. It is proving to be a wonderful teaching tool and the Teacher it refers me to is by far the most trustworthy teacher I have ever had.  :)

These are the lessons I want to share from A Course  and from my own learning.  I want to teach these ones because these are the ones I most want to learn. I have touched on all of them before in my previous entries but now I want to organize them into a teaching/learning tool that will help me master them by sharing them.  What we teach we learn and what we learn we teach.  :)

Lessons:
  1. We need to change the way we think
  2. We need to get beyond our "thinking" to the truth of who we are
  3. We need to know who we are and from Whom we came
  4. We need to understand what the ego is so we truly see it as the "nothing" that it is.
  5. We need to detach ourselves from our physical world attachments, including our attachment to the body
  6. We need to see fear for what it is so we can get beyond it
  7. We need to be open and willing to accept Love in our lives
  8. We need to know that our purpose here is to extend that Love
There are all kinds of sub lessons hidden within these big ones but the question to ask is Why do we need to do these things? I should rephrase the "need".  You do not have to do these things. You have free will to an extent.  You can spend the rest of your life doing what you are doing, seeing yourself in the way ego sees you. That is your choice.  But who of us would continue doing that if we knew the alternative? 

We will all get to a point when we will realize we are not happy with version of reality we are living in (which we may or may not know is ego's version)...it doesn't satisfy.  It doesn't sustain.  It leaves us feeling sick, fearful and confused. We may accept it as the only way and learn to "endure" the life it offers but something within will tell us that there is something more than this intended for us...something we cannot find in our worldly pursuits. When we get there...to that point where we ask the question: Is there another way? ...that the lessons will be helpful.  Before then they will go nowhere. Do nothing.  You have to be at the point where you are willing to at least question that you do not have to live like this; that the world does not have to be the way you see it.

When you are willing to question the possibility of another way of being, you are willing to take the first steps to accepting another way.  Then these lessons here...the lessons anywhere that speak of the universal truth...will be what you need.

I am only teaching because I am there.  I am willing to accept a better way.  And I know I cannot learn of it without teaching it.  I cannot teach it without learning it.  :) (That will make more sense as we go on. )

So bear with me as I seemingly step into arrogance...by taking up  a teacher role outside my classroom.  It is not a "special" role nor am I "special".  It is just a blessed role we are all meant to take up so we can learn of this amazing truth we have somehow forgotten. 

It is all good.  It is all so very good.

All is well in my world.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Teach Peace! Teach Love!

Happy New Year to One and All!!!

 
 
 
Here is hoping that all of you move forward onto your path toward peace with love and joy as your guide.  I sincerely wish that for all.
 
 
To have peace, teach peace to learn it.
 
 
My intentions for the New Year is to teach peace so that I learn it.  That is not to say that I have any "special" qualifications to teach because I don't.  I just have a desire for peace and a willingness to share what I learn.  :) Apparently, that is all I need.
 
As I teach, as I learn, I will be using A Course in Miracles, among other spiritual, scientific and psychological philosophies.  I am redoing A Course for the third time. It is a hard read.  There is no doubt about that but for some reason I feel compelled to do it again.  I get something new and a little deeper every time I go through it.  I get an increased desire to learn and an increased desire to teach. 
 
 What do I wish to get and to give?  Love.  It is the only thing I have and the only thing I can give away.  But Love is everything.  :)
 
Teach only love, for that is what you are.
 
So tomorrow...or maybe the next day...(I will not commit more to my writing than my wellness...good thing my mind has me convinced that writing is my wellness lol) ...I will begin sharing what I am learning.  I am convinced that some order will come from it, some true learning potential, for I know for a fact that what ever is typed onto this page  will not come from  the little "me" but from that something so much bigger than me.  I will simply listen, learn, share, listen, learn and share...until peace is what we are left with.
 
All is well in my world.


Saturday, December 30, 2017

Teaching and Learning


Teaching and learning are your greatest strengths now, because they enable you to change your mind and help others to change theirs.
ACIM chapter 4: I: 4:1

The noon sun is shining brightly through my window.  It is warm and bright despite the winter temperatures.  How comfortable it is right here, right now.  I have everything I need.  I am everything I need to be.  Wow!  Imagine if that notion was so implanted in our minds it became knowledge (remembered knowledge)?  Is that what we are all seeking?  That awareness that we do not need to strain, to seek, to cling, to find something out there?  That all we need is within us? Is that not what peace is?  Seeking peace is an oxymoron, I suppose.  Because  peace is already here.

I will be back in the New Year with a renewed intention to teach to learn; and to learn to teach. 

All is well!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Added Perk

Writing to me is simply thinking through my fingers.
Isaac Asimov (https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/isaac_asimov_382193?src=t_writing)



Another article published.  Yeah!  Check it out!

http://www.aquarianonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Enlighten-Up-with-The-Aquarian-Winter-2017-issue.pdf

I was so excited and grateful for the opportunity to be published by this press and even more so when I seen a life long  Canadian idol of mine, David Suzuki, published there at the same time.  :)

I was just thinking today about how good it feels just to write and to learn all the wonderful things I am learning and subsequently sharing with my words.  Publication is an added perk! (and a part of the cycle). It's all so good!

All is well!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Greatest Gift

The greatest gift is a portion of thyself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/gift)

What was the greatest gift you gave this season and what was the greatest gift you received?  That sounds like a pretty shallow question to ask doesn't it?  Almost equivalent to the one we would so excitedly ask our friends  when we were younger: "What did you get for Christmas?" lol 

I do not intend to indulge the ego here.  I mean it as a thought provoking probe for reflection only.  Christmas is not about the material gifts though our egos and our society so wants us to believe it is. It is so much more than that.

So what did you give that made a difference?

Maybe you gave material items to someone who needed a physical, financial or emotional boost.    Maybe by so doing you provided some comfort, some ease...some diminishing of suffering.  That's wonderful. Maybe you made someone smile and feel joy?   Isn't our whole experience here about feeling good and allowing others to feel good?  So maybe you gave something of a physical nature that made a difference in someone else's life.  Good for you. I hope you feel good about that.

Or maybe you gave something of the subtle nature: kindness, patience, compassion or love.  Now that is what Christmas is about, is it not? When offered where it is needed most we create a better world, do we not?   When we extend these things to the places and things and people we are resisting...we create transformation.  Forgiveness is the greatest gift Christmas offers us...of others, of life of ourselves.  When we forgive and accept, we settle into the peace of the moment...and that settling in is, ironically, what changes everything. I hope you experienced the sheer joy and peace that comes with giving these things this season.

Maybe you gave your time and your energy?  How wonderful is that because as the above quote from Emerson states, the greatest gift is a part of who you are?

Whatever you gave...I hope it filled you with the joy of giving.

The greatest gift I gave was a part of me, I suppose.  As a creator, I took time to create.  I made things with my photos and I gave that.  It didn't take that much money which was a good thing...it just took time, energy, my good thoughts, my desire to offer something with meaning and my self.  I knew it was the right gifting because it felt right. 

I gave myself to my children...my time, my company, my presence and my love.  What I got in return by giving was the only gift I needed.

What was the greatest gift you received?

Maybe you are catching on to the point of my rant here?  The greatest gift we receive is what we give.  It truly, truly is.  It is not measured by how many gadgets that end up beneath our tree...it is  about how we feel!  When someone receives this "portion of thyself" and they light up.  That's the gift...that smile, that joy, that peace that our giving offers another...is the gift. It fills us with something so very precious.  It doesn't get any better than that!

Giving is receiving!

All is well in my world.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Good News of Great Joy



And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger."  Luke 2: 8-20 (ESV)

What was this child Savior to bring to the world?  He was  to bring lessons of forgiveness, peace and love. ...so that we...the whole world..."all the people" ... could learn to follow in His footsteps and find true joy.






Merry Christmas. Have a blessed and peace-filled holiday.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Being Rich at Christmas


The richest person is the one with a cool mind , free of tension and anxiety.
Sri Swami Satchidananda

Sigh!!! I am realizing just how not rich I am lol.  I awoke at 3 ish and was unable to settle back to sleep...thinking about how unrich I am in the worldly sense...and how stressful that is making this holiday season.  So at this moment I know I am not free of tension and anxiety, therefore I am not rich.  Are you?

How do we get rich?

I am not complaining so much about my financial situation.  I have "enough" to put bread into the stomach and that is all any of us need.  I am able to feed everyone thanks to D.'s contribution into the household.  I have a roof over my head.  I have a vehicle to drive.  I have more than that.  I have more than many.  I don't have a lot for gifts though and as long as I am caught up in this commercialized version of Christmas and listening to ego who says, "Oh!  you have to get more than that for that person.  They will be so disappointed if you don't" which sadly I am, I won't be free of tension and anxiety.  I won't have a cool mind.

How do we get this cool mind? 

Letting go is always the means of getting a cool mind.  We can  let go of tension and anxiety by understanding and letting go of the "thinking" and "believing" that brings it on. This version of
Christmas...is something "ego" created with its notion of "specialness". Do we not all have this running advertisement in our heads: "Show the special people in your  life just how much you care with the purchase of this or that..." ? Is it not time we questioned that?

First of all: How does a "thing" represent something as powerful and permanent as love?  It doesn't.  We love....because that is what we are.  And we are not things

Second of all...Whose "special"?  This whole notion of the "special relationship" comes up again.  Kindness to all is the thing isn't it?  What did good old Santa call out as he and his disgruntled reindeer flew off of the rooftop, "Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!" He didn't pick out a select few names like the lady in Romper Room did, excluding the vast majority. He included all.  lol

More importantly, in the real meaning of Christmas, what is intended by  remembering the birth of Christ: "Peace and joy to the world!"  Not just peace and joy to the people in our families and a few select friends who we want to impress with our thoughtfulness. That is ego!

Not a Grinch.  Really?

I am rationalizing my lack in the gifting department...I actually used to be quite extravagant...I am still caught up in ego's little games even if I do not have the circumstances to allow me to carry it very far...there is no doubt about that.   But I do see and realize what I am doing and I have to question why.

 I want to be rich in the truest sense of the word and that will involve getting rid of ego's hold on me no matter how socially conditioned and expected it is. ...even at Christmas! It will involve replacing tension and anxiety with peace. Imagine floating through the holiday on a cloud of sublime peace and contentment...rather than struggling, fighting one's way through it?

Why wouldn't we want to be rich this Christmas in the truest sense of the word? Even if it means taking all the whistles and gadgets from "Whoville" and learning the true lesson of what Christmas is all about.

That is my sleepless rant for the day.

All is well.


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Bread or flowers

The stomach is crying for a piece of bread; the hair is crying for a bunch of flowers.
-South Indian Proverb

It is Christmas time and many of us here in North America are busy scampering around buying this or that to please our loved ones and ourselves.  We are stressed to the max possibly wondering why we are doing this to ourselves.  Every Christmas I am consumed with that "stressed out"  feeling and if I break it down I see I am feeling a certain pressure to adhere to socially imposed expectations that I choose willingly to adhere to every year; I feel guilt about being so materialistic...buying gifts for people who already have so much while people in the world are starving; I feel worry over the possibility of  offending someone with the wrong gift or the lack of a gift  and about the further debt  all this purchasing puts me in.  I really feel stressed because I know this is not what my soul needs...this is not what Christmas is all about.  This is ego's version of Christmas I am trapped in( willingly) and I don't much like it.

This year is different.  Christmas is only five days away and I have nothing done and I really do not care lol.  I see my past behaviour, ego's demanding expectation for what it is. I don't want to get caught up in its circus anymore.  Besides I have been placed in a wonderful situation circumstance wise where I have no choice but to step away from materialism.  I do not have the means to buy anything much for anyone.  I will take a small loan from D. to buy my children something small and I will make sure that I give to those in need but that's it.  I will use what I have: photographs worth framing, a few chosen words and maybe some dolls made of toilet tissue rolls and pipe cleaners (lol) as tokens of my well wishes and love. That's what gifts are meant to be,  aren't they?  Tokens of our love not garlands for the hair?

The priority is to feed the belly's of those in need.  What would happen, I wonder, if society finally got it right.  And if all we spend on each other, who already have so much, went to feed those who have so little?  If we gave gifts of ourselves to each other rather than things shot out of an assembly line? If we focused more on simply being over the holiday than all this doing in the form of shopping, purchasing? 

Please know...I am not being self righteous.  I am still caught up in all this Christmas stuff.  I have no right to judge anyone!!! I am just saying guilt and worry and pressure are emotions that should never go with this season...any season really. I am  sure I am not the only one who feels uneasy  with ego's version of Christmas. 

Wouldn't it be nice to embrace Spirit's version of Christmas instead...love and peace and joy...nothing else? Just saying ...Wouldn't it be nice if we gave gifts where they were truly needed: the material stuff where there is so little, bread to the empty stomachs and the being there stuff to a society that sometimes forgets the importance of connecting to others, and Self?

I have to work on that in my mind and my life.  This year...I have been given a wonderful, blessed opportunity to do so.

All is well.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Viveka

As the mind, so the person; bondage or liberation are in your mind only.
-Sanskrit saying translated by Satchidananda (Yoga Sutras; 2011)


Viveka is a Sanskrit word that refers to the process of trying  to see and understand the permanent aspect in everything and then to ignore all that is impermanent. Hmmm!

Say what crazy lady?

Connecting the Dots

I was able to connect some more dots today in my reading of  the Sutras, ACIM and the words of my Buddhist mentor Thich Nhat Hanh.  If I had to use one word to sum up that connection it would be Viveka. 

Once we are able to discriminate enough to tell the difference between what is real and what is unreal; what is temporary and what is eternal; what is ego and what is Spirit we will be free of the bondage of all worldly things... will we not?  We will no longer be trapped by illusions. 

Two Gifts; Two Pictures

Chapter 17, Section IV. of A Course in Miracles describes this discrimination beautifully in their description of the "special relationship."  The ego uses the special relationship as it does all its puny gifts to allude us into choosing it over Spirit.  It presents its gift as a picture  in a beautiful frame that draws in our attention and keeps us there. Frames are nothing but a way to present a gift. It is the frame that is beautiful in ego's gift to us, that keeps us there...not the picture.  The picture is dark and fuzzy offering nothing but empty promises but the frame is beautifully jewelled  in its promises to save us from all the awful things this world has to offer. Ego's gift is nothingness offered in a frame of worldly promises.  Take the picture out of the frame...and what do you have as a gift from ego?  Nothing.  Ego's gifts (all things external) are temporary and impermanent. 

Spirit, God, Life, Truth....however you want to look at it...offers a gift too in the form of a picture.  The frame it comes in is plain and ordinary....not worth considering too much ...worthy of  being ignored for anything but its ability to present the picture to us.  We call the frame... "time".   It is the picture within it that is worthy of our attention. If we take time to look at the picture we will be mesmerized by its beauty.  It is full of light and promises that are already fulfilled.  It is eternity we see. It is Truth. Spirit's gift is always permanent and real. If we take that gift from the frame...it will shine even more!

Discriminating Between Real and Unreal, Impermanent and Eternal

If according to the Sutras, we were to liberate the Purusa or True Self from its bondage with nature ( all external things like circumstances, bodily sensations, emotions, thoughts, the  mind and the body which form picture frames around who we are)...we would be free. We reach freedom through the mind's ability to tell the difference between what is real and what is unreal; what is permanent and what is impermanent. Only the True Self...Spirit...Truth...is permanent.  Does that make sense to you?
We need to remember two things:
  1. Every experience in the world is mental. To change our experiences, we change our minds.What we put our minds on we "experience". In order not to experience something we need to remove our mental attachment from it.  One simple way of doing that is by objectifying the experience.  If you are feeling pain, for example.  Instead of saying..."I am unwell.  I hurt."  Ask yourself this question.  "Who is hurting? " It is not the True Self that is hurting.  It is not the picture within the frame.  The True Self just witnesses and observes your body having pain.  Ask then: "Who knows the body is having pain?" When you analyze the pain as something objective...it will diminish its hold on you or go away because you lose your attachment to it.
  2. Truth never changes, though the form (or frame) it is presented  in may change. Satchidinanda offers this analogy.  A tree dies to become a log, a log is cut up to become planks; planks are carved into a chair; the chair may be later cut up to become firewood and the firewood may be burnt into ash.  Several frames were put around the real picture throughout the physical  changes.  The tree's essence, however,  never changes or goes away regardless of what happens to the physical form. If we really knew that, wouldn't we be free of suffering...knowing that we cannot destroy the picture, no matter what we do to the frame?  We really do not lose anything. 
Seeking the picture that is real and eternal within the frame; seeking the truth over the illusion offered by ever-changing physicality is the process that will free us. Finding the True Self is the answer, is it not?

Thich Nhat Hanh in peace is every breath (2011; page 37) shares these beautiful words in a Gatha recited to bring us back to the Island of our true self.

I am water reflecting what is real, what is true;
And I feel there is pure space inside of me.
I am free.
 
How freeing is that?
 
All is well in my world

 
 
References
 
Foundations for inner Peace. (2007). A Course in Miracles. Combined Volume. Third Edition. Mill Valley: Foundations for Inner Peace.
Sri Swami Satchidananda (2012) The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Yogaville: Integral Yoga Publications
Thich Nhat Hanh ( 2011) peace is every breath. New York: HarperOne

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Opening the Gates


Health is a state of complete harmony of the mind, body and spirit. When one is free of physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open.
-B.K.S. Iyengar

And how do we get free of mental distractions and physical disabilities?

We free ourselves when we realize that we are not our bodies or our minds, as taught in the Yoga Sutras.

Learning from chest pain

I broke up the wonderful little routine I had going on to come here this morning.  Was cutting down to  only 2-3 times a week...but waking up with chest pain curtailed my yoga and instead of meditating/reading I found myself with my tea...here.

I needed something from this place.  Company? It is funny...I don't like to talk to people about my physical symptoms...don't want to talk about illness at all really...but when I feel it, observe it, identify with it...I don't want to be alone either.  So I come here...just to sit for a while until the symptoms go away or I get myself up over the mental hump of anxiety and /or frustration they bring about.  Today it is more frustration because I have to go into work and I cannot go until this baby calms down.  :) sigh.....lol

It is all good. I can use this old mind of my mind to think my way up and through it.  It is so cool actually to get to this one point in a lifetime, in a growth process...where we truly see that we are not our body...just an observer of it.  I think we know we are growing when we can look at this situation and instead of saying..."I am sick; I am not well."...we  say, "My body is acting up...there is chest pain at this moment." Just playing with the pronouns and the descriptors changes the whole thought process in the mind, doesn't it?

"I" am not sick..my body is simply not performing at its best.  There is just a miscommunication between mind and body.   It is not me....not the True Self... that is malfunctioning because I am not my body or my mind. I am simply observing it.

How freeing that is to be able to say that, think that and believe that! That is true healing, is it not?

Shhh!  The gates have opened and the baby is finally falling to sleep.  I want to get going before it wakes up again.  :)

All is well in my world.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Passing Show and Walking on Snow. :)

All life is a passing show...When we just allow things to pass, we are free. Things will just come and go while we retain our peace.
Sri Swami Satchidananda; 2012, (page 99-100) 





Snowy Path

You place a foot down on the path
that stretches endlessly before you,
leaving the first imprint
in the perfect white snow.

Pure and pristine,
the trail before you is inviting.
All mistakes,
all things once seen as
lost,  broken and sinful
are gone.
They are covered by the blanket of
understanding and forgiveness,
left by the magic of a winter night.

It is time to start fresh... anew.

The morning sun shines down on you
through a canopy of snow capped branches.
You feel its warmth penetrating
the aging skin on your face...
to the core of who you really are.
Its light casts soft golden  beams
down on the earth before you,
showing you the way.
You breathe
as if for the first time.
You  are so aware of your breath,
the Life Force,

the essence of everything
as the  cool waves  flow in and out,
forever connecting the ocean of life
with the shore.
Nothing else matters.


You are alive.

A  choir of  feathered angels
sing from the treetops,
echoing your joy
as you move forward
into His arms.
There you will find
what you have been seeking
...the only peace there ever was
and there will ever be.
Dale-Lyn 2014
I often have such precious  moments , as above, during some very challenging external circumstances, this one involving unfair and unjust decisions based on assumption and accusation.  These decisions  seem to leave me even more incapacitated physically and financially... But... an amazing thing happens each and every time.  I find a mental strength and a spiritual strength to see me through...taking me to a higher ground.
I was reminded of this  today after reading Sutra 18, in book II of The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali which speaks about the nature of nature (in yogic terms "nature" is all that is outside the Purusa or True Self, including circumstance, things, mind, senses, intellect and the body). The purpose of this nature according to Patanjali is to free us from our attachment and bondage to worldly things.  When things do not go the way we want them to...when we lose or suffer...we are often led back to what really matters...who we really are.   We are freed. 
 Nature is here to give you experience and, ultimately, to liberate you from its bondage. (Satchidananda: 2012; pg 98)
We are not really losing.  And as the Course says,  (Yep!  I do a lot of reading and connecting the dots in my healing mornings :)) there is no such thing as victimization or sacrifice ( loss).
...Sacrifice is nowhere and love is everywhere.(ACIM; chapter 15: XI:7:5)
We are just growing, expanding and moving forward toward the Ultimate with the help of our life circumstances ( nature).  There is a wonderful little Gatha in peace is every breath, that Thich Nhat Hanh uses as a suggestion for a walking meditation. I wonder if I thought of those words as I walked on snow that morning.
 
I have arrived, I am home
In the here, in the now.
I am solid, I am free.
in the Ultimate, I dwell.
(Thich Nhat Hanh; 2011; pg 30)
 
How cool is that?
 
All is well in my world.
 
References
 
Foundations for inner Peace. (2007). A Course in Miracles. Combined Volume. Third Edition. Mill Valley: Foundations for Inner Peace.
Sri Swami Satchidananda (2012) The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Yogaville: Integral Yoga Publications
Thich Nhat Hanh ( 2011) peace is every breath. New York: HarperOne


Monday, December 11, 2017

Be Open to Belief in Life After Death

I know absolutely nothing,
so I am open to believe
absolutely everything.
-me
 
 
 


Do you believe in life after death?
 
You may answer yes to that.  If I asked you if you knew there was life after death, could you answer in the same way? There is a difference between knowing and believing.
 
I don't know there is life after death but I certainly believe it.  I believe there is more than this reality I am living in now...that there is much more about us than the body and mind I am using now.  I believe in God...maybe not in the same way I was brought up to believe but I believe there is God. (I now remove the "a", the He or She in my mind if I do not in my verbal description).  I believe we are all here for a reason...not randomly formed piles of dust, victims to random external chaos with an undefined expiration date. I believe.
 
A Desire to Believe may not lead to Truth
 
Yet, I have a very scientific, questioning mind.  Belief doesn't sustain me because I fear it is my wanting to believe rather than true evidence and validation...even the inner kind...that is guiding me. Wanting to believe in something can create fantasy, illusion and delusion in our minds. It can steer us away from Truth.  Isn't that how we got into this mess with ego in the first place.?  :) I do not know about you, but I want Truth.  
 
I want to know. And I would like to know without learning the hard way lol.  I want to know that what I am feeling inside is real...that this life long search to the Ultimate reality is the path we all should be on.  I believe it is.  I even "feel" it is but do I know that without doubt?  No. 
 
Practice and Experience  Beyond Belief
 
So what do I do?  I investigate.  I research.  I read. I listen.  I experiment,  I practice and then I go inside to see how it all "feels."  I have to experience it! Knowledge...true knowledge ...can only come from experience.  "Without experience we cannot understand or learn anything."(Satchinanda, 2011). 
 
What is belief then but a " gut feeling" that something is the way it is. If it feels right to the gut, to intuition or to what is called "instinct" in the animal kingdom is that knowledge? Yogi's would go onto say that all instinct and intuition is,  is  a remembering of something we learned  from another life time. (Satchidinanda, 2011, page 87) What we seem to instinctually and intuitively know now  is simply the learning  we remember from another birth. Say if there is something you just "feel" you "know" to be true but you have no evidence for it...is that knowledge? Could it be that you investigated, researched, read, listened, experimented and practiced this something in another life time until it "felt" like Truth?
 
Look at those musical prodigy's that for some physical reason are  unable to add six plus four but when they are put in front of a piano they play complicated classical pieces with such eloquent ease.  They cannot master simple math but they master the keys  without thought.  How? It is instinctual to them...they are guided by intuition...they are guided by repeated practice in another life.  Of course to believe that you have to believe in reincarnation.  If you do believe in it....do you know it to be true?
 
Do you know that?
 
No...but I am at least open to believe it is possible.  When we realize we do not know anything we become more open to believe.  When we are open to believe...we begin to investigate, research and practice.  We believe. We seek the Truth to determine if that belief is sustainable and when we find it is, we have knowledge.  We know.  Isn't that  cool?
 
Have an open mind.
 
In order to know we must first admit we don't know and from there we open ourselves to all the possibilities out there...testing and experiencing, learning, growing, expanding.  (Possibly not just in this life time but all the lifetimes to come.)
 
An example
 
To test my belief in life after death I began to explore mediumship.  I wanted to learn all I could about it.  I do not know if it is real or unreal.  Is it actually a connection with Spirit or is it purely mentalism and showmanship? I believe it could very well be our link with the Truth on the other side...but I don't know that.  If I closed my mind completely to it...I would never find out, would I?  If I open up to it...it could be the link that takes me where I wish to go...to true understanding. So I read, I listened, and I experienced it.
 
Despite my reluctance to have D. pay for things for me (other than half of our costs of living)...I did allow him to take me to see a Medium's presentation which just happened to fall on the day between the anniversary of my father's and sister's death.  I thought well...if there is such thing as serendipity...that would have to be it, right?
 
We sat in the back...not because I was overly skeptical ... we might have come off that way...but I just wanted to witness, to see it, to feel the "truth" in it so I could go to believing and from believing to knowing that I am on the right path of understanding.  (Otherwise I fear that I am just crazier than a bag of hammers).  I wasn't challenging the medium and mediumship, I was simply challenging a belief. I was looking for validation, not so much from my loved ones, but from the Universe Itself....that we go on.
 
I cannot say I found Truth and knowledge there...but I can't say it wasn't there either.  What I did find was a room full of people needing so desperately to believe in something bigger than themselves.  I found people, like me, wanting to believe...and that both fascinated me and scared me.  It fascinated me because I thought...wow!  The world is waking up.  I am not alone.  And it scared me...because I thought of the psychology behind it.  Desperate desires to believe can lead to fantasy and illusion to numb from suffering with .  If this isn't real...than we are going to end up with a lot more psychotic people in the world with me amongst them.
 
Many of the people around me became believers after our experience.  I felt so glad for them.  So many found peace...could feel it in the room...as they got the closure they needed...and I felt glad for them.  I soaked up that peace. I even found myself wanting to believe that my father was coming through by one of her descriptions when I or the medium herself were doubtful ( could tell by her reaction to my wildly wagging arm to get her attention) . I got drawn in by the wanting to believe that filled the room.  I realized what I was doing almost instantaneously.
 
I walked away with more questions than answers but that's okay. The experience made me examine and question my own path away from what I knew.  It is helping me to grow.
 
I will examine this issue of mediumship in more detail at a later date, okay? It is so fascinating.
 
What I really intended to say was that...we need to keep our minds open to the possibility of anything because we know nothing for sure, do we?  If a belief brings peace, like it did to so many in that room, it can't be all bad can it? And what if?  What if mediums truly are the guiding link between us and life after death?  Would it not be something worthy of exploring? 
 
Yet you could heal and be healed if you did question it.  And even though you know not Heaven, might it be more desirable than death? You have been as selective in your questioning as in your perception. An open mind is more honest than this. (ACIM:Chapter 13: IV:3:5-8)
 
Know that you know so little and have an open mind to foster belief, experience and knowing.
 
 
All is well in my world!
 
 
References:
 
Foundations for Inner Peace (2007) A Course in Miracles: Combine Volume; Third Edition. Mill Valley: Foundations for Inner Peace
 
Sri Swami Satchidinanda ( 2011) The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Yogaville: Integral Yoga Publications