spirituality

How To Practice Being Yourself

NatureIt is easy to believe a spiritual practice will help you feel better. But from my experience, spiritual practice necessarily cannot concern how you feel.

Today I remember that sometimes I will not feel like engaging in the sadhana which is set before me. Yet, each day I do it. Sometimes I am sleepy, sometimes I feel listless. I experience the practice with those feelings. Some days I am motivated, some days peaceful, and I experience the practice with those feelings too.

A spiritual practice gives clarity to the inner world of emotion through its consistency among the fluctuating and fleeting nature of feelings. It shows up emotions for what they truly are: not you. Anything changing cannot be you, rather you are here experiencing change. Doing the same spiritual practice each day gently lays the ephemeral at the feet of the unchanging consciousness that you are, lets you gaze upon it, and do with it what you will.

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Inspiration

“There is no situation to which miracles do not apply,” ACIM

NatureThe only time a miracle can occur is now. Past and future occur as thoughts, and miracles are not the result of thinking. Stay in this moment, it is the place where all new things are born. And when your mind begins to drag you along on a habitual train of thought, remind yourself why the now is worth it and watch for the miracle.

 

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Life

Uncertainty or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Now

HutRecently life has felt like one big question mark.  Instead of providing answers, life is providing me with more and more uncertainty.  While Eckhart Tolle would describe such a circumstance as space being created for something new, it feels more like I’m venturing into the woods at night without a flashlight.

The space being created is easily filled with thoughts of worry, doubt, and “what if” scenarios.  I keep asking myself what I can do to make each situation turn out favorably for me.  But whatever I do will only be half of the equation, the other half is made up of howI do whatever it is I choose to do.  Am I acting out of conscious awareness or out of fear?  Am I making choices based on my worries or from a place of trust?

Of course if I waited to act in life until I wasn’t afraid I probably wouldn’t make it past my front door in the morning, but there is another way for action to be in alignment with positive energy.  We can do this by first recognizing fear for what it is, a pattern of thought in the mind that translates to emotion in the body, and back to thoughts again.  There is nothing wrong with this being in your sphere of attention as long as it is noticed and not completely bought into.  The more you buy into it, the more suffering you experience.

Once the fear based thought and emotion pattern is seen from the light of your awareness you can choose not to buy into it, and instead choose to know that in reality each step you take is exactly what you need to experience at this moment. You can decide to live in each moment as if you had chosen it.

Know deep within, beyond thought, that each decision is leading you towards the highest aspirations of your being.  In this way the energy behind your actions is that of consciousness itself, and all that fear stuff is just hanging out to enjoy the scenery.  The time for fruitful action is always now, could there be any other?

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consciousness

The Story Of Your Life

The ProphetIn the center of fear, unhappiness, uncertainty, or grief there is a witness.  There is a silent space, so imperceptible that no molecule of pain can penetrate it.

In this space, the witness is you.  You’re in a soft comfortable chair, smiling, as you read a book entitled, “The Story of My Life.”  Even though you haven’t finished it yet, you aren’t worried.  You know that in the end, you turn out just fine.  After all, you are sitting there with the finished copy in your hands, knowing you end up completely whole.

In the thick of turmoil the mind may think it is unnatural to be at peace or to feel gratitude.  But there is nothing more natural, nothing more true, because that peace is you, and you are the truth: you, the silent smiling witness to the adventure of a life in the midst of being lived.

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Life

There And Back Again

The AlchemistI’m back and gone all in an instant!  I recently returned home from a soul-soothing trip to Florida, only to embark tomorrow on a ten-day adventure in Israel.

While on the outside this might not look like the “right” time to travel to the Middle East, the opportunity is before me and I’ve accepted.  Most of life’s big leaps never have a “right” time, and waiting can turn into the ultimate comfort zone.  So instead of looking around outside of you to discern the precise moment to take action, take a look within.

In the eternal present of your inner life everything has already unfolded in a manner befitting the perfect organization of the universe that enabled your life to manifest.  If your mind is like mine, decision-making can be an agonizing process.  But beyond the mind, when you inhabit the space of the witness of your being, there are no decisions to be made.  There is only the pure potential for perfect action.

The ultimate security, in a world of unstable forms, is inner security.  Get to know the silence within. Sit back and get really comfortable in the resting place of your being.  From that vantage point the roller coaster of life has a visible track, you are strapped in tight, and each drop and turn is met with enjoyment.

Enjoy your next ten days, please keep me updated on what lessons life is giving you in the comments, and I’ll talk to you soon with quite a tale to tell.

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spirituality

Note To Self

Tao of Pooh

When I find myself waiting for the present moment to be a certain way I think of all of the wisdom teachers throughout history in their infinite peace and joy.  I remember that the moment in which they experienced the profundity of existence in such magnitude is the exact same moment I am experiencing right now.  They are all pointing us toward the present, which regardless of form is the birthplace of all enlightenment, if only you let it be.

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Ego

How We Unconsciously Open The Door For The Ego

Divided Whether self-deprecating or self-inflating the mind loves to attach itself to thoughts of “who you are.”  Temporary satisfaction comes with any type of ego inflation, any instance of identification with thoughts about yourself.  The ego can manifest through identification with physical things, situations, and thought forms.

I first heard this explained by Eckhart Tolle and my own experience verifies it again and again.  Yesterday’s post was a great example of how my ego gained strength through identifying with the situation of not having internet access or TV.

Attaching your identity to a thought about yourself, whether it is good or bad, gives rise to the ego.  The good or bad thoughts are not the reality of your being, of your consciousness.

What happens when you compare yourself to another?  How does it feel?

By Peter Spero

By Peter Spero

My loving and talented older brother is a very disciplined and motivated jazz pianist.  I love him and I love his success, for any success is a victory for us all.  I myself have never had a clear path, the motivation to move in a specific direction, or the discipline that would allow me to do so.  All of these things are of course attainable but if I compare my journey to that of my brother’s, I will inevitably give rise to the ego.

All comparison is a doorway in which the ego will enter.  I could inflate my ego by creating an identity of being lost and without direction, or I could go the other way and inflate my ego by identifying with my association with, and the successes of, my brother.  It really doesn’t matter to the ego, which thoughts I choose to identify with, as long as I buy into the identification.

Is there a way out?  How do you disinvite the ego when it has already come in the front door and is seated firmly at the center of your attention?

The way out is to notice the thoughts, and recognize rising identification with thought.  Another brilliant lesson from Tolle is that the moment of seeing is the beginning of the end of the ego.  All that is required is your presence.

The moment you gaze upon an instance of identification with thought, you have stepped out of the ego and into your true self.  And from there you need not create new identification, because you are already in the midst of your greatest power, the present moment.  In the light of the present the highest potential of your being has space in which to arise, to guide your life, and to manifest unimaginable and beautiful dreams.  Instead of seeking to create yourself through identification, you can now sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.

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