Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Beginning of the End of Suffering

The integration of consciousness is a result of having achieved balance within the bodies. Each body must be in alignment with the next: the physical with the etheric (vibrational), with the emotional, with the mental, and finally with the spiritual. In order for each to come into harmony with the next, all must be under the auspices and guidance of the higher self. If the higher self is not operational or only operational some of the time, then any of the bodies may act out, like children who feel they have free range and can run wild when their parents go away for a few hours.

An individual must make a conscious choice: the choice to follow the personality and ego mind, or the choice to follow the higher self. The higher self exists without duality; it does not split. It is connected to, and is, Oneness. There is no question. There is no indulgence in lower emotions. There is no over-riding the body. This aspect of your consciousness is always ready to serve you. It awaits your conscious choice to empower it, and then it steadfastly, swiftly, and impeccably acts on your behalf. The higher self acts as a loving parent whose only interest is to love the child and to always act in the child’s best interest.

When you experience synergistic, harmonious energy, the higher self is at work. Most people have a hit or miss experience of the higher self because they have not consciously chosen to surrender to its guidance all of the time. Having succeeded in aligning with it once in a while, we are given the experience of alignment, synergy, and harmony, so we know that this level does exist.  Inner spiritual training can teach us how to find this alignment and stay there. This is the beginning of the end of suffering. As you develop this alignment over time, inner conflict begins to melt away, questions are resolved, and abiding trust takes the place of self-indulgent behaviors. The polarities begin to settle into Oneness.

There are five simple steps to begin the end of internal suffering:

1.       Commit to a daily meditation practice of at least 20 to 30 minutes.

2.      Learn how to do deep, yogic breathing called The Golden Circle Breath.   
The Golden Circle Breath can be done in an upright, seated position, with the spine erect, or can be done lying down. Inhale through the nose, drawing the breath in slowly. Contract the back of the throat slightly, making an “ahhhhh” sound as you draw the breath in. The mouth remains closed in meditation. As the air passes over the windpipe, it sounds like a tire being inflated. By contracting the back of the throat, the air flow can be regulated, thereby allowing the inhalation and exhalation to be prolonged. Continue with long, slow inhalations. Let the abdomen relax and expand as you inhale and receive the breath. Exhale slowly to fully empty your lungs. Control the flow of the breath. Naturally and gradually, as you relax into the breath, the breath will start to “breathe itself.”

3.     During meditation, promise yourself to bring your attention back to the sound and sensation of the breath each time you see your mind wandering.

4.     As you “witness” or watch yourself from within, make no judgments; simply observe what arises and continue to go back to the breath.

5.     Drop any expectations of what a successful meditation looks like. Be grateful for the mini-victory of simply being willing to sit with yourself for a few minutes each day.

This may sound too simple to effect any real change, but with time and commitment, you are allowing your higher self to be front and center each day. You are thereby giving yourself the opportunity to change your habitual reactions to the irritations that arise daily, simply by doing nothing other than sitting and breathing consciously. This is entry training to inner development and the beginning of the end of suffering.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Power of the Choiceless Choice

Sacrifice is not something that you can draw up through thinking and planning. It is not giving up something like, “I want to go on a 28-day cleanse so I’m going to stop sugar and dairy.” That is not a sacrifice; that is a cleanse.

Sacrifice happens when you are called upon by Spirit to do something, and you have other plans, and you say, “Yes.” That is sacrifice. But make no mistake; this is not a powerless place. Even though it may not seem to be your choice, it is your choice to be willing and to surrender. In that choiceless choice is the power, so when the sacrifice comes, we know that it was not forced on us by outside circumstances or people; we said we would, and when we were called upon, we did what we said we would do.

So many people feel powerless in life. They feel they did not have a choice, but that a decision was made for them. But that is part of the bargain, too. In life, part of your contract for being here is that you be responsible. So if you abdicate that responsibility, that is a choice that you are making and the decision will be made for you. You have actually made it yourself, but victim consciousness will say, “I didn’t choose this.”

If you trust love and you remember in every moment that you made the decision to be here, to be a Soul coming to this dimension, you will never be powerless. You will always be able to unify with God, and you will always be able to know that you are surrendering to God’s will. And because God’s will is your will, that is you unifying with God and that is your power. Victim consciousness makes one feel helpless, hopeless, and powerless, and it takes one out of the equation of co-creating with the Creator and with the Creatress, Life.

Caring for my mother at the end of her life was a responsibility. I felt the weight of that responsibility, of course. But it was something I chose, and therefore, I felt it forging me; I felt it changing me. I felt it working on me and giving me everything.

Those who take responsibility are fewer than those who do not. Those who do not take responsibility may not know how powerful they are, and they may not know how much their help is needed. They may not know how all the resources they need to fulfill their help, will be there when they need it. They may not know that, and some may not want that because they want to be responsible only to themselves and to nothing else.

But at some point the Soul calls us forward through our Soulful nature, which is love. Our Soul keeps asking us to remember love, over and over and over again. We keep asking to receive love, and we keep asking to give ourselves to love in many, many different ways, shapes, and forms.

If we do not succeed, we get to try over and over again until we begin to understand the nature of love. And then, we see, “Oh, if I want understanding, I must be the one to understand. I want love, so I must be the one to give love.” We see that we must embody and be that which we want. Through sacrifice and commitment, you enter the great Cycle of Grace and everything returns to you. It probably will not come to you right in that moment, but in time it comes back to you tenfold. In the course of long life, you begin to move and feel the Cycle of Grace and slowly begin to understand why we make a sacrifice and why we choose to take on responsibility on behalf of other people.

And if you ask, “Why me—why do I always have to be the one who is responsible,” you should know that right there is the blessing. It is just the opposite of the way it looks. The one who has more responsibility is the one who gets blessed. Everybody is blessed, no matter what they do or do not do. We are all equally blessed. But when we agree to take on more, we are really receiving more. It may not be apparent to us, but somewhere inside we are allowing ourselves to be forged by giving more. Just by that act of giving more, we are being changed inside. We may resist it, but something is absolutely happening that is a very, very good thing for us.

When you let love in, you let a lot in. We had four dogs, now we have three, and everyday my heart cracks open with Buttercup and Bear because they are getting a little bit older.  People tell me, “I’m never having an animal again. I can’t go through that.” But you know, that is life, and when we love, implicit in that love is loss. It is built into it.

When Mary was here, some friends asked us, “Shouldn’t she be in a home? It’s so hard on you guys—you’re giving up your lives.” Just recently their adult daughter was stricken with a devastating disease, and now they have left their home and their whole lives to take care of her indefinitely. “As long as she needs us, we’re going to stick by her.” So you see how much love there is and what love does?

We absolutely never know how long something is going to last, how long we are going to be with someone, or how long our life is going to look the way we want it to look. When the universe moves through us in these ways, there are adjustments being made, and sometimes those adjustments have to be made because we cannot make them ourselves. Nonetheless, they need to be made, and those adjustments are good adjustments.