It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us.
You can see the way in which almost all of the spiritual practices are designed to bring you into the moment. Like when you’re doing Tai Chi, at first you’re thinking about it, but after a while each movement is a fixed moment in which you are right where that moment is. In a way, when Tai Chi is working, you die into it, and then the moment is just the movement of the hand at that point.
The phrase "personal reality" has a range of meanings, and most people would begin with their situation, the place where they find themselves. There's a natural impulse to improve the situation, whatever it happens to be. If your situation lacks enough money, satisfying work, a loving relationship, and so on, it will improve your personal reality to work on those things. That's about as far as society tells us we can go. On a larger scale, one person can make a minuscule difference by casting a vote for President or deciding to recycle, but big or small, personal reality has a big outer component, consisting of the external world, other people, natural forces, and so on.
Past, present, and future are all here – you just have the illusion of going through time and going through incarnation, but when you are fully awakened out of that, you realize that it was here all the time, all of it was here, and the fact that you think you’re on a time trail is just within your mind.
Background: In some Buddhist traditions, the monks take part in a practice that would appear odd and repulsive to many: meditation on a corpse. The reasons behind what may seem like macabre behavior are two-fold: 1) to overcome one’s aversion to death and the loss of the physical body; and 2) to realize that the external aspects of the physical form are not who we truly are. It apparently has a powerful affect on the monks who practice it.
At the end of January, I flew cross-country for a spiritual gathering in California. On the six-hour flight, for some reason I suddenly remembered that Buddhist practice and thought that perhaps my strong aversion to Donald Trump would make a good focus for a similar meditation (picturing him alive, not dead!). I closed my eyes and began. I didn’t feel much of anything for a while, but then slowly a softening began to occur within me as I pictured his face—a movement to a greater non-reactiveness. A remembrance that beneath every physical form there is a soul. These weren’t conscious insights—more like an opening of a closed door within.
As you study the way in which your mind works, the way in which a concentrated mind deals with the world, as opposed to a diffused mind, then you see the way in which this lack of being able to be at the office when you’re at the office, or at home when you’re at home, reduces your effectiveness in each of them.
The more we trust that our awareness and heart are awakening, the more we find ease, grace and true empowerment in our lives. This talk explores two pathways of deepening our sense of belonging and trust: direct presence with the pain of separation, and turning toward the loving presence that is increasingly manifesting through these human forms.
The issue of integrity was haunting me. The issue of living my life in a way that doesn’t acknowledge what I know. I am part of the small percentage of the universe, of this world, of the 7 billion people of this world, that uses an inordinately large amount of resources. I am part of the wealthy, middle-class of America. I’m not wealthy, but by standards of the world, I’m wealthy, so I have to struggle with a question, really the issue of suffering.
Today I woke up and thought – hmmm what wisdom can I tap into to share in my weekly blog? Usually I find it pretty easy to talk about something relevant by tuning into the collective but after frying myself in the crazy energy lately, I knew I had to temporarily close up the connection for repairs.
All of these practices that alter consciousness and open the heart and quiet the mind – all the meditative practices, all the ways of serving as a yoga to awaken, the karma yoga that I do… All of that stuff, all of it slowly, slowly starts to establish you in the part of your awareness where things are not separate from one another, where they’re interdependent and they’re not separate. That’s the level of consciousness from which ecological sensitivity arises, by the way, if you’re asking where humans could be ecologically conscious.
Science has been falsely portrayed as the enemy of spirituality, largely because of a noisy band of militant atheists who also happen to be scientists. Their outcry that to believe in God is irrational and therefore anti-scientific misses the point. Not all scientists are irreligious, but the whole premise of this militant group is faulty. They don't just disbelieve in God; they disbelieve in the entire domain of subjectivity. What happens “in here" is unscientific, they say, a preposterous claim given that the works of Shakespeare and Mozart emerged from the inner world, along with all sensations, feelings, and thoughts.
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