Showing posts from 2009

Knowledge of Immortality

I know there is a universal Spirit of which my own awareness is an integral part. I know this Spirit consists of joy and love. I know these things because I also know my body must die and dissolve, and that part of my consciousness that depends upon support from the physical body must pass away.‏
Knowing my physical mortality allows me to accept the inevitability of physical death and move past it.  It is insane to fear the inevitable.  Still, even calm acceptance of mortality is far from the exuberance of joy and love. If physical existence were all we had, then the sure knowledge that life is limited would be sobering, if not saddening. 
Yet in meditation, and any time that I sense my connection with Spirit, joy and love are all that I feel.  These cannot have their source in the body or the mind that depends upon it. They can only emanate from a Source that is eternal, omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent.  That Source is Spirit, God, Life, or Oneness . . . I am, the unnamable.  M…

The God In You, the God In Me: Love Without Attachment

Focus on Spirit

Place your entire attention on Spirit, and no harm can come to you.
Have you ever noticed that when you are completely absorbed in a thought or an activity, other concerns disappear?  The egoic mind uses this phenomenon to distract us from Spirit.  However, you can turn the tactic around by concentrating on Spirit.  When you do, all worldly fear, pain, and distress vanish.  The bliss that is found in meditation is like a light banishing the darkness.  Mind, body, and soul become attuned to the harmony of the Universe, which naturally expels negative thoughts and attitudes, and the physical and mental ills that they produce.

Banishing Fear and Insecurity

Some people live closely guarded lives, fearful of encountering someone or something that might shatter their insecure spiritual foundation. This attitude, however, is not the fault of religion but of their own limited understanding. True Dharma leads in exactly the opposite direction. It enables one to integrate all the many diverse experiences of life into a meaningful and coherent whole, thereby banishing fear and insecurity completely.
- Lama Thubten Yeshe, "Wisdom Energy"

Defining Prosperity

If you define prosperity as having everything ego wants, you can never be prosperous.  If you define it as having what Spirit needs, you are likely to find you are prosperous already.


Equanimity and mindfulness go hand in hand.  The person who is totally aware of his environment but unable to view it with detachment may go insane.  But equanimity without mindfulness may be no more than avoidance and denial.

By practicing both mindfulness and equanimity, you are able to face your fears and demonstrate that they have no power over you.  You can experience chaotic conditions and view the panicked reactions of others without being infected by that virus yourself, enabling you to deal calmly and successfully with the situation. You can enter into unfamiliar surroundings in full confidence that you will be able to handle anything you encounter. You can refuse to take on other people's problems as if they were your own, and compassionately allow solutions to emerge naturally. You can distinguish between situations requiring action and those that are purely ego-generated distractions. Anxiety fades as you rest in the awareness that you and all beings are perfect and inv…


Illness is not a demon to be cast out, but a misperception to be lovingly corrected; a darkness to be gently illuminated; an emptiness to be filled with gratitude and Grace.

Love and Self-Love Redux

Some time ago I blogged that Selfless Love Is Self-Love. Yesterday I tweeted that "You cannot love yourself unless you realize that there is no self." Both postings attempt to describe the same truths, but the tweet seems to call for some more explanation.
On the level of human relationships, it is a truism that you cannot fully love another if you are unable to love yourself. People who have not come to terms with their demons and accepted themselves as perfect children of God will prefer to crtiticize and stand off from others, rather than embracing their humanity along with their innate divinity. In the realm of spirituality you must identify and worship the God within yourself in order to be able to see and revere the same animating spirit in other beings. In both realms, as long as you hold back from loving yourself you may experience a sensation that you think is love for others, but is really simply attachment born of insecurity, a felt need to supply from extern…

Complementing Meditation with Mindfulness

In the realm of spirituality, Truth is evident to the self-realized individual. For the rest of us, however, the quest for Truth sometimes seems to be a multiple-choice test in which every question has several equally appealing answers. Of course each of us wants to encourage within ourselves thoughts and actions that will guide our footsteps along the way of Truth. But how are we to know which of the infinitely branching paths before us will take us in that direction?

As I blogged yesterday, meditation is one tool we can employ to help us make choices that are consistent with our highest aspirations. However, we can't always take time out to meditate over every decision that life presents us with. Fortunately, we can complement our meditation practice with other practices that are equally conducive to "right action".

The main complement to meditation is mindfulness. Mindfulness is awareness; awareness of one's surroundings, including one's physical body, of the th…

Where Does This Stuff Come From?

If you asked me where my blog postings come from, I would be hard pressed to give you a satisfying answer. Usually I will have been turning over in my mind some everyday problem or situation that I have faced, or observed in someone close to me. These tend to be issues involving social interactions, the give and take among individuals. I put myself in the place of a student asking a question of his Teacher: What is the right action in this situation? Not "right" in a moral sense, but "right" as the Buddha used the term -- What action will lessen suffering, and bring me closer to the dharma? A Christian might ask the very same question this way: "What would Jesus do?" (I do not consider myself either a Buddhist or a Christian, nor do I identify with any particular set of religious beliefs, believing rather that what is true in any of them arises from a single source and is the same in all.)

I know that when I have formulated a question like this, and then s…

Is Life Bittersweet?

A friend recently commented that “life is so bittersweet.” This friend rarely makes such observations casually, so I know it followed some period of reflection on his part. So I had to reflect on whether I agreed with his statement.
Of course everyone experiences moments of joy and moments of sadness in the course of a lifetime. Life taken as a whole has its times of sweetness and of bitterness. But the idea that life itself is bittersweet means more than that. Most of us would think of a bittersweet moment as one in which happiness and sadness are felt simultaneously, and probably from the same cause.
Transitions are often experienced as bittersweet. The passing of an aged relative or good friend causes grief mingled with the reliving of happy times spent with that person. A new job may present an invigorating challenge and the optimism of a fresh start, along with regret for friends left behind, or doors of opportunity left unopened.
We are always at choice in life, even if we are not…

Let Every Thought Include a Blessing

Never forget that mind is a tool to be used lovingly. If you do not use it lovingly, then ego will use mind for its own purposes. There is no time of day or night - whether you are working, meditating or playing, interacting with others or alone, that your experience cannot include love. One way to accomplish this is to let every thought include a blessing. If you are thinking of another person or group of people, bless that person or group. It does not matter whether these people are close to you, think kindly of you, or even know you. It is your own role in bringing love into manifestation that concerns you. If you think of an animal or an inanimate object, bless that also. If your thoughts are abstract and metaphysical, bless those concepts that flow through your consciousness. You may find yourself blessing people whose actions seem the very antithesis of love; or ideas that seem dangerous and evil. You may bless diseases and unhealthy spiritual conditions. Your goal is not…

self awoke

self awoke in darkness,
troubled and alone.
to emptiness spoke desperately,
"make me better!"
silence followed.
from which Self replied,
"you are."

We Are At Choice

Every moment of our lives we are at choice. Mindfulness is essential not only to making right choices, but even to being aware that choice is possible.

Here are some of the fundamental choices we cannot avoid making in our everyday lives --

The choice between acting (or not acting) out of love or out of indifferenceThe choice between giving our best effort, or doing just enough to get byThe choice between cherishing our bodies as temples of Spirit, or trashing them The choice between generosity and miserlinessThe choice between faith and fearThe choice between teamwork and competitionThe choice between openness and isolationThe choice between compassion and hatredThe choice between Spirit and ego
The choice between awareness and denial The choice between Oneness and separationThe choice between mindfulness and unconsciousnessEven saints are human and don't make every choice in the way that brings them closer to Spirit. All that we can ask of ourselves is to remember that every acti…

Act Out Your Intention

If you experience a problem and only visualize the problem going away, you are missing an opportunity. Spirit may take the problem away, but not necessarily in a manner you would expect or appreciate. At best, you will be free of that particular problem but you will have added nothing positive to your experience. If you visualize yourself finding a solution, and then focus your efforts in that direction, you will become an active part of the process of manifesting the solution. This will bring your intention into alignment with the operation of Spirit, and your consciousness into closer harmony with All That Is. You are likely also to come to a solution that more completely fulfills your goals and needs as you participate in directing the flow of Good in your life.

Don't just go with the flow, be the flow.

Are We Responsible?

Joel Goldsmith emphasizes again and again that all power comes from God, and that human beings have none in their own right. This is consistent, with minor differences in terminology, with the teachings of most sages. How, then, are we who are still stuck in individuality to take responsibility for our own lives, our fates, and our spirituality?
One answer is that, while we as individuals are powerless, as individual manifestations of Universal Spirit we are all-powerful. The realization that all power flows from God is just a half step away from the realization that nothing, including ourselves, exists but in God. When through meditation we come to the secure conviction that we -- and all things -- are manifestation of the God-force, then it becomes possible to accept that the power of which we were made still forms the essence of our being.
Another way to visualize these principles is to recognize that power alone is meaningless; that only power coupled with intention is capable of…

An Easter Grace

Blessed Spirit of the Universe,

We are gathered together to celebrate this festival of eternal Life. As we consider this feast we are about to enjoy, we know that no matter how much enjoyment it brings us today, our bodies will soon be hungry again. Therefore we pray that the physical satisfaction we feel today, and the hunger we feel tomorrow, both remind us of the hunger the Spirit within us feels for Oneness with you. May our ways be guided to the unending satisfaction that is Unity with All That Is.

And so it is.

Sitting in the World

Meditation in silent surroundings is very enjoyable. Since meditation is about focus, and most often that focus is directed inward, freedom from external distractions helps to maintain that focus.

When the subject of meditation is Oneness, however, there is a certain contradiction to the attempt to exclude "distractions" - indeed, even in the use of that term. If your intention is to experience unity with All That Is, then to the extent your intention is fulfilled, externalities by definition do not exist. All That Is means just that. The barking dog, the ringing telephone, even the strident television must somehow be incorporated in your experience.

Physical reality may exist only conditionally, but it is the milieu in which we have chosen to pass a portion of our existence. It is said that even a dream, as dream, is real. The world we see may be just the product of Universal Mind reflecting upon itself, but as a part of that Mind it exists in the same way that we do…

Religion In Your Face

Pauline tweets:

"[I] wonder why anyone would think it appropriate to close a business letter with 'Have a Resurrected Easter'"

There's a fine line between witnessing for the joy of spiritual experience, and just being obtrusive. To some extent the line is in the mind of the hearer. One who has had an experience of awakening has an almost irrepressible desire to share it. Jesus and Buddha, among other sages, commanded their students to teach.

To be fair to your correspondent, he or she may simply have been inviting you to share a joyful experience. However, there are pitfalls in the urge to immediately broadcast one's experiences. Adyashanti discusses these in his book, The End of Your World. These include the fact that the speaker probably does not fully understand what has happened, or the significance of the experience. In addition, there is a phenomenon Adyashanti calls "ego enlightenment" in which the ego hijacks the experience and seeks to use…


I wear the image of Ganesha every day. In Vedic tradition, Ganesha is the god of overcoming obstacles. A mantra to Ganesha is "Aum Gam Ganapataye Namaha." To me, he symbolizes the ability of Spirit to soar above the barriers to Self realization raised by ego. I do not worship an elephant-headed divine being, but I revere the spiritual principle he symbolizes and the mystical tradition to which he belongs.

A Healing Meditation

Click on the title of this post to download this guided meditation as an audio file. Music: Kevin MacLeod.

Find a place where you can sit comfortably for a half hour or so. It is best if you can sit with your feet on the floor and your back relatively straight, but it’s even more important that you be comfortable. If you can, turn off your phone and any other devices that might distract you. You may find it helpful to listen to this recording through headphones. You should keep your eyes closed in order to help you visualize the experience.

Give all your attention to my voice and to following these instructions. Your mind will try to distract you with unrelated thoughts and concerns. Do not pay attention to it. There will be another time for you to deal with those thoughts and concerns. This time is for you, your body, and your soul.

You may experience intense physical and emotional sensations as you participate in this meditation; or you may feel very little. Whatever you feel, i…

Catching cold mindfully

The experience of catching a cold is entirely different in a mindful state. This may be because I become aware of the condition at an early stage, rather than denying it. I think also that the symptoms never become as severe as they likely would if I were not practicing mindfulness. There is a sense that the experience is not happening to me, but only to the body. There is much less egoic attachment to suffering, less tendency to take perverse pleasure in having something to complain of, to feel special about. Ego is not in control, so is not able to direct energy towards intensifying suffering.

In meditation, I open myself to Universal energy just as always. I accept the guidance that Spirit provides to the body as well as the self. I do not ask directly for healing, but for the will of Spirit to manifest in and through me, knowing that will does not support suffering. I do not visualize energy cleansing my body of imperfection, but rather seek to clarify the vision of my self as a p…

The trappings of spirituality

Humans seem to have an inherent need for ceremony. Significant events in our lives are attended by observations of various kinds: birthday parties, weddings, funerals. Each religion has its own collection of ceremonies, whether Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, or otherwise. Indeed, sometimes religion seems to exist primarily to provide us with a means of commemorating important occasions.

Spirituality, too, has its ceremonial side. We perform rites of cleansing, invoke goddesses and gods, burn candles and incense, chant mantras. Ceremony brings us comfort. Sharing our beliefs and intentions makes us more confident in our convictions.

There is no harm in celebrating your spirituality. Whatever helps you connect with All That Is is a blessing. However, ceremonies are unnecessary. All that is needed is for you to sit quietly and open your soul to Spirit. In your daily meditation, relax and sense your oneness with Spirit. Feel the God-stuff vibrating in your body. Welcome Universal L…