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Showing posts from 2011

Finding meaning in a random universe

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We have a habit of saying, "everything happens for a reason." I don't think that this formulation of the way the universe operates, though superficially comforting, is very helpful. It leaves us looking for meaning in seemingly random events, including those that are on the surface quite terrible. It also causes us to look outside ourselves for explanations that are often unobtainable.
The fact is that many events in this physical universe of ours do not happen for any discernible reason. Even the minority of events that are directly attributable to human choices are as often as not due to random, ego-based impulse. It debases Spirit as well as ourselves to suggest Spirit is carrying out some cosmic agenda that is beyond our comprehension, and that every tragic event that we experience is designed to lead paradoxically to a greater good. We may even choose to abandon the spiritual path rather than accept the notion that Spirit callously imposes pain on us or other beings …

We Are One

Open your heart to me; for I am your Source, the presence of your Being. Open your mind to me, for no thought arises without my making it so. Open your body to me; accept my animating Grace and power. I am the beginning and the end; your Alpha and Omega. You live and move and have your being in Me, Your Creator in this moment and always. We are One, you and I, inseparable As the breath from the air One Unity undivided Coexistent One.

Finding Joy In Others

If you have trouble connecting to the Source of Joy within you, try looking for it in other people. Joy arises spontaneously from a close connection between individual manifestations of Spirit. With those who are closest to you, sense the deep connection that underlies your separateness. But do not limit your awareness to your immediate loved ones. The same connection exists between you and every other being. Start by becoming mindful of the way you greet people when you meet them - whther they are friends or strangers. Are you open and welcoming? Do you accept the ego vulnerability that comes from exposing your true nature to the gaze of others? Or are you closed and protective of your thoughts and feelings? In order to connect to the network of Joy that is Spirit, you must be prepared to allow others within your walls, if not to tear down those walls altogether. 

Connection is most easily established through the eyes and the touch. Begin by looking each person directly in the eyes wh…

Oneness Through Technology?

We are all challenged to put down our smartphones, laptops, and remote controls long enough to establish a daily meditation practice - and to encourage others to do so. Technology, at least until now the enemy of mysticism, is pushing us farther away from the one-on-one experience of the Divine even as it brings us closer together as people. I see a glimmer of hope even here, however. As we become increasingly a world community, a new path to Oneness may emerge from the growing awareness that people everywhere aspire to peace, love and respect for our planet. The original title of this blog - The God In You, The God In Me - derived from the desire to reach out and connect to the Divine spark in other beings. I don't believe that social networking will replace meditation, but it may lead to a greater willingness to practice metta - loving kindness - in meditation and in daily life. Oneness springs spontaneously from metta practice.

The Kingdom of God

This is an answer to a comment on an earlier post.
You want to know how to live your life right now; and you believe the Kingdom of God is at hand. These two sentences contain a question, and the answer to that question.
The Kingdom of God -- these are Jesus' words. I know they aren't his actual words, but I believe their meaning is close to what he actually said. Many of Jesus' followers expected him to establish an Earthly kingdom that he would rule as God's representative. He used the word "kingdom" in order to redefine it. His teachings are quite clear that the Kingdom of God is no worldly princedom, but a spiritual condition. Moreover, he taught that the Kingdom is not imminent - that is, in the future - but immanent - already present and accessible by spiritual means.
We have recently completed the Easter season with its many opportunities to reflect on the meaning of the life and death of Jesus. To me this year, the lesson has been that his death was a …

Can Mysticism Be Popular?

Mysticism is best practiced in solitude away from the eyes and ears of the multitude. This is well understood by all great teachers who urge us to find stillness and look within. Mysticism is about a personal relationship with the Divine. While this relationship leads to awareness of oneness with All that Is, paradoxically it is most easily cultivated away from society.
Once the mystical experience has been realized, it must be constantly reinforced. In all but a few individuals, the experience fades and becomes unfamiliar if the individual allows the practice of quiet meditation to lapse. In other times, most who sought this experience lived monastic lives in which they were permanently isolated from the distractions of secular life.
Contemporary teachers stress that the times demand that mysticism emerge from the monastery. There is a sense of compelling urgency about broadening the scope of mystical experience not for the benefit of the individual, but for the benefit of all - all be…

Learning Oneness from differences

We incarnated as individuals so that we could be different. Because we are different we can learn from each other. What can a person teach you who thinks exactly as you do?
Because we can observe our differences, we can also observe our similarities.  This teaches us the concept of Oneness encompassing the diverse manifestations of our Universe.  Having learned the concept, we can progress toward the conscious experience of Oneness.

Thoughts on Bin Laden's Death

Even the Dalai Lama must have mixed emotions today. It is to be hoped, though there is no certainty this is true, that the death of Osama will help reduce terrorist threats. On a spiritual level we can have compassion for his soul while accepting  on a practical level the necessity of his death.

Years ago I received this teaching which I shared in this blog:

"Even those who seem to have come into this world only to cause pain and destruction are sinless children of God at the core of their being. Encrusted and bound as they are by the scars of past pain, the soul within still glows and yearns to be released. Osama's soul is like a man buried alive; his hatred is like a coffin blocking out all light and even air, and the weight of Separation bears down like tons of earth heaped upon him. Wrapped in ropes of pain, it struggles only to find itself held tighter. It will require much compassion and lovingkindness from others to free that soul from the crushing weight of all the pa…

Are We "Special"?

When we enjoy good fortune, or even when we just feel good, there is a tendency for ego to rise up and proclaim that we are special because we have been singled out by the Universe for special blessings. We may feel that this is because we are "more spiritual" than others. This is an example of ego's constant effort to take command of the situation and shine the spotlight on itself. Ego conveniently forgets that we have suffered misfortune in the past and most likely will suffer it again in the future, leading to the inference that at those times we were not as "special" as we are now -- or at least, not special in a positive way.
To a great extent, the favors of the Universe are bestowed randomly because the Universe does not recognize distinctions among individuals. One person cannot be more meritorious than another because all persons are part of the singular Unity that the Universe is. The circumstances in which each of us find ourselves are transitory and m…

Nothing but Love

You don't have to be taught to love your neighbor, or even your enemy. That love is already in you. What is needed is to break free of the ego that insists you must compete, you must fight, you must seize all you can; and that whispers in your ear that others - all others - are conspiring to take what you already have and trample you in the dust. Simply quieting the mind and listening for the Voice that comes from beyond mind and the small self is enough. You will know that Voice because it is untainted by selfishness or hatred. 
The calm, reassuring Voice of God comes in stillness to counsel that all are One; that peace is strength; that Love is the only Power in the Universe. Then all the concerns that trouble ego are revealed as emptiness, nothingness. The image of evil fades and dissolves in the knowledge that God is all and God is only Love. You rest in the awareness that God is in you and you are in God, inviolate and eternal. With nothing to fear, there can be nothing in you…

Sleeping and Waking

A period of meditation at bedtime can be useful in clearing your mind of the cares of the day and preparing for restful sleep. It is a natural way to set aside the mind's agenda and to make room for the voice of Spirit. Some people follow the routine of counting their blessings before sleep. This also is a beneficial practice as it invokes the "attitude of gratitude." Anything that can help you enter your sleep period in a peaceful and receptive state is beneficial.
In sleep, your active consciousness is temporarily disabled. This allows other influences greater access to your passive  awareness. If you fall asleep worrying about life situations, those worries may continue to possess your awareness during sleep, leading to a greater likelihood of troubling dreams and restlessness. However, if you prepare yourself for sleep by setting aside worldly concerns and opening yourself to Spirit, then the Spirit within you that never sleeps may fill your awareness, allowing distur…