Saturday, July 22, 2017
To observe without judgment is to practice non-judgment. It is the ability to view the world without superimposing your opinions, perceptions and attitudes. The minute we apply judgement we break the suggested rule of “do not harm.” To judge another is to challenge another person’s right to walk their own path. Everyone is on their own mission and yet the mission of life involves all of us. We are not here to judge the path of another person. We are here to understand both our actions and our reactions and then reconstruct them to make the world a better place. The focus in life should always be on self and self- development without harm to anyone or anything. You are simultaneously responsible for bringing goodness to everyone and everything and at the same time only responsible for the path you walk. Walk it with respect and kindness.
The chaos of life will always be whirling around us. It will challenge our sense of balance, our strength and our peace of mind. We must decide to either walk our soulful path or let the chaos of life sweep us into frenzy. But remember always from chaos comes the opportunity for growth and higher states of being. That is because the basic nature of cosmic energy is chaos with the potential to create or destroy. It is void of judgement and so can move in either direction. We just need to realize that we have the power to choose stability and balance over anguish, fear and pain.. Discovering and harnessing the energy of consciousness awareness we are empowered to continually create anew. We come back to the present moment and once again establish our balance and strength. However, it is important to remember that this process is work and will not come without a lot of effort. The paradox is that although the process takes tremendous strength and endurance, when living it we find peace and tranquility. However, along the way there will be many temptations. The greatest temptation of all will be that of the ego. It is the ego that thinks it can justify anything and everything; even violence. Releasing the ego (diversity) and embracing the cosmos (unity) is soul walking.
Friday, June 30, 2017
To observe without judgment is to practice non-judgment. It is the ability to view the world without superimposing your opinions, perceptions and attitudes. The minute we apply judgement we break the suggested rule of “do not harm.” To judge another is to challenge another person’s right to walk their own path. Everyone is on their own mission and yet the mission of life involves all of us. We are not here to judge the path of another person. We are here to understand both our actions and our reactions, observe them and then reconstruct them to make the world a better place. The focus in life should always be on self and self- development without harm to anyone or anything. You are simultaneously responsible for bringing goodness to everyone and everything and at the same time only responsible for the path you walk. Walk it with respect and kindness.
As I head across the pond to visit our neighbors in Scotland and Ireland I am sure I will be asked about our politics and the state of our great nation. As I observe the 4th of July in another country my response will be simple; I am a proud American. I respect the Constitution, the office of the President of the U.S (whomever is leading) and am so grateful for all the freedom and prosperity that exist in the United States. But I am saddened by the dwindling respect and lack of kindness.
When I first registered to vote I was living in Maine. I wanted to vote for a woman I admired. She was strong willed and a straight shooter. Her name was Margaret Chase Smith. She was the first woman to serve in both houses of the U.S Congress and the first woman to represent Maine. She was a moderate Senator, the first to criticize the tactics of McCarthyism in her 1950 speech, “Declaration of Conscience.”
In this speech she said, “It is high time that we stopped thinking politically as Republicans and Democrats about elections and started thinking patriotically as Americans about national security based on individual freedom. It is high time that we all stopped being tools and victims of totalitarian techniques -- techniques that, if continued here unchecked, will surely end what we have come to cherish as the American way of life.
She went on the remind us to get off the Four Horsemen of Calumny, which means making false statements to damage someone’s reputation. She called the four horsemen -- Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry and Smear.”
To this I would add let’s get on the Four horsemen of dignity, respect, kindness and comradery. After all don’t we all want the same things; freedom, prosperity, good health and the right to the pursuit of happiness? What will I tell our friends across the pond? I am a proud American!
Wishing you all a happy Fourth of July!
Saturday, June 24, 2017
Awareness of our vices should make it easy for us to apply virtue to our lives. However, the opposing force of vice is a mighty deterrent. That is because the soul will never dictate. Its job is not to usurp the desires of the body or the mind. Its mission is to discover and return to the pureness of life. The struggle exists within you. Therefore it may take lifetimes to discover that you have the power to change the nature and structure of your entire being. The soul is unconcerned with time. It patiently waits knowing that eventually each petal of the virtuous self will unfold.
Our lives presents us with content and thus the opportunity to discover through the process of living, the virtues we possess and the virtues we need to gain so that we may evolve. For example you may find that you are a very patient person who is gentle, peaceful, and loving. However, you may also discover that you are weak, indecisive and lack the steadfastness needed to accomplish your earthly mission. Life will then put you in a situation where you have the opportunity to discover your vices. What you do with this is how you create karma. To transcend Karma is to consciously act virtuously while removing the vices in each and every situation. When you are feeling weak and indecisive seek patience and balance.
It is balance that we are here to discover. It is only in a state of balance that we find clarity. Emotional ripples always muddy the clarity of the mind. If you lose your patience with someone and become angry you lose your balance. In this there is a lesson. There is a big difference between observing your anger and reminding yourself to pull back to your center and reclaim your balance, or proclaiming that someone made you angry and it is all their fault that you anguishing. It is your anguish that you need to remove to regain your balance. You need to practice patience (a virtue) and in this you will change your karma.
Life presents us with many opportunities to truly know ourselves. Let’s say you are a person of honor and integrity. You encounter a situation where another individual is doing something unethical. Let’s even say this person is making money doing this unethical thing. You on the other hand are being ethical, but still struggling for money. Where is the justice in this? There is no justice in life. That is why we have laws. And the laws of karma simply teach us that life becomes what life does. Money comes and goes, but character last for lifetimes. So choose wisely.
Saturday, June 17, 2017
The opposite side of vices is virtues. Virtues are steps towards happiness. True happiness is the result of following the footsteps of the soul. Happiness is our ultimate birthright, bringing with it all the qualities we strive to attain during our life on earth. This is the purpose of our being: to rid ourselves of vices and obtain virtues. The virtues we are here to obtain are compassion, patience, courage, integrity, honor, strength, steadfastness, love, discipline, peace, devotion, creativity, and wisdom.
If the health of our body is controlled by the state of our mind and our mind is the storehouse of our moods and emotions, then it would make sense to address our state of mind to ensure physical health. Negative thoughts, moods and feelings cut us off from our soul. At the soulful level of our energy, pure intellect reigns. This means that at the soulful level one is not disturbed by any emotion, thought or mood and simply looks upon the earthly self as an extension with the free will to act or react.
Moods change from day to day, hour to hour and moment to moment. Science tells us that diet, environment, chemicals, lifestyle, etc. affect our moods. This is called biochemistry. Biochemistry is about the chemical substances (hormones, peptides, and neurotransmitters) that dictate our moods and affect our bodies. And although moods affect certain types of individuals to a greater degree than others, all moods affect everyone. The major negative mood states that affect us are:
3. Worry – mental turmoil
6. Boredom or indifference
7. Doubt – discouragement
10. Weakness or powerlessness – despair
12. Pride or aloofness
Is there a negative mood that you need to remove today? Let’s see if we can remove it and find a moment of happiness. Happiness is your birthright.
There are many variations of these mood states, but these are perhaps the most prominent. These moods compromise the integrity of the body-mind and thus cut us off from our soul. However, awareness of the energy of the moods and implementing conscious change presents the opportunity to know the nature of our Tikkum (the kabalistic word for “corrections”) or karma. Only through conscious awareness of the separation of self can we set about to make these changes. When we begin to replace the vices with the virtues we begin to change our karma. Through the content of our lives, we have the opportunity to discover both the correction and the qualities that ultimately allow the individual to experience heaven on earth; better known as happiness. Acting from vices rather than acting from virtues compromises the health of the body-mind. When the body-mind is compromised the door is open to disease. Developing virtues is the soul purpose of our existence here on earth. Therefore practice compassion, patience, courage, integrity, honor, strength, steadfastness, love, discipline, peace, creativity and devotion, and in this you will discover wisdom.
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Love is the greatest desire on earth. It is programmed into every cell of our being. Every being wants to give and receive love. If we are denied love we experience unbelievable disappointment and will begin to believe we are destined to be denied the love we seek. We then become cynical and hard hearted. Karma yoga teaches that there are three fundamental fears in life. All fear comes from one of these; fear of not being loved is at the head of the list, followed by fear of being rejected and fear of dying.
Love is a tremendous power. It can destroy and it can create. In yoga we find it in the heart chakra. . Here love means expansion and the unwavering nature of the human soul. Love is the capacity to sacrifice for the sake of sacrifice. To love someone, something and yourself is to touch the heart of your soul.
With an imbalance in the heart chakra a person may find they are unable to say no and thus develop feelings of jealousy, revenge, hatred, envy, resentment and malice resulting in hardheartedness, and lack of compassion. These feelings (none of us are entirely devoid of them) either express themselves openly or continue to manifest at a more unconscious level. Either way they bring destruction and ill health.
Envy is a widespread feeling today. We think of it as being present only in the business world, but it also rears its ugly head along the soulful path. Secretly individuals may wonder how far the other soul has gotten and whether he or she has already reached a higher level of existence. This of course creates conflict. Transcending the egocentric self allows us to connect with the infinite energy of the universe where oneness is achieved. Here we begin to realize that everyone is on their own soulful walk.
Jealousy is a morbid emotion that looks for anything that will cause suffering. The individual feels threatened by the loss of control over another or a situation. Because the individual feels he or she is unlovable, they constantly feel in danger of losing. Unable to let love flow the individual radiates uncertainty and fear. Even love focused entirely on another human being cannot bring fulfillment in the long run. Transcending this emotion we find divine and eternal love. This frees us to rejoice in the pleasures of others without envy or jealousy even while dealing with our own disappointments and problems.
Greed is the negative side of the soul quality of love and tolerance for others. Greed can mean having excessive avarice for material wealth. It is also desire for power. Greed is never about the obtaining of things or money, but about the power of usurping the freedom and individuality of others. Greed is never satisfied so it tries to dictate, mold, command and usurp.
Resentment is a negative state where the individual blames everybody and everything, but self for the state of his or her life. This individual feels he or she is the hapless victim of a cruel fate. Life is seen as unfair and full of disappointments. As a victim the individual refuses to accept responsibility for his or her own destiny and firmly continues to point to the outside world as the problem. Clearly, resentment blocks one off from the guidance of the soul. Success then is falsely measured not by inner experience, but by outward appearances. In a positive state, one realizes that they are the architects of their own destiny and that the human mind, and thus the soul, have unlimited possibilities. Realizing that limitations are self- imposed the individual is able to lift the veil of illusion (maya) and master one’s own fate. You can see the forest for the trees.
Once you know who you are (the infinite capacity to be) and why you are here (to discover this infinite capacity) envy, jealousy, greed and competition become irrelevant. Be the love you seek and the heart chakra will bring you compassion and understanding. Apply them to your life and in this you will be know that you are infinitely loved, always accepted and endless potential energy. Because you are infinite energy you need not fear love, acceptance or death. Remove fear and pure love will open the doorway to eternal happiness.
Saturday, May 27, 2017
An absence of virtue is a disturbance in the natural balance of nature. Nature is pure and vices such as worry, hate, fear, jealousy, anger, greed, cruelty, self-love, instability, ignorance, and pride disturb the balanced energy of the soul. Science even tells us that when there is an energy imbalance in the body-mind, it results in a breakdown of the system, otherwise known as disease.
Disease of the body is not necessarily due to physical causes, but rather to certain disturbing moods or states of mind that interfere with an individual’s happiness. This is because the mind and its infinite energy exercises control over the mental and physical state of every human being. The mind however can either draw its energy from the intellect self, which is the energy of the soul, or from the lower layer of self and get caught in emotion. In these lower layers stress, worry or fear results in a loss of peace and serenity. This energy transports through the body’s nerves system sending a message that disturbs the balance and health of the body. Continued stress and worry create energy that eventually deprives the body of vitality.
Although the soul is our purpose for being here on earth we often usurp its importance in favor of the body and the mind. We relegate the soul to the back of the bus. But it does not feel slighted. It quietly sits back watching the body-mind act out its life. It matters not whether it gets heard in this life or the many lives hereafter. A life is a blink of time for the soul. It knows eventually it will get where it desires to go. But we do need the body and the mind to take us on this journey. They are the vehicle and the GPS. It behooves us to treat them well and attend to their good health.
Saturday, May 20, 2017
Life is like the famous Buddhist paradox or Koan, What is the sound of one hand clapping? This places us outside the limitations of the rational mind. In life there is no right or wrong answer to this paradox as there are really no right or wrong answers to life. How you live your life is based upon your morals and ethics, your level of consciousness and your a state of being. Like the Koan, paradoxically the content of your life is irrelevant and at the same time the content is necessary for the process of learning. It is only through the process that we learn, but the content is the teacher. You cannot discover love without an object to love.
The content of our lives provides us with the opportunity to discover, correct and adjust our being. Anger, for example, arises throughout our lives. It is not wrong nor is it right. We are presented with situations that create anger and then asked what we choose to do with them. We can be cruel or we can be kind. The choice is ours, and how and what we choose determines our karma. There is no right or wrong answer. It is simply cause an effect. If you act cruelly you become a cruel person. So it is suggested that with all of life’s content we choose wisely because life presents itself to us for the “soul” purpose of using the process of life to remove vices and add virtues. Yoga is about the process and not about the content of the poses and yet we need the poses to help us discover balance, flexibility, strength and peace. Pay attention to the process and not the content.
Awareness is the task of exploring our vices and virtues. This is our purpose and our meaning; simply to gain virtues and leave behind our vices. Our daunting task is to uncover the elements of self that need correction and replace them with virtues. The content of our lives is a vehicle full of potential for the “soul” purpose of bringing us awareness. It is only the potential. Unless we consciously choose to bring about constructive change our lives will appear to be chaotic, confusing and disappointing. The process of life is not about the content, but about the relationship we have with life and whether we choose to make it harmonious or tumultuous. This process of discovery is found through the contents of our lives. When we discover our true mission, the drama and dynamics of life give way to the process of enlightenment.
What is the sound of one hand clapping?