Saturday, October 24, 2009

Making Peace with Change

The most inevitable material fact of our universe is the one we have the stormiest relationship with. Either we fight it as it is appearing, or we mourn for it as it passes us by, but we are hardly ever at peace with change.

At every instant of our lives, change is guaranteed. We fight to keep it away, or work to get it here sooner because we think we know what should happen. We are certain (sometimes rightly!) that the change coming toward us will ruin or kill us. We think and hope that the right change will fix us (or them or it) once and for all.

There’s the rub. Other than death, there is no “once and for all” regarding anything that is subject to change. If you take a moment now, you can ask yourself the question, “What changes?” Is there anything that does not change? Anybody, any situation, any location, any thought, any feeling, any opinion?

We may work for change in our political, social, or personal lives, and even rejoice when change appears, but all too soon we become fearful that it won’t be enough or that it will disappear.
It won’t be enough (nothing that is subject to change can ever be enough to truly fulfill us), and it will disappear. That’s simply and starkly the nature of change.

Change is inevitable and yet even the worst is often ultimately not bad news, though it can be when it arrives. There are certainly deeply destructive changes that threaten us now as individuals, as societies and as a planet. We are right to work to bring about positive change and try to defeat negative change. We just have to finally face the fact of change.

Facing the facts allows for adaptation, or as recently said in politics, “being on the right side of history.” We are in the midst of huge change in our country right now, and if we keep in touch through the media, we know the upheaval and hysteria that is accompanying it.

We can recognize and empathize with the anger, driven by fear of loss, in those who are desperately trying to keep what has already happened from happening. We have all tried that futile strategy in one way or another.

Historically, we know that those resisting essential changes can even be successful for a while. Revolutions can revert to what they were revolting against, and dark ages can follow ages of expansion. Resistance to change can succeed, but only for a while, because change is a force that will not be denied. Fighting it can lead to some counter-change, but you cannot get back what has been lost. You may even get a semblance of “restoration” for a while, but change will finally have its way.

If we are willing to admit to ourselves both that change is here and change is a force that is always coming, we can–paradoxically–take a moment to be still. At least for a moment we can stop fighting what we don’t like and stop clinging to what we do like. We can let ourselves be humbled by forces beyond our control.

In a moment of stillness we can recognize that through age and experience, through trauma and healing, through successes and failures there remains within us the same wonder that was revealed in our initial recognition of being. The initial I am sense is still here, unchanged. Life itself is still here, regardless of the uncountable changes in all life forms.

When our attention returns here we are fulfilled in ourselves, and then whenever changes occur, they occur around that fulfillment.

We may still fight for what we love, and resist what we think to be destructive, but we are no longer owned by those things that come and go. We are free in the midst of all that has changed and all that will change.

What an adventure!

Being the Change

In a time when our world seems to be increasingly unstable, those of us who are genuinely concerned about the future of the planet can understandably feel disheartened, and even sometimes feel as though we are losing hope that we will ever see the change we wish for. And yet, the time we are living in offers each one of us an invitation to personal change; an opportunity for the conscious evolution of our selves.

The question is… are we willing to make the changes that are needed?

In the world of social justice causes, intentions may differ, approaches will vary, and perspectives may even be in conflict. And still, with all our differences and disagreements, our passion and our fury, we are united in our desire to make the world a better place.

I'm not suggesting that we should stifle our passion, or even our anger, when it comes to injustice. Passion and justified anger are the antidotes to apathy, and if we have any chance of saving our planet and our future, it is essential that we break the spell of apathy that keeps us in the dangerous slumber of the status quo.

What I am saying is that it is possible to disagree, and to discuss issues where we don't see eye to eye, without resorting to personal attacks or insults that are intended to hurt the recipient. In short, we need to learn how to raise each other up, rather than putting each other down.

Although peace depends on every human being, it starts with us as individuals. If we create peace in our lives, this will be reflected outward.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Why or Why Not Meditate?

Why or Why Not Meditate?

There are many reasons why we don’t meditate. Here are some of them: We think we don’t have enough time. We do not know “how.” We are afraid. We don’t understand the point. What for? It seems like a lot of trouble. It seems like something that is for other people, but not for us. We think we don’t need to. We don’t want to.

The truth is, a good and useful meditation can take only 5 to 10 minutes. “How” is not difficult. Everyone can do this. There is nothing to be afraid of. You are not connecting with anything “outside” yourself. You are not opening up to anything or anyone taking you over. You are connecting with your higher self. You are connecting to universal life force. You are connecting to inner wisdom. You are connecting to Source. You are going inside and learning how to empower yourself, so that you can make positive changes in your outside life.

There are many, many reasons why it is important to meditate. On the physical level, meditation has been scientifically shown to lower blood pressure and improve physical health and well being. On other levels, meditation has been shown to significantly reduce stress. Stress causes disease. If we can reduce or eliminate our stress, we will have less disease.Meditation contributes to an overall sense of well-being, therefore allowing us to be happier and more productive. Meditation does not require a great deal of effort and indeed can be done anywhere and any time. If you can close your eyes, breathe and visualize, you can meditate.

If you feel this is not for you, take a look at your life and the patterns of your life. If everything is peaceful, wonderful, and your life is exactly the way you want it, then perhaps you do not need to engage in meditation. Although, anyone whose can describe their life in this way, probably utilized the power of meditation to have it be so. And most probably continues to manifest from a meditative state of being. If you have no interest in meditating, ask yourself why? People change when the old patterns no longer serve them.

How Do We Meditate?

Meditation is not a new skill. It is ancient and we simply forgot how to do it, just as we forgot who we are with all the distractions of the world that we have created for ourselves.

Ideally, get in any comfortable position, close your eyes, and begin to take long, slow, deep breaths. The proper art of breathing is a whole subject unto itself, because it is another skill that we have forgotten how to do, however, for now, just breathe through your nose and exhale through your mouth. The key is focus, and in this case, one should focus on their breath.

Let all thoughts drift away as you focus on your breath entering and leaving your body. If thoughts come in, watch them come in and let them float out, along the path of the breath. Breathe in and out slowly, as you enjoy the gift of breath.

Soon, you will begin to feel a sense of deep peace and relaxation enter your body through your breath. Just let go. Relax into it.When you feel this letting go, you will want to create and visualize your sanctuary. It is from your sanctuary – this safe place – that you can truly connect with yourself and higher learning and begin to make positive changes that you bring with you into the physical realms. So, meditate?

Why not?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A List to Live By

The most destructive habit ~ Worry
You will get grey faster this way,

and bring on stomach ailments!

The greatest Joy ~ Giving
You won’t have excess baggage!

The greatest loss ~ Loss of self-respect
You must stand up for yourself!

The most satisfying work ~ Helping others
You can forget your troubles!

The ugliest personality trait ~ Selfishness
Good enough to bring on diseases for sure!
It will lead you no where and even if you did,

you’ll be back to square one.

Most endangered species ~ Dedicated Leaders
We can all join hands to enrich this.

Our Greatest natural resource ~ Our youth
Be kind and gentle to our future.

Greatest problem to Overcome ~ Fear
It can only enrich the one who fears you

which we should avoid!

Most effective sleeping pill ~ Peace of mind
At the end of our life we take nothing,

leave possession behind.

Most crippling failure disease ~ Excuses
Be yourself and don’t fear to state the truth!

The most powerful Force in Life ~ Love
There’s no limit to it!

World's most Incredible computer ~ The brain
Relax it and use it wisely!

Worst thing to be without ~ Hope
Though, you can make it happen!

The deadliest weapon ~ The tongue
Use it wisely, so you don’t have regrets.

The two most powerful words ~ "I Can"
Do anything!

The two most potent words ~ "I Am"

Brings anything to YOU.

The Greatest asset ~ Faith
It can move mountains.

The most beautiful attire ~ SMILE!
You can exercise the muscles of your face.

The most prized possession ~ Integrity
And you have it all!

Most powerful channel of communication ~ Prayer
Talk to your maker in good and bad times.

The most contagious spirit ~ Enthusiasm
It can spread happiness!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Is Duality an illusion?

If duality is an illusion, then unity will not be established. Both have their values, and without duality, unity has no substance. Both are natural, both are true. That is the nature of the world. Like light and darkness, the contradictions exist, they are there. The North Pole is there, and so is the South Pole.

“The two fullnesses” complement each other. There is 100 percent diversity and 100 percent unity, both performing their work at the same time. That is the nature of the work of creation, this is true reality.

To us, one seems real and the other unreal. The reality is that both are real at the same time. As water is true, so ice is true. Both are quite opposed to each other, and yet their affinity is so great that the ice cannot exist without the water–it is water and nothing but water.

So unity and diversity are there together and at the same time.

The highest goal of existence, then, is to achieve “200 percent of life.” Life is a field of unlimited possibilities. Such is the glory of total flexibility in the human nervous system. This is a tremendously important point. It says that we can bypass the limited, bounded choices that we are used to making and go directly to the solution of any problem. The basis for this assertion is that nature has already structured the solution in our consciousness.

The problems are in the field of diversity, while the solutions are in the field of unity. Going straight to the field of unity automatically hits upon the solution, which the mind-body system then carries out.

Benefits of Meditation

The aim of Yoga, of union, is to unite the thinking mind with its source in pure awareness. In modern terms, “pure awareness” means quantum space, the silent, empty void that is the womb of all matter and energy.

Pure awareness exists in the gap between thoughts; it is the unchanging background against which all mental activity takes place. We would not ordinarily suspect that such a state exists because our minds are so preoccupied with the stream of thoughts, wishes, dreams, fantasies, and sensations that fill waking consciousness. That is why the ancient Indian sages had to devise the specific technique of meditation, in order to show the mind its own origins in the quantum depths.

Sitting in meditation with the eyes closed induces the nervous system to enter a state of “restful alertness” ~ i.e., the mind remains awake while the body goes into a deeply relaxed state.

Sleep is a hypometabolic state in which oxygen consumption decreases, heartbeat slows, and consciousness blanks out. The waking state, on the other hand, is marked by higher oxygen consumption, a faster heartbeat, and an alert mind.

These opposites are united in meditation. While remaining alert enough to feel the experience of pure awareness, people go into a state of rest twice as deep as sleep. Moreover, they do so very quickly, usually within ten minutes after shutting their eyes, compared to the four to six hours it takes us to reach our deepest relaxation in sleep.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Are you running your life or running away from it?

Your existence here on Earth coupled with your choice in thoughts, feelings, actions, and connections comprise your life and all aspects of it ~ your profession, romantic partnership, family dynamic, health status, and financial matters.
How you handle your life and whether or not you decide to progress, heal, experience peace, and fulfill your potential is your responsibility.
Is there an area of your life or yourself that has been nagging you to change? Are you mentally in denial, emotionally paralyzed by fear, or physically apathetic about wanting to evolve? Are you running from your life and your path?
In order to take control, even if you feel like you've never been able to be in the driver's seat of your own life, you need to admit there is a problem, be willing to improve, and own responsibility. Ignoring imbalances or justifying poor habits is not progressive or productive, and you will unlikely reach that level of contentment that is your birthright.
As an adult you have a choice. No one else can make you change and see the light. You make the choices you do, so don't complain if the consequences are unfavorable. Examine yourself in the mirror. What life area is your intuition guiding you to transform? What lesson are you tired of repeating? When are you going to start running your life, not running from it?
Your source of power comes from within yourself. By connecting to a higher wisdom, you can feel worthy and accept divinely guided help, stay focused on your journey, and co-create true fulfillment.
Affirmations: I confidently face my life head on because I want to create the life of my dreams. The universe responds when I take one step to transform unhealthy habits and relationships to that which serves my higher purpose. My power comes from within and my connection to a higher source. I am in control!

Be Good to Yourself

Do you know how important you are? Do you know how special, and rare, your heart is? Your being in this world is so necessary, and so needed: you have so much love to bring to the planet, and so much to contribute by way of peace, and compassion, and care. It can be hard to stay centered and calm given the news in the world around us, though, and easy for stress or worry to push us from that place of groundedness. And because of this (to my mind!) it's all the more important to take care of yourself--not just physically, but spiritually and emotionally as well. We need people who can be present to the world, and presence requires self-care. So it's my honor to invite you to a free live web event happening this weekend. Bob Doyle (of The Secret) has put together a beautiful program called "Taking Care of Yourself in Troubled Times." The program is filled with wonderful reminders and tips about how to make sure you're creating space for yourself, and how to keep from feeling stressed or overwhelmed or lost in the face of the stories going on around us.
Be good to yourself, and to each other.

Wisdom Emotion

In dealing with those who are undergoing suffering, if you feel burnout setting in, if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is best, for the sake of everyone, for you to restore yourself. The point is to have a long-term perspective. ~ The Dalai Lama