Monday, December 1, 2008

Welcome to the Course

This month ends another year on our calendar. We have one last month of 2008, and then it's on to 2009. Can we make the most of ending this year on a high note, before moving on to the next year of our life?

If you are a regular reader of the blog, and especially if you are taking the course Living in the Truth of the Present Moment through email, you know that I keep emphasizing the importance of maintaining a positive outlook, a positive approach, positive responses to things, positive thoughts, and positive feelings--all of which are available only in the present moment.

In the course, we not only explain what needs to be done, but how to actually do it in our own life.

After discovering the principles of Truth as a teenager in Mississippi during the early sixties, and after sharing these same principles with others around the world since the beginning of my original course through mail in 1975, I have seen one thing very clearly: it is not enough to merely "know about" or to "agree with" the principles in theory.

The only thing that is actually relevant is: are we actually applying the principles of Truth in our life right now, as it manifests in this current moment?

Too many people know about, and even teach others about, the principles of Truth, yet few actually apply them in all situations and circumstances, and in all aspects of relationships, all the time. Yet this is the goal--consistency in practice. Mere theory or philosophy is not enough, no matter how brilliant we might be.

Okay, as is our custom, we will now present a few of the questions and answers from the "comments" following the last entry. I truly appreciate all of your contributions, and I feel that our dialogue has been excellent since beginning in July. There is a lot in the
"comments" following all the entries that each person on earth can relate to in some way or another if they contemplate how the principles apply to their own life.

If you are new here, I recommend reading all the previous entries as well as the "comments" following each entry, as there is a lot of great stuff to contemplate. The dialogue has been exquisite. The easiest way to read comments under each entry is to simply click on the title of the entry, and then all the comments that follow it will be presented in large type. Now on to some questions and answers:

Michael: What place do faith, hope, and love hold in sadhana? Do you see them as virtues to cultivate, as ongoing practices that gentle the mind and open the heart, and/or as processes that will eventually culminate as the last samskara is discharged?

DRB: This is one of the most challenging questions I have received yet, Michael. Leave it to you. I had to get out my dictionary.

Looking up "faith," my dictionary says: "1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing. 2. Belief not based on logical proof or material evidence."

According to these two definitions of faith, I'd say it is definitely a virtue to cultivate this quality. First of all, it is most important to have faith in our own Self, in our own value and worthiness; secondly, we can develop faith in the source of our spiritual inspiration, and the great value of the principles of truth; third, we can have faith in the community of seekers that we are a part of, and give up any sense of being alone on the path, or of isolation from loved ones.

If I were to add another valuable use for faith, I'd say we need to develop faith in the goodness of our lives, and in the truth that only good will come to us and our loved ones, and that everything happens for the best.

Moving along to "hope," my dictionary says: "1. To wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment. 2. To expect or desire."

Well, hope doesn't look very hopeful for spiritual purposes, if we go by the dictionary definition. For spiritual growth and maturity we need to be free from wishes, expectations, and desires.

Many people unfortunately substitute "hope" for "faith," and "hope" that the best thing happens, uncertain of whether it will or not, instead of having a firm faith that everything happens for the best, with a firm certainty.

So, for the most part, we can learn to be free from hope and replace it with positive affirmation. Generally speaking, to "hope" something happens is to rest in the belief that it very well might not happen. Therefore, for practical purposes, "faith" is much superior to "hope."

My dictionary defines "love," as: "1. An intense affection for another person based on personal or familial ties. 2. An expression of one's affection."

I don't particularly like this definition of love, at least in terms of spiritual work. The dictionary definition seems to refer to the common melodramatic uses of love, which often result in attachment, obsession, possessiveness, jealousy, and all that gunk that the sooner we are free from the better.

From a spiritual perspective, love is the feeling that arises when we experience our oneness, or at-one-ment, with another. When you and I experience our oneness, love arises between us. If an entire group feels its oneness, as we used to experience at our weekend workshops, then a feeling of great love arises among the entire group. My teacher used to say that love is the secret sensation of the Self. That is certainly as good a definition as I have ever come upon.

Mely: Talking about love...
What does it mean to love? Where does love come from? Why is love related to the heart? Is love only in the heart?

DRB: As far as what does it mean to love, my answer is that it means to tune into the love that already exists deep in the heart center. As we will explore in the section of the course focusing on love, we do not use love as a verb. I have yet to witness anyone demonstrate what they do to "love" someone. All you can do is tune into your own inner love, which already exists in all its fullness.

Love does not go anywhere. We simply become unaware of the love already in the heart by focusing the mind on mundane matters that seem momentarily important yet only contract and limit our experience of the moment.

Where does love come from? Love does not come from anywhere. Love is already here. Love is already present even before our first thought arises. Everything comes from love. Everything starts with and ends in love. We live in an ocean of love, and asking where does it come from is like a fish asking where water comes from.

We have no better chance of intellectually understanding where love comes from than a fish has of understanding the source of water.

Why is love related to the heart, and is love just in the heart? We are not referring to the physical heart here, although there is a connection. In yogic terminology, we are referring to the heart chakra, the heart center, which is the center of love in the individual. When we fully feel our love, our heart swells with the sweetness of love. Love is not just in the heart. Love is all-pervasive and eternal. It's just that the individual experiences love in the area of the heart--corresponding to the heart chakra, which is the inner energy vortex where love is centered.

We will explore love in depth in the lessons, and there is much to understand about it. We are limited in how much we can discuss it in a blog, but we've made a good start.

Teri: I have just recently come across your writings for the first time, and for some reason your teachings, even the title of your course, remind me of Eckhart Tolle and his work. Would you say that your teachings are similar?

DRB: I had to laugh when I read that, Teri. I remember a few years ago, when Tolle's first book came out, so many people wrote me to say something like, "The fellow who wrote this book is obviously someone who has been taking your course and attending your workshops. Everything he says sounds like it came from you."

Amusingly enough, the first time I actually heard one of Tolle's talks, several years after first hearing of him, I truly did have to laugh, because it sounded like hearing myself talk with a British/German accent. He actually was speaking very similar ideas to what I had been writing in my course since 1975.

Anyway, obviously, I have a great appreciation for Tolle and the work he does. The amount of preparatory work he did in the broadcasts with Oprah has opened many to the idea of inner work who might have only recently glimpsed for the first time what is truly possible for us in this lifetime, and the incredible potential that lies ahead for those who are willing to seek the Truth wherever it leads them.

I am happy there are people like Tolle out there now still traveling and giving programs and meeting with people. I did those things from 1975-2000, and now I am happy to sit here and work with folks online and let people like him do the legwork, so to speak.

I am sure if the two of us were to ever meet, we would share a lot of laughter together.

There are definite similarities between our style and teachings, yet we also each have our specialties. He goes into some stuff that I don't get into, and I emphasize some things--such as the creative power of thought and the even greater power of focused attention--that he doesn't go into that I know of.

We had different teachers and different backgrounds, and so of course we would have different strengths. I appreciate his work, and I imagine if he ever were to actually read something I wrote, he'd appreciate mine as well.

At least he hasn't yet had anyone create an anti-Tolle site, or an ex-Tolle site, or a leaving-Tolle site. That's a pretty outstanding achievement for a modern-day spiritual teacher, during these days when anyone can gossip on the Internet about anything or anybody as though they know what they are talking about.

There are even sites where they lump all spiritual teachers together and spin all the negative stuff about all of them that they can come up with. Now that's wise use of someone's time and energy. That really helps us all; thank you very much for your great contribution.

Our Course of Training available through email is all-inclusive, and excludes no one's way of thinking. Anyone can practice any path or religion and live by the universal principles as taught in the lessons of the course. There is no conflict with anyone else. Not only that, no one can rationally argue against any of the principles explored, except by resorting to dogma and blind belief.

The principles as taught in the course are universal, and apply to all times, places, and all people living anywhere on the planet. The course is a handbook for living on the planet during this particular era.

Sara: I have a question about lesson 2 and readjusting our future karma. Say someone tries to drag me into an argument and in working on not reacting, I just watch the drama unfold. However, on the inside every trigger has been pulled and my ego is totally reacting (resentment, anger, etc). So on the outside I appear calm and observing, but sometimes what's going on inside is explosive. I understand that by not reacting and being dragged into someone else's drama, I can change my karma with them, but if the ego is still reacting inwardly against my best wishes, what happens then? How do I work with this?

DRB: Sara, that is a great question. There are just too many people out there who seem to want to drag us into fights and conflicts as soon as they can manage to do so. Egos thrive on doing this. This is particularly difficult to deal with when the person trying to draw us into conflict is our husband or wife or partner or friend or associate.

Most of us were raised by parents who fought through their whole relationship, and many were emotionally abused by parents who, in the name of doing what they thought was best for us, emotionally intimidated us with their anger, frustration, irritation, and downright oppression.

I know I learned at a very early age to keep quiet and out of the way as much as possible. As a child I lived in my own world. I tried to remain aloof and unaffected by my parents' fights, and that aloofness remained with me for many years.

Over time I trained myself not to care about things, especially regarding any hurt feelings or emotional pain I might have. As an adult, I had to deal with chronic depression for many years. I was also deeply reserved and inhibited. At parties, as a young man, I stayed in a corner and watched, with very little active participation with others. I was a loner in every sense of the word.

Fortunately I found a great teacher who worked with me on all these things, and brought me out of myself and finally into the freedom of spontaneous expression, where I could come from the heart without intellectual interference.

Anyway, you are doing very well if you can deal with the triggers of anger and resentment without exploding and being drawn into the argument or fight. People want us to bicker with them, they keep digging at us, doing their best to provoke us. This is a primary feature of the ego, and in most people today the ego has absolute power to control us in any way it is conditioned. The only way to avoid this is to stay away from people altogether. From this one can glimpse the features of monkhood. Of course, for most of us, this is neither practical nor good for our spiritual work, as it is through coming in harmony with others that we grow.

You can become free from being affected by other people in this way, but it requires a great deal of discipline that is usually developed over a period of time. It requires true discipline, not simply the discipline to practice yogic postures or to sit for meditation or to wake up early or eat healthily, or whatever your idea of discipline might be.

True discipline is living according to the principles of Truth in everyday life--from moment to moment--not just thinking about them or agreeing with them or believing in them, for these things in themselves result in no transformation whatsoever.

As I write, I realize the true answer to your question can only be answered through the lessons of the course, where we can progress from one level of understanding to the next, more expanded level of understanding. In this way we move up the ladder of the evolutionary process. We can learn to help, and we can begin helping ourselves simply by not getting in the way and stopping ourselves from learning and growing.

We have to learn to remain centered within, perhaps in the column of light that corresponds to the spine of the physical body. In this column of light there is power to act and create and the strength to remain unaffected by the outer world, including the words and actions of others. The inner column of light is indestructible; if an atomic bomb exploded next to us, the inner column of light would remain unaffected.

There is also the formless light. Being formless, it must logically be all-pervasive. It can't be formless and only take up a little bit of space, otherwise it would have form. When we learn to center our attention in the formless white light, or the golden light within our own being, then we are never dragged into the conflicts and negativities of others. They bounce off us like drops of water in the shower. Yet, like I say, it truly requires a great discipline.

As you progress through the lessons, you will understand more and more what I am speaking of. It will become more clear as you go from one lesson to the next, and you will grow stronger in your practical application of the principles.

Ari: It's been great reading everyone's contribution in these blogs. Sure beats what is being written on some sites on the Internet these days!!! Glad I can focus my good energy and continue to have great experiences with the very same practices others are now bashing.

I do have a question pertaining to our bodies and experiences with pain. With these lessons I have started to incorporate how I think with how I end up feeling with some old injuries I have. I experience some degree of pain in one part of my back and have for years. I am starting to change the way I view this part of my body. Before it was always "I have a bad back, this part of my back is stiff and hurts". Now I am visualizing my back feeling normal and speaking well of my back. Do you think I'm on the right track with that or should I just practice witness consciousness?

DRB: Ari, you already know how I feel about the "bashers" on the Internet. Don't even get me started. I know that everything is an expression of the one God, or the Infinite Omnipresence, but Internet sites bashing the spiritual work that others do are worse than mosquitoes, ticks, and skunks in the grand scheme of thing--just to mention a few of the things I can't grasp why the Infinite decided to manifest as.

I can only believe that their resistance must aid the growth of those who move forward toward the light. Since this current age, Kali Yuga, is the darkest and most spiritually ignorant time to live in, yet the very best time to do spritual work for accelerated advancement, I figure all the bashing sites are simply an aspect of Kali Yuga.

Seems like everyone would just pitch in and help everyone else, instead of having to make a point of being against something, or bothering to point out their opinions regarding flaws and imperfections in others, but that's just me. My teacher said, Anyone who says anything about another person is deluded. To me that is cutting through the BS and resolving everything back to the basic Truth of Being.

How we perceive others is determined by our own conditioning and our own vision. It has much more to say about us than it does about the others we think we speak of. We each use our energy either as we are conditioned or as we consciously choose, and the latter is definitely a great minority.

Regarding the pain, that's a hard one. I'm sure you've heard the story of the woman whose child died and she went to the Buddha and asked him to bring the child back to life. The Buddha told her to go around to all the homes and find a family that had never known death, and he would then be able to help her. After a while the woman came back with renewed understanding, for she could find no homes that had not known death.

It's kind of the same thing with pain. Everyone experiences pain. Dealing with pain would take a whole lesson in itself, if not a whole section of the course. I agree that you are doing the best thing by "seeing" and "feeling" that your body already exists in radiant health. As is explained in the lessons of the course, radiant health is the goal, not simply health.

Focusing on what you actually want is turning on the light; focusing on the pain, or on what you don't want, is like trying to push the darkness out of the room.

From my perspective, pain seems to be a certain aspect of the physical world. Even saints and sages and great beings of all traditions experience pain. The Christ was cruxified on a cross; imagine how that felt. Today there is the persecution of the "bashing sites" that you mentioned. All this persecution sends more pain out into the world. That is their contribution: more pain.

It is not really possible to live in a human body and not experience pain. It simply goes with life in this world. It's as though pain is one of the elements required to make up the physical world--or at least the polarity of pain and pleasure. Probably if we were above experiencing pleasure we would also be able to transcend pain, but that is a discussion far beyond the scope of the blog.

Rico posted a comment regarding Ari's question, and I fully agree with his approach. Rico said, "Since I first injured my back, pain has been a more or less constant companion. I have tried just about every treatment available short of surgery. I've tried visualizing a healthy pain-free back. All of these methods have offered some varying degree of relief, but it never goes away entirely and often when I am physically active the discomfort can be intense.

"After all this time I have finally come to realize that trying to avoid this discomfort or make it go away does no good. I have come to accept it and if not quite make friends with it, at least I don't have an active aversion to it anymore. I do all I can to take care of my back doing hatha yoga and Tai Chi stretching before any physical activity.

"To paraphrase the Buddha, pain is a part of life. Once I stopped trying to avoid it the impact pain had on my experience was greatly diminished."

Rico has sincerely practiced sadhana (spiritual work for greater freedom and expanded awareness) for many years now, and I find his advice to be very wise. We can't really win our war against pain. Better to understand and accept it for what it is, and then focus on something more positive that we actually do want instead (radiant health.)

There are many more comments and questions and answers worth going over, but this seems a good length for a blog entry. For those of you who write that you "can't get enough" this will give you something to focus on for a while. Participants in the course receive a new lesson today, and recently received the Thanksgiving Newsletter. That plus this is plenty to chew on for now.

If you do not take the course by email, and would like to receive a copy of the Thanksgiving Newsletter, simply write us and we will send it to you, free of charge and no questions asked.

If you happen to be among the "bashers" referred to above, who might be checking this out for whatever reason, I invite you to join us here for positive discussion and a positive focus instead. It is easy to get caught up in a wave of being against some teacher or organization, yet that path leads nowhere. To approach true freedom, we must aim for and consciously work toward something positive, some uplifting and expansive conclusion to things, maintaining the possibility of transformation.

There is no future in simply being against something. We serve no purpose through opposition, or through focusing on negavity, limitation, or imperfection of any nature.

Think of what you actually want, on what feels good to you; stop considering what you do not want, or on what feels bad to you. The principle is simple enough that a child can understand and practice it, yet for many of us the actual practice of it seems so elusive.

For now, let's work on what we can do. We can apply the principles of Truth in our own daily life, if we will. Do we have the will to actually do this? It is a question we must each answer for ourselves.

To receive the Thanksgiving Newsletter, or for information about D. R. Butler's Course of Training available through email, write: drbutler.course@gmail.com


21 comments:

ari said...

Lesson 7 is great and very relevant in my life. No suprise there. I'm glad you are referring a lot to couples because like a lot of people I have finally taken the step of becoming married. 6 years now after waiting until I was 36. It's incredible what gets worked out with a solid committment to another person vs. what I used to experience: the first sign of problems I fled.
My wife is a self admitted worrier and has a tendency to view the world in a somewhat negative way. A typical response to my question "how was your day" is: "the kid(s)were cranky and they might be coming down with something, she/he hardly ate their lunch".
Lately I have been pretty well ignoring the rote response and changing the subject. I feel like just trying to stay positive about things and see if that might rub off on her. I feel somewhat reluctant to call her out on it. When I have in the past she would get very defensive, even accusing me of having a "superior" type of outlook.
You mention in the lesson trying to appreciate someone's perspective. To what extent should a person go in doing so. My concern is my kids also. I want them to grow up with a positive outlook.

Suya said...

Noticed the question about hope, faith and love in the blog. Recently read book called Anatomy of Hope. It was about patients who are terminally ill and the role of hope in healing. One thing really stood out to me when the author claimed that to truly cultivate hope, one’s eyes must be fully open. It was one of those lines that really resonated for me and made me contemplate the truth of it. In my mind, hope is knowing what we face and believing it is possible to beat it. Faith is more like not thinking about what we face at all, but rather just being grounded in the belief we are beating it. So like DR says, faith would be superior, at least in a world based on duality. Hope seems more centered in the mind to me, with faith being centered in the heart.

chris said...

I was discussing the lessons with a co-worker recently and he said something to the effect “Oh yeah, that sounds like ‘The Secret’. My wife’s into stuff like that.” Then he made a scoffing remark about how you can’t tell a poor, starving orphan in a refugee camp somewhere that his situation is caused by his thoughts and that if he just thought positively, his life would change.

Although his incredulity can be expected and forgiven, I must admit his point has validity. You must have addressed similar objections in your years of writing and teaching. In light of lesson 7's topic “What you think is what you get”, how do you respond to this kind of rebuttal?

D. R. Butler said...

Ari, you ask a sensitive and delicate question: to what degree can we reveal to another person how negative they are being without them coming back at us in a defensive or hostile way?

It is important to appreciate the other's perspective. If they are coming from a negative or contracted space, the best approach is to remain as lighthearted as possible. Sometimes this can backfire, as the other might feel they aren't being taken seriously enough. It is challenging to explain to a person feeling this way that it's really better for everyone if you don't take them seriously at all.

It is a delicate situation, and you just have to work with it the best you can. Remain as positive as you can while also maintaining feelings of humility, understanding, acceptance, and compassion. If you are humble enough, you won't come across as "superior."

Remember, the other often simply needs to be shown that they are loved and appreciated as they are. Also, it is important that they don't feel "made wrong" by us for being in a negative space. It is important in relationships to constantly renew our show of support. When the other feels genuinely supported by us, negative feelings can generally be soothed away relatively easily.

Getting relationships right is a whole discipline, a whole sadhana in itself. We will explore the subject deeply in the lessons of the course.

D. R. Butler said...

Chris, it is almost impossible to "convince" someone who isn't ready to hear the Truth that the Truth is true.

"The Secret" is a good book for introducing people to basic spiritual principles, and if someone doesn't respond positively to its simplicity, there is not much chance that he will even grasp the principles presented in our Course of Training.

Of course you can't tell a poor, starving orphan that if he changed his thoughts, his life would change. The reason is that such a person, having such karma, would not be likely to have the karma to receive that level of knowledge. It is pretty much impossible to do spiritual work on oneself as long as the basic instincts of self-preservation and survival remain unfulfilled.

Karma is a complex subject and challenging for the mind to fully comprehend without first exploring it from many different angles, which we do in the lessons. Karma must be understood to a certain degree before we can possibly grasp how life (and the law of cause and effect) works.

There is no way to explain all that to someone who is still on the level of scoffing at the basic principles. We can only maintain compassion for such people, and allow them all the space they need to be as skeptical as possible. We cannot talk a person into being ready before he is ready.

Before a person can truly grasp the deeper meanings of spiritual principles, he must first reach a point where he has questions about what is happening and why we are here and how life works.

There has to be a quest before something can be found. There must be a question before an answer can be uncovered.

D. R. Butler said...

With the holidays and a new year approaching, we are going to generate some energy toward expanding the course and reaching more people through allowing easier access to what is available through participation.

Beginning now, we are offering anyone who is interested a free month of the course, which is Lesson 1 and 2 and whatever newsletters might be relevant at the time.

Anyone can receive the first month of the course for free simply by writing and asking. If you wish to proceed with the course after that, you can begin with lessons 3 and 4 whenever you like.

As for how this affects gift subscriptions, since Christmas is on the horizon, it adds an extra month to whatever length of time your gift is for. For example, instead of a 6-month gift subscription covering 12 lessons, it will now cover 14 lessons. In a year's subscription, they will receive 13 months, or the first 26 lessons.

We offer the free month of the course based on our confidence that if a person is genuinely open to the first two lessons, the true value of the course and what it can mean in his or her life will be intuitively obvious.

The "Invitation" to join has also been updated. If anyone shares the Invitation with others, please write to receive the updated copy. All students of the course will receive a copy of the updated invitation in the next day or two, simply so that the new version is available to you, and because it gives a good overall view of the course.

Bleak day outside in the Northeast today, but we're full of light on the inside. Please join us in the light simply by being aware of it within yourself. Believe me, you would not even be alive if the light were not already within you.

Simply be aware of the light. Nothing else is required on your part. Let your awareness of the light increase with each passing day. Come back to the light again and again, and you will soon be radiating that very light to others, helping them to also tune into the inner light that we all share on the inside.

Go within and know the Truth of your own Self.

jimi said...

"you can’t tell a poor, starving orphan in a refugee camp somewhere that his situation is caused by his thoughts and that if he just thought positively, his life would change."

I would like to add my own perspective to this, which I believe is in addition to DR's & not in opposition.

When I see a really cute, charming young girl, I think she has it all, & when I see a homeless person I think he has nothing. I am judging their inner state by their outward circumstances. I don't really know.

When I was a kid, we lived in a tiny 2BR house on a dirt road 40 ft. from the railroad tracks.
My two brothers & I shared a small BR. Many people may feel that was a disadvantaged situation and many. many more would love to have grown up w/a roof over their head, enough food, running water, etc. Personally I was not conscious of any lack...that is I thought my situation was normal and so I was not unhappy about it. You could say that I accepted it.

Getting back to the "poor, starving orphan". Yes, it is probable that he is unhappy, but that's just my perspective. I don't really know. Just as some rich people are very unhappy, this kid might be happy.

Jim said...

I thought I'd share this Eckhart Tolle quote with you. Every time I read it, I am just totally blown away at both the simplicity & profundity of it. It pretty much says it all:

Don't look for any other state than the one you are in now; otherwise you will set up inner conflict and unconscious resistance.

Forgive yourself for not being at peace. The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace becomes transmuted into peace.

Anything you accept fully will get you there, will take you into peace. This is the miracle of surrender.

When you accept what is, every moment is the best moment. That is enlightenment.

D. R. Butler said...

Wow, Jim and Jimi. My two best friends in high school were Jimmy and Jimi, and they were also a couple. I think I first started learning about relationships from them, as since I was best friends of each of them, I got the inside story from both sides.

Anyway, Jimi, I agree that we can never know another's state by his appearance or his karmic condition. I know people who enjoy lives of wealth and comfort, and yet are not very happy, and I know people who live simply and get by the best they can from day to day, and yet are very content on the inside.

External circumstances are an empty promise. The only dependable reality is our own inner state.

Our actual experience of life has much more to do with our inner state than it does with our outer karmic circumstances. It does not matter what hand we were dealt, the game is to play the hand we were dealt well.

Jim, I suppose it is only fitting that we include a quote from Tolle, having talked of him in the current blog entry. You choose a most perfect quote to share.

It feels so great in my heart to come here and find folks sharing such positive energy together.

I have heard from several people who have spontaneously come together in study groups around the lessons of the course. I am always happy to hear of people discussing the lessons together. I imagine soon we will have to compile a list of all available study groups in case there are others nearby who would like to be involved.

It can be good to embrace a sense of community. We are all here for each other, and each contribute our own state.

Thank you for being open enough to read these humble words.

I send my best to you.

chris said...

Thanks D.R. and Jimi for your input on my question. I think my coworker’s scoffing attitude is a pretty common defense mechanism against the Truth of the Moment. Rather than facing an important teaching that grace brings to us, the ego reaches into its bag of tricks and comes up with the poor starving child gambit.

It’s like each moment we’re presented with an open window to the Truth of things. My friend chose to chase the rivulets of prior mental conditioning and be a “reactive mechanism”. At the same time, I’m sure at the time this conversation happened, I reacted to his scoffing in some kind of defensive way even if not outwardly. I love the way lesson seven tells me that, each moment I am the “author of a new possibility”. There is a fresh breeze blowing my way from the open window every moment and the possibility exists to enjoy every moment and each person for what they are and they way that they are manifesting as reflections of the perfect Self.

D. R. Butler said...

Hello to anyone who might be reading this today. It is very cold here in the Northeast today--in the low 20's and windy. How's that for a report on temporary external conditions?

How are you doing at spiritualizing your life? Do you see infinite Consciosness in everything equally? People search for something spiritual, yet they themselves must consciously inject spirituality into what they are doing in each moment.

Everything is relative to the degree of Consciousness we bring to it. It doesn't matter much whether we sit and meditate or go out for a drive or go to the theater. All that really matters is our current state during that time. Are we present? Are we focused in the moment? Are we in the heart? Or have we drifted back to the musings of the meandering mind?

Come back to the moment, come back to the heart, come back to your love.

Enjoy the moment, and share your enjoyment and lightheartedness with everyone you're with.

Enjoy a great day, friends.

Michael said...

What are the Seven Deadly Samskaras you mentioned in a recent lesson? Please elaborate. Thanks in advance for your answer!

With love,

Michael

D. R. Butler said...

Michael, you are teasing the folks.

I mention something in a lesson about something in a future lesson, and you want me to spill it here on the blog?

Some things must be introduced at the right time. If someone is presented with information before they have been prepared for it and are ready for it, it will be subconsciously rejected, resulting in the fact that it will be even harder for him to hear it even when the time is right.

In the lessons a person is prepared to go from one level to the next, so that when essential info is revealed, it can be taken and put to the best possible use.

If that info comes prematurely, it gets automatically thrown into the "trash" bin and is very likely ignored or considered useless information from then on.

Surely you are being given as much information now as you can possibly apply in your daily life. The point is to do now what you know is right to do now. It seems very simple, yet it is actually a very advanced teaching. A person has to be fairly far along the path of self-discovery in order to actually do what he knows is best to do, at the time that it is right to do it.

Otherwise it is so easy to be swept along in recurring patterns, like the twig in the raging waters.

Refer to your current lesson, and you will have all you need for now, and perhaps even more than you can manage to actually apply in the present moment.

Give it your best shot, from one moment to the next.

Enjoy your day.

Michael said...

Dear D.R.,

Thank you for reminding me that everything I need to work on is in my current lesson. I especially appreciated the statement, "the point is to do now what you know is right to do now."

While playing for Mass this evening I noticed I was not feeling like myself. During the homily I snuck into the confessional with my journal and Lesson 7 tucked under my arm. I was determined to see something I thought I knew in a new way. I had about eight minutes in which to transform my attitude and expand my understanding.

As I read the part about developing compassion, I realized that the only way I could experience this "off" feeling was if the mind were thinking something negative and the ego were to "adopt" it.

Then I remembered something you wrote many years ago, in effect: "If you're not experiencing bliss right now, what are you thinking to prevent it?"

So I did a little self-inquiry, a quick stream-of-consciousness jotting down of my feelings. To my surprise, they poured out of my pen: "I'm a bad person, I'm a loser."

I couldn't believe I believed this! I'd been so diligent in pursuing positive affirmations of abundance, I thought I had gotten past all this stuff.

Just goes to show ya -- assemble the perfect combination of physical, mental, and emotional stimuli (I had overeaten - caramel popcorn should be outlawed - I was fatigued and suffering from a toothache) and the sleeping volcano erupts...

Two minutes left. What could I do? Quick prayer -- Heavenly Father, I know you always hear me. Give me a hand with this.
Help me free myself. Help me renounce this self-hatred and get back to our bliss. Help me come back to the Heart.

Then it occurred to me that this was the ideal opportunity to see the ego for what it actually is - a lie - and let it go. As you've often said, you have to see it before you can be free of it.

I can't be a thought and the space between thoughts. I have to be one or the other. Oh, that's right, I am the Self. I am the space between thoughts. I am not this thought. This is just another notion the ego adopted and now can "unadopt."

One minute left. Come on, fellas (mind and ego) -- we can do better than this. Let's work together to support one another's resolutions. Okay -- let's contemplate "Abundant life. Abundant compassion." Let's go for it.

Fold lesson, close journal. Cleansing breath before going out to play the offertory song. I feel renewed, much lighter. I offer a silent prayer of thanks to the Lord who continues to provide such opportunities to deepen my understanding of who I really am, and what I'm really not.

May I make use of every moment to apply the teachings in such a way that I "develop my capacity to love, to experience compassion, to be spontaneously kind and helpful, and to be in harmony with all things, people and situations."

Sara said...

The last year has been extremely challanging financially, to say the least, for our family. Most of the arguments my husband and I have (or try not to have) are over money or the lack of it. Even though we are aware that arguing about our financial difficulties helps continue the problem, our frustration at our present karma sometimes reaches a stalemate where neither of us will speak to the other in fear of continuing dragging up past blame.
Last week we had, what from all appearances seemed to be, a disaterous financial event. My first reaction was to get really angry, but I then made the choice not to. I decided to show compassion towards my husband instead( I would do that for a friend, would'nt I?) and that I didnt want to play the blame game anymore. To my surprise, when I went to talk to my husband about this, he too had made the decision to be calm and surrendered to the event at the given moment.
We calmly talked about what resources and solutions we could live with to get a handle on our problem and went about doing so. Once a gentle, mutual decision was made, there was so much grace!
This was a HUGE step for both of us and I dont think we would have been on top of it all had it not been for the lessons and the reminder to stay in the moment.
I share this not only because it is relevent to the course, but also because I'm pretty sure there is a lot of arguing about finances going on these days.

rico said...

The stuff that gets posted here boggles the mind. Boggled is a good thing for the mind to be.

D. R. Butler said...

I hesitated about publishing Michael's recent offering, as I felt it might be too long and wordy for what we want in the blog. However, as I read it carefully, I could appreciate the work he was doing, and I feel it is an excellent example of how the process works for us in our everyday life, at work in his case, and how we simply have to plug away with the best we can do from one moment to the next.

The work is always to take the next step; what is needed in this now? What is needed in this present moment? What is the best I can offer now?

Each moment is an offering. Make it your best.

Sara, I greatly appreciate your sharing. I know what you mean about those finances. This is a strange time in the world of finance for many of us, as apparent instability reigns all around for now.

Thankfully there are forces controlling the world greater than those we ordinarily know of, and greater than what is reported through the media. We are guided by invisible forces, and the more we become consciously attuned to inner guidance, the more naturally we will flow with the natural expansion of the lifeforce within us.

Remember, inner growth never ends. Outer growth in this incarnation might come to a natural conclusion, yet inner growth goes on forever. Open up, the show has just begun; enjoy the ride.

Anonymous said...

Back to starving orphans, who just maybe might live moment to moment better than one who lives in an affluent society with the pressure to have it all and do it all, not to mention the bombardment we have from the media.. just a thought

D. R. Butler said...

Anonymous, you are right. We cannot tell from one's outer karmic circumstances how focused in the present moment he might be.

Truth is, all of us are in much more the same boat than almost anyone realizes. Everyone's life is challenging in its own way--it is the nature of living here in the physical world,the land of karma.

When we can focus our attention in the present moment, and especially in the space between thoughts, we can rise free from karmic conditions and rest in the awareness of the inner Self of all.

When we can approach life from this space of inner freedom, all of life is simply the play of divine Consciousness. A person with such a vision lives in supreme freedom, and enjoys the bliss of each new moment equally.

For such a person, the karma of his outer life has become irrelevant. He is the same under all conditions, and free from all reactivity and blame. Such a person is firmly established in the awareness of his own eternal Self--which is the goal of all life.

Greg Keeler said...

Well, D.R., thank goodness you chose to publish Michael's post about struggling with the ol' friend, the "I'm a loser" voice. A bit of grace this morning to be reminded how far we can stray from the truth we know inside. Again, and again, and again. And how close the grace is... for the asking. "Wake up! You know what you need to know! This moment has a gift for you, a gift you've forgotten again... but a gift that is yours for the asking." That's the message I'm hearing on this first morning of 2009 from your wonder of a blog, and Michael's story really nailed me!

Please send the complementary first month of courses you speak of.

Gratefully,

Greg

D. R. Butler said...

Greg, I'd love to send you the first month of the course, but I do not have an email address for you. Please write to our address listed on the blog.

Thank you, and nice to hear from you.