Christmas: Giving and Receiving

Christmas: Giving and Receiving

Give Only Love for That is What you ARE!!   If you are feeling despondent Remember this and feel it in your heart.  When you Give Love you ARE Love!  What do you LOVE??

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Years ago our youngest son looked inquiringly at his Dad and said “Why Christmas?” It was a perceptive and honest question from his little three year mind. How would you answer that question? It is a good question to pose to our grown up selves. We rush about planning and making lists and drive ourselves crazy or get on the internet and figure out the best deals. We fret over what to give to whom and will they like it, that’s the big question. And then we imagine them opening it up and watching carefully for the expression that comes in that twinkling moment.

Maybe that “instant” is our gift! That shining twinkling moment when we made someone happy, made them smile and gasp with surprise. Then we hear their laughter, hopefully not a groan, and words of thanks or maybe a smooch!

My husband’s father loved Chocolate Covered Cherries. Every year we gave him a box. Finally one year he opened the gift and said, “Oh No, not Cherries again.” That was the last year we gave him cherries! How many of us have opened presents we definitely did NOT like and managed to feign appreciation showing we “love it” and have “always wanted one?”

Back to Why Christmas? Well it is all about Jesus and his Birth Day right? Look at how we avoid Jesus and his teachings these days. A few years ago I was reading a book about Jesus. The author had put his beautiful face smack on the cover. A gentleman stopped to inquire what I was reading.   I closed the book and showed him the cover. You would have thought I was pointing a machine gun in his face! He was absolutely horrified, shocked! His eyes were big, brows shot up and he looked like someone had hit him with a stun gun. His adverse reaction was palpable. He said “Oh” and hurried away as quickly as he could.

Where does that reaction come from? For over 2,000 years the world has had Jesus to deal with. All faiths have their concepts but where does that “aversion” comes from.

One reason (and I am not a scholar) could be because the Bible claims he is God’s ONLY begotten son. So where does that leave the rest of us and the horrified man? We know of families that have a favorite child whose attributes out shine everyone else; that special child. Could it be collective unconscious jealousy runs through a society feeling resentment and somehow unloved. It can fester over a lifetime and throughout the ages. How many of us, deep down, feel as adored as that baby? The sweet song, ‘Away in the Manager’ always brings tears to my eyes.

If we don’t resent him we may try to out-do him! Climb the highest mountains; make the most money; give the biggest gift; have the biggest house or most expensive car or? We are all looking for love and appreciation. Maybe God (and others) will love us if we do such and such.

And yet we celebrate baby Jesus at Christmas and sing carols to him not knowing that baby is also us, you and me. If we had been students of the spiritual book, A Course In Miracles, at the time our young son asked, we could have told him that baby Jesus was (and still is) loved very much by God and he is too! We are all God’s sons, the Christ. God being Eternal Unchanging Love never condemns or rejects anyone. In the First Chapter of the Course Jesus tells us: “You are a perfect creation, and should experience awe only in the Presence of the Creator of perfection. Equals should not be in awe of one another because awe implies inequality. It is therefore an inappropriate reaction to me. An elder brother is entitled to respect for his greater experience, and obedience for his greater wisdom. He is also entitled to love because he is a brother, and to devotion if he is devoted. It is only my devotion that entitles me to yours. There is nothing about me that you cannot attain. I have nothing that does not come from God. The difference between us now is that I have nothing else. This leaves me in a state which is only potential in you.” ACIM I.II.3.

So….Jesus is devoted to us, you and me, everyone! He shows us our potential. No one is excluded from Love not even a politician. He tells us we are all the same in the ego world because we feel separated from God and our only need is to choose love instead of fear and hatred.  And like Jesus we can offer tolerance, love and yes forgiveness too as we free our spirit from the tight grip of judgment and hatred. For 2,000 years his wisdom has endeavored to open our hearts and minds to the clarity of healing light. We come here to learn lessons, to see through the ego and world programming and to exclude no one from our love. All hate is from the ego; all love is God. When we give Love, we receive love.

That is giving and receiving.

Visit:  http://www.acim.org

http://www.facim.org

 

 

 

 

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Peace and Joy Are Available

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If you are contemplating suicide it is because you are replaying hurtful events in your mind.

We do not find peace by remembering and replaying hurtful events because we are stuck on automatic!  Are you happy being stuck in a belief?  Even if it WAS your fault you may think you are “right.”  Does being right make you happy?  Even if it was your fault you think you are wrong and suffering guilt!  Are you happy being guilty?  Or, even if it WAS NOT your fault, remembering and replaying the past still does not make you happy!  Ask Yourself: Do I want peace and joy rather than guilt and grievances?

If the answer is YES, then decided to STOP replaying the past!

It is up to you……yes YOU!

You can choose to look at it another way.

Say:  “OK – I’ll look at this another way for the sake of my own peace.”

Begin to think of the people involved (or the situation) and realize that you are denying peace and joy that is their right (under the equal laws of God.)  You have ALSO denied peace and joy to yourself.

Think of that:  If you hold a grievance against someone….it is held in your MIND!  You are trapped in the grievance with them.  Are you happy?

Think of the people involved a little while and tell them in your mind:

My brother/sister/myself:  peace and joy I offer you,

That I may have God’s peace and joy as mine.”  (Include yourself in this prayer.)

We don’t think that just because we have denied peace and joy someone else that we are in effect really denying peace to our Self.  If you hold hate or a grudge in your mind, you are the one HOLDING the hate and the grudge so you are the effect of your own suffering!

Do you think your brother is suffering?  We don’t know but we know you are.

Would you rather say to that brother?

My brother/sister/myself: misery and suffering I offer you

That  I may have the ego’s misery and suffering as mine.

Which version do you choose?  If the word God bothers you, take it out.  God won’t care.  That mystery of love is that it never condemns.  It doesn’t know how to.  Make a copy of the pledge and paste it around the house.  Take yourself on as a student and train yourself to accept that peace and joy is your inheritance and that you are worth it.

* This quote comes from the spiritual book, A Course In Miracles, Workbook lesson 105 God’s Peace and Joy are Mine.  Visit  www.acim.org  go The Workbook lessons and then click the lesson selector. You can also click “hear” and listen to the entire lesson and close your eyes.   Choose peace!

Hint: When you give you also receive!

Quite your Holy Mind

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The Course in Miracles tells us that the memory of God comes to the quiet mind.  Is your mind quiet?  Do you want it quiet?  If so, then why isn’t it?

This is an age old question but the answer is simple:   We can’t have a quiet mind if we are judging people.  Judging is the ego’s primary goal and it keeps us in separation and guilt.  We cannot enter God’s Presence alone.  We need to take along our “brother” (the brother we are judging) which means the ACCEPTANCE of Him/Her/Them i.e. everyone.

We are judging people if we cannot accept them as Holy and therefore we are outside of holiness as well.

Look at the judgments and above all – do not judge yourself for making them or the ego has you by the throat.  When you judge yourself (good or bad) you are making the error (the ego and the body) real.    When we hang onto the hate, grievance, upset we are keeping it, the ego’s hate ALIVE!

But we have a purpose in keeping the grievance ALIVE?

When we see the other person, in our dream as separate and split off, they serve as scapegoats for the part of our self we do not want to accept or recognize.

If you don’t see others as holy…..you are not holy.

Judgment is purposive.  It keeps us unholy and bound to guilt.  If we were holy we would be One with God, with Love and we would disappear.  Our individuality would be zero.  We are afraid of Love.  We want to stay unholy, keep the ego and our judgments in order to stay in the world and be FAR away from God….away from Love.

Freedom lies in looking at the hate with Jesus/Holy Spirit beside us.  This is a Course in attaining the light by looking at the darkness.  We expose the darkness by taking gentle steps.  Look at it and going to the quiet center with Holy Spirit say

“I see this anger/hate/fear/grievance, but I don’t want it anymore.  It is keeping me away from peace, from God and from Love. Help me see it differently.  Help me recognize it is a projection, it is not real, this is a dream and a script I chose to experience when I * separated from God.”

Peace is attained by each one of us looking and undoing the hatred in ourselves.  Self-hatred creates guilt and guilt protects us from love.  Joy is finally recognizing you are FORGIVEN and all GUILT is GONE!

*  We NEVER left God.  We just think we did when we chose the ego.

You are HOLY whether you think you are or not and you are LOVED.

Reference: A Course In Miracles – Chapter 11. God or the Ego, Section III. From Darkness to Light.page 198.

http://www.acim.org

http://www.facim.org

 

See Love or the Call For Love

See either Love or a Call for Love

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The United Nation’s International Day of Peace is Saturday, September 21. Imagine all the people in all Nations of the World stopping for 24 hours to think about Peace! Peace with other countries, counties, family and neighbors! We don’t have to hate. Do we? Do we have to judge or condemn? If a trusted adult tells us that others are offensive we may tend to believe them especially when we are young. We are taught and most of us believe and accept but we certainly don’t have to. For example my mother was prejudiced against a certain race. I had played with some of these kids at school and liked them so I did not accept her belief but I did obey her and not go to their house. As it turned out my sister married a man of that race and low and behold, she changed her mind. A mind is a beautiful thing to change. Mom was a lovely person but she accepted her conditioning and passed it on. It reminds me of the Roger’s and Hammerstein South Pacific song, “You have to be taught.” But we do not have to accept society’s teaching. Hate is a choice.

Could it be that a part of our mind enjoys hate? Think about how you feel when you are in the “hate” emotion. Doesn’t it make you feel strong and powerful and above all right! Years ago I worked in an office with a young man who was mentally impaired. He was from a rich family and he annoyed me and I disliked him. Looking back after years of spiritual work I wondered what that was about. I think I hated him because he reminded me of my own mental impairment. I always thought I was stupid! We project onto others that which we have inside yet do not want to see or admit. It is projected out and seen elsewhere but heaven not in me! When I think of him now, I send love to him wherever he is and I believe his soul receives it. I know mine does.

Hate and anger are harmful to the hater in many ways.  Have you ever tried to be nice when you didn’t want to? What does that type of mental activity do to the brain/body? Check out the Every Day Health website, https://www.everydayhealth.com/news/ways-anger-ruining-your-health/ this site document from various studies, the side effects of hate and negative emotions on the heart and brain, creating stress hormones causing depression and even inflammation.   The ego is the “Master Judge” in our mind that runs our lives until we understand we are in fact miserable and see through the fog and decide to change our thoughts and choose peace. The ego very wisely uses projection and hate as a road block to love. We choose the ego until we decide not to. We however have a choice because we are a decider!

Hate is offensive.  When we see angry people it is very ugly and distasteful. We feel a churning inside. TV and movies offer a heavy diet of violence and hate an onslaught to the nervous systems.   To be honest we need to admit the hate we see reflected in the world outside, is also within. If we can admit that then we are no longer in conflict and it dissipates. Instead of pulling the “wool” over our eyes we just look honestly and in looking, it dissolves. If we don’t fight it or put up obstacles we avoid a pile of buried guilt being placed deep within the psyche to emerge unexpectedly, which it will. Look squarely at the angry person and see either love or a call for love.

Try it. You will access a place of peace. You do not need to say aloud “I love you” merely think it.  Your mind is choosing love instead of the ego’s automatic response of disgust or hate.   Anger is their momentarily condition but not their reality. In giving love, you receive it. You don’t know what or if you will “do or say” anything.  The situation will depend on wisdom within from the higher Self within.  You can always think LOVE.

This quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln: “To defeat an enemy, make him a friend.” You could also say “To defeat “my(ego)self”, make myself a friend and see love or a call for love.”

If I exclude love from others; I am excluding love from myself. With compassion we no longer condemn.

We are the same, we all ONE people. The Spark of the Divine is within everyone, so I challenge myself to look for it in others and REMEMBER…..It is also with ME!

A Course In Miracles, Lesson 187 – I bless the world because I bless MYSELF.

http://www.acim.org   (click on workbook lessons)

 

Am I a Body or Spirit?

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We are born into a body, in a particular family of certain circumstances but we seek the answer to the age old question:  Who am I?  We learn (gradually) we are much MORE than a body.  We are NOT who we THINK we are!  Many spiritual paths lead us to our true identity and ultimately HOME!

The Course In Miracles, tells us we are Spirit and little by little we come to understand that YES, that is true.  Our eternal spirit does reside in the body for now.  I have come to learn lessons that my Soul needs to learn.  So whatever lessons come – they are the ones I need to learn.  They are important lessons and once I have learned them I get to go HOME.  I am happy to learn them!  Well……some lessons I may not like  – BUT if I know those lessons will help me – why wouldn’t I want to deal with them.  I am happy to be in a body because it allows me to BE HERE NOW!  We are really caretakers (or not) of our Soul-Spirit and so let us be loving caretakers of this eternal jewel within.

However, as the lessons come, I am helped immensely when I REMEMBER I am in fact SPIRIT.  With that knowledge I can be at peace!  The more I remember, the more peace I will have.  When your body has a problem, which it will, it is a chance to say:  NOPE – NOT ME! My body has a problem but I don’t!  Yes, I will take care of the problem but I always have that inner gentle smile that says “I am an eternal Spirit.”

We take care and “fix” the body and do whatever we can to stay in the world and learn soul lessons that are sure to come.   A elderly friend became sick recently and the sickness was such that she decided NOT to “fix” her body!  That was courageous but I know the time will come when I will make that same decision.  I will know what the right thing to do is when that time comes.  I will leave knowing I did the right thing as the eternal Spirit I am.

Workbook lesson 199. I am not a body. I am free, is a wonderful lesson to explore the feelings of not being the body.  You can go to http://www.acim.org and click on lessons and then close your eyes and listen quietly to let it sink in.

Remember, you are a decision making Mind!  You have the power to choose!  You have two choices:  Love or Fear.  You can listen to the ego’s fear or listen to the Holy Spirit’s grace and faith. It is that quiet voice inside and it always brings peace!

Isn’t it great to know you have a CHOICE which voice to listen to?  That is why you are not a victim.

http://www.facim.org – Lesson 199 –

“I am not a body.  I am free. 

I hear the Voice That God has given me, and it is only This my mind obeys.”

God Blesses YOU!

You Are Pure Consciousness

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“The mind of an enlightened human being is flexible and adaptable. The mind of an ignorant person is conditioned and fixed.”  Ajhan Sumedho, ‘Don’t take your life seriously’, Buddhist Publishing Group

As a student of non-duality, a friend recently loaned me the above book. Ajahn Sumedho. Ajahn, (“teacher” in Pali) was born Robert Karr Jackman, July 27, 1934, in Seattle. He is the senior Western representative of the Thai forest tradition of Theravada Buddhism. A bhikkhu since 1967, Sumedho is considered a seminal figure in the transmission of the Buddha’s teachings to the West.  During the Korean War he served for four years from the age of 18 as a United States navy medic. He graduated in 1963 with an MA in South Asian studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Per Wikepedia

A Course In Miracles has many similarities with Buddhism and the one that stands out from all others is our judgment of ourselves and others. I don’t know about you but I’ve been fixated on politics, our nation and world conditions since the January changes in government. Chaos and change happens in our lives and that creates nervousness and anxiety, the opposing poles of inner peace.   Ajahn says the world is: “just the way it is!” Accept! We are not at peace when we judge anyone; feel superior or inferior to others.”As Babies we were not born with a self-view. That is developed over our lifetime. We therefore become a “created concept” and we suffer and seek answers to the suffering.

Whatever our self-concepts are we are not that!  When we choose, we can acknowledge innate pure consciousness to receive wisdom. Wisdom operates through the marriage of awareness joining with consciousness. Suffering is the theme in The Four Noble truths. Judgment is suffering. As we become aware of pure consciousness, judgments shift and soften: “so it is” or “like this” to pure subjectivity. The ego personality says: “I like this or I don’t like that.” It is my choice then, should I get caught up in the annoyance, suppress it or try to change it? I know I want my way but can I be assured that will bring me peace? Until I can accept the world is just ‘like it is’ and ‘what is just – is’, I am the one choosing to suffer. Buddha called it Dukkha.

When you say: “I AM pure consciousness uncreated” your mind is at rest. Say it slowly with eyes closed. Say it slowly with eyes open. Pure consciousness does not have a sex, nationality or a world view. It means, I AM – not a permanent body; rather I am eternal, consciousness. Consciousness is behind awareness and when melded spark an awakening experience, like the Buddha, or Christ .

Contrast this with the impermanent, unsatisfactory “not self” that we think we are. The idea of “me and mine” created out of ignorance and separation from pure consciousness. The personality and life circumstances always change. You don’t stay the same person as the ego personality is reactive.   Old age is another seeming failure but pure consciousness does not age. Awareness transcends the conditioned ego state. If we continue to give our allegiance and beliefs to the ego rather than to our natural pure awareness, we will suffer – until we tire of it.  We can see seek refuge in awareness and pure consciousness.

As we look at national and world conditions, be aware and say: ‘so it is.’  The Course calls it our script.  It just is and we can view it through the ego i.e. suffering or Awareness i.e the Holy Spirit.  Consciousness is stainless, it cannot be contaminated. I am reminded of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, working for peace yet staying in pure consciousness throughout the tumult of his life and Jesus who assures us we are “As God Created Us” and not the thing or ego we created.

Perhaps we will become enlightened as insanity propels us to approach pure consciousness; non-attachment vs pure hell.  The Holy Spirit within that is the alternative voice to the ego.

As the months and years unfold, our mindful practice, whether with Buddhism or A Couse In Miracles workbook lessons, will guide us to the wisdom and peace available at the center of our One luminous being.

See A Course In Miracles Workbook Lesson 45. God is the Mind with which I think

http://www.facim.org

http://www.acim.org

http://www.miraclecenter.org

 

Give up the grudge & grievance

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It is hard to believe that our grudges, grievances, worries and envious thoughts do us

more harm than good.  That is because they hide the light.

We actually hide it from our selves.

We are the culprits and are the victims of our own thoughts!

Our mind is as twisted as this snag on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Today devote some time to bringing all dark thoughts to

the Light within.  Shine the light on them and honestly look at how they hurt

your beautiful Mind.  Do they make you happy?  Do they bring you peace?

Recognize the light of Truth is within YOU and no where else.  Replace all attack

on others or yourself with acceptance.  It is as simple as not believing the thought!

As long as we attack and judge we cannot know the Light and we are keeping

ourselves in misery and away from salvation.    Say the following:

“I will there be Light.  Darkness is not my will” and allow Peace to flow over you.

You are Loved!

http://www.acim.org

http://www.facim.org