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!

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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

 

The Elusiveness of Peace and Joy

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The Elusiveness of Peace and Joy!

Do you want peace and joy?  Of course you do.  As least you think you do until you have a judgment or an upset that you won’t let go of.   You are upset because something was done to you and you feel you are in the right and the offending party should go to hell.  Or places like that.  Right?  OK – Let’s say you are right but do you still want peace and joy?  You can’t have it if you want someone to go to hell or hold onto an upset that you will not consider in another way.

I know someone who is holding onto a grievance.  He was actually attacked, pushed up against a fence and would have been hit if someone hadn’t interfered.  Why did the perpetrator assault him?  He had responded to an insult with his own insult and that angered the attacker and so he took matters into his hands, literally.  Who started it?  It doesn’t matter.  What matters is how we now find the peace that eluded us the first moment we reacted.  That will be the subject of another article and an important one but for now let’s look at how we can obtain the peace we want.

We have not found peace by remembering and replaying the event because we are stuck in our thoughts and we are sure we are in the right.  But are you happy being in the right?  Would you rather be right or happy?  Currently whenever we see that person or think of them we are unhappy.  Ask yourself: Do I want peace and joy?

If the answer is YES, then decided to STOP believing the set belief you have in your mind (just for a moment) and choose another way to look at this?  Say:  “OK – I’ll look at this another way for the sake of my own peace.”

*“Begin to think of that (person) brother who has been denied by YOU the peace and joy that is his right under the equal laws of God.  You have denied them to yourself and now you claim them as your own. Think of this brother a little while and tell him in your mind:

My brother peace and joy I offer you,

That I may have God’s peace and joy as mine.”

We don’t think that just because we have denied peace and joy to someone that in so doing we are in effect really denying them to our self.  If you hold hate or a grudge in your mind, you are the one HOLDING the hate and the grudge in yourself.  You are the sufferer.  Do you think your brother is suffering?  We don’t know but we do know you are.

Would you rather say to that brother?

My brother, 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 is love and love 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.  You are worth it and you will experience peace and joy when you offer it to others and especially to the one you are upset with or have judged or who has offended you.

* The above quotes come 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 when the lesson comes up, click on “hear” and listen to the entire lesson and close your eyes.   Choose peace!

Hint: When you give you also receive!

Can we ever agree?

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Yes we can!  Agreement happens when we find common ground on SOMETHING!
The gift is in finding what that SOMETHING is that we can agree upon!
When we are in agreement there is peace.  Where is peace when we disagree?
Eventually when we master the Course In Miracles we will have PEACE even when “disagreement” is seemingly before us.
The Course says “See love or the call for love.”
As we learn to master the Course, little by little  the judgments are fewer.
They gradually become challenges to find shared values rather than separation.
I wanted to share the link below of Professor George Lakoff of the University
of California Berkley.  He explains why we disagree and has an example of how
we can learn to find common ground and become more agreeable!
It is 27 minutes  interview with Tavis Smiley of PBS  (if you cannot open it just google
Tavis Smiley)
 
Professor of Cognitive Science, George Lakoff, UC Berkeley:
 
“Teach only love, for that is what you are.”  A Course In Miracles Text Chapter 6. Section I, 13.

New Year Promise

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January 3, 2017!!

What a trickster time is!

“For what is time without a past and future?  It has taken time to misguide you so completely, but

it takes no time at all to be what you are. Begin to practice the Holy Spirit’s use of time as a

teaching aid to happiness and peace.  Take this very instant, now, and think of it as all there is of

time.  Nothing can reach you here out of the past, and it is here that you are completely absolved,

completely free and wholly without condemnation.  From this holy instant wherein holiness was

born again you will go forth in time without fear and with no sense of change with time.” 

The above quote is from A Course In Miracles, Chapter 15. The Holy Instant, Section I. The Two Uses of Time, p.9. 2-7.

And what are you?  The ego is a trickster, it uses time to age us (we think we are bodies); heap regrets and guilt; plant the seeds of self doubt and or grandiosity; keep us in fear of the future by reminding us of the dreaded past and we are suffocated by grievances we have promised never to overlook or forgive.  The ego doesn’t know what you are!

But to know who you are, chose to use the Holy Spirit’s practice of accepting the holy instant as soon as you become upset and remember “God Is” present at this very moment – your mind is free.  Sometimes when I am aggravated, beyond words I repeat “God Is” quickly, about 10 to 20 times!  It shifts me from the ego to the Holy Spirit, from Hell to Heaven.  Does it last – no!  But gradually, little by little, I have Faith that I am ascending the ladder and One Day, One Fine Day,  I will reach True Perception and the Real World.

My New Year’s Promise:  To use the Holy Instant and remember when upset, to STOP and take that very instant and think of it as being “Out of Time”- no past, no future, just God Is, God Is, God Is!  This is what the Course calls the Atonement: Remembering that the “seeming” separation from God is an illusion!  Not True!

When I remember God Is, I cannot think of hurting myself because I want to be in the Holy Instant, In Peace where eventually I will reach the Real World of True Perception.

Bless you in 2017 and for that matter – for eternity!

For more information about the Course check the following websites:

http://www.facim.org

http://www.acim.org

http://www.miraclecenter.org

http://www.circleofa.org

Forgive: How to do it!

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When I don’t forgive I am in misery.  I am in doubt and afraid.  I am sad and confused and without a clue about what I should do.  I feel awful and nothing goes right.  My mind is like the branches of this big fir tree on the Pacific Crest Trail, going every which way and winding up….where?

“Forgiveness, on the other hand, is still and quietly noes nothing.  It offends no aspect of reality, nor seeks to twist it to appearances it likes.  It merely looks, and waits and judges not.  He who would not forgive must judge, for he must justify his failure to forgive.   But he who would forgive himself must learn to welcome truth exactly as it is.” ACIM Workbook pg. 401. 1. What is Forgiveness.

You can see forgiveness has three important aspects.

  1. Looks:  when I feel AWFUL like the above statement describes, I need to look carefully and notice the disturbed thoughts.  At this point I am in charge of my mind because my “decision maker” has decided to look.   I know I need help to look so I ask the Holy Spirit to help me see this problem/judgment differently.  I have not turned to the ego for help because it will help me hide under its dark wings of denial but I must look because that is where peace lies.
  2. Waits:  I have looked and now I wait for the peace to descend.  I have honestly looked at the problem, what I am in doubt about, what I have judged, am afraid of or sad and confused about.  I have withdrawn my projections (projections make perceptions) onto others and have either found it or aspects of it in myself.  I know peace will descend if it hasn’t already.  A “thought” my enter my mind and it will clarify things.
  3. Judges not:   If I keep ruminating over the problem or if I don’t see and withdraw the projections I will not have peace.  If I continue to judge I am afraid of love and I don’t want peace.  I must continue these three steps until I have what I want: PEACE

The Course In Miracles is a non-dualistic thought system.  We are not our bodies, we are living in a dream and the world is not real.  Nothing has happened therefore there is really nothing to forgive.  Do you forgive the person in your dream who has hurt you?  It’s a dream!  But since we believe the world is real, this practice of forgiveness helps us look at the illusion, our ego’s silly upsetting thoughts and ask the Holy Spirit or Jesus to help wake us up.

This practice of forgiveness does not accept that anyone has harmed you or ever could harm you.  You have harmed yourself by believing the egos judgmental thoughts and thinking you could be separate from God. That’s it!

Example:  When your family member annoys you, look at the annoyance and ask the Holy Spirit to see it differently.  Wait a bit and soon you will have a thought of a time when you annoyed them.   Ahhhh….there is the projection.  Then DO NOT judge yourself.  Just say “No big deal.”  I was wrong and now I am Happy.