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A Path to a More Fulfilling Life

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Inner Conflict Is Present at Birth: A Quiet Mind Helps Resolve It

Did you know we are born with inner conflict? It begins in infancy and occurs between the primitive infant and his or her inherited psychological pathways. In the East the general ideology describes this energetic tension as karma.

Many people believe we are born as a blank slate. This is especially true in the West. Although it is true that our psyche is heavily conditioned during infancy and youth, it is not true that our energetic body is bare and unresponsive. All one needs do to see this is observe the vastly different temperaments of infants, before they have a chance to be conditioned by their care takers. In other words, our souls enter this life experience with a pre-established energy pattern. Gary Zukav wrote:

“When you understand…that the experiences of your life are necessary to the balancing of the energy of  your soul, you are free to not react to them personally, to not create more negative karma for your soul.”

The word “soul” is often misunderstood because it is such an esoteric term. It is our inner being, our core self, and we cannot perceive it with the five-sensory personality that experiences the physical plane of existence. But we can “feel” the pulls of our soul. This is where intuition comes in.

The Power of Intuition

I’m sure everyone has experienced intuitive moments at some point in their life. But that is no guarantee they have chosen to follow it. It’s the part of us that somehow “knows” what to do and what not to do. It is our soul attempting to guide our personality to make choices that lead to learning while incarnate here on Earth. This is how the soul evolves.

Our “soul” is the conscious intelligence that attracts energy in the form of atoms and molecules which give shape to our physical body. When we fail to recognize the energy of our inner being the conscious intelligence (or “Light”) is unable to shine through. Then we operate on the earth plane from the limited ego. In turn, we fail to hear the soul speaking to us through intuition. The personality comes from the place of fear because it knows it will die when the body ceases to exist. The inner being comes from a place of love because it knows it will never die. Which place do you choose to come from?

Learn to Quiet the Mind

This is where meditation comes into play. When we take time to quiet the mind and body we can learn to hear the messages of the soul through the intuitive processes. This doesn’t necessarily mean we must sit quietly with our legs crossed and eyes closed, trying to concentrate on the breath. Although this is how meditation is often depicted it is not the only way to quiet the mind. We can also go for a walk in the woods and listen to the sounds of nature. Or we can sit by a lake and become mesmerized by the stillness of the water. Or we can merely take a mindful walk around our neighborhood.

The point is there are as many ways to quiet the mind and body as there are people on earth. This is where our differing personalities come in. The personality of each individual pulls him or her to follow the promptings of the soul. But one can only be guided by intuition by learning how to follow feelings as well as thoughts. However, if one fails to recognize the promptings of the soul out of a belief that the individual personality is all there is, then he or she reacts to life experience from a place of fear. In this case, negative karma is created that the soul must then eventually become free of. 

As we develop our mind and body this inner conflict is either dealt with or buried deep in our subconscious. If it is repressed it will cause us to act in ways that can mystify us. Have you ever heard your mind say something like, what was I thinking!? Or, why did I do that? 

Opportunities to Face Inner Conflict 

Throughout our lives we encounter experiences that offer us the opportunity to face these inner conflicts. For example, we might have an interaction with someone close to us that causes an emotional outburst. If we blame the other person for our inner conflict we will simply reinforce the limited belief system that was instilled during child rearing. However, if we can sit with the emotional reaction without acting on it, and without blaming the other, then we can process the energy that was present at birth and conditioned as we grew up. In turn, we can free ourselves from both the inherited karma and that which was acquired early in life. 

The key to all of this, as with so many other things in life, is presence. It is crucial to learn to be still and present in the moment, especially during tumultuous times. When we practice presence in simple situations, such as waiting in line at the market, or driving or riding in a vehicle, then we will be better prepared to act from that place in times that it is most needed, such as during an intense interaction with another individual. 

To practice presence in simple situations just notice when the mind begins thinking about past or future. For example, when waiting in line you might start thinking about everything that needs to be done after you leave. In that moment, say to yourself “thinking.” Then wait and notice what the mind does next. You will be pointing out to yourself that you are aware your mind is somewhere other than the here and now.

The Power of Presence 

When this practice becomes consistent you will train your mind to give more attention to the silence between the thoughts. As you continue this simple practice you will change the baseline attention from being lost in thought to being present in the now. Being wrapped up with past and future thinking is where suffering occurs. Being in the now is where peace is found. 

One thing I would like to add is that I am not saying that thinking is bad or unhealthy. I am saying that there is a time and place for everything, including thinking. We can set aside a time to plan for the future without taking away from what we are doing in the moment. We can do the same with reflecting on past experience. This is where journaling can help. 

Self Reflection is Crucial 

I recommend setting up a time to write about anything that bothered you during the day. Notice whether you are pushing the blame or owning your inner disturbance. Write about what needs to be done to create the kind of future you would like to experience. Here it is crucial to keep all attention on what is wanted and how it can be achieved, without giving attention to the potential roadblocks. In turn, all your vital life energy will be directed toward what you aspire to, rather than what is not desired. 

In short, give more attention to the feelings in your body than to the thoughts in your head. Find ways, through your own personal exploration, that helps calm your inner being, such as meditation, going on walks, spending time in nature, playing a musical instrument, etc. The more your mind and body is calm the more you will hear the promptings of your soul. We have a choice. We can either take control of our own mind, or allow it to be conditioned by others. I prefer to have control of the wheel that steers my life. How about you?

For more of Jeffry’s writings please the the Zen Professor Book Store.

4 Keys to Attract What You Want

We are co-creators of our reality. In the following paragraphs, I have provided examples of how to use 4 Key actions to attract a life we want. Believing in possibilities, focusing attention on what we want, choosing our words wisely, and visualizing what we want are important aspects of co-creating.

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The Sea of Infinity

The following story is taken from my book, The New Season: Journey Toward Enlightenment. I have presented it here in order to demonstrate the symbolism of some of the most profound ancient teachings to be found. More importantly, I hope to provide examples of how to incorporate this wisdom into one’s daily life. I hope you enjoy it:

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The Importance of Feeling Connected

Life often gives us examples of how we are connected to everything. I once read a story about a man who could “tap” another person and cause them to turn around, even though twenty feet or more separated them! Is this even possible? In the story it was stated that, out of forty people who passed by, only four failed to turn around when this man mentally “tapped” them. That is  remarkable!    (From The Lost Season by Jeffry Beers)

“Part of life’s beauty is that we are all connected, so that beauty is in me as well”

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The Ego Separates Us from Our Source

“It is the ego that causes us to perceive separateness and the stronger the ego, the more separation there is between source energy and us.”

Once a friend sent me a text that said everything happens for a reason. I sent a text back that stated we are not always privy to that reason. The very next thing I read was this: “Chaos, then, is just a point of view. Things that appear random to a limited awareness fit into place perfectly when awareness is expanded.” This quote by Deepak Chopra points to the importance of expanding awareness to see the harmony in all things. The alternative is to allow the ego to convince us that separation is the rule, rather than the connectedness that runs deeper and remains hidden to the untrained eye.

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Get on the “Right” Frequency

“It is by surrendering to life that we become in tune with it.”

In the book Mutant Message Down Under, Marlo Morgan tells of a tribal leader describing the salutary effects of desert flies as they crawl all over the Aborigines, including in their nose and ears. The tribal leader shared how the flies clean out the wax and sand that accumulates, helping them to hear, which is vital when it comes to survival in the wilderness. In addition, they clean out the nasal passage, which helps them to breath. This is especially important in the desert given that one must breath out of one’s nostrils when it becomes extremely hot. The flies help to make this possible.

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Creating Begins with Belief in Possibilities

One of the most important aspects of the art of creating is to believe in possibilities. There is an amazing story of a potato farmer from Australia named Cliff Young, who at 61 years old shocked the world by winning the grueling 875-kilometer Sydney to Melbourne Ultra-marathon. Indeed, he shattered the old record by more than 2 days! No one expected much from Mr. Young who showed up wearing boots and overalls, though he later switched the boots out for tennis shoes. His running style, similar to his attire, was a rather awkward shuffle and the first day of the race he fell far behind. However, as other runners slept, Young kept on running and took over first place the first night, a position he would never relinquish.

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So Within, So Without

The World We Live In

Our bodies are an inner universe, in relation to the outer universe, and the two together form our Universe, Buddha Nature, Christ Consciousness, God consciousness, or whatever you want to call it.

First, always keep things in perspective. When we look at the vastness of the Universe, both inside and out, things we consider as problems don’t appear nearly as great. Second, this demonstration shows the physical side of the teaching, so within, so without.

However, so within, so without goes deeper. Our inner state becomes our outer experience. For example, when we are angry, or agitated, or frustrated inside, we attract people into our current life situation who are angry, agitated, or frustrated. Or, if we are currently working on a project, such as home repair or attempting to learn a new skill, and we become frustrated, agitated, or angry, all the problems or obstacles that might come up when attempting to learn a new skill or make repairs will come forward in full force. Anyone who reflects back on their experience often enough will clearly see the truth in this fundamental teaching, so within, so without.

Look Inside to Find Karma

When you are experiencing difficulties in life, ask yourself this: What is my inner state? In addition, when you are experiencing life flow along smoothly, ask yourself the same question. Soon you will be in a position to notice any inner disturbance and consciously choose to calm the inner self, BEFORE the consequences of the inner turmoil manifest into your physical reality. In turn, you will be creating the experience you want to have in your life.

This is the meaning of karma, and it is what Jesus meant when he said, “As you sow, so shall you reap.” Moreover, the higher we rise in consciousness, which is to say, the more we discover the conditioned ego in us and act independent of it, the sooner we will notice and experience the effects of karma. Before long, we will find ourselves in a position to consciously manifest our desires in the physical world, with no need to learn from karmic energy.

With Growth Find Freedom

That is what karma is. It is our teacher, in that it helps us to learn how to grow spiritually. In other words, with the growth of conscious awareness, the need for lessons from the cause-effect nature of karmic energy lessons. And it is the conditioned ego that creates the karmic energy, or tension in the body that presents itself as our teacher. To release yourself from karmic energy, just become intensely present, feel the energy in the body, and allow it to flow, without acting on it. When your inner body is calm and you are completely in the now, you are free. Liberate yourself, and be here now!

My Experience with Paramahansa Yogananda

Not long ago I visited the Self Realization Fellowship in Los Angeles, founded by Paramahansa Yogananda in 1920. The building is set on the hills looking over the city and the spectacular view is rivaled only by the building itself, which is a big majestic building that has an aura of sacredness. The grounds are beautifully maintained with several comfortable, quiet spots to enjoy nature while sitting quietly and reflecting on life, or simply meditating on the beauty.

I walked the grounds a bit before going in. Then I entered the building and talked with the receptionist, who informed me the nuns were meditating in the sanctuary and that I was welcome to join them. I decided I would go in and sit down with them and feel the energy. I noticed a portrait of Yogananda immediately as it really stood out! As I gazed in the eyes of the master, the photo seemed to come alive. The appearance of his face seemed to shift constantly, but the gaze remained steady. Moreover, the love conveyed in the master’s eyes was conspicuous. I felt a little overwhelmed and found myself tearing up. After a short time I started feeling very uncomfortable, as I began having trouble breathing, had a hard time swallowing, and felt the need for fresh air and a drink of water. I got up and left the sanctuary to gather myself and take the time to attend to the body’s needs.

After regaining my composure I went back in to meditate. The nuns were stepping out as  I reentered and I felt a little relieved, as I didn’t know what to expect. However, I was committed to let happen whatever was meant to be. I sat in a chair in the half lotus position with my eyes closed and felt a deep peace come over me. I felt drawn to open my eyes and once again gaze in the eyes of Yogananda and his portrait came alive again. Indeed, the same thing happened each time I gazed in the master’s eyes and I truly felt as though I was feeling the essence of Paramahansa Yogananda. It was an incredible experience and I stayed to meditate and experience the bliss for well over an hour.

While meditating in the sanctuary I received a message. I have been considering calling my next book The Book of Eight, and while sitting quietly I got a strong feeling that I was supposed to come back to the SRF in LA and spend eight days walking the grounds, meditating in the sanctuary, and writing the key aspects of each chapter, with day one focusing on chapter one, day two on chapter two, etc. So, after leaving the sanctuary I talked with the receptionist to gather information on who I could talk to about the feasibility of this idea.

The building is open each day to the public, so I could just go there during business hours and leave the grounds when it closes. However, I am currently not working as I am focusing on writing and therefore, I am operating on a very small budget. Consequently, I don’t have the money to rent a motel room. My hope is that there will be someone affiliated with the SRF that could help me find a place to stay. Ideally, I would be able to stay on the grounds during the entire eight days, but I don’t know if that is possible. I am now in the process of planning for the trip and hoping the Universe will pave the way for me. Although the details are not set, I am determined to go back in about a month.

Interestingly, as I was driving home from LA the feeling I had in the sanctuary came back twice. At one point during the drive, I felt a little unsteady due to the torrential downpour and I thought of the master’s name. Amazingly, I  felt immediate relief. Moreover, traffic cleared suddenly and I had a massive amount of space both in front of and behind me. In fact, for the first time on the drive, I could not see a single car on the freeway in any direction! The whole thing was really quite surreal.

For several days after returning home, Paramahansa’s name kept reappearing in my mind. Once while I was on a long walk in nature, I felt the master’s presence and a deep peace came over me once again. I asked Yogananda to be my guide and got a sense that somehow he heard me, which is something I have never experienced before. I asked the master to inspire others to help me in my quest to return to the SRF next month, and answer the call to adventure experienced in the sanctuary. I am curious to see how this all turns out.

Mindfulness to Eliminate Stress

Mindfulness is not a new topic. The idea has been around for thousands of years. However, it is new to the psychological literature. Still, terms relating to mindfulness have been thrown around for years, such as emotion and attention regulation, cognitive reframing, emotion approach coping, etc. However, many of the psychological terms come with connotations of control, whereas, mindfulness typical connotes acceptance. In short, it is non-judgmental awareness. In other words, being mindful is what allows us to experience the authentic self, rather than come from the place of the psychologically conditioned past, otherwise known as the ego.

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