Zen Professor

A Path to a More Fulfilling Life

Tag: God

How to Eliminate Negative Thinking with Presence

Once, while on a walk observing the wildlife in the neighborhood, I was reminded of something written by Eckhart Tolle. The author suggested that humans are the only animals on the planet who know what negativity is. He stated, “The only animals that may occasionally experience something akin to negativity or show signs of neurotic behavior are those that live in close contact with humans and so link into the human mind and its insanity.” This is actually easy to witness when we watch people with their pets. Often times the pet takes on the same neurotic tendencies of their owner. It takes presence in mind and body to remove such tendencies.

Tolle also told of an experience he had while watching two ducks. The ducks were swimming toward one another and when they crossed paths they reared up and opened their wings and engaged in a brief tussle before moving on. The ducks then flapped their wings vigorously before settling back into swimming gracefully as if nothing had ever happened. The author related this to how we act as humans. We tend to hold it inside and build up tension rather than release it like the duck. Then, when we do release it later after it has had a chance to fester, we release it in unhealthy ways.

The Importance of Feeling Before Reacting

After recalling the story, I considered the importance of observing feelings before reacting. By observing the feeling we gain control of the mind. We start directing it rather than having it direct us. After all, how many times have we found ourselves analyzing things to death, only to recognize in the end that it was the simplest answer all along? The idea had already helped me to analyze my own thoughts and feelings more before acting on them.

I realized that if I could gain control of the mind by becoming aware of the feelings before it begins trying to explain them, then much emotional pain can be averted. Typically we hear information and react immediately to it. We start asking ourselves all sorts of questions about it. We start asking, “How does this sit with me?” Immediately, we begin to judge it. We want to know if it belongs in our life. We become accustomed to react with our psychological self before our authentic self even has a chance to observe it. This is what it means to re-act to something, and it leads to many errors, first mentally, then physically. We begin assuming things and making up scenarios in our heads. Before long, we have completed the entire story before even getting another person’s perspective, or our own!

The Art of Presence

To be present, we must continually be aware of our thoughts and feelings. When a powerful emotion, previously labeled as negative, arises, we can use it to snap back into Presence. It is the inner guide saying, “Be alert!” Then, after becoming very alert and present in the now, we can act from the place of the authentic self. When we accept what is, every moment becomes the best moment. It has to. It’s all there is!

We can practice being present, while at the same time, release any stored energy from previously unprocessed emotions. To do this, we must stop occasionally and ask ourselves, “How am I feeling right now?” As the feeling in the moment is recognized, we can adjust the thoughts accordingly. We can recognize when we are feeling ‘bad,’ and after centering the attention on the feeling and allowing it to pass, trace the feeling back to the thought that created it, and then intentionally change the thought.

Presence in Action

For example, let’s say that a man finds himself feeling depressed but he has no reason why. First he can sit for a moment and feel the feelings and begin asking himself where is it? Does it have a shape? Is it moving? He can simply turn all attention toward the feeling itself without attempting to trace it’s origin. Then, after fully processing the emotion, he can trace the feeling back to the thought that created it. It must be remembered, however, this is much easier to do after processing the emotion, because the mind will be much more transparent without the cloud of emotion coloring the lens of perception. Then, if the thought that led to the depressed state was that the man is alone and has nobody to love, he can change the thought. He can say to himself, “I am a being of light and have the capacity to love anyone, anywhere, anytime. I know that this love will be returned as the love in me is the same as the love in everyone.”

What the man chooses to say to himself matters not. The only thing that’s important is that it’s the opposite of the thought that created the unwanted feelings of depression. To be able to easily change the thought, we need only to meditate on the fact that we are not the thoughts and can choose to change them at will. Soon, we will come to believe this truth and it will become much easier to utilize the method of recognizing feelings, processing them, tracing the feeling to the thought, and then changing the thought to what is wanted.

We Must Not Lie to Ourselves

Of course it’s still important not to lie to ourselves. In having a negative experience, for example, we must not try and convince ourselves it was positive. We must consider what good may come from the experience. In this way, we are training the mind to look toward the positive and away from the negative aspects of life. This is what is meant by move toward the light. We need only continue moving toward the light of the authentic self and away from the darkness of the psychological self. After all, feelings are the Universe’s way of communicating with the authentic self to show what It truly is, whereas thoughts and emotions are Its way of showing what we are not. Therefore, what we must do is surrender to the guidance of the Universe.

Perhaps the greatest part of surrender and acceptance is that we must accept and forgive ourselves first. Only then can we learn to accept and forgive others. By so doing, we surrender to the Reality of All That Is and the only thing remaining is peace. Anyone can actually reach this place. All it takes is complete acceptance and forgiveness of everyone and everything. Those who reach this state are given the title of enlightened one.

Heaven and Hell are Here and Now

Many interpret the Bible to mean that heaven and hell are places we go after the death of the body. However, to me, Jesus was explaining how to experience heaven on earth. A person who is enlightened lives Jesus’ teachings, and will remain in a state of bliss, which is heaven on earth. In contrast, an individual who is trapped in his own mind and has committed atrocities against humanity is in hell now, in the present moment. Even if that person presents an image of one who is normal and happy, in his mind and body he is most likely torturing himself over what he has done. That is God’s wrath. It occurs within the human mind and continues “throughout eternity” because he carries it with him for the rest of his life.

This is where forgiveness comes in. Forgiveness can come to anyone for anything through awakening to the present moment. Once we realize the truth that God is in everything and everyone, and we truly are One in every sense of the word, the sins are forgiven and the mind and body are now free of the pain and suffering endured in the time before becoming awakened, allowing forgiveness to take place.

To learn more about presence see my book on the topic, which can be found here.

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Deeper Teachings From “The Lord’s Prayer”

The Lord’s Prayer is often interpreted literally. But I believe it is speaking to consciousness. When it states, “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name” it is directing our consciousness to center on the One (the Uniting Force of the Universe and everything within It) and ready It for the prayer. This is similar to meditation when we make the sound, “Ahhh…” What we are doing when making this sound is preparing the mind for communion with the Source Energy. It is considered the “sound of God” and when we center attention on this sound, not only are we hearing the sound of God (The Absolute, The One, Source Energy), we are feeling the vibrations of Source Energy, helping bring us into the present moment.

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How Our Bodies Mirror the Earth and Why It Matters

When I ask myself what is God, the answer is different than before. The fact is God is everything! I have heard this before but what does it really mean? It means everything. This is the reason we cannot grasp it. It is almost humorous and tragic all at the same time.

It seems to be all about how we perceive reality. If we look at it from the perspective of a pyramid with God at the top, we miss the truth of the message being delivered by all the great religions and spiritual teachers throughout human existence. Life is not hierarchical. God is not at the top of everything. God IS everything! God is the total, not merely the leader or director of it all. God is it all!

Visualize the Universe as a Sphere

Perhaps a good way to visualize where we fit into the Universe, if there is one, is to use a sphere. Imagine yourself looking at a giant sphere composed of three-dimensional puzzle pieces. Actually see your physical body looking at that sphere. See the enormous ball with an infinite number of pieces with varying shapes and sizes. Now, instead of seeing yourself looking at it, see yourself as a part of it. Imagine you are one of the numerous components within this giant sphere. You and every other piece in that sphere are essential. No piece is any less important than any other. Consequently, there is no mistake in your creation. You are essential to the wholeness of Nature.

Now imagine the Universe, or God, is the sphere. Even this doesn’t really work because you are then seeing God as separate from something and It is not. But just for this thought experiment, let’s say that you can actually “see” everything. So God IS this metaphorical sphere and all the components of the universe are all the physical “stuff” that makes up the “body” of God. The stars, planets, asteroids, rocks, oceans, trees, plants, insects, animals and people are all parts of the Living God. None are more or less important than any other. This is what Jesus meant when he said that you are the body. God experiences the play of form through our physical bodies, as well as through the physical body of every other form in existence.

If one were to view oneself as an integral part of this massive sphere of universal form, then one would experience peace and harmony through unity. However, if one sees oneself as being above or below any other part of the sphere, there is disharmony. How could there not be?

The Universe Is Not Hierarchical

God is harmony! This is why when one experiences a traumatic life event, one has the opportunity to transcend the ego and become liberated. One’s belief system, the structure of the mind so-to-speak, collapses and what is left is the Christ Consciousness experiencing the play of form. Then life becomes harmonious and joyful.

The erroneous thinking that the universe is like a pyramid with God at the top, followed by humans, and then by everything else, has created many problems. Many believe that God (a separate entity) gave man (also separate) dominion over the world. This line of thinking that humans must control everything has led to massive destruction of the planet. It’s helpful to remember how the Native Americans used to live in harmony with the land, giving thanks to Nature for providing them with all they needed.

Humanity is raping the land by cutting down all of the old-growth forests, which take hundreds or even thousands of years to become established. The waters are being polluted and the oceans are being over-harvested. Those who don’t see this are blind to reality. They are blind because they perceive themselves at the top of the pyramid rather than as an integral part of the sphere. It is possible we will destroy the planet to a point of no return. But I don’t think that will happen. Most likely the earth would simply rid itself of us and then rebuild without humans in the way. I don’t think that will happen either. Instead, I believe humanity will shift to a higher consciousness and live in harmony with Mother Nature once again. 

The Earth’s Immune System

When I used to teach High School Biology, it always seemed to me that microorganisms were part of the earth’s immune system to protect it from over population. After all, when a population of any given species becomes too large for a particular area what happens? First famine sets in as the food supply runs low. Then, the organisms begin to starve, lowering their resistance to disease. Next, a virus sweeps through the group, killing a large enough percentage that the remaining organisms now have enough available food to survive.

That species can now live harmoniously with the environment once again, until the next time the population becomes too large to be supported by the available resources and the cycle is repeated. In addition, the surviving organisms are the ones that were most resistant to that particular virus. Therefore, the genes passed on to the offspring provide an immune system similar to the parents, and the population as a whole becomes stronger. If the same virus were to return, the surviving population would be more resistant to it, and it would take some other microorganism to reduce the population to a sustainable level. This natural process helps to ensure balance is maintained throughout the ecosystems of the planet.

Our Bodies Mirror the Planet

Now compare this analogy to the human body. The human body is really a walking planet, made up of trillions of cells and containing innumerable microorganisms. As long as these microorganisms remain in balance, the body stays healthy. However, if too much of any given microorganism becomes present, such as bacteria or viruses, the body suffers. To protect against this, like the earth, the body has a first line of defense. This first line of defense is referred to as passive immunity and includes the skin, cilia in the nose, mucous membranes, etc. This passive immunity helps to maintain the balance of microorganisms within the body, much like how viruses help to maintain the balance of populations on earth.

When an invading microorganism penetrates the first line of defense, the body’s second line of defense is called into action. The second line of defense is provided by the body in the form of white blood cells, which have the task of destroying the microorganism and returning the body to equilibrium. If the body’s immune system cannot maintain a healthy balance, it dies. Therefore, the infected individual cannot cause harm to others and again, the population as a whole benefits.

If They Are “Natural” Are They “Disasters?”

The first line of defense for the Mother Earth is the atmosphere, which prevents space debris from causing too much damage to the planet by burning it up before it gets there. Perhaps the second line of defense for the planet comes in the form of natural disasters. At least they are disasters to us. To the earth they are blessings. Floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, etc., are all considered natural disasters because they sweep through a large area, wiping out entire populations of living organisms. But to the earth these “natural disasters” are beneficial because once these populations are removed, that part of the earth is free to heal itself, much like removing the bacteria from an infected wound allows it to heal. After all, when an infestation overtakes a forest, killing a large percentage of trees and leaving much dry foliage, a forest fire is likely to occur, destroying the organisms that led to the infestation and allowing the trees to return.

To me, this is similar to the killer T cells of the active immune system. These particular white blood cells travel to the site of infection and wipe out large areas of cells, both infected and uninfected. Then the individual feels symptoms of the disease and for a while, suffers. But the body is then allowed the opportunity to heal itself and balance is restored.

We can also compare the human body systems to the earth’s ecosystems, each with its own specific function to help maintain balance. For example, the circulatory system is a network of canals branching off into smaller and smaller passages that deliver nutrients to the rest of the body. Similarly, the earth’s water system delivers much-needed nutrients around the planet. In addition, the respiratory system delivers oxygen to the entire body, while the earth’s forests deliver oxygen to the entire planet. These comparisons go on and on. It is much like what the great masters have said about how the small mirrors the whole. All we must do is make the connection that all of life operates in the same way and we can see the incredible Oneness of it all.  Amazing!

To learn more, you can contact us, or to see our books on Amazon, please click on this link below.

Jeffry Beers

Email: jeffrybeers@gmail.com

Jeffry’s books are available on Amazon and Kindle.

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What is God and How do we Call on the Power?

God is unnameable, and therefore, in order to understand It, all we have is metaphor. The following excerpt, from my book The New Season: Journey Toward Enlightenment, is an example of such an allegory:

Isha got up and walked toward Jarred. Once again he placed his hand on Jarred’s head and the lights went out. When Jarred opened his eyes he shook his head in disbelief. In front of him, about three hundred yards away, were thousands of men who were heavily armed with swords and shields. The men were lined up in rows that stretched as far as the eye could see. He looked down and saw a sword in his own hand, along with a heavy metal shield in the other. He found himself banging his chest with the butt of the sword. The metal made a loud clanging sound against the gold plated chest armor he was wearing.

Jarred felt sweat dripping from his armpits and the heat underneath the heavy armor was almost unbearable. When he looked around he saw hundreds of men dressed just like him, screaming at the top of their lungs. He felt a rush of adrenalin flood his body. He had never felt such power. The stench of body odor coming from the soldiers was like nothing he had ever experienced but it didn’t seem to bother him.

He heard the roar of trumpets behind him and the men in his battalion screamed louder. He found himself hollering along with them and his body, or rather, the body he was in, felt like it was about to burst with energy. Suddenly, the entire group of men, including Jarred himself, started running toward the endless rows of the enemy troops. They were heavily outnumbered but he felt no fear, only a primal rage he had never experienced before.

Their enemy marched toward them in single file lines. Jarred could see men off in the distance turn and run. Why would they run? After all, their army must outnumber his ten to one. Moments later they were close enough for him to see the whites of their eyes. Was that fear he saw in their faces? How could they be afraid of so few warriors?

His battalion tore through the first several lines of defense as if they were running through crepe paper. Men began falling right and left. He could feel his muscles strain in his arm as he swung the sword violently through every man that got in his way. His other arm moved spontaneously from side to side, blocking the thrust of the opponent’s weapons as each swung wildly in an attempt to fight back.

Jarred’s group continued to move forward, leaving bodies strewn on the ground and creating a path through the middle of the opposing army. By the time they made it through the first pass, half their enemies had either fled or been slain. Jarred’s group turned around and paused before another loud boom of trumpets went off. Then they let out another terrifying scream before charging back through the enemy again. The result was similar. This time, however, the rest of the opposing army turned and ran. The entire battle was over in a matter of minutes.

The Ego God

Jarred found himself sitting on the couch in Isha’s apartment once again and suddenly he understood. In the Old Testament, when it talks of armies using trumpets to call on God to support them in battle, what they were actually calling on was the collective consciousness of the men. Isha referred to this as the ego god, because it imposes the limit of form on Limitless Source Energy. They had been trained for war their entire lives. They were conditioned to believe their greatest purpose was to die in battle for a worthy cause. And what better cause than to serve God’s purpose?

Jarred could now see that the trumpets were used to generate great strength from the men. Because they believed God was backing them, they had substantial courage and mustered up the strength to scream a war cry so terrifying the opponents cowered in fear. Here were hundreds or even thousands of men who had been raised to believe in an all-powerful God. They were conditioned to believe their purpose in this world was to be a warrior and fight for honor. They were then conditioned to believe that the sound of the trumpet summoned the “Lord” to their side. Because they were facing death, their attention was tuned even more toward what would keep them alive, namely, that God would help them to overcome what appeared to be insurmountable odds.

With all these men thinking the same positive thoughts a tremendous amount of energy was tapped into. The energy was then directed toward their opponents in battle. With the collective consciousness of the men all in tune with one another, their power was great. So great, in fact, armies outnumbered ten to one were able to come out victorious.

Calling on God’s Power

The men were able to collectively call on “God’s” power and perform what would later be called a “miracle” victory. Many give God the credit and rightly so, but not in the way they think. God is not a separate entity that creates a miracle independent of the people who witness it. God is the miracle! And the miracle is created through the men. After all, God cannot create a “miracle” for us to witness in the physical world without us any more than we could create a miracle without the power of God, simply because someone must be there to witness it and label it a “miracle.” This is what is meant when it talks in the Bible about giving all the credit to God. Nothing can be done without God, of course that is true. We are not separate of God; rather, collectively we, along with everything else in the world, are God!

Jarred now understood what Isha meant when he said we are a manifestation created by God so that It can experience the physical world through our bodily senses. What that means is God is in each of us and, in essence, what we do we do totally for God. It is God who experiences life through us. This is why some have said there is no good or bad, only what is. Everything we label as good or bad is a label we give it. Therefore, when we no longer see or feel it in physical form, not only does it no longer exist, neither does the label that became attached to it.

Coming from this perspective one can see how God cannot perform a miracle without us to witness it and label it as such. Of course, if God cannot perform a miracle without our physical bodies then the opposite is also true. Our physical bodies could not do a thing without God’s “permission,” so to speak. Our bodies are directed by the consciousness of our being, which is God. As long as we are in tune with the authentic self, our soul, we are listening to and following the will of God. However, if we are listening to the psychological self, or ego, we are not following the will of God; rather, we are following the will of the self. Following the will of the self is what brings on suffering.

Free Will is the Direction of Attention

This is where free will comes in. We have the freedom to choose the direction of our attention. We can direct it toward the accumulation of worldly things and be egocentric, or we can direct it toward the joy of experiencing form as it unfolds naturally in front of us and be God-centric. In the former we focus on form, in the latter we focus on the experience of form. When we focus on form we suffer because form changes constantly, hence, we experience loss. However, when we focus on the life force beneath the form we do not suffer because there is no loss, only transformation. Therefore, we experience growth through the eternal expansion and continual renewal of life.

When we are not in touch with the authentic self we become separated from Source Energy and suffer, because we get lost in the physical world. We become the form rather than the formless. We go from place to place thinking of nothing other than; I want more money, a new car, more clothes, more food, more friends, more lovers, more children, more people to like me, and a host of other “mores” in the physical realm.

Staying Connected with Source Energy

The problem with this is it is a backward way of thinking. In order to stay in touch with the authentic self and stay connected to the God Source, we need only think of what we want from all these “mores,” such as more love, more joy, or more peace. This is why Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is within. If we keep attention centered on these internal rewards, our physical world will begin to align with our internal world. In other words, if children bring us joy, then we will have more children, or find ways to be around children and experience the joy they bring us. If a spouse is what brings us love and we stay focused on love, then we will act in loving ways and attract a spouse who brings us love. If nature brings us peace and we stay focused on peace, then we will find ourselves in nature often and we will experience peace.

So many people look to the external world to bring them internal happiness but it cannot be long lasting. It cannot last long because the physical world is temporal. Form comes and goes, therefore, so too will our experience of joy be fleeting if we look to find it in form. Instead, if we find joy in the transformation of form, the unfolding of life before us, then we will experience permanent bliss because the one thing that is constant about form is that it will change. Therefore, we must embrace this change.

One might go into mourning after the death of a spouse and keep her awareness centered on missing her husband. She continues to mourn while thinking in this way. This is not good or bad. It simply is. Then, one day she begins to turn her attention toward the happy memories shared with her spouse while they were together. The more her attention stays centered on the love shared, the faster she is able to come out of the mourning. In contrast, the more she centers her attention on what’s missing, the longer she will mourn the loss.

This is why some people take longer to mourn the loss of a loved one than others, and some never come out of it at all. They focus all their attention on missing the person and never get around to thinking about the love that was experienced. Or, when they do recall the love shared, they immediately return their attention toward missing the person and the negative cycle continues. This is also what is meant by the idea that we will suffer until the suffering is no longer necessary.

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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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