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A Path to a More Fulfilling Life

Tag: inner peace (page 1 of 5)

Forgiveness Is Key to Letting Go of Pain

The other day the phrase to error is human, to forgive is divine came to mind. Indeed, everyone makes mistakes. But only those who are ready and able to let go of the pain are able to forgive. Forgiveness is a Divine act. And we must get the ego out of the way in order to truly do it. But we can use the ego itself to be free of it. This is where the phrase fake it till you make it comes in.

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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?

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Self Development Isn’t Always Easy

The process of self development can be a slow, tedious experience. Other times it can happen in leaps and bounds. The most powerful meditation I have ever experienced occurred a little less than a year ago. First, I had a short but nice meditation. Then, I went on an hour long walk. I connected with Father Sun twice while I contemplated my personal sun ray. When I got home I decided to meditate again. I was laying on my back with my hands crossed over my chest, but soon I felt the desire to put my arms out by my side and totally surrender. I thought of Jesus and felt energy in my ajna chakra, or third eye. Then I thought of Paramahansa Yogananda and felt energy in the middle chakras. Finally, I thought of the Buddha and felt energy in the muladhara, or root chakra.

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Give Up the Need to Be in Control to Find Peace

When we let go of the need to be in control we find peace. We can simply surrender and let the Universe be in control. It is anyway, whether we resist it or not. Consider that we are living on a giant rock which is, in it’s core, molten lava, spinning through space at thousands of miles per hour and reliant on the energy from the sun millions of miles away. Still, we believe we are in control. The only thing we control is how we react to life. This doesn’t mean we can’t ask for what we want; it simply means we must be okay with the answer no. It also helps to give up the desire for things to be different than they are.

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Shadow of Self and Why It Matters

There are two selves we often read about in literature describing the nature of self. First there is the psychological or egoic self, signified by a small s, as in “self.” The other is the Authentic Self or Higher Self, represented by a big S, as in “Self.” It is the light of awareness that arises from the Authentic Self. And it is the darkness of the shadow that is cast by the ego.

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Notice Perceptions to Eliminate Judgment

I remember reading something about how people become kindred spirits when they feel empowered by you. Once, a friend described feeling that way from talking to me. She suggested it was because she felt as though I did not judge her. And I never did judge her. I decided I would tap into the reason and make it part of my daily experience. Not that I viewed myself as a judgmental person. I did not. However, it is easy to find ourselves questioning choices people make in very subtle ways, such as what they are wearing, or the things that they say or do. However, I don’t recall there being even a trace of judgement with my friend.

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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 Direction of Attention Creates Our Inner Reality

There is a Zen story that depicts how the direction of attention creates our inner reality. Once there was a man who had so many children living in his farmhouse he could take it no longer. He finally decided to go see a Zen master and ask for his advice. The man went to the master and said, “Wise one, I am at my wits end. There are so many children living in my house that I can’t find a moment’s peace. What shall I do?”

The master replied, “Invite your mother and father in-law to come live with you.”

The man was surprised by the response, but he believed in the wisdom of the master and he didn’t know what else to do. So, reluctantly, he invited is wife’s parents to come live with them. However, the house became even more crowded and he and his in-laws disagreed on how to raise the children so the man felt more stress, not less. He went back to the master and told him of his dilemma.

When the man asked for advice as to what to do next the master replied, “Invite your children’s aunts and uncles to come live with you as well.”

Again the man could not see the logic but he followed the advice anyway, hoping the wisdom of the master went beyond his own recognition. However, rather than helping the man to find peace, he felt more stress than ever and again he went back to the master for advice. He said, “Master, I have followed your advice and brought in my wife’s relatives and there is less space than ever. I can’t get a moment’s peace. What shall I do?”

After putting his hand to his chin and pondering it for a moment the master replied, “Bring in all the animals from the farm.”

The man thought that sounded crazy but he still believed in the wisdom of the master and followed his advice. A short while later the man returned to the master more exasperated than ever before. He said, “Good Master, I have followed your advice to the letter and things continue to worsen. I have invited my wife’s parents to live with us. I have invited her brothers and sisters and all their children. I have brought in all the animals from the farm. There is no longer any room in the house for anyone or anything else. I am at a loss as to what to do. What do you suggest?”

Without hesitating the master said, “Remove all the animals and ask your in-laws to leave.”

So, the man did as the master had suggested. First he went home and he removed all the animals from the house. He then asked the aunts and uncles to take their children and leave. Then he asked his mother and father in-law to leave. Suddenly, the house seemed so big and spacious that the noise of the children was like music to the man’s ears. He had finally found his peace.

Turn Attention Toward the Space That Unites

The moral of the story is obvious when we look at it from the perspective of perception. Before meeting with the master, the man’s attention was going toward the noise and behaviors of the children. His attention was not on the space but on the objects of the space. However, once he had a different point of reference, he changed the direction of his attention from the objects to the space. Suddenly, there seemed to be much more space than before and peace was to be found there.

The message behind this story appears to be two-fold. First, the direction of attention creates our inner reality. Second, we must focus on both what is and what is not in order to get the entire picture of our current situation. A wonderful poem that illustrates this idea can be found in the Toa Te Ching in which Lao Tzu wrote:

We put thirty spokes together and call it a wheel; But it is on the space where there is nothing that the usefulness of the wheel depends. We turn clay to make a vessel, But it is on the space where there is nothing that the usefulness of the vessel depends. We pierce doors and windows to make a house, And it is on these spaces where there is nothing that the usefulness of the house depends. Therefore, just as we take advantage of what is, we should recognize the usefulness of what is not.

See the Entire Picture

Lao Tzu is reminding us of the importance of seeing the entire picture. The moment we get pigeonholed into looking at life in bits and pieces, the more we support, in our subconscious beliefs, the idea that life is full of random chaotic events. However, when we zoom out and see the big picture, it becomes clear that life is far different than this. Everything is intimately connected to everything else. Nothing happens independently. It is merely the mind’s tendency to pull out sections of reality and evaluate its meaning in a reductionalistic fashion. When this is done information is lost. In turn, our understanding of the object of perception becomes limited.

The Bible often refers to this idea when it suggests to “meditate on God” or on “God’s word.” The problem comes when one assumes “God” to be an external source of energy. I don’t think it can be overstated that our interpretation of what “God” is is imperative to our understanding of the concepts being discussed. How good could advice be if we choose to only listen to a portion of it? For example, if we are told to invest our money into real estate, and we choose to invest but we invest in the stock market and lose all our money, did listening to a portion of the advice help us?

For some practical advise in using present moment awareness to find peace, see my book: Peace: The Art of Mindfulness to Eliminate Stress.

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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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