Zen Professor

A Path to a More Fulfilling Life

Tag: letting go (page 2 of 4)

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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Our Purpose is to Experience Life

If we were to ask the Universe, “What purpose would you have me serve?” the answer would be simple. The Universe would say, “Pay attention to life so I can experience it through you.” In the absence of the ego and judgment, that’s exactly what would happen. Universal Consciousness, or Christ Consciousness, is allowed to experience life through our senses when we come from the place of the authentic self. This is why many spiritual teachers explain that we are not the doer. Once the psychological self is recognized and released, there is no self doing anything. There is only present moment awareness acting out of the place of awakened consciousness. Life then experiences Itself through you. Continue reading

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The Meaning of Socrates’ Allegory of the Cave

Once, I went on a walk through a park in my neighborhood. It was a still mid-morning and the sun cast a shadow on the sidewalk from the trees that lined the path. The huge evergreens that bordered it seemed to protect the park from invading forces. In the center, there were many multi-colored deciduous trees with shades of green, brown, and red, and the flowering buds displaying the newness of spring took me by surprise. At one point I stopped and stared at a bee investigating one of the new found treasures. It was darting in and out of a white flower rising from a shrub that was not yet in full bloom, moving from the flower to a closed bud merely promising to bloom and back to the flower once again, as if it was asking, “What are the rest of you waiting for?”

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The Ego Blocks Connection: Let Go!

Once, when I was teaching, I was reminded of the importance of making connections through stories. I shared a personal story with my students and they, in turn, opened up with many stories of their own. I was grateful for this reminder and continued the practice in future class lessons. On the drive home from work that day, it occurred to me that it is the ego that keeps us from sharing personal stories because it is what causes us to be afraid of being judged. That thought revealed a simple fact to me; ego gets in the way of truth.

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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 One Dream of Life

“If we trace the source of both our physical self and our spiritual self, we can see that there is only One.”

The following excerpt is from my first book, The Lost Season. It is a story of a former football coach learning to develop a new life, a life after coaching. I decided to publish this section in it’s entirety as it portrays a different view of the biblical creation story, and provides a perspective that has a chance to help us in the here and now. I hope you enjoy it.

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Courage and Intention Lead to The Path of Liberation

There are many paths leading to liberation. We simply need to choose the one that seems to fit us best. Three of the most widely practiced ideologies are Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism. In this article I intend to demonstrate how these three religious ideologies, when viewed in the absence of morality, are actually a life philosophy that are saying basically the same thing. Furthermore, the concepts presented are parallel to what we see in psychology and science. When viewed in this way, we can decipher the true meaning behind the teachings and gain practical advice to use in our daily life.

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Finding Peace in Everyday Life

“The expansive energy that is there in everyone, was, in that moment, free, and in the stillness of the mind I felt that expansive energy as it flowed through me. ”

Presence of Mind and Body

Presence is where we find the deeper self, or authentic self, the one who is aware of the thoughts and emotions. Some refer to it as the witness. When we are the witness of our thoughts and emotions we are free to act independent of them. In a sense, this is what is meant by liberation, as we become liberated from the past/future thinking mind, which tends to regret past mistakes, and/or worry about future possibilities, both of which bring emotional suffering into the now. When we are in this particular frame of mind, we are actually not present. Instead, we are living in the past, which doesn’t exist, or living in the future, which has yet to take place. Many of the past philosophical teachings, by Confucius, Socrates, Buddha, Christ, and more, are centered on escaping the limiting beliefs of the ego and living in the present moment, which is all there really is. This is what is meant by Christ Intelligence, or Buddha nature.

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How Do We Become Less Judgmental?

“A thought is just a thought, nothing more.”

A key component to learning how to watch thoughts non-judgmentally is to simply become aware when we are judging them as good or bad. Most of us do this nonconsciously all the time. Some thoughts are “good” and other thoughts are “bad.” It is important to recognize that thoughts are neither good nor bad, they are benign.

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