The Wise Guide

imagesCA8YLE0IThe Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

by Sogyal Rinpoche

Excerpt

THE WISE GUIDE

Two people have been living in you all your life. One is the ego, garrulous, demanding, hysterical, calculating; the other is the hidden spiritual being, whose still voice of wisdom you have only rarely heard or attended to. As you listen more and more to the teachings, contemplate them, and integrate them into your life, your inner voice, your innate wisdom of dis­cernment, what we call in Buddhism “discriminating aware­ness,” is awakened and strengthened, and you begin to distinguish between its guidance and the various clamorous and enthralling voices of ego. The memory of your real nature, with all its splendor and confidence, begins to return to you.

You will find, in fact, that you have uncovered in yourself your own wise guide. Because he or she knows you through and through, since he or she is you, your guide can help you, with increasing clarity and humor, negotiate all the difficulties of your thoughts and emotions. Your guide can also be a con­tinual, joyful, tender, sometimes teasing presence, who knows always what is best for you and will help you find more and more ways out of your obsession with your habitual responses and confused emotions. As the voice of your dis­criminating awareness grows stronger and clearer, you will start to distinguish between its truth and the various decep­tions of the ego, and you will be able to listen to it with dis­cernment and confidence.

The more often you listen to this wise guide, the more eas­ily you will be able to change your negative moods yourself, see through them, and even laugh at them for the absurd dra­mas and ridiculous illusions that they are. Gradually you will find yourself able to free yourself more and more quickly from the dark emotions that have ruled your life, and this ability to do so is the greatest miracle of all. Terton Sogyal, the Tibetan mystic, said that he was not really impressed by someone who could turn the floor into the ceiling or fire into water. A real miracle, he said, was if someone could liberate just one negative emotion.

More and more, then, instead of the harsh and fragmented gossip that ego has been talking to you all your life, you will find yourself hearing in your mind the clear directions of the teachings, which inspire, admonish, guide, and direct you at every turn. The more you listen, the more guidance you will receive. If you follow the voice of your wise guide, the voice of your discriminating awareness, and let ego fall silent, you come to experience that presence of wisdom and joy and bliss that you really are. A new life, utterly different from that when you were masquerading as your ego, begins in you. And when death comes, you will have learned already in life how to control those emotions and thoughts that in the states of death, the bardos, would otherwise take on an overwhelm­ing reality.

When your amnesia over your identity begins to be cured, you will realize finally that dak dzin, grasping at self, is the root cause of all your suffering. You will understand at last how much harm it has done both to yourself and to others, and you will realize that both the noblest and the wisest thing to do is to cherish others instead of cherishing yourself. This will bring healing to your heart, healing to your mind, and healing to your spirit.

It is important to remember always that the principle of egolessness does not mean that there was an ego in the first place, and the Buddhists did away with it. On the contrary, it means there was never any ego at all to begin with. To realize that is called “egolessness.”

 

I learn a lot from reading Buddhist teachings.  I hope this quote will help you on your way today.

Namaste.

 

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Joy Happens To Us

free-wallpaper-17[1]“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” – Marianne Williamson

I was talking to a friend today about how easy life is if we simply check in and see what we truly in our heart of hearts want.  We were discussing the upcoming holiday season with all its challenges.  She was in the process of deciding which parties to give or attend; how much money to spend on the people she loves; and, how she was going to find time for herself.  I suggested she simply check in with herself.  What does she truly want to do?  Do that.

We can easily get off track this time of year.  We commit first and consider second.   And, before you know it, we are so tired or stressed we miss the whole spirit of the season.

As Marianne Williamson says life is filled with good things – love, caring for each other, peace, happiness, smiles, laughter, music, friends, children, dogs, blogs! – and, anything else you believe is good!  Maybe doing only what we truly want and focusing on all the good things will allow Joy to happen to us at this special time!

Namaste.

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Unbounded by Space and Time

imagesCA4SET61We are all unbounded by space and time. Free. Just passing through this lifetime. Consider for a moment your ability to imagine. In our imagination we can go to any time or place. We can have any experience we can imagine.

Try it. Find a quiet, comfortable place. Breathe and relax. Close your eyes. Now you can go anyplace you choose. The beach on a warm day. The mountains in the snow. Mars. The Andromeda galaxy. At one with source, creator or however you envision the transcendent. You can be anything you choose to be. Brilliant or beautiful. Young or a wise old sage. You can be in any time you choose. Watching the dinosaurs from a nearby hilltop. Travelling through space at warp speed to rendezvous with your mother ship.

Did you ever stop to consider how powerful imagination can be? Some teachings say imagination is the voice of the transcendent. Others that we can change our lives by living in imagination – the energy literally shifts us physically. And, it’s fun!

Many hard core scientific discoveries began in someone’s imagination. A new thought. Creation. Maybe the way our whole material world was and is created is through imagination? I wonder how consciousness and imagination are related? If they aren’t the same thing, I expect they are at least very good friends.

The life you have right now is the life you have imagined. If you want a change, simply go into your imagination and create what’s next. It really is that simple.

Namaste.

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Don’t Go Back To Sleep

beautiful-mountain-dawn-108975[1]“The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep!

You must ask for what you really want. Don’t go back to sleep!

People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open. Don’t go back to sleep!” – Rumi

I can’t add anything to that! Wish I had known Rumi.

Namaste.

 

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Balance

Space_Nebula_Nebula_Orange_Blue_Stars_42567_detail_thumb[1]We are out of balance – women and men. Somewhere along the way we lost the feminine side of our natures. Or, if not lost, at least repressed – unacknowledged – unlived.

With the advent of christianity somewhere around 2,000 years ago the feminine side of our nature began a slow decline. One god – male – with a son. Eventually, Mary was invited to the party – sort of. Did you realize christianity was the first major religion centered around one god?   Prior to that time most cultures honored many goddesses/gods – most of them connected to the natural world in some way. The feminine and the masculine sides of us were reflected in our gods and goddesses.

Women and feminine energy were further repressed during the catholic church’s Inquisition where women were burned at the stake as witches. A close look at the history of The Burning Times is shocking and sickening. The church clearly had a brutal campaign to further discredit women and the feminine energy of both sexes. To this day women are not represented in the church in any meaningful way at all. A church out of balance – no feminine energy at the uppermost levels to influence doctrine.

Many cultures around the world still openly oppress women and devalue them. More imbalance. Even here in the West, women are not represented equally in the upper most positions in our society.  Sexual harassment of women is a frequent news item these days.

This is not a post about equality for women. My point is as a global people, we are out of balance – all of us – men and women.

Recently many have described our world as a flatland, wasteland, and barren. It is felt the Earth herself is dying. We no longer hear the voice of the feminine and it is our own spiritual selves – men and women – that are impoverished.

The wisdom of the feminine teaches us the unity of all life, including the sacredness of the body and the Earth. It embraces the interconnectedness of all living beings and honors the natural cycles of life and death. Inclusive, intuitive and receptive. The opposite of the drive to conquer and control, preferring rather to dance to the flowing music of the Great Mystery.

The Age of Aquarius – the age of the common man and woman. Maybe it’s time we begin listening to our own inner knowing – to realize it’s time to heal the split between masculine and feminine, ego and spirt in ourselves. Healing and change begins with each of us – inside – one at a time – restoring balance to our world.

Namaste.

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Make the World Go Away

tumblr_n9pr7nk4EC1sknuc2o2_1280[1]Did you ever stop to wonder why we want to make the world go away at times? It all just seems too much. All of our coping skills go on vacation for a while and we feel stranded, raw, alone, unloved. It’s as though all our internal demons are front and center at once.

Emotional stress.   Somehow we feel as though we aren’t enough. Or, we have made a terrible mistake – guilt creeps in. Maybe we feel like an imposter in our own life – if they only knew who I really am. Maybe we are living in new territory – pushing ourselves – maybe too far. Sometimes we live in the past and endlessly trace out every decision, beating ourselves up for the “wrong” ones. Or, conversely, we live in the future and worry about what’s to come. Trying – a key word if we are looking for causes of stress in our lives – endlessly trying. I’m sure you can add many other areas of stress from your own life.

So, we hit a wall and want to make the world go away.  Lots of ways to make the world go away. Sleep. Watching TV, reading or just generally checking out in some way. Sex works, sometimes. Exercise. Drugs, legal or illegal. Alcohol. Shopping. You get the idea. Checking out for a while occasionally is OK. It’s when checking out replaces coping with our life that we can begin to get into trouble. Here is where addictions are born.

What if we simply realize we are unique, beautiful, and wonderful just as we are? Sometimes we are brilliant and sometimes we aren’t. Some choices serve us well and some don’t. The future hasn’t happened yet – no way for us to know what life will bring. At times we walk in the light and at times in the dark. We are humans – not some programmed cyborg always doing everything “right”.

I wonder how our lives would change if we simply accepted our humanity and the humanity of each other?

Namaste.

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First Love

imagesDOJAIOFAYour first love is – you.  So many of us skipped this step as we grew from children to adults.  If we were lucky, our parents loved us and we felt their love.  If we were not lucky, we didn’t feel parental love.   Either way.  Here we are.  Now.  This moment.  Do you love you?

Have you ever taken the time to go inside and get to know who you really are?  Not your ego self – the self you have constructed in order to be socially cool.  Or maybe you felt over the years who you really are is flawed in some way.  So, you began playing a role – like an actor or actress in a play.  Nothing wrong with that.  We all have our roles we play in life.  The real problem arises if you have forgotten who you really are inside.

Our true self is nothing but love – no need to look for it outside ourselves.  Once we discover our true essence, we radiate love.  It’s like sunlight on a cloudless day.  It shines through us.

So, how can you tell if you truly love yourself?  Try asking yourself these questions:  If I really love myself would I make this choice?  Would I be with this person?  Would I put this in my body?  Would I spend my time in this way?  Would I hold these beliefs?  Would I talk to myself in this way?  You get the idea!

“Being” in Love.  You are the “Being.”

Namaste.

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The Unknown

“One is never afraid of the unknown; one is afraid of the known coming to an end.” – Krishnamurti (1895 – 1986)

Doesn’t this teaching by Krishnamurti put a whole new twist on things? First, it helps us see – we tend to be afraid of the known ending – more than we are afraid of the unknown. Sounds obvious. But, is it?

We all age. Some of us want to hang onto a previous age – a known. The weird thing is it isn’t even real anymore. Why do we resist moving into the unknown of the age we are? Why do we feel a compulsion to hang onto youth – why do we resist the unknown of each year as it passes and we grow older? It sort of turns the whole present moment awareness thing upside down. How can I live in the present moment if I’m afraid to be the age I am – if I’m afraid to let go of who I was?

Ken Wilbur teaches we transcend our old selves and yet include them in who we are at any given moment. I agree with him. Who I am today is the totality of all I’ve been, learned and experienced – in this lifetime and maybe in many lifetimes. In this post I’m discussing more your conscious identity – who you believe you are today – are you hanging onto an aspect of you from a past time and living your life solely from that identity?

You may say, “I’m not afraid to be the age I am!” Really look – how much of the past do you hold on to? And, conversely, how much of today do you embrace?

Is it time for Daddy or Momma’s darling to grow up? Is it time for the party girl to hang up her dress? Is it time to embrace the idea of true, intimate love rather than just sex? Is it time for the student to go to work? Is it time to retire and give up your identity as a wage earner? Is it time to hand back to your parents their life and live your own? I could go on. You get the idea. Living in the past – the known – has many, many faces.

So, what’s the big deal? You live in the past and you like it there. The big deal is you are never truly alive. Never engaging life fully. I’m back to Joseph Campbell and the heroine/hero’s journey. Before you can go anyplace you must leave home. You must have the courage for the known to end and to step into the unknown.

Namaste.

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Courage or Fear?

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” – Anais Nin

The definition of courage is “the ability to do something that frightens one. . . strength in the face of pain or grief.” Pretty straight forward. Lots of times where it gets interesting is to find our courage to say what we feel to the person we love the most.

Even before that. Sometimes we don’t know how we feel because we are too afraid to check in and ask ourselves some difficult questions. Do we have the courage to ask ourselves the tough questions and open our minds and hearts enough to hear the honest answers coming from our deepest being? This is the kind of courage Anais Nin is talking about in the above quote.

Fear. What most of us fear the most is change – real change. If I’m in a relationship that is not nourishing, can I hear my own soul begging for change? If my job is sucking the life out of me, why am I staying? If I have lifestyle habits that are not in my highest good, can I hear my body screaming for change? Look around in your own life. Honestly ask yourself if change is needed.

Lots of time we feel courageous when we are angry. You let someone else have it. They aren’t going to treat you that way. Psychology tells us anger almost always sits on top of fear. If you find yourself often angry, you might want to find your true courage and ask yourself why you are so frightened.   For many of us the fear of not being loved or being abandoned is at the very root of all that anger.

Here in the US our current president seems to me to be a very angry man. Whenever I hear one of his tirades, it reminds me of how very afraid he must be. I don’t share his worldview or his positions on just about anything. However, when I can see the frightened man inside I, at least, can find genuine compassion in my heart for him.

So, back to the quote above. Is your life expanding or contracting? Is courage or fear the driving force in your life?

Namaste.

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What Energy Are You Adding To The World Today?

images[11] (2)“We are all affecting the world every moment, whether we mean to or not. Our actions and states of mind matter, because we are so deeply interconnected with one another.” — Ram Dass

Did you ever stop to think that everything you do, say, feel, think is affecting the entire universe?  And, all people from all ages everywhere and everywhen likewise have and will affect the whole.

We hear the words – we are one.  We all exist in the same field – and, that field has existed since the beginning – whenever that was.  The vibration of the field or the character of the field is determined by our states of mind, our actions, and our feelings.  It is a composite of the energy of all beings across all times.  A sort of repository.  If I am angry – the vibration in the field is altered – minutely – altered.  If I am filled with love – the vibration is also altered.

There have been many scientific studies showing when a new skill is learned by an animal on one side of the globe, the skill will spontaneously be expressed by animals of the same species on the other side of the world.  Scientists believe this may happen due to organizing fields that have an inherent memory.  This idea – morphic fields – was first proposed several years ago.  It is theorized there may be some sort of collective memory specific to each species.  Sound familiar?

Carl Jung put forth the theory of the collective unconscious. The theory, in part, states we may have some communion with some divine or world mind.  The collective unconscious may be a body of unconscious energy that lives forever.

Edgar Cayce, a modern prophet, spoke of the one mind.  He said there is one mind and we all share it.  Our individual, personal conscious mind is a part of the one mind. Today we might say the transpersonal mind – the mind has a life beyond what appears in individual persons.  It is a reality in itself.

Air is transpersonal.  You have your air and I have mine.  And yet, air is everywhere.  One large body of air we all share.  Air quality these days is a big topic of discussion.  There is only one air – there is only one mind.  Energy quality in the mind may be comparable to air quality?

Rupert Sheldrake has developed a theory of morphic resonance.  He presents a vision of transpersonal reality of mind similar to Cayce’s perspective.  The more people that are able to conceive of an idea – the easier it becomes for others to have the same idea.  Data collected from 1918 to 1989 showed that IQ scores in the US have been rising for decades by 30% or more.  Scientists have put forth many ideas about why this is happening.  Maybe it’s the field – the one mind – morphic fields?

Imagine your brain as a TV set.  Imagine the broadcast airwaves to be the one mind or energy in the morphic field.  Ideas are vibrational patterns in those waves.  Your brain tunes into ideas that are in the air. The one mind is a reality in itself independent of your brain or body.

Now, mainstream science still doesn’t get it.  That doesn’t mean the new theories are wrong.  They simply haven’t gained enough energy in the field quite yet.  You see?  We each change the field every second.

Do you want world peace, as I do?  Ask yourself whether your actions, words, feelings and thoughts are peaceful or not?  What energy or information are you adding to the field every day?  How are you affecting the world?

Namaste.

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