A Brief Summation Of The Why Of It All

A Brief Summation of The Why Of It All

  

 

There is a force in the universe. It is formless and nameless. This force is all that ever was, is or ever will be. It is singular (like no other). It is eternal. It is creative. It is real. It is the non-physical presence in all of us. And, it wants to know itself. Further, it wants to evolve. It is creative. It wants to be all that it can be.   

 

It created the universe (uni–verse - one turned on itself). It created light. It created (linear) time. It created us. It is consciousness and we are its emissaries on the physical plane. It is the “mother-ship” and we are its deep-space probes. We send back a continuous stream of experiences. No matter how we behave, it loves us unconditionally.

 

We and all on the physical plane are subject to the law of change. It, our Source, is not. As I said, It is eternal. It is the only “thing?” in the universe that the more you give it away, the more you have. It is unconditional love. We not only work for it…We are it.

 

Think of a gigantic puzzle. This puzzle has seven billion pieces…one for each of us on earth. No one piece is bigger than any other and no one piece is more important than any other. Although we can identify ourselves as individual puzzle pieces, together we make up the (big) puzzle. We are it and it is us. It never forgets that we are parts of it, but we can, and do, temporarily, forget that we are part of it (the whole). We remember our origin at a time of our choosing.

 

We have five senses that put us in touch with this 3-dimensional, physical world of duality. Without our five senses, we would have no knowledge of this physical world. However, there are parts of us that are non-physical and are, therefore, undetectable by our five senses. These non-physical parts of us include, but are not limited to, consciousness, ideas, thoughts, feelings, creativity and love. These non-physical parts of us are detectable by our sixth sense; our intuition.

 

Through us and our activities and experiences on the physical plane, our non-physical presence; our Source, has experiences. These experiences help it to understand itself and to evolve. We are an integral part of this process. Without us, nothing gets experienced. Nothing gets transferred to our Source within. We and It are One.

 

It is our job and our destiny, to remember where we come from; our connection to and origin from, this presence and to live the life it wants to live through us. When we allow this life to happen, we get to live a life of peace, love and joy on a regular basis. The more we resist our destiny, the more suffering we encounter.

Love and Fear

Love and Fear

 

 

Love and Fear – the ultimate duality. Fear is not the absence of love…only the perceived absence of love. All of our actions radiate from a position of love or fear. When fear-based mindsets are not introduced, love prevails. When love prevails, actions are free from judgment. This loving atmosphere encourages us to be the best we can be, at anything, without fear of criticism…helpful suggestion, yes. Crushing critique, no.

With fear out of the equation, we are free to be who we are, at that moment; regardless of where we are. We are more inclined to look within for inspiration. We feel free to encourage our innate creativity and nurture it to blossom. We have nothing to prove; no arbitrary standards to measure up to. We remain passionate human beings…not constantly judged human doings.

Stress, the leading cause of illness, cannot get control of us when we act from a position of love. No stress means no need of low self-esteem, loneliness, depression, anger and violence. Without a lifestyle of winners and losers, we are free to be ourselves…warts and all.

We have no need to worry and stress ourselves about fitting in, being loved, winning external approval or even fear of failure. Failure is just another way of learning; the other side of the coin from success (and remember, all coins have two sides).

No one puts love in you and no one can take it away. You decide to see the glass half empty and subsequently operate from fear, or you can decide to see the glass half full and to operate from love. The choice is always yours.

True love is always unconditional and present. It is non-judgmental and supportive. It must be found within, and then is available to be shared with the rest of the world. Love is the most powerful force in the universe. The more you give it away, the more you have. Only love operates this way. Let love be your weapon of choice

The Presence Within

There’s no denying that there is a presence in us that’s not physical, and therefore, not detectable by our five senses. It is detectable by our sixth sense; our intuition. This is the sense of feeling – ideas, emotions, deja-vu, and, most importantly, love. It is not of the mind and not of thought. 

To be free of thought means to be free of stress; which is replaced by inner peace. This comes about by living the life you’re meant to live…from moment to moment. This means recognition of and the blossoming of your gifts and talents. We all have flaws and weaknesses and gifts and talents.

Being free of thought encourages your gifts and talents to emerge and blossom.This means following your heart (intuition), not your head: to be the best you you can be, from moment to moment, to live the life you’re meant to live.

What causes the stress that takes away from your happy moments? To be in thought rather than in meditation. Past and future robbing you of your present. To be lost in your life is to be lost in meditation – to be awake, alert and without thought. Total focus on the now…with “right activities”.

Two Monks

Tanzan and Ekido were walking and came upon a swift-moving stream. A lovely young woman was standing by the stream, crying. “Why are you crying?” asked the elderly monk. “Because I can’t cross the stream – I can’t swim and I don’t want to get my clothes wet.” “I’ll take you across the stream.” Said the elderly monk, scooping her up into his arms. After he put her safely down on the other side of the stream, she went one way and the two monks went another. After several hours, the young monk couldn’t contain himself any longer, and he said: “How could you pick up that woman? Don’t you know that monks are not allowed to touch women?” The elderly monk answered: “Are you still carrying that woman? I put her down hours ago.”

To live fully in the moment; your moment, you must get lost in your life. You do this regularly – lost in a book, a film, a hobby, a conversation, lost in thought, etc. Everyone wants to be happy. Our happiest moments are when we are lost in our own lives. This is within our control. As Abe Lincoln said: ”I think most people are about as happy as they’ve made up their minds to be.”

Spirituality is closer to psychotherapy than it is to religion. It wants to eliminate stress and replace it with inner peace. With my “Six-Step Path”, non-judgmental observation forces elimination of undesirable  behaviors.

This focused no-thought moment is ripe for enlightenment; which is recognition of the presence within; the “divinity within…our Source. We’re not physical beings, incapable or un-destined to have a spiritual awakening. We are spiritual beings having a temporary, physical experience. Life is not how you find it, but how you make it.

Two Wolves

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson of a battle that goes on inside people. He said: “My son. The battle is between two wolves inside all of us. One is evil. It is anger, jealousy, sorrow, self-pity, greed, arrogance, guilt, resentment, lies, inferiority, false pride, superiority and ego. The other is good. It is love, hope, peace, joy, serenity, kindness, humility, faith, empathy, benevolence, generosity and compassion.” The grandson thought about this and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?” the old Cherokee replied: “The one you feed.”

Spirituality Manifesto

Traditional religion can be a support system and moral guidepost for living in the  outer, physical world. Spirituality, is the path to your inner world.

Traditional religion is external, formal, ritualistic and, above all, exclusive. It creates and “us verses them” mentality. It can cause competition and friction between religions. Spirituality, however, is a nonsectarian path to enlightenment. It is the most important part of religion and, works, independently of religion. It leads to a personal relationship with spirit, nature, source, energy, God, etc. Universal cooperation is built in to spirituality.

Spirituality is the mystical experience of an individual that all too often leads to the formation of a religion by others…others who have not had this mystical experience. Preaching (sharing) universal truths need not lead to forming a religion. While religion puts information in you, spirituality uncovers what is already in you from birth; intuitively felt but not yet discovered.

Traditional religion needs followers. Spirituality needs nothing more than for you to lead yourself. Religion can be a comfort or a cause of discomfort. Spirituality can only comfort and offers a way to transcend the suffering of this world. Religion is filled with ritual and ceremony. Spirituality is spontaneous. Religion makes you dependent on it to intervene between you and God; to be your intermediary. Spirituality offers independence through direct contact with God. Salvation is a cornerstone of traditional religion. Spirituality, reveals that there is no need for salvation and makes you independent of everything. 

With religion, your divinity is external and difficult to reach. With spirituality your divinity is within and well within reach. The religious God can be judgmental, angry and disappointed in you. This is a God that craves obedience and loyalty. With spirituality, God is nonjudgmental, and has no need of your obedience or loyalty. This, true, inner God, is unconditional love.

Traditional religion is taught. No one is born knowing religion. It has to be learned. Religions can be very different…so anything can be taught. Spirituality is known, intuitively. It cannot be taught. It must be felt. It leads you to your beautiful, inner being; your true self.

There is more to you than meets the eye. Life is not random. It has a purpose. Life’s purpose is a spiritual one – To know inner peace, you must make conscious contact with the spirit within you; which is undetectable by the five senses. And, you need to do this while still in your physical body. We all come with expiration dates, so there’s no time to waste. Once this inner contact is made, how “successful” you are in the external, physical world, is no longer of prime importance.    

Once your spirit, which is perfect, takes physical form, which is imperfect, it takes on flaws and weaknesses. It also takes on gifts and talents. All are unique to you. You are one in the universe with this particular combination. My “Six-Step Path” is designed to help you overcome your flaws and weaknesses and to encourage and make blossom your gifts and talents.  This path guides you to channeling this creative spirit within to satisfying actions in the physical world. 

To have a spiritual awakening, an epiphany, an enlightenment is a direct, prompt way to discover the meaning and purpose of life. It is so powerful and personal, it needs no outside validation; no stamp of approval. It is to be accepted as authentic. 

Following such an event, you awaken to your connection to all life; especially all human life. It’s clear – to serve others is to serve yourself and, vice-versa. This can be done in many ways, on all levels.      

Freed from suffering, you transcend what Buddhists call “The Three Poisons” – Ignorance, Greed and Anger. Open, now, to your true, inner self, you encourage your unique gifts and talents (that we all have) to emerge and to blossom. This satisfies your very human need to express yourself in your particular way. It allows you to serve in a creative way. 

Service to others brings peace of mind and a natural, effortless personal growth of talent or gift. Your satisfaction level soars. You know you’re doing the right thing. Living through your special gifts, you become the best you you can be.  All growth takes effort; work. But this “right” activity is so true and so honest that progress is assured and quick.

You are no longer part of the (human) problem. You glow with the knowledge that you are now part of the solution (to the human condition). You not only know what to do to express yourself and serve others but you are making wiser decisions on when and how to do it. It becomes effortless effort. 

Your learned urge to compete morphs into an urge to cooperate. You see life through compassionate eyes…People first, all else second. Your self-reformation has united you with all life. Work is now joy and joy is your unique work. As Confucious said, 2,500 years ago: “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

In case you are one of many who have not had an epiphany; a spiritual awakening, not to worry. That is the “front-door” approach to finding meaning and purpose. There is an equally satisfying “back-door” approach to self-fulfillment.

Be still and non-judgmental and look within to see what it is that makes you truly happy. This is not necessarily only one thing, one activity. You may have multiple activities that please you. Explore with kindness, the inner you, the true you. Not what you’ve been taught to like or do, but what you honestly enjoy doing.

If it’s your passion to sing, then “sing as though no one were listening. If it’s your passion to dance, then dance as though no one were watching. And, as often as possible, love as though you’ve never been hurt.” Discover what brings joy to you and begin to do it now. Do it, nurture it and share it. You will be sharing on a deep, spiritual level.

This focused, passionate living puts you in sync with the rest of the universe and creates a personal atmosphere conducive to enlightenment. When you live your true, inner self, your “divinity within” awakens and you begin living the life you are meant to live…your “enlightened” life.

This “back-door” approach is satisfying on all levels and builds on itself. As you get used to living your real self, your life gets better, your world gets better. You have fulfilled your destiny as a human being. You are in sync with the cosmos.

 Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Grassroots Manifesto

After many years thinking about this manifesto, it’s time to write it down and to share it with others.

How a society treats its least capable and most dependent members is an accurate measure of its greatness. How it cares for its least fortunate and most needy citizens reveals its worthiness to be called advanced.

Technological invention, development and production indicate a narrow area of evolution. The “built” environment, while impressive at first blush, shows a degree of successful, cooperative effort. This effort  too often is an insight into surface, physical success only. It seldom translates into high moral values.

Opportunities offered on a universal level are clearer indicators of a society’s humanitarian structure. For example: Is it meeting the five basic needs of all of its citizens? Does it provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical attention and education to all? Not superior, but simply adequate.

When these five programs are firmly established as guaranteed rights (not privileges), whether one parlays them to great heights or not is irrelevant. Their availability to all, alone, marks a culture as truly advanced.

Historically, major breakthroughs and inventions do not come from team efforts. They come from individuals, who, over time and with limited funding, make major discoveries and inventions. Therefore, preparing each and every individual to achieve his or her best in personal areas of choice, makes all capable of contributing to themselves and others on a variety of levels.

If, to this guarantee of five, basic rights is added a judicial system that is non-adversarial, and one united in its search for truth, the society created will be both capable and just. This is a society that can support and care for itself.

The kind of society proposed here costs no more and most likely, less, than our current cultural arrangement, which is exorbitantly costly. This fear-based arrangement has excessive expenses for stress-related maladies, mental health issues, physical injuries, chemical dependency and abuse, and a whole range of crimes against people, property, institutions and, in the final analysis, wasted lives.

 Unaffordable amounts of money are spent on security, defense, prisons. It costs, on average, between $35,000. per year and $167,731. per year, to incarcerate one prisoner - courts, weapons, counseling, legal fees, etc.  A lack of opportunity and hope are the predictable responses to despair, anger and violence.

The system I am advocating, in addition to offering a joyful atmosphere of vastly reduced stress, opens the door to a society of healthy, creative, constructive individuals. It is easier and cheaper to proactively thwart problems than to have to foot the bill to clean up and solve problems after the fact. It is not a question of whether to spend money and resources or not. It’s a choice of spending less now with fewer problems later (the moral high ground) or to spend more, later, on resulting problems that needn’t have arisen at all.

Malthus was wrong…the masses that will always be with us need not be poor, needy and disenfranchised. The best investment around always has been and always will be people. And, the return on this investment is immense. Theories or ideas of 18th century political economists such as Malthus are long since disproved. Today, we in America have the resources and the ability to adequately provide for all our people. No one in this dynamic society should be lacking in any basic need be it food, clothing, shelter, healthcare or education.

If you agree with what I have stated here, please get behind this “Grass Roots Manifesto” and promote the adoption of this five-benefit program of adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical attention and education for all, now…in any way you can.

Let’s get on to the next level of evolution, to a social consciousness that values and invests in its citizens…for the immediate and long-range benefit of all. 

 

 

 

 

Gifts and Talents

Follow your bliss. Follow your passion. Find what you truly love to do and do it. You’ve probably known what this is all your life. Before kindergarten we know what we love to do. Pursue your dreams. Let them blossom. Live your purpose and help will follow. See yourself as you want to be. Your out world reflects your inner world. Don’t let lack of expertise stop you. “The expert of today was once a beginner.”

Think positive and your life will be positive. Attitude is everything. Pursue your true self and life will give you what you need…This is not necessarily what you want. There are no mistakes. All events are lessons. See your obstacles as opportunities…opportunities for personal growth.

Each of us has a “heroic” mission – one you were born for. Your specific gifts and talents are perfect for the life you’re meant to live. Follow your “Tao” (your path). “The purpose of life is to live a life of purpose.”

Living your purpose will being lasting fulfillment. Have the courage to follow your passion. Stay focused on your purpose and leave the rest to the universe. Inner success leads to outer success. Focus on your true vocation. Make it your priority. Simplify your life so that you can concentrate on your true self. Spend your (limited) time well. Invest it in your purposeful life.

Along the way, to the best of your ability, work to improve the lives of others as well as your own. Serve others with random acts of kindness. These acts will aid in your personal enlightenment. As the quality and quantity of your giving improves, your life will improve. Let what’s good for you be good for others, too. Begin seeing yourself as other than a separate, competitive individual because, you are part of something greater than yourself.

“Live to give.” Living for and elevating others, elevates your life. Be grateful for what you have and live your destiny day-by-day and moment-to-moment. We are all here for a “special” purpose. Start living your purpose now. We all come with expiration dates, so there’s no time to waste. Don’t waste your gifts and talents. Use them or lose them. Live the life you’re meant to live and you and the world will benefit. You will be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

Your destiny awaits you. Take that leap of faith and follow your heart, your passion, your intuition and live your life to the hilt. Who’s life? Your life. As Confucius said: “Choose a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” And, as said by Carl Bard: “Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start now and make a brand new ending.”

Creativity Manifesto

Creativity is the nectar of the gods. When it flows, it’s the adrenalin in your veins. When bathed in it’s all-consuming fragrance, you know down to your bones that you’re part of something greater than yourself. You lose all track of time. Your need for rest, for food, for sleep and especially, for thought, vanish.

The artist, graced with creative inspiration, makes paintings, writes music, choreographs dance, produces new shapes and writes books, because of this inner force. Without creative inspiration, nothing happens. Without the artist, nothing happens. Without a witness to the creation, the audience, there’s little point in creating. All three are necessary in the creative process.     

Whether you paint, sculpt, write books, make music, dance, make crafts, design buildings, take photographs, write poems, act, cook, garden, make films or are active in science, you relish the moment when inspiration strikes. You can feel it. It’s time to move, to make, to do. You will not be distracted. The physical world disappears and your focus narrows to the task at hand. Words and forms and sounds and design elements must all be assembled in balanced harmony so that beauty can be born.

All thought vanishes in an energetic frenzy that will not rest until all creative efforts are resolved into a wholly satisfying result. This is not the time for critique. Not the time for thought. This is the time to surrender, totally, to the direction from within. Like a cork in a swiftly-moving stream, you are willingly tossed this way and that, at the whim of the work. And, never forget-this is work…glorious work, all encompassing work, welcome work. Work that lets you know what it means to be fully alive, in the moment…100% involved.  

A thinking artist puts pencil to paper and makes marks. The inspired artist caresses the paper with graphite, lovingly and maneuvers the material to create genius on the two-dimensional level. Whether words or paint strokes or sounds, when the work is done, if only for that day, you are drained, but grateful to have been part of the creative equation. 

The truth and beauty of great art can be felt. People are moved by the legitimate expression of inner forces. That sharing of honest form can lead to tears of joy or tears of sadness…whichever the artist conveyed.

The harmonious combination of just the right measured elements and a regularly practiced technique – the proper balance of parts, the just right scale of proportion, the perfect word or sound or movement at just the right moment is beauty of the first order.

No need for instruction on how to react. When in the presence of honest, true  creation, of any media, the heart knows how to feel. The pulse races in harmony with the creation. The appropriate applause comes naturally. The viewer and the viewed, or read, or sung, merge in a willing dance of appreciation. Smiles spread and beam, bursting with feeling. 

The artist creates from an inner urge to express. The force within gets to channel itself, through the artist, to become a physical creation. The viewer is pleased to share in this creation. Force, artist, audience – a win, win, win situation of the first magnitude. All are satisfied.

The writer, the content and the reader are all necessary in this celebration of creative activity. All have a part to play.  The force is grateful for a path to follow. The artist is grateful for the inspiration and the chance to use his/her talents. The audience is grateful to bear witness to truth and beauty.

Creativity is a fundamental human expression. It puts the civil in civilization. It is, ultimately, why we are here. It is in all of us. Without us, the sound of the tree falling in the forest is lost. It is our destiny as a species to listen to our inner voices. We are obliged to receive what is offered in the loving spirit in which it is offered. We are grateful to be a channel for our inner force and to allow it to flow through us to others.

Inspiration, creator, audience. Sometimes we are one, sometimes another, but we’re all part of the creative equation. Creativity is the breath of life. We couldn’t live without it.

My “Six-Step Path” To Inner Peace

Awakening to an enlightened state, traditionally involves meditation. This can mean any of the following: chanting, incense, bells, walking, an altar. These are combined with ceremony and ritual. This is formal meditation which, when successful, guides you to a state where you are awake, alert and without thought. This, often hard-won, state prepares you for a spiritual awakening; also called an epiphany, a satori or an enlightenment.

There is, however, an informal form of meditation, called “The Six-Step Path”. I have used this method and successfully taught it to thousands of others, who have also found success with it. It has been refined and tweaked over the past 43 years. It is user-friendly, relatively quick and fairly effortless. It too, brings one to a state of being awake, alert and without thought. It is as follows. 

As Siddartha and many others and others have made clear for the past 2,500 years—“Life is suffering”. Fortunately, he and others offer ways to transcend this suffering. The way is meditation…not necessarily formal meditation. The form of meditation I endorse is informal…It is your daily life…”as it is”.

At first, the Six-Step Path may seem simplistic. Actually, it is—we are complex. Socrates was so right when he said—“The unexamined life is not worth living”.

My Six-Step Path begins with Observation…not just any observation. This most  important of all six steps is non-judgmental observation. With non-judgmental observation you witness your own behavior with all its flaws and weaknesses that all humans possess.

For example, when you get angry, observe that anger. Focus your attention on it. Don’t judge it as either justified or wrong or any other qualifier. Simply see it as a behavior of you, a human being. The more intense and often you focus your attention on your behavior…all your behaviors, without judgment, the more you will see these your undesirable behaviors begin to wane - The more you see the less they will be. As you get more familiar with your true, imperfect self, you will become, little-by-little, more forgiving of your real self. The observing IS the cure. 

This brings us to the second step in the Six-Step Path…That of Forgiveness. The degree to which you judge yourself is the degree to which you judge others. As you begin to lighten up and be more forgiving of yourself…your own flaws and weaknesses, your judgment of others will also become less frequent and less harsh. In time, this forgiveness of your self and others leads to step three of the Six-Step Path—Acceptance. Once you can observe without judgment and forgive imperfections you naturally adopt an attitude of acceptance. To forgive and accept what you observe, in yourself and others, is the beginning of true spirituality…and, ultimately, enlightenment. Acceptance of what is IS practicing unconditional love; first on yourself and then on others. This is the love that is the result of enlightenment. This is God in action. It shows no need to look outside yourself for help; which is not in your control. Looking within IS in your control. When you accept your life “as it is”, you are enlightened…you are living the life you would lead as the result of a spiritual awakening…the life you’re meant to live.

 Living a non-judgmental life of observation, forgiveness and acceptance brings you to the fourth step in the Six-Step Path—Love. Unconditional love; love without conditions; for your self and others. This is the true, and only love that comes from our Source, through us, to all life. This love IS our Source (and us). At this point you are in sync with your Source…no longer trying to control the world, just letting it be. In Zen this is “life as it is”.

Living in this manner you will surely Awaken from your dream—your dream of separation from your Source into a separate, ego-centered identity. Your awakening; also called: satori, enlightenment, epiphany, etc. is two-fold—First you know, down to your bones, that you are part of something greater than yourself. Next, you realize that you ARE that thing greater than yourself.

When this happens, you can’t help but want to Celebrate every moment of life for the miracle it is. The way to express this understanding is to serve others; for they are you…All life is one. Celebrate life forever.

As you progress (imagined) from being a fear-based, ego-centric part of the universal problem, you become an accepting, loving, part of the solution. Your self in search of itself has found itself in six steps. You are now back where you started but with the understanding of what it means to be…who you are and where you are…in the now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happiness

It would be helpful if we humans came with operating manuals. Since we don’t, we have to learn on the job. That’s what we’re doing now; learning as we live in this three-dimensional, physical world of duality. This is the original school of hard knocks.

Everyone wants to be happy. How do we accomplish this state of happiness? That depends on the answer to the question: Does life have a purpose or is it random? If life is random, then it doesn’t matter how you live your life or how others live theirs. Happiness itself becomes random and out of your control. But, if life has a purpose, then it’s in your interest to find out what that purpose is and get on with following it as soon as possible. We all come with expiration dates, so there’s no time to waste.

Not finding our purpose leads to an uneasy stress; a feeling that no matter how much success we have in the “outer” world, we still have no lasting inner peace. Our external successes lead to temporary happiness. Long-term, permanent happiness still eludes us.

True, lasting happiness is to be found only within one’s self. As Abe Lincoln said: “I think most people are about as happy as they’ve made up their minds to be.”

 In what moments are we happiest? Those joyful, precious, exciting moments that give our lives meaning, purpose and passion seem to be the times when we get lost in our own lives. We are awake, alert and without thought; totally lost in the moment, without stress and with no consciousness of linear time. This is when our lives become our meditation.

 Getting lost in a book, a movie, a hobby, etc…any activity that is right for us at that time, allows us to be in this state. We are engaged in something not be cause we are coerced, not because we are paid, but because it makes us happy. It just feels right. This is the place to be, as often as possible, and is the result of meditation, such as Zen, TM or yoga.

When meditation, of any kind is successful, we arrive at a place where we are content to be ourselves, content to be who we are, where we are. We are so focused on the task at hand that we lose track of (linear) time.

 As said in Zen: “When hungry, eat. When tired, sleep.” Be 100% in the moment, Whose moment? Your moment. 100% involved and 0% attached. No thought. No judgment. Just being. If you follow your heart and your intuition (your sixth sense), you will be heart-directed and not directed by your head. Your head tells you what you should do. Your heart tells you what you really want to do.

 This is following your “Tao”; your path. This is being honest with your true inner self. This reduces and even eliminates stress. Less stress means more happiness…and better health. We have the power to be who we choose to be. Life is not how you find it but how you make it. Along with this awesome power to choose comes an equally awesome power of responsibility.

 Due to “free will”, we get to choose whether, at any moment, we will be the person we’re meant to be or someone else. Remember Oscar Wilde, who said: “Be yourself. Everyone else seems to be taken.” Or, the Bhagavad Gita, which states: “Better to live your life imperfectly than to live another’s perfectly.”

 When we are children; innocent and defenseless, others choose for us. When we become adults, it becomes increasingly difficult to play the victim. We feel uncomfortable playing the victim. Why? Because we know, down deep, that the responsibility for who we choose to be is ours. No matter how much “baggage” was laid on us in the past, we get to choose who we want to be. As Eleanore Roosevelt said: “No one can lower your self-esteem without your approval.” Or, as George Eliot said: “It’s never too late to be the you you’re meant to be.”

 Take advantage of your freedom to make choices. When you follow your heart, you make right decisions for you. This taking control of your life encourages your gifts and talents to emerge and blossom. And, although we all come with flaws and weaknesses, we also come with gifts and talents. As Albert Einstein said: “We are all born geniuses.”

 When we do what’s right for us at the time, we are in sync with the universe. We are the best we can be at that time. Not the best in the world, just our personal best. And, without judgment, our best will just have to do. When we share what’s right for us at the time with others, that even heightens our happiness. Sharing with and, when possible, helping others, creates the greatest happiness in both doer and recipient…a classic win-win situation.

 When you follow your heart and intuition; doing what feels right for you, at that time, you do what you love and love what you do. As Khalil Gibran said: “Your work should be love made visible.” You lose track of time but remain awake, alert and without thought. In other words, your meditation is successful. No thought means no ego, no self, no judgment. You can feel, down to your bones that you are part of something greater than yourself. In that very moment you are being the best you can be. You are living the life you would if you had an epiphany, an enlightenment.

 Your first birth was physical. Living this way, you get your second birth; your spiritual birth. This is truly being “born again.” This is all do-able. You are programmed for success. This honest, free, way to live leads to a lasting, inner happiness of peace, love and joy that is not subject to the law of change. This happiness transcends the outer, physical world of duality. This way to live is your birthright and your destiny. Unconditional love (God) is in you and with you. You cannot fail.

 As said by Anonymous: “Rule #1 of life. Do what makes YOU happy. Walk away from anything or anyone who takes away from your joy. Go where you are celebrated-not tolerated. If they can’t see the real value of you, it’s time for a new start. Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.” Or, as said by Charles Spurgeon: “It’s not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.”


Happiness and Stress 

 

Our minds determine our lives or, to put it another way, attitude is everything. If we decide to focus on hurts of the past, whether minutes ago or years ago or, to be anxious about the immediate or distant future, that will rule our happiness at this moment. When we change our focus to the present moment, we begin to enjoy life “as it is.”, now. We have to break with old habits that keep us from dwelling in the present – If only this hadn’t happened, I could be happy or, If only this would happen, I would be happy.

 Happiness is more than a securing of pleasure or the avoidance of pain. These popular forms of happiness are external and fleeting. True happiness is to be found within. It is not dependent on anything or anyone. It is possible to be happy for no reason. You have the option to choose happiness at any moment. Once found, internally, it is for all time. This does not mean an ecstasy in the presence of tragedy, but it does make unhappy events bearable.

 As Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” says: “Nothing is either right or wrong but thinking makes it so.” Our lives are not how we find them but how we make them. We make choices and thereby create our lives from moment to moment. As supported by quantum physics, we determine when potential becomes actual. We are powerful, responsible creators of our lives.

 When we begin to focus on the present, without thinking; just being, we simultaneously begin to care more about others. Their happiness effects our happiness. We want to be happy but the happiness of others is of equal importance. This condition of living totally in the present; lost in the now of our lives, causes us to care about love in an all-encompassing way. Love, not to a particular person or thing, but as a state of being.

 Being human entitles us to so-called mystical or spiritual experiences. These are not reserved for a select few. They are for any of us ready to be open to them. People of all cultures and times have been having such experiences as long as there have been people. Reports of these experiences gave birth to religions.

 When we separate spirituality from religion we get to the heart of the matter. Spirituality is inclusive – all life is equally precious and special. Religion, too often, is inherently exclusive – there’s us and there’s them. Religion requires an intermediary…between the worshiper and the worshiped (God). Spirituality is a direct, personal relationship between the seeker and the sought (God/love).

 The transcendence of self (ego) is not only possible but imperative to a life of peace, love and joy. As long as we see ourselves as separate from others, from all life, we suffer. When we live in the now – awake, alert and without thought, having lost track of time, we experience a moment of eternity, inner peace and unconditional love. Becoming mindful, as the Buddhists say, is part of losing one’s self in the moment. Who’s moment? Your moment. Your now.

 In this state we are completely focused and nonjudgmental. This is the healthy way to live. This is the only way to live. This is the nonsectarian approach to living a happy, healthy life. This is the result of successful meditation – to be awake. Alert and without thought…lost in the now of your life. With my “Six-Step Path” your life becomes your meditation. There is no ritual or ceremony here. Only pure, nonjudgmental involvement in the moment. The world; your world flows…and you with it. This is our original mind at birth…no thought, just being. It remains in us, ready to emerge and blossom once again. This is us before ego. Before separate self. Before stress.

 Pain and sadness will still be a part of your life. However, stress of all kinds and lingering suffering will disappear when you live in the moment. As stated by Beautifulquotes.com

 “There will come a time in your life when you just need to walk away from all the drama and the people who bring it into your life. You will surround yourself with people who make you smile, care about you and make you feel like you belong. Love the people who care for you and say a prayer for those in life who used you. Life is far too short to be unhappy, so make the changes you need to make your life a happy one.”

 “Happiness is something you cultivate.” Remember, the expert in anything, even enlightenment, was once a beginner.” Begin where you are. And, don’t look back on your life with regret. Everything that has happened to you since you were born, had to happen when it did, the way it did, to make you the person you are now. This is your Tao; your path. All that’s happened, including “baggage”, has helped you get lost in this physical world of duality. Remember too, “Amazing Grace – I was lost but now I’m found.” You can’t be found until you’ve been lost.

 To eliminate stress and replace it with inner peace is the goal of humanity. You accomplish this by 1. Making conscious contact with the non-physical presence within and 2. By following your heart and intuition; to live the life you’re meant to live. Non-judgmental observation of all your behaviors (good and bad). As your need to judge diminishes…and disappears, your sense of observation ; your mindfulness becomes more acute. This is the same result you get from successful meditation; be it formal or informal.

 As stated by a Zen monk 900 years ago: “There’s no meditation like no meditation.” When your life becomes your meditation, you can be in a constant meditative state. This makes you ripe for a spiritual awakening. Your meditation can now become constant and effortless. This behavior is in your control. You can only be focused on the now when you are following your heart; doing what’s “right” for you at a particular moment.

 You may not be able to make a spiritual awakening happen when you want it to, but you can direct your life to a heart-centered path. The only time you can accomplish this is now. It’s the only time you can do anything. Right now. Results are immediate. Rewards are immediate. Try if for an hour, a day, a week.

My latest book on spirituality

Do you want to know if life has a purpose? Do you want to know the difference between spirituality and religion? Do you want to know how to accept the tragedy, suffering, impermanence and death of life? Do you want to find inner peace? Do you want to find your particular gifts and talents and begin living the life you're meant to live? The "Six-Step Path" is a clear, concise, user-friendly guide to the answers to these questions and more.

Happiness

Assuming we all want to be happy; which includes peace of mind, consider the following-

* If individual happiness is dependent on material success, then the more money and material wealth one has, the greater should be one's happiness. Compare Howard Hughes and Martin Luther King, Jr.

* If individual happiness is dependent on the extent and force of one's religious leanings, than the more extreme one's religious views, the greater should be one's happiness. Compare a terrorist with Gandhi.

* If individual happiness is in proportion to one's (culturally supported) idea of good looks, then the more attractive one is, the happier one should be. Compare Marilyn Monroe with Mother Theresa.

* If individual happiness is dependent on one's intellectual prowess, then the higher the IQ, the happier the individual. Think Edward Teller (physicist)…Dr. Strangelove.

* If individual happiness is dependent on one's weight, then the thinner one is the happier one should be. Compare Burl Ives with Charles Manson.

* If individual happiness is dependent on the state of one's physical health, then the physically healthier one is the happier one should be. Think Jim Morrison.

* If individual happiness is the result of recognition by one's peers, then the most popular, lauded, decorated and celebrated of us should be the happiest. Think Joan Crawford.

* If individual happiness is dependent on the level of our talents, then the most talented of us should be the happiest of us. Compare Beethoven with Tiny Tim.

None of these qualities seems to be the key to happiness. The guarantee of happiness due to these positions is a non sequitur of major proportions. We all know people (personally) and of people in the public eye who possess one of more of these positions. We also know that happiness does not necessarily accompany them due to these positions.

Happiness seems to be the result of an internal mindset. Therefore, we are in control of our level of happiness. Our attitude is everything in this matter. "I think most people are about as happy as they've made up their minds to be." – Abe Lincoln

We create...

We create lines but we discover shadows.

We create God but we discover the divinity within.

We create separations but we discover oneness.

We create math but we discover our origins.

Part of the universe...

As stated by the law of conservation of mass, "matter can neither be created nor destroyed". We come from (cosmic) dust and to dust we shall return. We, being made up of these cosmic dust particles, are as old as the universe. We are old and we are sentient. And, being sentient, we are conscious and as consciousness, we are self-aware.

Self-awareness leads to questions – Who am I? Why am I here? Is the universe random? We are not accidents nor are we random creations of nature. We have purpose – Like true artists, we give form and meaning to the universe.

Take away our five senses and we would have no knowledge of the physical world of three dimensions. Without our consciousness, nothing is. Quantum mechanics supports this…With no one to observe, no physical event happens.

We are not just any minute part of a vast cosmos. Without us and our awareness, there is no cosmos. We don't live in it. It lives in us. The world is not so much as we find it but how we make it. We and the universe are mutually interdependent.

When we focus on something, we and it become (temporarily) real. When we focus on nothing (as in meditation), we are not and the world is not. The world begins and ends with us. While our left brain sees itself as an isolated "I", our right brain sees the (whole) universe and "seamlessly aligns with this observation."

In this 3-D physical world of duality there is no "out there". There is only us creating/observing. We are anything but static. We are like a swiftly-moving stream…in a constant state of flux, active…a process, not a thing.

As we think, so the world is. Our search for our selves is the cosmo's search for itself. We are "thinking, reasoning components of the universe." We are part of something greater than ourselves. We are one with the universe. We are it and it is us. All is One.

Surrender

Spiritual surrender is essential, whether on a religious or non-religious path. This kind of surrender is a joyous submission…to something greater than yourself. It comes with a conscious connection to your source…within. You trade external, intellectual, egoistic control for internal spiritual control.

Acknowledging your connection to your "greater" self is a willing servitude. Humility, gratitude and compassion replace money, status and material success as life's main goals.

This new mindset transcends all beliefs and faiths with a deep knowing down to your bones. Desire and attachment fall by the wayside. Life as it presents itself, in the moment, becomes the preferred lifestyle. Stress and suffering disappear. All is calm and as it should be.

As your life becomes your (ongoing) meditation, your awareness of yourself and your surroundings grows. The school of hard knocks is open 24/7. For those open to it; learning abounds. To study and become aware of yourself is to, eventually, forget yourself. You lose your (smaller) self to find your (greater) self. To forget yourself is to become enlightened.

Energy, cosmic consciousness, universal force, It, God, source, The one, are some of the names we give to a ubiquitous force. This force is all there is…to be seen everywhere.

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Science Vs. Religion

Spirituality was never the problem of the masses. But religion and politics can be.

Science rejects any hypothesis that is not based on the human experience in the physical world and therefore cannot be tested. Yet, spiritual truth is based on human experience…of the sixth sense. If something can neither be proven to be true nor false does not render it unworthy.

The more rigid a belief system or movement, the more it's based on fear.

From the 1870's to the present, science and religion have been at odds. In 1925, the Scopes trial was a contest between evolution and creation; between science and religion, not between science and spirituality. Spirituality and religion are NOT synonymous. Spirituality is neither religion nor science and can bridge the gap between these two warring parties.

Enlightenment comes from or leads to a constant, daily "mindfulness". It transcends both belief and faith. While many of us can do without religion, none of us can do without spirituality. If your only beliefs are with science and the five-sense areas, technology and money with no connection to spirit, you may never know complete, inner peace. You may never know what it means to be truly human.

The Holocaust came about from what Karen Armstrong calls: "soulless technocrats"…people with no sense of the sacred. A belief in or experience with something greater than one's self is necessary to give meaning to life. Almost any form of meditation can lead to this, even informal meditation.

Neither spirituality nor art is rational and should not be subject to rational scrutiny. One's ultimate being; one's inner self, is not to be understood by the mind, but must be felt, intuitively. God or spirit (not religion) is not something you grasp. It is something you feel, something you discover within. With this uncovering, the void or emptiness disappears and questions of your existence are resolved. You transcend the self and become "everyman"; connected to all life. The source within that is fundamental to our existence, is revealed. This is you without ego.

Life needs to have meaning and purpose. Otherwise, despair, depression and anger prevail. Practicing the behavior of a sage or guru daily can lead to a spiritual transformation. If you mimic your hero or heroine, you can become like them.

Different faiths, different rituals and different cultures can interpret reality differently and they can all be correct. To be open to that which is not rational; love, art, poetry, spirituality, we have to open up in a non-intellectual way.Transcendence is of the intuitive realm, the feeling realm; not the reasoning realm.

Human experience, in general, is of the mind and , therefore, open to interpretation and, to some degree, unreliable. Knowledge, with few exceptions, is subjective…See quantum mechanics. The world is not so much as we find it but as we make it. This results in equal portions of power and responsibility.

To paraphrase Karen Armstrong again:– "Originally, religion had the job of helping us live creatively, peacefully and joyously…as we do with art. It also can help us cope with mortality, pain, grief, despair, injustice and cruelty and, facing an uncertain future. Between rationality and the transcendent is unknowing. Unknowing alerts us to listen receptively and without judgment. God lies beyond words and concepts, yet can be felt. God is not a fact, a thing, but a presence, to be experienced. It is active, not static and, ultimately, ineffable."

"Existence is suffering" is the first noble truth of Buddhism. Spirituality is a way to transcend all suffering and go on to a life of peace, love and joy…as we are intended to live. We are all born with gifts and talents. These gifts and talents need room to breathe and to blossom. We can create a nonjudgmental, healthy, inviting atmosphere for them to emerge and thrive. Holiness is within, now. You can live intensely, passionately and richly, now, in your daily life. Enlightenment is your birthright and your destiny.