The end of victimization – Morning Meditations, February 11, 2020

We have heard many times that there is only one problem and one solution. But the ego rejects this – seeing many problems and looking for many solutions. When we are identified with the ego we feel overwhelmed with problems. We see problems with relationships, our families, our finances, and the world. When we try to solve these problems individually we are trapped in the dream of being ‘somebody’. Pay careful attention to the solution.

When we claim we don’t know what to do to fix our problems we are speaking from the ego that does not want to solve anything. We have problems because we don’t want to give up being ‘somebody’. We don’t want to end the separation. The ego does not want to die. When we claim that we cannot find a solution, we are saying that we don’t know how to be ‘somebody’ and still be happy, but that is what we want. When we have any idea that we are a victim in any way, we are restating our allegiance to being ‘somebody’.

Only an imaginary ‘somebody’ can be a victim to an imaginary perpetrator. None of this can effect the truth, for it just happens in a dream. But since we are unwilling to give up that dream we experience the suffering, pain, loss, and struggle of being a victim. There is only one solution – give up being ‘somebody’.

The ego rushes in at this point and says it doesn’t know how to give up being ‘somebody’. And of course that is true in some ways. But actually the ego knows exactly how it is done. It is done when we decide we no longer want the ego and no longer want to be ‘somebody’. The ego is very aware that we have the choice. But what we won’t admit to ourselves as long as we are aligned with the ego is that we don’t want to give up our being a ‘somebody’. We don’t have the willingness. We don’t have the willingness because we don’t have the faith. All of which could be settled with forgiveness.

In the end, forgiveness always comes down to forgiving ourselves. As long as we believe we have things to forgive of others we are going along with the dream. If we are bearing grudges it is important that we release them, but in the end it is ourselves we must forgive. Not for anything that we have done but what we have believed about ourselves, and having made the choice of denying the truth.

So when we have problems we can’t find solutions for, when we are frustrated, depressed, angry or confused, it is because we are not willing to choose the truth. We are not willing to give up being ‘somebody’. We must acknowledge this. We must ask ourselves, “Am I willing to give up being ‘somebody’ or would I rather suffer? Why am I so happy to suffer?” We are completely ready to choose suffering. What is so attractive about being ‘somebody’?

Every one of us has a story of why we want to be ‘somebody’. But in the end it comes down to controlling, denying the truth, and avoiding the painful losses that led to our choice. This is what we must forgive. We must always be ready to remind ourselves that being a ‘somebody’ has no benefits – it is only struggle and loss. Giving up being ‘somebody’ is going to cost us nothing. But it is the end of suffering.

We have it the wrong way around. We are convinced giving up being somebody is the worst possible choice. We refuse to do it. We refuse to remember that it is the problem. We refuse to consider that we could do it. We don’t want to know. We want some other answer, some other solution. We want to keep on being ‘somebody’ and be happy. Let’s be very clear about this. It will never work because it can’t.

That is the basis of the ego – the idea that I can be happy being separate from the truth. I can make my own truth and live happily in it. That is what the ego is for. That is the view that supports its mission of control and destruction. Because all the ego can do is subtract, deny, cover up, destroy and control. It cannot create. There is no claim or guarantee that giving up being somebody is a simple task, but it is the only task that will bring an end to suffering.

Let us remember this. This is important. We don’t want to give up being somebody. If we did, we would have. We are unwilling. We have no faith and we have not forgiven ourselves. When you are suffering and something has triggered you and you are in distress, it is not easy to take full responsibility for that. But it is the only way to heal it. To claim any victimization simply keeps the wound alive.

To acknowledge that this distress is because of my choice to be somebody changes everything. To acknowledge that I am a victim of nothing and nobody opens possibilities for healing that weren’t open before. In the end what we are saying to ourselves is, “I do not believe I am pure and innocent. I do not believe in the truth. I do not accept my divine heritage and my perfection”. And when we deny that we suffer. At some point then we are free to make another choice – when we accept and acknowledge our denial of the truth we are free to change our mind. We can say, “I know I am not experiencing the truth because I am unwilling, but I accept that the truth is real and it is only my need to control that is causing me to experience this suffering or distress that I am in this moment. But that does not mean the truth is not true. It simply means I am not choosing it.

So what will you hold to be the very basic truth of yourself in this moment? That you are a perfect expression of a perfect source or that there is something about you that must be contained, hidden, and denied while you create this pretend life in this pretend world? There is no shame in choosing either one as long as we know that we are choosing. Victimization is the ego’s prized tool – it’s most powerful way to control. It will look for victimization in every moment; it will remind you that you are a victim in every situation and in the end that you are a victim of your own choice.

You are still a victim until you are willing to disempower the ego. Until we are willing to end the acceptance of victimization we will be clinging to being somebody. Let us awaken to the truth. We are holding our eyes closed and our hands over our ears saying no to it as strongly as we can – for what benefit? We can choose right now to start living as if the truth is true instead of victimization. Commit yourself to developing a faith in the truth – faith in what you are.

The prison of the soul – Morning Meditations, February 4, 2020

There is a good chance you feel that you are a victim of something right now. Whether it is events in the world, your health, your financial state, whatever there might be consider that you are holding the idea that you are a victim, that there is something acting against you, something limiting you, something affecting you. Are you willing to consider you are not a victim at all and the particular kind of suffering or limitation you are experiencing is your own choice. Not that you chose it consciously, but it is the projection of your internal struggle outside of you. Although it may feel very much inside you, anytime we claim to be a victim, we are separating ourselves from the source of the conflict and placing it somehow outside of ourselves.

It is the fact that we have chosen to align with the ego being ‘somebody’ that has created the suffering. Of course the ego will not agree with this statement but nothing is more certain than the destructive qualities of the ego. We created the ego for the specific purpose of limiting our exposure to the truth. We asked the ego to prove that we could be separate, that we could make the separation work. But since separation is not possible or even real, the only strategy that can work for the ego is to imprison the soul. The only way to imprison the soul is through death, destruction. Not that it will work but it is the only strategy the ego has.

What you see around you, what you feel, think and believe are attempts to destroy the soul. That sounds harsh and drastic, but in the end it is the intended result. We must ask ourselves if this is what we really want? Do we want to destroy that which is beautiful, that which is light, that which is love? Is that really what we want? Of course it isn’t. We have been led to believe we have no other choice, led to believe there is something within us that is so bad that it must be destroyed. The good news is that none of it is real. The walls of the prison in whatever form they take whether it is sickness or poverty, whatever we have built is not real.

But we must stop scaring ourselves, judging ourselves, finding fault. We must question our motives for identifying as victims. We must constantly ask ourselves, “Is this what I really want – to destroy that which is beautiful, light and love?” We are too easily discouraged by our own resistance. We are susceptible to the ego’s claims. We give in to the ego’s agenda so easily, but we must not judge or find fault with ourselves. We have put a powerful intelligence to work for the wrong purpose. It is time to withdraw that purpose. It is time to stop going along with the ego, consenting to being a victim, to believing in the prison that we have imagined.

Nothing can imprison the truth because there is only the truth. There is no force or power against it. There is only the vain imaginings of the ego. There is only one mind, one power, one consciousness. No matter how much you believe you are alone, you are separate, it is not true and never will be. The ego argues that it is, of course. It proves to you every day with your physical world that it is real – you are real. But only until you stop accepting it, and then you will see that it never was and never will be.

Everything is happening in the mind. Nothing is happening outside of the mind. There is nothing outside of the mind. And so our task is to surrender to the truth, stop trying to make things work, stop trying to fix things, stop trying to make a better you. Those efforts are destructive – not creative. What is creative comes from truth; everything else is destructive. Our need to succeed is destructive. Our need to feel good about ourselves is destructive. Our need to be somebody is destructive.

Let us stop it now. Let us release the idea that we can figure this out, we can fix it, and somehow know what is needed. Let us release the identity and the ego and just be with the truth. The truth that everything is already everything it should be. Nothing is missing, nothing is broken, and nothing is anything less than perfect. If we would truly accept this we would see that we are one.

Faith and forgiveness – Morning Meditations, February 3, 2020

Our experience of awakening is that it takes time. We believe in this life and this world so its most likely that we are not going to awaken fully today. It’s not to say it is impossible and that it doesn’t happen, and we may even experience moments of deep knowing, but the ego will assert itself. We will succumb to fear and we must make the journey again. But we do not need to suffer, we do not need to struggle, to feel hopeless. We can always choose how we are using our mind.

Our main intention for our spiritual practice is to make room for the truth in our mind. We are not here to make ourselves better, to fix anything. We want to end the distractions of trying to make ourselves better. Even healing is a distraction in the end, for only the ego can believe in sickness. The body is a distraction. The world is a distraction. You may say that we need to take care of these things, that there are practical realities that must be dealt with, but the truth is that we have the power to deal with practical realities in an instant. We choose these distractions, we create them, and we want them. And every time we choose them, we create more suffering and struggle. Every time we agree that there is something wrong, something that needs to be fixed or isn’t as it should be, we create more suffering. Because we are so used to it we don’t see it.

But it was said earlier that we do not need to suffer even though we are not fully awake. There are two key qualities we can turn our mind to that will change our experience right now. They are faith and forgiveness. These two qualities can change our mind and change our heart in any moment if we will give them our attention to make them real in our experience. Faith is telling ourselves the truth, that there is the truth that exists and is real. And that which is not the truth is not real and has no power. Faith is believing in the truth, believing that there is one source, one power, and that we are one with it – that we exist completely within it and are not alone and separate.

Ask yourself what is your level of faith. How much do you believe that the truth of you is perfection, that you are the perfect expression of a perfect source? How much do you believe that? We know that for the most part we have very little faith because we continue acting in a way that shows we don’t. We continue to make deals with the world to try to assure our safety and security because we have no faith. We must question our degree of faith at every opportunity because it only takes a tiny amount to change our mind. Are you going to trust in the truth or not?

There is nothing the ego will do to help you with this process. This is a decision that you must make outside of the ego. It is easy to forget that the ego is a choice, a creation, and that mind which makes that choice is available to make other choices, for instance, to have faith, to trust. It may not seem possible to find any faith in any given moment, and that is why the other important quality is forgiveness.

Forgiveness is the opening of the heart, the realizing that no one, including ourselves, is ever bad. In the end it is ourselves that needs forgiving. But until we are ready to forgive ourselves there are others we can forgive. We can practice forgiveness. Forgiveness does not mean that you have somehow deigned to accept somebody’s shortcomings or bad behavior. It means you are willing to accept that there never was any wrong, there never was any bad. Forgiveness means that you are willing to see the truth, to accept the truth.

Forgiveness of ourselves is a huge step to ending suffering. Forgiveness of others is the same. Both faith and forgiveness require understanding of the truth but they are not intellectual processes. They are an opening of the heart – a willingness to use and trust the right mind, the mind of the heart. The truth is plain when the heart is open. We have much fear around opening that which has been held so tightly closed for so long. Forgiveness can help. We can forgive ourselves for everything. We can forgive ourselves for not having faith. We can forgive ourselves for having a closed heart. We can forgive ourselves for having been deceived by our own mind for so long. Faith and forgiveness are our companions on the road to peace. There is nothing else we need.

If we will devote our mind to these two qualities our journey will change completely. It will take practice to develop faith and to give in to forgiveness. We must practice it constantly. With faith we ask ourselves, “Am I willing to believe in the truth even when I can’t feel it?” Forgiveness says, “Am I willing to accept the truth of myself and others? Am I willing to know the truth about myself and others?” The mind that can develop faith and that can surrender to forgiveness will be free and will know the truth.

Your will is only to separate – surrender it – Morning Meditations, January 29, 2020

Let us consider what it really means to stop being ‘somebody’ – to become completely still and surrender totally. Our alignment with the ego is so habitual, so unconscious, we are rarely aware of the effort we are making, the will that we are using to keep control in place. To become conscious we must be quiet and have no agenda but to become quiet. Consider if there is anything you want to change right now you are choosing control. If there is anything you want to be different right now, you are choosing control.

The ‘you’ that is thinking these thoughts knows nothing of what is best for you or what is right. It will not guide you to truth. It is an act of will that keeps the separation in place. Our ideas, our thoughts, our beliefs, are all designed to keep the separation in place – to keep our will active. We know nothing of what is best for us, of how to know the truth. The only thing – and let us be clear – the only thing we know how to do is to keep the separation going.

Surrender means surrender – complete and total. Not with conditions, not with expectations or any idea of what it should be. Surrender means a total, complete giving up of having it our way. We have heard before that the difference between truth and illusion is absolute – there is no compromise or little bit of truth or little bit of error. It is one or the other.

Most of us do not know how or why we were called to undertake this journey. It is difficult, painful and challenging. There is a reason. There was that within us that recognized the need to be authentic, which recognized the hypocrisy and dishonesty of the ego and longed for clarity and authenticity. There is that within us which recognized the prison of the ego and longed for freedom. Most importantly, there is that within us which has never forgotten what we truly are.

So our journey is inevitable. There are times when we question whether it is worth it, but really there is no choice. Every one of us will make this journey. Let us remember the difficulty is of our own making and we can challenge that choice in every moment. There is no moment we cannot ask ourselves, “Is this really what I want? Do I really want it to be this hard? Do I really want to make things this difficult?” For it is our own choice. We must accept completely that we cannot do things of our own will and be happy. We can simply accept that the only thing we know how to do is to reinforce separation, reinforce our struggle and suffering. If we would accept that the only real choice we have is to surrender our will completely, our journey would be so much easier.

And so that is our practice in this moment, to come to terms with that simple fact that we can do nothing on our own. Eventually we must see that that ‘somebody’ is not real – it never was who or what we are. And then we will align with the truth and our life will be guided completely by the truth. Be aware right now that the only thing holding you back from the freedom, power, love and joy of being aligned with truth is your own decision right now to be in control, to be separate, to do your will – not the will of the authentic truth within you.

Notice what your will wants in this moment. It may claim to want peace but you can be sure it doesn’t. For anything that claims a lack of peace is not real – it does not want peace. Resistance is your will, the will of the identity, the ‘somebody’, the ‘me’. We give that will power; we energize it. Now we can see that we want to withdraw that energy. We want to surrender our will completely – the only way to end separation. So this is our practice. This is our intention – the ending of the separation with the surrender of our will.

Stop trying to make separation work – Morning Meditations, January 11, 2020

It would be hard to exaggerate how much we want to make our decision to be separate work – how much we are trying to prove we can do it our way. On most of the spiritual journey we are trying to find peace in our decision to be separate. Consider how much time you spend trying to fix anything, whether it’s your body, relationships, work, finances, or the world around you. How much time do you spend trying to fix the little problems of life along with the big ones? How often do you think you know the right way to do things, the right way to be? How many things have you got the answers for? What do you spend your day doing? Do you spend it devoted to surrender and to the truth, to revealing the truth within you? Can you remember that this can only be done by complete and total surrender?

Again, it would be hard to exaggerate how hard we are trying to make our separation work and we have included the spiritual journey as part of that effort. This may sound like judgment, like something is wrong, but it is not. This is simply making conscious, bringing to awareness, what is actually happening. For denial is a great skill of the ego, as well as confusion of the facts and truth. The ego pats us on the back for doing good things, doing the right things and knowing the right answers. Our physical life, our life in this body, is the story of our conflict with the truth. We act it out in so many ways. We project out our hatred, guilt and fear and recreate the conflict over and over and over again in the world. For that is what the world exists for. It is created as an escape from the conflict, an effort to get the conflict out of us.

Every disturbance, every emotional reaction, every accident, every coincidence is a projection of our rejection of the truth – of our true selves. The ego will rush in and say that it is being judged, being found wrong and bad, and it will reject what is heard because it does not want us to be conscious, to be aware of all the ways we are denying the truth. The ego was created to prevent being conscious, prevent awareness. When you watch what it does when it hears the truth it is obvious.

So let us see if we understand and make it simple. If there is a problem, a conflict, issue or disturbance, there is only one answer, only one solution. The solution lies in the realization of the truth. It is the answer to everything. We must be clear it is not going to be easy and not going to happen in every moment. Awakening is a process that uses time. There isn’t any reason it should be different right now. We cannot find fault with ourselves. There is no justification for that and we are certainly doing the best that we can. So, once again, these words are not spoken with judgment and condemnation. They are spoken to awaken.

For the most part we are unaware of how unconscious we are – otherwise it wouldn’t be called ‘unconscious’. If we were completely conscious we wouldn’t need these words. At some point we are going to have to give up the idea that we know any answers at all and give in to the realization that there is always only one answer, because there is only one problem – trying to make separation work, trying to make this dream reality. So we can clearly discern the problem if we use our reason and focus on the solution.

Right now what is your state of surrender? What are you aware of in yourself? Are you willing to stop; are you willing to surrender? Are you willing to make that the focus of your awareness right now, to make that your intention? Are you willing to give up being right, looking good, knowing all the answers, and release all that effort so that the truth can be revealed? Are you willing to get out of the way of that which is authentic and real? This is the solution to every problem. Love heals everything. If you can’t find a solution you know that love is missing.

So there is nothing to be done in this moment except surrender. The path of surrender is a bumpy path. Resistance arises. But as we have heard, resistance is simply unwillingness. When resistance arises ask yourself if you want to awaken, do you want truth, are you willing to surrender? Are you willing to allow, to accept, and give up? We accept our resistance because we believe that surrendering to truth is somehow undesirable. Then our resistance has power – power to make us believe that peace and truth are out of our reach. But in reality, what we want is truth, light, love, and peace.

When we are truly willing nothing can stop us from knowing who and what we are. Remember resistance is unwillingness – it’s ‘no’. Is that really what you want to say? Do you really want to say ‘no’ to love? We think we are saying ‘no’ to save ourselves from being judged and condemned, but actually we are saying no to unconditional love, absolute peace and power – complete resolution of all conflict. That is what we say ‘no’ to. You must ask yourself in every moment, “Is this is what I want? What am I saying no to?”

Let us wake up. Let us end the deception that we can make separation work. Let us return to our rightful home. In reality there is no unwillingness to hold us back. There is no judgment coming. That is all projection of the ego. Let us find a way to be loving and gentle with ourselves – forgiving. Then we can surrender to who we truly are.

Time to stop being God fearing – Morning Meditations, January 6, 2020

Do you understand that your physical life – your physical being, experiences, health, security, relationships – are all ways of defending and supporting your separation from truth. When we get sick it proves that we are real. When we are poor or have financial difficulties it proves we are real. It proves that the ego is necessary and right.

It is important to understand the purpose of all that we have created. We continue to prove that we are right to be separate and that separation is real. Let us be clear about what we really are doing. We have projected onto the truth a judgmental, condemning, punishing being – a God to fear. We have truly manifested the need to be God-fearing. It is in our consciousness and has been for so long. That is the source of our sickness and our lack and inability to find peace and happiness. We feel determined to protect our separation out of fear of the condemnation and banishment to nothingness.

We must find within us, that fear, that guilt, for it is the source of our unwillingness to surrender the ego. As we know and have heard many times, the ego is our choice and not our dictator. It has no reality other than the reality we give it. Our greatest hope is that we can realize the truth and keep the ego. We want to spiritualize the ego. Ask yourself plainly, “Do I really want to give up being me? Am I really willing to give up being me? Right now, in this moment am I willing to surrender all that I have believed and thought about myself – all that I have worked so hard to develop in myself? In this moment am I willing to give all that up to become present to what is truly real?”

If you believe you are truly willing, then peace is yours. If peace does not come, your willingness is not complete. If you can feel or sense your unwillingness, that no inside you, ask yourself, “Why am I saying no? What is it about being completely free that I do not want? What is it about the illusion of who I am that I want to cling to so badly?” In whatever form the answer comes to you, rest assured that it is not true. It is based on a false idea of what surrender will bring. It is based on a fear of God, if you like – or a fear of love, a fear of truth, a fear of not being in control. Whatever your reason for saying no, know that it is based on a false idea. You are clinging to the idea of separation out of fear of some catastrophic consequences of surrendering. We must make this conscious; we must get this exposed to the light.

It is not enough to say that we are committed to our path. If we are not willing to take full responsibility for our sense of separation and are clinging to it, we may believe that we are powerless, that we don’t have a choice, and we are a victim of the ego. Let us be clear right here and now that the ego is a choice. We give it power. We give it life. We give it the illusion of reality. So let us revisit this choice once again. Are you willing to completely surrender being ‘me’? If so, then go in peace. If not, look deeper and ask again, “What is the source of my unwillingness, the source of my no? What is the false idea that leads me to believe that clinging to the ego is a good idea?”

Now let us remind ourselves what we are saying no to. What is the truth? What will surrender be? Surrender to truth is not a giving up of our lives, not some kind of loss or sacrifice. Surrendering to the truth is seeing things as they really are – perfect. Surrendering to the truth is dropping all the illusions, all the fear, all the guilt that we have imposed on ourselves. Surrendering to the truth is coming home to love – the true source of our being. It is the experience of unity, oneness, the true knowing and certainty. It is the experience of perfect peace and freedom, the infinite timeless peace. Do you really want to say no to that? Do you really want to deny the only safe harbor there is? Do you not crave peace, the knowing that you are perfectly alright?

What strange idea keeps you opposed to that experience? Rest assured, it is not true whatever it is. You are in no danger from truth, God, or love. No sacrifice is demanded of you. You have nothing to prove. It is already what you are; it is already the truth. It is already within you. Nothing can change that. You are perfectly capable of denying yourself the experience, but is that really what you want? Is being you so much better, so much safer? It is a twisted idea that we are better off with the ego. Search deep within yourself. Why would you say no to the power, freedom and peace of surrender? Remember, the ego cannot speak the truth. Every reason you have to cling to separation is a false idea. You have been misled. You have deceived yourself. You have been convinced to give up your rightful home, but isn’t your rightful home what you really want? If it is what you believe you want, why do you believe separation is better?

Being ‘Spiritual’ – Morning Meditations, January 10, 2019

Can you imagine how it feels to be truly carefree – to be untouched by worry or anxiety or doubt?  Can you imagine feeling only the peace of knowing “all is well” right now?  Consider that it is your birthright to feel such peace, to know you are completely safe and secure, to be light and carefree. But there is a catch – the ego will never experience that and as much as you believe you are working to be free of the ego, it is only the ego that is working.   That which is real and true within you does not need to be freed of the ego – it is already real and true, already authentically peaceful.  We cannot overestimate the degree to which we are trying to spiritualize the ego.  It is insidious in its ability to make us forget that it is not real, that we are not it. 

Think about this.  You are asked to imagine being carefree.  It is most likely that you are trying to imagine the ego being carefree.  You are thinking of yourself as your ego.  You are thinking “you” with a small y.  Freedom, being free from anxiety and worry and doubt, is not possible for what you think is ‘you’.  For here is the key to knowing truth.  If you believe you are separated from the truth you can’t know it or you don’t know it.  If you believe you are not free, if you don’t feel carefree, then you are saying “no” to the truth.  You are saying “yes” to spiritualizing the ego.  Perhaps you are working earnestly at being spiritual but that which is not spiritual cannot be made spiritual because that which is not spiritual does not exist.  

To make spiritual is an oxymoron.  Spiritual is and can never be anything but what it is already right now.  Anything that claims to want to be spiritual is not real.  Anything that claims to be separated and apart is not real.  So everything new that claims to be anything but perfect peace is not real.  Consider more closely for the moment how much you have invested in doing your spiritual work.  Not that it has been irrelevant or a waste of time, but look at what you have been trying to do.  

We know we need to let go, to stop this fight but how can we stop?  How can we stop when we have so much faith in the ego?  We act as if, and believe, it has power; we constantly proclaim its power over us.  We talk about it as if it was an enemy – not something of our own making, our own dreaming.  It is just another way to keep control.  If we are engaged in a battle with the ego we do not have to surrender.  And so it goes on and on.  

We must come to recognize that this self with a small s is truly who we think we are.  We think this self is choosing to fight the ego.  We think we can make this self become spiritual – we will train and discipline it.  Can you see the insanity of this idea?  The true Self with a capital S has no need of our assistance.  Nothing has happened to it.  There is nothing wrong.  

The purpose of this discussion is that we may see the ridiculous quest of trying to become spiritual.  This may sound like a judgment or harsh criticism, but it is in fact a statement of the truth.  And it is not to be expected that we should already know this, that somehow we have failed because we did not already recognize this truth.  It is a journey that everyone must make.  

We must become absolutely clear that what is not perfect peace cannot be real, cannot be fixed and cannot be made spiritual.  It is to be recognized by what it is:  an idea that we have clung to in desperation for so long that we don’t know how to let it go.  A person clinging in terror to an object will never realize they are better off letting go until they try.  And until they have freed their mind of the idea of clinging as the only answer – once they are open the possibility of another answer – then other possibilities can arise.  

So here is our task – to continually examine and challenge our belief about what is real right now, particularly in terms of who and what we are.  There is only one truth, one reality and that truth is unmistakable, undeniable – it is known to us and we recognize it instantly.  It knows only peace and perfection.  We cannot accept anything else as real.  

Finding Stillness Within – Morning Meditations, July 1, 2019

Finding stillness within is a skill that is basic to the spiritual journey, and yet in many cultures there is no knowledge or acknowledgement of the importance of being able to quiet the mind.  We have become accustomed to the constant noise of our mind, so much so that we are afraid to be alone in silence.  We seek distraction constantly.  In order to make room for the truth we must cultivate our own comfort in silence.  From the viewpoint of the ego that looks like doing nothing, just wasting time.  But our spiritual search will be fruitless if we cannot guide ourselves to the quiet and still mind. 

Take this moment now to consider how often you really practice this journey – how often do you sit in silence and stillness with no distraction?  Try it now.  Turn your attention inward. Let all thoughts, plans and activities drop away.  In worldly terms it takes time to become quiet, although in reality it happens in an instant – in a timeless moment. 

All the knowledge in the world is of no use when it comes to this important step.  Except in one way, in reassuring ourselves that in fact this is what we want and it is safe.  We have resisted it and resistance to this step is the fundamental basis of our suffering and struggle.  Our decision to turn away from our authentic selves results in fear of the silence and stillness within. 

So we know we cannot judge ourselves, we cannot find fault with our resistance, and we can remember that more than anything we long for what lies within us already.  It is already there and already true.  So we use our knowledge to guide and reassure ourselves that we are safe – we can make this journey and indeed it is what we want.  We will experience fear, we will be distracted, we will start to pay attention to our thoughts, but let us be calm and accepting, not judgmental and anxious.  We can allow ourselves to be guided, to be called. 

The fear, resistance and distractions are simply the fragments of the wall we built and we can let them drop and return to the nothingness that they are.  They have no reality.  There is only one thing that is real.  We can call it what we want – it has no name.  It is universal, infinite, and eternal.  When we allow ourselves to know it, it is the only thing we know.  So there is nothing more important to be done than to find the silence and the stillness.  That is our practice.  That is our journey. 

Do not listen to the arguments of the ego that claim it is too hard, there’s too much resistance.  Those are simply noisy thoughts.  Don’t look at them anymore.  Look deeper, further.  Listen to the call of truth – it is always there.  Do not be deceived.  You can let go of your defensiveness now.  There is no need to fight any longer.  Peace is within you right now.  Give in. 

Prayer Is The Opening To Truth – Morning Meditations, May 18, 2018

It is not difficult to understand how we become discouraged or frustrated in our spiritual journey for we have an unrealistic expectation.  We think that we can bring all the qualities of the ego with us to our meeting with God.  We think we can bring judgment, good and bad, right and wrong.  We think we can bring our belief in the world and sickness and health, rich and poor.  Those very things are the source of our disappointment and frustration.  In this moment, are you completely accepting ‘what is’ as it is, as it comes right now?  Be relentless in your questioning of what you are bringing to this moment – what judgment, what expectation, what rules?  In what way are you saying to yourself right now that things should be different?

We may have the idea that if  we work hard enough, are good enough and diligent enough, that we will meet God and our problems will all be solved.  But that is the ego’s approach to problem solving; that is how the ego gets things done.  We are not going to be made different by our meeting with God – we have to be different to meet God.  This sounds as if we are being blamed, but in reality we are exposing our choice.  There is no blame and nothing wrong.  That’s the key to the truth of the matter:  in this moment, if we claim there is something wrong, we are choosing to separate ourselves from the truth.  The truth is there is nothing wrong.  The insistence or proclamation that there is something wrong is an alignment with the ego, but it feels like something is wrong.  We are suffering, we are experiencing pain, symptoms or emotional turbulence – that must be wrong!  We are supposed to be free, joyous, and happy!

What we don’t see is that we are making it that way and we cannot judge or find fault with that.  We cannot align ourselves with the thinking processes of the ego – the beliefs in the worldly effects.  We cannot judge ourselves for believing them because that which believes in the ego is the ego.  We are being deceived by ourselves.  We are being told there is something wrong and we are believing it.  We are being told that we are not good enough and we are going along with it.  We are told there is something wrong and we go along with it.

In this moment we can stop all that noise and say, No, there is nothing wrong.  No matter what appears to be true, only truth can be true.  No matter what this noise in my head is telling me, it is not true.  It can’t be because we know the qualities of truth, we know what is real.  There cannot be something wrong.  We cannot be bad.  We cannot be unworthy.

Those are not qualities of truth but why are we choosing to believe them?  The fact that we must face is that we want them to be true.  Some part within us believes that we should suffer, that suffering is a way to live.  There is something within us that chooses to proclaim suffering and struggle as reality, not truth.

We must be very diligent for this is not a matter of blame or finding fault – all judgment must be suspended.  We have suffered pain and loss.  We are afraid to suffer pain and loss again and we have been convinced that by living and proclaiming the truth we will suffer great pain and loss.  That is what we believe.  We must find that within us which believes in that pain and loss, for that is the source of our choice.  Something inside us is hurt so badly that it cannot bear to be exposed to that which it was separated from.

When somebody hurts us deeply, often our choice is to never see them again.  And that is why we avoid the truth.  For meeting the truth means looking squarely in the face of being hurt so deeply.  We cannot blame ourselves.  We cannot judge ourselves.  We can only be compassionate and accepting.  It is frightening.  It feels terrible, but if we do not make it conscious we are controlled by it.

We can see that when we find ourselves in the depths of resistance we can ask ourselves, What is it I don’t want to see right now?  What is it I don’t want to know, for I am choosing to suffer rather than know and see what is real?  That is my choice right now in this moment.  

We must be cognizant of the fact that the ego is extremely intelligent and clever in the ways that will distract us from remembering the source of our difficulty.  It learns as we learn because it is our own invention.  We endow it.  We give it power and life so that we do not have to face that which we do not want to.  In the depths of our resistance, misery and despair, we feel alone and unable to shift.

This is when we must pray – pray for help.  For prayer is opening ourselves again to the idea that there is something other than suffering and struggle – reminding ourselves that God is real, turning away from what appears to be real towards reality.  We are not asking for an outside source to help us, we are asking ourselves to reconnect to what is real.  It takes great presence of mind to remember what is real in the depths of resistance, but it can be done.  For no matter how real it seems, that which is not God cannot last and is not real.  It has no reality – only the reality we give it as we accept and believe in it.  It is only when we give it life and power that it seems to be real.  As soon as we withdraw that life and power and turn to face the truth, then it is no longer real.

In this moment, we can pray, we can seek to align ourselves with truth, peace and acceptance.  We can say, I know that despite all that appears to be real in this moment, there is something else that is really true.  I know I seem to want to believe in suffering and struggle, I seem to think I deserve it and am not worthy of anything else.  I have many thoughts in this moment that don’t reflect the truth.  I know it seems that I am powerless to change this and I know that this mind cannot solve this problem.  It is the mind of God that I seek – the mind of truth, the universal and absolute, not the temporary.  These thoughts of unworthiness, aloneness and separation are a fantasy created to protect me from the truth.  But I do not need protection from the truth.  There is nothing to fear in truth.  There is nothing to be lost.   So I seek the truth – the mind of God, the mind that is my mind, the universal mind.  It is not the fantasy that I have created, but the eternal and permanent truth of God.  I know it is real and is here in this moment.  It is the source of my being right now.  It is the only thing there is right now.  Everything else is just a crazy activity of my imagination.  I seek the sacred and holy within me, which is beyond doubt the only thing within me.  Let there be no mistake, I cannot replace God with my mind.  It is only a trick of the ego.  Let me proclaim only that which is true and deny that which is not and cannot be real.  Let me rest and abide in truth, for that is reality.  That is ‘what is’.  I do not need protection.  I am protection.  That is the truth. 

The Greater Journey – Morning Meditations, May 19, 2018

We have become accustomed to the idea that we seek spiritual freedom, and that it is what we want, but somehow there are forces against us.  Even if, on an intellectual level, we acknowledge that those forces must be within us, we still displace them by calling them the ‘ego’ or something else.  So we can never really take full responsibility for what is going on within us.

We know that we are busy using our minds to create a reality that isn’t truly real.  We understand that there is a deeper reality that is always true and real and is the source of our life.  And we long for the freedom, joy, and peace of living in that truth – but why is it so difficult to find?

We must remember that this thing called the ego is not a separate force, is not the devil, and not a power against us – it is of our own making, carrying out our demands and our commands.  It is our mind at work.  We have given it the task that we claim we no longer want it to do, and yet we continue to empower it.  It seems impossible to believe that we could turn it off in a moment.  It has no life of its own – only the life that we give it.  It has no reality of its own – only what we imagine for it.  We talk about the ego as if it is separate only because it is not real.  But it does indeed keep our attention distracted from reality, for that is the job we give it in every moment.

How are we to reconcile our longing for truth and peace and our constant construction of barriers to it?  There is that within us that has not been soothed and reassured enough to trust that everything will be okay if it relinquishes what seems like its only form of protection.  And the truth is that we find that part of ourselves very distasteful.  We see it as weak, as vulnerable.  We judge it.  We do not want it exposed and so we often undertake our spiritual journey the same way we have done everything – by sheer will.  We are going to overcome our resistance by sheer effort and make it go away.

What we find, which seems to deepen our struggle, is that our contrast between happiness and suffering grows deeper as we are determined to find peace and yet keep control.  We think that the spiritual journey is only about finding peace at the cost of everything else.  But really there is the journey of getting to know every aspect of ourselves, becoming at peace with every aspect of ourselves, becoming free to be whatever we are in any moment without judgment.  This is the greater journey.

Who would not feel good about themselves if they were at peace all the time?  That is the way we see it.  But who would feel good about themselves when they see those parts of themselves they have kept hidden in the dark – those parts of themselves that are capable of much darker feelings and thoughts?  It is impossible to find spiritual peace while keeping aspects of ourselves hidden.  In fact, truth is much easier to find than that which we do not want revealed.

Of course our longing for peace is authentic.  Of course we want peace.   But we must understand that it is the ego – that make believe world – that tells us we don’t have it and must continue to seek it, keeping us entirely distracted from the plain and simple truth that we are hiding something.  How else can we explain the effort we put in, the hours of study, practice and meditation, only to find ourselves back in the resistance?  This is no call for judgment, blame or shame.  It is a call to reality, a call to truth, authenticity and honesty.

We say we want to be free and yet we resist it.  How can we reconcile these two seemingly opposed ideas?  There is one simple answer.  There must be something about ourselves that we really do not like.  We say that letting go is hard, surrender is difficult, but coming face to face with that within us which has led us on a path of loathing and misery is more difficult than any task.  There will be nothing to let go of once we have accepted the truth.

So here we are in this moment, desperate for peace, and yet apparently blocked by something barely even recognized to be true.  What are we to do?  Our effort has not been in vain; our practice has not been a waste – far from it.  We have learned to accept, to release judgment, to question our thoughts and beliefs.  We have learned and experienced surrender and letting go.  The truth is that we have come a long way.  And now the truth is that we are a moment away from peace.  That moment of self-awareness where we realize there is nothing within us to hide, nothing to protect.

It sounds frightening that there is something within us that we are so afraid of.  But in reality it is nothing.  It’s an idea, a thought, a belief system.  It has no substance, no reality whatsoever.  But we must be conscious of our fear, our efforts to keep this aspect of ourselves hidden.  For it is the basis of the ego, the purpose of the ego.  We cannot blame the ego for doing the job its been given.  We have to look at the job its been given and realize it is not needed anymore.  We can face that and be free.

And so, in this moment, we must acknowledge the shortcomings of the efforts of the ego, which is the mind that we use when we believe we are anything but at peace.  We must come to peace at this moment just as it is.  We must choose to allow ‘what is’ to be for if we are resisting ‘what is’ we cannot experience the truth – we cannot allow that which is true to be revealed when we are fighting ‘what is’.  Our resistance, our struggle, and our suffering are all efforts to resist ‘what is’.  Give in to it.  Let it take you over, whatever is alive within you right now.  Just give in to it.  Trust, for in fact there is only one thing that is real.  If we come to complete acceptance and allowing, that’s what will be revealed.  That is our journey.