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Teachers That Help You Awaken From the Human Dream

There comes a time in every soul’s journey that they begin to feel the pull to spiritually awaken. What does it mean to spiritually awaken? Many things…here are a few:

  1. You begin to identify less with your human ego self and more with the eternal, indestructible soul aspect of yourself, and then finally, as pure consciousness itself.
  2. As a result of this re-identification, many subtle fears subside, such as the fear of death and what others think of you.
  3. The worries and frustrations of the world release their grip on you and are replaced with a deep sense of well being, a knowing that all is well under the surface, in a “more permanent and true” reality that you could never truly be separate from.
  4. Your mind becomes more easily anchored in the present moment, rather than pulled into the past and future of the mind.

When the student is ready, the teacher appears

There are many teachers these days who help people to awaken: Eckhart Tolle, Adyashanti, Burt Harding, Gangaji…there are multiple teachers, and each one has their own flavor. One of my favorite teachers of awakening is Leonard Jacobson. He is now living in the Twin Cities metro and is a valuable resource for those on the awakening path. When he is in town and not teaching in another state or country, he gives talks every other Sunday in Wayzata, MN.

I want to share a video below of Leonard teaching which reflects his unique style. It came in a recent newsletter as well as some words that introduce his talk. Please enjoy!

“Leonard begins this talk by emphasizing how simple it is to be present, yet many of us still remain imprisoned within the mind, and lost in the dream. He explains what is necessary for true awakening to occur and reveals how to overcome the resistance of the ego.

Awakening is about liberating yourself from the past and future world of the mind and from endless thoughts that never stop. It is about liberating yourself from the illusion of separation, into the truth of life, which is revealed through this moment.

The only moment that is ever really available to us is this moment.

As you become more grounded in the present moment, everything begins to change – you know the truth is here now; the truth is you, present with what is here in this moment.

When you are present, your mind is silent. There is no conflict, fear or desire. You are just here, present with what is here.”

Surrendering the Dream

This webcast was originally recorded at a live Evening Teaching in La Selva Beach, CA, February 19, 2013 – 71 minutes

Leonard Jacobson’s other topics include

  • The ego will never awaken; good news for the ego
  • Right relationship with difficult feelings
  • Being present as we move through life
  • Bringing consciousness to all the ways we are pulled out of Presence
  • The reasons why many people don’t want to be present
  • The Soul’s deepest longing
  • Getting in touch with your feelings
  • Retreating into silence and re-emerging into the world
  • A new model for awakening
  • You are a Buddha in this moment

Becoming Who We Already Are

In a recent Edge Magazine, their theme of the month was “How to Awaken to Our Divinity”. Below is the article I wrote that offers a practical approach that many have found helpful. Please enjoy!

“We are on a journey to become what we already are.” These are the words of the modern and local sage, Leonard Jacobson. Another modern sage, Adyashanti, put it another way: “Enlightenment is really just a radical shift in identity.”

We are multi-dimensional beings. We are souls that use and identify as specific bodies. As souls, we all come from the same energy source. At the highest level of our being, there is only Oneness. Hence the teaching of sages is non-dualism.

Those who have spiritually awakened know at the core of their being, without any doubt, that the consciousness that animates them is the same consciousness that animates you, or a cat or a tree. They identify with that consciousness more than they identify with their bodies and the ego mind chatter that goes with it.

The tricky part, however, is that this Truth can only be realized and known without the analytical thinking mind. It is an experience, a knowing that comes only in the present moment when there is a gap between the incessant chatter of the thinking mind, and/or you are identified as the calm, still observer of your thoughts.

The thinking mind is the tool that we as humans use to function in our present reality, but it also keeps us identified with our body. Although our thinking mind is very helpful to live this earth life, it does nothing but hold us back if we decide we want to discover the truth of who we are. That is why people use meditation to quiet the thinking mind. Many health benefits have been measured by quieting the thinking mind….what the Buddha called the source of our suffering.

When you are fully present with a flower, a sunset, a lover, a latte, a pet…there is nothing wrong in that moment. Only when the mind pulls you into the past or the future with worries and concerns, or arguments about how the moment should be different than what it already is, only then is suffering generated. Thus another modern Australian sage nicknamed Sailor Bob said, “What’s wrong with this moment, unless you think about it?”

Yet another present day sage, Byron Katie, says when you go to war with “what is”, you’ll lose every time. If things should be different than what they are, they already would be. This doesn’t mean we can’t change the world or our lives for the better, but change it while anchored in the peace and love of Oneness consciousness, or Christ consciousness, and you’ll notice much more effective results.

Not many people realize that hypnosis can be used as a short-cut to enter a profound state of meditation to quiet the thinking mind, and thus anchor yourself deeply in the present moment. Applying hypnosis to go on an inner spiritual journey, such as with past life regression and life-between-lives, is probably the fastest, most effective way for the average person to tune into and identify with the higher dimensions of themselves, partly because it cannot happen unless you are deeply anchored in the present moment and the brain wave activity has slowed down from beta to alpha and then theta and even delta.

In past life regression, once the thinking mind is quiet, you consciously dis-identify from your present body/mind system and assume a different body/mind…one that drops into you only in the present moment from your subconscious mind. You are shown a life that could be either challenging, amazing, or boring, but it will automatically by default be something that can help you grow and evolve as a soul either by healing an unresolved trauma or by learning and applying wisdom gained from the past life experience.

Eventually the past life comes to an end and you identify with your soul. Thus you are no longer identified with neither your present nor past life self in that moment, but rather the soul consciousness that animates all the lives you’ve lived. During a Life-Between-Lives spiritual journey, you go deeper into the spirit realm, deeper into the present moment and deeper into a higher dimension of yourself…all of these are synonymous.

It is no wonder that as people go further and deeper on their soul’s journey during a Life-Between-Lives session, they feel lighter, freer, and no longer separate from the joy, peace, love and security that the ego personality has long been seeking outside of itself. And as they keep going, they inevitably feel a sense of  “home”,and a stronger interconnection with life. “Home” is a place deep within themselves. No incessant mind chatter is noticed…that part of you becomes silent when tuned into the higher dimensions. In fact, it feels as if it would take effort to apply the thinking mind. All information drops into you as a download of combined thoughts, feelings and senses in the moment.

If you want to experience who you really are, try going on a deep inner journey within yourself to re-identify with the higher aspects of your being. After all, you couldn’t separate yourself from that part of you if you tried…it simply gets covered up in this human experience.    

You Are Love

This human experience is all about voluntarily being asleep and trying to live a life from the handicap of seemingly being cut off from Source and from our true authentic selves. When the time is right for you as a soul, you begin the spiritual process of awakening to who and what you truly are. Life then begins to make more sense, and subtle anxieties tend to fall away as you realize that earth life is more of a role play for us to experience ourselves in. I love Thich Nhat Hanh’s quote, “We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.” A few weeks ago, I posted a blog by one of my favorite teachers of awakening, Adyashanti. I’m going to follow along that same line and share some brief words by another one of my favorite awakened sages who now resides in the Twin Cities area, Leonard Jacobson. Please enjoy his words of truth:
“When you are present, you are love, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

You radiate love in the same way that a candle flame radiates light and it has nothing to do with who or what you love. Humanity has become hopelessly lost in love. We lose ourselves in the object of our love and in the process, we lose ourselves. We disconnect from the source of the love, which exists at the very center of our Being. Then we feel a certain kind of emptiness, because we have moved away from the center. We are afraid of the emptiness, and so we relentlessly pursue love outside of ourselves. We want to be loved. We fall in love. We lose ourselves in the object of the love, which takes us further from the center. Eventually, we become so lost in the pursuit of love and all the hope, pain, fear and attachments associated with it, that we can no longer be present. And if we cannot be present, we cannot find our way back to the source of the love, which is at the very center within us.

The truth is that if you love anyone or anything, it simply means that you are love. The one you are loving in the moment might be lovable, but the source of the love is always within you. If another loves you, do not take it too personally. It simply means that the other is love. If I am present and I am love, and you are present and you are love, then why do I need you to love me? Why do you need me to love you? The truth is that we do not need to be loved, for if we are present, we are love. So let us hold hands, and gaze together upon this wondrous world with love.

Love everything. Love the dogs. Love the children. Love the trees. Love your wife or husband. But remember it is because you are love.”

The Awakened Way

This earth life offers each of us precise opportunities to grow and evolve to our next level. It is happening whether we are awake to it or not. All the while, there is one master soul lesson, and that is to awaken to our truest and highest nature. One can find many people who are awakening these days if you look for them (hint: check out www.batgap.com). It reminds me of a quote by one enlightened woman, Neelam: “First things first…first awaken to who and what you are, then see if your problems still make any sense.”  Awakening is simply realizing and identifying with the part of you that never comes and goes, that’s always here and now, no matter what spiritual dimension you are on or physical life you are in. One of my favorite teachers of awakening, Adyashanti, says that this realization begins first in the head, then drops into the heart, and finally the gut and you fully know it because you are it. I am sharing with you an answer that was posed to Adyashanti about awakening. Please enjoy reading his response:

What is it like to live an awakened life?

“While the world is trying to solve its problems and everyone around you is engaged in the same, you’re not. While everybody around you is trying to figure it out, trying to arrive, trying to “get there,” trying to be worthy, you’re not. While everyone thinks that awakening is a grand, noble, halo-enshrouded thing, for you it’s not. While everybody is running from this life right now, in this moment, to try to get there, you’re not. Where everybody has an argument with somebody else, mostly everybody else, starting with themselves, you don’t. Where everybody is so sure that happiness will come when something is different than it is now, you know that it won’t. When everybody else is looking to achieve the perfect state and hold on to it, you’re not.

When everybody around you has a whole host of ideas and beliefs about a whole variety of things, you don’t. Everyone on the path is getting there; you haven’t gotten anywhere. Everyone is climbing the mountain; you’re selling hiking boots and picks at the foot in the hope that if they climb it and come back down, they may be too exhausted to do it again. When everybody else is looking to the next book, to the next teacher, to the next guru to be told what’s real, to be given the secret key to an awakened life, you’re not. You don’t have a key because there’s not a lock to put it in.

When you’re living what you are in an awakened way, being simply what you’ve always been, you’re actually very simple. You basically sit around wondering what all the fuss is about.

When everyone is sitting around saying, “I hope that happens to me,” you remember when you did that. You remember that you didn’t find a solution to that. You remember that the whole idea that there was a problem created all of that.

When you’re being what you are, when you’re living the awakened life, there’s nobody to forgive, because there’s no resentment held, no matter what.

The truth of your being doesn’t crave happiness; it could actually care less. It doesn’t crave love, not because you are so full of love, but because it just doesn’t crave love. It’s very simple. It doesn’t seek to be known, regarded highly, or understood. When you’re living what you are in an awakened way, there’s no ideal for you anymore. You’ve stepped off the entire cycle of suffering, of becoming; you’re not interested.

It’s a curious life you find yourself in. You find yourself… where you are. Not where I am, where you are. Where you really are. Where we really are. It’s a curious place to be (especially in the beginning) not to be driven by anything—pleasure or displeasure, helping or hurting, loving or hating. The only thing that will move you (and I don’t mean to be too poetic about this) is the same thing that moves a leaf hanging from a tree. It’s simply because the breeze blows that way. So you always know what to do: The breeze blows that way, and that’s the way you go. You don’t ask questions anymore. You don’t evaluate why the breeze is blowing that way because you know that you don’t know why. And you know you can’t know why. There’s never been a leaf anywhere that knows why the wind blows that way on that day at that moment. That breeze changes the orientation of your life, moment to moment to moment, simply because that’s the way life’s moving. And when you’re living in your awakened self you have no argument with the way it’s moving because it is the same as you are.

And you know that the breeze was always there, from the very beginning, and that it wasn’t reserved for special people. If you didn’t notice it at some point in your life, you know it was because you weren’t listening, or because you thought you had to figure something out before you could listen, or because you thought there had to be some conclusion before you could just listen so deeply, so without agenda, so without hope of a better future that you would feel the movement.

Many of you know what I’m speaking of.

Truth never explains why it’s moving that way at that moment. And if you ask, it won’t give any information. It would be like a leaf asking the wind, “Why are you moving that way right now?” The question doesn’t make any sense to the wind.

But your argument with the way the truth would move—whatever that way is—is no longer there for you. You’re no longer arguing with it. You’re no longer trying to figure it out. Mother Mary didn’t figure it out. Buddha didn’t figure it out. Ramana didn’t figure it out. None of them figured it out. They just became That. Simple. Ordinary—in the same way a leaf is ordinary.

When you’re living in your awakened being and living in an awakened way, power on any level is not an issue for you. It’s not interesting. The power to control another human being is not interesting. Intellectual power is not interesting. The power to control yourself is not interesting. The power that people want to give you is not interesting to you—not because it shouldn’t be; it’s just not. What would you want to do with it? You see that there’s nothing you want to do with it.

You realize, in the truth of your being, that you are the totality itself, but you have no interest whatsoever in doing anything with that knowledge, with using that knowledge.

Finally, you realize that you really don’t want to change anybody, not because you shouldn’t want to change them, because you just don’t. You might not want to be around everyone, but still you don’t want to change them.

None of this is an ideal—it’s the end of ideals. None of this is holiness; it’s the end of holiness. It’s the beginning of wholeness. None of this is something to achieve, because it’s not achievable. It’s simply what is in the truth of your being. It’s just what is. You can’t attain what’s naturally so. And nobody anywhere can ever tell you when or why, or to what degree you’ll let go of untruth; you will let go when you let go, usually when nothing else works.

When you’re living in the awakened way, in the awakened being that you are, you’re alone, and you’re finally comfortable with it. You’re alone, but you’re not lonely at all, because the only one who was ever supposed to meet you where you are—the only one who ever could meet you where you are one hundred percent—was you. Nobody else could ever fully meet you where you are—maybe ninety percent, maybe ninety-five. Nobody can meet you fully but you. When you finally do, then you don’t need anybody else to do it for you. Then you’re alone, more alone than you could ever imagine. And strangely—very strangely—you are more connected, more intimate, more at one with everything. More. And you would have never thought that those two could in any way be together: total aloneness and total oneness. You would have never guessed that that’s the way it would end up. But it does, and it always has.

And finally, when you’re just living in the awakened way that you really are, you’ll never form an image again of what it’s like. Even as it’s happening, you won’t form an image because you’ll know they’re all images, dust. The way it was yesterday won’t be the way it is today.”

What Must I Do To Awaken?

Sages will answer this question differently, such as “there’s nothing you can do to awaken” or “the ‘you’ that’s trying to awaken isn’t what awakens.” The following is an answer from Leonard Jacobson. Leonard is an awakened teacher who has been sharing his simple and direct way of awakening for the past 35 years. His book, Journey Into Now, is one of my favorites. Below is an answer that exemplifies much of the core of his teaching. Enjoy!

Question:

What must I do, what must happen, for me to AWAKEN and be free? How do I do this? Where is the moment from asleep to awake?

Answer:

To live an awakened life requires a deep intention on your part to be present. Every moment you have the choice. Will you choose to be present with what is actually here now, or will you choose to be in the world of the thinking mind, which is an illusory world of thought, memory and imagination. The choice is yours. It is up to you and no one else. No guru can help you. Spiritual practices will ultimately fail. The present moment is always available. It never withdraws and it never gives up on you. It constantly re-presents itself to you. In truth it never goes away. But you have to choose it.

The more you choose Presence, the more grounded you will become in the truth and reality of the present moment. The more grounded you are in the truth and reality of the present moment, the more you will experience the sacred and the divine in those ordinary moments. If your commitment is to being present, then there will come a time when being present becomes your natural state. The present moment becomes your home and you will have short excursions into the world of the mind, but you never go so far into the mind that you will get lost.

Everything that occurs within the world of the mind is of the remembered past or imagined future. None of it is happening now. If you become identified with your thoughts, memories or imaginings, then you take yourself out of the present moment. You take yourself into an illusory world and deprive yourself of the true life, which can only be lived in this moment.

If there are any wounds or limiting patterns or beliefs from the past, which are preventing you from moving into the present moment, then they will begin to surface and it is up to you to bring them into the full light of consciousness, so that healing and release can occur within an environment of unconditional love and acceptance.

If you are still having difficulty choosing to be present, then we will have to examine more closely what your ego is up to. What is it so desperately trying to hold on to? What is it afraid of? What are its tricks and strategies to keep you in its world of the past and future? All of these things will have to be brought to the light of consciousness.

A complete absence of judgment is one of the principal keys to awakening. Examine judgment in your life. It can be very subtle.

You ask where is the moment from asleep to awake. There is only one possible answer. Here!!! Now!!! Where else can you awaken but here? And when, if not now?

Remember that in truth, there is nothing but the present moment. In truth, you can never be anywhere else. The experience of being somewhere other than in the present moment is nothing more than an illusion which is created when you enter the world of the mind, and become identified with the story that is unfolding there.

In a way, it is artificial to imagine that you can awaken in any kind of permanent way. Even permanence is an illusion. There is only NOW. And so the question that constantly arises is “Am I awake and fully present NOW? And of course, that question arises and is answered in perfect silence.

Awakening is the simplest thing in the world. It feels so much better to be present rather than in the world of the mind. The present moment is the doorway to God. The present moment IS God. Why doesn’t everyone choose it?

What Is Enlightenment?

I would like to share an article by Neile Donald Walsch, author of the ‘Conversation With God’ series. He has a way of articulating deep concepts and ideas in a simple manner. I enjoyed his thoughts on Enlightenment and I hope you do as well! Here’s Neile:

 

Let’s talk about Enlightenment—that elusive magical mystical experience for which many people seem to be searching.

We have not only been search-ing for Enlightenment, we have been searching as well for a definition of Enlightenment, because we know intuitively that we can’t get to that destination until we know where we are going.

And so the first step for most human beings has been to try to define what Enlightenment is, or what it looks like, or feels like, or what it is like to experience that.

As we look around us in this world we see that many “Paths to Enlightenment” have been suggested, recommended, created, expressed, experienced, shared, and put into the space of our collective lives.

The Buddha said that he knew a way to Enlightenment. Bahá’u’lláh said that he knew a way. More contemporarily, Paramahansa Yogananda said that he knew a way to Enlightenment.

Yogananda taught in the West from 1920 until his death in 1952. He published his life story, Autobiography of a Yogi, in 1946. and created the Self-Realization Fellowship.

When Yogananda, or Master, as he was called, came to America he brought a technique for “self-realization,” which was his phrase meaning Enlightenment.

“When you realize who the Self is,” he said, “you become enlightened.”

You are more aware. You are more at peace with the world. You are internally serene, totally content, and thus, wonderfully empowered . . . in a quiet, gentle sort of way . . . to move through life, to experience Divine Presence in you, as you.

Yet how can we arrive at this place of Self Realization?

Well…God says, “No one calls to me who is not answered.” And I believe that each of us will be answered by that which we call Divine, in the way which most effectively responds to the vibration that we hold and create from the center of our being.

For Paramahansa Yogananda, the way was, chiefly, meditation. But God says that God, or Divinity, or Enlightenment, if you please, appears in the lives of every person in a form that is most appropriate to their background, their culture, the level of their desire, and their willingness.

So there are many disciplines: physical disciplines, mental disciplines, spiritual disciplines, and some disciplines that involve all three — the body, the mind and the spirit.

We spoke of The Buddha earlier. One day Siddhartha Gautama — the man who came to be called “Buddha” — said:

“I’ve tried everything. I’ve done all the physical discipline, all the training, all the exercise, all the starvation, all the diets, all the fasting, and all the meditation. Now I’m just going to sit here beneath this tree and I’m not getting up until I’m Enlightened.”

And there he sat, doing nothing. No exercises, no meditations, no fasting, no nothing – – just sitting there doing absolutely nothing.

Now that is hard for many of us to do, because we think there is something we are suppose to be doing in order to be Enlightened.

Suddenly Siddhartha said with a start: “I’m Enlightened.” And people came to him and cried out, “What did you do? What did you do? Teach us, Master! You have become the Buddha, the Enlightened One. What is the secret? What did you do?”

And the Buddha said something quite extraordinary, which I paraphrase here: “There is nothing that you have to be, do, or have. Simply BE what you have always been . . . and don’t deny it.”

Imagine. After all that time. After the life he had lived and all that he did and saw. After all the luxury and then all the self-denial, after wearing a silk shirt and then a hair-shirt, after thoroughly satisfying his body and then starving his body, after no spiritual or physical discipline and then tons of discipline…after all that time, he realized it was not about doing or having anything, and it was not about not doing or having anything. It was about the middle way.

It was about just living life, non-attached to anything in partic-cular. Not attached to your luxuries and joys, and not attached to your poverty and tragedies. It was not about any of that.

It can be if you want it to be. It can be if that is what suits you. It can be if that is your path, but it is not necessary to be, do, or have anything in particular.

The Buddha said, in effect, “I’m Enlightened because I have realized that Enlightenment is knowing that there is nothing you have to do to be Enlightened. Just be your True Self.”

Isn’t that interesting? Think of all the effort that people are putting in, with years-long programs and trainings, only to find out that Enlightenment requires nothing at all — except letting go of what you are not.

What you are not is anything that is not Love.

I hate to be so simplistic here, so predictable, but Who You Are is Divinity, physically expressed — and what Divinity is . . . is Love.

If you simply love everyone whose life you touch endlessly, unconditionally, with nothing needed or wanted in return (what can God possibly need in return?), you have become Enlightened, you have achieved Awareness. AND . . . you have shown everyone else how they may do so as well — as fast as any other mental system or spiritual discipline that exists, like that.

As fast as Transcendental Meditation, like that. As fast as joining the Self-Realization Fellowship, like that. As fast as taking est, like that. As fast as Brain Education and Dahn Hak and Vibrational Attunement and any other process or mechanism or path you can name.

And if you learn to love yourself unconditionally, as well as everyone else, you will heal your entire self without lifting a finger.

Now I want to discuss this thing called health, because many people believe that you are not enlightened unless you are in good health.

Does Enlightenment mean being in good health? And what is “good health” anyway? Is good health having a body that has nothing wrong with it? Is good health living until you are 90 or 100 or 200 or 500? ?

Ernest Holmes was the founder of Religious Science, and wrote a book called The Science of Mind. He was said to have found the way to create a perfect and wonderful life. Yet he lived only until he was 73. Why did he not live longer, if he was so spiritually “healthy” and aware? Half the people that I know have lived longer!

Is Enlightenment, and “good health”, having no pain and nothing malfunctioning with your physical form? Is good health the absence of anything that is not perfect in your physical experience?

Or — now listen to this carefully — is good health being very okay and in a place of joy and peace no matter how things are?

What is health, what is optimum health, if it is not happiness?

I know people who exercise every day, lifting weights and running and working out, eating well, doing all the right things, and their bodies are in great health, but their hearts and their minds and their souls are very ill and desperately sad. They are incomplete, unfulfilled, unexpressed, and deeply unhappy.

And I know people who are hardly able to lift a toothpick, their bodies are in such bad shape . . . but their hearts and their minds and their souls are bright as a shining star, and they are happy.

I know such a man, whose name is Ram Dass. Do you know of whom I speak? Ram Dass is a Master, and I was vastly privileged to have met him personally. He has taught many people for many years. He wrote a book called Be Here Now, among others.

A number of years ago now, Ram Dass had a stroke. He was a young man; he was only 63 or something like that. I met with Ram Dass after his stroke, in a hotel room in Denver, and I want to tell you something. I’ve never met a healthier man.

I sat in that room with a Master. I said, “Ram Dass, how are you?” And he sat there in his wheelchair and said very slowly and very carefully, “I am won-der-ful.”

He had to pronounce each syllable as if it was a separate word. His mouth, his tongue, couldn’t work any faster than that. But he looked at me and smiled and said, “I-am-won-der-ful.”

Now that’s health…that’s health. That’s peace. That’s joy. And I cried. Not for Ram Dass. Who would cry for a person who said something like that? I cried for myself.

How could I have missed it? How could I have walked right past this wisdom for so many years?

In the end,. We came here to understand Who We Are, and to experience it.

We did not come here to somehow “get better” or to “work on our stuff.” Consider the possibility that all the work you will ever need to do is finished. All you have to do now is demonstrate that. Ernest Holmes left when he left because he had demonstrated what he came here to demonstrate.

So this moment is the moment of your liberation. You can be liberated from your life-long search for Enlightenment. You can be released from any thought that it has to look like this…no, no, it has to look like that, no, no, you have to get to it by this path, by that program, by the other process or activity.

If Enlightenment is outer joy and inner peace, outer ease and inner tranquility, outer consciousness and inner awareness, and you are experiencing that — then you have found Enlightenment.

So set yourself free today. Stop working so hard on yourself that you don’t even enjoy it anymore. Do what works for you, but make sure it brings you joy.

Enlightenment is EnJOYment. It is the pouring of pure joy into Life.

Now here is what I know will bring you joy. Decide that the rest of your life — every day, every moment, every word — is something that you will share with everyone whose life you touch in a way that ensures that they will know there is nothing they have to do, nowhere they have to go, and no way they have to be, in order to be loved by you right now.

Let them know that they are perfect just as they are, just as they are standing there.

Spend the rest of your life giving people back to themselves, that they might love themselves, and know that there is nothing they are lacking, nothing they are missing, nothing they need, nothing they are not.

It has been said that the other is your mirror, and you will see there naught but what you see in yourself. Yet I tell you this. Do not wait to see yourself as perfect before you see The Other as perfect. See The Other as perfect first . . . then you will see perfection in yourself.

Forgive the other first, then you will forgive yourself at last. Do unto others as you would have it done unto you. This is the Law and the Prophets.

For there IS no Other, save You. And when you know this, you save you. You become . . . your Saviour.

What I am talking about here is simply sharing love, which is who you really are. And if you learn and choose and decide to share love — endlessly, unconditionally — with everyone, you will find that there is nothing else to do to seek Enlightenment. You will have achieved it.

So, with that as our determination and that as our choice and that as our decision, let us join together and experience our own ‘Enlightenment’.

The Treatment of Others as a Reflection of Spiritual Evolution

I would like to share an article that a client of mine found very helpful in regards to conflicts arising in her relationship. The article was written by Adyashanti, a liberated spiritual teacher who talks about awakening and enlightenment as another dimension of ourselves that we unconsciously overlook in this human experience. “Enlightened” teachers are popping up more often in this age of higher consciousness with the common message that whatever you think enlightenment is, that’s precisely what it’s not…it’s really just a radical shift in identity. Another teacher named Scott Kiloby sums it up as, “Enlightenment is not a goal to achieve or an idea to grasp. It’s the timeless presence that you already are.” You are ultimately the life that’s giving animation to your body right now, and try as you might, you cannot separate yourself from this life and the consciousness/awareness that goes with it. However, you can overlook it and identify primarily with the form that will decompose one day. This is the human experience.

I think you’ll find this article valuable.

How You Treat Others

Spiritual people often want unconditional support and understanding from their friends, family, and mates, but all too often seem blind to their own shortcomings when it comes to the amount of unconditional support and understanding that they give to others. I have seen many spiritual people become obsessed with how unspiritual others are and assume an arrogant and superior attitude while completely missing the fact that they themselves are not nearly as spiritually enlightened as they would like to think they are.

Enlightenment can be measured by how compassionately and wisely you interact with others—with all others, not just those who support you in the way that you want. How you interact with those who do not support you shows how enlightened you really are.

As long as you perceive that anyone is holding you back, you have not taken full responsibility for your own liberation. Liberation means that you stand free of making demands on others and life to make you happy. When you discover yourself to be nothing but Freedom, you stop setting up conditions and requirements that need to be satisfied in order for you to be happy.

It is in the absolute surrender of all conditions and requirements that Liberation is discovered to be who and what you are. Then the love and wisdom that flows out of you has a liberating effect on others. The biggest challenge for most spiritual seekers is to surrender their self importance, and see the emptiness of their own personal story. It is your personal story that you need to awaken from in order to be free.

To give up being either ignorant or enlightened is the mark of liberation and allows you to treat others as your Self. What I am describing is the birth of true Love.

For more information about Adyashanti, visit www.adyashanti.org.

Raising Your Consciousness

One thing that may help to reduce stress is to try being the witness of your mind. Be the one to use your thoughts, rather than allowing your thoughts to subtly use you and well as dictate your mood. Eckhart Tolle writes, “The moment you start watching your thoughts, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated.” Here is a quote from his book “Practicing the Power of Now”:

“The single most vital step on your journey toward enlightenment is this: Learn to disidentify from your mind. Every time you create a gap in the stream of mind, the light of your consciousness grows stronger. One day you may catch yourself smiling at the voice in your head (from past conditioning) as you would smile at the antics of a child. This means that you no longer take the content of your mind all that seriously, as your sense of self does not depend on it.”

Imagine yourself to be the sun, unaffected by the racing clouds of thoughts that come and go passing beneath it. Or think of yourself as the screen upon which all thoughts and opinions, etc. come and go. Throughout our life there has a continual stream of ever-changing thoughts and moods. But what is the one thing that remains the same in this world of impermanence? The part of you that can observe a passing feeling or thought. The “I” that can say, “I’m feeling sad,” while the next day say, “I’m now feeling happy.”

It’s a very subtle yet profound process, which can help one move toward a sense of freedom.