Tuesday, September 29, 2009

i thank you God for most this amazing

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
wich is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

ee cummings

love is a place

love is a place &
through this place
of love move (with brightness of peace)
all places yes is a world &
in this world of yes live (
skilfully curled) all worlds

ee cummings

The Cause of Most Shadows

"Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

May All Beings Be Happy

Buddhism teaches the transience of all things, a certain calm detachment from others and from oneself. We are taught not to take ourselves too seriously, and we are taught to believe that there is little ultimate truth in grief and misery. The real wisdom is joy. The real wisdom is happiness. The true wisdom is that of the Buddha, who is always shown at peace with all things.
p.104 A Journey in Ladakh by Andrew Harvey

Once the Buddha was asked to explain real happiness. He enumerated various wholesome actions which are productive of happiness, which are real blessings. All these blessings fall into two categories: performing actions that contribute to the welfare of others by fulfilling responsibilities to family and society, and performing actions that cleanse the mind (Vipassana Meditation). William Hart's Vipassana Meditation

drmike replies:
That's very nice reminder Ron. I am happy when I can make others happy, and to be of service. It gets hard when sometimes you feel like you are not doing enough for yourself, however so there is a balance to be struck. Like I love to have my son learn golf. But I get frustrated seeing him hit it 30 yards, when I want to get my driver to stretch out to 300. But the art of it is to let him just do his thing. Give him a Gatorade so he can see you do yours, and by the end of it all are happy. Vipassana, or any other meditation that works to "cleanse" the mind is growing to be ever more essential for me to stay away from unrealistic expectations of both others and myself. It is helping to achieve that patience in myself, that I need to be more effective with the rest of the world.

Need do nothing, need know nothing - no thing!

"Just realize Ron that you are not OBLIGATED to do anything, but get a better understanding of matters for yourself, and share whatever experience, strength, and hope that you have on the matter. It apprears to me that you are still coping, and you should still keep the focus on yourself, in terms of what is right and best for you. Only you know that since, I personally have never talked to you personally. And even if you are communicating with anyone, you still hold the answers to such issues. I wish you the best however."
Dear drmike, reflecting on above feedback and reading it over, helps me realize how valuable your advice is..."still coping", I think means "still grieving" and I think you are right. I expect that my recent physical problems came from trying "to do to much too soon." I do feel the need to stop so much efforting, being very gently kind to myself and realize this is a vital healing process for myself especially at my age.
bubbanature aspiring to be Buddhanature, ron
Reply by Ron Alexander
Nick's quote from above:
"My experience has been, that as I continue to let go and let God, I find myself doing less and less, ironically, I end up accomplishing more and more. And in the meantime, all of my needs are met as I continue on this wonderful path."

Thanks for reminding me of this Nick, I have been efforting too much lately, and it really helps that "I need do nothing", as it says in ACIM. Taking that in, helps me to relax, let go and allow God (Love). Yes, only Love is real,

Reply by Nick Arandes
Thanks Ron, I'm glad for Spirit's inspiration. I always remind myself that there is nothing to do, but to choose peace. From that space, Spirit will lead me as to what to do. It never fails.
Nick Arandes said:
Thanks Marvin. I appreciate your comment. What I've learned that since we are one, what I say that seems to resonate with others, is really what they said to themselves through the illusion of what appears to be me. And one thing I sure know is that I know nothing.
Such a great place to be.
Wow! "A great place to be indeed" - thanks for the reminder, Nick

Monday, September 28, 2009

Daring to Dream to Extend the Glowing Kingdom

WORD FOR THE DAY(gratefulness.org)
Monday, Sep. 28

Daring to dream what is deepest
in our collective longings is what
makes us most human and fully

Wendy Wright
The Vigil

Sunday, Sep. 27

Extend the boundaries of the glowing kingdom of your love,
gradually including your family, your neighbors, your
community, your country, all countries --
all living sentient creatures.

Paramahansa Yogananda

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What Both Men and Women Can Agree On

What both men and women can agree on: a flowering of consciousness
Posted by Ron Alexander on September 17, 2009 at 7:34pm in The small divide
.Eckhart's New Earth:

"When the ego is no longer identified with
the return movement in a person's life, old age or
approaching death becomes what it is meant to be:
an opening into the realm of spirit. I have met old
people who were living embodiments of this process.
They had become radiant. Their weakening forms had
become transparent to the light of consciousness.

On the new earth, old age will be universally
recognized and highly valued as a time for the
flowering of consciousness. For those who are
still lost in the outer circumstances of their
lives, it will be a time of a latehomecoming,
when they awaken to their inner purpose. For
many others, it will represent an intensification
and a culmination of the awakening process."

p. 287-8 A New Earthp. 287-8 A New Earth

Reply by Christa Lore Urban on September 17, 2009 at 7:38pm
Absolutely my work in elder care has shown this many times over
Love and Light

Permalink Reply by Ron Tocknell
Absolutely! I couldn't agree more. The role of the Elder became a little lost in Western society. This is something we need to restore.

I love the title! After 30 years of painstaking research, you finally found it! I knew there had to be something

Permalink Reply by Joan Gregori
Ron, good post! Hi, everybody. :)

I believe the reason our egos evaporate, as we age, is that we don't really need them anymore. The self-consciousness most of us-- or all of us--felt in adolescence and young adulthood was a part of this ego...as we get older, and I'm glad about this, we no longer allow it to control us. We know what it is, now. We want to help other people, at least by bringing more awareness into the world. Yes, I can see the radiance in MOST older people.

Am I making any sense? :)

Permalink Reply by Ron Alexander
Yes! Joan you are making great sense, and I am seeing more radiance in more elders all the time now! thanks, ron

Permalink Reply by Claudia
that sounds all nice and well, but i don't think the term "elder" has anything to do at all with the physical age - for me, an elder is someone, no matter how old or how young, who has "earned" their wisdom over many lifetimes and is able to bring it into daily life. to universally recognize and highly value "old age" is utopia for me, there are many "old fools" around who are in fact very young souls. Personally, I've heard more wisdom from the mouth of my 9 year old since she was able to talk, than I have from anyone else. Now THAT should be revered and valued if anything. True, life experience in "this" life is priceless and yes, the ego does tend to be happy with a less prominent place. However, isn't it possible to strive to expand consciousness beyond this one life cycle and open up the myriad of experiences we have already assimilated? I think that's what these wise "old" kids do naturally and I can only say- finally the veil isn't as dense anymore !

Permalink Reply by Ron Alexander
I agree, Claudia. Thank you! Some of us are blessed enough to be born angels on earth, not me, but I have been very fortunate to work with some. They were life-threatened young adults at Jerry Jampolsky's Center for Attitudinal Healing. Most of them knew that they did not have much time on earth, and they enjoyed what they had moment to moment. Another way to describe these precious beings were that they were "old souls!" I think that is what you mean. Most of us have to learn, maybe for a lifetime, to let go of our egos and really be present in the Oneness of Love! It is a process for me and those of us who have to learn by experience. I am just glad to be here and continue growing to awareness! One Love, ron

Permalink Reply by Jeanne

I don't think disease, suffering or dying young distinguishes one as an 'old soul' anymore than you being there with them, assisting their process and learning from and through them distinguishes you as such.

Karmically... we've lived thousands of lives... perhaps millions... which means we've tried on many roles, many personalities, many challenges.

Youth is closer to the void from which they came from before they were born and haven't forgotten, haven't become mired in the traps that conflict the consciousness.

Going through the fire of adulthood and coming out at the end of a long life intact, loving, and wise is an honorable accomplishment. Looking toward the void at the end of life is still the same void from which we entered... but with a different perspective - a perspective polished by years of perseverance.

Permalink Reply by Ron Alexander Jeanne, I agree with all of the above except for your stance in the first paragraph. I worked in the medical field for 12 years before I created the Young Adult Group for Jerry Jampolsky. Plus my younger brother who died in Viet Nam (flying medivac helicopters - he refused to pilot gunships) was the most enlightend of me and my other 3 brothers. And a girl friend who died young from breast cancer was the most spiritually advanced of all my other girl friends.

I have found that ones who die young are generally more ready for it, than the general population. Now it is probably because " Youth is closer to the void from which they came from before they were born and haven't forgotten, haven't become mired in the traps that conflict the consciousness." And thank you for that observation. metta, ron

Permalink Reply by Jeanne
I can appreciate the "good die young" concept... but think that we, when looking through the lens of this single lifetime, are limited.
Whereas when considering thousands or millions of lifetimes, surely we've died at every stage of life multiple times. So I question whether or not dying young is indicative of anything regarding the evolution of the soul.

In situations where suffering and caretaking is evident, both sides are exhibiting qualities of goodness... its said even the "bad guys" have chosen to sacrifice a lifetime to allow others to learn from their dilemmas.
For example... Judas. It was prophecied that one of Jesus own disciples would betray him... someone had to be Judas. He fulfilled a role. Without his willingness to play that role in that lifetime... the prophecies and the story of Jesus would have played out very differently.

The first time I read "The Autobiography of a Yogi," particularly the part where he describes the wandering sadhu being leapt upon by police... during their capture of this gentle man, they cut off his arm, only to realize it was a case of mistaken identity... and he thanked them for the opportunity they had karmically presented him.
I knew then I was light years from enlightenment. ...and I had much to learn about the value of suffering. Mind you, Ron... this was decades before vipassana and understanding the first noble truth.

And in a lesser perspective, a shorter span of time, we have a tendency to think and speak well of the dead... to remember the pleasantries. The dying do take on a different attitude... but unless they go into a state of samadhi and consciously leave their body... they apparently have much karmic work to do too.

Permalink Reply by Jeanne o

The innocent "wisdom" of children is wonderful to observe... but is not the same as the experienced wisdom of elders. Living a long life on planet earth is a challenge... one that children have not yet done... no matter how many previous lives they have or have not reincarnated into.

I have often thought the best year of my life was when I was 12. I hadn't yet run amuck into the feminine cycles... that changed everything in my consciousness. I went from being an active, proactive girl to being a reclusive teen.

Then I married and had children... that changed me even more.

Then my first son died in my arms the day after a DPT vaccine... more change.

Then later as a divorced single mother, I dealt with exploitative bosses, unfair landlords, and uncaring people in general...
I was no longer the "wise" 12yo full of bubbly bounce, ambition, ideas, ideals and white-bread conditioning...
I became insecure, cynical and grasping for wisdom.

In fact, anyone who has lived long enough, knows that the older they get, the more they realize how little they know. Children do not have that perspective.

When my son was three, the pastor of my grandmother's church said he had to remind himself he was talking to a small child... cuz my son was so profound with his words.
Now... at 36, there's not even a hint of that little "wise" guy. I miss that little guy... and the man who stands in his stead does not resemble him in any way thats obvious.

The wisdom of elders is a badge of courage... and of course theres old fools, because there's fear of the unknown, of growing up, of letting go and of seeing truth.

The virtue of innocence fades with adulthood and becomes the ignorance of adulthood if naively held onto.
Adulthood is a test of the soul... and perhaps one of the reasons that suicide is highest among teens.

Permalink Reply by Ron Alexander "Adulthood is a test of the soul... and perhaps one of the reasons that suicide is highest among teens."
Wow, I have never thought of that before - really makes sense! Now looking back, I will never forget that I promised myself as a teen not to be meanly sarcastic like dad or not to be a martyr like Mom. And most of all, not to have a relationship like them and most other couples I knew. I was horrified to find myself with the same faults.

Jeanne, I have to confess, as much as I enjoyed working with life-threatened young adults, their Mothers, of course were extremely difficult. I know that anger goes on with the grief, but with my own Mother issues, I did not like working with them. And was the main reason I left after a couple of years. I understand that alot more now, but hated their justified rage projected toward me. moremetta, ron

Permalink Reply by Jeanne

"I was horrified to find myself with the same faults."
A recognition you could reach only with the years... not a perspective a child can achieve.

Like it or not, what we are exposed to gets inside us... especially early life influences. ...but later too... even when we think we're being conscious and aware.
For example... when I joined the Army, I promised myself I would be questioning the hows and whys of every detail. I knew that military science was an old and well-informed methodology... but I did not know it was irresistable... that it gets into your bones, your nerves and even your heart. I watched it slowly seep into me and into the other women I went through training with. I consciously observed hundreds of women change the way they talk, walk and think... As our monthly feminine cycles entrained, so did the rest of our system.

Unfortunately, our society doesn't take good care of the caretakers. It hardly seems fair that those who are ministering to the needs of dying children should also bear the brunt of their grieving parents.

"I understand that alot more now..."
...and again, the benefits of age and experience.
My ability to counsel, console and assist the suffering of others has changed with age. My capacity for compassion is relatively unchanged, but my personal emotions are different. No longer slave to naive idealism, biological cycles, hormones and primal urges... my compassion is dispassionate, detached and in tune with a different flow.

I learn so much dialoguing with you, Jeanne! Thank you for not "diss - cussing"! You are such a blessing to me, and many others! metta, ron
Oh, I have a question for you. When Barry, my nephew and "near son" was very young, he did not know a stranger - he loved everybody and was a joy to be around. As he grew up with an alcoholic father (my brother) and addicted mother (both died when he was young), he appeared to lose that light as he 'inherited" both of his parent's 'diseases. However, I still see that "little boy" in him despite his betraying me many times (reacting to my "tough love"), and self-destructing recently to being in prison for "up to 30 years". He is a big reason, I feel my new "outer" purpose in life is to help facilitate getting Vipassana into S. C. prisons. He is very bright, and I think could be a good Vipassana candidate.
So now to my question, although Barry is 27 compared to your son's 36(?), I am wondering why you don't see that "little boy" in him anymore? thanks, ron

(click on to enlarge photo collage)

Permalink Reply by Jeanne

Thank-you Ron for your kind words... please know that I also learn much from you ...and find your vast life experience anecdotes fascinating.

I am inspired by your continuing love and concern for your nephew. Too often I see folks throwing in the towel on addicts and alcoholics... they've been hurt or disappointed too many times and recoil in self-survival mode.
It is hard to understand and tolerate the actions and behavior of addicts... but as I've told families of addicts I've known... "as long as theres life, theres hope." ...never give up on anyone.

Your familiarity with him as a joyful child... to now as a man in a horrific place is tragic... for you and him. And I fully agree with your notion of bringing vipassana into the prison he's in... I know of no other technique or methodology that can eradicate the deep-seated roots of misery buried in his subconscious. ...but he also has to want it.

I would venture to guess that you witnessed him saying remarkably profound things as a child... that no longer seem to be part of his consciousness.
Similarly, my son's adult choices have overridden that little "wise" guy who once charmed even a man of the cloth with his inherent, innocent wisdom.

As a writer, I avoid personalism... except about myself. I believe a writer has to have permission to expose others in print... so when I speak of my son, please understand, it is generalized and not too deep. Suffice it to say, my son's disconnections are more a result of his choices of a mate and mother to his children... the kind of choices that will be with him for life and with his bloodline for generations to come.

You see... just those few words already make me sound like the typical disapproving mother-in-law. Perhaps better described by my husbands observations when he said, "you know its your fault that he chose ___. She's everything you're not and vice versa. You're everything I admire in a woman and she is eveything I find despicable in a woman."
And why my son would choose someone so unlike him too, is beyond logical understanding.
Yet... I do understand. I understand that he would have liked it better if I was more mainstream - less controversial, if I wasn't mixed race, if I wasn't alternative and if I was more materialistic. A friend once described me as a very ambitious person with no ambition. I'm driven, but not materialistic. I'm high energy, but not Type A. I'm ambitious, but not for appearances sake or money.

Fortunately I met a man much like myself... driven to know and understand, to create and discover... but uninterested in the market and economics, other than its sociocultural influence. He willingly works 16 hour days when obsessed with his current favorite sci-fi writing or software development project... but procrastinates about taking out the garbage. ...go figure!

I didn't actually say I "don't see that "little boy" in him anymore." ...but will say that I 'see' the same spirit, soul or essence of life.

I worried about him even as a toddler, who when confronted with another toddler knocking him down and taking his toy, would simply walk away and go get another toy. I told HubB the other day that I still see that same gentle spirit being knocked down and him remaining nonconfrontational. ...and I see how he is hurt.
I know that he is a child of god, the universe, the thing itself... and has his destiny to fulfill. He is a hard-working, devoted father, a talented musician and a friend to many... but he is not happy. And isn't that what every caring parent wants for their child?

Permalink Reply by Jeanne

me again... on the loss "that light".

Though I know its all a temporary phenomena in the grand scheme of things... it is the definition of tragic.
One of my worst nightmares that woke me in a cold sweat, was of me trying to hold onto a young person whose light was fading ...until I could no longer see him in the darkness. I know who that person is and I feel helpless to stop his descent.

Once again, Ron... only vipassana has helped me deal with accepting the suffering of others. It seems almost contrary to the beating of my heart... but I must believe that everything is exactly as it should be...
and who am I to think otherwise?

Permalink Reply by Erin Michell
thank you so much for this open minded discussion. this is what men and women want. i felt a little akward jumping in. i don't have children. but, i do feel the way Jeanne does about the wisdom of children. it's pure and beautiful. it's as if they are newborn to the world every day. the wisdom of being older is born of courage and experience. it is even more beautiful. experience is ALL to our growing souls.

to see two souls grow in love, through so much experience, is truly a blessing and an inspiration.

love, erin

Permalink Reply by Jeanne

Thank-you Erin, for your courage to participate in spite on feeling awkward. ...and for saying this is what men and women want. I have always gravitated toward the weighty subjects... but have also found myself being hushed by those uncomfortable by it.

The wisdom of children is without judgement... it is intuitive. ...something I've been pondering the past few days... following the drowning of my nephew. (not a child)
A week ago he announced he was joining the Army... and then he dies. I've wondered if in some weird way... the thoughts of joining the Army was a sort of an expression of a death wish.
They said he was trying to swim across a lake and went down in the middle... so many questions.

I've read that even in cases of accidents... people leave evidence of preparing for death... perhaps an intuitive preparation?

Perhaps we know more than we know we know.

Permalink Reply by Ron Alexander
I am brought to tears with the valuable deep soul dialogue here. This is such vital feedback to me and helps me to feel my worth as a male in this incarnation! Thanks to all who are participating in this conversation "what men and women want". I love you Crones so much! "a bubba aspiring to be a buddha to the bone", ron

No Pain

No Pain
ron alexander

No things
No thoughts
No attachments
No cravings
No aversions
No body

Yes Inner Space

Monday, September 21, 2009

Unconditional love to know peace

.Dear Friends,

It is in the stillness of our heart that we find the peace we seek in the world. It is the connection deep within to the very source of our being where we recognize the oneness of life. It is here that we transcend the duality of perceived right and wrong thinking, judgment, control and attachment. In this awareness, we let go of the need to have the world behave according to our preconceived expectations and we dare to love unconditionally. We embrace love for love’s sake and in doing so, we also experience peace.

To know unconditional love is to know peace. When we love without condition, we naturally engage the dynamic quality of peace and allow this energy to permeate our outer experience as well. We balance the inner and outer reflections with a grander perspective that sees beyond the obvious before us. We know we are simply experiencing life from our unique viewpoint in the moment and we have the power to choose love and peace.

Although many assume peace to be quiescent, idle and quiet, it is truly an energy that is vibrant and alive. It is colorful, engaging and encouraging. It is filled with potential and enhances our creativity. It calls to us to explore without limitation and to express ourselves with a distinct sense of freedom. Peace is also something we easily share as it is in limitless supply. We joyfully convey it to others and witness its expansion in ever growing waves.

Peace begins with us. It has always been this way. The more we express our love, the greater our sense of peace. The more peace we radiate, the more profoundly we comprehend the sublime beauty it reveals. Since love and peace already exist as a state of consciousness within us, it ensures that it will become our collective reality.

Peace prevails in you and in me. Together, we are the establishment of peace on earth.

Love, light and peace,
Harold W. Becker
President and Founder
The Love Foundation, Inc.

The Guest House by Rumi

A Reminder to Love All of Us - Our Shadows too!
(I don't know about you but I need to read this often!)
My favorite Rumi Poem:

The Guest House

This being human
is a guest house.
Every morning
a new arrival.
A joy, a depression,
a meanness,
some momentary
As an
unexpected visitor.
Welcome and
them all!
Even if they're
a crowd
of sorrows,
who violently
sweep your
empty of its
still treat
each guest
He may
be clearing
you out
for some
new delight.
The dark
the shame,
the malice,
them at
the door
and invite
them in.

Be grateful
each has
been sent
a guide

(translated by Coleman Barks)


And joy is everywhere;
It is in the Earth's green covering of grass;
In the blue serenity of the Sky;
In the reckless exuberance of Spring;
In the severe abstinence of grey Winter;
In the Living flesh that animates our bodily frame;
In the perfect poise of the Human figure, noble and upright;
In Living;
In the exercise of all our powers;
In the acquisition of Knowledge;
In fighting evils...
Joy is there

Rabindranath Tagore (Joy is the realization of our oneness, the oneness of our soul with supreme love.)
Indian Poet

Soothing to the soul & healing to the bone.

Pleasant words are sweet as honeycomb, soothing to the soul, and healing to the bone. Proverbs 16:24

Very close to my understanding...Whatever, as long as we apply them to our life...

So True! I have to keep reminding myself is that wherever anyone is - is perfect for them now! And never to react - only to gently respond unless silence is in order (usually it seems to be for me)

I agree Captain Ron, and I appreciate the way it seems to me that your words, "soothing" and "healing" elevate this scripture directly into the present. I have been dwelling on them and they are in the process of being fitted into place in my heart with your name in the footnotes. Now, I know, I need a measure of discipline to manifest and implement them.

"Students and the teachers are the same!" Thanks for role-modeling these healing words - that is the best teaching

Here is a quote from Brother David Steindl-Rast:
"Out-pouring and in-gathering, journey and home, are inseparably united in the dynamic reality of the heart."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Elders will be known for their Flowering of Consciousness

Elders will be known for their flowering of consciousnessPosted by Ron Alexander
In Eckhart's New Earth:

"When the ego is no longer identified with
the return movement in aperson's life, old age or
approaching death becomes what it is meant to
be: an opening into the realm of spirit. I have
met old people who wereliving embodiments of this
process. They had become radiant. Their weakening
forms had become transparent to the light of consciousness.

On the new earth, old age will be universally
recognized and highly valuedas a time for the
flowering of consciousness. For those who are still
lost in the outer circumstances of their lives,
it will be a time of a late homecoming, when they
awaken to their inner purpose. For many others, it
will represent an intensification and a culmination of the awakening process."

p. 287-8 A New Earth

Oprah's Revealing Interview with Dhamma Brothers Director



These two videos are a must see for anyone who wants to understand the benefits of meditation! Especially the part two with her interviews with the prisoners - convicted murderers - OB & Grady!
Oprah mentions Eckhart Tolle & her interview with him on A New Earth. She starts off with E.T.'s quote: "We are all prisoners of our own mind - our thinking."

This type of meditation (non-religious) is what I have been studying (including the ten days of silence) in order to get it into S. C. prisons, and especially for my nephew Barry, (almost like a son) who may be facing up to 30 years!

Jenny Phillips
Cultural anthropologist, writer and psychotherapist Jenny Phillips has been working in the field of mental health for more than 15 years. Much of her work has been with male prisoners, teaching inmates courses on emotional literacy and vipassana meditation, an ancient meditation technique based on the teachings of Buddha. Her work has helped inmates—many serving multiple life sentences—transform their lives, face their pasts and become more peaceful, purposeful people.

In 2008, Jenny released the self-produced documentary The Dhamma Brothers, which followed 36 prisoners at the Donaldson Correctional Facility in Alabama through a 10-day silent vipassana meditation course. Her book Letters from the Dhamma Brothers: Meditation Behind Bars is a collection of letters and interviews from inmates who took part in the meditation course. The book depicts prison life and the journey many of the prisoners took to better understanding the teachings of Buddha and achieving inner peace.

Jenny has doctorate in anthropology from Boston University and is currently researching a book—along with her husband, journalist Frank Phillips—on author Ernest Hemingway's 22 years in Cuba. Jenny's grandfather, Maxwell Perkins, was a legendary book editor and close friend of Hemingway's.


The two videos below are two big to embed so please click on link above and see them from Oprah's site.

Part 1 Watch Now Listen Now

Part 2 Watch Now Listen Now

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Middle Path

Ron Alexander
I have a wonderful teacher, who also serves as my Unity Minister. Rev. Margaret Hiller appears to have the Buddhist “Middle Path” down pat. A big part of her brilliance is that she will take both sides of an argument in a dialogue (or a sermon), and point out the truth in both of them. Last week in an Eckhart Tolle group about purpose, she took my side of an argument that “we need to embrace or unify with our ego rather than try to negate it.” She also took the side of another group member that in Eckhart’s writing, who maintains that E.T. uses a different meaning of the ego -a “false sense of self”. That group ended in everyone agreeing that is what Jesus meant when he said “Be in the world but not of it.”

Hart writes about the “true middle path.” “In themselves, morality (sila) and concentration (samadhi) are valuable, but their real purpose is to lead to wisdom. It is only in developing wisdom (panna) that we find a true middle path between the extremes of self-indulgence and self-repression (renunciation). By practicing morality, we avoid actions that cause the grossest forms of mental agitation. By concentrating the mind, we further calm it and at the same time shape it into an effective tool with which to undertake the work of self-examination. But it is only by developing wisdom that we can penetrate into the reality within and free ourselves of all ignorance and attachments.” p. 88 of Hart’s The Art of Living -Vipassana Meditation as taught by S. N. Goenka

Obama is also brilliant using the middle path. This is from today's New York Times: "So Obama is taking the middle path, encouraging the states to ..."

This week’s group ended a little differently, when I spoke about ACIM (A Course in Miracles) writings that “Reality is not of this world, we are living in an illusion, and we are not our bodies.” That is true, however the “little r” reality – the reality of our bodies and what is in front of us is also true. This “little r” reality is taught by Byron Katy and by Gotama Buddha. Both are true, and I maintain that we need to be in reality right now before we can experience Reality.

In addition to separating from our “ego”, Eckhart teaches us to “separate” our thinking from our awareness. When I read, I exchanged “merge, embrace or unify” whenever E.T. writes about “separating or negating”. When I did, do just that, while reading in class, Rev. Margaret, said she was “not ready to do that just yet.” Then I got a lecture from another student who told me that “ACIM and Eckhart had to use that kind of language to get us to change our consciousness about the truth of who we really are.” I agree that was true, but that “truth” is not pointed out by either Tolle, ACIM or even Marianne Williamson, though I agree and have learned so much from “99% of their writings.”

One part of Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path is “Right Thought”. “It is not necessary for all thoughts to cease in meditation before one begins Vipassana. Thoughts may still persist, but if awareness is sustained from moment to moment, that is sufficient to start the work.

Thoughts may remain, but the nature of the thought pattern changes. Aversion and craving have been calmed down by awareness of breathing. The mind has become tranquil at least at the conscious level, and has begun to think about Dhamma, about the way to emerge from suffering. The difficulties that arose on initiating awareness of respiration have now passed or at least have been overcome to some extent. One is prepared for the next step, right understanding.” p. 88 of Hart’s The Art of Living -Vipassana Meditation as taught by S. N. Goenka.

Reply by Travis Clay Dupont Jr. 3 hours ago on "Meditation Group Site". "Meditation is a creation of your own mind. Many beginners ( I was one) had the assumption of "trying" to clear thier mind and create it void of thought. This is simply not possible...."
I completely agree with Travis on this and was responding to Eckhart Tolle's assertion that one "needs to seperate thought from awareness." I also think "this is simply not possible." Ergo, the first post: "It is not necessary for all thoughts to cease..."

I maintain that by embracing or unifying our awareness (instead of trying to separate from them) with our thoughts helps with keeping a calm equanimity. At least, Eckhart is not “separating our ‘inner’ purpose from our ‘outer’ one”.

>Dear hearts, it is time for you, as ascending spiritual/human Beings to always endeavor to make the highest choices. Be an observer but not a participant of the multiple dramas that are occurring daily in your world. One of the most damaging habits that you must diligently strive to rectify is judgment of others. You are to make your choices after thoughtful deliberation and then claim the truth that is revealed to you. You must then live that truth to the best of your ability. Most everyone will have some preferences or make some choices that do not agree with your beliefs, and this is as it should be. We have told you that there are many levels of truth and many paths that lead to the same destination. A master does not judge, but quietly lives his/her truth while allowing all others to do the same. This does not mean that you are not to set boundaries or state your preferences when the need arises; however, it does mean that you walk the middle path with Spirit as your guide and love as your overlay. By doing so, you will radiate peace and harmony and you will shine your Light wherever you go. We of the realms of Light are most pleased with your progress. Join us in the World Pyramid of Light and we will convey a special blessing to you from our Father/Mother God. I am with you always.

I am Archangel Michael

Monday, September 7, 2009

Ten Days of Silence for Peace of Mind

Ron Alexander

After I returned from a ten day silent Vipassana Retreat, I have been asked "Why would you even want to be in silence for ten days?" That was a good question. I would have thought it crazy, if I had not seen the "Dhamma Brothers" documentary, about the amazing transformation of lifer prisoners (some convicted murderers), after they spent ten days of silent Vipassana Meditation.

Vipassana means to see things as they really are, and was started by Gautama Buddha 2600 years ago. "...Buddha taught: an art of living. He never established or taught any religion, any 'ism'. He never instructed those who came to him to practice any rituals, any empty formalities. Instead, he taught them just to observe nature as it is, by observing the reality inside. Out of ignorance we keep reacting in ways which harm ourselves and others. But when the wisdom arises-the wisdom of observing reality as it is-this habit of reacting falls away. When we cease to react blindly, then we are capable of real action-action proceeding from a balanced mind, a mind which sees and understands the truth. Such action can only be positive, creative, helpful to ourselves and to others." S.N. Goenka "The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation".

Science also supports the premise behind the Buddha’s meditation, as can be read about in Tolle’s books –specifically identifying with space instead of form.

Daily eleven hours of meditating was not easy, many times I felt like just bolting. However, I am glad I didn’t. I am meditating more and more effectively experiencing much more peace and joy.

Goenka advises practice – “persistence, and you will succeed and end with a ‘Metta’ (Loving Kindness) prayer:
May all beings be happy, be peaceful and be free!”

Permalink Reply by Jeanne 9 hours ago
speaking of 'bolting'...

I was thinking about how often people think that 'bolting' sankara as an expression of freedom... and yet, we can see that it is actually a reaction to trying to maintain the status quo,,, it is resisting change and growth.

taking on the yoke of discipline seems to be the way toward freedom... toward liberation. whereas bolting, escaping, running away, avoiding... are all part of maintaining the chains of enslavement to ignorance.

The other day someone said they couldn't see the benefit of sitting still and not moving a muscle... the old me might have tried to explain or persuade... but with vipassana... I've come to learn that if the seed of interest is there, if the karma of that person is ready, they will respond with interest. So I simply agreed that the daily zen is life itself.

My initial reaction upon hearing about the 10 days of silence necessary to fulfill a vipassana course was "whoa! ...you people are really serious". My meditation experience prior to vipassana consisted of driving long distances through city traffic to go and sit in someone's living room, meditate, break bread and share community. It gave the worthwhile lift I sought, but only touched the surface of my wounded soul.

Vipassana cut through to the roots of the wounds... and they were able to dissolve and float away... good-bye little fears and phobias, your work is done

Joan Gregori said:
Ron, silence for ten days--eleven hours a day? Sounds a bit long to me as I'm still trying to meditate for 3 min.! :)

I know--persistence, right?

Hi Joan, you still identifying as a "crone to the bone"? I hope so, I love you guys! I think my determination to last for ten days in silence meditating 11 hours per day, was part of my Divine Inheritance from my Mom. I really started seeking for answers when she shockingly pretty much left me out of her will. I had spent alot of time with her during her last seven weeks in ICU, where she could not speak, and felt blessed to be with her when she passed Dec. 24. I know I healed my relationship with her. During that time of grace, I was also blessed to have not known, that she had changed her will in 2006, until this Feb. when the will was read. At first, I was in a state of shock and turmoil at the perceived rejection (I was the only remaining son of 5), that I even thought about committing suicide. Then I started writing about it (you may have seen some of my poems?), and going to every healing workshop I could find, plus I have a great Unity minister/counselor/teacher. I found a sound healing workshop very helpful, and there a respected psychic/minister said she saw Archangel Michael knighting me during the healing. So I went into some indepth study of angels, and still am. Interestingly, during Mom's stint in ICU, I asked her to please send my guiding angels, if she could not come back herself. So I am considering Archangel Michael part of my divine inheritance.
However, this ten days of silence with Vipassana meditation has been my greatest spiritual advance, and I am pretty sure I will stick with it from now on!
much metta, bubba aspiring to be a Buddha, ron

By the way, after growing up with a Marine father, I rebelled against "discipline" until someone pointed out the root word: "disciple".

Reply by Silja Saareoks
There is one thing that I discovered lately, although it may seam a bit unusual. But it still works very well to get the feeling of unconditional love to yourself more easily while starting the meditation. It is just that we're so used to set so many goals and have so many expectations to ourselves due to our everyday active lives. That's why it becomes hard to enter immediately to the deeper state of consciousness and to fully accept ourselves the way we are.
Today I found that it can be so easy to take ourselves the same way as when meeting the newborn baby. To observe the inner nature just the same way. Without any expectations for what it should become, but instead the feeling of gratitude and acceptance to the way it is and just by letting the inner smile shine. This I've found also useful when staying in meditation for a longer time, as it makes it so much easier to stay focused and not to be disturbed by what comes from outside. That is the inner silence.

With love, Silja

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Archangel Michael

Archangel Michael`s Sword of Blue Lightning

I now invoke the mighty Archangel Michael to stand at my right hand side. I ask him to pour courage and strength into me and bring about positive results to my endeavours. I now request that he cut all my negative cords and attachments with his sword. I ask that the deep blue cloak of protection is placed over me so that only that which is of the highest and purest light may enter my aura.

Pause for a moment so that Archangel Michael can complete this work and communicate anything he wishes to.

Wow Ron..how wonderful to have Archangel Michael knight you, he surely is Prince of Angels..and what a wonderful blessing for you..to know that he is with you and supporting you on your journey this lifetime..

I am also very blessed to have him with me too..and I ask for his help all the time !!

I am from the North of Scotland ...

Blessings of angel light,

Namaste, Margaret x

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

9-9-9 Time to Awaken!

Nine Nine Nine
September 9, 2009

Represent the three divine manifestations in the three plans: world of the spirit, world of the soul, world of the matter, which gives a triple manifestations of Trinity (3 x 3)

It is Time to Awaken to Who we truly are

Whenever we see a calendar date of repeated numbers we can count on it marking a time of importance. Number nine is the number of completion, attainment and realization of the cycle of energy that flows from one to nine. All that has been experienced is integrated. As the old cycle dies a new one is born again. Nine closes the cycle by returning its love and compassion to higher ideals.

Nine represents change, invention and growth which springs forth from inspiration.Nine has traditionally held esoteric significance which is evidenced by the fact that it takes nine calendar months to bring a baby into the world from its initial conception.
So, think of 9 in your life as a time when things are about to change, and they surely are about to change. Be willing to let go of the outworn and those no longer useful elements of your life. Create a powerful intention on this day and those to follow to energetically heal all that is not of love in your life .

Number nine is also associated with the ALL or One. We live in a sea of vibrations, everything and everyone is frequency. We are becoming aware of our true power to influence the quantum field with our words, emotions and intentions. This truth is especially powerful when we join together as a conscious collective with one common goal and one focused intention for global change. Lets join together on this day to manifest health, prosperity, universal love and peace.

Footnote: People with a Life Path of 9 are more profoundly connected to this period. They are the humanitarians who are deeply concerned about the state of the world and are selfless in their service to help others.

www.charleneryan.com architectsofanewdawn.com


A Course in Miracles Non-genderized Examples

You are the work of God and God's work is
wholly lovable and wholly loving. "This is how
you must think of yourself in your heart,
because this is what you are."

t,7 (non-gender specific version)

Before it was: "You are the work of God, and His work
is wholly lovable and wholly loving. This is how
a man must think of himself in his heart, because this
is what he is."

Glory is God's gift to you,
because that is what God is.
See this Glory everywhere
to remember what you are.
T, 133

T,133 before: "Glory is God's gift to you,
because that is what He is.
See this Glory everywhere
to remember who you are."

Alone in nothing - the little things teach all.

I am grateful that "I am alone in nothing.
Everything I think or say
or do teaches all the universe."
w,87 ACIM

WORD FOR THE DAY (gratefulness.org)
Wednesday, Sep. 2

The little things?
The little moments?
They aren't little.

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Benefits of Vipassana Meditation

"Vipassana" means to see things as they really are.

Vipassana meditation which was started by Gautama Buddha 2500 years ago or so. "...Buddha taught: an art of living. He never established or taught any religion, any 'ism'. He never instructed those who came to him to practice any rituals, any empty formalities. Instead, he taught them just to observe nature as it is, by observing the reality inside. Out of ignorance we keep reacting in ways which harm ourselves and others. But when the wisdom arises-the wisdom of observing reality as it is-this habit of reacting falls away. When we cease to react blindly, then we are capable of real action-action proceeding from a balanced mind, a mind which sees and understands the truth. Such action can only be positive, creative, helpful to ourselves and to others." S.N. Goenka "The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation".

Dear Ron Alexander,
yes, Vipassana Meditation is a art of Living because it removes all the negative energies from our all the bodies.SohiniBen.

I have started to send a comment three times already and each time have quit. I guess I don't know what to say about vipassana, other than it has been the greatest gift in my life - and I gave it to myself. ...I give it to myself. Leaving next week for another 10 days of silence.

The possibilities are infinite...


I had a life-changing experience from within... not from anyones words or any source outside myself. I am forever grateful to Buddha and the lineage of practitioners who kept vipassana intact, and to Goenka and to Denny - the co-worker who told me about vipassana. (Jeanne)

Ron said: "...having a hard time sitting over 30 minutes at a time."

Funny... who would have thought that sitting is hard?
On our first course, I glanced over at my husband at the end of an hour and he had so many cushions under him, that they looked like a chair. Now he uses only a small blanket folded over... just enough to slightly raise his lower spine. He swore at the end of that first course that he would never be able to be comfortable sitting... and now he is a marathon sitter.

...patiently and persistently, you are bound to succeed... I love those words.

Reply by Jeanne

Ron said: "I am trying to be equanimous, instead of getting too "rah rah" about this. I asked Anand the teacher about "why not getting really excited about things like your team winning?". Expecting a lecture about how "pleasure sankaras were just as hurtful as painful ones in the long run", instead he simply looked at me with his clear eyes and beautiful smile and said: "Why can't we be joyous every moment?"

Vipassana... As it is... and for me, sometimes, it is exciting, especially after getting up from an hour sit. Sometimes I want to break into a run - skipping and jumping... feeling good to be so alive. But I don't... I simply observe my excitement... (knowing the team is winning.)

Jeanne responds to "my struggling with the monkey mind.." It appears that I was being dualistic - what's new? I love this answer below, Jeanne, but if you feel you need to clarify more, it would make sense, as there was more than two "monkey minds diss - cussing" here.

Jeanne replies:
The monkey is the busy-ness of the mind... and it gets into everything - senses, thoughts, sensations, emotions, feelings... the many ways we elucidate and communicate our states of being... the monkey is there.
The monkey is also there in the flow... it becomes one with the nature of reality, rather than trying to understand, dissect, analyze, or interpret meaning... it loves the flow too. The flow of dhamma is soma to the soul, to the monkey and to everything within vibrational range.

And finally, other jewels from Jeanne:

... another beauty of Buddhism. God is a non-issue.

“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” ~Buddha

I am forever grateful for the change that Vipassana meditation has wrought in my life. When I first learned this technique I felt as though I had been wandering in a maze of blind alleys and now at last had found the royal road. In the years since then I have kept following this road, and with every step the goal has become clearer: liberation from all suffering, full enlightenment. I cannot claim to have reached the final goal, but I have no doubt that this way leads directly there.S.N. Goenka - foreword for the book VIPASSANA MEDITATION by William Hart

Vipassana is one of India's most ancient meditation techniques. Long lost to humanity, it was rediscovered by Gotama the Buddha more than 2500 years ago. Vipassana means seeing things as they really are. It is the process of self-purification by self-observation. One begins by observing the natural breath to concentrate the mind. With a sharpened awareness one proceeds to observe the changing nature of body and mind, and experiences the universal truths of impermanence, suffering and egolessness. This truth realization by direct experience is the process of purification. The entire path (Dhamma) is a universal remedy for universal problems, and has nothing to do with any organized religion or sectarianism. For this reason, it can be praticed freely by everyone, at any time, in any place, without conflict due to race, community or religion, and it will prove equally beneficial to one and all. from the intro. pamphlet "Vipassana Meditation as taught by Goenka - Intro. to Techniques"

drmike said:
Thanks Jeanne,

The reason I knew that this organization was "the real deal" and not something "fake and schitzty" get up was the fact that it is free for the newcomer. It perpetuates itself by love and service. This was galvanized when I heard the lecture in which he describes bringing it to India and he said that though this is a free gift, but a lot of hard work is needed to get it...So even in a land of hunger and famine, only a few will really come...I know now how much hard work that takes...Best,

"(Goenka) ...said that though this is a free gift, ...a lot of hard work is needed to get it..."
Its funny... cuz people always laugh when he says that "they will work from 4 in the morning, till 10 at night"... but its a laugh born of understanding of the effort... not a laugh of reckless abandon.

Its a gift that only you can give yourself