Looking back to see the future


I hope this new year is bringing you the experiences you hoped for.

I’ve been reflecting on the core idea of this blog, that is, bringing the meditation practice into daily living by weaving spiritual practice into every aspect of being. At the heart of that practice is observing ourselves as we interact with  our world. This year my mind has been drawn to looking at how that power of observation could help us to uncover the deeper layers of conditioning that are there in the subconscious. It would be interesting to unearth both the helpful and the unhelpful aspects, don’t you think?

Our country of birth, the community we were born in, all created some of that conditioning. When we travel or encounter those of different cultures this conditioning becomes more apparent. We see there are different ways of being in this world. We can get a similar type of awakening if we look at films or read books steeped in other cultures. Or we can choose to overtly study cultural differences. Eventually I think it would be marvellous to consciously choose and embrace those elements from different cultures that are more liberating.

I’ve wondered how my background impacts my soul purpose. Why was I born at that particular time, with my specific family? How did those circumstances help me in my journey of soul evolution? And what about my current life circumstance, how is it supporting me?

I’ve loved journalling since I was a small child so I have looked back at my journals to try to answer these questions. What is uncanny is that the same themes come up throughout. I found when I look ed back at my “sent” emails I saw some of those same priorities. As I looked at the history of websites on my computer the same themes showed up. I have a feeling if I was to look back at credit card expenses I will see the same. In other words how we see the world is there for us to uncover no matter how we look at our history.

I don’t have all the answers that I’m seeking as yet. I’m still looking back, because I feel my past will help me to decide how to move forward. It’s an interesting thought to contemplate, isn’t it? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

Happy New Year Wishes


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Discoveries


We’ve been talking about observing the stories the mind creates and I promised to share a little more of my practice.

I became so interested in the observation process and wondered if I could watch the stories as they were being created in the mind. This was fascinating because what I discovered so far, is that the mind begins to create a story when I start to lose focus on what is happening in the present moment!

This was a great surprise to me, because I thought I was being present moment focused. As I pondered the experience I realized that there are gradations in the experience of present moment awareness. Sometimes I was more present than others and when I was more present the experience was more expansive, more blissful, more harmonious. I could increase how present I was by more consciously engaging in an experience.

Do you ever find, you tell yourself a story about how if you were in what you consider an ideal spiritual community, you would be able to experience more of your spiritual Self? That Self may have more love or peace or harmony. You probably have variations to this story.

Well another discovery I made as I practiced observing and being more conscious, was that the circumstances I was in, were ideal for growing or manifesting those same qualities I was wishing for! The more present I was, the more I realized how perfectly designed my situation was to help me to make a leap, not just a little step. As the mind became clearer I could see the opportunities better, the mundane seemed to disappear and everything around me became a rich spiritual field. This could be what is meant by “everything is in Divine order”. Isn’t this interesting?

Whenever we join in practice the collective field we create together is wonderfully supportive. Thank you so much for sharing this journey with me. Lets see what we will discover this week!

Dropping The Baggage


I have been observing my mind’s tendency to create stories and trying to arrest that habit.

The first time I discovered a story I was really so surprised, because I was treating this story as if it was the “truth” not realizing it was something made up by the mind. I took the story and attempted to delete my interpretations, bias, feelings… trying to find the core idea. I kept simplifying the idea until it was expressed in one or two short sentences.

In this way I dropped the baggage associated with the idea and it was easier to decide what to do with it. In a very natural way the idea fell away if it didn’t serve me and if it was useful, new information came to me, now that the field was cleared of the clutter.

As you would guess the more I engaged in this practice, the lighter I felt and more peace seemed to fill my being.

There is lots more I want to tell you about this practice but I want to give you a chance first to try this practice yourself, so that we can explore it in an experiential way together. You see once I did this practice a few times I found I didn’t have to do it every time because in the process I learned about why the mind was creating those stories but that is for the next time we chat.

Arrest The Mind’s Habit Of Concocting Stories


We are fast approaching the end of the year! How quickly this year has gone by. But the year is not over yet, we still have time. Where can we put our focus so that we make the rest of 2013 really meaningful?

We can use the cues from our environment to inspire us to centre in that consciousness space within. The weather is cooling and there is a natural turning inwards in nature as the trees and animals slow down, eventually going into dormancy. 

I want to imbibe that coolness to slow down the activity of my mind. I want to arrest it’s habit of concocting stories that take me away from the fullness of the present moment. Those stories are about the past or the future and distract me from the beauty of the present.

As I feel the coolness on my skin I will come back to seeing and hearing what is right before me. Yes this practice is a simple yet profound one, that fuels my passion for keeping the meditative awareness throughout the day. Now I’m excited to see what my day will bring.

How about you, how are you using these last weeks of 2013?

Wishing you a day full of presents :).

 

Dancing In Divine Tempo


A natural progression from looking at the Divine dance is noticing that there is also a Divine tempo that life seems to follow. There is rhythm in nature in the movement of the wind, in the progression of light during the day, the weather, the seasons, the movement of the planets,… Also within my physical body there are biorhythms, my emotions are changing, my mental space is also dynamic so there is constant movement within me.

Life itself is full of change and it seems to have it’s own rhythm. What will it mean if I try to dance in the same tempo as the Divine? I’ve begun to notice that some things flow effortlessly at times and at other times it seems very difficult. Could it be that sometimes I’m dancing in time with the Divine rhythm and other times I’m out of step? 

When I’m dancing in time with that Divine tempo I feel flow, I feel light … It’s lovely to dance to the tune of the Divine! This must be a little of what it means when I hear the phrase, “every thing happens in Divine time”, hmmm very interesting. 

 

 

Dancing With The Divine?


There were many surprises from what I thought was a simple Play Date With The Divine from yesterday.

First of all I noticed that my inner space was more peaceful and expansive which was lovely. I could see the beginnings of stress as it seemed to approach in slow motion so that allowed me to become aware of more choices and to move along peacefully.

There were times when I didn’t know which pathway to take. Usually before I act I go through options in my mind. Yesterday I became aware that my field felt much more open and I could engage in situations without knowing the solution but feeling confident that at some point clarity would come. This is where there were surprises because what emerged was beyond anything I could have figured out beforehand.

I see now the way I interpreted what was happening in my world was very different. I was deeply influenced by the peace of nature. I felt more connected with the sacred all around me. This inner lining up with a bigger space gave me access to greater expression of love and harmony.

I think there is much more to this practice than I realized.  I continue to look at the perfection of nature seeking to experience that perfection in my inner world. 

Today I want to notice the dancing, joyful aspect of the Divine at play, the insects singing, the leaves responding to the music of the wind, the graceful swoops and swirls of the birds. What would it be like to dance with the Divine?

 

A Play Date With The Divine


It’s September, the summer break is over and everywhere students are going back to school. I think it’s a good month for me to come back to posting regularly here on the blog, don’t you think?.

One of the great things about summer is the many opportunities for recreation, for play. So today my inspiration is play, to see God at play in my world. I want to notice the clouds playing with me, the sun darting in and out through the clouds. I want to remember that God is in continuous play with me as I take a moment to listen to the birds chirping, to the leaves rustling, to the trickling water in the streams and rivers.  I want to pay attention to the perfection in nature, to see the Divine at play. Can I see God as my playmate today? Hmmm a play date with the Divine, lets see how the day will unfold.

Will you join me in this practice and share your experiences?

Two Attitudes To “I Don’t Know”


I’ve been exploring consciousness expansion practices with the key element of remaining open to all possibilities. I set out with the intention of finding out what observing from an open space would be like. A natural progression was wondering what happens when the observing takes place in a closed space.
There were a number of situations that occurred these past few days where I had to make a decision or take some action and I didn’t know what to do and from what I can see they fell into two categories. I’ll give you an example of each.
When I am creating a new workshop or writing teaching materials I often don’t have a starting point. There is stress as I look for inspiration to get started. As the deadline for submission draws near, the stress builds up. But deep inside me I feel that some idea will come and I keep looking. Indeed once the inspiration starts to flow I can hardly type fast enough to capture all the ideas. It feels like I’m carried by a wave as the creative process unfolds. When I look back at materials that came out of this type of experience I still find the materials interesting, they stand the test of time. So I ask myself how could I transfer this experience/ process to when I’m working with challenging patterns of behavior in myself. Because this must be what observing from an open space must be like.
On the other hand when I observe myself and encounter unhelpful emotions or patterns of behavior then sometimes I get very upset with what I see. I can get swept up in negative feelings. I start to feel powerless. I know in the moment that I’m feeling contracted but I find it difficult to change and until this practice of observing process I didn’t have a clue as to how to move forward. I now realize that my attitude is closed. I’m observing from a closed space. In this scenario when I realize I don’t know what to do I see it as an end point. Whereas when I’m writing and I don’t know what to do next I see it as a starting point and that the inspiration will come. This was like a thunderbolt to me; I have two radically different attitudes when I feel “I don’t know”. One attitude leads to new discoveries and the other attitude lands me mired in misery. Can you see the difference in the two “I don’t knows”?
The next step was to try to apply a change in process when feeling contracted by seeing unpleasant patterns of behavior in myself. How could this be the starting instead of the end point? I could focus my attention on the information and tools that I already have about making changes. I could pay attention to the role models around me and draw motivation from them. I could pray for support while keeping alert so that I recognize the help when it comes. There are so many things I can do. I can see how this approach would open up the space.
I have to keep at this longer to see where it will take me. Hope this all makes sense to you. Let me know what you think.

Beginning To Figure Out How I Observe


 

 

 

 

 

Stop-at-the-first-thought-and-witnessA big part of my spiritual journey has been observing what is happening with me. I’ve focused a lot on what I observe in my inner space. So for example I can now see the types of thoughts I create in my mind and the emotions they generate. Of course I have been very interested in managing my mental and emotional creations.

 

I can also observe the vast space behind the thoughts and emotions, exploring the inner silence that is a constant companion.

 

In other words I’ve become more familiar with what is in my inner space. In a way it’s like entering a room and becoming familiar with what is in the room. I’ve enjoyed playing in that room, moving the “furniture” around and creating a pleasing environment. The furniture is like the events in my inner space.

I can say I have developed more confidence in my ability to observe myself. That is an important mile stone, “I can observe!”

 

 

 

 

Now I want to turn my attention to how I observe. What process do I use in observing? What are different ways of observing? What types of options are there? What is the effect of the different ways of observing? Are there more constructive ways of observing? Hmmm very interesting don’t you think? I shall report back on what I have discovered :). In the mean time feel free to share your process of observing.

Note the marvelous mindmap created by Paul Foreman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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