Laughter Can Set Us Free

6c9f074d8c30aa1e02b4cc3acf9e41e5A long time ago you were a small child born with hopes and dreams.  You wanted to love and be loved, to laugh, to play, and to make a difference in the world.  The family that you were adopted or born into shared with you a structure and a way of understanding life, which was probably very different than what you understood as a pre-born spirit.  Your family had ways of thinking and being that were a response to what they had experienced in their lives.  They probably wished to save you from the suffering of the world- and so they taught you many things they believed to be useful.  Then, you became your own person.  Maybe you even believed you were not like everyone else in your family.  But the truth is no one really believes they fit in, belong, or are OK just like they are.

In the end no one fits in because there is no truth to the world of mind.  It’s all an illusion of thought.  Mind is full of notions and ideas; most of which make money for someone.  But making money is not a Truth…it is an experience of illusion.  The mind’s purpose is not to help you be who you truly are or to live as Divine Spirit.  Its purpose is to evaluate, categorize, judge, compare, and remember.

Earth-4039The Truth of Spirit Mind is: We are beloved children of Divine Spirit. This means we have a great light within us.  We have a great love within us.  The potential for sympathetic joy exists within us, and the energy of peace is also within us.  We cannot earn this.  We cannot create it.  It just exists.  It exists as our Tarai (spirit) mind- the mind that remembers who we truly are.  Coming to rely upon the Spirit Mind we will be able to know and remember why we came into this world.

The part of us that does not know purpose or believe this truth is ordinary thinking mind.  That mind is preoccupied with memories, judgments, rewards, anxiety, need, anger, fear, pain, grief, I want it- I don’t want it, depression and guilt.  In other words the ingredients of suffering.

The seeds (thoughts) we are sowing in our mind, into the ground of our spirit beingness, determine our experience of this world. 

No one can make us feel anything we do not decide to feel.  Over and over again individuals have demonstrated that they can hold to Divine Spirit truth even if their body is tortured and killed.  No one can make us commit an evil act…it is ourselves who choose to be evil or to be noble and virtuous.

When we find someone we are afraid of, or who has insulted us, and declare them to be the cause of our suffering we have created an enemy.  It is usual to feel that the enemy must be destroyed, left behind, or gotten rid of somehow. When we believe others are controlling our experiences we are outside of Spirit Truth.

As spirit’s people we, therefore, speak for right action not against the actions of others.

freedomHow can we avoid enemy consciousness?  It begins by understanding that we are in enemy consciousness within ourselves.  There is often a part of us that we hate.  This is the inner dialogue that tells us we are stupid or that there is must be something wrong with us.  This is our personal demon.  We all have one.  This demon was created by the words of people when we were small, or the words of people who were trying to educate us.

The demon is always a voice from our past.

The demon makes a lot of noise and we feel that we have to respond to that voice. So, we engage in an arguments with ourselves.  We may be constantly defending against this voice.  Arguing with the demon tends to make the self-hate and judgment more real, stronger, and less easily defended against.  It seems like we always lose.  It’s like a court battle with a corrupt attorney.  And this demon voice doesn’t always stay in our head, it might be voiced  by the people around us, those who feel it is their right to share negative opinions with us.

Most suffering is caused by the voices in our head.

When we have made a mistake of some kind we begin to be ashamed, then guilty, then angry.  When we are angry we blame someone.  If we blame others we become victimized.  When we blame ourselves we become depressed or hopeless.  Neither of these two options help us move from suffering into joy, peace, or love.

What if there was a tool?  The tool is Laughter….laughter can set us free!

Happy-ChildrenNow there are some songs that say love is the key- but actually that rarely works.  How many times have we managed be loving but still felt sad or upset inside?  It’s impossible to suffer and laugh at the same time.  However this will not work as long as we are determined to believe that everything we say, think, feel, and do is deadly serious.

We could begin to let go of taking life so seriously.   We could cultivate a sense of humor about ourselves and others.  We could begin to play at life instead of striving to conquer life.  We could discover beauty, grace, and the joy of seeing others happy.  We can find deep joy in service.

Liberation is possible if we truly understand that in life there will be suffering, and that mistakes are inevitable. Let us hope that we will be willing to make mistakes for the remainder of our lives.  If we cannot make mistakes we will have ceased to learn, grow, and expand into the more.  It helps to accept that we will never arrive at a place when everyone will love us, everyone will agree with us, approve of us, or even like us. Even we don’t give ourselves that consistent kind of attention.

Mistakes are inevitable, and suffering will happen- But laughter can set us free!

Bird

Laughter Will Set Us Free

Sometimes there is a misconception that a person of Spirit will be loving, joyful, and peaceful continuously.  Then, if we are not able to maintain that equanimity, we are bad;  a sinner, a failure, a slacker, etc.  The inner critic finds endless words to assign to us if we are not consistently impeccable in our practice.  90315ea1ea84f593ae080942d2192382This is the myth of perfection.  We often associate words like omnipotent, all-seeing, and perfect with the Higher Power energy.  So if we are not perfect- as that Great Spirit is thought to be perfect- we  believe we must do atonement, or that we deserve to be punished.

Laughter shall set us free and love shall lift up the world are suggestions.  If that’s not where we are today, it’s best to accept that fact and not attempt to pretend to give what we don’t have or want to give away.  Anger, fear, pain, and grief are part of life’s experience.  There is a wide spectrum of expressing these emotions from mild to intense.  The same is true of our encounters with loving kindness, generosity, compassion, joy, and even peace.  They come and they go. This is the human condition.

The path of Spirit can teach us that uncomfortable or unpleasant energies are not unwelcome guests that have moved into our home for an indefinite period of time.  Even underneath an intense expression of anger, fear, pain, and grief-  there exists the potential for love, joy, and peace later on.  In being real, we express love, joy, and peace- only when we are actually experiencing those energies. This is not an invitation, however, to become a domineering, violent, and controlling individual giving away our anger and pain to others- It is an invitation to understand where we are in the moment. When surrounded by seemingly endless difficulties try this affirmation:  I accept myself as I am in this Now, and I surrender to love, joy, and peace in this Now.  We can have love, joy, and peace, even if things are not perfect.

helen-keller-quotes-i-am-only-one-but-still-i-am-one-i-cannot-do-everything-but-still-i-19671As a child, we could overcome, what seemed to us then, a great tragedy often within five minutes.  As we grow up we learn how to hold on to our pain.  This is why we so often fall out of love or friendship. We rehearse our pain stories, our betrayals, and our upsets. We become addicted to the perfection myth- in ourselves and in our partners. But if we can forgive ourselves for making mistakes, it will become easier to forgive others for their mistakes as well.

Let’s look at laughter shall set us free from the standpoint of play.  A play is a story drama.  If the tale is only about joy, light, peace, and love, nothing appears to happen in that story.  Soon we are bored and seek out a play, movie, or book that has some challenges and problems for the hero to solve.

It isn’t the goal of life to be problem-free.  It’s the goal of our lives to figure out what to do with the problems we encounter.

  When obsessing on the difficulties of our lives, are we working through our problem or just reviewing them over and over- with no solution in sight?  Challenges are a part of life.  350878 Suffering is the endless repetition of a painful energy.  Finding a sense of humor can work wonders on the obsessions of the mind. Laughter can be used to free ourselves from suffering.

When we laugh we free up inner wisdom so we can figure out what to do.  We must learn to listen to the still small voice within. This means we have to be quiet long enough to hear it.  Take time to walk with nature, sit by a lake or a river, watch the grass grow, lean to meditate.  In the silence we can find our way back to beauty and grace.

To have a joyful life, obsess on- smiling through the doorways, enjoying the sunrise, count your blessings, or if possible- accept yourself in the Now.  The path of Spirit can be fun, but not if you’re afraid of yourself.

575412_373889212646105_100000750870618_938814_1388775618_nGratitude is an endless focus on the positive.  Grace means that through the loving kindness of another person we let go of something and it changes our lives. Everything is temporary.  Let yourself be free in the energy of life.  Find your laughter.  It will lead you to Love!

A Journey Into The Dark

journey-beginsThere is a difference between reality and truth.  Reality is what we imagine life is, truth is what life actually is.  Every time something happens we imagine what it means and weave it into the story of our lives. Let’s examine this- first there are the facts- perhaps a telephone call was made and there was no answer.  Then there is the attempt to decide what it means that the telephone was not answered.  Figuring out what something means is pure imagination.  Reality is created from imaginings while the Truth is created from simple facts with no interpretation.

What you know to be the truth about you does not need to be interpreted.   To say I have a heart of service could be interpreted that you a good person. But it really it is only a statement that acknowledges that you have a heart of service. To say- I love people could be interpreted that you are spiritual. But in truth it simply means that you love people.  One is truth and the other an imagination of meaning.  This could also be reversed.  I was angry, therefore, I am a bad person.  I told a lie, therefore, I am not spiritual.  Accepting what is without trying to connect it to another concept leads to freedom of mind.

awakeningWhen we take a journey into the dark (of interpretation) to find the light of truth…we are attempting to find the thing itself not our stories about it.  So as we take the journey of the Metta (loving kindness) we will need to work our way past the interpretations and stories about appearances into the truth of each statement.

The Metta
May all beings have-
Fresh air and water
Food to eat
A home & someone to love
A meaningful purpose
Be well and happy
And Free from Suffering

Life is not wonderful because you have thoughts and interpretations about what is happening.  Although there isn’t anything wrong with having thoughts about your life-try to think about the possibility of separating fact from generalization and storytelling.  Life can be wonderful when you live in the Light of Truth knowing you are sacred, compassionate, and human spirit.  So, try to allow your stories to mean less and your life become more meaningful.

PerfectionismIt is a fact that we are going to like some people and not particularly like others.  This does not mean we are bad, unspiritual, or emotionally defective in some way.  Not liking some people doesn’t mean anything unless we decide it means something. Remember that there is a deeply entrenched belief system about perfection.  Most of us are trained into the idea that there is a certain standard by which we must live.  As soon as we begin to measure ourselves against some imagined state of perfection we are creating a delusion, a fanciful measurement that will most likely find us wanting .  This is not real!

Going into the dark is finding your way out of the illusions and imaginings into what is awake and true. 

hellobabyisitdarkWe are sacred because we exist.  Because we are.  Because we are a unique expression of Great Spirit energy.  Some people would tell us that in order to be sacred we must be able to take action.  But a rock is sacred and it is not taking action- it’s only being.  What exists can be considered sacred.  It has life- even a stone has life- it has an indwelling spirit.  One of the challenges that happened for humankind was when we decided we were the only ones with an indwelling spirit.  Some people have even decided that not all humans have an indwelling spirit so they can be killed or used in some way because they are not sacred.

 All life is sacred and precious and a unique expression of divine creative energy of the All Spirit Beingness. Before we were born we were in the dark.  There was nothing for us to do and we did not understand that we were supposed to be bored.  We just existed.  For most of us- our experience with our mother was that we were precious even when she could not see us or hold us.  Let us go back into the dark womb of the Great Mother so that we can find the Light.  There is nothing to do there.  There are no questions to ask.

Go into her dark womb and allow yourself
to be changed by the Great Mother.mother_stars_s

Beyond, Beyond, the Rising Sun

Great Father calls- Leave the world come to light.
Great Mother speaks- Welcome home, be with love.
Great Weaver sings-Dance with me spirit life.

As you read the words of this song it is a call to you.  This is the inner energy of spirit beingness and the truth of the soul from which you came- originally.  Of course as you come into incarnations into the reality of the physical world instead of being the child of Great Mother, Father, and Weaver you became the child of your biological parents and the culture in which you live.  Acquiring ancestors other than Great Mother, Weaver, and Father is a problem.

past-livesOver centuries we have been born into different families.  Each of these families has a genetic makeup which holds an emotional and mental pattern as well as a physical pattern.  So, no matter how hard we try to be otherwise- we are still just like our mother and father. This is our biological, genetic, cultural, and ancestral heritage.  Because of this we have a Neesha energy that is woven between us and the people we have been closest to in the world.  We become a thread in a cloth and every time we incarnate we become the same thread in the same cloth that we were entangled with the last time.  It is unusual for us to have a close relationship with a physical being that we have not known in some past lifetime.  Now if we were adopted it means that the family to whom we truly belonged couldn’t birth us and had to acquire us somehow.  Like magnets we are drawn together to our friends and we find ourselves repelled by our adversaries- and yet both of these is an entanglement.

Neesha is a habituated energy.  Karma is the duty we owe to life and to Great Spirit for gifting us with life.

By carefully avoiding our karma in life after life for what seem to be good reasons we enmesh ourselves more and more into a Neesha pattern.  Into that Neesha is woven the strands of relationship with many individuals.  Sometimes this is wonderful and sometimes it’s not so great.

All that we have to do in order to live in light is to see what we are, what we think, what truly motivates us- be aware of it and then decide about it.  Everything in our Neesha is not bad or wrong- even those things we don’t like about us have a positive application if we are aware and decide if this is a good time to apply or use that energy.  Even our benefactor qualities can be negative if we are not aware of a choice and decide to use them because that is appropriate in that situation.1_2010911_10198
It is no more helpful and enlightened to react unconsciously from our benefactor qualities than it is to react from our undesirable personality qualities.

Great Spirit is saying- TURN ON THE LIGHT AND WAKE UP!
What are we obligating ourselves to if we admit and accept that we are children of Light?
We are accepting our responsibility to be Aware and to Decide- to exercise Free Will.

One of the hardest things to accept is that even if we are aware and have decided from awareness we could still be wrong-so living in decision does not guarantee success.
What is Great Spirit showing us?  Spirit is teaching us to Lighten Up!!!  Instead of being horrified by mistakes we could learn to laugh at ourselves.  Great Spirit is like a smiling sun- what does the sun have to smile about?  It is the purity of the awakening of infinite possibility.  If we have made a mistake we have something to learn.

In order to learn we must become adaptable.  We cannot have a sense of humor if we are not adaptable.  If we have humor we do not have to travel down into the dark of our ancient pain.  We can make a mistake and still be OK. Rarely are mistakes fatal.  If our mistake was not fatal we have another chance to learn.orb-spider-web (1)

Enlightenment is the road to untangling the threads of our Neesha from the patterns of life and to place those threads into the hands of Great Spirit- so spirit may help us return to our true self. This requires moving our mind into the mind of Great Spirit so that we become the Light that shines for others…but before there can be a light shining out there must be a light that is shining inside.  Once the Light does shine inside our tendency will be to be horrified at what you see.

Guilt, shame, and horror are the usual responses to awareness and enlightenment. If we have guilt, shame, and horror- the next logical step is either anger or depression.  None of this is of any use on the road of returning to our true self.  Perhaps we only need to rest in the heart of Great Spirit who will help us be full of Light and Laughter.

The Myth of Heavenly Perfection

When we embarked upon the spiritual journey it was undeniably a part of our goal to attain perfection.  We have been indoctrinated, proselytized, and programmed to desire perfection.  That’s why advertising works.  It tells us that we are not perfect, BUT we could be perfect if we only use a certain product, drive a certain type of car, own the right house, and discover the right job.  Everyone wants to help us by selling us something- self-help books, talismans, prayer beads, amulets, potions, therapies, and workshops.  So why are we all still unhappy with ourselves?

Maybe it’s because we believe in the myth of Heavenly Attainment.  heavenThis myth says- One day we will arrive at a blessed and blissful land where everything will be well, happy, and forever wonderful.   Some of us are content to wait until we die hoping that will take care of the suffering of our lives and we will join the angels for an eternity of song and holy delight.  Some of us are always in process, striving to do what is right, be as perfect as possible, perform every action recommended by our spiritual path, studying each new idea that seems promising- hoping that somehow our life will turn out the way we hoped, planned, and intended.  When our life still doesn’t make us happy, wealthy, and wise, we blame ourselves, or the path, or the spiritual teacher, our parents, our culture, our gender, or anything else that seems to be amiss in the world.

But what if things just are what they are?  What if life will never be safe, no matter how many insurance policies we own?  What if failure is enviable and we will continue to make mistakes no matter how many college degrees we earn?  Or how good we get at controlling ourselves or others? What if we are OK just like we are?  What if suffering will continue to exist in our life even if we are OK being who and how we are?

Most of us are constantly looking for what’s wrong, and creating new crises so we can rise to the occasion.  To the little self-ego that’s survival.  It’s very important that something is wrong so we can continue to survive it.  self-hateOver and over we say, “I’m responsible… I need to do it right…I must be perfect!”  This internal pressure leads to stress.  Stress leads to developing a coping skill (eating, drinking, smoking, drugs, yelling, hitting, etc.) which relieves our stress but makes us feel awful about ourselves.  So- we resolve to be responsible, correct our behaviors, get it right, and make sure we are perfect next time!  Which leads to stress…so…

Could you love someone who doesn’t meet the standards you were taught must be met in order to be lovable?  What happens when you don’t meet those standards?  And most of us never meet those standards. Remember not wanting to be how you are is the most significant factor of SELF-HATE.

When we accept ourselves how we are- when we know and accept our less desirable qualities and also accept our benefactor qualities we might grow to love ourselves.  Most of us think that loving ourselves will make us selfish.  But those who feel completely loved and lovable are not selfish- THEY ARE LOVING!

cliff2

“Come to the edge,” he said.
They said: “We are afraid.”
“Come to the edge,” he said.
They came.
He pushed them,
And they flew…

– Guillaume Apollinaire

 

Beginner’s Mind

It appears easy for children to learn. One of the advantages they have that an adult loses is the knowledge of, and expectation that, they will make mistakes before learning what they wish to master.children-learning

What do you wish to master?
Can you allow yourself to try again and again and get it wrong?
What is the time frame in which you expect to experience this mastery?
Is that really do-able?
How teachable do you think you are?

Almost every day we have the opportunity to learn something new.  This can be very simple such as  tasting  a food we’ve not tried before, driving to work down a different street, or getting new software for our electronic devices.   Life in the physical world is a process of growing, changing, and learning. When we cease to learn we cease to be truly alive.  dogAs we grow older some individuals find it hard to learn. This is because true learning means practicing a skill until we make it our own.  It means making mistakes and trying again. An old dog can be taught new tricks because an old dog is willing. A human, no matter what age, can’t be taught anything they are unwilling to learn.

True ignorance is believing we already know all of the answers.  Many times we might feel stupid, ignorant, or slow because we cannot put into practice the truths of spirit, or some spiritual teaching we’ve received in meditation. What this lack of understanding means is that we are still teachable.

Our cultural and religious belief systems tell us that we must strive to be perfect in all ways, mentally, emotionally, and physically.   It behooves a person to attain such a state or at least pretend to attain perfection in order to be thought of as spiritual. What all the great masters and saints have known, however, is that they were ignorant and in need of Divine Guidance. Let us joyfully accept that we do not know so that we may continue to learn, to grow, and to become more.

melt_my_heart_by_DragonWinter

I open myself to Great Spirit’s Purpose
Let the dust and mud of painful thoughts be washed away in the joyful grace of love
I will remember that nothing can be totally eliminated
If I melt something, it just becomes something else.
Let me melt into something else!
I am open to melting into love
I am obedient to Spirit’s grace
I am clay with your hands, Beloved!
Make me into something you will be proud to call your own.

Perfection?

“Unchanging, absolute, static manifestation means no creativity is possible.”

Masters and saints tell us that perfection is over-rated and mostly boring.  They ask us to look at the natural world which has an infinite variety of possibilities in the formation of a single rose bush, stone, or tree.

Image

Today consider rejoicing in all of your imperfections.   Every day is filled with opportunities to be disappointed in ourselves and others. What if we decide to celebrate our imperfections because they give us the chance to practice laughter.

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When things go wrong we often feel the need to fix them.  When we are angry we might believe we are no longer in spirit grace. When we feel sick we may believe we have lost abundant life. When we are in pain we may believe we are being punished for past transgressions.  Spirit Truth is NEVER missing. We might misplace our love, our joy, our peace, or our ability to appreciate life…but they are never really gone.  The energy of Spirit belongs to us forever. We can remember that Spirit grace, Spirit energy is inside our heart, so it is always possible to reclaim it again.

When we create anything in the world we usually find that it is necessary to work from a pattern. There are basic patterns for clothing, automobiles, airplanes, radios, televisions, and anything else we can name. In order for something new, or different to happen, the basic pattern (which was perfectly fine as it was) has to be changed.  So although our personal basic pattern was good to begin with, by now we have discovered  a need for improvement or remodeling, or redecorating…because we are growing and changing.

DigitalSpiritualTransformation3

Perfection as most understand it means: always being right, never making mistakes, and never needing to be healed or changed. Perfection of Spirit, however, is the joyful surrender to the infinite possibilities of Great Spirit’s manifestation in every circumstance, situation, and relationship of our lives.

Perfection of Spirit is rejoicing in the opportunities to grow, to change, and to be changed. 

Spiritual mastery is claiming our Divine Inheritance of love, joy, and peace: “To the best of our ability, day by day.”  The wise person remembers that some days are better than others.  We are not perfect.  Our friends are not perfect.  Our leaders are not perfect.  Our children are not perfect.  No one is really perfect.

But even so each day is worth living to the best of our ability.

ImageGreat Spirit,
May I find joy in each moment.
May I find humor in my difficulties
and laughter at my mistakes.

Today, let me remember spirit’s blessings.
Everything can be forgiven
and forgotten
so that all is restored in beauty.

Help me to laugh at life’s irritations,
to be patient with others
as You are patient with me.
Great Spirit,
I will remember
that amazing things can happen
if I live my life with laughter, courage, and joy.