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.

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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.

Enthusiasm

Sometimes we believe being good and walking a spiritual path will guarantee success in all our undertakings. We believe that with the right prayer-right mantra-right meditation- every project, desire, and involvement will turn out according to our plans.  It is important to remember that Great Spirit gives us the OPPORTUNITY to use our skills, abilities, creativity, and enthusiasm to succeed.  Spirit helps us create abundance, but does not guarantee to reward us with abundance. To bring any activity to an abundant, creative conclusion we have to remain committed to that endeavor, and determined to overcome all obstacles to success.  It is impossible to maintain the necessary tenacity if we lack enthusiasm.

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“Great Spirit Mother and Father help those who help themselves & others.”

It might also be wise to remember that any creative endeavor makes a mess.  Think of redecorating, remodeling, building a new structure, etc.  The greater the mess we perceive around us the greater potential exists to create something wonderful. Perhaps this can give us hope in our very messy world.

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Enthusiasm is the result of being interested in the people, places, energies, and opportunities around us. Even an imperfect world offers us a chance to awaken possibles and to kindle hope in our hearts and the hearts of others. If we have a cheerful attitude and a hopeful heart we might even inspire others to come and join us.  Work that is a chore, a duty, a dull responsibility seldom motivates anyone to enthusiasm.  Work that is turned into play,  diversion, games and fun always results in more enthusiastic participation.  If we demonstrate love, joy, laughter, acceptance and excitement maybe even the curmudgeons of the world will join us in creating beauty.

Sometimes we may feel that we don’t know enough to serve Great Spirit and the Light adequately. So what! Think of a fat, happy, playful puppy. The puppy doesn’t know the rules of behavior and proper socialization, but almost everyone loves a puppy, forgives a puppy, and enjoys a puppy because the puppy is the embodiment of enthusiastic love.  Let us make our path of spirit an experience of laughter, enjoyment, and love.

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We often hear the phrase “Have a good day.”  But it is common knowledge that life offers us the opportunity to have “bad” days as well as good ones.  There is nothing wrong with having a bad day.  It is only when the bad days outnumber the good days that we may need to work on our attitude.  So let’s work on a determined effort to create all our days as “good” instead- so we will have more abundance to share with a world full of friends we haven’t met yet.

A Great Being once said: when a person responds to the joys and sorrows of others as if they were their own, that person has attained the highest state of spiritual union.

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Great Spirit help me so that-
The door of my heart be wide enough
to receive all who hunger for love.
May I welcome all who have cares to unburden,
thanks to express, and hopes to nurture.
May the door of my heart be narrow enough
to shut out pettiness, pride, envy and enmity.
May its threshold be no stumbling block
to young or strained feet.
May it be too high to admit complacency,
selfishness and harshness.
May my heart be a home for all who enter.
May my heart be a doorway to richness and a more meaningful life.
May I always entertain feelings of friendliness for all living beings in the world.
May I never feel angry with the vile,
the vicious and the wrongly-directed.
May I always remain tranquil in my dealings with them.
May Dharma become the main topic of conversation in my household.
May the heroes of our time whole-heartedly work
in the cause of Spirit Truth.
May all understand the Laws of Truth and be able
to rejoice even in sorrow and suffering.

~ A Jain Prayer

Just The Facts

Don’t confuse your story with the facts.
Making a plan is important.
Worrying about the future is a waste of time
What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
What would happen if you smiled through all the doorways of your life?

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Spirit connection allows us to find new ways to live our lives.  When we practice kindness, appreciation, generosity, and gladness we begin to live in new and creative ways.  The world around us begins to reflect our delight in being alive.  When we hold to fear, anger, and disappointment our world is hell.

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Simplicity is making things easy, uncomplicated and understandable it is surrendering to the “little way” of focusing on one thing at a time.  It is practicing owning and directing our thoughts instead of allowing those same thoughts to fill us with dread.

Spirit is the practice of making our lives – and the lives of others – delightful.
Over and over on the path of spirit we hear: What you focus on you create. Yet when we are embroiled, in trouble and challenge it seems impossible to change our thoughts or our feelings- this is when distraction is the tool to reach for.

Distraction can be any activity that will fully engage our mind and emotions:
Reading an exciting or interesting book.
Cooking a new or elaborate dish
Watching a favorite movie
Going for a walk
Calling a friend
Visiting a family member
Volunteering for something

When we cannot get the inner voices to be quiet or to behave- remember distraction.  Practice it often.

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In order for something new, different, exciting, or unusual to be created we must be willing to separate ourselves from the tried and true.  Structure and tradition becomes dogma when everything must be accomplished in the same way each time. We often develop dogma in our lives. We cherish our grief, old pain and betrayal by reminding ourselves of them over and over again.

Maybe today it is time to set ourselves free, to separate ourselves from ideas and understandings from the past that prevent the delightful future awaiting us.

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Today may I give birth to faith and compassion.
May I begin to renew my contract with Great Spirit
to practice love, joy and peace
in my heart, my life, and my communities.
May I start over on the path of wisdom.
May I come to recognize that creating something new
is both a joyful and a painful process.
May my mind be open
and my heart be filled with the joyous echoes
of Great Spirit’s goodness.

Creativity

What we decide today creates our experiences of tomorrow. Today is a by-product of yesterday. Empowerment is knowing we have what it takes to make our life work- to create more love, more joy, more peace, and more light- for ourselves and for others.

The one constant in life is the necessity to make decisions. Therefore the more consistently we choose Love, Joy, and Peace the brighter and more exciting our future will be.  How can we decide for love, joy, or peace in the midst of chaos and confusion, pain, unhappiness, and criticism?   Most of that answer lies in knowing who we truly are- not what we do, not where we live, not what we own- BUT who we are!

Are you: Creative?
Kind & thoughtful?
Generous and concerned?
Adventurous & Bold?
Curious and intuitive?

When we know the True Creative Self we can begin to use that self to create our today, our tomorrows, and our future.

Contemplate these possibilities: All the love that is possible- is possible today.
All the sorrow that is possible- is possible today.
If we let circumstances rule us we are letting go of our ability to choose our destiny.

Remember that only dead fish go with the flow. Let us pray each day-Great Spirit help me keep what is worth keeping and with your breath of kindness blow the rest away.

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The only thing blocking our expression of our Greater Self is our self. Often we are only aware of, or even look for, limitations, blockages, and barriers to the creation of our desires and dreams.  We think and speak in terms of “I cannot because…”

The first step to eliminating limitations is to recognize that the limitation is a challenge to be overcome.  It is important as a means to test our resolve, our courage, and our ingenuity.
The second step is a change of attitude:- instead of “I can’t because…” WE DECLARE- “I can… I will … I shall!”

We need to be filled with possibilities instead of excuses and limitations!  If we are unwilling to do anything different our lives will always remain the same.

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Sometimes we search for a truth or a cause we would be willing to die for.  Wouldn’t it be better to find a truth we are willing to LIVE for?

We rarely perform an action unless we are motivated to do so.
Would you work at your current job if you were not being offered a motivation to do so?
Passion is the great motivator of all important change. What are you doing today that awakens that passion?

What motivated you to get out of bed today?

Is that a good enough reason to be alive or do you need a better one?

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Great Spirit did not make human beings truly helpless.
Perhaps it is time for us to say
ENOUGH ALREADY!
Perhaps it is time to rediscover our Divine Nature
The Gifts the Great Mother, the Great Father, and
the Great Weaver have given us-
Creativity
Imagination
Initiative
Ingenuity
Strength
Willingness to Serve
If we are the sons and daughters of
The Great Mother, Father, and Weaver
maybe we need to claim our heritage-
Grow-up
And stop Whining!

Today I shall do what I can
to make this so!

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.

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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.

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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.

Attitude is Everything

Attitude is the external expression of inner beliefs.  If we are afraid of being hurt, we will demonstrate timidity or anger.  If we are filled with confidence there will be nothing we are unwilling to try.  What would you do with your life if you knew you could not fail?

Remember that human beings always have the gift of divine creative decision but even the universe has laws that must be followed.

Some of the rules to remember are:

  • Maybe means NO
  • Try three times and then wait before trying again

Some questions to help clarify decisions are:

  • Will this be harmful to me or to others?
  • How will Great Spirit be served if this comes to pass?
  • Will I still want this in a week, a month, or a year?
  • How is this in alignment with my vows and promises?

Immovable, stationary, permanent objects tend to present humans with the desire to challenge them.  This is especially true if we did not put them into place.  This is the nature of human beings, that there should be no mountain unclimbed, no land unexplored, no river untraveled, and no law unquestioned.

So why, in our personal lives do we attempt to create permanent unchanging ideas, structures, and plans?  The next time we realize we are becoming hidebound, in our relationships, work, family, ideas, etc., let’s stop, take a deep breath and leave some room for change: growing room.

Get an attitude!  Where your attitude (thought) is, there is your life. What is your attitude? What thoughts occupy most of your time? Is it concern over abundance? Lack of opportunity? Your place of employment or lack thereof? Your health, prosperity, adventure, relationships? What thoughts occupy most of your time?  This is your attitude.

Attitudes can be changed.  Attitudes can be enhanced. Get an attitude this day.  Create an attitude of joy, love, freedom, healing, and peace.  Express this attitude fully. Decide what you want to manifest. Think accordingly, behave accordingly, and act accordingly.

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Thank you Great Spirit for bringing challenges to my life
so I can grow, be adaptable
and develop my creativity.

Help me to live enthusiastically
and joyfully each day.
May I let go of my fear of change
that I may welcome divine inspiration.
May I let go of pain that I may feel the love of others.
May I let go of separation that I may establish belonging.

Great Spirit help me remember
that in all the emptying and filling up
I am improving, becoming more beautiful
and more spirit filled every day.

I declare this to be true:
The world above me is restored in beauty.
The world below me is restored in beauty.
The world behind me is restored in beauty.
The world before me is restored in beauty.
All things around me are restored in beauty.
It is so!  It is so!  It is so!