Practical Duality or Delusional Duality

dualityWhen we incarnate we enter a world of duality, an experience of separation.  In a realistic sense this is important.  We are able to recognize objects, people, and animals as distinct from ourselves, we interact with our environment and the entities and objects within that environment.  We learn that fire burns, animals can bite, and rocks are hard.  We also learn more subjective identifications such as- good and bad; right and wrong; happy and sad; beautiful and ugly.  Duality is the existence of pairs of opposites.

In metaphysical spirituality, we are taught to strive for oneness with all things, to let go of separation, and understand that we are interdependence upon one another.  Teachings often speak of the importance of emptiness, that thoughts and things do not have independent origin but arise from other things.  Sometimes we are told that this world is a delusion and that nothing that happens here matters because we are destined for heaven, nirvana, enlightenment, and bliss.

Left or right on handsDuality is both illusion and reality.  How can that be?  Well, let’s take a pragmatic approach.  In life on a day to day basis it’s important to know left from right, up from down, forward from back, hot from cold, and open from closed.  If we can’t tell left from right or up from down we have a cognitive disability.  If we can’t distinguish between hot and cold we can injury ourselves physically.  It’s also helpful to know if a door is open or closed.  So, duality in this respect, has a utilitarian functionality.  Even fully enlightened beings still need to maneuver in daily life, just like everyone else.

Then, there is the duality of Delusion.  This can be extremely subtle and is the true cause of suffering.  Great Spiritual Teachers have told us that suffering has a cause and discovering that cause allows us to find the path to liberation from suffering.  The duality of delusion arises from opinion, beliefs, attitudes, and judgments.  For example:  good and evil, right and wrong, neat and messy, beautiful and ugly, whole and broken, or happy and sad, man and woman, us and them, etc.

'Cleanliness is next to 'clean room' in the dictionary.  Look it up.'I am not saying we shouldn’t have opinions, beliefs, attitudes, and discernments.  What we want to examine is how some of these things lead to suffering for ourselves and contribute to the suffering of others.  Let’s start with neat and messy.  As a child, or as a parent, we were probably exposed to this concept.  If the parent has a standard of neatness that has to be met…or else.  What happens?  Angry words.  Tears.  Resentment.  Feelings of not being loved.  All of these are a cause of suffering.

In relationships, these delusional dualities or opinions can cause tremendous suffering.  Example:  A young married couple with two small children appear to be very happy together.  The husband works hard and long hours so that his beloved can stay home and care for their two young children, keep the hearth, and make a home just like in his childhood.  The wife is happy to be with the children and loves her home.  She’s grateful that her dream is possible and she doesn’t have to leave her children with strangers.  Then, one day both children become ill, and she also becomes ill.  She isn’t getting any sleep, can’t eat, and needs help from her husband.  He becomes angry and storms out of the house and doesn’t come back for a few days.  This is the duality called wife and husband.  Both those words have a world of idea, belief, and story behind them.  Our ideas work as long as other factors don’t come into play.  But other factors have a way of showing up.  The result?  Suffering!

One more example:  I work hard for a living, seeing people, problem solving, organizing events, and serving my spiritual community.  Therefore, my delusional belief is to come home to a neat and tidy house.  That is a neat and tidy house according to my programmed, conditioned expectations.  Sometimes that just doesn’t happen.  Irritation, self-pity, and entitlement creep into my thoughts.  If I share those thoughts everyone is challenged.  If I don’t then only I am challenged.  But this is suffering and for what?  Because things were not the way my judgement-self thought they should be?

wallpaper-2450469Liberation from suffering comes when I am able to see through the delusion of what should be and allow myself to be OK with what is at the moment.  Watching thoughts, we begin to see our aversion and attractions: I like it, I don’t like it; It should be, it shouldn’t be, and on, and on, and on.

But we do not need to decide for the whole world what beauty is, what happiness is, what love is, what the correct dress or behavior is, or any other ideal that is only a matter of opinion or cultural conditioning.  Let us strive to recognize our causes of suffering and let go of the wheel of fire. Liberation awaits those willing to release attachment to delusional duality!

 

The Word, The Will, The Way

divine-sparkIn the beginning was the word.  The word was with the Divine and the word was the Divine.  All things were made by the word and without the word nothing was made.  In the beginning the Divine sent out sparks from itself, sparks of potential love, kindness, compassion, and generosity.  Some of these sparks became angels of light and some incarnated as humans into the earth worlds.  Each spark held the ability to activate the Divine Mission of Grace and Benevolence but few understood how to properly use the word, the will, and the way.  And so chaos, confusion, and the darkness of selfishness became manifest causing extreme suffering for all life.

Every human on our planet is a spark of Divine Potential a piece of the Great Plan of Grace and Blessing intended from the beginning of time.  Potential means: possible or likely although not yet actual; powers or resources not yet developed or made use of; a latent possibility.  Therefore, when we have not yet discovered or manifested our divine purpose, we must incarnate again and again to demonstrate our part of the Divine Mission.

nytimes-word-cloud_2In order to accomplish this, humans have been gifted with the word, the will, and the way.  The word is thought, focused intention and attention on what we believe, know, and consider important.  Words are constantly filling our mind.  Even in meditation we notice thought/words and decide not to focus on them.  The word/thought we continually pay attention to, believe and know is true becomes infused with Will.  Will is thought fortified through emotions.  When the word/thought is present and we engage our feelings and emotions with that thought it becomes manifest.  The manifestation of thought/word as a tangible experience is the creation of the Way.

Example: If I am convinced that I’m not very smart, or confident, or lovable there will be a dialogue taking place in my mind that persuades me this is true.  It may be the inner voices of my parents, teachers, or the words may be coming from remembering a past event which didn’t turn out the way I wanted.  When I have those thoughts/words I have emotions that arise- fear; anger; sadness; disappointment; or pain.  Therefore, when encountering a new situation or individual I have already decided how it will turn out and most likely that will be the case.  I have used my words, my will, against myself to create a way that proves I am a loser.

If you do what you’ve always done, you will get what you’ve always got.  If you think what you’ve always thought, you will feel how you’ve always felt.  If you feel what you’ve always felt, you will get what you’ve always got.

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The power of the word, will, and way is irrefutable.  We can see it clearly in the lives of people around us and if we look we will see it in our lives as well.  But we are NOT POWERLESS!  Inside each of us is a Great Being waiting to be actualized through thoughts, feelings, and acts of loving kindness, compassion for all life, generosity to those in need; determination to bless instead of curse; and a fearless heart that refuses to accept the suffering of the world.

We have two selves.  A small, self-centered, egocentric self and a Great, selfless, benevolent self.  Everyone has activated the egocentric self that’s how we got our ticket to this life.  Few have taken the energy necessary to activate the infinite potential of Great Self.  Spirituality is the path out of suffering and into becoming the answer to all the prayers pouring out to Divine Spirit every minute of every day.

Monitor the words you say to yourself.  Change those words to kindness and compassion.  When you immerse in loving kindness to self give kindness away to others- the Way of Love, the Way of Grace, the Way of Blessing will manifest all around you.  What we focus on increases.

Remember, we can only add our piece to the great picture of Divine Goodness so we may be disappointed that our efforts don’t change the entire world.  But if we refuse to add our spark to the Divine Goodness Mission nothing will ever change.

In this time of fear, doubt, and disillusionment it’s essential that people of good heart, everywhere, use the power Divine Spirit has entrusted to us (The Word,The Will, The Way) to ensure that All beings shall be freed from suffering!

freedom-from-suffering

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

Decisions Made In Wisdom

May All of My Decisions Result In Wisdom
In order to grow wise we must have experiences.  If we do not allow ourselves to engage in events we will never grow wise.  Some of our experiences may be entertaining, fulfilling, educational, and loving as well as difficult or challenging.

In order to grow wise we must learn to accept and celebrate our mistakes as well as our successes and opportunities. However in our society of grades, evaluations, tests, and comparisons most of us have developed a horror of mistakes.  We wish to be 100% correct 100% of the time.  Of course, this will not happen.  When we are incorrect/ make a mistake we often choose one of several options- we pretend the event did not occur and attempt to forget it (denial) or we admit we made a mistake and suffer guilt over it for various amounts of time.

Sometimes we believe that Spiritual Wisdom means we will know all of the answers to all of life’s questions.  We might believe that if we are wise we will never choose inappropriately and that everything we do will succeed; especially if we have the “right” spiritual approach to life.

5-Common-Cyber-Security-Incident-Response-Mistakes-You’re-Probably-Still-MakingHow Can The Decisions Be Made In Wisdom?
In order to learn to make decisions in wisdom we need to develop a “pause button” within our thoughts.  In order to install a “pause button” we must be in awareness of our thoughts.

Meditation is the time honored practice to actually understand what we are thinking.  Humans do not come hardwired with a pause button.  This is why patience is considered a virtue.

“I will pause before I act.  I will pause before I speak.”

A three second pause before we take breath to speak can make all the difference to what happens next.

Remember- if we keep thinking a certain thought, sooner or later it will pop out of our mouth.  As long as we keep telling the same old story, as long as we keep nurturing the same worn out thoughts sooner or later we will act on them.

When making decisions we consider other people’s needs as well as our own.

Learn how to work with the energy of change: Change your mind, change your thoughts, change your stories, change your energies and change your life.  This is wisdom.

When we make a mistake, change the plan.  Repeating the same action over and over expecting a different result is unwise.

To change a mistake take ownership of what is said, take ownership of what has been done and take ownership of the need to respect the emotional needs of those around you.

A_meditation-2How can we tell if our decisions are made in wisdom?

RESULTS MATTER!

Wrong decisions result in suffering.
Correct and wise decisions result in outcomes that are good for ourselves and others.

Learning From Our Mistakes.
Develop discernment.  There is a difference between perceived good and actual good.  With perceived good it appears there should be positive outcome and instead there is suffering.  Actual good causes positive results and achievements for everyone involved.

When trying to decide rather or not we should try something again ask-

“How much did I suffer the last time I tried this?”

Some energies will be painful until we have practiced enough to make the activity easy and natural.  We might what to try yet again…but maybe not.

selfish_helping_newsHelping-
Most of us are Helpers.  We might even have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility for others.  When we have a desire to assist others to be happy, to succeed, to bring about changes- it will be important to think, pause, and imagine what the result will be for that person.  Imagine all of the consequences of this decision in the life of that person. Then ask if they wish for help instead of assuming that of course they need our help!

When we are Helpers it’s important to learn the wise application of one word- NO
We can learn when to offer help and when to leave others to learn from their mistakes. We can learn when to take refuge because we have no emotional or physical resources left to offer to those requiring help.

Wisdom is cultivated through decision making.
There is no one right answer to all of the various decisions to be made within life.  No is not always the appropriate answer.  Yes is not always the appropriate answer.  We must learn to be imaginative, inventive, and insightful cultivating wisdom and skillful means throughout our lives.

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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 Blessed Life

If we look at the world around us we see many souls who are without spiritual guidance, who long for a true relationship with Great Spirit- for someone to see them, hear them, and believe in them.  suffering2Do you know twenty people, or more, who are suffering?  Do you know people who have no hope that their suffering will end?  This is a sad but very experience common in the world now.

Spend a little time becoming aware of what you have in your life and in your heart.  Focus on your relationship to Great Spirit Mother and Father seeing the many ways you have been blessed with healing and hope.  Who would you be if you had never had the experiences of love, sharing, healing, and goodness that abound in your life?  When we become aware of what we have in our heart, in our family, in our life we desire to serve Great Mother & Great Father seeking an ending to all this suffering.  gratitudeWhen we find our gratitude we try to help others.  Many times we won’t be successful, but we can try anyway!

Wherever we go let us know that the Metta (loving kindness) is possible, that others can have these things, even as we have these things.  It’s easy to join the world- to be afraid, needy, and filled with the desire for many things.  But when we have love inside of us we understand what real joy is.  When we relax and bring our mind and heart to a place of peace we become free.  We can just sit and feel what we feel and then return our mind to the breath- letting go of all those other troublesome things.  If we align our lives in this way we begin to be happy and our inner demons are diminished.

So how do we reach through the noise of illusion and distraction to touch other’s hearts?  sharing-love-handsWe look into their eyes and speak to them.  We listen and really be present.  We discover what makes them a unique expression of Spirit grace. We offer this as a sanctuary.  We allow our blessed life to touch another’s life with blessings also.

The Metta

May all beings have good air to breathe.
May all beings have fresh, clean water to drink.
May all beings have food and a home.
May all beings share love with someone.
May all beings know their true purpose,
Be well and happy,
And free from suffering.
Today I shall do what I can to make this so.