Poetry – On writing

Always I have waited, for words to be wise
before they are permitted on paper,
evaluated, judged and criticized for accuracy
lest they be decried as mere crap.

A mask of intelligence seemed necessary,
vulnerability was deemed un-necessary,
always it felt more important to hide,
all that actually needed to be shown.

Moments rare are embellished and decorated
with the fanciest, choicest of words,
but we judge most about ourselves,
are hidden, deleted and cleaned up from verse.

Now I feel a freedom, an irrelevance,
about all the things that I once wanted to hide,
parts of me are just that – thoughts, beliefs and stored,
bits and pieces of a complex “personality.”

I now want to write the truth
choose honesty, ease, peace and simplicity,
the words I pen are mere words, after-all,
why make it something that defines me.

This is just a simple exploration,
an playful adventure with words and verse.
how can it mean more than what it is,
for hidden meanings it has no more.

It matters not now what others may think,
each interprets them with their own stories in mind,
if you want to seek, look for the joy of freedom
that seems to be lurking behind these words.

I set myself free to write as I may,
I urge you to now do the same,
remembering what someone once told me –
write to write  and not to read.

 

 

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A Practical Guide to Forgiveness – 2

Part one of this post which speaks about what Forgiveness is and why it is important is here.

HOW DO WE FORGIVE?

According to DOTU there are three major components of forgiveness –

1) Remember that you are dreaming.
2) Forgive both your projected images and yourself for dreaming them.
3) Trust the Holy Spirit and choose his strength.

ACIM’s formula of forgiveness is summed up into these three points too –
1) the cause shall be identified
2) then let go
3) be replaced.

Below is an example of how forgiveness can be applied to a particular situation.

Situation – You feel the child/spouse/partner/boss is not listening to you. Trying to communicate generates anger, frustration and results in an argument.

Steps:
1) As soon as you realise you are fighting, as soon as you are aware, pause and step out of the room. Take a break. Breathe and check if you willing to let this go.

2) If you are not willing to let this go or the upset/emotions feel strong, do some tapping, H ‘o’ pono pono or any clearing process to release the energy. Only then go on to forgiveness. If the energy is too intense, chances are forgiveness will not work.

3) If you are willing to let this go, look at the situation and check if you can identify the emotion that has got triggered or the judgement at work here.

4) Next, ask for the help from holy spirit. This can be done in the form of a prayer or simply stating an intent. (Prayers are given below). It is useful to say the prayer and address the problem/judgement/etc. If you are not clear about what specific thought, judgement or belief is triggering this, then you could say, “Please help me forgive whatever I think is happening or not happening.

5) Create some forgiveness statements for yourself and the person you have projected this on. Example-

I forgive myself for being impatient with ….
I forgive myself for yelling at …..
I forgive myself for wanting things to go my way all the time…
I forgive myself for being bossy….
I forgive …. for not listening to me
I forgive ….. for raising his/her voice at me….
I forgive myself for wanting to be right all the time…..
I forgive myself for wanting attention….
I forgive myself for believing all this is real…
I forgive myself for wanting this to be real…
I forgive myself for being unable to let go of the past…

Create forgiveness statements for yourself, the person who you are angry with, the situation. It anger is what you are forgiving, it also helps if during this process you create statements for anyone else you may have been angry with at other points of time. Dual-sided forgiveness is when you forgive yourself and the other. GD points out that triple-sided forgiveness is even more powerful.

5) Hand this over to the holy spirit once again. This is a very important step. ACIM reminds us that forgiveness cannot be done by the mind. It is the Holy Spirit/God/Jesus who can actually make forgiveness happen. Once the imaginary problem is handed over, we come to a state of trust and surrender… a state of “Thy will be done.

Do remember

– The situation given above is very simple. But forgiveness works the same for what we think of as a fight with someone or a fight to see the cancer as being unreal.

–  Forgiveness cannot fix the problem. We can only fix our need to see the problem as real.

– It is only when we forgive others (our projections) that we can truly begin to forgive the illusion. The point is also to see the ‘other’ is the same as us.

– Allow the forgiveness statements to emerge organically. There are no right and wrong words. The act of forgiveness takes places due to our connection to God/Jesus/holy spirit. It is not based on what we say as much as our willingness to see the projection and release it.

– Many forgiveness practises do not use forgiveness statements. But explicitly saying that you forgive yourself for …. and forgive others for (whatever you see) is a very powerful way of putting the truth out there. It is like accepting that you are in a dream, being willing to see it and allowing it to be released all at once.

– Using energetic tools like tapping, along with forgiveness statements really helps release the more stubborn, repetitive incidents that keep popping up. Tapping as you say the forgiveness statements can make you feel really light and empty.

– Forgiveness may not result in changing the situation as we see it. Forgiveness works across timelines and you may not see the impact you expect in your life.

– As you begin to pay attention to your mind, you may feel like you spend most waking moments of your day only doing forgiveness. Do not stop during this period. As Gary Renard says so beautifully in DOTU – “Discipline is doing what doesn’t come to us. Eons of habitual reactions and thought patterns are not changed easily. But my recent experiences were telling me that they could be changed.

– While the ultimate goal is to step out the dream, even that is handed to the Holy Spirit/God/Jesus. The point is – Don’t sulk you are in the dream or feel guilt about wanting and desiring things. That is the ego’s goal to keep us stuck! All we need do is practise forgiveness and leave the rest to God.

PRAYERS

1) DOTU – True Forgiveness Thought Process Sample

You are not really there. If you think you are guilty or the cause of the problem, and if I made you up, then imagined guilt and fear must be in me. Since the separation from God never occurred, I forgive “both” of us for what we haven’t really done. Now there is only innocence, and I join with the Holy Spirit in peace.

2) From GD’s talks – Useful at the start of Forgiveness

Dear Jesus, my forgiveness is not perfect but yours is. Please help me with this forgiveness. All I can say is that my willingness is 100% and your ability is 100%. Together, our forgiveness will be 100%. Amen.

……

You are not really there. If I think you are guilty or the cause of the problem, and if I made you up, then the imagine guilt and the fear must be in me. Since the separation from God never occurred, I forgive “both” of us for what we haven’t really done. Now there is only innocence, and I join with the Holy Spirit in peace.

3) Daily prayer for forgiveness

–  Today I am willing to see past illusions to the truth,
– Today I am willing to become a little child and be taught by the one who knows,
– Today I step back and take my unhealed thoughts to the light, that I might see them for the nothingness they are.
– I am willing to let my projections be undone
I am willing to remember where I am always
Today I am willing to be happy, instead of right.

4) Useful at the end of the forgiveness process –

ACIM Lesson 46 – God is the Love in which I forgive.

God is the Love in which I forgive you, (name)
God is the Love in which I forgive myself.
God is the Love with which I love myself.
God is the Love in which I am blessed.
I cannot be guilty because I am a Son of God.
I have already been forgiven.
No fear is possible in a mind beloved to God.
There is no need to attack because Love has forgiven me.
God is the Love in which I forgive you.   

5) Nouk Sanchez – Useful at the start of the process

Holy Spirit, please help me to forgive myself for having unknowingly used this person/situation/pain/sickness/lack/anger/anxiety, etc. to attack myself, and to separate from your love as my holy self. Amen.

 

A Practical Guide to Forgiveness – 1

This blog post is the first of a two part series. This first post includes the What and Why. Part Two covers the How.

WHAT IS FORGIVENESS?

“Let me perceive forgiveness as it is.” – Lesson 134 in ‘A Course in Miracles’ (ACIM).

Lesson 134 in the ACIM workbook says, “Forgiveness must be practiced, for the world cannot perceive its meaning, nor provide a guide to teach you its beneficence. There is no thought in all the world that leads to any understanding of the laws it follows, nor the Thought that it reflects. It is as alien to the world as is your own reality. And yet it joins your mind with the reality in you.

Forgiveness is not something that can be explained. Neither can there be a standard guide for its application. But despite being exposed to the word ‘forgiveness’ early on in our lives, few of us truly understand what it means. As a student on the path, we know forgiveness is an invaluable tool to move beyond the confines of the ego-mind. But most people are still unclear, what the practise of forgiveness means or don’t know what it involves. If you want to know, read on.

Most people on earth still believe we live in a “real” world. We experience events and incidents where either we attack someone or are attacked ourselves. This attack can be experienced as anger, jealousy, criticism, fear, anxiety, sadness, greed or a thought of judgement like “I know better, they never understand, he always does this, etc.” Such experiences generate some thoughts in our head or sensations in our body. Then we continue to carry these experiences and their impact on us, believing them all to be true. But what if none of this is true? Most Saadhaks have heard that “none of this is true,” but few have had the experience of this. And that is where Forgiveness comes in. It is a practise that takes you closer to this experience of Truth.

From the perspective of A Course in Miracles (ACIM), forgiveness is a path to Truth. It is not a process as much as a way of life. ACIM tells us that while there are many paths to Truth, forgiveness is the easiest one. According to ACIM, a forgiveness practice thus involves-

1) Seeing experiences, as projections we have created based on our own unconscious thoughts and guilt.
2) Taking responsibility for what we see out there.
3) Bringing it back home and releasing it with God.

ACIM reminds us that ‘all attack is an attack on God.’ We are afraid of God because we believe we are separate for God and are unconsciously afraid God will punish us for it. This guilt keeps us trapped in the mind, which generates experience upon experience to keep us stuck in thoughts and away from God.  And it is this lie that forgiveness exposes.

WHAT SHOULD WE FORGIVE

ACIM says – “Forgive all thoughts which would oppose the truth of your completion, unity and peace.

The world we see is symbolic. We must remember that everything in the world is just a projection of our guilt of separation from God. But since we can’t see that guilt and haven’t acknowledged it, we project that guilt out on to others in multiple different ways, by creating multiple different scenarios. These scenarios involve pain, sorrow, fear, death, destruction, revenge, anger… anything and everything that can keep us away from the Peace of God. What we need to do is – clean up our projections one by one, as and when we see them.

The mind can make this seem like an impossible task. The book Disappearance of the Universe (DOTU) reminds us – “Forgiveness is an attitude. Everything you learn becomes incorporated into that attitude until forgiveness happens automatically. For most people, especially during the first few years, forgiveness requires that you think about it. You become a master by having forgiving thought process.

This is a valuable reminder since the ego can convince you forgiveness is another “dream activity.” The trick for the Saadhak is to remember that forgiveness is a dream activity, but it is the most valuable one of them all. Since it offers us the opportunity to move out of the dream.

WHY SHOULD WE DO IT?

DOTU says, “we must practise forgiveness on the level where our experience is. Yes, you have to understand the metaphysics of the course in order to understand what you are doing. But forgiveness is done here, which means you should be practical. And respectful of other people and their experiences.

Even as we struggle to see this world as a dream, it is important to remember that this process of seeing begins with small steps. It begins by seeing every judgement, every episode of anger, every incident of sadness, every experience of illness as something that keeps us away from the Truth. The trick is to remember this and forgive ourselves for whatever it is we are experiencing. It is this forgiving that ACIM reminds us trains our mind to eventually see it all as a dream.

DOTU also reminds us that, “to forgive means to give ahead of time. In other words, your attitude is that you are ready to forgive, no matter what it is that comes up on your awareness.” This forgiveness opens us to the peace of God. Slowly and steadily we are lead away from the mind, towards God, towards Oneness.

If like ACIM says “we judge only yourself and forgive only yourself,” in this forgiving we forgive the world and begin to glimpse the dream for what it really is. And this slowly paves the way out for us.

For more on How to Forgive – click here

The ways of grace

In what has been a tough year, the shower of grace has been both unexpected and welcome. The body has been battered and yet there has been enough grace to see that even in the lowest moments, there has been the support of some remarkable individuals I am privileged to know. What I thought was gone, returned with the fresh promise of newness; what is painful struck like a tornado, but is taking away lifetimes of debris in its wake.

Isn’t it grace that gifts you a live master who is ever so patient and compassionate. There is nothing that GD has not taught me, because at the core of it the most important lessons are the simplest ones. And yet he devotes the time and energy to keep re-explaining and reminding me of the same things. He patiently guides me back again and again to remembering the our true nature, even as I whine about people, health and God.

And then there is my Sai, our Sai Baba. Kind, compassionate and patient. He has been guiding me since childhood, watching over me, protecting me all the time. Even as I have walked past him without a glance on my good days, even as I chose to sob in front of his picture while I was in pain. And yet he smiles, frowns, scolds and laughs as I fumble on and feel overwhelmed with my new-found connection with him. He has everything to give, I am trying my hardest to make sure I receive.

So what is grace? Is it the ability to have miracles in your life? No. It is the blessing to stay courageous and believe, no matter what. GD reminded me even a couple of days ago, life is hard and it foolish to hope otherwise. Grace, I have learnt, is to allow what is happening to happen, resist nothing and know you are taken care of. And in that trust, peace arrives. Grace is not a guarantee for everlasting joy, happiness and prosperity. Grace is a movement to understanding that nothing matters but the presence of God in your heart. Grace is life allowing you to pray for others, asking for God to take care of your loved ones and watch him do it. Grace is being open to the lessons that arrive when you need them and recognizing them when they come. Grace is staying humble in the knowledge that you are not special, but you are special to God ( a valuable reminder to me from Baba).

My wish is for everyone to recognize this grace when it arrives in your life. Being open to the little moments of tranquility and stillness that are present between the chaos. I once that we could also lose Grace. Now, I believe that the only thing we lose is our ability to witness it. Because Grace is ever present, every ready to shower you with its gifts. The question is are you ready to receive it. If yes, be aware of its presence.

The gift of discomfort

A couple of weeks ago, I experienced a mini anxiety-attack. It came after a long gap of two years. I thought I had broken all ties with anxiety, tapped all remnants of it out of my system, and bid it a grand goodbye. And so when it knocked on my door again, I was flabbergasted and very uncomfortable. Here I was teaching others how to cope with anxiety and get rid of it, and it had the audacity to visit me again!

Since I started this spiritual journey, life has been interesting. So instead of the usual panic, I actually sat back and looked at it. The first visitor was the why. “Why did I get it again? Why is it still part of my life? Why did I have to always endure this?” “It is because you are unwell with a stomach bug and are weak,” chimed in another thought. “Why?” whined the third. Get the picture?

And then, in marched my spiritual training. “Its all in the mind,” said the mind. Instead of crying or panicking like I usually do, I found myself with a body which had all the necessary spiritual knowledge but was struggling with awareness. I turned to a friend and meditation. It was only then that the answers started rolling in and with it GD’s lesson – “Whatever you choose is for the moment. This moment is the only truth. Stay ‘now’ with what you feel, tomorrow if you feel different or after 5 mins if you feel different, it is OK. Just look deeply at what this moment is and honour that.”And then, just like that, I was comfortable.

You see the thing about discomfort, physical or emotional, is that it is a signal to look deeper. The moment you stay with your discomfort, allow your body to feel it, and explore it, you usher in great clarity, which is followed by peace. Invariably all spiritual inquiry leads you to guilt, fear or shame. These are the primary three emotions that cause us discomfort. But to keep you trapped the mind will never look at what caused these emotions, it shuns and rejects anything that frees us from its trap and moves us towards freedom. And that is why we feel being comfortable is normal and uncomfortable is something to fear.

This precisely why it is necessary to re-train the mind and body. It is necessary to know and believe that this discomfort is part of a larger process of learning. Discomfort means there is a lesson in there somewhere, a movement from where you are to where you can be. It turns a nuisance only if you fight it and refuse to let it leave you with the message it carries. Discomfort is really not bad because time and again we have seen that great literature or inventions are often the product of discomfort and strife. Yes, discomfort can fuel you, but it is your choice if you burn or glow.  Use it mentally and you burn, use it spiritually and you glow.

One of the simplest lessons I have learned from GD is to resist nothing. Everything is just an experience in the end and so is this one. A beautiful quote I read yesterday spoke about how a seed must crack, break. lose parts of it so that it can grow. How true is that! We have to break ourselves, endure the cracks, and the falling of bits of us to be able to bloom. Discomfort can really be a gift. But only if we allow it to be.

Rebirth

Rebirth

I sit in this chair
Surrounded by a few plants
Breathing in the discussions of the motley birds
watching the overgrown bamboo bend under its own weight

I have been cowed down by my own inaction
with simple inabilities to persevere
looking back at all I didn’t do
I feel no remorse no guilt

I shed my own skin
and then scrape off some more layers
to watch this redness emerge
a hypersensitivity that feels old though new

I bow to the divine inside me and around
cowed down by no words or wisdom
to live with this constant simplicity
to live conscious of choice

I emerge unscathed and stronger
from a vortex of constant doubt
fed by stories from birth till now
of how things are to be and not

This rebirth is from the womb of a teacher
from the mind of a student ardent to learn
irrepressible and yet willing to surrender it all
I type simply as a conscious life form.

And

Forgiving yourself

Most of us live in the past. Our wrong choices are reminders of our incompetence and we would rather stay in the comfort of failure than to step beyond it and risk failure again. And so guilt becomes our friend. It is easier to choose guilt than change. Why? Because it is easier to live in the shadow of past regrets, memories and experiences, than to step into the sunlight, face the harsh light of bad choices and move onto newer experiences.

But in the past few months, I have systematically chosen to release myself of guilt that I had been carrying since years. When I look back I see that I chose unwisely, trusted too easily and hurt very readily. I always assumed in my ability to awaken the inherent good in people and ended up hurting. But those experiences remain just that.

I have grown to realize that by choosing to stay stuck with those experiences, I still gave those memories immense power over me. I still gave people who hurt me immense power over me by continuing to remember the emotions, the memories still evoked in my mind and body. Guilt is a great way to stay stuck and I knew it was time to shake myself free of it and move on. Life was too full of possibilities to stay stuck.

And so, slowly and steadily I have been clearing myself of all the past garbage I still carry inside. First by forgiving others ( dear me its tough!) and then by forgiving myself ( even more tougher) for making those choices. By doing this not only do I feel much much much lighter inside but I am also opening myself up to newer and better experiences.

There is little joy to be found in the familiarity of pain while the fear of newness can usher in great happiness. I chose to forgive myself and I hope you do the same too.