A process for times of overwhelm, stress or conflict.

Last Sunday, GD shared these words from A Course in Miracles (ACIM). When the going seems tough, most of us simply succumb to the energies of the moment. These simple statements from the ACIM though, when put together, form a process that one can use during such times. And so here it is – the overwhelmed soul’s toolkit for returning to peace!

All you need for this process to work are a pair of functioning eyes, an ability to read, and a readiness to return to peace 😊 And oh, just remember to read this in the order given below. Pause every now and then whenever you feel like it, and do free to share this with anyone you feel this will be helpful to. It contains both GD’s and ACIM’s energies, and hence packs a punch.

Process

A Course in Miracles (ACIM) says this about any kind of challenge and problem –

“The secret of salvation is simply this: that you are doing this unto yourself. No matter what the form of the attack, this is still true. Whoever takes the role of enemy and of attacker, still is this the truth. Whatever seems to be the cause of any pain and suffering you feel, this is still true. For you would not react at all to figures in a dream if you knew that you were dreaming. Let them be as hateful and as vicious as they may, they could have no effect on you unless you failed to recognize it is your dream.

This single lesson learned will set you free from suffering, whatever form it takes. For this one answer takes away the cause of every form of sorrow and of pain. And you will understand that miracles reflect the simple statement – I have done this thing, and it is this I would undo.”

So, whenever you see something troubling you remember

1) This is not real. I have created this dream
“I” have created this. That is where the emphasis is. This is something “I” see.

2) I release the purpose I created this for
What is the purpose for which you created this event? For example, are you trying to prove to yourself that your suffering is real? Are you trying to prove your body is real? Are you trying to prove money or relationships are real? Your mind is always trying to prove multiple things in any scenario. Can you see this whole scenario as an illusion?

3) I release all meaning I have given to this
We give meanings to every scenario. “This is not fair. This should not be happening to me. This means I am bad. This is about karma.” Releasing all meanings means we return to innocence.

4) I let go of wanting to be unique, separate and special-
Suffering offers its own brand of uniqueness and specialness. “Poor me, I do so much and suffer. God is unfair, etc.” The ego creates both specialness and greatness. If you want to be unique, separate and special, you have to believe you are a body. Because consciousness cannot be unique, separate and special. It is only the body that can do that.

Finally say,

I release all guilt and attack on others –
(“They shouldn’t do this. They are making me suffer.” But remember, we are doing this unto ourselves! The ego cannot believe this. For the ego, someone is always doing this to us and we cannot do this to ourselves. Projecting it on others is always the bottom-line of attack.)

I release all guilt and attack on myself-
(“I should do more. I shouldn’t feel angry on others. I shouldn’t…” It is all about guilt and self- attack. We either attack others or ourselves.)

I release all guilt and attack on God and the universe-
(Once we are done blaming others or ourselves, then all the blame goes to God. We believe somewhere that the universe is against us and God is punishing us.)

Finally, say to yourself

  • I am as God created me
    Regardless of what is happening, you are still pure Consciousness. You are still whole, complete and perfect.
  • My holiness reverses all the laws of this world
    Because you created this mess, you can uncreate it anytime. The problem is we always perceive causes to be external and spend an entire lifetime fixing it. The problem is always some cause in the mind.
  • I am God’s Son and His Son cannot suffer
    Jesus says suffering is impossible for a child of God, unless he chooses that particular dream.
  • I am not afraid of God, the world, or the body anymore
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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

Discovering who I truly am

I have known for years that the spiritual path leads to the discovery of “Who I am.” Honestly, I had no clue what that really means. My mind has always assumed that the discovery of who-I-am would mean a series of mind-blowing, earth-shaking, soul uplifting experiences. Today as I sat transcribing one of my conversations with GD in which he helped me see how afraid I am of him, it came to me slowly… a tiny nudge on my shoulder, a tap-tapping on my brain, a gentle dawn… that as I acknowledge the games played by my mind, as I willingly let go of thoughts, beliefs, and a carefully constructed personality, I am moving closer towards discovering “who I truly am.”

Like most people the thought of “discover who you truly are” left me with esoteric goals of seeing light bodies and other dimensions. While those are probably part of the learning, I never realized how these conversations with GD were resulting in a deeper connect with my real self.

The ways of the mind are not pleasant to acknowledge and accept. Initially, every time I saw something that needs to be released, it would send me into a tizzy with even more stories so that I could avoid the truth that had just been revealed to me. But I can see now, that knowing “who I am” has to do with learning to consistently choose truth, honesty, clarity and integrity. However hard it may seem. I have realized that the sooner I accept and work on what is being revealed, the lighter I feel. Trying to escape only leads to chaos, guilt and pain. It is far more sensible, if you truly are a student on the path, to work on clearing these from your system.

Our beliefs, fears, thoughts and habits are not meant to be carried on and on for years. It is in their undoing, in the undoing of the mind, ego and personality, that lies the discovery of who we truly are.  If I remember this, then the time spent in being a victim throwing pity parties for myself, denial, anger and confusion, gets shorter and shorter as I progress on the path.

I have invested years in building my personality, intelligence and knowledge. It had left me with a void, with not knowing what I truly wanted, what made me happy or who I was. With GD, as I shed one thought, one belief, one fear after the other, I know I am walking closer to knowing the truth.

The less of the world there is on me, the more space I am opening up to God. The more I shed my mind, the lighter I feel. The more silence inside, the higher the possibility of hearing God. I am discovering that knowing “who-you-truly-are” is not really spiritual. It is not just another experience. It is not just another event. It really is the journey itself.

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.

Lessons learned in life

Recently, I have decided to write from a space where my mind, interferes as little as possible in the process. The intention is to be open to receiving whatever lessons the universe chooses for me to receive. After a long time of struggling and operating from the ego, I can finally feel the presence of grace sometimes. It all started with a sudden feeling of immense gratitude the day I felt sickest. But I am digressing here. Here are six important lessons, I have felt the universe impress hard on my heart and soul, these past few months. While each of them deserve a longer post in themselves, here is a cliff-notes version of them. As I write this, I feel immense gratitude to my teacher GD, all teachers on the path whose lessons came as timely reminders, the angels who made this happen and consciousness which guides me on.

  1. Living inward-out : Let life not be directed by outward influences but by what I truly feel inside. Listen to the self, the intuition and instincts. All everyone wants is to be truly loved unconditionally. So live with this feeling inside and remember this in all interactions. What energy emerges from you ? Love or fear? Anita Moorjani’s book ‘Dying to be Me’ is a brilliant book which emphasizes this.
  2. Devotion: In ways that I can’t describe, devotion is the one single thing that has always rescued me from my so-called-troubles. Be it something to do with work or life, what is devotion and how does it truly impact you? Some are devoted to work, some to money, some to family, some to life itself. If you examine devotion, it entails some form of surrender, to what you are doing and a trust that it will work out. And it did for me. Devotion reconnects you to what truly matters; in my case to GD, Sai Baba, Krishna, God/Consicousness/Universe. In fact there was a wonderful conversation around this that we had during a sunday session. It is available here. It is called the path to devotion.
  3. Drop to the heart: GD reminded us to do this recently and it has been helping so much! We live our lives dominated by what thoughts run in our heads.Everything we do is mental. But consciously moving our attention to our heart and shifting our energy there ( from the head), brings with it a big shift in how we relate to things around us. Things are seen as softer , there is lesser ego and judgement when we move our energy to the heart.
  4.  Be honest: The only people we are responsible for is ourselves. What I value is my truth and I have to acknowledge it. That quest will not always be spiritual (nothing spiritual about lusting after chocolate). But since we experience all through are senses, be honest about it being just that. Be honest about everything in your life, period.
  5. Learn to say NO: This should probably be first on the list for women. Since most of my life was about pleasing people, this has been hard. But seeing that most of my time is spent wanting family and friends to think, I am good is a colossal waste of my time on earth. So I listen inside and say no, when I want to. And there is nothing wrong with saying yes out of fear and then being honest with your no. Experience will make me better at this.
  6. Struggle is time for growth: Sigh, even after years I still forget this. But this time there has been a new insight! I always believed I had a pattern for anxiety. Now I know there is no pattern! If I believe in rest, I will believe in struggle and keep manifesting the two. So if I do manifest struggle, the deeper lesson is a movement onwards. It is a chance to see what weakness is being exposed and work on it.

 

Laws of 20 minutes

Is it possible to move beyond the mind? I look around me at my family and friends, and feel no. How earth do ‘I’ ever do it? Then I look at my teacher GD, my god Sai Baba, all the spiritual teachers across the earth, and I feel this peace, this possibility emerge inside. ‘Of course it is possible’, says something inside. ‘You are just too scared to try’. And then I choose, because all our choices, GD says, are either based on love or fear. So I choose from love. I want silence.

GD recently warned us about the dangers of being too dependent on healing, clearing and other techniques. Turns out, he reminded our spiritual circle about it in 2009 as well, when I wasn’t in the group. Hearing a talk on the Value of Silence by him back then, I discovered a real treasure. Excerpts from that conversation as he says and I understood it, follow:-

Most of the silence in our life is replaced with words. But how much information do you really want to be able to stay silent for 20 minutes a day. The ego loves knowledge and so that is why we need even information on how to stay silent. So here are some laws of 20 minutes:-

  • Don’t aim to reach anywhere.
  • No desire to understand anything.
  • No desire to silence the mind
  • No desire to relax the body. They are but sensations that arise.
  • No desire to control the environment
  • No war with the world or yourself.
  • No desire to improve self-

Self-improvement is an outside goal; silence tells you everything is inside, it is here. There is a simple allowing that exists during those 20 mins. You as ego don’t interfere. There should be no you. Doing, fixing, improving is a continuous process and all doing implies a future. Choose to rest in the now.  A Course in Miracles says, “God is so kind he has given you fulfillment from the time before you are born.” But we never notice it.

So don’t insist on mental silence. If you find silence difficult, use music or a discourse because this involves pure listening. Pure listening doesn’t involve the thought or mind. Don’t insist on anything, because that is what you are doing the rest of the day. Just stay awake, stay dead.

Soon, if you are lucky, you will find you will spend your entire day in surrender. Everything just happens. How will you know? Because there won’t be a struggle. Ego only knows struggle and fight. But don’t try and be clever. Don’t convert negative thoughts to positive in these 20 minutes. Everything is allowed. During this journey, if you get even a whiff, for even a second… this bliss of surrender is so beautiful that then, nothing else matters.

Stepping out of the dream

In the past three weeks, our spiritual circle has been having fantastic sessions with GD and each session is taking us further and further into the truth. A few days back, I re-posted Aalif’s blog about the story of me. GD then lead us to examine this story of me deeper, to see everything that occurred as a dream  and to question the very dream, this very story of me.

One of the ways in which GD suggested we do this was by making a list of all the things we have made important.  “Which part of the world are you making real, including making the you character perfect,” he asked us to check. Some very other important reminders for me included –

  •  The dreamland is the sum total of the past. The more we live in it, the more distorted life is. The more we step out of it, the more simple life is.
  • Choices are real only in the dream. Polarities exist only in the dream. For the ego there are thousands of choices; every day or every moment is a choosing. But in truth there is only one choice- in the dream or out.
  • In this life, all choices are the same, what are you going to think about?
  • Solving, fixing, getting out of the problem is how the dream works. Frantic search for solutions is how it works. But what if the dream can’t be fixed, doesn’t need to be fixed. What if you could take a deep breath and let the dream go. What if we could say, it doesn’t matter how it unfolds.
  • Observe, how does your mind keep the dream? It needs speed, to do that it needs some subjects to chew upon. the more it chews, the more the subject stays alive. if the mind slows down, how will it keep the dream alive?
  • As long as one runs with the dream, peace and consciousness is not possible. When the running stops internally there is no dream, no you.

I have been meditating over this since Sunday. One of the thought that arose was that there is only one single thing which keeps the dream alive – fear. All stories of money, health, love, and even happiness, are about not experiencing discomfort. So while awareness brings us back to the I, it is complete and total trust and surrender that lead us from the dream to consciousness.

I have this habit of reading random parts from some spiritual books. Nisargadatta Maharaj’s  ‘I am That’ happens to be a favourite. Last night, mulling about this, I opened a page. Here is what Maharaj said , ” There is no need for a link between a real world and an imaginary one, for there cannot be any. Investigate your world, apply your mind to it, examine it critically and scrutinize every detail. My experience is that everything is bliss. But the desire for bliss creates pain. Thus bliss becomes the seed for pain. The entire universe of pain is born of desire. Give up the desire for pleasure and you will not know what is pain. Your mistake likes in the belief that you were born. You were never born and you never die.”

…..

To download the entire 60 minute talk which includes further insights and a deeply meditative space – as well as other Q&A and clearings from GD’s group telephonic sessions – go to the Core Healing India Archives.