Sunday, November 14, 2010

This Morning

I woke up this morning worried, mostly about money but also about our living conditions and how to keep the winter at bay in a small space. I sat in meditation for a while and realized I was not able to concentrate very well, easily distracted. Lately I‘ve been getting a recurring message from the Great Unknown that I don’t need help being who I really am, and doing what I need to do. I read a lot of books helping guide my meditation and focus my mind. I guess the message is that at some point in our awakening we have to find our guidance from our own spiritual center, perhaps to keep us from getting too attached to the ideas of others or just ideas in general. Now seems to be my time. I do know that certain ideas feel good. For instance; “God is as close as my breathing.” There are times when that thought makes me very happy. But I think that we can become too dependant on ideas that feel good, and that can distract us from waiting for and listening to our own inner silence. From that silence comes our inner guidance.

But finding my own center is an act of faith and a waiting game. Love only happens right now, but when I am disturbed and uncomfortable, and I have to sit and say YES to this moment, relief doesn’t come instantly. And while I was waiting this morning, my mind just kept saying, “Nothing’s happening”,” This is a waste of time” After a bit of struggle another voice said, “Nothing is supposed to happen. This is life just as it is and it is perfect as long as you aren’t expecting anything” Sometimes these little discussions can go on quite awhile before I notice that I’m not sitting quietly any longer.

Ok, so I can feel the need for something to change, but can’t expect any certain outcome. That’s tricky.

So I reel myself back, saying yes to everything in my field of awareness, especially to that place in my throat where those little voices originate, so that they don’t just run on unconsciously. There is an old Bob Seager song playing at the moment and I just let it play, looking around the rest of my immediate personality environment.

Sitting and watching and waiting I begin to feel a little better. It’s sort of like the sensation of pressure in my chest from worrying, (not to mention worrying about what worrying might be doing to me) is like darkness, and watching and focusing on those sensations without expecting them to go away, is light. But it isn’t a bright light at first. I have to hold my attention on the feelings and the light gets brighter and brighter. Soon the uncomfortable sensations are fading. Why is that? I think partly it’s because right NOW there isn’t really anything wrong, and acceptance of this moment illuminates that fact. Or maybe energy that’s being released into my life through the channel of pure acceptance transforms what problems I may have had into something else. I call that Grace or Love because that’s what other people call it, but I don’t really know.

I’m obviously still working on it. But today I feel like I made a little progress on finding my own guidance center.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Close Encounter

I had a beautiful encounter with an Angel yesterday afternoon. I was shopping in the grocery store when Kim called me on my cell phone. Now for some reason, cell reception in Smith's isn't very good, and I was walking around trying to find a good signal without having to go outside. So, I was very focused on whether or not I could hear Kim and walking slowly so that I could stop when the signal was strong. Haven't we all done this. While I was thusly engaged, I just happened to glance at a small child riding in a shopping cart. The glance was very brief and I looked away concentrating on the phone. But something got through and registered in my awareness that the kid was waving at me. I quickly looked back(no more than a second past) and sure enough there was this 1 year old (or less) child with his hand now frozen in midwave. As soon as he noticed that I had looked back at him, he continued his very enthusiastic wave. I think he actually looked relieved that I had not missed his greeting and I waved back, of course. We both smiled at each other and went our ways, but that encounter totally made my day.

Now, one might think that maybe that kid rides around waving at everybody he sees. I didn't follow him around to find out. All I know is that my attention was grabbed immediately by this brief encounter and the rest of my day was improved because of it. Now, how much better could actual Divine Intervention be?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

What is God Anyway

What is God anyway? In all of my reading through the years, God has been called many things: the Source, the Intelligent Principle of the Universe, Divine Energy, the Infinite Invisible (now that’s helpful), and my personal favorite, the Unmanifested to name just a few. I like that last one because it implies what IS right before manifesting, like on the conveyor belt, ready to come into being. Kind of like The Creator, but like the name God, it has so much baggage. Did He create all this a long time ago and then retire to the clouds? Actually I think the Creator would have gone to the beach, one with wifi of course. If I had to label God, I would, like a true Virgo, do it with way too much detail. Something like the Infinite Consciousness Manifesting Everything in Each Moment (ICMEEM). Yeah, I like that.

Maybe the best way to find out what God is, is to just ask Him (or Her) and see what happens. But how do we communicate with the Divine Boss of the Whole Universe? From my experience,(and a lot of people I read would agree), the way to feel God or talk to God, is definitely not by whining and begging. Everybody on the planet has stuff in their lives that they want and/or don’t want. I have visited some of the poorest people in the world in Central America and Africa, and while they have very little and work very hard for what they do have, they seem to have a better sense of fitting into their communities and in their lives than a lot of Americans. My point is that I don’t think that there is a God that wants to hear our complaints, or see our list of desires. All that boils down to dissatisfaction with the world and the life that He is giving us.

So what good is it to talk to God if S/He doesn’t want to help us with our problems? Here’s my theory. Our lives are like a glove and God is the hand in that glove. The problem is that when I am totally focused in my mind, with what it likes and doesn’t like, I don’t feel that hand. In order for God to be able to get into my life, I have to get rid of all of my whining and complaining, all of my feelings that I need more or deserve more. I get so busy thinking or worrying about the future and how I am going to get something I want or avoid something I don’t want, that I spend very little energy appreciating what I do have. God is Life and if I want to feel God in my life, then I have to stop going to God with a list of likes and dislikes. That’s a bit ungrateful. The people of the secret and the law of attraction have it mostly right: if you want to get something into your life, develop the state of mind that you already have it or it’s already on its way. But that kind of thought control around stuff, money especially, is almost impossible to maintain. As a friend of mine put it, “I got into this wonderful, joyous, expecting state of mind, but by the time I got down to buy my lottery ticket it was gone.” For me, there is only one sustainable state of mind that is a true feeling of abundance, and that is the feeling of God’s Presence in my life. And the only way to get that is to ask God to meet with you, but with no demands, no desires, no complaints and no expectations.

Why is that? Well, I believe that consciousness is a true miracle. If I sit quietly and say thank you God, I accept this life in this moment exactly as you are giving it to me, no reservations, no judgments, no demands, then I am consciously aligning myself with the life God is giving me. ”But what if you don’t like your life.” I don’t have to. But if I want to start liking my life, if I want to change it somehow, I have to start at the beginning; I have to start right where I am. I can’t get anywhere else by constantly worrying about the future. But when I align with life as God is giving it to me in this moment, and I wait and watch, a peace begins to flow through me that feels just like the hand of God. And am fulfilled. Then I am no longer identifying with my judging, differentiating mind. I am loving myself just the way I am, and forgiving myself for whatever negative or petty thoughts kept me from appreciating this life. And I believe God wants me to express and share this light that I am now shining, and the happier and more abundant I feel, the more of that light I have to share and shine. And isn't sharing and shining what it's all about?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Good Night's Sleep

It seems like everyone we know these days is struggling with something, a lot of us with finances. Even those who are making a decent living don't all feel secure in their position and lifestyle.

I was talking to a friend the other day, who is having trouble sleeping at night worrying about how she is going to pay her bills, or will she ever get a much needed break to get away. As she was walking away, she said, "So Rick, if you ever figure out how I can stop my mind from thinking at 3 o'clock in the morning, let me know."

Well, my mind gets in these ruts, chewing on the future, obsessively worrying about problems as much as anyone. But I don't have too much trouble sleeping. I attribute this to a simple meditation that I do whenever necessary, which is frequently, trust me.

First of all, rather than stop my mind, I lead it to focus on things that are true. You know things I know for sure. Worrying about the future is always speculation and/or assumption. So what do I know for sure right at this moment. Well, if I'm worrying about anything, I know that I have discomfort in my gut, my chest, or in my throat. I usually get a tightness in my throat and chest which after awhile settles in my gut. These are areas which respond to my worrying and sort of reinforce my minds "reasons" for worrying. These feelings are real and I am truly feeling them at that moment. The other thought to let my mind know is that there is probably nothing I can do about the problems at 3 AM.

But there is something I can do about the feelings in my throat and gut: absolutely nothing. This is really important because most of us spend a lot of time and energy trying to get rid of negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions. I've been exploring spiritual solutions to my problems for years, and I have never successfully removed negative feeling with intentional effort. However, accepting whatever I'm feeling at the moment, is a completely different direction. It's sort of like an anchor to keep my mind focused. Acceptance, saying yes to whatever I am feeling just as it is, without thinking about it, or judging it as good or bad, is a form of love. I don't have to like the feelings, but when I'm not trying to change or resist them in this moment, love has a transformative power. And there is only one place that love is active, and that is in this present moment. Sometimes it feels like my negative emotions are built into the system as a reminder to be present, where love can do it's work. If you believe in God, than you probably also believe that God is Love, and you have, just by accepting the emotional life that you're experiencing, opened yourself up to Divine energy.

I think it's also important to always do what you need to do in that moment, and sometimes at 3 AM that's getting up and writing a few things down, so you don't forget. Then back to bed. I find it truly amazing that every singe day we find a warm comfortable place to crawl into and go into a veritable coma for hours. Doesn't that ever seem odd to you? Sleep must be very important to our health and well being. By the way I find this little exercise useful during the day when I'm obsessing on something. I just take a moment and ask myself if there is anything I could be doing right now. If not, I take a moment to close my eyes and say YES to everything going on inside my body. It almost always brings me to a more peaceful place. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Guest Blogger

Kim has been asking me to be a guest writer on her blog for weeks. I've been trying to do my own blog for several years but can't seem to get going. So what's been the problem? Well I'm scared; I'm afraid of sounding like I think I know what I'm talking about when I don't. My passion is spirituality and I've been studying and exploring matters of the heart, awakening and expanding consciousness for years. There are plenty of books out there written by people who DO know what they're talking about and I don't what to try to sound like one of them. I'm only interested in sharing my experiences of this journey along the "long way home".

It seems to me that many of us are living on a roller coaster; one minute scared and confused, the next hopeful and full of faith. We sometimes feel excited and lost all before noon. I wanted to start blogging again when I realized that I did not want to be a soloist about these things but just a member of the choir, singing along with everyone else. And if we all begin to sing together... well let's give it a go.

It seems to me that many of us are on a journey that is moving us towards greater love, compassion, faith and a sense of connection to each other, to the earth, and to Life itself. We are also awakening to a higher order of life beyond what advertisers are selling us, insurance companies are telling us and what the news is scaring us with. And I think we are closer to a breakthrough than we think. I'm not talking about some 2012 theory of Blissful Ascension or anything. No, I believe that our true identity is here and now inside each of us, kicking and squirming, to be born. For myself, I am much happier when I live closer to this moment and don't identify too much with my mind when it gets to projecting and fantasizing about the future, or worrying about the past. When I observe and witness my life without judging what is happening in and around me as much, I feel much more balanced. My mind still chews on stuff, but that, and the resulting emotions, are no longer the ultimate source of "who I am".

So I'll share with you my discoveries on my own blog "Scattering Birdseed" and occasionally guest blogging on Kim's, Taking The Long Way Home, as one of many voices. Hope you'll sing along.