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Transformation: The Love Habit Login/Join
 
<w.c.>
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Take a minute or two and focus just on the sensation of your clothes touching your skin. Feel what you feel and rest awareness just in that experience, returning attention if it wanders.

This method of returning to the present moment is found in Dr. Stanley Block's book "Come to Your Senses: Demystifying the Mind-Body Connection."
 
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Take a minute or two and focus just on the sensation of your clothes touching your skin. Feel what you feel and rest awareness just in that experience, returning attention if it wanders.

Awareness is such a word overcultivated mainly by the stuff of New age. Thank you w.c for demystifying the word.
 
Posts: 340 | Location: Sweden | Registered: 14 May 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
<w.c.>
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Grace:

You're welcome. I found Dr. Block's book simple and helpful. But there is, as you know, a limit on how much human faculties can achieve harmony or balance. This is clear enough when our faculties are taken up by the Holy Spirit, where grace procures such a degree of ease/rest that all our own attempts to relax and just "be" seem comical by comparison. However, Dr. Block's approach has helped me relax into simple receptivity to God more easily, since the busy mind is put to rest to a significant degree in his process, which he calls "bridging."
 
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Love is also surprise coming your way when least expected, like a breath of fresh air.

Sitting in a waiting room yesterday conversing with others who also waited for their appointment, a boy around 9 years of age caught my eye and attention. He was quietly sitting with his mother when we both looked at each other and our eyes met with a big smile. I complimented his shirt which had frogs all over it, and this truly pleased him. He got up and came to me with one hand open and inside the palm was the most beautiful bug I had ever seen. Here he said, as the bug was transferred into my palm of the hand. Wow, the bug was gorgeous with shiny emerald green wings. He said it was a gold bug beetle and that I could keep him. As my name was called for my appointment I told the young man that I appreciated his gift but could not take the bug home with me because there were no others like him in my garden and he would be lonely and sad. We again exchanged the bug into different hands and agreed that his gift to me would always be treasured, and thanked him with a smile. Bless this little boy who brought love and joy into my uneventful afternoon.

We never know from where or when love comes our way. Look toward happy surprises in love as you give and receive.
 
Posts: 571 | Location: Oregon | Registered: 20 June 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That's nice sharing, Freebird, and a good example of how love can emerge when one pays attention to others and is open to relating.

In a way, I think what we call "manners" was meant to be a kind of training in "love habits." It's not trivial matter that a world religion (Confucianism) pretty much bases itself on this sort of thing, letting the metaphysical and mystical aspects take a secondary role to the practice of behaviors that facilitate social harmony.
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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One simple opening in awareness to the concrete reality of being souls is to focus on where the love comes from. We all have/are more than we suspect, but often it is just a trickle in conscious awareness; this may be what leads to the idea of having to cultivate love rather than rest in what is already there. Not that cultivating love is necessarily misleading, but it does suggest we are lacking and need to be more than what we are, moving us into a hypervigilant search or method.

This is something that WC said on another thread and I thought it was quite appropriate to this one.

---

Yes, that was a very nice story, Freebird.
 
Posts: 5413 | Location: Washington State | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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One of the most amazing gifts we can give to the world and to ourselves is peace. At any given moment there are things tugging at our peace and they all have to do with our security in this world. Every step toward peace is a matter of untying those lines attached to the world and retying them to a transcendent reality. All the rest is details. When the details themselves do not lead to peace, or if the details become more important than peace, then we likely are on the wrong track or in need of disentangling ourselves from the details in order to let the big picture flow in. Realizing any of this does not cost money nor does it matter how deformed or dysfunctional one is. It is just a matter of defining good living as "living at peace" rather than "getting even," "getting ahead," or "living well is the best revenge".

It's easy to lose sight of peace, let alone obtain it, because in life we are set squarely into a number of paradoxes or contradictions. Any one of them can drive us batty. Evolution, for example, is a reality and that reality is one of eat or be eaten, exploit or be exploited, consume or be consumed. There is no way to sugar coat this fact, although perhaps so much about religion is about doing just that. But it seems to me that God means for us to suffer and to die. I think we must squarely face that fact as surely as any parent must regarding the facts inherent to bringing a child into the world: that child will suffer and die and the parents are highly complicit in this fact. Do we create labels of Original Sin to explain our willingness, time and again, to have children? No. We are simply driven to do so and rationalize the harsh realities away.

Well, something in or about God drives him/her/it to create life and all the harsh circumstances that go with it. The best explanation to my mind is that life too, just like God, is a necessary thing. Without any sort of existence at all (including God) it might be assumed that this nothingness would be so contemptible that it would be simply impossible for this state to exist (or non-exist, in this case). And the reason this state would be so contemptible and existentially impossible is because it would be without love. Where love does not exist there is a state so severely horrible that even non-existence is no escape. Therefore we have God, and God is supposedly love itself, and God is supposedly also a necessary being. But does love really exist if that is all that exists? Without an opposite, without the possibility of suffering, can love really be said to exist? Perhaps not. Probably not, in my opinion.

And so although we might not be sure of all the details and inner workings, we can be sure that there ARE details and inner workings. And so all one needs to do is to give one's self to that, to untie from earth every rope that one can and retie it to the transcendent. The rest is details.
 
Posts: 5413 | Location: Washington State | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It's my philosophy that loves flows if we do not stop it�and we usually stop if for reasons having to do with trying to secure something in this world. Of course, every line of reasoning down this avenue seems to lead to a paradox. If people interfere with the flow of love in this world it isn't necessarily for dumb, short-sighted, or frivolous reasons. There are real wolves out there. Pain is real. Pain is so real that we have more than a few reflexive bodily reactions to it, and quite a few more are built up over time. And yet because our core experience of this world (and are true being?) is non-material (think of our minds), we can't help but gain peace, love and joy if we orient more toward the non-material and detach from the material.

Perhaps the most precious things we have, at least on this Earth, is something that can not be located in space. It is our wills. And I've come to know of its importance because of how severely mine has become corrupted and broken (but I do not mean "weak" since regarding some things I am so stubborn that you might never run into such a strong one). It's like any other "thing" that has been worn out and abused through addictive behavior (which we might define as trying to earnestly solve a problem but often in an unintentionally destructive way). After all, if one has engaged in any sort of addictive behavior then, even if that behavior has stopped, the will, the very source of action, will have been taken along for the addictive ride, so to speak. And in my case, repairing the will is a case of giving it up completely. Which is sort of an act of will. Which means I'm, of course, not doing it right! Smiler But surely, as I mentioned at the start, there are things that get in the way of the nature flow of love. A misfiring or misdirected will is one of the prime suspects.
 
Posts: 5413 | Location: Washington State | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Let me make this fit here (don't know where else it would) by saying that this relates to the love of miscellaneous!

What do all self-help problems have in common? I think all such topics center around our responding to the realization that we're not getting what we want and/or not getting what we need�and/or are confusing the two (or expecting we can have both and not recognizing that they are often mutually exclusive). Theoretically we could be getting everything we want and not be happy. That would be precisely because we're getting everything we want (that is, that some of these things aren't good for us). That would then show (as it does in real life) that there are things we need that we may not necessarily want or that can't be had while we are in pursuit of other things that we want or think we need. (If one truly needed, say, peace and quiet, and if one went night-clubbing every night, then you could see how the two things are mutually exclusive.)

We're then basically left with two choices or strategies in reference to this m�lange of wants/needs. We can either change our tactics (thus keeping our wants and needs intact and just hoping that it's our technique in obtaining them that needs work). Or we can change what we want or need in the first place. Likely we'll have to do some of both. We'll have to jettison some of our wants and take aboard some new wants/needs and learn some new techniques for obtaining them.

If all this sounds too complicated, you're right. It is. It all may be logically correct but logic doesn't necessarily change lives or change behaviors. And the problem with logic isn't that it's cold. It's that it is so foreign to us. It's not really how we usually decide most things. It's surely an element of the process (some more than others), but I'm guessing it's highly overrated as an influence. Luckily, especially if we're living relatively clean and humble lives, our wills will be guided without the use of a lot of highfalutin stuff like logic.

I would not be surprised if most of the answers of life are found outside of the apparent logical alternatives. There's always some kind of third option that pops up that defies logic but that turns out to be a satisfying answer. That may be the power of logic. It releases us from the slavish clutches of logic itself. By defining our problems as best we can in terms of logic, we get the problems out in the open and noticed -- but not so that we can solve them in the relatively binary, up or down, fashion of logic. But so we can then open up those other more esoteric avenues of problem solving. As long as our minds are fixated on the logical alternatives, it is too easy to do little but spin those alternatives around in one's head (and get nowhere). But if we take the "this or that" alternatives of logic, look at them, and have a healthy suspicion that "this or that" are just starting placeholders and that they likely don't contain the final answer, then we're miles ahead of where we were when we were spinning 'round logical alternatives in our head.

Or one can use a dart board.
 
Posts: 5413 | Location: Washington State | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Getting back to my favorite topic, me (just kidding)�

One of the dynamics that I think provides the most tension (while we try to hold it in tension) is the tension between accepting ourselves as we are -- lock, stock, and barrel � and honestly, humbly, and forthrightly trying to change for the better. It is here, I believe, where we need the most wisdom. We need to somehow discern the difference between laziness and successfully having dispensed with (or weakened) neurotic, compulsive, or life-draining drives and desires. And I admit this is somewhat easy for me because I don�t do a hell of a lot to begin with. Seriously.

Which leads to another major concern regarding transformation: How to use god (or theology, philosophy, or religion in general) to open up, not to hide. We need to discern, in my opinion, between when we are being truly honest with ourselves and when we are merely using some idea or principle to hide behind to, in essence, keep doing exactly what we�re doing now but with a nice, shiny new label slapped on it so we simply feel better about it. And, of course, there ARE things we are doing right now that we can, and should, feel better about because those things we have mis-labeled as something less desirable or worthy.

Who ever said transformation was easy? Well, I don�t think any of you did because it�s not. But my desire is to keep asking questions, keep praying, keep �working the silence� and to keep a kind, but clear, mirror in front of me and my actions.
 
Posts: 5413 | Location: Washington State | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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God, the Creator, the Cosmic Consciousness, my subconscious, Jung�s collective consciousness, or perhaps the Magic 8 Ball, showed me something today. (This process SOOO beats therapy at $40/hr or more. Sorry, WC and Phil.)

Anyway, I notice I tend to pine after girls I can�t have. Oh, I don�t mean ones who are necessarily out of my league or anything like that (although I admit I�m still stuck in the minors). I just mean ones that I sort of get signals from, but not all-the-way signals from. And so I pursue them. And I thus maintain the illusion that I�m really trying but just can�t get any breaks. That sort of thing.

On the other side of the coin, I�m absolutely panicked by a woman who actually wants me. Ha ha. Isn�t life funny?

I keep telling myself that love doesn�t need to manipulate or control�but that�s tough to do. �Need� loves trying to take shortcuts. But those shortcuts are almost always busts. (No pun intended.) The wisdom and movement toward the light that comes from having this pain burnt into ones heart from experience gives me cause to desire, in the future, to willingly hold these type of things in tension and not to take shortcuts.
 
Posts: 5413 | Location: Washington State | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I am astounded and almost moved to tears by what Pauline said on another thread. I feel I should stop talking now or it's going to get too personal and I'll regret saying what I have said. But this thread is the appropriate place to tell about something that is happening that I thought was inconceivable. I'm starting to love God. And I think this is likely due to the illness that hit me about a week ago. (I'm still not entirely over this darn flu.) For three days I was very sick and in immense pain. I felt all support, all faith, evaporate. And I do mean totally. The contrast was rather striking. I guess it made me realize just how supported I was. It's like a fish being lifted out of water. Only then does the concept of water make any sense.
 
Posts: 5413 | Location: Washington State | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I�m not entirely sure of the theology or ontology of this �being supported� stuff. I�m not really all that comfortable with getting into details like �God gives us grace and sometimes will take it away in order so that we can discover just what I discovered about being supported.� That, I think, tends to then make God meaningless. If anything good happens it�s �God�s purpose�. If anything bad, same thing. It�s the same feeling I get when there is a horrible airline accident in which one person survives. Inevitably it is said that that person survived �by the grace of god�. And, mind you, this isn�t about picking an argument with god nor about the topic of �why is there evil?� I�m just saying that there is a reason I feel very uncomfortable with many of the details of religion (and the details are literally legion.)

And maybe, just maybe, all those details are true. But that might be like carrying around the Library of Congress in one�s head. Sure, you have a ton of good facts but their relevance to your life at the moment may be dubious, at best, or difficult to apply given so much �documentation�. And religion is just chock full of documentation and opinions and books and articles. And much of this is good, maybe even most of it. But there are just so MUCH of it that we seem left with making a choice of trying to swallow all of it, just our selected chunks of it, or viewing it all as the finger pointing toward the moon, and not confusing the two, and thus trying to become an astronaut and, imperfectly for sure, trying to honor God as we know Him and our lives as best we can conceive of them.

That may all seem an overly long and unnecessarily provocative preface just for thinking a few more things about �being supported�. But I do feel supported. And my main point in all this, I think, is that it might do us all well to find, rediscover, or deepen our connection to the face of reality by slowing or stopping the application of lipstick, rouge, mascara, blush and aftershave on our own faces. (Men, it seems, commonly put much less stuff on themselves so women get to carry the brunt of this metaphor. Wink ) I think it would help to add fewer activities to our lives (at least for a spell) rather than more in order to get that sense of support. It might help to talk softer, rather than louder. It would help to be thankful rather than wishing for more. If our life has a volume knob, I think it would be good to turn it down for a bit.

As humans what we tend to do is to try to wallpaper one thing over with another. I think music may be one of the most incredible, magical, and miraculous things on earth. Hey, maybe everything is a vibration at the deepest level. But one look around at society today makes it obvious (at least in may opinion) that people are using Walkmans and iPods to escape and anesthetize themselves from the rest of the world�even themselves. There�s sometimes a fine line between expressing our natures and just slathering on yet another layer of noise to hopefully sedate or numb the angst caused by the layer we had thrown on just underneath.

I feel supported and I wonder how many hours into my next flu bug that this feeling will go away. But I suspect it will come back and come back stronger and more secure. I wonder how many people have turned the volume knob up on their lives in order to try to connect to connectedness in sort of a positive, affirmative, proactive sort of way? And you can bet your bottom dollar that this is a great way to do it and that it works more often than not. Sex, dance, art, work, hobbies, whatever, can all take us this way. But it seems they can also so easily take us the other way. And we might consider, at least once in a while, if what we�re really striving for won�t ever be achieved by simply adding layers. And we might consider that each layer, analogous to a druggie needing more of his or her favorite drug to receive the same high, might make it ever-harder to achieve that connectedness. I actually had to lose my health for a moment (which is perhaps at the bottom-most layer of our materialist hierarchy) in order to find support. That�s odd. But it also seems to make some sense.
 
Posts: 5413 | Location: Washington State | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The Quote below from Brad is in response (I think) to the post from me just below it, which I originally posted on the Darkness and Light thread, but which belonged on this thread, because this is the thread that inspired it. The reaon for such madness you will find in my post below, which follows the quote from Brad which was in response to it.

Was that a conspicuous or cumbersome explantion?

"I am astounded and almost moved to tears by what Pauline said on another thread. I feel I should stop talking now or it's going to get too personal and I'll regret saying what I have said."

Dear Bright and Beautiful Bad Boy Brad,

I just had the most refreshing dip in that delightful, dancing stream you started on Cultivating Love. And at the risk of mixing mousy, merry metaphors, it was like a bright light for me too. I am drenched in grace, dripping wet in the light of love that was cultivated there.

I feel energized, renewed, softer, kinder and cleaner. And I can see the beauty, grace, faith and hope in all of us, so much more clearly than I did before. I can see lofty and even heavenly possiblities for Shalom Place, delicately interlaced with a good sense of occassional creatively crafted, bawdy humor.

For instance, I can see much more cleary now that there are some truly gifted and inspiring writers here at Shalom Place. Everyone gave you exactly what you asked for and so it grew. It was as though your seeking to know how to cultivate love, and inviting others to join you in that quest, is what cultivated it.
Jesus kept it simple didn't he?
"Seek and ye shall find"
"Ask and it shall be given to you".

Now you might be wondering why Virya would be posting her noticings on Cultivating Love on the Darkness and Light thread. Well, the answer to that, as all answers are, is right here in the present moment. Because the present moment is always a perfect mirror to how we play at life.

This moment is a perfect reflection of how I both cultivate love and hide from it. I llke to cultivate love in conspicuous ways and suprising places. (and I've noticed that you and others here seem to do that too Brad ) Perhaps it's because in our collective consciousness, there is a growing awareness that many of us, most of the time, take love for granted. So being conspicuos and suprising with it, is my own personal version of spiritual warfare. The opposite of terrorism. And whose to say angels and saints aren't kinky in their own kind of way.

It's just too easy to forget that love does indeed have to be cultivated. In catching people by suprise, it sort of throws them off balance, making them more present, more vulnerable and therefore more able to receive, or to at least notice it.
Jesus kept it simple:
"It's in givng that we receive."
"It's in receiving that we are born to eternal life"

And because it's so easy to have so much going on, with all our agendas you know, we all too often don't allow ourselves to recieve the love that is always there, right there in front us, inside us even.
It's just like Jesus said,
"The kingdom of heaven is within you"

And having an agenda, having too much going on, is just one of ways I hide from love, in the past. I like to practice making every moment my altar. I here by sacrifice and transform my pain into a new life. So be it, in Jesus name. Amen and Awomen.

I also hide from love by trying not to bring attention to myself, or my needs and wants thinking that is some sort of virtue, in the past. But I hereby sacrifice and transform that pain too. By God, I want to be seen, and heard and known and yes ....remembered....in and through the light and grace of love; all of me, every part of me wants to be touched by the light and grace of love. Because a lot of me was not seen or heard through the eyes and ears of love for too long. So since that is most likely true for just about everyone on the planet, I figure I should do my best to make sure people can receive what I most need and want for myself. I know I always appreciate it when other people help me notice when I'm not receiving.
That Jesus was one smart dude, wasn't he?
"Do unto others, as you would have them
do unto you"

Well anyway...that's my reflection on cultivating love, and it's the fruit of all of your seed(s). Maybe I'll move it over to that thread too eh?

About THIS thread Brad: (darkness and light)
I'm feeling so good inside after having so much Love cultivated in me by waters of that stream, my noticing capacity for insight was laser sharp while reading this thread. You gave me another insight in to my dream, in your post to Danny..Are you aware you did that?

"Life is like an AC current, electrical outlets spread all around and, for a variety of reasons, many of us are walking around with attachments suited only for DC. "

I think pondering what I was "attached to" gives me yet another new insight into this dream. Thanks so much..great post above also Brad. You really are an exceptionally good and very thought provoking writer, and focussing on inspirational ideas, really seems to bring it out of you all the more. But then our shadows knows a thing or two also, don't they?
Jesus kept it simple:
"Cast your nets down into the sea"

Thanks Danny for your dream. We are all so divinely connected to one another.
 
Posts: 197 | Location: Austin,Texas | Registered: 18 March 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thank you Brad for recieiving the fruits of your seed. It feels so good to receive and be received doesn't it?

"As we sow, so shall we reap"
You cultivated that cyberspace stream of consciousness with a lot of good seeds there Brad.
There is a good,highly creative master plan here in the Shalom Place website from Phil. brilliant actually. He's got lots of highly skilled share croppers in his fields. There's a lot to be said for sticking with a vision and seeing it thru to completion...not one of my higher attributes I'm afraid.

BRAD: "something that is happening that I thought was inconceivable. I'm starting to love God"

One of the best spiritual teachers I ever had Brad, at least at that time in my life, didn't believe in God at all. But it wasn't the right path for me and it took me a long time to know I had found my true path. And even now, I am open to it changing, but I am very sure footed in the way I walk what ever path I am on. And this is where I am in full agreement with Datta Swami. It seems to me that the closer we get to 100% devotion, the more our 'bad' (or at least our 'less desirable,less marketable, possibly destructive attributes) can be used for the good, automatically. There is no choice or decision about it. Love and God just seem to happen thru and around us more and more, all the time. We feel God inside us and see God around us. "Love ye first the Lord thy God, with all your heart and all your soul" "Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven within you"
(How we do that is a different thread or post.)

Just imagine the possibilities for humanity , if everyone on the planet could REALLY grok our seemingly infinite capacity for creativity. Imagine, what kind of world we could create, if we all took the time and care and attention to be as specific and selective as Brad and all the posters on this thread have been about what we seek and what we sow into this world of ours.

I've been noticing for awhile now, that what I sow seems to be coming back around to me, much more quickly than it did before. Many of my friends are noticing it too. There seems to be a ' quickening' upon us. And when I see what is going on in the world around me, on the news and such, I see the same thing happening, only there is a lot of pain and suffering in it, like some kind of 'bad, labor pains.' Makes me wonder what we're birthing . . .

I also have a noticing that what we put out there, at least in my own personal life, doesn't always come back to me, from the same place I drop my seeds, so it doesn't do any good for me to get attached to the results of my seed, or to worry that it doesn't grow in exactly the way I intended it too, or get to specific about what it feeds on. Of course, if I am in the vicinity, I try to water it, and weed it and make sure it gets enough light and nutrients which are the most suitable to it's nature. Some seeds you know thrive in dark, wet places. Others thrive under a full hot sun, in dry soil and even hard rocky ground. And some thrive almost entirely on air, hot air at that, while others blossom beautifully while floating on water.

Often times my seemingly ever changing sense of duty, prevents me from further cultivating my seeds. But I've noticed winged creatures spread their seed this way and get fantastic results. Why if it weren't for them, we wouldn't have the ancient beauty of spring and summer wild flowers. It's a birds nature, and part of our Creator's magnificent design, to simply drop their seeds from the tiny hole at the bottom end of their small, feathered bellies. And so maybe it's enough to just plant our seeds, whatever might come out us, providing we are feeding upon that which most helps US thrive and grow to our own fullest potential, and that it fills us with love, and joy and peace....God, in other words. Then it's enough to just trust that Spirit, or Nature, or the Laws of the Universe are alive and well, and fully at play in the many fields of the Lord. It doesn't really matter much to me what it's called, but only that I absolutely trust in it, completely, 100%, and 100% of the time. And that kind of trust, is one of the fruits of devotion, in my experience. It dissolves our fear, worry and attachments.

And just as sure as the law of gravity makes what goes up, come down; the fruit of our seeds will also always come back to us. Sometimes, and most often for me actually, our fruits can come from a perfect stranger, a situation, a thought, a book, the internet. And for some of us, they may occasionally come in some twisted, disturbing, even terrorizing way, depending on what seeds were sown, and or, our intention when planting them. So a seemingly bad seed with right intention could conceivably be less damaging then a 'good' seed with wrong intention. And a good seed with good intention ? That would require more mixing of over used metaphors.

That would be analogous to a snakes venom, which can be both a poison and a powerful cure. It all depends on what is most needed, and that necessitates wisdom and perception, which are also the fruits of 100% devotion. And while it's tempting to think that if we could just get others to be 100% devoted to the same God that gives us our trust and wisdom and perception, then surely heaven on earth would prevail; but thatplan has yet to work very well in my experience, and God knows I've tried. Seems to me, that the Creator knows much better about who and what might best feed each individual best and where, and how they should feed on it. It's enough for me to just delight in sharing the occassional fruits of my devotion and wait and see what shows up from the seeds.

That's just how connected we all are, at least from the perspective of my little corner of the universe. And to over use yet another common but apt metaphor, with a twist: the story of the 5 blind persons describing an elephant comes to mind. (Sorry) A man describes the tail, a child the legs, a boy the trunk, a woman the body and a transsexual, the ears. And unless they move around the elephant a bit, and learn to know it and describe it, from different perspectives, they'll never really get a full picture of just how big it is, and how all the parts somehow come together into one big picture. and even then their desciptions of it would be influenced by their past experiences, there culture.

So what's easier? To keep describing the elephant, each from our own limited perspectives, and keep sharing the descriptions of our piece of it, over and over again, hoping others will finally trust us to finally agree that elephants look and feel like a heavy, thick, long and hairy vacuum hose?

Or should we try to feel our way around the elephant so we can grasp enough of the whole picture and THEN describe what elephants are like?

And even then, could 5 blind persons ever really know what an elephant looks like, when all they can do is feel and hear it?

And if we really wanted to get to know the true nature of an elephant, rather then just listening to what various experts say about them, wouldn't it make more sense to spend time with elephants ourselves, if we wanted to know their true nature?

Isn't getting to know God's true nature the same thing, thru spending quality with who ever and what ever most inspires love, peace, faith, and joy in us?

And isn't it plausible that could be very different, for different people, at different times, in different places through out time ?

Just wondering . . .

Peace, love and joy, virya
 
Posts: 197 | Location: Austin,Texas | Registered: 18 March 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Brad,

Alchemical experience through illness, a 13 year lesson 4 yours truly...

http://www.beliefnet.com/story/7/story_701_1.html

And from page 75 of alcoholics anonymous:

"We pocket our pride and go to it, illuminating every twist of character, every dark cranny of the past. Once we have taken this step, withholding nothing, we are delighted. We can look the world in the eye. We can be alone at perfect peace and ease. Our fears fall from us. We begin to feel the nearness of our Creator. We may have had certain spiritual beliefs, but now we begin to have a spiritual experience. That feeling that the drink problem has disappeared will often come strongly.
We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe."

-------------------------------------------------

My mom sold cosmetics for years, and I still have a box of creams and cleansers. What ever shall I do with it, seing that metrosexuals are "out" and retrosexuals are "in."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metrosexual

ubersexual.org
 
Posts: 2559 | Registered: 14 June 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I just can�t bring myself to touch, quote, annotate, parse or otherwise analyze what you said, Pauline. It�s not that it is so delicate, but that it is so heartfelt, real, and precious. And it is not that I think I will defile, degrade, or debase it with my comments. I just do not want to take the chance of avoiding, evading or otherwise escaping the depth and meaning of those words.

But I do have something important (at least to me) that I want to say about what you said. It�s about getting what you asked for. I love the way you integrated that.
 
Posts: 5413 | Location: Washington State | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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"I just can�t bring myself to touch, quote, annotate, parse or otherwise analyze what you said, Pauline."

Well Brad if you're saying I have silenced your mind a a bit, then that was all Amma's doing and a small miracle at that. Wink

But I hope not for good, becaue much of what you say and how you say it also deeply feeds my soul, though I do admit that at times your many words challenge me. Especially when I try to digest your political views...it's actually kind of scary your words move me as they do knowing how differently I feel about some issues. But if what I said really was the fruit of Ammas grace, (and I feel they were) then you are most likely moving a bit deeper into your heart right now, because that's Ammma gift to the world, and at a much needed time. It can be very purifying, so be easy with yourself..

Ultimately, I don't much care if she is or isn't an avatar really. I just know that right now She is the most potent piece of God I've ever experienced and has increased my experience of, and faith in the teachings of Jesus a lot. She makes our souls more receptive by quieting the mind, just with her presence...Amazing Grace, Amazing Grace...and awakens and inspires what ever most needs to next be inspired in every individual She hugs. Such is the power of grace of truly great souls.
Thank you too, for your heartfelt appreciation.
LOL, Virya
 
Posts: 197 | Location: Austin,Texas | Registered: 18 March 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have caught myself cataloguing the differences between us in my mind, as if the simple acknowledgment of our commonality would enable their disasters somehow to infect me and spoil that slim vestige of health and hope I cling to in my own corner of misery.
Oh, what a fantastic piece of writing by Ms. Duff.

quote:
In a perversion of recent discoveries of body-mind unity, self-help books encourage sick people to cultivate positive attitudes--faith, hope, laughter, self-love, and a fighting spirit--to overcome their diseases. As a result, many sick people are shamed by friends, family, or even their healers into thinking they are sick because they lack these "healthy" attitudes, even though illnesses often accompany critical turning points in our lives, when it is necessary to withdraw, reflect, sorrow, and surrender, in order to make necessary changes.
I find that to be very, very interesting.

quote:
"In health," wrote Virginia Woolf, "the general pretense must be kept up and the effort renewed--to communicate, to civilize, to share, to cultivate the desert, educate the native, to work together by day and by night...In illness this make-believe ceases...We cease to be soldiers in the army of the upright, we become deserters. They march to battle. We float with the sticks on the stream, helter-skelter with the dead leaves on the lawn, irresponsible and disinterested and able, perhaps for the first time in years, to look round, to look up--to look, for example, at the sky."
What an amazing insight by Virginia Woolf. Let me just say, with no wish whatsoever to induce sympathy, that it's clear that I have a type of chronic illness, even if it is spiritual/psychological in nature. And I can't tell you how much I feel like a deserter � an outcast � rather than a "soldier in the army". We float with the sticks on the stream, helter-skelter with the dead leaves on the lawn, irresponsible and disinterested� I truly have a great appreciation (I hope!) for a healthy body and mind. I sometimes look at people (as indeed, people worse off then me must look at me) and ponder "I wonder if that person appreciates his/her health. Her stamina. Her strength, skill and endurance. Her ability to function normally in life." And, of course, we usually do take for granted that which is with us everyday and for which seemingly little has to be done to maintain it.

quote:
The phone rang, and--quite out of character--I just sat there and let it ring, as I turned the bowl in my hands and admired its perfect shape. I felt privy to one of the world's great secrets: that what is is enough, that each moment contains, like the circle of that bowl, the whole of creation in the space it offers, and we need not go anywhere or do anything to find it. Since then there have been times when I have cried bitterly over the losses wrought by my illness, but more often than not I have cherished the serenity of being still and feeling full with the moment at hand, of not wanting anything more than I already have.
I hope everyone goes over to that link that MM provided and reads the whole story�and glances at all the advertising at the BeliefNet site to sort of compensate for my stretching of fair use.

quote:
I wanted to find a way to carry my sickbed revelations back with me into health, to balance the lopsided optimism, confidence, and activity of my earlier life.
Would you say this writer would calibrate quite easily in the 500's MM? I would. (That's even accounting for the rather gratuitous "white Western civilization" crack.

quote:
Now that I am sick, I am appalled to think that I used to respond to tiredness by pushing through it like a bulldozer to get my work done.
What an absolutely marvelous article, MM. Outstanding. And what a powerful message at the end regarding self-acceptance. I've rarely seen so much wisdom densely packed in such a short article like that.
 
Posts: 5413 | Location: Washington State | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Pauline said: And if we really wanted to get to know the true nature of an elephant, rather then just listening to what various experts say about them, wouldn't it make more sense to spend time with elephants ourselves, if we wanted to know their true nature?

Isn't getting to know God's true nature the same thing, thru spending quality with who ever and what ever most inspires love, peace, faith, and joy in us?


I think my creed (which I now hereby adopt Wink )was just eloquently stated. Marvelously so.

And isn't it plausible that could be very different, for different people, at different times, in different places through out time ?

Well, I tend to think so.

I'm really not good with the "mushy" stuff, but I do thank you, Pauline. And much love and joy right back at ya.
 
Posts: 5413 | Location: Washington State | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Glad that suits you Brad
My former partner was a non believer, yet very adisciplined compassionate man. He suffered from a lot of physical pain due to surgery on his feet as a child and depression from the pain. Being in Nature is what most inspired him but he didn't seek it out as often as he needed to, he does now though (He lives in a community up in your neck of the country actually) He'd noticed things in Nature that I never would have and so very much expanded my own appreciation of Nature..which is a wondrous reflection of God for us and a great gift from my friend


Kat Duff is great source of solace for my friend with Chronic fatigue that lost her colon. I especially relate to this line.

Now that I am sick, I am appalled to think that I used to respond to tiredness by pushing through it like a bulldozer to get my work done.

Not so much about illnes as I;ve been blessed with a fairly robust physiology and dispostion, I'm appalled more about times when I've put on a false bravado, of some sort. I faked enthusiams and optimisitism about things I cared very little about in order to make a living. It was expected of me at work, but it never really did work. It only attracted lots of confusing messages from people around me. It was all reflected right back to me, like a mirror. Fortunatley, our reflections can change in an instant.
 
Posts: 197 | Location: Austin,Texas | Registered: 18 March 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Virya (Pauline),

Awaiting double-blind testing and peer-review to prove Hawkins is anything more than highly speculative at this point. Empirical-not! Just 4 grins, though, according to Hawkins, very few scientists have broken through the Newtonian-Cartesian paradigm into the transrational levels.

David Bohm 505

Madame Marie Curie 505

Carl Gustav Jung 520

Kat Duff is tapping into Jungian thought and the transrational to some extent. Mid to high 400s perhaps, the range of philosophers and theologians. Has the feel of that level. Not sure. Hawkins calibrates Virginia Woolf at 415, btw.
 
Posts: 2559 | Registered: 14 June 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Maybe this is just all psychological projection, Pauline, but I notice you have a very sensual, even erotic quality to your wonderful communication style. There's a freedom about you that seems orientated toward opening up rather than closing down, expanding, rather than collapsing. Considering rather than dismissing. It's amazing, really, that we're not all sex addicts because sex, perhaps like dance, or anything really physical, has the power to open ourselves up to others and ourselves probably like nothing else. And please don't think I'm implying that anyone is a sex addict. I'm not. It's just that the "ying" of my mental/spiritual life (I think) is more than ever preparing me for, and ready for, a more physical "yang" of something else. In certain respects, in the world I'm still a virgin.

But I hope not for good, becaue much of what you say and how you say it also deeply feeds my soul, though I do admit that at times your many words challenge me. Especially when I try to digest your political views...it's actually kind of scary your words move me as they do knowing how differently I feel about some issues.

Conversely and almost exactly.
 
Posts: 5413 | Location: Washington State | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Pauline said: And this is where I am in full agreement with Datta Swami. It seems to me that the closer we get to 100% devotion, the more our 'bad' (or at least our 'less desirable,less marketable, possibly destructive attributes) can be used for the good, automatically. There is no choice or decision about it. Love and God just seem to happen thru and around us more and more, all the time. We feel God inside us and see God around us.

I also generally agree with that. In fact, scandalous as this may be, I'm also quite sympathetic to the idea of bowing to the other as recognition of the divinity within them. Where we draw the line between god and ourselves is, I think, rather arbitrary. We can collapse it to "we are nothing but mere humans" or inflate it to "we are god ourselves". The truth is probably something in between. After all, we're not immortal nor do we even approach omniscience. But we have the power to participate in the creation of life and death. We are creative forces in our own right.

And I'm hardly offended by someone openly calling themselves god. I think it's just the inflated other end of the spectrum of people practicing self-mortification and considering humanity to be little better than the scum of the earth. Surely, again, the truth lies somewhere in between.
 
Posts: 5413 | Location: Washington State | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Jesus kept it simple didn't he?
"Seek and ye shall find"
"Ask and it shall be given to you".


Pauline, I definitely notice that I have a hard time asking.

So being conspicuos and suprising with it, is my own personal version of spiritual warfare. The opposite of terrorism.

I know a man online (not from here) who is just like that (in an opposite of your opposite sort of way) and who needs only to absorb some of your soft edge and willingness to handle doubt and uncertainty. I think nothing makes us harder or more difficult to love than the need to be right and certain. Being right and certain ain't all that bad, in my opinion. I think it just all depends on how we get there.

Jesus kept it simple:
"It's in givng that we receive."
"It's in receiving that we are born to eternal life"


I definitely notice that I have a hard time receiving.

And because it's so easy to have so much going on, with all our agendas you know, we all too often don't allow ourselves to recieve the love that is always there, right there in front us, inside us even.
It's just like Jesus said,
"The kingdom of heaven is within you"


We so often look outside of ourselves, and I think there's little doubt that what happens on the outside effects the inside. But I believe that the water flows from us from the inside like a spring. This then forms our actions. We can (and often do) try to throw a monkey wrench into the works and circumvent this, possibly because we think there is so little inside. Possibly because we're looking for shortcuts. But if someone very smart said "The kingdom of heaven is within you", who am I to disagree?

And having an agenda, having too much going on, is just one of ways I hide from love, in the past. I like to practice making every moment my altar. I here by sacrifice and transform my pain into a new life. So be it, in Jesus name. Amen and Awomen.

There's something in that that I think is very special, very important. It may contain the "secret" of the Christian Sacraments, of which I am not particularly fond � and don't think I ever will be. But I openly admit to being an odd-ball. We can so easily make the mistake thinking that what we like, and is good for ourselves, must be the same for others. And if I were more in the mainstream, I have little doubt things such as Sacraments might make some sense to me and might not just appear as rituals little removed from pagan rites. (Although, come to think of it, those pagans may have been highly spiritual themselves.) I can see where ritual is important to sort of "concretize" the spiritual which, by nature, is highly immaterial and mental and thus whose existence in reality is seemingly precarious. And I could tell you all kinds of wonderfully funny stories about myself, about how my ideas can get so far from reality that I end up, at least part of the time, living in a little world of my own. And that's probably what frightens me about things such as rituals. I'm quite afraid that they will simply concretize that which is little more than fantasy. I think I have a much better handle these days on my imagination in terms of letting it run away too far from reality. But I can certainly get a glimpse now of how and why "sacrificing to one's altar" would be a good way to sort of set a milestone. It's a way to tell one's will, imagination and mind to "sh*t or get off the pot". It's a way to form resolve, to collapse that quantum probability wave from the ether to our physical world of dualities, where making one decisions necessarily distances you from the opposite. Sacrificing at the alter may be a way of acknowledging "I can't have everything. So this thing before me, right now, I willingly take on."

I'm not ready or willing to sacrifice anything on my virtual altar right at this moment. But the idea has been planted.

I also hide from love by trying not to bring attention to myself, or my needs and wants thinking that is some sort of virtue, in the past. But I hereby sacrifice and transform that pain too. By God, I want to be seen, and heard and known and yes ....remembered....in and through the light and grace of love; all of me, every part of me wants to be touched by the light and grace of love. Because a lot of me was not seen or heard through the eyes and ears of love for too long. So since that is most likely true for just about everyone on the planet, I figure I should do my best to make sure people can receive what I most need and want for myself. I know I always appreciate it when other people help me notice when I'm not receiving.
That Jesus was one smart dude, wasn't he?
"Do unto others, as you would have them
do unto you"


I'm lovingly inspired by that.

But then our shadows knows a thing or two also, don't they?
Jesus kept it simple:
"Cast your nets down into the sea"


Marvelously said. I really do like the way you have with words, Pauline. Anyway, enough with the commentary for now. Back to just listening and trying to receive a bit more. Which means my word count ought to go down by a least a couple million words. Smiler
 
Posts: 5413 | Location: Washington State | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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