Wednesday, April 1, 2015

I See You

I stumbled across this section in my reading of The Way of Mastery this morning:
"All minds are joined, and I see not a stranger before me, but one who walks as I walk, who feels as I feel, who longs as I long, who is humbled as I am humbled, who prays for peace as I have prayed.  
Therefore I will give them what they seek.  And in that giving, I receive it."  Way of Mastery p. 122

This is how forgiveness begins.  It occurs in the moment when we see others as being the same as ourselves.

All minds are joined and therefore, in many ways, they are, actually, us.

I found myself contemplating the line from the quote above, "therefore I will give them what they seek".  Just what do they seek?  Well, just as I do, everyone ultimately seeks love.  Everyone longs to be loved, to feel love and to give love in return.  It's our basic nature.  Love is what we are and we all seek to return to it.

What makes us feel loved?  Being loved is being recognized.  We feel loved when others acknowledge our existence, our worth, our truth.  When others accept and acknowledge us, we feel valued.  We all simply want to be seen.

In the movie Avatar, I love the way they say hello to each other. They stop and face each other and look directly into one another's eyes, "I see you."

I see you, is what it's all about.  Seeing and accepting the existence of another human being is the act of extending love.  Forgiveness happens in this moment. The miracle happens in this moment.  When we shift our thinking from fear to love, from confusion and opposition to acknowledgement, forgiveness happens.

We are simply knowing the truth, that ultimately we are all the same, despite the crazy things we all do here, despite the crazy dreams we follow in this insane 3D world we call earth.  At our core, in our joined minds, we are all, each and every one of us, simply love.
"Forgiveness is an act through which you learn what Love is, that carries you into a transcendence of the world.  Sharing only loving thoughts, supportive thoughts -- as you look gently upon the Christ in another is a way that takes you into the transcendence of the world.  Looking upon all things of this world and seeing their perfect harmlessness, their lack of ability to constrain you or harm you or imprison you, is a way that takes you beyond the world." --Way of Mastery p. 127-8

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Past is Over

These days, Robert Holden is my favorite author.  In December I read "Loveability". I was so impressed with it that I immediately bought a stack of copies and gave it to everyone I know for Christmas gifts.  My friends and family are just as impressed as I was.  

The day I turned the last page, I closed the book, set it aside for a month, opened it back up and started reading and studying it all over again.  I am now reading "Shift Happens!:  How to Live an Inspired Life" and I love it, too.  Robert Holden has been A Course in Miracles student and teacher for many years, but his explanations and point of view are very easy to understand and he relates so well to anyone's everyday experiences.  

Here's a little bit from a short section in Shift Happens about forgiving the past:

Forgiveness releases you from the past.  When you meditate on forgiveness, you learn that, in fact, there is no past in the MIND of God.  In other words, your past is never held against you unless you make it so.  Guilt is a choice and so is forgiveness.  When you choose guilt, you bury your gifts, you live in fear, and everyone misses what you could offer.  When you choose forgiveness, everyone can win.  
How do you know if you are holding on to your past?  You are unhappy!  When you are struggling, ask yourself, What am I holding on to from the past?  What old thought, old block, or old fear are you still clinging to?   
Holden encourages us to ask ourselves these important questions:

I am afraid of _______because in the past I _____________.
I have given up on ___________because in the past I ____________.
I am depressed now because in the past I ______________.

What are some of the areas in your life where you feel unhappy or unproductive, stymied, thwarted, victimized or stuck in lack?   Spend some time pondering those areas with these questions in mind.  Watch what comes up.  Then let it go.  It's the past.  It has nothing to do with the you of today.  It's holding you back in unhappiness.  It's nothing you need.  Guilt is nothing you need.  Rejection is nothing you need.  Lack is nothing you need.  Let it go.   Know it, feel it, love it and gently let it go.

One way to let these things go is to imagine that the Holy Spirit (your soul, your higher self) has given you a beautiful white light altar and it is right in front of you. This gorgeous marble light altar transforms everything upon it into pure love.  It's the love altar.

When these memories and emotions from the past come up, spend a few moments with them, intensify them and experiencing them all over again.  Then gently and lovingly ask them to place themselves on the altar.  Let them be released, transformed and swept away out of your life forever.  Let go.  Forgiving is the act of letting love replace fear.  It is that point when the miracle appears.

Holden suggests that we can then affirm "The past is over" and "Now is new".  He says, "The moment you let go of your past, you stop projecting it on to the present.

His final paragraph in the section is this:

To let go of your past, do these three things.  First, be willing to forgive yourself for every mistake you think you ever made.  Affirm "The past is over," and let forgiveness wipe away all tears.  Second, if you want to be free of your past mistakes, free everyone from theirs.  In other words, forgive everyone.  Third, pray, "Dear God, I'm back!"  Now let yourself be innocent again, free again, and ready again to say "Yes" to new healing, new happiness and a new futures.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

We all want the same thing...

Recognize all whom you see as brothers, because only equals are at peace. --A Course in Miracles

Power struggles happen because we think we are both separate and different from each other.  We forget that we are both made of the same love and that we both share the same basic interest, which is to love and to be loved.  --Robert Holden

We are both made of the same love.

Every one of comes from the same source.

We are all made in the same image.

Love is what we are.

And we all want the same thing here on earth.  We want to know that love.  We want to experience the truth of ourselves.  It's sometimes hard to remember that truth here.  There are so many blocks to it.  And, of course, we've created them all ourselves.

But all we really want is know love, be love, receive love and give love.  Every action we take, every thought we think, it all boils down to one basic desire, and that is to know love again.

When you see someone behaving badly, just know that he is blocked from understanding and seeing his truth.  His motivation comes from the desire to be loved.  He is simply confused about how to actually achieve that.  He can't see it.

Give him the love he needs in the form of your forgiveness.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Judging Other People's "Conditions"

Don Miguel Ruiz Jr spoke at my church this morning.  He was excellent, deep and a fascinating speaker.  Much of what he said resonated with me.  I loved this on judging, especially.  He said that when we judge someone we are evaluating them for conditions that they never agreed to. 

What that means is that, we have created "opinions" and "beliefs" in our mind which are the conditions.  Our conditions are not necessarily someone elses conditions.   And yet, we look at others and judge them by our conditions.

We all have free will.  We are free to decide which experiences we want to have and which ones we don't want.

If we look at our lives here like a trip to Disneyland we can see that not everyone wants to ride on Space Mountain.  It's too fast for some people.  Some people just want to do the River Boat Cruise. They like slow.  They want to take their time and enjoy the sunshine.  It's dark in Space Mountain and the lights flash by in a jarring way.  On the River Boat Cruise you can listen to the sounds of birds in the trees.  You can watch the patterns the boat makes in the water as it passes through.

Who's right?  Is it the guy that likes fast, dark and scary Space Mountain or is it the one who prefers sunny, slow and peaceful River boating?

Of course, there's no right and wrong here.  We all get to choose our own adventure.  That's why we're here.  We choose an adventure and we learn some things along the way.  Our pathway and our learning is our pathway alone and no one elses.  We're all heading toward the same ultimate place, but how we get there is determined by each of us individually with our own free will.

Let's not judge anyone else's choices.  If they want to be the loud one, or the hairy one or the stubborn one, or the beautiful one or the deep thinking one, just let them be.  They never agreed to be a part of the group that thinks that beauty is important.  They never agreed to be a part of the group that loves to fight, or the group that likes living in the desert, or the group that wants to save the rain forest, or the group that thinks tattoos are cool.  Those aren't the conditions they adhere to.

They are learning just as we are.  Let's not judge what they choose to learn or how, where and when they do it.

What can we possibly know about why someone else chooses what they choose?  

It is when we begin to see that underneath, in mind, we're all the same anyway.  Strip away the loud, the hairy, the beauty and all that's left is mind.  Or we're all just alive, as Don Miguel Ruiz Jr liked to call it.  In essence we are only that life, that energy, that thought, that creator and nothing more.

We are not our bodies, our stuff, our professions, our skin color or any of our preferences.  We are all merely spirit, love, Divine.  Just the Divine having a little adventure here on earth.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What's Behind the Costume?

Even though I am a student of A Course in Miracles, I regularly attend a Science of Mind church.  My minister there, Rev. Liz Luoma, loves to refer to us all as adorable little packages of God.  We're all in different adorable packages, but underneath, we're really all just the same thing.

Last month when everyone was thinking about Halloween and costumes, she likened these packages to costumes.  When we come here to live on earth, we take on a costume (or a role or character), and we develop it and refine it throughout our lives.  In fact, our entire lives become about creating every little facet, characteristic, preference and circumstance for that very character.

Which costume have you chosen?

The Course likes to call these costumes the "ego".  The ego is our creation, not God's.  

Take away the costume, the role, the character, the ego and what is left underneath?  Why God stuff, of course.  That's all we really are.

We are really only playing a game of Charades. We fool ourselves into believing that our costumes are who we really are, but underneath the costume is actually our Truth.  Underneath the costume is the part of us that God created.  That part is timeless, endless, unlimited and perfect.  It is all that is and it is One with God.   And everyone of us shares in this.  We are all together, exactly the same, and One in God.

It all boils down to this...underneath our costumes, we are each actually only Love.

But...we get so busy living in our costumes, playing our roles, being that character, that we forget who we really are.  We are so good at it, in fact, that we've convinced ourselves that we actually really are our costumes.

Think of it like going to the movies.  The lights go out and if the movie is good, it becomes our world.  We are utterly lost in it.  It is everything to us for that brief ninety minutes or so.  We are completely consumed and we know nothing else.

Our lives here on earth are just like that.  We get caught up in the fantasy and we forget who we really are.

Drop the costumes to forgive--   Forgiving requires that we simply drop those costumes for a moment.  There is a larger part of us and it is not here in this silly playground of costumes.  We must back up for a moment and see both ourselves and our trespasser in our true states.  We must know that both of us are really only Love.  We are exactly the same and we are always One in God.

Forgiveness is the act of accepting that people come here to this 3D earth and put on a costume and do silly things.  They are deluded, they have simply forgotten who they really are.  When we forgive, we remember for them, who they really are.

We raise them up in our minds.  We know that they are really always with God, in God, One with God.  We see that truth.

Words for forgiveness:

You are Spirit,
Whole and Innocent,
I forgive you.
I release you.
I bless you with Love.  

I often start my forgiveness process with the words above.  But then I go deeper.  I have developed a set of words that walks me mentally through the process of seeing the higher truth for someone whom I am forgiving.  It takes me about five minutes to do this and when I am finished I am able to see anyone for who they really are.

And I really do mean anyone.  No matter how personally harmful or globally destructive their actions may seem, it is possible to shift your feelings about a trespasser from egoic fear feelings to those of Love.  

The words I use are in my book, Forgiveness is the Key to Happiness.  There is an entire chapter on this process.  If you'd like to be able to change your thinking, see through the costumes of this temporary world and focus on the bigger picture and the higher truth, I encourage you to get a copy of the book and practice this process for yourself.  You have only your happiness to gain. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Light Beyond the Body

In A Course in Miracles, the "Christ" Mind refers to that part in all of us that knows that it is the Son of God and chooses to think with love, rather than fear.

We are so much more than only bodies.  We are Mind.  We are connected through this mind.  We are Love.  We are Oneness, with each other and with our Creator.

Christ's vision has one law.  It does not look upon a body, and mistake it for the Son whom God created. It beholds a light beyond the body; an idea beyond what can be touched, a purity undimmed by errors, pitiful mistakes, and fearful thought of guilt from dreams of sin.  It sees no separation.  And it looks on everyone, on every circumstance, all happenings and all events, without the slightest fading of the light it sees.  --A Course in Miracles, Lesson 158

In this passage from the Course, we are told to look beyond bodies.  God's real creation is our Minds, the Love we all share.  Every one of us was created in this Love.   It's telling us that bodies and earthly events are unimportant.  What's important is the Light of God that is a part of every one of us.

Thus are his sins forgiven him, for Christ has vision that has power to overlook them all.  In His forgiveness are they gone.  Unseen by One they merely disappear, because a vision of the Holiness that lies beyond them comes to take their place.  It matters not what form they took, nor how enormous they appeared to be, nor who seemed to be hurt by them.  They are no more.  And all effects they seemed to have are gone with them, undone and never to be done.  --A Course in Miracles, Lesson 158

When we look past bodies, we can forgive anything, because we see that the real truth is what is happening in the Mind, not here in this earthly 3D dream world.  And the truth of the real Mind is Love.

We're all here on earth having some adventures and learning some lessons, but where we really are, with God, none of this matters.  And in that real place, we love everyone and in fact, are joined with everyone.  

When you give unto another that which alone is true, because all minds are joined, you have offered unto them the only gift that holds value.  When you give another the truth--perhaps even without saying a word--because all minds are joined they recognize what has been offered and say to themselves, "The one before me knows the truth of me and is looking right through every one of my attempts to be less than who I am.  Therefore I see that it's safe to choose again."  That is when miracles occur.  --The Way of Mastery p. 86

When you look past the body and see only the light, you know the truth of even the worst villains.  Remember that this all happens on the level of the Mind, where thoughts are joined.  Knowing this truth, holds the place for them, in your mind.  And this gives them the chance to know your forgiveness.  You are giving them your love which is a chance for them to choose love for themselves.

Whether they do or not, is not your concern.  You get what you give.  Your forgiveness of others creates your own acceptance of yourself.  Self love.  It happens over time as you forgive others and the world around you.

Self love creates peace.  Peace leads to happiness.  This is how forgiveness is the key to happiness.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Our Job is to Clean Up Our Minds

Removing the blocks to the awareness of love's presence"  --A Course in Miracles (Intro 1: 6,7) 
This is the goal A Course in Miracles defines for us in its introduction.  It is one of the very first statements in a book of over 1300 pages.  What does it mean?  What are these blocks to love?

Blocks are created through our unforgiveness.  They are the things we judge, what we are unable to accept.
"Your work is not to seek and find love.  It is merely to turn within to discover every obstacle that you have created to its presence, and to offer that obstacle to the great dissolver of dreams, the grace of the Holy Spirit."--Way of Mastery p. 72
So much of what we have filled our minds with is not love. Our memories, our subconscious mind and our current thinking is filled with hurt, pain, anger, judgment, upset, guilt and every form of negative thinking.  

Until we remove this negative thinking, these blockages, these obstacles, we are unable to allow ourselves to accept the love that God is always offering to us, in every moment, in every place.  We do not allow ourselves to see the truth of God's love...

We actually believe in sin and punishment.  Even though we know that God created us in his own image and that therefore we are perfect.

We actually believe in our own lack of worth.  Even though we know that God loves us infinitely.

We actually believe in anger, victimhood, revenge and hate.  Even though we know that God created every single one of us in love and that we are all one with him and with each other.

Our job is to clean up our minds.  We have to sort out all this wrong, emotional, fear based thinking.  We have to search out the blockages, the obstacles, and turn them over to Spirit.

How do we do this?  With forgiveness, of course.  It's a process and it doesn't happen overnight  We have to deliberately seek out every part of our mind where we are blocking love.  And that means digging around in our pasts, in our subconscious and really and truly examining the way we think in the present.

It's important not to get overwhelmed by the task ahead and to keep our eyes on the prize.  And the prize for doing this work is huge.  Actually, it's everything.  It's everything you have always wanted and not known how to get.  It's why you're here.  It's what you seek.

Once we have done this work of removing blockages, we will be able to receive love.