This is a big one, folks – if you want peace, anyway. And it’s not very complicated. Let me first give credit to the folks over at Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). That’s where I found these particular terms, pain and suffering, for what is described below. I think they work very well. Regardless of the terms used, though, understanding the concept underneath them is always what we’re after. Let’s get started…
Pain is what happens. Suffering is the story that we layer on top of what happens. Drop the story, learn how to feel, and then handle the situation as best you can. Done. Continue living. Now for a bit more detail…
Pain is a normal, built-in part of life on earth. There’s no escaping it, so it’s pointless to resist it. It’s simply a fact that “good” things and “bad” things are always around the corner. That’s how it works here. People get sick, people die, our cars break down, relationships break down, people are unkind (to say the least), there are natural disasters, we drip barbeque sauce on our white shirt, etc. This is what we mean by “pain.” These things might not be fun, but they happen and that’s not avoidable. If you base your peace on avoiding pain, then you’re screwed.
What is avoidable, though, is suffering. All it takes is practice. Suffering is the story, the commentary by the voice in the head. “I can’t believe this happened. This always happens. It happened at the worst time. Just my luck. She shouldn’t have done that. He should act differently. Damn him. I’m a failure. This sucks.” These are all examples of suffering. What’s the problem with suffering? It makes the pain worse. Two for the price of one – nice! The pain is already unpleasant, so why do this to ourselves and make it worse? Because it’s a habit, that’s all. It’s really no big deal once you start to notice it and catch it. When you bust yourself doing this, just stop. Breathe. Feel. Let go. What am I reacting to? What needs to be done? Then just do it. Why? Because that’s the best you can do.
The reason why this is a tricky habit to break is that it all happens so fast. First, something we don’t like happens. Then in only a split second, we’ve begun telling ourselves a story that makes our normal body reaction (i.e. anger, sadness, fear, resentment) worse than it already was. We feel extra bad now, so the voice in the head comments on that. Which makes us feel even worse. Which makes the voice in the head get louder and angrier. Which makes us feel worse. See the pattern? It’s a classic feedback loop. And it happens really, really fast.
Much of this work is about slowing things down and looking at this process under a magnifying glass. As soon as you catch yourself in the middle of making up painful stories full of suffering, you stop and wake up. You bust yourself as mentioned above. With practice, you bust it earlier and earlier, until there comes a time when you catch it right away and nip it in the bud. No more useless commentary. Something “bad” happens, and we immediately remind ourselves that that’s what happens sometimes. Sometimes a lot. There’s nothing wrong with it. This doesn’t mean that’s what we wanted to happen, but since it has happened, I’m just going to handle it as best I can. Freaking out makes thing worse, so I’m done freaking out. I’m tired of it. There’s already enough pain in life, so let’s eliminate the suffering. Why? Because we can. All it takes is practice…
reprinted with permission from Ashley Pennewill of A Clean Mind
from the original Kung Fu TV series with David Carradine
Young Caine: Master how may I walk a peaceful path, when the world is seldom peaceful?
Master Po: Peace lies not in the world Grasshopper, but in the man who walks the path.
Young Caine: But in my path may be men not filled with peace.
Master Po: Then seek a different path.
Young Caine: And if at each turn appear those who would be violent and do not love peace?
Master Po: To reach perfection, a man must develop equally compassion and wisdom.
Young Caine: But master, how do I not contend with the man that would contend with me?
Master Po: In a heart that is one with nature though the body contends, there is no violence. And in the heart that is not one with nature, though the body be at rest, there is always violence. Be, therefore, like the prow of a boat, it cleaves the water yet it leaves in its wake water unbroken.
You are amazing. You are the creation of yourself. You are that which creates. You are the choice to experience existence – beingness. The only limit to what you can be is your self-belief and your imagination. To be born into this reality is to enter a wonderful, shared illusion that grants you complete free-will in the creation of your own personal reality; this is your creatorship. Within the illusion we believe that we are looking at a separate, objective world where we experience self and other; beneath this apparent separation we are unified; we are one. Reality is a mirror of your being. You are creation exploring itself in a space-time mirror. Through what you choose to believe you create your reality. You change your reality by changing your beliefs about both it and yourself. The eyes with which you look actually shape what you see (this is now shown in quantum physics). Perception is not passive; it is an act of creation. Your choice of perception forms not only how you experience yourself, but your entire reality. Awakening to your creatorship leads your experience of reality to become more fluid and direct. This is to enter conscious creatorship where what you desire is quickly manifest. The key to conscious creatorship is the allowance of change; the birthing of the unknown into the known. The basis of allowance is acceptance. To change your reality you must first accept it. As long as you reject what you do not like about your reality you are in denial of your creatorship, leaving you feeling stuck. To accept that you are choosing your reality, release attachment to any preconception of how life should be and instead love what is. This comes through the taking of complete responsibility for every element of your reality. This is to love your choice. It is to love yourself. You are the choice of yourself. Release your fear. Fear is fear of the unknown, fear of being limitless. Fear creates limitation. There is a natural, beautiful unfolding to life that can only arise when you let go of the control that arises through fear. To face your fear is to allow yourself to be vulnerable and put down the shields you have used to protect yourself. All shields are a representation of a belief in danger and therefore lead you to the very danger you want them to protect you from. Whilst you are barricaded behind shields (fear) you will never truly feel safe. All that blocks you in life is the manifestation of your fear. The discovery of freedom is the realization that the only force pushing against you is you. You hold the key to any cage you may be in. To cease to judge and control your own being is to release struggle and enter joyful, effortless creation. You are awakening to your creatorship and the nature of the illusion. This is a natural process and requires no more than fearlessly being yourself. This means opening and following your heart. This is your freedom: believe whatever your heart feels to believe. This is to live in the Now. It is to awaken to the equality of all beingness and release judgment of both yourself and the world. Ever changing truth is the reflection of the ever unfolding birth of beingness that is life. In this state there is no such thing as ‘The Truth’. There is no need of an answer for there is no problem. Just be. There are no limits to what you can be; you are infinite. The joy of this life arises through completely allowing your own being. Within your heart is a dream. The meaning of life is to live that dream. You can only live that dream if you believe you can. Believe in your dream. You are free to be whatever it is you wish to be. You are an embodiment of all creation. The answer to every question you can conceive is within you, for you are both the creator and perceiver of all you experience. Allow your beingness to blossom without limitation or control and you will experience the limitless love and freedom that you are.
For more information on Story Waters please visit https://www.limitlessness.com/
That aspect of you that is pure spirit accepts everything and resists nothing.
It is somewhat counterintuitive but the only aspect of you that wishes to “kill” your ego is your ego.
Why does your ego wish to “kill” itself? So that it can go out amongst other egos and proudly proclaim “Look at me, I have killed my ego!”
IF you were actually able to kill your ego, and some sages throughout history have done this, then you wouldn’t respond to your name and you would have to be fed and cleaned like a baby.
Your ego is necessary to navigate this realm and if it wasn’t, you wouldn’t have one.
You weren’t born with an ego, but the ability to develop an ego was there at the moment of your birth.
Through conditioning by your parents and caregivers and contact with the outside world, you developed an ego over time.
You were born into this world as pure conscious awareness and underneath your conditioned mind, you still are.
So what IS the “goal” of your spiritual ascension?!
The goal is to walk in this world as your Authentic Self, but what exactly is your “Authentic Self?!”
Your Authentic Self is the balance point or overlap between pure ego and pure spirit.
This is the beauty of the Self Realization Mantra. It can shift you into this state of beingness.
When you are in this state of balance between spirit and ego, the majority of your decisions, thoughts, emotions, feelings, actions and creations are pleasing to and in alignment with both your ego and your spirit.
Your Ego seeks acknowledgement, acceptance and validation. Your ego wishes to be seen and heard and appreciated. The first line of the Self Realization Mantra validates your egoic sense of self.
Your Spirit seeks peace and oneness with everyone and everything. The second line of the Self Realization Mantra (re)connects you with everyone and everything.
In combination, the first 2 lines of this beautiful mantra help you to stay in balance and embody your Authentic Self.
May you achieve Moksha in this lifetime.
I salute you for reading this post all the way through.
I Love You and I Want You To Be Happy!
David Dreamwalker Diamondheart
A scene from the 1981 movie “My Dinner with Andre”
Well, why...why do you think that is? I mean, why is that? I mean, is it just because people are lazy today, or they're bored? I mean, are we just like bored, spoiled children... ...who've just been lying in the bathtub all day... ...just playing with their plastic duck... ...and now they're just thinking, "Well, what can I do?" Okay. Yes. We're bored. We're all bored now. But has it ever occurred to you, Wally, that the process... ...that creates this boredom that we see in the world now... ...may very well be a self-perpetuating, unconscious form of brainwashing... ...created by a world totalitarian government based on money... ...and that all of this is much more dangerous than one thinks... ...and it's not just a question of individual survival, Wally... ...but that somebody who's bored is asleep... ...and somebody who's asleep will not say no? See, I keep meeting these people... I mean, uh, just a few days ago... I met this man whom I greatly admire. He's a Swedish physicist. Gustav Bjornstrand. And he told me that he no longer watches television... ...he doesn't read newspapers, and he doesn't read magazines. He's completely cut them out of his life... ...because he really does feel that we're living in some kind of Orwellian nightmare now... ...and that everything that you hear now contributes to turning you into a robot. And when I was at Findhorn, I met this extraordinary English tree expert... ...who had devoted his life to saving trees. Just got back from Washington, lobbying to save the redwoods. He's 84 years old, and he always travels with a backpack... 'cause he never knows where he's gonna be tomorrow. And when I met him at Findhorn, he said to me, " Where are you from?" And I said, " New York. " He said, " Ah, New York. Yes, that's a very interesting place. Do you know a lot of New Yorkers who keep talking about the fact that they want to leave, but never do?" And I said, " Oh, yes. " And he said, "Why do you think they don't leave?" I gave him different banal theories. He said, " Oh, I don't think it's that way at all. " He said, " I think that New York is the new model for the new concentration camp... "where the camp has been built by the inmates themselves... "and the inmates are the guards, and they have this pride in this thing they've built. "They've built their own prison. "And so they exist in a state of schizophrenia... "where they are both guards and prisoners. "And as a result, they no longer have... having been lobotomized... "the capacity to leave the prison they've made... ...or to even see it as a prison. " And then he went into his pocket, and he took out a seed for a tree... ...and he said, " This is a pine tree. " He put it in my hand and he said, "Escape before it's too late. " See, actually, for two or three years now... Chiquita and I have had this very unpleasant feeling that we really should get out. We really should feel like Jews in Germany in the late '30s. Get out of here. Of course, the problem is where to go. 'Cause it seems quite obvious that the whole world is going in the same direction. See, I think it's quite possible that the 1960s... ...represented the last burst of the human being before he was extinguished... ...and that this is the beginning of the rest of the future, now... ...and that from now on there'll simply be all these robots walking around... ...feeling nothing, thinking nothing. And there'll be nobody left almost to remind them... ...that there once was a species called a human being... ...with feelings and thoughts... ...and that history and memory are right now being erased... ...and soon nobody will really remember... ...that life existed on the planet. Now, of course, Bjornstrand feels that there's really almost no hope... ...and that we're probably going back to a very savage... ...lawless, terrifying period. Findhorn people see it a little differently. They're feeling that there'll be these pockets of light... ...springing up in different parts of the world... ...and that these will be, in a way, invisible planets on this planet... ...and that as we, or the world, grow colder... ...we can take invisible space journeys to these different planets... ...refuel for what it is we need to do on the planet itself... ...and come back. And it's their feeling that there have to be centers now... ...where people can come and reconstruct a new future for the world. And when I was talking to, uh, Gustav Bjornstrand... ...he was saying that actually these centers are growing up everywhere now... ...and that what they're trying to do, which is what Findhorn was trying to do... ...and, in a way, what I was trying to do... I mean, these things can't be given names... ...but in a way, these are all attempts at creating a new kind of school... ...or a new kind of monastery. And Bjornstrand talks about the concept of" reserves"... ...islands of safety where history can be remembered... ...and the human being can continue to function... ...in order to maintain the species through a dark age. In other words, we're talking about an underground... ...which did exist in a different way during the Dark Ages... ...among the mystical orders of the church. And the purpose of this underground... ...is to find out how to preserve the light, life, the culture... ...how to keep things living. You see, I keep thinking that what we need... ...is a new language... ...a language of the heart... ...a language, as in the Polish forest, where language wasn't needed. Some kind of language between people that is a new kind of poetry... ...that's the poetry of the dancing bee that tells us where the honey is. And I think that in order to create that language... ...you're going to have to learn how you can go through a looking glass... ...into another kind of perception... ...where you have that sense of being united to all things... ...and suddenly you understand everything. Are you ready for some dessert? Uh, I think I'll just have an espresso. Thank you. - Very good. - I'll... I'll also have one. Thank you. And...And, uh, could I also have, uh, an amaretto? Certainly, sir. Thank you.