When you give up the approval of others and live by your own rules, you begin to gain your own approval. JOY is the result of living without guilt, shame or the sense that you are in some way inappropriate. Trying to please others is the fastest way to lose your own peace and joy. The people who wish you were different in some way are exactly the people you are better off without. ~ Jacob Glass
Thought for Today 4.27.15 A Love Story April 27, 2015
A Love Story
“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” ~ Jimi Hendrix
There’s an old story about a group of monks living with their master in a Tibetan monastery. Their lives were disciplined and dedicated, and the atmosphere in which they lived harmonious and peaceful. People from villages far and wide flocked to the monastery to bask in the warmth of such a loving spiritual environment.
Then one day the master departed his earthly form. At first the monks continued on as they had in the past, but after a time, the discipline and devotion that had been hallmarks of their daily routine slackened. The number of villagers coming through the doors each day began to drop, and little by little, the monastery fell into a state of disrepair.
Soon the monks were bickering among themselves, some pointing fingers of blame, others filled with guilt. The energy within the monastery walls crackled with animosity.
Finally, the senior monk could take it no longer. Hearing that a spiritual master lived as a hermit two days walk away, the monk wasted no time in seeking him out. Finding the master in his forest hermitage, the monk told him of the sad state the monastery had fallen into and asked his advice.
The master smiled. “There is one living among you who is the incarnation of God. Because he is being disrespected by those around him, he will not show himself, and the monastery will remain in disrepair.” With those words spoken, the master fell silent and would say no more.
All the way back to the monastery, the monk wondered which of his brothers might be the Incarnated One.
“Perhaps it is Brother Jaspar who does our cooking,” the monk said aloud. But then a second later thought, “No, it can’t be him. He is sloppy and ill tempered and the food he prepares is tasteless.”
“Perhaps our gardener, Brother Timor, is the one,” he then thought. This consideration, too, was quickly followed by denial. “Of course not” he said aloud. “God is not lazy and would never let weeds take over a lettuce patch the way Brother Timor has.”
Finally, after dismissing each and every one of his brothers for this fault or that, the senior monk realized there were none left. Knowing it had to be one of the monks because the master had said it was, he worried over it a bit before a new thought dawned. “Could it be that the Holy One has chosen to display a fault in order to disguise himself?” he wondered. “Of course it could! That must be it!”
Reaching the monastery, he immediately told his brothers what the master had said and all were just as astonished as he had been to learn the Divine was living among them.
Since each knew it was not himself who was God Incarnate, each began to study his brothers carefully, all trying to determine who among them was the Holy One. But all any of them could see were the faults and failings of the others. If God was in their midst, he was doing a fine job of hiding himself. Finding the Incarnated One among such rubble would be difficult, indeed.
After much discussion, it was finally decided that they would all make an effort to be kind and loving toward each another, treating all with the respect and honor one would naturally give to the Incarnated One. If God insisted on remaining hidden, then they had no recourse but to treat each monk as if he were the Holy One.
Each so concentrated on seeing God in the other that soon their hearts filled with such love for one another the chains of negativity that held them bound fell away. As time passed, they began seeing God not just in each other, but in every one and everything. Days were spent in joyful reverence, rejoicing in His Holy Presence. The monastery radiated this joy like a beacon and soon the villagers returned, streaming through the doors as they had before, seeking to be touched by the love and devotion present there.
It was some time later that the senior monk decided to pay the master another visit to thank him for the secret he had revealed.
“Did you discover the identity of the Incarnated One?” the master asked.
“We did,” the senior monk replied. “We found him residing in all of us.”
The master smiled.
Just imagine how our lives would change if we did as the monks did and treated everyone and everything as if we were in the presence of God.
If instead of finding fault, we chose to find God, it wouldn’t be long before our perception of others would be so completely changed that finding any fault at all would be foreign to our behavior.
If we treated everyone in our lives with as much reverence and respect as would naturally be reserved for God, it wouldn’t be long before we felt God’s presence everywhere, in everyone and in everything. Like the monks, our days would be filled with awe and splendor.
Many years ago, a couple that my husband and I considered friends became very angry with us because of something over which we felt we had no control. As the years passed, their animosity toward us continued and eventually our relationship deteriorated to one of tight-lipped nods in public or total avoidance otherwise. In short, we became enemies.
Years later I began a study of spirituality and in the process of learning, committed myself to suspending judgment and offering unconditional love to every one and every situation. Though I didn’t always succeed, I did make a daily effort and was amazed at how quickly aspects of my life began to change.
Almost immediately, those things I’d once judged as being inharmonious with my environment began blending in beautifully. That which I’d once seen as harsh and foreboding now appeared warm and comforting. The more I stopped noticing faults in others and began focusing on the things about each person I truly appreciated, the more I noticed I was feeling different about myself, too. I felt lighter and freer, as if the judgment I’d been carrying for a lifetime was a heavy burden that had been lifted.
Of course, a great deal of the time, I stumbled. More often than not, I’d find myself knee-deep in judgment before I even realized what I was doing. But the trend of my thinking was definitely shifting. And as it did, my life shifted, too, the same way the image in a mirror shifts with every nuance of change in that which it reflects.
After a while, I also began using this non-judgment approach to deal with painful hurts and resentments from the past. Whenever the couple I mentioned earlier came to mind, for instance, I would envision them surrounded by golden light and then release my relationship with them to the Highest Good. This wasn’t a daily practice, by any means, just a mini-meditation I applied whenever an old grudge or pain came to mind.
Several more years passed and then one day while attending the funeral service of a mutual friend, I saw them again. They were standing on the church steps not ten feet away and the beauty radiating from them took my breath away. I could actually see an aura of golden light surrounding their bodies, just as I’d seen in my imagination whenever they’d come to mind. Tears of joy sprung to my eyes and my entire being filled with awe and wonder. I wasn’t looking at old enemies, I realized. I was looking into the heart of God. I was looking at the physical manifestation of unconditional love.
Love is what we see when we choose to find God rather than fault. Sometimes we get so caught up in our daily doings we forget that finding love is a better choice. But like the monks, we are always free to choose again. It is entirely up to us. We can choose to express understanding instead of animosity, joy instead of sorrow, and love instead of hate. And as we do our lives will change accordingly.
When called upon to define love, writer Gertrude Stein answered, “Love is.” How beautifully simple and complete. Love is. It is the sum and substance of the universe, that of which all things are made. It is the power the propels us, the light that shines within us and the glue that binds us. Love is not something we do or feel. It is what, by our very nature, we are.
Accepting God as infinite love enables us to feel worthy and deserving of the very best life has to offer. We are able to live more abundantly, because we feel deserving of living that way. When we expand our awareness of love, we begin to recognize the infinite possibilities all around us. Our perception of life changes and we no longer feel bound by old limitations. Love erases the barriers to our good, removing every nuance of unworthiness and wiping away those beliefs that previously held us bound. Love throws open the doors to our good.
Every aspect of our life improves. When we do all things in love we naturally feel more relaxed and at ease, free from stress and tension. We don’t have to “look over our shoulders” any longer. Love sown will reward us with love reaped, and knowing that, we begin to expect our good, and accordingly, it flows to us. Worries and fears dissolve. We feel blessed and at peace and in harmony with the Universe. Our lives take on new joy, and we greet each day with anticipation and gratitude.
In addition, science is now in agreement with what philosophers have always said: We are all one. That means, of course, that when we offer pure love to others, without judgment, not only do we change our lives for the better, we change the entire world.
Some pretty good reason to love more, don’t you think?
Thought for Today 12.2.14 December 2, 2014
The person who loves what is makes use of anything life happens to bring her way, because she doesn’t con or fool herself. What comes her way is always good, even though people may say otherwise, she sees clearly. There is no adversity in her life. The only adversity in her life is lived out through others’ experience, the old ones that now are only familiar to her. As she became enlightened to the way of it, others learn the way of it. There is no adversity. Someone tells her, “I’m leaving you” she feels the excitement rising within her, as she can see only the advantages in that. Someone says, “I’m joining you,” and she can see only the advantages in that. What could be a more powerful experience than silence? “He’s joining me now.” What could be a dearer experience than him joining me? He’s leaving. She loses her eyesight. No she doesn’t. She has come to see that it’s not possible. The faces are no different than the leaves on a tree. It’s all in her mind. Her mind is everything. And then surgeries come into play – wonderful surgeries that are stable and effective. She doesn’t need the eyesight, and there’s nothing she can do not to see what she is to see. The way of it is always dearer than our thoughts about it. And our thoughts about it are all that is of the way of it. She is in them idle of the dearest life, as she is working away on her computer, and her son comes to visit. That turned out to be the deadline, not what she thought it was. She loves her deadlines, they’re always on time. She, like everything else, is the beautiful simple flow of the way of it. ~ Byron Katie on: ‘She doesn’t con or fool herself’
Thought for Today 5.5.14 May 5, 2014
Whenever we manage to Love without expectations, calculations, negotiations, we are indeed in Heaven. ~ Rumi
Thought for Today 4.22.14 April 22, 2014
Saying “No” in a Loving Way:
You may not think that saying “no” can be a loving act. Yet, if your child is putting his hand on a hot stove, you say “no” quickly and firmly. You do not want him to hurt himself. And then you put your arm around him and reassure him that you love him.
Thoughts and Quotes for Today 1.29.14 January 29, 2014
1. True Giving: True giving is an overflowing of your Love. You don’t feel that you are being depleted when you give in this way. In fact, you feel energized, because the Love you give away returns to you through the gratitude of others whom you have touched. ~Paul Ferrini
2. Bless each thought that engenders fear, gently kissing it on the forehead just as the sleeping child. Resistance cannot reveal rightmindedness.
3. The way to save a meaningless world is to just let it be meaningless. I am the one who gave it meaning when I ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. That gave me strange ideas – opposites, duality, and the ability to judge. By letting it be meaningless I remove all judgment, and where there is no judgment there is no world.
4. Today We Affirm: I am living in a Spiritual Universe, formed from loving Thought. My thought is creative and is creating my world today. Today I choose grateful, joyous, and loving thoughts as I know that these thoughts will be reflected back to me. I do not have to design the ways and means for this is an Intelligent Universe that knows HOW and when and where. My part is to align myself with my greater good as I RELAX and allow in calm expectancy – my heart and mind open and receptive. This is a day of divine fulfillment and limitless possibilities for good. I happily participate as I allow my Creative Imagination to vision only the best knowing there is no need to worry or rush. The Universe has perfect timing and knows where to find me. My faith and belief in the good are growing and expanding daily. There is no opposite to this Divine Power and Presence. All is well in me and in my world.
5. “Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.” ~ Tagore. Faith represents a deep Trust that speaks to me when i lose sight of who i am in Truth. Thanks Diederik
Thoughts and Quotes for Today 12.21.13 December 21, 2013
1. Nature does not hurry yet everything is accomplished. ~ Lao Tzu
2. I do not wish to convert people from one organized religion to another. I have no interest in any of these organized religions. My interest is in Truth, the teachings of all Enlightened Ones. If at all there is any conversion, it should be from misery to happiness, from defilement to purity, from bondage to liberation, from ignorance to enlightenment. ~ S. N. Goenka ~
3. Unless we learn to face our own shadows, we will continue to see them in “others” because the world outside is only a reflection of the world inside
4. Everyone wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die. It has nothing to do with dying. On the contrary, it has everything to do with choosing to be fully alive, loving and aware in this moment. Heaven is here, it is now, and it waits only on recognition and acceptance of what is, has been and will always be – an expansive awareness of union (Oneness) with all of creation.
5. Know that we have the power to make better choices: Love – not fear. Strength – not weakness. Light – not darkness. Life – not death. Spirit – not body/ego. Joy – not sorrow. Inclusive wholeness (oneness) – not separation. Forgiveness and innocence – not guilt and grievances. AND experiencing the contrast is usually the way we learn to make better choices.
Thoughts and Quotes For Thanks Given.. November 29, 2013
1. If I am not grateful, I am confused. ~ Bryon Katie … Thanks Given is an ongoing daily Practice…
2. Close your eyes and imagine yourself living the life of your dreams. Now be very still and allow yourself to feel your inner self grow to fit that picture. Hold the image, and the feeling, for as long as you comfortably can. Consider it done. ~ Marianne Williamson
3. The beautiful gifts of gratitude begin at home, so today we invite a healing to happen in our own body, in our own consciousness, in our own loving heart that feels blessed to be alive.. Notice all the riches we’ve been given… the feet that allow us to stand the legs, that allow we to walk, the stomach that allows us to eat, the lungs that allow us to breathe, the throat that allows us to speak, the mouth that allows us to taste, the nose that allows us to smell, the eyes that allow us to see and our beating heart that allows us to love… Honor them all…
Become present to the treasures of our life, the opportunities that we have been given, the ones that have effortlessly opened up for us this year…. Reflect on our family, our kids, our partner, our friends… Look through appreciative eyes, the eyes of what’s right
the eyes of the divine… We give thanks in a way that we never have before…
Allow fear, doubt, struggle and pain to melt away in the presence of this all-loving appreciation.. We thank God/Creator/Source/Divine Love that we have a consciousness that is able to shift and transform in just a moment
Thank God that we are courageous enough to take a moment to bless our Self, to bless the Universe, to bless all those who Love and guide us and then to bless all of the world…
We send our tears of Love and Gratitude to those who are in pain, to those who are alone, to those who are confused. We allow the heavenly vibration of Gratitude to puncture their fearful illusions and open up our hearts to what is truly divine…
Today, take this vow of deep self-Love and gratitude knowing that when we are in the presence of this kind of Love, WE – as well as all of those around us – will flourish…
Take five slow deep breaths, breathing in love, appreciation, gratitude and joy… Know that you are never alone and you will never be alone… We are all here surround with Love.
4. Gentler more loving dreams will come when the past has been forgiven and released – when the struggle to establish ones’ own worth and pursue separate interests has ceased – when Trust replaces all doubt and fear – and when Love, Peace and Gratitude prevail in every moment. It is all a seeming outward picturing of an inward state of mind – all just dreaming. ~ Thanks Benny