While I do not claim to be a "fully enlightened being", I have been blessed with many teachers and I have found a clear sense of purpose and vision after half a lifetime of fear, frustration, anger, addiction, and self-sabotage. My teachers have taken many forms: Local mentors, great books, Native American/Lakota teachers, the calm and heat of the desert, sound healers, meditative practice, conferences/seminars and the basic joys and challenges of life.
Some of the most cathartic realizations/changes I have experienced have come in the silence of meditation. While some might call the clarity felt in these moments as “channeling”, it is my sense that the words and feelings that have come to me do not necessarily have an external source: my truth is that the deepest wisdom comes from within us. We simply are challenged to recognize this source and trust its high value.
Having spent so much of the earlier times in my life in what some might call a living hell, my inspiration is to offer ideas and encouragement to others who intend to have a life of more presence, calm, trust and love. I believe that all this is possible, particularly when one builds a sense of value for the wisdom that is within.
I welcome your questions and feedback.
Whatever your religious or spiritual beliefs, you are entitled to have them as they are. Unlike most religions, I do not presume to tell you what you should believe. What is offered here is done with humility, something I ask you to consider.
If you are comfortably aligned with any religion, please click out of this page now. I have no intent to offend anyone.
I was inspired by a forum posting I saw today in which the writer defended religions as doing a lot of charitable work and bringing important values to the world. My response, expanded:
While a handful of the smaller religions maintain a purity and spiritually-uplifting presence in the world, all the big religions have become tools to frighten and divide people. The more enlightened spiritual organizations who do good in the world and promote healthy values wisely do not call themselves religion, for that is a term that has been thoroughly polluted by our culture.
Buddhism is not properly called religion; in it, there is no set of rules or consequences spelled out that are required to be honored for membership, no external punishing god, no enemies designated. To lump it in with religion is to do Buddhism and Buddhists a great disservice. Alliance with the loving ideas of Buddhism is one of the most powerful ways we can rise above any subscription to destructive,divisive religion.
Humbly, here is what is important to understand about the good that religions do: Their motive is not to spread high values. It is to fool us, to fan the flames of fear, doubt, division and chaos as we fight with each other about whose religion is best, whose is worthy of condemnation, and which is more righteous in the eyes of some mythical god whom some think looks like us.
Seems to me that when the so-called holy books told us we were made in Gods' image, the original meaning might have been that we ARE God, collectively. It is this that almost all religion seeks to hide from us.
What is my source for this knowing? It is my heart, my intuitive sense. Religions tell me that I should not trust this sense, that it is blasphemous and sinful to do so. Religions tell us that we need their intermediary if we want their gods' forgiveness. They tell us that if we want a shot at salvation, unworthy as we may be, we are to trust the books that they tell us God has written.
We are told that we are to believe that God penned these words, and that God found it necessary to significantly edit "Himself" over the years for some reason, as significant elements of the Christian Bible have been expunged or altered. The truth is available to anyone who cares to do even a little research, but for the "faithful'" this poses a dilemma.
This brings to mind a story I shared in "The Wake Up Book," about when my father was dealing with the impending death of my mother a few years ago. She had been uncommunicative and beset with dimentia for a long stretch of time, and also not interested much in eating food. Prescribed appetite stimulants seemed to work, but she spent more months in silence, unable to appreciate life, unable or unwilling to talk, often fighting those who tried to spoon-feed her. At one point, my father confided that the doctor had suggested he might consider taking my mother off the appetite stimulants as a way of letting her die. He thought about it for less than a week before he decided he would not stop the medication. "If she died shortly after the medication was stopped, I would never be able to forgive myself," he said.
I asked him if he really knew that the whole Catholic line on prolonging suffering before death was stupid and counterproductive. "Yes," he said, "but what if it's not?"
This is the dilemma when faced with speaking ones' truth: Will it offend God, family or friends? If so, when is expediency the wisest choice? Please ask your heart this quesition when it comes to living your truth.
Whatever a religions' founding purpose might have been, religion in our world has nearly exclusively become a tool for manipulation rather than any kind of salvation.
So those who try to make excuses for religion by finding some good in it are really whistling in the dark. Hitler may have been loving to his mother, but would that mean you'd have wanted to go visit him every Sunday? The game is deception and the people have been stupid enough to fall for it, largely out of their own fear and their willingness to act like sheep. Does the fact that Catholic Charities helps many challenged people make OK the fact that the church forbids birth control in an over-populated world while it facilitates its own clergy in abusing young children sexually? Only because of fear do people pretend that they do not see what is happening in front of them.
So many people would rather make it OK that children continue to be abused and that millions starve to death every year. People find a way to spin it so that it can be accepted. Better that than to risk the ire of the organization that may have the "inside track" in the race to God and paradise. You don't want to piss off God. He has that rather final trump card.
"Gonna fry forever" is a pretty nasty possibility. And some religious extremists have the scriptural incentive to blow other folks up with the potential reward of having the sexual favors of many virgins in the afterlife. And my guess is they're not talking about quickies.
The introduction of a charitable facet to big religion is done to fool us, not to help us. The churches must pretend to be benevolent while they go about the task of abusing us. Charity is just part of the toolbox, practiced to keep the stupid games going: the inner fight and the fight with others. Divided in such away, we condemn ouselves to continuance of the ignorant battle.
As long as there is a damning god in a religion, one who is seen as worshipped because he is superior to other gods, and as long as people are fighting over whether this god is better than another, then the religion is a false religion, a spiritually draining one. If eternal damnation or any form of unworthiness is part of the picture---any inequality---the religion is false.
We are all one, equal, Divine. False religion---nearly all of it as we see it on Earth---does not want this known. Again, as I express the term religion, I do not include Buddhism, though some call it religion. Buddhism does not see us as separate from God. Virtually all religion does see us as separate or unworthy from the ultimate Divine.
So you may wisely deduce that it would be rather insane to expect religion to help you find something that it is dedicated to hiding from you. It's like asking a magician if he will show you the secrets to all of his tricks. If he does that, he has nothing left to sell.
If you are still buying the idea that religion is dedicated to serving us and to helping people, then I would humbly offer the possibility that you are immersed in delusion, accepting an old set of lies that have been repeated so often that you no longer claim the common sense to realize the truth that is clearly in front of you.
Now is the time to stand up and claim your truth. Sooner or later, you realize that the truth is worth standing up for. Sooner or later, you realize that perpetuating a set of lies about religion and who you are serves no worthy purpose. It just drains you of your loving power.
On this day that we celebrate the birth of Dr Martin Luther King, we might remember one of his more juicy quotations:
´Power properly understood is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose. And one of the great problems of history is that the concepts of love and power have usually been contrasted as opposites---polar opposites. So that love is identified with a resignation of power, and power with a denial of love….. Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic.”
What are you waiting for before you claim your true and loving power?
Whose permission do you need to stake this claim?
Mitt Romney with his parents after father George announced his candidacy for Michigan Governor in 1962
Having somehow managed to miss it for the last three decades, today I stumbled upon a story that mirrors for us how insanely afraid and unaware we have become as a culture, how misguided and mistrusting we have become. We're being asked to wake up to what is happening, to quit incessantly slamming the snooze button.
It's been in the news lately, a story from 30 odd (hypen or not there) years ago when Mitt Romney and his wife piled the kids into the family car for a 12-hour trip from Massachusetts to Ontario, Canada. For the drive up, their Irish Setter was in a kennel strapped to the roof of the car.
Sometime during the trip, they noticed a "brown liquid" had streamed down the back window of the car. No need for further explanation. You get it. The dog must have been petrified. Rather than clean up the dog and let it into the car, Romney decided to hose it down and put it back on the roof for the rest of the trip.
Irish Setters are nervous breed, a little paranoid. How would any of us two-leggeds handle being in a box on top of a fast-moving car for twelve hours, with breaks only at the gas station?
Asked about the incident recently, Romney called the kennel "completely air-tight" and said the dog loved it in there. This had to be some kind of special kennel: Seems to me that if it was attached to the roof of a car and was air-tight, it would pose something of a challenge in terms of air supply for the dog between gas stops. And if it was air-tight, how was it not "brown liquid"-tight?
It's easy to cut the guy some slack for putting Seamus up there to begin with. I've sure done my share of thoughtless things in my life and I can forgive myself for them. But once the dog let loose the brown stuff, common sense and compassion might have allowed for the dog to be let into the car, rather than be put back into the kennel up top for the rest of the trip. Let's forgive him for that, too, and let's not pretend that just because it happened a long time ago that it does not matter.
Most of our elected officials in this country are ignorant or crooks or both. Most people refuse to face this even when presented with massive evidence. This article is not intended to be a personal attack on Romney. Actually, he's another of those whom we can thank for waking us up to what a great teacher the world is for us. I'll get to why in a minute.
Many people seem to have great concern over Romneys' religion. Where he goes to church means little compared to how consciously he lives his life, the small things that can be so telling. I knew a very smart woman years ago who told me that when she was dating a new guy, she could always get major insight into whether her date might be husband material by the way he treated the waiter the first time her date took her to dinner. She figured that, sooner or later, he would treat her as he did the waitperson.
We get similar insights from people into their character when we see them interacting with their children, store clerks and pets.
Many years ago, I had a friend who told me that, decades ago, in order to keep his job, he had to obey his boss' request to take several young puppies recently borne by the family dog down to a lake and drown them. As he told the story, a certain limit was put in the trust I would ever have with him. I knew that if I ever was blessed to have a dog or puppies to give away, he would not be on my list of potential recipients.
And this is certainly not intended to equate what my friend did with Romneys' mistake.
Let's say I was a father of a mature woman who was dating a very smooth-talking man. And let's say I discovered that he had a history that included a rape conviction. I would not be particularly encouraging of her getting cozier with him.
History matters. We are being challenged now to wake up to its' lessons.
As a culture, we can act very stupidly about some things. We seem to put more emphasis on what a politician has said in the last week than we do on what they have actually done over the years.
A politician can side step sensitive questions, can have quick answers that push all of your right buttons, know just the right things to say. Whether that person is fit to run a country has little to do with how glib they are or how well they know how to hold their chin for a photo op. Show me how he treats his dog, respects the waitress, or responds to his wife when she is upset about something. I want to know if he has heart.
Whether he would lead our country with heart is what is important. It does not matter if he can come up with quick answers that satisfy multiple factions of his political party or not.
It does matter if he is willing to take our country into another senseless war. All but one of the leading Republican candidates for Americas' highest elected office want to impress us with how our country can bully the rest of the world. That is just about as stupid as the bumper stickers that tell us, "My son can kick your honor students' butt."
How often and dramatically a political candidates' position on an issue changes matters. What he does when in a position of directing others matters, whether he is is talking with an employee or ordering food at a restaurant.
Collectively, we are ignorant enough still to make things that are generally unimportant important: "Does he say he likes dogs? I have to find out if he likes cats, too."
"What church does he say he goes to?"
"Did he look a little flustered? If so, he must be hiding something."
"I don't like the way he salutes the flag."
And all this is just a set of mirrors for us reflecting how we deal with ourselves and our world. We might talk a good game. We know how to deflect criticism. Others can be conveniently blamed for our shortcomings. When someone challenges something we say, we can "clarify" it by contradicting what we just said.
When looking at ourselves in the mirror, we can deflect things about ourselves, pretend that we do not see them.
Our willingness to accept as truth what our favorite politicians deceptively tell us is directly proportional to the extent to which we con our own selves.
Footnote: Another mirror for us in seeing how we treat ourselves and our world: After recently attacking Mitt Romney for the dog incident, Newt Gingrich announced that he will be putting up a new website featuring his love for pets: "Newt Loves Pets," featuring pictures of cute animals alone and sitting on an adoring Newts' lap. Manipulation does not get more transparent than that.
Our choices of political favorites--at least the ones we tell our friends and family about---tend to be made for the most ignorant of reasons. We do it based on what will bring us the most acceptance from those we love, what will rock the boat the least, what will preserve the most valued relationships. And sometimes we want our choice to be for the one we think will win rather than the the one most suited to the office. And we revel at the opportunity to judge harshly the "other guy."
We still tend to tell people that we are voting for the same candidate that is being heralded by our favorite television and radio political show host: "I'm a ditto head. If that guy's good enough for Rush, he's good enough for me." That kind of thing makes you friends down at the corner bar, but if Rush is the only reason you are going to vote for that candidate, you are selling out yourself.
Just as the politicians political pundits play their games on us, we play a game of deception on our own selves.
So thinking about all this, I am provoked to wonder: How stupid and shallow can people be? Do most people really want to wake up?
And maybe the real question we are challenged to ask of ourselves is this: "How stupid and shallow am I willing to pretend I am?"
Footnote Two: Back in the sixties, when Mitt Romneys' father was running for the office of President of the United States, his candidacy came to a grinding halt when he said that he had been "brainwashed" by the military about what was going on in Vietnam, that he had been falsely led to believe that we had good reason to be fighting over there.
The fact is that much of our voting public had been brainwashed to believe the lies that started and prolonged that war. While some of the public would gradually come to admit to having been brainwashed, in the heat of political battle for our nations' highest office, we would not accept someone who could be vulnerable to being brainwashed. Just when he had built great momentum in his run for the Presidency, George Romneys' campaign crashed.
We all make mistakes. And we don't like to fess up. George Romney had the guts to admit that he'd been deceived. The people of this country---with major support from our corrupt media---nailed him to a cross for it.
What else do we demand from our elected leaders that we, ourselves, will not muster?
The most powerful institutions in the ways of our world do not want us to trust ourselves. Their game is a complete deception and domination. Just like the game of the imaginary, egoic mind that we are being pushed let go.
Who do you trust?
What in yourself will you choose to trust?
Ego and corrupt institutions are disolved in the exact same way. We simply withdraw our attention and support from them. They do not exist except as we feed them. No resistance necessary. No fighting. This is maybe the best kept secret of all time.
Click on your pause button and ponder that one, please.
All of us are one, infinite, fully connected, Divine Us.
The second series video focusing on who we are, and whati we are being called upon to do and be.
Background meditative music in this video provided courtesy of John Epperson. Check out the free mp3s and other fine work of his here: http://tunes.higher-music.com/album/solfeggio-suite
Please consider the suggested protocol, explained here in full, if you have not seen it. Starting with video one is highly recommended after reading the linked page. This is Video 2.
When you get to one of these while reading this please click on your pause button and contemplate---go into the silence---with the idea just expressed.
As guided, I will be posting a new and short video on a topic that is designed to assist you in clarifying two things for yourself:
(1) What is important to you. and (2) Your great power to realize the life that you envision.
These videos synthesize the most important elements from "The Wake Up Book" and "What To Do When It Hits The Fan."
If I were to suggest to you that, by simply spending 5 or 10 minutes watching and contemplating a different video three times per week that you could create a major, powerful shift in your life, you might think that I am a little crazy. Yet, this is exactly what I am suggesting. Currently there are two Light Box Videos. After spending some time with these---and you may want to repeat any of them three or four times in the course of a week before moving on to the next----consider going through the Videos Menu ( tab at the top of every page on this website) and picking a title that appeals to you, pausing during the viewing as often and for as long as feels like a fit for you.
If you are tuned into the head, you will believe that waking up fully must be excruciatingly arduous. As you learn to identify with the heart, the process can be quite simple and begin flowing effortlessly.
What makes the difference after watching each of the videos in the Light Box series is your willingness to apply what you learn about yourself to the way you live your life.
If you are going to do this, then it is important to make progress in getting out of your head and into your heart.
Nothing in these videos is presented as the only truth. You are asked to use your pause button frequently during each video and to contemplate what has been expressed---filtering it through your heart.
Instead of letting your head decide when to click your pause button, you can let your heart decide.
The point of these videos is to help inspire you to redefine yourself by tuning in to briefly-stated ideas for your hearts’ consideration. This is valuable "inner excavation" work that most people have never been taught how to do.
With your attention on your heart now , ask it if this kind of inner excavation is something important for you, wise for you to spend some time with.
The language of the heart tends to be that of feelings. How do you feel when go into your silence after you ask your heart this queston?
You might choose to think of the “Light Box” as a little box in your heart that is filled with the light of Love. This Love cannot be fully felt, fully realized until you accept that it is the essence of who you are , that it IS YOU, and that as you embrace the light in this box with trust, it fills you with a love that you can trust and know as it radiates loving power to the Universe.
The mind will try to talk you out of this kind of thinking. For to accept such an idea is the death of the mind as we think we know it. The strange structure of this imaginary entity is that it thinks it's you and is committed to struggle and fighting with the real you. To accept a fully loving way of living would mean its' death.
Ego is the quintessential schizophrenic. Seeing life as a problem, it says two contradictory things:
"I need to solve this problem. I can."
"I must not solve this problem. I can't, for to solve it means my death."
These videos offer simply-stated ideas for you to filter through the heart, to accept or reject as you choose. Over the whole series some ideas will be repeated more than once, as a way of helping you to re-condition yourself to what may be a very new way of living your life.
If you are coming from your head now, you many be saying, “Oooh, brainwashing!” And it is! It is your choice whether you wish to cleanse your mind with these thoughts. You can choose to back off from this at any time. You have the power to choose. You can let your heart do this choosing.
To get the most out of this video series, consider the following, please:
(1) It is recommended that you experience no more than one of these videos in any three-day period. Watching the same video three days in a row may be best, helping you to keep the ideas in it with you.
(2) Please use your pause button frequently as you watch and listen. If there is an idea that is a little muddy for you---that doesn't quite make sense---pause your player, focus on your heart, and to into the silence with it. Listen. Feel. You will know the difference between mind chatter and insight. Choose to hush up the chatter. You have the power to do this. (Your head will make excuses to dismiss this power, if your attention is on your head.)
(3) Writing down the most important clarifying insight you get about your Self from each video can be very helpful, especially if you state it briefly and choose to read it multiple times during your day. Placing reminder notes on your calendar or on the refrigerator to watch the videos can be helpful. Please keep this in mind and heart: the ego will try to distract you from inner work because ego is threatened by such work.
(4) There will be times in these videos when I ask if you are willing to repeat something a few times with me so that you can get a sense for how it feels to you. Trust your heart, please, in choosing whether you will do this.
(5) The most important caveat: Some people, particularly those who are fed up with how their lives are going, may adapt to these ideas very quickly. Others will experience resistance. When this occurs, choose to know if this resistance is coming from your heart or your head. Consider this possibility: all resistance comes from the head.
If some idea or expereince is not working for the heart, the heart simply disengages. There is no resistance.
This video series is a free service, presented to you humbly. Your feedback is appreciated.
For the first video, click here.
If you have not read the introductory tips and information on how to get the most value from this series, please click here.
This 11-minute video includes a Pause Session focusing on the wisdom and will of the heart.
Meditative music by J.S. Epperson from his Solfeggio Suite CD. There are some free tracks for you there and other recommended music, particularly the Solfeggio Suite CD. Here is the link:
Please use your pause button frequently while listening to this meditation. During the spoken portion of the meditation, the screen is black. Feel free to close your eyes as you tune into your heart.
Please do not experience more than one of these videos in any single day. You may want to experience the same video several times before moving on to another. This is a reconditioning process. You might choose to continue with the same video if you are experiencing resistance. Let your heart guide you in the experience, making your inner guide more important than anything I suggest here.
A little preparation: