Why is there suffering? To thicken the plot - Sri Ramakrishna
In class 5 you will:
- Learn to learn -
with wisdom, effectively and efficiently
- Explore your meditation lifestyle. Your path. Your teacher
- Design better life directions by focusing on meaningful, rather than
- Continue your regular, daily meditation practice in your special
It is impossible
for a man to be cheated by anyone, but himself. -EMERSON
Learning to learn
A valuable person is one who believes that he/she can do anything. With no fear of new tasks there
is enormous potential and the possibility to learn quickly, quietly and
efficiently. This is the basis of ‘Positive Learning’ and lies at the heart of a
Learning’ utilises ‘chunking’ or designing a simple step-by-step process that
paces a skill into smaller achievable tasks. For example if you were learning to
play the guitar, you might begin by learning how to place your fingers on the fretboard for two simple chords. Then with practise you might try a few more,
until eventually you would be able to play a complete song.
As we break down
our learning process into steps, we find a circular procedure being formed – the
"My heart needs
only one thing: it needs to be guided along the age-old path of life-blossoming
The first step in
the Success Spiral is to take personal responsibility for our lives. If there is
an element of our lives that we are not happy with, then we can do one of two
We can defend
our present state, lay blame on others or our environment – in which case we
'get what we settle for’. Simply, we extinguish our potential to evolve and
diminish our choices. We might find ourselves saying things like - ‘Why should
I change when it is Betty who has the problem’ or ‘I will be happy when my
husband stops giving me such a hard time’.
Or we can accept
responsibility for ourselves and live the adage that all the answers to all of
our questions are inside of us. i.e. If I am not happy now, it is because I am
not identifying powerfully enough with the infinite joy that is inside my
heart, which is my real nature. If I am not being loved now, perhaps it is
just as much my responsibility to practise giving love without expectation of
any in return and see where it leads.
Do you notice how
in the second scenario by positive internal dialog you are empowering yourself,
increasing your potential to change your circumstance and increasing choices?
Once we identify
potential for progress then we empower ourselves by releasing the old self we do
not want to be and embolden the vision of the new self we are moving towards.
This may be as simple as more peace in our lives. We recognise that we do not
want to settle for being worried, restless and/or anxious any more. We see that
state of mind as the old self we are moving away from and we identify ourselves
with how fulfilled, calm and poised we would be if we could develop a regular
Then it is time for Step 2, the action. To obtain more peace, we might try a
simple action such as every day in the morning, repeating the mantra “peace” for
3 minutes. The third step is then to engage positive internal dialog to
reinforce the action. This increases our potential and empowers our continuing
journey along the spiral to ultimate success.
If your bonds be
not broken whilst living, what hope of deliverance in death. It is but an empty
dream, that the soul shall have union with Him because it has passed from the
body: If He is found now. He is found then. If not, we do but go to dwell in
death. - KABIR
Evolution and the
art of change
The most powerful
truth about our journey here on the earth is that we are here to evolve and
grow. In fact we must - we have no choice about this.
We cannot progress
by staying the same. For each step in our evolution a change is required. So
let’s welcome change. We all know that change creates fear, but let’s use our
fear, not be imprisoned by it. Many people are paralysed by fear, they never
progress, but not us. The adrenaline, the heightened awareness fear
gives us, can be transformed into determined and empowering dialog and beliefs
that enable us to enact the change.
Many people are
dismayed when they first begin to look at themselves truly to find lots of
things they would like to change. They often are daunted by the task ahead.
Don’t be! The most
fantastic gift is the awareness of a change we need to make. Be thankful, most
of your work is already done. Consider a model of the change cycle below...
The CHANGE CYCLE
aware of the problem requires honesty, humility and an open heart. Well
done the hard part is over.
We must want
to change. Without willingness, we are just going to have to keep facing
our demons again and again. Remember, the most powerful of all cosmic laws
is that we have no choice but to progress. If you find that there is
resistance that usually means you have hit upon exactly the problem.
3. Potential (15%)
yourself with the empowering belief that you CAN get yourself to do what
you want yourself to do. You are not trapped. This stage is all about
increasing your potential with extremely positive, empowering internal
Do you see
how ironic this is? The action is really the simple part; it takes only 2%
of the total effort. This is where we let go of our anchors (our old
binding beliefs or practices) and open ourself up to the infinite
potential of the heart. Remember – repetition, repetition, repetition.
of the result of the action is very important. We must as quickly as
possible get back to Step 3 and go about the process of offering ourselves
the empowerment to increase our potential to the level necessary for the
heart is the home of our real self.
During the past
two classes we have discussed a higher awareness we experience when our
consciousness deepens past the superficial and analytical ‘thinking’ perceptions
of the mind to the intuitive experiences we perceive from the higher mind or
It is only with
the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
-ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPERY
But what and where
is the spiritual heart? Close your eyes for a moment. With your index finger,
point to yourself while saying ‘me’. Where did your finger end up? On your
you may have guessed it has nothing to do with the muscle beating away inside
your chest. But what are the qualities of the heart? Intuitively, you already
know. Take a look at the qualities being expressed in the following statements:
Oh, she’s so kind
and caring. She has a heart of gold!
I love you with all my
It absolutely breaks my
heart to see her suffer like that.
Come on team! We have got to play as one unit, play with
I know this is right because I felt it right here in my
I thank you from the bottom of my
My heart is full of joy to see you all here today.
sympathy, oneness, wisdom, intuition, gratitude and joy - these are the
qualities of the spiritual heart. This is exactly why you are meditating on the
heart. It is an infinite inner fountain from which flows every positive quality
that your real self already possesses. If you walk into a room and light a
candle, what happens? The light illumines the darkness. In exactly the same way,
as your heart opens through meditation, the light of your soul will illumine
more and more of your being.
We must not cease
from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we
began and to know the place for the first time - T.S. ELIOT
Lifestyle - the Path of the Heart.
You may by now,
realise that your meditation practise is helping to make meaningful, what were
previously, even the most mundane moments in your life.
You may have
noticed that you are less likely to respond negatively to situations that
previously you may have found yourself ‘reacting’ in a harmful manner without
You may also be
aware that you are finding yourself more understanding and sympathetic to those
around you, that you are more loving, more peaceful and that you are making your decisions with more
clarity than ever before.
You may have also
found that you have more time, that you are more relaxed, less stressed and more
Finally, you may have come to glimpse your real nature, the infinitely loving,
peaceful, blissful and wise self that is the real you. With this new found
insight, you may have also expanded upon your belief in yourself, realising that
ultimately, all the answers to all of your questions are inside of you.
This is the
essence of real freedom. The process of letting go of our animal and human
natures and expanding and growing into our divine nature. The journey of giving
up the earth and embracing heaven, of finding our intimacy with the Supreme, of
discovering the Path of the Heart.
There are many
paths, but to travel the fastest we must carry the lightest load and with the
most intense longing. Our spiritual lives are not measured in the years, but in
the moments. That is, it is important for us to start, and while we hear the
inner voice to follow it – with all of our heart. If we ignore it, it will teach
us more infrequently and its volume will be diminished, if we trust our selves,
it will teach us more often and increase its volume.
Many of us have
had the experience of facing this spiritual dimension before. We have come to
this very same question before. It is now time to live it, to follow the breath
of infinity within our hearts, to converse silently and sacredly with our
eternal friend inside us, our own highest self, our Supreme.
The goal, plainly,
is to focus as much of our energy as possible on our divine nature.
All of us know
subconsciously that fulfilment in our lives comes from this cosmic spiritual
energy, the love that flows in the hearts of all things. This love we experience
as a gateway to the divine, a direct opening to the Supreme. It is all
encompassing, all-powerful and infinitely satisfying.
As our society has
externalised its search for quality of life and meaning it has tried to
externalise even this energy. It has tried to position love in human terms;
human relationships, romance, family, material possessions – but this love is only a tiny
portion of the whole divine magnificent experience.
Real love is much
larger than the normal human love we all know.
Human love is
nearly always conditional. “I will love you as long as you love me in return,”
we will think if we do not say. Most of us have very little understanding of the
vast, unconditional compassionate love that is experienced in divine love.
When love first
happens, the two individuals are giving each other energy unconsciously and
unconditionally and both people feel buoyant and elated. That’s the incredible
high we all call being in love. Unfortunately, once they expect this feeling to
come from the other person, they cut themselves off from the energy in the
universe and begin to rely even more on the energy from each other-only now
there doesn’t seem to be enough.. At this point the relationship degenerates
into the usual power struggle.
- James Redfield -Celestine Prophecy
As James Redfield
points out, it is when love is confined to the narrow boundaries of human,
conditional love that it is then prone to a kind of power struggle, between
competing participants. We might wonder about the euphoria we felt at the start
of the relationship (where we were giving ourselves unconditionally) and blame
our partner, believing that we haven’t changed – so it must be them. We might
try to force them to be something they can’t be. Putting it on them to be more
romantic, or more loving, when what we really want is that experience of both
parties giving of each other without expectation of a return. We need to free
ourselves from the binding conditional love and expand our experience into the
divine, unconditional love that flows through every atom. To practise loving
unconditionally (remember very few of us have experienced it) and become more
conscious of that wonderful energy every second.
awareness is true even of our diet. What we put into our bodies directly effects
our state of mind. If we want our mind to be calm and peaceful, allowing our
spiritual energy to come forward than it is helpful if the foods that we consume
be nutritious and peacefully produced. Eating on the run, eating with out paying
attention is not conscious.
is about becoming conscious, becoming aware.
benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as
much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet. - EINSTEIN
It has been noted
that meat carries with it somewhat powerfully some of the animal consciousness,
while a vegetarian diet will effect the seeker in a much more limited way.
Ideally though, the food we eat should give us joy and we should offer our
gratitude for what we are offered. In this way we can eat more consciously.
In the end, it is one’s own happiness, peacefulness and evolution that must be
It is only the
thought that we are not free, that keeps us from actually being free. Merely to
break that thought would be enough to put us into samadhi. Samadhi is not
something we have to acquire - we have it already. -Paramahansa Yogananda
For this exercise
you will need to travel to your favourite beach. If you can't be there
physically, visualise it, perhaps with the aid of some nice, ambient ocean
and thousands and even millions of years the ocean has done this.
breathed against the shores of country after country.
crevices and caves and cliffs, smoothing the sands, exposing and carving
the rocks for the myriads of life forms that evolved and found just the
nutrients necessary for them to grow and thrive.
As you sit
there, feel that you are listening to the heartbeat of the universe, the
life breath of the earth.
beauty and majesty of the ocean rising from all around you.
the air is thick with the spray and fragrance of the ocean.
breath in – feel yourself breathing in the outgoing breath of the ocean.
are breathing in the purest and most essential ingredient of life itself.
This is the
original birth mother of all life on earth.
And as you
breathe you are merging with the ocean.
feeling that there is a place, here in this moment, that is beyond time.
beyond cause and effect and why's and how's.
beyond space itself.
where you just be.
Be, in the
heart of all things, for here creation dwells, and you are one with it
all, as life is created even now.
During this fifth
class you will have;
Empowering yourself with your infinite potential – your belief is your
without expectation - Hesitation gives power to
your doubt and fears; be sure and determined.
Look for answers to your questions, in your dreams, your
meditation, and the events of your life.
positive internal dialog to increase potential (Remember to say - YET!)
- Negative dialog decreases potential, creates limits
your heart. It is your teacher.
your meditation journal. Perhaps reflecting on your progress so far.