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Monthly Archives: November 2014

11-23-14 Surrender

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Surrender

We practice surrender every time we allow God, as we understand God, Our higher power, the sunlight of the spirit, rather than our ego-driven desires, to guide our lives.
Albert Einstein – The most fundamental question we can ever ask ourselves is whether the universe we live in is friendly or hostile. When we live from the ego, seeking to impose our will on the world, we cannot help but see the universe as hostile. Everything appears to be in opposition to us and our desires. But when we surrender to the world, not allowing it to batter us but allowing ourselves to learn it’s currents and how to navigate them, we discover that the universe isn’t out to get us, but it isn’t out to protect us either. Rather, the world is what it is, and if we work in harmony with it the world can be a place of deep meaning and beauty.
This, of course, dosen’t mean we can avoid suffering or prevent others from suffering. It only means that even suffering can have meaning if it leads us to a deeper appreciation of reality.
This is the principle of surrender. “Recovery – the sacred art” – Rami Shapiro

Surrender may also be contrasted with Submission, (to unwillingly give in to the desires of another). Surrender is willful acceptance, and yielding to the truth and spiritual will.

If we function from primal instincts and unconscious habits-of-mind rather than from mindful awareness and non-judgment, we tend to respond to Other with forms of fear, anger, or avoidance.
It is Other which provides us with the resistance necessary for personal growth (Dalai Lama & Cutler, 1998) and it is the psychological geography where surrender, examination of beliefs, and transformation occur. In its simplest terms, Other is everything that we discern to be not-us and against which we have a resistant response.
Ego represents the illusion of one’s identity; surrender has to do with transcendence and liberation, not defeat; and the goal of development is renovation of one’s beliefs and is usually pursued deliberately.
There is a universal longing for the experience of surrender: a longing to know others and to be known by others. Both Eastern and Indigenous cultures understand the limits to intellectual and psychological knowledge and believe in the requirement to go beyond these limits to seek answers to the deep questions of life and the process of knowing self and other.
Basically, Western culture suggests that: Ego represents strength and is unconsciously reinforced through confrontational attitudes and behavior; surrender means defeat; and the goal of development is the accumulation of facts. Information seems to be revered over wisdom.
The more inviting definition of surrender appeals to its resilient nature, not its resistant nature. Resistance operates against growth or change and seeks to maintain the familiar, while surrender and resilience operate toward growth. Tiny Buddha.
“If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.” ~Proverb

In control mode my vision gets very narrow and focused, my breath is shallow, adrenaline is pumping and my heart rate increases.
My mind shifts from topic to topic and from past to future very quickly, and I have little concentration, poor memory, and almost no present-moment awareness.
In surrender mode, I’m calm, peaceful. Breathing deeply, present in the moment. I see clearly and my vision extends out around me, allowing me to (literally) see the bigger picture.
So the great irony is that attempting to control things actually feels less in control. When I’m micro-managing and obsessing over details, I know I’m in my own way.

The Art of Surrender
Surrender literally means to stop fighting. Stop fighting with yourself. Stop fighting the universe and the natural flow of things. Stop resisting and pushing against reality.
It’s not about inaction. It’s about taking action from that place of surrender energy.
If letting go of control and surrendering not only feel better, but actually produce better results, how do we do that?
Sometimes it’s as easy as noticing that you’re in control mode and choosing to let go—consciously and deliberately shifting into surrender energy.
Would letting go feel like freedom? It almost always would. Let that feeling of freedom guide you toward loosening your grip. There is a peaceful, yet focused energy that accompanies holding the intention of what I want, but not forcing myself to do it. That energy is magic. I’m still a work in progress, but I’m allowing it to become a habit instead of making it a habit.

The Way is not in the sky. The Way is in the heart. The Buddha

Our Intellectual behavior of reinforcing SELF and our separation from the real world is a strongly engrained behavior. We need to recognize when we are rationalizing our control behavior, modifying our behavior to superficially satisfy our desire to connect spiritually. Kind of like saying – I am only going to engage in my addiction a little bit, and only 3 times a week. How well does that work?
It takes courage and practice to go beyond out intellect, and let go into the openness where so many more possibilities exist. Are you tired enough of fighting yet?

If you meditate in earnest, with a pure mind and kind deeds, leading a life with discipline and harmony with the dharma, you will grow in glory. If you meditate in earnest, and have
spiritual discipline, you can create an island for yourself that even floodwaters cannot overwhelm. The Dhammapada

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
“The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.”
Heart Of Recovery web site – fcheartofrecovery.com

11-16-14- Negative Thinking

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Negative Thinking

One of the most important things I can do, is to take an honest look at who I am and how my thinking affects me and others, and what I am able to do about it.
This is one of the places I can have “The courage to change the things I can”.
I need to recognize all that is in me that is not true, is harmful, made up, and false.
That which covers the Sunlight of the Spirit. The sun is always there, it is nothing to
attain or strive for, I just need to relax enough to let the clouds in front of it move on, since I am the only one who has put that darkness there, only I can dissolve it.
What keeps me from that warmth? Am I really so caught up in this relative world, the world of superficial and temporary pleasures and pain, that I cannot see or feel, have as my foundation, a greater spiritual connection that will help to naturally guide me in this world?

If you find you are comparing yourself to others that you see as having “more” than you, and you are making yourself feel BAD because you do not measure up, remember to also evenly compare yourself to others such as the mentally handicapped, the 4 year old with terminal cancer, and the sixteen year old girl disfigured in a fire.

You cannot notice life when you are focused on yourself.

1- ‘Life is shit’ Thinking pattern –Everything in life is bad, everybody is not to be trusted and nothing good will ever happen.
2 – ‘Should, would, could’ Thinking pattern – This type of person knows what they have to do to change their life, they are capable and they know it and they would do it if only………
3 – ‘It’s all my fault’ Thinking pattern – You see yourself as being the cause of everything bad that has happened.
4 – ‘They’re all wrong’ Thinking pattern – You see everyone as incapable of doing
anything right and your way is the best way to do it.

You are not on a journey towards the spiritual, you are on a journey WITH the spiritual.

Everybody’s view of the world is different and it all comes down to the thinking patterns you use in your daily life. If you think life is wonderful you will notice the wonderful things in your life, if you think life is shit you will find shit things about life. Change your thoughts and you literally change the world you are living in.
First you have to recognise your destructive thinking pattern.

Second is to be aware of when you are using the destructive thinking patterns If you seem to be in a constant funk, feel negative about yourself, you should look at your thinking patterns.

Third is to Change any negative or judgemental thinking.
Consider a greater view from the often destructive thinking. This takes time and
practice, our old patterns are literally grooved into our brains and behaviors. We can establish new grooves and behaviors, we can be very groovey.
When you feel that famaliar tightness, the grasping for, or the fear and avoidance of, STOP, take a breath and open your mind and heart and then decide. If you think about doing this “bettering behavior” and don’t do it 10 times, be OK and do it the next time.

Change your life with your new way of thinking.
People can change, do change and change for the rest of their lives. You will start to
notice new types of people and activities enter into your life who can help you reach the goals you have in life, and in turn you will help them reach their goals.

1. Stop comparing yourself to others.
The first step to releasing the hold envy has on your life is to turn away from what you see others have, good or bad in you judgment, and face the truth about yourself.

2. Stop Judging. Judgment, even self-imposed judgment, divides and conquers the soul into tiny squares designed to punish.I didn’t understand that good and bad are relative terms. Without them, things just are.
Once I stopped judging myself, I was able to accept where I was. It may not have been where I wanted to be, but I was no longer angry about it.

3. Start seeing things clearly.
With no one to blame, I was forced to accept responsibility for where I was and how I got there.
Without the veil of envy, without the mirrors of comparison, without the torture of
judgment, I saw the truth clearly: I was not where I wanted to be, because I was not who I needed to become.
See yourself clearly for the first time:  a wonderfully flawed human being with
passionate goals.

We always need to look at ourselves with compassion but we also need to take an honest and sometimes difficult look at ourselves. Compassion can be gentle, or at times very difficult, direct and seemingly harsh. But it will always engender healthy growth.

Meditation helps us to relax, perhaps find a broader perspective, an awareness of our thinking, and the ability to tame and focus our thoughts for benefit.
Awareness is an energy we can engage anytime, to see and know what we are doing and why, and to choose to engage in healthy growth and believe and trust in ourselves.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
“The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.”
Heart Of Recovery web site – fcheartofrecovery.com