Don’t Try To Live As I Live

Out My Window

Out My Window

BLM Land Near KOFA NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, AZ—I sit in my rig, in the desert, near some mountains and take a break from writing code to look out at the view and contemplate some questions I’ve received recently from readers asking for advice on Life’s direction or how to live Life more in harmony with TaoGodHer—to live a life “less of you.”

Don’t try to live as I live—try to see what I see.

Try to value—try to enhance and hold dear—that which I value. After all, that’s probably what attracted you to this blog in the first place.

Instead of trying to live the way I live, try to see and appreciate the values that I value: Love, Stillness, Surrender, Simplicity, TaoGodHer, ….

Once you recognize and see the benefits of these values, it is then simply a matter of practicing them:

  1. Set aside a daily “quiet time” to contemplate or research these values
  2. Practice and apply them while interacting with others

Each person’s path is different, but if we value the Good and the Pure and the True—and practice living those values—then spiritual growth and inner harmony are inevitable.

You don’t need to change your life, you just need to change what your life focus is on.

How To Live In Harmony With Life

Sailboat on the River

Sailboat on the River

WICKHAM CP, FL—Since childhood we’ve been trained to succeed. Trained to jump higher, run faster, and excel at everything we attempt.

We’ve been taught to win without ever really questioning why.

We have been conditioned to fight Life itself.

Maybe the most obvious way to achieve harmony with Life is to quit trying so hard. To learn to hear Life’s whispers and surrender to them.

According to this article, populations who live the longest have a set of common traits. Based on these traits, the article recommends the following:

  1. Move naturally. Don’t do marathons or pump iron. (Do) work around the house, garden, walk, cycle.
  2. Know your purpose. Have a reason for waking up in the morning.
  3. Kick back. Find ways to shed stress, whether it’s praying, napping or going to happy hour.
  4. Eat less. Stop eating when you are 80% full.
  5. Eat less meat. Beans are a cornerstone of most centenarians’ diets.
  6. Drink in moderation. Only the Seventh-day Adventists in California didn’t have one to two glasses a day.
  7. Have faith. Denomination doesn’t seem to matter, but attending faith-based services (4 times a month) does.
  8. Power of love. Put families first, including committing to a partner and keeping aging parents and grandparents nearby.
  9. Stay social. Build a social network that supports healthy behaviors.

Why do I imply the above traits are the whispers of Life?

Because these traits flow.

Don’t they? Don’t they just feel right? Don’t they just feel natural?

Want to live in harmony with Life? Want to flow more? Want to be happier and live longer? Then stop trying so hard. Stop trying to win, stop trying to bend Life to your will. Learn to get in touch with what feels natural and right.

Just keep the following in mind: When She whispers, She whispers through your heart, not your mind.

Recognize the truth to that statement: That She speaks to/through your heart.

The evidence? It should be clear from the list above. What your heart wants is what the list is all about.

Advice and Fantasies

The Lock and the Knot

The Lock and the Knot

WICKHAM CP, FL—I get three types of feedback on this blog: Comments, Questions, and Advice.

I love comments and questions. But advice, yuck.

The thing with advice is that it is almost always based on a mental ideal rather than on real-world experience—it’s almost always based on a fantasy. Further, advice has built-in judgements (“You should live the way I think you should, not the way you are”) which can really be quite tiresome.

I tend to deal with unsolicited advice with two questions:

  1. Are you living up to these ideals you’re advising me to follow?
  2. And why should I live up to your expectations?

Now if they can’t show me they are living up to their own expectations (the first question), I don’t even waste my time asking the second question.

Unfortunately, almost all advice-givers focus on #2 (the benefits), but don’t demonstrate #1 (because fantasies are very hard to live up to).

Sometimes though, there are those rare people who get past the two questions, not only do they show how their advice can benefit me, but how it is practical and do-able… that they walk the walk. Advice like that, I take to heart and am deeply grateful.

Ironically and unintentionally, this blog is a huge piece of advice on living in Mystical Oneness (note I didn’t say “enlightenment” (the Emptiness level)). This blog acts as both a demonstration of Mystical Oneness (#1), and the benefits of it (#2).

I try to live as transparently as possible, and even though this means I get judged and criticized on a regular basis, at least you can see I walk the walk so that you can decide if living this way may benefit you.

The opaque Jim-and-his-Karma inspired this post with his judging and advising, but I’m afraid I failed to live up to his ideals and expectations and he failed to live up to mine (#1 above). I’ve blocked his future comments simply because he wants to argue thoughts and ideals rather than actual lived experiences (#1). He wants to draw me into his fantasy yet refuses to demonstrate that his beliefs can actually be lived.

My point: If you see someone you admire and you want their advice, then ask them sincere questions—I do this all the time. But on the other hand, if for whatever reason you feel the need to give unsolicited advice, be sure you can show you are living true to your advice (making it real). Because if you’re not, you’re just asking people to participate in your fantasies.

Intimacy

Abandoned

SOMEWHERE OUTSIDE SOCORRO, NM—By a synchronistic coincidence, I received an email on the same day as the email from yesterday’s post. Synchronistic because while yesterday’s was about distancing yourself from, well, yourself, this one was about feeling too distant from others the deeper you go into your spiritual practice.

My Reply

Yes, I know exactly what you mean, that serious spiritual practice can lead you to feeling separated from others—as if you share nothing in common with them. This is largely due to the fact that your values (what you find important) have changed as a result of your practice… what is important to you, isn’t important to those you know (and vice versa).

While shared values are the fabric of relationships, friendships, cultures and societies, they are—from a mystic’s point of view—fleeting and temporary—they die with the individual.

But the mystic values something far deeper, something that is eternal: the Light. The Light is that which is seeing out your eyes right at this moment. It is the love of everything that you call “you.” It is that which does not die when the body dies. It is the essence of both “you” and “Her.” It is the Tao, the Godhead, the Source.

It is also intelligent.

As a mystic, what I have in common with others is only the Light—all else if fleeting. When I interact with someone, if the discussion isn’t too cerebral (those often distract me from the Light), I focus on the Light inside them.

And when I focus on the Light within them, it is as intimate as “holding” the robin I spoke of or petting the deer in the night. What can be more intimate that that?

So in interacting with others, focus on the Light. Focus on the Love that all aware beings have inside them (yes, even plants and animals love themselves). Focus on that which is eternal and you’ll find that your relationships with others are much deeper than you could ever have imagined.

If you found these words of use, please follow tradition with a gift of alms (donation). If you found nothing of use, simply ignore this email and be at peace. (This text is placed at the end of all Wisdom for Alms emails)

Free Will

The Path

LEASBURG DAM SP, NM—Reader Lee sent the following email concerning free will:

For some time now (aprox 2 years) I’ve been grappling with the idea of free will. I can’t seem to arrive at a conclusion. The advaita point of view seems to hold that there is no such thing ~ and then just places emphasis on Consciousness. I can’t poke a hole through their logic (eg., Ramesh Balsekar). On the other hand, when ‘I’ arrive at a fork in the road, I can listen to my inner Self (using my spiritual equipment – my sense of truth, what I care about, my intuition) and make the choice to follow through or not. Or, I can make no effort to plumb the depths, the within, at all. If I choose to be or do something, it doesn’t feel mechanical. (Of course, if I’m experiencing a reactionary state it always feels mechanical.) Moreover, most spiritual masters that I’m aware of posit that there is a free will.

I seem to be able to accommodate both sides of the argument ~ even though they seem mutually exclusive. That is I find both credible.

Could you shed some light on this question. It would be greatly appreciated.

Read more…

Setting a Bad Example

CITY OF ROCKS SP, NM—Recently (December 22), I was asked for advice about living true. She was concerned about being a bad example for others when, as a devote spiritual practitioner, she would slip and get caught up in the world. She knew she was missing something and revealed, “some part of my logic must be faulty.”

Since I feel this subject is pertinent to my recent posts about transparency, I’ve posted my reply below.

Read more…

The New-Age Barrier

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SOMEWHERE IN THE DESERT OUTSIDE ESPANOLA, NM—New-Agers are very lucky. Some can channel spirits. Some can read minds. Some can discern the future. Some have incredible success with The Secret or the Law of Attraction.

Most New-Agers though, suck when it comes to Oneness.

More below the break (huh?).

Read more…

The Wisdom of Your Heart

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Storrie Lake SP, NM—From Nonduality Highlights:

At the end of the talk someone from the audience asked the Dalai Lama, “Why didn’t you fight back against the Chinese?” The Dalai Lama looked down, swung his feet just a bit, then looked back up at us and said with a gentle smile, “Well, war is obsolete, you know.” Then, after a few moments, his face grave, he said, “Of course the mind can rationalize fighting back… but the heart, the heart would never understand. Then you would be divided in yourself, the heart and the mind, and the war would be inside you.”

But the heart, the heart would never understand.

If your heart doesn’t say “Yes,” then just say “No.”

You don’t need to ponder it, or beat yourself up, or second guess yourself.

If asked to explain, just say, “My heart says ‘No.'”

Who could argue with that?

The Stream is a Beautiful Thing

The Stream

As of this writing, 15 people signed up for my offer while one dropped out leaving 14 students.

Though this is much more than I expected (two or three), it is still quite workable and I expect others to drop out soon (or be dropped due to inactivity).

The Stream

As this develops, I’m often surprised by the beauty of how this is unfolding.

For example: My first question to each student is to tell me about their spiritual background—what they believe, follow, subscribe to, or are drawn to.

Their answers, and every question or comment made by either of us, is stored in a private “stream” (in Google Plus) shared only by the two of us (the student and myself).

We—both of us—have access to this private, recorded history so that it is easy to talk on the same playing field. They know where I’m coming from (from this blog), I know where they are coming from (from their Stream).

One-on-one, targeted and informed spiritual guidance. You won’t find that at a satsang, class, conference, or retreat. It’s just not practical.

The Stream is a beautiful thing.

Accountability

Another beautiful thing about the Stream is I can hold students accountable for their actions. Once the journaling phase starts, I’ll be able to use their beliefs, desires, and ideals against their egoic actions—their conditioned Mortal fears.

In other words—and this is what is meant by the guru being a mirror—I’ll be able to point out where they are not walking the talk, which is the key to true spiritual growth, and why I stress so much that you need to live as as Soul (or Radiance or Oneness) and not just talk about it).

Note to Students

This has come up a couple of times already, so I’ll answer it here. The way I use Google Plus is this:

  • I log in and click on the HOME icon
  • On the left, under STREAM, I click on the private circle I want to focus on (yours)
  • All conversations between me and you (since I only have one student per circle), appear in the main (center) panel.
  • Because I’m “focused” on your circle, I know that any comments or posts I make there go only to you (and vice versa).
  • You and I can review all our “history together” simply by scrolling down our Stream of posts.