“Everything you are seeking is seeking you in return, therefore, everything that you want is already yours. It is simply becoming more aware of - what you already possess.” ― Bob Proctor.
the Cultivation of AWARENESS
As you as yourself are now present and participating, more conscious of your inner conditions — perhaps for the first time – you will most likely run into the thicket of negative thought that has taken root in your mind. At first, it might seem as if this work is causing it but, fact is it was always there. That is the reason why you choose to spend as little time in your present mind and heart – it is too painful. But whether you are conscious of these weeds or not, they are clogging your vital energy, choking off the seeds of your potential, creating the conditions for limitation rather than growth. Tread lightly here at first however, or risk getting bloodied by this thorny thinking. Maintain a gentle but diligent awareness through this sometimes perilous passage, and it will lead you into the heart of the present – and the presence. The first rule at this stage is - no judgement, but rather self love and self acceptance. Whatever exists in your consciousness – thoughts, feelings, ideas, beliefs, and images – as such they are only repeated thought patterns that have evolved into beliefs. They are by definition not good or bad, they just are. But they are not who you really are. You did not even create these limiting beliefs they were given to you as part of the universal false belief system. At best you just interpreted them in your own creative way. There is actually nobody to blame for this way of thinking, especially not yourself. What is more, it is only your attachment, identification, and resistance to them that gives them power. The very act of judging, fighting, or resisting fuels the object of struggle with your energy. Without your energy it would be nothing, an inert perception. As you take the time to become aware of your thoughts and no longer let them completely run you, you will become more and more aware of those chronic mental and emotional patterns. As you move through this, remember it is a process not a destination. So even if you do not seem to have control over what thoughts flow through your mind, you always have control over your reaction to them.
“First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination”.
- Napoleon Hill.
NOW and nothing but
In the course of our life and at various times during any given year, we find ourselves contemplating about our future - Will we have one? Will it be better or worse? What do we have to do to make it brighter? Do we even have any control over it? It is as such a constant concern which puts us in a chronic state of fear and anxious anticipation on the one hand or positive expectation on the other. But both attitudes can be limiting in a way, as both create a separation from the thing we want. The truth is, we do not have a future any more than we have a past. The past is a memory, the future is a fantasy, and even the present is imagination. All we have is now. This is different from the present, where we can still be experiencing reality through the filters of our perceptions and projections. But in the real now, the eternal unchanging now, there is a perfect pattern of infinite good that has nothing to do with our thoughts about it, is not a product of our past, and will not someday come in our future. In this now moment, every real thing that ever was or ever will be, is fully present. The best possible idea and expression of all that is, is here now, fully expressed. It cannot be achieved, it cannot be earned, it cannot be improved upon, and it cannot be destroyed. It is what is, and it is the only thing that is. And you are it.
Our real life’s work or purpose, if you will - is to stop anticipating some future, but to start participating in it now. We must tune in, tap in, and open up to it, so that it can fully shine through and as us, making us instruments through which its eternal music plays - filaments through which its light shines. This is what Plato’s realm of perfect forms represents, or Buddha’s Nirvana, or Jesus’ kingdom of Heaven – to which he said was at hand now, even though the people kept asking him - When is heaven coming?
So why is this important to know? what is the practical purpose of such a philosophical perspective? Because until we accept this, the majority of our efforts - even our spiritual or self-help efforts - will be projecting our good into the future, coming from a sense of separation from the thing or condition we want, and will always create more lack or limitation. Even if we get the thing we affirm, pray about, or strive for, we run the risk of disappointment as we may discover we have not found the peace, the joy, and the fulfilment that is always actually what we were really seeking. The reason is that in all of our desires, the only thing we are really after is the state of being which that achievement of that desire would bring us, and that can never be found in the future or in any condition, but only in the now, in our activation and acceptance of it as our intrinsic nature. It may help to picture it as follows - Your favourite music is already broadcasting, but you must tune into that station where it is playing. When you do, you will hear that rhythm of joy and the symphony of success. You will have achieved vibrational alignment, and only then a manifestation of your desires is an immediate given.
‘The most wasted of all days is one without laughter’.
- Nicolas Chamfort.
At the heart of the law of attraction is the following thought pattern - everything you could ever want or want to be, everything you will ever have or achieve, is already happening now. You do not have to wait another moment, another day, another season, you just have to accept it!
Your task at hand is nothing more than to create a practice and structure that keeps you in the feeling of it, then begin dancing to that beat of abundance, prosperity and well-being. The life of your dreams begins to evolve all around you. Serendipities and synchronisities are part of your daily experience. Momentum has been created. You are Now. You are your visions, you are your aspirations, you are your desires. You cannot be in joy while dwelling on your financial challenges, or your health worries, or your relationship issues. The very act of giving it thought empowers it further whatever it is, for better or for worse.
In optimism there is magic. In pessimism there is nothing. In positive expectation there is thrill and success. In pessimism or awareness of what is not wanted there is nothing. Our way out of doubt and challenge is to redefine our relationship with the stream of well-being and learn to trust it. We will find it is in fact nothing more than the art of moving our gaze in the desired direction. When we deliberately change our perspective for instance, by making a conscious choice over the people around us with whom we interact, or by choosing the places we choose to spend our time exploring, we gradually become familiar with the concept of joy. Once we have found this place, and we establish the experience of positive expectation, the universe immediately sets on providing us with evidence of that well-being, moving people, circumstances, and events to bring us that joy. We become familiar in our knowing that - all is well.
“I believe that the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness.”
— The Dalai Lama.
for the sake of HAPPINESS
Every human being on the planet wants to be happy. Anything that anyone desires is because they think their desire will make them happy. Whether it is better health, more money, a loving relationship, material things, or accomplishments. The desire for happiness is the bottom line of all of those wishes. Permanent happiness is a state of mind or better said - a state of being that is the product of making a conscious choice to be permanently happy. When you choose happiness, then you attract all the happy things as well. The happy things are the icing on the cake. But the cake is happiness at all times.
Following this premise many varied teachings and accompanying techniques have been suggested in order to reach this place of personal bliss. In Buddhism causality is accepted as natural law. Therefore, if there are certain types of events that we do not desire, then the best way of safeguarding against those events taking place is to make sure that the causal conditions that normally give rise to those events do not arise. Similarly, if there is an event that we would like to take place, then we should seek the causes and conditions that give rise to that event. This same principle of causality can be applied to our mental states. If we desire happiness, we should identify those factors which lead to happiness and those factors which lead to suffering. Having done that, we can gradually do the following - eliminate those factors which lead to suffering from our life and in turn cultivate those factors which lead to happiness. In other words, one achieves happiness through learning which mental states to cultivate and which to eliminate, and then making a sustained effort to implement this knowledge.
Positive mental states which lead to happiness include - love, compassion, patience, generosity. Negative mental states which lead to suffering include - hatred, greed, envy, frustration. Deliberately selecting and focusing on positive mental states which lead to happiness, and challenging negative mental states which lead to suffering, requires a systematic training of the mind. This approach of focusing on our mental outlook, places the secret to happiness within our own hands, Instead of leaving it at the mercy of external factors, most of which are not within our control. The Dalai Lama summarizes his point as follows:
“As long as there is a lack of the inner discipline that brings calmness of mind, no matter what external facilities or conditions you have, they will never give you the feeling of joy and happiness that you are seeking. On the other hand, if you possess this inner quality, a calmness of mind, a degree of stability within, then even if you lack various external facilities that you would normally consider necessary for happiness, it is still possible to live a happy and joyful life.”
The ability to shift perspective is one of the most powerful and effective tools we have to help us cope with life’s challenges. Researchers have conducted a number of experiments which demonstrate that one’s level of life satisfaction can be enhanced simply by shifting one’s perspective and contemplating on how things could be worse. When problems arise, our outlook often becomes very narrow, because we normally tend to focus all of our attention on worrying about the problem. However, what we should do is shift our perspective by doing the following - looking for opportunities which could arise from the situation. Taking a wider perspective. Thinking of how things could be worse. Thus, realize that difficult situations are often opportunities for growth, as shifting our perspective can make the problem seem smaller and more manageable. How we feel at any given moment has little to do with the conditions themselves, but is rather a function of how we perceive the situation and how satisfied we are with what we have. When a situation is causing negative emotions, we should spend some time seriously searching for a different perspective on the situation. A key component to happiness is adopting a flexible, malleable approach to life.
“The modalities of awakened doing are acceptance, enjoyment, and enthusiasm. Each one represents a certain vibrational frequency of consciousness. You need to be vigilant to make sure that one of them operates whenever you are engaged in doing anything at all – from the most simple task to the most complex.”
~ Eckhart Tolle.
an EMOTIONAL SHIFT
In his teachings Eckhart Tolle addresses the idea of the background of unhappiness as a deep rooted state of being people experience almost constantly. It is a general feeling of discontentment, resentment, and irritation that is present in the background as they go through their everyday lives. This feeling is fed by unconscious thoughts that go along the following lines: ‘There is something that needs to happen in my life before I can be at peace (happy, fulfilled, etc.). And I resent that it hasn't happened yet’.or - ‘Something happened in the past that should not have happened and I resent that. If that hadn't happened I would be at peace now’.
Most of us constantly tell ourselves stories of how we will be at peace at some point in the future once a certain event happens, or when we Reach some goal we have set for ourselves, or if we become this or that. Sometimes the story is about how we will never achieve peace of mind or happiness because of something that happened in the past. Tolle goes on to say that in order to be happy we have to make peace with the present moment. Along these lines he goes on to describe the observation of the ‘Two Ducks in a Pond’ ritual following a fight:
"...They separate and float off in opposite directions. Then they each flap their wings vigorously a few times to get rid of the surplus energy that built up during the fight. After flapping their wings, they float on peacefully, as if nothing had happened!". However, if the duck had a human mind, it would probably tell itself a story such as the following: ... “I can’t believe he just did that. Who does he think he is? The nerve . . . he has absolutely no consideration of others. He thinks he owns this pond. I'm sure he’s already plotting some new way to annoy me. He’s not getting away with it; I’ll show him.”
The lesson we can learn from ‘The Ducks Tale’ is this - flap your wings - that is, shake off the surplus energy you feel after a negative encounter. Become aware of the stories you are constantly telling yourself in the back of your mind of why you cannot be happy now. Let go of the stories you are telling yourself, and return to the only place of power - the present moment. Decide that being happy and at peace is more important to you than being right. In addition, and even more important so, you need to become attentive to your thoughts and emotions. Ask yourself constantly Is there any negativity in me at this present moment? That does not mean judging yourself in any way. Instead it does mean you are becoming discerning about what you choose- to plant and let grow in your inner environment. If you are walking around with a thought pattern that you are worthless, unlovable, and probably will never succeed you can now recognize that, for what it is and come to a choice as in a turning point to accept or replace it with a more nourishing belief. All of our thoughts and beliefs, no matter how good or seemingly bad, are just beliefs. They are neither true nor false necessarily. They are just our perception of reality. Furthermore -watch out for thoughts that attempt to explain or justify this unhappiness but in reality cause it. Once you become aware of a negative state within yourself you realize that you are not those thoughts, emotions, or reactions. Instead, you are the conscious presence that is witnessing those states. And at that moment in which you create a disconnection between your thoughts and yourself – you can choose to simply change the thoughts and beliefs that are causing the background unhappiness in your life. It is impossible for you to be angry and laugh at the same time. Anger and laughter are mutually exclusive, and you have the power to choose either!