All Events are Perfectly Neutral!

Are you ever “Triggered” by the events which you find in the world? Do you react and disagree with the actions taken by other people? Of course you do. You are human and most humans judge the events which you witness. However, there is another way to respond to the events which can “Trigger” you. There is a practice in Mindfulness which comes from Buddhism called observing in “Equanimity.” My understanding of this principle of practiced Mindfulness entails observing each experience in a nonjudgemental state of mind and emotion. Not easy for me or most humans in my culture! To be Neutral may mean not getting caught up in the “Drama” of a viewed life experience. This does not mean you approve of what is happening but perhaps you can be neutral in your reaction.

Wow, that is easier said than done. Perhaps, instead of jumping into judgement and a possible disagreement, you can ask a question, to yourself or possibly out loud, What has happened in your life to lead you (the person or event which triggered you) to this behavior or way of acting in this world? What can you learn to increase your consciousness to better serve in this situation? How can you Love the person who triggers you without agreeing with their behavior? When you are challenged by a person or an event ask, what am I supposed to be learning and can I find gratitude for this difficult learning? Life in this incarnation is not supposed to be a “walk in the park.” It is supposed to be a challenge to strengthen you and to develop your consciousness. (Yuck! I struggle with getting beat up by life just so I can learn a lesson, but that IS why I am here.) There is a reason the Divine Spirit offers you the opportunity to grow through these difficult events and experiences.

Be Mindful! You never know when the perfect person or event will be offered as you next best chance to find equanimity and balance without getting sucked into or triggered by the dramas which constantly flies around the Earthly plane.

AND, if you happen to react in emotion or anger or fear to an event do not beat yourself up. Say, “Wow,” and continue to learn from this reaction. Awareness of your reactivity is half the battle. Changing your response, over time and with practice, is the goal… Thanks! You are amazing. Your struggle is a beauty to behold. Go share it!

So all events are neutral but the filters by which these events are experienced makes people respond as people do. And, you can not control the way other people respond. That is “what makes horse races,” as my father might say.

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

BTW (By the Way), this lesson described above is MY constant challenge… I get triggered and then I laugh at myself for getting caught up in the drama… I am far from having this mastered… ALL Events are Neutral!

Your Gift to the World Is YOU!

Do you like receiving a gift? Do you get pleasure and satisfaction from giving a great gift? If you are like most people, you get a great sense of satisfaction by giving a thoughtful gift. Hopefully, the gift has no “strings attached” to the process of giving. (You know what I mean when you give a gift and EXPECT something in return for your efforts…) Your present may be heartfelt and wrapped in the elegance of your warm wishes and tender love. It may be given in a more functional, less extravagant wrapping. It may have been thought out and well planned or a spontaneous act of sharing. You know when your act of giving is especially well received and when it does not meet the highest response.

A genuine act of kindness is often the most thoughtful gift which you can offer. “The thought counts” and the endearing follow through can be most meaningful. AND, many of us do not appreciate the present we can offer when we are sharing our love and our time and our compassion. You know that moment in time when the person in front of you offered you their “presence” and their listening skills as you share the most emotional memories. What a great gift when you are fully heard and this connection reminds you that you are not on your own. There is someone who listened and who cares…

Whenever, you increase your consciousness, you improve yourself. By enhancing your awareness and listening skills, you become more precious in your interactions. And, if you ever touch the Divine Spirit so that you fully celebrate the “perfection” of the person in front of you, you become the beacon of light which heals and warms the souls of every spirit you touch. There is no greater gift you can give. Honor yourself, for you are perfect even in your seeming imperfections. There is no one exactly like you. You are unique and at the same time Divinely connected to all other souls. Your lessons in this life are for you to move forward on your path BUT your movement on your path supports and assists everyone. Remember how Divine you really are and the source of unconditional love you can offer.

Be the best you can be. Not competitive but in your open ability to share love. If possible, drop your judgement and perhaps ask a “challenging” person you encounter, “What has happened to you in your life to lead you to be the person in front of me?” ALSO, remember that just as YOU are a Gift for the people you bump into, THEY are a Gift for you as well. You have a lesson to learn from every encounter and it is a blessing to learn from this challenge. You might want to consider honoring the beauty and perfection in front of you when next you lock eyes on the person standing in front of you!

YOU are a gift to the Universe! Sharing your Love and your wisdom gained through your life experience is an amazing service to the Universe. Grow in consciousness and share your Light!

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

Your Enlightenment and Your Environment

Have you considered the best environment for developing your “Enlightenment?” Does your “spiritual awakening” require a special environment? Does Enlightenment only come for those who sit in a cave, undistracted, over a period of time Which creates the solitude required to lead you to the “Light?”

Some experienced, and a bit rigid, (want to be) enlightened masters might say that solitude offers less distractions and a better “space” to go within, to find the Universal Divine Spirit. AND, I believe that this can work for some people but not for everyone, every time enlightenment “hits.” So, I began looking for some of the words used to describe a pilgrimage into the “cave” of undistracted solitude. Words that might be used to demonstrate a reduced distracted environment might include: Isolation, Vigil, Seclusion, Solitude, reclusive, withdrawn, possibly: Celibate and Abstaining from physical pleasures, Contemplative, Introspection, Reflection, Consideration, and Focused. These concepts can make it difficult and exclusive for many people running around in my culture. Are we all doomed to be un-enlightened? Perhaps…

Or, are there other environments or circumstances which can allow for a “spontaneous Awakening” like a NDE (Near Death Experience) or an “Ah Ha” moment in meditation or in experiencing a major “insight” in life (perhaps a STE (Spiritual Transformative Experience.)) An example for me was when I hiked up into Evolution Meadow and viewed the surrounding mountains and sky with a surprising, for me at 25 years of age, insight of being in “God’s Cathedral,” realization. (Since at that time, I would never say the word “God” let alone find an experience that would trigger me to use this word.) Can activities and interpersonal interactions lead you to a moment of enlightenment? Once you have had a real moment of knowing the state of Grace or feeling the Universal “connection” to the “source” and all a “oneness” with other souls, you can never go back into complete un-enlightenment. You can NOT get the Genie back in the bottle… Though, what you do with this new insight varies and may take a very long time to surface as a useful gift to be shared.

Some “moments” of insight have come for me in deep meditation but never in a cave of solitude. For me, a private act of self-discovery, realization, or a “remembrance” have come in a variety of environments and with varying degrees of social interaction. Though these have been private in the moment, many of these experiences were not in deep isolation or seclusion. Oddly, sometimes I focus better with distractions around me, as if I would trust someone else to protect me (feeling safer) and I can “let go” of my defenses in a group. (Not always true, but sometimes…)

Your path to Enlightenment will be unique for you. The environment will be of your creation. A quiet, meditative environment may prove helpful but may not be required. Keep your eyes open for any possible “awakening” (perhaps in a Zen like way.) Allow your soul/heart to be receptive to new experience and insights. Feel your guidance which may lead you to a chance of a lifetime and a special moment of “Grace!” You are on the path, whether you know it or not. You are here, in this life, to experience and to learn. AND, when your “Awakening” happens, you are here to share this wisdom and your most recent leaps into consciousness.

Tip for Enlightenment:
No matter which path you take either as an aesthetic using deprivation to assist you in focusing or as a seeker bouncing off all the other people you bump in to in the “warm dryer called life,” you can help to clarify your consciousness by being mindful, present, and open. To be aware of the possibilities is more than half the battle. Being “closed” to new thoughts, Wisdom, Feelings, insights, conscious “knowing,” or simply the “remembering,” will slow your process and pilgrimage down. It is not always an easy task but being open AND present to enjoy, the “JOY,” can assist you greatly. All of these qualities are assisted through meditation and begin by following your breath. Slowly inhale, pause, and then slowly exhale… Attempt to feel the cool air as you breathe in and then the warm breath as you slowly exhale. Continue to breathe slowly and most consciously. Allow your thoughts and energy to flow as freely as possible. Perhaps you can “open” your 6th and 7th chakras for a better connection to the Divine Spirit. You may even attempt to allow yourself to elevate (out through your Crown Chakra) to an 8th or 9th chakra and higher dimensions. Paula Forget’s book, “Guided to the Higher Realms,” may be a useful guide to assist you to expand your consciousness to what is possible. (Check her website at: www.paulaforget/inspired for more information.)

It may also be useful to practice holding the intention that you are open and available for the Guidance to and the experience of an “Awakening!” The Divine Spirit surrounds each of us. It is embedded in each of us. A dark cave is NOT the only place where this unconditional love and energy abides…

YOU are amazing and perfect no matter where you are on your path! YOU are a blessing. Thank you for being YOU! In any way possible, allow yourself to be Open, Present, and Mindful of the wonderful adventures you find yourself within (even the challenging ones…) Whether you are actively seeking “Enlightenment” or not, you are still moving along that path.

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

Seeing Ourselves as Separate and Finding Our Way Back to Oneness

Our language and our culture teaches us that we are separate and unique. Our language compares and judges as we fight to describe events and things. We are caught in the limitations as a survival mechanism which triggers an “every man for himself” mentality. And, when we become more fully conscious, we “remember” that we are all part of larger, perfect divine consciousness.

Perhaps our minds are too limited by the three dimensional experience we seem to know. We are separated in our skin enclosed bodies. When our parents give us language to describe the world, we are taught comparisons because words are too limiting to describe the “wholeness” and the inter-connections we have. Just to test this out, how can you accurately define: the sweet taste of a ripe pineapple, or define the color green, or really define the feeling of love. These may be too difficult due to the limitations words and our language places on these descriptions.

BUT, it gets even worse when we look to explain or define: unconditional love, “oneness,” or the expansive freedom of the Divine Spirit filling the Universe. If, and when, you have a “STE” (Spiritually Transformative Experience) your consciousness will shift and expand. You will never be the same. You can not fit the Genie back in the bottle and your transformation may take time for this “reintegration” back into your current incarnation to fully begin to grasp YOUR GREATNESS! Your limitations begin to fade as you re-awaken to the knowing that your soul and spirit are larger than your 3 dimensional mind may be able to understand.

Perhaps the most important concept to “Remember” will be the concept that you are NOT separate. You are an important part of the whole Divine Spirit. You are connected to all other souls and things existing in our Universe. When “Enlightenment” occurs you will know that every person you encounter is another part of YOU and that, whether you like it or not, we are all in this Divine lesson together. We are here to learn and to grow and the find Joy. We are here to serve and support the other souls we bump in to on our path toward higher consciousness.

Seeing separation is part of the challenge. “Knowing” our connections is what Enlightenment includes. We are all on the path to develop by Remembering our Divinity the highest levels of consciousness which are possible to us in this lifetime… Though challenging to fully understand, we are not separate. Personally, I struggle to “Remember” my Oneness 24-7. For me, there are only fragments of remembered insight, but these are a starting place because now that I know oneness, I can NOT go back to live less consciously in a life separation.

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey. You are NOT alone or separate. You can come home to a community of fellow seekers of enlightenment.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

What Good Comes from Tragedy? Your Perspective and Experience

Have you ever experienced a Tragedy? Of course you have. Whether a personal tragedy or one you were challenged by as a person in our culture, you have. It is common to be sad, upset, angry, frustrated, emotional, confused, or in denial AND you have been emotionally impacted. A terminal illness and death of a younger friend has triggered the memory for me of the terminal diagnosis given to my wife 15 years ago. We were confused, upset, angry because it was not fair! My wife did not deserve this diagnosis. She had so much to live for. She had lived a “healthy” lifestyle. She was a “good person” dealt a “BAD” hand… She tried everything to alter the outcome and was able to out live the prognosis by a lot however, she did not survive. This difficult challenge brought my wife and I closer together as a team. She learn to trust me in ways impossible prior to this illness. We shared experiences that no couple should have to experience. AND, we learned so much. 6 plus years since her transition from this life, I am left to reflect on what has happened to my wife and to our lives and how I can use this difficult learning.

For a moment, resist the welling emotion you are feeling. Perhaps the feeling of sadness or your fear generated upset. Though I would NOT wish this situation on anyone, or any couple, or any family, or any community of friends, I will say that this was such an important learning challenge for ALL of us that I would find it difficult to wish life had turned out different. I miss my life partner and lover of 28 years… There has been a huge void in my being but I have also known the great gift learned from this tragedy.

I am not alone in having a tragic event in my life. We have all lost friends or family members or relationships or careers or homes… We have all faced these tragedies with a range of emotions AND we have all learned from these experiences. Now realize, that from these tragedies you are a changed person AND you have to now share the knowledge or wisdom you have gained from these difficult events. You can wallow in your grief. You are entitled to a period of adjustment. You must tend to your emotional scars. BUT, you must learn, adjust, and move on into the next phase of your life. Perhaps, you will need to be a mentor or a guide to someone else who is experiencing a similar tragedy or loss. By telling your “story” you offer perspective, information, and support for the witness and YOU benefit from getting greater clarity in the act of sharing this experience. You can be a beacon of light guiding others through a dark time. Remember, we learn more from the “dark” times than we do basking in the light of happiness. This is sad but true. Your perspective and experience can be of service to the community and to the world. Consider this a value for the price you have paid by surviving and learning from your tragedy.

YOU are a Master who has been forged out of the depths difficulties to serve other pilgrims you meet along your path through life… You are a Blessing! Your Gift to the World is YOU!

Are you ready to step up and be the beacon? You can do this in a silent vigil or shouting out to the crowd. As a survivor of a tragedy, you must tell your story. Just as NDE (Near Death Experience) survivors return to re-integrate back into their bodies and their lives with the Purpose to share their experience of the overwhelming Grace from the other side of the “veil,” YOU are returned from the depths to share your story and guide others through their challenging experience.

Thank you in advance for your sharing your story. Consider, if appropriate, sharing this blog with people who are struggling with tragedy.

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

Stranger in a Strange Land: The Value of the Stranger

Have you ever felt like you were a Stranger in a Strange land? I knew I did NOT fit in… Not with my family. Not with my classmates. Not with my culture. I was an outsider in search of my home, My place in the Universe. This feeling was there, though in the background. This feeling did not make my life “bad” but it lead me to engage in a quest for where I “belonged” and what I was “supposed” to do with my life. I doubt that feeling like a stranger is uncommon. In fact, it is very common as we feel our way through our teenage years searching for direction.

Guidance led me to choices in my life which were my special challenges and unique experiences. I am not alone in this, but I have learned to trust my gut feelings and followed interesting adventures, guided by my gut. Guidance has protected me for unknown reasons and my gratitude for this support pervades my consciousness. This drives me to learn from my life experiences to be of even greater service. I have learned that I am here to share love by connecting to other souls and for listening to their passions and stories.

Being a Stranger in a Strange Land forces me to move forward to learn and to know more about this strange land and culture. Then my goal is to learn how best to serve by being of help to increase consciousness. This leads to increase the fabric of connection and shared unconditional love… As an outsider, a stranger, I can observe, hopefully without judgement, and then I can learn and develop better strategies for the information and wisdom to be shared through teaching by sharing stories. The world needs more wisdom shared by outsiders with the gently shared perspective which gradually alters the consciousness of those souls touched by these sharings. Humor often helps make the “medicine” go down more easily. Offering the perspective of a respectful observer is not always easily accepted but can be most useful for the best outcome. (That is why companies pay big money to outside consultants to assist in finding the best strategies for developing or producing the company’s product or service.) Yes, “fresh eyes” can offer a new way of thinking.

Not fitting in is a good thing though not always the easiest path to follow. It can be lonely. You can feel unsupported. I would rather be an outsider than caught in the trap of participation and acceptance in limited or superficial behaviors which can block the focus and acuity to find, and know, the necessary path for positive change and growth into higher consciousness. Though this may sound like a judgement, impatience to enhance conscious living demands a somewhat critical perspective…

Be not attached to the outcome… There is no way to control how the other soul will react. There is no way to force consciousness.

The paradox in this belief regarding being an outsider is that we are actually all intimately involved. We are connected and not alone. As we are all interwoven, the stranger may appear to be an outsider but at the same time completely connected and “One” with every soul. Also, Everybody is special but not everybody knows it it, yet…

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

Service to the World, Are You Doing Your Part?

How much service to the world is enough? Being of service takes many roles and can be offered in many ways, but are you doing your part? Most of us are engaged in “survival” and we might not have the time or the resources to consider living our lives in service. Most of us do not even really understand how much service we provide because we are not conscious of the regular interactions which benefit the people we bump into. An unconscious gesture like the smile or the thank you or the acknowledgement of appreciation can offer a lot. And, there are some of us who seem to wake every morning excited and considering what acts of conscious service we can provide.

Most of us feel really good when we are doing something we know to be “good” for another person. As we share this loving energy, we get more in return by our act of “giving.” The act of giving, without any strings attached, is a true gift. When providing a service like non-judgmentally listening to someone’s “story,” we, as the “witness,” provide a huge service. Yes, something as simple as listening in a loving way can benefit everyone involved AND even the “Universe.” Demonstrating: patience, acceptance, gratitude, support, love, and connection, are all acts of service which can improve the general levels of consciousness and specifically the individual souls who bask in these higher energies. Thank You for your service, in advance…

By being most conscious regarding your interactions with any of the fellow pilgrims you bump into, you offer an opportunity for positive growth. You do not have to agree with the behaviors which get acted out but you can still look to the beauty and perfection of the person standing in front of you. They are a Miracle! They have arrived to assist you in your lesson, sometimes providing challenges for you to learn your lessons. Even when the situation may feel negative and overwhelming, you are able to “practice” your growing strategies for moving into higher consciousness. What a blessing!

Be aware! Take off your blinders! All of your interactions have a value and purpose, even if you are not clearly aware to what the purpose may be. Look to live in Love! Feel the perfection of each situation. Take responsibility for your reactions and behaviors. And, when all else fails in a difficult interaction, you can with empathy ask, “What has happened to this person to make them act the way that they behave?” You may not know the answer, but you are feeling, with empathy, the life experience and lessons this person is working through. (Or, they are pushing your buttons, because that is the lesson you require…)

If you can think of nothing else, do not miss the opportunity to look into someones eyes and appreciate the beautiful soul in front of you. Giving thanks offers a connecting experience and demonstration of your acknowledgement. Again, thank you in advance for your acts of service and higher consciousness.

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

I Have a Terminal Case of Life

I was born with a terminal condition, my life! So were you! Have you prepared for your life ending transition?
Have you even thought about it? This awareness is not meant to be morbid or depressing. It is meant to be freeing and uplifting. Denial or closing your eyes to our ultimate transition does not serve you but can create an increase in anxiety and fear…

My transition will come from a heart attack or a stroke. My family history and my behavior leads me to that conclusion. No matter what I do to change this through prevention and behavioral changes, I will not out run death at some point. Hopefully, I will be conscious and NOT fearful. Perhaps, I can embrace this experience and the spiritual freedom which letting go of the physical body allows.

By the way, it is my belief that letting go of the fear and apprehension regarding this end of life transition, will allow me to more fully appreciate and enjoy the life left in this body. The message here is to be responsible and conscious regarding your living AND your dying.

As I near my eighth decade of living, life experiences allow me to accept the ultimate transition we all must face. The purpose is NOT to shake you up or throw you into depression. It is to offer you a chance to live your life more fully with no, or fewer, regrets near the end of this incarnation. Have YOU done everything you intended to do in this life?

What would you do differently if you knew your life would be coming to an end soon? Would you curl up in a ball? Would you get your affairs in order? Would you party like a rock star? Would look to make peace with family, friends, and the divine spirit? Who can know how you would respond, but perhaps it is worth the time to take stock in your life???

Some people will stop and add certain experiences to their lives. Not simply waiting for retirement to get on with living their desired lives. You may want to add more gratitude or generosity or acceptance to your habitual behaviors. You may want to stop and smell the roses, tell your family and friends you love and appreciate them, or you may want to express your creative side in ways not yet allowed. There is no “right way” to live or, in fact, no wrong way to live. You are “PERFECT” and your seeming flaws are a perfect way to learn the lessons you came here to this life to learn. If you have been guided to this message, you are supposed to consider these things or perhaps to reach out and share these concepts. No matter what, know that your life has been exactly the path you signed up to take as a journey of self-awareness, consciousness, and for your spiritual growth.

Acceptance of the transition we all must face is a “freeing” state of mind.

To talk about the preparations you might make for your final transition, consider attending a “Death Cafe” or similar event where people gather to share information which has been difficult, or even a taboo, in our culture. It may feel awkward, but this community can support you in many ways. Another awareness creating tool for you to explore ask you to do some research on people who have had near death experiences (NDE) like Eben Alexander’s, MD account described in his book, “Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife” or Annie Kagan’s book, “The Afterlife of Billy Fingers.” There are many accounts which have been published and the research on NDE’s of Ken Ring and Raymond Moody (author of “Life after Life”) are available for you to get perspective on what the life ending transition can include. In my experience, this information can do a lot to take the anxiety and fear out of the “unknown” experience we all must face. There are also many video interviews on NDE (Near Death Experiences) available on YouTube.

Though you are “Terminal” you can benefit from knowledge and support. There may come a time when you consciously remember the expansion and freedom many people report from their NDE’s.

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

Basic Mindfulness Part 2: Living in a Mindful Way

Being Mindful has been a question for me. After my three day Mindfulness retreat, I am more Mindful about the things I have not been mindful about. What the heck does that mean…??? Well, read a bit further.

I learned at the retreat what I think I already knew but had not learned how this feels or how to incorporate being more mindful into my habit driven lifestyle. No surprise, the key to being more mindful is to be aware and “present” by paying attention to your breath. Again no surprise, I learned that being more mindful works better when I focus on only one thing at a time. For example, drive focused without other distractions. (More examples to follow.) This focusing on one thing at a time is kind of challenging in our 24/7, multi-tasking world, but it certainly makes sense.

We practiced slower walking and breathing, awareness and appreciation of nature, and more meditations. The first two key ingredients to being more mindful (with 10 listed) where 1. to be aware of myself and my environment and 2. was to view each activity in your day with “Beginners Mind” and the feeling of wonderment. I liked these first two a lot. In fact, I really enjoyed all 10 ingredients in the book we used as a text but found number 6 a bit more challenging for me to fully appreciate and understand, let alone to practice. Number 6 was to live in “Equanimity.” I can barely spell Equanimity let alone know how to practice it. After consultation with my retreat group, its leader Chau Yoder (who is amazing) and my special Guru spiritual consultant, Paula Forget, I believe I am much closer to knowing what this is all about.

Equanimity is a very important, but a challenging (for me,) part of the Mindfulness life. This term refers to being able to look at and appreciate experiences in your life without getting caught in the “drama” of the experience. Paula Forget suggested that I look at each experience from the higher perspective of a “spiritual being” caught in a mortal body. As I look from a higher perspective, I may not “judge” the event, individual or experience but just see, perhaps feel it, as a neutral activity that can be curious and interesting. When I am successful, I may even feel empathy and appreciation for the circumstances which have lead to this experience and more fully understand my “lesson” or “challenge” from my participation. Even if this lesson is painful, which as a human I will feel, I can still feel appreciation for what I can learn from this challenge on my pilgrimage through life. This detachment does NOT mean you do not care or feel the physical or emotional pain. It means that you are not locked up without finding the higher perspective regarding how to celebrate (?) this difficult challenge.

One more example and an exercise you can attempt… Hold a tangerine. Look at it fully. Appreciate the work of people who delivered this fruit to you and the forces of nature which allowed this fruit to grow. Feel the tangerine. Scratch the peel and smell the tangerine. Slowly and carefully peel the tangerine, perhaps keeping the peel in one piece. Pull the first section out slowly and place this in your mouth. Breathe! Feel the tangerine section in your mouth. Move it around with your tongue. Press it against your teeth or slowly take a bite. Breathe! Taste the sweetness. Appreciate the sun and forces which developed the sugar of this fruit. Slowly swallow the first section and then slowly repeat this for as much of this tangerine as you wish. If you were not distracted and were focused upon this exercise, attempt this at your next meal… Try to not speak for 10 minutes while you eat… Be mindful. Breathe slowly. Appreciate.

Full List of 10 Qualities of Mindfulness are:
These are Pages 18-20 of Laurie Cameron’s book: “The Mindful Day, Practical Ways to Find Focus, Calm and Joy From Morning to Evening.”

1. Awareness
2. Beginners Mind
3. Acceptance
4. Insight
5. Impermanence (Life is temporary and so are all the challenges…)
6. Equanimity
7. Interconnection
8. Compassion
9. Gratitude
10. Joy

Special thanks to Chau Yoder for these helpful acronyms:

Consider C.A.R.E. when dealing with life’s experiences
C. Compassion
A. Appreciation
R. Respect
E. Equanimity

To Assist you with this, try P.B.S.
P. Pause
B. Breathe
S. Smile

One more tip for dealing with a situation which “Triggers” you. R.A.I.N.
R. Recognize
A. Allow
I. Investigate with Kindness
N. Nurture (Yourself and the Appreciation of this Challenge)

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

Celebrating Independence By Remembering Our Interdependence

For Americans, July 4th is considered our Independence Day. Historically, it was a day when Americans came together to declare their Independence from a perceived tyranny. Today, most of the tyranny we face comes from our own perceptions and the personal independence we have been culturally taught. There comes a moment in consciousness when complete independence loses some, or most, of its value. This happens when we become conscious enough to realize that we are actually not fully independent but actually a part (a piece) of a much grander “Divine Spirit.” Our egos and “burning (taught) need” for individuality bends to the realization that every person, every lifeform, and every object in our Universe (and beyond) are inter-related and interdependent.

If you do not like reading this and you feel uncomfortable looking at the “crazy” people in the world with the consideration that they are you and you are they, then you have not “remembered” the shared roots which we all have. Each of us is an actor in a drama called life. We each have our role to play AND we have learned to play our character with perfection. Sure we whine when “things” are not going as well as we would “like.” Just learn to NOT take yourself or your role too seriously… You are much “greater than you will ever know” (or understand) this is a statement which has been said to me by my late wife and my friend Don Ley after he returned from his NDE (near death experience.) Nothing like a good NDE to put your life into better perspective… (Not a joke or kidding.)

Independence within the framework of each and every one of us being connected by spirit still allows for each of us to be different and unique. Just as snowflakes are unique, I am told, we each bring our unique challenges and lessons into our lives. We can not make progress and achieve our learning goals without bumping into other people and life experiences. These experiences are often challenging or difficult. A life which is too easy may overlook many valuable interactions with the difficult situations which we have been guided to know and to learn from. For myself, long ago I realized that I learn more from my mistakes, failures, and “trials by fire” than I learn when events go smoothly or as “expected.”

A desire to be too independent may prevent you from gaining from the shared experiences or wisdom of other “pilgrims” you meet on your path toward higher consciousness. The secret is to be not too dependent or too separate from other people. When I am present and mindful, which I am a small percentage of time, I see the beauty and perfection in the eyes and then the souls of the people I encounter. We are ALL in this together and we are all here to serve each other’s development of consciousness. AND, whether you know it or not, YOU have much to offer. YOU are a Master of your journey with wisdom from life experiences which, when shared, will assist fellow pilgrims on their path toward enlightenment.

So celebrate independence but within a conscious, reasonable position. Know that historically Americans could not have achieved their version of independence without working together with the intention of building a world of betterment for all. (Yes, there have been varying views on what these words and concepts might mean…)

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog