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The Rest of Your Life
Finding Repose in the Beloved
By John-Roger, Paul Kaye, David Sand
Mandeville PressCopyright © 2007 Theological Seminary & College of Philosophy
All rights reserved.
So Simple, So Ordinary
A big part of my work with people has been to demonstrate to them that they are divine through stories, metaphors, the updating of the esoteric teachings of old, and above all personal experience. To show them that no matter what they do, the spark of divinity lies within them waiting to be awakened through their loving attention.
Many people "get it" and then they fall out of it again. Most people don't get it at all because they use their bodies, mind, and emotions as a reference point and compare themselves to others. By judging themselves and others, they miss the whole point.
I have often wondered how they can miss what is immediately present within them, closer to them than their next breath. It may be because they feel that their divinity has to manifest as some radiant light, that they need to be able to heal people with a look, or somehow levitate. While it is true that spiritually we do radiate and are known through our level of Light, in this physical day-to-day world, our divinity mostly expresses through our ordinariness.
When we are knocked down by life's storms and we get back up again, we are exercising our divinity. When we choose to love rather than judge, we are exercising our divinity. When we withhold the blow rather than needlessly strike out, we are exercising our divinity. Our divinity therefore is demonstrated in our ordinary moment-to-moment choices
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
Rumi, "The Guest House"CHAPTER 2
It's All a Blessing
I have a friend who fell and broke his femur (thigh bone). It was very debilitating for him and, needing to spend months in a wheelchair, he got quite depressed. A good friend of his who was visiting him in the hospital told him, "Now is the time to use everything you know."
He used the year in recovery to make new discoveries, reexamine his life, and develop a new and more interesting vocation. When he told me this story, I said that his accident turned out to be a wonderful blessing. He looked at me intensely and said, "No! I made it a blessing."
I realized that he was showing me a great truth. He was exercising his divinity to make a positive choice and change the pathway of his life. He used what happened to him for his upliftment, learning, and growth. He used the experience as a stepping stone instead of a stumbling block. When we do this, we manifest the divine. To stay a victim, to judge ourselves, or others, or the state of the world, exercises our ego and personality; it does not exercise our divinity.
So, lighten up. Get a sense of humor about life. Your destiny isn't some vague, romantic future; it is what is right in front of you right now. Use what you've got and what you know. You are divine. Learn to manifest joy under any conditions. There is much to celebrate.
I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell, but
just coming to the end of his triumph.
Jack GilbertCHAPTER 3
Why Not Tell Ourselves the Good Stuff
We are in "that which is" all the time. It's reality. When we declare "that which is" to be something else, the result is a feeling of separation and loneliness. Yet we are the ones who create that feeling. Instead of accepting and cooperating and facing what is, we turn away and blame someone or something because we are not getting what we want.
We are the ones in charge and responsible for our lives. The Beloved is always present waiting for us to return to it through our attention and awareness. We can dissolve the separation instantly if we can just stop empowering our thoughts of separation and our feelings of inadequacy through playing the victim.
Our bodies build their form around the energy we place out. If we misuse our energy by putting our attention in the wrong place, the body will build its form around it. For example, if you worry a lot, it will be reflected in your tense shoulders and your tight stomach. When we start to use our energy correctly, our shoulders loosen, the stomach relaxes, the energy starts moving into the areas that have been blocked or closed off, and the body starts aligning itself spontaneously. Correct use of energy makes everything liquid, relaxed, and smooth. The body will line itself up and re-form itself according to your conscious thought and pattern of behavior.
The lesson is that if we don't change our behavior, the body will go back to its previous condition. If we are willing to listen and watch, we'll find that the body is not only educating us in how to get well but also showing us how to change the condition that produced the sense of imbalance or illness.
We condition ourselves by what we tell ourselves. We actually tell ourselves what we don't really want or need to hear — how we are a failure, we don't feel good or look good, nothing is working, and that our life is going to hell. It's so funny because if we can tell ourselves the bad stuff, surely we can tell ourselves the good stuff. After all, we are the ones making up the stories, so why not tell ourselves stories that will lift us and move us into greater loving? We are in charge of what we say to ourselves. We can say that our lives are full of health, wealth, and happiness; abundance, prosperity, and riches; loving, caring, and sharing; and the joy of touching to others with that fullness. That story is closer to the truth of who you are and will manifest for you because, as you think in your heart, you will become.
We have what we seek.
It is there all the time,
and if we slow down and be still,
it will make itself known to us.
Thomas MertonCHAPTER 4
Just Now. Only Now.
A great deal of the stress that people suffer is a result of not living right now — of being occupied with the past or the future. This is the cause of so many troubles. When you cut out your concern for the future and your remembrance of the past, you are right here, now.
Many people try to remember to be here now. However, when they try to remember, the very act of remembering throws them out of the present moment. If you stop remembering, or you forget to remember, and you are just here now, you are in good territory.
Do your best to maintain your attention in the now. There is nothing else in existence other than right now. As you handle life as it appears moment-by-moment, you find out that everything is fine, smooth, and right where it should be.
In fact, you don't want to jump off into the future because right now is really quite nice. There is no past or future. Being present connects you with the eternal now and there is only one way to go — up in consciousness.
The solution to life's challenges is really quite simple. To get yourself back into the presence of the Beloved, move into the present moment, and love whatever is happening in and around you.
Resting Point: Ways to Restore Your Energy
I love being alive. I really do. And I think the way the world is going to transform is by us getting back in touch with the joy of being alive for its own sake.
The Breath. Your breath is one of your greatest allies. It is the key to restoring your energy. It is mentioned a lot in this book, but here are some keys and reminders:
Just the simple act of following the rising and falling of your breath can bring you to a peaceful and calm place and restore your energy. It also brings you into the ever-present, but often elusive, now. Allowing the breath into the belly is one of the best things you can do to reduce stress.
The key to natural and full breathing is in the exhalation — the letting go. However, don't force anything. As you observe the exhale, you may be aware of a slight pause. This is natural, just observe. Then, without forcing anything, open to receive the next breath into you.
Place the breath anywhere in your body where you have tension, anywhere it feels lifeless or numb. You may find that as you bring the breath into that part of your body, what felt "dead" starts to come "alive."
Sometimes I lie awake at night and ask,
"Where have I gone wrong?"
Then a voice says to me,
"This is going to take more than one night."
Charles M. SchulzCHAPTER 5
One of the Best Pieces of Advice I Can Give You
We're here with each other on this planet to love, to care, and to share. When you hear someone close to you being negative with themselves, you can tell them that they don't have to pick on themselves like that. They can move forward and start living their life from where they are. We are all doing that, anyway.
Jesus was born in a manger to show us that we start from where we are. You don't have to wait till you get to the king or queen's throne before you take off for your destiny.
One of the best pieces of advice that I can give you is to start from where you are, right now. Don't try to repair anything, don't try to fix anything, don't try to change anything. Let this moment be the starting point, right here, right now, and just go up from this point.
In your own bosom you have your heaven and earth,
all you behold though it appears without, it is within.
William BlakeCHAPTER 6
Why Don't I Know It?
The body ages, the emotions go up and down, and the mind keeps playing games. So we know from direct experience that these levels are transitory. Their value is moving through them and holding your spiritual inner awareness as the constant in your life in the eternity of each moment. Eternity is now for all time. It was now when this book was written, and it is now when you are reading it.
Now is eternity, and that is the place to keep bringing your awareness. You do this by releasing the conditioned energy that you have placed around you through the roles you play. To function in this world, we all play roles: one moment we are the shopper, then the lover, then the teacher, the wife driving the car, or the husband taking out the garbage. All is well until we forget that it is a role and we get caught up when we identify with it and think we are the role we play. Then, strangely, we defend it and fight for it. At best your role is an extension of you, but to identify yourself fully as the role is to condition yourself into separation.
Separation has been built into the conditioning of mankind. It is known esoterically as the "fall" of consciousness. But in the higher awareness, it is an illusion. For we of the Spirit know that we can get up one more time than we fall. As we do that the conditioning is broken and we can choose, once again, to turn our attention to the Beloved and know we are home. We extend ourselves into the Beloved and replace our conditioning with our knowing. That is the true power within each of us.
Knowing we are the Beloved gives us a new reference point through which we can then know the transcendental nature of Spirit and reach within to the Soul, the God force.
Ancient lovers believed a kiss would
literally unite their souls, because the
spirit was said to be carried in one's breath.
Eve GlicksmanCHAPTER 7
The Natural Process of Life
Life is divine communion. It's an eternal process that breathes in and breathes out. This process of life is present, now. What makes it all so very nice is that there is only God, and God is present in your consciousness, directly. Knowing that then, you can participate in the divine communion of life by physically experiencing the fullness and "realities" of the world without identifying with them. As you move through the world you use your emotions to enhance your experience and your mind to select and direct you in your activities. These are tools to place those things that come to you in the right perspective so that you can recognize the divine essence that is the Soul in all things.
Divine communion is being loving. It's that quality by which you experience yourself dancing in your own heart. It's where the sacred sounds sing in your heart. Not saying the sacred tones in your mind, but hearing them resounding in your heart and through every part of your being as you ride on the bliss of your own true nature; that is participating in your own divine communion.
At the moment of communion with your own being, your consciousness automatically expands. An analogy is that when you breathe out, breathing in is automatic. That's the process of life. So you don't try to expand your consciousness. You can't do it by trying. You expand your consciousness by making yourself available to Spirit, to the Beloved, by your willingness to be open and present within that total loving presence of God.
When you are in divine communion, you may find yourself moving very naturally into the stream of Light we call the Sound Current of God.
Resting Point: Ways to Restore Your Energy
There is more refreshment and stimulation in a nap, even of the briefest, than in all the alcohol ever distilled.
The Nap. Napping is one of nature's great gifts to us. It is very underutilized in our culture. Twenty minutes is ideal but even a five-minute nap can be very restorative. But don't go longer than twenty minutes as it is likely you will move into a deeper stage of sleep and instead of feeling refreshed upon awakening, you may feel groggy.
There is no doubt that our culture is sleep-deprived. Don't be a victim to all the demands of life. You have a marvelous tool at your disposal for restoring your energy — napping.
If you only have a minute, try this. Hold some keys in your hands and bend forward in your chair with your lower arms resting on your thighs. As you nod off, the keys will drop and wake you up. Even in that minute, you will feel a little more refreshed.
The point here is that taking a little time for yourself for rest, prayer, meditation, or spiritual exercises, can profoundly affect the quality of your day.
When we make music, we don't do it
in order to reach a certain point,
such as the end of the composition.
If that were the purpose of music,
then obviously the fastest players
would be the best. Also, when we are
dancing, we are not aiming to arrive at a
particular place on the floor as in a journey.
When we dance, the journey itself is the
point, as when we play music, the playing
itself is the point. And exactly the same
thing is true in meditation. Meditation is
the discovery that the point of life is always
arrived at in the immediate moment.
Alan WattsCHAPTER 8
You can perceive your very breathing process as a form of patience. What would happen if you tried to take all the rest of your breaths right now? You'd probably explode. It would be too much to handle. So you take them one after another, in their proper timing. You let your breathing take care of itself, knowing that it is set up to do just that. And, without any effort, you're pretty patient toward that process. For the most part, the breaths are taken gradually. You can speed them up, but then you get the results of that, too, which might be too much energy and a little hyperventilation. So you then slow the breathing down to bring it into a balance.
In every season there is a rhythm, and in every person there is a rhythm. This rhythm has an innate intelligence that naturally moves and flows with what is going on. When you can tune into your inner rhythm (maybe for you it's a concerto, a waltz, or a march), you can sense its flow and relax into it. You then live a divine melody.
As you sit and listen to your rhythm within, you can amplify it, and build on it to create the beautiful symphony that truly represents the divine spark of God within you. But it needs to be done gradually within the rhythm that is very particularly yours.
The sound inside of you is the Sound of God. But sometimes, when you are distracted by the difficulties in your world, you won't pause long enough to listen to the sound and the assistance coming from within you. When you have a difficulty or feel stuck, you can start the attunement to Spirit by chanting "Hu" (pronounced like hue) or "Ani-Hu" (pronounced ahn-eye hue).
Best of all is to preserve everything
in a pure, still heart, and let there be
for every pulse a thanksgiving,
and for every breath a song.
Konrad von Gesner
Excerpted from The Rest of Your Life by John-Roger, Paul Kaye, David Sand. Copyright © 2007 Theological Seminary & College of Philosophy. Excerpted by permission of Mandeville Press.
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