Archive for the ‘serenity’ Category

Spiritual practices can “brain wash” us.

I was once warned to be careful, that religion or spiritual people could “brain wash” me.  This proved to be true but in a surprising way. My mind desperately needed cleaning. The filth of misery—resentment, anger, worry, fear, jealousy, envy, low-self-worth, and a myriad of others—stained and soiled most of my thoughts; this mental muck and mire prevented any chance for peace or happiness. My mind had to be cleansed before I had any hope of a better life.

An act of surrender starts this spiritual cleaning cycle: we must fully accept that we have problems that keep us from being the best version of our self and that we cannot solve these without help. Action follows this giving up: We start the day with prayer and meditation as we sit in silence and feel the presence of divinity; we seek guidance, strength, and wisdom and ask to be made aware of any opportunity to serve and help a fellow traveler. Then, we pause for a few minutes throughout the day to stay consciously aware of our divine birthright; we strive to be loving, tolerant, and gentle. We spend a few minutes in quiet review each night to see what we could have done better, to identify areas for improvement and acknowledge the growth and blessing of this day. Since new dirt and muck can stain our lives each day, we must make this a daily practice; we need a continuous cycle of “brain washing.”

Prayer:  My loving spirit, I have allowed my self-driven will to pollute this blessing I call my mind. Please cleanse it; wash away my pride, prejudice, anger, fear, and all misery; purify my thoughts and sanctify my motives.

We can only see what is in front of our eyes; we cannot see the history.

We see anger but not the earlier years of abuse or fear

  • We see selfishness but not the previous poverty of love
  • We see self-centeredness and self-righteousness but not the low self-esteem or the despair of self-loathing.
  • We see the inability to engage in healthy relationships but not the absence of spiritual core with lack of healthy self-love.

Yes, each person is accountable for their current actions; each person is responsible to recognize their mistakes and shortcomings that interfere with their lives; each will be offered multiple opportunities to choose change. However, the unfortunate may lack the necessary humility to admit their deficiencies, the desire or the courage to change, or not have a guide and viable process for change; they may reject a spiritual solution for living problems; or they may just be having a bad moment or terrible day.

Whenever we encounter such objectionable conduct, it is our choice how we allow it to affect us. Do we share the light to provide illumination or contribute to the darkness? Let us show:

  • tolerance, not anger
  • patience, not a quick response
  • love of the hard-to-love, not retaliation
  • the willingness to walk away, not to engage in pointless conflict
  • the power and beauty of a sprit-led life, not the desperate charade of self-driven will

If we are among the fortunate; we must be an expression of truth.

Prayer:  Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

The mind is the gateway to the soul; It can ignite spiritual growth or breed self-driven will that causes incessant misery.

Do you ever consider the true power of your mind? This is where we make the choices that determine the quality of each moment and each day. These decisions influence our education, relationships, career and future. Everything centers on how we use our mind. Do we use this marvelous thinking machine to access a gateway to the soul—to open the door that leads us to the excellent life or do we choose to let it be self-directed to propagate misery and discontent?

This day, train your mind to act for your best benefit; elevate the processing of your mind. Upon awakening, nurture thoughts of gratitude before getting out of bed; then, read something uplifting and positive to start the day and reflect on the reading. Become aware of your thoughts throughout the day. Try to remove yourself from being the center of all your thoughts, to not be constantly judging how things and people impact you.  Ask your inner spirit to direct your thinking; seek to see with spiritual vision instead of the eyes of self-centeredness; act with love and compassion instead of reacting with anger, self-pity, or selfishness. Contribute to the peace of another person; search for that small act of kindness and love that may bring a smile; greet the “god within” each person you meet instead of reacting to the exterior appearances. Raise your thoughts to a higher level.

Prayer: My loving inner spirit, I ask for your help and give you permission to guide my thoughts this day.  Balance my judgment with compassion; replace anger with a desire for peace, loneliness with the ability for friendship, and sadness with the desire to help. Let me walk with righteousness and be a living demonstration of your love, grace, and wisdom.

Take three relaxing breaths; ask your inner spirit to guide your meditation; pause for a few minutes in silence.

Our mind can be our best friend or our worst enemy.

Our mind can be our best friend or our worst enemy.

The power and influence of our mind has been long recognized. Over 2500 years ago, The Dhammapada noted: Hard it is to train the mind which goes where it likes and does as it wants; but a trained mind brings health and happiness.

Our mind generates thoughts that yield happiness, mediocrity or misery. The choice depends on how we use our mind—the way we think. Something happens; we react with an instantaneous thought or feeling. The thought-feeling generates more thoughts that focus on the problem; the feelings gain strength and become entrenched. We are in the cycle of misery. Our mind seems to have a mind of its own.  The self-directed mind cannot solve problems started and exacerbated by that very same mind.

Breaking this addictive mental cycle requires that we control our mind.  If all else fails, we can pause, access our inner spiritual power and ask for help to direct our mind; this practice start training this mental machine. This transforming influence, an actual additional energy, provides the power to break the shackles binding us to certain thoughts and to re-direct our thinking. The spirit-directed mind sees a different view, a more balanced and truer perspective and becomes our best friend.

Prayer: My loving divine source and indwelling spirit please quiet my mind and ease my emotions; elevate my thoughts to be conscious of and to reflect your will in my life; grant me a new perspective that I may see the truth; guide my mind to awareness of my blessings; make me aware of simple actions I may take that will shift my thoughts. Help my mind be a benefit instead of a liability, to bring me happiness instead of misery.

Take three relaxing breaths; ask your inner spirit to guide your meditation; pause for a few minutes in silence

Must”, “should”, “need to”, “ought to” and “have to” create stress and anxiety

Our mental self-talk contributes to our emotional state. Thoughts of “must”, “should”, “need to”, “ought to” and “have to” cause tension and stress.  Often, we make self-imposed deadlines; then, we get stressed-out when we cannot live up these expectations. Or we allow other people to make unrealistic and unnecessary deadlines; or we respond to them when they try to force us to behave according to their rules. Yes, we have things that must get done in a certain time; we have things we “should” do. However, we need to learn not to blindly accept unimportant schedules or imposed value systems.

Today, let us: 1) Pause, recognize the importance and priority of each task we face and not allow the trifles to overwhelm us and  2) Be aware and careful with the stress-triggering words of “must”, “should”, “need to”, “ought to”  and “have to.” We check for these words when we start to feel tense, irritable, or stressed. Are they truly appropriate in this situation? Will there be a catastrophe if we fail to meet the deadline or decide to live by our standards and values instead of someone else’s?

Prayer: My loving inner spirit, help me to pause throughout this day and establish this peaceful connection with you; help me focus my time and energy on the important things today and to forsake the unimportant. Help me resist the urge to hurry, to quietly and peacefully take one step at a time and do what is in front of me to do.

Take three relaxing breaths; ask your inner spirit to guide your meditation; reflect on the content, pausing for a few minutes in silence.

Call Us Today!
Call Direct:
720-379-7721

Call Toll Free:
1-888-56HAPPY (888-564-2779)
getthebook