Posts Tagged ‘Faith’

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

If our day is dark, we can we can curse the darkness or we can seek illumination. One focuses on the problem; the other, the solution.

Adversity, grief, and challenges will darken every life. They may range from a shadow to the obliteration of all light, the terrible dark night of the soul from which relief seems impossible. But we always have a choice—do we stay in the darkness or do we move toward the light? Do we depend solely on our human resources or do we seek spiritual help? Do we stay mired in misery or do we access our inner spiritual power to transcend to the heights of human/divine potential?

Focusing on the problem, the darkness, keeps us in continuing misery. Our thoughts obsess on the immediate quandary and we are pulled deeper into the problem; we cannot see the solution because our attention is on the problem.  We find that sometimes we cannot break free from the dilemma using only our mind and will power. As children of a loving divine parent, we are gifted with an inner reservoir of clarity, a spiritual energy that can quiet our mental upheaval. We pause, take a deep breath, and exhale slowly; then, we repeat this three times. Be still and ask your inner source for peace and guidance.

Prayer: My precious and loving inner spirit, please quiet my mind; remove contention and indecision; bring peace to my emotions; help me to sit in stillness. Illuminate my choice with wisdom; give me strength to overcome these adversities and guide me to the best solution to my challenges. 

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

An extraordinary relationship exhibits shared core values, the willingness to grow individually and together, and individual loving, selfless freedom.

Shared core values are an important part of the best relationships.  A mutual commitment to God, integrity, honesty, truth, coupled with loving, tolerant attitudes toward others offers a firm basis for building extraordinary relationships. As with most things, unity of direction should outweigh uniformity of belief. A loving relationship is a living entity and will grow or die; as such, it provides three potential areas for growth: growth of each individual and growth of the union, the partnership.

Each individual must nurture his or her own personal spiritual growth and this requires some quiet and alone time for investigation, meditation, reflection, and processing. The resulting energy, direction, security and peace provide additional tools to overcome the challenges inherent in combining two lives. Then, a unique and special bond forms and cements the joint venture when the individuals add a shared spiritual growth to the practical, daily living choices and actions. Discussing and sharing divine values, goals, purpose, and ideals produces a depth of understanding and commitment that that does not occur in secular partnerships.

Prayer: Dear God, help me realize the value of relationships; let your love open my heart and mind; guide me to live to my fullest potential; strengthen my commitment to learn and grow; expand this desire so that I may support those I love and demonstrate caring for all people.

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

You never see a U-Haul in a funeral procession

You can’t take anything with you. The house, the car, the toys, recognition, money, club memberships, and all the things you worked to acquire or achieve—none of it goes to the grave or beyond. So how important is it really?  Is this really what life is all about? What do you barter to acquire these material possessions and self-gratifying objects? Are the days and nights of anxiety and tension, taking chemicals to sleep or relax, never taking time for family, for God, or for yourself a good trade for these temporary, unimportant things?

We cannot change a single thing we did yesterday but we can change today. Let us pause, evaluate, and decide which actions help us fulfill the purpose of our life. Are our daily values, goals, and practices selfish and self-driven? Or do we try to align with higher, divine attitudes? Will our actions today reflect more importance on things or on people; will we focus on self-gratification or on loving service? Striving to live a spiritual, loving existence does not mean that we cannot enjoy the possessions and toys but that we recognize their appropriate priority.

Prayer: Dear God, open my path to that wonderful divine presence that dwells within me; let me feel the power of love, the beauty of enlightenment, and the peace of assurance. Guide my actions this day to build those relationships that stand strong and clear in the test of time; let me accept your love, embrace its sustaining nourishment, and use every opportunity to share it with the world. It is my will that your will be done.

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

A thousand declarations of love mean less than one caring act.

  • Do I speak of love but fail to demonstrate caring?
  • Do I rail against the plight of the less fortunate but never volunteer to help?
  • Do I proclaim that everyone has a right to their belief and opinions but close my ears and mind to what they say—or even denigrate that which does not agree with my ideas?
  • Do I say that I respect others but participate in gossip?
  • Do I bemoan poverty but fail to act with charity?

Words and intentions accomplish nothing without action.

I am too insignificant to change the world but have many opportunities to contribute to others, to perhaps improve one very small area of that one person’s life.  I can give a “thank you” card for no reason, pause and listen with my heart when someone needs to share, or just clean the toilet. I can serve a meal in a shelter, visit a lonely senior, give money or time to a worthy charity, or actually be patient and loving when I feel like rushing away or screaming. Our world overflows with words and intentions but has much fewer healthy, loving actions.  A tender act benefits the recipient and the giver.

Prayer: My inner guide, help me to realize that without action, my desires and intentions are as smoke in the wind; instill in me the initiative to act on my higher values and intentions; reveal the large and small acts of kindness that move me to be the best version of myself.  Give me the “willingness to act”; strengthen me with your spirit and power to actually “do” in addition to loving and caring. It is my will that your will be done.

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

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. Albert Einstein

True science and spirituality need not be foes. Only mediocre scientists or fearful religionists deny or attack the other realm. Any scientific assessment is valid only for material things; it cannot measure anything that is not physical. For example, no scientific apparatus will ever accurately measure a mother’s love for her child. Scientific instruments can measure heartbeat, breathing, and perspiration; they can detect and quantify chemicals released by the body when close to, or thinking about, the object of love; they can even differentiate shifts in brain waves that are associated with these thoughts and on and on. These are all physical responses to love and not the underlying reality. Some quality of love exists beyond these components.

Likewise, science can measure the physical aspects of God (parts of material creation); science can discover the laws that govern the material creation; but some spiritual quality exists outside this purely physical realm and science can never prove or disprove the existence of such non-material reality. Spiritual power is real but the only proof is personal experience; the validation lies in the transforming results experienced in an individual’s life. Participation in this experience requires 1) open-mindedness and 2) access to a spiritual discovery process that delivers results and 3) implementing the process (actually doing the work).

 Prayer: Dear God, open my mind, heart, and soul so that may understand that the Infinite that includes all things. Grant me the harmony to live in this material world as I discover the reality of spiritual power.

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

Each of us have a indwelling divine presence that offers guidance, power, and security

We have been told:

  • Everyone has the Buddha within. Siddhārtha Gautama  550BC
  • Nor will they say “Look here” or Look there” for the kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:21
  • We found the Great Reality deep down within. In the final analysis, it was only there that He may be found.  (AA Big Book 3rd Ed.)
  • Every human being has a “fragment of God” within—and a birthright to claim this spiritual force. (Urantia Book)

Each of us has been given a direct link to the creator of the universe; however, activating and using this connection is wholly dependent on the individual’s choice and actions. Our power of choice is the supreme and sovereign power in the universe. We can choose to reject this wonderful guide and energy; we can superficially accept it as an idea that has some merit, allowing it to “sometimes” contribute to our life; or, we may fully embrace this great reality. It’s our choice and the rewards reaped in this life, the quality of this life, directly depend on this decision and the subsequent action to open the channel that allows this life-changing power to flow into our life.

Prayer: my loving, compassionate inner spirit, my friend who wants only the best for me, help me aware of your existence in my heart, mind and soul this day ; awaken me to the reality of your presence, power, and love. Help me to choose and act so that I may flourish, prosper and grow according to your plan and be a living testimony of the power and love of God abroad in this universe.

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

The good is often the enemy of the best; we can settle for mediocrity or strive for excellence

Settling for the good, or even the mediocre, has a definite ingrained appeal; indolence and procrastination are a part of the animalistic side of our human nature.  Choosing to do as little as possible gives us an easier life. But settling leads us to accepting mediocrity in relationships, careers, and all areas of our life. Fredrick Douglas said “As a general rule, where circumstances do most for men, there man ill do least for himself; and where man does least, he is least. His doing or not doing makes or unmakes him.”

Choosing to excel gives us a chance to enjoy the best life on the planet but also introduces potential pitfalls. We must exert a continuous effort, but not become a slave to struggle; we strive for the best, but try not to waste effort solving unimportant problems; we have to act, but avoid becoming a control fanatic—trying to make things happen our way, in our time and with the results we want. We grow to accept the inevitable mistakes, overcome adversity, and see disappointment as opportunity. We do not settle for mediocrity or complacency

Prayer: My supreme creator, parent and friend, guide me to realize that I only have this one life and have been given the power to choose how I will spend each day. Help me accept strenuous effort, challenges, and even adversity as opportunities to excel, as chances to become stronger, and as the opening to a better life. It is my will that your will be done.

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

THE “Yeabuts” cause continuing misery —especially if they justify resentments, anger, or other symptoms of self-driven will.

“Yeabut—I have a right to be angry”.

“Yeabut—you should see what she did”.

“Yeabut—they aren’t doing what they should do”.

“Yeabut—it isn’t right.”

“Yeabut—it isn’t fair.”

“Yeabut—I need that.”

“Yeabut—I don’t have the time.”

“Yeabuts” are masters of camouflage. They often hide selfish, self-centered, or self-righteous motives under a smokescreen of rationalization and justification or they mask immaturity with seemingly acceptable excuses. “Yeabuts” start with a tacit agreement. “Yes you’re right, but….” ; “Yes, I understand, but….”; “I was wrong, but….” Then, we sneak in the add-on, the second part that validates, rationalizes, or excuses our action or lack of action. These sometimes obvious (but often subtle) offerings prevent an honest acceptance and evaluation of our mistakes and shortcomings. The “yeabuts” are the crutch that supports the immature and weak; they stifle or outright prevent growth.

Prayer: My inner guide, I ask that you make me aware of “Yeabuts” today; help me to identify any words or thoughts that mask my mistakes or keep me from recognizing my self-driven attitudes.  Grant me strength to fearlessly face my shortcomings and the strength and guidance to overcome any that stand in my way of being of service to my fellow people.

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

I participate in gossip by talking—or listening. Without the listener, gossip dies

Do I have an inner void, a feeling of emptiness that makes me feel ‘less than’ other people? Is gossip one of my ways to compensate for this? Do I talk about other people? Do I share a confidence just to flout that I know something another person does not know? Must I try to harm another’s image with my words or implications just so I will feel better about myself? Or have I matured enough to realize that the act of demeaning another person, breaking a confidence, or diminishing someone’s value with my words reflect my own lack of integrity? Do I accept that many such acts are just efforts to build my value in my own eyes?

Finally, have I acknowledged the truth that listening to any such damaging talk indicates my immaturity? I only listen because either: 1) I agree with what is said, 2) I take vicarious pleasure in demeaning a another person, 3) I need this unhealthy communication to fill my inner void to make me feel better; or 4) I am afraid to stand for my values that do not agree with such acts. Not a single one of these motives contribute to my growth; all will lead to continued mediocrity or misery. I must learn to walk away, to cease any participation in gossip.

Prayer: Dear God, my loving and powerful inner guide, deliver me from participation in any act which leads me to lessen the value of any other person or decreases my integrity. Make me immediately aware if I participate in any form of gossip; give me the strength and guidance to handle all such situations with the tact and truth that shields my soul from harm while presenting a growth opportunity for all participants.

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

 

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