Monthly Archives: March 2013

The 52: Lesson Fourteen — Eternal Life AND Love

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butterflyblueskySpringtime has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Happy Springtime. We think of springtime as bringing renewal. As I write this, it is springtime in New England, where I live.  The sun is warming the earth and, in response, green shoots are popping out of the soil, woodchucks are emerging from their hibernation and foraging for sustenance, new, colorful birds are arriving in the midst of their travels.  There is a song in the air and an expression  of  lightness in the faces of people enjoying the fresh air..

We think of springtime as bringing renewal, and it does.  One of the Christian holidays that marks this time of year is Easter, the celebration of true re-birth, hope, and love. A triumph of eternal love.  All of these qualities are worthy of celebration, not just in the spring, but in all seasons of our lives.

Perhaps Easter is not a holiday you celebrate. Even so, I believe that Easter is an important day for all of humanity.  Why would I say this?  The “story” of Easter and resurrection is immensely valuable to contemplate when thinking of the meaning and duration of life and love.  I am enthralled with the story of the passion and the unconditional love that is predominant in the Easter story.  Of course, I was raised in a Christian family and Easter, with all its pageantry, was a special day in my life.  I liked searching for Easter eggs, eating jelly beans, enjoying a springtime dinner with family, and dressing up in new clothes that reflected the sunny days and flowers blooming.  Our family album is full of pictures of my mother, father, and brother, all decked out in new Easter finery, with my brother and me clutching Easter baskets full of treats.

For many years, I discounted the story of Easter.  Those were the years when I took a sabbatical from organized religion.  In fact, I pretty much discounted all the stories of miracles and faith, Christian or otherwise.  That was then.  Now, again, I call myself a Christian but right along with this statement, I could equally call myself a Yogi , and a believer in the mystical branches of all religions.

I relish the chance to say Happy Easter.  The significance of the story of Jesus and resurrection, of eternal life and love, and of what this says about death (or no death, to be exact) resonates with the truths of the most ancient spiritual writings.

I have written quite a lot about eternal love.  I hope you will take a minute to go back to Lesson Six that focused on this subject.  It will give you a better idea of how I came to so firmly believe in the continuation of life after we depart the body and why I have not the vaguest doubt that love is eternally the most important subject of all time.

So now, at this time of renewal and rebirth, we remember the truth that our souls are free from death.  We only depart from our bodies, yet WE continue to be the Divine Spirit and embodiment of Love.

LESSON FOURTEEN

ETERNAL LIFE AND LOVE

This is the Practice for this week’s lesson:

  • Take a bit of time each day to contemplate the idea of eternal life and love.
  • Carve out a few minutes to sit in silence.  Calm your body and your breath.  Long slow breathing.
  • Now contemplate these words from A Course in Miracles:

You dwell not here but in eternity.

You travel but in dreams while safe at home.

  • Think on these words.  What does it mean for you, for those who have already “died” and for those you love who will surely leave their bodies?
  • What if you are already dwelling in eternity, but have failed to recognize this?
  • What if you are safe at home all the time?
  • What if you are, right now, the perfect embodiment of love, but you have confused this truth with messages from the world of dreams.

I do not pretend that this is easy material to consider, especially if you are seeing it for the first time.  It is, nonetheless, the basis of most spiritual paths, dating from the earliest writings that still exist.

This is where we are heading.  And, whether you embrace these beliefs or not, it does not alter the Truth.

You are Love.

You are Eternal.

Life is Eternal.

Love is Eternal.

These words are not just meant for Jesus or Buddha or saints or gurus.  These words are about YOU!

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more thoughts, go to www.deannemincer.com

The 52: Is Your Life Music to Your Ears?

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Meow!  Meeeeeeooooow!  Meow!  It is a shrill sound and very loud.  It penetrates right down to your bones, if you let it.  It comes without warning, in the midst of day when I am typing away and concentrating on my writing.  Or it comes in the middle of the night, while I am sound asleep.  For awhile it was jarring, but now I just smile.  It is the distinct sound of our almost twenty year old Siamese cat.  We adopted her after my mother passed away.  She is nearly blind and hard of hearing, yet still quite beautiful and lively.  Even if the sound is abrasive and shocks me, I don’t mind it anymore.  I love that little old, elderly cat and have come to even relish hearing her shrieking voice.  That’s how we sometimes adjust to sounds.

What do you hear right now?  How do you react to the sounds around you?

This lesson has evoked some interesting responses.  A lot of people are surprised at how much they experience dissonance and feel many ranges of response — even anger.  All the time these reactions have been there in a subtle form — creating discomfort and unhappiness, yet they went un noticed.  No wonder we don’t understand why we have levels of stress and agitation and don’t know why.  It is time to pay attention.

Please go back to the previous lesson and continue the practice of observing what you hear.  You cannot alter your environment if you don’t even know what is troubling to you.  Pay attention!  Begin the process of  becoming lighter and happier.  Clear out the cacophony as best you can or just accept the “noises” you cannot alter.  Then introduce those sounds that are soothing to you and that enrich your experience of the world.

Who knows?  Some day you might even try singing hymns or chanting sacred words.  Then you will be elevating and bringing beauty, not just to your world, but to your own level of Divine Energy.

Let your life become “music to your ears.”

With love and namaste,  Deanne

For more thughts, go to www.deannemincer.com

The 52: Lesson Thirteen — Do You Hear What I Hear?

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butterflyblueskyAnd silence, like a poultice, comes

To heal the blows of sound.

In the 1800’s, Oliver Wendell Holmes penned those words in his poem, The Music Grinders.  Can you imagine what he would think today?  Everywhere we go, there is noise and sound.  How do we respond to all of this sensory input?  That is the subject of this lesson, a continuation of the exploration of pratyahara, one of the essential eight rungs of True Yoga.  It is all about the senses.

We have already spoken about the sense of sight.  Think back.  In Lesson Seven, we delved into how we see and how we are, often unwittingly, influenced by all that we take in through the sense of sight.  Now we will spend some time on another sense, the sense of sound.

Most of us go about our days, giving scant attention to what we are hearing.  Sure, if a siren blares down the street nearby, we will likely take notice.  Yet while we are generally unaware of the constant cacophony of noises and sounds around us,  they influence our wellbeing nonetheless.  Before you can alter this situation and eventually, we hope, be uninfluenced by whatever sounds are around you, you must recognize what is “out there.”

LESSON THIRTEEN

THE SENSE OF SOUND

Something to consider for this week:

  • Explore what you routinely hear around you every day.  What sounds do you find abrasive and unsettling?  Are these sounds within your ability to control?  In other words, you cannot stop an airplane from flying overhead.  If an ambulance screams down the highway, you can’t jump out and stop it.  Crows calling in the trees will not heed your request that they quiet down.  Accept these sounds.  Trying to alter them is a waste of time.  Just let them be. You may even grow to smile when you hear them.
  • What about noises you bring into your space?  The radio?  The television?  Your IPod?  How about choosing a noisy place to have dinner?   But you can begin to alter these sounds by taking action.  Turn off the incessant noise of the TV.  Stop listening to music that is jarring.  Go to those places where natural sounds are around you.
  • Now give thought only to the sounds that are soothing to you and bring you a sense of peace and calm.  Perhaps it is a favorite musical piece.  Maybe you like the sounds of nature — the leaves rustling in the trees, the songs of birds nearby, the gentle drops of rain as they strike the roof, the babbling of a brook or the soft waves on a beach.  Whenever possible, I prefer natural sounds or specific pieces of classical music or, my favorite, chanting the sound of my mantra.  What do you like?
  • Make it a practice this week to surround yourself with sounds that calm you and bring you joy.  See what happens when you begin to alter what you are hearing.  If natural sounds appeal to you, you can open the window or sit outside or, if they are interrupted too much by lawn mowers and leaf blowers, you can find a good CD to play inside and on your headset.  If you close your eyes, you might imagine you are in a tropical rain forest. I like to listen to a CD of such tropical sounds.  Then I am transported…
  • Remember that whatever you hear has a subtle influence on how you feel and your emotional state.  The more you are surrounded by sounds that are “music to your ears,” the more happy and light you will feel.  This does not mean you must choose only sounds that are quiet and meditative.  You may want something fun and upbeat.  For years I played a tape (yes, a tape) of folk tunes I purchased on a trip to Australia.  They made me laugh and brought a happy energy.  I also spent years chanting my mantra, out loud, whenever I could and playing that mantra constantly in my car.  Om Namah Shivaya. 

As you begin to really hear and listen, you will learn a lot about yourself and your world.  Then, in the final goal of pratyahara, you may actually withdraw completely from sound.  Then wherever you go, you will be focused within.

It is said that yogis can mediate in the midst of total noise overkill, in the heart of Calcutta, yet never respond to those noises at all.  They remain at peace.  Brain wave activity, scientifically studied, substantiates this fact.  You can do this too.  If not, for now,  take baby steps…

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more thoughts, go to www.deannemincer.com

 

 

The 52: Are You Lighter and Happier — A Look Back

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Pick a lesson.  Any lesson.

Many years ago, I signed up for a correspondence course.  But it was not like any other I had ever experienced.  It was published by the Siddha Foundation, and its purpose was the exploration of  the spiritual essence of yoga. Lessons were mailed out — yes, by snail mail, so old-fashioned — and we received two lessons at a time.  They were chatty, personal and full of wisdom.  We were asked to read one lesson every day, then switch to the other lesson to read every day, for a month.  Nothing else was asked.  Just imbibe the wisdom, and the shakti or energy in the lessons would be transmitted. 

It seemed a little strange to me to do this, but I trusted that it was true.  I read and re read the lessons.  Sometimes I was propelled to take action, but reading them was enough.  I had taken a hiatus from going to workshops, combing through books for new wisdom, searching for truths through many sources.  For years, I read the lessons, every day, without fail.  Somehow those lessons did what was promised.  My teaching and my personal life began to change in significant ways.  Sometimes I felt totally guided in my teaching of yoga classes — almost as if I was not the one teaching them.  As a person whose personality was marked by the word, “controlling,” I didn’t seem to mind at all.  Something bigger was happening. 

In thinking of the simple practice of reading the words over and over, I have felt propelled to make some changes in my own posts.  In future weeks, I will post only once or twice a week.  The beginning of the week lesson will hold all that is needed for that period. 

Now why would I make this decision?  It is because I feel that same guidance now.  Just as I felt when teaching.  I now ask that you read the week’s post and take action if you can.  But try to read it daily.  You may want to print it and take it with you.  Or go online.

I believe that transformation can arise in many ways.  It may be an instantaneous ignited spark — a blast of energy so profound that you know your life is changed forever.  That’s what happened to me and to many others.  Or it can be slow and gradual, awakening at a pace that seems easy and comfortable.  That has happened to me too.

So choose one of our earlier lessons and make it your daily reading and practice. 

Wherever love flows, the shakti is there.  My heart pulsates with love whenever I write these posts.  Can you feel it? I hope it is flowing directly from my heart to yours.  After all, WE ARE ONE even if our limited vision might not see it.  Truth is still Truth.

Let me know what you think of these ideas.

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more thoughts, go to www.deannemincer.com

The 52: Lesson Twelve – Looking Forward to Looking Back?

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See the butterfly soaring toward the light?  Are you soaring?  Are you experiencing a metamorphosis? Are you lighter and happier, more loving, than you were when you began reading these lessons?  Lighter and happier and more loving — that was my intention in writing this course in spiritual transformation.

Have you found that some lessons “spoke” to you more than others?  Maybe you like to use your mind to plant affirmations.  Or perhaps the body and breath is your primary vehicle for change so using action is best for you.  Or you might see silence and meditation, letting your mind rest, as a form that appeals to you.  If you are uplifted by the word “love” and feel joy in even saying or thinking that word, then lessons on love would appeal to you.  I would hope they all have a resonance for you.  They do for me!  I say that anything and everything that can bring light, joy, happiness and love into my life — well, I’ll take!

At the very beginning, I promised that these weekly lessons would be simple, yet profound.  From the responses I have received, those are two words that are most often repeated.  Simple, yet profound!

This lesson is for reviewing and resting.  If some of the lessons moved you more than others or seemed to bear fruit — you felt lighter and happier because you tried something new or revisited something you tried in the past — then return to those now.  Make them your focal point.

But what if you read them, found them interesting or boring, worthwhile or worthless, it really does not matter.  All is unfolding with perfection.  The light is still there, beaming within you.  YOU are still, as you always were, the loving spirit with the flame in your heart.

You know by now that Rumi is one of my favorite, enlightened poets.  His writings are so full of truth and love that my heart soars with every word.  He said:

Come to the orchard in spring.

There is light and wine and sweethearts in the pomegranate flowers.

If you do not come, these do not matter.

If you do come, these do not matter.

Well, what do you think of that?  All that matters is that you love yourself and flow with the purity that is in your heart.  That is my wish for you.

With love and namaste, Deanne

 For more thoughts, go to www.deannemincer.com

The 52: Lesson Eleven – Let The Heart Massage Clear Past Issues

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butterflyblueskyA Course in Miracles is one of the most important books I have ever read.  To say I read it is hardly the case, I have spent years studying its profound words and deep wisdom. It transformed my life and explained mysteries of faith and spiritual truth in ways that I could readily understand.  The resonance of its words blended with all the teachings I had long studied in ancient Indian texts, yet it is a Christian (Christ-based) text.  I recommend it to everyone who asks how they may move forward on the spiritual path and love themselves more.

These are some quotes from A Course in Miracles:

God is but love and therefore, so am I.

Love, which created me, is what I am.

Love is the way I walk in gratitude.

Love is the essence, yet the course speaks about the intrusion of the ego and how it can pull us away from love. So the heart massage, which you have been encouraged to practice this week and whenever you need it, serves to dissolve the activities of the ego by stating clearly that we “love and accept” ourselves no matter what the ego throws our way.  Do you realize how powerful this is and how your life could be changed because of it?

I hope that you have tried the heart massage and experienced its cleansing and clearing effect.  You can use it in the moment, when something happens during your day.  You can also use it retroactively.  Here’s how:

  • In the past, even long ago, something happened that shook your core of love.  It may have indelibly altered the course of your life.  If it still unsettles you, it is not too late to dissolve the ego intervention and move into love.
  • When you have the situation firmly in your mind, begins using the heart massage.  Delve into ALL the feelings, emotions and fears your felt then, repeating each time that you “love and accept yourself” no matter what happened.  Try to exhaust every single negativity surrounding the situation.
  • When you have finished, see if you feel better.  You might even give yourself a measurement — on a scale of 1-10 — on how much you felt unsettled, then re-evaluate after wards.  Your assessment of the number should have decreased.  When I work with others on this practice, we actually muscle test to do this measurement.

If you decide to try to clear past issues in this way, I recommend that you restrict this kind of clearing to only one or two at a time.  You may be surprised at how altered you will feel in this practice.

In future lessons we will move more deeply into this subject.  If you have questions about it, I am eager to help.  You can also refer to one of Henry Grayson’s books which clearly describes the method and how it works or go to his website – www.henrygrayson.com.

In this lesson we have actively used our body to participate in healing and bringing love to the foreground.  I always feel better after this kind of work.  I hope that you do too.

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more; go to www.deannemincer.com and visit me on Facebook

The 52: Lesson Eleven — More on Loving Yourself

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Conquer the devils with a little thing called love.

That’s the observation of the legendary Jamaican musician Bob Marley.  That “little thing” called love turns out to be a very big thing indeed!

Are you prepared to really love yourself?  Regardless of circumstances?  No matter how much you have judged yourself and felt lacking? Even if you worry that you will never be worthy of love — from others, from your family and friends, from your own self?  Maybe you think you are just too imperfect, scarred, disgusting, unacceptable, terrible — a curse to everyone and everything? Hold on!

Is it too extreme to imagine thinking all that I have described?  Too impossible to imagine anyone coming back from such self-denial and self-hatred?  Yet it happens and not so rarely.  Most of us go along, feeling pretty good and then something– the big something — happens and we plunge into the ego’s damaging messages.

It might be a small something that we use to berate ourselves.  I can’t find my car keys.  Or I forgot to pick up the dog food.  Or I overslept.  Whatever it is, it is not worth blocking out the love that is pulsing and glowing inside of us. Don’t forget that these only “thoughts.”  At some point we learn that they don’t have much meaning in the spiritual realm.

Often times the judgement comes from those around us. and, for some reason, we take it to heart.  We believe it, even if we know it is absurd to do so.  Think of bullying.  It is reprehensible enough for youngsters, but it can happen to us at any age.  I like the expression that “whatever someone else thinks of you is none of YOUR business.” It isn’t, but few of us believe it.

We need a line of defense against attacks by others and ourselves.  I urge you to review the last lesson and to engage the heart massage whenever you harbor feelings of loss of love.  And bolster it by repeating the affirmation, I love myself completely NOW.  See your self surrounded by love and protected engaging an image of those you know love you (living or out of this world) and by God or Jesus or angels or saints or a totem or any higher power you trust.

In my life, I have, many times, had periods when I felt bereft of love.  I have lived long enough and worked with enough people in my spiritual teachings to know that we can all be subject to this feeling.  It hurts when it happens.  We feel lonely and vulnerable.  We might feel that we will never escape those feelings.  That we have plunged to the depths, with no way out.  But we don’t have to stay there.  We don’t!

Trust me!  The heart massage and the accompanying messages WORK!  Don’t spend another minute feeling separated from love!

I deeply love and accept myself even…

Finally, remember that, in the world of yoga, we are all one.  When you ask for love to become manifest for you, you may be surprised at how the universe will click the “on” button and you will be sent love.  Just in writing these words, I am sending love to you right now.  Trust me!

With love and namaste,  Deanne

For more, go to www.deannemincer.com.