Tag Archives: God

The 52: Lesson Twenty Seven — Are YOU The Divine Self?

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butterflyblueskyMarianne Williamson, the writer and popular spiritual teacher who was  inspired by one of the most life changing books ever written, A Course in Miracles, has shared these words:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us…

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone.

Why, oh, why, then is it so difficult for most of us to believe and acknowledge this?

In the yoga world, we talk a lot about the Self and the ego.  I used to think that I needed to work hard to recognize the Self (the divine presence) in myself.  That I might be the Light of Love and Truth and Divine in any way seemed a huge stretch. Me?  ME?  Flawed me? Unworthy me?  ME?  Who was I kidding?  It would be lifetimes, I would say to myself, before I could even approach something so wonderful and self loving as that. A few times, I thought, why even bother?

Guess who was telling me all this?  If you said , “the ego,” you would be right.  Of course, the ego is totally invested in bringing on guilt, shame, helplessness, and fear.  That shadow side was ever ready, cloaking itself in oozing sweet words, so I wouldn’t recognize it.  Hiding behind trees and jumping out in various costumes, to masquerade as a logical, reasoned voice.  When the ego wasn’t showing off in cunning words, it was shrieking words so full of fear, I just knew I was low-down and a hopeless loss.  At the time, I didn’t recognize that I didn’t have listen to that talk, entertain those notions, or spend even an iota of time analyzing whether or not they had merit.

The ego, that nasty voice of doubt and fear, relentlessly tries to convince us that we are less than The Divine Light of Love.  If we really, truly knew beyond doubt, just how wonderful and complete we are and how much we are loved, the ego would lose its job.  Imagine!  Banished forever!

LESSON TWENTY SEVEN

ARE YOU THE SELF OR THE EGO?

Many years ago, I thought it would be useful for my students (and for me) to draw up a list of what I considered some of the attributes of the Self.  This is the list:

DIVINE

ETERNAL

BLISSFUL

LOVING

NON-JUDGING

CONTENT

LIGHT

CALM

AT PEACE

TRUSTING

PERFECT

I told everyone that these words express who we are, at our core and that, for a quick glimpse of the ego, just apply the opposite of these words.  I felt as if too much attention was focused on destroying the ego attributes, that it was better to focus on the “good” in all of us.  One of my students memorized the words and repeated them as she took her daily walk, letting them sink into her consciousness.  She said it helped a lot. Another student dropped a copy of the list onto the backseat of her car as she left class.  Sometime later, her husband was in the car with her and spotted the sheet.  Reading it, he asked if these traits were something she aspired to.  She replied (and I love this), “No.  It is who I already AM.”  Would that we ALL knew that all the time.

Here is an exercise for the week:

  • Take any one or all of the words and see how they manifest within you.
  • When doubt arises, remember that it is only the ego throwing water on your parade, diminishing you.
  • The Divine Self is naturally perfect.  That is how you are seen by the Divine.  Don’t get mixed up in thinking the word “perfect” is “egocentric.”
  • Apply these characteristics to others in your life.  If you see them in this light, maybe it will be easier for them to experience this for themselves.
  • Be patient with yourself.  If your thoughts start running contrary to these attributes, try a little thought monitoring as described in an earlier lesson.
  • Whatever your success level with this exercise, always end it with repeating, I LOVE MYSELF COMPLETELY NOW!

Oh, by the way, it takes some practice to “get this.”  Be patient and kind to yourself.  You might have already spent most of your life thinking just the opposite.  It is never too late to change…

Let me know how you do with this.  See if you aren’t lighter and happier! I am here to help, seeing ALL those attributes in you all the time.

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more, fo to http://www.deannemincer.com

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The 52: Just Tell the Truth — Can You Do It?

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butterflyblueskySo easy to say — just tell the truth.  For most of us, this is easier said than done. Truth goes to the core of our being and our authenticity.  Don’t we all, at times, stretch or deny, the truth?  Do “little white lies” slip off our tongue?  Does being liked or approved of push us towards lack of honesty?  For most of us, this is how we live.  But we don’t have to!

In embracing the Truth of yoga and Divine Consciousness, we are already approved.  We are pre-approved from the time we were born and even before.  Not remembering this, causes us to trust the ego more than trusting our inner core.  Rather than embracing the light, we instead let fear inch its way into our awareness and behavior.  As I learned early in my yoga training and study — fear is the basis for all of our suffering and misery.

So go back now to the last lesson about Truthfulness.  Now I capitalize the word to set it apart from just plain old “truthfulness.”  This goes deeper than some rule like “do not tell a lie.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the renowned German poet and artist whose work, Faust, had a lot to say about Truth, said:

The first and last thing required of genius is,

love of the truth.

You don’t have to qualify on some random scale as a genius, just knowing and living with this principle is enough.  It makes you a genius in my book. But I am not saying it is easy. to be untruthful to others is one thing, to tell lies to ourselves is another.  We can only try, while still loving ourselves in the process.

So let go of fear.  Move boldly forward with Truth in your heart.

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more thoughts, go to wwwdeannemincer.com

The 52: Can We Believe in Perfection Even When Sadness Strikes Us?

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butterflybluesky The Buddha said:

If you knew how perfect things are…you would tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.

How wonderful that is.  Whatever is happening, we need to do nothing at all but rest in the perfection of consciousness.  It sounds like bliss, doesn’t it?  And, of course, it is.

But what about those times when the world hands us tragedy, death, loss, illness, and our lives feel like we have been hit by lightning?  What then?  Can we still hold tight to our beliefs?

I used to think that those who are spiritually evolved, enlightened, would have reached a place where they are no longer subject to the challenges the rest of us must face.  Somehow, Divine Consciousness, the Loving Light, God (call it what you wish), would shield us from all that would hurt us. While so ideal and something we would all long for, I came to recognize that this was a naive assessment.  Anyone, in the body, in the play of the world, faces tough times.

I can think of so many teachers, gurus, prophets, and saints would lead lives that were anything but “easy.”.  Recall that Jesus, in some of His last words, asked “Father, why hast thou forsaken me?”  Even HE had moments…

Some people have suggested that pain and suffering offer a doorway to more spiritual understanding.  I myself was unmistakably given this message in several mystical ways when the quote by Khalil Gibran kept appearing to me while I was in the midst of terrible suffering.  This is the quote:

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understand.

Over the course of three days, it appeared over and over, even, if you can imagine, it appeared at a Chinese restaurant inside a fortune cookie.  Who would write such a thing in a fortune cookie, my husband and I asked ourselves?  But there it was.  I wish I could have gotten something like “Your life will be easy and you will be filled with joy.”  But, no, I was being clobbered by the “pain” message.

Believe me, I am not enthused about having pain and suffering in my life.  But these events come anyway.

The day after I posted my blog for the week, on last Sunday night, such a sadness occurred in our household.  Our much-loved and dear elderly cat, Dilly, had reached a point of suffering from many problems — a growing, inoperable tumor, serious respiratory problems, thyroid disease.  He stopped eating, even as I tried to hand feed him.  He became lethargic and his eyes expressed sadness.  The time had come to ask our veterinarian to come and help us ease him from his pain and from the world in the most humane way possible.  My husband and I were very sad to see our long time family member close his eyes and depart from our world.  Yet we knew this would be the outcome.  It always is, with every living being.

Can I still hold tight to my beliefs?  That life is eternal and that no one dies.  That there is nothing to do.  That everything is perfect as it is. 

I can. I must! I am committed to the spiritual Truth, as I understand it. Certainly, sometimes it is easier to hold to this truth than others.  And, when it is a challenge to believe, holding to it brings great strength and transformation.

What about you?  “There is nothing to do.  Everything is perfect, just as it is.”  What do you think of this statement?

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more, go to www.deannemincer.com

 

The 52: Lesson Twenty Three — Do Nothing, All is Perfect

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butterflyblueskyThere is nothing to do.  Everything is perfect. Is that what I said?

How could that be?  Shouldn’t you be changing yourself?  Improving yourself?  Fixing yourself?  What about making yourself a better person, taking courses, working on yourself?

I will never forget when I first read those words in a Siddha Yoga course letter.

There is nothing to do. Everything is perfect just as it is.

I was stunned.  I don’t have to do anything?  Me?  Me, the one with so many flaws?  Me?  Surely, this advice must have been written for someone else — for someone much better than I am.  It did not mean me, the one so  far from any kind of ideal.

And “perfect.”  Everything is perfect? Just as I am right now?  And, wait, forget about me, what about the world and the other people in it?  Perfect?  With murders, wars, terrorism, bullying, violence?  And all of those frivolous, stupid, trivial, vacuous pursuits people follow?  Perfect? What kind of craziness would lead one to give such advice?

Well, fasten your seat belt, get ready to consider that this may be one of the best pieces of advice around.  Laugh or shake your head if you want. Just try living with this advice, taking it in, and see what happens.

LESSON TWENTY THREE

THERE IS NOTHING TO DO.  EVERYTHING IF PERFECT JUST AS IT IS

As radical as this idea seemed at the beginning, I trusted the teaching I was following enough to use it as a start to daily meditation.  I repeated it throughout the day.  This was not easy for me, a classic  type A personality, who believed that one should always be multitasking with at least three or four things going on at a time — like talking on the telephone while taking out laundry from the dryer while minding my dinner cooking on the stove and taking notes on the yoga lesson I had planned for that evening’s session.  Oh, and monitoring my breathing at the same time.  If anyone did just ONE thing, they must be really lazy, I said in my judging mind.

The idea that I could do nothing at all, and I would still be okay, was unheard of in my assessment of life.  That meant nothing to do or say or accomplish or prove or study or anything at all.  Good heavens, would I even exist if I wasn’t doing something?  And to think that everything would be perfect with my not trying to fix myself (and everything and everybody else) seemed completely ridiculous.

Imagine!  Just BEING was enough.

My ego, the haughty one who pretended to know a lot to cover up for the fear of  knowing nothing and making a mistake, hated this idea.  Being perfect (as in the eyes of the Divine) was anathema to the ego. Wouldn’t I become like a lump on a log?

But I got to like the notion that I didn’t have to do anything to be lovable, worthy — to just exist.  In time I could relinquish and surrender enough to understand that I am not the “doer” anyway.  That is just a game.

It did not turn me into a “lump’ after all.  I didn’t go into a cave to sit and meditate all day.  Ironically, I became more capable and active, once I gave up being driven by fear and neediness.  I was no longer swimming against the current but flowed with the current. How calming and relaxing.

Then I came to understand “perfection” a little better.  Studying A Course in Miracles and many other texts and writings showed me that this was not really my domain anyway. In the Course, it said:

You are still as God created you.

Nor can you dim the light of your perfection.

Even if this seems whacky to you, what harm will it do to test it yourself.  Here are some ideas:

  • Repeat that phrase as an affirmation as you rise in the morning and just before going to sleep. “There is nothing to do.  Everything is perfect just as it is.”
  • During the day, when you feel stressed, repeat it again.  It does not mean that you will sit on a chair and do nothing, it means that you will take the tension out of your actions and accept some “help” — maybe from Divine Consciousness.
  • In using the affirmation, remember that you are bypassing the ego and acknowledging “non-doing” and going with the flow of action.
  • In trusting a certain perfection, you are also beginning to notice what is in the world and what your perceive in your own mind are very much alike.  Maybe this is a matter of perception.  What if your perception shifted?

As I write this lesson, I know that these ideas may seem far-fetched to some of you.  They may seem like spiritual gobbledygook.  I thought that myself at one time.  In fact, I had thought to hold this lesson back and write it much later in “The 52.”  But now I think it is too important to hold off.

I am eager to hear what you think and how this particular lesson influences your life.

Every one of these lessons spring from a place of deep love and a desire to share information that, having been given to me (sometimes in quite miraculous ways), have made my life lighter and happier.  And that is my wish for you.

And besides, whatever you do or don’t do with this lesson will be just perfect!

With love and namaste, Deanne

Fro more writings, go to http://www.deannemincer.com.

The 52: Lesson Twenty Two — Through Kindness You Are Lighter and Happier

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butterflyblueskySilent film star Charlie Chaplin was, in his era, a huge presence.  Funny, controversial, outspoken, and a film genius, he made waves wherever he went.  And he said this:

We think too much and feel too little.  More than machinery, we need humanity.

More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness.

He had seen nothing in terms of machinery and technology as we do today.  Imagine what he would say today.

LESSON TWENTY TWO

LOVING KINDNESS

Now, perhaps more than at any time in the past, we MUST behave with kindness and gentleness. And this again brings us to using everything we have, all our senses, our minds, our bodies, our thoughts, and especially our loving hearts to acting with kindness under ALL circumstances, most importantly with ourselves.  Kindness grows from within.  It reaches out to others and reflects back on us.  It soothes us to know that we can extend love, forgiveness and kindness inwardly, not relying on others to do it for us.  Kindness can become a habit; a natural way to respond in any event or situation.  It surrounds us with a presence that merges us with the Divine Presence, that knows only Love and Grace.

Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness.  Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.

This is a quote from Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic strip. I think it is very appropriate to consider.  As many have written words about the simplicity of creating “small” acts of kindness, few speak of the ripples.  Of course, even the tiniest act brings benefit to the receiver and the giver, yet it goes beyond.  It moves into the consciousness of all of us, even as we may not have full awareness of this.  Each act, in a profound way, changes the world and the hearts and minds of all of us.

If you think about it, extending loving kindness is so easy. Think about these questions:

  • How hard is it to give a smile to someone you encounter during your day? It might be someone you pass on the street or even your own spouse or children.
  • Is it really so hard to open a door for another person or to motion a car driver waiting to enter a lane to go before you?
  • Is there someone you might call or email, just to say a few kind words?
  • How about greeting those you see on a routine basis, like the checkout person at the store or the doorman in your apartment building or the neighbor walking the dog?
  • If there is someone you know whose life has reached a place where they have few friends — perhaps because they are old, without family, and most of their friends have passed on or someone who has made decisions that led to addiction or have, without any act on their own, been “downsized” in their job — maybe you could reach out to them, with kindness and non-judgment.
  • Or, if all of this seems like too much, do you have a spare moment to send some thoughts of loving kindness to others?  Thoughts!  Just think love and send it forth.  Many of us believe that there is great power in such a small act.
  • Now do the same for yourself — in forgiveness, kindness, love.  Let the healing commence!

I am very enthusiastic about this kind of simple practice.  In fact, I so believe in it, that I promise you that you will feel lighter and happier as soon as you begin.  Give it a try.

I hope it becomes a habit!  Watch yourself soar like the blue butterfly, right into the Light of Love!

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more writings, go to http://www.deannemincer.com.

The 52: Lesson Twenty — Love is Like a River

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butterflyblueskyLove is like a river.  Continuously flowing and leading into the welcoming ocean of love.  This metaphor is often used, in lyrics, in poetry and in spiritual writings to describe the never-ending, always flowing, and continuous love that is there to embrace each and everyone of us.

Many rivers flow into the same ocean, just as many souls (seemingly separate) reach the ocean, only to see that they are all the same, glistening brightly together.  They are the embodiment of love — from start to finish and then into eternity.

YOU flow on that river of life.  YOU reach the ocean. YOU do not need to wait to reach the ocean to know this Truth.  You can be conscious, awake and in full realization that you are now just as you always have been.  YOU are LOVE.

LESSON TWENTY

LOVE IS LIKE A RIVER

There is a gospel group we have come to enjoy over the years. My husband and I have listened to so many of their songs, we can repeat the lyrics from memory.   The music of the Gaither Vocal Band is exuberant, uplifting, and healing.  When the music starts, in seconds our toes are tapping, our hands are clapping , and our spirit is soaring, even at times when we are confronting issues like grief, loss or sadness.

Love is like a river, running and a rolling

Rolling from the lazy stream, drumming through the mountains,

Moving through the valley. over everything in between,

Rushing and a flooding, til all of a sudden it’s washing all over me.

Love is like a river, running and a rolling,

Rolling to the deep blue sea.

With due respect to the GaitherVocal Band, I hope I have gotten these lyrics right.  But, nonetheless, they express the mighty force of love, ever flowing.  If it hasn’t already, it will be washing all over you sooner or later.  Be ready to joyfully bathe in the experience.  You will be carried on the current, buoyed by the ecstatic nature of endless and unconditional love.  The best part of all is this:  When it finally hits you that you have always been both the recipient as well as the source of this love, your heart will sing!

Unfortunately, many of us spend more time listing the reasons we are not loveable, not worthy, not good enough.  Instead, do this:

  • Right now, make a little list, in your mind or on paper, of some of the loving qualities you have.  They can be big or small.  Maybe you showed kindness and love to someone lately, or opened the door for someone to pass through, or volunteered your time for a cause, or simply smiled at someone who looked like they needed it.
  • Think of specific times in your life when you have felt love in your heart – for another person, an animal, a plant in your garden, a small child you pass on the street.
  • Think of how you felt when love was extended to you
  • See yourself as a fountain of love that can flow from you, then send it forth.  In your mind, see that love entering into another human heart.

You see, YOU yourself are the river of love, if you put your attention on it.  BE that river and let it flow.  Imagine how many hearts will be opening when they see that love coming.  Don’t hold back.  It is an endless stream.  Let it wash over everything in its path.

My heart is sending love to you right now.  Are you getting it?

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more, go to http://www.deannemincer.com

The 52: WHO is Reading These Words?

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butterflyblueskyThere is a presence within you

that has never suffered.

It lives in joy that has no cause.

                                      It is who you most deeply are.

These are the words of Jan Frazier, the author of When Fear Falls Away and The Freedom of Being at Ease with What Is.  Jan writes and speaks with a depth of authenticity that is often breathtaking. I met Jan a few months ago when she spoke in New York City, but I have long been impressed by her writings and her experiences.  She encountered and describes a spontaneous enlightenment and, with it, all fear fell away from her.  She was transformed.  I would like to say, she learned ” in a twinkling of an eye,” just who she is and what truly matters.  Spiritual change can occur like that — without warning or expectation — the spark is ignited and nothing is ever the same again.  Jan knows this.  I know this.  Do you know this?  Do you think you have to be someone special for this to happen? 

Imagine being at ease, no matter what happens in your life.  A good beginning in finding this kind of peace is in finding out just who you are.  There are time tested methods that can encourage such an awareness.  Meditation is perhaps the most well-known and has the capacity to draw inward enough for the True Self to become better known to you.  Some people find being in concert with nature as a viable means to bring about the connections.  Or it could be through chanting, dancing, singing, or doing nothing out of the ordinary at all.  Sometimes we remember who we are completely by surprise, as if Grace descends upon us in all its glory and for no reason at all.  You weren’t even trying.

It helps to be open to this kind of wisdom and changes.  Just to know there is someone other than your most commonly accepted self, in the world, opens the door.

So please re-read the last lesson.  Entertain the notion that you are as magnificent and full of love as you can imagine.  Just because you don’t see this side of yourself at this moment, does not mean it is not true.  Even if you find this incomprehensible or ridiculous, does not mean it is not true.  Caste as much cynicism upon it (I did that for years), but all the skepticism I could muster did not mean it was not true. 

You are beyond any dream you could ever have about yourself.  Believe it!  Then see what happens next.

With love and namaste, Deanne

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