Tag Archives: religion

The 52: Lesson Thirty Nine — Many Paths to Truth, What is Yours?

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butterflyblueskyHenry David Thoreau wrote:

Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.

Over the years, I followed many paths, though I am not sure I always knew what I was seeking.  There was the path of my childhood faith, then the path of rebellion when I disavowed all that was religious or spiritual.  Even so, I was pulled toward discussions about God, either positive or negative.  Then something “happened,” and I was walking another path.  My journey has seen me forge ahead on different paths, but they were now all leading to one place — to Truth, Realization, Eternal Life and Love, the Divine, amd to God.  While yoga and the ancient texts, so resonant with wisdom, opened the first doors and still is the mainstay of my understandings, Buddhism, Christianity, Sufism, and just about any system that is heart-led, is now my passion.

What about you?  Have you seen “take-aways” and “aha” moments in writings that emerge from a source different from some spiritual path you have followed?

LESSON THIRTY NINE

THE PATHS TO TRUTH

Many are stubborn in the pursuit of the path they have chosen,

few in pursuit of the goal.

Friedrich Nietzsche

You’ve met them.  We all have.  People who embrace a belief system, then fight (sometimes to the death) in serving that path, even when they seem clueless about reaching the goal of Truth and what it is.  We might call this blind faith.  And it is, in many ways, a dangerous thing.  It is a sort of fundamentalism that stretches across the spectrum of religions but also may be  planted deeply in non-theistic thought, like atheism, or political correctness.  It hinges on the belief that we (the believer) is superior to others who disagree.  It loses touch with the common and more important themes of forgiveness, love, compassion, and non-duality.

I have had quite a learning curve in understanding what it means to know Truth.  I will never forget being with my friend who introduced me to the Siddha Path of Yoga and the guru system.  I was too naive then to understand that she was there as a teacher and guide for me.  One day, after she had visited me in my home, I drove her to a car rental.  As she got into the car to continue her journey,  she waved to me with a broad smile and said, “I intend to become fully realized in this lifetime.”  I raised my hand to bid her adieu, as her words engulfed me, and a kind of astonishment  began to sink in.  In my child’s mind (spiritually speaking), it never occurred to me that someone would actually become enlightened NOW, in this life.  Didn’t that take lifetimes?  Weren’t we far from the mark?  Weren’t we too imperfect? How could this be?

This was before I understood that we are already “realized” and we just don’t know it a lot of the time, if ever.  That we are already the Light of Love and God.  That we have always been that and always will be that.  That, when we understand and trust that we are in the loving arms of Grace or the guru or Christ or Buddha or God, that we can relax and be guided.  That most of us think this “world,” this material place, with all it sensory input, IS the whole deal.  But that is NOT what we, as eternal beings, believe.  That we are, in fact, already perfect.  Yes, I said PERFECT.

Then I came to see that all the subsequent “paths” I walked, in tandem with my early Christian and yoga studies, pointing to the same thing.  It might have been the writings of Rumi or years of study in A Course in Miracles or The Sedona Method and many others.  The veil was parting, the Truth was emerging, the wonder was abundant, and mystical events were unfolding all around me.  Nothing would ever be the same again!

These are some questions to consider:

  • Does the path you follow lead to forgiveness, love, acceptance, and kindness for ALL beings?
  • Do you believe that, whatever your belief system, that you are unconditionally loved at all times?
  • Do you feel empowered by your path or diminished, not quite good enough, because of it?
  • Are you happy and fulfilled on your journey?
  • Does fear play any part in the belief system you follow?  If so, does this feel comfortable for you?
  • Do you love and accept yourself completely on this path?

It is not my role or my goal to try to persuade you to join a certain path. Everyone has free choice and can make this decision on their own.  I only hope that you will consider the possibility that this world is not all there is in life.  You could find that going within is be far superior to projecting outward.  You might be “looking for love in all the wrong places” when it is already right there, within you!

There are so many paths leading to Love.  I hope you will choose one, open your heart, and experience ecstatic joy.

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more writing, go to wwwdeannemincer.com

The 52: Lesson Thirty Five — Simplify Your Life with Non-Possessiveness

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butterflyblueskyAPARIGRAHA

Never heard of this word?  Unless you are a student of yoga, that is likely so. Yet, as one of the many layers or limbs we study  to bring our life into a place of peace — something classic yoga does very well — it is an extraordinary practice to know.

Aparigraha is a Sanskrit word that is defined as non-possessiveness.  Grouped with the many other yamas which we have thus far explored, it is meant to guide us as we live in the world, in our bodies, surrounded by so much that we might desire.  If you look back at the previous posts on the yamas, you will see that there is a symmetry with them.  They work hand in hand to offer points of wisdom.  With all the many objects and experiences that seem to reach out to us, from all directions, it is a relief to know how to let go of them.

Bear in mind that this does not mean that the goal is to live in a cave, without possessions, engulfed in full-time meditation (which some, in fact, do choose).  It means to live in a non-grasping, greedless, non attached state.  We can certainly enjoy all the benefits that the world offers yet remain apart from them and not needing them to define us.

LESSON THIRTY FIVE

NON-POSSESSIVENESS

The renowned yoga master and teacher, B.K.S Iyengar, wrote this:

By the observance of aparigraha, the yogi makes his life as simple as possible

and trains his mind not to feel the loss or lack of anything.

Then everything he needs is welcome to him by itself at the proper time.

I admit that this is a practice that has posed great challenges for me.  While it is easy for me to be mostly detached from items of luxury and status, I have in many times of my life been attached to experiences like traveling all around the world, sampling the foods from the most new and trendy restaurants, developing a familiarity with the arts on many levels — going to museums and symphonies and films.  It took a long time for me to recognize that I was chasing my tail.  There would always be another exotic location to see, another restaurant to try, another movie to view.  I slowly began to recognize how futile it was to keep trying to be “in the know.”  I began to that it was the game of the ego.

But that is not all!  I do not part with memorabilia easily.  I have yet to clean out all those boxes in my attic, even though I have not looked in many of them for years.  I am a perfect candidate for taking a course in simplicity of possessions.  And books are my greatest attachment!  I need to wear blinders when I walk into a bookstore.  At least I can see some humor in these traits and do not ever use this as a means for self-criticism.  All that “stuff” is there, and I tell myself, I live in simple ways on other levels.

As I believe that everything is part of Divine Consciousness, even those musty boxes, and that everything unfolds with purpose and at just the right time, I take it easy on myself.  Enjoying my life without attachment, I say.

So I write these words for myself:

  • What are you capable of releasing and letting go?  What would happen if you did not own this or did not do that?
  • Can you fully appreciate and care deeply for what you have in your life, while “packing”  lightly?
  • Is it possible to imagine how much freedom you have when you are not in the throws of desires and perceived needs?
  • Try this:  When you are on the verge of something to purchase, take a few breaths and see if the desire (which may be emanating from the ego) will begin to detach.
  • Do you know when you are clinging to something?
  • Finally, whatever your answers on all of this, it matters that you still experience kindness and unconditional love for yourself. Always!

This is really all about letting our lives become more simple and peaceful and learning how to truly enjoy what we have in a way that shines with the Light of Truth.

Now, I think I better start unpacking those boxes in the attic today.  Oh, there is time tomorrow… (That’s just a little bit of a joke.)

With love and namaste, Deanne

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

The 52: Lesson Thirty Three — How Do You Use Your Energy?

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butterflyblueskyWe are vibrating bundles of energy!  Our bodies.  Our breath.  Our thoughts.  All that is around us.  All that ever was.  No wonder we are inter-connected, at the primary level of being!

Energy is a precious thing.  It is not just what propels us in our activities, providing the stamina needed to function in everyday life.  Energy is everything!  Literally!  It is everything!  What does this mean to you and your life?

Do we seek to soar, like the blue butterfly, toward the light? Do we want to experience the bliss of knowing Divine Light and Love? Do we want to just plain be happier in our lives?  If so, then we must become acutely aware of the energy in ourselves and in everything around us.  We will learn that we feel different — better– when that energy feels pure and clear.  Do you ever think about  your own thoughts and actions and how they are affecting your energy (positive or negative) at that moment?

One way to understand this better is to look at the yama , called, in Sanskrit, brahmacharya,.  As you may recall, we have been exploring some of the guidelines laid out as the yamas in one of the most important books on yoga called The Yoga Sutras.  Endeavoring to follow these guidelines can lead us to living a happier, lighter and healthier life.  Conserving our energy through non-excess and through viewing all of life as sacred keeps our energy pure and powerful.  Brahmacharya means “walking with God.”

LESSON THIRTY THREE

BRAHMACHARYA — PURE IN ENERGY

While this yama has often been described as indicating self-imposed celibacy and monastic living, it is far more complex than this.  It was thought that retaining sexual energy would allow for greater energy in spiritual seeking, and this is likely true.  But we live in an era different from that when it was quite usual for those on the spiritual path, (mostly males at the time and residing in India) to join monasteries for all of or portions of their adulthood.  It is not my purpose in writing to delve deeply into the subject of energy on only this level.  Suffice it to say that non-excess is of value in whatever we pursue.  Yet there are profound lessons to be learned beyond this.

Every thought and act is a movement of energy. What choices do you make, every day, to keep your own energy pure and loving and to avoid excess?

Just recently, someone suggested a new television series, praising the acting and writing.  I watched part of one episode.  The characters were cruel, insensitive, and distasteful.  The story line was dark and rife with violence, abuse, and double-dealing.  It was, in short, repugnant to me.  Why would I want to spend any time watching a program with this kind of energy?

Here are some ways to observe how you use your energy:

  • Do you deplete your energy in pursuits that are negative — like gossiping or listening to music that is caustic or viewing films that glorify ego and destructive behavior or reading stories (even the news) that are unceasingly unsettling?
  • When observing mistreatment of others, do you join in?  Do you bully just to be accepted?
  • Do you sometimes find that you over-do — in eating, exercising, drinking, fulfilling your “bucket list?”
  • If you can choose activities in your free time that feel good — like taking a walk in the woods or sitting and meditating or cooking a lovingly prepared nutritious meal or calling a sick friend — do you think about how fulfilling and boosting it will be to your own well-being?
  • Trust your own truth.  You will know, on some level, if what you are doing or thinking is depleting or diminishing your energy.   Go with what enhances love and light.

These are simple ideas, but we often are paying no attention.  We just operate by rote.  “Oh, I always watch that news show or TV series.”  Stop!  Pay attention!  What you are doing is having an affect — on you and on everything around you.

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more:  http://www.deannemincer.com

The 52: Bhakti = Love: Was This the Message of Shyamdas?

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butterflyblueskyI have been quite surprised and struck by the events of this week.

I had another blog written for this week.  It was all set to go. But I was driven to change it and instead wrote about Divine Love and Stephen/Shyamdas.    There seemed to be a dynamic energy pulsing at the Memorial/Celebration held for him last Saturday.  I felt compelled to share what I experienced as the bhakti lesson I wrote.

Anyway, I accept that I (me, Deanne) am not the “doer,” so if this is what unfolded, it was meant to be. And it came as a kind of gift.  It was not as if I knew Shyamdas very well.  Indeed, probably almost every one there knew him better than I, yet it felt like he spoke to me.  Call me goofy, if you like, but this is not an uncommon experience for me.  It has happened, always unexpectedly, on previous occasions, so I have come to recognize this sort of transmission/ mystical event when it happens.

Love is truly the message!  It is the reason we all gathered together, to share a love for Stephen/Shyamdas and/or for the family and friends who grieved for him.  Maybe that love was so great that the soul of Shyamdas could not contain himself.  After all, that is what bhaktis do, the love is so big it explodes in the heart.  Especially if you are a chanter, singer, musician, as Shyamdas was.  It becomes a living expression of that exuberant love.  I am familiar with this feeling — of tears of joy spontaneously falling, of feeling connected to everything and everyone with a purity of heart, and of feeling “home”  (as in hOMe) at last.

This then is a celebration of Love, of Divine Love.  Whatever brought that Love to a deeper and more vibrant level warrants my thankfulness and gratitude.  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!

Now take a moment and look at the previous post. There are ideas you might try to enhance your own experience of Love  — for yourself and for all that it!

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more on “The 52” and other writings, please go to http://www.deannemincer.com

The 52: Lesson 25 — Truthfulness Makes for a Lighter and Happier You

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butterflyblueskyShakespeare wrote these words:

To thine own self, be true, and it must follow, as the night the day,

thou canst not then be false to any man.

Satya, a Sanskrit word,means truthfulness. It follows ahimsa, which means nonviolence. We focused on it in Lesson Nineteen.  Satya is the second practice we learn in the Yamas,  restraints or ethical guidelines on the path of yoga.  So, if you thought yoga was merely a bunch of unusual poses with the body, with some ways of breathing thrown in, you have missed the essence of yoga.

Yoga is and has always been, a spiritual path teaching us to love ourselves, to release the illusion of duality and to reach a state of union with Divine Love and Consciousness. Yoga is rich in its age-old wisdom.  The classic text, codified by a writer named Patanjali, the Yoga Sutras, offers a clear and brilliant road map for learning to live in the world but transcend it at the same time.

In this course of 52 weeks, I promised to show how yoga and other spiritual paths lead us to the awareness of the True Self, the eternal core of our being that is ever blissful.  This week, we introduce the concept of Truthfulness (Satya) and how you will be lighter and happier as your authentic self emerges more fully.

LESSON TWENTY FIVE

THE YAMAS:  TRUTHFULNESS (SATYA)

Can we be consistently truthful in all activities of our lives?  Is it possible that we are congruent in these three aspects — thought, word, and deed? In other words, do we have the courage and fortitude to be honest under all circumstances?  This is, for most of us, a very tall order.  You see, it goes beyond avoiding little white lies, it means being ourselves on all occasions.

When I first began practicing this “limb” of yoga, I actually thought it was about not lying.  I did not recognize the depth of meaning.  Then I heard people talk about the notion that, as Shakespeare said of being true to oneself, it meant being consistent under all circumstances.  People spoke of the dilemma of acting in one way with certain people and in another with others.  Which one was going to show up, depending on the company?  And further, if one projected a certain persona, then switched to another, how was it possible to remember which character was being played and with whom?  Putting on an act can be quite exhausting and confusing.  Better to be authentic in all environments.

The same goes for telling lies. It seems that some people are very adept at fabricating stories, not just on occasion, but almost all the time.  How they can keep track of their many stories confounds me, yet some are very good at it.  The concept of Truthfulness for them is unfathomable; it seems they are addicted to lying and often actually believe their stories.

Let’s consider some ways to analyze where we fit on the truthfulness scale.  Caution!  I am asking you to avoid turning this into a way to experience guilt or self-criticism.  We are witnessing who we are in a non-judgmental way; this is merely a  beginning point for making your life easier and more fulfilling.  A way to feel comfortable in your own skin.

  • When you are alone, are you a different person than the one who engages with others?  Can you accept and love yourself in every setting?
  • Do you find it necessary to play one role in certain company and another when with other people? If you do this, how does it feel when you are different from the one you are when you are alone?
  • Do you feel the need to stretch or alter the truth in your conversation?  If so, why?  How do you feel?
  • Do you think about who you should be, playing a role to be nice, but not necessarily real.  Do you make a habit of distorting or silencing yourself to please others? (This was one of my challenges.  Many women, myself included, are people pleasers.  I learned this early in my life.)
  • Are you able to speak truth in uncomfortable situations while still remembering to engage non-violence and compassion? Do you think before you speak so that what you say does no harm to another?  (Pausing, taking a breath, and witnessing yourself are all helpful.)
  • On the subject of lying — do you find that you have difficulty being truthful about who you are and how you behave?  Can you honestly evaluate yourself without placing harsh judgments at the same time?

Give yourself time to ponder these thoughts.  It may not be easy, but I promise you that it is worthwhile.

When I began writing this blog and sharing my beliefs and my personal life as a yogi, I knew that I was making a break through into Truthfulness. Still, I sometimes felt vulnerable and worried about the response to so clearly stating these ideas.  I knew that some of my friends had little awareness of what I really believe.  So this has been an adventure into exposing my authentic self, and it has been liberating.

I hope that you too will feel this liberation.  It is, I think, a courageous act and very worthwhile. And, best of all, you will learn to love yourself even more in the process.

If you have comments or questions or have insights during this process, I am here to help!

With love and namaste, Deanne

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

The 52: Confucius Says THIS About Silence

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butterflyblueskySilence is the true friend that never betrays.

That’s what Confucius said about silence.  Who doesn’t need a true friend that never betrays.  A friend you carry around with you.  You don’t need to text them or call and make a date or go out for coffee with them.  This friend requires nothing but your understanding that it is there, at your beck and call and will never leave you.  I’ll take that kind of friend.

This “friend” of silence, peace and stillness offers even more.  There you find a retreat from the frenzy and demands of the world.  Like giving yourself a little vacation, you can be there in a place where your are appreciated and enjoyed, where there is not guilt or criticism. Wouldn’t you like to spend a bit of time every day with this friend?

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross was a person deeply connected to eternal wisdom and love.  She said this:

There is no need to go to India or anywhere else to find peace.

You will find that deep peace of silence right in your room, your garden, and even your bath tub.

What are you waiting for?  An invitation to a retreat?  You have it!  A few extra minutes in the day?  Maybe that will never come.  A crisis that sends you into such despair that you must do something to find peace?  Better to make it a practice for all times, good or bad as you may experience your world.

Give yourself the gift or silence and peace.  No one else can give this gift to you.  You deserve it!

Look back at my previous post for more ideas about setting this pattern in your life.

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more thougths, go to http://www.deannemincer.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: How Kindness Sends Out Waves of Love

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butterflyblueskyThe 14th Dalai Lama spokes these words:

When we feel love and kindness towards others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for,

but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.

How simple and easy is this? When The 52 was launched, twenty-two weeks ago, my promise to you was to give varied, yet simple lessons and practices you could follow any day.  The overall goal is to move into a place where we feel lighter and happier, more present and calm.  To soar, like our recurring photo, the blue butterfly, towards the light of inner peace.

Some of our weekly lessons may resonate more fully for you than others.  We humans are so diverse — for one person, calming the body and breath has an immediate result.  For another, repeating an affirmation like “I love myself completely NOW.” will be most effective.  This one, on loving kindness, will guarantee results.  I have already, in the previous lesson this week, offered suggestions you might engage.  Have you tried any or all of them? If you did, you had to feel significant benefit.

This is the best part.  Whether you have made loving kindness a practice or not will never alter the innate core of your being — that you are already a being embraced in the truth of Divine Love.  You may not be aware of it, you may doubt it and scoff at this notion, or you may occasionally feel it, but it does not matter. It is who you are.

So I send this reminder to you.  Be kind and loving to yourself.  Let it spread around you.  It is a gift to yourself and to the world.  What are you waiting for?

I am sending loving kindness to you right now.

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more teachings, 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.