Tag Archives: Sufi

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

 

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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: Are You Lighter and Happier Remembering to Love?

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butterflyblueskyHas the “river of love” been washing over you all this week?  If you feel that it has, it just means that you actually have become conscious of it.  Love was always there, residing within you and flowing all around you.  Isn’t it odd, and even sad, that we don’t notice it a lot of the time?

We have this challenge, you see.  Instead of relying on the wisdom we have right there inside of us, the kind of wisdom that knows for sure, that we are eternal, divine and loving at the core of our being, we turn outside ourselves and take for truth the misinformation that comes in from the world.  We actually believe that we are small, unworthy, and filled with many negative attributes we learn from some of those around us and from our past histories.  Then we replay them ad nauseam.  This is not an over statement.  We actually can make ourselves sick and miserable by believing all those messages. We are traumatized by them, even though we have a choice in the matter.

Flat out, DON’T BELIEVE THOSE FALSE NOTIONS!  You are the essence of love.  But don’t take my word for it.  Why should you?  Far greater minds than mine have said the same thing.  Over and over again.  Look at all the great spiritual writings. There it is.  And yet, we choose to be unhappy.  We place our trust in ego messages that we think justify our already paltry view of ourselves.  I have spent a lot of time believing those old songs.

So go back and look at the lesson earlier this week.  Let the love flow over you and around you.  Just for a few seconds, if that is all you can muster. Feel loved and cared for. There!  Doesn’t that feel better?  Even if a few seconds.  And YOU did it!  It does not have to come from another person. You can experience it for yourself.

Now, if you want to go back to doubting and feeling bad again, that is the freedom you have.

BUT YOU CAN CHOOSE LOVE, EVERY SECOND OF YOUR LIFE!  ( I hope I am not being TOO pushy.)

Believe in love.  Why wouldn’t you?  Give me one good reason not to.

With love and namaste, Deanne

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

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: 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: More on Lesson Nine — You Are As Happy As You Want To Be

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People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.

Abraham Lincoln

That Abraham Lincoln!  With everything else he did, I never knew he made comments on happiness — and profound ones indeed.  So you see, happiness doesn’t just happen.  It has something to do with how you think  and how your mind is responding to your life and world.  You can make up your mind to be happy.  How liberating is that?

One of the yoga classes I teach focuses on being light and happy.  At the beginning of class, everyone takes one of those sticky smiley faces. You know the ones that are usually yellow and they used to be plastered in all kinds of places.  “Have a nice day,”  might go along with them.  They were ubiquitous at one time. I stick my smiley face on the front of my shirt so everyone can see it.  I encourage students to stick them on their bathroom mirror, on the dashboard of their car, on their computer, wherever they will see it.  It’s a reminder to lighten up and be happy.  We need all the help we can get!

Sure, some may think that this idea of happy faces is a little trivial, silly, syrupy, and sentiments like that.  I don’t care because I would rather be reminded to be happy than be politically correct or cynical about it.  I tried that way (the cynical way) for a long time.  All I derived from that was pain and separation. It does not work, especially if you want any happiness in your life.

Many of us say to ourselves, “Well, I will be happy when I find a partner or make enough money or have a new car or buy that special pair of shoes or get my child into the best school.”  Think about it.  You will always have another “as soon as” and then happiness just passes you by.  Happiness is not something that comes from the outside.  It is an inside deal.  Remember Lincoln said, it is in your mind.

I like this quote from one of the great texts on yoga, the Yoga Vasistha:

One who is happy with whatever clothing he is given,

whatever food he is fed, and whatever resting place he is given,

shines like an emperor.

  • Think about times when you were especially grateful or happy.  What triggered that response? Maybe it was something simple like making it on time to your child’s school play or getting the last seat on an airplane or seeing a squirrel scamper across your yard.
  • Go way back in time, to your childhood.  Something very simple might have been the impetus.  I remember being in elementary school and, on the first really warm spring day, how much happiness I felt at going outside to swing on swings and run across the grass.
  • Look around you.  Really look.  I know you will find something around you that can elicit gratitude  and happiness.  Just sitting here in my office, I am happy that the sun is streaming through the window, that my computer is working, that I have my cup of green tea right next to me.  Remember, I said simple.

You can “make up your mind” to be happy, to find something that evokes happiness.  You are not tossed about by the circumstances of the world.  In fact, you are the world you construct.

With happiness, I wish you a wonderful day!

With love and namaste, Deanne

Check out www.deannemincer.com

The 52: Lesson Nine — Did You Meditate Today?

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Meditation is not a means to an end

It is both the means and the end.

                              Krishnamurti

Krishnamurti was an Indian-born scholar and philosopher, a writer whose work embraced no particular religion, but one who had profound wisdom in the spiritual realm. He stressed that world change could not occur through some exterior entity — be it religious, social, or political.  Change had to emerge from within.  While he never allowed himself to be described as a guru, a spiritual teacher who engages with a following, he was nonetheless, the voice of Truth to many.

Meditation, then, is both a practice, as something we do, to reach an end, (some would say spiritual enlightenment and waking up), and yet meditation is the end itself. Not to get too complicated — we just do it.

In the lexicon of spiritual activities, meditation ranks at the top.  In classic yoga, meditation (dhyana, in Sanskrit), is the seventh of the eight limbs.  If we thought of them as rungs, only samadhi, the superconscious state, would rank above it.  As I tell my students, I can help to teach the other limbs of yoga, like breathing and posture, but this state, described in many ways as realization or oneness with the Supreme,  is not teachable, it comes to us by Grace. So you might as well just relax and meditate and see what happens.

Here’s an idea:

  • After you meditate, try writing down your experience.  How did it feel?  How did you feel before and after?  Was the mind especially active?  Are you more calm?  More anything?
  • Over time, you will see patterns forming. These will help you.  For example, you might find morning meditation more pleasant and useful than evening.  You might adjust you time to sit in meditation.  It’s your own personal preference.
  • Not meditating at all?  Maybe you will write a few words or think of why you have made this choice.  Remember, no one is judging!  No one!  Not ever! (Wasn’t that the point of the last lesson?)

Let’s stay in touch on the subject of meditation.  If you already meditate, I will be interested in what you think of these posts.  We can all learn together.

Just be lighter and happier whatever you are doing and wherever you are right now.

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more thoughts, go to www.deannemincer.com