Beginning Anew...

How to breathe new life and compassion into your relationships.
By Thich Nhat Hanh

As human beings, we all make mistakes. Our unskillful thoughts, words, and actions cause harm to ourselves and those around us. Often, when we hurt others or are hurt by them, because of our pride we make no effort to reconcile or renew our relationships. Without reconciliation, we cannot deepen our understanding and we only cause more suffering.

Our practice is to renew our relationships on a regular basis. Every week we have time to go to concerts, cinema, shopping, and many other activities, but we rarely find the time to renew our relationships with the people who are close to us, our family members, friends, and colleagues.

The practice of Beginning Anew is a practice of reconciliation. Beginning Anew can be practiced between two people or as a group. As one person speaks, the other person practices deep listening without interrupting, allowing the first person to speak from the depths of her heart.

In Beginning Anew we have three steps: sharing appreciation, expressing regret, and expressing hurt and difficulties. In the first step, sharing appreciation, we practice to recognize and acknowledge the positive attributes of the other person. Every one of us has both wholesome and unwholesome seeds. When we express our appreciation for the other person's positive qualities, we give him the opportunity to recognize the positive qualities in our own consciousness.

For instance, perhaps our son is very kind and hardworking. He studies well and often helps us out. But once in a while he makes a mistake, and we correct him strongly right away. Yet because we have not told him how much we appreciate him, when we correct him, he hears only our criticism and blame. In this situation our relationship will be difficult. To improve the situation, we practice sharing our appreciation. If our son is doing well in school, we compliment him. We practice in the same way with our partner, husband, wife, friends, and other people in our life. We can share our appreciation with each other at any time.

The second step of Beginning Anew is expressing regret. We take this opportunity to share with the other person our regrets for the things we have done or said that might have caused him pain. This requires humility and the willingness to let go of our own pain and pride.

In the third step of Beginning Anew, we express our own hurt with mindful, loving speech, without blaming or criticizing. We speak in such a way that the other person can listen and receive our words. If we blame and condemn the other person, his heart will close and he will not be able to hear us. We ask the other person to help us to understand why he has spoken as he has, acted as he has to cause us so much pain. Perhaps at a later time he can share with us so that we can understand more deeply. If a strong emotion arises in us while we are expressing our suffering, we should simply stop and come back to our breathing until the emotion subsides. The other person can support us by following his breathing until we are ready to continue.

We can enjoy practicing Beginning Anew with our partner, our family, or our colleagues regularly. By doing this practice we will prevent small misunderstandings from accumulating. Rather, we will take care of them as they arise. At the same time, we cultivate our awareness and appreciation for the positive qualities our loved ones bring to our life. With understanding, all things become possible.

From 'Creating True Peace' by Thich Nhat Hanh. Copyright (c) 2003 by The Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh. Reprinted by permission of The Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Philosophers....

..Philosophers commit their gravest error when they are misled into the fallacy of abstraction, the practice of focusing the attention upon one aspect of reality and then of pronouncing such an isolated aspect to be the whole truth.... P.42 - §6

Truth, Beauty & Goodness
from The Urantia Book

Today...

Today, I intend to focus my full and undivided attention on all the
resources that are presently on hand and available with deep
appreciation, while recognizing the flow of resources is unlimited in
nature. Thank you, Creator Father, Source, for empowering me with
attention, gratitude, and appreciation. I believe in the creative
power of Thought. I am eternally grateful to be so empowered that I
may now spend "time" appreciating the unfolding diversity on this
journey, and no longer choose or desire or implement manifestations
that I do not want to experience, due to fear and resistance to my
power, and misplaced attention. As a unique part, a focused,
individual Thought of the Infinite, I share in the power of the
Infinite. Eternity is given "now", in this Holy Eternal Instant that
I live and move and have life in Eternal Love, always returning the
nature of my desire, that I may come to desire Well- being and
appreciate the truth that health, wealth, and happiness are God's
goodness extending to me, through me, as me. I am joy. I am created
to live a full and creative life. I am created to be happy and
fulfilled. I am grateful that this is so. I am grateful that I was
wrong when I believed that a Loving Creator even intended less than
everything for His Own, and I am grateful I was wrong when I believed
I deserved less than perfect Well-being.

Linda Kay Mottet

The True Destiny of Humanity..

God surveyed the tragedy of the rebellion of Lucifer and realized that God could only trust God. After the War of the Angels, God started over after repairing the Earth. With Adam and Eve, God began a grand plan to reproduce God through mankind. Beginning with Adam and Eve, God is creating an eternal God Family and mankind is destined to become eternal sons and daughters of the Almighty God. This is why Paul called those who are led by the spirit of God, the "sons of God."

Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. KJV,

The language Paul used in Romans 8 is not taught in mainstream christianity today. "What do children become after they grow up?" The answer is, "They become like their parents." Paul states that mankind's destiny is to be heirs of God, joint-heirs with Christ. The children of God grow up to become God! Christ said that he was one with the Father. Christ made himself to be God and was considered by the Jews of his day as a blasphemer for such a statement. It was blaspheme during Christ's time and is sounds like blaspheme today. Mankind's destiny is to become God and this was the true message that Christ brought to this world.

John 10:24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. 25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 30 I and my Father are one. 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? 33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. 34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? 35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; 36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? 37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. 38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him. KJV

Christ came to this Earth to be the first to be born into the family of God. The scripture states that Christ was the firstborn of many brethren. Paul, by equating Christians to being brothers or sisters of Christ, was stating that a Christian's ultimate destiny is to be God just as Christ is God. John 1 makes it plain that Christ is the creator God.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. … 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. NIV

In Romans, Paul states it is mankind's destiny to be glorified as Christ is glorified.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. KJV..........from the Reluctant Messenger

The Two Brahmans...

At one time when the Blessed One was journeying through Kosala
he came to the Brahman village which is called Manasakata.
There he stayed in a mango grove. [1]

And two young Brahmans came to him who were of different schools.
One was named Vasettha and the other Bharadvaja.
And Vasettha said to the Blessed One: [2]

"We have a dispute as to the true path.
I say the straight path which leads into a union with Brahma
is that which has been announced by the Brahman Pokkharasati,
while my friend says the straight path which leads unto a union with Brahma
is that which has been announced by the Brahman Tarukkha. [3]

"Now, regarding thy high reputation, O samana,
and knowing that thou art called the Enlightened One,
the teacher of men and gods, the Blessed Buddha,
we have come to ask thee,
are all these paths paths of salvation?
There are many roads all around our village, and all lead to Manasakata.
Is it just so with the paths of the sages?
Are all paths paths to salvation,
and do they all lead to a union with Brahma?" [4]

And the Blessed One proposed these questions to the two Brahmans:
"Do you think that all paths are right?" [5]

Both answered and said:
"Yes, Gotama, we think so." [6]

"But tell me," continued the Buddha,
"has any one of the Brahmans, versed in the Vedas,
seen Brahma face to face?" [7]

"No, sir!" was the reply. [8]

"But, then," said the Blessed One,
"has any teacher of the Brahmans, versed in the Vedas,
seen Brahma face to face?" [9]

The two Brahmans said: "No, sir." [10]

"But, then," said the Blessed One,
"has any one of the authors of the Vedas
seen Brahma face to face?" [11]

Again the two Brahmans answered in the negative and exclaimed:
"How can any one see Brahma or understand him,
for the mortal cannot understand the immortal."
And the Blessed One proposed an illustration, saying: [12]

"It is as if a man should make a staircase
in the place where four roads cross,
to mount up into a mansion.
And people should ask him,
'Where, good friend, is this mansion,
to mount up into which you are making this staircase?
Knowest thou whether it is in the east,
or in the south, or in the west, or in the north?
Whether it is high, or low, or of medium size?'
And when so asked he should answer, 'I know not.'
And people should say to him,
'But, then, good friend, thou art making a staircase
to mount up into something - taking it for a mansion -
which all the while thou knowest not,
neither hast thou seen it.'
And when so asked he should answer,
'That is exactly what I do;
yea I know that I cannot know it.'
What would you think of him?
Would you not say that the talk of that man was foolish talk?" [13]

"In sooth, Gotama," said the two Brahmans,
"it would be foolish talk!" [14]

The Blessed One continued:
"Then the Brahmans should say,
'We show you the way unto a union
of what we know not and what we have not seen'.
This being the subtance of Brahman lore,
does it not follow that their task is vain?" [15]

"It does follow," replied Bharadvaja. [16]

Said the Blessed One:
"Thus it is impossible that Brahmans versed in the three Vedas
should be able to show the way to a state of union
with that which they neither know nor have seen.
Just as when a string of blind men are clinging one to the other.
Neither can the foremost see, nor can those in the middle see, nor can the hindmost see.
Even so, methinks, the talk of the Bhramans versed in the three Vedas is but blind talk;
it is ridiculous, consists or mere words, and is a vain and empty thing." [17]

"Now suppose," added the Blessed One,
"that a man should come hither to the bank of the river,
and, having some business on the other side, should want to cross.
Do you suppose that if he were to invoke the other bank of the river
to come over to him on this side, the bank would come on account of his praying?" [18]

"Certainly not, Gotama." [19]

"Yet this is the way of the Brahmans.
They omit the practice of those qualities
which really make a man a Brahman, and say,
'Indra, we call upon thee; Soma, we call upon thee;
Varuna, we call upon thee; Brahma, we call upon thee.'
Verily, it is not possible that these Brahmans,
on account of their invocation, prayers, and praises,
should after death be united with Brahma." [20]

Defeat without Despair...

"I will tell you of a strangely wonderful way to live. It is to live
in defeat without despair. Think about this idea very attentively.

What would your day be like if you were defeated at every turn,
but reacted with no despair? It would be the same as if there was
no defeat, wouldn't it?

You go through your day, defeated by one event after another. You
spill coffee on your clothes, the car breaks down, you feel lost,
you cannot come to a necessary decision, the thrill you thought
would last has faded and left you empty.

If you will let these things happen to you without reacting to
them with a conditioned mind, there will be neither defeat nor
despair. Both are merely reactions of the conditioned mind to
an event."

Vernon Howard The Power of your Supermind, p. 73

Jesus and his disciples go into a retired place to pray. Jesus teaches Lazarus how to pray.

NOW, in the evening Jesus, Peter, James and John, with Lazarus, went out beyond the village gates to pray. And Lazarus said, Teach me to pray. 2 And Jesus said, The prayer I taught the twelve to pray while we were up in Galilee is one acceptable to God; and when you pray just say, 3 Our Father-God who art in heaven; holy is thy name; thy kingdom come; they will be done on earth as it is done in heaven; 4 Give us this day our needed bread; 5 Help us forget the debts that other people owe to us, that all our debts may be discharged; 6 And shield us from the tempter's snares that are too great for us to bear; 7 And when they come give us the strength to overcome. 8 And Jesus said, The answer to your prayer may not appear in fulness in a little time. 9 Be not discouraged; pray again and then again, for God will hear. 10 And then he spoke a parable; he said, A housewife was alone at night and, lo, some guests arrived, and they were hungry, having had no food for all the day. 11 The housewife had no bread, and so at midnight she went forth and called a friend and said, Loan me three loaves of bread, for guests have come, and I have naught for them to eat. 12 The friend replied, Why do you trouble me at midnight hour? My door is shut; my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise to give you bread; to-morrow you can be supplied. 13 The housewife asked again, and then again, and then because she pled, and would not be refused, the friend arose and gave her bread. 14 Behold, I say to you, Ask firmly and you shall receive; seek trustingly and you shall find; knock earnestly, the door will open up. 15 All things are yours, and when you ask, not as a begging man would ask, but as a child, you shall be satisfied. 16 A son may ask his father for a loaf of bread; the father will not give to him a stone; 17 Or he may ask him for a fish; he will not give a crab; or he may ask him for an egg; the father will not give a pebble from the brook. 18 Behold, if men of flesh know how to give abundantly to children of the flesh, will not your heavenly Father give abundantly to you when you shall pray?

,,,,,,,,,,, from the Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ by Levi........

Excerpts from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj's I AM THAT ..

I am not an object in Consciousness but its source,
its Witness, pure shapeless Awareness.

You are and I am. But only as points in consciousness; we are nothing apart from consciousness. (92)

The source of consciousness cannot be an object in consciousness. To know the source is to be the source. When you realize that you are not the person, but the pure and calm witness, and that fearless awareness is your very being, you are the being. It is the source, the inexhaustible Possibility. (65)

I am not my body, nor do I need it. I am the witness only. I have no shape of my own. You are so accustomed to think of yourself as bodies having consciousness that you just cannot imagine consciousness as having bodies. Once you realize that bodily existence is but a state of mind, a movement in consciousness, that the ocean of consciousness is infinite and eternal, and that, when in touch with consciousness, you are the witness only, you will be able to withdraw beyond consciousness altogether. (327)

No happening affects your real being - that is the absolute truth. (333)

When there is a self, self-awareness is the witness. When there is no self to witness, there is no witnessing either. Awareness becomes consciousness when it has an object. The object changes all the time. In consciousness there is movement; awareness by itself is motionless and timeless, here and now.

Psalm 121....

I look deep into my heart,
to the core where wisdom arises.
Wisdom comes from the Unnamable
and unifies heaven and earth.
The Unnamable is always with you,
shining from the depths of your heart.
His peace will keep you untroubled
even in the greatest pain.
When you find him present within you,
you find truth at every moment.
He will guard you from all wrongdoing;
he will guide your feet on his path.
He will temper your youth with patience;
he will crown your old age with fulfillment.
And dying, you will leave your body
as effortlessly as a sigh.



(A Book of Psalms, trans. and adapted by Stephen Mitchell)

~ Emotions and the Awakened ~

There has been a total misconception of the spiritually
awakened person as a man or woman of perfect equanimity -
immune to emotions like anger, grief or fear.

There is a distinct difference between the anger, grief or
fear of one who is awake and that of an ordinary person.
The awakened person's emotion is not based on any selfish
motivation; and their emotion is always in the present moment,
and therefore, very short lived. No residual impression remains
in the mind that could lead to involvement in horizontal time.

It is for this reason that various sages have had varying
temperaments: mild (Ramana Maharshi),
quick-tempered and gregarious (Nisargadatta Maharaj),
loving solitude and literary (J. Krishnamurti),
poetic (Jnaneshwar),
intellectual (Swami Vivekananda),
devotional (Eknath or Tukaram).

As a general statement, one could say that emotions arise
in the moment in the body-mind organism. But the awakened
person's ego has emotional maturity. His or her emotional
quotient (EQ) would be very high indeed while his or her
intelligence quotient (IQ) could be average.


~ Ramesh S. Balsekar
From: 'Nuggets of Wisdom'

Karma by Paul Brunton...

Karma comes into play only if the karmic impression is strong enough to survive. In the case of the sage, because he treats life like a dream, because he sees through it as appearance, all his experiences are on the surface only. His deep inner mind remains untouched by them. Therefore he makes no karma from them, therefore he is able when passing out of the body at death to be finished with the round of birth and death forever.

[The_Now2] Eckhart Tolle quotes...

The present moment
has always been available to spiritual seekers,
but as long as you are seeking
you are not available to the present moment.
"Seeking" implies that you are looking to the future
for some answer, or for some achievement,
spiritual or otherwise.
Everybody is in the seeking mode,
seeking to add something to who they are,
whether it be money, relationships, possessions,
knowledge, status.. or spiritual attainment.

~~~~~~~~~

All cravings are the mind seeking salvation
or fulfillment in external things and in the future
as a substitute for the joy of Being.
As long as I am my mind, I am those cravings,
those needs, wants, attachments, and aversions,
and apart from them there is no "I"
except as a mere possibility, an unfulfilled potential,
a seed that has not yet sprouted.

~~~~~~~~~~

Your mind is an instrument, a tool.
It is there to be used for a specific task,
and when the task is completed, you lay it down.
As it is, I would say about 80 to 90 percent
of most people's thinking
is not only repetitive and useless,
but because of its dysfunctional
and often negative nature,
much of it is also harmful.
Observe your mind and you will find this to be true.
It causes a serious leakage of vital energy.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Internal and external are ultimately one.
When you no longer perceive the world as hostile,
there is no more fear,
and when there is no more fear,
you think, speak and act differently.
Love and compassion arise,
and they affect the world.

~~~~~~~~~~

Direct your attention inward.
Have a look inside yourself.
What kind of thoughts is your mind producing?
What do you feel?
Direct your attention into the body.
Is there any tension?
Once you detect that there is a low level of unease,
the background static,
see in what way you are avoiding, resisting,
or denying life — by denying the Now.

~~~~~~~~~~~

What a liberation to realize
that the "voice in my head" is not who I am.
Who am I then?
The one who sees that.

~~~~~~~~~~

"How" is always more important that "what."
See if you can give much more attention
to the doing
than to the result
that you want to achieve through it.

~~~~~~~~~~~

The reason why some people
love to engage in dangerous activities,
such as mountain climbing, car racing, and so on,
although they may not be aware of it,
is that it forces them into the Now --
that intensely alive state that is free of time,
free of problems, free of thinking,
free of the burden of the personality.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Choice implies consciousness -
a high degree of consciousness.
Without it, you have no choice.
Choice begins the moment you disidentify
from the mind and its conditioned patterns,
the moment you become present....
Nobody chooses dysfunction, conflict, pain.
Nobody chooses insanity.
They happen because there is not enough presence
in you to dissolve the past,
not enough light to dispel the darkness.
You are not fully here.
You have not quite woken up yet.
In the meantime, the conditioned mind
is running your life.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Always say "yes" to the present moment.
What could be more futile, more insane,
than to create inner resistance to what already is?
What could be more insane than to oppose life itself,
which is now and always now?
Surrender to what is. Say "yes" to life --
and see how life suddenly starts working for you
rather than against you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

True freedom and the end of suffering
is living in such a way
as if you had completely chosen
whatever you feel or experience at this moment.
This inner alignment with Now
is the end of suffering.
Is suffering really necessary?
Yes and no.
If you had not suffered as you have,
there would be no depth to you as a human being,
no humility, no compassion.
You would not be reading this now.
Suffering cracks open the shell of ego,
and then comes a point
when it has served its purpose.
Suffering is necessary
until you realize it is unnecessary.


~ Eckhart Tolle

Non-Dual Awareness/Nirvana

Lama Yeshe: When you contemplate your own consciousness with intense awareness, leaving aside all thoughts of good and bad, you are automatically led to the experience of non-duality. How is this possible? Think of it like this: the clean clear blue sky is like consciousness, while the smoke and pollution pumped into the sky are like the unnatural, artificial concepts manufactured by ego-grasping ignorance. Now, even though we say the pollutants are contaminating the atmosphere, the sky itself never really becomes contaminated by the pollution. The sky and the pollution each retain their own characteristic nature. In other words, on a fundamental level the sky remains unaffected no matter how much toxic energy enters it. The proof of this is that when conditions change, the sky can become clear once again. In the same way, no matter how many problems maybe created by artificial ego concepts, they never affect the clean clear nature of our consciousness itself. From the relative point of view, our consciousness remains pure because its clear nature never becomes mixed with the nature of confusion.

From an ultimate point of view as well, our consciousness always remains clear and pure. The non-dual characteristic of the mind is never damaged by the dualistic concepts that arise in it. In this respect consciousness is pure, always was pure and will always remain pure. We can compare positive states of mind to water at rest and deluded states of mind to turbulent, boiling water. If we investigate the nature of the boiling water we will discover that, despite the turbulence, each individual droplet is still clear. The same is true of the mind: wether it is calm or boiled into turbulence by the overwhelming complexity of dualistic views, its basic nature reamains clear and conscious.

The conclusion, the, is that we all have the capacity to move from the confused, polluted state of ego-conflict to the natural clean clear state of pure consciousness itself. We should never think that our mind has somehow become irreversibly contaminated. This is impossible. If we can train ourselves to identify and enter into the natural, unaffected state of our consciousness, we will eventually experience the freedom of non-dual awareness.

Silence - Jean Klein

Silence is our real nature. What we are fundamentally,
is only silence. Silence is free from beginning and
end. It was before the beginning of all things. It is
causeless. Its greatness lies in the fact that it
simply is. In silence all objects have their home
ground. It is the light that gives objects their shape
and form. All movement, all activity is harmonized by
silence.Silence has no opposite in noise. It is beyond
positive and negative. Silence dissolves all objects.
It is not related to any counterpart which belongs to
the mind. Silence has nothing to do with mind. It
cannot be defined but it can be felt directly because
it is our nearness. Silence is freedom without
restriction or center. It is our wholeness, neither
inside nor outside the body. Silence is joyful, not
pleasurable. It is not psychological. It is feeling
without a feeler. Silence needs no intermediary.
Silence is holy. It is healing. There is no fear in
silence. Silence is autonomous like love and beauty.
It is untouched by time. Silence is meditation, free
from any intention, free from anyone who meditates.
Silence is the absence of oneself. Or rather, silence
is the absence of absence. Sound which comes from
silence is music. All activity is creative when it
comes from silence. It is constantly a new beginning.
Silence precedes speech and poetry and music and all
art. Silence is the home ground of all creative
activity. What is truly creative is the word, is
Truth. Silence is the word. Silence is Truth.The one
established in silence lives in constant offering, in
prayer without asking, in thankfulness, in continual
love. "