Thursday, November 08, 2012

Note #160: My Brother, choose again.

For several weeks I have been very distracted yet even amidst these distractions, I continue to be willing to move deeper into knowing only God-Freedom-Self.  Recently while on a morning walk, my mind was filled with thoughts about a family member, politics and myriad other things, and I was reminded of a teaching in NTI Matthew, chapter 23, which says:

            “The world is but a distraction, and it distracts your from Heaven.  So you must live in the world, but not be of the world.  You do this by doing all things for Me…by giving all things the purpose of Heaven.  In this way, all things can be used to lead you to Me.  And I will show you how to use them.  So live in your world but be not distracted by it.”

            I was especially reminded of the line: “And I will show you how to use them.”  As I asked Spirit within to show me how to use these distractions for healing, I felt the inner direction to just focus on my current spiritual practice and let all these other things take care of themselves.

            Sometimes we may wonder how focusing only on spiritual practice is going to take care of things in the world.  I don’t know, but I do know that when I am distracted by ego’s thoughts of division, right or wrong and “I know…” I am not letting go, but very much holding onto that which I no longer want. 

            “To cling to your self, and your thoughts, and your fears, is to cling to illusion and to hold onto what you do not want.”  (NTI 1 Corinthians 3v10-15)

Part of my current practice is to shift attention from thought-stories about world-body-Sheryl to Heart-stillness-within. As I walked along and confirmed that I wanted to be more consistent with this practice, I looked down and saw a charm on the sidewalk in the shape of a heart.  I walked on, but was prompted to go back and pick it up.  It was just an inexpensive plastic heart charm, but in that moment it seemed like divine confirmation.  I decided to let it be a sort talisman to remind me of my true purpose.

Whatever we seem to be distracted by in the world, distractions are just attention-focus on thoughts in the mind.  And while some lifestyles may seem more conducive to decreasing attention on the world, really, we all have the same present moment, and in this moment we can choose to let heart purpose lead the way. 

This work demands brutal self-honesty in that, we must be willing to look at why we hold onto wanting to believe the stories in the mind about one another and the world.  We continue to listen to them and believe them because there is a part of us that does not want to know freedom.  In truth, we are free now, however, we are enslaved by our thoughts.

I am free now.  You are free now.  The reason spiritual practice is so important is because we are indeed mesmerized by body-person-world.  The Freedom-Self that I am exists here and now, but on a practical level, I will not come to know this by chanting it, talking about it or thinking about it.
The practice is about realizing that I cannot know the freedom that I am now while listening to stories in the mind that tell me who and what I am not.  I cannot hear the whispers of the true Self while focused on things that need to be changed about myself, another person or the world.

So…if the freedom-Self is here right now, how do I come to know this?

I can chant, “I am not a body, I am free.  I am not a body, I am free.  I am not a body, I am free…” and still feel like a vulnerable body in a fearful world.

Using bodily distractions as a practice example: let’s say you are currently listening to body thoughts about perhaps a health problem, appearance, aging, etc., and as you notice your attention focused on such thoughts, you can remind yourself:
Ah…I’m focusing on wanting to change something about my body.  I am still identified with this body as who I am.  I look at the thoughts and then shift attention from the thoughts to the heart.  I notice the stillness there.  I am that I am.  I am not a body, I am free.  (Note: in the audio recording I go through this practice.  It comes across better on audio than in the written word because I share various ways to practice.)

There is a difference between chanting an affirmation hoping to make it true, versus shifting attention from the thinking-mind and resting in the Heart-Self that exists right now.  It’s like changing a radio station from ego to Self.   

It’s important, however, not to copy someone else’s practice unless it really resonates with you.  Something that comes up frequently in my 7steps journal is that of current-moment remembrance.  In the willingness to turn within in any moment through a mantra, prayer, shifting attention or any other practice, we are then guided to how to be in that moment.

During the teaching I was prompted to NTI 1 Corinthians, Chapter 8 that speaks to what I have been sharing here:

“When you notice your mind is full and you want to become as an empty shell, you must refocus your mind from your head to your Heart. Your Heart will teach your mind the way of release, because your Heart is love.
"Your Heart, being of love, knows one purpose, and that is Love. Your head, being of thinking, knows many purposes, because that is “thinking.” Let go of theconfusion of the head and focus yourself on the purpose of the Heart. Focusing on onepurpose leads you clearly in one direction, but focusing on many purposes does not leadyou at all.”

Each person’s practice may be different, but we see the need for practice while hypnotized by a body-person-world.

            When you observe those thoughts that are mesmerized by the world, the body or a relationship and you return to a focus on truth, or Heart-stillness – as you do this consistently, then those practice moments begin to string together like a strand of graduated pearls one building on the next until peace and knowledge of true Self is all that you are.  Until then…we practice.  

            As we go about our lives this week, let us remember that we have a choice.  We can choose to shift attention from the world to the Self.  With heart devoted to purpose, my brother, choose again.

This audio was recorded on 11-5-12 and is 54 min.


    MP3 File

For more of my audios visit:

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