To know yourself, be yourself.

Quote

To know yourself, be yourself. To be yourself, stop imagining yourself to be this or that. Just be. Let your true nature emerge. Don’t disturb your mind with seeking.

– Nisargadatta Maharaj –

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I am There

Do you need Me ?
I am there.

You cannot see Me, yet I am the light you see by.
You cannot hear Me, yet I speak through your voice.
You cannot feel Me, yet I am the power at work in your hands.

I am at work, though you do not understand My ways.
I am at work, though you do not understand My works.
I am not strange visions. I am not mysteries.

Only in absolute stillness, beyond self, can you know Me
as I AM, and then but as a feeling and a faith.

Yet I am here. Yet I hear. Yet I answer.
When you need ME, I am there.
Even if you deny Me, I am there.
Even when you feel most alone, I am there.
Even in your fears, I am there.
Even in your pain, I am there.

I am there when you pray and when you do not pray.
I am in you, and you are in Me.
Only in your mind can you feel separate from Me, for
only in your mind are the mists of “yours” and “mine”.
Yet only with your mind can you know Me and experience Me.

Empty your heart of empty fears.
When you get yourself out of the way, I am there.
You can of yourself do nothing, but I can do all.
And I AM in all.

Though you may not see the good, good is there, for
I am there. I am there because I have to be, because I AM.

Only in Me does the world have meaning; only out of Me does the world take form; only because of ME does the world go forward.
I am the law on which the movement of the stars and the growth of living cells are founded.

I am the love that is the law’s fulfilling. I am assurance.
I am peace. I am oneness. I am the law that you can live by.
I am the love that you can cling to. I am your assurance.
I am your peace. I am ONE with you. I am.

Though you fail to find ME, I do not fail you.
Though your faith in Me is unsure, My faith in you never
wavers, because I know you, because I love you.

Beloved, I AM there.

James Dillet Freeman

Though it Twists and Turns, the Journey Continues…

Source: morethansayings.blogspot.com via Beth on Pinterest

Ok, so I was ambitious in my original intention to finish the 81 verses of the Tao Te Ching by 12/12/2012 as I originally wrote about on my “The Journey” page. It was a good intention and it had some solid reasoning behind it, but let’s face it, things happen. Life steps in. Sometimes work was too busy, sometimes I was too tired and sometimes family life was too enticing.

Of course, there were also those periods where my mind played tricks on me. It would say things like “why are you doing this?”, “you are not a writer”, “this is a waste of time”, “you have more important things you should be doing”, “no one cares about what you are writing”. There were many more self-defeating thoughts, but you get the point.

Unfortunately, sometimes I would fall victim to these types of thoughts and I would step away from the keyboard and question if I should ever go back. This would have me feeling defeated.

Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent. – Marilyn vos Savant.

Regardless of how consuming those negative thoughts were, I always felt a pull to come back and continue. Eventually, I would snap myself out of the trance that had me trapped, and the positive thoughts about this journey would trample over the negative ones. Back at it I would go.

Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about. – unknown

I have now finished 50 of the verses and its already been almost a year since I started this journey. I may not have reached my destination the way that I intended, but as we have learned from the Tao so far, we need to set our intentions, but not be attached to how we reach them.

Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome. – Arthur Ashe

I can say without a doubt that the manner in which the journey has unfolded so far is the way that it was meant to unfold and I am exactly at the place in my journey where I need to be. How do I know that? Because this is where I am.

This has been a beautiful, mind-opening, and enlightening journey so far and I am grateful to have those that are following this journey along for the ride. Let’s see what the journey reveals next.

50th Verse – Live With the Realization That You Will Never Die

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Between birth and death, three in ten are followers of life;
three in ten are followers of death.
And men just passing from birth to death also number three in ten.
Why is this so? Because they clutch to life and cling to this passing world.

But there is one out of ten, they say,
so sure of life that tigers and wild bulls keep clear.
Weapons turn from him on the battlefield,
rhinoceroses have no place to horn him,
tigers find no place for claws,
and soldiers have no place to thrust their blades.

Why is this so? Because he dwells in that place where death cannot enter.

Realize your essence and you will witness the end without ending.

If you believe that all you are is the body that you exist in, then you are part of the 90 percent that “clutch to life and cling to this passing world”. If instead you are aware of your connection to the eternal energy of all creation, you will dwell “in that place where death cannot enter”.

Everything in the physical world comes and goes, rises and falls, enters and leaves. We have no control over that. What we can control is our attachment or our “clutching” to the physical world.

If we believe that we are of this world then we become attached to the things that surround us in the physical world including our bodies. Attachment to physical things only leads to suffering because those things do not last. If instead we realize that we are merely in this world and that it is merely a stop along the greater journey of our soul, then we can remove the suffering caused by attachment. We release our “clutch” on the things of the physical world.

By doing this, we can enjoy life for what it is and remove fear of the deterioration and eventual destruction of this suit called our body. We can use and enjoy the things of the physical world without becoming obsessed or attached.

By realizing the essence of our eternal self we can witness the end of our attachment to the physical world without it having to actually end. We will loose our grip on the physical things of this world and our time in this physical body will come to an end not matter how hard we clutch and cling. Why not loose that attachment now and live by enjoying life and the things in it freely without fear or possessiveness.

49th Verse – Living Without Judgement

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The sage has no fixed mind;
he is aware of the needs of others.

Those who are good he treats with goodness.
Those who are bad he also treats with goodness
because the nature of his being is good.

He is kind to the kind.
He is also kind to the unkind
because the nature of his being is kindness.
He is faithful to the faithful;
he is also faithful to the unfaithful.
The sage lives in harmony with all below heaven.
He sees everything as his own self;
he loves everyone as his own child.

All people are drawn to him.
He behaves like a little child.

This verse reminds me of the nature of most dogs. It doesn’t matter who you are, what type of person you are or what kind of mood your are in, a good dog will approach you with kindness, goodness and faithfulness. I think that this is because they do not have the ability to judge. They have no prejudice or hate.

What is behind prejudice and hate? It is judgement. By removing judgement of ourselves and others, we can eliminate the negative impacts from prejudice and hatred.

Under this mindset, we do not reserve our kindness and goodness for only those that we determine are good or kind to us. We share our goodness with all.

More often we

According to Dyer in his book “Change your thoughts, Change Your Life“, we can do this by starting to notice instead of judging. We can notice the thoughts that we have about ourselves or others and stop at noticing. Normally the next step after noticing is to assign judgment to those thoughts. We qualify them as good or bad and this qualifying practice is what impacts our emotional state and our attitude toward others.

Dyer says that when you start to notice yourself judging or labeling others, affirm: “I see myself in this person and I choose to be in a space of goodness rather than judgement.”

Imagine a world free from judgement where all live “in harmony with all below heaven”.

48th Verse – Letting Go

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Learning consists of daily accumulating.
The practice of the Tao consists of daily diminishing;
decreasing and decreasing, until doing nothing.
When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.

True mastery can be gained by letting things go their own way.
It cannot be gained by interfering.

Now that today is a brand new year we look ahead to what the new year will bring, set resolutions for things we cant to accomplish, and let go of the past year. However, do we really let go of the past year?

Last year is gone and so is everything that came with it. However, many times we hold onto the things that occurred. We accumulate pain and suffering from things that occurred and carry them forward with us into the new year.

The way of the Tao is to let go of the past. This is similar to the teaching from the Vipassana meditation training that I wrote about previously.

There is no good that can come from carrying around old negativity from past experiences. We can recognize the situations and the pain that they caused and also recognize that they served some purpose even if that purpose is held from our understanding. We can thank it for its lesson and then let it go.

No matter how hard we hold onto them and ruminate about them, we will never be able to change the experiences of the past. Holding on to feelings created by past experiences is one of the main causes of human suffering.

Let’s follow the Tao and let go of anything that is not serving us as we enter into the new year. Let’s recognize the beauty of what is and “BE” with what’s unfolding before us.

By the way, as I am writing this I can’t help but think, is it a coincidence that the theme of this post that I am writing about on New Year’s Day is about letting go?