Thursday, April 30, 2009Enough
It's understanding that lifts the consciousness.
It's not saying understanding;
it is living understanding,
it is doing understanding,
it is where, in the midst of misery,
you still have understanding.
People say, "But I'm confused. I don't understand."
I say, "That's your concern."
For you must still keep breathing,
even if you're confused,
and you must still eat,
even if you don't understand,
for no one will do these things for you.
Oh, you might get a slave for a while,
but even slaves eventually say,
"When do I get mine?"
And the master always answers, "Later."
And so the slave revolts.
But if the slave is smart, it just evolves.
For at that point of evolution,
you find out that the one who has served you
has been your god,
and the one who has understood you
has been your light,
and the one who walks with you
has been the Beloved.
And you never had to go anywhere.
(From: The Tao of Spirit by John-Roger, DSS)
I have had two examples in the last week of people (not on MSIA staff) coming to me with not feeling they have enough. They had a good paying job, and were healthy, and one even had a great relationship yet they sought more. I advised one today, (unsolicited--there are still too many times where I need to keep my mouth shut!) to learn to enjoy where they were. Then they would have a new skill that they could apply to anywhere they went. They smiled--unknowingly.
Seth Godin's post below is about business but it resonated with my thoughts above:
Infinity--they keep making more of it
If you had a little business in a little town, there was a natural limit to your growth. You hit a limit on strangers (no people left to pitch), some became friends, some became customers and you then went delivered as much as you could to this core audience. Every day wasn't spent trying to get bigger.
There's no limit now. No limit to how many clicks, readers, followers and friends you can acquire.
I don't think this new mindset is better. It shortchanges the customers you have now (screw them, if they can't take a joke, we'll just replace them!) and worse, it means you're never done. Instead of getting better, you focus obsessively on getting bigger.
You're at a conference, talking to someone who matters to you. Over their shoulder, you see a new, bigger, better networking possibility. So you scamper away. It's about getting bigger.
Compared to what? You're never going to be the biggest, so it seems like being better is a reasonable alternative.
The problem with getting bigger is that getting bigger costs you. Not just in time and money, but in focus and standards and principles. Moving your way to the biggest part of the curve means appealing to an ever broader audience, becoming (by definition) more average.
More, more, more is rarely the mantra of a successful person.
There are certainly some businesses and some projects that don't work unless they're huge, but in your case, I'm not sure that's true. Big enough is big enough, biggest isn't necessary.
Thursday, January 22, 2009Move From Relaxation
“Let go and let God" is not a cliché.
It is a practical direction.
Is there any hurry to go anywhere?
Where are you going that you are not already there?
How can you be impatient
when the important things are always present?
If you want the spiritual flow to work unconditionally,
then you must let it flow unconditionally.
Just keep it open.
You receive as openly as you give.
If you start qualifying,
If you move from a state of tension,
you will be blocked.
If you always move
from your center of relaxation,
you will be free.
(From: The Tao of Spirit by John-Roger, DSS)
Marjorie criticized me for not mentioning the Inauguration. Well to make up for it take a lot at this.
I am not impressed with Treasury Secretary nominee Tim Geithner. It seems like politics as usual, to me.
Jim Fallows' take:
So by the standard of what the country needs right now, I would probably vote for Geithner's confirmation as Treasury Secretary, if I were in a position to do so.
But I do not believe, and will never believe, that his failure to pay his own self-employment tax while at the IMF was an "oversight" or a "mistake." I have many many friends who have worked for this and similar organizations. I have myself over the years juggled the complexities of what is self-employment income and what is W-2 income and how to handle income from non-US sources -- and I have a lot less financial acumen than any Treasury Secretary aspirant should and must have. (Though I also use Turbo Tax!) Not a single person I have known from the IMF or similar bodies, not a one, believes that Geithner could have "overlooked" his need to pay US self-employment tax. When I have received similar income from international sources, the need was obvious even to me -- and I wasn't receiving and signing all the forms to the same effect Geithner would have gotten from the IMF. I could go on with details but I'll just say: if this were a situation more average Americans had experienced personally, he would not dare make his "mistake" excuse because everyone would say, "Are you kidding me???"
And this from The New Yorker's James Surowiecki:
In his written responses to questions from the Senate Finance Committee, the Treasury nominee Tim Geithner explained the decision to let Lehman Brothers fail as the result of … well, actually he didn’t really explain why the government let Lehman Brothers fail. Geithner offered up an explanation for why the Federal Reserve didn’t step in—it didn’t have the legal authority to do so, and didn’t ask for the authority because it was important to maintain “the line between the responsibilities and authorities of the fiscal authority, and those of the monetary authority.” (More important than averting a massive dislocation in the financial markets?) But he doesn’t explain why Treasury didn’t step in, or why it didn’t ask for the authority to do so beforehand, given that Lehman’s demise was not exactly unanticipated. And I don’t understand why, if in fact the Fed and Treasury couldn’t save Lehman because of legal restraints, they were able to step in and save A.I.G., which was also a nonbank, just two days later.
Geithner’s answers on this question were as unsatisfying as just about everything else we’ve heard on it. I suspect the honest answer is the one the Fed chair Ben Bernanke first proffered when he testifed before Congress, on September 24th: “The Federal Reserve and the Treasury declined to commit public funds to support the institution.” That is, they could have committed public funds, but decided not to. The problem is that since it’s clear now that letting Lehman fail was a complete disaster, no one wants to own up to the decision.
To regain confidence and trust we have to do better than this.
Saturday, January 17, 2009Letting Go, Service, and Integrity
And the reason all this works is that you let go and give to God, joyfully and unconditionally.
From God Is Your Partner (on seeding) by John-Roger, DSS
Well, if that short sentence doesn’t say it all regarding living the spiritual principles of abundance and prosperity I don’t know what does. Please take it in.
If you didn’t see Michelle Obama’s call to service on Martin Luther King Day on Monday here it is. (2 mins)
This is a must see video, named Four Generations, to warm your heart and may redefine abundance for you.
The Achaemenid Persian Empire (550–330 BCE), which at the height of its power had more than 20 nations under its control, was built on the most basic principles - that of truth and justice, which formed the bases of the Achaemenid culture. Based on the Zoroastrian doctrine, it was the strong emphasis on honesty and integrity that gave the ancient Persians credibility to rule the world, even in the eyes of the people belonging to the conquered nations.
This largest Empire of the Ancient World was forged by Cyrus the Great, and spanned three continents, including territories of Afghanistan and Pakistan, parts of Central Asia, Asia Minor, Thrace, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and all significant population centers of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya. It is also noted for freeing the Jews from their Babylonian captivity, and for instituting Aramaic as the empire's official language.
As we have seen, the United States of America has wandered far from its founding fathers who did have the principles of truth and justice in mind. And certainly we have seen any emphasis on honesty and integrity evaporate before our eyes in the last six months. It has taken a generation for things to come off their tracks and in my opinion it will take a generation to get them back on again. Let’s hope that Tuesday will get us off to a good start.
Sunday, November 23, 2008In Harmony With Infinite Supply
The following quote is from Timeless Wisdoms by J-R. Please read it and keep it close by you. There are so many keys here to living the spiritual principles of abundance and prosperity. Every time you read or hear anything negative about the economy or environment, instead of being caught up in what is being said, perhaps you can read this quote.
Ultimately, you can’t do anything “wrong,” because God is with you, in you as you, and is making sure that it all comes out perfectly. And that is a lot to be thankful for.
An attitude of gratitude is also a key to being in harmony with infinite supply. When you can honestly and truly thank God for what you have, for all your experiences, for all the people in your life, and for all your expressions, the sense of gratitude goes very deep. In that depth, you are open to infinite supply.
You also might think about being grateful when your desires are not being fulfilled. You might think about being grateful when your prayers are not being answered. Let those desires and prayers go, and ask only for the highest good, that you might be free of the creation of desire, that you might be free from illusion, that you might be free to know your own Soul and its perfection and glory.
Sometimes the best way to make the most out of a situation is to get out of it. The other way is to accept it and be grateful that it isn’t worse. I find that it’s much easier to just love it all. When it shows up, I go, “Wow. Another form of loving. Another face of loving. Another expression of loving. Another location of loving.” And then I get to participate in it. That’s grateful.
As you accept what you have and give thanks for your blessings, you find your life becoming happier and happier. Because, truly, my friends, you are blessed. There is not one of you who is not continually receiving of God’s infinite blessings and grace.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008The Sacred in the Ordinary
Let’s take a break from the world of money for a post or two and attune ourselves to more important things. After all this blog is about the spiritual principles of abundance and prosperity.
I find there are times where a situation calls for patience and when the best course is to stand back and wait, and other times when I need to put on the armor of the spiritual warrior and stand forward. I like this quote from Carlos Casteneda:
The recommendation for warriors is not to have any material things on which to focus their power, but to focus it on the spirit, on the true flight into the unknown, not on trivialities.
Everyone who wants to follow the warrior’s path has to rid himself of the compulsion to possess and hold onto things.
We already discussed how the best antidote for the turbulent times we are experiencing is gratitude. I also mentioned the idea of slowing down the other day.
We do not live merely to "do something" –- no matter what. We do not live more fully merely by doing more, seeing more, tasting more, and experiencing more than we ever have before. On the contrary, some of us need to discover that we will not begin to live more fully until we have the courage to do and see and taste and experience much less than usual.
Also very helpful to me is the idea of discovering the sacred in the ordinary, in the everyday. It can even be found in even in the most horrendous of circumstances, so surely we can find it in our blessed lives.
"In my youth," Rabbi Abraham Heschel wrote of his childhood in Warsaw, "there was one thing we did not have to look for, and that was exaltation. Every moment is great, we were taught, every moment is unique." Heschel was renowned for his unflagging sense of wonder.
Rabbi Shapira, the Warsaw Ghetto's Hasidic rabbi, preached "sensitization to holiness," a process of discovering the holiness within oneself and the natural world. This included mindfull attending to everyday life. He gathered this teaching "from the world as a whole, from the chirping of the birds, the mooing of the cows, from the voices and tumult of human beings; from all these one hears the voice of God..." It is only through wonder and transcendence, the ghetto rabbi taught, that one could combat the psychic disintegration of everyday life. "To project the supernatural powers of kindness into the realm of speech, so that they may take on concrete, specific form."
Janusz Korczak didn't relate sinister ghetto events in his writings, for example the deportations to the death camps. Instead of all the clangor and mayhem on that day, we wrote only of, "the marvelous big moon" shining above the destitute in that unfortunate quarter. He taught the children the mindfull salve of mindfull chores, like the slow, attentive picking up of bowls, spoons, and plates after a meal. "When I collect the dishes myself, I can see the cracked plates, the bent spoons, the scratches on the bowls.."
The legend says that the 36 Just Men, whose pure souls make possible the world's salvation, are ordinary people, not flawless or magical, and that most of them remain unrecognized throughout their lives, while they choose to perpetuate goodness, even in the midst of inferno.
--Diane Ackerman (writing in the Shambhala Sun)
Sunday, August 24, 2008End During
Even though the things we do in this physical world
may continually misrepresent who we are,
let's never forget for even one second
that the divine spark that is God
resides within each one of us.
And after all has been said and done,
you'll find out that you've been walking with your own Beloved
for many, many eons.
And one of your great realizations will be that,
at all times,
everything was absolutely perfect within you.
The above quote concludes J-R’s book, The Tao Of Spirit and I must say that I find it one of the most comforting and inspiring messages in J-R’s teachings after, “Not one soul will be lost.” When I come to those times when all feels lost, I return to this quote and I am always renewed. When “he who endures to the end, wins,” sometimes feels like a bit of a slog, this quote lets me know that, regardless, there is a big win not only at the end--but during.
I thought of this quote when a reader this past week asked, “I too find the message "win in your fantasies" extremely helpful and am grateful for that teaching. Can you address how best to cope and keep winning in my fantasies when I am met with successive bouts of disappointment, where those wins in my fantasies turned out to be off track for me?”
I hope the above helps clarify things a little.
Friday, July 18, 2008Positive Intent
As much I have studied J-R's teachings and taken PTS workshops and Insight Trainings, I can always stand to be reminded of the value of a positive outlook--whether it is looking at my life and my finances, or dealing with other people. I was inspired by reading this take on what we all know and have been taught and thought you might also enjoy it.
Indra Nooyi -- PepsiCo's CEO, listed in Time's Top 100 influentials around the globe -- was recently asked by Fortune magazine: What was the best advice you ever got? She had a great response:
My father was an absolutely wonderful human being. From him I learned to always assume positive intent. Whatever anybody says or does, assume positive intent. You will be amazed at how your whole approach to a person or problem becomes very different. When you assume negative intent, you're angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed. Your emotional quotient goes up because you are no longer almost random in your response. You don't get defensive. You don't scream. You are trying to understand and listen because at your basic core you are saying, "Maybe they are saying something to me that I'm not hearing." So "assume positive intent" has been a huge piece of advice for me.
In business, sometimes in the heat of the moment, people say things. You can either misconstrue what they're saying and assume they are trying to put you down, or you can say, "Wait a minute. Let me really get behind what they are saying to understand whether they're reacting because they're hurt, upset, confused, or they don't understand what it is I've asked them to do." If you react from a negative perspective - because you didn't like the way they reacted - then it just becomes two negatives fighting each other. But when you assume positive intent, I think often what happens is the other person says, "Hey, wait a minute, maybe I'm wrong in reacting the way I do because this person is really making an effort."
Monday, July 14, 2008Unconditional...What a Concept?
“And the reason all this works is that you let go and give to God, joyfully and unconditionally.” — Dr. John-Roger, DSS
I have long been fascinated with the idea of being unconditional. And in my recent book with John-Roger, The Rest of Your Life: Finding Repose in the Beloved, I covered it as extensively as I could.
Needless to say I find it to be a difficult state to get into, mainly because I allow myself to consistently have high expectations and thus consistently be disappointed. You'd think I'd learn, but I don't. However, the one thing I have learned from the process is to laugh at my folly.
Nonetheless, the one area that I find I can live the unconditionality is in the giving of the tithe. I really do give unconditionally and that makes the giving such a pleasure and such an expansive process. It takes place simply because, inside of me, I am giving to God. And really, what I am giving was never really mine anyway. Hmmm....maybe I can apply that idea to other areas of my life.
Here are some of my favorite John-Roger quotes on unconditionality:
"Freedom from stress, insecurity, and anxiety, lies in loving yourself and accepting yourself unconditionally."
"You can be everything you want to be as soon as you unconditionally become unconditional."
"it is the unconditionality of life that must be lived"