See Beyond the Illusion

“Peace can be made only by those who are peaceful, and love can be shown only by those who love. No work of love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.”
~Alan Watts~
The world that we experience with our physical senses is merely an illusion we have collectively created. Its purpose is to provide a playground of discovery. As spiritual beings having a human experience, we seeded this place with sparks of infinite possibility, ever-evolving creation, and movement.
Getting lost in the illusion is one aspect of the game. We immersed ourselves so entirely that we forgot the truth of our limitless, eternal Being. From that space of perceived separation we entered the game of karma, which teaches the value of opposites and paradox until the power of neutrality is learned. As the karma is cleared we begin to once again sense connectedness which underlies all things.
When you find yourself lost in the mind, overwhelmed by feelings, or frustrated by a limiting situation, seek to ground yourself and access the balancing energy of our sacred mother earth. From a space of stillness, softening the stories of the mind,  it is possible to see beyond the illusion.

Present Moment Practice

“When the faith is strong enough, it is sufficient just to be. It’s a journey towards simplicity, towards quietness, towards a kind of joy that is not in time. It’s a journey that has taken us from primary identification with our body and our psyche, on to an identification with [the Divine], and ultimately beyond identification.”
~Ram Dass~

Present Moment Practice is a conscious, mindful approach to life. Within the Now we become the witness – to our inner commentary, to the world around us and to the energy that we bring to our collective journey.

In this moment, you have all that you require. Begin by going deeper into the Now. Notice the physical world, the chair in which you are sitting or the solidness of the earth under your feet. Feel the warmth or coolness of your surroundings. Then pay attention to your thoughts. Are you worried? Do you find yourself constantly reading or watching information about world affairs? How attached are you to your phone? How does your body feel? Are you tense or relaxed, hungry or satisfied? Just observe.

Remind yourself that all you see and experience is a profound illusion that is measured by your physical senses. Close your eyes and take three deep, slow breaths. As you open your eyes, choose to see things differently. Instead of looking at the lamp, notice the light that it casts and the shadows it creates. Observe the unique designs of all that you see. How does your heart respond to a flower or your favorite scent? What pictures do you see in the clouds? This is your practice for today. Be, observe, appreciate.

 

The Life of Your Dreams

“I create my own experiences. As I love and approve of myself and others, my life gets better and better.”
~Louise Hay~
The way to create the life of your dreams is to live it now – from where you are, with what you have. Begin your day by focusing on what you wish to experience rather than what is missing. Let gratitude begin the momentum of transformation. Your thoughts have power and when you consciously and consistently choose what to send out into the world, you increase their impact.
Goals are measurable, concrete and tangible; whereas dreams are crafted from the level of spirit. Some wonderful examples of dreams that can enhance one’s life immediately, are:
I will continue to learn my entire life knowing everyone is my teacher.
I let go of dogmatic or limiting beliefs and free myself from the past.
I choose to parent my children consciously. They chose me for a reason…
I will live the life of a poet, seeing beauty all around me.
I will honor all life as sacred and see beyond appearances
There is nothing more important than how you live today. Bring the best version of you to this moment and  detach from specific outcomes. This is what is meant when it is said to focus on the journey rather than the destination.
If your life is filled with one wonderful day after another, if you’ve had a meaningful encounter with someone today, if you’ve shared kindness and had a positive impact on someone’s life, you are living the live you dreamed.

Simple Pleasures

“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”
~Dalai Lama~

Great beauty can be found in the simple, ordinary things of life. Even the most mundane of tasks take on a sacred quality when approached with awareness, intention and gratitude. It’s important to remember that you dictate how your life unfolds by the energy that you bring to the situations you encounter. When we act out of love, without expectation or attachment, wholly involved in the Now, we become one with life.

Be patient with yourself. Sometimes all that is required is a peaceful alertness as we learn to exist aligned and in tune with the energy of the planet. This is a time full of mystery… like the dawning of a new day, there is a quiet anticipation as the awakening happens all around us. In the silence, limitless possibilities await.

Be aware of your relationship to the world around you. Our interconnectedness is becoming more apparent with each passing moment. As spiritual seekers, we are consciously engaging the truth of Oneness through interactions, gratitude, reflection and exploration.

Embrace the Experience

“I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.”
~Joseph Campbell~

In spite of the many lifetimes we engage with one another on this planet, the experience of being human is but a tiny aspect of our spiritual journey back into Oneness. Earth provides the illusion of separation. We create intense karma and challenges, joyful connections and love in order to fully experience all aspects of the human adventure.

Think of all the things you love: the sunsets, springtime, music, your favorite foods, how the light filters through the leaves of a forest on a summers day, the feel of snow crunching under your boots, the contrast of a good movie that makes you laugh and cry, and so much more! When you begin to think of all that brings joy into your experience, you’ll discover that the list is endless… and yet we’ve just begun.
Rather than seeking for meaning in your life situations, bring meaning to them. Your brilliant, beautiful mind can be used to perceive the grace and wonder of being alive. Touch one another in love. Be kind to yourself. It will be gone all too soon and then we’ll be off on a new type of collective experience. It’s hard to mentally grasp the infinite; therefore, enjoy the Now and watch how it continues to evolve.

Consciousness

“As we grow in our consciousness.. there will be more compassion and more love. And then… the barriers between people.. between religions.. and between nations will begin to fall.”
~Ram Dass~

There’s no great trick to expanding one’s consciousness; however, the ego will often distract with excessive thought, perpetuating a belief that one needs a particular type of spiritual experience or insight in order to achieve enlightenment. Many run from one spiritual fad to another never realizing the beauty and simplicity of becoming deeply immersed within the present moment.

Books, teachers and experiences are all pointers to truths that reside within each of us. We tend to get inspired when we discover someone with whom we harmonize at the deepest level. Utilize these insights by immediately putting them into practice as much as possible.

Challenges offer opportunities to expand consciousness. First, become aware of any imbalance. Awareness allows a moment of observation of the antics of the ego-mind. Our initial response will be either reactive or conscious. Simply notice. Reactivity prolongs the discomfort while a conscious response takes ownership and expresses itself in a healthy way. Rather than using the mind to understand consciousness, use life as a vehicle to experience it.

Life’s Artistry

“To practice any art, no matter how well or badly,
is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.”
~Kurt Vonnegut~
Life is filled with inspiration. The clouds move across the sky, flowers dance on the breeze, beauty waits patiently to be discovered even as it is fleeting and ever-changing. When we view the world through the eyes of love, we become a portal through which consciousness experiences itself.
The artist within you desires expression. Even if no one bears witness to your creation, the ability to see things differently while allowing that vision to move you into action is transformative. Begin by watching life’s artistry. Be still and enjoy the movement all around you. Capture little joys that speak to your soul. Your awareness gives a new life to all that you see.
By design, no one experiences the world in quite the same way. Our unique interpretation of life is simply another vibrant, living example of the infinite possibilities available when we play in the field of Now. Beyond ideas of right and wrong is only the voice of the Divine calling us to new levels of conscious expression.

Your Inner Wisdom

“Quiet the mind, and the soul will speak.”
~Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati~
All pain is self-imposed. The human condition is to rethink and reexamine and ponder the events of our lives until the memories have more impact on our joy than the potential within the present moment. As we awaken, we cultivate the ability to rise above thought, to embrace the Now and savor the beauties of life.
This is the journey. We move from limitation to liberation by facing our shadows and transforming them. No matter what has unfolded in your experience, know that you have the capability to create a fulfilling, empowered experience in this moment.
One tool is to see how many different interpretations of an event you can write. The ego will always jump into this process immediately with the heaviest, worst case scenario. Many people stop at this point in the process thinking that it’s the truth. Conversely, from the level of soul you can write a loving, evolved interpretation; however, betwixt the two are an infinite amount of perceptions and stories. The more you can imagine, the more diffuse the energy, and the more neutral you can become.
Your soul will speak in the stillness.

Be a Conscious Creator

“In the infinity of life where I am,
All is perfect, whole and complete,
I no longer choose to believe in old limitations and lack, I now choose to begin to see myself
As the Universe sees me — perfect, whole, and complete.”
~Louise Hay~

When envisioning change in your life, begin by clearly defining the desired end result. Then take steps to get there – it doesn’t matter if they’re baby steps or leaps of faith – consistently moving forward in the direction of your dreams. By opening every avenue of energy that you can, you place yourself in a position to receive assistance and direction from the Divine.

All transformation is set in motion in the Now – future plays no part in the act of conscious creation. Set your intention now, take action now, be willing to receive now and most importantly, choose happiness and fulfillment Now.

When we consciously engage in the journey we draw the necessary support, inspiration and circumstances into our experience. It’s important to remain detached from how things unfold. Often, there are miracles that await or perhaps the original vision expands with wonderful surprises. It’s empowering to see what gets set in motion from that original defining thought. Let joy and inspiration be your guide.

Presence

“See if you can give more attention to an action, rather than the result that you want to achieve through it. Give your fullest attention to whatever the moment presents. This implies that you also completely accept what is, because you cannot give your full attention to something and at the same time resist it.”
~Eckhart Tolle~

There is nothing more important than your state of consciousness in this moment.

When we attach our happiness to a specific end result, we give away our power. The ego loves to delay joy by planting the idea that “when so-and-so is mine, I’ll stop feeling so alone” or “when I have this job or this much saved in the bank, I’ll finally be able to feel safe.” All of these ideas treat the present moment merely as something to get through in order to experience some better moment in the future.

You are responsible for your own joy. Feel it Now. No matter what you desire to accomplish, joy in this moment is the key to manifesting the life of your dreams. Plans fall apart from time to time, people may do the opposite of what you wish they would do, you may miss the mark… the only thing over which you have any control is how you choose to respond.

Treat this moment as sacred. Whatever you choose to do, do it with complete mindfulness and bring a sense of playfulness into your experience. Your willingness to take conscious action is far more powerful than allowing your actions to be led by anger or fear.