You Can’t Prove It

February 6, 2009

Over the years I have had many conversations with people about how to prove their spiritual growth.  They seemed to be looking for a way to show others that they were spiritual.  My point has been that you cannot prove that you are spiritual.  Today we look at that idea.

 

Thankful Friday

As is our custom, we take a moment on Friday to express our thanks.  This week we thank all of our readers for taking the time out of your busy day to read what we write.  You have a lot of other things you can be doing – we thank you for making the time for us.

 

And as always we thank WordPress and FeedBurner.  They make the tools available for everyone to read and distribute this site for free.  Thanks WordPress and FeedBurner!

 

There is no external proof

Over the years I have talked to people who had various ideas about how to prove their spiritual growth.  Some thought that it was an accumulation of money or possessions.  Some thought it was their good personal relationships.  Others thought it was the way they meditated.

 

The point that I have tried to make is that there is no external proof of our spiritual growth.  We can make tremendous progress and still not accumulate money or possessions.  Conversely, we can achieve great spiritual growth and still accumulate money and possessions.  The two are not linked by cause and effect.

 

In the same way, we can achieve spiritual growth without having a close personal relationship.  Although spiritual growth usually improves our relationships, that improvement in our relationships is not proof or our spiritual growth.

 

The proof is internal

The only “proof” of our spiritual growth comes from our internal knowing that we have grown.  We look for signs that only we can see.  Are we more peaceful?  Do we like ourselves more?  Are we more accepting of what happens in our life?  Do we see that our spiritual growth is the most important task in our life?

 

When we look to prove our spiritual growth to others we are looking for validation of ourselves from those people.  When we look for validation from others we are engaging in false self behavior.  False self needs external validation. 

 

True self needs no external validation or acceptance.  True self knows that we cannot prove our spirituality to any one else.  Others will either see it or they won’t.  It makes no difference to true self.

 

True self knows that we are happy and understands that everyone has their own definition of happiness.  True self does not try to prove to them that we are happy.  After all, when someone is attached to their definition of happiness – you are not going to prove anything to them any way.

 

One final note

Here is a mile marker on our spiritual path.  When we notice ourselves wanting to prove our spiritual growth – either to ourselves or to others – we need to see that we still have an additional lesson.  That lesson is that there is no external proof of our spiritual progress.  We need to remind ourselves that the proof will eventually manifest as we become truly happy.  As long as we look for that happiness we will not find it.  We just have to allow the happiness to be there.

 

Until Monday –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

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The Bull Doesn’t Care if You Are a Vegetarian

February 2, 2009

Today’s post looks at two aspects of this idea.  The first is that the bull is going to do what he is supposed to do.  We need to accept what the bull does.  The second aspect is that we do things because they need to be done – not what we expect to get from them.

 

The inspiration

Today’s post was inspired by a song sung by Annabella Wood at the Circle of Miracles in Doylestown, PA a few months ago.  One of the lines in the song talked about the fact that the bull does not care of we are a vegetarian – he is going to protect his space by charging you if he needs to do so.

 

At the time I thought this was quite a humorous concept.  I have thought about the idea several times over the last few months and have seen two different ways to look at this idea.  I am sure there are more ways to look at it.  Please submit a comment with your perspective on this idea.

 

The universe is going to do what it needs to do

The first way that I saw to look at this idea was that all too often we say to the universe “Stop!  I don’t like what is happening so you need to stop.”  Even after we are run over by the universe countless times, some of us never understand that the universe is going to do what it needs to do.  It will run us over when we stand in the way.

 

The trick is to be accepting.  We need to recognize that if we get in the bull’s space the bull will feel threatened.  He is going to charge at us in order to get us out of his space.  He does not care if we are vegetarian.  He does not care how spiritual we are.  His job in the universe at that moment is to protect his space – so he charges us.  We need to accept that – and not take it personally.

 

We do what we do without attachment to the outcome

Another way that I saw to interpret today’s idea is that we often get attached to the outcome of what we do.  Sometimes we fall into thinking that as long as we are being spiritual then only “good” things will happen to us.  If something “bad” happens it is because we were not spiritual enough.

 

Once again, if we are in the bull’s space he does not care if we are a vegetarian.  He is too busy protecting his space to ask us if we like to eat red meat.  All he knows is that he is responsible for protecting that space so he charges at us.

 

Did we become a vegetarian to keep from being charged by a bull?  Probably not.  However – why did we become a vegetarian?  Why did we decide to pursue a spiritual path?  What outcomes do we expect to see from those choices?  How attached are we to those outcomes?

 

Just like the bull not caring if we are a vegetarian, the universe does not really care if we are spiritual.  It is not going to stop doing what it needs to do just because we have an attachment to what our spirituality thinks it should be.

 

Once again the trick is to be accepting of the universe.  We may have an idea of what we think will happen as we become more spiritual.  However, we must at all times release any attachments to what we think that “should be”.

 

We must be open minded and accepting of the universe when it runs us over.  We pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and start learning what we missed in our thinking that caused the universe to run us over.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

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Skeletons in the Closet

January 23, 2009

Are you like me and have some skeletons in the closet?  Have you ever wondered what they were and how to start to get rid of them?  We look at how to do that today.

 

Thankful Friday

As always we start Friday by expressing thanks.  Today I would like to thank all of my fellow Americans for their participation in the governance of our country.  I would also like to thank everyone around the world who had the highest hopes for this country.  Thanks to all of you for your support and participation.

 

As always, we thank FeedBurner and WordPress.  Thanks for making the operation and distribution of this site free for all concerned.

 

What are the skeletons anyway?

I think we are all familiar with the idea of skeletons in the closet.  They are those things in our thinking that we are afraid to look at.  Where did they come from and how do we get rid of them?

 

In an earlier post we talked about attachments and why we develop them.  The skeletons in our closet are nothing more than our deepest fears.  We have become very attached to these fears.  We also do not want to look at these fears.  That is why we have created the attachments – somehow we have linked our identity to those fears.

 

The most devastating aspect of the skeletons is that we want to lock them in the closet.  This means that we are choosing to be in denial about them.  Being in denial means we do not want to look at the skeletons.  If we do not look at the skeletons we cannot get rid of them.

 

Open the door and shine a light

It sounds simple, but the best way to start to get rid of our skeletons is to open the closet door and shine a light on them.  This can be very frightening.  We have kept the skeletons behind that door for many years.  We have worked very hard at keeping it closed.  We might be very frightened to open it.

 

Nevertheless, we must open it.  We must begin to look at and accept our skeletons.  If we never look at them they will continue to negatively influence our thinking.  We will always have a fear of what is behind the door and we will never learn to live a fearless and truly happy life.

 

At least take a peek

Right now we may only be able to open the door for a quick second, and then immediately slam it again.  If that is all you can do – then at least do that.  Over time you will teach yourself to keep the door open for longer periods of time.

 

As you keep the door open longer you will find that some of the skeletons disappear as soon as you shine your light on them.  You will immediately recognize that they are benign and no longer have any power over you.

 

Some of the skeletons will take a little work.  These are the ones that we struggle with.  The unfortunate thing is that the struggle is actually with our Self – a struggle that we always lose.

 

Learn to work with the skeletons that do not go away immediately.  Understand what they are and why you are afraid of them.  Gradually you will work through your fears and learn to live a peaceful and truly happy life.

 

Have I gotten rid of all my skeletons?  No.  Have I gotten rid of some and am working on others?  Yes.  And, I am much happier, have much less fear, and have much more confidence than I did when I started many years ago.

 

I wish the same for you.

 

Until Monday –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

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The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

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You Got to Know When to Hold ‘Em

January 20, 2009

We will end our series of posts about keeping score with a song.  One of the best examples of how to keep score and stay in the moment simultaneously comes from Kenny Rogers.  Many years ago he sang a song called “The Gambler”.  We take a look at that song today.

 

The Gambler

The song tells the story of a gambler traveling by train.  He meets another gambler who offers him some advice.  That advice turns out to be rather spiritual in nature.  The chorus of the song explains how to stay in the moment and not worry about keeping score:

 

You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table.
There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.

 

Click on this link to read the full lyrics.

 

For me the most important idea here is that you never count your money while you are sitting at the table.  When you stop the game to count you will miss something.  You will wind up out of the moment because you are counting your money.

 

As the song says – there will be time enough for counting when the dealing is done.  As long as you stay in the moment you will know when it is time to count your money.  You will know when to keep score.  Until that moment comes – resist the temptation.  You will only get yourself out of the moment and then you risk losing in the game.

 

Personal perspective

Over the years this has been a very important song for me.  As I was beginning my spiritual journey I used this song constantly as a reminder.  I would remind myself that I needed to stay focused and in the moment.

 

This song was a frequent reminder that my false self always wanted to keep score with everything.  I actually used this song to train my false self to trust that I (true self) knew what I was doing.  I knew that when we spent time looking too closely at money, who was returning our attention, where we were in our career, and all kinds of other trivial things that we were only making the situation worse.

 

When I say that I used this song to train my false self, I actually mean that.  I have been able to get to the point that when false self wants to waste time by inappropriately keeping score, I just say “No – we are not going to do that.  There will be plenty of time to count up later.  Right now we need to take care of our current business or we might wind up much worse off later.”

 

I have done this for so long that I rarely have any false self rebellions.  I hope that you too are able to quell your false self rebellions and live a truly happy life.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

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Email

You can email us directly at:  noahnow@yahoo.com

 

Copyright

© Copyright 2009 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

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The Zen of Keeping Score

January 19, 2009

The common use of the concept of Zen is that we do something without “really” doing it.  In that sense we will look at the idea of how to keep score without really paying so close attention to the score that we take ourselves out of the moment.

 

Welcome back

I hope that everyone had a happy and safe weekend.  This part of the northeastern US was very cold (for us) on Friday and Saturday.  I hope that wherever you were that you managed to stay warm.

 

It’s in the balance

We have been talking about the idea of keeping score for a couple of days now.  We have seen that it can take us out of the moment and complicate our relationships.  The question is “How do we keep score appropriately?”

 

What I have found as the answer to that question is to understand the concept of balance.  When we are operating from our false self we think that the balance needs to be completely in our favor.  Remember – false self is very fearful.  It gets very upset when the balance appears to be anything but favorable to what it thinks the balance should be.

 

As we learn to operate more from our true self we learn that the balance can be shifted so that we share much more completely with those around us.  True self is always in the moment and does not care about who is giving and who is taking on an immediate basis.

 

True self recognizes that all situations and relationships ebb and flow.  Sometimes one is putting more in than they are taking.  Other times we need to take a bit more than we give.

 

True self looks for two things when we decide it is time to “keep score.”  First – we look at the sense of balance.  Over time does the balance seem to be appropriate?  Although the balance may be off at times or imbalances may persist for awhile, do things usually get back to a balance?

 

Second – true self looks at the intentions and actions of those concerned.  Does everyone sincerely want to keep things balanced and moving forward?  Is everyone taking what actions they can to work towards keeping things in balance?

 

These are very subjective questions.  When we are in the moment the correct answers always come when we ask these questions.  Also, this idea of balance takes a bit of practice.  It goes hand in hand with learning to be in the moment.  The more we are in the moment the more we are able to keep score without “really” keeping score.

 

Tomorrow will be more practical

Today we were a little on the theoretical side.  Tomorrow we will conclude our series about keeping score with a discussion that is a little more practical.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

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You can email us directly at:  noahnow@yahoo.com

 

Copyright

© Copyright 2009 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

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When the Student is Ready the Teacher Will Appear

January 13, 2009

I find this idea quite helpful when I am attempting to determine where I want my spiritual path to lead me.  Staying in the moment helps, but sometimes when I have fallen out of the moment and am anticipating the future this idea calms me down.

 

Different teachers for different needs

As we travel our path we encounter different teachers who help us understand a variety of different ideas.  There is no one teacher who can reach everyone.  There are some teachers who are able to reach large audiences, but there will always be a group of people that need the same ideas explained in a different manner.  There is nothing good or bad about this – it’s just the way it is.

 

The main point here is that if a very well known teacher like Eckhart Tolle or Byron Katie does not resonate with you – don’t worry.  These popular teachers have discovered a way to communicate with many people but the fact that you do not understand their message is not because of any deficiency that you might perceive that you have.

 

The reason that there are so many different teachers explaining the same basic ideas in so many different ways is that each interpretation resonates with different people.  Yes – the messages are quite similar.  The difference is that each person is making their explanations in a way that is meaningful to them.  This personal explanation resonates with some people and not with others.

 

When you are ready

Many times we wonder what the next step on our spiritual path will be.  We find a teacher who helps us to make many advancements.  Then we fall out of the moment because we begin to worry that we may lose the teacher.  We want to keep traveling our path.  Sometimes we become afraid that we will lose our way if our teacher goes away.

 

What we need to accept is that any teacher can teach us only so many lessons.  At first we are amazed at how much a new teacher has to offer us.  We learn a lot from that teacher and we make many advancements on our path.

 

What we do not realize is that we may get to the point where another teacher may be more appropriate to our needs.  Another teacher may be able to explain new lessons in a manner that keeps us advancing because we have outgrown our previous teacher.

 

When we are in the moment we realize this and move forward with whichever teacher seems to be the best at that time.  Any good teacher realizes this and always encourages us to go forward in whatever way we can – even if it means we find another teacher.

 

The teacher always appears

So – when we get out of the moment and start to worry about finding a new teacher we have a conversation with ourselves.  We remind ourselves that the more we stay in the moment the easier it is to determine what lessons we need to learn.  The more clearly we understand the lessons we need to learn the easier it is for us to see the teacher that will appear to help us with those lessons.

 

It is a universal axiom – when we are ready for a particular lesson the teacher will always appear.  We just need to be in the moment in order to more easily recognize our new teacher.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

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You can email us directly at:  noahnow@yahoo.com

 

Copyright

© Copyright 2009 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

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We Teach Best What We Need to Learn Most

January 8, 2009

This is another one of those wise sayings that has helped me on my journey.  As with most of these adages, it has taken me a bit of time to understand it.  Today I will share with you some of the understanding that I have taken from this saying.

 

We exist to learn and share

We have stated many times on this site that the reason that we exist is to learn and grow and to share our learning with each other.  Next, we bring into consideration that all of our lessons are chosen by true self.

 

Whether or not we realize it, our lessons during each lifetime are those that true self has decided are the most important for that particular lifetime.  Sometimes we do our learning in a formal setting such as in school.  Most of the time our learning and sharing is achieved simply by living our life.  The learning and sharing becomes a natural part of our life.

 

Don’t we have to know something before we teach it?

Well, it helps to know about something before we teach about it – but we don’t have to know everything about it.  In actuality, we can never know everything about something, so when we teach it we are teaching the part that we know about.

 

Let’s use teaching history as an example.  Can anyone know everything there is to know about history?  No – they can know a lot about history in general, but usually those who are experts on history are specialists in certain areas of history.

 

One may know American history and possess a specialty in the Civil War era.  Will this person be an expert on early railroad history of the 1840’s?  Probably not.  Could they teach about early railroad history of the 1840’s?  Sure – if they studied up on the material.  Would they be an expert on this area?  No – but they could teach others who were just beginning their study of this area.

 

How does this apply to our spiritual learning?

Just like the teacher of history, we are constantly called on to be an example of things that we are still learning our selves.  However, when we teach something that we are just learning we often discover a connection to our special area of interest.  Teaching something new frequently helps us put together pieces that we would not otherwise have found.

 

In our history example, learning about railroads in America in the 1840’s helps with a greater understanding of the economics during the civil war.  It helps to understand that the northern forces had many more railroads than the southern forces.

 

Our spiritual learning is very similar.  We are offered many opportunities to learn new aspects of our spirituality.  We are also offered many opportunities to teach our spirituality.  When we are in the moment we learn that our teaching helps in our learning.  Conversely, our learning also helps in our teaching.

 

What could be more simple – we teach best that which we need to learn most simply because the reason we exist is to learn and share.  Learning and teaching are as natural to our spirituality as breathing is to our body.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

Subscribe

 

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Copyright

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The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

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