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The Answer is Not in Our Mind

The biggest assumption I made in my life was when I expected life would be like I wanted with people like I wanted and things like I wanted and trips like I wanted and anything else like I wanted. What a huge wake-up call life offers. I heard the other day children born over the last 20 years to today come in to this life fierce. They arrive wise into this changing world. They don’t have time to languish through the learning as I did through the 50’s and 60’s. life is happening faster now. They come in running with the train as they hop on into their existence.

I can’t make the assumption if children suffer than they are in the wrong place at the wrong time. They come in with a purpose greater than I can imagine. My daughter lived 32 years on this earth struggling with liver disease and yet I believe she made the choice to arrive with this huge disability. She made this choice in her life plan somewhere before she took presence in her human body to struggle so she could learn about compassion and experience the true meaning of conviction, commitment and love. I allow myself the luxury of believing her life was on a trajectory created by her to fulfill the lessons she needed to make her more whole as a being of light. I can’t assume her life was wasted because she suffered and cried and struggled. There’s more going on than my human mind can figure out. My struggle to accept and reason and hunt for cures is part of my life journey in acceptance for that which I can’t control.

I lived under the great illusion that life on earth as a human is all there is. I was death phobic. That death is the end – another illusion in this life. The worst fate imaginable to me was death. I feared death for me and I feared it for those I loved. I used to believe God is outside of me and my goal is to hunt for God and be worthy to deserve a love if I earn it. I believed every bad deed I have done deserved punishment for my unworthiness and would be meted out by a judging figure up in heaven. As I love myself, I realize I am creating the beliefs based on my fears.

My illusions are transmuting into inner truths as I walk my journey and listen to my heart. I answer to my heart wherein lies my source. Change is happening at a much faster rate. Children are wiser and more knowing. They have opinions on the environment and kindness and what’s good and what they want to do. It’s important to listen. As an adult I am still the student discovering there’s more to this world than I can see or know or have experienced.

Suffering is painful to witness no matter who the sufferer is. Its purposes is to break open the heart and feel. Break open the binds that hold the love we have inside as we hold onto fear that we will lose it forever. Love is our nature.

Our job is to see through the illusions and walk our own path and follow the gentle kindness we bestow on ourselves. Our job is to feed ourselves a food that grows and nurtures and permeates us so we can feel strong enough to open our hearts. This is our time to rise through our illusions.

The Universe so wisely created this incredible experience to carry us through a great change, opening our eyes and our hearts that we are all one, in this together, transmuting together. Awareness helps us stay on our path. Truth is our sword to slash through the illusions that pop up as fear pulls us off our path. We have free choice. We have strong wills. We know what love feels like. These are our allies. We always can get back on the path and continue forging ahead knowing fear will rise again and this time we are ready.

Crisis is the resistance to change. Change is the nature of our existence. Thought, embodied in the me, is static because it can only approximate life. Change, which is movement is dynamic and is a threat to the dominance of thought. Change contradicts thought and its center, the me.” Doing Nothing by Steven Harrison

Bapuji on Struggle

Edited excerpts from Bapuji’s 1979 Birthday Discourse on “Life and Struggle”

Struggle is the life of everyone. Some describe it as a horrible demon but it is actually an angel and the well-wisher of everyone.

Struggle guides everyone’s life. It leads human beings from untruth to truth, from ignorance to knowledge, from darkness to light, and from death to immortality.

Struggle is a very skillful sculptor. It transforms an ordinary human being into a deva who is respected by the world; it shapes the life of every great master of the world into a unique and unparalleled work of art.

Food will not digest without proper exercise. Likewise, life will not develop properly without struggle.

When happiness is experienced at the end of unhappiness, its sweetness is indescribable.

When an individual has triumphed over his struggle and looks at his attainment, he then understands the true nature of struggle. Afterwards he no longer believes it is his enemy; he looks upon it as a kinsman or loved one.”

Participants’ Reflections:

  • Donna Eden is a healer for over 40 years. She’s able to see energy. She has multiple videos on line for free about energy work, like thumping the thymus that boosts the immune system. Another one is a 5-minute energy routine to boost the body’s functioning, a great way to start the day. She offers free resources to enhance the body to function at its highest good.

  • Being human is tough, and trying to transcend that and let go, especially when I’m in pain, is doubly hard. I started physical therapy for my arm and I’m in constant pain. I’d like to not think about the pain. I want to think about my transcendent self and connect to the world. It’s hard to do that. You show us a way to do that. And this phrase, “crisis is the resistance to change.” I’ve been doing a lot of activism because I do want change in November for the good, and I’m terrified that things will change in the wrong way in my mind. It’s a good reminder that this is all just part of the process. If we look at it as crisis, we are in resistance. It’s much better to live in acceptance. It doesn’t mean being a doormat, but it means accepting what’s happening, accepting reality and working for the good. Just as bad can exist, so can good exist. With more people on the side of good, I think we can make this a good world.

  • Thank you so much. I’ve been in recovery from alcoholism since ’88, and I had a sponsor years ago, she used to say to me ‘I think you measure everybody by your yardstick.’ What does she mean by that? I wondered. It’s exactly what you said. I should act this way. This should be this way. It’s the world according to me in how I think it should be. That creates a lot of chaos, confusion and crisis for me. It’s been a process of acceptance, speaking up, letting go, trusting -- all those things. It’s not easy. I heard in the recovery program: You can’t think your way into right action. You have to act your way into right thinking. I used to think if I just read this book or if I just think this way, I’ll get what I want. It’s more a process of walking through it and letting go and trusting and being open, and feeling the pain which is why I numbed myself for so many years.

  • We need our minds. We need our minds so the mind and the heart work together.

  • When I was in college, my friends would tease me that I had my own rules and my rules applied to everybody. This person should be doing this. That person should be doing that, and that person shouldn’t be doing that. I’m still doing it. I don’t know how to let it go. My rules continue to be my filter. I don’t know how to see the world without this filter.

  • Awareness is the biggest part of it. Having awareness and holding that awareness with you, keeping your eyes on the yardstick, having awareness is a huge thing. Training your mind with awareness. That is the biggest step. As you become more aware of it, things change. But if you choose to ignore it again, it’s easy to go back into the usual filter. Awareness sounds very passive. It’s not taking action. Having a plan with a checklist and thinking out a plan step by step does not change the filter. Awareness is a huge resource. That’s why I use affirmations because affirmations remind me of my awareness. Keeping awareness in the forefront allows me to retrain my mind.

  • When you speak of your daughter, it resonates so much with my heart. In some ways it’s parallel with my late spouse’s journey with cancer and passing. What helps me with this awareness, 100% of the time there’s a bigger picture I can’t see. It’s like Johari’s Window. There are four panes: things I know and you know; things I know and you don’t know; things you know and I don’t know; and things neither of us know. There was a greater purpose to my spouse’s life than just his life. To reconcile that in our minds in the midst of suffering is very challenging. Sometimes the only way I can learn to live with the struggle and pain is to find or create something positive growing out of it. In my spouse’s case, the cancer centers we dealt with, both the palliative care and hospice programs made radical changes that will impact now thousands of people. There’s a bigger picture sometimes we can’t see.

  • When we try to figure out why we suffer, we’re doing it with our minds. I’ve done this for years trying to figure out why my daughter was born so ill. My mind was seeking the answer and my heart was closed. I couldn’t open it because it was broken. It took years for my heart to open. It is a journey and it’s painful and hard, and the effort gives me a peace I’ve been searching for.

  • Thank you all for sitting with any discomfort you may have, for believing in the power of silence, and believing in yourself enough to stay with yourself. I wish you all a wonderful day.

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