Blueness by Jessica Bryan

BLUENESS by Jessica Bryan

Blue she was, but not really blue, more like soft grey – Blue Heron fading into the rocks and fallen trees along the creek edge. Her wings were partly open, and in this pose she appeared heart-shaped except for her long, slender neck and head.

At first, I didn’t understand her openness. She seemed so vulnerable with her chest prominently exposed. But then I realized she was wet and she was using the late afternoon sun to dry herself. Gazing upwards, she looked as though she was praying.

We were transfixed behind our window. We felt as though we were staring into the face of God, infinity, the vast silence of stars in the night sky.

Then she closed herself, and raising first one foot and then the other she began moving through the water between and over the rocks, gliding ever so slowly and gracefully. There was no rush, no intensity, just a delicate balancing.

She seemed to make a decision and rising up from the creek she flapped her enormous wings and flew, looking like some ancient, mythical creature. We stood silently and watched as she disappeared up the river, flying low and sheltered by trees.

The memory of the majestic bird as she flew – her wings glistening with just a slight gloss of water – has stayed with me as a continual reminder to live peacefully in the present with relaxed purpose. It’s all a matter of perspective, and since this experience I’ve decided to take mine from the grace of blueness.

* * *

Jessica Bryan is an author, book editor, and spiritual medium. She lives in Ashland and can be reached by e-mail: editor@mind.net. On the Internet: www.oregoneditor.com.

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Responsibility by Martin Buber

Here is a lovely quote from Martin Buber to reflect upon:

To what should one respond?

To what happens to one, to what is to be seen and heard and felt.

Each concrete hour allotted to the person, with its content drawn

from the world and from destiny, is speech for the man who is

attentive.

Attentive, for no more than that is needed in order to make a

beginning with the reading of the signs that are give to you.

Martin Buber, Austrian Philosopher, Author “Between Man and Man” pg. 16

b. 1878-1965,  also wrote “I and Thou”

Thanks to Jack Altman for submitting this quote.

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Quiet Your Holy Mind

Quiet your Holy Mind

 

Many spiritualties tell us that a quiet mind will bring peace.  Is your mind quiet?  Do you want it quiet?  If so, then why isn’t it?

This is an age old question but the answer is simple:   We can’t have a quiet mind if we are judging people.  Judging others is the ego’s primary goal and it keeps us in separation and guilt. 

But we can have peace when we accept others – everyone – all of them, friends, relatives, the guy who cut you off in traffic. 

We will have peace when we cease the separation and judgment.

How do we stop these judgments?  Look at them and above all – do not judge yourself for making them or the ego has you by the throat. 

When you judge yourself (good or bad) you are making the error (the ego and the body) real.   

When we hang onto the hate, grievance, upset we are keeping it, the ego’s hate ALIVE!  If you haven’t noticed hate is the opposite of quietness.

But we have a purpose in keeping the grievance ALIVE?

When we see the other person, in our dream as separate and split off, we make them scapegoats for the part of our self we do not want to accept or recognize.

We are judging others we do not accept them as Holy.  If you don’t see others as Holy…..you are not Holy.

Judgment is purposive.  It keeps us unholy and bound to guilt and entrenched in the ego. 

If we were holy we would be One with God, with Love and we would be free. 

Our individuality would be zero.  We are afraid of Love.  We keep the ego and our judgments in order to stay in the world and be FAR away from God….away from Love.

We expose the darkness by taking gentle steps.  Look at it and say:

“I see this anger/hate/fear/grievance, but I don’t want it anymore.  It is keeping me away from peace, from Love.

Help me see it differently.  Help me recognize it is a projection, it is not real, this is a dream and a script I chose to experience when I * separated from God.”

Peace is attained by each one of us looking and undoing the hatred in ourselves.  Self-hatred creates guilt and guilt protects us from love. 

Joy is finally recognizing you are FORGIVEN and all GUILT is GONE!

*  We NEVER left God.  We just think we did when we chose the ego.

You are HOLY whether you think you are or not and you are LOVED.

Reference: A Course In Miracles – Chapter 11. God or the Ego, Section III. From Darkness to Light.page 198.

http://www.acim.org    http://www.facim.org;

www.innerpeaceforyou.com

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Learning from Extremes by Ed Hirsch

Learning from Extremes: Pride and Humility by Ed Hirsch

 We might dismiss extremes as having nothing to do with us, but they present life lessons from which we can benefit without having to act them out. After all, they are simply acting out what is potential within all of us. They illuminate what we ourselves act out in less obvious ways.

 

Let’s consider the extreme of the person who wants to end their life. Imagine that they feel they have dishonored this gift of life in a major, unforgivable way. They might compare themselves to a simple flower, which seems such a natural and beautiful expression of life. In contrast, they see what a mess they have made of this life, including the people they have hurt so deeply.

 

First, let us acknowledge the good intention they have. They want to cancel this great error of their lives, in honor of the greater life purpose they have dishonored. Honoring this good intention, we can affirm that this negation of their life is a shadow of a higher order, which is to surrender themselves completely to what is called Higher Power. If they can do this, or if they are fortunate enough to have support to help them do this, then the one who seemed the lowest rises through virtue of humility.

 

Now let’s consider the opposite extreme of the person whose life seems to be exemplary. Through discipline and wisdom, they have followed the right path, have kept their life in balance, and serve the greater good. But let’s suppose, as an extreme example, that this person has fallen to the lure of pride. They have built a great self-image around being exemplary, worthy, superior, and they have come to serve that idol of their own making.

 

Now in whatever way such a person acts this out, perhaps in ways that are well concealed, they know in their own heart that they are betraying the virtues that had inspired their life and from all appearances seem to be the most balanced, falls through pride.

 

Perhaps you can see echoes of one or even both of these extremes in your own life. While this all might seem to be a sermon that could be preached from any pulpit, I want to give it a twist. And that is to live your life beyond self-images altogether, by living from the Heart of Life.

  Ed Hirsch, facilitates a weekly Presence group in Ashland and teaches a courses on Presence at OLLI adult Ed school  Contact him at presenceofone@yahoo.com

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We are Eternal Spirit

We are born into a body, in a particular family of certain circumstances but we seek the answer to the age old question:  Who am I?  We learn (gradually) we are much MORE than a body.  We are NOT who we THINK we are!  Many spiritual paths lead us to our true identity and ultimately HOME!

The Course In Miracles, tells us we are Spirit and little by little we come to understand that YES, that is true.  Our eternal spirit does reside in the body for now.  I have come to learn lessons that my Soul needs to learn.  So whatever lessons come – they are the ones I need to learn.  They are important lessons and once I have learned them I get to go HOME.  I am happy to learn them!

Well……some lessons I may not like  – BUT if I know those lessons will help me – why wouldn’t I want to deal with them.  I am happy to be in a body because it allows me to BE HERE NOW!  We are really caretakers (or not) of our Soul-Spirit and so let us be loving caretakers of this eternal jewel within.

However, as the lessons come, I am helped immensely when I REMEMBER I am in fact SPIRIT.  With that knowledge I can be at peace!  The more I remember, the more peace I will have.  When your body has a problem, which it will, it is a chance to say:  NOPE – NOT ME! My body has a problem but I don’t!  Yes, I will take care of the problem but I always have that inner gentle smile that says “I am an eternal Spirit.”

We take care and “fix” the body and do whatever we can to stay in the world and learn soul lessons that are sure to come.   A elderly friend became sick recently and the sickness was such that she decided NOT to “fix” her body!  That was courageous but I know the time will come when I will make that same decision.  I will know what the right thing to do is when that time comes.  I will leave knowing I did the right thing as the eternal Spirit I am.

Workbook lesson 199. I am not a body. I am free, is a wonderful lesson to explore the feelings of not being the body.  You can go to www.acim.org and click on lessons and then close your eyes and listen quietly to let it sink in.

Remember, you are a decision making Mind!  You have the power to choose!  You have two choices:  Love or Fear.  You can listen to the ego’s fear or listen to the Holy Spirit’s grace and faith. It is that quiet voice inside and it always brings peace!

Isn’t it great to know you have a CHOICE which voice to listen to?  That is why you are not a victim.

www.facim.org – Lesson 199 -

“I am not a body.  I am free. 

I hear the Voice That God has given me, and it is only This my mind obeys.”

God Blesses YOU!

For more information about the five ongoing Rogue Valley study groups of: A Course In Miracles:  innerpeaceforyou@outlook.com

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Peacefulness Now by Jack Altman

Peacefulness Now

Is there peacefulness now?  Is there attention (choiceless, effortless, aimless, unfocused, not knowing, not judging, suffering-addressing, grateful, surrendered attention) – to what is, which includes mental and or physical discomfort?

I do not know.  “Not knowing” allows peacefulness in this moment.  The following words point to Mystery beyond words.

Observing breathing is always available. What else is observed (seen, heard, felt)? What is Mystery revealing?

There is only now.  It can be so simple.  My only choice: pay attention to inattention now – or not.  Awareness of inattention is attention.

Much of the time there is inattention (thinking or dreaming).  Seeing thinking or dreaming momentarily ends thinking or dreaming and allows return to breathing awareness.  The now feels peaceful.  Thinking or dreaming is seen again.  This cycle repeats, and repeats, and repeats.

Sitting quietly allows attention to Mystery without being involved in activity.  It is more difficult to pay attention when involved in activity.   Paying attention while engaged in activity is an ongoing challenge – the never-absent opportunity of loving (enabling) what is.  When this challenge is met, there is peacefulness.

I have more faith in responding from this peaceful space than responding from thinking, analytical, logical mind. Seeing what is, by opening, surrendering to Mystery, which can be done by returning to breathing awareness.

 Jack Altman lives in Ashland

 

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Learning from Extremes

Learning from Extremes: Pride and Humility 

by  Ed Hirsch

We might dismiss extremes as having nothing to do with us, but they present life lessons from which we can benefit without having to act them out. After all, they are simply acting out what is potential within all of us. They illuminate what we ourselves act out in less obvious ways.

 Let’s consider the extreme of the person who wants to end their life. Imagine that they feel they have dishonored this gift of life in a major, unforgivable way. They might compare themselves to a simple flower, which seems such a natural and beautiful expression of life. In contrast, they see what a mess they have made of this life, including the people they have hurt so deeply.

 First, let us acknowledge the good intention they have. They want to cancel this great error of their lives, in honor of the greater life purpose they have dishonored. Honoring this good intention, we can affirm that this negation of their life is a shadow of a higher order, which is to surrender themselves completely to what is called Higher Power. If they can do this, or if they are fortunate enough to have support to help them do this, then the one who seemed the lowest rises through virtue of humility.

 Now let’s consider the opposite extreme of the person whose life seems to be exemplary. Through discipline and wisdom, they have followed the right path, have kept their life in balance, and serve the greater good. But let’s suppose, as an extreme example, that this person has fallen to the lure of pride. They have built a great self-image around being exemplary, worthy, superior, and they have come to serve that idol of their own making.

 Now in whatever way such a person acts this out, perhaps in ways that are well concealed, they know in their own heart that they are betraying the virtues that had inspired their life and from all appearances seem to be the most balanced, falls through pride.

 Perhaps you can see echoes of one or even both of these extremes in your own life. While this all might seem to be a sermon that could be preached from any pulpit, I want to give it a twist. And that is to live your life beyond self-images altogether, by living from the Heart of Life.

 Ed Hirsch, facilitates a weekly Presence group in Ashland and teaches a courses on Presence at OLLI adult Ed school  Contact him at presenceofone@yahoo.com

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Only Now Exists

The now moment is the only time that exists.

by John Smallman

I found the above very interesting.  John Smallman is a non-dual spiritual teacher.

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That Elusive Peace and Joy

The Elusiveness of Peace and Joy!

Do you want peace and joy?  Of course you do.  As least you think you do until you have a judgment or an upset that you won’t let go of.   You are sure something was done to you and you are certain you are right and the offending party should go “jump off a cliff” or something like that!   OK – maybe you are right but do you want peace and joy?  You can’t have it if you want someone to jump off a cliff.  You are holding onto the upset and so you are the one that now suffers.

I know someone who is holding onto a grievance.  He was actually attacked, pushed up against a fence and would have been hit if someone had not interfered.  Why did the perpetrator assault him?  He had responded to being insulted with  with his own insult and that angered the attacker who became violent.  Who started it?  It doesn’t matter.  What matters is how we now find the peace that eluded us the first moment we reacted.

Now there is conflict how can we find our way back to peace we want.  We can’t find peace by remembering and replaying the event because we are stuck in the story.  We are sure we are in the right.  But are you happy being in the right?  Would you rather be right or happy?  Now when we see or think of the conflict we are unhappy.  Ask yourself: Do I want peace and joy?

If the answer is YES for peace and joy then decide to STOP (just for a moment – and take a breath) and choose another way to look at this.  Say:  “OK – I’ll look at this another way for the sake of my own peace.”

Realize that it is YOU who are denying this offender peace and joy that is his right under the equal laws of God.  AND, in so doing you have denied them to yourself.  But if you offer peace and joy to the offender then you can claim them as your own.  For example, think of this person a little while and tell him in your mind:

My brother peace and joy I offer you,

That I may have God’s peace and joy as mine.”

We don’t think that just because we have denied peace and joy to someone else that in so doing we are in effect really denying them to our self.  When you hold hate or a grudge in your mind, you are the one HOLDING the hate and the grudge in yourself.  You are the sufferer.  Do you think your brother is suffering?  We don’t know but we do know you are.  You have the power to be in misery or in peace.  What are you holding in your mind and thoughts?  You can save yourself – do it!

Sally McKirgan, facilitates the Ashland Daily Tidings Inner Peace Column and a study group for A Course In Miracles in Ashland.  www.innerpeaceforyou.com   e-mail: innerpeaceforyou@outlook.com

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WHY DO WE DISAGREE?

I wanted to share this link because Professor George Lakoff explains
why we disagree and how we can learn to find common ground to
become more agreeable!
It is 27 minutes  interview with Tavis Smiley of PBS
 Professor of Cognitive Science, George Lakoff, UC Berkeley:

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