Thursday, May 26, 2016

Pray Continually, Give Thanks Always, Be Joyful!

Ātmā (Universal Consciousness) is the ruler of the entire universe pervading all the beings. Since Atma's constitution is ‘SAT(Existence)– CHIT(Consciousness)–ĀNANDA’ (Bliss/Joy), the motivating force of all beings is the urge to exist, to know and express and also to derive joy. Due to the veil of ignorance put up by Guṇa(s) of Prakṛti (desire and attachment to material nature), beings do not recognize the Ātmā within (Gīta 7.13). They see themselves as mere physical beings and strive to ensure existence, expression and joy for their physical entity.

The finest point of the knowledge one gains is the realization that one has no existence without the existence of the whole and therefore he has to strive primarily for the existence, expression and joy of the whole. This is what is called Dharma; the meaning of Dharma is ‘that which ensures existence (of the universe collectively)’ or in other words, that which conforms to the principle of SAT–CHIT–ĀNANDA.

The ultimate aim of beings is to merge with this principle, that is, Ātmā, shedding all the physical bondage, because the trinity of Existence-Consciousness-Bliss is the driving force in all beings and we invariably see in them a desire for perpetual existence, unbridled expression and eternal bliss. This is within every one of us all the time; but we don’t recognize it since we are oriented outwardly due to improper knowledge level (Gīta 7.27).

Freud’s ‘Ego’ is a product of the efforts to uphold ‘Dharma’; ‘Id’ indicates total absence of knowledge except the basic urge to exist which acts involuntarily for obtaining what is necessary to satisfy that urge. His ‘Super Ego’ is the eternal principle of ‘Dharma’ which acts in every person as a reflection of Ātmā.

 S. Karthikeyan @ India Divine Excellent full article!

Below is my favorite scripture. I have always felt that it sums up my participation in Life through Christ, who is my enlightened thought and Jesus, whose hands and feet of flesh I wear. I see these tasks more circular than linear, like Life, itself. When we open our consciousness to Divine grace, trusting that "all will be well," when we cultivate our being in this existence as prayer, receptive to many possibilities and attached to none, joy becomes the beautiful byproduct and also the impetus to remain in a prayerful existence of thanksgiving.

Rejoice always (be ananda/joy/wonder/awe), pray continually (make contemplative practice [mindfulness] your sat/existence), give thanks (remain in a receptive, open, nonjudgmental state of chit/consciousness) in all circumstances; for this is God’s (Atma) will for you in Christ Jesus (the possibility within you).

~1 Thess 5:16-18

Follow your bliss with an open heart and no "should bes!"

_/\_Peggy @ Ecumenicus
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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Welcome the R.A.I.N.

~Bringing the fruits of contemplative practice (mindfulness meditation/prayer) to our busy day.

Taking these four steps in a moment of annoyance, anxiety or fear will help release the body from autonomic (flight, fright, freeze) systems that generate the negative feelings and a reactive mind. [This is really an abbreviated, in the moment, version of your sitting practice. In Christianity, Welcoming prayer achieves the same outcome.]

R.A.I.N. is an acronym developed by Michelle McDonald, a senior mindfulness teacher, to summarize a powerful way to expand self-awareness and bring the self to presence in the moment.

R = Recognize: Notice that you are experiencing something, such as irritation at the tone of voice used by your partner, child, or co-worker. Step back into observation rather than reaction. Without getting into story, simply name what is present, such as “annoyance,” “thoughts of being mistreated,” “body firing up,” “hurt,” “wanting to cry.”

A = Accept (Allow): Acknowledge that your experience is what it is, even if it’s unpleasant. Be with it without attempting to change it. Try to have self-compassion instead of self-criticism. Don’t add to the difficulty by being hard on yourself.

I = Investigate (Inquire): Try to find an attitude of interest, curiosity, and openness. Not detached intellectual analysis but a gently engaged exploration, often with a sense of tenderness or friendliness toward what it finds. Open to other aspects of the experience, such as softer feelings of hurt under the brittle armor of anger. It’s OK for your inquiry to be guided by a bit of insight into your own history and personality, but try to stay close to the raw experience and out of psychoanalyzing yourself.

N = Not-identify (Not-self): Have a feeling/thought/etc., instead of being it. Disentangle yourself from the various parts of the experience, knowing that they are small, fleeting aspects of the totality you are. See the streaming nature of sights, sounds, thoughts, and other contents of mind, arising and passing away due mainly to causes that have nothing to do with you, that are impersonal. Feel the contraction, stress, and pain that comes from claiming any part of this stream as “I,” or “me,” or “mine” – and sense the spaciousness and peace that comes when experiences simply flow.

~RAIN explanation by Rick Hanson, PhD

If you like a more explicitly spiritual context for your practice, below is the Welcoming Prayer method as described by Contemplative Outreach, the premier organization for the fostering of transformation in Christ through the practice of Centering Prayer.

The Welcoming Prayer Method

Focus, feel and sink into what you are experiencing this moment in your body.

“Welcome” what you are experiencing this moment in your body as an opportunity to consent to the Divine Indwelling.

Let go by repeating the following sentences: “I let go of the desire for security, affection, control.” “I let go of the desire to change what I am experiencing.

With a prayer, a pause of peace and serenity, for you,
_/\_Peggy @ ECUMENICUS