Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Beyond Mediocrity

Today, it's not odd for most of us to accept mediocrity instead of greatness. We do this all the time, because we believe it's our only option. Far too many of us have embodied mediocre lifestyles as acceptable ways to express our potential. And, unfortunately, this type of thinking is very prevalent among victims.  We believe it's not only acceptable but desirable. So we carve out images of success within the parameters of mediocre lifestyles. 

To embody mediocrity as a goal in life is difficult for most people to comprehend, much less accept. Yet when we think about it this type of thinking is what defines victims. As we know, as victims we strive to accomplish the small things in life that define mediocrity.  And by lowering our standards to satisfy our thirst for victim beliefs, we remain in perpetual states of powerlessness.

When we live with victim beliefs long enough, at some point in our lives, most of us begin to compare ourselves to others who are doing greater things. It is during this period of introspection that we begin to think about ourselves from the prism of "who am I?" By the time we reach this point in our lives, we are totally overwhelmed by pain and confusion. Whenever we are overcome with great difficulties, especially seemingly insoluble problems, we find it difficult to accept we are actually the person that's  experiencing the confusion and pain. This surreal, empty feeling of pain and suffering that's devoid of reality is who we are .

As victims on spiritual enlightenment journeys, it seems natural for us to live with confusion and pain in our lives. We have learned how to exist in cesspools of confusion and pain. Each time we act as victims the cesspool grows larger with new adherents fighting to free themselves. The more victims we encounter the more we believe they're responsible for our not being able to free us from the cesspool of confusion and pain. Unbeknown to us, we are the ones responsible for the confusion and pain we find ourselves suffocating in.

Many of us who victimize ourselves, seldom, if ever, believe we are responsible for accepting victim lifestyles. We search everywhere for someone to blame for the confusion and pain we feel now. We become angry with those who appear to have that which we desire.  Our anger grows each time we come in contact with someone who's doing better in life than we are. We believe they -- business mangers, presidents, vice-presidents, athletes, entertainers, and so forth -- have the success we only dream about.  We sadly believe we can't do any better than what we are doing now.

Similarly, many of us believe potentiality and mediocrity are congruent.  And to a certain degree that's probably valid for those who think of themselves as victims. We are expressing our potential in mediocrity. Regardless to our status in life, we do this all the time without ever examining the way we feel about what we are doing.  In many instances, we are willing to accept whatever careers we can get, even if it means destroying ourselves. We believe that expressing our true potential is not as important as accepting societal limitations on our power.

Meanwhile, as enlightenment-seekers, we believe mediocrity is an albatross around our necks. We are working to express our limitless power, which exists only outside the consciousness of victim-thinking individuals. Look for us in the limitless space of the universe; that's where you will find us.

You can read more insightful ideas in my book "Seeds from the Ashes" available on http://www.amazon.com/     You can now also join me on Facebook.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Search for Security

Most of us want to live as long as we can. We like it here on this planet; the place we call home. We have build ourselves quite a kingdom here and we are reluctant to let go of it. So, without giving much thought to why we're here, we, nevertheless, seek and try all kinds of things in vain attempts to delay our inevitable departures.

Since this planet is the only home we have ever known, we want to control it similar to the way we control our other possessions. For some of us, a permanent place to stay is what life's all about.  Who wants to leave and go to another place,  unless we believe it's much better than where we are now? It's like buying a larger home in a more affluent neighborhood.

Most of us find it difficult to believe our joy for living is ever fulfilled unless we have some stability in our lives.  This type of thinking causes us to believe it's better to live in a place we own rather than one we rent. We don't find our lives very rewarding or fulfilling unless we own something.  And by owning things, we can stay where we are without having to move unexpectedly. Unfortunately, it's this type of behavior that drives us crazy with worry.

We worry about holding on to things. We work valiantly and earnestly to create lifestyles that provide us with the greatest sense of security. To achieve these lifestyles, we're willing to sell our  precious life-hours for money and its ancillary rewards. Many of us believe that with enough money, we can prolong our time here or, at least, make it more enjoyable.

Many of us believe money is more valuable than time; the most valuable commodity given to us. It is the source of security we all crave. We believe it will make us feel secure and create a sense of permanence in our lives. This will allow us to covet illusions of power, courage, wealth, and happiness.  Even though, we know from others that what we are experiencing is only temporary.

Nevertheless, with knowledge aforethought, we continue to sell our life-hours in exchange for money and promises of security and happiness. We do so knowingly by victimizing ourselves. From the prism of our victim beliefs, we perceive the world as rotating around financial, emotional, psychological, and egotistical comforts. The things we believe create the greatest form of security for us.

Meanwhile, even as we pursue our quest for security, we continue to get wake-up calls nudging us to stop and do something different.  We feel, perhaps innately, there's something not quite right about chasing after things. Yet, even with our doubts, we continue to pursue the things we believe will provide us with the greatest security. In other words, while we know that money, houses, careers, fame, and so on cannot provide us with the security we seek, this does not deter us in our pursuits for them. 

As victims, the things we desire seem so real to us. From our perspectives we don't actually believe they're only temporary interludes in our lives. To us, they have a reality and value greater than anything we have ever known.  These qualities are what make us desire to live in world where we have very little control over our existence.  And, without control over our existence, we don't find life enjoyable. 

To illustrate our dependency on things for our existence, whenever we  lose our money, homes, jobs, or close relatives and friends, we are plunged into deep depression and grief over our losses. And regardless to how much spiritual guidance or inspiration we receive, we cannot move forward without coming to grips with our losses. While we attempt to rationalize our independence from the things causing us to suffer, we, nonetheless, remain victimized by our beliefs.
Similarly, it is during this rationalization process that we finally realize we are greater than the things we seek. It is this realization that opens the door to a new awareness of ourselves possessing the power to know we are secure and complete with who we are now.  It is not outside of us in the things, because it's already present in us.

When we understand ourselves, we understand the nature of our existence in this world.  We clearly know we are temporary caretakers of a valuable piece of property, Earth, which is where express who we are. And as caretakers, we must remain mindful of our responsibilities to express enlightenment. This requires us to overcome the victim beliefs causing us great suffering.

It is mindfulness of who we really are that frees us from illusions of security. This illumines our thoughts to understand we are not here to devalue our existence. We are here express enlightenment. And by doing this, we cultivate consciousnesses free from victim beliefs.  This is the security we seek.

The book "Seeds from the Ashes" is available now on http://www.amazon.com/  It's an excellent resource for those who are working on ourselves.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Habitual Behavior

There are few, if any of us, who focus on our habits as we go about our daily activities. Most of us are preoccupied with making decisions rather than understanding the tools we are using to make them. We rely so heavily on our decision-making modalities that everything else in our lives is secondary.

For most victims, we prioritize making decisions as our top priority. Perhaps we think this way, because so many successful people have told us to. According to them, only successful people are able to make the necessary decisions to get what they want. And since most of us are perceived by society to be unsuccessful, we believe we are this way because of our inabilities to make decisions.

Nevertheless, some of us find it difficult  making decisions, especially those requiring courage, mindfulness, compassion, and so forth. We find it easier seeking refuge in our dithering. And yet, unbeknown to us, it's our dithering with making tough decisions that's inextricably tying us to victim beliefs. By our embracing behavioral habits that are producing intense pain and unrelenting emotional suffering, we are creating the foundation for victim beliefs.

Similarly, when our pain becomes overwhelming, this is when we are ready to listen, and promise to do whatever is necessary to change our lives. Unfortunately, this promissory commitment is not backed by a legal tender belief system sufficient enough to subsidize the work that must be done to change our behavior. It is nothing more than reflex responses to temporary pain.

The problems we face in changing our beliefs are enormous. Whenever we seek to change, some of us begin by becoming too enthralled with the decision-making process. And in many cases, this reaction is driven by victim beliefs, which causes us to perceive change from the prism of powerlessness. So the changes we desire to make are tainted with blurred visions of what life is without dysfunctional behavior.

Nevertheless, when we do decide to take action, we feel the fire of anxiety burning in us. We want to do something now, not later. And depending on how messed-up we are at the time, we seek out any person, information, or beliefs that will help us move beyond the pain. Regardless to what we acquire from this search, we inevitably return to our visions of empowerment. Unless we have clear visions, we risk becoming victimized by the ritualized process we use to search for enlightenment in people, places, and things.

For some of us, the search process becomes greater than the goal.  We're so happy to be meditating, praying, and eating healthy meals that we forget why we are doing this in the first place. It is not the process we use, it is our commitments to clearing our minds of victim beliefs that's paramount to our achieving enlightenment.

When we become more concerned with processes than enlightenment itself, we traveling in circles of pain and suffering. And instead of removing victim beliefs, we are creating new ones. In other words, our new beliefs are merely extensions of the old ones expressing themselves in symbiotic illusions of freedom. Even though we believe we are doing something different, we are simply repositioning victim beliefs. It's similar to our redecorating a room in our house with the same furniture. Nothing has changed, except we now believe the furniture looks better.

Meanwhile, as we try to reshape our habits, we begin to realize the magnitude of the work we must do to clear our minds of victim beliefs.  For some of us, this is the moment we begin to use victim tainted visions to prioritize our habits. While there's nothing right or wrong about this process, it is dangerous for those who are unclear about their long-term to achieving enlightenment.

For some unknown reason, victims believe we know exactly, without doing any investigation at all into the causes, the specific habits responsible for us believing we are victims in the first place. We believe our new process, which was born from victim consciousness, clearly reveals to us that we need to stop procrastinating, overeating, drinking too much, complaining, and so forth to achieve enlightenment.

For us to change victim behavior, we must understand how we became victims in the first place. We begin this by understanding there's something in our decision-making process that causes us to think and act as victims. This self-discovery epiphany allows us perceive our habits as friends, not enemies. We are now able to see them present in all our activities and truly understand this is who we are without victim interpretations.

Similarly, without truly understanding the origins of our habits, and the circumstances from which they were created, we are spinning our wheels in a game of intellectual gymnastics. In other words, we are playing mind games with ourselves. And to stop playing mind games, we must do the action to clear away the debris causing us to think of ourselves as victims.

In the meantime, we must appreciate the work we are doing to clear our minds. And when  we gain a little light, this moves us closer to our goal of having clear minds. Then we will know how it feels to act with compassion, courage, peace, love, and freedom.

The book "Seeds from the Ashes" is an inspirational tool for those who seek to change the way they think and live. It is available online at http://www.amazon.com/ It is a good holiday give for someone you know who is in prison, unemployed, ill, depressed, or lonely. n

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Space Beyond the Doubts

There are some days when we feel powerless in spite of the work we are doing to change our lives. These are the days when we think about stopping or changing directions.

For some of us, we choose to sit with the feelings of powerlessness to help us gain a greater understanding of what's happening in our lives. And by doing this, we will achieve the clarity to perceive our lives existing without confusion and conflict.

When we have clarity, we perceive purposefulness with mindful attitude, especially in pursuit of our goal to achieve enlightenment. This frees us to think and live life more abundantly. Nevertheless, for some of us, whenever we believe we are free, we seem to discover new, more innovative ways to imprison ourselves again.

To become imprisoned by our thoughts is live in a cesspool of doubts. This is a petri dish for victim consciousness. With each action we take, we create more and more doubts. After awhile, our doubts become the prison we are seeking to escape from.

When we are working to escape by freeing ourselves from our doubts, we begin by imagining what freedom looks and feels like. This allows us to create images of ourselves existing without doubts. These mind games become puzzles with hundreds of disconnected pieces of doubt floating aimlessly in our minds.

For some of us, we become overwhelmed by the number of pieces missing from the image we have created of our freedom. The images manifesting themselves as space, money, power, fame, health, and so on, are what victims believe represent freedom. We give these things form and life while encapsulating ourselves in prisons of doubt.

From a victim's perspective, doubts are very powerful judgements about who we are and the world we live in. They exists because we exist. They are powerful because we are powerless. They demean us because we demean ourselves. They enslave us with victim beliefs and we believe we are slaves to our thoughts. They weaken our resolve to change the way we think and live. And, most importantly, they destroy our will to live with happiness.

To overcome our doubts require us to become aware of who we are and the power we have to change how we think and live. If we believe we are in a prison cell, enclosed by bars of doubts, then we have to do a considerable amount of work to change how we're perceiving the power we have to solve our own problems.

On the other hand, whether we like it or not, we are whoever we believe we are. If we believe we are free to express thoughts and beliefs that empower us to change how we think and live, then we are much closer to gaining the necessary clarity we need to achieve our goal of enlightenment.

Meanwhile, for us to grow and achieve the freedom of true enlightenment, we must first gain clarity about how to use the power we have now. Some of us misuse our powers by constantly believing we are victims while denying ourselves to be empowered. Unfortunately, our doubts cloud our vision of empowerment. This causes our power to overcome to wilt, to become weak and become an albatross destroying our will to change how we think and live.

Similarly, our power to overcome must be greater than the power we use to imprison ourselves with doubts. To access this power, we must still the mind to gain the necessary clarity to perceive the space or gap existing between our problems and our desires for freedom. This the space where we find the clarity to understand how pain and suffering exists. And it is where we learn how to think without burdening ourselves with self-imposed doubts.

For us to reach the level of space we must first believe in its existence. That is, that there's an existence of consciousness between the problem (pain and suffering) and the solution (freedom). And in this consciousness, we clearly understand that freedom can only be achieved by action. It's our actions that connect us to our beliefs. Moreover, it's our actions that guide us to the space or gap between thinking like victims or acting like we are empowered.

The power to change is within the clarity we seek. It is present in the space beyond the problems, near the solutions.

We can get further insights from: "Seeds from the Ashes" and "Let There Be Life" available on http://www.amazon.com/ and bookstores.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Working Without Attachments

Today, with rising unemployment rates, it's probably difficult to find anyone who's willing to work for free. Most job-seekers are driven by the need for money. They need money to pay for the necessities of life such as, clothes, food, shelter, entertainment, and so forth. These are the things that motivate us to sell our life hours for money.

There are some people who believe they are willing to work for free, because of their commitment to enlightenment. For those of us who believe this way, we are thought by others to be a little kooky. And, perhaps, rightfully so.

Some of us are painfully misguided by our concept of enlightenment and what it means for us to exist with others in the world. When we take the time to think about it, working for free or working for a higher awareness seems painfully naive for those providing for their families. Yet, if we look a little closer at what enlightenment means, we are able to see that naivete is based on our beliefs.

By working to achieve enlightenment, we must also change the criteria we are using to evaluate our lives. This requires us to go beyond the comparisons and evolve to another awareness about power and success. At this level of awareness, we use a criteria that clearly delineates the utilitarian value of enlightenment in our personal lives.

To work free is analogous to working without expecting or attaching ourselves to the results. We are working for the sake of working. This type of working is different from just working in a mindless sense. Now it's connected to working with an enlightened consciousness.

As enlightenment-seekers, we just work. In some cases, our work is more theoretical than we desire it to be. Sometimes we forget what we are doing because we become unclear about the meaning of enlightenment. Enlightenment becomes abstract, intangible, imaginary, and far away. It exists in another place like we think about Heaven and Hell.

For those of us working on achieving enlightenment, we struggle at times to make sense of what this actually means. A few of us, overcome with enlightenment fervor, believe it means just what it says: a fully awaken person. So we will ourselves to believe when we are writing, conducting workshops, public speaking, meditating and praying, we have no expectations about the outcome of our work. We are just working.

Nevertheless, like it or not, we are working with expected results. To illustrate this perspective, let's use the example of preparing for an empowerment workshop.

To prepare for the workshop we must do the marketing, including various types of advertisement, rent the facility, develop workshop handouts, and so on. We do this because we want to get people to attend our workshop. This means we are attached to the results of the workshop. In other words, we are not just working. We are working to have a successful workshop.

Meanwhile, to understand the concept of "just working," we must go to another level of awareness; the awareness found only in intuitive consciousness. At the intuitive consciousness level our awareness of life beyond words and deeds becomes clearer. Now we're able to clearly understand how to work without expecting or trying to control the results from our actions.

For most of us, if not all of us, intuitive consciousness is something we talk about, but know very little about. While we believe it exits, we cannot prove it the way we prove the validity of mathematical equations. In other words, it's epistemological unprovable, especially in a manner we can accept. So, in the main, we are left with our beliefs about the existence of something, intuitive consciousness, which is similar to our beliefs about the existence of Heaven and Hell.

Meanwhile, where do we get the beliefs that intuitive consciousness, heaven and hell exist in the first place? Yet we work everyday to achieve entry into or escape from these places.

Similarly, to discover intuitive consciousness, we must be prepared to do things that will clear our minds to become aware of things we previously believed didn't exist. This requires us to search deep within our beliefs to find the clarity to free ourselves to travel to unknown levels of awareness. There, deep within the bowels of our unconditioned thoughts, we will discover the existence of intuitive consciousness.

In intuitive consciousness we are fully awake. We clearly perceive life beyond suffering, aging, and dying. We are no longer using a victim criteria to interpret our actions. We see life beyond the arbitrary benchmarks we use to evaluate our progress during the different societal epochs of the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and so forth.

For now, let's acknowledge we are attached to controlling the results from our work. And we continue to do this because this is our level of awareness now. This acknowledgement provides us with the opportunity to search for enlightenment, without clearly knowing exactly what enlightenment means.

Now our work is devoted specifically to the search for a different awareness than the one we are currently using to define who we are.

For additional information on enlightenment, please read "Seeds from the Ashes" on http://www.amazon.com/

Monday, November 9, 2009

Participating in Life

Today, with rising unemployment, out-of-control deficits and growing personal debts, there's a deep feeling of anger and rage overwhelming many of us. It's difficult for us to understand why we feel this way, because it seems like nearly everyone is feeling this way. Even so, we don't like how we're feeling.

Whenever we have too many problems, we tend to have these nagging, empty feelings of doubt gnawing away at us. Some of us frequently seek ways to handle our problems without complaining too much about them. It seems easier to keep them to ourselves. So we quietly close the doors to our emotions and allow the suffering to exist painfully within the silence of our minds.

Similarly, as we suffer with our deep emotional pain, we desperately want someone, other than us, to accept responsibility for causing us to feel so badly. This pattern of behavior -- seeking to place responsibility for our problems on others -- keeps us inextricably tied to victim beliefs. And whenever we don't know exactly what's bothering us, we find that it's easy to blame others -- society, leaders, employers, spouses, relatives, and so on -- for the way we are feeling about ourselves.

The phenomenon of emotional overwhelming is the essence of why we feel powerless to confront our problems. To feel powerless is to feel overwhelmed by out-of-control emotions. And none of this happens without problems. Our problems dictate how we response to things.

Deep within our emotional pain and suffering is an awareness of who we are in any given moment in time. And regardless to what we tell others, we cannot change who we are. The more we try to control the anger and rage, the more we suffer in silence, and the more anger and rage we feel.

To feel your emotions as they really are means acting on them. To do this requires a strong desire to change our belief system. This also means we must make a serious commitment to stop suffering from the pain caused by our willingness to face our problems and emotions.

When we decide to change and begin our search to achieve enlightenment, we become mindful of our behavior and the thoughts producing this behavior. This allows us to move beyond intellectual skepticism to intuitive exploration. This is when we begin to feel and accept our pain.

To feel something is to know it. The closer we get to it the more we're willing to examine what's there before us. In other words, we're no longer afraid of our emotions.

Nevertheless, try as we do to ignore our feelings, we return to what we are most comfortable with: blaming others for our problems. After awhile, we believe this is the way life is supposed to be. By blaming others, we absolve ourselves. We do this by not becoming actively engaged in our lives and relationships with others in the world. We lose ourselves in emotional apathy.

For some of us, sitting on the sidelines of life is a comfortable place to be. We can observe what's happening as spectators. From this position, we are able to criticize the activities of others while we sit idly by perpetuating a culture of silence and disassociation from life.

In the meantime, we don't plan to do anything about the problems and issues others are passionately fighting for. Although we might feel very strongly about some the problems and issues others are fighting for, we don't want to risk further pain by becoming involved ourselves. So we continue to suffer in silence, fearful of our emotions and their overwhelming affect on us.

Some of us want to do something, but we don't want to upset others, particularly our parents, friends, children, and loved ones. WE find it satisfying to remain victimized by our feelings than risk losing or changing our relationships with those we respect and love. So we silently trod along through life, suffering from the cancerous emotions destroying our will to live successful lives.

Meanwhile, as enlightenment-seekers whenever we feel empowered, we also feel free. To achieve this freedom we must be willing to not only face our problems and emotions, but accept them for what they represent to us. And like it or not, they are a part of us.

To be clear here, power and powerless are not being discussed in accepted societal definitions of the words. We are using them to express feelings produced from beliefs acquired over years of believing ourselves to be victims (powerless).

It's very difficult for some of us to ever accept ourselves as victims. To be a victim in this world is to accept ourselves as failures. Victims live on the bottom of the hierarchical rung of class distinctions. This also means it's very difficult to face our problems and emotions and welcome them into our lives.

For further insights on this subject, please read "Seeds from the Ashes." It's currently available on http://www.amazon.com/

Friday, October 30, 2009

Overcoming Self-evident Truths

It's difficult for many victims to believe it's possible to change how we think and live. For us, we believe victim consciousness is a self-evident truth. This means, we believe it's impossible for us to change.

We have become so consciously embedded with images of ourselves as powerless that we find it easier to remain mired in victimized lifestyles than take the action to do something about it. Unfortunately, this is a self-evident truth for victims.

We hold this truth self-evident, all victims think of ourselves as powerless to change the way we think and live.

Whenever we embrace or accept something, anything, as a self-evident truth, we become inextricably tied to victim beliefs. And as victims of our powerless beliefs, we embody information that keeps us in pain and suffering. It is from this level of pain and suffering that we must begin our activities to rebuild ourselves with empowered beliefs.

Some of the difficulties we face with overcoming beliefs that we believe are self-evident truths are our unwillingness to stop believing we are powerless. By powerless, we don't have to be poor, unemployed, anonymous. No, powerlessness is present whenever we encounter something in life that we believe we cannot overcome.

Powerlessness is what leads us to prayer, to meditation. It is present in all of us who have not achieved enlightenment.

Nevertheless, our nagging feelings on self-evident truths are real.They exist in us like axioms exist in mathematical equations. And like axioms, whenever something has already been established as valid, self-evident, there's no need for us to examine it any further. For us, nothing is further from the truth we seek.

For sentient beings seeking spiritual enlightenment there are no self-evident truths to define us today. We are so much greater than mathematical equations or societal labels. The only self-evident truths we have before us are those that define us with limitless power. Everything else is an illusion.

The utilitarian value of self-evident truths is immeasurable in terms of assisting us with understanding the true nature of self-evident truths, and their power to keep us victimized. We would have never known of their existence until we began our search to achieve enlightenment. However, now that we do, we must do everything we can to rid them from our consciousness.

Meanwhile, to remove self-evident truths from our beliefs system is done by thinking. We cannot just think, we must think clearly. For us to think without clarity is dangerous. And to think with victim beliefs is even worse; it's catastrophic.

For most of us, thinking is a pleasurable experience, if it's done properly. Unfortunately, when it's done improperly, we reap the benefits in dosages of pain and suffering. Although we interpret the benefits as bolstering our egos, they are the toxic thoughts acting as agents for our pain and suffering.

Similarly, most of us seldom, if ever, just think without any attachments whatsoever. We constantly think according to what we believe to be true about who we are in any given moment in time. This type of thinking is congruent with our acceptance of self-evident truths about our victimized lives.

Meanwhile, even when we think we're not thinking, we are. Every problem requires thinking. Every activity requires thinking. Everything in the future and past require thinking. And whenever we think, we are the centerpiece of the thinking.

Today, while living in the midst of great uncertainty in the world, we are thinking about many things. Foremost among them are our families, our health, our careers, and most importantly, our lives. We are not thinking very much about victim consciousness, because it appears everyone is now a victim of uncertainty. For some of us, this is a self-evident truth about the world we live in.

For those of us working to change how we think and live, we must eschew these types of self-evident truths. We must position our minds to perceive the world and ourselves existing with limitless possibilities for us to change how we think and live. To do this, we must think without attachments to victim beliefs.

For some of us, thinking without victim beliefs is unthinkable. We have become so accustomed to thinking and living as victims that we find it easier to engage in intellectual gymnastics about politics, religion, race, and so forth than to work on the victim beliefs causing us to think this way. We participate in so many mindless, meaningless conversations that we forget it's just us thinking and acting as victims in a world of uncertainty.

The more we embody self-evident truths of ourselves as victims, the more we belief our victim beliefs are sacrosanct. Moreover, we begin to believe and accept we were born into the world as victims. Unfortunately, it's this type of thinking that ties us to self-evident truths about human behavior. And this allows us to cling more tightly to our victim beliefs and accept our fates as victims.

Meanwhile, for us to overcome this type of thinking we must be willing to investigate everything we have been taught. And we must do this without using victim beliefs. In other words, we cannot cling to self-evident truths about religion, ethics, philosophy, psychology, and so forth. To do so, invalidates self-discovery. Moreover, why bother with self-discovery if we have already decided what's off limits.

While self-discovery is an ongoing process, it is also a liberating one. At each level of growth, we free ourselves from the previous one.

As victims, whenever we search for something, we begin by placing self-imposed restrictions on which beliefs we claim as sacrosanct, or those we're unwilling to examine. This is analogous to us searching for enlightenment and being unwilling to examine our attachments to spiritual dogma. This is what causes so many of us stop our search for enlightenment after a few years. We are unwilling to go to the next level by letting go of the beliefs that tie us to victim consciousness.

According to Seeds from the Ashes, "When you discover the wisdom hidden in your mind, you will know the truth about yourself."

To share in this positive information, please order Seeds from the Ashes at http://www.amazon.com/

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Power of Solutions

For some of us, it's difficult to look beneath the surface of our problems and try to understand their origins. Even though many of us seldom give much thought to it, but when you think about it all problems come from somewhere. Someone is responsible for their existence. And regardless to whether we are struggling with burgeoning, out-of-control debts or crying over losing our jobs, we believe someone other than us is responsible for them.

A good way to illustrate the way we feel about our problems is to compare them to burglars. Problems are like burglars, they sneak into our minds whenever we are away from home. In this case, home is our mind focusing on achieving enlightenment.

If we take our focus off enlightenment, we leave ourselves vulnerable to having burglars entering our consciousness and stealing our thoughts.They take whatever they can without any consideration for the pain and suffering they're creating in our lives. And after our possessions, the beliefs we are clinging to, are gone, we panic. That's when we begin searching for someone to help us replace our lost beliefs.

During our search for the stolen beliefs, we believe we are searching for enlightenment. We want to replace the emptiness created by the loss of income, status in our community, and embarrassment with similar beliefs. In other words, we want to acquire our lost beliefs and redefine them as something else.

Nevertheless, if we took the time to careful examine the value of the possessions (beliefs) missing from our lives, we would know our love for them was responsible for the pain and suffering in our lives. It is our attachment to our possessions (beliefs) -- people, money, power, status, and so forth -- that keeps us inextricably tied to the problems in our lives.

Meanwhile, the problems we love and despise are not only valueless, but illusions. They exist in reality based on the power, or lack thereof, we empower them with. Most of our problems are not problems at all. They are expressions of our beliefs and actions. We birth them simply by thinking. In other words, we think our problems into our lives. This means our problems can never be greater that us because we created them.

Similarly, once we recognize we are the creators of our problems, then we clearly know we also are responsible for the solutions. By recognizing this simple act of inner power, it empowers us to approach our problems differently. It's much easier to face something we know we created by our actions. Now we're able to clearly see that the fears and doubts are lessened significantly.

For most of us, conditioned to live as victims for so long, it's natural to assign blame to others for the problems in our lives. We frequently believe the banks are responsible for us borrowing their money to purchase our homes, automobiles, boats, and so forth. This type of thinking absolves us from any responsibility in the transaction. Even though, we knew the contracts were shaky and weighted in favor of the banks.

Whenever we want to acquire some possessions, we seldom believe we might lose them later on due to reduction in income, illness or some other changes in our lives. Unfortunately, whenever something unforeseen happens that jeopardizes our possessions, we are thrown into deep depression and grief over it.

For us to overcome the personal setbacks affecting millions of us today, we must first reclaim our power over the situations we currently face. To do this, we must first recognize that no matter how difficult our problems might seem to us today, we have the power to overcome them.

We must also free ourselves from rationalizing about how our problems are responsible for our powerlessness, which cause us to believe we are victims in this world. We are not victims, because we know we are responsible for believing we are victims. And we know this is based on our thinking, which is caused by our beliefs.

For us to acquire power, we must change our beliefs. To do this, we must be willing to accept responsibility for what's currently happening in our lives, and know we have the power to change whatever that is.

In chapter nine in the book Seeds from the Ashes, the discussion on power is very clear:

"You and your thoughts are one, but you are greater than your thoughts... On the road to empowerment you clearly know that the power that created the universe is greater than the power that created the atomic bomb. Yet the power to create is present in both situations. The power to create anything comes from thoughts like the thoughts you have in your mind. This power is not is not a stranger, or an alien, or a god separate from you. This power is in your mind."

To order Seeds from the Ashes, please go to http://www.amazon.com/
After you finishing reading the book, give it to someone who is struggling to overcome difficult problems.

Monday, October 19, 2009

We are What we Eat and Think

We are what we think and eat. We act according to the foods and thoughts we put into our bodies and minds. The toxic foods we eat daily cause us all type of health issues, while the toxic thoughts we use to nourish our minds cause us all type of emotional pain and suffering. Even though we treat them separately, they are not. We are what we eat and think.

Regardless to how much we try to extricate what we eat from what we think, we experience over and over again the consequential results from our habits. When we eat uncontrollably, it effects how we think. Conversely, when we think uncontrollable thoughts, it effects what we eat.

Today, some of us are overweight from eating too much. Some of us are emotionally and psychological victimized from allowing too much dis- empowering information into our belief system. And to make matters even worse, many of us are doing both. That's why we find ourselves in the mess we are in today.

Whenever we find ourselves in a mess, overcome with physical and psychological problems,we want desperately to get out of it. Yet so many of us don't seem to know how to overcome difficult problems. We find that it's easier to try and ignore them rather than change our behavior. Perhaps we act in this manner because we are not quite ready to change our habits.

Nevertheless, some of us truly desire to change the way we are living, but we lack the commitment to follow through on our desires. In many instances, we engage in daydreaming, wishing, and hoping for blissful results without doing anything to change the thoughts and beliefs responsible for the problems.

The thought of true change is frightening to many of us. We like the idea, but not the work required to achieve the idea. We just can't seem to let go of the habitual activities causing the pain and suffering in lives. Oh, we know, at least intellectual, that empowerment is the correct word to use when we tell others about the work we are doing. Unfortunately, for some of us, it's just a word, an idea.

For some of us, we eschew the daily challenges to change what we think and eat. And, instead of doing something different, we continue to reach for the chocolate cake, potato chips, cheeseburger and foods contaminated by oils and other fatty substances.

Many of us watch too much television, play too many games with people and gadgets to truly understand how this behavior contributes to our actions. Whenever we compare ourselves to someone, whenever we feel powerless, angry, jealous or fearful, we place ourselves in victimized positions. This is what causes us to become overcome with pain and suffering.

Similarly, it is only when the toxic foods and beliefs have sicken us, weaken our resolve to commit to empowerment, that we search for diets or workshops to reign in our reckless behavior. Unfortunately at this point, we want instant results.

When we have eaten too much over time, we expect every diet or exercise program to bring us immediate weight loss, with toned, well-chiseled muscles. We also expect the workshops to immediately remove the anger, jealousy, lack, limitation and struggle from our lives and give us the peace and compassion we long for.

Meanwhile, when we don't get instant results from diets and workshops, we quickly discard the practices and return to our old eating and thinking habits. We rationalize away any benefits we derived from them. This type of reasoning permits us to return to our old habits of overeating and saturating our minds with deleterious information.

Whenever we stop and examine our lives, we discover things we would like to change. In most instances, we can imagine that the murderer, thief, or addict would like to change. What's stopping them? In nearly all cases, it's their beliefs and judgments about themselves and what people think about what they have done.

While many of us might not be murderers, thieves, or addicts, we have similar challenges just as daunting for us to overcome. We become hesitant to change because of what we think about being unemployed, bankrupt, or suffering from the distress of divorce, personal loss, and so forth. And like the prisoners, addicts, and failures, we must decide whether to change or remain as victims.

Well, some of us of are willing to change what we eat and think. And for us, having healthy diets, with regular exercise, and thinking positive thoughts of empowerment are fulfilling. We reach for an apple instead of chips. We read a book, affirmation or meditate instead of complaining about being unhappy with victim lifestyles. This is not a judgment, but an explanation of how we can change whatever we want to change.

There's a great quote in "Seeds from the Ashes" that reminds us of the importance of having healthy thoughts: "To envision yourself as a new person, you first must stop thinking of yourself as a victim."

"Seeds from the Ashes" is available online from http://www.amazon.com/

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

We are Powerful in Spite of our Doubts

We have an opportunity every day to use our power to overcome victim beliefs. We begin to see our opportunities when we change the way we think about ourselves. Although, in some instances, especially when we are overcome with worries and doubts, it's difficult to perceive problems as opportunities.

For some of us, thinking less of ourselves than who we really are, we perceive the world from the prism of pain and suffering. We have become too accustomed to clinging to the despair camouflaging itself as a problem rather than perceiving it as an opportunity.

The primary difference between an opportunity and a problem is how we approach life itself. If we believe we are victims, then most things we encounter in our daily activities become insurmountable problems. While, if we believe we are empowered enough to solve our problems, think we treat our problems as great opportunities for us learn and grow wiser.

What's the sense for living if we have few, if any, opportunities to develop our lives. The true blessings of our birthrights are contained in our actions to do things that are rewarding or fulfilling to our personal growth. Everything else is counterproductive.

Meanwhile, nearly all of our problems are caused by the doubts we have about who we are, and the power we possess. Our doubts are created by public opinion, people, beliefs in things -- money, power, fame -- and our unwillingness to accept ourselves as being powerful right now.

Power is not something we earn, it's part of our inherent birthrights. We are born with it. Our problems begin when we forget we were born with limitless power. The moment we accept ourselves as powerless is the moment we begin to search for it in people and things. This is the mindless journey that leads us on the road to pain and suffering.

Similarly, for us to believe we are powerless, incomplete, and inadequate is a slap in the face to our creator. This type of reasoning keeps us victimized, inextricably tied to victim beliefs. When we feel incomplete or powerless, we doubt who we really are. We seek to become like someone else; someone who has power. Who is that person? What do we need to do achieve our goal?

Nevertheless, as we chase after things we believe will make us into someone we admire or want to become like, we travel down man roads. Some of them lead us to other roads, while some roads lead us nowhere. Yet, in spite of the number of roads we travel, we are always the one traveling on them It's not someone else, just us.

Sometimes in our lives, perhaps in moments of great pain and suffering, we intuitively know we are greater than that which we are allowing ourselves to believe. This intuitive feeling, existing beyond the beliefs of right and wrong, becomes the light (awareness) to guide us to the road to empowerment. And on this road, we travel freely, without doubts about the power we have to change how we think and live.

On the road to empowerment, some of us continue to struggle with our doubts. We eschew thoughts of greatness and power within us in favor of searching for them in others. Unfortunately, the tools that lead us to others also plunges us deeper into despair and doubt. Yet, for many of us, these are the only tools we trust and use to enlighten or empower us.

For most of us, if we have build up a high tolerance for toxic victim beliefs, then we find it incredulous to believe in the existence of something else for us to use. So, out of habit, we use toxic victim thoughts to change victim behavior. As we know, this is impossible.

The side effects from toxic victim thoughts create more doubts and struggle. This reinforces our attachment to victim beliefs. And until we clear the toxins from our minds so that we truly know we are not born victims, but have been conditioned by others to think of ourselves as victims.

For us to go beyond our doubts and beliefs of ourselves as powerless, we must be willing to stop the victim behavior and remove the toxins from our minds. According to the book, Seeds from the Ashes,

"Whenever you feel powerless to do something that you want to do, stop and ask yourself why. Why don't you have the power to achieve the things that you desire to have? The obvious answer is that you don't believe you are strong enough to achieve them. If this is the case, then the solution to your problem is attaining the necessary strength or power to solve your problem."

You can order Seeds from the Ashes on http://www.amazon.com/

Monday, October 5, 2009

Time to Stop the Senseless Murders

The recent murder of a black teenager in Chicago by several other black youths has refocused our attention on the need to become involved in sharing our enlightenment experiences with others.

Today, as it was many yesterdays ago, we are discovering that there's a void of morality existing within so many people. It's difficult for many people, who believe they are victimized by their environments, to find the courage to change how they think and live. Sadly, their behavior is responsible for the deaths of thousands of young people each year.

The more we complain the more the violence seems to escalate. The more we retreat into our homes, close the doors and windows to the world outside, the more we become victims of youth terrorism. And, as victims, we believe all we can do is pray, hope, and curl up in fear, hoping the problem will solve itself. Unfortunately, we're just daydreaming.

The violence that's destroying the fruit of black, brown, and white families is spreading at a cancerous pace throughout the country. And unless those of us who know better do better, we will find ourselves mired in a quagmire of endless social destruction.

For us to change the attitudes and beliefs destroying so many young people, we must be willing to change our own attitudes and beliefs. This means parents, teachers, community and religious leaders must all begin to examine our own behavior. We must ask ourselves: what are we teaching our children?

In many cases, we don't have sufficient control over our own emotions to teach them anything, except how to perpetuate victim lifestyles. In other words, the violence and the beliefs stoking it, come from somewhere in our society. Whether we like it or not, some of us are directly responsible for what's happening in our neighborhoods.

For those of us committed to achieving enlightenment, this is an opportunity to evaluate our progress. We can teach others -- parents, adults, young people, and so forth -- how to overcome the victim beliefs that's causing the violence. We can provide them with examples of how to think, act, and live peaceful in the world.

Meanwhile, we can begin by embodying some healthy daily habits to empower our minds and bodies with nutrients that promote healthy attitudes and actions. Here's a few things we can do now:

1. Cook our children healthy meals.
2. Spend time with them.
3. Refrain from cursing and drinking, particularly in the presence of children.
4. Treat others with respect.
5. Think before spanking our children. (It's probably good not to spank them. And if you believe it's necessary, then refrain from beating them).
6. Watch television as a family. (Monitor our children and prevent them from watching television alone for hours on end.)
7. Encourage social interaction by inviting our neighbors' children over and vice versa.
8. Teach our children the benefits of having moral principles to guide them in making decisions.
9. Teach them to love themselves and believe in themselves.
10. Teach them how to envision themselves with the power to overcome the obstacles they face in their lives.

For things to change, we must become the vanguard to bring the change. For some additional information, please read "Seeds from the Ashes" by linking to https://www.createspace.com/3400868 or http://www.amazon.com/

Monday, September 28, 2009

Reflections on Empowerment

Several years ago, when I began my search for empowerment, I wrote something that crystallizes the thoughts of an empowerment neophyte, "I am that person, which I am aware of being. I am neither inferior or superior, equal or unequal, but a consciousness capable of creating an infinite number of life expressions."

Most of us probably find it amusement to reflect back on how we felt on beginning our journeys. There's a lot of pain. The challenges seem overwhelming, and there are many times we want to stop, quit, and end our journeys even before we have been on them for several weeks. Such is the life of an empowerment-seeker.

There's never a day that goes by when some of us don't have regrets about making the decision to seek empowerment. And even after years of working on ourselves, it's difficult to remain committed to the goal of empowerment. It seems so far away.

To those of us unaccustomed to working long periods of time without financial compensation it's a little unnerving to continue living in this manner. Our hearts burn with intense desires for completion. We want the work to have an ending. While we yearn for an end, we constantly remind ourselves that the work will never end during our lifetimes.

Meanwhile, even the most ardent proponents of hard work, loyalty, and dedication find it difficult to accept work without some type of completion. For many of us, there's completion at retirement. While others find completion by switching jobs and careers. Nevertheless, we find it difficult to imagine work without and end.

Today, we find joy in empowerment because there's joy in the knowledge that our lives are to be lived until the end. The work we do determines the outcome. If we are working for things -- money, personal possessions, approval, and so forth -- then we might not find too much joy when we no longer have those things. In other words, our end comes from our separation from the things we believe brought us joy.

To truly understand empowerment, we must relearn the power of imaging ourselves as colorless, faceless, and formless individuals. This conception of ourselves empower us to see the world from the prism of freedom and power. There are no restraints placed on a colorless, faceless, and formless person. From this perspective we are complete.

The search for empowerment is the search for completeness. We want to feel that our lives are complete, fulfilled. We believe anything less than this represents an unfilled life. And without fulfillment, there's no end.

Whenever we think of an end for empowerment, we limit ourselves to being just human beings tattooed with societal labels of race, gender, class, religion, and so forth. Empowerment has no beginning or end. It is our perceptions of ourselves that ascribe time to our journeys. So, one person's beginning is similar to, but not the same as another persons' journey.

The truth about us is found in our reflections on empowerment. When we look closely at our journeys, we clearly see the growth from where we started to where we are now. That's what's important.

Today, I think of a quote from "Seeds from the Ashes," which I find helpful to me and some others:

"When you awaken with thoughts of grief and despair, it's time to focus on the desires that have the power to overcome the problems. Listen to the silent voices with the great power. The silent voices from your intuitive consciousness are your desires prodding you to do something with your life. Listen to them rather than the loud voices of spin doctors."

This wonderful book, "Seeds from the Ashes" will be available soon.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Power from Within the Victim

Today, there's quite a bit of uncertainty in our lives. Few of us seem to know what's going to happen with the economy -- jobs, layoffs, furloughs, etc. While many of us are frighten because it seems like everyone is frighten. For some victims, this is a sad time in our lives.

Our fears about money, jobs, bills, and so forth have plunged us into deep depression. And it's from this prism that we perceive ourselves existing in the world. Like so many others caught in this financial quagmire, we're waiting on things to get better.

Our leaders are extolling us to hold on, be patient, because things will turn around soon. And since we have been conditioned to believe if we are patient long enough, everything will be okay. Unfortunately, many of us are feeling the pains --the realness of unemployment, mounting debts and imaging bleak futures -- that makes patience our enemy.

For some of us, the job market may have passed us by. While for others, changing technologies have created obsolesce in our lives. Many of us have misconceptions about who we are, and what abilities we have to overcome our current doldrums. While others are waiting, hoping, and praying for something magical to happen. This is our own form of patience.

It is our willingness to believe in magical solutions that keep us tied to victim beliefs. We equate patience with waiting on something to happen rather than doing something to create something different in our lives. In other words, we equate patience with powerlessness.

For some of us, we believe patience is a virtuous act that's empowering us to become more holy, more spiritual. It's an escape mechanism we use to procrastinate and to validate our victim status in the world. And as victims, we find patience to be godly assurances of our existence.

From a victim's perspective, life is always hard. So any downturn in the economy is what we expect. We believe we're some to live within the uncertainties of life. By not know what's happening to us, keep us from accepting responsibility for what's happening to us now. We absolve ourselves of it by blaming in on economic vicissitudes.

The most troubling problem victims face is our unwillingness to acknowledge we are victims of our thinking. By believing we are powerless in certain situations, we embrace negative concepts about the real value of our power.

Whenever we reach the point in our development that we are able to give ourselves power, we immediately change how we think about ourselves. In other words, we redefine our conception about victims. This is the point where we begin to define ourselves as beneficiaries of enlightenment (empowerment). And now we clearly know everyone, including those who believe they are victims, has the power to overcome obstacles already present within them.

Meanwhile, we come to grips with enlightenment being that which we already possess. It is not something we are going to get later on in life. Nor is enlightenment an exclusive privilege for certain people. It is the inherent privilege given to all victims.

Obviously, if we are seriously depressed about something it's difficult to believe this great power already exists in us. Moreover, when we're experience great pain and suffering, it's difficult to separate ourselves from our problems. The magnitude of our problems determine who we believe we are in that moment.

Today, for some of us suffering personal grief, financial difficulties, and deep anger over our present conditions, it seems incredulous to think this great power is within us. Somehow, it just doesn't feel right. There's no visceral realness attached to this notion of power. And there's no visible proof to confirm it. So, we doubt its existence.

Whenever we feel something is missing from our lives, we begin to question what we are doing. We want our lives to be complete; free from pain and suffering. So, if we have lots of money, we buy lots of things. If we crave praise, we do things to give us lots of praise. Yet regardless to the things we do we still cannot escape the feeling that something is missing in our lives.

Nevertheless, we continue to search for what's missing by adding more things into our lives. And by doing so, we create more pain and suffering. While we're busy bringing more things -- people, money, places, and so forth -- into our lives, we believe this is the happiness we need to overcome the pain and suffering in our lives. Unfortunately, this is what's causing the pain and suffering.

Many of us believe we live better with things -- money, status, power, fame, etc. -- because it elevates us beyond the victims we are working desperately to escape from. We dress differently, we talk differently, we walk and basically act as differently as we can from those whom society has bestowed the label of poor and powerless victims.

When we think of living victim-free lives, we believe we have an abundance of power. We imagine we will have this power in the future. It will come from all the hard work we are doing now to change our lives. Some of us believe our newly acquired power will empower us to have more things - people, money, places, and so forth -- to ensure we live our lives more abundantly. This type of thinking is what keeps us tied to victim beliefs.

To extricate ourselves from victim beliefs, we must change our visions of our lives from thinking like victims to like empowered. This is done by using the power already present in us. It's not something new, but something discovered. It is the transformation of the power from within victim consciousness into enlightenment.

The decisions we make are what create victims. Regardless to our status, rich and famous or poor and unknown, we struggle with the notion we are still incomplete. There's more to life than where we are now. The sickness from victim consciousness makes no distinctions about our societal status. We all suffer from the same virus. This means the problems faced by the poor and rich are the same. Both are searching for the missing pieces that will make them feel complete.

The poor and powerless are in this position because of what they think of themselves and their abilities to overcome the habits they have acquired over the years. The same goes for the rich and powerless. In other words, we are poor and powerless or rich and powerless because these are the positions we have thought ourselves into.

In the meanwhile, all that's missing from our lives -- poor, middle-class, rich, and so forth -- is the knowledge of how to access the vast power buried deep in our minds. To do this requires us to make a lifetime commitment to overcoming victim beliefs, and to seeking enlightenment (empowerment).

Whenever we stop thinking we are powerless, we open our minds to see beyond our limitations. We place ourselves in positions to see the limitless possibilities existing in the invisible thoughts in our minds. This empowers us to know victims do have power, we just don't recognize we do.

For some of us on the enlightenment road, who feel from time-to-time as victims, we must know we have the power to change within us. Regardless to the duration of our problems, we must remain committed to achieving our goal of enlightenment.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Self-discovery Fears

One of the greatest misconceptions we have about achieving enlightenment is that it's a pain-free experience. Well, it's not additional pain, but the pressure we feel from releasing our existing pain and suffering.

For those of us who might be afraid to trust ourselves, we must take the time to understand the intrinsic value that self-discovery contributes to our work of achieving enlightenment. As much as we might desire to achieve enlightenment without having to do the necessary work, we know it cannot be done.

So the process to change our lives begins with us. Few of us ever find it enjoyable to examine our own lives. It's analogous to a visit to the dentist. We delay it as long as possible until the pain becomes unbearable. Then, and for some of us, only then, are we willing to do whatever we can to relieve ourselves of the pain.

Well, the pain and suffering has reached this level with many of us and we still delay the inevitability of having to examine our own lives first. We find it easier to continue doing the things to create more pain and suffering in our lives.

As we know, from the work we are doing on ourselves, it's much easier to examine others than ourselves. Perhaps many of us feel this way, because we fear what we will find if we dig too deeply into our minds.

And like an untreated mouth, filled with decaying teeth, bleeding gums, and suffering from years of neglect, many of our minds are similar to this condition. Whenever we sit in the dentist's chair, awaiting the outcome of his or her examination, we seem shocked when we hear how much it's going to cost to fix our teeth. Yet, for some of us, we already knew we had shabby dental preventive care programs.

For some of us, our enlightenment preventive care programs are just as shabby as the example. In other words, we know we haven't done the work necessary to free ourselves from the intense pain and suffering; however, we seem shocked to learn the amount of time, energy, and commitment it's going to take to correct years of spiritual neglect.

Regardless to how we feel about the time, energy, and commitment that's required to heal ourselves of pain and suffering, we know the longer we procrastinate, the worse the situation will become. This is how we feel when we learn how much it's going to cost us in time and commitment to heal our diseased-latent behavioral actions.

In the meanwhile, some of us are bogged down so deep in emotional quagmires of pity, regret, and failure that we don't dare unravel the mess we have made of our lives. And whenever someone suggests that we do, we make half-hearty attempts that barely skim the surface of our consciousness.

The fear of self is the greatest of our fears. It causes us to distrust ourselves and trust others. Nevertheless it's our lack of confidence in our worthiness to make empowered decisions that inextricably tie us to victim consciousness.

And from the prism of victim consciousness, we believe there's something unknown and frightful lurking deep in our minds. Even though we don't believe or want to accept it, we know exactly what it is: It is our fears of uncovering things we don't want to face and other people to know about us.

After years of reading and listening to individuals telling personal growth stories about the pain they experienced by opening themselves up to face their demons -- unknown problems -- and their subsequent freedom, we cringe at the thought of inviting more pain into our lives. Moreover, some of us are working on ourselves now to remove the pain, not to create additional pain.

To delay work on removing the pain and suffering from our lives is murderous to our vision of empowerment. For us to procrastinate on beginning the self-discovery process makes us unworthy to lay claim to our commitments to achieve enlightenment. We cannot achieve our goal without first examining our own lives.

For many of us, self-discovery is a major deterrent to our achieving enlightenment. It's something dreadful painful about self-discovery, because it keeps us tied to victim lifestyles. And as victims, we are constantly searching for magical solutions to help us bypass the self-discovery process.

Whenever our pain and suffering overwhelms us, we feel powerless; victims of our own fears. There's nothing inside of us to fear, except the images we have created of ourselves. Our images are carefully hewed from our egos into individuals we believe are pleasing to others. These are the images we are afraid to disturb.

Nevertheless, the truth about us is known only to us. WE know what we have done and are doing now. There are no hidden secrets buried in our minds. We know everything that's there. And, for many of us, we want what's there to stay right where it is. Unfortunately, in our deliberateness to bury our regrets with pain and suffering, we discover we need an endless supply of pain and suffering to keep them buried.

Our hidden secrets are the things -- regrets, failures, misdeeds, and so forth -- we buried to prevent our images from being tarnished. And as long as they remain buried, we can continue to shape our images to become even more pleasing to the public. Unfortunately for us, the arduous work we are doing to maintain our secrets are taking a toll on us.

Meanwhile, after we think about it for a moment: what's so dreadful in our lives that we are unwilling to face? For some of us it might be things we believe others would think less of us if they knew about them. In other words, it is our unwillingness to face ourselves that's creating most of our pain and suffering.

On our journeys to achieve enlightenment, we must look closely at how we make decisions and the power behind these decisions. On every level of our activities, we must perceive ourselves existing with bountiful supplies of power and freedom.

For us to achieve enlightenment (empowerment), we must first achieve awareness of who we really are. To do this requires a commitment to empowering our minds to think and act from positions of power. And from this perspective, there's nothing in our lives off limits to us.

"Seeds from the Ashes" is coming soon. Get your copy from Amazon.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Struggling to Live

One of the greatest stumbling blocks we face in our pursuit to change the way we think and live is the idea that we have to struggle to achieve happiness. Some of us inherit this notion from our environment, while others use it to justify their actions. Yet, it is from the maelstrom of victim consciousness that our struggles begin.

Whenever we bend our heads down, shuffle our feet, blink our eyes, and shameful take all kinds of abuse for a slither of happiness, we confirm our victimization. These actions symbolize our struggles to become somebody.

Regardless of our circumstances, too many of us have been taught to believe struggle is a noble virtue. From our lowly positions in society, it's easy to become victims of the struggle-to-live syndrome. And from this perspective, we view our actions from the prism of struggle where we embrace our struggles as virtuous victim actions.

As we know, the mere thought of associating ourselves with victims is unbearable. Some of us find it difficult to even admit we are struggling to live. That's why we continue doing the same things to achieve our elusive goals. Even though we find ourselves stuck, mired in the stench of defeat and failure, we continue digging (struggling) for lost treasures. We have lost sight of our commitment to search for enlightenment.

Now is the time to stop digging (struggling) ourselves deeper into the abyss of defeat and failure and to recognize that enlightenment is not the results of our struggles. Enlightenment is the soft breeze of knowledge blowing effortlessly in our minds. It's the ethical force guiding our actions.

During the campaign for civil rights, many of the leaders embraced struggle as the essence of the work done to achieve their goals. To struggle endowed them with creditability. For them, struggle was a badge of honor and courage they used to galvanize a community of victims into warriors committed to fighting for their freedom.

Today, many of us believe struggle means something else. We equate it with other people, not ourselves. Nevertheless, it affects all our behavior because we all have been tainted by its pungent taste. Whether we struggle by working two jobs, twelve- hour days, constant travel, and the seemingly endless pursuit of acquiring more and more things, or by trying to become someone other than we know ourselves to be, we remain victims of our beliefs.

As we know, it's difficult for some of us to envision ourselves as victims when we have achieved so much in life. To believe we are not free of struggle is blasphemous. That's why some of us find it easier to believe we are actually the illusions, and not their creators.

Nearly every day of our lives, we allow the illusions to manipulate us into believing we are struggling to achieve our goals. We use money, jobs, education, and status to hide the shameful behavior of our deep-seated victim beliefs choking the happiness out of our lives.

Nevertheless, even with this information, we continue to create new illusions to validate our behavior and beliefs on struggle. Somewhere, within us is the glimmer of light pointing us in the direction of enlightenment. To recognize and use the light, we must overcome our beliefs in struggle, and clearly know there is no struggle in empowerment.

Similarly, it is during those infrequent moments when we escape from the luxurious-living syndrome that we are able to feel and know something is missing from our lives.

For some of us, particularly, when we are feeling lowly, we might admire those who struggle to achieve money, power, fame, and so forth. From where we are in our thoughts, they seem happy and successful. After all, they have what most people are working to achieve.

In the meantime, when we look at the stars and planets moving effortlessly around us, we clearly don't see the concept of struggle present. Moreover, we don't perceive struggle when walk on the solid surface beneath our feet. Nor do we perceive it as the Earth rotates around the Sun.

Apparently, all of the important things in the universe exist without struggle. So there's no reason to believe we are not endowed with the same existence. And regardless of how we might feel now, we must clearly believe we have the power to create without struggling to do so.

For those committed to achieving empowerment, the work must continue in spite of what we hear and see.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Empowerment Paradigm

The more troubling the times, the more we must seek refuge in ourselves. Now is the time for those who desire more out of life to step forward and be accountable for our actions. We cannot blame others without blaming ourselves. And like it or not, we are a part of the health care kerfuffle.

We must become serious about what we really want to see in our lives. To do this requires us to move beyond the regrets and fears burying us deeper into one the greatest social quagmires in our lifetimes. Now is the time for clarity.

The stench from our fears and worries overwhelms us. We become consumed by daydreaming about what could have been. We fantasize on what our lives would be like if we had everything we ever wanted. Perhaps, if we had everything we wanted, we would want something else.

Sometimes we even reminisce about what our lives would be like if we had married our first love, finished high school, college or the many aborted projects we just couldn't seem to finish. Whenever we do recall missed opportunities, we frequently believe this would have been better for us. If only, we had. ...

It's easy to daydream about what we should have done, but it's very painful and dangerous to try and relive past decisions. At the time we make our decisions, we do so based on what we think of ourselves. If we believe we are powerless as we decide, then we act as victims. On the other hand, if we feel complete and powerful, then we act as empowered individuals.

This moment-to-moment awareness of ourselves with or without power is our paradigm consciousness. It is the pattern of behavior we express in exemplifying who we are aware of being. And without effort or assistance from anyone, we express all that we are in that moment in time.

Some of us believe we are already empowerment. We want people to think we are good, kind, loving, and peaceful. We don't believe people perceive us as mean-spirited, angry, jealous, envious, and greedy, even when we act in this manner. Somehow we find it difficult to recognize this behavior in ourselves.

Nevertheless, whether we face it or not, the empowerment paradigm we have created for ourselves is badly flawed, and in need of some more spiritual work. This work begins with our changing the images we have of ourselves. We must perceive ourselves with power before we act. And when we don't do this, we must take the time to evaluate our behavior.

The key to power is not in the empowerment paradigm, but in its creator. And since we are the creators, we must ensure we are aware at all times what we are creating. In other words, our uncontrollable, regrettable emotional reflexives are effortless expressions of our innermost thoughts and beliefs.

On the road to empowerment, we must remain cognizant of the vision we have created of ourselves with limitless power. In this vision, we have the potentiality of limitless expressions. For us to embody this vision now, in this very moment, we must remove the revisionist behavior that inextricably keep us thinking and acting as victims. As revisionists of victim behavior, we evaluate our actions after-the-fact. This process prevents us from doing the evaluative work before we make decisions.

Similarly, whenever we act as victim revisionists, we distort our empowerment paradigm. From this perspective, we believe we are weak when we are actually powerful. We find it difficult to let go of the painful experience, because it continues to live in the changing-our-lives process.

Meanwhile, when we are conscious of being empowered, this means we have done the work to overcome the deleterious behavior of victims. We clearly know that for us to to be kind, loving, peaceful, and compassionate we must do more that read and espouse spiritual platitudes, we must do the work.

Regardless to the depths of our pain and suffering, we must do the work to change our behavior. The essence of our empowerment paradigms is work, and more work, until we feel and accept ourselves as having enough power to make decisions without any regrets or lingering doubts. Moreover, we must accept the results of our actions, regardless to how we interpret them.

In the meantime, we must exalt our consciousness to reside in our empowerment paradigms. And whenever others challenge our decisions or seek to engage us in their battles, we must remain confident that we made the best decision with the information (awareness) we had at the time.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Healthy Attitudes Toward Health Care Reform

Today, the fear of becoming ill is overwhelming many of us. We are constantly barraged by media reports about losing our health benefits, growing older, and facing pernicious illnesses. Fortunately, for those working on achieving enlightenment, we don't find this type of information frightening. Nor do we believe what we eat, think, and the manner in which we care for ourselves are determined by the actions of others.

Whenever we find ourselves in the bowels of despair, dripping with lack, limitation and struggle, we don't need anyone to tell us it's time to change our lives. Yet, even with this knowledge, we find it's difficult for many of us to summon the resolve to do anything about our problems.

Nevertheless, when we listen to any types of negativism, we place ourselves into a cesspool of fear, worry,lack, limitation and struggle. From this level of awareness, we find it difficult to believe we have the power to eat properly and control our emotional issues of rage, anger, hatred, and so forth. Yet it is from this level of awareness that we are able to perceive the value of having empowerment (enlightenment) as our life's goal.

The goal of empowerment requires us to eat healthy foods and nurture our minds with positive thoughts and deeds. We must do this daily, not whenever we become fearful of something happening to us. We cannot eat ravenous supplies of dead meat, processed animal byproducts, nor engage in stuffing ourselves with french fries, potato salad, potato chips, enriched bread, and so forth.

Healthy (empowered) eating does not guarantee we'll have prefect health; however, it does reduce our risks of having to make an emergency trip to the hospital or doctor. And we do this not to live for a hundred years, but to live quality, energetic lives regardless to our longevity.

To have healthy attitudes, it is important for us to ensure we do all we can to maintain our health, we must also engage in silent meditations or prayers each day. If it's convenient, we should attempt to meditate for 5-10 minutes after each meal. You can usually do this in your office, the park, or another suitable place. The idea is to allow our bodies to process the food with minimal restrictions.

Regardless to how much we talk and worry about our health, we still must take control over what we eat and think. This means we must not only eat and think, but we must exercise our bodies and minds to help us digest what we are putting into them.

So a daily exercise program is invaluable for people of all ages. This means doing something -- a slow or brisk walk around the block three times a day, a jog around the park, calisthenics at the local gymnasium or in your home -- are some things we all can do.

At the end of each day, we should commit ourselves to some quiet time for the body and mind to rest. We turn off the televisions, cellular phones, and remove all external distractions. We should make an effort to do this without causing too much discomfort to our family. By doing this, we provide ourselves with the maximum protection from diseases, viruses, and stress-induced illness caused by anger, fear, worry, and so forth.

For many of us, the sheer volume of worry and stress in our daily activities is enough to make us vulnerable to all sorts of health issues. And when we add to this behavior, too much sodium, saturated fats, and fried foods, we not only are acting irresponsible, but we are also acting hypocritical.

Moreover, we enhance our deleterious behavior by drinking too much alcohol, soft drinks, beer, bottled sweet tea and lemonade, coffee, unhealthy drinking water, and so forth.

All of this type of behavior contributes to our abusing our leased bodies. We cannot commit to achieving enlightenment, while ignoring what we eat, think, and do. If we believe we can, then we are prime candidates to become patients in the new health care reform program.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Yes, to Empowerment Ideals

A couple of decades ago, First Lady, Nancy Reagan, extolled us to overcome drug addiction by, "just say, no." Several decades later, with rising drug and alcohol addictions, many people still don't know how to say no to drugs and many other harmful addictions.

As many of us know, it's difficult to say no or refrain from doing something we are addiction to. While some of us find it easy to condemn those on drugs, we are less harsh with ourselves when it comes to our own addictions with food, anger, envy, jealousy, greed, and victim lifestyles. Even though society labels some addictions as acceptable or more acceptable than others, for many victims with addictive lifestyles food is just as harmful to us as drugs are to the addicts.

All addictive behavior contributes to the pain and suffering and, ultimately, our victim beliefs. Nevertheless, armed with countless empowerment insights and years of work on ourselves, many of us are still vulnerable to addictive behavior, particularly when we are tired and restless. When we feel weak, tired from the hustle and bustle of work and when we settle into the still of the night, our restless minds begin to focus on satisfying our burning desires for food, alcohol, drugs, anger, envy, jealously, and so forth. For some reason, this time of day is the most challenging for many of us working to achieve enlightenment.

Similarly, it seems whenever we slow down to a peaceful pace, some of us forget this is the time for us to meditate rather than vegetate. We confuse peace with restlessness. Nevertheless, our restless minds remind us to be mindful of the actions we are about to take as we listen to our bodies cravings for all sorts of harmful things.

In the meantime, for us to overcome this conflict, we must focus on what's important to us. If we believe a bowl of ice cream or a large order of french fries are more important than eating an apple or orange, then we do that which we believe is most beneficial for us at that time. And regardless to what others might tell us about the harm we doing to our bodies, we don't hear their voices in the still of the night. We only hear and feel the cravings driving us to act.

By refraining from doing something we're accustomed to, we're in effect changing our lives. Whenever we say yes to empowerment, we are saying no to everything that caused us to think of ourselves as victims. Regardless to the number of times we eschew dysfunctional behavior, unless we have made a commitment to achieve empowerment (enlightenment), we are most likely to succumb to our addictions.

Similarly, when we focus on empowerment, we settle our minds to see beyond the deleterious behavior caused by our victim beliefs. And if we hear a voice telling us it's time to go beyond our current limitations, we will say yes, and not mean no.

The truth about us is not found in what we say, but in what we do. For someone not addicted to drugs, it's easy to tell others to "just say no," and it's just as easy for them to agree with you and continue using drugs. However, in taking the action necessary to embody the feelings associated with saying now, we quickly discover it's not quite that easy to do.

Whenever we discuss personal responsibility and self-reliance, we must be cognizant of the work we must do in working with this social philosophy. This means we must fill in the missing steps between our desires and our achievements. In other words, there's some work we must do before we can just say no to anything.

In the meantime, as we teach others to refrain from addictive-driven lifestyles, we must remain vigilant of the work we must do to maintain control over our own potential addictions. The latent desires lurking deep in our consciousness are driven by habits and weaknesses. For us to overcome them, we must accept we are masters of mindful actions. And as masters of mindful actions, we are always fully present in the moments between our thoughts and actions. This is all the time we need to overcome instinctive actions of anger, envy, jealousy, and so forth.

One of the critical problems we face in proclaiming ourselves as teachers of something, particularly enlightenment, we must have already become masters of mindful actions. If we have not done this, then we must teach at the level where we are, and not where we desire to be.

Meanwhile, for those of us willing to say no to drugs, alcohol abuse, overeating, and so forth, we must remain focus on our work to achieve enlightenment. This requires us to maintain mindful attitudes about our power to control how we think and live. And when we interact with others, we give them the knowledge we have without any attachments or expectations.

So, for those on the empowerment road, we say, "Just say, yes to empowerment" and no, to victim beliefs.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Overcoming 21st Century Racism

Today, it's difficult, if not impossible, to find anyone willing to admit to being a racist. Even the avowed racists believe they're not racists. Not to mention all the politicians, news reporters, bankers, business and civic leaders, sports franchise owners, managers, and players. None of them is racist. Yet we know that racism exists in the social, political, and economic fabric of our society.

For those of us working on overcoming the obstacles preventing us from achieving empowerment (enlightenment), we frequently tread timidly when the issue is racism. Racism is tricky, sensitive, and difficult for many of us to discuss. And 21st century racism, with its new and varied definitions, has become even more difficult for us to comprehend, much less discuss with others.

To be sure, for those working on overcoming the obstacles causing us to feel constant pain and suffering, we find that racism is one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome. Perhaps this difficulty is caused by its deceptive nature of being buried so deeply in our consciousness that we don't even realize it's there.

Nevertheless, we prod along on our journeys, working diligently to overcome our anger, jealousy, self-hatred, envy, success and failure without giving much attention to the root cause, racial beliefs, of many of the issues we are working to overcome.

Whenever we define our problems, it's easier for us to bury our racism by not admitting its existence. For sure, we receive less criticism from others if we write and talk about anger, jealousy, envy, and so forth rather than racism. Yet, it is racism, identifiable or unidentifiable, that is the untreated victim belief that's responsible for most of the problems we are working on overcoming.

Many of us feel we are not victims of racism, because we believe we treat everyone fairly. Moreover, we argue to ourselves and others that we're not the ones preventing someone for obtaining a job, renting an apartment, or buying a house in our neighborhoods. No, we truly believe we are blameless when it comes to racism.

Regardless to how we frame our answers to racial beliefs, we cannot deny that something is causing us to experience constant pain and suffering in our lives. Even though we have brief, infrequent moments of happiness, we find they're interrupted with unexpected outbursts of anger, jealousy, envy, and hatred. Yet, amidst all of these uncontrollable emotions, we continue to ignore the obvious: we are all victims of societal racism.

Meanwhile, some of us, including the well-intentioned empowerment adherents, believe only certain types of people are able to become racists. Some of us claim our divine righteousness by hiding behind our enlightenment training. We believe our work allows us to be the self-proclaimed moral arbiters between right and wrong behavior, which includes racial beliefs. In this position of regal authority, we choose to remain free from ever having to examine our own racial beliefs.

Whenever one race decides what racism is to another group, both groups become pawns in the victimization game. To illustrate this point, many African Americans strongly believe significant numbers of white people are racist. Oh, I know the polls don't reveal this, because most of us lie about it to others.

Many blacks believe whites are responsible for the pain and suffering in our lives. Moreover, we believe their positions in government, business, education, and the judicial system provide them with advantages over those who are unable to wield such power. And it's from whites' positions of institutional power that many blacks believe make them responsible for disseminating racism throughout the country.

Similarly, today, many whites label blacks and Latinos as racist. From U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor to President Barack Obama, we hear shouts of racism being hurled against individuals previously believed to be victims of racism. Yet, it's this type of racial nitpicking that's preventing us from ever understanding that both races are victims of societal racism. And this makes us angry.

The problem with identifying racism in ourselves is that we don't recognize its existence. Yet, nearly all of us identify people of different races by their race. When we enter a crowded room of individuals of a different race, we feel some discomfort, even it's no more than realizing we're the only one in the room. For some of us, this seemingly innocuous feeling is not racism.

Whenever we watch a television program or movie and discover we are identifying more with the characters of our own race than with others, we don't consider this racism. Nor do we consider it racism when we identify ourselves by race when meeting someone at the airport or restaurant who has never seen us.

As we know, we can use similar examples ad infinitum and still not be any closer to recognizing our own racial beliefs. So, with clouded visions, and undeterred commitments to ignoring our racial beliefs, we continue to seek enlightenment.

Whenever we can, we congratulate ourselves for not cursing the driver (black, white, Latino, Asian, etc.) who cuts us off on the freeway. And whenever we can, we tell those who will listen how proud we are not to be racists. After all, only whites are racists. We can't be racists because we are powerless victims of whites' power.

Meanwhile, most blacks that have been victimized by whites, particularly those who wield great power over our institutions, don't accept whites' arguments that they are now racists. For them, racial beliefs expressed by victims are different from those expressed by individuals in positions of power, even if one or two from the victim class are allowed to participate in those positions.

Nevertheless, the victims of this society, particularly those working on ourselves to overcome all our victim beliefs, including racial ones, that's preventing us from achieving empowerment, must empower ourselves to go deeper into our consciousness and find the racial beliefs causing us to think of ourselves as victims.

Similarly, for those victimized by racism, we must understand it's not possible to achieve enlightenment until we overcome this illness. The cure for any illness is to first identify the illness. After we do, then we can asses the damage done to our minds and develop an enlightenment treatment plan to cure the illness.

Some suggestions to assist us on our journeys:

1. Begin by acknowledging we are victimized by racial beliefs.

2. Evaluate how racial beliefs have affected our behavior.

3. Develop an action plan to overcome racial beliefs.

4. Remain committed to our plan of treatment in spite of recurring setbacks.

5. Liberate our minds to illumine our thoughts with objective love towards all sentient beings.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Finding the Patience to Remain Calm When we are Angry

Anger is a powerful emotion that's driven by our insecurities and beliefs about the level of power we have to accomplish our goals. For some of us, we find it easier to maintain anger than to embrace forgiveness or express compassion for those who don't measure up to our high expectations of human behavior.

Whenever we feel angry toward someone, we lash out at them with venomous words and deeds. We anxiously and urgently have the urge to respond now, immediately, without regards to the pain and suffering we might inflict on others. And rarely, if ever, do we take the time to think before we act.

What is really strange about anger is that it comes into our lives without any warnings whatsoever. In other words, we don't leave our homes to go to a movie or ball game expecting to become angry. We seek pleasurable things because they don't make us angry. Yet, we can explode with anger at the movie if someone spills popcorn or a drink on us, or continues to squash our knees as they make numerous trips to the concessions area.

What can we do about anger? Well, one thing we can do is exercise patience in all of our actions. We experience patience infrequently because it represents confidence, contentment, compassion and power. And until we become aware of the need to remove the layers of victim beliefs preventing us from achieving enlightenment, we will only sporadically experience brief, uncontrollable moments of patience.

For us to express patience, we first must condition our minds to obey us. To do this means we must believe we have control over what happens in our lives. This control is not the same as having control over someone dying, becoming ill, losing their jobs, or experiencing intense heat or cold weather. Control is how we interpret and respond to seemingly uncontrollable situations.

Some of the obvious things we can control is our behavior. We can act compassionate towards someone who is shouting angry words at us, or the person talking loudly while we are trying to watch a movie. All of these are opportunities for us to express patience rather than anger.

Obviously, patience is not a quality we see expressed by many people. The recent brouhaha between the professor and policeman is typically the way people act. When we believe someone has infringed on our rights, space, or time, most of us become angry. And during our moments of anger we say and do things we would never do if we took the time to think about the situation.

When we are willing to relinquish our claim to being right and correct in all our actions, then we open ourselves up to see endless possibilities for us not to be angry. In hindsight, we are able to critically judge the professor and policeman actions based on our own level of awareness. If we are rarely patient, we seek justification for a point of view that supports how we would feel if someone does something to us that we feel is unjustified.

Meanwhile, any judgments or advice from an angry person to another angry person is worthless. Perhaps what is said sounds politically and socially correct, but it doesn't help us to overcome anger. It just delays it until the next time. And the next time the physical damage or hurt we cause others might be more severe.

For us to condition ourselves to become patient, we must seek an inner knowledge of self-discovery that enlightens us to perceive ourselves without societal labels of race, color, gender, political affiliations, and so forth. These are the things responsible for our ignorance, not for the knowledge we need to overcome our anger.

Similarly, if we desire to acquire the knowledge that defines us without our limitations, we must be willing to seek it. This requires a certain level of forgiveness or our parts. We first must be willing to forgive ourselves each type we succumb to anger. We must also be willing to forgive those who become angry toward us. Now, we are able to move in a continual process of creating compassion, confidence, and power in our lives. These are the cornerstone of our knowledge for achieving patience in our lives.

The difference between anger and patience is knowledge. Patience is not magical, we must work for it.