Sunday, December 26, 2010

Compassion Without Egoism

We share this planet with almost 7 billion people, and we've never met most of them. They are faceless strangers. We don't feel them, see them, communicate with them or even get to share our intimate thoughts with them. They exist only in our minds, even though, like stars in the universe, we see them, but we don't interact with them, at least in a personal way.

Similarly, there are millions of  faceless people in this country who are dying every day from violence, hunger, and self-induced addictions, and we don't know anything about them. They, too, are faceless numbers with no real connection to us, except as we imagine them to be.

Many of us form relationships with people based on the information we get from television, books, movies, or other forms of communications. From this information, we forge psychological relationships based on the information we have about who they represent to us. From this data, we pity, despise them, and some situations, we vicariously suffer with them

As many of us know, it's difficult to express genuine compassion for others, particularly those we don't know personally. So, in the face of such daunting challenges, many of us feel overwhelmed by the sheer numbers. We have no idea how to begin to connect with seven billion people, much less express compassion for them. In the main, their lives have little or no effect on us.

People dying in Afghanistan, Iraq, Africa, Europe, or China don't evoke tears, deep grief, or a feeling of lost. We don't take off from work, request a leave or absence to attend their funeral or anything like that. We just read about their deaths or watch a report on television, and continue on with whatever we're doing.

Whenever a star dies in the universe, we don't grieve about it. Most of us don't even notice its absence. And whenever people die in other places, we don't even miss them. We explain their deaths within the context of social and political correctness. In other words, we might opine about how horrible it was for so many soldiers, women, and children to die in the war zones.

Are we suppose to care about the death of others? If so, what level of pain does this cause us? Obviously, we are not responsible for their deaths. So why should we feel any compassion for them?

Compassion for human life is inextricably tied to our self-awareness of enlightenment. The more enlightened we become, the greater our compassion for human life. We are able to connect ourselves to the lives of seven billion people and know that their suffering affects the lives of all of us. Their suffering is important because we are important.

Our abilities to express compassion is rooted in our understanding of relationships. We are related to people in the manner we are related to animals, plants, and even stars in the universe. We are all connected to each other and our existence depends on each other. While this might seem silly, perhaps even too difficult to comprehend, it is something that we all must embody if we desire to achieve enlightenment.

Our victim-driven minds cause us to seek selfishness by embodying egoism. We are here, others are there. WE must take care of ourselves by creating psychological and physical walls of separatism. And from behind these walls of separatism, we begin to express compassion in isolationism by denying our relationships with others.

When we gain the insights to tear down the walls of victim separatism, we are able to understand that compassion originates in us. We must first express it in our own lives. WE must have compassion for ourselves, especially whenever we are feeling inadequate or victimized by problems in our lives.

As enlightenment-seekers, we are constantly searching for results to measure our compassion. Some of us believe compassion is the ultimate goal of an enlightened mind. So we are mindful of our actions toward ourselves and others. And whenever we feel out of sync with our actions, we sometimes judge ourselves  harshly.  We cannot seem to find any compassion. 

Meanwhile, on the enlightenment journey, we are always mindful of where we are going. This means we are constantly vigil of our actions and how we interpret them. If we slip into victim consciousness, then we tend to misjudge them.

So it's important for us to understand that we are on a journey to overcome victim beliefs by achieving enlightenment. And that compassion is one of the tools we are using. It's that simple.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Overcoming the Holidays' Anxieties

As we near the Christmas, Kwanzaa, and other holidays, most of us anxiously await the happiness we anticipate having from these events. It doesn't matter what's happening with the economy, wars, celebrities, and so on, we're focused on creating happiness for ourselves and our families and friends.

Many of us can barely contain ourselves. We need so much to make us happy. Most of our needs must be met by money. We need money to shop for groceries, clean the carpet, get the bedrooms ready for guest, and fret over the amount of time we need to do all of this and cook, too.

Some of us try not to think too much about money. This only brings up what's really happening in our lives. So it's much easier to forget about it now, and just go ahead and spend what we need and worry about how we're going to pay for it later. After all, we opine to ourselves, it's only money, and we'll only being adding an additional $25 to our monthly credit card payments.

Nevertheless, problems aside, we just want to be happy during this time of year. To be able to sit down to a sumptuous dinner, listen to family laughter, watch football games, and enjoy the boundless energy of young children running and laughing is priceless. Regardless to the debts, fears, worries, doubts, and insecurities, they pale in comparison to the happiness we are seeking.

For some of us, we can only imagine the happiness. We are mourning the loss or absence of family members. Our family structure has changed. And these changes have disrupted our happiness. So we are trying to restructure happiness without the loved ones missing from our lives. These missing feelings can become quite depressing if we allow them to fester, untreated, in our minds.

We become attached to people and connect them with holidays. When we do, we create regrets, needs, and desires for permanency. These are the things that cause us to feel unhappy and depressed. Yet, without our memories, we might find it difficult to enjoy the holidays at all.

One of the greatest obstacles on the enlightenment road is our attachment to people and events. It's important for us to understand the power attachments hold over lives. To do this, requires an understanding of attachments and our desires to achieve permanency in our lives.

To live with attachments to people, holidays, and other trappings create unfavorable conditions for us. While we desire everything to remain in much the same way, we know, at least at a deeper level, that it's not possible for us to have permanent relationships. And while we might want to plan for the holidays to be the same as they were years ago, unfortunately, this is not possible.

The joy and happiness of previous holidays are not transferable to the upcoming holidays. Each holiday has the potential and power to express its own joy and happiness. This means we must be willing to let go of the past and focus on what's happening in our lives now in order for us to enjoy the happiness of today.

Similarly, we must understand clearly that all moments are transient and contain within them all the potentialities we need to live happy lives. So, instead of thinking about what's missing from our lives, we must begin focusing on what's in our lives now. And this includes people, finances, health, and so forth. In other words, if nothing is missing from our lives, then we are complete.

On the road to enlightenment, we find many opportunities to grow. The upcoming holidays are such great opportunities for us to take the time to live free of regrets, sadness, and the need to recreate happy moments from yesterday's memories.

Conversely, we have the opportunity to control our insatiable appetites for food, material gifts, alcohol, sports activities, and concentrate on being happy with the moments we have to talk with family members, who one day will only be memories.

Meanwhile, whatever we think or believe about a particular day is how we prepare for it. If we change how we think about each day and live it with desires for happiness, then they become our holidays. In other words, we don't have to set aside a few days to enjoy happiness with our families, we can do this any day we choose to.

Personal Note: I wrote "Seeds from the Ashes" to share with others how it feels to be overcome with regrets, fears, worries, doubts, and so on. It's a tool to assist those who feel powerless to change their lives. And like all books, it's not the final word; however, it's an uplifting experience during this time of year. "Seeds from the Ashes" is available on

Friday, December 10, 2010

Can we Really Change our Behavior?

WE are continuously seeking ways to change our behavior. There are seemingly limitless "how to" programs marketed to every day. Many of us try them, but they don't seem to work for us. WE seem to hold on to our lifelong habits. 

Some of us are beginning to wonder if these programs are nothing more than marketing gimmicks. We believe that if any of the self-help programs -- religious and secular really worked, then we would already have changed our behavior. Yet we know that they haven't worked for us and perhaps others too. So what do we do about our problems?

The goal of change is tricky. WE believe we can do it, but we truly never feel that we can do it in all aspects of our lives. We can stop drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, using drugs, overeating, abusing people, creating mountainous debts, and so forth. While these are great accomplishments for some of us, they don't represent authentic change in our behavior.

Whenever we feel anger, hatred, and suffer from insatiable cupidity, we still need some more work to do. And by acknowledging these self-described shortcomings, we are also acknowledging the difficult problems we have with changing our behavior. In other words, after the alcoholic stops drinking, he or she still suffers from numerous other problems, which may or may not ever be solved.

So, what's the sense in seeking changes in the first place. Well, for starters, we discover things about ourselves that we don't like. Some of the things are pointed out to us by others, while others come from self-discovery. Regardless to the source of them, we want to change, remove them from our habitual lives of victimization.

As enlightenment-seekers, some of us believe change must be rooted in an enlightened view of ourselves. We must first envision ourselves as being whole and complete. This allows us to perceive ourselves as faceless, colorless and formless beings. And as such, we are free of the misinformation that caused us to believe we are unattractive, black, white, yellow, or brown, and with physical impairments.

The process of envisioning ourselves as faceless, colorless, and formless is a simple one. It is one we all must undergo if we seek to become enlightened -- awakened to what's causing us to suffer -- and live our lives from a whole and perfect perspective.

Some of us share information on enlightenment everyday, because we know it has lasting benefits. We know it is authentic change; the change beyond the cherry-picking of specific problems. Enlightenment is available in its purest form to all of us. And for those who seek it, change is effortless, except in those instances where we cling to our old beliefs and habits.

Today, we begin the journey with the desire to know who we are without our self-imposed limitations. This ever seeking examination of our lives will undoubtedly lead us to the light where we can clearly see that we are responsible for our own problems. And we are also responsible for solving them.

Many of us know this proposition of change by accepting personal responsibility for our own suffering is a difficult one for beginners to accept. That's why we share information on enlightenment to encourage people to trust themselves by valuing their lives.  To trust ourselves is the cornerstone of our search for enlightenment.

We are here in the world now. We will all leave at some point in time. In the meantime, if we all seek to become enlightened, we will leave here knowing we contributed to increasing the light in the world. That's the goal of change.

 "It's better to give (enlightenment) than to receive (victimization). This the true meaning of giving.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Search for Leadership

Today, there's a frantic search for leadership among the masses in this country. We feel oppressed, powerless, and leaderless.  We want someone to tell us what to do.

Whenever we crave for leadership, we devalue ourselves. We minimize our power of creation. We separate ourselves from our problems. We vicariously exist in the mythology of the Superman complex. And we do all of this to ourselves without any assistance from anyone.

The victims of the world desire so many things that we believe we cannot achieve on our own. We define power as an institution, a society, or a government. We bellow to ourselves and other victims how great it would be if we could become a part of this great power. This inclusion would free us from our suffering so can lead the other victims out of their suffering. We become self-proclaimed leaders of victims.

The victimization of people is caused primarily by our search for someone to solve our problems for us. We search for leaders whenever we feel things are not going well in our lives. And when we feel powerless individually and collectively, we search for like-minded individuals to share our grievances and gain their support.

We believe the more support we have from other victims, the more we can find a leader to lead us from our suffering. Sadly, this never works.

We can have a million victims come together and they are still victims. Our conversations, strategies, and actions epitomize the social phenomenon of victimization. WE are fatally flawed by the biblical stories of someone coming to save us from our own beliefs and actions.

No, we are the ones responsible for whatever problems we have in our lives. It's out actions that's causing the suffering in our lives.

In our search for leadership, we overlook ourselves. WE forget that our problems are self-created. WE forget that the power of love, peace, wisdom, freedom, creation, abundance, and power are within us.

WE are the leaders that we're searching for. WE have the power to lead ourselves from the suffering that's causing us to devalue ourselves. 

Most of us searching outside of ourselves for answers to our problems, are condemning ourselves to lives of suffering and victimization.

Victimization is not limited to color, class, or status. It affects all of us who crave for things -- money, fame, institutional power, and so on -- to overcome our suffering. Unfortunately, suffering is found in the things we crave for the most.

Nevertheless, we continue to believe there's someone in the world now or is coming later to save us from our own deleterious behavior. We believe we can turn all our problems over to someone else to solve for us. And this someone will overcome the problems we have with illiteracy, crime, poverty, dependency, and so forth.

There are some salient questions we need to ask ourselves about the mythical leaders we are searching for.  

What skills will they possess? How will they overcome the societal suffering affecting all of us? And why can't we possess the same skills and overcome our own suffering? The answers to these questions undoubtedly opens the mind to see clearly the folly in such a search.

One illustration of the magnitude of our problems is found in education. Children who have been victimized by their environment  sit in classrooms and use the same text books, listen to the same teacher as the rest of the students, and continue not to succeed. 

What do students hear or think that causes many of them not to achieve the desired success? What prevents the students from reading, studying, turning in homework?

Is it racism? Oppression? Laziness? Lack of motivation? Victimized minds? What? It's something and it's been happening to children for hundreds of years without any really meaningful progress.

Whatever victimizes our students also victimized us.  We are their guardians. Yet we want someone to do something for our children that we are unable or unwilling to do ourselves.

We want leaders to magical transform the habits of children who have been beaten down by society so badly that life has have very little meaning to them. Unfortunately, they have been conditioned to accept powerlessness, and its ancillary effects of failure, long before they enter the classroom.

Meanwhile, solving our problems is more complex than a mythical leader created from the visions of victims. We need to enlighten our minds to overcome years of feeling inadequate about who we are and the power we have in this world.

The transference of power from others to ourselves is a psychological action -- an action of our minds. This doesn't require an outside leader.

So let's work to get over this nonsense of outside leadership. There's no one in the world better equipped to lead us than ourselves. We know what's happening in our lives.

We only need to get the inspiration and will to do something about it. This will and inspiration comes from an enlightened mind that's free of suffering. When we do, the world will look much different to us.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Living and Dying Without Ever Finding Fulfillment

The day begins when we awake, it ends when we sleep. During the interval between awakening and sleeping, some of us find our lives to be rewarding. While many of us find ourselves mired deeply in the struggles of survival and overwhelmed by our suffering.

Some of us don't have any idea of what it means to live a fulfilling life, particularly with minds besieged by cesspools of victimization and suffering. And like any adaptable animal, we swim in our cesspools without regard for the stench permeating our minds with deleterious victim beliefs.

This constant inhaling of victim beliefs provide us with few opportunities to fulfill our dreams. However, there are times, albeit infrequent ones, where we do get glimpses of living fulfilled lives. Unfortunately, they seem to come and go without our having any control over them. Poof! One moment we're feeling good about ourselves, the next moment we're feeling depressed.

During most of waking hours, we are busy chasing after things and people to bring us fulfillment.  We stuff our minds with delusional visions of having a nice car, suit, house, an expensive watch or a beautiful person to make us feel complete, fulfilled. We seldom spend comparable time searching for enlightenment.

It's difficult for some of us to believe enlightenment is as valuable as material things. The things in our lives are more important than abstractness -- the invisible power within us -- in bringing us the worthiness we seek. Consequently, we spend very little time on discovering our inner power. A house is real. So it is an automobile, clothes, entertainment, and so forth.

Similarly, many of our journeys are predetermined for us. The maps have already been created to show us the right roads to travel on. These well-traveled roads, paved with beliefs of materialism, egoism, glitter and psychological gratification. We travel on them because most of the people encourage us to. They point to the deep craters of suffering, neatly decorated by victim beliefs, as testament to the benefits you receive if stay on the victim road.

Today, some of us are tired of living in the squalid conditions within the repugnant cesspools of victimization. We want to travel on new roads. However, for us to travel on new roads, we have to build them. They only exist in our minds. Fortunately, there are some maps to guide us to some less traveled roads. These are the roads created by the enlightenment engineers. They are smooth and free of litter and the stench of victimization.

One of the first things we notice on the enlightenment road is fulfillment. Every action is a fulfillment of our desires to liberate ourselves from the cesspool of victimization. We are able to spend our waking hours pursuing enlightenment, the fulfillment we seek

The important thing for us to remember is that we can get off the victimization road. We can awake each day with the vision and clarity to overcome the suffering we are creating in our lives by our beliefs. When we change our beliefs, we change our paths, our journeys. This means we must travel on some less traveled roads. 

It's not difficult to do. All that's required of us is the willingness to stop abusing ourselves with victim (powerlessness) beliefs and search for the map (insight) within us that will guide us to enlightenment.. This is the moment when we stop chasing the illusions of victimization.

Meanwhile, from our suffering come seeds of enlightenment. Some of those seeds are planted in "Seeds from the Ashes."

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Value of a Victim's Life

It seems to many peace-loving people that too many people are being killed in the world. Some of them are killed by strangers, some by law enforcement, some by the military and others by friends, spouses, and the judicial system. And, sadly, we don't even know most of them.

They are faceless strangers we see on television, read about on the Internet or in newspapers. They're not part of our family. So we don't weep for them, except in those situations where we imagine something similar happening to one of our family members.

When it applies to us, we recognize the importance of life. And when it doesn't, we don't dwell on it long, unless the news media make us. We're stuck with our beliefs about the importance of life, or lake thereof. We're also stuck with our beliefs that some lives are more important than others.

Many of us don't like to discuss the importance of life outside of our immediate families. Perhaps we find this difficult to do, because we know that our society have already determined the value of our lives. They rank us according to where we live, the color of our skin, our religion, social, economic, and political status, and so on. We're born into this value-ranking system. No one asked us for our input.

Nevertheless, after we live for awhile, we begin to like ourselves and the way we look, talk, and act. We spend countless hours grooming ourselves, watching our diets, and trying to live socially accepted lives. And even with all of our efforts, we're unsure if we are having any impact on the decision-makers. Are they willing to give greater value to our lives because of the work we're doing?

The secret members of our society are not really too concern about what we think about the value of our lives. They must defend the existing ranking system, which determines the value of all of our lives. Although we don't know whose making these judgments, we believe it must be the oligarchy, or maybe it's even us doing it to ourselves.

Meanwhile, we continue to want our lives to be just as valuable as others in the society. And while we know that society doesn't agree with us, we still move forward with our desires to not have our lives labeled as inferior to others. Deep within our being, we believe we are important, our lives valuable, and we don't want our society to devalue us by its values life ranking system.

Similarly, we know that a devalued life is the core cause of personal suffering -- the cravings to become something that's acceptable to others and not to ourselves. Whenever we forget that we are adequate, complete as we are now, we begin to plunge ourselves deeper into victimization. By accepting judgments about the value of our lives, we embody the deleterious effects of victimization.

Unfortunately, many of us continue to do this until we reach the point where our lives become meaningless, worthless. At this stage of our victimization, we believe everyone in our class lives are worthless. This causes us to believe we are justified to take another person in our class life. We have minimal fears that we will be seriously punished by the system for killing someone whose life has already been devalued.

The violence in our society and in the world comes primarily from devalued people who believe their lives are meaningless. The thousands of people killed in our cities every year are far greater than the combined deaths of our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, sadly, those responsible for the killings believe they are fighting a war to gain self-respect from society. They want to be somebody.

For us to stop thinking of ourselves as victims with devalued lives, we must begin the process to revalue our own lives. We must begin to connect with our core feelings and to stop the senseless violence. To do this, we must lean what it means to really live in the world where we're able to experience and share love, peace, and compassion with ourselves and others.

Somewhere buried deep within our consciousness is the self-awareness of pure goodness. This place exists beneath the layers of victim beliefs, the years of victimization, and the deep yearning to feel good about our lives.  It's there.

To find it, we must overcome the doubts we have about the value of our lives. We must remain firm in our commitment to seek enlightenment. The value of life is contained in our awareness of enlightenment.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Children of America's Ghettos

We are living in an era of great anger. Many of us are searching for answers on the economy, war, and the endless political machinations dominating the news. And even with our daily meditations and prayers, we find it difficult to escape the gloom and doom. Yet many of us have, even under our current circumstance, a higher quality of  life than the millions of children in America's ghettos.

As the enlightenment-seekers, we are always working to find clarity. We desire to live beyond the darkness to see what's happening in our lives. And, unfortunately, sometimes by focusing too  much on our own development, we forget about the suffering of others. Perhaps we don't totally forget about others' suffering, we don't accept it as part of our own enlightenment efforts.

Many of us believe enlightenment is a personal commitment each of us have to make. We don't believe it can be forced on others. They must accept enlightenment willingly. And those who choose not pursue enlightenment will continue to live with suffering. It's their choice. And we want to leave it at that.

Whenever we take the time to think about the reasons we began to work on ourselves, we vividly remember the intense suffering we were undergoing at the time. We also know that by committing to enlightenment, we are also committing to sharing ourselves with others. If not, it seems rather selfish to become enlightened while the rest of the world is mired in lifelong suffering.

There cannot be pure enlightenment in our lives until we address our relationship with the children of America's ghettos. They remind us of where we are in our personal growth. We are forced to ask ourselves whether we are really enlightened or playing games of spiritual superiority.

Regardless to the pious words, spiritual posturing, and claims of compassion, we still feel an emptiness in our spirit because of the suffering of others.

 Similarly, this emptiness in our lives cannot be fulfilled with spiritual isolation of prayer and meditation. We must go beyond our own disciplines and actively express compassion to those who need it just as much as we do. We cannot become complete without sharing everything we have with the world. And our sharing must be very different from what traditional sharing has meant to them. 

The children of America's ghettos are born into great suffering. Most of them are destined to experience such intense suffering that most of us cannot even imagine the magnitude of it. Their suffering is not only tied to lack, limitation, and struggle, but suffering of the soul. And most of all, they suffer from a lack of genuine love and compassion from those who are responsible for giving it to them.

Nevertheless, regardless to the number of times we talk about accepting responsibility for our actions, we are speaking from our own perspective about suffering. It's our personal message. It's a perspective unavailable to those seemingly destined for jail, prison, unemployment, drug, alcohol, and food addictions, illiteracy, and every other societal degradation known to us.

There's no way for us to reconcile our enlightenment work without including others, even those who defy our efforts. And although many of us are unaware of what it's like to have a truly enlightened awareness, we believe it must be a state of consciousness that understands suffering. And to understand suffering, we also understand the victimization killing the dreams of millions suffering in America's ghettos.

America's ghettos extend beyond the physical parameters. The ghetto beliefs and culture thrives in everyone in this country. We have been taught to perceive it as the hellhole we all want to get away from. And as we do, we lose the ability to understand why we continue to have suffering in our lives, even when we achieve so many things -- education, money, status, and so forth.

Those of us who believe we are beyond the clutches of the ghetto culture, perceive others' suffering from our own victim perspective. We magnify their suffering by questioning the goodness of humans and the universal love of the Creator. We want answers to problems on suffering that are unavailable to us because we are too victimized by our own suffering.

Nevertheless, we still want to do something about the endless suffering of others in the world.Some of us pray for them. While others give money. And others develop programs to assist them with jobs, education, housing, addictions, and so forth.

We earnestly believe we are helping them to overcome the intense suffering caused by years of victimization. The more we give, the more they suffer. We cannot seem to reach our goal of less suffering. While we constantly search for more things to make the people more like us, we overlook that what's missing from our giving is love and compassion. We're devaluing  love and compassion by valuing money, education, jobs,and so forth.

After much work, as we go deeper into ourselves, we will gain the necessary clarity to discern the collective nature of suffering. This clarity will enlighten us to understand that we are all responsible for creating the conditions, the belief system, that's responsible for creating and maintaining America's ghettos.

Some of us seeking enlightenment believe our lives reflect a greater awareness of peace, love and compassion than those on drugs, alcohol, in prison, or mired in poverty, anger and self-hatred. And while we are products of the ghetto belief system, even those who deny it because of their current status, we find it difficult now to believe our suffering originated from our victimization.

Meanwhile, regardless to our denials, we have our own personal victim beliefs that are responsible for our suffering. They have everything to do with how we work on ourselves. We have a special illness -- victimization of the mind -- that requires special medicine. This medicine is only available in an enlightened consciousness.

It will take most of us the rest of our lives to cure ourselves of victimization.  

Friday, October 15, 2010

Loving Ourselves During the Low Points in our Lives

One of the most troubling aspect of working to achieve enlightenment is the vicissitude of life itself. We are living in a constant state of flux between happiness and sorrow, success and failure, love and hate, peace and angst and so on. While we know life is sometimes this way, we still find it too difficult to accept, particularly the low points in our lives.

Nevertheless, without planning to do so, we every now and then reach a low point in our lives. It's usually not something we anxiously awaited, like the joy from a wedding, it just suddenly happens.  This emotional downturn appears in our lives like the flu, a toothache, unemployment, or some other unwelcome problem.  And when it happens, we feel terrible. Life sucks. We quickly turn on ourselves by lambasting our behavior and stupidity.

During our moments of experiencing low points in our lives, we continually search for outside reasons to rationalize our decision making process. We struggle with guilt. We say  over and over again, "If only, we hadn't made such and such decision, then we would be in this fix."

Regardless to the number of times we vainly attempt to blame others, we always find ourselves right in the midst of every detail. And there's no amount of wishful thinking, "If we could just turn back the clock and start over again," that's going to assuage the pain of regret raging through us. The moans and groans only make us feel worse. 

During our conditioning as victims, most of us were never taught to love our low points. We were taught to seek the high points and shun the low ones. Yet it's the low points where we discover what's really happening to us. It's in our low points that we wage the most vicious attacks on ourselves.

When we feel down, we tend to search for more and more ways to attack our behavior, to demean ourselves. We find the attacks to be healing, to be liberating. They are our punishment to remind us not to make similar decisions again. These are the actions of self-victimization and powerlessness.

Similarly, the need for self-victimization is instinctive. We instinctively devalue ourselves so that we search for succor from others. The victimized mind is always uncomfortable with itself. There's little room for succor. We believe someone will provide us with the comfort, love, compassion, and inspiration that we're unable to provide ourselves. 

Meanwhile, and unbeknown to us, the power to liberate comes from us -- the ones who made the decisions that caused the low points in our lives. Our actions guide us. We follow them, however, we are their creator. And it's this understanding of personal responsibility and self-reliance that unlocks the mind to recognize the presence of enlightenment within us.

With open minds -- the awareness of personal responsibility and self-reliance -- we are able to love and comfort ourselves during the low points in our lives. We have the capacity to know that there's no difference between happiness and sadness, except our beliefs. If we believe such and such make us happy, while such and such make us sad, then we must ask ourselves who's making the decision about how we feel. We are.

One illustration of this power is the happiness we feel at a wedding or the sadness we feel at a funeral. These are feelings produced from years of victimization and from our limited knowledge about enlightenment. Enlightenment is available to us whether we're aware of it or not. We must treat it like a new invention.

Moreover, when we give power to events that don't possess, we devalue ourselves. We believe we are required to act in a certain manner during some situations. By embracing these beliefs and practices, we feed our victimization. For example, it's possible to be angry during a wedding and happy during a funeral, because we might dislike the people getting married, and feel happy  because someone we despised has died.

It's important for us to remain awake. And when we are awake enough to understand the low points in our lives, we also know that how we treat ourselves in certain situations depend more on our abilities to use love and compassion as effective tools of enlightenment than on the situations.

When we become awake enough to understand this concept of love and compassion, we will have the power give ourselves and others love and compassion. 

Meanwhile, enlightenment is just that simple. It's about using love and compassion during both the high and low points in our lives. If we do this, we will have opened our minds to see the limitless possibilities we have in the world.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Imagining Ourselves with Limitless Power

Many of us find it difficult to believe that we have limitless power. We constantly proclaim our limitations. We believe that it's socially acceptable to tell everyone about our imperfections. It's our way of confirming our victimization. And by confirming our victimization, we remain prisoners in our small, closed world where doubts rule.

Some of us believe this confirmation makes us like everybody else who think as we do. Unfortunately, it doesn't matter how many people say we have limitless power, we cannot will our minds to believe it about ourselves. To do so would completely alter the perceptions we have about ourselves and the world we live in.

Some of us might equate this type of thinking as spiritual heresy. We believe these beliefs about limitless power will plunge us deeper into self-victimization rather than liberate us from it. Surely, we opine to ourselves and others, if we think this way, something bad will happen to us. So we stop our search for the power, because of our fears.

Similarly, our limitations are nothing more than our beliefs about power. We are created with the universal equivalency of our Creator, at least insofar as our abilities to create ideas and express them in the visible world. In other words, like our Creator, we are able to create things from our thoughts.

Some illustrations of our creative power is expressed in our creations of the facsimile machine, telephone, computer, innovative medical and scientific achievements, and so forth. All these things came from the minds of humans like ourselves, who defied the collective self-imposed limitations of the world at that time. 

Moreover, until they were willing to do the creative work to birth new things in the visible world, people believed such power was nonexistent. In other words, since the world was unaware of the power, it meant that it didn't exist. 

Human limitations are the illusions of people who are unaware of life beyond their own experiences. We cannot accept something if we don't believe it's possible. And regardless to the number of times someone tells us that we have limitless power, we will return to our self-conceived victim beliefs. 

Each time we participate in the process of limited power, we do a disservice to ourselves by destroying the   will to search for the limitless power hidden beneath the victim beliefs guiding us in all our actions. In other words, we kill the creative power by our unwillingness to be open to new ideas.

Nevertheless, whenever someone extols us to examine limitless power, we don't believe this applies to us in the here and now. We have become too fixed on our own beliefs about limitations, and no one is going to tell us otherwise. The idea of limitlessness applies only to those beings who are beyond the illusions here on earth.

Many of us believe we are the children of parents with limitless power, but somehow they were unwilling to share it with us, which is illogical.  We are either created by a Creator with limitless power or we're not. If we are, which most of us believe, then our Creator gave us everything present within its consciousness.

This endowment includes the power to create something simply by conceiving and expressing it according to our liking. If we are not, which some people believe, then we must define how we acquired the power of creation. Either way, we have this power and we believe that we are powerless.

Meanwhile, the acceptance of limitless power is just as plausible as our accepting limitations. It's all occurring in our individual minds. In the main, we are greater than our human awareness.

Even though our self-victimization causes us to doubt our power, it's there nevertheless. Sadly, our lack of awareness only confirms our victimization. It's not a true form of the greater awareness available to us.   

The existence of power is found in each of us. Some of us discover it, while others ignore its presence. Today is the opportunity for a new human paradigm. It's our opportunity to move beyond the prophecies of gloom and doom and into a world of limitless power.

Whether we are aware of it or not, this is our temporary living quarters. There's no permanence, no security. It's a place where we can choose to live anyway we choose to, especially as it relates to our beliefs.

So while we're here, we can create mountains of self-victimization or oceans of enlightenment. It's our choice how we choose to live.

To understand life is to understand ourselves. If we only see a little light and much darkness, we must expand our capacity to bring more light into our lives so we can see the limitless power existing within us.



Monday, October 4, 2010

"The Truth is Elusive

What is the truth about us? Where did we come from? What are we doing here? and Where are we going?

These are the questions that trouble us on the journey to enlightenment. They inextricably tie us to powerlessness, because we really don't have the answers to them. Some of us believe we do, however, after a five minute discussion it becomes obvious we don't know what we are talking about.

The truth about us is found in the knowledge we have about ourselves and the world.

Some of us have very limited knowledge of ourselves, while others are more attuned to the process of searching for knowledge beyond traditional sources. We cannot know about things that we haven't been exposed to. If we are tied to certain beliefs, such as victim beliefs, we tend to believe this is the truth about who we are. And, unfortunately, we maintain these beliefs until we become aware of other, more enlightening, beliefs.

The simple answer as to where we come from is our parents; however, the more complex answer is found in our belief system.

We come from our beliefs. We are born of our beliefs and we live by them. Our origins begin with our awareness of ourselves and others.  Regardless to the number of times we tell someone we come from such and such city, town, or state, we are merely stating the place where we acquired our beliefs.

We are here to live enlightened lives.

We are here to experience happiness, joy, and live life abundantly, We are here to express compassion, love, and kindness to ourselves and others. We are here to overcome the illusions we were born into. We are here to learn how to become one with billions of other people. We are here to live peaceful lives. We are here to understand the meaning of temporary and impermanence. We are here to overcome our self-imposed limitations. We are here as part of a universal order of wholeness and completeness, and we are here to acquire the power to create limitless expressions of life.

We are going wherever our beliefs take us.

We are passengers on the train of life. Our destinations are determined by the societal whims and fads of the day. If it's a sluggish economy, terrorism, political machinations, religious prophecies, or social injustices, we are the passengers.

On the other hand, if we are aware of the existence of enlightenment, then we are passengers on a different mode of transportation. We must have the awareness to know which train to board.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Turning on the Power of Expression

Somewhere within our behavior is the source of our suffering. It's not a mystery or anything like that. It's just the cumulative effects caused by years of victimization. As many of us know by now, our behavior is always consistent with our beliefs. And when we are accustomed to using victim beliefs, it's difficult to recognize our consequential behavior as being out of character with our goals to achieve enlightenment.

On this journey, as we experience more obstacles in our desires to achieve enlightenment, we find ourselves fighting to maintain our lifelong beliefs of powerlessness. We continuously believe certain things about ourselves such as powerlessness while we perceive others as our oppressors. This is the process we use to take the actions that lead us deeper into the depths of victimization. We think, we act, then we judge.

Nevertheless, in most instances, we are basically satisfied with living as victims. We fail to perceive ourselves living beyond our neighborhoods. The thought of global connections are not for us. We are too preoccupied with learning how to become successful in our own small, isolated world void of all power, except for the illusions seen and felt only by victims. This is the environment where we express who the world has defined us to be.

Similarly, in our search for power from the victim beliefs we acquired in this world, we have come to believe and accept certain things about ourselves. We believe we look a certain way, which makes us appeal to others or causes us to devalue ourselves because of skin color, size, class, intelligence, status, wealth, and so on. We also cling to wishful beliefs that we are kind, caring people. There are few of us who have dug deep enough into our victimization to accept that our actions are inconsistent with kindness, caring or compassion.

Regardless to the number of times we hurt ourselves with harmful actions, we remain steadfast in our beliefs that we are blameless for our expressions. And even when our behavior is unquestionably harmful to others, we rationalize that it's not our fault but the other person's fault.  In the main, it's difficult for us to acknowledge the victim behavior we are expressing in our daily actions.

Meanwhile, after our expressions overwhelm us into a morass of moral, emotional, and spiritual servitude, we increase our efforts to place blame on others. From this perspective, we perceive life as us against them. This makes it easier for us to live with ourselves and not face the seemingly daunting work of changing our actions.

Unfortunately, most of us who come face to face with our victimized behavior cannot accept that we cannot accept the challenge to begin working on the countless beliefs creating all the problems in our lives. So, for now, we believe it's easier to remain as victims  and blame our dysfunctional behavior on others.

 Similarly, as victims of our own beliefs, we are constantly struggling to achieve things to make us feel whole, satisfied. As we acquire more things, and our beliefs about these things grow stronger, we become transformed victims. We begin to imagine that our newly acquired victim beliefs will transform us from victims into enlightened sages. Needless to say, this behavior only confirms our victimization.

Nevertheless, the expression of victim beliefs is the source of our suffering. The more beliefs we acquire the more intense our suffering. And the more we suffer, the more we work to acquire new beliefs to liberate us from our suffering. This circular spoke of action is nothing more than confirming we are victims. In other words, we believe we are victims and we are victims,

The source of victimization is our belief system. We believe we are victims and we are victims. We have forgotten how to use our power to believe something else about ourselves. For example, that we are not victims of our behavior, but the creators of it. And as creators, we have the power to change whatever we create in our lives.

Whenever we become victimized by our behavior, we must first look at ourselves before we seek help from others. We must understand something about the person acting in this unacceptable manner. To do this, we must understand that we are the creator using our power to create limitless expressions in our lives. And while it might seem to us that someone else is actually doing the creating, we are the ones taking the drugs, drinking the alcohol, overeating and refraining from physical exercise, sleeping with anyone willing to engage in sex with us, and lying on the sofa complaining about not having a job.

After awhile, we begin to expect someone to rescue us from this nightmare that we've created in our lives. We frequently search frantically for one of society's prize rehabilitation programs to magically liberate us from our suffering. In our weaken state of consciousness, we even plea, beg, them to accept us into the magical kingdom where we'll be cured of our deleterious actions.

After we convince them to let us enter the program, after our pain is diminished, after our self-confidence improves, and after we're told that we have overcome our dysfunctional behavior, we happily leave the program shouting profusely praise for having found the solution to our problems.  Unfortunately, this feeling of freedom will only last for a few days, weeks, or months before we return to the victim behavior that caused us the pain in the first place. 

Meanwhile, the truth about us resides with us We have the power to stop thinking and acting like victims. We have the power to eat healthy foods, exercise our bodies and minds, and obtain the knowledge to accomplish our goals in this world.

We are powerful whenever we recognize we are the creator of everything in our lives. This is the epiphany of enlightenment.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Rising from the Ashes of Victim Consciousness

Sometimes it's very difficult to think about the magnitude of our problems. We would rather daydream about something pleasurable. Yet it is from the daunting realm of our consciousness, the part where we're afraid to go,  that we must begin our journey to overcome the beliefs creating the problems in our lives. And even when we doubt our resolve to confront and overcome our problems, we must extricate ourselves from the muddled miasma of powerlessness.

When we really get serious about working on ourselves, we begin to release the tightness pressing down on our minds and keeping us inextricably tied to victim beliefs. After a while, and after intense personal development work, we can feel the freedom of perceiving the world without the judgments created by years of culturally developed .victim beliefs. While this feeling of freedom has always been available to us, even in those moments when we doubt ourselves, it's exhilarating to experience it in the midst of intense pain and suffering.

The beginning of any journey, particular one to enlighten ourselves, begins with the recognition that we want to travel beyond the place we are now. That is, we want to travel within the spaciousness of our minds to a place where we feel free of victim beliefs. This is the place where we get our tools to burn the victim beliefs growing uncontrollably in our consciousness. It is where we gain the strength and clarity to eliminate our victim beliefs, at least we can understand and not be frightened of them.

Some of us are too afraid to sit in the same place with our victim beliefs. We're too afraid of them. Even though these beliefs represent who we are, we believe they are what make us normal like others. In some situations, we proudly exhibit them as part of our victim entourage. So whenever we show up somewhere, we expect people there to recognize that we have an entourage of victim beliefs manifesting themselves as money, status, intellect, charisma, power, and any other illusions we want to create.

Meanwhile, it is our work that enlightens us. It is our ability to trust that we are greater than the illusions we have created in our lives. Although this is a very difficult task, we can do it if we really want to eliminate the victim waste from our consciousness. We can also decide to entrust our lives to the illusions and remain trapped in the miasma of victim beliefs and powerlessness. However, if we decide to entrust our lives to our enlightenment visions, then we have the opportunity to discover the freedom we need to overcome the illusions causing our problems.

For some of us, we find it too difficult to believe, actually believe, we are powerful. We have been wasting away for so long in the illusions of victimhood that we believe enlightenment exists only in some far away place, which we know nothing about. So whenever we hear someone discuss enlightenment, we interpret this to mean an unattainable place existing outside of us, at least while we're in our current condition of human suffering. This place of enlightenment is where we believe eternal happiness exists. Unfortunately, we don't believe it exists within our consciousness.

Nevertheless, whether we agree or not, we can only search for enlightenment within ourselves. There's no mechanism for us to use in our search, except the beliefs we use to define our behavior as good or bad. Everything we believe is good or bad is within our consciousnesses. It is only within our consciousness that we can discover the limitless power of the universe expressing itself perfectly in our lives.

Every belief within us is perfectly expressed in our behavior. We don't have to struggle to express victim beliefs. We express these beliefs effortlessly and exactly, in every detail, according to the illusions expressing themselves in our behavior. It is here, in the unconditioned consciousness, that we must find the tools to burn away the beliefs causing us to suffer. And it is in our unconditioned consciousness -- the part of us that remains free of our human development -- where we discover the enlightenment to provide us with the happiness missing from our lives.

There are some of us who believe it is blasphemous to say that enlightenment is within us and not in some far away place that none of us can describe with any clarity. Many of us accept this description of enlightenment, because it allows us to remain as victims in the world. The place we are seeking is found within us. It's not somewhere unknown to us. It's not hidden from us, except when we create the illusions to deceive us into believing our happiness is somewhere other than within us.

The deeper we go into our consciousness, the more we're able to see and respect the vastness that's there. There's so much awareness -- limitless expressions of life -- that's hidden from us. We are too overcome by our illusions to search for these mansions -- limitless expressions of life -- available to us.  Yet it is from our illusory awareness that we  define happiness, the universe, and everything else happening in our lives. So if we change our beliefs -- spiritual and secular -- about the location of enlightenment, then we quickly discover our awareness to be nothing more or less than our beliefs. 

Similarly, the happiness we seek is in the enlightenment we seek. We cannot discover enlightenment while we're besieged by victim beliefs constantly reminding us to search for it outside of ourselves.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Racism and Enlightenment

Those of us working on extricating ourselves from the clutches of victim beliefs find it difficult sometimes to stop thinking and acting as victims. We are acutely aware of the power words have on us, particularly words that we have been taught are demeaning to us. We are always vigilant, poised to strike, whenever someone hurls a racial epithet at us. In these type of situations, it's difficult for us to discipline ourselves to act from an enlightened position.

Sometimes the choices we make, in response to the external challenges to our wannabe enlightened awareness, are there to remind us of the work we have to do. And while it is our intentions to refrain from responding to words challenging our resolve to remain on the path to enlightenment, we're frequently unable to because we're too angry or too victimized by our cultural experiences and beliefs.

Nevertheless, it's the bases of our beliefs that's guiding our intentions. We intend to become empowered, but we fall short of our goal each time we return to our victim beliefs. At the root cause of our intentions and desires are the victim beliefs we have nurtured in our lives. They remain in our lives to remind us of our powerlessness, and they're there to assist us with evaluating our own level of enlightened awareness.

Most of us believe racism is a terrible belief. In many instances we are afraid to even discuss it for fear of someone labeling us racists or whining victims. And because of our unwillingness to investigate racism and its origins in our beliefs system, we remain steadfast in our willingness to cling to our victim beliefs. We do so while  publicly proclaiming ourselves as advocates for spiritual enlightenment.

Similarly, when racism enters onto our paths, it's there for us to grow or remain as victims. Racism, like so many other words we have created to devalue ourselves and others in the world, gets its power from those who believe in it. The mere existence of racism in our lives means we have accepted a world that defines people by skin color, class, and status.

For us to go beyond the limitations of racism, we must first redefine our beliefs. This requires a new, re-birthing process to cleanse our minds of the beliefs we are using to function in this world. The re-birthing must occur within our minds. We must kill the victim so the new enlightened person can be born. To kill means to remove, to cleanse the cancerous beliefs causing us to devalue ourselves. This is the process used to create all change.

Many of us find it refreshing to confront our fears. We welcome the opportunity to discuss racism as long as it's on our own terms. In other words, we want to discuss racism but continue to perceive it within a right or wrong framework. We don't want the outcome of the discussion to affect our developed beliefs about it. In the main, we want to have our beliefs about racism validated by the discussion. None of us want to accept or believe we're expressing racist actions.

Meanwhile, the greatest challenge to us is not by having or not having the discussion on racism, but our unwillingness to overcome victim beliefs and seek enlightenment. Moreover, the challenges of remaining peaceful, while living in the midst of racial turmoil, are ones that test our resolve to remain committed to our enlightenment goals.

Monday, August 30, 2010

"Rising Above Self-Condemnation"

Today, in some remote part of our minds, there's a cesspool of beliefs that's constantly putting us down. These beliefs are born from victim consciousness and nurtured by the vicissitudes of success and failure that we have bought into. And unfortunately, for some of us, it's our beliefs about our actions -- whether they are successful or not -- that inextricably tie us to victim consciousness, specifically, in this case, self-condemnation.

Most of us function without ever giving much thought or consideration to how our thoughts victimize us. We're too busy searching for the lost treasure of success and belittling ourselves for not being able to achieve it. Our thoughts have paralyzed us with doubts and limited our perspective of the decisions we are making in our lives. We are basically encapsulated in a web of self-condemning beliefs that's weaken our resolve to revalue ourselves with the tools of enlightenment that's available to us in our intuitive consciousness.

 Similarly, we frequently fall prey to the powerlessness associated with the doom and gloom of a slumping economy,  the deteriorating social, moral, and spiritual values, and political polarization spreading its cancerous destruction across this country. Even though this time period appears difficult to us, this is not the time to cling to our fears and doubts. This is the time to draw on the power we have to control our behavior and focus on our goal of enlightenment. This is our time to be empowered and to stop condemning ourselves for the failures and setbacks causing us to feel so unworthy to achieve the riches of enlightenment.

Some of us know the difficult we have with facing our fears and doubts. We have good days and days where we just cannot seem to overcome our feelings of inadequacy. On the days that we feel down, lowly to the point of depression, these are the days for us work harder on our vision of enlightenment. And contrary to what a number of well-intentioned people have told us about living in the present moment, many of us still find this to be very difficult. For some reason, we continue focusing on the past regrets and wondering if our lives would have been different if we had made different decisions.

Some of us, who are suffering with our decisions, want  desperately to live in the present moment. We would give anything to have our past regrets disappear so we can stop condemning ourselves. We desire to live in the present moment, but we're accustomed to the illusory contentment with the past. The past is home for us. It's where we live with the other victims, who are struggling for illusory political, economic, social, and religious goals. The freedom we seek is outside of ourselves.

It is from the position of darkness that we must seek the light of enlightenment. It is from the fears and doubts that we must seek enlightenment. of . It's here now in this moment where we must sit with the fears and doubts causing us so much pain, anger, self-hatred, suffering, and spiritual stagnation.

Whenever we become fearful of something or somebody, we seek to destroy it or ourselves. Some of us act this way because we are fearful of new information. We need our information to be rooted in the past, a cultural lineage of victimization, so that it's palatable with our existing beliefs.  If it's a denial of the cultural lineage of victimization, we find it difficult to listen to any information that holds us responsible for our actions. And while this type of behavior might seem strange to the present-moment advocates, it's normal behavior for those who have become victimized by our thoughts and beliefs.

What's even  stranger than our victim behavior is the narcissistic view we have of ourselves. In a world with billions of people, we believe the whole world is watching our every move. Whenever we want to do something, we wonder what others will think about us doing it. Will they approve? Will they support or reject us? We stop ourselves by our fears of being condemned by others.

Meanwhile, for us to go beyond condemning ourselves for not measuring up to some prescribed criteria of success and failure, we must be willing to nurture the enlightenment part of our consciousness. It is there where we find the freedom from condemnation.

Nevertheless, when we wake up from our victim nightmare long enough to go to the bosom of enlightenment where we are able to perceive ourselves existing in a meaningful and fulfilling way in this world, we will know the truth about who we are, and our relationship with others in the world. 

From the vision of enlightenment, we know we are worthy to exist freely with the billions of people on this planet. And we know there is no condemnation in enlightenment. We know clearly that we are powerful, compassion, and courageous enlightenment warriors.

Enlightenment is not magic, it's work. We must work to cultivate an enlightened mind. This requires us to remove the beliefs causing us to condemn ourselves.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Enlightenment Warriors

Today, unlike some other time periods, we seem to worry more. Some of us have become so enamored by all the new technology that we just cannot do anything for ourselves. It seems the more we search for inner peace and tranquility, the more we're exposed to all kinds of new technology. Some of it is a natural outgrowth of the times. While some is just downright crazy.

Those of us who are searching for enlightenment find all of this somewhat distracting. And unfortunately, in many ways, some of us are not working very well  with the new technology. We're finding it difficult to keep up with the changes.

 For some of us, it might be better to post "No Trespassing" signs on our brows. This psychological, symbolic gesture will remind us to become more vigilant of the information we allow into our minds. It will also remind us to stop worrying so much about  technology taking over our lives. And, hopefully, we can assuage our fears of being victimized by technology.

Those of us who feel victimized by technology and its effects on our behavior are become increasingly more apathetic to what's happening in the world. Somewhere along the way, we've lost our passion for living fully engaged lives. Perhaps it's the media saturation of news about war, unemployment, the stock market, home foreclosures, and the widening chasm of social and political changes threatening our emotional and psychological security.

Nevertheless, it's the overwhelming nature of our problems with the world  that's creating a viral strain of apathy within us. It's acting as a paralysis of consciousness. We cannot seem to get going like we used to when things were simpler. And now we're paralyzed by worry. Some of us can only hope and pray that things (technology) will slow down enough for us to feel meaningful again.

Similarly, some of us prefer the care-free, cavalier environment. We like the personal feel good approach where we can feel good about ourselves and others. It makes us feel less worrisome or overcome by worldly problems. In this environment, we can remain aloof and segregate ourselves from the deluge of information swirling around us. We can join with those who stand idly by and observe the world through the prism of  judgment, fear, and worry. We can, in effect, become apathy-warriors in the army of naysayers.

Whenever we succumb to apathy, we immediately become victims. And the more we become blinded by apathy, the more we devalue ourselves with less power. After awhile, and unbeknown to us, we become victimized by the information we are allowing into our minds. We are unaware of the moment-to-moment struggles we are having with taking action to solve our own problems.

As apathy-warriors, the victims of misinformation, we cling to the doubts and fears, which are the weapons we use to fight against action. We use them to wail mercilessly about the pernicious effects of powerlessness, and to reward ourselves with inglorious contentment with victimization.

Those of us who have lived with the stench of victimization permeating our nostrils are proud apathy-warriors. Everything in our behavior confirms inaction. We are the talkers -- the caretakers of private conversations -- seeking solutions with diseased minds infected by cultural beliefs of victimization. This is who we are and what we do. We are the advocates responsible for teaching, without realizing what we're teaching,  generations of  individuals how to become victims of information that devalue them as powerless.

The victimization process is quite simple. We begin teaching children to interpret information based on the racial, gender, religious, social, and economic categories  that define them. If we are uneducated -- academically, socially, politically and economically -- we can only teach our children what we know. And, unfortunately, in many cases it's not much.

If we are obese, with unhealthy lifestyles -- overeating and little or no physical exercise -- we teach our children how to become obese with unhealthy lifestyles. If we are addicted to alcohol, drugs, and so forth, then we teach, by example, our children how to become victimized by our addictive behavior. We can continue ad nausem with the examples, however, the point has been made.

Conversely, those of us who are educated, we teach our children how to assimilate and transform themselves into acceptability. We teach them the importance of having to be twice as good as others in order for them to achieve success. We victimize them by confirming our own victimization. We teach them to seek confirmation of their work from others.

Meanwhile, the victimization of us, and its corollary effects of apathy are illusory. They merely represent the beliefs that we have been taught by others. The entire concept of apathy-warriors is nothing more than another way to say victim. It's an opportunity to overcome, to change our thoughts and value our worthiness to be alive and successful.

The greatest power we have is our mind. When we allow information to enter into minds and become lifelong beliefs, we must ensure that this information is enlightenment. If not, we will remain inextricably tied to the victimization process that's causing us to doubt our abilities to take actions to solve our own problems.

The moment we decide to wake-up from our victim nightmare and seek enlightenment is the moment we free ourselves from the shackles of apathy. We stop fighting to be powerless. We free our minds of its self-imposed restrictions. We devote our time and energy to enlightening our minds to perceive limitless possibilities in our lives. We are aware that enlightenment is more than a word, it's a philosophy; a way of life.

We become enlightenment-warriors.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Taking Care of Ourselves

Nearly every day we are deluged with messages of doom and gloom.  Most of the times we can only sigh nonchalantly, shrug off our distaste for what's happening, and try to move on pass the unpleasantness to a more pastoral place. Whenever we feel like this, we are now willing to try anything to help us to overcome the powerlessness we feel about the economy, the political turmoil, our overall fears and the social carnage fueling the proliferation of violence and hatred streaming through the country.

To feel helpless is a terrible feeling to have.  When we want to do something, anything, to change what's happening around us, we create within ourselves a deeper level of anguish and pain.  Our suffering intensifies. We begin to believe that we cannot continue to stand idly by and watch what's happening without getting involved. Unfortunately, in many instances, we don't know how to engage ourselves in the process of change, because we don't know how to take care of our own selves. 

One of the greatest tests of our self-awareness is to understand who we are, and the power we have to take care of ourselves first before we try to take of others. This angst behavior is what causes so many self-proclaimed leaders to fall victim to their own teachings. They become over desirous to do something about the doom and gloom around them without first realizing it is there because of the way they think and act. Those who desire to change the world must first begin with ourselves.

The hatred we feel around us is there because of our beliefs. The same goes for the economy, the violence, the poverty and so forth. Every problem we encounter is there because of what we think about ourselves. If we believe we are powerless, the greater difficult we project into our problems. However, if we change our thoughts and empower ourselves with spacious minds, then we're able to perceive our problems as harmless expressions of our victim beliefs.

There's power in believing in ourselves. We can stop struggling to achieve something (s) that we have already achieved. We struggle because we're searching outside of ourselves for solutions to the problems we see in the world. And with our cloudy, victimized visions, we struggle to see ourselves expressed in the actions of others.  This cloudy vision prevents us from perceiving ourselves with the power to express whatever we desire to express.  In other words, we stop struggling to live as victims and begin to express the already present power of enlightenment within us.

 When work from the level of clarity, we are aware of everything within us. We know that everything we need to live successful in this world is contained within our intuitive-enlightened-consciousness. And regardless to the energies we devote searching for answers outside of ourselves, we will always return back to  ourselves for the answers. Unfortunately, for most of us, it's the doubts we have about ourselves that cause us to seek answers to our problems from outside sources.

There's something seemingly unnatural about victimizing ourselves into believing we are powerless to take care of ourselves.  As some of us know, we are what we think. It is our thoughts that embody the knowledge we have acquired from others.  Some of this knowledge tie us to victim consciousness. It causes us to believe we are powerless to take care of ourselves. And moreover, we must rely on others for solutions to the problems we believe are happening to us and others. 

Unfortunately, it is this knowledge that stops us from clearing away the doubts.  These are the beliefs causing us to wait on someone else to do it for us. In other words, someone will say what I'm thinking and then I won't have to do anything but agree with them.  This is how self-proclaimed leaders are born.

The challenge before us today is to become our own individual leaders. To do this requires clarity of purpose. We must remain mindful at all times about what we think and our actions.  We must change our psychological, emotional and physical diets so that we have healthy minds and bodies.

This means we perceive life with healthy attitudes. It also means we refrain from using our bodies as garbage disposals for the unhealthy foods we are eating. And we must learn to live without ingesting medications that assume to cure something that we can cure with daily dosages of meditations, healthy foods, and exercises.

When we become leaders of ourselves, we will witness our actions expressing themselves with the passion we see in the leaders of people. Most of these leaders express themselves passionately. They work fervently on telling the world how much they care about us and what must be done on our behalf. 

We must now do this for ourselves, because no one knows our feelings and problems better than we do.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Becoming Involved in Change

Nearly all victims are angry about something.  It's usually the way we feel about our living conditions vis a vis those of others.  Most often our anger is misdirected toward others, even those whom we don't know. And it's this misdirected anger that prevents us from becoming involved in changing how we think and live.

To change from victim to enlightenment, we must become aware of what we're doing to ourselves and others. This is not a lackluster, cursory awareness of our behavior, but a deep, prolonged examination of the origin and development of our beliefs that cause us to become angry at ourselves and others for not measuring up to our self-prescribed goals of success.

The change we seek must be from an intense desire to understand how we acquired our beliefs about ourselves and others. It is from this starting point that we must begin our transformation journey

Some of us believe change is an inevitable consequence of age or experience.  In other words, after we have numerous experiences with the vices and virtues of the world, we will ultimately decide to become virtuous. It's unfortunately for us that the transformation process is not based on either age or experience, but on our commitment to examine the origins of our beliefs and change those beliefs causing us to suffer. 

WE can decide to change at any point in our lives. There's no spiritual, psychological or material determinate dictating to us.  It's our individual choice to live as victims or as enlightened people.

The world we are living in now is composed of ideas, laws, beliefs, and prescribed virtues on right and wrong.  Nearly everyone has a opinion on how to change. So it's difficult for us to know who to trust or what to do to overcome the suffering. Most of us just continue to read, meditate, pray, and search for answers within our minds.  We believe, perhaps because we have been told so, that within our minds we will find a place that's free of all victim beliefs.

The inner search for something different is troubling for many of us. We cannot visually experience that which we seek either in ourselves or others. And while many people extol messages about how to change our lives, we continue to remain victimized by our beliefs. Unfortunately, some of us are in denial about the fact that we are still victims.  We cannot even accept that our suffering comes from us.

To be clear, some of us believe we can never go beyond the beliefs we have about skin color and race. We are forever inextricably tied to the beliefs that define our color and race.  And even after years or decades of meditating, praying, and trying to be kind to people, animals, and so on, we continue to perceive and accept ourselves according to the beliefs responsible for our suffering.

Some of us believe we were born into a victimized world that has grown accustomed to perpetuating itself as victims of imperfection. The generational changes, particularly in science and medicine, pale in comparison to the less than stellar spiritual progress. We are still searching for the meaning of enlightenment in a world we have judged to be overcome by victim beliefs.

Meanwhile, we remain in search of enlightenment in spite of our beliefs.  We continue to work on the judgments we have about ourselves and the world, and to reaffirm our commitments to achieve enlightenment.

Nevertheless, it's our willingness to seek enlightenment that changes our perspective of living in a victimized world. And this change in perspective allows us to engage in the work necessary to overcome our victimization.

WE have the power to change the world into whatever we desire it to be.  The only things preventing us from doing this are our beliefs.  When we change our beliefs completely, we change ourselves completely.  This allows us to become one with the world, not as observers, critics or judges, but as participants. We are responsible for the changes we seek in ourselves, not for those whom we judge to need changing.

Friday, June 25, 2010

"Growing Up in a World of Plenty"

It's not difficult for us to deceive ourselves into believing we are powerless.  Most of us do this naturally. And, unfortunately, most of the time we are unaware of what's happening. As victims of our beliefs, we are usually heavy laden with difficult problems and few solutions. We find that the sheer weigh of victimization has weaken our minds to the point where reality and illusion are blurred by our efforts to bring more and more things -- people, places, and money -- into our lives.

As many of us know from having been on the road for a few years, we respond to ideas that promise us things. Sadly, we are moved by things. And some of us  are willing to do just about anything to have them. We  measure our worthiness by the things we possess.  While we live in a plentiful world, we struggle to have the things that we believe are out of our reach. Our search has become an external one, not an internal one.

As enlightenment-seekers, we are constantly reminded to focus on things.  At nearly every juncture in our travels, someone reminds us of the value of having riches and fame.  And for some of us, we find this very attractive.  We rush hither and yonder to hear salespeople preach about how to access things.  And the more promises they make of our achieving great  things, the more we strive to get them. We have, somewhere in our consciousness, embodied beliefs that we should seek things outside of ourselves. So we are always searching for people and things to make us feel complete. 

Whenever we wipe the cataracts -- the victim beliefs -- from our eyes, our vision improves significantly. With some clarity, we can perceive our actions within the context of adequacy  and inadequacy.  This clarity allows us to understand what's causing us to search outside of ourselves for things to make us feel adequate or complete. 

Similarly, by admitting we need things, we are confirming our inadequacy or incompleteness. Moreover, we are confirming we live  in a world of plenty.  This belief in plentifulness confirms the lack in our lives and cause us to  feel alienated from spiritual completeness and material completeness. It is our lack of completeness  that causes to search outside of ourselves for the things we see others with.  It is our lack that confirms our poverty. And it is our lack that confirms our victimization.

Nevertheless, it's poor among us who are constantly confirming their poverty.  It's the middle and upper middle-class that's  constantly working to escape from poverty by acquiring more things. And it's the rich class that's working to maintain their wealth by acquiring more things than others.  We are all waging battles with ourselves for the things to make us feel complete, important people.

The scarcity of things in the lives of the poor is always causing them to do whatever they can to own giant screen televisions, luxury automobiles, expensive clothes, and stay in luxurious hotels all in vain attempts to feel more complete. It's difficult to accept that things don't make us happy or complete, because we do feel happy and complete, albeit, for only a temporary time. And it's this temporary happiness that drives us forward to seek more and more moments of temporary happiness, which is followed by longer moments of longing for more things to fill the void of incompleteness in our lives.

The victimized mind perceives the rich and famous people as powerful, while on the other hand, we perceive ourselves as powerless. Unfortunately, this description of life is only a reflection of our illusory minds playing tricks on us. We have forgotten that we are complete without things.

Meanwhile, the face we see in the mirror is whatever we believe it is.  If we compare it to other faces, then we might disapprove of how we look and seek to change it.  On the other hand, if we see ourselves complete in the moment, then there's no reason for us to feel inadequate or incomplete. We don't need to change anything. This does not mean nurturing bodies and minds that are detrimental to our well-being. If we are overweight, struggling to walk, we should act to give ourselves more energy by engaging in healthy diets and regular exercise.

As enlightenment seekers, we are awaken enough to know that by engaging in healthy diets and physical exercise we strengthening our minds and bodies to complete the journey we have established for ourselves. Our activities are limited to taking care of our health and not by struggling to become like someone we believe has achieved looks and status that make us feel inadequate. We live in a world of plenty and lack or scarcity are expressions of victimization.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Standing Alone With an Enlightened Mind

To be alone is not all that bad if you have yourself as a companion. The self I am talking about is the transformed, enlightened, or awakened mind. The problem many of have with this situation is our willingness to believe we are somehow deficient or inadequate.  And by thinking and believing we are not adequate the way we are, we begin to move away from the self and search for other companions -- people, places, and things -- to make us feel adequate or less deficient.

The more we condemn ourselves, the more intense our search becomes for companions. This is a natural search used by millions of people throughout history. We cannot seem to understand why we feel inadequate or incomplete with ourselves. Some argue it's because we need the companionship of others.  That's why there are billions of people in the world. We need them to make us feel adequate. Perhaps this is valid, but does it really address our individual feelings of adequacy.

Some of us become frightened with the thought of being alone, even for a few hours, without companions. We find it too difficult to feel complete with ourselves. We find life boring without our self-imposed distractions.  We need companions who think and act like us to make us feel adequate. And regardless to their percieved shortcomings, they still provide us with a comforting effect. And while many of us proclaim our desires to achieve enlightenment, we really don't believe it's possible without having large numbers of companions in our lives.

The victimized mind is always searching for more and more victims as companions. We need them to validate ourselves and our judgments about who we are. Somewhere in our victimized conditioning we have reached conclusions about how the world should be, how people should act, and the righteousness of our judgments. We have judged ourselves, the world, and others inadequate. And, somehow, we believe our judgments are valid because they come from us.

When we free ourselves from condemnation, we clearly know that Life without our judgments is wonderful.  There's nothing right or wrong about it at all. What is considered good for one person is judged bad for another, and so on.  It's when we add our victimized beliefs to create perceptions about people, places, and things, that we create a distorted reality of what's happening in the world.

Nevertheless, we are constantly making judgments about ourselves and others and acting on our judgments. This is the behavior that's crippling our minds to seek enlightenment somewhere else. We have become too engaged in the movie and forgotten that we are only observing cinema illusions, not realities. We must remain mindful of who we are in our experiences. When we do this, we clearly know we cannot perceive a reality greater than our beliefs, experiences, and knowledge of the world. 

Whenever we take the time to be alone with ourselves, we realize that we always alone with ourselves.  Wherever we go, we take our beliefs, experiences, and knowledge with us.  We never leave home without them.  We are the self that we despise and want to make better.

For us to become better, we search for others to become our models.  And in many instances, we don't really know the persons we are seeking to become.  All we really know is they seem to be doing better than us.  We want to be like the best and brighest. That's all that really matters.

So we leave our condemned selves to become like people we believe have the things we desire to have in life. It matters little to us that we know very little about their private behavior or level of awareness. This is the pilgrimage all victims must make in search of the self outside of ourselves. This is the journey victims refer to as enlightenment.

Meanwhile, what if our evaluation of the self is incorrect?  What if we are already perfect, complete and adequate?  If we are, then the search for completeness is within us. We must first understand why we believe we are inadequate.  And by what authority -- enlightened or victim minds -- are we reaching this conclusion? In other words, we are untrained medical doctors reaching conclusions about our medical conditions and prescribing medications based on misguided conclusions.  

For many of us on the enlightenment journey, it seems more plausible to accept ourselves as adequate than inadequate.  If we are adequate, we only need to change our thinking about us being inadequate.  Whenever we bestow greatness upon ourselves, we lessen the work we need to do to overcome our victimization. And it begins with the self, not the victimized mind projecting itself to us as the self, but the perfect and complete self

When we reach the point in our discovery where we achieve victim-free minds, we are now open to self-discovery. We now have the confidence, the spaciousness, and the willingness to pursue the uncorrupted, intuitive self hidden beneath the victim beliefs causing us to condemn ourselves. To search for and find this consciousness, we must know or believe that it exists within us.  If we don't believe or know this, we will search for the intuitive self  in others.  And, unfortunately, our searches will be in vain.  We. our intuitive selves, do not exist outside of us, except in our victimized minds.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Cultivating the Mind

Today, it seems that so many people are suffering from an unidentifiable psychological malaise. First of all, most of us don't even know we feel this way.  Sadly, we find it difficult to recognize the hold victim beliefs have on us. We struggle to survive, to cope with the unidentifiable problems causing feelings of malaise. And because we don't recognize the problem, we don't know how to go about solving it.

As victims with unidentifiable problems,  we have imprisoned ourselves in a miasma of angst and intense suffering. It is from this mindset that we learn to live with intolerable pain.  This is the level of consciousness where we must begin our work to overcome the victim beliefs rendering us powerless to perceive life without pain and suffering.

At the heart of all doubts, pain, and suffering is our mind. If we allow our minds to be cultivated with daily dosages of victim beliefs, then we will, inevitably, find ourselves functioning in a bottomless pit of victimhood. Victimhood is our anointed sanctuary, our safe house, where we hide from bountiful opportunities to free our minds of victim beliefs. Here, in our self-anointed kingdom of victimhood, we are able to redefine our powerlessness as success. We are free to embody apathy and espouse blandness prose about the benefits of seeking victimhood.

In our world, in the kingdom of victimhood, we are free to suffer in silence, because suffering is the way of life for victims. And even if we wanted to complain or do something about our living conditions, there's no one around to hear us. Unfortunately, in our kingdom -- victimization of the mind -- we have fallen too far down into the morass of pain and suffering for anyone to even know we want to transform our minds.

Nevertheless, there's a way for us to free ourselves from victimhood. When we reach the point in our suffering that we recognize it as suffering, we are ready to begin our ascend from victimhood into enlightenment. We, regardless to our numbers, begin to open our minds to perceive the limitless opportunities available to us.  Our willingness to search for openness provides us with enough light to take the first step.  And with each step thereafter, we create greater clarity. 

Whenever we open our minds to embrace clarity, we begin the planting of seeds -- thoughts, ideas, and beliefs -- that cultivate our now fertile minds to produce enlightened activities. And it is from our daily activities that we begin to change our behavior and begin our ascend from victimhood. While the process is long, and sometimes arduous, we must continue on our journey if we desire to overcome the suffering in our lives.

Now, even among those of us who are reluctant to embrace new ideas, it certainly seems plausible that if we change our activities, we, undoubtedly, change our results. It seems that only question is the type of activities we change to.  And as painful as it might be, we have to accept personal responsibility for the the actions that led us to  us to victimize our minds in the first place.

In the meantime, we must do the work ourselves.  We cannot wait on someone to do it for us. The seeds we are planting today are the ones that will become our actions for tomorrow. So we must remain mindful of the types of seeds we are planting. If we want peace, we must plant peace seeds. If want forgiveness, we must plant forgiveness seeds and so on.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Tearing Down the Walls

When there's pain in our lives, there's love. When there's anger, there's peace. When there's hope, there's action. When there's action, there's change.  When there's change, there's the door to enlightenment.

It's difficult to shine enough light (enlightenment) on so much darkness in our lives. Even as we work to bring light into our lives, we are, by our actions, unknowingly creating more darkness.  A victim mind is a terrible thing to keep.  Yet many of us cling to victim consciousness because of our unwillingness to exchange information with others in an open, nonrestrictive dialogue. An openness where we are willing to stop defending our beliefs and refraining from criticizing others because we disagree with them.  

Nevertheless, by letting go of the toxic victim beliefs we're holding on to, we open our minds to examine other options available to us. This small exploration of our inner awareness  is a significant step for neophytes on the enlightenment road. It's our first foray into the power we have to search for tools outside of our comfort zone.

Similarly, we must learn how to become independent thinkers and free our minds of the prejudices and doubts victimizing us. This means we must free ourselves from our attachments, particularly those beliefs that cause us to believe we must maintain the status quo.  

To free ourselves from our attachments is not an easy task. Many well-intentioned and committed people have tried and failed in their quests to do this. It's especially difficult for those of us who are attached  to religious dogma, political affiliations, and societal definitions of who we are and the power we have to overcome powerlessness. These are the beliefs that inextricably tie us to dysfunctional lifestyles.

Some of us, even with new information, remain firmly attached to our old beliefs. Unfortunately, most of our lives have been devoted to mastering victim beliefs, not overcoming them. As loyal followers of victim beliefs, we remain committed to staying where we are in life and not listening to new ideas. It's very difficult to change after so many years of living as victims.

The strain, the wear and tear on our minds and bodies give our illusions such great power that we forget where they came from.  Since we have been victims for so long it's difficult to recognize that our beliefs came from others. The world and all its beliefs were waiting on us to become a part of it. And with no input from others, we entered a world where others believed their beliefs were basically sacrosanct.

 In this world, we accepted whatever our parents and teachers taught us.  If they were Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and so on, they taught us beliefs consistent with their own. And like others before them, they believed if we adhered to their teachings, we would ultimately be saved from the pain and suffering in the world. We would live virtuous lives and someday achieve enlightenment, even though they had not done so themselves.

After a while, we embodied others' beliefs as our own and set out to teach them to others.  We were proud to identify with a certain political, religious or social ideology. And it would only be much later in our lives that some of us would begin to question our beliefs. By questioning our beliefs, we risked alienating ourselves from our parents, teachers, friends and so forth.

 Nevertheless, when the first questions begin to awaken in us, we begin to experience the pain and suffering from trusting ourselves. There's a natural fear that comes from standing alone. It's a fear that cuts deeply into our minds and carves away the stench of victimhood. It allows us to experience the freshness of clarity and perceive life without judgments about who we are.  In the stillness of clarity, we are no longer attached to the right or wrong thinking.

With our newly formed clarity, some of us begin to go further, deeper into our minds for the answers to our beliefs. At the deeper level, we can see the wall that's separating us from ourselves and others. This is the wall built by generations of victims to teach, protect, and transform us into believing we are powerless to escape from our beliefs. And unless we stop living behind the wall, we, too, will teach our children how to live without ever expressing their full potential. This is the wall we have built to prevent enlightenment from entering into our lives.

Unfortunately, most of us teach from behind the victim wall. Whenever we decide we want to help others to live better lives, we steadfastly hold on to the beliefs that we received from behind the wall. These are the beliefs that cause us to believe we have sufficiently mastered the victim beliefs and we're now in an exalted position to teach others. It is from this level of awareness that we begin to cling to righteousness of our beliefs and doubt everything outside of the wall. 

As we teach from behind the wall, we offer others, those who believe in us, money, personal comforts, fame, power, peace, security, and so on.We provide them with elaborate presentations and testimonials to demonstrate the success of living behind the wall with victim beliefs. We tell them this is enlightenment. Everyone wants what we have.  The world idolizes us.

Similarly, as begin to build our own walls within the walls of others, we become more confident that we made the right decision. As we look at the beautiful walls shielding us from the suffering in the world,  we work harder and harder to ensure they will never be destroyed. No one can challenge what we are doing because it's right.  We must shield ourselves from others so they don't come and try to destroy the victim beliefs protecting us from the world.

Meanwhile, the harder we work to create victim beliefs, the more we become lost in a victim euphoria of righteousness. And some of us begin to believe that enlightenment beliefs built the great walls around us. Unknown  to us is all the pain and suffering behind our walls. However, since we have never seen a world without pain and suffering, we believe the suffering around us actually comes from enlightenment.


Today, we must awaken from this nightmare and begin tearing down the walls --belief by belief --shielding us from enlightenment.  This means we must begin to create independent minds that are open to examining and changing our beliefs. To some of us, this is frightening because the mere thought of exploring something else is unthinkable, blasphemous. Yet we cannot have unity of purpose without first understanding how we became victims in the first place.

 Our judgments come from our beliefs. And until we achieve enlightenment -- the ability to live without attachments to people and things -- we are judging others from behind the walls preventing us from seeing what's really happening in the world.