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Thursday, October 31 2019

Companionship and Growth


         I once read – where, I don’t remember – a phrase that has stuck with me for years, “the tyranny of self-improvement.” This nagging, tyrannical approach to growth imprisons us in the not-good-enough land of perpetual striving and perpetual discontent.


         In the presence of an inner dictator, we can still grow – but we grow, despite this judging presence, not because of it.  Force impedes growth.


         So, where do I plant myself in support of my growth intentions?  How do I exercise leadership with myself?


         My short answer: compassionate companionship.


         I invite a connection between the wise elder within and all the other parts within me - most of whom are younger, some of whom resist growth, all of whom are welcomed.


         From the leadership stance of this wise elder, I talk with myself, not at myself.  I don’t overpower resistance.  I listen respectfully and problem solve from a win-win perspective.  I work toward inner alignment.


         Sometimes, as the wise elder, I’m gently firm with myself - persistently encouraging and rewarding small steps forward.  Sometimes, when I encounter resistance inside – especially strong resistance – I honor and accept the message that I’m not ready for a particular step at a particular time.


          Healthy relationship is the source of all lasting influence.  Compassionate companionship builds healthy relationship.


         Our desire for excellence is innate.  Growth is a natural unfolding within us.  Compassionate companionship trusts this unfolding - and nurtures it. 


         In the nourishing environment of compassionate companionship - guided by the inner wise elder - we flow and we grow.  









Posted by: AT 12:14 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, October 08 2019

Be Here Now


    88-year-old spiritual teacher, Ram Dass, author of the classic text Be Here Now, is failing physically and readying himself for death.  In connection with a recent talk, Ram Dass was interviewed by David Marchese for a September 2nd New York Times article.  My friend, Dan, sent the article my way.


         In response to a question about his teaching, be here now, Ram Dass replied:


         “In each moment, go into the moment.  Our minds take us back and forth in time.  I teach a moment.  And I teach that we identify with the ego.  The ego is a mind warp, and most people don’t identify with their soul.  They’re worried about excess meaning.  The soul witnesses the ego and witnesses thoughts.  ‘Be here now’ gives people an opportunity to re-identify outside of their thinking-mind ego and into that thing that’s called the soul.  It is the perspective from which we could live a life without being caught so much in fear.  To re-identify there is to change your whole life….


         “Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts:  Those are the daily attention-grabbers that make it so that you can’t come from your mind to your heart to your soul.  The soul contains love, compassion, wisdom, peace and joy, but most people identify with the mind.  You’re not an ego.  You’re a soul….


         “Go to the spiritual heart and there will be a doorway to the next plane of consciousness:  soul land.”


         Presence in the moment connects us with heart.  Heart leads us to soul.  Be here now.



Posted by: AT 11:23 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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