Rank #1: Class 50 - The Ego
Many times spiritual seekers put themselves inadvertently in conflict with themselves. The ego is an example of this. Many feel that the ego must be conquered or supressed or even completely disregarded or ignored. As though, for some reason, the ego was a mistake and we have to do all we can to ignore or overlook or disown it. The ego is not a mistake, it is not a hindrance, it is not a curse, the ego is our life’s curriculum of ‘doing’ for the expansion of our ‘being’. The ego is actually probably the most important aspect of us in this life and it is an absolutely awesome design. It tells the story of how we think about ourselves and our universe. Everything is mirrored in our ego. >>>
Rank #2: Class 49 - The Body and the Mind
As spiritual seekers we are often quite hard on ourselves. In these next two classes we are going to talk about being kinder, specifically the body and the mind whilst in class 50 we will be discussing the ego. To be clear though, even though we will be talking about the body, mind and ego, these are actually just labels for different aspects of the soul. In reality everything is soul, these are just distinctive aspects of the soul we are already familiar with. >>>
Rank #3: Class 30 - Free Your Mind
One of the finest instruments given to us at the start of our life here on earth is our wonderful and complex mind. From the point of view of our meditation life the mind can be a blessing, but, if not properly trained, a profound hindrance. Its main feature is its malleability. This is also its problem. It can be made to believe anything. Indeed, it can even believe that it is in charge. It is programmed by its own thoughts, its own creation, and the more a thought is repeated the more likely it is to be believed. The mind is a master of habit. A habit is a thought pattern that requires no decision making process. For a computer this would be called a program. We program our mind by repetition. Just reflect for a moment how powerful this is. Just by repeating a thought pattern over and over, firstly it becomes a habit (so we no longer make decisions about it) and most often it becomes a belief, no matter how wrong it might actuality be. It is as though the mind is on automatic and it programs itself by the things we repeat to it. Its actually amazingly ingenious. With this very same process it creates an ego, which is really nothing more than a bunch of habits and repeated thoughts about what has happened - our past, and what might happen - our future. The ego exists only in the minds past and future. Whenever we observe the mind we see this play of time. The ego does not understand what exists in the now. The mind has very little to do with the flow of love in the present moment. However, the heart is completely in the present moment, which also contains within it the entire universe and all of time, i.e. eternity. From the present moment the heart in the flow of love projects out through the mind in intuition, inspiration and creativity. The mind and ego should really be a mouthpiece of the heart, but most often it gets so carried away with itself and its own noise that it completely shuts the heart out. It tries to make us believe that it is the only reality, and attempts to do this by always keeping us thinking about the past or the future, and never experiencing the present moment where it does not understand who it is.
Rank #4: Class 26 - Depression
Rank #5: Class 37 - Curing Addictions
Often when we are caught by addictions we have lost trust and faith in so many things or people that we rely on our addiction to show us the unconditional love we so desire.
What in our lives does not judge us, does not expect anything of us and is always there like a donut to love us and give us that wonderful, warm feeling of being loved. For the food addicted, the humble donut may just be the only entrance to unconditional love in their life. Often a food addiction comes at a time when we feel that we cannot trust or have faith in others and even more so, ourselves.
You will see the same pattern emerging with alcohol or drugs or cigarettes. These things do not judge us. We can lock ourselves up in what we think is our safe, little cocoon of our addiction and feel that we are being loved - but in actuality the opposite is unfolding.
Our addictions are self-compounding because they start to give us the feeling that the addiction is the ONLY thing we can trust. Therefore the only thing we can love. The more addicted, the more insulated we become from the authentic universal flow of love that is always loving us. As the addiction grows we feel we can't trust anyone, we can't trust the universe, we can't trust fate, we can't trust ourselves. And so the only thing we can love is the addiction. We lose all faith in the universe and ourselves. We give all of our power, all of our trust to our addiction.
Sometimes it is not until we hit rock bottom that we realise that this limited expression of love is actually killing us. We, as a being that must be in the full flow of love to be happy, feel stifled and isolated and depressed when faced with this limited view of ourselves. We realise that we are supposed to be so much more loving, but our addiction has us all tied up to one (or two or three) hollow habits that imprison us with the feeling that the only way we can feel love is through the addiction.
The answer is as simple as it is difficult.
Thank your addiction and then move on. Thank it for being there, for loving you when you had nothing else you could trust. Thank it for loving you no matter what. And then gently explain to yourself that it is time for you to love more and be loved more. That everyone will be happy, including your addiction when you open yourself to receive more love and offer more love without expectation or condition.
Start slowly. Go out into nature and feel the love that is all around you. It might be a sunset or a forest but just take the time to really immerse yourself in your meditations there. Realise that nature loves you and just by breathing you can breathe in that love. Believe it or not this is not going to be easy. It is as simple as it is difficult and you will need to practice over and over again almost always without any feeling of making any progress.
Then open some more. Realise that your friends and family are loving you. Begin to see that fate is loving you that nothing happens by accident and everything that happens is a blessing. Offer gratitude to open your heart more and more. Realise that even your enemies, even though they dont know it are loving you.
Go and do some volunteer work. Offer your love without condition by helping others or our little planet. Clean up our beaches or save a whale or work in a soup kitchen or help someone homeless. I know this sounds flippant. But this is the part of your recovery that will be the most powerful. To love more, we need to trust more and have more faith. That only comes from practice - it cannot come from sitting alone with your addiction. And every time you try will not be a success by your reckoning, but every time you try will be the biggest celebration for your soul.
You will see that there is only one lasting cure to every addiction and that is the flow of love. The more you recognise that the universe is a friendly place that you can trust and have faith, the more you will rejoice in your wonderful life. Trust yourself. Have faith in yourself. You are a magnificent and powerful being that is full of love. You will not be happy until you immerse yourself completely in that flow of love there is no simpler way.
Rank #6: Class 47 - Suffering
Is suffering really necessary? If this is heaven as many say it is, how then can we be free of suffering? In Sunirmalya's opinion, the masters of the past might be famous because they suffered so much and offered freedom from suffering after death, but he contends that if heaven is here now, then we have to deal with suffering and our attachment to it.
Rank #7: Class 16 - Letting Go
Rank #8: Class 40 - Reclaiming life: don't be a victim
We are all victims
Our world is geared towards victims and most of us feel that is what we are. We are victims of the events of our life, we 'deal' with life, 'struggle' through its trials and tribulations, for 'life was not meant to be easy' - we have to work hard to get what we want in our 'dog eat dog' world.
We are the victims of our bodies. Have you ever noticed a baby when they soil their nappy in the beginning, they have no idea it was them that did it? Our body is too young, we poo in our nappy and then we smile or act as if it is not our fault - we are the victim. We just poo, we don't really know how or why it happened but we are sure someone will clean it up. As time goes on gradually we are able to show the baby that it is them that is making the mess and they are obliged to poo responsibly. But still we are victims of our bodies. Our bodies are decaying and wrinkling and sick, dying and sad. We need less fat here and more muscle there, our bodies are never pretty enough or strong enough, again we are the victim. Then we are old and pooing in a nappy again.
We are the victims of our circumstances. Our parents did not give us enough love or opportunity or money. Our school did not have good enough teachers or enough facilities or was too crowded or too backward.
And every politician, every government will tell us that it is not our fault, that we are victims of the last government or the peoples of another country, or the global economy and everything is about to be ok, now that they are in charge. We are victims of their lies, of their incapacity to fix all of our problems.
We are all victims every night on the news. We hear about all the victims, all of the people that died or who are sick or who are worse off than us. All the people that were bullied or murdered or stepped on or over. Where is the good news - the wonderful things that happen to 99.99% of the people 99.99% of the time? No, what we are told over and over again is we are victims, we have been victims or we are about to be victims.
Rank #9: Class 34 - Hypnosis, Affirmations & Meditation (UPDATED 30 DEC 2008)
They both use very similar entry techniques, to relax and calm the mind and become concentrated and peaceful. They are both very powerful self development tools, but that is where the similarity ends.
In my experience of hypnosis the focus is on the subconscious, and in understanding and reprogramming past negative learned behaviours. We enter into very deep concentrative states where we are able to replace bad habits and negative thought patterns from the past with positive, inspiring thought models for the future. Often just becoming aware of a negative thought habit is enough to dismantle it.
Hypnosis makes it apparent again that lots of what we have programmed into our subconscious can be extremely detrimental. It makes us recognise that just because we repeat a thought doesn't make it true, but that is exactly what our subconscious assumes.
I have seen examples where people have recognised compulsive eating habits as a means of hiding oneself or subconsciously taking oneself out of the dating game so as to be free from being hurt in relationships. Or of smoking or drug addictions as a means of punishing oneself over some form of guilt or self-hate. There are so many scenarios where unless we explore our subconscious we keep burying these extremely negative behaviours.
Hypnosis is an extremely powerful tool for dealing with the past, and by dealing positively with the past it can help create very positive futures.
Affirmations can be a form of self-hypnosis where a word or a phrase is repeated over and over as a means of reprogramming our subconscious. They are the most powerful when one is focussed and concentrated but are effective even amidst the hustle and bustle of worries and anxieties.
A simple affirmation, such as calm down, calm down can be very effective. More powerfully with silence and full concentration, I love and forgive myself might be an affirmation that very simply changes our world.
In meditation the focus is on the heart and the soul and the present moment. We leave the past and future and put all of our attention on now. In the 'now' in meditation we feel expanded and connected with one another and every thing, in calm peace. It is the flow of love, the giving and receiving of love that lies at the heart of meditation.
Meditation simply accepts the past and in that way releases itself from its talons. Whatever has happened, has happened. They are only thoughts and they do not control us. They are simply released if they are destructive and celebrated if positive. It does not usually attempt to reprogram past thought patterns or behaviours rather through the infusion of love in the meditator, it is felt that new, higher thought patterns naturally develop and old habits are released or transformed.
In my view, meditation is the simplest and most effective method of spiritual development. Unlike prayer where we lay out what we believe we need and do all the talking, meditation hands over the process to our heart and soul, or in some cases to God, and says you do the talking and I will listen.
Sometimes in hypnosis it is hard to be clear on what our primary focus should be, on what we need most and so we may be directing ourselves to issues that are not important for this moment. In meditation we realise that by listening and having faith in ourselves, we can be directed and guided the most effectively.
Because hypnosis is grounded in the past it is only able to clear obstructions to our future. Meditation, however, being in the now, the only place we are actually transformed, can work to help us actually evolve now. In this way we simply release our destructive past and elevate the thought patterns, the creators of our future.
Rank #10: Class 41 - Spiritual Strength
Rank #11: Class 38 - Living without Conditions
We have discussed in previous classes the concept that every idea, every action, every thought ends in love. More than just love - it is unconditional, divine love.
As an example, let us say that we are learning to play the piano. Initially our body has to learn to place our fingers correctly, our feet to comfortably push the pedals and so on. As we progress, it is our mind that has to learn to focus and concentrate so as to play the piano without distraction and to learn the most effectively and efficiently. Next, there will be aah moments of the heart where the piano is being played more intuitively and creatively with the heart. Finally, we realize that the highest experiences that we have in playing the piano are when they become effortless, where we are being powered by the universe or God and both we and the piano are instruments. This final stage comes about as a result of the flow of unconditional divine love.
You can reflect upon everything you do and realize that the same process is taking place. It might be as simple as walking the dog, or as seemingly convoluted as your career or goals at home.
For us to be more likely to be in the highest flow of love we must first understand that one of the most powerful components of this highest love is that it is unconditional.
This may sound trite but how many things do you do unconditionally right now?
Rank #12: Class 36 - The Feminine Energy of the Universe
Even in these times the mother is the best example of both conditional and unconditional love. In conditional love the mother loves the child if the child does as she commands. Such as becoming a doctor or a lawyer and not going out with that kid from down the road. In unconditional love it would not matter to the mother if her child killed everyone in the street she would still be there at the jail with the knife in the cake saying its not my johnnys fault, it was that Johnson kid that was the bad one.
Masculinity and femininity are as important as each other, although in our patriarchal society masculine energy has been valued more in the past. Now and into the future that is necessarily becoming balanced.
Real femininity has little to do with feminism, nor does it have much to do with the traditional wife and mother model of the 1950s. Real femininity just like real masculinity is more about the flow of love.
Feminine love is compassionate, nurturing and benevolent, but more than anything it is connected. Authentic feminine love walks in anothers shoes easily. It is coupled as one. Real feminine energy understands deeply the concerns of not only one another in the human family but in every soul, animal, plant and mineral. Its deep empathy vibrates through the hearts of all.
The mother energy is that which loves us no matter what we do. This is the highest, most divine love of all. A child needs this perfect love that the mother energy uniquely displays. We all need to know that we are children of the universe and that we are being loved no matter what. This is the most necessary of all forms of love and it is only the mother energy that innately shows this. All of our problems in the world stem from this energy not being received. We need to practise receiving and the first is from our mother earth. Whether you believe it or not the truth is there is a Mother Nature energy that is constantly loving us and caring for us. We only need to sit for a moment in nature and offer our gratitude to the earth to feel her feminine unconditional love. But more than this we need to feel the mother energy in the universe, the air, the moon, the stars all around us and inside us we are being loved. If we are lucky enough to have parents that have cared for us, then it will be evident there too.
With the reception of love everything starts with gratitude. Even with our parents, if we are able to offer our gratitude their divine feminine love will shine through. Their empathy, their connection with us is very spiritual and the cord it flows along is founded in the feminine energy of both parents.
The mother is present in every one of our actions, underlying every step with a connection to the universe that says to us that we are always being helped, we are never alone. Just as a child might tempestuously say to leave me alone, the mother waits patiently and unconditionally to help wherever she is allowed.
The highest feminine energy increases the flow of love in the universe with unconditional oneness and understanding.