Cleaning House and Cleaning Your Mind

It seems we spend more time cleaning our house than cleaning up our mind.  It’s nice to come home to a clean house.  But you don’t spend all your time there.  You spend a lot more time with your own mind than you do your house.  It makes sense then that you would spend some time making it a nice and enjoyable place to be.

For practical steps and exercises on cleaning up the fear based beliefs in your mind do the exercises in the Self Mastery course.

Cleaning Your House and Cleaning Your Mind

 

Addicted to Suffering

Are people in love with their suffering?

People are not in love with their suffering.  Rather I’d say that either it saddens them, or they hate it.  In either case their emotional reaction of hate and sadness to their suffering causes them to suffer more.

What is important to breaking this cycle is the awareness that our emotional reactions are not something that we control.  But this very idea that we are not in control,,,  this frightens people more.  So to avoid their fear they cling to the idea that it is reasonable or justified to hate or feel sad about their condition.  In effect they close themselves off to the truth out of fear of acknowledging something that is already happening.

 

Originally posted at Addicted to Suffering

Published at ToltecSpirit.com   Guidance based in the Four Agreements for  Spiritual Warriors seeking happiness and love.

 

Free Your Mind

The challenge is not to free your mind.

The challenge is to free your self from your mind.

 

This post by Gary van Warmerdam at http://www.toltecspirit.com/2010/02/free-your-mind/

Where you can find Wisdom of the Four Agreements for Spiritual Warriors

For practical steps and exercises to inventory and change your own beliefs/agreements there are exercises in the Self Mastery course.

Nobody is Perfect

Sometimes you will  hear people say, “Nobody is Perfect.”

Generally they include themselves in this category of not being perfect.
It’s an odd kind of self judgment.

It’s an odd kind of self judgment based on this idea of perfection.  However, there’s nobody in this category of “Perfection.”    And if perfection is an empty group then “perfection” doesn’t really exist.

The consequences of that is that “imperfection” doesn’t exist. Then there is no one that is imperfect either.  Including you.

Saying that you aren’t perfect is like saying that Tuesday is not tall enough.   “Not tall enough” does’t exist as a category for Tuesdays.   Then the category “Too Tall” doesn’t exist eigher.   The categories don’t apply.

So applying the category descriptions of “perfect” and “imperfect” to your self, and other people, doesn’t make much sense.

This post originally published at  www.ToltecSpirit.com  a blog about the Four Agreements.

For practical exercises in being Impeccable and Not Taking things personally listen to the audio sessions in the Self Mastery program.

Power and Worth

There are associations that our mind makes, particularly where our self importance is concerned.  We build a self image structure of beliefs.   In that structure of beliefs we usually think of people in powerful positions, as being more important.  The associated belief is that if we have less power, then we are less important.  And to our belief system less importance means less worth.

The emotional math we do with our self image is to associate our self worth to our power.  The more power we wield, the more important and valued we are.  The less power we have, the the less we feel we are worth.

This is all to say that we use the subject of power to create beliefs about our self worth.  While that may seem to make sense to some people,,,, what gets really weird is when you become aware of the kinds of power we usually use to base our self worth on.

Humility

There’s a tube down his throat to help him breathe.  The tube comes out of his neck and his breath bypasses his mouth.  They call it a trachea.   The doctors had to do it.  The infection had gotten so bad that his airway had almost swollen closed.  The previous set of doctors had dismissed the periodic coughing episodes as unimportant.  Now it was close to closing off his breathing.  The coughing had gotten worse and difficulty breathing couldn’t be dismissed anymore.

Phlegm builds up in his throat and trachea tube every hour or two.  It starts gurgling in his throat.  His body convulses in a coughing gag reflex effort to clear his airway.

We tell the nurse who calls the respiratory therapist.  The respiratory therapist puts a tube deep down his trachea and sucks out the phlegm.  She puts it down so far that it touches is internals.  It makes him heave a cough that lifts his whole upper body.  It looks like torture.  Not being able to breath normally.  Not even being able to clear one’s own throat.  Not being able to help him do something so simple that we all do so naturally all the time.  So easy to take your breath for granted when it comes so easily most of the time.

With the trachea tube in his throat bypassing his vocal cords he can’t talk.  He tries to write some words but that is difficult.  The farm equipment accident injured his left hand years ago.  That coupled with years of arthritis makes small hand manipulations difficult and his letters sloppy.  The morphine he’s on for the pain tends to make his mind fuzzy so he misspells words.   With sloppy writing and fuzzy spelling it is difficult to understand what he’s trying to write.   He’s beyond frustrated that he can’t tell us the simplest things that he wants… needs.  No way to clearly tell us what would make him more comfortable.

I can’t make him breathe easier.  I can’t make his fear go away that is a reflex from choking and gagging while the phlegm blocks his throat.  I can’t clear his throat.  I can’t make the infection in his throat go away that started this cascading of events and discomforts.  I can’t go back in time and change what transpired to have my dad end up in this hospital bed.

I’m not powerless and I don’t feel victimized.  There are simply things that I can do, and others that I don’t have power over. I’m not frustrated or angry.  I’m just aware that I don’t control the bodily functions, immune system, or emotions, of another human being.

I think knowing what you can’t change, and accepting it falls into the category of humility.  It’s not a joy in itself.  However it is far more peaceful than fighting what you can not change.  Life is a big place and respecting the forces of it is part of being impeccable. Death is one of those forces on the human body to respect.  Doing so can teach you a lot about savoring the moments of your life.  Little moments like breathing, or being able to speak and ask for what you want.

I don’t think those folks who proclaim, “If you can dream it, you can achieve it,” ever sat with their dad through the challenges of old age and a body with ailing health.

Humility isn’t about following the overly optimistic positive side of your personality to think you can create and change anything in life.  Nor is it about falling into the negative side of self importance and feeling victimized about life either.  Humility has to do with transcending both sides of self importance all together: the aspect that says you are helpless, and the aspect that says you can accomplish anything you can dream.  There is a middle way.

In the west our mind is so apt to put things into categories of being a winner or a loser,,, a success or a failure.   These are the dual images of self importance to avoid.  When you practice humility, you are no longer trapped by either of those limiting roles or labels.

Service as a Spiritual Practice

Spiritual service is most beneficial when it lessens self importance.

One does not enter the gates of heaven by works alone, but by grace. In the apprenticeships of students to monasteries, ashrams, and mystery schools of all sorts, the students would be required to work for their stay. They would scrub the floors, wash the clothes, make the meals, and clean up afterwards. All of this work gives the appearance of servitude to the teachers and masters.

The reverse actually holds more truth. The masters are serving the apprentices with something much greater.

The apprentices work is not to do the job of form, or task at hand. Their real work is the inner work of becoming humble, of releasing their self-importance. It is through performing these tasks that the apprentices have the opportunity to face their own selfishness.

It is not the service to the master that is bringing them closer to heaven. It is the destruction of their self-importance that is taking them there. In letting go of their own personal point of view, they have the opportunity to grasp something greater. Initially the apprentice’s view may be one of resentment. He may think he is above doing the laundry. He may resent his teacher for having to make his meals. These acts of service allow the apprentice to see all the places that he is selfish. When the apprentice has healed himself of selfishness, he can begin to serve selflessly.

The master serves the apprentice by tasking him with chores so that the apprentice can deal with his own selfishness. Helping to free the apprentice from his selfishness is a far greater service than scrubbing floors.

It is through practicing service with the intent that our self-importance be diminished that we progress to selfless service. Selfless service is action without any expectation or want of recognition or reward. It is through practicing selfless service that we come to grace. It is through grace, that we will enter Heaven on earth.

You do not need to travel far to find a place to practice. You can be in service to your spouse. You can be in service to your boss. You can be in service to other drivers as you commute to work. A true master is in service all the time. The people you are in service to do not need to know. If you find that you want to be recognized for what you have done, you are dealing with your own selfishness.

If you have a need to tell them, it is only because your self-importance wants to be recognized. When the urge for this appears, acknowledge it, but do your best not to act on it.

The truth is that your service is not really for anyone else. Your works are to diminish you own personal importance. The world will benefit a small amount from your works. You will benefit a thousand fold if your works bring you to grace and into a life of heaven on earth.