“Many of us walk Earth as strangers to ourselves, not knowing what is true, why we feel what we feel, actively working to repress experiences or ideas that are too jarring for us to integrate. It is an interesting paradox occurring in the human mind, we run away from what we do not want to face, from what brings feelings of pain, and from problems we don’t have answers to, but in our running away from ourselves we are also running away from our own freedom.
It is through the observation of all that you are and accepting this with honesty and without judgment that one is able to release the tension that creates delusions in the mind and walls in the heart. This is why the keys to your freedom are in your darkness, because when one accepts their darkness by bringing their light of observation, the ego dissipates into nothingness and the unconscious becomes conscious.

The mind is full of shadows, things we do not want to face or cannot even begin to understand, but luckily all shadows cannot withstand the patience and perseverance of light – our minds can become like stars, powerful united fields of the pure light, the only difference is that our energy will dwell in awareness and wisdom. Sending love to all beings! ” -Yung Pueblo

Being Peace

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Even though life is hard, even though it is sometimes difficult to smile, we have to try. Just as when we wish each other “Good morning,” it must be a real “Good morning.” Recently, one friend asked me, “How can I force myself to smile when I am filled with sorrow? It isn’t natural.” I told her she must be able to smile to her sorrow, because we are more than our sorrow. A human being is like a television set with millions of channels. If we turn the Buddha on, we are the Buddha. If we turn sorrow on, we are sorrow. If we turn a smile on, we really are the smile. We can’t let just one channel dominate us. We have the seeds of everything in us, and we have to take the situation in hand to recover our own sovereignty.
– Thich Nhat Hanh, in “Being Peace”

Allowing Ourselves to Experience Our own Beauty

 

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Happy 38th Birthday to me and all of my parts, the good and the less desirable. They’re all beautiful really. I simply need a little reminder sometimes. Thank you Ram Dass for that reminder.

‘When I start thinking, “I’m Ram Dass, and I’ve worked on myself, and I’m supposed to be equanimous, loving, present, clear, compassionate, accepting,” oftentimes I get tired, I get angry and petulant, and I close down. For a long time I’d get into those states and I would feel really embarrassed, because that isn’t who Ram Dass is supposed to be. So I would appear like I was warm, charming, equanimous, compassionate, and there was deviousness and deception involved. Then I realized that’s bad business, because that cuts us off from one another… and I had to risk my truth. I had to risk being human with other people, and realize that what we offer each other is our truth, and our truth includes all of our stuff.

The first thing I had to do was accept my own truth. I had to allow myself to be a human being.

Now, what I found was that as I started to allow myself to be more human, just allowed what I am, things changed much faster in me. I mean, things fell away more quickly. It was as if I was locked into a model which was based on that negativity, that dislike of myself; and once I just allowed myself to be human, with all the foibles, things started to flow, and I could feel change occurring in myself.

Then, I started to experience my own beauty and it frightened me, because it was so dissonant and discrepant from the model that I had cultivated of myself over the years. Dissonance between the idea that I had to do good in order to be beautiful and that idea that I just am… and that what is, is in its own way beautiful.

You look at decay, and it is beautiful. Laura Huxley, who is a very dear friend, in her kitchen has these jars over the sink, and she takes old beet greens and orange peels and things, and sticks them in water on these long, beautiful pharmaceutical jars. Then they slowly start to mold and decay, and there are these beautiful decaying formation of mold. It’s really garbage… it’s garbage as art. We look at it and it’s absolutely beautiful. There’s absolute beauty in that.

I’ve begun to expand my awareness to be able to look at the universe as it is, and see what is called the horrible beauty of it. I mean, there’s horror and beauty in all of it, because there is also decay and death in all of it. I mean, we’re all decaying – I look at my hand and it’s decaying. It’s beautiful and horrible at the same time; and I just live with that. And also with it, I see and live with the beauty of it.

So we’re talking about appreciating what is. Not loving yourself, as opposed to not liking yourself, but allowing yourself. As you allow, it changes. I think that gets behind the polarities. I think that’s what’s important.’

– Ram Dass

Taken from https://www.ramdass.org/our-own-beauty/

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LULLABY FOR THE SEEKER
Rest, weary one.
Lay your head down.
You have travelled far.
I have no clever words for you.
No system to teach.
No image to maintain.
You’ll find no philosophy here.
No answers to your many questions.
I offer only presence.
Sanctuary.
A bed. A meal.
A small kindness to repay yours.
I am no better than you.
My guru is life.
My lineage is love.
I do not separate
the enlightened from the unenlightened.
I teach nothing I do not live.
I quote not from books but from the cracks in the heart.
I see your fragility yet I see your immense power.
You are not broken.
Don’t let them tell you
that you are broken.
We met long ago when dust settled to form worlds.
I think I saw your courage then.
Close your eyes; I will keep watch tonight.
– Jeff Foster

Shine On

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“Laugh, even when you feel too sick or too worn out or tired.
Smile, even when you’re trying not to cry and the tears are blurring your vision.
Sing, even when people stare at you and tell you your voice is crappy.
Trust, even when your heart begs you not to.
Twirl, even when your mind makes no sense of what you see.
Frolick, even when you are made fun of. Kiss, even when others are watching. Sleep, even when you’re afraid of what the dreams might bring.
Run, even when it feels like you can’t run any more.

And, always, remember, even when the memories pinch your heart. Because the pain of all your experience is what makes you the person you are now. And without your experience—you are an empty page, a blank notebook, a missing lyric. What makes you brave is your willingness to live through your terrible life and hold your head up high the next day. So don’t live life in fear. Because you are stronger now, after all the crap has happened, than you ever were back before it started.”

Alysha Speer

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‘I am so tired of people saying, “You are exactly where you are supposed to be,” no matter what someone’s life circumstances and challenges. Yes, there is no question that we can often learn something of value wherever we are on the path; and yes, we may have, in some situations, attracted the exact challenge that we need to grow, BUT that does not mean that we are ALWAYS where we are supposed to be, or that we chose our reality. Telling that to someone in every situation—even when they are ill or suffering tremendously—is arrogant, and adds insult to injury. Sometimes we need a kick in the ass, and sometimes we are just a victim of terrible circumstances. Sometimes we chose our reality, and sometimes it just chose us. Sometimes our suffering is needless and the result of other people’s wrongdoing. Compassion demands that we hold the space for other’s challenges with a wide open heart. Let them decide if they are exactly where they are supposed to be. It’s not for us to say.’- Jeff Brown

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“I always try to remember how much courage it takes for abuse victims to return to a state of trust in this world. This is no game, and often takes every ounce of energy and faith they can muster. Trauma is not simply a concept or an idea of something. It is not some misplaced story. It is not some ‘parasitic pain-body’ (Oy gevalt!). It is a deeply embodied experience of suffering that fastens itself tightly to the cellular (and soulular) structure of every person who is victimized. It embeds itself as somatized memory, and it cannot be wished away or bypassed with positive affirmations and victim bashing mantras. It just can’t. I often hear people telling others ‘to get on with it,’ ‘let it go,’ and ‘stop playing the victim.’ This languaging adds insult to injury, and is both counter-productive and victimizing. Yes, we don’t want to hang onto trauma as identity for the rest of it, but it is far worse to pretend that it isn’t there. The heal is for real, and that healing can only happen in a compassionate and patient environment. May we support those who have been traumatized (which is most of humanity, in my estimation) with an exquisite depth of understanding and presence. Without it, we just keep the cycle of abuse alive. Without it, we miss the opportunity to heal our own brokenness and enhearten this mad world. The heal is for real…” -Jeff Brown 

The Light of Awareness

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‘There is no freedom without honest observation. If love is the
greatest healer we have ever met, then the greatest tool of love is
the light of awareness. It is through our awareness that we can learn
to let go, create new solutions, and go beyond old patterns and habits
to create new ways of being that will serve our greatest good. It is
when we completely observe and understand our own being that the
highest liberation becomes a reality.

What we seek is a middle path, one where we do not ignore our
problems, but also where we do not become dominated by them and make
them worse, a path where we can observe what is happening with
courage, calmness, and clarity so that we can address the situation
with actions that are the opposite of the problem.

Just as true as this is for the individual, so is it true for the
world. We cannot heal what we run away from, if we attempt to build
without understanding the problem, our chances of reproducing the
problem become quite great. It is when we thoroughly understand the
mechanics of what is truly happening that the answers to freedom and
empowerment for all become astonishingly clear.

Sending love to all beings! May we all come to know and understand
ourselves so that we may know and understand the world. May we all
understand the oneness of our inner worlds’ and the outer world we all
share. May we all heal ourselves and develop a new respect for our
earthly mother.’

 -Yung Pueblo

The Hungry Child

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‘One of the great challenges for those who have survived abusive and neglectful parents is that there is often a part of us that is still waiting for them to love us, even if there is very little chance of that happening. Locked in an archaic mindset, we continue to go back for more, looking for love in all the wrong places. Somehow we imagine that they will come around one day, realize their mistakes, see our worth, soften those armored edges. And some do, often when they are very old, made vulnerable by sickness and time. But many don’t, and we need to stop putting our emotional lives on hold waiting for something that may never happen. The bridge from stagnation to empowerment lies in our willingness to see them for who they really are, to take them off their primal pedestal and recognize their human limitations. This is not easy- the hungry child self clings to illusions- but it is oh so necessary. Until we accept the reality of who can’t love us, we cannot embrace the love of those who can.’-Jeff Brown