Monday, August 29, 2016

Being at Peace With Pain

peaceful nature, being at peace, spiritual peace, spiritual awakening
Being at peace with pain is possibly one of the highest orders of spiritual maturity. In a world that is so full of pain and suffering, the concept of being at peace with pain is probably a foreign one to many of you. Firstly, I need to remind everyone of how I am defining these terms. Pain is a communication tool of the heart-body-mind. It's telling you that something is wrong. If you step on a tack, the physical pain is telling you that you should check your foot and remove the tack. Without that pain, you could cause more damage to your foot. Simply put, physical pain is a part of this world. There's no way around that.

Suffering is when we ignore pain and/or continue to do actions that cause pain. If we don't check our feet when we step on tacks and continue to walk, we'll cause more damage to our feet. We'll suffer. Additionally, suffering is caused by psychological issues such as wanting life to be different than it is. This psychological pain can cause enormous suffering both in terms of attempting to change things in us and the external world to "make us happy" emotionally. There are also physical repercussions of trying to change ourselves and others. For example, a lot of people use alcohol and drugs to try to change their feelings and alleviate emotional suffering. These actions rarely work, and when they do seem to work, the relief from suffering is short-lived. Sometimes, we can even delude ourselves into believing that we've fixed an issue that was "causing" suffering to us, but invariably it comes back until we get to the root cause. Thus, part of the way out of suffering is to see things as they are, and this includes accepting pain.

And there's a lot of pain of all kinds to accept. There is the physical pain you may endure, and there is seeing the suffering and pain others must endure. To be sure, the pain of something like hunger may be difficult to be at peace with, but we can be at peace with it. Otherwise, psychological suffering can make a difficult situation truly unbearable and far harder to address. Thus, being at peace with pain is a hugely important step to resolving the pains that can be resolved and alleviating the suffering from the pains that simply must be endured.

Beginning to Notice Pain

Monday, August 22, 2016

Accepting Your Body's Mortality and Frailty

spiritual death, physical death, fear of death, spiritual awakening
One of the most powerful ways we can ever learn to surrender is to surrender to our body's frailty and ultimate demise.

This is no small thing. While it's fairly common knowledge that fear of death is a huge issue for most of humanity, that conceptual understanding changes little. There are so many beliefs, emotions, and biological triggers that are intertwined with the fear of death that the issue is submerged into the subconscious and is difficult to root out. At the very biological and instinctual level, we are built to flee, fight, or otherwise avoid anything that gets associated with the body's death. This often includes pain and potential injury.

I separate the fear of pain from the fear of death even though, for many people, the fear of pain is part of the bigger fear of death. But there are many other times where the pain of living becomes so bad to people that they'd prefer death. I am not advocating suicide in any way; I am simply illustrating the difference in the two issues. A lot of people go to great lengths to avoid any kind of perceived emotional and physical pain, and in many regards, emotional pain is physical. Our emotions really are different changes in our biochemistry. A lot of dopamine is what most people call love. A lot of cortisol is more or less what people call fear. Sure, it's way more complicated than that. I am simply pointing to the importance of biology in how it defines a lot of how we feel about ourselves. If we are to find real freedom in our human lives, we have to honor and respect many biological truths. Those truths include that in time, the body will grow weaker and infirm, and ultimately, each of us will die. If you can come to peace with those truths, then you open the doors to truly thrive while you are alive.

So let's talk about the road to acceptance of the body's decline and demise.

Appreciating the Body You Have

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Recording: Integrating Your Awakening

downtown walnut creek, sf bay area downtown, sunny day
Integrating a spiritual awakening is a common topic for people in spiritual circles. What people mean by it, however, can vary, so let me explain my definition.

There are two main ways that I intend to define this topic on this next free online talk. Firstly, a spiritual awakening illuminates how disintegrated we already are. What do I mean by this? I mean that our ego selves spend a lot of time cutting us up into this and not that. We can be smart, but not dumb. We can be ugly, which means we aren't beautiful. This constant self-categorization  becomes so habitual that it is undetectable to many people, and that categorization is a form of disintegrating ourselves. We cut ourselves up and off. This tends to lead to creating a shadow side of ourselves--all the things we think we can't be. Thus, a spiritual awakening leads us to reconnect with all these pieces and with our shadows so that we allow ourselves to be whole.

Secondly, as we come into health, it becomes clear that we do not live from a space of integration. All most people know how to do are lots of self-degrading things, some of which can appear to be good. Consider regular exercise. If you are working out to help your health, that's one way of coming to the gym. If you are working out to achieve a certain physique or way of looking, that's coming from a place of delusion. It means you are rejecting your physical body in certain ways rather than coming to the gym from a place of love and embracing your whole body--what it can do and what it can't. To the outside world, the actions you take may look the same, but the more sensitive you are to yourself, the more you'll notice which one is coming from self-love and which comes from self-hate.

This is one of many ways where how we act is often more important than the action itself, and learning to move from a space of love naturally turns our actions into loving ones. That creates integration where your heart, body, mind, and spirit are all at one in how you live your life.

Integrating Your Awakening Full Recording




Date of Recording:

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Time:

6 PM Pacific Time

Place:

All my talks are being streamed here:

https://www.youtube.com/user/jimtolles/live

Donations:

Donations are greatly appreciated so that I can offer these talks, blogs, email correspondence, and other things I do to help people for free.

You can donate by using the button in the upper right hand side of the blog. Thank you for your support!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Healing Silent Wounds

healing, thriving, spiritual awakening, redwoods, muir woods, trees
Some of the toughest healing we ever do is to heal our silent wounds. Silent wounds are the wounds where nothing was ever said, but something was definitely communicated. It can be as simple as not getting acknowledgement for a good grade on a test in a subject you love. It can be watching your mother constantly fret over her looks even though she outwardly said that you were beautiful just as you are. It could be the underlying sense that your parents never wanted you even though they said they love you. It could be your father's constant money worries, and although he never told you that you should worry about money, you learned from his example to be miserly. All of these become silent wounds where there are no scars and not necessarily any big moments to point to as the cause. But they leave indelible marks on you that affect your entire way of living and acting. Now it's time to heal them.

Healing silent wounds is challenging. It's hard enough when someone has had a physical abuse to heal that wound and the resulting issues. But when you're not even sure if you have a wound, the healing process is that much harder. The first step is about finding the tell-tale signs of the silent wounds and then tracking them back to their source, which is usually childhood. Initially, you are probably going to run into a lot of ego resistance because, as I said, there isn't necessarily an obvious cause of distress. Plus, some silent wounds can be masked by "common sense." Common sense often makes no sense, and it many times it is nonsense. But we tend to believe that if a lot of people believe something, then it must be true. A common sense silent wound is like the example of the mother worrying about how she looks because "it's important that a woman looks beautiful." Right? How many of my amazing women readers believe that line in quotes? And how many of you have realized how wounding it is to constantly judge your physical appearance and do all the things you think you need to do to maintain a level of beauty?

Yes, silent wounds are some of the worst ones because they are so hidden, yet some are hidden in plain sight. So let's look into this issue so that you can not only identify them, but go deeper in healing and dissolving these invisible pains.


Silent Wounds Are Not Repressed Trauma

Monday, August 8, 2016

Spiritual Transformation and Seeking Spiritual Help for Your Process

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First of all, I want to honor all of you who have come to this blog post seeking spiritual advice. I am not sure how well this action is appreciated in Western Culture. It seems these days that people are all expected to know how to do everything all the time, and consequently, beliefs like that seep into the spiritual world. It can make a lot of people go it alone in a time and technological era where so much help and support is available. It can be just as easy to get led astray by yourself and the unconscious desires of the ego as with a poor spiritual teacher. So congratulations to you in coming this far.

Spiritual transformations of many kinds exist, and it's important to appreciate your unique growth. A spiritual transformation is simply a shift from unconsciousness into a more conscious state. You are more aware of yourself and what the real world is rather than what you were taught to believe it is. These transformations can be simple or profound. They can include spiritual awakening, becoming a parent, changing your diet to come into alignment with your body, and much, much more. It doesn't have to be major, but sometimes once you get started on this spiritual path, things start moving on their own.

Which is probably why many of you have arrived on this spiritual blog today. So with that said, I'd like to talk about some different points people may be at in their spiritual transformations and the different types of spiritual help we may need at those junctures.

By the way, if you're new to my blog, feel free to sign up for my free newsletter:

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Spiritually Starting Out With no Idea What to do

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Online Talk: Understanding Your Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit Interconnection

spiritually lost, spiritual awakening, spiritual interconnection
My next free livestreaming talk was requested by one of my students. I'll be discussing the interconnections of heart, body, mind, and spirit in this next talk (you are welcome to post a comment below to suggest topics for future talks, by the way).

Too often, Westerners think only in terms of the intellectual mind, but even science is helping to show the amazing level of interconnectedness of all different aspects of us. The physical gut is being called a "second brain" by some, and organizations like the HeartMath Institute have offered profound insights into the electro-magnetic function of the physical heart and its impacts on the emotional heart.

While I don't have a science background, I will be talking about some of the interrelations I've seen and emphasize why we have to appreciate each aspect of ourselves in our spiritual growth. The brain heals and learns in one way; the heart heals and learns in another. Yet, they also can positively or negatively reinforce each other. If we mentally believe we are bad, broken individuals, then our emotions, energy, and body are all impacted. As such, we have to learn how to break free of these feedback loops and allow our hearts, minds, and bodies to return to their natural healthy, functioning states.

It's quite an amazing journey to be a human being with all of these different parts interacting with each other. I hope to offer insights in this talk as far as when to focus on one area and how to find root causes of issues to come back into your natural interconnected flow.

If you want to join me, sign up below. The talk, as always, is free.

Sign up for the Free Talk Here!
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Date:

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


Time:

10:30 AM Pacific Time

Place:

It's online. You can join me at this link at the aforementioned day and time:

https://www.youtube.com/user/jimtolles/live

Cost:

Free! However, donations are greatly appreciated. You can donate by using the button in the upper right hand side of the blog. Thank you for your support!

Monday, August 1, 2016

How to be Spiritually Conscious With Unconscious People

One of the truths of human life that people become immediately confronted with is that no matter how much you change yourself, others are unlikely to do so. Most people prefer the familiarity of their unconsciousness, and of course, the horrible truth about unconsciousness is that people don't know that they don't know. That ignorance fuels many ideas for others about themselves such as, "this is just how life is," "my life is fine," and many, many other beliefs. These blind beliefs are often clung to religiously by those are still unconscious, and many of them will want nothing to do with seeing life or themselves in any different light.

And yet, you will be interacting with unconscious people for most of the rest of your life.

This leads many spiritual people to wonder how do you interact consciously with people who are set on not acting consciously (and this includes more than a few so-called spiritual people). It's not necessarily an easy question, and there isn't one specific answer that can be used for every situation. Instead, let's start the discussion with you.

The Continued Journey to Greater Awareness of You

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