Monday, October 31, 2016

Melting Into Silence

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Silence.

It is the space in between sounds. It is the canvas behind all words. It is an absolutely vital part of life, which would otherwise be a cacophony of unintelligible noise.

Every day, silence is with you, helping you to make sense of life. Every day, you probably don't notice it. Instead, people are typically distracted by the noises going on around them. The noise gets all of our attention. Silence gets almost none.

Today, however, we are going to turn our attention to silence. As we mature on the spiritual path, we not only see the value of silence, but we also realize how critically important it is. It does a number of wonderful things without doing anything, and one of which is simply giving our brains and bodies time to relax. Noise and other forms of agitation can be incredibly stimulating, and they require us to think and interact in someway. Silence is soothing because it requires nothing of us. When we're too used to noise, the opposite is initially true for many people because the noise was being used to block out issues and other noisy feelings inside that have to come up before we really rest in silence. But with dedication and inner work, those issues get resolved, and you start melting into silence.

The End of a Wave of Issues

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Recording: What Is True Kindness?

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We often believe that we know what kindness is, but do we really? How often do things that seem difficult or unkind become doorways to greater growth? Many of you who have awakened have dealt with a lot of difficult issues that have surfaced, but in so doing, you have found greater freedom in yourself. So how could such a difficult experience be considered anything but kind?

Additionally, parents know about the need to set boundaries for their children, which their children often don't think is kind, and there are many other examples of how something that seems unkind or even mean is later seen as a great kindness.

The reverse is often true too, where something offered as a kindness turns out to cause greater suffering. Thus, we can be confronted with this strange reality that we do not really know what kindness even is!

I've copied one of my many favorite Rumi poems below and added a link for those of you who might want a copy of Coleman Barks's Rumi translations. In the following poem, you see an example where a wise person perceives a deeper truth and in accordance to that truth, he tries to help the sleeping man confront his pain. In this poem though, the sleeping man who is awoken by the teacher just sees a man beating him. It's not until later that he can be aware of the depth of the kindness that was being offered.

On this note, I hope you enjoy the recording of this talk.

What Is True Kindness Recording



Date of Talk:

Wednesday, November 2, 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 continue to freely offer these talks, blogs, email correspondence, social media sharing and comments, and other things I do to help people.

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

Additional Spiritual Reading About True Kindness


"Jesus on the Lean Donkey"
The Essential Rumi
Translations by Coleman Barks

Jesus on the lean donkey,
this is an emblem of how the rational intellect
should control the animal-soul.

Let your spirit
be strong like Jesus.

If that part becomes weak,
then the worn-out donkey grows to a dragon.

Be grateful when what seems unkind comes from a wise person.

Once, a holy man,
riding his donkey, saw a snake crawling into
a sleeping man's mouth! He hurried, but he couldn't
prevent it. He hit the man several blows with his club.

The man woke terrified and ran beneath an apple tree
with many rotten apples on the ground.

"Eat!
You miserable wretch. Eat!"

"Why are you doing this to me?"

"Eat more, you fool."

"I've never seen you before!
Who are you? Do you have some inner quarrel with my soul?"

The wise man kept forcing him to eat, and then he ran him.
For hours he whipped the poor man and made him run.
Finally, at nightfall, full of rotten apples,
fatigued, bleeding, he fell
and vomited everything, the good and the bad, the apples and the snake.

When he saw that ugly snake
come out of himself, he fell on his knees
before his assailant.

"Are you Gabriel? Are you god?
I bless the moment you first noticed me. I was dead
and didn't know it. You've given me a new life.
Everything I've said to you was stupid!
I didn't know."

"If I had explained what I was doing,
you might have panicked and died of fear.
Muhammad said,
'If I described the enemy that lives
inside men, even the most courageous would be paralyzed. No one
would go out, or do any work. No one would pray or fast,
and all power to change would fade
from human beings,'
so I kept quiet
while I was beating you, that like David
I might shape iron, so that, impossibly,
I might put feathers back into a bird's wing.

God's silence is necessary, because of humankind's
faintheartedness. If I had told you about the snake,
you wouldn't have been able to eat, and if
you hadn't eaten, you wouldn't have vomited.

I saw your condition and drove my donkey hard
into the middle of it, saying always under my breath,
'Lord, make it easy on him.' I wasn't permitted
to tell you, and I wasn't permitted to stop
beating you!"

The healed man, still kneeling,
"I have no way to thank you for the quickness
of your wisdom and the strength
of your guidance.

God will thank you."

Monday, October 24, 2016

7 Signs of a False Spiritual Teacher

I want to start by saying that false spiritual teachers are pretty rare. When I say, "false spiritual teacher," I am saying that this is someone who is so lost and unconscious that they intentionally lead people astray and cause them needless emotional, physical, and mental suffering. Why they do these things can be for a number of egoic reasons, which are often attempts to feel good about themselves in some way. They may themselves have suffered trauma. They may be a sociopath. Who knows?

But as I said, they're pretty rare. You're going to find a lot more incomplete spiritual teachers than false ones. The incomplete spiritual teachers typically don't know the whole truth, but they want to help. They can focus people on ideas and experiences instead of the truth, but hopefully, the good intentions and care they offer has some benefit.

The genesis of this post comes from seeing a documentary called, "Holy Hell." In this documentary, it is revealed that a spiritual teacher used his authority to self-aggrandize himself and to sexually abuse the men in this community. Most everything depicted in this movie shows a text-book case for what a false spiritual teacher is. You can rent it on YouTube on the link below:

Holy Hell

Because I am concerned about any of you being preyed on by others like the false teacher in that documentary, I wanted to talk about some signs of a false spiritual teacher so that you can notice when things are wrong and leave these false teachers and communities before they can do any serious harm to you.

On a last note, if you're new to my blog, feel welcome to sign up for my free newsletter:

Subscribe to The Wake Up Call Newsletter

1. The False Teacher Determines Your Access to the Divine

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Heartfelt Thank you to my Donors!

I am writing a short blog post to thank all my donors this past year and years past. Thank you! I get to work as a full-time spiritual teacher because of all you. With your financial support, I began breaking even in March 2015, and I have been fully supported by you since then (a year and a half and counting). Thanks for every big and small, regular and one-time donation. They mean a ton to me.

Additionally, I like to remind all of you that when you help me, you're also supporting all the people who come to this blog and anyone with whom I connect. Your financial support gives me the time to focus on a number of activities such as:
  • replying to emails, 
  • posting and responding to comments on the blog and social sites like Facebook and Twitter, 
  • writing new blog posts,
  • writing newsletters, 
  • holding free online talks,
  • doing a bunch of clerical work that is part of any business,
  • researching technologies to keep my blog up-to-date,
  • managing my self-care so I can be a clear conduit for others,
  • and continuing to use my suggested donation methodology for one-on-one sessions.
This last point I'd like to take a few moments to explain because I think it's an important thing to understand as many of us would like to see a revolution in how money is used.


My Suggested Donation Methodology

Monday, October 17, 2016

How to Reconnect to Your Heart

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I am regularly in sessions talking with students about how to open their hearts, so it felt like it was time to return to this topic because so many people have gotten so disconnected from their true sense of love and their openness to emotions.

If you happen to feel very in touch with your emotions, then you may want to skip this spiritual blog post and go to this one:

Becoming Heart Strong

Being in touch with emotions doesn't mean you are mature with them or are grounded, and becoming heart strong is learning how to anchor into the roiling seas of ever-changing emotions.

If you think you've got that down, then you may enjoy this blog post.

Opening to New Layers of Love

There is so much love inside us. Most of us have no clue, and each heart opening is always kind of a surprise as you discover new depths of love.

All right, I hope I've got everyone going in the right direction for their spiritual journeys. Now back to the topic at hand.

People all have very different relationships with their hearts and access to more or less of their emotional spectrum. Some of you are so numb that you feel like you can't feel anything. Others may feel things, but most of those feelings feel bad. Some of you find that your heart opens from time to time, but that it seems to close down on its own. Wherever you are on this path of reconnection to love, you can open up. You can reconnect because you have never been disconnected from your heart. It is only through a lot of intense belief and self-avoidance that we can deny this natural connection. As such, the reality is that we are in denial of our hearts, and the way to start to heal denial is through acceptance.

Start With Accepting Yourself

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Recording: The Bliss of Being Nobody

I often refer to the space of presence as the space where we are "nobody." But what does this mean to be nobody? How do we make decisions from that space? Isn't it necessary to be some kind of somebody?

Because we live in a culture that idolizes being a somebody, the concept that being a nobody could be okay much less a blissful experience seems absurd. Yet, as we grow on the spiritual path, we realize that being a somebody is too inflexible to be realistic. We get forced into choices and reactions that may be blind to some or many realities of life. That somebody becomes a problem to living in integrity, and as we realize that, we really and truly turn towards the spiritual path to let go of this ego self.

As a nobody, we maintain a space of openness to see what is really before us and to respond to life to the best of our abilities. In this way, we learn how to organically and naturally respond to the present moment rather than trying to control it and fit it into an idea of how we think life should go.

The more we let go into this space of being nobody, the more we see how problematic maintaining an identity really is. As such, we keep letting go deeper and deeper.

I hope to help everyone see how beautiful this space of being a nobody really is and how normal, natural, and available it is to everyone.

Enjoy the recording of talk below!

Recording of The Bliss of Being Nobody




Date of Talk:

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Time:

10:30 AM to 11:30 AM Pacific Time


Place:

All my talks are streamed here:

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

All my past recordings can be found on the YouTube channel. You can also find them here on the blog:

http://www.spiritualawakeningprocess.com/search/label/Recordings

Donations:

Donations are greatly appreciated so that I can continue to freely offer these talks, blogs, email correspondence, social media sharing and comments, and other things I do to help people.

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


Additional Reading

For more on this topic, you can check out this blog post:

Be Nobody

Monday, October 10, 2016

Shifting Perspectives: Walking Through a Weird Wonderland

shifting perspectives, new perspectives, tahoe city, spiritual awakening
Both spiritual healing and spiritual growth tend to bring about changes in perspective. Obviously, a spiritual awakening can bring about a dramatic change in perspective depending on the individual. The result is that at times you can feel like you're walking through a hallway of mirrors. You see all these warped and twisted versions of yourself and others, and it can trigger fear for more than a few people. When someone has essentially had only one perspective--has been looking into the same warped mirror--their whole lives, it is jarring to look into another mirror. It is even more jarring to see the truth. This leads to a couple important aspects of the spiritual journey: patience and self-inquiry.

Whenever you notice that your perspective is getting warped and weird, you may want to slow down. Carve out some time in your life to explore these perceptions. The more still you become, the easier it is to begin to understand what is real and what is an illusion. In time, the false mirrors break and shatter. You find out who was holding them up and what they were created of. But you only do this by dedicating yourself to seeing the truth--the whole truth--not just the parts of yourself and life that you like.

Ultimately, what you like is an ego story based off of a lot of past experiences and beliefs, and if you want to walk out of the weird Wonderland of illusions and fragments of truth, then you have to dedicate yourself to seeing with clarity and to seeing what is real.

The Crazy Clown Town After a Spiritual Awakening

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

How to Read this Spirituality Blog

I've been writing this blog for more than 6 years as of the time of this posting (October 5, 2016). Thanks to all of you who have been supporting me in this venture. I really appreciate it.

Over time, some of how I express things has changed. I have grown and changed. I have learned more than a thing or two in the last six years, and so I've done my best to apply those learnings in my most recent blog posts.

You can certainly find incongruities and logical failings in here too. Having errors (and typos) is just part of being a human being. Additionally, human logic isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Spiritual truths don't need to make perfect sense in English or any other language to be understood. These and any other words will fail to point at the truth because they are not the truth. They are just signs pointing at things--things inside of you. I may use words like wisdom and love, but those words are not the things themselves. And wisdom and love move in surprising and often paradoxical ways. Keep this in mind when you read any spiritual teacher's work. It's the purview of philosophers to make all their writing mesh under certain logical constructs. It's the work of the spiritual teacher to break you out of constructs and to point you towards freedom. I hope you understand the distinction.

Since going back and editing 6 years of blog posts is untenable, I want to reinforce why practicing your intuition while reading this blog is so important. I am a human being. I see somethings. I don't see others. But when you read my work from the space of your intuition, you can find the wisdom you need and let go of any failings, misunderstandings, or other errors. That is how best to treat any spiritual teacher or person in general. Your intuition can find the needle in the haystack and toss away the hay.

For more on using your intuition, here's this compilation of blog posts. Admittedly, these are some of the ones that are getting a little dated, but the essence is still on point. It's the essence of the teaching that is, ultimately, the most important part to understand.

Intuition: A Short Guide to Improving Your Inner Knowing

Pay Attention to the Essence of my Teaching

Monday, October 3, 2016

Releasing Issues Intentionally

Releasing issues intentionally is one of those signs of deepening spiritual maturity that sounds mysterious and sort of magical to those earlier on the spiritual path. When we're early in our spiritual development, the idea that we can simply go inside and dissolve an issue seems like nonsense. It seems to take any and all of our energy even to notice what is going on, and in noticing, it seems like everything is an impossible hot mess. Such is the perspective of the unconscious ego, which is totally invested in these issues. Thus, the thing that may try to help is the thing causing all the mess. It's like tracking in muddy shoes while you're mopping the floor.

But as I've discussed in so many ways on this spiritual awakening blog, we can learn how to go within, and we can learn how to release deeper and more systemic issues. The deeper you go, the more an issue influences everything in you--your whole energetic system. There is a point, however, when it no longer matters how "big" or far-reaching an issue is for you to resolve it. As you continue to dissolve away the unconscious ego, you become increasingly powerful in your inner world. You lose attachment to being any particular way. This allows you to be at peace with your issues--big and small. Ironically that deep acceptance and peace are what give you the ability to intentionally release issues so instantaneously.

As I said, this seems mystical and magical to those who have not done their inner work or are only just beginning, but let's talk about how resting in presence gives us this natural ability to simply release issues whenever we choose.

Running Towards the Pain

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