When Jesus said, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” he was again affirming that there is a Perfection at the center of everything. He was telling us that when we reach toward this inward Perfection, It will be revealed to us and that It must finally establish the kingdom of God on earth, as It most certainly will.
Realizing that the kingdom of God is a kingdom of joy and that the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind, I place all my affairs in the keeping of Divine Love and I permit all of my thoughts to be directed by Divine Wisdom. The Spirit within me guides me and directs my path – guides me into peace and prosperity and happiness.
God’s perfect kingdom is established in me today. And the Fatherhood of God is revealed through me as the brotherhood of man. This brotherhood I help establish on earth today, for I know that it is within all people. The indwelling Love and Peace draw me close to everyone I meet, in joy and in friendship. Therefor, my prayer for the kingdom of God on earth is a communion of my own soul with that universal Soul that overshadows and dwells within everyone. This is the kingdom I am recognizing as I affirm; “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”
Summary: This essay is about cultivating self-awareness in spiritual practice by paying attention to one’s thoughts and feelings to know truths about oneself, without cognitive distortions and self-deception.
It is a common human trait to be critical and judgmental about others, but too sensitive when the criticism is directed against oneself. Most people find it easy to pass comments and opinions about others, but become defensive or even aggressive when they are made against them. It is why criticism is mostly viewed in human relationships or social situations as a hostile response rather than a constructive or nurturing tool
Human beings also have a problem when they have to discern truth about themselves or evaluate their own behavior because they cannot readily and objectively think about themselves. Since people are sensitive to what others may think about them, they also do not pay attention to what goes on in them or know about their truest thoughts and feelings. Most people live in denial about their own failures and shortcomings, as their minds filter information that may likely hurt them or disturb them.
Since people do not like criticism, it is difficult to practice truthfulness or honesty in human relationships. Truth hurts. Therefore, people go around it to avoid rupturing relationships or feel bad about themselves. We not only detest personal criticism, but also any criticisms that are directed at things, which we like or cherish, including beliefs, objects and opinions. Indeed, it is difficult to discern truth about anything in today’s world, as facts become lost in the cacophony of opinions, interpretations and disinformation.
What we get in the process is a huge cloud of disinformation, confusion and distortion, in which nothing appears to be what it is. In a world of conflicting interests and intense competition, truth has become a raw material in the workshops of manufactured opinions and commercial interests, to be sold to people in different packages according to their tastes, beliefs and expectations. Hence, you will not find “the truth” in its pristine purity, but various versions and aspects of it.
From a purely scientific perspective, speaking or not speaking truth is not a moral or behavioral issue, but a survival strategy. Information is supposed to be intelligently used to further one’s progress or interests, or to protect oneself from potential harmers or threats. Even animals, birds and other life forms use deception as a camouflage to hide from predators.
Since truth hurts and truthfulness cannot be practiced in worldly life without suffering from the consequences, and since truthfulness is imperative to cultivate purity and achieve liberation (Moksha), forest life or secluded life is prescribed in the ascetic and monastic traditions of India. In a forest, you are left to mostly to yourself. There, you do not find people who may be hurt by your truthfulness. No one bothers you if you decide to practice silence and refuse to speak to others. Further, you become indifferent to what others think and say.
In worldly life, you may not have the freedom to practice truthfulness in relation to others, without hurting others or the relationships. However, the world will not crumble if you practice truthfulness in relation to yourself. In truth, it is desirable because you will have an opportunity to know the real you, and not be a stranger to yourself or to your deepest thoughts and feelings. If you truthfully acknowledge your true feelings, by paying attention to them to know who you truly are, you will not be deluded by your own ignorance, illusions and delusion.
Most people cannot fathom truths about themselves because they do not bring truth into it. They go by their surface thoughts and feelings to avoid feeling hurt or disturbed by their failures and imperfections. In the process, they fail to discern truths about themselves and become deluded, which in turn makes them vulnerable to many other problems.
One of the best ways to practice truth in relation to yourself is to be honest with yourself and accept your feelings and emotions as they are. Feelings are important. You cannot ignore them because they convey important messages to you about you, and what is going on with your life and in your inner world. Their purpose is to draw your attention to those aspects of your personality or circumstances, which need to be resolved, repaired or improved. Many people lose touch with their own feelings, as they become deeply involved with the world, and thereby their ability to improve themselves or adapt themselves according to the situation. They become victims of their own self-deception.
Therefore, be honest and truthful about yourself and your deepest thoughts and feelings. Your mind is a product of your karma. All your past is stored there. It is the only place where you can find truths about yourself, apart from any information you may receive from others. By knowing both, you can bring the power of truth into your consciousness and free it from ignorance, falsehood and delusion.
Truth in relation to yourself improves your self-awareness. You may also do the same in relation to others, but you do not have to speak the truth of them to them, unless they ask for it. Our scriptures say that nonviolence is more important in spiritual practice than truthfulness. If truth is going to hurt others, it is better to be silent, and not to say anything. In your case, it is a self-cleansing mechanism. Therefore, let truth speak for itself.
Today is a day to focus on the thoughts, ideas, and actions that contribute to my inner peace. I can deal with the winds of change only if I am at peace within myself. Today I banish all thoughts and actions that create disharmony. I am calm, physically and emotionally. Today, I radiate peace.
I know that I did my best today to focus on peace and calm, Tonight I rest knowing that my mind and spirit are peaceful. I can rest with a peaceful mind and face a new day tomorrow.
Today we celebrate our holiday of Thanksgiving here in the United States. People travel from all corners of the country to be with family and loved ones. Our Thanksgiving dates back to 1621 when a group of English Pilgrims in present day Massachusetts (US) shared a feast with a tribe of Native Americans to celebrate a plentiful harvest. Many countries worldwide have harvest related festivals, Canada, India, China, Malaysia and Korea are but a few. American Thanksgiving takes place on the fourth Thursday of November. It is a day that we pause from our hectic and sometimes selfish lives to give thanks for our blessings and to feast on wonderful turkey dinners.
I always try to be grateful for the blessings in my life, I have many, but sometimes I fall short. I honestly try. Every night I remember to thank God/The Universe for my many blessings, both large and small, during my nightly shower. Because I enjoy my hot shower so much, I realize what a blessing it is. Sometimes though, life gets in the way of twenty-four hour a day gratitude. I’ll complain to myself about my job, how my boss is an ungrateful grump. But I’ve gotten better with my gratitude lately and I’ll tell you why:
I recently saw a news story on television about people in Madagascar working in mica mines. These poor beautiful people work fourteen hour days, seven days a week, for very little money. They do all this on one bowl of rice a day and live in hovels. They do this because they have to in order to survive (mica, by the way, is used in your cell phone. Think about that when you use it).
After seeing this story, I vowed to try much harder to appreciate what I have, especially my job. It really has made my job a lot easier, knowing that I’m only going to work about eight hours, just five days a week. Then I get to go to a lovely home and woman, who has a nutritious and delicious dinner waiting for me. Afterwards I have a very comfortable bed to sleep in. All that being said, I’d like to make a list of the things I’m grateful for:
I’m grateful for my wonderful girlfriend and companion Erin, and the beautiful home she’s made and keeps for us.
I’m grateful for our wonderful, crazy dog Annie, and our cats Kayak, Keno and Milo (who lived in a woodpile until he adopted us).
I’m grateful for the food we always have.
For the clean water I can get any time I wish.
I’m grateful for our home, a warm and comfortable shelter (right now it’s raining outside and I’m warm and dry).
I’m grateful for my warm and comfortable bed.
I’m glad I live in a safe place in the world (so many don’t).
I’m grateful for my job and the income it brings in.
I’m grateful to my boss for the challenge of learning to love and accept people I wouldn’t normally want to be around.
My health is an enormous blessing.
I’m grateful for our car (it sure is easy to get to work).
For having the fitness to ride my bicycle to work when I do.
For friends and family.
I’m grateful to you for being interested in my blog, and having very interesting blogs yourself.
I know that I have it so much better than most on this beautiful planet (God bless those people).
Thank you God/Universe for all of my blessings both large and small.
I am one with perfect action. Everything that I do, say or think is quickened into action through this right understanding and this correct knowing. The harmonious action of the great whole operates through me now and at all times. I am carried along by this right action and am compelled to do the right thing at the right time. There is nothing in me that can hinder this action from flowing through me. The action of God is the only action.
Summary: Ten ways to improve the quality of your thinking, feelings, perceptions and understanding to bring deeper spiritual awareness into your daily life.
We live in a difficult world. Technology was supposed to bridge the communication gap and bring people together, but it did the opposite. People are now more isolated than ever, as they spend more time with their mobile phones and gadgets rather than with people. Knowledge is now freely available, but it has not only created information overload but also made people highly selective and susceptible to subtle propaganda.
Life is not simple anymore, as people have to cope with the pressures of urban life and growing economic instability. Living in this complex environment, how can people gain control over their lives and find peace within themselves or in the world around them? How can they look beyond the surface of things and discern truths about themselves and their lives? One of the best ways to do it is cultivate spiritual attitude.
Cultivating Deeper Spiritual Awareness
Spirituality does not necessarily mean that you have to believe in God or in soul. The Buddhists do not believe in both. Yet, the Buddhist monks are no less spiritual than any other spiritual people in the world. To be spiritual, you have to live with the deeper awareness of things, looking beyond the illusions, appearances and surface impressions, restraining your habitual desires and impulsive behavior. Here are a few simple suggestions to cultivate deeper spiritual awareness.
1. Pay attention to what is going on
As life becomes busier, we stop paying attention to many things. Become mindful of the things around you. By paying attention, you establish a deeper connection with the world and people. You will have a better awareness of things, people and their feelings and expressions.
2. Think through your opinions and decisions
In the rush of life, and pushed by circumstances, deadlines and reminders, people rush to judgments and do whatever that comes to their minds. If you want to make better decisions, check your surface impressions, underlying assumptions and irrational thinking.
3. Feel the feelings
Feelings and emotions are an important source of information about human behavior. By paying attention to your feelings and those of others, you can know many things about you and your relationships. Therefore, become sensitive to your feelings and those of others and learn to discern them.
4. Stay with the moment
By being in the present, you ground yourself in the reality of the moment. You do not have to pay attention to everything. However, try to keep your eyes and mind wide open whenever possible and savor the moment. By that, you will relax more, think better and make better decisions.
5. Make silence your secret sanctuary
We are surrounded by lot of noise and many distractions. They disturb our minds and cause a lot of stress. You can create your own inner sanctuary deep inside you by practicing silence. By that, you can calm your nerves and energize yourself.
6. Cultivate cheerful attitude no matter what.
Life can be depressing at times. Yet, you can choose to be content. You do not have to be cheerful or happy only when right circumstances are present. You can do it even in difficult times with will power, making peace with yourself and what you cannot change.
7. Let life be not all about you
While you are largely responsible for your life and actions, you cannot ignore the role others play in your life. They are a part of your collective karma, who give you an opportunity to engage in good actions and cultivate helpfulness, selflessness, loving and caring nature, compassion, generosity and truthfulness.
8. Transcend your limited self
It is important to look beyond the mundane and the obvious to cultivate insight and wisdom into the nature of things. Challenge your beliefs, habitual thoughts, prejudices and preconceive notions. Consider other opinions and viewpoints. Read books about a wide range of subjects. Stretch your mind.
9. Cultivate discernment
Discretion helps you in decision making by letting you distinguish the right from the wrong, and thereby keeps you safe from self-destructive actions and habits. Amidst the uncertainties of life, it is your guide, philosopher, protector and teacher. You can cultivate discernment with right knowledge, right thinking, right perceptions and right views to discern things and make right choices.
10. Feel gratitude for all things in your life
While you make life happen, life also happens to you. You owe a great deal to the world, since help comes to you from others in many visible and invisible ways. Your very birth and early life, when you were young and helpless, were made possible by others. Therefore, express gratitude for all your blessings and all the good things that happened to you.
“Never forget that every time we move onward, the whole of Humanity does so with us. Let us walk on into the life that is real, the one that is not limited to our own, nor to the time that we have in this incarnation; let us walk on into that infinite space where everything becomes possible. In the life that is “real,” we have unlimited access to a great universal power. Once we become aware of what this “real” life is, we are holding the key that gives access to all the answers we are looking for, as well as to happiness.”
There is no over-action or inaction in divine law, for everything moves according to perfect harmony. Every idea of my body functions in accordance with this law of perfect life. I now perceive that the action within me is perfect, complete and harmonious. Peace be to every part of me, and perfect life to every member of my body. I act in accordance with divine law. I am perfect life throughout my whole being.