Active Listening~How to Create It

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Did you know the Hindi word for soul is atma.  Very close to the root of the word atmosphere.  A possible meaning of atmosphere could include the sphere  of energy emanating from or around a soul; the domain of the soul, “the sphere of the soul”.

As souls walking around in soul consciousness, we become very powerful and can create and uplift the atmospheres of our homes, our workplaces, our schools, and even when intentionally directed, our world!

In addition to that, when we consciously learn and practice certain tools of communication, our chances for creating harmony and happiness is multiplied!  One wonderful tool that anyone can use, anywhere, anytime  is aptly called: “active listening”.

Hmmm, you might be thinking what makes listening active vrs. passive?  Be careful about reading into the active aspect of what active listening actually entails.  Think about a time when you were really upset about something and in the process of sharing the tale of woe, your friend, spouse, coworker, whoever, the “listener” was, immediately started giving you ways/suggestions that might “help”/ “fix” the upset or even worse, imagine that they shut you down, subtly or not so subtly!  How did you feel?  Chances are that you didn’t feel valued, understood, or any better.  You probably felt worse…shamed and misunderstood.

How do you feel when someone, anyone, listens with love and sincere interest?  When another accepts our emotions for what they are, it has the effect of giving us permission to accept our own painful, sad, angry, or otherwise unwanted feelings.  We then feel more empowered to process or resolve the difficulty.    When emotions are accepted, they gradually decrease in intensity.    Even teenagers and children can begin to calm down with one to four active-listening responses.

So what exactly is an active-listening “response”?  Here are some examples that parents can use with their children to help them feel vaued:

Your child is happily hopping up and down saying “I can’t wait, I can’t wait.  You say with a smile: “You’re really excited about going (or about whatever it is your child is anticipating at that time.”

Child smiling and snuggling their favorite stuffed animal on the couch…You say “You’re really feeling content”  or “you love to snuggle with your bear”.  (Sounds so easy, right?)

Here’s another example:  Your child comes in the door crying and says: “Sara said I was fat”.  You say “Your feelings got really hurt when she said that.”

Or your child is looking really angry and disappointed at the same time and says: “I’m never giong to play with Sammy again!!!”  You say:.. “You’re really upset with Sammy right now.”

Or he or she looking really sad, says:  “Ashley totally snubbed me today, just walked by and didn’t even say Hi~”  You say: “It looks like that was hard and you’re feeling sad.”

HOW DOES BEING LISTENED TO ALLOW US TO ACCEPT AND “OWN” OUR EMOTIONS?

When someone listens to us with respect, a feeling of being respected, understood, and valued is created.  Active listening requires the listener to reflect back the content and/or emotions which the other has just communicated, without sounding phony or like a parrot. Sometimes people, especially children and teens, feel that they are the only ones who ever felt in such an intense way.  This creates shame, embarrasment, feeling different or even flawed.  Expression of emotions that may have been held in, repressed, or in anyway hidden allows them to let go of some or all of the shame, especially when your understanding and acceptance affirms their emotions as a normal/natural response to a diffiuclt situation.

What a gift has been given through love and understanding.  For when anyone rejects and struggles with their own emotions, it is the same as rejecting the self.  As one understands and accepts the emotions, one is accepting the self.  “This influx of positive energy in the mind and heart, and the relief of accepting the self, interferes with the downward spiral and loss of energy that occurs from negative thoughts and emotions.” (Tillman, Nurturing with Love and Wisdom, Disciplining with Peace and Respect p 59)

Let’s stop here and let this sink in enough to practice it.  The next short article will be about avoiding “blockers and stoppers”.  The things not to say when you wish to wave magic into the atmosphere through active listening,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It is No Longer Your Heart, Since It Has Become the Heart of the Beloved~

 

 

man with heart

The downpour of divine love that quickens the heart makes it like an ocean, makes it begin to vibrate, begin to live, to gush forth with energy and life, to unleash tidal waves of spiritual emotion, embracing all beings.

Knock against the walls of shell so that the whole power of your heart streams forth flooding the universe.

Find accomodation in all those hearts that you have touched upon, who have become part of your being~ forevermore.

Think of all those whose hearts you have quickened, embrace them with your being.

Experience it as the tidal wave of Divine Love passing through you, embracing all beings.

Glistening, scintillating~ the efflugence behind all creatures, behind all phenomena, the light in the heart of those  you have touched, whose light you enhance by your love.

See if you can get an answer to your heart’s greatest longing by knocking upon the door of your heart, striking upon the gong until the gong opens into wider spaces.

Life strikes upon your heart with the wonder of  true love and compassion.

Life is knocking at the door, so that you may receive the answer.

Blessed is the answer which uproots the question.

Should I do this?  Should I do that?

Are you flooding the world with joy?

Are you creatiing concern and unhappiness?

There is the answer…you can’t find the answer in the mind.

As soon as you knock at the door of the heart, the heart becomes a living receptacle.

Your whole being becomes one immense heart, transfigured by love, quickened by love, vibrating with the force of love.

See how the answers disappear from your mind.

Watch your mind scuttling itself before the immensity of the power  of the heart, so that you have lost all sense of it being your heart.

It is no longer your heart since it has become the heart of the Divine Beloved.

 

{After copying this off of the old piece of paper from 16 years ago, I’m not sure if I wrote it, yet it is something that resonates so powerfully from within me, it could have emerged from my heart!  The piece ended abrubtly with the following:  Your heart is the key to. I will “google” to see if I find the author?  Perhaps Rumi, Hafiz, one or another of the mystics, or me.}

 

 

 

Spiritual Detox?

rewritten for your benefit~~~

ENLIGHTENED

Ask yourself what truly gives me peace?  What am I insisting I need to get done before I can be at peace?  What helps me to “be still”?

Within us, lies the Truth that we are more than our bodies…that actually we are not this body at all…but that I, the soul, HAVE a body that has been given to me for awhile to play a part in the ever-moving movie of life.

This body is not really mine, it is on loan from the Most Beautiful One, in order for me to fulfill some aspect of His/Her choreography in this vast play, we call the Dance of Life.

No wonder the soul’s true nature is to dance, to be free.  The yearning to be free from fears, doubts, wounds, and rules and to dance away into the beyond is a deep memory and it creates a subtle longing.

Ask…

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Spinning the Right Thoughts

 

 

I want Peace

Who are you?  What vision do you have of yourself?  What recurring thoughts do you generate?  Are the feelings you create the sum total of who you are?

Using the power of imagination and creative thought to visualize and bring into being the unmanifest world of potential within yourself  is to work on the main thing you have control over~~~yourself!

The dialogue you have with yourself is the most important thing you have on this journey.  It ultimately determines your happiness and satisfaction levels as you interact in this world.

Watch your thoughts as you perform small tasks today.  Since we are all originally pure, elevated, happy, and spiritually powerful beings,  check to see if what you are thinking,on a regular basis is taking you into alignment with your original state.   Or do your thoughts bring you down into an uncomfortable, but familiar state? If so, develop the inner power to stop, reflect for a moment, and change the conversation in your head.

Refocus and have the determination to not feed yourself thoughts which bring you down, which compare yourself as better or worse than someone else or which create inner feelings of unworthiness or dislike towards the self or others.

To win this inner battle requires “letting go”.

Letting go is a beautiful state of mind to nurture and can bring you into freedom.

As you choose to look at yourself with self-respect, your cage door which was never really locked, will magically swing open.   This process does not have to be laborious!  As a matter of fact, it can be one in which you continue to become lighter and lighter, the more you are willing to let go of!

The more you are willing to open to change the better things will get for you!

This is a transistional time and in many ways, a fast-moving one.  Everyday in the scenes of life, change is swiftly appearing.  You have the opportunity to choose to play your part by creating beauty in your inner world and by making your home a place of peace.  Yes, that’s where it all begins.

Create a home that has a pure vibration.  In order to do this, begin at the level of thought.  Check the thoughts you are having and sending into the atmosphere of your home environment, into your food as you prepare it, and into those who share the space with you.

Begin by talking to yourself sweetly.  Talk to you, the soul, not you, the ego. This isn’t about creating a stronger sense of ego.  Drop the ego, just as you drop your shoes at the door of your dwelling.

Ask yourself…who am I?  (I am a soul, a guest in this world.)  Where did I come from?  (true answer: I came from a world of light, the home of all souls).  Why have I incarnated?  (I have entered this body in order to…) One answer, if you are willing to accept it, is that I have entered this body in order to bring light back to this world and to establish a heavenly world of happiness for all.

Your “sweet talk” will depend on your values.  What do you value?   What 2 values if lived by everyone on the planet right now, would bring about the most beneficial and significant changes?

Write your responses down; for here is a key to what is truly important to you.

At the end of the day, take account of the moments when you were really living from these two cherished values.  How did you feel?  What transpired around you?  How did others respond?  Now note the times that you slacked off and forgive yourself with the determination to be more aware of being in alignment with your truth tomorrow.

Of utmost importance is the willingness to see yourself and others clearly, in your original and pure state.  See the innocent two year old in all who you meet. Can you really see others as unlimited souls, not as limited bodies of flesh and bone?  This is the high bar you can set for yourself for it will change the quality of your life immensely!

Seeing and understanding the great loss you’ve caused to yourself and others by not keeping your vision clear might help you gather up the determination to begin seeing with “new eyes”. Don’t compromise yourself, don’t be slack when it comes to this!

Begin to identify the mistakes you’ve been making which have taken you away from your own divinity!

To make this value firm and to keep yourself accountable to it, you may even be willing to create a system to give up something that you really enjoy doing/eating/having when your focus slips.   This is especially effective when due to seeing a person as a body, you have given them some grief or difficulty or have taken grief or difficulty from them.  Either way doesn’t work in this stage of your development.   This is the moment to decide that in order to uproot this old, deep pattern of relating to souls as bodies, today I will forego enjoying …? or that relaxing cup of tea.  Use whatever leverage will help you think twice about doing the same thing tomorrow. Accountability is a great tool.  Having an accountability partner is also very useful.

Decide how to wean yourself from the old way of “seeing” to the new way of seeing.  You may make the agreement with yourself that if I can stay clear 80% of the time, tomorrow, I will allow myself to enjoy that cup of tea or that second piece of chocolate.  Work with yourself.  Set yourself doable goals.

Be sure to reward yourself when you’ve had a stretch of many hours or days of seeing others and yourself as you truly are, no matter what.  Some souls give you happiness, for the others you can choose to be merciful.  See them as under ‘an influence’ that is preventing their true nature from coming through.

When you have the strong spiritual aim to only give happiness and receive happiness, you will become willing to do whatever it takes to achieve this.

You will then become a blessing to everyone and yourself through your every thought, word, and deed.  You will become an elevated soul, a master almighty authority, and be amply rewarded by enjoying the coming age of peace and happiness upon the earth.  By staying in soul consciousness, you will receive great help, without asking,  from the Benevolent One.  The more you remember that, the more you will receive this Divine Energy that guides you along the path to your own divinity with grace and ease.

When obstacles arise, in the form of a negative thought or feeling about yourself or someone else, gently and firmly remind yourself:  I am a peaceful, loveful soul; this is my true nature.  They too are originally a peaceful,loveful soul.  Trust that they really are doing the best they can, right now.  By maintaining this vision, you are creating an opening for yourself and the other to move forward in a new way.

Look at your own conditioned responses honestly;  then remember your goal -keep it simple- don’t give sorrow to others and don’t take sorrow either.

As you affirm that you truly are a peaceful soul again and again and take action in your life not to let old patterns have their way; those conditioned patterns of response will melt away, for they do not belong to the true self.

You will become one who understands your own value and you will radiate a unique sparkle into the world!  Your presence will inspire others to be free from the constraints of ego.

Consistency is important.  Inconsistency breeds doubt in the self.  As you move along with the aim to restore your divinity, you will feel the pull of your original nature.  You will enjoy becoming a bestower of happiness.  This will become your anchor.

Know that efforts now, bring reward in the present and in your future world.   As you spread happiness and good wishes to others now, you are serving as an instrument to bring about a world of peace and love.

As you become the master of yourself today, this mastery becomes yours eternally.   As you attain self-sovereignty, you become worthy of a high status in your future lives.

It all comes down to spinning the right thoughts…I am a pure soul… my divine birthright is to be peaceful, happy, and powerful…   I value myself… I can respect others easily…Keep telling yourself these sweet truths and you will remain stable in your true self, a being of love and bliss.

on-giving-happiness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the Tender-Hearted, the Broken-Hearted and the Disempowered,

For You

ENLIGHTENED

When you remember Love, Peace, and Joy, you help yourself and the door is open for the Source of Love, Peace, and Joy to also help you.  This is what powerful meditation is all about; it attunes the meditator to truth, power, and happiness.

Borrowing from the wisdom of Dadi Janki, an elder, who is an acknowledged keeper of wisdom for humanity, always gives me a true and beautiful reference point for what I wish to share with others.  On Desires she has this to say:

                                        Desires are not the problem                                                                              …

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Desires are Not the Problem, Satisfying them Is!

 

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When you remember your true nature of love, peace, and joy, you can fill up  from the Source of Love, Peace, and Joy.  Like attracts like; therefore, it is easier to receive these vibrations and frequencies when you are in a state of appreciation of the Beloved, rather than when you are angry or frustrated.  Powerful meditation is all about attunement to the Love and Peace of the One Above.

I love dipping in to the wisdom of Dadi Janki, a 103 year old yogi who has been meditating for over 75 years.

Here are some practical words of wisdom from Dadi.

Desires are not the problem; satisfying them is.   God says: tell me all your desires and I will fulfill them. But people don’t do this. They turn to others expecting someone else to fulfill them.

Expectations are another kind of desire.  Expecting to be praised, recognized, or approved of are the signs of  little spiritual accomplishment.  Over time, expectations will deplete you…your work will turn superficial, for namesake only, and you will be distanced from the true blessings of others.

God’s pure desire is that we now become like Him.                                                     

Our only desire now, should be that, too.        

Sound like a tall order?  Does it sound doable, desirable?  What does it even mean?  How does one go from being decidedly human to being definitely divine/angelic?   Actually, we were all divine originally; we’ve simply forgotten what it means to be an embodiment of peace, of love, of joy, and of bliss. 

Borrowing once again from Dadi Janki:

People have forgotten how to give love, nor do they know how to receive. Thus the heart is empty.  This is why they don’t know what love is (or who God is). Actually, just to take the time and effort to understand what love is, is an act of love, in itself…If you go inside yourself, there you will discover what love is.  If you look for it externally, you will need to keep on looking because you will find only deception and sorrow.  You have to go inside to look for love.”

Namaste’ and Om Shanti,

Shivalaya

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A Poem In and Out of Time

sacred flower

 

Gratitude’s bright face beckons me

Homeward.

Basking in still havens of remembrance,

I Realize the joy of  surrender. 

The dance of light plays harmonic tunes

Amidst the jasmine blooming in my heart.

Again and again, velvet winds blow through this mind, 

Clearing projections,

Uncovering the silken thread that brings me

Into remembrance of another time,

When freedom reigned in everyone’s heart 

And happiness was natural.

The inner landscape moves

gradually into daylight.

 

And I am the Sky,

Vastly present and aware.

Without a sound,

 I, the Self dawns.

I move in wonder,

Marveling at long-ago memories of Paradise,

Indelibly recorded  in soul matter,

Emerging again

And once again.

 

 

 

A New Affair of the Heart~Living Beyond Karma

pink and blue sunWhen I first came across the teachings of Raja Yoga and the Brahma Kumaris, I was amazed and delighted to increase my understanding about karma through the one word “karmateet”!  I understand karmateet to mean reaching the state in which all karmic accounts have been settled at the end of one’s lifetime.

I was happy to hear that there was a method to become karmateet which I could practice daily, on my own!  With true benevolence, the One, the Highest on High teaches that souls can become free of their karma by “Remembering Me”.

Since the Beloved is also the Purifier, by cultivating a stage of being in yoga (union) with the Purifier, our negative karma is burned away.   Being honest with the Purifier and hiding nothing is important.  Anything that is hidden, will persist and therefore can not be lifted!  The Purifier understands the state of all souls at this time is impure.  The Beloved Purifer is pleased with an honest heart.

Honesty is a prerequisite part of the process of becoming pure along with keeping our subtle awareness on the Highest on High, not only while sitting in meditation, but also throughout the day.

You may very well be thinking, how much “yoga” must I have in order to cleanse lifetimes of mistakes and become pure and free, once again?  Great question…a question that truly matters!

Another question arises~how much meditation with the Divine can I fit in  when my present lifestyle requires so many hours a day of “work”, so many hours a night of rest, so many hours devoted to caring for the children, the pets, the garden, the house, the car, and on and on…It could seem like an impossible task to accomplish in one lifetime.

However, the One being truly benevolent and the One who has never, stopped loving you, even for a moment, wouldn’t ask you to do something that could not be accomplished.  It would surely go against that One’s Nature; for the Beloved is the Comforter of Hearts, as well as the Remover of Sorrow. This One does not impose more sorrow and concern or come to give you any other difficulties.

Here’s where another concept became transformed for me.  If you are anything like me, you may have been interpreting karma yoga to be performing various kinds of tasks, usually unpleasant, to rid oneself of karma; or on a slightly higher scale, doing service, which you might even enjoy, to cleanse your karma.  A fair trade-off, although more like a punishment or “duty” than an attractive option!   I realized something today, after churning these words, for over 6 years.   When the Beloved says: “Do actions with your hands, but remember Me with your heart”, He/She is talking about “karma yoga”.

Though I understand the importance of eating and preparing food, going for a walk, speaking to a friend, all while remembering the One in your heart was another way of having yoga, it wasn’t until today that this confluence, this coming together, of performing “karma yoga” within the heartspace of remembrance of the Beloved  jelled enough to become a joyful experience, a profound feeling, of what it means to enjoy each scene of our lives!

For this, too, is a direction from the Beloved:  enjoy each scene of this drama with Me.

Karma Yoga  is an affair of the heart.  For it is only within the womb of this intimate, loving, joyful, relationship that our heart and soul can sweetly and easily be made clean by the Beloved.

Karma Yoga is not merely a utilitarian principle asking you to do some work, some service, some ‘karma yoga’ so that your soul will be cleansed or your conscience relieved.

Karma Yoga and being a karma yogi is a transformational state of being in which to live one’s life!  The definition of a karma yogi is very deep.  Every thought of a karma yogi would spread vibrations of love for the One. 

For example: “when you look at a soul who is in love with another soul you can see that that soul is lost in love from that one’s face and sparkle.  Similarly, ask yourself: Does your every action give the experience of being a loving soul to the Father?  This is known as being a karma yogi.” (Avyakt Murli spoken on June 15, 2014 and originally spoken on January 24, 1978)

Suddenly the watered down interpretation of karma yoga that had become part of my inner attitude now seemed joyless and light years behind this new understanding!

The new definition of karma yoga had emerged in my heart:  nurturing and sustaining awareness of constant connection with the Beloved  resulting in  being naturally immersed in Divine love in every thought, word, and action!

Following this guidance of  enjoying every scene of life with ‘Me’, it’s easy to see how blessings can accumulate in the ‘now’ and encourage one to maintain elevated thoughts, words, and actions,even more!   As the immediate fruit of living from Divine love is created and enjoyed, one is sustained and strengthened to stay on the path of remembrance.   As each action becomes fruitful, not just utilitarian, the soul becomes content, happy, and successful, as a result of having these pure thoughts, words, and actions.  Living proof that “Purity is the Mother of Happiness”.

Karma yoga brings joy and pleasure into each present moment,  and one is not just living for the future but also cleaning up the past.   Living life in the present moment takes on new meaning as our elevated present creates an elevated future.

The trigger of all this newness, began brewing in the early hours before dawn.  While the world slept, a book  was opened, a book that had been sitting on the shelf for years.  In it was this guidance, originally spoken on February 24, 1984.   The title of the piece is: “Suffering for Karma will not allow you to be a Karma Yogi”.

Here is what was said:

“The meaning of karmateet is not to be beyond karma but to be beyond the bondage of karma.  Sometimes, in the bondage of the body there are actions performed in which you say, ‘This is my nature to live comfortably, to eat at a particular time, to live in a particular way,’ and all these are aspects of the bondages of karma that draw to themselves….  Just as in bodily illness, where the suffering of karma pulls to itself through pain, so that you say, ‘What can I do?  I am okay but this suffering of karma is severe,’ in the same way, if any particular old sanskara (impression) or nature (character trait) or habit pulls you to itself then this is also the suffering for karma.  And so, any sort of suffering for karma will not allow you to be a karma yogi.  So you have to go beyond this also.”

This passage is deep and bears several readings to extract its essence.  It points out  how habits, character traits, as well as our past lives equal the “bondage of karma” and how all three pull us even when the pull is into, what appears to be something good, the comfort of living in a certain manner, in a certain material way….this pull means we are not free.  For if the comforts of the material existence were taken away, then what?

It leads one to understand that one who is a “karma yogi” is one who is living freely, who is beyond the pull of his/her own karma.  How is this accomplished?  It all relates to understanding where the karma yogi’s comfort and happiness come from.

When goodness and comfort, are drawn from a connection with the Supreme  Source, from the union with the eternal Beloved, then one is contented spiritually and therefore happy! If this connection with the Beloved is a primary focus, then even if one is living a life of  material luxury and comfort, as long as his or her happiness is not dependent upon or trapped within those facilities, that one is a karma yogi.

A karma yogi would use the benefits they have accrued in this physical world for the highest good of all, i.e. to help awaken and free others from a life bound by their karmic bondage.  Their very presence in this world helps to guide and awaken others to true and lasting happiness which is realized as one embraces the awareness of remembering who they are ( an eternal spiritual being)  and who they belong to (the eternal spiritual Beloved).

Are you feeling trapped by anyone or anything?  Take a new look at the situation; remember the Ocean of Love and draw your sustenance from there, rather than from expectations of how you would like this person or situation to be.  This will help settle the account that created this type of relationship in the first place and you won’t be creating more negative energy through your unfulfilled or uneasy thoughts about the situation.  Then easily withdraw your dependence from that situation or person being “a certain way” and watch how much room for lightness and magic you have created in your world!!!  This is called transformation!

Om Shanti