Spiritual and relationship expert, teacher, counselor, advisor, speaker, and writer James Gray Robinson

Raising Vibratory Rates

There seems to be quite a lot of literature these days about “raising vibratory rates” and the advantages and benefits that has for our life. This is a misconception, or at best just a label which metaphysics has placed on what otherwise is known as the quality of life. The common misconception is that if you raise your vibratory rate then you will feel better and experience more synchronicity or at least have an easier life. The problem is that there is no scientific evidence whatsoever that our “vibration” goes up when we do whatever the particular proponent of that concept suggests to do to raise our vibration. In fact, I suspect that this is just a new way of describing the effects of living a moral and righteous life.

In one article I read, the author claimed that by raising your vibratory rate, you will experience feeling grounded and centered, more psychic awareness, more health, communicating clearly and honestly, increased energy, spontaneous healing, better circumstances, better friends, feeling grateful, appreciation, creativity, compassion, patience and understanding, joy, faith, awareness, mindfulness, forgiveness and other benefits. I sometimes get confused whether they are talking about hertz (the measurement of vibratory rates) or vitamins. He goes on to give suggestions on how to raise your vibration, which are nothing more than paying attention to your thoughts, your meditation and what you put in your body. In other words, being healthy mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally.

The more I learn through experience the more I am beginning to realize that we are being sold repackaged goods. One of the first workshops on raising vibratory rates was held approximately 2000 years ago in Palestine. It is known as The Sermon on The Mount which us taught how to be blessed, how to be happy, and the Lord’s Prayer. It is contained in the New Testament at Matthew 5-7. I am not professing that Christianity is any better than any other religion, I suspect that every religion has teachings similar to “raising your vibratory rate.” However, the content of the Sermon on the Mount is eerily similar to what New Agers are claiming raises vibratory rates.
These ideals may sound familiar to current spiritualists: you are a light into the world, you have to control your emotions, you have to control your thoughts, you have to tell the truth (especially to yourself), love your enemies, help the poor, God is inside of you, take care of your body/temple, meditate and pray, have faith and trust, do not judge, treat others as you wish to be treated (karma), and seek God. Whether you call these ideals “raising your vibratory rate” or being holy, it does not matter. These ideals are called morals, and unfortunately they have been righteously ignored for thousands of years.

If the code words “raise vibratory rates” works for you, and you decide to integrate the moral principles of a divine life into your life, then that is great. Our world will be better for it. However, it rankles a bit for people to be selling this stuff as “new” when we have been ignoring it for thousands of years. It also is a bit of a bamboozle to declare that a higher vibratory rate is better than a lower vibratory rate. It misses the mark (a/k/a sin). We are only fooling ourselves and distracting ourselves from the real work, the inner discipline that takes us to self-realization. Don’t worry about your vibratory rate, simply focus on what we think about, how we feel, and how we treat our fellow human beings. That is the true gift of divinity.

Spiritual and relationship expert, teacher, counselor, advisor, speaker, and writer James Gray Robinson

We Do What We Can

            Dignity: the state or quality of respect. I read an article yesterday claiming that it is best not to make up your bed. I suspect it was a joke, but it did remind me of a Crow custom that recognized dignity in making up your bed. When one Crow wanted to show respect when talking about an elder, they usually would say that the elder didn’t have much, but (s)he made up their bed the first thing in the morning. That accolade also went along with keeping their living quarters orderly and clean. It meant that person was worthy of respect.

            In reflecting on those notions, I realized that what they really were talking about was the art of mindfulness, the practice of paying attention to whatever we do. This is not the same thing as meditation, which is the art of paying attention to whatever we are. When we are mindful, we keep a clean living space because it is healthy and by cleaning we are mindful of what we possess. In my youth, and my children’s youth, one way we rebelled was to refuse to clean our rooms. My father was a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point so that was a short lived rebellion. We would have revelry at 7am and inspection at 7:30am. Our beds had better be made in accordance with proper military precision.

            I allowed my children to experience disorderly conduct. I kept the rest of the house clean but their room could experience whatever state of disrepair they wished. All I would do is tell them that if you wanted to have a sex life you better clean up your room. My younger son is evidently proving me wrong on that, but whatever. I think that he trashes his room when I visit just to show me who is boss in his house. I think most people feel more comfortable in a clean environment, but that does not mean that clean is right and chaos is wrong.

            We all have different talents and abilities. It is self-defeating to compare ourselves with someone else. It is illuminating and raises our self-esteem to be the best we can, to do whatever we do with mindfulness and attention. I have heard many times from teachers of spiritual growth that we should pay attention to how we walk when we are walking. We should pay attention to the mundane aspects of our lives and not worry about how we are doing compared to the rest of the rats in the race. I am in the process of redefining my body and I am running more. It is comforting to concentrate on the feeling of my feet touching the ground, the air filling my lungs, the sun on my skin and the sensation of movement and not pay attention to all of the people blowing by me like I was in the slow land of a German autobahn.

            There is a saying that to be enlightened, we should “chop wood and carry water. When we become enlightened, we will continue to chop wood and carry water.” I suspect that the “becoming enlightened” part is the result of being mindful about the “chop wood and carry water” part. When we do the simplest acts the best we can, the complicated stuff will sort itself out. When we live our lives the best we can, we achieve a sense of dignity with the sense of calmness and peace that creates respect both inside and outside of our selves. This has nothing to do with power, bank accounts, relationships or information. It is simply the actions that lead to profound self-esteem. This is how we actually can disregard what other people think of us. We are being the best person we can. That is enough. I hope one day that someone will say about me, “he makes his bed well.”

Spiritual and relationship expert, teacher, counselor, advisor, speaker, and writer James Gray Robinson

Karma Is For Losers

            It hit me like a bus carrying illegal immigrants. We have totally gotten it all wrong, as usual. The concept of karma is not what the popular spiritualists propose, that “we reap what we sow”, otherwise known as the “agricultural interpretation of Karma”. If you look at this philosophical explanation of why things happen in the light of day, there are lots of inconsistencies with this belief. First, if you reap what you sow, why do bad things happen to good people? Reincarnationists would argue that it is a question of timing, that the bad stuff is karma from past lives. Conversely, do wicked people succeed in life because they were good in some prior life?  Second, if you reap what you sow, how do you balance out the good stuff from the bad stuff? Is it an issue of accounting? No one is perfectly pure or perfectly evil, so how does karma sort itself out?

            Buddhists argue that karma refers to “intention” or the mental state that we allow to exist in our minds. In other words, only we know what we believe, think and desire. If our intentions are selfish and motivated by profit or greed, it doesn’t matter how good the deed. The ends do not justify the means. If we react to events in our life with victim consciousness, we will be doomed to be victims. If you follow that concept to its logical conclusion, karma is for losers. After all, when bad things happen to us, isn’t it simply victim mentality to blame it on some past life or past action that we don’t even remember? What good does that do anyone? Is the sum total of our existence doomed to a victimized lack of control?

            I think we have much more control over what happens in our lives than many people want to believe. They don’t want to be responsible for the challenges that they face and would rather be victims of someone else’s actions (even if it was themselves in a prior life). I think that we are each very powerful beings that create what we experience not as some mindless result of prior actions but for the express purpose of evolution and spiritual growth.

            I had a dream last night in which I was back practicing law and I had discovered that one of my staff had filed a court document that was inaccurate and probably malpractice. I then went through a lengthy review of all of the things I had done that I regretted in 27 years of practice and I was watching myself in my dream judging all of that as wicked and wrong and I would eventually be discovered as a despicable person and disbarred. I expect that experience would be what is understood to be the bardo or the post death review experienced by many who die and are resuscitated. On one hand I was not the person in the dream and on another hand I was wondering why I was having this dream.

            I have had quite a process of letting go over the last three years. (I am so glad Saturn in now in Sagittarius). I have experienced loss of money, relationships, a parent, self esteem and pride. Someone who believes in karma would attribute this letting go process as punishment for something. I do not believe it is punishment. We create experiences to learn lessons that bring us closer to our divinity. I certainly have grown closer to my higher self and understand many of the lessons that these kinds of experiences bring. There is a huge difference between being the creator of a lesson and being the victim of karma. I believe that I created the loss for a specific purpose, it was not the result of some prior action or belief. I also believe that seeing the experience as a positive experience has certainly helped me in many ways as opposed to suffering as a victim of past deeds in this life or prior lives.

            So don’t be so quick to pass off experiences as a result of something done in the past. We are more powerful than that. Look at your experiences as your creation for the purpose of being a stronger, wiser, more divinely oriented person. Karma has nothing to do with it.

Spiritual and relationship expert, teacher, counselor, advisor, speaker, and writer James Gray Robinson

Look For The Lesson

            One of life’s most perplexing questions is “why did that happen?” There we are, minding our own business and “wham!!!” something happens that shakes our world. Someone leaves us, someone dies, we lose our job, our business goes under, or things happen that we don’t like. We do everything we were told would bring us happiness or abundance, and it doesn’t work. We can’t understand why we are getting what we are getting.

            The first element of this puzzle is our motivation. Why did we do what we did? Did we do something that looked nice, but we were hoping that we would get rewarded? Isn’t that what religion is all about? We are told that if we follow the rules we will be blessed. So we follow the rules and we get slammed. So what good is religion? The answer is that our motivation will determine the result. If we do something hoping to be rewarded or to be perceived as someone we are not, the result may not be what we want. It does make a difference why we do things. If we sacrifice in order for a greater reward, we may not get the greater reward and we are a double loser. However, if we do something with good intention, because we feel fulfilled and blessed, then we feel good about it no matter what the result.

            The second element of the puzzle is the lesson. We rarely know the big picture, all of the elements of what is swirling around our lives. What we perceive is rarely the big picture and all of our calculations are worthless. How do we know what the lesson is? If the events are not what we want, you can assume that the lesson was the opposite of what you wanted. When someone abandons you, the lesson is to learn how to stand on your own. If you are annoyed, or frustrated, the lesson is to learn patience. If you feel victimized, the lesson is to take responsibility. If you are experiencing fear, the lesson is to have courage, faith and trust. If you are not getting the result you want, the lesson is to let go of the results.

            One of the most frustrating elements of life is time. Nothing happens in our own time or when we want it. We are a world of instant gratification; we have lost the art of patience. So when we get frustrated and impatient, we do things to hurry life along and it usually backfires. I call this “pushing a rope”.  It doesn’t work and most of what we wanted to accomplish is left behind. We have to slow down and relax. Most of our society is based on instant gratification, especially now that we have the Internet in place. We have begun to expect everything to happen computer fast, but maybe your soul mate has some polishing required before you would like them and you have to wait until they are ready. It is often difficult to accept that the universe does not happen on our time clock. We just have to have faith and trust that our divine powers are rearranging the universe to make it right for us, it just takes longer than we want.

            We can experience life as exciting and fun or as difficult and hard. The same conditions can create either experience. The trick is to learn to have fun when we are not getting what we want. I go back to the old saying, “Success is getting what you want, and happiness is wanting what you get”.  I am always afraid that I will lose out on the good stuff and I want to take control. Unfortunately when I try to take control the train runs off the tracks. What I can’t control must be released. I have to let go of everything. The only thing I can control is how I feel about what is happening around me. So why not feel happy even though I am not getting what I want. If I feel negative, all I am doing is making myself miserable. Where is the fun in that?

            Just because I don’t get what I want doesn’t mean that I did anything wrong. It may be that I did everything right because I will be a more conscious person because of the experience. Sometimes being naïve and trusting doesn’t mean that I don’t have the responsibility of using my talents to analyze a situation and saying “no”. Cult leaders and gurus have made their fortunes and lost other people’s fortunes this way. I can’t blame anyone else for making unwise decisions; that is my karma.

            It may be a profitable exercise to review all of the decisions you would never make again. What would you not do again, be greedy, take an unwise risk, disempower yourself, go against your intuition? Sometimes the pearl of the lesson is buried under layers of bullshit that continues to cause problems in life. This is where we have to be honest and quit lying to ourselves if we are going to get to the truth and the cause of our circumstances. Just don’t beat yourself up, other people will do that for you.

            During this time of eclipses and transitional astrological changes, we are given the chance to look deep into our thinking patterns and behavior to see the truth about ourselves. When we can realize our traits and adjust where necessary to be in alignment with what we want, we can create the life we want. Happy Eclipses everybody!

Spiritual and relationship expert, teacher, counselor, advisor, speaker, and writer James Gray Robinson

Consciousness–What They Didn’t Teach You in College

            Good Lord, what a time we live in. I can’t remember when so many people were so focused on stuff that doesn’t have any relevance in our lives and are simply distractions from what is really going on in their lives. Gamma rays, Wave X, Planet Niburu, Alien contacts, Armageddon, Ascension, quantum leaps in frequency, and all sorts of other subjects are flooding Face Book and Google with dire warnings of life changing events by the end of September. Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my! These types of mass hysteria have plagued our world over and over, whether it was Y2K, the end of the Mayan Calendar (two dates), the Christian fundamentalists who kept changing the date of the end of the world. Unfortunately the Internet has brought this end of the world mentality to our doorstep and you have to have been living under a rock if you aren’t aware of it. I envy you.

            One of the biggest principles that we are not taught in school is responsibility. In fact, we are taught the opposite, to blame someone else when we don’t get what we want from our education. We are responsible for absolutely everything that happens in our life. I am not preaching guilt here, or that we do anything wrong. That is the second principle that we get screwed up and I will get to that shortly. We choose our education or at least our parents choose it if we don’t. Schools specialize in our chosen fields, or they don’t specialize in anything and we are given a meaningless piece of paper at the end of four years to signify that we didn’t do anything for four years. I totally wasted my parents’ money for four years pretending to be an English major at a very expensive school in the South and didn’t learn anything. However, there are very few of us that remember anything that we did learn in college. So don’t blame the school that you choose to not learn.

            In some ways we did learn things if we did go to college. Many of us learned moral or immoral values, we learned a lot about the opposite sex (or not), we formed beliefs about our universe that may or may not be helpful. And we probably learned how to complain and protest for stuff we don’t like. When we take responsibility for our lives, we have to quit complaining about the stuff we don’t like and either change it or leave it alone. We have to take a deep look inside ourselves and find out why we don’t like it. If we are against war, did we volunteer for the peace corps or did we seek a good job that didn’t involve the military industrial complex? Did we research the facts or did we simply repeat gossip that we heard or read somewhere? The truth is a powerful force if we choose to find it.

            Are we positive or negative with our world view? Whatever we believe will be our reality. I think that a lot of the predictions that I have read, especially the more metaphysical ones are simply saying that we need to improve our attitudes about the world and get to work changing what doesn’t work. We don’t have to look for rogue planets and energy waves from the middle of the galaxy to accomplish that.

            Another issue that we have to face is how we judge what is going on around us. We compare ourselves to others and think we see them living a better life than us and we start to beat ourselves up. That is like trying to teach a pig to sing. We will never change anything by beating ourself up. We will only change something when we start looking for the lesson the experience represents and apply it to our lives. Do we practice moral values or do we disregard the principles of a moral life in order to “get ahead” in life. Do we teach our children by example or by lecture? We had to learn how to lie, cheat, steal or criticize somewhere. We have to start looking in the mirror and put down the microscope.

            Rather than be looking for aliens, why not start improving things around here?  Helping someone is a lot more productive and beneficial than studying Wave X and the grey aliens. I believe that people who spend their lives looking for something new and exciting in the heavens are simply distracting themselves from what they don’t like about their life. Why not start debate groups about the best way to improve this country, elect responsible officials, take away nuclear weapons and wellbeing? The aliens are not going to have magic wands. They probably have been avoiding us like a child screaming for an X Box. Why in the world would they want to visit this planet? I can only guess it is because they want something. Uh oh.

Spiritual and relationship expert, teacher, counselor, advisor, speaker, and writer James Gray Robinson

Cheerleaders Vs. Critics

            I was leading a group meditation the other night and afterwards the conversation turned to whether we are self-critics or self-cheerleaders. We all know the voice in our heads that always has something to say about whatever we are experiencing. When we are experiencing something that we like, that voice can be supportive and joyful. However, when we are experiencing something that we don’t like, many times that voice is critical and brutal.

            We all know cheerleaders and we all know cheers. Our inner voice can cheer anytime we are getting what we want. When live is challenging and we are experiencing loss that voice can be depressing and beat ourselves up. So be proactive and select a cheer that you will use instead of the critical statements we seem to be so good at. “I’m the best”; “never quit”; “Thank you God”, “That’s alright, that’s ok, I’m going to be alright anyway” all are cheers that can keep you positive when you are experiencing what we don’t want.

            An exercise that can get to the cause of the self-criticism is to listen very carefully when that voice is critical and identify whose voice that is. Who does it sound like? Who does it remind you of? You were not born with that voice, you were programmed by someone to be self-critical. Does the language seem familiar? Who does it feel like? Use all of your senses to identify who is living rent free in your head.

            When you identify the voice, thank it for keeping you alive. That is its purpose; to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes twice. However, for many of us, it takes on a life of its own and focuses only on the negative aspects of your life. That limits us and causes a lot of stress. Who controls your mood and your mood, this voice in your head or your higher self? If you want to experience the unlimited abundance to which you are entitled, you have to get rid of that harsh voice that is so quick to judge. Let go of that judgment, let go of that voice. Keep saying a cheer to yourself and keep going. It will make all of the difference.

Spiritual and relationship expert, teacher, counselor, advisor, speaker, and writer James Gray Robinson

The End of Duality

            One of the biggest illusions that we struggle with on a daily basis is duality. This not only includes the notion that everything has its polar opposite but also that we are separate from the whole. This is probably the biggest problem that causes suffering today.

            Apparently the current metaphysical new age philosophy is that everything has a polar opposite. Joy has sadness. Ecstasy has acute depression. Love has apathy (the opposite of love is not hate, by the way). Lust has hate. Heaven has Hell. Pleasure has pain. Believing that there are polar opposites we create a world that swings from one to the other. This is what Buddha was talking about when he said we create our own suffering. It is the belief that everything has an opposite that dooms us to experiencing one or the other.

            It occurs to me that we have an incredible defense mechanism in our minds that chooses between what we like and what we don’t like. We like the stuff that makes our life fun and easy. We don’t like the stuff that makes us suffer. So because we believe that we are stuck on the wheel of samsara (suffering) it will always be one or the other. We either like what we are experiencing or we don’t.

            So who or what is in control of our “like”? We were trained at an early age to like or not like something. Depending on the thoughts and beliefs involved in the “like/dislike”, it is entirely possible for one person to like something and another person to dislike something. One of the obvious examples of this is food. Another example of this is your choice of friends. Some dishes and people we love, others we can’t stand. And the reason for this is the illusion that everything has a polar opposite.

            So what would happen if we decide to wake up and understand that there are no polar opposites or duality? There are only experiences. We can always be grateful for whatever is happening, whether we “like” it or not. An even deeper prospect is why not accept what is we don’t like as a experience to grow spiritually and emotionally? We actually have the ability to like something that may not be comfortable or pleasant if we have the ability to see the lesson in the experience.

            I am going through some challenging times right now. I can either choose to like them or not like them, judge them or just accept that they are happening. I can notice whether they are pleasant or painful, with out desiring the pleasant and being adverse to the painful. When I focus on these principles, the illusion of duality disappears and what is left is an exciting, vibrant life.

            So love your life, and everything in your life. When you do this, and let go of desire and conflict, you will discover that everything is an opportunity for growth and understanding. Be satisfied with doing the best you can. Be satisfied with who you are. When duality disappears, so does separation. Enjoy your journey with yourself. There is a Buddhist joke that when someone greets someone else, they say, “How am I doing?” For those who understand unity consciousness, they will get the joke.

Spiritual and relationship expert, teacher, counselor, advisor, speaker, and writer James Gray Robinson

Things I Wish My Father Had Told Me

1.              Always leave the house dressed like you are going to meet the love of your life.

2.              If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.

3.              Never have sex with someone that doesn’t want it as much as you.

4.              The size of the problem is a measure of the person dealing with it.

5.              What other people think of me is none of my business.

6.              It can always get worse

7.              Wealth is measured by your heart, not your wallet.

8.              Never take anything personally.

9.              Never leave a drink unfinished.

10.           Always make the choice that will make a good story.

11.           If the relationship doesn’t feel right, it isn’t

12.           The only person you have to please is yourself.

13.           You always have it better than you think.

14.           Don’t confuse love with lust.

15.           Know where you are going if you want to get there.

Spiritual and relationship expert, teacher, counselor, advisor, speaker, and writer James Gray Robinson

The World According to Lao Tsu

            Many people do not realize that many of the spiritual sayings we attribute to recent spiritual writers were actually written 2,500 years ago by Lao Tsu, a poet and philosopher who is attributed with writing the Tao Te Ching and founding the philosophy of Taoism. I was amazed at how brilliant he was if he actually wrote these quotes.

When I let go of who I am, I become what I might be.

When you choose to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.

Do the difficult things while they are easy and the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand steps starts with the first step.At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.

 Knowing others is intelligence. Knowing yourself is true wisdom.

 By letting go you become free.

 Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.

 Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

 Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.

 New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.

 When you realize that all things change, you will cease trying to hold on to anything.

 The great leader is he who the people say, “we did it ourselves.”

 Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is power.

 To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.

 A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.

 Great acts are made with small deeds.

          Each one of these quotes is very profound. It is truly amazing that one person could be so aware to have so much wisdom. When you take just one and meditate on it for a period of time, you can come to very deep realizations.

Spiritual and relationship expert, teacher, counselor, advisor, speaker, and writer James Gray Robinson

Wayne Dyer

I have been wondering how many people were helped, encouraged, inspired, changed or touched by the work and being known as Wayne Dyer. He was a prolific author, speaker, teacher, healer and guide. The only way I can pay tribute to such a profound life would be to share my favorite Wayne Dyer quotes.

(1)           If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

(2)           How people treat you is their karma, how you react is yours.

(3)           When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.

(4)           You can’t be lonely if you like the person you are alone with.

(5)           Circumstances do not make a man, they reveal him.

(6)           With everything that has happened to you, you can feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.

(7)           You leave all habits behind by starting out with the thought: “I release the need for this in my life”.

(8)           Generosity is a function of the heart, not of the wallet.

(9)           When the choice is to be right or be kind, always make the choice that brings peace.

(10)        It is never crowded along the extra mile.

(11)        Creativity means believing you have greatness.

(12)        Having a mind that is open to everything and attached to nothing seems to me to be one of the basic principles you can adopt to contribute to individual and world peace.

(13)        Any and all thoughts that you have about your own skills, interests and inclinations are valid.

(14)        We only have to move beyond our own barriers to a blissful and empowered view of reality.

(15)        Things don’t really matter, but I always act as if they do.

 

Enjoy your journey!