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

CHANGING SUFFERING

           Many times we have conflict with people or ideas that make us suffer. Due to the fact that we don’t know how to properly respond to these conflicts, we suffer even more. We beat ourselves up because we don’t know what to do.  When we take action to avoid suffering and we don’t get the results we want, we suffer more. The path to enlightenment is concerned, in part, with the discovery of how to respond to conflict and adversity in a conscious way. We become aware of the thoughts that produce suffering, and how to deal with those thoughts. When a thought arises that causes suffering, the proper response to the thought is to love the thought. We can’t stop suffering by hating the suffering. This negative response only causes more suffering.

            The conscious way to deal with suffering is to contemplate the thought that is causing the suffering and to let go of it and all attachments to it. The thought might be that we are unworthy, unlovable, stupid or variations on those themes. The thought might be about how others are compared to us. The thought may be about how life is unfair or that God has abandoned us. We become attached to these thoughts and they become engrained in our subconscious. As long as they stay in our mind, we will suffer. When they surface into our conscious mind, we become enmeshed in the emotions that these thoughts cause and forget to deal with the thought itself.

            Thoughts are not real, no matter how attached we become to them. We are not our thoughts. When we can detach from our thoughts, we can let go of the emotions they create and stop suffering. When a thought arises, we need to be able to look at it as simply a thought and nothing more. It is an illusion, a neuron flashing on and off in our brain. It helps me to compare a thought to a cloud in the sky floating across the blue sky. The blue sky is my true self, the observer, and blissful awareness. The clouds that separate the mind from the blue sky can be wispy or hurricane forces depending on the nature of the thought. In all cases the thought is not the sky. When I do not allow myself to become attached to the thought, eventually it will float away like a cloud.

            Whenever I have a thought that causes suffering, such as judgments or critical thinking, I can either obsess on it or allow it to float away. When I obsess on it, it will stay in my consciousness for much longer periods of time, causing suffering like a radioactive isotope buried in my mind. There are ways to consciously remove these thoughts from my consciousness. One way that has been suggested to let go is to replace it with a pleasant thought, such as “cancel, I send love.” Every time a thought arises that causes me pain or suffering, I simply override it with “cancel, I send love.” This is a highly effective way to let go of thoughts.

            I like to use another technique as well, the technique of placing the thought, and the object of the thought, into a fire of purple and pink flame. I call this the transforming  flame of love. Imagine that these flames burn and destroy the thought and what ever the thought was about. The flames are pleasant to the touch and do not hurt the thought or the object of the thought, simply removing them from my awareness and consciousness. I may have to do this repeatedly for a thought or an object that is particularly painful and is deeply engrained. However, eventually the thought will disappear and the suffering will be eliminated. For example, if we have to deal with an unpleasant person, or someone that is creating conflict, we can put that person in the fire of purple flame. Eventually that person will stop being unpleasant, we can resolve the issue or that person will disappear from our awareness. This technique is truly magical.

            I recently had an unpleasant encounter with someone that caused me to doubt myself and dislike that person. I put that person, the entire experience and all of the thoughts I was having about that person into the Flame and watched it all go up in smoke as an offering to the universe. In a relatively short period of time I was able to stop thinking about that person, think positively about myself and get over it.  I was amazed at how quickly this happened because I normally would obsess over this for days. Instead I processed these thoughts in a matter of minutes. Whatever suffering I was experiencing quickly stopped and I was able to return to a state of grace.

            There are other ways to deal with unpleasant, painful thoughts, but these two are the most effective way of dealing with them. When we practice these techniques, they will start to engage as soon as a thought flashes into our consciousness. This automatically avoids melodrama and suffering and allows us to respond in love, not react in fear. When we can stay grounded in these teachings, our lives become less stressful, chaotic and painful. When we can focus on these teachings, we begin to experience the nature of enlightenment. Enjoy!

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

HOPE

            I was contemplating my navel the other day and realized how much we have going for us in this universe. The truth is that no matter what your circumstances, this is a kind universe and everyone in it has the primary motivation to work in favor of a peaceful, bountiful life.  The only obstacles in our way are created by the projection of fear into our present and future circumstances. Granted we are far away from universal peace and cooperation, but happiness is readily available anytime we want it. Love is pouring into all of us in amounts hard to perceive much less feel. If we are not open to receive it life can become very uncomfortable.

            At least once a day we should take a moment and practice quieting our mind from worries and fears. Focus on our breathing, and allow nothing else to intrude on our focus, at least for 1 minute and longer in time. Demand from ourselves an increase of hope, faith and optimism. No matter what seems to be in your way, remember that it will pass. Take off the black hood of despair and needless worry and open our eyes to everything that is beautiful in this universe. Do this at least one minute a day.

            Hope, faith and trust are all intertwined. The increase of one will increase the others and raise the light contained in and around us. So choose which one each of us would like to increase. The most common core issue is lack of trust, hope and faith. We think we are not enough because we can’t control everything in our lives. This is nonsense. We have to grow in our own power and stop giving all our hope, faith and trust to others. Don’t blame anyone for anything. It is not the politicians who have created our present situation. It is the greed that we all mistakenly held in our hearts because we did not trust that there was enough for everybody.

            It is simple to stop worrying, simply remember that everything we are experiencing is designed to bring us closer to the one thing we want the most, which is an intimate connection with ourselves, to love ourselves, and to be happy. So quit comparing us to each other, start cooperating, and have hope, faith and trust that we will solve the unhappiness in our world today.

            If you believe, there are millions of angels, guides, devas, ascended beings and other magical beings all sending love, hope, trust and faith, more than we will ever need. Not to mention the energy which put us here in the first place and lives within us every minute of our life. It doesn’t matter what we label this energy, we used it to create ourselves and we can use it to create an abundant future. Even atheists can accept this concept, for without this energy they can’t be here. Although I can’t help but observe that atheists may be the most arrogant believers, they can’t argue that it takes energy to run this planet and keep their life force in place.

            Fear, anxiety and worry are our minds at work, closing off our ability to accept our divine birthright of joy, gratitude and abundance. Ninety percent of worry is useless, and the other ten percent is distracting. If you look long enough with enough energy, you will find the fly in the ointment. Why use all that energy on looking for something that may prove you are right when you think the world is a horrible place? You can use that same energy and develop hope, faith and trust that tomorrow will be better and connect with the universal creative energy to create happiness for yourself NOW!

            The next time we find ourselves worrying about life, remind us that we need to increase hope, faith and trust instead to create heaven in our lifetimes.  Heaven is not something to wait for; we can create it here and now. I know, because I have seen it. As I create more hope, faith and trust, I see more and more of it. There is no end to this happiness, and it is only blocked by my needless fear and anxiety. This is the universe’s promise to us, have hope, faith and trust and we will live in heaven.

             It may take great discipline to focus on heaven, rather than hell. Our consciousness oftentimes has been trained to avoid hell, rather than find heaven. The more we resist hell, the harder it is to find heaven. We have to start first thing in the morning with prayers, mantras, affirmations and positive thinking. This is the path to heaven. Negative thinking, thoughts of doubt, fear, anger and similar thinking ends in hell. This causes more pain and suffering even though we think we are trying to avoid that. If there is only one word to think throughout the day, a good one is “hope”.

 

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

DOING IT “WRONG”

            I had a astrological reading the other day. After studying my star chart for a while, the astrologer told me that according to the positions of the planets and stars, I was destined to struggle because the struggle increased the speed of my growth. It was my destiny to feel like I was doing something wrong because it made me be more conscious of what I thought, said and did. In other words, it was my karma to always feel like I was making a mistake, and that I was a mistake. This was the grace that fueled my growth as a spiritual being.  So when I was feeling like I was screwing up, I was paying my karma. I wasn’t actually screwing up; I was living my life in accordance with the divine plan of my life. So the irony of my life is that when I feel like I am doing it wrong, I am doing it right.

            When talking to others I have discovered that most of us carry an irrational belief that somehow we will never get it right. Somehow there is a belief buried deep in our subconscious that we must be screwing up because if we were doing it right, we would be enlightened, or at least we would be more enlightened than we are at the moment. We succumb to the temptation of looking to the left and right and comparing ourselves to each other. This is guaranteed to create suffering. We forget that our karma has everything to do with where we are in the moment compared to everything else. We are where we are because of the choices we have made.

            Due to the fact that most of us were raised in an educational system of some sort, we were programmed with the belief that life is graded. If you do well, you get an A and if you don’t do well, you fail. Life is not based on a grading system. There are no “A’s” and there are no “F’s”. If there are, the only grader is our ego. If you look back on the education you received, I would be willing to bet that the best lessons you received in school were not in the classroom. Our best thinking is done when we allow our minds to roam and imagine. Quite frankly, I couldn’t tell you anything about what I studied in school. I can tell you a lot about all the times I thought I was screwing up.

            As we get older, we keep grading ourselves using different grading systems. The size of our bank accounts, the number of toys that we have, or the kind of relationships we have all are grading systems that we use to determine how we are doing.  These are all created by the mind, for the mind to keep the mind in power.

            The good news is that if you are reading this article you are ahead of the masses. If you are like me, it was a big relief to know that my angst was only an illusion I created to grow as rapidly as humanly possible.  The truth is that without my angst I would be stuck so deep in the creek mud that I could only get out with dynamite (otherwise known as divorce, disease, bankruptcy or disaster, all of which I have experienced). Compared to dynamite, I would take my angst every time. If you feel like you are a mistake, take heart! You actually have the potential to become enlightened. We either believe or don’t believe everything is God. If we do believe it, then we have to conclude that nothing is wrong.

            It is our ego that judges our situation to be “wrong.” When we feel like we are doing it wrong, we are in our heads. If we looked at our circumstances through our heart, we would know that it is right. Many people think that they are schizophrenic or bipolar because they always have dialogue going on in their head between an angel and a demon. The dialogue is actually between our hearts and our heads. It is our head/mind that labels life as “right” or “wrong”, just like we learned in school. Our hearts don’t care about any of that, our hearts only care about loving others and connecting with God.

            The truth is that life is a mystery most of the time. We are not supposed to know everything. If we did, our heads might explode. Whenever you think you understand it, you don’t. We think we are screwing up when we actually are unloading lifetimes of karma. The trick is not to panic and to keep breathing. I have discovered that the more I concentrate on my breath, the less I care about how I am “doing.” So if you find yourself stressed out because you think you will never get it right, relax. Join the crowd. At least you are in the crowd going where you want to go. So remember, when you think you are doing it wrong, you are doing it right.