Tag Archives: Zen

Live Zen-Like Lives Filled with Mellowness

“You must not see your brothers and sisters within the house of illusion but must see them where they truly are—within the House of Truth. As soon as you would “see” the house of illusion, you would make it real, and with its reality judgment would be upon you…not any judgment of God, but judgment of your own mind.” (ACOL, T3:11.13)

We must not hold hard feelings against our brothers and sisters who have not yet emerged from the house of illusion. Indeed, in this passage we learn that we must not make real this house at all. We must look past it to the House of Truth which encompasses all things. This House of Truth, the Kingdom of God, is where we really belong. And we have known this throughout our religious upbringing. Jesus does not make new rules so much as he reminds us of the ones that we have always heard and tried to live by. He shows us the new way, though, in that we don’t give any credence to sin anymore, and we realize mistakes for what they are. We move beyond our mistakes to that which will erase them forever. We know that we are innocent of wrongdoing, for we have been living in illusion, and what happens in illusion does not really happen at all.

If we see our brothers and sisters in the house of illusion, we are guilty of judging them. And newly arising fear and judgment will cripple our progress. Our glimpses of Christ-consciousness will stop, and a new egoic consciousness will be in danger of taking us over.

This we cannot let happen. This we do not want. Let us walk toward what we do want, which is a world washed clean of mistakes and the resultant conflict, suffering, and pain. There is a way to see a world like this. Jesus tells us that God sees this world, a world of joy and peace, happiness and contentment, serenity and calm. All of this can be ours when we leave behind fear and judgment. If this seems too much to ask, we might ask instead how we might live Zen-like lives filled with mellowness. Not lives that engage with the suffering and pain, but lives that look beyond to a better horizon.

Our way will smooth out as we let more and more glimpses of enlightenment take us over. The way will clear; life will emerge from the ruins of an ego that has been rejected.

Take time today to ask what we can do to bring this world into being. That is the best question that we could ask. It is the only real question before us now.

Prayer

I ask for a once-and- for- all end to anxieties today. I know that I have not walked the whole pathway as long as I still have fear as part of my emotional makeup. I ask for this fear to end.

And may I not judge my brothers and sisters. This too is forbidden, according to Jesus.

Be with me for a calm and centering day. Thank You.

Amen.

Our Zen-like Feelings Give Us Happy Days

“How often have you hidden thoughts and feelings because you ques¬tion whether they are legitimate thoughts and feelings? For some of you this answer has changed greatly over time. But for many of you, you have become less, rather than more forthcoming about your thoughts and feelings since taking this Course. You have done so out of a desire to be truthful, a desire to not express thoughts and feelings unworthy of your real Self. You may have increasingly denied thoughts and feelings you would judge as negative or bad.” (ACOL, T2:7.17)

If we have increasingly denied our real feelings, judging them to be bad, as we have read A Course of Love, then we are living a false persona, even with the best of intentions. We no longer want to vent our frustrations, our anger, with attack; we want to treat our brothers and sisters with whom we are in holy relationship, much better than that. But feelings of anger need an outlet, and if we have suppressed this feelings, they are not gone, but have merely gone underground—to emerge later, perhaps with more vehemence. If you feel anger, Jesus says elsewhere that we can ask that this be removed from us, and it will be. Of course, we have to believe that Jesus means what he says, that anger can be removed by a prayer. Of course, we have likely had many examples of answered prayers in the time since we started reading ACOL. And so we are less likely to be skeptical of what prayer can bring about.

Let us ask to have those negative feelings and thoughts removed from us. Let us ask today. It is enough to want a Self who is worthy of being a host to God. And we do have such a Self; it just has been overlaid with illusion for so long that we don’t entirely know what is truly within us, each of us.

Of course, we have previously gotten something out of venting anger, out of attacking our loved ones. We may recognize, of course, that this is not the better way to interact, but the drama has still called to us. It will be easier to fall in line with God’s removal of anger if we first recognize that we are leaving drama behind. We are happier without it. Our Zen-like feelings give us happy days. Why would we want to insert drama, simply because it is a familiar way to interact?

So: There is a solution. We may still not consistently choose this solution, this way of leaving behind anger and attack. But mistakes are not sins, and we can get back in line as soon as we realize that we have taken a false step. The way back to the straight and narrow is not difficult. And when we realize how much better we feel when we live in peace, we will have longer stretches of this peace in the present and future.

Living right is not hard. It is living wrong that makes for all of our problems, not because we are being punished, but because we are not living in true reality—the way that things are meant to be by a loving God.

Prayer

May I do want I can to remove all desire—ever—to attack verbally or to live in anger. These things do not bode well for the life I want to lead, the person I want to be. Living in peace, with my negative feelings removed by prayer, is the better choice. May I choose that better choice now and for all time.

Be with me today as I seek to move into sunnier climes. The peace that You show me is evidence enough that Your way is best, that it is the only way to live peaceably in Your Kingdom. Thank You for the gentle way being shown to me, day in and day out. And thank You for being here for me, today and always.

Amen.

Being Calm and Quiet in Zen-Like Peace

“There is a core of peace at the center of your Self now and the issues that you choose to deal with will not affect that core of peace at all. While you may find this almost disturbing, you will not go to extremes to break this peace.” (ACOL, T1:10.1)

Throughout A Course of Love, Jesus encourages us with indications that we are advancing spiritually. And this passage is one such indication: We are more at peace, and though we may question this emotion, we will not do anything untoward to break our peace. For those of us who have studied A Course in Miracles, the allusion here is obvious: We are dropping the dramas that have consumed us so often and so badly for all of our lives, the part of our lives spent in egoic attachment. Elsewhere Jesus says that we will sometimes come close to lamenting this new placidity. We will think that we are really living only when we are caught in another drama, experiencing highs and lows that we have previously thought were evidence of true living. Others will still experience these highs and lows, and we will sometimes come close to envy of their way of life—a way of life that we used to enjoy.

But we have already had experiences like this, and we know, if we think about it, that the low that follows the high is so devastating to us that we would forgo the high. A Course in Miracles is also close in interpretation to this line of thought. We are told in ACIM that the purpose of life is to become “perfectly calm and quiet all the time.” Now, certainly when we first read that in ACIM, we doubted that this peaceful way of life would actually be desirable. We were still caught up in the highs and lows, the drama, of the ego, and we thought that what we were doing was really living.

If we have gotten this far in ACOL, though, we know better. We are happier when we stay on an even keel. We are happier when we are perfectly calm and quiet. And both ACIM and ACOL indicate that happiness is God’s great desire for us. It is one of our functions (along with salvation and forgiveness). We will no longer desire the high, because of the low. This does not, though, mitigate against peak experiences. Jesus says elsewhere that peak experiences are what we can look forward to in the way of life that he is pointing out. Peak experiences occur with great regularity once we are firmly set on the pathway toward ultimate salvation, which is Christ-consciousness. Maslow knew what he was talking about, and here Jesus reaffirms Maslow’s concept of peak experiences in A Course of Love.

Let’s choose to enjoy peak experiences rather than the egoic ideal of great drama. The ego has never given us anything that is lasting, except turmoil and unhappiness. Now is the time to know the genuine euphoria of peak experiences through a Self Who comes from God, deep within each of us.

Prayer

I long to experience peak moments, and I know that these will come more and more frequently when I get all of my Self aligned with You. Help me to do this. Help me to let go of even the little dramas that disturb my peace, that keep me less than soothed.

I would ask You to soothe me. This is the best way, and I appreciate that I have reading in A Course of Love that does just that—soothe. Be with me today as I seek to slow down and savor all of life. Life’s richness is just there waiting for me. Thank You.

Amen.