Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Nurturing Our Nature

I want to begin with a Zen Buddhist story:

“Fire! Fire!” In the midst of a great feast, the villagers turned their heads in a drunken stupor and through their hazy vision, saw rapidly spreading flames, threatening to engulf them. They desperately looked around for a way out, but were too drunk to get up.

“We’re done for! We might as well all get ready to die,” somebody started to weep. However, one clear-headed person called out, “Isn’t the most honored and venerated Buddha staying in our village right now? His wisdom will help us escape from the God of Fire!”

Everybody prayed quietly and a few moments later the Buddha appeared. At once, this strong and solemn voice brought on a sense of calm. “Each sentient being has three fires burning within them: the fire of greed; the fire of anger; and the fire of ignorance. I will use the water of supreme wisdom to put out these fires. And in the flash of an eye, the fire disappeared without a trace.

The villagers, with newfound faith in and gratitude for the Buddha, wept in joy and cried praises. “It is not I you are to have faith in, but the Divine within you,” the Buddha answered.

Later, the other monks asked him how he knew to perform this miracle. Per his usual, the Buddha told a parable:

“One day, a ferocious wind came and caused the bamboo bushes to chafe together with such violence that they caught fire, setting the whole mountainside forest ablaze, so all life would surely end. Then a parrot called Joy, feeling sorry for creatures without wings to fly away, soaked up water with his small wings from the nearby sea and flew back and forth, hundreds of thousands of times, between the sea and the forest, trying to extinguish the fire. A passerby asked the bird, “How can you, being so small, hope to put out such a great fire?” The parrot replied, “My heart is more powerful than the fire!  Even if I cannot put out the fire in this moment, I swear I will do it in the next.” With seemingly supernatural power, brimming clouds came in to rain on the mountainside, thus instantly saving every living being on the mountain”

“I inspired them by telling them about Truth, about who they are, so they could reveal the Divine within and use Law of Cause and Effect to extinguish the destructive fires in their hearts, and attain peace. The fire isn't out there as much as it is in here,” he said, pointing to his heart. When you extinguish one, it is easy to extinguish the other. Peace in heart, inspires the imagination and sparks intuition to rise up with wise and effective decisions and actions.

What is our Nature? Who are you? What are you? 
I remember the Michael Keaton Batman movie when he was on a roof with some bad guy who didn't know him and nervously asked him.....
Well, you may or may not be Batman, but you are God - God of your experience, your mind, your feelings, your reactions. 

Each of us constructs and lives a ‘narrative’. This narrative is us. ~Oliver Sacks, neurologist

What is your narrative? Whose narrative are you going to live? Mine?  Nope, taken. CNN's? Hope not. You live yours ...the one you choose. I know stuff is happening around us, but that doesn't mean it has to happen to us...unless we allow it.

Man's word is his wand filled with magic and power! Yeshua emphasized the power of the word; “By thy words thou shalt be justified and by thy words thou shalt be condemned,” and “death and life are in power of the tongue.”  So man has power to change an unhappy condition by waving over it the wand of his word. In the place of sorrow appears joy, in the place of sickness appears health, in the place of lack appears plenty.   ~Florence Scovel Shinn, Your Word Is Your Wand
How does our nature help us, especially now? Well, it is an oft said phrase in New Thought that “Principle is not bound by precedent.” One of my first teachers, Dr. Robert Bitzer said many times to “Stay in Principle even on special occasions." Principle is....well let's go to the big SOM book:
The source or cause from which a thing results; a truth which is unchangeable. 
Principle is Truth, the Divine expressing Itself through us, as us, with us, and for us. But only as we consciously allow It to do so.
Theme for the 2020 year is Perception. You get to decide how you are going to perceive your life in this experience.

Okay, OK – what about all this monkey mind I have going on, you might ask? Well, for now, it looks like most of us are home, so take a moment, in this time of stay-at-home, to get clear. Clear?
Clarity entails tuning in to our inner guidance systems. But how can we know our voice of wisdom is speaking or when we're just having another Monkey Mind conversation? ~Maria Nemeth, Mastering Life's Energies
In here book, Maria Nemeth has a list of how you can tell if the thoughts going on in your hear are Monkey Mind or Wisdom. Here is Monkey Mind talking:

1) very insistent - “Listen to me now!”
2) survival oriented – the body tenses
3) sense of dread or impending doom
4) defensive – feedback is an accusation 
5) humorless or deflective humor

And here is Wisdom intuiting and informing:

1) compassionate – toward both you and others
2) spacious – your heart relaxes
3) gentle good humor about situation
4) generosity of spirit – helping others (example)
5) sense that all is well or will be

Basically, if it's monkey mind, your hearing destructive thoughts. If it is intuition and wisdom, you're hearing constructive thoughts. Either way, you get to decide what stays or goes and what state of mind you will be and stay in. You get to decide what frame surrounds your picture and what narrative you will tell.
Each man must sooner or later learn to stand alone with his God; nothing else avails. Nothing else will ever make you master of your own destiny. There is in your own indwelling Lord all the life and health, all the strength and peace and joy, all the wisdom and support that you can ever need or desire.     ~Emilie Cady, Bondage or Liberty, Which?
How you get to Carnegie Hall is the same way you get to love vs. fear, calm vs. panic, hilarity vs. hysteria, nurture your True nature:  practice, practice, practice...Spiritual practice
We go apart to get still, that new life, new inspiration, new power of thought, new supply from the Fountainhead may flow in; and then we come forth to shed it on those around us, that they, too, may be lifted up.    ~Emile Cady
Then, after some spiritual practice, it's time to celebrate the March 22nd special holiday:  National Goof Off Day. So, take the rest of the day off, stay at home, maybe get a puppy... March 23rd was National Puppy Day. And remember:

From six feet away know and wish all .... Namaste!

Today I Reaffirm...
...the Power and Presence of Divine Intelligence ripples through all I think, feel, believe, know and do.  I open my heart and mind to the wisdom of intuition and all the information the Universe has to share with me to make the best decisions for my health and welfare.
I shift what needs to be shifted in my attitude and perception, knowing that I am protected by It's Power and my wholeness is intact.
My Normal Is Love and Calm

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