Tag Archives: release

Peace of Mind

 

Peace of Mind

 

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Peace of mind

Once Buddha was walking from one town to another town with a few of his followers. This was in the initial days. While they were travelling, they happened to pass a lake. They stopped there and Buddha told one of his disciples, “I am thirsty. Do get me some water from that lake there.”

The disciple walked up to the lake. When he reached it, he noticed that some people were washing clothes in the water and, right at that moment, a bullock cart started crossing through the lake. As a result, the water became very muddy, very turbid. The disciple thought, “How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink!” So he came back and told Buddha, “The water in there is very muddy. I don’t think it is fit to drink.”

After about half an hour, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake and get him some water to drink. The disciple obediently went back to the lake. This time he found that the lake had absolutely clear water in it. The mud had settled down and the water above it looked fit to be had. So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha.

Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said, “See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be … and the mud settled down on its own – and you got clear water… Your mind is also like that. When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it a little time. It will settle down on its own. You don’t have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless.”

What did Buddha emphasize here? He said, “It is effortless.” Having ‘peace of mind’ is not a strenuous job; it is an effortless process. When there is peace inside you, that peace permeates to the outside. It spreads around you and in the environment, such that people around start feeling that peace and grace.

 


Jumping the queue

Today, a true tale of heroism that takes place not in a war zone, nor a hospital, but in Victoria station in London in 2007, during a tube strike. Our hero – a transport journalist and self-described “big, stocky bloke with a shaven head” named Gareth Edwards, who first wrote about this experience on the community blog metafilter.com – is standing with other commuters in a long, snaking line for a bus, when a smartly dressed businessman blatantly cuts in line behind him. (Behind him: this detail matters.)

The interloper proves immune to polite remonstration, whereupon Edwards is seized by a magnificent idea. He turns to the elderly woman standing behind the queue-jumper, and asks her if she’d like to go ahead of him. She accepts, so he asks the person behind her, and the next person, and the next – until 60 or 70 people have moved ahead, Edwards and the seething queue-jumper shuffling further backwards all the time. The bus finally pulls up, and Edwards hears a shout from the front of the line. It’s the elderly woman, addressing him: “Young man! Do you want to go in front of me?”

From: rogerdarlington.me.uk

Reasons To Forgive

 

 

10 Reasons to Forgive the Person You Hate the Most

 

14 Reasons to Forgive the Person You Hate the Most

by:  Sarah Anne Stewart

“Forgive the person you hate the most.  This is your intention for our class together tonight.”

Wait, what?  Why would I want to begin a yoga class with this intention?  Did I really need to be reminiscing about a time in my life that I really wanted to forget?

After hearing these words, I selfishly began to question my yoga instructor and her motives behind making me do such a seemingly tortuous task.  My ego was not comfortable with this.  This was my time!  This was a place to be blissful and connected to my inner peace.

I sat, confused, and I took a deep breath.  Several deep breaths.  Hate seemed like such a powerful and intense word, but I focused within.  For the first several minutes of class, my mind was a projection screen of unpleasant memories, emotions and feelings.

As I moved through upward and then downward dog positions, I continued to hear her words, “Inhale love.  Exhale hate.  Again, forgive the person you hate the most.”

I noticed that I started to sweat nervously.  “Is this really possible to do in just an hour and a half?” I thought to myself.

It took every ounce of my being to search deep into my memory bank for all of my greatest teachers and what they taught me about forgiveness.

Again I heard her words, “Forgive the person you hate the most.”

OK…  OK, I got it.

In that moment, I surrendered and my ego crumbled.  Everything I learned since childhood came pouring through me.  I had no more excuses about why not to forgive this person.  Instead, I embraced several reasons to do just that.  I focused passionately on those reasons as I stretched my body and mind simultaneously…

So what were the reasons?  Let’s discuss…

1.  Forgiveness allows us to take responsibility for our own happiness.

Most of what we attract into our lives is a mere reflection of what is inside of us.  Our thoughts and actions create our exterior world.  The Law of Attraction teaches us that like attracts like, and we will never experience a happy ending at the end of an unhappy journey.  By holding onto anger and resentment (even inour subconscious mind), we are pre-paving our journey to be filled with anger and resentment.  The way we feel and the emotions we hold are what we use to create all of our future experiences.  (Read The Secret.)

2.  Forgiveness allows us to see everyone in our lives as a teacher.

Family members, spouses, friends, bosses, etc. – everyone is brought into our lives to teach us more about ourselves.  Thanking them for being a part of our journey and teaching us lessons that we now no longer need to learn is an incredible step in expanding our consciousness.

This same philosophy applies to our negative, failed relationships too.  Once you truly learn the lesson behind why a negative relationship came into your life, you will then no longer attract situations and future relationships that attempt to teach you the same lesson.  You get to graduate and grow so you no longer keep repeating the same unpleasant experience over and over again.

3.  Forgiveness helps us stop playing the victim card.

Adjusting your perspective to a place of forgiveness and gratitude allows you to no longer play the victim card.  Most of the time you are not a victim of anything other than your own vibration and level of attraction.  When you continue to blame someone else, you automatically give control of your life to someone else and thus set yourself up to be a lifelong victim.

4.  Forgiveness makes us aware that most people are doing the best they can.

Have compassion for where other people are in their lives.  It might not be where you are, but most people are doing the best they can at their particular level of awareness and understanding.  (Read The Four Agreements.)

5.  Forgiveness embodies the concept of “what goes around comes around.”

We are all human and we have all done “unthinkable” things.  And deep down, we all yearn for the same forgiveness.  When we release others from the penalties of their actions, we create a space where our own thoughtless actions against others can be forgiven as well.

6.  Forgiveness forces our own level of consciousness to expand.

The process of growth is continuous.  The moment we stop learning, searching for lessons and expanding our consciousness, the ego steps in and takes over.  We are always moving toward something greater, and forgiveness helps us get there faster by eliminating our ties to dead weight from our past.

7.  Forgiveness teaches us to keep our expectations tempered.

We should never be expecting anything from anyone.  When we do this, we give up our own power to decide.  We alone are the creator of our universe, and when we are connected to our own inner source, we no longer “need” anything from anyone.  It’s still nice to receive things from time to time, but we don’t need these things to move forward with our lives.  (Read Forgiveness Is a Choice.)

8.  Forgiveness teaches us to tone down our instincts for self-preservation.

Too often we injure one another simply because we are trying to protect ourselves (financially, emotionally, etc.), even when it’s at someone else’s expense.  We have all done it.  Becoming aware of this pattern allows us to stop needlessly injuring others for our own benefit.  And as you know, what goes around comes around…

9.  Forgiveness creates a space to let go and love.

Not everyone and every situation is meant to be a part of our lives forever.  Sometimes they are only there long enough to help us open the next chapter of our story.  Letting go creates space to let new people and experiences in.

In addition, we are all connected.  We have never met another person that we have not loved in some small way.  Sometimes we just don’t consciously know how to understand it and show it.  Simply put, forgiveness in and of itself is an act of letting go of our differences and connecting with our oneness and love for each other and the world we inhabit.

10.  Forgiveness is the best revenge.

A bit of sarcasm in this one, but it’s so true.  You can always seek revenge positively by creating a better future for yourself.  Because nothing annoys an adversary or negative force in your life more than seeing you smile after you have genuinely forgiven them and moved forward with your life.

Afterthoughts

In most walks of life, I think it’s fairly easy to say, “I forgive so-and-so.”  Deep down, though, the resentment and anger still lingers within us and in our subconscious minds, which then impacts our future experiences.

For me, it took an hour and a half of complete and committed intention, stretching into odd shapes, chanting mantras, and inhaling incense for me to fully embrace all of the lessons I had learned throughout my life, and to finally forgive.

As we walked out of this yoga class, my friend and I looked at each other and, at the same time, said, “Wow!”  I could now understand exactly where my yoga instructor was coming from and why she had pushed us breath-by-breath to forgive.  I was extremely grateful.  Typically when I leave yoga, I feel lighter, but this time…

I felt free.”

From: www.marcandangel.com.,Sarah Anne Stewart.

Do It Now!

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A message from Simposious and the great Oswald Chambers

Do It Now!

Agree with your adversary quickly . . . —Matthew 5:25

In this verse, Jesus Christ laid down a very important principle by saying, “Do what you know you must do— now. Do it quickly. If you don’t, an inevitable process will begin to work ’till you have paid the last penny’ (Matthew 5:26) in pain, agony, and distress.” God’s laws are unchangeable and there is no escape from them. The teachings of Jesus always penetrate right to the heart of our being.Wanting to make sure that my adversary gives me all my rights is a natural thing. But Jesus says that it is a matter of inescapable and eternal importance to me that I pay my adversary what I owe him. From our Lord’s standpoint it doesn’t matter whether I am cheated or not, but what does matter is that I don’t cheat someone else. Am I insisting on having my own rights, or am I paying what I owe from Jesus Christ’s standpoint?

Do it quickly— bring yourself to judgment now. In moral and spiritual matters, you must act immediately. If you don’t, the inevitable, relentless process will begin to work. God is determined to have His child as pure, clean, and white as driven snow, and as long as there is disobedience in any point of His teaching, He will allow His Spirit to use whatever process it may take to bring us to obedience. The fact that we insist on proving that we are right is almost always a clear indication that we have some point of disobedience. No wonder the Spirit of God so strongly urges us to stay steadfastly in the light! (see John 3:19-21).

“Agree with your adversary quickly . . . .” Have you suddenly reached a certain place in your relationship with someone, only to find that you have anger in your heart? Confess it quickly— make it right before God. Be reconciled to that person— do it now!

My Utmost For His Highest, By: Oswald Chambers.

Acquainted With Grief

 

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“Acquainted With Grief”

He is . . . a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief —Isaiah 53:3

We are not “acquainted with grief” in the same way our Lord was acquainted with it. We endure it and live through it, but we do not become intimate with it. At the beginning of our lives we do not bring ourselves to the point of dealing with the reality of sin. We look at life through the eyes of reason and say that if a person will control his instincts, and educate himself, he can produce a life that will slowly evolve into the life of God. But as we continue on through life, we find the presence of something which we have not yet taken into account, namely, sin— and it upsets all of our thinking and our plans. Sin has made the foundation of our thinking unpredictable, uncontrollable, and irrational.We have to recognize that sin is a fact of life, not just a shortcoming. Sin is blatant mutiny against God, and either sin or God must die in my life. The New Testament brings us right down to this one issue— if sin rules in me, God’s life in me will be killed; if God rules in me, sin in me will be killed. There is nothing more fundamental than that. The culmination of sin was the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and what was true in the history of God on earth will also be true in your history and in mine— that is, sin will kill the life of God in us. We must mentally bring ourselves to terms with this fact of sin. It is the only explanation why Jesus Christ came to earth, and it is the explanation of the grief and sorrow of life.
“My Utmost for His Highest, By: Oswald Chambers.”

True Freedom

 

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(We Are Happy When We Are Free)

Sermon: True Freedom – John 8

by Steve Andrews on Monday, August 04, 2008

Scriptures: John 8:31-36

Introduction

“Imagine a husband taking his wife out to a nice restaurant for their anniversary. Over candle light he expresses his love for his wife by quoting a list of her physical features as if reading the information from her driver’s license.

  • You are 5′ 4″ tall.
  • You weight is 120 pounds.
  • You were born in January.
  • You have brown hair and brown eyes, and you live on East Maple Street.

Now imagine the same situation with the husband saying,

You walk in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all the is best of dark and night,
Meet in the aspect and your eyes.

While the romantically challenged husband in the first situation communicated information that was accurate, he failed to communicate the depth, the magnitude, and beauty of his love for his wife. Love is more than a list of factual information. Love is a mysterious and beautiful relationship between two people. That is why poetry is often used to express the emotion and beautiful attraction that lovers feel toward each other.

I mention the use of poetry to introduce the idea of what Jesus is speaking about in John 8. Jesus does not use poetry, but He is proclaiming information that is explosive, emotional, and transformational. The concepts of truth, sin, and freedom are more than fill in the blank answers from a Sunday School quiz.

We have a hint that the subjects discussed in John 8:31-36 are massive theological concepts illustrated in the discussion describing the difference between a son and a slave. Jesus is proclaiming freedom not from individual sins or a specific act of disobedience, but He offers freedom from the nature or condition that enslaves all people.

The truth to which Jesus refers is more than the factual correctness that dominates so much of western Christianity. We can quote verses about evangelism, prayer, or compassion, yet we rarely seek to extend compassion prayerfully bringing the gospel to those living in darkness. The freedom that Jesus offers is not a political system; it is a release from the chains that enslave one’s soul.

I. Possibility of freedom

Jesus makes one of the most amazing Inspirational claims in history. Consider for a moment the incredible hope expressed in the promise that Jesus can set people free. Unless you have lived a sheltered life, you have probably experienced an enslaved soul or have known loved ones who struggle to break free from ungodly chains. These ungodly chains my be easy to identify like an immoral addiction, or the chains may be more “acceptable” like fear, greed, poverty, worldliness, doubt, anger, bitterness, legalism, racism, insecurity, despair, and depression. Whatever category you classify your slavery, the result is the same – a failure to experience the abundant life promised by following Christ. To those living in bondage, Jesus offers freedom!

A. The freedom offered by Jesus is spiritual

His freedom is not a political revolution. True freedom is not about changing your outward circumstances. This is a significant concept because it reveals that Jesus can free you wherever you are. Paul was on the road to Damascus persecuting Christians. The prodigal was in a pig pen. Peter was in a boat fishing. One woman was drawing water from a well. Another woman found freedom when caught in adultery. A thief was on a cross of execution when Jesus set his soul free!

Spiritual freedom is not dependent upon physical circumstances that may have led or contributed to your bondage. Jesus can set you free in your marriage without causing a divorce. Jesus can set you free when you are overdrawn in your checkbook without making a deposit. Jesus can set you free from past or current failures without loading a U-haul truck. Don’t misunderstand this concept to mean something it doesn’t. We may need to make, and Christ may lead us to make, some physical or circumstantial changes. But, one of the main truths of divine freedom is Jesus is more concerned about setting your soul free than defeating the Roman Empire or some other external force in your life.

B. Jesus’ freedom is also purposeful

Jesus describes the freedom He offers resulting from abiding in His truth. Freedom is not a lack of restraint that allows one to fulfill any selfish desire, but genuine freedom takes place in the arena or stadium of divine truth. As we abide in Christ we are released from the chains of the world and released to be all that God created us to be. Like a fish has been created to swim in water, we are created to live in the truth of Christ’s love.

Consider playing an instrument like the piano. Who is free the toddler who has never taken a lesson but freely bangs on the piano keys, or the person who has taken lessons, reads music, and creates beautiful even worshipful sounds with the same piano? Obviously, the skilled musician is free to play the instrument as it was designed. We were created to walk in fellowship with almighty God, but sin hinders that relationship by enslaving us in a separated life from God. Christ is the only one who can set us free to enjoy the life as a child of God instead of living as a slave of the world.

II. Perils of freedom

Even though Jesus clearly declared that freedom was possible, the sad reality is that very few experience it. The following is not an exhaustive list, but several perils or roadblocks hindering freedom are identified in the text.

A. The first peril is Ignorance

Jesus is declaring new truth to some who did not know that freedom was available. The Bible describes those who lacked knowledge of Christ’s ministry as “living in darkness,” and Jesus came to bring light to those who lived in darkness.

B. A second peril is arrogance

The Pharisees’ statement that they had never lived as slaves is not just inaccurate; it is arrogant. Israel had experienced slavery under the Assyrian Empire, Babylonian Empire, Persian Empire, and now the Roman Empire. But their greatest slavery was to their own sin. They were unwilling to admit that they had failed to meet God’s holy standard. They lived by a legalistic code and arrogantly rejected the offer of God’s amazing grace.

C. Reluctance

Reluctance is the third peril that prevented some from responding to Christ’s offer of freedom. The context reveals that some had placed their faith in Christ (v. 30), while others believed what Jesus was preaching but had not taken the next step placing their faith in Him. This group was not ignorant. They were not arrogant because they recognized a need for Christ, but they were unwilling to surrender to the lordship of Christ.

D. Complacency

Contained in the text is the exhortation to be free indeed or complete freedom. This exhortation seems to stand in contrast to those who would accept marginal freedom. A little bit of freedom was acceptable instead of trusting Christ for abundant freedom. Attending synagogue, offering some sacrifices, and celebrating the traditional “holy day” festivals was okay for most people. Jesus offers true freedom from the top shelf instead of settling for the cheap prizes at the bottom shelf.

A friend shared the story of taking his four-year-old daughter to Chuck-E-Cheese. On previous visits she won a few tickets and was limited to choosing prizes from the bottom shelf at the redemption center. But on their last visit to Chuck-E-Cheese, the daughter hit the jackpot on one of the games winning a large number of tickets. As they were going to the redemption center to claim her prizes she said, “Daddy I don’t have to choose from the bottom shelf this time. Today, I have enough for the good prizes on the top shelf.”

I am convinced most individuals who call themselves “Christians” live complacent lives choosing blessings from the bottom shelf when abundant freedom is available. Are you living “fee indeed?”

III. Process of freedom

Jesus identifies a process for experiencing true freedom with the words, “If..then.” The process should not be confused with a legalistic formula. He does not say, “If you have a daily quiet time with thirty minutes of prayer, tithe faithfully, and only miss Sunday School twice a year, then you can be free.” While Jesus does not prescribe a formula, His words do reveal a way in which things operate in His kingdom. For example, you are free to watch the sun rise each morning, but you must do two things to see it. You must get up early in the morning, and you must face east. If you sleep until ten o’clock and look west, you will miss the sunrise even though you are free to watch it. Why? Because there is a way things work.

The little word “if” is a big concept in the kingdom of God. The word represents an invitation. True freedom will not attack you; rather you must respond to God’s invitation to accept His complete freedom. As we have already discussed, most do not accept God’s offer.

Jesus also reveals the expectation to abide.

Two concepts emerge from the text related to abiding in truth. First, abiding refers to perseverance. True freedom is not found through a casual glance at the claims of Christ, but one must be willing to “dwell” in the Word of God (v.31). This is not a 30 day trial of faith. Jesus is not talking about a 12 week Bible study. Jesus offers freedom to those who abide in His Word. Abide comes from the root word abode meaning home or dwelling place. The word picture communicated is one of moving to a new home. It represents a significant and ongoing change in one’s life.

The second concept of abiding is place or location. Jesus declares that true freedom is found in, “MY word.” Freedom is not found in self-help programs, legalistic religion, the teaching of Buddha, or Muhammad. Freedom is not found in the pop psychology of Dr. Phil, Oprah, or through selfish indulgence of unrestrained sin. True and complete freedom is found in Christ.

Conclusion

Most of us have experienced the crunch of high gasoline prices. When my teenage daughter asks to ride with her parents because she doesn’t want to use the gas in her car, you know that gas is expensive. Imagine if congress allowed drilling for oil in my backyard to help reduce the cost of gas. What do you think the impact would be upon prices? None! Why? Because they aren’t in major oil reserves in my backyard! The soil deposits in this geographic region do not contain the chemicals necessary for producing large quantities of fuel like those of Texas, Alaska, or Saudi Arabia. Not matter how hard I work and no matter how sincere I believe, digging for oil in my backyard will not produce the desired result. To get oil, you must dig where there is a deposit of oil.

Jesus declared there is a deposit of truth in His words that can set you free indeed!” Sermon by Stephen Andrews, Pastor Alabaster Baptist Church.

The Six Components of a Happy Life

 

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Six Components of a Happy Life

“What is the definition of happiness? Why do some people seem to have the secret to happiness, while others struggle to gain any satisfaction? These are some basic but effective ideas that you can use to cultivate inner happiness and build an incredible life.

Simplicity

The route to happiness isn’t difficult. Happiness is not dependent on amassing a certain amount of fame or wealth; happiness is not dependent on reaching a certain social pecking order. If we are always striving after something bigger and better, happiness will remain elusive.

Happiness is found in the present moment, not some dreamed of golden future. We need to learn the art of being content with our current situation. Our current life may be far from perfect; but, if we can detach from negative situations and appreciate the value of simplicity happiness becomes easier to cultivate.

Live in the Heart

 

If we only live in the mind we look at every situation with our critical judgmental mind, as a consequence, we will inevitably find innumerable faults with the world and with other people. When we are constantly criticising others we can find neither peace nor happiness. However, if we live more in the heart we have a more tolerant, accepting attitude towards others. The heart’s qualities are acceptance and oneness. Children find it is easy to see happiness in the most ordinary situation because they are more in the heart. At times we need to distance the critical mind and take a simpler, childlike view of life.

Control Over Your Thoughts

When we feel like helpless victims of our own negative thought streams — how can we hope to be happy? To cultivate happiness we need tocultivate positive thoughts. This means stopping negative thoughts and replacing them with good, inspiring thoughts.

Avoiding negative thoughts requires practice. Meditation and concentration exercises can help us control our thoughts. But sometimes the best way to prevent negative thoughts is to concentrate on something positive. It’s your own thoughts that take you to heaven or hell, so be very careful with what is allowed into your mind.

Gratitude

If we show no appreciation for others and for life, we create a narcissistic outlook. We focus excessively on our sense of self and ego. When we offer gratitude for small things in life, it helps us feel a broader identity and awareness; our consciousness expands and we bring to the fore our own positive qualities.

Gratitude has tremendous power; if it is sincere and heartfelt it makes a big difference to our outlook on life. Gratitude helps bring to the fore a sincerely positive attitude to life.

Active

Happiness is easily found in usefully serving others. Activity doesn’t mean filling up our lives with as many activities as possible — this only leads to a sense of self-importance and stress as we struggle to do several things at once. But, if we are calmly active we find a sense of purpose in life; this sense of purpose and satisfaction helps cultivate an inner sense of satisfaction.

Physical Exercise

When you take regular physical exercise you will feel many benefits. Firstly, when we look after our body we are less prone to lethargy and illness. Through developing our fitness we gain an increased sense of self esteem; this is because we are taking active steps for our self improvement.

Increasing our fitness also enables an increased sense of mental well being; exercise helps rid the mind of many useless thoughts. It is important to have the right attitude to exercise, don’t think of school P.E. lessons in the cold rain; getting fit doesn’t have to be torture — you can easily find a sport or some exercise that is enjoyable and sociable.” BY TEJVAN PETTINGER | CATEGORIES: PSYCHOLOGYimages (23)images (26)images (28)