7 March 2017
cannot come from without. It must come from
within. It is not what we see and touch or that
which others do for us which makes us happy; it is that
which we think and feel and do, first for the other fellow
and then for ourselves.
life is made up of many different facets. Don't focus
on one aspect of your life so much that you can't experience
pleasure if that one area is unsettled. It can become
all you think about, and it can deaden your enjoyment of
everything else--things you would otherwise love.
It is this way that
we must train ourselves:
by liberation of the self through love.
We will develop love,
we will practice it,
we will make it both a way and a basis,
take a stand upon it,
store it up,
and thoroughly set it going.
Power of Awareness
story you tell yourself about who you are, any belief you
have, any feeling you are aware of, is only an object of
your larger consciousness. You, in your essence, are always
something that experiences all these and remains more
complete than any of them. When you realize that you
are inherently larger than any feeling that enters your
awareness, this very awareness will change the feeling, and
it will release its grip on you.
ideas that you have about yourself are relative, not
absolute truths. If you simply look at them and do not
let them lead you into further thinking, they will give
way and leave your mind open and silent. There is
always a relationship between who we believe or feel
ourselves to be and something else, the Self that is our
awakening to this Self-me relationship, we begin to be
present with our experience in a new way. We learn to
consciously hold our thoughts and feelings in our own larger
fields of awareness. Then, even if we are troubled and
confused, this non-reactive quality of presence to ourselves
allows us to restore ourselves to a sense of
wholeness. This is the power of awareness.
and Perception: Our Original Consciousness
great Indian sage Ramana Maharshi said that if we want to
know our true selves, we must “go back by the way that we
Our original state of consciousness in
childhood is not one of being a separate entity with our own
thoughts and sensations, but rather is a relatively
undifferentiated domain of sensation and perception.
Our parents, having already reached the developmental stage
of separate-self consciousness, provide the model by which
we begin to develop our own sense of the separate self.
when we take the developmental step into the consciousness
of the separate self and leave behind the universe of
immediacy and undifferentiated sensations, as a consequence
we also become identified with our sensations. Who is
Who is angry, tired, frustrated . . . ? Me.
Our feelings acquire names, however, and at the same time,
we are defined by those feelings.
same is true with perception: we may not feel that the
sunshine on the trees is me,
but we cannot identify it without simultaneously existing as
a separate me.
In psychological and philosophical theory, this level of
consciousness is called “subject-object.” It is
the level of ego awareness where most human development
stops. We are aware as me,
we react as me,
we defend as me,
we desire as me,
but we are not aware of the true self. It is the true
self that looks at all we think, do, and experience,
including our sense of me.
In this looking, a relationship is created that has the
power to transform our experience of ourselves and our
our lives, the moment we bring our awareness fully into the
Now, we enter the domain of the true self, and our immediate
conscious reality is once again that of sensation and
perception. As I sit in the park, the sunlight
brightens the leaves and casts shadows on the ground. I have
a feeling of contentment. And as long as “I”
don’t create stories about what I am seeing or about the
fact that I am feeling content, which leads me away from my immediate
experience, what I experience remains simply
perception and sensation. The same is true for any
feeling, any emotion. In the Now, it is just what it
is. In the Now, I “go back” to my original
awareness “by the way that [I] have come.” When we
directly perceive and experience whatever is present in our
larger fields of awareness, it is possible to have a
relationship with it without becoming lost in it or defined
the Power of Awareness
exercise the power of awareness and strengthen our spiritual
muscle by bringing ourselves, over and over again, into the
immediate present. To do so, we must become present with
what we are feeling and thinking. We can turn our attention
directly toward what we are experiencing instead of staying
enmeshed in a feeling or blindly accepting our beliefs about
makes all the difference in the world whether we are caught
in a negative emotion and say, “I am sad, angry,
lonely,” and so on, or are able to recognize, at that
moment, “Here am I, all wound up in sensations of
resentment. Here am I, fuming with anger.”
Awareness of our sensations is not the same as identifying
with our thoughts or feelings. Every movement back to
present-moment awareness grounds us in the body and opens
the connection to our larger awareness.
the smallest movement toward exercising the power of
awareness, instead of collapsing our larger awareness into
our thoughts and feelings and thereby becoming identified
with them, restores us to a more complete
consciousness. It gives us the power to start from a
fresh, open, less conditioned relationship to our
experience. This doesn’t necessarily mean that our
problems disappear. But as we exercise the power of
awareness, our reflexive reactivity diminishes. We
respond from a state of greater presence. When we
collapse into our feelings, we lose this capacity. We
default into me,
and this limited self seems like the whole of who we are.
Then we have no choice but to react because we feel as if we
must defend ourselves.
are we actually doing when we bring our awareness fully into
the present and realize “Here am I . . . ”? We are
moving into a more spacious awareness and thus creating
conscious distance from what we are experiencing. At
the same time, we are opening toward our immediate
experience to see it as it is, to see it fully, to invite it
to reveal itself more completely to us. We are seeing
as objectively as we can, without reacting or judging.
This lets us more completely realize what we are actually
feeling or sensing; we do not merely remain in our heads,
interpreting and analyzing.
is important to point out that moving our awareness into the
Now and thereby gaining distance from our feelings and
thoughts is not dissociation. A frequent mistake people make
with Eastern meditation practices is to try to rise above
and detach from an experience, especially whenever the
experience is considered negative. To exercise the
power of awareness, we are required to become more present
in our experiences without losing our larger
awareness. With this quality of attention, we gain
true understanding. We naturally begin to respond to
our experiences in the most appropriate and intelligent
intimate viewing of ourselves by our awareness is the most
fundamental of all relationships. We create the
possibility of a conscious, empathetic connection between me
(or self) and our true selves, or what is alternatively
referred to as the Self. The personal self that we
experience as ourselves is held, seen, and felt deeply by that,
which will never reject me,
never turn away, never judge me.
It can see us judging, attacking ourselves, creating our own
misery; but it does not judge even this. It is simply
present with me.
presence need not be merely neutral or indifferent. We
can let it be our trusted friend, like the Persian mystic
poets Hafiz and Rumi did when they referred to it as the
“Guest” or the “Beloved,” to whom they offered
themselves and who always received them.
key to cultivating the healing potential of the self-Self
relationship is the quality of our attention -- the
steadiness, gentleness, and acceptance of the “gaze” we
turn toward ourselves. We must be truly willing to
experience our feelings and clearly see our thoughts without
reaction, allowing the moment to be exactly as it is without
defending ourselves against these feelings and thoughts,
without our minds moving away into further thought.
which transcends our capacity to name or categorize it in
any way, is present to us and has the same accepting quality
that we present to ourselves. This is also the essence
of meditation and prayer. By keeping our attention in
the present moment, we can become transparent to what is
transcendent. It is the Self’s profoundly empathetic
acceptance of self that ultimately sustains us when we face
our deepest fears, including even our egos’ primal terror,
* * * *
© 2007 Richard Moss, MD.
Richard Moss is
an internationally respected teacher, visionary thinker, and
author of five seminal books on transformation,
self-healing, and the importance of living consciously. For
thirty years he has guided people from diverse backgrounds
and disciplines in the use of the power of awareness to
realize their intrinsic wholeness and reclaim the wisdom of
their true selves. He teaches a practical philosophy of
consciousness that models how to integrate spiritual
practice and psychological self-inquiry into a concrete and
fundamental transformation of people's lives. Richard lives
in Ojai, California, with his wife, Ariel.
on his three decades
of teaching consciousness,
Richard Moss plays the role
of wise shepherd, accompanying and encouraging the
on a journey toward the
genius within and away
from fear and other limitations.
Most importantly, he offers
an always-available compass
that directs readers back
to the true self, and into
the magic of the
people behind the words
and excerpts - Daily
Two - Year Three
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a Lot More Left in the Tube
When I shave each morning, I use shaving cream that comes
out of a small "travel size" aerosol can.
The can is only about 3 inches high. I'd been using
that little can for several weeks when I realized the can
was getting very light. I immediately thought,
"Can't be much more left in here."
I was just about to throw it in the wastebasket when I
figured I could eke out another shave or two.
Much to my amazement, the shaving cream kept coming out
day after day after day. I ended up getting 19 more
shaves from that little dispenser! And to think that
I was just about to throw the can away.
I'm sure you've experienced the same thing with a tube of
toothpaste or shampoo. It looks like the tube is
just about empty, but you keep folding the tube and
squeezing - and you get days or weeks of extra use from
the supposedly empty tube.
There's a lesson here for all of us. We work toward
a goal and sometimes get frustrating results for a long
time. Things aren't working out as we had
anticipated. We think there's not much left in "our
tube" and we give some thought to quitting. The
reality is that we have a lot more left in the tube, if
we'll only continue to believe in ourselves and keep
In fact, our biggest breakthroughs often occur when we
think there's nothing left in our tube. You see,
there's a polarity to life, and when you experience
setbacks and disappointments, these are often balanced by
significant achievements. Yet most people quit
before the "turnaround" happens.
Napoleon Hill, one of the most insightful success writers
of all time described this phenomenon in his classic
self-help book, Think & Grow Rich. In the early
1900s, Hill spent decades interviewing more than 500 of
the most successful people in the United States - people
like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Andrew Carnegie.
Hill reported that hundreds of these successful
individuals told him that their greatest success came just
one step after they suffered their greatest defeat.
Harriet Beecher Stowe put the principle this way:
"When you get into a tight place and everything goes
against you until it seems that you cannot hold on for a
minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the
place and time that the tide will turn."
About 10 years ago, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen
began pitching their book to various publishers. The
first 30 rejected their book. They could have thrown
in the towel then, believing the tube was empty.
Then they got the 31st rejection... and then the 32nd
rejection. Was the tube empty? They didn't
think so. On the 34th attempt, they finally got a
publisher to say "yes" to their book.
That book was Chicken Soup for the Soul, and it
spawned a series of books that has now sold over 80
million copies! Sometimes we have to fight our own
doubts as to whether we can keep going in the face of
setbacks. At other times, we have to ignore the
beliefs of others who tell us that there's nothing left in
our tube and that we have to give up on our dreams.
Take the example of George Foreman - businessman,
broadcaster and former heavyweight boxing champion.
As he approached the age of 40, George decided he would
come out of retirement and regain the heavyweight
championship. Most people thought he had nothing
left in the tube; certainly not enough to win the
championship again at his "advanced" age.
They said he was too old, out of shape and
"rusty" after being away from boxing for so
long. But George never listened to the nay-sayers
and on Nov. 5, 1994 at the age of 45, George Foreman
knocked out Michael Moorer to re-capture the heavyweight
title. In the end, it didn't matter that others
doubted George because he never doubted himself. He
knew he had plenty left in the tube.
Some of you may be wondering whether there's ever a time
to "cut your losses" and stop pursuing your
goal. I think the answer to that is "yes,"
but it's usually when you come to the point where you lack
enthusiasm to achieve that goal, or if you find you no
longer have the commitment to do what it might take to
accomplish it. Without enthusiasm and commitment,
there really is very little left in your tube.
However, if you're still excited about reaching a goal
that may seem off in the distance, it might be time to
reexamine your strategy and see if any adjustments are
called for. After all, there's no point in
continuing to take steps that have proven ineffective.
Once you believe you have a viable strategy, and you're
willing to expend the energy and effort to do what it
takes to accomplish your goal, don't give up. It's
just a matter of time until you'll get a "second
If you've played sports or exercised, you've experienced
the "second wind." You're exerting
yourself for a while and you think you can't go on any
longer. Then, you suddenly feel a new burst of
energy as you catch your second wind. You're
William James said "most people never run far enough
on their first wind to find out they've got a
second." Don't let that happen to you.
What a shame to give up when you can still reach your
So, when you think the tube is just about empty, take
heart and realize that now is not the time to call it
quits. Success may be just over the horizon.
Wallpaper! Just click below
the size your desktop is
right-click on the
picture that appears
in the new
window, and choose
"Set as background."
photo's from a spring
day at Lake Louise)
x 800 - 1440
miracle is nothing more or less than this: Anyone who
has come into
a knowledge of his or her true identity, of his or her
oneness with the
all-pervading wisdom and power, this makes it possible for
than the ordinary mind knows of to be revealed to him
Your Own Awards
'Tis the season
to be subjected to awards show after awards show. I don't watch
the things, but it's impossible to ignore them completely with the big
deal that the media make over them. It's pretty much impossible
to avoid knowing who's up for best picture in the Academy Awards, and
we also see the headlines pretty constantly about the Grammys, the
Emmys, the People's Choice Awards, and the many other awards shows
that inundate the airwaves in the first few months of each year.
the hype about the Oscars got me to thinking, though. Who are
the people who are giving these awards, and what effect do they have
on the recipients? Other than the obvious answer about helping
the careers of the entertainers who win, we have to think about the
deeper issues, the potential benefits to a writer's self-esteem, to an
actor's self-confidence, to a director's sense of self-worth.
No, we don't want these parts of these people to depend upon rewards
in order for them to be positive, but we have to acknowledge that
these effects most probably are there.
awards to us in our lives? Just what are we working towards when
we're in our offices or cubicles or workstations? Is there going
to be an awards show each year to show people how well they did, or
how important their work is to others? In most jobs, no.
Ironically enough, I found that the organization that most often
showed appreciation to the acts and deeds of its "employees"
was the U.S. Army (but that's another story entirely!).
So if there
aren't any awards to work towards, why don't we create our own?
I really like the stars and stickers that grade-school teachers use,
and we easily could give ourselves such rewards every day of our lives
to recognize our achievements both great and small.
I think it's
important, though, that we don't create our own awards as
competition--rather, we can reward ourselves simply by committing acts
that we know are important or challenging. Of course, we can
compete if we want to, and then reward ourselves or others based on
competition--perhaps you and your friends can keep track of the
random, unacknowledged acts of kindness that you commit over the
course of a month or two, and then reward the winner with a nice
treat. And in this case, those who have fewer acts of kindness
at the end of the month still are winners, and deserve some sort of
I think I'm
going to start my own awards system, and I'm going to try to reward
myself and other people in my life based on the following categories
to begin with:
Acts of encouragement. I'll give myself a star every time I go
out of my way to encourage someone I might not otherwise encourage.
Compliment-Giving. Same as #1.
Positive Focus. It will be nice to recognize myself or others
when they are able to focus on the positive aspects of potentially (or
definitely) negative situations.
Well Done. When I see someone who has done a great job on
something, no matter how trivial the task might have been, it's time
to give that person a green star.
Relationship Maintenance. When I see someone who recognizes that
all relationships take effort on the part of everyone involved, and
who tries to do something special to maintain the relationship, it's
time for another star.
enough to start with. Perhaps I'll choose two per week, put them
down on a sheet of paper, and start giving myself stars each time I
accomplish one of them. Perhaps I'll do all six all the
time--that's up to me, and that can change when I want it to.
I'll get myself
some star stickers and put a sticker on the sheet when I accomplish
one of the tasks. Since I don't buy into the idea that gold and
silver are important just because they're expensive metals, my stars
will be any colors I want them to be--probably blue and green and
purple. I won't cheapen the effort by giving too many awards or
awards for things that I normally would do--I'll make sure I get them
when I do something that makes me stretch my limits and step out of my
comfort zone a bit.
When I start to
see patterns--fifteen stars under Compliment-Giving but only three
under Relationship Maintenance, for example, I'll start to see what
comes more easily to me and what's more difficult. Then I can
decided whether to focus on my strength and do it even better, or to
try to develop my weaker areas.
Then one day
I'll have my own awards show. I won't have to be the
"best" encouragement-giver--I'll just have to have done well
at it in order to receive and award. Perhaps I'll have my awards
show at a donut shop or bakery, and my award will be a cup of coffee
and something very good to eat. Or I can have it at a bookstore
and buy myself a couple of books that I'd like to have, but ordinarily
To me, this
won't be about quantifying what I do or trying to prove anything to
myself. Rather, it will be about keeping such concepts strongly
in my conscious mind so that I may be able to practice them more
faithfully. I don't feel that we should do such things because
of the possibility of an award, but because they're important to
us. Awards serve as a constant reminder of the possibility of
setting our sights higher and improving our performance. Because
if we're not doing that, we're staying right where we are, aren't
we? And while that may be a pleasant place to be,
"pleasant" isn't always the best for us as human beings.
of the most important elements
of living life fully is
awareness-- awareness of our surroundings, of other people
and their motives and fears and desires, of the things that
affect us most in our lives, both positively and negatively.
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masters in the art of living make little
distinction between their work and their play,
their labor and their leisure, their minds and their
bodies, their information and their recreation,
their love and their religion. They hardly
which is which. They simply pursue their
of excellence at whatever they do, leaving others
to decide whether they are working or playing.
To them they're always doing both.
Lyons was the first Onandagan to enter college. When
he returned to his reservation for his first vacation, his
uncle proposed a fishing trip on a lake. Once he had
his nephew in the middle of the lake where he wanted him,
he began to interrogate him. "Well, Oren,"
he said, "you've been to college; you must be pretty
smart now from all they've been teaching you. Let me
ask you a question. Who are you?"
aback by the question, Oren fumbled for an answer.
"What do you mean, who am I? Why, I'm your
nephew, of course." His uncle rejected his
answer and repeated his question. Successively, the
nephew ventured that he was Oren Lyons, an Onandagan, a
human being, a man, a young man, all to no avail.
his uncle had reduced him to silence and he asked to be
informed as to who he was, his uncle said, "Do you
see that bluff over there? Oren, you are that
bluff. And that giant pine on the other shore?
Oren, you are that pine. And this water that
supports our boat? You are this water."
go can feel so unnatural. We work hard for a promotion,
a relationship, a new car, a vacation. Then the universe
has the gall to come along and mess up our plans. How dare
And so, rather than opening ourselves to the experiences the await
we hold on to the plans that we made for ourselves. Or we
to bitterness about our plans gone awry. Sometimes losing
dreams and plans for our future can hurt as much as losing a
tangible thing. Sometimes accepting and releasing our broken
is part of accepting a loss.
Let go of your expectations. The universe will do what it
your dreams will come true. Sometimes they won't.
you let go of a broken dream, another one gently takes its place.
Be aware of what is, not what you
would like to be, taking place.
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