Friday, January 5, 2018

What Good Emerges From Awakened Awareness

Calm at Sunset

I have  a new app on my phone called Calm. It has a short sweet meditation for the morning and  a bedtime story for the evening. I was doubtful about listening to a story to help go to sleep but it seems to work for me. ( I admit I was skeptical. My usual experience of watching or listening to a story would be one of being more fully engaged -- definitely not getting ready to drift off to dreamland.) However, it worked for me. The stories have been mostly descriptions and the readers' voices have been calming. This morning I discovered another part to the app called a Masterclass. It is taught by Judson Brewer, a psychiatrist from the University of Massachusetts and Director of the Center for Mindfulness. (I think he created this app.) Listening to the Masterclass on Breaking Habits was an  informative start to my day.  Although Dr. Brewer was not talking about anything brand new to me, he used intriguing language and examples that caused me to pay close attention.

The principles he was teaching were basic meditation techniques, but because I was hearing it from a different angle, I heard different possibilities. 

Some of the ideas that inspired me include : being curious, observing what you are thinking and feeling, stepping out of fear-based behaviors, noticing body sensations, and becoming disenchanted with the unhealthy behaviors.

In the past few days I have been preparing to teach a class based on Louise Hay's book You Can Heal Your Life.  Louise uses similar techniques to help people heal their bodies, relationships, prosperity and careers. She instructs her readers to be kind to themselves and to ask questions about where their unhealthy beliefs have come from. She also instructs the readers to examine their beliefs and let go of those that are no longer useful

Do you have something that you have been praying for that has not yet appeared?  Most people have. And most of us have many strategies, usually unconscious to us, to keep us from changing our minds. It could be an unhealthy habit. Sometimes we think that change is difficult  and uncomfortable, so we don't really try.

My guess is that we would discover goldmines of possibilities if we would be loving  and kind toward ourselves and curious about our thoughts, habits and feelings.

Dr. Brewer is an addiction specialist. He says that using mindfulness techniques to quit smoking is statistically more effective than any other method. The other benefit is that by becoming more aware, clients have actually lost weight in process of quitting.

I am very curious about that. As many of my readers know, my encounter with God, 35 years ago, caused me to release any need for nicotine. 

Of course, God is always present, whether or not we acknowledge the Presence. The Law of God is always at work. It is done unto us as we believe.

But it made me wonder if we used curiosity and being present to everything that is, in our study of the Science of Mind, would we have more rapid,deeper, more meaningful demonstrations? I intend to find out.  Anyone who enrolls in You Can Heal Your life will be encouraged to do their work gently, consistently and with great curiosity. 

Awareness is the first step to meaningful meditation. Affirmation and prayer emerging from our awakened awareness is potent. Our good is at hand now. 

If you would like to enroll in the class, please call the Center for Spiritual Living Capistrano Valley. or sign up on the kiosk. The class is being offered on a love offering basis. We have not made arrangements for the class to be taken online.