Allen, I read and enjoy your blog. My problem is that when I sit down to pray or contemplate, it always seems to be a struggle. After a while, I just give up. Any suggestions?
Struggle and effort should never be mentioned in the same sentence with prayer. Prayer, true prayer, is a peace-filled and joyous adventure. When effort and tension start prowling around the “prayer closet,” something is off. And usually, it’s the focus.
In most cases, effort shows up when the prayer focus is on getting or getting rid of something. Usually it’s an emergency or troubling situation where a quick resolution is wanted. Nothing good will come out of such praying or contemplating. It can’t.
Think about it. If what drives you to pray (and I use that term interchangeably with meditate or contemplate) is the problem, your attention is on the problem. Your attention is on the very thing that seems to be making you anxious and fearful. What can you expect but more anxiety and more struggle? For all that effort, you might as well stop praying and go lift a set of eighty-pound dumbbells.
Remember the Golden Rule of Prayer: Start with God, stay with God and end with God. Proper prayer is God Realization. The intent is God Realization and the result is God Realization. The absolute truth is that prayer hasn’t actually started until the moment of Realization.
If you find yourself restless at the outset of prayer, examine your motive. Ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” If your honest answer is, “I’m praying to get or fix something,” get up and do something else. Come back when your motive is purely for God (Self) realization.
Reader, have you ever sunk into the cozy comfort of an overstuffed armchair? That’s what it feels like when prayer starts with a right motive.
But, what if you can’t settle into prayer? What if the pain is so bad, or the condition so overwhelming that you can’t shake the struggle? YOU CAN! You are constituted that way. Remember, your Identity is God-Identified. Using the Sit and Repeat Method, you are going to get back to true prayer.
First, establish your motive – the joy of God Realization. When you sit down to pray, as soon as you feel anxious, get up. Do anything enjoyable. Ten minutes or so later, sit down to pray again. At the first sign of a struggle, again get up. Repeat this cycle until you can sink into the Realization of God’s Allness. You will, and you will on the very same day you try this method.
Notice, I have not addressed the problem that seemed to alarm you. That’s because once you are aware that God is All, the seeming problem will no longer be a concern. Why should it? You’ve already discovered that right there where the problem seemed to be, GOD IS.
plus 93 others in the list of Time Magazine’s 100 Healthiest Foods. I rifled through the pages to see if a McDonald’s Fish Fillet was on the list. It wasn’t. These 100 foods are supposed to keep your body brimming with health and vitality.
There are a lot of questions in this post, so let’s get to them. Do some foods promote good health? How did you answer that one? Here’s another question. If you believe that God is the only Presence, can you believe that some foods promote health? Before you commit to an answer, here’s one more question. Would a carrot, or a handful of blackberries make a changeless God more Godly? I have every confidence that you immediately answered, “Allen, of course not. There is no thing that affects God in any way.”
What about your Body? Does food affect it in any way? Can food enhance your Body’s health? Don’t try to be “nutritionally correct.” Answer from your heart.
You read this blog because you agree that God is the only Presence, and because you do, you might find these next questions too easy. What is “your” Body made of? What is the Substance of your Body? Yes, God is the Substance of your Body. A micro-lesson in holiday baking is in order here.
Did anyone in your home make cut-out holiday cookies during the Christmas season? Reindeer, bell, tree and Santa-shaped butter cookies, all with a hint of vanilla? The Santa cookie tasted just like the tree cookie. That’s no surprise, since they were all made from the same dough.
God is the dough of the universe. Everything is made from the Presence of God. As God is Light, Life, Spirit, Perfection, and Wholeness (Health), everything in existence is made of these qualities. Your Body is constituted of Light, Life, Spirit, Perfection, and Wholeness (Health). Yes, your Body is constituted of Health. So, how can some extra thing give your Body what it already is?
Everything is made of God – your Body and the food you eat. Constituted of the same “dough,” one cannot be beneficial or harmful to the other (especially when you consider that they are one indivisible presence). Read that last sentence again. It is the death knell to the illusion of food allergies. How can the Body be allergic to that which is constituted of the same Substance?
After an evening of Old Bay spiced steamed crabs and other seafood, Roland woke up one morning, swollen from face to foot. Alarmed, he went to his family doctor and discovered he was allergic to seafood, and one more seafood orgy could be fatal. “No way am I giving up crabs,” thought Roland. And, he didn’t.
Roland went on an inner quest to get spiritual answers. That’s when he discovered that his Body and seafood were comprised of the same Substance – God. That discovery ended his allergic reaction.
By now you have to be asking if it is necessary to eat at all. Here’s the short answer. To the degree that you and I have a material sense of the Body, food will seem to be important to the Body. As we discover and embrace the God-nature of our Body, food will be less important. With this in mind, I offer one dietary suggestion: Make it your business to discover the Truth concerning your Body. You cannot read your way into this discovery. It must be Revelation.
Once you discover, to any degree, the God-nature of your Body, watch what happens. Your eating habits will effortlessly change. When and how much you eat will make a surprising change. Yes, what you eat will change too, but not for health reasons. After all, your Body is constituted of Health.
Here’s one way I live this post. For the longest time I never said grace. It wreaked of dualism. Instead of a “grace” thanking a distant God for food, I now take a moment to acknowledge that the Substance of the food I’m about to eat is the One Substance. It is the same Substance that constitutes my Body.
If it seems that you are not being successful in your business, your profession, or your employment, it is necessary to be specific in your realization that you are the universal Principle, Success, in action as your business, your profession, or your employment.
But do not attempt to block off your business or your professional success from the entirety of your successful Existence. The universal Principle is inseparable. It cannot be divided into blocks or areas of success. It simply will not be apparent completely unless you are aware that this Principle is complete, omnipresent, and equally present and active everywhere and eternally.
In like manner, if you seem to be unsuccessful in your home, it is necessary to specifically recognize the fact that success is omnipresent. Thus, it has to be present and evidence in and as your home. But, of course, you will not attempt to limit this Principle to your home.
What we are pointing up here is the fact that the indivisible nature of the Principle, Success, must be realized if you are to be conscious of being completely successful. But this does not mean that you should not be alert and recognize success to be present in any specific activity that might temporarily seem to be unsuccessful. The Infinite Principle remains the same successful activity, whether it is evident as universal activity, the activity of adding a column or figures, or baking a cake. And because you know that you are the I that I AM, you also know You are this universal Principle in action.
You are not concerned with being a success. You know that you are successful because you are the very Principle called Success. Thus, you do not labor, struggle, plan, or strain to accomplish being that which you already are.
How long the world has sought after true love! Yet true love shall be denied until one is aware of their real Identity, and functions therein.
For a lifetime, nearly all have lived and loved from the basis that one is human. However, none can arrive at perfect love from this mistaken viewpoint. Only to the extent that one places their affections upon Perfect Love as their only Identity and Being, shall he find true thought, true love and true living.
Therefore, whom shall one love first of all, and more than all else? Thou shalt love the Lord, thy Self: for the Lord is truly one’s very Self. Without supreme and transcendent love for Oneself, how can you hope to ever entertain such love for your neighbor?
As the perfect One, the pure and perfect Consciousness, your thoughts are perfect; your desire and your love are perfect also. In fact, only as the One shall you ever be able to love perfectly and truly, and in such a way that never can there by any misunderstanding, dissatisfaction, separation or divorce.
Don’t look outside your Self for love, happiness or companionship. Nor consider perfect love as something you should seek to obtain in order to have and enjoy. Anything that you seek, desire,or long for is based upon the false supposition that you are without it at the present time. This misconception prevents your awareness of it.
Do you say that you know the Truth but you cannot prove it or bring it out in your experience? Is experience something other than the Truth? Is the Self one thing and experience another? Let go of the belief, “I have not proven; I am not experiencing; I cannot demonstrate,” for the knowledge, “I and my experience are one; I AM Self-contained and Self-supplying.”
Love is not conditioned by nor contingent upon anyone or anything. Neither is Love some specific form of thinking, living or doing. Love cannot be put on as one would select a new garment; nor is it to be thought of as barter, exchange, bargain, or some commercial enterprise.
Love is the Undefiled and Undefilable. Love is Principle, and Principle is Love. Love is Life, and Life is Love. Verily Love is I! And I Am Love!
“I don’t know what to do. Please help.”
Sometimes trouble seems overwhelming, and you reach out for help. Although you have read all the books and heard the stirring sermons, you feel like you don’t know what to do. To anyone who is seeking a spiritual solution to a seeming problem, I am stepping out on the skinny branches to make this bold assertion: YOU DO KNOW WHAT TO DO.
First, let’s start with the fundamental FACT that you are the living presence of Infinite Intelligence. Know-how is the warp and woof of your Identity. This supports my original assertion that YOU DO KNOW WHAT TO DO, and what follows is a suggestion to make this very practical.
Most likely, as I previously stated, you have read an assortment of spiritual books. You’ve attended lectures and have been exposed to a lot of information on spiritual living. You might even be a class-taught Christian Scientist. Plus, you pray daily in listening, God-focused prayer. All of this helps. What follows involves a lot of imagination, but it’s not the mental trickery of visualizing your good.
If you feel like you’re in a jam and want a spiritual resolution, find a quiet place to sit. If you can, place another chair in front of you and imagine someone sitting there. This imaginary person is coming to you for consultation. Their problem is exactly the same problem you seem to have. So have them spill it all out just like you would to a practitioner or counselor.
Now that you’ve heard it all. Advise them of the spiritual approach to their dilemma. Lay it out step-by-step. Keep “advising” until you sense a clarity in your approach.
Am I right? Don’t you see that you do know what to do, and even how to do it? The challenge is in this next step. DO EXACTLY WHAT YOU ADVISED YOUR IMAGINARY PERSON TO DO – AND DO IT CONSISTENTLY.
“She must’ve killed her husband,” whispered a band of women huddled in the corner of the sanctuary. “How else can you explain how happy she is after the police just found his body in the woods?”
When I heard about the rumors of Venus killing her husband, I laughed. In a typical church, I could understand what they would expect of Venus – obvious signs of grief. But this was a metaphysical church. This was a church that teaches death is not real. This was a church that has as a motto, “Nothing can disturb the calm peace of my soul.” That’s why I laughed.
Did the women spreading this rumor ever stop to consider that maybe the teachings of the church were more than mere words for Venus? Did they consider that perhaps Venus was living the teachings, rather than merely mouthing them? Could it be that Venus clearly realized that since God is All, there is nothing to grieve? Contrast this with the following story and decide which best exemplifies God Mind?
I once worked with a man who would break out into uncontrollable sobbing every day. A river of tears would run down his face. Between short gasps for breath, he’d sputter something about his mother. I pieced together that his mother must have recently passed.
One day following another outburst I asked him, “Cal, when did your mother pass?” Wiping the tears from his eyes, he said, “Ten years ago.” I thought to myself, “There’s a problem here.” But as it is said, “Everyone grieves differently.” But, is grief necessary? Is it based on the Truth, or a lie about the Truth?
Not too long ago, a friend asked me, “Allen, what would you do if your mother died?” [Be honest, don’t you find this a strange question?] Yes, I was taken aback by the question, but then I replied, “I’d call a Practitioner right away.” “A Practitioner,” she said, “Isn’t it a little late for that?” “No, it’s the ideal thing to do,” I said. “The reason I’d call a Practitioner is to head-off a possible encounter with grief.”
Someone has to say this bluntly: Grief is not natural.
Let me expand on this. Grief is not natural to the Christ or God-Mind. God-Mind knows that Life is all there is. God-Mind knows the inseparability of Life and Identity. God-Mind’s natural state is Joy, and from this state it never drifts. The most important thing to know is that God-Mind is the only Mind.
Do you argue that grief is natural? I agree with you. Grief is natural to the so-called human mind, but answer this question. Where in the Allness of God is the human mind? Nowhere! The human mind is the finite, distorted experience of God-Mind. Analyze that sentence carefully and you must come to one conclusion: The human mind is NOTHING.
Here’s the question you must ask and answer for yourself. “Your” mind. Is it the human mind or God-Mind? You can’t have it both ways. Which is it? If you answered, “Allen, of course my Mind is God-Mind,” then grief is not normal for you. Rather, unbridled Joy is your natural state.
Does it seem that you’re caught in the cold clutch of grief? Would you like to break free? It would help if you at least believed, despite all appearances, that God-Mind is your only Mind. From here it is simple.
Throughout the day, when it seems that you are overcome by a wave of grief, say to yourself, “Right this moment, I am willing to experience Joy.” Later, during your time of silent God-focused prayer, open with those same words. Don’t try to be happy. Don’t reach up and out for joy. This is a process of revelation. Let the Mind of Joy be revealed and experienced as your Mind.
Why does this work? It works for the same reason spiritual healing “works.” Spiritual healing, as you know, does not try to change a sick body into a well body. Spiritual healing is KNOWING that right where there appears to be a sick body is the whole and perfect Presence of God embodied. And right where there appears to be a grieving mind is God-Mind – Joy-Mind.
When you state your willingness to experience Joy, you state your willingness to experience the natural state of the ever-present God-Mind – your only Mind.
Whatever you do, please don’t fork out $2,000 for my second book Sounds of the Trumpet. Sounds crazy, I know, but after I “died” (according to rumor), used copies of my first book God Is All sold on Amazon.com for thousands. Once it was discovered that I’m very much alive, prices dropped back to normal.
I’m writing this post to inform you that Sounds of the Trumpet is no longer available for purchase. As many of you know, Mystics of the World has shuttered. They were the life support for Sounds after it abruptly went out of print. Until further notice, only used copies are available. News like this has used booksellers swarming cyberspace like vultures hoping to make a quick profit. Don’t buy at an inflated price! Wait until we’re back in print again.
It was not supposed to be this way. I had high hopes for Sounds. I expected it to be more popular than God is All. Sounds was supposed to be the darling of all its distributors (more so than God is All). Rather than being an underground success like the first book, I really thought Sounds was going to go mainstream. Despite its auspicious beginning, none of this happened.
Unlike the self-published God is All, Sounds of the Trumpet was published by Big Sur in the United Kingdom. Things went sour very quickly. A foreign publisher and a stateside distributor is not the ideal combination. I never made a dime from the publisher who eventually shut down.
Why did I expect so much from Sounds? Of my two books, it’s my favorite. And that’s only because it shows the practicality of the Absolute in just about every conceivable situation. One reader recently described it as “one of the great books,” and I agree.
Reader, please know, along with me, that Sounds of the Trumpet will “find” the ideal publisher to put it in the hands of interested readers at a decent price.
One afternoon I was practicing a difficult section of Beethoven’s Sonata (Op. 110). I tried all the practice tricks but could not master it. Frustrated, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I thought about all the pianists I admired who recorded this sonata, and this flashed in my Consciousness: SKILL IS UNLIMITED. SKILL IS INFINITE. SKILL IS UNIVERSAL.
Then came further insight. THERE’S ONLY ONE DOER – GOD. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PERSONAL DOER. YOU ARE NOT A PERSONAL DOER.
All of this happened in half a heartbeat. When I went back to the piano, I nailed that section – but not as a personal doer. And that day I learned what is necessary to master any skill.
While we’re on the subject of skill mastery, I remember when teenage boys watched Michael Jordan’s dazzling skills on the basketball court. He was Superman. No one, it was believed, could match his skills. The same with culinary superstar, Julia Child. Both professional and home cooks knew they were watching a master. Her skills seemed matchless. But, were they?
Reader, I’m asking you a few questions. Was Michael Jordan’s skill a personal skill? How about Julia Child’s? One last question. How about your skill – is it personal or not? You’ve probably worked at it (whatever the skill is) and became quite good at it. But, is it personal? I hope not.
Personal skill, by its very illusory nature, is limited skill. You want no part of it. Skill is universal. Skill is impersonal. It never belonged to Michael Jordan. God was (and is) the doer. It’s the same with your skill. It’s not personal. God is the doer and that’s why “your” skill is Infinite and Unlimited.
Christ Jesus is recorded in the Bible as saying that you and I can match his works, and do even greater works. How can that be? Because Christ knew he was not a personal doer – “I of myself can do nothing.” (John 5:30) Christ knew God to be the only doer; therefore the doing (skill) is as Infinite as the Doer.
Below are some infallible hints on how to do anything better.
Keep these ideas in mind and you will sizzle with excitement as you quickly master new skills and bypass the laborious, time-laden human way of skill acquisition. Watch how practice time shortens while you achieve greater results. Try it and let me know how it worked for you.
The desire to have, do, and be more in the new year is the engine that drives New Years resolutions. Did you make any? Are you thinking about making some? Put down the pen! Today, Absolutely Yours is offering you an anxiety-free and more fulfilling alternative to making New Years resolutions. Here it is. CELEBRATE YOUR SPIRITUAL MILESTONES.
Believe me. You do have some to celebrate, and once you acknowledge these milestones and deem them worthy of some sort of celebration, there will be plenty more. That’s a promise.
Right now, you are probably wondering what constitutes a spiritual milestone. To jump-start your own thinking, here is a list of possible “milestones.”
- Facing down a fear knowing God is All.
- The moment you realized that people, places, conditions and things have no power over your success, happiness, health and well-being.
- Any spiritual insight that has changed your outlook and behavior in such a way that it is more consistent with God being the only Presence and Power.
- Finally starting a consistent practice of God-focused silent prayer.
- Forgiving someone, or coming to that place where you are willing to forgive.
- Realizing your Body is included in the Allness of God as a spiritual presence.
- Finally understanding that time and so-called years have no power over your health and Body.
- The day you stopped comparing yourself to others because you realized there are no others.
- Your first experience of illumination (or the most recent one).
- The day you realized because Joy is your nature, you can let go of grief and depression.
- The day you finally gave up the fear of calling a Practitioner to help you see the nothingness of that seeming problem.
- That victorious moment when you made a decision to take a spiritual, rather than human, approach to a seeming difficulty.
- The so-called healing that resulted in perceiving the Truth that God is all.
This is not an exhaustive list. I’m sure you can think of many more to add.
After you have taken some time to list your Spiritual Milestones (this is not something you can rush through), the next step is to celebrate them.
Whether you list one or one hundred, your Spiritual Milestone(s) deserves to be celebrated. I am urging you to take some time to think about a way, or ways, you can celebrate them. I know you are not planning a wedding, but your milestone is important. It doesn’t have to include others, but it does have to be honored and celebrated.
You know how most New Years resolutions made in January never live to see February? Spiritual Milestones, celebrated, have a life-long effect. Try it and see. I’m leaving you alone now to make your list.