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There’s only one person who you have to be true to and that is yourself. You may do some things that nobody sees you doing, but you’re not fooling anyone because you know what you’re doing. You don’t get away with anything that you do in life. You may be ignorant why certain things are done, but that doesn’t lessen the consequences. There are consequences for every action, but it’s not because there’s a God watching you. You yourself are the cause of your consequences and they will be determined by the base of what your actions are; either love or selfishness.
The actions to fulfill inner desires are pursued forever because their results sustain the void that creates the desire. Alcohol, cigarettes, porn, gambling, drugs, food, sex, sports, our children, to name of few, are all used to fulfill some selfish inner desire and therefore will need to be used over and over. This is because all things are empty in nature. This is also why the things used don’t matter because whatever and whenever something is used to fulfill a selfish desire, it sustains a void that’s already in place. The void remains because the nature of anything reached for from a selfish void is empty and reaching behavior is based in emptiness. It’s the cause of so much suffering to ourselves and others.
We label certain people as addicts, but aren’t we all using certain things for fulfillment. Completeness is in the present moment, so anytime something is reached for to fulfill an inner desire out of the present moment it’s created by an inner lack; a selfish desire uses whatever it can, to fulfill this lack. A person’s conditioning decides what the thing used is, but regardless of what it is the selfish nature is no different. It’s just that some things are not as devastating in their consequences as others. Some results of the consequences are instantaneous and some take time to develop, but the effects of the energy of the reaching is always the same; selfishness breeds selfishness. So do what it is that you want to do, but understand you cannot hide from yourself. Although your Conditioned Mind will make you believe that you can, you cannot truly lie to yourself because wherever you go there you are. You may use justification as to why you are doing something, but there will always be consequences for you actions. Whether those actions are from love or are selfish in nature is the determining factor as to whether you will live a life that is always reaching for the next satisfaction or if you are complete just the way you are.
Unfortunately most times the reason for the need to send out an SOS goes unnoticed until the ship is already in trouble; many lives are like this. What’s really unfortunate about this is usually what’s causing the downward decent has been in the works for a while. The sinking of the Titanic and the loss of many lives was a disaster in the making. From labeling the ship unsinkable, to those who believed it, it produced a false sense of security just as what happens when a person reaches for something, the thing reached for never provides what’s expected. Many on the Titanic were alive as the ship sunk, but the ice cold water did them in; even those with the false hope of reaching for a life preserver perished. This false hope leads many down the unconscious path of reaching for something that in truth will not produce the necessary results. The false hope of waiting for another ship didn’t help anyone either. The only people saved were those who were able to get into a lifeboat. One gets in their lifeboat when they look within.
I’m writing this so maybe one person will see what they’re possibly reaching for in the hopes of being saved. The actual reaching is what causes you to perish even though you think there is hope. I know not many look at themselves in this way because of their existing conditioning, but there are so many SOS’s being sent out and life preservers being grab for without the realization of the surrounding perils. The lifeboat of the inward view is the only thing I have found that truly saves, and it’s simply because it makes one aware of the surrounding perils; in this case one’s own conditioning. Instead of jumping from the so called frying pan into the fire, going inward allows you to simply turn down the heat or at least see that nothing out there will save you from the perils of yourself. If you can see this, you just may be able to prevent the ship from sinking before it ever begins and so an SOS will never be needed, nor will your reaching.
Many things are labeled a problem, but that’s only because it’s just something that the mind decides it doesn’t want to be happening. There will be many things that this happens for, the list is constant and endless. Sometimes it’s a situation that just happens because of the surrounding circumstances and sometimes it’s because of what a person does. To me the latter is more difficult because the effects of it are a direct result of someone imposing their will on something that involves others. When it’s a situation that’s effected on its own it’s easier to move on, but when it’s an individual just doing as they please without any regard of the effect it has on others, it seems to gnaw at me a little longer before I come to terms with it. Just because what is always is, that doesn’t mean there’s not some resistance to it. I know freedom lies in not resisting what is, but being awake doesn’t mean you’re a robot.
How much resistance one encounters is determined by the conditioning one has to resist what arises. What arises from the inner arises, at that point there’s not much to be done that can change it, but it has been my experience that gaining some understanding of the Conditioned Mind allows the resistance to certain things to slowly dissipate. The reason why this is important is because resistance is just another way of saying the mind is agitated and until the agitation subsides, there won’t be any peace. A very simple fact that one will have to get in touch with if there’s to be freedom from the bondage of “I”. Many things will happen today as many people will do things that “piss you off” but it’s in not holding onto any of it for too long that allows you to not make what is into a problem.
So much of life is missed because of the noise in the head. Take the time to smell the roses before the roses are gone. If you keep saying tomorrow, my heart goes out to you because literally tomorrow never comes. Regardless of what goes on between your ears, it’s always today. You may dream of tomorrow, but the dream can only happen today. You can hope or wish for tomorrow to be different than today, but at some point it will become today. It’s always today and that is where the mind needs to be if one wants to be with the beauty that the Universe has to offer.
Take a step back before you miss one more moment of your life. There are many distractions, that’s why if the mind isn’t quiet you miss the beauty of life which is always right before your very eyes. It is up to each individual alone to see the beauty that life has to offer, but if one is to busy to slow down to smell the so called roses, life will be over before you know it. You can accomplish many things in life, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to seeing how beautiful life is. It may allow you to see the beauty of your own egoic self, but it’s the Universe that gives one a sense of awe, it doesn’t come from anything that is done. This will only be seen by a mind that is ready for it and quiet enough to see the beauty that is right before your eyes, that is if the time is taken to see it.
Although life doesn’t personally test you, at times it seems like it does. From death, sickness, situations, people and just the daily so called grind, it can seem as though it’s one challenge after another. What makes something a challenge is a lack of proper preparation. For forty nine years I had tools in place that made everything that happened a challenge and I mistakenly thought it was life doing it. Life just happens, it’s never personal and it doesn’t purposely create challenges. I know it’s looked at in this way by many so we “can grow” but I’ve learned to go beyond this conditioning to see the only reason anything was ever a challenge to me was because of the label that was attached to what happened. Life still occurs just as it always will as one is in the human form, the difference is in the preparation of how to handle it. When my mother died recently I had a sense of how I was going to react because of the preparation that has been going on for the last ten years, but the preparation wasn’t for my mother dying, it was simply learning what are the things that pull me from my place of peace.
I allowed death, sickness, situations, and especially people, to pull me from this peace constantly. People seemed to be one of the most difficult to stop this pulling, but by sitting I saw that people were no different than anything else, they were just given more focus. The key to this is in the preparation of learning how not to attach to anything that happens by making it personal, whatever it may be. Without this preparation, the constant pull of attachment will be the norm and so will an agitated mind. To me I sit to develop discipline so when my conditioning is triggered, it’s not as easily given into as it once was. Breaking these Conditioned Mind Patterns won’t happen without a willingness to go in the opposite direction of selfishness, and this will take preparation so when the mind is triggered to act in a selfish way, there will be an enough awareness to not be pulled from your place of peace.
To me there is no saving the world, spreading love, or any other story the Conditioned Mind makes up. There’s only sharing heart experiences and focusing on whose lives are touched by them. My experiences won’t touch everyone and some no matter what will not see the simple message that’s being conveyed. We all have our own journey in life and it’s not for anyone to say which one is right. One can only see what is seen and it can’t be any other way. We can make up all kinds of stories about this or that, but it’s only true to the degree of the conditioning we have in place. The more one holds onto the conditioned story, the less truth one will be exposed to and the truth is, we are not here to be anything, to teach anyone, to prove anything, or to coach anyone. We are simply here to share our heart experiences and to hold those who are touched by those experiences in a way where it benefits them to learn and grow in their own being.
This is true freedom, it’s what I have experienced and it’s why I write as I do. I’m not anything nor am I here to become something other than a friend. For forty nine years I had a conditioned storied life, the last ten are about just what happens. Thoughts will always arise, but what you do with them determines if you will need to reach for something or not. Asking yourself if the thought is true is reaching. Needing to belong to a program is reaching, doing anything but being in the moment is reaching. The reaching existence is strictly living from the intellect and it constantly reinforces itself by needing the next whatever. Living from the heart stops the need to reach for anything because the heart doesn’t beat in the past or future, it only beats now. When one is in touch with the heart, there is simply living in the only place that exist. You can make up any story you think you need, just understand it’s not your heart experience, it’s only what holds you in captivity.
Helen Kamenos has been an educator for over 26 years. She graduated from California State University, Northridge with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. She served as a middle school teacher, high school counselor, and principal of a private school. She dreamed of writing a book one day, but never imagined she would write a book about God.
Throughout Helen’s life, her passion for learning and her fervent Orthodox Christian faith have always guided her toward seeking a greater understanding of God. When she faced several years of life-changing challenges, including a battle with cancer, Helen sought the comfort of her faith. This pursuit led to an in-depth study of the Beatitudes, which set her on a journey of discovery. In the process, she experienced Christ in a more personal and intimate way. This extraordinary journey provided her with a deeper understanding of God and His divine love. In A Journey Toward Perfection, Helen shares her new found insights of living the Christian life by following in the footsteps of Christ and participating in a real, experiential relationship with our Creator.
It’s been a week since my mother has passed and although she is missed, there is strength in the fact that she is now at peace. My mom suffered many years because she didn’t know how not to. She didn’t have an easy life nor did she have the tools to deal with life in a way where she didn’t carry around what happened and make it into a burden. She suffered immensely until the day she died and most of her suffering was self-inflicted only because with the tools she had in place, there was no way to get around the bondage she was in. As I sit here and reflect upon my mother’s life there’s a sense of peace in me because I know she is at peace. The only time one struggles with someone’s passing is when they look at it from the point of I, when anything is looked at from I, it’s from attachment and attachment is the root of suffering. When I look at my mother’s passing I know that she is no longer suffering and her passing was actually a blessing, my peace comes from her because it’s not about me it’s about her no longer suffering.
I’m learning a lot from this and what I’m getting in touch with is my own self created suffering and how I see it’s time for me to let go of the bondage that holds me in captivity. Everything that happens in life can be viewed as a lesson and it can be used to learn from to help one in the freedom from the bondage of self. Nobody gets out of life without going through heart ache and pain, but it’s learning from it so the attachment that’s causing the pain isn’t repeated over and over; that is key if there is to be freedom. It has been a week and I miss my mother. I’m so happy for her that she is now free and no longer has to endure the suffering that was in place, but it was only there because she didn’t have the tools to allow her to let it go.
Everyday is a time to reflect on one’s childlike innocence. We’re all born of this innocence, but remaining aware of it determines how alive the inner child remains as a part of our life. The more the self serving mind is in control, the more one is claimed by worldly desires and possessions and the less childlike innocence is seen. There are many traps along the way that takes away a part of one’s childlike innocence and locks it away; very few traps take it all at once. The self serving mind is developed, and one day if this unconsciousness is continuously followed, the childlike innocence will only be there beneath the surface; unseen. The unconscious mind will take on the role of trying to constantly arrange life to be a certain way, this is the baby in us, not the inner child.
Make no mistake between these two, the baby in us is self serving, wanting, and selfish. Our inner child is innocent, loving, and caring. Depending on one’s up bringing and influences is what determines how aware one is of their childlike innocence. To understand this is to know yourself and when you know yourself you can develop a practice to reverse the process that blocks out one’s childlike innocence. The more this practice is done, the more one’s inner child is present so the innocence shines forth as when life began. If the innocence is lost, it can only be found from within. God or the Universe whichever one prefers, can provide the spark to start this process, but it will be from one’s own inner child urging that the process will continue on. It’s up to each individual to see the innocence of your inner child and live by it, or not and remain entrapped to a life that is self serving, wanting, and selfish. Either way life goes on, but in two drastically different directions.
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Be easy on yourself. It’s probably one of if not the most important thing you can do for yourself. I know for me I was always my worse critic. I constantly second guessed myself and put myself down. There was always wishing things were different or getting caught up in the would’ve, could’ve, should’ve mind. I would never let someone treat me the way I treated myself and for the longest time I was unaware this was being done. There was also unawareness that it was my own mind that was doing this. When I started understanding this I began to be kinder and gentler to myself. When it’s understood the mind that tells you to do something is the same mind that questions why it was done, liberation begins, at least that’s what happened to me.
No longer am I my own worst enemy. No longer is there wishing anything was different. I’m far from perfect in the sense of always coming from a place of love and this is the case for anyone, so why all this holding onto past actions of ourselves or others, regardless of where what is done arises from. One can only do what the conditioning in place dictates so there’s no reason to ever blame or be hard on anyone including ourselves. If you truly want to be liberated, you’ll have to be easy on not only yourself, but also all of humanity because it’s simply no one’s fault in the way that they act; it’s just the conditioning in place that tells a person what to do. So the moral of this story is to always be easy on yourself regardless of what you do and you’ll naturally be easy on others, thus you will truly be free.
On Friday morning a very special chapter in my life came to a close, my mother passed away after a two year illness; she was 85. I waited to write about this because I wanted to see what would arise. I will always love my mother and although her physical form could no longer support life, she will live on in her five children and nine grand children. As with any human, my mom was not perfect, but she was always there for her family. I had my issues growing up, but never once did she turn her back on me. When I found out from my sister that my mother had died, I just remained present. I called my wife and children and then called my work to tell them I wasn’t coming in. As I often write about emotions and feelings and them not being essential to live life, I was curious to see what was going to arise in me. Not much did arise as I naturally remained in the present moment and just did what was in front of me, which was being there for my family. There were a few tears from me, but they were mostly because of the emotional attachment that others exhibited.
I’m not here to say what’s the best way to deal with a situation like this as everyone is different, but for me I saw that emotional suffering wasn’t a requirement; there was much crying, just not by me. A person can write anything they want, but to me the value of writing is when someone shares a first hand account of their experiences. There was no reason to be emotionally attached to this situation, actually the situation was fully embraced with all the love in my heart, I just wasn’t attached to it from the mind. Like I said, I’m not writing this to tell anyone how to deal with a situation like this, but as I was watching some of the crying and emotional attachment going on, I was grateful to be in the present moment with life just as it was without needing it to be in some other way. What a gift!
Life really isn’t a mystery it’s logical, so logically looking at it, it seems as though it’s a struggle because to satisfy one’s conditioning to self serve, the mind has to constantly look for ways to get this done. It justifies what’s needed for this and lo and behold we have our conditioned life. A very simple logical approach as to why one does what they do.
The Conditioned Mind blocks the logical approach of as too simplistic so it can hold onto its story. The truth is, living inwardly is the most logical way, but it will only occur if one is quiet enough to see it. If this isn’t seen the mind will use a conditioned story of why living inwardly isn’t for you and your approach to life will not be logical. This prevents one from returning to the logical pure, innocent, and free state and unfortunately because of this, life remains based in making decisions from a self serving mind and it will remain a struggle regardless of what illogical outward changes are made.
Let’s use logic as to why we stay the same even if things are done to make so called improvements in our life. The biggest hurdle, but the most logical is to find out what makes you lose the pure, innocent and free state in the first place. When we look back, the logic here is to see the development of the self serving mind as the culprit. So we logically have to go back to the pure, innocent and free state if our conditioning is to get reversed. For this to happen the mind has to be redeveloped. We try external things to get this done, but through trial and error and with very little success we come to the conclusion that we logically have to go inward because looking outward hasn’t worked. So we apply logic, go inward and learn through sitting how to return to our pure, innocent, and free state; if we don’t do this, it will not get done. This is pure logic here, no mysterious path or journey, no God, or spiritual practice, just plain simple logic of going back to a time of a pure, innocent, and free state.
The reason why it’s so difficult for someone to change is because the mind constantly defaults to familiar conditioned patterns, even if it means its own destruction. The conditioned patterns must be identified if one’s behavior is to change. If these patterns aren’t identified, the behavior will be repeated over and over until either death or when a necessary practice is cultivated to initiate their identification. If there isn’t identification of anything needing changing then how can one expect anything to change. If the conditioned patterns are identified and changed, then the patterned behavior becomes non existent. You don’t change the behavior because it’s a by product of the conditioned patterns. When there’s quietness instead of conditioning, there won’t be any repeated behavior patterns associated with the conditioning.
No act is isolated from itself, whether based in love, kindness, and compassion, or greed, hate, and delusion, it affects the whole. But the real issue is getting to know that it’s only the familiar patterns of the Conditioned Mind that makes one repeat their behavior. Change comes when this is realized and then different behavior patterns will begin to take hold of one’s life.
Your own mind will fight you on this, it makes you think the unknown isn’t good, but it’s only a story because everything that is known today was once at some point unknown. So learn to quiet the squirrel cage mind so the familiar patterns aren’t the automatic way to respond to life and you will be amazed with the way life changes, and this is because when you start to see things differently and act in ways that are conducive to love, the familiar self serving ways stop being repeated. It’s truly that simple, but because the mind likes to constantly revert to the familiar patterns in place, it’s not easy to break the habitual repetitive hold they have on you.
Spirituality isn’t magical, it’s one’s true essence. If one is alive, one is spiritual and regardless if there’s awareness of this it doesn’t take away from the fact that one is spiritual in nature. Let’s take a practical approach to spirituality so the blocks to awareness can be lessened. Look at one of the most common realities of life, to me that would be everything that happens does so Now. This is such a common reality of life, but is it so hard to live there. We hear it all the time “live in the now, all we have is now, be present” yet it is so hard to remain in the Now.
What I found to be the one thing that makes living in the Now so difficult is the inability to keep the mind aligned with the moment that’s occurring right now. So many things pull you out of alignment and this opens the door to whatever conditioning one is prone to. This conditioning is different for everyone, but the nature of the misalignment is the same. If this misalignment didn’t occur, the opening to be controlled by the Conditioned Mind wouldn’t occur. The misalignment is so subtle and this is what makes it so difficult to be aware of it. It’s only because of the way one’s mind has been developed to begin with that the misalignment occurs. The mind will not align on its own, it needs guidance. It’s in the alignment of a settled mind where one becomes aware of their spiritual nature because when one remains in the Now. If there’s the development of awareness of what takes a person out of this alignment, it will be discovered what takes one out of alignment with life. When this is discovered the default setting of the mind will be that of one’s true nature of the spirit because it’ll be the only thing that one is aligned with.
I’m not a doctor and I don’t profess to know how the brain works, but I do know this, for years I suffered from self inflicted depression until I learned it was my own mind that was creating it. I’m simply writing about my experience here. Every fall and spring I would be overcome by a mindset of gloom and doom and the only way I knew to get out of it was to use distractions. You don’t really get out of it by using distractions, all that happens is the focus shifts, but because the Conditioned Mind Patterns that are causing it isn’t understood, it always return; I was always stuck in the working on myself syndrome that plagues so many. All this created were distractions that kept me from finding out what was truly going on. I no longer get entrapped by this because I’ve discovered what was causing this. This is very important to understand if you want to break the conditioning of depression. This may not be what the so called experts say about depression, but I’m giving a first hand account of my experience and what was revealed to me. If you want to keep “working on it” that’s up to you, but just understand you will and I repeat, you will stay anchored in the Conditioned Mind Patterns that are causing the depression.
Me writing this was in response to someone posting something about depression. I reached out to them and their was response, I’m working on it. All I said was OK and moved on, but a lot arose inside me because of my depression which I worked on for forty nine years, that is until the day I realized there was nothing to work on because my depression was only a thought and thoughts only become real when they are attached to. The thought of being depressed may arise as many thoughts do, but when they’re not attached to, whatever the thought is never manifests. If you think you are your thoughts you will always have to be working on something because that’s what your thoughts will tell you, but when you understand thoughts needn’t be given any energy, there’s no attachment and hence there’s no self created suffering, in this case depression. Think about it, but not too much because you are not your thoughts.
Very few understand what freedom from self truly means. There’s no working on yourself, nor is there any program the self needs that’ll make it free. Freedom from self is right here right now, and it’s because the true self exist in this space and all that’s required is to be in this space for one to be free, nothing else; few truly see this. I understand we are all at different junctures in our life and there’s not much I can do when I reach out and someone says “I’m working on that” but it doesn’t make it easier knowing the conditioned bondage in that answer. I worked on that for forty nine years and what that was consisted of trying to make my life pain free. Always working on something, reaching for the next quick fix. These quick fixes are disguised as the so called good things, but they are no different than the destructive things that are being used. Actually they’re all destructive because they all keep you in bondage to self. I know the conditioning in place doesn’t allow the mind to be open to see what someone else may see, even if it leads to freedom. For me the most difficult part of waking up from the sleep of being in the grip to the bondage of self is having so much love for others, but not really being able to do much to help alleviate their suffering.
Bondage of self is attachment which is the root of suffering. It disguises itself as depression, anxiety, greed, anger, fear, and so many other things, and if it’s not understood it’s all self created, the attachment just gets more deeply engrained. It’s one of the reasons it’s so hard to see because one gets stuck in the very thing that causes the suffering; the I’m working on it mind. Here’s why working on it doesn’t work, first off the core delusion is there is a you who is working on it, and second there’s a you who needs changing. You cannot change yourself, you can only learn why you are as you are. If this knowing is based in truth, you will automatically have a different view of self. When this view takes hold, all the self created suffering falls away because there’s no self who’s attaching to it.
Without knowing what the blocks are to loving yourself, one can never truly love. This isn’t something I made up, but understanding the Conditioned Mind (ego) is powerful because it wants to keep you in captivity and it will until it’s understood how to use the tools that are available to get quiet enough to break its hold.
True life manifest as the energy of stillness that one generates, yet most live the opposite way. There are many tools out there to allow this, but most go unused. One cannot generate love if it’s not in place. The noise created is our ego mind not wanting to live in the present moment. Love will never be generated by creating a concept or belief of it. It will never be generated by living in the past or future. It can only be generated in the Now, and only if the tools that are available are used correctly. It’s not magical, it takes much practice to truly understand oneself and what blocks one from their own innate love.
Each individual has the right to love themselves, but very few do because of the Conditioned Mind. Here’s the kicker, if you don’t think this applies to you, that’s all part of noise the Conditioned Mind is generating. Once one attaches to their thoughts they’re under the control of your Conditioned Mind. Live a life that generates noise and noise is what your life will consist of. Use the tools that allow for the understanding of what generates noise, practice using them as if your life depends on them because it does and you will know the peace that passes all understanding. It’s not a peace generated by thinking up concepts and beliefs, it’s a peace generated by stillness which will only occur when the tools that allow this are utilized. Keep using self serving tools and nothing will ever be different, or use the tools that are available that allow one’s own innate love to manifest and see what happens.
No one truly knows what goes through another person’s mind. Truth can be established as one awakens to it and that truth can even be a Universal one, but it won’t mean anything to one who is blind to it. Energy is wasted on trying to convince others of what truth is. Those who see it, connect with it and those who don’t simply don’t. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink, is probably one of the most accurate statements ever made. For me, this needs to be understood to not get caught up in a crusade of going around and trying to save the world. A world that regardless of what is going on just may not need saving.
I know some people who are stuck in their addiction, they’re imprisoned by it and for whatever reason are blocked from seeing this. Regardless of this being a truth that there’s a need to get off the merry go round of addiction, they don’t see it, so they remain imprisoned. It doesn’t mean one shouldn’t try to assist them, but their life is not anyone’s responsibility but their own and I’m not so sure about that. It truly seems many are called, but few are chosen and why this occurs is beyond my human comprehension. One can only carry a message, one cannot carry the mess even if it’s known the truth will clean it up. It’s heart breaking to watch people create their own suffering through the way their mind has been conditioned, and this self created suffering is not limited to labeled addictions. Unless one sees this, blindness will remain and this means that even if one is led to water, it doesn’t mean they’re going to drink.