Revive or Release? Review your most cherished core beliefs – a New Year’s Clarity Exercise

Getting clarity in 2015 despite the ego not wanting to appear to be ‘the fool’

Core-BeliefsThe mind holds beliefs and the ego/personality wants consistency and doesn’t want to appear ‘The Fool’ even to itself; therefore , a result of this can relate to how we tend to follow our own habitual ways of thinking without changing them.

We can then start appearing a bit delusional to others because the ego unchallenged and unaccustomed to letting go enough to examine a belief (stories) can be really thick.

Again, ego/personality wants consistency and status quo and prefers not to change because to change may mean we’ve been wrong which horrifies that part of us.

However, if we have the courage to question those core beliefs it can be a huge relief.

Yet, we can (at first) become shocked, angry, and unsettled especially when we realize these ideas that we’ve been anchoring into were only stories that we told our self.  Again, to let go of those stories represents inconsistency and this frightens the ego/personality part of the psyche.

What happens when we do question and release some of those beliefs that need to be discharged is that we experience a huge relief and real liberation.  It’s like when you’ve been holding something in your hand or in your arms for or a very long time and when you get to put it down—ahhh, what relief.  Right?

In doing psychic work sometimes I see folks who hold one particular belief about the spirit world that affects every aspect of what they do; but it causes confusion because that belief doesn’t square with all other experiences.  They may call me hoping I will validate a belief that they are trying to be consistent with but doesn’t resonate fully anymore.  I see how they struggle with it not wanting to change the habitual thought and  how they go back to clinging to it and then letting it go again—it takes courage to open your mind sometimes.   It can be frightening, shocking and very unsettling when one’s reality shifts suddenly.

There’s no need to berate one’s self after seeing the light–it is best to see it as a necessary part of the path and the process of growth and evolution.

Another example.  I knew a person who as an adult well into her 40’s blurted out one day that her aged mother was responsible for her lifelong and current overeating problem because her mother overfed her as a baby.  She was serious about this lifelong belief and when I did a double-take and repeated back to her what she had just said because I could hardly believe my ears she became momentarily enraged and shouted back, “Well, who else’s fault would it be?”  This is a true story and really drives home the point that I’m writing about.  This individual had, obviously, never questioned her own assumption and carried it for decades.  It could speak to an overall tendency to blame others, not take responsibility in other areas of life too.  I don’t know if she has let it go fully or if she is still holding it but hopefully you get the point I’m trying to make through this example–we hold to the strangest beliefs sometimes without realizing it.

It’s the New Year 2015 and we’re one week in now so I thought it to be a good exercise for myself to sit down and write down on a steno pad my deepest-held core beliefs and examine them.  This of course requires bare-bones honesty and deep contemplation.

I used the 12 houses of astrology to list 12 areas of life and then to examine those, asking myself if any could be erroneous or ridiculous beliefs I’m still holding or that I’ve outgrown.

Going through this exercise is radical because it really makes you come face-to-face with what ‘you’ believe and it may be an eye-opening experience helping you to see the points-of-view which you’ve held that you may not even have been aware you were holding.   Releasing those, I believe, is a way to help you on your way to enlightenment.

You may, through this exercise, see that you no longer agree with your old self and recognize inner conflicts which have been holding you back or keeping you from clarity and preventing you from being fully open to the grace of the universe.

If you wish to give this New Year’s exercise a whirl, here are 12 life categories you may like to use to stimulate your review.

My suggestion is that for each category, ask yourself what is your most cherished core belief.  These categories are based on the 12 houses of astrology.

Some of the houses hold more than one basic category or meaning.  The suggestion is to select the one category from each house that seems most significant for you. This is a good exercise to come back to, perhaps starting with one house category on one day and the next on another.  All categories or areas don’t have to be accomplished all at one sitting.

Some beliefs you may wish to keep holding which  will serve to rededicate your values; but others may need to be laughed at and sent out of your mind and heart and on their way!

The 1st houset: the self, demeanor, physical body, public image, and vitality.

The 2nd house: money earned and material goods; what is valued; issues of survival and self-reliance

The 3rd house: immediate surroundings, siblings, short trips, left brain/intellect, communication

The 4th house:  self-image, family, home, origins, heredity, and the nurturing parent

The 5th house: creativity, love matters, pleasure, leisure, children, self-expression

The 6th house: everyday life/routine, daily work (job) and colleagues, mentors, small animals/pets and health

The 7th house: relating to others, partnerships, other people

The 8th house: power/control issues, psychology, occult, passions and crises, transformations, death, financial investments, inheritance, other people’s money and sexuality

The 9th house: philosophy, long distance travels, abstract and higher concepts (right brain), religion, and foreign matters.

The 10th house:  social success, professional destiny/career, authoritative parent

The 11th house: friends, collective projects, supports and wounds

The 12th house: spirituality, what is hidden,   difficulties, solitude

If you do work with this exercise and find it helpful, I’d love to hear from you.

You can email me:  joystar777@gmail.com.

 

The Nature of the Mind – The Nature of Reality – The Fascinating Study of Enlightenment and the Karma of Ego

nature of the mind

This is IT for me, you know?  Contemplating the nature of the mind and reality makes it all bearable.  No.  Not right.   Much more than bearable; it makes life a total celebratory event.

You see, we all think (or feel) that we have our own personal single mind that is so very real because it experiences and recognizes things.  Yet, how often (if ever) do we stop and examine those experiences that the mind thinks are so real?  Break them apart, open them up, see what’s there at the core–do people do that?

Trauma or crisis can help us contemplate this type of thing (or not)–happiness too; any intense experience.   Many times doing that drives us to addictive distraction instead of some level of enlightenment and joy.  But if we really examine the experiences that the mind is having and we do so carefully, and we really contemplate this experience that this mind has and we look for that mind that has this crisis or happy experience, we cannot find a single thing!  Not one single thing but a blend of many components that we call “consciousness’.    It’s NOT YOU!

Here’s what I mean–there is no solid mind or self at the core of the experience or no real experience-ER.  I know, it sounds crazy if you’ve never thought about it but give me a chance to explain.

Consciousness has many various components–parts!  You know like a car, a vehicle has many components, parts–engine, tires, frame, door and so forth.  Is not our mind and our consciousness the same?  Consciousness has awareness of visual objects (forms, shapes, colors) and then there is awareness of sound, touch (tactile consciousness), taste consciousness and all these are separate parts or functions of the mind.  It’s like the car analogy–separate parts, gas tank, gas pedal, speedometer, steering wheel and so forth.

Consider the experience of anything for a moment–it doesn’t have to be crisis or trauma.  Anything.  Happy experience let’s say.  If we consider that each type of consciousness recognizes a particular field of experience (sound awareness or consciousness recognizes sound and visual consciousness is aware of shapes and colors of forms)… if we consider this as part of any experience we see that each of the types of consciousnesses function in an independent way from the others.

So the mind is a blend of consciousnesses and not one single unit or not one single, unitary thing.  Rather it is a compound object just like the car, the vehicle.

There are said to be six consciousnesses and in some books I’ve read there are eight.  And one of those eight include the consciousness which clings to the notion of EGO or “I”.  And another consciousness that is part of what we think of as “me” is called ground consciousness — and I wrote about this a week or so ago.  

The ground consciousness  stores information from all other levels of consciousness and accumulated past lives.  You can see how this level of mind would easily support the idea of an individual identity called “me”.  It would seem so ‘real’ but it is a grouping of consciousness; a grouping of experiences.

To explain further, it is fairly easy to grasp that the visual consciousness perceives objects–that’s the potential of the visual consciousness.  If you look at a red cloth, you see red.  If you look at snow on a mountain, you see white.  We are able also, quite obviously, to see things in succession–first seeing one thing and then the next with one thing disappearing and the next thing appearing in consciousness.  So visual consciousness is multiple and successive and has the potential to see many things at once and so is not single or solitary or one thing.  Nor is it one single solitary unit of time.

strawberry fields foreverEven if we could isolate a single solitary unit of time, it would only occur within the framework of ongoing consciousness because awareness is never static–its fluid.  So every moment has to relate to a previous moment and a future moment—meaning, it is not any more singular than we ourselves are.  The future moment is the present being the past in relation to it.  Yeah, I know that last sentence is pretty deep; but the point is that time is not solid, solitary and static and neither is consciousness and neither are we!  

There is no single unit of identifiable reality in either the external world of appearances or in the subjective mind.  Even space does not have a fundamentally real, inherent existence. Space is not a compound, and does consist of various parts like the car or like our mind.  Space is not a thing–it seems to exist but it is the negation of a particular appears of anything else.  Even the space in a room only exists because of the walls–take away the walls and the space that you thought existed in the room is not there and only depended upon the walls around it to appear as if it existed.

So the whole point in this blog post brings me to the point of liberation–even if I can’t fully understand it all in a way to describe it in words; in an experiential way I’ve known this truth from meditation…   it’s all true.

For example, in a contemplative meditation last evening, I tried to find… well, I asked, “Where is Joy?  Where am I located?”  It took less than a nano-second to realize I’m not my body and once you get past that basic truth, look for the location and you will find it’s everywhere!  And now here!  and nowhere!

And this, my friend, helps me to chill-ax (chill out and relax) and to see the humor in it all…. appearances are empty forms!  And again, quoting the Beatles once more, in the Strawberry Fields song, “Nothing is real; and it’s nothing to get hung about.”  

DEDICATION:  May this post help another in a way that is in divine order when they come upon this post–for this is my true intent in writing it today!  

On the Life Path: Boulders, Vows, Evaluating Goals, Tarot 7 of Swords, Wood Bethony, and Buddhism

Imagine standing at the edge of a forest and  you want to reach the other side...
THE FOREST OF LIFE!  Imagine standing at the edge of a forest and you want to reach the other side…

Imagine standing at the edge of a forest, and that you want to reach the other side. 

Would you walk a straight line through it? Or, might the path meander in every possible direction, around boulders, between trees, along a stream, feeding the deer, conversing with the owls, and roasting marshmallows? 

Yeah, every possible direction, because this is how things are in a forest. 

Tree! 
    The Universe

[the clever lines above received by email this morning from tut.com]

I’d just been thinking such a similar set of mental phrases.  I sure am going the long way around wherever I’m going — and I quit trying to second-guess the ultimate destination a while back.  I adapted the attitude of one of my teachers who said, “… you go where you’re sent in life.”

Today I am also thinking of the Bodhisattva  vow:  May I attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings.  May my action bodhichitta grow

Yeah, okay.  I’m doing my best–so don’t laugh!  And I seem to be meandering around a few boulders in the forest of life  this year in general and this week most recently, but as my grandmother used to say “little by little” progress is made. So T-minus 4 days to take off!  The next move is in 4 days and some final cleaning took place here in the kitchen yesterday and the skin on my fingertips are a  bit raw to prove it.  Never have gotten used to cleaning using rubber gloves.  Clumsy and too much time taking them on an off as I’m pulled in other directions while cleaning–take answering the phone  for one example.

Where is the ultimate destination?  I don’t know!  But I’m willing to let that be okay.  I’ve located a number of possible paths and applied for the hiking permit (so-to-speak, speaking symbolically) and we’ll see what opens up.

Meanwhile, I have two small mirrors to un-anchor from the wall and some things to drive over to storage before the end of the week, aside from that, I don’t know what more I can do as I’ve always applied that girl scout motto:  BE PREPARED

My trip to the rental office yesterday was productive in that I was able to tie up the loose ends and end the confusion about final notices and paperwork:  there was a change of staff right in the midst of the apartment change.  (Long story–don’t ask.)  All’s well that ends well and I’m ending my association with this particular apartment about as well as I can do it.

So on to the next adventure, around this boulder here in 4 days.  Maybe then I will see more clearly what’s ahead.  I think sometimes my vision is blocked for good reason–perhaps I’m being spared in some way and that’s a blessing.

As I sometimes do, let me pull a card and ask (reaching for my tarot cards)… let me ask what is ahead around this current boulder, perhaps the card will show me?  (I do love divination! but then I’m a psychic after all and should, right?)

For clarity sake, the boulder represents the current move into the new apartment with my sister.  What is beyond that?  At least for the near future–this is my question.  Near future representing let us say the next 6 months.  So here we go…  asking for just one card, just to get a feel for the energy beyond the T-minus 4 days….

7 of swords wood betony collage

Well, it’s the 7 of Swords.  Well first thing I get here is “confrontations being avoided” — and that may be a good thing.  The herb associated with this card is WOOD BETONY which some wear to avoid evil spirits.  That’s a bit dramatic.  Let’s just say that Wood Betony can help one release fearful visions of the future… that I’ll go with.   It helps with one’s nerves when used medicinally.  There’s some reference to hidden intentions and deceptions.  Sounds like honesty all around will be important on the other side of this boulder.

The affirmation for this card [according to the book] is:  “With a peaceful heart, I gather information and truth for my plans and goals.”

This card involves “keeping something to yourself”  and being a loner–like those blackbirds who keep to themselves and bow and then fly away when they see other birds.  (Just this past week many blackbirds have been coming to the feeder–highly unusual)  Blackbirds stay to them selves so much that it is said when you actually see two blackbirds together at once, it’s a good omen.

So this “keeping to one’s self” sounds like blackbird medicine advice.  This card is also about preferring solitude–and that of course is no secret about me.  This will likely not change is what the card is indicating.  This card involves “separation from others”.   And further, this card relates to self-reliance and using one’s own wits to solve problems and resources.

Boy O boy!  The feeling that I’m getting here is that my life won’t really change all that much from what it is now.  That “loner” and “self-reliant” energy that I carry (that blackbird energy) will not change.  That’s a comfort to me.

This card also carries a meaning that relates to “running away” in some way—and that has to do with confrontations being avoided in this case (or so it feels).  There’s a testy teenager who will be part of the household and since this card applies to my question about what is around the corner for me, the avoidance of confrontations (bow and fly away; blackbird energy) may be what this card indicates.  (Astrologically speaking:  If you’re an astrologer, this girl is a Leo Moon and Aries Sun with Saturn (in Aries)  in the 7th, Virgo rising–3rd house Pluto.  My Sun and Moon are  in her 1st house within orb of her Chiron.   Her Moon is on my 12th house Mars/Pluto/Saturn  stellium.  My sister is an very early Leo Sun and Aquarius Moon affecting her daughter’s 5th House Uranus.)  Yeah, that 7 of Swords and Blackbird loner stuff …. probably good advice.  A big message of the 7 of Swords has to do with the need to be calm and to keep things to yourself–I so get that.

I may re-evaluate my plans or goals once I get on the other side of the boulder too but meanwhile, I will meander just  as I have been through the forest of life and enjoy whatever is beyond the boulder or around the curve in the path.   Meanwhile, I will do my best to hold to my Bodhisattva vows and the 37 Practices.

I also may totally plan a get away camping trip for a week  or so in the mountains too, providing I have the increase in $$ to do so.   Anybody want to order a reading or sign up for my class?  🙂   Help!  LOL

Part of the Vow:

Just as all the previous Sugatas, the Buddhas
Generated the mind of enlightenment
And accomplished all the stages
Of the Bodhisattva training,
So will I too, for the sake of all beings,
Generate the mind of enlightenment
And accomplish all the stages
Of the Bodhisattva training

This includes practice the “six perfections”:  giving, moral discipline, patience, effort, concentration and wisdom in order to attain enlightenment for the sake of all beings.