Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Group Discussion (September 18, 2017)

Dear Awakeners,

I've heard from a number of you that you would love to attend the group meetings and can't due to busy schedules, etc. I decided that it might be helpful for me to pass along the things we discuss in the group meetings because people tend to leave the meetings feeling rejuvenated, and dare I say more awake. Everyone in the room is a teacher, and we each contribute to the global awakening just by being present. So here's a brief recap. If you would like to chime in, add your two cents, or provide feedback, you can either email me directly, or post your comment to my blog (I will post this at 

We had a good talk about acceptance of every aspect of ourselves and our experience (thoughts, emotions, etc.), and I felt like we really deepened our overall acceptance of others and the external world. I have been reading Jeff Foster's new book "The Way of Rest: Finding the Courage to Hold Everything in Love," which has helped me become more accepting of my own "stuff." 

I shared my realization that we are all completely innocent in everything we do, that we are conditioned against our will from the time we are born to think and behave in certain ways. We don't have a choice in how we are raised, what we are taught, and don't have any option to do anything but what we do, until we realize that we do have a choice. This realization has given me the ability to forgive anyone for everything. My forgiveness of the conditioned behavior of others is not a "get out of jail free card" for them. They will suffer the consequences of their actions whether I forgive them or not. But it frees me from the bondage of negativity. Forgiving others is for me and has nothing to do with them.

We talked about the political environment and being able to take action from a place of acceptance and forgiveness. I shared a few opinions about Trump, like he's not a very nice person, I don't think he is a very good president, etc., which are relatively tame compared to the majority of Americans. However, I can hold those opinions with the knowing that he is meant to be the president (for now), and that much good will (has) come from his time as president (just as much good comes out of every disaster). Now I can enjoy the show knowing that my opinions are only stories I've created through my own conditioning and don't really encapsulate the truth. I can see how the conditioning of others is innocently playing out with no one the wiser. Nobody's right and nobody's wrong. I can also see how this political climate is leading more people to question their reality, and that is one of the most important things that is happening as a result of the current situation. For example, one of the members said that she had no idea how much racism there still is in this country. While it is very disturbing to know, it is very good that this has been brought to light so that healing can begin.

We noticed some of our own judgments and started to see first hand how they were shaped by our upbringing. Our opinions and world views are formed by our conditioning. We talked about how the ideas of good and bad were at the core of conflict and that things just ARE the way they are. They aren't good or bad until a conditioned mind puts a label on it and creates division and suffering, something less than perfect. We looked at how we can shape our reality with a simple shift in perspective and an open mind.

We also talked a little bit about the fear in the air surrounding potential nuclear war, etc. This fear is of an unknowable future. The mind takes on a story of doom and gloom and the story becomes real for us. But that impending doom loses its impact when death is seen as an illusion.

Anyway, that's about it in a nutshell. If you were at the group and want to add something I missed, please email me or post a comment to the blog (

Our next meeting will be in two weeks, Monday, October 2, 6:30 to 8:30 pm. I will send out a reminder as we get closer. I hope to see you all there.

In gratitude,



Anonymous said...

Has it ever crossed your mind that you are projecting your shadow onto President Trump? He does seem to shine the light of truth onto people revealing their true 'self', not the one they like to think they are.

I voted for President Trump. He is a really good man and I think he just might end up being a great President. And, I do not agree with you that your beliefs are those of the majority if people.

One of the reasons I do not attend any spiritual meetings in Asheville is because I do not want to have to listen to this negative talk about our President. I did not like Obama. I do not think he was a good president nor do I think he is a nice man. But, I do not remember having to talk about it at a spiritual meeting...really a strange conversation to be having, imo.

So, hope some day you all can see the 'bigger' picture. Blessings.

Anonymous said...

I think it best we do not talk politics or religion in our meetings because it involves the thinking mind. For me, Silence and the Pointing to Heart is what is important. I think in our meetings we should focus on a "spiritual vacation" from the arguments about the country's problems, the world's problems and different points of view.

Trey Carland said...

Thanks for your email. I agree that we should avoid politics as a general rule. However, it is a subject that is having a profound impact on people's emotional state. If it's brought up among like-minded people (as in there will be no conflict in discussing it), I allow it as part of what wants to be brought to light. However, I always like to bring it back to the central teachings surrounding judgment, conditioning and projection. I want people to realize that they are projecting their own stuff on others. I try to own my own bias and make it known that people like Trump are here to teach us about ourselves. In a way, he is a very powerful spiritual teacher, not because he's trying to be, but because people have such a strong attachment to their story of him. Until we can forgive our perceived enemies, our work is not done. Also, though my email synopsis of the discussion didn't mention it directly, I believe we all experienced a bit of a softening of our judgments and felt more compassion toward Trump. Ultimately, I want people to be able to welcome the present moment, even if they do not agree with what it holds, which means we have to look at our judgments and move beyond conditional acceptance.

Anyway, I'm glad that you spoke up. I did not think about those who might be turned off by the fact that politics were discussed. It just happened that the participants wanted to talk about what was on their hearts and minds, which is where the rubber meets the road. Hope to see you at the next group meeting.
In peace,

Trey Carland said...

Politics is a divisive subject. Whether you are for or against something or someone, you are attached to a concept of another person. My judgments of Trump are equally true of me. I'm not a very nice person sometimes, and I would not be a very good president. What I can do is be honest with myself and others and hope that others question their tightly held beliefs. Beliefs and opinions are very destructive when we mistake them for the truth and defend them. It's probably important to mention that this was not a Trump bashing conversation, but a discussion about how conditioning shapes everything we do and say. With that realization, we can forgive anyone and our opinions are seen to be just one of a myriad of possible "realities." I attempted to discuss more about this in my For or against blog ( I can own my own bias and see multiple points of view as being based in fact. I'm not governed by my opinions anymore. That's why I avoid political debates, because both sides are right in their own way. I want both sides, Trump supporters and non-Trump supporters, to look at what their beliefs are doing to themselves and others. Do you want peace, or do you want to be right? You can't have it both ways because being right means we are in opposition to those who we view as wrong. Unconditional Peace has no opposition :)