Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Group Discussion (September 18, 2017)
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 http://compassion-blog.blogspot.com).
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 (http://compassion-blog.blogspot.com/).
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.