SEEK WITHIN ~ THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS INSIDE YOU


Is the kingdom of God inside you or outside of you? It is not only Christian beliefs thatstar-gazing[1] look closely at this point. If all people knew the original writings in many religions on this very point, there would be no self-esteem issues, nor depression, panic, anxiety, or stress in the minds of many. This is a crucial point to understand for mental, emotional and spiritual health.

It is understandable how well-meaning Bible students arrive at the understandings they do, given what their particular Bible translation informs them on belief changing verses. Take Luke 17:20-22 for example. Some versions of Catholic and other Bibles say that the kingdom of God is “among” us, assuming that Jesus, who said this, means he is among us.

However, that is not what the original scrolls of the Bible, translated directly from the original Aramaic say, nor is it what the Interlinear Bible in Hebrew, Greek and English says. These original sources say: “When some of the Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God would come, he answered, saying to them, The kingdom of God does not come by observation. Neither will they say, Behold, it is here! Or, behold, it is there! For behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Holy Bible from the Ancient Eastern Text, George M. Lamsa’s Translation from the Aramaic of the Peshitta

That is what the Christian original Bible says. What do other faiths have to say about this? It is not the differences that must be noticed here, but the similarities in varying beliefs that are the same that jump out at us. Here is a list of other belief systems and what they have to say on this matter:

Baha’i Faith: “O SON OF SPIRIT! I created thee rich, why dost  thou bring thyself down to poverty? Noble I made thee, wherewith thou abase thyself? Out of the essence of knowledge I gave thee being, why seekest thou enlightenment from anyone besides Me? Out of the clay of love I molded thee, how dost thou busy thyself with another? Turn thy sight unto thyself, that thou mayest find Me standing within thee, mighty, powerful and self-subsisting.” Baha’u liah, The Hidden Words, Arabic #13

Buddhism: “If you think the law is outside yourself, you are embracing not the absolute Law but some inferior teaching.” Maja writings of Nichinen Daishonion Volk. 1, pg 3-5

Christianity: “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation; neither shall they say, Lo here! or lo there! For, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:20-22 King James Version

Confucianism: “The Superior Man seeks within himself. The inferior man seeks within others.” Analects 15:20

Hinduism: “Bright but hidden, the Self dwells in the heart. Everything that moves, breathes, opens, and closes Lives in the Self. He is the source of love and may be known through love, but not through thought. He is the goal of life.  Attain this goal! The shining Self dwells hidden in the heart. Everything in the cosmos, great and small, Lives in the Self. He is the source of life. Attain this goal!” Mundaka Upanishad 2.2.1-2

Shintoism:  “The deity is immanent in man and man is inherent in the deity; there is neither the divine nor the human; there is no difference in essence at all between them.”

Sikhism: “This is a wonderful, unique discourse: The living self is the image of the Supreme Being. It is neither old or a child; Neither it suffers pain, nor in death’s snare is caught; It is not shattered nor dies; In all time it is pervasive. It feels not heat nor cold; Neither has it friend nor foe; It feels not joy nor sorrow; All is its own; it belongs to all might. It has neither father nor mother; Beyond the limits of matter has it ever existed. Of sin and goodness it feels not the touch– Within the heart of each being it is ever awake.” Adi Granth, Gaunt, M.5, p. 868

There is a lot of food for thought, prayer and meditation here. Enjoy!

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STRESS? WHAT STRESS?


Stress? What stress?

Imagine you are here ~ no worries ~ nothing to do ~ RELAX

We need to take care of our mental health, in addition to our physical health. Our mental health is important. We need to take better care of it. With physical health issues, we tend to take care of the things we need to take care of. If we ignore the first symptoms of a problem, the pain associated with the physical problem usually sends us to the doctor, even if it is inconvienient.

But those with mental health issues often have another hurdle to jump. Our pride, which is fed by our insane ego, suggests to us that if we were mentally strong enough, then we could simply wish our problems away, or worse yet, our insane ego might suggest that you are feeling so good, you should get off your medications because you do not need them anymore.

NEVER GET OFF ANY MEDICATIONS WITHOUT THE ADVICE OF YOUR DOCTOR WHO PRESCRIBED THEM.

The following considerations work both for people currently on medications, and for those who are not on medications.

Let’s go back. Twice now I’ve referred to the ego as the insane ego. The ego very much wants to have a loud voice, no matter how shy you might be, in order to keep you alive. It does not like to have its voice squelshed. However, our ego can make its presence known so loudly that we trip over it time after time. So I will be refering to our unbridaled ego as the insane ego.

Our insane ego can rear up when we first become aware that we might be mentally unbalanced, overly frightened or overwhelmed, by suggesting that this problem “is all in your mind,” and that “It will go away.” Guess what? Problems, mental or otherwise do not go away when we do not deal with them.

It is important for good mental health, to acknowledge our feelings. Feelings are not right or wrong. They simply are. Unpleasant feelings like guilt, unworthiness, grief, and depression do not magically transform themselves by stuffing them deep, down inside you, or denying them. First we need to acknowledge them. Sometimes these feelings are so strong they create a physical pain, but that’s just the symptom of the emotional pain. Know this, once you identify the source of the problem and deal with it, the pain begins to lessen, while your personal power grows stronger.

Whatever you focus on grows. The more you focus on the anxiety, the more the anxiety grows. The good news is, the more you focus on relaxation, and doing the things that bring on the relaxation response, the more you will unwind and heal.

While it is not healthy to pretend we do not have anxiety, it is healthy to have a conscious plan.

For panic attacks, remember to breathe. Nowadays we do not breathe right. When we do breathe, we do not get the same amount of oxygen as we did a century ago due to so much pollution in the air. Plus we are cutting down the rainforests in the world, which are the lungs of the planet. So, remember to take slow, deep breaths. After taking 15 slow, deep breaths, your blood pressure usually returns to normal.

You need to know, if this hasn’t occurred to you already, that you are not going to “feel” like doing any of this. Once the negative habit of anxiety has rooted in you, a little voice inside of you will start by telling you, “This is stupid,” or “It won’t work,” or “I don’t feel like it.” It’s like you have the negative you on one side, and the positive at-least-wants-to-try-to-be-positive you on the other side. Realize this before hand so you expect it, then consciously take the steps to get better anyway.

Yes, you can get better.

To reduce stress, make sure each day includes stretching, and exercise like walking or swimming. Remember to move your body in five different directions. For example, you could do a forward bend, arch your back backwards, lean from the waist to one side sliding your hand down your outer calf or whereever you can reach, then do the same thing on the other side. Lastly, do some sort of twist, gently. None of these moves need to be extreme. They just need to be done. This helps you by releasing those feel-good endorphins.Listen to happy music you like. Relaxing music helps a lot.

Know too that the world is not going to come to an end if you do not get everything on your to-do list done. Your head already knows this, yet somehow we place enormous burdens on ourselves, out of a mis-guided goal of perfection. Accept yourself right where you are, right now, with all limitations you see.  It is not that you are having a good day if or when you get 900 things done in a day. Give yourself permission to be you and enjoy the wonder.

Nature Does Not Hurry, Yet Everything Is Accomplished ~ Lao Tzu ~ Repost 4


Do you ever find yourself rushing around until life’s no fun? Is your to-do-list longer than the distance from here to the moon? Will you turn into a purple pumpkin if you do not get it all

You are part of nature. Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. Soak in the peace and relaxation.

done? How is your blood pressure? Having any physical side effects to stress yet? Is your speech coming out faster than a sonic jet? Texting, eating, drinking, on the cell phone while driving, see the problem? Are you addicted to activity? Where’s the balance?

Breathe.

You are in control of you, not your schedule.

You are in control of you, not other people.

You are in control of you, not the situation.

If the merry-go-round of life is going too fast for you, stop and simplify. Find your balance point. It is literally a matter of life and death. The fastest way to age is to live a life of prolonged, severe stress. Stress brings on major, serious illness and death.

Everyone can push extra hard in life, for a short while, to help someone out, to rise to the occasion, or if the job demands a short but strenuous burst of energy from you. Your employer does not own the rights to your life. You do.

No one can sustain prolonged stress. The body breaks down. Your emotional self breaks down. It is not what nature intended for you on the day you were born. At first you may not associate various ailments and symptoms as stress related. Stress is not a natural state for us. Stress is not good for us, no matter how used to it we are.

How do we break out of this extremely addictive, self-destructive habit of racing through life like a chicken with its head cut off? Like changing any other habit, it is going to take 21 days to try on new habits of relaxation techniques, slow breathing exercises, body stretching like yoga, and even aerobic activity, like walking, jogging, bike riding or swimming. You know what works for you. Give yourself breaks, that is life saving.

Take a moment to watch how nature works. Roses do not rush to bloom. They take their time. They open and unfold slowly, all in good time. Savor each moment in this life. You are here for a reason. If you fly through your life too fast, you will miss so much. We all have 24 hours in a day. How you spend it really is up to you.

It is a mistake to give everything on your agenda the same emergency intensity, as if completing each task is equivalent to putting out a fire. You are a human being, not a machine. We all know this. It is good to be reminded from time to time, not to take ourself so seriously. When you’re stressed, the first thing to go is your sense of humor. That’s a clue.

Lao Tzu once said,  “Nature Does Not Hurry, Yet Everything Is Accomplished.” We are part of nature.

Namaste

Nature Does Not Hurry, Yet Everything Is Accomplished ~ Lao Tzu ~ Repost 3


kicking and screamingDo you ever find yourself rushing around until life’s no fun?

Is your to-do-list longer than the distance from here to the moon?

Will you turn into a purple pumpkin if you do not get it all done?

How is your blood pressure?

Having any physical side effects to stress yet?

Are you balding?

Is your hair thinking, falling out or breaking?

Are your food allergies getting worse?

Is your speech coming out faster than a sonic jet?

Texting, eating, drinking, on the cell phone while driving, see the problem?

Are you addicted to activity?

Where’s the balance?

Breathe.

You are in control of you, not your schedule.

You are in control of you, not other people.

You are in control of you, not the situation.

If the merry-go-round of life is going too fast for you, stop and simplify. Find your balance point. It is literally a matter of life and death. The fastest way to age is to live a life of prolonged, severe stress. Stress brings on major, serious illness and death.

Everyone can push extra hard in life, for a short while, to help someone out, to rise to the occasion, or if the job demands a short but strenuous burst of energy from you. But your employer does not own the rights to your life. You do.

But no one can sustain  stress. The body breaks down. Your emotional self breaks down. It is not what nature intended for you on the day you were born. At first you may not associate various ailments and symptoms as stress related. Stress is not a natural state for us. Stress is not good for us, no matter how used to it we are.

How do we break out of this extremely addictive, self-destructive habit of racing through life, like a chicken with its head cut off? Like changing any other habit, it is going to take 21 days to try on new habits of relaxation techniques, slow breathing exercises, body stretching like yoga, and even aerobic activity, like walking, jogging, bike riding or swimming. You know what works for you. Give yourself breaks, that is life saving.

purityTake a moment to watch how nature works. Roses do not rush to bloom. They take their time. They open and unfold slowly, all in good time. Savor each moment in this life. You are here for a reason. If you fly through your life too fast, you will miss so much. We all have 24 hours in a day. How you spend it really is up to you.

It is a mistake to give everything on your agenda the same emergency intensity, as if completing each task is equivalent to putting out a fire. You are a human being, not a machine. We all know this. It is good to be reminded from time to time, not to take ourself so seriously. When you’re stressed, the first thing to go is your sense of humor. That’s a clue.

Lao Tzu once said,  “Nature Does Not Hurry, Yet Everything Is Accomplished.” We are part of nature.

Namaste

We Are Losing Our Social Graces ~ Digital Dependence Addiction ~ Repost


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We are losing the ability to talk with one another when we are with each other. This break down in communication occurs not only with strangers we come in contact with each day, but also in closer relationships between people.

It is sad to see couples out on a date with each other these days. Instead of gazing into each others eyes, their eyes are downward toward their electronic gizmo.

There is an addiction taking place right before our eyes. Many reasons are given for there incessant “need” to be plugged in. Not all of these reasons are bad. It is not a matter of the importance that technology affords us. The point is, we are losing our social graces.

Part of the reason for people young and not so young struggling with this anti-social behavior is lack of vocal communication skills. They seem to be adept at texting, but holding single task conversations, where they are free from the plug in of any electronic device for diversion, is minimal.

Have you also noticed the lightning speed at which plugged in people now speak? A sonic jet would have to slow down to catch up to them.

Stress? What stress?

Gone are the days of getting to know the person next to you by simple conversation. There has never been more people on the planet to choose from for mates these days, yet there have never been more dating services trying to put people together.

Next time you go to the shopping mall, try smiling and saying “Hi” to the young people you walk by. Most often you get a look back which might as well be say, “You talking to me?” that is if they hear you at all, since ear phones are now plugged into all vacant ears.

Where is the silence?

Where is the time for creative imagination?

Where is the time for meditation and contemplation?

Where is the time to get to meet people and hold conversations?

Social media is no substitute for face to face communication. Not even Skype is the same, though it helps when people are miles apart. But this article is about honest to goodness, heart to heart, voice to voice, and eye to eye human conversation.

It is almost as if we need practice conversation sessions in order to get back to the old art of human interaction. What we have now is technology interaction. But no matter how many benefits technology has, it lacks heart. The programmed voices of our cars and mobile phones can never take the place of real people to people skills.

We have tried to fill the void of natural human to human communication by developing speaking to our technological gadgets, either by orders of command, or by questions. The point here is not how fast one can get a correct answer. The point is to practice and improve on our communication skills in conversations with those we know and those we don’t know.

“I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots,” said Albert Einstein.

On one hand, there are bad people out there who do bad things. But what we have now are a generation of people who are afraid of everything, including their own shadow. How many people on the bus, train, plane do we speak with? We could have past by hundreds of people on any given day, and literally have spoken to no one.

It can be a very lonely experience for our young people, and ourselves, to limit human conversation to short and incomplete sentences.

The art of conversation, person to person, heart to heart can help us all to be better people, and less self centered.

Do You Own Things Or Do Things Own You? Repost


change is goodPossessions are a 2 way street. We can own possessions, and they can own us. At first this is obvious. We have carefully and often painstakingly selected the things we have. We have chosen the things in our home, including our home, and things all around us, on purpose. These things serve a purpose, even if that purpose is to make us feel good by looking at the art of it, or feel good by being in and around these things. But when do things stop serving us, and we start serving things?

This is a good question to ask ourselves from time to time; because it is by the very nature of time that things begin to own us. It is almost as if our things begin to take a life of their own on, require cleaning or maintenance, and demand replenishing. Our things can even begin vying for our affection, and can consume our every thought, if we are not conscious of it. Things need protection. The more they shine, or grow in value, not only do we want them, so do others. Then we transform from taking care of our things, to safe guarding our things, which is an entirely different matter.

When we recognize that we are serving our things, more than they are serving us, we lose focus of what is really important in our lives. Why do we have the things we have? Do we want to keep up with the Jones’, peer pressure, or for appearances’ sake? Are we hoarders?

The remedy is simple. Like most problems of life, decision is the answer. Indecision is the complication. Decide to solve this problem, unless you like being a slave to your things.

Begin. Begin anywhere. Begin throwing away everything broken, or torn. Get a dumpster. If we didn’t wear it last year we won’t wear it this year. Give away everything that does not serve us. Donate to humanitarian causes to help the poor among us. Go through your things, again and again.

When we streamline our life, then things will not own us. Our homes will not own us. Debt will not own us.

Being debt free is freedom.

Being item free is freedom.

Being free is freedom.

When we are free, we can truly reassess what is important to us, without the clouded vision of false values.

Your Mind ~ Body ~ Spirit Health Tripod


This is my ten year anniversary of serving the world as a holistic health counselor/practitioner, which

Does your mental, physical or spiritual health look like this?
Does your mental, physical or spiritual health look like this?

includes mental, physical and spiritual health. This is a lifelong, international certification. Although retired, I continue my work through this blog to touch everyone’s life, wherever you are, in every situation you find yourself. I view mind, body, spirit healing like a tripod. Without health in all three areas, “the tripod” (your life), falls apart, or is tilted one way or another.

My work is person centered rather than technically oriented, and focuses on phychological health, Bibles-based consciousness, human possibilities, and challenges of body, mind and spiritual development. We are created with a mind, a body and a spirit. We need to take care of all three to be fully human. It is irresponsible to only take care of any one of these dimensions of ourselves, while ignoring the other two. It is also irresponsible and short sighted to only take care of two of these dimensions, while simultaneously denying the other aspect of ourselves, as if we can live with out it, mentally, physically or spiritually.

We can’t, successfully anyway. Questions still remain about that which we are denying, and they keep cropping up.

Sometimes we like to live in denial. We do not like pain. We try to avoid it. We look for short cuts. That’s understandable. What tends to happen, though, with the area we are suppressing, is that the part of life we are denying, keeps popping back up, like trying to hold a submerged beach ball under the water, popping up when we least expect it. And don’t you know it, our mental health, or our physical health, or our spiritual health issue keeps calling four our attention until we address it, one way or another. Denying it, or lying to ourselves does not make it go away. Denying truth makes the truth scream all the louder.

Other times, we think we have a great understanding of ourselves. Then we get a new piece of information which changes things, or our viewpoint. This discovery matters. Pay attention, even if we previously thought we had all the answers.

While denying issues with our mental and physical health does happen, today it happens on a grander scale in our spiritual journey. There are so many false religious notions out there. The placebos just are not the same as the solid spiritual food found in the Bible. It is only after we have tried all the more enticing New Age or other spiritual thoughts, that we find they do not even hold a candle to the truth found in the Bible, the most popular book bought, every year.

Following the advice found in the Bible will not only bring spiritual health back in line, it will often bring the mental and physical health back in line as well. This is an amazing puzzle piece that restores character development, self esteem, and positive thinking when we realize just how very loved we truly are. When we trust in God instead of ourselves, stress gets diminished, resulting in less migraine headaches, less ulcers, less panic attacks, and whatever else ails us mentally or physically. Don’t trade the truth for a lie.

In this life we are not promised to live forever. I have never met, nor heard of anyone who has lived forever, mentally, physically or spiritually. But while we are here, it is good to re-connect, re-align or re-affirm our relation with the good God who made us and everything else, using the Bible as our backbone. That way, we have a firm foundation from which we can build our personal mental, physical, spiritual tripod, and enjoy life to the fullest while we are here. For further spiritual help, check out jw.org.