The Present is Perfect, Joyful, and Contented

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There are going to be plenty of times that you’ll want to give up – don’t. With the right tools, it’s simple to neither be trapped by circumstances and behaviors of the past, nor dominated by worrying about the future.

When the mind-made chains and shackles of the past and future are even temporarily removed, the perfection of the present becomes abundantly clear. If you’ll take stock, again and again you’ll discover that there’s nothing wrong in this moment, only your mind makes it so.

While it may not seem entirely practical at all times to be fully present, knowing that this peaceful state of perfection is available and accessible leads to a very different kind of existence. Knowing that a life of contentment is always just a moment of attention away puts the rest of your worldly pursuits and concerns in proper perspective.

The experience of being fully present provides room for a spaciousness in awareness that offers a wide angle view of the past and future from a thousand miles above. With everything that has happened to you, you can either succumb to things that cannot be undone, or treat what has happened as a second chance to grow and develop. You get to choose whether or not your past will be an obstacle, or the seeds for growth when you discover that you’re perfectly okay in the present.

Many people are going nowhere fast. Direction is so much more important than speed. Slow down for once. Starve your distractions and feed your focus, bring it back. Take stock of what’s right in front of you. There’s nothing wrong right here, you’re just fine, there’s nothing to adopt or reject in this present moment.

Take the time and give your complete attention each day even for a few minutes. Everything is just fine, including you, just as you are, living breathing wholeness and completeness – perfect, timelessly so.

 

May you be happy, may you be well, safe, peaceful and at ease🙏

Mindfulness Based. Wise and Inspired Counseling: 941.416.1890 or michael@mbsgroup.org

For meditation classes and retreats:
www.mindfulnessmeditationcenters.com

True Empowerment: Developing the Foundation for Realization

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It’s not difficult to imagine why, but the path to realization usually begins with a certain degree of suffering. Momentary insights are the easy part. Frankly speaking, “ah-ha” moments in your life usually amount to nothing in the long run – everyone has them – supposed wake-up calls, the ever elusive transformative event that we thought would really bring about a life-altering change in how we behave and look at things. Most discover that the power of long-standing unconscious habits are far more powerful than momentary insights.

For true empowerment to begin, emotional realization is the next part – that you are 100% responsible for your emotional life at all times – that no one makes you angry, depressed, guilty or causes you anxiety etc.

I think you’ll find the next levels of difficulty are manifesting, then sustaining your realization in the world. And that manifesting of your practice is really what’s important and that comes with taking 100% responsibility for your projections of yourself, your view of others and your world. A realized being doesn’t just become kind of an enlightened blob, or an enlightened couch potato, but actually exhibits a certain level of gentle strength and wisdom.

Release of blame, control, demands on others and the world are symptomatic of realization. Generosity, ethical discipline, patience, joy and focused attention are seen as kind of a manifestation or the expression of realization, they’re also seen as the foundation and support for realization.

To learn more about MMC;
* Michael Gregory, Director
* MMC Retreat Center in Ellenton, Florida
* Membership:
Go to: mindfulnessmeditationcenters.com

 

Mindfulness Based. Wise and Inspired Counseling. In person, by phone, or Skype: 941.416.1890 or michael@mbsgroup.org

New Beginnings

New Beginnings Start With Healthy Reflection

There are two ways to reflect on and approach this year’s end: Everything that happened in 2016 either appeared to happen to you or it happened for you to see as a teaching to grow and learn from. If you choose the first option you disempower and needlessly victimize yourself. The wise choose the latter.

Infinite causes and conditions came together this year just as they have in every other year and when seen through the lens of timelessness, without any moral equivalency, everything that has transpired was truly perfect.

When you finally surrender and truly let go of everything that happened this year, you will realize that you let go of nothing at all. You can only lose what what you cling to. Reality waits for no one. The only problem was – you thought you had time.

“I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind. ” — Ecclesiastes 1.14

We suffer in direct proportion to the degree in which we resist change and the intensity of our grieving lies in direct proportion to our denial of impermanence. In 2017 may we deeply accept the changes that will surely be part of our lives in the news, health, finance, relationships, loss and much much more…

There will be many positive gifts and changes in 2017 as well – may we make our hearts vulnerable once more and be open to receiving them. We cannot make a better past and so may the doors that seemed to close this year be seen as new beginnings. May we remove the dust from our sleepy eyes and open our lives again and again to the abundance, love and kindness that truly surrounds each of us and pervades our world.

In the coming year may we release our ego-clinging and realize that by protecting others we protect ourselves. We are truly of benefit to others when we practice mindfulness, patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy – it is in such a way that by protecting others we protect ourselves.

 

To learn more about MMC;
* Michael Gregory, Director
* MMC Retreat Center in Ellenton, Florida
* Membership:
Go to: mindfulnessmeditationcenters.com

May you be happy, may you be well, safe, peaceful and at ease.

Mindfulness Based. Wise and Inspired Counseling. In person, by phone, or Skype: 941.416.1890 or michael@mbsgroup.org

Exciting News to Share

Almost twenty years ago I was requested by my teachers to embark on a journey to bring everything I learned from my time in Buddhist monasteries and retreats to the West in hopes of sharing the profound methods of happiness I discovered into an easy to apply methodology. My expressed goal was to give credit to the lineages of ancient instruction while translating the instructions into a secular vernacular to meet busy modern Western minds.

Dr. Tiffany Chenneville, who is both Professor and the Graduate Program Director of Psychology, at the University of South Florida received a grant to study the effects of my work and our counseling group on the mindful treatment of anger, anxiety, guilt and depression.

Several years later the extraordinary results will be released in the next issue of the peer reviewed Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy. Needless to say – without medications, across the board our approach leads to an incredible and lasting decline in the most prominent and pervasive of destructive emotions.

Thousands of my mindfulness students and coaching clients can attest to the profound results we have achieved in bringing East to West. There is no need to suffer with destructive emotions or go another day without knowing your true path or heartfelt purpose for being. If you would like to try our approach – don’t hesitate to reach out or share our results with friends or family. We have achieved all of our success through hard work and word of mouth. We would love for you to consider trying and applying our positively life-changing and affirming work.

May you be happy, may you be well, safe, peaceful and at ease🙏

An enormous thank you and warm gratitude for the Graduate Students at USF for painstakingly researching our work and program.

For more info:

Mindfulness Based. Wise and Inspired Coaching and Counseling. In person, by phone, Facetime, or Skype: 941.416.1890 or michael@mbsgroup.org

Embrace Change and Appreciate the Moment

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In a single moment, light can illuminate a space that has been darkened for eternity…

You are truly limitless – your very nature is one of never-ending pure potential. So remember, whenever you believe that you have become static, stuck or think that every day is just going to bring more of the same – then you can be certain of this essential truth: you are afraid of something and that something has yet to be faced.

While you may fear the unknown and resist change, these are both losing propositions as this is precisely what life has to offer. One way or another – change is the one aspect of your life you can count on, and the unknown is exactly what awaits. I share an equation with you that has never been proven wrong, and I’m equally certain that it never will – it is better to embrace change, as you will suffer in direct proportion to the degree to which you resist.

Change is built into the very fabric of the way things are, and so there is every reason to embrace impermanence, for doing so is to embrace reality as it is. Moreover, you are not in control over the rate or the vector of change – and in this recognition may you be humbled.

Make plans, and plan for change – it would be foolish not to, but within those plans – plan for this: there is an excellent chance that things will not go as planned.

Don’t let fear of change deter you into remaining frozen or static, however – from relationships, to investments, to your very health – fully accept that not only does nothing last, but that is part of the grand bargain with life itself. This knowledge and embracement of change not only has a silver-lining, but also comes with an extra never-ending benefit:

When you open-heartedly accept that change is all that there really is and therefore you are not in control of the way things are, a deep appreciation, respect and gratitude begins to seep in: you begin to deeply love and fully live with what you have while you have it. You will treat yourself and others differently – you will hug your children longer, you will be less likely to quarrel.

Knowing this – go ahead – breathe it all in – life itself and all of its gifts are right here in front of you, and then exhale – knowing this life will soon be gone. Then live – breathe in again appreciating everything in your life, and repeat…exhale, releasing your resistance to losing it all once more. Embracing the reality of impermanence viscerally changes and invigorates your energy, your attitude…everything. For the better.

May you be happy, May you be well, May you be safe, May you be accepting of the way things are – peaceful and at ease.

Metta,
Michael

Limitless Compassion❤️

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Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness – they are a sign of strength. My work involves listening to thousands of stories each year involving people in pain and crisis – – many of which directly have involved you or people you know.

I know that everyone lives their own private hell and the content of their hell I neither have the luxury or privilege to value, discount or judge. I encourage you to follow my lead in that statement of truth.

Those we find to be intolerant, intolerant to everything we hold to be precious and dear, and even those who are destructive to our shared environment are those we need to show the most compassion toward. Release your anger and embrace a listening and loving conversation. Model in yourself what you wish to see in others and the world.

Lately much of what I have seen involves people discounting and even rejoicing (gloating) in others’ pain because the pain does not directly involve you or is a pain that you cannot relate. It saddens me to see such a lack of empathy from those I know who are deeply caring in other aspects of their lives. I am also energized – I know that I need to double-down on my efforts to communicate the necessity of compassion for us to live together in a shared world.

I believe everyone is worthy of compassion, even for those who victoriously gloat in the face of others and falsely believe that they themselves will not experience the result of that karma. That is simply untrue with regard to the nature of reality – the cycle will continue, and like a shadow that never departs – those who do not show compassion for those who are in pain are only sowing the seeds of their own future painful harvest. You can do better. We can do better.

I don’t care whatever difficulties we have had or may have. I don’t care what you’re going through. Let’s put everything aside and practice mindfulness, compassion, and kindness together. Regardless of religion or political affiliation, race, gender or sexual-orientation – all are warmly welcomed with an open mind and an open-heart.

May you be happy, may you be well, safe, peaceful and at ease

For more info and/ or to schedule sessions with Michael, Davita or any of the other excellent counselors at Beyond Therapy or to attend classes at Mindfulness Meditation Centers:

Mindfulness Based. Wise and Inspired Counseling. In person, by phone, or Skype: 941.416.1890 or michael@mbsgroup.org

Feel free to like, comment on, share, or invite others to read our daily mindfulness and counseling posts.

For meditation classes and retreats:
www.mindfulnessmeditationcenters.com

To watch either live on-line or recorded classes please contact: davitamoodley@gmail.com for more info

Instagram: mindmichael

Calm the Storm

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Nothing is worth sacrificing your peace of mind for. Yesterday is what it was. Today is what it is, and tomorrow will be what it will be.

In any given moment there are precisely two things happening – there is what is happening and there is your relationship to what is happening. Please calm yourself, you are responsible for the latter.

Awaken, heal, grow and mature. Empower yourself – no one is controlling your emotions, only you are responsible for the way you feel. Don’t waste a moment in either anger or despair. You may not be able to control a situation, but you are responsible for how you let it affect you, and how you let it affect you depends on your level of conscious awareness. If you are being dramatically affected by events that appear to be coming from outside of you then the apparent event is a teaching pointing you in the areas that you need to grow.

Be careful how you to attempt to influence others – resist sharing anything but love and compassion – you will never regret refraining from ill-will and a divisive tongue. You will always find solace in a peaceful mind and speech that heals. Be a lamp for those who need light, a bridge for those who need to cross over, a resting place for the weary.

Don’t run from yourself, don’t blame another. There is no other when there is no division within. To heal, place your hands on your heart, forgive yourself, and fully embrace this moment as it is, welcome this reality as if you had chosen it yourself – as a reminder, as a teaching. The moment you truly do this it will be as if a miracle had entered your life, as if providence had directly intervened on your behalf.

Infinite causes and conditions have gone into and make up every moment of your life. Everything is perfect just as it is, only the mind of fear says otherwise. All things ebb and flow in this infinite expanse of time and tide. Nothing real can be threatened, nothing unreal exists.

Difficult times are the measure of your good heart. Don’t run away from the work to be done. Look around you – the sun has risen, you are a fully endowed human being with a beautiful mind and a loving heart – you are free. Take stock, pause, be grateful, how many would live and love to be in your shoes even on this day? This moment is not an ending, this moment is a beginning. Be gracious, don’t bring things to a painful point – humble yourself and respectfully congratulate and offer the victory to others. Your Awakening depends it, it is in your interest to let go, to not react unconsciously and surrender any ill-will.

As with a lotus flower, you have the ability to rise from the muck, bloom out of the darkness and radiate into the world.

Nothing in this world of illusion can protect you from suffering – only your very nature – tapping into and opening up to your unbridled and limitless pure potential can save you from stress and suffering.

For Refuge, for true protection – it is time to look within. Calm the storm – take a deep breath in, then breathe out – release the excessive flow of thoughts and attachments to the past and future without agenda. Relax into the present moment. Rest again and again at the end of each exhalation. At ease at ease, at ease with any unease. Come home. There is nothing worth sacrificing your peace of mind and good heart for.

Monthly retreats live and online from the Ellenton/Palmetto retreat center.

For more info and/ or to schedule sessions with Michael, Davita or any of the other excellent counselors at Beyond Therapy or to attend classes at Mindfulness Meditation Centers:

Mindfulness Based. Wise and Inspired Counseling. In person, by phone, or Skype: 941.416.1890 or michael@mbsgroup.org

For meditation classes and retreats:

www.mindfulnessmeditationcenters.com

To watch either live on-line or recorded classes please contact: davitamoodley@gmail.com for more info.

To love is to recognize ourselves in one another ❤️

“Don’t call anyone a devil, because within you, you can experience hell and the devil, and the devil is nothing, but you!” -Michael Bassey Johnson

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We always have the opportunity to focus on what is tearing us apart, or on what is keeping us together – it is this very perspective that makes us great – we will not be made “great again” in any other way. Where there is love there will be peace and there will be life.

We need to stop lying to our souls. If you want to understand the world you must turn away from it and look within. I have learned more from the darkness of my life, then from the light in any classroom. Perhaps we fall down, because we were supposed to find something in our depths.

Prideful ignorance is our deepest secret.

It is one of the scariest things to come to terms with, because those of us who are most ignorant are also the ones who often don’t know it or don’t want to admit it – this is pride.

Reveal yourself…

If you have never changed your mind about some fundamental tenet of your own belief system, if you have never deeply questioned yourself, and if you have no wish to do so, then you are being both proud and ignorant.

Before it is too late, go out there and find someone who, in your opinion, believes, assumes, or considers certain things very strongly and very differently from you, and just have a basic, honest, heartfelt conversation.

It will do you both a world of good.

The deeper you go into yourself the more you realize when you point the finger and blame others for how you feel that you become your own worst enemy. The mind becomes much more beautiful when a man can begin to admit to his own confusion and admit to the internal division between his spiritual beliefs and his daily speech and actions…

There’s just something unsettling about studying your prejudices. Maybe it’s that when you reflect into your own mind, you don’t see what you wish to see—or glimpse something that you wish weren’t there.

To learn more about MMC go to: mindfulnessmeditationcenters.com

Feel free to share with friends and family.

May you be happy, may you be well, safe, peaceful and at ease.

Mindfulness Based. Wise and Inspired Counseling. In person, by phone, or Skype: 941.416.1890 or michael@mbsgroup.org

Responsibly Projecting Your Reality

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A very common stumbling block on the Path to Awakening is that after coming to terms and experiencing that you are indeed living in your own projective reality – after the initial excitement wears off, “Wait a second, what are the implications?”

The implications are that you are both 100% responsible for not only your emotions but that you are also 100% responsible for your projections…

You want to be happy, and you don’t want to suffer so you realize you must maintain the view of complete responsibility for the relationship to the world and all relationships that are created by your own mind.

And you can’t just change your thinking…your speech and actions, which are the active derivatives of your thinking, must also change. Far from realization being a passive exercise in sitting and meditating the results are reflected in your conduct.

Yes, you are projecting your reality – therefore it is not the case that your thoughts, speech, and actions don’t matter – the opposite is true. Your thoughts speech and actions matter tremendously because everything is empty of inherent or intrinsic reality…your love, compassion, generosity, and your conduct creates your world, combined with your focused attention and insight.

The willingness to play in the field of your projections wisely determines the very reality field you are playing in.

Mindfulness Based. Wise and Inspired Counseling. In person, by phone, or Skype: 941.416.1890 or michael@mbsgroup.org

Shine☀️

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Wish to neither possess nor be possessed. Covetousness is not love. Attachment to illusion is not loyalty.

Allowing possessions to define you is a tacit admission that you have no idea who you are at all. So let’s state it cleanly – you have not owned anything, do not own anything and never will.

It may appear to you as though you are profiting, but in the end you are only feeding the delusion. You know very well that all of these appearances could be gone in a moment, so just what kind of investment is this? Don’t you think it’s time to stop allowing these illusions to consume your remaining time?

Transparent and vulnerable self-observation is the first step in awakening inner revelation. You will see that your experiences do not form you – you form yourself by understanding your experiences.

The character in this movie of yours seems to have all of these very interesting ideas about you, but all of his ideas keep coming up short – and are still all about him.

Make an allowance to stop betraying your wisdom. It’s quite possible to perceive your ego without being involved. When you make peace with yourself you’ll be at peace with everything. Isn’t it time for peace?

When we do not realize the formless nature of all things, we cling to these forms, and when these forms change, as they inevitably do, we suffer because of our attachments to them.

In order to bring light to the world you can’t be afraid to shine. To truly shine we must resist clinging to the false promises of materialism. The greatest beauty lies in the greatest clarity.

“He who laughs at himself never runs out of things to laugh at.” ~Epictetus

Mindfulness Based. Wise and Inspired Counseling. In person, by phone, or Skype: 941.416.1890 or michael@mbsgroup.org

Don’t be too important to ask for help. And don’t be too scared. Don’t let your problems consume you and those you love.