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

The Importance of Solitude and Being Alone

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Ultimately relationships and money cannot protect you from the pain that is part of simply being alive and existing. These things at best can provide you with a temporary solace, and often not even that, sometimes even bringing more problems and distress. For someone who is trying to be more fully conscious, relationships and finance are at best compliments to their awareness.

Previously I sought my salvation, my protection from suffering in relationships and women, fine material things, travel, and intoxicants. The unhealthy part of my consciousness drifts towards these false refuges again and again through my adult years. Each time I come back to center, increasingly wiser for every experience. With each return to sensibility I receive the validation of a greater joy and peace that comes from within, and smile at myself for foolishly thinking that it could have ever been another way.

This weekend I will be sitting meditatively still with a hall full of quiet practitioners patiently and peacefully observing their breath, body, and changing mental and emotional states. Each will have made the determination and intention to pause in the busyness of their lives for reflection, each coming back to center, to the present from sophisticated lives filled to the brim with activity, thoughts and emotions.

As I prepare to lead this retreat I reflect back to the loving Thai, Burmese, and Tibetan teachers who instructed me out of the darkness which I had unconsciously created. Another silent retreat this weekend, back to a wholeness that had been painstakingly regained, from a wholeness lost.

I long to return to my mountain retreat in the Tibetan Himalayas. I long to return to the overarching warmth and heartfelt friendship of my Thai teachers. I know this is also destination and companion addiction, the belief that I would be happier elsewhere, or romantically involved, but wise enough to know that I must be content and settled within or no place or person will ever be right for me.

There is a balance to be found here: at peace within, allows me to be at peace in my relationships. It is possible to be in lasting, loving passionate relationship without compulsion, obsessing, and neediness. Without this return to mindful center each day through daily practice and the quietude of retreat I have often temporarily found myself unconsciously slipping into compulsion and reactive to old behaviors from destructive seeds planted long ago. Solitude makes it possible to be in passionate balance with others and my environment.

So thankful to return to the present, alone, and quiet once more, surrounded by my true friends, my wife, and other companions on the path of solitude.

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

Discovering Other Worldly Joy

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It is the joy within that creates a magnificent life on the outside. It doesn’t matter where you are, what you are doing, who you are with, or what is happening around you – joy is always with you.

Other-worldly joy is differentiated from joy received through the experience of trying to be happy through the sense faculties, which is constantly changing and is reliant upon outer causes and conditions being the way we hope for. Other worldly joy is reliable and is always available because it relies upon something that is always present and just needs to be recognized – awareness.

Joy is an energizing quality and is accessible with different levels of intensity – momentary joy, minor joy, cascading joy, uplifting and all-pervasive joy.

Meditation Instruction, Classes and Retreats Offered at Every Level:
www.mindfulnessmeditationcenters.com

On-line classes: contact davitamoodley@gmail.com

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

Gently Letting Go of Who You Used to Be

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“Live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land; there is no other life but this.”

– Henry David Thoreau

There is complete freedom in every moment, all that this discovery requires is for you to focus your attention on the only time context that is possible – the present – otherwise what I refer to as BST – Buddha Standard Time.

We softly release the grasping sense of self into this moment through a combination of mindfulness and concentration practices and then gently reappear – differently.

Our practice begins to heal both the conscious and sub-conscious psyche of its neurotic burden. As we become increasingly immersed in the present moment (jhana) waves of cascading joy roll through the body and mind culminating in blissful rapture. We ride these waves of joy into a tranquil ease…a vast sea of equanimity remains. Our sense of consciousness and awareness expands…our perceptions deepen into the essence and nature of reality.

And then we return to the old familiar mundane patterns of life…we reengage, but it’s different now. It is like a butterfly that has left its cocoon. What used to be the old familiar cannot be returned to – a larger field of awareness has been awakened and we are confronted….

Will we now hide who we are to protect who we once were? Will we release who we once were and authentically be who we have become?

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

Meditation Instruction, Classes and Retreats Offered at Every Level:
www.mindfulnessmeditationcenters.com

On-line classes: contact davitamoodley@gmail.com

Instagram: mindmichael

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

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

This moment

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This moment is the last moment, and every moment is a rebirth.

It is widely believed that which is just born, which has just come into existence, has no past behind it. Birth seen through this lens, is the condition of having no past.

And likewise, anything which now dies, which has just ceased to be, has no future left in front of it. It is widely believed that death is the condition of having no future.

These comments however defy direct experience and rationale, as it is the case that the present moment has no past or future simultaneously.

That is, birth and death are one in this present moment. This moment is just now being born – you can never find a past to the present moment, and you can never find something after it either.

Yet also, this moment is just now dying- as you could never find a future to this moment, and you can never find something after it.

This present moment then, is the synchronicity of opposites, a momentary coming together of an underlying field of infinite possibilities – an unending continuance of infinite birth and death – of being and non-being, of existence and non-existence in an eternal present.

Rest in this timeless awareness, all else that can be conceived is a mirage, a play in a forest of symbolic appearance.

– Wilbur, Ippen, Myself

Teaching and Meditation info below:

Mondays live in St. Pete 6-8 pm EST at 222 2nd St. North in the Accupuncture and Herbal Therapy Building. Tuesdays live in Sarasota at Prana Yoga 3840 S. Osprey from 6-8pm. Wednesday’s 6:30-8:30 at the Centre for Women in Tampa 305 S. Hyde Park live and online.

Dec 9-11 retreat in Denver, Colorado on the Union of love, Compassion, and Wisdom

18th Annual Ten Day Silent New Year Retreat Dec 26th-Jan. 3rd at our retreat center just South of Tampa.

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

 

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.