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

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

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.

Letter To A Friend❤

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Your first obligation as a dignified human being on the contemplative path is to stop inviting chaos into your life and the lives of those you love.

You have outgrown yourself.

The same old tired identity and life plan just isn’t working anymore. It’s time to retreat inward and gather your resources once again. You must discover yourself in solitude to learn how not to be be defined by others and the world.

When you look within to discover the depths of the pain and your own being at the end you will find nothing, and then develop this fortitude – resist filling the void. Rest in the not finding. Love, that not finding anything when you look for yourself is the finding. And in that resting you will discover your true value – that your nothingness is neither a vacuum nor a void, but instead is the ground of your limitless potential. You have a voice that doesn’t use words – that voice is silence. Listen to that voice.

Every emotion you have ever experienced is the relationship to your own projective reality – not to any other world or person out there independent of your own mind. It is your deepest pain that will empower you to realize this highest awareness.

Everything that seems to be happening to you is only appearing on the screen of your own consciousness – when you realize this nothing can harm you or make you afraid. When reality is observed through this lens you will know that the suffering you have experienced only happened for you to discover your depth, humility, compassion, quiet grace and dignity. You will love the freedom that comes from no longer seeking approval and validation. You will relieve yourself of denying your pain to make others comfortable. The transmutation will be painful, but don’t fear that you are falling apart, you are only turning into something beautiful. Allow every pain to be a teaching, make an allowance for your every suffering to move you closer to realization.

This time try loving yourself instead of loving the idea of other people loving you. No matter what you say I will keep telling you that you are important, loving, intelligent, worthy of your own self-respect, beautiful, creative, brave, strong and able until you realize it for yourself.

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

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