📖 Day 16 Cookbook Discussion Prompt - GETTING STRAIGHT

When I remember that quote from Ram Dass

I truly feel unconditional love for everyone. It puts things in perspective. Sometimes we grow differently towards the sun, but we are all the same in essence.

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Honestly, I do try to see the divine plan in everything. It is very difficult, if not impossible at times. I simply have to accept that it is not for me to see, but for me to be here and now with everything that is presented and do the best I can with what I have. So many things have come into my life to help me and if my life were different, I would not have needed that help. Then there would have other kinds of help that I needed, I suppose.

Part of me thinks that if I could see the divine plan in my lifelong challenging financial situation, it would change (probably part of me wants to believe that!). I can imagine what/how a divine plan could encourage development in a particular area - like becoming a published writer or researcher iinto new alternatives for folks in need of a lung transplant. But right now in this moment in this place where I have found myself with my daughter, I really would love to see the divine plan!

I read a post, I’ll go look for whose it was, @ Pamela_McCallister-Bee, that talked about not believing that there is any predestined plan, but just the ability to flow over under under through however the course demands in the best way we can. I think I already said something like that.

I do not believe that there are any plans beyond possibly a rough sketch of what a life might look like if born at a certain time, in a certain place, with certain parents and I’m not sure I believe that either. Certainly living in the moment is a great practice and what better divine plan could there be?

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I would be more compassionate, understanding and offer grace more easily if I was to see the divine plan in everything. It would enhance my life to see things like that. I would be less judgmental and less reactive. Things would seem clearer. Looking back on my own life, what led me onto the path and even events or circumstances that at the time felt like they had no overt spiritual essence, I can absolutely see someone else was pulling the strings as it were, leading me ultimately here and now. Having this view, I feel like I have someone in my corner, rooting for me, even when others or even myself doubts. That figure has been Jesus, Hanuman, Mother Mary, Maharajji, Ganesh, and many others for me. I had a bout of bad health for a few years and looking back I can see this being orchestrating the divine plan, guiding me, comforting me, cheering me on, even if at times I was brought me to my knees in moments of anguish. This being was with me the entire time, and always has been with me. I very much see a divine plan in my own life.

Ram Dass’ teachings rewired my brain to search for solutions to whenever things seemingly go haywire in my life. To look for Maharajjis grace in my circumstances, to ask myself if things can be seen or viewed from a different vantage point. That if things in my life feel shattered, I can certainly put them back together like a puzzle, that its workable, and I can ultimately be okay and heal. That took me some time, years to see, but I can see the grace in these moments now that at the time were very shattering and painful for me personally. I grew from them, I learned about myself, and I see the deep wisdom in them. I think the aspect of my life that needs to be seen through this lens, it would be me being scared or worried about trying again, beginning again, starting over, getting back on the horse.

In one of the books about Maharajji, I cant remember which one so I cant attribute the author unfortunately, but the essence of the quote was that Maharajji helps you, but he also wants to see you take that first step, whether that is sending out a resume or sending that application to that University, applying to that medical school, etc… I like that. Siddhi Ma said something similar that “its all grace, you just have to act like it isnt”. Which for me, or the meaning I take away from it is, I make my own decisions, I make my own choices, that I personally have to do some work as well to get the ball rolling, and the divine plan and this being will all be a part of that and working in tandem with me and will be there to hold my hand no matter what occurs, and things will happen for me as they are meant to. And then also having compassion for the part of me that is reticent, nervous and skittish as well.

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Hello beautiful people :heart_hands:

It’s been a beautiful Slow journey. However, I can now assess most situations and find the Divine gift in ea situation.

Just recently I had shoulder surgery and I was out of work for approximately 6 months. It had brought me to a place of Humbleness…

I had to pay close attn to my habits , my spending and realized that my thoughts & verbiage was either going to bring SUFFERING or Freedom.

I witnessed a divine unfolding… I can see the future not as a vision but as a higher level of Faith.

I can now see all is working out for my highest greatest for us all…

Everyday is a working awareness…. I fall and then I realize and then I fall again… Ea time I spend less time in the suffering (worry, doubt , self centered etc)

:balloon:

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Reading your post Zac reminds me that there have been several times in my life when I have called on a Higher Power and seen the result of doing so. The first, when I truly began believing in a Power greater than myself, was simply through what could be called coincidences in my life that occured soon after the heart felt prayer.

My infant daughter’s survival, experimental steroid treatment enabling her to come off the respirator and come home 5 months after her birth, came after following my Catholic grandmother’s advice through a book she gave me, asking that the DIvine take care of my daughter - putting her in the hands of the Divine. The next seeing my oldest daughter eating ice cream on the mall when I had been very worried about where she was and what she was doing. And the third, finding a place for myself and my two youngest daughters after joining with them asking for help so that we could all stay together. That has been 23 years ago now and no more miracles that I can identify in this moment…

Maybe I need to do more active praying rather than the “Your will, not mine” or “Let me do thy Will”, I’ll go back to asking for what I think I need. And then I think about what I have so often heard, “watch out what you ask for, you might get it, in a form you do not want.”

It is easy with hindsight view, to see a Divine plan at work, and sometimes in the middle of whatever, it is easy to forget. I am very grateful for Covid and the Community gathering through zoom and other online groups that has been generated by our very human desire for Connection, despite the forced isolation of the past years. That is quite a miracle for me as it has enabled me to reconnect with spiritual family and join this course here now.

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This teaching is so beautiful— “honoring the incarnation”
I am grateful for these words. I do believe there is such honest growth and love in failing or struggling, because we then have empathy to bring such light and awareness to our relationships, even those relationships that are wounded.

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Interesting…I haven’t been drawn to comment or read in the discussion for a number of days. It was just too much to “do” in my day. I got an e-mail kind of like…‘we’ve missed you…here’s a sampling of what’s happening in the community.’ At first I felt some guilt. Then it passed. Decided to take some time for community. Getting straight in this moment, means that I am doing what I can do…what I am called to do. I am sewing a wedding present. It is fun. I am creating with love.

I believe the Divine has a plan/a role/a love in all that I do and/or all that happens in my life. Divine is always calling me closer. Inviting me closer. It’s a beautiful love relationship. Sometimes, parts of everyday, I am not hearing/feeling the invitation and yet it is always present. I am experiencing much more grace with my day to day living and my practice.

This incarnation is messy and beautiful. Glad to take the time to catch up and ‘connect’ with those on the journey. Thank you for sharing and being a light to my journey.

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Seeing the divine plan in everything would help me rn with overcoming grief and trauma, as my partner committed suicide. Meticulously trying to understand what has happened made me suffer a lot.
This experience has been one of the most valuable lessons in my life, and I am continually learning through it.
It also helped me with making peace with my parents and understanding better their own issues, as they are people who were raised by parents who experienced war and other trauma.

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As I listened to the audio recording while partway through this lesson, my earbuds kept stopping. 3x this happened. Each time I got the earbuds working again, the recording slipped back a few minutes and restarted at the exact same place. I finally thought, “Okay. There may be something here I haven’t heard yet.” So I listened for the fourth time.

And there was something, a connection I’d not yet made. I gasped when it appeared. This was an important understanding for me.

I hope you can feel my deep gratitude for this course, and for all the bajillions of hours and love you all have poured into it. Namaste.

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Nina sending so much compassion and love your way as you navigate a difficult situation. Grief manifests in so many different ways and letting you know you have support here if you ever need it.

I love what you wrote about your parents. People only know what they know. That’s not to make excuses it just to position ourselves from a perspective that isn’t expecting or demanding too much from what is available. Namaste to you! Thank you for sharing :heartpulse:

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Thank you @Brittany_Ward :pray:t3:

Increasingly, I’d say, such an awareness makes living a whole lot easier. It’s like seeing a divine plan in everything enables me to release the need for control, while at the same time helping me to see that any illusion of control is only ever that: an illusion. This, in turn, frees up so much of my energy. It allows me to see the good in all. And, even when I struggle, and when it takes me a while to come to this idea, I know that I am not causing any more harm by my judgements and expectations of others, and of myself. It’s not apathy. It’s not that I can’t be bothered. But it’s allowing myself to be. Allowing others to be. Allowing it all to be. And knowing that I, we, are doing the best we can.

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I loved this section, Getting Straight, so relatable- and so many of the comments that everyone’s posted, especially the family stuff! I always loved the quote about how if you’re feeling super enlightened, go spend a few hours with your family. That has been me, and perhaps still is to a degree, but I’ve learned to accept that. After many years of no family contact, then years of limited contact, there was a situation that came up where I was the only one who was available to ‘adult’ for my aged mother. I didn’t have to but I accepted that service of responsibility and while my mindfulness regularly gets challenged in that role, I’m glad I accepted the call and am grateful for the lessons it’s provided.
Things have felt really good overall lately, beyond happy external events like the days getting longer and warmer. I think it’s more the shift in me, being open to the Divine, because not every single thing in my life is suddenly easy but it’s mostly acceptance and the extra agility that mindfulness can provide.
So grateful for this course and grateful for everyone sharing the experience :heart::pray:

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My biggest struggle recently is seeing the Devine plan with my children. I wont bore everyone with the sob story of divorce, custody struggles and autoimmune diseases and picky eaters. Let’s just say sometimes it’s a struggle when I care SO much about something’s with my girls, but it feels like the world is just making it harder…

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And, even when I struggle, and when it takes me a while to come to this idea, I know that I am not causing any more harm by my judgements and expectations of others, and of myself." - I’m not sure if I simply disagree with this statement or do not understand what you mean. Here’s what comes to my mind: I guess unvoiced judgements and expectations cause little harm, but for those of us who are very sensitive, even those can hurt. Believe me, I judge. I am forever apologising for my critical inner voice and sincerely hope that helps any that my thoughts harm or have harmed or will harm in the future. So writing this to you Louisa, in my mind, could be causing harm. If so, please know that I love you, I am sorry, please forgive me and I appreciate you. I really do not know; I am being honest and inquisitive about this statement.

Judging is my most troublesome companion and my practice is to recognize my judgement, forgive myself, ask for forgiveness if necessary, and simply accept and love. Here’s #6 Guideline from Attitudinal Healing: We respect ourselves and each other as unique; we recognize that each person’s process is imortant, not our judgment of it. So forgive me, Louisa! I think I was judging your process. Now, should I just delete this whole thing, or put it out there? Asha put it into my head, that this sort of thing is important to be said - actually, anything that I question, as others probably question it as well.

Namaste, Donna. It is no problem at all. I shall do my best to explain myself further. What I meant was, there is already so much pain and suffering in this world, and our judgements and expectations of others only add to that. They do not contribute to freedom. So, acceptance of what is, and of what people are - not to say that one allows another to walk all over them (I say, hearing Ram Dass in my ears), but, simply, you allow it/them to be without getting all stressed out and judgemental about it. It’s like the trees, and allowing each tree to be. This is what I meant. Because now, even when I am struggling with the conduct of another, it is more likely that I will take a deep breath and either, calmly, instate my boundary - trying to do so without harm - and/or I will just allow it to be. Before, I would try to change things. I would waste so much energy, it was futile. But it’s not like I don’t care and just can’t be bothered, it’s just that Ram Dass’ teachings have slowly, over time, allowed me to feel much more spacious about things. That’s all. Though, believe me, I am no saint, it’s just this awareness has enabled me to nurture a far greater sense of acceptance. I hope that answers your question, or at least provides a little more substance to the point that I was trying to make.

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:pray: well, Thanks is what those hands mean to me :raised_hands: sending deep appreciation for your time explaining that I simply understood it backwards and humility for misunderstanding. Yes, certainly our judgements add to pain and suffering. Yes, they do not contribute to freedom and Yes, acceptance is often my path! Thank you again! Namaste

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