Freedom from suffering by Paying Attention

Freedom from suffering by Paying Attention Are we willing to listen,to be attentive?Do we try to listen with the understanding of the loving and wise heart or through the confused,disturbed mind?Do we listen only to those whom we like or told to like and believe in?When we truly listen to the words being said and not by whom is saying it,we may get the true message and meaning that might resonate,comfort and bring forth the innate wisdom within us.Are we ashamed of expressing our true feelings?Do we find ourselves in superficial/worldly chatter constantly which leave us feeling drained and wasteful.Perhaps we could also be shut in within ourselves,unwilling and afraid of sharing inner pains due to vulnerability of being ridiculed,chided,taunted and poked fun at,to be made to feel abnormal and insignificant?

Listening and expressing are vital parts and parcel of our every day living.Do we make that listening and expressing beneficial for our well-being and spiritual growth?We can ask ourselves often in quiet reflections and when probing into our conscience.Very often we may not have someone to truly sit with us to listen and allow us to express ourselves.Most often too we ourselves cannot do the same for others.I believe talking(dialogue) and expressing are important for us as humans to want to be heard and be allowed to release the inner energies that aid in the healing process.When we are given a chance to talk and express feelings openly and sincerely to someone who is willing to listen,we can start hearing and tune-in into ourselves,we can start deep listening to what we are trying to bring out/clear out of our inner being(cathartic) as a way of honouring and starting to be honest with oneself.

Sitting/being with a friend or someone close and trying to honestly talk and listen attentively/deeply can be draining so most times we are unable to share and open up.Fear locks us in the painful realm of our being.The danger of being unable and unwilling to talk and express,we keep ourselves battling inwardly/outwardly in superficiality(from egoic intentions) and pretense(trying to look good perhaps bad).The ongoing bottled aggression/resentments inside ourselves block the freedom to live consciously,in truthful wisdom and with open loving-kindness.Thus we allow anger,hatred,hurts,selfish pursuits and unhealthy habits to prevail.So what do we do?We seek a neutral party/person to listen to us and for us to express.Nowadays its not hard to do that,there are so many paths of accessing help to find some form of relief( a little is better than nothing at all) to release our inner anxieties,worries,heartaches, griefs,fears,problems,depressions and traumatic experiences,etc.We do not have to live with darkness within our being alone!There are the crisis hotline/helpline, any organization eg.alcoholic anoynmous/sexual addiction,church group,a Spiritual teacher,religious person(priest/nun/rabbi/monk),a kindly trustworthy person,a therapist,listening via audio/visual teachings,to self-help talks,etc.When we are creative and sincere with ourselves, the door opens to every form of possibilities!Oftentimes, we think we are ok,we deny that we need any kind of help and keep playing cool, as long as we can get away from facing the truth of our inner conflicts.Yes, I myself utilized many crisis organizations like alcoholics anonymous,seek spiritual counselling with a priest and nun and phone centres,etc.

When I hit rock-bottom in 1998,bankrupt to the bone(debts owing),lost,broken into pieces,spiritually parched,depressed beyond words and with failing health condition……I had only one way to go……..Into and Within Myself! I knew I had no one to talk to,no one who would listen to me with kindness and understanding as everyone was waiting to lash out at me for my own stupidity,stubbornness,wrongdoings and mistakes.Can anyone even imagine my terrors as I came back from nursing in Saudi Arabia in total disaster,I felt like there was nothing left of me!Now I can see that I was slowly dying to the ‘old-self’.I see the truth that intense suffering actually brought me back to Life!

Then I remembered an aquaintance,she was working as a receptionist at my dentist’s office and sometimes we chatted while I waited for the dentist.She told me at one time that she was seeing a good therapist for her relationship problems.I called her up and invited her for sushi dinner.At dinner, I asked for the name and number of the therapist that she was seeing.The first day I met Ardelle(therapist),I must say I was ‘cocky’ and desperate and terribly impatient to be freed from all my sufferings all at once! I told her that I dont want to waste time and needed her to help get rid of my problems.She was the most wonderful therapist that I had worked with. In a calmly manner,she said to me….”you have a choice to choose healing and be free from your sufferings or you can leave and continue to suffer,only you can help yourself”.I felt a hard slap on my face and chose to leave her office in a foolish rage that day.After much thought,I came back to see her and we continued faithfully working so well together 3x a week for one and a half years.I saw every aspect of myself that I had failed to see and acknowledgeI had a good look at every corner of my inner being by expressing and listening to myself open up honestly to Ardelle.

The good and the bad and every dark secret became no more a secret.Ardelle had assisted in helping me pull out the weeds that were destroying the beautiful garden of my heart.In place she helped me plant beautiful flowers simply by listening and supporting and encouraging.In my sessions with her, I had to be thoroughly honest and truthful.With her I was able to express myself fully without being threatened or fearful.She allowed me to be!

Can we find the time to pay attention to ourselves…to listen and to express our inner difficulties as well as triumphs(humbly) in order to be Free from the slavery of unnecessary suffering!

http://www.celestehoedenauthor.com

Do we follow Love or Ego

We have fearfully allowed the unawake, the limited,selfish and conditioned self have dominance and control in our lives that we have neglected and forgotten to courageously open the pathway into the Heart and set True Love to flourish.Thus we are confused as to which to abide with.

http://www.celestehoedenauthor.com

Do we Care for Ourselves?

In true wisdom of caring for oneself,is when we begin to ‘wake up’to question our human existence and purpose,when we can put forth this question…”who am I truly?” .

It is when we start to become conscious of our participation in all actions of living and ask truly….”what am I learning/gaining from doing what I am doing?”Caring for oneself becomes authentic when we start taking an interest in self-inquiry,moving slowly away from people,things and situations that no longer fulfill inner satisfaction,human growth and spiritual maturity.

To care is when we begin the need for quiet restful time and space,when we seek out knowledge from teachers of truth and search for answers that have been buried too deep within the self.To truly care for ourselves is when we make an effort to be truthful in saying that we don’t know what we are looking for but yet giving ourselves a chance to do something extra-ordinary, different,courageous,motivational and radical(sweetly shocking to others) apart from everyday mundane,customary,unfavourable, irrelevent(addictive)actions.

It is a time when we give ourselves top-priority to witness selflessness in the true act of wisdom.It is a moment when we realize we want to be a ‘better’ human in order to acknowledge our sufferings and not want to be a burden to oneself and others(not especially so to those we say we care for).

We may feel strongly about not loving ourselves or being hardened,bitter,angry,jealous,greedy,selfish,too addicted to various activities and feel that we don’t deserve to care for ourselves and so we justify our recklessness and negligences.We tell ourselves that we cannot change,we rather continue living the life we are so used to(unhappily,disharmoniously?)…but in truth NOW IS THE TIME to Care!And as humans with innate beauteous treasures Within,we CAN be awake and we can start NOW!

This caring could be going on a short retreat(organized or solo,if permitted due to covid restrictions),Joining a group counselling session(via zoom or alone with a therapist),AA/addictions associations,to be open to a spiritual group.

To be inspired to volunteer to give your time and heart in a animal shelter, a soup kitchen,food bank,any ministry in need of help that speaks to your heart’s call.

To go to the library/bookshops and be open to read self-help/spiritual books,listen to audio/visuals on teachings that speak of working with the human awakening processes/truth/wisdom.

Importantly to strive to become more honest with oneself in cultivating and practiciing kindly and humane conditions for oneself and those around us.

If we do not Care for ourselves,who can,who will?If the others are seeing that we do not care for ourselves,what impressions/teachings are we implying to them?For if we do not care for ourselves,can we say we care for others,can we say we want peace and happiness,can we be the spark to light the torch of Peace and Compassion for humanity?

http://www.celestehoedenauthor.com

Flow with the Current of Life(not against it)

When the mind is tired and busy with worries and anxieties and too much unnecessary unpleasant ‘story-telling’…….sit quietly in your own reverent presence,pay attention to the heart and bring it out into the open and it will speak of comfort and tenderness and loving, gentle resonance….listen to it,trust it and become it.In order to end unnecessary suffering,the mind must be disciplined on how to be silent/still and the heart to be unafraid to be left unprotected and opened so to allow all things to be.

When we fight,encourage resentments,argue and be defensive with Life, it is like foolishly wanting to swim against the strongest of current.But when we allow ourselves to flow with the current(letting go of all attachments and clinging),we glide swiftly to become One with the great ocean, with the Universal Consciousness.

http://www.celestehoedenauthor.com

Surrender

When we surrender arrogance….we become humble,gentle and flexible,willing to learn

when we surrender the darkness of hatred and resentment….we switch on the light of Grace Within,

when we surrender selfishness…..we become selfless,caring and understanding

when we surrender unkindness…we share benevolence,respect and goodness

when we subdue anger/aggression…we find peace, contentment and joy

when we calm the restless mind….the Heart opens to Love with no conditions

when we recognize our fears,transgressions and inner pains…..we can act with courage,faith,trust and vigour to warrant healing and transformation

Surrender is not a sign of weakness or to be associated as being defeated/enslaved.Surrender is the wisdom to know true inner power(strength) of letting go and being free from all impurites and negativities that does not perpetuate beneficial and wholesome living for oneself and others.

What are we willing to let go?

http://www.celestehoedenauthor.com

Present in Love

When Love becomes the only law we follow in deep understanding,wisdom,and courage,we allow the authencity of life to be lived out.This authencity of living is fearless and balanced in facing adversities,hardships,difficulties as well as happy moments.Love is all that we are,have and sustained by in the Presence of Awareness.

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A Novena of Prayer

Saturdays to me was a truly special day.It was a day, when I devoutly attended Novena(prayers and singing) church services in dedication to the Virgin Mary.As a born and raised Catholic,I was taught that this was an honorable thing to do …to be able to give the Virgin Mary homage, thanks and ask for comfort, blessings and succour.To me the Virgin Mary represented Motherly Love, kindness,warmness,tenderness, mercy and deep understanding.And so I went devotedly most Saturdays(I remember making every effort to do so).I went to ask earnestly despite my still very much being caught up in worldly frenzy,I went in deep reverence to pray for the loving attributes that this Blessed Entity represented.

How do we pray?

In and through my praying experiences,prayer becomes potent when it is short and it is said simply,earnestly and humbly,such as ‘Help me,’Give me strength and courage to go through this painful time,”Thank you,”Help me to face the truth,”Guide me,”May I be safe,”May so and so be safe,”May I find peace,’etc.When a prayer is said and repeated in a fervent,simple and short manner,it becomes a positive direct affirmation to help oneself gain presence,courage,relief,calmness,clarity and insight to face all difficult events.It helps us see and hear within our being of what is being said and why we say it.Simple prayers become transformative.We learn to make subtle changes within ourselves and follow up with positive actions of the words we say.
Therefore it is said that a child’s prayer is powerful due to its purity,simplicity and unadulterated supplication!
~~~~~~~ excerpt from ‘To Resurrect the True Self’ page 131-132 ~~~~~~

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Walking Peacefully in the face of violence

There was a special time,a time when my friend Doug and I walked with our hearts on the streets of ‘dangerous’ Downtown East side Vancouver,British Columbia,Canada,spiritually befriending the downtrodden,outcasts of society,prostitutes and drug addicts.I never felt threatened or unsafe or repulsed by the ‘dark activities’going on in that area.Who am I to judge or think that I was a ‘hero’trying to save them.NO! I was not there trying to play saviour or speak of a God or spread religiosity to try to convert them.
I was in fact there to learn from them,to be challenged in real-life learning lessons ……to break my heart open to the terrorizing,painful suffering that I relate with them in a different scenario.Humility was the biggest lesson I had to cherish as it was not easy sometimes to be hurled with obscenities and with their rough,crude and toughened mannerisms.I learned to love sincerely, to hold them, to accept them in whatever state they were in,to laugh and cry and share with them and kiss them and wipe away their tears,allow their tears to flow on my jacket/shirt.Most of them are infected with the Aids/Hiv virus and were scarred with sores and visible infected marks on their bodies.It could be very unsightly to look at,I never saw it as a hindrance to be with them.To look into their eyes and tell them that they are loved and not to be afraid.It was a joyful,fulfilling time when they would run and rush forward to be hugged and held and smiled at,there was a tiny one(Doug and I would call her little Ashu) who simply liked jumping on my back like a little monkey.

There were also disheartening times when they would shun,deny and reject any form of kindly contact.

Despite the subtle chaotic,harmful violence being visibly witnessed through the self inflicted suffering these people are causing to themselves(by way of openly shooting up,overdosing,dealing in drugs,watching the johns and ladies engaging in bargaining for sexual favours,yelling and screaming profanities,the frequent sounds of screeching,deafening ambulance/police sirens) ;I walked through the streets in peaceful and loving expression not of or for their activities but in compassion for their pain and ignorant/wasteful suffering.From witnessing these painful states, I was gaining access into my own self-created and unnecessary sufferings and vowed to purify myself of misery.Suffering helps us to look into suffering and then its up to us to want healing for it.

Once Doug,who remains a dear friend till today,invited his friend a priest(Fr.River) from Seattle,USA to join us in walking on the streets.While walking Fr.River suggested that we have a celebration of Mass right there out on the streets.Both Doug and I were joyous at the idea!So we stopped in front of a McDonald’s fast food joint and bought whatever we could to use,bread for communion host,probably pop in paper cups as wine and we spread paper napkins on the ‘dirty’floor.We sat on the floor in peaceful reverence for that sacred ceremony while chaos was going on right there around us.We gently invited the people on the streets to come join in if they liked to.To our surprise,some did respectfully sit with us to celebrate that lovely,lovely time of meaningful celebration of love on the streets.Fr.River showed courage,sincere fearlessness flexibility,spontaneity,humility,kindness and a true healing/sharing and peaceful spirit in the face of subtle violence and confusion.

As I look at this experience, I envision what the historical Jesus Christ would have done in his time and era as he was going about teaching, sharing and projecting peacefulness in the time of hatred,strife and anger over the Roman rule of his country Jerusalem.Despite violence and plotting against the Romans(Romans against the Jews and vice versa), Jesus taught compassion,charity, kindness,forgiveness and peaceful resolutions…..he taught only to look Within the Self to find the ‘Kingdom of Heaven in there’He did not bother with the chaos going on nor did he encourage anger and hatred.He invited people to find healing within themselves.
So what can we learn from this……do we get influenced by the turmoil going on in the present day world or do we find peace and love and compassion to offer to the pain of the world?

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