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https://demo.amraexperts.com Mon, 31 Aug 2020 18:46:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 October 2020 https://demo.amraexperts.com/october-2020/ Thu, 01 Oct 2020 01:00:04 +0000 http://allanillusion.com/?p=924

I have to confess that at the start of the virus crisis I was as scared as anybody. I didn’t want to go out except for exercise and I was very careful about hygiene—washing hands, wiping down surfaces etc. But I realised that I was reacting from a place of fear, which seemed reasonable enough given that it is a particularly dangerous type of virus.

But in more recent months I have come to look at it from a different point of view. My spiritual teachers have explained how fear is an emotion that lowers the immune system, and this is the last thing we want to do when confronted with a virus. They stressed the need to boost the immune system by being out in nature, in the sunlight, by eating organic food, as much as possible, by exercising regularly, by getting enough sleep, by doing the things we love, by being creative—painting, music etc. The stronger the immune system, the less likely we are to succumb to the virus and the less likely we are to suffer serious consequences, if we do catch it.

I believe that there are other things we can do as well to boost the immune system such as taking certain supplements and health foods although pure non-dualists would probably disagree with that. But while we seem to be in this third dimensional world, there are things that can help us have a healthy body-mind.

However, another even more important thing my teachers taught me was about maintaining a high frequency all the time. Everything in the universe has a vibratory rate and my teachers explained that we would not catch the virus if we could maintain a high frequency, because the virus itself is of a very low frequency. Our frequency would not match that of the virus. This is a very different way of looking at the issue, and it has given me a great deal of confidence and courage. So now I do go out and I am not immersed in fear. I try to be positive and confident when I am out and about, although of course it is important to take the necessary precautions that we are advised to take. Furthermore, I have learnt that when we are joyful our frequency will remain high; when we are angry, depressed or upset, it will plummet.

We are told that there are only two emotions: fear and love. Fear comes from the ego and it came into being when the ego was created at the time of the separation from God. Before that there was no fear because we were in a state of oneness and peace. As for the other emotion—love, that’s the one to cultivate through forgiveness and non-judgement, through being joyful and through the recognition of our total oneness with each other and with God.

September 2020 https://demo.amraexperts.com/september-2020/ Tue, 01 Sep 2020 01:00:22 +0000 http://allanillusion.com/?p=919 A Course in Miracles (ACIM) Lesson 304 describes how our thoughts manifest our reality; “…Perception is a mirror not a fact. And what I look on is my state of mind, reflected outward…” W451. So, if we experience anger directed towards us for some reason, then this is an indication that we have anger hidden inside us that we might not have been aware of. This is actually a good thing, because it shows us that we still have healing and releasing to do.

Although it is tempting to blame the other person, the sensible thing to do is to be thankful that he or she gave us the opportunity to release some of the darkness within our egoic minds. All the darkness within us (which, according to ACIM, stems from the fear and guilt resulting from initial act of separation from God) has to be brought up for healing, before we can enter the Light. As we let go of the darkness and become more loving and forgiving, this will be reflected back to us in our everyday lives.

August 2020 https://demo.amraexperts.com/august-2020/ Sat, 01 Aug 2020 01:00:51 +0000 http://allanillusion.com/?p=917 The Zen Master Huang Po said: “…these mountains, these rivers, the whole world itself, together with sun, moon and stars—not one of them exists outside your minds!…Outside Mind there is nothing…not a hairsbreadth of any of them exists outside the concepts you have formed for yourself!” The Zen Teaching of Huang Po, p.81. Similarly, we read in A Course in Miracles (ACIM), “The world you see has nothing to do with reality. It is of your own making, and it does not exist.” Workbook p. 23.

Mind control was the cornerstone of Huang Po’s teachings. He said the only way to experience enlightenment is by getting rid of all conceptual thought and clinging to nothing whatever in this world. And in ACIM Jesus says all our self-concepts, beliefs, roles, etc. come from the ego, which wants us to believe we are separate individuals with private thoughts and private minds. These are obstacles to enlightenment, which hide the presence of Love within us. And like Huang Po, he says there is only one Mind, which we share with each other and with God. The difficulty for us lies in the seeming “reality”

July 2020 https://demo.amraexperts.com/july-2020/ Wed, 01 Jul 2020 01:00:20 +0000 http://allanillusion.com/?p=914 These past few months have been rather sad months; each day we read about people dying and some of us have recently lost people we love. Having time on my hands, while living alone in isolation, my mind sometimes wanders back to my departed parents and to others who have died who meant a lot to me. So, when I feel I need some consolation I recall these wise words of the Bhagavad Gita, which I have now learnt by heart:

“…The wise grieve not for those who live; and they grieve not for those who die—for life and death shall pass away. Because we all have been for all time: I, and thou, and those kings of men. And we all shall be for all time, we all forever and ever.

As the Spirit of our mortal body wanders on in childhood, and youth and old age, the Spirit wanders on to a new body: of this the sage has no doubts.”

(p.49, The Bhagavad Gita by Penguin Classics, translated by Juan Mascaró)

It helps to remember that our spirit is eternal; the spirit of those we love is eternal; life is eternal. The short years we spend on this planet living in a physical body have little effect on the eternal nature of our soul or spirit.

Again, the Bhagavad Gita reminds us: “For all things born in truth must die, and out of death in truth comes life. Face to face with what must be, cease thou from sorrow.” p.50.

I remember those words also when I think of all the loving cats who have shared their lives with me and then too quickly departed.

The important thing (and the difficult thing) is to remember that we are not our bodies. We are eternal spirit having a temporary physical experience. God has given us the gift of eternal life—just not in physical form. Our spirit cannot die. It is only the body that dies.

“…the Spirit is beyond destruction. No one can bring to an end the Spirit which is everlasting…The Spirit that is in all beings is immortal in them all: for the death of what cannot die, cease thou to sorrow.” p.51.

June 2020 https://demo.amraexperts.com/june-2020/ Mon, 01 Jun 2020 01:00:44 +0000 http://allanillusion.com/?p=911 In the Way of Mastery, p.354, we read: “…the things of time are like the waves that arise from the ocean—because they have a beginning, they will have an end. In their beginning, their end is certain. Only a fool would create loyalty to that which is temporary, temporal and ultimately, unfulfilling. But the wise of heart have decided to place their value on that which is eternal. And what can be eternal save God? And God is but Love.”

Those words resonated with me as I look around me and notice that nothing is enduring in our world. Our children grow up and leave home; our careers change and eventually we leave them behind in retirement; we may move from house to house over the years; relationships come and go, etc. We could feel some sadness if we dwell upon the impermanence of life. The antidote is to find pleasure in things that do seem to last a while, such as the beauty of nature, a creative hobby, a passion or a cause of some sort to support.

It’s also helpful to bear in mind that even though good things come and go in our lives, the same can be said for things that aren’t so good. The current world situation is an example. One day this too shall pass and we will move on with our lives again. Maybe in some ways we will be transformed forever, but life will return to some semblance of normality when the virus has been overcome.

The thing to remember is that nothing lasts for ever. As the Buddha once said: “All conditioned things are impermanent’ — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering.” Dhammapada, Verse 277.

May 2020 https://demo.amraexperts.com/may-2020/ Fri, 01 May 2020 01:00:52 +0000 http://allanillusion.com/?p=908 What can be learnt from the situation in which we now find ourselves? The first thing that strikes me is that we are all in this together, wherever we live on the planet. We are all going through the same anxiety, difficulty and, in some cases, suffering. Suddenly, differences such as race, nationality, religion and social status are no longer important. Perhaps now, as we have a common goal—to fight off the virus—we will be less inclined to fight with each other.

Secondly, now that we, in the western world, are learning to make do with fewer supplies and a little less food than before, we will be more empathetic towards those in other parts of the world who have to survive on very little all the time.

Thirdly, maybe we will treat the environment with more respect and with less wastage as we try to make things last a little longer, e.g. tissues, washing powder, some food items, etc.

Fourthly, our standards of hygiene will improve, and we will probably wash our hands more frequently and more thoroughly from now on.

Finally, one of the most important things to realise about our current world crisis is that we are all reacting to it in the same way, i.e., all taking the same precautions to protect ourselves. Also, we are trying to learn from each other and, hopefully, to share what we have learnt as we try to overcome the virus. Cooperation has therefore become much more important than competition. So, maybe we will all finally begin to become aware that we are all one. This crisis may end up uniting the world.

April 2020 https://demo.amraexperts.com/april-2020/ Wed, 01 Apr 2020 01:00:23 +0000 http://allanillusion.com/?p=905 Time and again those who are on a spiritual quest are reminded that they are far more than just a physical body. In fact, if we think that the body is all we are, it will be very difficult to awaken and achieve Self-realisation

The well-known Indian sage, Ramana Maharshi points out in Ramana, Shankara & the Forty Verses, “Remember that he who associates the I sense with the body and its faculties is bound, while he who does not is liberated.” p. 46

Similarly, an affirmation that we come across numerous times in A Course in Miracles is: “I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.”

Yet, the physical form takes up so much of our time. We need to feed it, wash it, give it rest and exercise, provide shelter for it, etc. It takes up too much of our attention and of our time. So, how do we remember that we are not this body? Sleep comes to mind because when we are asleep, we are finally unaware of the body as we wander off in slumber land. But meditation is very important although it is more difficult to completely disregard the body during meditation than it is in sleep. Yet, if we are able to do so, then meditation is very helpful because we turn our attention within and lose awareness of the body.

In Lesson 13 of The Way of Mastery Jesus tells us: “In truth, you are pure Spirit. In truth, you are as I am…. At no time—at no time—are you limited to the appearance that you have come to believe is you…” Then on page 155 we are given an affirmation: “…I am unlimited, pure Spirit and nothing is unavailable to me…” These words are very empowering and helpful to remember especially when the body is suffering or is in pain.

I have had the opportunity to remind myself of this recently due to a very painful condition, which fortunately is getting better. Despite the pain I often tell myself that this little body is not me. My infinite Self or higher Self is at peace and feels no pain at all, as it has no physical form. When we think of ourselves in this way, it gives us a sense of freedom and helps to minimise the fear of death.

March 2020 https://demo.amraexperts.com/march-2020/ Sun, 01 Mar 2020 01:00:24 +0000 http://allanillusion.com/?p=902 Speaking of the ego, author James Swartz in his book, ‘Meditation – An Inquiry into the Self,’ says: “The ego is the part in each of us that has split from the Self and set up business on its own. A product of Self ignorance, bedevilled by an unappeasable emptiness, it is a synonym for desire, the fear-driven power thought to correct the (unconscious) separation from the Self,” page 88.

This description says it all. The words, “an unappeasable emptiness,” in particular, resonated with me. As we grow older and have more time on our hands, we can become acutely aware of an unappeasable emptiness in our lives. And this may well afflict millions of elderly people, who spend most of their time in front of the television. The antidote to this emptiness is to have a spiritual path as well as a hobby or two, the desire to keep fit by eating healthily and taking daily exercise and indulging in a creative pursuit such as music, art or a craft of some kind. Most important of all is remembering that our goal is God.

And this is how Jesus describes the ego in the Workbook of A Course in Miracles, on page 467: “The ego is idolatry; the sign of limited and separated self, born in a body, doomed to suffer and to end its life in death…The ego is insane. In fear it stands beyond the Everywhere apart from All, in separation from the Infinite….” These are excellent reasons for making the effort to overcome the ego altogether.

On a more positive note, Jesus continues: “The Son of God is egoless…What can he know of sorrow and of suffering, when he lives in eternal joy?…when all there is surrounding him is everlasting peace, forever conflict-free and undisturbed, in deepest silence and tranquillity?” (When Jesus refers to the Son of God, he is referring to each and every one of us, because he says we are all children of God.)

It is helpful to realise that we will, one day, live in “everlasting peace, forever conflict-free and undisturbed,” as we look at this world and see the exact opposite. Those words are motivating and uplifting and are a very good reason to pursue a spiritual practice, which will lead us out of the darkness of the world of the ego and into the Light of the Kingdom of Heaven.

February 2020 https://demo.amraexperts.com/february-2020/ Sat, 01 Feb 2020 01:00:07 +0000 http://allanillusion.com/?p=899 A prominent author and spiritual teacher said recently that we may need to leave behind our spiritual teachings and come to the realisation that God, Whom we have been searching for, resides within us. I think he was implying that we should not be too attached to our spiritual teachings or scripture, because, as Jesus once said, “The Kingdom of God is within.”

Therefore, whilst we do need to have a spiritual teaching to guide us on our way, at some point, we may be able to leave it behind. We shouldn’t be attached to it. It is like when you cross a river, you need a boat. But when you reach the other side, you leave the boat behind. However, for the majority of us who haven’t yet reached the other side, a spiritual teaching will still be needed.

A Course in Miracles (ACIM) is so beautifully written, after 13 years of studying it, I still dip into it quite frequently for inspiration and guidance. Yet, I no longer feel the need to go to spiritual workshops, conferences and gatherings. What matters is putting into practice the essence of what I have learnt, which means practising forgiveness at every step of the way. And that is quite a mammoth task.

In A Course in Miracles Jesus says in Lesson 189 of the Workbook: “…Hold onto nothing. Do not bring with you one thought the past has taught, nor one belief you ever learned before from anything. Forget this world, forget this course, and come with wholly empty hands unto your God.”

I realise that, at some point, I will have to leave behind even the teachings of ACIM.

January 2020 https://demo.amraexperts.com/january-2020/ Wed, 01 Jan 2020 01:00:20 +0000 http://allanillusion.com/?p=896 A prominent author and evolutionary biologist said recently that people would do bad things if they thought God was not watching them. Perhaps he meant that the fear of God punishing them in the afterlife would prevent them from committing a crime.

I stopped to think about that, after reading it. I asked myself why don’t I commit any crimes? I realised that the reason I don’t is not because I believe in God. I wouldn’t, for example, steal something from someone for two reasons. Firstly, I believe in karma—you reap as you sow. And, secondly, in hurting someone else, I believe I would be hurting myself because, in reality, there is no other. There is only one of us appearing as 7.7 billion people on this planet and countless others on numerous other planets. Fear of God doesn’t come into the matter. God is love not fear. Fear only exists in the illusory world of the ego. Nonduality teaches us that there is only God and we are part of Him.

A Course in Miracles, Lesson 156 highlights the concept of nonduality in this way: I walk with God in perfect holiness. I light the world, I light my mind and all the minds which God created one with me.”