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Monday, November 12, 2018

Consciousness and Breathing at the Shore of Infinite Kindness

I am a very fortunate woman. My husband, Tom Barrett, is Humble Kindness. It is at the core of his interactions with all that he meets. It was in his core in his years of being a mental health professional. He embraces wisdom in deep awareness of the foibles in the human experience. Now retired, he will continue to be a first responder when it is needed. 

Tom has offered a website Interlude: An Internet Retreat for many years now. He has lots of commendations and respect for his work. Unity churches have on occasion used his meditations. 

Last year he was one of the poets featured in Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems.  Others poets include Rumi, Rainer Maria Rilke, William Stafford and Pablo Neruda. He is in great company. Be sure to check it out. 

I am including below a meditation in his website archive. Kindness is never out of fashion and yet we need to be reminded now. This is something every student of life needs to be focusing on. Sit and share this with your children. 

I share it with you in it's entirety. Make more than a few moments to join him in his experience of the quiet. 

Breathing at the Shore of Infinite Kindness


"These two are the same in that each, from her own viewpoint, wants happiness and doesn't want misery. From my viewpoint, this one who seems so close now has been reborn as my enemy countless times. This one toward whom I feel hostile has been reborn as my mother countless times and has cared for me with love. Which one should I like? Which one should I hate? I will feel equanimity and be free from attachment and aversion to near and far."
from Asanga's Teaching of Great Compassion

"We are all in the same cart, going to execution; how can I hate anyone or wish anyone harm?"
St. Thomas More, written just before his beheading


Practice the following meditation to help you open your heart and to grow in compassion.

Settle down and take time to clear your mind. 
Let go of your immediate concerns and just sit and breathe naturally. 
Notice your mood. 
Let go of the emotions that come with the mood and just be free. Allow your emotions to empty out with each out breath. Each time you breathe in, bring in peace and calm. 
Think of a time when a kindness was done to you. A time when you felt valued; perhaps loved. Think of the person who granted you this kindness and made you feel whole and worthwhile. Breathe in the remembrance of kindness. Breathe out your thanks. Breathing in, feel the warmth of their compassionate regard for you. Breathing out, send them your gratitude.
Think of the grandmothers and grandfathers who cared for your parents. Think of your parents when they most loved you, whether you were aware of it or not.Think of the one who nursed you, bathed you and wiped your bottom when you were an infant. Imagine who did that for them when they were tiny.
Imagine in front of you all the kind women and men you know or have heard about. 
Think of those who serve others.
Think of those who gave their lives for the cause of goodness.
Think of those who nurse the sick and dying.
Think of those who teach out of love. Take your time and visualize these many persons as well as you can. Then multiply this collection of compassionate beings that you have in mind with the realization that you can imagine only a tiny fraction of the love, compassion, and service that flows in this world. 

Expand your imagining of compassionate souls by further extending it through time. Imagine the long line of mothers caring for children that became our ancestors. Imagine the fathers who spent their lives in hard labor to provide for their families. Imagine the women and men who gave their lives over the centuries to protect the ones they loved. 

See in your mind the healers who through the centuries and millennia worked to remove the pain of the sick. 

As if it were the scent of a beautiful flower, breathe in the love of those uncountable compassionate beings. Be assured that they, being kind, would give you this love freely.
Hold this love in your heart as if it were a wonderful sparkling jewel. Breathing in, enjoy the beauty of the shining jewel. Breathing out, let the light of the love that reflects in this jewel shine out from your heart.
Let the light from this jewel fill you with love and compassion for all beings. As the love of innumerable mothers and fathers, teachers, healers, protectors, servants and saints glows in your heart, feel in your heart what they feel when they give of themselves.
Breathe in this compassion they have lived and expressed.
Make the compassion yours, and breathe it out to the world.
Think of someone who has given you pain. Perhaps this is someone close to you. Perhaps you consider them your enemy. Think of them as tiny babies coming into this world of pain and suffering. See them growing up not getting all they needed. Imagine them in their dark moments of suffering. Shine your compassion upon them.
Wish for them that they had received more love. Allow the free flow of compassion that you hold in your heart to loosen your grip on the aversion you feel for this person. Let go of your hate, dislike, aversion.
Open to a compassionate neutrality regarding this person. You need not like the bad things they may have done or will do, but acknowledge that they must work through the sufferings of life, as we all do, and that they will have the misfortune of carrying the debt of their wrong doings.
As the sage has said:
"If it is natural for the immature
To cause harm to others
It is wrong to get angry with them,
Like resenting fire for burning."
Breathe in tolerance.
Breathe out compassion.
Release your clinging to aversion.
Draw in the freedom of unbounded kindness.


"Bless me to cultivate the spirit of enlightenment,
To save beings from the great ocean of existence,
Through the universal responsibility of love and compassion,
And the magic of mounting give and take upon the breath!"
Tibetan Buddhist verse supporting Tonglen practice

Have a great week! 

Janet Barrett
Life in the Beyond/Journeys Into Enlightenment


Monday, November 5, 2018

Consciousness and Going and Coming Home

We all have different feelings about home and what we consider home to be. It can be a physical house.

Home is an emotional/mental feeling of "I have a place here", a comfort and a deep sense of ease. It is what we feel when we are aligned within our spiritual fields. You can have a sense of home when your are in the mud of life. And it may be what we feel towards a person not a place.

It is what we all expect and want our birth home or childhood home to be. When that house is our home it provides a place of comfort and and enriched self identity that we may leave going out into the bigger world on quest. To find what was beyond our safe boundaries and into the unknown.  We are prepared with good tools of self identity and worth with curiosity at hand. We venture out then with occasional returns from time to time.

And if our houses don't fulfill what we all craved it to be then we may have left it in our rear view mirrors at a young age. Running as far away as we could. Feeling marked and diminished in any number of ways.

This sense of home is not of home but house. There is not much comfort there. It can leave a tangled messes of emotional knots as markers and placeholders in our stories and patterns of being as we go about in the world. Whether staying in the same community but different house or in a far flung community.

For some they will travel far looking. Looking for home in themselves if not in location. Looking to fill the loneliness of the lack of acceptance, love, appreciation, understanding of who they are with no quarter. They may spend lifetimes or huge chunks of a lifetime looking. Digging for the nourishment our beings need to prosper. It may lead to us exploring different philosophies, religions, spirituality and journeys of mind far from where we started but always in reference to.

Some of us will never go home. We go around empty, looking for love in all the wrong places and it is with cravings we can engage life. Drugs, sex, rock and roll, food can provide a momentary sense of connection  and it comes with a price of some sort. Dissatisfaction and feeling less than worthy seem to be part of the equation of judgments.

We may do great things out  in the world and still our deep sense of being is not home.

If you notice you can feel that this is changing in all the current uproar around us.

People are currently running away from places that are only house, hut, slum, taking their spiritual  home with them. Mankind have done this for as long as there have been people. We have all moved out of central Africa in order to exist. We are all immigrants.

Which brings me to my friend Boyd, who is in the midst of going and coming home. He is a great dude. Get past your judgement of a man who lives simply and he is a treasure among us. He has been clearing what he has found in his inner home so that he is in alignment inner and outer. He is choosing to do so now. It is the power in being big enough as Consciousness in a man to appreciate dynamics that one was too small or innocent to be aware of long ago.

Boyd is a cool guy. His being is tuned for expressing music and spirit in both composing and playing. His life has been about supporting others with keeping little for himself. He has been many places in the world and his service to others has always been foremost.

All along he has been refining who he truly is and knows himself to be. And now he is ready to go back to where it all began in this lifetime.

His birth house was a place to leave early. It did not feel like a home to him. His family members went their own ways. Some don't speak except in accusations or about the shame of asking for help and letting others know he needs a sharing hand. Already they have been expressing their ideas of who and where he should be in his life maintaining their wounded senses of self.

Is this ringing any bells in your life in our upcoming holiday season?

He is aware that this trek will require the kindness of those known to him and those not known. And that is a leap of not so much faith but in his truth that he is not alone in being who he is. He has been playing it forward a very long time. He is extending himself once again. Are there others who support him in being? He has narrowed his life down to the basics that his car can hold as he travels from his room in Oceanside, California home to Wellington, Kansas.

You can support him in his journey here.

You can buy a quantum supplement at his pureenergyrx.com business and enjoy his newsletter here.

Boyd provides a rhythm to life through his Mystic Broadcast Network featuring great music and thought provoking connections. "Tune in to the broadcast of oneness emanating from every point in the universe."

He represents all of us who wish we could go to our starting place. He will keep us posted.  He is confronting his families' agendas and compromises and clearing out the fog and "unsettled by others" sense that he has been holding in a long time.

Go to your home with him. Access the state of Heart Centered Awareness and feel your way along with him. He is you, you are him. Feel the shifts as he walks the steps and drives the miles of going home in his physical realm as he does in his internal realm. Utilize what he has explored in life and his different appreciations and modalities and spirit of questioning, curiosity and quest.

In our independence and self reliant states of self identity we can forget that there are others who go along with us on this journey of enlightenment in being. We forget. It is okay to allow others, as comrades in arms, maybe strangers. to comfort and support instead of turning them aside. So many of us are giving oriented and not receiving oriented which says a lot about us and our sense of home.

Many of our homeless neighbors showing up on our streets are looking for their sense of home inside in the scare of losing their physical house. Many other neighbors have a physical house that offers them no comfort or warmth no matter the income.

Home is always there inside each of us. We just need to realize that we are the key to the door at hand. Consciousness is present always.

It is not about where we go outside in the world it is about where we go inside ourselves.

Janet Barrett
Life in the Beyond/Journeys Into Enlightenment
janetb@janetandbeyond.com
www.janetandbeyond.com