The Raw Material of Your Enlightenment – Day 316 of 365 Days to a Better You

Everything in your life is there as a vehicle for your transformation. Use it!

~Ram Dass

Everything, literally everything, that comes into your experience is raw material for your enlightenment. Your suffering and your joy are the very stuff of your enlightenment. Your successes and your failures are too. Your loves and your heartbreaks and your epiphanies all are ready teachers eager to show you the way to a better version of you.

There’s never a shortage of building blocks for you to gain wisdom, be more compassionate, or expand your consciousness. You simply have to show up for class and complete the assignments, however challenging.

Here are five ways to convert your raw experience into greater awakening.

  1. Stop making value judgments – good or bad – about your experiences. Simply see every one as a teacher.
  2. Ask for the lesson in the experience to reveal itself.
  3. Be more committed to to your enlightenment than to the drama in the immediate experience.
  4. Be present for the lesson so you don’t have to repeat it over and over.
  5. Be courageous. Hardship and ecstasy are common. Given the chance, they can consume your consciousness and knock you off course for a whole lifetime. Face the challenge and keep moving toward enlightenment.

The alternative is to continue allowing your experiences to feed your ego rather than your awakening. If you’re ready to level up, here’s your opportunity.

In case no one else has reminded you today, YOU are awesome!

Ray

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15 Buddha Quotes to Live By – Day 251 of 365 Days to a Better You

Siddhartha Gautama, better known to the world as the Buddha, was born a prince in northern India about 2600 years ago. His father was told his son would either be a world king or a great spiritual teacher. Wishing his son to expand the power of his kingdom, King Suddhodana ordered that he be immersed in the richest worldly pleasures to prevent him from pursuing the spiritual path.

However, at 29, Siddhartha was exposed to illness, aging, and death. These were all forbidden knowledge to him. His charioteer, against orders, explained that all human beings, including one day the young prince, experience these things. Then he saw a monk and was awakened to his true life’s purpose. The rest, as they say, is history.

Beginning with his famous Fire Sermon, the Tathagata taught for 47 years. He left us a wealth of wisdom. Here are 15 quotes we can all apply to our lives.

All these centuries later, these words are easy to read, but the challenge of a lifetime to live.

  1. All that we are is the result of what we have thought: we are formed and molded by our thoughts. Those whose minds are shaped by selfish thoughts cause misery when they speak or act. Sorrows roll over them as the wheels of a cart roll over the tracks of the bullock that draws it. All that we are is the result of what we have thought: we are formed and molded by our thoughts. Those whose minds are shaped by selfless thoughts give joy whenever they speak or act. Joy follows them like a shadow that never leaves them.
  2. Let none find fault with others. Let none see the commissions and omissions of others. But, let one see one’s open acts done and undone.
  3. A mind unruffled by the vagaries of fortune, from sorrow freed, from defilements cleansed, from fear liberated — this is the greatest blessing.
  4. Therefore, bhikkhus, you should train yourselves thus: ‘We will develop and cultivate the liberation of mind by lovingkindness, make it our vehicle, make it our basis, stabilize it, exercise ourselves in it, and fully perfect it.’ Thus should you train yourselves.
  5. Radiate boundless love toward the entire world.
  6. Some do not understand that we must die. But those who do realize this settle their quarrels immediately.
  7. All conditioned things are impermanent’ — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering.
  8. Drop by drop is the water pot filled. Likewise, the wise man, gathering it little by little, fills himself with good.
  9. Irrigators channel waters. Fletchers straighten arrows. Carpenters shape wood. The wise master themselves.
  10. Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal.
  11. The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.
  12. Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.
  13. If you understood the power of giving as I do, you would never let a meal pass without sharing.
  14. The root of suffering is attachment.
  15. The greats of the past only show the way. You must walk the path yourself.

Namaste, my friends, namaste!

Ray

Ray Davis is the founder of The Affirmation Spot. He’s been studying and practicing personal development for 30 years. He’s also studied many of the world’s spiritual traditions and mythologies.

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Poem: Break-Through

I began this poem in 1993 and finished it in 1997. It describes a transformation from disappointment and heartache to selfhood. I hope you enjoy. Would love to read your comments.

hope“BREAK-THROUGH”

Free now of all reveling
in unimportant things.
Fraught with expectations
full of broken dreams.

Moving right ahead now
with visions grandiose.
Closeup of a happy young lady enjoying rainSummoning the courage
to conquer all my ghosts.

Knowing in the fullness
of the days that are to come;
my obstacles will fall away
and my fears shall be undone.

father and son on the sea on sunsetMindful in this moment;
connected to my fate.
My sense of separate self
begins to dissipate.

Dissolving now completely
into the cosmic whole.
All enters my awareness
I reach my final goal.

sun in handsKnowing for the first time
who I truly am.
I am Universal Mind
and it is but a man.

 

 

 

Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss.

Ray

Ray Davis is the founder of The Affirmation Spot. He’s spent more than 25 years studying personal development and especially writing, recording, and using affirmations to achieve his goals. His eBook – The Power to Be You – offers 416 life-changing and original quotes, ideas, and affirmations to take you to new levels of achievement and reflection.

anunnaki_cover_full_colorAnunnaki Awakening: Revelation, Ray’s first novel,  is turning heads and opening minds. Humanity’s past is checkered, secret, and dangerous.

White House Correspondent Maria Love is on to the story of her life and with the help of an Anunnaki leader seeks to unravel and reveal history’s biggest conspiracy. The Awakening has begun!

Affirmational Prayer for a Better World – The Affirmation Spot for Thursday September 10, 2009

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meditation_prayer_rsI ask this day that I might be an instrument of peace in the world. May I take care to think only thoughts that lead to a positive world for myself and others. Help me to bear in mind the effect my thoughts have on the world I come to experience.

May I join with other compassionate beings to lend my thoughts and efforts to creating a better tomorrow for us all. I am taking action to make the world a better place in every way I affect it today. May I find peace and healing for myself as I work to be part of the solution in the world.

Grant me the strength within to love all living things and to make a positive impact on all I encounter today. May I attract positive people and circumstances to me that I may be more effective in my undertakings. May no one be too important nor too unimportant to greet with a kind word.

I seek the strength to live completely in love, as I release all my fears. I grant forgiveness for all I hold against myself and for all I hold against another. May I be a tool for healing in the world. I ask for the fortitude to be the embodiment of selfless harmony to the extent I am able today.

I will be generous with my time, my resources, and myself to the best of my ability without resentment or reluctance. For I know that what I give others I give to myself as well.

I seek happiness, peace, and freedom from suffering today. As such I wish it for all other beings as well. I am thankful for all that I have been given. I am especially grateful for the beauty and harmony that exists all around me, if only I am willing to see it.

Finally, I seek a patient acceptance as events unfold in my life. Help me to see the big picture and not get bogged down by unimportant details. I understand that all my experiences are chosen by me at some level for my benefit. Thus, I seek to understand, to learn, and to open myself to every wonderful possibility.

Amen

(written circa 1993)

Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss.

Ray Davis is the founder of The Affirmation Spot. He’s spent more than 25 years studying personal development and especially writing, recording, and using affirmations to achieve his goals. His eBook – The Power to Be You – offers 416 life-changing and original quotes, ideas, and affirmations to take you to new levels of achievement and reflection.

anunnaki_cover_full_colorAnunnaki Awakening: Revelation, Ray’s first novel,  is turning heads and opening minds. Humanity’s past is checkered, secret, and dangerous.

White House Correspondent Maria Love is on to the story of her life and with the help of an Anunnaki leader seeks to unravel and reveal history’s biggest conspiracy. The Awakening has begun!

Wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh: Flower Insights – The Affirmation Spot for Monday May 12, 2008

Today’s entry is an extended passage from one of my all-time favorite books. This book meant so much to me at a time in my life when I was struggling. The book is Peace Is Every Step by the esteemed Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh. There is much wisdom here. Just for today practice being fully here.

There is a story about a flower which is well known in the Zen circles. One day the Buddha held up a flower in front of an audience of 1250 monks and nuns. He did not say anything for quite a long time. The audience was perfectly silent.

Everyone seemed to be thinking hard, trying to see the meaning behind the Buddha’s gesture. Then, suddenly, the Buddha smiled. He smiled because someone in the audience smiled at him and at the flower. The name of the at monk was Mahakashyapa.

He was the only person who smiled, and the Buddha smiled back and said, ” I have a treasure of insight, and I have transmitted it to Mahakashyapa.”

The story has been discussed by many generations of Zen students, and people continue to look for its meaning. To me the meaning is quite simple. When someone holds up a flower and shows it to you. He want you to see it. If you keep thinking, you miss the follower. The person who was not thinking, who was just himself, was able to encounter the flower in depth, and he smiled.

That is the problem of life. If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything. When a child presents himself to you with his smile, if you are not really there thinking about the future or the past, or preoccupied with other problems then the child is not really there for you. The technique of being alive is to go back to yourself in order for the child to appear like a marvelous reality. Then you can see him smile and you can embrace him in your arms.

I would like to share a poem with you, written by a friend of mine who died at the age of twenty-eight in Saigon, about thirty years ago. After he died, people found many beautiful poems he had written, and I was startled when I read this poem. It has just a few short lines, but it is very beautiful:

Standing quietly by the fence,
You smile your wondrous smile.
I am speechless, and my senses are filled
By the sounds of your beautiful song,
Beginingless and endless.
I bow deeply to you
“You” refers to a flower, a dahlia. That morning as he passed by a fence, he saw that little flower very deeply and, struck by the sight of it, he stopped and wrote that poem.

I enjoy this poem very much. You might think that the poet was a mystic, because his way of looking and seeing things is very deep. But he was just an ordinary person like any one of us. I don’t know how or why he was able to look and see like that, but it is exactly the way we practice mindfulness. We try to be in touch with life and look deeply as we drink our tea, walk, sit down, or arrange flowers. The secret of the success is that you are really yourself, and when you are really yourself, you can encounter life in the present moment.

Thich Nhat Hanh
Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life (pages 42-44)

Stay inspired!

Ray

Ray Davis is the founder of The Affirmation Spot. He’s been studying and practicing personal development for 30 years. He’s also studied many of the world’s spiritual traditions and mythologies.

Find more TAS motivational content.

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