“Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.”
— Will Rogers, humorist
We’ve all had the unfortunate experience of finding ourselves at some social event where we didn’t know a soul in the room. And if we were really unfortunate, we had the awkwardness compounded by finding ourselves face to face with someone talking with us while his or her eyes were speaking to everyone else in the room! How did that make us feel? Probably like the least important person in the room…to that particular individual. How one little experience has the power to set the tone of an entire evening!
On the other hand, suppose instead that we find ourselves face to face with someone who looks directly into our eyes during our conversation, undistracted by anything or anyone else in the room. A different experience entirely, no? While there are always exceptions, the Outer Man tends to look beyond and around you, while the Inner Man looks directly into your being. But there’s more to this than…meets the eye (sorry)!
The Inner Man by definition is more present (within himself); whereas the Outer Man is…outside himself. He is elsewhere! And there are lots of places in elsewhere…Regretsville, Expectation Station, Fort Anticipation, etc. And it’s even worse than that. Not only are these places the greatest obstacles to our spiritual practice, they are very bad places for one simple reason. They each rob us of this very precious moment of being in the here and now. BTW, some of you have shared with me the difficulty you are having with your meditation practice. This is exactly why! We can’t expect to move from Outerville to Innerville overnight!!! Especially when most of our belongings are still in Outerville!!
A great way to put this to the test would be to randomly select a dozen people from the floor of the NY Stock Exchange and put them in Room A. Then, pull a dozen people randomly from the grounds of the Kadampa Meditation Center and put them into Room B. Now spend 15-20 minutes mingling with the guests in Room A, and then 15-20 Minutes in Room B. You will be amazed. It would be very interesting to do this blindfolded as a second experiment…and then blindfolded with earplugs to remove ALL sound as a third! But we’re only just beginning to scratch the surface my friends.
Is it not a well-known and accepted fact that the more one practices anything, the better they become at it? If we accept this as fact, then we know that the more we practice living an inner life, the better we will become at it! This is why the Inner Man can see what the Outer Man with 20/20 cannot. He can hear what the Outer Man with perfect hearing cannot. And he can feel what is beyond the reach of the Outer Man.
With these things in mind, here are some wonderfully simple Inside Training Techniques for today’s session on the here and now:
1) Instead of turning on the car radio to our favorite news or “talk show” host, leave the radio off on our way to the office today. Focus on our intention, our breathing and clearing our mind instead. The radio is outer, and the silence is inner. (And if you’re really feeling adventurous…continue this practice on the way home too!) Confession– This is VERY difficult for me! 🙂
2) Throughout the course of your day, wherever you are, whatever you are doing…practice invoking the presence of God (Simply think God.). You will find that you can do this and chew gum at the same exact time! (If your faith is Buddhism, you will invoke/think Buddha…Hindu- Krishna, etc. If you are an Atheist, think of a tranquil mountain stream in Banff, or a clear blue sky on a sunny day.)
3) Think about the things in your life you are grateful for at least 3 times a day. It would be ideal to practice this before each meal either incorporating it into “grace” or prayer with your family, or just a silent prayer of gratitude in your mind before the meal.
4) Make it a point every day to acknowledge someone…family, friend or colleague whose very being makes a positive impact in your life. Look them in the eye, physically connecting with them by taking their hand or placing your hand on their shoulder…and let them know it!
5) Keep a diary or daily journal…to track your journey, and to describe the experience of your transformation…to your self!
6) We tend to be elsewhere…even in the shower. Be here and now in the shower every morning AND practice our visualization technique by feeling and experiencing the water as pure divine healing energy straight from the heavenly source washing over and through every fiber of your being…cleansing, purifying, refreshing and recharging you to your very core.
7) Forgive an old transgression…and mean it! Look them in the eye, take them by the hand, and hug them. Then sit quietly and feel the burden lift. You can do this in you heart if they are unavailable, or have passed on.
8) Sing in the shower, sing in the car, sing in the yard. (I used to sing my heart out in the cemetery that I had to walk through on my way to school and church…no critics!)Joplin’s immortality came as a result of singing from a place where there is no yesterday and no tomorrow!
9) Wear a piece of jewelry as a physical connection to your inner being. (I wear a Celtic Knot which actually is a symbol of the infinite spirit, and a ring with a prayer inscribed from the Old City of Jerusalem…both gifts from my wife).
10) Say the following words to yourself every single day, “I am the soul…I am the light divine. I am Love, I am Will…I am Fixed Design.” (I recite it before my “old man” stretch every morning!)
When I was a kid, I used to sing this one particular song with my father a lot…
Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above,
Don’t fence me in.
Let me ride through the wide open country that I love,
Don’t fence me in.
Let me be by myself in the evenin’ breeze,
And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees,
Send me off forever but I ask you please,
Don’t fence me in.
Friends…every day, in every way imaginable they are slappin’ another fence post in the ground around us! The mosh pit of misery we have created for ourselves is a virtual black hole that sucks the Outer Man in like a speck of dust. Buffet feeds the beast ($5 Billion to BofA) after a call from the President, while Bloomberg REJECTS PRAYER at the ceremony marking our greatest tragedy…and the Church as a body, sits silently like an old man with no teeth staring at an ear of corn!
Know these two things: 1- Outer Man is not strong enough to resist the black hole. 2- Every inner step is amazingly powerful.
Think about it! Today’s newspaper is practically a cover to cover story that can be summed up as Another Big Strong Man Falls From Grace! Outer Man can never be satisfied, which is a huge part of the force that sucks him to the hole. Also, as we have evolved from Inner to Outer Man…we have moved further out and away from our inner being. This is why everything needs to be shinier, louder…grander! Just how big can a Flat Screen get???
Pay very close attention and listen with your heart here…this will be the sweetest take-away of this morning’s session! Every inner step is amazingly powerful! Many of you will attempt the steps above and fail. You’ll forget and become frustrated, and may even be tempted to give up. Who likes to be frustrated? But here’s the wonderful little secret! Just the thought of taking the step towards the Inner Man moves you light years beyond the boldest step from the Outer Man! This is a Quantum Physics Fact my friend…Inner Progress is Powerful in the most subtle of measures!
If you remember the movie Apollo 13, you will understand this fact. When the space vehicle was crippled, and the NASA scientists had to calculate the exact trajectory for re-entry…they touched on this. The closer to origin, the smaller the margin of error and tracking variability. The further away from source, the wider the margin of error and tracking variability. So…DO NOT GIVE UP! A whisper from here is way more powerful than a shout from there!
We need to pull a Washington here my friends! Because, make no mistake, they are coming for us! The Global Elites need to control the herd! Many historians would argue that our quest for freedom would have ended in Brooklyn had Washington not evacuated his entire army across the East River to Manhattan on the night of August 29th, 1776…while the British troops slept! I am not suggesting that we can transform ourselves from our Outer Selves to our Inner Selves overnight. What I am stating with certainty is that the mere thought of doing so will have an amazing ripple effect that will carry you much farther than you can imagine! We are already doing this my friends. For every one of us who awakens, three more will do the same from our individual energy and perseverance. God Bless and see you next week! Until then, savor the here and now…it is all we really have!