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The Center for Common Sense Counseling
The "How" of Spiritual Recovery
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by Roland Trujillo
In order to recover, your soul must be willing to meditate—to be still and come before the inner Light, petitioning for another chance. When your soul is humbled, then it will identify with the Light and find innocence there. It can then safely observe what it did not want to see before. And it can safely view, in the Light, what it had allowed to work in it and through it in the past.
Proper meditation will give you mental distance to keep the outside on the outside. It will calm you down and make you less reactive. And it will permit you to deal with what has gotten in through past involvements.
Here are some analogous examples. The skin is designed to keep external things outside of the body. Can you see that mental distance does the same for the mind—keeping the outside on the outside? The kidneys, liver, and immune systems are designed to get rid of unwanted foreign substances that did manage to get in. In a similar way, the inner Light of Truth to which we have access via proper meditation helps you eliminate the residue of negative imprints that got in through past reactions. Also, can you see that just as the brain somehow does housecleaning overnight so that yesterday’s useless memories are gone, so we must learn to permit the Inner Light to houseclean troublesome memories and past baggage that weigh us down and affect the present?
Here’s another analogy. Hang a dirty towel out in the sunlight, and the sunlight will make it fresh and clean. Light has that magical quality. And God’s Light can make you right and whole, and shine on your path in life. This Light is what permits you to be aware and not just awake. And awareness will permit you to effortlessly screen out the bad.
As far as the world goes, it is all supposed to stay on the outside.
The example I always give is this: there are two ways to watch a movie. One where you are so caught up in the movie that you become oblivious to the movie theatre, and even to yourself. In this state, you feel as though you are part of the movie, or the movie becomes you. The second, and proper way, is to hang onto sentry level awareness, so that the movie stays out there. You can follow the events, note anything meaningful, and be mildly entertained. But you don’t forget yourself. You don’t become dangerously unaware of what’s going on around you. And you are not so lost in the movie that it can shock you, excite you, and even program you. Your mental distance is your safety. It is your protection from deceit, trauma, and finding something in you that does not belong there.
It is this slightly distant, neutral, somewhat reserved attitude that you must carry with you throughout life in everything you do.
Just a couple comments about how we usually try to keep the outside out. Some people seek to keep the outside from intruding by losing themselves in something else. The subway rider might don earphones and get lost in music. The bus rider might get so deeply into the newspaper he is reading that he becomes oblivious to the outside. But all that has happened is that the individual has gotten lost in something else. And this preoccupied state is what every pickpocket looks for in his victims. The result of hiding in music or reading is that we are even less in control of our environment and prone to be shocked by what sneaks up on us. And shock leads to the outside getting in—the very thing we were trying unsuccessfully to avoid.
Another faulty way of trying to keep something out is by resenting it. But resentment actually lets it in. Worse yet, the struggle we put up in resenting only makes us more sensitive to the increasingly irritating outside presence. Not only that, but our resentment and effort to suppress the memory of it actually gives it energy. As you undoubtedly have discovered: resenting has the reverse effect of what you are trying to accomplish.
We all also try to keep out the outside by immersing ourselves in thought or daydreams. But here again, we become lost in the daydreams and thoughts, just as if we were lost in a movie. Because your thoughts are not your own and because they are controlled by the outside or the indwelling spirit of the world, your immersion in thinking is just as bad as if you were totally caught up in something external.
As a matter of fact, what is wrong with most of us is that we are lost between our own two ears.
Bear in mind that most of your thoughts are not really yours. They are inspired by the world or controlled by the spirit of the world. The mental world begins with daydreams and pipe dreams and ends with worry and nightmares to which you become subject.
If your thoughts were really yours, you could control them. And if they were yours you could change them at will.
The answer is mental distance.
If you can be in a room with the TV blaring and not get lost in it, then you can also learn to observe thought without getting lost in it. You are never more vulnerable than when you are lost in anything, and that includes thoughts. Fortunately, the meditation exercise teaches a technique that permits the passive observation of thought, so that you don’t have to struggle with or suppress unwanted thought on the one hand, or go floating downstream with it on the other.
Because this is so important I will cover other aspects of it. But first I want to mention how to get out of your thoughts and how to be in the world without having it get into you.
First, it is important to learn how to remain calm and in your center. Any reaction to the outside results in trauma and the imprinting of the trauma scene. And any emotional reaction will leave residue, memories, and troublesome bodily responses. Even getting excited at a party or making something too important can leave a memory. I’m sure you can remember getting your first car, your first date, when your puppy got ran over, etc. When we are kids we are emotional and thus impressionable. That is why we need wise and protective parents. And that is why, as we grow up and become more mature, we are supposed to be calmer and less emotional.
When we are kids it is natural to be emotional and impressionable. But when this process goes unabated into adulthood and we don’t outgrow it, we go on to become emotional basket cases. And when our emotionality and impressionability involved unfortunate incidents to which we over-reacted, then these memories and impressions sometimes haunt us our whole life.
To forgive is to forget. But most of us do not know how to forget (without repression or suppression). And when someone hurt us, we think we have to like them and make up to them. But there is another way—the right way—which is to observe the memory of their wrong in the Light of Truth without adding a pinch of judgment or resentment. Passive observation is the way to “let go and let God.”
Learning to be less emotional is part of maturing. But, alas, some people never learn their lesson. They remain emotional all their lives, and it takes a toll on them physically.
Bear in mind that emotion can be suppressed or hidden. A man might appear to be calm on the surface, but underneath he is tense, has suppressed hostility or is all tied up in knots. Such a man can one day keel over from a heart attack or stroke, and everyone will shake their heads wondering what happened.
Proper meditation is the antidote to becoming upset and the equally harmful habit of suppressing the upset.
You need the modifying, freeing influence of the Light. You need to be saved.
May we recommend you listen to the Introduction to the Meditation? If you are sincere about discovering the truth, it may be just what you are looking for.