~ Quotes by Peter Shepherd ~
Selected quotes and Commentary by Peter Shepherd, founder of Trans4mind.com
When we talk about spirituality it is either referring to qualities that have a spiritual nature, like compassion and love, even coming from an atheist. Also we may refer to God. We each have our own ideas about this concept, but it can only be one actuality. I consider God to be the universal creative consciousness, powered by love, that is indeed the source of those spiritual qualities.
By ‘universal’ I mean all-inclusive. All that is - or “All That Is” as they say in India. “Who is God?” is therefore the wrong question... but at the same time, we ‘feel’ God as a presence. As Jesus said, “My Father who art in Heaven.” And we ‘feel’ our Higher Self, our spiritual nature that is not contained only within this 3D material dimension. But because spirituality is all-inclusive, it is one and connected with Nature and all other Higher Selves, essentially. Like a mountain is one with Nature, even though it is an individual mountain.
What has all this got to do with personal development? Well, it's this spiritual connectivity, this Source, that is responsible for the inner knowing that each of us possess. Not intellectual knowing, valuable as that may also be in its way, but a knowing and guidance that exists intuitively and beyond, way beyond, our single mind. Since spirituality is essentially Love, we know that truth is always to be found in the path of love, and this is a fabulous guide that is available to each of us as we face our life challenges, as we search for insights and the best path to move ahead.
Our inner resource of Love, then, is more than equal to the challenges we face.
Painting by Agnès van Gaalen
Our self-judgment is based on beliefs and conclusions, some enforced on us, that have been long adopted and identified with and now taken for granted. Self-awareness means bringing these (and their accompanying deep feelings) forward to inspect, to be mindful and objective, without prejudice.
This is the path to authentic happiness. So what is happiness, really? Happiness is fulfilling your heartfelt desires, being fully alive. It's a subjective thing, of course, but I would say happiness arises when we are successfully doing what interests and excites us, especially when this benefits others as well, and even more so when we are able to share the experience with loved ones. As a result we perceive our life as meaningful and worthwhile, with acceptance and gratitude in abundance.
Authentic happiness requires self-awareness, being truly ourselves, fully awake in the present. Removing the cobwebs of the past is easier said than done, of course. So much invested in those old beliefs. But it's never too late to change the programming imprinted in childhood, carried in our genes or derived from previous lives. Realizing a truth that before was obscured can really open the floodgates to change.
It's up to each of us to get stuck in, to make our dreams come true, to live a life that is of value. If what we accomplish is easy, there's little sense of fulfillment in that. Our potential has not been realized. We didn't even try. If we fall short of a great goal, so what... we may still have achieved remarkable things and in the wider view, succeeded.
To turn our lives around, we need to build up our capabilities, to increase our knowledge and gain skills. If our goal is clear and worthwhile, to transform our lives, this self-directed education is just part of the fun.
It's best not to hold back your tears, nor inhibit the tears of others. Tears mean we care. Our tears reflect the compassion we feel for ourselves or for others... we share the suffering of love lost, the triumph of love gained and the relief of love regained. We feel the exhilaration of freedom discovered, the contentment of hopes fulfilled, and the beauty of self expressed. In truth, tears are divine.
We can get stuck in either phase and that would be a pity. To turn our lives around, we need to build up our capabilities, to increase our knowledge and gain skills. If our goal is clear and worthwhile, to transform our lives, this self-directed education is just part of the fun.
Perhaps we were taught quite the opposite, that self-respect is arrogance, that emotions are weakness, or we are ashamed of our past. Instead of learning empowering lessons from our experience, all the influences upon us cause us to learn that we do not deserve to connect empathically with others, and with ourselves. It's time to relearn such lessons.
The mantra "Live in the present" is so easily misunderstood. Cats and cows live totally in the present, so they don't get bored and sit fretting. But we humans have an additional timeline dimension to our minds that offers us perspective. There's a lot to be gained from the past - experience, learning and pleasurable memories on the plus side; or to hold us back - regret, not forgiving and resentment, for example, on the negative side. There's a lot to be gained from the future too - hopes and plans on the plus side, or worry and despair on the negative.
So we can take take full advantage of past, present and future - or let one or all of them drag us down. Writers like Eckardt Tolle that emphasize the power of the now, living in the moment, are not saying there aren't benefits to being conscious of the past and future, they're pointing out the pitfalls. That not being able to be in the now is problematic. Not being able to be consciously aware in the moment - because of attention being fixated by regrets and fears - denies us appreciation of our environment. It makes gratitude and the freedom to be creative much harder. And it makes us too focused on the Ego's weaknesses. It denies us the ability to be mindful, i.e. consciously a witness of our mind, so that we can see past our attachments to the past and delusions about the future.
As I see it not all of our thoughts originate in the brain. The brain is a transducer between our external mind and the body's nervous system. Where the external thoughts originate from is a non-verbal, aware mindfulness - intuition and intention, with free will. However, the majority of brain activity is programmed or reactive internal thought, without free will. That's how we're able to function as a body-mind with complex lives… but we can always change these programs and reactions by choosing afresh, in the present, consciously.
How we act needs discernment too. We need to act toward others as we would wish others to behave toward ourselves; otherwise what we do will return to destroy us. Love is the guideline, accepting and working to improve our own weaknesses, and understanding and forgiving the weaknesses of others.
Serving others offers great rewards. Serving at the expense of yourself - through propitiation or people-pleasing as a means of manipulation - comes with a huge cost that ultimately limits your ability to serve, and limits your ability to achieve anything through authentic commitment.
People are naturally somewhat afraid of emotions, in that they can be 'carried away' by them, even to lose themselves and their sanity if they are not careful. It is only really by truly experiencing, accepting and letting go that one comes to understand we are truly the master of emotions and not their slave.
Spiritual intelligence emerges as consciousness evolves into an ever-deepening awareness of matter, life, body, mind, spirit and soul. In addition to self-awareness, it implies awareness of our relationship to the transcendent, to each other, to the earth and all beings.
Removing the cobwebs is easier said than done, of course. So much invested in those old beliefs. Realizing a truth that before was obscured can really open the floodgates to change, which is why the establishment status quo goes to such lengths to cover up the truth of things, to protect their investments. As John F Kennedy said, "The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic." Truth fears no questions.
I believe in a multi-domain approach. We are not just one with God; nor just angelic beings; nor just a witnessing consciousness; nor just a creative mind; nor just a scheming ego; nor just a social being struggling to survive; nor just a lover, parent or friend; nor just a creature programmed by genes; nor just one with the super energies of the planet and the Universe. We are all of these things at the same time. A unified field.
Body, emotion, mind, soul, higher self, Source … subjective, objective … yours, mine, ours. These are not the same though they make up a whole. The level of truth we perceive depends on our awareness, responsibility and confront, hence the possibility we have for personal growth and advancement. When you’ve discovered a value that you’d be prepared to give your life to uphold, at the same time you’ve found a heartfelt reason to live.
Head and heart, body and soul... each have their role.
What is God? I don’t think of God as a voice that speaks, particularly as a man in the clouds who directs and creates our lives. I feel for each of us that voice is our Higher Self - but the higher self is One with God, our personal connection, so it amounts to the same thing.
We create our reality, and the more of us do so together, the more physical that reality becomes. So by raising our consciousness together and actively, we can literally change the world we live in. See the Love is All You Need
program at Trans4mind that we can all freely participate in.
Mindfulness is being the person you are in any moment, fully present to yourself and others in the here and now. Accepting realistically what is. Able therefore to respond, rather than to react, to the current circumstances. Mindfulness is not switching off, it’s switching on!
It’s also largely in the moment, spontaneous, and surprise follows surprise. It can be as simple as making a cake or talking with a friend, taking a decision, seeing things a different way, or visualizing a story.
Communication (expression and listening) leads to understanding leads to empathy leads to compassion. Compromise and agreements become possible, the way ahead shared.
Whatever you resist, persists. The healing route is the opposite of resistance, it is acceptance. The way out is the way through: to open up, release our feelings, accept and let them go. To face reality as it is, which is much easier with love in our hearts rather than negative interpretations and self-defeating beliefs. Fortunately love is our true nature and is unlimited in supply.
Love leads to connection and oneness, acceptance and compassion. It's the path we need to take, both to survive and to evolve. It's the path that more and more people are taking, so let’s play our part - indeed, let’s be leaders of that movement.
Nothing and everything at the same time, two sides of a golden coin... the big Zen paradox that has fooled thinkers for millennia, because it can only be experienced. It is the insight of enlightenment, beyond duality. We are spirit, not a material thing, and simultaneously we are not separate from any physical thing, nor from each other. Both spirit and the universe are simply expressions of Love.
We need a chance to rest and focus on activities, emotions and pursuits outside of work. Work, love and play are the great balance wheels of man’s being. Obtaining this work-life balance doesn’t just benefit our personal life, it benefits our capability at work as well.
Animals and nature don’t judge, they just are, as One - so we get this sense of Oneness when we stop thinking and just meld into the environment. Higher consciousness is aware of being aware, mindful so the fears and judgments can be put in their place rather than identified with; awareness, then, is founded on love and connectedness.
Articles, videos and audios by Trans4mind founders, Peter Shepherd & Wallace Huey.
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