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Appendix B Live-Withs

Ray, Michael Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

SOMETIMES WHEN I give people live-withs, I just give them the title without any instructions. They relate to the admonition with a sense of discovery based on what they know and need. They then create their own way of practicing the live-with. In many ways the results from this no-instruction approach are more profound because people are more resourceful and creative.

So below find a list of live-withs that you can use in this way, perhaps on the basis of the challenge it represents, or a need you have or maybe just because you like the sound of it. You’ll see some that are already in this book, so you can get instructions for those. But in most cases, you’re on your own.

To Develop Faith in Your Own Inner Resources

Have No Expectations

I Don’t Know

If at First You Don’t Succeed, Surrender

Let Go

To Diminish Your Inner Voice of Judgment (VOJ)

Psych Out the VOJ

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Chapter 5 Turn Your Fears into Breakthroughs

Ray, Michael Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can

And the wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time

Enjoying one moment at a time

Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace

—from the Serenity Prayer

YOU HAVE LIVED OUT THE BLESSING of the Serenity Prayer at times in your life. You became serene, had courage and drew upon your natural wisdom. You could do these things because you were present, and you walked into situations that tested you as part of your path to the highest goal.

Like most of us, you probably taste this peace only occasionally. Still, that means you know it. You’ll begin to understand how you can have this experience all the time by facing the challenge of time and stress, which is the subject of this chapter. The grounding of the highest goal allows you to see your fears for what they are: information and energy you can learn from and turn into opportunities of the most lasting kind.

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Chapter 2 Travel Your Own Path

Ray, Michael Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

WHAT DOES THE HIGHEST GOAL mean to you right now? Is it an unattainable myth? A worthy support? Something that helps you on your journey through life? Something that sounds good, but should be avoided because it is reserved for a select few?

Consider the words of Sakyong Mipham, a Tibetan Buddhist and author of Turning the Mind into an Ally. When he was asked whether enlightenment is a goal or a process, he answered, “I think enlightenment is our nature.”1

It is your nature, too. The process of finding your way to the highest goal, which Mipham calls enlightenment, is what makes your journey through life meaningful. In a sense, as Mipham teaches, you already have enlightenment. And as you travel your path, you will find your own way to the highest goal.

The necessity of finding and following your own way is the stuff of timeless legend and lore. In the stories of King Arthur and his roundtable, for example, the magician Merlin brings each knight to a part of the forest where there is no path so that each will be forced to find his own.

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Appendix A Continue the Journey

Ray, Michael Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

AS YOU CONTINUE on your path to the highest goal, you will hit obstacles that can be enriching but will also require you to draw on your greatest resources. The following are suggestions for facing those obstacles and turning them into learning.

As you continue on your path and learn more, take some time periodically to consider the nature of your highest goal. Think of times that you felt in connection with it, and celebrate those times. Write a statement of your highest goal and commit yourself to it. Imagine what it would be like to have more and more times in connection to your highest goal. Then you have clarity as you face the challenges of your life.

Swami Shantananda, a monk in the Siddha Yoga tradition, puts this commitment in this way: “Since the moment I received spiritual awakening, I have dedicated myself to the pursuit and the attainment of the Self [living from a constant connection to the divine within and without, his concept of the highest goal]. In my life, every other priority is secondary to that one great goal. So, before I read a book … I approach it with the light of my intention.”1

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Chapter 4 Find True Prosperity

Ray, Michael Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

WITHOUT A DOUBT, at one point or another in your life, you’ve experienced that “Is that all there is?” feeling. You get something you want—a car, a home, a special relationship, a promotion, a windfall of money, a degree, an award—yet your feeling of achievement soon fades to dissatisfaction. So you pick yourself up and start working harder than ever to reach the next plateau. Once you reach it, you experience the same discontent, look to the next goal, and jump into the whole cycle again. And so it goes.

This is the heart of the challenge to find true prosperity: In our culture, we look for prosperity outside ourselves, and all the while it waits for us internally.

True prosperity is being happy and continuously experiencing the variety and infinity of qualities that make up your Self. That is the way you can touch the experience of the highest goal. You achieve true prosperity by having a full, rich feeling of self-worth.

Finding true prosperity in the midst of a culture that urges you to deny the power of the highest goal requires awareness and action. You first must recognize that you are like a fish caught in a powerful ocean current that pushes you to ignore and even depreciate your inner resources. Once you become aware, you can begin building faith in your inner resources and become conscious of your own self-worth. You do this by experimenting with discovering and doing the things you love and dropping those you hate. The more you concentrate on recognizing your highest qualities, expressing them and having faith in them, the more you will experience the self-worth that is true prosperity.

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