A spiritual practice to restore your Intrinsic Self as the captain of your ship

learning-to-sailThe most important thing I never learned in Landmark… that allowed me to grow

In 1967 I applied to participate in a 6-day on site advanced program in Landmark… it was still called Werner Erhard and Associates at the time.

I was denied. The staff member for admittance told me: Until you learn the difference between thinking and doing, you can’t do the course.

I had no idea what she meant. But I wanted to do the course… so I called her daily. And tried different ways to prove to her that I knew the difference… I got in by mistake.

Here we are, 29 years later.

you-run-your-thoughts-t-harv-ekerI don’t know when I got the difference… I know I have it now. And I also know you haven’t.

How do I know? You are not growing. You are not living life joyfully. You don’t tap-dance to work.

You are locked into your mind, hoping that by some miracle something will change in your mind and you can start living. You try to change your beliefs. You try “quantum thought shifting”, you meditate, you do yoga, you try to control the mind… but to no result. Why?

Because the only things that matter in life are outside of your mind.

Being, attitude, attention, and actions. None of these are in your mind. They are not effected by the thoughts in the mind.

What you want to do: that is in the mind
What you need to do: that is in the mind
What you have to do: that is in the mind
What you should do: that is in the mind.

What you do: that is NOT in the mind.
What you pay attention to… that is not mind…
What attitude you bring to your actions… that is not mind either!
Who you are being… this has nothing to do with the mind either.

My “diagnosis” of you, and that younger self of mine is this:

You and I think that what we think is important. It isn’t.

You think what you think matters. It doesn’t.


past-present-no-powerAnd because you cannot tell the difference between action and thinking, you are not growing. You think with just a little bit more thinking it will all turn out. It won’t.

You are collapsing your entire inner world to mind. Your whole attention is at: “if I am thinking it, it means… blah blah blah.”

If you are thinking it, you are thinking it.

It doesn’t mean that. It doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t mean that, and it doesn’t mean that because you think that therefore you have to, you need to, you should do it.

It doesn’t mean that… it actually doesn’t mean anything.

But what does? What is causing your actions? Where do actions come from if not from thoughts?

Forced actions may come from have-to’s… But

Actions, the ones that are life-affirming, the ones that move you towards the good life, the life worth living, don’t come from your thoughts, don’t come from your have-to’s.

The have-to’s almost always take you astray… to hellish places. To prison-like places.

You feel releaved… liberty at last… freedom from have-to’s… But…

But just letting go of have-to’s may lead you astray too: your take on liberty, not doing what you have to… may lead you to doing nothing… or doing OTHER BAD THINGS for yourself.

So isn’t have-to’s better? What is the solution? What could make your life work?

Here is a spiritual practice that will answer that question, that will alter how you live your life, how you decide on what to do, that puts you to the helm of your ship… makes you the captain of your ship:

You will start with sitting.

ceilingSit in a straight backed chair. No leaning back, no lying down. Sit. You are going to do work, and your posture informs your body, your brain, to be alert, disciplined, because the result of this “meditation” can turn your life (ship) around a little bit… every time you do it.

Warning: if you think doing this once will create lasting results, you are too delusional and childish… and your life is a testament to that. This needs to be a practice that you want to do as often as maybe even daily… Even after your life is moving in the right direction. Trust me… this is a lot like brushing your teeth.

OK, the “experiment” or exercise or spiritual practice is this:

Sitting in a straight backed chair

  1. enter your center. Your center is just below your navel. Pull all your energies back and allow them to descend into your center. This alone requires practice… give it time.

    I can do this now in a minute, but when I started, it took me a long time, and often I could not get there… Life was too hectic.

  2. Once you are in your center, breathe. It will feel like heaven. But don’t stop there… the next step is tricky
  3. Ask yourself questions. This is tricky, because you are not used to being in your center and have words. For you it’s been: words: I am in my mind. No words: I am in my body.

    So this step is a crucial step: you are going to ask questions while remaining in your center.

    It will require practicing…

    The important thing is this: the answers that will emerge, will emerge while you are in your center…

  4. Ask: If I don’t have to (example: do my laundry) ACTIVITY… what will I do? (I am doing this as I am writing… and I am really curious what will show up… I have been resisting doing my laundry for reasons unknown to me. )

    Be there with the tension. Be there with the resistance. Just observe it. You may tear up. I did. Just allow whatever is there to come out. Nonverbal. Emotional. Despair, fear, whatever. Don’t try to make it make sense… just allow it.

    If you give it words, you’ll get stuck. Just watch the suppressed emotions come up. Some of them, at least.

    It really doesn’t matter what it is…

    It may take several, maybe a lot of sessions to release what’s there.

    I guarantee it.

    It doesn’t mean anything. It is letting air out of the overfilled tires…

    You’ll know you are done when the tension in your shoulders, in your face, in your chest releases.

    Or when you pretend you did it…

    Unless clarity comes, you didn’t do it.

rumiThis exercise puts you in touch with your INTRINSIC SELF. Unless you don’t do it often enough and long enough.

This laundry thing is a big issue for me… My whole life is stuck around it. I will do this daily, until I get myself freed up.

In the meantime I’ll do my laundry… from the “need to do the laundry” place, because I have run out of clean clothes to wear. lol.

making-a-decisionThis exercise is not a license for you to do nothing. It’s an exercise to turn your ship around in the tight bay… to start allowing the Intrinsic Self to guide your ship and give you your actions. Not the mind.

Caution: there will never be a time when you are done, when you are cooked.

People who pretend that they are enlightened are lying. Don’t be one of them. It’s a prison. Nothing nice about it.

Let me know how it’s going.

PS: Not all thinking is mind!

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Author: Sophie Benshitta Maven

True empath, award winning architect, magazine publisher, transformational and spiritual coach and teacher, self declared Avatar

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