We have been discussing stories and beliefs and how they create habits that can deliver a limited version of life, notably with misery and suffering. In the last blog, we suggested that you try this out until this blog posting:
- write down one existing habit you wish to change
- go through the habit loop and write down all the triggers you can think of
- precisely, what are the routines (actions) that follow?
- what are the rewards (what do you get out of it)?
- And lastly, after looking at the above: what is it that you are REALLY craving?
There can be improvement in habits and discipline with focused awareness … which leads to the final hint on transforming habits:
“Replacement habits only become durable new behaviors when they are accompanied by something else.” 1
Research studies on this “something else” (by the Alcohol Research Group in California) revealed this important ingredient, without which “the new habits never fully took hold.” 2 The answer given was “God” and intrigued the researchers who investigated further.
“… those alcoholics who believed… that some higher power had entered their lives were more likely to make it through the stressful periods with their sobriety intact… In conversations with addicts, though, spirituality kept coming up again and again.” 3
This brings us back to the point in an earlier blog:
“… all the information in the world will not get people to quit smoking, start exercising, or end an unhealthy relationship. If our hearts are not into it, if we don’t truly desire the change, our heads won’t be either.” 4
Our suggested exercise of looking at one habit to change had the potential to bring great insight into what it is that we desire, what we are really “craving.” The truth is that we are craving an end to that part of our experience called “separation” that we have had since birth — our sense of separation from each other and any “higher power” we might believe in. This sense of separation is that which makes us feel incomplete and needy. First we had to depend upon a mother or caregiver for the basics just to stay alive, and it continued from there.
These last blogs have been all about stories we tell ourselves, pretty much the same from age 5 onward, in an effort to get along in the world. These stories form our lives, our “lifestyle.” Some are positive and some are negative. And we have seen how it’s an external focus and can only bring fleeting happiness and peace.
When we reach a certain age – or certain “stage” – we start asking if there isn’t something more. We’ve tried to hang onto every fleeting moment of happiness and it doesn’t work. Finally we begin to ask if there is anything that can work, any way that we can find lasting peace and happiness.
Enter the “spiritual path”. From the spiritual focus and questions of recovering addicts to the contemplative practices of monks. If our objective lives are all based in fleeting moments of time, perhaps investigation into our subjective lives may bring some longer-lasting peace. The question to ask is: who are we without our stories? And the answer to that can’t be found in the noise of our minds.
“Transformation is through awareness, not analysis.”
Master Charles Cannon
Enter meditation. The holistic lifestyle is the objective half of the equation of a modern spirituality that creates balance, wholeness and fulfillment. Meditation is the subjective half in this world of dual polarities.
Master Charles Cannon teaches that:
To create balance, we emphasize the non-dominant polarity -- the positive, the interior subjective. We focus our awareness on that interior of our being that is always still, quiet, and empty. In this moment I am your objective polarity, but the interior of “your being” (simultaneous to this exterior) is always quiet and still and empty. The more we can maintain the awareness of both polarities simultaneous to each other, the more we create balance. Holistic awareness expands, we perceive the oneness of consciousness as both polarities, and we experience holistic awareness.
Once you understand the mechanics of consciousness, the mechanics of life within relative reality, it’s up to you to practice it, to embrace the holistic lifestyle fully (which is based on the principle of balance). When you maximize that investment into holistic awareness, you align individuated consciousness with universal consciousness that has but one intention -- which is to be whole, to fully be itself as one blissful consciousness. Ultimately it is the experience of relative balance, or harmonic coherence, within your multi-dimensional form that delivers the experience of wholeness; and the reason to learn how to live with balance is because your wholeness and your fulfillment as a human being depends upon it. 5
This blog continues next time with a progression into the investigation of meditation – and the question, “Why use technology?” Some surprising perspectives are in store. Some clues: technology, gnosticism, and cutting-edge mystics of ancient (and not-so-ancient) times.
REFERENCES FOR FURTHER READING:
1. Charles Duhigg, “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business”
(Random House, New York, 2012, 2014), E-book location 1371
2. Ibid., pg. 1382.
3. Ibid., loc 1371
4. Tom Asacker, “The Business of Belief… How the World’s Best Marketers, Designers, Salespeople,
Coaches, Fundraisers, Educators, Entrepreneurs and Other Leaders Get Us to Believe”
(E-book ISBN-13: 978-1-63002-576-2), E-book location #546
5. Master Charles Cannon, program dialogues.