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Posts Tagged ‘Living Miracles Monastery’

Right Brain

Posted by Amanda Gray on March 23, 2014


Sufferin’ Subterranean Subconscious Subterfuge!  Digging a little further under the surface of some of life’s little goings ons, I’m starting to think about the concept of ‘work’ vs. ‘play’.  About a year ago, I decided that I wasn’t going to ‘work’ anymore – I was only ever going to ‘play’.  It’s all a matter of thought anyway, so why shouldn’t I simply decide for what I really want?  Well, that was all well and good, and I proceeded, in general, to live accordingly, yet now I see that I’ve had an underlying belief system that has been surreptitiously objecting.

I see it from my experience at the Living Miracles Monastery in Utah, when I got a terrible migraine headache that prevented me from joining in a much desired project to paint the tipi.  I simply couldn’t allow myself to enjoy the project.  In essence, I punished myself for my creative desire.

I also see it from my recent clown workshop.  The first two days were excellent and full-on, but the final two days were difficult because I was in a lot of resistance.  Particularly, I was resistant to moving my body, to open-heartedly playing with the group – and even more specifically – joining freely with the (in my opinion) more physically rambunctious boys.  Instead of saying, “yes” to the experience, I began to say “no.”

I also see it from my recent firing at work.  Particularly, since starting, I kept a fundamental attitude of ‘play’.  It made the day go by more pleasantly to maintain this attitude, and, particularly when I felt most down or resistant, I made concerted efforts to change my mind as soon as possible.  One of the other mental adjustments I was practicing regularly was to speak freely with my customers – even if I was feeling angry, tired, sick – all the entirely human qualities a customer service person isn’t supposed to share.  After some experimentation, I learned that people would allow me to say anything as long as my intention was relaxed, open and sharing – and I learned that limits only occurred if my intention slipped to attack, judgement or punishment.  As I learned this, I began to share myself more and more freely – and, especially as I began to know people more personally –I tentatively shared my sense of humour – which, at times, could be obtusely abstract, playfully teasing, or confusingly deadpan.  I was learning about it for myself along the way, as well, and it would surprise me at times, as much as it might surprise the customer.  So, it wasn’t entirely a shock to hear that some customers didn’t understand my humour and complained to the boss.  I now think it’s particularly interesting that I was ‘judged’ and  ‘punished’ (losing my job) for expressing myself more freely, openly and honestly – and just as I was genuinely allowing my sense of humour to come out and play.

This all leads me to a realization that I must still hold a deeper belief about personal self-expression; a belief that I must repress my natural expression for fear of being misunderstood, judged and punished.  I must have fears about playing openly with others, and sharing my stranger – but also more unique and interesting – quirks.  I can also see how this connects to my early childhood experience when, in the exuberance and excitement of playing with some older boys, it got me into life-threatening trouble.  I bet I decided then that ‘play’ – right brain, creative, abstract – was bad or dangerous, and I abandoned it, completely, in favour of the serious, safe, logical, fact based left brain.  I think most of us do it.  As adults, we decide that life is about ‘work’ and we forget about the joy, light and freedom of our curious, lively, foolish inner child.  We forget our child’s easy laughter and the ability to accept others however they are in every moment.  We begin to think our ‘judgement’ will protect us.  We begin to ‘juice’ our grievances and let our thoughts linger on the ‘injustices’ we face.  We begin to believe that other people are ‘against’ us – that they’re only there to present obstacles to our desires – and that the only way to get what we want is to manipulate, force or remove these obstacle-people.  We think that if we could just remove everybody, perhaps we’ll finally get the peace and freedom we feel entitled to.

But it’s a lie.  A pretty convincing set of concepts, I’ll give it that, but entirely, a grievous, pitiful lie.  The left brain is extremely limited.  It can only give us what it ‘knows,’ which means it’s always bound by the past.  Only the right brain, the open aspect of mind that’s ‘unknown,’ can truly extend us into the infinite.

I expressed in my last post ( Kitties, Clowns, Authority and Desire ), that I LOVE my kitty clown, Zephyr.  What I realized in clown class, and what I’m accessing in that character, is my natural right brain creativity that feels SOOOOO FREE!!  It’s powerful because it’s the true self I always wanted to express, or, at least, it’s the denied and repressed part of myself that’s required for complete mental equilibrium.  My deepest desires and passions are linked in there too and, of course, as these passions awaken, they’ll probably drag out a few demons from the arcane depths too.

Which is fine.  It’s worth it.  I’m going there.  Nothing can stop me – except ME.  And, like A Course in Miracles says, “Truth will correct all errors in my mind.”  And so it will.  AMEN!


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Judgement, Control and Specialness

Posted by Amanda Gray on December 14, 2013

So… my improv class was excellent.  I learned a lot about improv, but, even greater, I used the situation to practice setting aside my inner judge.  I allowed no thoughts of wrongdoing by anyone, anyhow, even of myself.  Exclusively, I trusted every impulse to jump in, or stay out, what words came out of my mouth, how others reacted to me, how the games or scenes played out, or when the end of a scene arrived.  It was a great practice.  I simply never allowed my thoughts to linger upon negative or limiting ideas.  It allowed me to see how easily things went without constant weighing and analysis in my mind.  I’ve also been successful in extending the practice to the rest of my life now, as well.

I’ve also started looking at my anger.  One of the topics I could never address when I visited the Living Miracles Monastery was anger.  Back then, I couldn’t even admit to feeling it!  Now I see that I’ve been angry a lot, and sometimes, it’s even like a drilling jack hammer of attack thoughts that I can’t seem to turn off.  Looking deeper at the pattern, I see that it’s because I’ve been wanting to control other people.  Well, no kidding, Sherlock – of course that’s what an ego wants.  It’s chief modus operandi is to usurp the power of God!  Yet, by the desire to control, the underlying premise concludes that I don’t already have control and must GET it.  Which leads to the question: who’s dreaming this dream?  Of course, I’m doing this to myself.  The fear being that if I don’t control those people ‘out there’, they’ll hurt me – yet, if I decide not to use them to prove a belief that I’m weak and a victim – they CAN’T hurt me.  It all gets pretty twisted up in here!

Furthermore, I’m looking closer at my acting desire.  What is it for?  After my improv class, I see that there’s really no way to separate the acting from the actor and the root desire to be a special body.  This is important to see, because I must also see that even though I gave up my acting profession 10 years ago, I never gave up the desire for special attention.  I just moved the audience closer.  Now it’s my mom, or my friends, or my customers at the store.  I’m still – yes, no bones about it – CONSTANTLY, trying to USE them to get their attention and keep it, just so I can feel better about myself – so I can maintain a sense of ‘specialness’.

It’s interesting how this realization came about.  We have a customer at the store that we call ‘Our Favourite’.  But actually, we all hate her.  I quickly learned that if I help her, she’ll hijack me, make me lead her to every item on her shopping list, and even get me to carry out her three little bags of groceries before I can finally escape her. Along the way, she acts like she’s stupid and helpless, asks inane questions about the products, and, generally, impedes me from helping other customers.  She can be pleasant, but she can also be loud, demanding and has some kind of iron clad mental grip that I haven’t understood.  I learned that this customer makes me feel extremely angry, and rather than being able to extend my natural sense of helpfulness to her, instead, I feel obligated, hateful and, eventually, guilty.  She disturbs me so greatly, that, of course, I have to ask why.  What is it about her behaviour that I must hate and deny in my own behaviour?  I found myself using the word ‘vampire’ as I thought about her, and finally, this morning, I realized the lesson she was teaching.  She’s a vampire for attention!  Like ME!!!  And if I don’t get the attention I want, I become demanding and angry about it too.  She wants to control me to keep my attention and I don’t want to be controlled.  Does anyone???  AH-HA!

Well… ain’t that cute.  NOT!  That ‘control’ is a terrible burden to inflict upon my brothers and sisters.  And it keeps peace from my mind.  Do I want peace?  Then I must notice when I’m deliberately throwing it away.  And now that I’m wise to these particular antics, I can stop.  I want to stop.  No judgement – just go forward and ‘sin no more’.

With sincere thanks to ‘Our Favourite’ customer.

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Following Inspiration

Posted by Amanda Gray on October 4, 2012

I spent nearly 3 months this past summer at the Living Miracles Monastery in Utah, USA.  Since my arrival, in May, I haven’t been inspired to blog.  An early lesson at the monastery taught me that I had been attempting to use writing to separate ‘true’ thoughts from ‘untrue’ thoughts.  A Course in Miracles teaches that an illusion is an illusion, full stop.  Therefore, no thought is true.

Spirit moves via inspiration, not thinking.  So, while I haven’t been inspired to write, and make lengthy stories out of a lot of blah blah blah, I have been inspired to make short videos.  Below is a link to my most recent creation – a music video – that, we might say, somewhat encapsulates my experiences at the monastery.  If you’re particularly keen, you may also notice other videos on my AnagramDay channel that were created while I was at the monastery.  Mostly, they’re videos of our ‘project days’ in which we prepared for the Strawberry Fields Forever Music Festival and Enlightenment Retreat at the end of July.  Enjoy!



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