Letting Go with Guy Finley

Letting Go with Guy Finley

The Winter Solstice: A Reminder of the Improbable Life

posted by Guy Finley

There is nothing more improbable than the physical world around us, let alone Christ’s life within us. The winter solstice in itself is an improbable act. Right around December 22nd, instead of getting darker every day in the northern hemisphere, it gets lighter. The earth shifts, and light becomes the dominant force instead of darkness. That is highly improbable. We wouldn’t have the seasons without it, and yet we don’t see how improbable it is to even have seasons. The reason none of us see any of this, taking it for granted, is because we’re too busy trying to figure out how to acquire things, look strong, control people, and avoid the ones that we can’t! How improbable is it then that there is a strength that has nothing to do with the way in which any human being will ever greet you or perceive you?

Paul’s letter to the Corinthians speaks to this kind of improbability: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty… And then a little further on, one of my favorite passages because of the improbability of what it promises if a person would only have ears to hear: My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

It’s as though a person has to become a child again… that’s how fundamental the spiritual life is.

The way we are now, through a series of conditions and environment, we live with a nature that has produced a wall of resistance to a world that it perceives as being responsible for its pain, and in any given moment, our first task is to not let anybody see us as being weak. So we buy expensive clothes, drive fancy cars, become authorities and have letters after our names, pursuing the things in the world that lend us the power that we so badly think we need in order to not get hurt.

Instead of turning to that nature in the moment where the condition presents itself, we can recognize that’s not the direction of strength. We turn in a new direction. We remember Christ. We remember God. We remember our own wish to be innocent, to be pure, to be harmless, and we choose as best we can to live from that. Do you know what happens when you make a choice like that? You get to see this legion of images, thoughts, and feelings that have collected and crystallized inside of you. You get to see how their presence has been the guiding factor in your life. And according to the clarity by which we begin to discover that what we derived a sense of strength from is weakness itself, we come out from that nature, and we begin to recognize that what we really want is the improbable life.

True strength is so improbable because you never care if anybody knows you have it. If you want that kind of life, if you want the true Christ-life — which is what we are meant to have — it’s already there. That which keeps us from seeing it just needs to be uncovered, washed away. That’s the work. It’s what needs to be done, and if you do it, you will enlist the aid of the source of strength itself. When you are touched by that kind of strength, you will find yourself increasingly incapable of compromising yourself out of false strength.

Let Go and Meditate

posted by Guy Finley

Question: When I sit down to meditate, thoughts crowd in, and I can’t seem to find a truly quiet moment. How am I ever going to change if I can’t even do this simple exercise?

Answer: When you’re meditating, here’s a way to invite those true inner changes your heart longs for: Repeatedly bring yourself back to yourself and then, from within this present self-awareness, realize that instead of being connected to the “you” who is always struggling to get something hoping to become someone, trying to resolve things — surrender yourself to the understanding that the whole issue of who you are is already resolved. Let go and know that Life is complete, timeless, and so are you. Do not go into imagination. The self you imagine will be a secret extension of the self you wish to escape. Everything you need to pray, to wake up, to be new is right there with you.

The Gift of Meditation

posted by Guy Finley

When you go outside on a beautiful day, do you step into the sunlight and try to enjoy the warmth, or isn’t the enjoyment inherent in the experience? Similarly, when you see a falcon fly amongst the trees, land, shake its tail, and then survey its domain… or a great buck with its massive horns, broad chest, and strong neck… do you try to feel the nobility of these creatures? Or isn’t that feeling just part of the whole moment that you yourself have become one with?

In the same way, real meditation is effortless. It is the fulfillment of relationship, not the attempt on our part to create one. Our being itself is meditating; it is naturally one with everything occurring in the moment. Our thoughts and feelings are all a natural part of the whole.

All of the preparatory work we do to develop our attention is to help us be in the moment where life is unfolding. By contrast, it is the propensity of our present mind to always be wandering around “out there,” somewhere in thought. This tendency is so ingrained, it even prevails while we’re meditating. Instead of just being in the moment, consciously experiencing whatever the moment brings, our yoyo mind is busy running back and forth – looking for something within which it can come to a rest. Real meditation is the end of seeking, not a means to (an imagined) peace.

The day will come when you will understand that if you’re just present to your own body during meditation, you need do nothing more. The catch is that you must first realize that your previous efforts have just interfered with the meditative process, and that you’ve accomplished nothing for all that you’ve done. You must see that all these efforts may produce the sensation of someone who is accomplishing something and achieving some ideal as it concerns meditating. But they do not produce the actual state of meditation that is necessary for the transformation of your being.

The energy we are given each moment, when it is experienced in its wholeness, is enough unto itself. It doesn’t need anything outside of itself. True meditation can simply be seen as a moment in which it is enough to be what we are.

If you wish to experience the wholeness of a meditative moment, just work as best you can to gain your attention. When you can bring your attention home and keep it focused within yourself, it acts as a kind of “celestial collector.” And while it does not actually “collect” anything, it can serve to reveal a whole new understanding of your relationship with the present moment. Awareness of this new relationship is the essence of true meditation.

The essential pain in our life is born out of our idea that we can do something toward the moment and take something from it that will complete us. What we fail to realize is that any action we take to extract something from the moment to complete ourselves actually separates us, not only from the moment that we have imagined will make us whole, but from being present to the beautiful, quiet energy that occupies the body naturally when our own desires no longer interfere.

When you are in relationship with your natural body, your natural mind, and your natural heart, you will see how unnatural it is for you to continue to try to give yourself something. You will see that everything you’ve always wanted is never not being given to you. And meditation is the enjoyment of the gift.

Nourish Your Wish to Grow

posted by Guy Finley

This life of ours is short (and if it seems long to you, it’s because you’ve not learned what your life is for). Being but the brief candle that it is, resolve all to love the Light that lit it. Nourish your wish to grow in it. Make your sole intention to invite this Light to become your whole life as “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow [you] all the days of [your] life: and [you] will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” (Psalm 23:6)

I wish for all of you one thing… you wish it too: No matter what comes your way along this Way, keep your eye on the mountaintop. Nothing has the power to keep you from falling forward. Make it your wish that every day you are increasingly able to see the truth of yourself and of this life. The Light is never far away.

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