Thursday, December 14, 2017

Principle One: Gratitude/ Plus all seven principles

Love, Lust, Enlightenment &
Learning



Seven Principles to Transform

Love

Lust

Enlightenment &

Learning 




By
Chris Elms, M.A.
Copyright—— 2017
Principle One: Gratitude
Find Gratitude in Your Heart (Love)
 and in your Body (Lust) 
and in your Awareness of the Miracle of Life (Enlightenment)
 and in the Delight of Learning.

Gratitude and Love
One reason I am writing this book is out of gratitude for my teachers, and for my Life, and for the Deep/ Holy Spirit.
I have had wondrous joys and learnings in my life and would love you to have access to the same.

Love comes from the heart.
I love the idea and the FEELING of writing this book for you.
I love the miracle of several years ago walking down the street on which I lived and meeting a woman who would, within a year, become my life, even though I was seventy at the time and she was sixty-eight.
I am deeply grateful I was engaged in “energy” practices and involved in being deeply present, and was writing a book, the precursor to this one, in which there was a communications game that gave Carol and I a chance to get to know each other better and better and better.

You will be given “energy practices” later, and an access to a somewhat amazing source of this energy, and you will be given, as principle #2, the incentive to base your life around being in the present moment, and you will be given, again as part of principle #2, a similar communications game, based on listening and speaking from the present.

For now though, let’s play our first Awakening Game.
Love and Gratitude Game #1:
Say aloud five things you are grateful for. Feel your heart as you say these five.

Really, do it now. This is not a book to “just read” and imagine “doing it” later.

Say aloud five things you are grateful for, and be as present to your body and your voice and your heart as you can be while you do so.

This is a book for those who feel the stirring to live an awakened life. The word “Enlightenment” is in the title, and I’m assuming that this word calls to something in you that deeply values not only being in the magic of the present moment, but has at least tasted what a life that was lived from our Real Self, rather than our conditioned self, would be like.
Gratitude is an avenue to our real selves.
Brain research has shown that we can be either grateful or afraid, but not both.
With fear we almost always are slave to our conditioning, which, if you had parents anywhere as lousy as mine, isn’t very good news.
With gratitude we can be grateful even for those lousy parents, and as the book progresses, forgiveness and it’s fundamental component (not believing our thinking) will be part of the principles to set us free for a life a great happiness, sexiness, love and purpose.
Gratitude helps your heart remember one of the key elements of this life: the miracle that we are alive.
This return to gratitude cannot be done too much. When the wheels of fate, and the Gods of Love, and the energy of the Universe conspired for Carol and I to fall in love, two old farts who had almost given up on the possibility of finding someone as wonderful as we were, and willing to put up with and adore us in spite of the less perfect side, a huge part of my life was the writing of gratitudes at least four times a day.
So, let’s get another sense, our arms and our handwriting, involved in gratitude.

Love and Gratitude Game #2:
Write down at least four things you are grateful for.
Feel again your heart area as you write.
If you have a journal you can start as your daily gratitude journal start in there. If you only have a spare piece of paper or the back of scrap mail, start there.
But now, like this now, right now, write now, write four gratitudes.
Sense your hand as you write.
Follow your breathing as you write.
Have a smile on your face as you write.
Now.
Write now.

How did that go?
This is going to be part of how you live your life.
Or, a good time to quit the book. If  you wish to read and not do, then this won’t work for you: to change we actually have to do things.
Although, sometimes the “doing” things, will be to “Do Nothing” as we take a walk and sense our arms and legs, or to sit in silence and find the awareness at our center. Or find four minutes every hour to “be still and know I am God.”
All of which are a switch out of the same old same old.
If you aren’t at least a little discontent with what happens when your conditioned self runs your life, this book is totally not for you.
And if you are slightly to hugely discontent, and willing to dream of a fantastic future for yourself, as a spiritual being, as a lover, as a human being living and loving and learning in a body, as a person who is meant to make a HUGE difference on this planet, then this is a good book to hang out in for half an hour a day or so.
For how many days?
Until you are done.
And then, probably, go back to the beginning and do it again.
Too much trouble?
For sex every day?
For forgiving the annoying/ wonderful partner and your parents and yourself?
For almost full time happiness?

You decide.

This really is a book for those who want to transform, to become the even more amazing people they want to be.
One of the principles will be to have big goals and to write them down, and before we can do that, we need to have ourselves rooted in the present and in gratitude.

Gratitude and Lust:



The book title is with Lust, So you have been clued in: this enlightenment is not above the world, not above the sensual pleasures of normal life.
I’m even hoping that you are wanting a healthier sex life, which includes at least three things:
Sex fairly often, like daily or more.
Sex as a mediation, so it’s not the usual thrashing around.
Sex as variety, with lots of time for “non-reciprocal” sex, so each of you has plenty of chance to surrender and receive without the usual conditioned program about performance.
One of my huge gratitudes is not only did the love of my life move into town half a block away, not only did we meet and talk in the present and talk and listen and talk and listen, and share Bible verses and deep philosophy and fall in love, but that as “old timers” we are together both having the best sex of our lives, better than we did in our twenties and thirties.
So the enlightenment of this book is a sexy, sensuous kind.

This is kind of obvious, and many, many of us life a life where this is forgotten: we live in a body.
We have feet and legs and toes.
We have arms and hands and fingers.
Fingers can touch.
We can hold hands.
We have genitals. They can touch.
We can touch genitals with fingers, with tongues, with mouths.
Lots of possibilities.

And where shall we start gratitude and lust.

Gratitude and Lust Game #1: Stand up.
Put your arms above your head.
If possible stand outside or near a window with a view of outside.
Wiggle your arms around.
Jump up and down and side to side a bit.
Smile.
Feel ALL of your fingers.
Feel your breathing.
Feel ALL of your toes.
Keep smiling.
Do this for a little longer than seems “sensible.”
Feel the gratitude/ “kick”/ joy of being alive.
Smile even more if you wish.

Go on.
Do this.
Not write now, but right now.
I know, I know, it’s so much easier to just read and imagine doing this later, to put this in the “get around to-it” bin.
And don’t.
Stand.
Wiggle.
Sense all toes and all fingers and smile and know you are in a body and alive.
This is a big deal.

Can you feel gratitude.
For being alive in a  body?
For all of your fingers?
For all of your toes?
For breathing.
For the fun of wiggling around?

Gratitude and Lust Game #2:
Stroke your right hand with your left.
Feel the left hand and how it is touching your other hand.
Then switch attention, feel the right hand and how it is being touched.
Try some variation: faster/ slower
And longer/ shorter
And harder/ softer.
Feel gratitude from the point of view of the stroking/ caressing/ exploring hand.
Feel gratitude from the point of view of the receiving and being stroked/ caressed/ explored hand.
Isn’t it great to touch and be in a body?

This will come in handy later with a certain very, very gentle stroking of the clitoris (for those in a relationship with a woman), this variation of softer/ firmer and the variation of longer and shorter and the variation of faster and slower.
Really.
Do it.
Stand and do it.
Stand and breath and smile and do it.

Good. 

Do this again, but switching teams.
The right hand caresses/ explores and the left hand receives.
Very much enjoy this as one gives and one has the pleasure of simply receiving.
Again, feel gratitude in the giving hand and gratitude in the receiving hand.
Let the variation be part of both hand’s fun and pleasure and gratitude.

What does this have to do with gratitude?
People love to be touched.
Not everyone has a partner. Or a partner who wants to “play” or has time to play. (If they don’t this could be an interesting conversation, but maybe first get more practice in learning to listen from the present.)

And, if you do have a partner, then go ahead and play the next game.
Lust and Gratitude Game #3
One partner present one hand to be the receiver.
The other partner use both hands to caress and stroke and explore this hand.
Use the variations listed above and more.
Faster/ slower.
Firmer/ softer.
Longer/ shorter.
And more.
Be grateful to receive.
Be grateful to give.

Set a timer.
Do this for three minutes.

Then switch.
Feel again, from the other side, the gratitude of giving and the gratitude of getting.

And why should you listen to me?
One, this isn’t anything you have to believe.
Try it out, and see what happens.
This is about you waking up and loving and lusting and enlightenmenting and learning more.
I’m just offering some experiences for you to have.

Two, I do have sex often two or three times a day.
And it is better than it was back in my twenties.
And it is a part meditation.
And it is a bliss.
And it is a way of healing some rough spots that words can’t heal quite as quickly.
And it’s fun.
You aren’t against fun are you?

Enlightenment and Gratitude

This is bizarrely obvious and it’s the most missed part of human existence as far as I can tell.
We are in the miracle called life.
We are not a rock, not a car, not a horse, not a house, not a dog.
We are a human being.
We are alive.

Enlightenment and Gratitude Game #1:
Realize that you are alive.
Feel the wonder of that.

This is either immediately obvious or not.
Some of those reading may be in some of mess. Splitting with their mate. Life not making sense. Stuck in some addiction and whatnot.
The list goes on and on.

And guess what?
Gratitude is the way out.
Go back to writing and saying gratitudes.
Go back to wiggling around.
Try this if straight ahead gratitude for your existence doesn’t grab you:

Enlightenment and Gratitude Game #2:
Go outside.
Look at the sky or a tree or a hill or a cloud or a squirrel or a bird, or a leaf or a rock.
Anything that makes you happy.
Feel that you can be aware of that.
Feel yourself as an awareness.
Feel this awareness AS YOU.
Enjoy that.
Feel gratitude for the awareness you are.

This sounds like I may be pushing something on you.
I am.
Except, like everything in this book, it’s about your discovery, not your belief.
This is the only thing we really have: OUR EXPERIENCE IN THE PRESENT MOMENT.
EVERYTHING ELSE IS PAST OR FUTURE OR COMMENTARY.
To delight in our experience in the present moment we need to come there, which brings us to our second principle, the good old fashioned: Wake Up to Now principle.
(And, there are goals, and purpose and big dreams, but all along, if we aren’t present it doesn’t matter how grand the goals are, we are lost to being alive in the now. Which is when we are alive.)

Enlightenment and Gratitude Game #3:
Experience your experience right now.
This now.
Notice it changing and changing and changing.
So what?
Be present to your present.
Feel gratitude for that ability, that gift, that miracle.

Good.

Gratitude and Learning 

I have asked a ton of teachers what they think learning is. You might imagine they’d have a ready answer.
Exactly zero people, including teachers, have had a useful answer to this question.
And it’s also a pointer to one of the few useful aspects of our brain, which really can learn, though usually it is busy making a bunch of inner chatter that is distracting and distancing us from our real life in the present.
(Think of inner chatter as an auditory hallucination to give it it’s true due.)

And what is learning?
Learning is noticing a difference that makes a difference.

Like what?
Gratitude and Learning Game #1:
Think about your most troubled part of your life. See how that feels.
Now, take a deep breath and smile and come to the present in seeing something in the present and feeling your breathing in the present and feeling your sitting or standing in the present.
What is the difference?
This is enlightenment, too, in a way, seeing the freedom from being in our chatter/ worry mind and being in the present awareness.

But try this for everyday garden variety differences that make a difference.
First, think about what leg you put in your pants first when you put on jeans or any pants.
It’s always the same leg.
It’s usually the right leg for right handers, because if you are right handed, your left leg is your “standing leg” that is the stable one. This is the leg you launch off to jump over a puddle, or even to start up stairs.
If you are left handed, your right leg is usually the stable/ standing leg.

So let’s play this game:
Gratitude and Learning Game #2.
Stand.
Imagine putting on pants.
Now do it, feeling which leg you stand on.
Smile and take a deep breath.
Do it again, and feel what the weight feels like and what your nervous system feels like standing on this leg.
Now, imagine and imitate putting your other leg in.
Feel the different weight of that.
Feel grateful.

Why?
Look around you and see all the two legged chairs.
Zero.
Because of your brain and it’s learning you can switch weight right to left and walk.
Feel, at least at some level, how amazing and miraculous that is.

Gratitude and Learning Game #3
Take a walk.
Outdoors preferably.
Notice the difference between weight on your right foot and weight on your left foot.
Feel the miracle of being able to walk.

This is simple.
This is huge.
If you don’t think so, ask someone with cerebral palsy or who has had a stroke.
Or a dog.

Cheers.

The Seven Principles of Transformation

I didn’t want to start with the seven principles, because I don’t want this to be a theoretical book you get all excited about and think about and then let lay around on your bedside table after a couple of nights of reading.
This is a book for people who want to fucking change.
Both meanings of that.
This is a book for people who want to make headway on the pain in the ass challenge of loving another imperfect human.
This is a book for people who want an everyday enlightenment of almost full time awareness and full time happiness.
And a book for people who want to take that sexy happiness and awareness and make a HUGE difference in the world.
The world is a mess…. climate, ecological destruction beyond that, racism, poverty, war, inequality, just plain meanness all around… and this is a book for people who want to make a difference in that without being anxious or angry or fearful. (That’s part of enlightenment in the way we’ll be presenting it….  being dancing, awakened, well sexed agents of huge change in a messy planet)

This is a book for people who want a life time of learning.

This is a book for people who want to awaken and pursue their big dreams and to pursue them in the joy and delight of being present.

So, all that’s nice blah blah, and what are the seven principles?

Let me state that I’ve wasted an  immense amount of time boiling it down to these, and they could well be said other ways, and I just might write my next book with a different set of principles.
These are guiding ideas.
Ideas aren’t reality.
They just point, hopeful with a bit of wisdom from my seventy two years, to some ways of being that are, to my mind and I hope your experience, to a far far greater and sweeter and more love filled and happy and useful (and sexy) existence.

The Seven Principles, finally:

One: Be Grateful in Heart (Love) and Body (Lust)  and Soul/ Spirit (Enlightenment)  and Brain Plasticity (Learning)

Two: Be Present.
The life we have is only now.
To miss the present is to miss the miracle : we are alive, right now.

Three: “Don’t Believe your Thinking”/ 
I’m imperfect / you’re imperfect/ that’s perfect/
I’m an ass/ you’re an ass/ let’s have a laugh

Four: Write goals, from your Real Self & Heart & Soul , both big and small/

Five: Be happy/ celebrate many things/ everything

Six: Love More
Love Everyone
Forgive yourself/ forgive your enemy/ forgive God

Seven: Service/ Save the Earth/ Heal other humans/ Happily Help Heal and Undo the Mess


Sunday, October 29, 2017

The trouble with addictions: they work

The trouble with addictions 
They work

Here’s the hard thing: addictions work.

Many people are trapped in these states :
Feeling unloved
Feeling unworthy
Anxious
Afraid
Confused
Angry
Angry and guilty about their anger
Angry at themselves
Disappointed in themselves

Basically: unhappy.

All these pretty much sucked. And all can be “un-done” (not cured, they are actually states we “do” to ourselves. The way out is to “un-do” our doing. All unhappiness is an inside job.)

And then addictions come along, and dammed if they don’t seem to cover up and “as if” erase the above states and feelings.

They can be addictions that are pretty widely recognized as addiction: heroin, cocaine, speed.
They can be addictions that work pretty well to move people through the “normal” (and miserable) world: over-work, excessive exercise.

They can be addictions that are so widely accepted as to be relatively unseen: sugar, white carbs. Some would say grains. 
Alcohol has a gigantic organization devoted to coming free from addiction and is widely served at all social events.
Pot is legalized here and there and can cause people to relax and deal with harsh pain, and can enable people to drift through their lives.

And then sex: with a partner, as part of love and mindfulness and great connection, you can hardly have too much sex, if you can also do your work and eat between all the bliss. With unloved partners, or randomly, or out of loneliness, or with many partners, basically all the usual mindless forms of sex, doing a lot of this type is surely an addiction.

And they all work:
You’re lonely or afraid or confused and you get stoned or eat a ton of ice cream or get drunk or screw a lot or run ten miles and the “problem” seems to go away.

And so the solution, as I see it, isn’t to fight the addiction, though laying off is kind of useful.
The solution is to deal with our loneliness or fear or confusion or feeling inadequate and get basically happy.
Happy and present people are high on life.
I know, I know, most people who say that make you want to puke, and it is the actually state of happy children and happy animals and even happy adults.

How to get high on life?

Is not that what this book is about?
Love gets you high and connected and moves us into the profoundest meanings of why we are alive.
Lust as mindful sex allow our bliss to come from connection, and we get some exercise to boot.
Enlightenment is being present.
Is about being happy full time.
Is about “saving the Earth”/ being of service to a bigger cause.

So enjoy the book.

Here’s a minor story about myself and an addiction: I was smoking pot a lot, like several times a day, in my early twenties.
This was before “just say no” and all the moral anti-drug things.
But I did realize that I seemed to be in a rut.
So, as a curiosity goal, I decided to see what happened if I quit for two weeks.
What happened was I realized, at first almost with desperation, that every time I got bored, I wanted pot. (I didn’t mention the Internet as an addiction: this can be the modern drug of choice to avoid “boredom,” which I’m discovering is a code word for fear of being present). Boredom and I craved pot.
I didn’t smoke, but hung out with the boredom.
And got more and more annoyed.
I did not want a crutch to deal with my boredom. I figured that that was my job.
So I quit, but for a few returns. I don’t think pot is evil.
I do think it’s a crutch. For me.
And people these days could just as easily give up Facebook for two weeks and see what happens.

Anyway: happy life with or without addictions.
The wise place to look to me seems to be the hole that addictions are filling.
And then “un-do” however you are “doing” that hole to yourself.

Cheers

Chris