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Prayer to Purify My Consciousness

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This is my prayer to transcend ignorance. Let all beings bear witness.
I will remove all fear, anxiety, and aversion around mere experiences.
I will not let psychological trauma, delusions, and compulsions control my life.
I will detach from the past and overcome anxiety about the future.
Instead i will have gratitude about every experience — even the undesirable.
I will let go of ego and self-concern and instead be humble, relaxed, and accepting.
I will forgive all who have transgressed me and my dear ones, and generate boundless compassion and love towards them.
I will diminish the untamed monkey-mind and adopt the rock-solid foundation of focused attention,
While also holding fast to patience in the certainty of more than enough time to live.
I will let go of over-analysis and let myself experience in the present without attachment to the experience.
I will not fear death at any level, gross or subtle.
Indeed, i know the fulfillment and meaning of life come from what i create, inspire, and how much i love.
I am perfect. Life is perfect. There is enough time and energy and resources.
There is nothing to strive for, to attain, to acquire, to experience;
There is only to be, to love, to give of myself.
This is my prayer; May its merit be dedicated to all living things.

The Exam

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Addressing subtle obstacles to a purified or liberated consciousness is a very private, introspective matter. The deeper you dig, the worse you initially feel about yourself. You shine the light of awareness and truth upon your human nature in all its imperfections and you start to feel insecure and weak. Do not disparage yourself. The truth is that this is a sign of unimaginable strength. You should feel more encouraged about your growth and potential. If you proofread an essay before turning it in for an exam and you find a bunch of mistakes, you are given the opportunity to fix those mistakes before you are graded by the teacher. The presence of mistakes doesn’t indicate weakness. Ignoring them out of fear or laziness however, indicates a person who has no conception of how amazing they really are. Proofread your mind and correct your mistakes before “turning-in,” but never succumb to the black hole of a negative self-image which will incessantly pull at you down like a force of psychological gravity. And to continue the metaphor of the exam, remember that no one else can proofread your mind to find the errors, nor can they fix them. You are on your own in that regard. Reliance on others, like cheating during an exam, will not turn out well for you.

My Challenge This Summer

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Very stressed figuring out what i’m going to do with my life. I’m doing a lot, and i’m planning to do a lot more. I’m trying to address the last remaining neuroses, trauma, conditionings, and mental obstacles which stand between me and the higher stages of consciousness. I’m trying to figure out how to survive in a society which is designed to be draining. I’m trying to create and learn for the world in the meantime, so that i don’t feel like i’m wasting my time.

My most deeply rooted feeling is of not being good enough, of being bad, of being imperfect. It drives most of the bad and even some of the good aspects of who i am. But it is a falsehood which i must overcome to transcend my ego. With so much to give the world, i feel continual disappointment in myself if i am not giving to the world to the best of my imagination. While it sometimes can fuel my active creation, it generally pulls me towards isolation and away from self-acceptance. But even if i do create positively, if my motivation is proving that i’m good enough, or “being my best,” that is an impure motivation. My motivation must be purified in the desire to benefit all living things.

So here’s my vicious cycle: OCD thoughts around the false, seemingly innate belief that I’m not good enough lead to less-than-ideal thoughts, words, and actions, which i obsess over, and i spiral downwards continually into confusion and feeling lost. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. This summertime i will work to transcend these obscurations. I owe it to myself and to the countless sentient beings i will one day benefit. Recognizing this is the beginning of the ascent.

Motivation

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The prime determiner of success is motivation. In learning a language, or any subject whatsoever, or a new skill or talent, it is motivation which determines success. Learning out of an externally imposed “duty” or obligation will bring little success. It may bring A’s, but not true understanding. If your passions lie in learning Chinese, but you are told to study French, of course you will fail. Or if your passions are in biology, but you are being forced to learn about the history of European art. Your understanding follows your passions, because with passion is proper motivation.

Motivation underlies all manner of success. Great creativity will not blossom from externally imposed necessity; it requires the motivation of creating! Morality and compassion require the sincere motivation of benefiting other sentient beings, not status, wealth, reward, or even acceptance or love from others. The motivation must be in the act of benefiting another sentient being.

If one’s goal is spiritual in nature, it is the motivation which determines the efficacy of the faith, the practice, the prayer. If your motivation is status or accomplishment, or accumulation of merit for the sake of accumulation, rather than for the sake of utilizing the gift of a human life and mind to its fullest capacity and benefiting all beings, then you will not get far. These individuals cling to their dogma and “correctness,” which is honestly irrelevant because all dogmas are correct in their own way, but anyway, they lose track of the motivation of their spirituality in the first place. That or they don’t embrace their true motivation. The highest aim of all spiritualities is the same motivation, but for such individuals, their own personal motivation is more akin to feeling like they have a community or even simply having something to occupy their time with. These motivations will not bring one enlightenment. Just as passing a test is not a sufficient motivation to learn a foreign language, or money and fame is not a sufficient motivation to create the most inspiring art. Make sure your motivation is in the right place and you’ve got it made.