12/05/2010

TRUST

Dear friends, the other day I wrote this post on my Prem Center facebook page: “When we TRUST the world around us, we align ourselves with the natural order. We experience abundance! But when we WORRY, we hold on, and become tense, blocking that natural flow of abundance. Let go. Don't worry. You have always had everything you needed, and always will. Trust, and be truly joyful”

And an old friend of mine from L.A. asked a great question. 
I always love questions(especially such good ones as this!) because it opens up a channel of communication from which not only the two of us learn, but also anyone else who is listening. This is how we can grow and evolve: IN RELATIONSHIP. To me that is what questions and answers are – communication; relationship.
So, here is my friend Joyce’s question:
" what do you mean by "natural order"? i'm asking because i (think) i understand what you mean but then, upon reflection- i'm not quite sure what 'natural order' means beyond being born (been there done, that) and dying (eventually, hopefully a ways off)... i'm being simplistic but i really am curious about understanding what you mean by this... moreover, can a 'natural order' be pursued in an environment immersed in industry, consumerism, and avarice? a place, like say... los angeles? i think it's possible, but it feels like a struggle at times..."

The theme of my original post (the one quoted above) was about 
Trust versus Worry. For me, the natural order is what every animal, vegetable and mineral experiences… faith. It is a silent knowing, a deep trusting - that everything in life is just as it is meant to be. Even when things go ‘wrong’, there is always a reason. We may not immediately know what that reason is, but we can always look back later and say, “aha, that experience had a positive effect”.
In English, we have the saying: “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”
And one of my favourite singers, Beth Orton, has the wonderful lyric: “regrets are just lessons you haven’t learnt yet”...








Whatever we think, however we judge a situation, there is always a bigger picture – much bigger than our thoughts and judgements. In fact, if we look at it scientifically, where do thoughts and judgements come from? They come from the frontal cortex part of our brain – the part of our brain that is unique to adult humans. It is very useful, helping us to use language, and analyse the world around us. Without it we wouldn’t have flown to the moon or even invented the wheel. But it is also the part of us that WORRIES. Worry is fear in disguise. Not a very good disguise either. If you worry a lot, it’s because you are afraid. Thoughts, judgemtents, worries, fear – it’s all in the head.

So if fear and worry is in the head, where is trust? It’s in the body. Trust is in the natural movements of the body: walking, dancing, jumping. It’s in the breath, and the rhythmical expansion and contraction of the lungs. It’s in the flow of blood and energy throughout the body, and the involuntary processes of the internal organs and the digestion.
When you eat a meal, you put the food into your mouth, and then what? Do you have to worry about the food after that? No! The stomach does it’s job, the intestines do theirs, and finally…! It all happens naturally, spontaneously, and 
without the need for our attention.
In the same way, the universe and the earth do what they need to do: the planets stay in their orbits, the sun keeps on shining, and the earth keeps up just enough gravity for us to stay here where we belong. Trees give us all the oxygen we need; rains give us all the water we need; there is an abundance of food – more than enough to feed every person on the planet. 
So why then do we worry so much?

I’ll tell you why:
Because our society has lost touch with: guess what?
Yes, THE NATURAL ORDER. We have entered into a battle with nature, trying to manipulate and control, instead of simply trusting. We are afraid that if we let go, something terrible will happen – a new disease, or an earthquake, or a volcano.
And guess what? These things DO happen – it’s just part of life. But honestly, when did any of these things last affect you, and how often does that happen? And more importantly, did worrying about anything ever affect a more positive outcome!

So trust! Trust that you will have everything you need. Trust that no matter what happens, there is always a reason. Trust that 
“the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”.
Let your awareness come down, out of your head, and into your body.
The natural order for human beings is this: our energy enters our body in and below the solar plexus. (There is a wisdom there that is ancient, from long before we were human: it is something instinctive and faithful.) That energy flows into our solar plexus, and up, through the heart (our emotional center) and from there into the brain. Our brain is a computer that sorts out the message from the solar plexus and then organizes the necessary action: the brain is like a secretary. It organizes and it gets things done. But the boss, the manager, the chairman, is deeper down - in the solar plexus. Most people let the secretary make all the decisions – and guess what: the secretary isn’t good at that, it’s not his job, and so he gets stressed. That stress accumulates, and if you’re not careful, it leads to all kinds of problems, like depression and disease.
On the other hand, if you bring your awareness down into the body; focus on feeling more. On being more real, more here, more present. Being aware of the ground beneath your feet, the air in your nostrils, the sounds around you, the life in your body. If you do that, life becomes more joyful - because it's the way we are meant to be: it's in alignment with the natural order.

It’s not easy – because we’ve been conditioned by our society to do the opposite (at school, by our parents, by television, media, advertising, etc). But with practice you gradually eliminate worry, and cultivate a feeling of trust. 
That trust leads to respect, and that respect leads to love. For oneself, for others, and for the world around us.

What could be more natural than that?

To answer the second part of the question: yes it is possible to live in trust and love surrounded by industry and consumerism and avarice (greed). But it’s REALLY HARD. I think it’s essential to get out of town regularly, back to nature. Like, preferably every day. That's why I moved to the countryside - and I have to say I could never go back...

4 comments:

Rohini said...

Hi Ben,
This is a great post- thank you. I have a question for you: what do you think about offerings like 'The Secret' and the plethora of Law of Attraction material around these days? Specifically, the assertion that if you think 'negative' thoughts based on fear and worry that this is what you will manifest in your life. Having suffered from OCD for almost twenty years, most of my compulsive behaviour stemmed from trying to prevent the 'bad things' my intrusive and destructive thoughts threatened me with. I succeeded in healing myself of this problem and now regularly meditate and practice Reiki. However, I find myself held back from totally surrendering and trusting when these destructive thoughts intrude because of the assertions of The Secret et al. that thoughts carry power and that what we think will manifest. I then find myself fearfully grappling with these intrusive thoughts and trying to change them to their positive opposites. My meditation practice has taught me to just observe thoughts, good and bad as they arise and pass away and not identify and engage with them. This is what I am doing, learning to stay present- I just wanted to know your thoughts on these Law of Attraction beliefs because from my experience, they prevent me from staying present and create all sorts of other compulsive, worrisome problems, including not allowing myself to surrender and trust in the natural order.
Thanks,
Rohini

Ben Ralston said...

Hi Rohini,

Ok, to be specific to your question re: Law of Attraction etc...
There is truth to this, but not in the way it was marketed by movies such as Secret, and not in the way most people think.
The marketing says: believe you can have it, and you can have it (it being anything - but let's face it, it's usually referring to material success).
Most people believe belief is in the head (thoughts).

Here's the thing: you (I, we, everyone) are like a vast river. And your thoughts are just little ripples on the surface. So when your thoughts become negative, remember - it's just a tiny, tiny part of you.

You will not manifest your thoughts unless you invest a huge amount of energy in them. And you don't - the fact that you are meditating (and i can tell that you are meditating quite well) means that you are already detaching yourself from your thoughts... so my advice is - don't worry about your thoughts. Just remember, it's a ripple, or a cloud passing through the sky: watch it pass, and then enjoy the vast reserves of energy, emotion, and feeling that fuels the thought. That's the real you, and it will only manifest what you really need.
With love!
Ben

NC said...

I really enjoyed this Blog post. I currently am struggling with trust. I remember a teacher once telling me..."It's not letting go, it's letting be." I think that when I am at retreats or out in nature it is so much easier to be in sync with this natural order. But as soon as I put myself back into day to day life with the schedule, errands, work, school, etc...I immediately think that I am the controller again. Why wouldn't I think that when I can stay in a 70 degree house when its 20 degrees outside? ;-). My biggest struggle in trust is currently in relationship. I want a nourishing relationship with a partner and the person who I'm seeing doesn't want to commit to me...so I am left going back and forth in my head constantly. Do I just trust that thinks will evolve the way they are supposed to? Or do I voice my feelings and walk away if my needs aren't met? And around and around I go ;-)

Ben Ralston said...

NC,
Relationships are mirrors for what is going on inside us. My feeling is that when you learn to trust *yourself*, your relationship will reflect that (will become more committed and trustful).
The key is to stop living so much in the head (the controller), and to let be (As your teacher said) by being more present in the body and heart.
In a way, we have 3 different minds - head, heart, and gut - and it's important that we are more present in the lower two, and less present in the head.
With love
Ben

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