PBPF board members invited to share how they put Paul Brunton's Ideas into their lives. Below is Beverly's response.

THE INDEPENDENT PATH

by Beverly Bennett

Each of us is a unique individual and must find our own way to a peaceful mind and spiritual growth. Below is my interpretation of those Paul Brunton teachings that I use daily to bring light into my life and help me overcome negativity. Hopefully some of my ways will resonate with you and be of help as you follow your own path.

1. I practice being present in the moment and observe my thoughts. When they are quiet there is a wonderful feeling of peace. When they are Negative it is a sure sign that I am functioning from the position of ego and it is time for me to take positive action. Overself does not judge and there is no misery when I am able to be calm and more in tune with its peaceful presence.

2. I remind myself often that my true self is soul, a being of light. I pray frequently for guidance so that I might be a conduit for the light to flow through to others. This brings with it a responsibility to try to contribute positively to any situation in which I find myself.

3. In tense situations I breathe deeply, move attention inward to my breath, my inner body. Is it quiet? If not, I use a mantra, "Infinite peace is within me" or "beauty, goodness and truth flow all around and through me."

4. All that I am and do exists because I am, at the highest level, Soul. Any work I do is done for my Overself and all other Overselves. This reduces performance anxiety and the need for outward recognition. If praise comes I receive it with appreciation, if not, that's alright too.

5. So I've made another mistake. Who is it that makes that decision? Perhaps it was exactly what was needed in that situation for the good of a bigger picture that I cannot see. I try to pay attention to my intent. Was it pure? If not, why not? I observe, as objectively and impersonally as possible, correct if needed and then detach and turn it over to my Higher Self. Let go of self flagellation!

6. Difficult people provide an opportunity for me to remember that they too have an Overself within them. What is it that their or my Overself is teaching me as I interact with their egos? Perhaps I need to change some behavior of my own. One thing I know is that we each have a certain history that brought suffering and has shaped our behavior. I can have compassion for their pain and my own. That very empathy provides a touch of light, a shared humanity, and allows me to set aside my negative feelings. This letting go of resentment and anger is a small opening to the sacred inner silence, a gift I give to myself.

7. When negativity arises toward someone, I try to turn it around. I visualize them surrounded with the deep compassionate love available in white light. Immediately it feels better inside and often, although not always, the relationship improves.

8. No day is without its challenges. I try to step back and see them as what has been given to me so that in dealing with them effectively I learn and can put them behind me. I know that if I don't they will return until I do. When I am successful I feel a little closer to my soul.

9. I try to remember the Short Path and take it every chance I get. I want to increase the light that is within and surrounding me by practicing my awareness of the shimmers or glimmers of light as they arise. They occur in meditation or when experiencing beautiful music, visual beauty, poetry, inspirational literature, the kindness of others. They shine brightest in the quiet, allowing subtle intuitions to arise that can serve to guide me. When they come, I try to achieve the greatest benefit by paying close attention and staying with the feeling as long as I can, not letting my ego quickly divert me toward some everyday task.

Not nearly as often as I would like, it feels as though more of the light is present. Occasionally there is a calm clarity, an assuredness, a sense of knowing as I move through my life. This feeling is immensely rewarding and makes me increase my efforts as I feel I'm moving in the right direction.

Finally, know that even though we at times fail, and I do repeatedly, that despite our imperfections, every effort we make is leading us toward our precious goal. In our deepest self we are that which we seek and for every move we make toward the good, no matter how small, the gift of grace comes and takes us ever closer to union with the blessed oneness, the beauty and goodness of that which we really are, Soul or Overself.