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The Knights Of Awakening

July 3, 2011

Willpower: by Master Edge

Filed under: Musings Of The Masters — Knights Of Awakening @ 3:42 am

Willpower is the strength to act or refrain from acting in the pursuit of a goal. There are many correlations which can be drawn in training willpower and physical training. Powerful people are not born; they are trained. Proper technique is important to prevent injury. Growth requires increased resistance. Just as muscle can be toned and bulked, willpower can be tempered and raised. Tempering is patience or the ability to work under stress for prolonged periods of time. Bulking provides intense energy for extraordinary feats. The variables that determine if an exercise is toning or bulking are frequency and intensity. The strategic exploitation of commonplace events can be used to train willpower. A well developed training program can transform anyone into a confident, able person who is actively engaged in controlling his or her life and environment.

Just as increased strength and stamina is an open ended goal for physical training, it too is can serve for developing willpower. Many people mistakenly confuse desire for willpower. Desire is simply wanting; the act of only increasing desire makes whiney-babies. Willpower is the ability to do or get the object of desire. Others see it negatively as a discipline where one refrains from something over increasing periods of time. This is fallacy. Little strength can be built when the training for a goal is a 100% application of the goal; there is no way to increase resistance. This is the reason why people are tired after doing a job they have been doing every day for years. This line of thinking makes other goals, such as quitting a chemical dependency, almost impossible. Every cycle of refrain-then-indulge restarts the withdrawals. Cold turkey is the only way, and can only be accomplished if you’re strong enough. With pointless torture in mind, let us consider the techniques.

There are 3 main techniques. While creating training exercises for yourself, it is imperative to keep the exercises themselves wholesome. This will benefit by the act itself and again because it was used for training. Willpower can be implemented at any time and in any way; that is exactly the point. The healthiest perspective is to exercise and monitor progress. Toning exercises can occur daily and thereby creates the tendency to think of training as punishment for poor performance. This idea is toxic. Mixed with frustration, it creates a self abusive mentality. In those cases the mistake is to be retroactively viewed as punishment while the exercise is a corrective action to prevent reoccurrence. For example, if I was working on staying focused, then I would not use pain to “teach me a lesson” for daydreaming. Pain is the body’s response to damage; damage is not healthy. A proper preventative could be to write a paragraph on a health topic, stack and balance miscellaneous items on a coffee table for several minutes, or not end basketball practice until I could make 2 free throws in a row. Here, each activity requires focus in a healthy way while improving on other skill sets. Mistakes add up. However, always allocate exercises appropriately according to the ability to train and not the inability to perform.

Another main rule of thumb when working on willpower is to progress slowly but permanently. Consider the yo-yo effect of those who attempt to make large lifestyle changes. Also consider that willpower training is nothing more than the systematic removal of you out of your own way. Taking baby steps are vital to increasing resistance while keeping it doable. If at any time a training exercise is failed, it was because the goals are too lofty. The remedy is to repeat the last successful exercise before moving on to an intermediate challenge between it and the failed exercise. Repeated in simple terms – if training is too harsh, you will not continue to train; without training there can be no development.

The third technique is the mantra, “I say so.” During all training exercises this should be repeated internally until it becomes part of awareness. Other phrases such as, “Because I’m my boss, I’m in control, this is my will, this is my choice, etc” work also; whatever feels natural. Memories can also be recapitulated in mantra to reuse past moments of expressed intent; let no purposeful act go unnoted. Please observe that the I-regard must be allowed to adapt by including other parts of self as they become aligned. It may feel pathetic to dwell in mantra as one picks up a used napkin from the floor. However, it is the mantra that can empower you to someday host a park, lake or beach cleanup party, not the ability to pick up napkins.

Development requires increased resistance within the range of one’s abilities, and strength occurs as abilities increase. Now we must set ourselves to the task of defining and discussing the subjective elements: I-regard, resistance, and fluidity.

The I-regard is exactly what you mean when you say the word, “I”.  During the course of training it is very easy to associate “I” with the voice of internal dialog. Nothing could be more subtly deceptive. Where is this voice when a particular food is craved, the need to sleep or urinate arises, or a spiritual moment is experienced? It is just a commentator. Indeed, there are many reasons the mind is said to be a secondary organ of a whole person. Initially an untrained person will use information from traditional authorities as general guidelines when setting goals and developing a training program. During this phase willpower is exercised. But more importantly, the body and spirit are educated as to what is wholesome for them also. For example if our goal was health, then our program would be focused on physical training and nutrition. Exposure to these will allow the body to develop a taste for them. Quite literally, the locus of taste will shift from flavors in the mouth to bodily awareness, and a bodybuilder will not feel right for the day until after a workout. When this happens, the body and mind have become aligned. If religious convictions demand food that is prepared in a particular way, knowledge of nutrition can be included to make meals meet the demands of both spiritual and bodily needs. Once the body, mind, and spirit are aligned, the I-regard must include them. This trinity then works conjunctively in training to strengthen themselves and sculpt any facet of one’s life.

Resistance is oppositional pressure to willpower. Initially, it manifests as a reluctance to train. For example, it is present while eating a health food that is disliked, thinking compassionately about an offender, or struggling to run one more lap. These are wonderful training events! However, eventually the mind will grow strong enough to break the body and twist the spirit. When this occurs, resistance is no longer an internal conflict and will be provided by external factors. There is always one more person to help, another trail to hike, and another subject to explore while training.

There is a peculiarity of willpower which transcends the metaphor of physical training. If willpower can be used in application of one area in life, it can be exerted in the same degree toward any other. For example, let us consider an atheist champion sumo wrestler who converted and would like to become a catholic priest and also a cross-country runner. If progress is being made, it would be only a matter of time before he succeeded in both. The person who doesn’t train would have little chance at either.

Quite simply, all training exercises to increase willpower are activities that are in line with goals, healthy, and disliked. The quality of being disliked is the active principle which makes any act useful for exercising willpower. Every training program reflects the unique goals, tastes, and preferences of the individual. The list below explains the important elements and steps of a solid program to increase willpower.

  1. What means should willpower training take the form of, i.e. what goal would I like to achieve?
  2. What are a few activities are conducive to meeting the goal? (gather information if needed)
  3. What are examples of each activity in decreasing difficulty or dislike?
  4. What is my current strength level? Which item could I perform comfortably today and repeat daily with no difficulty? (training begins at one level of difficulty higher than your comfort zone)
  5. Monitor your progress and increase difficulty when little effort is expended to train. Slow down or take a day off when training becomes a dreaded chore.

Example:

  1. My goal is willpower and to build this I will use nutrition.
  2. I need to eat fewer snacks and more vegetables while maintaining my current caloric intake.
  3.     A. No snacks except fruit and substitute 3 servings of vegetables* daily.

              B. No snacks except fruit and substitute 2 servings of vegetables* daily.

              C. No snacks except fruit and substitute 1 serving of vegetables* daily.

              D. No snacks except fruit and tasting vegetables* daily.

              E. 1 snack and no vegetables daily.

    4.  My current comfort zone is level E, so training begins with D.

* Degree of difficulty can be further manipulated according to preference for certain vegetables over others.  I will start with those I like, such as corn and okra, and work my way up a list of disliked vegetables starting with Item D. This will be repeated for each level C, B, and A.

This was written… Because I say so!

April 3, 2011

Defense Against the Dark Arts: by Master Edge

Filed under: Musings Of The Masters — Knights Of Awakening @ 9:23 pm

This is an overview to defense against the dark arts. Dark, in this sense, is strictly bound to the imposition of one’s intent upon another or environment by use of unconventional means such as life force energy, chi, magic, will, prayer, exploitation, rhetoric, misinformation, propagandism etc. This definition is a philosophical derivative from the ideologies of human equality, free thought, and philanthropy. The counters to all the various systems of control are as inexhaustible as the systems themselves, and are thus beyond the scope of this article. Therefore, these generalities focus on their point of convergence: you.

From love potions to politics and salvation prayers to billboards, the relevant commonality is that they wish to perform unrequested change or manipulate something other than themselves. That nature supplies us with our first method of defense which is to recognize that we are surrounded by a swirling nebula of foreign will that never sleeps. In doing so, fear is not the necessary response. This acknowledgement is empowerment which intuitively informs the individual of two insights of defense. One is that of availability. For example: the salesman can’t sell vacation time share if you don’t attend the seminar; the energy vampire can’t rob you of vitality if you don’t answer the phone; and, the religious fanatics cannot demonstrate their zeal if you keep the conversation away from religion. Note the latter may be a utilization of dark arts to prevent the use of them against you by another. The other insight intuitively attained in acknowledging agenda is the chief defense against all dark arts; it is that of critical thinking. Strange questions emerge outside the spheres of sense perception. Objects are not always as they appear, but the unknown can be used for insight. For example: Why would my friend ask me to smoke this? What effect was that designed to have on me? What changed when the senate passed that bill, and who was affected? Why is s/he being so friendly? Do I really need that product? What are the foundational precepts of that philosophy? Where is this direction going? Etc. For further training in thinking critically, negotiate the Academy at The Order of Ashla Knights.

Until then, it is necessary to be armed with some knowledge of how energy works and the ability to identify manipulation as it occurs. The nervous system plays a vital role in most systems of manipulation. Regardless if the desired affect is to influence your behavior or make you physically ill, it will be your own mind which carries out the intended work. Therefore, there is nothing to fear except fear itself, yet what can’t be seen can hurt us. In order to see the unseen, we must simply be aware of the five most commonly used methods to affect change in others. They are listed in order of increasing difficulty to perform by the experienced manipulator, as well as long term severity to the victim.

1) Nervous system – This is use of energy directly upon the mind. Energetic entry into the mind is an independent method of manipulation and also the goal for which all other methods can be a means. Energy can follow visual or auditory channels. If visual entry is suspected, shift your focus from the center of vision to everything that is around it. If you wear glasses, focus on your frames without moving your eyeballs. With practice, this feels like becoming fish eyed. If auditory entry is suspected, divert your focus to other sounds in the room while letting the words of the manipulator pass through your mind like whiffs of clouds in the sky – observed but untouched. Witness them from a distance within yourself and decide what to do with the information as it is presented. Exercise for this can be done daily by listening to several ambient conversations simultaneously. Energy can pass directly into the head or back. Contrary to what you may have heard, energy passes through hoods and clothing. If an area of your body is psychically protected, energy can enter a weaker spot such as the feet or stomach before migrating to the nervous system. There are countless sources online for instruction in grounding, shields, and aura sealing. Those techniques can be used acceptably in conjunction with protective measures from every religious system with which I am familiar. Energy can be transmitted instantly by touch or at any distance. It can be placed in an object or spread around a location, like a pocket of fog, whereby touching or passing through respectively completes the transference. Again, availability and shields play a part here. Non-organic entities can be created and work independently of their creator. Protection and focus must only outlast the dissipation of the original amount of energy given them. Signs of intrusion include but are not limited to a change of mind, realization, unprovoked mood swing, impulsiveness, unprovoked arousal, unexplainable onset of bafflement or fatigue, tingling on the back of head or back, raised hairs on back of head or arms, irrational dislike or distrust of a place or person, and in severe cases blackout, or darkened, brightened, or blurred vision.

A word of caution, many symptoms mimic natural medical conditions, psychological disorders, and natural fluctuations; seek medical attention if you need it. Words and actions also have power and are used as a conduit for the following methods of lowering resistance. Keep in mind that a skillful manipulator can use communication to create change which directs thought, or plant seeds in the mind which later sprout to be accepted as one’s own thoughts; a masterful manipulator can do both while simultaneously projecting energetically.

2) Hunger – This encompasses all forms of baiting, luring, necessity, curiosity, or desire. Guilt through obligation, the damsel in distress, the sad story, a chance to win, intrigue, inspiration, seduction, problem/solution, embracing comfort, undue familiarity or warmth are classic examples. This method is always accompanied with the sensation of being pulled into something emotionally, mentally, physically, or financially. It is designed to work much like a spider’s web; consideration or participation corresponds to ensnarement. The appropriate response is to let common sense determine your level of involvement. In participation, enter with your bags packed. This means do not engage or commit with that which you are unwilling to lose; money can be taken; the mind can be lost; the heart can be broken; the body can be owned and sold; identity can be stolen; and, the spirit can be twisted. If you feel pulled, ask why.

3) Anger – The single pointed aim of using anger is to make the victim angry, but the effects are far ranging. If the victim is inexperienced at operating at elevated levels of stress, it exposes the nervous system and creates a situation conducive to mistakes which lead to other coercive techniques and goals such as embarrassment, loss, or damage. Anger used as the negative form of hunger provokes the victim to lash out, invest, or engage; being overextended creates vulnerability when maintaining one’s center is imperative. While placing the victims on guard against direct suggestion, it can be used to guide their thoughts by deceiving them into defending, and thus adopting, a stance of the manipulator’s choosing. If you feel pushed, ask why.

4) Identity – There are two aspects to having one’s identity attacked, internal and external. Internally, the manipulator’s goal is to make you doubt yourself, or to feel insecure, inadequate, off balanced, out of place, embarrassed, inferior, or awkward. Such a condition leaves the victim open to suggestion and mentally exposed. In an external attack on identity the manipulator will attempt to destroy your reputation and relationships with others by slander, libel, pointing out faults or mistakes, domination, and manipulating others against you etc. If you feel belittled, dependent, or isolated, ask why.

5) Death –Death covers a wide range of actions resulting in control, harm, or endings. Some examples include politics at work when jobs are at stake, abusive relationships, physical assault or death, destruction of property, brainwashing, rape, molestation, petty and full blown tyranny. The death tactic is the least used, but does happen. The act or its effect will be at the forefront of thought to all those involved, but may incline the victim to remain silent, abandon hope, or misplace blame. If you feel distressed, hurt, or trapped ask why.

As implied earlier, the mind is the guardian. I would love to report that it isn’t necessary for you to be on defense with friends, family or even me, but I cannot. It has been my experience that those around me are the most likely to attempt manipulation. Such are the natures of the spheres of influence and the inherency of expressed meaning. Take responsibility for your influence upon others. The nebula is inescapable, but manageable. Nonchalant statements made during everyday interactions may contain massive implications. Online communities, for example, are rich with philosophical dynamics; participation in them can at times feel like the equivalent of sitting in a lion’s den with a steak tied around your neck. Labyrinth like systems are designed control en masse. Yet, let none of these shift your locus of control. My point is this; after identifying manipulation comes the task of choosing how to respond. This choice is the power of defense. Most of the time, awareness of the situation will suffice to dispel its effect. Other times, it may help to show the manipulator that you are hip to the game. Even still, you may find yourself in a situation where you must defend yourself or protect others vigorously. For intense negotiations with a manipulator, peel back the layers of their method, agenda, and motive to see them for who they are. Remain centered within yourself by responding in the way you feel is most appropriate for you and the situation. When time permits, independently analyze the manipulation form, function, and intent; doing so will help in spotting them quicker the next time they are encountered.

By learning the signs and symptoms of effect upon these five portals of influence, you are equipped to identify most day to day encounters. An example of actual usage begins by making a mental note through observation, “He insulted me; that’s a number 4.” Then, proceed while knowing he desires the upper hand. Ask yourself why. Why does he need superiority; is it the goal or a means to something else? Was it intentional or is he a victim himself? Once you’ve evaluated, choose your response. You are free to do what you feel is right. Some options are to walk away, flip him through befriending, engage in discussing his irrationality, learn from his perspective, or fight tooth and nail. Regardless of your actions, the important thing is that you are doing it as yourself – by your choice. Instincts are trusted lifelines during engagement. If personal changes are necessary to consider, the choices will remain available until after the impression of the moment has passed.

The take home:

The application of influence saturates most interactions. Isolated manipulations are avoidable and negotiable, yet inescapable as a whole. There are five primary categories of influence: Nervous system, hunger, anger, identity, and death. Each can be identified according to its intended effect. Respectively, the signs are chiefly: raised hairs, pull, push, belittlement, and pain. If you feel manipulated, ask why. Choice is the power of defense against manipulation. Critical thought is the vehicle of choice. Training in defense against the dark arts is accomplished by finding and maintaining your center while negotiating ever increasing skill levels of influence. Know yourself. Trust yourself. Be yourself.

What am I looking for, and where do I find whatever it is? :Master Bane

Filed under: Musings Of The Masters — Knights Of Awakening @ 4:56 am

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your heart.  Who looks outside dreams, Who looks inside, awakes.”

Carl Jung

Have you ever asked yourself this question?  I know I have, many times and probably will continue to ask this question from time to time for the rest of my days.  I suspect many of you have asked yourself this question as well.  No, I am not talking about misplacing your keys or wallet (they are under your couch in case you are looking), I am talking about something deeper on a spiritual, mental, and physical level.   Many of us find ourselves feeling a sort of void deep down, like something isn’t there that is supposed to be there.

So off we go, looking here and looking there.  We check at this place and that, looking for that  unknown and mysterious thing that is missing.  We seek out others to help us look, or others to tell us what we are missing and lacking.  Let me give you a couple of examples if I may, a Christian will go to a Priest or Preacher looking for God or Jesus, a Jew will go to a Rabbi for help finding God, a Padawan or Knight will enlist a Master to show them where the Force is hiding.  I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have had the question “where is God”, “How do I find God”, “What is the secret to the Force”, and so on.  My reply is always the same to these good people who cannot seem to find what they are looking for.  I always answer with this simple phrase……”You were looking in the wrong place!”

Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”   Luke 17

“Looking in the wrong place!” they would usually reply to me.  “Yes, you are simply looking in the wrong place, but don’t worry, because what you have lost, forgotten, or have been missing is still there where you left it”.  Most of us get to points in our lives where the outside is all there is.  Lets face it this is the real world, bills have to be paid, mouths have to be fed, and stuff is going on!  We get so wrapped up on what is going on outside and around us that it eventually becomes all we see and know.  The Physical becomes our only reality, and all other aspects of ourselves become unknown, forgotten and foreign to us. 

“Look in the one place you forgot existed” I would tell them.  Puzzled, they would usually be silent for a few moments trying to figure out what I am talking about.  After several moments of silence I will give them this simple exercise….. Sit upright, quietly and comfortably.  Take several deep breaths in through your nose, and out through your mouth.  Take your left hand and cup it between your breasts and rest your hand there, just to the left of your breast bone.  Now take your right hand, and cup it over your left hand.  Sit quietly for another moment.  Can you feel that, can you feel that steady beat?  That is the door way to a forgotten place, a place where there are no questions, only answers.  “You want to find God, Jesus, Buddha, or the Force?  “Simply knock on the door and let yourself in….”

“Everything has its own place and function.  That applies to people, although many don’t seem to realize it, stuck as they are in the wrong job, the wrong marriage, or the wrong house.  When you know and respect your inner Nature, you know where you belong.”

Benjamin Hoff

When we feel like something is out of place or out of whack, it is because we have forgotten ourselves.  When we truly know ourselves, and love ourselves, then we can be complete.  Many people spend their lives chasing after big houses, the sexiest husband or wife, the best looking kids, and so on.  Not that any of these things are bad, or wrong if you want these things for yourself.  The problem is, many people find that even when they obtain these things, there is still something missing because things of the physical, cannot ever fill the spiritual and mental holes that we have created for ourselves.  The best way is to build from the ground up, this way you will have a foundation for your life that is unshakable and never broken.  Start from the inside and work your way out.  Never trust the outside more than your inner self, and never try and replace your inner self with anything from the outside.  As Dr. Deepak Chopra once wrote in his book “The way of the Wizard” everyone has a Merlin inside them. You would never set a roof on a house that has no walls or floors would you?

A Priest, Preacher, Rabbi, Monk, Guru, Master can only show you a path.  They can only point you in a direction.  They can only provide you with Knowledge, and instruction on a particular subject of faith or belief.  They can teach you how to pray, how to meditate, how to perform religious rites or rituals, they can empower you with stories and learning exercises.  They can provide you with advice and counsel from their points of views.  But none of them can take you to God, none of them can take you to Heaven, none of them can show you where to find paradise, or the Force.  You have to take the Knowledge, and the tools and internalize them.  You must practice them daily.  You must take the directions they gave you and forge your own path through the world.  Most importantly, Wisdom is only found when two parts are made whole; Knowledge and Action.  When you can take the Knowledge given, and put it into action into your whole life, your whole self (Spiritual, Mental, and Physical) only then can you find Wisdom through Experience.  All of those in the world, who you seek out to help you find what you are looking for, if they don’t tell you that all you seek has been right under your nose the whole time, then much to learn they still have.

What does make a Knight? :Master Bane

Filed under: Musings Of The Masters — Knights Of Awakening @ 4:32 am

Many of us all know or have read stories about Knights.  There are so many different examples out there from Middle Earth all the way out there in a galaxy far, far, away.  At the Knights of Awakening and at Ashla we have taken inspiration from more sources than one can count.  No one definition is right of course, just different.  At Ashla, it is our objective to Practice a path that one CAN follow and implement into their lives.  We do not take seriously those that are nothing more than words on a website, or words on a parchment.  Philosophies are only as good as those who practice them and as those philosophies that actually can be practiced.  The rest, is a waste of time.  We believe that there are certain qualities that make a Knight someone who can truly make a difference not only in other peoples lives, but have an impact in the Knights own life as well.  Keep in mind that these are certainly not the only things that make a good Knight, merely some that David and I have come to embrace.  I look forward to your comments and ideas on what makes a Knight…

A Knight is a person who thru Training, Practice, and Experience seeks excellence in their craft, Physically, Mentally, and Spiritually.  Using these talents, gaining strength and ability to serve justice, and the good of all rather than self.  The Knight does understand however that Justice sometimes can be a terrible thing, so in seeking justice and what is right, humanity, Compassion and mercy must always be employed.

A Knight seeks the path of Right in all their endeavors.  Never biased by personal judgments or personal interest.  Taking each situation as it comes, never judging until they have the knowledge they need and always seeking to find the right path instead of the easy or fast one.

A Knight is Loyal to their ideals, and is loyal to doing what is right and just.  A Knight is someone who stands for an ideal.  Loyal to the betterment of themselves and those around them.  Understanding that loyalty is a virtue and must be used with temperament.  Changing an ideal is key in growth which is why the Knight is always on guard for when an Ideal no longer serves it’s purpose.

A Knight is someone who stands up for others.  Defending those who cannot defend themselves.  A Knight teaches others the skills needed to navigate the tough situations they will find themselves in.  The goal for a Knight is to bring others to a point to where the Knight is no longer needed, and a new Knight in that other person is born.  A Knight knows and understands that not every situation needs a sword, sometimes bold action and a stance of defense is all that is needed.  Their strongest weapon is not a sword, but it is the drive for wisdom, the wish for Peace, Compassion and Love for others, showing mercy in all situations, and understanding that there is more to all things than what one can see. 

A Knight understands that the Easy path is not for them.  Through the difficulties of doing what is right, the Knight inspires inner strength, inner unity, and inner harmony.  This then transcends themselves and encourages others around them, to take the high road in all situations, rather than the easy.  This requires a great deal of Courage and the Knight understands that every situation they may find themselves in, great amounts of courage and perseverance will be needed to do the right thing.

A Knight has faith in what they hold to be true.  Faith has a way of helping us all past those weaknesses that we may perceive in our selves.  What ever the Knight may find themselves believing, they believe it strongly because that is what keeps them going in the face of unbeatable odds.

A Knight is Humble in all occasions, always valuing first the contributions and sacrifices of others before their own.  Others may tell of a Knights accomplishments, accepting a gift or praise is just as important as giving, but in truth; a Knight cares not for these things, only their service to others and the common good of all is what matters.

A Knight is generous to those around them.  A Knight understands that what is given will come back to them.  A Knight takes care of themselves as their means allow, because to keep all things leads to greed, and one who is greedy cannot serve others above themselves.

April 1, 2011

Compassion: Master Bane

Filed under: Musings Of The Masters — Knights Of Awakening @ 11:35 pm

Compassion.  Think about that word for a minute.  Ponder it’s meaning, roll those thoughts, ideas and beliefs around in your head for a few moments.  What kinds of things are you seeing?  How does the thought grab you?  What are you feeling?

Compassion such a powerful word for some.  For others, just a fancy buzz word that we like to throw around to show others how much we know, how much we “care” for others, to show how much we “belong” to a certain philosophy or group.  Sure most people would argue that everyone knows what compassion is, but to those who really know what the word means, do we really know what it is?  Do we take Compassion one step further from our minds and put it into action wisely?  Or is it yet another just another fancy buzz word on the parchment of some one’s philosophy?  Understanding that Compassion is not something that can be applied like a blanket to all situations, Compassion is a very difficult state to be in all of the time.

That is where the misconception of Compassion really comes to life.  The Websters dictionary (dictionary.com) defines compassion as:

“A feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.”

Most of us have felt the deep need to help others through their pain, to help them through a really tough time, to feel “sorry” for someone else.  Yet so very few of us act upon this deep urge wisely.  We are taught by those who have taken the lessons from many philosophies and religions literally and use Compassion in every situation.  Compassion is not a band aid that can be applied to every cut, bruise, or scrape.  Compassion is more of a state of being than it is a state of mind.  Compassion is knowing when to step in and help and when to step back and allow things to happen to someone.  When we use Compassion as a blanket for all of the worlds problems, we do so at the risk of making things worse for others, and putting ourselves at risk as well.  

I would like to take the word and meaning of Compassion one step further.  For a Knight, the word Compassion does not just mean to help others through the toughest times in their lives, the word Compassion means for us, an undying Love and Respect for others.  To be able to treat others in the highest regard, not for any other reason other than our Compassion for them, for all things.  Understanding that to have Compassion, is to have the highest of Respect for Life.  Compassion is a very good tool, and very good attitude to have when dealing with the world and all of those who share it with us.  It does not mean that you have to give your last dollar away and it certainly does not mean that we have to all join the peace Corps.

I can see someone out there jumping up and down out there somewhere (yeah I see you) saying, “So what you are saying is that we should only feel Compassion towards others and not act on that feeling?”  No, that is not what I am saying.  What I am saying is this, Compassion as an act cannot be applied to every situation that we will encounter in our lives.  Matter of fact, if you do blanketly apply the act of Compassion to every situation in your life, you will find your self suffering at some point and also finding yourself in a position to where you are now no longer able to help anyone.  What we should strive for and develop is a Compassionate state of being.  That state of being where we understand and respect others and the things that bring us together, the common threads that hold us all together and not so much on what makes us different from each other.  

So how can we apply Compassion to our lives, to find a Compassionate state of being?  Here there are a few things we can do in our lives to start to increase our Compassion towards others.  These are not the end all ways to develop Compassion, but they are a good start.  

  •  We have to take a non-judgmental approach to others and their situations.  It can be very difficult to look at something or someone without our preconceived judgements about them.  It seems to be in our very nature to do this almost immediately.  But like many things, we only approach others in this manner because we are conditioned to.  Part of the Knights journey is to unlearn what we have learned and to recondition ourselves for the better.  Go out of your way everyday to keep yourself from judging two things.  Give that a few weeks, and then up the ante to say, five things or people that you can interact with, or situations you deal with, without first prejudging what you see. 

 

  • Treat others as you wish for them to treat you.  Yes, I said it.  I went there.  You have been hearing this for as long as you can remember, but it is important to not forget how wise of a thought it is.  In order for us to learn to be more compassionate, we must first understand what it is that we expect from others.  We must learn to know ourselves in such a way that there is nothing about ourselves that would make us Love ourselves any less.  Once we understand how we want others to treat us, then we will naturally follow suit and start treating others in a compassionate, and respectful way.

 

  • Walk a mile in someone elses shoes.  In most situations, it is impossible for us to understand what someone is going through, if we are not willing to put ourselves in their place for a moment to see what they might be going through.  I understand that there will be those times where we cannot possibly know what another is going through, but we can strive to understand none the less.  I can tell you in my previous lines of work I have just about seen it all (or so I keep telling myself, until the next thing comes around!) and have dealt with many situations that I would probably never personally find myself in.  The key for me being able to help them in that moment, was to be empathetic, and to try and imagine what they must be feeling and thinking.  It is this first step to problem solving that many people seem to miss and usually keeps them separated and distant from those they are trying to help.  This also points to another notion that I find many people trapping themselves with.  Knights do not seek to be detached from those around them. We seek to Participate in the chaos of life. by actively participating in life we find ourselves in a better position to have compassion, mercy, and to be non-judgemental because we are on the same level everyone else is on. We have very well walked a mile in someone else’s shoes and by experiencing our emotions, we are better for it. This does not mean they control us, but we strive to participate none the less.

 

  • Never take anything to seriously, nor to personally.  Far too many of us, let our feelings keep us from Loving and caring for those around us all of the time.  First thing we do when trying to help others, to show our Compassion for them, is to take everything a bit to seriously.  Now do not mistake what I say for ALL situations, because there are some situations that require immediate, direct, and serious action.  But most situations do not.  When I say don’t take everything too personally, I mean to say that we shouldn’t allow what people say, or do to affect us deep down, on a personal level.  We shouldn’t let others, or their situations affect us in a way that it comes home with us, or follows us where ever we go.  We have to realize that most things that happen in the world around us, are out of our control.  The only thing we can control, is how these things affect us.

 

  • All things are connected, what happens to one, can most certainly happen to you.  It is a widely accepted belief that all things are connected.  Because a Knight respects all Life, When dealing with others a Knight knows that they are a part of that very Knight.  When we find ourselves dealing with a person who is in a bad spot, or even when interacting with others, we develop a basic Respect and decency for them and keeps things in a fair perspective.  Always remember, when dealing with someone, or a situation, try and learn from what is going on.  Always remember that what is happening to this person, can very easily happen to you someday.  If you helped them through this issue, you have not only gained a friend and a ally, but you have also gained valuable knowledge for the next time that you face a situation or person that may be similar!

Compassion is a very powerful word, but even more powerful is the use of this in our daily lives.  You certainly can change the world, one person and one situation at a time.  You do not have to have superpowers to save the world, all you need is a heart big enough to Love and Respect it.  The goal for a Knight is not to “act” in a compassionate manner all of the time, but to Be compassionate when dealing with the world around us especially when dealing with ourselves.

I would be happy to hear your thoughts on this topic and any other ways for us to be more compassionate towards others.

Welcome to the Knights Of Awakening Blog! : Master Bane

Filed under: K.O.A. Updates — Knights Of Awakening @ 7:25 pm

Hello Everyone!  It has been a long time since we have been on the air.  I want to share with you some things that have been going on that has helped prevent us from broadcasting a show in hopes that you will at least feel like we have done what we can to keep you all informed. 

As you all know, The end of Jan. was our final blog talk radio appearance.  This was due to changes that were taking place over a blog talk radio that we did not agree with.  We didn’t feel that  paying for the same service we were already using would enhance the show in any way.  We do not have any income coming in for the show at present, so it wasn’t really a viable path for us to take.  We had planned to be back on the air in March with a different format. 

In February I was out of town for nearly 3 weeks out of the month for my daughters surgery that was taking place in California.  My mother in law had also fallen deathly ill at that time.  My mother in law passed away at the end of February.  We left back to California at the begining of March to attend the services and to help with the family estate and such which took me away for nearly another two weeks.

Needless to say, it has been a hell of a couple of months out here.  Keep in mind these are not excuses, merely reasons.  David and I have missed you all very much and are working very hard to get back on the air soon.  Thanks for your support and patience while we work to get the show back up and running.

As a side note, David and I are working on other side projects as well.  You will from time to time see our blog posts here as well.

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