A Psychotherapy of Hope



Spirituality Articles

This page contains a few excerpts and reflections on subjects that might be of interest to my clients.

The Missing Link
By Sydney Banks

One of the greatest misconceptions ever is the belief that….
“It takes years to find wisdom.”

Many experience time, few experience wisdom.

The achievement of mental stability and peace of mind is one thought away from everyone on earth…if you can find that one thought.

Throughout time, human beings have experienced insights that spontaneously and completely changed their behavior and their lives, bringing them happiness they previously had thought impossible.

Finding wisdom has nothing to do with time.

Achieving mental stability is a matter of finding healthy thoughts from moment to moment. Such thoughts can be light years or a second away.

The spiritual energy of all things, whether in form or formless, is known by many names.

Nature is the physical form the spiritual energy has taken.

Believe me, the subtle truth all people seek will never be found in the illusion of form called nature.

Look deep inside your soul: this is where you will find the answer.

Your thoughts and feelings are a mirror of your soul.

Each living soul experiences life as an individual. This is why all humans live and see a separate reality.

The divine truth that lies within each living soul never changes. It is eternal.

The divine passes from the formless to form, and as human beings we are both spectators and participants in this spiritual theater called life.

The great mystics of the world who tried to explain such knowledge had no choice but to speak in metaphors, knowing their words were only a representation of the spiritual wisdom that lies within the consciousness of all human beings.

All human psyches are rooted in universal truth and no person’s psyche is better that any other’s. Only to the degree of the individual’s psychological and spiritual understanding does it appear to vary.

Words are merely a form. Listen not to words, but to that which words attempt to convey.

Remember… it is not the clay that represents the sculpture, but the form the artist has molded it into.

Just like the clay of the sculpture, thought is not reality. However, our personal realities are molded via our thoughts.

At the moment of birth, the virgin mind discovers creation, and the duality of life is born. Henceforth you live in a world governed by thought.

When clarity and purity of thought are present, the answer you seek will present itself, for what you seek is with you and has been with you always.

In the silence of our minds lies creative incubation, bring the wisdom and the joy we all seek.

What is Spirituality?

Spirituallity and religion are not necessarily the same thing. Religion is the outer form; spirituality is the inner content. Religion is the husk; spirituality is the seed. Religion is a set of beliefs; spirituality is a continuum of experience.

One can be spiritual and not attend church or temple. One can find one’s spirituality in intimate sharing with others, in communion with nature, in being of service. Spiritual experience is simply that which relaxes the mind and uplifts the heart. Meditating, walking in the woods or by the ocean, holding an infant, or looking into a lover’s eye—these are all spiritual experiences. When there is love and acceptance in your heart, your spiritual nature is manifest and you can see the spiritual nature of other people.

To be spiritual is to see yourself and others without judgment, to see not just with the eyes, but with the heart. To be spiritual is to accept and appreciate “what is,” instead of seeking “what is not.”

A spiritual person sees beauty everywhere, even in suffering. Wherever hearts are touched by the poignancy of life, there is beauty. Whenever people learn their life lessons and let the past fall away, beauty is present. There is beauty in the rain and clouds, and beauty in the sun. There is beauty in aloneness and in intimacy, in laughter and in tears. Wherever we turn, beauty awaits us.

A spiritual person does not focus on what appears to be ugly, cruel or manipulative. S/he sees all these behaviors as coming from a lack of love. S/he gives love whenever it is asked for, even if it is requested in a fearful or aggressive way. A spiritual person looks upon her own suffering and that of others as a temporary disconnection from the experience of love.

A spiritual person knows that love is the answer to every perceived problem. If life does not unfold the way we want it, we have disconnected from love and acceptance. To reconnect, we need only surrender our expectations and accept what comes into our lives gratitude.

Spirituality is the consciousness that life is okay the way it is. It doesn’t need to be changed or fixed. It just needs to be accepted.

When we make peace with life, we have peace in our lives. It is that simple. We cannot blame anyone else for our unwillingness to make peace.

A spiritual person is peaceful, upbeat, helpful, encouraging. S/he doesn’t complain about the past or look for happiness in the future. S/he doesn’t try to fix other people or ask to be fixed. S/he lives in the present moment, filled with gratitude and acceptance.

Everyone is spiritual, but not everyone takes the time to explore spirituality. Many people become lost in the drama of their lives. They spend most of their time dealing with survival issues. They do not take the time to watch the sunset or smell the roses. They are missing out on a great deal of joy and beauty. If they would just stop, take a deep breath and look for a moment, they would realize what they are missing.

A spiritual person is a happy person. S/he refuses to sacrifice that happiness for any reason. S/he does not think thoughts or perform actions that compromise his or her happiness in any moment.

This is the discipline involved in living a spiritual life. There are many people who would draw you into their dramas of suffering and victimhood, but you must learn to say no to them. Bless them. Give them the space to have the experience they wish to have. But do not join them in that experience unless you can do so happily.

Do not seek to heal other people or rescue them from their dramas. Your ability to genuinely help them depends on your maintaining your own health and peacefulness. By holding the vibration of your own happiness, you help them see where they can find healing and salvation within themselves.

When you rest in your Self, you see that there are no problems to be fixed. Life just needs to be accepted in a heartfelt way. In that acceptance, peace and happiness are established and all that was obstructing love is dissolved.

Taken from Paul Ferrini’s book “Miracle of Love,” Chapter V.

Looking Within
from A Course in Miracles

Healing does not come
from anyone else.
You must accept guidance
from within.

No one who comes here
but must still have hope,
some lingering illusion,
or some dream that there is something
outside of himself
that will bring happiness and peace to him.
If everything is in him
This cannot be so.

Seek not outside yourself.
For all your pain
comes simply from a futile search
for what you want,
Insisting where it must be found.
What if it is not there?

Do you prefer that you be right or happy?
Be you glad that you are told
where happiness abides,
And seek no longer elsewhere.
You will fail.
But it is given you to know the truth,
and not to seek for it outside yourself.

Heal and be healed.
There is no other choice of pathways
that can ever lead to peace.

There is a sense of peace so deep
that no dream in this world
has ever brought even a dim imagining
of what it is.

Peace be to you whom is healing offered.
And you will learn that peace is given you
when you accept the healing for yourself.
What occurred within the instant
That love entered in without attack
Will stay forever.
Your healing will be one of its effects.

Brother, the war against yourself is almost over.
The journey’s end is at the place of peace.
Would you not now accept
The peace offered you here?

Health is inner peace.

To have peace, teach peace.

Limit the peace you share,
and your Self must be unknown to you.

The purpose of your learning
Is to enable you
to bring the quiet with you
and to heal distress and turmoil.
This is not done by avoiding them
and seeking a haven of isolation
for yourself.

We who are one
would recognize this day
the truth about ourselves.
We would come home, and rest in unity.
For there is peace, and nowhere else
can peace be sought and found.

When peace comes at last
to those who wrestle with temptation
and fight against the giving in to sin;
When the light comes at last into the mind
given to contemplation;
or when the goal is finally achieved by anyone,
it always comes with just one happy realization;
“I need do nothing.”

from A Course In Miracles

Psychotherapy is the only form of therapy there is.
Since only the mind can be sick, only the mind can be healed.
Only the mind is in need of healing.
This does not appear to be the case,
For the manifestations of this world
Seem real indeed.

Psychotherapy is necessary so that an individual
can begin to question their reality.
Sometimes he is able to start
to open his mind without formal help, but even then it is always some change
in his perception of interpersonal relationships
that enables him to do so.
Sometimes he needs a more structured,
extended relationship with an “official” therapist.
Either way, the task is the same;
the patient must be helped to change his mind
about the “reality” of illusions.

Very simply, the purpose of psychotherapy
is to remove the blocks to truth.

Illness of any kind may be defined
as the result of a view of the self
as weak, vulnerable, evil and endangered,
and thus in need of constant defense.

Psychotherapy is a process
That changes the view of the self.

Psychotherapy, correctly understood,
teaches forgiveness and helps the patient
to recognize and accept it.

A therapist does not heal:
he lets healing be.

Who, then, is the therapist,
and who is the patient?
In the end everyone is both.
He who needs healing must heal.

Everyone is both patient and therapist
In every relationship in which he enters.

from A Course In Miracles

There is no more self-contradictory concept
than that of “idle thoughts.
”What gives rise to the perception of a whole world
can hardly be called idle.
Every thought you have
contributes to truth or to illusion;
Either it extends the truth
or it multiplies illusions.

Every thought you have
makes up some segment
of the world you see,
It is with our thoughts, then,
that we must work,
if your perception of the world
is to be changed.

Nothing but your own thoughts can hamper your progress.

Your ability to direct your thinking as you choose
Is part of its power.
If you do not believe you can do this
You have denied the power of your thought,
And thus rendered it powerless in your belief.

You may believe that you are responsible
for what you do,
But not for what you think.
The truth is that you are responsible for what you think,
Because it is only at this level that
you can exercise choice.
What you do comes from what you think.

I am affected only by my thoughts.

Things you need for the next step of your development

The things you need for your next step in development are always placed, sometimes by a series of miraculous coincidences, into you hands.

You are ready now to lift up your eyes and to expand the vision and the awareness of your own nature and the nature of the world in which you live. Your mind is not limited to what you can see with your eyes. Neither is the value of your life limited to what you are now trying to accomplish.

Expanded perception comes only with the desire coupled with that mustard grain of faith that says, "There must be something more." It all begins to happen when you still the frantic mind and listen to the voice within that knows.

Spiritual development begins with the recognition that we are caught in a cosmic trap that consists of our accepting as reality the illusion of the material world. Fare more serious is the loss of our own identity as we become caught up with survival fear in our dealings with others. As we grow, we become cloaked with personality, a very limited and limiting caricature of our true being. And as we lose sight of ourself we become closed off to God, the Indwelling Self.

Finally, something happens in the lives of many of us which compels an inner search. And once a sincere attempt is made to reestablish contact with the Indwelling Self, we are usually rewarded by enough initial success to encourage us to continue further. Progress is sometimes difficult to measure and we must persevere on faith to overcome the tendency to become discouraged.

Deep within the recesses of the mind, beyond the screen of visual imagery and the noisy inner dialogue of the mind to the Source of consciousness itself, resides the kindly voice, soft as the faint rustling of leaves on a warm summer night. It is the Eternal Self, the Indwelling Presence, The Transcendental Being with whom we shall one day reunite.

Once we have begun to listen, we have taken the first vital step. Everything else comes from this. We must take the time necessary to listen and to make this an important priority in our lives.

We must dare to see the limitations of our consciousness in a material body, and the weaknesses that hold us there. We must learn to grow beyond survival fear and to avoid becoming discouraged by knowing that we are not alone, and that all help is available for the asking.

We are never alone. God's attention is always focused upon us. Everyone is unique in some way, and everything we experience has been especially arranged for our own learning and greater development.

Taken from the book, "Rise Above It", by Ernest F. Pecci, MD