Chapter 7 – The Fourteen Practices

Following are 14 practices for dissolving shadows and
experiencing your True Self. It is completely up to you which of these
practices you implement in your life. It is also up to you how often you do
them and how devoted you are to this process. What I can tell you is that the
more you practice these and the more you implement all of them into your life
the faster you will experience the results you wish for. Do them exactly as
prescribed at first. You can adjust them for your needs and preferences after a
few months.

Remember, you are recognizing and changing beliefs, metaphors, feelings and imagery in yourself all the way down into your unconscious mind. This takes time and focus. It does not happen over night or even in a few days. Be patient and stay focused. The changes will occur and you will see the differences in your life.

Let us now go over the 14 practices for dissolving shadows and
living a fulfilling life.

 Practice One

 Pay close attention to what you are feeling.

With absolute honesty and focused introspection, pay
attention to all the feelings in your body and emotions. Very often shadows
will express themselves physically – tension, inability to sleep, illness, lack
of dexterity, lack of mental clarity. Sometime you will not even realize the
shadows are there. Just be honest with yourself. Be vigilant. Feel them,
acknowledge them, but do not contend with them. Do not fight them. Just look at them. Watch the shadows without judgment or desire to see them gone. Do your best not to react to them. Do nothing more.

When you have watched the shadows for a while something
marvelous will happen. You will begin to disassociate from them. You will
identify yourself as the one who is watching and not as the darkness. The one
watching is not suffering. Relax into the peaceful, non-judging watcher. You
will come to realize that the shadow is not really a part of who you are. It is
more like something dark that enters you. Maybe it even attempts to overwhelm
you, but is not who you really are. Just watch and feel yourSelf.

Again, do not attempt to control darkness or to rid yourself of it. Just watch.

Practice Two

 Do the dissolving shadow meditation at the end of this book
every day, twice a day, minimum.

Morning and evening seem to be the best times for this
practice. There will probably be a hundred excuses for not doing these
meditations but only one, very important reason, for doing them. Your life
depends on it.

Practice Three

Pay close attention to all the feelings you experience throughout the
day and night. Use the following inner dialogue to dissolve the shadows.

 Pain, depression, anger, fear, sadness, worthlessness,
loneliness and a hundred other feelings are not any part of who you really are.
They are your shadows, metaphors. They are what you are not. Use them to remind yourself
who you really are. Use this inner dialogue all day and night. You must be
constantly vigilant to what you are feeling, thinking, saying and doing. The
inner dialogue should also be used whenever you notice shadows trying to creep
back into your life. The process goes like this:

Step 1

Focus your attention on the depression, darkness, pain, frustration, anger, confusion, emptiness, lack, loneliness or any other shadowy manifestation that you feel within or around you. Look at it clearly, face it, allow yourself to feel it honestly. Then say to it;

I feel you. I acknowledge you. But you are not me. You are not the Truth, you are a shadow, a lie. You are not any part of me and you are not any part of God. You are a lie. You are what and who I am not. Your welcome is taken back. You are no longer welcome here. You must go now.

(This dialogue will only disassociate you from the shadow; Step 2 is what dissolves it.)

Step 2

The second step in this process is to allow yourself to feel
the Spirit that you are, the Real Self, the One who knows no pain, suffering,
anger or any other shadow. As you look honestly at what you are not, (the shadow), and disassociate yourself from it, you will begin to experience the Real Self, the Spirit that you are. Then look back at the shadow and say to it with
clarity and certainty; See, this is what I am, not you.

Feel that sense of Self-Realization. When you feel your Real
Self, the Soul, even if it just a glimmer at the beginning, take a deep breath
and as you release the breath, relax into It, melt into It, dissolve into It as
if nothing else matters at that moment. Imagine that your body and mind are completely dissolving into the Peace, Love, Joy or Bliss. Let go of any agendas or
control. Just melt into Infinite Love.

This is what dissolves the shadows.

Take another deep breath and feel your Spirit. Then watch
and feel the shadow dissolve. The Soul will feel peaceful, free, loving, joyous
and fulfilled. Feeling your Soul after dissolving a shadow is like a sigh of
relief. If you notice any shadows still present, dissolve into your Spirit even
more. Be honest with yourself, be sure the shadow is dissolved and is not just
sublimated. Feel and be your Soul and the shadow will be dissolved.

Living and Being yourSelf is what keeps the shadows from returning.

Step 3

The third step in the process is the most essential. After
you have gained this wonderful Self-awareness, you must then live the truth of
your Soul openly and honestly in your life. This third practice is the one that
keeps the shadows from returning. It allows you to tangibly experience all that
you really are and all you are meant to do in this life. Living your Soul
reveals the fulfillment, love, joy, flow, grace and peace that you always
dreamed were possible. If you notice the shadows returning ask yourself; Where in my life am I not being true to my Self? When you have the answer, make the changes necessary.

Continue this process until the shadow is dissolved and you
really feel the truth that was hidden by the lie. Sometimes you may have to do
this process many times before you see a real difference in your life and feel
a real difference in yourself. Sometimes it only takes minutes or hours to see
a tangible difference, though more often it takes longer. But the truth
eventually does shine through. The shadows must and will disappear. Stay with
these practices no matter what.

Do not argue, fight or conflict in any way with the shadows.
If you do it will just make them seem more real. Remember, no matter how real
they seem, they are just shadows! This is not a battle, it is an awakening.

As I said, the process is quite simple but demands the
honest and consistent ‘doing’. The benefits are great for you and your world.
Use your terms and images as you develop this process for yourself. The more
you feel, the more effective the process is. Try it for yourself and see.

So, the 3 steps are:

  1. Feeling the shadow and disassociating from it.
  2. Self-recognition and melting into your Soul,
    Love or Peace, (which dissolves the shadow).
  3. Living the Truth of yourSelf, (which keeps the
    shadows from returning).

 Practice Four

Pay close attention to all the music you have around you.

Surround yourself, as much as possible, with music that
uplifts and reminds you of the Spirit that you are. Music that is peaceful and
joyous. If the music has lyrics, be sure they are positive and uplifting. There
will be times that you cannot choose what music surrounds you. That is when you will need to pay close attention to how the music is affecting you and use the
inner dialogue to dissolve any shadows that come up.

Practice Five

Monitor what you watch on TV, see a the movies and listen to on the
radio, 
read in magazines and newspapers.

Pay attention to how you feel before, during and after
reading the news or watching the program or movie. Are there shadows to
dissolve? Where did they come from? Do your best to only read, watch and listen
to programs and magazines that are uplifting. Read or watch the news only once
a week if you watch or read it at all. (If you must read or watch the news it
is best to choose an objective news program or paper). Even then, dissolve any
shadows that come up during and after reading or watching the news magazine or program. There are some things in the world you can effect, change or help, and there are some that you cannot. Only in the clarity of your Spirit can you know the difference and what, if anything, you can do. After doing this practice for at least 2 months then watch something that you would have watched before you began this practice. Pay close attention to the feelings and thoughts that
appear and deal with them as you know how.

Practice Six

 Read only uplifting books.

As in practice 4, read books and other materials that remind
you of the wonderful, loving, joyous Spirit that you are and of the goodness
that God is. There are thousands of books available like this; fiction and
non-fiction. Find those that ‘speak’ to your Spirit and uplift you. Keep them
handy.

Practice Seven

No alcohol or drugs.

There is no way to be rid of suffering and to consume alcohol
or drugs. Even one drink invites darkness into your life. This is a choice only
you can make – peace, joy, fulfillment, love… or alcohol. You can have one or
the other but you cannot have both.

If you are taking a prescription medication ask your
physician if a possible side effect of that medication may be depression,
anxiety, pain, etc. If it is, discuss with your physician possible
alternatives.

Once you are experiencing yourSelf, peace and fulfillment on
a consistent basis then you can re-examine your intake of alcohol or drugs. If
you choose to try them again the do so very slowly and see what your reactions
are. The choice is yours.

Practice Eight

Pay attention to your home environment. Is it uplifting?
Is it an expression of your Spirit?

Surround yourself with art, objects, colors and even scents
that uplift you. Create an environment that is a constant reminder and mirror
of your beautiful Soul. Put away, sell or give away anything that reinforces
the shadows. Clean out your home the way you are cleaning out your personality.
Every time you turn around and everywhere you go in your home there should be something there that reminds you of who and what you really are and how beautiful the world really is.

Practice Nine

Only include those in your life, on a close personal basis, who treat
you
the way you deserve to be treated.
All others are only acquaintances.

You are a beautiful Spirit expressed as a human being, an
expression of Infinite Divine Love. How do you deserve to be treated? With
respect, caring, compassion, love and gentleness – that is how you deserve to
be treated and how you should treat all others. For are they not Spirits as you
are? There are times when you cannot choose who you are with, but never should you accept treatment that causes you to feel less than the pristine Soul that you are. Nor should you ever act towards or treat others as less than what they are. There is something quite magical that occurs when you live this practice. Those who insist on treating you badly should be kept at a distance and dealt with only when necessary. If there is a person in your family or at work
treating you poorly it is essential to let that person know that unkind
behavior is no longer acceptable. Shadows will hold on to you as long as you
accept treatment that tells you that you are less than who you really are, or
as long as you treat others as less than who they are.

We are all pristine Spirits. Accept nothing less from those in your
life and from yourself.

Practice 10

Remember, God can only give you
what you believe you deserve.

Look and listen honestly inside yourself. Is there any voice
or feeling telling you that you are undeserving or unworthy? Look into a
mirror, say to yourself, I love you. Listen and feel what the internal reaction is to what you have just said. Is there anything inside that disagrees with you in any way? Is there anything inside that tells you that you do not deserve to be loved? Is there anything inside treating you as less than who you are? These feelings are not you. They are shadows you have carried with you, maybe all your life. Dissolve any shadows that tell you that you are undeserving or unworthy. Darkness cannot hold on to you if you truly love yourself and feel deserving and worth of God’s goodness.

Also, if there is anyone in your life who treats you as if you are worthless or undeserving then you must tell them that this is no longer acceptable. Do not spend time with people who treat you poorly. They only reinforce these old shadows.

Practice Eleven

 Surrender into Infinite Love
Every morning, afternoon and evening.

To do this exercise all you need to do is contemplate
Infinite Love. Love without beginning and without end. Love without limits or
boundaries. Love that is not dependent on any situation, person, place or
thing. Love that is always present no matter what. (You can replace the word
Love with Joy or Peace with the same powerful effect). Feel and contemplate
this in the very present moment. Let go of the past or the future. Pay
attention to just this moment, wherever you are. Imagine yourself surrounded by
this Love. Imagine it filling your body and then your mind. Then feel yourself
melt into it, dissolve in it as if all the atoms and molecules of your body
were dissolving into everything around you. Like a drop of water dissolving
into the ocean. Dissolve into God as if nothing else mattered at the moment.
Nothing.

Rest in that state for a few minutes. Feel Love and feel  loved. Feel whatever there is to feel there at that moment. Judge nothing. Let  go completely of any concerns about how anything you are dealing with is going  to turn out. Watch thoughts float by but do not struggle with them or become  attached to them. For these few moments nothing but Infinite Love, Peace of Joy
matters. In Infinite Love there is no depression pain or fear. There is no
darkness of any sort. This infinite Love is everywhere and everything. It is
always with you, closer than breathing. Ultimately this Infinite Love is all
that is Real. It is God. It is your source and your home.

If you do this practice at least three times a day it will
change your life. You will be amazed with the results.

An important note about this practice. At some juncture when you are doing this practice you will come to a point when you are faced with an important choice. When you dissolve into Infinity enough you will get to a point when you feel that you will die if you go any further. You will feel as though there will be nothing left of you and that you will cease to exist. Everyone reaches this cliff. The choice will always seem to be yours. Only you can make this choice. This will not be an intellectual exercise. You will really feel as though you are going to die right then and there. It is often said that you must be willing to die to
experience Enlightenment. It is true. I will not tell you what will happen. You must experience this for yourself not knowing what will happen and not caring what will happen.

Practice Twelve

Be yourSelf all day, in all situations.
Be authentic.

If darkness is your shadow reminding you of the Soul that
you are by being what you are not, then living your Soul leaves the darkness
with no purpose or place in your life. Therefore it cannot exist. Being
yourSelf, being authentic, is the essential ingredient in keeping the shadows
from coming back after you have dissolved them. This is a lifetime discipline.
Take quiet time each day to listen to your Spirit’s voice. The Soul’s voice is
very subtle and quiet, so you must be still and listen carefully. Do your best
to live what your Spirit wants to live, say what your Soul wants to say, feel
what your Soul wants to feel and think what your Spirit wants to contemplate.
Be open, honest, and compassionate. Remember there will be no darkness in your Soul or its guidance. Dissolve, with the inner dialogue or meditation, any
feelings or thoughts that do not feel like an expression of your pristine,
loving Spirit. This can be a lot of work at the beginning but it does get much
easier the more you practice it. Being your Soul should give you a feeling of
peace, joy, freedom, comfort and fulfillment. You cannot be any more wonderful
that being your Soul. When you are being yourSelf, darkness cannot exist in
your life.

Practice Thirteen 

Pay attention to your needs
And be sure they are being met.

If you did not eat food or take in any nourishment for an
extended time your body’s systems would eventually become depressed and then
cease to function. In the same way, if your emotional and spiritual needs are
not met your emotional self becomes depressed and eventually ceases to
function. You may be able to go longer without your emotional needs being met
than without food or water, but in the end, the results will be the same.

When you emotional systems have become depressed it is very
difficult to even know what your needs are. Here is an exercise that will help.

Sit quietly in a quiet comfortable place and have paper and
pencil within reach. Close your eyes for a few moments and take some deep
breaths. Relax as much as you can. Now, with eyes closed, contemplate things
that you have done in your life that felt wonderful, fulfilling, joyous and or
nurturing. Also contemplate things that you feel would be fulfilling, joyous
and or nurturing that you may not have experienced yet. Then open your eyes and write on the paper what you have experienced in your contemplation. These are heartfelt needs. Things your Spirit wishes to experience. This is the beginning of your needs list. Now continue to write needs you have in your life, whether they are being met or not; even if they are outside the parameters of what is possible at the moment. Keep in mind that heartfelt needs do not bring harm to another nor do they infringe on anyone else. Just be honest with yourSelf. As you write these needs down listen for anything inside you telling you that you are unworthy or undeserving of having any of these needs met. Take a moment to dissolve that shadow.

When you have completed this list look at all the needs you
have written down. On the left side of the most important ones make an
asterisk. Then go down the list and on the right side make a check mark next to
each need that is already being met. If there are needs that have an asterisk
but no check mark it is very important that you sit quietly and contemplate why
those needs are not being met and how they can be.

There are some needs that can only be met in relationships
with other people. It is important to ask for what you need from others. It is
also important to remember that they have the prerogative of saying no or yes. Know that if a need is honestly from your Heart and if you
truly feel deserving of it being met, it will be. If the needs that you feel
should be met in that relationship are not being met it is essential that you
discuss this with your partner or friend openly and honestly. It is very
important for you, your partner or your friend and for the relationship that
communication and understanding are present constantly. Important heartfelt
needs not being met in a relationship open the door to shadows and can also
create other difficulties in the relationship.

Practice Fourteen 

Be Thankful!

For every beautiful scene that you see, for every flower
that graces your path, for every insight, for every glimmer of joy, peace or
love, for every respite from anger, for every caring word, for every gift you
receive…..

Be thankful.

Thank God, Infinite Love, your guides, other people or
whomever you feel inspired to thank. Do express your appreciation in as many
ways as you can imagine.

At the end of the day, express your thankfulness before
going to sleep. During the day, as often as you can remember, express your
appreciation for the Joy and Love that you are and that fills you.

This is an incredibly magical practice. Try it and see how
it affects every aspect of your life in wonderful ways.

To summarize, the 14 practices are:

  1. Pay close attention to what you are feeling.
  2. Do the Dissolving Shadow Meditation at the end of this book or the pre-recorded audio version, Leaving Behind the Darkness every day twice a day, minimum.
  3. Pay close attention to all feelings you experience throughout the day and night. Then use the inner dialogue to
    dissolve the shadows.
  4. Pay close attention to all the music you have around you.
  5. Monitor what you watch on TV, see at the movies and listen to on the radio, read in magazines and newspapers.
  6. Read only uplifting books.
  7. Take no alcohol or drugs.
  8. Pay attention to your home environment. Is it uplifting? Is it an expression of your Spirit?
  9. Only include those in your life on a close personal basis who treat you the way you deserve to be treated. All others are
    only acquaintances.
  10. Remember: God can only give you what you believe you deserve.
  11. Surrender into Infinite Love, Peace or Joy,
    every morning, afternoon and evening.
  12. Be yourSelf all day in all situations.
  13. Pay attention to your needs and be sure they are being met.
  14. Be Thankful.

So, these are the 14 practices for dissolving shadows and
experiencing a fulfilling life. Some of these you may already be living, some
you may have tried for a time. Some of these practices may seem difficult to
you for one reason of another. It is essential that you live all 14 of these
practices consistently as if there were nothing more important in the universe.
And in truth, right now, there is nothing more important than dissolving these
shadows in your life and feeling the joy of your Soul again.

Know that you are already a pure and perfect, joyous and
loving Soul. The shadows may be distracting you from your authentic Self right
now, but they cannot do so much longer once you begin working with and living
these 14 practices. Do not accept this darkness as an inevitable part of your
life, for it is not.

Suffering is not an inescapable pit. You can get out of it.
You can dissolve it.

And you can begin right this moment.

The most effective way to utilize this book is to read and
work with the 14 practices every day for four months. Then work with the
meditation at the end of the book, or the pre-recorded version, every day, twice a day for at least another
120 days. Dissolving beliefs, shadows and metaphors and changing old personality patterns usually does
not occur overnight. It takes consistent practice, persistence and devotion to
dissolve those deep and stubborn shadows. During the second 120 day period
continue to read the 14 practices at least twice a week so that you are reminded
of the 14 practices lest you get distracted. Remember that the 14 practices to
dissolving suffering are also the 14 practices to a totally fulfilling life. They
are a lifetime discipline and lifestyle that become easier with time.

Let the 14 practices become a part of you and your day to
day life. As your life becomes more joyous and fulfilling, share these
practices with everyone who comes into your life asking you how you can be so
peaceful, joyous and loving. Share with them the reasons that your life seems
to flow so beautifully.

The joy, peace and love within you is ready and willing to fill you and to express itself in every aspect of your life. Just say NO to darkness and let your beautiful Spirit shine through.

(c) Jon Shore, 2013 All Rights Reserved

 

Backward Forwardleaving behind the darkness cover sm

4 thoughts on “Chapter 7 – The Fourteen Practices

  1. In step 3 you talk about “being true to my Self.” You also use it throughout your material. I have googled it and it appears that many people have different definitions. How would you define being true to oneself?

    I defined it myself as doing the right thing. Be honest to yourself and others. Otherwise you will add pressure that will allow dark shadows to take over. ex: things to feel guilty about or worry that you will be confronted, etc. Doing the right thing (by your own definition) allows for a clear mind leading to your pure perfect soul and recovery.
    Thank you – Eric

    Like

    • Dear Eric,

      A good question.

      I define the Self as the Spirit that you really are.

      The experience of the Self will expand as you dissolve and surrender into it. Eventually you will experience the Self as All That Is. Everything and nothing. But for now consider the Self the Spirit that is being Eric. It is pure, untouched and perfect and has always been so. When you surrender into the Self you will experience Grace. All the shadows disappear as if they have never been there.

      Try it and see what happens.

      Take care
      Jon

      Like

  2. It was interesting looking at the this. I am familiar with the feeling technique and I have found it doesn’t work very well. There is a crucial difference that makes all the difference. To REALLY know you are not a feeling you have to experience it FULLY – to infinity and beyond . Otherwise it is not true that you are not that feeling – you ARE that feeling. It may seem like a subtle difference but it is crucial to really going beyond all these feelings. I have met many that have tried it and they end up just in denial.

    Like

    • Thank you Louis,

      You are so right. That is why it is essential in the process to dissolve into the Self as if nothing else mattered. Then it is essential to live the Self, to be genuine, to be yourSelf every day in every way. This is what keeps the shadows from returning. Living the Self, being yourSelf is what prevents denial. It is very easy to fall back into old ways and into the world of shadows and light. As long as we participate in human existence we will experience this dualism. As long as we identify as a human being we must be hyper mindful of who and what we are and live that Self to the best of our ability. We all end up experiencing human emotions some times no matter how diligent we are. But if we are able to surrender the illusion with a deep breath we can then feel the Self that is always there and has never been touched by the shadows. Grace is our true Identity and is always here in this moment.

      Thank you for your insight.

      Jon

      Like

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