Teaching Stories

Following is a selection of excerpts, articles and short stories carefully curated by Dr. Paul Levy for his meditation class. Enjoy!


Of Water and the Spirit
by Malidenna Patrice

We go to the quiet place of meaning through meditation as the following passage eloquently explains

Telling diminishes what is told. Only what has been integrated by the human aspect of ourselves can be shared with others. I also believe that things stay alive proportionally to how much silence there is around them. Meaning does not need words to exist.

The speech of silence is achieved when words and their potential ability and their potential ability to hurt meaning, are done away with. Words entrap meaning, torture it, slice it into pieces the way a butcher cuts the meat of a slaughtered animal and serves it to us. The speech of silence has profound respect for the integrity of meaning as an entity separate from language. In silence, meaning is no longer heard, but felt and feeling is the best hearing, the best instrument for recording meaning. Meaning is made welcome as it is and treated with respect.


Dr. Paul Levy – Talk
June 26, 2018

In general, all humans are alike. Although of course, each of us has unique particularities. Because we are so much the same, the teachings regarding mind training are valid over all cultures of the world and going back in history as far back as we had culture. Anthropologists sometimes call us humans, the story telling ape. Our species goes back 150,000 years and maybe up to 200,000 years. During that time we lived in groups of 150, in tribes and were hunter gatherers. We may have been our own ancestors if we had incarnations going back in history. We developed culture as a way to survive and flourish, and a large part of culture is embodied in language. All of the knowledge of plants and animals and ethics and morality of the tribe, as well as all of the connections to the spirit world were all embedded in stories which were all combined together. In those days, science and religion, politics and ethics were not separate. They were all together and were passed down from generation to generation in the form of stories given by the elders to the younger generation who then in turn passed it along. It was only in the very very near past that we began writing things down. Perhaps only about 8,000 years ago did that begin and of course, the volume of written word has accelerated throughout the centuries. So, thought has been our biggest ally in becoming the most successful animal on the planet, and is also proven to be the greatest cause of alienation from our authentic being as we believe the constructs that culture creates. These are useful in getting along in society, however they are not true in the greater reality, because as well as being member of the human race, we are also citizens of the greater universe, and in fact that is our real home. 


“Convoluted Universe”
by Dolores Cannon

(Excerpt from Book 1, Page 436)

A subject named, Beverly was brought into a trance state to the in-between lives spiritual state. She gave the following information.

P:      This energy, you might be surprised to find, is an almost identical energy, manifested in different way, however. The energy which brings finances is indeed the same energy which brings health or disease. Are you surprised to learn this? To stimulate an increase in financial energy would be using the same technique of visualizations and affirmations that are used in healing energy. This is simply as if you were passing the same ray of white light through two separate prisms. One which has a tendency to bring out more of a blue color, and one which would tend to bring out more of a green color. It is indeed the same energy, however, it is translated differently. The energy is basically neutral, it is simply how it is used. This energy can bring poverty or wealth, or it can bring health or disease. It can bring many things. It can bring happiness and sadness, or it can bring sanity or insanity. Always, it is how it is used, and in the intent is how it is manifested.


“The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying”
by Sogyal Rinpoche

(Excerpt, Page 32)

1) I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost… I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

2) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I’m in the same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

3) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I see it is there.
I still fall in… it’s a habit
My eyes are open
I know where I am
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

4) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I walk around it.

5) I walk down another street.


The National Geographic
by Fran Smith

(Excerpt, September 2017, Page 51)

Brewer is a student of Buddhist psychology. He’s also a psychiatrist who specializes in addiction. He believes the best hope for treating addiction lies in melding modern science and ancient contemplative practice. He’s an evangelist for mindfulness, which uses meditation and other techniques to bring awareness to what we’re doing and feeling, especially to habits that drive self-defeating behavior.

In Buddhist philosophy, craving is viewed as the root of all suffering. The Buddha wasn’t talking about heroin or ice cream or some of the other compulsions that bring people to Brewer’s groups. But there’s growing evidence that mindfulness can counter the dopamine flood of contemporary life. Researchers at the University of Washington showed that a program based on mindfulness was more effective in preventing drug-addiction relapse than 12-step programs.

In a head-to-head comparison, Brewer showed that mindfulness training was twice as effective as the gold-standard behavioral anti-smoking program.

Mindfulness trains people to pay attention to cravings without reacting to them. The idea is to ride out the wave of intense desire. Mindfulness also encourages people to notice why they feel pulled to indulge. Brewer and others have shown that meditation quiets the posterior cingulate cortex, the neural space involved in the kind of rumination that can lead to a loop of obsession.


“Friendship with God - An Uncommon Dialogue”
by Neale Donald Walsch

The dialogue is between Walsch & God. The excerpt is God's response (excerpt)

The point is, you have not been damaged by others in your life who did what you wish they had not done, or who didn't do what you wish they had.

I tell you this– again: I have sent you nothing but angels. These people all brought you gifts, wonderful gifts, designed to help you remember Who You Really Are. And you have done the same for others. And when you all get through this grand adventure, you will see that clearly and you will thank each other.

I tell you, the day will come when you will review your life and be thankful for every minute of it. Every hurt, every sorrow, every joy every celebration, every moment of your life will be a treasure to you, for you will see the utter perfection of the design. You will stand back from the weaving and see the tapestry, and you will keep at the beauty of it.

So love each other. Every other. All others. Even those you have called your persecutors. Even those you have cursed as enemies.

Love each other, and love yourself. For God's sake, love yourself, I mean that literally. Love your Self, for God's sake.


Stories Store Knowledge as Metaphor
by Paul Levy

We love stories. From our earliest days of rational, self-conscious thought, stories have embedded information essential for survival into stories for the next generation. Stories are an effective way of preserving knowledge and enhancing learning.

How far back does this tradition of storytelling go? Paleo-anthropologists claim that we are essentially the same creature as we were 60,000 years and upwards of 120,000 years ago. As new scientific discoveries are made, our connection with our ancient ancestors is pushed deeper and deeper into our past.

For example, cuneiform of the ancient Sumerians provides among the first examples of writing, going back to 3,000 to 4,000 B.C. However, humans have been recording information long before this in far simpler forms, including such practices as making notches on a stick, for example.

The human mind is hardwired to seek explanations for the world around us. Before the advent of scientific inquiry in ancient Greece, we used storytelling to help us to make sense out of life and of the environment. Our nature made it vital for us to develop an understanding our personal relationship to plants, animals, and climate. We had to figure out how to maneuver in the environment, but it was also necessary to support others with the information so that they too could survive.

That's why we find ancient stories which mention the use of plants and herbs, some of which are poisonous and others beneficial. There are stories around how people should treat each other. All of this knowledge was embedded in mystical, cultural and religious contexts.

 

There are stories about animals and our relationship to them. One of the early cultures taught that the world was supported by a huge turtle, which was in turn, sitting on top of another turtle and so on. Turtles all the way down. (Let us not forget that, if we indeed reincarnate, that we are our own ancestors).

It is, in fact, our ability to pass on information to each other that we, as just another creature, have become so dominant.

As scientific inquiry gradually took hold during the Renaissance, such mythologies seem more fairy tale than fact. While there are hundreds, thousands likely, of mythological explanations for the world around us, science gives a more useful explanation of things. Rather than the earth being set upon on stacked turtles (as one ancient myth suggested), we now know that the Earth is suspended in space.

Yet science too, gives us stories to explain the world around us; stories that help answer the "hows" of life but thought cannot explain the "whys".

Aside from the useful information embedded in the world's mythologies, cultures, and religions, there is also coercion and manipulation. We find plenty of politics in the culture of science. It's not surprising because we humans are politicians by nature.

Because of our political nature, I have carefully selected how and when to use stories to teach about life's principles. Stories are useful because they help to sustain the lessons in the mind, but lose their usefulness when taken too literally.

In the following section I will share some of the stories that I have been taught. My hope is that these stories are useful. Stories store knowledge as metaphor.


She Laid Down Her Cross

A woman, overwhelmed by the pain in her life, went before God to complain

She told God that the cross she was bearing was too heavy and could He give her a different cross to bear. God said, "My dear child, of course you can have a different cross. Put down the one you have," and he gestured to a huge field filled with crosses of all shapes and sizes, and that she should pick a new one.

She spent several weeks going through the whole field testing one cross after another. Finally, feeling a cross to be the correct one for her, she took it up. She realized that she had inadvertently picked up the same cross that she had put down.

Told to Paul Levy by his teacher, Jagna


God’s Banquet

God set out a banquet in Hell and a banquet in Heaven.

All the people in Hell sit around the table, a wonderful spread of food before them. Likewise in Heaven those souls also sit around the table together with a wonderful spread of food.

In Heaven the souls are well nourished and in Hell the souls are starving even though there is plenty of food. The reason for this is that God gave everyone, a long spoon. The souls in Hell were not able to feed themselves because the spoon was longer than their arm. In Heaven on the other hand the souls fed each other.

As they say, "No good deed goes unpunished." The reason for this is that to truly help in the world is to be in a position that has ben earned.

When we find ourselves submerged in our own conditioning (good and bad), then whatever we do in the world will be a mixture of helpful and harmful. Through inner work, an individual becomes capable of helping, and so the universe grants this power. Before helping others, we must first work on ourselves.

Told to Paul Levy by his teacher, Jagna

A Falling Man

A man fell from the top of a 100-story building. At the 50th floor another man stuck his head out of the window and asked the falling man how he was doing. The man said he was doing fine so far.

Told to Paul Levy by his teacher, Jagna


A Tree Grows in India

In India there grows a tree that requires watering on a daily basis for ten years before anything sprouts above ground. If, even on one day, watering does not occur, the tree dies. After ten years of watering the ground, it shoots up thirty feet in several weeks.


The Lost Jewel

A king and queen were out on their pond in a pleasure boat. The sun was shining and they were happy...until the queen dropped one of her jewels into the water. She then became upset.

The king told the captain to recover the jewel. The captain ordered his men into the boats and out on the water where they rowed around looking for it, but were unsuccessful.

The king, seeing that the captain was getting nowhere called in the wise man and asked him to recover the jewel. The wise man told everyone to get out of the water. He then sat down and did nothing. The king waited awhile and then told the wise man to help, as sitting down doing nothing is not going to get the jewel found.

The wise man replied, "Just relax and wait." The pond had become muddied from the turbulent efforts of the soldiers. In time, the mud and the silt that was suspended in the water settled to the bottom. The water became crystal clear. As the sun shone through the water, the jewel began to sparkle. The wise man, the king, and the queen saw the jewel and were then able to recover it easily.