The energies these days demand transformation. People experience that demand in their lives in so many ways. To participate actively in transformation means to be fluid, flexible, adaptable, and yet to stand firmly in one's sense of oneself. This is of course easy to say and not so easy to do. Faced with this demand for transformation, many people cling rigidly to old belief systems, old habits, old personality structures and patterns and find themselves in conflict with other people who are clinging to their belief systems, their familiar way of being in the world.

Here's the question these days: How do you become ---new? Can one be reborn, not into another body, but into a new way of being in the world?

It can seem like an impossible task when the very self that is seeking to free itself from the old patterns has been conditioned by those very same patterns. People can feel as though they are going in circles, wanting change, resisting change, praying for change, fearing change. This is why it is important to open yourself to new information, information that challenges your belief systems, that causes you to examine and investigate your ideas about the nature of the self, the world, the universe. This information can come from study, meditation, therapy, communication and dialogue with another, travel. It can come from experiencing ordinary events in a different way, seeing ordinary things in a new light. This new information can come from asking yourself in any given situation "What's really going on here? How many different ways can I understand this? How can I see this differently?" New information can come from self-inquiry, from the question "Who am I?' Questioning is a powerful tool for transformation, especially when you don't try to find an answer, when you simply look from many different perspectives at any given situation, when you open your mind and heart to a different point of view.

And this does not mean that one is constantly molding oneself to the beliefs and expectations of others. This does not mean that one automatically adopts another's point of view, that one always gives way to others. It simply means that one is not fixed, not rigid, able to flow with the constant change in today's life. It means one is open for communication and dialogue wherever and whenever possible.

Transformation. You only have to look around to see that change happens quickly these days. Businesses come into being and disappear. People change their careers much more readily than they used to. People change partners, they move from place to place. Constant change is the nature of human existence, but it is becoming ever more obvious in today's world.

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How does one find that which remains constant? How does one find the ability to flow with the change? There are two key words, ones that we have repeated many times.

Love and Awareness.

Loving attention to oneself, to the moment, to the circumstances of one's life and to others can become a constant. Awareness of one's own ups and downs, one's reactions, one's choices, can become a constant. Awareness of the flow, the change, can become a constant. The possibility of experiencing the presence of Love, the presence of Awareness, is there in every moment. As one develops the ability to return to the presence of Love, the presence of Awareness, one experiences a continuity, a flow, a constancy in the midst of change.

Love is attention; attention is Love. One attends to people, oneself, things, and in that attending, in that caring for, there is the experience of love. That quality of attention can transform one's experience of life. This is not a rigid attention, as when one is told in school to pay attention. This is a gentle Awareness, a quality of attention that is like the touch of a mother's hand on a child's face.

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When you wake up in the morning, try connecting with yourself with that quality of loving attention. Just bring your attention to your heart chakra. Feel your Awareness, your attention, touch that energy center gently. Take your attention to each of the chakras- the root chakra, in the lower pelvis, the second chakra, below the belly button, the third chakra, in the solar plexus, the fourth, in the heart, the fifth, in the throat, the sixth at the third eye, and the seventh, the crown chakra. Experience how your consciousness can touch each chakra, rest there. Be aware of any tension or blockage. Don't be alarmed by it, just hold it gently with your Love, your Awareness. Give the tension the opportunity to melt if it wants to.

Come back to that gentle inward attention, that touching of yourself with yourself, throughout the day. In a time of extremes, polarities, conflicts, demands and challenges, it so important to stay in touch with your Self. It is so important to open yourself to the challenge, to say, "I participate actively in my transformation." What that means you will begin to find out. Your loving Awareness will tell you when you are holding on, when you are being rigid and fixed. And you will feel the difference when you let go and allow the energy of transformation to carry you forward in your life.

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May you and all beings be happy, peaceful and free of suffering.

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