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Excerpted from Messages from the Masters by Brian Weiss, M.D. Copyright © 2000 by Brian Weiss, M.D. Excerpted by permission of Time Warner, Inc. and Time Warner Bookmark.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.

"Progress is not always linear."

Brian WeissMessages from the Masters, Part 5

Our beliefs can be altered by the power and immediacy of personal experience. You can begin to understand something when you experience its essence. Your belief becomes a knowing.

It is not enough just to read about the concepts presented here or to rely exclusively on the experiences of others, those presented as examples or illustrations of the concepts. Therefore, throughout this book are exercises and various techniques to enhance your own experiences, to help to transform you directly.

For many years I have advised my patients to keep a dream journal, jotting down memories of dreams as soon as possible after awakening. With a little practice, dream recall is significantly enhanced. And the more details are remembered and recorded, the easier it becomes to analyze the dream accurately. The same is true with meditation and visualization. As you try these exercises, you may find it a useful practice to write down or to journal your thoughts, feelings, observations, and experiences. As with dreams, the more you journal, the easier it becomes for you to remember and to process the details of your experiences.

Practicing these techniques has been difficult for me, so I can tell you from experience not to get frustrated. Progress may seem quite slow. I find myself getting lazy, not meditating for weeks at a time before I am reminded to resume the practice. I still fall into the ruts and potholes of life, swept away at times by pride or envy or insecurity. We are all human and life is hard. Frustration is a normal and common reaction. We are not a patient species.

As I have mentioned, it is the direction that matters, not the speed. If you are evolving into a more loving, more compassionate, less violent person, then you are moving in the right direction. Like me, you may become distracted, make wrong turns at times, lost until you find the way back. It may seem as if youíre taking two steps forward and then one step backwards, but thatís all right. Thatís how it works when weíre in human form. Enlightenment is a slow and arduous process, requiring dedication and discipline. Itís perfectly fine to rest now and then. You are not really going backwards; you are consolidating and resting.

Progress is not always linear. You may be very advanced when it comes to charity and compassion, but more of a novice concerning anger or patience. It is important not to judge yourself. If you donít judge yourself or allow others to judge you, you will not become frustrated.

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