The Great Sweetening (eBookIt, 2017 and 2016) is a collection of essay teachings originally on Jan’s website. These essays invite the spiritual seeker to ask “What am I?” The search for truth comes down to this: “Am I what my ego and mind tell me I am? Or am I consciousness itself?”
Jan explores how the sense of self is created by thought patterns, memory, and beliefs. She gently shows how the ego uses the mind to keep this self seeming real and worthy of the enormous attention it receives, and offers helpful guidance about how to relate to mental activity so that painful thoughts no longer imprison. The compelling reality of the self thus begins to soften, making it possible to sense the larger reality within. It’s only because the mind-made self seems to be what we are that this sense of well-being is not realized in moment-to-moment life.
The Great Sweetening
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The Great Sweetening
“Jan writes with vivid, simple clarity. When she says it isn’t necessary for the mind to be quiet, just not to take its contents for truth, the mind rebels. Yet when this is taken to heart, the discovery is that life is indeed sweet. Her admonition to ‘just notice where the attention is, right now, that’s all’ came like a quick, sneaky foot from out of nowhere as I approached the cliff of uncertainty. I tripped and fell over the edge – and have been in free fall ever since. A feeling of gratitude and great tenderness for all beings is the predominant feeling.” – Grace Lambert, Grateful Former Seeker
“Learn to savor the simple, the plain act that is just itself, without needing to have meaning, without needing to get someplace better. The simple gesture of running the sponge over the soapy plate, a round face without expression. There is no thought for being finished, for the next dish, or for what happens after the dishes are done. Walking up the stairs: just this step, this foot on the wood. It’s not about getting someplace. The exquisite pleasure of the flex of muscle (even if it’s sore), the pressure of the foot against the surface (even if the stairs need repair or sweeping). Even with the body in motion, always there is the stillness. This is the thing we want. It’s how the presence of the eternal is felt to be alive in the ordinary reality of the lived moment. It’s not by trying to become different from how you are.”