Tag Archives: God

Discovering God and Belief in the Wake of a Storm

GodEver feel like you’ve lost track of yourself? Like work has taken over? Me too.

As great as the last few years have been getting published and getting out there, there’s also been the growing sense of, “Damn –  where’s my vision?”

So, after giving a workshop with Betsy Chasse (author Tipping Sacred Cows) in Sedona, I took the opportunity to run off to the desert afterwards for some down time.

Now some folks might think Las Vegas is the perfect place to unwind. But I ran the other direction, as far away from the craziness of modern life as possible, straight into the arms of a shaman. Well, not exactly his arms. Unless picking me up off the sofa after a particularly intense ceremony, stripping me naked and shoving me (with admirable indifference) into a steam bath counts. (Not!)

But seriously. Medicine ceremonies are just that. Medicine. And there’s a reason for taking medicine. This world is pretty insane. And doing doing doing all the time can “do me” right off-track. I figure if I’m out giving radio and TV talks and workshops then I’d better have my mind open and my head screwed on as best as possible – for myself and everyone else.

So I went on a vision quest.

I’m not going to pussyfoot around and say my two weeks were nothing but
rosewater massages and a no-alcohol, high-fiber diet. There were no massages and no rosewater (and no alcohol!). I did smoke ayahuasca and poisonous toad venom, however. I rubbed frog poison into my upper arm where the top layer of skin had been burned away with a lighted stick to better absorb the chemicals that would give my body the strength and stamina to undergo the ceremonies. And I was given many visions.

And then, after my week with the shaman, I drove myself deeper into the desert in southern Utah and performed a solo ritual to further integrate what I’d learned. And in the middle of that mind-blowing ceremonial morning a Great Dust Storm with 60 mph winds drove up from the south. And I sat in the storm and let it rage around me, watching my mind do its fandango with all its usual crap until it, too, was driven away and I was left with…

God

The Earth as God

The Universes and all Creation as God

The Body/Worlds as THE PINNACLE of creation

Hmmmm…. you know the whole New Age philosophy about every thing being God? About every thing being One Thing? It’s a great philosophy isn’t it?

Thing is, for 30 years I’ve said, “Everything is God” and not really meant it. Oh, I thought I meant it. But subconsciously? (where it’s all really happening) subconsciously I believed God was really “Out There” and not “down here.” In my deepest mind/heart place I didn’t believe/trust that things—tangible things—were really God at all.

Which meant, unavoidably, that I never thought I was God at all either.

Well, all I can say is: now I know better. And in case you’d like to know what I learned that morning in the desert, here goes:

The Earth is an out-picturing of God.

The Earth and I and all things, peoples, stars, meteors, spiders and crickets, children, old men, motorcycles, galaxies and ice cream are the result of God’s passion for itself… God’s passion to know itself, to see what It can do and create… to see what marvels and spectacles It can spin out of the fabric of Itself.

A divine intelligence, God asks for absolutely nothing … although It craves recognition. It longs for the moment when part of Its creation and thus Itself awakens and says, “OH! I SEE! OH! GOD! This is what I AM! DUH!”

Recognition – it’s what all of Creation is for…

To know SELF. To touch self and caress self and inhale self and make love to self and ADORE SELF, looking around, looking in the mirror, singing glory glory glory alleluia… ringing like a bell with quiet epiphany, realizing everything I gaze upon and touch is me—the old Indian man asking for a dollar in the Giant convenience store parking lot, the little girl running past, the ravens floating overhead, the overloaded semi-truck pulling its load uphill …

It’s all me
It’s all you
We are all one.

Believing in God in All Shapes and Sizes

GodI thought I’d long ago gotten past believing in some sort of external “God.” (And by God I mean the anthropomorphized image of a guy in a beard and white robes meting out judgment based in rules of obviously human making.) And then, there I was, sitting in stop-and-go traffic one day.

A driver to my right was trying to get onto the road from a Safeway parking lot. Car after car crawled past his front bumper towards the next traffic light, never sparing an inch to let him in. Conscientiously I applied my brakes and gave him some space. He waved “thanks” as he nudged into traffic and I waved back, never thinking a thing about it. And then I suddenly realized…

I’d felt a fleeting sense of satisfaction about how “good” I’d been letting the guy into traffic ahead of me. And all of a sudden I saw the invisible belief implicit in that feeling. OMG! At some level I still believed there was some Guy In The Sky WAY UP THERE with a tote board taking note of my actions like Santa Claus, seeing if I was naughty or nice.

Really?

Really. I saw it and was horrified. Surely I was more spiritually evolved than this? Apparently not.

In that moment a whole bunch of other things I do and their raison d’être came sharply into focus. Rain or shine (and in Western Washington it’s mostly rain) after unloading groceries I always push my shopping cart across the parking lot from wherever my car is parked all the way into the cart-holders, no matter how sopping wet I get. I always let other drivers in front of me (does pissing-off drivers behind me count as a negative?); I often say nice things to clerks, noticing their smile or their efficiency or their new hair-do; I make sure I never let my impatience with slow service show, even if I’m seething and up to my eyebrows in thoughts like I’ve got NO freaking time for this! What’s fracking taking so fracking long anyway you fracking dilbert…??? (internal expletives modified of course for good taste and more points??? ack! )

Yep.

Seeing this, it didn’t take long until I was searching out all the other things I still do to  subconsciously placate this invisible Lord God In Heaven Who Is “Into Judgment.”

Any criticism of anyone I usually follow up with a “But s/he’s got good intentions” (or some such platitude). I guard my tongue against gossip. I try not to lie even whitely (and fail. It’s shocking how easy it is to whitewash even the most mundane incident in order to appear even marginally a better person.) Fortunately I’ve gotten beyond accepting compliments with the de rigeur Christian false modesty… “Oh, it was nothing…” But still…

All these actions are to the “good” I suppose. Being patient, being nice, being encouraging to others are wonderful things. The point I’m trying to make here is: what exactly is the motivating factor behind taking such actions?

Yes. I genuinely like to make other peoples’ days better. I like to pay compliments and only do so if said compliments are genuine. I do think patience is a virtue. Why add my shit onto anybody else? I mean, who cares if I’m in a hurry? Everybody’s in a hurry nowadays. And how nice to give others a break. But I’ve been SHOCKED to realize how much I still harbor the belief that by doing these things it will also pay off to some degree with You Know Who.

EEK! Surely I can’t be the only one with this ancient program nipping at my heels (and conscience?)  And what to do with it if you’ve got it?

Well, here’s what I’m doing. I now sometimes let my shopping cart stay in the walkway (not in the lot where it can (God forbid) actually obstruct somebody else’s ability to park.) And I (GASP!) don’t always take the time to shove the ridiculous amounts of postal junk mail through the teeny-tiny slots in the recycling bins at the post office. I occasionally plop my un-asked-for mail on top of the bins for paid employees (or other do-gooders?) to handle. Maybe if enough people do this they’ll replace the new closed-top bins with the old waste paper baskets that were so much easier?

I also don’t let quite as many drivers in front of me as I used to (easing the nerves, no doubt, on those behind me in traffic, so it probably balances out in the over-all scheme of things.)

Who knows what else is next? If God still made curlers I might even wear them in public.

photo by: Michal Osmenda

The Connection Between Prayer and Meditation

meditationBy Linda Lauren

In my practice, many people seek my guidance on their spiritual progress.  They want to live more positively and many incorporate prayer into their daily routine. 

A client came in the other day to discuss meditation.  Like many novice to the practice, she kept telling me that she simply didn’t have time for it.  She also told me that there had to be a quick, easy way to have God answer her prayers.  I studied her for a moment and then asked:

“Praying is asking a question and meditation is listening for the answer. Do you often ask questions and run off?” 

“Well, no!”

“Then how do you know you are being heard?”

Meditation is a rewarding way of connecting prayer with a higher power.  It doesn’t matter whether you label that higher power your Higher Self, God, Source, or anything else, you will still need to hear beyond the experience of listening with the ear in order to truly hear the energy within. When we are in a prayerful state our spirit is communicating with that higher power and it is something greater than what we perceive in everyday life. Prayer then becomes a spiritual dialogue, (the intention) and if you do not incorporate the act of mindful listening (meditation), you will most likely lose the essence of the complete message and miss out on the answer on a deeper level.

So, when you are praying, remember to also give pause to hear beyond your surroundings to deep within the nature of the you within your spirit.  I have found incredible insight comes to me when prayer and meditation are understood as companions: Prayer indulges the question (the intention) and meditation (the answer) is provided through silence.

Our present world is one that moves at an incredibly high-stress, fast pace. Many of us are used to working fast, typing fast, and living fast. We focus on social media streams rather than streams of consciousness. Switch that up and give yourself the time to reward your intentions by allowing the connection of meditation to accompany your prayers and you will shine your light brighter.

 

Like Linda’s post? Check out these similar intents on Intent.com

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intnet - listen for guidance

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Linda Lauren is a fourth-generation psychic medium, Color & Energy Consultant, Author and Reiki Practitioner, who connects with people who come to her for guidance through the color and energy she senses around them.  Linda, known as the ‘Travel Psychic™’, also uses that energy to guide her clients with their travel plans.

The Spirituality of Sleep

how-to-fall-asleepIn our fast paced culture, sleep is often elusive. The proliferation of news on sleep research makes clear that the quality and quantity of our sleep directly impact the quality of our health and lives. What happens during sleep remains mostly a mystery for most. We lie down and surrender to slumber.

Yet, how we feel during our waking hours is often tied to how we slept. Sleep is essential to our mental, physical and emotional well being. But what of our spiritual well being? What role does sleep play in this integral facet of our Being, beyond the dimensions of body and mind?

The fascination with sleep and where we go during this seemingly still period has puzzled philosophers, masters of wisdom, writers and spiritual seekers for millennium. Amidst a wealth of literature and religious texts are insights about sleep, communicated long before modern scientists could quantify the stages of sleep. This powerful information offers a gateway to balance in our lives, both when asleep when and awake.

Literary masters have had much to say about sleep. Shakespeare proclaimed in 1599, “Sleep may be the image or brother of death, for in sleep the body rests while the soul remains awake, so in death the body rests while the soul and spirit live.” From a religious perspective, abundant references to sleep can be found in the Bible, Torah, Kabbalah, Koran, and in Buddhist teachings. The spiritual traditions of Kabbalah and Tibetan Buddhism offer methodologies to prepare for and arise from sleep, including gratitude, breathing and dream techniques.

From the wisdom of Kabbalah, going back millennium, we can glean a foundation from which to explore sleep’s part in the rejuvenation of our spirit. Upon going to sleep, the body and mind settle down from daily activity. Our eyes are closed. Consciousness drifts away from the pace of our waking lives. Our physiology and neurology begin their critical restorative processes (which is another story for another time). And for the soul, now unencumbered by the body and mind, rejuvenation can begin. The soul leaves the body and travels towards the Light, towards God to connect and recharge.

But what if we aren’t properly prepared for sleep? Could our souls be inhibited from taking this night journey? How can we get the quality and quantity of sleep we need? How do we set the stage to experience the deep sleep essential for our souls, our spirits, to take this valuable and necessary night journey? How do we optimize the sleep we do get, both in quality and quantity, so our body, mind, emotions and spirit are given the rejuvenation and restoration they need?

A first step is to learn the basics of sleep, a course which most of us have never taken. The resulting understanding of what happens during 1/3 of our lives leads to a respect for sleep. In turn, a self assessment of our personal sleep habits and behaviors helps us determine what needs modification, be it our bedtime routine, our sleep environment, the schedules we keep, or what and when we eat and drink. These and other practical sleep strategies set the stage for sleep improvement. Furthermore, knowledge about sleep can lead to seeking medical diagnosis and treatment if a sleep disorder is suspected. Sleep provides a portal for your body, mind, and spirit to embark on their rejuvenating night journey so you can awaken to live fully.

Thinking Outside the (Skull) Box (Part 13)

NASA's Hubble Sees A Majestic Disk of StarsClick here to read part 12!

By Deepak Chopra, M.D., Menas C. Kafatos, Ph.D., P. Murali Doraiswamy, MBBS, Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D., Neil Theise, MD

Getting contemporary physics to begin with the observer meets a great deal of resistance, but an observer-based science has one great advantage: There is no other way to get where we want to go.  Once physicality ends at the Planck scale, something must hold the universe together, and this something can’t be in time or space, nor can it be made of physical “stuff.”  We won’t leap to the obvious conclusion: this something sounds an awful lot like God. The word “God” can conjure many different reactions based on different traditions and history. To use a value-neutral word, what this something actually sounds like is reality itself. The skeptics have their chance for rebuttal. If anyone can define reality in non-physical, non-linear terms, freed from all boundaries and yet capable of erecting the incredibly organized cosmos, it’s difficult to imagine how mind isn’t the answer.

Otherwise, a timeless agency that can create time, a causeless entity that gave rise to causation, and a source that has no place but created space itself – such an origins story would be inconceivable to us without it being conscious. And so we finally come to our conclusion.  Where time, space, matter, energy, gravity, and mathematics reach their limits, there is the source of creation, and the most plausible candidate is consciousness.  Reality is more than existence waiting to be filled with random events. It is existence guided and governed by the qualities of consciousness – intelligence, self-organization, self-awareness, orderliness, evolution, and infinite creativity.  What will it take for anything like consensus on this conclusion? The dominant metaphors of our modern culture are those of science and engineering.  These metaphors prejudice the contemplation of the question, what is the mind?

Materialist ways of thinking posit that the universe is an immense machine that created things like mind and the human brain by randomly tossing the building blocks of atoms and molecules until they happened to land in a pattern instead of scattered across the floor. In this series of posts we’ve taken you from an automatic acceptance of these dominant, mechanistic metaphors, not to prove that they are wrong but to raise sufficient doubt about their certainty that you can entertain another possibility: Consciousness, or mind, is what the universe arises from and is made of.  Mind isn’t just gurgling out of brain cells like water from a spring. It isn’t merely a side effect of the brain’s electrical and chemical activity, like heat from a bonfire. There isn’t logical substantiation that brain = mind, even though  the majority  of scientists, philosophers, and the public may assume that this is so, since thoughts come out of the brain. Music comes out of a radio, but that doesn’t mean that radio = music. Radios don’t contain little tiny rock bands or news commentators or symphony orchestras, yet they give rise to rock and roll, commentary, and symphonies. Radios transduce radio waves, which embedded in the infinite electromagnetic field, into specific, understandable auditory signals.

Similarly, the brain can be just as readily conceived of as the transducer of infinite Mind into our specific thoughts. And the brain could just as easily be thought of as transducing the quantum field into everything we perceive: matter, energy, time, space, and all perceived sensations. Could Mind have used evolution to arrive at the brain so that we can live as adaptable, interactive beings in a world that perfectly mirrors our conception of it? In this view, our brains are mind the way every subatomic wave/particle is also mind. This unity solves the problem of deriving brain from mind or vice versa – they are two aspects of the activity of consciousness. The seemingly intractable issues that science faces today, particularly the challenge of consciousness, may actually have a simple answer, as we propose here. There’s no surprise, then, that an fMRI scan can pick up very specific brain activity that corresponds with a person’s emotions, mood, desires, and other aspects of mind. The match is seamless and perfect, as it has to be.  Radios don’t get to eliminate the violins from a Mozart symphony; there has to be electrical activity for every aspect of the music. This is where the radio metaphor gets difficult: Can you imagine a functional radio that is itself constructed of radio waves?  In a very real sense, a radio, along with the entire universe, is derived from invisible wave functions. So ascribing mind to neurons merely begs the question. No “thing” can give rise to mind. Hard as it may be to accept, “things” were metaphors all along.

As easy as it is to think that the brain in its skull casing is all that is necessary to produce mind, it’s just as easy, if you permit yourself, to think of Mind as the fundamental nature of everything that exists. By definition, reality lies beyond metaphors.  We’ve tried to convince you that the conventional set of metaphors must be discarded if you want to know reality, which means knowing yourself. Rather than discarding science, we are expanding it. We ask you to contemplate: What is the most scientific approach?  One that excludes some topics as “inappropriate for study”?  Or one that encourages even-handed investigation of all the evidence and phenomena at hand?   This is where “thinking outside the box” pays its greatest dividends, by expanding the capacity to be human and along the way to solve the unending mystery that is “you.”

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Deepak Chopra, MD is the author of more than 75 books translated into over 35 languages with over twenty New York Times bestsellers.  Chopra serves as Founder of The Chopra Foundation. Menas Kafatos, Ph.D., Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor in Computational Physics, Director of the Center of Excellence at Chapman University, co-author with Deepak Chopra of the forthcoming book, Who Made God and Other Cosmic Riddles. (Harmony) P. Murali Doraiswamy, MBBS, FRCP, Professor of Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina and a leading physician scientist in the area of mental health, cognitive neuroscience and mind-body medicine. Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D., Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard University, and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), co-author with Deepak Chopra of Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-being. (Harmony) Neil Theise, MD, Professor, Pathology and Medicine, (Division of Digestive Diseases) and Director of the Liver and Stem Cell Research Laboratory, Beth Israel Medical Center — Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York.  www.neiltheise.com  neiltheise.wordpress.com

 

An Open Love Letter to All the Judgmental, Racist, Sexist, Homophobes Out There

UntitledBy Chris Grosso

Hate, negativity, close-mindedness—none of this is new. Being heavily tattooed with big holes in my earlobes, a skateboarder and a fan of punk/hardcore music since my teenage years has left me all too familiar with judgmental people, especially growing up in a small town before these things started to become somewhat socially acceptable.

Disapproving looks, comments under the breath, or, in some cases, blatantly to my face, have been commonplace throughout my life, and it’s something that has led me time and again to seriously contemplate why people are the way they are. Particularly, why do people feel the need, or, that they have the right to cast judgments and write someone off based solely on outer appearances or personal lifestyle choices?

There’s really no simple answer. Each person is a unique individual with a unique set of circumstances that has led them to become the person they are today. One thing I’ve learned about myself, however, and my own judgments (because yes, I too am human and have no shortage of them), is that it’s rooted in fear.

For me, I’ve learned that being a counterculturist from a very early age, or, raging against the machine (though truth be told, I often wasn’t quite sure exactly what machine I was raging against) has often left me judgmental towards those in the mainstream media—from spiritual teachers to musicians, actors and so forth. Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly grateful for my punk/hardcore roots as they dismantled a lot of the naivety in my otherwise culturally conditioned mind, but I am definitely seeing some of the after effects playing out years later in my adult life (though adult or not, I still listen to plenty of punk/hardcore).

The fear of seeing myself as a “conformist” for nothing more than liking a popular band, or reading one of Oprah’s official book selections, or maybe, just maybe even admitting that someone like Justin Timberlake actually has some talent stems from fear. I mean really, why else do I feel the need to completely write these people off simply because they don’t look, talk or act like me? Isn’t that on a comparable level to what the close-minded individuals I’m writing about in this article are doing? Sure, they may be coming from a more hateful place, but at the end of the day, a close-minded judgment is a close-minded judgment.

I’m not here to make excuses for anyone, because hateful rhetoric of any kind turns my stomach. Every time I see the Westboro Church protestors and their “God Hates Fag” signs I feel my entire body begin to tense up, however, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t also make me feel a deep sadness and compassion for them.

I’ve been to some very dark places in my life. I lived for many years as a hardcore addict, and there were countless nights I would lay in a dark room wishing for death to take me. I was filled with fear, self-hatred and disdain for God, or whatever “it” was out there that created this whole insane goddamn world (how I felt then, not now). I lost so many years of my life to those experiences that now, years later having come out of the other side of them, I can’t help but contemplate what it’s like for others as they go to bed each night, or in this particular case, hate-filled people.

I put myself in their shoes and imagine what it must be like to lay their head down each night, filled with so much anger, hatred and fear. I’m sure the majority of it for these people is on a subconscious level, but still, it’s there. So whether they realize it or not, it’s making their lives what I could only imagine to be a complete living hell.

When I sincerely put myself in their shoes, it becomes virtually impossible for me to muster any judgments to cast back on them, no matter how much I disagree because honestly, all I’m left with is the desire to hug every single one of them. To really hold them in my arms and let them know that it’s going to be okay. To let them know they are loved and that whatever pain they are holding inside can be healed. To look them in the eyes with the compassionate understanding and again, tell them it’s going to be okay— that we’ve all suffered, and in varying degrees we all still hurt and suffer. I want them to know it’s all part of the human experience, and that since they are a fellow brother or sister in this journey, that I honor and love what they are beneath the thoughts and beliefs that are temporarily lodged in their minds.

Maybe some of you believe I’m naïve for thinking like this, and who knows, maybe I am, but this is what’s in my heart. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my travels, it’s that when I lay myself aside and allow my heart to do the driving, it never, ever, steers me in the wrong direction. I just don’t want to add to any more hatred to this world, and in this very moment, that’s the ultimate truth of what’s in my heart.

* * *

-1Chris Grosso is an independent culturist, freelance writer, spiritual aspirant, recovering addict, and musician. He serves as spiritual director of the interfaith center The Sanctuary at Shepardfields and is a correspondent for the Where Is My Guru radio show. He created the popular hub for all things alternative, independent, and spiritual with TheIndieSpiritualist.com and continues the exploration with his debut book titled Indie Spiritualist (Beyond Words/Atria Books, February 2014). A self-taught musician, Chris has been writing, recording, and touring since the mid-1990s. 
 
Connect with Chris online at The Indie Spiritualist, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

“Abused Goddesses”: The Ad Campaign that Tackles Domestic Violence in India

enhanced-buzz-13226-1378408862-44Hinduism is the most widely practiced religion in India and one of the largest religions in the world. It is a faith steeped in the concepts of karma, dharma, and the cycles of birth and death, watched over by central deities Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, among others.

Hinduism is also traditionally known to be highly reverent both the feminine and masculine forces in the world, paying tribute to gods and goddesses, alike. Some of these goddesses, like Parvati and Lakshmi are represented as ideal wives and mothers, modeling feminine virtue. But others, like Durga and Kali, and fierce and powerful in their own right, independent from any male god.

Unfortunately, this reverence in the spirit world does not always translate to real life. This is precisely why the ad company, Taproot, has developed a powerful campaign, called “Abused Goddesses,” to highlight the disparity between India’s goddess-centric religion and the troubling frequency of violence against women. The campaign states,

Pray that we never see this day. Today, more than 68% of women in India are victims of domestic violence. Tomorrow, it seems like no woman shall be spared. Not even the ones we pray to.

Here are three poignant images from the campaign:

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Taproot developed this campaign for “Save Our Sisters,” a nonprofit organization that works against domestic violence and sexual exploitation. The images mirror classical paintings of the goddesses Saraswati, Durga, and Lakshmi, and you may be surprised to hear that these images are actually photographs! Makeup was painted on the models to portray wounds of domestic violence, and props are either real or painted on, as well.

Even apart from the artistic skill that went into these ads, the message is crucial. It we as a culture and a society respect women in theory but not in practice, then we are bound for a regressive and continually troubled future. Let’s start treating women – and all people – like the gods and goddesses they are!

Does the “Abused Goddesses” campaign inspire you? Tell us your thoughts below!

Are You Shopping for Enlightenment?

The most common answer, sadly, is ‘yes’ or ‘maybe’. But it is almost never a ‘no’ for any of us.

Our human mind is always chasing something. It constantly prompts you to shed any responsibility and instead place it onto others. Be it social, professional, or spiritual responsibilities. Your mind will not let you take full responsibility for your own divinity. Thus, you will constantly chase after Gods that you have never seen. You will wait for some special spiritual experience to open your third eye or some mystic who holds the power to enlighten you with the touch of his hand.

Even in our romantic relationships, we impatiently wait for that ‘someone special’ to fulfill the vacuum within ourselves, only to find that no such person even exists. All you have been missing was you. Once you find yourself, everyone is a mate of your soul. We wait and search for that perfect person instead of using our energy on becoming that perfect person. It all comes down to you and what you’re looking for can never be found on the outside.

In the same way, you can read books, attend seminars, light incense, and get certificates of meditation and yoga, but spiritual light doesn’t need validation of anything; it comes from within. None of the masters chase after books. Enlightenment simply happened to them out of their sheer innocent attitude and openness to receive it. Homecoming is enlightenment; when you realize that it exists nowhere else but within your own self, it is like coming home. But with most of us, our egos are shamelessly sensitive and anything, just anything can shake our ego…leading us further away from our true eternal self and more into the illusion.

The result is that we start to shop for enlightenment. We try out every solution offering happiness. We try out every self proclaimed Guru promising divinity. In some cases, seekers have some experiences which are mistaken as signs of enlightenment. The profound transformation is still missing.

Is there a solution?

The solutions are very simple. Nothing fancy. Nothing mystic is needed. In fact, the ‘simplicity’ of enlightenment goes against it more than often.

Try out some of these suggestions to warm up:

  • Forgive yourself. Forgive others.
  • Love yourself. Love others.
  • Take responsibility for your spiritual journey.
  • Know that one master can change the entire world. But we need the entire world to be a set of surrendered seekers who are ready to shed the ego.
  • Stop shopping for enlightenment. There is nothing to buy anyway. You just need to take off the social mask.
  • Being uncomfortable with yourself in meditation is perfect alright. That is the whole goal! When you peel off layers imposed on you by societal norms, you will feel uneasy… But go ahead with it! The more your seek, the more you will find.

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You exist outside of rules.

rules

 Do you know what happens when I say: “God is love. Love for everyone and everything”?

Someone immediately asks: “Including murderers and terrorists?” Sometime they add rapists, too.

And I say yes, including murderers and terrorists. And rapists too.

But of course that is not an answer that would satisfy anyone so I elaborate, like so:

“God might know, you see, that you, yourself, are God. That you are love, that you are the boundless, limitless and timeless existence . God likely knows that nothing wrong can ever happen to you because you are what God is, and there is no “wrong” in God. God knows that you did not appear at birth, nor will you disappear at death, but you will simply change, shift, transition. God might know that death is as wonderful an experience as birth is — a grand adventure, a graduation.

God will likely know that the pain and fear you experience, the suffering that plagues you, is caused by you forgetting who you are, and that it will pass eventually and you will remember yourself again. Because, you must remember, God knows that you are God, even if you do not know at times. Knowing that, God might see your pain and hardships as something you created yourself as an opportunity to outgrow it.

From God’s perspective, from that place, murderers and terrorists would appear very differently than they do to a human, don’t you think?”

And then, of course, the inevitable response always comes: ”Um, this doesn’t make any sense.”

Which is when I say:

“Of course it doesn’t make sense. Its God we are talking about. In order for God to make sense to a human it would have to be a human invention. In order for God to make sense, God would have to be subject to the rules that are human inventions.

But God exists outside of those rules.

And so do you.

This One Goes Out to all the “Nobodies”

girl with dandelionI’m a house frau.  I live a relatively ordinary suburban life in New England.  Technically speaking, I’m a nobody.  My name has never been in lights, I have about 14 Twitter followers, I have a moderate talent for writing.  But I do have something that makes me very special.  God lives inside of me.  Yep.  Crazy, right?  I mean, I’m not religious.  I don’t even go to church.  I’ve never read The Old Testament and I don’t celebrate Ramadan.  But God still hangs out in my heart.  Who’d imagine He’d make time for a nobody like me?  But He does.  Somehow He remembers me.  Everyday He encourages me to be better, to try harder, to do the best I can with the time I have.

I’m a writer.  I write about spiritual awakening.  I hope to share my experiences in hopes of inspiring others to live more mindfully.  This is my small contribution to world peace.  I’d like to grow my audience and make a larger contribution to world peace, but that’s hard to do when you’re nobody.  But I keep on posting blogs and mailing submissions to Oprah and creating slightly embarrassing YouTube videos because I care.  Because I want to do my part.  Because if God is going to grace me with the opportunity to live a whole lifetime with His beautiful energy in my heart, I want to do my very best with it.

I have an affirmation card hanging on my refrigerator that says, “It’s happening.”  I love that card.  It’s powerful.  Every morning I pull out my Stoneyfield Farm Banilla yogurt and think, “Oh yah.  I’ve got to pull my load today because it’s happening.  Can’t let God down.  He knows that I know that I know that He knows.  Time to work.”  So I pick up my phone and reach out to people who know I’m a nobody and cross my fingers they’ll see that God lives in my heart.  If I can’t convince them to return my calls, maybe He will.  I send emails and fumble around over-designed social media sites, strike up overly-honest conversations after yoga class and take advice from my brilliant sister – all to create connections with the just-right people to help me on my mission.  Sometimes it works (ding ding ding!) and sometimes I’m rejected.  But the rejection doesn’t feel like failure to me.  Rejection isn’t personal.  It’s just a sign that I’m not ready for that experience yet or that I’m sniffing out the wrong lead.

I’m not afraid.  Nope.  No way.  I’m not afraid to try.  Trying is risky because buried deep inside of the word “try” is the word “fail”.  But also hidden in that word is “Congratulations!  You did it!  You passed!  Now jump back in the game and try something else – there’s a lot of work to do with your life and time’s a-ticking!”  This Nobody’s got her eyes trained on the latter.

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