Tag Archives: source

Take Refuge in the Buddha and Become Fearless

You're in Good HandsAs a teacher I’m often asked: What does it mean in Buddhist practice when you agree to “take refuge” in the Buddha? Does this mean I need to worship the Buddha? Or pray to the Buddha? Isn’t this setting up the Buddha as “other” or some kind of god?

Traditionally, there are three fundamental refuges are where we can find genuine safety and peace, a sanctuary for our awakening heart and mind, a place to rest our human vulnerability. In their shelter, we can face and awaken from the trance of fear.

The first of these is the Buddha, or our own awakened nature. The second is the dharma (the path or the way), and the third is the sangha (the community of aspirants).

In the formal practice of Taking Refuge, we recite three times: “I take refuge in the Buddha, I take refuge in the dharma, I take refuge in the sangha.” Yet, even though there is a formula, this is not an empty or mechanical ritual, but a practice meant to expand our understanding and intention.

With each repetition, we allow ourselves to open ever more deeply to the living experience behind the words. As we do, the practice leads to a profound deepening of our faith: The more fully we open to and inhabit each refuge, the more we trust our own heart and awareness. By taking refuge we learn to trust the unfolding of our lives.

The first step in this practice, taking refuge in the Buddha, may be approached on various levels, and we can choose the way most meaningful to our particular temperament. We might for instance take refuge in the historical Buddha, the human being who attained enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree 2500 years ago.

This doesn’t mean that we are worshipping the man who became enlightened, or setting him up as “other” or as “higher” than ourselves, but bowing and honoring the Buddha nature that already exists within us. For instance when the Buddha encountered Mara, he felt fear—the same painfully constricted throat, chest and belly, the same racing heart that we each experience when fear strikes our heart.

By willingly meeting fear with his full attention, the Buddha discovered fearlessness — the open, clear awareness that recognizes the arising and passing of fear without contracting nor identifying with it. Taking refuge in the truth of his awakening can inspire us on our own path toward fearlessness.

At the same time, those who are devotional by nature might seek safety and refuge in the living spirit of the Buddha’s awakened heart and mind. Much like praying to Christ or the Divine Mother, we can take refuge in a Being or presence that cares about our suffering.

In taking this first refuge, I sometimes say, “I take refuge in the Beloved” and surrender into what I experience as the boundlessness of compassion. When I am feeling fear, I surrender it to the Beloved. By this, I am not trying to get rid of fear, but rather letting go into a refuge that is vast enough to hold my fear with love.

In the most fundamental way, taking refuge in the Buddha means taking refuge in our own potential for liberation. In order to embark on a spiritual path we need faith that our own heart and mind have the potential to awaken. The true power of Buddha’s story, the power that has kept it alive for all these centuries, rests in the fact that it demonstrates what is possible for each of us.

We so easily believe limiting stories about ourselves and forget that our very nature—our Buddha nature—is aware and loving. When we take refuge in the Buddha, we are taking refuge in the same capacity of awareness that awakened Siddhartha under the Bodhi Tree. We too can realize the blessing of freedom. We too can become fearless.

After taking refuge in the Beloved, I turn my attention inward, saying “I take refuge in this awakening heart mind.” Letting go of any notion that Buddha nature is something beyond or outside my awareness, I look towards the innate wakefulness of my being, the tender openness of my heart.

Minutes earlier, I might have been taking myself to be the rush of emotions and thoughts moving through my mind. But by intentionally taking refuge in awareness, that small identity dissolves, and with it, the trance of fear.

By directing our attention towards our deepest nature, by honoring the essence of our being, our own Buddha nature becomes to us more of a living reality. We are taking refuge in the truth of who we are.

Enjoy this talk on Taking Refuge:

For more information visit: www.tarabrach.com

photo by: MikeBehnken

The Things You’ll Notice When You Pause and Look Around

This is from a poem that I love. It’s called, “Fire” by Judy Brown.

temple of peace

What makes a fire burn
is the space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.

So building fires
requires attention
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood…

This feels like beautiful advice. It’s an invitation to pause and to find the spaces in our life that allow spirit to shine through. So, what stops us? What makes it so difficult? When we’re in a rush and feeling stressed, the hardest thing in the world is to stop. You probably know what it’s like. If you try to stop, everything in your body and your mind is still charging forward. There’s a huge, anxious, restless drive to check things off the list and tie up all loose ends. It’s really physically uncomfortable to pause!

We each have an existential hum of fear that is in the background of our daily life. We have a perception of our temporariness, that around the corner we face inevitable loss. We will lose our own bodies and minds, we will lose others who we love. This apprehension keeps us focused on defending against loss, trying to predict loss, trying in some way trying to occupy ourselves so we don’t have to face the rawness.

Our fear keeps us busily filling in the space between the logs. This trance of more to do prevents us from finding the breathing space; it keeps us from the blessings of sacred presence. When we see this, something deep within us longs to stop. This wisdom guides us to pause and touch the moment; to listen to the wind, to feel the one who is hugging us, to see the light in a dear one’s eyes. This wisdom brings us to the simplicity of the inflow and outflow of the breath. It calls to us lovingly: “Stop and come home. Find, in the space between the logs, the light that is your source.

Enjoy this video on: Open Heart, Open Mind

For more information visit: www.tarabrach.com

photo by: AlicePopkorn

“Please Love Me”

 

shadows.

Indian teacher Sri Nisargadatta writes, “The mind creates the abyss. The heart crosses over it.” Sometimes the abyss of fear and isolation is so wide that we hold back, unable to enter the sanctuary of presence, frozen in our pain. At such times, we need a taste of love from somewhere in order to begin the thaw.

This was true for a member of our sangha, Julia, as she received treatment for cancer. She was uncomplaining about her fatigue and pain, but as one of her friends, Anna, commented, “It feels like she’s barely there.”

Despite her determination to “just handle it myself,” Julia was increasingly dependent. Her friends organized themselves to bring her food, and one evening when Anna came with some soup, she found Julia curled up in bed, facing the wall. Julia thanked Anna weakly, told her she felt queasy, and asked her to leave the soup on the stove. She heard the door click, and drifted off for a while.

When she woke, Julia felt the familiar utter aloneness, the sense that she was locked in a dying body. She began crying softly, and then to her surprise felt a gentle hand on her shoulder.

Anna had shut the door, but rather than leaving had been sitting quietly by her side. Now the crying turned into deep sobs. “Go ahead, dear, just let it happen … it’s okay,” Anna whispered. Over and over, she told her, “It’s okay, we’re here together” as Julia gave in to the agony of held-back fear and grief.

After about twenty minutes, with interludes for tissues and water, Julia quieted. She was still a bit nauseated and felt weak from crying. But for the first time in as long as she could remember, she was profoundly at ease.

“Some shield I had put up between me and the world dissolved,” Julia told me the following week. “Even after Anna left, I could feel her care. The aloneness was gone.” But then, she went on, several days later the shield hardened again. She had an appointment with her oncologist, and he told her that the cancer had spread. “I guess I feel most isolated when I get scared.”

“Is the shield up now?” I asked. “Do you feel scared and isolated?” She nodded, “It’s not too intense because we’re together. But there’s a place inside that feels so afraid …”

“You might take some moments and pay attention to that place.” Julia sat back on the couch and closed her eyes. “Can you sense what that place in you most needs?”

Julia was quiet for what felt to be a long time. “It wants love. Not just my love, though … it wants others to care. It’s saying ‘Please love me.’”

“Julia, see if you can let that wanting, that longing for love, be as big as it wants to be. Just give it permission, and feel it from the inside out.” She nodded and sat quietly, eyebrows drawn, intent.

“Sense who you most want to feel love from . . . and when someone comes to mind, visualize that person right here and ask … say the words, ‘Please love me.’ You might then imagine what it would be like to receive love, just the way you want it.”

Julia nodded again and was very still. After a minute or two she whispered a barely audible, “Please love me,” and then again a little louder. Tears appeared at the corners of her eyes. I encouraged her to keep going for as long as she wanted—visualizing anyone who came to mind as a possible source of love, saying “Please love me.”

I also suggested she imagine opening and allowing herself to receive the love. She continued, and soon was weeping as she said the words. Gradually her crying subsided, and she was just whispering. Then there were deep spaces of silence between her words. Her face had softened and flushed slightly, and she had a slight smile.

When she opened her eyes, they were shining. “I feel blessed,” she told me. “My life is entirely held in love.”

We met for the last time three weeks before Julia’s death. Anna had taken her to a park early that morning before anyone was around. They put down a blanket to meditate on, and Julia was able to make herself comfortable, leaning against a tree. “I don’t know how much more time I’ll have,” she told me, “so while we were quiet I did an inner ritual. I felt this precious life that I love and that I’m leaving—my friends, the whole meditation community, you … swing dancing, singing, the ocean … oh so much beauty, the trees …”

Tears welled up and Julia paused, feeling the grief as she spoke. Then she went on: “I could feel the solidness of the big oak that was supporting me, and sense its presence. I started praying … I said ‘Please love me.’ Immediately love was here. It flooded me, this knowing of being related, of being the same aliveness, the same one consciousness. Then the grasses and bushes, the birds, the earth and clouds … Anna, anyone I thought of … each being was loving me and we were united in that consciousness. I was love, I was a part of everything.”

Julia was quiet for a while. Then she said slowly, “Do you know what I’m finding, Tara? When you accept that you are dying … and you turn toward love, it’s not hard to feel one with God.”

We sat silently, savoring each other’s company. Then our conversation meandered; we talked about dogs (she loved my poodle and insisted she be with us when we met) and wigs and wigs on dogs getting chemo and an upcoming retreat. We were lighthearted and deeply comfortable. We hugged several times before she left. Julia’s realization of oneness was embodied as a generous, deeply sweet love. In sharing her wisdom and in expressing that love, she gave me her parting gift.

Whether grieving the loss of our own life, or another’s, we each have the capacity to see past the veils of separation. If our hearts are willing, grieving becomes the gateway to loving awareness, the entry into our own awakened nature.

Adapted from True Refuge (January 2013)

Enjoy this video on Wholehearted Living

For more information visit: www.tarabrach.com

photo by: AmandaLouise

Ol’ Boogeyman Still Comin’ To Getcha?

BoogeymanIn my line of work there is often an unhealthy obsession with the concept of evil. It appears we are simply not able to rid ourselves of this ‘thing’ we seem to have for the boogeyman (here in my country known as the tokoloshe).

Just the other day I was listening to a radio psychic scaring the living daylights out of his unsuspecting caller. She just wanted some career advice, but instead he was hell-bent on convincing her that her home was infested with evil entities. His charming co-host also jumped in to offer some old-wives’ cures for getting rid of all the demonic forces. Truth be told, the only disturbance I was picking up on was the fact that the poor, freaked out woman would not be getting much sleep for weeks!

Now, don’t get me wrong. The struggle between good and evil is very, very real. It is a fundamental component of the human condition. It is also the basis of all Creation. It stems from the duality found in every important aspect of our expanding Universe: dark versus light, life versus death, night versus day. Light needs the presence of darkness to be truly visible and meaningful.

 

A belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness –  Joseph Conrad

 

The co-existence of good and evil is also the basis for an inner conflict that each of us have to resolve in this lifetime. It is part of the reason why we are here. Both good and evil therefore do serve a purpose in the greater scheme of things. No doubt about that. But blaming the spiritual realm for the darkness of men is my idea of heresy and blasphemy.

Our morbid fascination with all things dark is as old as the hills, but it is still very much de rigueur. Just the fact that psychics and mediums are today still being accused of doing the devil’s work is sufficient proof in itself. In many religious circles ‘fire and brimstone’ remains the height of fashion. Not to mention the latest 2012 doomsday prophecies, conspiracy theories and apocalyptic visions of evil forces, undercover aliens and secret societies; all hype eagerly spread by fear-mongers, spin doctors and social entrepreneurs.

But those are the most obvious kinds of evil mania. What truly amazes me about our obsession with all things evil is that it is not something you only find in traditional churches or conservative circles. No, some truly gifted, spiritually aware and highly intuitive people, with whom I share many beliefs and blessings, are also fanatic about finding evil spirits, curses and dark entities under their beds, inside their closets …and deep-down in the purses and wallets of their clients.

 

The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance – Socrates

 

Yesterday a wonderful client called me, devastated and in tears. She had been persuaded by a well-meaning friend to “try out” another psychic she knows of… just for fun. The self-proclaimed ’spiritual advisor’ had a field day predicting doom and gloom for her current relationship and warned her that another woman was doing magick to steal her man away. She also offered to do spell work for her to fix the problem, to the tune of $400! Meanwhile my client’s love life is perfectly on track and they are in fact a very happy couple. How dare someone mess with the lives of others out of sheer greed? It truly disgusts me. May God have mercy on her soul.

It is deeply disappointing that many who share in the collective consciousness appear to be obsessing about evil entities and dark forces all of the time. In fact, they are so busy doing this that they hardly have any time or energy left to be co-creators in our spiritual evolution. They seem to miss the point that evil is about regression, destruction and reversing into the past. Evil is the antithesis of creation and expansion, and they seem to forget that what they focus on, sadly, does become their reality.

The good versus evil ‘battle’ has been waged one way or another since the dawn of civilization. It is an ancient archetype that is one of the most recognizable themes in literature and the arts. Let’s face it; ‘good guys versus bad guys’ is the stuff that bestsellers and box office hits are made of.

 

Eternal good is eternal becoming or eternally moving forward to greater life. Eternal evil is to cease becoming and “to be” that which was in the past – JJ Dewey

 

I guess it therefore comes as no surprise that some spiritual seekers are forever obsessing about the evil they fear may be creeping up on them. One only has to tune in to a few podcasts, or watch the latest online videos, to witness the spiritual community’s fixation on everything evil. Indeed, fundamentalism is not only found among the religious and the dogmatic. Some of the ‘spiritually enlightened’ and ‘intuitively evolved’ seem to insist on clinging to medieval concepts and out-dated superstitions.

Instead of being fully devoted to unconditional love, kindness, generosity, selflessness and the greater good, much energy, time and money is being spent every day fighting evil entities and keeping the ‘darkness’ and its ‘extremely powerful forces’ at bay. Potions, spells and candles are actually the very products that keep scam psychics and fake mediums in business. All this while the true battle of Armageddon is being fought right here under our noses, in the streets in front of our houses.

There is no dominating source of evil, because if there was, we would not exist, nature would not exist and neither would the Universe. It is counter-productive to assign so much influence and power to something that is in fact just vast emptiness, non-entity and anti-matter.

 

To rid ourselves of our shadows – who we are – we must step into either total light or total darkness. Goodness and evil – Jeremy P. Johnson

 

I have often said, and will say it again, if you want to know true evil just switch on the evening news. If you are curious to see the real face of Satan, you will find him lurking on the cover of celebrity magazines, in newspapers and on political campaign posters. The battle between good and evil is not being fought in the spiritual realm. Spirit knows no anger, envy, fear, violence or hatred. The real war is happening in mundane places, like the television set in your parlor or at your child’s school.

If you want to find demons, shadow people or anti-Christs, look for them in our educational institutions, communities, churches and governments. If you truly want to find evil incarnate, seek it among the school bullies in our midst, those who drive their peers to suicide or post vile online jokes about their deaths.

Stop hunting ghosts, witches, psychic vampires and energy thieves, and rather expose the narcissists among us who dominate, dictate and destroy so many relationships, families, careers and lives – devoid of empathy and compassion. Search also the boardrooms, public offices and parliaments. There you will find among our leaders and kings many ego-maniacs who abuse their power, corrupt their economy and violate the basic human rights of their people, while they wage senseless wars on their critics and each other.

 

It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways – Buddha

 

Evil, darkness, threat and fear are not spiritual forces… they are the evil creations of man. JJ Dewey writes that “all forces, powers, and energies are neither good nor evil in themselves. They are completely neutral, but only become good or evil when they are intelligently directed.” He also states that “all energies and creations vibrating in their pure state are good.” And that is the whole point. Focusing so much of our thoughts, feelings and intentions on evil, instead of that which is good, is counter-productive and contrary to our Divine Purpose. We are here to serve each other and grow, expand and become, not to cast an exaggerated, ominous shadow over all that is potentially good in the world.

The spiritual realm is much like the natural world. It is in essence breathtakingly perfect, completely harmonious and utterly flawless. I have yet to meet an evil animal or discover a satanic plant. The only evil I have ever witnessed among plants and animals are the scars left on them by the inhumane, dark deeds of men. It is certainly not the devil who is trashing the environment, abusing the animal kingdom or trampling the hearts of loving women and breaking the spirits of brave men.

The Divine Light that you and I come from, and will return to one day, knows no evil and does not recognize the power of these shadows that some so willingly fear and follow. Believing in the supremacy of evil entities and dark beings implies that we all come from a spiritual place of imperfection. It suggests that the Divine Source is somehow diseased, that Creation is riddled with flaws and falsehoods that dwell among us. And, worst of all, that we are so far superior in our human state that we alone are capable of fixing this broken, dysfunctional or chaotic spiritual mess.

 

The reason our definition of good and evil changes over the ages is because our capacity to understand and experience freedom changes – JJ Dewey

 

I realize that for some it must be fun to indulge in this paranormal soap opera, but most of us simply don’t have the time, or the inclination. We know we have much work to do, gifts to offer, blessings to share. We are the Wounded Healers, the Empaths, the Shamans, the Indigo Children, the Starseeds, and the Lightworkers. We speak to the Angels, listen to our Spirit Guides and trust in the guidance of our Ancestors, Ascended Masters and Loved Ones. We fight true evil by saving the planet and healing humanity, by drying one tear at a time.

We have no need for spells, talismans or obsessive-compulsive psychic defenses, for we are surrounded by the everlasting and indestructible shields of Love, Peace and Harmony. The phenomenal power of our Spiritual Heritage surges through our being every moment of every day. We are illuminated by the Divine; there is much Light around us.

The spiritual evolution of mankind is our ultimate aim, our Divine duty. As we continue to expand the Universe, this dazzling, bright Light we carry will continue to emanate from us with much Glory. And we know that there shall come a time when there will be no more evil among men. And we shall know that all is Good.

© 2010 Anthon St Maarten

Ol’ Boogeyman Still Comin’ To Getcha?

In my line of work there is often an unhealthy obsession with the concept of evil. It appears we are simply not able to rid ourselves of this ‘thing’ we seem to have for the boogeyman (here in my country known as the tokoloshe).

Just the other day I was listening to a radio psychic scaring the living daylights out of his unsuspecting caller. She just wanted some career advice, but instead he was hell-bent on convincing her that her home was infested with evil entities. His charming co-host also jumped in to offer some old-wives’ cures for getting rid of all the demonic forces. Truth be told, the only disturbance I was picking up on was the fact that the poor, freaked out woman would not be getting much sleep for weeks!

Now, don’t get me wrong. The struggle between good and evil is very, very real. It is a fundamental component of the human condition. It is also the basis of all Creation. It stems from the duality found in every important aspect of our expanding Universe: dark versus light, life versus death, night versus day. Light needs the presence of darkness to be truly visible and meaningful.

 

A belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness –  Joseph Conrad

 

The co-existence of good and evil is also the basis for an inner conflict that each of us have to resolve in this lifetime. It is part of the reason why we are here. Both good and evil therefore do serve a purpose in the greater scheme of things. No doubt about that. But blaming the spiritual realm for the darkness of men is my idea of heresy and blasphemy.

Our morbid fascination with all things dark is as old as the hills, but it is still very much de rigueur. Just the fact that psychics and mediums are today still being accused of doing the devil’s work is sufficient proof in itself. In many religious circles ‘fire and brimstone’ remains the height of fashion. Not to mention the latest 2012 doomsday prophecies, conspiracy theories and apocalyptic visions of evil forces, undercover aliens and secret societies; all hype eagerly spread by fear-mongers, spin doctors and social entrepreneurs.

But those are the most obvious kinds of evil mania. What truly amazes me about our obsession with all things evil is that it is not something you only find in traditional churches or conservative circles. No, some truly gifted, spiritually aware and highly intuitive people, with whom I share many beliefs and blessings, are also fanatic about finding evil spirits, curses and dark entities under their beds, inside their closets …and deep-down in the purses and wallets of their clients.

 

The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance – Socrates

 

Yesterday a wonderful client called me, devastated and in tears. She had been persuaded by a well-meaning friend to “try out” another psychic she knows of… just for fun. The self-proclaimed ’spiritual advisor’ had a field day predicting doom and gloom for her current relationship and warned her that another woman was doing magick to steal her man away. She also offered to do spell work for her to fix the problem, to the tune of $400! Meanwhile my client’s love life is perfectly on track and they are in fact a very happy couple. How dare someone mess with the lives of others out of sheer greed? It truly disgusts me. May God have mercy on her soul.

It is deeply disappointing that many who share in the collective consciousness appear to be obsessing about evil entities and dark forces all of the time. In fact, they are so busy doing this that they hardly have any time or energy left to be co-creators in our spiritual evolution. They seem to miss the point that evil is about regression, destruction and reversing into the past. Evil is the antithesis of creation and expansion, and they seem to forget that what they focus on, sadly, does become their reality.

The good versus evil ‘battle’ has been waged one way or another since the dawn of civilization. It is an ancient archetype that is one of the most recognizable themes in literature and the arts. Let’s face it; ‘good guys versus bad guys’ is the stuff that bestsellers and box office hits are made of.

 

Eternal good is eternal becoming or eternally moving forward to greater life. Eternal evil is to cease becoming and “to be” that which was in the past – JJ Dewey

 

I guess it therefore comes as no surprise that some spiritual seekers are forever obsessing about the evil they fear may be creeping up on them. One only has to tune in to a few podcasts, or watch the latest online videos, to witness the spiritual community’s fixation on everything evil. Indeed, fundamentalism is not only found among the religious and the dogmatic. Some of the ‘spiritually enlightened’ and ‘intuitively evolved’ seem to insist on clinging to medieval concepts and out-dated superstitions.

Instead of being fully devoted to unconditional love, kindness, generosity, selflessness and the greater good, much energy, time and money is being spent every day fighting evil entities and keeping the ‘darkness’ and its ‘extremely powerful forces’ at bay. Potions, spells and candles are actually the very products that keep scam psychics and fake mediums in business. All this while the true battle of Armageddon is being fought right here under our noses, in the streets in front of our houses.

There is no dominating source of evil, because if there was, we would not exist, nature would not exist and neither would the Universe. It is counter-productive to assign so much influence and power to something that is in fact just vast emptiness, non-entity and anti-matter.

 

To rid ourselves of our shadows – who we are – we must step into either total light or total darkness. Goodness and evil – Jeremy P. Johnson

 

I have often said, and will say it again, if you want to know true evil just switch on the evening news. If you are curious to see the real face of Satan, you will find him lurking on the cover of celebrity magazines, in newspapers and on political campaign posters. The battle between good and evil is not being fought in the spiritual realm. Spirit knows no anger, envy, fear, violence or hatred. The real war is happening in mundane places, like the television set in your parlor or at your child’s school.

If you want to find demons, shadow people or anti-Christs, look for them in our educational institutions, communities, churches and governments. If you truly want to find evil incarnate, seek it among the school bullies in our midst, those who drive their peers to suicide or post vile online jokes about their deaths.

Stop hunting ghosts, witches, psychic vampires and energy thieves, and rather expose the narcissists among us who dominate, dictate and destroy so many relationships, families, careers and lives – devoid of empathy and compassion. Search also the boardrooms, public offices and parliaments. There you will find among our leaders and kings many ego-maniacs who abuse their power, corrupt their economy and violate the basic human rights of their people, while they wage senseless wars on their critics and each other.

 

It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways – Buddha

 

Evil, darkness, threat and fear are not spiritual forces… they are the evil creations of man. JJ Dewey writes that “all forces, powers, and energies are neither good nor evil in themselves. They are completely neutral, but only become good or evil when they are intelligently directed.” He also states that “all energies and creations vibrating in their pure state are good.” And that is the whole point. Focusing so much of our thoughts, feelings and intentions on evil, instead of that which is good, is counter-productive and contrary to our Divine Purpose. We are here to serve each other and grow, expand and become, not to cast an exaggerated, ominous shadow over all that is potentially good in the world.

The spiritual realm is much like the natural world. It is in essence breathtakingly perfect, completely harmonious and utterly flawless. I have yet to meet an evil animal or discover a satanic plant. The only evil I have ever witnessed among plants and animals are the scars left on them by the inhumane, dark deeds of men. It is certainly not the devil who is trashing the environment, abusing the animal kingdom or trampling the hearts of loving women and breaking the spirits of brave men.

The Divine Light that you and I come from, and will return to one day, knows no evil and does not recognize the power of these shadows that some so willingly fear and follow. Believing in the supremacy of evil entities and dark beings implies that we all come from a spiritual place of imperfection. It suggests that the Divine Source is somehow diseased, that Creation is riddled with flaws and falsehoods that dwell among us. And, worst of all, that we are so far superior in our human state that we alone are capable of fixing this broken, dysfunctional or chaotic spiritual mess.

 

The reason our definition of good and evil changes over the ages is because our capacity to understand and experience freedom changes – JJ Dewey

 

I realize that for some it must be fun to indulge in this paranormal soap opera, but most of us simply don’t have the time, or the inclination. We know we have much work to do, gifts to offer, blessings to share. We are the Wounded Healers, the Empaths, the Shamans, the Indigo Children, the Starseeds, and the Lightworkers. We speak to the Angels, listen to our Spirit Guides and trust in the guidance of our Ancestors, Ascended Masters and Loved Ones. We fight true evil by saving the planet and healing humanity, by drying one tear at a time.

We have no need for spells, talismans or obsessive-compulsive psychic defenses, for we are surrounded by the everlasting and indestructible shields of Love, Peace and Harmony. The phenomenal power of our Spiritual Heritage surges through our being every moment of every day. We are illuminated by the Divine; there is much Light around us.

The spiritual evolution of mankind is our ultimate aim, our Divine duty. As we continue to expand the Universe, this dazzling, bright Light we carry will continue to emanate from us with much Glory. And we know that there shall come a time when there will be no more evil among men. And we shall know that all is Good.

© 2010 Anthon St Maarten

Deliberate Creation

Power of language

It appears there is no universal reality only collective agreement. We expand our collective agreement by imposing it on others through the use of words like “is.” The grass appears green to everyone because we collectively agree.   Many people can say with a sense of certainty “death is the end of life.” The sense of certainty is self-generated and limited to the speaker. We decide to agree or disagree.    What proof do we have? You may say because you no can no longer interact with the deceased person through your human senses.

This brings us to the next question. How do you know our human senses are the only ones available to us?  Most everyone agrees that there is a sixth sense, yet few of us learn to use it consciously or as well as we use the other five. Can it be because humanity has not collectively agreed that a sixth sense exists?  Psychic phenomena based on common perception is perceived as conspiracy or fiction.

This again appears to be a shared belief. Participating in this belief can prevent you from ever developing your sixth sense.  Quantum physics has demonstrated nothing ever dies, it merely changes form. Some of the most well-known scientists, doctors and spiritual teachers agree. Our reality appears to be created through the use of definitive words such as “is.”  What if we taught our children, the grass appears green instead of telling them the grass is green?  I challenge you to start or end your sentences with “in my opinion” when speaking definitely

Convincing others of your reality

Convincing others your reality is correct provides reassurance to you.  Consider sharing your knowledge with someone without attempting to convince or force your perspective upon them. What do you gain by convincing others your perception of reality is correct? You may perceive yourself as more important, intelligent or worthy. Nothing another person says or does will ever override your self-perception.

Power of labels

Labels has the power to solidify your reality.  If you choose to name your daughter Beth, she may go through life telling people, “I am Beth.” What if while young she overhears someone saying, “Everyone with the name Beth is dumb and ugly.” She can very easily begin to unconsciously perceive herself as such.    This may not be the case if she told herself my name is Beth or I am called Beth.  Can Beth change a poor self-perception? Yes. Ultimately she decides what the word Beth means to her. She can write down on a piece of paper, what the word Beth means to her:  bright, intelligent, beautiful, smart, brilliant, loving, friendly and joyful.   Whenever the negative sentence arises, she can simply manipulate the words from; “Beth is dumb and ugly” to Beth is smart and beautiful. Beth has full control over how often the negative sentence replays itself in her mind.  We not only make the grass green, we also control what thoughts replay in our mind.

Challenge yourself to live for a day without labeling.  If you see a person that appears to be homeless avoid labeling them. See them as you see every other person. Observe birds, trees, cars, and people – everything that comes into your view without attaching a name to it.  Once you label something your perception of what that label means determines your experience and how you will interact with it.

Conscious living

Controlling your perceptions can reshape your reality.   Consider saying; I am experiencing pain in my head; instead of I have a headache or my body is restoring itself from less than optimal health instead of I have cancer. The word cancer to some equates to death. You decide what words you use and the meaning you attach to them.   If you are going to label your experience choose labels that empower you.

Mind reading

We can read the mind of any person by observing their actions.  Intention precedes thought and thought precedes action.  Congruency is alignment of all three.  If you hate eating shrimp but feel obligated to eat it because you believe you will be perceived as rude or ungrateful by your guests, you’re doing yourself a disservice and creating an energetic imbalance. How do you know your friends will see you as rude or ungrateful? So if they do, was this your original intention?  Why subject yourself to the discomfort of eating something you do not like? Is it more important for you to be perceived in a positive light by your friends than it is for you to perceive yourself in this way? This can very easily be construed as borderline insanity.

Food for thought

The world that we see is not the world that is.  We are deliberately creating our reality at every moment both consciously and unconsciously through the use of our language.  In order to bring conscious creation to the foreground it is essential we speak consciously.  All material reality results from an intention. You need only look to yourself to prove this by observing the car that you drive, the home that you live in, the clothes that you are wearing, your health, etc.  You may say that you did not deliberately gain 50lbs, remember however deliberate creation results from both unconscious and conscious intention.

 

 

Invocation from Saint Germain: on the Love within

Breathe into your heart, put forth the intention:

“I call forth my divine self, the truth within me and I place my intent in this moment to bring forth the fullness of the love within me, the love that surrounds me, the love that animates me.



I call forth that love to express through every cell, every atom, every breath, every thought, every feeling and every deed, for I am an embodiment of pure love. And as I focus each day of my life on that alone, all that is required flows into my life.



So it is and so be it.”



If you let it, this exercise will clean out the conditions of love that have been trained into you so you may freely love from a place of divinity.

 

Invocation from Saint Germain: on the Love within

Breathe into your heart, put forth the intention:

“I call forth my divine self, the truth within me and I place my intent in this moment to bring forth the fullness of the love within me, the love that surrounds me, the love that animates me.



I call forth that love to express through every cell, every atom, every breath, every thought, every feeling and every deed, for I am an embodiment of pure love. And as I focus each day of my life on that alone, all that is required flows into my life.



So it is and so be it.”



If you let it, this exercise will clean out the conditions of love that have been trained into you so you may freely love from a place of divinity.

 

The Art of Religion

This past Tuesday marked a return to Practitioner training, and it was great to see everyone again.  As ever the discussion was lively and interesting.  We’ve started to look at world religions and  I am revelling in what there is to learn.

I had begun a poem in class and last night, after a very productive day, had set the intent to sit down.  But after a while of searching I realized that the subject I had chosen and the resulting verses were not sitting right for me.  I put down my pencil and undertook some self-enquiry.  One realization was that I was trying to force a poem because I had not written one since Monday.  And for someone used to writing a poem every day or so that seemed wrong.

"Ah ha", I thought. "That is hardly a basis of grace!"  Fortunately, I did not need to answer myself.  I simply put the poem down, unfinished, and released attachment.

And in release I opened the way for another poem to write itself through me.  This poem was stirred as I read about the goals of various religions, and how extreme minorities have represented such goals to the world over many years.

The Art of Religion

The irony of necessity,
experienced bloody hand.
The art of religion,
ego taking stand.

A cocktail of humanity,
part ego, divine, perception.
Non-mystics teaching seekers.
Is control meted exception?

Perception adds complexity,
to relationship with Source.
Intimate experience,
art not to be forced.

Yet structure loses message,
guiding through complexity.
Bewildering world peace,
brotherhood perplexity.

Obfuscated messages,
of killing, and stealing.
Radicalized affront,
antithesis revealing.

But how to throw a rope,
without ego driving cast?
We share the destination,
and lessons of our past.

Others are not wrong,
the answer is within.
Through eyes of gift and love,
can we can see that we’re akin.

Let seekers be inspired,
to discover for themselves,
that no other has all answers,
for the Being self has veiled.

Find your own brush or pen,
or chisel as you must.
For the art of religion,
is a masterpiece of trust.

(c) Copyright 2009, Carmien Owen

Surrendering Breath

This morning I had the pleasure to attend a meditation session hosted by Terry Shea, Elika Luckett, and Nathan Aswell.  Between them they conjured a sacred space, and I staggered from it like a drunkard.  With a tankard of life in one hand and a pencil in the other I wrote this poem.
 
Surrendering Breath
 
Surrendering breath,
Devolve me now,
Carry me from complex,
Beyond a simple cloud.
Lost, dissolving and forgotten,
A birth of fiery breath,
Intimately resting in peace,
A place of nothing left.
 
I was given those aspects,
That would quicken this recall,
Focus of word and element,
To carry within Love’s thrall.
Returned to mother and father,
Balanced and smudged anew,
Heart from flame and ashes,
Love my intimate cue.
 
Swaying like a tree,
In the breeze of your tones,
The scratch of a string,
Like the bird’s call home.
Surrendered, I am now,
To words so softly said,
At the feet of these masters,
The sun above their heads.
 
(c) Copyright 2009, Carmien Owen
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