The Spiritual Path

This morning I am contemplating the meaning of the spiritual path.  I am questioning what my spiritual path has been and is.  I am reflecting over my life and wondering what has prevented me from continuously remaining in love and peace.

The questioning of external realities began for me after a life changing experience at eight years old of what I would call an awakening to grace, God awareness, soul remembrance and connecting to my essence (it is hard to find one term that fits the experience).  I was graced with the understanding that it is possible to experience an inner heaven.  What confused me was why everyone was not in this place of love.  My soul received a kind of shock every time I would experience something less than love. So I gravitated towards the things in life that did not create a feeling of separation, like nature and animals.  Eventually I put up a protection so I would not experience pain and confusion that sometimes happened when interacting with some people.  Unfortunately this protection blocked out some of the bliss that can be experienced when being completely open to Love/God.

My biggest angst in life has been the feeling that everyone is in a hurry to get somewhere.  I always felt that wherever you are is where you are and wanted to be present, open and in love with the present moment and whoever was sharing the moment with me.  A feeling of being fully awake.

So, what does all of the above have to do with a spiritual path?  Spiritual:  holy, sacred, divine, devout, mystical – Path: trail, pathway, conduit, channel

When I examine the meaning I am brought back to that feeling of where is everyone going?  Even the most spiritually proclaimed do not seem to be fully present.

My conclusion….  Perhaps if we could just stop searching we would realize that the true spiritual path is not a path to a certain destination of something more, something better.  Is it possible that there is not a spiritual path per se?  What if we sat in complete acceptance and realized we are the path itself.  There is nowhere to get to.

One final note that I realized in my pondering….  Suffering comes from wanting something to be other than what it is.  So to ease my suffering I have to accept that all I can do is let go of any remaining protections to shield myself from possible painful external stimuli, return to the oneness of  Love/God, be fully present and accept that a lot of the time I will be alone in that presence.  I have come to realize that even though sometimes I feel alone around others, I am never truly lonely when I am in the presence of what is, in the presence of Love/God.

Namaste!


Wake Up!

“Wake up! Wake up! Soon the person you believe you are will die, so now, wake up and be content with this knowledge: There is no need to search; achievement leads to nowhere. It makes no difference at all, so just be happy now! Love is the only reality of the world, because it is all One, you see. And the only laws are paradox, humor and change. There is no problem, never was, and never will be…. Release your struggle, let go of your mind, throw away your concerns, and relax into the world. No need to resist life; just do your best. Open your eyes and see that you are far more than you imagine. You are the world, you are the universe; you are yourself and everyone else, too! It’s all the marvelous Play of god. Wake up, regain your humor. Don’t worry, just be happy. You are already free!” from Dan Millman’s 1980 way of the peaceful warrior.

The Middle Way (Beyond Fight or Flight Response)

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I have been giving a lot of thought as to what causes us to not live in peace and harmony more often than not.  I am writing this as an observer of myself and others.  My purpose is to learn from unnecessary suffering.

So, what is happening when we have an inner reaction to an external stimuli and that reaction causes us to waiver from the middle way of inner peace?  How can we respond from a place of peace versus fear (which is fight or flight response or better said reaction)?

Part of solving this puzzle is to understand the human brain which is a triune brain (three brains in one).

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Brain One:    Center of the Brain “R complex” snakes, lizards

Brain Two:    Wrapped around Brain One “limbic system” or “old mammalian brain” dogs, cats

Brain Three:  Outside Surface (Wrapped around Brain Two!) “neocortex” primates, especially human primates

(To read more about the triune brain click on this link) http://www.psycheducation.org/emotion/triune%20brain.htm

When we are in fear (actual or imagined) we are reacting from our reptilian brain (fight or flight).  This part of the brain is necessary for reacting to life threatening events.  If we allow ourselves to react to life events that are not life threatening from the reptilian brain we will be leading very unconscious lives based on fear.  We will be on the defense and on the lookout for the saber tooth tiger we know is going to attack at anytime.

We are able to make a choice through our emotions and behavior when we function from our limbic brain.  From this brain we can manage the fight or flight reaction, we can make a choice how we respond.

When we are functioning from our cortex brain we are in control of purposeful behaviors and decision-making.  We are most conscious and aware in this brain functioning.

As I am writing this I am seeing the triune brain as creating three realms of experience, the Underworld, Mid-world and Upper world.  Underworld (Hell – Fear) Mid-world (material – matter- third dimensional living).  I am not so sure that we have fully embraced the Upper world of Heaven.  Maybe we will evolve a fourth brain. Maybe our spiritual masters evolved a fourth brain of  Consciousness.  Maybe they were trying to tell us that we can do the same if we follow their disciplines.

Anyway…back to the fight or flight response… Another way to look at this is from the perspective of passive-aggressive behavior.  Flight is passive and fight is aggressive.  Neither of these behaviors works well for resolving situations that take us away from peace.  The middle way is neither passive nor aggressive but a sort of open assertiveness that creates a win-win outcome.

It is also helpful to imagine a pendulum swinging from one extreme to another, when we enter the middle way we rise above both extremes.  Here is a cute analogy of the middle way…A little ant, clinging to the tip of a pendulum, was swinging giddily to and fro, just as we swing to and fro, clinging to our emotions: love and hate, joy and sadness. We identify ourselves with them, we are them. After some time the little ant tired of the ceaseless, relentless movement discovered that he could climb further up the pendulum to a different and more restful world. If we emulate the little ant, no longer identifying ourselves with extremes, the pendulum goes on swinging but somehow we know that we are not that constant movement.

The Middle Way – Peace!

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Desiderata (Latin: “desired things”)

When I was a young teen my brother gave me a poster.   I read it with great curiosity.  I resonated so strongly with what I read that I taped the poster to my bedroom wall and vowed to read it every day and abide by its wisdom.  I did this for years until I moved from my patents home.  Today, feeling a bit discombobulated (as Sandra Dee used to say in the movie Gidget..yes, this is actually a word meaning a state of confusion) my memory brought me back to the wisdom from my childhood poster.   

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

— written by Max Ehrmann in the 1920s —

Calling All Angels

Angel: a divine being who acts as a messenger of God

In my morning reflections I am recalling an experience in a hypnotherapy session (facilitated by a dear friend).  I was guided to my earliest memory.  I found myself in what I described as a city of gold.  In this city there was complete peace and harmony.  The spirits abiding there glide gracefully about.  They just had to think where they wanted to go and they would appear there.  The absolute love that I experienced affected every cell of being.  I then was guided to a room where there was a long table surrounded by what I interpreted as counsel.  I immediately knew (through telepathy) that their counsel for me was that I had to go back.  This created extreme sadness in me as I did not want to go back to separation, conditioned love, and disharmony.

When I awoke this morning I felt that absolute love and grace that I experienced in the hypnotherapy session.  I was thinking about the human experience and how at times we seem to be wandering aimlessly.  Then a wave of truth came over me and I could see we are all angels, but we don’t all remember that we are.  I could see that within each person wandering aimlessly through life is an angel gliding graciously back towards home.  I could see through the illusions, I could see that behind all darkness is light, behind all fear is love and above all suffering is grace.  I could see ever so clearly that at any moment we have the choice to remember and experience grace; I could see that we are all angels.  I wept in surrendered humbleness.

Please enjoy the video below; it is very touching…..

Calling All Angels by Jane Siberry & KD Lang

Santa Maria, Santa Teresa, Santa Anna, Santa Susannah
Santa Cecilia, Santa Copelia, Santa Domenica, Mary Angelica
Frater Achad, Frater Pietro, Julianus, Petronilla
Santa, Santos, Miroslaw, Vladimir
and all the rest

Oh, a man is placed upon the steps, a baby cries
and high above you can hear
the church bells start to ring
and as the heaviness, oh the heaviness, the body settles in
somewhere you can hear a mother sing

then it’s one foot then the other
as you step out onto the road of hope
step out on the road
how much weight? how much?
then it’s how long? and how far?
and how many times oh, before it’s too late?

calling all angels calling all angels
walk me through this one
don’t leave me alone
calling all angels calling all angels
we’re tryin’ and we’re hopin’
but we’re not sure how…

ah, and every day you gaze upon the sunset
with such love and intensity
why it’s ah, it’s almost as
if you could only crack the code
then you’d finally understand what this all means

ah, but if you could…do you think you would
trade in all, all the pain and suffering?
ah, but then you’d miss
the beauty of the light upon this earth
and the sweetness of the leaving

calling all angels calling all angels
walk me through this one
don’t leave me alone
calling all angels calling all angels
we’re tryin’ and we’re hopin’
but we’re not sure…

calling all angels calling all angels
walk me through this one
don’t leave me alone
calling all angels calling all angels
we’re tryin’ we’re hopin’
we’re hurtin’ we’re lovin’
we’re cryin’ we’re callin’
cause we’re not sure how this goes