Monday, November 25, 2013

Sabotaging the Healing Process and Running When It Gets Tough

There's an old saying about, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." It's not an all bad saying. While I don't prescribe to the no pain, no gain philosophy of success through suffering, there is a lot to be said for perseverance, tenacity, and general dedication and self-discipline. These are core elements prescribed by most true spiritual traditions that I know of. It's just a lot of times people get so hung up on the structures (meditating for 30 minutes, going to church every Sunday, and so forth) that they forget why they are doing it. And sometimes when things get difficult that's a sign to change direction, not simply bulldog your way through it.

So as always, this goes back to you and your inner knowing. You have to know you better than anyone else, including those of us spiritual teachers. You have to understand what your tendencies are and when to lean into something and when to step out of it. In developing that understanding, you will be better prepared for some of the inner intensities that arise especially as deeper healing ignites. In this way, you will avoid the tendency to self-sabotage and run-away. In case this is a new topic for some of you (and it probably is), let me talk a little bit about what it's like as deep healing intensifies and how often people run away from the very healing they want.

The Fire Grows Hotter

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Spirituality Poem: Unending

I've read this poem by my student, Jackie, a couple of times, and I encourage you to do so as well, preferably out loud. There's something about certain poems that begs to be spoken and not quietly read, but you are welcome to do that all the same. But if you do read this out loud, I encourage you to listen closely to the cadence of the words. See if you hear the tremors of Truth and feel the rumblings of Love inside you that may get stirred up from that place of "unending" within you.



Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Spirituality Webinar: Spiritual Sexuality and Sexual Desire

Everybody loves sex. Well, I hope everyone does. That's why I'm sure that this topic will be more than a little popular for many of you. But the approach to sexuality on the spiritual path is generally much different than the way people think about it. It seems like on the one hand we have people who are very extreme in denying sex except for purposes of procreation, and on the other hand, we have people who just want to feel tons and tons of pleasure. Both pleasure and procreation are part of spiritual sexuality, but spiritual sexuality is broader than that.

To help people broaden their appreciation of sexuality and their own creative energy within them, I'll have my next webinar about this topic so that you can see the breadth of opening, healing, creativity, flow, and more than a little pleasure that it can offer to your spiritual practice and your life.

Webinar Title: Spiritual Sexuality and Sexual Desire

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Spiritual Poetry

I've been very blessed to be attracting students who have been sharing their poetry with me and all of us on this blog, so I'm creating this page to update with the latest poems. You'll be able to find this blog post under the "Community" section here on this blog.

Being Alive
By Jackie

The Gift of Love
By Jackie

Your Melody
By Jackie

Love's Wings
By Jackie

Meeting Sun
By Jackie

By Jackie

The Indescribable Eternal
By Jackie

The Garden of Life and Light and Bliss
By Jackie

Painted in Magnificence
By Jackie

Holy Communion
By Jackie

The Wound of the Beloved
By Jackie

By Jackie

The Glow
By Jackie

The Happiness Which Does Not Cease
By Jackie

The Divine Dance
By Rach

I See You
By Rach

The Pristine Unseen
By Rach

I Seeing Me
By Rach

That Which Lurks Below
By Rach

In the Still
By Rach

By Rach

By Rach

I Am
By Rach

The flower photo is a gift from Arran Edmonstone--a long-time supporter of this blog. He donated photos in the earlier days of this blog (circa 2011), and I'm honored to be able to share some of his work once more. You can check out his latest photos on this flickr link.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Spiritual Poetry: The Glow

Oh goodie. Another poem to share from my student, Jackie. Such a joy to read and share such work on this humble little blog. I hope it inspires you. I hope it encourages you to go within to find that Truth and Love that is already there within you. I hope it helps you to find your inner glow and to shine in your everyday life.

You can read more of her poetry and other students' works on this link: Thoughts from a Student.

The Glow

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Great Master Teaches: Part 2

spiritual clarity, spiritual sight, spiritual photography
Here is the conclusion to the spiritual allegory, "The Great Master Teaches." Be sure to check out Part 1 so you can understand the conclusion, and stay tuned for an upcoming interpretation of the allegory. Enjoy!

As the brown-robed Believer left town, the first lesson came upon the man in the yellow robe who had taken up living in the great house that was meant for the great master. He had spurned her direction to tear it down and donate the proceeds and anything of value back to the Village. He lay slumbering one night when thieves broke into the house. The continued poverty in the area had made many increasingly desperate, and even though this was to be a house dedicated to God, they could no longer resist all the fine furnishings.

So a group of six thieves crept in and using a spell, put the Believer into a deep sleep while they pillaged the house. This went on for several nights, and each morning, the Believer was too muddled in his mind from the spell to notice all the things gone missing.

One day, a friend passing by pointed out that all the stained glass windows were gone. At which point, the man in the yellow robe knew something was up. He decided to stay up all night to catch the thieves. On this last night, he heard the thieves and ran out to confront them. But they knocked him senseless to the ground. He was carted far away outside the town and stripped naked of his clothes. By the time he made it back, the whole house had been torn down.

Penniless, he cursed his luck, cursed the thieves, and wept in repentance. He found a few rags to wear and decided to leave the Village and his ill-luck behind. Upon the ground, he found one of the original candles from the house. He lit it and walked off into the country.

The woman in the red robe heard of these news and sent word to the Great Master about these ill-tidings. Too big too move, she asked the master to come to her to counsel about these things, but the master told her that she must come to her. Deeply concerned to see a long-time friend lose everything, she tried, but despite trying, she could not move to go see the master.

At last, she realized how much her weight had inhibited her, and she began to fast. She had her servants give away much of the remaining food, and she began to pray and meditate regularly. But things were already afoot, and her lesson soon found her despite her decision to fast and to lose weight. A heart attack seized her, and she barely survived. All the doctors came by to help her mend, but she was in a very sorry condition for some time.

Finally, she prayed to God and said, "I promise to never over-eat or take more than my fair share ever again. Please help me to heal."

The next day, she was miraculously healthy. As the weeks went by, she was able to walk again. She decided to leave the Village and to use travel as a form of exercise to let go of all the weight she had put on. Just as she was leaving, she found one of the candles from the great house being sold in a shop. She picked it up, and she lit it to illuminate her way on her journey.

The purple-robed Believer heard these goings on, but she assumed it had nothing to do with her. It just added to her idle gossip topics. She had no intention of moving on to do anything. Then one day, lightning struck her home. A fire sprung up, and everything began burning. She tried to put things out, but she was so slow and out of breath that she could not stop it from spreading. She tried to run to the next home, but she had hardly any stamina to make it down the lane to get help. By the time she got back, everything was burnt to a cinder.

Angry and sad, she cursed her luck, but instead of moving on, she decided that this was a trick by the Devil or a test by God.

She said, "I'll just sit here until you show me the way."

But she knew the way, and she refused to follow it because it seemed like too much work. Then one day, a bird flew by, and it pooped on her head. She said to herself, "Is this what I deserve? To be pooped on? If God can't protect me from such things, then I no longer believe in him."

So the woman in the purple robe gave up the path, married a rich man, and lived with him in comfort, ease, and spiritual ignorance to the end of her days.

The man in the blue robe had long been watching everything from afar, and his desire for the great master had grown yet stronger. He'd begun to get bolder by sending her flowers, cards, and candies, which she promptly gave away or destroyed. So he decided to take more visible action to show that he could be her peer and protector. He stood up for her against the man in the orange robe and the woman in the green robe. But in standing up for her and being noticed, he began to attract the desires of many of the Village women. Some of them were in committed relationships, but they desired him nonetheless. They sent him suggestive notes and winks. They stole pinches if he was nearby.

One night, one of the woman following him lured him into her bedroom saying that the great master had sent for him and had finally succumbed to his advances. But the next morning, he saw that he had not been with the great master and found out that the woman was married. Soon he heard the husband was looking for him to "settle a few things."

Fearful of the reprisal he'd called upon himself, he fled the Village and did not return.

The man in the orange robe had also been paying attention to these events, so he'd created an armed guard around him. Everywhere he went raising the alarm and stirring up anger, the armed guard went with him. He said to himself, "No trickery from this charlatan speaking for God will get to me. I'll always be protected."

But he was not always protected. Even he had to take off his clothes and go to the bathhouse at some point. Sitting in these waters, he happened to make eye contact with a beautiful raven-haired woman. The woman batted her eyes at him and cajoled him to come sit by her. He dutifully went like a hawk called to the perch, and she filled his mind with sweet fantasies that brought him to great excitement. Then suddenly a noise sounded--a very small noise and a pinprick of pain. He realized that the woman had stabbed him with a small needle. At first he did not understand, but quickly the poison spread. He got woozy and slipped underneath the waters before he could call out or run away from his assassin.

The woman slipped away unknown. Her motives remained a mystery, and most of the Village that he somehow drowned in the bathhouse.

Upon hearing this latest news, the last Believer in Village ran to the Great Master.

"Please, please, Great Master. Call off your tricks. Call off your lessons. Spare me. Spare me," the woman in the green robe sobbed.

The master looked at the woman, but saw the coldness still in her heart.

"I have done nothing. I was warning you. I was showing you the way to your heart's bliss in service, but the hard road of the spiritual path frightened you. You turned away. You turned away from God, and therefore you turned away from me. You have called in these lessons into your own lives by your actions and negligence. This is not my doing. It was your own."

Then the jealousy in the Believer's heart flared up, and she shouted, "You think you're so much better than everyone. But I'll show you." She ripped off her clothing, put on rags, and went out into the desert. She was dead of dehydration after three days.

Then the Village had none of the Believers left--none of those who were supposed to guard them and lead them on their soul paths. But the master remained, and she taught and counselled many. She said to them, "The light of your own guidance is already within you. Follow that, and you will not need the guidance of another. But from time to time, it may still serve you to follow those whose vocation is in service to the light."

In particular she taught the children, and in many of the coming days, the upsets and difficulties of the Village began to subside.

Then one day, a man in rags with little more than the candle in his hand came into town. The Villagers wondered who this poor man was, but the Great Master knew.

"Welcome home," she said to the Believer who used to wear a yellow robe.

"Hello good master. Is this my home?"

"You tell me."

"No, my home is in my heart. It is not in things. It is not in a place, and it is not in comfort. I have learned these lessons on my travels, and I thank you." He began to weep and bow to her, but she lifted him up.

"There is only one to whom we bow, dear friend. Stay awhile before you journey on. I can tell that you are finally on your path, so I will not delay you long. But tell me what you have seen."

So he did. And he shared the wonders he'd seen in his travels, and he shared the stories he'd heard. He shared the new names of God he'd heard and the new practices he'd found. Just before he left, she kissed him on the forehead, "May you see and hear even more on this next leg of your journey."

Then he set out to continue to deepen his spiritual path.

The fortune of the Village continued to improve, and where the old great house had once been, a great community center was built instead. Plays, town meetings, weddings, and gatherings of all sorts were now held there, and the from time to time, the Great Master would join in, not to teach, but to play. Because in divine play, God also is revealed. One night as the festivities were going on and much food and drink was available, a frail, thin woman approached the master, who was watching after dancing for awhile.

"Dear sister! Welcome home." She embraced the woman who used to wear a red robe.

"Thank you, sister."

"Come, have some food and drink."

"Thank you sister, but only a little please. I do not need much, and there are others that need much more."

"It will be as you say, but tell me what you have seen."

And the woman who used to wear a red robe spoke of the many foods and bounties in other lands as well as the poverty and famines in other parts. She spoke of the disproportionate distribution of such things, and she spoke of her work to help bring balance to these systems so that all would have enough to eat and to live.

"Then continue on now, dear sister," the Great Master said. "And continue to teach others the importance of balance, taking no more than you need, and finding a greater harmony for all the communities of the world."

Then the woman left to continue her journey.

Now, the Village had grown into new health, and sickness was rare. Hunger and poverty were few. A renaissance had come upon the region, and life was beautiful and peaceful. The Great Master could see her work was coming to a close. She knew it was now time for a new shepherd to come and light the way.

One day, a man in golden robes with a strong, clear demeanor came to town. His eyes were like the clear sky, and his heart like the ocean. The master knew this one as well. It was the Believer who used to wear a brown robe.

"I see you have come back at last," the Great Master says.

"Yes. Thanks to you. You showed me the path, and it has been hard. It has been gentle too, and it has freed me of my pride. It did not stop there. It freed me of many other things, so now I can see what needs to be done, what needs to be left alone, and what needs only God. Quite simply, I can see now."

The master bows to him. "Wonderful. I had been waiting for you. My time to leave has come. Please look after those here. I have done my work. It is your time now dear Teacher. It is my sincere hope that you can better teach those that are here and those who are to come to be free of the vices that have soured this community before and to embrace the love that is already around them."

"Oh dear master, please don't go. I would be sad to lose your company."

She smiles. In her smile, he sees the infinite space of love--the space where nothing can ever be lost. Pressing her hand to his chest, something else begins to open in him, and the path of his heart widens so that he can begin the next phase of his spiritual journey as a Teacher to the Village.

With that, she leaves.

You can read the interpretation of this spiritual allegory on this link.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Spirituality Poem: The Happiness Which Does Not Cease

I have the wonderful fortune to attract wonderful spirituality poets. This latest poem comes from my student, Jackie. I hope you all enjoy her way of sharing spiritual truth.

In general, you can always check out the varied voices of spiritual experience from my students under the "Thoughts from a Student" link on the right-hand side of the blog.


The Happiness Which Does Not Cease

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Great Master Teaches: Part 1

This spiritual allegory continues the story that I began some time ago. To catch up on this tale, you can read both "The Coming of the Great Master Part 1" and "The Coming of the Great Master Part 2." There's an interpretation of the allegory available if you are interested as well. Enjoy!

After coming to the Village as prophesied, the Great Master quietly and humbly did her work in all the dark, polluted places of the Village, and no more dark and polluted were the hearts of the Believers who had spent so much time and effort to prepare for her. For they were truly poorly prepared for her arrival, and even after their repentance, other issues soon came to light.

She sent them to tear down the great house that they'd built. She sent them to redistribute the food and clothing. But as they got ready to do as she'd instructed, other thoughts soon surfaced.

"Why should we tear down such a beautiful place," the man in the yellow robe said to the others. "We spent so much time to create it. It would be a waste to get rid of it. I'm sure we can find a use for it."

The other Believers agreed, and before long, the man in the yellow robe had set up his home in that space originally intended to house the master. Living there, he enjoyed the great tapestries and the multi-colored light that streamed in through the beautiful stained glass windows.

All the while the hardships in the Village--which had lessened since the coming of the great master--continued. Poverty continued. Fights and arguments proliferated, and disease and hunger were rampant. Nonetheless, the Believers felt above the needs of the Village and blamed the others for not being righteous enough to be as lucky as they.

This mentality continued to grow in the Believers' hearts and minds, and as the woman in the red robe took on the task  of redistributing all the food, she soon found herself sampling more and more of the stores of cold cuts, fruits, pies, and sumptuous nuts.

"Why should I give away such good foods anyway? Surely others will get by as they always have," she thought to herself.

In the following days, she carried more and more food out in her sacks to her own home, filling her larder to overflowing. Soon she began to grow quite large, having difficulty in moving about in her daily life. But she saw no issue with this and happily gorged herself on the free sustenance.

The man in the blue robe took little interest in the house they'd built or the directions of the master. Instead, he took more and more interest in the master's body. He found himself secretly coveting being with her and wondering what it would feel like to make love to her. But any time he came near, she would ask if the Believers had done what she'd requested. He would answer, "No," and quickly leave to continue watching her from afar.

The woman in the green robe also watched the master from afar, not from sexual interest, but with jealousy. She coveted the attention the master received, and she tried to mimic the movements and words that the master used to heal and to teach. But the people with whom she tried this felt nothing. Their illnesses or misunderstandings continued. Thus, the woman became even more jealous of the master and her abilities, and the green-robed woman's heart darkened.

The man in the orange robe became angry soon after the master had given her instructions. He did not like being told what to do, so he preached against her. He told others that the master was leading them astray and that the divine wisdom she shared was nonsense. He developed a following, and soon the Village became more divided than it had ever been. Conflict and fights sparked in even the most peaceful neighborhoods, and rumors of potential wars with other towns began to circulate.

The newest Believer garbed in a brown robe believed that since he hadn't done any of the things that the other Believers had done that the master's instructions did not apply to him. So he disregarded the directions and went about his business, largely ignoring the master and her work.

Lastly, the woman in the purple robe did nothing. She let all the others do as they choose. She spent her days in idleness and partook of lazy gossiping about the problems the Village continued to experience, assuming that the others and the master were doing the work that really needed to be done.

Word of the actions and lack of actions reached the master, so she journeyed to visit each of them to peer more deeply into their hearts. First she came to the man in the yellow robe who had surrounded himself by the wealth that had originally been gathered for her.

"What are you doing?" she asked.

"Dear," he stammered.

"I told you to tear this place down and give back all this wealth to the Village to continue the healing of this town. Why have you not done this?"

But he could not look at her, and his greedy heart wanted to cling onto his reasoning, unwilling to share even that little bit of himself with her.

In gazing into him, she saw this and nodded. "If you do not do as I ask, you will soon be taught a great lesson about your greed." With that, she left, and the man in the yellow robe breathed a sigh of relief.

"A great lesson, ha!" he thought. "I would be foolish to give up such wealth. What possible reason would I have for living like a pig with those others? If they aren't smart enough to gain wealth as I have, then they deserve what they get."

With those thoughts, he did nothing, and a lesson soon came to him.

Next, she went to the woman in the red robe who had become grossly obese. She had grown so fat that she could not stand unassisted and now had servants to help her lift her body through doorways.

"Look at you, dear sister. What has happened for you to go astray?" the master asked.

But the woman was so buried in her own flesh that she could barely gurgle a response.

"You must leave off this great consumption of goods before it destroys you, sweet one," the master stated and departed.

The thought of no longer eating so many sweet and wonderful foods was now more appalling to the woman in the red robe than any other threatening happenstance. So she too disregarded the master's warning and continued to gorge herself.

The master went looking for the woman in the purple robe, but could not find her in the markets or her place of work. Instead, she found her still lounging bed.

"Why have you not gotten out of bed yet? It is the middle of the afternoon," the master asked.

"Oh yes. I meant to get up soon." But soon after saying these words, she rolled back over and started to snore once more.

"Wake up!" the master shouted, startling the woman.

"Oh, well, there's no need to shout."

"Yes, there is, or I would not have done it. Sometimes, a shout is the only way to get the attention of one such as you. Your Village is unraveling. Dissension is growing, and you do nothing."

"I'm sure one of the others will do something."

"Or perhaps not. You and the others have all grown quite sick, sicker than I'd first thought. But you too will have a lesson come and visit you very soon if you do not soon take the initiative to act."

The woman in the purple robe was troubled by this, but she quickly fell back to sleep to more lazy dreams of lying in the grass and doing nothing.

The man in the blue robe was not hard to find as he'd been following her the whole time.

The master turned around, "Why are you following me?"

"I had an idea...uh...something to share."

"No you did not. You have been dreaming of my body and having me as a sexual partner. This must end. I am not here as a toy for desire and illusion. Do not confuse the image of my body with the deeper union you truly desire. These animal passions in you must be purged or else you too will soon be met with a difficult lesson."

The man in the blue robe quickly agreed outwardly, but once she was gone, he began following her again from a slightly farther distance and continued his erotic nightly dreams and fantasies about her.

Elsewhere, the woman in the green robe and the man in the orange robe had teamed together. When the master found them, they were whipping a small crowd into a frenzy.

"There! There is the heretic. False prophet, I say to you..."

"Such nonsense. Such deceitful anger and envy. You two will have the hardest lessons yet if you do not repent and see the errors of your ways." She spent even less time with them as she knew the truth. She knew that the pain of God's lessons would have to be applied directly and potently before they would see. No words from her would change that.

And they showered her with curses as she left.

Lastly, she found the newest believer. While believing that her original instruction to tear down the house and to go out with a candle doing service wasn't meant for him, he had been spending time in his neighborhood tending to the issues of his people.

"I see you are still here. You do not believe my instruction applies to you," she said.

"Well, I didn't do all that they did."

"But you have joined their cause. You call yourself a Believer. And if you cannot listen to the instruction from a messenger of God, how can you truly call yourself a Believer?"

His mouth moved wordlessly, as he saw his error.

"Now go, take a candle from that great house, and do as I say. Be of service to the other towns. Live in rags. See who will take you in. See who will feed you. See who will clothe you," the master said.

And he did this. The believer in the brown robe got his candle from the great house to illuminate his path and stepped out into the unknown to pave his path of service. He left just as the first great lesson came to visit the man in the yellow robe.

You can read the conclusion on this link: The Great Master Teaches: Part 2. The hand-drawing picture is a lovely gift from my student, Vale.
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