Friday, March 29, 2013

Spammers and Shortened Blog Feeds

Hi everyone. Some of you have probably noticed the shortened view of my blog posts. I've added in a "Read More" link, which I'm also working on making bigger so that it is easier to see where to click. You can always click the title of the blog to go to the full post.

I have had to do this because spammers have taken advantage of the full post feed option for www.spiritualawakeningprocess.com to directly copy and post whole spiritual blog posts to their sites. So those of you who signed up to receive my blogs to your inbox now have to click on the link to come to this site instead of reading the full blog post in your email. I apologize for this, but this is currently the easiest solution to stop spammers from re-posting whole blog posts without my permission on their site.


Why This Matters


Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Poetry of Trust

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Here is another lovely poem from my student, Rach. Today, she shares a little bit more about her path and encourages us to remember to trust the path before us no matter how murky and dark it sometimes seems.

My journey back to Spirit has led me down many paths--some quite dark--where I felt very alone and lost.  This poem attempts to express some of this part of my journey and being helped out of the darkness by trusting in the inner knowing part of me, my Universal self which I had cut myself off from.

Through my past noise and my torture
I heard the call of my true nature
It lit a spark and became a fire
That burned (and continues to burn) all the murk, dirt, shit, and darkness to dust.

In all of this, trust in my knowing, in my inner voice was a must and something I had to relearn.  I have learned so much from reading the wise words and truths of many awakewned and loving teachers, but one of the most prevalent and important in my life has been Jim; the founding father of this sacred site.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Frequently Asked Questions About Regular Email Exchanges

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I offer email exchanges as a service for active students only. If you have not worked with me one-on-one, you will have to do this first for a time before I will engage in an email exchange.

The basics are straightforward. For those who prefer to write and be responded to, I offer an exchange of reading 4 emails from you and sending 4 email replies within 3 months.

Some people get a lot of it, and in a way, it can be like journaling only you can get feedback for it. The written format also allows for the individual to take time digesting what I share.

Common Questions About Email Exchanges

Do you work with everyone?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Where It All Went Wrong

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Going Off Track
As many people follow their spiritual paths, they often find a moment or several moments in their past where things went wrong. There was a traumatic event. There was a fork in the road. And you took the path that led you away from yourself. It happens. There is no blame or shame in this, but in returning to yourself and to your power, the path of healing will take you back to those moments with all the sensations, emotions, and memories that are stored in them. Healing will take you back to where it all went wrong so that you can heal it and start again.


The Path of Blamelessness

One of the most important things that happens on the spiritual path is healing, and healing requires us to let go of any need or tendency to blame.We cannot blame others. We cannot blame ourselves. There is no reason to point a loaded gun full of blame and anger at ourselves or anyone else. Now, we do hold people accountable. This is important. We are not creating a new path based on a kind of rose-colored glasses ignorance. Rather, we see and acknowledge the things that we did, how we hurt ourselves, hurt others, or were hurt by others. We see them and say, "Yes. This happened. It hurt."

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Meet Me on the Playground

There are many different phases that people go through as they embody the awakened awareness that simply is. One of which is often a total lack of interest in the world around them. I've written a little bit about this in the blog titled: "Feeling Awakened and Lost: Finally Seeing the World's Many Lies."

When you awaken and see that most of the rest of the world isn't living a life of integrity, love, or truth, you also don't want to play their games anymore. It changes your perspective on everything. If shopping had once been a part of your identity, suddenly, you have no interest in going into malls and department stores. The old ego and old friends may ask, "What's wrong with you?" But there is nothing wrong with you. You are seeing correctly that you do not need things and clothing to define you. In truth, you were lost, and now you are found. But because so much of the world is lost and confused, it is easy to fall back into old ego doubts until we've re-conditioned and re-programmed the ego and mind to come into better alignment with the truth. As we do that, more and more interests drop away. We see where we were using experiences, relationships, and things to define ourselves or to distract ourselves. But what happens when your inner realm begins to blossom? What can the external world possibly offer then that could compare? Certainly there are fun things to do from time to time. I, for one, am having fun with trivia nights at a local pizza parlor. But it doesn't matter if I'm on a winning team. It doesn't matter if I don't know the answer. This is simply something that amuses me right now.

More and more, you will only be attracted to things that bring you joy, both in work and in your free time. More and more, you will see that everything is temporary, so why hold onto anything that is painful? There is no need to suffer any more; it is time to play.


The Adult Returns to Play

One of the fun things in the area in which I live is that there are still plenty of ways to play and have fun beyond drinking at a bar, which dominates much of this culture. But as an adult, we don't come back to playing with naivete or foolishness. We bring the wisdom of the awakened self, so we understand our actions far better than when we were children. Addditionally, our play infuses our whole life. This isn't known in the juvenile form of attention-getting or thrill-seeking that children and teens understand. Rather, we simply practice giving and receiving love.

As many of you know, I love doing this work as a spiritual teacher. This is a form of play. But as my students know, some of our sessions together are very deep, emotional, profound, and intense. So this level of play is dramatically different than the idea of a big party with tons of booze and drugs (which ultimately isn't play, but a form of self-numbing and self-hatred). There is focused work in play, and there are moments of the more pleasurable types of fun that we normally associate with play. All-in-all, it's a beautiful and free space where we are living the lives we want to live.


The Purity of Rumi

One of everyone's favorite lines from Rumi goes something like, "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there." This is the field of love. I prefer to call it a playground. This is the space where we live in the joy of life. The pains of the world are no longer carried within us, but we are not naive to the pain and the suffering of the world. Usually, this space of love makes us only more aware of just how much suffering is going on all the time. I'm extremely aware of how people feel about themselves. As I've learned to better understand my energetic space, I can much more easily understand where a lot of discomfort is coming from that I can sense. Sometimes I even feel it in my own energy, but I don't identify with it as I once might have. This, of course, is a really important aspect of doing your self-work for those of you who are really sensitive to energy. So, let me reassure you that the more you get to know your energy space, the more you will understand when you are feeling someone else's emotions and energy. Consequently, it's a lot easier to not identify with it and let it go.

But back to Rumi, he understood that love is the only place to truly live and to thrive. In my life, I really want nothing more than to hang out on the playground, play on the monkey bars, and slide on the slides with all of you. It's another reason that I do the work that I do. I want as much company as possible. Certainly, I respect all those people who have no interest in the playground. We all have our choices to make about the lives we want to live, but for those of you who have awakened, just know that this space is already here and waiting for you.


The Joy of Play & the Quality of Work

Play and work really do blend together. It doesn't mean that you will enjoy everything that you do in life. Rather, it means that you let joy be your state of being as you do work--both difficult and pleasurable things. Before I'd had my awakening, I was already intuitively starting to practice this. So let me assure you, it doesn't matter if you've awakened or not, now is the time to find more joy. You can start by bringing more joy to washing the dishes or folding laundry, as I did. These tasks aren't going away any time soon, so by practicing finding joy here, you will have a regular practice in joy for the rest of your life.

It's very simple to begin. Start washing your dishes. Focus on what you are doing. Let your mind soften and forget about the next thing you have to do. Turn off external media--TV, radios, etc. Maybe even turn off the phone. Bring your whole attention to what you are doing right now. See how it feels. Notice how you are breathing. If you are still breathing fast and high in your chest, pause from what you are doing. Take a few deeper breaths. See how it feels to come back to the dishes with this soft, gentle focus.


The Falling Away of External Interests

It's a funny thing that the world around us feels like it has to define itself by external interests. But as you drop more deeply into your awakened self, you will find less and less interest in external activities. Certainly, some will still have be interesting to you, but many will not. If you were a competitive athlete, you may be surprised at awakening and now having no interest in winning. Because what difference does it make if you kick a ball into a net or not? None. The ego-self will still have plenty of reasons why this is important, but as you peel away the layers of social-approval and self-approval, you will find less and less reason to care. Maybe you still play a sport for fun, but it really is now just for fun.

There are just so many levels of this falling away of interests. For many people, it can cause a great deal of fear, but have heart. You are being found; you are not getting lost. You were lost. You were lost in the illusions of all these things. You thought you needed to act a certain way, to win certain awards, and have certain types of relationships. Now you are realizing that you don't. So the ego runs in to ask, "Who am I?" This is a powerful question. In the beginning, it is one of the most important questions I ask people because it forces them to turn inwards. For those in awakening, it loses its importance because the individual has already turned inwards. Then you start to realize that no definition could ever possibly sum up who you are, and you keep melting more deeply into yourself.

Melting and trusting, melting and trusting. (These are not my words, btw. They come from a student in a conversation on Facebook).


The Joy of Play Even in Dark Spaces

This joy we feel is not limited to the light easy parts of life. It also carries itself into dark spaces. The joy can easily be laughing or being deeply, focused in love for difficult situations. It can have many manifestations, but bringing it into places of ignorance or pain can be a way to ignite inspiration and awareness where all seemed drab and dank. Consider the spiritually awakened people who are working in crime-ridden inner-cities or prisons. In those areas, people have almost no spiritual tools or coping mechanisms. To be a being awakened in your love and joy who goes there is to bring water to those dying of thirst in the desert.

And yet, most of the world is parched for love. So you will be hard-pressed to find a place over-flowing with it just yet and which could not benefit from you simply being you. Except for maybe the playground, but I think we need to fill up this playground of love and joy too. I think we need to fill the swings and the jungle gym with all of you bright souls so that we become a collective shining beacon to others that there is a better and more pure way to live this life in this world other than through pain, suffering, and atrocity. People need to see dramatic examples of love to snap them out of their cynical minds, which presume that suffering is an impossible constant that can never be overcome.

Which is why your self-work is critical. Keep clearing away the blocks and walls to your playground. Keep removing pain and fear and doubt because as you do, you show others the way out. As we all leave this suffering behind in our dust, we can all meet on the playground and enjoy the joyful unfolding of this beautiful, unique life.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

More Spirituality Poetry: Home

We're treated to another beautiful poem from my student, Rach. I hope it offers you some beauty in your day and a warm welcome to the home that resides within all of you at all times. The picture is hers as well. 

Enjoy!

Home

A myriad of matter
in many forms
manifest...Magic.
Gift to these eyes

I fall fearless
held in this wholeness.
Seamless serenity swells while
Songs of safe surrender sung.

Filled fully,
flowing freely.
Freedom's giant gentle force
feeds me, leads me.

Luminous, I am light
Calm, anchored,
centered in and am Source.

Suddenly,
a shift.
Another smokey veil's been dropped
Open-mouthed, I'm stopped,
stood still in the street.

I've strolled slowly,
swam softly, sinking, floating
in a sea of sacred
sounds, sights, smells, senses,
Submerged.

In awe, aware of all
as is.
Simply is.
Unfolding,
unnamed and unframed.

All that I believed,
how and what I perceived
just before
Gone, is no more.

Shattered smokey screens
that once blocked and shadowed seeing
Gone.
Broken open by beaming light, bright quiet Being baring all.

All walls fall.
This long lost love lends itself to all,
leaping, swirling, twirling, tingling,
merging with all.

Waves of loves wondrous timeless tender touch like thunder roars and soars.
What was me, the sense of space from where I see and be
is swallowed by the swells
of a timeless, faceless, spaceless sea.

I am this and that and all and none.
Will never end.
Never begun.

All is still.

Crisp and clear.

Nothing.

Nothing to fear.

All that's real is here.
Now.
Nothing need be known,
Nothing need be thunk or need be done.
All dissolved.
Nothing to be solved.

Source has sucked me in
I'm swallowed whole
Boundless soul

Full of an empty space and Grace.

I am home.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Still Waiting for Your Awakening Merit Badge?

One of the very common games people can play with themselves on the spiritual path is to expect that they're going to get something or somewhere. Even after awakening, this little game can continue on. We think that we'll arrive at some end goal and that everyone will now love us, accept us, listen to us, or whatever it is we think we want to get. Yet even after a profound awakening and gradually transitioning into a deep and powerful place within, no one may really notice all that you've done. Or people may notice and now not like you. Or people notice and they just want to adore you. You may be like, "What kind of outcome is this and where is my merit badge?"

But there is no merit badge on the spiritual path.


The Ego: It's Goals and Games

A lot of times a part of the ego goes along with this whole spiritual thing because it things it is going to end up at a better place than where it is. Better is defined in all sorts of ways, and really, the best definition would be to accept yourself as you are and the world as it is. This is a "better" way of living. But that's not usually the ego's game. The ego wants an award. It wants acknowledgement. It wants safety or a certain type of love like a soulmate or twin flame. So perhaps after years of dedicated spiritual work, someone will suddenly stop and say, "I've got nothing to show for any of this." And right when the person may be getting ready to quit or just keep doing what they're doing, there is an opening. There is now an opening to look at what you thought you were going to get and to see the games you've been playing with yourself.

Because the sad truth is that most people in this world do not see you as you are and never will no matter how spiritual or awakened you are. Most people don't even see who they are. That's why 99% of the work you will ever do will be related directly to yourself. If your entire body is broken, you have to heal before you can help anyone else go through rehab. Just as you had really cranky days going through rehab, others will too, so you better be really ready and done with your own healing and initial growth phases before you open yourself up to the darkness in others.


Finding the Endless Seas of Change

One of my awakened students asked about whether this shifting ever really stops. Ultimately, I've found that my internal growth cycles have dropped into a more steady rhythm versus when the floodgates of awareness first broke, but there is still change because life is change. We are not meant to be static beings; that's an illusion of the ego. So another way that you see the ego acting up is in this attempt to reach land. The ego is like, "I want solid ground under my feet," but we live in a water world. There will never be land beneath the ego's feet because everything is change. We have to embrace the change if we want solidity, and while that seems paradoxical, it is the truth. Solidity comes through embracing the flow. In flowing with life, we find the most stable source of connection that is possible in this world. From that kind of stability, nothing can knock you off your center ever again.

But to go back to the seeking of that merit badge at the top of the solid stable mountain, you may find momentary experiences that give you the illusion that you've made it. You may even have the arising of the sense that you've made it. While the inner arising is a true place of resting in awakened awreness, that place of resting has always been here. To say you've achieved it, is like a fish saying that it's finally achieved being a fish. The other way of having an experience in the world that makes you feel like you've arrived (a national best-selling book, a brand new spiritual center, an amazing romantic partner, etc.) are temporary. They may not actually be indicators of anything internal. You will find that the external world and its vagaries have much less to do with you than you had once thought.


Success on the Internal World

I always appreciated something that Eckhart Tolle once said. I'm paraphrasing, but essentially, he said that success on the internal world isn't necessarily success in the external world, and success in the external world isn't necessarily success on the internal world. It's profoundly true. Just because you got a promotion at work doesn't mean that you're attracting inner abundance. You may suddenly have even less time for yourself and are being even less mindful in your life as a whole. Conversely, lying on your couch in deep healing and being unable to work while your home goes into foreclosure may look like a great failure to the external world. But on the inside, this is a tremendous success because of the healing that is going on. This doesn't mean that inner and external successes are mutually exclusive, but it's important to not associate them so closely together. That is ultimately what the ego is trying to do. It's trying to use the external world as a kind of validation for what is changing on the inner world, but much of what ever happens within us is impossible to measure. Can you give me a quart or liter of awakened consciousness? I think not.


5 Tips for Giving Up Your Quest for a Merit Badge

Still, much of our ego programming has us caught up in achievements. Here are a couple ideas about ways to let go of your quest for goals, achievements, and merit badges.
  1. Stop doing what others tell you to do. This is a profound thing because we spend so much time looking to external sources and looking for others to give us acknowledgment and awards by which to measure our success. In my own work, I am constantly reminding students to go within and to listen to their inner knowing because I most certainly am still human and have no merit badges to give (unless I'm doing it as a joke because...well, I've got that kind of sense of humor).
  2. Go within and journal about why you want what you want. Most people have no idea why they are doing what they are doing. I often spend time taking apart students' questions to help them understand how they are thinking. This is often much more profound work than if I'd given them my answer to a question. You can do the same with your journal by asking questions like, "Why do I want this?" "What am I trying to get?" "Why do I want to get that?"
  3. Go for a walk when you should do something else. I'm being a little metaphorical here. The idea is really about stepping away from something right when you're starting to get really attached to it. For instance, you're really getting into a relationship, and it's become your sole focus. It's time to step back, and see what's really going on for you. The same applies with a spiritual practice, a new job, and so forth. This isn't about giving up your obligations; it's about seeing what obligations you have made and gaining a new perspective so you don't get lost in them.
  4. Don't focus on the teacher; focus on the inner listener. Specifically for the spiritual path, the tendency is to focus on the teacher. When I listen to other spiritual teachers , I am "listening" to their energy and the arising responses in me. I look at what I am activated by and what resonates. This is one way how I "listen" to my inner teacher all the time, and it keeps me from getting lost in any kind of idealization of others.
  5. Let go of the future. This will probably be the one where you ego screams the loudest, but ultimately we have no control over the future. And that's usually what the merit badge is a part of--the future. The ego thinks that once it's arrived to a certain point and had an awards ceremony, then you will be spiritually complete. But that arrival point is always in the future, and you can only ever be here and now. So be here and now. Let go of the future, and you will have already arrived (and probably no longer want the merit badge).
The leaf photo on this page comes from my friend and photographer, Becky Stiller. You can see her work on her Flickr account.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I Am: A Spirituality Poem

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Today, I'd like to share a poem from my student, Rach. She offers some wonderful insights through the truthfulness of her lines and stanzas. While I often write the same things in a different kind of prose, there are ways that poetry and other forms of writing can feel more compelling by the nature of how they are presented. Also, the lovely picture is from her as well.

With that, I hope you enjoy this thoughtful sharing of Self-discovery.

I Am

What felt so real, deep, and certain just there
Is gone now and is no more.
Maybe to come back again
Who knows what is in store?

Sometimes I feel I get it, it's fabulous,
it's flux and flow and change.
Then I'm neck deep in depression 
I "am depressed" and feel I'm going insane.

Insane because I'm desperate, drowning
stopped in my tracks in dark despair.
When just yesterday I was dancing, laughing so much I almost fell off a chair.

Once again despair passes 
and once again I see
So this despair is not me!
I'm bright and bushy
Full of love and light.

Is this then what is real??

Surrendering to silence
Sensing the expansiveness, that whole
The space of stillness in my soul
Sinking deep into my Self 
The Self that ponders "which me is I?"

"The light, bright and bushy one?
The depressed, dressed in despair, done one?"

So surrendering deeper, further into that which observes the pondering itself.
The space that witnesses whatever is
what thought, sense, state, emotion is dwelt.
Whatever's dealt and happens to be there,
and then the next one as though the previous never were.

Constant flux and flow and change...

Which I is really me?
I am that from which all is passing through
That from which manifests
the movement we may think
and believe is solid me and you.

This me and you is momentary,
Fluid.
Not long the same.
Tears, laughter, listlesness
None forever remain.

What remains is I
That which is
Was 
Will always be
Which we cannot describe with words
And cannot see.

That from which these words arise
Cannot be said,
Only truly known.

What moves this pen,
From where these words are manifest
Into this now
This is-ness is
invisible, indescribable somehow.

And this how's not to be figured out
not something to be done.
Only felt and known
in fully letting go.

In recognising and dropping in
to the space that's still and sees 
that our breath, our heartbeat
are breathed and beat
Not through our wish or will.

I do not breathe
The breath is there
I do not do it
It is done

I am life
I do not live
I am alive!

Much is manifest in many forms 
in this constant web of change.

All is one.

One life

One moment

One witness

One being

I am

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Relentless Embracing of the Awakened State

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Spiritual awakening is like a light bulb going on in the house. Your house floods with light, and with that light often comes the impetus to shift, heal, and open profoundly. But in this arising, we are not at the culmination of the story.

We are at a new beginning.


Seeing Rebirth for What It Is

Because so many people are confused about spiritual awakening/enlightenment/ascension, they think that it is a goal and an endpoint to their journey. Here at awakening many people think that they'll be done with the troubles of the world and no difficulties will ever touch them again. But truly, awakening is barely at the beginning of the story. When people use the term rebirth, they are actually using a very smart and meaningful word (which can be rare in language). It means to be born again. What happens when we are born? We aren't fully formed. We don't know how to eat, interact, or live. We have to learn everything from scratch.

Many of you who have walked this path have truly felt like you were learning everything all over again. In this way, we truly experience rebirth as becoming a kind of infant in the awakened space living in this world. As we open further into this space, we naturally grow and learn how to interact in natural and loving ways. But initially, everything may seem quite overwhelming as we realize that we have returned to square one.


The Critical Importance of Healing

Furthermore, many people, upon having that light switch on, suddenly see how much debris, decay, and disease are in their inner homes. Many of us have been extremely sick for all of our lives, and immense healing becomes critical before we can move into our natural growth cycles. People with different levels of trauma and abuse and who have abused and traumatized others may go through really deep and profound healing cycles. This is where my post about healing multiple layers often has a lot of important meaning and tips for many of you. In general though, the sicknesses of fear, greed, despair, and hatred have infected a lot of us, so many of us (if not most of us) go through healing cycles (I know that I certainly have) before or simultaneously with deeper spiritual openings. This does not mean that we are doing anything wrong to feel so much pain coming up; it is simply that now we can see how much pain we have always been in.


Misconceptions About Awakening

Many people try to blame awakening as the bringer of this pain or they think that it is some kind of ordeal or initiation to be passed. That's not it at all. Awakening has simply shown you the current state of affairs in your life. It brought the light of awareness to your inner home. The person who brought all the disease and sickness into that home is the one that looks you in the mirror each day. But this isn't meant to be a blame-game. You are where you are, and now, for possibly the first time in your whole life, you can let go of this pain and be a fully healed and whole person. Isn't that an extraordinarily exciting thing?

Other people quickly also try to turn this awakening into a new ego identity. Just at the moment of freedom, they quickly turn to find new clothing. They wrap themselves in robes and new spiritual names because they are terrified of letting go of all identity. They still need to be someone; that is a need that only comes from the ego. The true you, your soul, does not need anything. It is simply awareness, and the work that we must be relentless with is about peeling away any and all false layers that cover up that pure love and beauty.


Embracing the Cycles of Healing and Spiritual Growth

When awakening first hits, everything feels like it is in turmoil. But as I said, this is not so much the awakened awareness as the reality that you were already in turmoil. You were already in a heap of trouble, but most of you were too numbed, too busy, and too otherwise detached from yourself to know just how bad things were. In my metaphor of the broken leg, many of you have been using drugs, alcohol, sex, work, relationships, and more to cover up and/or numb the immense pain of walking around on two broken legs. But what happens when you stop that and you look at your legs? You see that everything is pussing, oozing, infected, and bleeding. You suddenly are in a great deal of agony.

But here in this agony, you now can actually meet the pain and attend to it. Without the agony, you still might try to avoid doing what you need to do to heal. Some of the stories that I've been told feature some of you in deep healing spending a lot of time journaling, exhausted, and seeking healers of different kinds to help heal and purge the pain. This is a very common and necessary story for those that awaken and carry deep pains within them. As that phase subsides over the time that is needed, a natural opening and deepening into the awakened space can be more accessible. In essence, the legs heal, and you can begin to crawl.


The Many Doorways Before Us

I believe that we are all different kinds of seeds (yes, it's time for another metaphor). So when we are finally healthy enough to grow naturally, we all will go through many different levels and will need different amounts of time for our growth. Some of you are pumpkin seeds and will grow relatively quickly and share wonderful gourds with everyone. Others of you are cherry trees that will shower beautiful blossoms on others and share sweet fruits. Yet others will be towering redwood trees bringing shade and comfort to many and will grow slowly over time for many, many years. Suffice it to say, the nutrients, space, and support that each one of you need will be different. The gifts you will share will be different and perfectly unique for each of you, and this is part of why it's impossible to ever compare one awakening to the next. Everyone has their unique and beautiful talents to share, and you should trust what it is that you most love and naturally want to share. Don't try to be anything; you already know what you are.

And to truly embrace this path and to embrace you, you must keep saying, "Yes." When the ego runs in and says, "I can't take much more." You have to say, "Yes, I can." And then let go and drop in deeper within you. When a new doorway presents itself and things are getting intense and overwhelming again, knock on the door. Turn the knob. Step through once more. If you trust your inner knowing and your own process, you will naturally grow as you and you alone can grow.


The Many Pitfalls of Society

Expect no help from society. This isn't meant to be cynical. Instead, this is an acknowledgment of the immense ignorance in this society. This is an acknowledgment that many of you are the new wisdom-sharers and wisdom-holders, and society will need to learn how to be an awakened loving being from each one of you. In this way, you are all pioneers for your local communities, even, perhaps, for many of the so-called spiritual teachers who are little more than guardians of doctrine. There is nothing wrong with this, of course, but there are also different levels of spiritual teachers. They are all needed because every aspect of society needs to learn and hear the truth differently.

So don't expect many people to understand the truth as you do. Don't be upset or angry; where you do get upset, you have another opportunity to see where the ego is hiding out in you. It gives you another opportunity to relentless embrace the awakened state as you say, "I see you my old friend. I see where you have been hiding this time, and I can let you go."


More Veils of Illusion Disappear

Many of you have already learned that as more veils of illusion disintegrate, your growth goes even further than you'd imagined. Again and again, we find out where we don't believe in ourselves, have gotten lost in fear, or have otherwise been hoodwinked by illusion. Then the next layer melts away, and we grow further into our fullness. We deepen into this awakened awareness that already is. We expand the room we live in so that even more of us can be present in this world of duality.

There is no real endpoint to this, but you don't need to think about it as such. As the initial healing and opening subsides, your dedication to this state of awareness becomes crucial. It isn't about doing so much as allowing, but this allowing must be allowed, if you will. You can't achieve that through just trying to get the difficulty over with. The difficulty is there because you put it there. If you are in a terrible relationship, you helped create it. If you hate yourself, you are the one actively hating and rejecting yourself. If you don't even know why your body hurts so much, simply accept that in someway you called this into your life. Then you can also allow it to pass. There is nothing to hold onto, and most of the illusions we are lost in are because we actively perpetuate them. In this way, much of the unfolding is ultimately what simply arises because we stop energizing lies.


Dedication and Softening; Discipline and Allowing

The path through life is always a balance of dedication and softening, self-discipline and allowing. You can't just go with the prevailing flow of society. A lot of society is headed towards its own demise, so you many need to do some vigorous paddling in the stream of life. But where we let go of the most difficulty is within ourselves. If we no longer fight ourselves, it is so much easier to relentlessly embrace the awakened state in this moment because there is no longer any internal division. From this space, love is our natural awareness, and committing to love becomes hardly any commitment at all. It simply is what we are, and love grows as love already knows how to do--perfectly.

The spiritual road on this page comes from my friend and photographer, Becky Stiller. You can see her work on her Flickr account.
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