Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Attachment Versus Engagement: How We Learn to Be in the World and Not Lost in it

spiritual attachment, spirituality, spiritual image, spiritual picture, spiritual awakening
One of the most commonly confused spiritual terms is that of attachment. Because society has confused attachment as a kind of commitment and not being attached as a kind of passive, laissez-faire attitude, the idea of letting go of attachment sounds like lunacy. It sounds like you'd stop caring for your kids and go run out and join a traveling circus.

Once again, we need to pause and look at our definitions. On the spiritual path, we look to see what definitions and strictures we've constructed around us. We always have to ask ourselves if this definition is helping me to better engage and know my inner and outer worlds. Or is this definition limiting my perspective and my view of myself and others? If you take nothing else from this spirituality blog post, then just take that suggestion from the last two sentences. It will serve you very well.


Definitions of Attachment and Engagement


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Spirituality and Money Webinar: The Path of Reciprocity

Money is a common concern and issue for many people. Many people consider money to be evil or somehow bad and idolize an impoverished spiritual path. But this is not a path of a balance, and it includes some ideas and misconceptions that cut people off to the flow of life. In this webinar, I'll offer some--hopefully--refreshing perspectives on money as part of the spiritual path and part of the flow of life on this world.

Webinar Title: Spirituality and Money: The Path of Reciprocity


Description:

I'll have a brief introduction, and I'll explain my definition of money.

I'll talk about how money relates to spirituality.

I'll talk about the link between money and survival issues, e.g. fear of death, etc.

I'll talk about the abuses of money.

I'll talk about the flow of life and what reciprocity means.

I'll talk about how we come into balance with reciprocity and the flow of money.

This is not about attracting more money into your life. I want there to be no misconception that I'm going to tell you how to be rich. That's part of a misconception around safety, which I'll talk about as well.

Format:

30 to 40 minute talk. Then a 30 to 20 minute Q&A session.

Date:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Time:

12pm Pacific Standard Time (8pm GMT)

Attendees: 

25 (that's the limit of the service I'm using)

Cost:

Free!

If you'd like to support my work, you can make a donation using the "Donate to Blog" PayPal link on the right-hand side of the blog.


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For additional thoughts on money and spirituality, please check out these blogs:

Spirituality and Money

Mindful Money Use and Reciprocity

Monday, May 20, 2013

Awakened and Untethered from Spiritual Doctrine

A funny thing happens when people wake up spiritually; they suddenly see the truth. They can see the truth about the relationships around them. They can see the truth about love. They can see the truth of the world around them. They see the many things are made-up because they can see what is real.

When an awakened soul looks at any spiritual tradition, religion, or other structured path, they can see the truth here as well, and this is a powerful thing. Because now, the individual can find the truth and tools they really need and leave the useless doctrine that only serves egos and structures behind.

The Removal of Illusions Around Spiritual Traditions


Monday, May 13, 2013

The Dark Night of the Soul

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Not too long ago, I had a request to write about the dark night of the soul. It's not a topic I would generally write about, or rather this is not the way I generally refer to such things. The reason being is that this type of dramatic terminology, "Dark Night of the Soul," is very much ego-based. All the connotations are of death, destruction, lost-faith, and misery. That's why I wrote a blog post some time ago called, "Sacred Destruction: The Removal of Obstacles in Spiritual Rebirth." In this post, I really focus on why this type of destruction is necessary and what is really being destroyed: the ego. In this way, I would suggest that the dark night of the soul is an inappropriate viewing of the spiritual rebirth process because in this very idea, the ego thinks something is going horribly wrong and is trying (and failing miserably) to hold onto the things that are being swept away.

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Sacred Destruction: Illuminating the Dark Night

If it feels like everything is being destroyed in your life and all is being reduced to ash, it is truly, truly time to get some perspective. If you are attached to everything, it's like you are face down in the mud. Perhaps that's another way to look at the dark night of the soul. In this idea, you are face down in the mud, sucking in mud, and flailing about. You have no perspective. You are actually perpetuating your suffering (sucking in mud), and you are going no where (flailing about). So it really becomes absolutely necessary to stop. Stop and sit. Observe. You can observe through meditation. You can observe through journaling about how you got here. You can observe through talking it out to yourself or a close friend who can hear such things. In this way, you begin to bring the light of your awareness to the situation. This is how you begin to illuminate the dark night of your soul.


A Crash Course in Letting Go

Another way to look at what is going on is that this is a crash course in letting go. Usually when people refer to the dark night of the soul it's because a whole bunch of things in their lives aren't going the way that they think they should be going. Here's an example:
  • The person got fired
  • Their wife left them and is suing for custody of the children
  • The house is in foreclosure
  • The person feels lost, confused, and adrift
  • Nothing makes sense anymore
This last one usually is built off of the other instances because the ego says, "If all of this other stuff is happening that doesn't make sense to my programming, then life as a whole doesn't make sense." It can get dreadfully dark, however, and so if you feel that you are teetering on depression, despair, of suicide, you should get help from a psychologist or counselor. This blog isn't meant to be a psychology session (nor are my one-on-one sessions), but I am hoping that a change in perspective can help you metamorphosize a challenging time period into a release towards spiritual freedom.


The Arising of Spiritual Freedom

As many of you sit in dark places, you are learning about yourself. If you have never done this before, things (emotions, pain, etc.) can pile up. Another way to look at the dark night of the soul is that the unwashed laundry and garbage hasn't been attended to in the house. Suddenly, it's all falling on top of you, and you are covered in a huge mess. Many people haven't developed any kind of spiritual practice or healthy coping mechanisms. Because of peoples' utter lack of spiritual, psychological, physical, and emotional tools, it is easy for them to assume that life itself is dumping on them. This, as many of you know from reading my blog, is totally irresponsible. We are all responsible for the lives we create. And taking responsibility can be an immensely empowering thing amidst a dark time such as this. Because in so doing, this is the beginning of moving from the light of your consciousness, and shining that flashlight on your life begins to help you see clearly again (which you'll notice is a theme on this topic).

Let's look at the earlier example about the lost job.

When you look at a lost job, you may find that the company was not running a sound business, that you didn't like the work, or that you simply had wanted to move on. You may find a lot of things were going on that you didn't want to look at, and now that you are looking at it, you can see things that you'd never noticed. Now you can act differently and potentially make better decisions about what work you want to do or what types of businesses you want to work for. Consequently, being fired has now become a blessing; it has moved you towards spiritual freedom.

Without that awareness, the suffering continues. You will take on another job that has many of the same problems for you, and you will continue your cycle of pain and suffering.


Spiritual Emergencies and Other Ego Tantrums

I do believe there are genuine spiritual emergencies that arise. I will loosely define them as when a crisis of faith has led to very poor decision making or when someone's energy has become defiled or so polluted that they are shutting down energetically, which in turn will cause all kinds of health issues. In this second scenario are things like being raped, killing others professionally (as a soldier is called to do), witnessing death, being tortured, and more than a few other really awful physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual traumas. This post isn't about that, although the practices of healing and letting go become absolutely vital. I will talk about dealing with those traumas from a spiritual perspective another time.

Even more rare are the people who have been doing intense energy work (like kundalini yoga), and they've gotten themselves completed unbalanced. This last one often requires time and space to allow the energy to self-regulate again. A good energy healer may be necessary in the most extreme cases.

The above examples are much more rare compared to the usual ego shit-fits that get thrown. These include things such as:

  • The spiritual path not always making you feel good.
  • The spiritual path not giving you the stuff (relationships, social approval, spiritual jobs, etc.) that you thought you wanted
  • The spiritual path going too slowly and so you try to force things to happen to disastrous effects
  • The spiritual path, in general, is not what you wanted and you've done a bunch of unhealthy things to yourself or others that are now blowing up in your face


The Ending of the Dark Night of the Soul

I will allow for the fact that extremely challenging things come up for us all. I have had my own dark night of the soul, but I never refer to it in that way. As I said, it's too ego dramatic. I didn't always allow for the arising of consciousness. I didn't initially know how any of this shift should feel or how it should proceed, and I was very confused for a time about how to embrace this amazing shift and what that meant to the world I was creating around me. Whenever the inner world and the outer world are too deeply divided and there is the arising of consciousness, times are likely to become incredibly turbulent.

If this applies to you, just know that you have the power to end the dark night and to embrace the sacred destruction of all that does not serve you. Again and again, you will have to let go as your own consciousness moves forward and cuts away the filth and debris that you may have surrounded yourself with. But as you move through this, you will learn how freeing it is to let go of everything. You will learn that all the things you've been holding onto--every last attachment--has been a chain around your body that has slowly been suffocating you your whole life. For a little more about this freedom and going through expansions and contractions on the spiritual path, check out this blog called: "The Process of Healing Pain From Your Energy Body."


The Dawning of Your Consciousness

Through embracing these difficulties and having the courage to face the dark, the darkness dissipates. It cannot stand up against the light of your awareness. It is impossible. By definition, the dark can only exist where there is no light. In your absence from living your life consciously and with clarity, a dark night of the soul may have descended upon you. But the dawn is coming if you have the will and aspiration to open your eyes and embrace your deepest inner light.

This picture is gift from Becky Stiller. You can see more of her photography on this Flickr link.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Webinar Recording: It's All About Energy


Spiritual Energy Webinar Description:

In this webinar recording, I define energy and discuss some common  ways people can sense and understand their energy. This spiritual webinar is also useful for energy sensitive and highly sensitive people. I discuss how to not take on other's energy and lose your sense of self in this webinar as well.  Furthermore, I talk about energy topics that relate to the energy work that other spiritual practitioners may be doing.


spiritual energy, spiritual awakening energy, spiritualityRecording Date:

Wednesday, May 22nd

Recording Time: 

6pm Pacific Standard Time (9pm EST)

Additional Spiritual Blog Posts About Energy

For additional blog posts about energy, you can check these out links:

Riding the Energy Rollercoaster: Surviving the Awakening Shifts

The Nature of Energy

Monday, May 6, 2013

Growing Into Your Greatness

spiritual awakening, spirituality image, spiritual flower, picture
There are so many beautiful things growing up out of the ashes of the unconscious ego self that it is hard to point to just one. Is it the deep compassion you can now have for everyone? Is it the amazing love you can share with one or many? Is it the ease of following your own path without fear of failure? Oh, it's these and so many more. How wondrous. How beautiful it all is. How beautiful it is to be growing into your greatness.


The Misunderstandings Around Greatness

Few people really understand greatness. Many of you who are arising now from the explosion of awakening are just starting to see it, and it may even still terrify you. This will pass. It will always pass so long as you let the ego's old fears go. They have no purpose for you. They do not keep you safe and protected. They keep you small and afraid, and that's kept you separate from your greatness. Ideas about what greatness is and looks like have kept you away from greatness. I can't tell you how vehement and passionate I can become when I hear someone idolizing someone like Jesus or the Buddha. My statement isn't a degradation to them; rather it is in support to the continuance of their work and their example. They weren't telling other people that they were better than everyone else. They were setting an example that we can all follow in our own unique and beautiful ways.

The misunderstandings around greatness are even more problematic than this, however. Western culture glorifies butchers, loud-mouths, and brutes. Consider the filth in most action movies where the man who kills and maims the best is considered a hero (at least if he's on our side; if not, he's the villain. In truth, the two are the same). And then there are sports athletes crashing into each other and destroying each other's bodies. There are also business people trying to suck every last dollar out of other people, and then our culture idolizes these "successful" millionaire and billionaires. Of course, there are plenty of vapid movie stars and singers who are adored as well. While not all athletes are so brutal, not all successful businesspeople are so ruthless, and not all stars are brainless and juvenile, I am simply illustrating some of the ideas around what greatness looks like. I am simply illustrating that these are lies.


Beginning to Perceive Greatness

When you first see greatness at work in you or someone close by, you may overlook it. You may dismiss it or consider it of little consequence. But the helping hand that is freely offered without expectation of remuneration or the free ride to work when a car has broken down are those very seeds of greatness. So often overlooked, many of you may be quick to say, "But how does that stop war and feed the hungry?" It does, but not necessarily in a way that you can readily see. Greatness is built up of small acts of generosity and kindness. It builds the peace around you, and it creates a model of peace and kindness for most people in your local community who don't think in this way. Most people are still in survival mode, trying to get through the day. When people see you acting in kindness, it begins to change what others think is possible.

This is the start.


The Arising of Greatness Within

As many of you have awakened, you will have noticed that much of your life has been turned upside down. This may have angered many of you, but I encourage you to look closely. What is being turned upside down? What have you been holding onto? What is turning everything around and destroying the old ways of living? It's you. The real you and the greatness within you that is arising. It needs room to grow. Because this energy is naturally expansive. It cannot live in a cage; you cannot live in a cage. Which means that more than a few walls and metal bars need to be torn down. Again and again, you have to be willing to swing the sledgehammer. Knock down the walls. Kick out the doors. Rip off the ceiling, and dig deep into the foundation. If you are to allow a new vastness to grow into your life, it will need a great deal of space and land to dig its roots into.


The Call to Action

The call to action is very different than many of you may expect. It may not be a loud call. It may instead be a quieter movement. It can sometimes be a shift that has already happened, and you've already created all the right circumstances for you to bring enlightened action into your life. And you never really noticed until finally you lifted your eyes up from the ground and saw that you were no longer in the swamp of your soul. Congratulations! But do not work too hard. Working hard isn't how you got here. Letting go got you here, and then a few smart strokes with the paddle got you into the flow of your life, got you into the flow of God's plan. Together where you and God meet, there's a lot less effort required to bring forth conscious action, and most certainly this action is getting noticed. But you may suddenly be quite surprised that you don't care if it's noticed or not. You are simply doing what you are called to do when you are called to act in any specific way. When you are not called to act, you simply rest in this greatness, and that too calls to people. It calls out the greatness in others. People may say things like:

"There's just something about you."
"I feel drawn to you for some reason."
"Your energy is amazing."

Many people will think that you have something or that you can give them something. But that is not it. You simply are being as you are, and that is a dynamic powerful force that requires no action at all.


Growing Into a Modern Day Avatar

As an awakened being, you may be more or less noticeable. In whatever way you chose to do things and wherever you choose to go, you are becoming a modern day avatar--a divine being in earthly body. Ultimately everyone is an avatar, but to move from the awakened space makes this readily apparent. Because just as you once sought greatness from the external world, the external world may decide to heap praise and blame on you for what they feel in your presence. Neither has anything to do with you; it is simply how people have been trained. Just as I am writing to you to help you understand your greatness, soon you will be tasked to do the same...while standing in line at a coffee shop, when out on a date, when talking to your teenager late one night, or some other time. Because people will feel this depth of presence in you. It doesn't matter if you are an accountant, farmer, healer, community builder, or politician, this awakened energy calls to others, and it continues to grow on its own accord in conjunction with the divine plan. You may find that throughout your life, you'll need more and more room to grow. You will also have to learn what "more room" means.


Finding Space to Grow

The space that is required is the space of non-judgment. It is the space of freedom to change in your relationships so that they grow, release, or settle. Space for you to grow into your greatness means continuing to release old pain, karma, and unhealthy patterns as you recognize them. Again and again, life around you may change the scenery, and a willing heart is part of what is necessary to embrace the continued changes as well as other supportive people and places. Each time you grow, life shifts. This is simply part of growing into the greatness of your life, and each time things shift, new opportunities arise as old possibilities close. This is how it is, and again and again, it is important to embrace the ever-changing nature of life around you.


Moving Into a Highly Visible Life

As I mentioned before, much of greatness has been confused with fame, physical power, and monetary power. These things are tools, not signs of greatness. However, some of you will be thrust into places of fame, money, and power. What you do in this space will be demanding because it is also an opportunity to re-shape people's ideas around what greatness is. But many still would rather idolize you than do the hard work of following their hearts and facing their inner darkness. Such is the way the world operates at times. Nonetheless, taking care of yourself in this highly visible place is critical so that you stay centered within and are clear about what is right for you as all kind of opportunities get thrown your way with a whole variety of agendas.

But most of us will be living much quieter lives, and that is just as valuable. Every one of us is an important circuit in the vibrant energy field of humanity. What each of us does and how we are allows greatness to unfold, or we can get stuck in old ego ideas. Even after awakening, unconscious ego habits can persist, which is why it is important to relentlessly embrace the awakened state in every moment. From that dedication--a discipline in love to all and true self-love, you are already aligned with the magnificence of your greatness.

This picture is gift from Becky Stiller. You can see more of her photography on this Flickr link.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

After the Awakening

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This compilation of blogs is meant for the person who has come through the initial transitions of spiritual awakening. It's after the great fears have been dropped and inner peace and tranquility have become an abiding state that these posts pick up the next threads of the story. Because if you have come to this space, you will see that you are still shifting. You will see that this inner space of tranquility and love is so amazingly still and yet also changing and dynamic. This brings with it other interesting issues to be aware of in your life.

For some of you, these posts are gentle encouragement. There truly is no end point to awakening. Awakening simply is. For others, it may seem like a lens to the future or some impossibility, but just remember that the awakened state is always here within you. It is fully attainable for all of you because it is you. And for yet others, this may simply be a joyous reminder of all that you already know.

You can keep up on all of these posts by checking the link on the right hand side of this blog that says: After the Awakening.


Recommended Posts About Abiding Awakening

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