My morning ritual is pictured above. Each day I start by sitting outdoors (along with my three dogs and a very special cat on my lap) and I commune with nature. I view nature, people, plants, animals, and everthing in the material world as energy. To connect with this energy, I light a candle, incense, and a white sage smudge stick. I begin by smudging myself by moving the smoke energy by using a feather. I smudge my four legged friends along with the area where we will be sitting. This creates a clean environment that is free of all negativity, and then I envision a pure white light of love surrounding us.
The four elements are being accessed - earth, fire, water, and air. We are all created from these elements and when we connect to them, spiritually and physically, we allow an energy medicine to come into our bodies and keep us whole and well.
In our modern world we live in, it can be a strange, unnatural, stress-filled environment. Many of us have lost our connections to nature. Our immune systems don't recognize this strange environment that our bodies are desperately trying to adapt to. It attacks what it doesn't know. Our chakras become unbalanced, and as a result physical and mental illnesses arise.
Everything is energy, or vibration. When we see this, we can understand why the ancient shamanic healing practices are now being introduced into modern cultures. According to Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel laureate in Medicine,"In every culture and in every medical tradition before ours, healing was accomplished by moving energy."
When you cultivate your capacity to weave these energies into a part of your life, you can be a more conscious and sensitive instrument of energy medicine than all other technologies combined.
When I enjoy my morning coffee and surround myself with my ritual candles, incense, etc., I am focusing on my body as a living system of energy, and I realize that this powerful energy is already inherent in my hands and in my very being.
Come home to yourself. Observe yourself. That's why I said earlier that self-observation is such a delightful and extraordinary thing. After a while you don't have to make any effort, because, as illusions begin to crumble, you begin to know things that cannot be described. It's called happiness. Everything changes and you become addicted to awareness.
There's the story of the disciple who went to the master and said, "Could you give me a word of wisdom? Could you tell me something that would guide me through my days?" It was the master's day of silence, so he picked up a pad. It said, "Awareness." When the disciple saw it, he said, "This is too brief. Can you expand on it a bit?" So the master took back the pad and wrote, "Awareness, awareness, awareness." The disciple said, "Yes, but what does it mean?" The master took back the pad and wrote, "Awareness, awareness, awareness means -- awareness."
That's what it is to watch yourself. No one can show you how to do it, because he would be giving you a technique, he would be programming you. But watch yourself. When you talk to someone, are you aware of it or are you simply identifying with it? When you got angry with somebody, were you aware that you were angry or were you simply identifying with your anger? Later, when you had the time, did you study your experience and attempt to understand it? Where did it come from? What brought it on? I don't know of any other way to awareness. You only change what you understand. What you do not understand and are not aware of, you repress. You don't change. But when you understand it, it changes.
I am sometimes asked, "Is this growing in awareness a gradual thing, or is it a 'whammo' kind of thing?" There are some lucky people who see this in a flash. They just become aware. There are others who keep growing into it, slowly, gradually, increasingly. They begin to see things. Illusions drop away, fantasies are peeled away, and they start to get in touch with facts. There's no general rule. There's a famous story about the lion who came upon a flock of sheep and to his amazement found a lion among the sheep. It was a lion who had been brought up by the sheep ever since he was a cub. It would bleat like a sheep and run around like a sheep. The lion went straight for him, and when the sheep lion stood in front of the real one, he trembled in every limb. And the lion said to him, "What are you doing among the sheep?" And the sheep-lion said, "I am a sheep." And the lion said, "Oh no you're not. You're coming with me." So he took the sheep-lion to a pool and said, "Look!" And when the sheep-lion looked at his reflection in the water, he let out a mighty roar, and in that moment he was transformed. He was never the same again.
If you're lucky and the gods are gracious or if you are gifted with divine grace (use any theological expression you want), you might suddenly understand who "I" is, and you will never be the same again, never. Nothing will ever be able to touch you again and no one will ever be able to hurt you again.
You will fear no one and you will fear nothing. Isn't that extraordinary? You'll live like a king, like a queen. This is what it means to live like royalty. Not rubbish like getting your picture in the newspapers or having a lot of money. That's a lot of rot. You fear no one because you're perfectly content to be nobody. You don't give a damn about success or failure. They mean nothing. Honor, disgrace, they mean nothing! If you make a fool of yourself, that means nothing either. Isn't that a wonderful state to be in! Some people arrive at this goal painstakingly, step by step, through months and weeks of self-awareness. But I'll promise you this: I have not known a single person who gave time to being aware who didn't see a difference in a matter of weeks. The quality of their life changes, so they don't have to take it on faith anymore. They see it; they're different. They react differently. In fact, they react less and act more. You see things you've never seen before.
You're much more energetic, much more alive. People think that if they had no cravings, they'd be like deadwood. But in fact they'd lose their tension. Get rid of your fear of failure, your tensions about succeeding, you will be yourself. Relaxed. You wouldn't be driving with your brakes on. That's what would happen.
There's a lovely saying of Tranxu, a great Chinese sage, that I took the trouble to learn by heart. It goes: "When the archer shoots for no particular prize, he has all his skills; when he shoots to win a brass buckle, he is already nervous; when he shoots for a gold prize, he goes blind, sees two targets, and is out of his mind. His skill has not changed, but the prize divides him. He cares! He thinks more of winning than of shooting, and the need to win drains him of power." Isn't that an image of what most people are? When you're living for nothing, you've got all your skills, you've got all your energy, you're relaxed, you don't care, it doesn't matter whether you win or lose.
Now there's HUMAN living for you. That's what life is all about. That can only come from awareness. And in awareness you will understand that honor doesn't mean a thing. It's a social convention, that's all. That's why the mystics and the prophets didn't bother one bit about it. Honor or disgrace meant nothing to them. They were living in another world, in the world of the awakened. Success or failure meant nothing to them. They had the attitude: "I'm an ass, you're an ass, so where's the problem?"
Someone once said, "The three most difficult things for a human being are not physical feats or intellectual achievements. They are, first, returning love for hate; second, including the excluded; third, admitting that you are wrong." But these are the easiest things in the world if you haven't identified with the "me." You can say things like "I'm wrong! If you knew me better, you'd see how often I'm wrong. What would you expect from an ass?" But if I haven't identified with these aspects of "me," you can't hurt me. Initially, the old conditioning will kick in and you'll be depressed and anxious. You'll grieve, cry, and so on. "Before enlightenment, I used to be depressed: after enlightenment, 1 continue to be depressed." But there's a difference: I don't identify with it anymore. Do you know what a big difference that is?
You step outside of yourself and look at that depression, and don't identify with it. You don't do a thing to make it go away; you are perfectly willing to go on with your life while it passes through you and disappears. If you don't know what that means, you really have something to look forward to. And anxiety? There it comes and you're not troubled. How strange! You're anxious but you're not troubled.
Isn't that a paradox? And you're willing to let this cloud come in, because the more you fight it, the more power you give it. You're willing to observe it as it passes by. You can be happy in your anxiety. Isn't that crazy? You can be happy in your depression. But you can't have the wrong notion of happiness. Did you think happiness was excitement or thrills? That's what causes the depression. Didn't anyone tell you that? You're thrilled, all right, but you're just preparing the way for your next depression. You're thrilled but you pick up the anxiety behind that: How can I make it last? That's not happiness, that's addiction.
I wonder how many non-addicts there are reading this book? If you're anything like the average group, there are few, very few. Don't look down your nose at the alcoholics and the drug addicts: maybe you're just as addicted as they are. The first time I got a glimpse of this new world, it was terrifying. I understood what it meant to be alone, with nowhere to rest your head, to leave everyone free and be free yourself, to be special to no one and love everyone- because love does that. It shines on good and bad alike; it makes rain fall on saints and sinners alike.
Is it possible for the rose to say, "I will give my fragrance to the good people who smell me, but I will withhold it from the bad"? Or is it possible for the lamp to say, "I will give my light to the good people in this room, but I will withhold it from the evil people"? Or can a tree say, "I'll give my shade to the good people who rest under me, but I will withhold it from the bad"? These are images of what love is about.
It's been there all along, staring us in the face in the scriptures, though we never cared to see it because we were so drowned in what our culture calls love with its love songs and poems -- that isn't love at all, that's the opposite of love. That's desire and control and possessiveness. That's manipulation, and fear, and anxiety -- that's not love. We were told that happiness is a smooth complexion, a holiday resort. It isn't these things, but we have subtle ways of making our happiness depend on other things, both within us and outside us. We say, "I refuse to be happy until my neurosis goes." I have good news for you: You can be happy right now, WITH the neurosis, You want even better news? There's only one reason why you're not experiencing what in India we call ANAND -- bliss, bliss. There's only one reason why you're not experiencing bliss at this present moment, and it's because you're thinking or focusing on what you don't have. Otherwise you would be experiencing bliss. You're focusing on what you don't have. But, right now you have everything you need to be in bliss.
Jesus was talking horse sense to lay people, to starving people, to poor people. He was telling them good news: It's yours for the taking. But who listens? No one's interested, they'd rather be asleep................ Anthony de Mello, SJ
(C) http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Spiritually_Speaking .........from Lisa Day Permission to share freely as long as credit is given.
This past year has been an amazing journey for me spiritually. Some wonderful people I've known have passed from their physical bodies into the spirit world. Books, classes, meeting new people, my cat's near-death experience and healing.....all have been a part of this human adventure.
Recently, I've taken a healing workshop and am now certified at Level I in the Shamanic Touch/ Tera-Mai Seichem Reiki. I'll explain a little about what it is. It is a complete universal life energy, incorporating all the basic elements of life—air, water, spirit, earth and fire. Unlike traditional reiki's passive healing, this focuses on the patient's mental, physical, emotional as well as spiritual well-being. Tera-Mai Seichem reiki is a form of comprehensive and intense channeled healing energy that treats human beings in entirety. It originated in the USA when traditional reiki masters Kathleen Milner and Marcy Miller were guided by a 'highly evolved being' during meditation to increase the vibration of the reiki ray. They were given additional energy symbols, told to modify the existing attunement procedure and subtly shift focus during the attunement. The resulting modified energy along with the new attunement is Tera-Mai reiki.
You may be completely confused by now, but let me introduce you to your chakras.
An important aspect of healing involves balancing one's chakras. To enjoy a healthy mind, body, and spirit, our chakras must be balanced. If one chakra is blocked, it affects the other chakras in your body.
"Chakra" is the sanskrit word meaning "wheel". Chakras are like wheels of light that vibrate and spin at different color frequencies and are located all throughout our body. We have seven major chakras and numerous minor chakras. The major chakras are the focal point for most chakra meditations. There is much more to us than just our physical body; we have subtle and energetic bodies as well. The chakras act as the organs of these bodies. We are all comprised of energy and when universal energy can flow unimpeded throughout all of our bodies, then we can experience balance and harmony. The chakras connect our physical selves to our energetic, etheric, and eternal selves. Each of the seven main chakras correlate to different aspects of our self. They are:
Red: known as the root chakra; governs the skeleton, lymph, and elimination systems; relates to issues concerning safety, security, trust, survival, money, home, and job
Orange: sometimes called the sacral chakra; governs the reproductive system and assimilation; relates to issues concerning feelings, sensations, food, sex, appetite, and sexuality
Yellow: known as the solar plexus; governs the muscles and digestive system; relates to issues concerning freedom, power, control, self-direction, and intellect
Green: known as the heart chakra; governs the respiratory, circulatory, and immune systems; relates to issues concerning relating to others, giving, perceptions of love and acceptance
Blue (Turquoise): known as the throat chakra; governs growth and metabolism; relates to issues concerning expression, receiving, abundance, flowing manifestation, and listening to intuition
Indigo: known as the third eye; governs the endocrine system; relates to issues concerning spiritual awareness, individualized consciousness, intuition and clairvoyance
Violet: known as the crown chakra; governs the nervous system; relates to issues concerning connection with the Divine, universal consciousness, Source-level direction and guidance
What is sought remains hidden from the seeker by already being everything.
It is so obvious and simple that the grasping of it obscures it. Never found, never knowable, being is the consummate absence that is beyond measure.
Looking for being is believing it is lost. Has anything been lost, or is it simply that the looking keeps it away? Does the beloved always dance constantly just beyond our serious focus?
The very intention to seek for a mythical treasure within life inevitably obscures the reality that life is already the treasure.
By seeking the myth it dreams it can attain, the seeker effectively avoids that which it most fears … its absence.
Liberation is like a fuse that suddenly blows, and all the little lights go out and there is only light.
This is not a message about you or me or anyone getting anything. This is about the realisation that there’s nothing to get … that what has been sought has never been lost.
This isn’t about seeking or not seeking; it’s beyond the concepts of Advaita and non-dualism and beyond the idea of reaching states of awareness or mindfulness. There’s no goal. There’s nothing on offer. This is totally beyond knowing.
This is really a description – a sharing together of a description of something that is beyond attainment, something that can’t be lost and also can’t be grasped or gained.
All the time there’s separation there’s a sense of loss, there’s a sense of a feeling that there’s something that isn’t whole. And so the seeker attempts to fill that void, fill it with something – whatever. And some look to something called “enlightenment” because it is felt that enlightenment might be the thing that will fill this sense of loss; it could be the answer to some secret that we don’t quite get.
And it sounds, when we read about enlightenment, as though somebody else has found the secret. But nobody’s found the secret.
There’s no such thing as an enlightened person. It’s a complete misconception. But the difficulty is that being seekers, the energy of seeking pushes us into being attracted to the idea that somebody else has found something that we can find, because we grow up believing that effort brings results. So, if effort brings results, and we’ve heard of something called enlightenment or liberation, we can make the effort and then we can become liberated or enlightened … like this guy up the road we’ve heard about, or that woman that’s giving satsangs. They have got something that I want. If I go there I will learn how to get it.
In the dream there’s still an idea that enlightenment or liberation is something that’s attainable. And so there are teachings that reinforce the idea that you are an individual that has choice, so now you, as an individual, can choose to self-enquire or to meditate, or whatever else, and eventually you could become enlightened.
You can go all over the world and find teachings offering something to get. It is rare, however, to find an uncompromising communication that offers nothing at all to the seeker.
This aliveness is nothing being everything. It’s just life happening. It’s not happening to anyone. There’s a whole set of experiences happening here and they’re happening in emptiness … they’re happening in free fall. They’re just what’s happening. All there is is life. All there is is beingness. There isn’t anyone that ever has or does not have it. There’s nobody that has life and somebody else doesn’t have life. There just is life being life.
This message is so simple it totally confounds the mind. This message is too simple. Already your mind’s saying, “Yes, but come on … what about the levels of enlightenment and what about my emotional blocks, and what about my chakras, they’re not all fully open? What about my stillness – I’m not really still yet, and what about my ego? Somebody told me I still have an ego … it’s a bit reduced but it’s still there.”
But all of that, all of those ideas are adopted lessons about how it should be. The ego is what’s happening. The ego is just being ego. Thinking is just being thinking. There is only being. There is just being. There’s nothing else. There’s nobody that’s running that. There’s no destiny, there’s no God, there’s no plan, there’s no script, there’s nowhere to go because there is only timeless being. Being is totally whole just being. And it is alive and fleshy and sexy and juicy and immediately this; it’s not some concept about ‘there’s no-one here’. It’s not some concept about ‘there’s nowhere to go’. It is the aliveness that’s in that body right now. There is pure beingness, pure aliveness. That’s it. End of story.
Really it is simply that. So there is no-one, there is no choice. There is no choice at any level. Oneness didn’t choose to become two. There is just oneness. All there is, is oneness being alive with nobody doing it. Is anybody doing breathing? Is anybody doing blood circulation? Is anybody really doing anything? No. There is just apparent doing. Apparent life in freefall.
There is no answer to life because life is its own answer. It’s happening already. It’s this. You never lost it. That’s the amazing thing about liberation. When liberation apparently happens people say, “It’s amazing because the thing I was looking for has never left me. It’s the one thing that never comes and never goes – the one constant that can’t be known or held onto.” And the one constant is being.
Only one Christ, THE Christ, has appeared throughout all time. Each incarnation, each manifestation brings the same essential core message, even though it is stated in different ways appropriate to the times and cultures. Jesus was no greater than any of the others because of some act performed, and to believe otherwise is ignorance.
Very few theologians would say Jesus is God. A common iteration of official belief is this: God reveals Self in Jesus. To this we can add the insight of Eastern sages and the Christian mystic Meister Eckhart.
"When the Father begets his Son in me, I am that Son and no other.... Thus, we are all in the Son and are the Son. The Father gives birth to his Son without cease, and I say more: he gives birth to me his Son and the same Son.” - Meister Eckhart
Other Divine personalities who actually lived in the past are not simply imaginary human forms. Many have appeared to point the way for us to experience the Godhead within us, not merely to know about our divineness intellectually, but to actually experience it. Lord Buddha, Sri Rama, Sri Krishna, Jesus.........many have come and gone to point us in the direction of Truth, the Christ within.