Tag Archive | Personal truth

The Stages of the Path

A spiritual path is not chosen.  It is given to everyone.  Every single one of us has the chance to journey inward to our highest self, or remain trapped in the machinations of the seemingly unfixable external world.  Honestly, I’m not comfortable with either, but the inward path, while currently quite painful, makes more sense to me than anything that unfolds in the world.

The first stage is recognizing that we are more than our bodies.  That part is easy.  Once our self-identified egos realize that we are open to the Truth beyond our personal selves, this is where it becomes treacherous.  Most of us abandon the path at the first sign of trouble.  That is okay.  Whatever you do or don’t do aligns perfectly with however the eventual awakening of the planet happens.  Do not worry one bit if going inward hurts too much because believe me, it does.  Maybe some day you will be ready, maybe some day you won’t, you are perfect right where you are at.  As much as I’ve tried to avoid going beyond the self, it hurts me more not to.  So, I keep going, one painful step at a time.  On to the next stage…

This is where you understand that there are two thought systems in your mind.  One that is full of judgment, blame, guilt, fear, comparison, lack…these all are personal self-ways to stay mired in the story of life.  The other thought system is LOVE.  This isn’t love in the traditional sense (as related to a personal self or selves).  This love doesn’t transform the outer world, this is the love that transcends it.  Very different.  This is the love that accepts the world exactly as it is because it is beyond the world.  This probably doesn’t make a lot a sense, that’s the trap built into it.  It seems to make no sense to keep the personal self denying the Truth. Even slightly entertaining the thought of something beyond the self might make you angry, upset or spark a myriad of malaise and maladies.  If it seems like too much trouble, then it is.  Let it go and if being a self in the world works for you, then keep going as you are.  Nothing to change, nothing to do, all is well.  However, if something inside you is recognizing even a tiny speck of the truth beyond the veil of the world, then you might make it your life’s work to consciously discern from the two thought systems in your mind.  If you do this, it is the hardest work you will ever do.  Your personal self will fight you tooth and nail.  It will be subtle, sneaky, overt, mean, seductive, and whatever else it can throw at you to keep you engaged in its story.  The personal self knows if you are outwardly focused on making the story of your life different, better, shinier… then you don’t have to do the work of letting it all go.

The next stage is the letting go part.  I’m not there yet so all I can write about is what I imagine this to look like.  This is where the thought system of love wins all the time.  There is no need or desire to change the self, the world or anyone or anything all.  This is where we are liberated from thinking we need to change anything about ourselves.  There is nothing wrong with us.  The only idea that is wrong is that we believe something that isn’t true.  We are more than our bodies.  Believing we aren’t is the source of all our pain, separation and angst.  However, I will say this again, if you are at peace with the story of your life and the world as is, it is okay to stick with it.  On the other hand, if something feels off or like you will never quite belong here, maybe consider the inward path.

I used to think that it was all up to me.  It’s not.  It is inevitable.  We all awaken in our own time and at our own pace.  This I know for sure.

“The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.”

-Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

Floating

As I was lying on my yoga mat sprawled in the darkness surrounded by strangers, I started to float away.  Not my body of course, but the something else that is me, but isn’t me.  This wasn’t the first time this had happened,

Where do I go exactly?

Wherever it is there aren’t concepts or words. There is great fear and loss associated with these experiences.  However, if I open my mind and push it to its limit of comprehension, I may be more real when I’m gone then when I am on that yoga mat.

This random detaching from myself is why I no longer belong.  I have never belonged.  Chances are, if you are one of the two people reading this, you have experienced your own non-belonging moments.

There is a fissure in my soul that I keep trying to mend with answers.  In some ways, I have found my answers, but I don’t like them.  If I open myself up to the possibility that I am more than a body (and let’s be honest, if I keep floating away from it, I may need to seriously entertain the thought), I find a little freedom there.

The upside is, well, I haven’t found that yet.  The more I open myself to something beyond myself, the more I leave behind.  Whatever illusions I had of ‘finally finding my tribe’ as I embarked on my path are obliterated.  The deeper I go within, the farther I am from the world.

I am willing to find the truth of me.  I am willing to let go of the world to do so.

I am willing.  I am willing.  I am willing.

There is no guarantee that I will get the answers I crave.  Instead, I will get the answers I am ready to receive and find solace in the only place I have for shelter.

So, I continue to go within, float away and pray.

 

The Dogged Truth

Before saying a word, he [Ajahn Chah] motioned to a glass at his side. “Do you see this glass?” he asked us. “I love this glass. It holds the water admirably. When the sun shines on it, it reflects the light beautifully. When I tap it, it has a lovely ring. Yet for me, this glass is already broken. When the wind knocks it over or my elbow knocks it off the shelf and it falls to the ground and shatters, I say, ‘Of course.’ But when I understand that this glass is already broken, every minute with it is precious.          

 – excerpted from FakeBuddhaQuotes.com

There is something to be said about our attachment to the way things are.  We believe that if our external world aligns properly with our personal preferences then peace will be achieved.  Perfect external alignment is an ephemeral concept at best.  Those fleeting moments of having our personal agendas manifested are the hook that keeps us from going inward.  Yet lasting peace never relies on the external.  Only by connecting to our deep inner truth do we find ourselves home.

I often find myself very attached to certain outcomes for my personal self.  I wished I looked better, felt better and that my favorite baseball team would win every single game they play.  Living this way does not work for me any more.  My attachment to outcomes is what is making me sick.  This sickness is physical, mental and spiritual in nature.  I am trying to learn another way.

When I walk my dog, who happens to be one of my favorite beings on the planet, I ponder my attachment to him.  It is precarious.  While he is healthy and spry for his age, at the center of my knowing I understand he will not live forever.  My personal self is quite distraught over this potential loss.  It was to a point where my anxiety about every little thing he did or did not do meant that the end was near.  I was making myself miserable and forgetting to be present with him in the now.

My attachment to him is still strong.  To counteract this I have opened a window in my soul.  This is where I let the reality of impermanence dance its way through me.  When I stay open and present with this truth, my attachment loosens a bit and I experience a loving flash of being in the moment.  Being in the moment feels so much better than stressing about an attachment or outcome.  There is no story about endings or beginnings, there is only grace.

My intention is to let grace guide me.  With grace attachments are not required and honestly, neither am I.

There is only truth.

Leave the Rest

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The road to Truth is different for everyone.  For me, I have been on a search to make sense of the Truth that has crept into my awareness for years and years.  I was mostly able to write it off for a good chunk of my life, but then it got too loud and I set out on my quest for answers.  I used to write a lot of poetry.  Somehow the prose reflected back to me a self I could slightly recognize.  I read a lot in my search for my answers and I still do.  The spiritual text that has resonated most profoundly for me is A Course in Miracles.  Still, there are aspects of it that seem very specific to the woman who transcribed it.  So, I take what works for me and I leave the rest.

This should be the mantra of all spiritual seekers.

Take what works for you and leave the rest.

How are we all searching for exactly the same thing and there are infinite ways to get there?  Wouldn’t it make sense if there was only one path that led to Truth?

We are all different.  Therefore, all of our paths will be different.

Different has nothing to do with being wrong or right, it only has to do with being different.

If you leave judgment behind, which would be ideal, different isn’t bad or scary.  Different is just different.

Sometimes when we are extremely scared or confused we mistake others and their  differing beliefs to be at the root of our fear.

This is not so.  At least not in my experience.  I am completely freaking out because my awareness of the world has turned upside down not because someone else believes differently than I do.  If someone is content on their path this does not repel me, it draws me to them.  What is it that they know that brings them peace?  I want that.  Please share.  At the end of the day I’ll take what works for me and I’ll leave the rest.

“You must find your own way to your own truth.  For before each and every one of you lies your pathway, a doorway, an eye of the needle, through which only you can fit.”

The Way of Mastery p. 42

Shanti Christo Foundation

The Holiest of Moments


Every moment of your life is Holy.  If used for Truth, each moment contains direction Home.  Even a seemingly mundane interaction can hold a wealth of knowledge about where you are on your path.

Are you anxious?  Are you relaxed?  Are you kind?  Are you cranky?

When a moment angrily pushes us towards our quiet center, then we know we have struck gold.

The moments that unfurl seamlessly with love are also showing us the way.  These moments mean we are aligning our compass with Truth.

I am learning the moments that are my darkest are truly a treasure trove of Light.  How else would I realize that I’m holding so much judgment in my heart?  I wouldn’t.  I would keep on my merry way.  I would continue to erroneously believe the whole world except me was responsible for how awful I feel sometimes.  It never is about the other person, situation, or circumstance.  It’s only me and what I bring to it.  Am I bringing fear?  Then I have unexamined fear in my heart.  Am I bringing negative judgment?  Then I have a pit of despair in my soul that I have yet to dissect.

The bad moments are sometime our most glorious.

Are you up for looking within?

Most days I’m not.  The world has other ideas.  It is on a continuous loop of good and bad.

The key to growth is to graciously acknowledge with a loving heart what you judge as good, and to question unabashedly anything you deem as bad.  Good means the personal self is aligning with the Holy Self.  This is preparing you for your eventual realization that you are always Home.  Bad means that you have distorted stories of separation from Source stockpiled within your soul.  Looking directly at these stories is hard work.  It is soul-crushing sometimes.  But that’s the point.  Your soul has to be crushed before it can reconfigure to permanent alignment with Source.

One moment, one day, one story at a time.

All of it Holy.

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What If Pain Was Your Gift?

Nothing bad has ever happened to me.  Nothing bad will ever happen to me.

Nothing real can be threatened.

Nothing unreal exists.

Herein lies the Peace of God.”

-A Course In Miracles Introduction

This concept seems so simple but it is so hard to accept.

As a personal self we have so many bad things that happen.  We have endless future fears running a loop in our mind.  There is so much fear.  Peace seems impossible.

There is something within me that is driving me with such force, that I often only feel like I am along for the ride.  I will someday fully accept that nothing bad has ever happened to me and that nothing bad will ever happen to me.  It could be tomorrow, it could be next year or it could be decades in the making.  I’m not in charge of the timeline. I don’t think I’ve ever admitted that out loud.  I need to be reminded that I don’t have to try so very hard all day long, every day of my life.  I’ll get there regardless.  I still have to be willing and the force within me keeps that willingness alive, but I don’t have to make something happen that is not yet ready to unfold for me.

What are you trying to make happen?

Isn’t is SO MUCH WORK ALL THE TIME?

Maybe there’s important wisdom to be gleaned from exactly where we are at.  Even if where we are is painful.  Maybe the answer is within the pain.  Maybe if I step back and breathe and let the pain be, maybe peace will come.  I’m starting to realize that I’ve been labeling my struggle all wrong.  Struggle is not the problem.  Trying to micromanage the struggle only deepens and prolongs the pain.

What if pain is my gift?

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The Suppression of Joy

A huge part of a spiritual awakening process, is aligning with your personality’s authenticity.  While the eventual goal is to detach from the personal, while you are still in the process, you have to honor the Truth of your personal self.  What this does is signal to your Mind that you are opening to the Higher Self within.  Being your Truest tiny self is the gateway to your Holy Self.

As I hone my authenticity, I realize that more often than not, I hide from others.  I am afraid to be this authentic self when I have an audience.  I am too worried that I will make others uncomfortable or wind up in an awkward situtaion.

I am a deeply feeling person.  I am introverted, intuitive, observant and empathic.  I want to talk about the circumstances of my life that appear to be causing my internal stress (they are not).  I want to chip away at my personal story to find the roots of my discomfort.  I want to cry.  I want to crack jokes.  I want to be free.

There are so many times throughout my day that I am stalled in a conversation that feels so untrue that I feel like pulling my hair out.  It seems like we are talking about something that is causing distress, but it feels off.

I have connected to the space between thoughts enough to know that we are never upset for the reason we think we are.  The only source of our discomfort is that we believe we are separate from God.

We never left God.

God never left us.

It’s heartbreaking when we believe we are separate and alone.  Thinking we have to conquer an impossible world by ourselves is hard. That’s a terrible story to live over and over.

I want to talk about it.  I have almost convinced myself that I need to talk about it with others.  I need to have my viewpoint validated to assure me I am on my way to spiritual freedom.

This is no more true than thinking I am separate from God.

No one is holding me back from authenticity.

Only I can do that to myself.

My joy and Truth are not suppressed.

I promise to give my best to each day, to be authentic as much as I’m able and learn the lesson that only I can lead me to where I need to go.

Where will you go today?

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