|Posted on November 12, 2014 at 9:30 PM|
Upon the spiritual path there comes the time where the philosophy must become pragmatic, grounded in actions which reflect those ideals which have been set as intentions. This is where the walk reflects the talk. This is where we have the opportunity to use the principles and put them to good use. It has been said that faith without works is dead, and here is the great turning point. How can the ideas and values we hold, be authentically expressed in our daily lives and day to day affairs?
A measured step with mindfulness is now called upon, and reactions must shift to a new dimension and become responses, or rather a response suited for the call to greater integrity in the moment. The default patterns must now shift to steps taken with honest reflection and follow a higher design. This is where the real work becomes manifest. Intentions are the first step, but do not become real until they are actually lived.
The words we speak and the dialogues we have with others must come from a new place. Not from nervous vacillations of the insecure mind driven by the senses and our fears but by wisdom and courage. Wisdom is our knowledge made real with physical practice. This is why yoga is such a wondrous tool. Yoga begins with an intention and through time we learn to cultivate this intention and make it live through our breath and right thinking. This is where the soul becomes disciplined to act with integrity.
Merely setting an intention but not following through, while a great leap forward from debased thoughts, is a crawl in comparison to the tai chi of life that we are called to practice. The deeper connection of thoughts, to action, to mastery; is a path that can only be taken with true mindfulness. In the beginning we wobble, we fall, we slip and backslide to previous untrained mannerisms and behaviors. By the mid day of the path we begin to vacillate between mastery and sloppiness, discipline and laziness. Upon the later hours of the day of life we come to a place of measured movement; a place in our evolution where value and measure become important methods of our energetic distribution. It is like the baby snake who does not know how to control his venom, so too we are we as we grow and learn to use our power.
We are responsible for our actions and deeds, we must be accountable for that which we create in this life. The way we wield our spiritual energy is our responsibility. Measured control of the raw energy we possess is necessary to live responsibly, it is a rite of spiritual passage to learn this great metaphysical truth. Once learned and known, we grow to the next place of learning: how to grow this power and transmit it and then to transmute negative forces or vibrations which make their way towards us from outer sources.
It is said in mythology of the Buddah that when he walked his aura was felt for miles around. A subtle shift was felt way before his physical self arrived to his destination. This is the craft of right use of spiritual energy and power. In Christianity many Christians speak of the miracles of Jesus, a truly ascended master, who was able to cure the sick and heal the wounded, cast out demons and perform great works of energetic prowess. We too, despite our infancy upon the path, are called to move towards this place of self realization and actualization. In Dale Carnigis How to Win Friends and Influence People, he speaks of methods of behavior to garner greater love and admiration from others by the use of diplomacy and altruistic methods of social conduct. These measured steps of behavior and decorous actions are part of the path of wisdom, knowledge and understanding.
Honesty and integrity are paramount in terms of our evolution as human beings. These concepts are sacred in their vibration, and are as boundless as numbers in the way in which they speak to people of all cultures and races. This is a great step to begin to take. Honesty and refrain from lying to others, is a powerful way to build spiritual power and clean ones energy field and open the door for others. Integrity, or the realization through action of ones word is critical to our ability to live a more fulfilling life. Integrity stems from the Latin adjective integer which means whole or complete. This wholeness or completion comes from adherence to moral and ethical principles, and while each culture has a variety of customs and variations, at the heart of humanity there are certain behaviors or qualities which are valued in a person and that deem one to have integrity. Integrity is soundness of moral character; honesty.
We must be accountable for our actions, and our actions if we hope for greater inner peace, must be firmly rooted in honesty. Honesty must first be held within, for there are many who are incapable of being honest with themselves; a trait so often found in delirious addiction to sense pleasures or desires. The veil of delusion within us may be very hard to see in the beginning, it may be easy to mislead oneself to believe that what is unhealthy for oneself is good and vice versa. So often we find this derailment of integrity rooted in the hypnosis of worldly desires. I too, have found myself so transfixed on the exterior that I have neglected the internal truth. In my quest for love on this planet I have found myself so lured and tempted by the dream and desire of love that I could not see it was the furthest thing from me at the time, despite my great hope to make it so. Honesty with oneself is a key to the ability of getting real, real enough to be a person of grounded integrity and honor.
So next time you are in your yoga class, set your intention…but then make your intention real by manifesting it through correct behavior in your day to day affairs. It will take the breath to bring you to the present, from here then pause and look…see where you really are and then act from a place of integrity and honor.
|Posted on November 12, 2014 at 9:25 PM|
Zen and the Art of True Love Maintenance
Much of the methods for love we have learned are based upon the need for give and take. We have a conditional love that is fueled by the ego, love that is based on the receipt of certain things in order to continue. Without the satisfaction of certain prerequisites and quotas our giving begins to wane in the face of outer deficits. When our needs or expectations are not met we are often angry and feel dejected. Fears of unrequited love and being the fool, loom in our minds and provoke deep seated fears of betrayal and rejection. The awful feeling of being codependent to an abusive partner is real, a fear heavily promoted by our society. No one wants to be a doormat or a doorstop.
But sometimes these requests and requirements can prevent us from ever having a fulfilling relationship with anyone. Many times our wish list is too great and the burden is placed more on the other party than on our own actions. This is a great problem and at its heart the downfall of a lasting relationship. It is easier to abandon ship than to ride out the storm. Many quickly jump to sea and find themselves later marooned on a desert island, left alone with the characteristics that may have aided in drawing the initial disaster into their lives.
Relationships are about being better stewards over the love we have before us. How often do we see serial daters, quick to find fault in each partner they pick, often times repeating again and again some similar behavior which is conveniently blamed on the other party. Had they been better navigators of their love ship, perhaps they could have ridden the storm or better calculated the impending signs of trouble. It may be that in the selection of the course or maintenance of the ship and its sails, somewhere care was not placed in the process. This extra attention, could have made the difference. Love is a daily effort, a minute or rather moment by moment endeavor. It requires great inner strength and mindfulness. True presence and awareness is required for true love to flourish.
When walking the path of love there are many turning points and guide posts. There are many ports and places to stop along the way. Being mindful during the process is helpful in determining ones true allegiance to the journey. One can change direction at any of these bench marks. Often what happens is that the signs of neglect or wear and tear are ignored or not attended to in a productive manner. Rushing to get tasks done or to quickly solve problems creates a pending disaster which leads to a growing weakness that eventually serves as the breaking point. To approach the maintenance with a hand of a master craftsman is the secret to being a better steward over ones love. The master is at peace with all the aspects of the process of maintenance, even the more challenging aspects that are the keystones of growth and greater mastery.
To approach love as a work of art, as the maintenance of a prized ship or vessel, is to be present and alive. Like a new baby puppy, who you love to feed and bathe and even reprimand for its silly antics; there is an art here, an art of love. Compassion for the follies and weaknesses of the beloved, understanding and acceptance of the challenges, a gentle hand that becomes more skilled with each mindful touch and adjustment; this is the true path of mastery in the realm of love.
Being a sailor myself I know there is a fine art in the craft of sailing a ship. There is a beautiful silent connection and feeling when both work together, and when making it back to shore after foul weather and storms. This is a bond of love and great depth. This is the way of true love.
Work with your beloved, learn them, feel them, listen to the sounds and learn to move in sync. Harmony comes with patience and open-mindedness. The ability to keep centered and stay steadfast and true despite any odds. A labor of love. Love as a practice, like meditation or yoga. Love as an art like painting or music, a developing evolution. This is the zen of love.
|Posted on November 12, 2014 at 9:25 PM|
Manifest Destiny Within-Redefining Success in the Wild West
In today’s changing Westernized World there has been a welcomed return to Eastern Ideas. In essence we are approaching a major transformation but there are still lingering aspects of our conditioning that persist as the end of the Kali Yuga strains to make its succession and give birth to the Aquarian New Age. What strongholds still remain to make our charter across the Wild Western Frontier into the redefined ancient wisdom of the East as we come full circle during this momentous transition?
It all began with a noble notion: freedom and liberty from the rigid class systems of the past. With the dream of equality and a chance at a fresh start. The founding members of our Western Society in the New World arrived with noble hopes of advancement and settled against great odds to find a place for the disenfranchised. Ironically, our manifest destiny displaced those native to the west and a clash arose between great seats of power. In essence this is the battle that is also being fought on the new land within.
The mind struggles to reconcile new ideologies on purpose and meaning with the hard judgments of the personality ego and our long held and often unquestioned conditioning. Imbedded within our psyche lingers within: the collective unconscious remembrance of our roots in the east, our lineage and teachings from the West and a humanity beyond culture that is on a soul level a divine synthesis of the two. These karmic reminences along with the new school improvements and these inevitable changes in our evolution are our birthright as we scale the higherarchy of spirituality and strive to reach closer to greater states of connection to source. And all this takes place with the ongoing skirmishes between the still feuding factions within the mind struggling for sovereignty over the new world /old world full circle understanding that exists within the infinite aspects of the soul. So you see, we have the reenactment of our past here within our very selves on a daily basis both in the finite fronteer and the unlimited expanse of all that is,was and will forever be. And as complex as all this is we must simultaneously take this with the understanding that no battle or great work was done in a day.
So what shall be the face of the new system of government within each of our selves? How to rule the senses and win the battle that wages on as alluded to in the Bhagavad Gita? For those unfamiliar with the historical battle outlined therein we need not look further to our own historical example found in the great time of the Wild West and Manifest Destiny when our forefathers settled here to find a new life. In essence this is what we are endeavoring to do in our own advancement in terms of spirituality and in the pursuit of happiness. We continue to seek the same things but it is time for the means to do so, to evolve and change with the times. Change to the time which is timeless. Perhaps using a more yogic and balanced approach. Merging the old and new and the masculine and feminine, a blend and synthesis of opposites to end the war within.
Perhaps the easiest way to begin this process is by redefining success and taking a good look at the values that motivate and found the perhaps antiquated and then again perhaps not antiquated enough idea of what it means to be successful. In the legacy that we have inherited there lay a great deal of honorable and wise assertions: hard work, dedication, personal responsibility to manifest your own destiny through your own efforts. This is great…but the unfortunate twist is that these very ideals have morphed into a bottomless pit of greed and the proverbial Need More Monster (you know the one that always is Needing More and growing bigger every time he is fed). Our notions of success have been based on an ever competitive and growing world where there is always someone better, stronger etc. (according to these standards) and now with the speed of technology it doesn’t take more than a second to find this out. Perhaps in the days when less souls roamed the earth ones competition was not so easy to confront and did not exist in such volume and with this multitude. We have found ourselves amidst a turbulent change, and oddly the majority of the this turbulence is inward as with all our telecommunications it is more difficult than ever to collectively relate in the same way.
suc·cessnoun \sək-ˈses\: the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame: the correct or desired result of an attempt: someone or something that is successful : a person or thing that succeeds
Is this Success? What does it mean in this changing world, now that we are all by default beginning to realize something is amiss with the system in place? The system is breaking down, but people are struggling both internally and externally to find a functional way of integrating the new ideas. We all agree (for the most part) that greed is bad and there is more to life than just money. One of the greatest proponents for this is Master Card, and in this example lays the very irony and struggle that I speak of. Money doesn’t matter and other things do ….but use this card to pay for a priceless event and do it on credit with money you actually don’t have. So we are in essence doing this in a number of ways. Writing checks for momentary pleasures that we can’t cash, or perhaps giving our money away to a bueaurcratic pseudo non profit to feel better about helping the world without really getting our hands dirty. You see, there is a disconnect and in conquering the new wild west within yourself there needs to be a better plan in place, a different system and a vastly different way of quantifying and qualifying information and values.
Reconstructing the ideology of success will be tricky and I believe this is one of our hardest tasks to implement, once the theoretical component is conquered within your mind. Its implementation must go back to the wild western value of hard work, the Native Americans had that well figured out already and the settlers had courage to face the unknown which is admirable as well. It is too easy to vilify one side and deify the other; this too is part of the old mentality of competition and success which needs to go out the window. As full integration and balance must come in a harmony of both sides, but without a replay of the Western Block and the nightmares of socialism and communism which unfortunately some have defaulted to in the new age community as a go to opposite choice for the evils of capitalism. Again one side good the other bad, this is the Kali Yuga of confusion.
So I cannot provide in this short essay a solution to this growing problem, only that it is something to look at and perhaps consider for yourself. I feel that it is noteworthy that there is a great deal of old patterning in our current new age forward motion, and perhaps it is a great time …now especially that our government is shut down to really re-evaluate everything and rather than go to war again between sides find a evolved way of dealing with this interesting clash of opposing sides both inside and out.
All in all to conclude this tangential discourse....Look within to see wher you place your value. Look to see where and in what direction you are moving in, and then perhaps intuit and consider the implications. So often we forget to build a foundation, so part of a successful driven life is getting clear about your values and what they mean. If we look at our legacy and world traditions as a human race or even deeper as all members of life then look at what sucess really is. What self actualization is and what it means to move forward. The conquering of the wild west was well intentioned, many actions in this life are wel intented but have lingering negative effects. The only constant is that there is a paradox between moving forward and finding true center beyond any vacillations. There is being and flowing. It is all an evolution and a change and a shift. s an indidual and as a culture we are in a period of movement and transition. What this means and looks like is in its infancy still. More shall be revealed with time, as yet again we face a great expansion into an unknown future.