Devotion is a part of every spiritual path. Before you recoil in horror, it would be good for you to understand you already practice devotion.
You are devoted to many things, many people, and many concepts. You are devoted to your children, mate, friends, pets. You are devoted to a career, getting ahead, losing weight, working out, or practicing yoga. You are devoted sometimes to drugs, alcohol, self-hatred, self-loathing, unforgiveness of yourself, the relentless worship of punishing yourself for your perceived or sometimes real misdeeds.
You worship. You do. You spend hours on your practice. It comes naturally now, but did not at first. At first you had to spend hours on your practice, until it became a habit. Not only a habit, it morphed into your very identity, essential to you, your way of being, how you make decisions, how your prioritize your life. You have been doing your practice so long you forgot you created it, and carried it out until you and your practice have become virtually inseparable. Read the rest of this entry »
If you are lucky enough to have a spiritual teacher, you will know that it is an unusual relationship. Nothing else is like it. Yes, the teacher is a human, but the relationship is spiritual, not human. Not when you are the chela*.
Some people love to say they ‘know’ their spiritual teacher, or are close to their teacher, as if that somehow is a badge to claim their progress towards enlightenment. Nothing could be further from the truth, and in fact you can bet that is a sure sign of an overbearing ego.
Surely, you have learned things from amazing people, yet you would not be want to be their friends? You might be eternally grateful for what you learned from them, yet still would not go to lunch with that person. And, if you chose to thank the person for what you learned, I suspect you would never tell the person, “You know, I don’t really even like you, but I did learn something.” Instead, you take the best from that person, and leave the rest. Read the rest of this entry »
Recently, during a psychic reading, someone asked me what their “gift” was. When asked why the person wanted to know this, their response was, “Because I don’t want to study or work on something, unless I know I am going to succeed and be good at it.”
My jaw dropped. That is like saying, I will only get married if there is a guarantee that it will last forever, with no mention of love. Even if you have a so-called ‘gift,’ it doesn’t mean you will be successful at it in earth plane terms. Jesus, Buddha, and so many other spiritual teachers, did not become rich and famous, in their lifetimes. They used their talents, gifts, and lives, for the greater good, because they believed in what they were doing. Read the rest of this entry »
If you are a passionate, committed person in a field that has become commercialized, it can be so very frustrating. One of the ways I deal with my frustration is with humor. Therefore, if you do not have a sense of humor, or take things very seriously, please do not read any further. If you do, you will be proceeding at your own risk.
I recently worked at a spiritual faire, which no members of the public bothered to attend. It ended up being just the bunch of ‘gifted’ vendors who spent the day talking incessantly about themselves, telling each other the same amazing stories, over and over again. These stories are meant to prove that they were meant to share their ‘gift’ with humanity. Not mentioned in any of these tales is the family money, or lawsuit money, alimony, family or spousal support payments, which helped to finance their perceived notions of being ‘chosen’ to do this work. Read the rest of this entry »
In today’s society people often view acceptance as resignation, giving up, cowardice, retreat, or other unappealing descriptive words. The society that worships, praises, and publicizes Yang energy, the energy of ‘doing,’ typically has little understanding for the power of Yin. Yin energy imagines, envisions, perceives. Yang manifests. We need both.
Yin is a warrior’s path. It is the path of acceptance, before reaction. As an example, the martial art Aikido is defined as a way of unifying with life energy or “moving Zen,” or as “the Way of harmonious spirit.” Aikido is an art that practitioners use to defend themselves, while also protecting their attacker from injury. Read the rest of this entry »
Many of us work hard on our personal evolution, self-awareness, and spiritual growth. Sometimes this takes us down the trail of intense self-criticism, often leading to disparaging thoughts that we will never get ‘better’ or be ‘good enough.’ I have traveled down this dark trail many times myself.
In addition to this being a very cruel way to treat yourself, this radioactive attitude leaks out into other relationships in our life. Even if it does not manifest in overt ways, we all know energy travels, and energy travels all the time. Self-hatred cannot be contained; it changes the orbits of our electrons. Read the rest of this entry »
Friends, as opposed to acquaintances or associates, are a rare find. We are typically a society of users and takers, where social networking has erroneously become synonymous with friendship. In fact, friendship and networking has very little in common.
As children of the Information Age, we have become acculturated to disconnection as a norm, merely using each other and calling it friendship when it is mutually beneficial, and calling it a variety of unsavory names when it is not mutually beneficial. Friendship for business and networking is quite different from true friendship. Read the rest of this entry »
Many industrialized nations place a great deal of emphasis on being special and getting noticed. These days you can become a celebrated just for existing in the public eye, such as Paris Hilton and the Kardashian family.
Many people would never admit they have this desire or need; many do not notice how ingrained this is in the culture of our society. Yet, many people get psychic and spiritual readings, because they want to be told about their Mission, Purpose or Special Gifts. Many people I work with also have an unbelievable plethora of undefined and persistent physical and psychological ailments that disappear when the person gets busy, or starts being of real service to others.
This leads me to wonder if an egocentric existence, promoted by the mainstream media and bought by the consumer, isn’t one of our primary ailments. Is it not making many of us prime targets for inflated self-importance and grandiosity? Read the rest of this entry »