Category Archives: Spiritual Concepts

Basic concepts that tie all belief systems together.

My Guide

Image

Sitting in contemplation

Incense smoke rising

My eyes closed

Thoughts of things that matter

That had no meaning

Come to mind – clarity

The hawk drifting

In circles in front

Eyes touching

The past gone

The present now

The hawk and I are one

Through its eyes I see

The wings feel as part

When the mind is troubled the breeze is broken

When the I is calm the wind is smooth

When the me is as one the smoke drifts in a steady line

Keeping my guide with me brings me to now

Is.

A’ha, its not all about me!

All about me

As we progress on our spiritual practice we have quite a few a’ha moments. These include the many and varied realisations about: our practice, our friends, our job, the nature of existence and the futility of our existential angst.

After we experience one of these moments of realisations it is common to have that self talk and self congratulation of “I have realised …”. However,,,,, the true realisations are those that are able to be experienced without the filter of perception as we see the true nature of the phenomenon that we are contemplating.

For this reason a true realisation is the furthest thing from “I” or “me” as you can get because you have managed to eliminate all of “you” in the understanding of that phenomenon. Therefore, it is not a matter of “I have realised …” or “now I understand” as that has immediately welcomed the ego dog into the process.

The true realisation is a matter of “so THAT is the nature of that phenomenon!!”. To speak of that understanding is to bring the perception and filter of language. To speak of that realisation in specifics is to bring the ego back and to drive away the realisation.

To hear, to know, to realise.

Intention

prayer

Today as the Sunday sun rises and announces a new day in whichever part of the world you might be in. Take the time to be thankful for whatever that you have.

If you had a place to sleep, give thanks and develop the wish for all people to have a place to sleep.

If you have food, give thanks and develop the wish for all people to have food.

If you have health, give thanks and develop the wish for all people to have health.

If you are happy and free from suffering … well, you know what to do.

When we sit to our worship and our prayers, request not for ourselves but for others that they may be well, may be happy, may be free from suffering and the causes of suffering, and may they live at ease.

Wish this for loved ones, acquaintances, those that we might call enemies, and for all those that are in times of famine, crisis or war.

This is my wish.

Mindful Absentmind

All traditions show that prayer brings you closer to the concept of God. The minimisation of the ego in order to allow the soul to soar. There is also amazing benefit in the practice of being mindful as we go through our day. Mindful of our thoughts, words and our actions.

When we learn a new activity we are mindful of our thoughts and actions until it becomes second nature. Actions such as driving a car, learning a new language, or even as a baby learning to walk. In the same way the key to removing our ego from controlling our day to day actions is to be mindful of what we think, say and do until it becomes second nature.

Start with setting aside small periods during the day such as during a meeting, or before interactions with specific people. If you know someone is going to particularly confrontational make a point of using this as an opportunity to be mindful, even develop a sense of compassion before the meeting.

From these small practice sessions will come longer periods of being absently mindful just like when you master that golf swing or have your first conversation in another language without having to resort to mental or physical dictionary.

Mindfully absentmind.

The Example, The Method, and The Community

Spirit Dog and Ego Hound

 

The procession towards gaining a pure understanding of the reality of existence while minimising the influence of ego and perception is a task that takes dedication and motivation on behalf of the seeker.  Most seekers start out by realising that, to borrow a line from a fibre advertisement, there is a “better kind of normal”.  This can be due to a large number of individual reasons which prompts the seeker to initiate the search.

The search can be the self inspection/introspection in order to “find oneself” or to shop around the well known, and not so well known, spiritual and religious traditions.  This often brings people back to the teachings of their culture and/or parents or to experiment with more non-traditional teachings.  At this stage the seekers are prime targets for cults and destructive teachings that isolate the seeker from the community for the betterment of the cult or its leaders.

But how do you know when a cult is a cult?  Most belief systems have three elements:  The Example/Teacher, The Method/Teaching, and The Community.

The Example/Teacher.  Is the person that delivered the teaching and showed the efficacy of the teaching as a living example of the effectiveness of the teaching.  There are specific qualities that make for a good teacher – certainly how they live their life is an example.  Their life should not be at odds with their teachings.  They should not be claiming a higher status than that of a teacher or coach for the seeker.  This includes those that claim that they are incarnations of Jesus, Living Buddha’s, the next coming, etc.

The Method/Teaching.  The method/teaching that is espoused should be logical and provide more than just “have faith” by providing a daily practice that provides a base of behaviour that is conducive to spiritual development that is based on service to others, reduction of ego and the stripping of learned behaviours and criticism.  It should not be based on indulgence or damage to self or others.  The teaching is more important than the teacher and the teaching and the behaviour of the teacher will provide the proof of the teaching.

The Community. The Community is the community of seekers that support the journey.  The identification of the community can be difficult in that there is a community of seekers, of teachers, of practitioners and of people outside of the community.  All of them need to work together and be accepting of all and the teaching should provide guidance for those that are outside or critical of the community of seekers.  The key to this guidance is that ultimately we are all connected in some way and therefore to be discriminatory of others is to foster discrimination of self.

The journey of reduction of the Ego Hound to allow the Spirit Dog to thrive is not easy and very threatening to some who value their own perception of “self” in that the journey results in the destruction of what they perceive and value.

Which dog will you feed today?

Belonging

A true sense of belonging is not dependent on others.

The ability to generate loving kindness for others creates the sense of belonging.

Loving Kindness

As I sit in contemplation

Ego diminishing and thoughts of loving kindness arise

For my self as separate I wish

May you be well

May you be happy

May you be free from suffering

May you live at ease

 

 

For those I love and hold dear

May you be well

May you be happy

May you be free from suffering

May you live at ease

For those that I see and meet with no particular thought

May you be well

May you be happy

May you be free from suffering

May you live at ease

For those that I have falsely developed a fear or thought to despise

May you be well

May you be happy

May you be free from suffering

May you live at ease

For all sentient being in all parts of existence

May you be well

May you be happy

May you be free from suffering

May you live at ease

This is my wish

Realisation

See the people drowning in a sea of stimulation

Craving, desiring and consuming

Drawing into their being the essence of advertising and confusion of needs and wants

The suffering that is only eased by more of the same

Happiness depending on the external – falsehoods one and all

See the people claiming that their way is the blessed way

To the exclusion of all others

The pain the suffering the torment written on their face and in their being

Those in holy uniforms of segregation and separation

Diversity in unity

See the people focussing on the elimination of those not like them

Those that are all one under God but defying the true teaching, so they say

Those that act not in the way of theirs

Those that follow another teacher, another way, to the same destination

The blasphemy interpreted by the judge of self defiant of true teachings

See the people that realise the essence of truth

See the people that abide with the truth in all things

See the people that live in grace as they realise that truth is universal

See the people that have not created a new awareness

See the people that have eliminated the falsehood of false interpretation

See those that are realised in robes of all colours and styles

See the people that put no value in the external

Universal – Accessed

Floating on Air

We talk of God and Spirit, of our belief and their belief.  Discussions that elevate the concepts to the “unknowable”, of the “holy”, the EXTRAordinary.  As a result these discussions become elitist, remote and, sometimes, irrelevant to our daily life.

How would the same discussion go if we were discussing the air around us.  It would be relevant, immediate, mundane, and essential.  The air around us has mass, it is essential to life, we focus on it when we meditate, we die without it, and the same air we breathe is breathed by others, is all around us and is the medium by which we communicate, sense, and smell.  Basically we take it for granted but we are always aware of it.  To thrive and to fly in air we accept that which is best suited to the medium.  We can try to breathe air that is not conducive to human life but that usually results in failure/death.  We can try to fly in air by jumping from trees but that usually results in injury.  We don’t fight the qualities of air, we learn and adapt.

Similarly God, Spirit, Universal Consciousness/Spirit is the medium in when we exist.  It is as special as air or gravity and as mundane as temperature.  To best survive in this medium we learn the qualities of the spirit, we acknowledge and recognise that this is the same medium for all beings, to describe it is to apply words to a concept.  To argue over those same words does not change or invalidate the truth of the medium.

To know the qualities of the spirit is to understand the actions/behaviours that are best lifted and match the medium in which we exist.  To fly within the medium of the spirit is to fully submit to the medium and that is which we call holy.  Through constant practice of holy flight we can maximise the synergy of the gross and the spirit and reduce the times when we are unable to fly due to the weight of the ego.

To be aware of that which surrounds us as an essential requirement of life in no way different to the air that we breathe is the challenge for which the greatest reward awaits.

The Rock or the Twig

Standing by a river and watching the water and how it interacts with its environment.  It carves a channel into the earth, it stirs up the air above it, it flows around the rocks in its path, and it carries the twigs and other floating debris.  A’ha, this is us.  Or should I say, this is an allegory for us and our lives.

We call it a river and see it as a single entity.  If we see it on a map it is a single line/squiggle/shape, but if you dip into it and draw out the water it is made up of smaller and smaller drops.  At which stage does the water cease to be a river?  When it stops moving is my guess, then it becomes a lake, pond, billabong.  Digression aside, our life is flowing and is made up of each moment just as the river is made up of each drop of water.  And each drop influences the drop before it and after it just as each moment influences each other moment.

What caused the “A’ha” was the rock and the twigs in the river.  The rock was in the middle of the river, stoic and steadfast.  It wasn’t moving but confronted the water head on.  However, the water seemed to be oblivious to the rock as it flowed around it.  In fact there was evidence that the drops of water, drop by drop, were wearing down the rock.  On the other hand the twigs were riding on top of the water, being carried up and around and over obstacles.  There was a fork in the river and the twigs seemed to hesitate before choosing which path to take.

My thoughts drifted to the times when I had been that rock as I confronted life head on and stoically refused to budge.  Then I thought of some of my friends that have been so stuck in their ways that they continue to confront life and have become so entrenched in their ways and their positions that I can see life wearing them down.

There are some other friends that are riding on the river but when the forks come they don’t make the decisions and they are swept along by the river, being helpless and complaining that they don’t have control.

On the other hand, I have other friends that are like the twigs that seem to ride on the current of life, enjoying all moments of the journey, and seeing the fork in the river as not something to be confronted but a decision about opportunity.  By seeing the opportunity they make the decisions knowing that if it is unpleasant that it is only temporary and shortly another fork will present itself and they will continue the ride of their life.  The difference from the type that just ride the river is that these friends have developed their ability to see the joy in life rather than to take the confrontational view or the submissive view.  Which one are you?

Our actions often cause these forks in the river, however the decision is always ours to make.

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