Unconditional Love

“Inner peace always follows in the wake of pain. To teach the state of joy, you first have to experience pain. Pain in the beginning and lasting happiness at the end is far superior to happiness in the beginning and long-lasting pain at the end. Pain is an unavoidable part of life. Without having suffered in some way, you cannot experience and appreciate peace or happiness.” ~ Amma

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How can we love unconditionally when we can barely love from a pure energetic perspective. There needs to be compassion and complete acceptance, therefore bypassing the intellectual criticism and judgment.

“True love is unconquerable and irresistible; And it goes on gathering power and spreading itself, until eventually it transforms everyone whom it touches.” ~ Meher Baba

I went through a literal Dark Night of the Soul, which unearth the darkest aspects within. I became many ways, yet no matter how ugly or broken I was; my husband and best friend, was always there for me. He helped and supported me in every single way that I needed.

 I have witnessed numerous relationships around me spiral through partners. When they end, there is an excuse of how this person had this issue or that issue and it would never work. I think, if only they knew the issues my husband and I went through, these people would have been harrowed and haggard by the process. Yet, to really have deep love, it needs to be seeds that are planted deep in the earth of connection. The roots that bind us are so deep, beyond this lifetime.

 

Regardless of everything, the engulfing love and support of my husband has been a balm of healing and self empowerment in my life. I owe him a loyalty unlike anything you see in this superficial world. He is a part of my soul, we are not separate. Our connection is beyond the body, beyond the superficial aspects of this world. His strength is like an endless power that does not stop; it gives life to all those who touch it.

“When you touch deep understanding and love, you are healed.” Thich Nhat Hanh

 
I have meant many people in my life, yet none could even compare to him, in any way. As one of the best Vedic astrologers said to him, “you are better than everyone, even though you think that you are less”. He is humble, powerful, intelligent and dharmic to the core. There is very little to no hypocrisy in this person. Of course he is a human being who has issues and various personality tendencies. Yet, he is able to move onward from everything.

I found myself returning to the past, reiterating the painful situations that broke me down, into fragments. He would tell me to move forward, there is no reason to hold onto something that is no longer here. He is right.

“Anything you avoid in life will come back, over and over again, until you’re willing to face it—to deeply look into its true nature. Again, the only way to know that we’ve seen into the true nature of something is that the story we’re telling ourselves releases. It is not only seen to be illusion; it is felt to be illusion. I often tell my students to stick with it until it falls away. The choice is between meditative inquiry and becoming a victim. That’s the choice you have—to be a victim to your own ideas and beliefs, or to feel into them until they drop away.”~ Adyashanti

After going through difficulties we must move forward and rewire our brains to be present. I see the power and necessity to let the past rest and forgive it’s hard grip that nearly sucked the life out of me.

Instead, the Divine grace allowed me to have a profound space of being here and now. A space to put my luggage down, rest and return to the point of my origin. A space that allowed a tremendous transformation to occur in my life. The grace of your Guru is like a rebirth, although it’s not instant; you may need to suffer like hell until you can really let go and find some element of surrender.

In that moment, something massive shifts and in a small way you can wake up to your entire life, with a deeper perception and awareness. It was as though a thin veil or fog had lifted. One that had occluded my vision for my entire life. I felt a clarity of being and direction that I actually strongly felt when I was younger. However, the rope of karma pulled me, as a noose around my neck so far off my path that I had to endure a sense of complete loss of identity, in order to return again to the essence of who I am in this life.

“Spirituality is not a journey forward; it is a journey backward. We return to our original source of existence. In that process, we have to pass through the layers of emotions and vasanas (mental tendencies) we have accumulated so far. That is where the pain comes from, not from outside. By going through these layers with an open attitude, we are, in fact, transcending them, which will ultimately take us to the abode of supreme peace and bliss.” Amma

Regardless of the difficulties in my life, I hang tightly onto my spiritual practices and never let my hand slip from my grasp onto my spiritual teacher. Her grace and deep guidance is absolute. I see this clearly, everything occurs to strip off the ignorance that covers us. When you embark on the spiritual path with sincerity, the grace of Guru will bring you closer to God; not to the goals and aspirations that we all seek through our ego identity.

The infinite foot of grace crushed the ego identity that I would not let go of. I had to suffer greatly prior to finally letting go. Once I let go, it was as though I fell into such a profound sense of coming home-to-myself. Of course, I am not enlightened, yet a massive layer has been stripped off. A certain freedom lays here beneath the surface. A joy bubbles forth that can not be contained.

The sharp knife of life once it stabs into you and you develop the resilience and strength; that deep vulnerability of weakness is sanded away. It can’t be touched, because it does not exist anymore. I can stand alone, even if the entire world is against me.

 

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Self Goals

“If you feel that your dreams aren’t coming true, you might think that you need to do more, or to think and strategize more. In fact, what you might need is less—less noise coming to you from both inside and outside—so that you have the space for your heart’s truest intention to germinate and flourish.” Thich Nhat Hanh, in ”Silence”.

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In life, it’s far more productive to have self-goals, rather than fully focusing on external material oriented goals. Of course, we are all conditioned to compete and succeed in life. However, what we lose along the way is a deeper connection to who we are in life. Thus, through this loss of accessing a higher percentage of our innate potential, we become shells based on our ego identity; constantly negotiating who we are with our reflection of the world around us.

People are becoming increasingly ubiquitously conditioned into the narrow roles of who they are allowed to be as living beings. Almost everyone is living on the outside of their exterior at a skin-deep level of self-awareness and internal awareness is severely lacking.

What I found was that if you shift your motivation towards working on yourself, through getting to know what lies beneath the surface and what you really have a deep passion for. Accessing this innate sense of self is very powerful and inevitably will increase everyone’s level of focus and clarity in following external goals.

“Learn to discern if a given situation is one you should try to change or one you should accept.” Amma

I found that most of my self-goals centred on self acceptance and self value. As this awareness grew, I realized I had to make drastic changes in several of the external ‘friendships’ I was having. It was one of many steps I began to implement in my life, regarding the boundaries that emulated greater self respect and self value.

“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” ~ Jack Kornfield

In addition, I found that when your goals relate to only what you can do to change yourself, a lot can be done. This also allows you to be honest with yourself and really pinpoint the areas of your life that you need to enhance, as well as the areas that you need to let go of.

In terms of career focus, self-goals are about connecting to what you have always felt a deep interest or passion for in your life. Perhaps, you don’t need to make it your career, yet by increasing those activities into your day to day life, it can have a significantly more positive effect, than ignoring this inner energy.  

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Its All In The Name

“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” Jack Kornfield

Idaho, central, lightning storm over the White Cloud Mountains at sunset

Idaho, central, lightning storm over the White Cloud Mountains at sunset

We all come into this world with names given to us by our families. Traditionally, names were used to extend the family lineage, through the reuse of various family members names and the continual usage of the paternal last name. However, in this day and age, there is more freedom of lateral movement against the traditional practices of the past. We have more freedom to work with our own identity, finding greater use of self expression through what feels right to each one of us.

Of course, many people lack the awareness or consciousness to actually question the ‘identity’ assigned to them through their families and society. Most people feel much safer abiding very closely by the norms of society and the traditional practices of the family. However, in this way life can be an endless expression of conditioning, with very little true authenticity of real freedom to have the awareness to make choices that are based on real knowledge. Most, if not all of us are caught in this massive and hegemonic pull of fitting into a homogenized sense of ‘norm’, that is actually very disturbing, as it benefits many institutional bodies, far more than us as individuals.In my own experience of life, I understand the necessity of abiding by certain cultural and social norms, yet I also see a strong benefit in living my life as the person I feel myself to be. Perhaps, this can be seen as egocentric and selfish, yet identity for me is something that I feel on a very deep inner level. One example is how we use our name as our means of prime identity. In my own life, I never ever resonated with my birth name, it meant nothing to me, it felt odd and hollow, yet I used it until I became more engrossed in spirituality and realized I could use a spiritual name. I could not wait to change my name to something that resonated with who I felt myself to be.

In the last five years, I received a name that deeply resonated with me and began using it exclusively. Many people, mostly in my own family thought that I was using another name to be someone else. The truth of the matter is that the birth name that I used most of my life was not me, while my spiritual name resonated so deeply, it is my true name. I have even had many dreams where I am explaining to others how when I first received my name, it was like I finally had my real name in this life. This is something that is very difficult to explain to others, as it must be directly experienced, rather than theoretically discussed. The feeling was as though I finally had my own name, a name that expressed who I am on an inner level, who I have always been.

Through this experience I recently had a job, where they called me by my birth name as it’s my ‘legal’ name. I felt a deep emptiness and only registered to that name because I know it used to be what I was previous called. After one year, I realized that I can no longer go by my birth name, it means nothing to me, I have no connection to it, in any way. Thus, I am changing my name legally to what resonates with me, as the person who I am in this life.

In my life, I feel I have the autonomy and freedom to make such choices for myself and I will continue to make many similar choices regarding how I wish to live my life, as my life belongs to me and me alone.

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