Bodhisattva

CompassionEL-WordleThe purpose of the spiritual path is to understand Spirit’s story.  The Divine Story is greater than individual truth.  Our life story is the myth we tell ourselves to explain how things got to be the way they are now.  Divine Spirit’s story is about creating a life of love, joy, peace, and abundant life.  Until we dwell in Divine Spirit’s story, we dwell in samsara.  Samsara is the process of making choices from aversion or attraction, desire, obsession, and selfishness.

All spiritual masters and teachers have given the commandment to love one another and to love Divine Spirit above all else.  But, because there is a need to justify our involvement in samsara- students change Spirit’s story to a justification for anger, sexual misconduct, abuse of alcohol and drugs, and being authentic and honest while spewing cruel remarks onto others.  Thus we find those who claim to love Spirit but believe that war, vengeance, and violence is necessary.  Divine Spirit has no enemies.  Spirit’s mercy says, “I do not remember that you have ever offended me.” The true path of Spirit does not massage the ego nor does it make excuses for self-indulgent behavior that causes harm in the life of other beings.

Vows of the Bodhisattva

Bodhisattva means one who chooses the Light.  It is the consciousness of evolving ourselves in a Great Being.  In soul we hold the possibilities of perfect love, peace, and joy.  The vows of the Bodhisattva are our promise to bring more of these possibilities to the world.

130I vow to liberate myself and all beings from suffering.
I vow to destroy all evil passions and seek only the good.
I vow to know the truth, manifest the truth, and become the truth.
I vow to live a life of forgiveness, atonement, compassion, and sacrifice.

I vow to destroy all evil passions and seek only the good.

Evil is deliberately creating harm to ourselves or another.  Once we know a particular energy causes pain and we continue clinging to that energy we are deliberately creating evil.  All of us do this with our favorite hell story.  We claim the emotions involved are something over which we have no control.  We know it hurts us and others but we repeat it anyway.

What if we replace our pain-filled thoughts with other energy.  When the pain story arises, stop; distract yourself.  Focus on your gifts, on what you like about yourself.  Use the tools you have to rid yourself of obsession.

I vow to liberate myself and all beings from suffering.

compassionLiberating ourselves may seem endless because liberation is a process.  We always have a choice between anger, fear, pain, and grief and love, joy, peace, life, and light.  We need to create habituated liberation.  Which means we free ourselves into kindness, generosity, and determination over, and over, and over again.

Bodhisattvas incarnate until all beings are liberated from suffering.  Children born with diseases and disabilities are all bodhisattvas who chose to incarnate to take on the suffering of others.  What are you here to do?  The vows of the Bodhisattva are an aspiration.  The best way to help others is to liberate ourselves from our need to be a savior.  We need to grow into what we want to give away.  We become like water- being available for all to drink.  If we are water some people will want to drink and others won’t.  We cannot make them drink.  Our job is to be like water.

I vow to live a life of forgiveness, atonement, compassion, and sacrifice.

  1. So what? When we fail to live up to our aspirations, we can feel guilty, angry and ashamed or we can think- so what? And get on with life.  Don’t make a hell story to liberate the self from mistakes.
  2. It’s not about me. The world is not waiting for us to make a demonstration of Great Spirit’s story.  We are not that important.  Whatever anyone else says about us- it really is never about us- it is only about the justification of their life story.
  3. What would I do if this didn’t matter? If we were not busy being upset what would we be thinking about?  If we were not obsessed with perfection we might be happy.  Everything we think is not true.  So, why are we thinking about things that create pain and challenge?

bodhisattva_by_meddlerinc-d5kb6njI vow to know the truth, manifest the truth, and become the truth.

Spirit Truth is love, joy, peace, life, and light.  Nothing else is the truth, though lots of  nasty stuff seems very real.  The absolute truth is becoming a cause for joy, sharing kindness, being generous, staying determined to be liberated, and becoming fearless in living life.

Sowing Spirit Seeds

One of the seeds of Spirit is inspiration. Gift giving is representative of a caring and loving heart.  It is all based on being inspired to give of the self.  This is difficult to do when we don’t feel love, joy, or peace.

inspirationWhy did we forget that we were born to love?  Things happened.  People were unkind to us.  We were not taught to release our fears to Divine Mother and Father. Yet our work of Spirit is to an inspiration of love.

Many of us interface with our family of origin because of obligation or duty.  Perhaps it’s time to be inspired to forgive the past hurts, criticisms, and disappointments.  Perhaps it’s time to rediscover the love we brought with us from Spirit.    Generosity is not bargaining; it’s giving away whether that person gives back or not.  Instead of keeping score, let’s be inspired to love and forgive.

When we are focused on the past mosPower-of-Forgiveness1t of what we remember is what we don’t like about that past.  We are beings of Light.  Everything is possible for us even forgiving ancient wrongs.  Love is forever within us so that all we have to do is remember that love instead of the old stories of sorrow and pain.  Pain can be forgotten.  May we be inspired to express the loving, joyous spirit that we were born to be.

It helps to start the day with meditation.  If we don’t have time to pray and connect with the Great Being within, we have just screwed up our day.  When we are thinking crabby, depressed, anxious thoughts we will probably be giving them away.  When we start our day with a reminder that we are here to create love, to live life fully in grace our day will be filled with laughter, love, and inner peace.

It’s important to focus on whatever we wish more of in our lives.  When we pray, we are reminding ourselves of what is possible.   Nothing is impossible for Divine Father and Mother.  Prayer aligns our mind and emotions with Spirit’s truth, Spirit’s story.  We may have to repeat these reminders because we have a short attention span.

If we want to create something positive we must do something to make it happen.  After 2000 years we are still praying for peace.  Why?  Maybe because we think prayer is enough.  Maybe we have to create peace in our lives before it can manifest in the world around us.  To create peace- we could forgive others; forgive ourselves; do something nice for the neighbor we most dislike; or stand with a peace vigil.  There is always something we can do.

049-letitshine-1440x900-BThoughts don’t count unless they lead to action.  Wouldn’t it be nice if …but people are hungry, dying, and unloved.  Thoughts don’t count until we act upon those thoughts.  Perhaps we could foster a cheerful attitude whether we feel like it or not.  A virtue is something we cultivate that isn’t natural to us.

When we are truly align with Spirit’s energy we must feel something or we are wasting our time.  We have to feel something to have power with that something.  Sad thoughts weaken us; happy thoughts strengthen us.  Feel deeply Divine Mother’s will, Divine Father’s peace, Great Weavers healing-and act to manifest that truth!  Think, feel, be in alignment with Divine Mother and Father’s will and act from that place of inner rightness!

If we don’t sow the seeds of eternity, we might find that our earthly experience is filled with suffering.  Find a saint to emulate.  Look until you find one you can relate to.  Be the saint you are capable of being.  You can if you will.  What do I resolve to do that Spirit wants me to do?  What do I want more of in my life?  Think it.  Feel it.  And Act on it. Sow the Seeds of Eternity and reap the harvest of love and joy- over, and over, and over again.

TSYS_proof4.4_header_newtagline

Living a Spirit-Centered Life

There are three important energies that must be expressed in order to live a Spirit-centered life.  These are difficult energies because they do not necessarily bring success in the world.  Those energies are a focus on: knowing, understanding, and manifesting– Great Spirit’s will for you each day.

To manifest Great Spirit’s will it is necessary that for every action, thought, or, especially, any words that comes out of our mouths we ask: How is this promoting love, joy, or peace?love_peace_joy Because the only true expressions of Divine Will results in more love, joy, and peace. If it is not promoting one of these truths of Spirit Grace, what we are about to do, think, or say, is not Great Spirit’s plan for us.  If we discover our intention is not in alignment with love, joy, and peace then we can practice silence, meditation, or non-action.

Anger and grief, even pain, are usually the result of thinking in terms of what others need to do in order for us to have love, joy, or peace.  What are we going to do to create love, joy, and peace?  It is not Great Spirit’s way to confront misbehavior. forgiveness Focus instead on forgiveness.  Listen to the voice of Spirit and we will hear Great Mother and Father Say-I do not remember that you have ever offended me.  This is Great Spirit’s forgiveness.  It is the only way we can find more love, joy, and peace when people and things upset us.

Some ideas that prevent us from promoting Great Spirit’s will in our lives are- thinking, obsessing, and retelling our favorite hell/pain/betrayal stories over and over again.  Pointing out the faults of others.  Worrying over imagined “what ifs” does not enhance happiness or peace.  Being upset because others “don’t get it” prevents us from the possibility of tranquility or friendship.  Counting our hardships instead of our blessings prevents us from feeling, knowing, understanding, and expressing our Divine Inheritance of love, joy, and peace.

Because the ability to desire, manifest, and hope for love, joy, and peace already exists inside us- all we need to do is take a quiet time out- a meditation time- and listen for what Great Mother and Father wish for us this day.  Meditation can be as simple as sitting quietly outside listening to the birds, floating peacefully in a pool of water, or sitting on a cushion focused on our breath.  Take a time out and listen- How can I love more today?  How can I practice bringing joy into life today?  How can I let go of my worries and enter into the promise of peace?

When we fail to express our inner divine nature of love, joy, and peace- and we will fail- wallowing in guilt will not help us.  Guilt is just the warning beep that we have gone against Spirit’s purpose; recognize it and try again.  Notice we have made a mistake and get on with trying to know, understand, and manifest love, joy and peace.  This is an obsession worth having!

Consider Others Before Yourself

To consider others before ourselves is not an invitation to martyrdom.  It’s an invitation to contribute to the lives of those around us and to make a difference in the world in whatever way we can.  It is the call of our soul as a human being.

journey-beginsWe knew when we came here what it would be like.  Great Spirit shared stories of what the world was like- and told us they knew that we could make a difference.  But after we were born, instead of holding to selfless intentions, we learned to be self-centeredness.  I need; I want; I must have.  And someone is preventing me from having it.

We have forgotten we are here to make the world a better place.  So-called peace talks often demonstrate how people believe life is about getting what they want and making demands on others to give it to them.  True peace talks would be about what there is to share together in the spirit of loving kindness and generosity.  Even marriage counseling is often about complaining.  He doesn’t give me what I need. / She doesn’t fulfill my needs.  Then the process often moves into negotiations- I’ll give you this if you’ll give me that.  This rarely works.  The other person would have already given what us what we felt we needed if s/he had the ability to share that energy with us.

The point of leading a spirit centered life is to get rid of selfishness and make a contribution.  69b36b5e82167110faa898868d98c1c7This takes time, maybe as much time as it would take for a bird’s wing feathers to wear down a mountain.  But if we align our lives with Great Mother and Father’s Grace- transformation into loving kindness, compassion, and peaceful joy may be only a surrender away.  Be willing to contribute without receiving thanks

True humility is to recognize when we are wrong, apologize, and make atonement, if necessary.    The battle of light and dark goes on inside us every day.  If we are not practicing love, joy, and peace then we are causing pain and suffering- even if only to ourselves.

Practice loving without return, happiness without a cause, and peace when it seems stupid.   Do this if others notice or not, if we receive praise or not- Practice even in difficult circumstances.  Our purpose isn’t to save the world but to be good spirit centered people contributing to the world.

To live Spirit’s life we must take sanctuary in beautiful places.  We must take refuge when hopelessness and helplessness overwhelms us.  Great Mother and Great Father are waiting to hold us, comfort us, and send us back to the world with renewed determination and hope.  The Spirit-centered life is hard, but not impossible- when we live it one thought, one, action, one word, and one day at a time.

081217124156_1_900x600

Awakened Intelligence

If we are going to participate in sacred ceremony it means there are some things we will no longer be doing during our preparation time- which can be weeks or months prior to the Ceremony.  Sometimes we fast on certain types of foods, or enter a media ban in which we stop watching all the bad news of the world.  Or we might dedicate our time to prayer or creating sacred objects or garments that will be used in the ceremony.  IMG_4390Preparing for and participating in sacred ceremony becomes our life.  It’s not something we just show up for on a weekend, join in the music and dance, and then go home to watch a movie or return to our jobs.

There are many reasons that people come to a spiritual path- sometimes it’s because their life doesn’t work and they’re seeking a way to feel successful in jobs, relationships, and personal intimacy.  Sometimes individuals seek to join a spiritual community because they feel they have a great gift to offer and want to find others to appreciate it.  But sometimes people join a spiritual path to help make a difference in the lives of others.  It is these people who are willing to learn and practice the true meaning of sacrifice.

An authentic path of spirit gives one the opportunity
to experience awakened intelligence

Awakened_WomanIn the world, on a regular basis, most of us are engaged in daily entertainment or some form of consumerism.  This is because we are trying to avoid thinking about and realizing that illness, old age, change, and death are the realities of existence.  Since this idea tend to be depressing and off putting we form our lives around avoidance of these energies, even though, in the end, this never works.  Little children, young people, middle aged people, as well as old people go through changes they never anticipated, become ill, and even die.  Reality can, and will happen, to everyone.  But most people prefer to remain asleep and ignorant of these realities.  Awakened intelligence is the ability to live our lives, on a daily basis, as though it were our last chance to love, forgive, listen, share, or be kind to others.  Awakened intelligence means creating a life that has meaning regardless of the realities that await us.

Having a life means making a contribution to the welfare of others.  To make a contribution to the betterment of the world we are willing to sacrifice: time, money, effort, and ourselves in order to participate in actions that make a difference.  This contribution can be the practice of prayer. spiritual awakening Prayer is the focused intention of blessing those around us with the good things in life, love, joy, peace, beauty, healing, or grace.  We contribute by being kind and thoughtful to our family, friends, and associates.  We contribute by forgiving those who speak ill of us, listening with full attention when others are sharing a story that is important to them, and by allowing others to be who they are rather than expecting them to live up to who we would prefer for them to be.  We contribute when we notice and comment with appreciation on the gifts that others have shared through words, ideas, or deeds.  We contribute when we are willing to share affection with those around us- a smile, a hug, and a kind word, a touch on their shoulder or their hand.  In order to live our lives in this way we must be willing to sacrifice focusing on what we think, what we want, and what we expect.

4734c4fc70366adc5ba834ead143af9fWhen we have Awakened Intelligence we have begun
to realize our spiritual nature-
we start to take the road that leads to Enlightenment.

Equanimity Does Not Mean Equality

Equanimity is not about being equal. It is about remaining calm in the midst of difficulty. Life is not fair. It’s not equal everywhere or all of the time. There is always going to be more of a reward for one individual while others just as worthy remain unnoticed and unappreciated. parental-Control Often in life we strive to be safe, comfortable, and have a plan for the future.  So what  really belongs to you?  What do you have power over?

Not your body. It’s going to do what it’s going to do and eventually it will grow old, get sick, and die.  We surround ourselves with possessions but they could all disappear one day or vanish in a moment  from war, weather, or an enemy’s malice. People around the world often discover this to their great horror and fear. Refugees, even those with the highest education, come to our country and are relegated to low-skilled, low-paid positions. They have lost all they built and counted upon. It happens every day all around the world.

What cannot be taken away, lost, or stolen is our self-respect, courage, determination, kindness, or compassion.  In other words who you truly are inside and how you choose to perceive the world around you.  This is equanimity.

Equanimity begins with the age old rule from many lands-  GoldenRuledecide to give away to others only that which you wish to receive yourself from others.
For thousands of years this phrase has endured yet people have ignored it in favor of returning in kind, or making a peremptory strike from fear that someone has evil intention. Is someone angry with you? It is common to say- “I think I’ll return the favor.”
Did someone gossip about you? It is common to say- “What a bitch/bastard, how dare they speak of me in that fashion…just you wait!”  When we return tit for tat we are holding another as a prisoner in our mind and we are in that prison with them!

Life is likely to surprise you- it is never safe, comfortable, and secure.refugees But you can remain in equanimity by establishing and maintaining an attitude of compassion. If you respect others, you are respecting yourself. This is compassion.  If you betray and hate others you are hating and betraying yourself.  This is the normal world-mind response.

Are you preventing yourself from moving into a celebration of the moment?  Usually people’s lives stop after the bad moments. When life stops so does growth in love, joy, and the possibility for transformation.  Many say, “I am going to feel this way for the rest of my life”?  Some will withdraw and become unavailable because something bad happened at one time. That is a death sentence.

With equanimity it is possible to continue to have a cheerful life, a meaningful life, even though bad things still happen. But there is no reason to not be loving and kind despite challenges and pain.  Whatever happened- That was then. This is now.
Right now there is an infinite possibility of experiences.

Remember, when things go wrong, when mistakes happen, and loss befalls you- forgiveness is the key to wholeness and peace. Remember that we are on a journey to become progressively less stupid. So do not make forgiveness or atonement a punishment or attempt to teach yourself a lesson.  Forgiveness is the restoration of love, joy, and harmony.

If someone has made us angry, then we could pray for them.  If we return anger and pain then we become just like the ones we despise. forgive1Create acts of love instead- and not necessarily for the one who has offended you- but focus, intentional acts of loving kindness restores you to wholeness. There are unending possibilities for kindness. Compassion should compel us into action. We have feelings so we can act upon them.  When those feelings are likely to create pain and suffering for ourselves or others- we can transform the contemplated action into a compassionate action instead.

Is life perfect? No. It is temporary, changing, and above all fleeting.  So-stop trying to be perfect and just do the best you can. There are lots of opportunities to be awaken in compassionate  service.- find one of them.  Compassion is not about what “I-Will-Not-Do”…” but rather it calls for us to decide  “What-I-Will-Do.”  Equanimity is our opportunity to relax into life instead of stressing out about life.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the ability to compassionately understand ourselves, our desires, and our needs.  It’s the ability to realize that no matter how awkwardly I’ve attempted to meet those needs, and no matter how many mistakes I make in the process, it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with me. broken-heart-broken-hearts-6853604We are well served to be suspicious of any voice, inside or outside, that says there is something wrong with us.  For example- it’s possible to realize I have been unkind toward someone and then feel sad about that.  It’s not that I’m a bad person who will get into trouble- it’s just that I don’t want to be unkind because it hurts my heart.

Forgiveness is allowing.  Allowing ourselves, or another, to confess a mistake, take responsibility for whatever harm may have been created by that mistake and to move on into trusting that something new can happen.  Forgiveness is letting go, permitting something to pass, and allowing something in.  With true forgiveness we agree to forget the past in order to authorize trust for the future.

If we hold ourselves or others in a place of remembering preceding incidents, emotional outbursts, and former mistakes 3.-BURMA-US-congress-Lalitwe are keeping them a prisoner in our mind; they have been judged, sentenced, and jailed.  And we will continue living a life of suspicion, doubt, and mistrust of those whose mistakes we find upsetting, shocking, or appalling.

Consider– we cling to mistrust in order to be safe and self-protective.

What if, instead of falling into judgment, we allow in the possibility of a life initiation?
Initiation means making a beginning, opening an investigation, or launching a new possibility.  Initiation also implies hard work, striving to learn a new skill, and sufficient motivation to introduce a transformed, difficult, and disciplined response to our accustomed discontented and calamitous emotions.  Both those who judge and those who make errors are in need of such an initiation.

The initiation being offered is the knowledge necessary to build an intimate relationship with spirit, the self, and others.  Such a relationship is built by reviewing and restating our values, beliefs, and past stories so that they are consistent with our current understanding, goals, and aspirations.  relaxOur relationship with self is also fostered by distinguishing the adult-voice from the child-voice, the self-hate voice from beneficial caring advice.  It means cultivating and developing genuine emotional intelligence.  A mature, adult, spiritual relationship is cultivated through disciplined thought, silent meditation, contemplative prayer, and the counsel of a sagacious spiritual director.

As we practice and create trust all our relationships begin to have an indivisible sense of unity.  Each member of our community becomes like a cell in our body.  The group needs the me, and I need the group.  To be truly human means understanding that we need each other.  Only in this way can we express and experience the love and caring for which we long.

iStock_000005012679XSmall

Do you trust yourself?

If so, what do you trust yourself to do, say, or give to others?
Can you meet your own needs
or do you expect others to know what you want
and give it to you?
What demonstration do you wish the people around you
to make so you can trust them?
Are you willing to make this demonstration
so that others can trust you?
Do you believe others are well-intentioned
even when they are ungraceful in their behavior or words?

Sacrifice

Making a sacrifice is forgetting about the self. It is taking time away from worry, fear, anxiety and pain. It is becoming busy doing and being someone who makes a difference in the world.  ImageSacrifice is the ability to give away to another with no expectation that anything will happen other than the opportunity of being of help to another.  When we offer service to others it is a space of sharing and many times there is an expectation of receiving something in return; that’s why getting a haircut, eating in a restaurant or having the oil changed in our car are called services.

Selflessness requires courage.  This is because sacrifice and selflessness are based on loving another more than we love ourselves.  But if we are not meeting our own needs for comfort, safety, affection, and happiness it isn’t possible to make a true sacrifice.  Not caring for our needs and worrying about the needs of others is a form of martyrdom and emotional enslavement.  It arises from the belief that we can only be happy if we make everyone around us happy.

True Sacrifice is the ability to exchange oneself for another- to be with others where they are instead of where we wish them to be. Image If someone is sad it is more of a sacrifice to sit with them in their grief than to attempt a healing in order for us to feel better about where they are.  With sacrifice we learn to be a compassionate witness to another’s journey through life, supporting and validating how they feel and what is happening for them at the time.

Sacrifice arises from devotion.  This is devotion to Great Spirit, to a spiritual master, or guru.  It is seeing a need and being drawn to fill that need because one sees the face of the Beloved Spiritual Master in the suffering countenance of that brother or sister.  We do not practice sacrifice to change the world, we practice sacrifice to heal ourselves.

Beloved Mother & Father Spirit-
If I have wounded any soul this day
Or caused someone’s fear, anger or pain
If I have walked too strongly in my own will and way
Great Spirit forgive me

If I have spoken ill of anyone
If I have turned aside from want or pain
or caused another to suffer for my comfort
Great Spirit forgive me.

Image

If I have envied joys that are not mine
If I have sought to be loved rather than to love,
or thought too long on world gate desires
Great Spirit forgive me

If I have been perverse, hard or cold, ignoring the needs of others
while longing to shelter in your arms
Great Spirit forgive me
Forgive me the things I clearly see
Forgive me the things I cannot see
Teach me and help me to love, to share, and to forgive.