Common Sense

According to the dictionary common sense is practical wisdom.  Practical wisdom is the ability to apply knowledge to a situation in order to gain a favorable result.  Courtesy is a form of common sense, like saying please and thank you, eating with utensils instead of fingers (unless that is cultural), or acknowledging greetings from other.  Sometimes there isn’t a lot of agreement on what is common sense.  However, let’s explore some ideas about common sense in spirituality.

The-sacred-lifeThe dharma of Amaraji Maha Marai is based on the belief that each individual is a spark of divine light, that all beings arise from One Source, that humans have been gifted with the ability to imagine and analyze situations in order to respond to them.  Humans, therefore, are blessed with the inner need to express love, joy, peace, light, and life.  These are qualities not emotions.  The path of spirituality arises when an individual seeks to expand, understand, and share these divine qualities in whatever way is possible under current circumstances.  This drive to embrace our divine nature constitutes souls’ imperative to seek union with a Higher Power.

 Let’s look at some common sense objectives for a spiritual seeker. When we are attempting to find something it helps to have a general idea of where to look and where to not get bogged down.  That’s the idea on the spiritual path.  The first thing to do when taking a journey is to create an inventory of what you have and what will be needed then we acquire things along the road.

  1. We know our personal ethical code and adhere to it even when it’s inconvenient and we are tempted to do otherwise.
  2. Take inventory of one’s benefactor qualities and do an honest assessment of one’s harmful and detrimental behaviors. Then accept that both these things are true about the self and while modifications can occur we will never really be rid of either of these things.  In other words accept all of what we are as a human being.
  3. Accept that there is no utopia and never will be. Life is not fair.  There is no way to create a perfect life, a perfect relationship, work with the perfect teacher, or belong to a perfect community.  Instead, we grow, evolve, forgive, and try again many times.bigstock-Child-sitting-on-a-rooftop-and-12160391-300x209
  4. Find a reliable teacher to assist in expanding your promise, your gifts, as a soul. But don’t expect the teacher to be perfect…if you’re lucky the teacher will be a full human being who has learned from his/her mistakes and wants to help you learn from yours.
  5. Ash-E-Tah needs to be a daily practice. Ash-E-Tah means accepting what is and looking for the sweetness that is also available even in the midst of horrible events.  We all live life between one challenge and the next upsetting event…however, there is usually quite a lot of time (hours if not days/weeks/months) between difficulties.  Our life can be lived by focusing on the space between the tiger and the dragon.
  6. The human brain is hardwired to problem solve. When we perceive a challenge the brain kicks in to figure out how to survive, even if it isn’t our direct problem.  Over exposure to tragic, horrible, disastrous, emotionally draining events that we can do nothing about is detrimental to our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.  Common sense dictates that we limit our exposure to bad news and focus on helping where we are actually able to make a difference. This keeps us strong in difficult and dangerous times instead of depressed and burned-out.
  7. It is common sense to accept that we are not indispensable. We may be important in the lives of many people but they got along somehow in the world before they met us and they will get along somehow if we are no longer available.  It’s ego to never take a regular time out for rest, play, and sanctuary because others “need” us to be there for them.  As Gandalf said, you are just a little fellow in a very large world after all.  We have been chosen to offer our gift…but so has everyone else.  Our job is to do what we can and let others take care of the rest of the problems.tumblr_mlipahaKVj1qhmhdfo1_500
  8. Because we seek enlightenment we are bound to acquire some sooner or later. Most enlightenment is about our behavior, habituated choices, cultural conditioning, and coming face-to-face with personal entitlement.  This is why true enlightenment often results in our saying- Oh, shit!  The common sense of discovery is to see or recognize what was and make a plan to free/liberate ourselves from that suffering.  So, retroactive guilt, guilt that comes from feeling bad because we were ignorant and did harmful things is not useful.  If, however, we continue the behavior after we know better guilt could assist in making positive change.  By and large, however, guilt is not helpful.  Shame is not helpful.  Deciding to make a new plan, a new life, a new attempt to do better- that’s helpful!

This is a short list of a common sense approaches to spirituality.  There are undoubtedly many other items you could add to this list.  Perhaps the most important advice of all is- ask questions, try things out for yourself to see if they work for you, and remember this is your journey to the ultimate union with the Higher Power.  Others have left a trail, a path, even a road…make sure their way is the best way for you

I Am

I am is the most important energy in the life of a human being.  This is because everything is about us.  Humans always think in terms of I am.  “I am happy.  I am sad.  I am angry.  I am compassionate.”

b550a71c4cc07c6432bd0f76decd7b56--positive-feelings-positive-lifeI am consists of two parts: the Great and the little.  Great Self, True Self, Higher Self is the I am with a period.  For little self, personality self, incarnate self the words I am is the beginning of a sentence.  Humans explain our actions, our thoughts, and our intentions through the words I am.

Spirituality, we are informed, is to arrive at the totality of the Great I am.  Imagine a circle.  This circle is Divine Spirit, the All Is One energy.  It encompasses the infinite potential of all that has been and all that will be, or might be.

However, as duality arises from mind the circle begins to be crossed by lines.  We do this in religion as we divide the great circle into conceptual pictures.  The lines could be expressed as- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; Divine Mother, Father, and Weaver; Earth, Sky, and Spirits.  There are numerous ways the circle becomes a picture.  And then the picture becomes the path, the way, the truth.  We can’t help thinking and attempting to understand but we start making trouble when our picture becomes The Picture.

As humans we are always busy trying to understand ourselves, others, and the universe.  As spirits we discover the Great Circle that is the I am; the Divine Avatar connection, Buddha Self, Christ Consciousness Self, True Self, Higher Self, etc.  Then, because we are physical beings, we begin to define ourselves.  We have spent lifetimes creating patterns and habits of thinking and acting that are lines in the circle of our Great I am.  After a while, we have a very complex picture within the Great Circle of Life.

Most of us assume that the path of spirit is about changing ourselves to fit into the “spiritual” role defined by whatever set of teachings we are engaged in.  Sometimes it’s about finding the right path so we can be saved, healed, or magicked into a perfect being.  We have forgotten the Great I am and focus only on the messy lines we have scribbled within the circle.

To bring our attention back to the wholeness of our circle it’s necessary to accept all the lines within the circle, even the scribbles.  Everyone has things we don’t like about ourselves.  But, we are the artist who drew the picture.  Some of it we created as a child.  Part was created by a scared or angry adolescent.  Other parts seemed to be there when we were born.  What if we simply redraw the lines, or add new ones, so all the parts fit together into a mandala of beauty? cf678298ff62e73909fc118e228cc284--lotus-mandala-tattoo-lotus-flower-tattoos

The place to start with our Great I am mandala is to stop thinking we are broken. It helps to focus on how we already are loving, generous, kind, and compassionate.  Sometimes we will discover that we are harder than we thought; softer than we thought, more fragile than we thought, smaller or bigger than we thought.  Those are just lines in the Great I am Circle.  We can learn to say, “I am that.”

Once we add lines or restructure lines within the Great Circle we have wholeness.  We will have structural, spiritual, moral, and ethical integrity.  What if we paint the mandala of our life in all the colors of creation?  Maybe we will end up being who we were always meant to be.


What If…?

What if there is nothing wrong with me?  What if there is nothing wrong with you?

apocalypse-statue-of-libertyIn this very difficult and scary time when the world we thought we knew seems to be disintegrating it becomes important to ground and center in spiritual truth.  No, I am not advocating a head in the sand, ignore the pain, and pretend everything is happening for the best attitude.  I’m suggesting that we reinforce our relationship with our humanity, with our inner goodness, with our strength of character.  I am suggesting we remember and ground ourselves in the benefactor qualities of the human race.

Because we can imagine and act on our imagination humans have created many amazing, beautiful, and positive things in this world.  We have also created, through imagination and action, genocide, poverty, destruction, hatred, bigotry, and war.  As we know the beginning of both heaven and hell reside in the use of our own mind.  It resides in the way we think and speak of others and the way we think and speak about ourselves.  As we become overwhelmed by hearing and seeing the dark side of human behavior let us also look for and listen to the good in our young people, in the actions of our brothers and sisters around the globe.  Let us remember that hard times call for heroic action.  The heroes of old are calling your name.  Many children, women, and men are listening and responding in protection, compassion, and a renewed sense of purpose.  Protecting all of life we nurture and defend what is precious.

hand-846092_1280-2-custom-1Here are some things to consider as you cultivate the hero within you:

*You are living your life the best you know how and attempting to get better every day.

*You make mistakes, like everyone else, which allows you to gain wisdom.

*You’re unique, whether you’re introverted or extroverted, practical or a dreamer, technical or artistic, book smart or street smart…however you are…you are the only person just like you on the planet.

*If you do what you enjoy and don’t harm other beings, you’re living a beautiful life.

*You will never become someone because you already are someone.

*If someone hurt, you…you didn’t deserve it…no one does…and it didn’t happen because of karma.

*It’s OK to feel your emotions and respond to them.  If you need to improve the way you respond; well everyone could use some improvement in that area.

Chaos, confusion, darkness, fear, anger, grief…these are all perfectly understandable emotions in this time of upheaval and potential destruction of the values we were taught was the American Way.  The Buddha once said, being with what is we can respond (not react) to what is.  We respond by knowing who and what we love- the Earth, the animals, the children, compassion, generosity, and fearlessness.  We respond by maintaining the knowledge of our inner goodness and working to create a world we can proudly leave to our children.


And if, like the Jedi, many of us are destroyed, then like the Jedi we will rise again and defeat the darkness of hatred, greed, and anger.  The Force is with us!  We are unstoppable!

On Being Human

“All human beings have the ability to decide, to create, and to choose. Celebrate the opportunities before yourselves every day. And accept yourself as you are. Make yourself available to others.  Sometimes when you have too many stories, it is hard to be like a little child and play.”  Father Mukanda Dawe

persolaise-chypre-laughterTo be a human being is to know, practice, and express the energies of compassion, cooperation, sharing, kindness, deep listening, and communication as a thoughtful speaker. To be a human being requires understanding mercy and justice.  Humans want to change things. Make improvements. Share our joys and our sorrows. We are hardwired to do this.

People are not always born as human beings they have to learn to become human beings. To be a Great Being we first have to be a human being.  Only when we have become fully human can we truly walk a Path of Spirit.  bronzekidshurt-children2It is possible – and oh so likely – that many people who proclaim their religion as the definition of right action are not even human beings as they continually endorse the extermination of others and contribute to the most egregious forms of human rights violations including war, slavery, genocide, torture, and the degradation of the Earth.  Only those who have not become fully human could wantonly kill people, earths creatures, and advocate for the destruction of Mother Earth – when all these things and beings are a part of our very soul?

In order to be fully human, it’s important to remember that it is alright to have sorrows and be regretful – which is different from guilt which is to be frozen and stuck in place.  To be human is to have compassion, to know how to truly help others – and how to bring changes to world-mind consciousness by our decisions and actions.  Such is our task, to bring about greater spiritual functionality so we can BE a Light for the World.  Another way to describe this energy is HUMANITARIAN which is an experience and an expression of empathy, sharing, listening with concern, and speaking with kindness.

kindness-concepts-3Who are you? Whether you are born a boy or girl or two spirit – everyone has given you expectations about how and what they expect you to be.  But most are never taught that you are a multi-dimensional spirit being here in this world to make a contribution to the good of all. Human beings are born to give. It is your purpose for life. All plants and animals know this and systemically make their contribution to the life force energy.

The purpose of the Society of the Compassionate Heart is to awaken the consciousness so people can become Human Beings and not just creatures.   To be human puts us right back to becoming a Great Being –It is about making choices in generosity, cooperation, helpfulness, cheerful supportive, nurturing kindness, understanding forgiveness, and tolerant patience.


It is about LOVE (Ama Marai)

Holy Mother, Holy Father
I am your child- Ama Marai

I invoke Thee to guide the we- Ama Marai
Hold us, show us, unleash us to the ways of the sacred.

We are elevated in spirit’s presence
And anchored by the power of your love.

Guide our hearts to truly appreciate life and one another.
Train our minds to be in the absence of distraction.

Teach us the joyful obedience that chooses love again and again.
Lead our passion for service to be nourishment for the Mission

Together as family we emerge from the vastness of possibility,
Woven in the Spirit of Love.

Holy Spirit’s breath unfolding in the now
Is the unfoldment of bliss.

The gift of spirit realized with grateful hearts
Filled with unconditional love we are embraced

By the moment of freedom,
The moment where there is no suffering.

We receive this gift, we give this gift
We are free, so let it be.

Ama Marai