The Monastic Journey

The secret to spiritual mastery is to become more of who we already are as spiritual beings.  We did not become who we are today in a year, or two years, or even in ten years.  It took a lifetime to be ourselves.  IMAG0820Who is this self?   To be human is to long for an unfettered union with the divine although we often strive to meet that need, that goal, through friendships, companions, and lovers eventually our soul will turn to the Maker of All Things and rejoice in the possibility of that unconditional, loving union.

We can never eliminate our ego, or personality self, but we can be aware of the voices inside that do not speak to us of love, compassion, forgiveness, and grace.  We can let go of guilt, anger, and self-pity and take the journey of awakened consciousness.  The only thing standing between us and our highest spiritual good is our fear and an acute sense of our own unworthiness.

Monasticism is a joyful journey toward Great Spirit and the sublime heights of spiritual love but it is also an arduous climb out of the shadowed valleys of self-hatred, despair, and childhood psychosis so that we can touch the sublime heights of spiritual love.  taktshang2But if effort were unnecessary we would not need courage, determination, and a passionate, even obsessive love for The Master, for Her or His Grace, or for the ultimate goal of knowing the Self, which is called Enlightenment.

To free ourselves it is necessary to change the past and our story of the past by reviewing the emotional decisions connected with earlier unhappy events.  We do this by redefining what those things mean to us now.  What did we learn?  What treasures did we find?  What do we need to leave in the ashes?  And what shall we carry with us into our future?

On the monastic path we spend a great deal of time noticing our thoughts, our arisings or mental images, emotional reactions, and bodily sensations.  We become so familiar with our inner landscape that we finally wish to release it, forgive it, and find some new adventure on which to embark.  However, our old self has to go with us.  We can’t run.  We can’t hide.  And we can’t destroy any part of us.  starangeAnd why should we?  We are a beautiful, unique, divine spark of the All Spirit Energy.  There has never been anyone just like us…and there never will be again.  Shouldn’t we try to enfold all of our beingness in the loving arms of compassion?  Great Spirit doesn’t make mistakes…and the Eternal Spirit of All Life doesn’t make junk.

So from what are we trying to free ourselves?  Simply put it is the deep seated belief that we are intrinsically bad, wrong, unworthy, and wrong-headed.  When we free ourselves from this misconception into the possibility that somehow we need all of our qualities and the wisdom of all our experiences in order to serve Great Spirit… we will be free indeed.  The monastic life gives us an opportunity to practice accepting ourselves, as we are, right now…and maybe even more importantly to accept others as they are right now.  This is a daily practice because we will be living in intimate community with people we don’t know very well, who have habits we don’t always approve of, and who may be individuals we almost certainly would avoid if we were living in the world.   And yet there they are day after day being themselves… as we continually express being ourselves.  Oh, boy, what a recipe for suffering!  So in monasticism we practice accepting others as they are and continually strive to accept ourselves as we are.11537595-bells-inside-the-buddhist-monastery-square-composition

Acceptance is not approval.  It is ALLOWING.  In allowing we find concern and kindness for others who are also on a great journey to enlightenment, and are struggling with their own doubts, challenges, and suffering.  We find care and compassion for ourselves because we are suffering.  And softly, with great gentleness we surrender to Great Spirit in prayer, pohwas, and the mighty nectar of mantra.  Slowly, bit-by-bit, prayer-by-prayer Enlightenment brightens up the world around us until we are Holy and we are Free!

More About Prayer

Communicating with Spirit

There are two main ways to communicate with Spirit: one is prayer and the other is affirmation. Affirmation is a repetitive thought, or phrase we focus on to convince ourselves that what we are praying for is possible. Prayer is a space of surrendering to Great Spirit’s loving grace because we don’t know what to do in a challenging time in our lives.

It is important to use both of these spirit communication forms every day.
When will you take the time to pray today?
What thoughts will you allow yourself today?
Why do you say you have no time to pray with The Beloved when all of The Beloved’s attention is always focused on you?

We can learn to pray with our whole heart.
With our whole mind.
prayer_poster_350With our spirit voice.
We can learn to pray unceasingly!

Spirit Talks to Us

Our spiritual teachers and guides in the world can communicate with us when we call upon them.  But in order for Great Spirit to talk to us, in order for us to hear the still small voice within, we must release attention to on pain, anger, fear, grief, and disappointments to place it firmly on Great Spirit’s Blessings.

It is necessary to bring our mind and the emotions to a place of silence even if that silence is only for a few moments. For it is only in that place of quiet that we can hear the inner guidance of Great Spirit.

The key to all of this is the act of surrender.

Surrender is allowing.  5prayerIt is trusting that indeed the Great Father hears us, the Great Mother hears us, the Great Weaver hears us, and will answer our prayer if we are only still enough to listen.

After you have a taste of True Spirit, you will want more and more all the time.
Learn to pray unceasingly!
Strive to pray with devotion-
Prayer is the road to spirit truth-
Good works are the vehicle
Meditation is the food-
Mantra is the conversation.

We usually pray and perform good works of Spirit for two reasons.  One is from fear of punishment and the other is from the hope of reward.  But there is a third reason to walk the path of spirit- to pray with a full heart- to listen with an empty mind- and to give to others kindness and blessings- This reason is because it comes from a heart centered on love, joy, peace, and light.  We do good because it is the only thing we wish to do…and because it is the right thing to do.  We are spiritual from love- not fear- and not from hope of reward.  We become the prayer benefactors for the world- hoping to ease the suffering, even if we cannot eliminate it.

prayer-key-to-all

Speak Beloved-
I am ready to hear you.
I am your servant.
Grant me wisdom and understanding
so I may bring comfort to troubled hearts.
Bend my heart that I might follow you
without hope of reward, or fear of punishment.
Beloved, you are my inspiration
and Giver of Light.
You alone can fully instruct me with your desires.
Speak therefore directly to me,
for I am ready to hear you!

The Beloved Speaks-
Prayer is to rejoice in My loving gift of life.
It is to see the world with the eyes of a child.
It is to dance with gladness,
and take delight in each day.
Discover your ability to be open-hearted.
Understand that your prayers
will result in inner peace
and bring joy to many hearts-
For you are my Beloved Child.