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.

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Creating Tribe

Tribal Values
The energy of tribal being-ness, family, and community is based upon shared and common values.  For thousands of years it was the common values of tribal cultures that contributed to their survival as a people. Their common goal was life, abundant life, the continuation of their people through their children. When a people truly become a tribe or community, there is a common understanding of values. What do tribes or communities value? Men?   Women?   War?   Peace?  Their superiority? Land?  Sacred sites?  Children?  A way of life?  Elders?   The Past?  The Earth?

Dongria-Kondh-tribe-membe-006Most tribes named themselves THE People which usually amounts to “us” and “them” which often results in domination, war, and control. So, it is time to come to a place of creating a new spiritual pathway that is not THE Way, but A Way of understanding values as energy and living a life of wholeness.

Core Values
A core value is a way in which we make decisions in our lives. Core values might shift or evolve but the underlying foundation does not change. Maybe at one time in your life you declared- “I am giving my life to Jesus.” Maybe you still do. But perhaps at some point the religious leadership of your community did not make positive demonstrations of authenticity so you lost faith in that church, but the core values you acquired remained. What are the core values of the Great Master, Jesus? To love one another and do good for others even if they hate you. His message said “Leave the desires of the world and follow the greater good of the Spirit. Optimized-Core-ValuesYour core values did not change if you left a church community but where and how you now express those values may have transformed. Perhaps you have even begun to seek a community that appears to make a greater demonstration of your core values.

Surface Values
There is a whole set of surface values that come into play within communities- dress codes, types of music, who is tithing and who isn’t, declaring what is sacred and what is not, fitting in or being weird, I like you or I don’t like you, socializing or being alone, etc. These values often change. Relationships change: in families, spiritual paths, organizations, and interactions. In our world, one person or group usually needs to be right and another needs to wrong so that we can feel righteous. This is what political parties, sports teams, nations, and various religious dogmas are all about.

A New TribeSS_97340837_Kids3_200_200_all_100_c1
The Path of Spirit (Christ nature, Buddha nature, Light nature, Great Beingness) is beyond right or wrong.  Each of us at some time must choose for the highest values we understand and wish to practice in order to give our lives meaning.  What might we do to create a post-modern tribe?

A tribe needs to have certain core ethics, values, and understandings. Here are a few possibilities upon which we could build a tribe, a community, a new more humane world.

What if-
We remembered we are born from the Mother and are grateful for our gift of life?
We responded to suffering with true compassion instead of pity or sympathy?
We work so every being can have clean water, fresh air, food, and a safe home?
Children have lots of hugs and kisses so they know they are loved?
Women saw themselves and each other as sacred beings?
Men sought for a place to belong and contribute to all life on earth?
LGBT people discovered and celebrated their unique inner beauty in order to create peace for all beings?
Adults listened to children so they could understand and nurture the beauty of their potential and abilities?
Women understood they can only flourish in unity with their sisters?
Men expected themselves to rise to and act from their noble nature?
LGBT let go of the rebellious child to unify as one heart, as one people, for sacred purpose?
We learn to nurture, protect and honor all life as precious?
We remembered that we are spirit beings with the power to make things better for others through our prayers?

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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.