Spiritual Bypass

“One of the great dangers of transformational work is that the ego attempts to sidestep deep psychological work by leaping into the transcendent too soon. This is because the ego always fancies itself much more ‘advanced’ than it actually is.”

— Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson

I took a seminar on awakening not too long ago.  One concept that the leader shared was that it was not necessary to learn to love oneself before awakening. The definitions of the words ‘love oneself’ and ‘awakening’ are dependent upon each person’s perception.  Who knows exactly what that phrase means to someone else? However, this leader seemed to think that awakening was all that was needed.

I do know the intent of that thought runs counter to how I have been experiencing my lessons.  The more transformative work that I do with my inner process, the more clear I am about the love of who I truly am.  It just seems to me that removing the blockages produced by the ego’s energy of fear would lend itself to opening up the awakening process more clearly.

“We have no need to teach pure motives to the mind. All that is necessary to make the mind pure is to undo the negative conditioning to which it has been subjected; then we will be left with pure, unconditioned awareness.”

— Eknath Easwaran

It seems sometimes that there is a tendency to skip over psychological work in the search for a spiritual identity. This new identity, some with a different name change, is old cake with new frosting.  The same old beliefs about self, others, and the world are there chugging along.  But now the focus is on the new ‘spiritual’ self as the old self just bubbles along underneath.

If you have listened to one of these ‘teachers’ very carefully, at times you may hear the judgment and defensiveness creep into their voices when they are challenged.  Awakening by itself without the ‘soulwork’ of dealing with negative conditioning from our lives, seems to be a shaky house of cards.  It is tempting to believe that ignoring our stinky old baggage is as easy as a cat covering its poop in the box…but it just doesn’t seem to work that way.

Stinky is as stinky does.  We are all called to clear old conditioning that no longer serves us.  It means feeling the feelings, holding them in the compassionate light of the unconditional love that burns incessantly in our hearts…….that spark of the Divine that is always with us.  And some of us just don’t want to do the work.  We want to believe that we can leap-frog it over into the land of Enlightenment and forever wear the Buddha smile.  I just don’t buy it.

My experience shows me that my life is my path.  Everything I need to clear is within me.  I don’t need to go anywhere to find it.  No one else has the answer.  I am my path.  I just need to work it.  I am both the teacher and the student.

©2010 Andrea Avari Stevens, Ph.D.

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Be water.
If you pour water in a cup,
it takes the shape of the cup …
be fluid.
– Jay-Z
freedigitalphoto.com
Aaaaah, Jay-Z shows another side of himself………. I love his take on the water metaphor…….the flow…….the choice not to control but to allow……..accepting……..the place of peace……as we work to make changes from a vibration of higher consciousness.  We can notice those times when our bodies contract, our stomach clenches and our breathing becomes shallow.  Then we can choose to be fluid.  How are you choosing to flow like water today?   Andrea

“You Can’t Always Get What You Want………”

“You Can’t Always Get What You Want……..

But if you try sometimes you just might find, you get what you need.”  The Rolling Stones had it right all these many years ago.  With all the chatter about The Law of Attraction………some  people are feeling frustrated…..especially in this economy.  They are setting intentions for what they want and are expecting to see the results of manifestation.  Some people feel impatient, some feel like they didn’t do it right.  Some people are just plain confused about the process and others tend to give up.

‘The Secret’ encourages us to put up pictures of the car or house that we want.  We keep looking at the pictures envisioning ourselves driving that beautiful car or in the counting house counting all our money.  But like attracts like.  If our belief systems support old ideas that we really can’t do it or we really aren’t good enough to receive it then we have a problem.  Our conflicted energy in the present moment will not support the dynamic of manifestation.

Or just, maybe, our soul energy capacity of self-awareness is not interested in the experience of having a new car right now.  We decide that we want what we want and it doesn’t appear.  What is up with that?  When we trust in our Inner Essence or our Higher Consciousness or whatever we call it………..we trust that what we need in order to grow is what we get.

Have you ever thought that you really really wanted a certain job?  You thought it was perfect for you and you dreamed about it and knew you would be happy there.  You rocked the interview and just waited for your phone to ring with the good news.  But your phone didn’t ring….. someone else got the call.  It wasn’t you.  And you grieved and maybe whined just a little bit to your friends.  Or maybe it was a relationship that didn’t manifest, or a move that didn’t work out, or a house deal that fell through. More

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride: When the Soul is in the Driver’s Seat

In these days of uncertainty and rapid change, it can feel like we are on a wild ride.  If you remember the Disneyland ride of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride from your childhood, it brings a smile as you warmly reflect on all the high-pitched screams in the darkness as the 1990s motorcar crashed through a wall into the library where MacBadger  is on a ladder with books teetering over your head while you crashed through the fireplace with ashes and sparks of fire flying all around.  (For those who want to remember the good old times, the rest of the ride is described in Wikipedia.)

As a child, I loved this ride.  As soon as I got off the motorcar, I ran to the back of the waiting line.  The ride scared me and I loved it.  It was a way for all of us to test how we could integrate into our developing minds scary events that we knew existed in our world.   Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride was a safe way to learn about handling fear as a child.

Riding in Mr. Toad’s car was beneficial because we  slowly learned that none of it could hurt us.  Somehow the books never hit us, the fire was harmless, the train with its bright light zeroing in on us never hit us. Then we could just scream for the pure pleasure of screaming.  We knew we were safe.

The ride also has teachings for us as an adult moving through this world as it is now.  If our ego….that energetic place of resistance within us to the realization of who we truly are………is driving our car then we are going to fuse with the emotions of anger, fear, and a need to control the external world and the our inner world.  That is all the ego knows.  It’s job is to protect us and it is endlessly trying to accomplish that feat.  To do so, we tend to fall into our stories and languish there. More

A Hit of Heaven: a soul’s journey through illusion

The Reflections Points at the end of each chapter in my book are expanded for discussion on www.ahitofheaven.wordpress.com. Check it out and see what you think………new book on soulful relationships coming soon!!

The Warrior Way of Loving What Blocks Us: Overeating

In Beingness one comes with joy – running Home as that is the Light that beckons our hearts.  Oh, that the path be clear and quick.  Alas, because we are human, the ego in its compassionate way of attempting to protect us has created heavy overcoats of lower vibrational energies that cause us to stumble and fall on our way back to the Source of who we really are.

These heavy overcoats are the beliefs that somehow we are not good enough, that we need other people’s approval, that we cannot and do not trust ourselves on some levels.  These life-smothering veneers cause us to seek our lost power in comforting foods, material goods, and addictions.   We become disconnected from our Inner Essence, that which we really are.  We end up falling asleep at times and experiencing the pain that comes from separation from our Truth.

And so we must learn the Warrior Way of Loving each obstacle in our path; each suffocating overcoat must be dissolved into Light.  The old Way of the Warrior was to constantly fight the blockages.  Fighting them is not the answer.  The overcoated blockages seem to have 99,999 lives.  Loving them is.  This is the new way of the Warrior.  More

Trusting the Self

In a continuation of my article “Look in the Mirror: your teacher awaits you” I was moved to respond to a particular comment. The thought expressed concerned a common behavior response to the content in our lives: we continue to look outside of ourselves for direction because we don’t know how to trust ourselves.

What does it really mean to “trust ourselves?” What does it mean to “trust the Universe?” Are we aware of the different levels of consciousness within us that we move among during any amount of time? Do we recognize when we are “in the flow” and feeling peaceful? Do we also recognize when we are operating from an energy level of fear which causes us to block the flow of higher energy? As we move through our process of self-realization sometimes we are operating from the lower energies and sometimes we flow in the higher energies. More

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