Eckhart Tolle’s Weekly Reminder

So really what it comes down to, it’s God. Wherever you look, it’s God appearing as this, that, that…and what you really love and appreciate in each form is the divine formless out of which each form comes. But to be able to sense that you have to sense it in yourself first. And that is seeing the beauty in everything, that’s really what it means.  Eckhart Tolle

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.

On The Path To Self-Acceptance or Who is your very best friend in the whole wide world that will never ever leave you?

When we realize that we are more than our human selves, we recognize a part of us that feels “in the zone” at times in our lives.  It is a moment when we feel connected to something beyond ourselves.  This moment may occur when we are out walking in nature, hearing the waves crashing on the beach, when we look in another’s eyes, and a thousand other moments that fill us with wonder and awe at the miracle of life.  We become ‘in sync’ with an energy that expands us, opens our hearts in a joyful feeling, creates an intuitive knowing within us that the material world is not all there is.

There is something more to us….we can sense it……not with our usual five senses of tasting, smelling, seeing with our eyes, hearing with our ears, touching with our bodies……all these senses transform beyond themselves.  We all know this place in our being at some times in our lives.  It is when we are awake to the truth of who we are.

And then we fall back into our regular human mind.  We experience judgment of ourselves.  And we know the feeling of judgment of others.  We know the place of fear in all its many disguises.  We see this fear woven into our many belief systems about ourselves and our lives. More

Unconditional Gentleness

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“Unconditional confidence really means unconditional gentleness,
and yes,
we can train so that we are gentle with ourselves in the face of whatever is happening.”
Pema Chodron
Wow……what a great definition of the process of being confident……we are confident because we are unconditionally gentle with ourselves no matter what.  It is the ‘no matter what’ that challenges us.  We can do it some times and with some things but when the pedal hits the metal…….we can fall right off the gentleness train. So let’s bring this reminder more deeply into our awareness…….no matter what…….we can ask ourselves…..am I being my very own best friend right now?  Andrea

photo courtesy of http://www.freedigitalphoto.net

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