Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Longing for Union

I have just read a book about a woman who hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. As she hiked the trail, she reflected deeply on her life. At the end of it all, she’d gotten really strong and felt transformed. I’ve always been attracted to stories about people who transform through physical challenge, and yet, I don’t seem to be able to make any of that happen for myself.

It does not matter what you set up as the metaphor by which to transform. It makes no difference. It is that you set one up. It is that you put yourself in a situation of your choosing that keeps you in relationship with yourself and God. Consciously. If you do not do that, it will happen to you unconsciously, and when it happens unconsciously, you will say, “Well, I didn’t choose this. This is just happening to me.” But we really did choose it. We just want to blame somebody else for our problems and for our pain.

It has come to me that perhaps the plan for me is just to have a beautiful marriage.

Well, of course the plan for you is to have a beautiful marriage! And look at the progress you have made. Your longing is for union. The longing, the questions that arise—should I do a vision quest, should I do this, should I do that—they are all ways in which you are really just saying, I want to be closer to God. And so, pray. When you make your prayer, say, I feel you within me, I feel you in my heart, I see with your eyes, I hear with your ears, I speak with your words, I live with you, you live within me, I live within you. Just go into your heart so that you summon spirit and go ever deeper. You are pulling yourself through with your spiritual focus and will continue to do so.
(March 2013)

Maresha's next blog will be published January 6, 2015.

Messages of Light is published by the Sanctuary of Universal Light on Snow Dragon Mountain in Meredith, New Hampshire. www.snowdragonsanctuary.com

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Spiritual Path is for Warriors

God is such a personal experience, and your level of faith is such a personal inner experience. Each person has to forge his or her own way to God and to find, through the process of life and through trial and error, how to get there. The paradox is that we are already there. I want to read the following because it is such an incredible prayer. This prayer is a call for protection.

Protectors of heaven, earth and humanity and the Four Directions, please come quickly. You fiercely protect the profound, brilliant path. You hold the vitality of life in your hands. You constantly watch over the progress of all warriors on the journey of awakenment. At this time of plague, famine, and war, please come mercifully and put an end to all such obstructing discord. When we practitioners of open heart become fearful, quickly give us the potency and strength to rediscover our fearless nature. Great Protectors of Awakenment, in the universe of unseen phenomena you reside, constantly available and committed to assisting the genuine hearted warrior. Now I call upon you to assist me in my practice. Please help dispel obstacles in daily life. Quickly come into my mind and heart. Remove doubt and hesitation and allow me to experience the ground of basic goodness. Courageously protect the path. Guardians, do not forget your commitment. Dispel outer, inner, and secret obstacles. (Sakyong Jampal Trinley Dradul)

If you have forgotten that the spiritual path is for warriors, and if your warrior nature is not there, then your path will be very difficult. You will not have the fire within you that you need to make the choices and decisions that are in front of you with conviction, intention and power. And so, without intention, our prayers are meaningless. If we pray, and we pray, and we pray, but in our prayer we are really just wanting and asking and have forgotten how to make a commitment to ourselves that will be of equal measure to our intention, then we get a neutral result. Prayer without intention is like trying to breathe without air.

What is the intention of your prayer? And what comes after an intention? A vow. A prayer, an intention, a promise, and then a vow. We do that to pull ourselves up. If you are scaling an ice wall, you put your pick in so you can pull yourself up. You better make that pick strong, and you better drive it in hard so that it can hold your weight and lift you to the next level. Without that, you will fall back down. And if you do not put the pick in with all the power you have, it will not hold and the ice will crack.

So this prayer is very beautiful. It is fiery and it reminds one that one is a spiritual warrior.

(March 2014)

Maresha's next blog will be published December 30, 2014.

Messages of Light is published by the Sanctuary of Universal Light on Snow Dragon Mountain in Meredith, New Hampshire. www.snowdragonsanctuary.com

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Purification on the Spiritual Path

Purification is required on the spiritual path. The soul does not need to be purified; the soul is completely pure. The purpose of purification is to purify the obscurations. The obstacles that stand in the way of the soul come about through karmic accumulation, the result of  your thoughts, words, deeds and actions over many, many lifetimes, including this one. All of our thoughts, words, deeds and actions have a cumulative effect which is very powerful and which comes back to us tenfold.

Because we have so little time to be meticulous in our attention to everything we are thinking, feeling, and saying, we want to keep ourselves deeply absorbed in prayer, meditation, sacred movement, and in chanting the Name. Always keep something pure in your mind: a pure sound, a pure chant, a prayer that you wake up with in the morning and carry with you all day long, no matter what you are doing, no matter where you are, and no matter who you are with. Keep it with you always so you have something to return to. It could be the sound of Om, it could be the sound of Hum, it could be the sound of AH, it could be the name of Jesus, it could be the name of Mary or Ram; it could be a longer chant or one of the holy prayers such as the 23rd Psalm. It can be anything to help you purify your thoughts and the quality of your mind, and to free yourself from perpetual, cyclical, habitual, unconscious, repetitious actions and patterns.

For the most part, you do not even know what these patterns are. They are unconscious within you. And if you do know, it does not mean that you change. Any light that is shed on your patterns is no good unless you do something to form new habits and patterns that disassemble and burn through and purify and transform the old pattern It is the only way; there isn't any other way. This purification can only be generated from your own heart's desire to do no harm, to be kind, to be simple, and to develop Bodhicitta, the pure heart of the Buddha. Bodhicitta is developed through purification so that the heart naturally wants to help, it naturally is engaged, and it naturally does what needs to be done for the best of all. Purification is constant and it is continuous; there are no breaks. When one loves God, one will do anything for that light.

(March 2014)

Maresha's next blog will be published December 16, 2014.

Messages of Light is published by the Sanctuary of Universal Light on Snow Dragon Mountain in Meredith, New Hampshire. www.snowdragonsanctuary.com