Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Fuel for Awakening

We pray to go from unconsciousness to consciousness. That is why we do not berate ourselves or allow ourselves to become frustrated with our failures. We know that most of our actions every day are generated from unconscious patterns. We know this, as people on the path. So we are not surprised when we do something and we think, “Wow, that didn’t serve me very well. There is that old pattern again, another round for me.”

Our failures are the fuel for awakening. That is how we awaken. When something comes in and it does not feel good, then we get to self-reflect, to see how we have served ourselves or others, or how we have not served ourselves or others. We get to see those places so we can give ourselves a chance to do better. That is the gift of life; that is the thing we do all the time.

So we are grateful for the epiphanies that come to us, for the consciousness that opens to us. I never berate myself when I fail. Enlightenment is in the moment that we bring light to it.

(September 2014)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

What Does Sustained Practice Look Like?

What it looks like is that in the moment of challenge or struggle, you take the time to stop. You must stop everything.

First, bring in the breath. Become mindful of breathing in and breathing out so you can feel and so energy is flowing. Then, bring yourself to the awareness that it is all about you; it is not about blaming someone else or the circumstances in which you find yourself. In that moment feel whatever you need to feel because it is only about you and your breathing, and that is what is called, in the yogic tradition, tapas; that’s the practice.  Do not keep moving, do not keep racing time, do not find something else to do,  do not say, “I’ll sit later” or “I’ll feel later” or “I’ll think about this later.”

Really stop.  Stop, and go within.

But the practice also looks like this on a sustained basis: You get your meditation cushion out and sit down, and you consent to spending time with God. You breathe, you meditate, you do your internal practice, and you may also recite prayers. That stimulates the practice, and it keeps you in the flow of practice.  

That is what it looks like. It is regular, like brushing your teeth. It is built into your life.  As it grows in strength, it is the single most important energy for your own soul.
(February 2007)

My practice all seems to be about the same old stuff.

Let’s not say that; let’s not say it’s the same old thing. Let’s not put it in a place where we feel victimized or unhopeful about it.

You are recognizing and seeing the potential for healing that keeps showing itself to you in the same place, over and over again. But do not say, “It’s just the same old thing,” because we are not going to trivialize it or minimize it. See it as the fuel to build your fire of the desire to be beautiful and peaceful. So, it is good to have a lot of fuel.

Keep working with it. It’s not over until it is over, and it does not matter how long the sequences last in life. It does not matter, even if it is life long or all the next life long. All that matters is that you say, “I’m sticking with it; however long it takes me, I’m sticking with it.”  

(April 2007)

Maresha's next blog will be published Tuesday, June 30, 2015.

Messages of Light is published by the Sanctuary of Universal Light on Snow Dragon Mountain in Meredith, New Hampshire. A snail mail edition is available bi-monthly, free of charge. www.snowdragonsanctuary.com

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Practices for a Good and Simple Life

In spiritual awakening there is a gradual unfolding of deeper and more subtle awareness. All of the impulses that come to you, come from Spirit. There is not a thought that is your own. Spirit individuates through each of us as we express ourselves.

Nothing outside of you is outside of Spirit. In other words, everything that comes to you comes from Spirit. With this realization, the need to control the situations in life and the fear of not doing the right thing will begin to dissolve. As you build trust in Spirit, serendipitous and synchronistic events happen more frequently. Being in the right place at the right time is the result of trusting this awareness. All of the infinite energy of the universe is now available to you. It is limitless and unbounded, and it is always there. By releasing the blocks and limitations of ego that keep you from the light of Spirit, you accept the path of freedom.

These words sound good, but how do you remove these limitations and blocks? How do you ground these ideas into a practice that becomes the basis for a good and simple life? How do you surrender to Spirit?  First, hold the awareness that nothing is outside of Spirit.  When you feel a reaction to anyone or anything, know that your spiritual work is at hand. And then—

1. Be in witness. Allow yourself to see what arises.  Neutrally observe even if you are in pain or disharmony mentally, emotionally or physically.  Relax your body. Let go. If you are reacting against something, you are out of center. As soon as your mind starts to argue or defend, stop it. Return to the breath and relax. Return again and again to the neutral witness.

2. Accept yourself when you see your weaknesses, and do not go into self-rejection. Just witness. So you get angry, so you are stubborn, and so you are self-righteous. You are, so deal with it, and stop thinking that you are something that you are not. You are not above or beyond these places; it is how you react to them that you must work with.

3. Own what is yours. When you find those places, own your anger, own your projections, own your stubbornness, and they will then become your points of power. Stop blaming someone or something outside of yourself.

4. Let those places burn through completely; that is tapas. You have now been able to go into witness, you have seen your reaction, and you are going to own it. You still feel threatened and angry, or whatever. The energy is still there, but you are responding to the energy differently than before. Tapas is purification; it’s active and it burns. You may feel heat; you may feel your heart pounding, your blood pumping, and any number of things as the emotion runs through you.

Sit with it. As you sit with it, you are still going to want to enlighten him or her, and to show him or her that your way is better, but you do not, because you own what is yours. You want the world to know that you are right, and you are sure that you are right, but no one is ever going to know or care because you are going to burn up that self-righteousness. That is tapas. You are never going to be recognized for what you think you should be recognized for. That is tapas. You are never going to be understood in the way you feel you should be understood. That is tapas. You are never going to get what you feel that you really deserve. That is tapas. Be humble. You just did something really big, and no one said thank you. That’s tapas.

Sometimes it takes more time to process those places through, but we don’t care. We stay with the stimulation until such time as we can let it go. We process it until we can return to peace.

5. Be grateful for a small victory. Be in appreciation for whatever small gains you are able to realize. Do not go around thinking about what you are supposed to be like as a spiritual person. Be content to do this humble work in a small but powerful way, in increments as Spirit sees fit to bring it to you. That is humility. That is the practice.

6. Be patient with the process and let go of an unrealistic desire for completion. Persevere. You have to be able to be willing to be incomplete and to be okay with both your shortcomings and strengths. You are a work in progress and you have everything you need. Accept how you are right now; take it or leave it. If you do not take it, then you are resisting it. If you resist it, then you are doing battle with your own soul again and it comes back on you. You will lose all your precious and vital energy in this fight. You will have a drain of energy, and you will not know why. Allow yourself to be in the process. How you are in the moment is what you bring to it. Stand up front with all of your imperfections, and go forth.
(April 2002)

Maresha's next blog will be published Tuesday, June 16, 2015.

Messages of Light is published by the Sanctuary of Universal Light on Snow Dragon Mountain in Meredith, New Hampshire. A snail mail edition is available bi-monthly, free of charge. www.snowdragonsanctuary.com