Oneness: Part 1

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“The Tao gives birth to One.
One gives birth to Two.
Two gives birth to Three.
Three gives birth to all things.

Ordinary men hate solitude.
But the Master makes use of it,
Embracing his aloneness, realizing
He is one with the whole universe.”
-Lao Tzu

All things are One, there is no separation between anything you perceive. This may seem counterintuitive, especially considering there appears to be a multiplicity of different things.

This is only relatively true, however, and is not the absolute Truth. Relative truth is wonderful for everyday activities, but for those philosophically inclined wanting to know the deeper truths, this is an important lesson to learn.

The quote I started with is from the Tao Te Ching, written around the 6th century BCE. Although the technical definition of “Tao” is more akin to “way,” or “path,” it is often interpreted in Western culture as “God.”

What the author, commonly referred to as Lao Tzu, or “old master,” is trying to express here is completely beyond words. He even starts the Tao Te Ching by saying:  “The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal Name.”

And yet he goes on for another 80 chapters trying to describe what the Tao is. In the initial quote I presented, I would like to briefly explain what Lao Tzu is trying to express.

“The Tao gives birth to One—” this means when you give the Tao a name, or try to define it, you have taken it from its infinite and formless state, and turned it into a thing. It is therefore no longer undefined, and has become One.

“One gives birth to Two—” when you have one thing, you also then have its opposite, and therefore have two. This is the beginning of good and evil for a more Western perspective. Before Two, there was no such thing as good or evil, which is why at the most fundamental Truth, good and evil don’t exist.

“Two gives birth to Three—” when you have Two, or good and evil, you then create: good, evil, and good & evil. That is Three, and to simplify that into an algebraic equation, imagine good as being “A,” while evil is “B.” So you have A, B, A+B, making three. If this doesn’t make sense, don’t worry, this is probably the least important point so far.

“Three gives birth to all things—” once you have Three, you can create an endless variety of things. Another more common translation in this passage says that the “Three gives birth to the 10,000 things.”

Which is what is trying to be expressed in another Taoist quote here:

“When the Ten Thousand things are viewed in their Oneness, we return to the Origin and remain where we have always been.”
-Sen T’sen

You see, we have never actually left that state of Oneness, which is ultimate Truth. We only imagine that we are separate and isolated from everything else.

Perhaps an analogy would help elucidate this idea. Imagine yourself in a house of mirrors, by yourself. There are a myriad of mirrors surrounding you, reflecting numerous images of yourself at different angels and locations.

It would seem that there was a vast number of different “yous,” while in fact they are just reflections of the one and only “you.”

This is how reality operates, we have never left the Tao (or God), but the multiplicity of mirrors creates the belief that we have left our state of Oneness. These mirrors are relatively true, because we can see our likeness in them, but at the most fundamental level, there really is only One.

I had planned on using a number of other quotes in this blog to reiterate my point, but I went on longer than I anticipated analyzing the first quote, so I’ll save those for my next blog, “Oneness: Part 2.” I hope you see the irony in me splitting this message into two parts 😉

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The Time is Now

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There is no such thing as time. The future is never going to happen, and the past isn’t what you think it was.

Perhaps this sounds like an absurd argument to be making, or maybe you have begun to accept this premise. Time only exists in this moment, the now, and there will be no time when it is not the present.

“Forever is comprised of nows.”

-Emily Dickinson

Poetry and art are often more aligned with Truth than science and math. Emily Dickinson’s poetry is no exception, when she hints at this deep Truth.

Forever, or time, is entirely comprised of now moments. When the “future” actually occurs, it will still be in the present moment. If you were to travel forward in time, you would arrive in exactly this same now.

The past wasn’t something that occurred a long or short time ago. When it happened, it was happening in this same present time frame. This is why something that happened years ago can seem as if it just happened yesterday.

“I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.”

-Alan Watts

Great suffering arises from these delusions—that we will be happy once we get fill in the blank. That we were better off when we had fill in the blank again.

Living waiting for the future or reminiscing about the past keep us from being happy here and now, which is all there is. The future and past mean nothing, because they don’t actually exist.

“Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.”

-Eckhart Tolle

For those of you familiar with Eckhart Tolle, I’m sure you have been waiting for me to include a quote from him; because I imagine you’ve been thinking what I’ve been saying thus far is very similar to his work. It’s true, I have learned a great deal from him, but he is certainly not the first to speak about “the Now.”

Now, let me begin with a little background on him for those who aren’t familiar with him. His first name wasn’t actually “Eckhart” at birth. He took that name when he experienced his moment of illumination, because he was no longer the same person. Although I’ve never actually heard this from him, I think he almost certainly derived the name Eckhart from Mister Eckhart, a 13th and 14th century German mystic.

Another point to make quickly is that his last name is actually pronounced “Toll-e,” with the “e” at the end emphasized. I often hear it pronounced “Toll,” which isn’t correct.

One of Eckhart’s favorite topics of discussion is “the Now,” with a capital “N.” He does this for a very important reason, and it’s worth mentioning now (because when else would I be able to mention it???).

Generally, in religious texts, if something is capitalized, it signifies something transcendent and ineffable. It goes beyond anything you can rationally comprehend, and is completely inexpressible in language.

Take note whenever you see someone capitalizing a word that generally isn’t capitalized, because they are hinting at something metaphysical. Tolle capitalizes “the Now” because he is essentially saying that it is holy, and deserves our reverence.

Were we to truly comprehend the significance of the present moment, we would honor it with our adoration by literally bowing down. This is Tolle’s point, by elevating the status of a mere word like now, and capitalizing it.

The now moment is where God exists alongside you, both within and without, both in time and outside of it entirely. Wayne Dyer, a contemporary of Tolle, has said before, “If you knew who walked beside you at all times, on the path that you have chosen, you could never experience fear or doubt again.”

Precisely true! Much like life, it is a paradox: the more present we are in the now moment, the more we don’t have to worry about the future or the past. Everything seems to happen almost like magic when we are aware and conscious of the present.

Synchronicities practically fall into your lap, and things that would cause stress to others simply don’t affect you any longer. Worrying about the future or reminiscing about the past will only do one thing: ruin the present moment. Which is all that exists in your life, so that is no small matter.

This is the point that Jesus (or Yeshua) was making when he said the next and final quote I will be presenting here (and now):

“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.”

-Matthew 6:34

Soul Mates

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I often hear these terms thrown around rather haphazardly, and I wanted to clarify what my understanding of “soul groups,” “soul mates,” and “soul twins” are.

Perhaps by just hearing these terms you already have an intuitive understanding of what they mean. It is actually quite logical, and there is a hierarchy in the terms.

An analogy might be useful to start with, so that you can more easily picture how this whole process operates. Imagine a tree with leaves and branches—this is how your soul operates.

At the beginning, there was no differentiation between any of us; we were One, with a capital ‘O.’ Then we started to split from God, Source, or whatever you want to call it. From there we kept dividing like branches on a tree, until we finally became our present Self, which for this metaphor is going to be a leaf.

Now, back to the original terms I introduced at the beginning of this blog; let us start with soul twins, also known as “twin flames.” This is term that many people aren’t aware of, and is usually confused with soul mates.

There is only one soul twin for each of us, whereas there are multiple soul mates. The soul group is the largest of the three, and if you have known anyone in your life for longer than 15 minutes or so, and felt a connection to, they are more than likely in your soul group.

Soul mates are closer, and these are usually your friends, family, and coworkers. Finally, there is the soul twin, which people are usually the most concerned about finding.

I would like to reiterate that all of this is my current understanding of these terms, and I am not claiming this is the final definition for any of these terms. If you have a different understanding, please let me know by commenting below!

There are a few other things I would like to bring up while I’m on the topic of soul mates and such. Your soul twin is not going to make your life complete. I can’t possibly stress this enough. If you are searching for something outside yourself, you won’t find it until you realize you are already complete as you are, and don’t need anyone to fulfill your life.

In fact, you likely won’t be able to find your soul twin until you find happiness within. It is a paradox, that what you are looking for won’t appear until you realize you’ve had it the entire time.

This isn’t always the case, however, because it is possible to find your soul twin while you are still in internal conflict. When this happens, they will likely become one of your worst enemies, because they are reflecting back all the qualities you refuse to accept in yourself.

Another possibility is that your soul twin isn’t even incarnated with you on the Earth right now. You generally don’t find your soul twin actually, because all of us enjoy incarnating with different people, creating new and exciting lives that make our souls rich with experience.

Wouldn’t it become boring around the hundredth lifetime if we always kept coming back with the exact same people? Everyone is different in this regard, because some people like consistency, but others like variety.

A good test for you to tell if you generally have the same people in your lifetimes is if you enjoy watching the same movie, or reading the same book, over-and-over again. If you enjoy new things more often than not, then it’s likely your soul likes to change things up as well.

Nevertheless, even if your soul twin is here with you on Earth, it doesn’t mean they will be your romantic partner. Your soul twin can be a family member, or just a dear friend.

They may stick around for the rest of your life once you’ve found them, or they may only be in your life for a day. There are no hard-and-fast rules for these things, because we are essentially making it up as we go along in life.

Hopefully this brief overview cleared up some of the common misconceptions about soul mates. I am interested to hear your take on these things though, so please feel free to comment now! 😉

Hiatus

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Thanks for continuing to visit this blog! I realize I haven’t made a posting in quite a while – a month or so – but I have no intention of quitting. Unfortunately, I have been extremely busy with a number of projects I am working on, and have been forced to take a hiatus from blogging. I am starting my return, however, so please don’t despair and lose hope!

If you are curious, I recently started a new job as a “social media strategist” for 12 different companies. That has taken up most of my time, but I am also working on another big project. I am editing a book that is going to be published titled, “The Last Alchemist.”

When I am finished editing that book, I need to get back to working on my own book, titled the same as this blog, “Mysticism in Suburbia.” There was a writer’s workshop I attended this summer sponsored by Hay House publishers, and with that I am allowed to submit a book proposal to them. Normally you would need an agent to submit a book proposal to them, but because of this class, I am competing with other authors for a few prizes, which include publishing deals. This is due towards the end of December, so I still have some time.

Once I am done with the book proposal, I am going to be teaching a weekly spiritual class at a church in Colorado, Unity of Boulder. It will be based off my book, and I plan to take a few chapters each session and explore them in detail for the students. This will start sometime after the new year, and will last for a couple months.

If anyone has any suggestions for any of these projects, please feel free to offer them here! I hope to hear from you soon, and I will try to put out a blog a week for the next few months while I am working on these interesting developments 😉

Be Bullied

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While watching three kids play on their bikes and skateboards, one of the kids fell down, and the other two started laughing at him. Afterwards, one of them even said to the kid that had fallen down, “You’re a bitch.”

I’m sure we have all experienced this to some degree in our lives—probably much worse. But as it was happening, I couldn’t help but think that although I haven’t had anything like that happen to me for a long time, I found myself wanted to save him from the other two.

Growing up doesn’t mean that you will necessarily escape bullying, as most adults will tell you. It is possible to grow out of it, however, and I believe this is possible for anyone, no matter how badly they are bullied.

This is going to be the main thesis for this blog: It is possible to end the cycle of bullying, and I am grateful for the people who helped teach this to me (by picking on me). I rarely experience any type of bullying in my life any longer—this wasn’t always the case, however, as I used to be bullied almost constantly as a kid.

This helped me grow into the person I am today though, and I hold no grudges against those who picked on me, especially in school. In fact, if I could send a grownup version of myself back in time, I wouldn’t change a thing.

There was actually a very specific incident where I ended the cycle of being picked on—I can remember it like it was yesterday, even though it was over 10 years ago.

It happened while I was in training for the US Coast Guard. Military people tend to be even worse about picking on each other, and a few of them recognized a weakness in me, and were going to exploit it.

For the first couple of months this went on, and I remember thinking, “Not this again…” Today I’ve realized that lessons in life will continue to repeat until you’ve learned what you needed to. It is similar to being held back in school, and having to repeat the same grade again.

I hadn’t learned my bullying lesson, and so it was showing up again in my life—this time even stronger. Well, one day I had enough! I was being made fun of in front of the entire class, when something just ‘switched’ inside me.

Don’t worry, this isn’t a story about me snapping and beating someone up (or worse). It was actually quite civil. All that I did was finally get the courage to stand up for myself, because I was tired of the old pattern repeating in my life.

There was no way I could have made myself do this, it just happened, and once it did things have never been the same for me.

As I was being made fun of in front of everyone by one person in particular, I started to do the same thing he was doing to me. I had always been too shy to fight back, but I knew that I had to take some action to correct my habit of accepting bullying.

So I started making fun of him in front of everyone. I think he was surprised, because I had always just taken it.

Needless to say, as I started returning his insults, the classroom started to immediately shift. They started laughing less at his jokes, and they began to laugh more at mine.

By the end of the conversation, that class literally applauded me for the show they had just seen between me and the other guy. I hadn’t intended on doing any of that, I just wanted to fix the bullying in my life.

After that day, I became really good at comebacks when people would insult me. And if there is one thing a bully doesn’t want to encounter, it is a victim who no longer views themself as a victim, and is confident enough to stand up for themself.

Funny thing about this story, the guy who had been picking on me in the Coast Guard actually ended up becoming a good friend of mine. We even continued to joke with each other regularly, but it was not one-sided any longer, and we both actually enjoyed the back-and-forth banter.

Looking back on my bullying experiences, I can see that this friend of mine was an angel disguised in devil’s clothing. He helped me through a terrible phase of my life, which I couldn’t seem to break.

With some perspective on my life now, I am truly grateful for the seemingly awful things that were going on in my life. Not everyone can say this, and I completely understand if reading this you don’t feel the same way.

All I can offer is my experience, and hope that one day each of us can see how subtly, yet wonderfully designed life is 😉

Life’s a Dance

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“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”

-Friedrich Nietzsche

 

Picture yourself dancing with a partner at a festival or gathering. Seems simple enough, right?

Now imagine you have closed your eyes, and somehow forgotten you had a dance partner. The dance continues because it is routine for you, but you now think you are dancing solo.

There are times that you feel as if you are being spun around in circles, or that you are being flung about wildly. Your dance partner no longer exists to you, however, so you don’t understand why this keeps happening to you.

Not surprisingly (for those of you who regularly read my blog), this is a metaphor for life I wanted to share today. Life is the dance, and we are the dancer—what does that make the invisible partner though?

A myriad of words could be used to describe what the dancer is, but let us first explore this metaphor more thoroughly before I attempt to answer that question.

Let us picture this scene once more: You are dancing a fairly complicated and active dance with a partner. This dance has been rehearsed by both of you before, but something goes terribly wrong.

By some form of temporary amnesia, you forget you have a dance partner; they are either invisible to you, or you refuse to open your eyes to see them.

Imagine the confusion this would create as the dance continues. Your partner is throwing you around, but you don’t know where this force is coming from because you can’t see it.

It would likely create a great deal of frustration on your part, because it would be nearly impossible to figure out what is happening to you. Even if you couldn’t see your partner, however, there would be indirect means of determining their existence.

Let’s explore what this means for you in this life…

We are, in fact, just like the dancer that continues the dance while forgetting they had a partner. Life will “throw us curveballs” sometimes, and we blame life as opposed to looking at ourselves.

Life is not something forced upon us, helpless to external circumstances. Rather, we are the dancer creating the dance, with a partner we blame when we don’t understand what is going on.

Our partner is merely acting out what we rehearsed though; we just suffered temporary amnesia of their existence.

 

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,

Love like you’ll never be hurt,

Sing like there’s nobody listening,

And live like it’s heaven on earth.”

-William W. Purkey

 

So back to my question: Who or what does the invisible partner represent in this metaphor?

Hopefully you’ve already come up with your own interpretations, because thinking for yourself is the greatest gift anyone could ever teach you. If you haven’t thought about it yet, take a moment to consider what the dance partner could represent given your belief system.

Although it is likely “God” is an answer that came to a lot of you, I would argue it isn’t. Let me explain … by labeling the partner as God, it resolves you of responsibility for your life.

God is not in charge of our lives in the way people generally think. We have been given that gift— sometimes a curse—but we are all “Gods,” we just don’t realize it.

The dancer in this analogy is not God therefore, it is our higher Self. We rehearsed this dance before starting this lifetime with our Self (with a capital ‘S’), and yet we panic or get angry when the dance seems to get out of control.

We forget that we have a partner though, which always has our best interest in mind. If something is happening in your life right now that seems to be too much to handle, remember this: This is the final performance of the dance—we have been rehearsing this, and we know everything we need to.

Treating life as if it is something you chose will give you the confidence to continue the dance, even when you can’t remember the entire sequence of movements.

When the time is right, you will remember 😉

Golden Rule

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“Zigong asked, ‘Is there one word that one can act upon throughout the course of one’s life?’ The Master said, ‘Is not reciprocity such a word? What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.'”

-Confucius: Analects 15:23

 

Five hundred years before Christ, Confucius transmitted the Golden Rule, “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.”

Some people take issue with the way the quote is worded because it is a negative quote—in the sense that he is saying to NOT do what you would NOT want done to yourself. By a simple power of deduction, however, one can realize that the opposite must necessarily be true as well.

 

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

Luke 6:31

 

This is the more recognized Golden Rule from the New Testament, saying essentially the same thing. Practically every religion and philosophy since the beginning of recorded history has espoused this idea in one form or another. In this blog, I will be interspersing a few more quotes from various religions to elucidate this message.

 

“Do to all men as you would wish to have done unto you; and reject for others what you would reject for yourselves.”

-Muhammad

 

There is one thing that these sacred texts fail to mention, however, and that is what happens when you follow through with the advice. It actually seems selfish, but when you give people the respect you wish for yourself, it makes YOU FEEL BETTER!

This may seem counterintuitive if you’ve never explored this idea, because our society teaches us that in order to feel good, we need to get ahead in life—not help others get where we want to be.

 

“Do not do to others what you do not wish done to yourself; and wish for others too what you desire and long for, for yourself—this is the whole of Dharma, heed it well.”

-Vedas

 

I have a real-life analogy for how this works, which will hopefully illustrate the Golden Rule on a less abstract level, and make it more practical.

When I first began working out at a gym, I really didn’t enjoy it. I did it because I knew it was good for me, but while exercising I didn’t find it much fun. After completing the workout, I would feel much better, and be happy that I had gone through with it though.

Similarly, when we first begin treating people as we would like to be treated, it may not be enjoyable. We may even resent the other person because we are judging them, and feel like they don’t deserve to be treated with kindness.

Once we are finished interacting with them though, we will likely regret if we didn’t treat them well, and will feel good if we have treated them respectfully. This is the beginning of learning how it is wonderfully selfish to abide by the Golden Rule.

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To bring this back to the working out analogy, I found that the more I exercised the more I started to enjoy it in the moment, and not just feel good once it was done and over with. I started to get excited even before going, whereas before I was begrudgingly completing the workout because I knew it would be good for me.

If any of you have been through this before, you know exactly what I am talking about. This doesn’t have to begin and end with exercising or treating people right; it can apply to eating healthy, learning a new skill, or anything else you can think of that you know is right for you.

 

“All men shrink from suffering, and all love life; remember that you too are like them; make your own self the measure of the others, and so abstain from causing hurt to them.”

-Dhammapada

 

What I really love about the Golden Rule is that it isn’t a strict law with a regulated procedure that everyone must follow. Rather, it encourages you to think for yourself, and treat others as you think they would like to be treated.

Only in a benevolent Universe would it be possible to help others and have that make you feel better about yourself. Call it God, Dharma, Source, or whatever name you want for All That Is, the Universe is interested in seeing you (as well as everyone else) succeed.

Far too often we feel like it is an “Us vs. Them” mindset, where in order to get ahead in life, we have to cut others down.

What if when one of us prospers, we all prosper? The reverse would necessarily be true as well—when one fails, we all fail.

This certainly makes me think twice before I act rashly, and attempt to harm someone else in any way; I hope it does for you as well 😉

 

“That which is good for all and any one-

For whomsoever—that is good for me.

What I hold good for self, I should for all.

Only Law Universal is true Law.”

-Zarathustra

Dead Poets Society

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“Before death takes away what you are given, give away what there is to give.”

-Rumi

 

Death has an interesting way of affecting people; it requires a vigilance of negative thoughts, as well as a means to express yourself to work through it.

This past weekend, I found out that a long-time friend of mine was killed in a motorcycle accident. This hit me pretty hard, and for the rest of the day after finding out about it, I didn’t feel like myself.

On the following day, I found out about Robin Williams’ death. Obviously because I didn’t know the man personally, it wasn’t nearly as heartbreaking.

Since then, I have found myself expressing my grief in a way I have never noticed myself really taking an interest in – through poetry. Although I enjoy reading poetry occasionally, especially Rumi and a few others like Walt Whitman and Ralph Waldo Emerson (I also particularly like books like the Tao Te Ching), I normally don’t write poetry myself.

Trying to convey the sadness that comes from death doesn’t come through in prose, however, a more expressive language is require. Therefore, I have been finding myself using poetry lately, which is something I noticed recently.

Up until now, I have been using poetry to express my grief about losing a friend, but because this blog is meant for a wide audience promoting spiritual growth, I developed a poem about how the mind operates, and how meditation helps us cultivate the types of thoughts we choose to nurture.

Although this poem isn’t specifically about the death of anyone, it is particularly relevant when dealing with an issue as severe as losing someone close to you. Without meditation, your thoughts have permission to run free, ruling your mind as opposed to serving you.

I have heard it said before that when you don’t have time to meditate, is the time when you really need to meditate. During a grieving process is another time when it is especially important to meditate.

But who wants to meditate when they are rushed, or when all they can think about is the death of another?

Not me! That’s for sure. And yet one of the first things I did after finding out about the death of my friend was to meditate.

Sure, all I could think about was sadness, and all I wanted to do was escape my mind by distracting myself through any number of different means. Poetry has been a constructful means to work through my grief though, rather than something destructive (which I am still dealing with).

By meditating, I was able to become so much clearer about what was going on inside me. It gave me some distance from my thoughts and emotions, and I was able to see them more clearly.

Now that I have adequately set the stage for my poem, I will present it shortly. I ask that you are generous with your criticism, as I am not an experienced poet. Without further ado, here it is:

    The mind is like a garden,

    Unconscious thoughts are weeds,

    They thrive with neglect.

    Picking the weeds is meditation,

    They cannot live with conscious effort,

    The garden can then be filled with flowers.

Perhaps my prose is better than my poetry, but hopefully you get the idea. Naturally, I will explain my thought process with that poem here…

If we compare the mind to a garden, it is easy to see how the thoughts we have would be analogous to the plants we have inside the garden. Weeds are the thoughts that sprout up when we neglect our garden or mind.

In order to have the type of plants we want in the garden, we need to first plant the type of plants we want, and we must also guard against plants sprouting up that we don’t want.

If the weeds in the garden get out of control, they will compete with the others and steal their sunlight, water, and soil. Eventually they may starve the other plants, and we will be left with a mess.

Meditation is like gardening for your mind. By meditating, we are choosing the thoughts we wish to have. We can choose what thoughts we wish to “feed.” What we feed will grow stronger, and by that process, we are able to give attention to the positive thoughts we want, and starve the negative thoughts that don’t serve us.

There are two key components to meditation, and I briefly mentioned them in my Pulitzer Prize worthy poem. “Conscious effort” is the phrase I used, which implies two things must happen:

First, there must be an awareness, which means you must be looking for it. Just like with gardening, if you don’t know the weeds exist, you can’t do anything about it.

The second component to meditation is the work that you put in. Again, to bring this back to the garden, if you know the weeds are there but you don’t go pull them, they are just going to continue to grow and spread.

Meditation and gardening both require conscious effort. Without either the consciousness or the effort, the mind and the garden are going to run wild.

Let us cultivate the kinds of thoughts we want to grow, and we will have a beautiful garden we can be happy to live with 😉

 

“Never say goodbye, because saying goodbye means going away, and going away means forgetting.”

-Robin Williams (as Peter Pan)

I’ll Be Your Guide

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For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while now, you know how much I love to use everyday situations to demonstrate some deeper spiritual truth. This will be no exception, because the other day while I was driving around with my friend, I came up with an analogy I would like to share with you.

My friend was driving, and I was sitting in the passenger seat. We were driving back from downtown Boulder, CO, to my apartment complex a few blocks away.

He has been to my apartment before, and he knows his way around the city, so I wasn’t concerned about him finding my place. The way he chose wasn’t the path I would have taken, because it wasn’t the most direct, but in general he was on the right track.

The metaphor I want to incorporate into this blog is the following: In this situation I was sort of like his Guardian Angel, because I knew where he was going, and how he needed to get there.

Personally, I prefer the term “Guide,” to Guardian Angel, because I think that is more accurate. From what I understand, we all have both Guides and Angels that follow us around and help direct us depending upon the circumstances in our life.

The difference is that an Angel has never incarnated into human form, and therefore has more advanced abilities is some respects because they don’t have a soul in the same way we do, and they are more “pure.” But they are also limited by their lack of experience in corporeal form, and don’t understand suffering in the same way we do.

Guides, on the other hand, are just like us, because they are generally our friends from past lives. Usually they are still incarnating in fact—they are just taking a “break” between lifetimes, to help guide us.

Sorry to diverge from the analogy I am attempting to present, but I thought it would be useful to explain my understanding of the difference between Angels and Guides. Perhaps your definition is different—how would you best explain it?

Back to the point … I was both metaphorically being a Guide for my friend, as well as quite literally guiding him. It is intriguing to compare the similarities between how a Guide operates, and how I was behaving in this real-world situation.

In this analogy, the car would be analogous your human body; while my friend with his body and mind, would be more like your soul.

As a Guide, they are “hands off,” so to speak. That means they aren’t going to just hop in the driver’s seat, and start taking complete control of the car. In this case, I wasn’t going to start driving either, but I would offer any assistance my friend needed to get to our destination.

I sat back enjoying the ride, and even though my friend took a few turns I may not have, I knew where we were, and exactly where we needed to go. There are many different paths we could have taken, but all of them ultimately leading to the same destination.

There was no need to offer guidance to my friend, because he was heading in the generally correct direction. He hadn’t asked for any help at this point either, so I felt no need to push my guidance on him.

Guides behave very similar to this I believe, because they won’t push their way on you if you don’t ask for their help. They may give subtle hints, but generally if you aren’t too far off track, they aren’t going to push their views without your request.

At the final turn before arriving, my friend did at last ask for directions. It was fairly simple—all he needed to know was whether he should turn right or left. Obviously, I answered him, and we arrived exactly where we needed to be.

All this time I was able to take a relaxed attitude towards this entire trip because I had information that my friend did not possess: mainly, exactly how to get back to my apartment. Similarly, our Guides have information we do not consciously hold, because they know where your soul wants to go, and how to best get there.

We do not ever have to take their advice, because there are many paths that all lead to the same destination. Guides would prefer we find our own way, as opposed to being told exactly how to do it. We will not learn as much, or have as unique of an experience if that was the case.

Sometimes when we get lost, however, we need guidance to get back on track. Guides are happy to oblige, but with our own free will we must ask for help.

They may hint at directions without our specific request, but they will never decide for us. Their hints may become less subtle as we diverge greatly from our path, but they will never “jump into the driver’s seat.”

This is both our blessing and our curse—our life is ours and ours alone to live and decide what to do with 😉

To Give Is to Receive

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“For it is in giving that we receive.”

-St. Francis of Assisi

 

Rationally, your mind isn’t going to accept what I am about to tell you. The only way I can think to introduce my proposition is with a metaphor, but the only way you will learn the truth of what I am saying is to put it into practice for yourself.

This past weekend I attended a Reiki workshop hosted by Susan Chiocchi in Boulder, CO. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Reiki, let me quickly define the term from Susan’s website, http://www.reikicolorado.org/

“The word Reiki is of Japanese origin. ‘Rei’ means spiritual consciousness or divine wisdom. ‘Ki’ means the universal life force that is inherent in all living things. Also referred to as Chi (China), Prana (India). Lung (Tibet), Bioenergy (modern west) and Biofield (NIH).”

Basically, Reiki is a form of healing where you use your hands to allow the ‘Ki’ to be transmitted to the person being healed. There are different techniques that should be followed, as well as certain sacred symbols that you sign with your hand while doing it.

While at the workshop, I found myself thinking about how when you give a healing, you also get a healing. This may sound counterintuitive to some, so let me explain further…

I came up with a metaphor that may help illustrate this point, and allow it to sink in. Picture washing your hands with soap and water–this should be simple enough for most of you—now let us dive into the specifics.

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“One hand washes the other,” as the old saying goes, and this is precisely the point I am going to make. Imagine your right hand is the healer, and the left hand is the healee (person receiving the healing). By now, you might already see where this blog is going, but wait … there’s more!

Dirt and grime on the hands would be the discordant energy requiring the healing, which could be showing up as sickness, an injury, or whatever form is manifested. The running water is Spirit, chi, or the Life Force that flows through everything.

Rubbing your hands together is the act of healing, while the soap is the specific form of healing you have chosen. Just as you can choose many different types of soaps, you can choose a variety of different healing modalities.

I hope that this is becoming clear to you at this point; it is impossible to wash one hand without washing the other, just as it is impossible to give a healing without receiving a healing. As you “clean” the other person, it is no accident that you are also “cleaning” yourself.

This is a basic law of the Universe; what you put out into the Universe, you receive back (much like a boomerang). The quote from St. Francis to start this blog may have seemed like religious preaching that has no practical significance, or perhaps you thought it was just an idealistic thought that wasn’t literally true.

Now do you see how it is factual, and how easily it is to apply in every aspect of our life?

Don’t take my word for it, go try it and see if it works. This doesn’t work only for healing methods, but for anything you can think of in your life.

 

“I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy.”

-Khalil Gibran

 

When we ask, “How may I serve?” as opposed to selfishly asking, “What’s in it for me?” the Universe will respond in-kind by paradoxically serving us. It makes no rational sense, especially in this cutthroat world where we feel that to get ahead in life we need make sure we aren’t taken advantage of.

Gains made this way will be short-lived, however, and we will soon find ourselves worse off than when we started. This is the basic premise of Karma. If we operate from a sense of giving instead of receiving though, we will find that we have everything we could ever ask for, and more!

(To schedule a long-distance professional Reiki healing with me, you can contact me at Dean.Hurtt@gmail.com.)