Pride and the Inward Journey

How does one deal with pride and go inwards?

By becoming aware of one’s pride a shift begins. What is this shift? The awareness of being exclusive and not inclusive. The very thought of wanting to drop pride takes you inwards.

In asking this question there is also self-doubt. On the Path of Self-Discovery there will always be doubt revolving around: yourself, practices that uplifts your sensitivity, and the teacher or source that is guiding you into sensitivity.

Doubt is to ensure that any modulations in perceptions are fully experienced and understood. Having total understanding and clarity of yourself allows you to serve others wholeheartedly.

In service we often unknowingly come from the space of exclusivity–being in a higher position through gender, age, status, or knowledge to serve.  This difference which drives us to act is sometimes mistakenly called compassion or duty.

So by knowing what inclusiveness is will support you from observing pride and going inwards.

How to do this? Forgive. Forgive others and yourself for being part of the event whether knowingly or unknowingly. Otherwise we get entrapped in either victim or culprit mindsets leading to further separation. Do you see this?

Then be sincere about forgiving. Many a times we act and not be forgiving. What is being forgiving? Total acceptance of yourself and everything else good or bad whether it is to do with you, situations or people. But it doesn’t excuse you from not taking positive actions.

Then be contented. Whatever is happening is just to show your completeness as an individual. Look back and just see every event has left you untouched deep within. There remains a purity and innocence in you.

When you practice forgiveness and sincerity, compassion will naturally arise. There is no effort in being compassionate because it is your very nature. The effort only arises from letting go of baggage that saddles you down.

Finally recognise that everything is changing. Today is not the same as yesterday. Tomorrow will be different from today. Be totally responsible for all your actions and emotions every moment.  You can only do this by being in the present and having presence of Mind.

Many a times we focus only in changing behaviour. But when the source of this behaviour is unclear and confused its actions will also be the same.

Pride if checked with sincerity is a good thing. But often without sincerity it gets distorted into conceit and stubbornness. Tell me is there room for acceptance and positive change then?

So just by asking about pride you are already taking a sincere step that will positively transform you and others.

Understand what pride is too. Pride is ignorant attachment to good qualities that is appreciated and recognised by others. When we become obsessive about our pride it gives rise to jealously, greed, envy, fear, hatred, sorrow and anger. But pride is also a divine quality. It is a gift from the divine. Remember this and the space of gratitude will grow. But don’t think it is only exclusive to you. The divine is generous and inclusive.

You are indeed uniquely special in this entire creation.  So too is everyone else in this beautiful creation we call Life.

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The Non-Experience of God

Aura Rainbow, Kuching, Malaysia

Aura Rainbow, Kuching, Malaysia

Have you ever questioned the authority of God? It may be an unsettling thought.

When we question what seems to be the unquestionable there arises a sense of rebellion leading to feelings of subversion, frustration, anger and guilt. All unsettling symptoms of non-acceptance.  When we look into this it is the same struggle that exists when we have no clarity on a situation.

When we have no clarity on God we struggle to question the unquestionable.

Having clarity on God can only arise when we earnestly reflect on God. It is having the courage to dive deeply into every aspect of God with sincerity.

Yet how can we even begin to reflect on God when we are unclear about ourselves? Do you see this confusion?

God is an essential part of religion.  God is common to all religion.  Yet we commonly refer to God in the possessive singular. Even in a pantheon full of gods there remains an absolute.  If God is singular and common in every religion is it not possible that God is universal?  Notice the subtle resistance arising in considering a universal God.

We all lay claim to God without a second thought.  Yet have we really stopped for a moment to consider who God is?

Without God there will be no religion. Without religion there is still God.

Yet we readily and conveniently engage God through religion without question and then stop.

Our experience of God is highly personal. The infinite can only be made known through the finite but equally cannot be limited to just one expression. How can it?

I am not questioning the relevance of religion. Religion is an important journey on the Path of Truth.  But it is not the destination–getting to know and experience God is.

The non-experience of God is exactly what happens when we stop. What do we stop at? When we do not dive into the inquiry of the Truth.

What is this Truth? It is a journey that begins with the question “Who Am I” evolving into “Who is God?” and blossoming into “What is this?”

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Through a Steel Blade

Blacksmith working hot iron

Blacksmith working hot iron (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The quality of a steel blade depends on the rigorous process it undergoes.
Repeated firing and cooling, hammering and polishing, would determine its purity, hardness and durability as an instrument.  Its full potential can only be realized through a skilled and experienced craftsman.

A blade fashioned by a master-craftsman possesses unique qualities that cannot be aggregated.  It outperforms others while possessing a venerated presence that is seemingly invisible but somehow still experienced.  A phenomenon that is often referenced to as the ‘soul’ or ‘passion’ of its creator–the master-craftsman.  Have you ever noticed or heard this before?

In spirituality this is known as grace. Grace cannot be directly observed but is subtly experienced as an ever-present benevolent presence–veiling and unveiling itself through effort and effortlessness.

The master knows precisely what step is required for the blade to breakthrough and transform from its blackened crust. He sees and brings out the purity with every process while the apprentice sees only the impurity being removed. Take some moments to reflect on this observation. This subtle difference is the same relationship shared in recognition and realization.

The rigorous effort of firing and cooling, hammering and polishing, veils all aspects of the master’s involvement.  Only between each process does the object’s glowing and shinning qualities effortlessly comes through to reveal the work of the creator.

The apprentice only recognizes impurity being separated from purity. The master realizes the blade’s inherent purity while facilitating transformation into its highest state.

The mind attaches itself to the negative. It only functions and recognizes separation. The apprentice’s attention is on separating impurity from purity. Breaking through every process becomes an intensive effort. Transformation can only take place when the mind dissolves.

The master only sees purity no matter how many processes are repeated. When only seeing purity where is the effort involved? Transformation can only be brought about through the master’s patience and skill. It is all grace.

When we begin to observe master-craftsmen we would only see the embodiment of a living tradition.

Likewise in spirituality blessed are those who are part of a living Holy Tradition.

Jai Guru Dev!

Posted in Devotion (Bhakti), Faith, Growth, Inspiration, Liberation, Realisation, The Path | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Behind Every Champion is a Coach

Behind every Champion is a Coach.
The Champion sees oneself as a competitor;
while the Coach sees the athlete in the Champion.
The Champion only sees it is either him or someone else;
while the Coach sees one among many.
The Champion dreams of the potential;
while the Coach sees the potential.
The Champion is caught in the moment;
while the Coach observes the moment.
The Champion sees excellence in the results;
while the Coach observes excellence in one’s state of mind.
The Champion chases after position;
while the Coach lets them go and moves on.
The Champion sees success in separation;
while the Coach sees a field of like-minded athletes.
The Champion sees oneself supporting the team;
while the Coach just sees one team.
Whether Champion or Coach,
it is all just perception.

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The Inner Shift Within

Realise that every action and experience has led you to this very moment. The opportunities and challenges along the way were pivotal experiences that ignited an inner shift within you. Have you ever noticed this?

This inner shift connects you with the situation at hand. It brings you into the present moment. It connects you with yourself.

Many of us when experiencing this shift get stuck in connecting with the situation. We end up either dwelling on being a victim or culprit.

A deeper shift happens when we can untangle our feelings from the situation. By having a broader perspective we rise above our emotions and go beyond the situation. By dropping our entanglement with our emotions we come into the present moment.

When we are able to let go of the next moment we gain insight into our being.

When we are able to observe the present moment we connect with the Self.

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An Observation on Duality

Somewhere high above the Pacific Ocean towards the United States

Somewhere high above the Pacific Ocean towards the United States

The mind has the unique ability to divide itself because it functions in duality. The more fragmented it becomes greater is the stress and frustration experienced. The mind also has the unique ability to rationalise situations and with this it distorts the reality we perceive. When the mind rationalise it is concealing the confusing seed of duality.

Many of us rationalise a fragmented mind with multi-tasking. We habitually see our worldly success with being able to juggle many situations simultaneously, when we are really only efficiently scheduling our tasks. Our actions and thoughts remain by nature sequential. Even in juggling there lies a sequence to actions and events. We perceive in duality.

In duality our divided attention is a fragmented mind that scatters energy. When juggling situations we are mostly unaware of doing the same with our stress and frustration. We are unconsciously fuelling our anger and aggression. A fragmented mind is usually stressed and frustrated becoming angry and aggressive to a situation or person. The greater the stress and frustration the more we want to control a situation and influence the outcome to our liking.

A fragmented mind cannot recall itself without a reference point—an identity. The mind begins to confuse objects with the experience of identity giving rise to possessiveness and sowing the seed of attachment.

A divided mind seeks control of situations for identity. This experience of identity is confused with sense objects and experiences. In this confused state possessiveness and attachment ferments into aggressive ambition.

Duality is like a series of tributaries mistaking its confluence as the source. Similarly a fragmented mind confuses self-identity with an accumulated series of events and experiences.

In meditation the mind becomes consolidated and the qualities of dispassion, non-attachment and moderation become a natural happening. Non-duality can only be realised through meditation.

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The Rhythmic Impulse

22062009138This entire creation is one universal impulse that expands and contracts in rhythmic harmony. It is most noticeable in our thoughts, breath and heartbeat.

The impulse is far from being impulsive. We habitually only see its periphery of outward randomness and often fall short of experiencing its inner rhythmic pulse. The entire creation follows this pulsating rhythm from the cycles seen in nature to the songs of the birds, hum of the bees, and in the melodious voice of an operatic diva. It is also found enshrined in patterns on leaves, branches, foliage and the entire appearance and flow of the natural world. Even in our artificial creations there are patterns and sequences comparable although primitive to ones found in nature. We all follow this rhythmic pulse but often with varying experiences.

Many only encounter the rhythmic pulse at its periphery—where it is like a metronomic frequency—entrapping many in its hypnotic regularity and extremities of its expansion and contraction. The rhythm becomes a technical and intellectual engagement filled with conflict and contradiction. Many mistakenly believe in this encounter as living life with passion and zeal often lost to the charms and lessons of the world.

Some are fortunate to have the inward experience of the rhythmic impulse as vibrations filled with benevolence and a sense of expansion. Although an inward experience it is also beautifully expressed in geometrical shape, patterns and sequences like in cymatics and geology. The rhythmic impulse becomes a creative enthusiasm and heartfelt experience that can sometimes be bewildering. Most people on the Path have this inward experience.

Even fewer are blessed to witness the inner experience of the rhythmic impulse as a resonance—deep, pure and continuous reverberations reflecting non-duality—an absolute and unconditional sense of belonging. This inner and deepest experience of the rhythmic impulse is also that of your very being: Sat-Cit-Ananda (Truth: that which remains unchanging—Consciousness—Bliss). This is the greatest blossoming and opens to all sincere seekers.

Yet without encountering the metronomic frequency there would not be the opportunity to experience the underlying vibrations. Without experiencing the underlying vibrations the resonance itself will remain silent.

The rhythmic impulse is a self-revealing mystery.

Take time to reflect on this very sublime observation.

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