Is religion an excuse to not be responsible for your spiritual growth?


I thought I would go way out of the box today in a way so to speak, and ask a question that may inspire some of you dear readers to ask a question.

Does religion limit your spirituality? Is it a crutch or an excuse to not be responsible for your spirituality or the nurturing of your spirituality?

Do you get your spirituality by reading a book, like the Bible or the Koran or the Torah? Do those books actually bring you to your soul within?

Have you looked within to find your soul or your higher self? If you have did you see and recognize your ego on the way?

Do you recognize the ego in your non acceptance of other religious beliefs? Beliefs are taught and can be transmuted over time and they can be distorted. Can we distort our souls?

Spirituality exists, it is not taught, egos are taught and conditioned by our existence our spirits are not. Love is not taught it is what it is, hate is learned and taught it is an ego based practice.

Just because the book says it is so do you ever question the book? What does your heart say?

Because your religion says it is the only way does that allow you to not be responsible for your individual actions?

You cannot tarnish your soul.. You can recognize it and embrace it, take guidance from it yet your ego can not tarnish it or harm it. It is the divine within and it loves you anyway in spite of your ego.

Do you hide behind your religion? The good book said.. What do you say?

If the good book wasn’t there for you to quote, what would you say about many of the issues in our world that plague humanity?

Most of the issues that plague humanity are brought about by religion! Does that make religion spiritual? Or do we base our religious beliefs and defend them because of our ego?

My dad is better than yours, nananana… My church is better than yours, na na na na na

I am not anti religious I am however responsible for my spiritual growth as a human being and wonder how many use their religious beliefs to avoid taking personal responsibility for their own spiritual growth…. After all the book says it all, what do I have to learn, all I have to do is read the book. The way to knowing your soul is to look for it within you! I commune with mine as I meditate and in turn I commune with all that exists as the divine is in all that exists it is part of my soul and yours…

Have you found your soul within?

Do you nurture your human self with the love of that soul?

Thank you for allowing me to share a few questions… I also wish to thank you for being you, you are quite amazing and I am grateful for your sharing your love and your smiles in doing so you are making our world a better place for all we share it with.

Namaste

Do you meditate? Is not knowing how stopping you?


 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Meditation is a practice in which an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit[1] or as an end in itself.[2]

 

I was inspired to share a few thoughts in regards to the practice of meditation. I have been teaching a few people as of late how to meditate. I personally did not learn to meditate until I was in my early 40’s although I had thought about it for many years, I didn’t know how. I had seen it done in many movies in which the Chinese Master and his students would sit in a particular fashion in silence or chanting as I had also seen the Hindu monks and Tibetan monks in movies or documentaries do the same. Legs all crossed and arms placed in a particular way fingers forming circles backs straight and well it seemed like a strict kind of thing. Meditation seemed like something that took training and years of practice to actually accomplish like it was a something only for monks and the holy.

http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090727200914/hanna-barbera/images/7/78/Hongkongphooey.jpg
Phooey! Not only Phooey, Hong Kong Phooey!

I was introduced to meditation the first time by a friend and a therapist her name was Nancy. She asked me one day as we talked about anger if I meditated, I was embarrassed as I said no, I don’t know how. She explained that it would help me with an issue I was dealing with.  I had learned a behavior in regards to dealing with anger and I as she put it needed an alternate plan. My examples growing up were not the best when it came to dealing with anger in fact they were quite destructive and violent. I have always been a compassionate and empathetic being that was not one to embrace violent reaction. Even though I would yell at times I tried to just suppress my anger. I swore a pact of non violence in my late twenties after years of being a tough guy and macho idiot.( I was raised to be a brawler and was at heart a lover!)

Meditation she said is easy, relax and be.. Picture your favorite place one where you go for peace and quiet. Imagine you are there. And just picture it peaceful and being there in peace. I asked if I should sit a particular way, hold my hands a special way what else should I do. She said just be comfortable and find that place… Easy! Well it was easy in a way yet did not bring me the satisfaction I thought I would get, yet what did I expect? I had never meditated before. I started to do some research on the subject and found the first big breakthrough for me was “Breathing”. I was introduced to a fact that changed meditation for me and took it to a new level. Breathing is a natural instinctive thing. It requires no thought, a quiet mind or no thought is the objective of spiritual meditation is to find inner peace or clarity for many practitioners of meditation on a spiritual level.

“Nirvana” “Wang Chung” Peace, perfect pitch, alignment, oneness… All require a quite mind; the easiest way to empty one’s mind of thoughts is to think about something that requires no thinking. Breathing is an instinctual operation, when you concentrate your thoughts on breathing; your mind is now in a place it rarely goes, in fact it would not go there at all most likely if you didn’t take it there. In doing so you are quieting your mind from its state of random thoughts by focusing on an instinctual operation, like throwing a curve ball in a way. As you focus and observe your breathing it is for many an easy way to relax and transition into the meditative state of an empty mind. An empty mind is a clear mind, clarity, silence and peace, a state in which one may hear and be at one with their inner self, the higher self that hears the thoughts and hears the universe. When you are in meditation like that you can go anywhere you choose and find what my friend tried to teach me.

There are many forms and styles of meditation find the one that works best for you and serves your purpose. Some people I know don’t like the stillness of a sitting silent meditation and prefer a walking meditation, or perhaps the practices of Yoga, Tai Chi or Qui Gong.

The truth is whatever way you choose is the way that is best for you. I feel that any type of meditation is awesome and brings you closer to the divine and all of us closer to the love we all wish for our collective humanity and our earth. Meditation brings you into the present moment the here and now in the most beautiful way. If you want to start just start, if you need help remember to just breathe! Or call me and I will be more than happy to hold your hand as you take those first steps!

Thank you for your time and allowing me to share a thought or two. Mediation is the greatest gift you can share with yourself! Thank you for being you and sharing your love and smiles making our world a better place for all we share it with! 

Namaste

Picture courtesy of http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090727200914/hanna-barbera/images/7/78/Hongkongphooey.jpg

Daily Reflection and Peace



Tseng Tzu said, ‘Every day I examine myself on three counts. In what I have undertaken on another’s behalf, have I failed to do my best? In my dealings with my friends have I failed to be trustworthy in what I say? Have I passed on to others anything that I have not tried out myself?’

Do you think about your day and what affect your day had on who you are as well as how you may have affected others?

I added a fourth count in my daily reflection that actually supersedes the three shared by Tseng Tzu… Have I done the best I can to be my true self with love and dignity in regards to my higher self as it is who I truly am.

I also wish to share a thought about the meditation for peace that was held globally on Friday, I am not sure if a billion people participated. I know that many did, it was quite an amazing energy I personally felt as I joined with the millions who participated in the IAMPEACE Global Meditation for Peace sponsored by the Chopra Center, Unify and 1GiantMind. Thank you for the gift of participating with you all!


Thank you for allowing me to share a thought or two. I also wish to thank you for being you, you are truly amazing. Thank you as well for being the change our world so needs as you share your love and your smiles making our world a better place for all we share it with 

Namaste

Windows, lucidity and inner truth


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http://pixdaus.com/eye/items/tag/eye/

Windows have been in my thoughts lately; there are many sayings and thoughts expressed about windows. I was contemplating and thinking about some advice I got from an Ancient Chinese divination method I use as a learning tool. It became clear after a couple of days and the events of the last couple of days that a window was the answer to the answer or how I may learn and become more “enlightened” so to speak. Our eyes are our windows! Open the blinds open the curtains and let the light shine in. 

enlightened (ɪnˈlaɪt ə nd)

— adj
1. factually well-informed, tolerant of alternative opinions, and guided by rational thought: an enlightened administration ; enlightened self-interest
2. privy to or claiming a sense of spiritual or religious revelation of truth: the search for an enlightened spiritual master

The passage or verse I had drawn was quite inspirational, and over a couple of days it took a new form and meaning for me on a personal level.

“If we wish to enlighten someone we must first begin with what is lucid then the light may enter from which we may learn.”

I have been doing much inner work over the last seven or so years of my life, in order to learn who I am, as well as my purpose for being here. We all I would think at times ask the question of ourselves what am I here for or what is this what life is really about why do they have that and I have this?

The Gurus and religious institutions all share answers, there are many who say that we have the answers within us, to those questions and many more we may find ourselves asking. As I observed my thoughts and reflected on my life in the spirit of the verse I had drawn I pondered the relevance. The only one I wish to enlighten is me why did I draw this and how is it relevant? Windows are the portals or the link to our teachers. I was being inspired to open my eyes and let the light shine in.

Windows… The window is lucid; transparent the light shines through the window. What is outside of the window? The teachers that share with us the knowledge of how to find the answers within, nature, people, our earth, our universe etc. the light from which we may learn teachers are what is outside the window. We all have our own perspectives and truths those are contained within us and found as we learn from our teachers as we ask the questions of our teachers and receive answers we in turn begin to learn and find our own truths. Some answers we get we just know are wrong at least for us, many of those answers for me have been given by religious institutions. I also would say many of those answers were given or as is often the case avoided by my family and friends.” Why? Because I said so that’s why” is an awesome example of avoidance shared by my parents. Those kinds of answers are in a way the best as they allow me to find my own inner truth without their influence. Perhaps they don’t know why and that was the answer my grandparents gave them… I chose to find an answer rather than avoid the question or discomfort the answer may bring.

The eyes are the windows of the soul… Yes I am inclined to believe that, they allow us to see into the world and universe in a very beautiful way letting the light shine in. Like a window you can see out of them and inside of them. Seeing inside of the window those teachers taught me to look within and find the answers to the questions I would ask. Looking inside myself I have been finding the answers to the questions I have been asking. I close my eyes and see inside much like when I shut the blinds and close the drapes I see inside my house. The light inside shines, when I light the lantern, or turn on the lights, much like when I embrace the lessons and then know my answers. I find my inner truth when I close my eyes and meditate that light then shines down and radiates it energy through my being.

Windows… What a beautiful creation, what do you see outside when you look through the window? What do you see when the curtains are drawn? What do others see when they look in your windows? I see a beautiful human being!!! Thank you all for being you, I hope you take the time to appreciate the beauty and the lessons we may learn from our teachers on the other side of the window. Both side of the window lead us to the light from which we may learn.

Thank you for allowing me to share a thought or two, I realize that some of the things I share are just to get out what I have learned or gleaned through personal experiences. I suppose I do so in hopes that it will help someone in some way or perhaps just to bring a smile to someone that may need one. I would say that at times I share what I do to inspire thought and self reflection in order to help make our world a better place for all we share it with.

Thank you for being you and making our world a better place by sharing your love and your smiles making it a better place for all we share it with.  I hope you take the time to enjoy both sides of the window!
Namaste

Has Christianity helped mankind to become better human beings? Would Jesus be a Christian?


I have been seeing quite a few posts shared both on blogs and social media sites that have inspired me to ask what my thoughts and feelings are as far as some of the major issues with religions. I saw the same post three times in the last two days and was recently answering questions on an online dating site that really made me stop and think. Much like a conversation with Plato would have caused the same introspection and observation of thought to come up with my own view and perspective.

Jesus… Wasn’t a Christian
Mohammed …. Wasn’t a Muslim
Buddha … Wasn’t a Buddhist

The question asked on the dating site; “Over all do you think Christianity has helped make mankind become better human beings?”

The question provoked some interesting thoughts and observations and in a way the post about the inspirational beings that the largest religious movements and religions kind of put the exclamation point on the end of the train of thoughts. Many may disagree and I am not by any means trying to bash, or dispute any ones beliefs or the right to believe as one chooses. I would rather applaud you all for your conviction and faith in your chosen religions and faiths. I am quite spiritual and have a love for all humanity, religions, faiths, philosophies, creeds and I would add races yet have to say there is only one human race. We collectively are the entire human race! Colors of skin? Yes there are different colors of skin, as there are many diverse cultures and many different perspectives on our planet.

As I searched my thoughts and feelings over the last few days I have made several observations that I would share. I am not proclaiming them as truth or not truth yet as I sift through the various perspectives and stories throughout history since the beginning of “Christianity” I have to wonder on a whole has Christianity made a positive impact on mankind. The same may be asked of the Muslim faith and the impact it has had and is having on mankind.

Jesus Christ was not a Christian as Christianity did not exist while he was alive, nor did he tote a Bible and preach from it. The Bible as we know it didn’t exist yet the books of the Old Testament did, to my knowledge however he didn’t tote those around and preach from them either. He walked his walk and talked his talk by setting an example for mankind to follow. He turned the other cheek fed the hungry taught men to fish healed the sick and shared his love. He asked us human beings to look inside who we are and treat others with respect love and dignity as we all would like to be treated. He asked that we walk in peace and not to throw stones or to judge others. He never as far as I know told his apostles to go out and through power and might convert and control their fellow man and make them become “Christians”. His way was one of freedom of choice and asking us to look within and be loving beautiful human beings to help one another and forgive if one was wronged by another to share with each other the goodness of life and what the world we stand on has to offer.

I ponder the question of Christianity and has it helped mankind become better human beings? As I look at the history of this religion and the walk it has walked. The cultures it has destroyed the masses that have been killed in the name of “Christ” and there have been many. The Europeans that were tortured and controlled forced to submit to the “will of God”, the Pagans, the Wiccans, the many other cultures and societies that either became Christian or were cleansed by torture or fire. The Indian tribes of South America and North America the “Heathens” that were either exterminated or forced to become civilized “God Fearing Christians” the French and Spanish Inquisitions, the Holy Wars. Even in today’s society the examples I see of extravagant Cathedrals and Temples, churches and those elevating themselves to “Saint” status as they walk pass the starving, the homeless and the ill.

If Jesus was about free will and caring for all humanity and all of creation, acceptance, tolerance, compassion and empathy for others as well as one hundred percent non violent would he even be a Christian? How would he feel about the honor of this tribute to him the religions of Christianity? I am not going to say that there have not been many, many human beings throughout the history of Christianity that have in fact led by example and walked the walk. I am saying however that when I look at the big picture of human beings that call themselves Christians it would appear that they worship a book turn a blind eye and exert control over others by the might of their religious masses and have not apparently gotten the message that Jesus delivered.

I am not sure I have the answer to the question yet it has brought me to another question… Would Jesus be a Christian?

Thank you for allowing me to share a few thoughts and perhaps inspire you to share a few thoughts as I would truly like to have a better answer than I have come to. I am leaning towards a mixed response with no clear cut answer even in my own truth. I suppose that is what acceptance is I accept that it is what it is with all of my love unconditional. There has been much good from the religions of Christianity and much that I would consider not so good. I do know that every man woman and child tortured and killed to establish and create this thing we know as Christianity would bring many tears to the eyes of the one they say is the inspiration behind it. What do you think?

Thank you for being you and sharing your love and smiles making our world a better place for all we share it with.

Namaste;)

When I left the cave… A poem


keshcorran-caves

 

<a href=”http://www.public-domain-image.com/full-image/nature-landscapes-public-domain-images-pictures/caves-public-domain-images-pictures/keshcorran-caves.jpg-royalty-free-stock-photograph.html&#8221; title=”Keshcorran caves”>Keshcorran caves</a> by Jon Sullivan

When I stepped out of the cave
Fear no longer did I have of the grave
Loving and living was all I did crave

Out of the darkness light I did see
Truly knowing and being free
The divine love emanating from the heart of me

Thoughts chosen with love and care
Seeing the beauty of all things everywhere
God’s creations for all to share

Every flower every tree
Created with love for you and me
Our souls infinite loved unconditionally

When out of the cave I saw the stream
I stood in awe at what I had seen
Life in abundance shared with everything

The stream it flowed through sands and time
Carrying love and the light divine
Beyond my imagination beyond my simple mind

Every thought chosen with care
Not embracing the feeling in the cave of despair
Breathing in love with every breath of air

The cave of darkness where I used to stand
Ignorant just being a simple man
Now knowing that is what I am

I am nothing yet there is a part of me
A part that is one of divinity
The particle of my maker his gift you see

I am what I was created to be
An extension of God as God created me
To expand in love and beauty for eternity

Contrast in the painting of expression so diverse
Dwelling in the darkness of the cave first
Another brush stroke among the many
On the canvas we call our universe

When we leave the cave and walk hand in hand
Singing from our hearts the song of man
We will be in line with Gods plan

Waltzing through the heavens we human beings
On a beam of light as the Angels sing
God will be smiling when we walk out of the cave
And share our love unconditional for everything
Especially for each other us human beings

Thank you for allowing me to share a thought or two… Thank you as well for being you and being the positive change our world so needs~! :0

 

Namaste

 

 

Reinvention of me or aligning with my inner being?


Today I was paid an incredible compliment by a respected friend that caused me to not only smile and say thank you it caused me to ask myself a few questions. Re invention or alignment was the first question I had to ask after the initial smile. The second question was what did I really feel about the compliment and why?

After participating in the Veterans Writing group I co mentor the facilitator and sponsor at the V.A. Hospital, Mike Scott surprised me with a few thoughts he shared. He looked at me and said thank you for participating and being a part of the writing group as both a writer and a mentor. Then he expressed his admiration for my ability and the amazing way I have re invented myself. From carpenter to intellectual, and future life coach, NLP practitioner and public speaker as well as aspiring to spiritual mastery and being an inspirational being.

In the three years since Mike read one of my poems and asked me to be in his writing group he mentioned how much he has seen me grow and change. He was quite impressed with my progress and quite inspired and moved by my adaptability and my transformation especially in my spiritual presence. He asked if I would be interested in a position or would consider being a volunteer in the peer to peer counseling group. The compliments and the offers made me feel good! I know I am on the path I am supposed to be on and where I am supposed to be at this moment in my journey. Good things are happening and better things are yet to come as I assist and give service to my fellow human beings with love from my heart.

Did I re invent myself? I have had several comments on some of my blog posts that expressed the same sentiment. I have to say that I don’t know that that is the case; I am more inclined to say I have become more in line with who I am. The person I am and was meant to be as I came here in this physical form. Since my youth I have had the desire to express myself in an artistic way through poetry and visual art as well as verbally although in my younger years in a very direct and blunt way.

I have always had the desire to be me yet the influences of the world had the effect that peer pressure has on an individual and through fear limited my true expression of self both intellectually and spiritually. How many 9 year olds read Emerson or Thoreau… How many boys enjoyed or had even heard of Emily Dickinson let alone understood the depth of her soul in her expression of thoughts poetically? (She was a loner and rarely left her room) I was the one that walked to the beat of a different drum and rather than be the odd ball I conformed to society and family pressures.

As my former life crumbled and I spent more time in solitude I began to align with and find my inner being. To know and embrace my inner truth, the years of being a craftsman are a cherished gift yet as a young man my dreams were of a higher calling. I was a gifted and intelligent child with no means, from a family of little wealth and a formal education was beyond reach.

I have found that over the years my inner self has been calling me to align and be who I am rather than continue living in fear and succumbing to the expectations of others. Family was one of those that I was trying to live up the expectations of has seen the same change as my friend Mike and now supports and embraces the change and transformation I am going through. They know that the trying times I have been through over the last seven years, has been a good thing even though from the outside perspective seems to have been otherwise. My 100,000 $ + a year job gone and left behind for an uncertain future, my countless hours of study and research as well as the many hours, days , months and years of solitude to find and know “who and what I am”. Have been harder for them at times than it has been for me, yet I am lining up with who I am and what I came to do.

I am here to be a part of and add depth to the evolution of Consciousness and the greater mass conscious awareness of humanity. To help others align with their inner being and inspire them to become consciously aware of who they are and to express their individual and diverse perspectives and add to that mass consciousness.

I admire and embrace the concept that we in our own time have an obligation to contribute to the evolution of humanity in a positive and meaningful way. It is in our reach to become a better human race than we were yesterday and even more so than we were 2000+ years ago in the time of Jesus of Nazareth, and even more so than 3000 years ago in the time of the Greek philosophers and 5000 years ago in the time of Buddha or the times of the beginnings of the Hindu societies and the Great Ganesh. We have all the history and wisdom of the ancients to draw upon and create a better humanity and paint a picture of such beauty and grace that the ancients would be proud of what we create with the loving wisdom they left us to work with.

The first steps to doing so are to become consciously aware of who we are and align with our inner beings or higher selves and make those changes. It doesn’t require anything more than the desire and love of ourselves to do so and the willingness and effort to do so. For me it has taken seven years to unlearn what a lifetime taught me about living for the expectations of others and being afraid to be me.

I wanted to express my thoughts at the request of a friend that asked me to write a post from my heart that was inspiring and would help her find her “backbone” I would like to say we all have the capacity to change that process starts within, while you are there first find who you really are and want to be then know you can do it and do it even if the rest of the world seems to not understand at some point they will step back and say… I am in awe and admire you for re inventing yourself.. You can smile and say no I just lined up with who I am and who I was meant to be.. I am finally becoming me! 

Thank you for being you and being the change positive our world so needs by sharing your love and your smiles making our world a better place for all we share it with

Namaste