Saturday, December 11, 2010

This path is spiritual, not religious

I found this to be a wonderful essay from Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. It was posted on Huffington Post, August 6, 2010. I bolded a couple sentences which I found especially exciting...
This is written to Buddhist practitioners, but i believe it has more universal usefulness. As my old teacher, Dr Bruce Morgan, used to say: "eat the fruit, spit out the pits".

Is Buddhism a Religion?

We often talk about Siddhartha, the young man who became known as the Buddha, as if he were a god. The fact is that he was just a simple Indian guy, a human being like you and me. We think of him as some kind of super-genius for having attained complete spiritual awakening, but in fact his real genius was in showing how any one of us can attain the same awakening as he did. We describe him as a prince and a member of the elite royalty of his time, and we think that must have given him an advantage over us — but the reality is that most of us today are probably better off, in material terms, than Siddhartha was.

We talk about his kingdom and so forth, but what the prince Siddhartha had was really no more than what you might find in any middle-class American household. He might have had more wives, but you’ve got more gadgets, more technologies and comforts and conveniences. Siddhartha didn’t have a refrigerator, and you do. He didn’t have WiFi, or a blog, or Facebook or Twitter. He might have had more houses and land, but you’ve got a more comfortable bed than he had. Maybe you even have one of those new, space-age Tempur-Pedic beds. Think of how much time you spend in bed, and how important your bed is. I guarantee that Siddhartha had a worse bed than you have.

The point is, we shouldn’t mythologize Siddhartha’s life and think that his spiritual awakening was due to his special circumstances. Most of us today actually live in conditions very similar to Siddhartha’s, in terms of our material situation.

Siddhartha was a truth seeker, nothing more. He wasn’t looking for religion, as such — he wasn’t particularly interested in religion. He was searching for the truth. He was looking for a genuine path to freedom from suffering. Aren’t all of us searching for the same thing? If we look at the life of Siddhartha, we can see that he found the truth and freedom he was seeking only after he abandoned religious practices. Isn’t that significant? The one who became the Buddha, the “Awakened One,” didn’t find enlightenment through religion — he found it when he began to leave religion behind.

The Lure of Religious Trappings

A lot of people prefer to think of Buddhism as a religion. It’s easy to see why, when Buddhism abounds with religious trappings: the rituals and the chants and the golden statues sitting on the shrine. Buddha himself never wanted to be deified in any kind of icons; at the beginning, he told his students no icons, no worshiping. But it’s said that he had a very devoted student who kept pestering him, requesting his permission to make a statue of him, until finally the Buddha gave up and allowed the first image to be made. And now we have all these elaborate golden icons that look like they were dug out of an Egyptian pyramid. It’s nice to have these reminders, but we must remember that’s what they are: reminders of something, an example to be followed, not idols to be worshiped.

If our goal is to turn Buddhism into a religion, that’s fine — in America we have freedom of speech and the Bill of Rights. We can make Buddhism into a religion, or a branch of psychology, or a self-help program, or whatever we want. But if we’re looking for enlightenment, we won’t find it through relating to the Buddha as a religious idol. Like Siddhartha, we’ll find real spiritual awakening only when we begin to leave behind our fixed ideas about religious practice. Seeing the Buddha as an example and following his example — recreating, in our own lives, his pursuit of truth, his courage and his open mind — that’s the real power of Buddhism beyond religion.

Truth Has No Religion

Siddhartha actually became the Buddha through his failure at religion. He saw that the ascetic practices he’d been engaged in were not leading him to true liberation, and so he left them behind. But he had five colleagues who continued their religious practices of asceticism, and they regarded Siddhartha as a failure. From their point of view, he just couldn’t hack it, and that’s why he gave up. Later, after he attained enlightenment and became known as the Buddha, they became his first five disciples; but at the time when he left behind their religious program, they regarded him as a failure. I find that very encouraging. As spiritual practitioners, we should be open to being a failure. We can take heart in the fact that Siddhartha found enlightenment not through his great success at religious practices, but through his failures.

As Buddhists, Siddhartha’s example is the most important one for us to follow. He was a great explorer of mind and its limits. He was open-minded, seeking truth, with no preconceived agenda. He thought, “Okay, I’ll do these religious practices and see if I can find the truth that way.” He did the practices, he didn’t find the truth, and so he left the religion. Like Siddhartha, if we really want spiritual enlightenment we have to go beyond religiosity. We have to let go of clinging to preconceived religious forms and ideas and practices.

Religion, if we don’t relate to it skillfully, can trap us in another set of rules. On top of all the ordinary rules we are already stuck with in this world, we pile on a second set of religious rules. I’m not saying there is anything bad about religion or rules, but you should be clear about what you’re seeking. Do you want religion and a set of rules to follow, or do you want truth? Truth has no religion, no culture, no language, no head or tail. As Gandhi said, “God has no religion.” The truth is just the truth.

If you are interested in “meeting the Buddha” and following his example, then you should realize that the path the Buddha taught is primarily a study of your own mind and a system for training your mind. This path is spiritual, not religious. Its goal is self-knowledge, not salvation; freedom, not heaven. And it is deeply personal. Without your curiosity and questions and your open mind, there is no spiritual path, no journey to be taken, even if you adopt all the forms of the tradition.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Kingdom of God is Within You

Always we hope
someone else has the answer.
some other place will be better,
some other time it will all turn out.

This is it.
no one else has the answer.
no other place will be better,
and it has already turned out.

At the center of your being
you have the answer;
you know who you are
and you know what you want.

There is no need
to run outside
for better seeing.

Nor to peer from a window.

Rather abide at the center of your being;
for the more you leave it, the less you learn.

Search your heart
and see
the way to do
is to be.
--Lao Tzu

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How does one Become a Spiritual Guide?

An acquaintance asked me:
How does one become a spiritual guide?
What did you do? How does it all work?

This is a Big question, I can offer a quick answer, from my perspective: What I notice about it when I look right now, reminds me of ‘the Mountain’ image so many use to speak of spiritual life…

Like a Mountain Guide, one devotes large swaths of life to exploring– not in theory, in reality: the main paths the side paths, the deer paths; getting lost and getting found; braving the elements. Doing the Mountain. Being the Mountain. One starts to Know the Mountain, and then one is chosen/chooses to share the Mountain with others.

The guide sees who each traveler is, where they are, where they want to go and offers assistance along the way. The guide works with the traveler to build muscle, to deepen into the practices and abilities needed to go to the next level on the Mountain. The guide encourages, informs and tries to share perspective with the traveler.

One cannot in any way do anything For the traveler. IF and when they are willing to hear, they still may or may not actually apply what they heard. Sometimes folks get in challenging positions, and that is necessarily fine: people get what they get on the Mountain, just as the guide does. Sometimes the traveler enjoys it and sometimes they don’t enjoy it: often both. Regardless, being on the Mountain is its own reward; there is no ‘winning’, anyway.

Being a guide is often hard, uncomfortable, expensive on many levels, and relatively thankless:
When the best leader's work is done the people say,
'We did it ourselves!' — Lao-tsu

And if these kinds of experiences on the Mountain sound like the most exciting way to invest one's life, then being a guide can be the best ‘job’ on earth!

in Life, wendy

PS - And the above is more of the physically-focused answer. My belief is, here is really the spiritual answer:

It is all about Matching - one could say Resonating more and more with God. with spiritual reality (what Jesus called the Kingdom of God), and less and less with 'the world'. You may call it other things, but we learn from each other by spiritually matching each other: by matching how we run, hold, deal with our energy spiritually.

When I have the chance to play with kids I see this so obviously - they learn most everything through 'monkey see, monkey do'.

That is how all of us learn from each other spiritually: Matching, Resonating, Shifting to be more in alignment with Spirit.

So the most important of the spiritual guide's 'jobs' is to continue to do our own 'work': heal, deepen, learn, grow, be present, keep practicing, match Jesus... allow our vibration to rise:

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus,
the champion who initiates and perfects our faith
- Hebrews 12;12

with Jesus, as Jesus leads, we:

Allow in:
enjoyment of Spirit,
invitation of high and light vibration.

Allow out:
attachment to physically-focused/hooked energy,
invitation of low and heavy vibration.

Everyone profits from these shifts that we allow God to make in us, and everyone can more easily allow God to shift them, as well.

As an example, my favorite Christian teacher, Dr Bruce Morgan, used to talk a lot about morphic resonance, which is one way to try to explain this concept: (one of many possible links)

; ) w

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Letting Go of Controlling Others

A belief that the behavior of others must be controlled — so that your observation of that good behavior will make you feel good — leaves you feeling vulnerable to their behavior. We would like to help you to understand that neither the good feeling you find when you observe wanted behavior, nor the bad feeling you find when you observe unwanted behavior, is actually the reason that you feel good or bad. The way you feel is only ever about your alignment, or misalignment, with the Source within you. It is only your relationship with the Source within you that is the reason for the emotions that you feel. While it is nice to find things in your physical environment that enhance your good-feeling; alignment with your Inner Being, your understanding of why you feel good, will make it possible for you to feel good regardless of the behavior of others. Understanding that the way you feel is really about your Vibrational Relationship with your Inner Being — with the Source within you... gives you complete empowerment and absolute freedom.
- Abraham-Hicks

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Allowing Ease, not Effort

Most rarely align with their true power,
because it seems illogical to them
that there is power in relaxation,
in letting go,
or in love or joy or bliss.
Most people do not understand
that their true power lies in releasing resistance—
which is the only obstacle to their true power.
Most people do not expect their path to great abundance
to be one of ease and of joy.
They have been taught
that struggle and hardship and sacrifice
are requirements that must be met
before the reward of great abundance can be realized.
Most do not understand
that the very struggle
they deliberately involve themselves in,
in their quest for success and advantage,
actually works against them.
There are so many things
that you have been taught to believe
that are counter to the powerful Laws of the Universe
that it is difficult for you to think your way out.
And that is the reason
that we present this path of much less resistance.
We want you to breathe rather than try,
to relax rather than offer effort,
to smile rather than struggle,
to be rather than do.
For your true power is experienced only from inside…
- Abraham-Hicks

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Finding Freedom from Judgment

I just had an ah-ha light bulb go off!

Here’s the background:

I have encountered different people and groups who don’t feel comfortable with folks who are ‘healing’. And by ‘healing’ I mean – in process: still releasing or potentially releasing all kinds of yucky stuff: hate, invalidation, competition, fear, etc

I am still in process, still healing, and there are people and groups that I feel especially uncomfortable with, because I know they perceive my brokenness / darkness / evil and I don’t feel accepted and loved because of that. In their presence I get a more intense story that I ‘should’ be better, different, healed already! I am not OK, just as I am, and just as I’m not…

Now, of course, because I am still in the healing and acceptance process, I have all these stories anyway – I want to hide under a rock and I don’t feel good about myself as I am, in some deep yucky levels of my system. This is all MY stuff.

But SOME people and groups assist me to want to hide MORE and not feel good about myself MORE. This is my reaction to THEIR stuff on top of MY stuff.

I like to tell my students:

- Sometimes I walk in to a room and feel more warm, beautiful, charming and loved - YUM! This is likely energy bouncing back and forth with others and mirroring back to me things, for example, like validation from them to me (i.e. I’m ok, it’s ok)

- Sometimes I walk into a room and feel all of a sudden like a fat, stupid cow, and my Mother dresses me funny - YUCK! There are a few options about what could be going on, one is: this could be energy bouncing back and forth with others and mirroring back to me things like invalidation from them to me (i.e. I’m not ok, it’s not ok). Their invalidation bounces into MY own invalidation in my own system and hits/hurts/hooks. My own crap is mirrored back at me, seemingly from outside, and more painful because of that!
..........- Meanwhile, the more I heal, the less this is an issue, because as I let go of invalidation in my system, their invalidation doesn’t hit/hurt/hook me – it just sails right through my system. This is part of why things like: ‘healing yourself heals the world’ and ‘be the change you want to see in the world’, and ‘don’t walk anywhere to preach unless your walking IS your preaching’ matter so much. This is part of why Spiritual Masters are such a healing influence in the world, and such a healing to be near: they don’t reflect back our shit (because they aren’t holding on to it) – it sails right through! They reflect back our Beauty and Wholeness – and so we can more easily allow our Beauty and Wholeness to BE.
...........- AND Meanwhile, as long as I have a standard-issue human body, I am likely to have a little or a lot of invalidation 'lying around' in my space, and opportunities to let go of invalidation and many other kinds of ‘hooks’ in my system. Learning to let go of hooks will remain a game I have the opportunity to play: one of the healing games ; )

A couple interesting things to note about this illustration:

- Jesus spoke about ‘judge not lest ye be judged’ If I hold judgment (competition) in my space, I will not only judge others but also judge myself – there is no way around it. All the energy in our system, in this case judgment, is a two-way street! If I want to experience the world as safe, easy, joyful, I must let go of things like judgment, otherwise I will never allow myself to fully enjoy the grace, peace, freedom of God.

- More about energy in the system being a two-way street: The more I allow the spiritual fruits into my life, and allow the intellectual and emotional and other energetic ‘garbage’ out of my system, of course it is more comfortable for me to BE myself and PLAY in the world. Also it is A LOT easier for OTHERS to be with me and play with me, as well.

These shifts may seem simple to say, and sometimes harder to do, but I believe PERCEIVING/VALIDATING where the issues are (one could call this acknowledging Truth) and CHOOSING to allow change (one could call this allowing Grace ; ) gets me a great chunk of the way there. We have a lot more power than we may think, and a lot more spiritual help than we may acknowledge! And I am blessed to utilize spiritual techniques that totally ROCK for supporting me to make these kinds of changes!

And of course, I am still learning and growing. As I said above, sometimes I still give my power away when I experience judgment: especially with ‘very spiritual’ folks. I tell myself things like this:

- They know BETTER THAN ME who I ‘should’ be and what I ‘should’ do. I should listen to them, not myself and God…

- Oh, their judgment really is valid, I really DO SUCK. I should go back and hide under a rock and feel bad about myself until I am ‘fixed’… Like that’s gonna happen: acceptance and change is hard enough, doing that while beating myself up, under a rock: THAT sounds like a rock too big for God to move ; )

I’ve been stuck about these issues of allowing other’s judgment of me (especially ‘Authorities’ judgment... and punishment!) to be true for me, well, my whole life… But so much has shifted and changed and lightened and become easier in the last decade, this place of stuckness around judgment by ‘spiritual authorities’ has kinda stood out like a ‘sore thumb’ A place of obvious discomfort and darkness in my life; a life that I am generally allowing to be continually freer and easier…

SO, I just had an ah-ha light bulb go off!
Tonight – AH-HA – TA-DA. I got some light on the subject, some insight, some traction! And already I experiencing shift... BBWWWAAHHHHAAAAHHHHAAAA (Happy Halloween! ; )

OK, this is what happened:
Michael came out of his office radiating FEAR.

Let me back up and say 2 things:
- My partner Michael is amazing and wonderful. He, and also we, are up against some incredibly challenging, fear-inducing stuff. Fear is a very valid reaction under the circumstances, and generally he is doing a really Great job with it.
- If I am ‘owning’ my fear, I can handle it in my space. If I am not ‘owning’ my fear, if it is part of my ‘shadow’, I will experience it less (maybe much less or not at all), BUT those around me will get ‘hit’ with it more – it will radiate out around me. This helps me understand some really paradoxical experiences in my life: Why do folks think I am being a ‘witch’ when I think I am being nice? Why am I afraid of some people who seem to be gentle and kind?

OK, so, Michael came out of his office radiating FEAR.

It felt very uncomfortable to me and I thought – ugh. I don’t like this, I don’t need this on top of my stuff, I want one of us to go away so I can feel better and not have to deal with all this fear…

And Ah-ha! I got it. THAT is what is going on with these people and groups that I feel especially uncomfortable with! They are not comfortable with whatever I am experiencing, or not wanting to experience in my space: hate, invalidation, competition, fear, whatever. It is hitting them in the places they are not healed yet, either; and ‘hooking’ them. They are HOOKED, so they are not happy in themselves and they are not happy with me for ‘CAUSING’ it! This is great news: this is just regular garden variety, every-time-we-turn-around energy action-reaction described above. They are HUMAN, they are annoyed because of their hooks, their unhealed parts. That’s the whole story – hallelujah.

I erroneously had it in my head, in my heart, that since these people and groups were ‘spiritually advanced’ therefore, the ‘problem’ couldn’t be THEM it must be ME! If they were annoyed I must be very, very bad and I better run to find my rock to hide under. But all of a sudden I could acknowledge that they are annoyed because of their own hooks. If they weren’t hooked, they wouldn’t be annoyed!!

I have to say that one again: If they weren’t hooked, they wouldn’t be annoyed!! I am not especially BAD, I am just a normal human being filled with all kinds of energies, including hate, invalidation, competition, and fear – JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER HUMAN – each in our own unique measures. Oh, what a relief!

This allows me to let go of loads of pressure that I have been carrying! It doesn’t matter who this person is who is judging me, it doesn’t matter how ‘spiritually evolved’ they seem, or how ‘spiritually capable’ they are. If they are judging me, it is their ‘problem’, not mine! Interaction with me is lighting up for them something they can allow God to heal, if they so choose. And if they don’t choose to let it go, it’s NOT MY FAULT. If they are suffering about their reaction to my energies, it is between them and God – it is not something for ME to suffer about!

And of course I don’t like uncomfortable reactions to me, but heck, I have tools for this! This is garden-variety, this is just more healing, like I am doing every day – I can handle this! When I don’t take it personally, when I don’t make up stories that I am ridiculously rotten, THEN I can get un-hooked quite easily. I can just ‘Let Go and Let God’!

So, to finish the story…
One More Time:
Michael came out of his office radiating FEAR.
It felt very uncomfortable to me and I thought – ugh. I don’t like this, I don’t need this on top of my stuff, I want one of us to go away so I can feel better and not have to deal with all this fear…
Then I had an Ah-HA moment, which as these things do, took a micro-second ; )
And because of that insight, I easily and almost immediately STOPPED resisting and judging him for his experience, and how he was not ‘owning’ his experience and therefore spewing FEAR ‘all over me’. And started releasing my own fear, and allowing love and acceptance instead. Again, almost immediately, my very uncomfortable reaction to his fear went away. And then, almost immediately, his fear stopped spewing out. It was that easy and that fast: healing happened in a few seconds… and he and I get to live in a different world than we had been living in before.

Hallelujah and Amen!

Lastly, I find this interesting: a couple days ago, I had a cool interaction on FB which started with the Jung quote which begins: ‘We cannot change anything unless we accept it.’ (Posted below) Then, a friend brought up 'The Paradoxical Theory of Change':'When you hate something and you try to change it, it will never change. When you accept what you hate, change occurs spontaneously.' This reminded me of what I have been hearing from many folks since I was a teenager: ‘What we Resist, Persists’.

‘What we Resist, Persists’ is a principle which many have found to be true and useful, including myself. But I haven’t really understood WHY it is so? As I finish writing this sharing, I am finding that much of what I have written here seems to address this very issue: some of the reasons why judgment (competition), resistance, fear, hate, etc., directly block shift, change and healing from occurring in ourselves and others; and why letting go of these energies encourages healing and change, within and in the world.

Hallelujah and Amen!

Peace, Love and Understanding
; ) w

Thursday, October 28, 2010

What We Resist, Persists

Jung, speaking before a group of Ministers in 1932

We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses. If a doctor wishes to help a human being he must be able to accept him as he is. And he can do this in reality only when he has already seen and accepted himself as he is. Perhaps this sounds very simple, but simple things are always the most difficult. In actual life it requires the greatest art to be simple, and so acceptance of oneself is the essence of the moral problem and the acid test of one’s whole outlook on life. That I feed the beggar, that I forgive an insult, that I love my enemy in the name of Christ—all these are undoubtedly great virtues. What I do unto the least of my brethren, that I do unto Christ. But what if I should discover that the least amongst them all, the poorest of all the beggars, the most impudent of all offenders, yea, the very fiend himself—that these are within me, and that I myself stand in need of the alms of my own kindness, that I myself am the enemy who must be loved—what then? Had it been God himself who drew near to us in this despicable form, we should have denied him a thousand times before a single cock had crowed.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The so-called "WAR" between men and women

What if the issues between men and women weren't all or mostly because we are different genders, but rather because we are love/sex objects for each other?

I am very enrolled in Imago theory, which basically says: I am attracted to those who remind me of my early care-givers - in positive and negative ways. I want to bond, love and be loved, heal and be healed - and make it come out RIGHT this time. Often this feels very good in the beginning, and devolves to feeling not so good and going not so smoothly as time goes on... especially if I am not conscious about healing myself, supporting the other, deliberate in my communication, and especially receiving directly from God.

I like to share in meditation classes a picture that one of my 'healees' showed me a few years ago. She was monogamously married, but infatuated with some guy - you know the story...

When I looked at it, and saw very clearly that energetically this guy was a 'gumball machine' to her - she believed she could receive the things she was missing in her life and her 'heart' from him (she completely made-up this idea, but it was an enrolling fantasy nonetheless ; )

I saw that she really could receive all the things she was looking for outside herself (from the elusive gumball machine), directly, energetically, in a very real way: from God and from her connection with the earth (this is a practice in my spiritual tradition, which is delicious and I highly recommend, BTW ; )

My assumptions:

- Being self-contained, receiving what we need spiritually first, is not a common practice in our culture.

- Most people don't even have a concept this Can happen, and certainly don't know how to Open to this kind of experience.

- Meanwhile, the basic paradigm in our society is "fall in love" (find a gumball machine that will give me the best approximation of what I need, do whatever I have to do the get the gumball machine to give me what I want; repeat, ad nauseum). Then probably "fall out of love" (when the cost becomes much higher than the value of the gumballs... then I need to find a new and better gumball machine).

- Our basic beliefs around romantic relationships in our society don't serve us very well...

If I need something from my gumball machine that I can't get it to give me, or I can't find another gumball machine: isn't it a very small step to judging, blaming, hating the gender from which I enjoy finding my gumball machines? Is it really the FAULT of the 'pink' team (or the 'blue' team) that one of the 'pink' (or one of the 'blue') gumball machines won't line up in perpetuity to be a good-little-gumball-provider for me?

Meanwhile, from the other side: when I go around trying to get my needs met from others, 'outside myself', I can get very attached, controlling, irrational, manipulative, desperate, etc. It isn't pretty - really, you don't want to see it... *I* certainly don't want to see how ugly I can get! It may be easy for some to make up a story that I act that way because I am on the 'pink' team. Sure, I act certain ways because I am in a female body and because I am socialized as a female in this culture – but the REAL issue with my behavior, in this particular scenario, is not about which gender body I am in, rather it is that I am STARVING for gumballs!

I act crazy when I am starving - most people do - it is understandable. I hope we can deepen into more compassion for each other. And most importantly, I hope we can all continue to learn to go to God for the gumballs: because we really do need them – we just don’t HAVE to get them ‘out there’. Actually when I Have them 'in here' already - they quite magically SHOW UP 'OUT THERE'... it's just how it works... (there are some good reasons why this is so, but it is off-track in this conversation ; )

Meanwhile, I am not saying there is no value in a sexual and/or romantic partner - because certainly there is! But, the more I can be self-contained - the more my basic needs are met: the more I can choose to enjoy and invest in relationships or not: the better my relationships go! So, when I do, especially, the spiritual 'work'; as well emotional and relational and communication-al 'work': my relationships are Quite Delicious, and I am generally easy and fun to play with, in them.

So, back to my main point: How much are the issues about gender? How much are they about other things, such as:
- Having so much pressure on my love/sex-object to fulfill so many of my needs, as the examples above.
- Dealing with all the projections, emotions, thoughts... I have about past intimates as well as how my intimates SHOULD be (there is A LOT of unconscious stuff that comes up for me in (especially) my romantic (as well as other) relationships, that is completely irrational and non-tangential)
- projections, emotions, thoughts... I have regarding whatever gender I am relating to ("men ARE this"... "women ARE that")

THESE things are an awful lot of baggage to try to have a relationship through! And these are just the obvious issues that come to mind as I write this...

My experience has been, as someone with several long and short-term romantic/sexual relationships with each gender: for me relational strife has very little to do with how annoying men are and how annoying women are - because I can tell you from hard experience: they EACH can be freaking annoying in intimate relationship, as I certainly can be, as well ; )

SO I am not enrolled that the issue of gender is that huge an issue at all - I certainly don't believe gender is the most important issue. I recognize it is an issue to be managed and enjoyed, but these challenges are much easier to manage as I do my work, and deal with some of the other issues as named above. PTL!

Thanks for listening
; ) wendy

Friday, October 8, 2010

... I'm here...

I’m not here to be perfect, I’m here to be happy.

I’m not here to be perfectly happy, I’m here to be a work-in-progress happy.

I’m not here to tough it out, I’m here to savor this moment.

I’m not here to notice what’s wrong, I’m here to celebrate what’s right.

I’m not here to perfect the world, I’m here to witness its perfection.

I’m not here to accomplish greatness, I’m here to see the greatness in what I accomplish.

I’m not here to prove myself worthy, I’m here to know myself worthy and accept the benefits.

I’m not here to gain others’ approval, I’m here to approve of myself – and let it go at that.

I’m not here to take life seriously, I’m here to take life as it comes – And chuckle.

I’m not here to impose my beliefs on others, I’m here to suspect we all have a chunk of the truth.

I’m not here to struggle my way to my goals, I’m here to envision them, welcome them, and dream up goals anew.

I’m not here to feel frustrated, I’m here to feel fulfilled yet eager for more.

I’m not here to regret the past, I’m here to say goodbye to it – With a kiss.

I’m not here to work off karma, I’m here to play in the clay of creation.

I’m not here to fear death, I’m here to allow my fears to die.

I’m not here to live in bliss, I’m here to ever move in that direction.

I’m not here to fidget over setbacks, I’m here to appreciate overall progress.

I’m not here to search for God, I’m here to rest assured there’s nothing else.

Author unknown

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Experience Reality

All that really matters is that we have our own authentic, direct, immediate and intimate experience of God. It’s not difficult, because God doesn’t withhold Himself. But you have to look for God where he can actually be found. Which is within. Jesus says in Luke 17:21 – “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” The kingdom of God that’s within you is the truth about what you actually are. What it really is that you truly are, is what God is that can actually be experienced.

So with deliberate intention look directly within. Experience what is actually there. Taste what you actually are. Meet what God actually is. See for yourself where God truly is found.

You don’t need teachers’ descriptions. Do you need to have the flavor of watermelon described in order to be able to taste it? Neither do you need to have your oneness with God described in order for you to be able to experience it.

We’ve been conned to believe we only can taste what we’re taught. But that’s not true. The only way to experience what’s real, is to taste it all by yourself on your own. There’s no other way it can happen, and no other way that it will.

The reason you can directly experience what God truly is, is because God truly is within you. He couldn’t be more immediate, intimate, available or closer. Never mind what you’ve been taught about God. Never mind what you’ve been taught about yourself. Watermelon descriptions are useless. What you want to do is intimately meet what you actually are. There’s no other way to experience what God actually is.

- Ben Gilberti

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Choose: the spiritual way or the un-natural way, the material way

Exerpts from White Buffalo Teachings

When I was 12 years old, words of our ancient Prophecies were instilled in me by our Spiritual Elders of that time. Those Prophecies concern drastic changes that would come to all life upon Mother Earth. These changes are here with us today!

Our Prophecies tell us that we are at the Crossroads. We face chaos, disaster, and endless tears from our relatives’ eyes - or we can unite spiritually in peace and harmony. It’s time to bring the Message of the urgent need for Peace, of creating an energy shift throughout the world.

As Keeper of the Sacred C’anupa Bundle, I ask for your prayers for Global Healing. Our Mother Earth is suffering. Her wonderful gifts — the water, the trees, the air — are being abused. Her children — the two-legged, the four-legged, those that swim, crawl and fly — are being annihilated. We see such atrocities occurring everywhere.

Nineteen generations ago the beautiful spirit we now refer to as Pte-san win-yan (White Buffalo Calf Woman) brought the Sacred C’anupa to our People. She taught the People the Seven Sacred Rites and how to walk upon Mother Earth in a sacred manner. She said, "Only the good shall see the Pipe…the bad shall not see it or touch it."...

We must comprehend in each of our hearts and minds the two ways we human beings are free to follow, as we choose: the good way, the spiritual way - or the un-natural way, the material way. It’s our personal choice, our personal decision - each of ours and all of ours.

You, yourself, are the one who must decide. You alone can choose. Whatever you decide is what you’ll be - good or bad. You cannot escape the consequences of your own decision. On your decision — yes, on your own personal decision — depends the fate of the World.

You can’t avoid it. You must decide. You personally - each of us personally - is put here in this time and this place to decide the future of humankind.

Did you think you were put here for something less?

Did you think the Creator would create unnecessary people in a time of such terrible danger?

Know that you are essential to this World. Believe that. Understand that. You yourself are desperately needed.

This is the message that I carry to you as we stand at this Crossroads in history — I, Chief Arvol Looking Horse, known also as Horse Man, Keeper of the Sacred C’anupa (pipe) brought to the Lakota-Dakota-Nakota Nation by the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Woman nineteen generations ago.

Hau kola. I am honored to greet you. I honor your sacredness, your humanness. I ask you to honor mine. It is good that we meet. Yes, good. Wasté! Mitakuye Oyasin.

When we say Mitakuye Oyasin — "All Our Relations" — many people don’t understand the meaning of those words. The phrase Mitakuye Oyasin has a bigger meaning than just our blood relatives. Yes, it’s true; we are all one human race. But the word Mitakuye means relations and Oyasin means more than family, more than a Nation, more than all of humankind. Everything that has a spirit.

The Earth herself, Maka Unci, is our relation, and so is the sky - Grandfather Sky - and so is the Buffalo…and so are each of the two-leggeds, the four-leggeds, those that swim, those that fly, the root nation, and the crawling beings who share the world with us. Mitakuye Oyasin refers to the interconnectedness of all beings and all things. We are all interconnected. We are all One.

Don’t call us "earth-based," as if we worship the Earth. We don’t worship her. We honor her. But to worship anyone, we, the Indigenous, will never do that. We humble ourselves to the sacred energy of all life knowing we are one. We stand up when we address the Creator, we bow down and touch the earth, to acknowledge and give thanks to our Mother.

We see ourselves as part of the universe, part of all that is seen, and part of all that is unseen. We recognize that we are no better - and no worse - than the grasses, the trees, the birds, the insects, the animals, the stars.

But we also understand that we humans are different. Each being of Creation has a unique role and place, and a specific task to perform. Our Original Instructions tell us what our role is, where our place is, and what our task is as human beings.

Do you know your task? Unless you know it, and then perform it in this life, you have strayed from the Good Red Road that the Creator - Wakan Tanka - has given each of us to walk.

Even those who don’t know how will pray or meditate. They will learn to contribute their energy. All people need to learn that within each of us, we have this ability and gift.

Yes, our life energy must be a gift for our future. Your life, my life, everybody’s life must follow your given path.

So pray or meditate. Follow your inner path and learn just how powerful you are and learn that you are a leader for your people, your family, your children, and the Mother Earth.

What happens within us happens in the World.
We are the Message of the World.
As we are and as we do,
So the World will be.

When the people of all colors pray together with the Sacred C’anupa (pipe), or with any other sacred gifts given by the creator, even with just our natural spirit energy — without anger or resentment or prejudice — extremely powerful things can occur. When we do this with a good heart and in a sacred way we can - and will - change the world!

When you begin to believe in the sacred way of life, you will begin to understand the importance of the sacred sites, knowing that they are a connection to Mother Earth. You will understand the traditions and the ability to see the prophecies that were passed down through the generations of Ancestors, who lived in harmony. They had seen what was in store for their seven generations to come (us), they prayed we would re-find the "key" to harmony in understanding the Spirit of the Circle of Life. It is then that you assist in bringing health, prosperity and balance back to Mother Earth. That is human sacrifice and spiritual growth. That is the way. We as the Buffalo People believe in this circle of life, where there is no ending and no beginning. The process of mending the sacred hoop continues.....

Know that you yourself are essential to this world. Believe that. Understand both the blessing and the burden of that. You yourself are desperately needed to save the Soul of this World. Did you think you were put here for something less?

-Chief Arvol Looking Horse

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Mary Oliver

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—
/ equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
/ keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be
/ astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
/ and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
/ to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Warrior is a Child

Recently reminded of Twila Paris' The Warrior is a Child

Blast from the past!
And, I often think about this image, when things get rough, and I start draggin'

They don't know that I go running home when I fall down
They don't know who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and cry for just a while
'Cause deep inside this armour
The warrior is a child.

Might as well take the opportunity to enjoy the fantastic, useful, encouraging, inspiring and all-too-true scripture on which this song builds, below.

Blessings! Wendy

Ephesians 6 (NKJV):
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Peace of Wild Things

The Peace of Wild Things
by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

They're Singing Your Song

From a story told by Alan Cohen
in his book: Wisdom Of The Heart:

When a woman in a certain African tribe knows
she is pregnant, she goes out into the wilderness
with a few friends and together they pray and
meditate until they hear the song of the child.
They recognize that every soul has its own vibration
that expresses its unique flavor and purpose. When
the women attune to the song, they sing it out loud.
Then they return to the tribe and teach it to everyone

When the child is born, the community gathers and sings the child's song to him or her. Later, when the child enters education, the village gathers and chants the child's song. When the child passes through the initiation to adulthood, the people again come
together and sing. At the time of marriage, the person hears his or her song.

Finally, when the soul is about to pass from this world, the family and friends gather at the person's bed, just as they did at their birth, and they sing the person to the next life.

To the African tribe there is one other occasion upon which the villagers sing to the child. If at any time during his or her life, the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, the individual is called to the center of the village and the people in the community
form a circle around them. Then they sing their song to them.

The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment; it is love and the remembrance of identity. When you recognize your own song, you have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt another.

A friend is someone who knows your song and sings it to you when you have forgotten it. Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made or dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you are confused.

You may not have grown up in an African tribe that sings your song to you at crucial life transitions, but life is always reminding you when you are in tune with yourself and when you are not. When you feel good, what you are doing matches your song, and when you feel awful, it doesn't. In the end, we shall all recognize our song and sing it well.

You may feel a little warbly at the moment, but so have all the great singers. Just keep singing and you'll find your way home.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Standing outside the Fire

If your knowledge of fire
has been turned to certainty by words alone,
then seek to be cooked by the fire itself.
Don't abide in borrowed certainty.
There is no real certainty until you burn;
if you wish for this, sit down in the fire.
~ Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi

I believe poetry is wonderful because there is no exact meaning,
it means many things, and different things to different folks.
Below are 3 thoughts, of many, I have regarding this awesome quote.
I would love to hear your ideas!

Experience and practice, being in present time with our body and in this world, ARE reality
- I hear Rumi say: jump in with no holds barred!

Theory and hearsay are shadows of reality.
I would rather directly experience what is real and true and love and God... for Myself... not second-hand.
Hearsay, a borrowed life, is like watching life on TV, it is not LIFE!

AND meanwhile,
oh how reality Burns!

But then, no one can say this theory or that theory to me,
I KNOW my experience
- that is my own certainty, not someone else's belief or theory...

Christian writer Paul says:
"in order that we may be no longer babes, tossed and carried about by every wind of that teaching but... holding the truth in love, we may grow up to him in all things"

My favorite Christian Teacher, Dr Bruce Morgan, used to say this often:
Our God is a consuming fire,
who burns up everything that is not God
for me it is axiomatic.

From my perspective, everything comes from God and everything returns to God.
I can flow with the process or I can resist it. 
Depending on my level of resistance I can suffer little or much. 

But in the end, whether I let-go or I fight tooth and nail (like a cat trying not to take a bath)
- no matter what:
everything that is not only-God, goes into the fire...

3) One of the Christian spellings for Rumi's quote, I believe, is Jesus saying:
"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me".

I would translate this something like:
I must let go of letting the 'lower/ego self' run the show...
Paul calls this the 'flesh',
I let go of the physically-focused self;

and I be, I identify as who I really am as spirit, a part of God,
and I walk my unique spiritual path.

This fulfills me and naturally serves the world.
AND this Way goes through the fire, the cross, there is no way around it!
Just like Jesus did, in his unique way, we have the opportunity to do, in our unique way.

When we stop chasing around outside of us (fixing, changing, squirreling, consuming, desiring, worrying, scheming, helping, controlling... ad infinitum)
and focus inside of us (which feels like sitting in the fire, no? at least at first!!!)
then, well, that is IT. 

The way can be painful, but the fruit is sweet.

The fire could be THE BELOVED (GOD),
it could be LOVE,
it could be LIFE,
it could be BEINGNESS. 
Here is one possible reading of Rumi's words, that could sum all these things:

If your knowledge of GOD
has been turned to certainty by words alone,
then seek to be cooked by GOD directly.
Don't abide in borrowed certainty.
There is no real certainty until you are consumed/transformed through/by GOD;
if you wish for this, sit down in GOD.

Of course I find myself singing Garth now  ; )
Life is not tried, it is merely survived
If you're standing outside the fire

Sunday, April 25, 2010

the country they call life

God speaks to each of us as he makes us, then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are the words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall, go to the limits of your longing. Embody me.

Flare up like flame and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final. Don't let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life. You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.

"Gott spricht zu jedem…/God speaks to each of us…"
from Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, by Ranier Maria Rilke, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Loving Enemies

A clip from Steve Goodier, of '3 Minute Learning':


A knight returned to his castle at twilight. He was a mess. His armor was dented, his helmet askew, his face was bloody, his horse was limping and he listed to one side in the saddle. His lord met him at the gate, asking, "What has befallen you, Sir Knight?"

Straightening himself up as best he could, he replied, "Oh, Sire, I have been laboring in your service, robbing and burning and pillaging your enemies to the west."

"You have been what?" cried the startled nobleman. "But I haven't any enemies to the west!"

"Oh!" said the knight. And then, after a pause, "Well, I think you do now."

What about you? Enemies to the west? Or the north, the south or the east? None of us will calmly sail through our lives in perfect harmony with everyone we meet. And though most conflict can be resolved along the way, and most of our bruised relationships can eventually be healed, some passionate issues may threaten to drive a permanent wedge between people. Heartfelt moral and political stances, especially, can polarize folks who just as passionately hold differing positions. Former U.S. Ambassador Claire Booth Luce once observed: "I don't have a warm personal enemy left. They've all died off. I miss them terribly because they helped define me."

So-called "enemies" can serve a valuable purpose. If we let them, they can teach us about ourselves. By holding a mirror before us, they can help us see what we may have missed. By disagreeing with our heartfelt convictions, they can sharpen our points of view. And, if we allow it, they can unwittingly help us practice strength and compassion in the face of criticism.

If enemies cannot become friends, they can become teachers. If we listen, they will teach us what our friends cannot.


My main spiritual teacher used to talk about relating to our enemies, and I resisted.
I thought, "if I have enemies, I am doing something wrong."
Now, fortunately and sadly, I know differently. Sometimes they 'just comes.'

One time my Partner Michael ordered breakfast in the South.
When it arrived, he asked about the grits.
 "Honey, you don't order grits, they 'just comes.'

And so do enemies,
and it helps if I name it and accept the reality of it.

I have found what Steve Goodier says above, about enemies, to be true.
And what Jesus said to be true, as well - according to Luke 6:
But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

Although I must admit, I had to learn better what love is, and how to be more comfortable in my own skin, before I could even begin to really understand what Jesus was saying...

Life is complicated. I have found that somrtimes:
* I love those whom I hate, and I hate those whom I love.
* My friends become enemies, and my enemies become friends.
* My friends Act like enemies, and my enemies Act like friends.
The game is pretty complex... and life is long, roles change.

I have found, for many reasons more than are quickly covered in this post,
the dance of enemies is a blessing (often uncomfortable),
as well as a fantastic opportunity for healing and learning!

Hope you are enjoying your dance!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

crucified between the opposites

A great quote for Holy Week:

"There can be only patient endurance of the opposites which ultimately spring from your own nature. You yourself are a conflict that rages in itself and against itself in order to melt its incompatible substances, the male and the female, in the fire of suffering and thus create that form which is the goal of life. Everyone goes through this mill, consciously or unconsciously, voluntarily or forcibly. We are crucified between the opposites and delivered up to the torture, until the reconciling third takes shape. Do not doubt the rightness of the two sides within you and let whatever may happen, happen. The apparently unendurable conflict is proof of the rightness of your life. A life without intercontradiction is either only half a life or else a life in the beyond which is destined only for angels."
- C.G. Jung, in a letter to Frau Olga Fröbe-Kapteyn

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

This is how he grows

The Man Watching
By Rainer Maria Rilke

I can tell by the way the trees beat, after
so many dull days, on my worried windowpanes
that a storm is coming,
and I hear the far-off fields say things
I can’t bear without a friend,
I can’t love without a sister.

The storm, the shifter of shapes, drives on
across the woods and across time,
and the world looks as if it had no age:
the landscape like a line in the psalm book,
is seriousness and weight and eternity.

What we choose to fight is so tiny!
What fights with us is so great!
If only we would let ourselves be dominated
as things do by some immense storm,
we would become strong too, and not need names.

When we win it’s with small things,
and the triumph itself makes us small.
What is extraordinary and eternal
does not want to be bent by us.
I mean the Angel who appeared
to the wrestlers of the Old Testament:
when the wrestlers’ sinews
grew long like metal strings,
he felt them under his fingers
like chords of deep music.

Whoever was beaten by this Angel
(who often simply declined the fight)
went away proud and strengthened
and great from that harsh hand,
that kneaded him as if to change his shape.
Winning does not tempt that man.
This is how he grows: by being defeated, decisively,
by constantly greater beings.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sing loud!

Each Note

Advice doesn't help lovers!
They're not the kind of mountain stream
you can build a dam across.

An intellectual doesn't know
what the drunk is feeling!

Don't try to figure
what those lost inside love
will do next!

Someone in charge would give up all his power,
if he caught one whiff of the wine-musk
from the room where the lovers
are doing who-knows-what!

One of them tries to dig a hole through a mountain.
One flees from academic honors.
One laughs at famous mustaches!

Life freezes if it doesn't get a taste
of this almond cake.
The stars come up spinning
every night, bewildered in love.
They'd grow tired
with that revolving, if they weren't.
They'd say,
"How long do we have to do this!"

God picks up the reed-flute world and blows.
Each note is a need coming through one of us,
a passion, a longing-pain.
Remember the lips
where the wind-breath originated,
and let your note be clear.
Don't try to end it.
Be your note.
I'll show you how it's enough.

Go up on the roof at night
in this city of the soul.

Let everyone climb on their roofs
and sing their notes!

Sing loud!

- Rumi (version by Coleman Barks)

Friday, February 26, 2010


this is one of my favorite songs, ever
and I ain't never heard it like K.D. Lang does it!!
There are many versions on YouTube, this is one .

In every stage, in every emotion, in every position, in every love and in every loss
... Hallelujah
; ) w

Crossing the Line

" When Christians draw lines between themselves and others, Jesus remains a relentless and scandalous crosser of these lines. He quietly slips to the other side. Whenever an attempt to imprison him is made he disappears from sight and appears elsewhere. Thus is lived out the paradoxical nature of Christian identity. A Christian is simultaneously a member of a community and an outsider. It is as if Jesus still prefers to be with the outcast, however wrong their beliefs or behavior, rather than with those who are self-righteously sure that only they are right. The intolerant Christian isolates himself or herself from the Christ of universal tolerance. Jesus' truth is greater than all the opinions about him put together. "

- Laurence Freeman, Jesus: The Teacher Within

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Desire & Fear

When I was meditating last night,
I was working with Buddha in a way we often do together:
in a flow of God's Energy,
utilizing a meditation technique my tradition calls 'body of glass' (consciously letting go / being willing to release and asking / allowing God to wash away my attachments and resistances – which in the language of this prayer below, are closely related to desire and fear : )

This prayer below was brought to mind. I meant to look it up today, but ended up 'coincidentally' stumbling upon it. I plan to use it in my meditations today; it covers several areas in which I still have plenty of ‘sticky points’.

I enjoyed a Really blessed meditation last night (not Always the case ; )
Then spoke briefly with my close friend Scott on the phone, in a very self-validating place.
God has been working with me deeply lately around trusting God.
I am noticing a marked difference in myself in this trip. From my perspective, this process of trusting God more deeply is effecting my NJ trip very positively:
- with less need for control,
- and a deeper ability to let go of 'perfect pictures' (having to live up to certain ideals, ethics, using a lot of effort to try to be ‘perfect'! ; )
- so I can go with the flow more – which is more comfortable and efficacious and fun for me and everyone around me ; )

This course of events, put me in an optimal place to handle the challenges that came next, gracefully - I received a couple e-mails that occur as ‘bumps in the road’ in my ministry. Feels good when I am 'in the flow' - I may not Like everything that happens, but it feels peaceful and solid to Trust the process...

Blessings, and the gift of trusting God more and more deeply to all!

Deliver me, O Jesus,

From the desire of being loved,

From the desire of being extolled,

From the desire of being honored,

From the desire of being praised,

From the desire of being preferred,

From the desire of being consulted,

From the desire of being approved,

From the desire of being popular,

From the fear of being humiliated,

From the fear of being despised,

From the fear of suffering rebuked,

From the fear of being calumniated,

From the fear of being forgotten,

From the fear of being wronged,

From the fear of being ridiculed,

From the fear of being suspected.

- Mother Teresa, in `Mother Teresa, A Simple Path'

This prayer has been associated with Mother Teresa, because it was a prayer she utilized regularly.

But, it was written by Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930), the secretary of state for Pope Saint Pius X. Below is what I believe is the original version.

(btw, calumniate - To make maliciously or knowingly false statements about.)

Litany of Humility

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.

From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Energy/Money Exchange

Today I participated in a FB conversation which started with the question "Why don't we, all of us, decide who gets paid what according to how much one contributes to the whole of humanity, rather than the other way around?" This is what is on my mind regarding that today:

Until recently, I have worked under a 'suggested donation' model in my ministry. I have noticed in the last few years, even though I encourage folks how important it is to 'ask' so we can receive, and overcome limits, and consciously co-create for themselves, etc - and I actively lead with 'I never let money stand in the way' of my students. I am forthright about things I need besides money: to utilize barter, referrals, etc to balance energy exchange. Still, often folks don't talk to me about compensation, and don't participate in classes and personal sessions, allegedly because of money concerns.

I have learned from this in my own life, to talk to people about how much to pay them. For example I made a deal with my body worker which feels very good to both of us. Sometimes I end up paying him a little less than he would get from a usual client, sometimes I end up paying him more than he would ask for a particular treatment. We both feel very good about our work together, we are inspired to be generous with each other, and both feel we are getting well compensated for what we are each investing. This has shown my how well this kind of open-hearted communication / compensation works.

I recently started operating according to 'gift economy' in my ministry. (I ask folks to gift "me an amount that feels good and right and fair to them, that they can afford, and that they can give joyfully") I was inspired to this by my friend Tree who has been operating like this for a long time - she has a nice overview here.

I have been amazed how much I am enjoying this change, and the energy has definitely shifted my ministry, very positively.

My point, relative to your question is: we Can each decide in our every-day life (on the micro-level, which affects the macro-level) who gets paid what, for what. I plan to incorporate this more and more in my life. It is a very empowering, conscious way to live. And I believe it Will change how our bigger social systems work, as more of us change the way we individually relate to money, compensation, balancing energy-exchange between us...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

He kept on learning and growing and working

I learned yesterday that Vincent van Gogh created the 4th highest priced painting ever - 1990 for $134.6 million (adjusted for comparison to 2009 dollars). 6 of his paintings are in the top 30 highest paid ever.

BUT, while he lived, he sold one painting in his whole life - ONE, for not a lot...

He was very poor, supported by his dear brother - the only solid relationship in his life, it seems.

He was a master, standing in the light - which was just too much for him to take! With (almost) no love for himself as a person and (almost) no outside validation of his work. And he kept on learning and growing and working, until he couldn't do it no more.

God bless him, IDK how he got so far; so very far with so very little from the outside...

I come away from this encounter very grateful for the much (which sometimes seems like Not Enough!! : ) outside love and validation I receive.

Wow I am encouraged to keep going! I hope you are too!