I don't know about you but I have not met too many people that are consistently happy. Life is full of ups and downs, times of elation and deep peace and times of loss and difficult challenge. There are so many things we don't want: the pile of bills on the desk, the extra weight, the long commute, the difficult boss, the cold winter, the dishes that always have to be done, etc. The list goes on and extends even to the tendencies in ourselves: the self-judgement, the procrastination, the perfectionism etc.
All these irritations in life are like one of those children's big punching balloons with the weight at the bottom and the perverse smile. The more we push it away and punch it the more it keeps popping back up. We hope that by ignoring or pushing aside all these undesirable conditions that they will go away. In most cases they don't. They keep coming back.
What if the non-acceptance of the things we don't want is actually preventing us from achieving the things we do want? And what if the acceptance of those very things we are not happy about can in the end bring us greater happiness?
That is a pretty amazing paradox.
Let us examine this.
A number of years ago I owned a retreat centre called the Ecology Retreat Centre in the beautiful Hockley Valley near Orangeville. It was a very fulfilling time in my life even though I overworked getting stressed out creating a stress-free environment.
In my tenure there I received a great personal education of many spiritual and growth practices almost every weekend and met many well known spiritual teachers. I also developed a keen radar for groups that were liberating and others that were more cultish and entrapping. I got to experience the effectiveness of many of the transformational practices either by outside observation or by directly participating.
It can be a loaded word – it could mean trap, pain, struggle, lostness. Or on the flipside it can mean comfort, cave, hideaway, protection, safety.
For me, it's been one of my ongoing difficulties in life – to find my place in the world, on the earth and amongst others. I've lived in 2 other cultures – Jamaica and Mexico – and understand that feeling of being the outsider. I grew up in a home that was rife with conflict, so much so that I left at 16 years old. I have moved over 50 times in my 38 years on this earth, and have lived in other parts of Canada, as well.
A common problem that some of my one-to-one Clearing clients have is not having a clear definition of concepts associated with their goals.
For example if someone doesn't know what a marriage is and they want a good marriage, how can they ever achieve this? The same goes for concepts like success, the spiritual path and authenticity. Frequently, I will get clients to participate in a clarification technique where they tell me what a concept is and what it is not.
We go back and forth until they make a breakthrough, the lights go off and they say "Ah, that's what it is". It's a refining process similar to purifying gold: separating out the precious metal from what it is not. It is a simple and remarkable technique. You may want to try this for yourself.
Most people on the spiritual path want to achieve inner peace.
For years and years we have searched for it on the outside only to find that external happiness never lasts. The great tasting meal is temporary, the beautiful fashion changes, the gorgeous hairdo grows out, the great job goes sour and the wonderful relationship breaks-up.
Inevitably, through our lifelong failure to find this happiness, we arrive at the conclusion that inner peace is really in ourselves. So we begin to look there. We take courses, read books, learn to meditate and attend yoga classes and eventually discover that this inner peace is found in the most obvious place. It is so obvious we overlook it: it's in our awareness itself...
I came across this quote a few days after I wrote last week's blog: Caught Between a Rock and a Soft Place . Its an excerpt from a children's book called the Velvateen Rabbit. I think its a good companion to that article. It gives some insight on the importance of authenticity on the path of awakening.
It is a book that I often read to my children before bedtime when they were young. It was always such a beautiful intimate time of connection with them and when the story was finished everything in the room was soft and warm. They often drifted off to sleep with a peaceful smile on their faces.
Maybe you will be touched by this excerpt...
Recently I was with a friend of mine who had over the last year, put so much of his soul into a relationship with a woman only to have her break-up with him. Two weeks after she broke up with him he saw her walking down the street hand in hand with another man. He was deeply in love with her and ended up devastated and absolutely heart-broken.
We've all been there.
Is there a place in your life where you are feeling stuck and heavy?
Are you sensing there's something holding you back from the success you feel you deserve and you don't know what that is...or you keep hearing that old nagging critical voice that puts you down.
You've tried reading the self-help books but the advice doesn't seem to stick. And perhaps you've been on your own spiritual path for awhile and you are feeling lost and alone.
Imagine how wonderful it would be to be in the company of other seekers like yourself, coming to your own answers and breaking through to a lighter space.
Attend this one day workshop and in the community and rapport with others you will practice a simple and powerful technique called Co-evolution that combines self-inquiry, deep listening and authentic communication that can help you:
- be free of limiting beliefs
- let go of what's holding you back in your career
- move from your mind to a more heart-centered space
- feel more deserving of money, health and success
- gain clarity on what to do in your relationships...or
- come to deeper spiritual wisdom
There are many other areas of your life that you can choose to work on.
What would you like more inisght on? What would you like to let go of?
Sign up for this one day event and move past the limitations of your mind and connect to the expansive insight and presence of your authentic self.
January 24, 2015,
151 Dufferin St, Guelph, 9:30 am to 5 pm.$65.00
March 8, 9:30 am - 5 pm
The Yoga Room,
44-B Dunlop St. East, Barrie
$90 in advance or $100 at the door
"You have to do it by yourself and you don't have to do it alone"
Presenter: Russell Scott For over 30 years through his retreats and one-to-one mentorship, Russell has helped thousands of individuals experience and live from the spaciousness, joy and deep fulfillment of their true nature and purpose in life. He is one of the new generations of "no-dogma" spiritual teachers and is the author of the book "Awakening the Guru in You"
Love is a source of the greatest joy and greatest pain. We all yearn for it yet when we get hurt in love we can retreat into the over-protective prison of the mind and dwell in isolation, fear and sadness or we can collapse and get trapped in vulnerability.
Is there a way out of the prison? Why is it that some people get so hard and cold and stay in their heads? Should we be more in our hearts? Isn't that a more "spiritual" way to live? Is there any value at all to the mind?
Attend this experiential workshop with spiritual pioneer Russell Scott, and author of "Awakening the Guru in You" and have your questions answered about love. He will lead you through a simple two step process to balance the head and heart. In addition you will develop skills to:
- Be more open to others by conscious choice rather than unconscious chance
- Channel the divine presence of love into your daily life
- Trust your heart and risk again
- Access deeper wisdom and awareness through self-inquiry
- Communicate more authentically to others
- Listen empathetically to others to improve your relationships
- Commune on a deeper level to your true self
You will leave this seminar "soulfully nourished" feeling more open, alive, loving and connected to yourself and others.
November 28, 9:15 to 5 pm
Silence at 46 Essex St, Guelph
This workshop will be presented on a "Pay from the Heart Basis". A $25.00 deposit is required to enroll. At the end of the workshop, participants can make a contribution based on the value they feel they received from the workshop. The workshop is valued at between $75.00 to $150.00. The first 15 people that enroll will receive a free copy of Russell's book "Awakening the Guru in You".
To enroll click on: >>> LIVING FROM THE HEART <<<
For more information call: 519-829-4149
"You have to do it by yourself and you don't have to do it alone"
Over the years of writing this newsletter, I have had several people ask me: "Russell since you help people awaken to their true nature how about you tell us one of your awakening experiences?"
I've never really wanted to toot my on horn on this until once again someone asked me the other day, "You know Russell maybe by sharing what you have experienced others may be helped in recognizing that they too, have similiar experiences and they are not alone?"
So I have decided to share an experience with you.
I was a participant on a self-inquiry retreat near San Francisco many years ago and on the third day I was out on a walking contemplation contemplating the question "What is another?" I was deeply intent on experiencing what other individuals actually were. I had experienced the nature of myself in another retreat and I was wondering: "Are others the same as me in their essence or different?"
It was apparent that the world was full of people that were unique in their presentation but was there something that was the same?
I walked up to the top of a hill overlooking the Bay. My attention was drawn to a large boulder and suddenly as I put my attention on it I felt the sense of myself in it. I thought to myself, "What am I doing over there?".
I put my attention back on myself and the same sense of self was there. Then I put my attention on a tree and my sense of self was in it too. I asked myself; "This is very weird, how is it possible that I am over there?" My mind intervened and said this is not logical. It can't be true.
Then I put my attention on the panorama before me: the sky, the bay, the sea, the landscape, the houses and I felt myself implode. It was as if I went crazy for a nano-second and suddenly went completely sane. Suddenly all my thoughts vanished and my mind got totally clear. The sense of myself was everywhere.
There was no difference between the inside and outside. There was no separate self. All there was, was one self: the self of all and it was me. Everything that I thought was on the outside was in fact in me. It was me...and I was everything.
When I say "me" I don't mean an ego, a personality or a individual...all that was gone. I could best describe it as a universal self. There was a perfect sense of happiness, wholeness, contentment and completeness about the realization like I had finally come home.
There was a normalcy about it: this was the fact of existence and dwelling in any other sense of separateness was an illusion or abnormal. Then I walked back to the workshop room and met my fellow participants.
I saw that they too were that universal self but they were unaware of the wonderful magnificence within them. I instantly fell in love with them all and at the same laughed at the absurdity of how we were already fulfilled yet desperately searching for happiness outside when it was already inside.
They were in me and I was in them, in this cosmic eternal dance of consciousness becoming conscious of itself.
I understood the value of individuation...that consciousness needed to take on the illusion of individuality...for as we each related to another individual, the whole became more conscious of itself while each individual was paradoxically the whole. I understood that the whole of the universe was in a grand relationship like a mobius strip ceaselessly revealing itself to itself.
Ever since then I am constantly reminded that every kind of relationship and every act of communication has an element of sacredness to it. The universe is our relationship and we are all, one to another, unfolding in it.
The remarkable thing about this experience is that these kind of realizations are now available to everyone who has a sincere desire to inquire into the nature of self, life and others and who want live from a deeper place in themselves.
I am just an ordinary bloak just like every other person, but each ordinary person can have these special experiences.
It doesn't have to take years or a lifetime.
Just as technology has advanced, so too have methods of awakening. The technique as practiced on the Coming Home Retreat is one such method.
Check it out here and then get back to me if you want to further explore the self-inquiry technique that I teach on the retreat. Coming Home Retreat
“The intensive gave me a deep experience of my Self, so that now I have a kind of internal gyroscope that lets me know when something is true to me or not”
—David Warburton - Landscape designer, Orangeville, Ontario
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