"To be religious is to be sensitive to reality. Your total being - body, mind and heart - is sensitive to beauty and to ugliness, to the donkey tied to the post, to the poverty and filth in this town, to laughter and tears, to everyting about you.
From this sensitivity for the whole of existence, springs goodness, love; and without this sensitivity there is no beauty, though you may have talent, be very well dressed, ride an expensive car and be scrupulously clean...there is an immediate response to that which is lovely and also that which is ugly, the response of pleasure or pain, and we put that feeling into words saying: "this is beautiful" or "that is ugly".
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"
“When I emerged from the direct experience of who I am (at the retreat) I started to laugh. All of my worries about the future and my resentments about past hurts seemed, in that moment, very small when compared to the vastness of which I was a part. In that moment I knew that joy- real joy that does not deny what is hard in our lives- is a choice. Joy finds us when we feel the elation that comes when we know that we belong- to another, to ourselves, to the world, to the Mystery that is larger than ourselves."
—Oriah Mountain Dreamer from THE INVITATION© 1999 published by Harper San Francisco. All rights reserved. Presented with permission of the author
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