In the last few months I met hundreds of people through all the workshops that I led. In my time with so many students I was able to get a sense of where people are still getting stuck with some of the spiritual work we are doing together as a community.
In working with the Medicine for the Earth material we are working in an esoteric way. This means getting comfortable with different paradoxes in life. On one level we are separate beings who experience pain and suffering. On another level we are divine and beings of perfect spiritual light.
Most of us dance back and forth between the two levels of duality and non-duality. It depends on how clear we are at different times of doing our spiritual work. This is normal as we fall prey to the denser states of consciousness of our collective world.
When we perceive life from a place of non-duality, a place of oneness there is no illness only divine perfection. When we perceive people in their divine perfection we allow them to lift up into their own spiritual light and out of a dense state. In this way of working we are not doing anything to them or sending any energy or healing to them. We are just changing our perception of how we view them knowing that this makes a difference.
The nature of being human is that we project onto others. The truth is that you are going to project on to every living being. You have a choice. Do you want to project suffering onto others sending them deeper into their hole? Or do you want to see them as divine beings who have the strength to rise above their situation? You are going to see people one way or another. Why not make the choice to see people as spiritual light who have the capacity of healing and changing their situation?
In this way of working we are creating change by essentially doing nothing. You are not performing a healing on the person you are just working with your perception.
The confusion I find with some of my students is that when we see people in their divine perfection we are doing something to them or taking them to another realm. We are just looking at them through another set of eyes. And from the spiritual teachings from around the world this is enough to help a person rise up out of a dense state of consciousness into a lighter state. Validating the inner power, strength, and radiance of another does this. If we continue to label people as ill we help to lock in the diagnosis.
I hope this makes sense.
Of course the biggest challenge with this work is when we look at some political leaders, terrorists, police who abuse prisoners, etc. Our human reactions bring us to a place of anger. And this anger actually feeds the problematic behavior.
Thomas Merton was a great philosopher and wrote many books and still has many students of his teachings. He said that any work carried out by a peace activist or humanitarian, can actually perpetrate a kind of violence against whoever the activist is tending if he/she is not coming from a place of love and peace.
When we constantly react with anger towards the behavior we observe in others we are feeding the heart of hate and not love.
For most of us this is a very difficult teaching. For we might understand that if we are angry we feed the heart of hate. But how do we change our feelings in the midst of so much injustice.
The Dalai Lama who tries to educate people about the plight of Tibetans under Chinese Communist rule does not incite anger and hate. He inspires people to have compassion toward those who take abusive roles.
Michelle Bachelet is now the president of Chile. She was once imprisoned by the former government and tortured. In her inaugural speech she talked about the need for love. Being a victim of hatred she has made a commitment to reverse hatred and turn it into tolerance, understanding and love.
Gandhi worked on many levels. He was an activist who created great change in his country through education. But he also was an activist who understood that to see peace one must find peace inside oneself.
Our task right now can seem impossible to some of us who are reacting so strongly to the violence and injustice toward all of life.
I do believe that we must continue to educate people in whatever way we can to the preciousness of life and the importance of honoring and respecting all living beings.
And at the same time we must find spiritual practices that bring us to a place of compassion.
There are meditative practices that you can explore. The way I have shared to work with this is going back to the principal of projection. For everything we are seeing in our outer world is a projection of some inner state of consciousness.
When working with projection if I get angry at an abusive police officer I need to look within and find that part of myself that I am hiding that might have wanted to be abusive at some time of my life. This is working with the shadow states that dwell within. The shadow states are the parts of ourselves that we keep hidden. But when we see these states in others we become inflamed by looking into a mirror that another person is holding up to us.
For me this is the most difficult work. For I have no tolerance for abuse of not just humans but of any form of life. As I struggle with this issue of finding compassion I feel I have no choice but to walk this path. For now I know too much of how the energy I send from my anger ends up feeding the states of consciousness in the world that I cannot tolerate.
This does not mean that I now say that abusive behavior is okay. No that is not true. But it does mean that I work with my energy so that I am not feeding more abusive and violent behavior in the world. I do this by finding compassion for what creates violent and disrespectful behavior. I do this by projecting divinity onto people I do not like with the knowledge that this creates a collective change on the planet. I do this by recognizing the state of oneness that all spiritual teachers for thousands of years have been speaking about. We are all part of one web of life and we are all connected to this web.
As we move into the winter months reflect on what you are projecting onto others. Take some time to consider whether you are feeding the heart of love and unity or the heart of hate and separation. Start to explore practices that can help you heal these states of separation.
You can work with the material in Medicine for the Earth. I hope what I wrote inspires you in some way. And of course you can explore other traditions that teach about compassion practice.
If we want to see an end to abuse and violence we must look at the places inside of ourselves that hold these states. And we must release them. And we must look at how we can be a positive force with our children and within our communities to create change. This means finding ways to educate people and raise their state of consciousness.
Recently I merged with Isis and brought her through to speak to one of my groups. She talked about when we say we are willing to be a bridge between the spiritual realms and our communities we have to work on creating stronger connections.
She asked us to think about a physical bridge. If the bridge is missing the material it is made of at any part of the bridge people, cars, trains, etc. will fall through. She said all the connections must be strong.
If we think of ourselves of being a bridge to different levels we must look at how strong our connections are with the spiritual realm. I know many of us move back and forth in trusting our spirits and not trusting the information we are getting in the spiritual realms. We move back and forth between trusting ourselves and not trusting ourselves.
Everytime we move into a place of doubt our bridge collapses.
I started to think about this and also the word connection. Personally I think we start to lose the strength of our connection as we begin to feel alone in the world. I think the feelings of being alone are a common state we all experience. When we feel alone we are no longer connected.
I am not talking about being physically alone. When I use the word “alone” I am speaking of the feelings of loneliness.
As we continue to learn how to become stronger with our spiritual practice we must learn how to recognize when we start feeling alone, isolated, insecure, left out and work through this state. The truth is none of us are alone and we are always connected to the divine and to a state of oneness.
At this time on the planet we need to stop questioning our connections to the web of life, to others, and to ourselves. When we stop questioning our connection to the spiritual realms we grow stronger in our spiritual work and can truly be a bridge and bring through spiritual energies into our world.
And as we do this the separation between the spiritual and ordinary realms collapses and we go back to how in ancient times these worlds were one. As we allow the spiritual to dance through our ordinary lives healing happens for ourselves and for the planet.
So do the work you need to do during this time of winter to really strengthen your connections. This takes intention, concentration, focus, staying in a place of love for ourselves as we work through our feelings of being separate. We must remember in reality there is a web of life we are in union with, and use our imaginations to help us to stretch into remembering our connection with the spiritual world is more real than we imagine to be possible. This will all bring about the harmony in the world we are seeking.
A few months ago I had the honor to read and endorse the book Grandmothers Council the World written by Carol Schaefer and published by Shambhala.
Thirteen remarkable indigenous Grandmothers from around the world, keepers of their tribes’ teachings from original times gathered together in mid-October 2004.
The wise women, curanderos, shamans, and healers of their tribe brought to the council new visions and prophecies for humanity as well as their tribes’ rich and varied sources of wisdom, and each tribe’s unique and secret teachings for living within the Divine Order of things.
I was very moved by reading the personal stories of these women. And I was inspired by the information they shared. And of course I felt they provide a wonderful example for all of us as these women from different spiritual traditions gathered together as a community in behalf of the planet.
The book can be found or ordered through your local bookstore and you can order it on Amazon.com or Barnes&Noble.com.
For the winter solstice, a time of deepening into the truth of who we are, reflect on the strength of your connection to the spiritual work you are involved with. If you work with others in a group share with each other your fears, your insecurities about your work knowing that the support and love of others is a great way to honor where you are at and keep you moving on your path.
If you work alone use this day to reflect on your spiritual work and do some writing or painting to express where you are.
Whether you work alone or in a group none of us is isolated. Allow yourself to feel your connection with a world community who is working with you. And honor all who are working in this way.
Take some time to honor the earth and all of life and how precious life is. Be in a place of deep love and appreciation for all you do have and for your experiences even if they have been challenging as all life experiences stimulate growth and movement.
The full moon is December 4. Let’s continue to connect with each other and from a state of oneness and divinity let’s continue to weave a beautiful web of light within and throughout our great earth.