What is the Purpose of Spirituality? by Caroline Myss

The spiritual path is a journey of constant preparation and refinement. The inner work you do is the means through which you challenge illusions about your life that need to fade away and to introduce Truths that have the power to expand your relationship to this vast, subtle, integrated, co-creative universe. The spiritual path is a constant preparation to respond to your personal world and to the greater field of life with an ever-growing sense of clarity, compassion, and courage.

Through the years, countless people have asked me about what it means to be “called”, often saying that they were seeking their “calling” in life. No one must seek a “calling”. The word alone implies that when a person is ready, he or she will recognize that unmistakable message. We are all familiar with stories of the disciple who tells the Buddhist master that he is ready for enlightenment. Upon testing, the disciple immediately falls upon his fragile ego.

A “calling” implies that you have spiritually come of age, that you – knowingly or unknowingly – have come into alignment with your values and therefore you “are called” by a Higher Power to live fully from the “authority of your higher nature”. A “calling” may happen in an instant, such as the experience of having an epiphany about how you understand the nature of God or life. Astronaut Edgar Mitchell described having such an experience when he saw the Earth from space for the first time. He left the Earth as an American astronaut but when he saw the Earth from his capsule in space, he felt deeply in his soul that we were one humanity sharing one planet. He devoted his life to promoting that spiritual vision of one humanity for the rest of his life. He was “called” to be a witness to a greater potential for humanity. A “calling” is an awakening of your soul’s visionary skills and graces so that you become an agent of transformation in the world. The “how” is never your choice.

What a “calling” is not is a glamorous occupation or a guarantee of success. A “calling” is the equivalent of being drafted into a path of service on behalf of others, a signal that the time has come to “put your spirit to use in the world”. A “calling” is a test: Do you believe what you say you do or not? Are you a person of service or not? Are you someone who believes in love and in the power of good – or not?

This past Sunday at Mass, the priest gave a sermon that sent shock waves through the church. We all know the chaos that was activated once again by a cavalier and illegal Executive writ from the White House. Because of a campaign promise used to generate widespread fear and hostility – and get votes – citizens from seven countries (primarily Muslims) were banned from entry or returning to the United States with their visas. No thought was given to the long term or even short term consequences of this heinous action.

By coincidence, Friday was Holocaust Remembrance Day, the same day this Executive writ was signed. If that is not a symbolic message not to be missed, I don’t know what is. Also by synchronicity, the Gospel for Sunday was Jesus given the crowd the Sermon on the Mount in which Jesus gave the crowds the eight Beatitudes. A beatitude, according to Saint Gregory of Nyssa, is “A possession of all things held to be good, from which nothing is absent that a good desire may want.” I keep these near me. I have always loved them.

For those who are Christian, the eight Beatitudes provide a crystal-clear window into the message of Jesus. The priest read all eight Beatitudes and with each one, it was obvious his voice was getting more emotional. I have never in all my life heard a priest call for social action from a pulpit. I have never, ever heard a sermon in which the priest told his parishioners that “there comes a time when evil needs to be recognized as an active agent in our society.”

Then he said, “There comes that time, that moment when we must recognize that we are being called forth to take a stand against injustice. That time is now. We can no longer be silent as human beings – many our fellow citizens – face an injustice that comes painfully close to a time that sent others to their death. Today it is the Muslims. Tomorrow it will be some other group of people. This is how the horror that became Nazi Germany began.”

A calling is that voice inside of you that tells you that what you are witnessing in your country – in this country – is wrong. And not just wrong; it is evil. A Constitutional crisis is happening in front of your eyes. A moral crisis is happening. Do not tell yourself that these decisions are “okay” because our safety is at stake. Nonsense. Do not become seduced by the propaganda pouring out of Washington. The 9/11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia and that is one of the countries not – repeat, not – on the list of countries whose citizens are banned from entry to the US. It is your freedom that you are comprising by ignoring the chaotic nightmare that is happening in Washington – your freedom. This crisis is about our nation. It is no longer about political parties. It is about saving this Democracy and our humanity.

Many of us have been involved in our spiritual development for years. It’s time to reflect upon what that path means for you. The spiritual path is not about finding happiness and love; it is about developing stamina and resilience. It is about recognizing the truth and standing for principles. From truth comes the capacity to love with courage. Happiness is the result of not compromising your values, of making choices with courage – ones that do not betray your inner guidance. You don’t “find” happiness; you generate it from the essence of who and what you are.

Maybe all the years we have invested in reading spirituality and in inner work has been in preparation for this time right now. Protests are going to happen more and more. Unrest is going to grow. We have anticipated “change” happening. But as has always been the case, we never have control over how that change will happen. The choice we do have, however, is to remind ourselves of what we believe to be the Truth. The inner spirit has infinitely more authority over the physical world than chaos. You need to understand how that authority works and you need to trust Divine authority. And you need to cooperate with it. Fear and anger are poison. Teresa of Avila called these forces “reptiles” that contaminate your mind – tools of the darkness. If you start to believe in “dark messages” from the media, tell yourself that a “reptile is trying to get into your mind.” Pray it out of you: “Hover over me, God. Pour grace all over me. Remind me of all good things, that all people belong to you. I would not want others to think of me as I am now thinking of them. Grant me the grace to dwell in thoughts that contribute to the healing of humanity. Do not let me become a channel for darkness. Not now. Not ever. Amen.”

The Eight Beatitudes

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Poor in spirit means to be humble, to not let pride or the fear of being humiliated control you. You are easily destroyed by the illusions in this world if you are controlled by the weakness of pride.)
  • Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted. (Mourning refers to growing in awareness of what is good and what is evil and the choices we make accordingly. We “mourn” for what we could have done better, for what we could have done more courageously, for what we should have said when we had the chance. And yet, from acknowledgement of our lesser choice comes the grace or comfort to do better.)
  • Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. (Meek refers to the decision to not respond with hatred, aggression or anger in this world. This decision requires constant personal reinforcement. It is a spiritual path unto itself.)
  • Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. (Jesus commanded people to seek social justice in the world, to stand up for those who cannot represent themselves, to right evil in the world.)
  • Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. (The grace of Mercy, in short supply these days, is best recalled in this Mystical Law: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Or, if you prefer: What goes around, comes around.)
  • Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God. (Pure of heart refers to seeing others without judgment, having a welcoming heart. Said differently, seeing the Divine in all people, in all creation. Who are we to decide that other people are not our equal or that their spirituality is of no value? Where does this madness end?)
  • Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God. (Peace is the most challenging of all, for this is a world that thrives on conflict and war, as do individuals.)

The time has come. We are all called to bear witness to the higher authority of our nature. For what excuse can we give others or ourselves for not living per the dictates of our spiritual path?

The time has come.

I close with this greeting: Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. (John 14:27)

 

Source: MYSS

Advertisements

What You Don’t Know About Karma Can Harm You! By Nanice Ellis

Have you ever changed your behavior, or made certain choices, because you were afraid of creating bad karma? If so, you are not alone — most of us have done this many times, and, if we are very spiritual or religious, this might even be a way of life.

I’ll confess, when my young kids were misbehaving, I would “threaten” them with karma – suggesting that their “bad behavior” would come back to bite them in the future. I must say that it worked, because the fear of some mysterious force made them think twice before they acted out. Although it may have been a helpful patenting strategy at the time, I knew as they got older I would have to correct this misleading misnomer, so by the time they were teenagers I told them the truth about karma — and now I want to share it with you, along with 3 effective steps release yourself from the karma loop.

Busting Loose from Karma

A key concept in Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Taoism, karma is derived from the Sanskrit word Karma meaning “action”, “act” or “deed”. The most well-accepted concept of karma is cause and effect, meaning that whatever we do comes back to us and we must pay the unavoidable price for harming others by experiencing that harm ourselves; and according to certain spiritual traditions, we carry this karma from lifetime to lifetime until we rectify our karmic-debts or break the cycle of reincarnation through enlightenment.

On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with this approach to karma – after all, what’s the harm in being nice, and what’s to lose by doing the right thing? Well, probably much more than you can imagine, and, in fact, this old model of karma often contributes to disempowerment and loss of free-will, making it a hidden trap in disguise.
What’s the Harm in Karma?

The biggest problem with the traditional model of karma is that it is impossible to track all the consequences of our actions, and even a loving act can ripple out and hurt someone. For instance, let’s say, you find a stray dog and decide to adopt him, but, meanwhile the dog’s young owner is heartbroken and it sets him on a downward spiral in life – you helped the dog but hurt the boy, and, as a result, he grows up to hurt others. Does this mean that you are karmically responsible for hurting the young boy and all the people he eventually hurt as a result?

Moreover, genuinely good intentions could actually be harmful in the long-run; for example, staying in an unfulfilling relationship because you don’t want to hurt your partner may seem kind and loving, but your actions could keep your partner from finding an authentically loving relationship with someone else.

On the other side of the coin, let’s say that you behave unkindly toward someone, but your bad behavior propels him/her into making a powerful life changing decision, and, in fact, the impact of this decision ripples out to help the world.

The point is, there is no way to know how the ripple effect will impact others, and, in fact, if you trace the ripples outward, you will inevitably discover that every action results in both positive and negative consequences. So, taking all this into consideration, how is it even possible to discern the karmic consequences of your behavior, and if you cannot make this discernment, how can you realistically prevent negative karma?

When you consider all the potential effects of our actions, there is no possible way to avoid unwanted karma. Simply by virtue of living, we create karma with every choice, causing us to rack up more and more karma from one lifetime to the next. Therefore, there is no way to “get ahead” of cause and effect. In this old model of karma, the “karma cards” are stacked against us, and it’s a convoluted game we can never win!

However, once you understand the truth about karma, and its hidden purpose, it’s a game you can stop playing altogether – so, let’s go further down the rabbit hole until it all makes sense…
Karma is Feedback

The Universe is conspiring for our awakening, but in order to wake-up, we must become conscious — and this requires that we make the unconscious conscious, however, how can we know the unconscious if we are not conscious of it? Well, the best way to make the unconscious conscious is through feedback, and, this is why the Universe has created the perfect “feedback technology” in the form of life. In fact, the purpose of life is to demonstrate our conscious and unconscious beliefs, thoughts, emotions and intentions. So, even if we hide judgment and hostility by acting with love and kindness, life has no choice but to reflect our hostile judgment back to us in one form or another.

Actually, it’s even simpler than this, because when we look closely, it becomes apparent that our thoughts, emotions and intentions are all manifestations of our beliefs, and, therefore, it’s accurate to say that the purpose of life is to demonstrate our beliefs, and this demonstration is known as karma.

This understanding allows us to create a New Model of Karma, and according to this model, karma is a foolproof feedback system that operates by manifesting our beliefs as actual life experiences, with empowering beliefs manifesting as positive experiences, and resulting in joy and fulfillment, and disempowering beliefs manifesting as negative experiences, and resulting in challenges and emotional pain.

All disempowering beliefs funnel back to three core beliefs: unworthiness, powerlessness and victimhood. But these beliefs are universally false, so when we believe them, we experience emotional feedback in the form of pain and suffering. This is not to punish us, but rather, pain and suffering is intended to make us pay attention to the fact that we believe an inherently false belief, and if we don’t pay attention, the pain and suffering escalates until it reaches an unbearable threshold that forces us to seek relief. So, in order to find a permanent cure, we must ultimately identify and release the disempowering belief(s) that are responsible for the pain.

A New Understanding of Karma

The old model of karma tells us that it is best to forgive and forget because certain assertive actions can create bad karma; and as a result, we are taught to avoid these behaviors. But when we are afraid to speak our truth, take a stand or set boundaries, we disempower ourselves, thereby reinforcing the disempowering beliefs that keep us asleep. As an unfortunate result, for some, the fear of karma is a prime source of powerlessness and sometimes even victimhood.

The New Model of Karma shows us that behaviors that support disempowering beliefs perpetuate ongoing karma because those beliefs will keep manifesting in our lives. So, instead of avoiding negative karma by being nice, you might be creating negative karma for yourself whenever you tolerate abuse and remain disempowered.

Let’s say that you are in a relationship with an aggressive person, but you are afraid to stand up for yourself – not because you are afraid of your partner, but, rather, because you believe the old model of karma and you are afraid to create bad karma for yourself. So, instead of asserting your power and setting boundaries, you choose to be kind and loving, and, consequently, your partner’s aggressive behavior does not change and you are locked in a cycle of disempowerment.

According to our New Model of Karma, the relationship is demonstrating your beliefs about powerlessness in order to draw your attention to this disempowering belief so that you can release it.

Firstly, this means that you must identify the belief as false, and, secondly, you must consciously choose to release the belief. This choice also requires a physical demonstration in the form of action, and, therefore, you must dispel the false belief of powerlessness by claiming your power and demonstrating it through empowering actions, such as speaking up for yourself and enforcing boundaries, and you must continue to do so for as long as it takes to experience improved feedback or a tangible shift in circumstances; this translates to a positive change in your partner’s behavior or the dissolution of the relationship.

When you no longer believe in powerlessness, you will stop manifesting disempowering relationships, because you no longer need people to act out this belief by disempowering you, and, consequently, all past negative karma associated with the belief will also be resolved – ultimately aligning you with mutually empowering relationships.
The 3 Steps to Releasing Karma

Step 1 – Take Full Responsibility

The first step to releasing karma is owning the responsibility for every experience in your life; whether you like it or not, you create your reality through your conscious and unconscious beliefs, and, therefore, no one, but you, is responsible for your life.

As long as you blame the world for your woes, you have no ability to receive informative feedback that comes in the form of experiences, and without the benefit of this fool-proof feedback system called karma, you inevitably lock yourself in a vicious karmic-cycle.

However, there is no need to worry because you have the power to free yourself. Once you own the full responsibility for your life and all its karmic-feedback, you will possess the golden key to emotional freedom, and you can use this key in steps 2 and 3 to consciously transcend karma, and when you do, you will be on the path to self-mastery.

Step 2 – Identify Disempowering Beliefs

Once you recognize life’s karmic-feedback, you can use that information to identifying your beliefs. It is fairly easy to identify any karma-causing beliefs because disempowering beliefs attract complementary experiences that reflect those beliefs, and, in turn, those experiences trigger the same beliefs, so you just need to identify the beliefs that surface during and after challenging experiences. Hint: disempowering beliefs always surface as negative thoughts, so if you consciously examine your thoughts, you will be able to identify your beliefs.

For example, if a situation causes you to feel unworthy, you can be sure that the pre-existing belief of unworthiness manifested the situation in the first place, and because the current situation makes you feel unworthy, you unconsciously perpetuate the belief of unworthiness, thereby manifesting future experiences that trigger feelings of unworthiness – the endless pattern continues until you break this karmic-cycle. In this case, getting off the karmic wheel of unworthiness requires you to address this false belief, release it and ultimately claim your unconditional worth.

Step 3 – Take Empowered Action

Once you choose to release the disempowering belief and accept its empowering counterpart, it is essential to take empowered actions that demonstrate the new empowering belief. For instance, if you are releasing the belief of powerlessness and accepting the belief that you are intrinsically powerful, your actions ideally support self-expression in such a way that they demonstrate your intrinsic power. Or, if you are releasing the belief of unworthiness and accepting your unconditional worth, your actions would align with worthiness – this might include nurturing yourself or developing positive self-talk for example.
Mind Your Own Karma

Despite how it sometimes feels, you are not responsible for another person’s experience or their emotions. The most loving thing you can do is allow everyone to have their own experience, feel their own emotions and grow in the way they choose – even if they don’t choose to grow.

If you find yourself reacting to another person’s predicament, instead of trying to help or change him, look inside yourself and locate the part of you that is emotionally triggered – maybe it is because you have a similar unhealed wound and it is time to heal.
Set Yourself Free!

By understanding this New Model of Karma, you have the knowledge to free yourself from past and future karma, but don’t just take my word for it – find out for yourself. You just might discover that the truth really can set you free!

Nanice Ellis has been a professional Life Coach for 20 years, successfully coaching women and men from all over the world. She is also an author, Theta Healer and Master Neuro Linguistic Practitioner.

Helping people to make quantum jumps in their lives, Nanice’s very unique coaching style is often referred to as the “Nanice Effect”. By using powerful and proven manifestation techniques, Nanice coaches people to tap into the power of the Universe and live their dreams, bridging the gap from the imagination to the realization of that dream. She works with leaders, coaches, healers and anyone who wants to live life to the fullest. You can learn more about the coaching programs offered at: Coaching Programs with Nanice.

Nanice is the author of several books, including the inspirational The Infinite Power of You! and Even Gandhi Got Hungry and Buddha Got Mad! She is also the host of radio show Chai with Nanice. Her books are available at: Nanice.com/6/Books and here on Amazon.

Nicola Amadora – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview


Nicola Amadora Ph.D. traveled far on her search for the truth of life and real love. The fire was burning strong, as her upbringing had been fraught with intense abuse and horrors. When 18 years old, she worked with Mother Theresa in Calcutta, studied with Tibetan Monks, meditated in Hindu Ashrams, and lived with the indigenous people in the Amazon. She learnt from living saints, nature and people on the street. Later she became a Dharma teacher in the Vipassana Tradition, an Interfaith Minister, a Transpersonal Psychologist and Hakomi Therapist. As a single mother she raised a daughter and led an educational center, which united spirituality with our humanity, leadership, relationship and activism. Her life and work is a rich banquet, one which includes many facets of life.

Nicola’s awakenings occurred alone in the wilderness and on busy city roads, always with the call to integrate and embody it in daily life. On her journey she experienced immense wonders and terrors, held in an ever-growing sense of love. But one day, when literally everything in her life was ruthlessly stripped away, in sheer despair and finally surrender, she felt a deep merging and all came rushing home. Human and divine was not separated, but one in the heart of life.

Nicola speaks from the juicy voice of the feminine, she does not claim to be enlightened, but rather walks her talk as a mystic in ordinary life. She teaches from deep love and alive presence – one that embraces the muck and beauty of this life and dares to stand and act in this world to make a difference. Nicola offers spiritual retreats, professional trainings, individual sessions, and public talks. She writes and supports people to come home and embody who we are – in the world and with each other – to let love live us, in the midst of the whole enchilada, no matter what is going on.

Website: http://nicolaamadora.com

Book: Nothing but Love: Poetry

%d bloggers like this: