Thursday, January 26, 2012

Personal biographies: Bringing Your Truth to Life

‘This Self is neither born nor dies, it neither grows nor decays, nor does it suffer any change. When a pot is broken the space inside it is not, and similarly, when the body dies, the Self in it remains eternal’.

Ramana Maharshi

We communicate the essence of who we are in every moment. Our lives bring endless opportunities to express our true selves and deepen awareness of our divine nature. Whether it is through illness, mortality, war, homelessness, or an impoverished childhood, we are always seeking to find, heal and express all aspects of ourselves.

We continually collect and re-evaluate aspects of our seemingly fragmented selves so that we can create order and meaning from them. It feels good to share the wisdom we have gained. We enjoy sharing our insights and passing them on to future generations so they can recall our brief but powerful journey on earth. 

Personal biographies from The Light Tree are a short but potent summary of what we have learned from our life experiences. They capture the essence of our insights which include awareness of the inner self as the author of our life history.

For example, in a recent interview a gentleman discussed some difficulties he had experienced during his childhood. The following paragraph shows how his strengths emerged from willingness to experience life challenges differently. He did not wish to stay feeling victimized by his circumstances, but wanted to grow and call upon these insights to assist others. He found a way to make his life rich and meaningful despite adversity:

“…(He) is a vessel that holds the space for spirit to bring transformation into the lives of those who surround him. His steady heart lets people know that they have found a secure place which is safe and comforting. He has developed a subtle understanding of the energies that connect him to spirit and he is able to pay attention to any shifts in sensation that are cues to deepening awareness...”

This paragraph illustrates how a Light Tree personal biography captures the essence of someone’s life story without making excessive details the focus of inquiry. They are therapeutic because they help us reflect and find the deeper meaning behind seemingly unexpected, random events. Examination and reflection of our life journey helps its deeper meaning to be revealed so we can share it with others.

It can be intensely satisfying to review our life’s challenges and come to see ourselves in a new light. We are everyday heroes; previously overwhelming events have become a rich source of wisdom and inspiration for ourselves and others.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Peace

The peace of God is shining in me now.
Let all things shine upon me in that peace,
And let me bless them with the light in me.

A Course in Miracles. (2007).

When unexpected illness arrives on our doorstep it can be a blessing in disguise. While we appear to be healthy, our lives can seem busy and frantic. Sickness can be an invitation to make connecting with our inner self our main priority. When we slow down long enough to listen, the healing light that is always pouring from our hearts comes into sharper focus. When we step aside from our ideas about how things ‘should’ look and see them as they really are, the healing process can begin.

A recent visit with a skilled healer was a reminder of this. He spoke about how despite his best efforts, a piece of unhealed anger still clung stubbornly to him. It seemed to have evaded years of subtle inquiry and attempts to move it. He was concerned that people he was working with could feel his unresolved hurt and as a result, could not move past some of their own fears.

Clearly this was a deeply self aware and compassionate man. He felt stuck, as we all feel stuck from time to time. Drawing upon a ‘Beginners Mind’, we sat and asked our inner healer to take the lead and show us what was needed. From our sincere and open place of inquiry, spirit emerged and showed us that the hurt place was composed of deeply held aspects of his childhood. These memories hid deep in his subconscious mind because they felt so unworthy that they could not imagine being loved.

What a relief! We can do something about this…. Bringing Loving Presence to these parts feels so good!

Compassion is a joyful aspect of our true nature and loves to bring its gifts to our hurts. Other people who share this experience can also be healed when one of us takes the plunge and addresses buried pain.

The key to readiness for this kind of healing is forgiveness. We must be willing to give up all our judgements and attempts to make sense of the past. We simply don’t know. When our hearts and minds are uncluttered by our attempts to understand, we can bring the light of love to shine upon these seemingly unlovable parts. Simply holding them in our awareness and asking for healing can be enough to transform them.

We do not really know what love is. Trying to put words to divine love is like trying to describe a symphony with only a few bars of music. We simply don’t know. It’s bigger and more wonderful than we can ever describe. It can only be felt by the heart in the moment that it happens.

Monday, January 9, 2012

True courage

“Recognizing every event as an answer to prayer allows you to move out of fear and into courage….the act of looking at all the things in your life that you feel negative about… and imprinting on them that you understand that everything happens in order for you to look forward…the more you inhabit the realm of grace that comes from understanding that you are Divine.”

L.D. Thompson, The message: a guide to being human (2011).

We all face crisis in our lives from time to time. It’s all part of being human. But how do we address these fears when they arise? The real question is, will they help us grow or stay stuck in old patterns? Discomfort is often an invitation to evolve but can be cloaked as something we judge to be hurtful. We often push it away as fast as possible, or allow it to hide behind something else. It can be very sneaky, tricky and persistent as it tries to evade detection.

Taking every opportunity to abide in our divine presence can assist us to see difficult situations more clearly. This is why meditation, yoga, exercising in nature and other forms of aligning with the inner self are essential to spiritual awakening. Trying to resolve any situation without the heart’s guidance can lead us in confusing circles. Our limited mind simply cannot see the ‘big picture’ that is unfolding all around us.

Buddhists know that cultivating a ‘Beginners Mind’ helps us stop trying to make sense of the confusion that emerges during illness or conflict. Instead of jumping on the wheel of panic, we can try resting in the thought “I don’t know”, to every thought until peace starts to arise. By telling the ego-mind to take a back seat, our inner wisdom can emerge spontaneously and effortlessly to clear away the frantic, jangling noise of fear.

We can be curious about the habitual thought patterns that arise when we do this. Our daily world revolves around ‘knowledge’ and how it is supposed to operate to keep us safe. It appears as if fear wants us to believe that it is in charge and knows what to do. How funny!

Let us be confident that all situations have arisen in order to deepen our awareness of love’s presence. Try making a daily practice of dwelling with your relaxed, unconcerned self and embrace any difficulties that appear on the screen of your awareness. Accept it as a mysterious gift that is yet to unfold.

Forgive yourself when you feel confused and alone. Ask your inner guide to show you another way. Be patient. Until the fear subsides and its yammering voice steps aside, your true self cannot deliver a new script.  

We are waiting for a prompting that comes from deep within and comes without words. Its images are of peace and are totally without fear. You’ll recognize these when you feel them because this is who we really are. We just drifted into sleep for a while…. Awaken yourself with utmost, gentle affection.

Monday, January 2, 2012


“Spirituality is the consciousness that life is okay the way it is. It doesn’t need to be changed or fixed. When you accept your experience, you don’t hold on to the past or look for happiness in the future. You dwell in the present moment and that is where love abides…

…Much of your pain is caused by your erroneous belief that you are cut off from the Source of love. Give up that belief and love will find you instantly…

…You have only one person to forgive in your journey and that is yourself. You are the judge. You are the jury…and you are the prisoner.”

Reflections of the Christ Mind: the present-day teachings of Jesus Christ.

Paul Ferrini (2000).

Meditation is an invaluable tool for connecting with our inner self. Without it, life can take us in many different directions. This often leads toward greater confusion and unhappiness. When we take time to be present and listen we see that it is only false beliefs about ourselves and others that get in our way. These are the obstacles to the awareness of love’s presence.

It is clear that there is no single tradition to suit everyone. For many, practicing yoga can help develop greater discernment between the bossy, frantic voice of the ego and our peaceful, relaxed, unconcerned inner selves. It appears that the simple and ordinary human desire to connect to its true source is enough to guide us home.

Sometimes developing a regular prayer and meditation practice seems so complicated that we don’t bother to try. The familiar way of doing things just convinces us that our lives are too busy …Maybe some other time, some other place…I’ll be ready later…

All these seemingly important things only delay our natural ability to experience inner wisdom. Cultivating the willingness to connect is enough to guide us back to our true selves. Kahlil Gibran reminds us, “It is enough that you enter the temple invisible” (The Prophet, 1923). In other words, we don’t need complex rituals to remind us of what is already true

We do not need to retreat from the world in order to lead a contemplative life. We are called to practice despite the chaos and confusion of everyday life. This is why acceptance and forgiveness are so essential to awakening. The trail that leads to peace is well worn and there are many ways to find our way home. The decision to stop and listen to love’s voice in the present moment is the first step.