Monday, August 13, 2012

About us: 2012

“Never forget how swiftly this life will be over, like a flash of summer lightning or the wave of a hand. Now that you have the opportunity to practice the Dharma, do not waste a single moment on anything else, but with all your energy and effort practice the Dharma”.

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche (Graceful Exits: How Great Beings Die, 1997)

It has been a year since Marcy and Melanie began discussions about The Light Tree and what it might mean to those interested in following a spiritual path. They met several years earlier while attending regular meditation practice with Julia Day and a host of Mighty Companions such as Tomas Vieira, Nouk Sanchez, Gary Renard, Sarah Pilkington and David Hoffmeister.

Their common desire was to explore how they might ‘heal their minds’ of illusory thoughts, beliefs and desires. They wanted to inquire into the nature of all beliefs that were obstacles to the awareness of Love’s Presence so they might experience the peace of their True Nature. Their guiding principles came from A Course In Miracles but are deeply grounded in the teachings of Buddha, Jesus, Adyashanti, Gangaji, Pema Chodron, Paul Ferrini, Cynthia Bourgeault and a host of philosophers, writers and teachers, both ancient and modern.

In the fall of 2011 they were joined by Christine, a talented art therapist and graphic recorder, and Annie, art historian and cranio-sacral therapist. They brought a deep creative and intellectual knowledge to the Light Tree that enriched and broadened its perspective.

All four women represent a variety of experiences, from pregnancy to grandparenthood, from the professional world, to life with a chronic illness. All hold at least one university degree and bring academic as well as spiritually guided rigour to their inquiry. Most importantly, they all share the common experience of parenthood and have found that children are among our greatest teachers.

Direct experience of spiritual guidance is the hallmark of Light Tree; they have learned to ‘Rest in God’ and allow their weekly gatherings to unfold spontaneously. This allows for a deepening trust in guidance as spirit flows through them with its miraculous wisdom. They bring their daily life experiences into the sphere of pure non-judgment and delight in the insights that arise between them.

The deep love and respect they hold for each other can only have come to fruition through an agreement between their souls. None of them has ever emerged as group leader or facilitator and all share their talents and insights equally. They regard the inevitable posturing of their ego with benign good humour and give eternal thanks that they have the opportunity to practice together.

A key portion of each weekly gathering is spent in silent meditation following discussion of recent books, articles, Facebook posts and other group experiences. Direct experience of spiritual guidance and total commitment to love, their True Nature, guides them to record their insights while living in a contemporary world. This blog is their testament to living the Truth while they awaken on their journey to the pure essence of One-ness where all sentient beings reside.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Relinquishing the False Self

"The false-self is made up of millions of unrecognized judgments, beliefs, values and opinions; all from the past. Not one of these is true and none of them make up who we are; instead, they fabricate who we are not. The truth of 'who' we are, stands entirely free of any of these. In fact, we will not know who we are until these erroneous shreds of identity have been seen and willingly released. We won't know the truth of who we are, until we're willing to look within and systematically exhume and relinquish everything that we are not."

'The End of Death' by Nouk Sanchez.

How do we stand in the Truth and release our ‘erroneous shreds of identity’ so that they can be ‘seen and willingly released?’ At the Light Tree we have been working diligently to let go of the false self and release ‘everything that we are not’ so that we free ourselves from self-limiting beliefs. This has led us to some incredibly rich discussions as we learn to view the events in our lives in a new light.

One thing is certain; our tool of transformation is forgiveness. It is helpful to witness our delusions with compassion. However, this does not mean that we wallow in self-pity or use excuses to give them false power. We stand firm in saying that they are not welcome to masquerade as meaningful parts of our lives any longer.

We have noticed that It is helpful to engage with the false images as they arise with complete non-judgment and mindful intention. If we can sit and witness these illusory aspects of self using our felt sense we can more easily forgive and release them. Yes, we agree it’s a practice that takes a great deal of dedication and commitment. There is no doubt that life presents us with myriad opportunities to try this for ourselves!

Julia recently described how bringing awareness to previously held beliefs that seemed locked in her arm revealed even deeper layers of growth and expansion. What may have been a problematic physical condition was rapidly transformed by bringing mindful, compassionate awareness to it:

“Thank you Mighty Companions for holding space for me while I explored my arm some more... afterwards it was amazing ... not a hint of fatigue, nothing, just immense Awareness in place of suffering…by allowing the witnessing to occur the whole thing was healed”. 
Time after time we are shown the value of bringing rigorous honesty to our stories and dissolving self-limiting beliefs. We are certain that surrendering of all of what we believe ourselves to be leads us to spiritual awakening. We have been shown repeatedly that it is only identification with our F.E.A.R (False Evidence Appearing Real) that leads us away from the eternal peace that is our true nature.