Thursday, February 28, 2013


“The chemistry of mind is different from the chemistry of love. The mind is careful, suspicious, he advances little by little. He advices “Be careful, protect yourself” Whereas love says “Let yourself, go!” The mind is strong, never fells down, while love hurts itself, fells into ruins. But isn’t it in ruins that we mostly find the treasures? A broken heart hides so many treasures.”

~ Shams Tabrizi

Quan Yin

This week our dear friend and Mighty Companion Linda Nicol, offers up this wonderful and illuminating poem. She is one who has walked through the fire and come through unscathed because of her deep comitment to understanding that love is real and fear is not.


Love requires no gilded invitation to the ball for it is woven throughout the fabric of the party, embracing all.

Fear, invited in, attends constantly wearing countless, varied masks. Anger is itsʼ favourite and most spectacular costume; a peacock strutting itsʼ plumage, obscuring all.

In its many forms Fear leaps chaotically, grandly, loudly, and then with great vigour, plays with mortal selves whilst glaring at the shiny, waxed floor, demanding attention.

Love is only capable of showing its true self as It glides through the masses bringing Joy and Peace. Gentle undulations of a never-ending waltz fill the room; oft hid beneath the frantic bustle of the party.

The multiplicity of dancers dazzle the sole pair of gazing eyes. Life is the grandest masquerade but in the shadows of our illusions, the dance quiets.

Mask-less, we find the maker of our dream.

Come. See.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

An authentic life

Your nature is truth, and when you oppose it, you don’t feel like yourself. Stress never feels as natural as peace does.”

Byron Katie (Loving What Is, 2002).

Tsum Valley, Nepal by Julia Day 2012

Our recent discussions at The Light Tree have revolved around what happens when we attempt to live an authentic life while living in the ‘real’ world. It can be a challenge to stay in the peace of our true nature and live from there with complete trust. Demands from the world quickly emerge to distract us in one form or another.

The conflict between our desire for inner peace and the need to jump up and fix something are often at odds with each other. How do we stay authentic in our relationships while staying true to ourselves?

Sometimes the belief that our spiritual life is separate from our daily life can cause us to lose our center. We find ourselves trying to attend to both aspects of our seeming needs and desires. We feel we need to choose one over the other. Maybe we give up the yoga, the book club, or the painting class in order to take care of our worldly demands when the discomfort of our inner conflict is too great.

But what if we could just use our internal barometer to notice our reactions to thoughts and choose from that place? What if we stood firm and stopped betraying our inner wisdom in order to keep the ‘external’ peace. The anxiety calms down temporarily when we give in to the worlds demands, but the gnawing sensations continue…

Maybe we can just stay present until we get a clear yes, a sense of opening to life. Perhaps the only choice we need to make is the one that gives us a deeper sense of happiness and fulfillment. Ego will always find way to keep us running and second guessing ourselves. Something or someone will appear to keep the guilt running.

In the end, there is only Truth, only Presence. The other stuff is temporary and passes away as swiftly as the clouds move through the sky. We can commit to be one with the sky, the eternal, unchanging ever-present moment. If it doesn’t work out every time, that’s ok. There are no mistakes and we can’t get it wrong. There are just more opportunities to practice.

If there is anything to ‘do’ it is simply this: commit to authenticity in all our daily activities. Learn to say no gracefully. Be determined to practice kindness and compassion with everyone we meet.  If we stray, find ways to restore peace by staying with what gives us joy.  After all, we are all in this together, walking each other home one small step at a time. 

Friday, February 15, 2013


 “I have given everything I see… all the meaning it has for me”

A Course in Miracles. (Lesson 2).

Lotus by Simon

One of our guiding principles at Light Tree is that elements of Truth can be found among most spiritual traditions and modern thought systems. It is helpful when a principle repeats itself across a variety of traditions; this usually reveals an aspect of universal truth that is worth paying attention to.

For example, Buddhism, modern psychology and A Course in Miracles discuss the idea that humans tend to project seeming unpleasant thoughts outward on to others. Projection appears to be a common way in which aspects of our mind can be viewed when we look at people and places that seem to be apart from us.

If we are sincere about self exploration, the easiest way to see what is going on within our mind is to notice what is being projected outward onto the screen we see all around us. The projections are merely neutral, but we create our own meaning based on our past experience. They serve to show us the places that are yet to be healed from guilt and fear.

Many of our projections seem to revolve around ideas of guilt and unworthiness. When we perceive any kind of scarcity or ugliness outside ourselves we can be pretty sure it’s our own mind showing us places of fear. We often judge and label others when all we are seeing are aspects of ourselves that are crying out for acceptance.

This is why it is important to dwell in equanimity and forgive ourselves for believing in the illusions we have created. We may have believed that fear keeps us safe in some way, but in reality it is only by bringing gentle awareness to these frightened parts of ourselves that we can find real peace.

The key word is gentle. Our terrified inner self will only relax and open to healing if it does not feel rushed or threatened. Anger and threat of punishment only make it hide or lash out in defensiveness.

If we are ruthless at all, it is in our determination to see what is true and apply all our resources to send love to that frozen part. When we start to thaw these aspects of ourselves that seem cut off from the rest, we find the deep peace that is part of our wholeness. We know ourselves to be worthy and invulnerable when we hold our projections with ‘utmost gentle affection’ and are willing to see ourselves in a new light.  

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Love Without Conditions

When you establish conditions on love, you experience the conditions, not the love”

From Everyday Wisdom by Paul Ferrini

Esquimalt 2013

This week at Light Tree we looked deeply and noticed that we had surrounded ourselves by a fortress of things we believed made us safe or comfortable in some way. While this may be helpful in the short term, it does not help us to undo our dependence on external objects to make us feel happy and secure.

We became aware that our relationship to these ‘good things’ such as special food, clothing, people, animals, cars etc. are all ways we think we keep ourselves safe. While we believed that we were embracing life as fully as possible, in reality we were making sure we were doing it from a place of familiarity and safety. This kind of thinking comes from the ‘little me’ or ego self which is limited in perception and feels utterly powerless, despite its efforts to appear tough and in control.

This is why it is important to keep the practice of resting in the peace of our True Nature at the forefront of our endeavour to find real happiness. We cannot pick and choose only the good bits. This only leads to an endless cycle of desire and disappointment. We can only move through life loving and blessing everything that comes into our awareness while forgiving ourselves for believing that the seemingly undesirable has any real power to hurt us.

We are learning to live life without conditions. When start to notice that we only want something for what fleeting happiness it might bring us we can simply sit back and be curious. What seems to be charming me into believing it has special powers, when in fact it has no real ability to bring lasting happiness and peace?

We don’t need to feel guilty when we are fooled, once again, into riding the merry-go-round of desire and disappointment. It’s only another opportunity to heal a confused part of our mind. We don’t have to engage with it, or try to tweak it somehow. We simply notice and let it go with compassion and forgiveness.

This is the power of resting in our creator, however we might perceive them. When we remember that we are part of a cosmic whole that supports and sustains each breath, we do not need to love with a vast range of conditions and preferences.

Its all ok, nothing is missing that needs our ‘little me’ to try and fix or improve it in some way. We can surrender to what feels true in our hearts and let go of the rest. We are unconcerned about outcomes because we know it’s handled by something wiser and greater. What a relief!

We can relax and be at peace, anywhere, anytime. No conditions required.