Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Aimless Way

Most of us, most of the time, are more under the influence of our undigested past experience, as something to be avoided, rather than being related to the present opportunity.” (E. Graham Howe, The Druid of Harley Street)

Wu-wei means the aimless way in Chinese. Being without an agenda could be another expression for it. But can we be entirely agenda-less? Probably not. If someone comes and suddenly puts a plastic bag over our head, wouldn't we instinctively fight for air? Or doesn't our heart skip a beat when we get a call from the nurse telling us about yet another accident that our boy had at school today? What if the head of personnel comes by our office on an early on Monday morning with a concerned look on his face; wouldn't we wish he goes past our office and fires another colleague instead?

As long as we live we will always be bound to root for something. Spirituality can't change this fact of life. What we can do, however, we can progressively set ourselves free from the weight of the past. Like a spiral spinning outwards from a center of origin, year after year, we can become a bit more free. That's what life and a spiritual path is all about. The day when we attend our son's graduation ceremony from college, or the day our daughter gets married we feel a bit lighter. Or the day when we leave our job with a feeling of mission accomplished.

A spiritual path jump-starts our journey into freedom. Actually, we don't need to hurry, life is designed to set us free. But we can help accelerating the path into freedom when we awake to the aimless way. Wu-Wei is full of paradoxes: by being pulled towards life we in fact become more detached from it. Living in the holy NOW, we are made aimless, just as we get a laser-like focus when the opportunity abounds. When we love others we also learn to love ourselves more. Discover the aimless WAY and be free!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Looking Fear Straight in the Eye

Have you ever observed how we are driven by our fears?  Why else do we accumulate money, properties, titles, life insurance, or even kids? Observe how many of our actions are tainted with our desire to avoid fear; yet, no matter what we do, the feeling of unease never goes away. We may not experience this dreadful feeling all the time; however, it always seems lurking in the background.

You can only stop this treadmill by stepping away from it. Stop right here and look fear straight in the eye. When we recognize fear and accept that it will follow us wherever we might turn, we suddenly don’t need to do anything to escape this feeling.This fear is part of us and we face life as it is.

By Christian and Su Zhen

Monday, June 27, 2016

Finding Your Life Story in Exhilaration as well as Despair

So when you feel like hope is gone, 
look inside you and be strong,
and you finally see the truth
that a hero lies in you.
(Mariah Carey, Hero)

He was a psychologist but nothing he ever learned, or had been exposed to in his career could prepare him for that pain that would hit him. Within a year he lost both his sons, one to suicide and the other one to an accident. He did his best to keep going afterwards; he helped others who had lost loved ones in online communities, and he published two books, putting his pain and life lessons on paper for others to benefit from.

We are a product of our experiences, and the environment we are exposed to. "How could I believe in a God", Gordon Livingston, M. D. asked, "who would let anything like this happen". Karma is a bitch, as they say, and no religion or righteous living can protect us from experiencing pain. We all have a life story to write, and we can use the days of joy as well as the pain as inspiration. Just like Dr. Livingston before, take the stuff you have been exposed to and do something beautiful with it.

Believing in GOD versus not is a meaningless discussion. No one can ever convince the other side of their point of view. A mission is meaningful however, to atheists, agnostics and believers as well. Say your daughter dies of cancer and you are food healthcare expert, wouldn't you go after the chemical industry with a vengeance? Say you lost your wife in a flood, or your parents in a wildfire, wouldn't you attack the coal industry for causing extreme weather? All of us have a mission given to us by GOD, Gaia, or humanity, just as you choose. No matter where you are coming from, use life's message and live your story.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Addiction - Those that shall be last shall be first

Addiction is not weakness, but it is helplessness. Addiction is not a lack of willpower; it is a powerlessness over the substance in question. (Susan Cheever, “Desire.”)

I remember once saying to a colleague, "One day at a time", to which he replied, "You do understand that this is the motto of Alcoholics Anonymous." Well, the more power to them; looks like they have figured out an important spiritual insight. Thinking about it, Alcoholics Anonymous is really the holy fellowship; people of good intend are coming together with the intend to raise each other up. For many it is the start of a spiritual journey they never experienced before.

Susan Cheever states that a defining characteristics of addiction is helplessness. Alcoholics Anonymous first motto of the twelve step program is that an addict is helpless. Maybe that admission is helpful to get the addicted started on the road to recovery but eventually nothing could be further from the truth. The whole point of a spiritual path is to realize that we very much have the power to set ourselves free. We just have to figure out how.

It is a huge step forward to drop all the guilt. A robot abuses the substance, or indulges in the questionable behavior. We just have to find the spiritual gem beneath. Somehow we run into a wall again and again, and imply can't find the door to proceed. Perhaps there is something that we have not figured out about our past. We search our memory for key moments of abuse or conflicts. We wake up to conflicting personality traits and programs that are running amok inside. One day it simply clicks and we discover the problem and start working towards the solution.

With some homework, hard work and a spiritual mission everyone can turn the ship around. Who knows, perhaps awakening starts just because we have no alternative. Isn't it written in Matthew 20:16 , "those who will be last shall be first, and those who are first shall be last?" An addiction simply forces us to wake up and smell the coffee. The ordinary folks have a choice, they can continue their lives full of conflicts and inconsistency, but you can't. This depressing point in your life might just be the beginning of a magnificent discovery of your SELF.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Filling the Void

Everyone has a feeling of void inside them.
And we constantly try to fill this void
with food, with sex, with drugs,
with conflict and distractions,
with beliefs and knowledge.

Our entire modern culture
with all of its gadgets and social media
thrives on keeping us distracted from this void;
keeping us looking for the next thing,
the next gossip, the next indulgence
even the next spiritual teaching.

The mind creates the fantasy
‘if only this would happen,
if only I could get this,
then this void in me would be filled.’
But it never does.

Even if you get what you want,
that void will still be there
and you will look to fill it
with something else, someone else,
some new experience, new drama, new excitement.

It goes on and on like this,
and this constant seeking to fill this void
becomes your prison; your suffering.
You free yourself from this prison
but stopping trying to fill the void and simply allow it.

When you allow the void to be completely,
when you allow yourself to fall back
and experience your own nothingness
then two things happen:

One is you free yourself from your own suffering.
Because if you no longer are resistant to the void,
then all of your stress in avoiding this moment disappears.

The other is you realize unconditional peace.
You realize fulfillment.

When you truly experience that you are nothing,
you realize consciousness itself, peace itself;
that everything is made of this same nothingness,
this same consciousness, this same peace.

The very thing you are unconsciously avoiding
is the very thing you are seeking.

(Kip, Spiritual Networks)

I found this note on a Spiritual Networks and wanted to share it with you. That void is the ego, the conscious or subconscious departure from GOD. The void explains the restlessness that so many of us either try to fill with pointless means, or try to drown out. Recognizing this void is what spirituality is all about. 

Transcendence from that void is a feeling; an insight of sorts. And just as Kip points out, at that precious moment you become part of something else entirely, call it CONSCIOUSNESS, PEACE, I AM THAT I AM, the NOW, or whatever other name you may have for IT. Just be present, become still and the void is filled with something beautiful.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Create the Life You Desire

When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

Have you ever observed how creative and powerful your mind is? Say, you convince yourself that doing chores in the back-yard are painful, then observe yourself how tired you are when your job is finished. Yard work is neither painful nor joyful, it is our mind that makes it so. With this realization, next time when you do your yard-work, you suddenly experience the joy of being outside in the sun; you enjoy watching the leaves dancing in the wind, and to smell the fragrances of all the flowers and the mowed grass.

Our mind fabricates the world we live in. The New Testament is full of stories that shows the power of our mind. In the story of the woman who was instantaneously healed by simply touching Jesus, she obviously had faith in HIM as the SAVIOR, but Jesus' words of empowerment are way more potent than that:Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, "go, throw yourself into the sea", and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. We have got the power to manifest whatever reality we aspire to experience, as long as we believe that that we do.

Realize how much unnecessary suffering you have created for yourself!  Also try to observe how you truly feel about the dreams you have. Do you think of them as just that, dreams, or do you have concrete plans how to manifest them? Are you perhaps full of doubts?'Are you spending enough time on visualizing and even "feeling" your desired outcomes? Create the life you desire - you have got the power!

By Christian and Su Zhen 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Life and Spiritual Function

Maybe a reason why all the doors are closed,
so you could open one that leads you to the perfect road.
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will glow
and when it's time you'll know.
(Firework, Katy Perry)

We know how it feels; we think that we have a spiritual mission to perform but life unfortunately gets in the way. Bills have to be paid, kids have to be raised, and misfortune puts stones in our path that we have to climb over. Everything happens for a reason though. We certainly have the right, and even duty, to professionally express our spiritual function, but let's respect all obstacles that are coming our way; they too are GOD's messengers. Setbacks and delays may be disappointing, but life is just making sure that we only create in the end what is truly worthwhile. And that we get our chance at a time when it truly matters.

I work as a strategist in the financial industry and tend to be quite good at what I do. Sure, I would love to be a spiritual writer full-time instead, but would I have the same creativity and drive? Yes, the job sometimes annoying and often stressful but there is also no doubt that I perform a spiritual function at work. Whenever two people of good intention come together, GOD is in the room as well. So who knows what transformational impact I may have on my colleagues, just as they transform me at the same time.

The day and time to move on to bigger and brighter endeavors is likely already written in the stars. When the time is ripe, I will know. In the meantime, let GOD assign me to whatever function SHE deems most useful. I am at HER disposal!