Monday, July 16, 2018

Life’s Wisdom

All Life is Problem-solving.
(Karl Popper)

The roots of the subconscious run deep. Did it ever occur to you that you are your parents? Depressing, isn’t it? Yet, the statement that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree is misleading. We can walk, we can run; we even can fly. While we perhaps can’t run from our nature, we can outgrow the nurturing environment that made us who we think we are today. We can face life. Life is here to override our inner programs.

Welcome life with open arms. The philosopher Karl Popper rightly concludes that all living is problem-solving. We are here with a mission to fulfill, not only because we can help and assist others, but importantly, we can override our own biases, conditioning, and inner conflicts. Our parents could only get so far in their lives, but we can take what they left and build on it. It takes striving and continues practice to get there though.

As it turns out, everyone, spiritual or not, is on a healing mission. We spiritual travelers can make this process conscious instead. We can recognize life’s guidance as an invite to let go of outgrown patterns, and can actively stand up to our fears and self-imposed interferences and conflicts. While others crawl out of their conditioning, we can in fact take leaps. All we have to go is to recognize the purpose of life’s many interventions.

There is amazing wisdom in life. It holds all the answers and helps you to leave the conditioning of the past behind. Face it! Life is the best life & spiritual coach there is!

Sunday, July 15, 2018


If you seek the source of the mind, then alone all questions will be solved.
(Sri Ramana Maharshi)

At my old job as a strategist in the financial industry I had a tough inner conflict to deal with. Process-minded, and in charge of global strategy themes, I needed to establish a cooperative decision process involving all the regional experts. The problem was that at the company I worked for, the managers only paid lip-service to cooperation. At the end of the year only individual talent got rewarded. It was no surprise then that all experts became fiercely competitive and tried making a name for themselves instead of working together. Actually, I myself was torn between the desire for personal recognition and the satisfaction of promoting the joint insights of the team.

It took many years to build a process that everyone trusted. It was hard work, but it was also a spiritually rewarding exercise. I learned so much about what drives me, and what conflicts are lingering beneath the surface. I have graduated from the stressful financial industry in the meantime, but I didn’t really leave my inner conflicts behind. The challenge I am facing today is that I realize how absurd it is to strive for publicity in spirituality, yet that is exactly what a spiritual author and coach has to do. A new balance has to be struck and will be found, just as I did in my old job. In the meantime though, it is important to realize that peace of mind is at our disposal here and now.

In both presented problems, the imbalance lies within. It’s a conflict of the mind that can be resolved. The outer world adjusts when the inner war gets solved. How easy would it have been to find fault with my former colleagues. How easy it would be to beat myself up over the desire to be known and famous in the spiritual community. Yet, once we spot the inner conflicts we can solve them, often instantaneously. I hadn’t had the self-awareness I have today when I started my mission at my old job. These days I am smarter. I am happy to share the gospel of the Way and will certainly not mind if some kudos come my way.

Saturday, July 14, 2018


Feelings, for all my life I’ll feel it.
I wish I’d never met you girl.
You’ll never come again.
(Feelings, Perry Como)

Boston attracts many tourists over the summer. I was riding the T yesterday when a family of three entered; apparently visiting Boston as tourists, a big and  masculine looking father dragged his boy along. He was in a foul mood, and the expression of the child was that of fear, and oddly, exactly the same annoyed expression, mirroring his dad’s face. A few minutes later I caught the man how he was adjusting the blouse of his wife, fearing someone might look at her improperly.

As I quietly was rolling my eyes I suddenly had an idea. What if we are born to relive the feelings world of our parents, merely creating the world that neatly brings home this experience for us personally. Well, all that theorizing stopped when I saw the big man jumping on a rotating circle in the middle of the train that moves whenever the train takes a turn. Suddenly the stern man was transformed into a little child, enjoying the seemingly unpredictable movements without holding onto a railing. A woman on the train cheered him on, telling him that she also always does that given that she was a surfer in her youth. How the mood had changed; apparently the little lad was in good hands after all!

This story came back to me when I saw this quote this morning, “When one makes an ‘InTention’, the Universe doesn’t know spelling and brings you that thing surrounded by tension.” (Mama Wyndee) I think there is a lot of truth in this statement. We are no bio-robots; we can create the world we aspire to manifest. GOD gave us the power of a loving heart to process and embrace our feelings. GOD gave us a potent mind to visualize the world we want to live in. Let’s use them both together. Feelings, I open up to you and honor you. Freed from the baggage of my past, my intention is free from tensions whatsoever!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Addiction: Finding the Why

He who has the why to live can bear almost any how.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

There is always a last time of usage, of getting stoned, and getting taken for a ride by the inner demons. It may not be a day when the will-power is the most pronounced. It is probably a day when the game we have been playing with ourselves is finally understood. The reason why we were running away from ourselves. It is a day when we know why we need to show up in live here and now and who depends on us. The day of break-through comes for everyone, hopefully well before the day of reckoning.

Dr. Spackman described this break-through day for one of his addicted clients in ‘The Winner’s Bible’. She focused all her energy on getting her son back, and stopping to use was the only way to get them reunited. In her case, the ‘why’ focused on her her loved one, whereas in some other cases the ‘why’ is about understanding what this bondage was all about, and doing something about it. Addiction, painful as it is, is a journey towards healing, wholeness and spiritual transformation. It’s a journey despite ourselves for the simple reason that there is no alternative.

Just as all the folks showed up when they did to inflict the pain on us in the past to send us on this journey of misery, the wheels are now in motion to send us the folks who help us on our healing mission. The pain unfortunately will linger for quite a while; the temptations are unfortunately sure to return, but we don’t need to be afraid either. Let’s figure out the why today, and we are sure to handle almost any how. That’s what a break-through moment to be done with addiction looks like. With God’s Grace we can experience it today.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Don’t work harder, work smarter

A friend and I met for lunches and walks regularly just to escape the stressful work environment and to catch up on things. Knowing that I am a spiritual life coach she revealed to me that she really minded her weight. She was on the track team during her high school years and in top shape then; these days she was worn down by her stressful work which gave her very little time for exercise. Yes, she had signed for several Weight Watcher programs and had, in fact, made nice progress in getting her weight down. Still, she wanted better results. Also, during the times when she felt down she also spent way too much on clothes and stuff. Her credit card bills were piling up too.

Countless books have been written on weight loss programs, and other self improvement methods. I only want to add one idea to the discussion, the importance of balance and peace of mind. Our body is mostly doing its work naturally, so when the weight shoots up, something mental is out of kilter that needs fixing. In the case of my friend, it might be her perfectionism that makes work extra in an extremely stressful work environment. I couldn’t tell what the solution to her problem was given that we didn’t know each other that well: a new job? A conscious effort to focus on 80/20 solutions rather than getting every detail right? A could only make a few suggestions but I told her, don’t fight the symptoms, address the root cause of the problem.

The message of the photo is right, we are the creators of our body, destiny and peace of mind. Yet, if you beat yourself up over not reaching your weight goal, your financial, romantic or professional goals yet again, maybe you are zooming into the symptoms of the problem instead. Take a step back! Have a look at the bigger picture. How can you get your balance back? What do you have to address in order to feel whole again? Your body is your avatar, it will merely express how you view yourself. Your finances are the external gauge of how you perceive your professional potency. Your love life might just mirror the little life that you feel is left in yourself. Don’t work harder, work smarter! Become whole and happy and see all areas of your life reflect this beautiful fact of life.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Everything is Taken Care Of (Revised)

The Tao is like a well:
used but never used up.
The Tao is called the Great Mother:
empty yet inexhaustible.
I am different from ordinary people.
I drink from the Great Mother’s Breasts.
(Tao Te Ching)

A baby was breastfed for seven years. When the baby had grown into a big boy, his mother told him to go up to the mountains and see whether he could withstand the mountain storms. He tried his best, but after a few seconds a strong breeze swept him off his feet. He went back to his mom and she breast-fed him for another seven years. As a sturdy teenager, his mother asked him to go up the mountains to test the winds one more time. A storm was howling furiously and he tried his best to keep his balance. He had his legs stamped into the ground but after ten minutes his tired legs gave into the pressure and he fell to the ground yet again.

He returned to his mom and she breast-fed him for yet another seven years. As a strong and handsome young man, he went up to the mountain for the third time and only laughed at the winds. He became a soldier and destroyed entire armies with his strength, sturdiness and apparent invincibility.  We don't have to strive and we don't have to fear. The only thing we spiritual travelers have to do is to let the Way take care of us. When we encounter problems and setbacks like everyone, we can use these obstacles to launch us on an even higher trajectory.

You might ask, how can we have faith in fairy tales? How do we know that good will come our way? How can we stop being anxious? How can we stop question the past, or second-guess the intentions of the people we interact with? Well, that’s what a spiritual path does for us. Our restless mind naturally quiets down when we are in the Holy Now. The present moment simply takes over. How can we know that the future will be to our liking? Well, we can’t promise success in what you do, just like the 14 year-old boy in our story also could not withstand the winds of the mountains, but we can claim with authority that no matter what happens, it will be meaningful and set the foundation for the ending of the story that you are writing for yourself.

John Lennon summed this idea up well when he said, ‘Everything will be ok in the end. If it is not ok, it’s not the end.’ Faith is something that comes with traveling the Way. The boy in the story had his nurturing mother to fall back to; we have the Way. Day in, day out, we receive the Signs along the Way telling us when we are in alignment with what is, just as we get encouragements to try a little harder when something is off. Can we experience missed steps along the Way, misfortunes and disappointed expectations? Absolutely! I had plenty of those. Can we ever have the feeling of being left out there, deserted without Divine support? No! Everything that happens is patiently explained to us, and how this dark chapter fits into the bigger picture of our story. Give yourself a little credit as a Co-Creator in God’s beautiful Story. If it is not ok, it’s not the end!

When it comes to anxiety you might take comfort in Meatloaf’s, ‘Two out of Three Ain’t Bad’. That’s how I feel when it comes to my spiritual progress after ten years of traveling the Way. There is a peace of mind that descends naturally, and most of life’s worrying and second-guessing becomes a thing of the past. Today, when you and I are talking, I am all ears. I see you literally—whether you have an upbeat message for me or not—as a messenger of the Way. Thinking stops when Awareness kicks in. And with it, so does anxiety and negative thinking. In the olden days I also second-guessed events of the past a lot, examining over and over again whether I could have done something differently. Today, this would never occur to me. We just instinctively know that everything in the past, no matter how painful it might have been, prepared us perfectly for this Divine moment.

I use Meatloaf’s ‘Two of Three Ain’t Bad’ song to demonstrate that I am also human like everyone else. Naturally, I want to be in a ‘good’ chapter of my life-story rather than a more challenging chapter . Naturally, I also worry about future outcomes. Still, the belief in a meaningful outcome of my story in the end is unshaken. We are the director, main actor and supporting cast in our movie production. Of course we have a say in how it turns out in the end. Keep the faith and keep going. If you have the humility to ask for help when you need it, the Way will make sure that everything is taken care of.

Everything is being taken care of along the Way. It’s more than faith, it’s an insight. They say that after 21 repetition our powerful subconscious starts accepting what our conscious mind believes as well. Well, along the Way, we get daily supporting Signs that we are on the right track. And if we do miss a beat along the Way, we are instantaneously shown how to reconnect. We just instinctively know that this is our story. I hear often from spiritual newbies that they mind their fears, overactive minds and anxiety, and I always tell them that a spiritual path can help them with that. I can’t promise them success. I can’t promise them the absence of pain, but I can tell them that peace of mind will surely come their Way.

Along the Way, everything is being taken care of.

Precious Healing Moments

“We cannot change anything unless we accept it.”
 C.G. Jung

Have you ever watched Kung Fu Panda II?  There is a scene in which Po was about to discover what he really went through when he was a baby panda.  He had headaches and couldn’t remember what was going on. The lamb asked him to stop resisting and just let it happen. At the moment when he stopped resisting, finally everything came to him; all the memory suddenly surfaced and he could see what really happened to him. When his repressed memories came back, he finally discovered why he became an orphan. His mother sacrificed her own life to protect him from getting killed. With this realization, all the bitter feelings of being abandoned was replaced by the love his mom had for him.

This scene expresses so well what healing is all about! Something painful happened to us in our past. It was so painful that we’d rather forget about it and repress it so deep in our subconscious. However, to experience healing, we need to consciously allow these painful image and energies to resurface; be seen, be understood, and be accepted.  When we go through this process, a part of us is healed, and we have taken another big step towards wholeness.

Life naturally brings back lots of healing opportunities for us.  When something triggers us; when we feel pain and would rather drown it in alcohol, sex, social media, or shopping, it’s a sign that there is something our Soul wants to show us and help us heal.  Life wants to bring back healing and love to us.  Are you brave enough to let Her do the work? May we be brave enough to embrace these precious moments and fully utilize their healing power!  May healing and love prevail in our lives!

By Su Zhen