Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Heart Set Free

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.
(C. G. Jung)

We are the creator of our destiny. Our vibrations attract all the characters and events into our life. Like an iceberg, however, our conscious will only has so much control. Instead, the programs of our subconscious determine most events and outcomes.

Enrolling into self-improvement programs can propel us on our journey to achieve our desires. We encounter the negative programs running through us and work towards overcoming them. Life- and Executive Coaches certainly have their role to play.

A spiritual path is a broader revamp program though. Not only are we encouraged to face the interferences and obstacles in our life but are also willing to question some of the goals and desires we are running after. We embrace the iceberg in its entirety.

A spiritual path sets our heart free to attract people and events without fear and interferences, full of love. Mind and body execute the programs of the heart. This is the ancient state before the Fall we can return to. Let the Way bring you back Home.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Dance of the Tao

Tao is infinite, living through every one of us,
Tao is eternal, it exists in every being,
Tao nurtures us like water;
flows to everywhere,
and exist in every place!
He seems invisible and is no-thing,
but is vital to our existence!
Tao exists in everyone of us invisibly,
and at the same expresses Herself beautifully through us!
You and I are the paintings of Her paintbrush;
She is beautiful,
And He is good looking.
She effortless expresses Her beauty in every being,
She moves like a ballerina,
and demonstrates the elegance of movement!
He moves like a martial art master,
And expresses the beauty of strength!

And you,
You are here to live out Her dance,
And celebrate His life!

By Suzanne Yang

Let the Tao write your Life Story

The ego, or separate self, is nothing more than a character in its own story. Its whole life is a work of fiction. (Pat Nolan)

You have a job and you are automatically entangled in it. You have your mission and your perceived legacy. You have to deal with your peers, the friends, the foes, the bosses and the folks who report to you. Maybe you could find a new job pretty quickly, maybe you are stuck there. Maybe you have bills to pay and feel completely dependent on forces outside of your control.

Maybe your job has become part of your identity. If you lose it, or move on to some other job, it will leave you just like a snake skin, slowly peeling off and bring replaced by something new. I left my job of 22 years last fall and I still sometimes dream of some of the characters there. It is hard to let go of our past and our perceived identity. The same can be said for friends, family or lovers.

Is it really necessary to live without ‘I’ experience, without memory, without personal life story as some gurus tell us? I don’t know why our past necessarily has to stand in the way of our spiritual experience here and now. We just have to step out of the desire to tell a story. When we merge with the Now our past automatically disappears at that moment and our future gets reshuffled as well.

Relax about your legacy. Relax about the question what all that hard work in the past was good for, and certainly relax about what may happen to you in the future. Your intention is all that matters. You aim for the outcome you like to see, and the series of holy Nows will put the story together for you. Amazingly, your spiritual path will even heal the past if your intention is wholesome.

The Now heals heals the past and launches a meaningful future. Let the Way write your life story!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Genius, Madness and Spirituality are but a Step Apart

“We enjoy lovely music, beautiful paintings, a thousand intellectual delicacies, but we have no idea of their cost, to those who invented them, in sleepless nights, tears, spasmodic laughter, rashes, asthmas, epilepsies, and the fear of death, which is worse than all the rest.”
(Marcel Proust)

From psychological business studies we know that the entrepreneurs perceive the risks of failing and the likelihood of succeeding very differently than the 'normal' folks. You could call them mentally deranged but we call them visionaries instead. Perhaps you could think of entrepreneurs as the successful outliers in our species but they are merely the lucky ones. Amongst the high risk takers not everyone succeeds, but we hardly talk about the ones who don't make it. It is perfect to be risk-loving as long as we turn out to be the lucky ones.

What about all the so-called 'pathological' mental conditions though? Could they have their place and importance in society  as well? Nassir Ghaemi in 'A first-rate madness' argues that many artists and political leaders are wired differently than the ordinary folks. Even for challenging afflictions like bi-polar for example, Nassir Ghaemi argued that these exceptional people accomplished what they did because of their different wirings, not despite of them - no 'sane' person could have, is his point. Kevin Dutton argued along similar lines in 'The Wisdom of Psychopaths' that his father was an excellent salesman because of his different state of experiencing reality, while not being a bad person at all, as it is typically associated with psychopaths.

I know something about the 'dis-ease' bi-polar because my father suffered from this affliction over decades. Without taking any medication, he spent ages in deep depression, with the occasional highs that were so out of character for him. I carry his affliction in my bones but with a kosher spiritual lifestyle manage to keep it at bay. I doubt that any of my friends, colleagues or family members would ever associate me with bi-polar, yet they do not know how much I paddle below the surface to be as calm and serene as they know me on the surface.

The lesson learned here is that we should all celebrate our differences. I know from personal experience how hard it is to embark on an Awakening process because something is missing or off. Yet, instead of wishing to be again ‘normal’ like anyone, we need to move forward and embrace our challenge and run with it. Eckhart Tolle went from being depressed to being Awakened, a similar transformation is likely in store for you as well. Spiritual folks are as sane as they come but it unfortunately sometimes takes a process of struggle to get to that stage.

 Genius, madness, or spiritual Awakening are but a step apart; so what if trespass a few boundaries here or there. If there is any perceived pathology, let your spiritual path show you how to transform the coal into a diamond. I can tell you from personal experience that I am as sane as they come and am able to function in both worlds, the mundane one everyone else perceives and the spiritual world. Dare to be different—dare to be your Self!

Connecting with My Self

For many years I have been trying to build some deep connection with people.  I succeed most of the time when I am present with the people I am connecting with.  It always brings me deep satisfaction, silence, and love.

However, sometimes it also brings me frustration when people I try to connect with don’t share the same goals.  It can become challenging for me. After all, these are important people in my life. When I look at them and wait for them, I often lose myself too

After these years I also learn the trick; it’s always not about someone else.  It’s always about connecting to myself in the first place. I always feel calm and centered after I reconnect with myself after all these communication mishaps.  I always feel loving and understanding after I reconnect with myself.

Blaming, hurting, demanding, always fade away; instead, love, acceptance, and understanding is on the rise. When I look at these challenges as learning opportunities, suddenly, I am all fine!

By Suzanne Yang

Monday, November 12, 2018

In Transition

The Grand Duke of York,
he had ten thousand men.
He marched them to the top of the hill
and he marched them down again.
And when they were up, they were up.
And when they were down, they were down.
And when they were only half-way up
they were neither up nor down.
(Nursery Ryme)

Everyone who goes through the depth of a ‘dark night of the soul’ episode sees a glimmer of light somewhere. Perhaps it is a special friend who reaches out; maybe it is a sacred memory of past times, or maybe it is an inner Voice offering some sanctuary from the pain. Yet the balance of life dictates that it also must be true that each time when we aspire to be our better Self, whenever we reach for the light or embark on a mission towards enlightenment, there is bound to be an inner demon that wants to hold us back, reminding us that we are human after all. We Zen folks don’t have these struggles. We see live as is, without aspirations for the future and without regrets of the past. We are bound to be in balance wherever we are.

A spiritual path is really a transition from an old world to a new, with a few years of disoriented struggle when the old skin hasn’t been left behind in its entirety, while the new skin is not yet complete either. That’s the time of the ‘dark night of the soul’ episode, and that’s the time of struggle between good and evil. Awakening, the search for the light is just like a program kicking in. The Awakening process is just like Charles Dickens’ ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’. Eventually though, every spiritual traveler reaches a new state, a new vibration, a new profession perhaps, and a new set of people to hang out with. There is nothing to hope for, nothing to strive for, and even nothing to do. Let life bring you to where you are destined to end up.

Enjoy every day to the best of your abilities. There is beauty in change, and there is beauty in stability. Enjoy the here and now and let God do the rest.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Just Live!

The German word lebensgeist (life-spirit) expresses vitality, joy and drive. It’s the Force that sent Yoshua’s disciples in all corners of the world following his resurrection. It is the Force that makes us fall in love and encourages us to create something new. Any time we are with our loved ones we experience the life-spirit flowing through us. Spirit is always nearby, encouraging us to fall in love with the moment in time, but we are often too occupied to appreciate the opportunity at hand and to react accordingly.

We have no right to criticize anyone who is in love with life. The womanizer who is gleaming in anticipation when he zooms into yet another attractive target; the CEO who already counts the anticipated value of his stock options as he lays off another 10 percent of the already strained work-force. Living our passions advances us on our Home-coming journey even if we later have to pay dearly for our accumulated karma. Our soul rejoices since after this lesson we shall be free, so never mind the pain!

I remember the last time a girl swept me off my feet like it was yesterday. Academically, I remember the bus ride from Providence to Boston at 11 pm when I developed the gist of my dissertation in that one hour, while furiously scribbling equations, the one hour seemed like 5 minutes. Anyone who has tasted life wants to experience it again and again. Many make ‘not-so-spiritual’ choices in that hunt for life. Some dare to live in their desire to be spiritual and their passions whither away. This happened to me!

The lebensgeist idea came to me when I read this passage from ‘The Way of Mastery’:
If you were to walk down one of your city streets and to truly look into the eyes of everyone you see, would you not recognize that death seems to have already made a home in the minds of many that are living? Death of dreams, death of hope, death of worthiness, death of playfulness, death of true power and death of union with their Source and Creator has already taken place.

It is true that we spiritual travelers can have it all. Our deep-routed passions can be expressed with spiritual purpose, and the burning flame can be transformed into a serene energy flow ready to be joined with others. Unfortunately, it is also true that way too many light-workers live in their heads instead. They want to help, they want to spread the gospel and they effectively suppress their ‘life-spirit’ because they want to do right by God. Death and misery is not part of the Way.

Have you felt enthusiastic recently? Just live!