Saturday, June 24, 2017

Finding Serenity in the Battlefield of Life

The SELF cannot be pierced by weapons or burned by fire; water cannot wet it, nor can the wind dry it. IT is everlasting and infinite, standing on the motionless foundations of eternity. The SELF is unmanifested, beyond all thought, beyond all change. Knowing this, you should not grieve. (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad Gita)

I am in the fight of a lifetime. At work our group has been held together by some good leadership and a lot of earned good-will of the colleagues who have been working together for a long time. Unfortunately the gloves have come off recently because management has essentially given the the message that everyone that their job is on the line. They claim the group will be downsized put under new leadership. Everyone is scared as a consequence, while some hope for the chance to move up in the upcoming power shuffle. 

 I am not happy about the situation given that I have spent years trying to build it. I may lose my job anyway, but I still show up every day to see my mission through. Nothing has changed for me personally though. I still pursue the path of cooperation and collaboration, but don't shy away from conflict either. Nothing has changed in fact, the same rules of the WAY apply and I dance with life challenges just as a I would have done any time before. 

The true war happens at home. The ego fellow tells me that I am doomed and that my spiritual mindset simply doesn't work in a business setting. Success or failure, GOD will have a message for me how to proceed. Yes, it takes effort to stand up to bad energy, and yes, the ego is having a field day exploiting it. Yet, that's what a spiritual path is all about, isn't it? 

Psalm 23 maintains, "though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for THOU art with me; THY rod and thy staff they comfort me". Never mind the tunnel and the lack of light, my peace of mind shall return. The funny thing is, at work the peace of mind is always there because no matter what, I can always see the WAY, and that's all I aspire anyway.

This note starts with a quote of the the Blue Lord telling Arjun that he has a war to fight whether he likes it or not. That is the mission I am facing right now. Success or failure, I will be fine. Either you are happy here and now, or you never will.  I just show up every day and do my work. In a strange way I have found serenity in the battlefield called life.

Friday, June 23, 2017

The WAY Keeps the "I" at Bay

The ego is a veil between humans and GOD.

Rumi's definition of the ego is brilliant. The word ego is just a fancy Latin word for the "I", so his message is that more often than not our "I" experience prevents us from enjoying the GOD CONNECTION.  "I" as in interference, I would say. Or, keep the "I" at bay and you can enjoy the WAY.

We spiritual travelers have experienced many spiritual break-throughs. The blessed moments when the mind stands still and the occasions when the holy NOW completely captures us. It is in these magic occasions when the "I" experiences what the observer knows is the WAY.

The "I" need not interfere with the WAY. When we are open to the holy NOW, the "I" becomes part of something much bigger and more magnificent. The "I" simply melts in the presence of the GOD CONNECTION. The "I" becomes part of the "I AM THAT I AM" experience.

Don't try to beat the "I" into submission, it can't be done anyway. Enjoy life instead every step of the WAY. Truth be told, we can't control the "I" but we can open up to GOD's many messengers. The beauty and the magnificence of the WAY keeps the "I" at bay.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

What do you want to experience?

"Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."
(Steve Jobs)

Have you observed how some people nearly work themselves to death in order to advance in their career? One would think that these workaholics are slaves to their hunger for career, status and money. But then, if these are their passions, who are we to tell them otherwise. Being successful is part of their self expression.

Consider how much work it sometimes takes to prepare for a trip, yet the people who succumb to wanderlust will happily do it. Same for a cook who laboriously prepares a fancy meal for a party, or the passionate lover who would do anything to get the girl of his dreams. In the extreme you could call some of these driven people mad, yet they have to follow their calling. Ignoring their passions in the name of spirituality would be slow suicide.

So what do you want to experience? When we follow a mission, or a subconscious drive, we don't care about the hard work it takes to see it through. We have to fulfill our mission, otherwise life would be simply incomplete. We advice you to follow the love, the love for your mission, for the people in your life, and for GOD.

Along a spiritual path everything we do suddenly becomes a source of joy and the trade-offs that we once found so annoying simply disappear. When we cook for our loved ones, our heart is singing. When we work for our mission, everything that comes our way we will gladly take care of. And when it comes to GOD, everything life throws at us we understand as an opportunity to do HIS WILL.

Trade-offs and sacrifices only show up as a wake-up call that we are still conflicted in some areas and that we need to sharpen our focus. Apply the passion test for everything you do and don't get blind-sighted by pleasure and the little obstacles along the WAY. Be aware of the WAY and suddenly your life will be full of joy, love, and energy again!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Welcome the Hustle and Bustle of Life

Solitude is in the mind of man. One might be in the thick of the world and maintain serenity of mind.
(Sri Ramana Maharshi)

We cannot step out of our ego. Sure, we have breakthrough moments when the mind becomes still as the ego is awed by GOD's MAGNIFICENCE, but mostly we experience the ego as us, and all we can accomplish is to be aware of who we truly are beneath the thoughts, feelings and interactions with others. The "hustle and bustle" of life is something spiritual travelers can look forward to. It puts us in touch with our SELF.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Looking through GOD's Maya

The first gulp from the glass of natural science will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass GOD is waiting for you. (Werner Heisenberg)

It is said that in a quantum experiment, before the observer kicks in, there is a wave of possibility. Once the observer appears, the outcome is realized. So observer and reality apparently determine each other.

The implication of this insight for us spiritual travelers seems clear enough. Find the WAY to make FAITH your perception of reality and you will see GOD's messengers everywhere. Trust the ego's laws and you will experience them instead. For most of us, we steadily alternate between the two worlds dependent on how Zen or vulnerable we feel.

The wave of possibilities is always there. Become the divine observer and GOD will gladly show you how to look through GOD's maya. When you get temporarily derailed by life's chaos, just wait patiently for one of GOD's messenger to show you the WAY. FAITH is always just one step away.

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Spiritual Importance of the Here and Now

There is a voice inside of us that tells a story. The environment that we are operating in can tell us about life as is instead. It is not straightforward to perceive life as is with all the chatter in our head, but when we approach life with an open mind, the WAY will increasingly teach us to view the world with a spiritual eye.

The place where our perceived "I" meets the world is the holy NOW that so many spiritual travelers tell us about. The holy NOW puts the voice and the story in context and allows the divine observer to kick in. The intersection of "I" and life, viewed from a spiritual perspective, generates the divine "I AM THAT I AM" experience.

How can we complain about the obstacles that we are facing? How can we mind the sadness and the pressures that life occasionally brings our way? Isn't it in situations like these when we understand that the voice in our head is not us at all? Try to do that when everything is going your way, the voice in your head will try to tell you that you are enlightened instead.

Let's embrace everything life brings our way. Let's open up to the here and now and let's be free!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Less Bragging about Being Humble

I was playing soccer and volleyball at our company offsite the other day. As the adrenaline was rushing through me I realized how competitive I truly am. It was then when it dawned on me how good my job as a strategist in the financial industry has been for me personally, and even spiritually. I am grateful to my job for allowing me to put my best out there every day and compete with the best in the world to make money on behalf of our clients. Just as I discover who I truly am, I walk the WAY of cooperation, respect and spirituality.

I would rather be a spiritual writer yet the financial obligations of putting two boys through schools encourages me to keep working. Life knows a bit better what is good for me than I do. Yes, my job is stressful. Yes, the profit greed in our industry is often heartless, but at least here I live out my drives and may one day get this competitive streak out of the way once and for all. At last here I can accept who I truly am. What use would it be to sit on my couch instead, writing fancy notes of how humble and enlightened I am. Life has a habit of holding a mirror up for us when we repress things. Is it really more spiritual to secretly aspire to become the most widely read spiritual author instead?

As synchronicity has it, on the same offsite I was part of a working group that was asked to reflect on our firm culture statement. It was in fact amazingly humanistic and borderline spiritual in its objectives which explains why I have spent nearly a quarter of a century here. I had to smile though when our working group wanted to add a "street fighter" character to it. Light worker or not, I did not complain as it summed up my transformation from becoming less of a dreamer to more of a goal getter. One colleague got my attention when she joked, "perhaps we should do less bragging about being humble!"

Let's dive into life's messiness and get done what we need to with character, style, a spiritual mindset, as we well as poise.