Sunday, April 16, 2017

Enlightenment At Home

by Madisyn Taylor

Spiritual growth can take place anywhere if you are open and ready to learn and receive.

Many spiritual seekers feel called to far-flung places across the globe in the interest of pursuing the path of their enlightenment. This may indeed be the right course of action for certain people, but it is by no means necessary to attaining an enlightened consciousness. Enlightenment can take root anywhere on earth, as long as the seeker is an open and ready vessel for higher consciousness. All we need is a powerful intention, and a willingness to do the work necessary to moving forward on our path.

In terms of spiritual practice, at this moment, there are more tools available to more people than at any other time in history. We have access to so much wisdom through the vehicles of books, magazines, the Internet, television, and film. In addition, the time-honored practice of meditation is free, and sitting quietly everyday, listening to the universe, is a great way to start the journey within. There is further inspiration in the fact that the greatest teachers we have are our own life experiences, and they come to us every day with new lessons and new opportunities to learn. If we look at the people around us, we may realize that we have a spiritual community already intact, and if we don't, we can find one, if not in our own neighborhood, then on-line.

Meanwhile, if we feel called to travel in search of teachers and experiences, then by all means, we should. But if we can't go to India, or Burma, or Indonesia, or if we don't have the desire, this is not an obstacle in terms of our spiritual development. In fact, we may simply be aware that our time and energy is best spent in our own homes, with our meditation practice and all the complications and joys of our own lives. We can confidently stay in one place, knowing that everything that we need to attain enlightenment is always available right where we are.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Why and how to develop self-discipline

By Gloria Excelsias

Self-discipline is one of the most important qualities to develop on the Spiritual path. It is certainly no coincidence that the words disciple and discipline sound so similar. They originate from the same root. Discipulus, in Latin, means student – and discere means to learn.

It is only when the student begins to learn to discipline his and her forces, that true Spiritual growth and self-mastery may be attained. So long as we don’t learn to control the invisible forces within us, we cannot hope to steer and direct our visible life.

Until we decide to develop self-discipline, we are basically thrown hither and yon by the inner currents of desire and by the outer currents of temptation. In other words, we are the victim of desire and confusion and not the captain of our ship.

Self-discipline enables us to direct our forces and thus take control of our life.
With this understanding in mind, how may we develop self-discipline?

We develop self-discipline first by deciding that from this moment forward we’ll control our desires, passions and appetites which have hitherto controlled us and that from this moment forward we’ll resist the temptation to give into selfish gratification.  Step number one is to make a decision to change our life and take control of our forces. What might be helpful is to make this decision in front of our Creator in the form of a Spiritual contract of sorts. Doing this will make it easier to follow through.

Step number two is to take the opportunity, when the lower passion or appetite arises, to not just restrain it but purify it. Remember, we live in a world of energies and forces. Lower passions, desires and appetites are real, tangible forces. Just trying to restrain them will not get rid of them. The only way to get rid of them is to transform them. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only be transformed. We transform a lower passion by purifying it into a higher aspiration. As we transform these lower forces, one by one, they will soon lose their hold over us as well as their attractive power. In other words, as we begin to purify our life through self-discipline, we will begin feeling repelled by the impure life and start feeling attracted to the pure life. As the lower life is phased out of our constitution through self-discipline, as per the law of attraction, we will no longer feel attracted to it.

It is through the purification of our lower nature that we step into our nigher nature. The lower animal forces are not lost in the process of purification, they are simply transmuted into higher spiritual energy. However, this transmutation of lower force into higher energy does not happen by chance. It happens by choice. It is accomplished through self-imposed discipline.

Here is what happens: Each time we give into a lower passion and desire, we give our power away to the lower desire and in this way strengthen the force of desire while at the same time weakening ourselves in proportion. However, each time we restrain a lower desire and transmute it into a higher form of energy, we strengthen our will power and grow in Spiritual power.

As we begin to transform our lower desires into higher energies, we develop will-power, self-confidence, self-love and self-respect. We also begin to conserve our energies rather than dissipate them. In other words, we begin to apply the law of energy conservation. Nature does not dissipate her energies and neither should we if we are serious about stepping into Spiritual maturity.
Without self-discipline we steadily keep drifting lower and lower (one low passion magnetically leads to another lower passion) whereas through the execution of self-discipline we may lift ourselves out of the lower life into the glories of the high life.

We won’t just wake up one magical morning being fully awakened and alive without having initiated the necessary self-discipline to prune away all that is not divine and cultivate all that is. As we sacrifice the lower life, we gain so much in return! Give it a try

ACTION STEP: Practically speaking, let’s say you want to become the master of your tongue. Each time you are about to say something unfriendly, unsupportive, unhelpful, mean etc., restrain yourself and make yourself say something nice, uplifting and supportive instead. Words are forces! That’s why they can hurt – or uplift, for that matter. Every time we restrain our tongue and/or turn a negative conversation into a positive one, we are literally transmuting lower force into higher energy. We are practicing alchemy Spend the next seven days actively practicing alchemy.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Purification: An Alchemical Process

It is not possible to advance on the Spiritual path without going through a process of purification. The word purification comes from the Latin and means „to make pure.“ („purus“ = pure; + root of „facere“ = to make) It literally means „free from extraneous matter.“

Being an extension of Source, we are – like Source – a trinity: Spirit – consciousness – matter; in intuitive philosophy this trinity is also known as: Monad (Spirit or life aspect) – Soul (consciousness aspect) – Personality (matter aspect).

Our mental, emotional and physical/etheric bodies constitute the so-called personality vehicles. Our bodies are made of various degrees of matter (physical/etheric matter, astral matter, mental matter). The quality of the matter constituting our physical/etheric, emotional and mental bodies is dependent on the thoughts we think, the feelings and emotions we experience, the words we speak, and the actions we take.

Now, I would like to take a moment and talk about the need of purification, focusing specifically on our matter aspect, our bodies. At the end, I will explain why purification is a necessary discipline which we cannot evade if we are to take the next step in our evolution and advance into a Soul-conscious species.

Let’s begin with our mental body.

Since in our current stage of evolution we are mostly unconscious and passive and pay little to no attention to our thinking, we naturally allow the people around us, the situations we find ourselves in, the programs playing on TV, global events, etc. to condition our mental body. Said another way: The newspapers we read, the shows and movies we watch on TV, the conservations we have at work and with our family, the people we hang around with, all play upon and condition the matter of our mental body. Since we, as a human family, are still mostly identified with separation, most of these vibrations are separative in nature. They separate us from Source and from one another.

However, the Spiritual path is the path of gradually replacing the illusion of separation with the reality of oneness. Therefore, to accomplish this, we need to purify our mental vehicle of all separative elements. If we do not systematically purify our mental nature of these separative elements, we will not be able to grow and advance. On the contrary: we’ll stay stuck exactly where we are and keep going in circles. You need to understand that we will not just wake up one magical morning having a fully purified and enlightened mental body. If our mental nature is going to transform into one of love and light and beauty, we will have to take the initiative to do so.

Now, how do we purify our mental nature? One of the most essential ways – and that‘s just one way – to purify our thinking is to begin observing our thinking. As you observe your thinking, the moment you catch yourself having a thought of fear, hatred, separation, anger, etc., immediately stop it and replace it with a thought of love, joy, gratitude and freedom. Energy cannot be destroyed but it can be transformed. When we replace a thought of fear with a thought of love, in that very moment of changing the direction of a thought current, we transform the energy of that thought current and thus literally transform the quality, wiring and substance of our mental body. Changing fear-based thoughts into love-based thoughts is literally an alchemical process. As we keep raising the substance of our mental body by purifying it on an ongoing basis (by continually replacing fear-based thoughts with love-based thoughts), we can use our mental body for an increasingly higher, divine purpose. (To think high thoughts, we need a mental body made of high vibrational mental substance; with a low order mental body we cannot think high thoughts!)

What about our emotional body? The quality of our emotional nature is dependent on the feelings and emotions we express – past, present, and future. Fear-based emotions are separative in nature. Cutting off oneness, they literally destroy the wiring of our emotional nature and create short-circuits in our nature. As as result, we cannot change our emotional responses but are caught in so-called emotional automatic reactions. Someone attacks us, and we automatically attack back (before we even have time to „think“ about what we are doing). To heal these cleavages, we need to flood our emotional nature with love and joy and gratitude, etc. Fear separates, love mends. This way we literally heal the wiring and raise the substance of our emotional nature. So: Observe your emotional automatic reactions. As you catch yourself reacting on automatic pilot, stop yourself in the middle (to the best of your ability) and make a conscious effort to consciously respond in a new, loving way. In this way you install a new program. Part of our evolutionary goal is to master and control our bodies so we can use them in service of the Soul and Spirit. When we have an emotional body that does its „own thing,“ the Soul cannot use it in service. When you purify your emotional nature by flooding your feeling nature with love and joy and gratitude, and by striving to respond to what happens in your life in new enlightened ways, you literally purify and thereby raise the very frequency of the cells constituting your feeling instrument.

Lastly, we also need to purify the matter out of which our physical body is made. Now, how do we accomplish that? Through fasting, deep breathing (I am not talking about pranayama!), sports, sweating in the sauna, etc. Fasting, deep breathing, sports and sweating are excellent disciplines to release coarse matter from our physical matter and build new, finer, higher matter into our densest vehicle. In other words: these are excellent exercises to purify and raise the frequency of the cells constituting our physical body.

Now, this being said, as we all know: we are NOT our bodes. So why bother to purify our vehicles if we are NOT our bodies? Excellent question! As I have said in the beginning, we are a trinity: Spirit, Soul, matter. These three aspects work together in unison. The Soul is Spirit’s vehicle of expression, and the matter aspect (involving ALL our bodies) is the Soul’s vehicle of expression.

In other words: The Soul cannot manifest itself without matter (without bodies) because matter is the very vehicle for the manifestation of the Soul.

Our current evolutionary goal is to advance into a Soul-conscious species. Our current evolutionary goal is to MANIFEST the Soul, and for the Soul to manifest itself it needs suitable instruments. A suitable mental, emotional and physical instrument is free of lower-vibratory coarse matter and full of high-level-vibratory fine matter. The Soul literally cannot manifest itself in a heavy, lower-vibratory physical body, emotional vehicle and mental house.

Purification is a necessary discipline on the Spiritual path because it is the discipline that enables us to replace coarse matter with fine matter (in all our vehicles). Purification is a discipline that enables us to alchemically transform our vehicles so as to provide our Soul with suitable instruments to express and manifest itself on Earth. And why should we strive to manifest express and manifest the Soul on Earth?

Great question! Because, again, it is current evolutionary goal to advance into a Soul-conscious species – and we reach this goal by each one of us manifesting our Soul on Earth – in our thinking, feeling and acting nature.


Monday, April 3, 2017

A Thought to Carry with You

Great wisdom often lies hidden in deceptively simple language. Scottish author George MacDonald's At the Back of the North Wind contains this little gem among many:

"The lightning and thunder,
They go and they come;
But the stars and the stillness
Are always at home."

Lightning and thunder come and go in the literal sense of weather changes, of course, and they are also familiar metaphors. In our personal lives, things may move along "as usual" for a while, but sooner or later a storm bursts in: a family argument, an accident, a ravaging illness, the death of someone we love. Beyond our own horizons, we are saddened to hear about upheavals in the lives of our sisters and brothers around the world: wars, famine, political oppression, refugee crises, and more. Tempestuous forces may sometimes clear the way for us to break free of limitations, gain courage, and come more fully alive. But there's no doubt that they are emblems of impermanence and can lead to terrible loss.

Dramatic storms tend to stand out in our memories. It's rarer for us to recall the stars and the stillness that outlast the wild whims of weather. This week, be on the lookout for a steady, sure vantage point from which you can sense the stars firmly situated in their celestial home. Rooting yourself in stillness fosters serenity, calm, and clarity like that of a clear night sky -- qualities that last even when storms are raging.  

Your Spirituality & Practice Team
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Patricia Campbell Carlson
Darren Polito