awareness, spirituality

Discover Your Life Purpose

What is your life purpose? You can find it by looking at two things.

Look at a gift or talent you have been given that is specific to you.

Look at a recurring problem or difficulty that teaches you better control or growth.

Part of the growth for Moses was to learn to control himself. As a young man, he was afraid of no one. His anger lashed out at the mistreatment of the Israelites. He had no problem killing somebody to get rid of an obstacle. As he aged, he went through extreme inner growth to control his murderous desires. After growth and more growth, special grace was given him. He had done so much inner work that miracles happened for him, such as parting the waters of the sea.

We can’t all be Moses. But we each have a unique role to play on this earth. We come here eager to play our role. So eager, we want to go straight to the front of the class, with no work, no preparation. We’re eager for the end result. We get caught in this long view, often imaginary, instead of the short view which addresses practical growth for this day now.

Habitually we dwell on the future – what will I become in twenty years? We want to ignore the step that’s right in front of us. We don’t want to deal with our immediate task at hand.

We each have some task, right now today.
The angel Uriel kindly lights up our next task for us, shows us what is needed now.

Have you ever climbed a mountain on a wet, slippery path? You had to focus only on the step you were taking that moment, not any future step. You had to make sure the footing underneath you was secure before putting your weight on it. Then you had to choose only the next step. Otherwise you would slide down. The path you wound up taking was not the one you had anticipated, because of all the slippage.

So too in life we have to think only about this current step.
Is it secure?
Is this what I should be doing right now?
That’s more than enough to be thinking about, in this moment.

(These are Isaac’s words, excerpted from Chapter 22 of Volume 1, Walking the Bridge – with a Fearless Heart, available in print or eBook. Thanks to galiaxy at Flickr for this pic.)
steps green mt by galiaxy at Flickr

 

 

 

 

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spiritual book

Dealing with Emotional Pain

Question: How can we best walk through emotional pain?

When you’re in emotional pain, the pain fills your whole movie screen. It doesn’t matter what the issue is, how small or large it is. It takes over. You may have good things happening in your life, but if you’re in pain, the pain is all you can see. It is the whole movie screen, and you are stuck right inside it.

Fear and desire both act like a zoom lens. When I fear this, the lens zooms in, takes up all available space. The whole picture becomes nothing but fear. Or I desire this, and suddenly that’s all I can see.

When you are passing through pain, try to allow it, but use your wide-angle lens to expand your view and find some good parts in your life. Your friends, your health, the beauty out in nature. You may not be able to diminish the pain, but you can expand your attention to allow more of life onto your screen.

There’s a classic teaching from our sages in which they talk about the eleven ingredients for the incense used in the Temple. Most of those ingredients smell wonderful, but one of them, if you were to smell it by itself, stinks horribly. However if you put it in combination with all these other scents, it gives more body and fullness to the whole. It actually makes the incense smell even better. That’s hard to fathom, but it’s true.

In the same way, pain stinks. Yet when it is combined with the broad range of our experiences, it brings richness and depth to the whole picture of life.

If you meet someone who has never suffered, you sense a lack of depth in them. They may be wonderful, yet they are naive. They haven’t had a full experience of life. You wouldn’t ask them for advice on anything, just as you wouldn’t go to an eight-year-old for advice.

When you’re looking for wisdom, you go to those who have lived through an experience similar to yours. They have something offer, some sound advice for you. Or even if you don’t know their history of suffering, their wisdom shows in their demeanor, in the depth of their understanding.

 

excerpt from Chapter 13 of Walking the Bridge with Balance(Vol 2)
sunset-sad woman disintegrates fm pixabay

 

 

 

Judaism, meditation, spirituality

Four Archangels, a Bedtime Practice

Each night when we go to sleep, it’s considered a little death, because we are going to the next plane.
So we ask Michael to be on our right side, the side of Chesed, love, giving.
We ask Gabriel to be on our left side, the side of Gevurah, strength, discipline.

A word about Gevurah. So many people find it difficult to say no. They go along with everything, and others walk all over them. This isn’t balance. You must learn to say no.

And how do you say no?
“No.” Open and frank. Not with anger. Just, “No, not today.”
If they ask you again, say, “No, not today.” As many times as it may take.

Don’t wait to say no. Don’t repress your honest reply. Don’t save up your anger and explode all over them. Such anger can build big and then explode over a small thing. Don’t drop an atom bomb to blow up an outhouse.

It’s just “No.”
If you can’t say no to others, it means you don’t know how to say no to yourself. The outer world mirrors the inner.

As we said, we invite Michael on our right, Gabriel on our left.

Uriel is before us, lighting our way, illuminating and guiding us, just one step at a time. Only one step, no more. All you really need to see is the next step.

Rafael is behind, the doctor. Why is the doctor behind you? He’s whispering in your ear that the struggles in front of you really came from your past.

Shekhinah, the Presence of God, rests above your head.

As you drift to sleep, invite them in. Feel them supporting you into sleep.

 

(These are Isaac’s words, excerpted from Chapter 22 of Volume 1, Walking the Bridge – with a Fearless Heart, available in print or eBook. Thanks to wikipedia for this pic of Uriel.)
Uriel wikipedia

consciousness, inspiration, meditation

Slip into the Vertical Channel

The mind’s job is to compare, define, and fix problems. It is constantly looking for a problem to fix. That’s what it does. If you have a little spare time, you should worry now, worry ahead of time, so you can fix things ahead of time. It you’re not doing anything at the moment, let your mind get something done for you. That’s our habit.

Yet if you can quiet that mind, and simply accept the perfection of everything as it is right now — your body pain, the noise you don’t like, every inconvenience — if you can relax into that, accept all of that, then there is nothing to fix. The mind has no task at all. It’s empty.

If you sit down to meditate with the attitude of “let’s get this done,” check it off my list, in that case you’re already in the fix-it mindset. You will not be able to find the vertical with that attitude. It will elude you.

No. Go to the mindset of “nothing is wrong – nothing to fix.”

No matter your pains or your plans, everything is perfect in the Vertical.

This vertical channel is not something you have to imagine in your own little corner of your personal world. It’s more than that. It really is here. The Vertical is Real. You will know it.

When you get to the vertical channel, when you get a taste of it, watch how your mind lures you again toward thoughts and stories. We each have our particular way that the mind tries to engage and capture our attention.

Maybe it’s about how they didn’t treat me right. It should be this way, not that way. I can’t let go of what they did to me. Whatever is wrong, these are the bars on your own cage. Whatever you hang onto will hold you back. Trapped behind the bars of your own story.

So this week, whenever you have a moment, take breaks in your day to sit quietly and feel the perfection of the moment. Allow everything to be as it is – perfect. Let the Vertical show itself to you. The more often you do this, the more you will live in Perfection as a way of life.

This is an excerpt from Chapter 8 of Walking the Bridge with Balance (Vol 2)

See also Adam’s World
Perpetuate the Past or Plug in to the Vertical

(Thanks to Wikimedia for this vertical pic.)
Cleveland Flame_and_Fountain_of_Eternal_Life wikimedia commons

 

 

 

 

 

 

spirituality

Adam’s World

Isaac spoke about Adam:

The first Adam was both male and female.
Adam’s heels were brighter than the sun. That is to say, even the lowest part of him was filled with light. Special light, higher and brighter than the sun. Adam stood so tall, from heaven to earth, and stretched from one end of the universe to the other. This means he contained the whole universe within himself.

He lived in perfection. He wanted for nothing. His reason for living was simply to exist for God. He had no other purpose.

Then along came the snake and the tree of good and evil.

We might think of that tree as being filled not with apples but with videos. Movies. Illusions. It is the tree of stories and illusions.

In Adam’s world, one didn’t consider good and evil, because it didn’t apply. His was not the dualistic world. It was a world of union, unity.

But in that world of unity, one does consider the real and the unreal. If it’s real you can rely on it. If it’s an illusion, you don’t bother with it.

So there was Adam, looking at this tree of illusions.

The snake enticed Adam by suggesting he would honor God even more if he went into this world of illusion and then dispelled illusion. He suggested Adam would fight his way out for the glory of God. The snake snagged a bite of Adam’s ego here. All created beings have some ego, in all worlds.

Adam took the bait and bit into the illusion.

The trouble is, once you’re in this world, you’re in, and you can’t see your way out of illusion.

In Adam’s first world of perfection, there was no cause and effect. If something, say a bottle cap, were thrown into the air it might stay there or it might suddenly rain a hundred caps. Whatever was divinely determined would just happen.

But once we hook into the chain of cause and effect, then time and space arise. Then we think we know what will happen next. Then we are thoroughly inside the illusion.

Without cause and effect, everything is only what it is. In such a place there is no need to do anything. The only thing is to simply know that God keeps coming through.
Honor all of it as it is. All of it is God, in the world of Union.

Life is not easy for us in the world of illusion. This is the horizontal world, where we buy and sell, join and disperse, struggle as we do, horizontally across the face of the earth.

We forget to go vertical and connect with God.

This is why, in our tradition, once a week, we stop our horizontal life and “do nothing.” Shabbos is our day to reconnect with the Garden, with God. We do our best to stay in the vertical plane.

This is an excerpt from  from Chapter 33 of  vol 1, Walking the Bridge – With a Fearless Heart.
See also Perpetuate the Past or Plug in to the Vertical
(Thanks to Wikipedia for this image from the Sistine Chapel.)Adam -Sistine_Chapel

awareness, consciousness, spiritual book

Life is like a Monopoly Game

Life is like a Monopoly game. You gather your friends to play this game because you love them and want to spend time with them. This is precious time you want to spend together.

The game itself is built on limitations. These are the rules. We all agree to these rules and play by them. Otherwise it’s not a game. No limitations, no game. In fact you can’t play unless you follow the rules. You can’t roll a seven and move six spaces, just because you want to land there.

You choose your playing piece – the top hat, the race car, the shoe. You say, “That’s me – the top hat.” The dealer gives you piles of money. You start rolling the dice and moving along. You win something, lose something. The game has a lot of ups and downs. You get invested in it. With every step, you spiral down into a deeper identification with your top hat, the small “you” on the board.

Okay, now you’re buying hotels. You’re hoping others will make you rich. You’re hoping not to land on expensive places. You want to win.

As you sink deeper into identification with the small you on the board, you also withdraw identification from the large you. The large you is still sitting at the table, doing everything here. The large you still loves your friends. Remember the whole reason we came here was for love. We invited our friends here. Love is behind the whole game.

The stakes get higher. You have more to lose. You start using strategies, and this brings you even deeper down into the small you. You get more extreme as you get more invested in winning. The other people at the table become your enemies. You must win, and they must lose. You are so attached to winning, you will do whatever it takes.

Your friends witness you becoming a caricature of yourself. They wonder what’s happening to you, what happened to the loving part of you. You are bent on winning. This is a strong attachment and you will sacrifice everything for it. Deeper and deeper you cycle down into the small you.

These other people cannot be trusted. They’re your enemies. If you suffer a big loss, you might take hold of the game board, flip it over, and push one of your friends out of their chair. It sounds ridiculous, but a lot of people are playing the game of life this way on earth right now.

We get so deep into this kind of thinking that we forget the original and ever-abiding point of it all is love.

This piece from Isaac is an excerpt from Chapter 8 of Walking the Bridge with Balance (Vol 2)
(Thanks to Flickr for this pic.)
Monopoly game w shoe

inspiration, meditation, spiritual book, spirituality

Bliss Orbit Meditation

Imagine yourself as consisting of several planets and orbits. The sun of enlightenment is in your center. The furthest away planet is the physical body, orbiting out there. Next planet inward is the emotional body. Further in from that is the mental-thinking body. More interior is the bliss-body.
Bliss is still not enlightenment, but it lifts you to happiness when you’re in it.

Finally at your deepest core is the sun, true enlightenment without personal identity.

You have all these bodies all the time, whether you visit them or not.
Even if you have never felt bliss, you do have a bliss body. It is available always.

Here’s a suggested practice in the coming weeks. When you sit down to meditate, check in with each of these bodies.
Start with the outer orbit. How’s my physical body? Feels okay.
How are my emotions? Fairly stable.
How’s my mind? As busy as ever.
When we relax into deep quiet, we visit the bliss orbit.

Yet we are mostly mental people. It’s like we have a rubber band attached to the mental world. We may visit bliss, but the rubber band keeps snapping us back into thinking.
We keep slipping into the orbit of thoughts.

Good thoughts give rise to good times. Bad thoughts give rise to bad times. Yet if we release thoughts and go more inward to live in the sheath of bliss, then we don’t care about good and bad times. Good/bad doesn’t make such a big impression on us, because we have the stability of bliss. We’re not so impressed with our health or lack of health, our wealth or poverty. Our priorities change. We disengage. We don’t take things personally. We prefer returning to bliss.

Practice now going into bliss. Now is the time, as we are coming into a world shift toward peace. When more people live in the bliss orbit, there is no more urging toward peace, because peace is the very air you breathe. It’s not an issue.
Those sages who have lived in bliss always had a smile playing about their lips. It’s a happy place to live. It makes everything in your view appear blissful, no matter the circumstance.

Yet we can easily see that in our world now, in the mental world, people are in constant conflict, striving toward peace. Struggling. You see it on the news. This is the thinking world. Not peaceful.

The mind was designed to create problems and to solve them. So the mind will always have problems. It needs problems. It wants to chew on them. That’s what it does.
Also. The mind takes this teaching as information, as a key to use later. Don’t save it for later. That’s missing the whole point. Why wait to open the door, when you can open it now? All learning occurs now. It’s not for later.

Learn now to let go, to release into a state of contentment. Breathe.

Those in the bliss world have learned to use intuition, which is a higher intelligence than the mind.

In the outer orbits of body, emotion, mind, a person may be flapping around crying out: “It’s the end of the world!”

But in going to bliss orbit, a person can observe happily and simply say, “It’s not my world.” It is what it is, and I don’t take it personally. It’s not my role to fix it. Not right now. I accept that God has charge of all of it.

You won’t lose touch with your practical life. All of that continues. You still need to do the practical things. But you won’t take life so seriously.

Imagine yourself having worked a long time to go on vacation, and now finally you’re in Hawaii, on your towel, on the beach. What do you do then? Do you think about it and keep planning how it could be better? Resting on the beach, do you struggle over what’s for dinner? The best approach is to simply stop thinking and feel it, be it, soak in it. You are speechless. You touch your heart. You simply love it.

When you fully connect with your surroundings, you don’t label and reframe and think it all out. You simply embrace it. You want to BE the tree, BE the beach. When you lie on the beach, soaking in all the sights and sounds and tastes, the only proper response is, “Ahhh.”
This is the learning. Go to the place in you that simply says “Ahhh.” No words. Just, “Ahhh.” You have arrived.
This is a way of being.
Not doing.
Not thinking.
Not information.
Just, Ahhh.

This excerpt is Chapter 21 of Vol 1, Walking the Bridge with a Fearless Heart.
Thanks to pixabay for this solar system pic.
solar-system-planets pixabay