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  • Spiritual Enlightenment

    Spiritual Enlightenment

    Just as the dawn offers a palette of color, bringing a uniqueness and freshness to each new day, so, too, can each of us bring a purity of heart to each day. Each new dawn is a moment of opportunity for us to aspire, discover, grow, learn and serve. We are presented each day with a chance to expand our understanding of other beings, new ideas, diverse situations, and a variety of event. As we acknowledge and take part in these rich experiences, whether cheerful or burdensome, we can move through the cycles of life with a greater perspective on our foggy yesterdays, and certain anticipation of our tomorrows. Each dawn we can move one step closer to comprehending our own divinity.

    There is a growing understanding that spiritual enlightenment is something far more than what we seek in a house of worship one day a week. There is a growing international interest in aspects of religion other than one’s own. Research has shown that executives who use intuition as one of many decision-making tools are more successful than those who do not. Aspects of shamanism and Native American belief are taught at some business conferences, poets address salesmen and executives, all without needing to draw lines between differing religious beliefs.

    Where spirituality is concerned, while it is always an aspect of myself, I add it to my readings only at the specific request of the client. This may involve discussion about philosophies, issues around the integration of spirituality into business, career and life in general, or perhaps using guided meditation or other techniques, as the client chooses, during our coaching sessions.

    As a guide to my thinking in this area, in case you are a prospective client, I believe strongly in a Higher Power, whatever one may choose to call It. My own belief is that this Power is a source of strength and guidance in proportion to how strongly we choose to connect and align with It. I also believe that there is more than one route to the peak of every mountain, and therefore I NEVER advocate for any particular approach to spirituality.

    As a part of my work in this area, I write on this Blog which is a spirituality-oriented journal-journey for those who are yearning for that “something more” that only a focus on our spiritual dimension can give. Un-tethered to any one religion or dogma, inspired by all, I aim to inspire without preaching and to guide without directing. Think of it as a trail of inspirational bread crumbs providing guidance and nourishment for your spiritual self.

    The initial stages of spiritual enlightenment concern transcendence of the ego. WHY?

    • We have become more practiced in detaching from the influence of external things such as the weather.
    • We have developed greater awareness of our moods and emotional changes, and of the rhythms of our earth as it cycles in its orbit.
    • Breathing has become deeper and more a conscious part of our lives.
    • We observe ourselves as both a material and a spiritual being.
    • We have struggled with the difficulty of writing about something that is All when words can only describe, at any one time, One aspect of that All.
    • We have noticed whatever cravings may affect us, and practiced self-restraint as an exercise to strengthen the muscles of self-discipline.
    • We have considered the special powers that may develop along with spiritual enlightenment , and the warnings in spiritual literature against using them in such a way as to interfere with the freedom of others.
    • We have reminded ourselves that the purpose of spiritual growth is not to remove us from our material world but to interact with it. (“Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”)
    • We have realized the difference between positive thinking, which admits the truth and looks for positive outcomes, and denial, which denies the truth.
    • We have seen why we need to know ourselves honestly, down to the bone. We have seen the importance of waiting and trusting, have understood that spiritual growth can come with expansion of the spirit, but also with compression of the world around us.

    Also from the viewpoint of spiritual growth, I will continue to write about gratitude, connectedness, congruence and willingness. Then about meditation, intuition, and physical awareness. Wow! That’s a lot of ground to cover!

    Spiritual practices have been developed all over the world to assist individuals in moving from the limited sense of self to the One Being of All. After thousands of years however, why is it that so few are able to cross that river? Many explain the inability to achieve spiritual enlightenment on such things as destiny, karma or non-readiness. But if Truth is always already there or present, why is it not perceived?

    Rather than try to explain enlightenment this month, there is something I would like to show you. Below are two exercises that involve direct observation and hopefully insight. Eventually, these exercises can be practiced at any time or place. If you do not get immediate results, please do not give up. After all, the ego does not want its’ true status to be known. You will know if you are being pointed in the proper “direction”.

    EXERCISE ONE

    Find a quiet room where you can sit alone. Without controlling, observe your attention move from one object to another. Notice how your mind automatically labels everything it sees. You may also notice various thoughts which come to mind that are associated with specific objects; even feelings. Realize that your thoughts, concepts and labels are not the thing observed. Wait for silence. Experience your environment without the coloring of thought.

    This is not as easy as it sounds, but if you can see that there is a difference between “what is” and “what you think there is”, you have taken a great step towards transcending the ego.

    EXERCISE TWO

    Now turn your attention to the room of objects you call your body and mind. In the same way you observed the “external” room, observe your inner world. Let your attention move away from the body and move towards the mind, the thinker or the space behind the eyes. Watch your thoughts develop various ideas, concepts, philosophies etc. Realize that these thoughts and ideas are not you. Try listening to your thoughts as if you were listening to music; just something to be enjoyed.

    With your attention focused, try to “target” the thinker or observer that is your self. Please do not give up until you discover that this cannot be done. This is because YOU ARE NOT THAT WHICH CAN BE AN OBJECT TO YOUR AWARENESS. Who or what are you then?

    By releasing your hold on all that you are not, that which you are can begin to unfold. It may strike like lightening or it may approach like the dawn. Contemplate this…test this…discover this.

    The most difficult spiritual leap is from identification with the ego (and all of its’ thoughts, beliefs, memories, likes, dislikes etc.) to an awareness of that which observes the ego. What you are does not appear in the phenomenal world. Enjoy the silence and peacefulness that comes from watching your thoughts go by like a river. Observe your self pick up a stream of thought and then remember again who-you-are: the awareness in which all appears.

    It is my hope that these words will spark a distant memory or inspire you to take the Great Leap.

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    Who do you know who would enjoy this article? Please share! I can only know if my articles are serving their purpose if their circulation continues to grow through the enthusiasm of my readers. And I am always pleased to receive your suggestions as to what type of material you would like to see here.

     

    Blessings,

    Lilly