Paradox

Paradox is defined as “a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth” (dictionary.com).

I was taught from a very young age that it is important to live in such a way that I gain God’s approval and love. I was also taught that I am a child of God and that God is Love and loves unconditionally.  If the latter is true, why do I have to “gain God’s love?”  God needs me to be a certain way before loving me? That is absurd!

So, which is it? Am I loved because I exist or do I have to earn it? It can’t be both, right?

Years ago I read a quote (and must apologize because I do not recall the source):

The motivating force of the universe is love.

All that exists emanates from Divine Love, that which is perfect, unconditional, indefinable, eternal and all-encompassing.

In the ancient Judeo-Christian writings, Moses meets God in the burning bush and asks “Who are you?”  The answer, to my understanding, is unpronounceable in Hebrew and is considered too sacred to be spoken aloud anyway. In English bibles it is spelled “Yahweh” and sometimes “Jehovah.”  The closest we come to its meaning is “I Am That I am.”

Native American teachers have said that their languages have similar words that do not translate well into English. The closest meaning to their name for God is “All That Is.”

If what we call “God” is All That Is, the Great I am, and I exist, then I am intrinsically one with that which we call “God.” If God is love, I am love.

Sit with this. Feel it rather than over-thinking it. Once you recognize who you really are, there is nothing to prove or earn. When you remember the essence of your True Self, your life will unfold from that, from the Source of Love that you are. It isn’t about living in a way that gains God’s approval. It is about living in a way that allows Divine Love to manifest through you.

Perhaps it is time to stop trying so hard to be what you already are.

This is my blessing for you today:

You are eternally and unconditionally loved.

You are love manifested in the world.

You are love in form.

 

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Wave of the Sea

Paramahansa Yogananda came to the United States for the first time in 1920. His life and teachings are described in his book, Autobiography of A Yogi, published in 1946. It remains the classic foundation for yoga teachers, practitioners, and students around the world.

In Metaphysical Meditations (page 42) he writes, “I am no longer the wave of consciousness thinking itself separate from the sea of cosmic consciousness. I am the ocean of Spirit that has become the wave of human life.”

Ocean images are vivid and powerful. My son surfs and I am fascinated by the process of sitting on a board and silently waiting for the right wave to rise up and make itself known. This is living meditation. All awareness is focused on the rising and falling of the water, the pulse beat of the ocean. Each wave has its own personality and life force energy. Surfers wait and watch and read the waves, knowing the risks as well as the thrill of becoming a part of a wave when it rises, peaks and then blends back into its source. They honor and respect the power of the ocean and the presence of each wave – though they absolutely love the ones that come with the strength and intensity to lift them toward the sky.

Yogananda saw human life as a wave that has emerged out of its Source, the greater and higher sea of Consciousness often called God, Great Spirit, Creator. As a wave emerges, it takes on its own unique character and personality. As a human emerges into being, it takes on its own unique character and personality. As a wave ebbs, it returns to and becomes indistinguishable from its source – the sea. As a human life ebbs, it returns to and becomes indistinguishable from its Source – the sea of All That Is.

The wave is never separate from the sea. The spirit or soul of a human being is never separate from its Source. It has only emerged for a time in order to experience itself through the sentient form of a human being. Stop. Say this out loud: a human be-ing. Say this out loud another way: a soul being human.

I Am a Spiritual Being (a Soul) who is currently having a human experience. I am experiencing life primarily through my senses: hearing, seeing, tasting, smelling, touching. This is my opportunity to manifest my True Self (Love) through this human body. I am not here to learn how to be spiritual. I am here to learn how to be human while remembering that my body does not separate me from my Source, Divine Love.

So, until this wave of my Soul returns to its Source, I think I’ll ride high and long and let it be fun!

“I am no longer the wave of consciousness thinking itself separate from the sea of cosmic consciousness. I am the ocean of Spirit that has become the wave of human life.”

Namaste.

Gentle Path to Ahimsa

My last entry was intense, especially if you look at ahimsa, non-violence, as behavior or a state of being that you have to “make” happen. Even the idea of that journey is exhausting when viewed as a standard so high, so perfect, that it becomes the impossible goal. “I’ll do the best I can but I’ll never make it.”

Let’s make it simple, remembering that simple isn’t always easy. Mindfulness, compassion toward myself, honesty about what I think and feel are all necessary to live a non-violent life. However, changing thought patterns and behaviors is not the best place to begin. It can be frustrating and fruitless if these changes are not emanating from a fundamental shift in what I believe about mySelf, my True Nature.

If I continue to believe that I am born a sinner who must gain the approval and love of a judgmental God, then judging myself and attempting to control my thoughts and behaviors will be my path. This path brings me right back into himsa, violence toward myself. What then?

The most loving and compassionate path toward changed patterns and behaviors is to come to believe something different about my fundamental nature, the true essence of my being. There is a lovely legend about the creation of the universe. It says that this Being, This Divine Love Energy we call God existed pure and complete within Itself. The nature of Love is that It must be expressed so The Divine looked into Itself and the expression of Love was so profound it expanded, imploded, then exploded into the vast expanse of All That Is and universes came into being. Everything from that moment on became an expression of Divine Love in form…

including you and me and all others that exist in form.

Yes, you are Love Divine in human form. Love manifesting in the physical world. This is where you begin to manifest ahimsa, from the Love that you are, your True Essence, True Self, your Soul. This is a beautiful, loving, simple way to live. Simple but is the process easy? Letting go of what has always been is not easy for most people.

So, the path begins within rather than in trying to control your thoughts and behaviors. It is good to exercise wisdom in your thoughts and expressions as you begin this journey. The discovery of the True Essence of your being will ultimately shift the source of your patterns and exerting effort will fade away as love and compassion motivate your thoughts and behaviors naturally; because that is who you are at the core of your being.

Where to begin? Right here by reading blogs and other spiritual offerings that are different from what has brought you to believing you are something other than Love in Form. Open the mind and heart. Sit with what you read and let yourself feel it. What would change if you came to believe Divine Love abides (to stay, remain, continue) in you, giving you life and sustaining your being? What would you think of yourself if you believed that you don’t just “have” Divine Love in you but that you ARE Divine Love manifested? What would change if you believed, on every level of awareness, that there is no separation, that there is only the Oneness and Wholeness of All That Is (God, Divine Love).

It begins with practices like yoga and meditation. Take a walk without music to distract the mind. Let the mind take in your surroundings and the movement of your body, the sound of your breath. Sit quietly and, if the mind does not cooperate (there is a reason we name it the monkey mind!), watch it roam. Laugh at its need to see everything, think everything, fix everything! It is a little monkey exploring its world. Sit without music and count your breath, inhaling to a very slow count of four and exhaling to an equally slow count of six. Abide in these practices without judgement. How many years have you believed you were not spiritual enough? Can you give yourself a few minutes (5-10) every day for a few months, maybe a year, to shift those beliefs? If you skip a day, can you let that be okay and begin the next day? Is there a deadline or is this an unfolding of something new and wonderful? Why not show up and let it unfold? I promise it will happen in spite of you.

In the Oneness of All That Is I AM Whole.   In the Wholeness of All That Is I AM One.

Divine Love Abides in Me; I Abide in the Love of My Soul.