Godlike Qualities

handful o' magic

Worship by cultivating nine fields:

Diet. Herbs. Clothing. Recitation.

Movement. Meditation. Creativity. Teaching.

And most important: Compassion.

Worship is not a matter of making an obeisance to a god. It is a matter of achieving godlike qualities in yourself. This is done through the culitvation of nine areas:

Diet should be moderate, healthy, and of living foods. If you want to be sustained, eat things that themselves sustained life.

Learn to use herbs, for they heal and maintain health.

Be moderate in your clothing; wear natural fibers. What you wear is an expression of your state of mind.

Recitation includes prayer, song, chanting, and finally the practice of silence. What you say becomes reality.

Stretch, move, and exercise every day. The universe moves; so too should the energy within your body.

Meditate every day—once in the morning and once in the evening, if possible. Only then will you attain tranquility and triumph over your dilemmas.

Be creative. Thus we contribute, and thus we elevate our souls.

Acquire a good education. Treasure what you learn, and preserve it so that it may be passed on to others. Never be selfish with what you know.

Above all, be compassionate. This a stand against all evil, and it opens your spirit.

People ask, “How can I worship properly?” Cultivate these nine fields.

-Deng Ming-Dao

*photo found on http://laurajaworski.tumblr.com

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The Life Balance of Happiness

We are well on our way into 2015, and well…interestingly enough life keeps slowing me down…causing me to pause, breathe, and smile. Here is something about happiness I’ve been reading lately that has poured a lot of insight into my day to day routine.

“Our minds, hearts and souls have been fully coded for happiness; all the wiring is built-in. Everyone is capable of finding happiness. all he or she has to to is look for it in the right places. While happiness is our natural state, we’ve been trained to feel more comfortable with unhappiness. In a strange way we are not used to happiness: at times it feels not only unnatural but undeserved. That’s why we often find ourselves thinking the worst about someone or some situation. It’s why we must work to feel good about being happy and why we must commit ourselves to happiness.

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Part of the work is accepting the belief that finding happiness is essentially our purpose of life. Many people recoil at such a thought, saying such an approach is self-centered and uncaring. Why do we resist the idea that the purpose of life is being happy? We feel guilty being happy, and we wonder how we can strive to be happy when so many people are less fortunate than we are.

You were meant to enjoy all the wonders around you. And remember that you have more to give to others, to the suffering, when you are happy. When you have enough and are content, you will not act from a place of need or lack. You will feel that have a little extra to give to those around you, that you can afford to share more of your time, yourself, your money, and your happiness. Happiness expands our capacity to give. True happiness is not the result of an event, it does not depend on circumstance. You, not what’s going on around you, determine your happiness.

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Happiness depends not on what happens, but on how we handle what happens. Our happiness is determined by how we interpret, perceive and integrate what happens into our state of mind. How we perceive things is determined by our commitment. This is where the balance comes in, learning our lessons and remembering the truth about each other. Are we committed to seeing the worst in people and situations or the best? What we commit to, what we turn our attention to, grows. So the best or worst grows within our interpretations, and within ourselves. If we see the past in a bad light, as lacking purpose or meaning, we plant seeds that will grow into similar futures. This is why we refer to the past as our baggage–it’s something heavy to carry around. It is the part of ourselves that continues to weigh us down and slows our progress toward happiness.

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Happiness is our natural state, but we’ve forgotten how to be happy because we’ve gotten lost in our notions of what things should look like. Making comparisons is probably the shortest route to unhappiness. With little effort, we can quickly compare ourselves into downright misery. We don’t even need others for these self-destructive comparisons; comparing ourselves to our past or future can do the same thing. Happiness comes from seeing ourselves as being okay, just as we are, today. without comparison to others, without reference to the way we were or the way we fear we will be.

Happiness is just as possible with this set of circumstances as it is with the next. Often, we don’t see a situation as it truly is. Instead, we focus on our image of what the situation ‘should’ look like, or how it should be. By projecting our ‘should’ onto circumstances, we deny the truth. We see illusions. To see truth is to know that no matter what may be happening, the universe is moving in the direction it is supposed to. The world is set up to work in a way that brings us to our lessons. It is designed to move us to joy, not away from it, even when we think things are going in the wrong direction.

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We want to live our lives in balance, but what we think of as balance is not balance at all. In fact, it’s very much out of balance. We are a mass of contradictions. Always trying to be more, yet trying to accept and love ourselves just as we are. Trying to accept the reality of the human experience while knowing that we are also spiritual beings. We suffer, yet we can rise above our suffering. We experience loss, yet we feel love forever. We take life for granted, yet we know it does not last. We live in a world filled with less and more, with cycles of scarcity and abundance, big and small. If we can recognize these oppositions, we will be happier. Our part of this universe is always in balance, it just may not seem so to us.

Part of dealing with this balance means understanding that life does not revolve around our big moments: the promotion, the wedding, the retirement, and the cure. Life also occurs between the big moments. Much of what we need to learn is found in the small moments of life.”

-Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

The Killing Jar

Image“Enter into direct dialogue with the Life/Death/Life nature by listening to the inner voice that is not ego. Learn by asking the Life/Death/Life nature direct questions about love and loving and then listen to her answers. Through all, we learn not to be misled by the nagging voice at the back of our mind that says, “This is silly…I’m just making this all up.” We learn to ignore that voice and listen to what is heard beyond that. We learn to follow what we hear -all those things that bring us closer to acute awareness, the love of devotion, and a clear view of the soul.

It is good to make a meditative and daily practice of untangling the Life/Death/Life nature over and over again. When we are untangling this nature, it would be good for us to sing something like this: What must I give more death to today, in order to generate more life? What do I know should die, but am hesitant to allow to do so? What must die in me in order for me to love? What not-beauty do I fear? Of what use is the power of the not-beautiful to me today? What should die today? What should live? What life am I afraid to give birth to? If not now, when?

If we sing the song of consciousness till we feel the burn of truth, we throw a burst of fire into the darkness of psyche so we can see what we’re doing…what we’re truly doing, not what we wish to think we’re doing. This is the untangling of one’s feelings and the beginning of understanding why love and life are to be lived by the bones.”

~Clarissa Pinkola Estes~

Photo by Michael C. Mendez

http://www.saatchiart.com/art/Photography-The-Killing-Jar/71626/1232482/view

*title for today’s post comes from the title of the photograph

A Wild Patience

ImageThe Dreaming Tree, by Christian Schloe

“Three things differentiate living from the soul versus living from ego only. They are: the ability to sense and learn new ways, the tenacity to ride a rough road, and the patience to learn deep love over time. The ego however, has a penchant and a proclivity to avoid learning. Patience is not ego’s strong suit. Enduring in relationship is not it’s forte either. So it is not from the ever-changing ego that we love another, but rather from the wild soul. ‘A wild patience’, as poet Adrienne Rich puts it, is required in order to untangle the bones of love, to learn the meaning of death, to have the tenacity to stay with it. It would be a mistake to think that it takes a muscle-bound hero to accomplish this. It does not. It takes a heart that is willing to die and be born and die and be born again and again.

~Clarissa Pinkola Estes~