The Journey Beyond Yourself

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What do we find when we journey beyond the self?  The simple answer, according to Michael Singer, is the ability to see this world through the loving eyes of God. But which God, you may ask.

“How can anyone really know anything about God? We have so many teachings, so many concepts, and so many views about God. But they’ve all been touched by people. Fortunately, deep within us there is a direct communication with the Divine. There is a part of our being that is beyond the personal self.” ~Singer

In his final chapter, The Loving Eyes of God, Singer reveals the journey beyond yourself, untethered from the ego and awakened in Spirit. This is the pinnacle of the spiritual lessons laid out in previous chapters.

Thus far we’ve learned:

  • We are not the voices in our head. We are the one inside, the observer, the witness, listening to our thoughts and looking out at the world.
  • It is important to live with an open, spiritual heart and not let anything close our heart off from the world.
  • We must let go of pain and disturbances that block our energy and keep us from moving forward. This doesn’t mean we don’t feel the pain, but we don’t hold on to it, we release it.
  • What we resist, persists. Stop fighting with the world.
  • We can’t control people or events, but we can control our reaction. And then, if action is needed, we take action from a place of awareness.
  • That our judgment of others is a reflection of ourselves and a powerful spiritual teacher.
  • Our happiness is an inside job. If we want to be happy and peaceful we must let go of the part of us that wants to create drama. The path to happiness is paved with gratitude.
  • A more peaceful life can be found by following the middle path and not allowing our emotions to swing out to the extremes.
  • We control where we choose to focus our energy.
  • A daily meditation practice strengthens our mindfulness muscle allowing us to stay focused and centered, peaceful and calm.

All of these lessons, if practiced, can lead us to a more awakened state and allow us to see the world through the loving eyes of God.  Michael Singer explains it this way:

“What happens to one who walks this path toward God? What transformations do they go through along the way? To understand this, imagine what would happen if you started feeling tremendous love for all creatures, for every plant, animal and of all the beauties of nature. Imagine if every child seemed like your own, and every person you saw looked like a beautiful flower, with its own color, its own expressions, shape, and sounds. As you went deeper and deeper, you would start noticing a phenomenal thing ~ you are no longer judging. If that happened you’d get a glimpse of God.” ~Singer

So ask yourself, “Can I see the beauty in my fellow human being and feel compassion?” If you’re not there yet, that’s okay. Awareness is the first step toward awakening. For most of us, the shift from Ego to Spirit is a process. But if you’ve been reading these posts you’re already walking a spiritual path and your eyes are open. You’re no longer sleepwalking through life.

Although we’ve come to the end of our journey through The Untethered Soul, if you’d like to learn more about walking the spiritual path, I recommend Eckhart Tolle’s book, A New Earth, Awakening to your Life’s Purpose.

“You are the universe becoming conscious of itself.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

Another great resource that combines science and spirituality is the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS). Their website can be found here.

Thank you for joining me on this journey. May your heart and mind remain open and your days be filled with love, gratitude, and compassion.  I wish you safe travels and much love on your spiritual path.

Yours under the stars,

~Sue
An Artist’s Path
A Space for Creative Seekers

The Mirror of Judgment as a Spiritual Practice

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One of my greatest spiritual teachers is the mirror of judgment.  The teaching is simple: what I judge in others exists within me. The lesson is not easy.

Now, to be clear, this teaching is not about making factual observations or discernment. There is a distinction, although subtle. It is the intention behind our judgment or criticism of another that serves as the distinction. But the bottom line is this – you know when you’re being critical. We all recognize our inner critic. We’ve turned our inner critic on ourselves often enough to recognize it when it emerges.

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By way of example, let’s say you have a friend you think is a pompous ass. You’ve heard the cliché, “it takes one to know one”. That old saying holds a truth and a lesson. What you recognize in another and judge harshly, exists within you. Some of the most frustrating and difficult people in our lives serve as our best teachers.

You may find yourself resisting this teaching. I did. I confess, I was resistant to seeing myself in others.  It’s much easier to see and judge the flaws, weaknesses, and shortcomings of others.  Seeing our own reflection through the mirror of judgment requires awareness – presence. 

Our resistance to such lessons stems from our ego’s inability to recognize itself. Our ego often stands in the way of spiritual growth. You can see your ego at work in the way you react to difficulties or criticism. As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, the ego falls away when you are truly present, focused in the here and now.

“To love is to recognize yourself in another” ~ Eckhart Tolle

If you’d like to try this lesson, pay attention as you go through the week. Stop and take notice when you hear yourself judging another or being critical. Take a deep breath and center yourself in the present moment. Then, hold your judgment up like a mirror and see what is reflected. Ask yourself, “What characteristic or quality exists in the other that exists in me?” This is difficult inner work but if you’re willing to step outside your ego, real spiritual growth begins.

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As you begin your week, let me leave you with the wisdom of the ancient Mayans,

“I am you and you are another me.”

~Namaste

“A” is for AWARENESS

A is for Awareness

The coming of a full moon pulls me into the depths of despair. I sense the darkness closing in around me, heavy and cold. Dark rain clouds gather and rumble. The storm has arrived. I sit in a state of awareness.

I have struggled all my adult life with moments like these, engulfed in sadness or anxiety, with no apparent cause. My spiritual work has helped me to see that such moods are fleeting. “This too shall pass,” I tell myself – and within a day or two the darkness lifts and the light returns to my life.

It is through the practice of “Awareness”, also called mindfulness or presence, that I have come to learn how best to cope with my feelings and moods. “Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear -are caused by too much future and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness, are caused by too much past and not enough presence.” says Eckhart Tolle, in his book, The Power of Now.

My feelings of anxiety and despair come from a propensity to spend too much time focused in the future. I’m a planner –often a neurotic planner. My awareness of this tendency helps me to gain perspective. Don’t get me wrong, planning is important, but to be done well, it must be done from a state of awareness – anchored in the present moment. My mind’s compulsion is to imagine all the possible things that could go wrong and play them out in great detail, rather than simply acknowledge the possibilities and plan with contingencies. No, that’s too easy – and where is the drama in that, my mind says. Have you ever noticed how attached we are to drama in this human experience? More to come on that in future posts.

Learning to live in a state of awareness, in the present moment, takes practice.  When I focus my attention into the present moment, completely aware, I find peace, a calmness envelops me, time falls away. I see and accept my feelings from a place of awareness.

I am often asked if being in a state of awareness mean you take no action.  No, that is not always the case. But if you can catch yourself, bring yourself to a state of awareness, it is from that inward dwelling place that you will know if action is appropriate – right action. Often, no action is required. Our tendency is to react, to respond without awareness to the jerk who just cut us off on the freeway. This is why I say it takes practice – you have to stop yourself, breathe, pull back into your seat of consciousness and then, if action is appropriate, it will flow from you naturally.

Practice awareness, mindfulness – be present in the only moment you ever have power – right here, right now.