A voicehearer’s path ~

Posts tagged ‘humility’

Sacred Directions ~

sunbearsanimalwheelAn example of the Elders using simple iconic designs to teach deep spiritual truths to the children, is the medicine wheel, and the animal components or teachers from the 7 sacred directions. These are East, South, West, North, Above, Below, and Within. There are two more in most cosmologies, the teachers that are on your left and right sides, guiding your masculine and feminine energies. (The wheel is Sun Bear’s and you need to read his book, Dancing With the Wheel, to get the entire teaching.

Medicine Wheel Wisdom

The way of the Native American Medicine Wheel is not so much that of a medwhlsmreligion as a way of life. It is a perspective of how life works, and is therefore compatible with any belief system that serves good and compassionate purpose.

As we walk the medicine wheel of our own lives, we find that there are seven sacred directions to be traveled.

East ≈ As we are born into this journey, our first direction is the East. This is the place of new beginnings, it is “where” we receive instruction by learning to hear and see what Spirit is saying to us. Most with Eurobred religious backgrounds are sure, when they begin to hear Spirit for the first time that these are messages for the people. This is seldom the case. On this path, Spirit is generally working with individuals for their own well being. It is best to presume from the outset that this is how it is with you.

“There is but One Original Source, learn to heed the messages Spirit is bringing you. The messengers of Spirit are here to help you complete your walk.”

South This is the sacred direction of growth. It is here we grow in stature as well as understanding. {The brevity here has nothing to do with the amount of teaching involved, that could actually only be contained in volume upon volume, it has to do with the individuality of the teaching and the need to heed one’s own truth, rather than make your individual truth a mandate for all mankind.}

“Grow as the Willow that bends and moves in the wind but seldom breaks. Grow in Spirit, grow in Truth, grow in Love.”

West The West is the Sacred Direction in which we take on the mantle of responsibility for ourselves and for the tribe. It is when we have reached this point of growth in our sacred walk that messages from Spirit may have meaning for others as well as ourselves. It is the “place” where we learn what is right to do for ourselves and how not to embroil others in our own dysfunctions.

“Walk with a light step, walk with grace, walk with love.”

North ≈ The North is the place of the Wisdom of the Elders. This is where we learn to honor the wisdom of those who have walked the wheel of life before us. “Here” is where we learn to apply that wisdom, both for ourselves, and for others. This is the point where it is appropriate for us to begin to pass on the wisdom that we have learned as we have walked the wheel.

“Be ever mindful that what we do affects Mother Earth and all her children for seven generations hence.”

Above This is where we learn to honor Creator in everything we do and say. It is from this perspective that we learn that all of life is actually a prayer. Nothing we do or are is ever hidden, all will be revealed in the end, so the best thing we can do is live our lives by the light we now have, and hope for the best possible results.

“From the stars we came, to the stars we shall return.”

Below This is the “Place” in our lives where we learn how to maintain our grounding in this plane of reality. Those who are truly aware have a tendency, unless they put forth a great deal of effort, to “wander off” into mental or astral realms, and forget that part of our mission is to learn to be “here, now”. In learning to be present in the here & now, we will learn to cope with what we have been given. {For most people, the animal that guides you here will be very much a clue as to what brought you back to live another life, and what will continue to bring you back until you resolve the issue.}

“Walk in balance, remembering always that we are astral beings living in bodies made of clay.”

Within This is our sacred space. This is the place within us that we are to hold separate, where no one else is welcome except by invitation. It is here we learn to honor our own boundaries and those of others. It is here we learn to appreciate who we are and what we have been given. It is here we learn not to desire to be someone else, it is here we learn that all “things” are held in stewardship, nothing is ever truly “owned”, so, even the act of stealing without intent to repay is a defilement of our own sacred space.

“Honor your own truth and walk your path accordingly.”

image004This is an encapsulation of the teaching, and by no means even comes close to the depth you can discover about yourself if you pay attention to what this has to say to you. When you display this symbol, or one like it, you are telling all around you that this is the teaching you honor with your life. There is no one among the elders that would prevent you from honoring their ways, but I suspect that any you would ask would also prefer that you walk with a light step, and a clean heart, serving Great Spirit, (Holy) with kindness and compassion for all that cross your path. Remember that the “First People” welcomed the first “Boat People”, it was the boat people that in an ungracious manner began the killing that swept across this land over the next few hundred years.


Sacrifice ~

egoThere are some occasional hints that Creator considers prayer and praise offerings as significant as any other offering. (See Leviticus 7:12 & 19:24), perhaps even more so. This is something many churches have learned to practice, singing praise songs for a good twenty minutes before anything else begins. But, I want to look at why these should or would be considered a sacrifice to Creator. Throughout the Holy Writs, from Bangkok to Cairo, there is much said about the release and renouncing of the Egoself.

It is, in fact, a difficult thing, dealing with the egoself, that part of us which is the pride of head_and_brainlife. When we believe that we have accomplished all that we have done with no help from other humans or Spirit, we become rather unbearable in our dealings with others. We become “prickly” and “proud”, making no attempt to be diplomatic when speaking or acting out our plans. This is part of human nature, part of the programming in the human brain, taking pride in accomplishment so that we can survive in a tough world. However, it is a bit of programming that needs to be placed in a subordinate roll if we are to function as creatures within a structured society.

Our Creator knows full well how we are made, and I believe this is why there is recognition in the holy writings that we must sacrifice this tendency to pat ourselves on the back and learn to praise, pray and give thanks for all that comes into our lives, and even the opportunity to learn. When we learn to do this, we begin to deal with life through our own spirit, rather than through our own ego. It can be a wonderful experience, as much of the learning that comes through our spirit is intuitive and flows more cleanly between the heart and the head, allowing us to deal in compassion with our fellow travelers.

Sacrificing the ego is not an easy thing, it is the practice of humility, of knowing when to be silent and when to speak. It means working always with an eye toward the needs of others so that they may function and contribute to the “cause” as well as possible. One other thing. Sacrificing our egoself may be more difficult than laying down our physical lives, as that is a once for all sort of move, but sacrificing the self-praise “machine” is an action that must be repeated hour by hour, day by day.

“If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue. Make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge. Those are the three things the ego is doing all the time. It’s very important to be aware of them every time they come up.” Deepok Chopra

As Dr. Chopra points out, be careful, you might end up truly happy if you learn to sacrifice the egoself.

A Visualization Prayer ~

the-power-of-prayerA loving friend just sent me a powerful visualization prayer to use in my current circumstances. Among the elements is a bolt of lightning empowering the hands in prayer. Wow! That asks for help from the beings known as the Wakayan in Native American Cosmology, powerful beings who like to help the people. I love that visualization, but I have a word of caution for Christians who call on the help of these wonderful spirits.

The Wakayan are inclined to let your prayers backfire onto you if you are too “controlling” in your prayers. They are also inclined to be watchful that one’s prayers are neither too ‘proud”, nor “judgmental”. It is best when calling on their help to be praying for needs where you have no negative feelings, as your negativity will wash back onto you. The Wakayan are not picky about your religion, nor do they seem to care the color of your skin. They care about how you walk you walk and how you walk your talk. One of the things I have been taught about these Holy Helpers is that compassion is a chief criterion for receiving their help. If you are a person who is inclined to help others, they are more inclined to help you than if you were a loner or one who takes rather than gives.

I am not trying to discourage you from calling on these wonderful beings for help. They are powerful and capable and willing. I am simply cautioning you that if you are not willing to live a life respectful to Spirit and others, you may not want to call on these particular helpers.

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times ~

While I applaud the concept behind much that is being done to throw down old barriers to health care {Dr.s without Boundaries} and other good works that aim at getting behind the walls that have been placed by despots for control of their people, there is an air of the extreme about today’s world that begs for the very disorder that is the Psychiatric dish of the day, i.e. Bipolarism.

This is a wonderful time for people like myself, who prefer to live alternate lifestyles. We are not pushed by society to be something we are not. I never married, it is not that I was not asked, it was that I was drawn to the bad boys. They make fun companions, lousy husbands and worse fathers. As long as you do not expect a long term commitment from them they are wonderfully fun and funny, even when it is they that ask for the commitment.

Yet, there are many in our world who do not thrive in a time where limits are the taboo, and putting boundaries on your life can make you unpopular. I have long thought that the controls of, say, the church, are fine as long as they are not mandatory for everyone. If those controls are the way a person wishes to live, there is nothing wrong with that, just don’t make it law for everyone to live that way. That, however, has not been how it has worked out over the centuries.

We are not a species that easily finds its balance in life, many of us are workaholics, others are drug addicts, many have found their thrills in unprotected sexual activities.  There are many self-medicators who need a glass of wine daily; there is nothing wrong with that as long as it stays at a glass and doesn’t become a bottle daily and starts to interfere with one’s life. And therein lies the rub, eh? We allow our cravings to run our lives and then we are in trouble.

So, is there an answer?

Well, yes, but it is not easy, and I cannot say how each of us will go about doing it. For generations out of mind, society has served as an exoskeleton, bracing us up in ways that were such that we did not have to grow our own bone structure and stand on our own. That exoskeleton has weakened, and in many places crumbled. It is time to find our individual internal bones and strengthen them so that we can stand without the bracing of societal rule to tell us what is right and what is wrong.

Talk about a difficult task!

This is actually where Buddhism has an advantage over Christianity or any other “faith”. In almost all faiths, one is not taught to seek inner strength and purpose, but to look to the deity for one’s rescue. I believe in G-d, so this was not much of a problem for me, but one does not need to believe in a deity to follow the Buddha’s teachings. One needs only to desire internal and true happiness and to be willing to follow the Buddha’s recommendations toward that end.

Let me be fair, here. Christianity, as with Judaism,  the Muslims, and many others has a wide variety of groups within the whole, some of those groups do indeed teach discipline and study. Some teach discipline for all, others only teach this for the group that is part of the inner sanctum. This is also true of Buddhism. So the main difference between the Buddha’s path and Y’shua’s path is the belief in Hashem. Actually, the more I learned of Buddha’s path, the more I realized it is the only difference.

If you study the four gospels, counting Y’shua as a wise teacher from whom you wish to learn, instead of thinking of him as a magical pill you swallow that makes you “whole”, you will find that his teachings bear an uncanny resemblence to the Buddha’s teachings from 500 years before in the orient, 1000’s of miles to the East.

Essentially, Y’shua was teaching how to most sincerely and certainly please a high and holy God via release of worldy attachments, service and humility. Buddha was teaching a path toward inner joy via release of worldly attachments, service and humility. They are the same path, simply two diametrically opposite perspectives. And as the saying goes, one can have it all, as one can please God most high, while at the same time, finding true happiness. Hm, and we can even find balance from the extremes by following Buddha’s middle way.

So, what’s my point?

The reason for this blog is not to deny Christians a place in eternity. I love Y’shua, and feel that he intended to show a path that was more personal and in closer communion with Hashem than the way his people were living. (They were under occupation, BTW, so dourness of soul should be no surprise) His intent was a path filled with Joy, service and humility. I do think his people got the message, if not through him, then through other great teachers, for Judaism is today not a path filled with moaning and groaning and “martyrdom” but a path of joyful service to others and communion with Hashem. That was Y’shua’s only point.

I believe Paul and Constantine took Y’shua’s joyful rabbinical teachings and used them to create a new religion, whole cloth, out of remnants of the old ways, including many pagan ways. I then believe it was no great effort for the Roman church to create a curtain that would keep us from seeing how this path was created and even fighting others when they should challenge the “truth” of Christianity.

I remember when I was younger and still listening to the preachers on Sunday morning, one of the things that would come out of the preachers mouth which would turn me cold was that “We must protect the truth”. That was never necessary. The Truth will protect itself, and ultimately protect you. I do not believe Y’shua ever implied he was God. He most certainly might have said he was at one with God, and wanted his followers to be also. I believe that his words were skewed by scribes with an agenda toward making Christianity a religion that would take over the world and control the masses. And since there are no Aramaic scrolls that date in such a way as to be certifiably recordings of what he said in the way he said it, we will never know for sure.

I believe that he may have taught that the Holy Breath, or Holy Spirit as we call her today, was the only way to the Ancient One. That, you see, would be Veritas, the essence of Truth, for, as I look at the paths that teach compassion the world over, and I look at their tomes (i.e. The Tao te Ching, and other works) I see and feel the hand of the Holy one. Look at Proverbs chapter 8, read it and study it. Do not let it go, for it is the essence of her “work” on this entire planet. All who ask her help are given it!

I also do not believe that the Holy One would put the fate of eternity for any one soul in the hands of another human. That is too much responsibility. Besides, humans are so danged imperfect that when one flubs up, and misses the target completely, should the eternal fate of another depend on that? I do not believe that a G-d that requires compassion of us would be so dispassionate as to do that.

So, OK, the church has messed up many times. There are other paths to eternity. Hashem has actually made sure that, one way or another, there will be an opportunity to forgive and live in joyful service. If it does not come through the Christ, and cannot because of Christians killing your family, it may come through Buddhism, or Taoism, or through one of the Indigenous paths. Hashem, and the Ruach Ha’Kodesh have left many windows through which the human soul can accept the light of the Ein Sof Ohr!

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