A voicehearer’s path ~

Posts tagged ‘love’

Change ~

deltablueYes, change is the only constant in the Universe. That is one of the most difficult things for us to cope with, most especially as we grow older. We want the security of certain things in our lives remaining constant. That does not happen on this planet, it may not happen anywhere in the Universe. There are references that say that Hashem remains the same forever. That may be quite true, and indeed, I suspect it is, But our understanding of Hashem has changed many times through the ages, and will yet again. Part of that is that we as a race of beings are getting “older” in our understanding of ourselves.  Some say our culture is in it’s teens. Which means we are capable of depth of thought, but not of sustaining depth of being. I can believe that.

All of the pieces parts are there in the Law to show us a way of life that is compassionate and gentle. Yet, because of the various instructions to oust and decimate unlawful peoples we have a perception of Hashem that is harsh and even possibly cruel. Certainly, there is a verse in the Tanach that says Hashem is a jealous G-d. Yet, what is asked of us is a kindness at the level taught by the Buddha some years later in another area of the Globe altogether.

It is in contemplating this factor that I have come to believe that all inspiration, no matter the timing or the person, comes through our own filters, and if we are not absolutely clear, afi50000with no agenda of our own, we will hear what we want to hear. In other words, in order to change our perspective of Hashem, or Moses, or Buddha, or Y’shua, or Mohammed, we may need to change internally enough to hear with the clarity of a clean and polished bell what Spirit has to say to us as individuals.

That requires a change that can only come from within, not from others, not even from Hashem, except that it is the Eternal Spirit that puts the tools in our hands to effect those changes:

In Aramaic, the word “mitzvah” means connection. Here, then, is the next level for understanding the word’s meaning in a modern context. The business of every Jew is to testify to God’s goodness and God’s sovereignty by fashioning our lives in ways of holiness and peace. We connect ourselves to our Creator; we link ourselves to the one who liberated us from slavery, by the way we live our lives. Each deed either strengthens our connection to God, or attenuates that link. There is no neutrality in the world of action: we either weave a web of goodness, with each new action adding a new strand to the fabric of our lives, or we snip away at the weave of righteousness that Judaism establishes in the world. In this second sense, mitzvah isn’t just what you do because God said so. God isn’t a cop, and mitzvot are not simply statutes. We do mitzvot because we seek to allow holiness into our lives.

From a website called Tikkun, to big-blue-marble-transparentheal, repair, and transform the world. This is Judaism today, marvelously translating Hashem’s words to us in a manner that brings out the goodness and love of the One who asks that of us.

Y’shua is taught to have said,

John 14:21, 15:12-13 He that has my commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves me; but he that loves me shall be loved by my Father, and I will love him and will manifest myself to him. This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this that one should lay down his life for his friends.

It was not Y’shua that taught us to kill one another in the name of religion, we have been doing that for a very long time, much before Moshe, much before the Sumerians. We have an attitude from our very outset that says our own perspective is right, and anyone who disagrees must die. In the days before the Law, this was understandable if only in that no matter who won, there would be a blood bath. It is in the Law that you see an attempt at an orderly means of working things out, at all levels. In fact, I find myself wondering if the laws regarding sacrifice were a concession to the already extant system of appeasing  deity, and rather than make wholesale change that folk would not think came from deity, Hashem toned down the slaughter immensely.  (The Eternal understanding that we are not good at change, eh?)

It is in that little added codicil allowing the very poorest members of society to bring somewhere between 1.5-2.5 gals of flour for a sin offering that we begin to understand that 449146a-i101Hashem may indeed have never needed blood shed to be satisfied. That leads to the conclusion that all of the shedding of blood was for our own need, not Hashem’s, so that we would feel that some greater justice had been served. And the very fact that Hashem does not seem really fond of blood letting at any level makes it even more poignantly our problem, not the Deity’s. I wonder when it will begin to dawn on the world at large that Hashem is quite a bit more civilized than the wild children on this planet?

If, then, we factor in Buddhism, which practices compassion as well as vegetarianism, and is tied to no Deity, but actually allows an individual the choice of whether to follow a deity or not, since the focus is on one’s own eternal happiness rather than service to G-d, we are left with the idea that perhaps there are still a great many changes we need to make altogether.

christmashollyt

The Heart ~

0214-human_heartI had seen this particular graphic at NatGeo and, because it was a bit different, I kept a copy until I could do more research. All of those little corollaries are due to the heart having some blockage in the main artieries that feed the heart and keep it pumping moment to moment. The more blockage in your heart’s arteries,  the more profound will be the umbrella of little corollaries that are feeding your heart and trying to keep you alive. The heart has no backup organ, unlike the kidneys and lungs. so it is up to us to live heart healthy lives.

Since the dietary knowledge is relatively new, say the last 30 to 40 years, we are still readjusting our daily intake at the “comfort” level to try to teach ourselves and our children how best to eat and stay healthy. Our sweet and salty snacks that everybody loves are pretty much a no-no. We need to eat more fruits and vegetables, and I am not one to have neglected those, as I have had diabetes for years. Oh well.

There is a part of the cardiac regime, however, that is not part of a culinary artist’s work. That is the disturbing emotions. These are dealt with in quite a different way. It is “right” that we remain “engaged” with our world, too detached a point of view is as unhealthy as hearttoo attached a point of view. Most often it is not the events themselves we fear, but how they will change our lives and the lives of those we love that we fear.

My roomate at the hospital was a lovely woman whose attitudes in life had pretty much kept her alive even with a heart whose major arteries were suffering profound blockages. as in 100% and 90%, dang! She has 3 sons, the older two exemplary sons that are good to their mother, her 15 year old, however, is one of those children who loves his freedom and keeps his mother awake at night. It is in fact, worry about him that had stressed her so much that she sought relief from that stress, only to find that she is in need of bypass surgery of the heart.

How does one detach enough from the actions of one’s children to survive one that is more self-determined than helpful at this stage in his life?  Such self-determination may serve him well in his later years, but is certainly disrupting the peace of his parental home. Unfortunately, answers anyone can give her are going to be incomplete, as it is at the center of her own being where she will have to find the peace that passes understanding in order to weather the storms of a young person’s trip into adulthood. There are good things that one can learn, I have sent many to Coping.org, as the Dr.s Messina are quite helpful, though this 2242949998_db416180711lovely lady does not do the internet.

I suggested that after her surgery she seek the councel of a professional, though only time will tell if she chooses that route. The various Buddhist teachers that have chosen to interrelate with those of us outside the monestary, such as Thich Nhat Hann, and HH Tensin Gyatso, the Dalai Llama, all have some wonderful teachings on meditation and detachment from the disturbing emotions, if she can get past the religious barriers, as she is a Roman Catholic Christian. One can never be sure what the best answers are for another, as most times we must find the answers for ourselves. I shall most certainly keep her, and all such troubled parents in my prayers. It breaks the heart, literally to see the babies we have loved from infancy choose a crooked path at so young an age as their teens.

The Magi ~

xmas-magi2In St. Luke’s retelling of the legendary beginnings of the rabbi Y’shua, there is an oft repeated tale of a visit by three “wise men” of the time whose astral calculations told them of the birth of a specially anointed child. Their path to get to him is not recorded among our literature, though one could wish it had been. Hollywood has speculated on that journey,  the story carries all the romance and intrigue one would desire in a good tale. What they embody for us is an allegorical journey toward the light.

I have said before that I do not see Y’shua as G-d incarnate. Yet, neither do I see him as an ordinary man. I see him as a type of Buddha, a mentor in Spirit upon whom we can call for enlightenment, and even assistance when needed. I have never doubted the strength and possibilities of faith. Y’shua often said to those he ministered to that their own faith had made them whole. That is pretty incredible, for it implies that we live well below our full potential. Many times he said to those who listened to him that they could become like him. He wasn’t wanting followers to bow to his “glory”, he was wanting brothers to walk at his side, doing the deeds he did, from that time unto the present. If I understand that correctly, we have certainly missed the boat.

I had wondered about his mission’s failure to bring about the kind of living among the common man that he intended, and what he planned on doing about it until I read about a wonderful Jewish teacher called the Baal Shem Tov. I suspect, if that’s him, that he has things well in hand, and will keep coming back and teaching us silly folk until we get it right, for which I am most grateful. Until we understand that the walk along the path is as important as getting there;  that how we live each day of our lives, giving, loving, laughing and being true to Spirit is what we are supposed to do, not beat each other over the head or kill for the sake of religion; he will just have to keep coming back to teach each new generation, hoping that someday we get it right.

In the meanwhile, the best thing that we can do is celebrate the greatest gift, the gift of Love. As Spirit teaches us, through Y’shua, through the Baal Shem Tov, through Shakyamuni Buddha, through Ptesin Win, through Mother Theresa, how to love, we can learn each step of the way, to be kind, to be helpful, to be faithful to our teachers. Many blessings to you this season, no matter which Holy Days you observe!

swags2

Sacred Space ~

medwhlI love the medicine wheel, it is always part of my thinking, now. I will try  to translate the Native wisdom so that you can understand and participate in this way of life  without appearing to be trying to rob their spirituality. The Lakota and Shawnee teachings are those with which I am most familiar, and though they approach the wheel each from opposite directions, their ways are still quite compatible. One of the reasons I have been reluctant to share this as part of the path I walk is that a pale face, like myself, just looks silly running around in ribbon shirts and feathers in their braids. So, though I want to discuss the concepts of the NA way of life, it is with the idea of incorporating these  concepts into your own perspective, not to make you into a NA wannabe.

As I understand it, (and that must always remain in your awareness, I am not a holy woman, picture1nor am I a “shaman”, I cannot turn out other “shamans” off an assembly line because you need to be one to teach it. I am a mystic, who has found the Native awareness of Spirit to be so completely on target, that once exposed to their teachings, they became a part of my practice.) life is seen to be lived on a series of circles, each of us having our own personal circle, and all life forms each having their own circle. The awareness of this first brought me to an understanding of Sacred Space that I had never seen in other forms of spirituality.

Sacred Space then became something of a point of study. I wanted to understand this concept as it applied to me. Above and to the right you see a series of concentric circles, the outer one is yellow, for openness, as this is where your sacred space meets the rest of the world, and you  must interface with what comes your way, whether in work or daily life, i.e. fellow workers, clerks in stores, supervisors, delivery people. The only choices you have here are the simple ones, as in where you go and the people with whom you choose to do business. The next circle is green, still open, but much more selective, for here in this circle are your acquaintances and family, people with whom you have things in common, but do not want into your most intimate space. The next circle is your truly most sacred circle, here are those you trust with all that you are and hope to be.

win_win_relationshipI was taught to take three pieces of paper, marking each one with the color of the circle represented, i.e. mark with yellow marker or the word yellow, whichever works with your circumstances. Here list all those with whom you have daily or weekly commerce that are not your most intimate friends. In fact, work with all three papers at the same time, sorting who goes where according to where you want them to be in your life. If you have had a problem with boundaries, that is not necessarily where they are in your little corner of the world, and you may need to make two sets of lists, so that you can see what you need to work on to get your world in balance.

When there is someone farther out than you want them to be or closer than you want them to be, you need to look at the why’s of the issue, so that you can gently, and without fuss, relationshipfind a way to readjust your world so that they occupy the space in your life that you want them to. When you are wanting someone to be closer to you, you must also be absolutely certain that they want to be closer also, if they do not, do not mess with them. Give space to others in the same manner that you want space given to you! I found a similar relationship map at a circles network. Please feel free to use whichever map works best for you, and by all means, if you find you are entangled and cannot find gentle ways out of bad situations, find a relationship counselor who can help you find the highest and best way to refine your relationships.

Remember, the path I walk is learning to love all. This does not mean that all are in the innermost circle.  Love is the building block on which relationship is built. Consider carefully and choose consciously how you wish to live your life.

Free Will ~

binnewies-390-for-tridion_tcm18-115975Do we have free will? Well, I personally believe so. We have mapped the human genome, and they don’t seem to have found a gene for free will, but, there are many things that point to the idea that each of us, in spite or because of our genetic make up, can make choices as to how we will respond to life’s stimuli.

There always seem to be those who would love to tell us that we are just chemicals reacting to what the world delivers at our doorstep. Yet, looking at life in intensely disturbing reality will show us that this is not necessarily true. One sibling with a similar genetic make-up to the other will struggle against the tide and surface far from muck and gore, while another from the same family will sink into the mire of a life underscored by suffering and sorrow. Why? We don’t really know. It is most certainly NOT just genetics.

From my perspective, as a mystic and student of the cosmos, I think of it as martin-luther-king-jr-picthe “medicine” each child was born with, though that entails not just genetics, but past lives, and ancestral contributors to one’s make-up. There is one other contributor to character that may or may not be counted by the “experts”. The person that child adheres to as a role model may make all the difference in the world. If one thinks in terms of the difference between a “Hannibal Lechter” type or a “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” type the two paths in life are so obvious as to be painful. But children in their first 7 years of developement are often not exposed to such archetypes, their world is much more tightly knit that this.

Aunt Jane, or Mama are their world, or Gramma, or Grampa or Dad or Uncle Joe. How we react to our world is how we teach the little ones to react, mouse1and it is often those we admire that our children admire or reject for just such similar reasons. Many times I have seen an incompatability in “medicines” be the means by which the “bad seed” develops into a rebel or delinquent. A child born with “mouse” medicine to a parent with hawk medicine may learn to hide from the eyes of their elders and becomes sneaky and untrusting and untrustworthy. Yet, mouse medicine is not bad medicine. If the child is guided by one with similar medicine, say a Mama with squirrel medicine, the child may prosper if only because they learn to prepare for what life brings them.

The “hawk” and “mouse” situation may turn abusive, simply because of hawk7frustration and fear of what will result when the child matures, yet the parent never meant to be abusive in the least, loving the child immensely. How tragic this whole scene becomes, most especially when it is from intense love that the results are far from ideal. There are no societal safe zones for either the parent or the child. Nothing “honorable” that will allow the parent to “back off” and let the child become themselves. Our family unit is now too small for the child to find an aunt or uncle who can understand, as the family is often scattered over 1000’s of miles.

I guess then, that I must conclude that though we do indeed have free will, and if the child can survive intact until their late thirties without having been in too much trouble with the law, they may get themselves straightened out, as it takes that long for us to become who we are, even when the parenting was compatible with our “medicines.” Even here, I believe we have free will, and if we have the internal strenth, we can become who we want to be no matter what our parents were or are, good or not so good. One most helpful thing to remember is that most parents truly do the best they can with the tools they are given to hand.

Holy Writ ~

hh-tenzin-gyatsoI have read the Christian Bible more than 4 times through, and have read the New Testament so many times I have lost count. I have copies of the Tanakh, the Bhagavad-Gita, the Quran, and books written by HH Tenzin Gyatso, the current Dalai Lama. I respect the writers as men whose dedication to holy living was born out in their lives. I tend to give weight to the words written by the level of holiness that was evident in the lives they lived. Erego, I place greatest weight on the words of his Holiness, the Dalai Lama, as a living example of compassion in action.

Even here, though he is reckoned the 14th incarnation of Avalokitesvara, the Buddha of Compassion, I do not consider him infallible. He comes far closer to infallibility than do I, who am a simple woman of faith residing in the US. He is not God incarnate, nor does he claim to be. He is a human being, enlightened, to be sure, but a human being. What he shows is that Holy Writ, good as it is for guidance and instruction, is written by men who may be inspired by the Holy Presence, but they are still men and their words must be weighed in that light.

The books I have that he has written are in English, and this is my point regarding Holy Writ from any source, I must presume upon the good intent of the translators of his work. This is easier to do when the writer is living, and has loyal helpers who will let him know if a mistranslation has skewed his meaning on any teaching. When the writer is long since passed on, there is no such safety line.

Y’shua cannot stand up in an assembly and say, “That is not what I said or 1_robetaught.” At least not with any legitimate verity, as even one who would say they represent him is representing their vision of Him. I do not trust the machinations of humans who have done little in their lives to sort their “impressions” from objective truth. Constantine has been called a saint by many, but I do not trust the “vision” of a conqueror who chooses to use the teachings of a peaceful rabbi to enhance his position as a head of state, consolidating his kingdom by making Christianity the state religion.

Many of Y’shua’s teachings resemble the Buddha’s, enough so that I question the veracity of those statements that seem to claim Godhood beyond the Godhood of all sentient beings, and because of the way Aramaic is written, and the way Y’shua could easily have spoken of the Ruach Ha-Kodesh, I believe his words have been skewed.

I believe Moshe’s words are pretty much intact, as they were in the keeping of his kinsmen for generations after his passing. I believe Buddha’s teachings are intact also, because there was no great upheaval where his words were removed from the hands of his students and “sorted” by some great “council” of men seeking to justify the position of a monarch.

zoo_2_bg_072603The best any one person can ask of any version of Holy Writ is that it be consistent to the principles of truth and compassion. Any time that consistency is lacking, I will question the source of the teaching. By the way, the Buddha gave that as one of the criteria for knowing whether your teacher was representing the teachings truthfully, his words were to obey the teaching, not the earth bound teacher. I wish that had been passed down from Y’shua, for I am certain that somewhere and at some time he said that, though, of course, if his teachings have been so completely tampered with as I believe, why should I believe those words were not simply deleted?

Tag Cloud