Sunday, December 27, 2015

Can't buy me love

The greatest lesson I learned in my spiritual life was overpaying for spiritual teachings. The authentic, embodied guru or teacher charges what they need to to cover their expenses both business and personal, not to become rich. Over paying and being ripped off by a "teacher," made me an incredibly skeptic from that moment forward, more discerning in who I invested my resources with, and might have actually saved my life.

I was at the time in 2007, in the desert on the spiritual path, literally, I was living in Las Vegas. I was desperate for the truth and a teacher who could share it with me. I had read "The Secret," believed in the law of attraction and had watched the authors speak on Oprah. 

I heard one was offering a free talk not too far from my house so I went. The whole time he spoke I could feel I was being sold. Coming from a sales career I recognized all marketing lingo, the motivators to buy and one liners to close the deal. And yet, because I was vulnerable and ready to take the next step towards enlightenment, I went to the back of the room and paid $1300 for a two day seminar. Food and housing were not included, only the privilege to be one of the few who got to work with him personally and have access to an online community of support to follow.

A few weeks before the retreat was to begin, it was rescheduled. It was then rescheduled 3 more times before it was indefinitely cancelled. I never got my money back. I was told I could go to a sweat lodge retreat instead as he was no longer offering the retreat I had been sold.

Two years later, he was convicted of negligent homicide for the deaths of two of his students in a sweat lodge in Arizona because he wouldn't let them leave the overly hot conditions. He wasn't a real shaman or guru, he was nothing more than a self serving, manipulative sales man who had taken the lives of those in search of something more. 

This was a very extreme case of "spiritual teachers" bamboozling students and it happened to me. When I went home to see my spiritual guide devastated, wondering who and if I could ever trust again, she pointed out the beautiful gift I had been given. That I could be grateful it happened early on the path before I became too involved with unscrupulous people and would also be more discerning about teachers in the future.

I prayed that I would be guided to an embodied teacher. Adyashanti showed up. After reading a few of his books and listening to his talks, I received a list of his upcoming retreats. He was charging $895 for a 5 day retreat with room and board. Underneath the prices for the retreats was a scholarship link. At the time I was unemployed and applied. Several months later I was granted a full scholarship. I paid only for my train ride to Northern California for a 5 day silent, all inclusive retreat with him. This lesson in authenticity was priceless.
Since then I have learned that most teachers in India do not charge their students at all to live in an Ashram with them, but live and support their teachings solely on donations from those who benefit and see the guru for who they are. To this day you can go to a 10 day Vippasana retreat at no cost, paid for or in part by previous students who valued their experience. This keeps the teachings authentic and free from commercialism. 

Overcharging for a group retreat, seminar, workshop etc is a reflection of a self-serving mindset that the teachers individual worth and reward is greater than the teachings and the students who seek them. It keeps the poor out. Asking for a scholarship, or a work exchange is seen as undercutting them and their value. If one looks more deeply into it, they find a selfish need to be successful, rich, seen,"their best self" over and above the teachings and/or their students.  

This event was embarrassing. No real guru will make you pay what you don't have to "get in" nor are they attached to wealth. If you hear someone speaking about being successful, rich and ask you to "get in before they hike up the price" take another look and see whats really behind those clever motivating words. There is no amount of money that can buy you love or awaken your truth; and stillness is free.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

The game

There is always going to be a game being played. You must play one to be alive. Lets call the current leading game being played on planet earth basketball. The issue is that only a small few are any good. The tall ones, athletic, and those with quick reflexes will be those most requested to play leaving out those who aren't any of those things chilling on the sidelines. They simpy aren't enough.

What's happening now is that those that have been sitting the sidelines supporting the game have become restless. We want to play too. Our only choices are keep "paying" attention to the basketball game or begin playing a new one. So that's what we are doing with our energy. Creating a new game.

Lets call it the love game. It allows for many more participants because height isnt a barrier to entry. You don't have to be athletic or any of the things basketball requires. You can be you. Play many positions and even change your position if you decide to.

At first when we started playing, people looked  over at us from the basketball game like we were crazy. Judged us, said we were "way out there" even wrong for choosing not to play a game not designed for US to play, let alone win. But we kept playing this new game, experimenting with the rules, getting good at our love game that includes everybody and continuing to create it as we go because it serves us, the planet and our souls. Slowly over time many more people have stopped giving their energy to basketball, have begun looking away, noticed this other game and are even considering teaming up with us to play.

And I mean why not? They are automatically chosen to play, as they are, as they choose to show up. They like the way it feels, how it's been set up for their success and rejoice in being able to actively play this one. And they keep joining in on the fun. Participating in their own joy. Its happening now. There is more than one game being played now.

What game are you playing? Are you even playing or just going through the motions in your mind? Are you accepted into your chosen game, acknowledged, seen, heard and felt?

Choose the game YOU want to play. Choose one that serves you or create even a better one but make sure you know what game it is that your playing. Thats the key to unlocking your new (game) world.

Strength for you in choosing the game closest to your heart, dreams and aspirations.

Love is the game I choose. It serves us all as we are; perfect images of the divine. I've never been great at basketball. I'm not tall enough, I don't have the best aim. It was never meant for me. So why keep playing?

I can't wait to see all the new games being created everywhere that are in benefit to the greatest good, as people become more clear about their own inherent power to choose for themselves.  Let the games begin!! Power to the people!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Heaven or Hell

Each day that we wake up, in every moment, we are choosing. We are choosing what to do, where to go, but ultimately we are choosing how to be, how we show up in the world. We are either grateful for our breath, our body, our life, grateful for everything we already have. Or are we choosing to complain, argue, blame, and cause ourselves a living hell? Where is the fun in that? No child ever said I want to grow up and work at a job that I don't enjoy and ignore all of my dreams. Heaven is one choice away. Come thee to the kingdom of heaven, childlike. Don't "grow up" in this sense that you would be willing to sell out your souls dreams, your inner child's natural instincts, in favor of others. Be innocent again. Be reborn. Choose Heaven. Live each day full of wonder, exploration, discovery and joy. Be childlike as you soar and be more than you ever thought you could be.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Dirty Sacred Dancing

I am a dancer. I dance because it is fun. I dance to disappear into something bigger, a nothingness and everything at the same time. When I dance, a deep intimacy arises within. I am no longer afraid. My soul, my deepest most loving self is alive and pulsating with scintillating pleasure. Dirty, ecstatic and sacred dancing held in the same regard. Dance is a form of prayer for me. A form of communication with the deepest parts of myself, creator, others, and life. I dance to feel Her. To allow Her to be seen. Dancing is freedom for me.

When I dance I am a catalyst to change. Gritty, dirty, sultry dancing. Shaking off old patterns and shimming my way into a new way of being. My dancer is pure truth in form taking action. I dance to fly! To allow my soul freedom to be as it is. An uncontained expression of the divine and as I twist my hips or roll my chest I release myself into this great space. At the speed of light, a bullet train surges through me, the ultimate force, when I am surrendered to this that I am. Finding solace in my own unique originality and ability to take refuge in Her, as she takes Her course.

In the physical sense I move my body to and with music showing my appreciation for it's rhythmic and compelling nature. The beat is my master, my lover, my friend. I can count on it, despite it's need to control me. It's extended time way from a song leaves me begging for it to drop and reclaim myself. The melody and my body's longing to tell it's story leave me at times in a trance, lost without recollection of time. I love to dance lyrically and with strength, a sense of silly absurdness connected with an authentic core and essence of being. I find the physical affects to be tremendous. The breakdown of what was comfortable. A release from the exhaustion of holding tension and stress that was carried too long. A shattering of built up inertia. I love the burn in my lungs, the tears in my muscles, and the tug of nausea when I know I have danced too hard, too fast, too long. 

Mentally it can be an experience of deep contemplation. A processing and a sifting through the thoughts that no longer serve. A meditative experience that envelopes me in peace. I can easily release the past, ignore the anxiety of the future, and find myself home, in the here and now.  In the spiritual sense, dancing gives me space to be as I am, to unfold, giving form to my own divine self. When I lose my center completely, unable to find a point of reference and allow the great mystery to flow through in expression, I feel the most free and connected.  

Dance allows us to merge, integrate and unify our hearts. It crosses all borders, boundaries and lines of separation. Dancing creates flow, synchronicity and aligns us with the highest. Each of us dancers,  pieces, to the whole of the collaboration, a part of the choreography of life. It brings us together. As we have faith in the ultimate choreographer, creator, and partner, and dance with all of our heart, we demonstrate the holist of work, surrender.

Once we learn to dance alone we can begin to move in alignment with another being that promises to listen to the music that guides and will hold us in the essence of our truth. Our aloneness serving as a bond of silence that we will never hold against each other. That we may feel free to dance when we are moved to and be in faith in the space between dances. It creates a bond, an understanding that if I step on your toe it's simply apart of our dance and we'll keep dancing. We can begin to experience and feel this non-verbal communication of our souls moving in continuity to the melody the mystery has created for us, our very own song.

This is the dance I want to dance together whenever we are near so that even apart I will be with you and you with me, a place called home, what our souls long for. As we dance, step to step, from moment to moment, our movement permeates everything. I will feel the vibration of your breath as it touches your face and the penetration of your exhale as it enters my lungs. Dance with me when I grieve, and when I sleep, and when I have had an incredible day. In the rain while we play as if almost in liquid fluidity. In the silence, or the time between steps, you can easily find me. Our loving, sweet nature allowing us to experience each other as we do ourselves. As one. It is the dance of love, truth, bliss, and intimacy.

Will you dance with me? And be the guardian of my solitude?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Revealing My Inner Yogi

Yoga teacher training here I come! This last week I made the decision to embark on the journey to becoming a certified yoga teacher. An intense 200 hours in 16 days on a desert retreat. I have been taking yoga classes for almost 20 years and have often considered teaching it as a way to earn income. However the decision to participate this time comes from somewhere much deeper. It comes from a need to test myself. I'm ready to take a journey deep into my body and into a deeper understanding of my soul.

This is the largest investment I have made in myself in long time. I have been researching the vast array of yoga schools and traditions available here in LA for the last year but somehow the timing, the teachers, the school hasn't been quite right until now. At first I almost allowed a scheduling conflict to deter me until I heard a little voice that said "there's a way." Putting the deposit down as a first step was actually quite easy as most things are when it is time.

It's very precarious to me that I have never attended a class at this particular school, met any of the teachers or heard anything from anyone ever about it. Yet, there it was, a small ad that caught my soul's attention and after reading everything on the school's website I knew it felt right. After some dialogue through email with the office manager and a conversation to ask for the assistance with scheduling I would need to make it possible, I made the choice.

A choice to know more about myself.  I have spent the majority of my time in the spiritual arena almost avoiding the body and as a dancer it's kind of mysterious. Focusing more on meditation and the mind than the body has allowed me to spiritually bypass for awhile now. However my soul has made it's needs know to be completely embodied in this way and I want to support this movement as much as possible. Self-mastery, Innate harmony, a release into the Truth, a devotion to Unconditioned Love are the themes of this new beginning.

I plan on sharing my journey with all of you through this blog as a testament to the process. I welcome you to join me!

Namaste, Sat Nam, Om Tat Sat!

The many expressions of spiritual awakening

There are many expressions of spiritual awakening. Many different cycles or periods of time in which spirit expresses itself. I hear people talk about "The" spiritual path as if there is only one or it happens in some linear way. That it must follow a certain order for it to be authentic or useful. I have found for myself that there is not only more than one path but that at any given time and not always in a particular pattern or chronological order, it can change from one to another.

Spirtual awakening doesn't need to look a particular way. Doesn't need to go according to some prescribed plan or depend on how close to a guru you are in order for it to be authentic. At times we find ourselves in close contact with a teacher, dedicated to a particular teaching. At others we find a period of isolation full of detachment lessons. This period being just as important for new things to grow, further expansion or for moving into more loving relationships with others. Both expressions are of the divine. Both create opportunities for more understanding of our true nature. Both are the path. It's the path no matter what it looks like and having access to this perspective throughout, makes the journey more enjoyable.

There will be periods of struggle. There will be those times when you are in the flow and can easily witness the beauty around you only to find struggle again in the next moment. There will be loss. A lot of it. As most of the spiritual unfolding is really a shedding of that which is no longer true. Expressions of difficult people or partners will come along to teach you to be more loving even in difficult situations.

We always get what we need. The people, the situation, the cycles of learning and practicing that we need to take the next step in our spiritual awakening. We only need to see them for what they are. Perceive them as the beautiful lessons we have asked for and no longer as "back tracking" or "losing your way" worries.

In recognizing the many cycles, waves of spiritual bliss and suffering, honoring them, allowing each one to be as it may without needing to change it. When we can slip into flow that extends into every aspect of life, we can begin to see our perceptions and can then shift them away from a view of suffering to a view of the truth.

You are right where you are supposed to be on YOUR path. Your path is going to look different than your girlfriends, your teachers or your partners. Its going to twist and turn and make sharp right hand turns and complete 360s many different times. At times you will think you are right back where you started or that is has all been for not and I gently remind you that in those moments to trust yourself. Trust that you are growing, learning and awakening to who and what you really are. Trust the source of life to continue giving you exactly what you need and nothing less. Trust that this too is the path, that you are co-creating with your highest self, to lead you home. Home sweet home.

What you focus on expands.

I saw a quote the other day that said you can focus on your problems or your blessings whichever one you choose expands. It's simply the law of attraction. Whatever it is you focus on you will attract and it will grow exponentially.
If you want more problems focus on them and if you enjoy abundant blessings be grateful and spend time in that space. It's really that simple. We are the masters of our own destiny. We co-create with the source of life. We can believe in this, bring to ourselves more love and joy, or we can play victim that life is just happening to us,  that we have no control over what happens to us.
I personally prefer the first and have found it to be true over and over again. I know God will not bring me things that are not in alignment with my heart.  I have so many times thought that something was, desired it greatly, only later to discover that it wasn't for me and wouldn't have made me happy. Thank God it didn't work out. It would have prevented the good that was waiting for me on the other side of disappointment.  To think you know better than what has created you is ego insanity.
When life unfolds in a meaningful rich way,  it is then that I can begin to see how everything really had worked perfectly to get me to this place of peace. Holding the faith through each test and being grateful was the magic key. It is only by faith in this unseen guidance that we can get there. Being grateful to be alive,  aware you are able to breathe and your heart beats without help on your part, these are what everyone has to be grateful for. We can be in gratitude for life and more life will expand. We can be grateful to be loved by at least one person even if it's your mom and love will expand. But if you spend your energy being a victim to life and blaming your problems on creation then you guessed it,  more problems, more victimizing will occur.
This is the decision we are making moment to moment. Heaven or hell? Suffering in "what's not going right" according to you or enjoying what you do have, it's your choice. This is where your free will gives you power. You can work with love to create more love or you can argue against what is and get more mess.
Believing that I was made to live a good life and that my creator loves me enough to provide it is what brings the good to me. Feeling sad about loss or not having a place to put my love does nothing to help me out of this place but extends the time I must deal with it. Being mindful of my thoughts and what I am doing with emotion is helping me build heaven right here on earth.
The vibrational frequency of love attracts love. I only wish to be in love with the 10,000 things because it feels good and from that I attract more love from life. However, my happiness isn't then dependent on others or circumstances because my personal foundation is already in place that no one can take away from me. This is the kind of love I hope for everyone. Agape. An outpouring of love that comes from within and isn't in need of anything back. A deep self love that isn't dependent on outside situations or worried about having a partner or good job or anything. A true knowing of what you are that is one with all of life.
This is the good that can expand in all of our lives because we are it, deserve it, worth it, and so shall receive it. Have faith and monitor your emotions to be conscious that you are expanding your life in the direction of your dreams.