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 incredible 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.

Namaste

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.