The New Year 2023 is now very close as we are moving away from the Christmas celebrations. Some of you have had happy times. Some of you have had sad times, some of you have had busy times and some of you have had quiet times. And some of you have experienced all of these.
99.99% of the world population attempt to seek nourishment from the external world. They are propelled into trying to seek this daily nourishment and especially at such heightened festive times like Christmas and New Year. Our external world is filled with our connections, relationships, attachments, concerns, fears, anxieties, happiness, contentment and sadness and is heightened during these festive times. If however, they do not receive the nourishment they wish for, they are desolate.
This cycle of seeking nourishment in the external world and being its victim is the addiction of what is called Maya. Maya, because this way of trying to find nourishment and fulfilment is an illusion. Yes, you may have some happy moments where you feel good, but they are temporary and are not permanently fulfilling. They come and go and change just as the undernourished mind changes, from like to dislike, from happiness to sadness, from love to hate, always desirously seeking something else, someone that might nourish them. In essence, they are buffeted about in waves of emotional storms and are never satisfied.
The 00.01% of the world that remains realises this truth and is consequently choosing what we often call a spiritual path. They know that true nourishment, true fulfilment, true satisfaction and peace can only grow from an ever deepening connection with the Light and Love within them… what some call God. Very few people get this opportunity however. It’s just the way the world is. True spiritual teachers are limited in supply, or are not that available. As well as this, there has to be at least a spark ignited in the heart of the soul of a seeker to even motivate them to listen to a teacher or to take up any of the spiritual practices or healing techniques and awareness that is required. This takes commitment, discipline, respect and humility. The spiritual path is hard work and the spiritual teachings and teacher are the hammers of the ego.
The wonderful thing however, is that when one has the grace of this opportunity, when they follow the path and do the work, they find a general deepening contentment and peace and increasingly truly enjoy the sweetness of life and love, flowing with the changes of life and death, the comings and goings, the openings and endings, moment to moment. One is happier and spreads happiness rather than misery and one’s heart increasingly seeks to help others. Not just their immediate family, but others that they covet less. This is the way to true happiness and fulfilment.
As you enter this coming 2023, remember that you have this opportunity with the deepest gratitude. This is what God/Guru first all else next means. It is not always necessary to have a guru/teacher but it does make it easier to stay committed because one has a witnesser as well as a guide. Most traditions affirm that the path is quicker and easier than without one when the ego can delude one to thinking that they are doing wonderfully well when they are not.
Remember that the spiritual path is not about ignoring those close to you or leaving your worldly life. It is about realising that the path of your divine heart and it commitment, is the foundation of your ability to love those close to you all more unconditionally, more peacefully and more fully. Here is a potential helpful play with the words God/Guru as the Path is intrinsically within them.
G: G is for the humility of true gratitude. Without gratitude we cannot call ourselves human.
O: O Is for the offering of your ego self to Divine Love, to God. The ego is desirous and neurotic. Do not let it rule you. The ego is the cause of hell in your life. The ego says you should have your way and you have every right to be angry if you can’t. The ego is resentful, competitive, angry, miserable and always hungry for it’s never truly nourished and always unsatisfied.
D: D is for devotion. Without devotion to your path, the teachings and the teacher there is no humility. There is only arrogance and a sense of entitlement. This leads to contention and hostility with the teachings or the Guru when one does not get their own way or when they do not get the attention they want. I have witnessed this many times with those near to Swami and other masters. And I have experienced it myself with some who have sought help with me. It leads to nothing but destruction and pain. Devotion stems naturally from gratitude and service to your paths teachings and teacher and grows like a sapling to a wondrous Oak Tree.
G: G is for connection with the God within you, no matter how you name this divine energy.
U: U is for understanding the challenges of the Path and and having the courage and hope to face yourself in the deepest honesty.
R: R is for respect. When one has respect one is always kind and attentive, caring and empathetic. Without respect there is only ego, harshness and self-centredness.
U: U is for recognising the umbrella of the teachings and sangha. The sangha has the unity and togetherness of a maypole dance. Each dancer dances in harmony with the others, holding a ribbon stemming from the central pole…. The teacher and the teachings. The creates the most wondrous divine unity and dance of united spiritual support and happiness which exist on all levels, body, mind and soul.
Dearest Journeyers, may 2023 be a blessed dance for you. May you rise above the whims of the temporary mind and may you grow nearer and nearer towards the Light and Love that radiates from within your soul self, your eternal Self.