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Our Hearts Natural Love Part 1

DSCN2146Many of us have been on an inner spiritual journey for quite some time.  For many years I looked for love in the most ridiculous places until I finally looked for it within myself.  I felt that God was Love and being one with God, I too am meant to be love.  If that was true, I wanted to feel and express love at all times, in all relationships and certainly within myself.   After many years of seeking truth and awareness, and working daily spiritual practice of applying the tools of Self Realization, I feel that I growing daily toward the “Hearts Natural Love,” in me.  This is a journey that is a process that keeps on growing.  God is not done with me yet.  This is a term I found in a book by Paramhansa Yogananda’s  (who wrote “The Autobiography of a Yogi”) guru, Swami Shri Yukteswar, who wrote “The Holy Science.”  It is a small priceless treasure of a book that I have close at hand and I keep very close to my heart.

When I first heard the term, the Hearts Natural Love, something inside of me was energized and saying “yes”.  I felt my heart open up to something I was about to explore for many years to come that caused me to seek a deeper and more universal understanding.  Our heart has profound wisdom that can lead us to God, wisdom and eventually Self Realization.  Our ego and our head on the other hand, has many opinions, conditions, distractions, reactions, flaws and obstacles that prevent us from expressing the hearts natural love.

Taking my own spiritual growth to heart I knew there was a lot of work for me to do. Opening my heart helps me learn better ways to serve God with greater energy and ever deepening dedication.  I am always working on the daily “Practicing of the Presence” by consciously knowing that “God is the doer”.  That is when I witness the growth in my own awareness and attune myself to my highest self rather than being caught in any unholy habits of trying to manipulate or have power over anyone else but me.

Shri Yukteswar wrote about eight obstacles to the hearts natural love and he called them “meannesses of the heart.”  The following is his list of traps that prevent our hearts from becoming perfectly purified.  At Ananda we do that with meditation and using the techniques of Kriya Yoga that help us reach the spiritual eye and light within us.  Many old habits block us from going deeper into spiritual substance within us and gaining the deep realization that we seek beyond the intellect.

Hatred: dislike, loathing, animosity, disgust, aversion- all are the opposite of love.

Shame: dishonor, humiliation, embarrassment, disgrace, dishonor, degrade, discredit.

Fear: dread, terror, anxiety, fright, worry, concern, afraid, alarm, panic, horror

Grief: heartache, pain, misery, unhappiness, sorrow, angst

Condemnation:  blame, disapproval, criticism, attack, judgment

Race Prejudice: People of influence who prejudge others set the stage for institutional racism to occur.

Pride of Pedigree: Proud of being in an elite and privileged group.

Smugness: arrogance, self-satisfaction, conceit, self righteousness, self importance, over confidence, condescension, pride, exclusiveness

Most of us will find some thing on this list that we still have some work to do upon.  If not, good for you.

If you would like to join me in exploring how the above thoughts or issues impact your relationships in your life, or in yourself, your family, in the work place, in your security, social actions and attitudes.  Who are you honest with?  This is a wonderful opportunity to get support on your spiritual journey.  I invite you to take advantage of it.

Perhaps you are willing to take a look at the above attitudes and behaviors and see what comes to you.  If you need to shift or change something within you to make the world a better place, now is a great time to do just that.  What I seek to share with you in this series of blogs is an opportunity to go more deeply into reflection over the next few blogs and in my book in development.

Share your thoughts, your struggles, victories and insights.  Lets see who is in this process with me that intends to grow and make a difference.  The world needs all hands on deck now.  “Be a part of the Change.”  We all grow a little faster with the help of our friends along the path.  I hope that you will share some of your process so we can all encourage one another and dissolve any doubts that blocks our peace and understanding with a little help of our spiritual friends.  You are not alone!  If that touched a vulnerable place in you…. put your hand on your heart and breath deeply.  Then write me a post and tell me how I can help, what is up, do you need to share something now?

I ask you to look at this as both a student and for those of us that are also teachers to make sure we are revealing the keys to our inner kingdom of divine consciousness in all of our thoughts, beliefs and actions.  This journey demands self-control and honesty and lots of prayer for assistance from God to help us discover the joy of living in tune with the Infinite.

Know that You are Loved!   Rev. Barb Walley

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Is your Ego your friend? Part 3

DSCN2500I grew up thinking that developing a strong ego was a good thing.  What my spiritual journey has revealed is that it is really about how I protect myself from what I fear.  All of the many ego identifications are often about what we like or what we dislike.  Whatever we identify with will always create fences that define our limitations and block others out.  We all have oodles and bundles of self definitions.  We just do not recognize them as that.

The ego takes sides and expresses the color, shape and size of the conditions or boundaries that we feel that we need or choose.  It might not be very obvious that we are doing our best to be safe from whoever or whatever is in control.  It is what sets us apart from the other souls on the planet who have more or less than we do.  They might live in other countries, cultures or economic realities.  We create fences with so many of our thoughts, beliefs and current comforts.

We construct brick fences, or thick concrete fences, or high barbed wire fences, or electric fences, and even glass or clear transparent ones.  What they all do is say “do not enter” or “stay away.”  They are all constructed to block others out.  They are all how we limit ourselves and convince ourselves in believing we are “safe”.  It is what we imagine or think will keep us safe.  It is our fear that is actually triggering us.

The fences can be economic, social, cultural, racial and they often translate into divisions.  They invoke feelings that mask the Soul.  In our souls we are one.  In the heart of God we are one.

When the hurricanes head into an area of the world – they come to everyone regardless of the economic or social circumstances.  It blows its ravaging winds upon everyone in its path. The rich might be able to escape more quickly if they have the means available to them, and sadly the poor and sick are not as easily served.

Only Spirit within us can set us free.  When we identify with God and choose that energy that lifts us toward our higher self, we have an opening to possibilities

The great Spiritual Master – Paramhansa Yogananda said that limitations are like putting on a heavy coat on a extremely hot summer day.

All of these fences are “agitations of the heart.”  This kind of thinking can only mislead ourselves.  It does not help and only disturbs the mind and body with the conditions and beliefs that we fool ourselves into believing.

Lets keep working on healthy thoughts, beliefs and actions.  It takes more work when we are caught in fear but the outcome is so much better in the long run.  Do not give up.  You are doing so much better than before you realized what was blocking your higher good.

Know that you are Loved,   Rev. Barb Walley

 

 

 

 

What is your Ego telling you? Part 2

life coach**, spiritual counseling, spiritual counseling, life coach nevada city, spiritual counselor nevada city, wellness coach , christian counseling, spiritual therapist, online counselingIs your ego talking to you?  Are you noticing that you or others around you are defensive? What are you feeling defensive about?   I have observed that the defenses often show up when the stresses of life ignite the our desire to feel safe in our lives.

Lately the world seems to be in the midst of so many conflicting energies that it is hard to keep up with it, even if you want to.  I can max out – what about you- what do you do with the over-stimulated energies of life?   It can be very confusing and  upsetting if we do not have some healthy spiritual tools to work through our thoughts and feelings with.

What are the fences you have erected?

I was listening to the Sunday service yesterday and the minister and speaker, Guandev from the Ananda community, was addressing the topic of Ego- Friend or Foe.  His talk was inspiring and later I found myself thinking about writing this blog.

Parmahansa Yogananda said that “when we are enslaved by the ego, it is the Soul that is identified with the body.”  We are caught up in our likes and dislikes and it is like a ferris wheel that keeps going around in endless circles.

Our souls are stuck in this kind of limited awareness, it is caught up in bundles of self-definitions.  That is an absolute guarantee and ticket to the ferris wheel of life that will always separate you from your loved one, anyone who is different than we are, and all others including our true spiritual selves.

There are so many fences that we erect with the ego.  I am observing how many different kinds of obstacles we have in the way of unity and cooperation.

One is the “chicken wire fence,”  it pokes at the heart and soul of the others in our lives.  It also pokes at and injures us the most.  It creates distance and the experience of rejection because it immediately hurts and feels so badly that no one wants to be around it.  Who wants to feel poked at and hurt by just being around that kind of energy and personality.  It is a dangerous fence and certainly is a tool for distancing and a kind of personalized defense.  It works.  You will be left alone, often angry and stuck in the defensive self.  Does that leave you pointing a finger at someone else?  The answer is to look within.

When I see any fence going up between me and another person I do my best to take mine down unless it is actually unsafe to do so.  That is ours to determine.  Personally I use prayer, affirmation, meditation, chanting, yoga, exercise, and many tools of sacred practice that I have been using for over 30 years of dedicated practice.

Know that you are Loved!   Rev. Barb Walley

Joy and Light are within you!

DSCN2674We have so many opportunities to “Practice the Presence” in our lives.  Gratefully the world is awakening to these practices more and more each day.  When I first heard the  term of “Practicing the Presence” it awakened something in me that held the power and consciousness that keeps giving and grows and support the deepening of my daily spiritual practice a little more each day.

When I decided to move to a spiritual community five years ago, I made that decision so that I could be in an environment that is in a continuous practice through out my day.  I invite you to join (Ananda Sanga Worldwide Community) in the practice of “Reawakening the consciousness of light and joy” by using the following technique: (whenever possible – try to do this in a quiet place- never in a moving vehicle)  Stop, close your eyes, and bring your energy to the spiritual eye, at the point between the eyebrows. You may find it helpful to place your fingertip there to help you focus. Now become aware of light and joy at that point. Do this for at least fifteen seconds. This is a technique that Jyotish and Devi, the Spiritual Leaders from the Ananda World Wide Community sent out in their weekly letters.  Join us in lifting up our consciousness five times a day, into the light and joy and make it another way that you can “Practice the Presence” through-out your day.

Know that you are Loved,  Rev. Barb

Responding or Reacting

DDSCN2674o you know where your last thought came from?  After many years of study I have come to believe that most of our thoughts and feelings are rooted in the subconscious mind.   Everything that is hidden within us comes from the past, from our history in this life or a past life.  All automatic thoughts, attitudes and related feelings are rooted in the subconscious mind.  The ancient yogic teachings reveal that we bring many of our life patterns into this life, to overcome, to release, and to help us gain the lessons that those patterns reveal to us.  They are all automatic behaviors, likes and dislikes, wants and don’t want.

If someone says something to you that pushes a button in you, you can guarantee it is coming from the subconscious.  The conscious mind is not as reactive as the subconscious, that is endlessly repetitive and reveals itself in the reactive thoughts, attitudes and beliefs we have.  When you feel triggered, do you ask… where did this come from? Why do I feel so bothered by this situation, whether a comment someone says, or a behavior they express, or any situation that comes up that you have a charge about.  It is all coming up from the unconscious mind.

What I see from the patterns in my life, is that I have a reactive part of me that I want to eliminate so that I can live more freely.  We are not really free if the least little thing can push us over the edge emotionally and trigger a whole lot of thoughts and feelings that disturb our well being in a nano-second.

Learning to respond instead of reacting is a huge leap into greater spiritual freedom.  Our greatest growth comes from being more attuned to what is real and what is true.   The Master Jesus reminds us that “the truth shall set you free.”   Within that journey we will find greater joy and well being.

Know that you are Loved,  Rev. Barb

What we Resist – Persists

heart math, what is heart math, spiritual counselor, spiritual counseling, spiritual growth, emotional freedomHaving an open heart around our hidden resistance, helps us to gently approach the inner blocks to our greater good.  Are you willing to get a handle on yourself and open up to your greatest potential?  The benefit shows up in my life when I am willing to look into the mirror of my thoughts, attitudes and feeling and see what I am resisting and open up my heart and surrender to the growth that is most needed.  I seek to create a coherent balance between my heart and my mind.

If we are ready and prepared for growth, we wouldn’t need the universe to “push us with pain,” because we would be willing to go where the resistance is.  We are being guided by our higher selves that will keep us on the treadmill until we open up the doors within us that we have glued shut.

My greatest gift comes when I am being receptive to Spirit every moment I can.  The divine shines the light of awareness and it is up to us to be open, flexible and willing.

In the silence of our own hearts, we can reach an inner peace as we face the places in ourselves that we still need to grow in.  Be willing.  It is so much easier to be open to the guidance that Spirit is always providing.  All of our challenges are a call to our Higher Selves.

Know that you are Loved,   Rev. Barb

Are you Hiding Out?

1381644_594206667283333_1578599035_nI love to watch the deer that are all around the community where I live in the hills of Northern California.  I so enjoy watching the circle of life each year as they have their precious babies in the trees, keeping them safe from the predators they fear.

In observing the deer I have noticed a human parallel in the impulses that cause a deer to run away.  When someone or something triggers a hot button within us, for whatever reason, the trigger caused by the perceived threat ignites and the heart starts pumping faster and faster.  What causes you to react in your heart?  I have observed people freezing up, or watched them being unkind to others or have witnessed rude comments expressed to someone who innocently walks into their space.  That is exactly what happens when a deer hears a sudden sound and reacts with fear.

Even though we rarely face life-threatening dangers, many people defend themselves psychologically rather than physiologically.  We can struggles with our inner fears, insecurities, damaging, critical, and hurtful behavior patterns.  The struggle resides within us and they need our realization because if it triggers us, it is inside of us begging to be healed.

Many people tend to defend the space around us.  Some people defend their self-concept, others guard hidden emotional territories and possessions and when triggered and unexamined can cause great confusion and hurt in others. All of this drama is our version of running into the woods and hiding, like a deer, behind a tree.

Recently I witnessed a mature spiritual teacher move toward a random person rather than say hello to someone she was clearly uncomfortable with.  The look on her face was quite revealing even though I had no idea what actually motivated her.

People know exactly how to close down their hearts and put up psychological barriers.  If you discover that you are doing some of that and you are working very hard to avoid discomfort or pain, it is causing you to close your heart down and it is shutting innocent people out.

Guarding our hearts and energy centers only serves to make the world a colder and indifferent place.  Life will stir our energies when we are hiding from old fears and wounds lodged in your energy centers that are called samskars in Yoga.  This is what causes all of our physical, emotional and energetic trouble in our bodies.  It will show up in every area of our lives.  I believe that it eventually  greatly impacts and effects the whole planet.  We are all One.

Who you are does matter and what you do sends out ripples of love and inclusiveness or pain and separation.  What will you choose to bring forth today?

Know that you are loved.  I love you…  Rev. Barb