Tag Archive | spiritual growth

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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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

Healing the Shadow

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What are the polarizing energies that engage our thoughts, attitudes and well being that appears to pull us up to an uplifting mood or drags us in the opposite direction with attitudes that can cause us to come sliding down in an instant.  The waves of energies we are experiencing on the planet right now can stir our most human emotions and disturb the best of even mindedness.    Some may call this a Shadow Effect of the collective unconscious.  Others may call it the “sub” of the subconscious.  We all have it to various degrees and the universe is uprooting the delusion and denial of the unhealed parts of ourselves individually and collectively.

The Subconscious holds great wisdom and intelligence within us and has the power to bring up the best that is within us when it is positive, uplifting and harmonious.  Hidden within the unconscious realm of the subconscious one will also find incongruous feelings, thoughts and attitudes that we have inherited, planted in previous life times, or in moments of individual and collective confusion, sadness and fear that have programmed mixed messages within us.   The current popular name for these shadows of fear, separation and delusion of separateness from one another, our Source and our planet have changed over the centuries, but essentially they are rising to the surface to be healed now more than ever.

We are One.  What shows up on one level is operating for all of us on one point or another.  Healing the hidden frequencies of fear and separation is the clarion call of our times.  No one is exempt from the inner surrendering calling us to an urgent appeal to do something to stretch beyond the patterns that imprison our highest selves.

So if we are to heed the call of a “world that works for everyone” we must pull out the hidden awareness that is screaming for us to pay attention and heal.  We need to listen to our higher selves.  We need to do something different than we have ever done.  We must call forth the Divine that is within us to help us to rise above the enslaving past to a new day of great peace and joy.

It is possible.  It is awaiting our willingness to call forth the seeds of greater peace and well being that is within us.  Isn’t it time that we loosen the grip that is imprisoning us all.  With the help of Spirit we will rise above the past and soar to a new level of harmony. I will be going more deeply into this subject in future posts.

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

Free To Grow

DSCN2500Hello Beloved Friends:

Let’s take a look at how free we are to grow and change perceptions.

A man was standing on the side of a “swiftly moving” river.  He sees someone on the other side.  He shouts across the river to the man.  “How Do you get to the other side?

The man shouts… You are already on the other side

Dr. Michael Beckwith says we are either pushed by pain or pulled by vision. I would rather be pulled by vision and yet I have clearly experienced many times when I am resistant and the universe brings forth another approach.

Sometimes life breaks our hearts open and life delivers a deeper healing. Heart Break pushes us with pain and the end result is that we heal on much deeper levels.

The mind simply cannot figure things like this out.  The healing that is emerging from the tragedy in Charleston is still being revealed. I was deeply touched by some of the compassionate actions that I witnessed.

Many stories of forgiveness and compassion are surfacing.  I saw a YouTube clip of a man paying the grocery bills of many black strangers in his community simply because he wanted to express love, kindness and something meaningful to people in his community.   We can all do something to make a difference. 

Affirm with Me:

Right now, in the very instant I tune into a higher awareness.  I consciously and deliberately tune into the Infinite Indwelling Spirit.  My attunement allows me to utilize the tools of conscious awareness to enable me to be an observer.   I watch my thoughts and reactions and I let them float on by.  I allow whatever they are to move on by without any evaluation, judgment, or concern.  Whether they are good or not so, if they are empowering or not so.  I simply let them go without the need to place any value on them at all.  If they are negative I lift my thoughts to the spiritual eye and gently correct them without any judgment or reprimanding attitudes.

I accept who I really am and let any and all temporary thoughts drift into the native nothingness from which it came. I give greatly appreciate that I am free to choose over and over again.  I choose love and release fear.   I am deliberately lifting my awareness to Spirit within me where I know that all is loving, empowering and accepting of the I Am within me.  I tune into the Masters and call forth the strength of our Oneness.  I step on the invisible transforming bridge of divine love and I am lifted out of limitation and effects and I return to the Source of Ever Expanding Life.

I am deeply grateful for Loves Presence in my life and give thanks that I am Free to Grow into ever greater awareness of God within me.  Thank you for shining the light upon the shadows and bringing forth the light.  And So It Is.

Know that You Are Loved!    Rev. Barb

Observing our Thoughts

DSCN2024How are you feeling today?  Right this minute, I am beginning my day choosing to have a good day, one where I am aware of the energy that I am using to create this day.  I know that what I will have is seeded by what I accept.

As I look within myself and see the flow of my thoughts and the direction of my actions, I can see what has influenced the nuances of my life.  Are you willing to take a look at your creations as well?  Join me in exploring the creative tendency of your thoughts.  Please make sure that you explore your thoughts without blame or shame.

If I am not feeling attuned to Spirit and on top of my game, I am compelled to look for the thoughts, beliefs and attitudes that have led to the feelings I am having.  I know the power of my emotions to feed the unconscious and if I want to create a happier day with better results in my life, I have to pull the weeds of resistance to allowing myself to have the good that everyone deserves.

Why would we resist having what we want?  It is not a conscious out-picturing or a direct result of deciding not to experience our good.  It is a deeply seeded habit of belief that has not been dissolved from our unconscious.  Sometimes we create so much of our lives from a strong belief that there is not enough,  that we cannot have it better or from what is missing instead of focusing on what we do have and what we are, and what we can do with that.

Being grateful for all that is in our lives, we open the door of possibilities instead of the opposite.  All thoughts are creative and we do choose our thoughts.  If you are feeling like a fog is surrounding you, then it is time to bring in the light of the sun.  Call forth the wisdom of the divine within you and you will soon see what needs to be pulled from your mental household.  You can do this.  Choose better thoughts!

Where our thoughts go, our energy flows!  That is one of those revealing statements that really shines the light of reality for me.  Perhaps it will support you in creating a day that blesses you and the others in your life.  That is conscious co-creation with the Source of Life.  I turn to the Presence and ask for direction in leading my life where I can make a difference in the lives of others as well as in my own.  I know I cannot do this alone, even though I am responsible to point my thoughts in a positive and up-lifting direction.  If I need help doing that, I call upon Spirit to lift my vision out of the effects to the causal level where all change and direction takes place.

You are a child of God, deserving of your good.  Create a day of love, joy and service.  Plant seeds that hold meaning for you that will bless you and those in your life.

“We do not change all of the patterns of our thought in a moment. Rather, it takes place little by little, until gradually the old thought patterns become transformed into new ones by some inner alchemy of the mind, the operation of which we do not see but the manifestation of which we do experience.” ~ Ernest Holmes

Know that you are Loved!   Namaste,  Rev. Barb