When we bathe ourselves in merciful compassion and forgiveness,we slowly wash away the grime of guilt, shame,fears, past transgressions,regrets,and faults.We can feel the release of heaviness and burdens that we wastefully carry along our lives.Like the butterfly,a new way of living can emerge filled with so much Goodness and Lightness that we can display and offer.When we live in the Universal law of Loving Conciosness,and abide in Truth,we live in the freedom of letting go(not wanting to control) and the fearlessness of surrendering to accept all circumstances.
Upon immediate arrival back in Vancouver from Saudi Arabia in November 1998,I went to live temporarily at my mother’s small apartment while she was away.One night in utter despair,fearful and lamenting of my brokenness and helplessness,I turned on the TV,a Christian evangelical program came on offering prayers to anyone who needed it to call the number on the screen.Without hesitation, I called in to ask for prayers.In less than a week,a package arrived(November 16th 1998) from Evangelist Peter Popoff with detailed instructions of what to do with the contents of the package.
There was a small sachet filled with so called ‘holy water’from the Jordan river in Israel.I was asked to pour the water on my head before going to bed that very same night of receivng the package.I was told to put a Bible if I had one under my pillow and to sleep on it and that I will have a dream following all instructions as directed.I was happy to find a Bible on my mother’s bedside table(it was good to know that she kept one always beside her).So I did as all as I was told to do with a child-like simplicity, trust and fervour without any expectations,but probably out of desperation and urgency of my sorry state.
I did have a dream that same night of hearing a voice repeatedly telling me,”have faith as small as a mustard seed.”I got up with a sense of joyful relief!
Then I questioned myself,how can I have faith when everything around and within me have fallen apart.I have lost everything,jobless,financially empty and in big debts,physically gripped in ill-health, mentally/emotionally broken, depressed.I saw myself like a jig-saw puzzle with all the pieces strewn all over the place…where do I begin to pick each piece and be whole again?
FAITH was the key word,to be motivated and deeply convinced,to trust by fearlessness and the drive to do something noble and true,so I knew a place where I would go to find refuge….an empty quiet church!
November the 17th,a significant day…..I arrived at St.Paul’s church,Richmond,BC.standing outside at the main door feeling like an ‘escaped criminal’,I humbly surrendered myself willing to accept anything that I would have to face.I subjected myself to the great unknown as I wanted so badly to quench and feed my parched soul in need of Spiritual food/drink.I came out of church that day to face a different direction,A New Spiritual Beginning…the process of letting go,of dying to my old self and ego,the burning down of a dilapidated house,like the snake shedding its dead skin.For the first time, I was starting to embrace myself and feel the tenderness for all my regrets, mistakes,wasteful/unnecessary sufferings and flaws that I was now witnessing within myself Truthfully!
There was a time in ancient India when a man was told to go to King Janaka for help with letting go of his ego(the limited and self-centred entity).King Janaka was known for his wisdom and courage,he was suppose to be an enlightened being.
When the man entered the garden,he found King Janaka whose both arms folded around each other as though holding on tightly to a branch of a tree.So the man approached the king and said,you are Janaka, a wise king,I want your help to discard the ego.
The king answered,I will answer your question when the branch lets me go!
The man replied,but the branch is not holding you,you are holding on to the branch!
Janaka responded,you are in the same situation,it is you who are holding on to your ego,you have made ego your friend and are afraid of letting it go.Now all you have to do is let go of it and you will be Free!
It is the same in our lives, we are holding on to people,things and situations that have no use in serving a higher fulfilling purpose,that does not empower or encourage us on the sacred journey of life.The truth if we dare see it,we are being drained of energy,induced with depression(joylessness) and lethargy because of wasteful desires,clinging on and attaching ourselves to so called dead branches!We can reflect on this and try to find a deeper meaning of our lives.
When the mind is silenced,the heart(spirit) fully awakes and the body is animated to act in Truth and Loving-kindness.The limitations, divisiveness,confusions and self-centred attributes of ego is slowly dissolved through the unconditioned actions of Love and thus God(Pure Consciousness) is finally discovered and attained!
This attainment of God is not exclusive to anyone in any particular religious tradition or who only believes/speaks of god but is innate in the core of everyone,of every human being! And everyone is entitled to enjoy that Divine state of being.It is up to each one of their choice and free-will to focus and pay attention to what calls to the heart at each moment…….the world or to God(Love,Consciousness,Truth,Spiritual awakening,etc.)?There is no right or wrong,good or bad in any path we make/take for we are all learning and evolving to eventually merge to that Universal Consciousness(Oneness).
To walk the path of the world,there is no need for a teacher to show the myriad of activities that titillate the senses and sense pleasures….we are already on that path!We can reflect on this and see what this path has done or where is it leading us to?To reflect the meaning of Life?
But to walk the path to God, we do need a teacher/s to show the way of Truth,to learn disciplines and practices to tame the tormented mind and afflicted states,to centre the heart and exercise the body for sacred/humane purposes.These are ways that not many will choose as a way of living……meditation,self-inquiry and asking for answers(from reliable sources),being mindful(awareness),breathing techniques,chanting,sitting in quiet times of self introspection(reflection),charitable deeds and compassionate actions(to oneself and others),perhaps joining a spiritual community,listening to spiritual talks and words of wisdom, respecting and encouraging support for those who are doing works that help raise consciousness and humanitarian actions,reading books that speak of wisdom/truth,appreciating and gratitude for all goodness,etc.
“That I feed the hungry, forgive an insult, and love my enemy…. these are great virtues. But what if I should discover that the poorest of the beggars and the most impudent of offenders are all within me, and that I stand in need of the alms of my own kindness; that I myself am the enemy who must be loved? What then?”~~~~~~~~ Carl Jung
“one who looks outwards….dreams,one who looks inwards……awakens!”~~~~ Carl Jung
The person most in need of kindness and compassion is oneself.If we ourselves do not awaken from superficial identification with worldly fantasies, egocentric delusions, childishness,immaturity and spiritual lack,how are we to be joyful of our innate beauteous qualities and show genuine kindness to others?
There might be a time when we felt empathy and sadness to see a loved one,friend,others suffering/struggling or battling an illness,in financial difficulty,etc.Perhaps we would be touched to lend a hand,say a kind word, offer prayers,visit with food along or simply feel a quiet compassion within and do nothing.Similarly,we could offer the same sentiments to ourselves by being quiet and holding the self in kindness and tenderness for acknowledging the pain and discomforts that we might/are going through.This practice of holding ourselves in compassion and kindness opens up the path to loving and honouring ourselves and then outwards to others.
There are so many challenges being promoted over the media for various reasons and tasks.Could we try to undertake a spiritual challenge,a simple task…..making an effort to sit with/by yourself in quietude for 3-5 minutes a day,to truly practice honest self -reflection.Perhaps to make an effort to learn going deeper into meditation.Will it be hard to try to reach within the Self and get to know thyself?Honest questioning of oneself leads to the answers that one seeks.
Author of the book ‘To Resurrect the True Self’
In that moment of grace,it feels like the door of ‘heaven’ opens up to allow us a glimpse of our sacredness and goodness within.It is a time when we are actually touching the inner chamber of the heart(soul,spirit,God,etc…)This is what is meant by the grace-filled moment.It is when we do not run away from either the profundity of intense pain or wondrous bliss but instead look directly into its compelling mysterious force which could make us act spontaneously with tenderness,softness,gentleness and humble courage.We surrender to the power of letting go(relinquishing sense of control),allowing what is to be will be! Grace usually acts with and in kindness to do something benevolent and beneficial for spiritual evolution and human betterment for self and others.This is truly the most beautiful experience on the stage in the journey to find our True Self!
In humility we might fall to our knees simply by hearing a word such as ‘love’,peace’,’kindness’,’God’and be overwhelmed with gratitude.In these moments,the barriers that we have been so conditioned to barricade the heart with might start its shattering process to allow the heart to break completely open in order to be purified!
We are all being called quietly within,not one human being will be exempted or deprived of this moment of Grace if we allow ourselves to listen attentively away from the noise.
In my experience of Grace, was when I was crying on the plane non-stop during the very long flight from Jeddah,Saudi Arabia back home to Vancouver,Canada (Novemeber 1998).I was shamefully feeling like a failure,worthless and broken,lost in life.Yet despite that dark period, I felt a sense of sacred surrendering overwhelming me,asking of me to let go to the goodness, the humility,the whatever I had to face.It felt like I could see a tiny spark of Light at the end of the tunnel.I could feel my heart breaking,tearing apart immensely which I believed was the shattering process of the walls of my heart beginning to crumble down warranting a complete fearless opening to face myself.
It is the power of Grace that gives us the clarity to see the truth that for a long time we had been blinded by and how lost we are in the illusory world.
Author of the book To Resurrect the True Self
How do we find ourselves reacting when we are feeling down,lonely,miserable,anxious,worried,troubled,despairing,etc.It might be that our first reaction would be to be kept occupied/distracted,pick on, project our disturbed state at others,do something unreasonable/negligent and in various other negative ways.
There is another way,the healing way,which is to stay and be aware/present with the ongoing pain and disturbances.We can acknowledge it and not fight with it,let it become a friend rather than an enemy,embrace it in tenderness and understanding that sorrow has come to ignite the flame of love,compassion,forgiveness,humility and kindness within to act wisely and not escalate the fire of disaster… hatred,anger, bitterness,resentments and selfishness.
As we welcome the pain instead of running away(not wanting to face consequences), the pain and the problem will find its way out eventually as we keep learning to deal and brace ourselves with courage and compassionate wisdom.In the meantime, we do whatever we can to find some comfort and resolution that aid the healing process,it could be to trust,to have faith or to allow yourself to be humbled.
In my spiritual walk, I faced many many adversities and persecutions,being poked fun at, taunted,called names and chided at.It felt like I was walking through a tunnel of fire scorching me from all sides,yet always getting through unscathed by remaining centred on the strength of reminding myself of the Love Within that no one or anything can destroy.Then walking out of the tunnel renewed with a fresh beginning,knowing that being grounded in Love carried me through the difficulties!
In the face of any kind suffering,we can get through with the humility of taking responsibilities,patience and resilience of not blaming(oneself or others), or be carried away in anger, self-hatred resentments,unkindness,become unforgiving,acts of malice and growing cold/hardened.When we stay grounded and be strongly aware of the courage and humble strength and goodness that we are rooted in we become sustained by it and connected to loving actions!
Author of the Book’To Resurrect the True Self’
In 1998,I was going through a terribly depressing time while working at the emergency department at the National Guard Hospital in Jeddah,Saudi Arabia.The weather was scorching hot,even the air-conditioning in the apartment was blowing warm air.It was becoming increasingly unbearable and my restlessness was escalating.It came to a point where I went through a crisis that could have caused me to lose my sanity! I could not sleep for one whole week,not a wink!Each time I tried to lay down in bed, I was so tormented that I had to get up…this went on day and night for seven straight days.I still had to function the 12-hour shift at the emergency department despite the sleep deprivation.
I tried every remedy,sleeping pills,teas,etc.still no sleep came.Maggie, my flatmate was concerned,she suggested,I go see the emergency doctor for an injection to help sleep.So I went after 7 nights and days without sleep,almost at the tip of a breakdown.Before I could see the doctor, the emergency room Head nurse saw me and asked what I was doing at the department.She called me in to her office and told me that the management were happy with me and that there was a possibility of making me clinical nurse instructor of ER.That even frightened me further.I told her that I was not happy and wanted to hand in my resignation,giving one month’s notice.She seemed offended and asked that I leave with immediate effect,so I did!
After going around the hospital getting signatures from various departments in order to get my passport and salary released to buy a ticket back home to Vancouver.After completing all the necessary arrangements for resignation,I went back to the apartment….dead tired,in extreme exhaustion,mentally,emotionally,physically and psychologically depleted of any more energy to function,I fell down immediately to sleep but with a sense of relief of the decision made to leave Saudi with immediate effect.Not long after falling into a deep sleep,I was awakened by a voice clearly calling out my name “Celeste” three times.It sounded so close like as though someone was calling directly into my ear! I woke up immediately to see who it was waking me up! I actually got up and walked round the huge apartment from corner to corner searching for that voice!From that moment,I knew I had to come home to face the unknown and that my life will change radically! A short few days later,I was on the plane,crying all the way on that long flight back home.Underneath all that feeling of distraught was a sense of seeming joy awaiting my arrival Home.
A New Beginning was being prepared as I had to wake up for the fearless journey of Inner Revolution into myself….to listen,to pay loving attention and witness the True Light beckoning from Within!There was no more fighting against Life….I had began learning from what Life wanted to teach and open out for me!
author of the book To Resurrect the True Self