Melting the Heart with Humility

I began my humble service to the hungry,homeless,poor and the less fortunate in a soup kitchen after seeing a poster in St.Paul’s church Richmond asking for volunteers.This poster came to my attention after heartfelt praying in St.Paul’s on New Years eve 1998.In that prayer time,I asked earnestly to be of use,to do something beautiful for God as like in a book by Malcolm Mudggeridge titled ‘Something beautiful for God,a life of Mother Teresa of Calcutta which I had read before.

My prayers were answered immediately….’The Door is Open’needing volunteers to serve the poor and needy,I saw this poster ,posted on the main door of the church as I walked out.I went home to respond to that call and was invited to come in the door.That day was January 2nd 1999.Thereafter, many,many more spiritual doors started to open as I faithfully journeyed deeper and deeper into myself.

I remembered that particular day,driving from my home in Richmond to the Door is Open Catholic charities centre in Vancouver which took about 35-40minutes.While driving,I felt such a deep noble humility swelling up within my being,not in a egoic way but like an extraordinary sacred simple act of transformation was about to happen.My life slowly changed spiritually and radically through this courageous humble action.I walked through that door(in the picture below) and my life was never the same again(the old self was beginning to die,the snake has started to shed its unhealthy old skin).

I was there early as told to help prepare the sandwiches for the lunch crowd.The soup was prepared by some generous,kind women who I had come to know.As soon as the meal preparation was ready, someone opened the door to the hungry crowd.I remember feeling like a servant ready to be of service not to the master but to the poor.I have never done something so humbling like this before. As they lined up one by one, I was behind the counter serving each one a bowl of hot soup and sandwhiches with a simple minded innocence and purity of heart(tears run down my cheeks as I write this to see myself relive this moment)!

At that moment of serving, I lost my sense of ego,that self-centred,delusion of grandeur feeling and the neediness that I carried wastefully for so long in my being.I was allowing humility to take over and allow me the strength to surrender and let go of wrongdoings, mistakes,and regrets of the past.I was carefully transitioning from one of the world into the spirit(inwards into the self).Something more mystically powerful was taking place.As I served, I looked at each one from my heart through my eyes into their downcast,sad and lonely eyes.It felt like the penetrating rays of the divine,piercing through my eyes into my heart and melting away the hard-packed ice that I have built blocking the pathway of my heart.I saw myself,softening in compassion and forgiveness to see so much suffering and sadness,of mine and others.

At that point, I realized that we are all one is our suffering and that we can do something by understanding, respecting and most importantly to heal and care for ourselves first in order to reach out to others to share forgiveness, peace and love.When we do something beautiful and kind,we feel beautiful and respectful of ourselves,we reclaim our worthiness and self-esteem.

http://www.celestehoedenauthor.com

New Year’s Eve Reflection

As the last day of the year dawns,some of us might ponder or reflect upon the whole year to find goodness to share or witnesss unhealthy memories we might want to suppress and afraid to face again.Whatever have been of the past ,is of the past,we simply went through and experienced at that moment in time.Whats more important is the present moment,we can start opening up ourselves to learn, make changes and start afresh…..we all have the capacity/courage to forgive,make amends, heal and find peace,anything is possible!

When we truly go within ourselves,we discover there is only Love residing in each being,so therefore there is no need of fear!Whatever we will go through,there is no good or bad,we will go through with the courage to allow(accept) it to be as it would be.Come the New Year or leaving behind the old year,we will face challenges,difficulties,disasters of nature/accidents,entangled mental/emotions within the self as well as with others,physical ailments,etc…..and of course there will be happy,joyous times we want to cling on to.What do we truly want to do about the realities of life and living.We might say…..”ah! just live on,what can we do,we might also say we leave it in the hands of a God.”

In truth, we hold within ourselves,the creation, destruction and restoration of all that is good or unwholesome.If we want peace,we become creators of peace,if we want to hold on to hatred and animosity,we create it deliberately or unconsciously and make our lives miserable by it.We have the power of practicing Awareness to keep ourselves in check of all that we create,destroy or restore! There is totally no reason to deprive ourselves of enjoyments but with equanimity and balance and mindfulness,we don’t allow to be caught in its destructive habits.I myself love to have simple wholesome fun times!

I like this phrase so much…….”He who discovers his/her own self,discovers God.”

Wishing each one of you,the blessedness of welcoming the New Year 2022 with whatever each day and each moment of the year bring to you with acceptance and grace!

Happy blessed New Year!

Freedom from suffering by Paying Attention

Freedom from suffering by Paying Attention Are we willing to listen,to be attentive?Do we try to listen with the understanding of the loving and wise heart or through the confused,disturbed mind?Do we listen only to those whom we like or told to like and believe in?When we truly listen to the words being said and not by whom is saying it,we may get the true message and meaning that might resonate,comfort and bring forth the innate wisdom within us.Are we ashamed of expressing our true feelings?Do we find ourselves in superficial/worldly chatter constantly which leave us feeling drained and wasteful.Perhaps we could also be shut in within ourselves,unwilling and afraid of sharing inner pains due to vulnerability of being ridiculed,chided,taunted and poked fun at,to be made to feel abnormal and insignificant?

Listening and expressing are vital parts and parcel of our every day living.Do we make that listening and expressing beneficial for our well-being and spiritual growth?We can ask ourselves often in quiet reflections and when probing into our conscience.Very often we may not have someone to truly sit with us to listen and allow us to express ourselves.Most often too we ourselves cannot do the same for others.I believe talking(dialogue) and expressing are important for us as humans to want to be heard and be allowed to release the inner energies that aid in the healing process.When we are given a chance to talk and express feelings openly and sincerely to someone who is willing to listen,we can start hearing and tune-in into ourselves,we can start deep listening to what we are trying to bring out/clear out of our inner being(cathartic) as a way of honouring and starting to be honest with oneself.

Sitting/being with a friend or someone close and trying to honestly talk and listen attentively/deeply can be draining so most times we are unable to share and open up.Fear locks us in the painful realm of our being.The danger of being unable and unwilling to talk and express,we keep ourselves battling inwardly/outwardly in superficiality(from egoic intentions) and pretense(trying to look good perhaps bad).The ongoing bottled aggression/resentments inside ourselves block the freedom to live consciously,in truthful wisdom and with open loving-kindness.Thus we allow anger,hatred,hurts,selfish pursuits and unhealthy habits to prevail.So what do we do?We seek a neutral party/person to listen to us and for us to express.Nowadays its not hard to do that,there are so many paths of accessing help to find some form of relief( a little is better than nothing at all) to release our inner anxieties,worries,heartaches, griefs,fears,problems,depressions and traumatic experiences,etc.We do not have to live with darkness within our being alone!There are the crisis hotline/helpline, any organization eg.alcoholic anoynmous/sexual addiction,church group,a Spiritual teacher,religious person(priest/nun/rabbi/monk),a kindly trustworthy person,a therapist,listening via audio/visual teachings,to self-help talks,etc.When we are creative and sincere with ourselves, the door opens to every form of possibilities!Oftentimes, we think we are ok,we deny that we need any kind of help and keep playing cool, as long as we can get away from facing the truth of our inner conflicts.Yes, I myself utilized many crisis organizations like alcoholics anonymous,seek spiritual counselling with a priest and nun and phone centres,etc.

When I hit rock-bottom in 1998,bankrupt to the bone(debts owing),lost,broken into pieces,spiritually parched,depressed beyond words and with failing health condition……I had only one way to go……..Into and Within Myself! I knew I had no one to talk to,no one who would listen to me with kindness and understanding as everyone was waiting to lash out at me for my own stupidity,stubbornness,wrongdoings and mistakes.Can anyone even imagine my terrors as I came back from nursing in Saudi Arabia in total disaster,I felt like there was nothing left of me!Now I can see that I was slowly dying to the ‘old-self’.I see the truth that intense suffering actually brought me back to Life!

Then I remembered an aquaintance,she was working as a receptionist at my dentist’s office and sometimes we chatted while I waited for the dentist.She told me at one time that she was seeing a good therapist for her relationship problems.I called her up and invited her for sushi dinner.At dinner, I asked for the name and number of the therapist that she was seeing.The first day I met Ardelle(therapist),I must say I was ‘cocky’ and desperate and terribly impatient to be freed from all my sufferings all at once! I told her that I dont want to waste time and needed her to help get rid of my problems.She was the most wonderful therapist that I had worked with. In a calmly manner,she said to me….”you have a choice to choose healing and be free from your sufferings or you can leave and continue to suffer,only you can help yourself”.I felt a hard slap on my face and chose to leave her office in a foolish rage that day.After much thought,I came back to see her and we continued faithfully working so well together 3x a week for one and a half years.I saw every aspect of myself that I had failed to see and acknowledgeI had a good look at every corner of my inner being by expressing and listening to myself open up honestly to Ardelle.

The good and the bad and every dark secret became no more a secret.Ardelle had assisted in helping me pull out the weeds that were destroying the beautiful garden of my heart.In place she helped me plant beautiful flowers simply by listening and supporting and encouraging.In my sessions with her, I had to be thoroughly honest and truthful.With her I was able to express myself fully without being threatened or fearful.She allowed me to be!

Can we find the time to pay attention to ourselves…to listen and to express our inner difficulties as well as triumphs(humbly) in order to be Free from the slavery of unnecessary suffering!

http://www.celestehoedenauthor.com

Do we Care for Ourselves?

In true wisdom of caring for oneself,is when we begin to ‘wake up’to question our human existence and purpose,when we can put forth this question…”who am I truly?” .

It is when we start to become conscious of our participation in all actions of living and ask truly….”what am I learning/gaining from doing what I am doing?”Caring for oneself becomes authentic when we start taking an interest in self-inquiry,moving slowly away from people,things and situations that no longer fulfill inner satisfaction,human growth and spiritual maturity.

To care is when we begin the need for quiet restful time and space,when we seek out knowledge from teachers of truth and search for answers that have been buried too deep within the self.To truly care for ourselves is when we make an effort to be truthful in saying that we don’t know what we are looking for but yet giving ourselves a chance to do something extra-ordinary, different,courageous,motivational and radical(sweetly shocking to others) apart from everyday mundane,customary,unfavourable, irrelevent(addictive)actions.

It is a time when we give ourselves top-priority to witness selflessness in the true act of wisdom.It is a moment when we realize we want to be a ‘better’ human in order to acknowledge our sufferings and not want to be a burden to oneself and others(not especially so to those we say we care for).

We may feel strongly about not loving ourselves or being hardened,bitter,angry,jealous,greedy,selfish,too addicted to various activities and feel that we don’t deserve to care for ourselves and so we justify our recklessness and negligences.We tell ourselves that we cannot change,we rather continue living the life we are so used to(unhappily,disharmoniously?)…but in truth NOW IS THE TIME to Care!And as humans with innate beauteous treasures Within,we CAN be awake and we can start NOW!

This caring could be going on a short retreat(organized or solo,if permitted due to covid restrictions),Joining a group counselling session(via zoom or alone with a therapist),AA/addictions associations,to be open to a spiritual group.

To be inspired to volunteer to give your time and heart in a animal shelter, a soup kitchen,food bank,any ministry in need of help that speaks to your heart’s call.

To go to the library/bookshops and be open to read self-help/spiritual books,listen to audio/visuals on teachings that speak of working with the human awakening processes/truth/wisdom.

Importantly to strive to become more honest with oneself in cultivating and practiciing kindly and humane conditions for oneself and those around us.

If we do not Care for ourselves,who can,who will?If the others are seeing that we do not care for ourselves,what impressions/teachings are we implying to them?For if we do not care for ourselves,can we say we care for others,can we say we want peace and happiness,can we be the spark to light the torch of Peace and Compassion for humanity?

http://www.celestehoedenauthor.com

Flow with the Current of Life(not against it)

When the mind is tired and busy with worries and anxieties and too much unnecessary unpleasant ‘story-telling’…….sit quietly in your own reverent presence,pay attention to the heart and bring it out into the open and it will speak of comfort and tenderness and loving, gentle resonance….listen to it,trust it and become it.In order to end unnecessary suffering,the mind must be disciplined on how to be silent/still and the heart to be unafraid to be left unprotected and opened so to allow all things to be.

When we fight,encourage resentments,argue and be defensive with Life, it is like foolishly wanting to swim against the strongest of current.But when we allow ourselves to flow with the current(letting go of all attachments and clinging),we glide swiftly to become One with the great ocean, with the Universal Consciousness.

http://www.celestehoedenauthor.com

Offering of Kindness to oneself first

“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.

http://www.celestehoedenauthor.com

Grounded in Love

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!

http://www.celestehoedenauthor.com

Author of the Book’To Resurrect the True Self’

We are the Light!

We have this tendency to look outwardly…..at others, at situations,at problems,at chaos,etc.Not only do we look outside of ourselves,we make comments,judgments,poke fun,chide,taunt,criticize,etc.All along we have Light within that we forget to turn inwards to switch it On.We have goodness within to share and bring healing.We have joy to bring comfort to others.We have compassion to understand and respect one another.We have Divine wisdom to speak of Truth and kindness.We have Love in Universal solidarity…….why then are we afraid to unblock the hindrances within the self and let the Light shine forth….why are we wasting time looking away from our True Self when we are the Light that can illuminate the darkness!Dba0QpSW4AMBn-3

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Donating proceeds of my book

A warm Hello to all,
I am delighted to share with sincere joy of my intention to donate all proceeds of my book titled ‘To Resurrect the True Self’ to a non-profit organization dear to my heart(for a while now) called The Tibetan Nuns Project www.tnp.org
By buying the book,you will be of help both ways,the young girls,elderly women and people of Tibet/India have a place to stay,food to eat and be spiritually/academically educated,as well as you have a book to hopefully keep you nurtured and nourished in intellectual/spiritual knowledge!
I heartfully thank you all for any support you can provide when you buy any format of my book.I undertake this endeavour not for any egoic purpose but for the intention of being a help to support humanity in any way ,the way that I was supported by the Universal Consciousness during my spiritual journey into healing and Self-Realization.

A Heart’s Prayer

To all of us with no separation of culture, religion,
race, or gender; and to all of us who are rich or poor,
happy or sad, educated or uneducated, sick or healthy,
I am one with all and all are one with me.
Within we are the same.

We have a heart with the full capacity to
love, to be of support, and to pray for each other.I pray that we take time to be quiet and listen
to ourselves and our needs spiritually, emotionally,
physically, and mentally.

I pray we be not afraid to ask for what we need for
the good of our spirit and that our hearts may be enriched
with strength, not to be harmed and not to harm.

I pray that we may not feel too vulnerable or weak
to say “I am sorry” or ask forgiveness or forgive with
compassionate understanding.

I pray we strive to find peace and healing in the face
of suffering and pain.

I pray we see the beauty within us and use that
beauty to beautify this world with activities and
creativities of love and peace.

I pray we not look at humility as weakness or
as being losers but instead as having the power and
strength to take the first step to initiate spiritual change.
~~~~~~excerpt from the book To Resurrect the True self, page 135

Over the last few weeks and months,what have we truly witnessed in our lives?Did we see pain and suffering,aggression,hatred and anger,frustrations,anxieties, worries,sickness and perhaps deaths of others,friends,relatives,strangers,maybe people we don’ like?What importance have we been giving so much adulation,attention,focus upon? The world was and is still drawing our energies and human goodness focusing greatly on the political scene and pandemic.Do we not feel tired and drained of suffering itself? What do we truly want or how can we truly find peace in exchange for all the confusion and chaos we are being disturbed with?Can we not for once retreat/relate into and draw within ourselves, into our own beautiful inner being,walk into our spiritual realm and bring out one innate wondrous attribute to share with others or witness in ourselves?Why are we afraid to raise,wake up and live out that inherent beauteous God,Christ, Krishna, Atman, Buddha,Brahman,Universal Consciousness from within ourselves to promote healing, peace and compassion.Why is it that we are not afraid to speak and behave unkindly, crudely, critically,fearfully,judgmentally and ignorantly?

https;//www.celestehoedenauthor.com