Excerpt taken from the May 23rd, 2021 Sunday Satsang talking about the need for radical honesty along the spiritual path of awakening, and the need to have your loyalty be to your direct experience not your conditioned ideas.
Excerpt talking about finding those ‘shoulds’ that cause so much suffering and learning to trust life, trust your Self rather than acting from old conditioning. Taken from a Satsang during the December 2020 Diving Deep 7 day retreat.
“Let us not be led by fear and hate, but by love and trust. For as long as we have our loyalty be to love we will have the strength to walk through even the darkest of nights.”
“Trust and surrender require you to be everything and nothing all at once.”
“Life calls for a deeper and deeper surrender and trust of this moment.”
We all have a relationship with faith whether we’re conscious of it or not.
Faith in your self
Faith in your body, in your health
Faith in human nature
Faith in your ability to know fact from fiction
Faith in your resilience, your gifts and aptitudes
Faith in your power and your drive to achieve
Faith in your learning, in your knowledge, your education
Faith in your spiritual practice or your meditation
Faith in your loved ones, your family, your friends
Faith in society, in community, even faith in government or systems
Faith in gravity and other in scientific explanations of life
Faith in something more than yourself, a higher power, an unseen force of life
Faith in nature, in mother earth
Faith in God, Gods or Goddesses
Faith in the divine
Faith in love
Faith in trust
Faith in truth
Faith in life
Even your non-faith has faith in that
So can your faith be greater than your fear? Can you let yourself surrender into faith rather than go with the contraction into control and mistrust, where you lose sight of that faith in life to show you the way no matter what? Can you choose love and trust of life over the fear of the unknown?
Faith requires faith in just the next foot forward, a step into the unknown, a step towards that which draws your heart to it.
Whatever your faith is in… let yourself fall fully into that until you find it opens up into the recognition that life couldn’t have gone any other way; that which is true was always true and that which is false has its wisdom too.
Have faith that in the end you are exactly where you needed to be all along.
“The mind is a pernicious trickster who hides in plain sight, whispering in your ear the seeds of self doubt and fear. Tune into your heart song, it tells an entirely different story of love and trust.”
“We are in challenging times but I also feel there is opportunity for all of us to connect deeply to what is important and true in our lives. May your love and trust hold space for even the presence of fear.”
At some point we have to stop questioning and trust… trust and act in and as life. Life will SHOW you when something is off. So this way we can trust life even more, we can jump into action even more, with trust in our hearts that life will guide us when the time is right. All we need is to keep an open heart and listen to life. It will tell you. Questioning serves no purpose, “Am I doing it right? Should I do it this way or that?” Life will SHOW not EXPLAIN.
Faith is not about knowing how this story will play out or even where it will end up.
Faith is about knowing whatever happens life will guide you through each moment.
Faith is the trust that life is working with you not against you. Not for your comfort but for your growth.
“Rest in the timeless flow of life.”
“At some point trust has to be there to let go into the arms of Grace. It’s not something that can be done, it’s something that happens.”
“Trust your naturalness. What’s right for one isn’t necessarily right for another, and that’s okay. Trust yourself. Trust your process. Don’t let others sway you from your truth.”
The truth can not be broken so don’t be afraid.
Trust that life will take care of life.
Hold on to that even in the depths of fear.
What you are can never be lost.
The truth will win out.
In my life journey thus far I’ve had to transgress two* major spiritual paths/groups/movements that were both whole-life encompassing – Guru, lifestyle, friends and family, home, job, it felt like a lot could and would be lost. It’s was for sure a very difficult thing to navigate but I feel it’s important to share and talk about as I see a lot of people dealing with this, particularly in the realm of spiritual organisations.
Over time I’ve actually come to see that it’s a totally normal and healthy part of ‘spiritual’ development (I say spiritual lightly as I actually believe it’s not spiritual, it’s LIFE). Moving beyond our seemingly secure boundaries of experience, paradigms and conditioning – the known. It’s a hugely vulnerable place to be – the unchartered territory of our life, where we let go of the known and step forth into the openness of the unknown.
“You’re losing your way”, “you’re falling off the path” these were ideas that were offered up and I became fearful of, that I would ‘miss my chance’ for enlightenment and make a wrong turn/decision. Choose the wrong door, and therefore closing the other doors forever. Take an irreversible action. Being judged for that. That my life would fall apart, my source of income and/or home (which was tied in) would be gone forever or that my support network would reject me. That I would be left all alone with no support and no stability. These are touching on fundamental human fears and it’s terrifying to be faced with them.
It seems like a lot of groups (not just spiritually orientated ones – but that’s what I’m focused on here) like to have partisan loyalty in addition to claiming proprietary ownership of spiritual ideas, techniques, sadhana. “My way is the best”, “my way is the only way”. And the sanghas around them seem to naturally enforce this with the tribal pressure to be part of the group – after all we love to have this feeling of “I belong.”
So when we are faced with the reality that we find life moving in a different direction (path) or moving beyond what we have got already going on, what then? When our inner light and intuition is calling us somewhere else.
The Guru/organisation/technique/practice that we have held so dear, that has changed our life, that has provided a sense of comfort and belonging, or has given us huge amounts of growth and insight – what do we do when our loyalty to this is at odds with what is now showing up? Maybe a new Guru or technique has caught our attention. Or it maybe in our heart we see that we need to drop the prescribed practice or orthodoxy given to us in favour of something else, or even… dare I say… to drop it all! But in doing so we are going against our Guru, our Sangha, our community. Then it feels like a decision needs to be made: Do I stay within this current paradigm, or move out of the comfort and follow this new thing, transgressing the status quo, risking stability and everything I hold dear and drop it all?
There are no answers that someone else can tell you what you should or shouldn’t be doing in the face of this – there is no right or wrong.
But anything – person (Guru), organisation or otherwise, that is trying to limit your expression and experience of life (especially by fear and/or control) will cause you to hit up against the ‘wall’ or boundary of that doctrine at some point – it’s for you to see what happens, does that wall crumble or does it stay intact… either way there are no wrong answers.
There are no mistakes in life, we are presented with exactly what we need to learn, grow and expand – no exceptions. The mind can argue either side of an argument that it’s presented with in apparently logical ways – so no help and comfort can be found there.
What actual actions/decisions get taken are a choice-less choice, it’s all a happening – any ‘choice’ is a commentary or story of the mind. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, it can feel disempowering, confusing and sometimes at odds (heart vs head stuff – all is fickle). But yes, choices appear, our life moves on regardless of those choices. We have to accept our reality as it happens, (talk about real-time updates!!) and have no loyalty to the fear of the future or to the past/past ways of thinking.
For me it was about ‘the next obvious thing’, it wasn’t about analysing it (although it would have been all too easy to go there). Life presented the next obvious thing and it was a leap of faith and trust that this was what was meant to happen and that it was for the good. That ‘next obvious thing’ for me turned out to be following my own light and transgressing, transcending and to some extent including, each group/teaching that I encountered. It wasn’t about surrendering to the fearful projections of what might be, it was about what was happening right here, right now. Looking back, those transgressions were absolutely necessary for me (and I would argue most other people too).
So what am I saying…Transgressing prescribed spiritual paths is part and parcel of growth: we use the raft to cross the river but then abandon the raft at the other bank. But it doesn’t mean it’s not hard. Group dynamics instill a sense of stability, duty and fear, offering pressure that it’s “this way or none” and that you’ll miss your chance at the promised land. But when a natural growth beyond these boundaries occurs then it’s nothing to be fearful of. What happens is what is meant to happen. We don’t know what the future holds (unfortunately this gives no comfort to a mind that wants guarantees and plans). But this to me is where trust, surrender, courage and humility come in.
Open your heart and have the courage to be a light unto yourself, shake off the shackles of shoulds and step forth into the unknown and trust yourself, trust your inner truth, surrender to what is unfolding.
*[Addendum: Little did I know that a matter of weeks after writing this that I would be faced with a 3 for 3 scenario and we would be parting ways with another spiritual Guru/organisation/teaching. Like I said nature throws up the next obvious step, the next unfoldment. So we are at the start of our next chapter, hopefully that is it for us and spiritual organisations…. but who knows what the future will hold ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Watch this space……! ~ Imogen 8/8/18]