Archive | April 2013

Non-Judgment and Self Love

nonjudgementThe Dali Lama has said “love is the absence of judgment.” Indeed, judgment can be seen as the opposite of love. Many of us have become conditioned to the idea that love comes with prerequisites; that someone else must behave in a certain manner to be deserving of our love. If we are honest with ourselves we can all admit that we find it hard to love some people, often including ourselves. The reason it is hard is because we are in judgment. Judgment is also a state of being unaware of our connection to divine source, and being in non-judgment helps us remember that source connection.

The traits we deem as ‘lovable’ vs. ‘unlovable’ are defined by our egos, and also by those extensions of our individual egos which include things like the larger society, culture, or religious dogma. These larger collective egos are very good at judging other societies, cultures or religions, even to the point of waging war with them. These collective egos, however, are reflections of the dominate individual ego. If the individual ego disappears in favor of love and non-judgment, then the behavior of society, culture and religion will begin to change as well. World peace begins with us, as individuals, choosing love instead of judgment.

Ego is the domain of the mind, and when we are in judgment, love gets caught up in the mind. In the mind love must be justified, which is what the mind is good at doing. If we can’t justify it, then we reject it as not being worthy of love. Those who fall outside of this matrix of worthiness then become the enemy, the ones we judge, and this can include ourselves. We become our own worst enemies. Often the reason we are so hard on others, the reason we find fault with others and judge them so quickly, is because we don’t love ourselves fully. The others are reflections of us, they will reflect back to us what we often don’t want to face in ourselves. When you move out of your head and into your heart, and you let go of judgment altogether, you find that love has no conditions and no boundaries. This is where you find your connection to source and to all things, this is the place of unconditional love. Unconditional love is love without judgment, love without the pre-requisite of “worthiness.”

The most important person to love unconditionally is yourself. Self love is not selfishness. Selfishness is a focus on lack, a belief that there is not enough to go around and so you must take from others to be complete; but then of course you never are complete because in selfish mode you continue to believe in lack, and thus lack will keep showing up – no matter what you take from others, it will never be enough to fill the void. This is why selfishness is a very unhappy state of being. Self love, on the other hand, is really the opposite of the state of selfishness. Self love is the state of being fulfilled in yourself. You no longer need to find fulfillment in the outer world when you truly love yourself unconditionally. Your relationships then deepen because others are “off the hook” from having to complete you, and they sense that. It makes them feel more at ease with you. Others feel free to be loving and to express themselves around you. In other words, show yourself the love that you wish you were getting from others, and you will attract others who reflect that love back to you.

Namaste,
Rhea Jamil

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Forgiveness Exercizes

MeditationForgiveness looks reality in the face. Part of the resistance that many have to forgiveness is the idea that it is like pulling the wool over your eyes, that it means having to pretend that everything is OK. That is not forgiveness, that is denial. Burying your true feelings does not help you move on. Part of forgiveness is acknowledging your hurt, your anger, your pain. Acknowledge those feelings and allow them to pass through you, but don’t hold on to them either. Those feelings are like a forest fire, they move through and burn as long as there is fuel to feed them. But once the fuel is gone, so goes the fire, then new life comes up from the ashes and the forest is renewed. The purpose of the fire is to create the way for renewal, so you must allow it to move through you, but as long as you keep feeding the flames, as long as you keep giving fuel to the anger and hurt, it will continue to burn, and you rob yourself of the possibility of renewal. How do you stop feeding the fire? Forgiveness.

In many cases it may take some time to get to a place of forgiveness, and if you are not ready to forgive right now that is also OK, don’t beat yourself up about it, just allow it to be. You don’t have to forgive today if you’re not ready, but if you want to begin the path toward forgiveness I offer a series of simple exercizes to get you there.  Begin by practicing regular meditation if you are not doing so already. Meditation will help you tap into the still place within, which is where you find your essential self, the self which is aligned with unconditional love. Unconditional love and forgiveness are of the same energy.  The series of videos below provides some guidance on basic meditation and discusses how meditation can improve relationships, reduce stress and help you find inner peace.  

The second step is to begin sending unconditional love to random people, for no reason. You can do this while in meditation or while you’re out and about. Send it to people you pass on the street, send it to the clerk at the supermarket. Send this love from your highest self to theirs, remember that they are not just the personality that you are interacting with, they are an eternal soul like you, and you are connected; send love to that eternal soul which is connected to yours. No need to tell them, just send it from the heart, and feel the warmth and beauty of that energy, notice how you instantly feel better, and perhaps the other person responds to you differently as well.  You will see that by sending this love to others, you become the beneficiary of that energy. You will feel lighter and more present. 

When you have this down, the third step is to send unconditional love to the person who cut you off in traffic, or the person who gave you a dirty look at work. After doing this enough you will begin to see how easy it is to make the choice to simply send love and to forgive, without conditions. You will see how this releases you from the knee-jerk negative reactions that we typcially fall victim to in these situations, and instead allows you to remain in the ‘flow’ of your day without being thrown off-track by negativity.

Finally, when you are ready, sit in meditation and begin sending this same energy to any person or people who deeply wronged you in the past, send it to the people you most need to forgive in order to move on, and this may include yourself. Just choose to do it, without thinking about it. Thinking about it will draw you back into the story, and as discussed in my previous post letting go of the story is a crucial part of forgiveness. [If you find that thoughts about the story keep coming up as you do this, try the exercises I recommend in ‘Thought Seeds’ to rid yourself of those thoughts and continue sending the unconditional love and forgiveness.] After a time you will begin to feel a release, you will begin to feel as if there is space around the hurt, around the story, that it no longer seems to affect you the way it used to. Finish the meditation be surrounding yourself with a bubble of pure gold light. Intend that this bubble will be a barrier that will only allow love and high energies to come through, and will keep out any negativity. You may only need to do this once or you may need to do it a number of times until you feel released from the story, until you feel the fire subside and new growth beginning.

Humanity is in deep need of forgiveness. Forgiveness is how we heal the world and stop the cycles of suffering. When you hear crazy and horrible things on the evening news, such as the events this week in Boston, remember that forgiveness is your highest calling, it is the energy which will heal the world.  Allow yourself to feel the pain and anger, but also be brave enough to forgive, and wise enough to know that forgiveness is the only way to finally be free.

I also recommend the book “Radical Forgiveness” by Collin Tipping, for those who want to explore forgiveness more deeply. Tipping offers some wonderful and profound exercises in forgiveness and offers new perspective on the negative things which happen in our lives.

Namaste,
Rhea Jamil

Keys to Forgiveness

rainbowForgiveness is letting go of the story you have become attached to. Most of us are attached to our stories, even the negative ones. We think we need those stories to define who we are and to justify our actions and our thinking. We cling to the negative story because it allows us to feel like we have a reason and a meaning for what we have become. The story may have caused you to become someone who is angry, or hurt, or afraid. You might also feel like the story has given you strength and character as well, but know that those positive traits will always stay with you, even when you let the story go – you have those traits because you’ve always had them and perhaps the story allowed you to discover that – but letting go of the story through forgiveness and unconditional love will allow you to be truly free of the anger, hurt or fear that has been created as a result of the story. It is not even about letting someone else off the hook for what they’ve done, it is about letting yourself off the hook from needing to be satisfied with some resolution to something which can never be resolved. Not long ago I read an article about a woman who had forgiven the man who killed her daughter. To explain why she would forgive such a thing she said “[He] owed us a debt he could never repay. And releasing him from that debt would release us from expecting that anything in this world could satisfy us.”1

Forgiveness is releasing yourself from the poison of hate and anger, releasing yourself from being defined by your story, and freeing yourself from the power which the story or person has had in your life. In this way forgiveness is more about you and what you need to be whole, and less about the other person or people who you are forgiving. People who create suffering are suffering deeply themselves, and they tend to perpetuate cycles of suffering through their unconscious actions which are driven from this dark place of suffering. Your choice is to continue to be part of that cycle or to end it. The only way to end it is through forgiveness.

Forgiveness and unconditional love are essentially the same thing, they are the same energy and vibration. Unconditional love is what allows forgiveness to flow, and likewise forgiveness allows unconditional love. It all stems from the recognition that you and the other person are one, and that anything they have done to you has been done in darkness, in unconsciousness and unawareness of the oneness between you. Your soul is made of the stuff of unconditional love. It is what you are. When you tap into this remembering of who you actually are, it becomes easy to forgive, it becomes as natural to you as breathing, because you are simply being exactly what you are. Then forgiveness is as simple as making a choice, just as you choose chocolate or vanilla ice cream. This is not to down-play the significance of this choice, but to show that when you are in your essential self, it is that easy. You choose to forgive – you don’t try to forgive, you don’t work at it – you just choose it. The choice of forgiveness is a release. It is a recognition that you and the person who has wronged you are connected, but that the story you have created with that person is not in alignment with your essential self or your growth and must be left behind in order to move forward on your path. You are not allowing the negative energies which were created between you and the mirror of you in the other person to rule your life and influence your thinking. In my next post I will offer some specific exercises to open the doorway to this kind of forgiveness.

Love and Light,
Rhea Jamil

1 New York Times Magazine, Jan 6, 2013 “Can Forgiveness Play a Role in Criminal Justice?” http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/magazine/can-forgiveness-play-a-role-in-criminal-justice.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

Self Love as True Empowerment

Joe Dispenza discusses how releasing suppressed energies within you is key to self love and joy. Energy wants to move, movement and transformation is the natural state of energy and thus of all things. When emotions (which are a kind of energy) such as anger, fear, or guilt are supressed within the mind/body, then those trapped energies will manifest what we call disease. When they are allowed to move into the light of your consciousness and be cleansed by the power of your awareness and your forgiveness, than they can be transformed into love, joy and gratitude and naturally contribute to self-love and self-acceptance. This then contributes to an overall state of well being and peace. Those energies can no longer poison you or the things that you create, but instead become part of your strength, character and love.

“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”
– Jesus Christ, Gnostic Gospel of Thomas

Questions You Can’t Ask in Sunday School: Where did God Come From?

Galaxy

This would have been a blasphemous question at one time, and there is always part of me that loves these kinds of questions.  If it was once blasphemous, and it still can’t be asked in Sunday school, then it must be onto something.  Growing up in a traditional religious fashion, this was one of my earliest questions – if God created everything, then who or what created God?  I remember hearing a story once about a culture of people who believed that the earth rested on the back of a giant turtle.  When an anthropologist asked what the turtle was standing on, the reply was – ‘that’s easy, it’s turtles all the way down.’  I’m not even sure this is a true story but is illustrates my point – the elephant in the room of all thinking about any God, or turtles holding up the earth – is where did they come from in the first place?  What creates them?  What is the origin?  Then, as I grew spiritually and begin to see God as consciousness itself, as consciousness which is the creative force behind all things and is also in all things including me and you, the question of where did God come from also becomes the question of where did we come from, where did everything come from?  What was the original impetus that created all there is?  Just as scientists struggle to explain the beginning of the universe, we begin to realize it is all the same question.  How did the Universe, or God, come into being in the first place, and why?

So, what does science tell us about where it all came from?  We know there was the big bang, but where did the energy for the big bang come from?  The answer is (drum roll please…) from nothing.  From nothing, came everything.  The truth is, scientists don’t really understand what banged or what caused it to bang, and all the evidence suggests that before there was everything, there was nothing.  The big bang was the creation of time itself, of matter, energy and space, none of which existed before the big bang.  So, as we grabble with the scientific explanation, let’s turn to religion to see what it has to say.  I’m no biblical scholar and I rarely quote the Bible (for me the truest scripture is within), but there are some gems in there and I always liked the first line of the book of John which describes the beginning of creation – it says – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  Everything was made through Him and without Him was not anything made.”  The “Word,” used in this sense, is the essence of creation itself.  It is the impetus, the vibration that has awakened consciousness and existence.  The Word is with God and is God.  “With” God implies outside of God – as something that is with something else is separate from it, even though it is with it.  But the Word also is God.  So God is simultaneously along side of creation (“with” it) and creation itself, and creation itself happens at the beginning – which must be the beginning of time.  God is both the subject and object of creation.

Furthermore, and here’s the kicker for me – “…without God was not anything made”.  It is the term “without” that strikes me here.  “Without” implying the lack of existence of God.  So, without God, there was nothing, with God, there was everything.  So, from nothing, came everything.  Sounding familiar?  This is what the science tells us as well, as strange as it is – everything came from nothing.  This first sentence in the Bible is not implying that God existed before creation, but that God was, and is, creation itself.  God is the big bang.  God is everything that exists.  God is the word, the word is creation, creation is God, and so on in an eternal loop.  There are others who will interpret this differently, but I believe this is a valid interpretation that is in harmony with what science tells us – that nothing, not even time, or God, existed “before” the moment of creation, and that everything, including time, and God, existed and was created at the moment of creation or what we call the big bang.  God popped into existence out of nothing.  God is creator and the creation itself.  The beginning and the end.  Ultimately, neither science nor the Bible give any specific cause for creation.  It seems that it simply happened.  The Universe has no cause.  But really this is not a surprise, after all the concept of ‘God’ would be the one who has no cause, but is the cause itself.  It appears the last turtle is standing on itself, and thus it is, in fact, turtles all the way down.

This is something I was spurred to write in response to Seven Hawking’s assertion that there is no God because there was nothing before the moment of creation – there was no energy, matter, space or time before the big bang, so there could not be a God.  He’s both right and wrong in my opinion, and much of it hinges on your perception of God.  Since I see God and creation as one, I see no conflict between the science of the big bang and the philosophy of God as creation itself and the creative force within creation.

Love and light

Rhea Jamil

Imperfection

GrapesImperfection is generally seen as something to avoid.  We prize perfection and strive for it in all things.  However,  I believe the process of creation itself, which is inherent in every moment of existence, requires imperfection (or rather, it requires what we think of as imperfection).  For anything new to come about, something old must be re-made.  Nothing can really be created or destroyed, since everything is energy and energy cannot be created or destroyed; however it can become something new from something old, and such is the process of creation.  Take grapes, in their pure and perfect form, then allow them to ferment – as they ferment they move through imperfect form, and something new is created – wine.  All the universe is made of various forms moving through imperfection, back to perfection, to re-birth and new form.  In the end, the label of perfection and imperfection is perspective.  All is sacred, in whatever form it is in at the moment.  You are not imperfect, you are a work in progress, but you are always a work in progress, and so is everything and everyone else.  There is no end point, there is only the journey itself of creation and moving through form.  The labels of perfection and imperfection therefore are simply judgments we make when looking at something at one point in its overall journey of creation.  If we back up from judgment and instead see the whole process, then we see there is always an inherent perfection within it.  Where you are and who you are at this moment is exactly where and who you are meant to be right now.  Thus, love and accept the form you have now, and continue to love it as it transforms before your eyes through every season of life.  Your sacredness and perfection have never been diminished. 

Love and Light,

Rhea Jamil