Leo Tolstoy on God

LEO TOLSTOY ON GOD: "When you look inside yourself, you see what is called 'your own self' or your soul. You cannot touch it or see it or understand it, but you know it is there. And this part of yourself--that which you cannot understand--is what is called God. God is both around us and inside of us--in our souls.

The more you understand that you are at one with God, the more you will understand that you are at one with all His worldly manifestations."

Sunday, May 1, 2016

"The Wasted Energy of Worry: Get Rid of "What IF!"


It started out with my iPhone. 
Amazing, isn't it,  how a little 3" x 6"'  object can exude so much power...and havoc...in our lives?

This little object occupied a portion of my Saturday, as I first called one provider, then another
to figure out why my "connection" was not firing up my Apps.

All the apps on my phone looked normal, and the Wi-Fi connection was on and showed it was active, except...it wasn't.

I didn't even need to try to connect to the Apps. to feel that the energy was depleted.

They all looked the same...but oh, how very different the phone felt.

My iPhone felt dead, though the phone connection still seemed active and working in its usual way.

But with the Apps dead, I felt I had an almost useless object in my hand.

Yes. I could dial. Yes. I could talk to all the various people trying to figure out the problem.
But I felt the absence...emptiness ...of LIFE pulsing through the phone.

When the problem was finally resolved (it was a network issue), then my phone felt vibrant and oh so very alive.

Nothing had changed on the outer. The phone looked the same and the Apps were still in the same place. But what a difference when LIFE was coursing through every App, as I connected with each in turn to truly appreciate the moment by moment delivery and convenience each brings me all day.

Whew. I'm glad that's over! My iPhone is working seamlessly now.



But the lesson of the phone and the seeming loss of its "power" has lingered with me, especially as it relates to worry.

Throughout, I was confident that the phone would be back in working order soon, so I did not allow "worry" to creep into my mind. I just took the next step that led to the next step that got the problem resolved.

But how often do we occupy our minds with worry in situations that we believe may be impossible to be fixed?

When we believe we have hit a roadblock or a true boulder in our lives, with no way around it, what is our natural tendency? 

Worry!

We worry like the dickens we'll never get through it, even as we're taking active step, after active step, after active step to resolve it. The difference with this type of worry and the worry I had about my phone is that I trusted Apple and my service providers. Yes, I knew one of them would have the answer, so I relaxed into the steps I had to follow.

What if, though, the only "provider' we're relying on is ourselves?


Then, the question comes down naturally to: Do we trust ourselves enough to STOP WORRYING and do the implementing to ensure right outcomes? Do we trust our connection to ourselves?

Often, even with those who consider themselves spiritual, we wind up tying ourselves up in knots and worry because we do not have confidence enough in the outcome.

STOP. 

Whether it's about a job loss, financial loss, relationship loss or other, we spend a lot of time occupying our minds with the "What Ifs" of the problem.

Not only do we worry about the "What Ifs," but we talk to others who help support our "What Ifs," then we may start drinking and doing other excesses, all based on the "What IFs."

Here's our dialogue:
"What IF... I don't find the next right job?'"What IF...I don't have enough money to make it through?""What IF...I run out of money altogether?"  
"What IF...I don't find someone else?
"What IF...I wind up ALONE?"   

The bottom line is that worry adds nothing to our lives, but it subtracts so much of our lives.











Worry is the great destroyer of so much: Joy...Peace...Happiness...Hope...Freedom...
Enthusiasm...Faith...

First: Learn to get rid of "What IFs" from your life.

Do this by simply "walking away" from the problem when it confronts you.
By "walking away," I'm not suggesting that you do not take responsibility; I'm suggesting
here that you do not let it into your consciousness. This is "the seat" of Your Soul and where your power dwells.


Do not embrace the problem nor nurture it!

See the situation as being outside of you, as something you can observe and manage. (I strongly recommend, "The Untethered Soul" by Michael Singer, or "Seat of the Soul" by Gary Zukav, to get more on this and learning how to stay centered in your Soul.)

Next: Conserve your energy and direct it to the results you want to see manifested.

Everything IS Energy!

Energy IS LIFE!

WE are LIFE because we are bundles of ...ENERGY.

Take away the ENERGY with which we INFUSE our bodies, and we take away the very life of each part of our bodies.

We are the LIFE that flows through the body. The body is NOT US.
Without us, i.e. our consciousness, our energy... our legs, arms, feet, face et al, are shells.
Mere shells.
Credit: Red Energy Gym




So, do not infuse your consciousness and direct your energy in a direction you do not want your life to flow.

Focus on the results that you want...and give those LIFE.

Third: Trust the Energy Within...Trust your Provider!



The energy that courses through us is no less reliable than the energy that courses through your best Internet provider, your best Network provider, and your best SmartPhone provider.

We have the creator of the Universe as our provider, and we're infused with the same ENERGY of the moon, the sun and the stars.

We have the creator who conceived of us before we entered into the world coursing through us each millisecond of every minute of every day.

Connect to this power.

When worry comes:

When problems come, chase away worry...
Do not waste your ENERGY.

Connect back to your NETWORK....Your Soul.

"Fear Not For I Am With You..."Isaiah 41: 10
Namaste',
Che'
.









Sunday, April 3, 2016

What Goes Around Comes Around, Or, Does it Not? The Law of Karma


Credit: Circle of Life painting by Bec

KARMA: a noun
Here's how it's defined by different groups:
  • Hinduism, Buddhism: action, seen as bringing upon ourselves inevitable results, good or bad, either in this life or in a reincarnation. In Hinduism, Karma is viewed as one of the ways we can reach Brahman. 
  • Theosophy: the cosmic principle, according to which each person is rewarded or punished in one incarnation, according to the person's deeds in the previous incarnation.
  • Fate. Destiny
  • The good or bad emanations felt to be generated by someone or something.
(Synonyms: predestination, predetermination, lot, kismet.)  
Life is a  big circle.

We see this in various stages as we go through life: babyhood to puberty to parenthood or grand-parenthood.

Most of us may want to live in relative freedom from repercussions that involve our thoughts, words or deeds. We may want to believe that life is lived age by age, step by step, and that the past is the past. Indeed, this so.

Except for Karma.

We may celebrate the rite of passage from childhood into full adulthood, counting only the years we have advanced. We may never notice a circle forming around us.

But it is.

Once we are at an age and stage where we should be aware and awake to what is considered decent and acceptable human behavior, the Soul begins to reckon with us: You do this and you get that...

And this unrelenting law does not ever seem to let go of our past. 

Is it our imagination, or is it real?

It's as real as your next conscious wrong action that you know could have a profound effect on your life but you do it anyway. Although you may commit a "tiny" wrong action in the overall scheme of things, somehow...in some way...the Soul tracks even this "tiny" infraction and seemingly has it come back to haunt us in moments least expected.

As some religions teach, some people may indeed be living through Karma, good or bad, today that's inherited from a previous lifetime. This concept certainly would explain why some people seem to walk through life unscathed, *despite their evil and uncaring temperament, while others considered by all to be "good" people seem to walk through fires each day. 

But I am convinced that Karma does not wait for another lifetime to play out in our lives, especially for those who are aware of and awake to the consequences of their thoughts, deeds and actions and choose to do wrong anyway.

"What goes around comes around."
"You Reap What you Sow."
"Cause and Effect."

These are all words we've heard but never paid attention...until the balancing started.


For sure, "What goes around comes around," becomes very profound and so true when applied to the Law of Karma.

Live long enough, and you'll start seeing past wrongs, or rights, coming full front and forward for you to correct or manage in some way. You'll sense when you're living "inherited good" from past good behaviors, thoughts or words, as you'll be taken back to memories of those previous times. Likewise, with previous bad behaviors.
Perhaps some people are taken back to a previous, distant lifetime, which they don't remember. These

are the most confounding. The point of the "going back," though, is for us to wake up to the truth of our wrong actions, thoughts or beliefs. For those who are aware, and awake, Karma can be as close as next week. 

I'm not speaking simply of cause and effect, which is the end result of any wrong action.

Rather, I'm pointing out how the very wrong, or right, word, thought or deed may come back to  you in the same negative, or positive, way from another to let you wake up to the truth of the error. or, to reinforce your path.

At this stage of my life and level of consciousness, I know better than to try to "mess" with Karma or try to cover over bad thoughts, words or deeds. It doesn't work.

By grace, I may be forgiven the wrong I may have committed, but I know for sure not an iota is ever obliterated. So, repeat the same "error" of thought, word or deed, and even grace will not rescue you. It seems to scream at you:

You KNOW better, DO better!  

So, we should never, ever worry about *those people who seem to enjoy walking through life with total freedom, violating others, especially with those who are helpless to defend themselves in some way. Believe it or not, only Divine Mercy or Grace will save the evil ones at those times when they, too, become helpless or incapacitated in some way. 

Should they live long enough, they will reap the same injustices that they have sown.
                 Karma is an exact Science
                                   and
                    is the Mathematics of the Soul!

The Soul tracks the minutest of details of our lives, and it seems to track the most minuscule of infractions we may have committed.
So, should we then view Karma as "punishment for our sins?"  NO! Karma is language of the Soul, and it's more sophisticated. Appreciate it!
Karma is the tool our Soul uses to expand our spiritual development and awareness.



As hard as it is for most of us to accept, when we find ourselves in situations that are challenging, embarrassing, or painful, we must not run from the truth.



These are the times we must have a day of Holy Reckoning with our Soul and reflect on past words, thoughts or deeds that may have led us to this point.

Karma is so unrelenting, it may take decades to show up as it contorts and finds ways to wake us up to the inevitable truth of errors in our ways. Sometimes Karma itself is the wake up call! When we become more aware and alert, then Karma is like a radar system, beeping almost instantaneously when we take a wrong step.

We may want to believe that we have given over our lives to some enemy that tracks us down for punishment. Actually, we should view the beeps and the alerts as our companions through life, and we should learn to embrace them as our best friends.

If treated with respect, Karma can help us navigate life with a mindfulness that is enviable by those who are unaware, giving us Peace that truly passes all understanding and the Wisdom of Solomon in our interactions with others.


A Few Tips About  Karma:
  • Karma is our life's companion. It's our spiritual DNA.
  • Don't ignore Karma. Become aware and alert to it. 
  • See Karma as an instrument of sophistication for evolving our connection to our Soul.
  • Use Karma...don't let it use sink you into defeat when the circles of life swarm around you.
  • Karma also works with thoughts, deeds and words you carry about yourself: learn to love yourself! Fix what you can fix and leave the rest to Karma to help heal what needs to be healed.

Most importantly, be at peace with the world:
The world will then inevitably, unrelentingly, be at peace with you.

Photo Credit: My Story. Check out on Facebook 


Namaste',
Che'
*NOTE: For Christians, Psalm 37 can be especially soothing during times with people who challenge us.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Wholeness vs. Holiness

These babies are totally innocent to the world of separation that will begin for them in a few years.  

This is what, we, as adults, are trying to learn: to love one another, no matter the race, color, creed.

You see, we have forgotten, this most basic of human tendencies.

We've forgotten because of our worldly "gains." And now, the greatest challenge for all of us...whether we claim to be liberal, conservative, politically correct, spiritual, and/or religious ...is simply to live with love in our hearts for others, especially those who look different from ourselves. The world we now live in is skewed for separation  So,  while we may be born "pure in spirit," the world pollutes our Souls with its "crap." To get to Holiness then becomes a lifetime goal and only attainable by those marked for sainthood. Or, so it seems.

Holiness is a practice that requires us to be conscious minute by minute of our thoughts, words and actions. Not only are we required to be conscious, but we are required to be so deliberate in our actions that we do not cause harm to another Soul in our thoughts, words and deeds.

When compared to Holiness, Wholeness then becomes an 
easy-to-attain goal. 


My definition of Wholeness: A feeling of such completeness within ourselves that we need no outside validation of our worth.   

If you read "The Four Agreement," by don Miguel Ruiz  you'd support his thesis that we come into the world pure in our orientation towards others, like those babies above. But increasingly, we're taught about our walk through the world by our environment, culture, families and all the other myriad forces penetrating our conscious mind on a daily basis. The main thing we learn as we grow into the world is that if something is different...then, it's separate from us, and we must fear, or discard it, at all costs.

Age by age, we learn something new about differences and how separate we are from each other. Ignorance and racism are two of the greatest breeders of separation among us as people and truly challenge our ability to love others as ourselves.

Xenophobia: fear of what is perceived to be different or strange. Due to a lack of exposure to different cultures, some people have such a limited and skewed view of the world, they become scared of anyone of a different race, religion and creed. These folks have no awareness that a world beyond their view and beliefs really is thriving beyond their consciousness.
Racism: prejudice, discrimination or antagonism directed against someone of different race, believing that one's own race is superior. 
Ethnocentrism: judgment of another culture based solely on the values and standards of our own, believing that ours is superior.  
Ego-centrism: belief that oneself is the center of all things. 
Egotism: preoccupation with one's ego or self to the total exclusion of others and their needs .
This and the following two photos: Credit-Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura
The interesting part of Wholeness is that these five traits can remain intact in our evolution to becoming "whole," but Holiness is a different matter.
Note: Greenery, water, mountains: all different. But the differences highlight and create objects of pure beauty and majesty!


  • There's no way to Holiness but through the breaking down of barriers of separation.




  • There's no way to Holiness but through the recognition that every person is an extension of ourselves.





  • There is no way to Holiness but through tolerance, patience and love for all of God's creations.


Holiness is a great and tremendous ambition.
    Is Holiness attainable?
This truly is a question for God.

But what I know for sure is that as we strive to get to Wholeness, and we begin to connect more and more to the spirit within us, our view of the world takes on a different flavor.

We begin to see things and people in ways we never before could have imagined.

We become repulsed by behaviors and patterns that may have been our own. (See this Superbowl ad :"Message for Drunk Drivers")


There are degrees of Holiness we can aspire to in our lives. Rather than trying to be another Jesus, Buddha,  Muhammad, or any of the saints, we can achieve our own levels of Holiness by becoming the best person we're capable of being for the specific purpose for which we've been called in this life. We know our purpose by recognizing, acknowledging and appreciating our gifts, talents and tendencies.  

(Do you have a deep need to share your wisdom with other? Then, you may be a great teacher.  Do you have a deep need to explore and build? Then, you may fulfill your purpose in a variety of fields that call for these skills. Some people find their purpose way beyond the "age of consent." Some grandparents find that they truly love the nurturing, caring and pampering of their grandkids and find their stride later in life by giving and being a loving presence for these younger, growing Souls.)   

Not everyone was called to sainthood or is qualified for sainthood.
Photo Credit: "The Other 98%"
What we are called to be each day in each way is giving the best of what we're capable.
People believe that by doing good acts, somehow, they will reach a certain level of purity. But,
we should examine every "good thing" we do, to uncover our motivation for doing it. Do we do "good" for the ego blast that we get , or is it a deep-down Soul response to truly reaching out to another in pure love?

Two verses from Matthew Chapter 6 come to mind here:

"But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth." Matthew 6:3

"When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full." Matthew 6: 5 

For the answer to your truth about "doing good," dig deep into your Soul.

The best way to keep a steady balance between your search for Wholeness and Holiness is to:
Pause in each moment before taking an action
Ask whether the action benefits you only, or others as well.
If only you would be the beneficiary, think again!
If only you would benefit, but others would not be harmed: Go for it!
If only you would benefit, and others would be harmed: Cancel it!

Doing the next right thing in each action that you take, ultimately, will lead you to
a level of holiness in your life.

If you don't achieve sainthood, at least you would have achieved an enviable condition:
Peace.
This basket of Easter Eggs, each different colors, is a reflection of our world
Different hues and colors but one, in a basket, like our world, and in the eyes of God.

Happy Easter!

Namaste',
Che'



Sunday, February 7, 2016

All ALWAYS is in "Divine Order": Believe It!

"As Above  Below"* (see disclaimer at bottom) is Namaste' Wholistic's title for these photos from Sociedad Argentina de Horicultura. 

It's fitting for our topic today: "Divine Order." 

Watching the daily news, especially in this election year in the United States, we're apt to believe that our world is falling apart. But when we take a deep breath and reflect back throughout history, we see the events of today are in no way  extraordinary.

Generations ago, what seems like today's chaos would have been calm in the midst of battles, literally. People took to axes and machetes back then to resolve issues. Today, as rude and crude as some of the conversations may seem, we have to keep our perspective. 


"All the World's a stage and all the men and women are merely players," William Shakespeare penned in his play "As You Like It."  
(See full text of poem: "All The World's A Stage" (Photo Credit: 45.media.tumblr.com)


We always are growing through various stages of our individual lives, even as other worldly events and issues take center stage. This is nothing new. Throughout the generations, people have tested new methods of coexistence. The fact that battles have been fought and won in the past, establishing best practices for coexistence, does not preclude new generations from trying their hands at testing new limits of human restraints and decency.

Then in the midst of this seeming chaos, we see people reaching their highest evolution of humanity and decency, aiding strangers and reaching in deeper to show compassion and caring for others more than at any other time in our human history. One such example is "GoFundMe."
Founded in May 2010 by Brad Damphousse and Andrew Ballester, GoFundMe is a crowdfunding platform, allowing people throughout the world to raise funds to support individuals on events that range from graduations and other celebrations to accidents, illnesses and catastrophes. Check it out here: http://www.gofundme.com   
We also see compassionate actions of major universities giving everyone a fair chance of a world-class education, regardless of their ability to pay.  (Here's an example: Stanford Offers Free Tuition).  

On one hand: chaos and divisiveness; on the other: compassion and caring. 

Ultimately what may seem like chaos may actually be an event, or events, leading to our good or into new ways of our being in the world. 

In a nutshell, this is..."Divine Order." It suggests that everything in our lives and in our world is in order, despite superficial appearances. 


Look back at your own life.

Look back at your own personal evolution, as you moved from only family values to community values to global values:
The changes may have been subtle, as you accepted, or discarded, new ways of how you show up in the world, but changes were unrelenting as you moved forward. 


If you were to say that you've never changed your outlook on the world from the way you were brought up to believe, then you must examine the extent of how much you've blocked your own personal growth and evolution.

                          To live is to change.        
                                                   To live is to grow.

We grow physically, emotionally and in our conscious view of the world.

Were you to really, really, examine your life, you would see a simple, but perfect, truth:
"The life I'm living today is truly a reflection of my past beliefs and values. I am where I am today because of what I believed to be true of my abilities, capabilities and desires."
It's hard to accept: but you are where you are today, good or bad, because of your limited or expansive thinking. 

Many spiritual leaders have urged us to: "Change Your Thinking and Change Your Life."
Pause, think, reflect?
Did I get what I expected out of life? Did my fears...or positive expectations....my true beliefs ...manifest in my life?  
Without the privilege of being able to hear your answer, let's plug forward... as I know "my thoughts are his and her thoughts... and their thoughts..."


This, and the two photos following, reflect, "As Above Below."  Photos Credit: Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura

What we also should know is that whatever we may be thinking on the inside will ultimately be reflected on the outside. 

Yes! It's an exact "science." 
"Thoughts held in mind will manifest in kind."
     






  "As Above Below." 




It's all about consciousness.
If we're conscious of being rich, poor, or just being "normal," our life begins to take on that flavor. It may not get there overnight, but with that level of continued consciousness, we will inevitably get there.

So, you want to change your path? 
Change your thoughts. It really is that simple.

Why?

We all are operating as singular balls of energy, going through and growing through life.
Energy can take the form of any thought, action or behavior where it becomes focused or concentrated.  So, in that way, you shape your life.
"What is a Soul?" asks R&B Singer Ray Charles. "It's like electricity...We don't really know what it is, but it is a force that can light a room."  
Photo Credit and Quote: Gratefulness.org
Is this Divine Order?

And what does our singular formation have to DO with Divine Order?

The truth is that even though we're operating singularly: there is no singular
in anything we do.

Because we are that ball of electricity, we have a force and power in the world.
So, our good and bad thoughts and vibrations have impact on our lives...the lives surrounding us....and our contribution to the world.

So, actually, we may feel like we're operating singularly....as our own energy force.

The simple truth?

There is only ONE Soul.
We call this Cosmic Consciousness or Energy or Vibrations or God.

That's why we can have FREE choice in the world.
That's why whatever we do has an impact on others: we hate, and we're contributing to hate in the world. 
As we know consciously... there is only one world. Under the surface, too...there is only one soul...one universe...one God.

So, our behavior...our thoughts ...our actions...can contort that ONE Soul?

But ah....

Can we change GOD?

No. 
"There is only one Presence and one Power in the Universe," Unity School of Christianity teaches. "God the Good, the Omnipotent." 
While our thoughts...actions...behavior...have an impact on the world, it does NOTHING to God. We cannot in any way alter God, the Good, the omnipotent presence: the ONLY true force in our world


So again: our thoughts, behavior and actions have an impact on our lives...our community...and our world...but it alters not an IOTA on the Cosmic Level. All we see reflected in our world is an accumulation of past thoughts, actions and behaviors of those who went before us and those who are currently here sharing the space with us. 

Yes. We are in this boat ...this one boat...called "Earth" ...altogether...and
yes, as one.

Divine Order comes in because ultimately, we are choosing experiences, good and bad, that are forming the basis for our lives. We cannot take a "wrong" step...as they all lead to forming the whole of what we're becoming.

Change comes in...when we recognize that there is only one presence in our lives: despite our individuated Souls and consciousness. When we recognize this power in our lives, we can begin to allow it to take over more and more the operation of our lives. Trusting the power, i.e. the presence that is God, the one Soul through which we all operate, we begin to trust its guidance...for our good... and the good of world.

From our egotistical standpoint, we want to make choices that benefit our individual lives. This is a normal rite of passage. But as we connect and grow closer to the Soul within us: we are guided to TRUTH.

Trust this voice. It's your Intuition.
Trust this force. It's God.
From the 2016 calendar of the late Dr. Wayne Dyer. 

I've discovered that there is a great difference between Wholeness and Holiness. (Watch for this issue being covered by Namaste' Wholistic in our upcoming March 2016 post). So, I've started a new practice in 2016: enjoying the Holy Eucharist, as implemented by Jesus, The Christ, as often as possible, even daily, if I get the chance.  

I'm reaching in to cultivate more of "The Presence of God" in each moment...


I've come to the awareness that our purpose in life is to make what's on the Inside of us reflected on the Outside. What's Above, as in the Cosmic, is our human purpose to make on Earth, below, the same. Now that I've traveled enough distance to Wholeness and feel I've reached a plateau there,  I now want to focus more on cultivating Holiness**. Trust me: this is a huge, huge undertaking and will take the rest of my conscious life! I know I will not get there in one lifetime...but I'm getting on this new road.    

My wish for you, All, My Valentines:
This year is one of discovering that all you do... and all that happens to you, good or bad...is truly in Divine Order. You'll learn that the bad often happens for you to discover and/or appreciate the good that you already have in your life. The seeming bad also often is a way for you to re-direct your life and your focus.

"There is a hard truth to be told: before spring becomes beautiful, it is plug ugly, nothing but mud and muck. I have walked in the early spring through fields that will suck your boots off, a world so wet and woeful it makes you yearn for the return of ice. But in that muddy mess, the conditions for rebirth are being created."
Parker Palmer, via Gratefulness.org, Sunday, February 7, 2016


Know there is no wrong step!  

Step out and live! Your life is in Divine Order: 
                                                DO! 
Happy Valentine's Day, too. 

Namaste',
Che' 

NOTES:
*DISCLAIMER: Namaste' Wholistic's use of the term, As Above Below, has no relationship in any way to the movie, "As Above, So Below." This is described here: As_Above,_So_Below_(film) 

**This is not necessarily the walk I would recommend for those Christians who do not feel called to this walk...but right now, because of my early indoctrination into Christianity, this is the right way for me. 
.

Personal Authenticity: "To Thine Own Self Be True"...

"To Thine Own Self Be True and it must follow as the night, the day, Thou canst not then be false to ANY man."
William Shakespeare.