Are You a Spiritual Sampler?
-by Certified Life Coach Hu Dalconzo, Copyright © 2002
Many spiritual seekers have sampled a rich array of spiritual practices on their… journey home to their Self. The world does not make the journey home to your Self an easy one. It’s not easy to find your Self in a society that does its best to make you believe that you are a body; where power and materialism are valued above kindness and sensitivity; where technology has evolved faster than our spiritual consciousness, and where during the Christmas holidays the marketing of toys has made Santa Claus more popular than Jesus.
In the Kabala, the ancient Jewish holy book, there is a passage that explains that when a spiritual seeker is truly ready to awaken, she1 must “dig one deep well” until she finds the cool, clean water of the real SELF. She must choose one path and follow it until she rediscovers her own unique inner Self.Experience has taught me two things in this regard, the first being that many seekers change spiritual methods as soon as the emotional waters get too hot; by hot I mean when the seeker comes face to face with the core fears that they have been battling with their whole life. Secondly, many seekers don’t know the difference between enlightenment and empowerment.
In the East, the terms enlightenment and empowerment are used interchangeably. However, I’ve found that when teaching Westerners, these two terms needed to be differentiated so as not to confuse a knowingness (studying, philosophizing, conceptualizing) with a doing-ness (implementing, experiencing, actualizing).
Enlightenment, alone, only leads to intellectual faith and faith without action is useless. It usually manifests into SELF-DELUSION, and there is nothing worse than Self-delusion for a person who is on a… journey home to Self-mastery! The key is to find one spiritual method that feels right, and then commit to staying with it, until you find the TRUTH that dwells within you. This book was written to assist those of you who are ready to dig their own deep spiritual well.
Years ago I was listening to a lecture by Ram Dass2 on… Why many seekers are hooked on the search for enlightenment, and I realized that I was one of them! I enjoyed going away to spiritual intensives and meditating with a guru, but it was hard for me to feel my feelings that I had repressed since childhood. I was a spiritually conscious person who spent much of my time getting high on how enlightenment works, but I was unwilling to face my inner dragons. I felt good as long as I was learning about various spiritual methods, but as soon as I stopped and allowed myself to just be… I would feel unhappy, sad, or depressed.
I was unconsciously using my search for enlightenment as a way to keep my MIND busy so as to prevent me from facing and feeling my fears. As long as I gave my mind something positive to think about, I felt pretty good; but when I stopped, I would surface feelings of discontent that were painfully undeniable. I was addicted to spiritual study and research, and I used them as an emotional escape!
To feel better, I started applying the four Self-mastery Disciplinas. I stopped denying my feelings and I began to follow them to their original source. It was quite a challenge for me to overcome my feelings of insecurity that I had felt as a child but it was well worth the effort! To quote John Bradshaw, “Your parents’ intentions don’t count when it comes to your personal healing; the only thing that does count…is how you feel!”
I knew that if I truly wanted to be Self-empowered, I needed to surface what I had suppressed for forty years! I had repressed feelings and beliefs such as… I’m not good enough; I don’t belong; I don’t deserve success. My parents loved me, but they were poorly educated immigrants who did not understand child psychology. I finally realized that if I were going to feel better I had to change me…not them! I needed to take full responsibility for my feelings and forgive others and myself unconditionally!
I began to learn how to let my intuitive feelings drive my spiritual bicycle built for two. I ordered my mind to sit in the back seat and peddle. I was learning how to dis-create my negative mind talk and I started listening to my HEART! I finally understood the Zen proverb that, “The mind makes a great servant, but a lousy master!”
Intellectually, I knew that I was safe, but emotionally I was still scared to feel my hurt feelings. I was a spiritual seeker who couldn’t understand why his life wasn’t getting any better. I was confused because I studied Eastern spiritual philosophy and in that philosophy, the term enlightenment encompassed both the doing as well as the knowing. What I learned was that I, as a Westerner, needed to differentiate between the two. My ego had me hooked on the knowingness, that is, on the learning or enlightenment aspect of my journey. I was confusing enlightenment with empowerment, that is, with the actual implementation of what I was learning in such a way that I internalized and emotionalized it. It was this confusion that was keeping me stuck in the past.
Wow…what a realization! I had spent fifteen years of my life learning how the game of life worked (enlightenment) with little to no time invested into making it any better (empowerment). I meditated on why I wasn’t taking action on what I had learned and I discovered that I was afraid to feel my repressed feelings!
Gradually… I learned how to make my Spirit the master of my ego mind! I told my mind that it was now safe to feel again! Slowly, but surely, my ego defenses surrendered. I learned how to eat my emotional elephant one bite at a time until my emotional upsets became less intense and less frequent. I felt like a spiritual Rip Van Winkle who had finally awakened from an emotional nightmare!
Namaste’, my soul friends