Until it's some other way for you and I, until all the illusions are burned out, we must know and make peace with our walk....and recall that with the intention to walk in the Light, and the activity of putting actual consecutive footsteps to that walk, that we will face shadows. Shadows being those elements that appear real and are based on some conscious or unconscious illusions we still hold.
It's so easy to forget that shadows cannot appear without a light-source. It is the light-source that reveals a shadow. With no light, there would be no differentiation or contrast to see any differences.
So it is crucial, and of vast value to remember that even when the heaviest and seemingly most fearsome beliefs (illusions/shadows) start to surface, that there is an unperturbable Light-Source behind all shadows.
A Light-Source that when given even a little attention can change the whole human experience. It doesn't matter what tradition you find yourself waking up inside of (or outside of, as the case may be).
What matters is the recognition of Truth and the willingness to have it be North on the compass, THE organizing principle. To have regular and consistent ways and means for checking in with and placing attention on this organizing principle every day and throughout each day.
We're moving deeply into the experience of the Full Moon this week (it exacts on Sunday at 11:12am PST). The Full Moon reflects a tremendous amount of light. When this light hits any object, it casts a shadow. This is especially true on the level of internal experience. This Light hits the consciousness and wherever there still lives any form of conscious or unconscious identification with illusion, that identification acts like a gnarled big old tree in the middle of the night out in a field. When the light of the Full Moon hits that tree, a gnarled-looking shadow is cast alongside the tree.
If you look at the shadow and believe it to be a real reality (having it's own independent existence), you will have certain experiences. And your thoughts, words, and actions will arise from this illusion. Everything created from this way of seeing will be based on illusion. Anything created on a foundation of illusion will be shaky at best, and highly destructive at worst.
Are you willing to be your own "vision coach", training your eyes to see the Truth, training your will to focus on the Truth, and training your habits to become pillars of strength to support your ever-deepening recognition of Truth.
I am by no means advocating an extremist way of working with oneself. The time for walling oneself up indefinitely in a cave, monastery, ashram, or other cloistered institution seems to have passed for most of us.
As one contemporary teacher of awakening says, "Anyone can be enlightened in heaven, can you be enlightened in hell?" I hear that as a strong support to waking up and calling on the strength to stop going back to sleep even in the most uncomfortable of circumstances.
What are some indications of putting oneself back to sleep, consciously or unconsciously? Check in with your body....what's happening with your body? Is it holding anywhere, contracting in some noticeable way? Are you sitting on any emotions, swallowing them into your gut? Are you in judgment of yourself, another, or life?
Judgment is one of the clearest ways for me to recognize that I'm believing in some illusion. And when I believe in illusion, I will suffer. And only every time. Judgment is a reflection of some form of insecurity. And insecurity is one of the main ways you and I avoid the Truth. The Truth that we are already the Awakeness we seek. We are already the wholeness and Love that we search for in so many people, places, and experiences.
Insecurity is an illusion.
It feeds on lifeforce.
If you can be kept busy feeling insecure, you can be kept from sharing your Gifts with the world. You can be kept from recognizing Love. You can continue needing something on the outside to "stimulate" you in one way or another. Love needs nothing but itSelf. It is complete in itSelf. It is fulfilled in itSelf.
The opportunity opens up in the willingness to walk the walk even when it's uncomfortable. Especially when it's uncomfortable. To keep showing up for yourSelf. To be skeptical of ANY judgments that arise. To reach for the situations that consistently push you to grow outside of old views of yourself. To work with the practices that help you to See from many perspectives and points of view. Practices that help you get out of the loop of linear thinking, and feeling and recognizing the spaciousness and wholeness of Who and What you Are.
If your happiness feels tied to another person, your job, your house, your bank-account, sugar, sex, the weather, or anything else that can come and go, it's time to wake up. If you're still reading here, this is for you. It's definitely for me. I'm working with this as much as anyone. So as I was saying, if your happiness is feeling tied to anything outside of yourself, it's time to question that. Find out if it really is true that your happiness is tied to something outside of yourself. I can promise you from experience that it is not. I can promise you from experience that Spirit is real by whatever name you might call it, or not call it. There is a vast, unlimited Source. It has no judgment. Not of you, not of your choices, not of the people you know, not of politics, religion, sex, or anything at all. Judgment is born of separation and insecurity.
When I can embrace you as myself, I am free. When I cannot, I am bound. My work today is to see the Truth...to recognize the One Face in the many. To exchange with the Truth with every breath. To invite Source to reveal the Truth moment-by-moment that I may be the clearest expression of Unconditional Love for myself and all beings.
We are worth it. It is our birthright. Awakeness is. Love is. We are supported beyond belief!