A number of years ago I owned a retreat centre called the Ecology Retreat Centre in the beautiful Hockley Valley near Orangeville. It was a very fulfilling time in my life even though I overworked getting stressed out creating a stress-free environment.
In my tenure there I received a great personal education of many spiritual and growth practices almost every weekend and met many well known spiritual teachers. I also developed a keen radar for groups that were liberating and others that were more cultish and entrapping. I got to experience the effectiveness of many of the transformational practices either by outside observation or by directly participating.
It can be a loaded word – it could mean trap, pain, struggle, lostness. Or on the flipside it can mean comfort, cave, hideaway, protection, safety.
For me, it's been one of my ongoing difficulties in life – to find my place in the world, on the earth and amongst others. I've lived in 2 other cultures – Jamaica and Mexico – and understand that feeling of being the outsider. I grew up in a home that was rife with conflict, so much so that I left at 16 years old. I have moved over 50 times in my 38 years on this earth, and have lived in other parts of Canada, as well.
A common problem that some of my one-to-one Clearing clients have is not having a clear definition of concepts associated with their goals.
For example if someone doesn't know what a marriage is and they want a good marriage, how can they ever achieve this? The same goes for concepts like success, the spiritual path and authenticity. Frequently, I will get clients to participate in a clarification technique where they tell me what a concept is and what it is not.
We go back and forth until they make a breakthrough, the lights go off and they say "Ah, that's what it is". It's a refining process similar to purifying gold: separating out the precious metal from what it is not. It is a simple and remarkable technique. You may want to try this for yourself.
Most people on the spiritual path want to achieve inner peace.
For years and years we have searched for it on the outside only to find that external happiness never lasts. The great tasting meal is temporary, the beautiful fashion changes, the gorgeous hairdo grows out, the great job goes sour and the wonderful relationship breaks-up.
Inevitably, through our lifelong failure to find this happiness, we arrive at the conclusion that inner peace is really in ourselves. So we begin to look there. We take courses, read books, learn to meditate and attend yoga classes and eventually discover that this inner peace is found in the most obvious place. It is so obvious we overlook it: it's in our awareness itself...
Dwell More Fully in your Alive Authentic Presence
a low-cost one day seminar
There are times around others when we feel they are not really "getting us". We can feel frustrated especially when we see others more able to be at home in themselves.
You might relate to this feeling of wanting others to see you more as you really are and to recognize the basic goodness in yourself but you are frustrated this isn't happening.
Perhaps you have had a spiritual experience and you are already in touch with yourself on a "soul" level in meditation. You've experienced how beautiful that can be but you find you easily fall out of it. You'd really like to stay more centered as much as you can in everything you do.
I came across this quote a few days after I wrote last week's blog: Caught Between a Rock and a Soft Place . Its an excerpt from a children's book called the Velvateen Rabbit. I think its a good companion to that article. It gives some insight on the importance of authenticity on the path of awakening.
It is a book that I often read to my children before bedtime when they were young. It was always such a beautiful intimate time of connection with them and when the story was finished everything in the room was soft and warm. They often drifted off to sleep with a peaceful smile on their faces.
Maybe you will be touched by this excerpt...
Recently I was with a friend of mine who had over the last year, put so much of his soul into a relationship with a woman only to have her break-up with him. Two weeks after she broke up with him he saw her walking down the street hand in hand with another man. He was deeply in love with her and ended up devastated and absolutely heart-broken.
We've all been there.
Love is a source of the greatest joy and greatest pain. We all yearn for it yet when we get hurt in love we can retreat into the over-protective prison of the mind and dwell in isolation, fear and sadness or we can collapse and get trapped in vulnerability.
Is there a way out of the prison? Why is it that some people get so hard and cold and stay in their heads? Should we be more in our hearts? Isn't that a more "spiritual" way to live? Is there any value at all to the mind?
Attend this experiential workshop with spiritual pioneer Russell Scott, and author of "Awakening the Guru in You" and have your questions answered about love. He will lead you through a simple two step process to balance the head and heart. In addition you will develop skills to:
- Be more open to others by conscious choice rather than unconscious chance
- Channel the divine presence of love into your daily life
- Trust your heart and risk again
- Access deeper wisdom and awareness through self-inquiry
- Communicate more authentically to others
- Listen empathetically to others to improve your relationships
- Commune on a deeper level to your true self
You will leave this seminar "soulfully nourished" feeling more open, alive, loving and connected to yourself and others.
November 28, 9:15 to 5 pm
Silence at 46 Essex St, Guelph
This workshop will be presented on a "Pay from the Heart Basis". A $25.00 deposit is required to enroll. At the end of the workshop, participants can make a contribution based on the value they feel they received from the workshop. The workshop is valued at between $75.00 to $150.00. The first 15 people that enroll will receive a free copy of Russell's book "Awakening the Guru in You".
To enroll click on: >>> LIVING FROM THE HEART <<<
For more information call: 519-829-4149
"You have to do it by yourself and you don't have to do it alone"
Over the years of writing this newsletter, I have had several people ask me: "Russell since you help people awaken to their true nature how about you tell us one of your awakening experiences?"
I've never really wanted to toot my on horn on this until once again someone asked me the other day, "You know Russell maybe by sharing what you have experienced others may be helped in recognizing that they too, have similiar experiences and they are not alone?"
So I have decided to share an experience with you.
I was a participant on a self-inquiry retreat near San Francisco many years ago and on the third day I was out on a walking contemplation contemplating the question "What is another?" I was deeply intent on experiencing what other individuals actually were. I had experienced the nature of myself in another retreat and I was wondering: "Are others the same as me in their essence or different?"
It was apparent that the world was full of people that were unique in their presentation but was there something that was the same?
I walked up to the top of a hill overlooking the Bay. My attention was drawn to a large boulder and suddenly as I put my attention on it I felt the sense of myself in it. I thought to myself, "What am I doing over there?".
I put my attention back on myself and the same sense of self was there. Then I put my attention on a tree and my sense of self was in it too. I asked myself; "This is very weird, how is it possible that I am over there?" My mind intervened and said this is not logical. It can't be true.
Then I put my attention on the panorama before me: the sky, the bay, the sea, the landscape, the houses and I felt myself implode. It was as if I went crazy for a nano-second and suddenly went completely sane. Suddenly all my thoughts vanished and my mind got totally clear. The sense of myself was everywhere.
There was no difference between the inside and outside. There was no separate self. All there was, was one self: the self of all and it was me. Everything that I thought was on the outside was in fact in me. It was me...and I was everything.
When I say "me" I don't mean an ego, a personality or a individual...all that was gone. I could best describe it as a universal self. There was a perfect sense of happiness, wholeness, contentment and completeness about the realization like I had finally come home.
There was a normalcy about it: this was the fact of existence and dwelling in any other sense of separateness was an illusion or abnormal. Then I walked back to the workshop room and met my fellow participants.
I saw that they too were that universal self but they were unaware of the wonderful magnificence within them. I instantly fell in love with them all and at the same laughed at the absurdity of how we were already fulfilled yet desperately searching for happiness outside when it was already inside.
They were in me and I was in them, in this cosmic eternal dance of consciousness becoming conscious of itself.
I understood the value of individuation...that consciousness needed to take on the illusion of individuality...for as we each related to another individual, the whole became more conscious of itself while each individual was paradoxically the whole. I understood that the whole of the universe was in a grand relationship like a mobius strip ceaselessly revealing itself to itself.
Ever since then I am constantly reminded that every kind of relationship and every act of communication has an element of sacredness to it. The universe is our relationship and we are all, one to another, unfolding in it.
The remarkable thing about this experience is that these kind of realizations are now available to everyone who has a sincere desire to inquire into the nature of self, life and others and who want live from a deeper place in themselves.
I am just an ordinary bloak just like every other person, but each ordinary person can have these special experiences.
It doesn't have to take years or a lifetime.
Just as technology has advanced, so too have methods of awakening. The technique as practiced on the Coming Home Retreat is one such method.
Check it out here and then get back to me if you want to further explore the self-inquiry technique that I teach on the retreat. Coming Home Retreat
By Russell Scott
From the 7th to the 13th of November 2011, Russell spent time in two hospitals diagnosed with a sub-arachnoid hemorrhage (burst blood vessel in his head) facing the possibility of dying. Out of this came some important realizations about life.
“Many thanks for the most wonderful experience of my life! I feel different now. Music even sounds different now. Debussy never sounded like that before! The biggest surprise for me was meeting and bonding with all those wonderful folks. WOW. I wish I could put them all in a lamp and then rub it and have them appear if I'm feeling lonely. Imagine having 20 or so folks like that in the same place at the same time?"
—Paul Wootten - Optometrist, Waterloo, Ontario
- Why Is It Important To Know Who You Are?
- Why Is It Important To Know Who You Are?
- The Dyad Technique For Insight and Enlightenment
- What Do You Do When The Present Moment Is Not A Pleasant Moment
- Awaken the Guru In You - sample chapters
- Painful Blessings by Rob Brezny read by Russell Scott with a commentary
- Two Words that Can Create Havoc in Your Life (maybe for a long, long time?)
- Why Do Affirmations Sometimes Fail?
- Transforming Bitterness
- Mr Potato Head's Awakening Experience