Fear of Being Duped By A Spiritual Teacher

Posted by Gary on Jul 19th, 2013

Some people write or talk to me about their hesitancy or resistance to taking steps forward on their path of discovery.  One of my favorites is:

There is a fear of being duped by a Spiritual Teacher 

Fear of being mislead by a teacher. Fear of being duped and giving away a trust in myself. What is discernment, what is judgment? When am I doing which?

I find this reasoning kind of funny.   A person is using their fear to guide their thought process away from taking actions.   Why should we trust our fears?  Isn’t it usually our fears that more often mislead us in our thinking and actions?

Often this kind of “fearful thinking” is called skepticism, and often by people who claim to be skeptics.  However, in this case the fear is using this tool of skepticism to be fearful of something different, and keep other fears in place by preventing action.  A more skillful use of skepticism would be to apply it to these fearful thoughts.  Until you apply skepticism to your fears, fears will use that tool of skepticism against your own emotional well being.

To balance challenging your fears of a teacher, don’t go leaping in with both feet towards what any teacher tells you either.  It is reasonable to be skeptical of a Spiritual teacher, or even therapist, just don’t be fearful.  Take your time time getting to know them and see what they are like, and if it is a good fit for you.

You might find some good guidance on evaluating a Spiritual Teacher from Jack Kornfield’s book, “A Path With Heart.”

Chapter 16 is entitled:   You Can’t Do It Alone: Finding and Working with a Teacher

 

 

 

 

 

 

Difficulty Making a Choice

Posted by Gary on Feb 18th, 2011

Sometimes we struggle making a choice.  We know we have to, but we don’t know the right thing to do.  Maybe they are difficult because each outcome results in someone getting hurt.  Or each choice is good so we want them all.

Sometimes, when we can’t see clearly what to do, it’s because it’s not time to make a choice.  Sometimes, not all the time, it’s best to wait, and watch.  Observe more closely.  Take the time to look more closely at what you really want.  Take more time to develop clarity about the nuances of the situation and possibilities.

Sometimes by patiently waiting you can watch the people around you react, fidget, and do their drama in the way they do it.  If you sit still, you can see their drama for what it is.  This gives you an extra level of clarity to make a better choice.   When you develop clarity you don’t struggle to make a choice.  You don’t struggle at all.  You just see it.

Of course,,, you have to be able to sit still long enough to get the clarity.   You could say that making wise choices is a developed skill.   Good luck with your practice.

 

The Search For Reality

Posted by Gary on Nov 2nd, 2010

“The search for Reality is the most dangerous of all undertakings, for it destroys the world in which you live.”     Nisargadatta Maharaj

I would say to this that the “world in which you live”  is a reference to the belief system of our mind.  It is a virtual world of symbolic language and images that we use to understand the outside world of reality.  As much as it is a tool to communicating and understanding the Reality, it in effect blinds us from perceiving Reality directly.

It is the dismantling or destroying  this virtual world of the mind that can seem frightening, and at the same time exciting in its feeling of liberation.

In the field of the Four Agreements this one is a reminder of  “Don’t Make Assumptions”

Posted Originally at ToltecSpirit.com a resource for spiritual warriors practicing the Four Agreements.

 

The Law of Attraction Is A Myth

Posted by Gary on Jun 3rd, 2010

I don’t buy into the Law of Attraction. You don’t always attract what is in your consciousness. You only need one instance to prove a law invalid. Christ had his body beaten and crucified but it wasn’t something he attracted because he had it in his consciousness.  He was treated that way because of beliefs other people held in their consciousness

Nelson Mandela spent years confined to prison, but not because it reflected his consciousness.  He was held in prison because other people held in their consciousness beliefs of apartheid.  You don’t always attract what is in your consciousness.  Sometimes you are the recipient of what other people express from their  belief system.

If something is a law it operates all the time everywhere.  The law of gravity is a law because it applies to everything we know everywhere we can measure and test it.  If it only worked sometimes or in some places it wouldn’t be a law.   The same with the Law of Attraction.  It’s too inconsistent.  It’s only a theory that doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.   It’s not a “Law.”  It’s a Myth of Attraction.  If it really worked a lot more people would have what the want.

Originally posted at The Law of Attraction is a Myth

Where you can find Guidance and Wisdom for the Spiritual Warrior based in the Four Agreements

 

Making Personal changes

Posted by Gary on Mar 26th, 2010

How do make personal changes in your life?

Sometimes making changes in your beliefs, emotions, relationships, and elsewhere in your life is counter-intuitive.

When you are riding a bicycle,,, how do you turn the bike to the right?   You turn the handlebars to the left.    How do you change the negative thoughts in your head?   We’ll maybe you get the best results in a similar way.  Don’t try to push more positive ones on top of them.  Sometimes when you do you end up going in a negative direction.

Turning the handlebars to the right in order to turn the bike to the right makes logical sense if you aren’t aware of the other factors like the gyroscopic effect of precession.   Don’t know what you are doing when it comes to changing your beliefs or emotional reactions and you are likely to end up goring in the wrong direction.

The Self Mastery Course can help steer you in the right direction.  Some of the things might seem counter-intuitive, but they will make more sense when you have more awareness of how belief systems operate.

Originally posted at Making Personal Changes

ToltecSpirit.com, a resource for living by the Four Agreements.

 

 

Free Your Mind

Posted by Gary on Feb 4th, 2010

The challenge is not to free your mind.

The challenge is to free your self from your mind.

 

This post by Gary van Warmerdam at http://www.toltecspirit.com/2010/02/free-your-mind/

Where you can find Wisdom of the Four Agreements for Spiritual Warriors

For practical steps and exercises to inventory and change your own beliefs/agreements there are exercises in the Self Mastery course.

 

Being a Moral Person

Posted by Gary on Aug 8th, 2009

Being a moral person has gotten confused by a lot of people to mean being right.   I don’t think it really means that.  Being moral person has more to do with being kind, compassionate, and respectful.

 

The Four Agreements – Why is it so Hard?

Posted by Gary on Jun 6th, 2009

Living by the Four Agreements,,, why is it so hard?

We read the book the Four Agreements and feel better by the simple clarity it presents.  It tells us something about our self, other people, and the world that we have always known, but not been able to put into words.  With that clarity we have a sense of hope and excitement about changing our life and our relationships.  It is possible to end the drama of emotional suffering and be happy.

We take the next step and adopt the four agreements as principles and practices that we continually live by.  We are excited about the possibility, but then the reality sets in. Living our lives by the Four Agreements is challenging.  It can even appear impossible.  Why is it so hard when they are so simple?

We Make Endless Assumptions

It is because we have been practicing doing the exact opposite for almost our entire life.  From the time we were 2 or 3 years old we have been making assumptions.  We do it so continually we aren’t even aware how automatically we do it so often.

We Take Everything Personally

We also assume that we are the center of the world.  We assume that people do things because of us.   People react to what we say or do and we think it is about us. We aren’t aware that they have their own beliefs and interpretations that cause them to react.  This assumption blinds us to personalize everything to our own point of view.  We have done this for years and practiced it until we do it automatically.  We have become masters of taking things personally.

We don’t believe we do our best.

The judge in our mind has been hard at work telling us what to do for years.  It has been a constant reminder of what we should and shouldn’t do.  In our child hood we learned to follow it as a god like authority in our life.  We wouldn’t dare question what it tells us we should be.  Because our obedience to that inner judge we never feel like we are doing our best.

Living by the Four Agreements is a Life Changing Commitment

All of this, making assumptions, interpreting everything from our own personal point of view, and living by the voice of the inner judge is the exact opposite of the Four Agreements.  And we have been doing it for years.  Practicing it every day for years,,, the exact opposite of the Four Agreements.

When you decide to adopt the Four Agreements you are changing the course of so many of the habits of your life.  You will not make these changes in one day, or even one week.  However, if you work at it over time, you can make extraordinary changes in your life.

If you decide to adopt the Four Agreements as a means to change your relationships and your life, don’t do it for a day or a week.  Decide to do it a little bit each day for a year.  Then see how much you have changed.  To attempt to measure your results in a week, or a month is to make a gross error assumption in the magnitude of your undertaking.
For practical exercises in implementing the Four Agreements take advantage of the free sessions in the Self Mastery Audio Program.

This post originally posted at The Four Agreements by Gary van Warmerdam

 

How do you care for someone?

Posted by Gary on Apr 28th, 2009

So often we pretend to care about someone.  We convince our self that we are concerned for their happiness.  But when our emotions become a wave of reaction to them our own well being is now at stake.  When this happens our caring for them becomes unduly influenced to try and make our self feel better.   At this point our caring for them might more honestly be called selfishness.

For specific exercises for identifying and dissolving fear based beliefs based in the Four Agreements, begin with the free practices in the Self Mastery audio program.

The original  post located at What it means to Care For Someone

 

Recommended Reading: Socrates Cafe

Posted by Gary on Mar 30th, 2009
Only about 50 pages into the book, Socrates Cafe by Christopher Phillips, and I am delighted.

Socrates was in a devout pursuit of the Truth. His method was inquiry that usually took the form of questions.

He battled with the Sofists

soph·ist (s?f’?st) Pronunciation Key
n.
One skilled in elaborate and devious argumentation.
A scholar or thinker.
Sophist Any of a group of professional fifth-century B.C. Greek philosophers and teachers who speculated on theology, metaphysics, and the sciences, and who were later characterized by Plato as superficial manipulators of rhetoric and dialectic.

The Sophist seemed to espouse rhetoric of what is is to be good, better, and ideal. They would give you what you needed to know and all you had to do was believe them.   I would liken this to the people of today who write and speak about all the “good things you should be doing” even for your own happiness.

However, in their pursuit of the prettier picture and self image of success, they have sacrificed an honest inquiry for the Truth.

It is the difference between accepting what you are told is the truth, and finding out for your self.

The first approach is easier and can give a quick and easy peace of mind. However, it leaves you no peace in your soul. To find the truth for your self you sometimes have to scratch and claw your way with inquiry past all the illusions you hold. However the skills over your attention, discernment, and perception, will serve you well for all your remaining days and nights. It will make it difficult for any liar or sophist to betray you.  Even your own mind.

You may have found in my writing and audio that I am not inviting you to believe me. If you work with me individually, you will also find that I often don’t answer your quesitons directly. Instead I likely ask you a question in response to yours? This is is not to annoy anyone, but rather to invite them into a process of finding out for themselves, instead of putting their faith in the stories of someone else.

For specific exercises for identifying and dissolving fear based beliefs based in the Four Agreements, begin with the free practices in the Self Mastery audio program.

 The original  post located at Socrates Cafe

 

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