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
Believing is something that you do.
Faith is what you do it with.
Faith is a kind of personal power you have. You can put it in concepts and ideas in your head and make agreements with it. Or you can put your personal power of faith within your self.
A warrior refrains from the first, and does the latter.
A spiritual warriors path is challenging.
In The Four Agreements, Miguel Ruiz calls it a war. We will lose some battles, that’s okay. It may feel like a lot, even with the perspective of the victim persona at the time, hopeless. But it is only one battle. A Spiritual Warrior learns not to measure progress in the war using the metrics of only one battle.
A Spiritual Warrior learns to retreat, rest, recover, learn from their actions, regroups, then stands up again to take another step on his path.
Even in the process of losing a battle, much progress is made. The ego has pushed back, and so it is exposed, and we gain more clarity on our endeavor. The ego can even be weakened. At a minimum, we become more respectful of our foe, even if it is a dream. We become more grateful of those moments that are peaceful, and even grateful of moments where we are just holding our ground against a dream. And with that kind of experience a number of times we embrace humility, a kind of mile marker on the journey.
Sometimes it is best for a Warrior to realize they have done their best against their emotional reactions and inner demons of the mind, and to go rest and recover. A warrior learns there is a time for that too as they become wise.
Sometimes it is best to rest and recover. It will be necessary to take time to rest or you will not win many of the battles in the war for your happiness.
Fear is the path of an un-lived life.
We don’t learn to control our attention when we are young. We have to learn to control our attention when we are adults.
When we are young we were told where to put our attention, who to put it on, and how long to keep it there. We learned to put our attention on what other people told us to. Since adults taught us to put our attention on them, or on what they wanted to put our attention on, (school work, chores, minding our manners, following the rules, etc) by default we learned not to put our attention on our self. We became automated to have others control our attention.
Indirectly we learned not to pay attention to our emotions, what we were feeling, or what we wanted.
When you become an adult, and you realize that your attention is still governed by all those rules you collected, or that your mind is looking for other people to direct your attention. You might even feel uncomfortable if it is your own hands with no one telling you what to do. You may find your self trapped with your thoughts and beliefs controlling your attention. Realizing that you are trapped, and don’t have control over your attention is one of the first steps towards freedom.
It is only as adults that we have the opportunity to take control over our own attention, notice how we feel, and direct our life in a way we want. This is something of an opportunity not typically available to us when we were children.
Oh,,, and it will take work, and many attempts to free your attention from limiting beliefs and fears.
Such is a spiritual warriors training ground.
Specific exercises for gaining control over your own attention can be found at my Self Mastery Course at Pathway to Happiness.
How does a Spiritual Warrior fight Lies? You fight lies with Truth.
How does a Spiritual Warrior fight Fear? You fight fear with Love.
How does a Spiritual Warrior fight injustice? You fight injustice with Forgiveness.
Winning the war going on in your own mind is easier as you develop your skills with Truth, Love, and Forgiveness.
These tools may not always work when dealing with the outside world, but they are the best tools for fighting the fear, lies, and injustice in your own mind.
More practical steps for winning the war in your mind in the Self Mastery course on my other site.
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 challenge is not just to love. We’ve all done that quite successfully and easily as children. The greater challenge is to love with awareness that the world is a difficult place, where people are not always kind, or what we want them to be. The challenge is not to love people when they are beautiful, but to love them when they are not.
The challenge is also to love and accept your self, even when don’t measure up to your beliefs about what you should be. This is a spiritual warrior’s challenge.
Posted at: A Spiritual Warriors Challenge to Love
Website: ToltecSpirit: A guide for spiritual warriors based in the Four Agreements
“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.
My friend studied political science. He said politics was basically a scramble for power. But power is a need to control,,,, and a need to control is only necessary if you are afraid. So the scramble for power is really just a reaction to fear. If we really want to study political science we need to understand fear. Power is just the tail being wagged by the dog.
The irony here is that those that seek power often do so because they are powerless over their fear.
As a spiritual warrior,,, you will not develop real personal power until you develop awareness and win over your mind from fear.