Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Feeling Trapped

Do you feel trapped in a life that isn’t your own? Let’s explore this common theme. We all feel blocked sometimes, but,  are we really?

We form habits as we live. Just like the way tires can make deep tracks in mud. We can get stuck as our habits create tracks in our brains. It’s that “stuck in a rut” feeling. We realize that our life is not what we want.

The habits get so strong that it seems impossible to do anything else. There are an infinite number of excuses for why you can’t. It is critical that you see the resistance for what it is. Your brain’s unwillingness to look beyond the rut.

Getting out probably won’t be easy. It will take powerful determination to crawl up the wall of that rut and see the possibility of freedom. It will take courage to step out of your comfort zone. It will take perseverance to stay out of that painful, but comfortable, place you used to be in. It will test you to your limits. The effort is worth it.

One of the most powerful ways that you can support yourself in moving forward is meditation. The simple act of sitting still and allowing everything to be perfectly OK will strengthen you. In moments of deep meditation it feels like everything is perfect just the way it is.

As you practice you will discover something radical. You are, and have always been, absolutely free. There is a part of you that has never been born, has never suffered, and has never been limited. The experience gives you the strength to crawl to the top of the deepest rut and look out to the potential that your life truly holds.

No matter how difficult things are right now there is always the possibility of the future. You don’t have to be enlightened to experience glimpses of this freedom. You simply have to allow yourself to experience it. Once you see what’s possible, moving in a positive direction will be more compelling than staying in that rut.

Have you pulled yourself out of a hopeless situation?I’d love to hear how you made it happen.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Truths to Live By: Supremacy is Evil

In Ifa we consider supremacy evil. Believing that you are more valuable than another human being is clearly wrong. Supremacy can only be accomplished through oppression. We understand diversity to be the hallmark of God’s creation. Supremacy has no place in the Ifa world-view.

Oppression requires you to actively hold someone else down. It most often involves devaluing the things that make the other person different.

Distinctions are important. We need to understand the difference between good, and bad Without distinctions we can’t grow. We would have no way of knowing that something is better.

When we dislike people for anything other than bad character we are starting a downward slide. Systems that prohibit anyone from participating fully, as equals, are a problem.

In Ifa women are equal to men. Men and women receive the same initiation as Ifa priests. Men are referred to as Babalawo and women and Iyanifa. This is a difference in name only.

At the highest level, men receive Igba, and women Nanna.  Men are forbidden from Nanna, and women from Igba. However, these energies are equally powerful, and equally respected.

The point at which distinctions become supremacy is when someone is oppressed. I consider Ifa a highly evolved tradition. Christianity does not agree with a lot of Ifa principles. If I act against Christians because of that I would be wrong. I accept all other viewpoints that respect everyone’s right to their own.

Most religions engage in silencing opposing views. Atrocities have even been committed in the name of Buddhism. People of faith must take care to respect people from other traditions.

If someone does something that doesn’t directly harm anyone, how can it be in bad character? If you take issue with something, think about it. Are you reacting to unconscious programming? Think for yourself. You’ll find it easier to accept other people.

Have you noticed your very human tendency to act against people who are different from you? Have you been able to see it for what it is? I’d love to hear why or why not.

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