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The Waking Up To Compassion Blog > Discovering Your Inner Guru

We all feel alone sometimes but we never are.

Everything is One, promise the ancient sages of India, who are now being echoed by our leading scientists and mathematicians.

Yet since we each have our own head; our own stomach with its own set of hunger pangs; and usually walk on our own two legs, rather than someone else’s; even a child might argue with the idea of being One with All That Is.

For we are each, just one human form among billions.

It is hard for the intellect to grasp the concept of union with All That Is when our physical differences are so obvious…size, shape, colour. Indeed, we may also feel very separate on the inside too, aware that our particular perceptions and views on life, might be more idiosyncratic than commonly shared.

The trouble is this feeling of aloneness can cause real pain.

That’s why it can be such a relief to find a person or group of people who share similar perceptions, outlook and humour. It is often easier to feel at One with everything around kindred spirits.

Indeed, it can be so easy for a human being to feel limited and separated by our individual physical form, psychology and perceptual reality that instead of feeling part of All That Is, maybe we feel more like “One is the loneliest number that there ever is…”

“How did we ever get here?” we wonder on those days when we feel knee deep in the mud of our particular existence.

Other people’s lives so easily looks so sweet. Easy.
And mud less.

Ironically, others might be looking on at our lives, envious, feeling stuck in theirs. We never can be sure they are not…everybody looks up to somebody…

The thing is most of us feel restless…at least some of the time… with our all too human lives.
It is easy to feel life would be better with another job, another mate, or different looks. Yet even the richest, smartest and most beautiful persons on earth will have their sorrows.

The Eastern sages say these sorrows are not just random bad luck. They have been seeded by us, for us. The particular troubles we encounter have emerged out of our experiences, decisions, thoughts, words and actions in our past. Out of that preceding material emerge the current events, situations and pressures we are experiencing….so precisely tailor-made just for us…often excruciating enough to catalyze growth.

That is their purpose.

Indeed, they might feel like our worst nightmare came true, just because the challenges that arise in our lives will return us yet again to every feeling we have been pushing away this life, and run from many times before.

But whatever troubles we have, they are ours, coming to help us open up our hearts and increase our awareness. Think of it as nonverbal teaching.

The Universe can’t really say to us: “You need to open up to become the person you were born to be. To do this you will need to experience your ability to really love and to perceive more deeply.”

But it can send us situations and events to teach us. Always these predicaments will be resolved much more quickly, easily and happily if we open our hearts.

Besides, no matter how tumultuous the challenges we face, perhaps others have it worse. There is an old story about this.

Once upon a time, the people in the village were so full of discontent, the local sage suggested they hang their particular troubles in a sack on a tree branch and choose another sack of woe more to their taste.

With great excitement, everyone hung a bag of their own individual problems on a tree. Joyfully they danced around its trunk, searching the many branches looking for a sack of more pleasant sorrows to take home.

But as time went on, it became clear the other difficulties were not lesser at all... They all had their particular sting and torment.

Indeed, as the story goes, the villagers, after sampling all the other woes, decided that their own set weren’t so bad after all

So each one picked up the old familiar sack of troubles and took it home, but at least now they felt both lighter and more at peace about their lives.

Because some of the bags of troubles had been so much worse than their own…

This old story seems to suggest that by turning to embrace our sorrows, we might find the solution to our lifetimes. A Christian might describe it as the act of picking up and carrying the cross…

In other words, we have to turn and face our own wounding which might feel like an inner crucifixion, as we realize our innocence and true Nature was abused, misunderstood, treated badly by circumstances or people who maybe just didn’t know any better.

Then our true job as human beings, the reason for our lives, is to allow it to heal into a higher awareness. This willingness to grow opens the door to our own personal resurrection and fulfillment in our life on the earth plane.

When we turn to face our healing with a full and open heart, we find that all of life conspires to assist us to grow, to resolve our dilemmas, to help us solve our longstanding problems and conflicts and finally to transform us into noble and compassionate people. We just have to keep going and never give up.

Being a human being can be challenging. Certainly some days we might feel some Satan In The Sky is stalking us, setting up our worst case scenarios, giving us everything we had wanted to avoid and maybe even that all at once.

But as pointed out, our difficulties are not just random. Indeed, the solution is in our power. The great masters say our thoughts take about 10 years to manifest. As we learn to control our minds somewhat, to gently! steer away from negative thoughts or at least learn to observe them, this sense of being persecuted will dissolve. And the nightmarish circumstances we might feel trapped in will gradually morph into a much better situation.

If we make the effort and keep going no matter what, this beautiful transformation will occur. It is inevitable.

Because the whole point of human existence is to learn and to become more aware. No matter what strategies we use to distract and soothe ourselves, we can’t escape the human condition while we are here. Even the great sages of the Eastern spiritual tradition say that our only hope is to deeply accept our circumstances, and set out to love others, as well as ourselves and to serve humanity and all of life.

Taken far enough, they say it is possible to experience a deep and lasting peace and happiness.
Still, short of a very enlightened state when an individual feels at One with All That Is, the truth is we all will feel abandoned sometimes.

It is an irony of life that often an experience of real abandonment is a prerequisite of awakening. Or at very least we must suffer an inner sense of hollowness, of desertion or neglect before we finally get down to bonding with our true Essence. It seems that perhaps only deep deep pain makes us willing to turn toward the Silence of the Being inside… Or listen to its guidance….Or finally to open to experience the deep transcendent state of knowing everything is One.

And sometimes even agony can’t crack our shells open. There are people who no matter how difficult the situation or how deep the hurt, these individuals still refuse to open to true reality, preferring to writhe in pain, just because they have such trouble trusting that there is a greater truth beyond this concrete reality.

But if the leap into a higher awareness is made, when we look back at our past, we realize we had been busy trying to find happiness in ways that would never work. We may try hard to be physically beautiful but aging will come anyway. Even if we truly are born beautiful, would the people who love us, love us if we were not so good-looking? How can a house full of objects heal you when you are dying? Or how can marrying another flawed and needy human being bring permanent happiness?

How could even a well paying job satisfy if you have suppressed your true vocation to fit into an ideal held in a culture that has lost its ground, ethics and balance?

How could any of these strategies possibly work well? Our Essence whispers that finding happiness these ways could only fail but still we try – with the inevitable results.

Until we just give up the old sad game and try something new.

There are some rules of life. One is that we cannot get to joy without experiencing sorrow.

Mostly we run from our own sack of sorrow rather than facing the deep root of abandonment and separation that is present in every human being who has not yet achieved Self-realization. In this state a person experiences permanent happiness because they are aware they are divine and part of All That Is. Until we reach that exalted state, we will experience a sense separation/sorrow/abandonment underneath our everyday understanding.

This unhappiness originated in our childhood experience that formed our ego. We felt unloved or got hurt and decided that life is harsh; we are not worthy; other people are mean; and then most of us, unless we manage to awaken to true reality, live lives that tend to reinforce these original concepts.

Indeed, it is almost inevitable that we feel abandoned as small ones because each human being is an independently mobile entity rather than fused at the hip with everyone else in the world.

Even a dearly loved 18 month old might feel deserted when mom disappears for a minute.

Babies panic sometimes and so do adults. But the truth is no one is ever truly forsaken.
Still when we are out of touch with our true selves, as most of us are, we will feel alone And probably confused. How could we not really when our conditioned ego or small self will never understand the reason behind every problem we have, why we are here, why we chose our particular body build and facial features and even what we had to eat two years ago, on a rainy day two weeks before Valentines.

It is our Essence/inner Being/Soul who has that knowledge. And when we are denying/running from/ out of touch with it, it is hard to feel safe or secure.

Instead, we might feel like a piece of flotsam and jetsam, floating high off the ground, being blown here and there, without any understanding of why things are happening in our lives the way they are. Then it is easy to feel caught in some random universe where nothing makes sense at all

These are just a replay of the feelings of the scared powerless child we once were. These feelings will come up again and again until we face our wounding and allow them to heal. It might be tempting to just repress them. But if we do that, they will re-emerge even stronger in some future time. Better to feel them, being aware that they belong to the past. We may feel the old helplessness but we can use self talk to remind ourselves that we are adults now and have power whenever we decide to use it.

Another tempting detour are the myriad of conspiracy theories floating about. But these just steer us back to the helplessness of the little child and reinforce our powerlessness. They distract us away from facing our own wounding and healing into real awareness and self confidence and the positive personal power that comes with that.

Concentrating on them will keep us small minded and feeling powerless. Ironically, that makes us very easy to manipulate so the more of us thinking this way, the more controllable we are.

Our Western society is an alienated one which emphasizes material wealth over character and nobility of spirit. But even so, our biggest power comes from turning inward because inside us lies a big safety net to catch us when life feels distressing, dangerous and cruel. Within each one of us is an inner source of infinite wisdom and solace or Essence. Because we are so alienated from the truth of things, we might not have even felt a whisper of it yet so the whole idea of a soul might seem a theoretical construct. But a direct encounter of Essence is inarguable for the person who experiences it. It is an indelible occurrence that changes everything.

Our religious traditions are full of examples of people experiencing such an encounter or communication from their Being. Saul a tax collector becomes Paul the apostle. A great Indian villain of ancient times transformed and wrote the Vedas.

Mostly we feel and think otherwise but our Essence is the boss of our lives. In fact, the reason we are right here is because our Soul wants us right where we are.

We might forget this. We might think that we are just our human selves…with our specific identity, with our particular name, parents, hometown, and career. After all, it is obvious in a common sense way, isn’t it? The mirror shows us ourselves every day. People we know call us by our name. We are the person that we are. And we walk on our own two legs, rather than someone else’s as pointed out before.

All that is true. But inside us is something eternal and immeasurable that existed before the whole universe even was born. It is the alpha and the omega: it was there in the beginning and was there in the end and always shall be. It breaths us. It animates our body.

We breathe because our Essence wants us to; because it wants us to be here in our particular existence.

If we look, we will constantly see the proof of this large transpersonal intent behind our lives, although modern day humanity tends to ignore the data right in front of our eyes.

There are lots of stories of people living long lives because they had some particular work to finish. Or people hanging on, living far longer than expected, even just to see an off spring safely married.

I know of a man who has MS who was diagnosed decades ago. He turned around and had 3 daughters and his disease has not progressed since his original diagnosis. There are books and books and studies and studies of near death experience and even reincarnation.

That data suggesting the existence of a transpersonal Being within each of us is overwhelming. Even if it is mostly ignored by the mainstream

Still, at any time, most people on earth are going along within their own particular identities…mostly we live and die within our particular story. But sometimes, for some reason, we wake up in the middle of our existence - what the Eastern sages say is in fact a dream that our essence is having - and we go: “What???”

“What happened to my life? What happened to who I thought I was?”

When we feel like this, we are profoundly disoriented and uncomfortable emotionally, like suddenly awakening up in the middle of the night, not knowing where we are. The emotional upset is just the screams of your ego. It is terrified you are going to awaken to true reality and see its lie, thereby sending it to its death.

When you start seeing beyond the lies and the limits of your particular identity, your ego can no longer keep you in bondage to the old untruths; or imprisoned in the emotional prison created by your conditioning.

This is the process of finding freedom or spiritual liberation. The trouble is it feels agonizing or terrifying to go beyond this old jail when one has spent one’s life within its confines.

We see this same principle in the world as well. Sometimes newly released prisoners quickly commit another crime so they can return to the ‘safety’ of jail.

Of course it is not safe at all. Neither is it safe, once we have awoken, to try to go back to our old way of thinking.

We might wish to sometimes. Change is challenging and this kind of spiritual and emotional change even more so. So compassion and patience are needed while new ways of living and of being are discovered.

In contrast to the screams and machinations of the ego, your Essence is peaceful and happy that you are beginning to awaken to true reality.

What your Essence wants is for you to awaken to the fact that this apparently concrete reality that we are all living our human lives within is illusion. It is a dream. Your Essence dreamed up your identity, your body, everything about you so that it can grow.

Why does the Essence or Soul wish to grow when it is already all powerful and all knowledgeable. Maybe it is bored. Maybe it wishes to become more, understand more…

Maybe we are functioning here on earth like our own nighttime dreams.
Whatever the reason the Eastern sages simply call our existence here on earth – ‘a leela.’ It is God’s play. We are here because through us, God is playing into more knowledge more understanding more feeling perhaps...

The full truth is unknowable. Perhaps we will find out when we die, or finish our cycles on earth. Maybe we will understand more then.

Certainly life is mysterious. Don’t take it too serious…

Awakening can happen many ways. Sometimes we are tricked into it by our psyche like the fellow who was looking for a book about bicycles and bought a book called Cycling Off and woke up. Sometimes, it is a gradual movement of understanding…a growing feeling that there is more going on here than we understand. Sometimes trauma awakens us. Maybe we lose our job and our spouse leaves us. We might feel twinges of suicidal thoughts or even full on suicidal but there are the kids/ other loved ones to think about. (Besides, suicide is never wise…)

But it is the day that we can’t stand another 24 hours of our existence that we might start to wake up.

Feeling suicidal is a dangerous opportunity but if we can avoid falling for its siren song, we will finally understand that the ego, rising up in a last ditch attempt to keep us in line, is trying to persuade us to kill our soul which is like trading diamonds for glass and impossible anyway.

Our soul may have been waiting patiently for years, even lifetimes, for us to become willing to listen and respond to its deep blissful truth.

Sometimes, we don’t need trauma to prod us and we gradually become interested in waking up so we begin a meditation practice and keep it. Then perhaps lo and behold, our egocentric intellect begin to lose hold enough that we do perceive and then finally validate the existence of our Being.

Or we meet a truly self-realized person and they awaken us. (This is the easiest way perhaps. If we can study with them on an ongoing way, then they can midwife us, or spiritually parent us, like some loving mother and father, into a more aware and exulted way of being.

Another way that we get catapulted out of our sleeping state is to have some experience that we have no previous data for…

Astronaut Frank Borman, commander of the first space crew to travel beyond the earth’s orbit looked down on the earth from 250,000 miles away, then radioed back a message quoting Genesis …”In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

As he later explained, “I had an enormous feeling that there had to be a power greater than any of us…that there was a God, that there was a beginning.”

Astronaut John Glenn once proclaimed from orbit: “To look out at this kind of creation and not believe in God is, to me, impossible.”

When we have no patterns to explain it, the ego cannot put in a box. So we have a direct experience of the Mystery and awaken.

One of the most important steps is to come to the point that we understand that we are not being targeted in a negative way, life is not picking on us.

It is just trying to teach us.

We are here to learn.

If we learn we will be happy.

So back to the title of the essay…How to learn to listen to our inner guru.Once we understand that we are here to be taught, we will gradually learn how to follow directions, like children do through preschool and kindergarten. They just get the hang of it.

The same principle applies to evolution. We slowly figure out how to grow… what works and what doesn’t.

Just like an infant learning to walk we will make mistakes and fall. It can be tempting to feel shame and self-pity when we make a mistake. But it is much better to be like a toddler, just get up and try again without making a big fuss.

The more we want to hear our inner guru, the more we will step back from our linear mind’s explanations of our lives to fall into an experience of life that is something like a weave with threads leading back to our childhoods and relationships with others and even past lives if we go deep enough.

We will hear what we say and observe our actions and see how we helped create the circumstances that plague us. If we are lucky, we will get curious about why we do the things we do. If we do, insights will bubble up. And we will begin to understand ourselves.

We will find that our lives tend to repeat our childhood experiences until we awaken.

Once this is realized, it becomes clear that it is futile to try to go back to sleep.
We will find that it takes about 10 years for our thoughts to manifest. If that is scary know just that just observing your thoughts neutralizes their power. If you can replace them with constructive thoughts.

Or at least think to yourself…what could magic/God/the Tao/Source/ do, if I made room for something else other than the gloomy thing I think is going to happen.

Maybe just maybe I could help here on earth. Become a light. Why not? It is not so difficult. All it takes is to refuse to believe the machinations of the ego, and reach out and help others, spend time in meditation or yoga, or Nature…just find a way that works…that enables you to become more aware and peaceful as time goes on.

It will happen and slowly your personality will change and you will drop the discomfiture and fear of your conditioning and you will relax and realize that you can be yourself and live a life of meaning.

Which is the greatest gift you can give the world as well.

September 19, 2019 | Registered CommenterPremasudha