[From Buddha Heruka]
Having a spiritual path lets you allow others to help you more.
Sometimes your path may be more important than your pride. Many people take pride in doing things for themselves, going it on their own. When you take a lot of pride in your independence, you can miss out on a lot of help.
For many people, this pride is learned… it comes from adjusting to years of not receiving help.
When you wish for help and don’t receive it, you tend to think the only alternative is to insist upon doing it all yourself. You think this spares your hurt feelings, but really it just buries them beneath the surface of your emotions so you don’t notice them as much.
Not all negative emotions are bad and need suppressing.
Animals lick their wounds to help themselves heal faster, not because they feel sorry for themselves.
The human heart can also heal more quickly if its emotional wounds are tended carefully.
Emotions are very powerful and can overwhelm not only the weak but also the strong. If you’re afraid of feeling emotions, then you’re in for a very rocky road to Enlightenment.
Let’s take a look at some of the unpleasant emotions you may run into along the spiritual path, and talk about how to deal with them in ways that won’t obstruct your spiritual progress.
- Boredom: Boredom is when you not only think you have something figured out, you also think you’re better than those who are still working on it. These two attitudes of boredom are usually mistaken, because if you had it figured out, you would be trying to help others, instead of thinking about how superior you were. The best way to deal with boredom is to try to think of something you don’t know yet, or try to think of a way you can help someone else. You’re likely to learn something new from either of these methods.
- Anger: We’ve covered anger in a separate chapter, so please see “Making The Most Of Anger”. (We’ll try to get this uploaded soon)
- Discouragement: Discouragement is the feeling of not making progress, or of progressing too slowly. It can be countered by not being obsessed with trying to figure out where you are on your spiritual path (“Are we Enlightened yet?”).
- Fear: Fear is being afraid that things won’t turn out the way you want them to. The best way to counter fear is to understand that you may not know the best way for things to turn out.
- Disdain: Disdain is letting your pride close your mind. The best remedy for disdain is gently and calmly to ask someone to explain something to you, and then actually to listen to their explanation as if it were the first time you were hearing about it.
- Laziness: Laziness comes when you get discouragement and disdain, mixed together.
- Impatience: Impatience is the wanting of immediate results. Patience is the best remedy for impatience, and patience is simply being happy to wait. Impatience is one of the few emotions that you simply have to stop or suppress. There is no virtue to be found in it at all.
- Sadness: Sadness can be caused by many things, and may arise in many forms. It can be one of the most paralyzing emotions when it manifests as depression, and it can be one of the most inspiring and motivating emotions when it arises from loss. The sadness of depression can usually be overcome through the help of other people (and usually you have to request help). The sadness of loss may be alleviated by reflecting on the Emptiness of what was lost, as well as the Emptiness of your feeling of sadness. If what you lost was a person, then you may also reflect on love and how much you wish to meet that person again. Think of the lane between lifetimes, and the Emptiness of that person’s form, and wonder about how they might appear to you the next time you will see Them.
- Grasping: Grasping may manifest as a number of different emotions. It’s not really an emotion per se, but you may feel it like you feel emotions. It often feels like a pit in the stomach, or nervousness. It can also feel like fear or anger or jealousy, and it can make you feel like the world is going to end. It can cause you to do regrettable things and make bad decisions. When you think you might be grasping at something, try to think of Emptiness and remember that you are guided and protected.
Now that you have some ideas of what you’re likely to face, and some ways to deal with it, let’s talk about ways that living beings are very much able to get help from Enlightened Beings.
When you’re feeling an unpleasant emotion that keeps coming back again and again and you can’t seem to shake it, just ask for help.
No one expects you not to need help along the spiritual path.
If you have a lot of pride, you don’t have to tell anyone you asked for help; only the Enlightened Beings need to know. So just ask the Enlightened Beings to help you with whatever negative emotions you’re dealing with, and They will get to work right away.
Enlightened Beings may let you feel the emotion while you’re working on it, so that you will know and remember what it feels like. If the feeling gets so intense that you don’t think you can bear it, just let everything go and open up your heart enough to make room for the Enlightened Beings to enter and everything will be all right. It may be hard to do, but if your heart is closed, Enlightened Beings cannot do their work.
“How can that possibly work?” you’re probably wondering. We will explain.
Your emotions all have an effect on your energy body, including your mind and your heart. Enlightened Beings are able to affect many of your negative (and positive) emotions by aligning your chakras and the energies flowing through your channels. Negative emotions disturb the energy currents and cause turbulence.
Enlightened Beings are able to smooth this turbulence.
You may be wondering “If this is true, then why is there so much negativity in the world?”
The reason is that Enlightened Beings can only help you if They are requested.
If They were to interfere without being requested, then the turbulence in anyone’s energy system would be increased, due to resistance.
This is easy enough to check. The next time you’re feeling a negative emotion, ask for help to calm the emotion and help you feel more peaceful. You don’t even need to stop what you’re doing, and you don’t need to sit and meditate. If the feeling is very strong and it returns, just keep asking for help. Don’t stop requesting until your heart and mind are feeling peaceful and calm, even if that means you continue to ask for help until you attain Enlightenment.
If you forget to ask for help, please don’t worry.
One request is all you need, and that is called going for refuge. Going for refuge means you want Enlightened Beings to protect you all the time and you only need to do it once.
No matter what anyone tells you, Enlightened Beings never abandon anyone who has ever gone for refuge.
Once you ask Us for help, We will follow you from lifetime to lifetime, protecting you until you become a Fully Enlightened Being.
Once you’re Fully Enlightened, then you’ll be the one offering protection, and all living beings will be asking you to take over.