WHAT IS A SPIRITUAL PATH?


Buddha Tara Kaleidoscope

(Transmitted from Lhamo Dorje and Adrial into Leslee’s point of view)

This road of life follows many paths at once, and each of us finds the opportunity to choose how we travel it.

As these paths present themselves to us, each one glows with enticements that appeal to our senses and sensibilities. We can revel in the journey for its own sake or we can set our sights on Ascension or Enlightenment, and we can switch back and forth between these as we travel.

In any case, we’re on spiritual paths, regardless of whether or not we see it that way. We all are spirits, living – hopefully thriving – within bodies, so how could it be any other way?

That said, how we view ourselves engaging the world and those we share it with tremendously affects the quality of our brief visits here.  We can follow synchronicities that arise for us in many ways. We can watch them with fascination and curiosity, or we can view them as nudges and hints from our Spiritual Guides. We can also view them as random chaotic events, or mere meaningless phenomena, and the list of variations can expand to suit everyone’s experience.

We’d like to suggest that the views can all be boiled down into three categories: spiritual, materialistic, and phenomenal (or any combination of the two).

If we hold our own paths (experiences of this particular lifetime) as being primarily a series of puzzling or fascinating events, and we simply follow along, trying to find happiness, we might say we’re on a phenomenal path – one of phenomena.

Life just beats on, and we try our best to roll with the punches and enjoy the ride.

When our fascination escalates to the point that we begin to look for explanations, develop theories and search for “proof”, then we’ve stepped into a more materialistic (perhaps even scientific) path. Here we search for understanding of the world around us.

Now we can compare notes with others… Perhaps we look for patterns or rhythms that begin to “make sense” to us.

As we travel this path, at some point we may notice we feel we comprehend the physical world around us more completely. New questions may begin to arise. And these questions may seem more mysterious, less explicable.

This curiosity often leads us inside ourselves.

Once we look inside, even for just a brief moment, we’ve danced our way onto a spiritual path. We’ve caught a glimpse of the possibilities that hover outside the grasp of phenomena and materialism.

It’s okay, relax!

Dipping your toes into a spiritual path doesn’t mean you’ve become religious. Religion itself has nothing to do with spirituality. Religion is a human construct, invented by humans out of fear. We won’t go into that right now.

Moments spent on a spiritual path carry us into our hearts, our third eyes, more subtle physical realms, and even the astral planes. It doesn’t matter who or what you choose to guide you. If you intend to elevate yourself and experience your life meaningfully, that intention serves as your true protection and guidance, and whatever spirits, beings, angels or gods you choose as guides are really just your facilitators.

Stepping out of fear is the real goal.

At some points on our path, we may strive out of anger or fear. In these moments, we open ourselves to a greater assortment of “guides”, because our discernment weakens and we look for a quick, “permanent” fix. If we catch ourselves feeling frustrated, afraid or resentful, this is a good time to question deeply the source of our “nudges”.

As we familiarize ourselves more with joy and relax enough to allow our path to flow and teach us, we find more focused guidance.

Focused guidance presents the same puzzles and challenges along our way as scattered guidance. However, focused lessons tend to lead us in a progression along the path, rather than looping us into a cycle where we feel stuck. When we sense that we’re getting the same lessons, fears and frustrations repeatedly, we might do well to examine who – or what – we’re relying upon… if anything.

Finding focused guidance to keep us on a clear spiritual path is actually quite easy in principle. All we need to do is set our intention first, and then request help. Again, our intention protects us. It’s as if Intention conducts the “job interviews” before our guides are granted access to our heart, mind, spirit, or soul.

Sounds easy.

The challenge is to stick with it and be consistent. Discovering our intention may take time and effort. It usually requires meditation in order to develop a mind powerful enough to maintain clarity; self-discipline and steady practice play key roles.

We’ll hand you some encouragement. If you’ve reached a point where you recognize in yourself the wish to experience a spiritual path, you probably already have a good start on the intention, practice, and self-discipline pieces. Usually, by the time we’ve developed some spiritual wishes, they’ve sprung from having grown tired of learning lessons the hard way. Pulling ourselves up out of the mud highly motivates us towards effort. When we feel tired, frustrated or impatient, we can simply recall where we’ve been and how far we’ve come. This encourages us to catch our breath and then forge onwards.

Whatever path we find ourselves on now we can feel assured that in the big picture, we’re moving forward. Sometimes we may feel we’re waltzing around back and forth, or even circling endlessly in a square-dance, but every breath we take keeps us in our bodies, and our bodies carry us ultimately forward.

That’s why we took them. Abiding in the physical may seem tedious at times, but when we make progress in a physical body, we’re moving at a pace much faster than if we continuously hung out in the astral or spirit realms. Here on Earth we’re bombarded by lessons and experiences that force us to choose, discern, and apply effort – quickly – if we want to find happiness. We see graphically, sometimes brutally, how we are connected with one another, and how our actions impact others.

So please try to enjoy even the most confounding and painful moments of your life, by viewing them as stepping stones leading you to happiness.

When you reflect, look for the encouraging and delightful synchronicities. Use them to remind yourself that you enjoy guidance and protection, even when nothing feels very enjoyable.

We wish you many moments of feeling the presence of your guides, and feeling your progress in ways that bring you joy. Call on your guides if you feel alone, and we will be there, without fail. Your progress fills our being with immense delight, and when you smile in your hearts, your world expands into Light.

With much love to all of you,

Adrial and Lhamo Dorje

Advertisements

BOOK TWO: chapter six: meet the new buddha!



[from Buddha Heruka and Buddha Manjushri]

Lhamo Dorje (Lhamo Kalinga Tindley Dorje), emanates especially for these times.

In this busy world, most people don’t find much free time. Distractions abound, as do excuses. Sometimes we wish we had a little special help.

Regardless of our religious (or non-religious) preferences, we all receive help – often – from “beings” we cannot see.

Buddhas – Enlightened Beings – are just as empty as books, laundry, and statues. So is “Enlightenment”. And so is time. In terms of Emptiness, you have already attained Enlightenment, so you already are a Buddha. Through the lens of Emptiness, we may view all beings as Enlightened.

Traditionally, Tibetan Buddhist practitioners rely upon deities (Buddhas with specific characteristics) to help them along their paths. Different deities possess different qualities, and they appear according to the karma and inclinations of the people who practice their teachings. They’re often rendered with great detail in statues and paintings, with elaborate explanations of what the various details signify.

As I understand it, Zazen practitioners (Zen Buddhists), emphasize observing the mind, and any iconography they use tends to be abstract and simple; Zen shrines use very little imagery of Enlightened Beings (compared to some traditions).

Other Buddhist traditions range between these two ends of the spectrum, in terms of representation and emphasis.

Lhamo Dorje falls somewhere in the middle of that range. Then she wanders off in the direction of gesture drawings and modern dance.

Her very beautiful red-colored body and relaxed demeanor indicate that she resides comfortably in her power. She ‘thinks’, and “it is done”.

She resides within a sphere of rainbow-colored wisdom fire, signifying that she acts in all directions and times, to bring about the swiftest ripening of everyone’s potential to attain Enlightenment.

That’s the Tibetan-ish description.

You might also say that she acts everywhere, in the past, present and future, to arrange the world so that everyone finds happiness as quickly as possible.

Describing enlightened beings with images or lists of attributes defies their very nature, but these devices can introduce us to the concepts the images represent.

This list explains some of the symbolism of Her attributes:

  1. Lhamo Dorje shows lightning-fast paths for overcoming all delusions through the realization of Emptiness; this leads everyone to Enlightenment.
  2. Her red-colored body appears like a typical human female. Her “body” is not “idealized”.
  3. Her red-colored body represents Emptiness and the wisdom of knowing all paths to Enlightenment.
  4. Her long black hair represents the river of all spiritual realizations. Its curls flow like great bliss. Her hair’s center part indicates the middle way – the path that navigates between “reality” and emptiness. Her hair flows to the lower tip of her central channel and forms a clockwise swirl, representing bliss leading to all spiritual realizations.
  5. Her hair covers her full breasts, representing freedom from all attachments through the realization of emptiness.
  6. Her widely opened arms embrace and touch all practitioners, and show that she reaches all minds.
  7. Her fingers gently extend; she reaches all points.
  8. Her legs extend straight and spread slightly, and her toes point downwards and outwards, representing that she rests upon Emptiness.
  9. She floats in space inside a sphere of rainbow-colored fire, representing that she needs no “grounds” to support her path. The realizations of all the Buddhas of the three times and ten directions (everywhere and all times) protect her.
  10. Her peaceful expression represents her mind of supreme peace, and her relaxed smile represents her love of all living beings.
  11. Her “eyes” see all.
  12. Her ears indicate that she knows all teachings.
  13. Her round belly embraces all the Enlightened Beings waiting to be born into this world, and signifies her spiritual power.
  14. Countless points of white light surround her within her sphere of wisdom fire, representing the countless living beings who attain Great Enlightenment through her teachings.
  15. The vast swirling blue ocean of the Realm of All Knowledge (Dharmakaya) engulfs her sphere of wisdom fire.

If, as you read this or look at the images, you feel a personal connection to Lhamo Dorje, you’ll know it, and you‘ll know what to do. That’s not meant to sound cryptic or mystical; it rings true because one of Lhamo Dorje’s specialties is working with intuition.

The seeds of everything you need – to reach Enlightenment – are found on this blog site; all you need to add are faith, perseverance, and meditation.

The main practice along any spiritual path is asking for help. Whether you do this through prayer, meditation, reading, attending classes, or simply having the intention to make true progress, all these methods work.

Sometimes, our tears and sighs suffice as supplications. Our Guides hear us.

The simplest practice works best when used with faith. If we believe in Enlightened Beings, they can help us instantaneously. If we trust that anything is possible, and are willing to let go of what we think are the “best” results, then they can get to work helping us.

I’ll give you an example. A few days ago I was cleaning out some papers, and came across a “wishlist” that I had written eight months ago.

It’s a thing that I like to do now and again, and my Guides encourage it. I make a list of things I wish for, and put it on my shrine (or near my pillow). I’m sure it would work if it were put inside a Bible as well.

I just write the list – thoughtfully – and put it away.

As I read the 8-month-old list (it’s 2 pages long), I realized that only two of the items had not been fulfilled. One was about a foundering romantic relationship, and the other was about a job opportunity. I can see now that I’m far better off with those two scenarios not having played out the way I’d hoped.

It’s pretty incredible to consider the conditions that had to be “arranged” in order for those other items to get sorted out. Yet here I sit, in my favorite city, in a lovely home, with wonderful friends and a growing community… enjoying the results.

Please understand, if you try this: the results may not always be pleasant for you. But what is “pleasant”?

To get to this point, I had to make some tough decisions, knowing that it might take years and years to “recover” from some of the consequences. I made the choice to follow a scenario that combined “uncertainty” with peace of mind, rather than a path of “certainty” plus hollow discontent.

The confident feeling of being true to myself negates – most of the time – the temporary inconveniences that I’m still dealing with. I can’t deny – it’s not an easy path. But the rewards are pretty amazing.

(And I’ve been told that before the year is out, that one last item on the wishlist will most likely be sorted. About that, I’ll continue to be decidedly cryptic – no need to set expectations…)

[updated in December 2011 – we’re still working on that one, but it’s going well.]

As we’re being battered by the seas of change, a strong connection with our guides can provide deeply abiding comfort. Our progress depends largely upon our faith in our guides, through the good times and the bad.

Now let’s suppose that you’re one of the many people who will read this and not feel a terrifically strong connection to any particular guide. Maybe the idea of facing difficulty in order to attain Enlightenment (or happiness in any form) is not for you. It’s not for everyone.

You might have faced many trials in previous lifetimes, and you’re here now to take a breather.

Relax, and allow your guides to help you in ways that are more traditional. They delightedly do that as well. Along a less intense path you might become more acquainted with your guides and develop a deeper connection gradually. That’s better than jumping into a torrent only to scramble back out later, cursing and spitting.

Thank you sincerely, if you’re willing to keep an open mind and entertain the possibility that Enlightened Beings exist.

They are very much alive, and they offer us many opportunities because they see that the world is ripe for much positive change.

They are with us, every moment, even if we cannot feel it.