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Help Is All Around Us

by Robert Meagher on 10/03/21


Photo Credit: pexels.com - Julia Schmidt

Last month I headed off on one of my day-long bike rides to bask in the beauty of the Gatineau Hills. For hundreds, if not thousands of cyclists, the Gatineau Hills is a cycling haven and summertime playground. After a couple of loops of the park, I decided to stop to have my lunch. When I hopped back on my bike, I was met with a completely deflated (flat) back tire.

I knew I had a bike repair kit in my pannier bags. However, I had a flat tire repaired at the bike shop the day before and the bike shop had installed a style of inner tube that had a nozzle that my bike pump did not fit. Even if I could repair the leak in the inner tube, I would not be able to pump up the tire. I resolved myself to having a nice, yet very long, walk home. I was at the furthest point from home, about 30km, and figured it would take me 4-6 hours to get back home on foot.

Less than 5 minutes into my walk home a young man and woman cycling by and stopped to ask if I needed help. I explained my situation and the young woman said she had a pump that would fit the nozzle on my inner tube. We proceeded to pump up the tire. I thanked the young couple and hopped on my trusty steed, relieved that I may be able to cycle back home.

After less than a kilometer, I could tell my tire was losing air again. I was able to coast down a low-grade hill for another kilometer to arrive at a major intersection which served as a major congregation for cyclists, hikers and nature lovers alike.

I hopped off my bike, my tire almost completely deflated by this point. It took less than 2 minutes and a young man stopped and asked if I needed help. I explained my situation. We discussed the options to repair the leek, sufficiently to enable me to get home, and both felt that if I could inflate the tire to a high tire pressure, it should last me until I get home (as this was the case the day before). This young man had a bike pump required for my tire tube and pumped up my tire for me, nice and firm. I felt confident this would do the trick. I thanked the young man for his kindness and headed off toward home.

I cycled less than another kilometer, and the tire was losing air fast. I knew that this tire had to be replaced. I remembered at this point that I had a spare inner tube in my pannier bag that had a nozzle that my bike pump would fit. But this bike, which I got last year, had disc brakes and I had no experience removing a tire with disc brakes. So, once again, I resolved myself to a shorter, yet still long (only 25+ kilometers now), walk home.

After less than a kilometer, I passed a popular picnic park. I decided it was best to call my partner to explain the unfolding situation and let him know that I would be later getting home than usual. My partner suggested I ask someone for help to drive me home. I thanked my partner for the suggestion, but explain that I would need someone with a flatbed truck to fit the bike in, as the bike would not fit in a regular car, or even a car with a hatchback.

Just as I got the words out of my mouth (“I would need someone with a flatbed truck…”), a man with a flatbed truck pulled into the picnic area. I couldn’t believe my eyes! He rolled down his window and asked me for directions to a local tourist site. Forgetting momentarily about my predicament, I gave the man directions. He promptly thanked me and began driving off. I then suddenly remembered I could have used his help. As I waved my arms to flag him down, I watched him speed off in the direction I had instructed. I stood there feeling quite forlorn! My ‘meal ticket’ had passed through my fingertips! So close…and yet so far!

Once again, I resolved myself to a long walk home and began my journey. Not more than a couple of minutes passed, and another young man cycled by, stopped, and asked if I needed help. I explained the situation, that I didn’t know how to take a tire off a bike with disc brakes. He smiled and said, “I have disc brakes on my bike and I had to repair a flat tire earlier today! So, you’re in luck!”, he said.

This latest savior patiently instructed me how to remove the wheel, replace the inner tube, inflate the tire, and put the tire back on the bike. Voila! Fifteen minutes later I was ready to roll! I thanked the young man and blessed him a good day. I called my partner to provide an update and informed him I would be home regular time, afterall. The cycle back home was uneventful.

On my cycle home, I reflected on the previous unfolding events. Four separate times someone stopped to help me. It felt like God was insistent that I not be stranded and kept sending in the reinforcements to help me get back home. The time spans between resolving myself I would be walking home and then someone showing up to help me were so brief! Literally less than 5 minutes in each of the 4 situations.

The experience has convinced me that help is always around us. We merely need to open ourselves to receiving help. In all cases, I simply resolved myself, calmly, that I would be walking home. “It was a nice day, and while it would be a long walk, I have lots of water and a bit of food, all will be fine.”, I thought. I allowed myself to accept the situation and went with the flow. In the acceptance, I removed my blockages to fear. With no fear, I believe I opened myself to help presenting itself, seeing it, and accepting it.

Robert Meagher has been ordained as an Interfaith Minister and certified as a Sacred Attention Therapy (SAT) Therapist. Robert is the Founder and Spiritual Director for Spiritual Guidance and Co-Founder of the Center for Human Awakening.


Whatever I Am Reacting to Has Nothing To Do With the Other

by Robert Meagher on 08/03/21


Photo Credit: pexels.com - cottonbro

For some this will be no surprise. For others, this will be hard to accept. Here it is… whatever we are reacting to has nothing to do with the other. Let me explain with a personal story.

Last week I had to rush my partner to the hospital emergency. My partner was feeling very poorly, and had increasingly been feeling poorly for several days. My partner has been living with Parkinson’s disease for almost 20 years. During that time, we have paid many visits to the hospital emergency; too many to count. In each case the visits to the hospital results in a banter of tests being run that, with few exceptions, don’t reveal anything conclusive. Such was the case last week. That the doctors could not find anything wrong was, in one way, a blessing I suppose.

So as the events of that morning last week unfolded, a cornucopia of emotions ran over me like a mack truck! Everything from fear, worry, anger, frustration, anxiety, joy, love, compassion…you name it! Any and every possible emotion landed in my lap over the course of that morning and day. Perhaps you can appreciate that by the end of the day I was emotionally drained and physically exhausted.

It was only the next day that some clarity started to emerge over the events of the previous day. As the events unfolded, I perceived an ‘other’ in the unfolding events. In this case, the ‘other’ was my partner. I was seeing and feeling an ‘other’ person. As a result, I bought into the idea that the ‘other’ was causing me to feel whatever it was that I was feeling. If I was feeling fear, it was because the ‘other’ was causing this fear. If I was feeling worry or anxiety, it was because the ‘other’ was causing this worry or anxiety. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Every moment of that prolonged event—from the time we left our home to the time we returned—there never was an ‘other’ person making me feel anything. I was feeling something based on what I perceived was happening. My partner was not making me feel anything. I was ‘feeling’, full stop. I was feeling something. To suggest that something or someone was ‘making’ me feel something was abdicating myself of responsibility for what I was thinking, feeling, seeing, and doing.

In truth, whatever I am reacting to has nothing to do with the ‘other’. Anything I see or feel is my choice. No one or no thing can make me feel or think anything. I am 100% responsible for what I think, for what I feel, for what I see, for what I do.

Deeper than the preceding is the realization that whatever it is I am seeing, is only showing me myself. In the events of that morning last week, I was being shown some aspect of myself. It was being shown to me so I could learn about some aspect of myself. If I learn the lesson(s), the feelings associated with that event will not repeat themselves. If I don’t learn the lesson(s), then the event and associated feelings will most surely repeat themselves.

The implications for this teaching are far reaching. As I said at the beginning of the article, for some people this is old news. For others, this will be hard to accept. If you are in the former group, be glad. You have opened yourself to living in peace. If you are in the later group, and you find it hard to accept this truth, don’t worry. Life will end up teaching you, one way or another.

Robert Meagher has been ordained as an Interfaith Minister and certified as a Sacred Attention Therapy (SAT) Therapist. Robert is the Founder and Spiritual Director for Spiritual Guidance and Co-Founder of the Center for Human Awakening.

Freedom as False Autonomy versus True Freedom

by Robert Meagher on 07/05/21


Photo Credit: pexels.com - Mikhail Nilov

It is cycling season again in my city, and I relish every opportunity I can to get out for my day-long bike rides. I have written about this joy before. I get up about 4:30am, have my breakfast, pack my panier bags with food and water for the day, and head out for an adventure.

My trips will often take me to and through villages and towns. I will almost always visit forests, hills, lakes and rivers along the way. Many times, I will have the joy of cycling beside vast farmer’s fields. There is never any shortage of splendid scenery to captivate and caress the senses.

I am also blessed to encounter much wildlife. Birds and water fowl of all kinds, deer, bears, fox, reptiles, squirrels, chipmunks, racoons,…just to name a few. I am never alone. There is always someone or something that accompanies me on the ride.

There is always a great sense of freedom I experience on these day trips. To get out in nature, peddling to my heart’s content, is often blissful for me. I forget about the world, my life as I experience it, leave my self-imposed worries behind and immerse myself in a hypnotic-like, almost poetic expression of my physical being. The hotter and more humid it is, the better! I have never met a hot and humid day I have not adored!

This freedom I mention above is an interesting experience. This freedom is peaceful and even blissful. It is full of joy. It is rapturous at times. This freedom will often give me a sense of being carried away to another time and space. I can easily lose track of time, especially if it’s a gloriously-sunny-and-hot day. But is this freedom?

The freedom I speak of above is a freedom born out of a sense of self that is tethered to this world. It is a freedom born out of a sense of separateness. It is a freedom that thinks it is autonomous and self-sufficient. But this autonomy is a false autonomy.

The freedom I experience on my bicycle day trips is rooted in my sense of me doing something and experiencing something. The experience always brings awareness of another thing or body, in relation or comparison to me.

There is another freedom I aspire to. This other freedom is a true freedom. It is a freedom from the very bindings that gives me the freedom-as-false-autonomy experience described above. This true freedom is freedom from my mind.

True freedom for me is an absence of a sense of self. With no sense of something or someone separate and distinct from anything or anyone else, I experience ‘being’ instead of ‘doing’. My bicycle trips are ‘doing’ in the very real sense, with the occasional glimpse of being. When I lose track of time on my bicycle trips, I am only just beginning to enter a state of being.

Freedom from my mind allows me to look on everything and everyone with equanimity. There are no judgements. There is not even any perception. There is total acceptance of everything and everyone—of all that is. That is freedom!

Robert Meagher has been ordained as an Interfaith Minister and certified as a Sacred Attention Therapy (SAT) Therapist. Robert is the Founder and Spiritual Director for Spiritual Guidance and Co-Founder of the Center for Human Awakening.

Stories, Drop the Stories

by Robert Meagher on 06/02/21


Photo Credit: pexels.com - Victor

Recently, I’ve become aware of something that is significant for my healing. This awareness brings with it the opportunity for me to heal myself and bring me peace. It’s not a revelation necessarily, just a very simple, plain truth.

I have noticed that whenever I react to anything or anyone with anything other the love, there is a ‘story’ playing itself out in my head. My reaction to a thing or person in a given situation, may range from annoyance, aggravation, or anger, to mild irritation, curiosity, or disbelief. Written all over my reaction is judgement. It is a perception, or observation, that whatever or whoever it is I am seeing is not conforming with the way I think it, or she/he, should be.

Why is this awareness significant? When I recognize there is a judgement or perception being projected, I become aware that there is a story playing itself out in my head. The story may be about the way I think something or someone should be or behave. The story may be about how I think something or someone should be, instead of how it is, or she/he is. Whenever I wish for something or someone to be other than what it is, or the person is, dis-ease results. I am pulled out of my peace.

If I choose to look at what is unfolding, I can recognize that the story playing out in my head is something from the past repeating itself. This story is typically associated with some sense of loss, grievance, or hurt. The story is never about the event unfolding. The story is always about some unresolved matter from my past.

The gift of this awareness, and the opportunity for healing, rests in my choice to not react to the unfolding event or situation. But to bring my awareness into my daily meditation and stillness and unpack the story. I examine the story and allow it to reveal to me the illusion of my loss, grievance, or hurt. I allow the story to show me what it is I’m holding on to that is causing me pain. When I get to the core issue(s) of my story, I then lay the foundation for forgiveness. As I allow forgiveness to enter my mind, I am healed.

To recap, I carry around unconscious stories from my early-life conditioning. These stories play themselves out whenever I react to anything or anyone with anything other than love. If I look at these stories, I can uncover my blockages to love. When I uncover my blockages to love, I can forgive myself. Forgiveness heals me and brings me peace.

Robert Meagher has been ordained as an Interfaith Minister and certified as a Sacred Attention Therapy (SAT) Therapist. Robert is the Founder and Spiritual Director for Spiritual Guidance and Co-Founder of the Center for Human Awakening.

What Part Of Me Is Thinking Or Feeling?

by Robert Meagher on 05/05/21


Photo Credit: pexels.com - Brett Sayles

I went for a walk to the grocery store yesterday. It was a beautiful Spring day and it was lovely to walk along the streets with the warm air blowing on my skin and in my hair. I arrived at the grocery store, selected what I needed, and then headed home, with groceries in hand.

As I walked home, I became aware of my thoughts, feelings, and judgements. I remember looking at a tree that had buds just starting to come out. I remember thinking, “Oh!, how lovely!” I remember seeing people sitting outdoors on a tavern patio, enjoying a drink with friends. I remember thinking, “It must be cool, just sitting there, and drinking a cold drink.” I remember seeing some Christmas lights high up in a tree. I remember thinking, “How did those lights get so high up?!...Why are they still up there, it’s the end of March!” There was a never-ending conveyor belt of thoughts, and feelings associated with the thoughts.

Shortly before I arrived home, it dawned on me to ask the question, for any of the things I saw, who was doing the seeing? For any of the things I thought, who was doing the thinking? For any of the feelings I felt, who was doing the feeling?

The part of Rob that looked at the budding tree was that part of Rob that loves nature…the nature-lover Rob. The part of Rob that looked at the people sitting on the outdoor patio, enjoying a drink with friends, was the introvert Rob, the part of Rob that wouldn’t engage in that sort of behavior. The part of Rob that looked at the Christmas lights high up in the tree and asked “How did those lights get so high up?!...Why are they still up there, it’s the end of March!”…was the part of Rob that seeks for efficiency and consistency in all things. Afterall, wouldn’t one take down Christmas lights before the end of January?!!!

So, what’s the point of this inquiry and realization? Very simply, any ‘part’ of me that thinks, feels or judges is not in direct communion with the Divine. Any part of me that thinks, feels or judges is the part of me that I have carved off from the Divine and made my own.

Thought or feeling is born from judgement. I see something and I make a judgement—it’s good, it’s bad, it’s right, it’s wrong. I feel something because of something I experience—I feel happy, I feel sad, I feel joy, I feel anger. This too is born from judgement.

Judgement is not of the Divine. The Divine does not judge. The Divine simply observes and acknowledges what is. There is no thought of “I like this.” or “I don’t like this.” Whatever ‘this’ is…simply is.

Our practice, our work, is in bringing back together, unifying, all the different parts of ourselves we have made to walk through this world. In that bringing back together, we unify all aspects of ourselves and allow the Divine to ‘be’ present within us.

Robert Meagher has been ordained as an Interfaith Minister and certified as a Sacred Attention Therapy (SAT) Therapist. Robert is the Founder and Spiritual Director for Spiritual Guidance and Co-Founder of the Center for Human Awakening.


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Shanti, Namaste, Agapé,

Rev. Robert Meagher
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