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Let Life Take You Along For The Ride

by Robert Meagher on 12/02/20


Photo Credit: pexels.com - Sharefaith

I recently decided to start a business. The business will officially launch in November 2020. From the moment the seed of this idea was planted, it took off and developed a life of its own. I decided to let it take me along for the journey.

There were numerous factors that influenced my decision to start this business; no one of them more important than the other. It was the combination of all the factors that finally made me decide to flip the switch and make it happen.

Once the decision was made to start the business, and the wheels were set in motion, all my efforts fell into place and everything went quite smoothly. The initiative took on a life of its own.

From the onset I decided to go along for the ride. I became increasingly curious where this was going to lead me. I still don’t know where it’s going to lead me. As of the time of this article’s writing, the business has not even launched yet. But with great curiosity I am consciously deciding to go along for the ride to see where it takes me.

I smile when I think about the mystery of life and how we can never know what’s going to show up next. If you had told me six months ago that I would be starting a business, I may have thought you were crazy. I had no idea this was coming. It was not something I planned for. It just happened.

Alas…we can’t plan for life. We may think we can, but life just happens. There is a wonderful saying… ‘We plan and God laughs!’ Yes, God laughs indeed at the folly of our misguided belief we can plan for what happens in our life. There’s nothing wrong with planning, per se. Planning can be a very good thing. Take a grocery list, for example. It can be very helpful to have a grocery list so that when you arrive at the grocery store, you remember what you are supposed to pick up.

Planning is not a bad thing. But let us be aware what planning is all about. Planning is an attempt to control our fears over what would happen if we didn’t plan! In other words, we plan because we are afraid of what would happen if we didn’t! Most of us are not aware of why we plan. Most of us are afraid of what would happen if we didn’t plan. Those that are aware of the reason they plan, can accept when plans don’t go exactly ‘as planned’ or when something pops up out of left field.

Those that can let life take them along for the ride are not immune to planning. But what these people can do is make adjustments to their life when their so-called plans don’t work out.

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.


Living In Gratitude

by Robert Meagher on 11/02/20


Photo Credit: pexels.com - Snapwire

I have recently taught myself to live each day like it was my last. This realization became evident throughout this past summer.

Some of you may know that I am an avid cyclist. My outings typically include packing my panier bags with food, water, and clothing (and other cycling supplies) and heading off for a day-long adventure. This past summer, my favorite destination was the hills of the Gatineau Park. The Park offers challenging terrain that regularly hosts triathletes, Olympians, and other competitive athletes. I have come to welcome the challenge in the Gatineau Park. The pristine roadways that wind their way through unspoiled forest have become a little piece of heaven for me.

Whether it’s cycling through the Gatineau Park, or taking a more relaxed cycle on more gentle terrain, I have become acutely aware of just how grateful I am to be able to spend a day on my bicycle. Whether it was a cycle in the Spring, Summer, or Fall, this season I treated each and every cycle like it was my last cycle for the season. I didn’t consciously intend to treat each cycle like it was my last one. It just happened. And as each cycling adventure unfolded and came to an end for that day, I became acutely grateful for the blessing of that day.

The practice of treating each cycling day like it was my last, has spilled over into other parts of my life. Now, each day, whether it includes cycling or not, I feel an immense gratitude for the day. It could even be a mundane day, one where everything goes as planned. Sometimes its these days I am the ‘most’ grateful for.

This attitude of gratitude has allowed me to live in gratitude. And it’s not only the ‘good’ that I’m grateful for. To truly live in gratitude means to welcome it all! Not only am I grateful for what I see as good, but I’m becoming equally grateful for what I see as other than good. This living in gratitude reminds me of the beautiful poem by Rumi, ‘The Guest House’:

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.

meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.

because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Welcome gratitude into your life. It can transform you and your life in ways you could never imagine!

 

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.

The Journey of ‘S’elf Discovery

by Robert Meagher on 10/02/20

Photo Credit: pexels.com - Valentin Antonucci

In Richard Harvey’s 3-stage model of human awakening, the first stage is all about the journey of self-discovery. The ‘self’ this stage speaks about is the true, authentic self. It is often spelt ‘Self’ in spiritual teachings, with a capital ‘S’.

What is this journey of ‘S’elf discovery? What does the journey look like? How does one travel on this journey? Where does the journey end? And what does one discover at the end? Who and/or what is this true, authentic ‘S’elf?

What is this journey of ‘S’elf discovery? The journey of ‘S’elf discovery includes a process of shedding early life conditioning. This early life conditioning is poignantly adopted from childhood. Our early years are formative and they can leave an indelible mark on us. This early life conditioning is carried forward into our adolescent and adult years. The result is a contracted adolescence and adulthood. We carry around remnants of our early life conditioning and don’t move fully into adolescence or adulthood. We are actually living a ‘kid-olescent’ and ‘kid-ult’ existence (kid + adolescent = kid-olescent; kid + adult = kid-ult). The kid-olescent and kid-ult are chronologically mature, but they are not psychologically mature. The result of this ‘kid-escent’ or ‘kid-ult’ existence are behaviors, reactions and decisions that are psychologically immature. The kid-olescent and kid-ult allows their early life conditioning to infiltrate their existence and keeps them tied to their early life experiences. Until the kid-olescent and kid-ult sheds their early life experiences, they are subject to a limited life—a life limited by beliefs of who they think they are, what they think the world is, and what they think their place is in the world.

What does the journey look like? The journey of ‘S’elf discovery is a lot like ‘peeling the layers off an onion.’ Our early life experiences result in the building up of layers of protective covering that grew as a result of our sense of danger and a need to protect ourselves from what we thought was going on around us. As each layer of the protective child-hood covering is peeled away, scars are revealed. The sensation can be like ripping a band-aide off a festering sore. Eventually the scars heal, however, until the next layer is peeled away. You may notice, however, that as each layer of the onion is peeled away, the core of the onion becomes a lighter and lighter color. So too is the journey of ‘S’elf discovery. As we shed more and more of our childhood conditioning, our story becomes more bathed in light. The brighter the light becomes, the purity of our true, authentic ‘S’elf starts to reveal it’S’elf.

How does one travel on this journey? There is no one way to travel on the journey of ‘S’elf discovery. Each one must find his/her way. Most people never find the courage to undertake the journey. But for those that do, there are many decisions to make along the way. Do I go this journey alone? Do I work with someone? Is there a community of people who could support me through the journey? The Way of Sacred Attention teaches there are three pillars of personal and spiritual growth and development: the teacher, the teaching, and the sanga, or spiritual community. The journey of ‘S’elf discovery is similar. One can benefit from a teacher (or therapist, or healer), a teaching (a method or modality), and a sanga (a community of people that can support the seeker on their journey).

Where does the journey end? The journey of ‘S’elf discover may never end, as we hopefully continue to learn about ourselves our entire embodied lives. However, at a point we realize all the beliefs we held about ourselves, the world, and our place in the world, have changed. We realize we are not the person we thought we once were. We arrive at this point through forgiveness, in the spiritual sense. Forgiveness arises as a practice of letting go of the past with the realization that what we thought happened to us never actually did—it only happened in our mind. It did not happen in truth.

What does one discover at the end? This is a very personal question. Not everyone discovers the same things. But there are some common themes that emerge for those who have shed their early childhood conditioning. Those who have emerged from their early childhood conditioning have done so because they have learned how to forgive. They have risen into the heart space that is filled with love, harmony, compassion, and joy. The tell-tale sign of someone who has shed early childhood conditioning is they have rediscovered a sense of peace in their life. What we may discover at the end is our true, authentic ‘S’elf.

Who and/or what is this true, authentic ‘S’elf? Our true, authentic ‘S’elf is devoid of attachment to anything or anyone. We no longer cling to our story. We no longer find value in the past and all that it meant to us. We jettison our story of early life experiences. We hold on to nothing. We learn to live in the eternal ‘now.’ While we may plan for the future, we accept whatever happens, not what we may have planned for or wanted to happen. Our relationships are not based on what we need or want from the other person, but what we can share with the other. Our true, authentic ‘S’elf learns that in giving we receive and that the only thing worth giving is love. Alas, we realize that the only thing we want to do with love is to give it away. We rest in peace knowing that this love will return to us, because we have given it away.

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.


Allow Things To Go Where They Need To Go

by Robert Meagher on 09/02/20

Photo Credit: Pexels.com - Startup Stock Photos

As some of you may know, I facilitate numerous online study groups each week. These study groups bring together an eclectic mix of people from North America, Europe and beyond.

These study groups gift those in attendance with a rich discussion and sharing. The variety of views is astonishing at times. While there is much alignment among the participants, sometimes there can appear to be disagreements about what is shared.

I usually begin each gathering with a piece of poetry, then a few minutes of silence, as grounding meditation, and then we move into the evening with a reading. The remainder of our time together is used to reflect on the reading. People share their questions, comments, reflections and inquiry.

As the sharing portion of the gatherings unfold, sometimes the discussion can go in interesting directions. Usually the discussion meanders and bounces around. Sometimes I attempt to bring the discussion back to the focus of the initial reading. Sometimes I don’t. I have received comments from participants, outside of the study group gatherings, that discussion sometimes get off topic and that they would prefer the discussions remain focused on the topic at hand.

As the years have rolled on, I am becoming more and more comfortable allowing the discussion threads to take us where they need to go. Granted, even I have limits on where the discussion may take us. But I am a patient man and will at least, initially, allow most any discussion to be brought into the gathering. What I have learned is that discussion threads take us where our healing is needed. If we truly learn how to listen, there are healing words offered in any discourse. We simply need to learn patience.

In a recent gathering, one of the participants chose to share a personal experience of how they dealt with their fears. This person’s sharing about fear was not directly related to the initial reading. However, there was one small snippet of their sharing that touched me at a soul level and provided much healing. Others in the group also expressed their gratitude for this sharing on how to deal with fears.

I have witnessed all too frequently that the words that are spoken in the gatherings are of healing to at least one other person in the meeting space. The words we speak will always resonated with someone. That is why they are spoken. I remember one particular gathering where there was a rather vocal and boisterous sharing that resembled a preacher standing on the pulpit in a church spouting off biblical verse after biblical verse. While most of the people in the gathering cringed at the discord, there was one person who later (after the gathering) shared with me that they received much healing from the ‘preaching.’

It has been said that If we truly learn how to listen, everyone becomes our teacher. Every word that is spoken can offer something to someone. The key is patience. Sometimes the person speaking themselves is the person who needs to hear the healing words. Sometimes the act of speaking our mind is healing in, and of, itself. Often times, the healing is extended to those around us too.

Be patient and kind with others. Allow, even facilitate, them to say what it is they need or want to say. You may be surprised where your listening takes you.

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.

An Endless Cacophony of Worthless Activity

by Robert Meagher on 08/02/20


Photo Credit: pexels.com - Aleksejs Bergmanis

This past month has felt busy. There has been an endless list of things to do. My days felt more full than usual. Most days I would look back over the list of things I wanted to do, to realize they did not get completed. The uncompleted items would be added to the ‘to do’ list for the next day. And so, it went for much of the month.

During one of my welcomed day-long bike trips one weekend, I reflected on my busyness. I actually enjoy having a lot of things to do. And I enjoy even more the sense of accomplishment associated with getting a long list of items scratched off my ‘to do’ list. But sometimes that ‘to do’ list becomes a source of discord.

As I peddled my way along the beautiful roads and pathways on a brilliantly-beautiful summer’s day, I was struck by the meaninglessness and worthlessness of my busyness and, in particular, my ‘to do’ list. Oh yes, there’s a certain practicality to life. There are some things that must be done—brushing one’s teeth, going to the grocery store…to name but two simple necessities. But when I look at my ‘to do’ list with a decerning eye, most of the things on the ‘to do’ list could go without ‘doing’ and the world would not come to an end.

Most of the items on the ‘to do’ list is a cacophony—a harsh discordant mixture of tasks—of worthless activity. I can create a very convincing argument for wanting, needing even, to complete the tasks. But when it comes down to it, not completing the task won’t have a significant affect on my life. In truth, none of the items on the ‘to do’ need doing at all!

There is a beautiful lesson from a spiritual teaching that speaks of the healed mind not planning.[1] The teaching does not condone not planning. On the contrary, planning can have very practical and useful applications in our lives. For example, making a grocery list can be a helpful task when it comes time to go to the grocery store—when we arrive at the grocery store, we have a pretty good chance of getting what we need.

However, what the healed mind realizes is the reason we plan and make the ‘to do’ list. We plan and make the ‘to do’ list because we are afraid of what would happen if we didn’t plan. The healed mind understands the underlying impetus for needing or wanting to plan.

Is having an endless cacophony of worthless activity bad? Is having a ‘to do’ list bad? Is planning bad? Certainly not! So long as one is open to what life actually gives us, in amongst our planning, then plan away. The healed mind understands that when we plan, God laughs!

 

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.



[1] A Course in Miracles

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Shanti, Namaste, Agapé,

Rev. Robert Meagher
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