Buddhists believe that duality is the cause of all suffering. When we think in terms of “either..or, right..wrong, good…evil”, we are polarizing the world into the acceptable and unacceptable. When I believe something is bad, I am cutting off the natural flow of love and acceptance to and from it. Do you feel accepted and loved by someone rejecting you and making you wrong? Most of our beliefs are based on interpretations, dictated by our unique pasts. Many potential arguments for me have been headed off at the past, by considering that multiple interpretations of the same events may be equally valid. There is room in the world for all views and perspectives.
The Universe is Infinitely Abundant
When we view the world as choices that we must deny ourselves, we are creating artificial limits and a perception of scarcity. The truth is that the Universe is infinitely abundant for all people, if we allow ourselves accept the flow available to us. The Tantra philosophy when choosing between two great options is to choose both and more please. Personally, when I have come from this perspective, whole new possibilities evolved that I never considered before. A good question to ask yourself whenever faced with a delicious choice is “How can I have both and more?”
This may be manifested in many ways. If Melanie and I want to eat at different restaurants, we may eat at one for an appetizer, another for main course, and third for desert for good measure (ridiculous perhaps but a satisfying exercise in abundance consciousness); perhaps a simpler option is to order multiple entrees at a meal if one can’t decide which one to get (and take home the other for leftovers). Another example is if we have a date night scheduled and a work emergency comes up, instead of canceling the date, I may delegate to my assistant, or prioritize the next day to be even more efficient, or empower someone new to take on this mission who will grow from the experience, or have Melanie drive us to dinner, while I knock it out on my Iphone. This same philosophy works in making dull tasks more exciting; for example, instead of working in the same office every day, I may be productive at a park, a coffee bar, while exercising, or even getting a massage. When making calls, I may do this from a hot tub, Barton Springs or Hippie Hollow. I am currently writing this while naked in my back yard watching my pets play.
Once, I wanted to go to an amazing workshop the same day as celebrating my wife’s birthday she had planned. As a person of integrity, I was committed to keeping my commitment with her. The previous me would have just said no to the opportunity, not even considering it as an option. The expanded me decided to explore a both..and solution. So, I explained to her that instead of just having a routine birthday party, I wanted to share with her the skills and insights that I was going to learn to improve our relationship, and asked if it was OK for us to create and celebrate an amazing birthday experience on a different day so that she could be doubly gifted. We did and she ended up joining me at the event in which her new friends also celebrated her birthday so she had two parties and our relationship for every future birthday was also improved. [Both and All]
What we Resist Persists
Another very important aspect of this is that where our attention goes, energy flows, and results follow. If I am consciously or even subconsciously focused on what I don’t want, especially with powerful emotions attached, I am actually manifesting this. This is likely the biggest single impediment towards people manifesting their desires, they focus on what they don’t have getting increasingly upset about it and creating more of the same, vs. focusing on what they truly want. This is also why it is important to make affirmations in a positive language as our subconscious does not recognized negatives. For example, if I say to you “don’t think of a pink elephant, don’t think of a pink elephant, don’t think of a pink elephant”, has an image of a pink elephant entered your mind?
What we resist persists. When we are opposed to something, we give it power. The more emotionally charged we are, the more we powerfully we are reinforcing what we don’t want. Mother Theresa said “I will never go to an anti-war rally, because that would breed more of the same. Violence begets violence. When you have a peace rally, let me know and I will attend.” I personally never watch the news on TV, because it is so focused on negative events and I can sometimes get emotionally swept up in the injustice or tragedy, which actually reinforces it. My friends and social media (which I can target for more positive news) keep me apprised of everything I need to know, I am more at peace, and have more time to focus on doing my part to make the world a better place.
Contrast is Critical to Growth
I believe we are spiritual energetic beings choosing to be here in a physical body to determine what we want and don’t want in our future growth. It is only through experiencing contrast, that we can truly determine what we like and don’t like. Being in physical bodies allows us to have pain and sadness which gives us appreciation for pleasure and joy. I think of suffering as a function of interpreting an uncomfortable experience as something bad and wrong versus an exciting learning opportunity. My greatest growth moments and epiphanies usually came from my most uncomfortable experiences in my life. I would not change them, because they were the lessons I needed at the time to grow into who I wanted to be now. By evoking my inner curiosity vs. critic, I turn every “problem” or judgment into a challenge or opportunity to learn and grow.
Do not put unwanted ingredients in your pie
Acceptance does not mean allowing or inviting unwanted experiences into one’s life. If someone is crossing one of my boundaries, I share this with her and ask her to stop. The distinction of accepting without allowing is that I do not judge this person’s offering as bad and wrong simply because I do not want it. Likely, she can manifest her desire with someone else whom is a perfect fit, especially once I get myself out of the way. That is why I have no problem saying no to someone; I am just creating space for them to have what they truly want, a person who will give them an emphatic yes.
Esther and Jerry Hicks wrote in a great book “Ask and it is Given” about every individual making their unique pie or experience in life. We are each in this fabulous kitchen of life making the pie we want to eat. We have every possible ingredient we desire available to us to add to our unique recipe. Some items will add to the experience we desire and some items will detract from this experience. Don’t add what you don’t want. We do not judge or focus on the ingredients we do not want in our pie, we just ignore them. We don’t need to throw away ingredients as there is an infinite amount of space and we may not know what ingredient we want for our future pies. Every person on the planet is our partner in co-creation. By accepting and appreciating the diversity of everyone’s desires, we collectively create a more satisfying, expansive, and loving world for all. Each of us has unique gifts that will call to others in ways that any lone individual cannot. It is not our job to control other people’s experiences or bake other people’s pies for them, and indeed have no real power to do so; we can only share our pies and see if they are inspired to add new ingredients to theirs which will enhance their experience or we are inspired to add to ours. This creates the ever evolving cycle of growth. This spicy richness of life is not only more exciting and interesting than being alone, I believe it will take all of our collective consciousness and efforts to raise the vibration and enlightenment of mankind.
How to Deal with Evil
First of all, what is evil? I believe that we are all intrinsically good and divine beings and that the true essence of every human is love. And by the way, the more I focus on this the more I see evidence of and reinforce this truth. I think of evil as temporary ignorance, illness, or disconnection. Many of us have forgotten that we are all connected to infinite love and if we think of ourselves as separate and resources limited, it becomes OK to hurt and take others for our own survival and desires. When we are in alignment with our spiritual higher self, we realize that true pleasure and joy comes from creating this in others and supporting our fellow beings in manifesting their desires. One cannot be connected to their source energy and wish harm upon another.
Most “evil” is perpetrated by people whom have been hurt themselves. We see this clearly in the cycle of abuse; child molesters were usually molested themselves. If I find myself engaged with an abusive person, I leave or I defend myself. I don’t allow someone to hurt me. I take action towards creating exactly the type of life I want to have. While locking people up may be necessary for the safety of others, punishment breeds more of the same. Rehabilitation, forgiveness, and healing, are the only ways to truly shift out of these negative self-perpetuating patterns. In Scandinavia, they have perfected rehabilitation to the extent that prisons are no longer necessary. Only by healing and raising the vibration of all disconnected people, will we as a world society begin to thrive in peace and prosperity. [Prison slavery]
Goodness comes from Awareness and Action
I had a fairly intense experience at a 30 day Tribal Tantra Retreat in Bali. I had a series of experiences where I remembered my past lives in which I was a warrior, fighter, and killer. Initially, I experienced an overwhelming sense of shame for all the suffering I had caused. I thought of myself in my past lives as evil, though at the time it was often necessary to use violence to survive. Margot Anand was there and told me something that resonated, “Tantrica’s don’t get caught up in duality, they just grow by becoming aware of a situation and taking action. As they become more awake to their good true authentic selves, they naturally begin taking more forwarding action for themselves and others.” This allowed me to accept that what I did in the past was my role; I did the best I knew to do at the time. And through these experiences, I now have the choice to be a champion of love. When we are labeling something as good or bad, we are creating separation from something that is us. There is not hard static reality, there is only constant growth. By judging others, this only prevents us from accepting the past, learning from it, which allows us to continue to evolve. I also got to see my future lives and witnessed a future where everyone on our planet evolves into a future of peace and love.
Emotional Healing beings with Forgiveness
If one has been a “victim” of abuse or harm done to them by another. it is quite common to have resentment and resistance towards this person or event. Worse, we often judge and blame ourselves for contributing to or allowing this event to occur. For many, the damage we do to ourselves in our own minds ends up being far worse than the actual event itself. Resentment is like taking poison while waiting for the other person to die, who likely does not even notice you are poisoning yourself. When you are able to forgive someone, it sets you free. It allows you to shift out of focusing on a repeating negative pattern to begin the healing process. If we can then accept that this was a lesson and had a purpose, we are one step closer to enlightenment.
Love is the Answer
After we can forgive and accept someone, we then have space to love. The most important area that all of us can practice forgiveness, acceptance and love is with ourselves. This is a practice that I am continuously getting better at as my default is to judge and assess everything. Humans are harder on themselves than anyone else. The outer world is just a reflection of our inner self. If all each of us does nothing, but learn to fully love ourselves, the world will be transformed into one of unconditional love. I believe that this is a key purpose of what we are here to experience in these physical bodies. The path for me to enlightenment is learning how to be unconditional love, which begins with acceptance. If we want to make the world a better place for ourselves and future generations, Love is the Answer, and Acceptance is the Key.