TO OFFER THE OTHER CHEEK

“You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. Matthew 5:38-39. (New Living Translation)

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In a relationship, when a couple breaks-up without a closure, there is a feeling of betrayal, rejection, resentment, and victimhood. This usually results in blaming, badmouthing, and the desire to revenge. From ancient times, we were hardwired to get even.

But just like in technology where old tools and programs are continually being phased out to be replaced by more advanced ones, so is the case of human evolution. Instead of the usual human response of fight or flight when faced with interpersonal crisis, when acceptance, understanding, compassion, and letting go replace the old ‘survival response’ program, a new program is well underway.

An individual who would choose to install this new program on their system could be said to have attained a vibrational leap forward in their personal evolution (akin to a far-reaching technological advancement), which impacts the evolution of the human collective as a whole.

It is a leap forward  because it takes a lot of inner strength to ‘turn the other cheek’ when the aggrieved is impulsed to hit back to get even.

 

 

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NON-DUALITY

yinyang panda

Non Dual Yin Yang Dog

 

See yourself as the experiencer of everything that life has to offer.
Feel every frequency range you find yourself in; and you do not need to judge the situation as either good or bad, right or wrong. Simply feel what resonates with you and what doesn’t. Then with the power of your attention, consciously choose to create more of the experiences you prefer to experience.

Is Spiritual Enlightenment Earned?

In my perspective, the answer is no.

To be enlightened, all an aspirant has to have is a pure desire to be enlightened. Desire is the key. Without the desire for anything, that desired thing does not occur in one’s reality. Hence, I found it ironic that Buddhism shuns desire when it is the very act of desiring that summons experience, that summons life. And to determinedly rebuff having a desire is itself an intense and arduous desire. Perhaps Buddha was misunderstood.

Spiritual enlightenment is not earned. That is, if ‘earn’ entails doing some specific steps, processes, or special actions to earn points and merits to make enlightenment happen.

When I was little, my catechist Catholic mother and Baptist brother passionately discussed whether the grace or the mercy of God is acquired through good works. The Bible stated that the grace of God is not acquired through good works, but through faith – and faith alone. I found this to be true in the case of spiritual enlightenment.

Amidst all the unfairness, injustices, strife and tragedies we see around us, it seems to me that the fair, merciful, and just Creator made sure that the Kingdom of God is accessible to everyone, regardless of who they are and what they do, or not do.

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If spiritual enlightenment is attained only by doing certain good works or any of the so-called preconditions to enlightenment, it would be unfair since not everyone is in the position to act in certain ways to get enlightened.

For example, some people can’t afford to attend spiritual talks and seminars, buy certain books, or travel long distances to meet a certain guru. Does it mean then that these people are unfortunate (have bad karma) and are farther from being enlightened (or are more distant from the Kingdom of God) than those who are in the position to do one or all of these things?

Those who dress in certain ways, eat only certain “spiritual” foods, speak softly and calculatedly, offer money and incense to a deity, live in an ashram with a guru, meditate long hours, chant mantras – are they any closer to God than those regular-looking people in the street?

Third Dimensional tools and processes do not guarantee that one gets closer to the truth, or to God. Tools could be helpful up to a certain point, and then if one clings to them, like most seekers do, they become the trap of the seeker.

So what to do then?

There is no one right or even wrong path to God. There is no secret method available only to a chosen few. There are no specific steps, procedures, or hallowed practices that one must strictly adhere to in order to get closer to God.

But in every thing desired, whether it be spiritual awakening or any other wanted thing or experience, all one needs is a burning desire that is so pure and focused. This intense desire itself is what summons the means for one to access all that one uniquely requires for his or her journey towards enlightenment. If one needs to meet a certain teacher, or to travel to a certain place to get to the goal, what is needed to do all these things will be provided for, in expected and unexpected ways.

However, if the means towards what is wanted does not show-up, do not despair. This only means that you do not really need what your physical mind thinks you need in order to be what you want to be or where you want to be.

After all, if it is God you seek, if it is the Truth you seek – know that It is within. And the one who looks inward, rather than outward, is the one who will find It.

The Kingdom of God is very much open for those who seek it. There is not even a gate or a heavy door to push open in one specific fashion or another in order to get in.

Just enter.

 

Buddha Dog

Buddha Dog

Dog resting in a temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Almost a decade ago, in a sweltering island far away, I volunteered in an animal sanctuary, specifically, for dogs and cats. The place was owned by a Buddhist lady who gathered all the stray dogs and cats in the island and gave them food and shelter.

I was assigned in one of the two dog sections. There were about 40 dogs where I was assigned at. Two regular volunteer staff manned the place, and in addition, at that time, there were three of us who were temporary volunteers.

Our tasks were simple. We feed the dogs twice a day and clean their pens. There was also a play time where we play with one or two dogs at a time. The dogs were bathed at regular intervals by the longterm staff who know better each dog’s temperament.

In my two weeks stay at the sanctuary, I observed that the dogs acted like all sorts of humans. Just like human beings, they have their own signature personalities. It could be due to their intrinsic nature as dogs, or they have acquired their behavior based on their backgrounds. The reason could be both.

Some dogs were very restless like as if they had ADHD. Other dogs were timid and resigned. More than a couple of dogs were aggressive and we were told not to go near them. One short, pudgy dog, I named the ‘Buddha Dog’, particularly caught my attention. Every evening, she sat in one spot, in perfect repose, looking out to the moon, whether the moon appeared or not. I did not know whether to pity her or to admire her. When I tried to get her attention, she simply looked at me with a gentle smile, and then turned her head to resume her private meditation. She stood out among the rest for having a calm and self-contained disposition. Watching her every evening was quite moving; it made me reflect on myself. Due to her quiet and solitary behavior, they paired her with a fidgety roommate who was extremely hungry for love and attention. But the Buddha Dog remained undisturbed in her corner, totally ignoring her pitiful whining roommate, and so the latter’s needs could not be met. I thought they were not a good match as roommates. But it was the sanctuary’s system to put together dogs with contrasting behaviors. They thought the arrangement would help keep the balance. I don’t know if it was a good system, but unless the match resulted in aggressive behavior, they were kept that way.

At particular times of the day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon, we played chillout music for the dogs. I asked the other volunteer what is it for. She told me two reasons: one is to calm the dogs, especially at that time of the day when they tend to be restless and howl. Another reason, according to her, was that the lady owner believed that the music would elevate the dogs’ consciousness so that the next time they reincarnate, they would reincarnate in better circumstances; hopefully, they would reincarnate as humans!

I thought the second reason, if it is indeed true, was quite interesting. It was even more interesting that the music that would elevate their consciousness to a higher plane was the chillout electronic lounge music, Buddha Bar.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Buddha Bar music – I really do – but for it to be used to elevate animal consciousness to some higher level? 🙂 Well, who am I to say?  After all, like Jon Snow, I know nothing.

The Christian Version of The Story

expulsion

A while back, I blogged about the Hindu version of the Story of Life and/or Human Existence.

Now, a Christian version.

But before proceeding, I highly recommend that you read the disclaimer first, then come back here if you are still drawn to read my divergent thoughts.

Adam and Eve in paradise. Disobeyed and ate the forbidden fruit, aka sinned. Driven out of paradise because they sinned. Cannot go back to paradise unless they earn their ticket back by following the Ten Commandments, or by simply acknowledging that the Son of God became a human sacrifice to atone for their sins.

And then the story was taken literally.

It became a doctrine.

It became a dogma.

It became an absolutely true story.

God-fearing and upright people shall not dare question the story. Or else,  they will be thrown into hell where they shall burn forever and ever for not believing in a mere tale.

We are trapped in the story; awaiting for the Messiah to come back for the rescue.

To me, the Hindu version and the Christian version are not very different from each other, especially in their core emphasis on “sin” as being the reason why we are here on this wretched world of suffering, injustice, inequality and constant toil. The only difference between the two stories is that the Christian version got rid of the concept of Reincarnation.

Are there other ways of telling the Story of Human Existence? Yes, there are many, as many as there are religions and belief systems. As many as there are nations and cultures rich with their own stories. As many as we include even the versions of the extraterrestrials.

Among the numerous stories told, which story feels more resonant with you?

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Reincarnation – Theory or Truth?

Is reincarnation real?

Is it the truth that we are souls moving from one physical body to another in a series of lifetimes until such time that we graduate and get liberated from being in the physical, at some point in time, usually in some imagined future time?

The story usually goes like this:

We came into the physical, entangled ourselves in matter, subsequently creating karma that we must untangle ourselves from in order to be freed from matter, so that we could go back to the heavenly abode we originally came from. In the course of our adventure or misadventure in the physical, we have created so much negative karma — we heavily entrenched ourselves in sin — so that it takes a very long time, perhaps thousands or millions of lifetimes, before we can earn our liberation, and admittance back to heaven.

Do the above story rings true to you?

It surely does make a lot of sense as it explains suffering, injustice, pain, inequality and all other human conditions and afflictions we see in our world.

The sages of the past used the concept of reincarnation to explain the Story of Life or the Nature of Existence to the masses. It is very much a valid way of storytelling as it makes a lot of sense to our one dimensional and linearly focused mind.

And then, the story was taken literally.

. . . it became a doctrine.

. . . it became a dogma.

. . . it became truth itself.

And then we got caught up in it. And we are still playing in it.

Are there other ways of telling the Story of Existence?

Yes, there are many, as many as there are religions and belief systems.

As we upgrade our energies, we must also upgrade our stories, and upgrade the way we tell our stories.

Otherwise, what is new under the sun?

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