Family, Friends, Romans, Countrymen & Countrywomen lend me your ears, if you wish, and you have a “minute?” (A long minute!)
For me the center of my path in Shaolin Kung Fu and the Universal School of Self, has been an unfolding spiritual journey. When I say spiritual, it is hard for me to define what I mean? For me spiritual is not something separate from life, rather it is integrated with life itself. It includes the seen and the unseen, the known and the unknown. It doesn’t fit into any one box!
“I’m an ‘outta the box’ kind of guy,
If you try to put me in a box…. I’ll….?
Well let’s just say, don’t try to put me in a box!”
I guess I’ve always felt like a “Stranger in a strange land” in that I just can’t find a place to fit in. I have tried, but you know how it is. People want to know what faith you are, or sometimes you are literally asked to check a box. Even if you check none or other, you are still in a box.
For me my spiritual life journey has evolved by experience and not by belief. In the first part of my life I tried to solve the Universal Mystery and make it fit into the box of my beliefs. I eventually found it is wiser to give these mysteries room to breathe. The truth of them cannot be constrained by my belief, neither will they disappear without it. All that is beyond the horizon of my experience will unfold organically when I arrive on the shores of that horizon.
What I have experienced is a sublime presence that permeates time and space. I have found this presence in myself. When I close my eyes and slip beneath my thoughts I experience a love, peace, and joy… that arises from pure awareness itself. It is not related to any event or cause in the outer world. It is complete within itself. This has been historically called awakening, enlightenment, or realization. All I know is that it is sweet. It not only gives me peace in the storms of life, it is a point of clarity from which I am better able to guide myself through them. My awareness is the one constant in the constantly changing journey of life. Everything else comes and goes but this central point of awareness remains.
I have experienced the Divine Presence as the All Consciousness from which my being emerges. It is like a new born child looking back into the eyes of its mother after birth and experiencing love for the very first time. For me, it is mystical relationship with God through Christ, and is beyond all belief and doctrine of the Church. In this relationship I have received a love from on high that cut the root of my unworthiness and allowed me to receive what I could not receive or demand from any human being. This love is merciful, forgiving, and without judgement. It is healing and restoring my heart and I am beginning to be able to love others with this same love.
I have experienced the Divine Presence in nature. A walk in the woods, sitting by the ocean, watching the sunset, song birds singing, eagles soaring, dolphins surfing, staring into a microscope, or gazing at the heavens though a telescope. All of these reveal for me the beauty, harmony, grace, and majesty of creation!
I call this experiential presence “Divine” as it reveals the unity within all the divisions. Why then do we try to divide it? Divinity within pure awareness is the discovery and revelation of the eastern pathways. Relationship to the Divine is the discovery and revelation of the western pathways. Divinity within the creation and nature is the discovery and revelation of Native Cultures, Taoism, and Science.
Why do we assume that they are mutually exclusive? Why are we forced to choose? Why do we divide truth, reality, and the Divine? How sad that we separate these experiential realms and then oppress, hate, hurt, destroy, kill, and have wars over these spiritual points of view. What a sad legacy Holy Wars, Inquisitions, Crusades, Conquistadors, Terrorism, and the intimidation and abuse of children have left on the reputation of Religion?
I would say that all that is good and true in religion and spirituality arises from the fruit of love. All that is false and reprehensible arises from the weeds of hatred. Why then, don’t we just trust and believe in love directly? Why not allow each person the freedom to explore and experience the sublime presence within themselves, in relationship to their Source, and within the created universe, without dictating that encounter for them? Why not leave the great mysteries of creation to unfold through a living revelation rather than to be crystalized by belief?
Alora! I can’t answer these questions for everyone. But I must follow my own star. I give myself the freedom to allow these three realms of spiritual approach to be united and as one in my unfolding experience. I walk my path, a noble path, a universal path, I belong to all and am restricted by none……
With Love, Si Gong