Written Blog: Illusions are Convenient
Removing illusions is a paramount practice in most spiritual paths. Some of my favorite archetypes include Shiva being the destroyer of illusions and maya as the Sanskrit word for illusion. Once we discard our illusions, we can see things as they are.
However, some of these illusions turn out to be rather elusive. I have had teachers put directly illusions directly in front of my face, and I still could not see them. So I got to thinking, “Why are our illusions and the stories we tell ourselves so difficult to see?”
And then I realized, when you let go of your illusions, you often have to make serious changes in your life. Once you allow yourself to see through an illusion, things never really go back to the way they were.
On the other hand, if we find a way to discount the truth, we can avoid making change- especially if it’s inconvenient. So we create a story that allows us to keep our illusion intact. So now we have an...
Written Blog: The Value of Outrage
So what do you like least in Donald Trump? Or Joe Biden? Or perhaps Hillary Clinton? Amazing teachers all of them, but not in the way we might think. Perhaps they teach us the most when we have a strong reaction to them.
Many of us have been experiencing outrage around the debates and other various injustices over the past year. And rightfully so. It’s been pretty outrageous. And thank you to the people who are actively doing something about it.
But beyond the opportunities for social and political change, these outrageous conditions also provide an opportunity for internal change.
Two opportunities often present themselves when our outrage becomes activated: self-acceptance and healing.
Deeper self-acceptance can be accessed by noticing when we project qualities or feelings that we do not want to accept in ourselves onto someone else- often when they are triggering outrage in us.
We may respond to this outage by becoming irritated,...
Written Blog: Be Like Water
So I’ve been noticing some things about myself of late. Despite my working forever on allowing things to be as they are, I still tend to force things to be the way I think they should be.
It’s been coming up while working on my website when one of the program's design tools is not working the way that I think it should work. I often see a simple workaround to create what I want, but still spend a lot of time stubbornly getting the design tool to work the way I think it should.
And then one day for whatever reason, I just went with the workaround to get where I needed to be. And it worked great. So I started to extend this approach to the rest of my life. And life got more simple, effective, and peaceful.
All I had to do was let go of how I thought things should be. This can, however, be quite challenging. It turns out we have some pretty serious conditioning behind forcing things to be the way we think they should be.
It's the time of harvest! In order to complete this cycle of the medicine wheel, we have to claim the value we have been developing in ourselves. This video explores the value you have created this past year (even if you did not realize it).
Now I am going to assume it has been an interesting year for you. With COVID, quarantines, and social distancing, our ways of socializing and interacting have been severely altered.
But make no mistake, you still developed something powerful and significant in yourself. You still have something that's essential to harvest.
Now is the time to harvest or glean the value of what you have been working with. Claiming its value or 'getting the lesson' creates completion.
So what is the value of you spending more time with yourself? What has it allowed to develop in yourself?
What is the value of spending more (or perhaps less) time with your family?
And... what is the value of feeling loneliness, isolation, or sadness?
One of my friends...
It was the evening of Friday the 13th. The coronavirus was not going away. They closed the schools in the state of Oregon earlier that day. It was dusk and starting to snow. The weather app on my phone forecasted snow and cold temperatures for the next three days. My phone calendar showed no plans for the weekend.
Everything about that moment felt like life was closing in on me. I had felt that feeling before.
It was the feeling at the beginning of a silent meditation retreat.
Ten days later, it still feels like I am on retreat. Since I have been on my share of retreats, I am inspired to share some of the things that seem to come up when I am on retreat. Things that nobody told me.
The first rule of thumb: things come up. There you are minding your own business and something hits you. It might be a realization about something that you were not wanting to face. Or it might be a sad feeling with no known origin.
Two days into my first retreat, an uneasy feeling about my job came...
I describe our tendency to evaluate ourselves through external, culturally-based standards. In this video, I invite you to reconnect with your own core values and then to reevaluate your value and worth on the basis of those values, and how you actually affect the people and aspects of the world that you encounter.
This video is an exercise that I created in a storytelling workshop by Bernadette Jiwa. It speaks about my relationship with my spiritual teacher, Bart Anderson, and how I am fulfilling the charge that my teacher gave to him. It is also distinguished from other videos on this channel in that it is not edited at all. It, therefore, includes more pauses, "um's" and "like's" and hopefully feels like a story being authentically told.
Division occurs when there is a part of us that is not in alignment with another part of ourselves. I explore how we become divided from our passion, purpose, and truth. We can integrate these qualities back into our lives to reduce conflict and allow natural harmony with the various aspects of ourselves.
I discuss how to access the natural healing quality of true compassion. I differentiate compassion in which we empathize and feel with compassion that is more conceptual and intellectual. I also challenge the listener to drop down into the depth and vibration of true compassion to connect with the person you are interacting with.
Michael Hoffman interviews Dr. Jane Guyn about the dynamics in couples around sexuality and the challenges that can arise with it. Jane discusses her clinical practice and upcoming workshop, both of which are intended to guide couples to establish fulfilling sex and intimacy and to overcome obstacles.
Dr. Jane Guyn's website can be found at https://www.howtofixmysexlife.com/
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