I’d like to share some things I’ve learned since I’ve been on my spiritual journey. One may ask, what is a spiritual journey. To me a spiritual journey is the willingness to grow and learn; to become a better being, to live my life peacefully and joyfully, to see everyone as my brother and sister regardless of the color of their skin, language they speak, what they believe or what they’ve done, to love and accept myself as well as every being, to express compassion and forgiveness toward others and myself, to understand and know what life is about, to know my true self who is like the Creator and relinquish my false self, which are the beliefs I’ve accepted that keep me from knowing who I truly am as well as understanding and the willingness to live by the words in my poem that I posted on June 15th (Painting and Poem).
During my process of spiritual growth, I’ve come to understand and see I must have an empty bowl while I’m on my journey. I must come willing to learn, have an open mind to what I am learning in order to receive and absorb God’s truths. I must be willing to look at and let go of what’s true for me (my beliefs) that aren’t in alignment with God’s truths (the laws of the Universe). I must be open to a different meaning or more understanding of a truth or law that I’ve already heard. I must be present, not be in my head, have the desire to learn and understand a truth instead of letting what I heard go in one ear and out the other. During my process of change and learning, there were many times I didn’t come with an empty bowl, my mind was closed. I wanted to hold onto my beliefs therefore my bowl was filled and my behavior proved I wasn’t ready to learn. How did I know my bowl was filled? I expressed self-righteousness, I had defenses, excuses, didn’t trust what was given to me, acted as though I was listening and receiving while having a deaf ear with a but or continued with my story by not fully listening to the person who was helping me as well as having my own conversation with myself in my head. I gave up believing in what I was learning as well as myself on numerous occasions. I wanted to be right about my convictions, about certain people and my beliefs about God and whenever I needed to look at myself my bowl was usually filled because of my fears of bringing my beliefs and behaviors into the light, I didn’t want to see my judgments. I’ve learned change cannot happen if my bowl is filled before I begin nor can change happen within me when I’m not willing to look at myself and acknowledge my beliefs and behaviors.
I’ve come to understand in order to learn the Creator’s truths, I must forget most of if not all that I had learned and accepted for myself. If I wanted to experience change, I had to start over and relinquish what I new to be true and learn new truths that support my spiritual growth and journey to becoming a better being. I choose to be a being that expresses compassion instead of condemning, gossiping and speaking unkindly about others. I’ve learned when I choose to condemn or judge another I’m avoiding looking at myself and by doing so I continue to believe I’m better than others. I choose to be a being who expresses giving without conditions instead of giving with conditions such as needing acknowledgment after doing something for another or doing for another in order to receive love and acceptance. I choose to see each and every being on this planet as equals and understand that unkind acts come from fear and pain. I choose to accept that everyone is created from love and we are all powerful beings with gifts and talents to share while being of service to others. We are all here on this planet to learn, grow, change, create, help one another instead of going against each other and understand that our bodies are only the vessels for us to experience all this. The process takes work and while doing the work I’ve learned I must always have an empty bowl otherwise God’s truths or laws cannot come in and I’m rejecting what I’m saying I want to learn and know. This is no different then when a child goes to school. A child or student must go willing to learn, let go of his or her false beliefs of not being smart enough, good enough or capable of learning. The student must learn to let go of excuses, defenses and self-righteousness. A student must be aware of the chatter in their head, empty their mind; be present and eager to learn. A student must come to class with an empty bowl in order to receive gifts. The gifts are, understanding the subject, tools that are given to use to help the student while away from the teacher and the knowledge to help them with their assignments, projects and homework. These gifts are preparing them for the next lesson.
I’ve come to learn gratitude is a must when receiving something, no matter what the something is. When I’m eager to learn, gratitude is easily expressed from the heart. When my bowl is filled with a new truth or truths to help me on my journey, I must remember to be grateful. When someone is hungry and after his or her bowl or plate is filled, saying thank you is the greatest form of prayer. When one has nourishment they have more energy and feel good. The same goes for spiritual nourishment. When one accepts new truths, they are given nourishment to help them along their daily path. When one is open and yearns to learn something new there is a feeling of excitement. One has hope; faith and trust in what he or she has learned and received and the student can go forward to practice with what was given. The beauty of change will happen as long as one comes with an empty bowl to learn, do the work and have gratitude.