Loving without expectation or ownership

Her experiment to discover the spiritual reality behind physical-plane existence had brought with it a growing capacity to love without expectations or neediness. In all her interactions, not only in her intimate relations, Joy endeavoured to radiate positivity and a loving disposition. She felt it was her duty to interact with others in this way. She had learnt to let go. She knew she had no control over what the other person did, said or felt. The only guarantee she had was the relationship she was building with her Self. This was the only constant. It gave meaning to her life.

Love without expectationJoy brought her developing capacity to love without expectations into her relationship with Gino. She knew they would be together for as long as was right. That might be until the end of their lives. It might be sooner. One of them might decide to end the relationship. She no longer feared that and didn’t feel the need to grasp. Joy loved Gino deeply. She smiled whenever she thought of him. They slept lying intertwined. Whenever their relationship ended – through death or separation – the beauty of what they had at that moment would live on as an echo in the “ether”. Only the recourse to hatred, intolerance or grief, which was the reaction of so many divided couples, could take that beauty away.

Extract from my book “My Name is Joy”

Photo c/o Karin Henseler a.k.a sciencefreak on Pixabay http://bit.ly/1rtbCwU

What is love?

What is love? What comes to your mind when I ask that question? Is it romantic love and sex? Is it religious or spiritual love? Is it filial or parental love? I guess most people would choose out of these options. Would any of us refer to self-love? Without an apologetic tone in our voices? Self-love might start with a rational analysis of our worth and achievements, probably in line with prevailing social and cultural norms. However, such contemplations risk remaining purely intellectual in nature and are likely, therefore, to end in self-condemnation and feelings of inferiority or – quite the opposite – egoic pride and a sense of superiority. To counteract this kind of mental cul-de-sac, the good news is that there’s a more authentic and deeper self-love that can be accessed when we step beyond the rational, thinking mind and the pull of the emotions. This self-love might be experienced as an incredibly calming energy that pervades your whole body, giving you a deep sense of presence, acceptance of the moment and connectivity with all that surrounds you. Tantric techniques aim to stimulate more of this kind of self-love. As such, Tantra offers “the greatest empowerment of all: the power to determine your own inner state, regardless of external circumstance.”[1]

Extract from my book “She Who is Unto Herself”

[1] Wallis, C.D. (2013) Tantra Illuminated. Mattamayura Press: San Rafael, CA, p.192.

Quest for Self-Knowledge

MandalaJoy remembered when she had moved out of the flat with Jim and found herself alone for the first time in many years. She had experienced a severe crisis. Although perhaps outwardly nobody noticed, at night she cried, imploring the Universe – or whatever It was – to show her the way forward, to end the stagnation into which she felt she had fallen. Ever since she had developed a spiritual orientation in life, rejecting the more materialistic approach, she seemed to have struggled. It was as if all her efforts had led to nothing; as if she were no longer in the flow of life; as if she were swimming upstream.

Joy knew that, despite that cry to the Universe all those years ago, she continued to experience only pockets of apparent success in her personal and professional life for a long time afterwards. Nevertheless, she recognised that during those years of difficulty and struggle she had built up her inner strength, and expanded her understanding of the physical plane and its relationship with the non-visible worldContinue reading

The inclusive nature of independence

Bast

Sometimes, there might be particular personal/spiritual attributes we’re trying to develop, or life is persuading us to fine-tune. On those occasions, we can choose to work with the goddess that represents that quality. For example, in Doreen Virtue’s Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards, Bast is the Egyptian goddess of independence. Because independence is a skill that my life circumstances seem to be giving me time and space to learn, I sometimes meditate with the Bast card in my hand, so that I can pick up on the vibration of that particular goddess and the insights this can bring. By working with Bast energy, I’ve come to understand that my task is to learn how to be a whole person, able to function physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually as an autonomous being. This isn’t meant to be understood as an incitement to egoic separatism; quite the opposite. It’s my belief that all sentient beings and non-sentient forms are part of one Whole; the same Earth and universal energies flow through all of us. Independence, therefore, implies self-awareness, balance, inclusion, personal responsibility and unconditional love.

Excerpt from “She Who Is Unto Herself”

“Bastet shows us the eternal sacred quality of the feminine, along with the beauty of a feral protectress. She reminds us that solitude and independence shows strength, but also that unity in relations binds our souls.” Quote taken from: Gems of the Goddess on paganpages.org

Power of non-judgement to transform conflict

Arguably the most well-known hero of non-violent action was Mahatma Gandhi; although there are plenty of other persons – nowadays and in the past – who have shown huge civil courage in the face of repression, violence and injustice. Even though some of us will, thankfully, never be confronted by the life-threatening and deeply traumatic circumstances faced and endured by human rights defenders and oppressed persons around the globe, even our more privileged lives can get tough, challenging and seemingly unjust at times. On those occasions, we can learn from forerunners like Gandhi, who have led by example and in so doing have paved the way for us to more easily follow.

Gandhi didn’t condone violent behaviour or injustice. However, whilst holding an attitude of non-judgement (as recommended also by the tantric path), he demonstrated his dissent using direct, non-violent action rooted in a deep love for all human beings and Life itself. Continue reading

Understanding relationships

Through numerous, relatively short-lived relationships with men, Joy had been forced to learn detachment and how to stand on her own two feet. She had discovered that relationships referred to something much more encompassing than mere intimate relations with members of the opposite sex. There was the relationship that existed between each man and woman and the rest of the human race, for example. And beyond that, Joy was learning to sense the relationship that existed between her self and the Soul – the human Soul; not her individual soul, which was another illusion created by the limitations of the rational mind. Even more encompassing was the relationship between humanity and the planetary entity, or greater still, the larger cosmos. When she looked up at the stars at night, Joy experienced a sense of revelation. How short-sighted it was of humans to go about their daily lives without due consideration for their place in the universe. This wider cosmic perspective on relationships was paralleled by her contemplation of the smallest aspect of her being – the cells in her body that were, in essence, nothing more or nothing less than energy. Continue reading

Embraced by immanent divine love

I’ve discovered a point of consciousness inside me that is forever content, blissful, trusting and at peace. This is what I understand to be heart energy. I can access it at any moment; it’s only difficult to find when my rational mind is working overtime. In my experience, this energy seems to have two locations – in the area of the heart chakra, as expected, and also in the area of the third eye chakra. Perhaps these two energy centres are very intimately connected, so if one is energised it naturally stimulates the other? This point of consciousness brings calm in any situation if I can access it. It causes my body to stand erect – straightening my spine; and at the same time, it relaxes my muscles. It makes me take a deep breath and smile. As well as absorbing this heart energy, I can also radiate it outwards to others through the power of my intention, and for this reason, it enables me to remain open to people I interact with, irrespective of whether the relationship is good or bad. It is, I believe, a quality of being which is spoken of – albeit in different ways – by many religious and spiritual traditions. Tapping heart energy and then holding your intention to radiate it out of your third eye chakra is referred to by some energetic practices of Eastern origin as smiling through your third eye. Continue reading