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Monday, January 3, 2011

Healing is much like peeling an onion, the journey is layered and may produce tears

Tears of laughter and tears of joy!

I have often used this metaphor in my workshops: that our life is very much like an onion, and our true self, our core, may only be revealed after all of the outer layers have been peeled away.

When we peel away the layers of our conditioned beliefs, of our ideas and influences, and all the protective coverings that we imagine make us feel safe, we get to the heart of our "issues" and discover our own personal (and profound) truths, our own deep knowing...  and awakening to the nature of reality, we find that within our heartspace we are perfect. Perfect. Just as we are.

Healing, forgiving, releasing, and reflecting are symbolized by peeling away the layers to get to the core/seed of our experience here, the place where we are clear and all is understood. Yet it is not the final awakening on our journeys. For even as we feel that we have reached our final truth, we know that we must peel the final layer away.

And there we stand in our center, in the void. The mind is quiet.  And there is pure joy in the arrival.
And we learn to love who we are, right now, just as we are.

As I said, I have done this meditation in many of my workshops and I think its a good one to start the process of cleansing in 2011. I call it "Peeling the Onion" for obvious reasons! It is a very effective contemplative technique that helps to develop a heart of wisdom and compassion. I know that cultivating an awakened heart cannot help but lead to an expanded perception of the world and a knowing of all beings as manifestations of the Divine.

Set an onion before you.

Close your eyes.

Take 3 long slow deep breath
inhaling through your nose
holding the breath as is comfortable
then exhaling slowly through your mouth.

Now, take the onion and slowly peel away the first layer.

Symbolically, What did that layer represent? How was it formed? Who did it serve? Who did it hurt?
What have you learned? Now, let it go.

Continue to peel the layers away one by one.

Find the truth about your physical self, your soul's mission here, the universe and reality.

Now in running water, wash away the layers, and tears, as you let them go...

Breathe and say thank you.

Without an awakened heart – your illuminated spirit – to guide you, your mind will attempt to create its own reality, and you have only to look at the condition of the world to see the effects of this: people searching to get what they want, people struggling to protect what they have, people striving to protect privileges in life or to gain these privileges or to take them away from others, even people’s desires for justice. All these things have created immense suffering, not only for the individuals involved but for the entire world. Layer upon layer of mental confusion.

"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it and break them down." – A Course In Miracles

As you peel back the layers, and live from the heart, you become one less person that is judging, criticizing and condemning the world. You become one less person who is only here to consume for their own benefit. You become one less person who is demanding that others believe what they believe, and conform to what they determine what is right and rightful. Here you become a peacemaker because you are at peace, not because you have a new "idea" about what peace is and how it can be achieved.

When you finally give up the hopeless pursuit of fulfilling your mind's desires, and trying to make them work for you, well... you will feel stripped to the core.  And really what is happening is your are opening yourself to the presence of your heart as your beacon. Only it knows how to guide and protect you. Only your open heart knows how you will be able to navigate the changes that are coming, and the difficult times ahead.

Do not judge others then. For if you are honest with yourself, you will see how long it has taken for you to even come to the beginning of this journey. Understand that everyone is either trying to justify their beliefs or they are coming to an understanding of the ways of the heart. And there are so many steps in between these two very different understandings and ways of life, and people are stumbling along the pathway as best they can.

You just need to follow the way that your heart will take you. And it will take you there without all your outdated ideas even if you can't think of the new, better way. You are becoming inner directed rather than simply controlled and manipulated by the immensely powerful forces in the mental environment around you. And it's OK to say, "I don't know, I'm just going to follow my heart."

You have an opportunity to be a witness to love growing and emerging and expressing itself through your life. And this indeed will be the miracle that will renew to you your fundamental relationship with yourself, with others, with the world, and with the God/Goddess of your understanding.

This is the Gift of Love and it is waiting to express itself through you.

May you be blessed!

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