Finding Inner Peace

ross bishopFinding inner peace can be difficult. We meditate, do yoga, read books, go to workshops, learn mantras, hang affirmations on our refrigerators and yet we remain troubled. What are we missing? Is it just that we are not sufficiently spiritual? Are we not doing it right? That is how it feels much of the time.

Years ago I learned about spirituality through Zen meditation. I sat morning and evening, religiously (if you will pardon the pun), seven days a week, at least twice a day. I got calm, my breathing deepened and the world slowed down as I began to focus on what was really important in life. My friends noticed the changes occurring in me. I went deep. I touched a place of inner peace and calm I had no idea even existed.

Bliss? Hardly. It scared the heck out of me! I had to quit for a while. I had never known that level of openness and feeling that vulnerable shook me to my core. It would be some time before I had the courage to go that deeply or feel that vulnerable again. Fortunately, the experience planted something so deep and powerful in me that I could not ignore. I had to pursue it. So here I am, 30 years later, eternally grateful for an experience that literally scared the daylights out of me. But the fear I experienced then is the same fear that keeps most people from finding inner peace today… continue article

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Spiritual Evolution

by Ross Bishop

To understand human evolution it helps to get a fix on where you are headed. The answer is quite simple: you are moving to a state of total compassion. How do you get there? That’s simple too (at least in concept). By removing the “rough spots” in your life. What are the “rough spots? Anything you do not love. Because everything you do not love will cause you conflict.

Think about a cabinetmaker. How does he make a smooth board? He removes the rough spots. How does he do that? He puts them in “conflict” with his sandpaper. It is the same with your life. The places you do not love (think especially of yourself here) will cause you conflict until you come to peace with them, i.e. remove the causes.

Your growth will come from the daily issues (conflicts) of your life. Remember, everything you do not love will become a lesson, and this is especially true as regards love of self. Want to know where your life is headed? Look at what you do not love. As Eckhart Tolle said:

“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment.”

Every problem you face has two parts. There is the issue – which can always be negotiated. Then there is the ego baggage you wrap the issue up in. And that is where you get stuck. You get lost in the struggle with your pain and shame and fail to realize that these situations were created specifically for you so that you might learn from them (grow spiritually). They were not created to judge or condemn you. The intention of the whole process is to help, although it often does not feel that way.

Having problems with your relationship? Trouble with your kids? Discontent with co-workers? Problems with finances? These things exist because you are holding back, afraid to accept the abundance that The Universe offers – wether it is love, contentment or financial ease. These are not measures of failure on your part but rather opportunities for your growth. These are the places where you are not yet “finished.” Each of them can be traced back to a lack of love of self.

And it is the lack of love for ourselves that is the biggest obstacle we face. Resolving issues with your partner or kids is far easier and less scary than fixing the dark hole that you feel resides at your core. You can deal with your kids or your partner while only scratching the surface of your feelings of personal inadequacy. Facing yourself squarely is a different prospect altogether.

What if you really are inadequate or unworthy? What if God doesn’t like you? What will you do then? It’s better to live in limbo than face the consequences of that possibility. So in response, we ignore The Universe knocking at the door. It, in turn, simply ups the ante until the pain becomes so great that you must stop resisting and surrender, which is what The Universe was asking of you in the first place. That’s doing it the hard way, but that’s the path that many people choose.

And that is the essence of the human dilemma. You cannot possibly be any of these things, but you can believe that you are. And so long as your beliefs are in place, they will cause you pain. Remember, “Anything you do not love will become a lesson.”

So how do you find your way out of the labyrinth? To get out, you must love yourself. But pulling yourself out by the bootstraps, given the power of your beliefs, can be difficult. The answer lies in going to the place where your beliefs were created – the assumptions about yourself you made as a child.

Your beliefs were formed at a time when you were completely vulnerable to the vagaries of the adults in your world (mostly your mother and father). You interpreted their fears and anxieties (their withholding love) as an inadequacy on your part. Your conclusion that you were not worthy, good enough – enough of something, was completely in error.

I can guarantee you that the conclusions you made were not correct. How do I know that? It is simple. Children are not capable of the things you blame yourself for. There is no way that a child, any child, could be unworthy or not deserve to be loved. Because of that, it cannot be the child’s fault! You may not have received the love you needed, but it was because of the situation that your parents created, it wasn’t because of some failure of your part!

So what do you do? The way out may seem a little indirect, but it is a very effective technique. Work with the daily conflicts that life brings and see how in some way or other, in each situation, you are not being loving – most often toward yourself. Observe how your beliefs and behaviors are creating friction either within yourself or with others. And what’s most important to remember about these situations is that your beliefs cannot be true. You are not the person you have come to believe you are. And as you come to accept that truth, your beliefs will simply fade away.

These events of your life are not random. Your feelings of “not being enough” were what you came to earth to work on, and your earthly experiences have been created to help with that process. You got pulled on you where you already felt vulnerable, exposing a wound you had carried for some time. If you could rise above your woundedness and see the truth of the situation, there would be no issue! And that is where you are headed – that is the course of your evolution.

The secret to evolution then, is to see your beliefs as both burden and as the source of your transformation. It is the resolution of your beliefs to the truth that will bring you home. But how do you get over that seemingly insurmountable mountain? I know it’s a cliche, but you do it “One step at a time.” Or, as Lao Tsu said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Now while all that is going on at the conscious level, something much deeper is taking place. And that is the whole secret behind this business of being human and human evolution. As you align to the truth in your conscious mind you also create an alignment with your spiritual self. And although subtle, that alignment is incredibly powerful. It shapes your destiny – not just in human terms, but for all eternity.

copyright©Blue Lotus Press 2016

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