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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Parents and Children

by Ross Bishop

We assume that a child comes into the world with a clean slate. That’s both true and not. In a child’s conscious awareness, everything is new. His or her immediate circle is a world of wonder, newness and exploration. There is little conscious awareness of anything outside his or her world. But at another level, The Universe is busy creating exactly the experiences the child will need to further the development of his or her unfinished awareness. We can debate as to whether this is actually a part of the child’s unconscious, but it really doesn’t matter because either way, it’s going to profoundly effect the child’s life.

So here’s the way it works: You come in needing to learn to love yourself. The Universe selects a set of parents for you who have difficulty loving unconditionally. The result is a difficult experience for everyone. You come away feeling conditionally loved and your parents have been challenged beyond their comfort limits. That is the perfection of the process. It pushes on everyone’s boundaries.

Let’s say you emerge from childhood being needy, insecure, angry or whatever. That is a direct reflection of your parent’s inability to give love and your predictable reaction. For their part, they were reluctant to deal with their issues, so they passed them off to you as “faults.” It wasn’t just that you were shy, or noisy or messy, it was that something was wrong with you. Your part in this was to let their judgments hook you into your shame. That it is exactly what you came here to work on, so we can see that this is not coincidental.

This can seem like a pretty screwed up way to run a universe. People get hurt, childhoods are wrecked, families are torn apart – except when you consider one factor: free will. In order for your newly found awareness to “stick,” you have to come to it on your own, and you must hold it deeply. That cannot be given to you, as advantageous as sometimes that might seem.

When you have free will, the most powerful way for you to learn something is to first get you to believe an untruth, and then let your life experiences lead you to the truth. When this happens you will hold that truth like nothing else, it will be unshakeable. This process however, as you undoubtedly already know, is not a walk in the park.

Because we buy into our shame, we get stuck in believing the “not-true” part of the experience. And we can hold onto our feelings of unworthiness with great tenacity. Besides, being inadequate gives you something to hide behind. Living in the truth means standing in the light, something we have no experience with and that we don’t really trust.

In order to change, you must confront the negative things you believe about yourself. But right or wrong, you have built your whole life around those untruths. And that means replacing the untruths with the truth. And as advantageous as that may seem, it means replacing what is familiar, even though a negative, with an unknown and we are creatures of habit. Also, regardless of what we are told, we’re just not sure how God feels about our past behavior. But this is an important part of your learning process, too.

copyright © Blue Lotus Press 2013

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