A dear friend reading this blog shared with me that she was surprised by the “God-focus” of my entries. It occurred to me that I might get clear with myself and explain a bit here about the spiritual practices, teachings, and beliefs that bring me salvation, peace, serenity. After all, these are the reasons for my spirituality and for my desire to share in this space.
As I search for my best path to clarity and understanding of the Universe, I am continuously drawn to three primary guides – A Course in Miracles, Buddhism, and the 12 Steps. The purpose of each is to invite the same thing – only each uses different language. In the Course, the focus is on letting go of our ego-driven concepts of reality and letting “God’s” intention for us prevail (salvation). Buddhism focuses on detaching from things and ideas with an intention to be present in the moment (enlightenment), and the 12-Step program points us to accountability for what we have created while turning our lives over to a Higher Power to create a new life strategy (serenity).
Common concepts with slightly different meanings in each include wisdom, compassion, presence, connection to something greater, and oneness. They all address the emotions of pain, anger, fear, joy, passion, love, shame, and guilt. For example, the Course says God created us without pain; we are as God created us; therefore pain does not exist. Accordingly, as we have created pain we can return to God’s intention for us, happiness. Buddhism says pain is inevitable, but suffering is our choice; that detaching with love allows for freedom from suffering. The 12-Steps suggest that pain is a signal; that if we find ourselves “insane” from living with it, a Higher Power can remove the behaviors that perpetuate it by following 12 simple steps.
Today’s lesson in the Course tells me that happiness is my birthright, what was created in me, is all that exists. It also suggests I may choose to suffer from the belief that all of that is untrue. I get to lean into this wisdom today.
My soul’s primary intention is to be peaceful, joyful and happy. Secondarily, I am called to share peace and joy and happiness wherever I wander. I do not wish to preach, to suggest that my path is right for anyone but myself, or to infer that I can and will do it perfectly. As the 12-Step program teaches, I humbly suggest, “take what you like and leave the rest.” I’m honored when you choose to read and do not take it personally when you don’t.