Archive for November, 2010

A Thanksgiving Musing

November 25th, 2010, Posted in Philosophy

I would like to venture into philiosophical realms on this Thanksgiving Day. We take a moment to contemplate “Thanksgiving” and some may be challenged to feel the theme of gratitude in these challenging times. The ego feels overwhelmed, maybe overshadowed, and cannot easily see what is worth giving thanks for. Yet, we must transcend that which overshadows us and find a handhold onto the truth that lies beyond. In truth we will find gratitude.

I ask the question often these days, “what is happening here in our country in these last years?” One of the expressions I find accurate and darkly humorous at the same time is, “The country is having a nervous breakdown!” Many believe our foundations are failing. There’s nobody to look to for leadership. Capitalism or materialism fails to take care of us. And we are left with great fear. And fear freaks us out!

Certainly, the Bush years promoted reactionary fear-based responses. Greed became ever more frequent as the ego said, “I have to get mine!” Our deep, core issues of separation/judgment increasingly polarized our interpersonal relationships and in extension, have created the most political polarization that we’ve seen in a long time. Fear also summons deep karmic themes from the inner darkness. It’s that first chakra survival theme that’s kicked into full expression. When the threats of losing one’s home, or not being able to care for one’s family, the result is we lose our sense of groundedness. The ego is threatened severely. Add to that the mass consciousness of this collective triggering of deep emotional energies, we will often project blame outward. President Obama becomes the target. Government becomes the target. And all of us that have acted unskillfully, or that have expressed our fears in harmful ways transfer/project those karmic responsibilities onto those that are “supposed” to take care of us. It becomes their failure, not ours. So we fire them and bring in a new collection of political hopefuls. It will not solve the deep issues underlying our collective neurosis.

In the sixties we had a similar astrological t-square configuration with Saturn-Uranus-Pluto. It was a time of war, revolution against the establishment, and innovation that changed our consciousness. A new spirituality emerged, especially in the west, when Eastern spirituality began to interface with western beliefs.  From India, Japan and China ancient knowledge was re-formulated for western audiences. I see it as a seeding of new ideas, new techniques of inner discovery, a catalyst that sparked fertilization of new spiritual possibilities. Out of the darkness of fear came a revolution that changed all of us. I believe that the current heavenly t-square configuration is catalyzing in the same ways. It is taking us through another revolution against the establishment. This time led by the right-wing. Fear is still the big issue. Fundamentalism is always pushed toward more extremism when fear is paramount. If there is a sense of threat to one’s belief system, one’s religious life, or to the status quo, there will be an active defense put into motion. Change becomes dangerous to the ego. The ego’s job is to defend one’s sense of self-definition: to maintain control of who I think I am and my personal reality. However, the soul may have a different agenda. The soul does not care about your belief system, it only cares about that growth-experience that moves you to liberation. For that matter, all of our souls are putting us through these times and these opportunities to help us learn how to care for ourselves and each other so we can come home again. If that means to enlightenment or back home to God/dess, then the inner work must accomplish that goal. As in the sixties, growth-producing innovation can become grounded in available forms. At this time in history there is more spiritual knowledge available than ever before, more schools of the soul, more techniques for inner work, and many competent, inspired teachers. In the midst of revolution, pathways of healing and transformation are available.

If we adopt the belief that God/dess is greater than human beings can conceive and that we may not always understand or agree with the mysterious journey we are passing through, we are asked to pay attention in the midst of our incomprehension. To keep the awareness open and to the best of our ability, to strive for non-attachment to the dramas we experience. To cultivate a faith in Spirit that keeps the spiritual energy in motion which will act like a compass to navigate the storms. There is inherent meaning on this journey through our lives. There is inherent meaning in our personal roles and in those relationships we have chosen willingly or unwillingly. There is inherent meaning is our being. By taking time to dwell within, that meaning will permeate your awareness and more easily be demonstrated in your life. This is one critical function that helps to ground us to our beingness. When we are grounded, fear cannot pull us out of the present moment into the uncertain future. Fear loses it’s power over us. Change is no longer a threat. The ego relaxes somewhat, transcendence becomes more spontaneous, and we come home to ourselves.

Thanksgiving is an opportunity to come back to ourselves. We give thanks for the mystery. We give thanks for our lives and all of those that have served us for our betterment which includes everyone. Because we are all in this moment together, as One, as that collective force that has a profound intelligence to move us toward Liberation. May we bow our heads and open to That and give heartfelt thanks.

OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti,

Rick Phillips

The Grace of Forgiveness

November 25th, 2010, Posted in Philosophy, Teachings

Life can be seen as a learning process, like going to school. This long journey is one of earned evolution and transformation. Difficulties arise; these are trials that test what we have learned and, those areas that need more work are tested further. We call them opportunities for growth. These stumbling blocks are our emotional issues that we have not quite mastered yet. Themes like judgment, anger, fear, intolerance, and all those other sticky, repetitive, overshadowing energies that we can’t seem to shake loose from our lives. Sometimes these feelings become quite dark; we lose the light of clear consciousness and these energies take us over producing a drama of pain and suffering. It is usually certain that they become harmful. The more overshadowing they become, the more we fail to see the lesson structured within them. They are assured to come back again and again until we “get it.” Then the dawn of realization arrives with a deeper grasp of the purpose and perfection of what that emotional issue was all about.

But there is another piece of this artful process. Do we have the ability to let the dramatic energies release their grip on our emotional body? This “letting go” process is a necessary step in our personal growth. We must find some degree of resolution in the difficulty, and feel the energetic release of the drama, past and present, with a feeling of freedom for the future.

In my experience of true healing, both personally and professionally, the greatest virtue in service to our liberation from past attachment is the energy of forgiveness. This is undoubtedly a profound healing spiritual energy. It has the ability to free us from the attachments to the past. Whenever there is a drama full of pain and suffering, the themes of separation and judgment will be in play. If I’m hurt by someone’s words or behavior, or I have hurt someone in a moment of confusion or fear, my emotional body reacts. Also, I may have harmed myself through the viciousness of my own self-judgment. In every case, separation has occurred. Hopefully I notice the distance increasing between myself and the other and take corrective action. But usually, the defenses are activated, barriers are created, and judgment is imminent. Judgment furthers the separation and erodes the sense of connection I had with the other, along with the ability to communicate from our hearts. This is the fertile ground of emotional drama and it creates a situation that my ego feels justified holding onto. This is where that feeling of holding a grudge comes from. It is the ego-certainty that I am right and the other is wrong. Sometimes the loss of trust in a relationship or loss of our sense of safety will reinforce our polarized, opposing position. The ego uses any trick in the book to maintain the separation and perpetuate the drama. This is one of the most unfortunate tendencies that human beings possess. Therefore, our tendency toward polarization and the dramatization of life must be a powerful lesson for all of us to learn.

Spiritually, we have within us that Inner Knowing which is always available, (though we may doubt it), which can provide the opportunity and pathway to a way through these dilemmas of our stuck ego. The spiritual virtues are energies that are specific remedies for our low-vibration attachments. Forgiveness is that specific vibration that neutralizes the separation and judgment in our life. When I forgive, I let go. When I forgive, the energy moves again and I am no longer stuck to what happened before. When I forgive, my heart opens again to its essential nature and I feel peace. I return to a state of nature which acknowledges our inter-connection and interdependence. We play roles for each other; even unconsciously we are part of the teaching. Spirit moves us around in each other’s life as part of the grand theater of evolution. Forgiveness comes when we sense this purposefulness. The blessing of forgiveness comes to move us across boundaries to embrace life more fully.

Forgiveness is not a mental choice. It is an emotional healing. I may think I should forgive but that isn’t going to create genuine forgiveness. My heart is the source of forgiveness. It comes by itself in its own time, when the timing is right. It comes in the midst of an expansion of consciousness. As I watch the clients go through their processes, some gracefully and others with angst, I notice that time is needed to effectively release the blocks that allows forgiveness to be possible.

One aspect of forgiveness that many people misunderstand is the idea that when I forgive that somehow I’m trying to forget what has occurred, condoning the act, or in some way, “giving in.” This is not the case. Forgiveness is not a form of victimization or self-sacrifice. Its dignity lies in the fact that forgiveness is an act of strength which purifies the heart of the heaviness of past suffering. I can disagree with what may have happened and at the same time free myself from its associated burden. Spiritual energies, such as forgiveness, elevate the consciousness. We manifest a new point of view; one that brings more clarity. From that point of view there is no need to punish another or ourselves any longer. My heart is free.

A Forgiveness Prayer

Dear Sweet Spirit,

Please remind me of your mercy,

Help me to see that I am forgiveness,

That I have the divine power to let go of past suffering.

Forgiveness is that elegant healing that brings me back home.

As I forgive, separation dissolves,

As I forgive, I experience unity once again,

As I forgive, love gently arises.

I feel this blessing with such gratitude.


November 25th, 2010, Posted in Meditations, Teachings


Rick Phillips

When I can forgive, others will follow.

If I can forgive, then God must be as merciful.

Forgiveness and Mercy are spiritual energies; energetic, independent of Mind.

Forgiveness  releases the past, mercy is a present way of life.

As I forgive, the universe releases the pain of judgment.

As I forgive, separation dissolves.

As I forgive, I come into the eternal moment.

As I forgive, God can be known.

To Love God, I must love myself.

To Love God, I must first forgive myself.

My inability to forgive, is my inability to know love.

Forgiveness releases the past veil of lost love.

Love is God.  Forgiveness returns me to love.

To be unconditional in loving is the highest acknowledgment of Oneness.

True forgiveness is unconditional.

Forgiveness acknowledges the perfection of the past, present and future.

Forgiveness returns us to peace.