Can Facebook Be A Spiritual Practice?

Facebook-createLike many people, I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook.  I joined it 9 years ago, first as a place to share pictures of my new baby with my family, and over time my use of it has evolved into a forum for social interaction and sharing of ideas or events.

Many people can tell you how social media is a time waster, a sucking hole that takes away from the richness of our real lives and relationships.  It can be used to promote some of the worst qualities of our society.

My question is: can Facebook be a spiritual practice?

In a satsang I recently heard, Adyashanti spoke about personal identity and how we create separateness in a way that resonated for me.  The question of study was “Who are you if you do not reference any thoughts?”. When I contemplated that, my experience was briefly one of Being-ness.  I felt what it means to say I Am. My mind took over too quickly, but I was left with a sense of what it would mean to let go of separateness.  I feel a desire to return to that feeling, nurture it, expand it and never be in a space of separateness again.

Fast forward about 10 hours later while I am on Facebook: a former school mate posts a video that goes against many of my non-violent values and beliefs.  I delete the post.  I send out a Facebook question about how others handle it when someone posts something you are strongly against.  I engage in non-violent dialogue with others who think it is no big deal, or that there is nothing I can do about it.  I feel strongly that I have an ethical responsibility to do something and begin posting counter-stories all over my feed.  I begin posting memes with quotations like “The only thing evil needs to flourish is for good men to do nothing”. I contemplate deleting people from my Facebook account who do not share in my “vibration” and therefore are not attracted in to my current life.  I remind myself that there is a reason why we lose touch with people in life and feel satisfied that I have set up a strong boundary between me and everyone who is not me. Temporarily, I feel the happiness of the righteous.

Then I wondered what Adyashanti would say about what I had done.  I imagined he would note that I had created a great story to justify my differences with others. That story of differences was energized as far as possible for me to define a separation from others, justify it, and turn away from even being curious about if our differences were real. I could feel myself realizing that as much as I earnestly claim a desire for oneness and awakening, my energy and story had moved me in a different direction.

I do not beat myself up over that.  Doing so would be replacing one story with a new one.  I feel peace in the idea of releasing this pattern.  I feel peace in opening a new possibility for myself.  I celebrate that this whole thing has led me one step closer to letting go of an illusion keeping me from knowing awakening and oneness in me as a truth right now.

So, Facebook, I will contemplate how to incorporate you into my practice, and be a place of love every time I go on.

 

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Why does alone create fear in me?

When I was growing up, one of my chores was to call my grandmother everyday. I would be reminded of how lonely she must be by my mom. This would be reinforced by my nana, who would tell me some days she never opened her mouth to speak.

When I was older, I did my graduate research in nursing homes on the topic of loneliness.  I saw much sad loneliness and systems that perpetuated loneliness.  It was disheartening,  and as an empath,  I internalized much of it.

So now, I am an adult who has lived an enormously full life. It was in meeting a new person who was asking me about how I knew things I knew that I saw my life through his eyes: 10 years his senior, I had accomplishments,  relationships,  a child, abundance,  and incredible stories of what I’ve done in my life. 

I have said out loud I don’t want a traditional partnership,  although I do want a partnership.  And in clearing my consciousness to create openness,  I have to ask why I want what I want, while noting any fears as well.

I don’t fear being alone. I quite like it. I like creating alone, meditating alone. Relaxing alone. What I fear is the absence of the right person when I want to share. When I want to be in the company of beauty, love, humor, wisdom, compassion and consciousness.

I was asked if I was saying I wouldn’t or don’t always want to be in the company of beauty, love, humor, etc? And isn’t waiting for the ‘right’ person to share with attaching my ability to share with conditions outside of myself? If I believe the universe provides me with exactly what I need in the moment, why do I fear a moment where I think it will not provide?

All of that is true. It also summarizes my blockages. Because some part of me believes I will be sad and alone. Some part of me thinks I will suffer. Some part of me doesn’t trust or surrender. Some part of me feels utterly alone. I am blocked and blocking. I’m equally aware it is all untrue and that all is well.

I’d like to get past this ego barrier and flow. Saying it out loud helps. Noticing the fear helps. Noticing the repeated patterns of surrender and knowing my relationship to the universe is helpful. Remembering that all that happens is part of my path of consciousness is pivotal.

But…I would still like a hug.

Forgiveness and Freedom and Love, Oh My!

On my Practical Priestess Facebook page, I have been posting quotations about forgiveness, and about the meaning of Namaste, and about the connectedness of everything.  They seem to be my inspiration today.  I am seeing the connections between some seemingly random things today…

namasteNamaste

In yoga, we always ended a session with the ritual greeting of Namaste.  I always associated it with gratitude, but I have learned the deeper experience of it.

“Namaste: My soul honors your soul. I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides.  I honor the light, love, truth, beauty and peace within you, because it is also within me.  In sharing these things, we are united, we are the same, we are one.”

Recently, I shared a  deep day of love and energy and connection with the Magus.  He attended a kundalini yoga class with me, and spoke at some length with the Yogi Amandeep Singh.  As the day progressed, we kept talking, relaxed together, and moved into a space of energy.  Neither of us planned it nor said a word – it was simply a natural flow from where we were into it.  In that space, I felt my edges melt, and I could blend into him.  And what was there was the truth of Namaste. I experienced the Oneness of seeing Me in Him, of seeing Him in Me, and ultimately feeling that same blending into All.

Oneness

“The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that its center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.” ― Black Elk

Today at the Centre for Spiritual Living, we heard about the visit of the spiritual leadership to see John of God.  We heard about the feeling of being in a state of higher consciousness, ofamandeep transcendence, of Oneness with the divine and with each other. And in that moment, I realized I focus too much on the dynamics and experience of relationship when in fact what I have wanted, always wanted, is to move into a state of loving consciousness most of the time.  I have found myself looking past the surface of human interaction and only seeing or engaging with the Divine spark in those moments.  Today Reverend Patrick spoke about how we love people, and that we can fall into a place of hoping that our love with heal or change another.  I realized how many times I act as if my choices are driven by another person’s choices.  And they are not.  It is me, and my choice to be in a consciousness of Love or Ego and Doubt.

Forgiveness

I have struggled with forgiveness.  In the past, I have not known how to forgive, and recently my biggest lesson with Bhikku has been forgiveness.  It feels so good to just love him and see him for him, instead of the pain from the past.  Today I realized that forgiveness is a lesson in the death of the ego.  If you hold on to pain, you are holding on to fear and doubt.  You are not being in your divine consciousness.  You are not love.  You are pure ego, believing in what appears on the surface.  If I can forgive Bhikku, then I can forgive my parents, and anyone else who was my teacher on victim consciousness.  That means I can be my truest expressions of love around them, in my way, in my time, and without any concern of what is reciprocated or not.  Freedom…forgiveness…same, same!

So today…

I_remember_OnenessToday I chose to live in a consciousness of love.  How can I be of service to you? How can I unconditionally support you in your journey?