Fears, Illusions, and Spiritual Tests

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    This week has been a big one for me to face my fears and see past the illusions. Many people are reacting with fear to news from Washington of the budget problems. Perhaps your job is affected by that.

    I want to offer some thoughts here to help you step through any fears or doubts you are having. To help you see through illusions projected by fear-creators in your work or life, know that only you can choose to look at your world through the lens of fear- or not. You don’t have to buy into other people’s fear.

    I remembered the acronym -F.E.A.R. standing for False Evidence Appearing Real.

    Various faith traditions speak of walking through faith tests and facing ever more challenging situations as a way to strengthen connection to Source/God/Allah/Great Spirit/Holy Oneness (that goes by many names yet is beyond naming).

    Sadhana – Spiritual Practice

    I recently ran across these ideas on Sadhana. Sadhana is disciplined spiritual practice in pursuit of a goal, or to connect ever more deeply with God/God Consciousness. Sadhana is undertaken in Buddhism, Sufism, and Hinduism in various ways, all designed to focus the mind and bring clarity.

    I offer here some reminders if you are facing fears, dealing with tests of faith, or needing to see past illusions.

    From Ram Dass:

    As you further purify yourself, your impurities will seem grosser and larger. Understand that it’s not that you are getting more caught in the illusion, it’s just that you are seeing it more clearly.

    The lions guarding the gates of the temples get fiercer as you proceed towards each inner temple. But of course the light is also brighter. It all becomes more intense because of the additional energy involved at each stage of sadhana.

    Ram Dass image

    There are stages at which you feel pulled in to inner work and all you seek is a quiet place to meditate and to get on with it. Then there are times when you turn outward and seek to be involved in the market place. Both of these parts of the cycle are a part of one’s sadhana. For what happens to you in the market place helps in your meditation and what happens to you in meditation helps you to participate in the market place without attachment.”

    Meher Baba offers these thoughts on Sadhana:

    The goal of sadhana is God-realization. It aims at bringing about a radical change in the quality of life so that it permanently becomes an expression of the Truth in the eternal NOW. Sadhana is spiritually fruitful if it succeeds in bringing the life of the individual in tune with the divine purpose, which is to enable everyone to enjoy consciously the God-state.”

    May your journey to Oneness be taken with courage, determination, grace, and awareness.

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    Dr. Linda J. Ferguson is an author, speaker, job coach, and energy worker. Her spiritual practices include Sufi Dances of Universal Peace, Integral Yoga, Shamanic drumming, and Medicine Wheel prayers.

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