Fresh Thinking, Inspiration, and Vision on the Process of Spiritual Transformation
(From a service at Sunrise Ranch on June 26, 2011)
(Riley Lee played “Safe Delivery” on the Shakuhachi flute.)
The Shakuhachi Summer Camp has been coming to Sunrise for thirteen years. Each time you have played at one of our services, Riley, it has been amazing—not just because of your mastery, which is evident, but because of the spiritual component that comes through your music and through who you are. It’s a blessing to this place. Thank you. I love the title of your piece: “Safe Delivery.”
Yesterday, I had the privilege of being at a young man’s junior piano recital. He played Chopin, Bach and Beethoven. There is a difference in listening to a seventeen-year-old, delivering masterfully, and what Riley just delivered. It would be unfair to expect a seventeen-year-old to be a master at the same level as a grown man or woman. There is mastery of the hands, the musical instrument and, most importantly, mastery of oneself. It is in self-mastery that the spirit is delivered safely from the invisible to the manifest world.
Mastery in life is a common goal. Having mastery or discipline over an area such as playing the flute or the piano is familiar to many. The idea of having mastery or discipline in your expression and internal atmosphere is not often talked about but is often the goal of many on a spiritual path. David Karchere has been speaking about the steps of the evolution of consciousness and the opportunity to take total responsibility for the contents of your consciousness. There are also steps in the devolution of consciousness, things that indicate the relinquishing of responsibility for your consciousness and your world. These steps go in the opposite direction. If judgment and opinions about other people dominate your experience, you have switched directions—from evolution to devolution.
A noticeable indicator of devolution is crediting the source of your experience to something outside yourself, believing that the environment or the people in front of you are causing your experience. Perhaps somebody in your family or workplace is in a bad mood or it rained on your picnic—does it cause you to have a bad day? I always thought people’s addiction to the weather being nice on a particular day was so disempowering and self-centered. I know a lot of people who get angry if it rains on their day off! The belief that what’s happening outside yourself is causing your internal reality is a clear sign that you are no longer in the driver’s seat. You are no longer the author of your world and no longer taking responsibility for your consciousness.
The quality of personal atmosphere is a powerful indicator of whether a person is being responsible for the contents of their consciousness. Have you noticed people who have been accused of being a Pollyanna? Being a “Pollyanna” has become an insult, criticism, an indication of naïveté. Walking around with a spirit that declares “All is well; I’m extending a blessing; isn’t life great?” has been labeled immature. In the movie titled Pollyanna, the experience was one of a child. As I was speaking about the difference between Riley’s performance and Matthew’s piano recital, a child’s experience of life is different from someone who has responsibilities. But the idea of sustaining an atmosphere of welcome and blessing and joy—that’s a choice. That is a powerful way to author your life.
Not too long ago, the Trustees of the International Emissaries met with a friend of ours, Jim Root. He is the CEO at Glen Ivy Hot Springs, in Corona, California. He is a fine man who I would call a friend, even though I haven’t spent a whole lot of time with him—a man of integrity. He was talking about the history of Glen Ivy Hot Springs, which has been open to the public for a hundred and fifty years. In acknowledging this anniversary, Jim said to us, “Don’t let other people tell your story.” He advised us that there is a history behind what we are doing, and if we don’t tell it somebody else will tell our story for us.
I think this is good advice for anyone. Tell your story! Tell the story of your participation in the place where you work and live. Tell the story of what the earth around you means to you. Tell the story of the people who are a part of your life. Don’t let somebody else tell your story. This takes me right back to what David was saying about being responsible for the content of my consciousness. Who’s telling my story? Who’s telling the story about what my life is about? If it isn’t me, who is it? Is the author the environment in which I find myself? Are other people telling me what my experience is? “You poor soul!” “Can you believe how unfair life is?” If I’m the author of my experience, why am I giving away the best chapters to my environment, to the people and things around me? After all, it is all happening in my consciousness. And pretending it is all happening outside me doesn’t change that reality.
There are many stories in real life and in movies, novels and news reports, where two people standing right next to each other witness the same event and tell a very different story. Eyewitnesses can be unreliable. An eyewitness has had conscious participation in what just happened, depending on what side of the bed they got up on, what they were paying attention to, or how they were feeling about the thing that was right in front of them.
If your life orientation is “This happened to me,” you just gave away your story. You just gave away your authorship. And then you have to figure out, after you’ve done that, who has become the main character in your story. Is it you? Is it a person or force outside you? Or is it the altered version of yourself you have accepted as a result of the opinions other people have about you? If you have given away your story, you are participating in the devolution of consciousness.
Riley Lee’s flute piece, “Safe Delivery,” has two meanings. At one level it’s about the delivery of a child at birth. But that experience is a metaphor for the birth of spirit through a person, for the safe delivery of spirit. If I am a being of light, if I am a divine representative of what’s holy, and life is moving through me, how safe is the delivery of the current of love, the delivery of light, into the world through this human capacity? How is my consciousness doing in receiving from the invisible and delivering that safely into the world? How safe is the word that comes from my mouth? How safe is your name in my mouth?
We have the opportunity to be conscious creators, to safely deliver the holy spirit that comes through us into our world. There are many cycles, short and long, that need to be delivered. How safe are they in our hands?
We can be midwives for our own radiance and that of others. As we see the light and love in another, it all becomes more known, more seen, and it increases our ability to safely deliver holy spirit into the world and to be the conscious authors of our story.
As we take responsibility for our own consciousness, we are responsible to never deny the light we see in another person. As we keep our eye on that which is true, the person who has given away their story knows they have a way back.
Taking those steps at an individual level, we are present and consciously participating in the evolution of consciousness for humanity. We are bringing the possibility of the transformation of this whole planet. Don’t let somebody else write your life. Don’t take away your starring role by giving it away to other people or to the world around you. Try being Pollyanna as a grownup and see what happens. When you’re having the experience of saying, “That shouldn’t happen—who do they think they are?”, change your mind. Find a way to welcome your world with gratitude, blessing and joy. Sit in the seat of the author of your life.