Yesterday in the afternoon I was listening to another of those amazing free podcasts from Sounds True in which Sharon Salzberg, a well-known meditation teacher, was interviewed. She shared a story that I found very enlightening.
She was talking to the Dalai Lama a number of years ago and she was sharing with him that many of her mediation students struggle with self-hate and she asked him about how to help them. He looked puzzled by her question. His interpreters had to explain to him what self-hate was. He had never encounter that state of mind nor had his monks attending the meeting. He saw all of us as having a Buddha nature so how could we have hate for ourselves was his question back to her.
If we all have a Buddha Nature, a Divine Nature, a Christ Nature, a Spiritual Nature, then why do we have self-hate? This brings up at least several questions here. One, is our nature essential Divine? If it is Divine, how come we don’t know it or act accordingly? What keeps us out of touch with this spiritual nature?
These questions seem clearly tied to our ongoing discussion about exploring the capacities within each of us. Let’s see if we can answer these questions as a way to show us to what is possible within everyone one of us. First of all, most religious tradition and all spiritual practices speak of us humans as coming from Divine origin. Various traditions speak of a Heavenly Father and a Divine Mother, which would make us holy children. So let’s say we are Divine, Buddha-like, and/or holy by nature.
Somewhere along the way in the Western traditions, we have forgotten or lost our essential divinity. From a psychological perspective, our higher nature has lost out to condemning belief systems, a harsh inner critic, and judgmental family, school and social structures. There seems to be built-in an accumulating sense of self-doubt and self-condemnation into our conditioning from a very early age. These limiting ideas could also be called suggestions (see the previous post) that were repeated often enough to become real in our own minds.
What can we do about these very limiting ideas of self-hate, our poor sense of self, our self-judging ways?
First make the basic assumption that each and every one of us is Divine, Holy, Buddha-like no matter what the past ideas may be. Spend at least a few moments every day getting in touch with and appreciating the Christ, Buddha, Great Spirit, Divine Mother, in you. Let the feelings of holiness and grace within expand. Feel the joy and love of this your true nature.
With gentle kindness begin to eradicate all negative thoughts, critical self-talk, old limiting beliefs, suggestions and ideas that come up in your mind. Shrinking the inner critic/condemning judger inside will set you free. Leaving the past of self-limitation will do wonders for you.
Forgive yourself, let go and move on because ultimately it comes down to you unconsciously accepting the unkind judgments and twisted beliefs of others and then beating yourself up over these ideas. The now is a wonderful place to reside and is always divine when you are fully present to it.
Finally deeply planted in you are tons of old messages that are not true. Fill yourself with the light of your heart and the guiding spirit of your divine nature and dissolve all that holds you back and blinds you to your Divine nature.
These practices will take mindfulness and kindness and will liberate in you a lightness of being that is available to yet untapped resource in you waiting to be realized.
Peace Letter #85
Dear President Obama,
Thank you for meeting and talking with the miners and supporting the working people. Bank reform is also essential for all of us working people. Bucking corporate influence is another essential action for us working people. Ending our occupations overseas are also key to all of us because they are draining our future.
Joseph Bernard, Ph.D.
Join me and send President Obama emails of support and encourage the end of war and the other dysfunctional ways of government at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact