September 17, 2012

Cutting the Sh*t: Question Everything.

Photo: Grosso

Dogma Free Spirituality (Part Three)

Links, links, links! Before we get started with the third installment of the “Dogma Free Spirituality” article series, I’d like to provide you with the links to the previous articles as they each sort of build on one another.


Part One: Come as You Are

Part Two: Shifting Paradigms

“I wouldn’t bother with these questions if I didn’t sense some spiritual connection.”
~ Propagandhi (Fat Wreck Chords)

Question everything picks up where my shifting paradigms article left off.

When I say “question everything,” I don’t mean it in a conspiracy theorist sort of way (though even that has its place at times), but rather in a constructive way which suggests we check in with ourselves to see if we’re honoring our deepest truths at any given moment.

A main theme I’ve been referencing throughout these articles is that the old paradigm of connecting with Divinity can only be done through formal religion—going to church or temple, rigid and arduous spiritual practices, etc.—is beginning to change. And thank God (pun intended).

The question everything aspect of this approach helps take you deeper into your own personal experience in order to find out what resonates with, and truly works for you at this time in your process.

In my last article, I talked about the intention to create a safe, nurturing and supportive space for seekers from all paths and walks of life. I believe embracing and celebrating our differences, rather than completely discrediting one another because of them, is so important.

Am I the only one who wonders why some of us are so scared of others’ beliefs, particularly regarding religion/spirituality, that we completely discredit what they have to say simply because it doesn’t coincide with our hard fixed beliefs?

There’s plenty of things that baffle me in life, but exclusion based on different beliefs is one which definitely tops the list. A lot of people automatically think of Christianity and Catholicism in regards to closed minded religious and spiritual sects, but it’s rampant in all religions and spiritualities including, but not limited to, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and so forth.

Photo: J Kaps

In practical, daily application, when I find myself in strong disagreement with someone else’s view or opinion, instead of immediately discrediting what they have to say, I look inside and explore what led me to those feelings.

This is the only way I can truly know that I’m not acting on old conditioned paradigms and often times, it leads to uncovering paradigms that I wasn’t even aware existed. Some of them may still serve me, others may not, but regardless, they’ve now been brought to my attention and I can consciously do with them whatever feels right. I may find that what originally didn’t resonate with me was only because of outdated beliefs—once I recognize those beliefs no longer serve me, I can let them go. Now I’ve made room for new and more conducive ideas to enter.

We all have our core beliefs and many of them have served us well. We’ve had many wonderful things instilled in us since birth which are still very useful today. Many of us, however, (myself included), have also picked up plenty of things throughout life which have seeped into our subconscious and definitely don’t serve our, or anyone else’s, best interests.

The good news though, is that it’s much easier to change these outdated paradigms than you’d think.

As I previously stated, simply by exploring why something doesn’t resonate with you—and bringing some awareness to those conditioned belief systems—puts you on your way.

This is also a good time for me to mention meditation as it’s a wonderful complimentary practice to this approach. Through meditation, our minds begin to quiet which, in turn, allows new realizations to make their way to our consciousness. It may not necessarily happen while we’re formally sitting in meditation itself. But as a result of gifting our minds some time in quietude, we’ll begin to see it carry over into our daily lives  making it easier for insights and clarity to present themselves at any given moment throughout the day.

Photo: -william

So as we go about our days spending more time in the process of inquiry, we’ll become clearer on the truths that resonate and serve us and become more deeply rooted in them.

We’ll establish a deeper sense of trust in our own intuition—and faith in the process of life—which will guide us exactly as it should, and show us what we need at precisely the right time.

Our own well being is up to us and no one else. By making the conscious effort to bring awareness, and inquiry, to our emotional states during the times we’d normally blame someone or thing else, we are regaining control. We are questioning, we are learning, we are taking the power back.

I see it’s burning you inside like some exploding sun.
~ Propagandhi (Fat Wreck Chords)

Editor: Lynn Hasselberger

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