I recently began volunteering my services as a Reiki Practitioner to Hope Spring. In my quest to find doorways to greater enlightenment I came across the writings of a wonderful book called: Return to the Sacred: Ancient Pathways to Spiritual Awakening by Jonathan H. Ellerby, Ph. D. It lit a fire in me so strong that I sent out to the Universe a desire for the perfect fit for Volunteering or Sacred Service work, and Hope Spring literally fell in my lap. What I love about this book is it’s clear presentation of the multiple paths one can choose to get themselves closer to being fully whole in Mind, Body and Spirit. It is a wonderful spiritual guidebook that encompasses all of the gateways towards a sacred life and is inclusive all many spiritual backgrounds and practices.
I have always rebelled against the concept and religious dogma that states that there is only one path to GOD or spirit. I have always believed there can be beauty and great wisdom in all of the World’s faiths and religions. Where language may differ and cultural practice may differ, the united thread holding the patchwork quilt together is the lesson of love and compassion. Whether you practice meditation in the lineage of great Buddhist Masters or practice Prayer according to the lessons of Biblical Saints and Prophets, or even if you practice Sacred Ceremonies passed down through millennium by tribal vocal heritage… All is indeed ONE. They are all paths or views of the same spiritual oneness of all humanity.
I remember explaining to my young son, who describes himself as half Catholic and half Spiritualist, that if you look at a can from different angles, you will see different things. One group of people depending on their position might see the logo. Another, the ingredients. Another angle might look down and see the tab top. Now, if you argue from the limitation of your narrow view point you would see things entirely different from the next group of people seeing things from their angle. A-ha and so we get our different stances and narrowing views on personal religious perspective. What would happen to world religions if we all stood back, walked around the can, tried looking at it from more than one perspective? Do I dare say, we might recognize that the message is bigger than the limitations of view?
This wouldn’t bode well for those that wish to remain focused so completely on their one view. This would alter the reality of those that take up arms and fight in the name of their dogma. This would mean understanding and accepting others as being not so different after all. This would mean that we are in fact all sharing the same core spirit and universal energy. This would mean that no path is better or worse than another path, as each path leads to a greater peace, love, and compassionate awareness.
So, if we all become free to pull and learn from each other’s paths to spirit we work positively towards a place of higher group consciousness and awareness. Accepting and borrowing the practices of multiple cultures in this ONE world we live increases the over all betterment of the planet on a spiritual and community level. The more we start to see ourselves as less different and more the same, the more we increase a desire to step out of our own life’s vantage point and help others.
I have practiced many different traditions and some pathways resonate more for me than others. I love the practice of Yoga. It is spiritual body work that energizes me and creates a wonderful increased vitality. I love the practice of clearing energy by smudging, through the knowledge passed down from our North American Native Elders. I love the practice of Meditation, Reiki, and Ceremony. I am learning to love the power of prayer for which, I rebelled away from for many years. I love the practice of sacred study from many rich and diversified faiths. And now, that I have begun a practice of Sacred Service, I feel even more enriched by the experience of working outside of myself and giving to people who show such great appreciation. It is an amazing experience to step outside your self and connect to another human being for no other purpose than to give. I applaud the people of Hope Spring and all the other charities in the world that give, and keep on giving.
So, whether you are a religious person or not, and whether you are a spiritual person or not; I ask you to contemplate what kind of practices do you do in your life to enrich not only yourself but the community around you? In this time of drastic change, even the simplest act of practicing kindness is a path worth walking.