Buddhism & Taoism
Choosing a Path- Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism- Oh my!
Is this all there is to life? Why am I here? What is my purpose in life? I have all the reasons to be happy, but why am I still unhappy? If I don’t believe that God is a white bearded man, then what do I believe? If you are asking these questions, then you are likely on or beginning a spiritual path to finding the answers. But, what is the next step? Should you follow a different religion- perhaps Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism or choose them all and travel a path of Mysticism? Join Ragini Michaels and I as we offer some tips on exploring and finding your answers.
- Segment 1: Building a spiritual practice – As a seeker, Ragini has gone down almost every path possible. Like a tour guide, she shares with us a succinct summary of her experience of the key attractions on her journey .
- Segment 2: Meditation – Many of the Eastern paths involve meditation. More people are checking out meditation, but perhaps not with the original intention of meditation. What is the purpose of meditation? Is meditation any different or better than praying, or contemplating? How do we know if we are meditations the right way? Ragini sheds light on meditation based on her 35 years of experience.
- Segment 3: To Guru or Not to Guru – How do you know if you are following a guru or cult leader? What do you want to look for in a guru? What can a guru do that you can’t do on your own?
- Segment 4: Choosing the best path for you- How do you know when you have found the right spiritual path for you?
Blog Post from our Guest
Awake vs Asleep: The Duality of Our Spiritual Journey
Whether you define “awake” as being conscious, alert, aware, present, mindful, or just cognizant of what’s going on, this prized state brings you closer to happiness and inner peace. Thus, striving to wake up from your conditioning becomes the goal.
Unfortunately, you may also set up amazingly high standards for how long you must stay awake in order to really “awaken.” Then, you will unconsciously use that degree of “awakeness” to assess your spiritual development and growth. When you do fall asleep, which I can guarantee will happen, a huge wave of judgment will then arise.
Self-judgment, criticism, discontent, and deep disappointment in your ability to keep your vows can stream into the body/mind. You face head-on your undeveloped capacity to produce a continuity of mindfulness and a non-stop flow of Presence to what is unfolding.
Falling asleep is one of the great hindrances on the spiritual journey to Presence and a life of mindful living. Whether “falling asleep” appears as snoozing, napping, slumbering, checking out, numbing out, being dead to the world, tranced out, losing awareness, being absent, in denial, avoidance, or just plain lost in thought, it is usually considered a state to steer clear of and sidestep as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, it is not so easy to circumvent being asleep to the moment. So an inner struggle for your attention begins – stay awake and alert? Or relax and fall asleep? The tug to move in both directions can be very strong and very often simultaneous.
What to Do?
To effectively manage this dilemma requires insight into the paradoxical nature of the partnership between wakefulness and sleepiness in our dualistic world.
Just as your breath consists of an inhalation and exhalation to complete itself and sustain the oxygen and carbon dioxide balance in your brain, your mind/body requires both alertness and rest.
A respite from attentiveness is required so the mind/body can re-balance and renew itself in order to keep going. You also require relief from relaxation. Without the arising of tension, no movement can occur and the balance between the two poles will again be lost.
Your life journey pulses with the rhythm of a dance of duality. It becomes easier, more workable, and more peaceful when you understand the hidden partnerships between seemingly opposing poles; when you can allow them to be what they are.
Being awake and being asleep are not against each other. It is the tension between the two that provides the territory of your journey.
I invite you to inquire into your own experience of being awake and asleep to “what is.” Explore for yourself how you are currently relating to the two.
Here’s the surprise: When you can be present to the Oneness of things hidden in the organic unity of the two poles, wakefulness is happening; and access to the “peace that passes all understanding” suddenly emerges.
Give it a try. It can, paradoxically, be quite enlightening!
Ragini is the founder of Facticity® Trainings, Inc., a training and consulting company established in 1988 offering certification trainings in Paradox Management, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Ericksonian Hypnosis.
Her original work on the Psychology of Paradox has received critical acclaim and taken her throughout America, Canada, Europe, and India presenting workshops and seminars. She is the creator of eight hypnosis/meditation CD’s, and the author of two books on paradox with her third,Unflappable – 6-Steps To Staying Happy, Centered, and Peaceful No Matter What, available May 2012 (Conari Press).
Ragini is a true expert on human communication styles and practical spirituality.
Her approach relies on the practical application of her behavioral change skills and personal wisdom from 35 years of exploring meditation and stress release as it relates to living in a paradoxical world. These elements create a unique perspective and style that supports people’s desire to blend the wisdom of their spiritual lives into the fabric of their material lives to produce results, a sense of purpose, and more joy and inspiration from daily living.