Integrating Spiritual Experiences into the Personality

Integrating Spiritual Experiences into the Personality

Integrating Spiritual Awakenings into the Life of the Personality

Do you see what’s going on?  I mean really? There’s a burning desire within me to write about this maybe because until now I only partially understood what’s been going on.  Maybe that’s what you are (or have been) too and that’s why this post.  Let me give a few examples of what is intended.  Let’s say you watched all three Lord of the Ring movies.  But even if you haven’t, hang in there, okay?  Remember how Sam, Frodo, Pippin, and Merry came back from their adventures returning to the Shire and the looks they got from the hobbits from those who never left?  Remember how Frodo and the others looked at one another?  They had to find some way to come back now after their long journey and live normal lives.  Right.  See where I’m going here?  Integration back into the work-a-day world with others can be difficult.

My gosh, I’ve written about my difficulties with that for years but wasn’t fully aware that its a process now in which many others are also struggling.  Increased sensitivity to sound and noxious energy is one part of it. Yet the other part is continuing to meditate in the world of men and beasts after being in true solitude and withdrawal for an extended period.

Some people go on retreat, some for as long as a year.  For myself, it was a much longer period of time overall.  Not that I didn’t have to deal with real-world concerns in spurts but for the most part, I do recall at least 2 solid years of meditation throughout the bulk of the day.  I was, for all practical purposes, withdrawn from the world of the ego/personality and spent a good deal of time in states of . . . well, let’s just say in states in which the self that deals with earth living was out of the picture.

I pictured myself remaining in that state until the end of days.  Yet, the personality/ego needed to integrate all the spiritual meditative states and bring them right into the face of loud neighbors, barking dogs, mean humans and the whole gambit of aversions.

My meditations took on a new format at that point.  My mind was being critical, judgmental, aversive, impatient, intolerant—you name it.  Woah, my spiritual practice took a huge hit!

I began to really dislike myself and felt like all my spiritual work was destroyed.  My mind, in meditation, was running in 10 different directions and it wasn’t easy to pull myself together, so-to-speak.

At that point, thoughts of becoming a nun of some type or other or hiking the Appalachian Trail on a permanent basis were prominent.  I began to resent my family to whom I came down of the mountain (literally from the high Country of the Appalachians to the flatland) to serve.  I wanted to go back, desperately.  I didn’t want to integrate.

Many times when my energy tangled with a difficult human I’d find myself really angry at myself instead of realizing it’s okay to stand up for one’s self in a way that is direct and at the same time kind.

My point in writing this is that people who view themselves as on a spiritual path upon which they might have had profound spiritual experiences feeling great love, peace, and unification/oneness in meditation or on retreats should give themselves a break.  Like Frodo and the others and even like Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, it’s a path and may take a while to come back to this temporary earth home after having really gone HOME.  No matter if that going HOME was brief or for years, it is my current understanding that our job now is to apply what we experienced to our ego/personality and integrate that within the earth world.  It’s a journey and self-acceptance is a huge part of it now as we pull the mind back into the unity consciousness it once knew.

Memories will arise triggered by life experiences and people outside of times of spiritual withdrawal and we can watch the mind and learn about our patterns and tendencies.  In that awareness, we can diffuse their energy.  But it doesn’t mean we’ve lost our prior spiritual state, nor does it mean we have done anything wrong.

It’s just a deeper level of spiritual awakening and not a failure in any way.  That’s what I’m trying to convey.

I hope these views and opinions of mine will find their way to those who might be able to understand and benefit from this little post.

Gaining Perspective in Times of Stress with Contemplation and Meditation – I-CHING Kua 45

The sum is greater than the parts. But boy-O-boy don’t we worry about those parts? I’ve had a bit of elbow pain which started from overuse of the hand/arm during the summer and it’s easy to lose perspective when it rains or gets cold. You know how it goes, we can either focus on the one negative thing or look at the bigger, overall picture which represents the positive. In this example, yes the elbow may hurt and if I focus upon that alone, it will magnify in my experience. Yet, if I see my whole body which contains very good levels of health, the elbow is put in proper perspective—meaning that I can cope with it, not letting it immobilize me! It’s all relative no matter what we’re dealing with; we can allow it to overtake us or we can keep it in perspective. So this elbow example is part of how I’m seeing to interpret the message of Kua 45-Joining today. That I-CHING hexigram message has to do with ‘gathering together’ and relates to the phrase which begins this paragraph, “The sum is greater than the parts”. In what area of your life can you apply this idea today?

Our Life Journey Itself creates certain wear and tear as it demands perseverance through hard times or difficult experiences. Bumps and bruises along the way with sad tears and shadows are all part of the human experience on this 3rd planet from the Sun; but we must keep the ‘sum of the whole’ in mind during those times.

Seeing the unity of our life during the temporary difficult issues or suffering by remembering the good times and the future hopes and expectations will help to widen the picture. And like me with my elbow, put it into proper perspective. This makes it bearable and keeps us from letting life (our thoughts and emotions about it) get out-of-hand.

The Earth Itself is this way too if you think about it. We  may see areas of earth where destruction has taken place—perhaps a forest fire that leaves its scar on Earth Mother’s face, but if we stand back and see the whole of the Earth, we see the undeniable beauty.

This doesn’t mean that we should not put out the forest fire, deal with the issue at hand in practical ways and in the case of my elbow, avoid treating it with a pressure wrap for support, an anti-inflammatory (or Reiki healing). Do what is practical while at the same time view difficulties as simply a part of the whole of life. Keeping the whole in mind is an optimistic measure to embrace while we deal with the part—whatever that part may be.

In my humble experience, meditation helps in being able see the unity, the wholeness, which aids in putting life in a balanced perspective. Water travels for hundreds of miles, sometimes beginning as a tiny stream, disappearing beneath the soil, eventually resurfacing. The process is essentially the same on a human scale. Meditation can tune us into that view of our life as well as the lives of others so that we can gain those perspectives and then we can allow without grasping.

“The real glory of meditation lies not in any method but in its continual living experience of presence, in its bliss, clarity, peace, and most important of all, complete absence of grasping.

When you live in the wisdom home, you’ll no longer find a barrier between “I” and “you,” “this” and “that,” “inside” and “outside;” you’ll have come, finally, to your true home, the state of non-duality.”

— Sogyal Rinpoche