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"Let go and enjoy the ride!"

Spirit Ride
By Donaia De Marco

"A Wonderful New Beginning"

January 2000…will you look at that date! In numerology, two is the number of balance and partnership. Perhaps that's the theme for the year two thousand…experiencing a personal relationship with God, Higher Power, or Spirit…the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, so to speak, and then translating that relationship into how we are with "All That Is." In Christian terms, it means living reverently; in Buddhist terms, it means living mindfully, paying attention non-judgmentally yet purposefully. Staying in conscious contact with Source requires a certain steady devotion that most of us believe we don't have time for. We ask, "How can we begin something new when we have so much going on right now?" However, it has been said…a life "filled up" may not be a life fulfilled. There's something simple we are forgetting. Goldsmith says that if we can simply remind ourselves that "I and my Father are One" before we step our foot out of the bed each morning, we are well on our way to a spiritual day. And, if during the day we can periodically take a moment to quiet ourselves enough to remember our divine origins, we can get to appreciate the present moment in its perfection. To be able to enjoy the irony, the paradox, the absurd of any given situation requires a devotion to "being in touch with our deepest nature and letting it flow out of us unimpeded" (Wherever You Go There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn).

We've become so fascinated with form that we've forgotten the essence, the substance, and the process of creativity. We've become so worried about what might happen to us, or what we might appear as, that we miss the Presence of the Divine in any given moment. We've become so bogged down by mistakes of the past that we are unaware of the gift of the present which is our innate ability to express ourselves divinely when we are in a state of open receptivity and surrender. Expressing the qualities of joy, peace, truth and love are what we have to give in any given moment to make Mother Earth a brighter, happier, more peaceful habitat. But, these aren't qualities we can adopt just by filling out an application and becoming a member. These qualities are honed by an ever-deepening connection with Source and a commitment of our soul's energy, time and resources to a clear intention of stretching our limits on Love. In the Buddhist tradition, they call it "awakening to our own true nature." Kabat-Zin quotes an ancient seer in his book, Wherever You Go There You Are, who said, "When I was a Buddhist, it drove my parents and friends crazy. When I am a buddha, nobody is upset."

We tend to pose two objections to a continual state of devotion: 1) I'll be too vulnerable, and 2) if I step aside and let Spirit speak, then who am I? We Americans love to define ourselves as self-reliant, responsible, and strong. We are in-formed of these qualities from the time we are little kids. We see the standards we've been taught as our own and then abide by them unconsciously. As we go along in life, we either fall short of our implanted standards or cower, or else we get overblown with self-prowess seeking to control the situations we find ourselves in. In both cases, we are operating under varying degrees of anxiety. But, we still argue, "If I am open and receptive, won't I be susceptible to all kinds of input? Won't I be in danger?"" To counter these objections, we have devised multifarious ways to protect ourselves. What we have created is a hard shell of cynicism or social graces or moral judgements, which distance us from others as well as distance ourselves from Source and from ourselves. Kabat-Zinn speaks of meditation simply as "stopping and being present." What I am talking about is paying enough attention to drop our habitual responses and judgements and opening to possibilities which are beyond our acculturated selves.

Living a life and having no fixed identity is a whole new ball of wax for must of us especially here in America. We would have no way to shape ourselves. Here, we rely on status, looks, money, and social connections to determine who we are. Some use moral standards to determine their identity while others use race, ethnic background, friends, and sexual preference. Most of us use our work as the determining factor for who we are. And, whether complying or rebelling, we spend most of our time wanting something else to happen other than what is actually happening…it's part of our progress addiction. Kabat-Zinn says we have a habit of "ignoring moments in favor of others yet to come." Thinner, richer, younger, healthier, busier are just a few examples. We can get very far away from ourselves under the guise of some acquired or created identity.

Accepting ourselves as an individual expression of God in every given moment is about as big an endeavor as I have come across. What it may mean is that we surrender to practicing the Presence every moment. Letting an individual, heartfelt devotion to harmony and prosperity flow in and through our interactions may seem like hard work. What it really means is we may have to learn how to immediately get quiet, go within and listen for the I AM Presence within us, the Christ within, Higher Power, Holy Spirit, the Life Force fueling the essence of our Being. Sounds intense, doesn't it? It can be very tranquil. But, it takes faith…faith in this new conscious partnership we are forging. God and I are One…here and now. Instead of being airy-fairy, it is very grounding. Wherever we go, We will be there…hard or easy as that may sound. Kabat-Zinn calls it "the cultivation of an intimate relationship with the present moment through continually attending to it with care and discernment." It sounds like endless Love to me.

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