Sacred Wisdom in the Year of the Snake: How to be your own Guru

  • a message from Rev. Irma Kaye Sawyer

    Be your own Guru; your own Teacher. You have the lamp within you. Light it and march on without fear. – Sai Baba

    Hello friends. Well in just a short time and the Year of the Water Snake will commence. Snake wisdom teaches us many powerful things: to drop illusions, to metamorphose and “shed skins” where necessary, and also to find and listen to our own deep, inner wisdom and truth.

    So what is a Guru anyway? It is a man or woman to shows us how to make the journey from darkness (ignorance) to Light (illumination and wisdom.) A true Guru (Sat Guru) will always lead you back to your own Inner Self as the source of your own highest wisdom. As a person that had a physical spiritual teacher for many years, I do have a bit of experience in this area. Human teachers are not infallible, and often through their so-called “mistakes” we may also gain deeper insight into our own limitations and foibles. We are entering into a time (Aquarian Age,) where human beings are being called to act from greater personal sovereignty than before, and this also means not handing over our spiritual power and authority to others. This is not to say that teachers are not useful, we are graced with many wonderful teachers in our midst currently including but not limited to: His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Adyashanti, Eckhart Tolle and Pema Chodron, just to name a few.

    Keys to being your own Guru

    1. Be willing to really stare yourself down and face your own blocks or illusions. – This is a biggie. I have seen many wise, illumined beings become entrapped at the higher levels because they no longer had their own teacher, anam cara (spiritual friend,) or confidante to point out areas where they may be getting tripped up. It is helpful to surround yourself with people that feel safe enough to speak their truth about you directly to you, even if it isn’t always pretty. Sycophants are a danger on the spiritual path, and are to be avoided. If you don’t have a person or people to do this in your life, you must be willing to be brutally honest with yourself. This is one of the corrections that an outer Guru would do for you. That is, if you gave them permission to do so.

    2. Work with the ego/ordinary mind. – Watch the machinations of the judging, complaining and ever-comparing aspect of mind. This is NOT you, ultimately. It is also important to not reject of despise any part of ourselves as what we resist persists. Egoic or “ordinary” mind has its purpose, but when let loose on the spiritual path, it can create plenty of illusion and havoc. All things in their proper place and this includes ego. The Keepers and other sources have pointed out how egoic mind is often the repository of painful experiences, especially early childhood ones. This is often where our “knee-jerk” reactions have been formed out of material long since forgotten. To work with our reactions is a powerful window into where we stay stuck and how to get free. To do this for ourselves requires honesty, courage and a strong stomach. I have found in my own journey to remain loving and compassionate to myself and my “stuff,” while not coddling it either has been most effective. Also, this great adage is also highly applicable, “Don’t believe everything that you think.”

    3. Be the LOVE that you are. - In truth, love is who and what we are at our core. We are not our opinions, emotions, preferences and fears. A BIG part of being on a path of Awakening is taking responsibility for ALL aspects of ourselves, while holding to the knowledge that we ARE love. If we fall off the wagon so to speak, we get ourselves right back on. A good meditation I like to do especially when stressed, is to BREATHE IN Love and BREATHE OUT everything else.

    In regards to enlightenment, as been said by many of your wise Masters, you are that which you seek. The way we see you energetically is a band of many concentric circles of energy, ever-growing and expanding outward. To ease the anxiety that you are not there or must attain something that you do not have we say this: You are all that is, all that ever was and all that will be. Let this be a powerful focus point in your meditation. There indeed is nothing to “get.” You are Sat-Chit-Ananda; ever-new joy, ever-expanding light. There is nothing that you lack, there is only that of which some of you are not aware just yet. – The Keepers, from 8/29/10

    1. Be willing to drop illusions, “pie in the sky” thinking and BE HERE NOW. - In this particular time in humanity’s evolution, there seems to be a high level of what I jokingly call “Pink Unicorn” thinking. That is, a denial of darkness or evil, and a lot of “magical” and black/white thinking and simple solutions to complex issues. Also an obsession with material and spiritual “stuff,” which has been magnified by an excess of LOA (Law of Attraction) teachings. Any true spiritual path has its challenges and as you may have noticed, there isn’t a lot of traffic on the High Road. It goes against what author David Foster Wallace called our “Base Wiring,” and the tendencies to be lazy, judgmental and spiritually indolent. This is also not to say that life doesn’t have it’s truly magical, beautiful and stellar moments. These like all phenomena are ephemeral, and must be enjoyed while they last. To cling to the past or grasp at the future takes us out of the ever-potent, highly creative field of the NOW. Also a big part of being present and awake to life is “Being with what is,” as spiritual teacher Byron Katie spoke about in her book of the same name. An efficient Guru will be there to remind you of this, and also about the inevitability of your own passing from the physical through death. I remember distinctly how my own teacher used to do this on occasion, and also how uncomfortable it made me feel. Well done.

    Self-deception seems always to depend upon the dream world, because you would like to see what you have not yet seen, rather that what you are now seeing. You will not accept that whatever is here now is what is, nor are you willing to go on with the situation as it is. Thus, self-deception always manifests itself in terms of trying to create or recreate a dream world, the nostalgia of the dream experience. And the opposite of self-deception is just working with the facts of life.” ― Chögyam Trungpa, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

    1. Regard all other beings as fellow family of the ONE, on their own journey. – The one thing that I have seen teachers of all traditions embrace, is a deep love and compassion for other human beings. This does not mean however, to not speak up when necessary in cases of injustice, exploitation or cruelty. We do not have to understand or judge the path of others, just because they are different than ours or we may not understand them. Discernment and compassion are great tools in our dealings with other people in general, and especially on a spiritual level.

    Beloveds, one of the things that we see happening for many on an awakening path in your year of 2013 is the further release of judgment regarding others, and also what would be perceived as “negative” thoughts towards them. In the past this was based in an awareness that to do this is not productive for your karma and so forth, which has now grown into an awareness that as you do to others even with subtle thought, you may do onto yourselves. This has not been born out of fear of karma or punishment, but as a greater expansion into Oneness, understanding and the truth of your being. Judgment and the “shounds and should nots” are merely habits of unawakened or ordinary mind. – The Keepers, 1.18.13

    1. Seek first the Kingdom within.
    • This is, we stop looking for all of the answers and goodies on the OUTSIDE of ourselves. Spiritual Guru Baba Muktananda of the Siddha Yoga Tradition once said, “All sickness is a sickness of the soul.” The Sat Guru within has the wisdom and also the healing balm for all our our ailments, both in body and in soul. If we are ill and we contact the source of our own best medicines on both a spiritual and physical level, our healing is more likely to occur. We connect with this powerful being/force embodied as us through silence, ritual and other meditative practices. As our awareness develops we also develop greater trust in our own ability to solve our own problems and be our own wisest guidance.

    Also, to take the “attitude of gratitude” to a deeper level as well. It is the nature of the judging mind to always compare and never be satisfied. Peace and contentment with one’s circumstances are to be found in a place of quiet, not from the daily, habitual chatter of the mind. This is another example of how “seeking first the Kingdom within” bears a deep benefit. Shanti. – The Keepers, 1.18.13

    Thank you for reading. Wishing you all a beautiful and blessed year ahead.

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