By Theresa Puskar
Don’t listen with your ears or your mind. Listen with a grateful, open heart, not your human heart but your true heart.
I feel deeply appreciative of my position here at Conscious Community Magazine, for I always get rich and rare nuggets of spiritual gold at the workshops that I attend. This past month was no exception! One of the events was a ceremony at a Chicago area temple and a subsequent three-day retreat. Since the practices and principles originated from ancient lineage that goes back thousands of years, for the sake of maintaining the purity of the lineage, I have been asked not to print the specifics of the tradition. That being said, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, should you wish further details.
As I have stated many times in the past, I am also so deeply grateful for the dynamic and delightful way in which the universe composes my life journey. It never ceases to amaze me how synchronistic and perfectly orchestrated it is. I feel like I am doing a dance with the divine, and just as long as I get out of the way and allow myself to flow with the music of the benevolent one, it swells and breaks like crashing waves upon the shoreline. Always moving, always constant, but ever-changing! Aptly at this retreat, I learned a new term that fully embraces the divine dance I spoke of, “Affinity.”
You are now connected with a lineage of divine saints who want to end suffering in the world.
The ceremony that I was graced to attend could best be described as a heart-to-heart transmission that goes beyond the mind. It serves to enlighten the “true” one (and lest we forget, the “true” one is not our mind)! One could say that in receiving the gift of this ceremony, we learn enlightenment in reverse. For thousands of years, prior to attending this wondrous ceremony, one had to commit his or her life to divine study and practices and become enlightened. Then and only then could he or she receive the blessing. However, now, because there is so much difficulty within us and in the world as a whole, the caretakers of the lineage have opened this opportunity to all.
The ceremony was performed entirely in an ancient Chinese dialect. Consequently, quieting the mind was easier, and I was able to appreciate the beauty and reverence of the ceremony without getting lost in the words that were being spoken. Like the ocean waves, there was an ebb and flow to this blessing. Aesthetically, it was radiant and exuded a sense of deepest humility, honor and grace. While I knew not the specifics of what I experienced, my heart sang with joy and gratitude—I knew I was experiencing something that was eternal, beyond words and totally life transforming! Not only were we blessed, but we were given bountiful gifts that could assist us on our eternal life paths.
Whenever you see yourself receiving trials, you are going towards Buddhahood! Then you can go from ‘I don’t like it’ to ‘I appreciate it!’
As is often the case, I attended this three-day retreat on a whim. I knew little about it, however I trusted my gut, as it shouted very loudly, “Go!” As is always the case, I’m glad that I did. There were so many profound teachings that really rocked my world and turned the belief system that I have been following upside down and inside out. While not always comfortable, I felt that this initiation is taking me on a path that will deepen my divine journey in a most profound and powerful way. At times, I can get complacent, thus questioning my belief-system as such, keeps me conscientious and attentive to my ever-evolving path.
We don’t have to die to go back to heaven. We can experience it here on Earth because no matter what happens, the joy and peace will never leave you.
One of the most profound paradigm shifts was the realization that trials in my life were opportunities to burn karma. I learned that my life would truly change if I could welcome trials, and instead of dreading them, delight in their arrival. The next time you experience a painful pebble embedded deep in your skin as you walk the shoreline of your life, can you imagine yourself dancing a jig of joy, knowing that the pain is a catalyst towards freeing you from the suffering of your past ways and opening you to a life filled with greater peace and joy? What a concept! “Ouch! Time to celebrate!” While I felt this would be a challenge (oops, I mean, opportunity), I knew there was something powerful in play as I witnessed the immense joy that emanated from the four spiritual leaders who led the events. There was an unmistakable bounce in their steps and a full-hearted radiance in their eyes. I knew that they were experiencing heaven here on Earth.
If you believe in heaven and hell, then receiving this blessing is a way out of hell. If you do not, then this enlightenment is a way to peace.
While I knew that I was experiencing a 180-degree shift in my paradigm when I attended the event, I found myself in a place of both extreme enthusiasm and at the same time, cautious trepidation. I knew that the tenets I heard came from a deeply reverent and wise place. For years I denied the existence of a destination called hell, but then I realized that there is a discontented seeker within me, believing that a full wallet, a successful show, and a perfect partner would fill that painful void within me. If that’s not hell on earth, I don’t know what is! I could see that the only way out of the emptiness was to seek deeper connection within myself. This involves burning the karma of my past and living a life of reverence, commitment and gratitude in the future.
Enlightenment adds beauty to the world by speaking to the souls of humankind!
For the past several years, I had been asking my divine for humility. I noted how, once having had a taste of power, many individuals become corrupted. Several were on a very committed spiritual path when their shadow-self emerged and they veered off into a world of self-aggrandizement and the abuse of power. I claim full responsibility for my massive ego, and I want to be sure that I do not get swayed from the light down that path of darkness. As I sat through the three-day process and learned the teachings of this new direction, through the example of this reverent community, I could see how the ego is quelled when one fully commits to humility, honor and purity of intention. I knew that following their example, I would not succumb to the manipulative ways of my ego-self. For this I am both grumbling and grateful! If you want to learn more about this spiritual community, you can email me at TheresaPuskar@hotmail.com.
Theresa Puskar is an author, performer, speaker, minister and motivational audiobook producer. With over 25 years of experience in media and communications, she has worn many hats in the industry. She is the author of the “Terri” children’s book series, which focuses on a variety of emotional and social development issues for children, ages 5 to 9. She is also an actress and director, and recently returned from performing her autobiographical travelogue, Causeless Joy (formerly titled Beauty, Bollywood and Beyond), in New York and Los Angeles, where she received a 4-star review by New York critic, Alex Miller, and a 5-star review by LA critic Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros. A powerful inspirational speaker and transition leader, Theresa edu-tains her audiences, by touching hearts and minds in a way that is engaging, joyful and life-affirming. For more information, visit www.TheresaPuskar.com.