A Joyful Noise!

Affirmation – I am a Spiritual Seeker – always looking for answers!

Editor: Rev. Doti Boon, safedoti@aol.com                                                   

  October 13, 2011

Volume 10, Number 41

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

~ Mary Oliver

The Courage to Question

by Adyashanti

Spiritual seekers are some of the most superstitious people on the planet. Most people come to spiritual teachers and teachings with a host of hidden beliefs, ideas, and assumptions they unconsciously seek to be confirmed. And if they are willing to question these beliefs, they almost always replace old concepts with new, more spiritual ones, thinking these new concepts are far more real than the old ones.

Even those who have had deep spiritual experiences and awakenings beyond the mind will in most cases continue to cling to superstitious ideas and beliefs in an unconscious effort to grasp for the security of the known, the accepted, or the expected. It is this grasping for security in all its inward and outward forms which limits the perspective of enlightenment and maintains an inwardly divided condition which is the cause of all suffering and confusion.

You must want to know the truth more than you want to feel secure in order to fully awaken to the fact that you are nothing but Awakeness itself.

Shortly after I began teaching, I noticed that almost everyone coming to see me held a tremendous number of superstitious ideas and beliefs that were distorting their perceptions and limiting their scope of spiritual inquiry. What was most surprising was that in almost all cases, even those who had deep and profound experiences of spiritual awakening continued to hold onto superstitious ideas and beliefs which severally limited the depth of experience and expression of true awakening.

Over time I began to see how delicate and challenging it was for most seekers to find the courage to question any and all ideas and beliefs about the true nature of themselves, the world, others, and even enlightenment itself. In almost every person, every religion, every group, every teaching and every teacher, there are ideas, beliefs, and assumptions that are overtly or covertly not open to question. Often these unquestioned beliefs hide superstitions which are protecting something which is untrue, contradictory, or being used as justification for behavior which is a less than enlightened.

The challenge of enlightenment is not simply to glimpse the awakened condition, nor even to continually experience it, but to be and express it as yourself in the way you move in this world. In order to do this, you must come out of hiding behind any superstitious beliefs and find the courage to question everything; otherwise you will continue to hold onto superstitions which distort your perception and expression of that which is only ever awake.

“Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can.”

~ John Wesley

On a Lighter Note:

There’s an old sea story in the Navy about a ship’s captain who inspected his sailors, and afterward told the chief bosun’s mate that his men smelled bad.

The captain suggested perhaps it would help if the sailors would change their underwear occasionally.

The chief responded, “Aye, aye sir, I’ll see to it immediately!”

The chief went straight to the sailors berth deck and announced, “The captain thinks you guys smell bad and wants you to change your underwear. “Pittman, you change with Jones; McCarthy, you change with Witkowski; and Brown, you change with Schultz. Now get to it!!!”

THE MORAL: Someone may be promising “Change”; but don’t count on things smelling any better!”


Radio conversation released by the Chief of Naval Operations on November 10, 1995.

Americans: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision.

Canadians: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

Americans: This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.

Canadians: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course.

Americans: This is the Aircraft Carrier USS Lincoln, the second largest ship in the United States’ Atlantic Fleet. We are accompanied by three destroyers, three cruises, and numerous support vessels. I demand that you change your course 15 degrees north, that’s one five degrees north, or counter-measures will be undertaken to ensure the safety of this ship.

Canadians: This is a lighthouse. Your call.

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