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Wag 'N Bietjie Bos (Wait A Bit Bush)

Garry and Edward Viljoen
A friend told me the story of her visit to a far eastern spiritual teacher, a very sage and very old man who spoke to her group for about 40 minutes. When done, he opened the floor for questions and one truth-seeker asked the sage for his thoughts about the state of the world with all of its conflicts, crime, poverty and war. The teacher sat in silence and considered the question, and the said quietely shaking his head, "So sad, so sad." My friend said that for a brief moment it was as if she could see the world through his eyes.

So Sad, So Sad

I love the story of this sage and his utterance "So sad, so sad." I don't feel the slightest bit discouraged knowing that it is possible to see the world's conditions as they are while simultaneously knowing a higher truth. The paradox of simultaneously valid realities that are opposite to each other is something that fascinates me.

My friends' story reminded me of a poem by Ernest Holmes:

When death shall come
And the spirit, freed, shall mount the air,
And wander afar in that great no-where
It shall go as it came
Freed from sorrow, sin and shame;
And naked and bare, through the upper air
Shall go alone to that great no-where
Hinder not its onward way
Grieve not o'er its form of clay
For the spirit, freed now from clod
Shall go alone to meet its God.

Re-Educating My Mind

As a young seeker of spiritual understanding I struggled with the phrase “sorrow, sin, and shame;” because I was in that phase of development where replacing everything with positive language seemed necessary to re-educate my conditioned mind. I was inclined to replace the poetic words of Amazing Grace’s “wretch” with “soul” or “saw a saint, like me.” Now I’m not so inclined to do so because of people like the sage, the poet and the author of Amazing Grace, John Newton, who were telling the story of humanity’s journey through the valley of the shadows, and who I believe at no time were confused about the amazing grace available at all times simultaneously.

Life itself, filled with places where it is easy to get stuck in these paradoxes. In the land of my birth there is a thorn bush called the Cat-thorn in English and Wag-‘n-bietjie (meaning “wait a bit”) in Afrikaans and nSondelanganga (I believe is the Zulu name, meaning approach and let me kiss you). The point being that if a hiker doesn’t pay attention, the bush is going to occupy more of her time than she intended, because it will catch on and hold tight until it’s done kissing you with its pesky thorns.

I am glad to let the paradoxes of life cause me to wait a bit and consider how they can be simultaneously valid. It’s far more pleasant than being stuck in a wag-‘n-bietjie bush’s embrace.

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How We React Is The Secret To Our Freedom

Only those thoughts can enter my mentality which I allow to enter
SOM pp. 518

The seven blind men who gave seven different descriptions of the elephant were all right from their respective points of view.
Mohandas K. Gandhi

            We are subject to an avalanche of raw information every moment of our life.  A barrage of stimuli which evokes reactions of different kinds from each of us.  If we were to pause in life to examine those things which elicit in us a “negative” reaction, we would undoubtedly find that we have transferred much of the meaning from within ourselves, onto the subject in question.

            Surely this does not mean that we are responsible for the state of the world we perceive?  In the sense we are.  For we are free to react to the information that we receive any way we wish.  Every moment, we interpret, organize, and store our experiences and out of that field of experience, our lives are projected.

            Being able then to react any way we desire is then the secret to our freedom in life.  We are able to name an event good, bad or anything else.  However, the true nature of our experience is easy to determine when we ask of the Divine Intelligence withing, “How is God present in this thing before me?”

I open my heart to the experience of Life.  I inquire deeply into all that transpires in this day, looking to see the evidence of God’s hand on my affairs.  I declare with each breath that all is well in my world and I embrace the Truth in that affirmation in all my affairs. I give thanks for my life and all that is in it.
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Take Action or Take None?

[Humankind's] mind should swing from inspiration to action, from contemplation to accomplishment, from prayer to performance.

SOM pp. 477

Today’s world seems to be hurried, busy with much to do, many actions to perform and choices to make. So much so, that when we most need to take action, we often cannot. Paralyzed by lists of tasks, responsibilities, decisions and difficult and weighty challenges, we are sometimes unable to do what is before us.

Perhaps at such times, inaction is the appropriate response. Perhaps at times of difficulty, stress and confusion, the very best choice is to pause, wait and become re centered.

To return to the world with a sense of joy and commitment that transcends the challenges of ordinary everyday life, we must surely set aside time daily to make known our choices and desires to the Spirit within. This, followed by a time of quite meditation and a willingness to be the instrument through which the Mind of God expresses, transforms our every action into a celebration of God as us.

Indeed, regular time spent in silence prepares us to stand firm and confident in such times when the weight of the world seems to bare down.

Today I enter into each activity with the quiet confidence that Spirit is expressing as me by means of my thoughts, words and deeds. I choose wisely, therefore, because I know that nothing can hinder the pure activity of Life through me. I give thanks for my life and all that is in it.

You might also enjoy The Power of Meditation

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Blog Writing Suggestions

Here are some thoughts about writing blogs, with search engines in mind.

Let the title of your blog resemble a phrase that someone might type in a search engine.  When I think of my own habits using search engines, I often type out a whole questions.  "What is the time in Bangkok?"  "How do I forgive?," or "What is the difference between a dream and a fantasy?" Or, I'll use a short phrase to describe what I'm looking for, such as "Blog writing suggestions."  So when I'm choosing a title for a blog, I try to think with a searcher's mind.

Title and Content Matching

The next thing I pay attention to is to make sure that the title text actually appears in the body of the post somewhere.  It doesn't have to be at the top of the article, and not necessarily word-for-word.  The idea is that using the title in your text makes sure that the post and title are related.  I don't enjoy searching for and finding articles that are not about the headline attached to them!

Relevant Labels

Next I pay attention to the labels (or tags) and I make sure that I use labels that actually relate to the content of the article.  For example, for this article I might enter the label "writing blogs" because the article is exactly about that, and someone searching for the phrase, if they find this article, will not have been lured here under false pretenses.  I could use the label "how to forgive" because the words actually appear in the text, however, would someone searching for that phrase be happy to land on an article about blog titles and labels?

Help Your Readers Decide to Stay

So much content and so little time.  Many people land somewhere and quickly scan the content.  They make a decision very quickly about staying and reading more or going back to the search results.  To help the scanners among your readers, you can separate ideas with headlines as I have here. A scanner will browse through the headlines and that will help her decide whether or not the page has what she wants much more easily than if she has to wade through a lot of text.

Click here for more information about blog coaching.

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