Spiritual Teachings I love.
Of late I have been reading Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Power (HarperOne, 2007). This is a beautiful book. It’s about true power, the power that comes from within, from the wellspring of goodness and truth within our souls.
I love what this spiritual teacher says about renewal and about the practice of love and mindfulness. So inspiring. I have just reached the part of the book where Thich Nhat Hanh talks about the declarations of love: “Darling, I am really here for you” is the first declaration. The second is, “Darling, I know you are there and it makes me happy.” And the third is, “Darling, I know you suffer. That’s why I am here for you.”
It’s wonderful to read these statements; they lead me into a deep reverie about love. I end up thinking about my beloveds and deeply sending them my love.
I also have been thinking about a Pathwork lesson on redemption. In general, I am guarded about the Pathwork. It’s not my path, it’s not for me. I find it harsh, rigid, inflexible, and unkind. But there are some interesting and compelling ideas in the Pathwork lectures, which were channeled by Eva Pierrakos, the wife of Core Energetics founder Dr. John Pierrakos.
The lecture in mind was about making restitution after real guilt. “Real guilt” is distinct from “false guilt.” We all do terrible things; that’s part of the human condition. Each of us has a shadow. The work of any spiritual path is to own and integrate the shadow.
At the same time, if we do something terrible, we feel badly about it–unless we’re a sociopath. Fortunately, in the spiritual traditions, there’s a method for returning to self-esteem, for rectification.
The steps are: own the action, apologize for it from the heart, and make restitution. This is about taking responsibility for our own actions. It is liberating, it is empowering. It is one of the foundations of the art of power.