The Right and Wrong Of It All

the inner guruI just got home from a six day retreat in Sedona, AZ. I went there to learn how to free myself from negative thinking.

You know what I did there? I thought negatively most of the time.

I had been there once before, three years ago, so some of the faces I saw were familiar. Actually, many of the faces were familiar. One of the first things I thought was; “these people must come back every year! What’s wrong with them? Why aren’t they free already? They probably don’t really want to get free, they just like coming.” I promised myself I wouldn’t be a serial retreater, I’d get free right here, right now. And then I worried that maybe I won’t get free this time and I’ll become “one of them”.

“Oh, how horrible that would be!” I thought. “I must work hard, I must achieve, I must be better than them, I must be better than I am now, and I must be quick about it!”

I went to lunch with various people and listened to them talk about “how much progress they were making”. I silently judged them. Well, I wasn’t always silent about it, unfortunately. I could oh-so-clearly see how they were causing themselves to suffer with their thoughts, so sometimes I told them what they could do to fix themselves.

Denise the Guru.

I wasn’t the only self-proclaimed guru there either. There were many of us, and by the end of the week I began feeling restless by all of the advice I was giving, and being given. I’ve learned to recognize that feeling of “boredom”. It means something needs to change. It means I either need to change, or I need to change something about my life.

So yesterday, on the last day of the retreat, I naturally stopped buying into every one of my thoughts, philosophies and opinions. I stopped believing everyone else’s thoughts, opinions, and philosophies too. Even that of the facilitator. I stopped taking everything as gospel and decided to take it for knowing instead. Knowing is based on experience, and until I experienced the truth for myself, I wouldn’t buy into anyone’s version of it, even my own.

On the plane ride home I found an email I had neglected to read the other day. It was from a favorite spiritual teacher of mine. She explained how there is no truth and there is no non-truth. There is no right and there is no wrong. There is just “what is”.

It’s funny how we get the answers we need when we need them, isn’t it? Funnier still, how sometimes the answers don’t make sense until we are ready for them. This time, the timing was perfect.

The very next thought I had I said to myself, “this thought isn’t right or wrong, it’s just what is.”

Wow, how the mind quieted down! It had nothing to say to that. How can it argue when it’s being told that there is NO answer? It felt wonderful and peaceful and silent and even a bit curious—what is this NOTHINGNESS, and please sir, may I have some more?

Yes, my mind eventually got silent. I couldn’t believe it. I recognized that the silence is not NOTHINGNESS in the sense of defeat. It’s where the higher intelligence lives, and it’s where the answers we are looking for are found. Maybe not right away, but they will come. Or there will be peace.

I looked back on my time at the retreat and thought about the people who didn’t randomly pass out advice. I had found these people to be difficult to have a conversation with. They weren’t talking so much as listening, and I was used to lots of communication (interrupting and being interrupted mainly). I realized it’s the quiet ones who are the biggest guru’s. It’s the ones who don’t run around insisting they have all the answers who have the most freedom.

I think I may have found my key. I will keep using it until I know for sure.

I am forever grateful to all the amazing people I met at this incredible retreat. Every single one of them influenced me in some way, and I hope they all find their unique key to unlock the freedom we all seek. I also expect to see them again one day soon because I just may become a serial retreater from now on! It’s not right or wrong, it just IS.

Namaste! From my “inner guru” to yours.


3 Responses to The Right and Wrong Of It All

  1. You’re much more further down the road to the goal then you give yourself credit for. You have a very powerful intuition and you want to feel good. It’s just up to developing the trust for yourself and showing yourself practically that there is no need to look outside for any guidance what so ever. This habit has been developed early in life by most of us just by the nature of our entry to this wonderful world of diversity. As soon as we come to this world our parents make it very straightforward that we better behave or else, meaning to do what they think is appropriate to do and not that we think is right to do, and we usually budge even though it feels terrible inside. It would be fine if there would be one of them giving directions, but the problem arises when there are several of them and they want different things. That’s when we realize how flaky outside guidance really is. We start to listen to others and being frustrated thinking how hard it is to make all of them happy, not realizing that all it takes is take our power back by simply paying attention to our internal guidance system and disregarding all outside counseling no matter how well meaning. So take back your power and let yourself be exactly as you’re and not as other people want you to be. Become the feeler of life and not thinker of life. If it feels good and resonates with you – do it, not matter how many others give you advice to the contrary. If it doesn’t feel good – don’t do it, no matter how many others tell you that you should do it or have to do it or even must do it. Others only have as much power in you life as you allow them. And then enjoy the results. You’ll be astonished to say the least.

  2. On a retreat in Sedona I’ve met an older gentlemen from Greece. He told me a fascinating story on the importance of listening to our heart. It happened during World War II. Spiros, the gentlemen from Greece, was very young those days, when Germans started to drop bombs at the village where Spiros and his family lived. Spiros wasn’t afraid, but his uncle was and he grabbed Spiros and took him to the cover place where mother, father and the rest of the family of Spiros was hiding along with other families. Then all of the sudden Spiros felt an urge to run away from the cover place, even though bombs were still dropping all around. Spiros managed to get out of there even though the rest of his relatives tried to prevent it. They tried to catch Spiros and keep Spiros inside the cover place. After Spiros got out of the place some of his relatives went after him, which happened to be very fortunate as shortly after that the whole cover place was blasted into pieces as bomb made it into chimney. All the people who were inside the cover place died.
    In our lives fortunately it is not likely that something as dramatic would happen, but it gives a great example of just how important it is to stay in tune with our inner guidance and follow our heart despite of what others think or do to prevent us from doing something we know fully to be right thing to do.

Leave a reply