Heaven is NOT some “afterlife” realm that one can only enter after shedding the physical body and departing from the physical, material world.
We can enter Heaven right HERE AND NOW.
What keeps us outside of Heaven are only our own grievances and unforgiving thoughts.
It is very beneficial to do some preparatory work, in order to see where we have been stuck and how we can joyfully let go of our anger.
In Zen Buddhism, the path to enlightenment includes examining our character and harshly grinding away all the sharp edges of our ego, until our True Self shines like a bright jewel.
Buddhism lists 108 character or personality defects, that we all have to one degree or another.
I have found that it is not necessary to go down the entire list of 108 faults we must examine and correct.
With much honesty we can clearly see the many faces of anger that block us from Self realization and from enlightenment.
Anger takes many forms.
Resentment is hidden inside us, where we often choose not to look.
Anger, annoyance and mild resentment, all hidden in our subconscious, bubble up into our dreams when we sleep at night, or show up as dis-eases, solidifying in our bodies.
Grievances and resentments take the form of small annoyances over situations which we perceive to be unjust or unfair.
Anger is hidden behind tiny discontents that if examined, could turn to real rage.
Anger is hidden in old “forgotten” grievances, that we still hold onto, because they seem so real and so very “justified.”
Forgiveness is the key to happiness and to realizing whom you truly are.
You are not asked to “forgive” the wrongs that have been done to you, but just to reinterpret the past so that you can see it differently.
I think this needs to be heard again.
When you ask for forgiveness to come into your heart, you are asking for enlightenment to shine a light into your mind and explain to you why “difficult” things have occurred in your life.
You are asking that your past be REINTERPRETED for you.
You are asking that all that has ever seemed to have happened in your life be reinterpreted for you, so that you can see it in a new and more wholesome or light filled way.
In this new light of higher understanding, you will realize that you are NOT and never could have been a victim of the world you seem to live in.
You have never been at the mercy of circumstances, and you do NOT live in a random world.
You have CREATED the world you see, by your interpretations and judgements of everything and everyone that you see and touch.
It is your level of understanding that has shown you a certain situation in a certain way.
EVERYTHING and EVERYONE in your reality have been chosen BY YOU, for your highest good.
This might sound like a vague and general statement, but when enlightenment comes into your mind, you will realize how true and easy to understand this statement actually is.
You might ask:
“Why would I choose anything but joy to come into my life?”
There is no easy answer, except to say that by understanding your anger and learning to go beyond it in all its many forms, you will become egoless and free beyond your wildest dreams.
All that holds you back falls away when you are no longer at the mercy of your personality faults and ego.
How can you understand the nature of your anger, if you have never gotten a chance to see it?
This is why you have brought anger-producing people into your life.
They are holy children of life the same as you are, but you chose them to represent your anger, so you can see and understand how limiting it is to your happiness and liberation.
How can you perfect your character if you remain unaware of all your character flaws?
Those who are unaware of their resentments, anger, annoyances, jealousy, impatience and fears, are not really ready for enlightenment and to be free.
Your ego does not like to look at itself, nor to believe that you need to change anything to perfect your character.
People think that their personality is a fact, and that there is nothing they can do about it.
People will either like them or not, so it is not up to them to change anything.
Instead of choosing to be softer and more loving, we “assign” all the character attributes that we do not like to other people in our lives.
It is Ruth who always holds a grudge and never lets go of the past….
It is Danny who loses his cool and is quick to anger each time he perceives a personal attack, etc….
As long as you perceive a brother or sister as a symbol of your anger in whatever form it takes, you are not free to enter Heaven.
Heaven’s door is never locked, but you will not be able to find the door, as long as you walk this earth blind to whom you truly are.
Heaven is the REAL WORLD,
The ultimate reality,
Your TRUE HOME.
There is only a thin veil of illusions, made up of unforgiving thoughts and fear based ideas of limitations, that separates you from Heaven.
The world you seem to live in is not your real home.
It is a construction of fear based shared ideas, governed by the mistaken belief that we live in a physical world.
Thus we subject ourselves to all the limitations that come from the belief that the world is physical, and that we are separated from one another and from Life.
The world is not a physical world, rather it is a world of ideas.
The real world, or Heaven, is NOT a realm of fluffy clouds in which white-robed Saints sit and play the harp to welcome the newly arriving dead people.
Heaven is the answer to EVERYTHING that you want in THIS life and MORE.
Do you want an eternally young body and mind?
Great bounty and abundance?
A glowing, beautiful body that can neither be sick nor damaged?
A quiet mind that NEVER can be hurt?
A deep peace and certainty?
A knowingness and sense of purpose that will overflow your heart?
A sense of safety that surrounds you wherever you go?
A deep assurance of your Divinity?
Happiness and joy?
Heaven offers all of this and MORE.
You will not know that Heaven is REAL, nor that you can enter BEFORE departing the material world, as long as you hold on to your grievances.
Your unforgiving thoughts are NOT benign, they actually SHAPE the ugly world you seem to look upon.
Thoughts are NEVER without power.
Thoughts are tangible, powerful things.
Thoughts have a strong creative force.
Thoughts are NEVER hidden from others.
If you harbor grievances or angry thoughts towards people in your life, they will sense it and act accordingly.
Telepathy, energetic communication and thought transference are very real.
There is an old joke about four aged Jewish mothers who got together to play cards once a week for many years.
Each week they rotated who hosted the card game, and each lady brought something to eat, to share with her longtime friends.
One night as they played cards silently, one of them folded her cards and sighed: “Oy…”
After continuing to play cards silently, another woman folded her cards and uttered a heartfelt, “Oy…”
After another hour of playing cards in total silence, the third woman wiped a tear from the corner of her eye, and uttered a deep sigh: “Oy Vey….”
The fourth woman folded her cards sternly and said,
“Ladies, I thought that we all agreed NOT to talk about our children tonight…..”
This joke illustrates very clearly how without using any words, we can tell what other people think or feel.
When you meet somebody, you can immediately tell if he likes or dislikes you.
It is in his eyes, in his facial expressions, in his tone of voice and body language.
I once heard a man (Steve) complain that his long time friend, whom he’d known for twenty years, had suddenly and for no apparent reason, de-friended him on Facebook.
When Steve saw his friend, he confronted him and asked why he had unfriended him.
The friend told Steve that he was too demanding, too intense, always wanting to get together and encroaching on his privacy and space.
This took Steve by surprise.
He could swear that he had only contacted his friend three times in the past ten years, and how could three times in ten years be considered too intense and overbearing?…
Steve was unaware that we constantly communicate energetically and telepathically with those we know, even if we do not speak to one another.
Steve obviously had a charge, a special importance that he put on the relationship with his friend.
For some reason, he wanted that friendship badly.
Perhaps he hoped it might turn into a romantic affair, or maybe he looked for favors, or to gain access to a network of friends, who knows?
The charge and emotional importance that Steve was injecting into wanting to spend a lot more time with his friend, had become a burden to his friend, who felt crowded and pressured.
We communicate all the time, NOT just by picking up the phone and calling or texting, but by transferring the feelings and thoughts that we hold.
This is why it is important that we hold in our minds ONLY loving thoughts of blessings and good will towards EVERYONE.
If we hold anger or grievances towards others, they will get the message energetically, and this will create blockages and animosity in our relationships.
Since we share one Universal Mind, our communication far transcends the use of words, phones and emails.
We are like an open book to others, just as others are like an open book to us.
People who are too entangled in their own thoughts, may not pay attention to what they are broadcasting, and to the messages they are receiving.
It is common practice to ignore all that we “sense” being transferred to us, and to listen and respond ONLY to what is being explicitly said.
In our society, it is considered a polite practice to ignore during a conversation ALL that we sense.
But we cannot lie to ourselves.
We KNOW when someone is lying to us.
This is why we often do not trust politicians.
We SENSE that they tell us what it is they think we want to hear, and not what they really stand for.
Not everyone overrides their senses.
Many of us listen on many levels, and we can hear very clearly all the messages we get when we talk with others.
It is possible to awaken from this dream world and to use CORRECTLY all the powers that are available to us.
In this grand illusion, we collectively agree to “forget” our true Nature, our God given powers.
Heaven is a perfect state of consciousness, that is RIGHT HERE ON EARTH NOW, and all we need to do is to ACCEPT IT and enter it.
Heaven is here and it is all about us, waiting for us to open our inner eye.
For far too long you have looked upon a dead and dying world, believing it is your only home.
You have looked for “proof” that death is real, that sickness is more powerful than Life, and that everything is temporary and shall pass away in time.
Time does not exist.
It is part of the grand illusion.
Isn’t it time to let go of the outmoded ideas that the human race adopted so long ago…. When we were still seeking shelter in tree tops and savannas?
You enter Heaven by becoming WHOLE again.
You become WHOLE again by letting go of ALL your grievances, all your resentments, and ALL your angry thoughts.
You enter Heaven when you leave no slave to walk the earth, by freeing ALL the people that you believe have wronged you.
It is your very own thoughts that are keeping you OUTSIDE of Heaven.
Every person that you have not yet fully and utterly forgiven is a prisoner who keeps you in this world.
He also becomes your jailer, keeping you imprisoned in the hell you call the world.
But Heaven is only a “frame of mind” away, and you can enter it if you can but forgive, and allow wholeness back into your mind.
It is with lightness and with laughter that you enter Heaven.
When you no longer believe in the ideas of sin and guilt, you are free of their heavy burden.
On a more personal note, I am doing lots of reading these days in preparation for our upcoming foot pilgrimage around Shikoku Island, Japan.
We have bought almost every book by people who have done the pilgrimage in past years, and I have also read every blog online.
Jules is also reading other pilgrims’ stories, but on top of the mental preparations, he is climbing the stairs in our house multiple times.
He averages 1600 stairs going up and down our three level house.
It is getting to be springtime in the Rockies.
The chipmunks and the birds are out and the days are sunny and 40 degrees Fahrenheit, which is considered quite warm for this time of year in the high mountains.
The bright sun makes it feel even warmer.
We just took a lovely multi-day trip to Denver and Boulder.
Every day we walked the sunny streets for miles.
The temperature was nearly 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the cities.
Everywhere we went, we chatted with people who rolled their eyes with envy when they heard that we live up in the mountains and rarely come down to visit busy urban areas.
We ate delicious food, hung around the famous ‘Tattered Cover’ bookshop, and read our books in cafes that looked like outlets of the Apple Store, with dozens of students and people working on their MacBook Pros and tweeting on their iPhones.
We enjoyed a fabulous meal at our favorite Japanese restaurant in Boulder called ‘Amu,’ where we chatted with the staff in our basic Japanese while marveling at the delicious food.
I have been thinking a lot about the pilgrimage that we are about to make.
It is a journey into the realm of spirituality, where those who do the whole pilgrimage on foot are making a substantial commitment to find Heaven or Paradise within themselves.
There is an old Japanese saying that I read as I researched our foot pilgrimage.
“A far, far distant land is Paradise,
I’ve heard them say,
But those who want to go there,
Can reach there in ONE day!”