Radical Christ 17 – Compassion Takes Guts

Ram Dass spoke eloquently of developing a spiritual practice that enables you to keep your heart open in hell. Mahayana Buddhists have the notion of Bodhisattvas, enlightened being who after countless rebirths are ready to enter into the bliss of Nirvana, but who vow not to cross over until they have assisted all sentient beings, to cross over before them.

Once in conversation with a Zen monk, and referencing the Boddhisattva concept, the monk smiled at me and replied, “Yes, but Jesus also was a great Boddhisattva.” In that moment my entire life changed as I realised we are all just ‘walking each other home’, another Ram Dass saying.

Compassion lies at the heart of all spiritual practice, in fact is the absolute validation of our journey. If my journey, religion and practice does not increase my compassion, what’s the point. If my religion makes me cruel, fearful and judgemental what’s the point?

This episode explores the way Jesus experienced compassion and unpacks some of his crazy wisdom that enabled his to say to marginalised and dispossessed people that they were “Blessed”.

This isn’t what you may think.

Karl Marx misread this ascpect and called releigion “an opiate”. He was wrong, It isn’t opium, correctly understood this crazy wisdom is dynamite!

Links:

Bodhisattva Vows

Ram Dass – Keeping your Heart open in Hell

Radical Christ – Integration Practice 2 – Using the Cross for personal understanding of our psyche

YouTube Video
Podcast – Audio only

From the times of Emperor Constantine and the Battle of the Milvian bridge 27 October 312 CE, the cross has come to be associated with expansionism, triumphalistic Crusades, patriarchy, and at some level this cross denotes everything that is wrong with the world right now.

It would be sad if we missed the fact that the cross is more than a religious image. It is a deepy archetypal symbol embedded in the human unconscious, and can be wisely used as a symbol of intersection and integration.
This video looks at the human cruciform expansion of the healthy ego in the first half of life as we move from the Alpha point of concetion and birth.

In the second half of life, the cross invited the ego to slowly merge with the higher IAM of the true self which is the essence of LIFE that awaits us at the omega point of our dying.

I hope you find the Integration Practice useful as you become the cross you are called to carry

Links:
Vision of Constantine
Useful list of Jungian Quotes on the Christian Archetype

Radical Christ 15 – Follow me – with YOUR Cross

The Cross as a symbol has become unanimous with the Christian Church.

In this video Peter explores the cross not as a Christian Brand mark or even as a Colonial Crusading Emblem, but rather as a integrative symbol of psychological healing.

The cross is not intended to be expanded as a symbol of global dominance, rather is it intended as a symbol of contraction and convergence to the centre point where the four axes converge.

It is the centre of the cross that is most redemptive. It is also clear that we cannot take up the Cross of Jesus in this process. We are told explicitly by Jesus to take up our OWN cross.(Mt 16)

Radical Christ – 14 INTEGRATION Practice – “Self-enquiry”

Accompanying the Radical Christ Journey – Peter offers a series of Integration Practices to help move Information, through integration, to personal transformation.
In the first practice we travel to India and the little town of Tiruvanamallai
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiruvannamalai
the home of Ramana Maharshi who taught the Advaita method of “Self Enquiry”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-enquiry_(Ramana_Maharshi)

Simply investigating “Who am I?” can bring us to a transforming encounter with the Divine Witness that is in us and IS us. The name of God is I AM is it not?

Happy exploring…

Psychological Landmines

Ever noticed how certain situations bring out the worst in you?

It may be a place, a set of circumstances or simply something someone says or does. Without any warning you find yourself irrationally attacking or shutting down.

You feel completely out of control and out of character.

The people around you are confused and shocked and most of all, you have no idea what is happening. Afterwards you may look at your behaviour and describe it as a meltdown, or having “lost it”.

Chances are, you are in the grip of a Psychological Complex, being blown up by the landmines of the psychological realm.

This video explores these moments and offers a map of management.

The Five Gates of Grief – Gate 5

This week as we consider Ancestral Grief, we conclude our study of the Five gates of Grief outlined by Francis Weller .
Looking at our family trees or our clan origins, we realise that along with their DNA we may have inherited our ancestors’ grief. One of the realities of diverse South Africa is unless your heritage is Khoisan, most of us descend from ancestors who arrived from somewhere else. They were either displaced by the expansion of other tribes who squeezed people further and further south, or by colonial forces that promised struggling Dutch, British and German peasants a better life in a foreign land. Some of us may have servitude and slavery in our heritage, our families brought here simply as units of labour.
And despite the hopes and dreams they brought, they must have carried a deep grief at their loss of land and roots which they had to leave behind.
We are the descendants of aliens and immigrants, those people who arrived here on unfamiliar soil, and whose grief and sadness has found its way into our beings.
These ancient unknown characters also had a part in shaping the world we inherited.
Most people believe there is some form of afterlife where those who have gone before find themselves “in a better place”. This Valhalla, Xanadu or Heaven is imagined as a place where the ancestors share perfect knowledge and insight they never had while alive.
In my Gates of Grief workshops, I encourage participants to imagine their ancestors in this place of full insight, writing a letter of apology to us living now.
We owe it to ourselves and them to recognise the many untruths which we drank in with our mother’s milk and made our own.
Our task in this generation is to examine those beliefs and decide which of them are no longer true nor valid. Then for the sake of our own health we must let them go.
Consider for example the prejudices, suspicion and bigotry they passed on to us. Their violence, sexism, racism, exploitation of women and children and of the earth in general. Their promotion of tobacco smoking, slavery, child labour, and corporal punishment. These misconceptions, errors or deliberate strategies have scarred us and are part of the deep sorrow we carry in our collective unconscious.
Along with the ancient grief in our bones, there may also be our experiences of the grief and loss of our immediate parents and grandparents which we are required to mourn. The Swiss Psychiatrist, Carl Jung wrote, “The greatest burden a child can bear is the unlived life of its parents.” Perhaps our own lives were stunted because our parents projected onto us their unfulfilled agendas and could not allow us to become who we were born to be.
These deep ancestral memories invite us to create rituals of mourning from a past that is asking to be redeemed. To mourn these ancient griefs is sacred work.

You can schedule one on one Skype or Zoom sessions with Peter by emailing peterwoods.pe@gmail.com

The Five Gates of Grief – Gate 4

When we arrive into our lives we bring in our bodies the DNA and unconscious memories of tribal people. Humans are tribal and therefore social – constantly longing for connection. Yet despite our media and connectivity we are more isolated from each other than ever.

This video explores grieving the primal and yet unmet needs we carry.

You can schedule one on one Skype or Zoom sessions with Peter by emailing peterwoods.pe@gmail.com

The Five Gates of Grief – Gate 3

Episode 3 in the Five Gates of grief series.

St Paul wrote,”We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until now..” Romans 8:22
What he didn’t know was how much additional pain we humans would cause to this planet since he penned that line!

In this video we explore our grieving, “The Sorrow of the World” and how this grief can become a resurrection for us and the planet.

The Five Gates of Grief – Gate 2

Following the outline of Francis Weller’s “Five Gates of Grief” this video invites us to locate and mourn the parts of our lives that never knew love.

This is sacred and soulful work. As we examine the deficits and voids in our selves, as we see where our lives were Bonzai-ed by circumstances or the unskilful acts of others.

Now we can begin to allow the light to enter us through those very cracks and fissures.

The video also introduces the Japanese art of Kintsugi as a metaphor for the integration of our loss.