How to Find a Spiritual Community

By Mother Clare Watts
Originally published in “Wisdom Magazine”

Spiritual communities provide benefits we can’t find in other social circles. Throughout known history, people have sought out such communities. And in these communities they revealed the most important and personal developments in their lives. Joys and sorrows, vows and confessions, hopes for a better life beyond life on earth, and fears of eternal abysses have all been shared in spiritual communities around the earth. Continue reading

Meditation: A Time for Love

Mother-Clare-Watts-2BY MOTHER CLARE WATTS

Though many people every day all over the world sit on floors, on cushions, on their heels or on chairs in an attempt to enter into some level of inner stillness or broadened consciousness, very few actually ever manage to go very far into that sought-after state. Most people do feel more relaxed after the quiet times in which they chose to meditate. That is in itself a worthy result. But most wish that they could go further into the stillness, further into their inner beings, further into the world of spirit – and they are saddened and frustrated that the times of attempted meditation do not bear more fruit. What is it that keeps most meditators from achieving higher consciousness and lasting inner peace in spite of their repeated efforts to do so through their meditative practices?

The most frequent reason that keeps people from having the greater, more desired effects of their meditative practices is that they do not love. If you enter into meditation with intentions of stillness and peace, but your heart is not opening with love to that which is the Great Love, not much will happen. The great mystics of all traditions have not coincidentally also been the great lovers of God. When they entered into meditation, they went into their inner chambers anticipating with great yearning and devotion to have a meeting with God. That God is God of Love, so the meeting and the relationship had to be one of love. This is not the romantic kind of love, because it is not about what you can get for yourself. But it is most definitely about the possibility of entering into the fullest, deepest and most profound love relationship any person can ever have.

To have a lover/beloved relationship with God within, you will have to be ready to accept the profound experience of being completely known and loved to your very core. You will need to be prepared to have the experience of that love changing you and your life in unexpected ways. When you feel that loved by this Being that knows all your faults, all your weaknesses, and all your wounds, you will either accept it in awed humility or you will pull back in fear and shame. To be prepared to be able to accept the experience of such profound love, you will need to do some work. The work involves you opening up to the feelings that you have repressed and which you have been afraid to feel or too ashamed to acknowledge. The inner experience of Divine Love has to move through your heart, so your heart will first need to be opened up to your own feeling of all that is in it. Then, when you can face yourself and your feelings, you will need to be able to ask for and accept forgiveness for what you have done wrong. Without this step, you will be too afraid or too mad to be able to open to the influx of that great Love.

If you are willing to do this preparatory work and make your heart one that will be able to receive and hold the experience of the Love that God within you holds for you, you will discover being completely, deeply and unconditionally loved in a way no human could ever give to you. Then you will begin to know who you are and who God is. Then you will begin to truly know how to meditate.

To learn more about Mother Clare Watts, visit: MotherClareWatts.com

The Causes of Suffering

All the great Teachers of Ancient Wisdom have taught the reason for suffering. Jesus taught that suffering was caused by separating from the love of God, disconnecting through negative thoughts, actions, and emotions that take us away from God. Essentially, Jesus taught that falling away from our real nature, our true being, causes us to suffer. In order to connect again with our real nature, we have to love God first and love all of our brothers and sisters without exception. Jesus further elaborated the way to get back into oneness with God through the simple teachings of the Beatitudes. For example, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”

Buddha taught that desire causes suffering. When we do not have what we want, we long for it and this causes a burning in our being until it is satisfied. If we withdraw our attention from the object of our desire or craving, then we cease to suffer. Buddha taught this to his disciples 500 years before Jesus came.

An ancient teaching that comes from Vedanta in India describes five causes of suffering called the Five Kleshas. The first cause of suffering is not knowing the true nature of Reality. The second cause of suffering is grasping or holding onto what is illusory or insubstantial. The third cause of suffering is from an aversion to something, a fear of something, a revulsion to something that is insubstantial. The fourth is identification with the false self or ego and thus we are constricted and limited in our consciousness. The fifth cause of suffering is the fear of death. As you can figure out, all of these causes of suffering are contained in the first one which does not know the true nature of reality. Not knowing the true nature of reality is thinking and seeing things in ways that distort reality.

The teaching boils down to this: if you look outside yourself for what will fulfill you or make you happy, you are very likely to be disappointed. If you desire something outside yourself, you are suffering from a misconception about reality. All goodness and love is inside you at the core of your being where God resides. If you travel within and focus completely inside in the center of your being, you will find the love, peace and fulfillment you have been looking for. Anything outside is transitory and shallow compared with what is within. It takes courage to make the journey to the center of your being as you have to let go of the illusion of separateness or emptiness. You will stop suffering as you enter into that relationship with God and let go of the idea that you are vacuously empty. When you discover God within, all craving ceases along with any fear, revulsion, prejudice or anger. You are in peace because you lack nothing as you openly enter into the embrace of oneness with God within.

Two Teachers One Retreat

Date: May 20 – 28

Location: The Abode of the Mission

Registration: The Alignment Center

Cost: Prices range starting from $1919 depending on accommodation type

 

Mother Clare Watts and Shakti Durga join two spiritual traditions together to teach one epic retreat about that most sacred of all human activities — relationship. Mother Clare and Shakti Durga will explore what it means to enter into the Divine sacred masculine and the Divine sacred feminine. You can expect to take a deep journey into your core and find hidden treasure, awaken to the spirit of freedom, creativity, liberty and love and also the security and nurturing of a Divine relationship. The miracle and grace of a relationship with Guru will also be explored in experiential ways.

 

Relationships need attention and in a busy world it can be hard to juggle everything. Difficult patterns can develop which seem impossible to heal. By working on the energy of our relationships we can turn even very challenging situations around.

Every person has needs. We may not be aware of our partner’s needs or indeed, our own. When needs go unmet over time this can lead to either separation, affairs, uncomfortable compromise, suffering, lack of fulfillment and dulling of the relationship and its potential as a source of happiness and peace.

 

In the Empowering Relationships Retreat you will gain understanding of how the energy field affects your relationships and learn to:

  • become more self-aware and nurture the self,
  • handle difficult emotions more effectively and appreciate the educational value of all emotions,
  • raise the vibration of ourselves and our relationships, engendering deeper respect and more love, togetherness, happiness and peace,
  • cut cords of attachment and redirect channels of energy into higher vibrational realities,
  • and let go of the past so you can focus your energy into the present moment where you are empowered to bring desired change.

Not only will you gain practical guidance to improve your relationships, you will come into greater understanding of your own self and deepen your relationship with the divine.

 

Register for this retreat at The Alignment Center.

 

 

About Shakti Durga

 

Imagine finding someone who knew you at a deep soul level, who loved you and wanted you to shine and be fulfilled! That is the Guru. Shakti Durga is a householder, mother and wife, businesswoman and author, musician and spiritual teacher. More than anything she is a Guru. She is an inspiration to many people. Shakti Durga teaches through transmission of spiritual energy for empowerment of her disciples. In addition she has clearly spelt out her spiritual philosophy in a series of five books, audio visual presentations, numerous chant CD’s and meditation tools. Shakti Durga is skilled in Nada Shakti, or the ability to transmit uplifting and transformational spiritual energy through sound.

 

About Mother Clare

Mother Clare Watts is a Priest and Master Teacher in the Christian mystical tradition. Her early spiritual training began in the 1970s with a serious study of astrology, which led her to a dedicated yogic practice and living in two different yogic ashrams. Overcoming her initial resistance to all things Christian, she found herself called and drawn into mystical Christian training. In this mystical Christian order Mother Clare was brought into the initiations of Illumination and Self Realization. In 2001 she was given the highest initiation and ordination possible when she was ordained as a Master Teacher, and subsequently was given the rights to ordain others.