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Hello and Welcome.
Welcome to a sample of lesson one of the Master of Spiritual Leadership program. When you order this course, each week you will receive a discourse that talks about the Spiritual Leadership. You will be receiving an email for this course approximately once a week.
Please read each lesson 3 times to ensure maximum understanding and when you have completed the homework assignments (every other week), please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or post them on the forum.
You will also be receiving a special email address so you can post your answers to the course blog.
I have discovered healing and transformation in a blending of Eastern-Western Faith Philosophies. This mixture has made up my healing pilgrimage to the Sacred in the art of story telling.
This section walks through the basic tenants of Buddhism with creative practices. It is going to be a unique starting point.
I am hoping there is no anxiety being felt at this point, yes the end will come and a new creative energy, but that should only niggles at the back of your mind as you journey.
A journey is made up of thousands of steps, obstacles and challenges. This section is the beginning of the first step.
Three Parts of Eight Pieces
Like ourselves, a whole interconnected series can be broken into smaller pieces. For the Eight-Fold Path these smaller pieces begin with three umbrellas: Wisdom, Ethical Conduct and Mental Development. Before we get to the eight smaller pieces in this whole, we shall explore the three mid-size parts.
In the Hebrew Bible, King Solomon prayed for Wisdom from the creator. He was classed as the wisest because of this answered prayer. Solomons journey unfolds, a listener and partner on the journey can begin to realize despite this immense blessing of true wisdom, Solomon turned off the wisdom switch.
He sunk into that which keeps us away from true wisdom, Solomon sunk into seeing the world through materialistic eyes more concerned with amassing treasures, toys and women (maybe men?) than to be concerned with what truly breeds wisdom in a person and how that true wisdom can seep out into the community.
Under the umbrella of wisdom Buddha teaches two principles: Right View and Right Intention.
Soul Work: Open your journal and for five minutes put pen to paper, dont stop no matter what, write what Right View and Right Intention mean to you.
Soul Work: At this point of yearning for wisdom pause and close your eyes. Breathe in deeply through your nose, as you inhale let your stomach extend, as you inhale draw yourself in and up away from your waistband. Keep breathing as you slowly relax into peace leaving the world behind.
Llisten to creation around you, if your mind wanders accept the wandering, make note of it and refocus back on your breathing.
After five or so minutes, relaxingly open your eyes. Take your crayons and open your journal. Move the colours and allow the Creator to speak through you, no care for form or practice, just create what you felt in your time of silence.
You have begun the journey towards wisdom.
The next piece of the whole puzzle as Buddha taught is Ethical Conduct. What does this mean? A world where religion has become just another institution to not be believed, where elders are discounted as just another burden and children are to be left to their own devices is it any wonder that the term ethics makes no sense?
In 2006 I ran for Canadas Parliament as a candidate for the New Democratic Party. There was fear within the party hierarchy for a Christian who had been educated in post-secondary schools on the conservative to fundamentalist theological spectrum, to be an NDP Candidate.
Terms like morals and ethics were fear buzzwords, because they were seen as defined in many different ways by many different pieces.
The Dalai Lama in his work Ancient Wisdom, Modern World had a simple thesis by exploring all the worlds religious and ideological systems. The thesis was simple, there was a core of beliefs that all humanity held sacred.
What are your core beliefs? The non-negotiable in your life. Take five minutes, open your journal and make a list of these beliefs.
Now re-read your list, put a check mark besides those non-negotiable items that you have given up for material gain.
So why do morals and ethics as words hold so much fear? Like everything else in our world they have been made into commodities to be thrown around and traded like bad artistic counterfeits.
World has lumped these together into a simple term of values, but whatever word you use it comes down to our behaviour in the world.
Putting our faith into action. Shaping our character.
An ancient Norwegian proverb tells the truth simply:
The grass may wither. Cattle may die.
Cupboards will empty. Treasures rust.
Wealth spent and yes even myself may
die. But the one thing that will not
die is the reputation I leave behind.
Ethical Conduct shapes our character. When the individual decides to puts in the self-work to live out Ethical Conduct.
Soul Work: Connecting your non-negotiable list to your actions this is the core of Ethical Conduct. Write this statement for the first item on your list:
I Believe _________________________________________
Because I believe _________________________________
I will ____________________________________________
Repeat this exercise in your journal for each item on your Non-negotiable list.
Now comes the hard part:
Have you been doing what your belief statements say? Why or Why Not?
What do you need to change in your life?
Finish this exercise with a time of breath meditation to just lie in your Creators heart and feel Her love.