Mastery: a decision to continue one’s own evolution

ochiul florii kanaloaThere are a lot of people carrying around a master’s diploma. And requiring for their mastery to be recognized. There is one saying coming from Don Beckett, ReiKi Master: a Master is just someone who decided to continue walking the Path. 

Well said. But what are the key features of Mastery, be it about spiritual teaching or carpentry work? How does a master look like? How can one recognize a true master and, more complex yet, how can one choose a master?


It all starts with following and living a set of principles. No matter these are the ten commandments, the five shamanic agreements or the seven Huna Principles, there must be a behavior foundation that creates a framework for all we think, say and do.We typically call this ethics.

The next big one is compassion. In the broad sense, we find it in “love thy neighbor” or Aloha or Be Kind to Others. But one key issue that usual occurs in the path to mastery is that we still do those things for ourselves, and not for others. One of the spiritual traps. If we heal, teach, protect, charge just for a personal benefit – be it money or fame, being in the center of attention or simply get remarked – the whole effort slides down the drain. Mastery is  for others and it has to be exercised with the two following bubbles in the chart:

download (1)One is humbleness. Ego has no room in a master’s behavior. The car, the house, the social status, the expected recognition – if they are still present and manifesting, it is the right time for pulling up our sleeves and starting to work on the Me, Me, Me issue.

Are you reacting emotionally to criticism instead of taking the information in to reflect on it and seeing what tiny or big thing you can improve? More work is needed.

download (2)The next one, really important, is to stay present in this world of now. Not on a mountain top. In our workshops and conferences we met people who displayed a balanced, loving, compassionate behavior in a meditation circle, and oozing frustration, anger and dissatisfaction immediately after the sessions ended. Mastery is displayed equally in the physical world and in manifesting emotions, in the mind, everywhere. A master has a consistent behavior, no matter it is about brushing teeth or offering empowerments.

This balance  is radiating out of the persons who advance on the path to mastery. People want to be around these persons. Attracting the ones desperately in need for affection or the ones wanting mental gymnastics for the satisfaction of the intellect only  is not it. When people genuinely feel good around you, it means you are on the right track. Not because of the way you do things. Your mere presence is radiating this balance, and people usually say they feel at peace, protected and satisfied.

Last feature and most important is excellence.  A master has to be brilliant at what he or she does. Many of our students want to start sharing something immediately after they have learned it – but the key is patient, consistent and diligent practice, to learn the behaviors or techniques, and to get a deeper understanding, valuable insights and a comprehensive vision on the respective topic.

You might want to try and practice each of the bubbles of about three weeks… and see what changes. And if you are looking for a master, here are the three key things to help you make up your mind:

1. There is solid proof of excellence. Clearly, there is a lot to learn from this person.

2. There is chemistry between you and that person.  And the chemistry is both ways. Masters do live in earthly bodies, they might have feelings. Students that drop our of their work with the master just because they did not feel loved enough have some serious topics for reflection… it is easy to point the finger at someone else.

3. The master is available. Availability does not mean he or she will definitely reply all your 10 sms’s right now. And availability will also mean that the master will be there for you when you think you do not direction and support. The master is not a friend, but the most (com)passionate personal coach one could imagine. Between the helping, the encouragement and the spanking, this person will always be interested in your progress without having any interest in his or her own benefits.

Good luck . Practice. Keep walking the Path.

mindfulness: the essence of positive reprogramming

One week ago, after a busy week of courses and therapies, with Sunday looking like the first really free day, the phone rings at 4 a.m. Usually, it is either someone from Asia forgetting about the time zone or some kind of an emergency. Private number, says the screen of the phone.  The ringing stops before I could answer it. Someone who had one too many, I tell myself, go downstairs, get a glass of cold tea and return to bed. The sleep is shattered, though. I decide to try and snooze some more, and when I am about to drift away, the phone rings again. With a visible number, now, and no, it is not Asia. It is the mother of an ex classmate of my son, desperate that her 20 year-old child did not report on the come back time and he was still not home. According to criteria all over the world, these “children” are adults.

Instead of dismissing on the spot the agitated and worried intention of the call, I feel this woman’s mood creeping onto me, like a contaminating wave of gray drizzle. Is everything all right? The boys are out to town, clubbing. The heart starts racing. This is too much. I take the phone and for the first time in months I am playing on the colored screen. Everything is calm. The method works, and after winning 3 top scores, I plunge back into dreams.  And through the dream I can hear the door at 5 am. The clubber is back :D.

I woke up touched by this woman’s agitation and her self-induced pain. At the toothbrush time  I had decided to talk to her, not because she had ruined my only quiet night of the week, but because she needed help. Her obsession on this youngster, a bright and handsome guy, touches his soul like plague. He needs to experiment and get to know the world. And then I thought what I would do with her in therapy. Any psychologist would try and reveal the rusty mechanisms and wheels in her mind in order to determine a return to the normal logic in the mother-son relationship. Then something else came to my mind. 

Mindfulness  is the English word, and fortunately English translates better than other languages what is called Sati in Pali,  smṛti in Sanskrit. It is found from the Upanishads on, being one of the fundamentals of the Hindu scriptures and Buddhist teaching.

Attention, concentrated on reality but especially on the present moment, becomes a real power when combined with a clear understanding what is going on. Presence is a word that seems really adequate, because it combines the focused attention on now with the potential connection to a superior energy layer that we call Divine, Self and so forth. 

Buddha preached about touching presence by continuous practice of calm awareness of the body, feelings, mind and moods. Constant practice leads to wisdom. Far from transforming one into a victim of circumstances, the presence should be combined with discernment .

And all people I had met during the week came to my mind. A large number were under the shadow of agitation. Something bad happened at work, my girlfriend left me, my lover is jobless, I do not know what is happening to me – although wonderful, I am scared… and so on… and so forth…

Thinking back of all these people, their common problem is that they ran away to yesterday and tomorrow, into regret, sadness and fear. Regaining the presence and coming back here, now. There is no yesterday, no tomorrow, just now. Allow yourself to have this moment of personal silence before getting sucked back into the whirlpool of fear and suffering. Then compare the two feelings and decide if it is worth starting to train the mind.

And if the answer is yes, start today, with ten minutes of mindfulness. Watch your mind. If it drifts to yesterday, bring it to now. If it runs into tomorrow, bring it back, into now. Ten minutes later, compare how you feel> is it different from the moment you started the daily training.

One can get a nice biceps in the gym, in two months. But when you train the mind, you may feel the effect from the first moment, and what is wonderful is that this muscle never aches from overload :).