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.

Being Present

be here and now

I owe this article to my friend Nastya, who started the debate :  should we speak more about the concept of being present or about how to do it?  The answer is both. We are here, in the reality knot of the probabilities, having the possibility of choosing the desired path from a continuous series of crossroads. Sometimes, so busy regreting we did not do this or that, or sorry for what we did do, that we cannot see what is presented right before our eyes.

The proposals of Universe are never coming to the central axis of our sight or consciousness. They are always lateral, like side breezes caressing our mind, or marginal glimpses in the visual field, or small, almost subliminal whispers of the higher consciousness. Unless we are present, we cannot receive these precious pieces of information. Sometimes they come in an encrypted form, or this is how our brain perceives them, so if we are not there, we will just lose the moment of perception and, with it, the opportunity.

The same thing happens if we slide into unnecessary worry for the future. Not only we are not present to make the choice, but we also widen the probability path for an unwanted choice in the crossroad. Fear of future, instead of sincere, open belief that everything happening is like a riverbed that allows for our little stream of consciousness to come back to the greater Ocean that has so many names, prevents us from making this apparently strange return. Why should life be about returning and not about going? Because we are like batteries that need to reconnect to the Source in order to recharge. Once the reconnection process happens, we kind of know the way to the plug, time and again, so our autonomy turns from limited to infinite, and we can finally make the supreme, seemingly impossible long journey to who we really are.

It is clear now that the maximum creation potential is in the Now. The dilemma we all had or have – or maybe, after reading this, you are going to have it – is what is the practical way to be present, aware and make the choices enabling anyone to proceed with personal evolution.

It is much simpler than we expect. The easiest way comes from the Theravada Buddhism, and it is about focusing on the breath. Sit or lie down. On the floor, in your bed, on a comfortable chair or outside, in the sun, on a lawn. It really does not matter, just choose the place that makes you comfortable. The important part is to have the type of position and place that makes you worry less about the body. The body should take care of itself.

Now, just focus on Now. With every out-breath. If the mind drifts, do not cling to the focus, do not punish yourself, do not analyse where and why it went. Just re-focus on your breath. On the out-breath, because after the out-breath there is nothing. That nothingness is the seed of potential, of creation, of All There Is. STay with it.  Wonderful side effects might happen: feeling suddenly at peace, quiet, joyful… or more. Just stay there.

Some enjoy listening to the sounds or playing with other senses. Dive into the visual sensation of the clouds floating on the sky, listen to the minute sounds around you, either you are surrounded by Nature or human made environments, examine the scents (that one needs a good setting to avoid annoying ones) and see how much awareness of Now this brings.

As you get used to it, extend the time, bring the practice into the daily routines, and start focusing on being present while you do things. Your sensory experiences will help with it. Relax the lateral part of your consciousness. Signs will appear – shamans have always known that and a part of their teaching is to develop this lateral awareness so that one can receive the input / proposals of the Universe.

Last, but not least, this constant training for being here and now will lead to an enhanced feeling of who you are. Some describe a kind of landing of a deeper sense of Presence, a higher Presence, like we are suddenly immersed in a wider and much deeper consciousness. We call it the Presence.

It may come with the first experience or after a long, long series of attempts. Do not set expectations, just go with the process. Let your curiosity and awareness discover what is there to be discovered, and enjoy each small step forward. Reward yourself for it and patiently go for the next step.

It is like a slow sculpting of Yourself. It takes time, serenity, and clarity of the purpose. Let the circumstances work out the best way for you. Just breathe out, listen, get the perceptions. Then think about what you got during the experience… some have their first conversation with God in such an attempt :). Trust your inner wisdom, the one we call intuition, to validate the experience. And continue.

when rocks, trees and animals speak

în această piatră e un sâmbure de IubireWhen spending enough time in your inner space, the perceptions amplify and you can enter into some kind of a resonance with whatever surrounds you.  The roads you take become inner explorations, offering information, the pause moments allow you to digest whatever you received, and the nights turn into fantastic adventures revealing the unknown.  

Shamans all over the world speak about Signs and their importance: they say sometimes one can see minute but important things, showing up in the corner of one’s eye, or at the edge of consciousness, like spontaneous knowing states. d

A few steps away from the bed and breakfast there is an ancient carved rock complex called  Aluniş. In the first day, we wanted to come here, on top of the caves of monks and the stone carved church, on the ancient ceremonial platform, broken by the slow movement of tectonic plates and the eathquakes that also shattered the Agatons. Now this platform is tilted. The place, called God’s Throne, or Zalmoxis ‘  Throne, is like a small stone seat located in teh middle of what once was a great horizontal slate. Diana says there were sacrifices, we can feel offerings, milk and honey pouring on the old warm stone, not blood.  Ceremonies were held here since the beginning of time. Access is dificult, either you try to climb the rocks on the side with the cells, or the steep slope in the forest that follows the line of the former monumental steps that now lie buried under meters of dirt, only the top stones of the separation walls barely visible today.

cu spiritele Pământului, la sfatWe climb, dressed in white, with all needed supplies in our backpacks, for the final contact  with the translucent surreality of these lands laden with knowledge like a transparent glass hard disk that one must first find to be able to then read it. Two dogs from the bed and breakfast are accompanying us like silent watchers sent by Mother Earth, and we are surrounded by huge ants: the sign of self sacrifice for the collective benefit, giving up the ego and effort that does not expect any reward.

Among serene trees grown on what used to be a grand ceremony platform, we are welcomed by a thunder out of the blue sky. The Voice of the Old Ones is already familiar: we heard it at the Carpathian Sphynx, in the Valley of Cozana, yesterday, at the Agatons. Since hearing the name of Agaton given to the two monumental constructions, former pillars of the Golden Fortress, today monk cells visited and enlightened by the lightworker monks around, I had the feeling that this is not just a name, it should have a meaning, because Greek was the cult language for centuries and this would have been the only way to carry further the hidden meaning.
aici totul vorbeşte despre unirea polilor opuşiAnd here we are: Agathon, To (Greek) means overall good, as a principle, highest good, in the moral sense, summum bonum; Platon uses this name for an aspect of Divine also called the unmanifest, or the Original Word  (Logos). The best Sanskrit equivalent is Paramatman. The Pole of Goodness, expressed in a binary formula – the male and the female principle. God’s Finger on the heart of the believers out here. How much sense this makes.

So that we hail the Great White Light from the Throne of God, and then thanks the Four Directions for four days of wonders, before descending with great effort and sacrifice (one unstable rock slipped downhill and hit one of us – there was blood and bruising and ice packing and antiinflamatory ointment). The general sensation we have is one of being afloat, and all human aspects seem so small and insignificant when compared to the overwhelming wisdom of these super-human places, that a part of us wishes we stayed here forever. obstacolul se transformă în păzitorI understand the aspiration of the soul that accompanied us along these days. We nicknamed him Frodo, because that man, dressed in turquoise, and walking barefoot, remininded us of the hobbits walking in the Lord of the Rings. Frodo got from us food, love, understanding and as much guidance as we could offer, and Father Isidor enveloped him in the warmth of his advice about seeking a Master if he wants to try being a hermit as a personal perfection way, explaining that this path might be dangerous if not properly guided by someone who knows the mysteries and traps of solitude.  

The Watcher and the TeacherIt seems, too, that these lands sanctioned any unauthorized attempt or intrusion that lacked the proper knowledge. There are stories about locals disappearing from next to the Drilled Stone, with their ox-driven cart, reappearing without the animals and the vehicle next to Targoviste, a few hundred miles away, and having to beg for money to return home. They had come to these mountains looking for treasures…

A treasure is buried deep, close to the cross we saw yesterday. The hiding place had a sort of air pipe that locals had known for a long time. This place punished the one who tried to go down this air passage to steal the gold of the high officer: it has been said that once lowered into the pit, hanging by the dog’s chain (it seems they had to drag their dog by the chain, the animal did not want to come to that place), the man started screaming in terror: The Dragon! The Dragon!. Once pulled up to the surface, his face pale with fear, he could not speak a word more, and two days later he perished mysteriously. So the locals decided to leave Nature to its course, and the trees and bushes covered the secret passage forever.

simbolul saltului înainteOffering to the paths of Knowledge your effort, may it be a bit of time or some sweat to pass, physically, the mountain ridge, climbing to one rock to the next one to get to the Valley of Wonders, you receive signs.

The days we spent in the heart of Buzău Mountains came with such signs, and the ones I received were

The Hawk: power of vision. that view that comprises everything, the grand Knowing, and understanding beyond the human limitation. The Dibearer of the Sunvine Messenger.

The Stag Beetle: this weird insect’s message comes from the Egyptian tradition, where it represented God Kephra, the MidNight. It is the one carrying the Sun between its horns passing it through the winter, and the meanings are connected on one hand to death and rebirth and on the other hand to transcended Love.

The GrassHopper: trust in the Greater Plan, encouraging you to take the leap of faith, knowing you would be supported, to continue your way, because a new stage in your life is beginning. The grasshopper never leaps back, but always forward.

sacred midsummer fireThe butterfly, so known for its symbolism of inner transformation, substantially turning the potential into manifestation.

There is a lot to meditate on what stones, animale, plants and insects told us. One thing is clear: in order to hear their message, you have to be here, now, searching and touching everything, feeling, invisibly, the signs and signals coming in such places of power. This takes you out of the bad habit of dwelling in thoughts about past and fear for future. This only is enough of a reason to try the difficult and treacherous path to the mysteries safekept by generations of high priests, hermits, monks and lightworkers that kept the message alive, until the day humankind could get out of its decay to re-learn and re-acquire the ways of perfection and beauty.

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 :).