Dealing with Those Ghosts
My friend, Atindra Gibbs, shared this passage with me recently, and I thought it was perfect inspiration for October - the month of Halloween here in the US. This is an excellent time of year to be facing the thoughts that cause us fear. Here, Ecknath Easwaran wakes us up to the inner ghosts that haunt us - unnecessarily!
Whenever we worry about something in the past or future, we are setting up our own little haunted house and peopling it with our own special ghosts.
Many years ago I stayed at the home of a hospitable Woman who happened to
believe in ghosts. Her home had a beautiful view which took in a cemetery nearby, and though she was very fond of me, nothing I could say could convince her that ghosts from that cemetery did not pay her visits. So one day I announced casually that I was going for a walk in the cemetery.
When I returned she was wringing her hands. "Did you see any ghosts?" she asked anxiously.
"Oh, yes," I said. "Three. I told them you were too nice a woman to be living in fear all the time and they should go away and leave you alone.”
"And what did they say?" she asked.
"They said, 'We can't. As long as she believes in us, we have to stay."
She stared at me for a second, then laughed out loud.
Those ghosts never bothered her again.
By Ecknath Easwaran, from “Words to Live By.” Page 33
You can deal with our own ghosts by seeing them for what they are - creations of your mind. Then, focus on what is Real - on a mundane level, you can just look around you at the chair you sit on, or out the window at the sunshine or the rain. And as you look within, beyond the thoughts, you'll find the indwelling presence of the Infinite, witnessing it all.
My own ghost that I deal with is the one that says "you have to do more to be OK." It still returns to haunt me regularly, so I remind myself, "this isn't real." And then I take things off my plate that I really don't need to do. One of those things will be The Spiritual Cafe', on Friday, October 24th at 10:30am Pacific. Please note the new conference call number: (605) 475-3220(605) 475-3220. It has been delightful, but this month will be my last, while I prepare for new offerings coming in the New Year - including a new spiritual community! Look for an announcement next month.
There is space for you to drop-in on Yoga Quest - the 5 "Sheaths of the Self "- on Monday mornings in October and November 3rd at Yoga is Youthfulness. Come receive some inspiration for your practice and your life.
I continue my series of articles on the 4 "Brahmaviharas", or attitudes to maintian our inner peace that we recently explored in Yoga Quest I. You'll find an article on the third, Mudita, below - which will give you some more keys to banishing the thoughts that torment you.
During this spooky time of year, remember that you can deal with those ghosts – they are not who you are. Be in your inner witness, recognize them, and wish them well on their journey. Let those thoughts move on, just as you’d let a dear departed one return to the realm of Spirit. What remains is - pure and simple - the spaciousness of your awareness, filled with infinite possibility.