The Way of The Spirit/Beyond Ego

January 2, 2011 by  

Sadguru Sant Keshavadas photo from his book, "Garland of prayer."

Many years ago I complimented my Spiritual teacher, Sadguru Sant Keshavadas Sadguru on his many talents. His response was"neti neti, I am nothing but the dust of the earth. The Lord is the doer." It reminded me of my mother, Kate E. Turner who would never take credit for her musical ability. If I said something good she said, "To God be the glory." These were powerful and very true lessons to receive. As we grow in knowledge and skill we can easily forget that all that we are and all that we have come without any input from ourselves. In other words, our life and consciousness are gifts. We did not give ourselves existence. No one can take credit for that unless they have always been. So the most profound and lasting lesson I received was that humility is simply remembering that all that is existed before me. I arrived on a stage that was already waiting.

Mrs. Kate E.Turner, Kitabu Roshi's mother,loved to sing praises to God. Her eyes tell the story.

Sadguru Sant Keshavdas taught that in this age of Kali Yuga, the technological age, that Bhakti...devotion, praising the name of God is the most expedient spiritual practice. He played the harmonium, a piano-like instrument to sing praises. My mother, Kate E. Turner played piano and sang in church with as much devotion as he. She abounded in both grace and humility.

Sometimes people see the performance of another person and measure that performance by egos. Either they think you are great or they think you think you are great. We know that greatness is God's dominion. Whatever similarity we display is by reflection. If we credit God we become an instrument of His greatness If we glory in ourselves, we become deluded and slip from grace into a less luminous imitation of the real thing.

A Spiritual teacher exalts The Lord/God, not him or herself. Whatever is done is to point to the marvelous nature of The Unseen One who moves at the core of all being and embraces us at every level of being. The Spiritual teacher proves the wind exists by waving a fan so that you feel the rush. When you sense its presence, he laughs in joy. That is all. That is the mission.

For many years, I have walked the warrior path but I have been what Dan Millman calls a peaceful warrior. That has been possible because The Spirit of The Lord in me did not desire to do harm to human beings while at the same time that spirit demonstrated the ability to protect me from harm. My own teacher gave many satsangs (sermons), expressed devotion in song and traveled the globe speaking of The Cosmic Lord and Cosmic Mind. By the grace of God I walked a similar path but my" sword" was with me every step of the way. I wondered why I had to face such challenges. Now I understand. It was not my decision but it was my Dharma. The Lord brought me victory each and every time.

At the center of my being I bear witness to the Almighty at work in us. This message was first communicated to me by Jesus Christ and amplified by the teachers sent into my life. Zen master, Nomura Roshi of Japan and Sadguru Sant Keshavdas were like private tutors sent to fine tune my sensitivity to what I was born with. That this was so was made absolutely clear by my teachers. Being born in the west, I was handicapped because people did not readily understand such a nature. There was no one to nurture that aspect in my youth. Being raised in the church and in the lineage of preachers, my spiritual education was lop-sided. I embraced the teaching but for me there was more. I could not explain myself. I could speak the ancient, immutable truth called Dharma but I could not make clear to most of the people around me just what I was or why. I did not know where I fit in this world....that was my life-long dilemma.

A preacher in Norfolk, Virginia, Reverend Jake Manning, once told me that no matter what I did, my message would not get out fully until other people started talking about me. That reminded me of Jesus asking his disciples, "Whom do men say I am?"

People who do not know us at all have no real substance even if what they say is flattering. All testimonies, even those about God, only have power when they come from personal experience. So here are a few people who want to share their connection with me with you. What they said was entirely from their own hearts.

Be clear! In and of myself I am not good. I have nothing of value in my own mind to impart to another person. Only the unblocked flow of The Spirit, speaking and acting freely through me is the message. I am happy to be an instrument of The Spirit. Spirit is life. It is the mission of the teacher to guide the student from a flesh or mind-centered life to the vast immeasurable fullness of The Spirit-Driven life. Despite how this sounds, it is not a dogmatic, doctrinaire or merely "religious" experience. It is like connecting your computer to the Internet for the first time. It is no longer locked into a box, it is everywhere. It is also our long forgotten but Original nature. "To God be the glory", not my God, not your God, not your concept of God... God beyond your powers of comprehension. Embrace the Ultimate... become the manifest one.
Some people, those who think Zen (only the word Zen is Japanese) is a Japanese or Buddhist phenomenon ask, how does all this fit with traditional Christianity? When Jesus spoke the words below, not a single disciple in the entire world was known as a Christian. That term caught on at Antioch a half-century after the Ascension. We will explore that later but it is nothing to be alarmed about.

"I would ye be one as we are."

Jesus Christ


Comments are closed.