KSI's shaman has thanked us all for our support of her campaign to be selected by Oprah for a reality TV show, and has asked that we continue on with this.
Here is a faster, direct link:
http://myown.oprah.com/audition/index.h ... promo_id=1
IMPORTANT: ?VIEWS? are more important than votes, so view the video as much as possible before voting. And to keep it up! We have a month to get all the views/votes that we possibly can. The rules state that there is no limit to how many times you can vote. So let's raise the light quotient of mainstream television and get a high-consciousness concept on the air. Namaste!
Also, there are updates to both of my sites, including new blogs, photos, and classes:
And I've attached a word document to this email that I'd love to share with you. It was originally an 11 page article on Oprah.com about "The 10 Most Common Pitfalls on a Spiritual Process" and I found it utterly eye opening. I, personally, have tumbled into every single pothole mentioned at one point or another!-- so I really laughed out loud as I read it. I hope you enjoy it. I've condensed it into a few pages for your convenience (see attached).
I am who I am because of each of you, so thank you so much for being a beautiful part of my journey! Enjoy the summer sun!
Much Love and Light!
TEN SIGNS OF PROGRESS ON YOUR SPIRITUAL PATH
By Elizabeth Lesser, O Magazine, December 9, 2009
Walking the spiritual path can be a tricky adventure. Sometimes we make progress and become more free and loving and wise; sometimes we may think our meditation or prayer or ritual is leading toward enlightenment, but really we're just treading water or even going backwards. The great Tibetan meditation teacher, Chogyam Trunpa, wrote that we are often "deceiving ourselves into thinking we are developing spiritually when instead we are strengthening our egocentricity through spiritual techniques." He called this kind of self-deception spiritual materialism. We all deal with spiritual materialism; here's a list, from my book The Seeker's Guide, of 10 common pitfalls of spiritual materialism you may encounter on your spiritual journey and the key signs that you're on the path of progress.
10 COMMON PITFALLS OF SPRITUAL MATERIALISM:
There's a thin line between narcissism and "following your bliss." Without some degree of sacrifice for the greater good, self-discovery eventually leads to plain old self-indulgence. Be aware of your tendency toward excessive self-centeredness even as you work to heal and love your own tender self.
America's new forms of spirituality and therapy are often accused of selling superficial and sunny answers to life's complexity and pain. Spirituality does not ultimately work if we use it to protect ourselves from the rough-and-tumble of real life. Any world view that suggests that thinking positively always protects you from harm, or that there is something wrong with you if you suffer or fail, or that healing isn't often complex, is offering superficial promises.
The Never-Ending Process of Self-Improvement
You can become so obsessed with your own self-improvement—your story, your victimization, your faults, your fears—that instead of becoming free, you end up caught in a tape-loop. This myopic kind of focus on the self also leads to social apathy. It just isn't true that your self-empowerment and self-healing will necessarily lead to the health and happiness of others and of society. We have to participate in the improvement of more than just ourselves.
Just as some people get seduced by the never ending process of self-examination, some are disappointed when they don't achieve inner peace after reading a book, or in a day-long workshop, or even after two years of weekly therapy. Spiritual awakening takes patience, hard work, and the grace of God.
Desire for Magic
Some of the new American spirituality throws common sense out the window and pursues a search for magic cures and miraculous people. The need to believe in all-powerful teachers, angelic visitations, UFOs, and other unexplained mysteries can obscure the ordinary magic of everyday life, proof enough of God and the miracle of life.
In democratizing spirituality and bringing it to the daily life of each person, each one of us risks becoming a messianic little Pope or a humorless saint. If you find yourself becoming unbearably profound, feeling that you are somehow different from others and destined for sainthood, perhaps you are suffering from grandiosity.
Romanticizing Indigenous Cultures
There exists a kind of reverse prejudice in our politically correct times that just because something or someone is from another culture, especially an indigenous or minority culture, that it/he/she is somehow more valuable, spiritual, or wise. "Whenever teachings come to a country from abroad the problem of spiritual materialism is intensified," writes Chogyam Trungpa.
The Inner-Child Tantrum
I once heard someone say, "Some people just don't seem to realize, when they're moaning about not getting prayers answered, that no is the answer." Knowing what you want, and honestly asking for it, is a monumental achievement. But so is learning to gracefully accept God's wisdom—when "He giveth and when he taketh away."
Ripping Off the Traditions
Many modern seekers skim off the ritual trappings of a tradition with little respect for the depth behind it. This trivializes powerful and elegant systems of spiritual growth that often demand years of study. There is a difference between carefully creating a spiritual path that includes genuine practices from a variety of traditions, and flitting from flower to flower like a drunken honey bee.
The Guru Trip
Harry S. Truman lamented: "Memories are short; appetites for power and glory are insatiable. Old tyrants depart. New ones take their place. It is all very baffling and trying." Perhaps the most baffling and trying aspect of the new American spirituality is the disparity between spiritual teachings and the behavior of teachers. Men, women, Western, Eastern, fundamentalist, new-age, modern, or indigenous—none have escaped the temptation to abuse power. Things to be wary of: extravagant claims of enlightenment or healing; the minimizing of the hard work that accompanies any true spiritual or healing path; the excessive commercialism that betrays the deeper spiritual message; and the blind adherence of followers to charlatans (be they gurus, therapists, preachers, healers, or teachers). With their deceitful double standards, some gurus, therapists, and teachers have given mentorship a bad name and tarnished the image of humbling oneself to a wiser and more experienced guide.
10 SIGNS OF PROGRESS ON YOUR SPIRITUAL PATH:
When Bishop Desmond Tutu introduced Nelson Mandela at his inauguration as the new president of South Africa, he described him as being a man who had Obuntubotho. "Obuntubotho," he said, "is the essence of being human. You know when it is there and when it is absent. It speaks about humanness, gentleness, putting yourself out on behalf of others, being vulnerable. It embraces compassion and toughness. It recognizes that my humanity is bound up in ours, for we can only be human together." Obuntubotho is the first sign of progress on the spiritual path.
The Truth Works
A disciple once asked the Buddha how he would know the Truth if he found it. "You know the Truth, because the Truth works," the Buddha answered. When your life works better—when drama and chaos get tiresome, and goodness and peace are your preferred companions, then you are receiving messages from the Truth. When you are naturally happier, stronger, and more deeply engaged with people and place, you can assume you are touching on the Truth.
In Touch with Reality
A sign of progress is when you no longer fight the nature of life. Instead, you work with it. You stop pretending that life is supposed to be a certain way and accept it on its own terms. You size up the human story and get on with living.
Honesty is an Aphrodisiac
It does pay to be honest. It pays in rewarding relationships. It pays in unblocked energy. It pays in passion. To stand tall in who you are, unafraid to reveal what you want and need, kind enough to tell the truth, and brave enough to bear the consequences, is a telling sign of spiritual development.
Suffering Is Our Fear of Pain
There will always be pain in life. This is something we learn as we progress spiritually. We also learn that if we resist pain, if we fear it, then we create additional pain called suffering. Our resistance to pain stands between us and full-bodied living; it keeps us at war with our problems and from making peace with life's dual nature. When pain arises in your life and you stand to greet it with calm curiosity, you will know that you making progress on the path.
How Can I Help?
If you are spiritually happy you naturally want others to be happy. You can't help but help. Spirituality is the gift of love. Service to others is the discipline of love. If you reach out often to those in need, not because you should but because your heart leads you more and more deeply into the hearts of others, then keep on going.
Declaration of Interdependence
Are you becoming more and more aware of the interconnection of all beings, creatures, and elements? Do you hold as your own Jesus' words: "And whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, you do to me"? Are you getting tired of the way our society celebrates the false ego's selfish and insatiable drive to acquire and use more and more? And does that make you want to be an agent of healing? A declaration of life's interdependence is a sign of spiritual progress.
Combine Love and Loneliness
When we progress on the path, we become more and more comfortable with the great paradox of belonging and being alone. We reach out to others for love and companionship, yet we know that the abiding love for which we long rests in our solitary relationship with God. We are generous in our compassion and help to those in need, but we also know that each person is responsible for his or her own healing. We are loved; we are alone. Both are blessings. Love and loneliness are both states of grace.
The Ordinary Is Extraordinary
"Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy," said Rabbi Abraham Heschel. When we really feel this, without forcing, without trying too hard, then we know we're on the right track. When we see the marvelous structure of the universe in the mundane and when we love the whole world by loving our mates and children and co-workers, then we are making progress. When we don't need to be anyone special, but are pleased to be simply one of God's many creatures, then we will know the joy of the extra-ordinary.
God Is Optimistic
Finally, look for these signs of progress on the spiritual path: friendliness towards change and an optimistic vision of eternity. Faith in the perfection of God's plan—even when the road is rough—can make the difference between a life of happiness and a life of bitterness. Trust in God's goodness fuels our commitment to justice and beauty; with such faith we can move mountains, just like the spiritual heroes of all times.