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Excerpted from If the Buddha Dated by Charlotte Kasl. Copyright 1999 by Charlotte Kasl. Excerpted by permission of Penguin Putnam, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.
 

"When we remember that our safe harbor depends on our awareness and honesty, we're less likely to make internal compromises, put on masks, or act like a chameleon to attract a partner or keep a hurtful relationship together."

  Charlotte Kasl, If the Buddha Dated, Part 4

Ground Yourself with Spiritual Wisdom

I am a passionate seeker after truth which is but another name for God. - Gandhi

We become spiritually grounded when we make this commitment to ourselves: More than anything else, I want myself. I want to live with integrity and truth. I'm not going to hide the jewel of who I am, nor will I mask my imperfections. No bargains, no avoiding reality, no conning myself, no lies. The more we commit to knowing and accepting ourselves, the more we are able to surrender to loving another person because we have nothing to hide and nothing to feel ashamed of. Our spiritual commitment to truth and integrity creates a safe harbor within us -- a mooring, a home to return to when the journey gets rough. This is immensely important in the dating process because new love can resurrect our most primitive feelings of fear, hope, dependency, and emptiness. If we know how to soothe our pain and relax into our emptiness, we won't be afraid to be open and honest, regardless of the outcome.

If we succumb to fear, we start holding back, and do that all too-common dance of getting close, then pulling away. When we remember that our safe harbor depends on our awareness and honesty, we're less likely to make internal compromises, put on masks, or act like a chameleon to attract a partner or keep a hurtful relationship together. If we live by truth we may have pain, but we will always rest securely within ourselves.

Spiritual wisdom transcends all religions and spiritual practices. I've often heard that one should pick a specific path and stick to it. I am a member of The Society of Friends, known as Quakers, I have been initiated as a Mureed -- a student of the Sufi path -- I practice yoga regularly, attend workshops on quantum psychology, and follow many Buddhist teachings, including the practice of Tonglin. I am also trained as a Reiki master healer. That's my one path. You might ask, how could I call it one path?

Awareness is awareness, love is love, compassion is compassion, goodness is goodness. The first precept of the Buddhist order founded by Thich Nhat Hanh is, "Do not be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones." The source of truth and wisdom is immaterial. There are no rules, no boxes to fit in, no one way, no absolutes when it comes to grounding yourself in spiritual wisdom. That is why I find no conflict in my affiliation with these different spiritual practices. All of them focus on our moment to moment experience of bringing acceptance, mindfulness, compassion, truth, and love to every aspect of our lives.

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