Category Archives: spirituality

From brokenness into transformation

“Resurrection is not just consolation — it is restoration. We get it all back — the love, the loved ones, the goods, the beauties of this life — but in new, unimaginable degrees of glory and joy and strength.” Tim Keller

There have been times in my life where I have wrestled with the question why an all-powerful God and creator can allow evil, injustice and cruelty to prevail. How can a God of love and compassion want at the same time suffering?

Some beautiful Renaissance paintings depict Jesus bleeding and hanging from the cross with the Pharisees mocking him with the words: “He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.” (Matthew 27:42–43). They missed the point.

The key message of Easter

The key message of Easter is one of hope, rebirth and resurrection after experiencing brokenness, hurt and suffering.

After the resurrection Jesus asks the skeptical disciple Thomas to place his hands into the wounds of his hands and his side. Jesus carried his scars and wounds as the visible signs of having transmuted the pain and suffering.

The idea of God being both a God of Light and a God of darkness comes from a simplistic perception of a three dimensional reality. We have the external world of sensual and material gratification, the dimension of the soul having a human experience and the divine dimension that encompasses the other two. The Mystics compare the external world of distraction to the darkness of the night, the human experience to the morning of life itself in the striving toward the eternal of midday.

What is soul purpose?

Suffering, pain and the brokenness is that part of life that sculptures us into the human beings we are destined to become. The external world is in a constant cycle of change, impermanence and movement. Suffering comes essentially from a mindset of attachment to that which was and is no more. Soul purpose finds connection to that which is aligned to the universal truth.

We are imperfect beings and a “work in progress”. A particularly deceptive part of the “wellness and positive-thinking culture” indoctrinates us into thinking that there is something wrong with us if we have moments of melancholy sadness, depression, anxiety and fear.

Suppressing negative feelings is not authentic and creates inner turmoil and stress. In extreme cases it might even lead to mental illness. The expectation of a narcissistic external world to function and perform in a certain way or to showcase “borrowed” material possessions is a major road block to elevation of consciousness.

The 13th-century Mystic Meister Eckart ruminates on the question on how God can “really destroy a man by himself?” He goes on to say that we should humble ourselves but because we are unable to do so sufficiently, God does it for us.

Elevation of consciousness

“The highest height of elevation lies in the deepest depth of humility. For the deeper and lower the ground, the higher and more immense the height and the exaltation. The deeper the well, the higher it is,” according to Eckart.

Goodness, light, compassion and love comes when the soul is closely joined to God. The greater and harder the struggle, “the greater and more praiseworthy the victory and the honor of vanquishing.”

Evil is defined commonly as the opposite of good. In the view of Mystics such as St. Augustine it is the complete absence and disconnect from inner purpose and God.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

One more thing…

If you have found this article useful please share to spread the message. I’ve also recently compiled brand new online courses that you can download onto your computer or smartphone on ways of how you can transform your life on multiple levels. Also check out the recent reviews of my book “Deep Walking for Body, Mind and Soul.

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Light from a dark age

It was a “dark age” in the western Europe of the 13th century when pandemics, population decline and economic degradation prevailed. Most people had moved into villages and towns sharing crowded rooms with family members and livestock. With little or no sanitation or semblance of hygiene the stench would have been unbearable for sensitive modern noses.

The exodus from the countryside was exacerbated by repeated crop failures caused by the Little Ice Age triggered by volcanic eruptions and changes in Arctic ice cover. With temperatures dropping for centuries this meant that the winters were particularly long and harsh.

Periods of crisis and challenging external circumstances sometimes force humanity into introspection with the dark ages having brought forth some of the greatest Mystics at the forefront of an individual inward-looking spirituality. The popes and bishops were meanwhile offering little comfort to ordinary people, preoccupied with political power struggles and worldly pleasures.

Pilgrimage walks to Santiago de Compostela

During these times pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela became popular as an inner journey of penance, spiritual rebirth and renewal. The modern-day pilgrim on the Camino is in many respects no different. Spirituality as opposed to religious doctrine is by far the primary motivation, based on my own research and conversations with hundreds of pilgrims on my more than dozen walks on pilgrimage routes in northwestern Spain.

The wise teachings of the 13th-century Dominican monk Meister Eckart (1260-1328), Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510) and Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) are timeless and more topical than ever during these pandemic times. They were the eco-warriors and holistic healers of their time, addressing issues of personal health, nutrition and the environment.

It took the disruption of a global pandemic to remind us that we can be exposed overnight to entirely new circumstances beyond our control. Life can be extremely fragile and uncertain. The mental health repercussions resulting from isolation and lockdowns are only gradually coming to the fore.

A formula for a life of bliss

The Mystics are clear on how to lead a life of bliss. Meister Eckart describes at least five stages of evolution in elevation of consciousness to the “new” man – the “birth of the son” or “birth of God” in the soul. The entire purpose of life he describes as the journey to self-realization and meaning:

  • Contemplation and meditation
  • Doing what is right and acting accordingly
  • Dedication and Love of God
  • Recognition and Differentiation
  • Alignment and surrender of ego

All these Mystics did not retreat to an isolated monastic lifestyle but were engaged in the world. Catherine of Genoa gave selfless service to the sick while at the same time serving as director and treasurer of a hospital. Hildegard of Bingen was engaged in many fields including religion, medicine, music and cosmology, At the same time she was a mentor for many famous personalities of her time.

The common thread is that we are one humanity and that a life of service and dedication for the betterment of all provides solace to inner turmoil during times of crisis.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

One more thing…

If you have found this article useful please share to spread the message. I’ve also recently compiled brand new online courses that you can download onto your computer or smartphone on ways of how you can transform your life on multiple levels. Also check out the recent reviews of my book “Deep Walking for Body, Mind and Soul.

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Surrendering to the pain of the past

It is just part of the human condition that we  have about 70,000 thoughts a day with most of those thoughts revolving around cravings such as food or on the past or future.

The melancholy sadness over that which was and is no more holds many a mind captive. If you find that you are caught in such a downward spiral it might be useful to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What other avenues did the loss open up in my life?
  • What lesson did I learn from the mistake and how can I avoid making the same mistake again?
  • I blame nobody and take full responsibility

The addiction to please

Relationships between loved ones, family members, friendships and associations are often  the biggest challenge. The fear of being thrown out of the warm cave by our tribe is deeply embedded in our genes. We will therefore bend over backwards to be seen, to be heard and to be liked.

It is the reason why we stay in toxic relationships that have long outlived their purpose. It is why love for another person is often confused with self-love, especially when we expect another human being to compensate for an inner void.

The contract between souls

The ancient mystics believe that no relationship is coincidental. The intensity of a relationship is defined by the underlying current  that brought you together. The soul contract is to be teachers for each other so that we can grow in spiritual consciousness. And, sometimes the teaching can be to set a boundary by going  into isolation from a particular person, especially if this is a family member who  inhibits your growth or prevents you  from pursuing your  full potential.

What timeline in dealing with sorrow?

One of the biggest sins is not to live the life you were meant to live in terms of your individually mapped out destiny. The invisible wall is most often the difficulty in surrendering to the pain of the past. “You need to let it go,” is a saying that often comes from friends and family who mean good. But dealing with sorrow, grief and loss has its own timeline. It is not like just turning a switch and going into “happy mode”. It is not authentic and if your pain is not transmuted it will come back to haunt you later in life.

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Remaining in faith and trust

The 13th century Mystic Meister Eckart has some wonderful words of comfort for those having difficulty in letting go of the pain of the past. “God is not a destroyer of anything good. He fulfills. God does not destroy but completes nature.” And in the same vein he recommends surrendering that pain to the “highest order and highest nurture.”

Staying in faith and trust is possibly one of the hardest trainings in patience but Meister Eckart also describes it as the highest schooling in spiritual training and elevation of consciousness.

Even the smallest of actions can be turned into spiritual training of “staying in the moment”, according to the Spanish Mystic Theresa of Avila (1515-1582). There is a story of how she once confronted a nun in her monastery complaining about having to do kitchen chores, telling her off with the words: “If you don’t see the dear God in the pan you don’t see him at all.”

It is in those “darkest night of the soul” moments where the chains of the ego are broken and space opens for change and a new beginning.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

One more thing…

If you have found this article useful please share to spread the message. I’ve also recently compiled brand new online courses that you can download onto your computer or smartphone on ways of how you can transform your life on multiple levels. Also check out the recent reviews of my book “Deep Walking for Body, Mind and Soul.

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From loneliness into solitude

We have all at some stage in our lives had to deal with loneliness or the feeling of being left alone. I’ve always had to deal with different facets of loneliness on my pilgrimage walks on the Camino. There is a subtle but important difference in feeling lonely and finding solitude.

Pablo Picasso once said that without solitude no great work of art is possible and the singer Naomi Judd describes solitude as “refreshment of the soul”. Transmuting loneliness into solitude is a deep dive into the true self.

But the feeling of an empty loneliness is pervasive in our modern society that then turns into an obsession with external and illusory gratification. This comes from the lack of solitude in a noisy world with the echo-chambers of the media world tugging at us. There is a constant drumbeat of how we are supposed to be living our lives.

Living a life of having or a life of Being?

Living a life of having instead of a life of Being is bound to disappoint. But the lie that life begins when we have that house, that car, that perfect spouse or that perfect job is robbing you of the preciousness of the present moment. Ask anyone having heard the diagnosis of a life-threatening disease, or having suffered a great loss on how priorities can change overnight.

A disconnect from the spiritual lies at the core of loneliness. There is a deeper meaning to Jesus’ teaching: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

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Self-care and self-love as the path to bliss

It is a commandment to connect the heart to the soul – in essence to connect with God. But this is only possible if you love and respect yourself. If you don’t practice self-care and self-love, you will be constantly pulled out of alignment. What you are you will attract. If you are feeling angry, frustrated and judgmental, you will attract that energy. You will especially be blaming others for your feeling of unhappiness. Current politics is a reflection of society and its its underbelly of unconscious mind that seeks to blame, vilify, distract, distort and turn the lie into truth. Unhappy people have the tendency to pull other people into their unhappiness. It is the fuel of nationalism and xenophobia. Our time is incredibly vicious with its bombardment of noise and visual sensation.

Connecting to the heart, to the innermost being of soul, is only possible during solitude. The 13th century Mystic Meister Eckart describes the process as a “detachment” from the external world and to be empty. “The detached heart does not ask for anything at all, nor has it anything at all that it would like to be rid of. Therefore it is free from all prayer and its prayer is nothing else than to be uniform with God.” He describes what the masters of Zen Buddhism call the bliss in the space of emptyness.

Befriending inner solitude

While personality and ego is still focused on the validation from the external, the soul nature finds connection to the divine during solitude. The divine is felt in nature itself, in the vibration of deeply inspirational music or in the quiet contemplation of a work of art. There is no fear of death as this is merely a pathway to another dimension. We are eternal souls currently having a human experience.

As you start befriending your inner solitude, the contrast between the chatter of external thoughts and the authenticity of the deeper self become clearer. At times you need to withdraw from the world to get a clearer picture of who you really are and for what purpose you were born.

Making room for silence

Having conducted a multitude of workshops on stress resilience and preventive health during the past decade, I am convinced that our modern lives have become so noisy and cluttered with stressful thoughts that too little room is left for silence. It is almost as if we are running away from the blessings of the spiritual.

Fyodor Dostoevsky is quoted as saying:

“A man who lies to himself, and believes his own lies becomes unable to recognize truth, either in himself or in anyone else, and he ends up losing respect for himself and for others. When he has no respect for anyone, he can no longer love, and, in order to divert himself, having no love in him, he yields to his impulses, indulges in the lowest forms of pleasure, and behaves in the end like an animal. And it all comes from lying – lying to others and to yourself.”

Recognizing the inner truth is the recognition that soul and purpose are closely intertwined. Growth of consciousness is an ongoing process of discovery, re-definition and reconfiguration. It is part of the wonder and mystery of life.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

One more thing…

If you have found this article useful please share to spread the message. I’ve also recently compiled brand new online courses that you can download onto your computer or smartphone on ways of how you can transform your life on multiple levels. I will also host from March 17th every week for eight weeks a live online event of practical Qi Gong exercises to boost flexibility and mindset.

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The happiness illusion

Our culture has been indoctrinated with the happiness illusion with the self-help industry promoting the image of the perfect human being, successful in all areas of life and beaming a happy smile on social media outlets.

The “happiness” and “positive thinking” preoccupation is one of the many fallouts of a culture addicted to the distraction of the 10,000 things and immediate external gratification. Something is “wrong” with you if you are struggling with the challenges life throws at you.

Admitting to your surroundings that you are going through a bout of sadness or even depression is frowned upon.

Life is cyclical

One of the key lessons the pandemic is teaching us is that life is cyclical. There is never only growth, happiness, prosperity and celebration. The ancient wisdom of the Five Elements emphasizes that impermanence is an essential aspect of evolutionary growth and an inherent aspect of cosmic law.

Saint John of the Cross, the great 16th century Spanish mystic, narrates in the Dark Night of the Soul, the elevation of consciousness during periods of hardship and difficulty. In the darkest of nights the soul reaches the light in the union with the Creator. The ego has been killed and in that humility of quiet emptiness a door opens.

The architects of Europe’s finest medieval cathedrals were aware of this central spiritual message. The light from the stained glass is most pronounced when the light from outside illuminates the darkness within.

The power that lies within

Nelson Mandela, during his darkest of nights in solitary confinement, repeatedly recited and found solace in the poem Invictus written in 1875 by William Ernest Henley. The poem reminds us of the great strength that lies in the unconquerable soul during challenging times. In confronting adversity we come out on the other side greater and stronger as the “captain” of the soul.

The trap of falling into resistance

The greatest obstacle in transmuting those struggles, humiliations, losses, and relationship breakdowns is by going into resistance. Typically its the response: Why me? Who can I blame? Instead you should be asking: What is the universe trying to teach me? Which new direction do I need to take? How can this experience make me a more valuable, vulnerable, humble and a wiser human being.

Often the resistance is to making the necessary changes. You might have been pursuing an image of yourself that does not align with your soul purpose but has been dictated by the ego, your parents, immediate associations or other external influences. The universe gently nudges us into the direction we need to go but with so many distractions we miss the road markers on the way.

Life is a topsy-turvy world of ups-and-downs, challenges, failures, mishaps, disappointments but also victories, joys and celebration. One of the reasons why the deep walk pilgrimage is becoming so popular is that it is such a perfect analogy of life.

The entire Camino walk of five weeks can be a hard, painful slog through mud, bad weather, painful blisters and emotional flat-on-the-ground moments. But at the end of the journey there is boundless joy in entering one of the world’s great architectural masterpieces, the Cathedral of Santiago in northwestern Spain, and celebrating the accomplishment with fellow pilgrims.

It is upon the reflection of life’s journey that we become aware that from the day we were born, life sculptures us into the human being we are destined to become. It is part of the beauty of the human condition that the struggles define and make us who we are. Living authenticity is the unconditional acceptance of the low-moments as the precondition to fully experiencing the high moment.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

One more thing…

I have a special New Year offer on my latest book “Deep Walking for Body, Mind and Soul”. If you buy my new video Deep Walking with the key lessons from the book in my store, I will send you the paperback edition of the book for FREE.

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A year to remember or forget?

Reflecting on the past year a scene that remains particularly poignant is the Saturday morning in May when children were allowed out onto the Spanish streets for the first time after six weeks during one of the strictest Corona lockdowns in Europe.

It was that dazed, wide-eyed expression in those innocent faces that more than anything was telling me that our world had changed for a long time to come. Walking outdoors was allowed but no playing with other children. Humanity had gone into hibernation, triggered by a virus that insidiously finds entry into the body when we are most vulnerable in seeking touch and intimacy with our fellow human beings.

Every crisis heralds a new beginning

But, in every crisis the seeds are sown for a new beginning. The questions that need to be asked both on an individual and collective level:

  • What can we learn from this?
  • What opportunity can grow from this?
  • What has to be accepted that cannot be changed?

One of the big lessons from the pandemic is that we need to appreciate more the many things we have simply taken for granted.

Travel to faraway countries, if at all possible, is hampered by countless restrictions, as if the virus is telling us to slow down, and stay in one place for a while, making room for introspection and appreciation of the immediate surroundings.

Lessons from nature

The quiet spaces of nature teach us to go into stillness in order to perceive the whispers from the universe. With calm breathing, the anxious heart calms to the rhythm of nature. The hunger for external gratification starts receding. With each long in-and-out breath we turn deeper inward, opening consciousness for growth.

In a world with a powerful negative drumbeat it is easy to run with the crowd. Minds are being poisoned and confused by a barrage of conspiracy theories, lies, distortions and exaggerations – nowhere more visible than in the recent U.S. presidential elections. Public discourse is being polluted by the power of algorithms on social media, amplifying toxic emotions. The more extreme a behavior the greater the attention.

Spending alone time in nature has become a welcome source of spiritual rejuvenation during these times. It is in the attuning of the senses to the ocean waves crashing to shore, in the observance of birds of prey soaring effortlessly against the backdrop of a clear blue sky, the thousands of starlings flying in intricately woven patterns that an inner stillness starts inhabiting the soul.

The ancient mystics were very much aware that happiness is a creation from within, even in times of crisis. St. Augustine (354-430 AD) wrote that amid the fragmentation and times of anxiety “the soul is weighed in the balance by what delights her.” Natural beauty draws the soul into an experience of where natural order and tranquility resides.

Reino Gevers – Author. Mentor. Speaker

One more thing…

You might want to check out my latest book “Deep Walking for Body, Mind and Soul”. It is available at all major outlets or at a discount from my my own store.  Check out all the latest five-star reviews on Goodreads.

My choice of the ten best spiritual books can be found here.

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Christmas: A message of Hope

People are crowding the streets, buying foods and other goodies at the elaborately decorated stalls of the Christmas markets. There is a hurried frenzy in the shops with choirs and musicians performing carols in the town square. That was Christmas last year and most years prior to that.

The world has gone into hibernation, I thought as I took doggy for a walk in the empty streets of my village here on the island of Mallorca where a curfew takes effect from 10 pm. Gatherings of more than six people are prohibited in a stage 4 lockdown.

Collectively humanity is going through a winter time of the soul period. But it is also in the darkest of nights that we can see best the first glimmer of light. It is a good time to reflect on the deeper meaning of Christmas that has degenerated for much of the world into a loud celebration of meaningless consumerism, family squabbles and gluttony.

The world Christmas stems from the words “Christ Mass” – the celebration of Christ at mass in the Catholic tradition. But this time of the year has for thousands of years, long before Christianity, been a day of celebration and ritual for people. In the northern hemisphere the sun moves to its lowest arc in the winter solstice on December 21st when the North Pole is tilted furthest from the sun.

Worship of the sun or the light was at the heart of many pagan religions as a reminder that all life on Earth stemmed from the sun. It was the basis of the Roman and Greek religions, Mithraism and Zoroastrianism. The early Roman Christian bishops found it therefore convenient to set December 25th as Jesus’ date of birth thus incorporating the old religions with the new.

Moving from the darkness into the light, and turning the soul outward back into the light after a period of grief and sadness is very much also the story of Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection. It gives sense to the seasonal and cyclical nature of life. With the birth of Jesus, the Christ is invited within.

In recent decades humanity has see-sawed between a mindset of rigid fundamentalism and nihilistic, non-comital consumerism that found special expression around Christmas.

The search for the Holy Grail is on a symbolic level the search for meaning and purpose, finding soul purpose and aligning with the inner Christ on a heart level. In connecting with the soul it becomes your inner friend and guiding light. That moment of connection between soul and purpose is rebirth and resurrection. The soul has turned outward into the light after a long period of inner hibernation.

Christmas is a story of hope, optimism and a new beginning as humanity moves collectively from this period of great anxiety and fear.

Pointedly a “Star of Bethlehem” constellation will be seen in the sky on Monday, 21st December. Two of the solar system’s brightest planets Jupiter and Saturn align closer together than at any time during the past 400 years. The two planets last lined up this close in the year 1623!

Among the star gazers and astrologists this unique star constellation is seen as a symbol of hope and new beginning.

Reino Gevers – Author. Mentor. Speaker

One more thing…

You might want to check out my latest book “Deep Walking for Body, Mind and Soul”. It is available at all major outlets or at a discount from my my own store.  Check out all the latest five-star reviews on Goodreads.

My choice of the ten best spiritual books can be found here.

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Are you in a spiral of negativity?

As our world rapidly changes on multiple levels the divide between those who adapt and go into elevation of consciousness and those left behind will grow.

When major shifts like the one we are going through occur, the divide between the extremes also becomes more pronounced. The one side sees opportunity for adaptation, learning, progress and awareness while the other falls ever more into the negativity spiral, and lamenting the “good times” of the past.

Falling into the negativity trap will deplete you on all levels

The emotional fallout from those in the shadow can be seen in uncontrolled anger, fear, and anxiety. Falling into the negativity trap will deplete your energy, make you grumpy and harm your immune system. During this disruptive time of distraction it is important to remain conscious and aware.

The first stage when hit by a catastrophic event out of our control like an accident, life-threatening medical diagnosis, mental breakdown, job loss or the current pandemic will be shock, fear or flight. The process of transmuting such a flat-on-the-ground moment starts with the realistic acceptance of the situation. The Mystics call it “turning the soul around into the light.”

Within suffering is the seed of transmutation

As the soul gradually moves out of the negativity spiral it becomes the greatest agent for spiritual renewal, growth and creativity.

“In the midst of conscious suffering, there is already the transmutation. The fire of suffering becomes the light of consciousness,” Eckart Tolle writes in his book “A New Earth”

In “primitive” consciousness a natural catastrophe, and all forms of suffering were seen as acts of the Gods punishing humans for their “sins.” During the bubonic plague and famines of the Middle Ages the clergy reacted by punishing with the Inquisition the “heretics” and “witches” whom they blamed for angering God with their “sins.”

Why do good people have to suffer and the evil are rewarded?

In contrast the 4th century philosopher St. Augustine answers the age-old question why “good people” so often suffer a calamity while “the wicked” seem to be rewarded for their actions. In the “City of God” he writes that though both suffer alike “the same violence of affliction proves, purges, clarifies the good, but damns, ruins, exterminates the wicked. And thus it is that in the same affliction the wicked detest God and blaspheme, while the good pray and praise.”

Though suffering may be triggered by an external event or person, we have been given by God the power of choice, according to Augustine: “In the first place, suffering is the action of another person, not of the sufferer.”

External image is a root cause of suffering

Suffering is often related to identity. This is especially the case when material possessions, job positions, political office, fame are lost or threatened or when identity fused with physical appearance fades. Tolle describes the root of insanity as the complete identification with negative thought and emotion.

A general stressed out impatience, irritability and “fed-up” attitude seems to be the predominant inner mindset of much of the world around us. Negativity and gossip becomes an addiction and the general topic of office small-talk. You are suffering and creating suffering without realizing it.

The point is however, that we don’t need to suffer to be awakened. Conscious living begins with presence of mind in building a healthy boundary to the onslaught of negativity that comes in over dosage of negative media. A healthy body getting enough sleep, nutrition and exercise is less irritable.

Much of our ego-driven society is caught in the shadow of self-aggrandizement and immediate gratification. When you are unclear and disconnected from your core values, you will always get caught up in the tentacles of the shadow. The question that needs to be asked with everything that comes your way is:

  • Is this serving my higher purpose or destiny?
  • Is this information or meeting enhancing or depleting my energy?

When you embrace yourself with loving care you are embracing the diving within you and will no longer be in need of suffering.

When you liberate yourself from the thought that external form brings happiness you can finally enjoy the continuous ebb-and flow of creation and the dance of life. Spiritual consciousness alone can bring true meaning and happiness. The more you deviate from your true purpose and inner core values the more discontent you will be.

External purpose can be infused with spiritual meaning if it is in alignment with the higher evolutionary path of the universe or God.

Reino Gevers – Author. Mentor. Speaker

One more thing…

You might want to check out my latest book “Deep Walking for Body, Mind and Soul”. It is available at all major outlets or at a discount from my my own store.  Check out all the latest five-star reviews on Goodreads.

My choice of the ten best spiritual books can be found here.

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The power within

Early in the last century the Italian town of Gubbio was terrorized by a wolf. It waited outside the city gates waiting to feast on anyone foolish enough to venture outside. Saint Francis, who had lived in the city at the time, then announced that he himself would visit the wolf in its lair to bring peace to the village.

St. Francis was followed by some townsfolk from a distance when he approached the lair. With the wolf charging at Francis he made the sign of the Cross and commanded the wolf to cease its attacks in the name of God, at which point the wolf trotted up to him docilely and lay at his feet, putting its head in his hands.

Which wolf are you feeding?

St. Francis had elicited a pledge from the wolf that he would no longer attack the villagers if they kept on feeding the hungry wolf. The deeper meaning of this story is that human nature is constantly at war between the spirit and the temptations of the flesh and the lures of toxic emotions.

Preoccupation with the “outward” as opposed to the “inward” soul calling is a constant theme in the writings of the ancient mystics and their wisdom is more topical than ever in a world where political narrative is a reflection of an ego-centered culture where image takes precedence over truth and minds are captured in an alternative reality.

The pull between the good spirit, in what the 13th century Dominican monk Meister Eckhart calls the emphasis on what is “virtuous and eternal” and the evil spirit in what is “temporal and transient” , is embedded in human nature from the time of birth.

The inward and the outward pull

Modern culture is pounding away at the human mind 24-7 with the emphasis on gratification from the external which in turn leads to a spiritual void of the internal. The Greek philosophers Cicero and Seneca speak of the “inward spirit” within which lies the “seed of God” while the outward mind is constantly challenged by the temptations of immediate gratification.

Eckhart defines “evil” as the direct opposite of the internal. While the “inward” mind is focused on following “God” or the universal truth on the path of life the “external” mind prefers to walk in front of God. It is the ego-mind at work, refusing to acknowledge failure or mistake. Its sole concern is “to gain honors, wealth and pleasure.” Eckhart calls them the wicked people who have no concern to what is good or evil. “They are devils, in fact they are the Devil himself…”

Defining evil

But what do I do when one person’s “good” is another person’s “evil.” The lines often become blurred in the public discourse. Eckhart describes evil as by nature a “withdrawal of the soul from God.” While creation is aimed at perfecting, realigning with higher common purpose, evil is seeking to destruct, divide and exclude. In its worst form it is the void where there is complete absence of God.

In times of crisis strong emotions dominate. The fear of the unknown and the sadness over that which was and is no more occupy the mind. This soon becomes the breeding ground of anger that is projected against what is perceived as “the Other” responsible for ones predicament.

This is a dangerous time where we are walking the thin line of having to choose every minute of every day which of the two wolves we are feeding.

Who is making you into the person you are?

Irrespective of your political persuasions and beliefs, your associations define who you are. These are not only your immediate friends and family but also what you are feeding your mind with on social media, radio, literature and television. You might want to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the person I’m dealing with emanate from his/her innermost Being? Is it compassion, love, empathy or hate, anger, vanity or egotistical self-interest?
  • What language is being used? There is language that will expand your heart energy and there is language that will make my body tense-up and fire-up my toxic emotions.
  • Is the person or the information elevating my consciousness or making me choose the angry wolf?

Reino Gevers – Author. Mentor. Speaker

One more thing…

You might want to check out my latest book “Deep Walking for Body, Mind and Soul”. It is available at all major outlets or at a discount from my my own store.  Check out all the latest five-star reviews on Goodreads.

My choice of the ten best spiritual books can be found here.

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The pandemic: A blessing?

For the first time in our lifetime humanity is faced on a global level by a life-threatening virus. Some people have lost loved ones or all their material resources. So how can a crisis be a blessing?

Any type of personal tragedy is always followed by a period of grief, sorrow, procrastination and despair. Ignoring or suppressing such feelings will inevitably have long-term harmful effects.

Acknowledging anxiety and fear

The first step is thus always in acknowledging such feelings of grief or sorrow as part of a process you are currently going through in dealing with a situation that was caused by external events outside your control.

The flat-on-the-ground moments or the “dark moments of the soul times” however always herald at the same time the start of a new beginning in finding meaning or purpose in any type of challenge you are dealing with.

The gratitude mantra

An excellent way of dealing with a brokenness of the soul is love and acceptance of the self. From that energy can emanate the next step in finding gratitude for even the smallest of things in your life right now.

“I am so thankful for the food in front of me at the moment right now, to all the people and other living beings who have provided their energy to give me nourishment…”

Most unhappiness is caused by thoughts

Most unhappy mood situations are caused by lack of thought control. From thoughts spring words and images that have either a positive or negative effect on your vibrational energy. Neurotically inclined people for instance disproportionately use the phrase “sick of” or “depressed”, according to research conducted by the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom.

Photo by Kunj Parekh on Unsplash

The average person has between 50,000 and 70,000 different thoughts per day, which translates to between 35 and 48 thoughts per minute. Stress and a negative mindset always starts with a thought.

Finding a quiet space for introspection

The good news is that you can radically transform you life by focusing on good thoughts. The bad news. Its easier said than done. It takes practice for instance by taking a time out every day for a quiet space – best time first thing in the morning after getting up – and the last thing you do before you close your eyes in bed.

Find a form of meditation best suited for your needs: It could be a prayer, a mantra or deep walking in nature.

Amid the constant din of negative news information on the pandemic we are finding a growing number of people appreciating the value of friendships, the physical contact in hugging, community and sharing a common predicament. So many people are telling me that they are so much enjoying going a pace slower, working from home office, or simply having time to do the things they couldn’t do in years.

Running away from fear

When we become more aware we realize that the rat-race is really a constant running away from fear. It is the fear of losing everything and becoming nothing, especially becoming nothing when we die.

The external world is focused on the illusion that happiness only comes in the accumulation of things at some time in the future. At the same time there is constant fear of losing the people around us that we love, the things that we have already go or the job we currently have.

The Mystic traditions teach about the discovery of the pure land, or the Kingdom of God, the discovery of the preciousness of the present moment, connecting to the inner self and opening the senses to the subtle whispers from the universe.

Reino Gevers – Author. Mentor. Speaker

One more thing…

You might want to check out my latest book “Deep Walking for Body, Mind and Soul”. It is available at all major outlets or at a discount from my my own store.  Check out all the latest five-star reviews on Goodreads.

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