March/April 2003 Spirituality
A Toltec Journey
by Kelsey Bunker
the time this article is being read, I will have been to the Middle
East to teach the Toltec Path. Through a long series of coincidences,
chance meetings and what can only be called destiny, I have been called
to share this point of view in the middle of the most volatile region
of the world, maybe only days before our President decides to declare
war on Iraq. There is such an unreal quality about me sitting in my
comfortable home in the middle of Portland contemplating all that I
have learned and what could possibly be relevant in a culture that I
do not even understand. And then I go to the only place that is real
to me. I go inward.
As I close my eyes and begin to journey into my inner landscape, I
look for those places in me that reflect the outside world. Where is
it that I am still in conflict? Do I have the courage to admit out loud
the violence I do to myself? Am I fully accepting of all that I am?
And as I begin to carefully examine these questions, I realize that
all of the conflict, judgment and violence are born of the attachment
to the concepts of right and wrong, good or bad. But then how do I really
know what is right or wrong?
There is a small voice inside my head that says, "Listen to me.
I am right." Such arrogance. If I persist and feel the qualities
of that little voice, I feel fear, anxiety, an unsettledness. It feels
small and constricted. Absent are the qualities that I have come to
know as my true Selfcalmness, equanimity, fullness. The voice
of my true Self has no need to convince or persuade. The Truth does
not need to be defended. The Truth just is. It certainly does not need
me in my puniness to come to its defense. As I look at the Truth and
I look at the little me, I begin to see how utterly tiny the little
me is and how incredibly vast Truth is. The closer I look, the smaller
"me" gets and the bigger Truth expands until I have shrunk
to nothing and the Truth is all that remains. The Truth is all that
remains. I am the Truth.
All of our problems, all of our conflicts begin when we believe that
there is a separate me. When we believe that we are the physical body,
we have a need to protect it, defend it, and possess it. We forget that
we are the Truth, that we are much bigger than the physical body. Every
person on the planet is a manifestation of Light and Life. Every organic
and inorganic matter is a manifestation of that which is. Nobody is
wrong. Nobody is right. Nothing is good. Nothing is bad. All just is.
If only we could remember that All just is. As a species we slip into
a coma we call reality, which is actually just a dream. We dream that
we are separate. We dream that certain beliefs are right and others
are wrong. We dream that we are mortal. We forget that we are Light,
that we are Eternal, and that we are the Truth.
The issue then becomes how we wake up. In my experience it begins by
asking questions. Who is the one making judgments? Who is deciding what
is right and wrong? Are those concepts of good and bad the Truth? What
voice am I listening to? Is my attention on the little me or is it on
my higher Self? Every person must find his own path to wakefulness.
Guidance comes when it is bidden. Questions provide the invitation for
the higher Self to respond. Stop and listen. Be wary of automatic reactions
One of the first things my teacher, don Miguel Ruiz, said to me was
dont believe him, dont believe anyone else and lastly and
most importantly dont believe myself. It has taken me years to
begin to deeply understand these simple concepts. Not believing is not
to be confused with being closed-minded. No, instead, not believing
means question everything. Examine what you do, how you think from a
place of observation. Leave out the judgment; it only serves to keep
you asleep. Slowly you will begin to see the inconsistencies of what
you thought was reality. Any belief in right and wrong leads
to separateness and separateness leads to conflict and eventually a
yearning for unity.
In the Middle East, as tensions rise, and harsh words and threats escalate,
I see this as a manifestation of our strong desire for unity. Sometimes
we push in exactly the opposite direction of that in which we wish to
go. When I arrive in the Middle East my message will be one of unity.
We are One.
Kelsey Bunker is an apprentice with don Miguel Ruiz and currently
teaches classes in the Portland area on the Four Agreements. For more
information call 503/288-4229 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.