This I Believe

Donna - Concho, Arizona
Entered on December 27, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

I am a doctoral-degreed counselor, a former HIV/AIDS service provider, a licensed professional and substance abuse counselor, and the founder of Divine Tools, Unlimited, now dba the Desert Monastery & Retreat Center in rural Arizona. I believe in the inherent divine nature of all beings, and that we are truly spiritual beings having a human experience, not the other way around. No matter how much evidence I have observed that seems contrary to this perspective, I continue to delight in the human-clothed soul, and in its widely-varying efforts to grasp and live out what each feels they are called to do, in whatever arena of human activity that comes over the lifetime. Ultimately, I came to this belief from an inability to see how any interpretation of our existence as random, or accidental, or of anything other than of our own (however unconscious) choosing, could be true. The various spiritual laws are just too apparent, once known: the Law of Attraction – that you draw into you life what you think about the most often and most freely; the Law of Karma – that there is no way to escape the consequences of our choices; and the fact that there is more happening around us in our human existence than can readily be seen by human eyes.

What I love doing in my life is to facilitate others to ignite that spark of interest in their divinity, their cosmic nature, so that the mundane, the visible, the material level ceases to wholly define their outlook on their life – their innate spirit can take it from there. I believe that contemplation of the inner experiences, the quiet, revolutionary events that we do not generally share openly with others, are our passports to the spiritual realities that lie within us. I believe that meditation is the way to spend time with those realities until they take on more mental substance for us.

What an amazingly different world it will be for daily living when spiritual awareness overtakes the current material obsessions we see in our social images! I yearn for this shift, and deeply expect it to occur in my lifetime, in fact I believe this is what I was born to participate in. How did I come to this sensibility? I likely would have kept my natural interest in spirituality hidden, but I was boosted into an open acknowledgement of it by a Hindu guru, or spiritual teacher, whom I was blessed to encounter in Oakland, CA, in 1993. We spent less than a hundred days together, but I am forever changed by that relationship, and I am very grateful for the deep connection as student & teacher that we shared. The days of external teachers have ended, he said, and his kind is dying out among mankind. Now is the time for us all to become our most advanced spiritual self – ‘do not shirk that responsibility!’ he was always telling us. I believe we each have a responsibility to develop our inner, spiritual self, amid all the material and dualistic contexts in which we live. Most of the effort is achieved in the turning of one’s attention, I have found; the rest is accomplished by study and time invested in silence. In today’s world, that capacity to claim silent time at a premium, and it is the price we must pay to gain our spiritual freedom, our ticket out of the rampant worldliness that surrounds us, our healing of the miseries that we experience without it.