At which altar will you place your worship?

sillouhette-of-girl-prayingWhen you hear the words of the Master Jesus, “I and the Father are One,” do you hear Jesus as the great exception or the great example?

When you hear His words “I am the way and the Truth and the Light,” is this just true about the man who spoke them, or is it also a loving reminder of your true nature, and mine and everyone we know?

I have always had a need to worship someone.  When I was a boy it was Jesus, and our father in Heaven.  Later I shifted my attention to various different Oriental gentlemen.   I have always had a need to put someone on my altar and fall to my knees in gratitude, in devotion, in surrender.

Let me tell you a lovely little story I heard many years ago.  There was a young seeker, a lover of God. His heart was innocent, full of longing to bow down and submit himself to the divine.  So he went to a teacher, who in fact was a total charlatan,  a false prophet.  This innocent young man fell at the feet of the teacher.  “I will do anything,” he said.  “Show me the way. I want to know God.”  This teacher turned and winked at his other students, as though to say “what a fool.”
“Ok,” said the teacher, “Go walk by the cliff tomorrow morning, and jump off the cliff.  Through my grace, you will fly, and you will know God.”  The young student bowed in gratitude, and left.  Everyone laughed at him behind his back as he walked off merrily to his young death.
The next day, mid morning he was back, shining like the moon.  He fell at the teachers feet.  “Thank you, thank you.  I did jump from the cliff, I did fly, and I did come to see the face of God.  I landed lightly on the rocks below, and I was carried back up to the top of the cliff without a scratch.”
The teacher was shaking with fear.  He was a fraud, and he knew it.  How had this happened?
It was not the grace of the teacher which caused this miracle, but the open and innocent heart of the young man.

Devotion purifies us, worship washes our eyes clean, surrender invites miracles.beata-beatrix-rosettiThe last years I have learned to shift the focus of my adoration from a teacher, or a deity on an altar to the one I share my life with.  Just as it was true for Jesus, I have come to learn that when I pay close attention to my wife, not by looking at her, but into her essence, I discover that Jesus’s words are also true for her.  Who she truly is and the force that creates all life are also one.

The great thing about redirecting the feelings of devotion in your heart from a deity to your partner is that it can easily become mutual.  When you worship the divine on an altar, the divine does not always worship you back.  You may occasionally suffer from unrequited love.  When you learn to see the divine dimension of the person you share a bed with, or, if you are single, the one who is on their way, that worship can be reciprocated, and amplify itself.

Chameli and I just completed a nine month process of developing our Deeper Love Retreat-at Home.  It is a 40 day course for couples and singles to discover the divine dimension of intimacy.  We will teach you the principles of how to live in this way.

Please come to the virtual launch party Thursday Feb 17th at 6pm Pacific. Virtual means on line, you can join from wherever you are.

Register Here.

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15 Responses to “At which altar will you place your worship?”

  1. Miha February 17, 2011 at 1:22 am // Reply

    I live in a country named Slovenia. I was brought up in an atheist family, where the word God is laughed at, since my grandfather was a communist soldier. So I never went to church, I never worshiped anything and neither did my parents. Well, maybe today they worship “work” and “money”.

    But, just this night I had another profound dream (I had profound life changing, divine dreams before; I even found my self in the body of Jesus a couple of times experiencing the divine potential).

    This is how it went tonight:

    All my uncles and ants where gathered in my kitchen. The ones that did go to church and still have Jesus on their home walls. I never understood why they go to church and wear crosses on their breasts, but in my dreams they actually represent an aspect of my self and that I am aware of. So when I came into the kitchen I started crying and shouting at them: “Why do You worship god? Why do you do it, none of you knows where he is or what he is, none of you acts and lives like that god says you should…!!!”. They all had their glasses on and were stunned in fear. I noticed that they are listening and looking carefully through their little glasses despite me shouting at them. Then my way changed and I gently went to each and every one of them touching them on their faces and telling them with kind words and tears in my eyes: “Don’t You know, don’t you remember, You are God. And You are God also. You are God and You are God…”. Then I woke up.

    In real life, when I talk about God, and I do that from time to time, I usually just get disappointed, since not even my dear beloved One does not understand this mystical word and only laughs at me when I say to her: “You are the Goddess, don’t you know!” And she was brought up in a christian family!

    Your help on this subject is inspiring, so thank You Arjuna!

    Cheers!

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    • Chantal February 17, 2011 at 4:20 am // Reply

      Thank you for the sharing of that incredible dream! Sometimes we can feel even more deeply in dreams than in real life and then such pearls are discovered.
      I hope you find another word for God that both people around you and yourself can really dig!
      Love, Chantal

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  2. Gertrud Horsbøl February 17, 2011 at 2:11 am // Reply

    Dear Arjuna,
    What you describe I experience in relation to my son who will be two in May and whose father I had to leave although he was the man I loved with all my heart. At times it has felt like a breakdown but deep inside of me something knows that it is really waking up to life. Devotion, worship, and surrender is the only way to truly see my child and all that he has come to tell. It is how to be the beauty he is in touch with so elegantly through every breath. Thank you for reminding us. Love, Gertrud.

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    • lavina March 24, 2013 at 10:31 pm // Reply

      Hello Gertrud

      You have been so brave to let go the father or your child. I am currently in love with someone and devote my life to him but I feel it is one sided. I have realised that I need to love myself, god and my children first. I hope you find someone you can love again and I hope I can too.

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  3. wendy February 17, 2011 at 3:16 am // Reply

    Wow, that sounds really beautiful for the two of you. It’s quite beyond what I can grok, as for me the safety in being able to love at all has come from latching on to what my teacher said, “You never need to surrender to the other person, but you can always surrender to Love itself.” That’s kept me free from even the master, who may or may not be real; and from the relationship, which may come or go or greatly disappoint us both…Stay with the love, and it is there for he and I even if we break up; mostly we become lifelong friends. This idea of worship and surrender is something entirely foreign to me, … but then, I have had no real success in loving relationships, so maybe I’m missing something. Looking forward to your teleseminar. They are always really enlivening and inspiring. Blessings.

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  4. Chantal February 17, 2011 at 4:05 am // Reply

    I share your desire for devotion and worship, Arjun. Born from a French catholic and protestant family, which fortunately didn’t force me much to go to church, I only had the example of a beautifully devout grand-ma, grand-ant, etc… that radiated and exemplified unconditional love and talked about Jesus with childlike wonder.

    While I don’t go to church and is now more attracted to non-duality philosophy after many years of Bhakti Yoga and Sufism, I was still very excited about your last bonus writing on living devotion for a day and can’t wait to do it from time to time.

    However, alas!, the couples puja bonus chapter produced great resistance in my system. There was a time, in the early 80’s where I would have gladly performed it daily. In fact, I married my first husband of 16 years, after being inspired by a discourse of my spiritual teacher to go find someone to practice that kind of divine love and surrender with. But it looks like I was only able to naturally practice it with my daughter, especially when she was a baby….

    Well, Ananda, my sweetie and second husband, is returning today to our home in Costa Rica after a 10-day absence. I may not be open to meet him with the same suggestions you wrote, but I will naturally feel like being fully present in my heart and body and filled with awe and gratitude for the gift of his love…. and we’ll see what unfolds from there….

    Thank you for the conscious and ecstatic love field you are sharing and growing with us. I am excited about listening in tonight with Ananda as well! Besos y abrazos to both of you, Chantal

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  5. Sherry Tuegel February 17, 2011 at 6:18 am // Reply

    Sounds like Tantra to me Arjuna. Since you hang with the Ken Wilber crowd I am sure you know of David Deida. He has an interesting take on all of this too. I am delighted you are venturing into this loving ecstatic area. Worshiping the Divine in all that exists; ourselves, our lover, our friends, the chair we sit on, the eterntal sky; seems a wonderful way to open the heart so more Love can pour through. Nityananda said “The heart is the hub of all sacred spaces, go there and roam.” That said, worshiping the intimate other in our lives has a profound reflection we do not get worshiping a chair. :O) What a blissful dance that is and I am delighted you and Chameli are teaching this now. Rock on!!!
    Many Blessings,
    Sherry

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  6. Mette Welhaven Næss February 17, 2011 at 9:14 am // Reply

    How can I worship the other without worshiping my self ?
    We are not two.

    with love,
    in love,
    Mette.

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  7. savannah February 17, 2011 at 9:17 am // Reply

    Yes, to me these are the most profound questions, how to bring love directly into our homes, how do we love when love sometimes does not appear to return to us in equal measure, how do we let go of our fear of rejection enough to surrender and adore? Knowing the two of you have crossed the gap inspires me to keep the faith. Thank you.

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  8. Renate February 17, 2011 at 3:25 pm // Reply

    I’ve never had this need for devotion. I have had, and still have a need or a longing to belong to or be part of. I have a deep need to honestly, openly meet and merge with god, with the goddess, with life, with love and in love with my man, my children and all of life around, but I have never had or understood the need for devotion and surender. Maybe it’s my understanding of the words and concepts that are different, I don’t know, but I know I have met this theme several times before in different spiritual circel and practices that I have been part of, and I have never understood it, this need for devotion and surrender..

    I am looking forward to the teleclass, maybe it will shed some illuminous light on it for me:-) (only problem is that is at 3 am where I am living, and it’s workday tomorrow and little children waking up at 6am.., mayba I will have to choose to see it on replay)

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  9. Morgine February 17, 2011 at 6:01 pm // Reply

    I have been communing and communicating with animals and nature for almost two decades now personally and professionally. They have shared our biggest illusion is this idea of “separation” and how interconnected every particle of creation truly is. You have taken us through exercises asking us “who is breathing us, beating our heart, seeing” and so on.

    For me, I finally heard in my daily meditations that “I” was “the ONE” I had to really put upon the Altar of my life. I was the one I had to adore, love and appreciate more fully. I had to do this as Source, God, All That Is does of itself and all its creations because we are one and the same.

    When I do this fully,then ….I truly see my partner, my beloved as the God or Goddess they truly are. I see the Divine in everyone’s eyes. All people become as One to me. I realize their beauty. I see my OWN reflection in everyone who surrounds me. While I can adore my partner and they become that vessel through which I experience myself and the Divine, I can also do that myself, with myself. The seeking ends and I begin to experience life in all its magic and fullness.

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    • Renate February 18, 2011 at 11:00 am // Reply

      Like 😀 I Feel this to be so true and important

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  10. Sue February 17, 2011 at 8:01 pm // Reply

    I have to say – I didn’t find your post controversial at all! As a matter of fact, I did have to chuckle a little at the unrequited love from the deity on the altar. Perhaps its an irreverent sense of humor, or maybe its just that I’ve always looked at deity as “friend” rather than authority.

    My only caveat is to remember to honor the Self as much and with as high a regard as any Other, significant or otherwise.

    Many, Many Blessings and much love –

    Sue

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  11. Suzona February 18, 2011 at 1:18 am // Reply

    Gee Arjuna……have you asked Jesus how he feels about you abandoning him?
    Or have you embodied him?
    Have you planned your trip in the afterlife post your mortal death as much as you plan any one of your Earth-world trips?
    Do you realize that your beloved wife does NOT
    have your back in that afterlife?
    Things to ponder…..

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