Viewpoint Development Process

The Path
___________________Phase One / Stage One / Day Three___________________
5 The following passage is taken from Ron Teegaurden's publication Chinese Herbal Tonics. "The search for peace of mind, wisdom and ultimate intelligence must culminate in one's own being, in one's heart. Without dealing in the realm of the Spirit (Shen) , there is no hope of truly becoming whole and healthy. It is not sufficient to view ourselves as physical or even psychological beings only. Shen is the spirit, the spark of divinity that resides within the heart of every human being. Shen is the guiding light by which all of mankind is capable of growing toward spiritual awakening and illumination. All beings possess Shen. Many minerals possess Shen in crystallized form. Mountains possess Shen, as do many aspects of nature. In particular, the animal, plants and trees are often abundant in Shen. But it is in man that Shen comes to full flame. Shen resides in the heart and manifests as love, kindness, compassion, generosity, benevolence, tolerance, forgiveness, tenderness, and the appreciation of beauty. It is the spirit of man as the divine messenger, the channel of God's will and love. Shen is the purpose of all spiritual paths. It is the Buddhist desire to end suffering and it is Christ's love. Generally, though, this light is buried in the heart of a human being, hidden behind a thick opaque layer of human emotion and misguided imagery. It is taught in Chinese philosophy that Shen naturally rules our lives, bur if we lose our balance (which we all do) then the emotions vie for dominance and Shen withdraws and becomes hidden. We develop addictions to particular egoistic attitudes and the emotions that help manifest our egoistic goals. Anger, greed, fear, worry, sorrow, frustration, uncontrolled and excessive worldly joy, the perpetual seeking of pleasure in the things of this world of relativity and illusion, are all examples of the types of emotional states that force Shen into hiding, often for the duration of one's life. The great spiritual teachings have all attempted to teach their followers how to temper these excessive desires and unbalanced emotions so that Shen can naturally regain its position as the ruler of our lives. As soon as this spark of divinity begins to shine from one's heart, a new person has evolved. This person has found the entrance to the spiritual realm. And from then on, no matter what path of life one takes, the person is on a holy path... Shen manifests only when the heart is open. Once the heart is open, Shen manifests as light which illuminates the path of a man or woman in life's journey toward the spiritual goal and along the spiritual path. All people possess Shen. For some, Shen manifests easily and early in life. Others must dig for it. In digging for Shen, one may have to uncover a few or any ugly or unpleasant experiences and thoughts. These thoughts, experiences and misconceptions provide a kind of cocoon for Shen...

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further entombing Shen.5 There are numerous steps in opening the heart and liberating Shen. thoughtfulness and generosity will soften the way that binds Shen. One must cultivate the qualities of thoughtfulness and learning how to lift the spirit of all with whom one comes in contact." . and all that it brings is essential to the growth of Shen. One who has no genuine gratitude will be ego-centered and will only harden the heart's wall. Gratitude for life itself. Kindness. Rudeness of character is a certain obstacle to Shen. The first important step is to begin working on one's character as a human being.

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