2013: Now What?

By Jo Mooy

It’s January 2013. Millions of apocalyptic entries on Google said the world would end in December of 2012. It didn’t happen, but I never thought anything catastrophic would occur. Geological changes move at a glacial pace, and the end of the Mayan calendar wasn’t going to alter that fact. However, changes in human consciousness can come about more frequently. So hedging my bets, I prepared for whatever was going to happen.

I spent most of 2012 reviewing the teachings of the great enlightened souls I’d encountered over the past 40 years. Looking for new insights, I reread some of their most inspirational books. I took several months off for international travel. I went to the Middle East on a peace pilgrimage. There, amid centuries old hatreds between the earth’s three major religions and politics that stifle any meaningful discourse, an elderly Rabbi passionately assured me that peace would prevail on earth if there was peace in Jerusalem. I believed him. During a month-long visit to India, I was uplifted by the people and the spiritual depth of this ancient culture. Bred into the fabric of their daily lives, it flourished in their beliefs and behavior. Yet, I was stunned at the country’s gross ambivalence towards poverty, clean water, and the lack of sanitation.

After all of that, it was 10 days in solitude in the swamps of southeastern Georgia that gave me the answers I was seeking. It was the most intense retreat I’ve ever attended. The facilities were Spartan. Attendees pledged to a vow of silence, two vegetarian meals per day, not to kill any sentient being, not to steal, and promised not to leave the program before it was over. At 4 a.m. every day a gong woke us for meditation. Other than the two meal breaks and an hour for meetings with the instructor, we sat in meditation 12 hours a day. Lights were turned off at 9 p.m. On day four and day six I was ready to leave. But having surrendered all my electronics and the car keys upon arrival, not to mention the fact that I’d taken a vow, I was determined to stick it out.

This requirement is a wise move on the part of the program. Staying is the best decision. In those 10 extraordinary days I learned deep meditation techniques. I mastered the meaning of following the breath for countless hours. I grasped how talking takes one out of the inner world of contemplation. I saw how much mental and physical deprivation I could endure. I realized I could sit for hours without moving. I could even sit next to a scorpion watching it dispassionately without flinching.

Lessons from Silence

The most exceptional lesson I brought back from this retreat was an instinctual understanding that change is the nature of all existence. It is the constancy in our existence. It is inherent in our lives. It is in everything we do, and in every situation we encounter. Nothing is permanent in this universe. All things are coming into existence or going out of existence. Everything is birthing and dying, arising and falling, always changing. When that realization sunk in on day seven, it shattered my habitual ways of seeing the world.

Concepts of good and bad—who is right or wrong—disappeared.

Thoughts, whether the casual monkey-mind babble or intense creative thoughts, come and go. Beliefs and perceptions lessen their grip in the awareness that all that we view as “real” is arising and falling. The transitory nature of the situations and dramas we create in our lives could be governed with the knowing that “this too shall pass.” Applying that lesson to Israel, to India, to 2012, and now 2013 made all of those beliefs and experiences understandable and easier to deal with. It also started the next leg of the journey. Now What?

It’s a huge question post-2012. Many are asking the same thing. For me, after many years of studies, seminars and training, I ask, “Now What?” After trekking all over the world, “Now What?” After absorbing esoteric teachings from countless mystical paths, “Now What?” If everything is transient how do we live our lives? Toss it all overboard or live with conscious purpose?

The “What” turned out to be fairly easy. It’s easier to live in happiness than in sadness, and if it’s all arising and falling anyway, why not choose happiness? I heard the Dalai Lama speak about kindness a few years ago. He said, “This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is the temple. The philosophy is kindness and compassion.” He also said it’s easier to sleep with that type of inner peace. So with the Dalai Lama’s words echoing I choose to live with that purpose. To be kind and loving; to live with joy; to live with purpose; to live with conscience; and to remember, this too shall pass. And while I’m at it, continue daily meditation, do Yoga and eat more broccoli. That’s “What’s Now!”

Jo Mooy has studied with many spiritual traditions over the past 40 years. The wide diversity of this training allows her to develop spiritual seminars and retreats that explore inspirational concepts, give purpose and guidance to students, and present esoteric teachings in an understandable manner. Teaching and using Sound as a retreat healing practice, Jo was certified as a Sound Healer through Jonathan Goldman’s Sound Healing Association. She writes and publishes a monthly internationally distributed e-newsletter called Spiritual Connections and is a staff writer for Spirit of Maat magazine in Sedona. For more information go to www.starsoundings.com or email jomooy@gmail.com.

This entry was posted in Coaching. Bookmark the permalink.