You don’t need a guru, you need interconnectedness


Britani Linder, doing acro yoga at Kits beach in Vancouver. (Photo by Sandra Al-Hunaidi)

It’s not uncommon to know someone, or have a mutual friend, involved in holistic and metaphysical practices. Jazz teaches yoga, Rachel works with healing crystals, Mary does Reiki, Brixon guides meditations, Amber can align chakras and Rory is psychic. Spirituality is the umbrella. It starts as a process of healing and self-discovery.

There’s a widespread increase in interest in spirituality and an urge for internal healing and a sense of relaxation. What is often found along the way comes from Eastern beliefs and Tibetan monasteries. The purpose is for all beings to achieve the least amount of suffering. Those who follow spirituality agree that we are light and energy carried by body.

Often we lose sight of ourselves as being victims of our pain and suffering. A spiritual journey starts. As layers are shed, you experience sensations of gratitude, enlightenment, love, interconnectedness, and you surrender ego.

“I found spirituality through a calling within myself that told me there was more than meets the eye,” says Brittani Linder, 25. “An internal yearning, which did not accept the mistruths that circulate so readily in society.”

Linder is a Reiki master, yoga instructor and clairvoyant: “a person who claims to have a supernatural ability to perceive events in the future or beyond normal sensory contact,” as defined by Google.

“It is strengthened through suffering absolutely, but it’s been about an inner knowing that reaches far beyond the physicality we experience,” she says. Linder believes spirituality is found by looking inside and finding the source of divinity.

• • •

As perception begins to shift, so does the brain’s neuroplasticity. Spiritual practices such as yoga and meditation condition self-awareness, also known as mindfulness. Mindfulness is the stepping stone into metacognitive thinking skills. “We are a pattern-recognition species,” writes Stephen J.A. Ward, discussing pragmatic objectivity in “The Path to Objectivity and Beyond.”

Human conditions are changing, and the environment is responding to an awakening of a collective consciousness.

“Today, some physicists suspect that, whether or not consciousness influences quantum mechanics, it might in fact arise because of it,” says journalist Phillip Ball, in his story “The strange link between the human mind and quantum physics” on BBC. Self-aware beings are able to tap into the quantum field.

“Through codes, cognition goes beyond the information given,” Jerome Bruner explains. “[There are] coding systems that permit one to go beyond the data to new and possibly fruitful predictions.” Bruner is a psychologist who developed theories on perception and memory and has contributed to cognitive studies.

Examining evolution puts the human experience into question. “To change is to think greater than the environment,” says Dr. Joe Dispenza. Dispenza teaches people how they can rewire their brains and recondition their bodies to make lasting changes. He’s helped hundreds of people break life-destroying habits, overcome chronic health issues, and create a promising reality. Immanuel Kant, the philosopher, claims “that people can’t understand their experience unless their minds came equipped with basic general concepts such as space, time and causality.”

• • •

Shaireen Cassamali, 21, is a fourth-year kinesiology student at UBC. She asked me to read over her English paper called “Sipping on a Self-Actualization Latte.” It’s a narrative about training a co-worker at a café.

“Tiffany exits the backroom, announcing that a jug of two per cent milk that she dropped is leaking. Dark Roast Bill slides a carafe across the handoff plane to signal its emptiness, just prior to the alarm of the oven, because Chang’s double-toasted spinach feta wrap is ready. Distracted, the scalding hot water overflows the cup to enter the deep dermis of my hand, where I realize a moment of self-actualization.

“Amidst the commotion, I can still unravel my thoughts. This was an incident of utter amusement. My interaction with Ismael now gives him twice the attention, exactly what he’s wanted. Bill has a scapegoat for why he’s late for work. Jacky is panicking because he doesn’t understand how this store operates just yet. Tiffany experiences yet another mental breakdown because she is literally upset about spilt milk. Chang’s spinach feta wrap is thoroughly charred, and by the mere fact of having no wraps left, he perceives it as a personal attack by our lovely corporation.

“This café depicts the ironic and mundane world we occupy.

“We live on Earth with the belief that going to work, being served and serving others leads a life to be proud of. That the day only begins when we’ve had our first sip of coffee, and that being busy means we are productive. Basing our interactions solely on benefit or cost.

We blindly follow our Western culture.”

Cassamali closes her paper and asks, “What could the world be if we were encouraged to reach our true potential? Perhaps in this world, you would serve me my coffee, and I would serve you your spinach feta wrap.”

• • •

The Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, in his book “Interconnected,” describes how and why we are connected. He writes, “It shows us that everything that exists is a condition that affects others, and is effected in turn, in a vast and complex web of casualty. As part of that web, we ourselves are a condition that impacts those around us. That means if we change, so do others.” For the first time, some are learning through spiritual practices, and the power of thought, what it means to experience the essence of being.

Science, philosophy and history have shown the price humanity has paid for ignorance. We also recognize “humans give meaning to their lives through purposeful activity,” writes Ward. Today, undergoing a spiritual path reminds humans of their purpose: To be free from suffering, and to regulate universal harmony. But first humanity will have to face what Thagard refers to as a conceptual revolution.

Our understanding of metaphysics and what we know as modern spirituality is still virtually in infancy. Our greatest potential comes from within. Gaining intellectual awareness of our inner world gives humans the potential to live beyond the material world.

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