Saturday, April 28, 2018


Experts in positive psychology and in the mechanisms of well being such as Seligman and Ryff tell us that the following factors are essential for well being,  
happiness, joy, equanimity or serenity.

Meaning or purpose in life
 Personal growth
 Positive relationships, friendships
 A connection to the environment and nature

Joy can take on many forms.

The Ancestors urge us to 
find gratitude in hidden recesses 
and this too can lead to joy since ...

Robert Evans in his research on Gratitude found interesting changes in student volunteers that were given a gratitude journal to keep along with gratitude exercises.  He noted many positive benefits in the students somewhat similar to those found from meditation, yoga or other forms of spiritual practice.

When we have gratitude we also open ourselves up to more trust and surrender. The Ancestors teach that surrender is not as is commonly believed, 
a giving up - but a giving in
 to something much bigger than ourselves. Surrender also implies being in the flow of the Life Force or Chi, connecting to the Tao,  or the Cosmic Spirit Field and the Great Spirit and relating to the Higher Self rather than the small self.


When we are in joy and have gratitude it often means we are becoming congruent with our true selves and are gaining self acceptance. Congruence occurs when our emotions and their expression match and behavior arises from the root of our being. Folks that are congruent sing their own song and march to the sound or their own inner drum. They do not do things for the approval of others. Soul, heart and intellect are congruent.
Lao Tsu said;
Care about what others think of you and you will be their prisoner.
When we have meaning in our lives, are congruent with ourselves and manage to find gratitude in hidden recesses everything changes.
David Whyte speaks to the power of using one's core strengths and being around others who value and enhance them.

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Saturday, April 21, 2018


The Ancestors

The last many blogs have been on the law of Karma. So how can we sum them all up in a few paragraphs.

Joy and happiness are determined by many factors and the underlying catalyst for joy is gratitude. In my surgical practice I frequently find patients who in spite of all the odds against them and good health, (which would be a prerequisite for me) are able to have sincere gratitude for their lot. Furthermore, this attitude is  accompanied by a joyful disposition which is astonishing. I used to say that gratitude was the ultimate form of prayer until someone corrected me by saying; "its the only form of prayer!"
Unless a request made in prayer serves the greater good it does not bring the Creator the same joy as prayers of gratitude done without any agenda. 

The Ancestors teach; 
"we will be given strength in weakness, comfort in distress..."

Gratitude and Joy occur when we have meaning in our lives which occurs when we are in line with
 Our true destiny and mission in life. 
which inevitably must have something to do with
Doing service for the planet.
By doing this with passion and for its own sake we are able to Subordinate ego to our Higher Self. 
This does not have to be our full time occupation - we can keep our day job and pay the rent. 
At the same time 
We should strive to do no harm 
& correct injustice.
to any of the Beings; Talking, Wild, Growing or Still.

When we do all of the above we are aligning our Karma with a higher vibration.
The ultimate catalyst for our karma is 
Love & understanding that 
we are all one though not the same
So although its difficult to become a perfected soul - the principles are simple. Still ... 
"Kabir says, friend there are very few who find the way."
 We are all (except the truly evil ones) heading for spiritual perfection on the long journey of Samsara, the relentless wheel of reincarnation where we keep coming back again and again until we earn a Causal vibration. The key to this is a dedicated spiritual practice along with spiritual awareness. The rules of Karma differ strikingly to the principles on which our "civilization" developed and continues to "develop."
Though difficult to carry out, adherence to them does bring true equanimity.

Dave Cumes

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The upcoming blogs will be on Gratitude

Sunday, April 15, 2018


The Ancestors

The Creator does not endorse abstention as a path to spiritual perfection. Furthermore self-flagellation or self-mutilation in any religiously inspired forms are antithetical to Self-realization which must begin with self-worth. We are made in the image of the Divine and we are not intended to beat ourselves up along the way. Scripture also teaches that 
self-condemnation is one of the biggest impediments on the path to enlightenment. 
We are here to enjoy life responsibly. A sentient body is a gift to savor -  we lose it when we leave the planet and go to the other side. The tension between enjoying the more challenging sentient pleasures such sex as love and not lust is one of our tests on the difficult road to spiritual transformation.
The Ancestors

Joy, gratitude and love are all interconnected and interdependent and gratitude is the ultimate form of prayer. Bhakti or devotional yoga embraces the joy of immersing in the mysticism of Divine love. It is expressed in the works of the Sufi poets like Rumi and Hafiz where they express their love for the Creator in words of ecstatic joy. David's psalms are similar. This religious fervor expressed as joy is affirmed by de Chardin
The Ancestors tell us that 
the route to God is through the senses 
and being able to experience the joys of creation through a sentient body. They offer sensory, "active" meditation as an alternative to the Eastern forms of passive meditation. There are eight limbs in Yoga philosophy. The Asana limb of yoga is a form of sensory, active meditation, now so popular in the West. Walking in silence on the beach when there is a gorgeous sunset is another. Africans say
we pray by singing and dancing.
and the Talmud adds that
with song one can open the gates of heaven.
We are here to enjoy life but with karmic responsibility in mind.

The Ancestors

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Dance like no-one is watching!


Sunday, April 8, 2018


The Ancestors say; "God's love is not a test and God is not a test of love."
The love of the Creator is unconditional, however, karma is built as a default into the soul and when we cross the veil between worlds at the end of any lifetime we will still be accountable but in a loving non judgmental way - pure cause and effect. We never  escape the consequences of our actions in spite of the love bestowed.
The Ancestors urge, "if the law does not obey love, do not serve the law." This does not say disobey it which would be perilous but do not serve it. What is "law" this side of the veil can be karmically hazardous on the other side.
We will not only be accountable to our destiny, healing the planet, subordinating ego and doing no harm but also to the extent we do all this with love and in joy. These two, are for many of us, the most difficult.
Rev. Nachmann taught; "love is not incidental to your spiritual path it is vital."
The Ancestors teach that "anyone who brings joy to another also brings joy to the Creator."
All the factors determining our karma are interrelated and interdependent so we should try our best; "to love like we have never been hurt and dance like no-one is looking."
 If we are serving with our true destiny we will not only experience joy but hopefully also be doing our mission with love.
Loving ourselves makes it easier to love others so that we need to practice U.S.A. (Universal Self Acceptance) or have an unconditional positive regard for not only others but also ourselves. This does not endorse enabling! We need to take responsibility for our actions, make amends quickly and then move on.

Love embraces compassion, empathy and forgiveness. Thick Nhat Hanh says we all inter are and the Ancestors confirm that we are all one, though not the same. The Southern African philosophy of Ubuntu tells us that we are only persons through other persons. 
All of this is easier said than done; unity consciousness is much more difficult than duality consciousness.
 Doing unto others as we would have them do unto us is a good start. So that ...
The Ancestors 

We are taught to do things for their own sake but in doing so our heart chakra must also be fully open.

The Ancestors 

With social media and advance technology we are in danger of becoming more and more isolated not only from each other but from the healing power of nature and the elements.

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More on Joy next week

Sunday, April 1, 2018


We usually project our own shadow onto others and then judge them so we can feel better about ourselves. Kabbalah tells us that if  we then gossip about it we kill three people (karmically) ourselves, the one we talk about (sometimes by character assassination) and the one we talk to (because it may "kill" their relationship with that person.) Moreover, if he or she spreads the gossip this compounds not only their karma but impacts the other folks they tell.
 Buddhism teaches not to talk critically about a person unless we know it to be true. However, we may not know the true nature of those conditions leading to that behavior. Native American wisdom adds that we should first "walk in that persons moccasins" before we cast judgment. However, we should also appreciate that if we have been impacted negatively by someone's behavior and  if this information will help another avoid harm, sharing it may be a necessary. This may be different to "weighing." We should nevertheless weigh the consequences before we share.
Gossip not only affects the soul but also has a negative affect on the subconscious. Matthew's quote above also speaks to this.
The Ancestors also teach that compassion and forgiveness are the antidote to judgment not only of others but also of ourselves.

We need to not judge ourselves too severely. Ancient wisdom asserts that self-condemnation is one of the biggest impediments on the enlightenment path. Neuroscience and Functional M.R.I.'s show that self-recrimination and self-deprecation can put our brain in lock down mode and cut us off from the prefrontal lobe of Spacious or Big Mind. The focus then literally becomes survival with increased activity in the brain's primitive centers. Remember that the survival response is never entirely fight or flight but can also be 
freezing and feigning death 
-- a testament to the frontal lobe especially going into lockdown.
We need to treat ourselves, and others, with an unconditional positive regard or U.S.A. - Universal Self Acceptance. Acknowledge what we have done wrong with compassion, correct it if possible and resolve not to do it again. We should hopefully expect the same of others and allow them time to do the same. 

        If we recognize the harmful effects judgment has on ourselves it may be easier to overcome this universal and tricky challenge         - so difficult for all of us.

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