Journeying Through – The Wizard of Oz

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You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself. – Glinda the Good Witch

“There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home”.  How many times have you heard this famous phrase from The Wizard of Oz?  A novel written by Lyman Frank Baum in the 1930’s.  I recall watching this classic movie as a young child numerous times.  It invoked such magic and mystery.  All I ever wanted was a pair of ruby shoes and to time travel!  Wouldn’t be delightful to have those shoes, and manifest anything you desire?  Maybe we could go back to the past, or see into the future?  There is distinct symbolism behind The Wizard of Oz.  The storyline and characters have a deeper spiritual connotation.  Themes of love, friendship and trust are incorporated into this tale.  I invite you to dive into the journey of Oz.

Dorothy Gayle, from Kansas is the main character of the story.  A young spirit who is drawn to adventure and mysticism.  Her life changes in an instant, during a dramatic storm.  Everything is flipped upside down, as her home is lifted by a cyclone.  Dorothy, along with her pet dog Toto arrive in a city called Oz. An enchanted place, full of illumination and wonder.  Her home lands on the Wicked Witch of the East. The protagonist, feels abandoned and reluctant to trust others in Oz.  Although the cyclone breaks Dorothy’s foundation, at this moment is when her spiritual quest begins.  While she feels alone, there are pivotal characters that guide her towards self-discovery and “home”.  

Glinda -The Good Witch 

One of the first individuals Dorothy encounters is Glinda -The Good WitchThis character represents one of Dorothy’s spirit guides or can be depicted as distant family.  Glinda, reiterates that Dorothy is always safe and guided by light.  Glinda, almost seems like a guardian angel watching over Dorothy.  The Good Witch gives Dorothy ruby slippers as a gift, to protect her from negativity.  On Dorothy’s sacred quest she also encounters the Munchkins, who represent innocence, positivity and happiness.  Glinda, reminds Dorothy to reflect inwards and pursue The Yellow Brick Road.  This will lead her to the Emerald City and eventually back home.    

The Yellow Brick Road signifies a spiritual pilgrimage.  An emphasis, on what is ahead of you.  Take time to visualize on your dreams, and the future you desire.  Pursue your path to enlightenment, however daunting it may be.  Self-discovery can be challenging at times, however you are ready.  There are critical experiences that connect everything in your life.  

The Yellow Brick road is yours to uncover and is uniquely woven.  You have the answers, and are all knowing.  Whatever path you take, you will end up exactly where you need to be.  In Buddhist teachings, the Golden path is referred to as the path to your soul.  The soul takes this journey in order to achieve enlightenment and return to the Higher Power.  Perhaps, collectively individuals like Dorothy are on this inner search to really understand themselves?

Don’t wait for the right answer and the golden path to present themselves. This is precisely why you’re stuck. Starting without seeing the end is difficult, so we often wait until we see the end, scanning relentlessly for the right way, the best way and the perfect way – Seth Godin 

Cowardly Lion 

Each character Dorothy encounters is critical in her journey.  The characters reflect emotions or parts of herself that she needs to acknowledge.  The Cowardly Lion, signifies courage – to take changes, be brave SPEAK YOUR VOICE!  We all have that lion energy within us.  Do you honour yourself & boundaries?  Take those risks and leaps of faith, you can accomplish anything you put your mind too!  It is rewarding to know you are capable of changing your life at any given moment.  Courage is something Dorothy needed while in Oz.  She had to trust in the unfamiliar,  surrender attachments and old versions of herself.  Have you ever felt this way?  In order to evolve, you may have to relinquish parts of yourself and give birth to a grander version. 

Tin Man

The Tin Man, is the sacred heart.  Are you tuning into your heart and inner wisdom?  For years we have focused on the mind which governs many of us at times.  The tendency is to get caught in ego mind, and  disregard that essential energy we hold in our heart centre.  The heart is a separate intuitive centre full of knowledge.  When you allow your heart to expand, you elevate as a human being.  That loving force is sensed by others instantly.  The Tin Man was afraid to listen to his heart.  When you are in unison with the mind and heart, harmony is created within.  Dorothy had to open herself up while being in Oz, as she did, healing began.  Do you feel like you need to connect with your heart centre?  The Tin Man is a reminder to soften, and gently allow your heart to guide the way.   

“Believe in Your Heart”  Believe in your heart that you’re meant to live a life full of passion, purpose, magic and miracles.
Roy T. Bennett 

Scarecrow 

In essence, the Wizard of Oz offers the spiritual gateway to the divine mind.  Dorothy encounters the Scarecrow at a fork in the road.  It is here, the decision to remain the same or evolve.  The scarecrow is the reminder to connect to your consciousness.  One can see how each character in the Wizard of Oz has a deeper significance.  A phrase I am reminded of is: ”your mind is a garden.  Your thoughts are the seeds.  You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds”.  Fill your mind with seeds of knowledge and it will expand like a garden.  Being positive is the first step.  However, add an emotional frequency of elevated states of such as; joy, peace, love, gratitude can truly bridge the heart/mind connection.  Dorothy had to comprehend  her higher mind, this is connected to a deeper energy.   

True courage is in facing danger when you are afraid. – Wizard of Oz 

The Wicked Witch of the West

This witch represents a part of ourselves we want to neglect.  Our shadow self and the ego.  The Wicked Witch of the West, was related to Dorothy’s inner fear and darkness.  The witch wanted revenge on Dorothy has her home landed on her sister.  The ego is a part of us, this is unquestionable.  When we understand the ego, is here to teach us we break free from fear and attachment.  Your thoughts are just thoughts, and can be changed instantly.  

Dorothy was accompanied by all characters on pathway towards the Yellow Brick Road.  In essence, she was collecting fragments of herself together to reconcile.  The heart, mind and courage are elements we need to connect to daily.  All characters assisted one another to grow in a distinctive way.  They were sharing there story and elevated one another.  However, it was Dorothy who was in search of the Golden Path.  

The path to our destination is not always a straight one. We go down the wrong road, we get lost, we turn back. Maybe it doesn’t matter which road we embark on. Maybe what matters is that we embark.”
Barbara Hall 

One can assume that The Wizard of Oz was a dream sequence.  All Dorothy had to do was click her Ruby shoes together and be home.  Perhaps, she needed to encounter all the various characters, obstacles and epiphanies in order to truly find herself?  Life is never a straight and narrow path, sometimes there will be detours and roadblocks overcome.  

The Wizard in the Emerald City was unable to assist Dorothy for a specific reason.  Dorothy’s revelation was to tune into her own heart, energy and soul in order to return home.  She didn’t have to wish upon the rainbow, the rainbow was within her.  The Golden Path was always within her reach.    

You have plenty of courage, I am sure. All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty. – The Wizard of Oz

The Pursuit of Happiness

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Still a dreamer, yet more of a realist than ever before, I knew this was my time to sail. On the horizon I saw the shining future, as before. The difference now was that I felt the wind at my back. I was ready.
Chris Gardner, The Pursuit of Happyness

In the moment of conception, we enter into this world alone unaware of what is happening around us. We are oblivious to our surroundings, and of all the newness that is about to occur. The five senses—taste, sight, touch, smell and hearing become a journey of discovery throughout the aging process as children. We are at complete peace, oneness with the experience of life.

There is such an innocence and pureness when we are young. Happiness, confidence and self-worth are etched into our core. We are fearless, speak our mind and have no concern to what others think about us. There is a sense of resilience and creativity is what makes the soul blossom. We see at a young age how children are painters, chefs, writers and teachers. As one develops from being a toddler to adolescence and finally an adult there are many twists and turns. We sometimes forget who we once were and what truly made us content.

Let us liberate ourselves from any form of control. Let us focus at the inner drum, where the rhythm aligns with that of our heart. The measure of responsibility, equals to the need for evolution. Just listen, the inner child, let it whisper in your ear.
Grigoris Deoudis

Are we born happy or do we have to work at it? Is it a conscious choice we make? These are the questions that have been pondering over the past few months. I believe happiness is an internal process and there are times we have to work towards creating it. There are numerous times when I would mask emotions of fear, anger or envy in order to keep that happy momentum. I was not being authentic whatsoever, and felt like I was avoiding parts of myself. I do believe happiness comes naturally when we are in alignment and we follow our hearts desires. When those moments happen, I bask in them and remind myself of the simple pleasures of life.

Our we a product of our environment and does epigenetics play a role in our development? I’m in no way a physician, however believe we absorb characteristics from our family relationships that determine some of our innate behaviours. Becoming an emotionally intelligent adult is clearing those blockages and experiences we endured as children. We are cleansing our spirits as we gain self awareness and personal power. We may blame our parents however there will be a time that you will see them as your teachers who gave you unconditional love. As they say the spiritual journey is coming home to yourself.

As we get older finish our education and follow a certain path, we live a certain way even though internally we have a deeper longing. We get caught up in the routine, work-life balance and forget about the importance of connecting to others. Is happiness in a job, car, relationship, or material status? Is that what makes life meaningful or is there something more?

You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.
Albert Camus

There is something more! I attended a Buddhist Monk Meditation in February and it gave me the direction I have been seeking, along with inspiration for the remainder of this article. What I learned from that significant meditation is that INNER PEACE = HAPPINESS! Meditation brings you back to your core of who you are and that stillness is the key to your happiness. I’m in the process of applying the principle of non-attachment to situations and outcomes . By just being still is the source to happiness.

Here is insight from the meditation session that has ignited clarity into my life:

We all have attachments, fears unfilled desires and this creates inner turmoil. Breathe into your discomfort and surrender. Inhale white light and exhale black particles that do not serve you

When you are wavering into anxiety or stress learn to get touch with your feelings

You have all the wisdom and knowledge within, when you meditate answers appear

Stop going outside yourself and trust your divinity

Stay close to the centre of your heart, the mind is like a diamond, nurture it, feed it and water it with love

Let go of expectations to the way you think life should be and be so engrossed in the presence

Appreciate silence, it is connected to your soul

Love and self-love is the antidote you are seeking

I leave you with the story of Gautama Buddha. He was born into a wealthy upper class family in India surrounded by prestige and influence. Buddha was inquisitive spirit and knew there was a deeper meaning to life and would ultimately forge his own path. One day, he decided to leave and became a humble man who lived the life of ascetic. As Buddha detached from everything, is when he felt truly rich. Meditation, prayer and living a simple life is what transformed his soul. Remember its your internal happiness that makes your soul light up just like the stars in the galaxy.

Is there a simple remedy for happiness? Why are we always searching? The concept of searching finally made sense – I had an epiphany! Happiness is not a destination, its a choice we make daily. It truly is the little things which add up to making us smile. Come back to your inner child, remember who you once were at that young age. Embrace that care-free, radiant soul who lived in pure joy. Make time and space for mediation, the more you practice you will settle into peace.

The greatest achievement is selflessness.
The greatest worth is self-mastery.
The greatest quality is seeking to serve others.
The greatest precept is continual awareness.
The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything.
The greatest action is not conforming with the worlds ways.
The greatest magic is transmuting the passions.
The greatest generosity is non-attachment.
The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind.
The greatest patience is humility.
The greatest effort is not concerned with results.
The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go.
The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances.

–Atisa

Goals vs. Intentions

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Every journey begins with the first step of articulating the intention, and then becoming the intention.
Bryant McGill

It’s almost the end of January; the New Year is officially here. I have been reviewing my wish list for 2017. Every year, I take out my journal and pen and get down to business. I make a list of resolutions and goals that I would like to accomplish throughout the duration of the year. We are given 365 new days, a clean slate to set things in motion and shake it up. I must admit it’s quite advantageous, and sometimes a few of the goals get crossed off, but not all of them. After attending a meditation class in December 2016, my perspective completely changed with setting goals and resolutions.

It was the end of 2016. and I finally made it to a weekly meditation session. I had not participated for a few months and realized it was time to get back into group practice. That night we were to meditate and read a Tibetan passage regarding the topic of goals vs. intentions. That evening changed my outlook on everything with regards to how I perceive goals and life.

Personally speaking, I’m an action oriented person. I write things down and like to see results instantaneously. After attending the mediation class it entirely shifted my perception. I learned something so valuable that evening and feel inspired to share.

Goals are orientated in the ego and mind, we look for rewards immediately. When things do not happen the way we like, we get discouraged to try again. When setting goals, right away it seems like we pressure ourselves into getting things done instantly and forget about the process. Honestly, goals sometimes stress me out. I’m a heart centered soul and take my time to make decisions and that goes with tasks as well. Completing tasks should be creative and fun not arduous. That goes with life in general; we need to enjoy what we do on a daily basis and build from there.

Now for intentions, they come from the heart. This was the biggest “ah-ha” moment ever. It was like the bells were ringing and time stopped, something was so clear. The Tibetan approach to living a peaceful lifestyle is to set daily intentions every morning we rise. All it takes is few minutes during your day to spark this process. Setting an intention can be done at your desk, in the car or even in the subway. What matters most is that you are doing something constructive for you. The value of intentions is that we can reflect on it throughout the day and before we shut down for the evening. Intention sets the way for growth and allows daily miracles to unfold throughout the process. There is no stress in this heart centred approach.

Intentionality fuels the master’s journey. Every master is a master of vision. —George Leonard

We have to be ready for change on the inside and in order for the transformation to occur on the outside. With setting intentions it gives us direction, ask your heart what it wants. Results may not happen in a day, week or month. Things take time and learn to trust every experience that comes your way. Life is not a race to be won, life is to be experienced. Now what your intention for today?

Everything in the universe has a purpose. Indeed, the invisible intelligence that flows through everything in a purposeful fashion is also flowing through you. –Wayne Dyer

Article of reference:

http://garywonghc.tumblr.com/post/145532783712/set-your-intention-rejoice-in-your-day-by-geshe