Photo by Mario Rengal

Photo by Mario Rengal

Interview: Christopher Caplan

agapelive.com

Michael Bernard Beckwith, the spiritual visionary and humanitarian, discusses perception, authentic happiness, love as a spiritual manifestation, and embracing emotional pain through the loss of his beloved mother.

Christopher Caplan: What are the things that make you feel most alive?

Michael Bernard Beckwith: Along with my spiritual practices of meditation, affirmative prayer, and visioning, what catalyzes my sense of aliveness is putting those practices into action by being of service to others, whether I’m doing it individually or through Agape’s global humanitarian programs. I’d also have to add creativity, exercise, healthy eating, and playfulness.

CC: What is it that makes you feel deeply vulnerable?

MB: Well, your question is doing a pretty good job of that! Realizing that I can’t control or change the impermanence of things in human life is daunting.  This was driven home to me last year when my beloved mother passed away two weeks after her diagnosis. Losing her so unexpectedly took me to a deep level of grief, opening me to greater compassion for all beings. We all experience the pain of loss. I also realized that living in an inner state of vulnerability is a powerful practice that opens our hearts, causing us to live in a state of gratitude for our life and life itself.

CC: What is authentic happiness to you?

MB: Happiness and joy are inner qualities that can’t be shaken by outer circumstances because they are inherent within the core Self. Naturally, when life’s lessons knock at the door of our life, happiness can be momentarily obscured. However, authentic happiness comes from being in conscious connection with our inner being rather than dependency on outer things and circumstances which are constantly in a state of flux.

CC: What is love to you?

MB: To me, authentic love is a sacred encounter we all yearn for. When we have an inner initiation into pure love, we are in contact with our true nature. Judgment of ourselves and others disappears. Compassionate, discerning wisdom then enters the equation in all of our relationships. There are so many levels of understanding and experience when it comes to this thing we call love. In our human relationships, it can be vastly complicated. Each of us has our own unique love-history, perceptions, and expectations. When it comes to love as a spiritual manifestation, it is an experience of utter surrender to that which is greater than any concept of love can define.

CC: How do you deal with emotional pain?

MB: Thirty years of spiritual practice has given me the realization that emotions are based on our perceptions, whether or not they are based on reality. When emotions arise, I don’t attempt to suppress or repress them, so that I can discern their basis or cause. Going back to my mother’s passing, there was no way I could hold back my tears or sense of grief at knowing her physical presence left the planet. Working consciously with such an in-my-face overwhelmingly painful loss, I was able to process it to the point of accepting that although my relationship with her would be different, I could still sense and celebrate that there was no separation between our spirits. Being present and open to each stage of grief eventually led to her visiting me in my dreams and a tangible sense of her presence. Human beings have a tendency to push away unwanted pain, but my experience is that when I give my consent to it, it delivers its gift and moves on.


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