This episode is part of a series of podcasts with Walker Whelan and host Bonnie Neer on ‘The Bonnie Lama Podcast Series’, which explore how to deepen your personal relationship with the Divine, and find peace in what is.
Where the east meets the west. Where the sun rises, and sets. There is a place, only your heart knows. The Bonnie Lama presents a series on your Personal Divine.
In the twelfth century, Rumi, the sufi poet wrote, Today, like every other day, we wake up, empty and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading, take down a musical instrument, let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.
Here with me today is Walker Whelan, an energetic healer and seer. Channeling the significance of devotional practice and the many ways of inviting the sacred into your daily lives.
B: So, in our current culture, devotion is not connected to that adoration, or the gratitude.
W: When you adore the divine, the diving adores you. Everything you bring forth to the divine gets magnified back to you. And that creates a dynamic magnetism. When you start to create magnetism towards relationship, and even into adoration. Adoration is the highest form of devotion.
It gets easier to be devotional the more you engage with the divine. It becomes natural, to give thanks, the more we practice. Like anything you do regularly, you get better at it. You get more in shape if you work out everyday, same with your personal practice. You get more connected, you develop that relationship.
B: So, we talked about altars. And having one in your home, channeling the divine through it, so it has a relationship with you, it has meaning.
W: The altar is like a gateway, so it’s your personal gateway. However you may set it up, it’s your direct link. And, start a prayer book. Prayer books are amazing, because you can track the progression, you can see when you pray, it’s good to put a time and a date, you can see what you pray for, is it manifesting. And if you put your prayer book on your altar, every time you access the gateway to the divine, it feeds the prayers.
So you start building those experiences, prayers, and then seeing the prayers manifest, then you become faithful and devotional. Because you know it’s really working. Then you can become more dedicated, because you know it works. And it’s natural to want to thank divine energy, say, okay divine, take care of all the details of my life. I’m really wanting to bring you in more, and experience your divine presence, please help me. When you ask for help, it’s a very vulnerable place to be. So the more you can ask for help from the divine the better actually. It’s not giving up your power, it’s empowering you to the divine.
B: Now, you went to India to learn all of this. And in India, they have a deeply devotional way of worshipping. How did that affect you in your own practice?
W: Well, everybody hits their resistance there. I hit my resistance to devotion, because they’re so devotional. I mean I thought I was devotional. But they’re devotional devotional. I mean they had us dancing, bowing, ten, twenty times a day, we were just constantly doing something devotion or ceremonial. If we’re not learning something, we’re going through a process. If you’re not ready to push through some of your personal identity wants in this life, because it’s about becoming aligned with the larger picture of what the divine wants. And when we align with that intention, the divine brings through a different future for you, for yourself. The divine wants to bring healing, divine wants to bring awareness, joy, wealth. The resistance is, “Oh I have to give up myself.” But you don’t have to give up the self, you just have to give up the perception of who you are. And you change into the divine self. That’s the only resistance, you have to give up separation.
B: Yeah. I have always had resistance to the idea of bowing and not really ever investigating what was behind some of the devotional activities I’ve seen and heard of in other cultures and other religions, and yet I have experienced this now personally to know that it is another example of surrender, and of gratitude. That it busts the paradigm, you know.
So, when you went to India, you went through this twenty times bowing a day and all of that and your mind said “Noooo!” to some of these things, when?
W: They totally exhausted us to the point where we surrender. There’s nothing else to do. There’s nothing else to do but surrender. But then by surrendering, you actually benefit the most. So getting into the practice of surrendering as a discipline, is important when you engage with your divine self. Because you need to be listening in order to hear what the divine is saying. It’s not always a straight forward, like, “you have to do this,” it’s more like you have to listen, like “What am I feeling? What is it that I think I need to do, what is it that the divine wants?” and asking questions.
B: And separating the emotion and the karma, the painful response from yourself, so that you can actually listen to that voice
W. And also the vulnerability of revealing what is true for you in the moment, I think I mentioned it before but at the core, everyone has their wounding. Somehow, at the very core we hold this wounding of we’re not wanted, that we’re ugly or we’re stupid and whatever else is there, all the different layers of what that is. To reveal that, and not resist it. So if we’re not acknowledging that, we’re resisting it. If we feel it is there, and we are denying it, then we are creating separation from ourselves. But if we acknowledge it, the divine is right there with us. So it’s a constant “revealing ourselves to the divine, acknowledging this is what I’m going through. “
B: And I suppose there is maybe a comparable to just feeling like you’re naked, even to yourself. Because I think we spend a lot of time in denial or avoidance of actually listening.
W. The great thing is, the divine is unconditionally loving us. All the time. So the minute we reveal ourselves, and are open, it’s right there.
B: Something that I think here in the United States we take for granted is the conditioning of a place. So for example, you were in India, and the spiritual energy was thick. And of course they’re all there to assist in the opening and awakening everybody who was attending the Oneness University. But there probably has been a deep conditioning of that area, and here we don’t have that concept. I think, and from what I see from your classes, and also in some of the deeksha events, is that there is that feeling of this collection of energy that is all drawn together. And I think that’s part of this devotional aspect.
W. The power of prayers, especially group prayers, is amazing.
B: I like to see it as an imaginary cathedral, or like a pop-up cathedral. All of a sudden you’ve got this great place where everybody is sort of seeing the same thing. But then even taking that and saying, within a day, can I have a popup cathedral, in the corner of my apartment, or in my car, or even the restroom. I need to be reminded because I’m feeling so alone, I can go to it. A lot of us don’t even know that it can go deeper. We are skimming a superficial experience in many ways even in our spiritual pursuits. Not knowing, that it can be so exalted.
B: If there are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground, what is yours? Will you pause to meditate? To pray? Or to clear space in your home for the divine? Our lives are so busy, there isn’t time for ourselves. But, isn’t that what the relationship with the divine is all about?
This podcast is one in a series of exploring how you can deepen your personal relationship with the divine and find peace within what is. For more information on Walker Whelan, go to www.sacredalliance.org. Or go to BayAreaOneness.com, to learn about awakening your devotional practice through Oneness University.
With gratitude, the Bonnie Lama Podcast offers thoughtful conversations and personal discoveries to those who are in search of healing.