With Cindy Lindsay Rael
Sacrifice can be defined as, “to make sacred.” What a wonderful thought. To really sacrifice we must make something sacred. But how do we do this? We discuss this in this episode with practices that can make our life sacrifices sacred and return us to the sacred self within.
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I’ve been thinking lately about the meaning of sacrifice. I know a lot of divine souls have lectured on the virtues of sacrifice. I will not quote all that here. I just want today to make some simple observations about the nature of sacrifice.
The other day I was watching one of my favorite Sci-Fi shows, and the minister there defined sacrifice as: “to make sacred.” That really stuck with me. Apparently, that comes from an interpretation of the Latin root of the word. But what a wonderful thought. To really sacrifice we must make something sacred.
So often by sacrifice we mean we gave up something precious to us. It is a kind of loss we are suffering. “I sacrificed the best years of my life for…” that marriage, that job, etc.
Webster’s dictionary gives this definition of sacrifice, “The act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone.”
In that definition, it sounds to me like we are suffering our loss to try and get something. But this is dangerous. What if we do not get what we wanted: People don’t love us, or things don’t change, or others are not rendered happy or well? Then we have that response that implies our suffering “I sacrificed the best years of my life for…” fill in the blank.
That reminds me of a story Yogananda told about Mother Teresa. He said she was asked how she could feel successful about what she was doing since there were so many poor and dying and she could help only the smallest fraction.
Her reply was, “I’m not trying to be successful. I’m trying to be faithful.”
That is it. Isn’t it? Through this, she makes her sacrifice sacred. Through that nonattachment to the outcome in the world and reattachment to God, she is being faithful and creating the sacred in her acts.
Though sort of paradoxically, the greatest rewards of sacrifice may come by having this non-attachment to outcome and re-attachment to a Divine approach.
When Yogananda was asked about saints sacrificing their happiness to serve others. His answer was
You misunderstand the saints. The saints do things that may look to you like sacrificing their personal happiness. But the reason they do these selfless acts is that, in the process of serving others selflessly, they feel increasing joy. A true saint feels himself to be a channel for God, and the more he gives, the more he feels God’s love and joy flowing through him.
It seems to me this is the experience of making sacrifice sacred. Every loss, every giving, every personal denial for the positive sake of another can be ‘made sacred.’ In doing so we reap this benefit of the flow of God’s love. We are God’s love acting in the world.
So how do we do that in life?
From these quotes, we already have a good answer. First, give with non-attachment to the worldly outcome. Second, give with a pure open heart as a gift to God. Third, find and be the joy within the act of giving/ sacrifice.
All very good advice. However, mostly so far, we are referring to conscious acts of service. And of sacrificing for the happiness or well-being of others. But I also think that the kinds of sacrifices that come to us as Maya—as consequences of our incarnation-- can also be made sacred.
I will give myself as an example. As most of you know, I have had breast cancer and spent quite some time with alternative treatments shrinking the tumor, etc. Though that was successful, when it came down to it, the removal of my breast was still the wisest long-term strategy.
How do I turn sacrificing my breast to breast cancer into a sacred act?
The question was on my mind long before I watch my Sci-Fi show. But the definition of sacrifice as- to make sacred- crystalized it.
For me, any act is made sacred when it is open-heartedly surrendered to God/ Divine Mother. As the Bhagavad Gita tells us—non-attachment to worldly outcome—is required to really do this right. It also requires Mother Teresa’s doing it for faith. I had to believe that I was not sacrificing a breast to breast cancer but to God/ Divine Mother. I had to have faith that there was a divine plan running even in my breast cancer.
The divine plan, in all things that come to us in the illusion, is the facing of our karmas. So, in my view of things, I also had to do my part. I had to face those karmas. Not just surrendering the breast to the Divine Mother, but sacrificing my old notions, ways, patterns that had led to breast cancer and illness. This required a very concerted effort to root out those causes and find the karmic lessons there.
I am still on that. I admit it is not easy. Clearing our karmas means taking a tough look at ourselves and admitting our blocks, habits, and reactions that are less than God’s love. Less than our own love. And then we must clear our blocks, our habits, and habitual reactions. As hard as this is, I believe it is part of making things sacred and of realizing the sacred within us.
Each time some old reaction is released, I believe our vibration increases. Our energy is no longer siphoned off into holding and replaying that old belief or reaction to the illusion and is now free to attach to the truth of God and the truth within us.
Further, I have faith that we ARE sacred. We are the in form manifestations of sacred energy. The sacred self is the true self. As we reach for making each act and experience in our lives sacred, we find ourselves. And we become the God that is already within us. As a consequence, God’s energy flows through us, as Yogananda said.
I think we can even do this retrospectively. I think we can go back to those things we saw as the suffering sacrifices we made and make them sacred now as well. We do this the same way. But now we are re-envisioning them from this different perspective. We find in them the plan of God that was there, but we did not see the first time around. We claim that plan, with forgiveness, joy, open-heartedness, and even gratitude for that coming in our life. We have faith that we are sacred and everything and everyone around us is sacred too. From this, we commit to see such things in the future from this new sacred perspective. We put the sacred back in sacrifice and reclaim our true nature—our sacred self.
Cindy Lindsay Rael
has been an energy healer and teacher for 25 years. She has studied with Sri Kaleshwar since 2001. She is a graduate of Kaleshwar's Soul University in India and is a certified teacher of the ancient mantra and yantra systems. Prior to her work in the Vedic tradition, she studied, conducted healing, and taught in the Inca traditions of Peru. Cindy also earned a PhD. in Psychology and was a university professor and consultant.
Cindy conducts both distance and in-person healing sessions and teachings. To read more on her approach to Sai Shakti Healing see www.divinesoulhealer.com. In addition, Cindy offers Divine Baby Blessings to pregnant mothers and works with many issues of the Holy Womb (www.wombhealing.com).