Water Your Roots: Walking a Spiritual Path, the third book of Ben Willemsen's Human Energy trilogy, explores the meaning of spiritual growth and the challenges and possibilities of personal development. Using anecdotes from his student groups, Ben delves into the demands of finding a teacher and becoming a student, the importance of self-acceptance, the ego system and its resistance to change, the relationship between sex, love and spirituality and much more. Appendices with detailed instructions for four meditative exercises are also included.
Unifying the themes explored in the two earlier volumes, DON'T WATER THE STICK and THE SPIRIT AND I, Ben's third book provides a solid foundation for anyone seeking direction in choosing a teaching or path of self-improvement. Read two brief excerpts below and download the INTRODUCTION.
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Chapter 3 - Learning to See
Learning to see requires a conscious, focused and quiet mind, free of expectations or wants. Many spiritual paths teach meditation as a means of achieving that goal. On this path, we use a guided visualization, or what I like to refer to as a meditative exercise. The visualization not only helps the student to focus his mind, but also facilitates his entry into a deep state of spiritual awareness, in others words, into the world of spirit or what we might term non-ordinary reality. This particular meditative exercise is described in chapter 7, "A Path of Learning: The Tree."
Chapter 7 - A Path of Learning: The Tree
A tree is an apt metaphor for the self. To be like a tree is to be grounded (consider the roots), to have a strong ego (consider the trunk), and to have an open mind that reaches out to receive knowledge and gain awareness of its environment (consider the foliage).
Spiritually, the tree is pure because the energy that gives life to the tree is pure. In essence, that same energy can be found in all living things and might be described as the purest form of love. The tree is also selfish in that it overcomes any obstacle in order to survive: it takes whatever it needs to grow and, in return, it gives life. In this sense, the tree may be said to illuminate the relationship between love and selfishness. (See Don't Water the Stick for a discussion of the virtue of selfishness versus the destructiveness of self-centredness.)
Trees are an integral part of our physical lives. They supply oxygen to our lungs and give shelter to our bodies. Moreover, the tree and, by extension, the forest, is a natural refuge for animals and humans, protecting us from the elements and other dangers.
During the tree meditation, students learn to maintain an open and quiet mind while observing their surroundings. From the spirit's interaction with the teacher, the student receives guidance, which helps her with her journey. ... At her tree, the student learns about her ego system, in particular her ego-defence and how it hampers her ability to grow. As she responds to events that unfold around her, and ponders the information given by the teacher, she has the opportunity to move forward both psychologically and spiritually.
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Read an excerpt from THE SPIRIT AND I.
Read an excerpt from DON'T WATER THE STICK.