Ifa - ikin

Ifá Message Of Divine Optimism, Confidence, Assurance, Inspiration And Enthusiasm

[Ifá-Orisa]: Ifá message of divine optimism, confidence, assurance, inspiration and enthusiasm. Do not despair. Never lose hope and never give up.

Aboru Aboye. Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun. Àse.

Do not think or worry about who is on your side or who is not on your side while going about your service to Olódùmarè and Ifá. With great joy, enthusiasm and expectancy just think about how and in what wonderful way the àse of Olódùmarè Enitolaaye will manifest in your life.

Give space, time and occasion for the divine guiding power to manifest. When you do all things with care, love, respect, truthfulness and honesty, Olódùmarè will take personal and direct charge of all your affairs and will cause all your doings to bring forth abundant and satisfying fruit. Do not worry yourself as to how, when and where the divine àse will manifest itself in your life.

Do not see any secondary causes in your life, just acknowledge and see Olódùmarè alone, the supreme controller, master and guide of all things. Do not consider people, places, circumstances and things as the directors and/or determiners of your life.

Above all, and behind all, see the gracious and loving hand of Olódùmarè at work in you and in your life. Olódùmarè will surely bring accomplishment, peace, satisfaction, success, health [vitality] and prosperity into your life. Your patience, effort and perseverance will surely be rewarded. Just do not give up. Get up and try again. Keep moving forward.

Just be at peace, and know with unshakeable and unwavering assurance that the divine àse will unfailingly manifest. Deepen your trust in Olódùmarè and let your actions be the expression of the flow of the gracefulness, pure energy and invigorating power of Eledumare. Do your level best in all things, be inwardly still, tranquil and at peace.

Exert yourself diligently as if all depended upon you, but know in your heart that all manifests due to àse, grace, presence and will of Olódùmarè. Do not consider your actions and endeavors as something separate from the actions and endeavors of Olódùmarè. Affirm and recognize your essential and qualitative oneness with the Source Supreme, Olorun-Alaaye. Olódùmarè’s actioning is your actioning. Your actions are Olódùmarè’s actions.

Be calm, serene and at peace with yourself. You need not know how, when, in what way and where the relief and aid will come from. Why trouble yourself with what is not necessary when you can be at peace through the power of faith, trust and confidence in the Divine leading you! Having entrusting your situation, dilemma, problem and/or concern to Olódùmarè, know that the answer and solution is swiftly on its way and will reach you at the best and most [excellent] propitious time.

You are perfection in the making. All precious, shining, resplendent and finely faceted diamonds start off as a dark pieces of charcoal, but through the divinely established process of programmed tensions, pressures and stressors it emerges a transformed, beautiful, peerless, translucent, priceless and luminous gem.

Delight in your trials, glory in your challenges and thrive in your moments of adversity because that means that at any moment the mystic, pure and holy gem within you is soon to emerge and be revealed! Your true divine identity, greatness and power is to be manifested! Do not exasperate yourself. Practice patience, gentleness and kindness towards yourself. You will surely attain [obtain] benefit and advancement beyond your personal hopes and expectations, of this there is no doubt.

Olorun Alaaye [the master of limitless, immeasurable and boundless life [vitality] is with you! Àse.

Olorun Alaaye [Enitolaaye] [the supreme absolute truth and power] is with you and within you! You will succeed! Do not give up! You will surely break through the barrier of resistance and achieve your sincere goals! You will defeat and transcend all negativity, pessimism, hindrances and obstacles! You will be made stronger by your experiences and you will unfailingly triumph! You will surely advance, triumph and succeed because your iponri and ori will not abandon you and will not allow you to give up! You will be a better, new and more advanced you! Àse.

Do not dwell on the past. Let go of the past [past mistakes, past errors, past offenses, past hurts]. Let it go and your present and future will become light, joyful, serene and new [refreshed]. Àse.

Forgive others and forgive yourself. Do not repeat what has caused you regret, sorrow and pangs of conscience in the past. You have been created for great, marvelous and wonderful purposes, so have no fear or worry. Àse.

Dignity, honor, peace and abundance are yours. Àse.

Blessings, honor, success and prosperity will follow wherever you go! Àse. Peace, joy, abundance and happiness will be your constant companions. Àse.

Make a fresh start. From this day forward do not allow any palm-oil [negativity, impurity and pessimism] stain your [spiritual] white garments. Àse.

Do not despair. Never give up and do not lose hope. Àse.

Oruko Odumare ni ka fi iyin fun. Àse.
Oruko Odumare ni ka fi iyin fun. Àse.
Oruko Odumare ni ka fi iyin fun. Àse.

May you be comforted, strengthened and empowered by these truths. Àse.

Aboru Aboye. Ogbo ato asure iworiwofun. Àse.

~ Awo Òrúnmìlà Mark Casillas /!!!\ A.O.M.C. /!!!\

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[Ifá-Orisa]: What Forgiveness IS and What Forgiveness is NOT

Don’t ruin, Destroy and Lose a Good Friendship and Relationship.

Forgiveness is the divine path to freedom, peace of mind, happiness and progress. Forgiveness blesses the forgiver and the one being forgiven. Forgiveness clears, unclogs and removes the muck of bad feelings, enmity and tension that are blocking up the channels of friendliness, love, harmony and peace.

Forgiveness frees the forgiver from feelings and thoughts of anger, irritation, revenge, hurtfulness and it removes the heavy load or burden of awkwardness and indifference. When we forgive others we release them from the heavy weight, unease and pain of a bad conscience, and we release them from the grasp of the ‘ghost’ of ill feelings and regret so that they can [with greater ease and freedom] make forward progress again.

Forgiveness establishes harmony and feelings of amity. This is what forgiveness is and what it does. Having said this let us be clear, direct, honest and realistic. The heart can forgive completely but the mind will always remember and recall the harm, deception and hurtfulness inflicted by another. Just because we have honestly and wholeheartedly forgiven someone that does not mean that trust and confidence has been restored. Just because someone has sincerely forgiven us that does not mean that trust and confidence has been restored. Trust and confidence will have to be earned again, that is if it can be restored [recovered] at all!

Just because we have forgiven someone that does not mean that we have to have anything to do with that person again. Forgiveness is about gaining and giving release from past wrongs, ill feelings, pained and agitated emotions, and offenses so that both parties can go on with their lives. Sometimes the relationship can be saved and restored and sometimes it simply cannot be even though sincere and wholehearted forgiveness has been given.

Your forgiveness to another does not mean that that person now has the right and expectation to relate to you like if nothing happened! You do not have to interact with that person at all.

Just because someone has sincerely forgiven you that does not mean that you have the right and expectation to think that that person will continue to relate and correspond with you like if nothing happened!

Forgiveness is about freeing oneself from weight and burden of past wrongs and about healing ones own heart and mind. Forgiveness is about freeing others from the weight and burden of past wrongs and about bringing healing to their hearts and minds. Only Olódùmarè and accomplished holy, mature and virtuous people can completely and deeply both forgive and forget from the heart and mind. You cannot realistically expect this high level of forgiveness from the everyday common person.

In addition for another person to be eligible to be forgiven by you they have to have a genuine change of heart and life and must ask you for your forgiveness. You cannot really forgive them without their request in the abstract, or in their absence because such a forgiveness is not entirely real or complete. Such a kind of forgiveness might give some small sentimental or mental satisfaction or relief, but it is nonsensical because it is not complete. You cannot expect others to forgive you in the abstract or in the absence of your sincere request for forgiveness.

So if you have forgiven another that does not make everything okay like if nothing happened, and you do not have to have anything to do with that person again. If someone has forgiven you that does not make everything okay and that does not mean that everything is like it was before. They no longer have to have anything to do with you.

This is what forgiveness is and what it is not.

It is better and ideal to not offend, deceive or hurt another to begin with so as to avoid the loss of trust and friendship. Do not hurt others and do not allow others to hurt you. If you offend, deceive and hurt another then be prepared to forever lose what good have been a good, lasting and meaningful friendship and relationship. Forgiveness does not guarantee that things will be or can be as they were before. Live and relate to others in such a way that you have no regrets and that you will not require the forgiveness of another.

May the blessings of Òrúnmìlà Awinrin be with all sincere readers [students] of this message. Àse.

~ Awo Òrúnmìlà Mark Casillas /!!!\ A.O.M.C. /!!!\

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Ifá Is The Path Of Simplicity, Naturalness And Ease

We all live in a difficult, challenging and complicated world. The amount of things that affect us today are bewildering. With the advent of modern technology and social media the world has become smaller and in many ways more connected but at the same time the hearts and minds of people are more far apart than ever. Today humanity lives disconnected for nature, from one another and from its own wholesome essential nature. Humanity lives alienated from itself. Superficiality, shallowness, strife and vanity are reigning unchecked in the lives of countless people. Many ask, “Why are we here?”, “What are we living for?”, “Why the increase in emotional and mental health issues today?”, “Why the disparity between what we know is the right thing to do and the actual implementation of what is right?”

Individually and collectively, directly and indirectly we have complicated our own lives. Sometimes others have complicated our lives. We have fragmentized ourselves. Ifá has the realistic, practical and satisfying answers to our questions, problems and concerns but we must personally take the time to study, reflect and discover what Ifá has to say to us. Our present age of stress, anxiety and worry is ready for and direly in need of Ifá. Ifá means that which brings coolness, freshness [revitalization] and harmony to one’s life. Ifá is that which attracts and manifested the harmonizing powers of creation which bestow freshness, vigor, stability and healing to our lives.

Nature did not create us to live lives of anxiety, worry, fear and stress. Our current manner of living and thinking are at the root of the anxiety, worry, fear and stress that we see and experience today. We have moved away from the nourishing root which gives life, health and vitality. This root is Ifá. The àse that flows from the actions of Ifá and from the practical teachings which flow from Ifá have one main purpose in our lives. That purpose is to establish us in a life of true peace, wellbeing and happiness which is characterized by simplicity, naturalness, ease and wholesomeness.

Nature is inherently bright, harmonious, healthy, vibrant, joyful and peaceful. Ifá is the wisdom and power of nature. Ifá exists to bring us into harmony with nature’s law. This state of balance, harmony and equilibrium is our true and natural state. If we take a fish out of its natural habitat which is the ocean or river and place it on land it immediately experiences pangs of distress, anxiety and unhappiness because its equilibrium, harmony and balance has been disturbed. As soon as the fish is placed back in the waters it immediately recovers it peace, balance, health and happiness. In like manner Ifáyelele is the true and natural state of humanity.  When we live disconnected from Ifá we also begin to feel the symptoms of disharmony. We also begin to experience pangs of distress, anxiety and unhappiness because our equilibrium, harmony and peace has been disturbed. Ifá exists to restore and maintain this harmony, health, wellbeing, equilibrium and happiness in our lives. Our true spiritual place of habitation is called Ifáyelele.

Ifá exists outside of us as well as within us. Nature’s law exists and operates within us, and nature’s law exists and operates outside of us. The guiding directives of nature, or the protective functions of nature are what we call orisa.  Ifá is able to bring to us balance, stability, peace, success, happiness, health and progress by revealing and explaining to us what we need to think and do so that our lives are harmonized or brought into harmony with the guiding directives of nature, or the protective functions of nature, i.e. the orisa, and in harmony with our true selves. Ifá is able to impart àse [healing, harmonizing and rectifying power] directly to our lives and Ifá is also able to give us the means to receive the àse of the orisa into our lives, situation and circumstance.  Ifá and the orisa are never out of sync with us. It is we who for various reasons can find ourselves to be out of sync with Ifá and the orisa.

When we are in harmony with Ifá [Ifáyelele] this means that we are in harmony with all the protective functions of nature and with our true selves, and therefore we enjoy, feel and experience the symptoms or fruits of that harmony. The fruits of being in harmony with Ifá are what we call authentic and naturally arising peace, happiness, contentment, health, peace, prosperity, rectitude, simplicity and empowered intelligence. When we are in harmony with Ifá we are in harmony with nature and with our true innate fundamental goodness. When we are in harmony with Ifá the negative conditions of shallowness, superficiality, anxiety, worry, melancholy, despair, disconnectedness and unhappiness flee from us. Ifá is able to repair and correct whatever it is obstructing the natural flow of our peace, happiness, fulfillment, wellbeing and prosperity.

It need not be hard or difficult to have and enjoy this harmony because this harmony is intrinsic to our being. This is why our hearts seek this harmony. When we are searching for happiness, peace and fulfillment what we are actually searching for is the peace, strength, knowledge, experience and power of our true selves i.e. Ifáyelele.

Ifá is about enjoying and celebrating life by being truly alive, radiant, bright and joyful. If we live artificial, fake, pretend and superficial lives then we will always find ourselves alienated from true peace, happiness, contentment and from ourselves. When we live disconnected from nature and nature’s law the result is a sense of hollowness, dissatisfaction, discontent, alienation, purposelessness, despair, melancholy and meaninglessness. There is no need or reason for us to live such an empty life. We are created to be vessels and embodiments of life, light, wellbeing, peace, clarity, enthusiasm, optimism and contentment. We are created to enjoy endless and ever-increasing divine delight, satisfaction, contentment and pleasure.

I want to invite you to reconsider your relationship to Ifá and your understanding of Ifá. I want to invite you to reconsider your relationship to the orisa and your understanding of the orisa. The orisa also dwell in Ifáyelele and it is to Ifáyelele that they invite us. Dive deep in your Ifá studies. Seek to acquire a direct, simple and profound spiritual comprehension of Ifá. Ifá is sweet. Ifá is beautiful. Ifá is the path of naturalness, ease, comfort and satisfaction.

In Ifáyelele we will know and discover that all the wholesome qualities and divine potencies are already ours. We need only to recognize this fact, and by recognizing this reality we will immediately experience its power, delightfulness, benefit and beauty. The natural result of such recognition is a life which expresses genuine simplicity, loving-kindness, rectitude, gratitude, inner-strength and humility. By recognizing and experiencing Ifáyelele we cease to be fragmented persons and we become whole, unified, balanced and clear-sighted.

By approaching Ifá and ordering our steps according to Ifá we refresh, increase and strengthen the àse in our lives which makes it possible for us to recognize, experience and express the essential truths of our being according to the sacred revelations and confidential teachings of Ifá.

When we are living in this joyous, supramundane, satisfying and wonderful condition we carry this state and condition of mind, attitude, spirit and living into our relationships, our friendships, our community, our homes and our places of employment thus contributing directly and indirectly to the establishment of Ifáyelele in others.

By the association of others with you and you with others Ifá will communicate to them his blessings, presence, graces, benefits and ability. When we are in harmony with Ifá, Ifá causes us to see, come in contact with and experience the seeds of goodness, beauty and truth within ourselves.

Life is hard and complicated enough as it is. Our spirituality [faith and practice] need not be hard or complicated. Remember and never forget that Ifá is the path of simplicity, naturalness and ease.

May you all be blessed, encouraged and inspired by this consideration. Àse.

WHO SHOULD YOU TRUST?

Who should you trust? Be selective in whom you confide in. Appearances can be deceiving. It is best to trust in Ifá.

If a person comes to you to reveal to you the secrets and private matters of others, you must be aware and mindful of the fact that such a person will also reveal your secrets and private matters to others.

It is better to not entrust one secrets and private matters to others, but if one feels the need to entrust and reveal ones private and confidential matters to another person, make sure that the person that you are sharing it with is a person of honor, self-discipline and good-reputation. Make sure that that person has your best interest at heart and really cares about your wellbeing, peace and happiness.

The way things are today, in my estimation, it is best to share ones inner concerns, challenges and troubles with Ifá because only Ifá can completely sympathize with us, and only Ifá can give us the counsel, impartial-practical solution, and strength that will lead us to freedom, clarity, peace and happiness. Only Ifá truly understands in complete and full detail what we are experiencing, feeling and what we are going through. Ones own Ifá is ones own best friend, confidant and helper.

Whatever we entrust to Ifá we can be absolutely sure that Ifá will keep in strict confidence. Ifá will not divulge to others what we have confided to Ifá. If you do not have a proven and trusted friend to share you heart and mind with then say nothing to no one. Speak to Ifá. Ifá will hear you, sympathize with you, and better yet Ifá will help you. There is no selfishness or calculating motive in Ifá. Ones own Ifá is ones best friend, confident and helper.

One more thing: If you are fortunate enough to be the kind of person that others open up to, please make sure that you keep in strict confidence what others in trust are sharing with you. As you act towards others so will they act towards you. Do not betray the trust that others have conferred upon you.

~ Awo Òrúnmìlà Mark Casillas

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WE ARE PERFECTLY IMPERFECT

The true meanings, esoteric truths and sublime teachings that we derive from the pastime of Obàtálá when Obàtálá unintentionally got drunk and began creating mis-shaped humans.

The reason we love and cherish Oba Òrìsà Obàtálá [Eèpàà Òrìsà, Òrìsà Eèpàà] is because he is a model of true and realistic perfection. The perfection of Obàtálá [Eèpàà Òrìsà, Òrìsà Eèpàà] is not a fantasy or fairy tale perfection where no-one ever makes any errors or mistakes. The perfection and excellence of Obàtálá is of a different order and quality. Obàtálá made some mistakes, errors and incorrect decisions in his life. This is a fact but he accepted his mistakes. Obàtálá took responsibility for them and he did not seek to excuse or justify his error. He displayed humility, true strength of character and dignity. He did not give up on himself. He did not subject himself to self-pity, complaining, blaming others and a life of indolence because he made a mistake. He learned from it, he got up and pressed forward. He took ownership of his erroneous decision and he corrected himself. He also formulated teachings and injunctions for his children and followers based on his many experiences so that we would learn from his experiences and not repeat what was not wise. Obàtálá also vowed to become the special guardian and protector of all people born with limitations and/or disabilities.

Obàtálá made some mistakes but he also made many good, wise and extraordinary decisions. Through it all Obàtálá was humble, guileless and pure. So he made a mistake. So what? If Obàtálá ibikeji Olódùmarè displayed humility, willingness to accept correction and purity of heart, then how much more so should we ordinary human beings do so. This is the meaning, value and lesson that we derive from the life and teachings of Obàtálá. These events in the lives of the irunmole-orisa must be understood and interpreted with true insight and an elevated understanding. Even the errors of the irunmole-orisa are not like our own. There is a lesson, purpose and meaning intended in all of their activities and pastimes.

Ifá teaches us that we should not dwell on the honest errors or mistakes of others. We should dwell on the positive, uplifting and sterling qualities of others. When we focus on the negative aspects of others we are pulling that person down, making them more negative, hurting them and we are staining our own heart. When we focus and zoom in on the positive qualities in others we strengthen them and we strengthen ourselves. When we focus and zoom in on the positive qualities of others we strengthen them and give life to them as well as strengthen ourselves with vital energy.

A person who only looks for the flaws and shortcomings in others is really demonstrating and reflecting only what he or she thinks and feels about himself or herself. A person who only sees the negative aspect in others while ignoring the sterling and good qualities that also are in others is only expressing how he or she sees themselves. No flaw or shortcoming is permanent. All flaws and shortcomings are temporary by nature.

Olódùmarè created us with strengths and weaknesses side-by-side so that we can exercise our wills to rise above our temporary flaws and sublimate them. Olódùmarè created us with strengths and weaknesses side-by-side so that we might learn patience, sympathetic-understanding and forgiveness. Olódùmarè created us with strengths and weaknesses side-by-side so that a space can appear within us where love, consideration and compassion can dwell.

I hope that this short consideration helps to shed some light on matters that are not as simple as they appear. I hope it helps to give one-and-all a new perspective or angle on things. My dear readers and friends let me ask you: Are your father, mother, relatives and friends perfect or flawless? Are you perfect or flawless? Do you love your parents, family and friends any less because they are not perfect or flawless? Should your parents, family and friends love you less because you are not perfect? Just because your parents are not perfect or flawless does that mean that you do not have to listen to them, respect them and consider them?

We understand and account a person to be perfect not when they no longer make mistakes but when they are mature in love, in kindness, in respect, in consideration and good-faith notwithstanding their human flaws and limitations. Our weaknesses and strengths exists so that we learn humility, gratitude and cooperation. Strength and weakness exist in us so that we can see that we have no reason to be full of ego, pride, arrogance and conceit. We cannot perfect ourselves all by ourselves. Where you are strong you help others. Where you are weak you receive the help of others. And in this way we develop, mature and grow into perfection in association and service towards one another. These are some of the divine lessons, spiritual mysteries and esoteric secrets that we learn from Obàtálá.

Eèpàà Òrìsà! Òrìsà Eèpàà!

Treat yourself and others with kindness, forgiveness, tenderness, sympathetic-understanding and compassion. Have faith in your potential and power [ability] to change and improve yourself. Have faith in the potential of others and in their power [ability] to change and improve themselves. Never give up on yourself and never lose hope for others. Never forget that you as well as others are perfectly imperfect.

~ Awo Òrúnmìlà Mark Casillas

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TWO INDISPENSABLE REALITIES [NEEDS] IN THE LIFE OF AN IFÁ-ORISA DEVOTEE

The importance of self-effort and the importance of having the guidance, blessing and support of a genuine spiritual-master. We must honor, value and support those who have upheld, taught, helped, empowered and sustained us.
[***If you take the time and make the effort to read this message that will take you 5-10 minutes to carefully and slowly consider then you will be greatly benefited and spiritually enriched. If you cannot invest 5-10 minutes of your time to take in good information that will help, encourage and benefit you, then this means that you are not a sincere and determined seeker, student and practitioner. If you cannot invest 5-10 minutes of your time to apply yourself to qualitative effort, study, reflection and practice then how do you expect to acquire, correctly-direct and retain genuine spiritual power? Who will give and entrust spiritual power, influence, responsibility and authority to a person lacking in motivation, determination and commitment? If you cannot muster the determination to read, think, study and internalize a brief 5-10 minute module of instruction then I am afraid that you will not be able to make genuine forward spiritual progress in anything that you set out to do or hope to accomplish. This lesson is for the sincere and determined who want more from their Ifá-Orisa experience and who want spiritual substance for their lives. This lesson is for those who want to rise above the nonsense and are determined to enter into what is real, satisfying and fulfilling. Those who listen to their ori and who enjoy a genuine connection with Ifá and irunmole-orisa will joyfully read, ponder, study and apply this information. Remember that a true-student will one day become a true-master with students of his or her own. If you are not a good student how then will you be able to teach others to be good students. You cannot really encourage others to become what you never were.  You can never become a true-master if you were never a true and respectful student. Spiritual rewards, powers, supramundane abilities and intuitive-perceptivity are the products of ones spiritual exertions. Exert yourself spiritually for at least 5-10 minutes and your effort will be amply rewarded.***]
[1] There are two indispensable needs in the life of a spiritual aspirant-devotee. For us to be able to realize, recognize, actualize and manifest our individual orisa nature, our divine self-nature or iponri [true-self] we need the blessings of (1) consecrated, continual, steady and progressive self-effort [self-renewing initiative] and spiritual study; and (2) we need the àse [grace, power, support and power] of our spiritual-mentor, teacher, initiator and/or guide. The àse, blessing, support and grace of our spiritual mentor will infuse us with inspiration, authority, divine understanding [direct experience], confidence and a powerful self-sustaining motivation of divine origin that will hold us up and see us through our spiritual path and journey until we arrive at fullness of achievement, deep-understanding and well-rounded [fully developed] maturity.
[2] In my previous writings I have amply highlighted the need for a devotee to be persevering, industrious, self-reliant, practical and studious in regard to Ifá-Orisa spirituality and Ifá-Orisa practice. But while we must be self-reliant we cannot be entirely independent. We need the experience, help, benefit, guidance and training that an expert and mature mentor, teacher and/or empowered [graceful, accessible and àse filled] spiritual preceptor or master can afford us. Please do not let the word spiritual master throw you off. Let me explain and/or define what is meant by a spiritual master and/or preceptor. The word master simply means an experienced, knowledgeable, empowered and graceful teacher. A spiritual master is the one who lives the truth of Ifá-Orisa and is able to communicate the confidential teachings of Ifá-Orisa together with the living presence of Ifá-Orisa to others. By spiritual we mean a person whose wisdom, àse and conduct are one inseparable and indivisible whole. What he teaches he consistently and reliably lives, demonstrates and exhibits. A spiritual master or preceptor is not the owner of your life. A spiritual master is the one who will, with your consent, dedication and commitment, train you up, build you up, encourage you and will open your eyes to the true depth, ways and mysteries of Ifá and the irunmole-orisa. In other words a true master, mentor or preceptor is simply a mature, experienced, reliable, trustworthy and highly developed practitioner and fellow companion who is much further along the path of attainment than you and who has already attained much, and thereby is able and qualified to assist you, and is able to impart his spiritual strength, virtue and power to the sincere, teachable, intelligent and receptive student.
[3] This teacher, mentor and guide may not be popular or greatly known because true and capable guides [spiritual masters] do not go about announcing themselves or publishing themselves. A genuine preceptor and master cannot be known or identified by his external attire or appearance. One has to draw near to the teacher, spend time with the teacher and serve the teacher so as to receive the grace or àse of this teacher and the blessing of discerning the great mystic virtue and treasure of knowledge and gracefulness that this teacher has. This master will be simple and unpretentious. Many rub shoulders with him or her everyday and they don’t know or see the greatness of the person that they are frequently coming in contact with. A spiritual preceptor will not ‘lord it’ over you. A spiritual preceptor does not want and will not accept your ‘worship’ but will accept your willingness to learn and apply the truth, and will also accept your respectful attitude and your diligence.
[4] A spiritual preceptor builds up his students upon and around the foundational mysteries of Ifá and not on his person or personality. A SPIRITUAL master will not ask you for money and does not make money [your money] a requisite for acceptance and training. A genuine preceptor will impart to you a living awareness of the character, personality and presence of Ifá, Òrúnmìlà and of the irunmole-orisa. A spiritual master will treat you as a friend and will not make you feel inferior to his or her person, but a spiritual master or preceptor is still a spiritual master or preceptor, and one should recognize this reality, accord him or her due reverence and act respectfully. The spiritual preceptor will reveal and make known his greatness without having and displaying arrogance and conceit to the sincere, persevering and disciplined student. The revelation of the masters greatness is not for the purpose of making himself or herself appear great to the student, to show-off or to impress the student but to establish faith, respect, confidence and trust in the student towards his or her spiritual teacher, guide and mentor, so that this serves as a spiritual bridge or channel through which spiritual energy, divine-vision [experience], knowledge and enlightenment can be successfully imparted and communicated.
[5] The function and aim of a spiritual master, mentor and teacher is to establish you in a living, indissoluble and unbreakable connection with Ifá, Òrúnmìlà and the irunmole-orisa. The spiritual master, oluwo or ojugbona will reveal to you the path that is best suited to your affinity. He will successfully guide you along the path, and he will spiritually nourish you, bringing healing [correction] to your life. You will experience, discern and see the reality of Ifá in the character, personality and ways of your spiritual master and teacher. The teacher will come alongside you in the spirit of Òrúnmìlà, to forewarn you about the pitfalls and to safeguard you from fruitless and sorrowful paths. He or she will assist you to overcome hindrances and obstacles and will impart spiritual power to you, to enable you to persevere and prevail during trying and difficult times. The grace, àse and power that the spiritual master imparts to you in no way absolves you of the need to put in your effort, your study, your practice and your toil. The grace and blessing of your preceptor will add sweetness and joy to your efforts and labors no matter how arduous or challenging they are or may seem. A genuine spiritual preceptor will continually earn your trust and confidence.  Trust and confidence are not on demand and they are not ready made. They must be consistently, perseveringly and continuously earned and merited. A ‘teacher’ who does not and cannot inspire trust, confidence, awe and respect in you should not be accepted as your spiritual preceptor or teacher. A true teacher is never fake or pretend and thereby has nothing to hide. A genuine spiritual master is afraid of nothing and no one and always enjoys the respect of his community and the full support of a pure and clean conscience. A genuine teacher is not hiding or doing things in secret. A genuine teacher and preceptor can stand up to the scrutiny of anyone because he or she is more transparent than glass and lives a clean, respectful and blameless life. A true teacher does not try to hoard his students and does not restrict his students from meeting with and learning from other legitimate spiritual preceptors, mentors and teachers. No single teacher or spiritual preceptor is a one stop center who has it all, and/or who knows it all. A true spiritual master, oluwo or ojugbona does not treat or consider his students as if they were his personal property to do as he pleases with them. A true spiritual master considers his students as the children and personal friends of Òrúnmìlà and thereby accords them the corresponding respect and relates to them with an attitude of non-attachment.
[6] The àse of your oluwo, ojugbona or spiritual master and teacher, or masters and teachers will ensure that your toil, effort, study and practice will bear abundant and satisfying fruit. There is a great power, virtue and grace that is imparted by the spiritual master to the student as a result of the student frequently associating with the teacher, learning from the teacher and patiently applying the instructions of the mentor.  Once the spiritual master enlightens you, leads you to spiritual maturity and empowers you through the face-to-face transmission [by frequent and direct personal contact, and spiritual association] then he will then remove himself and you will now be led by the grace, knowledge and àse that the teacher trained you up in. The master will entrust you to the workings of the àse, grace and power that he or she communicated to you and trained you in. You are not to be a follower and worshipper of the personality of the  master, but of the truth, science, àse and power that you were established in by the spiritual preceptor. The master loves and cares for his pupils, and just like a loving father and mother behaves towards their child, a genuine preceptor will apply corrective discipline and stern correction when necessary and if necessary so that immaturity, superficiality, foolishness and ignorance are pruned away from the student. Just like a good father or mother does not let their children do whatever their undeveloped, immature and untrained minds suggest or lead them to do, in like manner will a caring and true spiritual preceptor discipline, correct and train up his or her spiritual children. A spiritual master and preceptor may or may not outwardly be a highly educated person according to mundane standards, but they are masters in matters of the spirit, practical living and true divine gracefulness or àse. They will undoubtedly possess and have an unquestionable spiritual intelligence, truth, presence, self-authenticating authority and power. A legitimate spiritual master, mentor and guide may or may not be an intellectual person according to everyday standards, but they will have and possess divine genius and an uplifting spiritual peculiarity uniquely their own that all can personally experience, perceive and attest to, and that no one can deny.
[7] When you meet, find or discover such a spiritual teacher or master you will have a feeling or sense like if you were associating with an irunmole-orisa in person. You will feel peace, wonder and contentment simply by being with this person and spending time with him. A spiritual master imparts a special grace that causes many of the problems or doubts that one had had to simply correct themselves and/or disappear. A spiritual master reveals your true dignity, value and purpose. A spiritual master makes you dependent on Ifá and not on his person or personality. When we come in contact with a genuine teacher and mentor a renewed and elevated faith and confidence arises in us towards Ifá and the irunmole-orisa in a natural, unforced, marvelous and spontaneous way. We begin to value and appreciate ourselves in new ways and we begin to understand and appreciate the true depth, beauty, sweetness and power of Ifá. This is the kind of effect that Òrúnmìlà produced in others. Akoda and Aseda were also able to inspire, empower, heal and elevate others simply by the power of their divine presence, personality and character alone, not to mention their teachings and spiritual works. Just to behold Òrúnmìlà, all fear, worry, anxiety and doubts would melt away and disappear. This is why Òrúnmìlà is called the one who miraculously transforms our sorrow into joy. This is said of Òrúnmìlà because the worries, fears, anxiety and doubts of people would literally disappear at the sight of Òrúnmìlà or merely by them hearing about Òrúnmìlà. This grace, virtue and power is also had, enjoyed and shared by Òrúnmìlà’s true followers. This is a special boon granted by Òrúnmìlà to those who tread his path with sincerity, straightforwardness, courage and honesty.
[8] If you have a good oluwo, a good ojugbona or spiritual guide and instructor that loves you, that rightly instructs and trains you, that cares for you and who discliplines you for your own good, wellbeing and benefit, thank Olódùmarè for such a gift and treasure. If you see or notice that your teacher is in need of some basic necessity or life-essential, then help him or her to the best of your means and ability without causing injury, loss or strain to yourself. A true master will not demand or ask from you this kind of service, but if you have a human heart and your teacher and preceptor has been selflessly caring for you and helping you, then how can you withhold your relief and assistance when you discern a need in his or her life, and it is within your means to confer a good measure of aid and assistance? Do not embarrass your teacher by asking him if he needs something, when you can clearly see a need for something relating to basic necessities in his life. If you teacher is in need of food, clothing, medicine, shelter or some other basic need, and you have the means to help and contribute to his uplift, then do so without making a big deal about it. Just give what help you can in a simple, unpretentious and natural way. It could be that the teacher is just testing you. Do not underestimate the greatness, virtue and power of your spiritual master just because your teacher is humble, unassuming and perhaps because he or she jokes around with you in wholesome humor just like if he or she were just an ordinary everyday person. A true spiritual master, oluwo and ojugbona is far from being an ordinary or common person. Express gratitude, appreciation and love towards your teacher in Ifá, in Orisa and in Isese by your actions, support and reliable heartfelt appreciative words. Do not embarass your teacher. Make others to be proud of Ifá and of your teacher by your conduct, demeanor and wisdom. If you do not have a teacher or guide yet then begin to search for one under the guidance of Òrúnmìlà and the irunmole-orisa. A true teacher and guide is indispensable to a devotee, just like self-reliance, effort, dedication and practicality are indispensable to a devotee. Your ori will guide you but your ori cannot be a substitute for a spiritual teacher, and a spiritual teacher cannot be a substitute for your ori. They will work in union and harmony with each other. Remember: A legitimate teacher or preceptor is not arrogant or conceited. An arrogant and conceited ‘teacher’ has nothing to give you or offer you. A legitimate teacher will not ‘lord it’ over you. A legitimate teacher will not attempt to control your life or manage your life for you. A spiritual master is not a crutch. A spiritual master is not there to pamper you, baby you and flatter you. A spiritual master is not there to extract money or personality worship from you. Divine knowledge, practical understanding, spiritual power and true spiritual satisfaction cannot be had in isolation. It can only be had and enjoyed in the company or constant association of devoted and spiritually mature and knowledgeable persons. Any devoted, spiritually-mature, honorable, consistent, caring, intelligent, sympathetic and knowledgeable person can serve as ones spiritual master, mentor or teacher.
[9] A qualified and genuine spiritual master or preceptor does not think himself or herself as such, and they will not be posting adds online promoting themselves as such. Qualified students simply gravitate to a natural, unpretentious and sincere teacher, and this is how spiritual mentors becomes mentors and not because they are intentionally promoting themselves as mentors, spiritual preceptors or spiritual masters. One more thing: To be able to find and secure a genuine, dedicated and empowered preceptor one must as an aspirant be genuine, dedicated, wholehearted, teachable, receptive, practical and motivated. A genuine aspirant must be able and willing to call a spade a spade. A genuine seeker must have an attitude that refuses to put up with any nonsense and foolishness in himself/herself and/or others.
[10] May Ifá bless all who have taken the time and exercised the patience to carefully read, consider and think about the above teaching. May you all be benefitted, encouraged and motivated by what has been shared in sincerity, love and good-will. May these guidelines and considerations serve to adjust and correct misunderstanding and may they serve to establish correct perception and clear-seeing awareness. May these teachings sweep away superficiality, make-believe, fantasy, ignorance, stinginess, insensitivity and deception in all its forms. Àse.
~ Awo Òrúnmìlà Mark Casillas