“We may stumble and fall, but shall rise again; it should be enough if we did not run away from the battle.” — Mahatma Gandhi
Sunday marked the beginning of Holy Week.
As a child, I used to love going to church on Palm Sunday and trying to turn my palm into a crucifix or some type of animal. I also loved Holy Week because it usually meant I was out of school for Easter vacation.
These days when I go to church on Palm Sunday, though, I find myself really thinking about the significance of the day. I also find myself thinking about how fast the court of public opinion can change someone’s life, just as it did for Jesus Christ.
On Sunday, he was met with adoration. By Friday, he was dead on the cross. I mention this because if we spend our whole lives working for other people’s admiration and validation, it’s worth remembering that external validation can change on a moment’s notice.
External validation is fluid, fragile and ever-changing. What isn’t fluid, though, is one’s relationship with a higher power. That is what allowed Jesus Christ to say, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
"...The form our faith takes is less important than the love it imparts....The bedrock of spirituality is to learn about love."
--Judith Orloff, M.D. Second Sight, p. 166-167
The spiritual path is a path of love. There are many people who claim to be devoted to a spiritual path, yet love seems not to be a part of their path. What are they doing that they claim is spiritual if learning about loving themselves and others is not their highest priority?
- Some people attempt to use religion and prayer as a form of control - hoping to have control over getting what they want if they pray "right," or believe the "right" thing. Often, they are very judgmental toward others who don't believe as they do, which certainly has nothing to do with love.
- Some people use prayer and meditation as an addiction - a way to "bliss out" and avoid responsibility for their feelings.
- Some people believe that being "selfless" and just giving to others is the path of love, but without loving themselves and sharing their love from a full place within, they may have an agenda of getting others' love or approval - or getting God's love - attached to their selflessness.
- Some people get fascinated with things like learning to leave their bodies, or the power of crystals and precious stones, and forget that the important part of the spiritual path is about love.
Kennedy shares how simple yet high level coherency practices connect, infuse and ignite every cell, encoding the Continuum.Imagination blossoms in the first luminous moments of each morning. These moments are precious ,bejeweled with the mists of the "in between." We are alone and drifting into the first light still embellished with the Oneness of the night reverie. Here we bridge the worlds and have the opportunity to consciously dream, call the day into being, envisioning the beauty, depth, power, peace ,coherency, the Lifestream...saying YES! to ourselves and the world.
We create in every moment, in every cell, thought, feeling and emotion a dream or a nightmare, love or fear, coherency and resonance or incoherency. These first few moments can set the energy of our entire day. The same truth holds for the last few moments as we drift into the night.
“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” — Rumi
The other day, the priest at my church said something that caught my attention. He spoke about becoming what he called an “Ambassador of Reconciliation.”
“Are there individuals you have chosen to walk away from?” he asked. “Are there individuals you have chosen not to walk toward?”
If so, he said, then perhaps you should see yourself as an Ambassador of Reconciliation: a person who can bring reconciliation to a person or a situation that needs healing.
This got me thinking. Where can I bring healing to my life? Where can I be an Ambassador of Reconciliation? Who have I walked away from? Who have I not walked toward?
I am a big believer that we all need healing. I believe we are all walking around wounded, and that those wounds play out in all of our relationships.
Whether we care to admit it or not, sometimes we don’t even know why we are so angry, why we are so hurt, or why we have such a strong reaction to a certain person or situation in our lives.
Research has shown that meditation & prayer are proven practices to increase both physical and mental wellness and support a healthier, longer life.
Meditation and prayer are effective antidotes to stress and support your natural self-healing capabilities.
The Ego Mind Perpetuates Illness
The ego mind is determined to hang on to anger, resentment and the beliefs, ideas and stories of the past that separates us from our own hearts and the rest of the world.
These things perpetuate misery, sickness and suffering. If you truly desire happiness, success and ongoing health and vitality of your body, mind and soul it’s vital you become your own codebreaker!
That way you can break the ego mind’s hold over your life and release the code responsible for negative mind, chatter, anxiety, depression and the desire to hang on to resentment.
Can we really see our departed loved ones right in front of us? According to Dr. Raymond Moody, this is possible through mirror gazing, which he also refers to as scrying. He developed his own mirror-gazing technique, his Psychomanteum Chamber, which was inspired by the ancient techniques used 2,500 years ago at the Oracle of the Dead in Ephyra, Greece.
Over the years, I’ve heard Dr. Moody speak many times of the people who have gazed into the mirror in his Psychomanteum Chamber and subsequently had their own personal contact with their departed loved ones.
The path of awakening is not one where we are eternally feeling good. Along it, it is inevitable that we move through moments and periods of not feeling good at all. As unsettling and disconcerting as this may be ultimately, as the spiritual beings that we are, we have not come here to feel eternally good but to get eternally free.
The spiritual path is all about releasing and letting go of that which no longer serves us
Awakening is not about adding anything onto us. It is not really about learning anything new either. But it is about releasing, letting go and unlearning. Inherently, we already are all that we will ever be. We already are as awakened as we will ever be. We already are as spiritual as we will ever be. The Divine is already inherently within us, and nothing can ever be added onto it to make it more or bigger.
However as we incarnate onto this planet we learn to create stories and fantasies about reality. Some are of our own making. Some we have inherited from the world. From our parents, relatives, guardians, society, culture. These oftentimes are stories that keep us small and limited.
The ego's mantra is: I am not enough and there is not enough. And so, most of the stories we buy into, arise from that perception. It is a limited perception keeping the inherent Divine Light from shining brightly.
We try so hard to overcome separateness with others in the moment.
More intimacy. More rubbing of bodies, exchanging of ideas. But it’s always as if you are yelling out of your room and I am yelling out of mine. Even trying to get out of the room invests the room with a reality. Who am I? The room that the mind has built.
We spend so much effort to get out of something that didn’t exist until we created it. Something that is gone in a moment. We’ve all had moments when the room disappeared and we freaked out, or explained it away, or ignored it, or let it pass by.
We each come out again and again. We turn and look and realize we’re out, and panic. We run back in the room, close the door, panting heavily. Now I know where I am. I’m back home. Safe. No matter how squalid the room is, no matter how unmade the bed, no matter how many bugs are crawling around the kitchen, it’s safe.
As we approach the new moon this week it’s an auspicious time to focus on setting new intentions. Ancient farmers, who followed the cycles of the moon, traditionally planted seeds in the earth during the new moon. The lunar gravity, which is strongest at the new moon, pulls water up through the soil which helps seeds swell with moisture and aids them in bursting open to germinate new life.
For us, when the moon is at its darkest and beginning a new cycle, its energy encourages us to align ourselves with new growth as well. It’s a time to go inward and contemplate what we will manifest in our lives. While the full moon is often celebrated as a time to circle and make use of its power, it is all about release and letting go of that which no longer serves us, while the new moon helps us begin something new and invites to co-create with fresh energy.
Aptly, in the 4-card Universal reading this week, the first card is Skuld, the Norse Goddess of the Future. Her name means “she who is becoming”. She is the youngest of the three Norns, or Fates, who weave each person’s destiny into the tapestry of time. She shapes the future. She comes to show us that we have a small moment in time this week where we get a glimpse into our future, to see what is possible for us. The Universe is sending signals, signs, and omens that remind us that all things are possible. These flashes of insight can become potent moments of inspiration for us.
This two part series explores how we regularly leave our body and skim life’s surface in a mental trance, and the ways we can train our attention to come home again. We look at working with physical and emotional pain, and the gifts of love, wisdom, creativity and aliveness that arise as we learn to fully inhabit these living forms and all our senses with awareness.
Be The Energy
Trust the energy that courses
through you. Trust – then take
surrender even deeper.
Be the energy.
Don’t push anything away.
Follow each sensation back to
its source and focus your awareness
Be the ecstasy…
Be unafraid of consummate wonder.
Emerge so new, so vulnerable,
that you don’t know
who you are.
Be the energy,
be at peace.
Dare to be your own illumination,
And blaze a trail across
the clear night sky…..
At one point Maharaji said, “See everything as the Mother and you will know God.” What was he talking about? seeing your mother in everything?
We, Westerners. Have our share of relationship complexities with our mothers. With interpretations galore courtesy of Dr. Freud. The view of the mother in India is different. The country is called Mother India. A Western devotee once told Maharaji he hated his mother. And nobody understood what he was saying. The concept didn’t make it across the cultural barrier. In India the mother is so deeply respected and revered, there was no way that statement could be understood. There is an Indian saying that there may be bad children. But there are no bad mothers.
The Divine Mother, the Goddess, has many dimensions. In the broadest sense consciousness and energy. Eternal spirit and matter are male and female. Out of the One in the first glimmer of duality comes Purusha. The formless spirit. Prakriti, the cosmic energy that coalesces into form. As God and Goddess. They are Shiva. Who personifies pure absolute consciousness and the seed of procreation, and Shakti. Who manifests infinite forms.
Formal spiritual practice is the very fundament for anyone who truly desires to consciously grow and unfold. It is through this formal practice that we make ourselves increasingly open and available to catch insights as to that which is true and real. That we may release and let go of the small and limiting beliefs and perceptions that keep us from going further. That keep us at the level of consciousness that we presently are at.
However we must never forget to use the moments in between to build spiritual muscles as much as we can. It is in those moments in between the formal practice that we are really strengthening those muscles.
Like Eckhart Tolle reminds us, it is one thing to have a regular practice of formal meditation, lets say in the morning. And a totally different other to maintain that level of presence throughout the day.
In other words, formal meditation, although beautiful and powerful, is not enough. Formal praying, although powerful and magnificent, is not enough. The same with forgiveness, visioning and surrendering. But it is what we do in between those moments of formal practice that truly builds those spiritual muscles we need.
March 20th marked the Spring Equinox and the ushering in of spring in the northern hemisphere! After the quiet introspective season of winter, the earth seems to suddenly come bursting back to life. Everything feels new as the cycle begins again.
I live in a very rural area, so I have very few human neighbors, but I do have a front row seat to nature. Without looking at a calendar I can see the cycles of life right outside my window, and this week my animal neighbors were telling me that spring is here!
I’ve been watching birds calling to each other as they build their nests. I also watched a pair of coy-wolves (a coyote-wolf hybrid) roaming my property, looking for the perfect den. It makes me happy knowing that in just a few short weeks new life will be surrounding me, little eyes will be opening and seeing their world for the first time. Whether they are walking around on wobbly legs or trying their wings out, they are in a complete space of not knowing what their world will be but moving forward with curiosity anyway. It’s a great reminder for us to always look at the world with the curiosity of a child, without all the judgment of our past experiences to cloud up our vision.
If spirits can reach out to you, then it’s fair to say that you can reach out and communicate with them. Best of all, you don’t need a medium like me to do it for you nor do you need special abilities to make this type of loving connection on your own.
There are numerous ways to communicate with passed loved ones and stay in touch everyday, but you have to start with a strong mind-set and a belief that it is possible.
Your loved ones know when you’re reaching out to them. If you have this strong belief in place and are missing a particular loved one who recently passed, I’d like you to try the following 7 steps to invite them to your own private get-together:
Every day I walk two miles on a nature trail near where I live. I have come to call it my “walk with God” because in nature I often feel that deep connection with all I see. One recent afternoon, before leaving on my walk, I stepped out onto the lanai just in time to see a great blue heron standing stationary at the water’s edge right in front of me. Its body was stretched tall, its legs long, its eyes alertly focused on something nearby. Its presence was so striking that to me it felt like an extraordinary being dropped in from some other celestial realm. As it walked majestically by, that impression only intensified. “God is a blue heron,” I thought.
This week we enter a new phase of our world as the spring equinox welcomes new life in the northern hemisphere. Regardless if you are in the north or south it is a signal that the season before is dying so a new one can be born.
In the 4 card universal reading this week we have the first card symbolizing this death – the goddess Morrighan who features prominently in Celtic and Welsh mythology specifically in the sacred text of Welsh legends – The Mabinogion (I tend to mispronounce this since it makes me feel like I have a mouth of marbles, but I do know it is Mab-In-OH-Gee-On, and I am practicing, lol).
The power of gender energy isn’t exclusive. Women and men are born with, influenced by, and have access to both feminine and masculine energies. These energies are not naturally incompatible. When they are in balance, they each work together to provide strength and support. It is only when they are imbalanced that problems arise.
Currently, there is a world-wide imbalance in gender energy. The doctrine and dogma of patriarchy has dominated and largely replaced the soft curve of creative fertility with the hardness of iron crowns, sharpened swords, and the heavy weight of intolerance.
Have you ever been with someone who’s not long for this world and seen their eyes cast up as if they’re gazing at something not physically there? Have you ever noticed a dying person reaching up with their hands as if some invisible hands were reaching back out to them? Have you ever witnessed them having a conversation with someone who’s not there? When you ask who they were talking to, you might be surprised to find out they were having a conversation with someone who’s no longer living!
This phenomenon is known as deathbed visions (DBVs), which some people experience just before they pass. It’s less likely for such incidences to happen with a sudden passing, and more common with a natural death or prolonged terminal illness.
Even my mom had a DBV toward the end of her life. One day, she was sitting up in her hospital bed, quite coherent, and said quite excitedly, “Johnny! Guess who came to see me today for a visit?”
The world is made up of perceptions
It has been stated that the world is made up of perceptions. Perceptions, points of view, beliefs and opinions. In other words, we see the world as we consciously or unconsciously seek to see the world. For an individual who looks at the world as being a hostile and unfriendly place – they will come to see the world as just that. For another individual who looks for Love, joy, generosity, abundance and wholeness in the world – that is the world they will come to see. As an awakening individual we want seek to see the world through the eyes of God. We want to activate our Right seeing – which is seeing beyond circumstances, appearances and effects.
There is nothing but Divine order in all of the cosmos. This means that nothing just happens but everything happens just. Whatever it is we are seeking to find, is what we will find. Whatever it is we are looking for, we will see. Regardless of whether we are looking consciously or unconsciously.
The world is made up by our chronic perceptions, beliefs and conversations.
How does who we think we are affect what we have to give?
How does our delusion of a ‘separate self’ narrow the range of our compassion? What different understanding of our being might nourish and deepen what we have to offer one another?
All of us seem to be born into the experience of separateness. During infancy, we come to distinguish between “self” and “other.” As we develop, we devise a complex group of ideas about who we are, which is our ego. This includes our identity on a variety of planes in which we function simultaneously – as bodies, personalities, citizens, and souls. We have many roles to play in the course of a single day, each of which is functional and calls attention to itself.