It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

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Silence & Stillness – The Final Frontier

Take a moment and raise your point of view to the thought that during this pandemic, from a more ‘cosmic standpoint,’ we have actually done everything right! In fact, some would argue, it could not be any other way!

In the same way being in a boat on the surface of the ocean during a great storm, one would never be able to know the stillness that lies beneath the surface of the waves as they bounce you around demanding your full attention for fear of capsizing, for fear of dying! 

Below the waves of this pandemic that have kept our attention bouncing so completely and often in fear-based thinking; there has been taking place a great Stillness, impregnated into every nook and cranny of earth, human activity and all of life Itself!

This Stillness has been yearning to be recognized for eternity and whereas some have made the superficially perilous journey inward to this magnificent place of peace and silence: many more than not have put it off for a time when it would be ‘right’ for them to do so. 

And now, this ‘Stillness,’ this ‘Silence,’ has weaseled its way onto earth, for good. While no one was looking and everyone was busy being distracted by the pandemic, the Spirit of Love, Truth and Peace may just have settled Its way into the collective unconscious of humanity forever, awaiting Its sacred time and moment to subtly, overtly, gradually or explosively shatter the old ways of being and doing while replacing them with sustainable frequencies and forms as the foundational building blocks of the long anticipated New Earth!

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Where All Souls Meet

After being born physically, we unfold within a second womb, meant to incubate our better angel. The second womb is an experiential one that, through the labor of a lifetime, births the soul on Earth. This journey opens us to a process of transformation that is mysterious, difficult, and inevitable. This dynamic transformation is how we are revealed and shaped by experience. By living the one life we are given, we release the wisdom that waits in our heart, and that tender, human process leads us to the way under the way, the place of true meeting. When we commit to these holy engagements that join who we are with the world, we discover that the temple is the world.

Eventually, all the love, suffering, and humility we go through wear away our walls of resistance until Spirit shines from within us like an inner sun. This is how Spirit is revealed on Earth—as the coverings we carry are worn away by life, the light we carry can pour into the world.

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The Power of Radical Acceptance

A lot of us are feeling powerless right now, like everything is outside our control. We can’t control when the government decides when we can go back to work. We can’t control who gets Coronavirus. We can’t even control what’s in stock at the grocery store!

So how do we navigate a space when we feel like we have no power and can’t control life outside of us?

The key is to recognize the huge difference between surrendering and giving up

We have to surrender to what we have no power over, what we can’t control. That doesn’t mean we say, “Oh yeah, what’s happening now is totally fine.” Or that we say, “Fine, I give up.” It doesn’t mean that we’re in denial about it either, like, “Oh, everything will be back to normal by Friday.” That’s not what I’m talking about!

What I’m talking about is the need to accept what’s going on outside of us in our current and immediate environment, and recognizing that there are certain things in our life that we have absolutely no power or control over. 

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Language, Prayer, and Grace

Language is no more than the impressions
left by birds nesting in snow.

Prayer is the path opened
by a leopard leaping through the brush.

And grace is how the water parts for a fish
letting it break surface.

A Question to Walk With: Describe a recent experience you’ve had with grace and try to convey its appearance and feeling in words without using the word grace.

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Antidote To The Sweetness Of More

I was thinking that adversity is an organic phenomenon of nature that exists solely to increase our vibration. It doesn’t much matter where it appears to have come from, who or what generated it, but like a blade of grass growing up through the pavement, we push through under the pressure or the forces that may be trying to squash us but alas for them, it is only serving to increase our vibration. It is biology. It is chemistry.

When you apply mechanical pressure to a crystal, it generates an EM field. As the pressure is increased on us with our seclusion, the crystalline beings of Pure Diamond Light we are, rise in vibration to meet the Christ Light within us. Coal turns into diamonds! It’s geology. We are made of minerals and they are transforming into Crystal Light! 

If you were on your death bed, what would be important to you v.s everyday importance? Does the definition of importance change when you shift the context? What if we lived ‘death bed importance’ every day of our lives? Who would we be then and what actions would we take?  

Importance, what we value most is uniquely individual. I like to base my importance first on what is real. Some say reality doesn’t exist, that there is no reality. That reality is a useful lie we tell ourselves and one another in order to organize and get things done and that in truth, reality is subjective, a perception, a point of view.  

But for me, reality is the Infinite, is the Absolute, is the Original Creation of love by the Light that is, was and ever will be. This ‘reality’ of Oneness comes intact with certain rules, or laws that seem to govern the All Life: immutable laws of the universe.

It dawned on me early on knowing this, that I had a choice: to either do my best to study, live by/with/as those governing principles or deny them and try to negotiate with them at every turn! (Not a good strategy!)

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You Are Enough – The Possibility

Often, the precursor to spiritual awakening is some crisis, something that cuts through the thick layers of illusion of the ego.

Grace powers revelation. Grace is the sacred energy that creates expansion and the possibility of recognition of your Essential Self. There is grace in every situation. It shows up in countless forms. Whether you are standing in line at a movie theater, dealing with your crying baby, mourning the death of a loved one, or in the midst of the inevitable highs and lows of marriage or divorce, the power to reveal the Essential Self is always present.

Often, the precursor to spiritual awakening is some crisis, something that cuts through the thick layers of illusion of the ego. Someone leaves you. You contract a serious illness. You have a falling-­out with your closest friend. You deal with an addiction. You lose money.

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I Have Given Everything All the Meaning It Has for Me

I have just bought a Buddha wood carving, I’m told from a temple in Thailand. I am thrilled with the depth he brings to the room. I love the faint color of pink on him, rubbing off with years. It’s funny. When I see this picture through my mother’s eyes it looks like a beat up worn wooden board with an image, not really attractive, of someone else’s God. Like ours wasn’t good enough? “  Why on earth would you hang that in your living room?  Wouldn’t you like a landscape?” says my mother in my head.
 
I can’t help but think of A Course in Miracles quote:  “I give everything all the meaning it has for me.” My mother is right. This is old wood that would burn well in a fire.  I am right, too, the compassion and presence I feel emanating from this carving is palpable. For me, this image represents freedom and compassion in the face of all circumstances. Everything has the meaning I give it.
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The Eagle And Condor Prophecy And The Virus

The Prophecy of the Eagle and Condor probably began more than two thousand years ago. It says: “Back in the mists of history, human societies took two routes. The Eagle peoples flew the path of the mind, of science, technology, and industry. The Condor peoples flew the path of the heart, of passion, intuition, and spiritual connections with nature.” It goes on to explain that for centuries they would never meet. Then in the Fourth Pachacuti (in Quichua, the language of the Andes, a five hundred– year interval), which began in about 1500 AD on our calendar, their paths would cross; the Eagle would nearly drive the Condor into extinction. But not quite. The prophecy says that five hundred years later, at the beginning of the Fifth Pachacuti—now—the opportunity arises for the Eagle and the Condor to fly together, to mate, and to produce a new offspring, higher consciousness

History confirms the first prophecy. Columbus, 1492. The Eagle swept into Condor territory and almost wiped out the Indigenous peoples. But not quite. 

Now, five hundred years later the prophecy is being fulfilled again. The Eagle and Condor are coming together to create higher consciousness. It is happening! Indigenous teachers have invited us to learn their ways. There is a deep interest in traditional nature-based wisdom and shamanism among industrialized people around the world.

– Touching the Jaguar, John Perkins, p.99
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Living Peace, Allowing Grief

Yesterday just before sunrise I was overwhelmed by feelings of sadness, grief, and mourning. Tears streamed down my face. The unfathomable loss of life around the world from the coronavirus hit me like an avalanche. The number of cases is continuing to rise here in Florida and throughout the U.S. My thoughts turned to Boston friends who had died of cancer in the last year and the trip home to Massachusetts in May that Anne and I had to cancel. My own and the world’s sorrow and pain rushed through my body in waves as I wept. Gradually, after a time, it subsided, tear by tear, and I sat quietly in the half-darkness, breathing in the silence. The sky began to lighten. Then, as if in answer to my heart’s call for comfort, a mockingbird began to sing its morning song, a medley of every possible birdcall it had ever heard. My heart lifted, as it always does when I hear a mockingbird.
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From an adrenaline-based system to a heart-based system: Anchoring the Deep Heart

As I now awake to the melodious sound of happy birds instead of rushing people, to the Earth taking a deep breath, the Sun rising up on a new changing planet, I am in gratitude. We have all known that the pace and the impact of humanity without connection consciousness, without care to all beings or one another had to cease somehow. Little did we envision it would come in the form of a tiny particle. Yes there is tremendous hardship and for that my heart goes out. As we deepen together and awaken to the always connected universe, we are transitioning in force and unprecedented collective from normal to natural, from adrenaline-based stress-based living to a true sense of the underlying connection, love and universality based in the heart, our portal of oneness, of love at its highest singularity. We have the opportunity now more than ever to step out of normal which was devastating the planet into a more natural connected, radically inclusive, resonant relationship with our world, all of Creation and the Cosmos.

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Sheltering In Love (Part 1)

During this time of pandemic, we need, more than ever, to feel our connectedness—true belonging with our own being, each other and all life.

These talks explore the bodhisattva path – practices of an awakening being dedicated to living from love. The invitation is to let this season of close-in and global suffering deepen our collective commitment to creating a more compassionate world.

Listen to the final meditation in the talk: Meditation: Embracing Life with an Open Heart (11:54 min.)

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Only a Silent Mind Can Be a Healing Mind

Crises call for action, and the COVID-19 crisis has triggered global action, much of it motivated by alarm, fear, and the dread of uncertainty. But what about the individual person who feels afraid and uncertain? I’d like to propose an answer based on the silent mind. I realize that this approach might sound a bit alien and “spiritual” in the wrong way, but building castles in the air or retreating into yourself isn’t what silent mind is about.

Silent mind is about reconnecting to your source. Everyone relies on the top layer of the mind, which is active, constantly thinking and feeling. But when these feelings get fixated on anxiety, alarm, dread, and uncertainty, the active mind cannot pull itself out of its own spiral. Mental activity becomes useless to heal itself, just as a runaway car cannot apply its own brakes.

What is needed is a reset. The reset isn’t just mental. Your thoughts are received by every cell in your body, and in turn all kinds of processes are affected—the immune response, hormonal cycles, sleep, and overall mind-body balance, or homeostasis. If the active mind becomes confused and chaotic, balance is disrupted everywhere. What to do? 

Centuries ago, in every culture, a deeper level of mind was discovered, and the usual expression surrounding this level, which is silent, calm, and undisturbed, became religious, as in the Old Testament injunction, “Be still and know that I am God.” If we replace God with “your source,” the message comes through to modern ears: Be still and know that I am your source. The most direct result of heeding this message would be to meditate, because meditation gives direct access to silent mind.

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Breakfast with a Bent Fork (and Other Musings from a Silent Retreat)

Gently and quietly, I place my plate, silverware, and mug on the table. Lowering myself into the chair, I settle my feet on the floor and lift my gaze out the window. There is a man outside, holding a mug in his right hand. I chuckle inside my head, “That man is outstanding in his field!”

The man I am seeing is the same one who has his meditation seat right in front of me in the meditation hall. This guy is nice looking and sturdy; he is wearing the kind of pants made for outdoor activities. They are stone colored, Columbia brand, the kind where you can zip off the legs if you want to wade into a stream. His fleece jacket is a medium blue color, not navy, maybe royal blue. He has a Nordic style beanie covering his head. The grasses he is standing in are tall, about knee high, beige and wispy. It’s windy, so the grasses are swaying around his legs.

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A Love Letter from the Divine…

A Love Letter from the Divine….

I want you to know that I love you very much.  It doesn’t matter to me if you eat fudge ice cream in your vintage underwear in the middle of the night.  And I think you’re precious, not following through on your Gratitude Journal yet, fourth year running.

Beloved, I’m not the least bit concerned with those unsavory thoughts about your ex.  I am not limited to momentary facts.  I know your shimmering nature.  I know how AMAZING you are.

But if I’m honest, I am a little concerned about this.  I wonder why you don’t trust the desires that have always been yours.  You strive to ignore your wildest dreams because they feel so good, but I thought that surely you’d recognize their unrivaled power because they feel so good. 

Please know I supplied you with unstinting resources and a hunger strong enough to make any of your desires come true.  And surely you’ve noticed a few of the lines I’ve written for you in some of the self-help books you’ve read.  I keep putting those books out there and you even keep buying them.  But, still, I find you sitting in the corner as though you are an orphan child, as though you’ve been abandoned without a key, a charm, a brand new GPS system and an entourage waiting just for you.  I even hear you whisper, “I don’t know what to do.” 

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Soulful Space

Knowing that “There is only One thing happening here and it is Good” is not about by-passing reality by any means. Being and operating from the heart space, from a soulful space, and looking out through that lens is the surest way to hold this transcendent perspective.

From a survivor perspective, we can name countless reasons to believe that it is NOT all good. With gun violence, injustice, abuse, poverty – you name it – we can certainly build a case that it doesn’t look so good. And here is where we can take a “time out” in our thinking and remember that we are more than just flesh and bone. We are more than just surviving, instinct-based individuals. We are creative-source energy in a body. We are God-source energy in a body. While that is a lofty statement, it happens to be the truth.

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One Earth—Peace Within Crisis

We have used language to separate ourselves from each other through a litany of pronouns—you, he, she, it, they—which together mean “other.” Yes, we say “we,” but it is usually used in a sense that cordons off “us” from “them.” The greater “we” that encompasses all of humanity is rarely part of our vocabulary. World events in the form of a deadly virus are now compelling us to open our hearts to that inclusiveness. We can no longer separate ourselves from one another, and that includes all of Nature as well. Our survival depends on seeing “we” everywhere. We are being radically schooled in oneness.

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The Virus Can Give Your Life More Meaning

One way to respond in a crisis is to reduce its threat. The other way is to add to the threat. The coronavirus COVID-19 might be the first collective crisis that many people have faced, and it poses an uncertain future in every country that confronts it. But this doesn’t change the two choices just mentioned. Know that your individual actions will have an impact on countless other people.

 

No matter how the COVID-19 pandemic resolves itself—something no one can predict—you can personally choose right now to reduce its threat. If you consciously make that choice, three positive things will happen. You will feel more in control; you will be on the side of healing; and you will add to the meaning of your life.

 

How to be more in control:

This begins by acting responsibly, following what the experts in disease control advise. By now everyone is aware of the need to stay at home, self-quarantine if you show any symptoms, keep 6 to 10 ft. away from other people in public, don’t take long plane flights, and wash your hands frequently (the medical school routine for scrubbing up applies here: Wash your hands vigorously while singing “Happy birthday to you” twice—and don’t forget your thumbs and between your fingers). The active ingredient in effective hand sanitizers is isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, which you can also use by itself in at least a 60% solution with water.

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How To Spiritually Surf These Crazy Times

I hope you are safe and staying healthy as we all deal with this life changing time we are in. Brian and I are isolating ourselves at home, we’ve stocked up on lots of Amy’s canned organic soup (which I hope tastes good as I’ve never eaten it before), and we are checking in with friends and family by phone, Facebook and Skype.

For the past few days I have been blessed to have the time to listen and read a variety of meditations and blogs that have been comforting and calming.

I have found that my best strategy right now is to stay in the present moment as much as possible and to not let my monkey mind get caught up in “what if” scenarios. Below are links to three free resources that I have found helpful:

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How to play your role during these severely challenging times - coronavirus

I know how challenging things must be in your home, your office and in your life. Most people I know feel they are on an emotional roller coaster due to the Coronavirus and fears surrounding their health and economic well-being.

At times like this we can be severely tested. We can feel things are falling apart even though our faith in the Divine says things are falling together. 

If we stay centered in our relationship with the Divine (there is no separation) and we feel deeply into our own connection to Presence, we will find all the things we thought had gone missing.

We will find certainty.  

We will find inner wisdom that will guide us.  
And we will find our calling to support those who need our assistance. 
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Got Soul?

Through the ages, scholars as well as all religious and spiritual traditions have contemplated the definition, significance, and nature of the soul. Some people believe that soul simply suggests another word for spirit, and that they’re really one of the same, or that it implies a religious or even a spiritual quality.

You may often hear the word soul used in today’s modern culture referring to a sense of pride in areas such as religion, social customs, food, music, or even dance. I have even heard the word used when expressing a deep-felt emotion: “He put all his heart and soul into that performance.”

I’ve been amazed by the number of definitions, meanings, and references there are for one single word, which itself can mean so many different things to so many different people.

Soul is consciousness. It is my belief that the soul is the true essence of a person. When you look into a mirror and see your reflection, you notice your body, your hair, your eyes, your smile, or even your frown! The reflection looking back at you, the image you see is just your external shell; it’s not who you really are.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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