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Saturday, December 4, 2021

Have a Blessed Sacred Season

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hannuka, or other sacred times, I hope you keep it precious and sacred, keeping out blatant commercialism. Presents are great, especially thoughtful ones giving something special that the person loves to do or enjoys. BUT frenzied shopping, rude fights over an item, going into debt, etc. are not true to the season.

The year is ending, the holidays are here, what a perfect time to reflect on our spiritual journey. What a great time to consider the deeper meanings of the holidays we celebrate. How does the holiday touch our hearts and minds? How has it continued year after year after year after century? How can we honor it and our journey more deeply? And how can we grow into it and the actual underlying meaning?

One little example. I used to always include certain things in my Christmas Eve service back when I was a pastor. I often quoted Meister Eckhart, my favorite mystic, when he said something like - What good is it that Christ was born to Mary those many years ago, if he is not born in us today?  Paul declared it was the Christ within that was our hope of glory. So imagine with me that the spirit of Christ is born in the manger of your heart this very night. How would that change your life? How would that feel? Imagine it with me and welcome the Christ child in your deepest being. Be willing for a sacred, blessed Christmas or Hannuka or,,,,

Divine Presence, open my heart to experience the essence of the holidays. Stir my soul with Your Light and lead me into a new level of my spiritual journey. Quicken my heart and soul., open my eyes. May this the most sacred of holidays. Amen, Amen and Amen

Monday, November 29, 2021

Change the Past?

I read this morning an idea that we can change the past, actually change it, at least "previous incarnations" of ourselves. This seems to be primarily based on the idea that time is illusion and all is simultaneous, and on reincarnation and it being nonlinear.

My mind took that to its logical conclusion. If we could literally change the past, I am pretty sure it would be a wild mess. No life is insular, so changes made here and there affect everything. I get a picture in my head of history books bring rewritten every minute, of current life being whipped around this way and that, of nothing making sense because there is no solid ground.

I do think, actually know, we can change our perception, judgement and understanding of the past, and that changes our now. We can learn of context. We can take another look and make a new assessment. We can forgive ourselves and others. We can let go and open to newness. Something like Jesus' ideas of cleaning the log out of our own eyes before we try to get the speck out of someone else's eye, and also to become as a little child (I hear open and curious and teachable and free). 

I received an email this weekend from a very wise spiritual teacher, Richard Rohr. He said in part:

Carl Jung suggested the whole problem is that Christianity does not connect with the soul or transform people anymore. He [Jesus] insists on actual inner, transcendent experience to anchor individuals to God, and that’s what mystics always emphasize. —Richard Rohr

I find this statement to be profound and accurate. This is the change for which our souls cry out. Let us welcome such actual transformation. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Do You See What I See?

I was musing this morning in that half-awake space. I realized that our senses define and limit our experience of life dramatically.

Our eyes only see a rather narrow band of the spectrum of light and color. Our ears only hear a small slice of sounds. Our nose smells a small amount of actual smells. Our touch tells us things that are mostly empty space are solid. Science tells us that dogs smell many times better than us, some animals see many more colors or only see in black and white, some can hear for miles or pitches our ears cannot pick up, or can smell things like cancer, etc etc etc.

So then I began to wonder the purpose of our physical limitations. To be able to fully see and hear and taste and smell and touch and taste would be an entirely different experience of earthly life. What would it be like to see the whirling atoms in the table and see that they are, relatively speaking, as far apart as the stars? What would it be like to smell cancer or flowers miles away or what would the smell of fear be? Would it be too distracting or disorienting for us? To have our senses attuned to all that is here on earth surely would be distracing from the reason we are here. Does our narrow focus serve some plan for us? What are we to focus on instead, since we don't have the option to fully experience earth with our senses?

My current understanding tells me that we are to seek and find God in all that we can experience. I find something very Spiritual in a redwood forest, a connection with something More. I see the face of God in the newborn baby. I see the struggle to let the Divine express in those that are fearful or lost. I feel the urgency to find God in those seemingly trapped in darkness. 

What we can experience is much more than we have allowed ourselves up until now. Our focus here is spiritual. Our job, so to speak, is to discern The More everywhere and in everyone and live as unconditional love. We are to see beyond appearances, as Jesus told us. Judging righteous judgement means to see spiritually, lovingly, kindly, to see beyond the surface. 

Let us rise to the challenge before us and walk the path of love and light, celebrating God at all times, in all places, in all people. 


Friday, November 19, 2021

Virgin Day

Today has not been lived before - it's a virgin day waiting for us to live into it. Will we drag old ideas and agony into it, or will we take the challenge to fill it with newness?

Will we find new ways to love and lift others and participate in a beneficial way? Will we celebrate being alive here on this beautiful planet? Will we celebrate the flowers and trees? Will we send silent blessings to all who come across our path today? Will we delight in the beauty of this day?

This day, this very moment is our point of power. We are free to choose how we live it. Choose well. It will not come again. The day will pass either fully lived in love and light or in dread and darkness. Live it well. 

The present is a present from God. Open it as a sacred gift. Treasure it. Be all you can be in it. Rest and then do the same with the next virgin day. 

Thank You Dear Divine Presence for the gift of today. Lead me to live into it with love and kindness. Guide me to see and celebrate and rejoice in all You present to me this day and all days. My heart is full and overflowing with joy and thankfulness. What an amazing thing it is to be given this gift of life. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!

Monday, November 15, 2021

Changing Our Thinking

For a large portion of my life the phrase from Ernest Holmes was paramount - Change your thinking, change your life.

It now seems to me that most ideas about life are true to a point, but not always and without end. Say you start going East and never change your course. Eventually, you will be in the West because we live on a globe.

If I change my thinking, some things can change, but not all things. I cannot become 7 feet tall or younger or be able to leap 30 feet into the air from earth, at least on my own without the aid of some invention. Changing from being a negative person to a positive person can have a profound effect and make life much more enjoyable for sure. But it won't necessarily make us rich or beyond the reach of germs. It's not a magic wand as some have and do teach.

So often I have heard someone say - What have you been thinking? in reaction to someone's difficulty, as if thinking made all disasters come true. I do think our thinking is important and an ingredient in our life experiences. For example, you didn't create the tornado, but your thinking, or lack of it, led you to move into tornado alley where tornados are most likely to happen. And we can change how we think about things, giving them a new name and an encouraging spin, asking ourselves what possible good can come out of this______, whatever it is. What can I learn? How can I do it differently next time? etc.

Some of our thinking needs to be reviewed, updated, and aimed in a new direction. As the old saying goes - If you don't change your direction, you are likely to end up where you are headed. I think, when we stop for a moment of honesty, we can discern the fruit of what we are thinking and doing and decide if that is the fruit we truly want.

We may not be able to change everything by our thinking, but we can change a lot and make life much more wonderful.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Our Beloved Bodies

I have a dear friend who is experiencing severe problems with her body, very severe. Currently she is in the hospital.

Thoughts about how precious are our bodies wafted in to my mind this morning. For various reasons, we came to earth. Our bodies are vehicles for our souls to use in order to navigate this place. Our brains are used by our souls, our greater minds, to interpret and connect the earth experience and the soul.

That is my current working hypothesis.

So, we need to take care of our bodies, not because they are all we are and without them we cease to exist, but because they offer our eternal selves this unique earthly experience. Also, our physical selves are divine gifts, who can make one on their own? They are miraculous, mostly self-healing, experiencers of smells, sounds, sights, touch, tastes, and delights and pains of this planet and this dimension. They are amazing.

How do we best take care of them? There are conflicting opinions about that. Eat this, not that. Do this kind of exercise, not that. Take this pill, drink this, etc. Is there a way that is optimal?

It seems to me that we need to listen to our own bodies. For example, years ago my gall bladder was removed, so high fat foods don't work for me. For some people, the Keto diet works just fine, for me it causes pain because of the high fat.

Common sense comes to play, but as Will Rivers famously said, Common sense ain't all that common. It seems to me sticking pretty much to actual foods is the best idea - fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins - and avoiding the commercially made  and manipulated "foods" that have unpronounceable long words in the contents label, Franken foods some say. 

I think we should take care of our bodies so that they have the best chance to stay ok and allow us this marvelous experience of earthly life. All we can do is do the best we know.

God bless our bodies.

Friday, November 5, 2021

In Our Old Age

In old age the organism is, in certain terms, preparing for a new birth. The combined events of spirit, mind and body involve not only the passing of one season but preparation for the beginning of another.

I came across this Seth quote this morning that struck me as powerfully relevant, especially to those of us in the "elderly" category, but really to any age thinking-person.

We cannot be certain what preparations we made before birth, although there are quite a few testimonies of what did or might have prepared us. I personally am convinced of the eternalness of the soul - existing  before this life and after this life.

But this quote speaks of this life and its seasons and the season beyond this particular life. It is interesting to contemplate how we are preparing, or maybe not preparing, to pass over from here to there, from earthly life to the next experience, for our new birth. Some people appear to pretend they are not going to die and so no preparation is needed. But, however well we care for our bodies, however positively we think, however active we are, our physical life here has an experation date. No one has ever stayed here forever. We all die to this life and are born to a new life in a new dimension

So how do we wrap up this life and greet the next experience, our new birth, with open arms? Do we handle our forgiveness issues and make amends? Do we communicate our deep love to friends and family? Do we handle our loose ends? Do we spend time in prayer and meditation? Have we made the most of our lives? Is there more we can do? Is our relationship with God, The Divine, The More close and peaceful? Do we trust that the love that greeted us here is love that will greet us in the next experience?

Let's just spend a bit of time getting ourselves right with the world and at inner peace so that whenever it is our time to go on, we are as ready as we can be.

Lord, lead me to do the things You call me to do. Guide me to complete this season with gusto. Help me prepare for my new birth whenever it may be. Help me strengthen my trust in You and always remember Your constant Presence throughout my eternal journey. Help me live each season of my life in step with You. Thank You for hearing my prayer always. And so it is.