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Thursday, November 28, 2019

In All Things Give Thanks

I am thankful for you who read my words and are partners in the quest for spiritual awakening. Have a blessed and fabulous Thanksgiving day.

There is so much for which to be thankful. I suppose I could go on for hours if I were to list all of my blessings.

This morning, as I was thinking about all of my family being elsewhere, I had a new way to look at it. My memory can take me to Thanksgivings past. In my heart of hearts we are together. I can see my kitchens past filled with busy hands, laughter, and amazing foods. Hugs and kisses long past still live in me. In the realm of memory,  we are together.

This is a new Thanksgiving with opportunity for new memory-making. We are blessed to share it with some of our spiritual family. It is storming right now, a huge storm for California, but the feasts will go on.

Each day of our lives we have the power to choose to make memories that are with us the rest of our lives, warming and nurturing us. May your day be blessed and filled with glorious memory-making moments.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Why Are We Here?

Depending on our worldview, our answers tumble from our understanding, often in a haphazard way. I addressed this in some detail in my book, What On Earth Is Going On - Spiritually Speaking. Some thoughts are urging me to say a bit this morning.

What is going on here is opportunity for spiritual growth. Each person, each event, every moment, all of it is our teacher. How we react or respond is feedback, although often ignored, that can mirror for us how we are doing in our process of spiritual awakening. It could be said that we currently inhabit a giant biofeedback device.

Really what is needed is the view Jesus suggested when he said to look beyond appearances. It's not the obvious thing shouting in your face. It's a check to see if we can love, even then, even in the face of this person shouting, even with a major challenge presenting itself, no matter what life throws at us.

Buddhism and Christianity agree that compassion, unconditional love and non-attachment, free of ego, are signs of awakening. As we look into the mirror of our lives, we can see how we are doing in these areas. And we can change, heal, grow, for we don't have to stand and defend ourselves as we are. We are in process. It's not only okay to be in process, it is necessary. We are not going to ever fully be perfect or fully comprehend The Infinite. SO, let's get comfortable with the ongoingness of our journey of awakening.

This is a golden opportunity to move more and more into the joy of love, compassion and freedom from painful egos. Look into your life mirror today with an open heart, with love and compassion for yourself and your life.

Let the life, the Spirit, that was in Christ Jesus be also in you, so said Paul and so say I.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Is Peace Possible?

My heart aches for this question. Contrary to my prayers, violence, anger, control dramas, hatred, judgmentalism, ugliness, etc are alive and well - even among those who claim to be working for peace and justice. I  have observed that many people think that by using these negatives they can control others and get what they want, but it doesn't work that way. The means and the end are together.

I have long known that we can only create what we are. Anyone with hate in their heart cannot truly love. Anyone with anger in their heart cannot produce peace. etc. etc. etc.

To turn the ugliness around that we see in this world, we really have to look in the mirror. We need to ask ourselves questions such as: what in me needs to be healed; how do I root out that which does not reflect my Christ nature; how can I bring peace, if I am not living, breathing, walking peace? How can I become what I know is my highest self?

I am sure we have to be the change we say we want to happen.

To get there, each of us needs to take responsibility for who and what we are. We need to do the interior work that leads us out of the maze of darkness. We need to clear the energies springing forth from us.

We need to attune ourselves to the pure Spirit of the Most High, welcoming It fully into every moment of every day of the rest of our lives here in earth.

Then we can be the peace.

Dear and Precious Lord, show me what needs to be healed in me and realigned with You. Grant me the courage and wisdom to face my dark corners and welcome Your healing Light in. I wish to be ever more like You and walk with You ever more fully. I wish for peace on earth, therefore I wish to be that peace. Lead me there. Lead us all there.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

What Is Prayer?

Tomorrow I'm to give a 3 minute talk on prayer to kick off our stewardship campaign for 2020. So, I've been thinking about prayer, its many forms, how it can lead to meditation, how it changes as we mature. etc.

My first prayer was a scary one, which may have been its point: Now I lay me down to sleep, if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. I think it's a bit of child abuse to insist on her/him saying that every night at bedtime.

The Santa Claus/God as errand boy phase of prayer is thankfully past - God give me (the doll, the car, the stuff).... send me. (goodies).. let me pass the test... etc.

Nowadays my prayers are more practicing the Presence, more silent communion, with the requests being for God to reveal Itself to me, to guide me, to help me remember we are One and therefore to walk my life that way, to fulfill my purpose for being here.

I think spiritual awakening involves growth in prayer life until all of life is an expression of prayer.

Oh Divine More, I come open and willing to know You more fully and serve You more consistently. Wash away all in me that is unlike how You made me to be. I feel Your Presence in all parts of my life, in Your whispers, in the beauty of this world, in the quiet of the morning, in the words of those You have inspired -- when I stop to realize it, You truly are everywhere. I cherish Your Presence. I am thankful for You, dear One.

Monday, November 18, 2019

The Message

Yesterday morning I randomly opened my Message translation of the Bible. I opened to Paul's first letter, I Thessalonians, to the verse that said You are the message. In fact it was presaged by We don't even have to say anything anymore - you're the message.

It struck me so fully that it has been constantly on my mind ever since. I thought of Gandhi saying that if you wanted to know what he believed, just watch how he lived his life. I thought of my challenge to myself to be as congruent as possible, the same person no matter where I might be or with whom I might be. I thought of Celtic Christianity saying you could find God in the scriptures and in nature. That led me to think of everything, every being, every tree, everything, being a message, all connected to The Creator, all bringing a message.

Sure, some messages are garbled by unhealed messengers, but then that is a message too. There are warning messages and lifting messages. There are all kinds of messages.

So, I stood outside of church yesterday in its gorgeous garden-like setting, contemplating a tree, with beautiful music floating out of the sanctuary. I was outside as our tables were set up with a variety of handmade items for our annual Prayers and Squares fund raising boutique.

One particular tree caught my attention. It stood there with its' newly trimmed leaves forming an almost perfect upside down bowl, but its' branches, trunk and roots were unique in their twists and turns. They showed me a dance of twistings and turnings. It was beautiful.

I think of people. No matter how perfect we may be dressed and coifed, under it all are many twists and turns of life. Some were painful, some delightful surprises. None of us have walked a straight and perfect life. Those moments come together to form the me of this now moment. The totality of who I am is a message and so are the zillions of experiences that come with me to this moment.

Wherever we are, it is not permanent. If we objectively look at what we teach by how we live our lives, and see that it is less than our potential, we can change. We can choose healing to become more fully engaged in living the message of a child of God, a message of compassion, of unconditional love, of cherishing and blessing. We can set free the imprisoned splendor within so that It might be the message of our life.

This day I look honestly at my life, and ask for Guidance and Insight that lead me to live Your Message, God. In my observing, help keep me from discouragement, grant me courage. Let Your Light shine through me so that You and all that You are is what my message adds up to be. Wash away the darkness. Lift me from earlier turmoils. Clear my lens. I am thankful, for I know You hear my prayer and my sincerity. You know my heart.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Pointing to the Moon

This morning I have been contemplating the old adage that the finger pointing to the moon is not the moon. At first glance, this is incredibly obvious. Yet, in some ways it is not.

For example, various religions have scriptures and
rituals that are aimed at the spiritual moon, so to speak. Their purpose is to guide us to our own spiritual awakening. They tell us what has and has not worked for others over history. The nudge our conscience, they stir our souls, they both trouble us and inspire us, and they teach us.

They, themselves, are only pointing and are not that for which our souls long. However, a large number of people look to that which points rather than to what it is pointing. Idolatry happens. The scriptures and rituals are worshipped. They are taken literally, robbing the deep truths they are meant to convey.

I believe and know that we are each called by something magnificently More to awaken and to live as awakened beings. We are to be love and compassion. We are called to join hands and hearts as one family. I believe all of our scriptures and rituals point to these things, some point elegantly and some crudely, but they point to the same spiritual vision.

Look at your own tradition and ask yourself - to what does it point? Take your eye off of the finger pointing and shift focus to the Infinite More to which it points.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

"Return From Tomorrow"

Today I read the book as named above. It's the story of a man's life after life experiences. I could relate to so much of it and had tears in my eyes several times.

One time when I got chocked up, I want to share here. He asked himself if he had fully shared what God had given him to know and if he was able to love the immense unconditional love shown to him???

I asked myself those questions, and I realized I have more work to do. I'm still not certain how to communicate experiences that enter the Mystery of God and in no way fit into words. I also notice I'm not able to so fully love that all in my presence feel the immense unconditional love of God flowing through me.

So it seems I have a lot of work along spiritual growth lines yet to do. I don't at this moment know the next step that I must take, but I can feel it getting ready to reveal itself. As always, I am here Lord, I do hear You calling and I will definitely hold Your people in my heart.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

That Silly Snake

I just read a great alternative to Augustine's original sin idea 💡!  The Adam and Eve story is about ignorance, about how dumb and silly it would be to believe someone dressed up like a snake and what happens when this decision brings its consequences.

All of a sudden I saw a parade of snakes: com men and women, snake oil salesmen and saleswoman, propogandists, uneducated "teachers," manipulators, purveyors of magical answers, out and out liars, etc. ....

Then I saw those who walk as if dead, those who followed the snakes and took them as true, those who are ignorant of critical thinking. I saw hysterical people, holding onto the snake/s in their lives, for dear life. I saw desperation.

Then I realized ignorance can be overcome, it is not an eternal given. While some may be so hypnotized by their snakes that it might not be easy to break the grasp of ignorance on their lives, others are ready to let go with a tiny nudge.

As for me, I fervently want to let go of all ignorance remaining in me. I seek Truth. I seek compassion towards all. I seek a deep and abiding relationship with The More. Let it be so.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Change Is In The Air

It is often said, the only thing you can count on is change. I've sure seen tons of it in my lifetime. Practically nothing is the same as it was in my childhood. Some of the changes are positive, as the medical breakthroughs. Some are very negative, as terrible weapons. Most are somewhere in between.

There have been many times in my life when Spirit whispered, occasionally shouted, that something was up, newness was coming soon. This is one of those times. Snipets are coming to me about this is the last this or that. Something is unfolding and getting ready to make itself known. Perhaps another adventure is gearing up.

Lord, I hear Your whisper. Attune my ears, my mind and my heart to fully receive Your Guidance. Grant me the courage and the strength to follow You always.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

My Pain and Your Pain

This morning I had an insight that I want to share with you. I realized a selfishness in me I had not seen before.

Regularly I pray for someone dear to me who is angry, judgemental, paranoid and estranged. I pray for the Love and Light of God to envelop him and heal him, restoring him and setting him free from the darkness. I feel emotional pain deeply because of the situation.

This morning I realized that there are many who have such pain and sorrow in their hearts and many who live in dark and fearful corners of their minds. Of course, this is obvious to us all at some level. But, my realization is that it is more appropriate for me to pray for all, not just my tiny corner. In fact, we are all family, offspring of God. We share this life, this planet, this air, this water, this joy and this pain.

Luke told a story of a rich man who did not help the man at the gate, covered by sores which dogs licked (it was thought long ago that dog saliva was healing). In the after life, the man at the gate with the sores is held in the bosom of Abraham, while the rich man is in torment out of reach, but not out of sight. He wants someone to go to his brothers to warn them so they can avoid such a fate.

This is the same as my realization this morning. The rich man was concerned for his immediate family, not for the suffering of humankind. While I have been concerned since childhood for others, I have not prayed as deeply for them as I have for my estranged love one. Let's pray together.

Lord, Divine Presence, may Your Love and Light engulf, restore and lift all those suffering from broken relationships. May Your comfort soothe the wounded. May Your Wisdom guide the lost. May the experience of You break through the static and be fully known. For all of my brothers and sisters, I lift this prayer to You, asking in the name of Christ and sealing it with the ancient seal, Amen Amen and Amen

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Great Grandson Visits Me at Church


I was sewing on prayer quilts and my precious granddaughter, Naomi, came to visit with Isaiah, our great grandson. What a wonderful surprise it was. It was a day of joy. He just turned one and is so bright and curious. I hope I get to see him grow up and express his unique self in wondrous ways.

Family experiences for most people range from beyond fabulous to dreadful. This was obviously beyond fabulous.

It is useful to ponder ways to make all, or at least most, family times positive and uplifting. How can we reach the family black sheep, long lost relative, the angry and judgmental with our love and care? It seems to me that being on a spiritual path requires us to come with open and loving hearts, not only to the easy to love, but also to the most difficult to love. 

We are each responsible for our own input into life. How we show up is important. I have come to know/believe that everything, every moment, every person is a spiritual opportunity to refine our walk and to lift others. 

Oh Divine Presence, open my heart to fully love as You call us to love. Help my ego diminish so that more and more of You can shine through without distortion.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Power Over Own Life?

Once upon a time, I thought that my thoughts, beliefs and attitudes were the major determiners of my life. The typical sayings were such things as: speak your word and the universe moves, I have dominion over my life, etc.

There are a lot of problems with these points of view. With billions of people speaking billions of words, many of them contradictory, only chaos would be possible. Then there is the guilt. If I totally determine my life, then what was I thinking to make this illness or this financial disaster or......?

Today, my understanding is a bit different. I know my tboughts, beliefs and attitudes have a great effect on how I experience/interpret life and on how others respond to me. But I also realize other forces play upon my life. My energies sort of bump into the energies of others. There are soul lessons, there are spiritual experiences, there are disasters not of my own making such as terrible weather, there are needs and desires of others, there are national and global happenings, there are a myriad of surprises.

What I am in charge of Is my own inner and outer speaking, actions and reactions, attitudes, interpretations of what is happening and have happened, and how I come to each day. Am I spiritually grounded and prepared? Am I forgiving and giving? Am I being my best self?