Archive for the ‘Spirituality’ Category

Happy Light Year!!

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

Friendly Cactus and Jim

Blessings of Light to all as we step into the new solar year of 2011!   At this time of new resolutions and thoughts about our goals over the coming year, it is helpful to remember one of the most powerful tools we have to help us on our paths: Choice.  The mind is the one thing in this world we are able to control; so let’s control it!  Use the power of affirmation to help yourself.  Declare you have a right to be happy!  A positive attitude eventually begets positive experiences.  It is never too late for change in the realm of Spirit.  Find inner harmony and you will find peace in the world, regardless of your circumstances, your physical conditions, or the state of the world at large.  You will find contentment.  You will find your are living…in light!  This is how to live!

These Silent Temples Are Not So Silent

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

Altar at the Group of the Cross, Palenque, Mexico

Take me to where the stones speak.  Take me to the silent place within where I can hear.  Take me to where the trees hold me in their arms and the rain dances on my mind.  Take me to where brothers and sisters remember who they really are.  Take me to the place where the path is clear and the way is filled with mystery.  Take me to my home.

A Bit About Prayer

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

The only thing we really need to know about prayer is that it works. Everything in the Universe is made up of the same energy – the plants, the trees, the rocks, you and me, thoughts, diseases, moons, stars; everything you can think of is made up of the same universal energy.

When we send out coherent thoughts, wishes, or prayers, they emanate into the entire universe and that energy has an effect.  Prayer is extremely powerful.  It is unbounded by space and time and unaffected by distance.

Prayer is generally a worded address to Spirit – whether spoken aloud or voiced in thought only.  Prayer may be communicated through images and symbols as well.  It is an act of communion commonly including hopes or requests.  When prayer focuses on a single theme – like peace – it comes near to the act of meditation.

Prayer is made in so many forms.  For some, it is conversation with God.  For others, it is making requests.  For some, it is asking for integrity or strength.  And for others, it is a giving of thanks.  Many people never pray for anything specific in life; they are simply drawn to a regular, daily saying of thank you in their prayers.

Prayer, according to Michael Bernard Beckwith, Founder and Spiritual Director of Agape International Spiritual Center, is the most powerful technology we have today.

Whatever you pray for, leave the means to the desired end in Spirit’s hands.  Spirit works in mysterious ways and we do not want to limit how what we’re praying for may occur.  If we limit ourselves by being too specific, we cut ourselves off from the unlimited, infinite creativity of the Universe.

Prayer is often reserved only for emergencies when no other “normal” means of assistance seem to have worked.  This indicates how materialistic our culture is, since prayer is not commonly included in our society’s tool bag we carry with us to work on our everyday challenges in life.

Prayer as an ongoing practice of gratitude, of affirmatively yet humbly asking for that which we are entitled to – because we are one with Spirit – puts us  in a place where we are swimming in the natural abundance of the universe.  Communication with Spirit gently and lovingly works the garden of our soul so we may heal and grow.

The travel altar – it works!

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

I travel a lot which takes me away from home, where each day I enjoy a morning routine of prayer and meditation in front of my altar.  So I made this portable altar by painting a wood cigar box and filling it with items (carried in small fabric bags) to create sacred space wherever I go.  The travel altar helps me set the tone for my day by serving as a powerful organizing force and a reminder for me to take the time necessary for prayer, meditation, qigong, or simply sitting quietly in peace.  The travel altar – it works!

Why Kindness?

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

There may be nothing on Earth each of us wants more from others than kindness. When all is said and done, it is our greatest measure of a fellow human being.  We may look past what we consider to be great flaws and foibles when kindness resides in the heart of another.  The saying “His heart was in the right place” tells us this noble truth.

I really like what His Holiness the Dalai Lama says when he is asked to describe his philosophy of living and the basic essence of Buddhism.  His eminently thoughtful perspective is well worth contemplating and practicing.  It is paraphrased as follows:

Each of us was born and each of us will die.  Each of us has suffered and each of us wants to be happy.  We are not so different from each other.  Really, we are the same.  Therefore let us be kind to one another, let us be tolerant of one another, let us be compassionate toward one another, and let us be respectful of all life.[1] Let us try to help one another and, if we are not able to help one another, then let us at least not hurt one another.[2]

This profound message of acceptance transcends spirituality and applies to all of us at a most basic, fundamental level.  One does not have to be religious or spiritual in order to understand and practice the path of kindness.   Yet kindness is a cornerstone of basic spiritual practice as well as basic human decency. 

Each of us depends on others in order to live.  Nearly all of us rely on others to provide basic functions such as growing our food, building our home, and making our clothing.  Other people are very important to us.  If we rely so heavily on other people, it is logical to be nice to them and to accept them as they are.[3]

[1] H.H. Dalai Lama & Howard Cutler, The Art of Happiness, A Handbook for Living (London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1998).

[2] H.H. Dalai Lama , Overcoming Differences (Parabola, The Magazine of Myth and Tradition, Winter 1991).

[3] H.H. Dalai Lama & Howard Cutler, The Art of Happiness, A Handbook for Living (London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1998).

Peace is Now

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Enlightenment, peace, fulfillment – whatever you want to call it – is not some far away, pie-in-the-sky, seemingly unattainable thing.  It is here in every moment.  We can access it through simple practices and unassuming ways.  The wholeness we are looking for is found in patience and acceptance.  It is found in non-judgement and in the unspeakably vast spaces of communion opened up by vehicles such as prayer and meditation, gratitude and kindness.  The way is found when we take responsibility for ourselves.

The Utility of Living in Spirit

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Living in Spirit provides a rudder which guides us in seas both smooth and stormy.  Spirit is the one thing which is always there for us, regardless of the state of all the variables in our lives.  A spiritual practice helps us awaken to who we really are.  It moves us in the direction of awareness, of trust in the process of life and our own intuitive knowing.  A spiritual practice gives us a compass by which to begin navigating our lives anew.  It brings us into the present, where healing occurs and where joy perennially resides.  A spiritual practice puts us on a course which generates compassion, peace, love, and joy – building self esteem and bringing many blessings to ourselves and to all beings.

The Great Journey

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

The great journey

is there for all of us.

Waiting in the shade

under a tree

by the bend in the road,

it calls on us

to journey higher,

to the trail that points

into the very Heart of Heaven.