Need Hope? ‘Peel and Toss,’ An Inspiring Guest Post from Sharie at Sending Joy

By Sharie, Sending Joy

“I will shine my light with God today.”

Love is the center of the Universe. We have packed a lot of stuff around it and so we can’t always see the center very well. Together let’s start peeling off the excess that hides the truth from us. That fight we had with our spouse, peel it away. That moment we yelled at our child, peel that off right now. Let’s go find the child and give him/her a hug and say I’m sorry, then throw the moment in the trash. The time we felt worthless when someone insulted us. Peel it off and look at it. Can’t we see that wasn’t us they were talking about, but only a reflection of how they saw themselves? Well that’s a relief. Now we can throw it in the trash and wish them well.

Then there’s that worrisome moment when we listened to the news and heard how bad the world is. That hopeless, helpless feeling. How is it helpful for us to hang onto that? Peel it off. Bless the world and send it healing love and throw the bad news in the trash knowing there has to be a better way, a Higher Power that can heal even the worst devastation. There has to be hope.

A beloved friend or family member in dire straits is enough to distract us from our peace. Peel that off, ask the Universe how we can help and lift our loved one up to God for healing. One by one let’s clear the junk away. Obsessions over food, drugs and alcohol. Fear from the past and fear of the future. Peel and toss!

What’s that we see up ahead? Is that a Light? Did we hear laughter? Was that a jolt of joy we felt? Come on, let work’s faster. Peel and toss. Peel and toss. Peel and toss. Ahhh! Look! It’s the center of the Universe at last! It’s wondrous! And so restful. There is perfect balance here with everything and everyone in harmony. We are amazed to discover that not only is the center of the Universe filled with Love, but we are the Love that lives at the center of the Universe.

What was that dark and dingy place we peeled away? Who cares? It’s over. And now it’s time to live. Now it’s time to shine our light with God’s and really live.

Thank you, Sharie.

Enter the Portals of the New Year with New Hope, A Guest Post from Paramahansa Yogananda

By Paramahansa Yogananda

This is my message to you for the New Year:

Your cup of life within and without is filled with the Divine Presence, but because of the lack of attention you do not perceive God’s immanence. When you are in tune, as one tunes in a radio, then you receive Spirit. It is as if you take a bottle of sea water, cork it, and put it in the ocean; although the bottle floats in the waters, its contents do not mix with its oceanic surroundings. But open the bottle, and the water inside merges with the sea. We must remove the cork of ignorance before we can come in contact with Spirit.

* * *

Infinity is our Home. We are just sojourning awhile in the caravanserai of the body. Those who are drunk with delusion have forgotten how to follow the trail that leads to God. But when in meditation the Divine gets hold of the prodigal child, there is no dallying anymore.

Enter the portals of the New Year with new hope. Remember you are a child of God. It lies with you as to what you are going to be. Be proud that you are a child of God. What have you to fear? No matter what comes, believe it is the Lord who is sending that to you; and you must succeed in conquering those daily challenges. Therein lies your victory. Do His will; nothing can hurt you then. He loves you everlastingly. Think that. Believe that. Know that. And suddenly one day you will find you are immortally alive in God.

Meditate more and believe in that strong consciousness that God is always with you regardless of what happens. Then you will see that the veil of delusion will be taken away and you will be one with That which is God. That is how I found my greatest happiness in life. I am not looking for anything now because I have everything in Him. Never would I part with That which is the richest of all possessions.

The excerpts above are from a talk given by Paramahansa Yogananda at the International Headquarters of the society he founded, Self-Realization Fellowship, on New Year’s Eve, 1934. The entire talk is published in Journey to Self-realization, Volume III of Paramahansa Yogananda’s Collected Talks and Essays. (Self-Realization Fellowship, copyright©1997, Los Angeles; reprinted with permission.) For more information about the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda, visit http://www.yogananda-srf.org.

Change Bad Habits with Determination, A Guest Post from Paramahansa Yogananda

By Paramahansa YoganandaThe following excerpts are from a talk given by Paramahansa Yogananda at the International Headquarters of the society he founded, Self-Realization Fellowship, on New Year’s Eve, 1934. The entire talk is published in Journey to Self-realization, Volume III of Paramahansa Yogananda’s Collected Talks and Essays. (Self-Realization Fellowship, copyright©1997, Los Angeles; reprinted with permission.) For more information about the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda, visit www.yogananda-srf.org.

Bad habits are the worst enemies you can have. You are punished by those habits. They make you do things you do not want to do, and leave you to suffer the consequences. You must drop bad habits and leave them behind you as you move forward. Every day should be a transition from old habits to better habits. In this coming year make a solemn resolution to keep only those habits that are for your highest good.

The best way to get rid of your undesirable tendencies is not to think about them; do not acknowledge them. Never concede that a habit has a hold on you….You must develop “won’t” habits. And stay away from those things that stimulate bad habits.

* * *

Do not limit yourself with the narrowness of selfishness. Include others in your achievements and happiness, then you are doing the will of God. Whenever you think of yourself, think also of others. When you think of seeking peace, think of others who are in need of peace. If you do your utmost to make others happy, you will find that you are pleasing the Father.

To live in harmony, to live with strong will power to do the will of Him who sent you, is all you should be interested in. Never lose courage, and always be smiling. Have the smile of the heart and the smile of the face completely in harmony. If your body, mind, and soul register the smile of the inner consciousness of God, you can scatter smiles about you wherever you go.

* * *

Be always with people who inspire you; surround yourself with people who lift you up. Do not let your resolutions and positive thinking be poisoned by bad company. Even if you cannot find good company to inspire you, you can find it in meditation. The best company you can have is the joy of meditation.

Make New Determinations: Be What You Want to Be! A Guest Post from Paramahansa Yogananda

Note: The inspiring guru from India, Paramahansa Yogananda, who lived from 1893 to 1952, and who established the Self-Realization Fellowship in Los Angeles in 1920, lived to share the ancient teachings of yoga with Westerners and promote understanding between people of differing religions. (An image of Jesus Christ appears with P.Y.’s line of gurus at all SRF centers.) 

by Paramahansa Yogananda

The following excerpts are from a talk given by Paramahansa Yogananda at the International Headquarters of the society he founded, Self-Realization Fellowship, on New Year’s Eve, 1934. The entire talk is published in Journey to Self- realization, Volume III of Paramahansa Yogananda’s Collected Talks and Essays. (Self-Realization Fellowship, copyright©1997, Los Angeles; reprinted with permission.)

Make new determinations as to what you are going to do and what you are going to be in this next year. Set a program for yourself; carry it through, and you will find how much happier you will be. Failure to keep to your schedule of improvement means you have paralyzed your will. You have no greater friend and no greater enemy than yourself. If you befriend yourself, you will find accomplishment. There is no law of God preventing you from being what you want to be and accomplishing what you want to accomplish. Nothing detrimental that happens can affect you unless you sanction it.

* * *

Let nothing weaken your conviction that you can be whatever you want to be. There is no one obstructing you unless it be yourself. Though my master Swami Sri Yukteswarji again and again told me that, it was hard to believe it at first. But as I used the God-given gift of will power in my life, I found it to be my savior. Not to use the will is to be inert like a stone, an inanimate object—an ineffectual human being.

* * *

Constructive thought will absolutely, like a great hidden searchlight, show you the pathway to success. There is always a way to be found if you think hard enough. People who give up after a little while bedim their power of thought. In order to gain your end, you must do your utmost to use thought until it is luminous enough to reveal to you the way to your goal.

Cast away all negative thoughts and fears. Remember that as a child of God you are endowed with the same potentialities as the most excellent among men. As souls, none is greater than another. Attune your will to be guided by the wisdom of God as expressed in the wisdom of the sages. If your will is yoked to wisdom, you can achieve anything.

On the Feminine Role in the New World, Quoted from the book: “Servers of the Divine Plan”

“This book is dedicated to all those intrepid souls who have sacrificed their exalted spiritual freedom in voluntary service to humanity and planet earth at this time of greatest need.”

Quoted from: Servers of the Divine Plan, Pg. 49

“It is evident that there has been an extreme patriarchal imbalance upon Earth for a very long time. The innate creative and intuitive qualities of the feminine spirit have been long-feared by distorted male perception, and as a result women have been repressed, dominated and persecuted throughout history. In order to bring equilibrium in a world that has known so much control by the male force, the majority of Server-souls upon Earth at this time have chosen to incarnate in female bodies. AS agents of change, these valiant envoys of the New Spirit bring to the planet a very high concentration of feminine power that will presently resolve the patriarchal problem upon Earth once and for all, restoring much needed balance and harmony that will benefit everyone in the New World, both women AND men. During the time leading up to the Great Transition, however, and since male authority is still presently the controlling global power, female Servers will continue to experience something of the anguish of the collective persecution endured by so many women over the ages. Nonetheless, they are assured that their long awaited time of liberation and victory is today at hand.”

Website: http://www.thenewcall.org/site_map.htm

 

 

Be Inspired All Year

I envy nature photographers—their eye for beauty and that their job is taking gorgeous pictures. My mom gifts me a wall calendar every year that is filled with breathtaking photos from nature and inspirational quotes from the Bible. Every time I look at it, it is a gift from the hearts of the manufacturer and my mom.

I think the most beautiful American calendar, though, is the one published every year by the Self-Realization Fellowship, which was founded by Paramahansa Yogananda soon after he came to America in 1920 (to share his timeless teachings on India’s ancient practices: the philosophy of Yoga and its tradition of meditation. He blended teachings of the East with the teachings of Jesus Christ from the New Testament, to demonstrate that God’s Love is the basis of everyone and everything.)

The SRF’s annual calendar is a desktop version; each page is seven inches by nine inches, with the date-pages divided into seven days. Each week’s page is paired with a beautiful photograph from nature and sayings from the writings of Paramahansa Yogananda. The quotation for the cover picture (shown above) is:

“The scenery of mountains painted on the ever-changing azure canvas of the sky, the mysterious mechanism of the human body, the rose, the green grass carpet, the magnanimity of souls, the loftiness of minds, the depth of Love—all these things remind us of a God who is beautiful and noble.” ~P.Y.

Another saying paired with a scene of wildflowers in California is:

“Underlying all life is the silent voice of God, ever calling to us through flowers, through scriptures, and through our conscience—through all things that are beautiful and that make life worth living.” ~P.Y.

There is something special about this calendar. As I write appointments or notes on the pages next to striking photographs and the wisdom of P.Y., things seem quieter, deeper, more real—as though touching the pages somehow links me with universal peace. I can’t think of a better gift to give to ourselves or those we love—something for the soul, for hope, for encouragement in these difficult times.

Even though he crossed to the other side in 1952, Paramahansa Yogananda still changes lives with his endearing book, AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A YOGI, and with the INNER REFLECTIONS calendar. The calendar costs $13.95 (a true bargain) and can be purchased at bookstores, and from the Self-Realization Fellowship at (323) 225-2471 or at the link above.

An Explanation For Why We Humans Suffer, from “Autobiography of a Yogi”

I am reading a worldwide bestselling book, Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramahansa Yogananda, the beloved guru who came to America in the 1930s to establish the Self Realization Fellowship (as in the Realization that we are made of light); and to show that the universal threads of the teachings of the great masters of the Eastern world are one with the non-manipulated teachings of the extraordinary master of the Western world, Jesus Christ.I first read the book when I was 23. I was astonished, on the one hand, by the stories of the Indian swamis, saints and gurus who, among other things, appeared in two places at one time, levitated, and manifested objects from ‘thin air;’ on the other hand, I was struck by the rigorous discipline and profound devotion to God that was prevalent in India. (Attendance at our American weekend church services is mere fellowship in comparison.) Reading the book again in later years I thought, “Is there any human who loves God more than Paramahansa Yogananda?”

I have long struggled with accepting that all the suffering in the world is an aspect of God’s teaching plan; and with the idea that Mother Nature (who, at the very least, provides us all with our sustenance) is an illusion. Every time I stand in awe of a sunset, make friends with a critter, or hug a tree, I am blessed. I want to share a passage from the book here because it is the best explanation of what is real and what is not that I’ve ever seen: Continue reading

An Answer to Our Collective Prayer, A Guest Post by Sharie from Sending Joy

Happiness is Essential by Sharie of Sending Joy

“I want to see the world through God’s eyes today.”

There is only one way to see the world and still be at peace.  That is through the eyes of God. Whenever we can’t understand what we see or the reason we are having a particular experience, let’s not try to figure it out. We can’t.  Our job is to simply be still and pray, “God let me see this through your eyes.” And peace will flood through us and we will know that beneath the devastation and beyond the insanity, there is a place where all is well.

No matter how terrible things look, there are always underlying miracles and blessings working to make corrections. Those miracles are God’s gifts and we must allow them and trust in them, be grateful for them and surrender everything else. In this way, are we now an instrument of peace, a channel for healing and a part of the solution.

One of the biggest mistakes we make is not recognizing our part in the healing of the world. We may think we want to be happy, but if we’re not it isn’t hurting anything. The fact is our happiness is essential to God’s Plan for our healing and the world’s.

May you walk in the world today with a happy heart and God’s vision for seeing all things through His eyes.

Do We Choose Our Lives Or Not?

Yesterday, Kim P, who writes the reflective and soulful blog, Afternoon Storm, left a comment at my latest post, Hopes of the Heart (see below). She called it a powerful post and said that we humans do need to be knocked out of our complacency. In return, I said that the post probably reflected my own sense of despair over the situation in Somalia—that life-sustaining water (only a dream due to a severe drought) and food (only a dream because of militia groups) cannot reach the starving mothers and children we see on the news. My children—who have always had water and food and shelter—are at the heart of my world and I cannot fathom what these mothers must be feeling. I had asked myself, “How can these mothers know that God is Love, that God is with them, under these circumstances?”

Then, attempting to meditate this morning, I felt this: “How can I write that all humans, through their souls, in the space between lives, choose what is best for them for their spiritual growth, and then not accept this when confronted with physical horrors in others’ lives?” A friend once had a feeling that I could have lived and died through the years of the Irish Potato Famine (mid-1800s) and that I had kept telling others, “God is coming. Do not despair. God is love.” As I measured it back then, God did not come and the impression is apparently seared into my genetic memory.

At some deep level, I do know that we choose our lives for spiritual purposes and that it is through the most troubling of situations that we grow the most. Whether we live long lives or not, it is our need to know God, to know that Divine Love is real, that pulls us back toward the Heart of the universe. Yet, Divine Love is reflected also in compassion. Perhaps through these very difficult lives, these souls can, at last, climb off the reincarnation-wheel; let us pray that those who die before water and food reach them return to the Great Heart of Love at the center of the universe.

Love Your Enemies, Quoted from Paramahansa Yogananda

I am reading Paramahansa Yogananda’s book, The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You, as we humans read all holy books—slowly and while in a contemplative mood. In this two-book set he shares, in depth, his Eastern wisdom as it relates to the verses of the New Testament.

I am quoting several paragraphs below from his discourse on John 1:29-34, in which he writes about the most important of all subjects: the power of love over evil–and Jesus’ role in God’s great plan:

P.Y. writes that Jesus, “was not the arrogant power of a tyrannical crusader out to destroy evil by force. Rather he came…to offer himself as a sacrifice to exemplify the supreme power of love. If God used his omnipotence to punish man, it would be impossible for a mere mortal to exercise independent judgment and thus learn and grow by his mistakes. The karmic law works whereby man punishes himself proportionate to his misdeeds, while at the same time God uses love to encourage discriminative right behavior and to awaken in the human spirit the higher soul qualities of God’s image within the true Self.

“Jesus exemplified God’s love in a rare expression of spiritual magnanimity: the willing oblation of his own life. By sacrificing himself for the spiritual welfare of others, a savior who is empowered by God to do so can expiate the sins of others. Jesus, a world savior, took on himself not only the karmic debt of his disciples but also the sin of the masses by allowing himself to be crucified.”

Jesus offered himself as, “an exemplar of the consummate power of love over evil, wisdom over ignorance, forgiveness over vengefulness, light over darkness.

“Jesus’ sacrifice was, primarily, to exemplify for all time the power of spiritual force over ignorance and brute force. He showed that the power of love could conquer the Roman Empire, with which all its might could not suppress his philosophy. His reign has outlasted
that of all warrior conquerors, based on the divine edict: “Love your enemies.”

Love your enemies. This, whether they know it or not, is the calling of the world’s young people (but old souls) who have entered this world now, as a college grad said on the news a few nights ago “to stop the hate.” Thanks be to God, Creator, Love, Universe, Great Mystery.

Oh, Those Spiritual Mysteries

The sacred symbol, AUM, courtesy of http://www.bbc.co.uk

Do you ever wonder about spiritual mysteries? I’ve grappled with the idea of our world and our very lives being a delusion. What does that really mean? (I have lots of questions.)

I’m reading, ‘THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST, THE RESURRECTION OF THE CHRIST WITHIN YOU,’  by Paramanhansa Yogananda, and have realized early on that most, if not all, of my spiritual questions will be answered within the pages of this beautifully bound two-volume set. Paramanhansa Yogananda was sent to America by his guru to illustrate that the spiritual experiences and wisdom of the masters of the East is the same spirituality and wisdom of the true Jesus Christ. As P.Y. writes, he quotes from the King James Bible and the Hindu Bible, the Bhagavad Gita, showing how the sacred teachings are the same.

Here I’m quoting from the book about delusion:

“There are two manifestations of the darkness of delusion: one is maya, cosmic delusion, “that which measures the Infinite;” and the other is avidya, which means ignorance or individual illusion…Maya is the mass hypnosis of God by which he makes every human being believe in the same illusory ‘reality’ of creation as perceived by the senses; avidya gives individuality of form, experience and expression (it supports the ego or I-consciousness).

…The light of God shines within the darkness of cosmic delusion, but man, the perceiver, suffers from two blinding maladies: the limitation of his senses, or individual delusive ignorance, and the cosmic delusion, combined.

…In meditation this darkness of sensory dependence goes away and intuition prevails, revealing oneself as light in the magnitude of a whole universe of light.”

Aha! An explanation of why we see or not see what is.:)

Have you ever chanted the sound, AUM? I have and it’s powerful, clearing, even spine-tingling. AUM in the Bhagavad Gita is the Holy Ghost (or Spirit) in the Christian Bible. From the SECOND COMING OF CHRIST:

“The designation in the Hindu scriptures of this “Holy Ghost”as Aum signifies its role in God’s creative plan: A stands for akara, or creative vibration; U for ukara, preservative vibration; and M for makara, the vibratory power of dissolution…So the Aum or Holy Ghost creates all things, preserves them in myriad forms, and ultimately dissolves them in the sea-bosom of God to be again re-created—a continuing process of renewal of life and form in the ongoing cosmic dreaming of God.”

Each letter of the sacred sound, AUM, means something: creation, preservation and dissolution. Isn’t that interesting? I safely downloaded a one minute audio of the sound, AUM from: Meditation Music. (Audio 2 is great). Even one minute of this cosmic sound is healing.

A Powerful Knowing

My friend, Sharie, from Sending Joy, a WordPress blog, made a comment recently on my post, ‘A Simple Life in a New World.’ At her blog, Sharie teaches how to focus on Love and Light and leave all the rest behind. I’d like to share here her comment; the sentences in italics deeply touched me:

“Pam Dear, we need to believe in everything because all things are possible. The so-called miracles of this world, like your son’s magic tooth, are really nothing compared to the power of God that is working constantly in and through us in a place beyond this world. I would tell our brother who doesn’t believe in the power of visualization that he needs to have a little more faith … in himself. We can look and easily see all the destruction and the violence and scarcity and pain and suffering here. Those things are easy to see because they make a lot of noise and are very distracting. And they’re in the news a lot, presented in the most dramatic way possible.

But the peace and joy and capacity for true healing that lives within us is very quiet and so we don’t always remember to look for it. We just need to pay a little more attention to the real miracles and less attention to the chaos. It’s all in where we choose to focus our minds. On the flowers—or the weeds. On the destruction—or on the love that arises from it. Thank you for all your thought provoking posts. Love you, Sharie”

“The so-called miracles of this world, like your son’s magic tooth, are really nothing compared to the power of God that is working constantly in and through us in a place beyond this world.” Powerful words, powerful knowing. Sharie and I both started our blogs in June, 2009, and soon found each other. I write about my spiritual journey with mostly personal reflections. Sharie is like a ship, strong and sure, riding waves of Light from the Love-place beyond this world, the place her heart-mind is ever focused. I hope you’ll stop by her blog, http://sendingjoy.wordpress.com, especially when you’re feeling fearful or overwhelmed. Every time Sharie posts, she uses different words to assure us our chaotic world is not the real world, and all we need do to experience love and healing is turn our eyes toward the Light and say, “I see you, Lord of Love. I am here.”

On a personal note, we’re having our family Thanksgiving dinner this weekend because this is when we can all be together. Both my sons will be here from out of town and I am so happy! My brother’s daughter and her children were here last weekend for a reconciliation that happened. I’m taking a moment to express my gratitude for a loving family that had quite a way to go, and made the journey, is making the journey, with the grace of Love.

The Game of Life, a Guest Post from the 11:11 Progress Group

There are days when my faith sags–kind of like my body 🙂–and I think the wonderful new world is not coming, that instead the whole world is lost to darkness. On those days, I go outside at night and send my heart’s longings up to the stars and then an email like this one from the 11:11 Progress Group arrives in my In Box. May you also be blessed by these words.

Thank you, George and Sunny, for all you do for your human family. 

© 11:11 Progress Group.
Toujours au Service de Michael.
www.1111AkashicConstruct.com

Received by Helen Whitworth

Monjoronson: “When you are born into this world, you find yourself naked and alone, and divorced from all you know and comprehend.  The journey of your life is to piece together that from which you came, that which you are, and that which you will become.

There are veils around you in all ways, forging a barrier between you and your true Divine Self, between you and your colleagues, and between you and your own sense of the reality that sits beneath that which you perceive; yet with care, effort and love within your heart, you start to chip away at those veils to discover yourself and the wondrous entities that share their worlds with you, forging the veil into a new structure, no longer a barrier, but a device to allow you the wonder of experience life fully on earth.

Do not be distressed by your apparent separation from that which you feel as home, but instead delight in the glory of all that is on Earth, which you are unable to experience in any other place within this universe.  If you saw already what the true nature of reality was, then you would be stripped of the wondrous motion towards perfection and of the childlike delight formed when discovering that which is new to your perceptions.

Think of this life as a game, a game in which there are no losers and many, many different paths to the final stage.  It’s a game of exploration, of fun, of joy and of sorrow, and like all good games it would not be exciting without fear, apprehension and anxiety at times.

These moments help to stand you in good stead for a future as Divine Being, to empathize and understand those still encompassed within the lowest planes of the ascendant mortals.

Know every move has been calculated and its potential assessed, though it remains your own will, which dictates which potential is followed. We delight in progressing our paths alongside you, watching the way you tackle emergency and trauma, and comforting you when it all becomes too much.

Know that your efforts, always valiant, are noted and recorded, and when the time comes to look back on your lessons you will often see that those which form the greatest part of your ‘learnings’ are the ones that passed unnoticed within your own times.

In all that you are, and all that you can be, you are perfected beings finding the way of will in a world of dichotomy and inconsistency.  Each turn you take is a marvel and part of God’s plan to experience how life becomes itself when separated from all that it already knows.

Feed from the light of the sun, find sustenance in your communion with others, and look to the heavens for inspiration and fortitude.  We are by your side and we will never leave you until your journey on this plane is through.

By the morning, all will be clear.”

 © 11:11 Progress Group.
Toujours au Service de Michael.
www.1111AkashicConstruct.com

Spirit Teacher: Happiness is Essential, A Guest Post from ‘Sending Joy’

Sharie from Sending Joy writes about the pure essence of life, the Love that created our universe and the love and light that live within us. Her posts always touch my heart, but this one blessed my mind, also. I hope the same will happen for you and that you will visit her blog soon. Her email address is: sayit@sendingjoy.com.

“There is only one way to see the world and still be at peace.  That is through the eyes of God. Whenever we can’t understand what we see or the reason we are having a particular experience, let’s not try to figure it out. We can’t.  Our job is to simply be still and pray, “God let me see this through your eyes.” And peace will flood through us and we will know that beneath the devastation and beyond the insanity, there is a place where all is well.

No matter how terrible things look, there are always underlying miracles and blessings working to make corrections. Those miracles are God’s gifts and we must allow them and trust in them, be grateful for them and surrender everything else. In this way, are we now an instrument of peace, a channel for healing and a part of the solution.

One of the biggest mistakes we make is not recognizing our part in the healing of the world. We may think we want to be happy, and if we’re not it isn’t hurting anything. The fact is our happiness is essential to God’s Plan for our healing and the world’s.

May you walk in the world today with a happy heart and God’s vision for seeing all things through His eyes.”

On Receptivity and Faith

I was thinking last night: What makes me so certain of the things I write here, like ‘God is Love,’ and ‘All are loved,’ and ‘Forgiveness is second only to Love,’ and so on? How do I know if these are true? I don’t, really. All I know is, in a receptive state of mind, with a sincere need to know there is something more and something higher than me—higher than our human lives and problems—I arrive at the keyboard with my heart in a ‘ready’ state, and I type. And Love comes through my fingers. (At least, I think that’s what happens.)

I never lose self-awareness. I always know where I am and what I am doing at the keyboard, but it seems this writing is beyond what I personally know. Because I love God (Heavenly Father, Divine Mother, the Universe, Savior, Peacemaker, Love Within—by whatever name God is called) and I have been sick since 1997, I believe this writing is a gift to me, a way for me to feel I am helping in some small manner, of getting to be a stitch on the universal love-quilt, so to speak.

We, as individuals, however, should always arrive at our own ‘beliefs,’ and though having an open, compassionate mind is a very good thing and we may be touched by this or that article or book, or receive divine-love at church or in a forest, we have to form our own faith and operate from our own consciences. And faith-building takes a lifetime, much of it coming after the tests, the broken hearts and the losses.

I remember being 26 and becoming a Catholic. I was so happy because I could feel people praying in Catholic churches; I seemed to fit there. But I ended up having a great deal of difficulty with the pedophile-priests and the church transferring them from one parish to another. I also believe the abundance of the Catholic Church in Rome should not be hoarded; I believe it should be spent on giving a hand up to those whose needs are great, all around the world, with healing in mind and nothing asked in return.

So, I separated myself from the church. I love Jesus Christ, the God-man who came and taught us to be peacemakers (and we didn’t get it), but I do not accept or endorse the radical-right teachings of so many organizations now on display, nor can I in good conscience submit to the authority of a man in Rome who is human, just like the rest of us. I believe God loves all of us, from the pope to feminists, to gays, to immigrants, to pagans and to the sad, toothless, hungry, homeless men who live and die in alleyways.

Anyway, I guess I wanted to say that what I write here could be more for me than anyone else. If something I write doesn’t feel right to you, you know what to do; ignore it or let it go. Follow the path that feels right in your heart, that you know is Love, that answers your important meaning-of-life questions. At least we can agree—right?—that Love is the answer at the heart of every spiritual search. If we all get to the Love-place within, at least if we try to feel compassion, gratitude and forgiveness, our world will be okay.