Spirituality is, of course, different from religion. This is in part why we changed our description to that of being an interspiritual church rather than an interfaith church, because interfaith hints at religion, meaning we are a church of all religions, which is true, but we are more. We are a church of no religions, as well. We are a church uniting all the spiritual Truths into one, including all beings, regardless of race, religion, species, sex or anything else. We are a church which transcends religion, and strives to find spiritual answers which have existed before even the very first church.
Our spirituality is that part of us which understands the concept of love and years to give and receive it more than anything else. That sums it up better than anything else. It's the part of us that knows there is more than the physical realm. It's the part that believes in the goodness of life regardless of how things appear. It's the unselfish part of us, the very wise and creative part of us, and the part of us which knows peace. Becoming more spiritually developed means to embrace our true nature of being created in the image and likeness of God.
True spirituality IS holistic. It takes that which is given to us in spirit and carries it to the mind, refusing to believe anything else, and then to the body, carrying out the spiritual concepts in physical form, on earth as it is in heaven. To merely live on a cloud of righteous assumption is not true spirituality. True spirituality lies in being able to live a spiritual life in the best and in the worst situations. In the best situations our spirituality will often be tested by the temptations of ego and fortune, making it possible for the best situation to actually turn us to the worst. In the worst situations, however, we are tested in the area of faith, and if we follow the path of righteous action based on strongly held spiritual beliefs, we will turn the worst situation into the best, for we will immeasurably grow.
Spirituality is something felt in the heart. It is of Perfect Love. But the body and mind need it's benefits, too, for we are here on this earth to express our spiritual nature in physical form.
The mental realm is the command center, which directs our actions on the physical plane. If we wish to live out in actuality the spiritual principles which we hold dear, such as love, peace, harmony, health, abundance, health and well-being for all, then we need to take control of our command center and order that which we desire. We are the captain of our own ship!
Spirituality is expressed in the mental realm as thoughts of love, peace, beauty, gratitude, humility, willingness, prosperity, health. We must guard ourselves against thoughts to the contrary, remembering that our mind, as the control center, is actually sending out orders to carry out in the physical world. It doesn't matter if we don't mean it deep in our heart. Deep in our heart is our spiritual nature...this is the mental realm. Remember we are three beings in one, the trinity expressed in us as spirit, mind and body, all three. We are speaking here of the mind.
The mind must be disciplined. It can easily become lazy, ruled by ego, deficient in the use of wisdom and humility, along with other spiritual gifts with which we are blessed. The mind, left on its own, is in fact pure ego itself. Ego's not bad, it just shouldn't be left on its own. Spirit MUST be involved if we are to be a completely whole functioning human created in the image and likeness of God. God, or Spirit, is actually the essence of us.
But the mind must be disciplined, yes, along spiritual lines. We have to be on our toes to weed out thoughts of anything less than love, anything less than that which is per;fect, anything other than health, harmony, beauty, peace, truth. We cannot allow ourselves to be swayed by others who are wishing to drag us down so they will not have to deal with their own spiritual and mental laziness. We have to remember that it is our thoughts which steer our ship. If we want spiritual rewards, we must steer our ship, or our life, in a spiritual direction. It's simply the way that it works.
You can't believe one thing and then constantly think a different way. Do you believe that God heals? Then you can't be thinking about being sick all the time, or sickness is where you're heading your ship. Don't blame God if you become ill! Illness comes from believing in illness more than believing in God.
Discipline your thoughts and you'll change your world....IF....if you take it one step further and include the third part of the trinity, too. The body. We must engage ourselves in the practices which reflect our spirituality in physical form.
How? By treating our bodies as temples of God, by respecting and following the laws of God as set down in the natural world, and by actually doing something to help others and help ourselves, rather than just want it or think about it. On earth as in heaven. That is a powerful line from a very powerful prayer.
If we don't take action on what it is we believe, does it really matter what we believe?
We can pray, pray, pray, pray and see no results if we don't take it to the next level. We have to believe it, think it, live it. LIVE IT! It takes physical action for the spirit to express in the physical world. It takes action on the physical plane for our beliefs to become manifest.
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT! Many great spiritually minded people eat junk and then die from eating junk....or drinking too much....or smoking....or any number of things. Spirituality alone will not keep the body alive. We have to nourish and take good care of our bodies. Our body is the temple of God...
So, just as we are wise to align our thoughts with our spiritual intention...with ideas of love, peace, wellness, abundance, perfection, kindness, beauty, etc...it is also wise to align our physical actions with these types of ideals. Let's take the example of food, since food is so basic for the upkeep of our physical form.
Eat with Love. Feed your body as if you love it! Eat food that you love. Show love, too, to the source of your food. Is it an animal? Was it loving to kill it? Might want to rethink what you eat.
Eat with Peace. Again, think of how your food was produced. Was it produced through violence? How about slavery? Learn more about peaceful ways your food can be procured. In prayer, too, bless the producers of the food that you eat. Bless them and also the methods they use. And if there are animals involved, bless them as well and give thanks to them. (Better yet, take animal products off of your plate!)
Another way to bring peace into the diet is to always eat with a clear conscience regarding all things and never when you are upset or angry in any way. Angry emotions will poison your food. It is better to fast than to eat when you are upset. Wait until you are calm. This is one reason it's nice to say a prayer blessing our food. Bless us and those with whom we are upset while we're praying, too!
Eat with wellness, always, in mind. Food is our physical nourishment. Eat foods which will nourish! The wrong foods or foods which have been processed in the wrong ways will not provide nourishment, but rather add to our toxic burden of waste the body will need to remove to be well. Just because no acute symptoms appear does not mean a food is safe to ingest. The side effects are always there if we eat an unnatural food. The results are accumulative and may take years to show, and then most likely they'll be blamed upon something else. People can keep looking to things other than food for the answers, but food is basic to our health and it most certainly does have an effect. Eat as closely to the earth as you can! Food grows out of the earth, not out of a box or a can. To respect the Design is to respect the Designer and also it is to respect yourself. Back to love! Eat with wellness in mind, not simply to please your tastebuds or fill your gut.
Eat with the thought of abundance in mind. Don't worry that there's not enough. If you're not spending your money on junk, there will be enough. Take the processed foods out of your budget and you'll be amazed at how far your money will go. Really. The best in fresh, raw, organic produce, nuts and whole grains is nothing compared to the cost of food which will not feed your cells. That's what you're doing when you eat...you're attempting to feed your body on a cellular level. Juicing is one of the best ways to do that, and a 1 pound bag of organic carrots is about a dollar for two great big 16 ounce glasses of nourishing juice. That's 25 cents for 8 ounces. Is less nourishing really less expensive? Not if it doesn't do the same job. Does what you're drinking and eating actually nourish the cells? How much is actually accumulating waste in the body instead or flat out robbing it of its nutrients? That's what drinking soda pop will surely do, and many other things people are known to consume. So, don't eat cheap food thinking you're saving. You're not. God provided an abundance of food for our good. Take a closer look at your grocery slip and then compare it to what you get back. Trust me, the best bargains are in the organic produce section or in your own yard. Talk about abundance! God gave us seeds!!!
Perfection, kindness, beauty and other wonderful spiritual principles should also all be displayed in all that you eat. Spiritual Principles of Love, Truth, Peace, Harmony, Perfection, etc. are true everywhere if they're true at all. This is a good yardstick to use when deciding what to do on the physical plane, whether we're talking about eating, exercising, working, making love or anything else on the physical plane. These things should be reflective of God. That is how spirituality is practiced on the physical plane.
So, to hold thoughts which are congruent with our spiritual ideals and to act upon these thoughts is to have what I call holistic spirituality. This, to me, is true spirituality. This is the idea of the Trinity...all three in one...Spirit, Mind, Body....God. Many people can't understand why spirituality alone isn't enough. If it were enough, we wouldn't need bodies. In the end it's enough, but for now, we are in physical form.
And also do not forget the proper use of the mind! Thinking we're spiritual and then thinking negative thoughts is not being spiritual at all, nor will it bring complete results regarding your health or any other success you wish to achieve. It must be the union of all three to bring peace, balance and harmony. This is what the Spirit wishes to express through our form.
On earth as it is in heaven. In expression through us as in keeping with the perfection that we are capable of. Manifestation of our own image of God.
Excuses don't really excuse anyone from anything other than to g4t out of learning, advancing and reaching goals, as in having an excuse to miss class. You miss it. That's what I'm talking about.
Some people use excuses for everything. That's not to say there aren't reasons why some things are harder than others, or why sometimes things can't be done. But to make excuses, constantly talking about why things can't be done even before they've been tried, well, this is not going to help anyone in reaching their goals.
I tried to explain this to someone the other day, and perhaps I didn't explain myself in the right way, because this person thought I was being judgmental towards them when that was not my intent. My intent was to point out that if you always look for what's wrong, you're never going to see what is right. If you focus on that which you lack, you will not fully see what you have. You have to start where you are if you want to move on and accept the challenge of life on life's terms, not looking for ways to get out of it all. To turn our focus in a positive direction is to steer our ship in that way.
There are challenges. Yes. Maybe you don't have any money or no car. Maybe your health is poor. Maybe you don't have a babysitter, or your dog ate your homework or maybe you never got the message informing you of what you needed to know. Maybe you forgot or you got caught in traffic or you could not find your keys. Maybe you don't have any family, friends, help or support. Maybe you're sick. That's an excuse that's too often used.
But wait! What if it's actually true? Well, what if it is? It may very well be, but are you really going to let whatever it is keep you down? There are always alternative ways to meet goals, if you're looking for what you can do instead of only seeing what it is you don't have.
Maybe the goals need to change. That's a possibility, too.
Notice if you're making excuses for not meeting your goals. Maybe you're sabotaging your own efforts for one reason or another. Maybe you don't really want to do what it is that you've committed to do. Maybe you don't think you can or you have a fear you will fail. Sometimes people are even afraid they'll succeed. Are you perhaps making excuses for a reason other than what you say? You will have to examine your motives deep down and be honest with yourself if you want to succeed. Otherwise you may just be running yourself in circles, getting hung up in negativity rather than ever moving ahead.
Perhaps the problem is simply that we over-commit. Sometimes we really aren't up to all that we're wishing to do. That's something we need to be honest with ourselves about, too. This is all about self-honesty. Being honest is not the same as making excuses. Being honest with oneself includes looking also at what is right, because truthfully, nothing is ever all wrong.
But about over-committing, there may be numerous reasons why a person might over-commit. It may be an unrealistic expectation of ourselves that we're able to do more than we really can, or it may be that we are trying to please or impress someone else. Again, the first step to overcoming the problem is to be honest with ourselves about having a problem in the first place, and about what the nature of it really is.
Who says there is a problem? Well, if you're making excuses on a regular basis, there is a problem indeed. Either you're not being realistic in what it is that you're able to do and you need to rethink your commitments and goals, or you're committing to things you really don't want to do, or there's an ulterior motive of some sort going on. Something's not right when excuses start to occur regularly.
One of the problems with developing a pattern of making excuses is that people get more and more desparate in their attempts at making their excuses believable to others and also themselves. The subconscious mind gets in on the act, and circumstances start to occur to fulfill our inner desire to be excused from that which we don't want to do. Self-defeating behavior becomes the norm, and before we know it we risk becoming ineffectual in other areas of life, as well. It begins to get out of control.
Often this involves physical well-being and health. People actually develop illnesses due to deep rooted desires to stay home or not do what they said they would do. This can become chronic and even disabling. Usually the person is not even aware there is a link. That's why we have to be rigorously honest with ourselves and examine our motives. It's hard to believe when it comes to illness, but illness usually has a pay off of some kind to us. It meets an emotional need. Wouldn't it be better to be honest with ourselves regarding our inner needs and find better ways of satisfying them than to sabotage our own health?
Ohhhhh....Okay. I've lost some of you, I think. Just stay with me a minute more, please. I'n not judging. I'm just asking you to please be honest with yourself and look at what you really want and then look at ways to achieve it instead of looking for reasons why you cannot. There may be obstacles, yes. There usually are. But if it's something you really want then you will find a way if it's the right thing for you to do.
Maybe health is a problem. I'm not saying that it never is something with which we have to deal. Perhaps it does keep us from meeting our goals. Sometimes our goals have to change, and sometimes they just have to wait. Sometimes when physical challenges seemingly keep us from meeting our goals it's not the physical challenge that's doing it but rather our attitude. Maybe we need the down time to reflect or make a new plan. If it's something we really want, oftentimes there's still a way if we don't give up.
Self-pity's a trap. Self-pity is often involved when too many excuses are made. We feel sorry for ourselves because "we can't help it." We can cling to this idea or we can dig deep inside ourselves and find our Source of Strength and find a way despite what our challenges are. Self-pity tells us we are weak, whereas a good healthy sense of self-esteem knows we are incredibly strong. And we are! We are created in the image of God!
When our challenges seem too great to bear, we really do need to look to our strengths. Again, what is right? Stop focusing on what doesn't seem right and what isn't working for us and turn your full attention to finding what it is that will help, determined that a solution exists. Solutions to every problem exist! Stay strong in that resolve and you'll find your solutions and reach your goals. Then excuses are needed no more.
The more we repeat our excuses to others and to ourselves, the more deeply ingrained they become and we not only believe them ourselves but they become more and more real, and more and more able to keep us down. Break free from the trap of excuses and of self-pity. Break free and take control of your own destiny. Don't get caught up in a self-fulfilling prophesy of something you really don't want. You're more powerful than you realize, and what you focus on is what you become. Instead of developing excuses, develop determination. That's what it's going to take.
It doesn't matter if you're excuse is good enough or not. Is an excuse really what it is that you want?
During times of grieving it seems as if nothing
can ever be right again. When something of importance is lost, there
always will be a void, but things will be right again, in the end. How
can we say that in the face of the death of a loved one? Some losses
are too important; too grave! But death is part of life, and the world
will go on, as harsh as that may at first seem.
It isn't harsh, though. It is a blessing that life will go on. It is a
blessing that over time the pain will lesson, and we will begin to
accept even that which we believed we could not.
Death isn't the only loss we have to deal with in life. There are many,
and each needs to be grieved before true acceptance is possible. It is
this acceptance which brings freedom and meaning to life. Acceptance
brings the freedom to thrive and be happy regardless of what
circumstance brings, and that gives meaning to why we are here...to help
others learn to accept and cherish life as it is.
When we die, what is it we wish to have accomplished during our time on
earth? This is a very important question to ask ourselves, because if
this question is not satisfactorily answered at the end of our life,
we're going to feel very dissatisfied when our time comes to an end. To
have assions and beliefs that we stand for, to be devoted to our
ideals, to cherish and rotect those whom we care for, to live life in
pursuit of our dreams...there is nothing that can compare to a life
lived with intent. In what way do we intend to leave our mark on the
What about the person for whom we are grieving? Did they live a life
with which they found satisfaction? Did they love others? Help
others? Leave a mark in the minds and hearts of their loved ones that
will live on forever? Then they have lived a good life worth
celebrating once it is through.
It's hard to lose someone we love, but we must learn how to go on from
there. We need to take a time of grieving that which is lost, but in
our grief it is important to remember the good that was accomplished and
the good that will carry on. We can do this by putting our attention
on what remains instead of what has passed away.
Often it is our own fear of mortality as much as anything else that
makes us cry. Get on with the business of living the life that you want
How to go on without a loved one? Through memories, through
celebration, and through carrying on that person's wishes, examples and
plans on their behalf, if it is something we believe in and are able to
do. Do it out of honor and out of respect. For instance, my mom was
wonderful at being a mother, and that's something to celebrate about her
life. Her wish more than anything for after she passed was to know
that her children were close to each other. The thing I can do to honor
my mother's memory the most is to do my part in maintaining a loving
relationship with my brother and sister. This in turn helps me to deal
with my grief.
It's much easier to accept the loss of a loved one if we have some sense
of what we believe happens to a soul after death. Some people believe
life continues after death, and others believe the lights simply go out
and that's it. I believe there is more, but even if the lights do just
go out, I still feel good that I've lived a good life.
What more could there be? There are many, many ideas about this. I
believe, though, that with a clear conscious and with living a life
centered in Love that the after-life cannot be anything scary or bad.
With too many ties to this earthly existence, however, such as
addictions and materialistic values, it can be hard leaving this world.
I believe it is much easier to make the passing when we are not afraid
of leaving this world behind and embracing the next, and it is also much
easier to accept it when others have passed.
Many people are worried they'll go to hell. To my way of thinking, hell
is on earth before dying, but I think it can also be experienced after
death if we carry anguish into our grave, or leave our work before our
purpose has been fulfilled, due to some action over which we had
control. This, I think, is hell. I had a near-death experience from
which I returned after having experienced the feeling of heaven and then
the realization of the hell of leaving my life before it was time. I
turned around and came immediately back. It was the most significant
experience of my whole life.
But in addressing the topic of grief, we can talk ourselves into
acceptance by remembering the good times and celebrating life while
knowing that our loved one is somewhere much better now, with no pain.
Still, though, we need to grieve. We need to cry, even if we "know"
they are okay We need to cry for the departed, and we need to cry for
ourselves. It's important to let out our feelings and not rationalize
them away before their purpose is served. What purpose? Well, tears
are quite cleansing, for one thing. We need to wash out the past to
move into the future.
We also need to cry to give release to our feelings of remorse,
loneliness, fear, sorrow, anger...whatever it is we are feeling, it is
okay. Many feelings arise during times of someone's passing we know,
even if we don't know them well. It will bring us to terms with our own
mortality, if nothing else, which in itself can be extremely profound.
So how does this all relate to losses through other means besides
death? Loss of a job, a dream, a relationship, belongings or anything
else brings us face to face with the idea that there are no guarantees
of permanency in this life. Much to the contrary, the only thing
constant is change. So coming to trust what's on the other side is
important here, too, as is rejoicing for all that has been. Doing our
best in the moment and not becoming too attached to the material world,
being willing to let go of even our most precious relationships or
belongings if that's what should occur...these are all good traits to
strengthen if we are to learn how to deal with life on life's terms, and
allowing ourselves to cry, realizing that crying is part of the natural
process of letting go. Tears offer a physical release. Without tears,
we become poisoned to some degree by the toxic chemicals produced by
stress, so it's actually very important for us.
It's okay to be sad. Pretending we're not sad when we are prolongs the
process of truly becoming happy again. Fake happiness isn't the same as
the joy which true acceptance will bring. True acceptance only comes
through allowing the process of grief recovery to occur within us.
Shutting the process down puts us into a state of denial, and in denial,
truth of all sorts becomes clouded over to us. We then live in a world
of unreality, where life can't be counted on. Learning to trust Life
in spite of the changes it brings is where we can truly find joy.
Sometimes, in the case of death, we feel guilty if we move on too
quickly. We may feel it's our duty to mourn. Mourn, yes, but staying
stuck doesn't do anyone very much good. And if there is a life after
death, some people say that mourning to deeply without allowing
acceptance to enter the picture actually holds the soul back from moving
on from this world. We really don't do ourselves or the departed much
good by not letting go.
No it's not always easy. I'm not implying it is. Give yourself all the
time that you need, but allow yourself to go through the
process...don't avoid it but don't stay stuck in it, either. Allow
yourself so much time per crying session. Sit down and remember...pull
out the pictures and put the sad musid on and let the tears freely
flow. But set the timer, and when it goes off, it's time to ut the
pictures away and put on some happy music and get on with your day until
your next schedules time set aside. This is after your first several
days. Don't worry about scheduling then, just let it all out. But when
it's time to get back to regular life and move on, you still may need
time to cry, and that is completely okay. In fact, it is good.
I wrote a few weeks ago about the "Veil of Death." I needed to write
more on the topic again, more for myself than anyone else. I am faced
at this moment in time with the sadness of a friend slipping away from
this world. It's been very hard to accept, simply because I do not
necessarily believe there's no hope just because that's what the doctors
say. In this case, there has been plenty of hope, and life has
continued with fabulous quality for years beyond what they said. And it
may still! But things are not looking that way, and I am having to
accept that perhaps this is the time. Maybe it's not...I hope it's
not...but if it is, then I have to realize and accept that it's the best
thing and in accordance with my friend's destiny to return to spirit
Enjoy every moment you have with those whom you love. Enjoy every
moment of life! It is truly precious, and it so quickly goes. In a
flash we'll be finding out for ourselves what's beyond. Until then, go
hug someone, write someone a letter, or call someone up on the phone.
Don't leave any apologies unspoken or feelings of love stay hidden
away. Don't take your loved ones for granted. Don't take tomorrow for
granted. Live each day as if it's your last. Life is so precious.
Make every bit of it count! You're here for a purpose. Enjoy finding
out what it is a. (HinT...it's something you feel passionately about!) The biggest regrets at the end of a person's life, so they have found, are not the mistakes people have made, but the things they wish they had done and did not. Regrets come from not experiencing life to the fullest way more often than from doing things wrong, so get out there and give it all that you've got!
When a woman covers her face with a veil, her face does not change, just our view of it changes. The same can be said of life. Life is eternal. It goes on forever. But when death comes, it is as if it is gone, when only our view of life has been obscured.
Do we believe in Life Eternal? Do we believe God is Infinite Life and that we are created in the image and likeness of God? Do we believe that God has no beginning or end? Then we must believe this of Life.
We are not our body. Our body is but a vehicle for our earthly expression. We need to take care of our body, for without it we shall exist no longer in this life in physical form, but we are by no means to be considered dead at that time. We simply become dead to this world. Life is precious here on this earth, and we need our body to carry our mission out in physical form. Life holds meaning in accordance with our awareness of Spirit. Spirit is God. God is Love. Life holds more meaning when lived in Love.
Death is a transition. Our physical body is cast aside at that time and we no longer need it to get around or to see. Perfect sight, perfect movement, perfect understanding are ours. The veil of death has been lifted and we see what is on the other side. We are able to see it all now, but unable to interact with those on the other side of the veil, and they are unable to interact, either, with us. Except....sometimes...as in dreams, visions, and through clairvoyance of various types. Many have, indeed, made contact with those who have since passed away. I myself have, and many people I know also have. There are so many more than just those I know. I wonder if perhaps we have not all had such experiences, but perhaps dismissed them as something else?
Birth is a transition, as well. When does the consciousness enter the body? Consciousness creates the body, I think. What I mean by that is that I have a vague yet very strong sense of a time before I was born. Vague in the details, but very strong in the feeling of it. I remember making a contract, however. I remember planning my life and setting goals. I remember accepting my mission. I don't remember, per se, but as I said, I have a very strong sense that this is what occurred. There is a part of me that remembers this, yes.
I was blessed in having been led into memories of several past lives through hypnotic regression. Some may say the memories were not memories at all but rather subconscious concoctions of my own imaginative mind, but J don't think the distinction is so important to make, for it is the mind that interprets reality at any point in time, is it not?
What happens to us after we die? No one knows for sure, I suppose, but many believe that they do. I have had several near-death experiences. (Psychic experiences come more often to some due to the awareness they have opened themselves to on a spiritual plane. I have been aware of my "awareness" since childhood and have had many experiences of a spiritual natural as a result.) One thing I learned through these experiences is that there are choices and consequences available to us regarding whether to leave the physical world before our work here is done. We are given options, or at least in my case, I was.
What I saw of heaven was all tht we dream it to be. Complete Understanding. Perfect Perspective. Absolute Peace. Total Love. Blissful Joy. What I saw of hell was the horror and anguish of being disconnected from my physical expression and unable to use it as a vehicle to comlete my work in this life. Leaving my body before it was time would have been absolute hell. I thought of not holding my children for as long as I could, and I thought of my work with Essentials of Life Holistic Enrichment Center, even before it was formed. The feeling of not completing my time was torturous to even imagine living with until my natural time would have come, and seeing all the ways I was meant to help but could not due to turning away from my vow to carry on in my work. I hurried back to my body and gratefully picked it back up.
I believe that all of us are here for a purpose, and that purpose may or may not be consciously known. Whatever it is, though, it involves Love. Love is God's will for us all, for God ids Love and we are created in the image of God.
So, what is the meaning of life? To express Love in whatever way is our own special way. This is not as easy in the physical world as it is in the world of Spirit where ALL is Love. In the physical world we have the temptations of physical cravings and of curiosity. In the physical form we have eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and we are tempted by many things which distort the True meaning of Love.
The only rules we have been given regarded Love, and we are to express it to our neighbots, ourselves and our God. We are not to kill...not very loving....not to steal....again, Love does not steal. All of the commandments deal with Love in one way or another. Lust is disrespectful to Love. Coveting is not Love for Love is not envious. We are told what Love is in the following verse:
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail;
whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge,
it shall vanish away.
his passage is from the King James Version of the Bible and the word, "love" is used instead of "charity" in most other translations. The word, "charity," however, is taken from the Greek word "agape," which is how the transcript was originally interpreted to read. There are many meanings of the word, "love." To use the word, "charity," goes beyond what we think of at weddings, where this verse is frequently read. To read the passage as written here brings images of helping each other, for "agape" refers to a love of our fellow man. May I suggest that "charity" be extended to all of our fellow creatures, not only man, for this is a more complete expression of Love. Unconditional Love knows no bounds.
Not even death. So the veil, it is just a veil. It is n illusion that Life is gone. Life is hiding just as a mama hides behind a scarf as she plays peek-a-boo or when a child plays hide-and-seek. It is an illusion that they are gone. It is the same as when the sun goes behind the clouds or is eclipsed by the moon, or even when it goes to the other side of the world and we have night. The sun is still there. Also, life id still there after death.
So if a person lives a life full of love, a life based on the principles of love to include compassion and mercy, truthfulness and willingness to do the right thing in all that we do, then we are assured of a peaceful time after death, so long as we honor the Spirit of Love and not be a cruel phoney baloney in life. Love the Light. Be the Love. Be the Light. Shine.
Can we communicate with those who have gone on? Perhaps. If it is meant to be and if you and they are open to it. It's really easiest to just remember that you are One in Love, as are we all. Go to that place of Love and remember them in your mind. Ask a question and if you listen with an open heart it will come. Otherwise, there are mediums, yes. I know quite a few! Be sure and pick someone who is ethical and filled with light. You can tell by their inner glow. It's good to check their references, too. Authentic mediums can help you a great deal in putting your fears to rest regarding extremely personal matters or they can be a source of great disturbance if they are untrue or negative in their intent. Always surround yourself in God's Holy Light and deny any power of darkness, for Love is the only Power there is. Anything else which appears to have power is an illusion to us, even death.
Do you know someone who has passed away who was so loving you can still feel their warmth? Perhaps your mother or grandmother or somebody else. To me, it was my Mom. I can still feel her love just as strong, and her love still impacts my life in so many ways. She will be a part of me always, and she will live on in my children, and theirs and theirs and theirs. My mom was made of Pure Love and she is shining in heaven today, or in another body again here on earth to shine love forth in the brightest way. I don't know, but I do know that my mom is not dead. She is resting in peace, but she is alive!
So don't be afraid of when the time of death comes. It will come in its right time. Live a good life in the meantime, the very best that you can. Fulfill your purpose by extending Love to the world! Give love to yourself, your family, your neighbors, to all of life! Find the God of your understanding and thn offer yourself in loving service to that! Love is the way to overcome the illusion of death. Love has perfect sight. With eyes of Love, you can easily see through the veil.
Halloween is rooted in Celtic tradition and is considered by those who understand it to be the most holy day of the year. It is a time of harvesting, putting away for the winter, saying goodbye to the past year. It is also a time that is considered to be the time when the veil between the two worlds is at its thinnest and most easily penetrable state. Happy Halloween and remember those who have passed on with Love! Then it's time for us to move on, rejoicing, for a good harvest in the past year and give thanks for a good year to cone.
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Lord, make me an INSTRUMENT...not Lord, bring peace so I can enjoy it, but make me work for it...allow me to be a part of the solution, ojt merely a recipient of the reward. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with ME!
So how do we bring peace? The prayer gives many ideas. Where there is hatred, sew love, is a very good place to start. Peace comes through love. Make me an instrument of THY peace. Let us not forget, God is Love
Peace comes through people like us being willing to go against the norm of blaming and putting the burden upon others to bear. Scapegoats are created to give pardon to those wishing to defer responsibility for their own happiness, health, well-being and prosperity. It is the government's fault, our neighbor's fault, or the fault of our boss, our spouse, the foreigners, the other political party, the leeches of society or anyone other than us. We don't even take responsibility for our own health, so it seems, without blaming germs, genes, the weather or something else other than the choices we make, which most of the time, it is due to things within our own control.
We have to stop blaming on all levels in order for peace to occur. Stop blaming others and take responsibility for your own life. Then, stop blaming yourself and find inner peace. Stop blaming yourself and respond wisely to your own needs. Responsibility is all about utilizing your own ability to respond to the situations in life. Blaming and finding fault keeps us bound to negativity. Taking responsibility allows us the freedom to choose the result that we want and to pursue it. There is certainly much peace in that.
Make me an instrument of thy peace...."THY" peace...the peace that passeth all understanding. Not peace for selfish motives. Not peace for material gain. Peace only for the good of all. The peace of unconditional Love.
We are asked in the prayer given above to sew seeds of love, pardon, faith, hope, light and joy, not to just sit idly by and wait for the harvest to come. Again, it is upon us to bring peace; to actually be instruments in the process of bringing it forth. We are to take part. We are to speak out against hatred and injustice, spreading light, spreading love, spreading peace. Where there are those who feel hopeless we are to bring hope to their weary souls, and in so doing, our own weary souls shall find all of thee things and we, ourselves, will know peace.
It is in giving that we receive.
It is True in turn that what we receive is reflective of that which we give. "As we sow, so shall we reap." "What goes around, comes around." There are many famous sayings reflective of this truth that we all know to be True in our hearts. It is the Golden Rule. "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." Jesus said it. Buddha said it. Everyone's grandmother said it. You know it and so do we all. If we all lived by it, there would surely be Peace. Do we blame the other guy for not starting first, or do we take responsibility for starting it first ourselves, and then hang in there even when they haven't yet felt it quite yet and returned it to us. UNCONDITIONAL Love is what's needed for Peace. Forgiveness over and over again. Are we willing to do that for Peace?
That's a very tall order indeed, and dare I say, that's why there's not peace. People are afraid of not getting their due reward. The reward, though, is in the giving. It's hidden inside the work. Peace comes from knowing deep in your heart that you are doing the right thing and that your motives are truly pure. You may have to forgive seventy times seventy to get to that point. Maybe the forgiveness is for ourselves. The rewards surely do seem to be.
"For it is in pardoning that we are pardoned. It is in dying that we are born to eternal life."
We must die to our old selves in order to be transformed. Only Love is eternal. It is in dying to anything other than Love that we, too, go on forever more, knowing true Peace.
We all feel lonely and forgotten at times. Aren't these really the best times to reach out to someone else who might be feeling this way, rather than to sit lonely and blame those who don't come to visit or call, or to blame ourselves for not having anyone who might wish to come? Become that person to someone else, and you, too, will find a new friend...in the other person and in yourself.
There is nothing better to get our mind off of our own problems than to try and help someone else. Need cheering up? Cheer someone else up! Need hope? Give hope to somebody else. Need a helping hand? What talents can you lend to someone else? (That's a good one to stay paid up in karma on!)
Karma is simply putting into the Universe what you would like to get back. It's building your world, in a sense. If you think, speak and act in a negative manner, negativity is what you are filling your world with, in turn. If you think, speak and behave in a positive manner, you will enjoy a positive life. We all live somewhere in between the two extremes. The point is that what you put out, you get back. What you focus on and put energy into is what your energy goes into producing in your own life. It's really quite simple to understand. The Prayer of St. Francis gives us a practical way of bringing about Peace in our lives based on this principle, whether you call it Karma or sowing and reaping, it's all the same thing. To get peace, you must first give peace. You have to be an instrument for the music to play through your soul for all to hear.
So, stop waiting for someone else to bring you the peace that your spirit craves. Give it. Put it out there. Be an instrument. Stop blaming others or yourself for your misfortunes and start giving to yourself and others that which it is that you want. Focus upon that and nothing else. Focus on living in peace and harmony with yourself, others, God, the world, nature and all of life. Put out peaceful thoughts. Act in a peaceful manner in all that you do. Speak words of peace. Peace will be yours as a result, and those you inspire will also come to know peace as do those by whom you are inspired to know the meaning of peace. Allow it to move through your heart. Forgive again and again and again. Forgiving does not mean allowing others to walk over you, it means sending them love and understanding, knowing that they do not know the way. Shine a light. Be an instrument of peace.
Pray peace. For everyone. Be still and know I am God. Spend time in meditation. Come to know how to quiet your mind. There are many ways. Relax. Listen to peaceful sounds. Listen to silence. Concentrate on the sound of your heart. Observe your breath. Become comfortable inside this quiet space. Know the entire Universe is in your mind and also at peace.
Breathe peace. Realize your breath is connected with all the breath of the world.
Eat peace. Send love to those who produce your food. Pure Love. Nothing but love. Take care in choosing your food with peace in mind. Shine light where there is none. There is much exploitation in the food industry today, directed towards animals and humans both. Being an instrument of peace requires that we care about these sorts of things and act to bring about love and shine a light upon darkness.ae
Speak peace. Even in politics. Especially in politics! Be peace.
We're not all where we want to be, but we're all in the best place for right now to learn, do and serve in whatever way is best for us now; even to include our state of mind, for we are one person in spirit, body and mind. How else are we to change if we do not start where we are? How else are we ever to grow? We have to take roots first and then blossom up to the sky.
So, we are born into a family, in a particular part of the world. Maybe we're rich or maybe we're poor. Maybe we have nature as a significant part of our lives, or maybe we're living in the big city. Maybe we are born into a loving family, or maybe there is tension or even violence within our home. Maybe we're born physically healthy, or maybe we're born with a huge challenge already begun. Maybe a whole lot of things. Everyone has to start from where they begin.
And then life goes on, and we learn about choices. We are influenced by so many things, and sometimes we may not even be aware we have a choice. And quite frankly, some choices may just not be a realistic option at this point in time, which might leave us feeling quite high and dry, but we're not. We always have what we need. No matter the culture, the family, the education, the income, health, the advantages or disadvantages of life as we view them and the constraints, within what we have, there is what we need.
And thus there is always choice. Do we use what we have or do we complain that we do not have what we think we need? Do we trust God or not is one way to say it, but it can also be phrased in a way so as to ask whether or not we trust LIFE? Do we trust in our own ability to make it through? Or do we have a defeatist attitude and simply give up? There is a Power within us that can always win, but a closed mind is not open to guidance which comes from within. Open your mind up to what you have in your favor right now. Forget about what you do not have. If you do not have it, you don't need it for your current objective at hand, which is always your Highest Good. Perhaps your eye is not on the tools, or perhaps it is not on the right goal.
So, if we can't see it, then the next best thing is to walk out on trust. Start where you're at. Don't try to jump the whole earth in one leap and bound to get to the other side, so to speak. Simpy take one step at a time.
First, think of your goals. Just exactly what are they? It's important to identify your goals in order to focus on them. "Let thine eye be single," is very wise advice indeed. See the God-given power within you to reach your goals. Look through those eyes at all times. These are the eyes of all-knowing and all-understanding which comes from a pure heart. Let Goodness and Love be your guide, and remember that you are the expression of Infinite Goodness and Love. This is the very essence of Life. This is what makes everything grow.
And everything living does grow. The flowers and all the plants grow. Every creature grows from conception until eventually we all grow old and die. But we don't really die, we continue on through body, in the form of minerals given back to the earth, and in mind as our soul travels on and as spirit in the love that we carry on to the other side and that which we leave in the hearts of those left behind. Life is eternal and we are forever progressing toward our eternal goal of realizing our true Oneness again. We are growing into that which we were created to be. We are growing into the awareness that we already are One with the Creative Force which lives in us all. That is when we truly bloom.
But as for now, think about that which you wish to accomplish. To where in body, mind and spirit do you wish to move? In what way do you wish to grow? A plant will turn towards the sun. Identify your sun and look to the direction in which you wish to grow.
Change is inevitable in life. It WILL happen. The choices we make determine in which way change will occur. Will it occur for better or worse? Even if we think we don't choose...we choose.
So if we want to turn something around in our life, we need to look at the choices we're making. If it is our health, it is silly to say that we are already following all of the principles of health, because if we were, we would be perfectly healthy instead of wishing for health because we are not happy or feeling good. People cling to this belief to avoid the guilt they associate with not living up to what they know is best. It's human nature to do this, but now we are wishing to learn how to use the best of our human nature, not the worst, so it is time to admit we need change. If we always do what we always did then we'll get what we always got. Something has to change if we wish to change the direction in which a situation is headed. For some reason this seems to be difficult regarding health. Let's think about that for a moment here.
People can easily become afraid when an issue occurs regarding their health. It's the survival instinct within us all. But if we would use this instinct with a sense of power we'd be better off, instead of using it to only fuel fear. Relax. Health can be easily obtained and you don't necessarily need a fancy degree.
Focus on health. Focus on the goal. Do not focus on the sickness or lack. Now think. How do healthy people live? What do they eat? What habits do they embrace? We all know the sayings about early to bed and early to rise, do we not? We know so much of this already. We need to focus upon the goal and then start to behave in a manner congruent with that. What do healthy people drink? Is it healthier to drink water or soda pop? See?! We KNOW! Is exercise healthy? How about posture? Do we not know that our structure hurts less when we use it as it was intended to be used, kept in proper alignment? Did our mother not tell us to stand up straight? It's the simple little things like these which work in the end to bring about health. Think about the air that you breathe? Is it free from chemicals as much as possible? Take off the synthetic perfumes and go for a walk in the woods! Focus on health and health will improve. Think about which herbs bring about health. That's different from which drugs are given to manage disease. Think about the solution and cling to that. Trying to get over an addiction to drugs or food? Stay out of bars, drug stores, doctor's offices, street corners, smoke-filled lounges, bakeries or the restaurants serving what you're trying not to dish up on your plate. Instead look to the solution...build new habits that support you in reaching and maintaining your goals. For example, instead of worrying about what not to eat focus on ways to prepare your new diet choices. Stay out of the canned and boxed food sections and shop the produce section of the grocery store.
Money. Instead of thinking so much about debt, give thanks when you pay every bill. Give thanks for the services that were provided. Think, too, about whether or not some things could go. Perhaps the cable TV might be a good place to start. If you have internet, you have access to all the entertainment and information you need. What if you don't have internet? Well, then, I think board games are very interactive and fun, as well as walks in the woods, spending time with family and friends, and going to the library to get the information I need. I spent many years in the library and many people would be surprised at all they've got going on! They even rent movies for free. What if you don't have a car to get to the library? That's a very good way to make friends. I went for many years of my life with no car. What if you don't have any friends? Hmmmm....I've been there, too. I built a church. I don't know what you might do!
The point is to look to what you do have and start from there. Also, as mentioned earlier, this also relates to state of mind. Maybe you're not aware of certain things. Maybe you are aware but you can only grow in so many areas at once. Maybe you have different ideas about where you want to head than does anyone else, and so maybe your growth might look different from theirs. It doesn't mean anyone's wrong. Just start where you are and go from there. Again, what is the goal?
Perhaps you don't have an income. Look to the plenty instead of the lack. Difficult at times when there's no food on the table, but then again, look to what you have. Is there really nothing in the cupboard enough for just today or even out in the yard? Look to the solution. What are your skills? What do you have you could sell? Do you have any talent at all? There is always work to be done in the world. What if you are disabled and poor? These are tough questions, I know. I, too, though, was disabled, alone and poor, and now today I am here writing this, telling you I know that it's hard but it can be done.
In mental and spiritual realms the goals may be ones such as wishing to be more loving or to be more successful in relationships. Again, look to the goal. BE an expression of LOVE. To yourself, to others...all others...and directly to your perception of God. Love attracts love and love always starts in your own heart. Find ways of expressing love rather than ways of finding it and it will find you.
Perhaps the goal is spiritual development and enlightenment. Well, what do enlightened folks do? They pray, they meditate, they help others, they tend to use sound in ceremonious and sacred ways. Enlightened people also look to the Light and use light in their healing works. Enlightened people are healers, if you will notice. So I would think to become more enlightened we would need to focus our eye upon the Light. Practice these things. This is what spiritual development is all about. It is also about practicing it in the world, and developing ourselves spiritually in relation to others. It's not all about going to a mountain and living alone. It's about bringing heaven to earth, by focusing on our spirituality while walking in a physical world. The physical world is, after all, where we have all been planted together in this life on earth.
We're all trying to figure out how to live here together in this physical world. We all have different ideas about why we are here and how to get by in the best way we can. Some of us may be focused on family, some on health, and some on money and power. But if we are to live happily together, the power needs to be used for good and money needs to be a tool for that end.
We're all at different places and we all have different priorities. What to one may seem urgent is way down the list to someone dealing with something else. We have issues of love, of integrity, of focus, of disability, addiction, food issues, healing challenges, relationships and many things. Start where you are. It's okay. Look around, with the idea in mind that you already have what you need, and focus on the solution instead of the perceived lack. In this way you will tap into the Unlimited Power of the Universe, God, Life, Love to help you grow towards your Highest Good.
I became a vegetarian the moment I found out you could live without meat. Back then, the common thought was that you needed meat to survive. A lot of people still believe this today, but more and more people are becoming aware. That's what this month is all about...increasing people's awareness of the health benefits of eating a plant based diet and the health risks of consuming meat...all animal products, for that matter. Not to mention the spiritual benefits which come when you step away from an industry as cruel as using animals in the production of food.
It was the late 1960's and people thought it was merely a fad. Peace, Love and Vegetarianism! But no, it's not a fad. It's a deeply held spiritual belief that all life IS sacred. I have a difficult time understanding how something like the way animals are treated can go on in a civilized world. Perhaps we're not so civilized as we think we are.
Vegetarianism isn't enough, though. Veganism is what is needed to end the cruelty. The dairy industry is as cruel as the meat industry. I, myself, didn't realize this until having been a vegetarian for 40 years. I attended a dinner with other vegetarians and vegans, and the woman I sat next to handed a pamphlet to me and told me how much suffering is involved in the production of milk products and eggs. I am very grateful to her for helping me see. How did I miss it all of those years? I was extremely devoted to not eating meat, but I had no idea at all about the rest. I think about that now when I wonder how people sometimes just don't "get it" about any of this. To me it is obvious, but to some people maybe it's not.
BILLIONS and BILLIONS of dollars are put into promoting the meat and dairy industry and making sure it keeps its share of the market, which is just about everyone in this part of the world, although veganism is gaining ground. At least it's commonly heard of these days, even if it is only on the evening sit-com. Vegetarians and vegans are typically portrayed as eccentric, flaky, comic individuals not to be taken seriously. Again, BILLIONS go into this. Money is spent in Washington, to make sure the right bills are passed to protect the industry's interests, such as the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. The idea put forth ix that anyone interested in animal rights is labeled as a fanatic or nutcase or even worse, a dangerous radical of some sort who is a threat to public safety somehow.
The truth is that many sane, rational and well respected people had similar concerns. Here are some quotes from a few:
"My body will not be a tomb for other creatures." Leonardo Da Vinci
"Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet" Albert Einstein
"One should not kill a living thing, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite another to kill. Do not injure any being, either strong or weak, in the world." Buddha
"It is more important to prevent animal suffering, rather than sit to contemplate the evils of the universe praying in the company of priests." Buddha
"And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which isthe fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat." Genesis 1:29
"Thou shall not kill." Exodus 20:13
"The unnatural eating of flesh meats is as polluting as the heathen worship of devils, with its sacrifices and its impure feasts, through participation in it a man becomes a fellow eater with devils." The Apostle Peter
"There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ab ility to feel pleasure and pain, happiness and misery." Charles Darwin
"Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages." Thomas Edison
"I hold that the more helpless a creture, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man." Mohandas Gandhi
"Recognize meat for what it really is: the antibiotic- and pesticide-laden corpse of a tortured animal." Ingrid Newkirk
"Can you really ask what reason Pythagoras had for abstaining from flesh? ... It is certainly not lions and wolves that we eat out of self-defense; on the contrary, we ignore these and slauighter harmless, tame creature without stings or teeth to harm us, creatures that, I swear, Nature appears to have produced for the sake of their beauty and grace. But nothing abashed us, not the flower-like tinting of the flesh, not the persuasiveness of the harmonious voice, not the cleanliness of their habits or the unusual intelligence that may be found in the poor wretches. No, for the sake of a little flesh we deprive them of sun, of light, of the duration of life to which they are entitled by nbirth and being." Plutarch
"For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love." Pythagoras
"I will not kill or hurt any iving creature needlessly, nor destroy any beautiful thing, but will strive to save and comfort all gentle life, and guard and perfect all natural beauty upon the earth." John Ruskin
"Not to hurt our huble brethren (the animals) is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission - to be of service to them whenever they require it...If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men." St. Francis of Assisi
"Ethics, too, are nothing but reverence for life. That is what gives me the fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, promoting and enhancing life, and that destroying, injuring and limiting life are evil." Albert Schweitzer
"The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity." George Barnard Shaw
"Animals are my friends...and I don't eat my friends." George Bernard Shaw
"As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures there can be no peace, no liberty, no harmony between people. Slaughter and justice cannot dwell together." Isaac Bashevis Singer
"People often say that humans have always eaten animals, as if this is a justification for continuing the practice. According to this logic, we should not try to prevent people from murdering other people, since this has also been done since the earliest of times." Iassac Bashevis Singer
"We consume the carcasses of creatures of like appetites, passions and organs with our own, and fill the slaughterhouses daily with screams of pain and fear." Robert Louis Stevenson
"A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in tgaking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral." Leo Tolstoy
"One farmer says to me, 'You cannot live on vegetable food solely, for it furnishes nothing to make the bones with;' and so he religiously devotes a part of his day to supplying himself with the raw material of bones; walking all the while he talks behind his oxen, w hich, with vegetable=made bones, jerk him and his lumbering plow along in spite of every obstacle." Henry David Thoreau
âIf slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.â Paul McCartney
It's not hard to see that we're causing pain. If we are to advance spiritually, how can we continue to participate in this when we know there is no justifiable reason? Also, if we are to heal physically, shouldn't we be spiritually fit? If our only concern is our own well-being and not that of another creature, then we should look at the fact of the matter....eating a plant-based diet is best for us, too.
Financially it's a better choice, too...for you AND the world!
If you think it's too hard, start by praying over your food. Give thanks for the animals life. Pray for understanding and willingness to do your part. Perhaps start with one vegan meal every week, or one a day. Everyone can help themselves and the problem by moving just a little bit in the right direction and then move a little bit more. Read more. Educate yourself o the issue. Pray. Watch videos. Become willing to see the Truth. The idea is not to heap guilt upon you. The idea is to help you become more enlightened and to live a more healthy and peaceful life. The idea is also to help those who suffer. What you probably don't know is that if you're eating animal products, the animals are not the only ones suffering, but most likely you are, as well. Eating of death always has side effects. I am not saying this to be judgmental, but only to help people become more aware. Somehow we've become blind to what's going on. We, as a society, I mean. No one wants to speak up. I don't want to be ostracized, either, for voicing an unpopular opinion, but I think there are some things more important than whether you like me or not. This is one of those things.
We only think we are meant to be omnivores, but that is not really the Truth.
As a final prayer, may I say, "Thank you all loving spiritual father and mother earth for providing for all our nutritional needs through your wonderous display of nutrient rich plants born from seed. May we open our eyes to see the bounty and give thanks for thy grace, thy love and thy mercy upon all the face of the earth. May we be nourished in a loving manner, extending our love back out to the world and offering our strength to the service of all that is good and right. May we reach out to our fellow creatures in a spirit of oneness with all. Grant us peaceful and compassionate hearts. Thank you for the abundance that is your will for all. And so it is. Amen."
Happy Vegetarian Month...may it last your whole life through!
Rev. Dr. Jody Evans, ND, CTN, CNHP, D.D.
Essentials of Life Holistic Enrichment Center
No one knows you like you do. Not even your mother. Not even your husband or wife. Not your doctor, your therapist, your teacher or anyone else. The answers to all of your questions lie within YOU.
You just need to learn how to bring those answers accurately out.
Emptying your mind of all that you think you already know is a very good place to start.
"WHAT?!?!?!? I spent years learning all that I know, and I don't think I know, I KNOW!" Did I just hear someone say that?
Well, if it's True, then it will still be True even if you put it aside for a moment, and you will rediscover it all over again. There is no need to fear, for the Truth is always the Truth.
So, put aside all that you think you know, and put away all ideas of judgement of anything or anyone. There is no good or bad, there just is. Put away all thoughts of pleasure or pain. Put away all recognition of senses. If thoughts come into your mind, just gently brush them aside. You're looking within to see what is there in the darkness; that which remains when all else is gone. You are looking for that one point of stillness in which there is perfect peace. In that stillness you will come to know God. In that stillness, where seemingly nothing resides, all things actually do, for this is the only place that is real. Here, all True answers are available to us.
Is this science or is this religious mumbo jumbo? Well, hmmm...perhaps it is both! Science does not argue the existence of prodigies and prophets who have displayed the ability to access information demonstrate talents and/or knowledge which cannot be explained by current scientific understanding. Healings, precognitions, speaking in other languages, being able to defy physical laws of gravity and other phenomena which indeed do occur. There are many scientists who study these things, and their work is not always seen as being as valid by those who might profit from it not being so. Much more financial support is put into research which says humans cannot heal themselves and must be healed through medication rather than nature, for instanc e, and this is absolutely not true. How can I say that? How on earth can one not?!
Vaccinations....money invested....Crystal healings...just the idea get laughs on sit-coms, so they could not be valid so everyone thinks, but science does show that they work....Drug medications...money invested....Herbs which grow from the earth...not so much money for that....Sound healing...not much money invested in that even though science validates its incredible usefulness...Aromatherapy...again...from plants...even though science indeed validates its effective use it is publicly ignored while toxic synthetic fragrances go into every household and beauty product, in every public restroom across the country even though science itself shows it's extremely neurotoxic effect on the brain, the entire nervous system, and the endocrine and respiratory systems, as well. Money invested in controlling the food...millions and millions and millions of dollars invested and political ties on all sides...What's going on here? Who is the expert? It by golly better be you!!! What science shows and what science says do not always match!
Also, your body is self-created. With God. Of God. And yes, your mom and dad were involved, but your body grew from a sperm and an egg! Isn't that amazing? Do you think it simply forgot? It till knows very well how to heal! When a finger gets cut, it does indeed heal, does it not? Other things heal equally as well, if we give nature time and use natural ways.
Natural...what does that mean? That means it's the way that we naturally heal! Think back to the beginning of time....we intrinsically knew how to heal! Otherwise we'd be extinct. There were no drugs other than natural herbs, and there were no fancy doctors nor hospital rooms. People did heal. Animals also know how to heal. Not in every case, because if a crocodile bites off your leg you might bleed to death, but guess what...there are plants which will staunch blood, such as yarrow and many others, and they are very common wherever you go, if allowed to naturally grow. Earth is our natural healing environment. All of earth is our emergency room!
So how to turn to the inner expert...it takes practice to reconnect with our primal roots. I would suggest connecting to the root chakra. This will help to connect to old connections of traditional roots. Root vegetables help, such as beets, and low notes on the musical scale. The color red is helpful to visualize. Use these ideas to help you in your pursuit.
Ideas...now we're talking about the higher functions of mind and the higher chakras...such as the third eye. There is always inner resistance to healing, or else we'd be well. Work with the third eye to imagine the possibility of healing as being real. Work with the throat chakra to speak it. Use the heart chakra to know it deep down....see how it goes? Work with them all. Flower remedies and aromatherapy also will help with removing blocks, as will energy work. If you do not know what I am talking about, please refer to other entries in these messages to you.
Another thing which may help is to observe animals in their natural habitat. It is amazing how they know what to do. This should encourage you to realize that deep within you, you also know. Then study and study and study as if your life depended upon what you learn. In may ways, it does, unless you want to relinquish control. But the good news is that it only takes enough study to awaken your inner knowing. It takes enough to know where to turn and how to distinguish good information from bad.
Herbs should be a part of your daily diet, either in fresh form or in reliable supplement form. Ideally in this day and age you would be wise use both. There's nothing so good as fresh, but it is extremely difficult to get what you need in the growing factors involved today and a myriad of issues surrounding today's food production. It is best to take herbs in supplement form every day...good, pure, quality herbs. Herbs match our make up. They are perfectly suited to meet all of our physical needs. Herbs ARE food. Your body is the best expert on how to use them. As with all natural foods, their nutrients go where they are needed the most. They leave no toxic residue whatsoever. What is not used is excreted qui te simply, cleaning the eliminatory channels on their way out! Useful to the very end.
The last and most important thing to do is to practice as many ways as you learn. Learn to live a life designed to serve your true nature and to keep you naturally healthy, vibrant and well. I know, that's easier said than it's done. But remember...the responsibility and the consequences of your choices are yours and yours alone.
This body that you were born with is the body you will wear until you leave the physical earth. It would be wise to take care of it. Don't just give it whatever someone sells you to fuel it. Make up your mind what you want to use as its fuel! It really is true that you are what you eat, insofar as the physical make up of your body is concerned. You may think it an extreme point of view to say natural food is the best. You may think it's a matter of personal taste. But you are made of this earth and there is a natural plan of which you and I are a part. Our bodies respond in certain ways to the food we ingest. Wisdom should be employed
You may trust the dietitians who are licensed through the State Medical Board to tell you that what they feed people in hospitals and nursing homes will strengthen the body, but do you believe it? Be your own expert and decide for yourself. Do you think canned is the same thing as fresh? Hold a canned green bean up next to a fresh one and it's obvious they are no longer the same, and our bodies know the difference, as well. Where is the vitality? It is gone. Our bodies also know the difference between real and synthetic vitamins, organic and inorganic minerals, and it is aware of the absence of nutrients which have been stripped from food in the refining process. Our bodies know when a foreign substance has been added in. ;
So, on a physical level, we know. Do we believe we are one person? Spirit,
mind and body connected? Then we can tap into that knowledge. Have you heard of Applied Kinesiology? Some say it's a pseudo-science. Again, decide for yourself. It was developed in Chiropractic care and is quite often employed as an indication of the body's internal state. It has also been used to determine what is true on a deeper level of mind. Sometimes referred to as "muscle testing," it is something which can easily be learned and used as a tool for gaining insight into what your body "knows."
Use whatever means you can to gain insight into yourself. Study, read, talk, listen, watch, try, observe...but be your own expert. The body gives signs through body language, symptoms, lines on the face, condition of the nails and tongue...learn some of these ways of reading the body. Plus you can do energy readings such as in reading cards or the I-Ching. But take responsibility and pursue your own answers. There are a lot of people trying to sell you on some idea, often without us even knowing what their agenda may be. Everyone has an opinion and an agenda. Find yours.
What we teach at Essentials of Life Holistic Enrichment Center is not often what the common culture will teach. We teach a much more responsible way of life, which demands that you take responsibility for your own health and your own life. Our consciousness decides who we are, and our actions. Every thought matters in creating who you wish to become, as does every word and and every deed. In order to be happy, healthy and secure we need to develop ourselves in certain ways. Life becomes a challenge when you forge your own path, but do you just want to be one of the masses? Seems to me they're having a pretty hard time. I don't think the current system is working that most people are following. Make your own path tow ard wellness and think for yourself! You have a very good mind.
We teach about natural health, but we also teach spiritual principles. We are a church, afterall. So are we scientific or pseudo-science? We don't get hung up on those terms! We believe that everything was created as perfect from the very beginning, including us and our environment, and that we need to just get back to basics and stop worrying that our needs cannot be fulfilled. We believe in the goodness of life! We believe in the unity of spirit, mind and body, and we believe we are one with the whole Universe. As such, we have access to all wisdom and knowledge. Be your own expert. You are created in the image and likeness of God! Sure, you can turn to other sources for help, but always rely on what y ou know in yourself to be true, and do your own research if it's important to you. You have access to all you need to know. All healing comes from within.
When we designated Essentials of Life Holistic Enrichment Center as an Interfaith Church, was because we believed it should be a place where people of all faiths and religions should be able to come and feel welcome. That is still what we believe. It is also out of respect for all religions, because if they are based in Love, then they cannot be too far off of the mark, for God is Love. Every religion has within it the capability of enriching people's lives in a spiritual manner, and of helping them to live better and more fulfilling lives, prospering in the ever-present abundance of God's holy Love. This is a very beautiful thing. People come together in the name of Peace and Love in every religion. Interfaith helps us to recognize the Oneness and Unity of All.
But.....Does it go far enough? These are questions I've asked myself all along as the founder of Essentials of Life Holistic Enrichment Center. Interfaith is more expanded than Interdenominational, because Interdenominational implies strictly a Christian stance. I was raised in the tradition of what's known as Practical Christianity, but I didn't want to restrict us to being only a Christian church. I mean, what is that? Really? To which Christian church would Jesus belong? I think Jesus would want people of all faiths to be served in the name of Love. I think Buddha would want the same thing. That's what the God in all of us wants.
So Interfaith became the descriptive term we embraced. But I ask again, does it go far enough? What about those of no particular religious belief, but having rather a more individualized spiritual outlook on life? What about those who wish to actually transcend religion? These are more the ideas that we embrace in our vision and heart. Religion has been used throughout the ages as a control mechanism.
What if we took the spiritual aspects of what is contained in the teachings, and leave the politics out?! Looking at history when studying religion is a very valuable and important tool. Religion has become so impure in the way it has been passed down, and there is much speculation as to how much of it's even true. Spirituality, on the other hand, can also be defined as a sense of Truth. Truth with a capital "T!" The Spiritual aspects of Life and the Universe never change. If we allow ourselves to be guided by this Perfect Wisdom and Light, we will manifest heaven on earth! This is what Essentials of Life Holistic Enrichment Center is all about! It is about healing the world, not getting caught up in this religion or that. We draw wisdom from all religions and we have the deepest respect for the wisdom and traditions they share, but the important thing is the Love.
So what do we call ourselves to reflect that this is not only a church for those who belong to this church or that? Some religions don't even all it a church, and it is not necessary that anyone does. But how do we present ourselves so that it is clear people of all faiths are welcome and also those who do not associate with a particular faith? We respect everyone's belief in God, and we respect those who do not even use the word, "God." We identify God as, "God is Good, God is Love, God is Life!"
Well, one day our worship service director, Rev. Holly Rowley, asks me if we are sure we want to call our weekly service an Interfaith Service, or perhaps did we want to call it an Interspiritual Service, instead. She said she was ordained in both traditions. To this I said, "Hmmmmm...." to myself. I'd never before heard that term!
We just happen to be in the phase of development here as to be writing the Articles of Incorporation, the Constitution and Bylaws, and the Policies and Procedures for Essentials of Life Holistic Enrichment Center, Inc. Wow is that a hard job to put Spirit down in legal terms, but it has to be done! So, I think it's quite timely that I am made aware of this term at this point in time, because it gives time to put it down on this legal paper we're writing now!
You see, it is very important what we write in our Articles of Incorporation, etc., about what our purpose is and what it is in which we believe. We could have been done with all of this most dreaded and boring task of paperwork had it not been for this pesky idea of doing it right! We're not like any other church of which I know, although we have bits and pieces of many. It is important to write it down not only legally, but also so we, ourselves, know what it is we are here to do as a church. Our work is in healing the world! We need to focus on just exactly how it is we are to proceed!
So, in defining who it is that we are, choosing a proper designation for our spiritual approach is very important. We are holistic in outlook. We know that much for sure. It is as basic to us as the Trinity is. In fact, we see them as one in the same. We also know we believe that healing is natural, and that we are meant to be healers and that our environment is supportive to us in that role. We are created in the image and likeness of God, springing forth from our Mother Earth. We want to celebrate THIS! We want to learn who we are as brothers and sisters, and how to support life on earth! ALL life on earth! We want to act in a manner congruent with the Truth of our natural selves.
So, what do the various Christian sects say? What about Buddhists? What about those of the Jewish faith? What do the Essenes have to say? What about Hindus? Or Muslims? What do these religions say about God, about Love, about healing, about ancient traditions and paths to spiritual enlightenment and bliss? What wisdom do they have to share? But most importantly...and come to find out what they all have to say...is that the Truth can be found..................................................WITHIN!
So what is the difference between Interfaith and Interspiritual? In my mind it is the difference between studying what different religions have to say and studying what different individuals share of their own experience of God and Love and healing.
Yes, we can share these religions, and their wisdom is valuable and we never, ever want to interfere with someone's practices and traditions held dear, but...what we are here to share is our spiritual understanding and love for God, ourselves and each other as we continue our quest for the Truth about how to heal according to God's natural plan. (If anyone does not relate to the word, "God," substitute, "Good, Love and/or Life." I simplify it by saying, "God."
So back to the topic at hand, what is the difference between the two terms, "Interfaith" and "Interspiritual?" Here's what I found so far. First, I looked on the website for the school Rev. Holly attended to see what they had to say. She attended One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in New York, New York. It's amazing how much their definition of Interspirituality reflected the heart of this church. I took this directly from their website at http://onespiritinterfaith.org/:
The Interfaith initiatives of the late twentieth centuryâthe opening of dialogue and sharing of wisdom among leaders and practitioners of different religions â have flowered into an exciting new possibility for spiritual exploration and expression. The late Wayne Teasdale, author of The Mystic Heart, coined the term âInterspiritualityâ to describe this new spiritual perspective.
Beneath the diversity of theological beliefs, rites, and observances lies a deeper unity of experience that is our shared spiritual heritage. Mystical spirituality is the origin of all the world religions, and every authentic spiritual path offers unique perspectives and rich insights into this, direct experience of truth. In our time, the wisdom and depth of all paths are available to anyone who brings an open mind, generous spirit and heart to the search across traditions.
All authentic spiritual paths, at their mystical core, are committed to the common values of peace, compassionate service, and love for all creation. An inner life awakened to responsibility and love naturally expresses itself through engaged spirituality, in âacts of compassionâ¦, contributing to the transformation of the world and the building of a nonviolent, peace-loving culture that includes everyone.â (The Mystic Heart)
Wow! I found out through reading the above passage that we are indeed an Interspiritual Church!
So, let it be known, from this day forth, that Essentials of Life Holistic Enrichment Center is an Interspiritual Church. The above passage perfectly represents our purpose here! Thank you so much to Rev. Holly, to the One Spirit Interfaith Seminary and to the late Wayne Teasdale, author of, The Mystic Heart. Thank you also to Kurt Johnson who is the author of, The Coming of the Interspiritual Age, featured in the video below. Please take the next 26 minutes to watch this very insightful video on the topic at hand. It will explain much of what we are about.
Life on this planet was placed here to LIVE. We must cooperate and learn to live together...with all religions...all creatures...all plant life...the environment in its totality is in a mutually beneficial relationship with us. We are all part of life on this earth. God on this earth. God is Life. Interspirituality implies a connection between all which is very real regardless of anything else. We are connected on a much deeper level than any religion can possibly define. Interspirituality is as infinite as Infinite Love!
adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.
a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship's hull.
Integrity of Spirit, mind and body. Adherence to moral and ethic principles, not only belief. This is connecte to the state of being whole, entire or undiminished. This is how we were created to be. Adherence to moral and ethical principles leads to soundness of moral character, exemplifying honesty and truth, unimpaired, in perfect condition. Sound.
Integrity is very closely related to purity. Purity also denotes an unimpaired, perfect condition.
the condition or quality of being pure; freedom from anything that debases, contaminates, pollutes,etc.: the purity of drinking water.
freedom from any admixture or modifying addition.
Purity indicates freedom from anything that debases, contaminates, or pollutes.
So purity and integrity both indicate strength in that they are undiminished and unimpaired, presenting themselves as created to be. Do we want integrity? Then we must maintain our honesty and purity on all levels. This will keep us strong.
Purity in Spirit. Integrity. Honesty. Truth. Adherence to moral and ethical principles. Doing that which is right! This maintains our strength. Anything less will diminish our strength. When our intentions are impure, will will falter and become weak. We also weaken ourselves when we do not live up to ethical standards of Truth. Guilt, indifference, dishonesty, selfishness, laziness, judging and blaming...these all sidetrack us and slow us down. In order to strengthen ourselves we must be honest and straightforward in our efforts to live up to the highest standards we can.
Purity of Mind. Honesty in what we tell ourselves and others. Honesty always reflects the Truth of our divinity, as we were created in the image and likeness of God. Anything less is not True, no matter what appearances say. To have purity of mind means to see this and not the illusion of imperfection, which we manifest with our beliefs. Manifest that which is True by preserving the integrity of our True Nature, pure and perfect as we were created to be. Our reality on earth is set in our mind. To bring heaven about on this earth is to bring into manifestation the perfection of heavenly design. This is God's will for us. To see the perfection beyond the illusion of imperfection is to keep the mind pure. Also be pure in motive. Rigorous honesty is what makes us strong. To thine own self be true. Thy inner self, not the self of selfish motives, but the inner self which is Pure. Be true to that part of you which is Perfect Love. Integrity is the inner strength which purity brings.
Purity of Body. This is where the action occurs. This is our physical world. Keep it pure! Keep the earth pure, the air pure, the water pure, the food pure...this will purify our physical world and maintain integrity on the physical plane. Strength.
This is true of the earth as a whole and it is true of our own personal bodies. What you breathe, drink and eat should be pure to maintain natural integrity and strength.
The products you use on your body enter your pores, and therefore these should also be pure. Anything less than pure is dishonest, because integrity and truth are not presence. Purity is freedom from anything else added in.
Honesty. Truth. Integrity. Purity. Strength.
Honesty is presenting something as it really is. Artificial means fake. Not real. Honest in food is real food. Artificial food is a lie. It deceives. It will not bring the strength that you seek. Purity in food means nothing else added in. Freedom from admixture or modifying addition. Adding artificial ingredients in means our food is no longer pure, lacks integrity, and is associated with weakness rather than strength. I don't know how to say it any more clearly than that.
Do we lack integrity? We may not think so because we don't openly lie, or because we do what we say we will do in our daily actions. We always try to do the best that we can for others. But do we really do the best that we can, or simply the best we know how? For real integrity, perhaps we need to expand our idea of doing our best. Doing the best that we can means DOING the best that we are truly capable of....in all areas of spirit, mind and body....not just those areas which are convenient for us.
Strive for integrity on all levels by keeping it pure. Ask yourself if the way you are thinking or acting is in keeping with Original Plan.
What is meant by, "Original Plan?" It's acting in accordance with the way we were designed, and respecting and using the resources provided to us as they were designed to be used. Do we have faith in how we were designed? Make it pure faith by behaving like we believe we were created in the image of God! Purify your faith as well by behaving as if you believe the earth is the perfect environment for us.
Stop blaming the ragweed and find out why your own strength has been weakened. There's no such thing as the "flu season," and plants are here for our good. There are many examples that could be used. The point is that do we believe we were placed on this planet by accident? It will support us in life if we purify our use of the elements and if we purify ourselves in our own hearts and minds. Why would we ever choose to diminish our strength?
Spiritual impurities we can avoid include such things as hatred, blame, intolerance, cruelty, violence, gossiping, stealing, lying, cheating, imposing our will upon others, greed, selfishness, indifference and anything other than love. ANYTHING other than love in all cases. ALL cases...not just those that matter to us.
Mental impurities include negative thinking, doubt, worry, judgemental attitudes, blame, jealousy, and other thought patterns which do not coincide with the Truth. We must discipline our minds to steady our course on that which is only True. The Truth is that we are created in the image and likeness of God. God is Love, God is Good, God is Life. Our minds are meant to be the connecting link between spirit and body. Are we using our minds in the proper manner?
Our mind should be used to direct our physical actions in ways that promote the will of God...Good...Good for us and everyone else. The mind is best used by focusing upon solutions rather than problems. Solutions are reflective of the pure nature of God, whereas the problems are distortions of Truth. To solve problems the solution must be focused upon in order to manifest Truth. Pure thoughts are essential to this. There is no room for the impurity of doubt, nor of lazy intentions or anything else that water it down. Anything less than the Truth of our Divinity will put us to one degree or another in a compromised world. Of course this is the human condition, but how far from the Truth do we wish to stray? This is the cause of all disease.
Properly using the mind as the connecting link between spirit and body will solve every problem there is, to the degree in which our thoughts and actions are pure.
Purity on the physical level means to live in accordance with natural laws. Physical impurities means to bring into our physical experience that which is not pure, and that which is not according to Natural Design. This includes synthetic aromas, foods, drinks, etc. This also includes any physical actions which are unnatural to us, as in overexertion or underexertion, for instance. Purity means to purely and solely act in accordance with our design.
Of course no one holds perfect ideals, perfect thoughts and maintains perfect adherence to natural laws, and that's okay. That's okay so long as we understand that the consequences are in direct relation to the purity of our intention, our thoughts and our actions are. Our strength relies on the purity which we display. The more impure our intentions, thoughts and actions, the weaker we will be come. To make impure means to dilute. Impurities dilute our strength.
Be strong! The way you were created to be! Do as much as you can to act in accordance with how you were originally designed. We were designed to be healthy and strong. Purity is the core of strength. Integrity is living the Truth.
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