Tag Archive | spirituality

I command my space

I command my personal space.

I choose to invite in only those things which are for my highest path,

my highest development,

and my highest input and output of divine love,

so that I may learn my lessons,

clear my shadow,

and create in the world from my highest destiny.

I bless all energies,

but I command that my energy field

be filled with the vibration that is right for my spiritual unfoldment.

 

Adapted from Shannon Port (www.artofthefeminine.com)

 

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Living Truthfully

What does it mean to live truthfully?

Photo via successbeginstoday.org

Photo via successbeginstoday.org

It means that one does not turn their back on the inner truth that constantly shines from within. It means that one has practiced embodying their inner truth so well that one becomes the living example of Truth in the world–they have forsaken all else. It is as if this light that shines from within were not inside of us, but outside–like the physical sun. We have a decision to make each moment to turn away from the sun and look out into the world–this is easier because we are not blinded by the light, we can see forms in their distinct and different characters, we can engage in all manner of complexity and chaos. Also, we see in front of us our own shadow–the dark reflection that the light throws down over our bodies, our outer form, the dense part of our being. Our shadow is an illusion created by the interplay of light and dark. We see it when our back is to the sun, when we are busying our minds in things of the physical world. It is cold in a shadow–things cannot be seen as clearly. Living truthfully is the decision to turn and face the sun– to face the sun in every moment, abandoning the need to see anything but the light which gives life to the world. When we face the sun, we cannot see our shadow. In the physical world, we can see more clearly with the light of the sun shining upon all forms. With our inner sun, the light which forms our being, we can see all things with clarity as well. Yes, there are moments when we look directly at the sun and we are temporarily blinded by the light. The outer sun stuns the physical eye so that all it can see is light–everywhere! It consumes the whole vision so that the outer world does not even exist for a few minutes. The inner sun does the same in moments when we look directly at it, maybe in meditation, prayer, music,  maybe in moments of grace. The inner sun is so brilliant that it can consume all remembrance of the world–our thoughts, perceptions, our idea about what reality is. When we turn to face the inner sun, we are facing the light of Truth–we are choosing to ignore the shadows that lay on the other side of us–we live so devotedly to the light that these shadows do not exist. Faceing away from the inner sun we find our various perceptions about our selves and the world–the details and differences which divide us up from other rays of light, the judgements and justifications for all illusions, and the problems that fill our minds so much of the time. Instead of living in our small, shadowy perceptions and limited thoughts, we might decide one day to simply turn around–or put differently–to turn our vision inward instead of outward. Outward we see the shadow of our life; we see the bodily form that our spirit has gathered together and we mis-take it for our self. We see other forms and we mis-take them for not our self. We see circumstances and events in the world and we mis-take them for reality. Turning inward, toward our inner sun, we dispel these illusions and see so much more clearly. We see ourselves as we truly are. We see others as the very same thing. We see Reality has nothing to do with the physical world or any of its dramas–it is but a playground for children as they grow toward maturity.

So, seeing the truth is a choice to turn toward the light within one’s being–to choose the Reality of the inner light over the reality of the world. Moment to moment we make this choice, and it take practice everyday to remember that we have this choice. It takes dedication and committment and self-discipline to remind oneself that there exists this choice at all, and then to purposefully orient one’s self in the direction of the light. This is why spiritual practice is taken daily. Ideally, spiritual practice is done in every moment, or any moment that one thinks of it. It can be as simple as a shift in perception during a conversation, or a momentary awareness of love in the midst of an argument. The willingness to practice is all that is required. Become willing and little bursts of light will find their way to your eyes, helping you turn yourself around to face the glorious light of your being as sure as the sun rises each day.

The light of Truth is found within one’s being–it may be readily available in the ‘heart’ for some–the place where feeling and knowing intermingle. Once one is sufficiently practiced in turning toward the light, when one can spend a significant amount of time and energy seeing clearly through the shadows and illusions of the world all the while living among them, it is time to move forward. One moves in this way from seeing clearly and truthfully to thinking clearly and truthfully, from thinking clearly and truthfully to speaking clearly and truthfully, from speaking clearly and truthfully to acting clearly and truthfully, and finally from doing clear and truthful things in the world to becoming clarity and truth–to embodying Truth and Light itself. This is the place from which Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” and “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Jesus embodied the Truth in a masterful way, and in his mastery, he invited all his brothers and sisters to follow in his footsteps, not by idolizing him or placing him of a pedestal above them, but by idealizing him–walking this path with him, by learning to embody the Truth in oneself. For when one practices deeply and sincerely, for however long it takes, one comes to know oneself as the One True Self which Is. One sees very clearly, speaks very clearly, acts very clearly, and is, very clearly, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Leaving all earthly impressions behind for the children of another day, one bravely sets their sights inward, toward the radiant Sun of their beings, the light which lights all life and which gives form to the world from which we think we’ve come. The light of the world is within us–the love of the word is about us–the meaning of the world is discovered only in the eyes of one who is set on knowing the Truth. It begins with a single thought, a single awareness, a single decision to turn and face the Light of Truth.

To live truthfully means to allow yourself to become blind to all fears, all divisions within your body, mind, heart, and all that separates you from others, and to see instead the harmony, the love, the unity of all life–the beauty of existence which destroys all fear with the power of eternal joy.

Mary’s Mantra of the Day: May I only speak the Truth

humanityhealing.netFrom this moment forward

May I only speak the Truth.

May I only speak the Truth of my heart and soul.

May I only speak the Truth of the only being that is.

May my words be reflections of Truth

–of my Mother and Father God,

Gifts to all who hear them,

Healing to me as I speak them.

 

Photo courtesy of humanityhealing.net

Mary’s Mantra of the Day: Each breath brings Healing

The current of life reaches through meby Melanie Weidner

Its hand disappearing into the depths,

far beyond where the eyes can see–

Always returning, bringing a new breath,

birthing a new miracle into space–a fresh expression of life.

Each breath brings Healing.

The winds of peace run through me,

circling through me like waves,

connect all that I am with all that can be

And healing all that  has been divided.

In wholeness I now breath,

Deeply, completely, feeling my source, being with the Self.

I am this breath of life,

I am the remnants of this turn of spirit,

I am somewhere within this breath,

within this one eternal wind.

 

Artwork by Melanie Weidner

 

Mary’s Mantra of the Day: I refuse to believe in lack

tree-of-abundance-carol-cavalarisI refuse to believe in lack.

The only thing that is ever needed

is a correction in my thinking

that I am separated from that which

I think I need.

I forgive myself for this error,

and I choose to see clearly

the abundance of blessing before me.

 

Artwork by Carol Cavalaris

Mary’s Mantra of the Day: A great fire sets my heart ablaze

by_Axels_alcoliteA great fire burns low down in my bottoms of my gut–in the pit of my hallow parts

Its flames shoot up, and out of my mouth

like the breath of a wild red dragon

The fire is stoked from below by my Mother in the Earth

And its smoke rises up to meet my Father is the Heavens

Gently it rages, fiercely it settles.

A great fire sets my heart ablaze.

 

Artwork by Axels Alcolite

Mary’s Mantra of the Day: Be not a maker of Machines

Objectify not.

Fear not.

Conceptualize not.

Degrade not.

Define not.

For the completeness of life is realized only in the deepest care and concern for the hearts of your brothers and sisters.

Be not a maker of machines, but an admirer of the mysterious beauty of all life.

Our Great Learning: Wisdom from Confucius and the tragedy in Connecticut

Today, I had been working on writing about the works of Confucius I have been studying, when I heard of the shooting of children in Connecticut. It just so happened that Confucius has much wisdom to share with us that pertains directly to the questions I see everyone asking again–Including myself. The following paper includes some of my reflections on what his teachings have to offer us in understanding this tragedy:mirror-mirror-wall-large-msg-129886989789

In his work The Great Learning, the Chinese philosopher, Confucius, gives us a model for living a virtuous life, and he also shows us why our world is full of confusion, chaos, and violence. He teaches us how to see clearly the way things are, and that who we are determines the world we live in. He also shows us how the world we live in influences who we are.

Confucius’ message in The Great Learning reveals to us that to obtain the highest personal excellence (to be good, happy people) and ultimately the highest collective ethic (to live in a good, happy world), we must begin within ourselves. We must begin with adopting a calm, tranquil disposition and become willing to carefully observe life, deliberate on it, and gain knowledge about it. Have done this, we can form thoughts based on our careful observation, and when these thoughts are agreed upon by our hearts, we can assimilate these thoughts into our personal action and behavior—they become part of our personality, part of our being. Having become embodied in our being, this knowledge can then move outside of us into the relational world. With who we are, we lead our families and those closest to us. We influence their thinking and actions, and we contribute to the collective atmosphere and environment within our culture. We impact the collective consciousness of the groups that we are apart—our local communities, institutions, government, and ultimately we contribute to the global collective consciousness. With our inner peace and calm observation of self and life, we can contribute to world peace and the uplifting of humanity through humanitarian ethics. This co-created culture, community, or world then circles back on itself to be reflected upon the hearts of the individuals within it. The collective also supports the individual

Of course we must recognize that the same process of creation holds true when creating a lack of ethic in the world. We can come to understand the origins of today’s terrible tragedy in Connecticut through this teaching. So many of us ask ‘why did this happen? What is wrong with the world?’ This is a natural question—Confucious encourages us to deeply contemplate the answer. Through his teachings, we come to see that all things have their roots and their branches, and that to be observant enough to determine the roots of a certain branch, or a branch of a certain root is the key to knowledge (and eventually the key to changing individual and collective behavior). He said, “It cannot be, when a root is neglected, that what should spring from it will be well ordered” (The Great Learning, p. 357). We can see how this plays out in our lives in many ways: When we have not cultivated our inner selves well, we are of little positive use to our community. This is the philosophy behind Ghandi’s words “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. We cannot wish our communities or our planet to be in a state that we personally have not come to embody. We are a microcosm of the universe, and the world lives inside of us—If we want it to be more peaceful, then we must cultivate peace within our selves. If we want the world to be more loving, we must express love through our own personal relationships, in our families, and in our communities. Individually, we deplore violent acts, we get angry about them, and we ask ourselves ‘what is wrong with the world?’ We demonize others as ‘terrorists’ and we wonder about what must be inherently wrong with them to have committed such acts. In American culture, we see that violence is a long-standing epidemic in our society. It has not left us, despite our general disdain for violent acts. At some point, it is time to look more deeply. It is time to observe the facts displaying themselves around us—violence like what occurred today (looking for a moment past the particular details of this specific incident) occurred because each of us has contributed to a cultural atmosphere of violence. We have created our communities in a way that often reduces others to mere concepts. We commit violent acts in our divisive thoughts, our careles words, and our inharmonious actions in small ways everyday. This cultural environment impacts everyone—it makes us feel that violence is natural. It desensitizes some of us. And sometimes, large doses of it erupt from some weak spot in our collective body and 20 little innocent children give their lives for it.

To deny our responsibility in creating the world we live in is caustic. To refuse to take action to correct what is wholly correctable with cooperation and the willingness to look honestly at oneself is unacceptable. It is, quite literally, the same as turning a blind eye to these tragedies and waiting for the next one to happen.

These kinds of responses to violence and destruction reflect an incomplete understanding of the nature of life, which Confucius is trying to point out to us. It is seeing the ‘branch’ but not the ‘root’. If we understand that these acts of violence in our communities have their roots in our very being, we can begin to understand and take the first steps toward correcting them. This requires us to have a sense of shared responsibility in our world, and an acknowledgement of our relational and interconnected reality with all other beings, a worldview that balances the communal with the individual. From this perspective, we begin to see in ourselves the places where we have not cultivated our persons to be non-violent and in harmony with others. By observing this, we are able to realign our thought systems and eventually embody more harmonious virtues. Being a harmonious being, we bring harmony into our families, our communities, our institutions, and our world as a whole. We can understand how a culture that does not teach the careful observation of life and cultivation of a loving, harmonious self comes to express so much confusion, chaos, and destructive impulses in the world. Those we once demonized as bad are seen as exemplars of a culture of incomplete knowledge about the way things are—a culture that has not yet seen the Truth about life—that we are all in this together, that if one of us suffers we all suffer, and that what we do to our brothers and sisters we do to ourselves. Stepping up to our individual responsibility is the first step in changing our current cultural landscape. We must be brave enough to venture to know ourselves more completely. We must seek the Truth. If we cannot do this, we cannot hope for the future to be any different than the past.

Our individual obligation to our community is to carefully observe the truth that is inherent in all aspects life, to gain knowledge about how to live well from these observations, and to cultivate a self that is reflective of this truth. We must cultivate a virtuous self first, then we can begin the work of cultivating a virtuous and ethical community, culture, and world with that self. The quality of the self that we bring to the world is the most important factor. When this is approached as a spiritual practice, done with devotion at a very deep level, discovering and embodying the Truth in life allows the Only Self That Is to be cultivated within one’s being and ultimately to make manifest the perfection of love, peace, joy, harmony, and beauty throughout the world.

Today, let us remember to look inside at our selves—at what we are bringing through our own being into the world. Let us identify the qualities within ourselves that we must nurture better, and let us stop feeding the negative, violent thoughts and beliefs that feed the atmosphere of our brothers and sisters. Let us come to the world in peace, so that peace will return to us in the world.