Monday, December 19, 2011

A Message from Heaven

Beloved Earth Children ~

As this Solstice season approaches, we extend this invitation so that you might rediscover your most essential nature. . .

Stand near a tree in the forest and learn the way of being still and rooted in silence. Bend like colorful wildflowers, splayed across the spring meadow, and bow to the wind. Shimmer with a crystal in the palm of your hand and allow its energy to heal your body, mind and spirit. Dance to the river's current, flowing downstream, and experience the full meaning of surrender.

Shine as the stars, high in the heavens, and be inspired to realize your infinite potential. Leap with the whales in the sea so your soul song might be carried by the waves. Soar like a falcon, circling the open sky, and see yourself, spreading your light into wings of freedom. Stretch your body with a cat to practice yoga. Serve others like a dog, ever loyal, trustworthy and true.

Heed the wisdom prayers of the Grandmothers and the elders of the gathering tribes and recognize that there is one Life and one Source that moves through all form. Have the faith of a gardener and cultivate patience, compassion and kindness. Breathe with the rhythm of the drum, and your heart will beat stronger. Play like a baby with innocence, joy and laughter.

Remember that you are the promise of your generation. Each day, the seeds of your actions cause the ripples of your humanity to travel beyond time and space. Therefore, do your best to be a living demonstration of the beauty of devotion, the power of courage and the triumph of perseverance. Above all, never forget that we offer you our unconditional love always.

Blessings from the Universe, All is Well, Be in Peace.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Self Portrait

"Who Am I?"

This question posed by Sri Ramana Maharshi invites us to inquire into the very nature of our existence. The inquiry itself leads us past the wide spectrum of all the names that we are given at birth along with all of those labels, expectations and opinions that others seem to tag upon us at every juncture. Further investigation reveals that we are the best of friends the moment we please someone and then, denigrated by a judgmental look of disapproval the instant we say, "No" or otherwise happen to take a different standpoint.

It is such a blessed chance of luck when we realize that no concept can possibly capture the essence of who we really are. Suddenly, we are able to turn inward and ground ourselves in the source of our own true Self. No longer is there an attempt to live up to someone else's portrayal of what they want us to be. Never again does anyone have to be wrong. Imagine that: we can all be right. Moreover, we can see one another in the light of such innocence!

And when all of the molds and mirrors are broken and left on the barren, red earth like cracked clay pottery, discarded from years of overuse, we can actually celebrate this wearing away of our persona. Indeed, the secret of secrets is that we have never been a mere perception or a word handed to us in childhood. What a relief it is to experience that we are the entire universe and all the spaciousness that lies hidden beyond.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Soft Flicker of Hope

Every child has known God, not the God of names, not the God of don'ts, but the God who knows only four words and keeps repeating them, saying: "Come dance with Me, come dance." ~ Hafiz

Many teachers on the spiritual circuit speak quite a bit about the stories we create and how they are not real. While it is useful to acknowledge that our fear is a story, we still need to do the work of healing our wounded child in a sincere and authentic manner. It is like meeting a young child, standing alone and lost along the side of the highway. Would you stop and tell her that she is not lost and then, continue on your way? The compassionate response is to gently smile, take the child by the hand and offer to help her find her way home.

Similarly, all of us are seeking the way home. This home is a place of great fun and spontaneity in which every instant is alive with excitement and wonder. While the return to our innate joy might be our intent, many of us search far and wide for the key that opens the gateway to our own healing. Another, and perhaps simpler, approach is to go within and begin to watch whatever happens to be arising in the present moment. Those trigger points in our relationships are particularly valuable, and in effect, they have the potential to become our most precious gifts. Personally, I like taking the position in which everything is welcome. For example, if I am feeling sad, then I embrace the sadness.

This practice of whole-hearted acceptance does not mean that we have the right to act out our unhappiness with violence. Neither are we justified in blaming another person for what we are feeling. In actuality, until we are willing to take full responsibility for our own emotions, we remain stuck with our wounds and our victim mentality. Gratefully, I am seeing that surrender is one of the most effective tools in the healing process. Of course, it is not necessary to either like or to avoid any self-indulgent behavior. The important thing is to realize that there is a soft flicker of hope behind the eyes of every wounded child. With encouragement and patience, this soft flicker of hope can glow ever brighter until it blossoms into a beacon for the Light of Love.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Like a Reed

Let nothing be inside of you. Be empty:  give your lips to the lips of the reed. When like a reed you fill with His breath, then you’ll taste sweetness. ~ Rumi

On November 11, 2011, each of us has a rare opportunity to receive a powerful influx of energy from the Universe. Moreover, this highly-charged vibration of Grace light contains a more refined frequency of wisdom than has ever previously been channeled into human form. In order to completely absorb this light energy, we must be empty.

In the next few days, it would be helpful to check in with your breathing often. In order to allow your breath to really cleanse the auric field, be sure to relax your neck and shoulder area. Also, it would be beneficial to drink lots of fresh water and to eat a light diet, filled with vibrant and colorful fruits and vegetables. Above all, observe the emotional body and watch for any residual signs of anger or other negative thought patterns.

By gently guiding our attention into a more receptive space, we will prepare our entire auric field to align with the full power of 11.11.11. In this manner, we become co-creators and willing participants in the new Earth force flow. Like a reed, our hearts will fill with greater acceptance, respect and love for one another and for all of humanity.

I invite each of you to join me in this celebration of our divinity as we taste the sweetness of His breath.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Movement

AUM pervades everything, equally, like space. Within It, there are no distinctions such as high and low. The formless Unmanifest manifests as form; how else could the Imperishable show forth Its Light? ~ Song of the Avadhut

On a recent holiday to Niagara Falls, I experienced such a brilliant reflection. In fact, truth revealed itself quite suddenly and unexpectedly as is so often the case with most spiritual insights. While our rising star touched the morning air, I saw the breath of fluidity, flowing across the earth in complete synchronicity. I watched a leaf, floating on the slightest current of wind. I observed each drop of water, surging over the falls, meeting the massive foam where light and spray created a double rainbow prism. I became every step, hiking across the trails around the river's bend. I was the seagull, perched patiently on a broken tree limb, waiting for a fish to come by.

Even as I continued to view this vast and complex panorama unfold, I soon noticed Love's radiance in the face of a child, laughing as she played with a stick on the edge of the water's path. I found Love painted in the richness of the land, burgeoning with the first trace of autumn colors. I knew Love as the sun, shimmering across the water and meeting the mist in a tremendous rush. And as I became very still, I was this Love, coursing through my very bones, lifting my spirits ever higher.

This gentle falling of leaves; this power of water, spilling over rocks; and this simplicity of formlessness, moving within me, sang the song of a new day and a new way of living and being in the world. For then, I saw my devotion to Love to be the greatest treasure of all. And as I witnessed my own eyes, soaking in the purest sapphire blue sky, every form simultaneously became a vessel for this most authentic certainty: I am the movement of this one Life.

Friday, September 23, 2011

An Equinox Peace Sharing

It is through this journey into silence that we meet our inner purpose. From here, our outer purpose flows quite naturally. ~ Cathy Ginter

Often when we first begin to awaken, we become aware of past, unconscious behavior that we perceive has caused harm to another or to self. This realization can trigger feelings of guilt or shame. Keep in mind that this mind-set is once again the ego, pulling us back into a never-ending cycle of more unconscious behavior. However if we can bring forgiveness into the present moment, a space will arise in which the mistakes of the past can be healed once and for all.

To practice forgiveness in the present moment, visualize a stream of pure white light radiating from your heart center. Now, see that white light extend outward until it surrounds each person involved.

Also remember that true forgiveness is a gift of Love, given freely and without expectation. When forgiveness is offered unconditionally, there is no separation between the giver and the receiver... and the offering itself becomes unlimited in its potential... Like a stone tossed into the stream of Life, it ripples on forever...  into the Infinite Eternal. I see forgiveness, as well as Love, as the breath of Consciousness.

If we can be in complete acceptance and without judgment, we have also moved beyond the need for forgiveness... at that point, healing has already taken place.

Finally, always keep close at heart that we are here to move beyond the emotions and the counter-productive antics of the ego aka the unobserved mind; to connect with a deep inner stillness that exists within each of us as our true state of Being; to rediscover a lasting peace, love and compassion that naturally flows outward into the world around us; and to be enJOY... so that the touch of Grace might dance through us!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Angel Dance

Angels dance only with You, Beloved and only before You, do I bow in adoration. You may accept me or not, but I will be at your feet forever. ~ Rumi

We find ourselves in the midst of a magical and mystical Universe. Simply gazing at the expanse of the night sky and watching the beauty of a star spinning across space is awe-inspiring. And yet, we too often overlook the certainty that we are a part of this grand matrix of light. Instead, we focus on the faults that we carelessly present to one another. In so doing, we diminish not the love of God, but our own connection to that love.

And still, the angels look upon us with such compassion! How can we not feel their presence, enfolding us in the gentle caress of love's sweet breath? In the face of this unconditional love, what is fear but the forgetfulness of our Source... what is shyness but closed eyes that merely need to open... and what is jealousy but turning our backs on our own gifts. Regardless, the invitation to join in the everlasting peace and still harmony of the symphony is always right here for each of us has our dance of devotion to reflect the angels' joy.

Can we sing the lost song of the caged bird? Can we finally remember our name?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Tapestry

This place where you are right now, God circled on a map for you. ~ Hafiz

How do we know that this is our place? Even if we completely lack faith in God, we know this simply because here is where we are. We might think it is hidden under the leaf on the morning glory vine that winds its way through and around the garden gate. Or we might go seeking past our own backyard for the treasure that is always given from within. Must we continue the search, or are all of our antics merely a game we play to catch God's attention?

Regardless of how hard we try to look elsewhere, this moment is the gateway to our eternity. In seeing this, we realize that all of this running about betrays our spiritual heritage. Now, we can relax our hold on the spool and allow the threads to naturally fall into place on the loom. And if we are bold enough, we might dare to imagine this beautiful tapestry made in the perfect reflection of God's love for us even when we can barely see a single strand.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Hands of Grace

You have not danced so badly, my dear, trying to hold hands with the Beautiful One. You have waltzed with great style, my sweet, crushed angel, to have ever neared God's heart at all. ~ Hafiz

There is something so simple and yet so extraordinary about hands, coming together. I find the manner in which fingers interlock and the skin of one warms the other irresistible. Hands of lovers, sweetness sharing; hands of children, joyfully swinging back and forth; hands of healers, radiating rays of light; hands of strangers, meeting in a welcoming hold are all quite exquisite, but I am especially fond of large hands for the firm strength and secure confidence they offer.

Still, no hands are as powerful as God's hands. These are the hands of love, encircling the world with the blessed sounds of celestial harps, playing on the wind in the middle of the dark of night, bringing a promise of hope when all else seems lost. Within the calm of such quiet comfort, we have the singular chance to leap from the edge of the highest mountaintop, freefalling in midair, knowing full well that we will be caught by the ever waiting hands of Grace. How lucky are we, who recognize the infinite majesty hidden in the jewel of absolute trust.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Forgive Again

This beautiful and heart-felt devotional passage from Rumi reminds me of my forgiveness practice: "Come, come, whoever you are wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving, it doesn’t matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vow a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come."

So often, I am asked how we are to forgive what is seemingly unforgivable. I can only relate what works for me in trust that it might guide you into a space of greater peace and wider acceptance as well. I begin with the understanding that all forgiveness arises from the same place; that is, we all want to heal. From this vantage point, I acknowledge that it can be just as challenging to come to terms with the betrayal of a trust or a careless misunderstanding as it is to forgive cruelty and abuse of women and children.

Next, I suggest that we forgive and forgive again.

Still, the ultimate meeting with the most remarkable truth is the recognition that we only need ever forgive ourselves for we are the ones who have forgotten our innocence. And in the seeing of this singular realization, everything is finally washed away like a perfect summer rainstorm. Personally, I love the darkening of the sky, the heavy downpour filled with the deep drum of thunder and the brilliant flashes of lightning, the breaking through of the most magnificent sunlight as it streams through the clouds and at last, the appearance of a spectacular rainbow.

Likewise, in any conflict or struggle, there is a relaxing and a smiling that longs to happen, and happen yet again. So I say: yes, be willing to forgive and forgive again even if it takes a hundred thousand times, forgive again.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Grace of This Moment

Each moment contains a hundred messages from God: To every cry of "Oh Lord," He answers a hundred times, "I am here." ~ Rumi

While the sun slips over the western woods, the evening colors turn the sky to the softest shades of heather. The slanting light leaves long shadows across the back of my hand. I gently rotate the lens and play with blush and silhouette as they intermingle, come and go. When the hum of a bumblebee soars into sight, I watch it dive deeply into a hanging heart to grab its last fill of nectar before the day is complete.

I am quite pleased when a mere whisper of the calmest breeze lifts a flawless flower to my eye. In truth, I am merely a spectator to this single instant in time in which the real treasure is the bliss of capturing this one shot. Smiling, I invite a fine line of luminosity to linger between leaf and petal, halting the midair dance of movement. Holding my breath, I frame a perfectly focused bead in the crosshairs, slowly press the shutter and catch the Grace of this moment.

Monday, April 11, 2011

In Clear Sight

"The lamps are different, but the Light is the same. One matter, one energy, one Light, one Light-mind, endlessly emanating all things." ~ Rumi

Each moment is extraordinarily beautiful when we simply open our eyes and see. As Rumi shares with such poetic grace, we are one, undivided and interconnected. Regardless of appearances, there is no separation between us and all that there is. In this timeless, spaceless state, there is no disconnect between being and becoming. Perhaps this understanding reveals the true reason we feel such physical and emotional agitation when there is a persistent struggle going on in our minds.

Truly, we are blessed when we can pause and inquire: Can we acknowledge that we create the gap of separation between ourselves and the world? Can we recognize that when we become identified with the object of our attention, we kindle patterns of resistance? Can we watch ourselves become trapped in our own misperception as the illusion catches us? Do we realize that when we no longer have the ability to distinguish it as a misperception, we close our eyes to our true nature and drift into a state of forgetfulness?

All of these questions arise from Consciousness that is cognizant even during our slumber. This part of our psyche must either weep or laugh at what we are missing in our bouts of blindness. Yet with eyes wide open, in clear sight, we see ourselves with the majesty of a single drop of light, floating on the surface of the sea, following the stream of the current and merging into the one Light-mind. In an instant, the lamp is no longer important for it vanishes in the brilliance of the Love's light, shining forth.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

This Renewal

"We have not come into this exquisite world to hold ourselves hostage from love. Run, my dear, from anything that may not strengthen your precious budding wings. We have not come here to take prisoners or to confine our wondrous spirits, but to experience ever and ever more deeply our divine courage, freedom and Light!" ~ Hafiz

The arrival of spring and the first burst of warmer weather are often accompanied by a surge of joy. At the same time, we have the perfect opportunity to reevaluate our lives and to clear away all that is no longer working for us. Sometimes this includes leaving a relationship with a lover, a close friend or a family member that no longer serves our most authentic self. While this level of clearing is never easy, the fact remains that it is impossible to grow emotionally and spiritually until we release that which no longer strengthens us.

Regardless of what we are told, not all relationships are meant to be a lifelong commitment. Often people come into our lives to teach us important lessons, and once that lesson is learned and we have ripened from the experience of knowing them, it is wise to express our gratitude and move on. Yet so often, our ambivalence becomes our greatest obstacle as it causes us to swing back and forth between grasping and releasing. And while our intent might be to not hurt anyone, we hurt everyone by our unwillingness to see the depth of our self-deception.

With the wisdom of this perspective, we come to realize that love is an emptiness, an openness and a willingness to allow. It is also helpful to remember that moving on is not a final ending as the gifts of our friendship remain. So as each new blade of grass sprouts and greens the earth, may we go within and explore those aspects of our lives that no longer feed our spirit.  May we open to the longer rays of sunlight, streaming across our hearts and feel the fresh breezes, flowing through the open windows of our minds. And may each of us have the courage to allow this renewal to go deep and do its work until we truly become divine freedom and light.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Blessed Realization

"Knock at the door of reality, shake your thought-wings, loosen your shoulders, and open." ~ Rumi

There are times when a consistent, long-term exposure to any spiritual teaching can feel overwhelming. Keep in mind that whether we are practicing meditation, yoga or receiving intensive Reiki healing energy, we are literally raising the vibration of our auric field to a higher frequency. In so doing, we are opening our inner body to a new way of living and being in the world. In the beginning, our practice is often accompanied by a period of joy and peace. However when that first wave of bliss recedes, it is possible to be left with a feeling of uncertainty.

As many of us know, this lull can easily lead to a chase to repeat the initial feeling of ecstasy. Many of us have caught the egoic mind asking, "What's next?" Yes, we all long to get to the place of true inner peace that never wavers. However, it is important to acknowledge that we might have to play catch up with the freshness of the awakening experience. In fact, it takes patience and confidence to allow our emotional and physical bodies to integrate and merge more fully into the groove of the shift.

It is also perfectly normal for a burst of energy, rising through the chakras, to feel unsettling. We might even experience a period of confusion, anxiety or agitation, which all seems like a huge step backwards. In actuality, it is indicative of an expansive movement in consciousness. When this occurs, it is helpful to remember to relax our shoulders and breathe deeply, which will allow the energy to rise to our Heart chakra where it can be transformed to love. If we remain present and free of resistance, this very powerful, creative energy will bring great insight.

It is such a blessed realization to understand that we can move with the course of the current even when the river feels cold and uncomfortable. In accepting that it is all part of our journey, we can smile, go for the ride and trust that it is all unfolding in complete perfection.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Merely a Listener

Sitting quietly, the wind is rushing through the woods. It softens almost to a whisper before picking up momentum. Now, the crescendo intensifies into a full roar. A moment later, it is calm, the clouds part, and the sun shines through. My eyes are closed in meditation, but I can sense the brightness as the light moves in patterns across my brow.

A bird flies nearby; its cry is a raucous complaint that pierces the silence like a knife to the belly. As I exhale, I gently remind myself to be completely still. Now, I am merely a listener as the sky sounds meld and become one with the resonance of my breathing. In an instant, everything arises from within as opposed to around or outside of me. All that is left is a singular fragment of an idea that an external world even exists. As the breath continues to flow, all semblance of "world" fades away until no thing remains.

There is a deep echo in the very core of my being. If I had to give it a name, I would simply call it music. But it is so much more than that. The sounds linger and become part of my soul like the pulsing of blood through the vessels of my heart. There is no semblance of separation between me and all that is. Rather, the wind is my breath as my spirit soars among the stalwart trees, barren of leaves, dormant beneath winter white.