Thursday, July 27, 2006

Praying for Peace -- Marianne Williamson's Blog Entry

In one of Marianne Williamson's recent blog entries on her web site, she reflects on the current situation between Lebanon and Israel. You can read her entire entry here. Below is a quote from it that made me think of the oneness Mellen-Thomas Benedict experienced in his incredible near-death experience (see my first blog entry).

A Course in Miracles says that God does not give us victory in battle; rather, He lifts us above the battlefield. Our greatest spiritual contribution to this moment is to remember, in the words of the Course, that "beyond this world is a world I want." Beyond this three dimensional reality where the horrors of war are raging, there is another field of possibility alive in the Mind of God. Our work as individuals is to claim that world beyond this one, with passion and conviction; it is a world in which Jews and Arabs and Christians -- and everyone else as well -- are united not through the body but through the spirit. Close your eyes and see with your Inner Eye what the newspapers cannot show you. See the light within every Israeli, the light within every Palestinian and Lebanese, the light within every human heart, emerge from the center of their souls and then merge into One. See this, hold onto the vision, pray that it become a reality on the face of the earth, and then surrender it into the hands of God.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Here's a nice affirmation a friend sent me this morning. It's from a web site called The Daily Word:
Abundant blessings flow to me and through me. I welcome my prosperity. There is a balance attained in giving and receiving that is evident in prosperity. I truly am an instrument of God as I accept and share the abundance of the Creator. I welcome my prosperity by being a clear and receptive channel of blessings. I give with ease because I know God meets my every need. With joy I allow the wisdom, love, and creativity of God to move through me and out to others. Giving expression to divine qualities within me, I don't have to strive to produce prosperous results. I know that I am not only in the flow of God's blessings, I am also a contributor to that flow. I both give and receive blessings.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Another Poem by Rumi

Unfold Your Own Myth (Excerpt)

Who gets up early to discover the moment life begins?

Who lets a bucket down and brings
up a flowing prophet? Or like Moses goes for fire
and finds what burns inside the sunrise?

Jesus slips into a house to escape enemies,
And opens a door to the other world.
Solomon cuts open a fish, and there's a gold ring.
Omar storms in to kill the prophet
and leaves with blessings.

But don't be satisfied with stories, how things
have gone with others. Unfold
your own myth, without complicated explanation,
so everyone will understand the passage,
We have opened you.

Start walking toward Shams. Your legs will get heavy
and tired. Then comes the moment
of feeling the wings you've grown,

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Wisdom of Waldorf

We will be sending our youngest child to a Waldorf pre-school beginning in August. About Waldorf, Wikipedia states,

Waldorf education (also called Steiner education) is a worldwide movement based on an educational philosophy first formulated by Austrian Rudolf Steiner and which grew out of his spiritual science, Anthroposophy. Waldorf education aims to educate the "whole child" by maintaining a balance between creativity and academic work. Its curriculum focuses on arts, social skills, spiritual values as well as practical and integrated learning.

Waldorf Education makes certain assumptions about young children. Some of these are:

¨ Children love the world and all people in it.

¨ Children are good.

¨ Children need to mature slowly.

¨ Children are usually not conscious of how their actions affect others.

¨ Children are rarely able to describe their feelings.

¨ Children have vivid memories of and contact with the spiritual world.

¨ Children imitate the mood and intention of adults around them.

Remembering these assumptions as I interact with my children has begun to help me respond in more appropriate ways to difficult situations I have found myself in with them.

What I want to do is expand these assumptions to include all people:

¨ We all love the world and all people in it.

¨ We are all good.

¨ We all need to mature slowly.

¨ We are usually not conscious of how our actions affect others.

¨ We are rarely able to describe our feelings.

¨ We all have vivid memories of and contact with the spiritual world.

¨ We all imitate the mood and intention of people around us.

If we entered every relationship (including our relationship with ourselves) with these assumptions, then when we were challenged by a behavior or response (within or outside of ourselves), we could have a greater knowing that we are not our behaviors, our emotions, or our responses and reactions – in short, we are not our egos. We are all something much, much greater.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Mind-Watcher -- A Quote by Eckhart Tolle

In the past three years I think I've listened to the audio version of The Power of Now about 7 times. Here's a favorite quote of mine from Tolle's book:

Be present as the watcher of your mind -- of your thoughts and emotions as well as your reactions in various situations. Be at least as interested in your reactions as in the situation or person that causes you to react. Notice also how often your attention is in the past or future. Don't judge or analyze what you observe. Watch the thought, feel the emotion, observe the reaction. Don't make a personal problem out of them. You will then feel something more powerful than any of those things that you observe: the still, observing presence itself behind the content of your mind, the silent watcher.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Tonglen Practice

This past spring I took (mostly lurked in) a Barnes and Noble University free online class called Buddhism and Everyday Life. The instructor of the course, Joel Baehr, shared a method of Tonglen practice that he had learned from Lama John Makransky.

I do not have a regular practice of meditation at the moment, and while I haven't done this complete meditation, I was particularly touched by step 2 and have tried to incorporate it into the many opportunities I have to "meditate off the mat."

Here are John's words explaining the practice:

  1. Feel your own emotional reaction to something familiar, then bring yourself into a meditative calm as much as possible. After a while, feel your emotion (anger, frustration, etc) again, as though it were real. Become intimate with this form of suffering. (For me, the most familiar feeling was anger - being cut off on the highway. Anger and feeling wronged.)
  2. Say to yourself: "So THIS is what so many others feel! This, precisely this feeling of ____ is what so many others are feeling and suffering from right now." Expand your awareness to others.
  3. Bring to your heart the wish of compassion: "May they all be free of this suffering. By my experiencing this, may all of us be free of it." Take others' suffering into your heart and visualize the shell of self-clinging around your heart cracking.
  4. Visualize light radiating through the cracks and going out to all beings - yourself and all others - with the wish of love: "May all beings possess happiness and well-being." Picture all good things coming to everyone as the light from your heart radiates in all directions.
  5. Take joy in the joy everyone is experiencing.
  6. Drop concepts, visualizations, sense of self and other and rest in radiant emptiness.
  7. Dedicate the power of the practice to the liberation of all.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Martin Luther King -- Darkness Cannot Drive Out Darkness

This is a quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. that I found on the internet. I'm not sure which speech or piece of writing it comes from.

I also found The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute, where you can find MLK's sermons, speeches, and papers.

Could the violence we see and experience outside of ourselves (the kind MLK seems to be speaking about below) be symbolic and reflective of an inner violence that we wage within and against ourselves?


"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."

Wisdom from "A Course in Miracles"

I love the introduction from A Course in Miracles -- simple and profound:

This is a course in miracles. It is a required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary. Free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum. It means only that you can elect what you want to take at a given time. The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love's presence, which is your natural inheritance. The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite.

This course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way:

Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Two Kinds of Intelligence - A Poem by Rumi

Two Kinds of Intelligence -- By Rumi

There are two kinds of intelligence: One acquired,
as a child in school memorizes facts and concepts
from books and from what the teacher says,
collecting information from the traditional sciences
as well as from the new sciences.

With such intelligence you rise in the world.
You get ranked ahead or behind others
in regard to your competence in retaining
information. You stroll with this intelligence
in and out of fields of knowledge, getting always more
marks on your preserving tablets.

There is another kind of tablet, one
already completed and preserved inside you.
A spring overflowing its springbox. A freshness
in the center of the chest. This other intelligence
does not turn yellow or stagnate. It's fluid,
and it doesn't move from outside to inside
through the conduits of plumbing-learning.

This second knowing is a fountainhead
from within you, moving out.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Letter from Ram Dass

A couple of weeks ago I was listening to Wayne Dyer on PBS. He read a letter that Ram Dass wrote to a couple whose child had been murdered. Dass' words are beautiful and inspirational to me, and I have quoted the letter below, which I found on this site.

I haven't experienced what this couple has, and yet I have had many experiences that I perceived as extraordinarily painful -- the kinds of life situations that have tested my faith and nudged me to let go of my attachment to the need to have my life "make sense" from a human/logical/3-dimensional perspective.

Dear Steve and Anita,

Rachel finished her work on earth, and left the stage in a manner that leaves those of us left behind with a cry of agony in our hearts, as the fragile thread of our faith is dealt with so violently. Is anyone strong enough to stay conscious through such teaching as you are receiving? Probably very few. And even they would only have a whisper of equanimity and
peace amidst the screaming trumpets of their rage, grief, horror and desolation.

I can't assuage your pain with any words, nor should I. For your pain is Rachel's legacy to you. Not that she or I would inflict such pain by choice, but there it is. And it must burn its purifying way to completion. For something in you dies when you bear the unbearable, and it is only in that dark night of the soul that you are prepared to see as God sees, and to love as God loves.

Now is the time to let your grief find expression. No false strength. Now is the time to sit quietly and speak to Rachel, and thank her for being with you these few years, and encourage her to go on with whatever her work is, knowing that you will grow in compassion and wisdom from this experience. In my heart, I know that you and she will meet again and again, and recognize the many ways in which you have known each other. And when you meet you will know, in a flash, what now it is not given to you to know: Why this had to be the way it was.

Our rational minds can never understand what has happened, but our hearts – if we can keep them open to God – will find their own intuitive way. Rachel came through you to do her work on earth, which includes her manner of death. Now her soul is free, and the love that you can share with her is invulnerable to the winds of changing time and space. In that deep love, include me.

In love,

Ram Dass

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Illusion -- One Perspective

This quote is from a web site I discovered a couple of years ago - It's from The Language of Light Glossary:

Illusion - if you believe that everything experienced by your 5 senses is real, then God is illusion. If God is real, then everything you experience with your 5 senses is illusion.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Four Stages of Mastery -- One Framework

A couple of years ago, I asked a friend how I would know when I’ve internally mastered something -- for instance, transformed any negative feelings about life into positive feelings. He told me that some would say we go through four stages of growth: unconscious incompetence, conscious incompetence, conscious competence, unconscious competence. Sometimes these types of frameworks help ground me, and I connected with this one, so I did a little research on the internet and found a site ( that explains these stages which I’ve quoted below. (On a side note, this page also walks you through a new way of looking at the 12 steps from AA.) :

UNCONSCIOUS INCOMPETENCE, which is characterized by our actions under the influence of our obsessions, compulsions and attachments. Here we are very much in 'victim consciousness' taking everything personally, blaming others most of the time and our emotions are negative most of the time.

CONSCIOUS INCOMPETENCE, which is characterized by the beginnings of reconnection to Spirit, when we discover that our primary obsession, compulsion, addiction or attachment was not the only problem we had. Here we are beginning to connect to higher aspects of self and discover GOD, but we are still fairly negative and blaming in our patterns of behavior.

CONSCIOUS COMPETENCE, which is characterized by continued and consistent efforts to incorporate Spiritual integration into our daily lives. Here we begin to experience self-responsibility and self acceptance. We begin to work through and transform negative emotions into positive feelings with no blaming. By identifying old negative habitual patterning we can substitute more positive patterns.

UNCONSCIOUS COMPETENCE, which is characterized by our ability to practice integrated spirituality and all its principles without thought or effort. This leads to harmony and empowerment, where although we can see external negativity in life around us, we are unaffected by it. Now we are living in positive emotions all the time - this is self mastery.

Moving through Stages 1 to 3 requires humility, self honesty, dedication and commitment to higher ideals and values, a spiritual way of life through learning the process of co-creation. Moving into Stage 4 and staying there requires weeks, months and years of practice, acting 'as if' and devotion during which time eventually practice and acting as if suddenly becomes being………… Then you are there and you are creating heaven on earth in moment to moment conscious awareness.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Gems of Wisdom from a Friend

I have a friend whom I've known since I was in 8th grade. She owned the ballet studio where I studied for many years in Morgantown, WV. She has inspired me and countless others through her writing and teaching, and when we connect via email, she always shares such beautiful gems of wisdom. Below is one of those gems. If some of the language doesn’t feel “right,” replace these words with words that resonate with you. The essence of the message is there no matter what language of light you choose to use:

”Love is expressed to us by others but the source is God, Love, and when it isn’t expressed to us, we still have it, within, and can be patient. No one and nothing outside of us is the cause of how we feel, even though that’s the general opinion of humankind. We CAN think for ourselves. Each of us really is responsible for our feelings, our view of life and work, and even of other people, because we have an infinite source of goodness and wisdom in Infinite Love, Mind, Spirit, which is God, Love, and which is everywhere and the only power and which gives us the true view of others. Finding out more about the particulars of that goodness and power, and how we can grow spiritually, is crucial to our health and happiness and inner strength, and determines how we face everyday challenges. Love can’t be demanded from someone else, of course, or willed, but it can be restored (if something seems to obscure it) in a natural way, by each individual turning to God, seeing others in their true light (it’s easy with our children, most of the time, so they’re a good example of how natural it is to love, and how easy it is to correct past mistakes) and, above all, seeing ourselves as God’s child. You’re working out your own salvation according to Love’s plan and purpose for you, and it’s completely good.”

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Through the Light -- An Incredible Near-Death Experience

Last week my friend sent me an incredible story about a man named Mellen-Thomas Benedict who was dead for an hour and a half -- he had an amazing near-death experience, and then reincarnated into his same body. You can get to the story by going to this site. I find the story inspiring. Here is just a small excerpt:

"More than that, I began to see that each one of us humans are soul mates. We are part of the same soul fractaling out in many creative directions, but still the same. Now I look at every human being that I ever see, and I see a soul mate, my soul mate, the one I have always been looking for. Beyond that, the greatest soul mate that you will ever have is yourself. We are each both male and female. We experience this in the womb and we experience this in reincarnation states. If you are looking for that ultimate soul mate outside of yourself, you may never find it; it is not there. Just as God is not "there." God is here. Don't look "out there" for God. Look here for God. Look through your Self. Start having the greatest love affair you ever had ... with your Self. You will love everything out of that."