Abundance

Whether I am participating in a program among New-Thought (New-Age) circles or visiting a more conservative Christian pulpit, I bump up against the same interpretation and reasoning around the concept of abundance.  It sounds something like this:

Christian version:  If you embrace God’s will for your life, God will bless you with material prosperity.  (i.e. You will get rich.)

New-Thought version:  If you come into alignment with Universal principles, you will be able to manifest material wealth beyond your wildest dreams.   (i.e. You will get rich.)

To my Christian friends, I would say this:   When Jesus spoke of abundance, he was talking about honoring life, the Spirit of All life,  with a shared respect and joie de vivre for our mutual positions in the Kingdom, because we are all part of the same Body.

Abundance: Hosta Blossoms

Why not take a materialistic reading on abundance?  When Jesus gathered his disciples, he did not wait for anyone to pack a bag.  He also exemplified the Eastern spiritual principle of non-attachment, where one gives freely and receives freely in accordance with Universal abundance.  Thus, those who are truly free and walking in their highest Light do not hold many personal belongings, but rely upon providing and being provided for by the Divine hand.

And, lest we forget, a materialistic reading on the issue of abundance leads us down the path of at least three of the Seven Deadly Sins:  greed, lust and gluttony.

To my New-Thought friends:  If you come into alignment with Universal principles, your desire for personal, material wealth will dissolve and be supplanted by a sincere desire on the part of your cleansed, connected and unified heart to serve.  (You will want energy to flow out of you instead of attempting to call energy into yourself by collecting more stuff.)  And, if “wealth” comes to you, you will want nothing more than to share it.  Thus, abundance will transform itself into generosity.

Abundance is about sharing what we have, our gifts, health, joy, good humor and abilities.

It’s God’s Party

Late one Saturday afternoon, having finished my errands on my bicycle, I approach a favorite location of quiet contemplation.  It is adjacent to a Roman Catholic Church, where a beautiful white, marble statue of the Virgin Mary stands behind a fountain in a small garden setting.

Sometimes, I stop to sit here and collect myself, or realign myself with the Light before moving on.  Traveling, as I prefer to do—by bike or on foot, gives me enough time to respond to the leadings that govern my best days.  Sometimes I simply walk or bike past this location, but today, I receive a clear nudge to enter the Church, where a Saturday Mass is already in progress.

The Church is amazingly bright and cheerful inside, decorated in light blue with white accents and statuary—with an immense amount of light streaming in through the stained-glass windows from the late afternoon sun.  Two hard strumming guitars join us together to form the musical heart of the mass,  as one elderly, clearly limping Priest leads us through the forms of worship.  The atmosphere is one of gracious ease.

“You may be seated,” the elderly Priest nods his head as he prepares to deliver the homily.

“I was in my study the other day when I looked up to see the baby Jesus, and we had a moment there—Jesus and I—a quiet moment of Peace,” he opens with no notes and speaking in a very genuine and comfortingly direct tone.  “There is Jesus, God—the Father, Mother Mary, Saint Joseph and a whole complement of Holy Saints.  So, get there.  Find someone you feel comfortable praying to, and get to that place of Peace.”

It is a patiently firm affirmation of faith.

“Oh, yes.  The reading.  The prodigal son.  A difficult reading for some.  Well, it’s God’s party.”

In some ways, I feel like I have intruded on a family dinner.  This man and his flock are comfortable with one another and capable of communicating subtleties without a lot of extra words.

Spirituality: God’s Party

“You know, I was ordained over fifty years ago, and my parents were so excited that they wanted to throw a big party—rented the local VFW hall.  I am from a small farming community.  Everyone knows everyone else.  So, there were going to be people at that party in their best bib-overalls and some in ties and suit coats.

“The Millers, Baptists, asked my folks about giving me an appropriate gift.  They wanted to give me a necktie.  My folks told them I would never wear a necktie (he pulls gently on his clerical collar), but they were welcome to come and no gift was necessary.

“Everyone came.  Everyone came to wish me well.  There were neighbors—some Methodists, Baptists, a few Lutherans, our own people.  And, of course the Millers, good upstanding people that they were, brought me a necktie in a gold-foil box.  So, you see, it’s God’s party.  Remember that.  Look around to your neighbors.  Everyone is invited.

“So, after the party, I sent the Millers a thank-you for the tie because they were doing what was right for them, celebrating in their way.  The gift was respectful.  And, of course Mr. Hanson came in his best, pressed pair of overalls, because it was his way of showing respect.

“Now, I have been serving for over fifty years, and I have had one trip to Rome—a few years back now.  Do you know what I saw?  (He gestures with his hand bouncing just below shoulder height.) Little tiny nuns from Asia—Southeast Asia.  They were everywhere.  And, of course, our South American brothers and sisters.  Do you know what Rome actually smells like at the Vatican?  It smells like—what’s that yellow spice called?”

“Curry,” a parishioner pipes up from the pews.

“Yes, curry!  Rome smells like curry.  Yet, we are all neighbors; we are all family.  Ask after your neighbors’ health, their children, their parents, even if they don’t look like you.  Love your family.  Love your neighbors.

“Remember, it’s God’s party.  Oh, and pray for me, I have my knee surgery soon.”

Sacred Service

“It sounds like you are talking about a church focused on social justice,” one member of the meeting offers up.

Another member contributes his perspective, “What is interesting about the issue of social justice is that you can work it from both a progressive and/or conservative position, which almost cancel each other out politically, though the theological information you have provided makes it sound like your childhood  church was progressive.”

Spirituality: Service

While attending a meeting, I happen into the roiling sea of words.  At home and around most of the edges of my life, there is a full and beautiful silence through which clear guidance charts the course of my days.  At the moment, my head is swamped with compound word choices, which only partially describe what I observed and experienced in the church of my upbringing.

Social justice?  No.  Social action?  Closer.  Social service within community-at-large.  Better.  Yet, in terms of an accurate set of word descriptors, we are still not there.

Then, later in the evening, the first speaker continues, “The problem that I have with ‘social justice’ is that I lose,” there is a long pause in search of the best descriptive words, “I guess—the sense of piety that I enjoy in most other circumstances.”

At home, I contemplate all of the possible labels I have been presented with, which are like a drawer full of inadequate stickers for the way in which my life has been unfolding.  I feel a tremendous amount of compassion for my pious friend and something of an answer percolating through about three hours after I have arrived home and dumped out my word bag.

When we are securely seated in the space of our highest Light and guidance comes through for us to move with the support of the Spirit, there is no absence or loss of piety when we engage in spiritual or sacred service.  Sacred service sustains piety, affirms life, holds compassion, allows for forgiveness and upholds Grace.

Spiritual Path

Spiritual Path:  Mudra

The spiritual path is neither a linear walk nor a vertical climb but a meandering trail we may choose to walk on a daily basis.  Whether or not we are “on the path” is contingent upon the choices we make moment by moment.   How respectfully can we become hosts to our own highest Light?  How thoughtfully and inclusively can we behave toward that same Light  in our neighbors or people we perceive as Other?  Can we stop blaming?  Can we forgive?  Are we making decisions consistently from the seat of our integrity?

The ability to listen and respond accordingly—to whatever guidance may be provided—grows when we begin to operate more consistently from the Light deep with our hearts, moving away from our individual stories and personal concerns and toward universal service.  Receptive silence is perhaps the most reliable way to listen and respond to the world from the holy seat of our Universal Being.

 

Sacred Space & Intimacy

Sometimes, when I am preparing food in the kitchen, my husband comes in with a book and sits down to read to me.  If I am not being read to while preparing food, my husband might read to me over a hot breakfast or while we are riding together in the truck on a long road trip.  We usually have two or three books going, so there are subject options depending upon the place we find ourselves.

As it turns out, this tradition of reading together is a key component in building a sense of continuity and thematic commonality within the passage of our days and the context of our relationship.  Reading and being read to is a habit which developed early in our being together.  And, finding the appropriate parameters for receipt and extension  of such a gift took time.

Spirituality: Sacred Space & Intimacy

One morning, very early in our relationship, my husband trotted innocently in to read to me while I was in the middle of a steaming bath.  Not very skilled at setting boundaries in this new relationship, I rudely sent him packing with his stack of books and several words of frustration.  It was a moment of learning. The first thing I learned was that my solo bath time is sacrosanct.  Ablutions are much more than a matter of physical cleanliness; ablutions are a gateway to  spiritual preparedness for an entire day.  Thus, bath-time needs to remain private and free from words.

Each of us possesses a space or an activity that is somehow sacrosanct—whether it is working in the wood shop on Sunday afternoon, a private yoga practice or a solo walk in the woods.  Individual, internal communion grants us the ability to become intimate—with ourselves.  And, it is only when we have achieved intimacy within that we are able to move forward in wholeness toward a relationship of  intimacy with someone else.

The Receipt of Grace

“I am in too much pain to lie down.  May I just sit here in this chair for the session?”

“Yes, but I think you would be more comfortable on the working table,” my response comes from experience.  This is a new client with several physical issues.  The session is well outside of the established parameters of my normal practice.  “Why don’t you tell me why you are here, and I’ll start working with you where you are seated.”

Words spill into the quiet space of the room as I connect to begin the process of restructuring the man’s field for the receipt of Grace and to release the reservations he holds toward his own Light and body awareness.

Breaking the stream of his own words, he says, “I see what you mean.  I do need to lie down.”

Moving carefully from the chair to the working table, my hand travels parallel to his shoulder some two feet away.  Quiet settles in the room again.

Once he is settled, I ask, “Are you going to be okay there?”

Spirituality: Canna Lily

“Yes, I’ll be okay.” The response comes through that blessed brilliance of Light.  “Feel free to shift your legs if you become uncomfortable,” I invite, continuing to create space around him for his own Light to flow.

The session progresses normally.

“I think we are almost done,” I say while closing out the session.  “Do you feel okay?”

“It was nice to be almost without pain—if only for one hour,” he observes.

“I normally work with clients wishing to change professional or personal circumstances; so, this is something unusual for me.  Be sure to avoid the consumption of alcohol for 24-48 hours.  Some quiet time built into the context of each day will help you.  Listen to your body’s subtle cues.  The work will take ten to twenty-one days to play out.  It has been a privilege to serve you.”

Elements of Life

Spirituality: Magenta Cosmos

Sitting outside of the grocery store in my vehicle, collecting myself after moving through a crowd of frenetic shoppers, I look up from balancing my bank account to see a young girl riding in a shopping cart. She is about four. Her tongue is out as far as it can go. She faces the wind, checking the cold air with her extended tongue.

And, I think, “That’s just it. As adults we have forgotten how to explore the world with all of our senses—how to taste nature’s freshness.”

Be present to the earth’s elements this week—with all of your senses, appreciating all that there is to taste.

Of Healings & Bumper Stickers

While out walking, I ran across a parked car with a bumper sticker admonishing “healers” for charging money to do what Jesus did for free.  I thought to myself, “Even though I do not refer to the work I do as healings and I do not call myself a healer, the person who put that bumper sticker on that vehicle would most certainly put me and the work I do in the camp of reprobate ‘healers’ who charge money for sessions.”

Spirituality: Trellis Rose

And, quite frankly, this same question about spiritual alignment, money and universal Light used to occupy my heart as well.  This is what the past many years of working with people on behalf of their highest Light has taught me about sessions, clients, money, unconditional Love  and universal Grace.

  1. Everyone has a pattern—their own unique pattern—that, if they were connected, fully grounded and following it, would allow them access to their highest Light. This is what heals.  (Thus, I personally do not heal you.  I ground you in your Light.  Your witting, consensual alignment with your highest Light guides you through your own healing process.)*
  2. Sometimes we need help rediscovering, recovering and/or grounding our highest Light in the context of our individual bodies and current circumstances. Family and social obligations can keep us from attending to ourselves as we should.  I often assist clients in “sorting themselves out” so that they can reexperience their personal Light.
  3. Money is energetically neutral. It is what we do with money that “charges” it energetically or spiritually.  Are we using money to help or injure, to support or deride?  Many of my clients go on to distinguish themselves in the realm of being able to care for others more efficiently because they have taken time to care for themselves.  Solid self-care leads to service.  I am compensated in the form of money payments for the unique service I provide.
  4. Working with the Light, in a formalized session, is potentially transformative because “we” (you, I and the Light) are all working in concert to create positive, lasting changes. With a clear agreement in place, changes tend to occur and unfold in positive and productive ways.  Clients committing to a formalized, paid session prepare very carefully and thoroughly to receive Grace.  This level of commitment and preparation supports the work in ways that less-formalized healings lack, except among the truly devout.  Thus, an appointment supports changes in behaviors, habits, efforts and intentions.
  5. Finally, as someone who works with the Light, it is easiest for me to maintain my own physical frame with a good healthy, clean lifestyle and whole, organic foods.  I am able to assist more people by being able to purchase my own organic foods products, rather than by growing and putting aside such foods from my hobby garden or by bartering for other goods.

*The body is designed to be self-repairing.  Individuals facing the greatest health challenges are those with genetic predispositions, auto-immune diseases, situations of exposure to unrecognized environmental toxins or those who engage in repeated self-injury.

Second Sight & Drive-by Healings

I am uncertain by exactly what mechanism I was given the gift of second sight; but, in 2001, receive it I did.  It may have happened as a result of my redoubled commitment to my yogic practices, because of a prolonged physical illness or simply because it was time for me to see the world from a more consistently spiritual perspective.  Whatever the reason or reasons for the addition of this gift to my toolbox-for-living, it altered and continues to inform the manner in which I interact with the physical world.

With second sight, one of the first things that you notice is that the physical plane possesses a spiritually or energetically visible and parallel component.  Thus, in my worldview—when I am observing with second sight or “on” and quite often I choose to be “off” for ease of social mobility—the world is comprised of an enhanced array of pure color which varies in intensity and luminosity.

Spirituality: Courtyard

For example, taking into consideration the issue of a person’s health, if someone has a knee problem, the area around the knee in their spiritual field is usually dull in color or, in severe cases, may be completely non-luminescent.  And, we may work to instigate a change in our physical bodies by working from the inside out (proper nutrition, healthy movement, allopathic medicine, acupuncture, massage), the outside in (energetic work, meditation, healings, prayer, spiritual work) or by approaching an issue of concern from both directions.

In my experience, the most efficient path to tending the body addresses areas of concern from both the inside and the outside.  This is why, what I have termed “drive-by healings” do not usually hold or stick—because without a person’s consent to work, spiritual intervention, granted to an unwitting recipient provides no conscious, physical support for the spiritual gift that was granted.

Consider this when your mind is lolling about.  Bring the full weight of consciousness to bare in matters close to your heart and your long-term health.  Choose to care for yourself, from both the inside and the out.  You may be amazed at the difference it makes.

Who Are the Homeless? II

Walking toward me, a man with a serious limp asks, “Hey, do you know where the Salvation Army is?”  He has barely finished crossing five lanes of traffic before the light changes and everything and everyone starts moving at forty-miles-per-hour.

“You are just one block away,” I answer raising my voice above the wind.  “You cannot see the sign from here because of the curve in the road.”

Spirituality: White, Wild Flower

“Whoa, it’s cold up here,” he exclaims rubbing his ungloved hands together.

“Where are you from?” I ask, noticing an absence of scarf and hat as well.

“San Antonio,” he shoots back with a broad smile crossing his face.  There is a significant scar along the edge of his left jaw.

“And, you left that warm weather and sunshine for this?” I counter.  We have started to walk together in the same general direction.

“Yeah, I came up her for truck driving school.  And, then, all of a sudden-B A M.  I’m homeless.  I need me a clean shower and a shave.  Hey, are there any good jobs around here?  For twenty dollars an hour?  Like a forklift operator?  [He does not yet understand how different the market is in this region.]  I see it now.  I got it.  I got it,” he gently dismisses me.

“I hope everything works out for you,” I say in parting.

“Yeah, me, too,” he responds waving his hand.