Secret Wedding Ingredients

“There wasn’t a single guest who didn’t comment on how much they loved our ceremony, and how much they loved you!” wrote the groom in a wedding that I officiated recently.

I am flattered and often floored by the comments I receive after a wedding, by the guests who grab my arm on my way out, look into my eyes and say, “That was the best ceremony I have ever been to.” They are old and young, men and women, all colors and creeds, and gloriously different individuals.

I feel like a chef sometimes, walking into the dining room and having the customers cheer and compliment my creation. It’s like that; yet they themselves are a key ingredient.

The recipe is not a secret. It’s in plain sight, if subtle and unusual.

I’d like to share the recipe here. You can mix it up for your own wedding or gathering of any kind, really.

It’s one part people, one part presence.

I begin with a silent moment. With a breath together. Then an awareness of our feet on the ground and the feeling within at that moment. I remind them that our presence is a gift we are bringing to the couple about to commit a radical act of faith and love.

I go there myself. I feel the subtle energy in my body. I stop thinking for a few seconds. I trust that the work I have done on the ceremony is good enough and that I am guided always by the Divine.

The result is a magical dome of Love that drops over the event and leaves a glow with all who partake in the goodness. Not everyone does. The ones who do are those who garb my arm. At some weddings I feel the whole “audience” is there, in the present moment and experiencing the Extra-Ordinary.

Sometimes it is so unfamiliar to people that they don’t want to try it. Like escargot or caviar. But if there are enough people with me in the moment – a critical mass perhaps – we are all carried away. We are all creating this delicious, joyous feast for our hearts.

We also engage the guests at some point during the ceremony – honoring their importance in the alchemy and making sure they haven’t slipped back into the ordinary just yet.

We all spend enough time there, in the everyday mind-made stress and concern. A ceremony can be a few minutes somewhere else. Somewhere perfect, where all is well.

I think that’s what they have tasted, those who feel the need to talk to me after the ceremony.

They have been to the Now. They ate it up. They loved it. They want more.


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A Statement of Faith

I recently received a private message on Facebook where a gentleman asked me to “Kindly share a statement of faith”. He said that he wanted to know what I believe and how I think we can connect with the Divine, what opens heaven’s door.

I answered.

He shot back a long message that started with “It doesn’t matter what we believe” because the truth is written, and sited Bible quotes and teachings in his faith and belief that proved why I am wrong and possibly going to burn in hell for eternity.

I half expected that. I was reticent to answer as I thought it might be a trap for him to chide me or try to “save” me. I do receive such emails and messages from time to time.

Which is why I have been careful in the past about stating publicly what I believe. I live in a largely conservative and Christian area. Some of my friends have strong beliefs that may seem to conflict with mine. People who “liked” me may not like me after reading this. You might opt out of my mailing list. Some will want to debate, which I have little interest in doing.

I have decided that’s all ok.

I want to be honest. I want to feel free. I want to offer what I have found to be true, and as a minister guide those who are interested beyond the boundaries of the mind to the freedom of the Spirit.

So here it is, my statement of faith – what I believe about what opens heavens door and our connection to the Divine, and what doesn’t:

I believe there is more to this life than what we see and observe with our five senses.

I am interested in experiencing the Divine and in bringing forward Divine aspects of myself to share with the world; in becoming That.

I think that peace is found by going within and accepting all of ourselves without avoiding feelings, trauma and addiction. This is spiritual work that is sometimes ignored by religions. We can’t bypass this work and think that following rules or being a “good” person will bring us peace. Our peace is necessary for world peace. We can love others only to the extent that we love ourselves. I think that harmony amongst all people will come when we all can look inside ourselves with love and acceptance and open to our connection to the Divine which naturally connects us to one another.

I think that heaven is where we are connected to our Divine Self and to All That Is and that it is to be lived while we are here. That’s the challenge. It will be easy when we die. To open that door it is helpful to sit in stillness, to meditate and to drop beneath the level of the thinking mind. It helps to hold our beliefs lightly, to question our thoughts and judgments and to not get bogged down in semantics. It is seeing the world with a soft focus and allowing clarity to come from within.

I think there are Divine messengers who can help us and with whom we can connect in prayer and meditation. Different people call on different spirit beings, and they come. One is not better than the others. I think that I have a small team who help me and work with me and whose wisdom is beyond my brain’s knowledge.

I think that the literal translations of the ancient texts can be dangerous and that we should allow for context, evolution, growth and new knowledge, and the possibility that much of the writing is metaphorical, symbolic, and allegory. For example, I don’t think that Adam and Eve popped out of nowhere and then lived hundreds of years. I see the story in the garden as a symbolic illustration of the difference between living in the bliss of knowing the Oneness of all things vs. seeing things divided into good and bad, judging everything with the mind and acting out fear, shame or anger. We can go back to the garden, to our natural state, to seeing that all is one and all is well.

We miss the point when we focus on “the” word. Words are but pointers to experiences that we might have if we go farther than the words themselves.

I think that Jesus was largely misunderstood and his message misconstrued. He was the example and was showing us who we are as children of God, just like him, and what we are capable of when we let the Father work through us as he did. We are meant to do what he did and more, but we have to have the eyes to see and the ears to hear what is real beyond our five senses. The point is not worshipping him but doing the work to let go of attachment to the material world, drop within and experience that connection to God for ourselves, to awaken that Christ Consciousness that is in us. He gave us clues on how to look for God here on earth, in many metaphoric stories and statements; as did Buddha, Hindu sages, Zen masters and others.

I also think that people have different language for It – for Christ, God, Father, Source, the Divine, Great Spirit, Allah, Supreme Self. Just as humans came upon water all over the globe and called it different names in different languages, so we experienced the Divine and chose different words. Again, attachment to the word and one word being correct leads us astray, farther from the sensibility required for the experience, and back into the divided good/evil world.

I have heard described by yogis the heat of kundalini rising and also was told by a reborn christian of the fire felt inside as Jesus burned away his old self. Same experience. Different words. We tend to assign the experience differently based on beliefs, cultural context and desires, rather than allowing the experience to teach us, change us and wake us up to Reality.

I think the less we believe strongly, the more open we are to the experience and allowing of the unfolding of Truth.

So, this is some of what I believe and what I think right now based on what I have experienced thus far… in case anyone else wants to know. I don’t know anything for sure.



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Come. Then go.

I’m a teacher and a preacher
but I don’t want followers or devotees.
I don’t want more and more students packing my yoga classes
or a congregation filling a stadium week after week.
I think that would be failure.
Failure of my guidance and my teaching.

I’m not aiming for copies of my brand of spirituality,
for others folllowing my path
or quoting me in arguments to defend their position –
political, personal or otherwise.
I can’t think of a greater disappointment.

My deep desire is to call to those who need me now;
to anyone who may be guided by words that I bring forth –
that my translations,
my experience,
my transmission of a small ray of light
may help someone to notice their own
and see the path illuminated before them
not by me but by their glorious shining Self.

And then they’ll take off, I dream,
on their own journey of the heart,
a little more awake to their spiritual nature.
They’ll know what to practice and when,
that will lead to their ultimate, inevitable enlightenment.
They’ll come to visit,
my former students, my audience, my followers,
as teachers and healers and peacemakers.

This is how we’ll heal the world;
by lighting small fires in the open minds that come to us,
then watching those fires spread and burn down the world we know, revealing beneath,
the Kindgom,
the Truth,
Heaven on Earth.

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