Beyond Sit, Stand, Kneel.

I loved the ritual of church. Sit. Stand. Kneel. Frankincense melting and smoke wafting. The ambience of light streaming through colorful stained glass. The processions, and performance of acts done in a way, for so long, by so many.

Then came the talk.

When I was really little, I tuned it out.

When I started to listen, I was confused. Why was I not getting the same good feeling from the priest’s words?

When I started to think critically, it was over. It didn’t make sense. It didn’t match up. God was everywhere but not within me? God loved everyone but you couldn’t be gay?

My most recent church service experience was at a church with big production value. Big screen. Great music. Uplifting from the start.

Then came the talk. The teaching.

A letter from someone centuries ago warning of the debauchery of women laying with women that could happen if we didn’t submit to (his definition of) God. Read with an air of that’s-what-it-says-here-don’t-shoot-the-messenger.

WHAT?! Ugh.

Yesterday I saw the boy from a church group in apparent confrontation with Native American Elder Nathan Phillips as he chanted ceremonially, in Washington DC.

“The boy needs love,” I thought at that moment. And wondered, “What are his elders teaching him?”

Can’t we teach love?

Can’t we teach how to love?

I believe so. I propose first and foremost as acceptance of one’s self. Compassion for one’s self as we are. Encouraging the inner work needed to heal, forgive and to connect with the peace that resides at our core. Teaching love from the inside out.

Once we get that, compassion for others comes easy. The desire to help and offer our unique gifts to the world is a no-brainer. Reverence for all forms of life is natural. Inspired action and answers abound. Unity is recognized and sought after. The Spirit of Love, the Beauty of God, the Consciousness of Christ can then flow from us and grace the earth and every one.

The talk and the teaching is important.

The talk can come from Love.

Addendum: I have read the student’s account of his confrontation with Nathan Phillips and have seen more video. It seems that there was much division and seeing the “other” as a threat or the enemy that day at that place.

I see the issues and dynamics of that particular event differently now.

The solution remains the same – teach Love.

Teach it till we find that there is no other.

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May Our Spiritual Endeavors Serve the World

Your spiritual path is not for yourself.

Don’t lose sight of that if you start practicing yoga, or meditating, or studying with an enlightened teacher. Insights may begin to come. You may know things, see the future or auras, attune to the medical or physical needs in others, or experience any number of “special”, though natural, powers. 

Don’t stop there. 

Don’t get distracted. 

Keep going.

My friends and I used to gather monthly as a tribe we called Moon Circle. Seven women getting to know ourselves, practicing meditation, intuitive and creative exercises, and supporting each other in becoming. 

And one started to hear dead people. Another, animals needs and wants. One opened up her creative channel and out poured beautiful and inspired works of art.

My writing began to flow and come to me whole and complete as if a manuscript was dropped off. Like now. I sat down to write about something else which is turning into this – this message about the importance of giving what Spirit gives, back to the Whole.

It’s not for you alone.

Share. 

Be bold. 

It’s true that what you offer may not be for everyone. We are at different places in our development, emotionally and spiritually. But those who are just below you will be lifted by your words, your art, your certain kind of caring that is born from Divine Love and compassion.

Bring the peace you have found to a world in desperate need of it.

Bring the acceptance of self to others that they may feel accepted.

Bring useful information to anyone willing to hear it.

Mostly, share your Awareness with those you live and work with.

Quietly.

Lovingly. 

In action and attitude. 

Let your presence be a gift and your energy grace the space where you stand, whether or not you utter a word.

Embody your spirituality. Then, your path is for everyone.

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Care What Other People Think of You

This might seem like unusual advice from a spiritual teacher. I read memes and quotes that say “Don’t care what other people think of you” portrayed like it’s enlightened thinking or spiritual badassery.

It isn’t.

Not caring what other people think of you cuts off a source of learning, an opportunity for growth and one of the primary tasks of life in the Earth School.

I believe we are here with one another to grow, to learn to love more and hopefully, eventually to bring Perfect Love through us to this experience for all to benefit from it.

If someone doesn’t like us, is angry with us, or has a criticism, we have choices. Don’t care is one choice. It’s an immature one. It doesn’t have the courage to look at the opinion of the other. It doesn’t have the wisdom to discern whether the source is one we respect and may want to listen to or if it is something to just let move through us and away.

It certainly requires love and knowledge of the self to consider the opinions of others. We can start there. With gentleness we can begin to embrace the whole of ourselves – our history, our weaknesses, our abilities and shortcomings. When we know and accept who we are, we can take it when an observation is made from the outside and see if it is worth taking in for a purpose.

I heard in Al-Anon, “If someone said you were a chair would you be offended?” No! Because you know that you are not a chair. This helped me then when my wusband would be in a rant and hurling intended insults.

He once yelled “You’re flippant and lazy!”

“Hmm,” I thought. “I’ll have to look it up, but pretty sure I’m not flippant. Uh huh, I can be lazy. I see that.”

Someone could tell us that our decisions are crazy or reckless. Perhaps they don’t prefer our style of dress and make that known. Or they point out that our approach is off-putting. The possible critiques are endless.

Don’t care or…

Think “Hmm.”

Think “Maybe they have a point. It’s interesting that they notice this. Let me consider it. Let me filter it through what I know about myself and my own experience. Let me take into consideration the source, their possible motivation or projections. Is there anything useful here for me to grow and become more loving?”

This isn’t saying to live the life that others think we “should” or change who we are to fit in or anything of the sort. Sometimes what someone thinks about us is as untrue as “You are a chair.”

It’s about getting to know and love oneself. It’s being constantly open to knowing more of Who We Truly Are. It’s using this life as the school that it can be to further positive change.

Then, what someone else thinks of me becomes fuel for my fire and spurs the calling forth of my magnificence.

That is spiritual badassery.

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