One: Becoming Whole

blog, becoming, whole, healing, love

“Personal transformation and social transformation are one piece. . . .

The true spiritual quest is not that I become whole. Informed by the belief that the world is birthed by God and is precious and sacred and one, the true spiritual quest is that the world become whole—and we along with it.” Jack Jezreel quoted in Daily Meditations 8 July 2017

Becoming whole is not about me…

Becoming whole. To begin with I thought it was all about me. I needed fixing. Many seminars, retreats and expense finally brought me to the conclusion that my attitude remained in my court. It is a choice. I have choice. Always. Shifting from the negative into the positive is not an instant exercise.

Healing is dissolving into the whole

As I said, I thought it was all about me. The more I discovered about myself, the wider my field of vision broadened. “Me” moved further and further from centre stage. In fact, I found that healing is about dissolving into a union with the whole of creation, becoming one with God.

The dance

So far I have not made much progress… Awareness is the first step in the process of change and I am aware, sometimes. In my aware moments I relax and flow, enjoying the ride and stopping to smell the flowers. The universe lifts from my shoulders and I enter the dance to which she calls me. It feels complete, peaceful, abundant.

A rushed weekend

The dance faltered this weekend. We just came back from our once-per-year family camping trip. It felt rushed. The schedules had collided, time compressed and we enjoyed separate togetherness. Busyness does that. We become compartmentalized, isolated in our various activities. Another obligation completed.

Becoming whole

Becoming whole involves everyone and it cannot be accomplished separately. Time is an essential ingredient. Letting go of our ordinary responsibilities to build relationship and discover who we are as a family lays the foundation for world peace. Love smooths the ride. Without love others never meet expectations.

Releasing expectations

Expectations tend to mire the waters. One person asked how she might cope with her growing irritation. I suggested loving the person and letting go of how she might help improve things. Loving without conditions, loving the person just as he or she is, that is healing. Love heals the deepest wounds if we choose to release our expectations to the universe.

Learning to love

So becoming whole means learning to love, joining hands with those who irritate us, forgiving and moving forward. This action heals us, everyone around us and will eventually bring the whole world into paradise. Let us begin today.

Share

One: Two Operating Systems

systems, abandoned, spirituality, one, searching, non-dual thinking, gray, black, white,

“I will not leave you orphaned” John 14:18

Either/or

With our birth, we enter the world with two means of perception. In the beginning our faculties concentrate on an either/or point of view, the first of two systems, whereby we differentiate one object from another. We can identify people this way. We quickly learn who is mom and who is dad, or big brother and sister.

Finding ourselves

Using the same either /or system we begin to identify our own personalities as compared to others. We all like to feel unique and special. At the same time, we all like to belong.

Belonging

Belonging usually takes the form of family during the early years. This progresses to a deeper desire to be different from our family and moves us into various other groups where we sense a common ground.

Blurring

Usually this ego centred system leaves us dissatisfied with life. As we look around, especially in our ever-smaller world on an ever-smaller planet, our notions of right and wrong. The standard by which we measure who is in and who is out becomes blurred if we are at all open.

Other systems

Being open allows us to discover the other hidden operating system within us. Jesus called us to this other way. Within this system, the ego and its either/or perceptions no longer serve us well. Everything belongs. No one is left out. We can suddenly understand how everything connects. Our responsibility as co-creators becomes clear.

Non-dual thinking

The clarity of non-dual thinking comes and goes with my ability to let go. I sometimes long for the simplicity of black and white while at the same time knowing gray is here to stay. I also know the disastrous result of continuing to cling to an exclusionary, empire-building vision. We are in this together. My hope is in the assurance that we are not alone. Patience and persistence are required. Love is the key. We are all learning how to love. Life is so good.

Share

One: Scarcity

scarcity, abundance, spirituality, blog, paradigm shift,

“If we start with original sin (beginning with Genesis 3 rather than Genesis 1), our worldview is scarcity rather than abundance.” Richard Rohr, Daily Meditations, April 5, 2017

The poor are more generous

Scarcity is the preferred stance of Western Society. There is never enough. The more we have the more we fear losing it. Have you ever noticed the most generous people in the world are not the rich but the poor? The poor understand abundance better than the rich.

Abundance abounds

In my blog on Salvation I referenced the abundance of nature. No two leaves are alike, even off the same tree. By beginning with Genesis the Bible directs us to partake of the abundance in natural settings. Go for a walk in the woods. Plant some flowers. Dig in the soil and listen to the birds. Abundance is everywhere.

Scarcity is king

Yet we prefer scarcity. Money is the god of scarcity. Tithing is impossible because there are too many bills. Taking care of the poor, the elderly, the sick is expensive and a waste of time and energy. Euthanasia becomes attractive. Unwanted children are easily eliminated. After all, the planet cannot support our growing population. Fear takes over. There is never enough. There will never be enough. Something needs to change.

A paradigm shift

A paradigm shift from scarcity to abundance is possible. Focusing on gratitude for all the good in our lives rather than what is missing, or supposedly missing, begins the realignment. I am so thankful for the blue skies this week. The spring rains have washed everything clean again. Today is a good day. I will focus on today, this moment of beauty.

Gratitude is the catalyst

Abundant goodness is all around us if we choose to see it. Remembering we began with a blessing rather than an curse may bring us back to the blessing. Scarcity can kill. Fear will have us in our bunkers with our hoard of food. We cannot see the sun from that position. So, let us trust in the blessing and leave scarcity behind. Life is good.

Share

One: Salvation

salvation, saved, Jesus, blog,

The theology of Francis, Duns Scotus, and Bonaventure was never about trying to placate a distant or angry God, earn forgiveness, or find some abstract theory of justification. They were all about cosmic optimism, deep time, and implanted hope! Salvation was social more than individual, just like the Old Testament covenants.” Richard Rohr, Daily Meditations, March 27, 2017

Christ as a last name

We separated Jesus from the Trinity. More human than divine “Christ” has become his last name instead of his purpose.

Love is the answer

Jesus came to show us how to live. He came to invite us into co-creation. The Beatitudes (Matt 5) give a short summary of his life’s work. The great commandment to love: love God first and your neighbour as yourself, sums up what they have to say.

Nature is a doorway

So how do we love God? Where do we begin? Let’s start with the world Christ created. Taking a walk in the woods or in any natural setting will introduce anyone to its Creator. Consider the trees. Every species takes its own form yet no two trees are alike. Each blade of grass is different. Pick up a leaf. Hold it in your hand. Gaze at it for a few minutes and get lost in the veins, the shifts of colour, the texture. Allow yourself to enter the universal diversity, to be awestruck. Love the leaf.

Don’t worry

God is in the leaf. You are in the leaf. Christ binds all things together because he is the beginning. He is also the end. This is why Jesus told us not to worry or be fussed about clothing or food or the latest diet. We are to live simply, lovingly, generously. Abundance is everywhere as long as we do not hold onto what we think belongs to us. Everything belongs to God. We are the caretakers.

Becoming one

In our caretaking, we grow closer to he who created what we manage and to each other. We become one.

Salvation is assured.

Jesus came to tell us we have already been saved. We killed him for the message. Not liking free gifts, we want to earn our way into heaven. He forgave us. Salvation is still intact. There is nothing to fear, no right way of doing. Being is enough.

Kingdom of God

So let us accept the messenger and the Creator as one, Jesus Christ. Let us love and forgive as he showed us how to do. Together let us build heaven on earth knowing the kingdom of God resides in each heart, everywhere. Life is so good.

Share

One: Meditation

blog, meditation, contemplation, spirituality, one, Jesus

On occasion, I hear accusations against the practice of mediation. Some believe it is foreign to the Christian faith. Not so.

Jesus had Eastern roots

We must remember, Jesus was Jewish. He came from a solidly Jewish background. His religious teachings and thought processes were decidedly Eastern.

Christian contemplation 

In the beginning years of Christianity, the practice of withdrawal form daily activity was routine. Early Christians did as Jesus did. (Luke 4:42, 6:12; Mark 6:31, 6:46 etc.) They took time to contemplate the presence of God in their world.

Hermits and mystics

Christianity became the official state religion during the fourth century. These quiet practices were lost among the games of political power and social climbing. The Desert Fathers and Mothers took to the hills unable to stomach the change in focus. The shift caused by the move from persecution to prestige had lead many away from following Jesus’ teachings. Contemplation and meditation soon became the property of hermits, mystics and the occasional solitary monastery.

Rediscovering our own

Perhaps that is why the Holy Spirit did not allow St. Paul to go east in his evangelisation. He went to Macedonia instead. (Acts 16:6-10) In this way, the religious groups of the East  preserved the crucial practices of contemplation and mediation. Today Buddhism and Hinduism inspired an opportunity to reconnect to our own traditions.

Following Jesus

Only recently, in the past fifty years or so, we began to use these important tools again. They are essential in the process of surrender. Emptying ourselves and allowing the Holy Spirit enough room to linger brings us closer to God. We began to follow Jesus again instead of worshipping him. After all, following him, imitating his practices, is what he asked us to do. (John 21:19)

Guided Meditation

Here is an example of a guided meditation: I love you.

Remove yourself from the hubbub of normal life. As you sit in meditation, quietly focus your attention on your breathing. Each time you realize you have drifted off into thoughts, memoires or sensations. Simply return to your breathing.

As you inhale, hear God’s silent words, “I love you”.

Exhaling, breathe out a silent “I love you” back to God.

Inhale and be aware of the air as God flowing into you.

As you exhale, allow your “I love you” to be your very being, flowing back into the depths of God.

James Finley (Center for Action and Contemplation)

Share

One: Surrender

blog, surrender, spirituality, vulnerability, prayer, love

“Do not harden your hearts…” Ps 95:8, Heb 3:8,15

Surrender is a new beginning

Surrender inspires connotations of failure. In our confrontational world, someone has to lose. We are just beginning to understand there is a third way, the way of love, where everyone wins.

War is not the answer 

Surrendering to love is the heart of non-violence. The non-violent stance requires enormous courage. Our world today does not understand a non-violent approach. When opposition surfaces, we stand in our truth without walking or running away. The other does the same. In this position, one against the other, war is birthed. War is the stance in which everyone loses.

Standing in love

War, however, is not inevitable. If we allow our hearts to soften enough to receive the other’s truth, if we listen with love, the third possibility shows itself. By holding both points of view in the tension they create, we shift. Opposition is no longer threatening but rather an opportunity. The shift is surrender and allowing the Spirit to move in another direction.

Vulnerability requires courage

Since everything is connected only one need surrender to affect the other. Love is a powerful force. When our opposition sees respect and consideration in us, they are called to do the same. Courage is required. Vulnerability the key. Not everyone can entertain this path. We may get hurt. Self-preservation is a very strong instinct.

We are not alone

Yet if we manage to stay the course the world changes for the better. So instead of bitter words I resolve to smile; instead of hiding my tears will show my hurt. In my hurt I choose to forgive and continue to stand in love and vulnerability. And Love will strengthen my weakness. We are not alone.

Don’t forget to check out my events page for the latest happenings!

 

Share

One: Suffering

blog, suffering, transformation, spirituality

“He is my servant…my chosen one…I have sent my spirit upon him… He does not cry out or raise his voice.” Isaiah 42: 1, 2

Suffering can include joy

Yesterday I spent some time with a man in a great deal of pain. He has suffered for a long time, many years. We joked, we laughed, we shared some insights and wisdom; words of love and compassion. A joyous moment.

Suffering is everywhere

Somehow the understanding that God visits suffering upon the sinful never really stuck with me. The image of a loving, merciful God cannot entertain it. The good and the innocent suffer. Nature suffers. Suffering does not seem to be the exclusive prerogative of any particular group or age. It is everywhere and takes many forms.

Reconciling 

So how can we reconcile the notion of a loving, compassionate God allowing so much suffering within his creation?

A means of transformation

Several centuries of thoughtful reflection have brought us to the point of entertaining the idea of a God who is Love. If the base is love and mercy then retributive justice moves aside to restorative justice. Suffering is no long a punishment but a means of transformation.

 

 “If we do not transform our pain, we will most assuredly transmit it. Exporting our unresolved hurt is almost the underlying storyline of human history. … Unless we can find a meaning for human suffering, that God is somehow in it, and can even use it for good, humanity is in major trouble.” Richard Rohr, Daily Meditations, April 6th 2014

God is Love

Perhaps finding a meaning for suffering lies in the new understanding of God. Traditionally we have believed, and still do, in God as a little old man with a white beard living far off in the distance and peering down at his creation while recording a long list of sins in his little black book. This scene no longer works. We do not need another judge. Judges are in plentiful supply. We need love, compassion and mercy. The anger and suffering around us proves it.

If God is Trinity—love and relationship—that creates a very different kind of humanity.” Richard Rohr, Daily Meditations, January 2nd 2017

The circle dance of love

Instead of a little old man, we have a circle dance of love, both giving and receiving, an overflowing that engages all creation. “God is with us” becomes much more intimate. She dances with everyone and everything, in and through all being. God suffers with us. She does not inflict pain but holds it as it transforms herself and her creation into something new and beautiful. Our suffering can give birth to a new heaven and a new earth if we surrender.

God suffers too

Jesus surrendered. He hung on the cross in silence, accusing no one. Instead, as he hung there, he forgave his persecutors. He knew his invitation to dance had been rejected, still he forgave. His suffering made world-wide transformation possible, an example to follow.

Share

One: Heaven

one, blog, heaven, peace, spirituality

“Christianity is meant to be a loving way of life now, not just a system of beliefs and requirements that people hope will earn them a later reward in heaven.” Richard Rohr—Daily Meditations-Summary January 6, 2017

Heaven on Earth

Our mission is to build Heaven on Earth. Instead distain has replaced respect in many people’s minds when it comes to the topic of the Christian Church. Some people will not even entertain the subject. They walk away shaking their heads. Or worse, they allow their anger against the Church to take over their thinking and their words.

The non-violent way

All this distress is quite understandable. Christian churches have strayed far from the loving way of life Jesus proposed. The Beatitudes in chapter 5 of Matthew in the Bible lay out a non-violent, patient and caring life-style few undertake. Some exceptions do exist. The best example in the last one hundred years was a Hindu: Mahatma Ghandi.

Offer no resistance

Ghandi put Jesus’ teachings into practice. Unfortunately, he paid the same price Jesus did. We are still unwilling to offer no resistance to the evil doers around us. “But I say this to you: offer no resistance to the wicked.” Matt 5:39 Tit for tat is still the name of the game. Being ‘right’ consumes us.

No reward system

There is no way we can earn our place in heaven by joining the ‘right’ church or doing the ‘right’ things. All of us make mistakes. Some mistakes have a higher price than others. And we have been forgiven. Done deal. All that remains is choosing a peaceful path by creating a peaceful heart within ourselves.

Peaceful hearts

Peaceful hearts create heaven. They are also rare. Instead of concentrating on personal sin, how to repent and how to earn a better standing in the eyes of a judgemental and exacting God, churches could teach practices leading to peace, like centring prayer, meditation or contemplation exercises. They could teach us how to love ourselves again, as God loves us. We need to hear about a loving God, one without the little black book.

Acts of loving kindness

Acts of loving kindness birth Heaven. It works well with a reciprocal flow of love and kindness. Like in the Trinity. The Trinity is the finest example of self-giving and self-receiving. This circle dance of love overflows into more beauty and peace. We see examples in the newborn babies of loving parents and in the joy of elderly couples who have made a life-practice of this way.

Solidarity

Heaven on Earth is possible. Respect must replace distain, guns transformed into plowshares. Refusing to participate in acts or words of violence, we stand in solidarity with the poor and the marginalised while denouncing the systems destroying our peace and our planet.

Engagement

Non-violent engagement in social justice is not for the faint of heart. One could get killed. On the other hand, heaven moves a little closer. Peace is more possible. Life is good.

Share

One: The Pearl

blog, pearl, Jesus, spirituality, God, science

Christianity lost the pearl

Christianity held the pearl for about three hundred years. Then she lost it. Today we see some signs of retrieval. At least we are beginning to look in productive places.

Jesus taught unity with God

During those first three hundred years, theologians struggled with the concepts of unity that Jesus had presented. He openly announced his oneness with God the Father. The statement aroused the ire of his religious leaders. “Blasphemy”, they cried.

A threesome

Not only did Jesus claim unity with God but he introduced a third party to the God-head: the Advocate, the Holy Spirit. A threesome, a trinity.

God is a circle dance

Eventually the Cappadocian fathers concluded God is a circle dance. 

Desert Fathers and Mothers

Theological thought focusing on the idea of God as Trinity came to an end around 313 CE. Except for mystics and the occasional monastery, the new focus turned to imperial concerns. The Church had moved from persecution to prestige. Christians living the life of Christ moved into the desert and remote places all over the Middle East. There they thrived away from the glamour. And so, it remained for about fifteen hundred years.

The Law of Three

Science has provided a new field in which to search for our pearl. It does not belong to any one group. Instead it is a foundation upon which world peace and prosperity can grow. Trinity is a code word. The Law of Three is everywhere. We find it in the atom, the very foundation of our physical world. Quantum physics proposes the idea that the universe moves in union, a flux in which everything is connected, a sort of dance.

The Good News

So instead of an old man peering at us from somewhere far away and recording all our sins, we have a Dance Master. The Observer has been replaced by the Participant. The invitation to join the dance, becoming full partners in the cycle of life, remains. This is the Good News proclaimed by Jesus. He even showed us how forgiving God is by absolving us of his murder.

Nothing left to prove

If we can embrace a loving God, ready to share life with us, there is nothing left to prove. Suddenly insisting I am right or making sure I belong to the right group no longer matters. All I have left to do is surrender to the flow and spread my wings. The pearl of great price is within my grasp, within everyone’s grasp.

Unexpected gifts

The exciting part is the signs of unity showing up in unlikely places. For a more complete presentation on this topic check out this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnTC4NNIACk

 I received it from a friend of mine, a Sufi Muslim. Life is so good.

Share

One: Jesus

newsletter, Jesus, One, spirituality, faith

“Jesus did not come to change the mind of God about humanity. Jesus came to change the mind of humanity about God.” Richard Rohr Summary Daily Meditations: Sunday January 7, 2017

The purpose of incarnation

Jesus came to tell us about the Trinity and how all creation is blessed rather than cursed. The Cosmic Christ incarnate invited us to join in the divine dance of loving relationship and be co-creators.

Call to love

Instead of accepting the invitation we preferred our old way of doing things. We understand a mean, old accountant type God rather than one who loves all we detest. And she asks us to do the same: love all we detest.

In our own image

We prefer a God made in our own image rather than the other way around.

Jesus reveals a different way

The God Jesus revealed to us defies our understanding. We have been asked to love our enemies. Should we do that war would be impossible. There would be no need for weapons of any kind. Prisons would become obsolete.

The source of many woes

On the other hand, we are more comfortable with keeping track of faults and misdemeanours. We like taking sides and being right. If we loved one another we would include everyone. Instead of judging whether a certain person or group of persons should be welcomed into our circle, we would listen to their story. Feeling superior and entitled have become the root of many problems in our society today.

Things get messy

The law tells us who is right and who is wrong. Jesus taught there is a superior law: the law of love. This law allows us to break the rules occasionally for the greater good of all. Things get messy when we choose to live the way of love.

We don’t like messy

Messy does not suit us in our high stress efficient world. It takes too long for consensus. So we go for compromise, or better yet, dictatorship. In dictatorship we do not have to think, just obey.

We killed the messenger

God the dictator is so much better than God the dancer or God the lover. No wonder we killed the messenger.

Everything belongs

Perhaps it is time, however, to listen to the message. Keeping score to determine who goes to heaven or hell has emptied many churches. Experience shows us God’s rain falls on good and bad alike. We are beginning to understand a world where everything belongs.

Webinar on the Trinity

To delve deeper into the topic of Trinity and its implications join Richard Rohr and his friends in an upcoming webinar on April 6. Click on “Gather”.

Share