Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Gifts

From me to you, an at-home in your pajamas practice you can do tonight or tomorrow to welcome in 2017! I send you all love and the highest wishes and vibrations.

Also, here is my digital New Year's Card, some scenes from our front yard in winter with delightful birds and squirrels, and a few haiku verses celebrating our deep connection to nature and the earth, and to each other. 

NEW YEARS BLESSING & POEM: #haiku #verses
Birds, beasts and people - In harmony with Nature - May we always live. 
Finding solace in - unbreakable connection - to our sacred Earth. 
Spirit manifest - in every cell and atom - man, woman and child. 
Holiness and Light - continuous, non-dual - Symphony of Life. #flow #harmonize #realize#nonduality

Friday, December 16, 2016

Meditation for Advent, Week 4

The Gospel reading for this fourth service of Advent at my church will be chapter 11 verses 2-11 in the New Testament book of Matthew. John the Baptist wanted Jesus to answer the question, "Are you the Expected One?" Jesus told his disciples to go and report to John what they had heard and seen. What had they witnessed in the presence of Jesus? Nothing short of miracles: the blind receiving sight, the deaf who could hear again, the lame who could walk and the dead coming back to life, with the good news of the Gospel being preached to the poor.

Jesus instructed the disciples to tell John that no one like Him had come before and no other Expected One would come after Him. He proclaimed John the Baptist to be the greatest man who had yet to walk the Earth, but also this: that the least important person in the coming Kingdom of Heaven would be greater than even John the Baptist!

It was time to make way for a new reality, a new world order. It was time for the world to open its eyes and embrace an entirely new vision. All had been blind, yet all were invited to see--to see what? To see something they had never before seen, something beyond their frame of reference, beyond any reality they had ever known, imagined, hoped for or dreamed.

This Expected One, Immanuel, God with Us, this miracle worker Jesus, can He make us see? Can he achieve the miracle of letting us see with our human eyes into this Holy vision?

For a few brief moments, let us close our human eyes and rest them. Rather than straining our eyes to see, we'll allow our eyes to close. We'll embrace once more this quiet, still place of watching, waiting, turning and dreaming. 

Here in the still darkness, repeat this prayer mantra silently to yourself: Maranatha, Come Lord. {Allow for silent reflection}. 

As we prepare to open our eyes once more, for the next few breaths, breathing in we'll say silently, "Expand our vision," breathing out, "that we may SEE."  

Come Lord, and expand our vision, that we may see your glory! Amen. 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Meditation for Advent Week 3

{For the third Sunday of Advent the church I attend is using the Week 4 scriptures on December 11th, so this week's meditation is based on those scriptures and the general themes of Advent. It is easily adaptable to any Advent service.}

The scriptural passages for today contain the prophecy of Jesus' birth and Matthew's account of the circumstances leading up to it. Isaiah 7:14 proclaims, "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call his name Immanuel." Immanuel means, God with us. God incarnate. The Divine on Earth in Human form! What a magical, mystical, fantastical idea: a living, breathing deity, the embodiment of holiness and divinity!

Some interpretations of Christian spirituality cast shame on the human body, viewing it as an impediment to spiritual progress. This ancient view of our bodies is also present in the other faith traditions of the world. This type of thinking is linked to a certain time in history, and the philosophies which dominated at that time. But our scriptures for today tell us that God chose to come into our physical world through the womb of a woman's body, taking birth as a human. Matthew chapter 1:18-25 tells the story of Mary's pregnancy and Joseph's struggle to preserve the couple's dignity as he contemplated hiding Mary away. In a dream an angel reassured Joseph, telling him about the great blessing awaiting the world, and that they should call their new baby by the name of Jesus. And so, Joseph and Mary went ahead with their wedding plans and believed themselves that Mary's body was holy, that their marriage was holy, that their baby was holy; and they put away their shame and fear.

What more evidence do we need that we ourselves, in our very bodies are holy and beloved, than the Lord of all coming to us in a body just like ours?

Find a comfortable seat where you can be at ease in your body. Bring the hands together in prayer at the heart. Gently close your eyes. Bring your awareness to your breath. Allow your breath to slow down and deepen, naturally soothing your body and mind. In this reverent, peaceful position, allow your focus to turn to the Holy One, Immanuel. 

Begin silently repeating the prayer phrase, "Immanuel, God with Us" to yourself. Silently repeat Immanuel as you inhale, and God with Us as you exhale. Without judgment, let all other thoughts come and go as you bring your awareness consistently to your prayer phrase and your breath. 

With each breath, welcome in the presence of the Lord. With each heartbeat, experience your connection to the heart of Christ. 

Feel the inner Light of Christ expand through your heart, through your chest, throughout your entire being. 

Envision the Light of Christ surrounding you here and now, encircling your body and radiating from your core. 

Immanuel, God with Us. As a church, we are the Body of Christ on our Earth here, today.