Make Room for You

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Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; if it is, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved” (Matthew 9:17).

In spiritual literature, wine is often associated with life. New, unfermented wine is expansive and requires a container that accommodates the fermentation process. In this case, the old wineskin represents the self-image. It’s that “old dog” that is no longer interested in learning new tricks. With this illustration, Jesus is talking about something more than adding to our repertoire of tricks. He’s talking about a literal infusion of the energy of life, a conscious connection with the living Source of our being.

This is not as foreign a concept as it may sound. Most of us are operating from a surface-based, superficial understanding of ourselves. Jesus is suggesting the need to let go of who we think we are so that which we truly are may emerge. He’s saying, make room for you. Paul said the same thing in a slightly different way: “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” (Romans 12:2).

When I think of renewal in this sense, I envision a pool of water with an inlet and an outlet, a continual flow which keeps the pool fresh, free of stagnation. In our times of quiet, we practice letting go of states of consciousness that stagnate into fear, self-doubt, or some form of pessimism that robs us of our spiritual esteem. The new wine of inspiration flows into a fresh wineskin of consciousness that is flexible and responsive to transforming ideas and a purposeful sense of direction.

With your quest for spiritual understanding don’t forget the letting go of the old wineskins part. It really is true that the thing you seek is already present. It is you at your most pristine, spiritual level.

 

 

 

 

Your Heart’s Knowledge

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Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and nights. But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart’s knowledge.”

Through the years I’ve gleaned much inspiration from the work of Gibran, particularly his book, The Prophet. These lines point to our longing to know at the head-level what our heart already knows at the intuitive level. The thirsting ears are part of our sensory system of perception that is normally focused only on the external world. Gibran suggests the satisfying of an intellectual longing by learning to draw from a deeper, inner connection.

It is appropriate on Father’s Day to consider the role of the intellectual aspect of our mind. We think of the intuitive element as feminine and the intellectual as masculine, though not in the same sense we normally associate with gender. The intuitive side is receptive to our spiritual Source. The intellect is that idea-producing interface that enables us to think in logical sequence, an indispensable feature that allows us to function in this world.

Many gender-related disputes might be resolved if individuals focused less on attempts to legislate social balance and gave more attention to understanding these masculine and feminine aspects. It is the intellect disconnected from its intuitive counterpart that prompts much of the gender-driven activism we see today. This internal division generates the underlying sense of incompleteness. This feeling of lack translates into the belief that we can get from others that which can only be found within ourselves. With our ears focused on the sounds of the external world, that in us which is naturally attuned to the secrets of the days and nights gets lost in the noise.

The intellect is obviously a wonderful and needed faculty. We benefit greatly by making regular visits to our spiritual center of wisdom and power. We do not shut down the intellect. Rather, we spend periods focused on Gibran’s referenced source of our heart’s knowledge. This practice expands our understanding of options available, not merely to a being limited by the facts of our history and circumstance, but to one whose very essence is grounded in God.

Peace Through Change

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Of course we’re all familiar with the famous line from The Sound of Music: “When a door closes, a window opens.” Many of us found inspiration in these words, for they offer hope in our moments of despair. When one way is apparently being blocked, another is opening.

It is equally comforting to know that the “window” is something as close as your own mind. The “door” in the analogy represents a known path, a way, a certain state of affairs that we have grown accustomed to. We have come to know that the nature of life is change, yet when change occurs, when a familiar door closes, we are prone to fall into bouts of fear and uncertainty as to the outcome of our future.

It is at such times that the creative aspect of the mind kicks in. In his book, The Edinburgh Lectures, Thomas Troward wrote, “The individual’s subjective mind is his own innermost self, and its first care is the maintenance of the individuality of which it is the foundation.” There is, in you, a built in wisdom that knows how to navigate through the fog of uncertainty. It is your “innermost self,” which is the direct offspring of Infinite Mind, God. Though you do not always perceive it, this aspect of your mind goes to work immediately on new challenges that arise. It’s like a beacon vessel traveling before you in a foggy reef, signaling to nudge right or nudge left to avoid the coral protrusions that lay just below the surface.

I once met a woman whose husband, seven years ago, was killed in an accident while riding a horse. She said, “That was the darkest moment in my life.” She recently met someone and a whole new life has opened for her, a life of which she can only speak through genuine tears of gratitude. She did not cling to her loss or her grief. She moved through it, and in the process she became willing to open her mind to a whole new set of possibilities.

You may not relish this idea, but you are most alive in your moments of uncertainty. The vigor of youth rekindles in your heart. The portals of creativity reopen in your mind, allowing you to think outside the box of appearances. If you are currently reeling from a closed door, begin now to affirm that your mind is open to new possibilities. Let go of what is past, knowing that something even better is opening for you now.

Freedom Through Prayer (YouTube)

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“Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.” Matthew 5:37

This advice from Jesus may not sound too practical when it comes to daily communication. There are many instances where we need to explain why we say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to certain inquiries. Overall communication would be rather boring if all we said was yes or no.

When we think of prayer, however, this makes perfect sense. Let’s say you’re praying for guidance and doubts begin to creep in. In this case you would say ‘no’ to the negative energy that is doubt. You would not allow your emotions to be dominated by visualizations of what you do not want. You would say ‘yes’ to the freeing feelings that you are being guided, that things are working out exactly as they should.

It’s easy to let the mind run wild in times of uncertainty. When we feel as if we know the best answer to our prayer, we can become rigidly bias toward this preference. We’re saying ‘yes’ to that answer, but we’re probably also trying to figure out how to pull the right levers to get the desired outcome. This can drain us of our creative energy. Scattered and stressed in this way, we can see why Jesus would equate this state with evil. The impact of a stress-producing disposition speaks for itself.

We treat prayer as a two-fold process of denial (release) and affirmation, a statement of what is true from the highest level. In our example of guidance, we begin by releasing all negative imagery, emotion and internal chatter that negates our desire. A simple statement will help: I now release all fear, all doubt, all feeling of uncertainty concerning this situation. Take time to allow all negativity to dissipate. Follow your release with a statement like this: The wisdom of God is now revealing the right steps to take. Love dissolves that which is not for my highest good and attracts that which is. Get the feeling that what you say is absolutely true.

As you go throughout your day, make a habit of saying ‘yes’ to your prayer and ‘no’ to any emotion or appearance that would contradict it. Keep your energy directed to trust in God that the best and highest is now working through you and through all concerned.

Freedom Through Prayer

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Note: YouTube is experiencing technical difficulties. As soon as it allows for the upload, I will publish the video under a separate post. JDB

“Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.” Matthew 5:37

This advice from Jesus may not sound too practical when it comes to daily communication. There are many instances where we need to explain why we say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to certain inquiries. Overall communication would be rather boring if all we said was yes or no.

When we think of prayer, however, this makes perfect sense. Let’s say you’re praying for guidance and doubts begin to creep in. In this case you would say ‘no’ to the negative energy that is doubt. You would not allow your emotions to be dominated by visualizations of what you do not want. You would say ‘yes’ to the freeing feelings that you are being guided, that things are working out exactly as they should.

It’s easy to let the mind run wild in times of uncertainty. When we feel as if we know the best answer to our prayer, we can become rigidly bias toward this preference. We’re saying ‘yes’ to that answer, but we’re probably also trying to figure out how to pull the right levers to get the desired outcome. This can drain us of our creative energy. Scattered and stressed in this way, we can see why Jesus would equate this state with evil. The impact of a stress-producing disposition speaks for itself.

We treat prayer as a two-fold process of denial (release) and affirmation, a statement of what is true from the highest level. In our example of guidance, we begin by releasing all negative imagery, emotion and internal chatter that negates our desire. A simple statement will help: I now release all fear, all doubt, all feeling of uncertainty concerning this situation. Take time to allow all negativity to dissipate. Follow your release with a statement like this: The wisdom of God is now revealing the right steps to take. Love dissolves that which is not for my highest good and attracts that which is. Get the feeling that what you say is absolutely true.

As you go throughout your day, make a habit of saying ‘yes’ to your prayer and ‘no’ to any emotion or appearance that would contradict it. Keep your energy directed to trust in God that the best and highest is now working through you and through all concerned.

A Higher Tribute

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Elaine Lawrie-Foss

Memorial Day is traditionally a time to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.  It was originally called Decoration Day, an observance that began in the years following the Civil War, and became an official federal holiday in 1971.  It is widely viewed as the most somber of American holidays, a time for “memories and tears”.

Memorials abound for people to whom we want to pay tribute and events we wish to remember.  Many memorials are physical structures, but we  also “memorialize” by creating mental pathways. Those can start with some physical reminder- like a name, or holiday or song- and lead to any number of thoughts and emotions associated with our experience of  the individual personality, or knowledge and opinion of the event.

Jesus probably did not want people to shed tears for him, nor did he care about memorials and tributes.   He was far more interested in conveying his message of the true nature of God and the divinity of man.  It was as difficult for his disciples as it is for modern spiritual students to comprehend that Jesus’ most important contribution to the world was not his personal presence and story, but rather his denial of self that those who had “ears to hear” would see beyond the flesh to the reality of Spirit.

There is a message in the teachings of Jesus that we can apply to our experiences of loss and grief.  We of course can pay tribute to someone who has passed from sight by remembering who they were, what things they accomplished in the world, and the times we may have shared together.  We can pay them an even higher tribute by remembering that they were more than “flesh and blood”.   They were, and are, a spiritual being on a spiritual journey.  In order to release them from our limited concept of who they were to us and embrace this idea, we must touch our own inner divinity. In this way we create a new mental pathway, leading from a reminder of the person directly to the joy and peace of God.

You Are Here

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“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.” John 14:6

When you think of the spiritual path, how do you see it? Are you moving along toward an unknown destination somewhere over the horizon? Do you look to your past as a way of measuring how far you’ve come in your thinking? Do you feel you are getting any closer to your spiritual goal, or have you concluded that you may need more time than your current life allows?

From my observation, I’m guessing most people will agree that the attainment of spiritual satisfaction is an ideal we move toward but have not yet reached. Yet when Jesus speaks of coming to the Father, he does so in the present tense. He doesn’t say, I will be the way, but I am the way. The truth I teach is the way to the Father. Was he pointing to a direction we are to travel, or was he indicating that we come to the Father here and now? I have reason to believe it is the latter.

It is easily demonstrated that the only place you and I can be is here, in this now moment. Stand on a spot and call it here. Move to another spot and you will still say you are here. Likewise, we can think of the past and the future, but we can never leave this now moment. Yet it certainly seems as if we are spiritually underdeveloped where we now stand. Surely our hope for spiritual illumination lies elsewhere.

Let’s rethink this problem. All that constitutes the living forces that sustain you are in full operation right now. You’re not required to know any more about these forces. They continue giving you their all. You are a fully functioning instrument of God right now. God is expressing as you in this now moment, the only time you will ever have. God requires nothing more of you to continue operating in and as you. Everything is a go for our spiritual awakening.

Does this sound impractical? Don’t be anxious or try to force anything. Just know that you are in the Father and the Father is in you, that you are perfectly capable now of awakening to this truth. Think of this often, as you get up in the morning and go to bed at night. The light is dawning. You are here and so is God.