In the “Present” to Connect and to “Witness”

Often lacking in our culture is the deeper connections which allow for growth of consciousness and spirit. (“Often” is a judgement which, in this case, means “Most of the time.”) We are all here, in the present incarnation, to learn and to grow. Most importantly, we are here to support our fellow spiritual pilgrims on their (“our”) path toward “Enlightenment.”

One factor that gets in the way of connecting is our weakness in a key area of communication. We are resistant to using our ears and our intuition to fully “Hear” the person/soul who has “bumped” into us. Our culture teaches us to interrupt the “story” being shared with our own thoughts or past experience so we can “control” the conversation. We are rarely using questioning to assist our conversation partner to be more clear with “their” storytelling. We are lacking in the skills as a “witness” to the story, and possible wisdom, which is being shared. If we were fully “Present” in the interaction, we might invest fully in soaking up the story/lesson with all of our senses including our intuition. We are ALL “Masters” with much to share. Mastery includes being fully present and being aware as a “Student” to the experience. Appreciation and respect is often neglected due the lack of “Time” or energy or interest… What if God, yes the God we have heard about, was standing in front of us, perhaps as a “burning bush,” and sharing some wisdom with us? Would we/you/I listen fully and with respect? Or, would we discount this message because we are lacking focus? Would we interrupt God to share our story?

An individual soul who has awakened and begun to “remember” their connection to the Divine might be “Serious” about consciousness and spiritual development. Curiosity and openness would be a common thread in all interactions, with people or with nature. If you ever get “serious” about your practice of spiritual consciousness, you may wish to participate by “listening,” “watching,” “being fully aware,” and “Taking it all in.” Do this not just to support the next pilgrim with a story which needs to be “heard” but for yourself! This is YOUR learning and by raising your consciousness, you raise ALL consciousness (because we are ALL connected and “One!”)

You may find yourself in conversation with questions like:
What is a human being?
Who is this person in front of me and what am I to learn from them?
What are we to learn together?
They are equal to me and they have their “lessons” and challenges but their “pains” are the same as mine (perhaps experienced slightly differently.)

Listening and “Witnessing” are challenging skills which are worth developing. In our lives, we experience many “relationship challenges” which are often associated with OUR lack of listening skills. We might find ourselves interrupting or getting defensive when perhaps we could be asking questions and exploring the pain or blocks to intimacy.

We are not “perfect” and we come into this life to take the next steps toward higher consciousness and more fully remembering our Divine source. Do not give up! The challenge is our lesson! Even if you were “Perfect,” You want the experience of being human with the intense emotions and the difficulties with our limited abilities to communicate. This is part of the cosmic fun! Celebrate and take responsibility for the challenge before you. We are ALL in this together and, at some higher level, we are participating for the “greater good.”

You are a blessing! You are a Master! Your purpose is to learn, to grow, and to assist every soul you bump into to!

Be Present! Share your story! And, be a Master of Witnessing the story of the person in front of you!

If you would like more conscious connections with people who are actively “remembering their Divinity” and moving forward to higher consciousness consider participating in the non-religious community, Masters of the Journey.

You are never alone! You are loved, unconditionally! Enjoy the pilgrimage or, at the very least, appreciate the value.

Meditation: The First Step to Higher Consciousness

Meditation practice regularly helps you to be more calm and present. When you release your thoughts in meditation, your body relaxes and energy is freed for you to use in other activities or to rest and heal yourself. Letting go of thoughts, fear, anxieties, and distractions allow an emotional environment where fewer mistakes are made and you save time. When you are calmed by meditation, you are less likely to be “Triggered” and you can be more available for positive decision making and better choices.

This is nothing new. Yes, it does take time and practice to learn to meditate but it saves you time and energy in the long run. I have found that people require less sleep and can focus better during their work day. Meditation also allows connection with the divine source of wisdom and unconditional love. You may not know this and even may want to argue about this, but if you quiet yourself and become more fully “present” you will find these benefits.

Or, you can continue to be caught in your emotional drama and allow fear & anger to run your life. This is perfect also. Being open and positive will help you to find more joy and contentment in the challenges of life.

Blessings to you on your path. Just remember to breathe slowly and feel the warm breath that you exhale assist you in letting go of unwanted tension and troubling emotions.

More information at:
Stress Education Center and
Masters of the Journey

Books on Meditations include:
Curt Remington’s Simple Meditation at http://curtremington.com
and
Paula Forget’s, “Guided to a Higher Realm at http://paulaforget.com/inspired/

Count Your Blessings!

Have you ever heard that expression, “Count Your Blessings?” Why would someone say this to you? What is the purpose for looking for the “Positives” in the life you are here to live? For many people, it is easier to look for the problems and the negative interactions and perhaps even play a “Victim” to these challenges. But does looking for and living within the “negative” give you the joy that can be found in this world?

What do YOU give thanks for in the world? Even the most brutal lessons can be honored as important opportunities to learn from, even if the learning is what NOT to do. Personally, I have learned more from my mistakes and my painful relationships than I have learned from when my life was most easy and successful. The 8 years I lived with my wife’s terminal cancer I would not wish upon anyone and yet these were some of the most important years for learning in my life. The lessons of empathy and compassion were so valuable. The fear and the sharing within our many crisis’ was such a powerful tool for learning about the human dilemma. The closeness that we grew into, with the love at a level tested by trauma, was an amazing and important experience for me. AND, from all of this learning, I find that I have wisdom and gifts to share.

So, look for the difficult experiences as well as the joys when you look for the many blessings that YOU have been granted. Do not keep these a secret. Share them! Challenge others to appreciate being more fully “Present.” Bask in the drama that is your lessons of this life. Do not hesitate to reach out for other people. Allow them to support you AND reach out to share your love and support with them. Find compassion and caring. Find the perfection of the divine spirit within every soul you encounter, even the ones who trigger your fear, anger/frustration, and your defenses. Each encounter is there for a reason. Each encounter is there for your learning.

Blessings to you! Love and appreciate each moment and share your love and wisdom whenever you can.

If you are looking for support and resources to focus upon your spiritual growth and development, consider the Masters of the Journey community. YOU are a Blessing! You have a Purpose! The Universe would have a huge hole in it if you did not exist… With Love – Namaste!

Guidance From Within

Have you ever felt “Guided” to do something or to make a decision at one of the cross-roads of life? Has that “Voice” in your head or heart shared a feeling or thought with your conscious mind? Have you ever “Remembered” something that you had not ever known at a conscious level? If you have read my past blogs, I have made reference to times in my life where I was blessed with a “Knowing” or Feeling or Thought which offered a chance to move in a direction, in my life, which I “needed” to take because the lesson or opportunity was so important for me to experience. This has happened over and over for me AND it has always worked out for me & my learning. (Even though some of these learning experiences have been laced with pain or difficult challenges.)

Not long ago I visited a professional psychic/medium who gave me great insight into things that I already “Knew” deep inside. It was reassuring and from a perspective that I needed at the time. This professional psychic was a person who was highly respected and referred to me by someone I know and trust. It was a spectacular experience. As a part of this session, she introduced me to one of my “spirit guides” who I did not already “know” at a conscious level. I liked meeting this new “Guide.” My new Guide offered me support and insight which was very useful and needed at that time. One of the best things for me about “Guides” is that they seem to be more directly plugged in the “Divine Spirit.” They seem to have authority and are hanging around to serve me, to guide me. I have learned to trust and love this “external” Guidance and recommend that other people learn to pay attention so they might benefit from listening or feeling or remembering these messages.

Where I am going with this blog, it is not as simple as to just look for and learn from external Guidance, it is actually about the true source of this guidance. This past week, I was at my study group for the book, The Way of Mastery, at the local Bellingham Unity Center. This book has a lot of words and some very interesting concepts. I believe that the source of this book is a channelled monolog from the Ascended Master, Jesus. (I am not Christian or a church goer so this was difficult for me to come to grips with…) A passage was read that changed the way I look at “Guidance.” The prelude to this passage discussed taking responsibility for your/my life. The good and the challenging events and experiences are MY creation and are available to me for MY lessons in this life. I know this. I even try to accept responsibility and live my life without blaming other people or situations… (You know….) Well, the dictation that was read to this group, and turned a light on in me, was a passage saying that what we assume as external guidance is not external. It springs from a deeper part of you. And, if you follow your guidance or learn from the insight provided to you, you can benefit from taking responsibility and honoring the wisdom of the Master that lives within your soul and spirit. Your soul and spirit are connected to the Divine Spirit with all the wisdom which the “Divine” shares with all souls.

My lesson, and this sharing, suggests that we do not find “external” guides or sources but we can benefit from looking within to a “Remembering” of our own Mastery and connection to Divine Wisdom. It is easier for us to blame or even trust an external guidance that triggers us to move down a certain path to achieve a certain life lesson. It is easier for many of us to look externally because we do not think that we (YOU) are worthy of knowing this wisdom, internally. But perhaps, if what I have recently learned is true, we must honor that the answers are within and we are more powerful and connected than we may have consciously realized. Now, get your ego out of the way because it it is NOT the “separate YOU” that is powerful but the connected to the “Source YOU.”

You are a Master! You are in the process of “Remembering” your Divinity and the “Oneness” which connects you all souls as part of the “Divine.” Bless you and your perfection! Your purpose in this life is to serve other people you bump into with a message of consciousness, by role modeling your Divine Light. Know or Remember that the Guidance you experience is coming from that deepest wellspring of the wisdom you have as connected being. Learn to listen to your intuition by clearing away the conscious distraction of the ego mind through meditation. Clean this mirror for the most accurate reflection of the message you are to receive, and here in this life, to share.

If you can benefit from support or resources consider your local Unity Center or the community we are building known as The Masters of the Journey: A Transformational Community. Namaste

Feedback: John, it can be both. Your Higher Self does have access to all knowledge and nudges you along through your intuition. You also have Helpers who help you and guide you.

Some people become too reliant on their Helpers to the point of using them as a crutch, being unable to make a decision on their own and limiting their own growth in the process. That is my opinion.
We each carry great wisdom and our goal is to use it to benefit others as well as ourselves.

Hello John,

There are some very wise words within your blog. You probably already knew that, so I’ll address the couple of things I would address in the middle of a Toastmasters evaluation sandwich. A very minor one is your use of the word “thought” when I think what you’re describing is intuition. My issue with this is that I’ve found that an intuition may seem like a thought, but they come from very different sources. In describing that, I usually refer to a thought as something created by our conscious mind, rather than a more divine source. Maybe that’s just my terminology.

The other topic I’d mention in the sandwich is that the spiritual world is vast and varied, with all sorts of beings. We can get great wisdom and insight from what I’d refer to as “our higher self,” that inner spiritual part of us that is already calm, content, and wise. There are also a variety of advanced beings, like angels and spirit guides, that can provide valuable information and insight. Often, it’s difficult to know exactly where our intuition or spiritual message came from, but I don’t believe they all come from within us, which is what your blog seems to imply. I definitely think a lot can come from within us.

Curt Remington, author of: Simple Meditation: A Spiritual Connection for Transforming Your Life.

Words to Live By

Brother Bob Trask of Bellingham’s Unity Center spoke last Sunday. Several thoughts bear repeating.

Trust that who you are is uniquely needed, special, AND you have a unique purpose!” Yes, YOU have a purpose and a reason for being! Every soul is a piece of the Divine Source and whether you know this or not the seemingly larger Divine Spirit is not whole without YOU! “You are Loved. You are Blessed. You are Safe. You are free.”

EVERY soul that you bump into is there for a purpose and there is a mutual “lesson” that you derive from each encounter. It has been said that we are all connected as souls and the hate or fear you may feel or express for another soul is to hate or fear yourself. So it is better to accept the souls you encounter because you may not know the lessons they are here to learn and the role that you may have in creating higher consciousness.

Namaste is a concept I am only beginning to fully grasp. But everyone you encounter is part of the perfection of the divine. Even if you do not seem to resonate with a person, their spirit has value and the lessons you share are not always easy, but important.

Be well and travel safely the road to your full consciousness. I bless you, Namaste, and salute you and the struggles we share as we seek to remember the perfection and unconditional love of the Divine Source we share.

Masters of the Journey

Basking in the Light

Have you ever enjoyed the experience of sitting in the warmth and healing light of the our sun? Have you ever experienced beyond the warming of sunlight and feeling the healing and nurturing of your precious  moments of presence while basking in this unconditional energy?

Many of us have found pleasure and enjoyment in sitting in a peaceful environment while soaking up the benefits of these serene moments in our lives. At some point, after your “tank” was filled with this glorious healing energy, have you found yourself wishing to get up and move? To step away from the “recharging station” of mellow and to push back into your life. (I have, with some impatience, which a characteristic I very often have.)

It is September and in the Northern Hemisphere (actually Northwest Washington state.) The days are growing shorter with some Fall coolness is in the air. The sun is gradually finding its way lower in the sky and for some people there is preparation for the darker months of the year. This is not a message about geography or weather patterns. It is a message about the metaphor of Basking in the Light for a “limited” amount of time.

In meditation today, an image of beauty of our lives beyond our human existence popped into consciousness. When unencumbered by our current “meat suit” (our body of this incarnated life,) we find ourselves basking in the light of unconditional love, pure wisdom & consciousness, and surrounded by the timelessness of pure connection with the “Divine Source.” We celebrate the freedom, beauty, and perfection of life without the “lessons” of living incarnated within the challenges of the body. Yet, we will become impatient and turn away from the love, the freedom, and the light to find physical form again… And, WHY?

The lessons I have learned in this life have come readily from the mistakes and the pains of my travails more than from the ease of my successes. I have been strengthened and grown more through my hard times. Perhaps our souls and our divine spirits return to Earthly forms to face the challenges of living in the flesh and, perhaps more importantly, have the opportunity to share experiences, even learned wisdoms, with the  other travelers we meet in our lives. This act of mastery, and service, is our way of growing and helping other souls to grow so we can all benefit in the Divine, together. (Remember, we are all in this together and it does not serve you to allow your fellow pilgrims to wallow in their life lessons, alone.)

So, the image that was shared with me in meditation was of the joy I feel basking in the sunlight until I am recharged and then MY impatience to get back to pursuit of my life’s purpose… which is to serve. My meditation showed me basking in the unconditional love and connection. Taking it all in until I needed to get back into my next incarnation to continue, in an excited way, to pursue my lessons. Deep within me, I strive to eventually be conscious enough to not simply bask in the light, BUT to BE the light!

Does this resonate with the part of you which seeks to “Remember” your connection with the “Source” (the Divine?)

Blessings to you along your path. We have touched paths and connected for a reason. Please go out and find your ways to serve with the wisdom and the mastery you have achieved. You ARE a master, whether you know it or not!

If you seek a supportive community which supports your spiritual growth and development, and offers you the opportunity to “serve” consider, Masters of the Journey or its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please take good care of yourself!

Prayer for all Masters of the Journey

God smiles upon all, as we are the pure essence of life itself.

Be we seemingly simple or complex and multi-faceted expressions, each is gifted with the extraordinary nature of the divine. 

To live our gifts, abilities, inclinations, radiance, nuance, and sparkle, is the purpose of life. 

It glorifies the unlimited forms of divine fragrance.

All carry the Masters’ beauty and power and love.

  • * * *

Each are given the divine map leading to eternal communion with the Great One where we rest.

Walk upon the path of discovery, tasting, savouring in the mystery of your destiny. 

Fill your heart with the immense awe and splendor of the universe.

Rejoice and uncover the secrets within each experience you encounter upon your way. There is no limit to the depths and heights that can be realized. 

  • * * *

You carry magnificence and uniqueness that is indispensable to the whole.

You are a Master among Masters, upon a journey unique to you, driven by your true divine nature to express beauty and love. 

  • * * *

Thank you for sharing the gifts you radiate upon your path, it benefits us all along the way.

 

Namaste.

Paula Forget, author of “Guided to the Higher Realms

Member of and Content provider for: Masters of the Journey: A Transformational Community

Meditation for Stress Management

For thousands of years practitioners of meditation have used various forms of meditation for stress management and as a tool leading toward “enlightenment.” I have had personal experience using 4 forms of meditation for stress management and to a lesser degree for personal “enlightenment.” Each form has been described as an “Eastern” philosophical approach but all have been researched and used successful in Western cultures without religious or deep philosophical barriers. In fact, I would not put these techniques into a box that creates limitation for religious or philosophical reasons.

I will describe these 4 forms and the benefits that I have experienced without deep historical or philosophical backgrounds.

1. A Yogic breathing practice. At the core of every stress management technique that I teach, I ask clients to become fully “present” by breathing slowly and diaphragmatically. Yoga is an ideal form of reflection that asks the user to focus upon their bodies in positive ways while remaining in the present moment. It has been used for maybe 5,000 years. I ask my clients to lie back comfortably in a peaceful environment and to breathe slowly, focusing on cool air coming in with the inhale and then the warm breath as they exhale. To gradually slow breathing to 4 or 5 breaths per minute will gradually slow their heart rate and can help to reduce blood pressure (researched by Western scientists.) This is simple and effective.

2. Zen meditation is a mindfulness exercise that asks the user to keep their eyes open and to learn how to “soft focus” on the world which surrounds them. Breathing slowly and watching a candle burn or bubbles in the fish tank or the waves rolling up unto the beach or a campfire or a stream flowing will all give a similar result. A good exercise is to go for a short walk, moving at about 2/3’s of your normal pace, and feel the pressure of your toes and heels landing on the ground. Taking 50 slow steps can help create a more peaceful consciousness especially if you can also feel for the warmth of the sun or smell the fragrance of the woods/grass or listen for the soothing sounds of running water.

3. TM (Transcendental Meditation) was very popular in the 60’s and early 1970’s. It was a form process of sitting for 20 minutes (or longer) and holding your attention on a word or phrase by repeating this word over and over. Sanskrit words like “Ram ma” were assigned based on your “vibrational pattern” by your teacher. I like to use a word like love or peace. The difficulty for many Western people is that it requires a lot of mental discipline to “quiet the mind” and remain on the simple word/phrase. The skill of concentration requires motivation and lots of practice.

4. I learned a form of Kundalini meditation that was very “enlightening” to me in my mid-20’s. It was a 20 minute exercise that has 3 parts. The first 10 minutes, “focusing,” are spent holding my attention on an “uplifting” word or phrase. I used the words love, peace, or calm. After 3 months my mind cooperated better and was not so distracted. The second 10 minutes, “meditation,” are spent letting the mind watch images flow through as if I were watching a blank movie screen or blank TV. Thoughts that flowed through my consciousness during this section of the meditation were sometimes very revealing and interesting. The third section, “closing down,” was to take 3 deep breaths at the end, picturing myself surrounded and protected by white light. This ritual was useful for me and I had some pleasantly surprising revelations using this technique.

If you require instruction or support with getting started and using meditation, look for classes or workshops in your area. Some people find coaches or teachers to learn meditation. I found a group to meditate with (one time per week) and over several months this was very beneficial for me.

Meditation does not have to be a religion or dogmatic philosophy. It can be a mental, physical, and spiritual practice which allows you to “connect” your mind and body, in the present moment. Studies have indicated that even 20 minutes of meditation can take the place of up to 2 hours of sleep and you can be more focused and productive in your daily activities.

Western style meditation can be found in practices such as Autogenic Training and visualizations. Consider learning more at the Stress Education Center’s website at www.dstress.com.

Basking in the Brilliance of Spirit

What feeds your spirit? What activities connect you with your spirit? How often do you seek to develop your spiritual nature? When we speak of “spirit” or spiritual development in this article, we are not speaking about learning religious philosophy or in practicing religious rituals. Instead, we are speaking of the deeper connections with the brilliance of love and light that comes from deep within every living being. In doing so, there is no exclusion of spirit due to different philosophical or religious beliefs or attitudes. There are no qualifications or exclusions from connecting with spirit. One of the main understandings regarding this celebration of spirit is that “we are all at one” with all other living creatures. We are all “connected.”
Time and space (place) are less of a division in the world of spirit. Spirit may be more a feeling rather than a thought. For people who have been able to bring these feelings back from a spiritual experience often describe a feeling of “oneness” or a sense of deep connection. There may also be a feeling of “unconditional love” which can also be described in some religions as a feeling of connection with the religion’s God, but not necessarily with all the morale or cultural beliefs.

People will visit a glorious natural environment and feel the power of connection with natural beauty that has the power to create calmness and sometimes healing. When learning to connect with your spirit it is good to be reminded that you can get there more easily if you “Quiet your mind” and control your expectations. (Neither of these is easy to do when getting started but can come more easily with practice.) It is important to be “still” and to let “it” come to you. Chasing the spirit can make it more difficult to do. A final reminder: Be Open… You may not experience the process in the way you think you might need, but actually get the experience that you will best learn from…. If, you are open to it.

I am reminded of a time when I was in a late afternoon meditation on a cliff that over looked the waves churning unto a beach in Sonoma County, CA. With my mind reaching to be in “neutral” (no extra thoughts), I found myself listening to a dialogue in my head. One voice seemed to come from the perspective of a “guide” in the form of a seagull who was describing the birth of the winds as a power to consider. The “Voice” suggested that the winds were created by the difference in temperatures of the ocean and the land. As the land heated up and warmed the air over it, the air would rise and the cooler air over the ocean would rush in to fill this void, so creating a breeze. Waves are generated by the movements of the wind and their force is respected for the great power that this force of nature manifests. The Voice asked me to consider harnessing the power of the winds as seagulls do as they soar, almost effortlessly, by using the currents of wind. A part of me listened to the dialogue with fascination. Another part of my mind was asking where this Voice was coming from and where the information of this Voice was coming from. I considered the experience as a connection with the “collective unconscious” described by many famous psychologist and philosophers. I felt blessed to be allowed to share in this mind expanding experience.

Another late afternoon meditation created a powerful but not uncommon learning experience. In my visualization, I imagined that I was sitting by a river with my back against a tree. I pictured myself meditating and seeing the transformation of the river in front of me into the “River of Life.” It was golden in color. It flowed from my right side to my left, slowly and evenly. I “knew” that the waters would eventually empty into the sea. Each golden molecule of water represented a living soul. The molecules of water would evaporate from the sea to form golden clouds which would lead to a golden rain high up in the mountains. The molecules would join other molecules to form small streams flowing downhill to join larger rivers until the “cycle of life” would be repeated by following the path of the golden river of life back to the sea, once again. I saw myself as a molecule of water swirling downstream occasionally being caught in an eddy and swirling in circles to learn my lessons. Most importantly, I felt myself “connected” to all other living things in this river of life. I knew that I was never alone or separate from other living beings as we struggle to improve and move forward with our lessons of life. Though this meditation happened for me 40 years ago, I remember it and I feel it as if it was happening right now… This type of connection with the oneness of consciousness is far from unique. It has happened before and will happen again in some form or another for people who are open to this transformative experience/lesson.

Please consider taking time to connect with your spirit and celebrating the learning that you can achieve. It will change your life.

For life balance and stress management, it is important to maintain your ideal state of mind, body, and spirit. Too focused attention on any one area, over the others, may provide an imbalance that will not allow the best quality of life. Please take good care of yourself.

Please comment on this blog if you are so moved. Share this blog if you find value, thank you.