The Value of Rituals and Ceremonies

For thousands of years, human cultures have celebrated their lives with various rituals and ceremonies. Since we began pursuing “rational thought” and moving away from the spiritual limitations of most religions, we have also reduced the spiritual practices which often include rituals. Our modern North American culture has replaced these time honored practices with poor modern substitutes. Sure we have wedding ceremonies and graduation ceremonies but these are often built in to our consumer driven economies. Just ask how much a wedding can cost these days… Our modern rituals look more like our visits to the drive throughs fast food restaurants or worshipping in line as we wait or our morning coffees.

We often forget to celebrate the memories and wisdom of our ancestors. Sure we have funerals or memorial services, but how many of us light a candle on the anniversary of our beloved family or friends who have found their way through their final life transition. When I participate in a Native American Medicine Wheel ceremony or a Solstice ritual, I realize the value of these traditions yet these feel unfamiliar to me. There are reasons that our ancestors celebrated the changing of the seasons and honor the four directions and four elements. We can still benefit from pausing in our lives to honor Mother Earth, the Universe, and the Ancient people and cultures who walked the planet before us (in this incarnation.)

Rituals and Ceremonies can cause us to stop and remember our heritage. Instead of being inconvenient or expensive packaged products like weddings and funerals have become, we might consider more natural and heartfelt honoring which are born of simplicity with deep authentic emotional expressions. And, no, special food at your Super Bowl party does not count as the heartfelt offering of which I speak.

Perhaps you can create unique ceremonies or rituals for your children or family and friends. Find a local Labyrinth and slow walk a Zen Meditation as you find your way to the center and then back out into our world. Maybe you do not even require a Labyrinth but can follow a trail or beach to a special spot and build a rock cairn to ground yourself in Earth energy and presence. Any visit into natural settings can become a ritual to honor life and spiritually engage to find a “Re-Enchantment of the Cosmos.” If treading a path outdoors is too much, consider lighting a candle. Calm your mind and honor your spirit as you gently breathe and gaze into the dancing natural light. Be as our ancestors sitting around a fire to share stories and wisdoms learned from our elders. (Yes, even if you have to turn off your technology for a few minutes…)

Create the rituals and ceremonies that find form from deep inside you and honor these expressions. Know appreciation and gratitude for all the miracles of life which have brought you to this present moment. Smile with Joy as you find the warmth in your heart as you bless our ancestors. One day, some culture in our future will look back to honor the lives we have lived and the spirit we have demonstrated, AND possibly the wisdom we leave for them to know. Walk respectfully and model for our children the love and honor we have for our ancestors…

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

I Bought Myself a Cherry Pie Today! Self-Nurturing

Remember to consider how best to be self-nurturing!

Merry Christmas, Happy New Years, and Amazing Holidays however you choose to celebrate. As I write this blog it is late December and the days are cooler and short in Northwest Washington. Today, I find myself at home coping with an ear infection which is stripping me of ability to have social interaction and to communicate. This is due to a loss of hearing and my body telling me that I need to take some time to withdraw from my busy schedule. This is an opportunity to write and today I want to share my story of shopping… Not for Holiday gifts but for the simple food required to re-stock. In my trip through the supermarket, I decided I “needed to “treat” myself.” Perhaps because I have been stuck indoors for a couple of days.

Self-nurturing takes many forms. Perhaps you meditate, do yoga, get exercise, take a trip, walk outdoors, meet friends/family, play with your child or pet, read a good enriching book, or buy yourself a cherry pie. Cherry pies are not as high up on the self-nurturing scale as some of the many other suggestions but this is what I chose for myself, today. This is not a recommendation. This is an honest admission…

This cherry pie was on sale. It was appealing. I felt like I wanted a treat. AND, I got a topic for this blog… When I got home I ate a piece of cherry pie and felt pretty good to honor this feeling. Normally, I am not the most dessert driven person. Some people are and You know who you are! There are healthier alternatives but there is NO reason for guilt or shame. My most recent past blog, see below on this blog page, was about being a good role model. I am not sure that buying yourself a cherry pie for self-nurturing is the “BEST” role modeling behavior but being “Human” is! I am taking responsibility for this weird choice and my behavior. I am not unhappy. In fact, this experience has raised my energy level (probably sugar related) and allowed me a great self-nurturing distraction from my aching ear.

Impulsive actions are not all bad. Chronic compulsive or addictive behaviors are significant lessons for everyone involved. Taking responsibility for your behavior is an important step and then decisions can be made and actions taken, again with responsibility. My cherry pie today was not a chronic experience or coming from a deeper addictive behavior but not everyone reading this will necessarily agree… We all have “choices!”

We are entering into a new calendar year and some of us will attempt to make, and then keep, new year’s resolutions. Futile! But, you do want to consider how to keep moving forward in your personal development and quest for consciousness. Do not forget to find the time, energy and resources for self-care and self-nurturing. Fill your life with JOY! Have some FUN! Live with Gusto! Dance like No One is Watching!

You are a Blessing! When a cherry pie type feeling happens, do not ignore it. You do not have to act upon it, but consider what your body is feeling and find the best way for you to celebrate life, especially, your life!

Happy New Year, no matter when in the year you stumble upon these words. You were meant to read them! AND, if cherry pie comes flying at you enjoy your options…

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

The Holidays 2018: Survival Guide

Every year about this time, we slip into the Season of the Holidays! In the Northern Hemisphere these holidays often fall on of near the Winter Solstice and were probably originated to assist early civilizations to cope with short days and then the rebirth of sunlight. We tend to mark the “dark times” of the year with lights/fires, social gatherings, and ceremonies. Too much food and too many gifts have become a tradition for people who can afford this kind of celebration and a challenging reminder for those of us who are not capable of participating at the level of overdone gluttony. My favorite holidays have always been more simple and with the people who really choose to be available, as opposed to whom I am “supposed” to celebrate with. As an example, last Thanksgiving (in 2017), 11 friends gathered at my house. They all had other places they could have been but chose to hang out with our community of friends and share stories of what gratitude really means for them. It was one of the very best, possibly the best, Thanksgiving for me because we really wanted to sit at that table together, in love.

Wow, I used the “L” word. AND, the holidays are better when sincere Love, with NO strings attached, are shared in respect, acceptance, and gratitude. How I wish the “Holidaze” had more of these true sentiments. Every human being, and most plants and animals (yes even rocks and rats) appreciate a good dose of LOVE given unconditionally. So consider the greatest gift you can give by being fully “present” and finding a way to celebrate the beauty and perfection of the soul who stands in front of you. Reduce or eliminate your judgement and find the Divine Spirit reflected back at you!!! Warm yourself in the Brilliant Light and Warmth which burns in the fellow pilgrim which you share this road to Enlightenment with. If nothing else, acknowledge the soul and spirit as the fellow traveler they are.

No matter what your religious belief or the “rules of conformity” you are asked to follow, find some genuine Love and Respect. Dance in the light until the Joy wells up inside and you remember where your soul has come from and where it will return when your days in this life, transition into the freedom of the Divine.

No matter what else is said or you experience, KNOW that you are a Perfect manifestation of the Divine Spirit. You are important and your role is of major value. You serve by being the actor in this play and you do YOU better than anyone else!!! Overcome your own self-judgement and accept the beauty and the light you radiate! AND, remember to laugh when you plunge back into the weird Drama of your life… The drama and challenges are there to be the lessons so we (YOU) can learn to respond in the most positive sacred way to the hellish relationships and circumstances we might find ourselves within. We did NOT come to this life to avoid change or challenges. We came because these tougher times become the very best crucibles for our learning and development.

If you find yourselves away from family and friends, try to ind a way to connect and to serve. You will feel better and learn from each interaction. If you find yourself with family and friends, attempt today deep to find the best expression of your love and appreciation. You that the souls you meet during these holidays are on the path, whether the fully understand or not, and every interaction offers you an opportunity to be the beacon of love and light to guide all who are present one step closer to enlightenment. Step up and be the force for good you want to see in this world… Bless you for trying!

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

It’s Time to Connect with Guidance

Now, More Than Ever Before, Its Time to Connect with Guidance!

Where does your Guidance come from? What are your sources for the most important news and information? Do you watch news on Television or on your smartphone? Do you read articles, or blogs, or books? Do you “TRUST” your sources of news, guidance, and information or do you commonly check more deeply into the background of what you are being told? If you do not “TRUST” the sources of information and news, where can you go for the TRUTH?

In our American culture, especially, since 2016, we have become more skeptical regarding sources of news and information. If we are lazy, we do not investigate what is being said. We may not look deeply into the “agenda” or background of the source. Since the internet became widely used in the 1990’s, we have been exposed to unedited, un-fact checked information from biased and unreliable sources who may claim their facts or their truths are accurate. No other time in human history have we been subjected to more “Fake News” or “Alternative Facts!” We are now believing the “Source” of the news without the common sense to check the agenda and background of the “sources” we have come to rely on and believe. In an under educated, time pressured, and lazy society, it is very easy to make stuff up and pass it off as facts to justify our behaviors or the decisions which our leadership make.

Actually, this is not new. We have been manipulated and lied to throughout human history by leaders and organizations which are determined to maintain their control over the populace. The difference that exists now relates to the modern technology which would not only start a religious war, or a race war, or a nationalism war but the current ability to destroy all of humanity with the current weapons of technology. Now, we are living on the razor’s edge with little buffer to protect us from ourselves.

This brings us to the point, as we exist on the edge of massively changing the course of life on our planet, whose Guidance do YOU trust? Our minds and our egos may be invested in “factual” presentations though these facts are subject to change. Example, in the 1400’s the facts told us by the church and our leaders was that the Earth was flat and we were the center of the Universe. Pluto used to be a planet and now doubt of its existence is suggested. Smoking and drinking alcohol were once considered healthy and tools for relaxation. Spanking children was good discipline. We were told we could trust news sources and our political leaders because they would never lie to us. We were told to work hard and our companies would “take care of us.” Now, some of our leaders say that there is no such thing as Global Warming and petrochemicals are safe in our environment. Even our religions have told us that only if we believe in, and practice, their traditions could we possibly make it to heaven.

Well, if you have any common sense, you have some doubts regarding our current sources of “rational” information and news. “Alternative Truth” can exist for humans who choose to believe ego flawed statements and agenda driven belief systems. For me, it is fun watching the “drama” unfold and my ego getting caught up to supporting one side of the perceived truths or the other. Our challenge today is to remember that more than 7 billion souls have showed up on planet Earth in human form to watch the “Train Wreck” which is happening. It is way past any doubt that the world our children and grandchildren will have to grow up in and will be way different than the world we have known. Both physically and politically, we have soiled the nest and we have to take responsibility for the destruction of life as we know it. When the dinosaurs went extinct, it was not from the poor decisions they made. Yes, we are not even as smart as dinosaurs when it comes to seeing our own extinction (of life as we know it.) Humans are not very good at learning from past mistakes, especially the leaders in power.

Now, more ever before, we can benefit looking beyond our egos and our mental reasonings. Not to stop thinking or problem solving, but to look deeper and perhaps listen to the small, quiet voices from guidance. Quantum physics suggests that there are unexplainable (so far) energies and consciousness which exist and have existed since the formation of our Universe, and beyond. Not the traditionally believed religious dogma which was meant to control the masses but more love based consciousness that accepts all souls and the learning path toward consciousness that we are pursuing. (This consciousness is very neutral regarding our survival drama due to “free choice” and realization that our so called reality is an illusion.) But how do we connect with this Guidance and source of universal truth? Often we have to shut off our mind and feel with our hearts (and souls.) Meditation helps a great deal. Being more “present” in the moment, not living in the past or future, can assist Guidance to enter into our consciousness. Less judgement and more acceptance and listening helps. Rather than separation and isolation, which our culture seems to preach, perhaps we can build real community where we connect and find the divine perfection in the souls we bump into. Yes, even the ones we would disagree with. AND, sharing our experiences in an act of service to assist the people around us. We are all pilgrims on the path toward awakening and remembering our divinity. We are all connected and can benefit from assisting others. Guidance can allow us to accept the difficult lessons which we have come to Earth to experience and to learn from.

The bottom line, you are a perfect manifestation of the Divine Spirit, whether you know this or not. Consider separating yourself, not from other struggling souls, but from the drama and the dis-information we find in our leaders and sources of news. Your heart and your Guidance will lead you through this lifetime and through your future travels beyond the veil.

You do not have to cut yourself off from news or the media, just filter what you see and hear. You do not have to join a new age cult or become a quantum physicist. But, perhaps you might be present, meditate more, and read or learn from materials related to spirituality, near death encounters, and some timeless teachings from Buddhist, Hindu, or Taoist traditions. Look for many sources until you can “feel” the correct path for you to assist you to remember your perfection and connection with the Divine Spirit.

Live your Truth!
Find YOUR Bliss!
Love, Serve and Remember!

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

PS: This blog will be sent to on Thanksgiving Day, 2018 (November 22). I will be traveling out of the country and will miss posting next week’s blog. Sorry. I have sincere hopes that all the people of our planet will find in these holidays peace and a renewal for humanity. Hopefully, some common sense and Divine Spiritual insights will find a way to guide humanity. Please find a way, dig deep, to support through Love all the souls you are blessed to meet. Peace…!!!

We Are Old Souls: No Excuses

A guide recently said to me, “We are all old Souls!” I was taken aback. This comment was triggered by a meditation I was recently having and my partner in this meditation revealed himself/herself to me as older and distinguished. Kind of like looking at Moses or one the Wisepersons from biblical times, you know old and gray. Long gray hair and beard and robes just standing there like in a movie. I was a little surprised and remarked, “You are an OLD Soul!” His answer surprised me and got me thinking… “We are ALL Old Souls.”

In contemplating this response, it opened the door for me to consider that all of our souls have been a part of the “Divine” since the Divine consciousness was created. If we believe that there is time (and I am not sure about this anymore) then our souls have been hangin’ around, pushing through various incarnations, over and over, trying to master our lessons for awhile. Some of us (our souls) may have been busy doing other things, like being a glacier or a tectonic plate, and have not taken the fast tract forward toward Enlightenment or Awakening or whatever the purest form of consciousness is defined by. Some souls are in hurry and scurrying around bumping into experiences which seem to expedite the process. Some souls just spend 40 days in the desert and came back to be Christ! AND, to confuse things even more, some spirits or souls are so highly spiritually evolved they did not have to incarnate at all, EVER! (And, these unfortunate souls do not get to come to the “fun” amusement park we call Earth.) But forget about these beings, for now.

We, our souls that is, have been hangin’ around since the dawn of consciousness in some form or another AND we all are AS OLD AS POSSIBLE. Yup, YOU have no more excuses for your infantile behaviors or thinking. We are all old and wise. We just forgot! When we arrived in this current incarnation our memory of where we came from was erased so we could struggle with our current lessons and challenges. If we could just “REMEMBER where We Came From” and the Divine Perfection we are, then we would not have to take “Life” so seriously and live in Joy more 24/7. Well, that is deep and it is our lesson… BTW, we are supposed to share our wisdom & Joy and truly love every other soul we bump into because we are all in this together… Take responsibility, ’cause whether you remember this or not, you chose to come back in this incarnation AND for a lesson!

Well this was not what I thought I was going to get out of this simple, low expectation, meditation. You never know. So pay attention! Be open! And, do not try to write yourself a note excusing your behavior as just a youthful miscalculation. You were supposed to step on that turd and knew it was there on some level of consciousness. Just clean it up and do not track it into the house for dinner… With my Love and appreciation! You are Perfect!

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

Relationship Commitment: Till Death Due You Part

Relationship commitment, especially marriage, may not be fully understood when people enter into this commitment. I was married at 33 years of age, for the first and only time, and I had NO idea what being married for “Life” could possibly mean. I never really considered the “end game” of marriage…

“Till death do us part” is a part of some traditional wedding vows. This signifies that the married couple intend to spend the remainder of their lives together – They will be parted only by death. “Part” – note that it is used as a verb in this instance. S: (v) separate, part, split (go one’s own way; move apart) ”
(From: https://english.stackexchange.com)

My marriage lasted almost 28 years and this “commitment” ended when my wife “transitioned” from this life. It was a transition I thought I was prepared for because we were given her “Terminal diagnosis” 8 and 1/2 years prior to her passing over. One of my challenges after her death, was to understand the “Void” that was created when my life partner of 30 years was not physically in my world. This is not a unique experience. Many people have learned the lessons from “losing” a close friend, or a spouse, or a family member where there had been an official or unofficial commitment. How DO You prepare for this situation? Personally, I admit that when we got married in the Summer of 1984, I had never a remote thought about the “end game.” There are only two ways out of a real marriage which include death or divorce. The two difficult “D’s.” This is not meant to prevent people from considering the commitment of marriage or deep relationships. It IS meant to create awareness and higher consciousness regarding the bonding process and the lessons we all learn from these.

The illness which afflicted my wife (ovarian cancer) and our relationship gave us a chance to grow closer. We weathered many challenging “storms” together and learned much from this experience. This is NOT always the case. For some, leaving a difficult situation with a partner seems like a useful strategy but this never crossed my mind. But remember, the most stressful things in life come when you deeply care or love another person, friend, child, relative, or spouse, AND you have NO control over what happens to this person. Parents know the anxiety, and the rewards, of sending their child out into the world.

You were guided into a relationship with another human partner with no guarantees that you or they or the relationship would last forever. “Forever” is a long time and is too linear. (And, time is a whole other topic for spiritual conversation and belief.) You love, or deeply care, for a person and in being “Human,” there are NO guarantees… They might leave you or get sick and need caring for, or they might need to die. The BEAUTY in all this remains in the fact that you took a risk and were meant to have a relationship with another pilgrim (person) so you both, and all people in your greater community, can learn from this life experience. Not like in the movies where “they live happily ever-after” but in the REAL challenges in living in human form. A range of strong emotions happen. Compromises happen. Communication happens and when this is good communication we learn and refine our perspectives on life. You must be ready and aware of the relationships and the commitment you have been guided to have. This is a huge part of why you are here, in this life, and the lessons you have “agreed” to have…

Love Deeply! Follow your passion! Take a risk! Dance like no one is watching! If you ever meet my beautiful bride in this life as a spirit or in the higher realms, bask in the light of an angel. Death is NOT the enemy, it seems to happen to everyone at some point. Soak in all the unconditional love you find in every “perfect soul” you bump into as you tumble in the warm dryer called life.

AND, if you are challenged by the difficult lessons of relationships in this life, be willing to share your story and the wisdom you have experienced. You are a Master with wisdom from your life’s experience to share.

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

What NOT to Do When you are Tuning in For Guidance

Psychics know how to find the correct “channel” when they are “tuning in” to Guidance. The tuning process may include raising YOUR vibrational energies and the “Guides” will lower their vibration to better connect with you. We have discussed tuning in or raising your vibrational energy in past blogs. Today, you have been guided to this blog to discover what NOT to do if you are attempting the tuning in process.

Thanks for reading… This is a list of Guidance impairing conditions which you can employ when you do NOT want to connect with Guidance:
1. Lower Your Awareness. Drugs and alcohol can help with reducing your sensitivity (at least for a while)
2. Multi-task. We are good at doing many things at once so we can “Distract” ourselves with many simultaneous activities. Over stimulation by using TV, computers, smartphones, other electronics… 24/7 (or at least first thing in Morning and last thing as you go to bed at night)
3. Do NOT Meditate. Meditation is the best way to connect with Guidance, so do NOT Meditate! (Mind quieting is a disaster when you are trying to avoid connecting with Guidance.)
4. Find a loud, noisy, toxic environment. Yes, avoid a peaceful natural setting at all costs.
5. Connect with really anxious, annoying people who are “Victims” and need your constant attention. Talkers who are also great interruptors are the best, for killing a session of guidance.
6. Which leads us to, Be a Victim and do not take responsibility for your behaviors, thoughts, or actions. Blame others all the time and wallow in the negative attention that this will bring.
7. Follow Dogmatic Philosophies which want to tell you how to think and behave. This can easily be found in philosophies, cults, political parties, religions, the military, and other totalitarian organizations, etc…
8. Deny you own Soul and spirit! Dwell in unworthiness and deep insecurity. Repeat over and over, “I am NOT good enough. I am stupid and bad…” Perhaps you can drink alcohol or take drugs to enhance this negative self-talk.
9. Live in Fear. Avoid Change. Listen to your Ego which believes that “it” is more important than the Divine Spirit!
10. Finally, DO NOT ASK FOR ASSISTANCE. Sit in the dark and just stew in your self-loathing because you must go through this to eventually be open to the assistance that your Angels, Guides, and the Divine Spirit can, AND WILL, provide.

Supplemental Things to do to avoid connecting with Guidance:
11. Avoid being present. Mindfulness is a trap. You want to ruminate on bad things from the past or the fear the unknown and uncontrollable future…
12. Go to Las Vegas and hang around in the smokiest casino you can find!
13. Drive really fast on a crowded freeway, honk at people, and pretend that you are doing something important and that you are in a big hurry. It also helps to kill connecting with Guidance if you can be as Judgmental as possible, feeling superior because YOU are so insecure.
14. Keep being pre-occupied with Money and financial insecurity. If you are already “Wealthy” and “Successful,” consider all the ways you can LOSE your $$$ or have people steal it from you…!!! (Then drink heavily to numb your fear…)
15. Avoid lovely, caring, creative and passionate people. These include good, HEALTHY friends and family.
16. Avoid experiences like reading great books on consciousness and empowerment.
17. Listen to ANGRY Rap/Hip Hop or very loud Heavy Metal played by sub-standard musicians who think that loud is an art form.
18. Watch a lot of Reality TV… AND, believe it. (Same is true for getting your news from unreliable internet sources…) Especially, the loudest conspiracy theories.
19. Deny that the Earth is in deep trouble, Listen to and believe Most Angry Extremists, or get your news, without fact checking, from the internet and TV media.

OR, to assist in tuning in to Guidance just do the opposite of these suggestions.
(In case, that this was NOT obvious enough.)

The Divine Spirit loves you. Your Guides and Angels love you. I love you. Now, You love YOU!

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

Guidance, Grace and the Pilgrimage

You are blessed to have Guidance! Guidance which you may not have even been aware of at those moments in your life when you chose a direction to move. Maybe it was a hunch or a “Gut Feeling.” Perhaps your decision was not a “rational” one and made no sense to others, or even to possibly yourself, but YOU went with it… AND, it turned out to be an interesting challenge or life experience. You were ment to follow THAT path and you did. Sometimes, if it did not work out as expected, you second guessed yourself. Maybe you did not want to take responsibility for your choice, or the choice Guidance “encouraged” you to take. It may have been the trip, or the job, or the relationship, or whatever… that was “interesting” AND, looking back, you learned something which you would not have learned if you had followed the other path (choice.)

Our lives are filled with these moments when we chose a direction, perhaps even the road less traveled, and then found a rich experience. Often we make seemingly “rational decisions” which made “sense” at the time. The “easy” path is not always, if ever, the best path to choose. After all, life is an adventure and you gotta jump in and get your feet wet if you want the rewards of learning and growing even when it may have been a questionable decision.

And, there are the times in your life when Guidance allowed you to move in a certain direction which became a “peak experience” possibly leading to remembering what the state of Grace feels like…!!! The amazing but rare experience where you “know” what your connection to the Divine Spirit feels like. Perhaps a time when you were set free from the limitations of time and space. The time when you remembered the “Oneness” and connections with all other lifeforms and spirits. The gift of YOUR Pilgrimage through this life is that if you take the risks, open yourself up, you may be blessed with this re-connection with the source of all wisdom. You may remember that you are perfect, even with your perceived weaknesses and flaws (Which make you PERFECT.)

No matter what, cherish every moment of your adventure through life! Take off your blinders. Try to limit your focus by not multi-tasking during the most enchanting experiences… And, do not miss an opportunity to share your love! ALWAYS find time to connect with your fellow pilgrims. You never know which person has stumbled into your life to inspire the experience and the lesson you have come here to have. Every encounter is sacred. Every fellow traveler you gaze upon is a spirit sent from the Divine. (Though you may never be fully conscious as to the “WHY,” never the less, you were meant to share this experience.) If you close yourself off to a shared experience, you may have to return to it again…

Find Joy. Live fully. Challenge yourself to live in service! You are on the “Right” path toward your highest consciousness, so step up and embrace your adventure! Guidance has lead you to this article and to your perfect path!

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

Basic Mindfulness Part 2: Living in a Mindful Way

Being Mindful has been a question for me. After my three day Mindfulness retreat, I am more Mindful about the things I have not been mindful about. What the heck does that mean…??? Well, read a bit further.

I learned at the retreat what I think I already knew but had not learned how this feels or how to incorporate being more mindful into my habit driven lifestyle. No surprise, the key to being more mindful is to be aware and “present” by paying attention to your breath. Again no surprise, I learned that being more mindful works better when I focus on only one thing at a time. For example, drive focused without other distractions. (More examples to follow.) This focusing on one thing at a time is kind of challenging in our 24/7, multi-tasking world, but it certainly makes sense.

We practiced slower walking and breathing, awareness and appreciation of nature, and more meditations. The first two key ingredients to being more mindful (with 10 listed) where 1. to be aware of myself and my environment and 2. was to view each activity in your day with “Beginners Mind” and the feeling of wonderment. I liked these first two a lot. In fact, I really enjoyed all 10 ingredients in the book we used as a text but found number 6 a bit more challenging for me to fully appreciate and understand, let alone to practice. Number 6 was to live in “Equanimity.” I can barely spell Equanimity let alone know how to practice it. After consultation with my retreat group, its leader Chau Yoder (who is amazing) and my special Guru spiritual consultant, Paula Forget, I believe I am much closer to knowing what this is all about.

Equanimity is a very important, but a challenging (for me,) part of the Mindfulness life. This term refers to being able to look at and appreciate experiences in your life without getting caught in the “drama” of the experience. Paula Forget suggested that I look at each experience from the higher perspective of a “spiritual being” caught in a mortal body. As I look from a higher perspective, I may not “judge” the event, individual or experience but just see, perhaps feel it, as a neutral activity that can be curious and interesting. When I am successful, I may even feel empathy and appreciation for the circumstances which have lead to this experience and more fully understand my “lesson” or “challenge” from my participation. Even if this lesson is painful, which as a human I will feel, I can still feel appreciation for what I can learn from this challenge on my pilgrimage through life. This detachment does NOT mean you do not care or feel the physical or emotional pain. It means that you are not locked up without finding the higher perspective regarding how to celebrate (?) this difficult challenge.

One more example and an exercise you can attempt… Hold a tangerine. Look at it fully. Appreciate the work of people who delivered this fruit to you and the forces of nature which allowed this fruit to grow. Feel the tangerine. Scratch the peel and smell the tangerine. Slowly and carefully peel the tangerine, perhaps keeping the peel in one piece. Pull the first section out slowly and place this in your mouth. Breathe! Feel the tangerine section in your mouth. Move it around with your tongue. Press it against your teeth or slowly take a bite. Breathe! Taste the sweetness. Appreciate the sun and forces which developed the sugar of this fruit. Slowly swallow the first section and then slowly repeat this for as much of this tangerine as you wish. If you were not distracted and were focused upon this exercise, attempt this at your next meal… Try to not speak for 10 minutes while you eat… Be mindful. Breathe slowly. Appreciate.

Full List of 10 Qualities of Mindfulness are:
These are Pages 18-20 of Laurie Cameron’s book: “The Mindful Day, Practical Ways to Find Focus, Calm and Joy From Morning to Evening.”

1. Awareness
2. Beginners Mind
3. Acceptance
4. Insight
5. Impermanence (Life is temporary and so are all the challenges…)
6. Equanimity
7. Interconnection
8. Compassion
9. Gratitude
10. Joy

Special thanks to Chau Yoder for these helpful acronyms:

Consider C.A.R.E. when dealing with life’s experiences
C. Compassion
A. Appreciation
R. Respect
E. Equanimity

To Assist you with this, try P.B.S.
P. Pause
B. Breathe
S. Smile

One more tip for dealing with a situation which “Triggers” you. R.A.I.N.
R. Recognize
A. Allow
I. Investigate with Kindness
N. Nurture (Yourself and the Appreciation of this Challenge)

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

Celebrating Independence By Remembering Our Interdependence

For Americans, July 4th is considered our Independence Day. Historically, it was a day when Americans came together to declare their Independence from a perceived tyranny. Today, most of the tyranny we face comes from our own perceptions and the personal independence we have been culturally taught. There comes a moment in consciousness when complete independence loses some, or most, of its value. This happens when we become conscious enough to realize that we are actually not fully independent but actually a part (a piece) of a much grander “Divine Spirit.” Our egos and “burning (taught) need” for individuality bends to the realization that every person, every lifeform, and every object in our Universe (and beyond) are inter-related and interdependent.

If you do not like reading this and you feel uncomfortable looking at the “crazy” people in the world with the consideration that they are you and you are they, then you have not “remembered” the shared roots which we all have. Each of us is an actor in a drama called life. We each have our role to play AND we have learned to play our character with perfection. Sure we whine when “things” are not going as well as we would “like.” Just learn to NOT take yourself or your role too seriously… You are much “greater than you will ever know” (or understand) this is a statement which has been said to me by my late wife and my friend Don Ley after he returned from his NDE (near death experience.) Nothing like a good NDE to put your life into better perspective… (Not a joke or kidding.)

Independence within the framework of each and every one of us being connected by spirit still allows for each of us to be different and unique. Just as snowflakes are unique, I am told, we each bring our unique challenges and lessons into our lives. We can not make progress and achieve our learning goals without bumping into other people and life experiences. These experiences are often challenging or difficult. A life which is too easy may overlook many valuable interactions with the difficult situations which we have been guided to know and to learn from. For myself, long ago I realized that I learn more from my mistakes, failures, and “trials by fire” than I learn when events go smoothly or as “expected.”

A desire to be too independent may prevent you from gaining from the shared experiences or wisdom of other “pilgrims” you meet on your path toward higher consciousness. The secret is to be not too dependent or too separate from other people. When I am present and mindful, which I am a small percentage of time, I see the beauty and perfection in the eyes and then the souls of the people I encounter. We are ALL in this together and we are all here to serve each other’s development of consciousness. AND, whether you know it or not, YOU have much to offer. YOU are a Master of your journey with wisdom from life experiences which, when shared, will assist fellow pilgrims on their path toward enlightenment.

So celebrate independence but within a conscious, reasonable position. Know that historically Americans could not have achieved their version of independence without working together with the intention of building a world of betterment for all. (Yes, there have been varying views on what these words and concepts might mean…)

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog