Monday, August 26, 2019


He prayed--it wasn't how I prayed.
He ate--it wasn't what I ate.
He spoke--it wasn't my language.
He dressed--it wasn't what I wore.
He took my hand--it wasn't the color of mine.
But when he laughed--it was how I laughed.
   And when he cried--it was how I cried.

Amy Maddox, 16
Franklin Community High School
Bargersville, IN

We continued to explore an aspect of our earthly dilemma: the mind’s need to know and the soul’s desire to live in the Mystery.

I was not suggesting that we do not ask questions. God knows, I’m always looking. As a person who has spent much of this lifetime cultivating my intellect, I still find comfort in having, what I call an “intellectual framework” to give me some understanding of this evolutionary process I am experiencing, but also realizing and accepting, in the long run, I am going to be confronted with that which the mind cannot comprehend. 

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead —his eyes are closed.” Albert Einstein

A suggestion: when a question comes to mind, especially when we are doing this kind of spiritual work, eg. “What does that mean?” “How does that idea fit in; it seems completely opposite of what was said before?” etc.
Stop for a moment and ask, “What would it be like if I knew the answer?” and just stay in that space for a moment and notice what happens. 
If you really want to stretch, ask yourself, “What would it be like if the answer didn’t matter?” and sit in that space for a moment. At first it might be quite uncomfortable, but continue to allow yourself to let go of the mind’s turmoil. The turmoil will not disappear, but your attachment to it will lessen. 
As you do this you can begin to experience “the peace that surpasses all understanding.”

Recall the lessons that have come before--these are practices we can do consciously--
  1. Set our willingness and intention--in this case, to be aligned to divine wisdom; then 2) to open ourselves to the possibility of all that means.

The metaphor I used in class was imagining coming out of a cold room, and desiring to be warm, and then moving into the sunlight. There is nothing more you need to do--you let the sunlight warm and comfort you.

Now in this awareness, the sunlight or Divine Wisdom is not a power outside of you, but it is a power beyond the scope and understanding of the little self---here is where we sometimes get caught up. When we speak of Wisdom already being inside you, we are speaking of your unique connection with wisdom that comes about with your alignment with the Truth of who you are. 

“Now wisdom, we say, is a part of your inheritance. And you mistake intelligence for wisdom and they are not the same thing. Anybody can do the math who learns their times tables. Anybody can do the construction that learns how to build something with a hammer and a nail, but no one may know the truth until he aligns to it. You may only know truth ” “by aligning to it. And we underline this, and say it a third time: You may only know truth by aligning to it.”
In other words--you have to step into the light.

I recall Dr. Suess suggested that “Life’s a great balancing act.”  And here we are, balancing real and illusion, the spiritual and the material, surrender and action, the human and the Divine.

One of the reasons why we collect books and workshops, etc. is because the mind is always hunting for a rule book. It wants to be right, to feel safe. I remember someone saying, “When we are born we expect to be handed a user manual--Life 101”--well, here we are still looking.   Me, too.

But then, if we are open to it, there comes the challenge to enter a world or dimension beyond what my mind can grasp or understand. The physicist Max Plank exclaimed that the reason why we cannot comprehend the mystery is because we are “part of the mystery.” It’s like Alan Watts described as trying to “bite your own teeth.”

There are moments when we just “let it be.” When we are in the Holy Instant--these can be both simple and profound experiences, a flower, a cat purring on you lap, that first spoonful of dessert, a child’s laughter---name a few yourself.

“The decision that you make to stand at the precipice and to step off into the unknown is to welcome all the new possibilities that may be, but then you need your wisdom to claim them in your worth. Just because something is there does not mean you require it. Just because it may be seen does not mean you must see it. And your wisdom will teach you. “I am wisdom” will align you to wisdom if you are still enough to move into the frequency of it and let it inform you. And let it inform you, we will say, is the easiest way to understand this. You are all very used to controlling things, you know, so you believe when you are passive, or you are receptive, you are not doing anything, and you confuse this with action. To be in reception is an action. It is not inaction. It’s a conscious choice to allow. If you allow this now, you will receive it now, and you will reap the benefits very quickly.”

We began this reflection with using our imagination--”What would it be like if I did know?”

We will close with another meditative act--”What would it be like to step into the light; to simply align myself to Divine Wisdom, even  letting go of my questions, to allow the Heart to speak to me, to embrace me, to hold me, to love me.

Thank you.


Monday, August 12, 2019


“Everyone of us is shadowed by an illusory person: a false self..We are not very good at recognizing illusions, least of all the ones we cherish about ourselves.  Contemplation is not and cannot be a function of this external self. There is an irreducible opposition between the deep transcendent self that awakens only in contemplation, and the superficial, external self which we commonly identify with the first person singular. Our reality, our true self, is hidden in what appears to us to be nothingness....We can rise above this unreality and recover our hidden reality.... God Himself begins to live in me not only as my Creator but as my other and true self. ” 
― Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

I hesitated to use the term intuition in the context of this chapter on Wisdom. The reason being that the definitions of intuition and the description of the term can range anywhere between a hunch, a guess, a gut feeling, a reflexive reaction to something, or the essence of Divine Wisdom within us. Obviously all of those descriptions are not the same thing.

The way it came up for us this morning is that one person was describing wisdom as listening to the wee small voice or the Divine wisdom within each one of us as being her understanding of intuition and with that I would agree.

As other people thought about or played with their own definitions, eventually we began to run into some unwanted baggage. For me there is a huge difference between a hunch or guess or an involuntary reaction or response to someone or something as compared to listening to the voice of divine wisdom. A hunch or a reaction or response to a stimulus are all learned behaviors that have become so much a part of our personality structure that they live in our unconscious and most often we don't even realize they have been triggered. We simply look at them is our natural way of responding or sometimes say to ourselves, “Well that's just the way I am.”

Probably the biggest challenge, if not the primary challenge, to this work is that we are being asked to both examine and release or let go of all of the old definitions of self including those that lurk on the unconscious level. To release all of those to allow ourselves to become the truth of Who We Are. I do not deny the difficulty of that .

In a way where we are confronted with is that wonderful quote from Einstein:
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” 

Here we are looking at ourselves and our world with a burning desire to make things different and yet the realization is dawning on us that if we continue to try to make changes on the personality level they will not stick; they cannot stick.

Intuition is another form of knowing, it is not a reflexive or an unconscious act In fact, it is one of the higher states of consciousness that we can be in. In some ways intuition is a connection between our personality self and the Divine Self in the Spirit.

In the deepest way, when we are speaking of intuition, there is no such thing as my intuition that would be similar to claiming my divine nature. There is only one divine nature and it does not belong to my personality self.

It is true that our decision making process can be clouded by past learnings of fear, of separateness, prejudice and exclusion. We are not pretending that those go away by themselves, but our awareness of them as a very limited form of consciousness allows us to begin to bypass those old patterns of thought into ones that resonate more deeply with the truth.

“Now we ask you this: If you ask the question of yourself and you state it as an intention, “I am now asking myself in a higher way to move into alignment with the question I have asked,” and you set it as an intention, “I am setting this intention to move my frequency into accord with the response I require to know my own wisdom, my information in the highest way available to me,” you will claim it. As you make the intention, you must understand that you are making a decision to align to something. That is very different than grabbing something or shielding yourself from something. It is simply aligning to something new. And in this alignment you call your frequency as yourself in this new way.”

A simple way of distinguishing between true intuitive wisdom as opposed to the limited teaching of the personality self is that intuitive wisdom will be presented to us without a trace of fear or judgment recrimination. Whereas the voice of the smaller self will speak in the language of fear and exclusion as well as predicting dire consequences if we do not obey its dictates.

Because we have free will even though we are encouraged to love unconditionally we still have the choice to live in limitation.

“I am aligning to the question and the response that I require. I am Word though this intention. Word I am Word.”

We could repeat this truth or an affirmation directly after saying Serenity Prayer and being aware of how wonderfully they fit together .

We do not realize that we probably putting this teaching to practice more often than we think. Whenever we open our hearts in compassion to another, we are literally putting ourselves into their “space” to become aware and to know what it is they might be experiencing. We are not taking it on ourselves, but we are in awareness of the pain of another so that we may sit lovingly with them. If nothing else, they are reminded that they are not alone. 

Well, we began with Merton and I can not think of a better way to end with that wonderful prayer of Wisdom from his book Thoughts in Solitude:

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to love as Christ loved does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore, I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me and you will never leave me to face my perils alone

Monday, August 5, 2019


P, 132-133

Dear God,
We pray for our brothers and sisters
in El Paso.
Please give them comfort
in this hour of their agony.
May those who are wounded
survive and heal.
May those who died be at peace.
May those who grieve be given the strength
to bear this unbearable moment.
At this time of catastrophe, dear God,
enlighten us and lift us up.
Cast out all darkness and bless all hearts.
From Marianne Williamson (before Dayton)

“Now, speaking the words will not do it. And you must understand the difference between setting an intention in language only and setting an intention in your spirit. When you shift your vibration in a new way, there is an experience, an overlay that occurs because you are moving your vibration from one space to another and, in the new space, acclimating to the vibration that exists there. So this is experiential, yes. But just to say the words and not to acclimate, not to bring your vibration to the new place, will not support you well.
Now we will ask you this: What is one thing you need to know? Now, don’t ask where you left your keys. You probably left them in your bag anyway, or on the place you always leave them. Ask what you need to know in your worth. “Am I the man I believe I am to be in this lifetime? Am I living the life that is in all my possibilities? Am I allowing myself freedom in true ways? Am I trusting myself enough to give myself the promise of a new way of being in my own way, expressed as me, “I know who I am?”
Now we ask you this: If you ask the question of yourself and you state it as an intention, “I am now asking myself in a higher way to move into alignment with the question I have asked,” and you set it as an intention, “I am setting this intention to move my frequency into accord with the response I require to know my own wisdom, my information in the highest way available to me,” you will claim it. As you make the intention, you must understand that you are making a decision to align to something. That is very different than grabbing something or shielding yourself from something. It is simply aligning to something new. And in this alignment you call your frequency as yourself in this new way.”

I must ask your forgiveness and Indulgence as I seem to be almost overly fixated with this concept of alignment. it is a new language for us in some ways a new concept or at least a concept that is being brought into Consciousness now. To know that it is a welcoming and a new awareness of Truth.

It is not through effort that alignment takes place, but as we have spoken of before on a conscious level, in my willingness and my intention I bring the energy of alignment into focus and as I do that in a conscious way then it is the divine within me, my higher self, my Christ consciousness that completes the process.

Although in this chapter we are speaking of wisdom, we could be speaking of any of the qualities of the Divine or any of the expressions of the Divine through us. Qualities such as compassion, love, joy, grace and even wisdom are simply a forms of the expression of the Divine through us.

When I am in alignment with Truth, there is no judgement, there is no conflict, there is no this or that, there simply IS and we have all experienced times such as these. Now the personality self will attempt to create or recreate those times of bliss or Oneness, but you see, if you step back for a moment, that it is living in the past and attempting to create a past moment in the future. Our limited intentions are understandable, but the results of locking into the limited desires of the small self lead only to frustration .

The small self or the personality can still be led in higher ways. This is difficult to explain in language but imagine that the personality self' has the goal of being in alignment with love and yet it also knows it can only come so far in manifesting that alignment, no struggle here, but the awareness that surrender acceptance is a necessary part of the process.

What is it that you seek today for yourself or for your world? This past week we have been given some powerful reminders of the violence that can be born from fear, anger and a sense of separation. We realize that if we add our own fear, frustration, and anger to the mix that we are creating more of a problem and becoming mired in the negativity that we are attempting to heal.

And yet the concept or the idea of love, loving our enemies, doing good to those who hate you, in the face of this violence seems to leave us in a place of helplessness. Even love does not seem to be enough.

We might also refer to this whole concept of alignment as “Miracle Consciousness.” If we were to look at and study the recorded miracles of Jesus while he was manifesting through a physical body, we would begin to notice how this concept of alignment is working with him and through him.

When he calmed the storm that threatened the boatload of Apostles, they stood back in awe and said to one another, “Who is this that even the wind and rain obey him?” Imagine Jesus, not forcing something to happen, not erasing the wind or the rain or the storm, but coming into alignment with the patterns of energy that creates wind and rain and storm, and just as you would calm a frightened child, allowing a similar kind of release or calming to take place.

In his healing miracles, rather than seeing a disease being conquered or erased, imagine what it would be like to know that Jesus did not see disease or illness. He saw all these beings who came across his path as being whole in perfect. In other words he held them in the alignment of Truth and Wholeness and by doing so overcame those false notions of illness or disease.

The co-founder of Unity, Myrtle Fillmore, did something quite similar when she created the prayer or the mantra, “I am a Divine Child of God I do not inherit illness.” I would imagine that practice began as a wish or desire or, to put it in the language we have talked about above, as a willingness and an intention. And yet there was also in knowing from within that I am not creating something so much as I am affirming something that is already true. It is already true beyond my intellect and beyond my senses; I will not let my intellect or my senses dictate what I believe. This prayer of my heart comes from a knowing deep within me, and I will continue to pray this prayer until that knowing becomes manifest in the physical world.

There is a progression here in how I perceive this process. At first there is a need, then there is the desire to either transform or alleviate that need, then there is the realization that the need can only be met in a space beyond the mind, beyond the five senses, beyond that which is provable in the material world. Once that realization is reached, we still work with the personality self, but also realizing it does not have the complete answer. We use the personality to formulate willingness and intention. We might find ourselves creating a mantra or prayer similar to Myrtle Fillmore's. At first it is just words attached to a strong desire of the personality self which is attached to the form that the healing or transformation might look like. At the same time we also realize, in our higher nature, it is only the Divine that knows the perfect form of this transformation, and so we release, we let go, we surrender into the Christ Consciousness that Knows.

Now all of these things are going on at the same time. Just because I surrender into the Christ consciousness doesn't mean that the need or the attachment within my personality self disappears. Can you see that all of this is happening simultaneously ?

Now let us move on a bit to wisdom itself.

I related that, years ago, when we were just beginning to work with guided imagery that there was an exercise we did in our treatment centers called “The Wise Person. In the imagery we would be walking through a jungle or desert then coming to a mountain and knowing at the top of this mountain was a cave and within this cave was a wise person who would answer any question of our choosing. Now the wise person in the cave could take different forms-- for some it might be Jesus or Buddha or Mary or even a wise person in their own lives. Inevitably we would guide them to meeting their wise person and asking their question and then gently opening to receive the answer. Then we would take them down the mountainside back to where the journey began and back to their chair in the circle of our group. 
Inevitably everyone brought to the wise person a question of consequence and everyone also received an answer, most often and acceptable one.

The magic happened when we asked the group, “Where did the answer to your question come from?” and inevitably they will say, “It came from the wise person in the cave.” And then as we sat with that quietly you could see the dawning of awareness and understanding that, in some unexplainable way, the answer to the question came from within myself, not the self that I am used to being aware of, but a deeper aspect that I might not have ever known was even there.

We spoke last time of bypassing the thinking mind to open ourselves to wisdom and on a daily basis we probably do this by asking ourselves simple questions and opening ourselves to the answer: “Is there another way of doing this?” “How can I hold this differently?” “What am I to learn from this person place thing or event?”

And after all of this we were reminded that we already are in alignment; we are already whole, we are already healed.

“You are already healed you are already whole you are just doing the work of peeling the layers of trauma core wounds limiting beliefs and conditioning that obscure your magnificence.” quote from Erin Telford.

And, of course, that reminded me of the wonderful teaching from Marianne Williamson which again is a clear directive to claiming the Truth, the truth of Who You Are.

 “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” 
― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"

“Be at Peace--I have overcome the world.”