Here is something you can practice to connect with your inner guide. Find a quiet spot in nature and sit comfortably alone. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Allow yourself to fully feel your body and be present in the Now.
This exercise is designed for very deep relaxation. The instructions given here will help you achieve a balanced and effective relaxation response in a minimum of time.
One of the most important events in the British education calendar is approaching: A-level results day. Beyond A-levels, choosing what you want to do, or what you want to study are two of the big decisions in life. And, as such, they are not easy ones to make.
I smile to myself as a long awaited opportunity has finally arrived. I say opportunity perhaps inappropriately, but the chronic illness that challenged my life for so many years gifted me with an understanding of life that would help me make sense of the rest of it.
Consciousness itself actually can never be healed, as it is the foundation of healing itself. It is rather that our state of incomplete, separate consciousness is what needs to be repaired, mended, reconnected or made whole—brought back into the state of Oneness. This is known as the State of Being.
Modern people have long wondered about ancient stories of great floods. Do they tell of real events in the distant past, or are they myths rooted in imagination?
“Dear God!” I wrote, “I know the vows I want! I want vows to me, to my self, to my soul, to You!” And with that declaration, my divine voice and I began long, intense conversations, diving deeper and deeper together into the well of my soul to find my true vows.
Ghosts are still to be found haunting old buildings, castles, domestic houses, prisons and just about any place of human habitation you can imagine. There are even many recorded stories of ghosts in the White House in Washington. The 16th US President Abe Lincoln has been seen by...
Pure love is totally undemanding and accepting. It extends its energy to everything but you only feel it when you are in the moment. Whenever you give or receive pure love the angels step in and pour their light through you.
Some births happen with just a few easy pushes while others are a long, drawn out, Herculean task. The moment of death, too, is unique and can happen with gentle ease or struggle and effort. It deserves the same honor we reserve for the moment of birth whether it was a peaceful experience or a conflicted one.
The true secret of a great life, as I see it, is making a difference for others. All else is empty. When we’re empowering others through our sharing, that’s when we get what we really, really want. If we love something that’s bigger than we are, we’re in service...
I am in awe of my mother’s faith in God. Despite the circumstances that life has inflicted upon her, she has remained committed to her Christian belief. I’m also in awe of the fervent faith that I’ve seen in friends of mine who are Buddhist, Muslim, or even those who choose to not give the divinity a name per se.
As the Lord’s Prayer indicates, forgiveness plays a part in settling spiritual debts, and in helping to prevent new ones from being established. Forgiveness provides great protection for the self, as well as helping others. It ends vicious cycles of action and reaction.
In nursing homes, older people are increasingly frail and being admitted to care later than they used to be. More than half of residents suffer from depression, yet psychiatrists and psychologists aren’t easily accessible, and pastoral or spiritual care is only available in a subset of homes.
Janelle and I first ‘met’ in 2010 when a member of her family came to me for a reading. After this particular reading I overflowed with compassion, feeling the pain of those who believe they have lost their loved ones forever.
Jesus’s crucifixion is probably one of the most familiar images to emerge from Christianity. But what was crucifixion? And why was Jesus killed that way?
Silence is often the doorway to an ever deepening understanding of this thing called Life and our own true power. Silence is a wonderful place where wonderful things happen... Silence is food for the soul, a gift from the Great Universal Intelligence.
Old age is a time of many challenges. Retirement brings opportunities, but for many people it also results in loss of role and income. Loved ones may die, leading to the need to grieve and reconstruct life, sometimes without a partner of many years. In advanced old age, physical and mental frailty may lead to further loss of role and greater dependence on others.
A friend of mine--a much-loved teacher of Bhakti Yoga, the yoga of devotion--told me about the day he became vegetarian. Becoming vegetarian had less to do with health than realizing consciousness is active in all creatures big and small.
In this excerpt from the beginning of her book, author Steffany Barton explains her perspective on suicide, one that she has come to since a dear friend of hers took his life. Steffany’s search for answers and understanding has been a long often painful but ultimately rewarding journey.
I try not to mention anything about my work as a medium when I’m around my grandma, since she disapproves of it, but I felt such a strong presence from a spirit one day several years ago when she and I were at home that I couldn’t help asking her about him.
"If you had a really bad day and did something you weren't proud of, you could go home and turn on a show that features moral ambiguity and bad characters—and feel significantly better about yourself," says Mina Tsay-Vogel. A viewer could watch Dexter, for example, and think, "At least I'm not as bad as Dexter."
"More than 5,000 and certainly 10,000 years ago, nowhere in the world was anyone living under a concerted authority," says John Rick. "Today we expect that. It is the essence of our organization. 'Take me to your leader. Who's in charge here?' So where did that come from?"
I have never liked hospitals but suddenly I began to appreciate the safety and stability it brought my family and I. Room 305 carried a special meaning for me, one of courage, hope, power and strength.
“The easiest way for me to find God is in nature,” Sister Ceciliana Skees explains. Born Ruth Skees, she grew up in Hardin County, Kentucky, during the 1930s. It’s a rural place of soft green hills, where her father farmed his entire life.
The brain findings suggest that mindfulness training may have helped the veterans develop more capacity to shift their attention and get themselves out of being 'stuck' in painful cycles of thoughts,
Having a quiet mind is lovely, and there are some simple manual tasks that you can do with a quiet mind: washing dishes, raking leaves, sweeping floors. But there are other tasks that are a bit more complex, where keeping a perfectly quiet mind may be inappropriate or even unsafe.
The debate about science and religion is usually viewed as a competition between worldviews. Differing opinions on whether the two subjects can comfortably co-exist – even among scientists – are pitted against each other in a battle for supremacy.
While you’re biting the heads off your chocolate bunnies this weekend, you might wonder how cartoon rabbits became so central to our Easter celebrations. It’s tempting to assume that because there’s no biblical basis for the Easter Bunny, rabbits and hares have no religious significance – but that’s just not the case.
Easter’s almost here, the time when Christian communities reflect on the death of Jesus and celebrate his resurrection. It’s also a time when the biblical character Judas Iscariot is remembered for his betrayal of Jesus. In many Orthodox and Catholic countries an effigy of Judas is burned as part of the Easter rituals, a custom continued in areas of Liverpool in the UK until as late as the mid-20th century.
Too many people go through life afraid of death, either the event itself, or facing the prospect of the unknown. My interest and research into the areas of past lives, life after death and reincarnation has totally influenced my personal views of death, and indeed of life as well.
Loss is a wound that creates a sea change in the way we see and experience our lives. It can’t be healed in our emotional body by applying a poultice of science, religion, or any other measurement. Grief is as individual as our face or our fingerprints.
Everyone wants to feel peaceful, don’t they? People go out of their way to avoid stressful situations, or to bring about their dreams, in the hope of finding peace. Would it surprise you if I told you that feeling peaceful has nothing to do with your current personal situation?
The first three steps of the twelve step program for recovery from addiction have to do with asking for help, knowing that we are powerless without help from a higher power, and trusting that this higher power can restore our lives greater than we could even imagine. I have seen these twelve steps work miracles...
Scientists have known for a while that both of these activities alone can help with depression," says Tracey Shors. "But this study suggests that when done together, there is a striking improvement in depressive symptoms along with increases in synchronized brain activity.
There’s evidence that mindfulness meditation can improve how we age and even fight disease. Yet, little is known about the brain changes behind the effects.
There’s evidence that mindfulness meditation can improve how we age and even fight disease. Yet, little is known about the brain changes behind the effects.
People who sense, feel, or see a light flash released from the body when a person dies are lucky, for it is an awesome thing. I have been privy to such scenes with animals as well.
Making mindfulness a habit seems paradoxical: habits are things that we do automatically and with little attention, whereas mindfulness is about paying attention to the present moment. Yet we can develop a habit of paying attention to the present.
I am realizing for myself that there are ultimately only two spiritual paths. And both are equally important! “We are human beings on a spiritual journey, and we are spiritual beings on a human journey.” Herein lie the two spiritual paths...
I’m convinced every person on this earth is a mystic. I’m also convinced almost every person on this earth has forgotten all about this. A mystical experience is more about remembering and understanding. The mystical experience profoundly propels you to not only transform ingrained beliefs about limitations, but also remember intrinsic wholeness...
Learning to trust your intuition takes time. The only way to accomplish this is through meditation — by silencing the mind and listening inward. If you have meditated before, especially on a regular basis, you know how much the practice can improve your mental fortitude. As a medium, I recognize that it is absolutely critical for me to have a clear and open mind...
Interviews with Palestinian youth suggest that differing religious beliefs don’t always incite aggression. In fact, the findings raise the possibility that beliefs about God can mitigate bias against other groups and reduce barriers to peace.
Material answers may come, often unexpectedly, in offers of supply or immediate practical help. But what about answers, like I needed now, for the next actions or decisions? I have found that these come inside, especially when we open our mouths—that is, our consciousness—and just ask.
Bombarded by the intensity and complexity of our life, it is easy to feel overwhelmed: “How can I possibly manage this situation?” We all need help, guidance, and inspiration to find our way and to stay the course at times when we may become distracted or disheartened.
After witnessing the overwhelming popularity of Star Wars, director Francis Ford Coppola told George Lucas he should start his own religion. Lucas laughed him off, but Coppola may have been onto something.
In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes, as Benjamin Franklin famously wrote. Few of us find taxes exciting, but death – even just thinking about it – affects us profoundly in many different ways. This is why researchers across so many different fields study it from their perspectives.
December marks the beginning of whale season in Hawaii. Around this time majestic humpback whales appear in Hawaiian waters, having traversed 3,000 miles of deep blue sea from offshore Alaska. The whales stay through the winter, mating and bearing their young. To watch them cavort is a spectacle for the senses and the heart.
Great prophets, gurus, spiritual leaders, and teachers across the world encourage us to search for the Great Light and find this mysterious thing they call "enlightenment". Many people begin their spiritual quest with one major mission: to become enlightened. But what is enlightenment and how can we truly reach it?
Children of religious parents may not be as altruistic as their parents think, according to new research from six countries around the world.
Meditation is receiving from God. Prayer is petitioning God — it is a giving out. Meditative prayers are a type of supplication to the divine. In this type of meditation, you are making a specific request to the Higher and then receiving the blessing that the divine wishes to give you.
Do we want to get well — give up our complaining and blaming, our image of a sick self, to do what we protest we can’t? Or do we love our deprivation and misery? Do we keep repeating that the world is against us, that others have all the luck? Does our poor-me status make us feel special?
I created an exercise many years ago where I ask people to write a termination letter informing the old God he is no longer needed. He has served his time, but the job is over. This can be a fun exercise as well as deeply meaningful and transformational.
A Catholic, a Jesuit and a scientist walk into a bar. What do they have to talk about? And just how do those conversations go?
What helps us to let go is that appearances change so completely. Nature is kind in that way — we can't say we haven't been warned. Most leaves wither and fade before they fall, fulfilling every bit of their purpose. My mother came to visit after she'd had two rounds of chemo for ovarian cancer. She didn't look like my mom, but she was still my mom...
Though there is some advantage in doing meditation practice now and then, the real benefits come through establishing the discipline and momentum of daily practice. This is analogous with physical training: intermittent exercise may feel good on occasion, but does little to really develop strength, health, or vitality...
It was midnight, nearly a thousand midnights since Lucky had died, and all at once I felt his weight on my hospital bed. I had heard of it time and again, in accounts of dear animals once gone, come to touch us again. There was no body there just the belief of his weight, but I knew who it was.
Muslims have a religious duty to take action against climate change, according to a declaration released by a major group of Islamic scholars, faith leaders and politicians from 20 countries.
After more than two decades in the ashram with Maharishi, I had not experienced what I was seeking—a true connection and direct relationship with God in a personal way. Luckily, after leaving the ashram, I found a means to connect to Spirit through listening to the “still small voice” of divine guidance and wisdom within—to have direct, two-way “conversations with God.”
You don't have to like your losses, but the path to healing is through acceptance — a learned skill that comes only from doing. The more you courageously face your losses and accept what is, the more you will heal and the happier you will be.
An angel letter is a powerful technique that enables you to receive higher spiritual guidance. Writing a letter to your guardian angel will certainly help you to strengthen your communication with each other. The actual process of writing the letter will allow your intuitive mind the space to clearly receive angelic guidance...
Much of the world believes in a God who hears our prayers and sometimes gives us what we ask for and sometimes does not. Why do hoped-for events or conditions manifest in our lives if it’s not God’s “mood” that determines whether our wishes are granted? How do miracles happen? What makes dreams come true? And what is at cause when they do not?
One of my favorite things to do is to imagine a divine hand upon my head blessing me in my life and letting me know that I am cared for and loved. I do this especially when I feel insecure or stressed. Once while in the emergency room with a badly broken leg and ankle, I closed my eyes and just imagined this other-worldly hand upon my head reminding me that everything would work out alright.
There’s an odd thing that happens to most near-death-experiencers . . . they come back from dying and they’re no longer frightened of it. Maybe the definition of Death has changed for them. It has for me! It changed because there was nothing painful, waiting for me, I didn’t even realize I had died.
Having taught meditation for over thirty years to thousands of people, I can really say that it is the single most important thing you can ever learn in order to expedite and enrich your spiritual life. Everything you learn in school, by analysis or by study, will be exponentially deepened because you meditate.
It was one of the Greek philosophers who first said everything was made of atoms. Now we say atoms are made of positive and negative charges of electricity — pure energy. No one has seen them, but out of that which we do not see emerges that which we do see. The biggest thing in the universe is just made up out of the littlest things.
The ink is still drying on the Pope’s Encyclical Letter “Laudato Si’” or “On Care for Our Common Home,” and scholars, critics and pundits will analyze and assess it for years to come.
Many years after my tragedies were over and done with, and after I was happy beyond my dreams, the idea came to me to make mosaic artwork. A mosaic artist can take bits and pieces of trash and treasure and create something beautiful.
When you return from death or near-death, a new commandment courses throughout your veins and in rhythm with your heartbeat . . . love one another. Experiencers of every stripe, tongue, culture, religion, and mindset find themselves beginning to behave in a manner as if life itself is all about love.
There are many arguments for the existence of God – Anselm’s ontological argument, the cosmological argument, the teleological argument, the moral argument and the “immediate experience of God” argument. But if you don’t already believe, these arguments won’t convince you. They are post-hoc constructions to shore up existing beliefs.
Only at the end of Pope Francis' recent encyclical, Laudato Si, do we find what is perhaps his most significant theological statement about the created world. For in #243, Francis endorses the idea of the salvation, not just of humanity, but of all creatures. He writes:
From a spiritual perspective there is no such thing as disappointment. What we call disappointment, Spirit sees as opportunities for learning. We are spiritual beings having a human experience, and disappointment feels unequivocally real.
Mindfulness as a psychological aid is very much in fashion. Recent reports on the latest finding suggested that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is as effective as anti-depressants in preventing the relapse of recurrent depression.
If we look at human history, we find it replete with animals, in legend and lore. Beginning with the oldest cave paintings, and continuing into the print and electronic media of current times, animals are deeply embedded in our stories because they inform our ways of understanding the world. Since humanity’s beginnings, they have helped us to survive and thrive...
What keeps us from reaching that state of continuous expansion and joy? What stands in the way of experiencing that place of no separation? What gets in the way of experiencing ourselves filled with light? What stops us from living life with gales of laughter?
It is said that every tiny bit of restoration of wholeness within ourselves directly contributes to the restoration and awakening of all beings and of the whole world. The impulse of every movement toward healing, every moment of mindfulness, every act of kindness we generate within ourselves, is directly shared or transmitted...
The problem that many people have is their misconception of what leads to happiness. They usually point to their successful career, family, and material possessions as evidence of their happiness. But as you’ve probably realized by now, all these things are impermanent and bring only temporary pleasure.
Finding and connecting with your spiritual core is both intensely personal to your beliefs, needs, and outlook as well as deeply necessary for strength and replenishment. Find time every day to stop, detach yourself momentarily from the hectic pace of ticking things off of to-do lists, and take part in a relaxing or meditative activity.
At some point in our lives, we all may have to inhabit that peculiar bubble of time where we’re called upon to witness the passage of a life. It’s possibly the most difficult, but most essential, thing we have to do—showing up for an event we dread and knowing how to conduct ourselves through this unmistakably sacred time.
The Presbyterian Church (USA) has voted through a clear majority of its presbyteries (local governing bodies) to define marriage as being between two persons. The vote will also permit sessions – the ruling bodies of particular congregations – to host same-sex weddings and for the clergy of the church to perform such ceremonies.
Vitality is natural to us. Vitality is an aspect of our life faculty. The word vitality stems from its root, “vital,” its two meanings applicable to our life faculty. Vital means “essential” or “necessary.” Vital also means “having energy” and “the ability to thrive.”
Regular science does not acknowledge the existence of a fifth dimension. In the hardcore factual world of science, there are only three dimensions of space: up/down, left/right, and forward/back. There is a fourth temporal dimension—that of time. However, things in the scientific world are changing.
Could it be that our present assumptions about God are inaccurate, and that in some cases even the exact opposite is actually correct? Would that change our view of the world? Has being right all these centuries done much good? Could questioning whether we may have been wrong do much harm?
There is nothing in Islam that makes it dangerous or threatening to a modern Western way of life. However, those looking to incite violence and hatred are always capable of finding textual references in almost anything to fuel their prejudices. We must combat this by fostering a culture of learning and an acceptance of diverse experiences and opinions.
Most people today cannot relate to mysticism at all, not even when it is described as an inner spiritual instinct. For this reason, I prefer to call those who do pause and reflect, listen, and connect spiritually (and keep as their main focus at all times that special inner Divinity innate to us all) modern mystics.
Let's look at some of the obstacles to our spiritual growth. Let me ask you this: have you ever been stuck in traffic and thought to yourself, “If it weren't for all these other cars on the road, I would get to work (or home) much faster”? Well, spiritual development is similar to that.
Merely filling out the form is not enough. The patient’s wishes can be truly honored only if the patient and family understand the options, have the opportunity to pose questions, and trust that their wishes will be followed. In other words, POST achieves its purpose only if it is based on open and trusting relationship...
The subconscious is powerful but—by definition—not conscious. It has its routines, and it continues with them until something calls forth other reactions. That “something” can be an emergency of some sort, but it can also be us.
Our bodies, like our world, reflect our internal dynamics. If we have chaos within our consciousness, we have chaos within our bodies. We must clear out the fear and the junk we’ve carried around for years and learn again what it is to simply be.
There comes a stage in spiritual development when you will experience the conflict between the fears of the ego and the power of spirit. An ego-based identity seeks only that which strengthens it. All else is seen as a threat. Therefore, in the beginning, as you take the next step in evolution, you will feel a conflict, a division within yourself as a new way of being struggles to emerge.
In today's world, many people are coming to the realization that searching for happiness through achievements and material possessions simply adds to their rising stress, only bringing them more chaos and unhappiness. As they are forced to re-evaluate the direction of their lives, they begin searching for an alternate road to happiness and inner peace.
The meditation for the cultivation of compassion: begin by bringing to mind a person you know who is suffering adversity, whether physically or mentally. Bring this person to mind as vividly as possible, and picture the whole situation. Let a yearning arise for this person to be free of suffering and the...
This story is about a seemingly small event in my life that took on miraculous significance because of the lessons that came with it. I’m not a theologian; in fact, I’ve found most of my spiritual sustenance outside traditional religion...
When I was three years old my brother was born. He had a heart condition, and after being in and out of hospital for the whole of his little life, he died when I was five. The time after he was gone was a long and empty period of terrible loneliness and the hollow aching of grief.
We need the mental plane, and it can be our greatest ally; but it can be our biggest enemy. The mental plane has the capacity to take us to the past. It can also take us to the future, but the mind needs to be trained or it will...
Many more patients are now living for years with the diagnosis of terminal illness. The author describes her journey to what she calls "livingly dying" - facing her death by living in the moment with grace and mindfulness.
For at least a decade, attempts to understand why some young Muslims living in Western countries turn to violence in the name of religion have raised questions about Western foreign policy in the Middle East.
Material scientists have no place in their theories for telepathy because in their worldview the minds of two people cannot talk to each other. Events such as the following, recounted in Phantasms of the Living, cannot occur in material science’s world...
The Qur’an contains injunctions that call both for peace and for violence. The problem is not that they are there; the difficulty is that non-violent and militant Muslims appear equally justified. For some, the peace of God is...
Pope Francis has emerged as one of the most important voices on the global stage about the need for a stronger moral dimension in economic policies. This has caused some upset in business and financial circles.