He had not recognized that this had been the case all along with everyone he had met or known. Each person had a connection to each other through their God force, and Manuka was symbolizing that for him right before his eyes. Why haven’t I seen that before? Now it’s so clear that it’s as if I had always known it.
Imagine a life without love. Sadly, so many people feel a despairing lack of love, even some who are successful and surrounded by friends. Over 50% of Americans report they have no one they can confide in. 25% live alone. An epidemic of loneliness is sweeping the world, spiking suicide rates.
The beloved children’s television icon Fred Rogers – who is played by actor Tom Hanks in the upcoming film “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” – entered the world of children’s programming during an era of massive political and cultural upheaval.
An unfeeling heart has even been admired by many, as evidence of a "scientific outlook". The truth is that without love no one can penetrate deeply into the heart of things. For while emotions can cloud the mind, calm pure love clarifies it, and makes possible the subtlest intuitions.
I now feel with such a depth of certainty, of spiritual groundedness that Love is the ultimate reply to all and any problem, be it personal, social or a world issue. And you and I are one with that Love. We are literally welded to Love and nothing will ever be able to change that, even our own doubts and fears.
Marianne Williamson speaking on the Spirit of America. A viewer's comment: "This may be the most powerful spiritual and social justice speech delivered since Martin Luther King's. I Have a Dream."
Jewish theologian Martin Buber said, “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” The ego’s destinations are always material. The spirit’s destinations run deeper. We believe we are here to get somewhere physically, while we are really here to get somewhere spiritually.
None of us will ever forget where we were on 9/11, or how we learned about the attacks on our country. Our hearts, and our innocence, were shattered on that awful day.
Mystics very often see the links of all things – not only between all humans, but between humans and nature, and sometimes they feel a total immersion with the Ground of Being that upholds the universe and every living being. More and more, modern science stresses the same reality, and that apparent divisions are a socially conditioned illusion.
No one can give you a specific technique for how to surrender. You have to find out for yourself what surrender is, and the way you respond to the felt current of the life force as it makes its way through the conduit of your body will be unique to you. Your dance won’t look like anybody else’s...
What goes on in the external world cannot change who we are or affect our true nature. No matter what happens to our body, personality, relationships, career, finances, or worldly politics, external events cannot affect who we are at our core. Our divinity remains intact.
People over 50 who attend religious services and pray privately may notice better memory performance, researchers report.
The unicorn is an enduring image in contemporary society: a symbol of cuteness, magic, and children’s birthday parties.
Unconditional love is loving people freely, fully and openly, with no expectations, demands or restrictions. It gives total acceptance and respect and does not criticize or judge. Unconditional love is constant and is not turned on and off as in conditional love.
In the Kabbalah of the Jewish tradition, the soul is not something that needs curing from some affliction so much as needing tikkun, to be repaired. It is said that if one person truly knew how to fix the soul by celebrating the Divine Presence in life, then that person would repair the whole world.
In this essay I will explore another view of what modern people can draw from the ceremonial approach to life. This alternative is not a substitute for the rational, pragmatic approach to solving personal or social problems. It is a reunion of the ceremonial with the pragmatic built upon a profoundly different way of seeing the world.
Mysticism has been associated in the popular mind mostly with monasteries, retreats, ashrams, caves, and similar places where novices and would-be yogis foregathered. Thus it came to be looked upon as a way of escape from the domestic difficulties, business troubles, and emotional disappointments that seem so inseparable from human existence.
Like a mirror, your soul reflects the pure light of the Divine. But over time every mirror becomes dusty—caked and encrusted with the negative conditioning of material reality. Eventually, without attentive upkeep, it may become so grimy that it reflects little to no light. This is when we feel depressed, materialistic—even mean and violent. We see the mud and not the mirror. We identify with the grime, not knowing that just below it the mirror is there, ready to reflect the sun and shine if we only give it a chance.
Modern neuroscience has now found that altruism brings us happiness in addition to being a stress reliever. This mirrors Buddhist teachings. Through our meditations and practice of loving-kindness and compassion, we gradually come into an experiential sense of our basic goodness.
Once you decide to see only love, you can relinquish judgment and see people for what they are. In the end, everyone benefits, including you. As it says in A Course in Miracles, “You have no idea of the tremendous release and deep peace that comes from meeting yourself and your brothers totally without judgment.”
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?
"When I have a problem and I dance, at the end the problem is gone!" Ultimately, I am convinced that it is the connection to one’s sense of the spiritual that infuses dance with the power to heal and transform.
For someone on the spiritual path, one of the most beautiful discoveries is that everything becomes inwardly simpler and simpler as she or he progresses in their quest. The complexities of social relations just vanish in the discovery that the essence of every being is divine.
High rates of mental ill health among students, including some tragic cases of suicide, have highlighted the vulnerability of many young people facing the pressures of higher education while away from home for the first time.
It has been tremendously helpful for me to understand the difference between consciousness and spirituality. Spirituality is one type of energy — the energy that links us to our deepest essential nature and to the universal source. Consciousness is the awareness of all of the energies within us..
Within all of us, there’s a light that shines like a lantern’s bright flame. We may call it love, divine energy, or an expression of our Source. No matter what name we give it, that light never goes out.
This planet needs as many of you as possible to create the consciousness shift now occurring. And how you feel it! It can feel beautiful, wonderful, joyous, humorous, light, fun. It can also feel torturous and wretched. The shift involves a whole spectrum of emotional states.
Scrolling through news of the Notre Dame fire on social media feeds was like watching a real-time archive of grief in the making, as people expressed their dismay and sorrow at the damage wrought.
These two practices, seeing similarities and offering kindness, are incredibly rich in terms of building inner resources and incredibly valuable for loosening our fears and biases and allowing us to see that we are all one tribe, one family — the human family.
'What words adequately express the pain and suffering of 50 men, women and children lost, and so many injured?' asked New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern during her address at a memorial service
I have these words on the bulletin board above my desk: Expect Miracles. In my healing and animal communication practice, I am incredibly blessed to be able to witness miracles almost every day.
African-American women comprise more than 70 percent of the active membership of generally any African-American congregation one might attend today. According to one Pew study, African-American women are among the most religiously committed of the Protestant demographic – eight in 10 say that religion is important to them.
Many people have this fear of the city. It's understandable. Each night, on the evening news, the major emphasis seems to be on the latest stabbings, shootings, rapes, and suicides. The good news is often not heard. But fear of personal danger isn't the only problem people have with the city, and out-of-towners are not the only ones guilty of misconceptions.
Is it likely for most of us that past life, early childhood, and then community experiences all generate doubts and self-imposed limits that cloud our ability to see that we can be a successful creator of a terrific life. Further, such experiences cause us to question our own lovability and the goodness of the universe.
In the sixteen-century, people suffered from hunger, disease, hatred, and war. "How could God allow such terrible things to happen? Perhaps," Luria suggested, "it is because God needs our help." When you see something that is broken, fix it...
Have you felt the deep inner calling of hidden truth? Do you feel sacred knowledge is just waiting for you to grab it? The Mayas believe this is a time when everyone will begin to remember. In the spring of 1995, we entered a new cycle of time that the Mayas believe to be deeply profound and exceptionally transforming.
We live from our heart or we do not live at all. Here is a benchmark by which you can assess the quality of your actions and make important decisions: What is your intention? If you truly seek to serve and give love, you cannot fail.
A man came to a guru and challenged him, "I will give you an orange if you can show me where God is." The guru thought for a moment, then answered, "I will give you two oranges if you can show me where God is not."
Each of the major religions has the same goal: to provide us with a way to know and experience God. The only difference lies in the instructions for accomplishing this knowing. It's very hard to know where to focus my attention to find peace. I am sad to discover that I can't find it in my morning New York Times.
The breaking open that is happening right before our eyes and under our feet is actually creating conditions, situations, and circumstances that are ripe for transformation. It’s up to us to be clear and intentional about how we respond to what is happening.
This is a shamanic method practiced by the shamans in Siberia and Mongolia who believe a man will lead a hard life until he takes his spirits with him. The most powerful expressions of the soul are the spirits, the so-called power images...
Each of us is encouraged to become our own Elijah by simply doing something nice for someone else. Elijah is a Biblical prophet who appears throughout history to spread light in the midst of darkness. He is the person who comes into your life and makes your day!
Although we human beings can sometimes be selfish and competitive, we can also be extraordinarily kind and selfless. However, the materialist worldview tends to downplay the benevolent aspects of our nature, and even explain them away.
I have spent nearly twenty-five years of my adult life searching through the spiritual culture -- during which time I have worked as a body-mind-spirit publisher, a historian of alternative spirituality, and an individual seeker, sampling and struggling with many of the ideas of self liberation and self-development on the current spiritual scene (and working with the originators of some of these ideas).
The Pittsburgh neighborhood in which the recent horrific mass shooting took place isn’t only the home of the Tree of Life synagogue. Squirrel Hill was also Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood, the place where he lived and ultimately chose to die in his own home.
Halloween is a time when ghosts and spooky decorations are on public display, reminding us of the realm of the dead. But could they also be instructing us in important lessons on how to lead moral lives?
Scientist and philosopher may argue to the end of time, but meanwhile the human soul thirsts, and psychologist, priest, and mystic have the temerity to suggest that there may be ways of approach to the ultimate mysteries other than laboratory observation and pure logic. For while scientist and logician dissect and analyze, the mystic looks for meaning in the whole.
Blessing is a way of sending unconditional love, peace, healing, goodness to a person or a situation, or simply seeing them bathed in that love. Blessing isn’t associated with any religious denominations. It can be practiced by anyone, and I have an atheist friend who purchased my first edition of The Gentle Art of Blessing, and even gave copies away!
A story about the "Shining One" who explains the reason behind human cruelties and struggle: "Below me the hills and valleys were thick with humans, and the moon swung low that I might see what they did."
Where do we go between births? One can look at this a different way and see birth as a death—a dying to the world of light, a suppression of those memories. Which is our true home? Which is the real going out: our visits to earth or our visits to the world of light?
A lot of what we've been taught by well-meaning parents, teachers, and clergy, is not conducive to self-realization. We've been taught how to fit in, get by and do what we're told. That's fine for children. But there comes a time in everyone's life when you have to start thinking for yourself.
While driving home one day, I noticed that someone had posted some cardboard signs along the roadside, leading guests to a party on my street. At every important choice point, there was a sign. It occurred to me that this is how Spirit gives us guidance -- we get signs when we need them...
Think of a problem or challenge that you may be experiencing at this time. Where did it originate? Out of a belief in two powers. We grew up with this belief. As children, we had battles to fight, pains to alleviate, losses to compensate for, and...
Our identity, or ego, is the aspect of ourselves that attempts to control and plan our present and future experience. But as we all know, no matter how hard you try to control life, it somehow has a way of changing those plans.
Are you experiencing a lag in your spiritual life? Have you been practicing for a long time and consider yourself a spiritual veteran, but are lacking in enthusiasm? Are you new to meditation, but can’t seem to commit to a regular practice?
Everyone works with people they like -- and with people they dislike. We dislike some of them intensely. Seldom is there the luxury of working only with people who are friends or who are in total agreement with us. Since conflict cannot be totally eliminated, it is important to learn how to deal with conflicting wants and needs.
The hardest thing that we ever have to learn, even though Jesus said it 2,000 years ago, is to love your neighbor as yourself. Most of us don't have a problem loving other people; the problem we have is loving ourselves. We equate that with selfishness.
Although the majority of people may well wish things were different, the fact is that we live in a dual world here on Earth. Our lives subsume day and night, light and dark, good and evil, hot and cold, male and female, light and heavy, yin and yang, above and below, feast and famine…
"According to Spinoza, "Peace is not an absence of war. It is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, trust, and justice." Even if all weapons were to disappear from the earth that would not guarantee peace. We must actively cultivate peace as a virtue...
The outside world, as constructed by the ego, is one gigantic multiple personality disorder. Therefore, disillusionment, or giving up on the world, is an imperative prelude to mystical awareness. American author Dan Millman, in his book Way of the Peaceful Warrior, says that disillusionment is the best thing that can happen to someone...
Years of ongoing shamanic and spiritual training have taught me many lessons. Perhaps the main lesson is that life is a never-ending learning process. Although we reach a certain level in our growth and development, there is always something new to learn, to experience...
Maybe that is the problem with the world. Everyone is treating their neighbors (whether individuals or countries) the same way they treat themselves. In other words, if you criticize yourself, pollute your body, and don't take time to respect your own needs -- then your "neighbor" is in for a rough time.
While checking out at a grocery store I noticed that a cashier had an unusual tattoo on her forearm. “What is that tattoo?” I asked Ciani. She smiled. “It’s a copy of the EKG of my grandmother’s last heartbeat.” Suddenly the checkout process faded to background. I wanted to hear more.
I am astonished and delighted at how the universe works. I am learning more and more about how to live in what I call “The Flow of Grace.” For me, this is learning to allow, rather than push; to accept and receive, rather than hold myself closed out of fear; to expand, rather than contract; and to...
In Africa, Zulu elders teach that there is vital significance in the appearance of the White Lions in Timbavati at this time. As with all the other White Spirit Animals, the White Spirit Lions have come to warn us of dramatic Earth changes, encouraging us to work together in these perilous times.
We carry with us into our future an extraordinary and enormous potential. We have all the equipment that we need to face our breathtaking tomorrows. We have the technology, and the ingenuity to create even greater...
If you were asked to take a moment to observe your choices in life through witness consciousness, what would you find? Do you still, from time to time, use the places you know do not serve you? Do you find yourself looking outside for validation, seeking control over events, and needing to grab and hold?
Approach these conversations exactly the way you would if there were another being sitting next to you, because there is. You have no idea how rich, fulfilling, growthful, and life-changing these conversations will be — and not just for you. Your guides will celebrate this growing relationship right along with you.
Growing up in a traditional Catholic home, my child self got a clear picture that God was a big, powerful, male being out there somewhere and the purpose of my life was to seek and serve Him. A startling yet comforting mystical truth is that we do not initiate the search for the Divine...
Keep moving on the spiritual path from the lower truth to higher truth, until you come to that place deep within you, one that is silent, that is peaceful, and that is pure beingness and beyond judgment. As you progress, keep letting go of the many impurities that get stuck to the so-called religious and spiritual paths and “isms.”
No sooner had I made the decision to spend several months in the mountains of northern New Mexico, than my inner knowingness guided me to the timeless, secluded village of Chimayo. Little did I suspect that this idyllic setting would host a gut-wrenching transformation..
The month of Thanksgiving as well as the specific holiday are my most favorite times of the year. I am thankful that I can take the time to appreciate what I never take for granted.
One morning I awoke and realized I had absolutely no plans for the day. The gallery was closed until the weekend, and I was open to anything. I checked in with stillness, trying yet again to hear the “Holy Spirit.” To my surprise, I heard a quiet, still voice within me quite clearly. It was like an inner dialogue...
How do I know that everyone has an inner compass? To answer this question, let's start by taking a look at what’s really going on. Let's take a look at the world, at reality.
For someone so inspired by the poverty and simplicity of St. Francis, it’s embarrassing for me to admit how dependent I am upon my smartphone. I have loads of apps for just about everything. It used to be that my brain was in my head. But now it’s too often in a six-inch-long little metal box with a screen.
This isn’t a new spirituality, but rather all spirituality. It is not exclusive to any person, sect, religion, race, sexual identity, or creed. It simply is. It is right here, right now, and it’s all good, even when it’s not. The importance of being able to “detach from our ideas of how we think it should be and continue to return to the center”...
The flow of time, which appears to us as real as the flow of a river, may be nothing more than an illusion. “The distinction between past, present, and future,” Einstein writes, “is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” Past, present, and future may all exist in a single infinitely indescribable moment.
The possibility for creating peace must begin within each one of us as we become peaceful within ourselves. We are part of the whole. Our task is to heal separation, isolation, and defense of “us” as opposed to “them” within ourselves first; then we can bring that conscious awareness to all...
The song "Let There Be Peace on Earth" has been sung around the world since 1955. It is popular in churches and numerous other groups. The story behind this song is very interesting as it was not "officially published" but just spread by word of mouth throughout the world...
We are told by spiritual teachers that we must seek enlightenment and that we must become ‘conscious’ and ‘awake’. However the proof of personal transformation is that our service and other actions demonstrate that we believe and understand eternal truths and the nature of...
Although much has been written about angels throughout time, we don’t seem to acknowledge their presence. However, I believe that we all have...
Across shamanic traditions soul loss--the wounding or fragmentation of a person’s soul as a result of trauma, abuse, war, conflicts, and so on, especially as suffered at an early age--is seen as a leading cause of illnesses, immune-system deficiencies, and all-around dysfunction of physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
The way we have been taught to make decisions, through intellect and emotion, is ultimately not our answer. If we can’t trust our thoughts and feelings, then, what can we trust? Are we bereft of guidance, impotent to know what is right for us?
There are signs everywhere to point you in the right direction, guiding you as to whether you are to go or stay put. There are also many that give you the encouragement you may need to keep moving forward. Think of a time that you had a bad gut feeling and...
Here in these passages, is a powerful excerpt from the book, A Journey to Oneness that speaks directly to the dramas we are watching unfold, right now. It’s uncanny that these words of Divine wisdom were written in early 2003. They feel just as relevant to the state the world today as they did back then.
When I think of a spiritual retreat, I imagine a lot of meditation, quiet walks, no computers or media, listening to gentle music, and withdrawing from the busyness of the world. Some of that happened, but a different type of spiritual retreat emerged.
The verb hope means “to want something to happen,” while the noun hope refers to “a feeling of expectation and desire” and, in its oldest sense, trust. When we really expect that something we’ve hoped for will come to pass, it’s enough to lighten both our hearts and our steps...
Imagine for a moment what it's like to have absolute unconditional trust in yourself. That includes trusting your body. Yes, even if it gets sick or if it has pain, can you trust it? No matter what happens...
I observe that most of humanity is feeling a vast amount of fear, stress, and worry in this ending of the Kali Yuga, which involves tremendous change. You cannot cross the bridge of fire and water and endure the storms of accelerated transformation without inculcating deep fearlessness...
To live a spiritual life, you don’t have to give up your job or become a monk or a nun. The spiritual life is where you are, whether or not you have a job, are married or have children. You don’t have to suddenly throw everything away and rush off to join a Tibetan monastery. In fact...
We all desire peace, but most people look for it in the wrong place. We often think of the saying “peace of mind,” but we can’t rely on the mind to give us the peace that is desired from our Souls. Peace is not found in your mind. The mind begs for our attention, but there is no stability or peace if we react to every thought from the mind.
When Spirit notices something about your behavior that needs to evolve, it in-spires you to make a change for the better. All changes that are being willed by life-centered Spirit—as opposed to changes being willed by your self-centered ego—are born with ease and are cultivated with grace.
Whatever life has been, Alzheimer’s changes it. It slows certain things down. It changes one’s ability to focus. It turns life review into a visceral recapitulation. We are not just reviewing our life in our thoughts, our brain and body are reviewing each developmental step we made...
Every morning after we walk our dogs, two of them chase each other around the living room coffee table. It’s quite entertaining to watch these exuberant spirits tease each other, bark, and run around in circles. The little one eggs the larger one on and keeps slightly ahead of him in the chase...
I wonder whether “not harming” or not hurting other people — near and far — feels more reasonably within reach than loving them? As you think about it now, does it seem more realistic to affirm that you could refrain from harming, rather than “loving” others?
Spiritual wisdom is not simply meant to be philosophy, some ambiguous jargon, or blank promises. It is meant to be relished, and used practically in every action and in every millisecond of life.
Many people think miracles are reserved for saints and gurus. According to this belief, the majority of humans are unworthy of miracles. However, the Red Sea parted for Moses and the Hebrews, not to prove their worthiness, but to help them escape Pharaoh’s slavery...
We have been warned from ancient prophecies of these times we live in today, but have also been given a very important message about a solution to turn these terrible times.
We can all make the world a better place for everyone by developing our own unique talents to the fullest, becoming the best people we can be, and sharing ourselves – and what we have to offer – with other people, out of love...
For spiritual growth to take place in your life, you must change. You must let go of some areas in your life and personality -- especially the areas that are not working well or are out of balance -- and allow them to heal. This process is not always easy and often takes courage -- but the rewards are more than worth the effort.