Archive for May, 2012

I Love My Body

… and you SHOULD … God created it and thinks you are amazingly beautiful!  Great post :-).

I Love My Body.

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Letting Go

A powerful post on letting go, and forgiveness … very important steps toward having an open heart, and a burgeoning, joyful relationship with God.

Letting Go.

What is SIN?

Okay, since this is such a big topic to cover there, I dedicated more than one meditation session to it … they are: “The Absence of Sin“, “Dorian Gray – On Sin“, and “Meditation“.

So what is “sin”, anyway?  I grew up in an extremely fundamentalist Christian background where sins were absolute (even if the execution of these judgments tended to the extreme of hypocrisy).  In my mid-twenties I went through a period of spiritual conflict … I knew that the way I had been raised was not God’s will.  I could feel God’s prompting, and hear God’s voice (when I took the time to listen back then) telling me that the entirety of these views were not God’s views.  There is truth mixed in with un-truth being spread about by man.

Because I was so conflicted, and SO dis-enchanted, I actually went through a period described in the “Dorian Gray” quote … where you sort of try everything in order to overcome it.  Those were VERY troubled times.  Not only did I do a lot of things that I shouldn’t have been doing, but I encountered spiritual things that were not of God.  Very few are able to untangle themselves from those nightmares once they dabble … it’s like a spiritual “tar-baby” that just keeps sucking you in the more you try to break free.  Fortunately, I never abandoned my relationship with God.  I continued praying, and meditating, asking forgiveness, and seeking God’s guidance throughout that entire period … and THAT was my salvation in the long run.  Otherwise, if not for God’s grace and help, I would probably still be there.

So, no … the views expressed in that quote from Dorian Gray do NOT express my views on sin.  It was a part of my past though … and I am forever grateful for God’s grace and compassion.  I came from one extreme (extreme fundamentalist Christianity) and when I rejected that extreme I then, for a while, went to the other end of the spectrum … the opposite equal.  Some people just HAVE to get their hand burnt … I, it seems, am just that stubborn (or at least I was).

Fortunately, I was freed from that by God.  I was able to devote years to meditating and nurturing my relationship with God.  Many breakthroughs, and spiritual blockages cleared, later I have come to a place where I feel that I understand God’s will.  The chains that people try to use to bind us down using the word “sin” is largely a way to control … control people’s minds, and their actions, and ultimately their faith.  We are constantly being assaulted by forces that do not want us to have a relationship with God.

“Sin” is what happens when we allow ourselves to be closed off from God.  That’s it.  If you have an open heart, with ears to hear and eyes to see what God has in store for you, you will be led by God.  If you keep your heart open, always maintaining a spiritual connection to God … then you WON’T be sinning.  It really is that simple.  If you do fail, and “sin”, then all you need to do is take the time to open your heart and connect to God again … no penance, no rite of purification.  As with any relationship, if you do something to hurt the other party, you ask for their forgiveness.  It’s that simple … just maintain an open relationship with God, at all times.

However, it takes a HUGE amount of discipline to maintain this “open-heart” connection at all times.  Sometimes it feels SO natural, like you could just stay there forever … those moments are blessings.  What is difficult is to keep your heart open no matter what.  No matter what happens in your life (depression, physical ailment, death, heartbreak, abuse, etc).  NEVER close your heart to God.  Keep yourself wide open, and allow God to inhabit this new space … in fact, a new opportunity to grow.

As you do this, you will see that God really DOES comfort and nurture you … protect and guide you.

When you close yourself to God, you are simply stumbling about … flailing about like someone who doesn’t know how to swim … someone who will drown.  That is when we sin.  When you are open hearted and connected to God … you will not be sinning.  God is a God of LOVE … if you are based in LOVE in everything that you do … you won’t be sinning.

During one of these meditation sessions for this posting on SIN, I began it by asking for forgiveness of my sins … just out of routine, really.  I heard God’s voice ask me,

“Why are you asking for forgiveness of your sins?  Have you sinned today?”

I thought that was a strange question because I have been such a PROFOUND sinner at times in my life, that I just naturally assume there is some sin that I have committed, without even knowing perhaps.  I thought about it, and I then realized that (at that moment in time) I had spent the entire day connected to God.  I never once shut my heart down.  I had just been blissfully going on throughout the day, constantly connected to God.  It COMPLETELY blew my mind to actually be able to say back to God,

“No … I guess I haven’t.”

My whole body warmed, and my 6th chakra tingled electrically … God’s Happiness flowed through me at this new awareness achieved.

* Note – for any reading this who do not understand what I mean when I talk about having an “open heart” … a good place to find some understanding on this can be found in the book, “The Untethered Soul“.  I’m sure there are many other resources as well that others can provide by leaving a comment.

——-

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California,Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

 

Meditation

Working for the last few meditation sessions on the concept of sin.  This is the final quote to meditate upon:

“Meditation is not to escape from society, 
but to come back to ourselves and see what is going on. 
Once there is seeing, there must be acting. 
With mindfulness, we know what to do and what not to do to help.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh

——-

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California,Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

Dorian Gray – on sin …

An interesting quote … one could go SO many directions with this … anyone? 😉

“And yet,” continued Lord Henry, in his low, musical voice, and with that graceful wave of the hand that was always so characteristic of him, and that he had even in his Eton days, “I believe that if one man were to live out his life fully and completely, were to give form to every feeling, expression to every thought, reality to every dream–I believe that the world would gain such a fresh impulse of joy that we would forget all the maladies of mediaevalism, and return to the Hellenic ideal– to something finer, richer than the Hellenic ideal, it may be. But the bravest man amongst us is afraid of himself. The mutilation of the savage has its tragic survival in the self-denial that mars our lives. We are punished for our refusals. Every impulse that we strive to strangle broods in the mind and poisons us. The body sins once, and has done with its sin, for action is a mode of purification. Nothing remains then but the recollection of a pleasure, or the luxury of a regret. The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful. It has been said that the great events of the world take place in the brain. It is in the brain, and the brain only, that the great sins of the world take place also.”

– Lord Henry; from the Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde

——-

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California,Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

“Us Against The World”

In meditating on my prior post (“Perseverance Rewarded“) I was reminded of just how difficult perseverance can be.  I’m not so much talking about the “one foot in front of the other” mentality … that part, while painful, is the far easier aspect of perseverance.  What is truly difficult is Trust.

To explain – this example:

It’s pitch black, you feel blindfolded, and you are climbing higher and higher.  You believe you are on the right path but there are all sorts of rocks, and roots, along the way that trip you up because of your limited vision.  Sometimes your path is precarious, even a tightrope.  You happen across another path that looks to be blissfully free of these encumbrances, and it heads slightly downhill, which seems quite refreshing just now.  Now comes the hard part … the decision to either stay on the rocky path you are on, or change course for the path that looks easier.

In truth, that easier path could wind up being easier for all the rest of your days.  It could be a decent path … but it won’t get you to the destination that you were so zealously climbing after … that place that God wanted you to be.  So, in essence, you aren’t just switching paths … you are giving up on “the dream” (that being what you felt called to).

It sounds like not such a big deal when talking about it in terms of a parable.  When you get down to the real life manifestations of this, however, then it becomes excruciatingly difficult at times.  This also goes back to my “Unconditional Love!” post yesterday.  We have so many conditions about how things are supposed to be in our lives … so many structures built up.  Sometimes the only way to see the path you are supposed to be on is to allow all those structures to be torn down.  To just … slow it down … let God fill you … let everything else melt away … and TRUST.

So what does this mean … well, sometimes it means allowing yourself to be hurt without making the retort you SO want to make.  Sometimes it means knowing that the path you are on is Divine, and you are about to make it man-made with your actions (or rather reactions to the provocations around you).  Loving the other people around you despite what you are going through about it … and just letting those inner barriers erode and crumble.  Those are the structures that YOU built up to try and protect yourself … when you walk on the path God has designed, those things (pride, ego, sarcasm, gossip, etc. … all the REACTIONS that you THINK make you feel better about yourself) just get in your way.

Sometimes it means just letting go completely … of everything … falling … and trusting that God will be there to catch you.  That’s the hardest part … WAY more difficult than just putting one foot in front of the other.

It hurt so bad when your were in the midst of it … but when you look back, it is quite startling to witness.  You can see all those times that you wanted to take over, and make things be the way you wanted them to be instead of allowing them to unfold as God wants them to be … and, if you somehow managed to persevere and not take charge for yourself … if you succeeded in the hardest part: to Trust … you will see the plan that God had all along; unfolding in reverse.  We can’t see it looking ahead, through the chaos as it swirls … but retrospect is the best way to see how God is really there caring for, and carrying, you along.

Even then, the path is easier … but you still have to keep persevering.  Sometimes you let your guard down and before you know it you’re about to take charge again.  Be vigilant … God has great things in store for you.

——-

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California,Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

Perseverance Rewarded

Great words to meditate on!

“The rewards for those who persevere far exceed the pain that must precede the victory.”

– Ted W. Engstrom

——-

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California,Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach