Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lay your burdens down -revisited

Spiritual resource to share: freedom from resentment

I felt I had a perfectly justifiable reason to feel this disgust. I had been a part of a noble effort to uphold a cause that was near and precious to me. Others I would have normally depended to help uphold this issue  were distracted into ignoring this effort and some even maligned it. I buried my anger and took up the fight without them. We gained some ground, lost some ground, and life went on.

A couple of decades later this anger surfaced in a very subtle way. I found myself becoming dismissive to anyone who even slightly resembled this type of distracted and reluctant thought. This grew to feeling contempt  towards others. Every time I recognized these thoughts, however, I would replace them, and gain some ground on the front of loving my neighbors as myself.

As I continued to grow in my healing practice, I realized that I needed to root out these feelings of contempt, once and for all.  There is simply no room for anything in a healing thought, but love.

A good friend once defined sin as a boulder. One voluntarily picks up the boulder, carries it around for however long they want and then decides when they want to lay it down. The sin is never a part of them.

I also realized that if I was seeing others as misguided (or in any way sinful), that I have planted in my thought the possibility that others could be misguided.  I too could be misguided. So, in essence, if I am seeing another as sinful, I have picked up my own boulder! No wonder I feel burdened!

In my prayer, I realized that God knows nothing about the human drama. It is so irrelevant to life, that God does not even acknowledge it. Whereas I don't ignore what others are saying or doing, I realized that the human drama of apathy, resentment, distraction only has the power we give it -- it simply has no reality or power of its own. God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.

When we pray, we let in the light. We accept that there is another way to see things. We follow the Christ, who multiplies our efforts to see and to do good things. Thought totally shifts from a material basis to a spiritual.

Then, if God doesn't know it, why should I? Why should I experience any type of discord?

And why did Christ Jesus say that we could cast all our cares on him?  He said that  "my yoke is easy, my burden in light." What did he know? Perhaps he knew that the only real thing going on is God's activity.
Christ Jesus could take on our burdens because he knew their weight - nothing. And he knew the allness, the thoroughness of God's pure and perfect control of each of Her ideas.

Each idea of God (this includes each person, each activity, each group) is coordinate, harmonious, self-less and helpful. I realized that I cannot lose anything good. And if this is true for me, it is true for others. No one can lose anything good.

I can lay my burdens down. The battle is not mine, but God's and Truth is always the victor. With this, I felt God’s power and love. I felt power in my ability to replace apathy and contempt with compassion for others, who may be feeling that they are fighting an uphill battle. I felt power in my ability to reflect God's love. And I felt more freedom and joy in my days.

Friday, June 24, 2011

singing your own song

Spiritual resource to share: your voice

Last week, I visited a church during their Wednesday service.  In the audience, there were members of a four generation family with the little three year old representing the fourth generation. 

Throughout the service she played and stayed close to her mother.  But when it came time to sing, she SANG!  I think she sang "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" loudly and happily while the rest of us sang a song from the hymnal.  But she was singing and, most importantly, she was singing with us.  And not only was that important, but it made us all laugh as we sang along.

Each of us has a song to sing, a reason for living, and a unique purpose that each of us individually can fill.  Singing out who we are, what we love, singing out our joy - that kind of harmony blends with others all the time.  We need not be afraid or timid about who we are.  God made us, in His/Her own likeness, and God's work is never undone, is always good, and we are forever a part of God's symphony of Love.

Photo (c) fotolia #1109820

Monday, June 20, 2011

dance: becoming an athlete of God

Spiritual resource to share: rhythm of head and heart

A friend once asked for a more tangible definition of Soul.  I could think of no better explanation that to see Soul as expressed through dance.  I was a student of dance for about ten years and loved Martha Graham's deep and organic structure of movement.  As Martha Graham was a pioneer in dance, I included some of her ideas about dance.  See for yourself how much of dance defines the rhythm and beauty of life all around us and enjoy this dance class as if it were your own!

Selected Martha Graham Quotations

• There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. We are, all of us, unique, each a unique pattern of creativity, and if it is not fulfilled it is lost for all ...

• The body is your instrument in dance, but your art is outside that creature, the body.

• No artist is ahead of his time. He is his time. It is just that the others are behind the time.

• Dancing is just discovery, discovery, discovery.

• Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.

• In a dancer's body, we as audience must see ourselves, not the imitated behavior of everyday actions, not the phenomenon of nature, not exotic creatures from another planet, but something of the miracle that is a human being.

• I am absorbed in the magic of movement and light. Movement never lies. It is the magic of what I call the outer space of the imagination. There is a great deal of outer space, distant from our daily lives, where I feel our imagination wanders sometimes. It will find a planet or it will not find a planet, and that is what a dancer does.

• We look at the dance to impart the sensation of living in an affirmation of life, to energize the spectator into keener awareness of the vigor, the mystery, the humor, the variety, and the wonder of life. This is the function of the American dance.

• We learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. One becomes in some area an athlete of God.

• It takes ten years, usually, to make a dancer. It takes ten years of handling the instrument, handling the material with which you are dealing, for you to know it completely.

• I'm asked so often at ninety-six whether I believe in life after death. I do believe in the sanctity of life, the continuity of life and of energy. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

the adventurous life

Spiritual resource to share:  self-discovery

My son's neighborhood this past year in the mountains and
cloud forests of Monteverde, Costa Rica
(c) Gabe Korinek, 2011

The adventurous life is a life of challenge.  It is highly glamorized, but in actuality, an adventurous life is one that requires you cast off all that is comfortable, in search of something beyond what is convenient, stereotyped, or inherited.

Stripped of the culture one was born into, of family obligations and social expectations, one finds a sense of self that is surprisingly original.  In addition to that, one finds those aspects of life that are universal:  joy, connection, industry, family, success (defined in a full spectrum of ways).   

In deliberately setting out for an adventure, and to be good at adventuring, one's whole concept of self and of home and of life work stretches to accommodate the expanding world view. Taking a risk to experience life more fully, you see who you are more clearly.  And that is the biggest adventure of all.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

a look at money - revisited

Spiritual resource to share: constant circulation of possibilities

When I put myself through college, I was faced with lack of many things:  lack of funds for tuition and travel, not enough food, clothing and not enough time. But each time it looked like I might come up short, I turned to prayer and my needs were met. I got quite good at it. In fact, I laughingly thought that if I ever became a Christian Science practitioner (that is a healer), that perhaps I could specialize in supply issues.

Mary Baker Eddy, founder of Christian Science, had an idea that gave me lots of hope: 
God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies. Never ask for tomorrow: it is enough that divine Love is an ever-present help; and if you wait, never doubting, you will have all you need every moment.
What a glorious inheritance is given to us through the understanding of omnipresent Love! More we cannot ask: more we do not want: more we cannot have. This sweet assurance is the "Peace, be still" to all human fears, to suffering of every sort.
Do you kind of get that happy feeling just reading this! Even happier still, it leads to practical and satisfying results.

When the stock market is looking - well - ill, and credit reports dismal, housing market reports a slump, there is another report. God, as omnipotent good, reports a balance and steady flow of productive, progressive ideas. The fresh circulation of ideas is never interrupted by fear, speculation, manipulation or ignorance.

So when I run up against the idea of lack, I have been able to respond in a way that I not only have what I need, but usually it is done in a surprising and totally satisfying way. Here is what I have learned along the way about demonstrating supply:
  • Value every idea that comes to you
  • Trust the provision and abundance of God's love -- Love also includes nourishment, harmony and balance, contentment and satisfaction
  • Be grateful -- and you will see just how rich you truly are
  • Discipline your wants -- Know where your desires come from and where they are leading you
  • Clarify your needs
  • Square each of your accounts/debts
  • Be honorable and honest -- Honesty is spiritual power and integrity is "more valuable than riches"
  • Be generous
  • Don't be afraid -- act on behalf of the ideas and inspiration you are receiving
  • Trust the provision and abundance of God's love -- Worth mentioning twice.
Truly we have a glorious inheritance! We can move forward knowing that Love is always supplying the ideas, that, when acted on, are meeting our needs.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

citizens of the world - revisited

Spiritual resource to share: our humanity

I read this book and loved it from the first page! M. L. Rossi, author of the smart and sassy book, What Every American Should Know about the Rest of the World writes “Just call me a cultural romantic. I love to explore other worlds. I love to live where the history is unfamiliar; the architecture thrills me; the language, the food, the rituals are altogether exotic. I love being immersed in the entirely foreign, being in a place where I have to learn about life there from scratch.” I could so relate!

Her book has pointed out simply and clearly what is needed to become a well-informed global citizen. She goes on to share two of the ways to do this:

1. To understand where you are in the world, you need a map
2. Life is a lot easier if you know the language.

Maps and vocabulary are going to be key ingredients to becoming a global citizen. But there may be more to it.

Prior to becoming very familiar with traveling to other countries, I did some coursework with intercultural communication at a university. It was interesting to know of different customs, cultural mores, the development of a people’s pride, etc. These were almost like mental exercises to test one’s level of credibility of other cultures and determined how static or flexible was one’s sense of values. I learned that the more unlimited the mindset, the more unlimited the life experience.

So maps, vocabulary, tolerance, credibility, flexibility and an open mindset are all part of being a global citizen. If we add to each of the qualities above a more spiritual view, I think we have it all. Here are some key spiritual qualities that I have exerised along my travels and stays:

Equality - To understand where you are in the world - you need to understand we all have an equal place in the world. It is knowing that there are other ways to think and to live. This means respect, humility and accepting that you will need to lean on a power higher than yourself to be able to truly love mankind.

Speaking love - Life is a lot easier if you know the language. To be able to speak another’s language is an act of humility and respect (especially if you can speak the language well!). However, it is even more important to actively love the individuals I
am coming into contact with for the first time whose ways and culture are quite different from mine. “When the heart speaks, however simple the words, its language is always heard from those who have hearts.” writes Mary Baker Eddy. Love is a universal language.

And “Love is the fulfilling of the law” as it says in the Bible. I have found when I nurture those qualities of humility, and love, and respect and wisdom, I am shown the appropriate ways of showing respect and care. I will be welcomed in to more people's experiences and experience a richness and depth to life that I have come to love.

Credibility – understanding that you can love, help, heal, receive gifts from others graciously gives you a humble authority to see and do good.

Tolerance – comes easily when you are open to learn, to not judge and to ask questions. There are other ways to see beauty, progress, success, fulfillment. There are an infinite number of ways to think and to be. Be firm in your understanding that we are all rooted in universal qualities such as Truth, intelligence. The expressions of these qualities are infinite, but we can be confident that these qualities are evident in every experience we encounter.

Discernment - The exciting thing I have found is that we DO have one Father and Mother - Everyone IS my brother and sister! Understanding cultures helps me to see what in my thought is original thought and what may be a result of my picking up influences around me. It also helps me protect my thought against prejudices and stereotyping.

Flexibility – always be ready to be surprised. Realize that you don’t know what you don’t know and be open to learning. In a world of infinite good and infinite possibilities, goodness blooms in many different ways. On the other hand, I enjoy other cultures, in that i enjoy seeing how diverse, how infinite is God's expression in His children. There are whole new ways of expressing marriage, family, education, commerce, leisure and more.

An open heart – let in the glory of Life. Life’s lessons are learned from everyone and everything. Seeing with an open heart puts infinity on the faces of strangers and places. It is also knowing that there is one heartbeat – a pulsating force of Love that flows through each of us. I have grown so much in the atmosphere of those who have grown up in cultures different than my own. The largest lesson is to learn to
love and listen.

I have come to see that each one of us is a country, a continent, a compound idea of infinite Spirit. Did you know that MBEddy defines both earth and man as a compound idea? My ability to have a little more compassion has grown, as I exercise my thought in contemplating others' perspectives. My relations with others have improved as I learn to listen more and be open to new ideas.

Two of my favorite citizens of the world are my mother and a former colleague. What they have in common was that they love people deeply and unconditionally. My mother has not yet traveled outside of her country, but every friend I have ever introduced to my parents, from Ethiopia, Iceland, Germany, Cameroon, Colombia, Brazil, Colorado, next door – it almost doesn’t matter where they are from – she just loves them. Likewise, a former colleague: She speaks nine languages and moves from one culture to the next with hardly a blip. They both know what it takes to be a global citizen. The best "global citizens" I know are those who love most unconditionally. They love beyond cultures and borders. It is to know that we are all God’s children and we are all welcomed and at home in the world.

Being a citizen of the world, we know each of us has a place and a purpose. Each nation has its own color and unique contribution to the world. With love, humility and respect, we can all find our way to bring more progress and peace to all mankind at the street level and on a global scale.

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Friday, June 03, 2011

oneness - revisited

Spiritual resource to share: a rousing call for unity

Got this note in an email and loved it. It is a quote from one of Paul's letter to the Ephesians and taken from The Message. It applies to everything!

"In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting on your hands.
"I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.

"You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all.
"Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness."

Say AMEN somebody!

Public photo by Bill Adams

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

cool old guys - revisited

Spiritual resource to share: ageless living

When I grow up, I want to be like these guys. My dad and my two uncles are adventurous, always trying new things, traveling, reading, teaching others or joking around. Life is never dull here.

About a year and a half ago, I was inspired my my parents and aunts and uncles and wrote this blog and called it celebrate the octogenarian. Enjoy!

Here are some of the activities from the last few years of my favorite octogenarians: downhill skiing, travel to Italy, sailing across the Black Sea, writing as a regular columnist for the local paper, canoeing, managing a specialty bookstore, getting back into real estate, memorizing Shakespeare, etc.

Even Mary Baker Eddy is on my list of favorites -- she was the one who put the finishing touches on the Christian Science world wide movement and started up The Christian Science Monitor when she was eighty-something. All before women even had the right to vote!

These guys have got a wonderful sense of agelessness. Who says you can't play at any age? The Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures written by Mary Baker Eddy certainly confirm this:

And thine age shall be clearer than the noonday; thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning - Job

The measurement of life by solar years robs youth and gives ugliness to age. The radiant sun of virtue and truth coexists with being. Manhood is its eternal noon, undimmed by a declining sun. - Science and Health

I love how Mary Baker Eddy characterizes growing older. She says,

Men and women of riper years and larger lessons ought to ripen into health and immortality, instead of lapsing into darkness or gloom. - Science and Health

As my lessons are getting larger and my years more ripe I remember years ago, when I went to a talk (later written up as an essay entitled "Doing Sixty") by Gloria Steinem. It was unforgettable. "I love sixty" she said "there are no rules anymore."

So I am now asking myself, "Whose rules am I following? Material health laws or God's laws?"

The choice is, of course, God's laws. My expectation is that year after year, I will grow into understanding more about beauty, power, abundance and peace. One day, after skiing down some slope, hiking up some mountain or writing a prize winning blog about spirituality and agelessness, I, too, will become someone's favorite octogenarian.