The Garden of Eden Within Us All

The Garden of Eden Within Us All

55075375 - caduceus symbol illustration drawn in vintage woodcut style vector

The Caduceus represents the kundalini energy, both sacred feminine and sacred masculine energies, rising through the chakra system to take us to Enlightenment.  Copyright: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/profile_zoljo’>zoljo / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

 

We never left the Garden of Eden.  Contrary to what the Judeo-Christian religions teach, in one sense, we never left the Garden of Eden.***  That realization came to me while doing a healing on another woman who is also a healer – different modalities, but also a healer.  There seems to be a synergy of information when I do healing work with her, because there is so much information in her incredibly delightful soul as her beautiful, strong, and enlightened embodied self.  As a result of all the wisdom embodied in her, the intuitions that come to me seem somehow grander – on a larger scale than just either her or even the two of us.

First, what became clear to me is that our chakra system, along with being the Tree of Life, is also the center of the Garden of Eden within us.  The central seven chakras are the Tree of Life at the center of the Garden, and all the energy vortices and meridians within us form the Garden of Life within us all.

So, we never left the Garden of Eden, because it is inherently the Life Energy in our bodies.  We indeed fell from awareness of this Garden of Eden, and so our consciousness and the quality of our energy is often not very reflective of Paradise.  Even so, we are able to return to that Paradise through prayer and meditation.

Yes, the yogic methods of meditation, in their many forms, from Raja Yoga to TM, are all designed to restore us to this Eden Within.  This is one of the central reasons why I teach Inner Harmony Training with Lightworker Certification; we learn Raja Yoga meditation, and discover the Garden of Eden, or pathway to Paradise within us all.

Spiritual disciplines more generally can restore us to this Garden, in which we sense our connection with the Divine more fully, even, ultimately, as pure Oneness with the Mind of God.  May we seek, and may we find, the Garden of Eden within.

Love and Light,

Carol “Anandi”

***I do honor the Garden of Eden story as a metaphor about our relationship with God and with the sacred feminine and sacred masculine spiritual energies.  In particular, I honor the Garden of Eden story metaphorically for what it tells us is that our consciousness dropped from a state of knowing our Oneness with the Divine to a state of sensing separation from the Divine.  As our souls extended outward from Oneness with the Divine on the astral and/or causal plane, and entered into our bodies, we felt a sense of separation, and our consciousness experienced the lower vibration of this physical plane.  Therefore, when focused outward, we do experience ourselves as having “left” the Garden of Eden, until we discover that it is within us.

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The Original (and Only) Separation Anxiety #anxiety #Oneness #yoga

Do you ever feel anxious, nervous, or afraid?  Do you wonder why you feel this way?  I come from a family in which feeling this way, at least sometimes, seemed ‘normal’ growing up.   We had a very rational, Western way of viewing the Universe, and my parents were beautiful, serving, and empowering people of faith, but still, feeling anxious was sometimes part of life.

Having spent nearly 21 years now on this Eastern spiritual path, I have discovered that feeling at peace through meditation is one of the greatest gifts of life!  And when I have lost that feeling of peace, I usually (at my best) turn to what Buddha taught me about the fundamental nature of Reality and the keys to Enlightenment (please see: Mornings with the Masters: Mystical Journeys in a Postmodern World.*)

So, I remember that all is well, which can be challenging to believe sometimes.  And yet, the true inner peace comes not only from acknowledging this, but from remembering Who We Are:  we are one with God, not separate from God.

This is the only and original separation anxiety:  a sense of separation from God.

When we remember that neither we nor anyone we meet is truly separate from God, and that, in fact, the Divine resides within us all as the Knower, the Knowing, and the Known, then we can realize that we have no reason to feel anxious.  The Divine is One with Us All.  And all is well.

When we live from this space of Oneness, less anxiety will occur, especially as we grow in our ability to perceive and to trust this Oneness.  Meditation helps.  Raja Yoga and Kriya Yoga meditation techniques are the best that I have experienced to date.  Mindfulness helps when we are out-and-about, busy with our day, working, interacting, serving, and so on.

May we find the True Oneness that we are, leading to the everlasting Peace Within.  No wonder Christ said that he came to bring Peace!  When we know ourselves as Oneness, there is peace.

May it be so!

Love and Light,

Carol “Anandi”

*“Mornings with the Masters” on amazon.com

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An Awakened Feminist Spiritual Response to #Charlottesville: Womb and Word: The Universe as Embodying the Heart and Mind of God

August 16, 2017

Womb & Word: The Universe as Embodying the Heart and Mind of God

Much of the violence that we are experiencing around the world, especially from groups like White Supremacists, the KKK, and ISIS terrorists, stems from patriarchal domination of religious and cultural values.  This patriarchal dominance tends to shut down our own self-awareness of our feelings, while it also side-steps or denigrates feminine virtues such as empathy, compassion, and gentleness.  Patriarchy denies the sacred feminine, and so denies peace.

Through the past five thousand years of patriarchal dominance in religions and cultures around the world, we human beings have often conceived of the Mind of God as something to be known, and surely this is half of the ultimate goal of life. Because goddess religions were mostly “lost” (shut-down by patriarchy) long ago, the voice of the Sacred Feminine has too often been silenced, often resulting in hatred, violence, and discrimination of some human beings against other human beings, against other species, and against the Earth herself.heart-hands

However, an upsurge in feminism within religions and cultures has been strengthening awareness of the Sacred Feminine over the past few decades, in part because of a spreading of Eastern religions which honor the balance of sacred feminine and masculine qualities.

The yin-yang symbol is the quintessential expression of this divine feminine-masculine balance, which leads to the one true wholeness of both humanity and divinity.  Within the yin-yang symbol itself, each side has the ‘seed’ of the other, representing the inherent inseparability of masculine energy-consciousness and feminine energy-consciousness.

In yoga philosophy, the masculine represents Shiva, the male principle of energized consciousness, or the Mind of God.  The feminine represents Shakti, the feminine principle of conscious energy.

What is so delightful, as I realized while meditating this morning, is that God, in the transcendent, predominantly masculine state of energized consciousness, or Mind, never rejects, but fully honors and remains inseparably interconnected with the feminine conscious energy. In the transcendent state, this blend of consciousness and energy remain ‘at rest,’ peacefully co-existing in a perfect state of unity, and embodying Infinite Potential.

So, unlike patriarchy, the Mind of God always honors the Goddess as the very Heart of God, or perhaps, since She is energy, as the very Heartbeat of God.

When the “time” comes to create a universe together, the Mind and Heart of God form an energy field which extends out from God to create the universe.

I would like to suggest that we understand this energy field as containing both the “Presence of God” and the “Nature of God.”  The Presence of God (masculine) and the Nature of Goddess (feminine) extend outwards together, forming a Universe.  In fact, I would like to suggest (as I sense intuitively, guided through meditative ‘revelations’) that the entire Universe is the great Womb of God.

So, God/dess as Creator, entails both Mind and Heart, or Infinite Idea and the Loving Desire to Create, Sustain, and Fulfill that Idea. That is, the Mind of God conceives of something, and the Heart of God enlivens that as ‘reality’ within a sphere we call the Universe, which is God’s Womb. (We could also conceive of the Universe as God’s laboratory, full of great experiments, but that would take the Heart out of it, leaving only Mind. Perhaps it is both.)

And how does ‘creation’ actually occur?  Of course, there is the male principle and the female principle and there is a womb. The ‘seed’ of God that becomes implanted in the Womb of God/dess is the ‘Word.’  However, ‘Word’ here is not just the masculine sense of logical, rational, creative idea.  Because, in God/dess, the feminine is inseparable from the masculine, the feminine aspect of Word is completely embodied in that ‘Word’ as ‘Sophia’, or Divine Wisdom. We have the male principle of Logos, and the female principle of Sophia, combining to form this seed, or Word of God.  (Or, perhaps the Word is the seed (semen) and Sophia is the egg, and the masculine Word impregnates the feminine Sophia/Wisdom, and a new divine creation is conceived, and eventually born within this Universe.)

The Word, truly understood as it is expressed in the Universe, is Sophia-Logos. Put another way, the Word of God is Wisdom and Divine Intelligence combined.

So then, let’s take this step-by-step.  God/dess, transcendent, conceives of a wise idea and ‘speaks’ it as a ‘Word’ that becomes implanted, like a ‘seed,’ within the Womb of God.

The Womb of God then balloons out from God, expressed as the very Nature and Presence of God, and brings life to that Word, which then creates everything through the vibratory expression of God as Word, or “Aum,” the vibratory essence of God in creation which creates all. (See, for instance, the gospel of John chapter one, and Autobiography of a Yogi, footnotes on page 22 and 169,)

As the Womb of God becomes extended from the Heart and Mind of God, the created Universe contains the Nature of God as the true Heart and Wisdom of God, fully unified with the Mind and Intelligence of God.  God’s Nature (Shakti) permeates the Universe as God’s own Heart, while God’s Presence (Mind) also permeates the Universe as the very Mind of God.  What moves and creates, and eventually fulfills ItSelf within the Universe is the inseparable Wisdom and Word of God.

The Wisdom and Word of God are God’s True Daughters and Sons, most fully visible within God-Realized Saints, of which both Christ and Buddha are examples, along with many other saints through history, and today. Truly, though, there is no split between Wisdom and Word, and so any incarnation of God fulfills both, as Son/Daughter of God/dess.

We, the sons and daughters of God, embody both the masculine and feminine aspects of the Divine within ourselves.  If we fail to embody both, then we fail to embody both the Heart and Mind of God.  No one can fully realize the Self without both Heart and Mind, Wisdom and Word, even though one or the other may be dominant in its expression through an individual Saint.

Sisters and Brothers, patriarchy has no place in the liberation of the human soul.  Each soul blends both heart and mind of God, and without Realizing both, the Self cannot be liberated from the illusion of this ‘reality’ of the Universe.

While we live in the great Womb of God, we must constantly be reborn. Once we embody both Wisdom and Word, Heart and Mind of God fully within ourselves, we Ascend, or rise above embodiment within the physical plane of this Universe.

Ascension is possible only because both Sacred Feminine and Sacred Masculine are honored in equal balance and harmony.  Mind and Heart of God live forever united within God’s own Self, and our own Self, which all become One. Indeed, in the Mind and Heart of God, we are ALL always One.

May we realize this truth within our own hearts and minds: we are One.  May we live this truth of Oneness within our lives, individually and together.  Living this reality requires honoring the sacred feminine equally with the sacred masculine.

The good news is that, when we honor the sacred feminine, we honor the Sacred Heart of God.  When we honor the Sacred Heart of God within ourselves, we become Her Own Heart.  When we become One with the Heart of God, we find we naturally love all of humanity and indeed all life as One.

The very sacred good news is that, we will more fully come to know the Heart of God by learning of the very Nature of God within this experience of Life.  For the Heart of God is embodied within the universe, and we can come to know her more fully by becoming aware of how She is embodied within ourselves and others.

Without paying attention to the embodiment of the Mind and Heart of God in others, we will know little of the True Nature of God.  Yes, we can meditate and become One with God, but I would suggest that this awareness of God becomes even more expansive when we have honored both the Heart and Mind of God as expressed within and through this very Universe, within and through Life, and within and through one another.

Without seeking to love one another more fully, we cannot fully become One with the Sacred Heart of God.  Without seeking to understand one another more fully, we cannot fully become one with the Mind of God.

We can learn of Who God Is by transcending the earth plane through meditation.  What is so important for the Healing of Humanity, which is rapidly becoming necessary, is also to learn Who God Is by paying attention to the Presence and Nature of God within the Universe.

At its best, patriarchy only seeks God in the transcendent form, beyond the Universe, as disembodied Spirit, and then seeks to recreate it or ‘realize’ it as the Mind of God, without the Heart of God.  Without seeking the very Heart of God in creation, patriarchy has become a threat to Life itself here on earth.

Indeed, the predominance of patriarchy around the world has led to untold levels of human suffering, violence, and divisiveness.  As of 2017, the dis-embodied, heartless mental acuity of patriarchy has led to three major crises which threaten humanity’s very existence: the potential for nuclear war, the proliferation of chemicals which are toxic to life, and the inevitability of human-made climate change.

To reduce these threats and to end this suffering, we must become aware of the very Nature and Presence of God within the world and also within ourselves.

The suffering of humanity will end so much sooner when we seek the Heart of God within ourselves, and when we learn to become the Heart of God for others.  The spiritual awakening and liberation of humanity will come so much more quickly when we learn to love the ever-present Heart and Mind of God within us, within our world, and within one another.  For the sake of humanity, may it be so.

Love and Light,

Carol “Anandi”

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How to Heal Wounded, Lonely, Cold, or Broken Hearts #love #divinelove #heart #sacredheart #shakti

Sometimes, we feel lonely, broken-hearted, or just cold and lacking love in our lives. Sometimes, we have no clue just how shut down our heart chakra may be.  If our heart chakra is open and flowing with love, our chests will feel peaceful, warm, and full of love.  How often do we feel like that?

If you answered “all the time” or “most of the time,” that is wonderful!  Many of us, however, grew up in less than warm, open-heart-chakra families, even if they did love us in very practical ways.  Some of us grew up in abusive families.  Some of us have experienced unloving or abusive partners as adults.  Some of us have had lonely lives. Some of us never learned to love ourselves fully, for whatever reason, from this lifetime, or from a previous life.

I’d like to share with you a spiritual approach which can help us heal our own broken, wounded, or sad, cold, or lonely hearts.

Recently, I learned from a new spiritual friend and colleague that Shakti represents the desires of our hearts.  (I think he would say that She is the desires of our hearts, but I will only share a sense of what I learned as it made sense to me.) Shakti also represents our one true longing, which is Her one true longing, which is union with Shiva.

For those of us with Western or middle-Eastern religious backgrounds, this is the same as saying the Masculine aspect of God is transcendent beyond the universe, while the Feminine aspect of God is immanent within the universe as omnipresent Spirit, and we, as individual souls, come from God and seek to re-unite our souls with God.

In the meantime, Shakti, represents that part of God sent out to create the Universe, including us.  Shakti is desire, as in desire for reunification, or Oneness with God.  We are all part of God, so our desires for one another essentially convey our desire for part of God.  These desires are the desires of our hearts.

What this friend and spiritual colleague taught me, then, is that we need to honor the desires of our hearts, and indeed be aware of all desires as pointing to our greater desire for Oneness with God.  When we deny our desires, whether for a partner, or anything else, we shut down, or partially close-off our hearts.  To open our hearts, we need to accept our desires, and seek to transmute them into our real desire for oneness with God.

That does not mean suppressing our desires, or denying them either.  When we love ourselves, we seek the purest and most loving forms of fulfilling our desires, meaning, ways to fulfill them that also honor God in others.  Getting in touch with our deepest heartfelt desires and honoring those desires can help heal our own hearts.

So often, we think that we need someone else to love us and to heal us.  But the Divine is ever in us, around us, and accessible to us, primarily through our chakras, as energy, life force, Spirit, love, joy, and peace.  What will truly heal us is reaching out to access this unconditional love of God directly, and loving ourselves just as we are, desires and all.

We especially need to avoid shaming ourselves for our desires.  Desires reflect a deeper need for connection, Oneness with God, nature, and each other, and for wholeness and well-being.  There is no need to judge our desires, though we may need to transmute them to keep them loving for ourselves and others.

As Buddha taught me (blog entry on the fundamental nature of reality), the true and fundamental nature of all being, or the ground of being is:  All Is Well.  When we realize that our true desire is for the state of being in which All Is Well, we can connect our desires in this lifetime with our desires for God.  When we realize that the All is Well is clearly not just about us, but about everyone, then we can spread the well-being and Oneness to all life.

For instance, this spiritual colleague and I had been walking in the heat, and we stopped to purchase a couple of bottles of water (in glass bottles, which creates greater well-being for our health, the environment, and all the animals on land, air, and in the water!) because we felt hot and thirsty.  We needed to drink water to restore the state of being in our bodies in which “All Is Well.”

Yet, if another thirsty person walked up, about to drop from heat exhaustion, our desire for the “All Is Well” would lead us to share some of our water with this other person, so they wouldn’t die of heat stroke.  This is a true desire of our heart: to share resources and save lives. (I wonder what would happen to our economy if we lived by that true desire!)  When we share water with someone thirsty, we create the All Is Well state of being for them.  We extend the All Is Well.

Our own hearts desire things for us that seek to create this well-being of All Is Well inside ourselves and in our lives.  So, rather than shutting down or denying or not listening to the desires of our hearts, we need to open our hearts to hear, see, feel, and love what and whom we love.  If we love peanut butter, wonderful!  If we love playing basketball, wonderful!  If we love knitting or crocheting, wonderful.

Next, if we need to do so, we transmute a desire which won’t bring a state of well-being for ourselves or others.  As one example, if we love eating, that’s great, but how can we transmute that desire so that it aligns with the Highest Good in which All Is Well?  Generally, by eating healthy foods in healthy amounts!

So far, for healing our hearts, we have: Step 1) honor our desires as they are, without judgement; Step 2) recognize that all desires reflect a truer desire for Oneness with the State of Being in which All Is Well (which is also God’s nature); Step 3) transmute our desires to create well-being for ourselves and others here-and-now.

Another step can be so helpful in healing our own hearts.  When we feel we need more love, rather than looking to someone else to love us, we simply need to recognize that, in our deepest heart-of-hearts, we already love ourselves bountifully, or we would not be desiring more love.  If we didn’t love ourselves, we would have no such desire.  So, in desiring love, we realize that we do love ourselves, and in honoring our desire for love, we begin to allow our own love to flow to ourselves, and then we simply choose to love ourselves enough to heal ourselves!

Love Is.  Love is part of us, because Love is part of the essence of the well-being of our Source.  Love is part of the All Is Well, and so are we.  We just need to love ourselves and our desire for the All Is Well enough to re-create the All Is Well for ourselves and as many others as we are able.  Then we will be surrounded with the All Is Well.

And, my friends, when we can all do this, all-day, everyday, we will be creating Heaven on Earth!

Love and Light,

Carol “Anandi”

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We Are Born of Water and Spirit #spirit #truebaptism #spiritualrebirth #water

July 25, 2017

Today, I met with a lovely young lady from the Caribbean, frontwho is highly intuitive, creative, a dancer, and a beautiful soul.  We share numerous points of connection, including the symbolism of rivers as divine flowing energy which channels through us.

After meeting with her in Silver Spring, Maryland, I rode the metro through DC, a long ride through the city and then back north to Rockville, MD. As we came out of the metro tunnel into Maryland, I heard Higher Consciousness tell me about the young woman and myself, “You are born of the same water and of the same Spirit.”  What a beautiful and meaningful metaphor for our shared spirituality!  Then, I realized that being ‘born of water and Spirit’ sounds like a metaphor for Christian baptism.

In Christian baptism, one (if immersed rather than sprinkled with water) goes under the water symbolizing dying to our old selves and rising to new life in Christ and being filled with the Holy Spirit.

What came to me on the metro, however, is that true spiritual baptism means completely letting go of the ego self, emptying ourselves, and allowing the flow of divine Spirit, or Divine energy-consciousness, to flow to us and through us to bless the world.

Now that’s a baptism worth believing in!  Being baptized with the flow of Spirit to us and through us can happen anytime and all the time, if we let it.  Of course, that is the point of baptism, to allow the Spirit to flow like life-giving water into the world to cleanse us, heal us, and make us ALL whole.

May it be so – and let the rivers of living water flow!

Love and Light,

Carol “Anandi”

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From ‘There Is no God’ to God as Harmony #God #Harmony

One of the qualities I admire about atheists is that they have generally rejected a lot of really bad ideas about who God is.  From ‘the Man upstairs,’ to the judgmental, angry, and punishing ‘God,’ there are a lot of really inharmonious understandings of who or what God is.

While I understand and respect that the very word ‘God’ causes great difficulty for many people, I would like to invite us not to ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater’ by rejecting not only the word ‘God,’ but also any and all ideas about God.

My own personal experience that most shook up my concept of God occurred one morning in February or March of 2016.  I was meditating,* and felt this enormous sense of peace filling me and surrounding me.  What I was sensing was PERFECT PEACE.  There was not a vibration inside me or around me that was out of harmony with peace.

During this state of perfect peace, into my head came what I call the “Teacher Voice,” which said, “This … is … God.”  That thought soaked in for a second or so, and then my ego mind, which has been theologically trained and which therefore is greatly accustomed to reading about ‘God,’ speaking about ‘God,’ listening to words about ‘God,’ and writing about ‘God,’ objected, “No!  I want words!”

Of course, I then realized how utterly ludicrous that thought was, and returned gratefully, to that feeling of perfect peace.  I then realized, “If this is God, everyone will fall in love with God!”

Peace is an essential concept for humanity and divinity, as well as for our experiencing Oneness; however, in English, the word ‘peace’ does not convey the fullness of meaning that it does in other languages such as the Hebrew ‘Shalom.’

Increasingly, instead of peace, the Universe (God, Holy Spirit; call it what you will) has been placing the word ‘harmony’ in the center of my awareness.

First, back around early 2014, it came to me to brand the work I do as Harmony Healing and Harmony Coaching.  I named my business ‘Highest Harmony Healing & Coaching,’ because connecting with the highest levels of consciousness enables us to achieve greater harmony in life and to fulfill our highest potential.  Empowering my clients to make that harmonious connection and attain that harmonic fulfillment is my goal.

Moving forward a couple of years, after the presidential election of 2016, I had to tune in through meditation for help understanding how to respond to the resulting big shift in our collective life as humanity.  So, I meditated at 11:11 on 11:11, which was a Friday morning, and four harmony principles came to me to help us better get along.

The four harmony principles, as they came to me on 11/11/16, are:

  1. Humanity and Nature Are One.
  2. Humanity and Divinity Are One.
  3. Divinity and Nature Are One.
  4. We Are One.

Recently, it came to me that Harmony is another good word for God.  Just as we may describe or experience God as Love, or Justice, or Peace, or Bliss, all of these aspects are encompassed in the word ‘Harmony.’  So, I invite us all to consider that there is something woven throughout the nature of this universe that seeks not just homeostasis, but harmony.

Indeed, I invite us to consider that there is an energy/consciousness throughout the universe that creates harmony, and that this energy and consciousness of Harmony and which creates Harmony exists beyond the universe, and is the Source of the universe.

I can hear the objections already:  “You’re still just asking us to believe in God, and there is no such thing and there is no scientific proof of such a thing and if there were, why would it let bad things occur?”

Please notice that without freedom, we human beings do not experience harmony.  Thus any real God would be granting us freedom in a universe that freely evolves or devolves, such that things that we experience as ‘bad’ can and do occur.

And yet, we also experience harmony.  Have you ever noticed how great it feels when we are with a group of people, and everyone is getting along?  It does not really matter if it’s family or a work group, as long as everyone is getting along beautifully, we experience that harmony as something fantastic and delightful.

It occurs to me that what may be called the ‘Buddha Mind,’ refers to a remarkable ability to maintain an inner sense of harmony despite exterior circumstances.  Jesus Christ taught the practice of non-attachment, not by that terminology, but nonetheless, letting go of dependence on ‘things’ for our happiness and instead trusting completely in God for the peace in our inner being.  Jesus called that inner state of harmony ‘the kingdom of God.’  Jesus also invited us to live in ways that create an outer harmony among ourselves that may also be called the kingdom, or Reign of God.

Harmony is our birthright, and harmony, which includes love, is what we are happiest and most fulfilled creating together.  Harmony is an inner state of being that we can learn to create any time and all the time by learning to trust ‘God.’

What has enabled me to learn to trust God was mostly a lesson I learned directly from Buddha.  During meditation, Buddha taught me that the fundamental nature of reality is: “All Is Well.”  If you think about it, that state of being in which all is well is also perfectly harmonious!  And if we think further about it, the state of being in which “All Is Well” is a perfect description of Source, or God, as the fundamental nature and origin of reality.

So, if the Source of all that is exists eternally and infinitely in a state of being as “All Is Well,”  and if “All Is Well” and harmony are equivalent, then Harmony is another name for God.  All Is Well is the nature of God, and Harmony names that very essence which creates us, and which therefore intends for us ultimately, and as often as possible, and as consistently and permanently as possible, to experience Harmony.  That Source in which all is well intends for us to experience, and to assist in creating Harmony  – inside ourselves, outside ourselves, and among ourselves.

May it be so!

Love and Light,

Carol “Anandi”

* I have now been meditating for over 20 years (Raja Yoga and Kriya Yoga)

Truth and Illusion: The Politics of Spirituality and How One Person’s Lie Is Another One’s Truth, available in Kindle and paperback on Amazon.com

 

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Life With God #Life #God #Psalms #Interfaith #Multifaith

This past Sunday, I was privileged to get to preach at a congregation where I have been honored to preach a few times before.  I am so grateful to that congregation, small though it is:  Hyattstown Christian Church.  Even though I consider myself an interfaith spiritual teacher, healer, and life coach at this time, I am grateful for opportunities to return to my roots in Christianity.

Here, I would like to express some ideas that go beyond the traditional Christian view, to share a more universal message on this topic:  life with God.  I do understand that many people feel very uncomfortable with the word ‘God,’ and consider themselves atheists or agnostics; I welcome you and invite you to consider the message within and beyond the mere word ‘God,’ and then to comment on your experiences of ultimate essences such as peace, love, gratitude, and joy.

Speaking of interfaith, or multi-faith, the scriptures that moved me in formulating this message about life with God were actually the Jewish scriptures that were assigned as Lectionary Readings* for Sunday.  So, this message arose in the context of reading Zechariah 9:9-12, and Psalm 145:8-14.  I hope you’ll read them, if the Jewish and/or Christian traditions speak to you.

The first image portrayed in the Zechariah text is that of: “Lo, your king comes to you, righteous and saved, humble and riding on a donkey.” **  The powerful spiritual concept here is that the Divine comes to us, for the king represents God, as a faithful servant of God.

For all those times in life that we humans experience ourselves feeling lost and alone, how reassuring this is that God comes to us.  For all those times when we feel stressed, anxious, at wit’s end, and don’t know what to do next, we can trust that even in those moments of near panic, God comes to us.

For me, this is what the practice of meditation has confirmed over and over again.  The most notable time this occurred, for me, was one morning when I meditated to a state of complete peace.  I felt utterly peaceful.  Inside me and all around me was this energy of perfect peace.  There was not one vibration inside me or outside me that was out of harmony with this peace.  In this peace, I heard inside my head, what I call the Teacher Voice say, “This is God.”  That soaked in beautifully for a split second, and then immediately my theologically-trained ego-mind objected, “NO!  I want words!”  Of course, I then realized how ludicrous this is, and thought, “If this (peace) is God, then everyone will fall in love with God!”

Through meditation, I have also learned that we can also learn to breathe and invite God’s presence to come into us.  We can also breathe and invite God into us as Spirit, or as Holy Breath, or as peace, or love, even when we are not meditating, right in the middle of the challenges of life.

When we live life in peace, we are living with God.  When we make peace with one another, we are sharing God.

Psalm 145 gives us another clue about how to live life with God:  “All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your faithful shall bless you.”

Gratitude is such a powerful way to connect with God.  Gratitude opens our hearts up  to the powerful presence of God.  Gratitude can move us from from the negative, complaining, whiny, lacking, victim-consciousness, to the all the divine possibilities that can ensue from connection with God.

Gratitude acknowledges that we have received and are receiving divine gifts and divine presence every moment in our lives, even when it neither looks nor feels like it.  Everything in our lives is technically a gift one way or another.  We just have to be grateful for it in order to perceive the gift in it.

I do not write this from naive, Pollyanna perspective; rather, as I am writing, I am remembering being in relationship with an abusive partner who was also a healer.  He could channel such beautiful energy.  However, I remember one time when I had experienced him as being cruel and uncaring to me, and then encountered him when he was channeling healing energy and was meditative and peaceful.  I angrily shared my upset with him, and without taking in any of my concerns, he just remained in his own peaceful zone.

As I just now, years and years later, brought gratitude to this memory, I realized that what I am most grateful for was seeing his ability to dismiss all that was important to me.  At the time, I did not trust my own sense that this was the case, and choose to remove myself from the relationship, which is how I managed to get into and stay, for awhile, in an abusive relationship: I did not trust myself.

When we trust that God comes to us, and enters us through the Holy Breath of life in us, we can learn to trust ourselves more fully also.  When we learn ways to help us remain in this lovely energy of peace, we can learn what it is inside us that removes us from this divine state of being, for it is not what happens outside that removes us from divine, peaceful presence, but our own thoughts, fears, and limiting beliefs that remove peace from our own hearts and minds.

Buddha is ultimately the teacher I would like to thank for helping flesh out this lesson about “Life with God.”  Buddhists, please don’t stop reading just because I placed Buddha and God in the same sentence.  I have talked with Buddha.

Yes, you read that correctly, I have talked with Buddha.  More importantly, Buddha has talked with me.

Buddha taught me two most essential lessons that I count as lessons on how to live life with that which I call ‘God.’  The first lesson is “The Fundamental Nature of Reality,” which I have shared elsewhere here in this blog.  The second lesson is “The Keys to Enlightenment,” which I have also shared elsewhere in this blog.

Both of these lessons came while I was meditating.  (I have been connecting with and taught by Buddha and other Ascended Masters, including Jesus Christ, since May 2010.)

One morning, I was meditating after having a life experience about which I had been feeling extremely upset.  In the wee hours of the morning, when I had been not managing to sleep, the Teacher Voice had said to me, “All is well.”  That had brought me some peace.

When I later meditated, I sensed Buddha’s presence, and experienced him reminding me that ‘all is well.’  I then sensed Buddha prompting me (without words) to open Karen Armstrong’s wonderful, academic book called, “Buddha.”

I did so, opening very handily enough to the term ‘dhamma’ in the glossary.  (Dhamma is also dharma.)  Karen Armstrong gives this extremely helpful opening to the definition of Dharma:  “Originally, the natural condition of things, their essence, the fundamental law of their existence;” she goes on to explain that dharma has come to refer to religious teachings, etc.

Suddenly, it became crystal clear to me, that Buddha was telling me that the fundamental nature of reality is the state of being in which “all is well.”  By putting Buddha’s comment, “All is well,” with this definition of dharma as “the natural condition of things, their essence, the fundamental law of their existence, it becomes evident that the natural and I would add, divine law of existence is that “all is well,” and all is moving into ever greater states of perfect wellness, or wholeness, or “salvation.”

It even occurred to me that “All is well” functions as a name for God, or an affirmation of divine presence, if you will.

So, to experience ourselves as living life with God, we just need to trust that all is well, and to vibrate with this energy-consciousness of “all is well.”  When we trust that all is well and that divine presence is working to move everything into the wholeness of all is well, then we can continuously experience the very real presence of God, within us and with us, always.

To do so, we just need to let go of our fears and attachment to those desires that are interfering with our remaining in this state of energy-consciousness in which all is well.  And that, my friends, is what Buddha taught is is the key to enlightenment: release all else, and remain in the “All Is Well.”

Another way to say that might be: Remain in God.  Or, simply, live life with God.  It really is heavenly!

Love and Light,

Carol (Anandi)

*The Lectionary Readings come from the Revised Common Lectionary, a three-year program for reading the Bible in worship designed by a gathering of numerous Protestant denominations.

** I am indebted to James T. Butler, one of the scholars in an excellent commentary called Feasting on the Word, for the more literal translation “righteous and saved,” of the Hebrew phrase that is usually translated “triumphant and victorious.” Feasting on the Word, Year A, Vol. 3, p. 199.

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