Morning meditation -On earth as it is in heaven

Life is layered. We live through one level of experience and move into the next. As some mother's say, "There's always something." Indeed there is. It is the curriculum of life. We are born, we struggle, we love, we die. There are lessons to be learned. It says in A Course In Miracles that the curriculum for human beings is the same. When we choose to take it may differ. Are you studying the curriculum or ignoring it?

Yesterday, I was talking with an aquaintance and when he shared with me the story of his life, it became clear to me that he is studying life. His comments were sincere, and had the ring of authenticity, and while at age 74 he seems to have some grief over significant losses he also has joy at loving experiences experienced. As he shared, I felt blessed by his holiness, and the thought crossed my mind that he is an angel who has come to assist me in my struggles and studies of life. Sometimes human beings connect at a spiritual level and his mind, it seemed to me, is at a very high level.

Socrates said that an unexamined life is not worth living and it saddens me that because of their fears many people do not live examined lives. But then again, there are many people who do and they are such a blessing. We can be blessed by one another as the sons and daughters of God, and when the blessings occur in greater and greater numbers the kingdom will have come on earth as it is in heaven.

Morning meditation - Joy comes from love and love comes from blessings

We are put here on earth to learn one thing and that is love. Some learn it faster than others, and we are called to teach each other how love is the way to God.

The ego gets in the way and demands its due. It makes us become defensive, selfish, greedy, self justifying and yet there is that little voice of the Holy Spirit that calls us in another direction.

In the spiritual life, we listen for and respond to the Holy Spirit's call to love. We hear the call in our minds. Hearing the call in our mind leads to movement in our hearts and bodies. As the call moves from our minds to our hearts and bodies we reach out and bless all that we are in contact with.

In the process of blessing others we also bless ourselves so that blessing is a win/win situation and humanity accelerates through time to the kingdom where we will experience joy forever.

Joy comes from love, and love comes from blessings, and so when we say "bless you" we extend our holiness and love around the world beginning with the person next to us.

Morning meditation - Let your little light shine

When we look out on the world what is it that we see? Do we see goodness, beauty, truth, justice, love, and joy or do we see evil, ugliness, deceit, unfairness, hate, and misery? And as we look upon the world and what we see do we bless it or curse it? Do we wish it well with an intent to uplift or do we look upon it with disgust, disdain, and contempt and wish to erradicate it and eliminate it?

In the spiritual life we struggle to interact with the world with benevolence and to provide blessings to all that we see and come into contact with. This takes great power and courage when we see pain, hurt, and dysfunction. To be a spiritual warrior is to be a miracle worker and to be a miracle worker we realize we do not act alone but are the conduits of God's love for the world. It says in the bible that God so loved the world that He gave it His only begotten son. That's you and me and of course, our brother, Jesus, who is one of the prophets who showed us the way. Jesus said that the way to the Kingdom is "to love as I have loved". Open your loving heart and as the gospel hymn says, "Let your little light shine."

Morning meditation - A small taste of God

You are very holy in the mind of God. You are not the person you think you are. The ego plays plenty of tricks on us leading us to believe that we are this and we are that, both positive things and negative things, but our minds, deep down, are part of God and we are very holy.

The above paragraph is very hard for people to accept. They do not see themselves as holy at all until they are moved with kindness, with love, to reach out to others and touch their spirit and then the spirit moves and amazing things happen.

In the spiritual life, we are aware that there is something within us that is precious and when we get in touch with that preciousness it takes us far beyond our egotistical existence. We strive to connect with our brothers and sisters with love, compassion, understanding, kindness, nurturance, tenderness and it is in these connections that we experience a small taste of God.

Morning meditation - Be still and know that I am God

We must be open to the Tao, to the Holy Spirit, to our Higher Power, if we are to have any peace. Wind stirs the water and it becomes muddy and full of debris. When the water becomes calm, it settles and becomes clear. We need to settle and become receptive to our awareness of the transcendent instead of roiled and distracted by the turbulence in the external world.

In the spiritual life, we are aware of our need to be receptive, to simplify, to turn inward and shut off the distractions of daily life. Peace, equanimity, serenity comes from listening to the whispers of God not from business and strife created by competition and rushing from one source of stimulation to another. In Psalm 46:10 it says, "Be still, and know that I am God."

Morning meditation - Learning how to love one another

Whether we are aware of it or not we constantly choose between love and fear. Fear comes up in the form of greediness and attack. We always want more, and more, and more, and we see ourselves in competition with others for material things, for attention, for pleasure. The irony is that true satisfaction and serenity in life, happiness if you will, comes from giving not from getting. We live in a society that constantly insists that we pursue getting because we are driven by profit, the bottom line, and we have made it our utlimate yardstick, our ultimate goal, our God.

We no longer, as a society, concern ourselves with the common good, the social benefit or even justice but rather with the accumulation of material wealth and power.

However, it is in the joining together, sharing, connecting with others for common cause and benefit that we as individuals as well as community grow and develop and become happy. It is indeed countercultural to realize that happiness and well being comes from giving not from getting, from sharing not from hoarding, from loving not from defensiveness and arrogance.

In the spiritual life, we become aware of the paradoxes of life. We are willing to be "fools for Christ", and we love the laughing Buddha, the holy fool Nasrudin.

I learned from the Unitarian Universalists that you don't have to believe alike to love alike. Mulla Nasrudin was asked one day, "Nasrudin, is your religion orthodox?" and Nasrudin said, "It all depends on which bunch of heretics is in power."

In the spiritual life, we look beyond power, beyond fear, and strive to discern justice, truth, and love. At the time of the early Christian communities, it was said that non christians would marvel and say, "Look how they love one another." Wouldn't it be great if the whole world became like that and we all learned to love one another?

Morning meditation - Joy To The World!

We are born, we live, we die. This is the cycle of life. Young people think they will live forever. Middle age people, in our culture, strive to stay young fearing old age, and old people soften into the awareness that the life cycle is a natural process and that there is nothing to fear.

In the spiritual life, we seek awareness, and awareness leads to understanding, and understanding leads to wisdom, and wisdom leads to peace, and peace leads to harmony, and harmony leads to God, Tao, oneness with cosmic consciousness.

Cosmic consciousness can occur at any age. At younger ages it occurs, if at all, episodically, and seemingly comes from the outside in. At older ages, if one is aware and welcomes it, cosmic consciousness is achieved more regularly and grows from within. Ideally, it would become a regular state of mind wherein one is tuned into the universe and is a constant source of love and grace. Impossible? We like to believe that Jesus made it, and Buddha, and other enlightened Masters. An enlightened master seems rare in our society, but they are among us and they come in many personalities most of which we readily overlook. One of my favorites is Jeremiah the bullfrog whom Creedence Clearwater Revival made famous when they sang:

Jeremiah was a bullfrog, he was good friend of mine.
I never understood a single word he said but I helped him drink
his wine. He always had some mighty fine wine. Sing it - Joy to the
world...all the boys and girls now , joy to the fishies in the deep blue
sea and joy to you and me.

And if I were the king of the world , I tell you what I would do. I'd throw
away the cars and the bars in the world and I'd make sweet love to you.
Sing it now : Joy the the world , all the boys and girls , joy to the fishies
in the deep blue sea , joy to you and me.

Yah know I love the ladies , love to have my fun ... I'm a hard knock
flyer and a rain bow rider ... a straight shootin' son of a gun , I said a
straight shootin' sun of a gun.

Joy to the world , all the boys and girls , joy to all the fishies in the
deep blue sea , joy to you and me.

Morning meditation - The best things in life are not things

What is it that makes us happy? What is it that gives us peace?

The advertisers and marketers would have us believe that buying their products and services would make us happy. Of course, we have learned that this is a lie. Those products and services may make us happy for a brief period of time, but when the honeymoon wears off, we need to buy more. As mothers have said for centuries, "There's always something." and indeed, in the mind of the ego there is a need for always something more. Desires, as Buddha pointed out, leads to suffering. Jesus said it is easier for a camel to pass throught the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into heaven.

And what makes us truly happy and peaceful? Sharing. Connecting with others. Sharing a song, a joke, a meaningful conversation, work together, are some of the most satisfying experiences in life. When these things are done in love, compassion, empathy, a feeling of resonating connectedness, there is no greater joy.

In the spiritual life, we realize that we are here to extend God's love for us to others. Jesus says, "No greater love has any person than to lay down his/her life for his/her friends." I think Jesus does not mean bodily death, but ego death. We set our egos aside for our friends and act out of love not self justification. Setting our egos aside is not martyrdom or self sacrifice, but done gladly because it brings well being, gladness, and happiness to all concerned. As the Beatles sang, "Love, love, love, love is all there is." It is in loving, extending God's love to all the world, that brings joy, not buying the latest fashion, car, computer, lipstick, perfume. As the bumper sticker says, "The best things in life are not things."

Morning meditation - Who loves ya baby?

We often feel like victims. We are angry and upset with this and with that, with this person and with that person, with this circumstance or the other. These perceptions and feelings are distressful and lead to ill health physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

In the spiritual life, we strive to heal the negative mind which leads us to believe we are victims. This healing comes about by becoming aware of our gratitude and appreciation for what we have, who we are, and what we can do for ourselves and others. We practice forgiveness for we come to understand that most of what passes for serious activity and thought is baloney, nonsense, and is based on illusion and delusion manufactured by the ego and has nothing to do with the eternal presence of God, Tao, the transcendent.

In the spiritual life we focus on the love of God, what God, Tao would have us do, think, and feel. We surrender to the universe by saying "Thy will be done" and we say this not as victims but as co-creators with God bringing our wills into alignment with God's will for as St. Paul says, "If God is with you who can be against you?" We must remember that we are not victims because God loves us. As Telly Savalas, the actor who played the TV detective, Kojack, used to say, "Who loves ya baby?"

Morning meditation - Looking for the divine spark

In a certain sense we see what we want to see. Is the glass half full or half empty? Is an event good or bad, a blessing or a curse? We make meaning and interpret our perceptions based on our conditioning and our choices.

In thinking about what we want to see, we need to consider what we personally want, what others around us want, and what God wants. It seems to me that the surest way to live our lives is to be in touch with what we believe God wants.

What does God want? There are plenty of religious leaders who are happy to answer that question and they point to books which they say is the "revealed" word of God, but how can so many conflicting teachings and interpretations of what God wants be true?

What God wants for you is something which must be discerned by each person as best he/she can. God speaks to us through others and through our experiences in life, but most of all God speaks to us in our own hearts and minds if we can clear away the clutter and listen.

Listening is the hardest thing in the world and as hard as we try we often hear nothing, but we must realize that God is in everything when God is in our hearts and minds. As Peace Pilgrim said, "I look for the divine spark in everyone and then I focus on that." Are you, am I, looking always for the divine spark?