Friday, October 26, 2012

Light vs. Darkness


For those who watch the news and read the newspapers, it would seem like our world is in great peril, and that only death and destruction is occurring the world over.  That’s what the media wants you to believe.  They propagate the negative…hate, bigotry, ignorance, crime, wars, etc.  That’s how they make their money and the more people who watch it, the more they communicate it. 

Personally, I don’t watch the news and don’t read much of newspapers.  Let’s just say, I don’t do negative and I don’t want to feed into that energy if I can help it.  Even though I try to avoid it, some of it still sneaks in and I feel a negativity attack on my being.  I can feel the difference from what I was feeling beforehand.  Then I have to work at shaking it off knowing that the negativity is not the reality that I choose.

I wish there was a news media network that communicated only good news; the good that people do.  And friends, there is a lot of it happening all over the world.  We just don’t hear about it.  There are countless websites that dedicate their news to the good that people are doing. 

One such site I found is the “Carnegie Hero Fund Commission.”  This commission honors people who “risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others.”

Another site is called “Positive News.”  They “report news from around the world in the areas of sustainability, social equality, education and happiness with a clear message that ‘another world is possible.’”

Another site I like is the “Good News Network.”  Their mission is to “provide a ‘Daily Dose of News to Enthuse.’ The Good News Network® is a clearinghouse for the gathering and dissemination of positive compelling news stories from around the globe. Daily stories will confirm what we already believe: good news itself is not in short supply; the advertising of it is.”

So you see, there is so much good happening all around us and all over the world!  We’re just either not hearing about it, or choosing not to. 

Recently, I read a great spiritual book that is a mixture of truth and fiction.  The story tells how there are two energies at work in the world; Light vs. Darkness.  To be more accurate, we can call these energies Love vs. Fear.  The “fear” energy is full of fear, hate, bigotry, ignorance, discord, violence, separation, war, etc.  The love energy is full of unconditional love, peace, harmony, kindness, compassion, gratitude, caring, oneness, and so on.  Personally, I believe that there is only one energy and that is God energy; it is just we human beings that divide it. 

The story tells how human beings will feed into one or the other energy, and in turn, that energy feeds into people.  But we have a choice.  Once we become aware that we have a choice, we can choose which energy to feed into and which one we allow to feed into us.  I make it a conscious effort to feed into the positive loving light energy.  I don’t always succeed as I can get just as frustrated and angry as the next person.  In fact, I have to work at not judging the judgers, hating the haters, and complaining about the complainers.

How do you know which energy you’re feeding or receiving?  How does it feel?  Trust your inner Spirit or intuition.  We will have that inner knowing, and then it’s up to us which one we choose to feed.  If I’m about to say or do something that is not in love, I feel it within me.  Then I have a choice to either go through with it, or stop it and change it into something more loving.

We don’t have to do something huge to be a hero, to do good, or to feed the energy of love.  Maya Angelou said it best:  “I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.”  Just treat those around you with love, kindness, and compassion.  Smile.  Commit random acts of kindness.  Jesus said “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matt. 25:40)   And Buddha said “Set your heart on doing good.  Do it over and over again, and you will be filled with joy.  Teach this triple truth to all:  A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”

We can renew humanity by which energy we choose.  Which will you choose?

(Printed in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper October 26, 2012.)
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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Secure in Our Faith


My faith and beliefs have evolved over my lifetime causing them to sometimes change drastically over the years.  Once I learned to open my mind and take my beliefs out of the box, I gained so much more wisdom and knowledge because I was willing to receive whatever messages God (whom I call Spirit) would have for me to receive.  I learned that I could go directly to Spirit as my Source and not have to rely on man (or woman) for my teachings. 

Whenever we rely solely on man for our spiritual and/or religious teachings, we box ourselves in and close ourselves off to the greatest and most wonderful teachings that Spirit would impart to us.  This isn’t to say that man can’t teach us some things here and there.  He can.  The only issue with relying on man is that some men interpret spiritual or religious teachings from his own personal belief system filters causing the lesson to lose its true meaning.  We see this all the time when people take Bible verses out of context or misinterpret them, and then use them for their own personal religious and/or political agendas.

How do we know if a message or teaching is from Spirit or man?  Spirit’s messages are only about unconditional love for all mankind regardless of color, race, religion, politics, sexual preference, or walk of life.  That’s it.  Only unconditional love and oneness.  Man’s message is, many times, steeped in hate, bigotry, separation, and ignorance.  We say that God is Love, but we hear so many messages from people who claim to be speaking for God and those messages are about anything but love.

Personally, I am now so secure in my relationship with Spirit that I don’t feel a need to prove anything to anyone, nor do I need to try to force my beliefs on anyone else. I also don’t need a symbol to prove anything; nor do I need to say or hear a specific greeting around the holidays.  I am secure enough in Spirit’s abundant love that I am happy to share other people’s beliefs and honor their holidays.  I don’t feel threatened by them in the least because I know that God has enough love to go around for everyone.  I know that no one can take away my faith and I have no desire to take any anyone else’s.

Certain religions are complaining that other religions are trying to take over the world, but isn’t that exactly what those who are doing the very complaining are trying to do?  Take over the world with their beliefs?

I love the diversity we have in our world!  I love learning about them and sharing our beliefs with each other in love and peace.  I have friends from all over the world who have differing beliefs and I consider them my brothers and sisters in this experience we call life.  I love them dearly and accept them as they are.

If God is Love as we claim, and we were made in the image of God (and not the other way around), and if we’re going to speak of and for God, then shouldn’t they be only words of love, kindness, compassion, and oneness?

People who speak hateful words or commit hateful acts are only reflecting on themselves and not those they speak against.  Marianne Williamson states, “Love is what we are born with.  Fear is what we learn.  The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts.  Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth.  To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life.  Meaning does not lie in things.  Meaning lies in us.”

God has more than enough love to go around.  When we withhold that love for others, we are withholding God’s love, and I have no right to make God anything but that love.

I’ve said it before numerous times and I will say it again.  Jesus made it very clear when he said “Love one another as I have loved you.”  He made no exceptions.  When we can really understand and embrace that statement, as well as live it, then we become secure in our faith and know that unconditional love really is what it’s all about.

“Namaste” is a Sanskrit word used by many, which means “I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells.  I honor the place in you, which is of love, of truth, of light and of peace.  When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, we are one.”  We honor the Divinity in each other.

Namaste'.

(Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper October 19, 2012.)

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Thou Shalt Not Judge


I had a dream.  It was a dream I will never forget, and I will never be the same because of it.

It began with me standing in the door of a bar.  The bar was run down and dirty, and the inhabitants blended with the atmosphere.  Every person in the room appeared to be drunk.  Even though I was not told, I sensed what each did for a living.  There were doctors, lawyers, executives, factory workers, housewives....

No one spoke.  People just stood or sat around in a sad stupor.  All were dressed in their work clothes, but they looked like they were either up all night or had just gotten out of bed.  Clothes were rumpled, hair mussed up, make-up smeared, men had stubbles on their faces.  No one moved.

I waited for a moment to see what was going to take place, but nothing did.  I felt very uncomfortable and wanted to leave, but when I turned to open the door, it was gone!  There was no way out!  I began to get frightened!  I didn’t belong there!  I wanted to leave, wake up, anything, but be where I was!

Suddenly, a man at the end of the bar caught my eye.  As I stared at him, he slowly turned to meet my gaze.  His eyes were so sorrowful and empty.  I somehow knew he was a young doctor about the age of 33, and he may have been a very attractive man at one time.  His blonde hair was mussed and fell over his eyes, and he hadn’t shaved for several days.  He sat slumped over the bar with a glass of liquor in his hands.

Then it began happening.  Without wanting it, I began seeing into his past and to know all about him.  He came from a long line of successful doctors.  His father was a well-known physician who worked at all the major hospitals in the area, and he did quite a bit of traveling giving lectures to various groups.  His mother was a successful obstetrician at one of the local hospitals.  Both had high expectations of their son and expected him to take his place in high society.

There was one problem though. The son didn’t care about money or being a part of high society.  He cared about the poor and the less fortunate; those who couldn’t afford food to feed their families, let alone medical care.  He wanted to start a clinic in a poor section of town so he could give those people the quality care they so desperately needed.

Of course, his family had a fit over this crazy idea of his and would hear none of it.  Every time he would try to get the clinic started, his parents would use their influence and put obstacles before him.  They just kept pushing for him to be what they considered was a success and to make a lot of money.  Finally, he could take it no longer and he broke.  He turned to alcohol to help him forget his dreams, to ease the pain he felt for others, and maybe in a way, to get back at his parents.

Most of the others in the bar had basically the same, but different stories.  Things happened to them in their lives that they were not prepared to handle.  An executive lost his job because of his age and couldn’t find another job.  A lawyer handled a client whom he knew was innocent, but because of powerful politicians, he couldn’t get his client’s name cleared; nor his.  A housewife was constantly being beaten by her husband and her children were sexually abused.  A secretary was sexually harassed by her boss and eventually raped by him.  She couldn’t say anything about it, as her boss was well respected in the company and in the community, and there was no way anyone would believe her.

I began to feel really sorry for these people.  Not only sorry, but angered that this was even happening to them.  I didn’t know what to do about it.  Before I could say or do anything, the door appeared and I was being led out of the bar.  I wasn’t being led by a person that I could see, but more of a Force. 

Yes, this is part of a dream that I really had.  It taught me not to judge because there is always a bigger picture and you never know a person’s state of mind.  Therefore, I learned to have more love, compassion, and kindness for others. 

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  (Matt 7)

(Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper on October 12, 2012.  For the full version of the dream, please go to http://kalina-spiritualoasis.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-midnight-dream_13.html.)

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The Midnight Dream


      It happened one evening in the year 1989.  It is an experience I will never forget, and I will never be the same because of it.
It began with me standing in the door of a bar.  The bar was run down and dirty, and the inhabitants blended with the atmosphere.  Every person in the room appeared to be drunk.  Even though I was not told, I sensed what each did for a living.  There were doctors, lawyers, business executives, factory workers, cooks, maids, secretaries, actors, Vietnam Vets, housewives....
No one spoke.  People just stood or sat around in a sad stupor.  All were dressed in their work clothes, but they looked like they were either up all night or had just gotten out of bed.  Clothes were rumpled, hair mussed up, make-up smeared, men had stubbles on their faces.  No one moved.
I waited for a moment to see what, if anything, was going to take place, but nothing did.  I felt very uncomfortable and wanted to leave, but when I turned to open the door, it was gone!  There was no way out!  I began to get frightened!  What was I doing there with all those drunks?  I didn’t belong there!  I wanted to leave, wake up, anything, but be where I was!
Suddenly, a man at the end of the bar caught my eye.  As I stared at him, he slowly turned to meet my gaze.  His eyes were so sorrowful and empty.  I somehow knew he was a young doctor about the age of 33, and he may have been a very attractive man at one time.  His blonde hair was mussed and fell over his eyes, and he hadn’t shaved for several days.  He sat slumped over the bar with a glass of liquor in his hands.
Then it began happening.  Without wanting it, I began seeing into his past and to know all about him.  He came from a long line of successful doctors.  His father was a well-known physician who worked at all the major hospitals in the area, and he did quite a bit of traveling giving lectures to various groups.  His mother was a successful obstetrician at one of the local hospitals.  Both had high expectations of their son and expected him to take his place in high society.
There was one problem though. The son didn’t care about money or being a part of high society.  He cared about the poor and the less fortunate; those who couldn’t afford food to feed their families, let alone medical care.  He wanted to start a clinic in a poor section of town so he could give those people the quality care they so desperately needed.
Of course, his family had a fit over this crazy idea of his and would hear none of it.  Every time he would try to get the clinic started, his parents would use their influence and put obstacles before him.  They just kept pushing and pushing for him to be what they considered was a success and to make a lot of money.  Finally, he could take it no longer and he broke.  He turned to alcohol to help him forget his dreams, to ease the pain he felt for others, and maybe in a way, to get back at his parents.
Most of the others in the bar had basically the same, but different stories.  Things happened to them in their lives that they were not prepared to handle.  An executive lost his job because of his age and couldn’t find another job.  A lawyer handled a client whom he knew was innocent, but because of powerful politicians, he couldn’t get his client’s name cleared; nor his.  A housewife was constantly being beaten by her husband and her children were sexually abused.  A secretary was sexually harassed by her boss and eventually raped by him.  She couldn’t say anything about it, as her boss was well respected in the company and in the community, and there was no way anyone would believe her.
I began to feel really sorry for these people.  Not only sorry, but angered that this was even happening to them.  I didn’t know what to do about it.  Before I could say or do anything, the door appeared and I was being led out of the bar.  I wasn’t being led by a person that I could see, but more of a Force.  On one hand, I didn’t want to leave; but then again, I didn’t want to have to see these people’s pain any longer.  I hoped I was being returned to my warm, comfortable bed so I could get on with a good night’s rest.  But there was more.
The next thing I knew, I was flying over a huge city of twinkling lights.  It was one of the most beautiful sights I had ever seen.  I thought that maybe I was going to start having some nice dreams to finish off the night.  Before I could complete that thought, we started descending downwards.  My heart began to beat faster anticipating where my dream would lead me next.  I would soon find out.
As my feet touched the ground, the Force left me there alone in a seedier part of town at night.  As I looked around, everything was quiet and barren.  I wasn’t sure if I was to stand still and wait for something to happen, or if I was to start wandering around.  Dreading what might come next, I began walking down an alley that was before me.  I remember thinking...in real life, there is no way I would walk down a dark alley at night, but since this was a dream, what’s the worst that could happen to me?  When I got halfway down the alley, I heard a rustle to my right, which startled me.  As I turned to look, I found two little huts made of cardboard and other scraps of material.  Over the handmade entrances were shreds of blankets to act as doors.  I had the feeling I was to look in the huts, so I cautiously pulled back on the blanket of one to take a peek inside.
Lying among old, rumpled up newspapers was a man fast asleep and snoring.  He was dressed in ragged cloths and hadn’t shaved in quite a while.  I don’t think he’d had a bath in that amount of time either.  Apparently, he sensed that I was there and woke with a start.  He grumpily yelled,  “Hey!  What are you doing here?!?!  This is my home!  Get out!”  Frightened, I backed out quite quickly, and as I did, I stumbled over something behind me and fell.  When I looked to see what I had fallen over, I found a dead body.  It was the man that was in the hut I had just left.  He had frozen to death in the alley.  Panicking, I got up and ran to the back of the alley and out around the buildings.
As I rounded the corner, the sight before me caused me to stop and stare.  I had come upon a large area cluttered with homemade houses made out of scraps of material, cardboard boxes, anything anyone could get their hands on to make a shelter.  People were dressed in rags and other clothes that people discarded after they had gotten their use from them.  Metal barrels were set throughout the compound with fires going in them to try and bring warmth to the area.  I hadn’t realized how cold it was until I saw these people all bundled up.
Before my thoughts could go further, several children came running out from behind one of the huts.  They were yelling and laughing while chasing each other in a game of tag.  They didn’t seem to notice how miserable their living conditions were.
The adults were different.  Most were depressed and beaten.  You could see it in their eyes and in their expressions.  Again, as in the bar, I began to see and feel these peoples’ pasts.  I had often wondered why these people just didn’t go out and get jobs.  Anyone could get a job, right?  Wrong.  One man lost his job because of cutbacks in his company and wasn’t able to find work in his field.  He wasn’t skilled in some areas or was over-qualified in others; therefore, he was unable to find work, though he tried.  Because of lack of income, he was unable to pay his rent and was thrown out of his home.  Without a job, he was unable to find housing elsewhere.  Consequently, he ended up here.
Again, the others shared the same, but different, disheartening stories.  All had reasons for being homeless.  High cost of living, unable to get work, some were mentally ill and were put out on the streets by the institutions.  Some were drug addicts or alcoholics.  Couldn’t something be done to help them?  We’re the richest country in the world and we can’t feed or house our own poor?  It’s pitiful enough to see adults living like this, but what about the children who have no say in the way they live their lives?
Tears began to fall down my cheeks, but before I could think much more on these people, I was being whisked away by the strange Force that was taking me on these horrible journeys.  I was still thinking about the homeless when I found myself in a hospital ward full of people; all men.  Some of the men were bed-ridden and barely moving.  Some were in wheelchairs.  Others walked with crutches or limped on their own.  Many were missing arms or legs.  Some were burned beyond recognition.  Again, all had eyes that were so sorrowful and void; it was as if only their bodies were in that room and their minds were off somewhere unknown.
One man in particular was lying so still in a bed I wondered if he was even alive.  His right arm and leg were missing and he had a bandage wrapped around his head.  I began to feel this man’s pain so much that it became almost unbearable.
As I looked at him, pictures began to flash in my mind as to how he came to be in so much despair.  I saw a group of men running through a dense jungle.  It was still daylight, but because of the density of the trees and foliage overhead, it was dark enough to where the men had difficulty seeing where they were going.  I had the feeling that they were being chased by someone, but I couldn’t distinguish who might be after them.
There was tremendous gunfire and you could see the flashes from the guns as they went off.  Men began dropping from being hit by the hot, speeding bullets.  Big flashes of light began to pop like huge light bulbs as grenades or bombs exploded among them.
I was right amidst the fighting, and yet everything was happening around me keeping me untouched.  As I stood horrified watching the nightmare before me, a movement caught my eye just to the right of me.  When I turned to see what it was, I saw two men running.  The look I saw on their faces was one I never wish to see again.  It was horror, panic, and fear all in one.
Before they could get very far from me, there was a big flash of light and a deafening sound.  At that point, time slowed almost to a standstill.  In the flash of smoke, I noticed objects flying into the jungle, but at that moment, I couldn’t quite make out what they were.  Then I heard a sickening scream, followed by a gurgling and moaning.
When the smoke finally cleared, the first thing I saw was a pair of boots on the ground sitting side by side.  It was then that it occurred to me...the objects flying through the air were parts of a body.  My eyes tried following the sounds of the moaning and came upon a body lying on the ground in massive pools of blood.  The man had his right arm and leg blown off, and it looked like part of his head was missing.  He just laid there staring at the boots.  He had just seen his friend blown to pieces.
That thought and the sight before me caused great upheavals in the pit of my stomach.  I knew I had to throw up, but nothing would come.  When I thought I could take it no longer, I found myself being pulled upwards, high above the trees where I could see the fighting still going on below me.  I kept climbing higher and higher into the clouds and into the darkness of the universe.  Even though I was no longer looking at the sights I had just witnessed, I couldn’t get the pictures out of my mind.  Just when I felt myself about to pass out, I found myself back in the hospital ward looking at the man I had just seen torn apart moments earlier.  I wanted to go to him, tell him I understood and that I cared, but I couldn’t move.  I could only stand there and stare.
The men in that ward all held so much pain; not only physical pain, but the emotional pain from all they had seen and been through.  Pain that would be with them for a very long time to come.  I wanted so much to be able to do something, anything, to help take that pain away.  But there wasn’t anything I could do.
I was briefly able to see and feel what some of the other men had experienced.  Some had seen their buddies killed or maimed by children planted with grenades or bombs, and some had to kill children in order to keep from being killed themselves.  Some had seen things so horrifying that merely putting them into words just wasn’t enough.  Many lost their wives and children through divorce because they couldn’t take the separation and loneliness of war.
They didn’t know why they were fighting other than the fact that they were doing their duty for their country.  They didn’t know who they were fighting, as many times it was hard to tell who were the good guys and who were the “enemies” until it was too late.
People were always saying that the Vietnam Vets were causing their own problems or using Vietnam as an excuse for those problems.  They looked down on the Vets because it was an unpopular war, and even though they were doing what was lawfully expected of them, they were being treated as if they were criminals.  Some are being treated that way to this day.  Many are still living the war even though it’s been over for years.
Just as I was beginning to get all riled up over the injustices of the Vets, I felt myself being lifted out of the room.  I didn’t know how much more pain, suffering, depression, and despair I could endure.  I hoped my dream would end so that I could just forget it and go on.  But I had a feeling this was one dream I would not be forgetting for a very long time.
Instead of landing in another situation, the Force and I seemed to be flying around the world.  I could look down and see cities and towns.  It was breathtakingly beautiful.  But suddenly, pictures again started flashing before my eyes.  Instead of any individual situation, I was seeing many.  It was like seeing a slide show, only the images were appearing over each other as they were changing so fast.  Even though I couldn’t make out the pictures clearly, I was able to see and feel the pain behind each one.
I saw the drug addicts and the reasons they turned to drugs.  I saw the husband who beat the wife and kids, and the pain of his own childhood.  There were the overly obese people who ate to try to forget their pain, or those who didn’t eat to try and change their pain.  I saw those who withdrew into themselves and ended up in asylums or committed suicide because they couldn’t handle their pain any longer.  I also saw the people with AIDS, both children and adults, and the pain it caused them and their loved ones.
Then it dawned on me.  I was seeing all those that we humans judged just because they were different from us, or whose problems we didn’t understand.  We de-humanize them, humiliate them, and pretend they don’t exist in order to justify our own feelings toward them.  We say they’re bad people and that they don’t deserve our love, compassion, understanding, or assistance.  They got themselves into their situations, let them get themselves out.
We sit in judgment because it gives us an excuse not to love them; so we don’t have to have compassion or understanding for what they’re going through.  We can sit in our own safe, comfort zones and not bother with them.
It was then that I happened to notice tears were silently falling down my cheeks.  They were tears of sadness.  It occurred to me that the tears weren’t so much for all those in my dream, but more so for myself.  Had I really been so judgmental to all my fellow human beings?  Had I really held so much disdain for those that were different from me, or for those I didn’t understand?
Only a moment had passed, but to me, it seemed like hours.  Was I dreaming?  Or had everything I just experienced actually happened?  Maybe both were one and the same.  Either way, I learned a big lesson that night.
Soon, I found myself waking up.  I guess I wasn’t surprised to find tears still falling down my cheeks onto my pillow.  I don’t know how long I lay there, but sleep would not come upon me again.  It wasn’t long before I saw a glimpse of sunshine coming through my bedroom windows.  The birds were singing their morning melodies and it was the most beautiful sound I had heard in a long time.  In fact, everything that morning seemed to be more beautiful than I ever remembered!  Life was more beautiful!
As I lay there thinking about everything that happened that night, I realized that there is an awful lot of ugliness in the this world; crime, starvation, disease, war....  But there is also a lot that is beautiful.  We can either focus on the ugliness and make ourselves and others miserable, or we can focus on the beautiful and enjoy the life that we have.  I think that what it comes down to is attitude.  Your attitude can make or break you.  It can also make or break the world we live in.
There’s so much that I can do nothing about, but I can start with myself.  I can learn to love people more and to have more compassion and understanding for what they’re going through.  I can learn not to judge people no matter how different they are from me, or how different their beliefs are.  People are the way they are for whatever reasons.
Love, compassion, and understanding.  That’s all it takes.  We are all one with each other, with the earth, and with all living things.  When we hurt someone or something else, we are only hurting ourselves.
Yes, this is a true story.  And it has changed my life forever.

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Friday, October 5, 2012

Peace Be With You


One of my favorite quotes comes from Mother Teresa when she said, "I was once asked why I don't participate in anti-war demonstrations.  I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I'll be there."  

This is wonderful visual for the power of our thoughts.  What we focus on, we will manifest.  Therefore it is very important that we don’t put all our energies on what we don’t want; rather, we should direct those energies to the things we do want. 

This includes prayer.  How do we pray?  Do we pray for what we don’t want?  Do we pray against someone or something or pray for ill-will to happen to someone?  We also need to be careful how we pray because what we put out there, we will receive in kind.  Some people may call it ‘karma.’  Karma is sometimes associated with reincarnation, but it can also mean receiving the consequences of your actions.  Because of this, I’ve learned to be very careful of the energies/prayers that I send to another person or group of people. 

Our world is seeing a lot of chaos right now (at least turmoil is the media’s main focus), and it’s very easy to go into a state of fear.  I know I do, particularly with what is occurring in politics and religion.  Not too long ago, I was steeped in so much fear that I was almost paralyzed in that fear.  I was talking to Spirit about it and these are the words I heard returned:  “It’s okay, Karen.  Don’t worry about it.  I have everything under control.”  Oh.  Okay.  Since then, I’ve tried to release that fear and leave it up to Spirit.  I can only do what I can do. 

Therefore, in light of the direction we send our prayers/energies, I wrote what I call The Collective Consciousness Prayer:  “I pray for our President, not against him.  I pray for our government, not against it.  I pray for our Congress, not against them.  I pray for our people, not against them.  I pray for all people in the world, not against them.  I pray for and with all religions, not against them.  I pray for our nation, not against it.  I pray for other nations, not against them.  I pray for our world, not against it.  I pray for love, compassion, and kindness.  I pray for harmony and peace.  I pray for oneness that we can all come together as one race...the human race.”

It is only when we can pray for someone or something that we can feel at peace.  Thich Nhat Hanh said, "If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile and blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace." 

As Black Elk said, “The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Taka (the Great Spirit), and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.  This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this. The second peace is that which is made between two individuals, and the third is that which is made between two nations. But above all you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until there is known that true peace, which, as I have often said, is within the souls of men.”

We cannot wait for peace.  As individuals, we need to find peace within ourselves.  As we become and feel more at peace, only then can we help bring peace to those around us, to our nation, and to our world.  We need to watch the words we speak and the actions we take because they are a direct reflection of who we are as human beings, individually, and as a whole.

Then there’s one of the greatest prayers by Saint Francis of Assisi:  “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.  Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.  O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”

 

Peace be with you.


(Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper October 5, 2012.)

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