Category Archives: Spirit Room

Moments that touched my heart… especially moments I shared with clients; talk about service I do that’s not computer-related, like the volunteering I do in the community; comments on things I experience; and, articles I’ve read and scenes I’ve observed that may be interesting to readers. In essence, it’s all about connecting with people and Spirit!

Aphorisms Learned on the Spiritual Path

Spiritual Path Lama Surya Das American-born Buddhist author and teacher Lama Surya Das integrates meditation with everyday life and awakens us to the unity and connections which brings us all together as one human family.

Here are some of his aphorisms summing up the things he’s learned on the spiritual path.

  • I think you have to love first and see second.
  • The size of our heart directly correlates to the scope of our attention, receptivity, and intentions.
  • If you are not here now, you won’t be there then.
  • Take a breath; you deserve it.
  • Don’t overlook the profundity of ordinary people and everyday experiences and relationships.
  • One moment of brilliant illumination dispels the darkness of centuries.
  • We need others to help get enlightened, for developing empathic compassion is as necessary and wise as wisdom itself.
  • We’re all going to die, eventually; but who is going to truly live?
  • In this mysterious world, knowing takes second place to trusting, allowing, and flowing.
  • There definitely comes a time when we have to take it off the cushion or yoga mat, out of the therapist’s office, home from the church, temple, or classroom, and into the real world where it truly counts. This is where the rubber meets the road on the spiritual path.
  • Remember that our karma is not determined by what happens to us, but by what we do with what happens.

To read more aphorisms, click here.

‘Stuff’, Just ‘Stuff’

Ashley WiersmaThe story that follows made me think of when I was living in Santa Fe, NM and the disastrous Cerro Grande Fire occurred in May 2000. The fire started as a controlled burn, and became uncontrolled due to high winds and drought conditions. 400+ families in the town of Los Alamos lost their homes, and some structures at Los Alamos National Laboratory were destroyed or damaged; amazingly, there was no loss of human life.

Besides breathing in the smoke down south in Santa Fe, I was impacted by the stories of people telling about the possessions they’d chosen to take with them when they had to hastily evacuate. It made me (and many others I know) think about what was really most important in life when push comes to shove.

This story also made me think of a time during my earlier years here in Sedona when my then-husband and I found ourselves at bottom financially. We moved into someone’s furnished basement for a month, but first had to choose what to take with us for our daily lives and our business, and what to store – what a powerful ‘ah-ha!’ It’s amazing how much ‘stuff’ we can live without. It’s equally amazing how we can let our ‘stuff’ rule our lives if we don’t stay conscious.

Here’s the August 10, 2015 Daily Guideposts story of Ashley Wiersma from Monument, Colorado.

“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself…” – Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

A forest fire that had been raging several miles away for days had jumped two parallel canyons and now threatened countless neighborhood homes. From our patio, I stood with the neck of my T-shirt pulled over my mouth in an attempt to filter the smoke in the air and stared at tall, angry flames in the distance as they licked their way toward the sky.

My husband had declared it go-time, asking me to pack our bags and get ready to load up, but as I scurried through every room of our home, I reached for surprisingly few things: a stack of my old journals; my favorite sweater; my purse; Prisca’s favorite stuffed dog, Ike; Perry’s beloved baseball cap; a few changes of clothes; our toothbrushes; some pajamas; and books and snacks. What else did we need, really? What else made our life life?

I wandered back through the rooms before heading to the car, snapping photos of each space. There was artwork I treasured, clothing I adored, cookbooks whose recipes I’d made for years. That handmade afghan from Nana, the angel figurine from my mom, decades’ worth of scrapbooked scenes. But these things proved ancillary to life that is truly life. If our house was to be consumed by fire, these things would go up in flames. And so I went ahead and said good-bye to all my stuff that’s just stuff in the end.

Father, help me to hold my stuff loosely today.

Many are Blessed by Your Kindness!

Blessed by your Kindness

When you observe someone being kind to another person, there are three simultaneous benefits. The person receiving the kindness feels cared for and valued. The person expressing the kindness feels the joy of giving, and you feel the impact.

When you observe an act of kindness, love and hope spring up in you.  As you watch the interaction between the giver and receiver, you too are blessed. Take a moment today and bless another with your smile or a kind word.

With this in mind, you will uplift others. As you demonstrate kindness, consideration or compassion, gifts from your heart will make a ripple effect as others are blessed by your kindness.

– Marie Thompson, Licensed Unity Teacher and Chaplain, 05/01/14

Watch Out World!

Watch Out World

Something profound happened to me in April when I participated in The Landmark Forum. The Advanced Course, earlier this month, deepened that; it is clear each moment we have the opportunity to express ourselves and provide leadership.

More than ever, I see that my life has been lived way too small for many years. I am reminded of the following quote by Marianne Williamson from her book A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Isn’t that a powerful statement?! I want to make a difference, to contribute to the quality of life of individuals and the larger community, to have an impact equal to what I see as possible. Leaving the past in the past, as we stand in our full power, freedom, and self-expression, each of us can make a difference.

Watch out world – here WE come!

Good Medicine

Good MedicineRachel Naomi Remen, M.D. was one of the first to recognize and document the psychological and spiritual impact of cancer on people and their families. Through her television appearances and lectures, she has reminded many thousands of people of their power to grow beyond their current challenges and heal themselves. I was first introduced to her when she gave a speech at “The Art of Death and Dying” conference I attended in NYC in the early ’90s. I love her introspective, compassionate, spiritual way of being, especially poignant for me since I have often found those qualities lacking in medical doctors. Her writings reflect this; the brief story below is entitled “Transmission.”

I spent a few weeks one April in the Four Corners area of Utah in a little town called Bluff, celebrating the birthday of a friend of mine. On Easter morning we attended an Episcopal church service celebrated by a Native American bishop. With the exception of my friends and myself, the congregation was mostly Navaho people. The bishop was a middle-aged man of great personal integrity, and the service was beautiful. Dressed in a white robe with a woven scarf of Native American symbolism around his neck, he seemed deeply moved by the occasion and the story of the resurrection.

Most of the sermon was in Navaho, the bishop reading from the Bible in a voice filed with emotion. Then he glanced over toward us. We had not understood a word. With a deep courtesy he began to repeat the sermon and the reading for us in English. His English was perfect, but the passion of the first reading was simply not there. He struggled on, trying to make the English words transparent to the profound meaning of the story. Finally he looked up and, abandoning his Bible, spoke to us from the depths of his heart. “This man Jesus,” he said and paused. “This man Jesus, He is good medicine.”

This moment changed me profoundly. For years I had tried to be a good doctor and practice good medicine. I had taught many others to practice good medicine, first pediatrics and then mind/body medicine. But the bishop’s words pointed to something more, and in the depths of my being I recognized what this was. Perhaps what is needed is not only to learn good medicine but to become good medicine. As a parent. As a friend or doctor. Sometimes just being in someone’s presence is strong medicine.

– From “My Grandfather’s Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging” by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.

Invite the Divine In

As you probably know, my mantra personally and professionally is “You are not alone” (we teach what we need to learn 🙂 ). So when I recently joined the Waking Up with Ryan email list, I was thrilled when one morning Ryan wrote about this topic.

Here’s an excerpt from 03.20.15…

You can go it alone – but why? You’re surrounded by support. Not just from the people around you, but from the Divine itself…

IF and only IF you invite the Divine in.

Invite the Divine InThe way the Universe works – without your permission, the Universe cannot work Its miracles through you.

Whatever you most need help with, take a moment now to ask for guidance and support. Ask for clarity – ask to have your thinking changed – to have your perspective shifted to the level of the solution.

Ask for help!

The Universe will not violate our free will, so if we forget to invite Its brilliance, It cannot enter into our thoughts.

Think of your mind like a bouncer at the club. If The Universe isn’t on the list, the mind doesn’t let it in – no list, no entry. The mind loves to keep the Divine out. But you are the owner of the club. You get to tell the bouncer what’s up.

Welcome the Divine in with a beautiful, hand written letter in your mind. Sometimes, I’ll close my eyes and see the image of beautiful calligraphy writing out the invite, “Dear God, you are welcome here as my honored guest.”

Know that the Universe always R.S.V.P.s with a big YES and always shows up to the party – when invited.

The Strong Ones

the strong onesA brother asked Abba Matoes: What shall I do? My tongue causes me trouble and whenever I am among people, I cannot control it and I condemn them in all their good deeds and contradict them. What, therefore, shall I do?

The old man answered him: If you cannot control yourself, go away from people and live alone. For this is a weakness – Those who live together with others ought not to be square, but round, in order to turn toward all.

Further, the old man said: I live alone not because of my virtue, but rather because of my weakness. You see, those who live among people are the strong ones.

– From the sayings of the Desert Fathers, from
Stories of the Spirit, Stories of the Heart: Parables of the Spiritual Path from Around the World

Aren’t We Already Supposed to Be Doing What We Really Want With Our Lives?

It seems that I have often been a maverick throughout my life, both in terms of what was expected of people in general, and women in particular.

Doing What We Really Want With Our Lives

The Holstee Manifesto

For instance, I bought my own home at the age of 26 – in the late 70s that was most unusual as a single woman (especially in the suburbs of NY). I also blazed the trail in taking positions at AMTRAK that were traditionally filled by men. I chose to not have children… Drove across country by myself to relocate… Started my own business so I wouldn’t have to be in an unfulfilling, bureaucratic j-o-b… Married for the first time close to age 50… On and on the list goes.

I took an active role in creating, to the best of my ability, the life I wanted to have, believing it was possible to do so. After all, it’s my life! As I’ve aged, I’ve grown even less concerned about what others think of me (it’s none of my business anyway!); I’m taking better care of my body, mind, and spirit; and, I’ve embraced that, with Spirit, I truly do have the ability to change and to enjoy a rich life in a heaven while on earth. My path has been filled with effort on my part, and, no doubt, grace.

A recent reading made me think again about the road I’ve traveled…

_________

A few days ago there was a massive jackpot that had folks going crazy buying tickets. My friend Jaseem, whose father owns our little neighborhood newsstand and who is studying psychology in college, tells me, “Buying a ticket is hope-affirming. It makes people think that they could wake up in the morning to find their lives completely changed.”

Except aren’t we already supposed to be doing what we really want with our lives? I have nothing at all against people playing lotto. I caught my mother at it once, which, if you knew my mother, would have surprised you too. When I teasingly confronted her, she said that if she won the jackpot she would give it all to her church for programs to help the poor. That was Mom.

For me, at least, hope is the product of faith. I pray that I wake up every morning, thinking that my life could be changed not by a random number or lucky hunch but by the grace of God.

Father, with You nothing is a gamble; nothing happens to us by chance. Faith is the surest bet I know. Please help me live fully the life You have planned for me.

Edward Grinnan
Daily Guideposts
November 12, 2014

POSI Music

POSI MusicI enjoy listening to and singing music that has life-affirming lyrics, where I get connected and feel inspired. A number of years ago I was introduced to “New Thought” music through emPower Music & Arts, a community dedicated to creating positive global change through music, writing and the spoken word. Among their many offerings, they host a nationally recognized event called the emPower Posi Music Festival.

Recently, out of curiosity, I googled “Posi” and learned that Posi Music has been around since the 1940s though only recently has a definitive label been applied to music in this genre. Short for “Positive Music,” Posi Music is categorized by its intention to have a positive effect on the listener. Musicians who write and perform Posi Music profess a desire for their music to unite and inspire their audience and make them feel better. One of the earliest 100% Positive Songs was “Accentuate the Positive” written by Johnny Mercer and made famous by Bing Crosby.

Some of my favorite contemporary Posi singers and song writers are Daniel Nahmod, Karen Drucker, Rickie Byars Beckwith, and David Ault. You can sample some of their music by clicking on each of the links above. Check them out – you may understand why singing is often prayer for me.

Theology and Technology

I Couldn’t Resist!

Since my life is very much about Spirit and computers, I couldn’t resist sharing this story with you. You may even find it provides a solution that works for you when having a challenging tech day!


Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.”- Psalm 4:1 (NIV)

My friend, who lives in another state, phoned me on the eve of her husband’s surgery. She was calling for prayer…for her computer! My friend works from home, and her computer kept freezing up, even though a technician had spent five hours installing a new drive. “There’s work I have to get done before my husband’s surgery,” she said. “I’m desperate!”

Theology and Technology“You’ve called the right person,” I told her. What I didn’t say is that I’d never prayed with anybody about getting a computer to start working. But my friend needed help, so I told her to lay her hands on her computer and I would lay my hands on mine. I prayed for the computer and that God would supply the words my friend needed to write so her work would get out on time. Then I prayed about my friend’s stress level and asked for God’s help and presence.

My friend thanked me, but I wasn’t exactly optimistic that her computer would start up properly as a result. Five minutes later I received an e-mail from her saying that her computer was up and running. I was amazed. I’m certainly no expert on the theology (or technology) behind the healing of computers, but I do know God loves and cares for my friend. Maybe she needed one recent, memorable answer to prayer to hang on to during the next few weeks when her husband was hospitalized.

Dear God, when daily glitches overwhelm me with stress, I thank You that You hear my prayers. Amen.

– Karen Barber
Daily Guideposts, May 8, 2014