This is our first entry so, if you are starting here you haven't missed anything. :)
The week in review. Last Tuesday (6/30/2015 @ 7PM) was World Healing Prayer and Meditation. To get a feel for what it is like, scroll down to the bottom of this blog post and press play. After the prayer and meditation we opened for discussion. We often talk about what people see in their meditations or, if there is a need for something outside of this topic we are open to that, too. In this case it was more of a free flow discussion of how everyone's week had gone since last Tuesday.
Last Wednesday (7/1/2015 @ 7PM) we hosted the Center of Divine Light's Psychic Growth Group. This group is focused on developing abilities like reading cards, psychometry (token object reading), pendulum work and more. It was nice to see some new faces on this group.
Friday (7/3/2015 @ 7PM) was our First Friday Healing Sanctuary. This is a free event with doors open to the community to receive healing like Reiki, Shamanism, Light Body Work and more. We had a wonderful turn out with new healers to help out and more people who were new to this group. We are always excited to be able to offer this evening for and share with as many as we can.
On Sunday Morning (7/5/2015 @ 10AM) the Center of Divine Light blessed us with a wonderful service. There is an offering of healing and meditation both before and during this service. This Sunday they had an inspiring guest speaker, Paul, who enlightened us one our own divinity. I couldn't help but notice new faces in this group again this week.
And, last but not least, Sunday afternoon found us again together in the name of I AM to share in praise and worship. This entire month we are exploring the beautiful messages of Buddhism and comparing them to other religions. This service is unique in a few aspects. One is that we are open to all manners of faith. We do not discriminate or limit the power of expression God, source, I AM, Yahweh, Jehovah, Great Spirit or whatever name you choose. Another unique aspect is that, after the sermon, we open the floor to questions and open discussion. Questions are not limited to the sermon topic. Some examples of questions we have received are; "Why do bad things happen to good people?", "What can I do to help an atheist discover God?", "What is the difference between one religion and another?", "Can you tell me if my deceased Grandmother is ok?" These questions are not limited to the speakers but we welcome discussion from the congregation, too. Yet another thing that we do that is different from anywhere else that I have been is that we use more current, secular music and bring out the spiritual meanings as they relate to our weekly message. Some examples include Katy Perry, Madonna, David Bowie and more. See links below for more examples. This week we were blessed to have some new spiritual beings to join us. We look forward to even more growth next week!
Our inspirational reading for the week comes from "The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying" by Sogyal Rinpoche: One great master in the last century had a disciple who was very thick-headed. The master had taught him again and again, trying to introduce him to the nature of his mind. Still he did not get it. Finally, the master became furious and told him, "Look, I want you to carry this bag full of barley up to the top of that mountain over there. But you mustn't stop and rest. Just keep on going until you reach the top." The disciple was a simple man, but he had unshakable devotion and trust in his master, and he did exactly what he had been told. The bag was heavy. He picked it up and started up the slope of the mountain, not daring to stop. He just walked and walked. And the bag got heavier and heavier. It took him a long time. At last, when he reached the top, he dropped the bag. He slumped to the ground, overcome with exhaustion but deeply relaxed. He felt the fresh mountain air on his face. All his resistance had dissolved and, with it, his ordinary mind. Everything just seemed to stop. At that instant, he suddenly realized 56 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYING the nature of his mind. "Ah! This is what my master has been showing me all along," he thought. He ran back down the mountain, and, against all convention, burst into his master's room. "I think I've got it now .. . I've really got it!" His master smiled at him knowingly: "So you had an interesting climb up the mountain, did you?" Whoever you are, you too can have the experience the disciple had on that mountain, and it is that experience that will give you the fearlessness to negotiate life and death. But what is the best, quickest, and most efficient way to set about it? The first step is the practice of meditation. It is meditation that slowly purifies the ordinary mind, unmasking and exhausting its habits and illusions, so that we can, at the right moment, recognize who we really are.
Excerpts from our message this week: The Four Noble Truths:
If you get the four noble truths from an inside perspective you can always use them to help someone else.
The Four Noble Truths are more of a science than a religious dogma.
1st noble truth: dukkha: life is suffering : He who knows and sees this becomes passive in pain; this is the way that leads to purity.
Acknowledgement of your current predicament is the first key toward enlightenment– it takes courage to admit that something is not working out as expected.
There are 3 types of suffering:
1: – birth, old age, sickness and death.
2: - the suffering of change: This happens just at the cusp of something ending – last day of a vacation – maybe you feel it on Sunday when you start thinking and preparing for the coming week.
3: - all pervasive suffering – rooted in the fabric of our existence – “contaminated mind and body” – as long as we are pushed or driven by stress instinct and unresolved trauma we are bound by suffering.
This truth compares to Christianity as John 16:33 – "In this world ye shall have tribulation." and to Judaism as
Ecclesiastes 5:16-17 "And what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind? All his days he also eateth in darkness, and he hath much sorrow and wrath with his sickness."
2nd truth: samudaya: the origin of suffering is desire – your nightmare is self-created – mommy didn’t do it, Obama didn’t do it – It is the most disempowering idea to believe that suffering comes from outside of yourself. It is also disempowering to believe there is no way out – there is no one to blame – no one has created this reality.
From an erroneous viewpoint of yourself in reality comes disturbing or afflicted emotions and those afflicted emotions drive reactive actions – those reactive actions see themselves in your consciousness and further color your perception so that the next moment of consciousness reality is hitting you but is filtered through your perception – a perception that you believe to be the real reality but it is just your perception of reality.
like a tire circling in a groove, the deeper our perception of things as we have chosen to perceive them becomes.
Our experience is filtered by expectations, memories and emotions.
Who is the you behind closed doors that you don’t want anyone else to know about? Be truthful. It probably goes something like this: “I am worthless, I am unlovable, nobody cares about me, the world is hostile and threatening. Or some variation of that. It may not be as bad as that since you are probably here reading this blog because you are tired of being judged by others and yourself and you may have already started the work. Usually this truth lies vary deep because we don’t want to see it ourselves. We cover it over and bury it deeply and overcompensate for it so we can show others how happy we are on Facebook. or how talented we are or the great job we did raising our children.
This truths compares to Christianity and Judaism as Exodus 20:17 thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's
3rd truth: nirodha: ceasing desire will end suffering – because that is not who you are. That has never been who you are – all the fears and nightmares of that true person you are behind closed doors is just made up in perception. You can celebrate the fact that your basic nature is free from all of that.
This truth compares to Christianity and Judaism as: Ecclesiastes 11:10 Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity.
The trick now is to rewire the mind to live openly and not from the broken person I have believed myself to be. That is the 4th truth – the eightfold path.
4th truth: magga: the eightfold path will lead to the cessation of suffering (there are many versus from the Bible for this. We will cover some next week) - this is the science of change – we will get more in depth with these next week. For now, we will discuss three main tools :
The 1st is meditation which allows for temporary relief until you can learn to be here always.
2nd – gaining the wisdom – beyond the knowledge. What you have read here gives you knowledge. The right application of knowledge is wisdom.
3rd awakening – have you ever lost yourself for a moment? holding a baby, cheering for your team, supporting a family member on a stage somewhere?
The sustained, concentrated, fixed, non-dual experience of your open nature is awakening. Non-dual because you are no longer the broken person behind the door, putting on a mask to show others a "better" version of yourself.
To accomplish this one must train in ethics or life style – coping strategies; ways of speaking, interacting, etc that facilitate moments of open, natural connectivity – rather than what we have right now that only reinforces scarcity, fear and shame – self-centeredness – reinforcing the trauma – We must learn how to relate to others with fairness, dignity and love. Be honest and look deeply at how much anger and violence is present within yourself? Maybe you don’t want to build pipe bombs but how much hostility is there? Of the utmost importance is self-directed hostility. How do we adopt the lifestyle of being fair and noble and loving and open?
Next week: the eightfold path!