Monthly Archives: December 2012

Happy New Year and Happy New You


Happy New Year! 

This is the time of year when many of us review the past and make resolutions for the new year.  Maybe we make lists of goals or plans to make dramatic changes.  On and on the list grows: Lose Weight.  Exercise more.  Make X amount of money. Give more to charity. Be less critical. Begin meditating.  Be nice to your mother in law.  You might castigate yourself for “failings’ in the past year and for making the same, unfulfilled resolution every single year.  Perhaps you will decide to “manifest” what you want and your resolution is hitched to a secret practice of turning mind matter into the material. 

Happy New You!

But perhaps you are resisting the notion of a review or a list of resolutions.  What if you actually believe that, right now, in this moment, you are fine just as you are.  How radical would it be if you embraced the notion that you are, in fact, and in the view of Divine Truth, of Consciousness, of God, perfect just as you are right now.  That you have always been embraced in unconditional love.  That you are far more than all the pufferies of the world.  That whatever measurements the world takes in defining your worth have little to do with what is held with ease and comfort in the heart of your very Being.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with making lists and plans.  It is one of the ways the world seems to work. January 1 is just a date — nothing special except that we make it so. Many on the spiritual path see time and space as errant dimensions. But, if we play the game and if you start from this novel (for most of us) loving approach, your list might include some items like this:

  • I will be more accepting and gentle with myself. 
  • I will see myself in a more loving and forgiving way.
  • I will try to delete stress and anger and not worry so much. 
  • I will do more “self” care. 
  • I will laugh often and be in good humor.
  • I will take a few moments every day to be in silence
  • I will let go of negative thought patterns
  • Whatever I decide to do will revolve around a spirit of patience and compassion. 

Then you can add those thing like lose weight, exercise more.

Whatever you do, I hope you will remember that love dwells within you in abundance and that you are the essence of love.  That is MY wish for you for the New Year!

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Winter Solstice: From Darkness to Light



The Winter Solstice has, in our human history, held great mystery.  It is the longest and, some would say, darkest night of the year.  The sun reaches its southernmost point in its arc.  Would the sun rise again?  Will the earth enjoy the warmth of its light?  Would life continue?  It has long been believed that the veil between spiritual and physical planes are at the thinnest point during the time of the solstice.  Then, the sun rises, and we are renewed, reborn, resurrected.  Hope and life go on.

Picture this:

You are sitting in the middle of the largest cathedral in the United States.  It is the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City.  Its immensity is breath-taking, soaring pillars surround you.  One can barely see from the entrance doors all the way to the altar in front.  The lights are dim.  An ethereal darkness pervades.  On a stage before you, a tree is bathed in an icy blue light.  The tree bears chimes and bells.  The sounds you hear are the groanings and twistings of the darkest of winter nights — clanging, beating, rippling interspersed with primeval animal voices and wind sounds.  Mysterious in its power, the darkness continues and the dissonant music plays.

Then, barely visible at first, a dimly lit disc appears.  A dimly lit disc at the altar.  The disc begins to glow more brightly as it begins its ascent.  It moves ever upward and you recognize that it is a large bronze gong representing the sun.  Suspended next to it is the percussionist, slowly and regularly beating the sound that introduces the light.  You watch as the light spreads , little by little, pillar by pillar through the cathedral, bathing one pillar and then the next.  As the sun rises in its fullness, the cycle is complete.  From the darkest night, the sun has again risen. Life will continue.  All is well in the physical and spiritual realm.

Such is the experience in the annual Winter Solstice Concert offered at this cathedral.  The resonant sounds and music is the work of The Paul Winter Consort.  Being present for this program is a powerful and arresting experience.

What does all this mean?  It could represent the darkness of events in our lives and the light “at the end of the tunnel.”  It might be telling us something of the dark night of the soul, the place where pain and sadness are at depths where we might doubt that light will ever come.  We might be thinking about the psychology of depression and how the long dark days influence  many people.  A myriad of other possibilities exist.

To me, what is of greatest importance is recognizing that the Light is not something outside of us.  That it is within us at all times.  You don’t  have to look for someone or something to bring it to You.  YOU are it!  YOU are the Light of Love.  The Light of Truth. The Light of Compassion.  The Light of Kindness.  YOU!  Yes, YOU!  Even if you doubt it, it is true.

There are those who enter into the world to bring the Light to us, to make it tangible, to guide us, to teach us of the Light of Divine and Eternal Love. such is the one who is celebrated at this time of year, for Christ Mass. Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, brought this message. We are blessed to know it and what his true words meant.

Gloria in Exccelsis Deo!

Believe in the Truth! YOU are the Light of Divine and Eternal Love. Nothing less!

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Healing Words in Times of Grief: Newtown


In confronting the terrible tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, I reached back into other times when I have faced grief and loss. Now our entire nation has felt the reverberations emanating from that seemingly perfect New England town. So I have tried to choose words of comfort.  Some will resonate than others, but it is my hope that something here will sootheand lessen the heavy weight of loss.

We will all lose loved ones.  No one escapes this truth.  Loss and grief have a commonality; we miss those who are no longer with us.  We feel this whether they are are taken too young , in senseless violence and before they have blossomed or if they have experienced a long life, as in the case of my mother who departed at age 98.  We still miss them and wish for yet another day or, in the case of all those so young and innocent, a lifetime of becoming who they would have been. 

This poem, among many other writings, touched my heart and I offer it to you.  It was printed on a funeral card for my mother. The author is Mary Elizabeth Frye:

Do not stand at my grave and weep

I am not there.  I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.

I am the diamond glint in snow.

I am the sunlight on the ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry.

I am not there.  I did not die.

I had never heard these words before, but they served as a source of great comfort to me.  They spoke of the Truth I already embraced; that none of us die and that life is eternal. I believe this at the core of my being, yet I still felt tremendous loss.  As my mother moved ever closing to departing the world, she made it abundantly clear that she knew where she was going. After she stopped breathing and miracles unfolded,  it was not long before shesent scores of signs and messages indicating her presence and her love for us.  While I did not expect this, they were there. We who witnessed them were enthralled. 

To all who have lost loved ones, watch, stay tuned, and be aware. Instead of doubting something you see or hear or experience, try to be open to messages you may receive from deceased loved ones.  They may or may not come; this is not a measure of how much love there is between you.  For me and my family, we were always amazed and never expected any of the many communications that took place.  They bolstered and cheered us.  The book, Hello From Heaven, by Bill and Judy Guggenheim, is full of accounts of many after death communications.  I recommend it as a source of information and for the wonders within.  But whatever brings comfort, let it be there in abundance.  There is love flowing to you always, both from heaven and earth.

Peace be with you.

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Newtown, Connecticut: Words to Soothe


At times of despair and sadness, and when words fail us or seem inadequate, we often turn to those  authors whose writings may touch our hearts.  I offer this quote from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery with the hope that it will offer some solace:

In one of those stars I shall be living.  In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night.  And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrow) you will be content that you have known me.  You will always be my friend… I shall never leave you.

They will never leave us, but will shine their light into our lives always — until we meet again.

In a Small Bucolic Town in Connecticut — The Unthinkable


It was in “our own backyard,” not far from our home. In a neighboring community, thought to be safe and civilized, where you might leave your front door unlocked and your children could play in a safe haven, into this setting, a dark and sad presence came forth.  The merry spirit of the holidays, the homes ablaze with bright lights and wreaths welcoming friends to visit, with children anticipating the visit of Santa Claus, and the happiness of parents watching their young ones in the school holiday program, a perfect Norman Rockwell painting  — all of this was shattered by an unfathomable act of violence. The aftermath revealed that many of our fellow human beings were shot dead, twenty of them young and innocent children.  Some of them were as young as six years old.  It happened in the presumed safety of their own school room.  The shock and grief are palpable in our community and in our nation.

Words are useless, yet it is mainly through words that we communicate.  We humans try to make sense and find answers.  There will be much valid conversation about gun laws and about security in schools and about the challenges of better understanding the mentally ill.  In natural disasters, we show our concern and caring by taking action.  In the recent hurricane that struck our area, we could band together, give aid, money, food, clothing, something, to replace lost homes and possessions.  Now what do we give to soothe those whose children and parents, brothers and sisters, grandchildren will never come home again?

What can we do in the face of circumstances that defy logic?  How can we help those dealing with loss so extreme that the nation collectively has cried out in pain?  What can we do? I found comfort in wise and poignant words of author Anne Lamott, from her new book, Help Thanks Wow:

In prayer, I see the suffering bathed in light. In God, there is no darkness. I see God’s light permeate them, soak into them, guide their feet.  I want to tell God what to do: “Look, Pal, this is a catastrophe.  You have got to shape up.” But it wouldn’t work.  So I pray for people who are hurting, that they be lifted with air and light.  Air and light, they somehow get into those dark, musty places, like spiritual antibiotics.

We can only open our hearts and offer love and prayers, compassion and a sense of peace.  We can spread kindness wherever we go and be gentle with those in our lives.  We can hold all who grieve in our thoughts, imagining them encircled with a Grace that transcends the smallness of the world.  We cannot change the vagaries of the world, much as we would like to.  There will always be chaos.  But we can and must allow ourselves to move inward, to make our own peace, and to let this Light shine around us. To lighten the burdens of all whom we touch and, in so doing, to lighten our own.  To BE the light.

We cannot make sense of these tragedies.  Death is never far away and is a fact of life.  Yet we are learning with more and more depth that death is a transition, a crossing over, and that life is eternal.  The world is transitory; life is not. All who die, continue to be.  That is the Resurrection and is embraced by the most ancient of spiritual writings. I believe this Truth with every fibre of my own being.

Death is not extinguishing the light,

it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.

Rabindranath Tagore

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What The World Needs Now Is Love


What the world needs now is love, sweet love

That’s the only thing that there’s just too little of…

When Hal David and Burt Bacharach collaborated on this often recorded song, the words resonated throughout the world.  Of course, the world needs love.  We all need love.  Don’t we long for it, search for it, go out on a limb for it?  Isn’t it what we hope for and dream about, in so many ways?  But what kind of love do we hope to find?  Is it some trivialized version of a Hollywood movie?  Is it saccharin and filled with over wrought feelings that are transitory?  Is it some kind of sexual bliss?  What kind of love do we want? What sort of love endures?

There is a love like a small lamp that goes out when the oil is consumed,

or like a stream that dries up when it doesn’t rain.

But there is a love that is like a mighty spring, gushing up out of the earth;

it keeps flowing forever and is inexhaustible.

Isaac of Nineveh

world love

Forever flowing?  Inexhaustible?  Add to that, unconditional — a love that does not change based on conditions, actions, behaviour — one that is just there, forever, like a warm embrace you can experience at any time.  You can count on it.  It IS NOT going away, for any reason.  It just rests there, like a gentle flame in your heart, waiting and hoping that you remember it is there, ever-present inside you.  This love does not alter based on outer acceptance or the whims of the world.  It does not rise and fall. It does not disappear.  It does not need another person to endorse it or prove it.  This love just is.  It has always been there and is eternal.  You can “take it to the bank.”

God is but love and therefore, so am I.

Lesson 173

A Course in Miracles

It is said that the essence of yoga, as a belief system,  is love.  In fact, all true spiritual paths converge on this point.  The goal is LOVE.  The path is LOVE. The truth is LOVE.  You don’t have to seek it out.  You already have it.  You already are it.  When in doubt — and you will have doubt from time to time, such is our conditioning — repeat the phrase:  I LOVE MYSELF COMPLETELY NOW.  See what happens. Watch how your mind, thoughts, body, and your world changes.  LOVE is what the world needs now.  How lucky for you that you already have it!

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