Archive for Theology

Everybody can be great

0_fn3ZMEVQSBKlbabO_

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.” 

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” 

“Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” 

~ Martin Luther King Jr.

~~~

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

photo by: Annie Spratt

Just as a snake sheds its skin – Jack Kornfield

lena-sokol-water-snake

My words for meditation today:

~~~~~~~

“Just as a snake sheds its skin, we must shed our past over and over again.”

~

“The knowledge of the past stays with us. To let go is to release the images and emotions, the grudges and fears, the clingings and disappointments of the past that bind our spirit.”

~

“When we let go of our battles and open our heart to things as they are, then we come to rest in the present moment. This is the beginning and the end of spiritual practice. Only in this moment can we discover that which is timeless. Only here can we find the love that we seek. Love in the past is simply memory, and love in the future is fantasy. Only in the reality of the present can we love, can we awaken, can we find peace and understanding and connection with ourselves and the world.”

– Jack Kornfield

~~~~~~~

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

– print by Lena Sokol

via Just as a snake sheds its skin – Jack Kornfield

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: …” – Paolo Coelho

I find it amazing how often the SAME things come back into our lives for us to work through!

My biggest obstacle has always been fear; and primarily fear of rejection (i.e. what others think of me) and fear of failure.  These past couple of years, however, I have overcome all of what I know to be my greatest fears and have thusly felt liberated and vindicated!  It kind of blew my mind a little to realize (while meditating yesterday) that sure enough I was allowing those SAME things to sabotage me yet again.  How did they manage to creep back into my brain so stealthily?!  I am grateful at least that I have gotten to a level where I can identify these harbingers of self-sabotage and work them out to a point of respite and resolution.  In this light, here are my words for meditation today:

~~~~~~~

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

– Paolo Coelho

~~~~~~~

“Something did happen to me somewhere that robbed me of confidence and courage and left me with a fear of discovery and change and a positive dread of everything unknown that may occur.”

– Joseph Heller

~~~~~~~

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”

– John Lennon

~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

Source: Harbingers of Self-Sabotage

Your Mind Is Complicit

My words to meditate upon today on how we truly are the authors of our own reality, whatever that reality may be. If that reality is shame, or fear, or even hatred … we each personally have authored that. We become our own worst torturers … don’t allow the actions of others to turn you into an abuser yourself. Don’t give them that power … instead be the author of love, compassion and forgiveness.

Shift … and you will find happiness.

~~~

“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”

– Nelson Mandela

~~~

“If someone succeeds in provoking you, realize that your mind is complicit in the provocation. Which is why it is essential that we not respond impulsively to impressions; take a moment before reacting, and you will find it easier to maintain control.”

– Epictetus

~~~

“Without self-respect genuine happiness is scarcely possible. And the man who is ashamed of his work can hardly achieve self-respect.”

– Bertrand Russell

~~~~~~~

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

Source: Your Mind Is Complicit

Garden of You

20120704-192134.jpg

Always struggling,

manipulating,

brainstorming,

conniving.

Always the energy

sent into the ethos

after the goal in mind

from my point of view.

I acknowledge it now;

I let go my selfish yearnings.

I replant my best intentions

in the Garden of You.

In meditating on my prior post, “Reflections of your Being”, I was forced to acknowledge what the last line of that incredible quote says:

“… people are not ready to surrender that much. They want the other to surrender; then it never happens.”

Even when you have the BEST of intentions. Even when your love and giving feels pure; free of negative energy. Even when you sacrifice. Even then … the seed of self interest takes root. We want our love – our investment of time, energy and Soul – to be rewarded with the validation of being returned.

It’s natural … we really can’t help it! That is why it takes the very active mindset of constantly grounding ourself in God … pruning back those probing tendrils of selfish hope, and planting them back in the Divine.

Unconditional Love is neither easy or natural … it is the great adventure of open-hearted fragility … the indomitable strength of letting go, and trusting God with ALL things.

Going against one’s learned nature is difficult … don’t get discouraged … just open your heart, and God is there; it’s that simple … no penance required. You simply are THAT Loved.
——-
Picture credit: gardenwebs.net

~~~~~~~

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

Source: Garden of You

What Defines You?

d122ef8ae5e58f31c625e65acfa09b24

What exactly is it that defines you?  Is it your family, or your nationality?  Your career, or your dreams?  What is that one, specific thing that defines you as a person … completely?

This is what I found myself meditating on today (from my prior post, “Forget the Pose“).  Early on in my life, as I suppose would be the case for most people, it was my family.  When you are a child, what else is there that could possibly define you more than that?

When family was taken away from me, in my teenage years, I was adrift in the vacuous void of aimless depression … so I suppose that depression defined me.  In my twenties it became self-liberation and my dreams … going after the things I was passionate about, and letting nothing stand in my way.

Over time what I have chosen to define me has changed several times: a couple of times it became people I fell in love with, another time it became avoiding rejection at all costs, and at one point it was religion as well.

Here’s the thing though … ALL of those phases I described are exactly that … PHASES!  They don’t define me any more than a Magnolia flower defines the tree.  I made the decision to make them define me though … I wanted to be in control, because being OUT of control was way too scary a thing for me.

Now, I am at a new place … God defines me.  The old things keep clawing at my mind to find their way into control … but I don’t even have to fight them any more.  Once they get in?  They come face to face with a Loving and Living God within me who has lit my Soul on fire … nothing else can take up residence in that place any longer.

Of course, that takes a certain amount of work as well.  It’s not enough to just say that God defines you … you have to put in the work to make that reality.  For me that means spending at least an hour or two with God each day.  It was work for a while … now I find that I am loathe to leave God’s presence.  Today was like that … an hour went by, and I automatically thought, “Okay, time to get up and go about my day.”  Then I simply decided to just stay there … and spend some more time connecting with God … soaking in that Divine presence and Love.

So, yeah … there still are things that try to wrest control away … home life, love, the future and all the vagueness that entails.  My mind struggles to try and DEFINE something, so that I can be in control.  It’s like I needed all of those things, or people, to be there to take care of me in some way … so that I could be good enough … because it is clear that I obviously have been thinking that I am not good enough, or worthy enough.

God told me this today, “YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH.”

THAT is something to define me … that with God at the center of my being: I am good enough … all things are possible with Love ablaze in your heart.  I can let go … there is no need to fight, or cling, or push … just let go, and BE … whoever, and wherever, and whatever it is that God guides me to be.

~~~~~~~

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

Source: What Defines You?

Changing Your Destiny

journey

Below are my words to meditate upon today … on being the author of your own reality. We each are creators, made in the image of the Creator, and we create our own reality every second of each day … we create our reality based on how we view, perceive, translate and understand the world around us. If you take on another person’s perspective … suddenly your reality is different.

I strive to make my lens for viewing life simple: always having an open heart that is connected to God and follows wherever that leads. Still, many times every day I fail … I sense my heart being closed and must open it up again. The mere fact that I am doing this however means that I am actively CHANGING my own reality and altering my perception of the world around me. I am authoring a new reality … and we all, each and every one of us, have this ability.

If you are unhappy, you can change that … if you are fearful, you can change it. It might take some work, but there is hope … never give up, go forth and create!

Peace and Love

~~~~~~~

“What we call our destiny is truly our character and that character can be altered. The knowledge that we are responsible for our actions and attitudes does not need to be discouraging, because it also means that we are free to change this destiny. One is not in bondage to the past, which has shaped our feelings, to race, inheritance, background. All this can be altered if we have the courage to examine how it formed us. We can alter the chemistry provided we have the courage to dissect the elements.”

– Anaïs Nin

~~~

“I can’t wake you up. You can wake you up. I can’t cure you. You can cure you.”

– John Lennon

~~~

“God provides the wind, Man must raise the sail. ”

– Saint Augustine

~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

Trust – a conundrum

trust-fall

Trust – belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, etc. (Merriam Webster).

It’s an enigma of a word that just sort of hangs there … looming in the nebulous future that is never very far away, but never seemingly arriving either.

People use the word a lot as some sort of comfort, like “You just need to trust (or have faith).” As if that is supposed to be comforting … somehow it actually makes things more uncomfortable.

I think the reason for this is that Trust seems sort of undefinable … what does it actually MEAN when you are supposed to trust?

Specifically … what does Trust mean when it pertains to God?

For me Trust seems uncomfortable because in my mind it has always had something to do with waiting … just sort of sitting around twiddling my thumbs while I “trust” the hell out of whatever it is.

I had a breakthrough around this yesterday in my time of meditation. Trust must come as a result of some sort of action. Sure you can sit in a room and say you are trusting that you will find the love of your life … but if you never actually leave the confines of that room it ain’t gonna happen.

So we can’t really say that we are actively trusting God unless we are out in action on the Path that we feel God has guided us to. There is fear and uncertainty along that path … and THAT is where the Trust comes into the picture, but if we never get on the path then we are just wishing on a pipe dream … not having faith or trusting.

Living in Trust or Faith is kind of scary … because you are putting yourself out into the unknown and trusting that God has a plan and reason for asking this of you … and usually this plan is completely unknown and only makes itself evident in hindsight.

There are times where we question the guidance that brought us here, times we feel like giving up and times when we are simply fed up and angry and want to end it all. THOSE are the times when Trust comes into play.

So here’s the good news … if you are feeling any of those feelings and yet you know you are where God wants you to be?

Congratulations! You are actively displaying the tremendous courage it takes to be living out of Trust.

God is good … and the time will come when you will look back in amazement to see how it has all come about.

Peace and Love.

~~~~~~~

Image by Gabriel Cyrus

~~~~~~~

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

The Opposite Of

opposite

Life often gets measured out into two parts: either you fit into the expectations of others, or you rebel to make your own mold.

The problem with this is that, in rebelling, we aren’t being who we truly might want or hope to be … we are being the OPPOSITE of what others want us to be.  Is being the opposite of someone else’s machinations REALLY the person that you long and hope to be?

Hell no!

This is how, all to often, someone looks back on their life and says,

“How did I get here?  How did I become this person?”

We spend so much of our lives basically doing one or the other of these extremes that we miss the center completely … the center is who YOU really are.  Your True Self.

You become that person when you are no longer running this way or that … forcing … pushing against.  These things are all reactions.  When you are fighting against something, or someone, you are not being your True Self … you are being the person who is knee-jerk reacting to that person or event.

There is no need for fighting.  There is no need for fear.  Rather than reacting to these things … STOP!

Take the time to go within.  Connect with your Creator, and receive Love.  Acknowledge what is happening, accept that it is happening, and just LET GO of it … of trying to dictate your will.  When you let go, you step out of that mold … the Opposite Of  mold … and can then move forward as who you really are.

There will be just as many people who don’t like this as when your were being the Opposite Of … there probably will be more.  It doesn’t matter though … you accept it, and let go of it, and continue to move forward as your True Self.  They will hate this because you are no longer reacting to them … even if you weren’t doing what they wanted, at least you were giving them something by reacting.  Now they don’t get anything from you … and they will hate that, so they will provoke you even more.

As long as you keep following those same steps though?  You will have freedom … it won’t come overnight.  It actually takes quite a while because you have built up SO many habits, and undoing habits takes some work.  It’s really pretty simple though, if you just stick with it …

Acknowledge the problem … accept it for what it is … stop trying to change it or fight it … and just let go … then move forward and begin the work of being your True Self.  It’s still work … but it’s happy work … because it’s who you really ARE! 🙂

Peace and Love.

~~~~~~~

– pic by Julien Vidame

Source: The Opposite Of

~~~~~~~

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

Remembering How To Trust

free_fall_by_thefoxandtheraven-d5xxnj9

I recently found myself reflecting back to a time of my life that I chronicled here, way back when. It was a time of having to trust even though everything within me wanted to take control … to make decisions and have things be what I thought they should be.

It is incredibly difficult to simply trust … to let go of all the complicated designs we create and live only out of belief that God has a plan … and that this plan is actually BETTER than anything we could ever conceive of.

I am at such a place again, although in a different way, and so it is good to look back and learn from the lessons I have been blessed to already have learned once before.

*** from July 28, 2012

LOVE … God’s Love. It truly is a dumbfounding, mind-boggling, overwhelm your senses Reality.

It’s not just the Love, however … it’s the timing of It that takes your breath away when you look back at the pockmarked terrain you have traversed … and somehow you made it through!

Around six months ago I felt God reveal something powerful to me in a time of meditation. What was revealed I was supposed to keep to myself, until such a time as I felt prompted to share it.

So I waited, and waited, and waited …
my oh-so-human nature chomping at my proverbial bit, sometimes agonizingly so … but still, I waited.

What’s more, what had been revealed to me involved several people! I thought, “There’s no WAY this is going to work out the way it was revealed to me!” Some of the people had seemed to disappear from my life!

But still, I waited … And just continued to focus on giving the unconditional love that God had told me to give … to all the parties involved. I wasn’t perfect at it, I messed up several times … but for the most part, I felt that I did what God asked me.

Suddenly this week I get the prompting, out of nowhere seemingly. I even did another meditation session just to make sure … and it was confirmed; this was … the time.

So I put it in motion. I shared what had been revealed to me, and followed through on everything exactly as God had shown me, six months ago.

The people involved reacted exactly as God showed me they would. I then focused on doing what God told me to do in response … deny my normal human reactions to their discomfort or even anger, and simply give unfiltered, unconditional love in return.

Does it seem stupid of me to be utterly amazed that everything … every single reaction … was exactly what God had revealed to me … except for the ultimate outcome which had been kept from me. I was simply supposed to do what I was instructed to do and trust that the outcome, whatever it was, would be God’s Will.

So I did … and the results thus far have taken my breath away. I could never have accomplished these things on my own … in any scenario.

All of this was accomplished by simply listening, waiting, and then following through when prompted. Way back when, I thought it would be a couple of weeks … but no, it was months. I almost had lost faith in what had been revealed … thinking it my own imagination at times.

Looking back … I am floored. God’s Love is TRULY all we need. Wow. In my post for meditation today, “Turn Into Love“, one of the quotes was as follows:

“Love is an undulating energy that moves through you, within you, and radiates out of you,
and changes everything.”

Uh … YEAH! 🙂

~~~~~~~

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

Pic from The Fox and the Raven

Source: Following Orders

Then I Walked Outside – Rumi

Glacier National Park

A Meditation String … where will it take you, and what are the connections between quotes?  Share your insights …

~~~~~~~

“The unchecked striving for more, for endless growth, is a dysfunction and a disease. It is the same dysfunction the cancerous cell manifests, whose only goal is to multiply itself, unaware that it is bringing about its own destruction by destroying the organism of which it is a part.”

Eckhart Tolle

~~~~~~~

“He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

~~~~~~~

“For years, copying other people, I tried to know myself.
From within, I couldn’t decide what to do.
Unable to see, I heard my name being called.
Then I walked outside.”

– Rumi

~~~~~~~

– pic from my travels in Glacier National Park.

~~~~~~~

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

We Are All Meant To Shine

in_meditation____by_knotty82

My words to meditate today … on the topic of taking action – stepping out and DOING whatever it that we feel called or created for:

~~~~~~~

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

– Mark Twain

~~~~~~~

“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.”

– Marianne Williamson

~~~~~~~

“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”

– Jesus

~~~~~~~

– pic from knotty82

~~~~~~~

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

The Only Dance There Is – Osho

Micglpx

This one will take some time to sink in, I think … my words to meditate on:

“There is no center to this cyclone, the cyclone is the center. We have a chronic habit of dividing things into two, we have a chronic habit of duality: God and the world, body and soul, the lower and the higher the good and bad. The habit persists. Now it is the center and the cyclone.

“Let me insist on it: the cyclone is the center and there is no other center to it. Once you understand this oneness of life then all tension, anxiety, anguish, disappears. The anxiety is created because you are always dividing. Through division you become split; through division you become schizophrenic. Now you think that you are on the circumference – the cyclone – and the center has been lost, so now the center has to be found. 

“It is the old habit of duality. The “center and the cyclone” is a new language, but this habit is very old, the gestalt is very old. It is always that wherever you are you are not right, you should be somewhere else.

“My whole emphasis is that whatsoever is, is right. There is no other right. There is nowhere to go. This is the only life there is, the only dance there is. Only then you can be spontaneous, really spontaneous.”

– Osho

~~~~~~~

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

Let Go

In my meditations today (on my prior post, “Free From Misery“) I went through all my usual rituals: grounding myself, bringing the energy of God’s Creation within, making amends for any negativity I brought into the world, and proclaiming my LOVE to and for God.  Time went by and I continued to run Love through my energy centers … and finally I heard something,

“WHY SO SERIOUS?  JUST LET GO … BE HAPPY.”

I smiled, and had to laugh at myself a bit … I do tend to constantly be searching for the next breakthrough.  I suppose breakthroughs themselves can become addictive … I have had so MANY of them this past year.  For a while I eagerly sought after breakthroughs because I just wanted to get through them … so that they’d be OVER and I could finally ARRIVE at wherever God wanted me to be.

Now, I realize that I really am just at the beginning.  I don’t seek after the breakthroughs so that they will just be over any more … now I embrace the breakthrough because each one brings me that much closer to God … and the closer I get, the closer I want to get.

What I felt God telling me is that there is no need to try and rush things.  In choosing to follow the path that is prompted by God, I am following God’s timing anyway.  My pressing things isn’t going to make God change pace.  I felt a release within … smiled … opened my heart … and just allowed joyful, happy energy to fill me.

So I did a search on the words I felt God give me today … and within a few minutes, I ended up enjoying this song.  It actually is a nice song to meditate to … I could put it on a loop and have a very nice extended meditation … perhaps that is what I shall do now ;-).

Let go … be happy … fill yourself with God’s love … and laugh a little … no … laugh a lot! 🙂

Let Go – Frou Frou

Mmm are you in or out
Leave your things behind
‘Cause it’s all going off without you
Excuse me
Too busy 
Oh, writing your tragedy
These mishaps
You bubble wrap 
When you’ve no idea what you’re like

(So let go) so let go
Jump in
Oh well whatcha waiting for
It’s all right
‘Cause there’s beauty in the breakdown
(So let go) let go
Just get in
Oh it’s so amazing here
It’s all right 
‘Cause there’s beauty in the breakdown

It gains the more you give
And it rises with the fall
So hand me that remote
Can’t you see that all that stuff’s a sideshow
Such boundless pleasure
We’ve no time for later now
You can’t await your own arrival
You’ve twenty seconds to comply

(So let go) so let go
Jump in
Oh well whatcha waiting for
It’s all right
‘Cause there’s beauty in the breakdown
(So let go) yeah let go
Just get in
Oh it’s so amazing here
It’s all right 
‘Cause there’s beauty in the breakdown
‘Cause there’s beauty in the breakdown

So let go
Jump in
Oh well whatcha waiting for
It’s all right
‘Cause there’s beauty in the breakdown
So let go
Jump in
Oh well whatcha waiting for
It’s all right
‘Cause there’s beauty in the breakdown

Mmm the breakdown
‘Cause there’s beauty in the breakdown
Hey, the breakdown
So amazing, yeah
‘Cause there’s beauty in the breakdown.

~~~~~~~

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

re-blogged from – Let Go – Frou Frou

A Treacherous Path

Fear of Failure … that recurring event that most frequently is far worse than the actual event you feared.  For many, myself included, fear of failure has proven to be a crippling and suffocating force with anaconda-like strength … crushing our wills while making our heart pound, pulse race, and each breath turn shallow and ragged.

Fear of Failure finds its roots in several sources.  The social aspect of it is that we care SO desperately what everyone around us thinks of us … whether they approve of us … that we devote our entire lives to this endless exercise in futility.  Secondly, on the inner level … we have been trained by a lifetime of events to actually believe the worst of ourselves.  When you combine a lack of belief in oneself with an obsessive need for other’s acceptance??  The results range from depression, to social disorders, to ruined homes and families, and even suicide.

Sometimes it seems like there is no end in sight … that the future holds no hope … so why even exert the effort it would take to be successful, when you are only going to be slapped down again?

The answer that I have found is to unplug myself from those sources, and re-plug those energy conduits into Love … into God.  I do this on a meditative level, and visualize this process accordingly.  It takes conscious work to re-train your brain … and even more to re-train the reactive impulses that have come to seem completely natural to you.

In my own life, overcoming this crippling condition began with inner work … creating a place inside of me that I enjoyed being … a place where I loved to be and could reside in quietude; away from my fears and simply at one with God.  Over time this activity began to have physical manifestations.  Suddenly you don’t care quite as much about whether somebody else will reject you, because you find SO much contentment in that beautiful inner world that you share with your Creator.

Once you arrive at that place, then you can begin the work of re-training your habits in how you live life, in your relationships, and ultimately in the things you fear most as well.  You get to the point where you don’t even need to TRY to overcome those fears … because you simply won’t care about them any more.  You will be happy with who you are, and what other’s think or say simply won’t matter any more … because those places will be being filled with fulfilling, unconditional LOVE from the ultimate source.

It’s a long journey and process … but just start with creating a conscious inner space where you give and receive Love … where you commune with God.  If you can do that each and every day … eventually, God will lead you out of the suffocating maelstrom of failure, and the fear of failure.

Do not despair, you are Loved.

~~~~~~~

This post was based on meditating on my prior post, “Julia’s Wisdom“.  Pic by Lev Tsimring.

~~~~~~~

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

re-blogged from: A Treacherous Path

Risking all to be oneself

My words to contemplate in meditation today:

~~~~~~~

“You can do anything in this world if you are prepared to take the consequences.”

– William Somerset Maugham

~~~~~~~

“Sometimes, what’s right is not peaceful or passive. What matters is that you do not hide from the consequences. You bear what must be borne.”

– Orson Scott Card

~~~~~~~

“Listen to your being. It is continuously giving you hints; it is a still, small voice. It does not shout at you, that is true. And if you are a little silent you will start feeling your way. Be the person you are. Never try to be another, and you will become mature. Maturity is accepting the responsibility of being oneself, whatsoever the cost. Risking all to be oneself, that’s what maturity is all about.”

– Osho

~~~~~~~

pic from US Department of the Interior

~~~~~~~

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

re-blogged from: Risking all to be oneself

What the flower within me would look like

It is impossible to discern what it is that God has in store for us, which is why so few actually attempt to walk such a path. It seems SO much safer (and more rational to our limited minds) to plan everything out, and plot our course accordingly.

The primary problem is that we don’t really know what will actually make us happy. We think we know, but such deductions are invariably influenced by our own insecurities, our past experiences both good and bad, and whatever upbringing we have been personally saddled with. So we plot our course and devote every ounce of energy to the journey of making it happen … making our dreams come true. When we get there, however, we find that there is something within still wanting … that aching, hollow void begging to be filled.

The second problem, which is even more daunting than the first problem, is that we have no clue what the future will hold … NONE. So not only do we not know what the future will hold, we don’t really know what will actually make us happy even if we could somehow fathom the great mysteries of the future.

When you think about it, it starts to seem fairly ludicrous that anyone would think that they could figure out the path to their own happiness. Yet that is what we do; all of us for at least parts of our lives, and many of us for ALL of our lives.

So what does it mean to allow God to guide us on our own personalized path to happiness??

First, you have to learn how to stop all the busyness; to quiet your mind … and then listen. When you’ve gotten to a place where this feels quite natural … it means you are ready to start walking that path.

Secondly, you have to be willing to trust; to follow the promptings that might not make sense to you at the time … but that your intuition KNOWS to be Divine. These promptings could be about inner work that needs to be done, or outer actions that you feel prompted to enact.

Most importantly, everything you do MUST be based in Love. If it is not, then it is a prompting from something other than God.

A year ago, if you would’ve asked me what would make me happy, I could have given you a list of what that happiness would require. Six months ago you could have asked me the same question and I would’ve given you another list … a very different list, but one that I felt equally sure of.

Today … I don’t have a list anymore. Virtually none of the things on those two lists have happened … and yet God has fulfilled me more completely than I could ever have imagined! I couldn’t even have written a list for the things within me that are now being fulfilled … I was but a bud, without a clue what the flower within me would look like.

Sheer Bliss, overwhelming Love, and pure Joy … radiating out into the Universe. That is the path that God would put you on … if you only take the time to learn how to listen.

~~~~~~~

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

re-blogged from: What the flower within me would look like

The Hardest Part (TRUST) …

The hardest part

is simply waiting …

wondering what will be

and knowing that to do

anything

alters the landscape of your life

forever.

~

That’s what it is really,

TRUST,

it’s all about waiting:

mind-numbing, scream-at-the-ceiling,

clench-your-fist-’til-your-palm-bleeds

waiting.

~

What is the point?

~

Well, here’s the thing …

only God knows what is best for our lives,

and only God knows when, where, and how

that will all unfold.

So your heart may be breaking for loving too much,

or someone you love is suffering unbearably,

or you’ve lost everything you ever owned …

the trials of Job.

~

But …

if you take things into your own hands;

try to make everything be

what you want it to be?

Then you will never get

to where God wants you to be.

Every proverbial flailing arm

sends you falling

farther than you ever would have fallen

if you had just waited …

and trusted.

~

THAT

is the hardest part.

~~~~~~~

“The Hardest Part” is a song by Coldplay.

~~~~~~~

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California,Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

re-blogged from The Hardest Part (TRUST) …

I LOVE YOU

Amanda Sage

Here is a poem I wrote this past month while struggling and grappling with issues that came up from living life. Interestingly, this poem has changed my WHOLE way of meditating each day. Now, after doing my breathing, stretching, grounding, connecting to God and establishing boundaries … I spend time allowing whatever is causing me stress or anxiety in my life to come up. I feel it to its fullest … and then I simply say “I love you.” … just as in this poem. I am very grateful to have received this inspiration as it has improved my well being and life immensely this past month:

I love you.

~

Rising swells

all flecked with fury.

~

I love you.

~

Judgement’s eyes

cast weight on the scales

of my heart.

~

I love you.

~

Friend or foe;

uncertainty’s advance.

~

I love you.

~

Ancient wounds prodded

provoking past mistakes.

~

I love you.

~

Dreamscape carnage

littered with pieces and parts

of who I was

and what I’ve done.

~

I love you.

~

A shuttered heart

defending inner sanctum.

~

I love you.

I love you.

I love you.

~

Namaste.

~~~~~~~

  • poem written by the author of Religion4All, art by Amanda Sage.

~~~~~~~

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

Questioning Can Bring You Closer To God – continued

mary-magdalene-in-meditation

I have been doing further research on the theme of my last posting “Questioning Can Bring You Closer To God” where I wrote about researching Emperor Constantine’s role in creating his own version of Christianity.

In general I strive to have this blog be a place where people of all faiths can find inspiration and hopefully connectivity with God. I am focusing on Christianity here not to exclude people of other faiths, but rather to point out how politics and history have influenced the religious institutions we know today.

I was inspired to do this research by a recent trip to Italy … my intention is to ask questions that will hopefully bring people to a closer, deeply personal connection to God.

Along this historical journey I looked into some of the gospels that were not selected to be included in The Bible.

I found inspiration in reading the Gospel of Mary. Mary Magdalene was well known in the early Christian church; someone who actually knew Jesus and worked to share what he had taught her. Unlike modern Christianity, where women are not allowed to preach or lead in most churches, Mary had a respected voice at the time. Her gospel had been translated into multiple languages, meaning that it was fairly widespread.

The Gospel of Mary is a non-canonical gospel, meaning it was not chosen by the Bishops at Constantine’s Council of Nicea to be a part of The Bible. There are all sorts of questions and rabbit holes one could go down around which gospels were chosen as well as many conspiracy theories around Constantine’s role in the process for what was selected.

However, in reading the Gospel of Mary one line stuck out to me like a sore thumb … and made all of these other questions and conspiracy theories simply disappear. The quote is this,

“Rather let us be ashamed and put on the perfect man and acquire him for ourselves as He commanded us, and preach the gospel, not laying down any other rule or other law beyond what the Saviour said.”

The most important bit that stuck out to me there was,

“… not laying down any other rule or other law beyond what the Saviour said.”

This is confirmed in the gospels that were chosen to be a part of the Bible. In Mathew it is written,

“… teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

In Mark it is written,

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”

The difference to me is the wording, although they are saying the same thing … but in Mary it is specifically indicated that no rule or law OTHER than what Jesus said should be taught or laid down.

So, are there writings in the New Testament that establish new teachings, laws or rules beyond what Jesus said? Yes, and most notably by Paul, whose writings make up the largest bulk of the New Testament of any other author (roughly one third of the New Testament was written by Paul).

If the command of Jesus was clear, which it seems that it was, that there was not supposed to be anything taught other than what Jesus had told them … then Paul’s writings should never have even been included in The New Testament. He never knew Jesus while he was living AND he was teaching things other than what Jesus taught during his life.

Paul for instance introduced the idea that we are saved by faith, not by works … but if you simply look at the parable of the Sheep and the Goats you can see that this is not what Jesus says. Jesus very clearly details the difference between the Sheep and the Goats … and it is ALL about what they did or did not do.

There are other teachings by Paul that differ or add to what Jesus taught as well. Paul was a Pharisee before his conversion and as such was well versed in theology and philosophy. It is not so much that his writings are horrible teachings, but simply that they can cloud the picture and at times even create a different picture that what is JUST the teachings of Jesus.

An example … I have written many spiritual songs and I believe that some of those songs were inspired by God. Even if they were proven to have been inspired by God, it does not mean they should be in The New Testament or any other religious book. If every writing of every person who had been inspired by God was in The New Testament … the clarity of the message that Jesus brought would be diluted. What should have been in The New Testament was only the gospel that Jesus had given.

So how does Paul end up being the primary source for modern Christianity? That is where Constantine and the bishops of that time (more than 300 years after the death of Jesus) come in … in creating a version of Christianity to their liking and then persecuting anyone who believed differently I question whether Christianity was forever changed and remains changed by those events to this day.

So what does all this mean? What is the point of these questions? Doesn’t this just confuse people and create headaches? I would contend that confusing people has been what has been going on for almost two thousand years now, and probably has been the case as long as human brains have had self-awareness.

The most important commandments laid down by Jesus were TO LOVE … plain and simple. I think that those commandments would be fairly compatible with a lot of other religious teachings as well … perhaps bringing people together instead of driving them apart?

Let’s consider what the Church through all of these centuries might look like if ONLY the actions, life and teachings of Jesus were all that was being taught (this is of course hypothetical but seems logical to me based on what I have learned of the life and teachings of Jesus):

  • The Crusades, and every other war where Christianity was used as the reason, would never have happened. If only the teachings of Jesus were taught and followed Christianity would never have been used as a way to dominate others. Jesus was a pacifist and very clearly stated that our actions mean something in terms of our connection to God and salvation. Hundreds of thousands, even millions of lives would not have been taken. Christians would not be bringers of war, but rather peace and healing.
  • The Church would have spent their time feeding the hungry, helping the helpless, clothing the naked and generally spreading LOVE, as Jesus did and taught, instead of amassing wealth and power. Granted, we would not have some lovely cathedrals to admire and worship in … but I think helping the poor and needy would have created a better society.
  • Women would have a significant role in the leadership of the Church … women had a very large role in the early church and in Jesus’s life. This changed with the creation of Constantine’s church that embraced male figures and most likely carried on the traditions of Mithraism (Constantine’s former religion and the religion of the Roman Legion at the time) that only men could lead.

I am not claiming anything to “the truth” … I am simply asking questions. I believe in a God who is powerful enough for questions to be asked and for truth to hopefully be discovered … a God that is deeply and personally connected to us … and that our actions in life will flow from that connection if we seek after and maintain it.

  • as a disclaimer I would like to say that this is not meant to be an attack on Catholics or Christians. I consider myself to be an open-minded Christian and enjoy attending Catholic services. Yes, I believe that the Church misled many people of faith throughout history. This deception has gone on for so long now that I don’t think many of the leaders of churches even realize they are misleading their congregants … this does not mean that there are not beautiful and wonderful people of faith and full of Love within the Church. I am privileged to know many of them and am grateful to see and share Love with them.

Picture credit: Mary Magdalene In Meditation, by Le Nain brothers.

~~~~~~~

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach