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Eightfold Path of Conscious Living

Permaculture As Spiritual Practice

By | Daily Life, Eightfold Path of Conscious Living, Sunburst Teachings | No Comments

By Sean Fennell
At Sunburst I employ the principles of Permaculture to observe how I live daily, how I connect with the wisdom of the Earth, with myself and with others. This is the outward journey, having been sculpted inwardly through my practice of the twelve virtues and the eight-fold path of conscious living.

Sean FennellThis practice supports a continual path of transformation and growth in my everyday life. It helps me approach ordinary activities in extraordinary ways.

Where Spirit, Nature and people meet in oneness in activity, as well as in non-activity, is that place where I find my center. Permaculture is the marriage of the spiritual with the natural and social and is, therefore, one of the highest expressions of spiritual practice.

Permaculture begins with the individual, and is contingent upon one’s thoughts, ethics and beliefs. This, in turn, is what one can fully utilize in creating a sustainable way of life, starting from the inside out.

By employing the benefits of meditation, deep self-reflection, time spent in nature and group interactions, one’s creative expression and endeavor can translate into a life that’s fun, rewarding and sustainable for oneself, for others, and the Earth!

“If it’s not fun, it’s not sustainable” is the Permaculture mantra.

Sean demonstrating the permaculture method of planting trees.

Sean demonstrating the permaculture method of planting trees.

The Courage of Letting Go

By | Daily Life, Eightfold Path of Conscious Living, Sunburst Teachings, The Rainbow Path, The Twelve Virtues | No Comments

by Sharon Ray

We come to the profound realization that the true path to liberation is to let go of everything.” Jack Kornfield

As we grow and change and evolve it is natural that our needs and our environment should change and evolve along with us, otherwise we are like a rose trying to bloom in the desert of the past. Our life is a reflection of what we value and, as what we value transforms, so does our life transform: our environment, our friends, and our activities. Sometimes these changes require a decision be made that says, “This doesn’t fit me anymore; it doesn’t describe me. I’m going to let it go and replace it with something better, something higher.”

autumn forest

It very often requires courage to let go, to detach. In fact, Sunburst teaches that detachment is one of the important words describing the virtue of courage. One of its opposites is grasping.

It takes courage to go into battle, but it also takes courage to walk away from the battlefield when we are called to stop fighting. An example is to let go of a relationship or an activity that no longer serves you. We grasp, clutching onto the hope that someone else or something else will change. We hold onto key people, places, and things because we are attached (sometimes addicted), and feel that we need them, that we won’t be happy without them, even if we are miserable with them.

Detachment is key on the spiritual path. It is difficult to go far without it—like trying to reach the top of Mount Everest but forgetting your water or your oxygen, or like trying to sail into outer space without dropping your booster rockets. Detachment is the ability to let go of every person, place, or thing that holds us back from progressing along the way. There are activities and people that, although they bring some pleasure or comfort in the moment, it is more destructive than constructive to have them in our lives. How can we detach so that we can move over onto the fast track in our spiritual life? After all, letting go leaves a void.

Filling that void with devotion is key. When we develop a love for God and a passion for God Union, where God becomes our mother, father, lover and best friend, our all-in-all, then little else is needed. “Become a spiritual alcoholic!” Yogananda said. This passion for God gives us the courage to do what we must do to live a healthy, serviceable life on the fast track to God. Devotion, in its ultimate form, gives us the ability to let go of everything, even of the small self we perceive ourselves to be, cleaving at last solely to the act of loving God.

God please empower me to let go of everything and everyone that is holding me back on the path homeward. I only want to see Your face. I only want to be with You. Make me a courageous Warrior of Light, strong in Your service. I am Yours, forevermore.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ~Winston Churchill

Endeavoring to Practice Equanimity

By | Daily Life, Eightfold Path of Conscious Living, Sunburst Teachings, The Twelve Virtues | No Comments

By Sharon Ray

In this month of Libra, I am endeavoring to practice equanimity. Another term for it is “being centered.” It’s not so easy to stay centered through all my life’s challenges, especially if I resist them, and try to push them away as if God has just served me a plate of something I detest. I’ve found the practice of acceptance to be key. I can accept the challenge, the heartbreak, the disappointment, if I realize that it’s part of my journey — an opportunity to be transformed into someone who is ready for Divine Union. God is with me, cheering me on, supporting me, and being my true and ever-present helpful friend.

But why only paddle to keep my head above water when I can walk on water through adding the practice of gratitude into the mix. It brings a great beacon of joy into the nightlife of challenges. My own mother took this biblical practice of gratitude, “giving thanks always, for all things, unto God…” to heart in a profound way.

When she was diagnosed with breast cancer, her quiet prayer unknown to anyone at the time was: “Thank You, God.” She knew that God was with her, and that “God causes ALL THINGS to work together for the good of those who love God.”

I recently read another powerful statement: “If the only prayer you ever prayed was to say ‘Thank You,’ that would suffice.”
meditation woman prayer hands - crop