•by Dawn King•Our world is changing so fast around us. Today, a child in Africa, India or Siberia with a smartphone has access to more information than the leaders of the world had not so long ago. It’s an exciting time to live in, one in which the future is hard to predict, and it seems our actions have greater consequences.
It’s becoming evident that preserving and nurturing our planet Earth is more important than ever. We don’t have another place immediately available on which to live out our lives. Meanwhile through the Internet, we’re all connected like a hive of buzzing bees. We can express ourselves, see others, and experience a oneness with rest of humanity. How can we best utilize this connection?
The things we can do with life—have relationships, be creative, create knowledge—are what give life meaning. Human ideas can change the world, and you can overcome any obstacle with the right idea. – Ray Kurzweil, inventor & futurist
We are each blessed with and can develop tremendous innate, creative powers beyond what we might normally consider. What powers are these, and how can we use them?
We each have the ability to imagine, to use willpower, and to be creative. Our thoughts and active willpower constantly recreate us and our environment. Through experience, we find that if we dwell on a thought of being sick, or in pain, we “own” that thought and magnify it. Likewise, if you consistently think “My life is wonderful!” life will reflect positive feedback to you.
Imagination and willpower go hand in hand with creativity. Your thoughts and willpower are creating your life. The more persistent and detailed your thoughts are about something, the greater its ability to manifest. This is how Cosmic Intelligence created everything we perceive.
How do we make our muscles stronger? We imagine that we can do it. Then we use our willpower to exercise and grow stronger. It’s the same with developing our spiritual nature. Let yourself imagine what it would be like to feel the ecstasy of Spirit living within you every moment, and enjoying your life to the fullest. The more you can imagine this, the more you will manifest it by your thinking and your actions.
Our very DNA evolves and is reprogramed through our life choices, our meditation, and our direct connection with the Divine. The Creator wants to dance, sing, and enjoy this creation through each of us. We are sparks of that Creator. Just like a drop of water in the ocean, each of us IS the ocean. It is only for us to realize our oneness with the ocean, our oneness with living Spirit.
The divine joy and ecstasy of life is contagious. I truly believe it’s spreading through humankind today. Amidst all its trials, humanity is evolving, growing into cosmic/Christ consciousness. In fact, trials increase our desire for and appreciation of divine Light and Life.
Like yeast raising dough, we each can help consciously raise the vibration of humanity to one of greater divine love and peace. This is our inherent nature, our birthright. We are offspring of the first Light, children of the one Source of All. Let us embrace the gift of Life, to dance, sing, and run with it!
“We say we waste time, but that is impossible. We waste ourselves.” – Alice Bloch
Light on Sunburst Sanctuary – Stand Unshaken•Master Yogananda has told us: “You must learn to stand unshaken amidst the crash of breaking worlds.” In that spirit we carry on at Sunburst Sanctuary. In fact we are making the best of it, letting “breaking worlds” send us deeper into oneness with Spirit. [Opening image above: Al King hiking at Sunburst Sanctuary.
Meanwhile we’ve certainly had our share of breaking equipment this winter. But our guys, sometimes with a bit of outside help, get it up and running again. Farmer-in-training, and Sunburst Explorer, Nate has been singing to express his enthusiasm (photo below).
And who could be unhappy amidst the beauty of Sunburst Sanctuary? Here’s some photos taken right before and right after morning group meditation.
Then there’s the bounty of the land. We’re still enjoying persimmons, and a late crop of potatoes and strawberries from some personal gardens.
Plenty of great activities keep us busy: Around the Temple, Curtis was weeding; Craig was cleaning and fixing the rain gutters.
Heiko was working the organic fertilizer spreader. Haley was turning compost rows.
[Below] Al & Anna (visiting) gathered wild mushrooms. On a recent morning after meditation we saw the horses waiting for fresh hay. So much to see and do at Sunburst Sanctuary. You can visit, explore, retreat.
•by Norman Paulsen, Sunburst Founder • As you walk through this life, you begin to realize how short it really is. When we’re young, we think life is forever, and no matter what we do we are somehow going to get out of it. As we grow older, and we’ve seen the consequences of our actions, we realize how our actions can imprison us, or can set us free.
Life is short here—not even a moment in eternity, hardly. The experience of the soul’s immortality must be gained, must be tasted. It is an ecstasy beyond description. Once tasting it, you can never fail. You will always return to that which is sweetest, which tastes the best. That’s why we have to make the effort.
Don’t count your failures. They don’t exist unless you count them. When you count them, you replant them. Every day you are reborn anew. Dismiss the past. Throw it into the field of power around you, and plant your consciousness with divine Light that will consume whatever is negative, whatever is no longer helpful in your life.
Today you are reborn in Spirit if you believe it, if you receive it. The failures of the past no longer exist if you cast them out. You are free!
By attempting to live in compassion and virtue every day, whether you succeed or fail, just by attempting it you plant positive seeds in the field of power around you. The law of cause and effect has no choice but to return those virtues to you. Therefore, the more you attempt, the more you reap. The more you reap, the stronger you get. The stronger you get, the more determined you become. The more determined you become, the greater the Light within you.
Once seeing the Light, once experiencing the bliss and peace of meditation, you know it’s real. You will not need to be convinced anymore. You have gained a foothold and a handhold to scale the mountain. You become a force to help our brothers and sisters toward their freedom.
It’s not only important for each one of us to attain the final evolution for our own salvation, it’s infinitely more important for us to do so that we may become a Light. And in becoming a Light, not to hide that light—to have guts enough to stand forth and use that Light. Yes, become divine warriors, because that is what is needed here.
•[Photo: Paramahansa Yogananda instructs Norman Paulsen in energizing yoga exercises,1948, Mount Washington.]
Today we celebrate the birthday of the great yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda, whose direct disciple, Norman Paulsen, founded Sunburst. Norman wrote: “My teacher Paramahansa Yogananda used to say to all of us eager monks, “God is so very close; if you could only realize how close God is to you right now. You must all meditate deeply and ask God to reveal himself to you.”
If you continuously persist in thinking that your body is full of vitality, especially at times when it is weak, you will have started to open up a new, secret, invisible means of vitalizing yourself. Perform small as well as important duties with courageous cheerfulness and deep attention, remembering that God is guiding and stimulating every worthwhile effort you are making to achieve a noble ambition.
With the consciousness of God in your actions, and with the performance of noble actions, you will see that a flood of vitality will move through all your muscles and through your entire body.
While you are busily engaged in work, visualize a halo of God’s cosmic energy surrounding your body and feel that you can never become tired again because your tissues are being renewed, supplied with current from that energy. Hold fast to the thought that no matter how much physical energy you use up, you can bring it back by peace-born smiles.
• by Nathaniel Hansen • I recently entered the Sunburst community as an Explorer in a six-month program meant to acquaint its participants with life at Sunburst Sanctuary. Here I share just a few golden nuggets from my experience thus far.
At Sunburst, the best feelings emerge early in one’s first weeks. Not only are the residents and fellow explorers warm and welcoming, but one also has access to a rich library of texts from a variety of powerful teachers, daily morning group meditations, and some hours of highly gratifying physical labor on the ranch. In addition, when one first enters the gates of Sunburst, one’s blood pressure drops and a sustained sense of calm and peace fills the system. This is important because all of humanity is spiritually weary and in need of soul nourishment.
“How is this possible?” one might ask.
It is possible because the tight-knit family in and surrounding Sunburst hold one another, the land, and the world in a positive bright light. Through daily meditation and prayer, the Sunburst family practices spreading the spiritual Sun’s rays to all souls. This action of channeling light to others is Sunburst’s daily, yet potent, gift. This is important because so much darkness is delivered via media to the human heart; Sunburst counters and cures this with light—first, in the individual life, and then in a larger context.
Anyone on the receiving end of this transference of light at Sunburst knows how wonderful the physical, emotional, and spiritual results can be. A consistent daily routine, along with deep sleep on land that is devoid of city noise, releases hormones into the bloodstream that truly nourish one. This experience is rare, and a true gift.
As one digests the stories and teachings of Sunburst’s founders, and those who inspired them, one feels in the company of true spiritual giants. So many of life’s daily problems and larger issues are quite easily solved when reflecting on these teachings. And, after a full day’s work on the ranch, one may walk over to the well-lit temple for silent personal meditation and prayer. It’s a simple, yet deeply fulfilling existence.
I was recently struggling with a personal issue, and felt an array of difficult emotions and thoughts. One of the long-time residents advised me: “Give these worries up to God, and he will attend to the problem; he can see the macro view.” This guidance brought me such relief. I wasn’t giving up responsibility as much as taking time to reflect next to God, feeling his (and her) all powerful presence.
And that’s just a taste of what it’s like to be here at Sunburst. There are lots of helpful materials on the Sunburst website for those interested. You can also view a spontaneous song that burst out of me while on a tractor in a field here at Sunburst. This song captures all that I’ve written above…and more! I hope you enjoy it!