Love Is in Our Hearts

Love Is in Our Hearts

  by Norman Paulsen, Sunburst Founder    In our deep meditations, each one of us can sit in the presence of I Am That I Am, our Creator, our beloved Father and Mother. We are all connected in that energy, in that wondrous Spirit. Like the wind, it blows life through all our souls and caresses our hearts.

Oh Beloved, we all want to see you as you really are, face to face. Like a son, like a daughter looks at their earthly parents, so we want to look upon you, to really see you, to hug you, to have our hearts filled with your great love.
This is what this life is about. You created each one of us—each one with a different face—that you might enjoy and work and live through each of us, and that some day you might awaken us to your presence within. Yes, to know who we really are, to know that you really exist—we can know, see, and feel you.

I know this Being that we call by many names loves each one of us so very, very much; and cares for each one of us, and has so uniquely created each one of us. Just look at all the faces, each one different. All the faces of our Creator cover this world today, but how many really know who they are? The Infinite One is pleading with us, its children, that we sit down and find out who we really are.

The opening of the way that is being offered to all of us, if we seek it, can save our planet. This beautiful jewel floating here in space has become polluted by the mismanagement and waste of mankind, yet it struggles on. The effects of this maltreatment can be seen in the weather and the natural catastrophes that continue to come. We each need to live a virtuous life the best we can, and make the effort to sit down in stillness and meet our Creator face to face.

Our energy emanates out through our meditations and prayers and it becomes a tool in God’s hands for helping others, and for saving this world. We really need to do something about what is happening around us in our world.

The good news is that God is present in the hearts and minds of each one of us, hearing us as we think, feel, and desire. Our work within and without becomes a force for good to turn the tide.

“Your problem is how you are going to spend this one odd and precious life you have been issued. Whether you’re going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over people and circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it, and find out the truth about who you are.” – Anne Lamott

Developing Spiritual Desire & Devotion

Developing Spiritual Desire & Devotion

•  by Barbara McCaughey  •  Paramahansa Yogananda used to say to his disciples, “Get devotion!” But with this admonition, he also gave them practical ways to accomplish that goal. To nurture devotion, he encouraged them to practice the meditation techniques they had been given.

In doing so, they would set aside time to quiet the mind, to interiorize the senses, and give the subtle life force a chance to find its way into their consciousness in a very personal way. An experience of the Divine is one of complete unconditional love. Once you experience this, devotion naturally flows; you are forever devoted to the perfect Love which created us.

Another thing Yogananda stressed was the importance of practicing the presence of God. In our silent meditations we are looking for the light of pure consciousness, and trying to feel life force moving through our bodies. In practicing the Presence, we are using the magnificent vehicle of the body to bring divine Love into the creation. Practicing the Presence expands our idea of Love and Life as being the cause and fabric of creation.

There was a naturalist who used the term, “The Spirit that moves in all things.” When we look at all life forms in this way, how could we not feel love for every manifestation of Nature?

In order to feel the Spirit that moves in all things, we have to slow down. We have to do all our actions with intention. The Buddhists use the term “mindfulness.” We’re not scurrying from one activity to the next; we are acknowledging the presence of Life and Love in every moment.

In the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony, the attention to detail, the purposeful placement of every single item, almost confounds the untrained mind. It’s all done to express the beauty and order of the Universe, and it’s meant to honor the guests that are attending. The idea behind it is: “One moment; one opportunity.” There will never be another moment in all of eternity that is configured just like this present moment. Think about that; not one moment in eternity is just like this one!

Yogananda talked about the need to purify the heart from the lower emotions of jealousy, anger, greed, and so on, because all those things block Love, block Life. When we remove the blocks to Love they’re dissolved. It’s as if it never happened, and we’re back in tune with where we want to be. When we recognize this creation as the blueprint of our divine Creator, then we can only pray that we courageously, humbly and harmoniously fit into this wonderfulness. One life form cannot be above or below another; all are from the same Source.

So many people who have a special spiritual experience, either through meditation or near-death, are transformed by Love, but they also then have a greater desire to learn. When you study the natural universe, I think the word that you always come to is “Wow!” Love, Life is so present in this creation. The more we experience it, and thus know it, the more we appreciate it.

“Your problem is how you are going to spend this one odd and precious life you have been issued. Whether you’re going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over people and circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it, and find out the truth about who you are.” – Anne Lamott

A Gift Beyond Measure

A Gift Beyond Measure

  by David Adolphsen  Over the last few years, I have really appreciated reading the poetry of Rumi. He always refers to God as “the Friend.” I like the personal feeling that it gives because when I think about the friendships that I have in my life, I realize that a divine friendship with your earthly friends is a gift that is beyond measure—to have people who support your quest to evolve and advance spiritually, and to be able to do the same for them.

While thinking about that, I remembered a saying I heard a while back: If my friend is important to me, then the things that are important to my friend are important to me. When I think about what is important to Divine Spirit, well…obviously everything is important to Divine Spirit: the Earth, all of the elements of the Earth, all of creation that we can see, and all of the creation that we can’t see. But when it comes down to a personal feeling, all of the people on the Earth are important to Divine Spirit, and it doesn’t matter one bit what any of their actions are, or what their religious or political beliefs are, or if they have any religious or political beliefs at all.

Divine Spirit is completely interested in every single individual, because we are Divine Spirit’s offspring. Just as we might look upon a little baby with awe, wonder and delight, Divine Spirit has that same feeling for each of us, and wants to enjoy living with each of us more than we can imagine. We can’t see Divine Spirit, for the most part, but Divine Spirit always sees us, and is always there.

The sun in our sky today is the same one that everyone sees all around our planet. Without that sun, none of us would be here. That physical sun is a reflection of the inner sun, what we call the Christ Light, or the first creation of light. When we sit to meditate, we connect through the crowns of our heads to that Christ Light, the divine Sun, and we draw that energy into our bodies. As we do that, it nurtures and grows our conscious awareness.

Each one of us has a deep well of goodness that we can dip into and become the best people we can be while we live on this Earth. Since we live to a certain degree in ignorance of our true identity, it’s important for each of us to nurture our soul. It’s a great responsibility, and the reward to the mind and the body is great. Feed your soul—just like you feed your body every day. The reward of developing a spiritual friendship with others, and with our Creator is a gift beyond measure.

A Prayer


Recreation as Conscious Living

Recreation as Conscious Living

by Sibylle Custer    One of Sunburst’s eight paths of conscious living is Recreation. This story is about recreation. When I was a teenager living in Germany, my family visited a farm in the north because my Mom knew the people there. They were friends of hers, and had invited us to visit them.

At the time, I went to a very rigorous school, requiring a lot of academic learning. I was doing homework and reading books all the time. Going to that farm was a totally different life experience for me because we were helping out there, and that meant hard, physical work, which I was not used to at all.

The work went all day long, and the hardest part was being out in the field in the hot, summer heat. Although the oat field was ready to be mowed, a tractor couldn’t be used because the ground was too boggy, too marshy. The whole field had to be cut by hand with a scythe.

The women were working behind the men who were cutting. We had to gather together all the cut oat stems, put them in a bunch and tie it up with some other oat straws. It was hard work, bending down all the time and picking up oat stalks. This was in a big field; it went on and on. The sun was burning down on us, but everybody was moving ahead. I tried to keep up.

When I went back to the house at night, I was so tired and hot. Wringing out my T-shirt, I could see drops of sweat dripping onto the ground; that’s how hot it was. And this was supposed to be a vacation!

Although I was dead tired, somehow I felt absolutely great, really elated. Having been out there and a part of the process of getting the grain harvested and ready to go into the barn for threshing, I felt very good about myself. I was feeling excellent just for being part of a crew working together like that. I thought “Well, this vacation turned out really great!” It was such a balance to what I was usually doing, and it gave me all these new life experiences.

Since that time on the farm in Germany, the borderline between what is work and what is recreation got a little blurred. At some point, I couldn’t tell anymore. “Is this work now, or is this vacation time?” I saw no difference.

Recreation, really good God-felt recreation, can give you the deeply satisfying feeling of being in unity with everything. Do an activity out in nature and be in unity. Feel all the parts of the experience, and be happy that you’re there.

Sunburst founder Norm Paulsen says that conscious recreation is discovering your true Self within, and I think that’s what I discovered out there in the oat field. My innermost Self was part of everything. No matter what my body felt, or how tiring it was, my inner Self was enjoying life there.

The best thing we can each do for ourselves is make time in our day—in our years—to discover this true Self in us, this spark of God within that resonates with everything around us.

Dear Spirit, when ewe find unity with you, then we’ll know that we have picked the right activity on this vast playground, the activity that gives us fulfillment. Please help each one of us to find this joy of unity with you.

Perfect Poem Follow Up

Perfect Poem Follow Up

(Omar Itani image) Story by Dawn King    Last week, as I entered Sunburst Founder, Norman Paulsen’s words as the blog text (Feb. 15, 2023), this sentence really struck me: “Cultivate your imagination, for herein lies the power of the master builder, the master scientist, the master physician, the master of the cosmic forces.”

Perhaps imagination is what sets us apart from animals. We can be motivated by something beyond the necessities of instinct and survival. We can dream and imagine, then manifest our dreams.

It was my dream to bring art classes to Sunburst sanctuary. And it is happening this year, with a unique kind of creative activity each month. We are each here to engage in Life, to dream, desire, and act in a way that uplifts everyone, and is in harmony with Nature. You too can dream, and desire to fulfill your dream.

Meditate and find your soul inspired dream. Norm’s words again: “True direction does not arise from the emotions, or from a confused mental condition. Be still and meditate a moment; listen to the space between your thoughts and you will receive the right direction.”

You can create your own process, or follow the steps below to go forward. 

1. Use your imagination to trust (have faith) that the creative Spirit is within you. Invite that creative Spirit to create through you.

2. Imagine what your highest self wants to create through your mind and hands; let charity, goodwill and empathy (compassion) lead you

3. Imagine a plan of baby steps that will help you make progress, and commit to taking these steps; i.e. express loyalty to your higher Self.

4. Imagine using your willpower and courage, then actually take a step forward toward your goal.

5. Imagine enjoying the journey, while you practice patience. Acts done as service to Spirit (and Spirit in others) bring us joy.

6. See yourself as determined to take any and all steps needed, since everything worthwhile requires perseverance.

7. Continue to embrace the inner and outer work of God-realization: service and meditation. This is temperance: refraining from harmful extremes, or being wasteful. Life is like one artist described painting: “It’s a series of making corrections.”

8. Remember that truly, God is the only doer. You are co-creating with the Divine, who gives you life and breath. (Be humble.)

9. Imagine the joy of personal growth, and connection to Spirit you will feel upon accomplishing what you dreamed of doing.   

Following our dreams creates character in us. We have to be courageous to start, and to follow through to the end. We must use mindfulness and self-control, which Paramahansa Yogananda called “the key to a happy life.” He also advised us to “Never count your faults. Just think whether you love God enough.” And, “Be calmly active and actively calm.”

     Pablo Picasso is quoted as saying “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

Create a Perfect Poem

Create a Perfect Poem

by Norman Paulsen  •  Sunburst Founder  •  The whole creation is divine imagination made visible by thought, will and life. Each of Spirit’s children is a designer, equipped by the Holy One with the gift of imagination. By using this gift, we create images in the field of power around us, the field of life force that fills eternity.

When we cast these images, like seeds, into the field of power, they take root and appear in time. This is the sowing and the reaping. Thus, whatsoever we sow, be it good or evil, becomes visible to us in the future. As we think and desire, and desire and think, the future is written and the past is erased. The images we put forth in thought draw us in their direction like iron filings to a magnet, like a moth to the flame.

By seeding images of love for one another and of desire to know the Truth, we will come to that place on the path where the Light and Presence we seek is within arm’s reach. On that day the ego is put to the test. Is it willing to give up all it has gained and enter the place of which it knows nothing? Could this be the ego’s annihilation?

On that day, if you are able to give an answer that is unselfish and full of service, faith, and love, then that Light will burst forth in you, and you will know immortality. You will know the true reality, the infinite Holy One on his own threshold, the sea of eternity. You will merge with ever-new love, not a love that reaches a pinnacle and descends, but is forever reaching new pinnacles. Thus man and woman ascend, and put on their true spiritual selves.

Once doing this, the false self, the ego, has lost its argument. You will become a divinely conscious being, actively reflecting your true home. When you gather together with others who have reached this state, consider the power. This is what Jesus wanted to see, for surely mountains will move; but more than mountains, souls can be led to the Light.

Meditate upon the path. Test the field of power. Cultivate your imagination, for herein lies the power of the master builder, the master scientist, the master physician, the master of the cosmic forces.

As the whole creation has come forth from the Divine, it is a perfect poem by a perfect author. We each have to become perfect authors, putting forth images with thought that will create a perfect poem of beauty and goodness.

As you gain mastery of your own life,
you, the infinite soul, the son or daughter of God,
will have all the forces of creation behind you.
You can use this divine force to help, to heal, to console.
You can put it all in your heart and experience ecstasy.
As long as you use this force for good, you will be happy.

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