Each Beautiful & Singular Soul

Each Beautiful & Singular Soul

  by Michele Pike    Everyone we meet is defined by so much more than the role they play in their family, at work, or in their community. Nobody is just a mom, dad, sibling or friend. We are all children of God, divine aspects of Spirit. We each bring a unique and important expression of I AM to this world, one that is to be appreciated.

Most of us could use a reminder now and then that everyone we meet is Spirit. We can be grateful for each beautiful and singular soul. We can thank Spirit for all the many faces that recall the One, our universal Mother and Father.

In our reflections of gratitude, let us not forget ourselves. Remember to be accepting and loving to the irreplaceable aspect of God that you embody. No one else can bring to the world the particular combination of gifts that you do. Be thankful of your own divinity. Express it, for in expression it is given substance, fulfillment.

Beloved Spirit, I am so grateful for all my brothers and sisters. I appreciate and honor each one as a magnificent realization of you. Let me express the love I feel for them by always remembering their inherent divinity. Amen.

“Only in embracing all, can we become the arms of God.”The Illuminated Prayer

The Master Key – Self-Discipline

The Master Key – Self-Discipline

•  by Dawn King  •  One of the qualities that I believe is intrinsic to Capricorn and Sunburst’s virtue of Temperance (or moderation) is self-discipline. As you read this, we may not be experiencing the Sun rising in Capricorn each morning, yet mindfulness about self-discipline is part of the spiritual path.

Telecasts in February of Carnival (ending with Mardi Gras) brought this to mind for me. Mardi Gras is a festival of indulgence in excess, sometimes called “enjoying life,” because the revelers think they will soon be deprived of some enjoyment until Spring. In earlier times, the remaining winter stores of lard and butter, or meats, were consumed then. Perhaps it was just before they all went bad due to lack of refrigeration. After this consumption, “fasting” began.

We’ve heard it said: “A sad saint is a sad saint indeed.” Enjoying life is our birthright, but overindulgence in just about anything is unhealthy. Mira Alfassa tells us: “Spiritual life does not mean contempt for matter, but its divinization. We do not want to reject the body, but to transform it. For this purpose physical training is one of the means most directly effective. I invite you to train with enthusiasm and discipline.”

Physical training for any type of sport or recreation also improves our emotional and mental fortitude. Kriya Yoga is an “action” yoga (Kriya means “action”), but with the right intention and direction. “Yogic action has three components—discipline, self-study, and orientation toward the ideal of pure awareness.”Patanjali, “Yoga Sutras,” [translation by Chip Hartranft, in “The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali”]

Mardi Gras inspired me to choose a new action that I could mindfully engage in daily until Spring (Easter). I knew that it would help me develop self-discipline. As Norman Paulsen, Sunburst’s founder, has said: “True discipline is never a restriction; it is a liberation!”

Lead Me To Illumination

Lead Me To Illumination

  John Kiddie    At the age of twenty-one I had an awakening. I began to realize that there was more to life than I was led to believe. I began searching for answers to my questions of: Who am I? Why am I here? and What is my purpose in life?

I was drawn to Eastern philosophies, and in turn to meditation. I tried a few different practices with varying results. Continuing my search I was carried by the good feeling that, while I didn’t know exactly where I was going, I knew that I would find what I was looking for.

As this awakening grew within me, I became aware of many different paths and practices. I yearned for a meditation practice that would lead me to illumination. A friend told me of a place nearby where people were meditating together. That sounded like a place I needed to visit.

I attended a few meditations and felt an immediate connection with the energy there. During those meditations I felt that I had come home. I came back a few weeks later to receive Sunburst initiation into the Kriya yoga technique of meditation. The feeling was so strong that this was what I had been asking for; I knew I’d found my path. As time went on, that feeling grew stronger and deeper within me. I was so happy that the yearnings of my heart had been heard, and my silent prayers answered.

As I turned the wheel of meditation, practicing the technique faithfully, I began to notice subtle, but significant changes within me. I was becoming more focused in my daily activities, giving them a higher quality of energy. I felt more peaceful, and was more tolerant of myself and others. A perspective as the Observer, viewing life through new eyes, was becoming the norm for me.

Time went on, and I felt myself embodying virtue more and more—not as a mental concept, but as a realization that this was our natural state of being. I realized a strength in myself that I’d never seen before, a strength born of virtue. This strength has continually helped me deal with the experiences life brings.

My journey is far from over, but I’m excited about this life, and thankful for all of the lessons I’ve been given to learn from. This tool of Kriya meditation is a great gift, and if used regularly with devotion, yields untold benefits.

Sunburst offers Kriya meditation several times a year. See Upcoming Events, or contact the Sunburst office for more information.

Remembering Your Oneness with Spirit 

Remembering Your Oneness with Spirit 

  by Dawn King with Paramahansa Yogananda    Unknown to most is the fact that you and I are one with that power and intelligence that has created the whole Universe, the very Life that makes our hearts beat. We have free will to hold our consciousness on an elevated plane of spiritual awareness, or to let it slip into distraction and be entertained by the endless stream of images we attract to ourselves. Yes, we have a choice to live joyous and free in our identification with Spirit, or be bound to the circumstances we create by our attachment to worldly images.

Paramahansa Yogananda is quoted as saying “You have no enemy greater than yourself, and no greater friend. God has given you free choice to keep yourself in delusion or to extricate yourself from it. It is your own dreams that are frightening you.”

If possible, remember not only during meditation but with every breath you take, that you are one with the infinite Spirit, your Creator who loves you. Your existence is vital to the manifestation of this Spirit on planet Earth. You are the hands and physical representative of this Intelligence. Each of us is a vital part of the whole, remembering, generating, and upholding the unconditional Love that is Life.

Keep your emotions, mind, and body filled with positivity for the greatest good of all. Be a smile millionaire, giving freely of compassion, hope, and unconditional love. Divine Spirit will come and remain with you, enlightening your intuition and wisdom. You will then remember your perfect oneness with the Creator. You will remember that you have come from Spirit into this flesh, into this little cage of bones, which only seems like a sort of  prison.

Get away from mortal consciousness and consciousness of the world. There is no end to your consciousness; all things are glittering like stars in the firmament of your being. Suddenly you will find that your memory has subtly become intuition, the infallible insight of the soul. You no longer have to make the effort to remember anything, because memory has metamorphosed into all-knowing omnipresent intuition. In that omniscient light of divine recollection, you shall not only remember, you shall realize that you are the Infinite Spirit existing as a unique soul.

Each precious unique soul is responsible for the current frequency of planet Earth. We are dialing in what happens here, and what happens in our personal lives. Each of us has a purpose and a job to lift earthly humanity and this planet into its next state—one of greater consciousness, harmony, peace, and love. Simply by holding your own consciousness in this state, you are uplifting the planet, a work so needed and so important at this time of planetary growth. We each must awaken to the greater reality!

“Build your joys on the sure foundation of inner harmony. Cherish no thought that does not harmonize with the love and lawful ideals of the Creator. Thus, will your whole life be flooded with the light and bliss of the divine harmony.” – Paramahansa Yogananda.

The Bhagavad Gita emphasizes the following qualities of the pure Self, the individual life essence and soul of each of us:
Your pure Self is unborn, though born in a body. It is eternal, though its bodily dwelling is impermanent. It is changeless, though it may experience change. It is ever the same, though in the long pathway of reincarnation which ultimately leads to perfect union with God, the soul appears in countless forms. The soul is not slain when the body dies; and even when the soul returns to Spirit, it does not lose its identity, but will exist throughout eternity.



  by Barbara McCaughey    Sunburst teachings provide a framework of “right activity” for me. Cooking is sort of a combination of the Sunburst spiritual Paths of Work and Recreation, and an activity that needs to be done in my family, but one that I also enjoy. I made the decision many years ago to keep my kitchen free of many of the time saving gadgets available to help us “whip up a meal” in no time, instead preferring simple basic tools that would allow me to slow down and infuse the food with the one ingredient that works for every recipe—love.

A couple of years ago, I awoke on a Sunday morning a few hours before I was to prepare and serve the brunch that follows our Sunday group meditation. As soon as I opened my eyes, for some strange reason, I was straining to remember the name of a comic actor. Even though his name was familiar to me, I just couldn’t jog it free from my memory banks. Although this was a pesky little thought that bothered me a bit, it was too insignificant to wake anybody so I just tried to put it out of my mind.

I started preparing the food and time seemed to go by very quickly. When there was less than one hour left before it needed to be delivered, I was disappointed with how some of the dishes were coming out, even though I had expected a good result. The time began to weigh on me a bit, and I started to speed up and try different spices and ingredients to improve the flavor.

Realizing that I was losing my center, I stopped for a moment and said, “Divine Mother, you’re the cook.” I was going to continue: “Please work through my hands,” but before I finished the word “cook,” the name “Jim Carrey” seemed to fly through all of creation and crash land in my brain!

I started laughing. I felt as though Spirit’s sense of humor was communicating approval of my stopping to remember where my life and abilities come from. One silly little desire was fulfilled in that moment of quiet reflection, but of course our greatest desire is fulfilled there as well.

One translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls includes these words:
I will bless the Creator’s name in all I do. Before I move hand or foot, whenever I go out or come in, when I sit down and when I rise, even when lying on my bed I will chant in praise.
My lips shall praise the Divine as I sit at the table which is set for all, and before I lift my hand to partake of any nourishment from the delicious fruits of the earth.
When fear and terror come, and there is only anguish and distress, I will still bless and thank the Creator for all their wondrous deeds, and meditate upon their power, and lean upon their mercies all day long.
For I know that in their hand is justice for all that live, and all their works are true. So when trouble comes, or salvation, I praise God all the same.

The Blessing of Discipline

The Blessing of Discipline

by Norman Paulsen    [photo: Paramahansa Yogananda instructing Norman Paulsen in a yoga technique]  To walk the spiritual path, the utmost discipline is required. Threefold development must be pursued: physical, mental, and spiritual. Many begin, but fail to make the continuous effort. The attainment of a virtuous life is the crowning achievement to be realized by the spiritual athlete.

Helping you to achieve this goal of virtue is Spirit, I Am That I Am, the pure Self existing within your soul. Yes, we all have this divine energy centered deep within. It has to be identified and brought forth.

If the beginning seeker or practiced adept is to make any progress at all, it is an absolute requirement to walk the paths of right living in this life while practicing virtue. By actively practicing virtue every day, and beginning to walk the path of service, you bring forth the pure Self within, Christ consciousness. This is Self-realization as described by my teacher, Paramahansa Yogananda.

Realization of the pure Self within your soul eliminates the functions of the false self, the selfish self. The awakening soul takes on its true image of discerning, joy filled Christ consciousness. The ego-centered consciousness must abdicate the throne to the Christ, the now illumined soul within you.

No matter how many times we stumble and fall, God is always there with us, and we have to get up and keep going. That’s what our Creator wants to see, the will to never give up. It takes discipline. God does require discipline from us, but discipline, we find, is salvation.

Disciplining our lives, meditating when we don’t feel like it, serving and helping others when we’re tired and worn out, we do these things because the heart of God beats within each one of us. The soul of God is in each of us right now, blessing each one of us right now. God is here with us.

Mental discipline arises from commitment to the vision you seek: knowing what you want and dedicating your life to bringing it forth into being. It is unwise for anyone to think that they can attain any true level of realization without a life of self-discipline. True discipline is never a restriction. It’s a liberation!

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