Your Hidden Gifts & Talents

Your Hidden Gifts & Talents

  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

Light on Sunburst Sanctuary – Stand Unshaken

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.

Early Morning Sky

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.

Persimmons and Potatoes

Plenty of great activities keep us busy: Around the Temple, Curtis was weeding; Craig was cleaning and fixing the rain gutters.

Curtis and Craig clean up around the Temple

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. 

Gathering mushrooms and horses wait for hay

Become a Divine Warrior

Become a Divine Warrior

  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.

Sunburst

Attracting Cosmic Vitality

Attracting Cosmic Vitality

  [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.”

Attracting Cosmic Vitality    by Paramahansa Yogananda  • 

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.

Imagined Yogananda Surfing

You Are a Reflection

You Are a Reflection

by Catherine Mauron  •  Norman Paulsen (founder of Sunburst) has told us: You are a reflection of the whole creation. As the light of God rises within your soul, so does it occur for the whole planet and everyone on it in the coming Golden Age. I like to reflect on these words by Brother Norman and restore my hope as to what I, a little bubble in the vast ocean of life, can do to help our beautiful planet.

Sometimes we feel trapped in this world that seems to go all wrong. We seem to be somehow powerless when we look around at all the misery happening everywhere (floods, famines, wars, climate change, etc.). But we are more powerful than we know.

As the little “i” becomes the big “I” in deep meditation, the little bubble of me becomes the cosmic sea, and is permeated with joy. Thus the Light arises in all, through my efforts. I then interact with the world creatively expressing that divine joy and purpose.

We can quicken this unfolding beauty, in ourselves, around us, and everywhere! The fire kindled in a tiny being can eventually light the whole creation. Be strong in your meditation, for the light you generate in your own soul sparks the wider generator of the Universe.

A Blessing
by John O’Donohue, from Eternal Echoes

May you awaken to the mystery of being here, and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.
May you respond to the call of your gift, and find the courage to follow its path.
May you take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.
May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.

Let Go of Ego and Enjoy Life

Let Go of Ego and Enjoy Life

  by Emily Wirtz    Paramahansa Yogananda used to talk about how a wave is the same as the ocean, but it is not the whole ocean, just as we are each a wave of creation in the eternal ocean of Spirit. The ocean can exist without the waves, but the waves cannot exist without the ocean. There’s a still, deep part of the ocean, which is the substance of our very existence in this ocean of Spirit. You can call it whatever you want: God, Source, or any other name.

What happens for me is the thought that I’m separate from other people. I’m thinking I’m separate from those trees over there and I’m separate from other people. We forget  that we are all connected and come from the same Source. And, as human beings, we get to choose whether to listen to the voice of Spirit, the voice of our soul, or to listen to the ego voice that thinks we’re separate from each other. 

When I went to college, it was about seven hours from home. I didn’t know anyone there, and had the sense that I was going to try to get life figured out. I wanted to find out who I really was, what I wanted to do, and to expand my horizons.

I took lots of different classes, some philosophy and religion courses, and  there were a lot of ideas going around in my head. But I noticed that none of the things I read or learned about were helping me figure out what to think about my future.  

I didn’t find the answer right away. In fact, I didn’t find the answer in college, although I really enjoyed all the ideas I learned about. It wasn’t until many years later when I learned to meditate that I discovered that there’s a space beyond thought. This helped me to feel that there’s something greater than the thoughts we’re thinking, symbolized in that image of the wave and the ocean. 

So if my mind is the wave, calculating things and examining how the past went and how the future might go, and doing it’s best to be helpful, the most satisfying thing to me is knowing that there’s something beyond that, knowing that this ocean of Spirit is my very nature, is all of our very nature. 

Where is that ocean of Spirit? What is that ocean of Spirit? Who am I beyond the personality that I know? It’s only as far away as our breath, and an open heart, and a practice of being present so that awareness can fill us. 

Now when I walk around, I still think of the past, I still think of the future, I still think of ideas, I still make judgements about myself or other people. But now I know there’s more to life than that. I can turn to my breath,  and to the present moment. To open up to an awareness of Spirit, to learn from direct experience with that Presence, is a practice. Keep practicing it and over time it will develop, and help you immensely.

There’s a beautiful word that’s used a lot. It’s an ancient word: Namaste. It roughly translates to: “The Divine in me bows to the Divine in you.” It’s a remembering that our substance is that divine Source, and remembering that who we’re interacting with is that source also. 

If we’re walking around in nature, the substance of nature is divine also. Even when we’re in something that we consider “manmade” like our cars, there’s nothing that isn’t made up of that Source, made up of God. So as we go through our days, may we each remember that idea in our hearts: the Divine in us recognizing the Divine outside of us, and in each other. Namaste! 

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