~ by Craig Hanson ~ Some years ago I had the good fortune to travel to England. I spent an early morning meditating inside the enormous, ancient stone circle at Stonehenge. It’s very easy to feel the two divine forces there—one vortex descending through the crown of the head, the other vortex ascending up the spine.
As I completed my meditation I glanced down at the grass in front of me and saw a dark green, humble plant. What struck me was that it’s leaves formed a perfect five-pointed star. I realized it was the same shape as the five-pointed star I’d seen in meditation.
By studying nature we begin to understand the imagination of our divine Creator. Studying nature can mean looking at a beautiful sunset, listening to the chirping of birds and the myriad sounds of the other animals. The great beauty of spiritual vision is that it feels so natural. Wondrous it is that we can use our senses to understand some of God’s nature. It’s a great blessing that what we find within ourselves, we may also see reflected without, and vice versa.
The deeper science delves into the mysteries of creation, the more it has to go within, to the spiritual mysteries behind it. Spiritual disciplines help to fill out that understanding. The more we reflect and experience within ourselves, the more we’re able to understand the processes of creation around us. The patterns of nature, the two forces of vortex, mirror the Kriya meditation tool that we’ve been given.
Brother Norman talks about the importance of being in nature, of deeply studying it, and meditating on it and in it. He recommends the greatest book we can ever read: our own Book of Life, so unique and personal for each one of us. We read it each time we sit down to meditate, and we read it when we engage with nature.
Oh Great Spirit, bountiful are your gifts to us. You pour out all the knowledge of the universe upon our heads. We have only to open, to see. You are not complicated; You are simplicity itself. You are the Divine; You are the spiral, the architect for everything in creation. May we come to be as Christ Jesus, a son, a daughter forever conscious in every particle of your creation. And someday we will smile within the shape of a flower, and within the spiral of a breaking wave upon ocean shores. Amen
“The greater the will, the greater the flow of energy.” – Paramahansa Yogananda •
by Norman Paulsen, Sunburst Founder•The whole creation is divine imagination made visible by thought, will and life. Each one of us is a designer, equipped by God with the gift of imagination. By using this gift, you can create seed images in the field of power around you. These images will take root and appear in time. This is the sowing and the reaping. Consider it an act of faith, that what you plant will grow.
Whatever you sow in thought, be it for good or for ill, becomes visible to you in the future. As you think and desire, and desire and think, the future is written and the past is erased. By concentration and willpower, you can set forth images impregnated with life force. These images will draw you in their direction like iron filings to a magnet, like a moth to the flame.
How do you know what images to put forth? By opening up your limited imagination to the unlimited creative will of the Divine. Divine intervention in your life creates inspiration. Inspiration excites imagination. Imagination seeds the future. The future becomes visible in time. Reach with your consciousness into the future. You can induce the power of Spirit to descend into you when your projections are for the benefit of all beings.
Begin by planting the seeds of illumination to arrive in your near future. This is your inheritance! You may be surrounded now by imperfections, mind-produced images that have arisen from non-virtuous actions. Do not be discouraged. These images can be shattered and transmuted in deep meditation.
To begin the practice of positive projection, you have to be patient and receptive. It is like an infant child—if nourished, it will grow. Meditation every morning and evening will water the seeds that you want to see grow. Through practice, you will generate the force to create and manifest images.
As you gain mastery of your own life,
You, the infinite soul, the son or daughter of God,
Will have all the forces in 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.
by Catherine Mauron • My visit to the butterfly sanctuary years ago was an awesome experience. Lying on the ground, consciousness filled with fluttering wings, eyes drunk with the awesome beauty of the colorful winged beings flying in circles above me, I started to wonder about the butterfly story.
The medicine of the butterfly is rebirth, transformation, rejuvenation. Like a spiritual aspirant, the caterpillar starts its life at the base, preoccupied first by physical needs, eating nutritious leaves, sleeping, and growing. Until, one day, suddenly, something calls from deep within its being, and the caterpillar starts to turn inwards.
It wraps itself in a cocoon, its meditation closet. Then it waits and waits. Finally after much perseverance, deepening its own knowledge about itself, it reaches illumination: “I’m no longer a caterpillar! I am a butterfly!”
The pure Self has revealed its true nature, the veil of the cocoon has become thin, like the veil of meditation, and the light of knowledge starts to pierce through. What an awesome spiritual insight the butterfly can bring to us if we try not only to understand it with the mind, but rather try to feel it deep within us.
Now the butterfly slowly unfolds its wings, observing with awe its transformation, fluttering gently in its new winged attributes, letting the gentle breeze dry them. No more concerned about eating, sleeping, or growing, it starts to fly—just a little bit at first. Soon it understands the full potential of its new abilities, and the open sky, infinite in its beauty, becomes its garden of Eden. “How high and how far can I fly?”
Some butterflies don’t fly very far. Others migrate, flying over the ocean, limited only by their own imagination. Just by realizing their true nature they allow it to become manifest. Let us all fill ourselves with butterfly medicine and fly higher and higher to meet the sunrise of our spirits.
Light on Sunburst Sanctuary – Sky Crest Trail • Hiking one of Sunburst Sanctuary’s trails in spring, amidst the intense green of Nature’s botanical explosion is a treat. Here’s photos from April 5 of 2021. Our first grand view is of the “deer field” up the canyon from the lodge (photo above). Winding up toward the top of the canyon the newly graded road—Thanks, Heiko!— outlines the far side of the deer field, which is currently planted in a mixed hay crop.
Photo below: The next grand view is of the deer field directly below. We are looking toward Point Conception and the Pacific Ocean. Sky Crest Trail follows the eastern ranch boundary fence up the hill to the top boundary of the Sanctuary.
Soon the trail leads into the oak forest.
Photos above: In the forest, mushrooms sprout amidst the deep oak leaves, and a bush lupin catches early morning sunshine. Photos below left to right: Shooting Stars and Buttercups appear amidst the oak trees.
The trail ends at the main road that winds back down into the canyon.
“In talking to children, the old Lakota would place a hand on the ground and explain: ‘We sit in the lap of our Mother. From her we, and all other living things, come.We shall soon pass, but the place where we now rest will last forever.’ So we too, learned to sit or lie on the ground and become conscious of life about us in its multitude of forms.
“…The world was a library and its books were the stones, leaves, grass, brooks, and the birds and animals that shared, alike with us, the storms and blessings of earth. We learned to do what only the student of nature ever learns, and that was to feel beauty.
“…Observation was certain to have its rewards. Interest, wonder, admiration grew, and the fact was appreciated that life was more than mere human manifestation; it was expressed in a multitude of forms.”
“Whatever it is you’re seeking won’t come in the form you’re expecting.” –Haruki Murakami
• by Jonathan King •As spiritual seekers, each one of us is like a little child, who has been separated from our parents. We have grown up living our lives searching, looking for those parents, knowing they are alive somewhere. Even though we are apart, we love them so much.
As we grow in the spirit and reach out, it is as if we are being told that the parents we are seeking are nearby, and they are seeking us as well. Our hearts are filled with joy at the prospect of reuniting and feeling whole, of feeling healed and complete.
It is so awe inspiring to contemplate that God is everywhere in the boundless immensity of this creation, from the vastness of innumerable galaxies to the spaces between atoms. This gigantic universe is filled with a Being who knows us. Since our inception our Creator has been longing for us to know him/her and longing to play in this creation through us.
As we grow and change, we reach out for union with our Creator. We may practice techniques of meditation, develop a deeper love for life, and extend ourselves in selfless service. We try our best to live in virtue. This is divine Spirit growing within us.
At Sunburst Sanctuary, meditation is at the heart of our spiritual endeavor. As we practice our technique, we reach up and give all that we are to that living, loving Presence who created us, and who is watching us, and waiting for us to come home. It’s the heart’s devotion that attracts a greater peace and flow of life force into us and satisfies any longing.
Let us each offer all that we are—all our love, all of our joy, our loneliness, sorrows, and pain—to the only Being who can heal us, I Am That I Am. Ask that Presence to be one with you. Draw that holy Presence, that sacred Light through your being and bask in the healing energy of divine Spirit.
We sometimes refer to this process in meditation as “breathing the Light,” or “circulating the Light.” Some wonderful things happen as we practice and integrate Kriya yoga’s tools into our lives. We begin to grow. The more that we practice, the more we become transformed.
As we offer all of ourselves to divine Spirit, we are exchanging all the ego’s triumphs and tragedies for that Light of God that comes into us—a living Presence, a living Light. It fills those places that we’ve offered up, and we are changed. We feel more love for others, more love for this beautiful Earth that supports us. Every aspect of life seems richer and more full as we grow in that living Presence.
The only true healing is to allow God’s love and light to circulate in our beings. The more we practice these techniques, the more we will feel a fulfilling Presence growing and answering our prayers. So let us offer all that we are, open our hearts and let that divine Presence of I Am That I Am come in and awaken us.
by Norman Paulsen, Sunburst Founder•I was so blessed to have been led as a young man to my teacher, Paramahansa Yogananda. Many years ago, he was planning to take me along on a steamship voyage to India. He even sent me shopping to get the right suit for the trip.
Only a couple weeks before we were to leave, Yogananda called one night and said: “Big Boy—he always called me Big Boy—Divine Mother has told me that I will be leaving the body shortly and that I would not go to India.”
I responded, “Sir, if you are leaving, I want to go, too.”
“Oh no!” Yogananda replied: “You have a work to do.”
I remember the day I was told of his passing out of the body. I rushed to Mount Washington to see him one last time. Master had told me before he left that he would come to see me after he left his body.
Some months later I was living in Santa Barbara, wondering if he would ever come back. One Saturday I came home from work and sat down in my room to read. Suddenly, the wind came up outside my apartment, shaking the front of the building.
The door blew open and Master Yogananda walked into my room. He stood before me and gave instructions as to how I should live my life.
I received the glorious message that he was immortal—that he could come back to talk to me, and that this was proof that we all have immortal souls. We can all come back to see our loved ones; our lives go on in this great immensity of God’s creation; I saw the resurrection of the man I loved.
Yogananda proved to me that through the practice of meditation and the ancient teachings, the way is open for all to come and enjoy life, with God-realization alive in our consciousness. That experience has brought me to this day and to this place, and I thank him, my teacher. I thank God for allowing me to be here with this message and this truth.
Through deep meditation and prayer, may we all seek those teachings that will guide us on our journey onward through our inner-dimensional tunnel, to the light that is right within us. Jesus said, the kingdom of heaven is within you. Inner-dimensionally, it is all here. Not somewhere out in space, but so near that you can touch it, feel it, and see it in your deep meditation, if you persist. Resurrection of the soul is possible for each one of us. Love is the key that unlocks the spiritual gates.
Quote from Paramahansa Yogananda follows: by Paramahansa Yogananda • Resurrect your soul from all dreams of frailties. Resurrect your soul in eternal wisdom. What is the method? It includes many things: self-control, good diet, fortitude, an undaunted mental attitude, and relaxation of the consciousness from body identification by daily practice of scientific concentration and meditation principles. Refuse to be defeated. You have unlimited power; you must cultivate that power, that is all.
It is time to realize your unity with all by experiencing your oneness with God. Again and again, pray in your soul: “Oh Lord, come, clear away the dust of my indifference. Flood my consciousness, Oh Infinite Christ, with thy divine consciousness!”