World Harmony & Spring Equinox

World Harmony & Spring Equinox

  Letha KiddieThe Spring Equinox of 2020 marked not only the first day of the spring, but also the seriousness of the Corona Virus, which had begun spreading through our country. Our Sunburst Sanctuary gathering at the labyrinth was a quiet one, reflected in the few people who attended, and by Mother Nature with her ‘dragon breath’ currents flowing across the land.

Ischa Beharrry • Reflecting on the current affairs of our country and the world a week ago, the following thought came to me — that the Divine is behind it, is acting through it and will be involved after it. Whenever I receive such thoughts, I make no attempt to analyze, dissect, rationalize or intellectualize them. They’ve come always as answers to my own personal questions and, as such, I trust them completely. In truth, I desperately needed an answer as to “Why this worldwide pandemic, and what might society and the world at large learn from it?” What is the overall spiritual lesson embedded in it that might help elevate humanity at all levels of its existence? Well, “ask, and it shall be given.” The following is an excerpt from an article by Paramhansa Yogananda entitled, A Vision for World Harmony, that addresses most eloquently both my questions:

Paramahansa Yogananda • Though we may seem divided by race, creed, color, class, and political prejudices, still, as children of the one God we are able in our souls to feel brotherhood and world unity.… In our hearts we can all learn to be free from hate and selfishness. Let us pray for harmony among the nations, that they march hand in hand through the gate of a fair new civilization.

“World fellowship” seems a very simple phrase, but in these two words is the panacea for all the individual, social, and political ills that are threatening the world’s material, mental, moral, and spiritual happiness.… World fellowship alone can banish hatred and prevent wars. World fellowship alone can stabilize prosperity for all mankind. Therefore I say to you, bring that fellowship into your hearts by communing with God.… As soon as you feel God in your heart, you will contribute to world civilization as no king or politician has ever done before.

I believe a time will come when in greater understanding we shall have no boundaries anymore. We shall call the Earth our country; and we shall, by a process of justice and international assembly, distribute unselfishly the goods of the world according to the needs of the people. But equality cannot be established by force; it must come from the heart. The greatest blessing would be to develop international understanding by which we may realize this truth.

I believe that if every citizen in the world is taught to commune with God (not merely to know Him intellectually), then peace can reign; not before. When by persistence in meditation you realize God through communion with Him, your heart is prepared to embrace all humanity. Therefore, my friends, resolve that you will love the world as your own nation, and that you will love your nation as you love your family. Through this understanding you will help to establish a world family on the indestructible foundation of wisdom.

 

 

 

Opening To Healing

Opening To Healing

by Dawn King

Silence pervades the room where we sit together in morning meditation. Outwardly, there seems to be nothing moving, but my inner senses inform me differently. We are not alone. This is not a surprise in the temple at Sunburst Sanctuary, where meditation has taken place daily for many years, and amidst a group whose individuals have been meditating deeply for up to 50 years.

On this particular morning, a Friday, we will not verbally be speaking the names in our prayer circle, though they are still acknowledged and reverberating in the ethers. What did surprise me today, was seeing a number of spirits moving through the room offering healing to those of us in attendance. I will call them angels, for lack of more information, and I feel blessed to have seen and experienced them. My joy was to have a smiling etheric face come close to mine and plant a kiss upon my cheek. Remembering this kiss, I have to smile, myself. What a blessing!

Every weekday morning, people show up at the Sunburst Sanctuary temple for meditation from 6:30 to 7 a.m.. Some days, no sound vibrates in the room until the ending bell. Some days we are led in a beautiful prayer, or treated to inspiring spoken words. Three days a week, we verbally acknowledge those in our prayer circle. Join us, in person or in Spirit as we meditate. You will be glad that you did.

February Inspiration

February Inspiration

Submitted by Ischa Behary •
The great yogi and teacher, Paramahansa Yogananda, has written:
The mind of man is subject to change and limitation, but Cosmic Consciousness is free from all restrictions and is never involved in experiences of duality…life and death, disease and health, fleeting sorrow and fleeting joy, and so on. In the Divine Mind, an unchangeable perception is ever present.

The above concept is so beautifully captured in the following ancient Sanskrit Proverb, which emphasizes very subtly the importance of living and being totally immersed in the present moment, for in that moment is the expression of all life, all reality, all splendor!

A New Year Message

A New Year Message

by Patty Paulsen, Sunburst Spiritual Director

Dear Friends, As a new year and a new decade dawns, may we greet it with gratitude and the awareness that we have a dynamic power residing within our minds to create ever-new inspiration and joy even in the midst of challenges. Let us be a steady beacon of light for this changing world and carry a message of hope, peace, and love in our hearts.

In Sunburst’s 50th year as an intentional spiritual community, we know all too well how challenging it is to weather the storms of change, loss, and disillusionment—code words for transformation. Just as the proverbial phoenix rises from the ashes, so does human and spiritual growth often arise from hardship. Since the human spirit is one which we all share, we are keenly affected not only by our own suffering, but also by the suffering of others around the globe, including from the effects of rapidly changing weather and earthly conditions.

There is now a growing movement amongst all generations to belong to something bigger than themselves and desire to become better stewards of the Earth, her inhabitants and resources, and we support it wholeheartedly. Since Sunburst’s inception we have always balanced Spirit and Nature by creating gardens to inspire beauty and peacefulness, by encouraging hiking in her wilderness, and by producing fresh organically-grown food. Nature’s gardens bring people together in a way that complements our spiritual quest. It is yin and yang, the inner and the outer demonstration of spirit and form.

Paramahansa Yogananda chanted: “Spirit and Nature, dancing together. Victory to Spirit and victory to Nature!” symbolizing the inseparability of Spirit and its creative power, Nature.

Brother Norman Paulsen wrote: “Nature, the Mother of all life-forms, in her infinite variety, is the supreme teacher. Study her, for she springs forth from the imagination of our Creator.”

One of the newest undertakings at Sunburst Sanctuary has been to rekindle and embrace principles of permaculture. It is our intention to share these principles with others by continuing to offer permaculture design courses, along with our other events and retreats, throughout the new year; these nurture our connection with both Spirit and Nature.

In line with our Kriya tradition, we will continue to offer initiation retreats in techniques of meditation along with offering a yoga teacher-training course, and silent retreats. We hope you will find the inspiration to engage in these nurturing and well-planned retreats, events and gatherings.

With the affirming power of intention let’s envision our working together to continue to create a heaven on earth as we welcome 2020 with willing hearts, open minds, and an eager soul ready to help.

Realigning Our Collective Consciousness

Realigning Our Collective Consciousness

This morning, my husband Al and I were walking home after group meditation around 7:15 a.m. The sun was just coming up at Sunburst Sanctuary. Deer browsed in the meadow, and numerous bluebirds flew across the road ahead of us. But what really caught my attention was all the chatter coming from the birds in a cluster of tall sycamore trees.

“What are they saying?” I asked Al, who kept quiet. “They’re not saying, ‘Look at me!’ because they’re trying to attract a mate. And they’re not saying, ‘Get away from my spot!’ because they’re building a nest.”

Finally, I called my friend and excellent birder, Cary. She answered my questions with: “They’re saying, ‘It’s a beautiful day!’”

I think she’s right. Those birds could also be celebrating the end of daylight time getting shorter. With winter solstice, the days start getting longer, just as winter begins. How curious! This day lengthening continues until summer solstice, the longest day of the year. Sunburst Sanctuary’s standing stones help us celebrate these celestial moments. Of course, the southern hemisphere celebrates summer solstice when our northern hemisphere is celebrating winter solstice.

Labyrinth, standing stones

Around the world in ancient times, many celebrations began that are still held today at or near the winter solstice. Some age-old stories about the rebirth of the Sun are connected to this time of year.

At Sunburst, we enjoy a day of quiet meditation, and an evening of dining with friends (a potluck), as well as physically tracing our Hopi labyrinth. Walking the labyrinth “resets” us for a new beginning, a new year. This is a beautiful experience, walking among the colored luminaria.

This year the moment of Solstice takes place around midnight, when rain is supposed to begin. Perhaps this portends a wet winter. The other amazing occurrence will be an eclipse of the Sun by the Moon on Christmas.

My friend and astrologer, James Kelleher, informs us that our current winter solstice has the Sun aligned with the center of the Milky Way galaxy. “The galactic center isn’t an exact point, but rather an area in the middle of the galaxy, and it will take the Sun a long time to move through this area. This alignment has already been going on for a few decades and will continue for about another hundred years.…

“I think we can say that this event represents a realignment of the world’s collective consciousness with the laws of nature. We are being asked to center ourselves, and remember what is important. The vehicle that is being used for this reminder is the environment of the planet. …The power of destruction is being utilized in order to get our attention. So it is no surprise that we are experiencing the onset of a destructive period for the environment.”

Taking James’ sobering comments to heart, let us each do what we can to help our Earth in 2020.

December Traditions at Sunburst

December Traditions at Sunburst

by Letha Kiddie

The Sunburst Annual Cookie Baking and Craft Making Event took place on a rainy Saturday in early December. This has been a Sunburst tradition for many years, a time to gather in celebration of the upcoming holidays, to decorate the beautiful Chakra Christmas tree (also a Sunburst tradition), and share in a potluck dinner. Many delectable desserts are baked and decorated to be served over the upcoming Sunburst holiday events. Stay tuned! 

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