Conversing With God

Conversing With God

by Fredd Dunham  •  Brother Lawrence became a monk in the seventeenth century. His whole life was devoted to practicing God’s presence. When he worked in the kitchen he said he loved to cook and clean for his fellow monks. Although at first he disliked the chores, he was happy to be of service. Later he was moved to a shoe repair shop on the premises. He was happy there, but location or occupation seemed to make no difference to him. All he cared about was his connection with God. He viewed work time as equal to time spent in traditional prayer. His goal was to be aware of God every moment.

For Brother Lawrence, this meant denouncing everything that distracted him from the presence of God. His soul knew he should entertain a continuous conversation with his Creator, a conversation of utmost simplicity, free of mystery. He sought, every moment to ask for and discern Divine Will in all doubtful things. Doing well the things asked of him, he offered his labors humbly to God—with prayer before doing them, and thanks for the opportunity to serve after doing them.

In this continuous conversation we, likewise, can be unceasingly engaged in loving God. Brother Lawrence asserts, “We should ask for grace in every moment, in every action. In time of doubt God never fails to enlighten us when we have no other purpose than to please him and ask for his love. People always mistake the means for the end, attaching certain importance to the work they do….” He found that the best way of reaching God was to do ordinary work, performed entirely for love—not for the value man places on it. He thought it a great delusion that time set aside for prayer should be different from other times.

Something that has brought me closest to actively knowing God’s presence is feeling the vortex of Spirit’s energy spinning above me, around me, and entering my body through the crown of the head. I first became aware of this in quiet meditation. But we can talk to God at any point in our day, and may subtly or dramatically feel God’s presence moving through us. That Presence brings with it a feeling of ecstasy.

Once feeling the life force of Spirit, you can expand the vortex to include your environment and ultimately the whole planet. Imagine it nurturing everything. I’ve found, that if something happens in my life causing me a moment of need, I can draw on this vortex and be protected by the Spirit of God. Having Spirit’s love around me gives me the peace of knowing that everything is going to be okay. We each can harmonize with God’s will through our devotion and practice.

Brother Lawrence lived in times much simpler than ours, but he managed to disengage himself from the complications of daily life by focusing on his inner connection with Spirit. We can do much the same in our busy lives. If you can devote even five minutes twice a day in meditation—morning and evening—to connect with Spirit, you will help yourself and others immensely. Brother Lawrence advised us to practice awareness of God all day and night. Through that dedication he was able to live a humble, purposeful and joyous life, and so might we.

Embrace the Journey

Embrace the Journey

  by Dawn King    Spiritual illumination is not something one can “acquire” or “arrive” at. It is a journey that never ceases to surprise, delight, inspire, and refresh the soul. How so?

Each of us finds that life is leading us forward toward illumination, if we follow the many “bread crumbs” dropped by circumstances and events. Sometimes the path before us seems far from being one related to spiritual growth, but we should watch for the signs. When in 2020 my usual work dried up and I was inspired to “be an artist”, it sounded like a fun way to fill in the void, but rather frivolous. After following prompts from friends and new acquaintances which all seemed like coincidences at the time, “being an artist” is serving my spirit surprisingly well today.

Free will is a theme we live with, so we are allowed to make choices. When we make the best choice, delightful results ultimately manifest. When we make a poor choice, it becomes obvious; we feel and experience the uncomfortable results.

We are more powerful than we realize; our thoughts and actions are more consequential than we realize. Since our thoughts and actions today actually set up future scenes and events, a continuing chain of options is set in motion by us each day. Despite appearances to the contrary, there is always a way to correct a poor choice, or yet to make a poor choice. Letting go of stubborn pride, bad habits, and the controlling ego—“I want my way!”—is hard. We have to chip away continuously at this facade which encrusts and inhibits the expression of our beautiful souls. Even spiritual ego must be dissolved.   

Yes, we each have a beautiful, perfectly illumined soul which is trying to express itself throughout our life. Many very young children are closer to exhibiting that awareness, that unconditional love of life and all life forms. As we live out our lives, we have the opportunity to expand that soul awareness, or deny it and thus deny ourselves the joy of experiencing the immortal part of ourselves.

It is not our bodies that journey on after life; it is our spirits, our souls. Why not embrace the journey now!

My Easter inspiration:
Spiritual illumination was called “Christ consciousness” by Paramahansa Yogananda. We have the opportunity each day to crucify or to resurrect the Christ (Illumination) in us by our thoughts and actions. Within each of us there can be the joy of experiencing: “He is risen! She is risen!”

Transforming Karma

Transforming Karma

  by Jake Collier    What an incredible imagination the Great Spirit has—to not only bring into being all of creation, but to have the imagination to create these amazing bodies, our earthly temples. Sometimes we might ask ourselves, “Why is the energy of karma woven into this divine plan?”

The original concept of karma was to perpetuate ecstasy in these bodies so that in each lifetime souls who walked in the body would live in virtue, peace, and harmony. In this way they would be creating wondrously helpful energies to take into the next life [good karma], further perpetuating ecstasy in each existence on Earth.

Think of life here as being like taking a hike in the wilderness. No matter how hard we try to not break or hurt anything, we crush the grass that we walk on; we might step on some insects; branches break under foot. It’s impossible to make the journey without affecting something, and creating karma.

How many of us, when we go on vacation, pack a bag, or several. Yet when we get to our destination, we’re inspired to purchase more things, more bags with souvenirs and gifts from that experience, that existence. So it is with karma. All the energetics of our past actions are packed, and coming into this life with us—we bring our soul’s baggage from past existences due to the law of cause and effect.

Karma belongs not only to individuals—there is group karma, community karma, city karma, and country karma. It can be seen throughout history, wherein civilizations have risen and fallen, countries have flourished and perished.

Cause and Effect is really a wonderful cosmic design because, like the scales of justice, we can pack our virtuous thoughts and purely motivated actions onto one side of the scale, tipping it toward a better life for ourselves, a higher consciousness, and toward a positive effect on others and our communities. 

Many times people use the idea of karma as a cop-out, an excuse: “Oh, it’s my karma to do this.” In reality, each moment we have the ability to change our lives, to perpetuate pure thoughts and actions. Thankfully, there have been those souls, those evolved beings, who have come here and passed on techniques of meditation through which we can burn up karmas that we brought into this life, as well as karmas we are generating.

When practiced on a regular basis, meditation can transform our lives, altering our future. We can begin to experience the taste of ecstasy, and once we have that taste, it’s all we desire—to taste it again and again. When we feel God’s ecstasy, we know there is nothing in this life better than that. When we are totally in that moment, feeling the Divine vibrating all around and within us, it’s such joy, such peace.

Mother Father God, make your truths known to us.
May our vision become clearer and our thoughts purer,
that we might dwell in your house here on this Earth
as a pure reflection of you. Amen

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


Contact Us
Your Cart