by Valerie King•Dear Lovers of God, don’t get discouraged. Don’t give up! Sometimes life and meditation can be difficult, but just when the going is toughest, that’s often when you are making the most progress. God only looks upon your efforts, not your ideas of success or failure. Your loving Divine Parents appreciate your efforts to do good, and to commune with them, and will reward your desire if you persevere.
This lesson was brought home to me one evening when I was exhausted from a very stressful day at work. As I sat to meditate, my thoughts were scattered and unruly. My concentration was really bad. Sitting in my kitchen later, I held my head in my hands and cried out to Spirit, “I am so sorry. I feel like a failure tonight.”
Immediately, the beautiful inner-dimensional tunnel began to appear before my inner vision, clearer and more intense than i’d ever seen it. Pulses and waves of radiant, sparkling greens, golds, blues and purples were moving ever inward to the center. Scintillating white particles, wondrously alive and conscious, danced and flashed before me, moving in a joyous spiral toward the light beyond the tunnel. Then a radiant white Being of light appeared in the center of my vision. I smiled through grateful tears, “My beloved is here!”
“Oh my Friend, you are the One who knows all about my struggles and my efforts on the path, my failures and my successes. Thank you for reminding me that you are always here, always watching over me, supporting me with your divine love, whether I see you or feel you, or not. I know that even when I think I’m doing the worst, my journey still goes on, as long as I love you. And I will never stop loving you!”
Every time we turn to that inner center,
we are recognizing that we, of our own self, can do nothing;
we are seeking the kingdom within. This is true humility, true prayer.
It is acknowledging that wisdom, power, and strength come from the Infinite Invisible.
These periods of silence create an atmosphere of Spirit in which the activity of Spirit,
without our knowing it or having any awareness of it, goes before us to make the desert blossom as the rose. – Joel Goldsmith
& the Power of Visualization and Prayer • All of California was in such a bad drought, reservoirs and creeks near empty, and just about everyone was visualizing and hoping for rain,… and rain we got all at once!!!
“Why?” we might ask, “Why do these things happen?” We could certainly be asking this about the flood that gushed through so many parts of California, including Sunburst’s sanctuary on January 9th. The property received over 10 inches of rain in less than 24 hours—this after waves of previous rainy days had saturated the ground. The hills funneled their moisture into the valley, which long ago had been a river valley. The little creek that now gushed with water and damming debris quickly overflowed its banks. Water found its way to any area downstream, and at lower elevation. Never mind that this was a parking lot and garden. The water swept into, onto, and through it all, including parts of our lodge building.
We had prepared for this event, not knowing what the magnitude would be. A team had come together to put the area around the event center in order, clearing leaves and branches, and putting out sandbags. This kind of teamwork is a hallmark of Sunburst, the can-do spirit upon which the community was built and has persevered through adversities for over 50 years. People coming together for a positive common cause is a beautiful thing. All spirits are lifted, and the benefic grace of the Universe is magnetically drawn to assist.
Communications were heightened after our preparations. A text message read: “A big ‘Thank You!’ to the volunteers that came out to Sunburst to help with preparations for this weekend’s coming rain. (left to right Paul, Robert, Mark, Judi, Justin Lela, April, Curtis, and not shown: Chad). Such a blessing! With much gratitude!”
Another responded: “It feels really good to see everyone stepping up, working together joyfully for common goals and being their best; that’s what I call practicing what we preach!”
But, the storm came full bore. Now a new wave of “Spirit in Action” has been cleaning up. The glue of Sunburst is our common desire to do good in the world, which includes Self-realization (realization of our highest Self). With our attitude of gratitude, we appreciate the end of an extreme drought, and face the day with the tasks it requires of us. Together we are stronger. We are incredibly grateful for this land Spirit blessed us with, and for receiving the strength, quick response and backing from all who help maintain it, for the benefit of all beings.
•Norman Paulsen, Sunburst Founder• An evolution of consciousness has been going on for millenniums, as human forms have moved from simple consciousness (animal instinct) to self consciousness (ego: the sense of a separate self). Humanity now stands on the threshold of cosmic consciousness, Christ consciousness, divine awakening.
Humanity, in its process of evolution, is now moving beyond the mammalian or mid-brain which demonstrates self-consciousness, and opening to the upper reaches of the higher brain. This great “living computer” is sitting within each one of us now, with the vast majority of its potential unused. In this sacred place, the Divine has set forth a creation in our bodies where we can become fully conscious of it. Spirit can enlighten us, when we have prepared and allowed the way to open. Then the divine pure Self can direct the lower self-conscious and simple-conscious natures, as well as our physical bodies. Our very DNA can be improved. I Am That I Am can walk in each one of us on this Earth. This is the reason for the creation.
Why did Divine Spirit create all we see, including ourselves? It becomes obvious to me that the Creator wanted to enjoy walking upon and experiencing the worlds it had projected and created through its creatures, through us!
It’s hard to conceive of what this world would be like if everyone were able to engage the full potential of this higher brain that we have in our possession right now. We get glimmerings of it in dreams, visions, intuition, and sometimes messages from Spirit. But there’s a way to consciously open the spirit-doorway on the crown of the head, where Spirit can energize us, and assist in our development, imparting divine information: the structure of atoms, the sacred geometry of the cosmos, the wisdom and the infinite knowledge contained therein. With the practice of an effective meditation tool, we can begin to receive and express divine consciousness on this Earth today.
The awakened higher brain is designed to contain the knowledge of the whole cosmos. It is connected to the very beginning of this creation. The first creation of light is at the center of your own higher brain, inner-dimensionally. We are created in the image of the Creator. We are the offspring of I AM THAT I AM. We are the encapsulation of the whole creation; it exists within each one of us inner-dimensionally. There is no place to go “out there.” There is a place to go within yourself, to the Light that created you and is manifesting you today.
•by Valerie Joy King• A common question was asked of us at Sunburst during our Founder Norm Paulsen’s last years. “How many of you besides Norman are Christ conscious [meaning spiritually fully awakened]?” This question tickles my funny bone, because we feel as one in the Spirit. We manifest the energy of Christ consciousness at times, and at other times we fall short.
Awakening spiritually is a process, like the growth of a child into an adult. It’s up to each of us to nourish and protect our spiritual growth as it matures. That’s why having guidance is so important. We each try to do our best. Sunburst’s Eightfold Path and Twelve Virtues give us that guidance. An attitude of devotion and a desire for God-realization, as well as the practice of selfless service greatly hasten one’s development.
Christ consciousness always exists in each one of us. It’s the compassion of our hearts; it’s the still small voice of conscience within. As you begin to meditate and practice virtue, your heart will be filled with love for all; your conscience will speak more loudly and clearly. You begin to feel ecstatic energies move through you. You may hear Spirit, or taste or smell inner delights. You may see beautiful scintillating light before you, a distant beckoning star. All of these are signs of your spiritual awakening, of being in a state of spiritual grace.
Yes, there have been times that many of us have tasted this consciousness, but our continued goal is to feel this in every moment. Then we will truly be serving all, allowing the radiance of God to live, work and play in us. This is our work and the rainbow pathway homeward that we walk.
“If I am living in a state of grace, may God keep me there; if I am not, may God put me there.” – Joan of Arc
•Jake Collier•There’s a Zen saying: Before enlightenment I chopped wood and carried water. After enlightenment, I chopped wood and carried water. This quote really rings true. We’re here not to escape this world, but to be a vehicle for divine Spirit to experience all that it has created here.
When we look out at the sky at night, we notice the distances between us and other stars and planets. From astronomers’ studies, you realize the vastness of outer space. Scientists even had to formulate a different measurement called light years because the brain couldn’t comprehend how many miles it was to Jupiter, much less to the outer rim of creation.
We sit in seemingly solid chairs with a solid floor, in a solid building, and seemingly solid bodies. But within everything there’s space between the atoms, even between sub-atomic particles. Paramahansa Yogananda describes that space as divine Spirit, that energy that’s pulsating every microsecond of time, creating and continually expanding this creation.
These bodies have basic needs: shelter, clothing, water and food to sustain us. Work becomes necessary to provide these needs. When we do it selflessly, we can feel divine Spirit within us as we work. Sunburst’s founder said, “Selfless service creates spiritual evolution.”
The more we work selflessly, or self-less-ly give, the more of divine Spirit we receive—the more active Spirit is within us. And because we feel Spirit more fully, we want to do more. It’s self-perpetuating. And in the process, we inspire one another. When we see somebody else being selfless, we’re inspired to also do that.
“Whatever you do, you must do cheerfully for the service of all, and be very ambitious in well-doing,” said Yogananda. Looking back on the history of Sunburst from 1969 onward, there’s an endless list of souls who selflessly gave of themselves to make Sunburst happen. And so we continue to move it forward, to grow Sunburst and have it be a signpost, and a destination point for people to come and learn about divine Spirit and Mother Nature.
As we change our lives to live more harmoniously with the divine plan, our spirituality grows and expands, because it is part of the Creator’s imagination, for he fashioned us not to live in fear and to suffer here. God created us, that we might experience ecstasy living here—every day, and every moment of time that we’re in these bodies. Spirit flows into us and through our senses, and with that life force we create things; we help one another; we enjoy life to its fullest.
Yes, work can be a four letter word that we dread, but we each need to make it our mission to find a beneficial work that inspires us. Find a work in which you can joyously give of yourself. In doing so, you create an energy that spreads across the earth touching other souls, inspiring them to improve themselves and make the world a better place.
Through practicing meditation, reflection and contemplation, each of us can find a beneficial work we can apply ourselves to. The joy, the satisfaction, and the spiritual growth we will experience will be beyond our imagination.
Almighty Spirit, create within me a clear space, so I might see a way forward on my path. Lead me to your embrace. Let me see you as a blazing light pulsating through inner space, so I might become your joyous child, a true reflection of you. May my efforts here help Mother Earth heal herself, and inspire others to join in this mission to heal this world and create heaven on earth. Amen
• by Craig Hanson•On life’s journey toward understanding our true nature, trials, misunderstandings and difficult times may beset us. As we weather these trials and learn many lessons, we may hope that we can help others with what we have gleaned from our experiences.
Norman Paulsen, the founder of Sunburst, wrote a book called “Love, Life, God.” In it he talks about his many experiences as he tried the best he could to live in a way that would bring him closer to the Divine Spirit whom he knew existed within himself. He stated:
My own search for God and a face-to-face meeting did occur for me, but I had yet to live to perfect virtue, which is the very nature of God. I hope, by revealing my experiences, struggles, and revelations, that you, traveler, will be aided on your journey homeward. When trials come, embrace them as opportunities for growth. We learn compassion for others through the painful circumstances we endure ourselves.
There’s an old expression that says: Whatever pains you in others is probably within yourself. The things we find painful inside of ourselves are like the cattle prod that gets our attention and causes us to reflect, then causes us to have compassion for ourselves and others. The sanctuary of peace and perfection we long for is within. When we relax the mind through deep breathing, we relax the thoughts and come to a place of peace and calmness. This is our own sanctuary where the waters of life flow in a beautiful cascade, giving life abundantly and eternally from the fountain of life which flows through us all. As we grow closer to the Divine, as we sit in moments of silence and contemplation, as we enjoy the beauties of creation and of each other—the smiling faces before us—we come to realize that all these things are within us.
We each are placed upon the Earth to do a great work unique to our own soul. We may discover this through a lot of trial and error. Understanding and comprehension of who we are, why we were placed here, and how the creation came into being—all these profound questions, which perplexed even the greatest minds, can be known.
Albert Einstein, humbled by the magnificent order of the creation fashioned by a divine intelligence, realized that the most profound answers to the physical questions of the universe, as well as the simple questions of our hearts, were found within this quiet Self within. So it is with each one of us that Divine Spirit has created a creative genius blossoming forth like an exquisite flower. Together we can be a bouquet of souls who fully understand our infinite potential and connection to each other through our common Source.