Light on Sunburst Sanctuary – Yoga Retreat of June 12
By Letha Kiddie • There couldn’t have been a more beautiful day for the Sunburst Yoga Retreat, led by Nicole Hoperich (shown above).
A comfortably spaced group gathered in front of the Sunburst Lodge under the blue sky and warm summer sun for a welcoming and introduction. The participants were invited to choose a word that was important to them during the pandemic and made it a focal point of their labyrinth walk, which took place next. The Labyrinth design, which was a gift from Hopi Chief White Bear to Sunburst, is a perfect place to focus on an intention and enjoy a walking meditation.
After the walk, Nicole led the group in a wonderful yoga class, perfect for all levels. Breath-work, heart-opening exercises, and yoga poses, warmed our bodies and our hearts. The class ended with a silent meditation and the gift of a gemstone heart. A picnic lunch in the shade of the Cottonwood trees allowed time for visiting and enjoying the beauty of the Sanctuary, serenaded by birdsong.
The Yoga retreat ended with a gratitude circle, full of gratitude for Nicole’s wonderful class, gratitude for everyone who participated, gratitude for the peace and beauty of the sanctuary, and gratitude for the hopeful future of more Sunburst gatherings.
by Sibylle Custer • When we sit together to sing to God and to meditate at Sunburst Sanctuary, something very special is going on. We disengage ourselves from the world we live in. Our daily jobs fall behind us; our relationships fall away—they are not that important now. The skills that we have learned or that we were born with are not important, they are not with us right now. Our personality falls away, too. If we are assertive or gentle, have a short fuse or can endure a lot, it doesn’t matter at all. What is left of us, when we let go of this ego? Who are we, if none of that counts?
If we put our fingers on the pulse of our wrist, we feel something moving in there. It is life energy inside of us, life that we have not created, life that we receive. This doesn’t come from anything that we are doing. While we are living our daily lives, we are sustained by divine energy every day, and in this very moment. We are created beings. We would not exist if it was withdrawn. None of us!
Meditation is making the effort to get in contact with our Creator, to reach out to the energy that feeds us, that is our true being. There is a way to see God right now, right here, and we have the chance to make that contact. We are thankful, created beings that want to get in touch with our Creator. We are thankful we know how to do it. It doesn’t matter how much we have meditated before. It doesn’t matter if we are new at trying to do it or we have practiced a long time. Here and now is our unique effort, our unique chance.
Dearest Spirit, help us to be still. Give us ears to hear you now. Give us eyes to perceive you. Give us abundant love that we let flow back to you. Amen
photo and text by Dawn King • A recent note from my friend Dori asked:“Do you know about the Wesak? It is on May 26 this year… a major celebration of the Buddha’s birthday and occurs on the May full Moon. It is believed that the Buddha energy and Christ energy converge during the full Moon. One ritual is to put out water in a crystal container to capture this energy. Then sip on it throughout the year.”
Thank you, Dori! 2021’s Wesak full Moon is especially powerful because it’s particularly close to the Earth (a Super Moon). Earth’s shadow will cause a total eclipse of the full Moon. The Moon will appear red in color for about 14 minutes. It can be viewed in the western US, western South America and in South-East Asia. The maximum eclipse will be visible at 4:18 on the west coast of the U.S.
Physically, for planet Earth it may be the trigger for a near-future seismic event, and/or flooding, maybe a tsunami. Since a full view of the eclipse is centered over the Pacific Ocean, that is where such events may occur.
Physically, for our bodies we may experience surges of energy, which could cause us to feel anxious. Pay attention to the body’s needs in regard to diet, exercise, rest, and meditation. Walking a labyrinth (like that at Sunburst) can help bring us into harmony with the Universe.
Mentally, we need to be alert today, as always, for whatever message the Universe is conveying to us. Here’s an example of how the Universe gave me a helpful message:
For weeks I’d been trying to complete the online application for a renewal of my driver’s license, and finally, simply to get an appointment and take the required written test. After filling out all the forms numerous times on my computer, but never getting the needed confirmation of completion, I prayed about it one night before going to sleep. Prompted by a dream just before waking in the morning, I decided to simply “Show up!”…that morning, as instructed in the dream.
I joined the beginning of the day’s long line at my local DMV office. After a couple of minutes, I noticed the person ahead of me had on a sweatshirt with “Victory” printed on the back of it—a good sign! When I was finally admitted, the clerk asked, “Did you study the handbook?”
“Yes,” I answered honestly.
“We’re waiving written tests today,” she smiled. Finally, I was out the door; this ordeal was over, thanks to following the Universe’s promptings.
Emotionally, the full Moon is associated with amplified emotions. However, being the Wesak full Moon it could trigger emotions of a more spiritual nature. We all long for wholeness, or feeling complete. This may be experienced as loneliness. Only a connection with our true nature, a soul connection, will satisfy this longing. Getting in touch with one’s pure Self, one’s inmost heart, can make a world of difference. Meditation can lead us forward in this effort.
Spiritually, we can be hopeful that a real breakthrough is possible around this time. Some have likened this May 26th, 2021 to a time of “psychic reset,” like rebooting a computer. I certainly hope that’s the case. We each could use a reset in our understanding of life, in our ability to see through the eyes of Spirit…through God’s loving eyes.
“…Beauty is life when life unveils her holy face. But you are life and you are the veil. Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in the mirror. But you are eternity and you are the mirror.” – Kahlil Gibran
by Valerie King • A number of years ago, Sunburst’s Founder, Norman Paulsen, received an answer to his prayers concerning the leadership of Sunburst for that time when he would be watching us “from the other side.” Norm wrote down his wishes for the future guidance of our mission and purpose, naming his wife Patricia as his successor, to serve in the role of Spiritual Director and President. (Photo above: Patty & Norm)
Those who know Patty are continually inspired by the depth of her devotion to Divine Spirit and the Sunburst teachings, her loving kindness, her purity of heart, humility and strength of conviction. Patty has had the good fortune to be with Norm for 26 years as not only his spiritual student but also his wife and best friend. She carries Norm’s energy in her heart and soul. Norm’s divinely inspired choice was felt to be a great blessing.
In 2007, Norm created additional support structures to help guide Sunburst. He appointed an Advisory Board to assist and advise the Spiritual Director, as well as naming officers to carry out the wishes of the Director and the Board. Norm also created the Sunburst Council, made up of those who choose the Sunburst teachings as their spiritual path. The council is a receiving, reflecting, and projecting body. Its purpose is to envision and seed the future with divinely-inspired images.
Whenever we sit together in the presence of Spirit, we bring concentrated power to bear upon creating and manifesting God’s dreams here on Earth. Norm spoke of this creative power during a Sunday meditation:
“So beautiful are the children of God in their uniqueness. When we love one another, the power is on the move to do things, to create things, to make this world a place of peace, love, and understanding. Each soul has such a power to help, to heal, to live a life of service for each other, and for the world. This world so desperately needs this from each one of us. Love ye one another is the message we need to remember as we go forth every day.”
We are thankful that Norm had the foresight to create such strong and clear structures to carry on the work that Spirit began. Norm’s legacy continues on through all whom he touched, encouraging souls to awaken to their own Pure Self, the magnificent presence of God within.
What a wonderful start we had to 2020, a year ago, with Sunburst’s January 6, 2020, Kriya Retreat. From the photo you can see it was well attended. This brings us to our current unique opportunity: On January 9, 2021 Sunburst is offering a …Kriya Initiation Renewal, via Zoom, for anyone who has attended a Sunburst Kriya Initiation. Contact the Sunburst office to attend: 805-736-6528, email@example.com. Sunburst Sanctuary is constantly being prepared for its reopening to the public. Work is ongoing to maintain and improve the property and it’s structures. The grounds, fields, crops and animals are lovingly cared for. Hiking trails are routinely kept open, and communications kept up and running. It will be a glorious day when the gates can open again for Sunday Meditation services and fellowship. Let us all continue to be safe, stay well, and be ready for a wonderful reunion in person when that day arrives.
Today we honor Master Yogananda, the direct teacher of Sunburst’s founder, Norman Paulsen. Yogananda taught Norman to meditate, and opened his mind and heart to the ancient Kriya Yoga path of spiritual growth. Following is an excerpt from Paramahansa Yogananda: A small cup cannot hold an ocean within itself. However, through the definite science of meditation known for millenniums to the yogis and sages of India, and to Jesus, any seeker can enlarge the caliber of his [her] consciousness to omniscience—to receive the Universal Intelligence of God. Jesus did not go through the sublime drama of his life merely to provide sermon material for generations of preachers and their Sunday audiences. He lived, died and was gloriously resurrected as an inspiration to others to live a divine life and attain in themselves his experiences of God and the afterlife. The Christ consciousness of Jesus can be brought into the souls of all who make the effort to receive it.