Light on Sunburst Sanctuary – Stand Unshaken

Light on Sunburst Sanctuary – Stand Unshaken

Light on Sunburst Sanctuary – Stand Unshaken    Master Yogananda has told us: “You must learn to stand unshaken amidst the crash of breaking worlds.” In that spirit we carry on at Sunburst Sanctuary. In fact we are making the best of it, letting “breaking worlds” send us deeper into oneness with Spirit. [Opening image above: Al King hiking at Sunburst Sanctuary.

Meanwhile we’ve certainly had our share of breaking equipment this winter. But our guys, sometimes with a bit of outside help, get it up and running again. Farmer-in-training, and Sunburst Explorer, Nate has been singing to express his enthusiasm (photo below).

And who could be unhappy amidst the beauty of Sunburst Sanctuary? Here’s some photos taken right before and right after morning group meditation.

Early Morning Sky

Then there’s the bounty of the land. We’re still enjoying persimmons, and a late crop of potatoes and strawberries from some personal gardens.

Persimmons and Potatoes

Plenty of great activities keep us busy: Around the Temple, Curtis was weeding; Craig was cleaning and fixing the rain gutters.

Curtis and Craig clean up around the Temple

Heiko was working the organic fertilizer spreader. Haley was turning compost rows.

[Below] Al & Anna (visiting) gathered wild mushrooms. On a recent morning after meditation we saw the horses waiting for fresh hay. So much to see and do at Sunburst Sanctuary. You can visit, explore, retreat. 

Gathering mushrooms and horses wait for hay

Grateful I Am To Be Alive!

Grateful I Am To Be Alive!

•  by Dawn King  •  Each morning we face a new day with excitement or dread, or some feeling in between. Whatever our thinking and feeling, let’s check in and realize it is creating the day we will encounter. Our attitudes and thoughts effect our experiences more than we realize. They can “make or break” our happiness and enjoyment in life.

The title of this article is lyrics from a beautiful Sunburst song. Waking up with an inspired song on your mind is a great way to start the day. I know because it often happens to me. But I find life exciting and fun each day. I make a point of embracing this experience because life is NOW, and it is in my power to make the best of it, whatever it brings.

My mother told me that when she was growing up, at one point she thought life was kind of boring. We’ve all probably been there at some point, thinking it was pretty routine and less than exciting, especially when we were growing up. I certainly did.

So Mom, as a child wished for some excitement. The next thing she knew, her youngest brother fell out the upstairs window and broke his leg. To her this was a tragedy. Life became exciting, but not in a good way. She learned to be careful what she wished for, and to appreciate things being “normal.”

Normal is good in so many ways. When we keep a gratitude journal, or somehow reflect on the goodness we experience in a normal day, we realize what a blessing it is. The sun comes up. We are able to function. There are things to do; we have purpose in our day.

Ever since a bad fall and concussion experienced in June while backpacking, I am thankful that I can walk, talk, think straight, type this story, etc. Things could have been so much worse.

How often do we each come through a day physically unharmed and think nothing of it. We take it for granted that we’ll be able to function just as well tomorrow. When we age (as I am), we start to realize tomorrow may not find us functioning as perfectly as the day before. It’s best to be thankful for what you’ve got; use it and hope to improve it; and embrace the moment, the NOW. This is your life.

Yesterday I was reflecting on how we are each victims, but should not have victim mentality. Yes, we are victims of our own thoughts and attitudes. Yet, we can change them and make them serve us better. An article I read recently said people with victim consciousness often find themselves with cancer. Our bodies respond to our thoughts, especially habitual ones. We should always be looking for the positive side of every situation, what benefits might be found in it.

Tonight the United States will see the longest eclipse in almost 1000 years cross its land from east to west. For over six hours the full moon will be darkened, appearing red at its fullest eclipse around 1 p.m. PST. Some people are saying it portends coming earthquakes or other natural Earth changes, maybe weather phenomena. Others say eclipses are symbolic of human transformation. Let’s celebrate spiritual transformation and the ways we can lift our own spirits. Likewise, we can celebrate whatever changes our planet Earth will bring to uplift the consciousness of humanity. Pause in the NOW, and be grateful.

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child—our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”    Thich Nhat Hanh

The Secret Presence

The Secret Presence

by Valerie Joy King    My husband Jonathan and I were getting ready to leave Flagstaff for the ten hour drive home. We had been visiting for a week, helping to get our natural foods store on track after its move to a new, larger location. I had really enjoyed our stay. I have always loved Flagstaff!

It is nestled against the foot of the San Francisco peaks, Arizona’s tallest mountains. The whole town is covered with ponderosa pine forests. The sky is crystal clear blue because of the high elevation. The Hopi people state that the Kachinas, guardian spirits and teachers of humankind, make their home in the sacred San Francisco mountains.

While we visited, every day would start out sunny and clear, then storm clouds would roll in amidst thunder and lightning, pour down buckets of rain, and then the sun would return again. I loved the exciting weather!

This particular morning I was sad to be leaving because during our visit I had been working at our store every day, and hadn’t a chance to walk in the pine forests and greet my friends, the trees and rocks, and wild animals. This is one of my favorite things to do.

I sat down on a curb beside our car and looked out across the valley to a rolling foothill adorned with pines. Suddenly I felt the soft yet powerful embrace of Divine Spirit spinning all around me, expanding outward, stretching to encompass my gaze. The hill now also became embraced by the spinning cocoon. I could feel all the trees, the rich, red earth, and the lichen-covered boulders, all living within me. How joyous was our communion! “Hello, dear trees,” I whispered. “Thank you for  your life in I Am That I Am.”

I noticed that everything I looked at seemed to be composed of tiny, shimmering orbs of divine life and consciousness. Even things I ordinarily consider ugly, like exhaust from a tractor, now was filled with the secret Presence.

As I breathed in and out, I felt the dancing, shimmering lights enter in and out of my body. I felt completely clean and renewed, as a favorite poem rang through my consciousness: In Joy I live. In Joy I breathe. In sacred Joy I melt. Thank you, Creator Spirit, I Am That I Am.

Buddha’s Birthday – Let’s Reboot This Dimension

Buddha’s Birthday – Let’s Reboot This Dimension

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

Light On Sunburst Sanctuary

Light On Sunburst Sanctuary

Light On Sunburst Sanctuary    Spring Opening Event
Text and Photos by Letha Kiddie    On May 15th, Sunburst Sanctuary reopened for its first event since the Covid pandemic began. A small group of hikers gathered at the medicine wheel for an inspiring introduction to the intricacies of the circle and the cross symbol, which is a part of the Sunburst mandala.
Wheel of Life
Amber and Elena
Elena took us on a journey through each of the four segments, symbolizing the four directions, seasons, races, elements, and stages of life on Earth. Afterward an offering was made and intentions were set for the hike through Mother Earth’s springtime beauty.
Hikers and Craig
Craig led us on a pristine trail to a hidden meadow where we gathered for lunch under a beautiful grove of oak trees. The hike ended at the Hopi labyrinth with an explanation of its history and meaning, as well as personal time to reflect while tracing its path. Gathering together with kindred souls brought joy to everyone who participated and the Earth rejoiced to have people enjoying her springtime wonders.
Labyrinth Walk

Divine Mother

Divine Mother

by Joe Belton (edits and photo by Dawn King)  •  As I step outside into a beautiful morning, divine Mother’s presence in the creation is so obvious. We see the reflection of divine Mother in our Mother Earth. She provides for us, takes care of us, gives us food and water for our bodies, materials for clothing and shelter. Her beautiful natural images enrich our spirits. Who has not stood spellbound by a sunrise or sunset, by a certain mountain or valley, or a majestic forest…or the awesome expanse of the ocean?

Divine Mother is also reflected in our birth mothers, who helped bring us into the world, who took care of us and nurtured us. Each one is beautiful in her own way. Each one is a daughter of Divine Spirit. Reflections of divine Mother are everywhere around us. But divine Mother is never alone; her constant companion is divine Father.

In every image that exists, throughout all of creation, divine Mother and Father dance in the midst of it, weaving light and sound, creating wonderful visible images. Above the crowns of our heads sits the brilliance of I Am That I Am, Mother and Father. Emanating from that brilliance, the sacred forces of our spiritual parents descend upon each one of us. If we sit still enough, we can feel their presence.

Divine Mother’s swirling life force spins downward around our bodies to the base chakra, then returns up the inner-dimensional tunnel of our spines toward the heart chakra.She envelops us in a cocoon of light. Through the midst of Mother’s inner-dimensional spiral the life force of divine Father spins downward meeting divine Mother in our heart chakra. Mother and Father’s vortexes combine, sustaining life, and offering Illumination, Christ consciousness.

Divine Mother’s vortex is like her mouth upon the crowns of our heads; it whispers to each one of us saying, “Breathe from my mouth the Breath of Life.” It is for each one of us to open that door on the crown of the head and invite abundant divine life force to enter in, and to illumine us.

As we inhale the physical air, we also draw the energy of divine Mother up through the base of the spine. As we exhale, we draw divine Father’s life force down through the crowns of our heads. We circulate their life force within us, and thus we breathe the Breath of Life. We become more and more aware of the presence of those sacred forces, the presence of our Mother-Father Creator, I Am That I Am.

Scientists say that at the center of every galaxy there is a massive black hole. It only appears black because its brilliance is undetectable by modern-day instruments. For each one of us there also exists a black hole, that place Sunburst’s founder Norman Paulsen calls “the smallest of all places”. As we circulate our life force and breathe the Breath of Life, we begin to penetrate the darkness within and eventually perceive the tiny light, the star that shines at the mouth of the inner-dimensional tunnel. Over time, in meditation it appears to grow into a shining sun, unveiling the brilliance of that Being we call I Am That I Am.

One day, everyone on Earth will have grown into this realization and be able to say, as Yogananda said, “In the inky darkness of my mind I could behold the Sun of Cosmic consciousness.”

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