• by Nathaniel Hansen • I recently entered the Sunburst community as an Explorer in a six-month program meant to acquaint its participants with life at Sunburst Sanctuary. Here I share just a few golden nuggets from my experience thus far.
At Sunburst, the best feelings emerge early in one’s first weeks. Not only are the residents and fellow explorers warm and welcoming, but one also has access to a rich library of texts from a variety of powerful teachers, daily morning group meditations, and some hours of highly gratifying physical labor on the ranch. In addition, when one first enters the gates of Sunburst, one’s blood pressure drops and a sustained sense of calm and peace fills the system. This is important because all of humanity is spiritually weary and in need of soul nourishment.
“How is this possible?” one might ask.
It is possible because the tight-knit family in and surrounding Sunburst hold one another, the land, and the world in a positive bright light. Through daily meditation and prayer, the Sunburst family practices spreading the spiritual Sun’s rays to all souls. This action of channeling light to others is Sunburst’s daily, yet potent, gift. This is important because so much darkness is delivered via media to the human heart; Sunburst counters and cures this with light—first, in the individual life, and then in a larger context.
Anyone on the receiving end of this transference of light at Sunburst knows how wonderful the physical, emotional, and spiritual results can be. A consistent daily routine, along with deep sleep on land that is devoid of city noise, releases hormones into the bloodstream that truly nourish one. This experience is rare, and a true gift.
As one digests the stories and teachings of Sunburst’s founders, and those who inspired them, one feels in the company of true spiritual giants. So many of life’s daily problems and larger issues are quite easily solved when reflecting on these teachings. And, after a full day’s work on the ranch, one may walk over to the well-lit temple for silent personal meditation and prayer. It’s a simple, yet deeply fulfilling existence.
I was recently struggling with a personal issue, and felt an array of difficult emotions and thoughts. One of the long-time residents advised me: “Give these worries up to God, and he will attend to the problem; he can see the macro view.” This guidance brought me such relief. I wasn’t giving up responsibility as much as taking time to reflect next to God, feeling his (and her) all powerful presence.
And that’s just a taste of what it’s like to be here at Sunburst. There are lots of helpful materials on the Sunburst website for those interested. You can also view a spontaneous song that burst out of me while on a tractor in a field here at Sunburst. This song captures all that I’ve written above…and more! I hope you enjoy it!
•by Norman Paulsen, Founder of Sunburst•There is but one force manifesting throughout the universe. That force is I Am That I Am. Its nature is dual, masculine and feminine. Its existence is absolute ecstasy, continuous and ever new. Once tasting this ecstasy, nothing can ever take its place.
God can be seen visibly within as the great Light of inner space. God is seen outwardly in the billions and billions of star systems throughout all dimensions.
Spirit is felt as ecstasy; it is heard and known as sound. The movement of the cosmic forces in creation, all vibrating and radiating on different frequencies, compose and play the great cosmic symphony. One sits in awe and listens to the sounds, as waves upon waves roll in from the cosmic sea, breaking and roaring through the center of your being. Sometimes one feels as though every hair is standing at attention as the Great Spirit, which you have become one with, moves through the frail body of flesh and bone.
From the great cosmic forces in eternity we have all come forth. Miraculously we are visible to each other. Each one of us has been given a special beauty, wisdom and love. Each spirit is endowed with a different face. What a miracle it is to look at each other.
Our Divine Mother and Father have never conceived two things exactly identical; they reflect infinite variety in duality. Each soul is fashioned with uniquely reflecting facets, like the finest jewel. Each soul spreads divine light in variations that are different from those who came before, or those who follow after.
The Divine Playwright, Mother-Father God, marches on through eternities in the great halls of creations, images infinitely abounding, love transcending, in waves of color and sound—this is the cosmic sea. One sees it, and one knows it. Our soul ships sail forth immortal.
Imagine an experience of immortal ecstasy! You can experience this while conscious and alive in the body. For each one of you who remains steadfast on the path, with heart’s devotion set true upon the Godhead, Mother-Father Creator, you will taste that ecstasy and see that Light, and sail on that eternal sea.
Pray! Pray to your Mother and your Father who reside within your body. They are your constant companions. If they were not, you would cease to exist. Therefore, know that God, our Father and our Mother, are right within you and around you. Pray sincerely and unceasingly that you might feel and see their presence. It is through the devotion and love of your deepest heart that they reveal themselves to you.
• a group meditation prayer, by Norman Paulsen•Almighty Spirit, your light and energy moves through our bodies and minds. Fill us abundantly with your love. Let us see you face-to-face, brilliant like the sun, shining within the upper chamber of our minds.
What a miracle it is to be alive, and to contemplate you, oh God. All that we see, all that we know, came forth from your divine presence. From the testimonies of those who have passed before us, we know that you can become visible to us. We know that we can see you, we can hear your voice, and feel your spirit hands upon our heads.
I am your child, Mother-Father Divine. I pray that I may be a light in this world for others. Open wide my heart, that I may receive your love abundantly. The world needs your light so desperately in all hearts and minds. I pray that your light and love may be spread to those who are afflicted and injured and lost in the darkness. I pray for the cessation of wars, greed and suffering. I pray that this world can again be a garden of beauty for your children to live upon, loving each other, helping each other, growing together. Oh Beloved, I pray for this, and for the future of this beautiful planet.
I believe in the immortality of my consciousness, oh God. I believe that you created each one of us, so uniquely immortal. Let us realize our eternal souls, within our hearts, that we may bathe in the light of your presence. Lead us into this realization Oh God, that we may spread it to all.
With my heart’s intent upon you, breathe the Breath of Life into my soul. Let the dove of mercy and love descend upon the crown of my head. Even as Jesus received, let us all receive the dove of your beloved presence, the breath of life, into our hearts and minds.
I know you are here. I desire to feel you beat in my heart, and breathe in my lungs. You gave me this life; you can take it away. Let me see my immortality in you, Almighty Spirit. I will meditate on you. I will coax you to reveal yourself to me. I will love you with all my heart and devotion. I desire your love and your presence, that I may be an instrument to bring peace to this world.
Your unseen hands have fashioned us, and support us, every microsecond of time. You are within us; you are around us. We observe the uniqueness of each soul. No two faces are alike—each one exhibits a different expression of you.I can perceive you, oh God. I feel you beating in every heart. I feel you desiring to give to every mind your love, your compassion, your healing.
Heal our bodies that we may walk with you in strength and purpose, not just for ourselves, but for all our brothers and sisters. May we turn the presence of our minds inward upon you, that we may see you and hear you in our meditations every day. What a wonder it is to be alive! What a wonder it is to meditate upon you, Father, Mother, while sitting upon this tiny world floating in the infinity of galaxies and stars. Yes the immensity of your creation is stretching away from us in every direction; and here we are, so miraculously alive. What a wonder it is, this life that we have!
May we enter our closet, interiorize our minds when we pray, and observe who we really are in our meditations. May we open up our hearts to receive the breath of life, that unimaginable love. May we feel the anointment on the crown of the head, like warm oil, the life and breath of God descending into us. Yes, the kingdom of heaven is within.
Almighty Spirit, we your children thank you for bringing us together on this day, in the light of your presence. Each one of us, in our own way, desires you in our hearts, in our minds, in our souls. Walk with us. Remind us that you are within us and love us dearly, each and every one.
•by Barbara McCaughey & Dawn King•Around the end of October, ancient Celts celebrated summer’s end, and the start of a new year. This time was also a window into the spirit world, a time when departed souls could visit Earth again. Afraid, some people began a practice of dressing up in scary costumes to frighten disembodied souls away. In essence, they wanted to be more scary than what they were scared of.
Trying to meet fear with more fear doesn’t work. We all have tried it. A common practice is to worry and fret, thinking that if we just try hard enough, or think hard enough, we’ll come up with a way to push away whatever fear seems to threaten us.
The only thing that really works for moving through and actually dissolving fear is cultivation of a deep and abiding relationship with the pure Spirit within us. This is what everyone wants, even though people search for it in so many different ways. We all want to feel loved, to have a sense of belonging and purpose, and a sense of peace. These naturally give us courage and help us make right choices.
I read a story about a woman who was driving her car on a back road in New York State. She wasn’t feeling very well, and was uncertain whether she should keep going or turn around. While indecision wracked her mind, she felt worse and worse.
Then in the distance she saw a billboard. She read it: “Please, God.” Then she said to herself, “Yes, yes, please, God, please, please; what shall I do?” But as she drove closer to the sign, she noticed that there was no comma after the word “please”. It actually said “Please God!”
She took a moment to calm dawn and contemplate those words. She was no longer calling on a Being who was far away, outside of herself. She realized she was the empowered doer. She continued her journey, and felt better.
When we begin to feel that joy of being one with Spirit, then we want to experience it all the time. The unconditional love and joy of Spirit can work and play in us, as much as we invite it.
So, “Please God!” What is pleasing to the divine lIfe force with us? We can be pleasing, and find more enjoyment of life by taking time to develop our love and appreciation for all we’ve been given. This we do through contemplation, and meditation, listening for that still small voice within.
We must follow our soul’s conscience; our heart knows the way. When we stick to that way, our life can gracefully unfold in an unending prayer of devotion and thankfulness. And thus we find courage, peace, joy, and the knowledge that we are supremely supported by Source, our ever-well-wisher. With spiritual courage, we discover everything we need to meet the challenges of each day.
by Dawn King • My constant prayer is to see people and things through God’s eyes. One day I walked into a room at my house and saw it for the mess that it was. Instead of ignoring it, I needed to tackle a big clean up and declutter at my house, one I’d been putting off because it was so daunting, and there were so many other fun things to do instead.
Since inertia seemed to have kept this personal project from going forward, I resolved to give it a try once again. With that in mind, I stopped and prayed for at least five minutes. I prayed for strength, and asked for a “key” to help me. Then I listened for the answer; what was the key?
After several more minutes: “Just start!” came the reply.
How many times in life do we need to make a change, but feel unprepared in some way. Or maybe we simply lack the willpower, even though we know it’s something we should do. We put it off; we ignore it; we beat ourselves up about it. Yet, no results come because we haven’t really made an effort.
It takes repeated resolve to tackle a project, especially a large one. Each day we need to remind ourselves of what we’re trying to accomplish. Maybe it’s starting a meditation practice. Maybe it’s being a more compassionate and kind person. Maybe it’s writing a thesis. Whatever it is, it can loom large in our minds and seem overwhelming, next to impossible.
Paramahansa Yogananda encourages us to take on hard tasks in order to develop our willpower. It takes many virtues to overcome our demons, whatever they may be, or to take on any seemingly big task. We need first to recognize the issue; what do you want to change or to accomplish? Sometimes making a plan is helpful. Other times we simply need to dive in. But it’s always helpful to be certain your efforts and your goals are ones that Spirit is behind. When in doubt, meditate on whether the undertaking is something you should really pursue or not.
Once a worthwhile pursuit is on your “To Do” list, be ready to stick to it until it’s accomplished, no matter how long that might take. This is perseverance. And you’ll need patience to continue on. Sometimes it takes courage to even start an endeavor. Adopting Sunburst’s 8 Paths, and 12 Virtues can be very helpful in creating a healthy life, one that is fulfilling, and shines light into this world.
“Forget the past. The vanished lives of all people are dark with many shames. Human conduct is ever unreliable until one is anchored in the Divine. Everything in the future will improve if you are making a spiritual effort now.” Paramahansa Yogananda
A Prayer by Norman Paulsen•Mighty Spirit, Mighty Beloved, Divine Mother and Father, we, your children, love you—our life, our Creator. We seek to hear your voice. We seek to know you as a son or daughter should know their mother and father. We know you are alive because we are alive. We know you can hear us, because we can hear. We know you see us because we can see.
Our hearts ache for loss of knowing you. Our world suffers in anguish and despair for having forgotten you—for having forgotten your cosmic laws of love and virtue. We seek to know you as sons and daughters not for our own benefit, but for the benefit of all the world, and all of your children.
If you reveal yourself to me and I hear your voice, and see your light, I shall know on that day that I have regained my natural state, that I have again become a true son or a true daughter, that I have come home. On that day I will realize that by becoming my natural self again I am in no way above or below anyone else, that I am nothing to be venerated or upheld, that I am just a natural son or natural daughter.
On that day I will set about, Oh God, to do your will, wherever you guide me in your creation; for without you nothing would exist. Without you my heart would cease to beat; my senses would no longer function. You, my Director, my Creator, my Divine Mother and Father, my Eternal Companion, my Beloved, my Dearest Friend, be with me from this day forward.
Enter into me, that pure Life that you are, that in an instant you can heal me and transform me forever. Let me be reminded every day of the twelve virtues, that I diligently apply them to my life. Through you, my Mother and Father, I shall become a son, a daughter, in the body of Christ, the Eternal Light.
[Sunburst Images – top: Sunday Service during Covid; below: Meditators receiving a spiritual blessing.]