Facing Our Demons

Facing Our Demons

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

We Seek to Know You

We Seek to Know You

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.]

The Power of Equanimity

The Power of Equanimity

by John Henry  •  The virtue of Equanimity is so powerful in its nature because it helps us control our thoughts. Every thought, word, and action that emanates from us is creating the world that we live in. It is an awesome responsibility to be a true human in this world.

Sunburst’s founder, Norm Paulsen, always used to say that we’re either building up energy, or losing it. We can use the virtue of equanimity to shape our thought processes and control them, which balances our energy, and protects us from depleting our life force.

It resounds in my soul how important it is to defer to God for thoughts—to act and speak according to divine laws and with unconditional love. Let us be willing to let our competitive ego natures fall away, and trust in the guidance that comes through the pure Self, allowing virtuous inspiration to enter into our souls.

In the spiritual life, we’re constantly being asked to grow. Sometimes that growth is slow and imperceptible. But sometimes it happens very suddenly. In the book, The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz, the author states that the third agreement of Toltec wisdom is to make no assumptions. Prejudice, equanimity’s opposite, tempts us in this direction. However, with wisdom and discernment, we can move through difficult situations and continue to grow.

There may come times in our lives when controlling our thoughts, and applying our concentration and all of our talents to a situation isn’t enough. Those are opportunities when God forces us to rely on spiritual guidance, and we’re shown what phenomenal results can come when we do so.

We may walk around at times thinking we have the weight of the world on our shoulders. In most cases, it’s just not true. I’m telling you this because I know that times will come when you can’t figure out the solution to “your problem” with your mind. That’s when you learn to rely on your relationship with your Creator.

When the Mayan calendar was going to end in 2012, some people believed it denoted the end of the world. Actually it marked the beginning of the future. That future is based on much higher thought than that of the past. Spiritual athletes are ushering in this higher thought. A cornerstone of any sustainable future is equanimity.

Of all the virtues, equanimity is the key to our ability to live with one another in brotherhood, to live in fellowship, thinking of the needs of others before our own, and further developing our ability to receive direction from God. The teachings of Sunburst reveal the conduit between each of us and Spirit, as well as all other enlightened spirits throughout the universe. Together we can usher in a bright future for humanity and planet Earth.

Almighty Spirit, our hearts are filled with but one desire; that is to awaken from this dream of being separate from you. It is our desire to remember our true identity, our oneness with you. We offer you all of our successes and our failures in exchange for the grace of knowing your peace and love, which is your nature. Amen.

Cast Your Cares Away

Cast Your Cares Away

by Valerie King  •  One recent Saturday I was reflecting on an extremely intense week. Work was so stressful, and my body wasn’t feeling well either. In short, I felt exhausted mentally and physically. It seemed that there was no end to the trials and worries of life.

But it was a beautiful spring day outside, the grass was vibrant and green, and the tiny wildflowers were starting to show. I decided to try walking our labyrinth as a healing practice. I took my shoes off so I could feel the wonderful life and presence of Mother Earth underneath me.

I remembered that a sanctuary guest had told me she liked to start her labyrinth walks with a question for Spirit, and that often she would get an answer while walking. So I looked at the radiant sun shining in the east and asked, “How can I find healing and balance?”

As I walked my bare feet gladly felt the cool dark earth and the soft wild grasses and flowers now growing in the pathways. All Earth seemed to be singing a deep hymn of gratitude for this beautiful morning. My heart began to lift and I started softly singing a song I remembered from my childhood.

It was a hymn based upon Saint Francis’ poem about Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Mother Earth, and all the creation. The chorus simply says, “Oh praise Him; Oh praise Him; Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!” This song echoed the gratitude in my heart for the joy I was beginning to feel.

As I came close to the center of the labyrinth, I was singing a verse about humankind:
And all ye men of tender heart,
Forgiving others; take your part.
Oh praise Him, Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
Praise God and on Him cast your care….

And I smiled when I reached the very center as I sang these words, for I realized they were the answer to my prayer. How can I find healing and balance? “Praise God and on Him cast your care.”

I don’t have to try to carry all the worries and burdens of life alone. I just have to do my best with the responsibilities given to me, fill my heart with gladness and gratitude for God, and cast my cares into the brilliance of his light. That light can take much better care of my worries than I can! Thank you, Divine One.

Light & Love

Light & Love

by Craig Hanson  •  

Let’s greet that Light.
Let’s embrace the diversity of all cultures,
of all God’s children
for truly that Light within our souls,
which is the pure Self,
is the light in every created being.

The sun we see outside of us today,
winking at us through the clouds,
is that same inner sun,
our divine Companion that likes to play with us,
hiding in and out of the creation,
enjoying life.

In meditation we touch divine Love and Joy.
In the stillness between two thoughts
—any two thoughts—we come to know.
We come to get blasted by the Light,
like seeing the gap between cars
on a speeding freight train.
If we penetrate the gaps between the cars
with one pointed focus and concentration,
time stands still,
and we behold Light that was always there,
but we saw it not.

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