by Jonathan King•One of my assignments, as a freshman in college, was to read The Confessions of St. Augustine. At the time I wondered, “Why on Earth am I reading this?” But I gave it my best. Very late at night, all was quiet and I read about St. Augustine’s life as a student. He used to go out with his buddies to hang out and carouse.
That really shocked me. At the time, I was doing the same thing quite a bit, just as he did, but I didn’t feel that good about it. I was trying to resolve my behavior and think about how I wanted to be as I moved into manhood.
As I continued to read, I started to think, “Wow! This is a dilemma.” I was reaching out to Spirit for a solution. All of a sudden the air in the room became electric. This may have lasted for a minute, but it seemed like a really long time. The room was filled with the presence of Spirit. It was so strong, I felt that it grabbed me by the heart and stopped me right in my tracks.
There wasn’t any question at that moment: “Does God exist?” The internal humming spoke: “I Am” That vibration filled everything, and it stayed. It was incredible!
Later, I thought about it until I inwardly fell to my knees saying, “My God, how could I have ever doubted you? Thank you!”
What I realize now is that I was being called. We all have the experience of being called at some time. It’s an archetypal experience which is custom tailored for each one of us. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, we know we are being asked to change — to change in a way that will give us ultimate freedom, and entrance into a realm of feelings and vibrations we could not attain any other way.
Making a commitment to live your life every minute dedicated to finding Spirit within opens up so much joy, so much meaning and satisfaction. Even after a short while, you realize there really isn’t any other meaningful choice. I hope you will remember the times you have been visited by Spirit. If you haven’t had an experience like this, you will!
What you sow you will reap. This is the law of cause and effect. It actually exists in order to multiply our joy, our bliss. God waits for us to call, so he can respond.
Listen to the voice within you; it is the voice of your pure Self. Listen to it well. Has it not been waiting for you since the beginning of your existence? – Norman Paulsen, Sunburst Founder
By Norman Paulsen, Sunburst Founder • Our two physical eyes can see the dual universe God has created, but they cannot see God. Meditation reverses the process, as you bring your gaze inward and to a single point. In the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus says, “When you make the two one, you shall enter the kingdom of heaven.” In meditation, when you focus the two eyes on one point with deep concentration, you are “making the two one.“ With practice, the spiritual eye will open at that point and show you what it’s looking at! Yes, it will reveal to you the Light of God, like a living sun or star spinning in front of you.
Within our bodies, God gave us a clue for how to find our way home. When we look at our eyes in the mirror, we are looking at the outer, dual image of our inner single eye. The light that shines through our two eyes is a reflection of the divine light that shines within the single spiritual eye.
The single eye of God created our two eyes and everything that exists. It is the projector, that featureless face of God that looks like a blazing sun or star to our inner vision. Our physical sun reminds us that God is with us all the time. When we see God with the single eye of soul, we can see him the same way, as a blazing image of Light.
My teacher Yogananda once said to me, “You must penetrate the star in the spiritual eye—then you will have salvation.” How do you penetrate the star?
It has to come after you. The star shines upon you at the crown of your head. That’s as close as you are to the body of God! You’ve got to bring it in. You’ve got to open the door so it can come into you. That’s what Sunburst’s teaching is about.
We talk about the body of Christ, the real presence of I Am That I Am, the living presence of the sphere of light that travels through us. We speak of the garden universes, the parks it has created. The whole creation is full of uncountable suns, planets and life forms. I Am That I Am is in everything as particle energy, but it also travels individually as a sphere like the sun.
Yes, the source of it all is a sphere of light and consciousness, a being that can come to us personally! It can speak to us. It can take us out of our body, and show us the whole creation, all the colors, all the suns and worlds with their natural phenomena. This is a personal experience of a living being; a living presence of God that comes and talks to you. I’m talking about a sphere of light so bright, it’s above the brightness of the sun.
Develop devotion and love for God. Try to attract this Being of Light to come to you, to talk to you, to reveal Itself to you, through your offerings of service, love, and one-pointed concentration upon the Divine.
by Dawn King•So much of our time is spent in our minds, on technology—not fully conscious of our bodies or of being on this Earth. Spring is a great time to wake up to the physical world in which we live. It will help us find the magical subtle worlds that exist in and around us.
We are complex beings. We exist on this Earth, while operating in an “Earth spacesuit”—the amazing physical body in which you or I find ourselves miraculously functioning. How little thought we usually give to it. Yet it deserves our utmost care; our survival here depends on it.
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
Our minds are so much more powerful than we realize. We are masters of our experience here, yet mostly unaware of this. With our thoughts we are building the world before us, and the tone of our interactions within it. Whatever we set our minds to accomplish, they can create, solve, or gain understanding of. Yet, how much effort do we put into these activities?
As many times as possible throughout your day, pause to realize the miracle of the moment. When difficulties arise, know that there’s a blessing in them somehow; nothing happens by chance! Remember to be grateful for the little joys in life, as well as the big ones. Life is ever-changing; what is here today will be different, or may be gone tomorrow.
The Founder of Sunburst, Norman Paulsen has said: “We have the ability within us to understand everything that has ever been created—to literally be one with our Creator, I Am That I Am, while here on this Earth walking in these bodies. We can destroy the worlds that have been created, or we can caretake them and beautify them. We can become the true sons and daughters of God, the caretakers of creation. That is why we have been given the tool of Kriya meditation. Through it we can re-establish our connection, our oneness with the blazing Light of the face of God at the divine center of creation. Yes, now is the time to open ourselves to receive that great Force, that Light, that Life, more abundantly. We are created in the image and likeness of this whole creation, God’s kingdom. It all exists within us. We have but to realize it. And what does it mean when we do? It doesn’t mean we’re special. It simply means we become divine caretakers of the creation. We become heirs, one with I Am That I Am, true sons and daughters caring for the creation with willing hands, accomplishing the divine will wherever we go, as best we can, every day.
by Fredd Dunham • Brother Lawrence became a monk in the seventeenth century. His whole life was devoted to practicing God’s presence. When he worked in the kitchen he said he loved to cook and clean for his fellow monks. Although at first he disliked the chores, he was happy to be of service. Later he was moved to a shoe repair shop on the premises. He was happy there, but location or occupation seemed to make no difference to him. All he cared about was his connection with God. He viewed work time as equal to time spent in traditional prayer. His goal was to be aware of God every moment.
For Brother Lawrence, this meant denouncing everything that distracted him from the presence of God. His soul knew he should entertain a continuous conversation with his Creator, a conversation of utmost simplicity, free of mystery. He sought, every moment to ask for and discern Divine Will in all doubtful things. Doing well the things asked of him, he offered his labors humbly to God—with prayer before doing them, and thanks for the opportunity to serve after doing them.
In this continuous conversation we, likewise, can be unceasingly engaged in loving God. Brother Lawrence asserts, “We should ask for grace in every moment, in every action. In time of doubt God never fails to enlighten us when we have no other purpose than to please him and ask for his love. People always mistake the means for the end, attaching certain importance to the work they do….” He found that the best way of reaching God was to do ordinary work, performed entirely for love—not for the value man places on it. He thought it a great delusion that time set aside for prayer should be different from other times.
Something that has brought me closest to actively knowing God’s presence is feeling the vortex of Spirit’s energy spinning above me, around me, and entering my body through the crown of the head. I first became aware of this in quiet meditation. But we can talk to God at any point in our day, and may subtly or dramatically feel God’s presence moving through us. That Presence brings with it a feeling of ecstasy.
Once feeling the life force of Spirit, you can expand the vortex to include your environment and ultimately the whole planet. Imagine it nurturing everything. I’ve found, that if something happens in my life causing me a moment of need, I can draw on this vortex and be protected by the Spirit of God. Having Spirit’s love around me gives me the peace of knowing that everything is going to be okay. We each can harmonize with God’s will through our devotion and practice.
Brother Lawrence lived in times much simpler than ours, but he managed to disengage himself from the complications of daily life by focusing on his inner connection with Spirit. We can do much the same in our busy lives. If you can devote even five minutes twice a day in meditation—morning and evening—to connect with Spirit, you will help yourself and others immensely. Brother Lawrence advised us to practice awareness of God all day and night. Through that dedication he was able to live a humble, purposeful and joyous life, and so might we.
•by Dawn King•Spiritual illumination is not something one can “acquire” or “arrive” at. It is a journey that never ceases to surprise, delight, inspire, and refresh the soul. How so?
Each of us finds that life is leading us forward toward illumination, if we follow the many “bread crumbs” dropped by circumstances and events. Sometimes the path before us seems far from being one related to spiritual growth, but we should watch for the signs. When in 2020 my usual work dried up and I was inspired to “be an artist”, it sounded like a fun way to fill in the void, but rather frivolous. After following prompts from friends and new acquaintances which all seemed like coincidences at the time, “being an artist” is serving my spirit surprisingly well today.
Free will is a theme we live with, so we are allowed to make choices. When we make the best choice, delightful results ultimately manifest. When we make a poor choice, it becomes obvious; we feel and experience the uncomfortable results.
We are more powerful than we realize; our thoughts and actions are more consequential than we realize. Since our thoughts and actions today actually set up future scenes and events, a continuing chain of options is set in motion by us each day. Despite appearances to the contrary, there is always a way to correct a poor choice, or yet to make a poor choice. Letting go of stubborn pride, bad habits, and the controlling ego—“I want my way!”—is hard. We have to chip away continuously at this facade which encrusts and inhibits the expression of our beautiful souls. Even spiritual ego must be dissolved.
Yes, we each have a beautiful, perfectly illumined soul which is trying to express itself throughout our life. Many very young children are closer to exhibiting that awareness, that unconditional love of life and all life forms. As we live out our lives, we have the opportunity to expand that soul awareness, or deny it and thus deny ourselves the joy of experiencing the immortal part of ourselves.
It is not our bodies that journey on after life; it is our spirits, our souls. Why not embrace the journey now!
My Easter inspiration: Spiritual illumination was called “Christ consciousness” by Paramahansa Yogananda. We have the opportunity each day to crucify or to resurrect the Christ (Illumination) in us by our thoughts and actions. Within each of us there can be the joy of experiencing: “He is risen! She is risen!”
•by Jake Collier•What an incredible imagination the Great Spirit has—to not only bring into being all of creation, but to have the imagination to create these amazing bodies, our earthly temples. Sometimes we might ask ourselves, “Why is the energy of karma woven into this divine plan?”
The original concept of karma was to perpetuate ecstasy in these bodies so that in each lifetime souls who walked in the body would live in virtue, peace, and harmony. In this way they would be creating wondrously helpful energies to take into the next life [good karma], further perpetuating ecstasy in each existence on Earth.
Think of life here as being like taking a hike in the wilderness. No matter how hard we try to not break or hurt anything, we crush the grass that we walk on; we might step on some insects; branches break under foot. It’s impossible to make the journey without affecting something, and creating karma.
How many of us, when we go on vacation, pack a bag, or several. Yet when we get to our destination, we’re inspired to purchase more things, more bags with souvenirs and gifts from that experience, that existence. So it is with karma. All the energetics of our past actions are packed, and coming into this life with us—we bring our soul’s baggage from past existences due to the law of cause and effect.
Karma belongs not only to individuals—there is group karma, community karma, city karma, and country karma. It can be seen throughout history, wherein civilizations have risen and fallen, countries have flourished and perished.
Cause and Effect is really a wonderful cosmic design because, like the scales of justice, we can pack our virtuous thoughts and purely motivated actions onto one side of the scale, tipping it toward a better life for ourselves, a higher consciousness, and toward a positive effect on others and our communities.
Many times people use the idea of karma as a cop-out, an excuse: “Oh, it’s my karma to do this.” In reality, each moment we have the ability to change our lives, to perpetuate pure thoughts and actions. Thankfully, there have been those souls, those evolved beings, who have come here and passed on techniques of meditation through which we can burn up karmas that we brought into this life, as well as karmas we are generating.
When practiced on a regular basis, meditation can transform our lives, altering our future. We can begin to experience the taste of ecstasy, and once we have that taste, it’s all we desire—to taste it again and again. When we feel God’s ecstasy, we know there is nothing in this life better than that. When we are totally in that moment, feeling the Divine vibrating all around and within us, it’s such joy, such peace.
Mother Father God, make your truths known to us. May our vision become clearer and our thoughts purer,
that we might dwell in your house here on this Earth
as a pure reflection of you. Amen