Waiting for What’s Here

Waiting for What’s Here

by Sharon Ray •  Often great patience and perseverance is required on our journey toward God-realization. We are wanting to experience the Divine in a way that can be felt and remembered. Our Creator is our greatest example of patience! Desiring us to enjoy an expanded state of consciousness, the Divine yet waits…lifetimes for us to turn our hearts homeward to embrace Divine consciousness.

The Lord is a great fisherman! We are on God’s line, but she does not yank us in. The Beloved of Patience lets us run the line way out into the ocean! We swim out there and get our hearts broken making all kinds of mistakes we don’t know how to get out of. Then, the Lord of Love begins to slowly reel us in, and how willingly we come back! Given the example of God’s patience with us, we become inspired to be patient with others, as well as ourselves.

The great good news is that Spirit can be experienced right now as the consciousness that enlivens us. Our Creator is the inner silent witness to all that takes place. This is the open awareness in us that has always been there and has never changed: “Permanent, unmoving, the everlasting Seer of All,” is how Yogananda described it.

The Divine is the part of us that is conscious even when we’re not thinking. This awareness has been always with us, is with us now, and will always be with us. The silent witness in us is our direct and immediate communion with God. When we are silent and awake, we are one with the Divine consciousness that lives in us and is always connected to the vast great central Sun of I Am That I Am. The Beloved is not far away somewhere else, but closer than our minds—a more real part of us than our breath.

Let’s close our eyes and pay attention to that breath. Can you feel the witness who is paying attention to this moment? God is our conscious awareness that witnesses everything. Breathing, we invite the Light of I Am That I Am to fully illuminate our minds, our hearts, and every bit of our being.

Divine Patience

Divine Patience

  by Norman Paulsen, Sunburst Founder    To have God present in our lives every day, we tune in before we go outward to do our work. To meditate in the morning with the rising sun is to bring the sweetness of God’s presence into our life for the whole day; to receive instruction mentally and visually. We arrive at the right time and the right place for the right thing to happen for us, not too early or too late, missing the great benefits. When we are on God’s time, patiently meditating and praying every morning, wondrous things begin to happen in our lives. We see God fulfilling our selfless desires, and freeing us up for the journey ahead.

To spend half an hour, or even fifteen minutes with God in the morning every day before work, and again before you go to sleep at night, even if you have to miss some sleep, is to receive angelic, illumined beings who desire to help you on your journey. This is why I meditate, and why I encourage others to do so. It is your birthright to see and know God as your best friend. Your Divine Father-Mother exists in this immensity, even as your earthly father and mother exist.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock,” saith the Christ, who is ever patiently waiting. We have to open the door on the crown of our head and invite Christ, I Am That I Am, into our temple. The right and left hands of God, moving in dual vortexes, descend as softly as a dove and land on the crown of our heads. This is the anointment, the baptism of divine fire, which you can see and feel with the love and presence of Christ within.

The Master Key – Self-Discipline

The Master Key – Self-Discipline

•  by Dawn King  •  One of the qualities that I believe is intrinsic to Capricorn and Sunburst’s virtue of Temperance (or moderation) is self-discipline. As you read this, we may not be experiencing the Sun rising in Capricorn each morning, yet mindfulness about self-discipline is part of the spiritual path.

Telecasts in February of Carnival (ending with Mardi Gras) brought this to mind for me. Mardi Gras is a festival of indulgence in excess, sometimes called “enjoying life,” because the revelers think they will soon be deprived of some enjoyment until Spring. In earlier times, the remaining winter stores of lard and butter, or meats, were consumed then. Perhaps it was just before they all went bad due to lack of refrigeration. After this consumption, “fasting” began.

We’ve heard it said: “A sad saint is a sad saint indeed.” Enjoying life is our birthright, but overindulgence in just about anything is unhealthy. Mira Alfassa tells us: “Spiritual life does not mean contempt for matter, but its divinization. We do not want to reject the body, but to transform it. For this purpose physical training is one of the means most directly effective. I invite you to train with enthusiasm and discipline.”

Physical training for any type of sport or recreation also improves our emotional and mental fortitude. Kriya Yoga is an “action” yoga (Kriya means “action”), but with the right intention and direction. “Yogic action has three components—discipline, self-study, and orientation toward the ideal of pure awareness.”Patanjali, “Yoga Sutras,” [translation by Chip Hartranft, in “The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali”]

Mardi Gras inspired me to choose a new action that I could mindfully engage in daily until Spring (Easter). I knew that it would help me develop self-discipline. As Norman Paulsen, Sunburst’s founder, has said: “True discipline is never a restriction; it is a liberation!”

The Blessing of Discipline

The Blessing of Discipline

by Norman Paulsen    [photo: Paramahansa Yogananda instructing Norman Paulsen in a yoga technique]  To walk the spiritual path, the utmost discipline is required. Threefold development must be pursued: physical, mental, and spiritual. Many begin, but fail to make the continuous effort. The attainment of a virtuous life is the crowning achievement to be realized by the spiritual athlete.

Helping you to achieve this goal of virtue is Spirit, I Am That I Am, the pure Self existing within your soul. Yes, we all have this divine energy centered deep within. It has to be identified and brought forth.

If the beginning seeker or practiced adept is to make any progress at all, it is an absolute requirement to walk the paths of right living in this life while practicing virtue. By actively practicing virtue every day, and beginning to walk the path of service, you bring forth the pure Self within, Christ consciousness. This is Self-realization as described by my teacher, Paramahansa Yogananda.

Realization of the pure Self within your soul eliminates the functions of the false self, the selfish self. The awakening soul takes on its true image of discerning, joy filled Christ consciousness. The ego-centered consciousness must abdicate the throne to the Christ, the now illumined soul within you.

No matter how many times we stumble and fall, God is always there with us, and we have to get up and keep going. That’s what our Creator wants to see, the will to never give up. It takes discipline. God does require discipline from us, but discipline, we find, is salvation.

Disciplining our lives, meditating when we don’t feel like it, serving and helping others when we’re tired and worn out, we do these things because the heart of God beats within each one of us. The soul of God is in each of us right now, blessing each one of us right now. God is here with us.

Mental discipline arises from commitment to the vision you seek: knowing what you want and dedicating your life to bringing it forth into being. It is unwise for anyone to think that they can attain any true level of realization without a life of self-discipline. True discipline is never a restriction. It’s a liberation!

Wisdom & Humility

Wisdom & Humility

  by Norman Paulsen  The life of service and self-sacrifice Jesus of Nazareth lived and gave for all of us is unparalleled on this Earth. “Not my will, but Thine be done,” he offered. Humility in action is the virtue that he personified. By his example must we all learn obedience. We must overcome the false one, the selfish ego, by living the Twelve Virtues and walking the Eightfold Path.

The virtue of Humility arises from the Divine, I Am That I Am as the pure Self within you setting aside the emotions and desires of the self-conscious mind. If called upon, the pure Self will produce reason. Reason reflects upon the paths and the virtues, and considers the options. Divine will moves the adept to make wise decisions in the practice of humility. That wisdom springs forth from the voice of illumination, Christ consciousness speaking within you.

At all times, the soul traveler who seeks illumination must remember the truths described in the Eightfold Path and Twelve Virtues. This wisdom moves the adept to the right decision for each occasion. Humility requires discipline and meditation to avoid wrong decisions in its application.

For instance, when Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth,” he didn’t mean the weak, or juvenile. Rather, he meant those who are able to discern and rise to the occasion, the eaters of the strong meat of truth. These are the ones who surrender to God’s will, pick up their cross and walk!

This is my soul calling you, Beloved. Can you hear me?
How can I not express humility when I observe the immensity that surrounds me?
It’s awesome vastness is filled with spheres of living light that blink at Earth from their distances!
And me, who am I? So tiny, so small, in all this boundless immensity!
Are you dreaming what I think is me? Am I heading toward perfection as a reflection of you?

Helping Others

Helping Others

by Sunburst Friend and Vedic Astrologer James Kelleher    Helping people is a good thing to do, but it can be complicated. Sometimes the person doesn’t want the help you want to give. Sometimes they are even literally unable to accept help. Other times, you think that you can help, but find out that you have overestimated your ability to help them.

When he was alive, my teacher, Sadguru Sivananda Murthy and I had a conversation in which I asked him, “It seems to me that giving to other people doesn’t really help them most of the time. If you see a guy on the street who looks like a drug addict and he is asking for money for food, you get the impression that he is not going to use the money for food. He will probably use if for drugs or alcohol.  Should you give the man money?” 

Sivananda Murthy said, “Yes, just give him something. It doesn’t matter what he is going to do with the money. Besides, you don’t know, he might actually buy food with it. It’s not your job to control what he does with your gift. Give him the money because it is good for you. The gift of money will most likely not help him, but the compassion you feel when you give it will help definitely help you.

The motivation for helping someone can be complicated. Why do you actually want to help? Most people help others out of a belief or story about themselves. The logic goes like this. “I learned from my parents that good people help others. I am a good person. Therefore, I am the sort of person who helps others.” When the person finds an opportunity to help someone, they do it, at least in part because it confirms their story about themselves. It makes them feel good about themselves. There’s nothing wrong with this type of giving. We all have stories about ourselves. It’s a lot better to see yourself as a good person than to see yourself as a dirty rotten scoundrel. But that type of giving takes place in your head. It’s not a spontaneous thing, and it is rooted in the ego. 

Some people take if further by then telling their friends about their act of charity. They may not actually be bragging, but just sharing something they enjoyed doing. When other people acknowledge their generous act, that reinforces their story about being a good person even more deeply. I don’t want to sound religious here, but in his Sermon on the Mount, Christ said, “When you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing”. Most Christian clergy interpret this to mean that you shouldn’t brag about it when you do good. The Vedic interpretation of this is that you shouldn’t even take ownership of the action. The action should be spontaneous and so intensely present that you don’t even see yourself as the doer. That way, there is no sense of a story to reinforce. From the Vedic perspective, true virtue is the natural spontaneous expression of a truly silent mind. 

In the Bhagavad Gita, Krisna advises Arjuna to do his duty as a warrior and to protect the innocent, after first immersing himself in meditation. He tells him, “Established in Being, perform action.” Real virtue comes out of a silent mind. A silent mind has no agenda and is devoid of stories. Acting from a platform of silence, the mind doesn’t audit your action. There is no thought of yourself as a doer of good.

Unfortunately, most of us have minds that are constantly filled with an endless stream of thoughts, beliefs and stories. Does that mean that we should give up on trying to do good? Of course not. Just go for it and do your best. Actually, doing good, even if you are validating a story about being a good person, helps to quiet the mind. Virtue is simple. Like meditation, it brings greater silence to the mind. 

It’s just cause and effect, like in physics. According to Newton’s third law, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. What goes around comes around. As you sow, so shall you reap! That’s the simplified, but very true statement about karma. It’s just physics. Albert Einstein said that, “Compounding interest is one of the greatest miracles known to man.” I would add that the habit of doing good, is like putting money in a bank account that has compounding interest. The Vedic tradition holds that the law of Karma is the most relentless force in the Universe.

For more from James, see:  https://jameskelleher.com/

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