by David Adolphsen  •  Sometimes when we reflect upon ourselves sitting on this small planet revolving around the sun, within a solar system within a galaxy, within a universe full of galaxies, we can feel rather insignificant. We can wonder to ourselves, “How can my efforts be of any real importance in the big picture?”

Those souls who have come before us and attained spiritual mastery have all sought to inspire us towards our full potential as spiritual beings. Their message has been that our planetary consciousness is evolving and that each one of our contributions while here on Earth is invaluable in the evolution of consciousness. They have had different names for this consciousness. Siddhartha called it Nirvana; Paramahansa Yogananda called it Self-realization. It has been referred to as Christ or Cosmic consciousness, and Jesus referred to this state of consciousness as the Kingdom of Heaven.

Over the centuries, the interpretation of the Kingdom of Heaven has become a place to go to after this earthly visit. In reality, the Kingdom of Heaven is a state of consciousness that Jesus encouraged the men and women of his time to seek and attain while still in their earthly bodies. He was very specific that those things which he was able to do, each of them (us) could do also, and even greater things!

It is through our awakening to the full awareness and consciousness of Divine Spirit within us that we are able to become like Jesus and many others who have visited this Earth and reached true spiritual awakening. It has been said that we are never closer to God than at this very moment. Through using the tool of meditation and practicing the presence of God daily, we are able to fully realize that the Kingdom of Heaven is here right now within us and all around us.

It is humbling to realize that each of us is the key to the evolution of not only our own consciousness, but also the planet at large. Divine Spirit is waiting for each of us to turn our attention and awareness toward the light and truth which wants so much to inhabit us. We have been created with the ability to evolve these animal bodies into spiritual vehicles which can reflect the highest potential of divine consciousness on this planet.

We are the gateways for Spirit to come into this world and experience the creation through us, to feel the wind upon our faces and hear the water rushing down a mountain stream. We are not only the gateways, but we are also the gate keepers. It is our great opportunity to invite Spirit through the gate and into this world as much as we can remember to do so, and to let that beautiful Being enjoy this creation through us, as it is meant to be. So once again we are humbled, but not by our smallness and insignificance, rather through the knowledge that we are the gateways to the evolution of consciousness on this planet.

Virgo the Maiden

Virgo the Maiden

by Dawn King    From the earliest human cultures, fertility and gathering food were given sacred status. Early Amerindians revered the Corn Mother. Starting in ancient Sumeria the Virgo Maiden became associated with recording the harvest; thus the mental skills of writing, noting details, and engaging in commerce were added to her areas of influence.

Sunburst associates Virgo with a virtue we call Continence. Here, Continence means self-discipline, self-control, exercising self-restraint sexually and otherwise. We should not allow ourselves to become addicted; we should be abstemious in all areas of life., instead aspiring to maintain the state of inner joy and comfort that is Christ consciousness, knowing our Divine Parents and gaining their guidance in daily life.

Today addiction lurks insidiously close, right in our computers and phones. They invite us to over-stimulate ourselves with gossip, entertainment, conspiracy theories, gambling, bullying and so many other self-indulgent behaviors. Abuse of our devices is not nurturing for our minds or spirits. 

In our normal way of life, we let ourselves be controlled by powerful thoughts and emotions, which in turn give rise to negative states of mind. It is by this vicious circle that we perpetuate not only our unhappiness but also that of others. …Nurture new inclinations by deliberately cultivating virtuous practices. This is the true meaning and object of the practice of meditation. – Dalai Lama

Continence in thought, word and deed is devotion to God, allowing us to return our love to our Divine Parents. Norman Paulsen, Sunburst’s founder said: “The conservation of life force through living the virtue of continence allows the seeker an abundance of concentrated life energy to be redirected for a higher use.”

The absolute truth cannot be realized within the domain of the ordinary mind. And the path beyond the ordinary mind is through the heart. This path of the heart is devotion. – Sogyal Rinpoche

You have to turn the key to this world in the opposite direction if you want to know God. – Sri Ramakrishna

Conscious Conduct

Conscious Conduct

Words on Conduct from three spiritual teachers  •  

Paramahansa Yogananda:  Don’t depend on death to liberate you from your imperfections. You are exactly the same after death as you were before. Nothing changes; you only give up the body. If you are a thief or a liar or a cheater before death, you don’t become an angel merely by dying. If such were possible, then let us all go and jump in the ocean now and become angels at once! Whatever you have made of yourself thus far, so will you be hereafter. And when you reincarnate, you will bring that same nature with you. To change, you have to make the effort. This world is the place to do it.

Norman Paulsen:  Self-discipline arises from commitment to the vision you seek: knowing what you want and dedicating your life to bringing it forth into being. To walk the spiritual path, the utmost discipline is required. Threefold development must be pursued: physical, mental, and spiritual. Through the attainment of virtue, the ego-centered consciousness must abdicate the throne to the pure Self. This is the crowning achievement of the spiritual athlete.
       Helping you to achieve this goal of virtue is Spirit, I Am That I Am, existing within your soul. Yes, we all have this energy nearby, and centered deep within.
It has to be identified and brought forth.
Meditation alone will not take you home. Without practicing virtue and walking the a balanced path, you may see the goal, but you will not be able to hold onto it.
       By attempting to live the virtue every day, whether you succeed or not, you plant positive seeds in the field of power. The law of cause and effect has no choice but to return these efforts toward virtue to you.

Swami Guru-Bhaktananda:  All beings are manifestations of God alone. This is the vision of the great Indian scriptures, the Vedas. The worship mentioned is also unusual. God in the form of each being is worshipping God in the universal form! Life takes on a completely new meaning when lived in accordance to what this verse implies. This vision creates the right feeling in us in all our daily activities. Every act becomes an act of worship.
       The fact that we do not feel in this way is due only to one single factor: Our Ego steps in between and tries to snatch away all the glory for itself!

When the Time is Right

When the Time is Right

by Catherine Mauron    There is so much love in our hearts. We are so blessed to be here, to pray to God who is ever-present, around us and within us. The virtue Sunburst celebrates this month is Patience, the ability to wait. This is a long-forgotten gift in today’s society.

The whole of existence waits for the right moment. The trees know when it is the right time to bring the flowers and when to shed their leaves. It is for us to learn to wait, to let go and let God bring forth the fruits. We plant the seeds and then we wait. It takes time for a fruit to ripen, for a new project to manifest, for a child to grow in the womb, for an oyster to cultivate a grain of sand into a pearl.

We must learn to wait through the phases of the moon; in the time of waiting we learn skills. Before the perfect moment arises, we have to let go of our ideas and beliefs, to return to being little children. We must let go of our expectations to receive this river of life that wants to run through us. In order to cleanse ourselves, we need to let go of the old, to renew our spirits. Thus we can be happy right here, right now.

There is nothing else but Now. There is no yesterday or tomorrow, only a dream of them. We must try to awaken to every moment and see that there is so much for which to be grateful. It is best to be loving and compassionate toward each other, to see God all around us and in each other. If we can’t see God in everything, we can’t see God at all. The Light shines on everything, a beautiful pearl or an old broken car. The Light does not mind.

In Brother Norman’s book, he wrote that when Divine Mother visited him, she said she would come back in seven days. So he had to wait. Through the waiting period he learned that he could meditate during his work time. He then could meditate all of the time. This is the true meaning of Kriya action, divine action, action with love. Not only in deep meditation, but when you work, when you talk, walk, eat, and sleep. Always let the Divine move through you. Mother and Father Divine await at the door, knocking silently until we are ready to open our hearts and minds so they can come in and enjoy this world through, and with us.

In French we say, “La patience est la mére des vertus.” “Patience is the mother of all virtues.” Waiting, listening, remaining alert, there is no anxiety knowing that all is well. All is well in the greater scheme of the Universe. All is well!

Lunch with God

Lunch with God

Anonymous    A little boy wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with a bag of corn chips and a some root beers and started his journey. When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old woman. She was sitting in the park, just staring at the pigeons gathered there.

The boy sat down next to her and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the old lady looked hungry, so he offered her some chips. She gratefully accepted and smiled at him. Her smile was so intriguing that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered her a root beer. Again, she smiled at him. The boy was delighted! They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, enjoying the moment, but they never said a word.

As late afternoon approached, the boy realized how tired he was and got up to leave. But before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the old woman, and gave her a hug. She gave him her biggest smile ever.

When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, “What did you do today that made you so happy?”

I had lunch with God.” But before his surprised mother could respond, he added. “You know what? She’s got the most wonderful smile!”

Meanwhile, the old woman, also radiant with joy, returned to her home. Her son was stunned by the look of delight on her face and asked, “Mother, what did you do today that made you so happy?”

She replied, “I ate corn chips in the park with God.” And before her startled son could respond, she added, “You know, he’s much younger than I expected.”

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the  potential to turn a life around. People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Embrace all equally! Have lunch with God!

Perfect Poem Follow Up

Perfect Poem Follow Up

(Omar Itani image) Story by Dawn King    Last week, as I entered Sunburst Founder, Norman Paulsen’s words as the blog text (Feb. 15, 2023), this sentence really struck me: “Cultivate your imagination, for herein lies the power of the master builder, the master scientist, the master physician, the master of the cosmic forces.”

Perhaps imagination is what sets us apart from animals. We can be motivated by something beyond the necessities of instinct and survival. We can dream and imagine, then manifest our dreams.

It was my dream to bring art classes to Sunburst sanctuary. And it is happening this year, with a unique kind of creative activity each month. We are each here to engage in Life, to dream, desire, and act in a way that uplifts everyone, and is in harmony with Nature. You too can dream, and desire to fulfill your dream.

Meditate and find your soul inspired dream. Norm’s words again: “True direction does not arise from the emotions, or from a confused mental condition. Be still and meditate a moment; listen to the space between your thoughts and you will receive the right direction.”

You can create your own process, or follow the steps below to go forward. 

1. Use your imagination to trust (have faith) that the creative Spirit is within you. Invite that creative Spirit to create through you.

2. Imagine what your highest self wants to create through your mind and hands; let charity, goodwill and empathy (compassion) lead you

3. Imagine a plan of baby steps that will help you make progress, and commit to taking these steps; i.e. express loyalty to your higher Self.

4. Imagine using your willpower and courage, then actually take a step forward toward your goal.

5. Imagine enjoying the journey, while you practice patience. Acts done as service to Spirit (and Spirit in others) bring us joy.

6. See yourself as determined to take any and all steps needed, since everything worthwhile requires perseverance.

7. Continue to embrace the inner and outer work of God-realization: service and meditation. This is temperance: refraining from harmful extremes, or being wasteful. Life is like one artist described painting: “It’s a series of making corrections.”

8. Remember that truly, God is the only doer. You are co-creating with the Divine, who gives you life and breath. (Be humble.)

9. Imagine the joy of personal growth, and connection to Spirit you will feel upon accomplishing what you dreamed of doing.   

Following our dreams creates character in us. We have to be courageous to start, and to follow through to the end. We must use mindfulness and self-control, which Paramahansa Yogananda called “the key to a happy life.” He also advised us to “Never count your faults. Just think whether you love God enough.” And, “Be calmly active and actively calm.”

     Pablo Picasso is quoted as saying “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

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