by Sandy Anderson • Courage is a universal virtue. All beings want it; all beings need it to survive, to thrive, and to move forward in their lives, to protect their young, and to go for their goals.
This quote is from Norman Paulsen, founder of Sunburst Community: “Your inner quest and surrender to God gives you the strength and confidence to face and overcome your fears. The presence and attainment of courage on the pathway homeward is realized through your unceasing love and devotion to God. Love bestows courage.”
All beings require courage to stand up, to be a part of this mighty miracle, to be a part of this beautiful life that moves in all of us. Courage is essential to affirm “I am,” to become who we really are. Every step of the way demands courage.
Every virtue is tested at some point in our lives, at a time when we must stand up and claim that virtue. Courage is a multi-faceted jewel that is reflected in all virtues. It’s a jewel of joy. Day by day, in many ways, we are tested in it. We all feel fear at some time. And we can all claim the virtue of courage. It is within us.
I want to tell a little story about when I had to face my own fears. For me it was a victory I’ll never forget it. My husband and I planned a trip to Santa Cruz Island to go kayaking, when there was to be no swell and the tide would be low. Two days before we went out, we found out it was going to be windy, but we went anyway.
We got in the water, and because of the wind, there were big waves. They looked like they were going to break on us, but they weren’t. I remember at one point there was a huge wave coming right at me, and I almost screamed. Then I remembered, “No, it won’t break on me,” and it just went right underneath the kayak. It took me awhile to relax and trust that I would be safe.
My companion in overcoming that fear was the One that can allay all fears. It was Living Spirit. We went through the big waves and into the sea caves together. We went into almost every cave, every tunnel, and every arch.
I remember on the way home feeling thoroughly ecstatic, not just because I’d been kayaking, but because I had conquered my fear. Spirit gave me the confidence, strength, and courage to feel the fear and move through it. That’s one of the blessings that we can call on everyday while in this great earthly drama. My experience that day inspired this prayer:
Living Spirit, you bestow on us courage whenever we ask for it. You bestow courage from your essence, from your blessing. We reach out with both our hands and our hearts to embrace you, to allow your freedom to move and create within our lives. We offer this canvas of our lives to you for a beautiful painting. We will paint with you, and sing along with your sacred song.
Mother Father God, I Am That I Am, All these names are You. It is the longing of our hearts that inspires us To sit with You and feel Your energy. We invite all enlightened beings—past, present and future to be here now. May we feel Your spirit hand upon us this day. Amen
As we look around us at the world we live in today we ask ourselves, “What can I do to help? What difference can I make?”
We can make this world a better place by connecting to the source of love within us. This source is at the center of our being, the center of our soul.
When we become aware of this source, we can tap into it, increasing the amount of love we hold and radiate. We can become powerful transmitters of this love, and as it permeates our being, our expression becomes one of love.
Love is the most powerful force in the Universe, and as it grows within us, it has a positive effect around us, and throughout the world.
We can discover this source of love by practicing meditation. As we spend time in meditation, we begin to pull our energy within, away from the outer senses. As our mind starts to calm, we begin to feel our joy and love increasing. By continued practice, this source of love grows within us.
We are here to help each other, to care for each other, to understand, forgive and serve one another. We are here to have love for every person born on Earth. Each spirit has the capacity to be filled with love and eternal energy. As more and more people receive this energy, we will see positive changes in this world.
This world sorely needs to be transformed, for a higher consciousness to reign here, so that we can make it a garden once again, filled with love. As our love grows within us, it spreads; it radiates out transforming us, those around us, and our world.
The founder of Sunburst, Norman Paulsen, was born during Aquarius. His birthday is February 3. Aquarius is the Sun sign for January 20 to February 18. It is called “the Water Bearer” because, as a friend to all, it pours forth the humanitarian spirit.
Inventive and unique in nature, Aquarius is a Fixed Air Sign. It is steadfast in its ideas—fixed in that it never gives up on what it believes is right. When Norm Paulsen introduced the concept of associating virtues with zodiac signs, he attributed Charity to Aquarius.
The planet associated with this sign is the rather eccentric Uranus. In Sunburst’s early days one of Norm’s favorite quotes was from a 1967 music album called “The Zodiac,” by Mort Garson.“In the friendly opal light of Uranus, all men can blend yet still be what they are.”
We are all children of the same Divine Mother and Father. Norm urged us to see that Divine light of Spirit in each other. That is the true charity by which we can uplift friends, family and all of humanity.
“The Zodiac, Aquarius” complete lyrics: Four, four hundred or four thousand dreams may decay into indigo dust that covers Aquarius and still the voice will say ‘love’ Go, be, but forget no one Weak, strong – all belong In the friendly opal light of Uranus all men can blend yet still be what they are.
We are pleased to present our new video series:
Sunburst’s Greg Anderson presents a video series providing insights into “Life-Love-God: the Story of a Soul Traveler”, written by Sunburst founder Norman Paulsen, who was a direct disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda.
The wonderful experiences that I have been blessed with were given to me for one reason only: that through all my trials, my heart has never desisted from loving and seeking God. No matter what I was doing, good or bad, I could never quit loving God.
If I made a mistake, I always asked His forgiveness and started again. By our love and devotion to God, we begin to taste his immortality. It can be seen; it can be heard; it can be felt. It is the most incredible experience. Yes, touching the hem of the divine garment.
As each and every one of us moves toward heaven, toward the blessed experience of immortality, we will begin to feel God’s power in us, more and more. He tests each one of us to see how much we can take, like thrusting steel into the fire again and again to increase its temper. At times, you may cry to God, “Why am I so mistreated? O God, is your hand so set against me?”
If you listen to the silence, you will hear God saying, “I want you so strong for future work that no matter what happens, you will never break.” God cannot pour down his life and light, power and wisdom unless he is sure that the vessel is prepared to hold it. That is why the path to heaven is difficult, and described as a razor’s edge.
I bear witness to heaven, to immortality, today. If we persevere, each and every one can gain that experience, and see and know and understand our Creator, Divine Mother and Father God.
O Divine Comforter, no matter how difficult the path, I know You have blessed me with the faculties by which I am able to bear what comes to pass.
As I journey homeward, please hear my soul calling. I will pursue you every moment of my conscious life. I will forever persevere, O Spirit Divine, to develop the willpower to never give up! I must meet you face to face. I must hold you in my arms, if you will allow.
You are my Father; you are my Birth Mother, the Creator of my soul. From you have I come forth into this world, into this sea of faces. I look for you in every face, O Beloved. Will you please come forth and reveal yourself to me somehow, somewhere, someday?
I will continue to pursue you in every image and in every place, until I find you hiding in the mirror image of my own face.
Throughout the year, Sunburst offers encouragement for twelve months of conscious living. Each sign of the zodiac offers the discovery of our own “star power,” strengths that we might not know we have. As we each realize the power of our natural divine self, we develop our Divine personality. The result is greater joy and meaning in our lives, as well as making the world a better place.
We end and begin the year in the midst of the sign of “Temperance.” This is Capricorn’s gift, as we celebrate while the Sun transits this zodiacal sign (Dec. 22, 2019 to Jan. 19, 2020). It’s our challenge to be temperate amidst holiday reveling, spending, and consuming. It’s not too late—you can resolve to embrace temperance the rest of this year, and you’ll be thankful you did.
Capricorn is an astrological Cardinal Earth Sign. “Cardinal” means it’s a sign of “doing—active.” “Earth” is the practical, grounded side of this energy. Now the challenge is not to be so caught up in the physical that we neglect the spiritual aspect of this time of year. It’s a wonderful time to “actively” find deep peace within, just as nature is engaged in doing in the Northern Hemisphere. Our energies gather, possibly discovering a more focused, and worthwhile purpose in our lives. Meditation allows our intuition to point out our best direction forward.
Paramahansa Yogananda was born in the month of Capricorn, on January 5th, 1893.
Sunburst celebrates every Capricorn with a Kriya Yoga retreat. It’s a beautiful opportunity to get in touch with your true self, the perfect spirit within your being. We celebrate with some hours of silence, refresh our meditation practice, learn new techniques for spiritual growth, and find that “reset button” to get our new year off to a start full of promise—with worthwhile and appropriate personal goals. Sunburst is also all about new friendships, love, and the kind of spiritual support we each need in a challenging world. Maybe you’ll tune in each month to “Be a Star.”