by Jake Collier    When we contemplate honesty, we might think of George Washington telling the truth. “Oh yes, I chopped down that cherry tree.”

Deeper levels of honesty, being honest with ourselves, have been documented through interviews with people who’ve had near death experiences. Many of them share a common occurrence: entering a tunnel, and seeing at the end of the tunnel a wondrous white light, which was a living being radiating infinite love and grace. They found themselves being drawn to the Light.

In the tunnel they encountered relatives, and pets, and reviewed experiences of the past. Each received a life review before the Light. There was no judgment, no right or wrong; it was simply a review of their life.

When I meditate on honesty, I reflect on: Am I achieving goals that I have set? If my goal is to meditate for twenty minutes, Did I do that? And if I did, Did I set a new goal of twenty-five minutes? Was I able to focus, to concentrate and see the tunnel in my meditation? Did I try to be a better person, to help somebody? Do I see God’s face behind each of the faces that I encounter—even faces that show anger or resentment towards me?

We all need honest reflection on thoughts we just had, the action we did yesterday that we can’t undo. Through the fires of meditation, we burn up seeds of karma from past deeds, and past thoughts. And while doing so, we seed the future with positive images, positive thoughts, positive actions. Then, as we walk into that future, we want to be honest with ourselves. Did I do what I projected that I would do? Did I achieve what I projected I would achieve?

Imagine being in a room filled with people, and you are the only one who has ever tasted an orange. You have to describe to the other people what an orange tastes like. That is what it’s like to be an enlightened being on this Earth. You can talk about how it’s sweet and wet, and everybody says, “Okay, I know what that is.”  But the taste is nothing that you can convey.

Being a good teacher, you come with boxes of orange seedlings, and you pass them out with instructions: How to water, care for, and fertilize your orange tree. Your parting words are, “Be diligent with these instructions and you, too, will taste an orange.”

If we could watch, we’d find that some of these people neglect the fertilizer, some neglect the watering. Only a few would end up with the sweetest, luscious, and most delicious oranges—grown by them. The successful ones can now experience the taste of an orange, and be able to share that with others. They can grow more seedlings, and pass on the sweetness.

So through meditation and virtuous living, we are watering and fertilizing the seed of sweet God-realization within us, that it may grow and overwhelm us, opening us to new understandings, true happiness and contentment, true joy and love.

I Am That I Am, you are our Mother and our Father, and you sustain us every second. We are so thankful that we can feel you today, moving within us and all around us. Strengthen our bodies and focus our minds, that we may keep our feet on the path home to you. Amen

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