What is to give light must endure burning

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Words to meditate on:

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“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

- Mahatma Gandhi

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“It takes courage…to endure the sharp pains of self discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.”

- Marianne Williamson

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“What is to give light must endure burning.”

- Viktor E. Frankl

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Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

What is to give light must endure burning.

Spiritual Abundance in the Present

Reading through some older posts and loved this one … perfect for my day ;-).

In meditating today on my prior post (“Alice in Wonderland“), I found myself “chomping at the bit” … getting on a specific path and GOING is something that I find myself wanting these days.  What I discovered is that I am already on the right path, I have just been looking at things from the wrong perspective.

To explain, I will share a recent conversation with a family member.  This person has been in the business world his whole life, and is not spiritual in any form that I can discern.  As is the case when talking with family the subject of the future came up, and what my plans might be.  I explained that I am at a time and place in my life where I really want to wait, see what opportunities present themselves, and then act when they do (in other words; I want to focus on God and see what God manifests in my life … but worded for a non-spiritual businessman).  He proceeded to explain to me why I was SO wrong for not coming up with a plan!  He very passionately explained that I needed to figure out what my end goal is, and then plot each step along the way so that I would achieve success.

I already knew that really, that has been the type of path that I have been on for my entire life.  Study, train, get educated, audition, work, repeat formula ad nauseum.  That is a path of a man/woman trying to  impose their will on the Universe, to make It what they want It to be.  That simply isn’t me any longer.  I’m done trying to build up constructs to make myself look good, or to try build a facade of success and happiness.  Happiness comes from knowing God, and being on the path that God intends for me.  Don’t get me wrong … the study, train, get educated, audition, work, etc. route is good … and it could certainly be what God intends for me to do.  I’m not ruling anything out.

So, as I meditated on the concept of paths I actually began to realize that I AM on a path.  I feel that God has revealed to me that I am supposed to wait … and in this time of waiting I am supposed to prepare myself by meditating and spending time with my Creator; excavating internal blockages, working through spiritual issues in my life, and overcoming the bad habits that I have allowed to exist.  By doing all of this I will be making myself ready for whatever it is that God intends for me.  That is exactly what I have been doing with this blog and my daily meditations … so, the path that seems sort of like in-action to me is ACTUALLY the path I am supposed to be on for now.

So what is the difference?  Well, one path (the path that seems to be taught to everyone in the world) is to look WAY in the future, decided which peak you want to reach, and then go about doing all of the work to reach that peak.  What if the peak that God wants you to be on is on the other side of the planet, and you couldn’t even see it from where you were standing?????

A revealing that I felt God show me in my meditation is that God can’t even reveal to me what it is that might be intended for me … for the VERY fact that such a mindset has been so ingrained into me.  If God says to me,

“Somewhere down the road I have planned for you, you will end up in Sri Lanka.”

Well then, what would I do?  I would either go about doing everything I could to end up in Sri Lanka, OR I would do everything I could to run away from that.  In either case, I would be missing all of the doors that God was opening for me along the way.  So God, in all His/Her/Its wisdom, keeps the final destination from me … God simply wants me to focus on the here and now, the present … and do the things that I need to do to prepare myself.  That is the path … not one of gazing off into the future, but one of being completely aware of my surroundings and taking care of the present … so that when God guides or prompts me, I can hear or see or feel that and act accordingly.

That is the path … the Path of Manifestation from Spiritual Abundance in the Present.

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Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

re-blogged from Spiritual Abundance in the Present.

Non-Reaction – Eckhart Tolle

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The concept I have been pondering today:

“A powerful spiritual practice is consciously to allow the diminishment of ego when it happens without attempting to restore it.  I recommend that you experiment with this from time to time.  For example, when someone criticizes you, blames you, or calls you names, instead of immediately retaliating or defending yourself – do nothing.  Allow the self-image to remain diminished and become alert to what that feels like deep inside you.  For a few seconds, it may feel uncomfortable, as if you had shrunk in size.  Then you may sense an inner speciousness that feels intensely alive.  You haven’t been diminished at all.  In fact, you have expanded.  You may then come to an amazing realization: When you are seemingly diminished in some way and remain in absolute non-reaction, not just externally but also internally, you realize that nothing real has been diminished, that through becoming “less,” you become more.  When you no longer defend or attempt to strengthen the form of yourself, you step out of identification with form, with mental self-image.  Through becoming less (in the ego’s perception), you in fact undergo an expansion and make room for Being to come forward.  True power, who you are beyond form, can then shine through the apparently weakened form.  This is what Jesus means when he says, “Deny yourself” or “Turn the other cheek.”              

– Eckhart Tolle

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– pic from The REAL Center.

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Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarin,San JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

re-blogged from Non-Reaction – Eckhart Tolle.

Ineluctable Void – Personal Limitations

What a TRULY amazing quote … summing up just about everything I believe spiritually in one paragraph. The only limits in this lifetime are what we impose on ourselves.

Some might say this is silly, “Well human beings obviously can’t fly, so that’s a limitation!”  I say, “Why limit yourself this way?!”  Jesus was supposed to have walked on water, and that is also something people would say is impossible. Why even argue about whether it is possible or isn’t?? It’s a waste of energy, and who are any of us to say that we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, what is possible or impossible?

Too often we think of ways to LIMIT ourselves, instead of thinking of ways to expand ourselves. Why do we do this?? It is far better to think of ways to expand ourselves, than ways to limit ourselves.

My guess would be that it is easier and more comforting to have a set of boundaries … it makes us feel safe and in control. These are the words and topic that I will be meditating on today:

“The agony of breaking through personal limitations is the agony of spiritual growth. Art, literature, myth and cult, philosophy, and ascetic disciplines are instruments to help the individual past his limiting horizons into spheres of ever-expanding realization. As he crosses threshold after threshold, conquering dragon after dragon, the stature of the divinity that he summons to his highest wish increases, until it subsumes the cosmos. Finally, the mind breaks the bounding sphere of the cosmos to a realization transcending all experiences of form – all symbolizations, all divinities: a realization of the ineluctable void.” - Joseph Campbell

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Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California,Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

via Ineluctable Void – Personal Limitations.

Which pill?

MatrixBluePillRedPill

For basically all my life I have placed my focus outside of myself … where it really doesn’t matter and does no good (or at least very little). Trying to get others to like me by trivial means like what I wear, how much I know, how fun I can be, how nice I am, whether I follow social etiquette or how many laughs I can elicit … all the emphasis here is on what everyone else around me thinks.

The problem is that their thoughts are all completely unique to them … their upbringing, environment and personal makeup that I have no clue about. If you think about it, each person is their own unique island of opinions and assessments … every one of us are totally original and different.

Are you beginning to get an idea for how utterly ridiculous it is to try and gain inner fulfillment by trying to manipulate everyone else’s opinions of you. How could we ever strategically predict what every person will think or do? Talk about a waste of energy!

Whatever anyone else around me thinks … is their own issue to work through. I have no responsibility for what they think, do or espouse. The same is true for me … my own opinions are just that, and they are mine to deal with.

Opinions are far more powerful than I ever was aware of … we base our whole lives on opinions. Not just others’ opinions of us either … nope, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Where opinions truly gain power is in your own head … failure, weak, ugly, stupid … whatever your personal mantra is, we all have one.

Most of them come from events in our childhood … and then we just keep bouncing them around in our heads like some sort of endless pinball game for the rest of our lives. To actually STOP doing this takes a great deal of work, practice, awareness and concentration … and time, lots and lots of time.

Try it … think of one of those awful words your inner voice says to you when you have done something to set it off. Think of how many times you have heard that mantra, and how it makes you feel every time you do. Now … stop it.

Doesn’t work, does it?

That’s because these thoughts are the deepest habits you have in your entire life. In order to change those thoughts you have to put in just as much work and practice to not only break those habitual neuropathways, but create new ones that bring fulfillment and healing.

It can seem overwhelming and discouraging at times, I know.

The fact is though that you are presented with a perpetual fork in the road … to walk the path of change, or the path of the same. I would say it’s actually a Divine requisition to first become conscious of this fork and then make the decision that brings you closer to God.

Every day, everywhere you go during that day, you are generating opinions of others and of yourself. You are choosing to either cling to the mentality that creates your own suffering (being spiritually disconnected), or you are choosing to generate a new way of being that brings peace and contentment into your life (being spiritually connected).

We don’t want to see it either … these thoughts have become SO engrained that they seem normal … you are actually addicted to them. They are the structures you have based your whole life on … if you let them crumble, what happens to you?

That is the great test … which pill will you choose to swallow?

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– pic from The Matrix.

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Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

Caribbean Dream

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(a description of my most recent epiphany while on a St. Martins vacation)

Caribbean teal lapped luxuriously over my eyelids and around my nostrils while seeping slowly between my lips. My limp limbs lolled rhythmically back and forth, back and forth … back … and forth.

Pictures splattered across my mind’s eye like subway posters on the walls outside a speeding train and I, the lone traveler, gazed out the window to gauge their meaning. The soundtrack for this inward sojourn are Jan’s insistent words, on loop,

“Why are you taking it so personally? Don’t you know? There is nothing that anybody does that is about you. Nothing is about you, it is about them. Nothing is personal to you, it’s simply each person processing their own shit. Even if they reject you, or leave you, or have an affair, or whatever … it’s not about you.”

Something clicked, and shifted … my muscles clenched for something to hold on to as I gasped in surprise.

That’s it.

It was as if the words NEEDED to be on loop, in order for me to actually get it … deep down … below the superficiality of intellectual banter and philosophical musings.

It’s not about me … nothing is about me … it’s all about them.

Relief washed over my spirit, more refreshing than even the crystalline beauty of the waters I floated in. My eyes drank in blue. My descending toes burrowed joyfully into the white sand below as a salty smile splayed widely into my reddened cheeks.

Even if my worst fears and suspicions were true … even if they thought my contributions weren’t as meaningful as theirs, or they didn’t respect me as much as the others, or thought I was not someone worth listening to … it doesn’t matter.

It’s not about me … it’s about them.

Most likely none of those fears or suspicions are true … and that doesn’t matter either. Finding or revealing “The Truth” doesn’t matter … there is no truth. There is just a world full of people each processing their own past, present and future programming.

Anyone’s actions are simply a reflection of what is inside of them … and they have nothing to do personally with me. It’s their inner workings; assumptions, presumptions, calculations, emotions and programming that are either holding them back or forwarding their future. Why worry about what anyone thinks when it is simply a reflection of their personal history … which none of us can ever know?

It might sound simple, or obvious … but as this realization truly hit home for me … the weight of the world lifted. All the fears, and paranoid scanning, all the years of worriedly wondering where the next attack would come from … and shifting, changing, adapting, melting and molding myself into whatever, whoever, could avoid the next attack.

The years I spent thinking, believing, that if anyone ever truly knew me they would reject me. If I ever opened myself enough for them to see my authenticity … the charade would be over and I would just be that bullied, violated and abused child with nowhere to hide … and no mask to hide behind.

There is no masquerade ball … it’s just been me with my many masks in a house of mirrors, and fear, and a volcanic rage to defend against anyone who happened to somehow slip past my defenses.

It was never about me at all. Every single fact I’ve been building my case with … has all been about them.

How freeing that is.

Wow.

I turned, and walked back to the beach … and the rest of my life to unfold.

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Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

“Us Against The World” – Coldplay

In meditating on my prior post (“Perseverance Rewarded“) I was reminded of just how difficult perseverance can be. I’m not so much talking about the “one foot in front of the other” mentality … that part, while painful, is the far easier aspect of perseverance.  What is truly difficult is Trust.

To explain – this example:

It’s pitch black, you feel blindfolded, and you are climbing higher and higher. You believe you are on the right path but there are all sorts of rocks, and roots, along the way that trip you up because of your limited vision. Sometimes your path is precarious, even a tightrope.  You happen across another path that looks to be blissfully free of these encumbrances, and it heads slightly downhill, which seems quite refreshing just now. Now comes the hard part … the decision to either stay on the rocky path you are on, or change course for the path that looks easier.

In truth, that easier path could wind up being easier for all the rest of your days. It could be a decent path … but it won’t get you to the destination that you were so zealously climbing after … that place that God wanted you to be. So, in essence, you aren’t just switching paths … you are giving up on “the dream” (that being what you felt called to).

It sounds like not such a big deal when talking about it in terms of a parable. When you get down to the real life manifestations of this, however, then it becomes excruciatingly difficult at times. This also goes back to my “Unconditional Love!” post. We have so many conditions about how things are supposed to be in our lives … so many structures built up. Sometimes the only way to see the path you are supposed to be on is to allow all those structures to be torn down. To just … slow it down … let God fill you … let everything else melt away … and TRUST.

So what does this mean … well, sometimes it means allowing yourself to be hurt without making the retort you SO want to make. Sometimes it means knowing that the path you are on is Divine, and you are about to make it man-made with your actions (or rather reactions to the provocations around you). Loving the other people around you despite what you are going through about it … and just letting those inner barriers erode and crumble. Those are the structures that YOU built up to try and protect yourself … when you walk on the path God has designed, those things (pride, ego, sarcasm, gossip, etc. … all the REACTIONS that you THINK make you feel better about yourself) just get in your way.

Sometimes it means just letting go completely … of everything … falling … and trusting that God will be there to catch you. That’s the hardest part … WAY more difficult than just putting one foot in front of the other.

It hurt so bad when your were in the midst of it … but when you look back, it is quite startling to witness. You can see all those times that you wanted to take over, and make things be the way you wanted them to be instead of allowing them to unfold as God wants them to be … and, if you somehow managed to persevere and not take charge for yourself … if you succeeded in the hardest part: to Trust … you will see the plan that God had all along; unfolding in reverse. We can’t see it looking ahead, through the chaos as it swirls … but retrospect is the best way to see how God is really there caring for, and carrying, you along.

Sometimes you let your guard down and before you know it you’re about to take charge again. Be vigilant … God has great things in store for you.

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“Us Against The World” is a song by Coldplay.

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Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California,Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

re-blogged from: “Us Against The World”.

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