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I create these islands of silence in all kinds of places in my life. They are a respite. They are places where I can listen. They are havens where I can stop talking — to myself or others. They are places where I can see clearly, where I can feel safely.

I’ve done this all my life. I have been “Faithful to the Quiet, Finding the Silence that Soothes my Soul.”

One of these places is sitting quietly in Centering Prayer. I had the great blessing to be called to this contemplative “non-talking” practice of prayer. And greater yet, I had the honor of knowing and working with Father Basil Pennington OCSO who taught and wrote many volumes on Centering Prayer.

This is how you go about taking up this prayer and what it is, a simple, humble being to God.

“Silence is God’s first language. Everything else is poor translation.”
Thomas Keating

Silence may be God’s language but most of us have difficulty in fluently speaking silence. We live in a hyped-up, super fast and crazy noisy world and we tend to bounce around in the noise. Words often equal noise for us. Spoken words, silent words present as thoughts, and noises of the environment and living spaces in which we live all conspire to equate to noises that block the passageway of Spirit. Words more often block communication than facilitate it. Words get in the way of our ability to listen, when listening is what is truly called for.

There is a simple prayer. A prayer of only one word. A prayer which only uses that one word when other words and thoughts are trying to interfere with the prayer. This prayer is Centering Prayer, brought to Western Christianity from the ancient practices of the Fathers in the Desert contemplative practice. You may practice this prayer by yourself or you may find a group that meets in silent prayer time.

It is a simple prayer of attentive love, encouraged to be practiced twice a day for twenty minutes. It is a silent way of possessing inner peace so that we can bring it to others. It is a contemplative prayer of the heart – a prayer of “being to God.”

While this is a simple prayer, it is to many not an easy prayer practice to enter into. Sometimes first reactions are an extreme uneasiness to being quiet and doing nothing for twenty minutes, which seems like much more than that. Do not worry if your first attempts are much shorter than twenty minutes. Give over the amount of time you can do comfortably and return to it later. Your effort will add up. This is not really a technique to master, but a willingness to give yourself over and be in a mindful presence to the divine.

 

However, there are a few general guidelines to take into this practice, if you should decide to try this way of silent grace in your day.

1. Choose a sacred word as the symbol of your intention to consent to God’s Presence and action within.

2. Sitting comfortably and with eyes closed, settle briefly and silently introduce your sacred word as the symbol of your consent to God’s Presence and action within you.

3. When you become aware of thoughts, return ever so gently to the sacred word.

4. At the end of the prayer period, remain in silence with eyes closed for a couple of minutes.

Very often in a group setting of Centering Prayer, a facilitator will end the session with the group saying the Our Father aloud softly and slowly together to bring you back and ground you to time and place in the real world.

You can do this in your private practice as well. The Spirit, as God’s Presence, is working within you during the time you give yourself over to Centering Prayer, and this gives your psyche time to readjust to the external senses and to enable you to bring the atmosphere of silence into your daily life.

Centering Prayer is a very powerful prayer when you choose to make it a practice. It is not just during the twenty minute period of time of silence that it works. The graces of Centering Prayer become evident to you in the rest of your life as well. Contemplative prayer is the opening of the mind and heart – your whole being to God, the ultimate Mystery. It is divine union.

Being in Oneness

 

Oneness Declaration

I declare:
1. That the message We Are All One, interrelated, interconnected and interdependent, with God/Life/One-another, is the one spiritual message that the world has been waiting for to bring about loving and sustainable answers to humanity’s challenges.

2. That the world does not have to be the way it is – and that individual people can change it, using the power of spiritual citizenship.

3. That humanity is good and has unlimited potential, and that social transformation starts with personal transformation. I therefore recognize the importance of connecting with my Divine Essence and inner wisdom throughout my life’s journey; allowing the finest and the highest levels of human potential to flourish for the benefit of all.

4. That my aspirations support spiritual principles, global ethics and universal values such as respect, justice, peace, dignity, freedom, responsibility and cooperation that underlie this declaration.

5. That human beings need each other to survive on this planet. I recognize that we are all in this together and that community flourishes as we learn about each other and revel in the wonder and beauty of our diversities. I declare that I am playing my part to help to bring about a culture in which we, the peoples of the world, can address our common global concerns in an holistic, positive and transforming way and live together in peace with one another.

6. That Oneness contains All of life – also the parts that we regard as the “other”. I realize that wholeness and togetherness can only be experienced through the recognition of the uniqueness, beauty and purpose of all aspects of life and that this recognition starts with my Self.

7. That I am part of the emerging consciousness that promotes a spirit of openness, enquiry, connection and relationship with myself and the entire universe and who continues to recognize the wonder, beauty and mystery of it all.

8. I support Global Oneness Day that has been established for all of humanity to come together each year as one human family, to discuss, celebrate and experience Oneness with the Divine, each other and all of life.

9. That the time for change is now.
http://www.humanitysteam.org

 

 

Join us in Awakening the World to Oneness

Global Oneness Day is a day for people across the globe to join in celebrating our Oneness with all of life and each other. Global celebrations of all types, such as cross-cultural and interfaith gatherings, song and dance gatherings, nature gatherings, meditation and prayer circles, reading the Oneness Declaration and listening to the telesummit together – all in true communion and remembrance of Who We Really Are!

The Global Oneness Day virtual telesummit continues to grow each year, and is as the rallying point of each celebration. Join us to hear dozens of internationally renowned speakers share how Oneness can be realized and expressed in daily life, so that our global society blossoms into greater health, harmony and happiness.

 

You will be inspired by internationally known speakers, by their ideas and passion. The summit is an opportunity to join tens of thousands of participants in the amazing experience of solidarity and shared consciousness as One. Humanity’s Team is honored to collaborate closely with Co-Creators of the 2016 Global Oneness Day Summit, including Neale Donald Walsch, Ervin Laszlo, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Patricia Cota-Robles, The Shift Network, James Twyman, Steve Bhaerman, Jonathan Goldman, and Conscious Shift Radio.

The Oneness Movement is growing; more and more people are waking up to the Ultimate Reality of the Oneness of all Life. It takes more however than waking up to bring an end to all the devastation that we are witnessing in the world around us. Life revolves around a continuing process of opening up, cleaning up, growing up and showing up. All of this governed by the eternal universal principles of functionality, adaptability and sustainability of life; of living into the Unity of all Life, that are hidden by our mental constructions that are expressed through our social conventions, customs and practices as they are created through our views around morality, justice, and ownership.

 

By focusing on this theme leading up to and on Global Oneness Day 2017 we hope to help elevate the life governing principles of life to a next level of enunciation and expression so that we can move from the concepts that represent them to the living of them. To help raise our consciousness ever more so that we may become more fully aware of all that is involved in the process of life expressing and creating, and at last – to assist us in Living as One.

What is Oneness?

 

Oneness is the interconnectedness of all Life of everything that exists. It is our unity with the Divine and each other. We are an inseparable part of the Divine, God, Source, All that Is; the term you use doesn’t matter. It is all the same.

 

 

 

“I received many many gifts from staying with Catherine Anderson and teaching a Writing Down Your Soul workshop in her studio. A big gift was getting to SLEEP in her studio. Here’s my bed in one corner. What does this remind you of? Think Paris.”  Janet Conners

That is one high honor Janet Conner is mentoring the writer in many of us with our hearts aflame with purpose and divine guidance. She is SoulWriter.

Teaching us to listen to the Voice and record it on the page. I address my Voice as WHO — Whole and Holy One.

 

I am Writer – in – Residence….

…earning my AIC certification —  Ass In Chair.

Artemis, goddess of the heart sets aim on the words that come into being through us…

and Hestia…goddess of the hearth keeps us at home and creative in our writing.

My Hestia is at the loving Crone age and her fire still burns and guides…

Our Plug In For Writers Circle gathering of exquisite women feed the world and shape it into a better world for all in the books that will take seed in the near future.

 

Archangels Michael and Raphael and Angel Gabriel are present to help me during my “office hours” of creativity.

http://www.janetconner.com

 

 

Catherine Anderson of Charlotte NC  is a GRACE FIND for me. I was with her twice in her beautiful and sacred studio at her home, and traced the back yard labyrinth with my feet and the labyrinth of my writing and SoulCollage® cards with my heart and hands.

 

SoulCollage® gives wings to my words. The practice of this beautiful visual/spiritual/artistic practice was begun by Seena Frost and is world-wide now with thousands of facilitators introducing groups to the joy and wisdom building it brings.

 

I Am One Who Is….Blessed Baby.

I Am One whose Power Animal for the writer in me is the Tiger.

 

I Am One who helps you understand the difference between
crash landings and exploration.

I Am One who is grateful to be called to writing,
SoulCollage® and the quiet peace of the labyrinths
I have walked all around the world.

 

 

So Inspiring to be together, create and journal
our Wisdom within.

 

 

Barbara Marx Hubbard and a whole lot of other people (Humanity’s Team) think a new species is being born onto Earth. A wiser, more peaceful way of living in a world that works for all. A new species called Homo Universalis.

I studied one year with Hubbard, in which she explained the natural evolution of the cosmos to the point we are at today. That was back five years ago and the things the teachers described happening in our world in the near future, have between 2012 and 2017 certainly happened almost to a tee in the way they were forecast.

This is not a downer. It is a WAKE-er-upper. Humanity needs to be aware of things that are not working anymore and work together to create new ways of being together on this earth.

This short video does explain how she came to think this way and to continue to work for the awakening and evolution of humanity.

 

https://awakeningnewspecies.com/video-1/?inf_contact_key=a0da3efc1db9f95d0fd23e0c13705883bfffd97f3e81f08ddb33927763621239

 

Again, this is a pretty accurate graphic of what the Homo Universalis “creature” will look like.

 

I think I am becoming this.

GUEST BLOG by Julia Lim

Ikigai (生き甲斐) is a Japanese concept meaning “a reason for being.” Everyone, according to the Japanese, has an ikigai. Finding it requires a deep and often lengthy search of self-discovery and reflection.

The word “ikigai” is usually used to indicate the source of value in one’s life or the things that make one’s life worthwhile. The word is also used to refer to mental and spiritual circumstances under which individuals feel that their lives are valuable. It’s not necessarily linked to economic status or daily state of things.

Even if a person feels that today is dark, but has a goal, he may feel ikigai. Behaviours that make one feel “a reason for being” are not actions which individuals are forced to take – these are natural and spontaneous actions.

In the culture of Okinawa, ikigai is thought of as “a reason to get up in the morning”; that is, a reason to enjoy life. In a TED Talk, Dan Buettner referenced ikigai as one of the reasons people in the area had such long lives.

Primary text source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ikigai

In Love with a Monk

 

 

I have read so many of his books, and also of his fellow monk/friend Abbot Father Basil M. Pennington, who furthered the cause of contemplation and Centering Prayer among Catholics. Two holy, manly clergy who were not afraid of the silence and not afraid to push past limits imposed on the spirituality of Catholics. I love them both and became a friend in life of Father Basil.

Both met sudden, unexpected deaths; Father Merton, electrocuted by a wire that touched water in his bathroom in Bangkok and Fr. Pennington in a car accident where another car raced through a red light at an intersection crashing into the car in which he was passenger and killed him instantly.

 

I am one lucky soul as my writing mentor/guide/soul-infused light Janet Conner is going to plan a writer’s retreat, at my suggestion, at the home of Thomas Merton,  Gethsemani outside Louisville Kentucky next summer. Because by her own admission, she is in love with him too.

 

 

 

Count me there!  Yes. Yes.

 

Peace in every step….Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Communing, reflecting, writing

 


Pretty sure to spend some time in here

 

I will bring the healing graces of Reiki
to “rain down upon us from the heavens above
granting all good things”

 

Below as guest blog is a short account of a wondrous soul taken from the monastery website. ”

“Thomas Merton, known in the monastery as Fr. Louis, was born on 31 January 1915 in Prades, southern France. The young Merton attended schools in France, England, and the United States.

 

At Columbia University in New York City, he came under the influence of some remarkable teachers of literature, including Mark Van Doren, Daniel C. Walsh, and Joseph Wood Krutch. Merton entered the Catholic Church in 1938 in the wake of a rather dramatic conversion experience. Shortly afterward, he completed his masters thesis, “On Nature and Art in William Blake.”

Following some teaching at Columbia University Extension and at St. Bonaventure’s College, Olean, New York, Merton entered the monastic community of the Abbey of Gethsemani at Trappist, Kentucky, on 10 December 1941. He was received by Abbot Frederic Dunne who encouraged the young Frater Louis to translate works from the Cistercian tradition and to write historical biographies to make the Order better known.
The abbot also urged the young monk to write his autobiography, which was published under the title The Seven Storey Mountain (1948) and became a best-seller and a classic.
During the next 20 years, Merton wrote prolifically on a vast range of topics, including the contemplative life, prayer, and religious biographies.

His writings would later take up controversial issues (e.g., social problems and Christian responsibility: race relations, violence, nuclear war, and economic injustice) and a developing ecumenical concern. He was one of the first Catholics to commend the great religions of the East to Roman Catholic Christians in the West.

Merton died by accidental electrocution in Bangkok, Thailand, while attending a meeting of religious leaders on 10 December 1968, just 27 years to the day after his entrance into the Abbey of Gethsemani.Many esteem Thomas Merton as a spiritual master, a brilliant writer, and a man who embodied the quest for God and for human solidarity. Since his death, many volumes by him have been published, including five volumes of his letters and seven of his personal journals. According to present count, more than 60 titles of Merton’s writings are in print in English, not including the numerous doctoral dissertations and books about the man, his life, and his writings.”

Brother Patrick Hart, OCSO

 

http://www.monks.org/

 

 

 

 

How To Bring More Love to Our World

Guest Blog from Suzanne Murray, author, writing coach, EFT & Creative Coach
October 14th, 2017

http://www.creativitygoeswild.com

I don’t think any of us will question that these are tough times that can leave us feeling a bit helpless to have a positive, creative impact in our lives and the world. If we view the world solely from our rational mind, we limit our understanding to what has happened in the past or what we think might happen in the future. We limit our connection to the grace available in each moment and to the potential for miracles. We limit our capacity to love our world.

Science now shows us, based on a study of the earth’s magnetic fields done by NASA, that what we hold in our hearts radiates out to the whole world. It turns out that our hearts have a magnetic field five thousand times more powerful that the one generated by our brain and it is in communication with the magnetic field of the earth.

This means holding love and appreciation in our hearts and feeling it going out to people and places in need actually has an impact. We can do this for people on the other side of the world from us, people in the midst of natural disasters, those in front of us in the line in the grocery store as well as to the earth herself.

I have a great fondness for tree squirrels and sometimes hold my affection for them in my heart and send that love to people and places in need. Recently I was doing this while sitting in my car in the park. I notice a gray squirrel loping in my direction and watched him come right up under my window, sit up and stare straight at me, as if to say, yes! So find what works for you. Play with it. I was delightfully surprised by what felt like squirrel love.

Our heart’s connection to a larger field of awareness may explain how we know things beyond our mind’s ability to understand how we know. We just know. We feel it in our gut, in our bones. This voice of our intuition or inner knowing that doesn’t make sense to our mind.

We tend to let our minds talk us out of the guidance that comes from that kind of knowing because it takes us out of our comfort zone into the unknown. Yet now more than ever we need to tap these expanded capacities for creative problem solving and innovation to be the change for our own lives and the world. We can to bring our heart felt love into our own energy field and the field of the world.