Archive for July, 2006

Spiritual Travel Tips

July 18, 2006

One of my fellow travelers to the class on “Celtic Spirituality and Modern Cosmology” in Ireland sent this. I loved it. Don’t you?

Dear Fellow Travelers,

I like the intention of these following 10 tips and  thought you might be interested in reading them as well.

I wish us all safe travels and blessing on our journey together.

Virginia
 
By Joseph  Dispenza : Following are his ideas on adding more soul to our travels: 

1. Create a travel shrine. A simple home altar dedicated to a  trip will
establish its spiritual character. Include photos of your destination,  reminders of home and anything that contributes to emphasizing the trip’s  underlying spiritual nature.

2. Pack virtues. Spiritual provisions  are as important as material ones.
Pack in with your clothes 3×5 cards on which  you’ve written “Courage,” or “Patience,” or “Forgiveness” — and you will have  these virtues all along your way.

3. Keep a “Fear Box.” In  preparing for a trip, we often encounter
apprehensions (Columbus did!). If a  fear crops up, write it down and deposit it in a “Fear Box.” Before departing  home, seal the box and leave it on your travel shrine. Now you will be out in  the world without fears.

4. Take along gifts. Gifting raises a  mere trip into a journey of adventure and gratitude. Small, inexpensive items  from home, will suffice. Giving these to people we encounter along the way  acknowledges our one-ness with “the stranger” and enhances the spiritual  character of the trip.

5. Keep a “Journal of Feelings.” A journal  into which we record our emotions on a trip is tremendously useful. It is one  thing to see the Eiffel Tower or Big Ben — and quite another to “feel” them.  This kind of journal keeps the trip grounded as an interior  journey.

6. Close the door. Upon leaving home, walk across the  threshold with
awareness: “I am leaving the past behind me. I am sealing the  past away with the closing of this door. Before me, now, lies the future — and I  willingly and lovingly step into it.”

7. Make a triumphant entrance. Arriving back home from a trip, do as the Romans did: Make an  imaginary triumphant entrance. This is the opposite of No. 6 — a way of  symbolically ending the trip and realizing that we have been transformed by  it.

8. Tell the story of the journey. After a trip, call your  friends together and tell the story of your journey, showing objects that you  brought back. This releases the lessons of the journey to the  world.

9. Name the trip. You’ve left the first page of your  Journal of Feelings
blank. Now return to it and name the trip: “My Journey of  Compassion,” “My Journey of Realizing My Tremendous Importance to Other People,”  “My Journey of Understanding the Value of Family.”

10. Be the hero  of your adventure. All travel is inner travel, because
wherever we are, we are  processing our experiences internally. Remind yourself that you are the hero of  all your journeys, and that all your travel in the outside world is really  travel inward, toward ever higher spiritual consciousness. 

Blessings,

Stacy

Freewriting Friday with Tama Kieves, Second Topic

July 8, 2006

If you are interested in Tama’s groups on Writing, Course in Miracles and Work You Love, see www.awakeningartistry.com

Second Topic – the most religious person or most spiritual person I ever met

The most religious or spiritual person I ever met?

Not surprisingly, this is a hard choice for me. I’ve spent my entire life among religious and spiritual people. All of it. There’s an entire chapter of my book relating how I used to look for a spiritual teacher until I realized that I had been born to her and had been sipping wisdom at her feet for 35 or 40 years. On top of that, I was raised in one of the most phenomenally open and accepting churches ever. University Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) where Dr. Granville T. Walker presided for so many many years. That man was just as likely to quote the Buddha as he was to quote Christ. Then there’s Roger Weddell, the gay California youth minister, who taught us comparative religion classes in the 70’s. For Christ’s sake, I read Osho, known then as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, and let’s not forget Helen Schucmann, who would probably hate being called religious, but she’s deceased now and can’t argue with me. And then her interpreters, Kenneth Wapnick and Marianne Williamson, long may she live. Who else?

Most religious. Most spiritual.

Maybe that cat. Throwing up what it doesn’t need, a hairball, no doubt. Hey, letting go of what isn’t serving us is a deeply spiritual act. We all know this. The cat does, too, no doubt.

Most recently, I met Swami Vishwananda. Never in my life have I experienced so much love in one person. My roommate cried the whole time. I laughed, and then I saw him hug someone. I felt the love. My thought, when I was capable of one, was, “I want to be loved like that.” And I burst into tears. That is certainly a high point in my experience of religious spiritual personages.

Probably no one in this room but Tama knows that I’m working on a doctorate in ministry. And Tama may have intuited, but may not yet know that this is what is taking me to Ireland, a class in “Celtic Spirituality and Modern Cosmology.” My pre-paper will take the theme of spirals and spiral journeys.

That calls to mind the idea that I’ve only ever met myself, only ever met one person in my life. Byron Katie says, “No two people have ever met.” I get that. We only meet our ideas of another person. We cannot really “meet” that person. Oh, I have sexual fantasies of some kind of ecstatic union where I know I have met someone. And truly, that experience with Vishwananda was that. I spent the next 3 months not caring whether I ever had sex again, and again, only Tama is likely to know what that sentence really meant. 

But who? The most religious or spiritual person I’ve ever met?

Steven is, in a way, too, but until you see him in one of his most precious moments, you might not think so. The moments when he cries playing “Thank You India” by Alanis Morrissette, at the end of a Workshop for the Work of Byron Katie. He’s religious. I was amazed in his Advanced Meditation class to connect and deepen and deepen with every single spiraling practice he showed us. 

Spirals. I picture each of these people as someone I pass on the spiral, the labyrinth of myself, spiraling inward and inward and inward, until the question of “who is the most spiritual or religious person I have ever met” has no meaning and every meaning. It is myself. It is all of my relations. It is you.  

“Thou art God.”  The immortal, and deeply spiritual, if not religious, Robert A. Heinlein wrote. This reminds me of Spider Robinson. Oh my God, have you read Star Dancer? It’s a must. And who directed and wrote this last Superman? Did you notice the Christian symbology? Do you know that Superman is Jesus, whose father sent his only Son?  Did you notice? Did you get it that Lois Lane is Mary Magdalene? Look closely. You’ll see it. It is unmistakeable. Truly. Mary Magdalene. There is a spiritual and religious person. Have I met her? Only in my dreams. But I have. I’ve met her in the pages of many books, on the stage in a play, and in my own imaginings of who she was . . . or is . . . and who she might be to me. That’s a line from a song, “who he might be to me.” I’ll think which one in a moment. Joni Mitchell. 

Magdalene is a spiritual title for a priestess. Only a priestess would be anointing Jesus’ feet with oil. And rabbis, teachers, were generally married in that culture. Jesus may have a son, or a daughter. We may never know.

Of course, in another sense, we are all Christ’s sons and daughters, we are the light, the truth, the way.

Or, if you don’t care for the Christian mythology, call us the children of
Isis or the offspring of Zeus. I don’t think it matters one bit.

Religious? Spiritual? Every instant of every moment, yes, all 65 of them Katagiri Roshi, we are the most spiritual beings we will ever meet. Why? We are the only beings we will ever meet.

Freewriting Friday with Tama Kieves

July 8, 2006

Freewriting Friday with Tama  7/7/06

Something someone said or a scene I saw.

On my way in today, I missed the turn on Lincoln Street, which I’ve done a few times before. I forget that it’s the first street. So, I continued down Mexico, looking left and right, straining to read street signs.

At the same time, I had this feeling all the way down here that I was in Texas. I know that’s odd, but I’m from Texas. I was traveling down Hwy 287 from Lafayette part of the way. The air is more humid this week than usual for Colorado. All week I’ve been thinking, “Didn’t I move out of Texas?”  Apparently, not far enough. But that’s about to change. And I find that I’m frightened for no apparent reason. I mean, yes, I’m going to board an airplane and fly across the Atlantic Ocean, something I’ve never done before. But hundreds of thousands of others have. Why should I have difficulty with that? I don’t know.

One Tuesday night a few weeks ago, as I was going to sleep, I suddenly had the uninvited thought, “What if my mother dies while I’m in Ireland?” Oh God. Well, she knows I don’t go to funerals, but what if? I don’t know. I cried for about half an hour, thought about it and eventually turned over and went to sleep. It’s the clearest fear I’ve had about the trip.

So, as I’m driving down Mexico looking at street signs, I pass an elderly man walking. He looks like he’s lived here forever, so I figure that I’ll turn around and ask him in which direction Lincoln is. Surely, he’ll know! So, as I stop in the middle of the street, and greet him through my open passenger window, he smiles really big at me, as if I’m some long lost friend. Maybe he feels that way. Maybe he knows that he can no longer remember everybody he’s met, so he makes it a practice to be friendly until he has a clue who this person is. Still, he was genuinely smiling and gracious. I ask if he knows which direction Lincoln St. is. He says things like, “good morning” and “thank you.” And finally, after I repeat the question a couple of times, he admits that he cannot hear me so well. A car is approaching behind me, so I thank him, he thanks me, and we wave goodbye.

Of course, Lincoln St is right where it’s always been and I find it on the way back. Washington Park is a black hole to me. My opthamologist is down here, too. I always feel lost looking for a place down here. I don’t know why.

I park across from Tama’s house, in the shade, thanking my stars for that, since this poor $10 car had no air conditioning. (Thank you, Lauren, for the free car!) I realize it’s barely 9:30 and there’s no way that I’m going in early. She has seemed to have appointments prior to our meetings in the past, and there is no reason I should ask her to begin her day early. She’s probably enjoying her coffee or something.

Coffee. Okay. I wonder if I can find Wild Oats from here. It can’t be far. The Washington exit from I-25 was closed, so I gave up on the idea of stopping on the way down. But it should be close. I call out the window to one of Tama’s neighbors as she’s getting into her car, ask if there’s a coffee shop nearby. She tells me Safeway has a Starbucks. Not what I had in mind.

Finally, I remember that I have 3 or 4 maps in the car door slot, including the plastic one of Denver. Right. Maps. Oh yeah.  I’m still not used to having a car again, and I have a little trouble really considering it mine somehow. If you handed me $1,000,000 I would walk out the door and buy another green Subaru Forester. Oh, maybe a WRX, also, if I had that much money, but definitely the Forester. I greet every single one I see on the street like an old friend and silently invite it back into my life. “You will be mine again someday,” I think.

So, I stare at the map for about 10 minutes, way too long, to find Washington St. It has to cross I-25, so I look along I-25 for a sign of it. Unfortunately, I have forgotten that I-25 runs East West for a while there, and I don’t immediately think to look at the North South Streets. I’m only looking at East West Streets.

Finally, I turn the map, and there is Washington St., just where it belongs, just like Lincoln was. You know, come to think of it, Mercury went retrograde in Cancer yesterday morning. I forgot about that. I wonder if I always venture into Wash Park during a Mercury retrograde? Could that be it?

Ha. And I think I can navigate Ireland, a foreign country. Oh, I can, navigation is second nature to me. And I have never ever in my life gotten lost anywhere. You don’t believe me, do you? Well, let me tell you. I never get lost, I only take educational field trips. It’s true, and when I think about it like that, it’s a whole different experience.

I think of the cartoon on Aubrey’s refrigerator. Aubrey makes maps. On her refrigerator is a cartoon of a man in a car reading a map and asking directions. He says, “I’m looking for the cartographer’s convention.”

So am I.  So am I.

Get it?


 

AFGO? Jonathan Cainer nails it again!

July 7, 2006

I still find this horrorscope annoying. I listened to your audio horoscope today, Jonathan, as well. I guess forewarned is forearmed, and Eric Francis says you’re one of us (a Sagittarian), so I suspect I am lucky to get the special perspective of another Centaur.

Rise above, this too shall pass, AFGO, om mane padme hum

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 23 – Dec 21) Saturday 08 July 2006
Your Weekend: Three cheers for trouble. Where would we be without it? Just think, for example, how meaningless an umbrella would be without rain. Or how pointless it would be to have sunburn protection screen in a world where it was always night. We need irritation to help us appreciate comfort, insecurity to stop stability from seeming dull. So be glad of all that has lately had you tearing your hair out and climbing the walls. It’s all going to help turn this otherwise dull, safe weekend into one worth giving thanks for.

You really should check out this guy: www.cainer.com

He’s phenomenally tuned in. If you have the ability to take in parable and metaphor, you can really get a lot out of his horoscopes. He tells me next week is easier.

So, here I am with Jupiter conjunct my Neptune in Scorpio, Neptune opposing natal Moon, Uranus opposing natal Mars, oh, and just for fun. . . Pluto conjunct my Sun & Midheaven at the Galactic Core.

Noel, another famous and fabulous astrologer of my acquaintance, prescribed more meditation, more labyrinth walks, and perhaps a tantric meditation with someone big (you know who you are).

I really need some ease in my life. And the bath tub where I’m living doesn’t hold water, nor does the hot water heater heat enough of it. Normally, I’d just soak in a hot bath and breathe.

Any suggestions?

Love,

Stacy

Superman Returns, Jesus is Risen, and Mary Magdalane Loses Again

July 4, 2006

I just got home from Superman Returns. The movie is phenomenal. The symbolism is unmistakable. Remember, Superman’s father says he is “sending his only Son?” For those of you who haven’t seen it, watch for Superman recharging in the Sun, falling with his arms out as if he’s on a cross, and pierced in the side by Judas/the guard’s sword… err… only it’s kryptonite this time.

I’m serious.

And Lois Lane is Mary Magdalene.

Go watch it. It is undeniable.

It’s also frustrating as HELL. I sat through the last 30 minutes of the movie muttering to my companion, Terry, things like “They are fucking going to blow it again.” And, “They’ve got 25 minutes to pull this out.” and “I can’t believe he left her again.” “Jesus Christ, the motherfucking sons of bitches are going to do it again.”

I was pretty worked up. I rarely curse.

I sent a text message to 10 of my friends. The first one said, “The movie is an abomination.” The second one said, “You realize it’s a phenomenal movie. Superman as Jesus. Lois Lane as Mary Magdalene.” Well, it was a phenomenal movie. But Lois Lane who *** SPOILER *** has Jesus’ . . . I mean Superman’s son, ends up staying with some guy who just doesn’t get it, as best I can tell.

I sat down in frustration on a wooden bench outside the theater, and someone had thoughtfully carved “42” in the table for me just as I was sending “Oh no! Not again! said the Bowl of Petunias.” to my friends. Look it up. HHGG, aka H2G2.

Why does it bug me so much? Oh, come on, you know the answer to that! My companion did. He said, “So have you found Jesus, yet?” I said, “Yes and no. He’s in every man I meet, but I still haven’t met the one who really wants to be with me at that level.”

It is frustrating. And it’s not. And there’s nothing at all to be frustrated about. My friend, Ann, said it well, when she talked about 4 levels of Kabbalah. Something like, a level where nothing is fair. A level where we have a choice. A level where everything is fair. And a level at which those questions have no meaning at all.

During the last 30 minutes of the movie, I was enjoying the level at which nothing is fair. A while after coming out of the movie, feeling high as a kite on nothing but the movie, I was in the place where everything is fair, having passed through the choice level. Driving home, I had a little bit of the “question has no meaning” place.

It’s a trip.

One of the friends I sent text to wrote back and said “You crazy woman.” I replied that at least now they don’t burn us crazy women at the stake.
What to do with all of this insight? How to share it with others? Especially others who think nothing is fair? That is, if they want to hear it.

Our Father, Who art in Heaven,

Hallowed be Thy Name.

Thy Kingdom come.

Thy Will be done.

On Earth, as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day, our Daily Bread,

and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory,

forever.

Amen

Anastacia, One Who Shall Rise Again