Tuesday, November 29, 2016

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 349

This is the daily exploration for Wednesday, December 14, 2016.


+ We are called to create and enjoy a realm of compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance for all.

+ As I write this post and share it for the first time, it is Advent 2016.  The first scripture in the Ecumenical Lectionary is Isaiah 2:1-5 which includes these wonderful words:

… they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.

+ O how we need this to happen. What will it take?

It is urgent that we come to believe that it can happen, that it will happen and that we are responsible for making it happen. We must also come to believe that a true Peace can’t happen and won’t happen, unless there is Justice for all beings everywhere, a justice based completely on Love.  We will explore Justice after we explore Peace but I want to be sure to point out now how important it is to make that direct connection between Peace and Justice. The other heavenly attributes also come into play here. There can be no true peace unless all of the 9 Attributes of Heaven are present.

+ Spirituality & Practice offers plenty of resources on the practice of Peace and plenty of resources on the practice of Justice. Also S&P provides a 12s Gallery of Memes on Peace and a 12s Gallery of Memes on Justice.

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post.  And, I have work to do on the Abundancetrek Peace page. Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Peace” or “Heavenly Attributes” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 348

This is the daily exploration for Tuesday, December 13, 2016.


+ We are called to create and enjoy a realm of compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance for all.

+ “If you love the truth, you'll trust it - that is, you will expect it to be good, beautiful, perfect, orderly, etc., in the long run, not necessarily in the short run.” -- Abraham Maslow

+ Life must be lived forwards but can only be understood backwards.
-- Soren Kierkegaard.

+ No matter how difficult the past, you can always begin again today.
-- Jack Kornfield

+ And that’s the truth.

Truth is sometimes easy to discern and sometimes it is elusive. The truth is that our whole creation is based on Love and, therefore, we can trust the process even when the going gets tough.

I know I could find more great thoughts on this essential heavenly attribute but I have only 18 more posts to go to reach my goal of 366.  There are 3 more heavenly attributes to explore: Peace, Justice and Freedom. I plan to offer 6 posts on each one. Let’s keep exploring and keep trusting the process.

+ The meme for this post is in the Spirituality & Practice 12s Gallery on Questing.

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post.  And, I have work to do on the Abundancetrek Truth page. Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Truth” or “Heavenly Attributes” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 347

This is the daily exploration for Monday, December 12, 2016.

+ We are called to create and enjoy a realm of compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance for all.

+ Therefore, Ananda, be as a lamp unto yourselves, be as a refuge to yourselves. Take no external refuge. Hold fast to the Truth as a lamp; hold fast to the Truth as a refuge. Look not for a refuge in anyone besides yourselves.
-- The Buddha

+ To be nobody-but-yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else -- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
-- E. E. Cummings

+ While it is important, indeed essential, to participate as faithfully as we can in our communities of faith, we must never allow others to dominate us, control us, oppress us or mislead us.  Within us is the Truth.  It has been there all the time.  We can trust that no one knows what we need better than our selves.  We are connected to the source, the guide, the goal of creation in miraculous, mysterious and marvelous ways.  Our communities of faith can and do and should offer plenty of encouragement, support and knowledge, but they cannot match that inner guide, that ultimate truth, we all have within ourselves. 

There are times when we do need correction from others.  It is important to have faithful friends who will listen sensitively and sometimes point out errors in our thinking.  But it is also important to realize we do not have to accept what they are telling us.  It takes maturity and courage to know when we need correction from others and when we need to follow our own inner guide.

+ The meme for this post is the first one in the 12s Gallery on You offered by Spirituality & Practice.

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post.  And, I have work to do on the Abundancetrek Truth page. Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Truth” or “Heavenly Attributes” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

Monday, November 28, 2016

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 346

This is the daily exploration for Sunday, December 11, 2016.


+ We are called to create and enjoy a realm of compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance for all.

1) There is one God, the Eternal, the Only Being; none else exists save God.
2) There is one Master, the Guiding Spirit of all souls, who constantly leads all followers towards the light.
3) There is one Holy Book, the sacred manuscript of nature, which truly enlightens all readers.
4) There is one Religion, the unswerving progress in the right direction towards the ideal, which fulfils the life's purpose of every soul.
5) There is one Law, the law of Reciprocity, which can be observed by a selfless conscience together with a sense of awakened justice.
6) There is one human Brotherhood, the Brotherhood and Sisterhood which unites the children of earth indiscriminately in the Fatherhood of God.
7) There is one Moral Principle, the love which springs forth from self-denial, and blooms in deeds of beneficence.
8) There is one Object of Praise, the beauty which uplifts the heart of its worshipper through all aspects from the seen to the unseen.
9) There is one Truth, the true knowledge of our being within and without which is the essence of all wisdom.
10) There is one Path, the annihilation of the false ego in the real, which raises the mortal to immortality and in which resides all perfection.

+ Number 9 speaks to Truth directly but the rest are also all about Truth and I think the context is useful, even necessary. Hazrat Inayat Khan was one of the greatest Sufi teachers of the twentieth century.  You can find plenty of his immense knowledge and wisdom at http://wahiduddin.net/. I recommend that you take a little time and read the Long Version of the Ten Thoughts where Hazrat Inayat Khan wrote illuminating explanations for each thought. Here is an excerpt from the Thought on Truth:

The Sufi recognizes the knowledge of self as the essence of all religions; he traces it in every religion, he sees the same truth in each, and therefore he regards all as one. Hence he can realize the saying of Jesus; 'I and my Father are one.' The difference between creature and Creator remains on his lips, not in his soul. This is what is meant by union with God. It is in reality the dissolving of the false self in the knowledge of the true self, which is divine, eternal, and all pervading. 'He who attaineth union with God, his very self must lose,' said Amir.

Sufism is a mystical branch of Islam with ancient roots including one of the most famous poets who ever lived, Rumi.  Two great Sufi teachers of our era are Kabir Helminski and David Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, founder of The Golden Sufi Center which is the vehicle for the work of the Naqshbandiyya-Mujaddidiyya Order of Sufism.

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post.  And, I have work to do on the Abundancetrek Truth page. Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Truth” or “Heavenly Attributes” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 345

This is the daily exploration for Saturday, December 10, 2016.


+ We are called to create and enjoy a realm of compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance for all.

+ Then there is the listening at the gates of the heart which has been closed for so long, and waiting for that mysterious inner voice to speak. When we hear it, we know it is the truth to which we must now surrender our lives.
-- Beth Ferris quoted in Finding What You Didn't Lose by John Fox

+ The time for contemplation is the spring that feeds our action, and our action will be as deep as the spring. We need time to allow the spirit to clear the obstacles – the clinging debris and mud – that keeps the spring from flowing freely from its clear, deep source. And we need time for the spring to overflow into insightful and compassionate action.
-- Thomas Merton
This was the OneSpirit Daily Inspiration on November 28, 2016, offered on the very day I wrote and uploaded this post. Merton, a great twentieth century mystic and writer is found frequently in these explorations.

+ I think it is The Mystic who understands Truth most completely. We explored the style of The Mystic in the first 18 posts of our exploration of the practice of Heavenliness, SE201 thru SE218.

As you probably know by now, I believe that the practices of stillness, silence, solitude and simplicity are the foundation for all this exploration. We need to find time for that essential “waiting for that mysterious inner voice to speak” and ultimately come to “know it is the truth to which we must now surrender our lives.” It may take minutes.  It may take months.  It may take years.  It may take decades.  We are all different and must find our own unique paths.  But we can’t ultimately say No to this quest to hear “that mysterious inner voice.” No one can avoid it forever.  And why would we want to avoid the Truth, anyway? It is beautiful and abundant and delightful beyond our ability to describe. Perhaps the 9 Attributes of Heaven I have come up with are a way to begin to perceive this reality. But a mystical experience is what is really needed. There is no law that says you can’t have one.     


+ I would love it if you offered a guest post.  And, I have work to do on the Abundancetrek Truth page. Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Truth” or “Heavenly Attributes” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.


Amazing Journey, Spiritual Explorations, Abundance, Wisdom, Heavenly Attributes, Joy, Compassion, Love, Beauty, Truth, Peace, Justice, Freedom, Spirituality and Practice

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 344

This is the daily exploration for Friday, December 9, 2016.


+ We are called to create and enjoy a realm of compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance for all.

+ There are three truths: my truth, your truth and the truth.
-- Chinese Proverb

+ The spirit of liberty is the spirit of not being too sure you are right.
-- Learned Hand

+ When souls meet each other, what truth they can exchange! It is uttered in silence, yet always surely reaches its goal. -- Hazrat Inayat Khan

+ It is extremely important to keep an open mind, to realize that truth is often elusive, mysterious, surprising, challenging and even disruptive. But the journey is worth it.  So many blessings come from living into the truth.  

+ The meme comes from the Spirituality & Practice 12s Gallery on X-The Mystery.

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post.  And, I have work to do on the Abundancetrek Truth page. Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Truth” or “Heavenly Attributes” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 343

This is the daily exploration for Thursday, December 8, 2016.

+ We are called to create and enjoy a realm of compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance for all.

+
Those who want to know the truth of the universe
should practice the four cardinal virtues.

The first is reverence for life; this manifests as
unconditional love and respect for oneself and all
other beings.

The second is natural sincerity; this manifests as
honesty, simplicity, and faithfulness.

The third is gentleness; this manifests as kindness,
consideration for others, and sensitivity to
spiritual truth.

The fourth is supportiveness; this manifests as
service to others without expectation of reward.
The four virtues are not an external dogma but
a part of your original nature.

When practiced, they give birth to wisdom and
evoke … blessings.
- Lao Tzu, Hua Hu Ching,
translated by Brian Browne Walker
This was the OneSpirit Daily Inspiration on October 2, 2016

+ Truth is Love. Truth is Wisdom. Truth is something we manifest more and more as we find within ourselves these virtues and offer them as a blessing.   

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post.  And, I have work to do on the Abundancetrek Truth page. Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Truth” or “Heavenly Attributes” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 342

This is the daily exploration for Wednesday, December 7, 2016.


+ We are called to create and enjoy a realm of compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance for all.

+ Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

+ What is required of us is that we love the difficult and learn to deal with it. In the difficult are the friendly forces, the hands that work on us. Right in the difficult we must have our joys, our happiness, our dreams: there against the depth of this background, they stand out, there for the first time we see how beautiful they are.

+ To base a religious philosophy on questions instead of answers increases the likelihood of wonder and amazement.

+ Life can be viewed as a quest, an adventure, a journey.  Destination unknown until it becomes known.  Questions are powerful because they lead us to explore undiscovered realms and find so much beauty, love and truth in these heavenly realms we inhabit right now, right here.

Ed Bastian not only offers the 12 Mandala Spiritual Paths styles we have explored.  He also offers 12 categories of vital spiritual questions.  I am now planning to post beyond these 366 Spiritual Explorations posts and explore the questions Ed wants us to explore. Here are the 12:   
  • Consciousness
  • Death
  • Existence
  • Freedom
  • God
  • Good and Evil
  • Happiness
  • Reality
  • Soul
  • Spirit Beings
  • Suffering
  • Transformation and Ultimate Potential
+ Ed’s powerful wisdom on these spiritual questions are in his book: Mandala: Creating An Authentic Spiritual Path: An InterSpiritual Process by Edward Bastian. The styles we explored during our exploration of the practice of heavenliness are listed in SE206. And you can see them all on a page at SpiritualPaths.net > http://www.spiritualpaths.net/short-programs/mandala-2/

+ The 7 steps of InterSpiritual Meditation by Edward Bastian are listed in SE21 and SE213.  They are described fully in his book, InterSpiritual Meditation.

+ To get inspired and illuminated by Edward Bastian, I invite you to set aside some time for these videos:  Seven Steps of InterSpiritual Meditation (11 minutes) | 15 minute introduction to InterSpiritual Meditation and the Mandala Process | 2 hour lecture & conversation

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post.  And, I have work to do on the Abundancetrek Truth page. Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Truth” or “Heavenly Attributes” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 341

This is the daily exploration for Tuesday, December 6, 2016.

+ We are called to create and enjoy a realm of compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance for all.

+ You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
-- Jesus (John 8:32)

+ Only the truth of who you are, if realized, will set you free.

+
Truth’s naked radiance,
Cut off from the senses
And the world,
Shines by itself
No words for it.
-- Pai-chang Huai-hai

+
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty” -
 that is all Ye know on Earth, and all ye need to know.
-- John Keats in Ode on a Grecian Urn

+ We are still exploring the central heavenly attributes: Beauty, Love, Truth. All of these 9 Attributes of Heaven  are the truth or they are not truly heavenly attributes. The truth is that we are liberated as we realize our true heavenly identity.  This is bliss.

We are in heaven right now, right here, and that’s the truth.  As I write this I look out the window and see blue sky.  It is so beautiful.  Heavenly.  And that’s the truth.  Yes, Keats got it right:  “Beauty is truth, truth beauty.”  It is always so. Something wonderful is happening. Always.

Breathe deeply. Breathe fully.
Be still. Be silent.
Be centered. Be grounded.
Lighten up. Loosen up.
Let go. Let God.
Celebrate. Enjoy.
Be glad all over!

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post.  And, I have work to do on the Abundancetrek Truth page. Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Truth” or “Heavenly Attributes” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 340

This is the daily exploration for Monday, December 5, 2016.


+ We are called to create and enjoy a realm of compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance for all.

+ Compassion is the basis of all truthful relationship; it means being present with love – for ourselves and for all life, including animals, fish, birds, and trees. Compassion is bringing our deepest truth into our actions, no matter how much the world seems to resist, because that is ultimately what we have to give to this world and one another.
-- Ram Dass in Compassion in Action
This was the OneSpirit Daily Inspiration on October 4, 2016

+ This quote brings together the central heavenly attributes: Beauty, Love, Truth. We are connected to each other, to everything, by Love.  Let Love continue to transform you and know that you are transforming everything as you do so.  As compassionate heavenly beings we are making heaven more and more visible in this earthly realm of we inhabit.

Hopefully you have enjoyed exploring Love as the source of all of the heavenly attributes and most closely associated with Beauty and Truth.  We explored beauty and next we will explore truth.  This is the final post on Love but there can never really be a final post on Love since we are exploring Heaven and Heaven is Love.  And that’s the truth.

+ We explored the practice of Love & Compassion during our exploration of Heavenliness as a practice in these SE posts: 241 | 242 | 243 | 244 | 245 | 246 | 247 | 248 | 249 |250 | 251 | 252 | 253

+ Spirituality & Practice offers plenty of resources on the practice of Love, on the practice of Compassion and on the practice of hospitality and other related practices.  You can also be illuminated and inspired by their many 12s galleries of memes including the 12s Gallery on Love, the 12s Gallery on Compassion and the 12s Gallery on Hospitality. The meme for this post comes from the Love gallery.

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post.  And, I have work to do on the Abundancetrek Love page. Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Love” or “Heavenly Attributes” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 339

This is the daily exploration for Sunday, December 4, 2016.


+ We are called to create and enjoy a realm of compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance for all.

+ May those whose hell it is to hate and hurt be turned into lovers bringing flowers.
-- Shantideva, 8th Century Buddhist Teacher
This was the Gratefulness Word for the Day on June 18, 2016

+ Anyone can be transformed by Love. We must never lose hope because “the force of Love is greater than the love of force.” And that’s the truth.  As we achieve more and more wisdom, we can see the beauty in everyone, even those we consider our enemies.  Jesus taught us wisely to love our enemies.

+ We explored the practice of Love & Compassion during our exploration of Heavenliness as a practice in these SE posts: 241 | 242 | 243 | 244 | 245 | 246 | 247 | 248 | 249 |250 | 251 | 252 | 253

+ Spirituality & Practice offers plenty of resources on the practice of Love, on the practice of Compassion and on the practice of hospitality and other related practices.  You can also be illuminated and inspired by their many 12s galleries of memes including the 12s Gallery on Love, the 12s Gallery on Compassion and the 12s Gallery on Hospitality.

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post.  And, I have work to do on the Abundancetrek Love page. Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Love” or “Heavenly Attributes” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 338

This is the daily exploration for Saturday, December 3, 2016.


+ We are called to create and enjoy a realm of compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance for all.

+
 Love is not something you do,
It is not how you behave.
There's nothing you can do that constitutes loving another,
No action that is of itself loving.
Love is a way of being.
And more than that.
It is simply being,
Being with another person, however they may be.
Holding no judgements, having no agendas,
No need to have them experience your love,
No desire to demonstrate love,
No intrusion upon their soul.
Nothing but a total acceptance of their being,
Born of your total acceptance of yours.

+ You are fantastic.  You are fascinating.  You are wonderful.  You are amazing.  I invite you to say: “I am  fantastic.  I am fascinating.  I am wonderful.  I am amazing.”  Anything else you can add? I am sure there is because you are so much more than you often think you are.

+ We have let Peter Russell guide us in our explorations previously in SE43, SE203 where he was featured in a video and in SE212.  Visit www.PeterRussell.com for some wonderful explorations into mindfulness, consciousness, philosophy and more.  I particularly like exploring The Church of I AM.

+ We explored the practice of Love & Compassion during our exploration of Heavenliness as a practice in these SE posts: 241 | 242 | 243 | 244 | 245 | 246 | 247 | 248 | 249 |250 | 251 | 252 | 253

+ Spirituality & Practice offers plenty of resources on the practice of Love, on the practice of Compassion and on the practice of hospitality and other related practices.  You can also be illuminated and inspired by their many 12s galleries of memes including the 12s Gallery on Love, the 12s Gallery on Compassion and the 12s Gallery on Hospitality.

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post.  And, I have work to do on the Abundancetrek Love page. Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Love” or “Heavenly Attributes” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 337

This is the daily exploration for Friday, December 2, 2016.


+ We are called to create and enjoy a realm of compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance for all.

+ Once we experience and feel [the] interdependence of all living beings, we will cease to hurt, humiliate, exploit and kill one another. We will want to free all sentient beings from suffering. This is karuna, compassion, which in turn gives rise to the responsibility to create happiness and its causes for all.
-- Suresh Jindal in “Interdependence of All Living Beings” published by The Times of India, November 13, 2003
This was the OneSpirit Daily Inspiration on May 20, 2016

+ In Mahayana Buddhism, the Bodhisattva takes a vow to not enter Nirvana until the sentiment expressed in this quote is fully achieved. My interpretation is that no one can get there until everyone gets there together.  In one sense we are already there.  Once we have become aware of our deep connectedness and become committed to take responsibility for it, that’s when we are in heaven.  But we can’t say we are fully in heaven until everyone is experiencing the joyful abundance of heaven. If there is someone missing, any one, then we must do everything we can to find them and bring them to the heavenly banquet.

+ We explored the practice of Love & Compassion during our exploration of Heavenliness as a practice in these SE posts: 241 | 242 | 243 | 244 | 245 | 246 | 247 | 248 | 249 |250 | 251 | 252 | 253

+ Spirituality & Practice offers plenty of resources on the practice of Love, on the practice of Compassion and on the practice of hospitality and other related practices.  You can also be illuminated and inspired by their many 12s galleries of memes including the 12s Gallery on Love, the 12s Gallery on Compassion and the 12s Gallery on Hospitality.

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post.  And, I have work to do on the Abundancetrek Love page. Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Love” or “Heavenly Attributes” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 336

This is the daily exploration for Thursday, December 1, 2016.


+ We are called to create and enjoy a realm of compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance for all.

+ We cannot love God unless we love each other, and to love each other we must know each other in the breaking of bread … Heaven is a banquet and life is a banquet, too, even with a crust, where there is companionship. Love comes with community.
-- Dorothy Day
This was the OneSpirit Daily Inspiration on October 21, 2016

+ “Heaven is a banquet ….” and everyone is invited because unless and until everyone has come to this table of Love, we cannot say that we are experiencing heaven fully.  But we can become more and more aware of our heavenly existence as we continue to be committed to the heavenly mission of making sure all are invited and all come to know the abundant Love God so freely provides.  This is bliss.  This is the truth.  This really Good News for you, for me, for everyone.

+ We explored the practice of Love & Compassion during our exploration of Heavenliness as a practice in these SE posts: 241 | 242 | 243 | 244 | 245 | 246 | 247 | 248 | 249 |250 | 251 | 252 | 253

+ Spirituality & Practice offers plenty of resources on the practice of Love, on the practice of Compassion and on the practice of hospitality and other related practices.  You can also be illuminated and inspired by their many 12s galleries of memes including the 12s Gallery on Love, the 12s Gallery on Compassion and the 12s Gallery on Hospitality.

+ I would love it if you offered a guest post.  And, I have work to do on the Abundancetrek Love page. Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Love” or “Heavenly Attributes” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.