Sunday, January 1, 2017

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 367


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

+ This is the first Spiritual Exploration post of 2017. Unlike the 366 Spiritual Exploration posts of 2016, this post may last for a while with changes and additions.  Your reflections are welcome and can be added. 

+ How to know God? By being still. How to be still? By practice of meditation. Meditation is the art of being still in body, in mind, in heart, in will, in the entire inner being, and enabling the higher Divine Consciousness in us to have direct, immediate perception of God.
-- Omkarananda

+ Be still, and the world is bound to turn herself inside out to entertain you. Everywhere you look, joyful noise is clanging to drown out quiet desperation.
-- Barbara Kingsolver in High Tide in Tucson

+ You do not need to do anything; you do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You do not even need to listen; just wait. You do not even need to wait; just become still, quiet and solitary and the world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice. It will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
-- Franz Kafka

+ We began this journey a year ago exploring the practice of stillness. You can easily reach the 40 SE posts on the practice of stillness since the links can be found on the Abundancetrek Stillness page and on the page with all 366 links. Stillness is an essential practice, the foundation for all spiritual practice since it is the one practice which stops the chattering monkey which gets in the way of our connection to Greater Reality.  So, let’s begin again practicing stillness and see where we go in our spiritual explorations in 2017 and beyond.  It’s an amazing journey.  I am anticipating finding new ways to explore the 9 Attributes of Heaven and 12 Spiritual Practices. Suggestions welcome.

We are intimately, intricately and infinitely connected by a matrix of unconditional, unlimited and uniting love which is miraculous, mysterious and marvelous.

We can remember who we are and what we can do because we are gloriously free to put our attention on creating and enjoying a realm of compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance for all with every breath.

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!

This is bliss.

+ You can send an email with the subject “Spiritual Explorations” or “Guest Post” to john@abundancetrek.com

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 366

This is the daily exploration for Saturday, December 31, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE HEAVENLY ATTRIBUTE OF FREEDOM


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

+ To this day I believe we are here on Earth to live, grow, and do what we can to make this world a better place for all people to enjoy freedom.
-- Rosa Parks
This was the Gratefulness Word for the Day on January 15, 2016

This is it, the final post:  Spiritual Exploration 366.  I did not know whether I could do it or not but I am writing this on December 14, 2016 with the satisfying realization that I accomplished my goal of posting 366 Spiritual Exploration posts in the leap year of 2016.  All 366 will be posted as of this day, December 14, 2016.  Thank you fellow explorers for sharing this adventure with me.

The daily posts on Facebook and Twitter and at abundancetrek.com will  come to an end as of December 31.  I am anticipating finding new ways to explore the 9 Attributes of Heaven and 12 Spiritual Practices. Suggestions welcome.

Let us renew our belief in the promise of freedom as Rosa Parks put it so clearly:

To this day I believe we are here on Earth to live, grow, and do what we can to make this world a better place for all people to enjoy freedom.

We can do this because:

We are intimately, intricately and infinitely connected by a matrix of unconditional, unlimited and uniting love which is miraculous, mysterious and marvelous.

We can remember who we are and what we can do because we are gloriously free to put our attention on creating and enjoying a realm of compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance for all with every breath.

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!

This is bliss.

+ The meme is in the Spirituality & Practice 12s Gallery on Attention.

+ I have work to do on the Abundancetrek Freedom page. Maybe you can help.  Send an email with the subject “Freedom” or “Heavenly Attributes” or “Guest Post” to John@abundancetrek.com.

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 365

This is the daily exploration for Friday, December 30, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE HEAVENLY ATTRIBUTE OF FREEDOM


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

+
Just come to see that everything is passing on,
That nothing in your mind remains
The same for even the span of a breath.
If you see like that for even a moment,
Then for that moment you are free.
- Ji Aoi Isshi
This was the Daily Zen post on November 10, 2015.

+ Take this moment right now to see things as they really are and be free ... even for the span of a breath. Enjoy your freedom to embrace reality in its glorious, fascinating, infinite variety. It really is amazing.  You really are amazing.  Go ahead.  Freely enjoy reality.  As Anne Lamott puts it:

I think this is how we are supposed to be in the world -- present and in awe.

We are free to do so.  This is bliss.

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

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 364

This is the daily exploration for Thursday, December 29, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE HEAVENLY ATTRIBUTE OF FREEDOM


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

+ “Only the truth of who you are, if realized, will set you free.” - Eckhart Tolle

+ No matter who you are, you are an amazing expression of divinity.  You are free to discover within yourself the beauty of your glorious heavenly identity right now, right here, always.  This is the truth. Accept the gift of freedom and embrace your fantastic, amazing heavenly identity.  You are a heavenly being and always will be.  Keep learning.  Keep discovering. Keep growing.  Enjoy.  This is bliss.

+ The meme for this post comes from the Spirituality & Practice 12s Gallery on Teachers.

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

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 363

This is the daily exploration for Wednesday, December 28, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE HEAVENLY ATTRIBUTE OF FREEDOM


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

+ The movement of grace in our lives toward freedom is a mystery. So we simply say “Thanks."
-- Anne Lamott

+ In our freedom, we discover so much as we live our lives.  We are free to do so.  And there is always more to discover and enjoy.  This is bliss.

Here’s more wisdom from Anne Lamott:

I think this is how we are supposed to be in the world -- present and in awe.

And we are free to be present and in awe right now, right here and forever. Yes, this is bliss. 

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

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

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 362

This is the daily exploration for Tuesday, December 27, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE HEAVENLY ATTRIBUTE OF FREEDOM


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

+ Our pressure cooker society pushes us to our emotional limits. We deserve relief from getting crucified by daily stresses. We deserve to be happier, to be more comfortable in our own skins, to have nurturing relationships. . . .It's lunacy to put up with being chronically anxious, fatigued, or depressed as so many of us have. I rebel against that cheerless status quo, and hope you will too. . . .

Though we commonly think of freedom as uncensored speech, emancipation from slavery, and the right to vote and worship as we choose, you can't achieve total freedom until you learn to take charge of emotions, instead of them running you. This is a radical paradigm shift we all can make, regardless of our present anxieties or past hardships.
-- Judith Orloff in Emotional Freedom

+ It really is important to devote time and energy to this important work of overcoming this lunacy which our society has produced in so many of us. So, what follows is some very wise guidance by the brilliant Edward Bastian who has been our guide before during these spiritual explorations, particularly during our exploration of the practice of Heavenliness. Freedom is one of the big questions Ed explores in Mandala: Creating An Authentic Spiritual Path: An InterSpiritual Process.

Here is a rather lengthy excerpt from his chapter on the question of Freedom (If not now, maybe you can find some time later to read and reflect on his wise counsel):

What is freedom?
Is true freedom possible?
How can I be free?
Do I have free will and freedom of choice?
Can there be freedom without bondage?

Growing up in American, we are constantly bombarded by the claim that American is the Land of the Free. Here in America we proclaim the inalienable rights for “Freedom from Tyranny,” “Freedom to Vote,” “Sexual Freedom,” “Freedom of the Press,” “Freedom of the Marketplace,” “Freedom of Self Governance,” “Freedom of Equality,” “Freedom of Religion,” and “Freedom to be Happy.” Of all these Freedoms, the “Freedom to be Happy” has always been the most perplexing to me. For amidst all the other Freedoms, the “Free to be Happy” was the most illusive. While all the other Freedoms pertain to our external relationship with others in society, this last one, “Freedom to be Happy” is uniquely personal and internal.

When I was young and separating from my Iowa home, one of the Freedoms I most valued was the freedom to leave my home and travel the world. I was free to explore the world’s cultures, ways of life, and religions. As a hitchhiker through Europe, Africa, and Asia I was picked up by an extraordinary variety of people, rich and poor, who took me to their homes so I could experience their lives. In my brief stint with civil rights movement in Alabama and Mississippi I came in contact with Freedom Fighters who struggled for political, economic, and social equality. As a film-maker I documented the religions of Asia and the effects of religion on the lives of ordinary people. As a photographer I documented the war in Viet Nam. As a Buddhist scholar and practitioner, I lived in India among the impoverished refugees from Tibet.

One of the most striking conclusions of all these experiences is that there is no direct correlation between external freedom and economic circumstance and internal happiness. I have witnessed people in pain and poverty with no apparent economic, political, and social freedom who have inner lives of peace, contentment, and empathy. Happiness I discovered, is the result of inner freedom from the causes that bind and imprison us. This fact doesn’t alleviate the need and responsibility to struggle for the other external freedoms. But in our struggles, we need to be cognizant that inner freedom and happiness does not automatically arise just because we experience the external freedoms.

I first heard this message from an unlikely source. It happened as I was headed to Viet Nam to experience and document the war as a free-lance photographer. Ironically, America’s rationale for the oppressive war was to liberate the Vietnamese people from the threat of Communism. I had landed in Bangkok, Thailand where I was waiting for a flight to Saigon the next day and free to wander the streets and clubs that night.

It was in one of these clubs that I met a couple of young Thai women who invited me to join them on the dance floor and of course being a young red-blooded American man I obliged. After about an hour, one of them asked me if I would like to go home with her. I had heard about the rampant prostitution in Bangkok that was so popular among tourists and soldiers and I frankly wasn’t interested in that. But as I was about the decline her offer, she said, “I am not a prostitute. I was married to an American soldier who was killed in Viet Nam and I would just like your company.” With that I agreed and off we went to her apartment near by.

In the morning, after a lovely night together, she told me that her father was on his way over for breakfast. With that I offered that it was time for me to go, but she begged me to stay saying it is important for me to meet him. So we sat together in the kitchen savoring a cup of tea waiting his arrival. Within a few minutes, we heard a gentle knock at the door and in walked a diminutive Buddhist monk who was her father that she wanted me to meet. He was so warm and friendly that I was immediately at ease in his company. His questions to me were translated by his daughter, and soon I was asking him questions about Buddhism.

So it was under these circumstances in that small Bangkok kitchen that I received my first teachings on Buddhism about how we can achieve Freedom. He explained to me that material things and sensual experiences cannot make me happy that my happiness and freedom must come from within. “So long as we believe happiness will come from outside, we will be unhappy,” he said. Then he told me about the Four Noble Truths which encapsulate all the Buddha’s teachings. These are: (1) All beings are in a state of suffering; (2) Our suffering is caused by our ignorance, desire, and anger; (3) Freedom from suffering is possible; (4) Buddhist practices can eliminate these internal causes of suffering and enable us to be free.

I must admit that as a healthy young man who had just enjoyed an unexpectedly wonderful night with his daughter, that these teachings presented quite a challenge. But I revered this simple monk and his wisdom. Somehow, deep inside me I knew they were true, but I wasn’t quite ready to give up my illusion of happiness. Over the following years, his wisdom continued to work within me and once I learned enough from a plethora of material and sensual experiences that were fun but not the source of happiness, I increasingly became drawn to the Buddhist perspective. I began searching the world’s religions for my own inner path to happiness.

The process for internal freedom begins with knowledge that our “self” is not a permanent independent unit that is separate from others. This “selfless” knowledge is both understood intellectually and experienced meditatively. It is the truth of our inter-dependence with all other beings and the environment in which we live. It is the truth of universal reciprocity between all forms of life. It is a genuine empathy for others, knowing that our well-being is intertwined with
theirs.

If our sensual and materialistic activities are tempered by this knowledge and experience of inter-dependence and empathy, then we don’t engage in the objects of our desire with the expectation that they will cause our lasting happiness. This knowledge in turn lessens our desire, craving, grasping, and dependence on external stimulation for internal well-being. For the external causes of happiness are fleeting and impermanent. If our happiness is imprisoned by these, we can never be free.

I have found meditation to be an important tool in the happiness process and I have adapted a classical Buddhist technique for this purpose. The underlying assumption, of course, is that our minds have the natural capacity to be in a state of peace, tranquility, and equanimity when the causes of unhappiness have been healed and removed. Sometimes, my meditation on emptiness and inter-dependence focuses on the actual unhappy emotion I am feeling. Through this meditation, the negative emotion is transformed into feeling of equanimity and contentment. This meditation can be practiced at any time and in any place.

I begin by simply being mindful of the unhappy feeling. I objectively observe it without passing judgment on it. Rather than allowing it to compound and grow, I observe how this emotion is effecting my body through my stomach, head, neck, or back and notice how this single unhappy emotion can set off a chain of reactions including pain, stress, anger, and depression. Then I put this unhappy emotion under my mental microscope to discover what it is made up of and what caused it. For example, it might arise from my fear of too little money to support me in my old age. It might be the result of my unfulfilled desire for a female partner, a soul mate, to accompany me through the next phase in my life. It might arise from my worry about my children and other family members. Without judging or rejecting this emotion I examine what caused it and I realize that it is my unrealistic expectation that financial security, a relationship, or the well-being of my family will be the sole cause of my happiness.

Then, in the case of a desire for relationship, I realize that this hope it clouded by my own past relations with other women, including my mother. Because of these, I projecting my ideals of a perfect soul mate onto a woman whose body and personality resonate with an archetypal “soul mate image” in my own subconscious mind. Then I remember that my projected archetypal image of that person will come into conflict with the actual personality of any woman that I meet. When I fail to meet someone who matches this archetypal image, or when a particular woman fails to fulfill my projections, I will become unhappy and might treat that person unkindly. I then realize how this whole chain of unhappy emotional and physiological events started with my false assumption that a relationship with someone could be the cause of my happiness. I conclude that a relationship in and of itself cannot be the caused of my happiness, especially if it is solely predicated on my own selfish needs and projections.

From a Buddhist perspective, I meditate on the impermanence of relationships and how they are empty of the inherent capacity to create happiness. I empty myself of the false projections I have unconsciously formed about potential partners. I remind myself of the inter-dependence of all things and that my well-being is dependent on the well-being of others with whom I am in relationship.

To recap, my antidote to an negative emotion is the following: 1. Objectively and dispassionately observe the negative emotion. 2. Focus my attention on my breathing to pacify the secondary mental and physiological effects of this emotion. The breathing will create a gap between the stimulus of desire and my response to it. It is in this gap that I can… 3. Examine the cause of the unhappy emotion and see that it is my own unrealistic expectation that another person can make me happy. 4. Remind myself that no external thing, sensation, or relationship can cause me to be happy. 5. Focus on the impermanence and emptiness of my desires, projections, and the unhappiness they create. This, along with the breathing, and allows the effects of emotion to dissipate. 6. Experience the mental equanimity that arises from gentle breathing and from pacifying a desire based on false expectations. 7. Allow the natural state of equanimity, contentment, peace and happiness to rise up and enjoyed that feeling within me. 8. Remind myself that even this equanimity is inter-dependent and refrain from attachment to it. 9. Replace the unhappy emotion with a compassionate intention for the happiness of the person on whom I projected false expectations.

In this way, every unhappy emotion can become an object of meditation and can be healed thus allowing our natural state of happiness to emerge. Gradually, Buddhist meditations can replace external desire with internal contentment. This meditation does not negate the importance for compassionate engagement with each and every person. But it quells the self-centered projections that create unhappiness when others fail to live up to our false expectations.

This type of meditation can be practiced on all negative emotions like greed, jealousy, anger, hatred, that arise from unhealthy desire and attachment for money, possessions, and relationships. When we apply this meditation successfully, our mind is released from the suffering of desire and can reside in a natural state of happiness and internal freedom from the vicissitudes of unrealistic and unhealthy desires.


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

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 361

This is the daily exploration for Monday, December 26, 2016.
WE ARE EXPLORING THE HEAVENLY ATTRIBUTE OF FREEDOM


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

+ For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
-- Galatians 5:1, 13-14

+ For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
-- Romans 8:19-21

+ Freedom is the ultimate gift of heaven. We are free to choose Love or to reject it. And this is true at each and every moment. What a blessing it is to be able to freely choose the path of abundance, joy, wisdom, beauty, love, truth, peace, justice and freedom moment after moment, day after day. This is bliss.

Accepting this gift of freedom is a fascinating challenge. It simply is not easy to be free.  There are many, many forces opposing the heavenly attribute of freedom.  We are ending this exploration soon and hopefully you and I have increased our ability to receive and enjoy this gift.  I think it is wise to realize that we will end this exploration where we began, practicing stillness.  The more we practice stillness the more we can receive this fantastic gift of freedom and all of the heavenly gifts which we are free to receive endlessly, infinitely, unconditionally.  In order to receive these gifts we need to begin again and again and again to practice the 12 Spiritual Practices beginning with stillness.  We are always free to do so. 

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

SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS – 360

This is the daily exploration for Sunday, December 25, 2016.


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

+ Listen for the whisper of God everywhere. Work for justice. Know that your life is in communion with all life.

The spiritual revolution, finding God in the world, is an invitation to new birth, most especially for religion. There is no better place to start than in your synagogue, mosque, temple, or church.

And that new birth is happening. You can hear it as the earth groans for salvation, as poets and philosophers tell its stories, as scientists search the soil and the cosmos for life, as the oppressed, poor, and marginalized push for dignity and economic justice. It is time for the church to wake up. There is nothing worse than sleeping through a revolution.

+ A question for my fellow Christians: Can we connect the feast of Christmas or the feast of Epiphany or the feast of Easter or the feast of Pentecost with Revolutionary Fervor? It is simply essential that we do. This quest for compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance for all really is what our faith is all about. I like to call it The New Faith for the New Earth.  But it really is as old as the birth of life on earth. For Christians, The New Faith for the New Earth is as old as the Birth of Christ or even as old as creation itself. We call it new because we need to find new ways to get the job done.  We need to sing new songs, learn new prayers, create new ways to be effective peacemakers.  This is essential work. 

But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
-- Amos 5:24 NRSV


+ 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 – 359

This is the daily exploration for Saturday, December 24, 2016.


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

+ We stand at a critical moment in Earth's history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.
-- The Earth Charter, 2000
This was the OneSpirit Daily Inspiration on December 31, 2015

+ The quest for justice is basically one and the same as the quest for the creation of one human family.  Let us hold this vision in our mind, heart, body and soul as often as we possibly can and make it a reality: heaven on earth.  “(God’s) will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.” “Let there be peace on earth and Let it begin with me.”


+ 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 – 358

This is the daily exploration for Friday, December 23, 2016.


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

+ Martin Luther King, Jr. on Justice and Compassion:
·         Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
·         A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.
·         Any religion which professes to be concerned about the souls of men and women and is not concerned about the social and economic conditions that can scar the soul, is a spiritually moribund religion only waiting for the day to be buried.
·         Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
·         I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.
·         I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one; not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
·         Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. This echoes: I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice. -– Theodore Parker

+ Martin Luther King, Jr. often said: “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” He got that line from a 19th century Unitarian minister, abolitionist, transcendentalist, Theodore Parker. Parker was right and King was right. Justice is definitely God’s way and it is our way as we assume our rightful role as a heavenly being.

In stillness we can’t help but hear the cries of the poor, the alienated, the confused and the oppressed. Sooner or later we know we must act, act on their behalf, act for ourselves, for all. For we are all poor, alienated, confused, oppressed as long as any one of us is. We must always identify with the marginalized. Solidarity.

Those of us who have long benefitted from white privilege must not be content until the day comes when the color of our skin really does not matter. We have made progress but we still have a long way to go.

Where justice is denied, Love is denied. We have put up barriers to keep out God, to keep out heaven, to keep out wholeness and truth and beauty. We must confess this regularly and seek to tear down those barriers. We must find ways, all kinds of ways, to create a society where no one is denied access to the abundance God provides.

This requires plenty of compassion and creativity. We get this from God when we pray. Prayer changes things. It’s not magic. Prayer is an attitude adjustment. God changes us and makes us become agents of change. We simply don’t accept an earth where justice is denied. We can’t. We won’t.

Each of us must choose among all of the causes demanding our attention and action. Prayer leads us to a good fit, where our unique gifts can make a difference. Believe. The more we pray for justice, the more we can make a big difference. Yes, we hear the cries. Our prayerful response leads to smiles and laughter and equality. The heavenly feast is intended for everyone. Let no one be denied.

The celebration is so much better when no one is denied. There is so much variety on this planet, so much beauty. Justice means we all can enjoy what everyone is offering. The barriers we have built have prevented a lot of joy from circulating freely. This is not God’s will. Tear down those barriers. Let Justice flow.


+ 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 – 357

This is the daily exploration for Thursday, December 22, 2016.
+ We are called to create and enjoy a realm of compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance for all.

+ When you give food to the poor, they call you a saint. When you ask why the poor have no food, they call you a communist.
-- Archbishop Dom Helder Camara, Brazilian liberation theologian

+ It is bad religion to deify doctrines and creeds. While indispensable to religious life, doctrines and creeds are only so as signposts. Love alone is the hitching post. Doctrines, let’s not forget, supported slavery and apartheid; some still support keeping women in their places and gays and lesbians in limbo. Moreover, doctrines can divide while compassion can only unite. In other words, religious folk, all our lives, have both to recover tradition and to recover from it.
This quote was used in SE242 when we were exploring the style of Compassion as a practice of Heavenliness.

+ We have a lot of work to do to overcome the causes of injustice on our planet.  Many deny that this work needs to be done.  Many avoid it because it’s risky.  Courage is definitely needed to face the resistance.  There are many like Dom Helder Camara who can inspire us and encourage us in the effort to expand the heavenly realm of justice on our planet.  We have met several including Martin Luther King, Jr., The Dalai Lama, William Sloane Coffin and Archbishop Desmond Tutu during these explorations of the 12 Spiritual Practices and the 9 Attributes of Heaven.


+ 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 – 356

This is the daily exploration for Wednesday, December 21, 2016.

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

+ Here is the introduction to the Spiritual Practice of Justice which is one of the 37 Spiritual Practices offered by Spirituality & Practice:

Doing justice is a central imperative in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Buddhists are urged to be socially engaged. Hinduism, Taoism, Confucianism, and primal religions emphasize right relationships within communities as building blocks of justice.

This practice applies to the whole range of human interactions, and today it is also being extended to animals and the environment. It means that we deal fairly with others, recognizing the equality and dignity of all. It requires that we work to insure that all people, especially the poor and the weak, have access to opportunities. It assumes that none of us is free until all of us are.

Practice justice by demanding it. Words can be as forceful as deeds — the prophets of old proved that. Name injustices when you see them. Speak boldly and put your body and your money where your mouth is. Stand up and be counted.

Often we are propelled into the struggle for justice when we experience an injustice ourselves; we are not treated fairly at work or our friendship is exploited by an associate. One day while reading the newspaper, we may be shocked to learn of the treatment of certain groups in our society. Or we may step back and realize that we have been ignoring what are clearly injustices around us. Our very lack of concern can wake us up to the need for justice.

There is also a "shadow" side to this spiritual practice. Sometimes in our fervor for justice we decide that we can ignore the rights and dignity of those who oppose us. Instead of being justice seekers, then, we become fanatics.

+ Let us participate joyfully and imaginatively in the essential heavenly creation of more and more compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance for all. Let us prayerfully consider how we can be as effectively involved as possible. I have names and words for this cause including: The Great Evolutionary Leap Forward; The New Faith for the New Earth; The Amazing Journey; Adventure.  What are your names and words for the essential heavenly creation of compassion, peace, justice and sustainable abundance here on earth? We are definitely called to this mission as heavenly beings and as human beings.        


+ 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 – 355

This is the daily exploration for Tuesday, December 20, 2016.

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

+
He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
-- Micah 6:8

+ Any religion which professes to be concerned about the souls of men and women and is not concerned about the social and economic conditions that can scar the soul, is a spiritually moribund religion only waiting for the day to be buried.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

+ This is the first post on the heavenly attribute of Justice but it really isn’t because we have seen that justice is absolutely necessary for a real peace and we have explored the heavenly attribute of Peace. Making these kind of connections are such an important part of the quest for heavenly abundance. Justice is closely connected to the spiritual practice of Humility and Devotion. We are called to devote ourselves humbly to authentic peacemaking as we walk closely with God and as we embrace a peacemaking, justice-oriented, religion. How do you connect your religion with your spirituality? Do you see the connection? It really is important. And, if your religion is not devoted to seriously addressing the social and economic conditions we face, then you definitely need to challenge and change it.      

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

+ 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.