Friday, August 14, 2015

"Nature Religion" at my Door

"Forgive me that I cannot kneel
And worship in this pew,
For I have knelt in western dawns,
When the stars were large and few"

~ "God's Creed", Ella Higginson, 1861-1940

It's a rare morning when the front page of a city's newspaper shares the heartfelt words of Ella Higginson, a poet laureate of Washington state.  I'm happy to discover Ella - she and I are clearly kindred spirits on the path in many ways.

The excerpt from her poem God's Creed appeared in the following story:  Do you see God in a sunset?  "Nature religion" may be the signature spirituality of the Pacific Northwest.  

Apparently another study (this one by Baylor University) has awarded Portland the distinction of being the most unchurched city in the entire United States - and Oregon the most unchurched state.  

This particular study took a rather unique approach: 

"Researchers compared the richness of natural amenities in every U.S. county to religious adherents per 1,000 people.  They found that areas with higher rates of amenities have lower rates of religious adherence."

I'm not at all surprised.  Like Ella, I walk the passages of "Nature's church" most days of the week, and even when I must remain at home, my church sends missionaries to my door.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Transistor Radio Summer #10: Born Free

"Live free, and beauty surrounds you, the world still astounds you, each time you look at a star." 
~ Born Free by Don Black

The other day I read a post on Facebook inviting us all to spend 5 minutes per day on a dream, suggesting that if a dream isn't worth spending 5 minutes per day, then it must not be all that important to us.  It's one of those posts we might tend to see one moment, forget the next.  Yet every once in a while, the simplest of instructions actually takes hold. 

You see, like many people, I have all sorts of projects in progress.  Some of these projects in progress have been in progress for years.  It might be months between visits to some of these projects.  And I asked myself:  Can I spend 5 minutes?

It wasn't long before I realized 5 minutes isn't necessarily enough, though in some cases, it is.  5+ minutes works even better.  I have made a few compromises too - not every project gets my attention every day, but I'm finding the 5+ minute rule invites me to at least visit some of them every few days. It's a very simple thing to do.

There are some things that aren't exactly dreams, but they bring us Joy.  Playing the piano is like this to me.  I am a highly imperfect piano player and was a reluctant student through most of my childhood, with a very strict, unpleasant teacher at the start.  I can save my childhood piano stories for another day.  Imperfect or not, even as an adult, playing the piano freely brings me Joy.  And it's easy to use the 5+ minute rule with the piano.

And so I just did.

And I discovered a song in a very old stack of music many of us have heard (far too many times in elevators in the 70's) and ignored or forgotten.  It gave me astonishing Joy to rather imperfectly play this on the piano just now, while dinner is cooking. 

I'd like you to listen to this song very closely. 

Listen to what it has to say. 

Don't tune it out.

Listen . . .

It can set you free.  In less than 5 minutes...

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Pilot Light that Never Dims

"You Will KNOW The Truth" ~ Eileen Caddy

A little while ago, I shared a post on Facebook, from the Findhorn Foundation.  For those of you not on Facebook, I'm going to repeat what it is it had to say.  It appeared with a photo of a diamond-shaped view through a rustic sort of a door, to the countryside, perhaps looking out upon beautiful Findhorn itself.  And in this moment now, I am realizing there were windmills, which is a little "wink" from the Universe (you'll see in a moment below).  There were many windmills in Kansas, where the wind always tended to blow, in the many years I spent there.

"Guidance from Eileen Caddy

You Will KNOW The Truth

When something is revealed to you from deep within, you need no confirmation or proof that it is the Truth. You can stick by it even if it means you stand completely alone. It is that inner knowing that counts; it is that inner revelation which you can hold on to. The things of the Spirit have to be understood by the Spirit; they cannot be dissected and analysed with a human's mind. This is where you have to be absolutely steadfast and unshakable and know without a shadow of doubt that what has been revealed to you from within is of the Truth and not fantasy. No one can help you over this; it has to be an inner knowing, an absolute certainty which is unshakable. If you find even the slightest doubt creeping in about the authenticity of what has been revealed or given to you, be on your guard. Again I say to you, you need no confirmation from the outer, you will KNOW the truth, whether it is from Me, and will find an inner peace in knowing."

At first I posted the photo, and the words.  I posted it without questioning.  I did feel it is possible to KNOW.  And quite honestly, upon reflection, I still do.  That's the inner peace.  Perhaps I'm still processing this.  As I posted earlier on Facebook, it's our minds that tend to analyze, our minds that tend to get in the way of the Knowing, the space of the Heart.  It's our minds that tend to take our inner peace away.  That inner peace is our Pilot Light.  It resides in the space of the Heart.  

Here is what I wrote earlier on Facebook, as I reflected upon the Findhorn post:

"This is a far more intricate teaching than it appears. We don't necessarily "know" on the surface, or that can seem to be the case. Because the mind tends to get in the way of the space of the Heart. It might take our entire lives (and beyond) to learn how to listen with the Heart and not the mind, to hear with100% clarity. Perhaps we never do completely, in this vulnerable human form, as long as we have minds, as they tend to question Hearts. 

But deep down, yes, there are some things we tend to Know, if we really choose to listen. When I was a child, I knew there couldn't possibly be a hell in the afterlife, even if I heard any number of messages otherwise. The fears injected by those voices seemed like my own inner doubt, but deep down, at the deepest Heart-based level, it was simply obvious: No Loving God could possibly create Hell. It's a "no-brainer" - literally! The Heart knows what Love actually Is. And what it is not.
When we listen for the path of the Heart, our minds do tend to doubt, because the path of the Heart asks us to be coeur-ageous, and our minds tend to get in the way. It is much like "Field of Dreams", and the signs are there to en-coeur-age us. Signs are utterly essential because they quiet the mind. They are the tools of Synchronicity. They are the Magic itself, revealed.

A rather unusual wind came up yesterday. Around the same time, my hot water heater failed. It failed just a bit at a time, over several hours, until we noticed all the water was lukewarm. The pilot light had gone out, but I didn't know it yet, or even when I did, I thought something might be "broken". My mind tended to panic. My mind tended to worry I'd need to buy a new hot water heater for $1000. It was just the pilot light, but it didn't relight itself. It took a conscious intervention to get the hot water going again. Deep down, beyond the mind, I had a feeling my hot water heater was fine, and it was.

So don't worry so much about doubting. Worrying about doubting is simply the mind worrying about doubting. And we are human beings. The way of the Heart will come to you again and again and again. Sometimes it's not "the way" the mind envisions. In fact, usually it's not. It is generally beyond the mind's ability to conceive. It is conceived of the Heart. And it is Magical. The Universe's Pilot Light can never, ever fail. And that also happens to be why there could never be a Hell...."

Inner Peace.  The Knowing.  It's not exactly intricate.  The mind tends to make it that way.  It's really very simple.  God is simply Love.  And so are We.  I heard a piece of that in my childhood too...

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Transistor Radio Summer #9: Open Your Eyes

"Open your eyes..." ~ Asia

I write in the midst of an intensely busy week, a day surely too busy to write.  Still, I am here, because this song is going through my head, and my Heart.

Asia generally wasn't considered a "good" band of the 80's, or so I tended to hear. Still, some of their songs really reached out to me, and a few were definitely popular.  This one really wasn't "known", but it carries a message.  It did then.  It does now.  It does always.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Transistor Radio Summer #8: Voice of the Living Light

"The truly holy person welcomes all that is Earthly." ~ Hildegard von Bingen

Tonight, a diversion from my transistor radio of long ago.  We go much farther back, to the 12th century.  A portion of this transcendent piece by the astonishing Hildegard von Bingen came on my radio as I was driving.  

Voice of the Living Light.  The segment I heard earlier had to do with Dawn.  It is worthy of reflection in the evening too...

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Transistor Radio Summer #7: Feelin' Groovy

"Slow down, you move too fast, you got to make the morning last..." ~ Simon & Garfunkel

On my way to an early morning dentist appointment (when I really wanted to be on my morning walk instead), this came on the radio.  It surely had a presence on my transistor radio, long ago.

No matter what you are doing this morning (or any other time of day), no matter how you feel, take the time to listen, and to smile....

Joy in the moment happens, every day, if you choose to look for it....

Monday, July 6, 2015

Transistor Radio Summer #6: Silvery Rain

"Take to the sky, higher than high..." 
~ Silvery Rain, Olivia Newton-John/Hank Marvin

They have been spraying significant amounts of Round-Up near a trail where I love to walk.  This particular song re-released by Olivia Newton John in 1981 (and written a decade earlier) is not at all well known, but it made an impression on me long ago.  It was also an early music video.

We sadly have not changed our ways all that much since the early 1980's.  It's up to us...