Forgiving and Atonement

"Forgiveness is really not about someone's harmful behavior: it's about our own relationship with our past. When we begin the work of forgiveness, it is primarily a practice for ourselves."
~ Gina Sharpe, The Power of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a spiritual practice.

It is a very powerful practice. And perhaps the most difficult. It is not for the faint of heart. But as the quote above notes, it is primarily something we do for ourselves - for our own inner growth and well-being, and research bears this up.

Today, Jews all over the world commemorate the "Day of Atonement," which has always been one of my favorite spiritual days. I often put my own spin on the traditional practice of Tashlich.

I go down to the river not far from my house, and I meditate and pray.

I think of all of those who have hurt me - and those that I have in turn hurt.

And I say whatever arises in my heart, but it often goes something like this:

"I ask forgiveness of all those whom I have hurt…

The River Calls: Essential Precepts Practice Two

There are many variations to this practice that I am about to share with you. 

Anyone who has studied Reiki will have learned a version of it and you can find them online.

There is no right way or wrong way to say them, just as there is no right way or wrong way to walk a spiritual path.

While many understand Reiki to be a healing technique with origins in Japanese and Buddhist practices and traditions, brought to the West and adapted to Western sensibilities, it is really at heart a spiritual practice aimed at the transformation of the self and the elimination of all sense of separation between the Self and others. 

It is from a Divine state of union that all healing transpires.

This is the second practice I do when I go down to the river to meditate and it follows Lovingkindness, which I described in the preceding blog entry. There was a time, over a decade ago, that I recited these religiously over the the course of a year or so, until I embodied them.

What I share with you here is my in…

The Rivers Calls: LovingKindness, Practice One

Nearly twelve years ago I started this blog after a visit to the Potomac River, which is about a mile from my home. I had not planned on writing, I just came home and did so, following an inner prompting.

For years I came down to the river regularly. One year, it was almost a daily occurrence, and I sat on a bench during all seasons to do some meditative practices which evolved over time and transformed me in the process. 

Recently, I received a message which I perceived intuitively.

"Go back to the river. And take up these three practices once again. You need them!"
And so, I listened. Over the course of the next few entries, I will share these easy practices with you. They are simple practices, but powerful ones.

As I mentioned in my last entry, the purpose of spiritual practices and prayers is to transform ourselves, not others. Although others may change as a result of our own evolution as a spiritual being, that is not the focus here. It is about doing the inner work that is n…

Offer Blessings to Everyone

"Offer blessings to everyone: To those who are good, and to those who aren't." ~
It has been almost a year since I last made a blog entry. I needed to take this year for self-reflection. deep listening, and to engage more deliberately in my spiritual practices. It has been a year of a great spiritual pilgrimage and the loss and passing of beloved friends, but more on that later...

To offer blessings to and for another, is one of the most powerful and transformational spiritual practices I know. That is not to say that it is easy.

Recently, I was consumed thinking about a relationship in which some hurtful things were done and said on both sides of the equation. As I walked, my guides simply spoke to me on an intuitive level: 

"Offer blessings.Yes.  Bless this person.  Just bless him or her. Let go, and think of something else."
Humm I thought. Easier said than done!

But as I was only halfway into my walk, and I did not want to spend the other half dwel…

Silence is a Superpower

Silence is a superpower.

I bet you never knew that!

Neither did I, actually.

I was just talking to my dear friend Lisa recently, and we discussed our different strengths. Sometimes we don't really see ours - or at least, they may not be immediately visible to ourselves or to others.

My friend and I spoke about how some people come into the world to make a splash, but others affect the world more quietly. Some come in to anchor energy, and by their quiet, and unnoticed contributions, they still manage to make a big difference.

Some of us shift energy quietly and gently.

Some of us teach. And others listen and learn. But the truth is, we all do this at various times throughout our lives. We are teachers and students to one another over and over again.

Some of us are here to be activists. Some of us hold space for others. And a rare few can serve both roles just as skillfully.

Lisa described all of these abilities as superpowers that we have and can deploy as needed. 

And then she reminded me…

Through Different Lenses

"We do not see the world as it is,  we see it as we are."
This sacred insight, or something similar to it, has been attributed to several sources, including the Talmud. I cannot verify its origins offhand without delving into some research. But it's source is not pertinent - the essence and reality of its message, is.

Earlier this week, I reflected on a recent conversation I had had, during my walk. It was evident that my friend and I saw a series of events quite differently. I asked my Guides on the Other Side to help enlighten me. How was it possible that I could be so wrong?

In the quiet stillness of an early morning, the answer came, gently, but clearly...

"We do not see the world as it is, we see it as we are."
Yes. True. I knew that. But there must be more to it all...

Then the Thoughts and Words continued...

"We see through different glasses..."
How so?

"Think of your eyesight and how it has changed over the years. Remember how you felt every time yo…

Trust More! Fret Less!

Trust more! Fret Less!
This is the message I received today.

Have you ever noticed how the things you worry about the most are almost always, things that never happen?

We know as the result of many studies and stories, that setting an intention for our day, a meeting, an outcome, often affects the end result in a positive way.

If this is so, what would it be like if we intended, or imagined more positive outcomes than negative ones? The world and our lives would be vastly different!

I had scheduled a pick up today of donations that mostly consisted of electronic equipment. Thunderstorms had been predicted for later in the day.

I got up early, put my stuff out, and rather than worry, I gave intent that all would work out. Then, I went out to run errands and go to the grocery store.

When I came back, everything had been picked up! It was sunny and warm! Shortly after returning home, workers came by to do maintenance on the fire hydrant. Soon it was spewing water out all over the place. The truc…