Christ is Risen!
Death and darkness no longer have power
over us—but we must make a choice—shall we
remain dead and in darkness, or shall we choose life?
In Christ, a new humanity, new creation, new life is
revealed. Do we believe in this power of God? Do we have
faith in this world God is loving into new life? Then it is time to stop living as if we are dead, and start living in the power of God’s love.
Dare to imagine a new creation!
To Ilia Delio and other Leaders of Christogenesis
Interfaith, the root cause of inequities, and living in the power of God.
This morning on the internet I came across your sweet easter e- mail message. I feel there are many actions both in terms of faith and politics to confront gross inequities and global warming issues. However I feel that new tactics toward raising spiritual awareness of God’s Love Within is paramount. I will as briefly as possible discuss both the nature of the problem…and imo. and their basic solution.
Consider America’s, and the world’s history regarding religion. People coming to America were vastly Christian, believers, people of “faith”. Yet there wwere not only inequities there was essentially genocide from these “faithful believers” hands, followed by slavery, and “neo” post civil war slavery. Inequities and violence have continued into present day American affairs for not only people of color but people of different cultures and sex, and sexual preferences. Those inequities being brought on largely, or ignored, by vast numbers of “people of faith”. Why? Why have religious institutions so greatly failed?
I feel those questions are essential to be discussed if there is to be real headway in resolving today’s issues of inequities and violence. There are many answers to those questions. Yet there is in my view, certain more pertinent answers. Certainly there were, and are “conflicting” beliefs, attitudes…prejudices. White supremacy, capitalism, Egoism and greed rank high.
Yet underlying that…there is the core…where people have not found the Love of God…the Guidance of that Love….From Within. Religious institutions have paid little regard toward developing both perspectives and practices that foster that “Knowing”. Instead they have emphasized following written directives from the “good book”…the commandments, instructions….from history. Yet following such history is difficult if one does not know and feel how those directives are in direct and current relationship with the creators Love Within…NOW. Perspectives and practices that facilitate that knowing have been rare. This is in part, most likely, because seminaries essentially teach religious/biblical history, and religious institutional dogma…and politics, often ignoring how the core of religion…spirituality…can be everywhere and is evolutionary.
However, that spiritual evolution is evident in these times…through both need, worldwide people movements….and social media communications. Here and there, there are people considering and acting on the following:
At the core of this spiritual evolution are perspectives and practices whereby individuals can take on the journey of being a spiritual artist of one’s life…with Creator…God by any name…at their side.
Necessary Perspectives for such a journey:
1.God/Creator/Universal Consciousness…or by any other name the same. Creator essence is completely and unconditionally…. Loving/Creative Mind….that exists everywhere…in all matter, space, and form. To consider otherwise is to allow gaps and deviations of Love and it’s continuous availability.
2. Asking for such Love and guidance (and guidance for truly loving reasons)
Where will I find Love’s delight today?
3. The willingness to explore and follow intuitive guidance and learn its various forms ( which can be coincidence, synchronicity, meaningful moments, gut feeling etc.)
4. A sustained practice toward knowing and feeling…Love Within.
5. Daily practices of gratitude for all the various incidences of Creators Love, creativity and beauty.
6. Mindfulness during the day where one recognizes with a clear eye…where one is “not” in touch…without guilt..but with desire to be back in Love’s truth.
7. People/Projects that move this Love Within…Outward to others AND ALL Life/Creation.
One example of a simple meditation on Love Within:
A Love Memory Meditation
1. Access Love Memory…Everyone has had a loving experience of some type. I might have been the love one felt with one’s first pet, the sweet smell of a puppys breath or them licking one’s face. Or the birth of one’s child…or witness the birth of an animal. The first blooms of spring. Being held and holding someone or something dear. Hold ing hands…or just listening carefully to a close friend. We all have such a memory.
Now relax body and mind into this memory. Close your eyes.
Begin to sense how that memory feels. In gradual succession…feel the feelings of that memory in your heart, then your stomach, hands, feet, even outside and around your body, in your room…and beyond.
2. Breathe Love In, Breathe Love Out…For at least a minute or two…or longer. Let any thoughts drop away. Just feel the love underlying this memory.
3. Notice now that this “Loving Feeling Within” is no longer about a memory. It is now a very present experience. Ask to deepen this feeling and knowing of love within more.
4. Now send this love to others, life. First loved ones. Then friends. Then acquaintances, people on the street, down the block that you do not even know…all colors, all cultures, all sex and sex oritntations. Notice by “giving” love…you feel love within even deeper.
5. Affirm: “I see and feel myself Loving Creators Love Within, I see and feel myself loving Creators Love Within…outward. (eyes open or alternating with eyes closed) (sitting or standing or moving as one feels)
6. Give gratitude for the entirety and direction of this experience.
7. Make a statement of affirmation on WHAT YOU ARE…as…” I am God’s Love, God’s Love is within all that I am.” Or…”I am becoming increasingly aware of God’s Love Within”.
There are other practices that could be mentioned.
The religious institution can take steps towards people learning such practices. It will be found that if instruction is in the form of small groups rather than the usual institutional rector/priest top down oratory they will actually participate in the learning process. People sharing will naturally bring more information forward and move toward confirming…Love Within.
Note: An interesting group experience around such meditations and discussions is to first note there will be a meditation and discussion on love…and that everything discussed will be agreed not to leave this room unless agreed to by any parties concerned. Then have everyone sit, do a quieting meditation, and then read a short loving quotation of some sort. Then, ask them while in meditation…to explore what that meant to them 3-6 minutes. Then have them open eyes and find a partner they do not know. They pick an A and B. The first will describe what came up for them. Partners ONLY LISTEN…no feedback, words, gestures of any kind. Just thank when complete (5-10 minutes) and be quiet till bell rings for second person to talk of their experience/thoughts. Last have people form a large circle and have them bring forward any thoughts/learnings/ideas in an overall discussion (facilitator notes keeping persons remarks reasonably short). Gratitude for all…at conclusion.
Lastly (hoping you have read/considered this far) I will offer something I feel is helpful to all the LGBT dilemmas. Consider that these matters concern less about “sex”, physical or otherwise…than masculine and feminine qualities…such as depicted below:
Assemble and communicate/ Specialize
Each of these qualities exist WITHIN EACH SEX to varying degrees.
Consider that in one’s life’s journey…these qualities are to be honed, refined, balanced in such a way that one will offer, from one’s soul, certain gifts to this world. Sex or sexual orientation does not necessarily play a part. However, spiritual perspectives on the nature of God, Creators Love Within, and whether one has found and is moved by God’s Love Within…will likely play a major role in these masculine and feminine characteristics…and the gift they help bring about.
I hope I have given some possibilities that you and others will explore. Meanwhile I know and appreciate the movements of gifts you already are moving upon.
Sincerely, jim foreman
thank you so much for this wonderful response Jim….I, too, feel an optimism, excitement, and hope, even in the face of the times in which we are living…..so many wonderful spiritual teachers across all traditions, so much to explore….The Divine Mystery is ALL in ALL….and we are all still evolving….
Wow! Inspirational material that will bear reflection through Pentecost and beyond. Thank you. God and Ilia must be feeding your heart.