Welcome to the April 2018 Cosmic Weather Forecast! Warm greetings from your co-Editors, Curtis Lang and Jane Sherry, here in South Florida. This week we celebrate the Festival of Wesak, commemorating the birth, enlightenment and death of Taurean Gautama Buddha, at the time of the Taurus Solar Festival and the Scorpio Full Moon.
This month's Full Moon Festival falls on April 29, at 8:58 PM Eastern daylight time, with the moon at 9°39’ Scorpio, while the Sun appears at 9°39’ Taurus.
The Scorpio Full Moon is also known as the Pink Moon, because in the Northern hemisphere pink ground phlox flowers dot the landscape, offering welcome spring relief from winter's minimalist monotone color palette.
Here in South Florida we are having sunny days with intermittent showers, cooler nights, and a glorious soft silvered cerulean blue sky that serves as a sunrise/sunset backdrop for an endless parade of amazing giant luminous puffy pastel colored clouds in flamboyant pink, gold, yellow and pale pale white.
Jane's garden is flowering -- In one small spot by the pool, white Confederate jasmine climb the trellis, pink roses open big as a baby's fist, and orange, yellow and pendulous red lobster claw heliconia blossoms increase in size day by day, surprising us with their blazing tropical energy signature. We are still gathering lots of fresh greens for our table, but the end of the growing season for us is near.
We are loving this spring moment in South Florida, aware that in only a few weeks, hurricane season begins. In our neighborhood, and those around us, Florida Power & Light has dispatched a fleet of trucks to mow down blocks and blocks and blocks of live oak trees that line the streets, and back onto the many lakes and canals behind the houses in our area. The combination of joy, gratitude, angst and nagging fear we are grappling with seems to us to be so typical of life on planet Earth in this time of global climate change.
This Full Moon festival we will all experience countercurrents of energy that will confront us, uplift us, strengthen us, empower us, and challenge us to overcome our deepest fears and self-doubts as we are called upon to be our best selves and to experience the healing that comes with surrender to the Divine Presence within us, that same Presence that lives throughout the Universe.
The Full Moon in Scorpio is sextile newly retrograde Saturn in Capricorn and Trine Neptune in Pisces, which is an excellent combination for a global spiritual festival because the Saturn aspect will provide emotional stability and a sense of being grounded while the Neptune aspect expands our desire to experience transcendental states of consciousness and to connect with the energy that originally manifested our Universe, the Source of our existence.
Mars has been conjunct Pluto and Saturn in Capricorn, and all three are more or less square Uranus in the waning degrees of Aries, re-activating the combustible and conflicted energy of the Uranus Pluto squares we have endured since 2008 -- in spades.
Uranus, pictured here, courtesy of NASA and the Keck Observatory, has an axis of rotation that tilts nearly horizontally, so its poles are where Earth's equator resides, and its rings appear vertical. This is the opposite of other ringed planets in our Solar System. The severely tilted axis of rotation creates extremely long Uranian seasons lasting nearly 21 years each. Now that's the signature of a planetary revolutionary!
Issues of war and peace, civil strife, corporate irresponsibility, fragile economic and financial systems and environmental destruction triggered by our global hydrocarbon fueled culture of mass consumption will once again be uppermost on the minds of many around the world during this spiritual festival week.
The Mars-Pluto conjunction can accentuate the tendency to blame oneself for conditions that are ultimately beyond the individual's control, so the challenge this Full moon week is to remain open to the flood of information about fragile and failing social and political systems around the world while staying balanced and grounded.
Jupiter in Scorpio sextile the Mars-Pluto conjunction amplifies the desire to achieve self-realization, and triggers a superabundance of physical, emotional and mental energy that can be directed toward that end. This type of configuration also indicates supportive energy for all kinds of strenuous physical activity.
The Mars-Pluto conjunction also enhances will forces, and gives us the impulse to explore the depths and heights of reality. Normally inaccessible regions of human consciousness open to the strong will forces triggered at this time.
With the Cosmic Weather patterns providing increased strength and enhanced desire for self-realization, we find ourselves with a strong will to use the magic of our our highly focused intent and the power of our loving wisdom to access hard-won visions and insights that can illuminate the way forward in a highly conflicted situation.
This is very auspicious for the Wesak Full Moon celebration of Taurus Sun Gautama Buddha's birth, enlightenment, and death, a global spiritual festival that unites people of many religions and Mystery School traditions every spring.
The Sabian Symbol for this Full Moon in Scorpio is A Fellowship Supper Reunites Old Comrades. Wesak is the time when Ascended Master Guides and Teachers and their disciples inhabiting the Earth join together to ground the energy of spiritual enlightenment, in its proper modulation and frequency, so that all involved can become conscious of humanity's evolving spiritual priorities for the upcoming year. During the Wesak festival, those in meditation around the world also receive a download of energy communicating detailed, individualized guidance.
We are blessed with an auspicious Wesak Full Moon in 2018 to celebrate our global community of spiritual seekers, Guides and Teachers and all people of good will! Jane and I send heartfelt thanks to all of you for being part of our spiritual community at Satya Center! We send you love and light!
The Sabian Symbol for this year's Taurus Solar Festival, and for Wesak, Buddha's birthday, is also extremely auspicious -- A Red Cross Nurse. All of us who open our hearts to be of service in the world will identify with the energy of this year's Solar Festival, especially the healers, Lightworkers, Reiki practitioners, and crystal healers among us.
Let us celebrate this Wesak Festival together, and rejoice in the gifts we have been given, especially the Teachers and teachings that have helped empower us to be of maximum service in the world in a community that values love and wisdom as the highest goals we can achieve in our lives on Earth.
The Global Festival of Wesak: Buddha's Birthday and the Yearly Unveiling of the Path of Spirit
In the East, Wesak is a yearly Festival commemorating the birth of Gautama Buddha, his spiritual enlightenment, and his transcendent journey beyond the manifested universe.
On Wesak, millions of Buddhists in thousands of temples across the world from Tokyo in the East to San Francisco in the West gather and pay homage to an Indian Prince who renounced the pleasures of his royal household to seek enlightenment for the purpose of ending human suffering, and to bring peace and happiness to mankind.
Those who practice a more individualized approach to spirituality, especially in the West, celebrate this auspicious day by participating in a global group meditation that connects each participant to the entire lineage of Eastern and Western Mystery Schools, and especially to the Christ and Gautama Buddha, whose joint participation emphasizes the continuity and the universal nature of Earth's spiritual community that is being celebrated this spring Full Moon.
In the spiritual world, there is a Hierarchy of Ascended Master Guides and Teachers whose elevated consciousness constitutes a kind of collective hive-mind dedicated to the enlightenment of human beings and the acceleration of humanity’s spiritual evolution.
This Hierarchy honors all the various Wisdom Schools of the East and the West, and recognizes the validity of all true religious teachings of every lineage.
For those who have become conscious of their Guides and Teachers, the Enlightened Ones send a continuous energetic stream of intellectual inspiration, loving wisdom, compassion and will forces designed to strengthen the spiritual seeker, guide them toward golden opportunities to be of maximum service in the world, and unite them with like-minded souls from various walks of life with whom they can share the life of Spirit in a more conscious way.
Ascended Master Teachers seek to help the individual find and affiliate with a sympathetic group of spiritual aspirants, so that the individual may enjoy the enhanced energy levels available in group spiritual practice.
The Ascended Master Teachers also seek to join the individual with spiritual teachers appropriate to each individual’s soul development, personality, cultural conditioning and karmic needs.
Finally, the Ascended Master Teachers seek to embrace the individual in the New Group of World Servers comprising all those spiritual aspirants worldwide from every lineage and religion who share a common vision of humanity’s essential Unity and of the essential Truth of Unity.
Much of the work that the New Group of World Servers must accomplish in this New Age is to bring the activities of human beings into harmony with the myriad beings of the mineral, plant and animal realms on planet Earth, restoring a balance to the environment and preserving the lives of countless species during this period of global climate change and transition.
The New Group of World Servers strive to elevate human consciousness so that we will all recognize the existence of the many devas, elemental spirits and nature spirits active in the realms of nature, whose work equilibrates and optimizes the growth of all sentient beings on this garden planet.
Over the last hundred years, countless meditators, lightworkers, spiritual seekers and aspirants have told stories of dreams and meditative visions they have experienced on the Full Moon of May.
Over time, their stories have coalesced into a larger collective Story of Wesak, which has its foundation in the initial writings of the Theosophist and medium Alice Bailey.
During the Wesak Full Moon a gathering of incarnate and discarnate disciples, Guides and Teachers from every corner of the Earth gather in a valley high in the Himalayas for a yearly Festival in which the Christ and Buddha appear to bless the assembled gathering and all the faithful throughout the world.
On this High Holy Festival of Wesak we celebrate the secret Unity that underlies the apparent duality of the Wisdom Teachings of East and West.
That ineluctable truth, that secret Unity is expressed in the Sanskrit word Satya, and that expressed mystery is the foundation and guiding star for Satya Center. We thank you again for being part of our work.
Teachings of Mystery Schools East and West: Escaping the Ego Illusion
We are born into the Garden of Eden, a metaphor for the state of innocence and freedom that is our birthright. After nine months in our mother's womb, connected by an umbilical cord to her, we are born interdependent, and we will always live an interdependent existence. Nowhere in our conception, birth, or life is there to be found a permanent, separate self, isolated from the rest of creation and capable of nurturing itself alone.
In this we are greatly blessed, for we are truly children of the Divine Father/Mother Source and we inherit the Divine qualities of our Heavenly Father and Natural Mother. The Divine Source manifests in an interdependent web of life, and we are a small part of that immense creative manifestation of loving consciousness.
Divided Self, painting by Jane Sherry
But as we grow up, we lose our Unity consciousness, our childhood innocence. We begin to differentiate between Self and Other. We subdivide our own identity, as we become aware of social roles we inhabit as child, brother or sister, son or daughter, rich or poor, and so forth. We begin to be aware of our bodies, and of particular parts of our bodies, which can seem to take on a life of their own. Our hair. Our hands, our feet. They grow without our willing it and we are slowly transformed.
We begin to see ourselves as different from others. We focus on our own desires, our own preferences, and we come to identify those desires and preferences as our own intrinsic nature. We create our own ego out of our habitual tendencies and our habitual ways of reacting to the ups and downs of life. We defend our tendencies, desires and preferences as being the best in a Universe of possibilities, uniquely ours and uniquely valuable. In this way, the worship of the egoistic self is born.
We learn to worship our egoistic personalities, and eventually to assume that the ego is the center of the universe and the sum total of our true nature. We exile ourselves from that blissful Garden of Eden which is our birthright.
In our everyday lives, we normally act as though we are isolated, alone, separate from one another and from nature, alienated from the world around us. This everyday consciousness is very destructive, engenders fear, and denies love. This is the consciousness that is destroying the equilibrium of the Earth's ecosystems. This everyday consciousness we call the illusory self, the egoistic self, or the ego.
Gautama Buddha explored the illusory nature of the egoistic self 2400 years ago and achieved liberation. Buddha found the way back into the Garden of Eden.
Buddha's explorations of the nature of the self were an extension of the traditional Hindu practices of jnana yoga, the yoga of understanding and knowledge.
By understanding what the self is, and especially, what the Self is not, practitioners of jnana yoga seek to obtain liberation from the illusion of the separate self and attain Self-realization.
To understand the true nature of the Self, Buddha determined to seek the origin of the separate self in the physical, emotional and mental realms.
As we all know, the body reconstitutes itself continuously. Our cells die and new cells take their place. We are literally not the same person today we were last month or last year. Buddha meditated upon this fact of life.
Thich Nhat Hanh in his brilliant biography of the Buddha, Old Path White Clouds explains that, "Beneath the pippala tree, the hermit Gautama focused all of his formidable powers of concentration to look deeply at his body. He saw that each cell of his body was like a drop of water in an endlessly flowing river of birth, existence and death, and he could not find anything in the body that remained unchanged or that could be said to contain a separate self. Intermingled with the river of his body was the river of his feelings, in which every feeling was a drop of water. These drops also jostled with one another in a process of birth, existence and death. Some feelings were pleasant, some unpleasant, and some neutral, but all of his feelings were impermanent: they appeared and disappeared just like the cells of his body."
Buddha discovered that nowhere in his emotions did anything remain unchanged, and there was nothing that could be said to contain a separate self.
Divided Self Made Whole, drawing by Jane Sherry
Buddha examined his thoughts and found that although both positive and negative mental states appeared and disappeared like leaves in the wind, none of these mental states persist over time, none are permanent, and nothing within the mind could be discovered that constitutes a separate self.
In his meditations, Buddha also discovered that although mental states such as fear, anger, greed, hatred, jealousy, and ignorance are the sources of our suffering, the mind is incapable of penetrating to the heart of reality and removing these sources of suffering.
"Mindful awareness blazed in him like a bright sun, and he used that sun of awareness to illuminate the nature of all these negative mental states," Thich Nhat Hahn recounts.
When mindful awareness blazed in the Buddha like a bright sun, Buddha achieved enlightenment.
Buddha had used a certain aspect of his egoistic mind to transcend the ego altogether. We can call this aspect the "watcher" and it is the source of mindful awareness. Mindfulness is a keystone of Buddhist practice, and of ancient Hindu wisdom.
The Bhagavad Gita discusses the "watcher" in great detail. The Bhagavad Gita is an ancient Hindu poem and the most prominent sacred text in the Hindu tradition. Thousands of years old, the Gita recounts a series of battles between two opposing groups of royal relatives in India, warring over control of a precious kingdom.
The central character is a Prince named Arjuna, who is very ambivalent about taking part in the battle. Although he is a peerless warrior of great renown, Arjuna does not want to fight his relatives, and he asks his mentor, Krishna, the avatar of Vishnu, sustainer of the Universe, for advice.
The entire poem is a metaphor of course. Arjuna is the typical human being. The battle is being waged within his person, which is the precious kingdom. The opposing forces are the warriors under control of the King of the Mind, who represents the illusory self, the egocentric personality, and the warriors under the command of the Divine Presence within us. These virtuous Princes are allied directly with Krishna.
Krishna advises Arjuna to take part in the battle, and of course, Arjuna, Krishna and the forces of the Divine Presence ultimately emerge victorious.
Sanjay narrating the story of the Bhagavad Gita to the King of the Mind, Dhritarashtra
The poem is told as a report to the King of the Mind, given by one of the Ego Mind's servants, named Sanjay, who is known as the watcher. Sanjay is totally objective, and he can always be counted on to give an accurate report of anything that happens.
Sanjay, the watcher, is that aspect of our mind that is detached, that observes. He is the highest manifestation of the mind, consciousness characterized by purity and clarity, which is the source of human discernment.
When we can merely observe ourselves in the act of breathing, in meditation, Sanjay the watcher comes to the forefront. This is why many meditation practices focus on simply observing the breath and banishing other thoughts. Observing what happens in the body. Observing our emotions.
Because the more we identify with Sanjay, with pure consciousness, with the watcher within, the more we can detach from our own ego, our own karma, our own mental attachments, sense attachments, and negative emotions.
We can utilize this tool of the mind to achieve liberation if we have an extremely highly developed watcher within. Attaining this state of consciousness requires patient and persistent dedication and a state of highly advanced purity and clarity of mind, heart and body, and is very difficult for most people, but it is at the heart of yogic and Buddhist practice. Buddha demonstrated very clearly that this path, the path originally called jnana yoga in the Hindu tradition, is one clear path to total liberation of the mind.
Upon achieving liberation through mindful observance as brilliant as the noonday sun, according to Thich Nhat Hanh, "[Buddha realized] People were caught in endless suffering because of their erroneous perceptions: they believed that which is impermanent is permanent, that which is without self contains self, that which has no birth and death has birth and death, and they divided that which is inseparable into parts," explains Thich Nhat Hahn. "He saw that they all arose due to ignorance."
Our egoistic illusions that we are separate from the rest of the world, in conflict with our environment and all those living within it, and alienated from the subtle energies of the world of spirit can all be overcome through spiritual practice.
The mindfulness of Buddha, the love of Christ, the patient clarity of Sanjay and the will of Arjuna must all be employed to achieve union with the Divine Presence that lives within us, and to insure subordination of the egoistic self to the will of the Divine Presence. When this is achieved the mind rests securely in its rightful role as watcher, and we learn to practice effortless, consistent discernment in all situations.
When we have won that spiritual war within ourselves, we will become fonts of love, and we will have so much love to share that we will attract love from all quarters of the world and even from subtle spiritual sources of love beyond our present comprehension.
Knowing what the Buddha knew, what Christ knew, and what Arjuna knew, understanding that the egoistic, separate self is an illusion, you know that although you may be beset with personal failings such as lust, anger, jealousy, fear, greed, envy, and doubt, these qualities are not representative of your true nature.
Your true nature is a mirror image of Divine nature. Your true nature is a mirror of Christ's love, Buddha's diamond mind, and Arjuna's spiritual courage.
Give yourself permission to love yourself first. This is not selfish, egotistical or easy. Self-love is not a part of mainstream culture. Live free from self condemnation. Live free from self doubt.
See God in your own eyes. Remember that you are a child of God, of the Divine Father-Mother Source. Be grateful for who you are. Cultivate attitudes of love and gratitude and choose again and again to surrender to the Divine plan for your life.
Through meditation seek unity with the Higher Self, with Christ, Krishna, or Buddha Mind. Call upon your Spiritual Guides, teachers, angels, and other allies in the higher realms to assist you in your practice.
Five Minute Meditations
Begin by choosing one of the Divine qualities for which you have a special affinity or attraction. Some of these qualities are love, faith, patience, light, beauty, omniscience, happiness, joy, abundance, bliss, and peace.
If you have previous experience with a spiritual discipline or religion, or personal knowledge of higher worlds, call upon the spiritual guides, teachers, divinities, or angels you most admire to join you in this celebration of the Divine.
If not, simply equate the Divine with the great Field of quantum particles that vivifies, sustains, and underlies all of creation, and ask the Universe to be your Guide.
Now, pick one of the sample meditations given to you below. Read one to yourself while sitting quietly.
Kwan Yin Altar, photo by Jane Sherry
If you have a favorite relaxation CD that is just music, without any words, you can listen to that CD while you meditate. So go ahead and put it on your CD player and turn it on. If you like, light a candle or a lamp, place some flowers or food offerings on your altar, light some incense or use some essential oils as a special offering to the Divine Presence within you -- and present throughout the Universe.
Now, get into a comfortable meditative posture. You can lie flat on your bed if you like, but be sure to keep your spine straight, to optimize the flow of energy throughout your body. So don't use a pillow, just lie back on the bed.
If it's comfortable for you, sit cross-legged or in a half-lotus position with one foot up on the opposite thigh, and the other leg tucked underneath. Keep your spine straight and sit erect, to facilitate the flow of energy up and down the spine. Let your hands rest relaxed and open, palms up, upon your knees.
Close your eyes, and begin to breathe slowly and rhythmically from the solar plexus. Breathe in to a count of five, and exhale to a count of seven. Continue to breathe slowly and deeply in this same way.
Concentrate on the Divine quality you have chosen for today's meditation, one of the qualities in the sample meditations below, or a quality of your own choosing.
Continue to breathe slowly and deeply for five minutes while you concentrate on the many manifestations of this Divine quality you have encountered in your life. Contemplate the times when you or a loved one or friend has demonstrated this same Divine quality.
Experience the warm feelings that accompany these memories deeply and completely. Then affirm that you possess that same Divine quality in abundance, here and now!
Affirm that you manifest that quality in your daily life and experience it all around you, here and now! Always end your meditation with a period of heartfelt gratitude for Unity with the Divine.
The following day, pick a different quality and perform the same five minute meditation. Do this for a week, picking different qualities each day. If you feel an affinity for this practice, repeat the next week and the next, until you feel joy within and the urge to celebrate the beauty and Love present within all creation.
You are now on your pathway to Self-love.
Here are some sample meditations. You can just read each one silently to yourself once you've prepared for meditation practice. Then just sit and meditate. Observe thoughts and feelings and physical sensations that arise, and if you feel yourself swept away in a tangle of irrelevant thoughts, gently direct your consciousness back to this observation of Self.
The Divine is Love. Love is Divine.
Love is Unity overcoming the illusion of separation.
I am Divine Love in Unity with all that exists in heaven and on Earth.
My existence depends upon the sun, the rain, the air I breathe, the earthworms that turn the soil into nutrient-rich food for the plants and animals I eat to survive.
My life depends upon the complex web of nature, and upon the myriad of human beings who created the culture I have inherited, my family, my Mother and Father.
Big Sky, digital painting by Jane Sherry
My body re-creates itself every couple of months completely out of the elements in the world around me, and the energy that streams in upon me from the sun and stars on high.
I am inseparable from my surroundings, from the people around me, from my ancestors, from the world of spirit, and from the natural world.
I am never alone. I am always loved.
My work on Earth is to learn to give and receive love, unconditionally, unimpeded by anything. My nature is to give and receive love.
As I work to uncover my own true, Divine nature, I find it easier and easier to share love and affection with others in my life.
As I share more love with others, I find that I receive more and more love and affection from others.
This is a fact of life and a feat of Love.
[Now meditate, and reflect on specific times when love filled your heart. Recall specific places you and your loved ones visited or lived in -- places which you cherish the most. Remember the gifts you gave one another and the way it feels when someone understands you in a way that almost no one can really understand.]
The Divine is Light. Light is Divine.
The Universal Life Force that sustains me is composed of Light.
Light is the basic building block of the material Universe, according to quantum physicists, who posit a Zero Point Field connecting both seen and unseen realms. Some scientists find that our cells and DNA communicate and structure the growth of our bodies through propagation of electro-magnetic waves, not by chemical reactions or through genetic blueprints. Life is a field phenomenon, and the field is composed of many different frequencies of electromagnetic waves, such as light.
Hermes with an armillary sphere in Michael Maier, Symbola Aureae
Universal Life Force energy, chi or prana is composed of electromagnetic energy, a living intelligent light that the ancient alchemist Hermes Trismegistus called the strength of all strengths, the alchemist's stone, Divine Mercury.
This living light is Divine Love, and is equivalent to the Holy Spirit, which is God's aura. God's aura is loving wisdom, and loving wisdom infuses all that exists in the universe, including sentient and non-sentient beings, all of nature, even human beings.
I am the child of this universal loving wisdom, and this universal loving wisdom is the prana, the chi, that fills my aura and courses through my body.
The Universal Life Force energy is the same energy that filled the Apostles of Jesus Christ on Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon them as a white dove. This Universal Life Force energy is the energy in the sacred syllable "AUM", which forms the foundation for universal creation.
I am living within the field created by this intelligent, loving Divine Spirit and this energy connects me with all that is.
I am never alone.
I am always loved.
I am always connected to the ultimate source of Divine Wisdom.
Loving wisdom is my true nature, and the true nature of the Universe manifests as loving wisdom incarnate.
Reflect upon the thousands of years that energy healers, shamans, priests and priestesses, yogis and spiritual scientists around the world, on every continent, have utilized Universal Life force energy to heal the sick, access a source of wisdom far beyond their own rational understanding, communicate with the dead and with spiritual beings in higher worlds, create inspirational artwork, establish great religions, and enter into communion with the Divine. Reflect upon specific times in your own life when you have met such inspirational individuals and remember how you felt in their presence. Reflect upon times in your own life when you felt a superabundance of life force energy fill your being, enabling you to achieve athletic excellence, attain exceptional mental insights, or to tap into inner wisdom that helped to heal a sick person or animal, or to achieve your spiritual goals.
The Divine is Forgiveness. Forgiveness is Divine.
Love is for giving.
Buddha says that all sins, all vices, stem ultimately from ignorance. Ignorance can be forgiven, must be forgiven, so we can evolve to higher states of consciousness and clarity, so our emotional wounds, mental misconceptions and karma can be cleared.
Forgiveness is not a prize to be attained, or a great gift to be presented to someone we love (or hate). Forgiveness is the natural reaction of the awakened mind to pain and suffering caused by oneself or others.
I forgive myself and my loved ones, my friends and my enemies, the lovers in my past who disappointed me, my parents, my children, my brothers and sisters, because forgiveness is my true nature. I forgive myself and these others.
Forgiveness is my key to spiritual freedom.
By allowing my Divine nature to exhibit forgiveness I release myself from the negative emotions, negative patterns of behavior, and negative thoughts that have created an illusion of separation between myself and others.
I realize that the conflicts I have had with others, the failed relationships, and the pain and suffering, all stem from ignorance of my own Divine nature and the Divine nature of others.
I realize that my disappointments in love stem from imperfections in myself and others, and in my own inability to see negative behavior patterns and conflicts for what they are -- the extension of bad habits ingrained in the ego from past traumas, misunderstandings, and other mistakes rooted in ignorance.
I freely forgive all these mistakes and misunderstandings. I now extend my love freely to all those currently in my life, and to all those who have passed through my life in the past.
Christ Carrying the Cross, by Jan van Hemessen, courtesy Wikimedia Commons, public domain photo
Reflect upon the suffering of Jesus Christ, the difficult spiritual struggles of the Buddha, the austerities and sacrifices of Wisdom keepers of the East and West throughout the ages.
Imagine how these individuals felt when confronted with enemies who wished them harm, because at those crucial moments these higher beings practiced non-violence and forgiveness, and extended love to their enemies.
If these great beings could forgive those who wished them great harm, cannot you or I forgive those with whom we have shared great love, and yet through our mutual ignorance, harmed one another? Reflect upon a loved one with whom you have or had a problematic relationship. Recall specific moments, times and places, where you shared loving experiences that created a bond between you.
Think upon how beautiful it would be to put aside the burden of anger, recrimination and mental calculation that creates a separation between you now. Allow yourself for one minute to picture the two of you sharing a happy, loving moment free from the burden of the past. Feel the release of tension and allow yourself to freely give the love you have been witholding from this loved one.
Love is for giving. In forgiving another we take the first steps to forgiving ourselves. By forgiving ourselves we open the door to Divine love.
The Divine is Beauty. Beauty is Divine.
I affirm that as I am a creator of beauty, I am one with the Divine Mother.
I resonate with the harmonious energy of the Holy Spirit, which creates and sustains this body and this Universe. I recognize that I am one with the beauty manifest in creation, and that as a co-creator of this beauty, I am increasingly in touch with Divine love.
Blue Lake Girl with Streaming Sun, digital photograph by Jane Sherry
As I create beautiful forms and share them with others, I sense the Divine beauty and love within them, and I enjoy feeding the Divine within them with the beauty I have created.
Sharing these works of beauty with others brings me into harmony with the Divine Mother, who birthed me and who birthed this beautiful Universe.
The Power of Love
These are only a few of the Divine qualities that comprise your own true nature.
Through your practice of mindful self-love, unite with these Divine qualities in your meditations and in your prayers.
In your daily life recognize these Divine qualities all around you, and express your gratitude for all that you receive as your birthright.
Gratitude and increased mindfulness of the Divine virtues present in the world around you will increase your ability to receive increased illumination, insight, forgiveness, peace, love and light in turn. Gratitude will increase your ability to perceive beauty, forgiveness, light, love, and other Divine qualities.
To love yourself in this way is to take the first step toward transcending the petty mental considerations, congenital emotional defects and limiting viewpoint of the ego personality.
These self-imposed limitations are an illusion to be sure, simply bad habits and left-over patterns of thinking, feeling and being that we have inherited from the collective unconscious, from our historical and cultural milieu, from our bloodline via our genetic heritage, and from our own past misdeeds in this life and in previous lives.
Nevertheless, these illusions, including the ego personality, must be recognized for what they are and left behind on our journey to unconditional love
If you hope to truly love another, or to love and know God, or to achieve enlightenment, you must love yourself first, and surrender your ego personality in favor of the Divine Presence.
This requires the courage of Arjuna, the spiritual warrior. Because the ego fills us with fear, doubt, anger, jealousy, stress, and strife, telling us that the Divine Presence is an illusion, that higher spiritual worlds do not exist, that Spirit itself is just an impersonal energy.
When we begin the work of subordinating the egoistic self to the Divine Presence within, the ego reacts with fear against our spiritual quest. To the ego, which is used to being in charge of our life, to accept the guidance of the Divine Presence is tantamount to death.
We will find that it's difficult to forgive, difficult to begin to follow our own intuition and inner spiritual guidance in the face of "logic". After all, didn't our ex-wife do horrible things to us? Weren't our parents hopelessly egocentric dependent vampires, demanding our time and energy to heal them, while ignoring our own needs and identities? And so forth.
But we must persist in the effort to win the war described in the Bhagavad Gita, the war between the ego and the Divine Presence.
Through the strength of sincere, focused intent and consistent, diligent effort you can transform your defects into virtues, overcome feelings of inadequacy, loneliness and isolation, and fill your cup with that Divine elixir of Love that is the true universal medicine.
There is no recipe for instant satori, for achieving true Self-Love. But for now, simply join us in giving thanks for this beautiful spring Full Moon, and for the community of untold multitudes celebrating the High Holy Festival of Wesak this weekend!
Boca Rainbow Garden, photo by Jane Sherry
Jane and I affirm that you receive the grace and guidance you need this Wesak weekend to orient you on the path of Spirit and to keep you safe in this tumultuous world, constantly connected to Divine Presence within you and throughout the Universe.
Meditation Moment: A List of Praises by Anne Porter
Give praise with psalms that tell the trees to sing,
Give praise with Gospel choirs in storefront churches,
Mad with the joy of the Sabbath,
Give praise with the babble of infants, who wake with the sun,
Give praise with children chanting their skip-rope rhymes,
A poetry not in books, a vagrant mischievous poetry
living wild on the Streets through generations of children.
Give praise with the sound of the milk-train far away
With its mutter of wheels and long-drawn-out sweet whistle
As it speeds through the fields of sleep at three in the morning,
Give praise with the immense and peaceful sigh
Of the wind in the pinewoods,
At night give praise with starry silences.
Give praise with the skirling of seagulls
And the rattle and flap of sails
And gongs of buoys rocked by the sea-swell
Out in the shipping-lanes beyond the harbor.
Give praise with the humpback whales,
Huge in the ocean they sing to one another.
Give praise with the rasp and sizzle of crickets, katydids and cicadas,
Give praise with hum of bees,
Give praise with the little peepers who live near water.
When they fill the marsh with a shimmer of bell-like cries
We know that the winter is over.
Give praise with mockingbirds, day's nightingales.
Hour by hour they sing in the crepe myrtle
And glossy tulip trees
On quiet side streets in southern towns.
Give praise with the rippling speech
Of the eider-duck and her ducklings
As they paddle their way downstream
In the red-gold morning
On Restiguche, their cold river,
Give praise with the whitethroat sparrow.
Far, far from the cities,
Far even from the towns,
With piercing innocence
He sings in the spruce-tree tops,
Always four notes
And four notes only.
Give praise with water,
With storms of rain and thunder
And the small rains that sparkle as they dry,
And the faint floating ocean roar
That fills the seaside villages,
And the clear brooks that travel down the mountains
And with this poem, a leaf on the vast flood,
And with the angels in that other country.