Musings and Reviews of Metaphysical, New Age and Meaningful Writings


Faith Beyond BeliefGuest reviewer Fred Howard is a physician as well as an ordained minister.  He recently authored Transforming Faith: Stories of Change from a Lifelong Spiritual Seeker, a searching personal consideration of the stages of faith development work pioneered by James Fowler and Scott Peck.  As such, he is quite familiar with the stage theory of spiritual growth that Margaret Placentra Johnston delves into so poignantly and beautifully in her work, Faith Beyond Belief.

In Mary Engelbreit’s famous quote, “If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it,” there is the tantalizing suggestion that if we change our way of thinking, then things will change. Margaret Placentra Johnston’s book, Faith Beyond Belief, gives readers a clear, concise framework for the process of spiritual growth and development that can change the way we think about it.

Johnston, a spiritual guide as well as a practicing optometrist, brings the lens of spiritual development theory to bear on her own journey as well as those of ten individuals that took the courageous steps necessary to embrace a more meaningful and fulfilling existence. Her easy, conversational writing style gives us a soul’s eye view of their ten touching and sometimes tragic stories. Being a lay person herself, Johnston brings a focus to the stories in ways that allow most any thoughtful and reflective person to find something of themselves in them. Her theory describes four stages: Lawless, Faithful, Rational, and Post Critical or Mystic.

Other contemporary authors have dared to venture into this topic, most notably Scott Peck in The Different Drum. However, Johnston more effectively communicates the theory by incarnating it in these lives she describes and discusses. Each story is a conversion experience – but not in the sense of a “conversion” as the reader might have been taught to conceptualize it. In the first set of stories, four of her subjects chose to leave the comfortable conformity of the religious institution in which they were raised and move from the Faithful Stage to the Rational stage. In each case they were “good people who left their church behind.” No longer defined by the tenets and dogma of the religion of their upbringing, they are no longer among those that are Faithful – neither to the church nor in their stage of spiritual development. All chose allegiance to the truth as it was emerging in their rational mind. This decision was invariably difficult and painful but, Johnston says, each person “rated living truthfully of higher importance than the convenience and safety of remaining in the religious community.”

In the second set of stories, we learn about six people that continued the process of spiritual development beyond the intellectual integrity of the Rational stage to the more inclusive, universal worldview of the Mystic stage. These are stories of everyday mystics, unremarkable people that see life in remarkable ways – as a mystery, as something to be cherished, as something to be lived in grateful service to others. Each of these individuals exemplifies at least one of the traits of this stage. Each has somehow transcended their indifferent circumstances to lead lives of grace, meaning, and purpose.

Johnston tackles this vital yet difficult subject with commendable tact and respect. Women and men of any faith tradition or no faith tradition at all should be able to find wisdom in these pages. The book resonates as both well-reasoned and intuitively on target as a way for us to make more sense of our spiritual journey. What the author is really talking about is growing up – growing out of the narrow belief systems and creeds that religious communities often use to define themselves and growing into more mature ways of being with others and into ways of better serving our diverse world.

Every once in a while, a book comes along that can change everything we think we can’t change. Change the way we think about the development of our spirit. Change our life. Perhaps in some small way even change the world. For our times, this is that book. Faith Beyond Belief is a gift!

Here, Margaret Placentra Johnston responds to my questions:

FRED: Why did you feel it important to write a book illustrating the spiritual development concept?

MARGARET: Well, Fred, I am going to take that question in two ways. First, why did I choose to illustrate the concept? I thought using real stories about actual people transitioning through the stages would introduce readers to the theory, and let them recognize how much of what goes on in life can be explained by these stages. And I hoped it would inspire people to read some of the deeper texts. Spiritual development takes like an hour to read about, but the better part of a lifetime to understand. I thought the stories would serve as a great introduction.

Secondly, I will respond to why I thought it was important for people to learn about the stages. People are gong through shifts in their beliefs. No longer does the average person grow up in a closed community where just about everyone belongs to the same church and believes the same thing. People who are inclined to begin questioning the dogma they were taught as a child may fear there is something wrong with them, may become isolated. Parents whose children are leaving the fold may worry, or try to bring the person back to church. If people only understood that the questioning (or Rational) stage is a necessary step in spiritual maturity, people going through it would be spared the suffering. Moreover, they could be encouraged instead of held back by more conventional forces.

Also, it is important to understand the spiritual journey, because some claim our whole society in general is going through roughly the same stages that happen at the individual level. The Enlightenment corresponded to the Rational/questioning stage. We are now in maximum chaos because the old values are being put into question, and things can look really scary. Understanding the Post-Critical or Mystic Stage (or what you [Fred Howard] call the Holistic stage) at the individual level gives us a glimpse of what our society is growing into next, in a post-modern age. The stages allow us to face the scary societal changes in full faith that something better is coming next.

FRED: Are you saying religion will die out?

MARGARET: Not at all. I am saying that, as our culture evolves, our understanding of religion must evolve with it, or be rendered irrelevant. People are running into issues of cognitive dissonance when comparing the findings of science against the truth claims of religion – the Book of Genesis, for example. It becomes obvious that a lot of the claims made by our traditional religions cannot be true in a literal sense. Yet, every culture in every part of the world since the beginning of time has sought some way of meeting what turns out to be a universal human need – the desire to connect with something larger than the self.

By comparing one religion against another we begin to glimpse a bigger story – that each individual religion represents the attempt of one culture to meet that need to connect. That final stage of spiritual development brings a person to understand kind of the same perspective: all religions contain truth, but just not in a literal sense. Spiritual development lets us begin to glimpse a much bigger story about spirituality than any given religion teaches. It is time we let that bigger story out of the bag!

Faith Beyond Belief: Stories of Good People Who Left Their Church Behind is available on Amazon.com.

Namaste!
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets, Balance Your Chakras-Balance Your Life, and The Chakra Energy Diet

www.theChakras.org


Guest post by Clara Penner, author of Fifty-Two Weeks of Adventure and Discovery for your Soul, which can help you infuse joy into your life each week for a full year.

clara bannerI know as well as anyone that life happens and that most every person has a story of struggle, fear, loss, & heartache. While these feelings are tough you can find peace in the middle of a storm.

The question for me has always been… “How can I ride the emotional wave?”

We all know that emotions happen and that no matter how far we run or where we hide our emotions join us wherever we are.

I am sure that everyone reading this post can relate to this energy shift in one way or another, our emotions are becoming stronger and the techniques we used to use to hold them at bay are no longer working. Our emotions are becoming louder and more unbearable.Why is this?

The energetic vibration of the world is rising and we are rising with it. We are all vibrational beings, and are constantly sending out signals and this is true even when we are not aware of what signal we are sending out.

You most likely heard the saying like attract like.  That is exactly what energetic vibration is, what vibration we send out we attract back into our lives.  You cannot pick up a frequency that you are not on. If you are listening to 93.1 FM you cannot pick up 108.3 FM, to do that you need to tune into that station.  Your energetic vibration works the same way, if you want to feel more joy for example you need to align to that vibration.  Take a look at this energetic vibration scale:Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 4.18.00 AM

Your energetic vibration can be determined by your emotion.  If you are feeling shame, for example, you will be sending out a very small frequency and tend to attract experiences and people vibrating at that same frequency.  As you move up the vibrational scale your frequency expands and becomes much larger.

We all at times feel the up and down of all these emotions but the goal is to reach for the next emotion from where you are on the scale and become more consistent at vibrating at that level then move up to the next one.  With that said you will always move around the scale but you can vibrate on a more consistent basis at a higher level.This is what the emotional surf is all about.

We all want more out of our lives, no matter what we have, and that’s ok.  This is why your energetic vibration is important, it’s your personal growth.  If we are here living now let’s make life the way we dream.  That is different for every person and that is ok too.  Our journey is our own but in order to achieve more we need to align with the next higher vibrating emotion. The higher vibrating feelings you align with the more you can achieve your goals.  The higher you vibrate, the more your life will be flooded with those things that you have felt like you just were not lucky enough to get.  The great news is that it is not about luck it’s about energetic alignment.

Don’t just take my word for it, try it out for yourself.  Everything I write about on my blog Emotional Surfer are all tools to help you move on up the energetic scale.  When you slide down the scale, these tools help you climb back up.

We all have times when we feel the whole scale of emotions, believe me, I have been there and one of the greatest things you can do for yourself is this work.  You don’t need to be anything but exactly who you are, start there and find your way.  No matter where you are on the scale you can move to a better feeling emotion.

When I started this work I was at shame on a consistent basis.  I like many people tried to ignore it, push it down, take tantrums, blame it on everyone else, pout, cry, and feel like life was just unfair to me.  All that did was keep me stuck and I just could not stand feeling that way anymore. My life’s work is to climb this scale, and to do this I needed to quit blaming anyone else for my life, to quit feeling like it’s only for others, instead take control of my life.

It’s up to you to decide what you want for your life and what you are ready for, but if you are ready this is an amazing place to start. This is not complicated work, it’s very simple, reach for a better feeling thought.  Surf your emotions and listen to what they are telling you.  Your emotions are your guide and are very purposeful.

This is not something that if you believe in it works and if you don’t it does not work, it’s always working.  We just create our lives by chance not by choice.  Once we understand the energetic scale and start listening to our emotional guidance we can start to create our lives by choice and that’s where the magic happens.

This is the reason I wrote both “Gentle Steps on the Journey of a Healing Heart” and “Fifty-two Weeks of Adventure and Discovery for your Soul” was to provide guidance to find the best you, the happiest you, the peaceful you by climbing up the vibrational emotional scale.

We all have these parts within us but daily life and difficult situations deprive us of the one true thing we seek: a happy life. These books provide you the tools and support to find those parts within you once again; to find your wholeness and start living life the way you truly deserve!

I recently stepped it up a notch since the world is in the middle of an energy shift so many are needing tools to apply in their life to get a little emotional relief and that is why I created the “Find joy book club” .

In this 16 week journey we use all the awesome techniques I share in my books as well as others that I have learned along the way to climb up that energetic scale and find and vibrate Joy…

Join us at http://emotionalsurfer.com/find-joy-book-club-intro/.

Thank you, Clara.

Namaste!
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets, Balance Your Chakras – Balance Your Life, and The Chakra Energy Diet

http://www.theChakras.org


Guest blogger Margaret Placentra Johnston, a practicing optometrist, is the author of Faith Beyond Belief: Stories of Good People Who Left Their Church Behind, Gold Winner of the 2013 Nautilus Book Award in Religion/spirituality.

I was delighted for the opportunity to read and review Dr. Fred Howard’s timely new title, Transforming Faith: Stories of Change from a Lifelong Spiritual Seeker. In it, he mixes snippets of his own personal faith journey with spiritual development Tranforming Faith coverwisdom from the ages. He uses these tools to work his way through to one of the clearest and most inspiring articulations of postreligious, postconventional faith that I have heard yet.

Howard’s book elucidates the spiritual development trajectory on three levels, his own personal journey, a synthesis of the stages other spiritual development theorists have described, and a trip through historical changes in religious authority that suggest our society in general is evolving through the same trajectory an individual might traverse.

A literal Christian in his youth, Howard worked his way through the inevitable religious doubts that anyone honestly engaging with our increasingly postmodern world would encounter. He emerged, as do many people going through these stages, with a deeper, kinder and greatly expanded interpretation of Christianity (and faith in general.) This form of faith allows him to engage more authentically in the world minus the provincial and limited religious beliefs of his youth.

Drawing on commonalities among the works of other spiritual development theorists, Howard refers to the earliest stage as “Adopted Faith*” common to most people in most traditional, organized religions, and similar to what he engaged in during his “born again” stage as a youth.

Howard calls the middle stage Individuating Faith, similar to James Fowler’s Individuative-Reflective Faith**. Here, a person faces down the inevitable doubts the rational mind is likely to impose upon the literal beliefs taught in most churches. This honest open-ended questioning and critical reflection may involve risk of defection from the church. But the benefit is that it can lead a person beyond the spiritual infancy of Adopted Faith, and may result in an individuated form of personal growth that is rarely acknowledged in conventional society.

The greatest gift of Howard’s Transforming Faith is in his articulation of the “final” stage. (I put the word ‘final’ in quotation marks because this is only the final stage we can articulate at this point. Spiritual growth is never finished, and we have no idea to what levels people may one day evolve.) He calls this Holistic Faith*** and says it is “a way of seeing life that [gives] wholeness, meaning and purpose to life,…better understood as a process….a verb rather than a noun…It’s an alignment of one’s heart with the heart of life and the heart of the universe.” Brilliant!!

But Howard lends added richness to the spiritual development concept by mentioning how our understanding of religious authority has continued to evolve throughout history. During the first fifteen hundred years of Christianity, tradition was the primary source of religious authority. Truth was dictated by outer authorities, especially in the form of the hierarchy headed by the pope. With the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century, scripture emerged as the primary source of religious authority in the Western world. Together, these two eras may be seen as a society displaying a form of the Adopted Faith that is typical in the development of the individual.

With the Enlightenment in the eighteenth century, the emphasis shifted away from outer authority toward greater importance on human reason as the more authentic determinant of reality. This era corresponds to Howard’s Individuating Faith stage.

Finally, in the nineteenth century, individual personal experience began to emerge as the ultimate determinant of reality – a type of faith “people can never fully grasp with analytical minds,” and corresponding roughly to Howard’s Holistic Faith stage – where faith is seen as trust – as opposed to beliefs. Howard wisely tell us: “Faith is not the absence of doubt. Faith is having enough confidence in the guidance of the heart.”

Transforming Faith serves as an excellent introduction to a hopeful and heartening view of individual spiritual development and overall societal human evolution, that has been articulated in many other books. Lest we be blinded by the “trees” of chaos and discord to which we are exposed through our conventional media, Howard’s perspective shares a glimpse of the “forest” – an optimistic future for humanity.

*referred to by other stage theorists as the Formal, Institutional, Fundamental, the Synthetic, Conventional, the pre-critical, the Faithful stage

**other theorists have called it the Skeptic, Individual stage, Critical Faith, the Rational Level, or the Critical Distance.

***referred to by other stage theorists as Mystic, Communal faith, Conjunctive Faith, post-critical faith, the Mystic level.

Here, Dr. Fred Howard responds to my questions:

MARGARET: What vision inspired your desire to write Transforming Faith?

FRED: When I first learned of the stage theory of spiritual growth, it so resonated with me as a process which I was in the midst of at that very moment. It made so many seemingly disparate parts of my life fall into place. Since then I’ve wanted to find a way to share it with others. Writing a book that included significant turning points in my journey struck me as a good way to do that.

MARGARET: How does your stance within Holistic Faith inform your work as a Unitarian minister?

FRED: Unitarian congregations are really a microcosm of our increasingly diverse religious world and, as such, have the potential to model good interfaith relationships to the rest of our society. Being in community with self-identified Buddhists, Christians, Jews, and even atheists, as is the case in many of our congregations, requires we develop a Holistic Faith approach.  The minister must think in terms of both/and rather than either/or. My goal is not to blend religions together.  Rather, I ask the members of our congregation to remain steadfast in their religious identity. I encourage everyone to find ways to be true to themselves and yet still be in relationship to one another. As we find ways to creatively accomplish this we develop Holistic Faith. We grow spiritually as individuals and as a community.

MARGARET: I know you are clear about this in your book, but for readers of Becca’s Inspirational Book Blog, could you supply a concise explanation of your view of God?

FRED: The word “God” has different meanings for most everyone.  But regardless of whether or not someone takes the notion of God literally, people with all varieties of spiritual sophistication still use the word to speak of a reality beyond the material world. So God, in essence, is a metaphor for meaning – a way for human beings to speak of something greater than ourselves, the great mystery of our existence, which gives life purpose. Heard in this way, it matters little whether or not God “exists” in any conventional sense.

Thank you, Margaret, for this incisive review and interview. Transforming Faith is available now on Amazon.com.

Namaste!

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets, Balance Your Chakras – Balance Your Life, and The Chakra Energy Diet

Download my FREE Chakra Balancing Video at www.theChakras.org


book coverGhost Writers by David Shaw was a surprise in that the basis of the book are 10 short stories channeled through writers including Tennessee Williams, Oscar Wilde, Beatrix Potter, Franz Kafka and Leo Tolstoy!

All stories were delightful reads and inspiring examples of overcoming materialism, achieving forgiveness, fearlessness and self-belief, and the importance of education, patience, credence, tolerance, clarity and acceptance.

Working with his own spirit guides, Shaw says he didn’t know who he would be channeling and, in fact, keeps the authors’ names secret until the end of the book. But his spirit team invited ten of the greatest writers of all time to share their stories through his mediumship.

Shaw introduces 10 spiritual subjects that are then explored in the ten inspirational short stories. He sees his role to simply receive knowledge from the spirit world and pass this information on to the reader to help in your own life journey. From the first story, “How much is that doggy in the window?” I was hooked, and expect most other readers will be too. “Don’t fear the reaper” and “The Time Machine” were other stories that I found especially beautiful and profound.

While I meditate daily, I’ve never tried to actively channel information from those now in the spirit world. Shaw gives us a view on how he achieves this, leaving us with a lot to think about, and a lot of information that can inspire us to live better lives. And he leaves me wondering – how many of our own creative efforts are a result of  thoughts communicated from another creative mind, whether through channeling, inspiration or in our dreams?

Here, David Shaw answers my questions:

BECCA: Can you describe how you became a medium?

DAVID: I actually fought against becoming a medium for many years. I spent many sleepless nights trying in vain to stop spirit people from entering my bedroom and terrifying the life out of me, until eventually I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I then had two choices – keep fighting against it until it kills me, or embrace it. Thankfully, I chose the latter and began my lifelong apprenticeship.

BECCA: Who is included in your “big team” of spiritual guides?

DAVID: The “big team” of spiritual guides is a collective consciousness of highly educated minds that dwells within the highest realms of the spiritual Universe. I first became aware of this consciousness when I was involved with séances and deep trance mediumship. Mr Chung and SiBir are two guides who dwell within this collective, as are some great mediums from our past, like Gordon Higginson and Maurice Barbanell. The “big team” predominantly work with deep trance and physical mediums.

BECCA: Ten different spirit authors wrote these beautiful fictional stories – did you write the factual words or were they also channeled?

DAVID: The knowledge contained within the factual words was dictated to me through a very light trance state – by Mr Chung. Afterwards, I was able to format the information into my own writing style, occasionally adding humour and personal experiences. It’s a writing method that I’ve adapted through my earlier books and it is really only achievable during the night when there are no distractions around. Many readers have been confused by who was writing what in this book and I must admit I was also confused at times. The “big team” always insist that it’s the content that’s important and not the author.

BECCA: Can you describe how you get into the meditative state needed to channel?

DAVID: I always attempt to clear my mind as much as possible before asking my guides to come forward. I will receive a buzzing sound in my right ear (seriously!!!) to signify that they are ready to work with me (this was developed through many years of trance and physical mediumship). I will subsequently send an adrenaline rush throughout my entire body and the spirit energy then joins with me. I will hear the guides talk to me and I can commence writing. When I wrote my previous book, “New Mediumship,” there were instances when a spirit author took me into a deeper state of trance and actually used my body to type words into the keyboard. Incredibly, after coming out of this trance state, I then had to rearrange the words as some of them were mixed up. At the end of the book, I was informed of the identity of the author. Not surprisingly, when I checked on Google, I found that he was dyslexic. You may have heard of him – Edgar Allan Poe.

BECCA: You recommend mediation to achieve clarity… what tips do you offer to those who find meditation difficult?

DAVID: Meditation is something that I have always personally found difficult to master. Entering a trance state has always been fairly easy for me but that involves direct communication with the spirit world and can be very tiring. Meditation on the other hand involves clearing you mind as much as possible and then just sitting in your own silence. You should not attempt to contact the spirit world during a meditation. Meditation should be used to exercise self-control over your mind. If you cannot achieve this by yourself then I would recommend joining a group of like-minded people where you can help each other to relax accordingly.

BECCA: Even spiritual people seem to fear death – how can one overcome this fear?

DAVID: That’s a really good question and one that I don’t really have a distinctive answer to. Everyone is different and every soul’s journey contains many unique fears – death being just one of them. As for myself, I don’t fear my own physical death, but I do worry about leaving my family behind once I’m gone. This is why mediumship is important to many people as knowing that life carries on can help a person to endure bereavement and perhaps realise that physical death is only a stepping stone to the next chapter in the book of life.

BECCA: You finish your book recommending “acceptance.” How does one achieve that in the face of life’s difficulties?

DAVID: I think it beggars belief that anyone who experiences their child being murdered or dying through illness should then have to accept that what has happened is perfectly natural. But, that is what they have apparently agreed to do before commencing this physical life. It is, by far, the most difficult and most important task that must be accomplished before continuing with our spiritual life journey. Sometimes we have to accept that living a successful life doesn’t necessarily mean living a completely happy one.

BECCA: What do you hope readers take away from your book?

DAVID: My co-writers in the spirit world only wish that any reader takes knowledge from this book. They cannot directly interfere with anyone’s life and neither can I. This book should only be used for inspiration where appropriate. I have always said that any inspirational book should appeal to someone living a life of extreme poverty as much as it does to someone living a life of material luxury.

BECCA: Any advice for other independent authors who want to share inspiration?

DAVID: I would advise to write about your own personal experiences of life. Nothing is more inspirational than knowing that someone else has been where you are now – and came out the other end smiling. Oh and maybe get Edgar Allan Poe to write your book – he is amazing!

David Shaw is also the author of An Average Joe’s Search for the Meaning of Life, and New Mediumship. You can learn more about his work at www.spiritcounsellor.com and www.davidshaw.me.uk.

Namaste!

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets, Balance Your Chakras-Balance Your Life and The Chakra Energy Diet

www.theChakras.org


In Love With Death Book CoverAre you ready for death? How many of us go through life, busy, busy, busy, not at all prepared for the inevitable? In Love With Death provides beautiful reminders to cut through materialism and focus on what matters most, which will see your happiness and clarity of life soar like never before.

The ideas and stories Satish Modi shares in this beautiful little book can actually make you see death as a positive force, one which directs you toward a life that is more conscious, more connected, more inspired to share your true self, your love and kindness.

Modi not only shares fascinating stories from ordinary people that have inspired him – on subjects ranging from Time, Music, Trust, Money, Grief, Faith, Fighting Disease, Beliefs about Heaven, and How to Live a Good Life – but also quotes famous people like Gaugin, who wrote, “Life is hardly more than a fraction of a second. Such little time to prepare oneself for eternity.”

In Love With Death starts by asking you to write down your name and your date of death, and work out just how much time you have, so you don’t waste any. This book gives one much food for thought, without spouting any specific way to act or think or approach spirituality. Many different opinions are shared – leaving it up to you to pay more attention to how you are living your life and preparing for your eventual death.

SATISH MODI is a philanthropist, educationist, industrialist, and author who divides his time between London and New Delhi. He is respected for his entrepreneurial approach to international business. Here he answers questions about In Love With Death:

Q. Why is the subject of death in particular so fascinating to you?

It’s not a question of fascination.  Death is a reality.  Everyone who is born is meant to die. We are here in this world on a lease of just a few years. If one understands this fact, then all problems in this world appear very tiny.  Focusing on death and on the brevity of life changes our perception of life and of the happenings around us. Of course, this answer cannot be encapsulated in a few words – the reader has to go through my book to grasp the exact meaning and essence of what I am trying to convey.

Q. In your book, you illustrate how to determine how close you are to death using a fork, a knife, and a saltshaker.  Where would you place yourself on your own ‘timeline?

I would place myself on my own timeline, according to which, I have already lived 80% of my life and 20% remains.

 Q. How did your perception of your own “death date” inspire you to write this book?

The perception of my own death date did not really “inspire” me. The inspiration came from a Buddhist spiritual lady from Japan who mentioned that she knew me from a past life. Of course, the awareness of my death date did help me to crystallize my thoughts – understanding that all of us are just visitors to this world and we are here only for a limited time – so why not make the best of the given life by living it in goodness, love and humility.

Q. What is “reverse living?”

This is very important.  We should consider that today is the first day of the rest of our life.  We should think about what lies in front of us and try and forget about the past.

Q. What do you think is the “secret” to living a fulfilled, successful life?

Everything in this life will pass. True happiness does not lie in money or in the material world. “Death,” which is often ignored or treated as a forbidden subject, should be viewed instead as a catalyst to living fulfilling, meaningful lives. This present journey is a precious one – so why not live it in goodness, gratitude, humility and kindness, fulfilling our responsibilities with good thoughts, words and deeds.

Q. Should people fear death in any capacity?

If we were to live forever, life would be unbearable! People should not fear death. It is bound to happen any time, any day and at any place.  This is the universal truth.

If one has lived a good, worthwhile life in purity and goodness, one should not fear death. To quote from my book, “Just as an Olympic athlete could never win without proper preparation, so we cannot achieve the goal of a peaceful final departure unless we are ready. After years of preparation, the athlete looks forward to the Games. We, too, can actually await the final passage without any fear – in fact, with anticipation and complete satisfaction – but only if we have prepared ourselves for it.

“It is never too late to start. Recognise the value and importance of being prepared: by living a life of good deeds, by fulfilling our responsibilities, by elevating ourselves above the web of worldly illusions, by moving towards a higher plane. Such a person is ready to face death without any fear. Here is a person ready to embrace the opportunity to enter a new world in happiness and peace. Here is a person totally in love with death.

Q. Out of all your achievements, what is your greatest accomplishment in life?

My greatest accomplishment is that I have been able to write this book. Everything in this world is temporary but a book remains forever!  It gives me immense satisfaction to know that I have been able to reach out to people and give them some sort of comfort.

 Q. What do you hope readers take away from your book?

The number one thing that the readers, I hope, will take away from my book is the constant reminder that our time in this world is limited and for the time left we should live in happiness, goodness and humility rather than in greed, jealousy and anger, running after money or pursuing material wealth.  If I can bring about such a change in the minds of the people, I would have achieved my goal.

We need to constantly remember that this whole life is an illusion; we have come to go. So, let’s start living with a sense of detachment and not get caught in the web of pursuing temporary happiness in the form of material goods, wealth and power.

I also hope that people understand from the book that death is a great equalizer. All people – achievers, non-achievers, everybody – will all eventually be reduced to 3.5 kgs of dust! So, it’s not about achieving and not achieving – it is about the purity of the soul.

Enter to receive a free copy of the hardcover version of In Love With Death by Wednesday, March 11, emailing me at Becca@theChakras.org with FREE BOOK in the subject line, and be sure to include your address.

Namaste!

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets, Balance Your Chakras-Balance Your Life and The Chakra Energy Diet

www.theChakras.org

 


Wake Up coverGuest reviewer Ernesta Marku is a founder of DiscoveredMindPower. A personal life coach and NLP Practitioner, she strives to help people “Live a Purposeful Life with Courage & Confidence.”

Wake Up: Spiritual Enlightenment Uncloaked is an amazingly inspirational book. I read it and then re-read it, and now find myself dipping into it regularly. The book talks directly to you, presenting what are often complicated spiritual concepts in a simple, clear way.

What sets this book apart is the energy that runs through it. It’s unusual because it isn’t the author’s voice speaking to you. Helen Jane Rose wrote the book through a form of automatic writing, and you actually experience the channelled energy as you read the words. It’s a powerful read with a strong message, urging us to remember who we really are, to trust our intuition, break free from control and have faith to courageously pursue our purpose for being here.

The quotations used throughout the book add to the central themes and act as powerful reminders. It’s a comforting and inspiring read that will appeal to new seekers and also those who are familiar with spiritual thought.

Here Helen Jane Rose answers Ernesta’s questions:

Ernesta: Wake Up: Spiritual Enlightenment Uncloaked is a very unusual book, how did you come to write it?

Helen: In my early 30’s, I had a bit of a breakdown. I was living a life that on the outside looked pretty perfect (having moved from the UK to the live in the Caribbean) but I was really unhappy in myself and my life. A friend at the time suggested I go to see a counselor, which I did. The counselor suggested that I try inner child healing, which I’d never heard of before. After our first session I followed his instructions, asking a question with my right hand and answering with my left. What happened next was life changing for me. My pen started moving so quickly without me knowing what I was writing. Although it was messy I could just about read what I had written. When I read it back I was in shock. It definitely wasn’t from my hurt inner child. It was deep profound wisdom about the spiritual path, awakening to my true self and so much about the world that I’d never ever thought about before.

Ernesta: Did you keep writing after that?

Helen: Yes I did, every day and kept it a secret. I started to receive guidance as to how to get out of the situation I was in. It was practical and profound all at the same time and totally mad because I never ever knew what I was going to write and always read it back in amazement!

Ernesta: Did you come up with the idea for the book?

Helen: No I didn’t. I hadn’t even thought about writing a book. It happened without me realizing it to be honest. When I read back what I had written one day I realized that the writing style had changed and the information wasn’t for me personally but for other people, and that’s when a book started to be formed. I had no idea when it would finish and didn’t understand hardly any of it when I read it back. It was way beyond my beliefs and perception at the time.

Ernesta: How long did it take for the book to be written?

Helen: I would try and write at the same time each day but then it became sporadic. Often quite late at night I’d feel the urge to sit and write when the house was quiet. I still find it incredible and so peaceful that beyond my little mind a book was brought into form that I consciously couldn’t have planned, because I didn’t understand it! I think it was written over about 6 months. But it took me years before I could honestly say that I understood what was written. In fact I was told, through writing, that I wouldn’t be ready to get the book out until I had understood and experienced its teachings! It’s taken me a long time to get there, that I can tell you.

Ernesta: It’s so unusual for an author to write a book that they then learn from themselves. What’s been the best piece of advice from the book for you personally?

Helen: Wake Up helped me to realize the control I had subjected myself to in my personal life and also from the world at large – it’s been a big issue for me throughout my life but I honestly only realized the extent of it after reading the book. It woke me up to first realizing this truth and then to take action to stop it. To have finally broken the chains and healed those wounded parts of me feels like a miracle!

Ernesta: What advice would you give to someone who’s interested in trying this type of writing for themselves?

Helen: First of all, make it a priority and start to do it every day. You won’t think you’re doing it right at first but with practice and with clear intention you will be. You must make time each day if you want to succeed and reap the benefits. We tend to spend too much time doing things that we don’t really want to do but feel we should, at the expense of putting time into what we really want to do – that make us genuinely happy. I can remember feeling guilty about the amount of time I was spending writing but it’s what I loved to do so it was crazy that I was having that inner battle for so long.

Get a pen or pencil and a pad. Ideally buy a special pad just for your writing. You’ll be amazed when you read back and see how you get better and better. Make sure you find somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed and switch your phone off. It’s really important that it’s totally quiet without any distractions. Set your intention to first connect with your soul and intentionally forget about everything else in your mind – worries, what to do’s. Intend to literally get out of your mind.

Ask your soul a question with your right hand and then swap the pen into your left hand. You may not be able to clearly read what you are writing but it will help to open your channel to higher wisdom and guidance.  It’s so important to write the first thing that comes to you. Don’t wait – just write the first thing and don’t judge it. It will feel like you’re making it up – but when you read it back you’ll realize you weren’t.

Helen Jane Rose is the also the author of To Fear, With Love. To read her blog or find out about her one-to-one sessions, please visit www.soulconsiousbeing.com.

For more writings by Ernesta Marku visit discoveredmindpower.com.

Namaste!

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets, Balance Your Chakras-Balance Your Life and The Chakra Energy Diet

www.theChakras.org


soulsecretscoverWe are souls having this life on Earth for soul growth and evolution, according to renowned medium and spiritual teacher, Miki Jacobs. How do you connect to your soul, live from your soul’s purpose and achieve its agenda for this life’s incarnation? With Soul Secrets, Jacobs provides a complete guidebook to help you find your answers.

Miki Jacobs provides both theory – to understand the basic concepts of spirituality and working with your “Team” of Spirit Guides, Angels and Departed Loved Ones – as well as practical advice on how to make contact with your “Team” to assist you in approaching your life with soulful solutions.

As Jacobs describes in her introduction, she was not “born” a medium as many others who channel spirit, but learned to do so later in her life. If you are interested in spirituality, life after death, and learning to communicate with your Team in the spirit world, the path is laid out for you in this book. From learning to meditate and quiet your mind so you can connect to spirit, to reading the signs from your Team, this book will help you align with your soul and your Spirit Guides and Angels to become a more loving, understanding and compassionate person.

I learned so much from reading this book and have great excitement as I connect with my own spiritual Team following Jacob’s advice.

Here, Miki Jacobs graciously answers my many questions about spirituality and her work:

Becca: What is the main message you would like readers to take away from your book?

Miki: There are actually three main messages. First I want people to know that despite the harshness of their lives, and the feeling of loneliness, they are never alone. I want them to know that they are surrounded by a powerful and wise “Team” of spirits who guide, support, and protect them at every moment. Second, in my book I teach that anyone can learn how to communicate with their Team, and with spirit in general, at any point in their lives. And finally, through my book, I am trying to help the readers shift their perspective on their lives to that of their souls and not their mind. A very crucial perspective on our lives on Earth.

Becca: How did you learn that we incarnate with a blueprint or soul plan for each specific lifetime? Through your Team or other spiritual teachers?

Miki: All the information in my book, including the spiritual concept of the incarnation blue print, is channeled from my Team and from other spirits who came thorough in readings and my daily meditation sessions.

Becca: Why are we born with an Ego Entity as part of our blueprint?

Miki: Despite the destructive and obnoxious nature of our Ego Entity, it has a major role in our overall growth and progress in each specific incarnation on Earth. This is because the Ego entity is supposed to encourage us toward change and spiritual growth once we recognize the outcome of its negative influence on our lives. The Ego Entity also can be used a “gauge” for evaluating and correcting our spiritual path. I often refer to the Ego Entity as “the opponent”.

Becca: You mention that when we allow our Ego to influence us to engage in negative actions, the dense negative energy can block the crown chakra and our connection with our Team. What do you recommend to open the crown chakra?

Miki: Discipline the ego and manage the ego. Recognize its influence and do the opposite of what it wants. Count to ten before reacting. Align with the higher self and don’t act on the Ego Entity’s temptation and influence. When you are able to ignore the Ego and act from the perspective of your higher self, you will clear up the negative energy and open up your crown chakra.

Becca: Is it possible to become an Ego-less human being?

Miki: While on Earth, this is not possible. The ego is a component of who we are when we incarnate as human beings. But it can, and should be controlled and disciplined. It is an integral part of our spiritual journey on Earth. If we were to became ego-less, we would not have any more lessons to learn on this planet.

Becca: You offer very helpful tips for meditation. What would you say is the most useful tip to quiet the mind and connect with your Team?

Miki: Take the focus off of the conscious mind by using other senses. By listening, feeling the inner body energy field, or by focusing on your breathing to name a few. The mind cannot hold two loci of attention at the same time and will be quieted by selecting the one sense or sensation as the one that you chose to focus on.

Becca: What is the major benefit of being able to channel your Team?

Miki: You can gain the benefit of their guidance and use it in your life. Our main purpose from being here is to spiritually grow and they are right here, all the time, to help us do so!

Becca: If our life’s blueprint is pre-ordained, how do we manifest something we want in life?

Miki: Only the major events are preplanned. Like gender, race, country of birth, time in which you are incarnating, significant people, etc. It is a framework for your incarnation but everything in between is available for you to manifest. The pre conditions are just that and are created by your higher self, your soul, to set up the circumstances for your greatest growth.

Becca: Can you explain how you send remote healing energy to someone/thing in need?

Miki: Energy is not bound by time or space and the intention can be sent anywhere at anytime with focus and intention.

Becca: How can you tell if the voice in your head telling you “Don’t get on that plane” is intuition from your higher self or Team, or the voice of fear?

Miki: The more you practice channeling your Team, aligning with your higher self, and trusting the intuition, you will become more familiar with the way “real messages” sound and feel as opposed to your inner voice. The biggest distinction between the two is that messages from your Team will always be positive and encouraging in nature regardless of the information, while your inner voice will always be accompanied with some negativity like fear.

Becca: What recommendations do you have for first-time writers who want to share their knowledge?

Miki: Be authentic and true to yourself, your knowledge, and others. Hold the intention of helping others with the knowledge that you have gained through your own experience and the writing will just flow. Also, you must discipline yourself and make your writing a habit. Otherwise you can easily become distracted and never finish your project.

For more information, visit www.MikiJacobs.com.

Namaste!

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets, Balance Your Chakras-Balance Your Life and The Chakra Energy Diet

www.theChakras.org

 

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