Musings and Reviews of Metaphysical, New Age and Meaningful Writings

Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category

Bringing Heaven to Earth with Dr. Christiane Northrup: Making Life Easy #BookReview


Screen Shot 2017-05-10 at 2.23.55 PMA book I have had for many years and still reference is Dr. Christiane Northrup’s groundbreaking Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom. Now, her latest book, Making Life Easy will join it on my “indispensable book” shelf.

In this book, Dr. Northrup shares all the insight she has gained in her 60-something years to help readers find peace and well-being not only in body, but also mind and Spirit. And also how they are inextricably connected in creating your own personal heaven in your life.

She writes how as an OB-GYN trying to make a difference in her practice, honoring the wisdom of women’s bodies, she faced roadblocks until she discovered that… “my strength and help lay in my connection with the Creator rather than simply myself.”

So how does one connect with Divine inspiration? First, she writes we need to understand that we are Souls rather than bodies, and accept the concept of reincarnation and clear karmic baggage from past lives.

“Understanding the true immortal nature of yourself – understanding that your Soul is on a journey through many lifetimes – is a powerful tool in your efforts to make life easy.”

Dr. Northrup describes how to get in touch with the Divine, establishing a relationship with the nonphysical aspect of yourself. One of the first things she explains is how to understand the obstacle of the ego and love it away. She shares healing processes such as Past-Life Regression, Divine Love Petitions, How to Work with and Interpret your Dreams, Simple Meditations, and Consciously Receiving From Nature.

So, what is the purpose of all these processes? To have more faith in God and the Divine than we do in our own ego, which uses fear to protect oneself from feeling pain, loss and sorrow.

How often do we try to make sense of things that go wrong in our lives? She writes:

“Faith that things happen for a reason is really the only way through…. When you practice true surrender and offer everything to the Divine – over and over and over – you will eventually discover true spaciousness and peace opening up before you and within you. You will have transformed your fear into faith.”

Once Dr. Northrup shares her insight into your Soul, she provides advice on how to best take care of your body, from stretching and releasing your fascia, regular exercise, practicing balance, eating well, and enhancing food with love.

One of the most interesting sections of the book, for me, was the chapter on Tending Your Vital Life Force… that Sacral Chakra creative surge that comes through our bodies, minds and Spirits as physical pleasure, desire, excitement, sexuality, curiosity, art, music, and reproduction of the species. Dr. Northrup explains the deep connection between sexuality and spirituality and shares how to Turn Yourself On to Life, Pursue Pleasure Deliberately, Engage in Mindful Sexual Expression, and Owning and Operating Your Erotic Anatomy.

Making Life Easy ends with a chapter on the Power of Community, and how to find your “tribe,” the people with whom you can have a real connection, acceptance and intimacy.

To become part of Dr. Northrup’s tribe, connect through her Internet radio show Flourish!, on social media, and her website, www.drnothrup.com.

Namaste!

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra DiariesChakra SecretsBalance Your Chakras-Balance Your Lifeand The Chakra Energy Diet
www.theChakras.org

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How Meditation and Contemplative Prayer Can Deepen your Spiritual Life- FINDING GOD IN THE BODY #BookReview and #Author Interview


book-cover-fullMany of my friends and I consider ourselves “spiritual, not religious,” having been turned off by the organized religions we grew up with. But how does one follow a spiritual path with no guidance? Yes, we meditate and do yoga and try to be good people, but what else?

Finding God in the Body by Benjamin Riggs offers “A Spiritual Path for the Modern West.” For those of us with Western sensibilities but an affinity toward the practices of Buddhism or other Eastern religions, Riggs offers a path that looks with fresh eyes at the Judeo-Christian texts and combines their spiritual teachings with practices, such as meditation, of the East.

“The spiritual path is the mind’s return to the naked awareness of the body…. It is about dropping the narrative, relaxing the tension, and taking refuge in our True Life.”

Author Benjamin Riggs spent years studying the contemplative core of Christianity where he found a mythos of God within, more concerned with daily life than the hereafter. He explains the Bible and Judeo-Christian writings in a very enlightening way, following the Jewish tradition of storytelling to understand the Bible’s message in today’s world.

The author references the most important teachings of Jewish, Christian and Buddhist teachers such as Dr. Reginald Ray, Thomas Merton, Joseph Campbell, Fr. Thomas Keating, Thomas Aquinas, Rabbi David Cooper and M. Scott Peck, who wrote:

“If you desire wisdom greater than your own, you can find it inside of you…. To put it plainly, our unconscious is God. God within us…”

Finding God in the Body offers instruction in a spiritual practice that helps embody the mystery of God that lives within our body… both through contemplative prayer to bring us into the body, the God of the body, and through meditation to discover the underlying emptiness of the mind.

In the end, Riggs offers a way to develop a personal relationship with God, living in the Will of God:

“Undoubtedly this will have a great effect on our quality of life, how we treat others, and the world in which we live. It will transform the world.”

What more could the spiritual seeker ask?

Here is my interview with Benjamin Riggs, author, columnist and the founder and director of the Refuge Meditation Group in Shreveport, Louisiana…

Can you give us a synopsis of your own spiritual studies/journey?

There is an awful lot of overlap between Buddhism and Christianity in my personal spirituality. Buddhism brought me onto the spiritual path. When I first became interested in spirituality at the age of 17, I was too resentful toward Christianity to even consider a Christian approach. Years later I happened across a Thomas Merton book that changed all of that. Most of my training has been within the Buddhist tradition, but about 5 years ago, I quit thinking of myself as a Buddhist. Most all of the practices I regularly do are from the Buddhist tradition, but the symbolism and language of contemplative Judaism and Christianity resonates more with me than the Buddhist language does now. I can see myself as a Christian atheist and a Buddhist theist. So conceptually I have a hard time labeling this Buddhist-Christian hybrid spirituality, but it is all very seamless for me in practice.

How would you explain the title of the book?

God is not an old, white man in the sky that created the universe and is now charged with the task of overseeing its day to day functions. A growing number of Westerners are disillusioned with this conception of God and are looking for something that does not offend their modern, scientific sensibilities. That is the “modern spiritual” part of the title. As for “god and the body,” God is the Ground of Being. It is in the body that we connect with the experience of Being. Finally, “path.” Resurrecting the God of the body requires a path of practice.

What was your purpose in writing this book?

I initially planned to compile a catalog of my past articles on Elephant Journal and publish them as a book. But once I sat down and started writing, the project evolved. As I said before, there is a lot of overlap in my personal spirituality with Buddhism and Christianity. So I started to outline a spiritual path that had proven effective for me and figured it would resonate with a lot of other people. A lot of Westerners are looking for a more practical spirituality. They want something that works in this life, something that helps them work with stress, fear, anger, and meaninglessness. Buddhism offers practices that meet this need, so a lot of people are drifting toward the Eastern philosophy section at their local bookstores. But then they bump into another problem: The practices are great, but the language, symbolism, and the mythos of Eastern religion are foreign and far removed from the Western psyche. It just doesn’t resonate. So I wanted to write a book that wedded the two. I wanted to outline a spiritual path that included a system of practice and a mythos that resonated with the Western mind without offending our modern, scientific sensibilities. That is what Finding God in the Body does.

What is your definition of spirituality or the spiritual path?

Spirituality is a view (often expressed in mythological terms) that transcends the superficial levels of self-centered consciousness wedded to a system of practice that enables us to embody those deeper levels of selfless awareness.

What message would you like readers to take away from this book?

I would like readers to take away two things: Spirituality is and has to be immediately concerned with the reality of day-to-day life. And it is has to be supported by practice, lest it become just another system of wishful thinking.

How would you define God?

God is the Ground of Being, the Isness of all that is. God is NOT the prime mover or the reason for existence, but existence itself, which through our life we participate in.

I found your explanations of texts in the Bible very elucidating. For example, can you share how you interpret Jesus as the Christ?

Most people see the name Jesus Christ as if Christ was Jesus’ last name. Christ is a symbol synonymous with the firstborn of all creation, the image of God (imago dei) which lives within man as our True Nature. In the Gospels, Christ is made manifest through the life and actions of Jesus. But we are all called to be a light unto the world – to allow the light of True Self to shine so bright that it blots out the characteristics of the false-self. That light is the indwelling image of God, the experience of Being, I Am-ness, or Christ. Jesus was a Jewish man that consented to the experience of being and enabled God to be born into the world through his life.

How would you describe the “false self” vs. the “true self?”

The True Self is the unmediated, ever-unfolding experience of life, which for the sake of conversation, has to be localized and called me or this life. This localization is the ego, which is perfectly natural and necessary. The ego is a conceptual overlay generated by the thinking mind and projected out into the world that enables us to communicate, navigate through the world, etc. It is a projection, a proxy self, so to speak. When we confuse that projected self for the real thing, it becomes a false self.

Can you sum up the path/practices you recommend for those seeking to “live fully?”

Living fully means living in wholeness. The view aspect of spirituality must transcend our sense of brokenness or incompleteness. It must move beyond those superficial, codependent levels of conceptual identification and down into the selflessness of undifferentiated awareness where we find fullness.

How can one best tap into the unconscious wisdom of the body?

The unconscious wisdom of the body flows forth from silence. But you cannot make silence happen, because any attempt to do so is noise. You can only make yourself prone to moments of silence. This is the practice of contemplative prayer and meditation. But any practice can be meditative: taking a walk or run, washing the dishes. Silence is the natural state of affairs. We are just doing what we are doing there is silence.

What would you say is the meaning of life?

The meaning of life is to live, which is why you are alive. Any attempt to add meaning beyond that is in my opinion just noise. But that is not to say that life is meaningless. The experience of life is in itself meaningful. When you are present, awake, engaged, you are not looking for meaning. You are content. The search for meaning comes from a place of brokenness or incompleteness.

Finding God in the Body is available on Amazon.com. For more information, see FindingGodInTheBody.com or connect with the author at Facebook.com/FindingGodInTheBody and Twitter.com/Benjamin_Riggs

Namaste!
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra DiariesChakra SecretsBalance the Chakras, Balance Your Lifeand The Chakra Energy Diet

www.theChakras.org

How to Join the Global Prayer Action for #StandingRock – Saturday, Jan 28


screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-5-06-03-pmJoin people around the world this Saturday, January 28th, 1 p.m. Eastern time, to carry the prayer from Standing Rock to the steps of banks around the world who are funding harmful Oil Extraction.

If you’ve been reading news about President Trump’s Executive Actions this week, you know that prayers are needed to help the protestors at Standing Rock.

President Trump has effectively declared war on environmental protection, according to an opinion piece in the L.A. Times

On Tuesday, he signed executive orders that took the first steps toward reversing Obama’s rulings against oil pipeline projects. One of those rulings, from the Army Corps of Engineers, told owners of the pipeline to come up with alternative routes that would not endanger the water supply of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota.

Now, the Army Corps of Engineers is being ordered to “review and approve in an expedited manner” the North Dakota pipeline plan of Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners.

BECOME INSPIRED TO JOIN IN PRAYER WITH STANDING ROCK PROTESTORS

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-1-31-22-pmUnite in Global Prayer Action to elevate the consciousness of the financial institutions and governments, asking that they make the choice to invest in clean renewable energy, the future of our planet, and the protection and rights of all people.

PRAYER IS ENERGY HEALING IN ACTION

Do you get discouraged if your prayers aren’t immediately answered? The problem may be that we are praying for God or a higher being to do something which it is not in its nature to do… take direct action vs. inspire and guide us to make the right choices.

Serge Kahili King, Ph.D., teacher of the Hawaiian Huna Philosophy and head of Aloha International wrote On Prayer:

In prayer we are trying to do something or to get something done, either for ourselves or for someone else. We pray to get an effect, and since an effect is involved, energy has to be involved, and all prayer involves the transmission of energy, [in this case toward the people and situation at Standing Rock].

In the prayer form known as the Lord’s Prayer that is found in the Christian Bible, Jesus states that we should ask for energy (“our daily bread”), cleansing (forgiveness), and guidance. A little further on in the chapter of Luke (11), Jesus makes the famous statement about, “Ask, and it shall be given unto you….” This has been taken to mean that you can ask God for anything you like and you will get it, although in practice it obviously doesn’t work out that way. The reason is revealed only a few lines further. What is to be given is the Holy Spirit. In other words, energy, ideas, and inspiration. We find this same idea in the Old Testament, in Sufi, Hindu, and Chinese writings, as well as in Hawaiian – namely that what we receive from above is the wisdom and the power to act. But it is we who must do the acting.

This brings us to the point of fact that there are essentially two types of prayer: vertical and horizontal. By vertical prayer, I mean that which is directed toward God or the Higher Self or toward someone in spirit. From this type of prayer we can only get inspiration, knowledge, understanding, and energy. Note carefully that the guidance we may get is in the form of ideas and inspiration. We do not actually get the kind of guidance that tells us exactly what to do and how to do it. That kind of guidance implies the making of choices, and that is our sole prerogative.

Horizontal prayer is that directed toward our everyday life, either to heal or help ourselves or others, or to change the future. This type of prayer is accomplished by us, and its effectiveness is determined by our beliefs and by the amount of energy we put into it. We each create our own experience of reality, the circumstances we find ourselves in, and through prayer properly understood we can change those circumstances. But it is the individual who changes the circumstances, not God and not the High Self. From them we only get the tools; they will not do the work for us.

Please join in The Global Prayer Action for Standing Rock so that all involved get the guidance to resolve the situation in a peaceful, environmentally-conscious manner.

And please share this and invite your friends to help support the protestors at Standing Rock.

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

www.theChakras.org

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