Tag Archives: higher power

The Connection Between Prayer and Meditation

meditationBy Linda Lauren

In my practice, many people seek my guidance on their spiritual progress.  They want to live more positively and many incorporate prayer into their daily routine. 

A client came in the other day to discuss meditation.  Like many novice to the practice, she kept telling me that she simply didn’t have time for it.  She also told me that there had to be a quick, easy way to have God answer her prayers.  I studied her for a moment and then asked:

“Praying is asking a question and meditation is listening for the answer. Do you often ask questions and run off?” 

“Well, no!”

“Then how do you know you are being heard?”

Meditation is a rewarding way of connecting prayer with a higher power.  It doesn’t matter whether you label that higher power your Higher Self, God, Source, or anything else, you will still need to hear beyond the experience of listening with the ear in order to truly hear the energy within. When we are in a prayerful state our spirit is communicating with that higher power and it is something greater than what we perceive in everyday life. Prayer then becomes a spiritual dialogue, (the intention) and if you do not incorporate the act of mindful listening (meditation), you will most likely lose the essence of the complete message and miss out on the answer on a deeper level.

So, when you are praying, remember to also give pause to hear beyond your surroundings to deep within the nature of the you within your spirit.  I have found incredible insight comes to me when prayer and meditation are understood as companions: Prayer indulges the question (the intention) and meditation (the answer) is provided through silence.

Our present world is one that moves at an incredibly high-stress, fast pace. Many of us are used to working fast, typing fast, and living fast. We focus on social media streams rather than streams of consciousness. Switch that up and give yourself the time to reward your intentions by allowing the connection of meditation to accompany your prayers and you will shine your light brighter.

 

Like Linda’s post? Check out these similar intents on Intent.com

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intnet - listen for guidance

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Linda Lauren is a fourth-generation psychic medium, Color & Energy Consultant, Author and Reiki Practitioner, who connects with people who come to her for guidance through the color and energy she senses around them.  Linda, known as the ‘Travel Psychic™’, also uses that energy to guide her clients with their travel plans.

Is There a Human Aspect to the Weather?

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By Julia LeStage, Founder and CEO, Weathermob, Inc.

The recent tragic deaths from the tornadoes in Oklahoma made me pause, again, and think about why the weather is so captivating to human beings. Why we just can’t we get enough of it, even when the weather is so inhuman, often inhumane—and sometimes deadly?

In 2013, despite great advances in technology, we still cannot predict the weather with enough certainty. Even professionals such at 30-year veteran storm chaser, Tim Samaras, his son, Paul and meteorologist, Carl Young, could not predict that a tornado would jag the wrong way – their way – and take their lives.

According to the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Americans check the weather 3.8 times a day. Are we so compelled by weather because it is one of the few things left in our lives that we cannot control?

Perhaps we’re fascinated by weather because of the very fact that it does not submit to us. The weather cannot be persuaded. The weather’s own uncertainty in the face of the increasing pace of climate change, should make us even more worried about its will and its might.

The weather is culturally, geographically, politically, religiously and linguistically impartial. How many things that affect us all every day are impartial? The impossibility of the controlling the weather is an ultimate challenge, an infinite frontier. The appeal of this alone is enough for some people. It is a problem that can never be solved. The allure is in the chase.

Hauntingly, Tim Samaras explained that his initial interest in tornadoes was to, “…witness the incredible beauty of what Mother Nature had created.” He also confessed that at times he had “mixed feelings” about chasing storms because of their destructive and life-changing power. The deaths of high profile and seasoned scientists in an extreme storm remind us that no one can capture or tame the weather.

The practice of storm chasing and meteorology and of weather-casters standing in a studio telling us the day’s forecast is a relatively new way of telling the weather story. Talking about the weather, however, is indisputably primeval. Since time began, human beings – indeed, all beings – have had a profound and spiritual relationship with the weather.

It connects us throughout time and across the world. We notice, enjoy and fear the same conditions that the ancient Egyptians, Vikings and Incas did – and that our contemporaries in countries we will never visit do.

We tell our weather story – chase storms, listen to the weathermen, bring an umbrella, talk about it in the Starbucks line, chat with our Mothers, and look up and out – to try and impose some kind order. In this human attempt to impose order there is some kind of comfort and healing; it is part of human nature. For professionals there is data that might help people be safer in the future.

I am guilty of this, of trying to bring human order. I write about and report on the weather every day. I run a crowd-sourced weather media company called Weathermob. I am not a meteorologist. Then again, neither is Al Roker. He and I are just people, like millions (perhaps billions) who are weather keen. Al and I just happened to be paid for publicly responding, reacting, and describing this force we cannot control.

Weathermob was created to help give ordinary people a place to record and share what they see in the sky and feel in the air and in their hearts. It is tool to contribute to our need for order and storytelling around the weather. We use social media tools to create real-time weather data. Weathermob is a network of weather reporting from the ground up, a human weather army.

We believe that everyone can be a weatherperson and should be, which is why our organization aims to harness the “understanding on the ground” from the people who are in the weather. Everyone has to right to talk about the weather. Weathermob reporters in your local area and all over the world share real-time weather, mood and weather-triggered activity. We do not claim to outsmart the weather, but we are recording it to learn, share, shine, connect and – sometimes – be safer.

The YouTube videos of Tim Samaras facing what we now know to be his killer made me feel profoundly sad and human. He – and we – could not stop the tornado. We can only change how we react to weather, how we adjust and refine our response to it.

Samaras knew, perhaps embraced, the inherent risks of confronting a tornado. He died doing what he loved. His life’s work involved creating tools to increase our understanding of tornadoes, of their devastating power and beauty, and how to be safer in their midst.

We at Weathermob salute Tim Samaras, his son, Paul, and Carl Young and re-commit to our mission to enhance our real-time responses to all weather and to tell the human weather story, to give more relevant, beautiful and safer weather information to each other every day.

In the malevolent eye of a charging tornado, Tim Samaras found beauty and a life well lived. This stark and painful dichotomy is strangely healing, like looking up, again. At the sky.

Photo via U.S. Air Force

Message in a Bottle Makes Its Way to Mom Two Years After Her Daughter’s Death

Superstorm Message in a BottleStories like this are so amazing and unlikely it seems strange we’d ever have any need for fiction.

Sidonie Fery was 10 years old when she wrote a brief note to her mother, sealed it in a green bottle, and cast it into the ocean about an hour east of Manhattan. That was over ten years ago.

Three years ago, at age 18, Sidonie fell to her death at her boarding school in Switzerland, leaving her family shocked and distraught. But the story doesn’t end there. And this is the part where we start to wonder if there really is a higher power looking out for us…

We all know the damage wrought by Superstorm Sandy last fall: The second costliest hurricane in U.S. history, at least 286 people killed across seven countries. It was a horrible event none of us would want to relive, and it’s hard to imagine anything remotely positive could have come out it. But if it hadn’t been for the storm, a beach clean-up worker would have never come across Sidonie’s forgotten message amid piles of garbage washed to shore.

And so the bottle finally made it to Mimi Fery, Sidonie’s grieving mother, two years after her daughter’s death and over a decade after the day it was written. The message inside quoted a line from Sidonie’s favorite film, “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”: “Be excellent to yourself, dude.”

The girl most likely had no inkling that these words would essentially constitute her last communication to the world ever. And that makes the sentiment that much more poignant. It would be difficult and perhaps unsettling to go around thinking every day could be our last, every word our final utterance, every hug our last sensation. But Sidonie’s story makes this possibility seem all the more real, and thus our time here all the more precious. And we have to trust that everything, somehow, will be alright in the end.

Are you inspired by Sidonie’s story? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

 

Photo credit: AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Can the Truth Come Back With a Capital “T”? (Part 2)

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Click here to read part 1!

By Deepak Chopra, M.D., Menas C. Kafatos, Ph.D., P. Murali Doraiswamy, MBBS, and Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D.

In this series of posts we’d like to formulate a new picture of truth that replaces the flawed principles of science as it exists today. What is needed is an expanded science that grows out of facing – and correcting – some mistaken beliefs. Science follows wherever reality leads it. We think that reality has led to a place that isn’t explained by quantum mechanics alone. A new set of principles is needed to replace the current ones:

  1. There is no objective, external universe. What we perceive as physical objects and events are actually reflections of how the human brain perceives things.
  2. Reality is one, a constantly shifting whole. It is pure process in which every event is connected to every other. The process is falsified when it is frozen and chopped up into isolated bits and pieces of data. As Wordsworth rightly said, “We murder to dissect.” Particles have been replaced by events and by relationships between ever-changing fields of energy.
  3. We live in a participatory universe. The observer is blended into the thing he observes. Ultimately, there is no distinction between observer and observed. Both are expressions of consciousness as it unfolds in time and space.
  4. Space and time are not pre-existent and everlasting. They may have arisen with the emerging early cosmos.

Stated this baldy, the principles of an expanded science sound arcane and far-fetched. But that’s the nature of a paradigm shift. Everything gets reinterpreted in a radical way, and if you don’t buy into the shift, the reinterpretation sounds outlandish. To a mainstream scientist, still stuck in the 18th century world view, nothing is more outlandish than the following statements:

  • Consciousness is the ultimate reality. There is only one consciousness, which pervades existence.
  • Out of primal consciousness all the matter and energy in the universe emerged.
  • Primal consciousness continues to play itself out as the evolving universe. But the source of consciousness is inconceivable, since it lies beyond time and space.
  • The human mind is an expression of primal consciousness, which is why we are able to perceive reality in the first place.
  • Mind comes first, matter derives from it.
  • To finally know reality, our subjective experience is a truer guide than the collection of facts. After all, this experience is the only reality we live with throughout our lives.

The last point is where the lives of ordinary people are affected. Facts are no substitute for experience, and to say that scientific rationality will solve everything is a dangerous notion. A physicist might spend his day wondering about the state of the world, fearing the rise of terrorism, arguing with his wife over how to raise the kids, and feeling anxious about amassing a retirement fund. We can all identify with such a day. But if in the middle of the day our physicist collects a new fact about a subatomic particle, only that would be scientifically significant. The rest doesn’t matter, even though in reality the rest matters enormously as experience. We aren’t doubting the value of new findings about subatomic particles, only putting things into perspective. An expanded science cannot afford to shirk subjective experience through an abstract devotion to objectivity.

In the new paradigm, a purely objective science is a chimera, an illusion kept intact by excluding the actual experience of life as lived. One of the dogmas of current science is that everything can be known through the reductionist method. (Quantum theory actually provided limits to everything being known, although most practicing scientists sweep this under the rug.) In other words, the whole is understood by breaking it down into its component parts, the way anatomy breaks down the body into cells, tissues, and organs. Yet the reductionist method is exactly what keeps us from seeing the larger reality we are all participating in. A skeptic will protest, “If you don’t believe in reductionism, you aren’t a real scientist.” To which one can reply, “I’m still a real scientist, just not the kind you are.” This at least offers a choice.

We want to show in these posts that truth is very different from the measurements that science relies upon as it explores finer and finer levels of Nature. Like it or not, the pursuit of the truth is edging us closer to the Truth, as conceived of in Plato’s idealism, Indian Vedanta, and Buddhist philosophies. The universe has a source, and it is consciousness.

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Deepak Chopra , MD is the author of more than 70 books with twenty-one New York Times bestsellers, including co-author with Sanjiv Chopra, MD of Brotherhood: Dharma, Destiny, and The American Dream, and co-author with Rudolph Tanzi of Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-being (Harmony). Chopra serves as Founder of The Chopra Foundation and host of Sages and Scientists Symposium – August 16-18, 2013 at La Costa Resort and Spa.

Menas Kafatos, Ph.D., Fletcher Jones Endowed Professor in Computational Physics, Director of the Center of Excellence at Chapman University, is co-author with Deepak Chopra of the forthcoming book, Who Made God and Other Cosmic Riddles. (Harmony)

P. Murali Doraiswamy, MBBS, FRCP, Professor of Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina and a leading physician scientist in the area of mental health, cognitive neuroscience and mind-body medicine.

Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D., Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard University, and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), is co-author with Deepak Chopra of Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-being. (Harmony)

Radical Responsibility

radical-responsibility

 

“Why would God allow this to happen?”

I heard this questions, in many forms, in many variations many, many times. At last I responded. This time it was about a five-year old girl who was raped with an iron rod and died. Why would God allow this to happen?

“Maybe because God considers humans to be responsible adults who don’t need supervision, but can make their own choices, design their own lives and create their own reality” I responded “maybe because God acknowledges their freedom to do so. Humans are free to choose, some choose pain, others don’t — all create their experience of life with their choices.”

And the inevitable response came:

“But the 5 year old little girl didn’t choose all of this for herself. What does God have to say about that?”

 And … and it gave me pause. It gave me pause not because I didn’t have an answer to that – I have an answer and it is a good one — but because I was not sure my answer would be an acceptable one. I was not sure it would be a hand-able one.

I said:

“God might say: you choose your own faith, you create your destiny and your life in ways you don’t yet understand. You chose where and how you will be born and you choose how, and when, you die. Your life is called ‘your life’ not ‘God’s life’ for a reason. That you are not aware of choosing and creating doesn’t mean you don’t choose and create.”

Is that too much? Is it too much to say? Is it too much to expect from a five year old, from a fifteen year old, from a fifty year old?

But, you see, God just might see humans differently than humans do. God just might know the unlimited power humans wield and with which they create their reality, their world, their life. God might know that there is no limit to what humans can do, to what they can be. God might know that the human world looks and works like it does because humans say so, believe so, relate so.

God might know, at last, that it is nothing more than an outward projection of humans themselves. A name, a concept to which humans assign that which they, themselves, truly are — the ultimate, unlimited creators.

All humans, even those who are five years old.

Is this too much?

How to Trust Intuition for Inner Guidance

“I believe in intuitions and inspirations…I sometimes FEEL that I am right. I do not KNOW that I am.” ― Albert Einstein

“Intuition is the voice of our soul,” says intuitive Scotti Putnam Holloway.open Scotti is the founder of SP Divine Explorations. She has studied with incredible teachers including bestselling authors, Sonia Choquette and Doreen Virtue, and she travels worldwide to do readings and teach about intuition. I’ve watched her trust her intuition to grow her business and to use it as a way to be of service to others. In the following interview she helps us understand what intuition is and ways to allow it to guide us especially during challenging times.

Q: More and more people are realizing that there’s something more than just the rational mind that guides and prompts us. Some of us call it soul-Self, Higher Power, Spirit and it nudges us into action through intuition. How would you define intuition?

Scotti: I define Intuition as that ancient old wisdom or “knowing” that we are all born with and as we learn to listen,develop and act upon the messages from this beautiful higher power, we rediscover that which we have always known. Simply put, Intuition is the voice of our soul.

Q: What are some of the best ways to develop intuition and to learn to trust it?

Scotti: There are four separate steps that I talk about in my classes that help one tap into and develop their intuition. The first is to simply be open to being intuitive. Many of us block this gift from our everyday life fearing judgement from others. The second is to expect to hear this knowledge as we ask Divine Spirit for information.The next is to trust the information that you receiving when it comes to you in it’s many forms of arrival. And the last would be to Act on the information that you have been given. The more that we respond to this information from our higher self, the more information that we will receive.

Q: What have been some of the ways that your intuition has guided you?

Scotti: My intuition truly guides every moment of my daily life very much like having my own personal GPS system. By listening to and being in tune to the subtle messages  from Divine Spirit, I have made healthy decisions in different areas of my life  including finding the new building for my business, creating and surrounding myself with a community of happy,healthy like minded soul family, and have most recently found a beautiful house in a wonderful neighborhood that I have long admired. Yes, this sacred guidance system has never led me astray.

Q: A lot of people seem to be experiencing tough times especially with finances, jobs and the economic challenges. How can intuition help guide the way through this?

Scotti: It does seem that the fear base of the collective whole is at an all-time high which leads to a tough time in staying grounded and centered and truly listening to our intuition. It is important during these times to check in daily with yourself and tune into how you are feeling. What areas in your body are perhaps a little “off”? When trying to get through the tougher times in life and especially when faced with a difficult decision, simply stand still for a moment, take a deep breath in and and ask yourself out loud whatever you are looking for an answer about. If the feeling that you receive after asking the question feels exciting or expansive, then you should proceed forward. Likewise, if the feeling that you feel after asking the question feels constricted or fearful, then it may not be the right move for you to make in that moment. For me personally, I think that the best way a person can stay in- tune with their higher self, is through the ritual of daily spiritual practice. This should be a part of your morning routine just as combing your hair or brushing your teeth are. Keeping in mind that everyone’s definition of daily spiritual practice vary’s greatly. For me it is a simple, “Thank you,Thank you, Thank you” before my feet hit the ground, followed by a beautiful prayer from A Course in Miracles that states “Where would you have me go? What would you have me do? What would you have me say? and to whom?” Giving myself to the service of others and truly expecting great things to happen during the course of my day.

Finally, I do a morning and an evening meditation. Please remember that It’s not so much about  what you do to connect with your higher self, it’s just important that you take the time to make the connection.

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Debra Moffitt is the award winning author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life and “Garden of Bliss”. A visionary, dreamer and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices, writing and creativity in the U.S. and Europe.

More at http://www.awakeintheworld.com and on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/DebraMoffittAwakeintheWorld

My Spiritual Journey

I lost all my religion the summer of 1994 when I was nineteen (nearly 20). I had been a devout non-denominational Christian growing up, especially as a teenager when my father absconded with my siblings and me and I walked through the valley of the shadow of death for 3 1/2 years. I was really close to God during that time. I even prayed before every test I took at school. I also did Hatha Yoga during that time by learning it out of a book my mom had given me. When I was 17, a year after being freed from my father’s tyranny, I was walking to school one day, and I had a mystical experience, which caused me to became agnostic. I spent the next couple of years investigating other religions in my search for truth. At age 19, I suddenly and unexpectedly became atheist. The absolute truth that there was no God dawned on me one day with unequivacol clarity and all my faith deserted me. It wasn’t pleasant. I felt like the safety net that had been under me as I’d walked the tightrope of life was suddenly gone. I also felt like I was fumbling around in the dark groping for my glasses. Around this time three unusual things happened…

-In my sleep one night, I realized I hadn’t breathed in for a while. I didn’t feel the need to breath at all. I felt like I could have stayed like that forever, and I allowed myself to enjoy the feeling for a few more seconds before giving in to the part of me that was worried that I would die if I didn’t breath. Better safe, than sorry, I always say. Right after I forced myself to take a breath, I woke up and wondered if I really would have died in my sleep if I hadn’t. Someone recently told me that I was in a deep meditative state wherein I wasn’t aware of my breathing, but that doesn’t make much sense to me since I was aware that I was not breathing.

-I had an encounter with a future self. I was feeling very sad one evening, and I suddenly saw my future self nearby rocking serenely in a rocking chair in my mind’s eye. I was able to see myself through her eyes and feel the love she had in her heart for me, and it was a great comfort. Since then, I have reached out to my future selves many times for comfort and wisdom as well as reached back to extend comfort and love to my past selves from my current position.

-At seemingly random moments, I began remembering old dreams as clearly as if I had just woken up from them with all of the attendant emotional feelings and physical sensations I’d had at those times in my life. It was progressive and started with dreams from my early childhood. A few months later I was into the dreams I’d had in my teen years, and eventually I worked my way up to the present. The whole process took a year or so. It reminded me of a slow motion version of someone’s life flashing before their eyes.

In my mid-twenties I found God again through exposure to Hinduism. It turns out God was right there inside of me, and I WAS God. I also learned how to meditate and discovered that I had a Higher Self that was more aware than my normal self, and that I could connect with my Higher Consciousness (Hi-C) at will, and that, in Hi-C, I could connect with the Higher Consciousnesses of others as well. Then, through another spiritual discipline, I learned that the Universe is in me, and I AM the Universe. That cracked me up because I had been asking the Universe for stuff only to find out that I WAS the Universe, and therefore I had been asking myself! Still makes me chuckle a little. I actually fell onto the couch laughing the moment I had that realization. I quickly got back up, though, because it was in the middle of a ceremony and there was a circle of people standing there waiting for me to rejoin them. The bemused looks on their faces makes me chuckle, too. Ahh, good times, good times. Very good times, actually. A real bright spot in my life.

I was able to connect with Jesus one day. I saw snippets of his life through his eyes and felt first-hand how much he cherished Mary (his lover). I merged with his consciousness and became him for a moment. I also merged with the consciousness of an acquaintence of mine right after he passed away, and that gave me a lot of insight into life after death and helped me to overcome my fear of dying.

Alas, eventually the notion that I was God evaporated! The whole notion of God evaporated. God is just a concept that doesn’t work for me.

But it was okay this time because I still had a "Higher Power" to turn to. Around the age of 30, I began turning my life over to the guidance of my Higher Self on a daily basis, and eventually I merged with my Higher Self. This is when life got difficult (in a sense) because I could no longer define a Higher Power outside of myself. All was contained within me. All the guidance and grace I needed came from within. But this did not explain how or why everything in existence had come into being. After struggling for a few months to come up with an explanation (a new definition or understanding of God), I finally relaxed into the not-knowing and got comfortable with it. I hope to one day unravel the mystery, and I trust that some day people will know the answers, but it will probably be long after I’m gone. And so, I became an atheist again. A reborn atheist. A born-again Atheist?

I’m 34 now. I’ve shed pretty much all beliefs and am creating my own understanding of the nature of reality. I seem to dwell in an often random universe, and, out of the randomness, perception creates order. Meaning is in the eye of the beholder. I’m comfortable with that. There is also cause and effect at work. Everything happens as a result of some causal factor and through the cooperation of individuals working together, wether it’s individual units/waves of energy, chromosomes, cells, people, organizations, whatever. Right now I’m interested in how my cells are discreet beings, and how they cooperate in creating the larger organism that is me, and how I seem to be here to serve them even while they are serving me. I recently discovered the concept of holarchy in someone ele’s blog on this site, and it really frames a lot of what I’ve been thinking rather nicely and puts a name to it. 

Speaking of cooperation, I have a newfound appreciation for so-called ancestor worship. Although I’ve been aware of non-physical presences at various times, I am just now coming to understand how we are guided and helped and cared for by those in the spirit world. But I’m not sure why yet. Are the deceased family members and others that I sense part of my ‘soul family’, and are they trying to help me so that we can ascend together as a group to the next level? That’s one theory I’ve heard, but It actually seems to me that everybody in the spirit realm who is helping anyone on earth is also trying to help everybody on earth.

On another note (or perhaps it’s very connected), I’ve been through enough to realize that hell is a state of mind more so than a place people may go to after they die; therefore, it follows that so, too, must heaven be; so I am now going about the business of making Heaven on Earth a reality. I am finding people who will lovingly cooperate with me in making this happen. It’s very exciting!