Showers of Mercy (rerun)


Surely Goodness and Mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of God forever…

~~Psalm 23

Hello all 🙂  I’m going to be off the grid the next several days, but I wanted to do another 2010 post before I leave.  It seems like a good time for a few “best of” posts, so here ya go…  It is interesting to me that I originally posted this one in July, but I won’t have to change a single word for it to be applicable again today.  A lot of folks are having a rough time right now, it’s been a deep year for a lot of people.  I think that given the year a lot of folks have had, being reminded of goodness and mercy might be good thing.

I love that part of the 23rd Psalm, I love thinking that the deepest qualities of the Divine–Goodness, Love and Mercy–are always with me.  I love knowing Love is the House of God and I am always in that house.  I love knowing that even with all the pain and fear we all experience in a lifetime, there is also goodness and mercy.  There is something comforting to me about knowing these qualities have been around as long as humans have roamed this earth.  Even things that feel so personal are also so universal, and there is something deeply comforting to me in that.

I hope this finds all of you experiencing Showers of Mercy today….without further ado, here is your holiday double dip ;)…

I’ve gotten a few 911 calls this morning from people in crisis or pain. This is such a deep time for people, it seems like everyone I know and most of my clients are in some kind of relationship shift, some kind of transition or deep grief. Lots of people are sick, lots of things are in a big transition. I am acutely aware of the pains and joys of the people in my inner circle and beyond…aware that like the breath rising and falling, life ebbs and flows, ever moving into something new and different. But the memories linger, the hopes and dreams and hurts and forgiveness become part of the fabric that is the weave of our lives, and I am always amazed by the way the taste of those things remain, lightly sweet yet heavy on the tongue.

As I am witness to the journey of others today, I am also thinking a lot about my grandmother. She’s been gone 9 years, the anniversary of her death is this week. I have never known a woman with more ancient wisdom about people, lumber, the growing of crops, of plants and what to do with them. She was a sharecropper and a child in the Depression, and could make anything out of nothing. She chopped cotton for years, worked in a saw mill for much of her life and somehow raised 9 kids on, as the expression goes down South, “spit and baling wire.” Everything she cooked seemed to have gravy on it, everything just tasted better at her house. She could take a cut rose (usually from a funeral arrangement, no less) and 1/2 a potato and — I’m not making this up– dig a hole and put them in the earth together and end up with a rose bush. I have tried this at least a dozen times and I just end up with a dead rose and a stinky potato. I’ve asked other family members about this–they all remember that she could do it, but no one knows how she did it.

I think wisdom is like that…not just knowledge, although that’s part of it. But a true wisdom of the ages, an understanding of how to do things that is simply long gone. Yet just because something is ancient, it doesn’t mean it’s obsolete. I watch myself and many others of my generation relearn things about gardening and sustainability that she just lived because it was what they did then. She was from a time that has entered the larger flow of history and is a distant memory for those left from her generation. She lived through an abusive husband, through wars and the development of antibiotics, through the advent of television and ballpoint pens, through computers and space travel and life and death and things that would destroy most people.

So this morning, I’m thinking of her and all those who knew and loved her, and all of us who love and have lost someone we love. Certain people leave a lingering taste on the lives of others, a smell and a sound that is always present, ripples in the waters of our souls that just keep echoing out into all we become. If I believed in Heaven, I would believe it smelled like her house and tasted like her cooking. It would smell like beans and cornbread, biscuits and bacon, fresh air and cookies, it would smell like wood stoves and sweet tea and a scent that was hers alone. It would have that same quality of light, that ringing laughter that made anyone with her laugh even more, a full-on delightful laughter that made babies grin and giggle. Even at the end when she was in hospice, she had the same quality of light…that mystical quality twilight has about this time in the summer when the fireflies are dancing in the fields, bestowing upon us a shower of grace and wonder as time rolls by; the quality Light has as a life becomes a memory but the love remains, ever-present, ever accessible, ever with us.

As is the nature of my stream of consciousness, this led me to thinking about other things, which led me to thinking about George Washington Carver (I realize this is quite a leap, but just try to follow the bouncing ball). Someone once asked him how he figured out so many things about peanuts and what to do with them. His response, “Anything will share its secrets with you if you love it enough,” is so beautiful, so instructive. I think this is why my grandmother ended up with rose bushes and I ended up with a pile of compost. She lived with and in her life, not at it. She went through a lot in her life, saw a lot, learned a lot, finished her GED when one of her daughters graduated from high school, made do and thrived on it. She is remembered fondly by all, and we still laugh about her laugh and how much we miss it. Stories about people don’t get a great deal better than that.

So that led me to thinking about a quote by Rabindranath Tagore, “If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars.” She saw the sun and stars in everything and I just love that about her.

So today, when so many are having such a hard time, and I remember one of the beloved people in my life with sweet sadness but a big smile, I think of another Tagore poem, a beautiful prayer…

“My God, when the heart is hard and parched up, come upon me with a shower of mercy. When grace is lost from life, come with a burst of song.

When tumultuous work raises its din on all sides shutting me out from beyond, come to me, sweet God of silence, with your peace and rest.

When my beggarly heart sits crouched, shut up in a corner, break open the door, my king, and come with the ceremony of a king.

When desire blinds the mind with delusion and dust, O holy one, ever wakeful, come with your light and your thunder…”

To those experiencing grief today, we hold you in the tenderness of hope and joy, of compassion and sweet silence, of peace and rest. May you experience ever present showers of mercy and find the comfort of the ages in it. Above all, may you love something enough for it to tell you all its secrets, and bloom in that love. Years from now, may you remember those you loved, and they remember you, and may enduring loving relationships brighten your life. Showers of Mercy, indeed. Stories just don’t get a great deal better than that.

Happy New Year–May it be full of peace, blessings and Showers of Mercy

🙂 T

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Distance Healing


“And God declares,  I will restore you to health and heal your wounds…”
~~Jeremiah 30:17

A few months ago on the Blessings Blog, I started a conversation about distance healing.  In the first post, I talked about science and research regarding distance healing. If you are interested, you can find that information in a post here.

Several people have asked me about distance healing lately, so I wanted to post that article again here.   If you would like to learn more about healing in general, I wrote an article for The Heroic Journal about the difference in healing vs. curing, which can also be found here, in the July 11 archives of the Blessings Blog.

About half of my Blessings Enterprises practice involves distance healing. I have clients of all ages, all seeking a healer for different reasons on the surface…depression, anxiety,  childhood illness, cancer and a myriad of other things.  I  have a lot of clients who feel good but want to feel great, who want to grow by working with a life coach or spiritual director, who want to develop a spiritual practice or just move through some challenging times.  Everyone is welcome and everyone comes for a different surface reason, but all seek the same underlying thing–everyone is seeking healing. The people who come to me all have a certain level of faith that healing is possible, or they wouldn’t come to someone like me at all.  Children often don’t know they are being worked on, but their parents have faith—or at least hope—and so they come seeking relief for whatever plagues the ones whom they love.

I think in order to have faith, you have to have hope.  Yet many who come to me suffer from a true crisis of faith, a loss of hope or both.  But I  believe that buried under the fear or grief that makes a person feel as though there is no hope, there is a spark of life that remains, a soft spot that is open and receptive to healing.  This is what opens us to even greater healing and often into a whole new way of being.

Distance healing is a different experience for the person on the receiving end only in the sense that you are not physically here.  But that doesn’t mean we aren’t together. Buddhists, Hindus, Christians and most traditions incorporate distance healing into their repertoire of health and healing practices because it works and has worked for centuries.  Because I believe All Is One and we are all connected at a deep collective and energetic level,  I believe all healing is possible.

The Buddhist practice of Tonglen, Hindu and Buddhist practices of pujas or other ceremonies, Shamanic journeys in many traditions and intercessory prayer in the Christian tradition are just a few examples of distance healing practices.  There are several Biblical examples of healing, but my favorite is the Healing of the Centurion’s Servant, found in the books of Matthew and Luke.  A few things to keep in mind about this story…Let’s just say for the sake of argument that this all happened the way it is written.  I’m not as concerned about the details as about the story and the events that unfold here.

A Centurion was a Roman soldier, sort of like an Army Captain.  He had 100 men under him and was part of an occupying force in the city.  Technically, since Jesus was a Jew, this man had authority over Jesus, the Centurion was an oppressor.  But he recognizes the authority of Jesus to heal someone he loves, and because he understands authority—even when he isn’t present—he has faith that Jesus can heal his servant at a distance.  The book of Luke says that the centurion’s other servants came to Jesus, not the centurion himself.  While there have been some arguments over the two versions of this story, to me it remains the same, because I understand representatives and authority.  Put another way, if I have authority over you and send you as my representative, it is as if I came myself.  It’s no different than us expecting our elected representatives to really represent us, or knowing the Secretary of State represents the President and entire U.S. when she travels abroad.

The Faith of the Centurion (Matthew 8:5-13)

When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.”

Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.”

The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. …Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! It will be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that very hour…

This is the essence of what distance healing is all about.  Someone we love needs healing, and so we seek that out, even if the “someone” is us.  So many people show up at my door saying they cannot believe, saying they cannot love themselves, full of self-hatred or fear, depression or anxiety.  But the truth is that’s not who you are.  The truth is that another thing Jesus says in the book of Matthew is true and that is,

You are the Light of the World.

Because you are the Light, and I am the Light, and we are all in that Light together as One, this allows distance healing to be possible.  The Centurion understood this in a way even the followers of Jesus did not.  He understood that when we use the gifts we’ve been given, it plugs us into the reality and understanding of that Light.  He understood that to ask in faith and to really be in our own authority as the giver and as the receiver opens the door for healing.  He understood that the healing he sought for his loved one was physical, but the true healing taking place was spiritual.  The Centurion didn’t have to ask for this—the man for whom he sought healing was a slave.  But he loved him.  And that love opens him up to asking, which opens him up to receiving, which opens everyone up to healing.

In a previous Blessings Blog Post,  I spoke of the science of healing.  But there is an aspect of healing that is so personal, yet so universal, that science may never capture it–the art of love.  Love makes us do things for others  society tells us we shouldn’t, like a Roman military officer approaching an oppressed subject seeking healing for a slave.  Distance healing is outside the mainstream western understanding of curing.  But healing can take place at any time, any place, in many ways.

Just as you can love someone at a distance, pray for them or remember them fondly at a distance, you can heal at a distance.  Just as you can feel the agony over the suffering of the pains of the world and of loved ones and seek out a cure, you can look for that at a distance.  All of the religions and spiritual traditions have practices and beliefs about this and in their most pure form teach this concept.  The religions are not the same, yet the mystics of each tradition share similar experiences and tell us over and over that we are One with the Divine.  Separation is illusion.  Because you are One with all that is, healing at a distance is possible, because the distance truly is only in your mind–it is an illusion.

I believe it is our Divine right to be happy, healthy, whole and free.  This does not mean that we won’t have struggles or get sick, need healing or have a full range of emotions.  That is your direct experience so be with it and really see what it can offer you, whatever it is.  The great mystics, shamans, teachers and healers all got sick, all had severe illnesses and pain and all said it made them better healers and teachers.  As the saying goes in Zen,

The obstacle is the path.  No pain, no compassion.

Needing a healer isn’t failure or evidence of some terrible spiritual malady.  It just means you are at a place in your journey in which you can come more deeply into who you are and who you were created to be.  I believe by doing so, regardless of your beliefs about God or any particular faith tradition, that you can find a depth you may not have experienced before.  You can call this God or your soul, your Buddha nature, your karma, your prana or any number of other things.  What you call it won’t change what it is—pure essence, pure energy, pure Light.  And you share that essence with every living being, science proves that over and over, and the mystics teach it again and again.

As the saying goes, we are not promised a quiet journey, just a safe arrival.  Sometimes we need another person to help us with the journey, a guide and a witness to help us honor our path.  Healing is part of that and just like love, healing comes in many people, places and things. And just like with love, distance is irrelevant.

If you have questions about distance healing, or healing in general, or would like to ask a question or make a comment, feel free to do so on the blog or contact me directly.

Peace and blessings.

Happy Merry all you may celebrate this time of year!

Eclipse & Happy Merry Everything!


 

Hello all!  I wanted to post some sort of really fun, wise, enlightening article here for the holidays, and if there is time I still may do that.  But in the meantime, what is happening tonight is fun, spiritual and has attracted wise seekers throughout the ages.

Tuesday is a total Lunar Eclipse. It is also the Winter Solstice and the World Wide Chant for Peace Day.  Some are saying this is the first time in over 400 years all of these events have happened on the same day.   Christmas is upon us, the day Christians celebrate New Light coming into the world.  So I can’t top any of that in terms of spiritual ponderings.

Given all of that, I wanted to post this article, which can be found on Space.com.  The times are written in EST, but if you are in CST time zone, the eclipse begins at 11:29 Monday night and ends at 5:04 Tuesday morning.   If I don’t make it back here before Christmas, I wish you not just a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, but all the Light and Love and wonder of the ages.

As we all ponder the Light and how it comes into our lives, may we remember to practice wellness and dwell in gratitude.  Many people just experience this season as busy and stressful– may we also remember and practice generous intention, love and joy.  May we remember our Oneness with the Light of the world and joyfully share that with others.   May we remember those for whom this is a sad, lonely, cold or frightening time.  May we send Light and Love to all beings, near and far.  May we hold in our own hearts the wonder of waiting for the Divine, for the gifts of the spirit, for supernatural and once-in-a-lifetime events.   May we all be safe, loved and happy.  May enduring loving relationships brighten our lives, and may you listen to your heart above all other voices.

Go in the peace of the infinite Light available to you, safe travels, and happy holidays.

Without further ado, here is the full article.

peace 🙂

The 12 Stages of Monday’s Total Lunar Eclipse
By Joe Rao
SPACE.com Skywatching Columnist
posted: 19 December 2010
10:25 am ET

No enthusiastic sky watcher ever misses a total eclipse of the moon. The spectacle is often more beautiful and interesting than one would think. To prepare for the rare event on Dec. 20-21, here are some tips to keep in mind.

During the time that the moon is entering into, and later emerging from, the Earth’s shadow, secondary phenomena may be overlooked. Below we describe 12 stages of a total lunar eclipse. [Lunar Eclipse Viewing Guide]

Probably not all of those mentioned will occur because no two eclipses are exactly the same. But many will, and those who know what to look for have a better chance of seeing them! [Amazing photos of a total lunar eclipse]

Click here for a table showing the times of all 12 stages in different time zones. This star chart shows where in the sky the upcoming lunar eclipse will appear.

The various stages, fully described:

1) Moon enters penumbra (12:29 a.m. EST/9:29 p.m. PST) The shadow cone of the earth has two parts: a dark, inner umbra, surrounded by a lighter penumbra. The penumbra is the pale outer portion of the Earth’s shadow. Although the eclipse begins officially at this moment, this is in essence an academic event. You won’t see anything unusual happening to the moon – at least not just yet.

The Earth’s penumbral shadow is so faint that it remains invisible until the moon is deeply immersed in it. We must wait until the penumbra has reached roughly 70 percent across the moon’s disk. For about the next 45 minutes the full moon will continue to appear to shine normally although with each passing minute it is progressing ever deeper into the Earth’s outer shadow.

2) Penumbral shadow begins to appear (1:13 a.m. EST/10:13 p.m. PST) Now the moon has progressed far enough into the penumbra so that it should be evident on its disk. Start looking for a very subtle light shading to appear on the moon’s upper left portion. This will become increasingly more and more evident as the minutes pass; the shading will appear to spread and deepen. Just before the moon begins to enter the Earth’s dark umbral shadow the penumbra should appear as an obvious smudge or tarnish on the moon’s left portion.

3) Moon enters umbra (1:33 a.m. EST/10:33 p.m. PST) The moon now begins to cross into the Earth’s dark central shadow, called the umbra. A small dark scallop begins to appear on the moon’s upper left-hand (northeastern) limb. The partial phases of the eclipse begin; the pace quickens and the change is dramatic. The umbra is much darker than the penumbra and fairly sharp-edged.

As the minutes pass the dark shadow appears to slowly creep across the moon’s face. At first the moon’s limb may seem to vanish completely inside of the umbra, but much later, as it moves in deeper you’ll probably notice it glowing dimly orange, red or brown. Notice also that the edge of the Earth’s shadow projected on the moon is curved.  Here is visible evidence that the Earth is a sphere, as deduced by Aristotle from Iunar eclipses he observed in the 4th century B.C.

Almost as if a dimmer switch was slowly being turned down, the surrounding landscape and deep shadows of a brilliant moonlit night begin to fade away.

4) 75 percent coverage (2:23 a.m. EST/11:23 p.m. EST) With three-quarters of the moon’s disk now eclipsed, that part of it that is immersed in shadow should begin to very faintly light up  similar to a piece of iron heated to the point where it just begins to glow. It now becomes obvious that the umbral shadow is not complete darkness. Using binoculars or a telescope, its outer part is usually light enough to reveal lunar seas and craters, but the central part is much darker, and sometimes no surface features are recognizable.

Colors in the umbra vary greatly from one eclipse to the next. Reds and grays usually predominate, but sometimes browns, blues and other tints are encountered.

5) Less than five minutes to totality (2:37 a.m. EST/11:37 p.m. PST) Several minutes before (and after) totality, the contrast between the remaining pale-yellow sliver and the ruddy-brown coloration spread over the rest of the moon’s disk may produce a beautiful phenomenon known to some as the “Japanese lantern effect. ”

6) Total eclipse begins (2:41 a.m. EST/11:41 p.m. PST) When the last of the moon enters the umbra, the total eclipse begins. How the moon will appear during totality is not known. Some eclipses are such a dark gray-black that the moon nearly vanishes from view. During other eclipses it can glow a bright orange.

The reason the moon can be seen at all when totally eclipsed is that sunlight is scattered and refracted around the edge of the Earth by our atmosphere. To an astronaut standing on the moon during totality, the sun would be hidden behind a dark Earth outlined by a brilliant red ring consisting of all the world’s sunrises and sunsets.

The brightness of this ring around the earth depends on global weather conditions and the amount of dust suspended in the air. A clear atmosphere on Earth means a bright lunar eclipse. If a major volcanic eruption has injected particles into the stratosphere, the eclipse is very dark.

Because of the recent eruptions of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland last spring and the Merapi volcano in Indonesia in October, one and possibly two clouds of ash and dust might be currently floating high above the Earth. As a result, the moon may appear darker than usual during this eclipse; during totality, parts of the moon might even become black and invisible.

7) Middle of totality (3:17 a.m. EST/12:17 a.m. PST)The moon is now shining anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 times fainter than it was just a couple of hours ago.

Since the moon is moving to the north of the center of the Earth’s umbra, the gradation of color and brightness across the lunar disk should be such that its lower portion should appear darkest, with hues of deep copper or chocolate brown. Meanwhile, its upper portion – that part of the moon closest to the outer edge of the umbra should appear brightest, with hues of reds, oranges and even perhaps a soft bluish-white.

Observers away from bright city lights will notice a much greater number of stars than were visible earlier in the night. The darkened moon will be near the constellation Taurus, just beyond the tips of the bull’s horns and hovering high above the stars of Orion, the hunter.

The darkness of the sky is impressive. The surrounding landscape has taken on a somber hue. Before the eclipse, the full moon looked flat and one-dimensional. During totality, however, it will look smaller and three-dimensional – like some weirdly illuminated ball suspended in space.

Before the moon entered the Earth’s shadow, the temperature at the lunar equator on its sunlit surface hovered at 260 degrees F (127 degrees C). Since the moon lacks an atmosphere, there is no way that this heat could be retained from escaping into space as the shadow sweeps by.

Now, in shadow, the temperature on the moon has plummeted to minus 280 degrees F (minus 173 degrees C). A drop of over 500 degrees F (300 degrees C) in only about two hours!

8) Total eclipse ends (3:53 a.m. EST/12:53 am. PST) The emergence of the moon from the shadow begins. The first small segment of the moon begins to reappear, followed again for the next several minutes by the Japanese Lantern Effect.

9) 75 percent coverage (4:10 a.m. EST/1:10 a.m. PST) Any vestiges of coloration within the umbra should be disappearing now. From here on out, as the dark shadow methodically creeps off the moon’s disk it should appear black and featureless.

10) Moon leaves umbra (5:01 a.m. EST/2:01 a.m. PST) The dark central shadow clears the moon’s upper right hand (northwestern) limb.

11) Penumbra shadow fades away (5:20 a.m. EST/2:20 p.m. PST) As the last, faint shading vanishes off the moon’s upper right portion, the visual show comes to an end.

12) Moon leaves penumbra (6:04 a.m. EST/3:04 p.m. PST) The eclipse officially ends, as the moon is completely free of the penumbral shadow.

you can find the original article here, at Space.com.

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