Lessons learned from the movie With One Voice

df81b0c84a7dd883a1a26ef015803e95-1I am a seeker of good things. Religion has always been a tough one to grasp for me on a personal level. I have always seen the lines of division and have a deep longing to understand things on a higher level. This movie talks to a variety of different religious leaders and seekers. It had some good lessons to share.

My hope is you can take something positive away. There are always good things if you look for them.

13235-man-alone-walks-water-path-road-sky-clouds-horizon-1200w-tnEVERYONE IS A SEEKER

We already are that which we are seeking.

“Ultimate freedom is not outside ourselves, it is not only within us, but it is our very nature.” -Buddha

“The intellectual can envision what a utopian society would look like. The mystic knows that paradise is within and that we can offer paradise. That we can offer the nectar of paradise. We can offer the banquet table of LOVE for all of humanity and we can all sit at the banquet table together.”  -Sufi woman

If you were to bring in 10 lamps of light in to one place, each would be different from the other in form. But when you look at their light you cannot differentiate one from the other.

We make no distinction of our messengers Were you to count 100 apples, 100 fruits, the 100 would not remain, but become 1 when pressed together. In matters spiritual–there are no parts, no numbers, there is no division.

All the great religions of the world have communicated the same universal message–appreciate the diversity of spiritual tradition by seeing g their inherent unity.

Many religious differences stem from different interpretations of the followers. Ex: Jesus had 12 disciples. Those disciples are not on the same level of understanding [as Jesus], so they each create their own interpretation of a message, teaching, experience, etc. They then share their story to others.

 

1246139-geshe-kelsang-gyatso-quote-without-inner-peace-outer-peace-isIT IS INNER PEACE THAT LEADS TO OUTER PEACE

Hatred and all forms of aggression will cease to exist in the world. Peace in the world will become a reality when individuals realized that we belong to each other.

“Peace is our true nature. The only way to have peace in the world is when people find the peace from within and then share it.” -Swami Karunananda

“War is more about ABSENCE–an absence of care, community, love, etc. It is an aggressive way to state what is truly NEEDED. Humans want more than anything to be in LOVE.” -Dr. Malidoma Patrice Some

“Anger. Hatred. Fear is not part of our essential nature. Not being open to our spiritual nature that disconnection or dis-association, by itself, moves our experiences to the opposite–instead of LOVE there is HATe. Instead of PEACE there is AGGRESSION.” -A. Hameed Alu

Begin with one person–YOU. You affect those who are in the same room with you. Then they go out into the world and affect others and on and on and on.

“If one person feels deeply, sees deeply into the unconditioned nature of the human heart that experience liberates all human beings.” -Joan Halifax, Roshi

 

214803-elbert-hubbard-quote-love-grows-by-giving-the-love-we-give-away-isLOVE

“Love is the essence that makes thorns into flowers, which transforms vinegar into sweet wine. Transforms the devil into an angel.”  -Dr. Mohammad F

“The only way to LOVE is by giving it.” -J Halifax

“Love is an infinite ocean.” -Sheikha Fariha

All spiritual traditions or practices converge in the belief that…we are one with the great perfection of life.

The mystic honors each spiritual tradition and realizes its importance in creating a medium for every person to discover their own personal truth.

 

354464-j-r-r-tolkien-quote-the-road-goes-ever-on-and-on-down-from-theTHE MANY PATHS TO TRUTH

“The reason there are so many spiritual paths is because there are so many different cultures.” -John Daido Loori

“The many birds in the air, each have their own songs. I have yet to see a crow sing an eagle’s song. They were each given their own song.” -grandmother Lillian Pitwanakwat, Ahishinabe Kwe Elder

“A group of people are gathered together and one person stands up and says,  “Salads are the only way.” Another stands up, “Pudding is the way.” Another, “Vegan is the only way to go.” We would think that is ridiculous, but we do the exact same thing with religions. -Swami K.

“Wisdom says I am nothing. Love says that I am everything. Between the two my life moves.” -Hindu

The beginning of Love is to know we are the other. True Love knows no boundaries and illuminates everyones heart. The beginning of Peace is to find it within ourselves. It is our own inner peace that leads to peace within the world. The beginning and end of this journey exists right here, right now.

“Is it possible to look around at all the people everywhere and see the gifts? Start with the gift of LOVE. What would the world look like if we converged our frustration into compassion. Our hatred into love.” -Dr.

6a00e55417fcfd8834012877a232e6970cSPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION

“People seek external things.The main mistake people make in life–they seek happiness, they seek meaning in external ways. It is usually only when people have exhausted and convinced themselves that it’s not going to do it that the only other place to look is within.” -Swami K

“What has been invested for inner well-being? We spend so much time creating the external, fixing the outside…”

“Go hike. Stand still. Look at a tree. In the depths of quiet the greatest song can be heard.” -Dr.

13495-woman-sitting-mountain-valley-looking-cold-outside-1200w-tnSOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

Sit. Look at what your mind is filled with—what are your thoughts? Are they filled with anger, frustration, kindness, love? That is what you are contributing to the world.

In the end, we are all mystics. We all share the longing to find our divine nature. We need only to look within our hearts and listen deeply, so that we will join the conversation and speak with one voice.

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LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.

2dgfpaq6Since the month of LOVE is quickly approaching, I thought it would be a good idea to post about LOVE. Not just “Love YOU” sentiments or valentine hearts and kisses, the LOVE that begins with YOU.

I think on some level every single one of us have moments where we struggle with loving ourselves. You may be on one end of the spectrum where you just have moments of self-doubt or maybe you truly dislike many things and suffer through life. On any level, it begins with YOU. You truly cannot love others or give love without beginning with the person in the mirror.

I love how John Lennon puts it

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This made me want to find further information to prove that LOVE truly can conquer all fears and help us begin to love ourselves and others. We need to kick the fear, insecurities, shame, sadness, low energy feelings and begin to replace them with higher frequency thoughts and feelings. When we are able to begin to change FEAR (self-doubt, self-hatred, depression, envy, all the negative emotions) and replace them with LOVE (joy, happiness, self-love, trust, all the positive emotions) then things truly begin to change.

When we begin with ourselves LOVE and light will then radiate in all we do. We can then reach out and LOVE others. We can then have something to give to others. The beautiful circle begins.

THE SCIENCE BEHIND THIS:

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In a joint study with Stony Brook University, Rutgers University, and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, researchers performed brain scans of people in long-term relationships. The couples studied were in a loving partnership for an average of 21.4 years. The researchers found significant activation in the medial orbitofrontal cortex.1 That is part of the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain involved in regulating behavior and decision-making.

If we take a look at the brain, we can break the brain up into three major parts. The first part or outside layer is the neocortex, or new layer. This is the last layer to evolve. Going deeper we find the limbic system or emotional brain. Then at the core we find the reptilian brain. This houses our automatic responses such as breathing and instinctual actions.

This small but mighty reptilian brain has the capability to shut down the neocortex and take over. It can literally take the part of the brain where love resides off line. When fear triggers the fight or flight response, brain activity is transfer from the prefrontal cortex in the neocortex to the inner reptilian brain. This can happen when we feel stress or anxiety. In fact, in some people without the behavioral modifying prefrontal cortex keeping their baser impulses in check, can find themselves over-eating, compulsively shopping, gambling, or even turning to drugs and alcohol.

But more importantly to this discussion, stress or fear can weaken the neuro-connections to love. In fact, research at Mount Sinai School of Medicine found that chronic stress or focusing on fear shrivel the connections to the prefrontal cortex.2 Therefor the concept that there is only fear or love is scientifically valid.

To make matters worse, fear is actually stronger than love. When fear pops up, it disconnects the brain from love. However, the good news is that the neuro-connections to love can be regrown. By letting go of fear and anxiety, you get the added bonus of the greater capacity for long-term love.  -Taken from dawnmaslar article

YOUR THOUGHTS: The principle is simple: Throughout your brain there is a collection of synapses separated by empty space called the synaptic cleft. Whenever you have a thought, one synapse shoots a chemical across the cleft to another synapse, thus building a bridge over which an electric signal can cross, carrying along its charge the relevant information you’re thinking about. It’s very similar to how nerves carry electric from the sensation in your toe all the way up to your brain where it’s actually “felt”. 
Here’s the kicker: Every time this electrical charge is triggered, the synapses grow closer together in order to decrease the distance the electrical charge has to cross. This is a microcosmic example of evolution, of adaptation. The brain is rewiring its own circuitry, physically changing itself, to make it easier and more likely that the proper synapses will share the chemical link and thus spark together–in essence, making it easier for the thought to trigger. Therefore, your first mystical scientific evidence: your thoughts reshape your brain, and thus are changing a physical construct of reality. Let that sink in for a moment before you continue, because that’s a seriously profound logic-bomb right there.   -curiousapes.com.   

So, what does that mean: You are strengthening your brain with either LOVE or FEAR. YOU decide every second of every day what you are allowing to grow through your thoughts. You are either nurturing thoughts of LOVE or FEAR.

 

lovevsfearIN CLOSING
It’s true that there are only two primary emotions, love and fear. But it’s more accurate to say that there is only love or fear, for we cannot feel these two emotions together, at exactly the same time. They’re opposites. If we’re in fear, we are not in a place of love. When we’re in a place of love, we cannot be in a place of fear. Can you think of a time when you’ve been in both love and fear? It’s impossible.

We have to make a decision to be in one place or the other. There is no neutrality in this. If you don’t actively choose love, you will find yourself in a place of either fear or one of its component feelings. Every moment offers the choice to choose one or the other. And we must continually make these choices, especially in difficult circumstances when our commitment to love, instead of fear, is challenged.   –Elisabeth Kubler-Ross & David Kessler from “Life Lessons: Two Experts on Death and Dying Teach Us About the Mysteries of Life and Living”

tumblr_nsc2fqnyjl1qgpsoko1_1280love-fear

Begin today to become more aware of what you are telling yourself and what you are living–LOVE or FEAR. It truly is one or the other. Look at it for yourself. You either FEEL good or bad in anything you do, say or feel. Be aware and begin to truly LOVE yourself. This will then begin the beautiful circle that will surround you and all those in it.

LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.

-Peace and lots of LOVE to you today. -H

GREAT STORY

6eb60d5fcde77af6bd352606ef09bb3eI have been reading Pam Grout’s newest book, “Thank & Grow Rich” which has been a great read. THANK YOU, Pam!! She has some great stories and I wanted to share one that truly shares how money cannot buy happiness.

I think it is easy for all of us to think if we had more money, a bigger house, a better car…we would be finally HAPPY. Even though we have heard time and time again by the richest of rich that money doesn’t buy happiness, we still wonder. Reading stories like the following reminds us of the reality of what is truly important. Enjoy!

Here is the story from Pam’s book…

The only thing the one-percenters have over the average Joes is this: They already know that accumulating money doesn’t bring lasting happiness. They’ve already figured out that having a gazillion dollars in the bank doesn’t produce the profound contentment after which the rest of us lust.

Take Ken Behring, for example. Growing up in Depression-era Wisconsin in a house without central heat or hot water, Behring fell for the lie that he’d be happy if only he were rich. As a young boy, he mowed lawns, caddied at golf courses, delivered newspapers.

He had spunk and drive and eventually became an uber-successful real estate developer. By the time he was 27, he was a millionaire. And he got all the stuff he thought he wanted: a big house, a boat, fancy cars.

When that didn’t bring any real happiness, he tried “better stuff”: bigger houses, a bigger yacht, fancier cars.

Eventually, that began to reek like the other stuff. Maybe he was going for the “wrong stuff”; maybe he should try “different stuff.” Maybe buying the Seattle Seahawks would make him happy.

Nope, foiled again. He eventually sold his professional football team and started hunting in Africa, flying over in his private jet. When he could, he’d take supplies, books and medicine for the local guides and their families.

LDS philanthropies (the charitable branch of the Church of Latter-day Saints) heard about his trips and asked if he’d be willing to make a detour, to drop off supplies to Kosovo war refugees. After loading up 15 tons of canned meat, they noticed extra room and added six wheelchairs.

While in Romania, Behring, who passed out the wheelchairs himself, was grabbed by one of the young refugees, who had stepped on a land mine and lost his legs. “Don’t leave just yet,” said the grateful young boy, who refused to let go of Behring’s leg. “I want to memorize your face so when we meet again in heaven, I can thank you one more time.”

“It was the first time I ever felt real joy,” says Behring, who has since given away nearly a million bright red wheelchairs. “It changed my life. This [charitable work] is the greatest thing I have ever achieved in my life.”

The good news is that because our financial system us an antiquated cultural story, it can be changed.

It starts with a new definition of wealth: the ease and freedom to be generous. The ease and freedom to pursue your dreams. The ease and freedom to live for the upliftment of all creation.

Choosing the joy and gratitude frequency generates a different kind of capital, one that feeds the soul, one that serves your real desires–to be of service, to be a channel for love, to create insanely beautiful things.

 

I LOVE THAT STORY. I hope anyone who reads this (or her book) will walk away feeling that life is about a higher purpose and that we are the instruments to channel the good things of this world. I hope we can all begin to see the larger scale of humanity and the direct connections we all have and begin to use our gifts and talents to touch the lives of others.

Peace and Love to you today.  -H

New Year New Pages

I Love the thought of a new year with 365 new pages to create, to write, to dream, to live. With a new year there are new pressures we place on ourselves, new expectations, new goals…etc. Maybe we need to take it day by day, be gentle on ourselves and ask simpler questions.

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Maybe we need to ask, Did I Love enough today? Yourself and others.

laughingMaybe we need to ask, Did I Laugh enough today? Because everything changes with a little laughter.

201211-orig-deepak-chopra9-949x534Maybe we need to ask, Did I make a difference today? Because you may be the very difference someone else asked for.

Begin there. Let go of the long to do lists, the “day 1” approach, the way we beat ourselves up if we didn’t work out on “day 1” or enjoyed the holidays too much & gained 5 lbs. Be gentle. Begin to ask little questions, simple questions that will begin to move you in the inner direction you need to be going. YOU know yourself better than anyone. What do you FEEL you are missing & begin with that. Maybe you are tired—take a nap. Maybe you are “hungry” for something other than food. Maybe you need more self love. Maybe you need to laugh. Maybe you need to serve. YOU truly do know what you need to be your best for yourself and everyone around you. Begin with the little things and the bigger things will follow.

newyears-quotesyoure-brave-enough-to-start-stephen-king-quotes-sayings-pictures110549-new-year-inspirational-quotes-and-sayings-1

Begin. Day by Day. Happy New Year. Peace and Love to all.  -H