BURNING BOWL CEREMONY
January 8, 2012
Rev. Jan Chase
A woman picked through the frozen turkeys at the grocery store, but she couldn't find one large enough to feed her family. "Do these turkeys get any bigger?" she asked a stock boy. "No, ma'am," he replied. "They're dead." (The American Legion magazine)
Over the years of our lives, parts of us have died.
Much of our power has been stifled, blocked by cultural, religious, family and self injunctions that hold our spirit down from the flight it longs to take.
Imprisoned, those parts get little or no attention. Often they are completely forgotten as we try to be the people we feel we “SHOULD” be for our families, work, culture, etc.
Yet these parts have gifts for us. They are part of who we are and how we were made to make the world work. We are puzzle pieces in the overall picture of creation. When we play our pieces in the puzzle of life, we hold others find the places for their pieces and we help hold them in place. We are so interconnected with each other that when we release our blocks, others release theirs as well.
If you are feeling stuck, frustrated, afraid, angry, unmotivated, you will find that there are thoughts, ideas, and habits in your life that block your good.
What is that GOOD that YOU ARE?
Genesis 1:26 Then God said, "Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth." 27 So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
It is important for us to understand the image of God in which we have been created.
The book of First John is my favorite description of God.
I John 3:4 Little children, you are from God,…; for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
In other words, the divine within us is strong enough to overcome any obstacle in the world!
5 They are from the world; therefore what they say is from the world, and the world listens to them.
There is Truth and there is error thinking. Truth is within us. Error thinking is the shallow, marketing thinking that tells us that what we need to make us happy is outside of us and costs money.
6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and whoever is not from God does not listen to us. From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
Because of the Divine Essence of Truth within us, we have the ability to discern Truth from error thinking.
7 Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. …
Because the Love of God lives within us, when we love each other, we become expressions of God and God’s Love.
11 Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in God and God in us, because God has given us of his Spirit.
This idea of Divine love is not just a Christian idea but is found in all religions.
Bahá'u'lláh (one of the founders of the Baha’i religion ) affirms that a loving Creator has fashioned the universe with the "clay of love" and placed within every heart the "essence" of Divine ‘light’ and ‘beauty.’”
Swami Vivakananda who was the first Hindu to teach in America and who I believe greatly influenced the Fillmore said -“God reveals Himself to the pure heart.”
Myrtle Fillmore believed that if individuals turned their attention ‘to the energies of the spiritual world,’ they would be ‘awakened spiritually,’ and realize their God-like nature. She and Charles called this state of advanced spiritual awakening the ‘Christ Consciousness’ –the same state of consciousness Jesus attained in his life-time…. She declared, ‘That is the purpose of life, to find the Christ and live the Christ life.’” Neal Vahle, The Unity Movement: Its Evolution and Spiritual Teachings p 11:
Each of us has been chosen by God.
"Ye did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that ye should go and bear fruit" (John 15:16).”
Charles Fillmore, The Revealing Word. “chosen of God--God has chosen each of us as a medium for the expression of Himself as love, life, wisdom, abundance, health, and so forth."
Yet, most of the people around us did not realize that we were chosen of God. Because our parents weren’t perfect, because our teachers and friends weren’t perfect and because no one gave us or them a handbook to use with ourselves and each other, we felt wounded and allow scar tissue to form deep within us which blocked our Light and our Love.
Douglas MacArthur said: “In the central place of every heart there is a recording chamber. So long as it receives a message of beauty, hope, cheer, and courage - so long are you young. When the wires are all down and our heart is covered with the snow of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then, and only then, are you grown old.”
Our pure heart has hardened. Yet is it still filled with the splendor of the divine!
Charles Fillmore: "In Divine Mind, love is the power that joins and binds in divine harmony the universe and everything in it; the great harmonizing principle known to man. Divine love is impersonal; it loves for the sake of loving. It is not concerned with what or who it loves, nor with a return of love. Like the sun, its joy is in the shining forth of its nature."
You are love.
You are an eternal being.
You are light more brilliant than the sun when you do not block your brilliance.
You are the DIVINE unfolding in this world.
Let us this day remove some of our blocks to our Christ Consciousness and let our Light and Love shine out more brightly.
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barrierswithin yourself that you have built against it.” -Maulana Jelaluddin Rumi http://faith786.wordpress.com/2008/05/02/islamic-quotes/ (Accessed 4/29/11)
In case you think you resist change, I invite you to think over some of the changes you have gone through in the last 20 to 40 years.
1970 vs. 2001
1970: Long Hair
2001: Longing for hair
1970: The perfect high.
2001: The perfect high yield mutual fund.
1970: Acid Rock.
2001: Acid Reflux.
1970: Moving to California because it's cool.
2001: Moving to California because it's warm.
1970: Growing pot.
2001: Growing pot belly.
1970: Trying to look like Marlon Brando or Elizabeth Taylor.
2001: Trying NOT to look like Marlon Brando or Elizabeth Taylor.
1970: Seeds and stems.
1970: Popping pills, smoking joints.
2001: Popping joints.
1970: Killer weed.
2001: Weed killer.
1970: Getting out to a new, hip joint.
2001: Getting a new hip joint.
1970: Rolling Stones.
2001: Kidney stones.
1970: Take acid.
2001: Take antacid.
1970: Passing the driver's test.
2001: Passing the vision test.
Time passes and change comes. However, we have a choice in what and how we change.
"Your life is what your thoughts make it." -Marcus Aurelius
Sometimes it seems that what we want to release is a physical problem, a handicap, a disease. Even that can be overcome by our thinking about it and about ourselves.
Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul has numerous stories of women overcoming physical challenges, including Olympic running Champion Wilma Rudolph overcoming a paralyzed leg as a child because her mother told her she would walk some day despite the doctors predictions. Keeping her mind positive, allowed her to go from many last place finishes to next to the last, until she made it to first place. Then eventually the Olymics where she became the first woman to won 3 Olymic golds.
Stacey Nasalroad was born missing her left arm from the elbow down. Doctors encouraged her mother not to treat her differently than the other girls.
When she said she couldn’t peel potatoes because she only had one hand, Stacey mother said: “You get yourself into that kitchen and peel those potatoes.” She did.
She her 2nd grade teacher lined up the class to swing across the monkey bars, Stacey left crying as kids laughed at her. After telling her mother that night, Stacey’s mom took her to the deserted playground the next day and together then learned how Stacey could pull herself up so high that she could hook the bar with her other elbow. After much practice, when the class lined up again at the monkey bars, everyone stood with their mouths open.
The encouragement Stacey’s mother gave her allowed her inner spirit to shine out into the world in many ways, giving encouragement to those around her.
That is the way it works. As we release our blocks, our light shines and encourages others.
"A human being is part of a whole, called by us ‘universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. The striving to free oneself from this delusion is the one issue of true religion. Not to nourish the delusion but to try to overcome it is the way to reach the attainable measure of peace of mind." - Albert Einstein (February 12, 1950)
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." --Ralph Waldo Emerson
Many of us are not limited by physical challenges but by fear.
Ralph Waldo Emerson reminds us that "Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world."
Fear is a learned response to many things and we can unlearn, relearn the way we respond to life.
Denials: This thing I fear has no power over my life.
“You achieve much once you stop telling yourself you can't do things.” — Elizabeth Kadetsky
Affirmation: I am free to live my life to my full potential.
"All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you." -Walt Disney
"Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around."- Henry David Thoreau
"Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones." -Benjamin Franklin
"The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problem."- Mohandas Gandhi
"As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world - that is the myth of the atomic age - as in being able to remake ourselves". -Mohandas Gandhi
"Infinite love is the only truth. Everything else is an illusion." David Icke
What does your heart call you to do and be?
What brings your life meaning?
What do you see in the world that needs to be done? Maybe it is yours to do.
What gifts and talents are just sitting there unused or undiscovered?
What seems to be blocking you?
What is the answer to these?
Fear of failure…(All successful people fail, that is why they eventually succeed.)
Fear of success…( There is no guarantee that we will succeed forever at one thing, life is filled with ups and downs)
Fear of relationships…(Relationships are points of growth for us and others. See their challenges as opportunities for everyone involved)
Fear of money challenges…( God is our source, when we are following our bliss, the money follows, however, we may need to change our thinking.)
Beliefs in limitation: physical, financial, mental, emotional
Negative self esteem: (As we get in touch with our core spiritual essence, we find that we are spirit, we are love, we are unlimited. That I AM self is who longs to express in this world. Keeping it locked in and down, is depressing.)
Habits, patterns, self talk that waste precious time: (We tend to fill up our days with play that becomes addictions, covering up our feelings and our inner spirit. We can become addicted to almost anything, even and especially thinking. Drugs, cigarettes, shopping, games, talking, texting, etc. Relaxing is important, but we lose if we let it take over our lives.)
The Nature of the Ground. “The…ultimate reason for human existence is unitive knowledge of the divine Ground – the knowledge that comes only to those who are prepared to ‘die to self’ and so make room…for God. …the opportunity for coming to unitive knowledge will…continually be offered until all sentient being realize Who in fact they are.” – Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy
Saint Theresa's Prayer
May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be .
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received,
And pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.
As we release blocks to the expression of the divine within we gain Freedom & infinite Joy!
MEDITATION & BURNING BOWL CEREMONY
On your paper is the following guide. “I release the following thoughts, habits and limitations that block my good and I open to the Spirit of the Divine within me to raise my consciousness and my life to be a channel for Love.” You may use it or use something else to assist you in your release.
Bring your slip of paper and
light it from the candle’s flame
Drop it into the burning bowl
and watch it as the Holy Spirit of Love consumes it in its purifying fire.”