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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas. Yesterday I attended a United Church of Christ Christmas Eve service. My former next door, neighbor, Vern, is the pastor of the church and my beloved friend and minister colleague of ten years, Renee, sang. I sat in the front row standing witness to two friends who have dedicated their lives to serving God, as I have. Pastor Vern is a former Catholic priest and a scholar of all things Mediterranean so his sermon about the birth of Jesus wove in historic details. According to his studies, Jesus was born in a cave in Bethlehem, which he has visited several times. Father Joseph and Mother Mary traveled to Bethlehem in order to be counted as part of the census; a political and governmental necessity. Mary was nine months pregnant and the small city of a few hundred was overflowing with thousands of David’s lineage. There really was no room in the inn so Jesus ended up being born in a cave on the side of a hill....

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Practicing Joy in the Midst of It All

Joy is a medicine. Any quality of God is a medicine as it activates the Soul to flood our body with Energy Eternal. So, how in the midst of day of duality do I leave the realm of conflict and attention grabbing to experience Joy? First I begin looking for it. This can be done in the Present Now Moment as I feel it in my body. I acknowledge it to myself or those around me which then becomes a shared and more potent energy. Everyone can benefit from a hit of, “can you feel the Joy between us right now? Can you feel it in you?” It makes for a shared awareness that satisfies. However, if I’m not in the Present Moment, I can do this at the end of the day when I sit down to pray and meditate. I look back through the day for energy surges. A teacher once called this the feeling of a highligher on a page of sentences. I look for THAT...

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Yom Kippur: Fast, Repent and Atone

Tonight at sundown is the beginning of Yom Kippur, which is part of the largest celebration of the Jewish calendar (like Christmas is to the Christians). The celebration of Rosh HaShana, or the welcoming in of the Jewish New Year.¬†Yom Kippur closes out the old Year with a somber 24 hours of fasting, repentance and atonement. As you and I deepen into our spiritual journey, we come to realize that the stories which hold the different religions together are unique to the culture of the religion. However, the spirit underneath the story and the practices to connect with the spirit are similar. It is here where we can connect with each other. As Rumi says, “it is a field beyond the ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing.” In all faiths there are practices of fasting, repentance and atonement. I like to pay attention to what is going on within the religious and spiritual communities as fields are created and made more potent through collective agreement. This is not only something...

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P-E-A-C-E Be with You

I am having the BEST time!! I have been teaching meditation practices for decades (and more importantly practicing them) and I have been invited to speak on Mindfulness at a workshop for employees. My two big loves — God and work. However, I am to present what I know from a secular and scientific perspective so I am diving into the new brain and heart research and I am swimming in Pure Heaven. Yep, a Tuesday in Pure Heaven. I want to share with you a practice I just ran across in a book on Mindfulness for athletes entitled, A Still Quiet Place for Athletes by Amy Salztman, MD. It is a P-E-A-C-E practice for when you and I are facing challenges. P = Pause. When things get rough, pause. E = Exhale. Sigh, groan, cry, exhale. Then inhale and be aware of your breath. A = Accept what is. C = Choose. Whenever you are ready, immediately or weeks from now, make a choice on how you will...

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