Anthem

Michelangelo

“Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

~Lyrics by Leonard Cohen

“The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don’t dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be.
Ah the wars they will
be fought again
The holy dove
She will be caught again
bought and sold
and bought again
the dove is never free.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

We asked for signs
the signs were sent:
the birth betrayed
the marriage spent
Yeah the widowhood
of every government —
signs for all to see.

I can’t run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they’ve summoned, they’ve summoned up
a thundercloud
and they’re going to hear from me.

Ring the bells that still can ring …

You can add up the parts
but you won’t have the sum
You can strike up the march,
there is no drum
Every heart, every heart
to love will come
but like a refugee.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
That’s how the light gets in.
That’s how the light gets in.”

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Anthem

Wakefulness

“Our duty is wakefulness,
the fundamental condition of life itself.
The unseen, the unheard, the untouchable
is what weaves the fabric of our see-able universe together.”
~Robin Craig Clark

Wakefulness

The Divine Masculine

Volumes are written about the contemporary rise of the Sacred Feminine – a cross-cultural, trans-religious movement that honors the female… as Goddess and Universal Mother (think: Isis, Aphrodite, Shakti, Eve, Virgin Mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, etc).

I’m suggesting there’s also a new masculinity paradigm that’s emerging. While its origins are spiritual… its manifestations can be seen, heard and felt from prophets of our times… our artists and our mystics.

Think about it.

I believe the new Divine Masculine is beginning to be widely embraced by most women in search of a mate (as opposed to a sex partner). I’ll also contend that this same emerging norm excites some more avante-garde men; terrorizes other more traditional insecure men…however, still the majority of American men are blind, deaf and numb to who they are and who they might yet become. I am not sure that’s the case for European or South American men…but this might all be changing.

As I remember back, it seems like I’ve honored the rise of the Sacred Feminine since I was a boy smack in the middle of the tumultuous 1960’s…in the days of mass protests and angry rioting when millions of Americans took to the streets demanding change – in civil rights, Vietnam and for America’s poor (those days before Fox News, smart phones and social media).

Now my maturity has shown me that my parents raised me to respect women. As women are empowered to be who they are and speak their truth… men need to catch up. This is the stuff of a cultural revolution that goes vastly beyond whether we are ready for a female President or women priests.

Its important to note that my contention that the Sacred Masculine is emerging does not in anyway dilute, cloud or adulterate the Sacred Feminine. No… indeed, I sense that it’s the Sacred Feminine that has conceived, nurtured and birthed the very possibility that a new Sacred Masculine paradigm might emerge. Mothers are transforming our culture…perhaps they always have.

My sense is that the rise of the Divine Masculine will have a profound affect on gender roles beyond male and female, sexual orientation beyond heterosexual and homosexual, economic models beyond competition and cooperation and family cultural units beyond male fathers, female mothers – frankly well beyond who marries who – yes… even what marriage will or won’t look like or mean (e.g polyamory).

The emergence of a new Divine Masculinity should not be confused with the black and white, more traditional moral absolutes of right and wrong. No. The Divine Masculine is not concerned with telling men how to behave. This new focus is gray… very blended. As always, it will take time for ethics to catch up (e.g. medical ethics still playing catch up with the right to die, 3 parent embryos and stem cell research).

Take a moment to look…listen…feel…the new emerging masculine paradigm. Do you see it? Can you hear it? Have you felt it?

I’ll suggest that the rise of the Divine Masculine is connected with the ways some mothers are choosing to raise their sons. Food for thought.

2 more thoughts from my meditation for your consideration:

Moms, please reconsider sending your sons off to war. Might there be other more creative ways for young men to serve and protect? (This being said… I am first to admit that we have witnessed enormous evolutionary gains by allowing women and homosexual people to be warriors). Moms could raise peacemakers.

Secondly, perhaps its time to reconsider the whole pink and blue mystique. Maybe the color purple has more to offer than we thought? Imagine a world in which boys are completely free to play house…and girls are encourage to master STEM courses.

This topic will be a recurring blog theme as it reflects many of the energies of my ministry right now. As always, I welcome your feedback. While I recognize its nontraditional focus, people that I minister to are teaching me that the “status quo” is spontaneously readjusting.

Whether we talk gender roles, our spectra of sexual orientation/sexual behaviors or coexisting in community, with other sentient beings in sync with our environment – we are all one and its ALL interconnected.

Namaste!

The Divine Masculine

Eco-Spirituality

Eco-Spirituality Definition: What is Eco-Spirituality and
Why is it Important to All Spiritual Individuals?

*originally appearing at http://www.universespirit.org

Eco-spirituality is based in a fundamental belief in the sacredness of nature, Earth and the universe. Traditional eco-spirituality is as old as humanity and has been practiced by indigenous peoples since the begriming. Today’s nondenominational ecospirituality as practiced on this website includes yet transcends traditional ecospirituality.

From the ecospiritual perspective, Ultimate Reality (God, Spirit, Buddha and/or the Divine,) is not just the source of creation it is very much also a part of creation; a part with which we can interact on a daily basis through our senses and from such experiences gain greater insight into the wonder of reality.

On a personal level, this inherent sacredness of nature generally leads to a spiritually motivated engagement in the current environmental crises of our planet (catastrophic climate destabilization/Job One for Humanity,) and a dedication to the justice and long view of a sustainable prosperity for all.

Native American and other indigenous peoples’ theologies hold much wisdom in this regard. (For an example of traditional indigenous ecospirituality see, Chief Seattle’s message to US President Pierce to further elucidate the traditional eco-spiritual worldview.)

Furthermore, eco-spirituality understands the position of human beings to be inextricably related to all other life forms within an interrelated, interconnected web that is part of the Divine’s dance of life. Eco-spiritual perspectives can be found in all the world’s religious traditions. No matter how they are articulated, however, these perspectives all provide for recognition of the importance and relevance of the immanent Divine, the power of understanding our human relationship to the planet, and our direct experiences of the natural world.

In the religious traditions that are either panentheistic (believe that Ultimate Reality is both transcendent and immanent), or believe that Ultimate Reality pervades creation, there is a directly stated or theologically implied imperative to care for and protect Earth’s natural systems. Depending on the religion or tradition, this may be because our natural systems are understood to be either the gift of Ultimate Reality or the source from which Ultimate Reality acts and dances in the world.

Such spiritual truths create a real and critical religious imperative that also asks believers to demonstrate congruity through acts of spiritual love and care for all beings and creatures now, as well as for future generations. For example, some Christians have reinterpreted the biblical Genesis story to mean that rather than God giving absolute dominion over nature to humanity, God instead means that humanity has a spiritual duty of care and sustainable stewardship for nature and the planet.

Globally, more religions and spiritual traditions are becoming active in the environmental movement by going green and educating members about their spiritual duties and obligations to protect our natural systems. People are increasingly yearning to live a life congruent with the tenants of their faith and the will of Ultimate Reality as they understand it regarding the sacred values of nature and stewardship for nature.

The new eco-spirituality movement growing within religions all over the world is exciting because it provides both a critical re-vitalization of our relationship to nature’s unique sacredness and a powerful Ultimate Reality-leveraged spiritual imperative and support for the current secular sustainability movement’s programs and goals.

At Universe Spirit our first spiritual promandment is to be a responsible sustainability steward of the bio-systems of the planet and universe. We view it as Job One for All Humanity.

Today’s New Science Grounded Ecospirituality

The new and post-traditional eco-spirituality movement is also one of the foremost forwarders of the new Universe Principles of Life, which are based on the science of universe progressive evolution found within the Universe Evolutionary Worldview. This is because the traditional ecospirituality of the past has now been augmented with the principles of progressive evolutionary science and systems theory as applied to complex natural systems.

These universe evolution principles have been condensed and are expressed within the Universe Principles of Life. It is through the application of the science-grounded Universe Principles of Life that a true and meaningful sustainable prosperity for all can be achieved. We highly recommend that you review these last five links to learn more about the advances of today’s eco-spirituality movement as well as its programs and principles.

For the complete article: Eco-Spirituality Definition: What is Eco-Spirituality and Why is it Important to All Spiritual Individuals? | Universe Spirit.

Eco-Spirituality

Your Invitation

“For those who have come to grow,
the whole world is a garden.

For those who wish to remain in the dream,
the whole world is a stage.

For those who have come to learn,
the whole world is a university.

For those who have come to know God,
the whole world is a temple.”
~Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, a Sufi Mystic

Your Invitation

All of Nature Has Soul

All of Nature Has Soul
by Rev. Richard Rohr
Meditation for Friday, February 6, 2015

“Love is a deep empathy with the other’s “Beingness.” You recognize yourself, your essence, in the other. And so you can no longer inflict suffering on the other.” ~Eckhart Tolle

Eco-spirituality allows you to start seeing your own soul imaged and given back to you in the soul of everything else, because people who have allowed their own soul to be awakened will recognize that soul in other places too! Soulless people will not see that. Once you are reconnected, it’s no longer a disenchanted universe, but in fact, quite the opposite.

If we realized we were connected, we could never have poured chemicals and pollutants into the rivers of the world. We could never have filled the earth with trash and garbage and eternal plastic and Styrofoam if we had experienced the soul of the world or if we had suffered, as the Latin poet Virgil wrote, “the tears of things.” But the material world was of no consequence to most of us. The world was just here as a backdrop while we humans tried to “get to heaven.” Please notice that the Bible ends with a promise of “a new heavens and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1). The whole Earth and all of creation is participating in God’s loving redemption, liberation, and salvation. Stingy people manufactured quite a stingy God, whose love was anything but infinite, eternal, or perfect. As a result most people just lost interest. (If you doubt me, look at the dismal European and American statistics around religion.)

Our lovely theory of redemption increasingly applied to only humans, and then fewer and fewer of them. Once the scarcity model takes over, it just keeps moving! Later Christian history did not envision God saving humanity/history as a whole, but just individuals. The genius of the Hebrew Scriptures, which formed Jesus, was that God was saving Israel, history, humanity! It was very different from our much later notion of God saving isolated people here and there–because they were “nice,” and even that niceness was largely determined by the cultural and ethnic standards of each era. This was not necessarily a love of Jesus or a participation in God’s “salvation history”; it was getting Jesus to participate in our little project. We could not believe in God’s infinite victory, so we created a small victory where we could determine the outcome. We ended up with a simplistic reward/punishment contest at which very few would consider themselves even candidates for the contest.

Try reversing this oft used statement: “Jesus came to fulfill us” to “We have come to fulfill Christ.” We are each invited to offer our unique and little selves “to create a unity in the work of service and thus build up the Body” (Ephesians 4:12). We are part of a movement of the ever-growing Cosmic Christ that is coming to be in “one great big act of giving birth” (Romans 8: 22-23). In Christ, “everything is reconciled, in heaven and on Earth” (Colossians 1:17). The eternal Christ saves us all by including us all. And we are all saved, largely in spite of ourselves, by grace and mercy–no exceptions! That is the perfection of the divine victory.

So it’s not about being correct: it’s about being connected. When you are connected to the whole chain, held in the nest of being, you can easily live out of a worldview of infinite and divine abundance rather than a “not enough love to go around” model that only creates fearful, fighting, and stingy people, pushing themselves to the front of the line because they are afraid there is not enough of God to fill and free everything.

*Adapted from A New Cosmology: Nature as the First Bible
Copyright © 2015 Center for Action and Contemplation

All of Nature Has Soul

Burning Bowl Ceremony

For many of us, 2014 may have not been such a good year. As most years go, I’ve had my successes and mistakes; triumphs and short-comings; wins, losses or draws. Life happens between the extremes of opposites. My perceptions of those happenings is significant to my spiritual path. What I do with those perceptions and how I allow them to color or discolor my journey influences who I am and how I choose to behave.

As 2014 prepares for 2015, some religious traditions offer a ritual useful to release the old and prepare for the new: the Burning Bowl Ceremony.

The ceremony has a long tradition in most new thought churches (Think: Unity, Religious Science, Centers for Spiritual Living, Unitarians, etc). My hunch is that its origins might be found with smudging rituals common among many ancient indigenous religions.

The Burning Bowl Ceremony is often used around the start of each new year but can be used anytime. (I’ve used it as a ritual helping seekers heal from divorce, cancer and sexual trauma). I suggest it be used anytime you are entertaining a new start. I know some folks who use the ceremony on a regularly – particularly at change of seasons and birthdays – because it potent.

It’s poignant way to transform things in my life that no longer have purpose or meaning. It helps me clean out my mental, emotional and spiritual closets making new space for what I now need and want. \

I also really like the ceremony because it resonates very well with interfaith initiatives. I’ve it for many years (30+) starting after the suggestion from a Wiccan friend. I tried it, liked it and have continued the personal tradition each New Year’s Eve. It provides closure while opening for new beginnings. I burn my sins, mistakes, grief, losses, disappointments, angers and fears… to make room for hope and my vision for the next 365 days. I release the old and welcome the new.

2014 is near complete. 2015 hasn’t started yet. It’s a great time to reflect.
You might take the time to review 2014 and prioritize what you want for the new year.

The actual ceremony is simple. It can be done alone or with partners, friends, families or congregations. You’ll need several simple pieces of paper, a pen and a safe source of fire.
Some use a fireplace, outdoor fire pit, or simply a fire safe bowl or dish filled with sand with a candle in the middle placed in an open but secure area (outside the range of smoke detectors).

The ritual can be completed in silence or with soft, relaxing music in the background. Your choice.

Before starting, take a quiet moment. Go inside yourself. Take a deep breath. Connect with your heart. Be still. Feel the presence of your Sacred.

On the pieces of paper, write down anything that no longer serves you that you choose to release. Items can be specific issues you had this past year or other larger issues that seem to loom. I challenge you to be completely honest with yourself about what needs to be released. The list is NOT shared. (e.g. health challenges; fear, jealousy, anger; nasty habits; unhealthy relationships; debt; negative thoughts/feelings, errors).

Once you have your items listed honestly on paper, turn it over.

On the back side of the same paper, write down what you choose to replace those items with. (e.g. good health; trust, calm, love, peace, good habits, successful relationships, prosperity, positive thoughts/feelings, successes).

When you’re ready, focus your intention on releasing the old, negative and no longer useful.
Then imagine yourself welcoming the new, positive and successful into your life in the coming year.

With care, compassion and forgiveness for yourself, gently place your paper into the fire.

Be mindful that the fire in the Burning Bowl is a ancient, universal and powerful symbol of transformation. Fire represents our intention of shifting the energy of our thoughts and attention. Burn the dead and watch , like the myth of the phoenix, hope rise from the ashes.

If you’d like, you can end the ceremony by burying the cool ashes when it’s complete. Others choose to simply let the wind blow them away in Nature’s own time.

HOPE = COMPASSION + FORGIVENESS!

Have you tried the Burning Bowl Ceremony?

Burning Bowl Ceremony