Silence is Golden: Meditation 101

Peace, joy and health can only be obtained by entering into one’s Silent self.   However, while trying to get to a state of Silence, we often we have to face issues that are unresolved, problems we are struggling with and feelings we do not want to feel.

Enlightenment by h.koppdelaney

This stops many a person from meditating, being in Silence or lying in shavasana ( corpse pose)  on a yoga mat.  The key here is to stay with the Silence while releasing all connection you have with the issues entering and swirling around your mind. One way to think of this is to allow the ideas,  thoughts and issues that show up to pass across your “mind screen” and out of your focus.  A mantra, a point of vision like a candle or attention to breath can help to bring our focus back to Silence.  A mantra might be,” I am One with All That Is”, or “I am God’s  Beloved Child”. With enough detachment from our mind’s issues, thoughts, problems, and people, one can move past the monkey mind to a place of no thought while in stillness.  This however does not come quickly to some.

When I first began to try to meditate sitting up,  I would sit with my back next to an old black walnut tree.

At the Feet of an Ancient Master by Premasagar

One day when I was wrapped in a sarape, covered with a hat and gloves and determined to “have my own time”, I thought, is this really what I am doing?  By then, the snow was coming down rather steadily but that tree and I had bonded so I sat until I was completely snow covered.  I felt a certain peace in doing that because, I so desperately needed time for Silence, even if it was snowing.  When I could get to that tree, I felt welcomed because of having put all else aside to go into Silence.  I did not really know what I was doing but I knew I had to show up and be still and let the Silence guide me into greater Peace.  Bit by bit, step by step I was led into the Silence until that state increasingly stayed with me through the day, through my work, through my creating and through my pain.

Here is what I have learned along the way.  We can’t be in stillness and Silence if we don’t show up.  The first step in meditating is to show up with the intention for Silence and stillness. Another step is to select a place dedicated to enter into Silence.  It may be in a corner of a room or it may be a favorite chair or a special tree or garden.  The place has to be a haven for the time you intend to meditate.  The major challenge though is to continue to come to Silence,  even when your last experience was of the mind churning with thoughts.

One can think of this process as training the mind, like one would train a dog to obey.  For most non-meditators, the mind runs willy-nilly all over the place, most of the time. As you begin to sit in the quiet, with the intention to connect to the Greater Whole, the Oneness, you have to let the thoughts pass through without picking any of them up and without giving any of them attention. In the beginning this may be all you do for months.  Then one day, you will come out of mediation and realize that you have “lost time” when you were not conscious of sitting in the Silence.  This is the golden feeling of peace and balance.  As we begin to have a glimpse of this, there is nothing in the entire universe that can touch us this way.  We have created the time and space for peace in our lives.

Collective meditation by Premasagar

Meditating in a group is easier for most people than meditating alone.  This is because as we gather in a group,  there is more energy focused on meditation making it easier to enter into that energy flow.  However, you can simulate this by setting the intention to meditate with those of the Highest Light around the globe who are meditating at the same time you are.  You will be connected energetically with those meditators and it is often easier to get into the flow than trying to meditate alone.

In our lives we get very attached to what is going on with our friends, family, job and affairs. We have opinions, ideas, concerns, conflicts, solutions running around in our heads constantly.  Meditation is a time to check out of the dailyness of our lives and seek Peace for a few moments while remaining conscious of being awake.  It is like taking an energy nap to renew yourself.  However, unlike sleep, meditation trains the mind to be still in the midst of chaos,  and this expands into the very fabric of our lives. Over time, as we begin to be able to detach from our mind’s daily drama while in meditation, we increasingly do detach from the drama  in our daily lives as well. When our mind gets used through Silence and stillness to our letting thoughts and feelings pass us by, we learn to increasingly remain non-attached to all outcomes in our lives as well.  This enables us to increasingly hold the space for the Highest Benevolent Outcome for everything we are involved in all areas of our lives.

In Ray’s efforts to learn to meditate he kept coming up against his feelings about work which were not positive. This would throw him out of a peaceful state, again and again. He became very frustrated with his efforts to meditate. When this happens, we are being led to attend to the negative feelings that are coming up.  It is not that we are “failing”  in our efforts to meditate, it is that we need to attend to these negative feelings.   Here are some ways to do this:

  • 1. Out loud, say “I release all these negative thoughts and feelings I am carrying about work, totally and completely”.
  • 2. In a journal, write out all the negative thoughts and feelings you have about work and the costs and benefits to you of holding onto these.  Decide which thoughts and feelings you are going to keep, which ones you are going to let go of and what further actions you are going to take.
  • 3. While you are coming out of your state of Silence and stillness, call forth you sacred inner flame and command it out loud to consume all your blocked emotional, mental, thermal( self-protective) and spiritual energy from their originating sources which are manifesting as these thoughts and feeling about work in the present.  All that can leave you energy field today will go.
Buddha is a Bridge by h. koppdelaney

There is nothing in the world like Silence for healing and for guiding us to balance.  Our thoughts and feelings create the imbalances and the balances in our lives. The more we are in Silence and stillness, and attend to the imbalances surfacing there, the more balance we will manifest in our lives.  Silence trumps everything we think we are for a glimpse of the peace and stillness within, which is who we truly are.

Spirits Having a Human Experience, part 2*

* see part one of this piece, http://www.robbinshopkins.com/2010/10/spirits-having-a-human-experience-part-1/

As we learn about ourselves as spiritual beings having a human experience, new perceptions of ourselves emerge. Here are some discoveries which have been helpful to me in my spiritual and human journey.  Being both spiritual and human beings takes some attention and some sorting out regarding what our spiritual beings are capable of and how to live with this unseen potential we all possess.

Our energy field extends way beyond our physical bodies.  We intuitively sense this.  Have you ever been in a room with people and feel a compulsion towards some and an attraction towards others?  This is energy connecting and repelling and this goes on all the time.  In general though, we forget about such feelings or diminish their importance because we think of our physical bodies as our full selves.

As human beings,  we mostly have very limited views of our energy’s scope and breadth. The more consciously aware we are of our connection with All That Is, the greater our energy extends beyond our bodies. The more time in Stillness and Silence, the more sense we have of our expansive selves.  Some beings in body are even extending beyond this earthly dimension in their commitments to help bring Balance and Peace to others.

Chakras by Robbi Baba

Some beings here have already ascended into the Light and they have chosen to consciously return to this dimension to be in service with others.   In Sanscrit, these beings are known as the bodhisattva.  This does not mean however that they do not have to move through the same stages of expanding consciousness again,  while in body.  Their process though may be easier, quicker and more dramatic as they have already taken those steps in other incarnations. This concept is found in the Buddhism.

The bodhisattva among us are those who can teach us of the namaste.  Namaste is a state of being which in part refers to the Light of a spiritually aware person readily recognizing the light in another, thereby helping all humanity to remember our connection with All That Is.  The words to one song about this are ” The Light in me beholds the Light in you”.  This sums up namaste rather succinctly.

Fear, negativity, darkness and anger is created through our human selves and therefore can be released through our human desire to be free of these thoughts and feelings. Kindness, love, gratitude and appreciation is created through our connected spiritual selves which is eternally One With All That Is.  Love is the only lasting energy of the Universe.  All other energies we are passing through on the way to remembering our own true selves as spirit beings of the Light.

Religious practices and paths have some accurate takes on Divine Presence and some inaccurate takes on Divine Presence as well.  Only a spiritually seeking person can discern between that which is of the Light and that which is not of the Light.  This is our gift and responsibility.  Discernment requires Silence and Stillness in rather large amounts so that we can hear our own still small voice of All That Is amidst the noise of our human existence.

Oneness by h.koppdelaney

We are eternally connect to All That Is, though we have to seek ways to discover this every time we are in body. Further, there is no requirement that we must discover this connection while in body.  We can choose to live our lives in any way we want to.  All our choices however have consequences.  If we create and nurture imbalance, imbalance will manifest in our bodies and our lives.  If we create and nurture balance, balance will manifest in our bodies and our lives.

There are wide ranging terms for Divine Presence, including God, The Great I AM, All That Is, Divine Oneness, Great Creator, Yahweh, Allah, Elohim, Allaha, The Almighty, Lord, The Holy Spirit, etc.  Further, Divine Presence is available to us in a myriad of energy forms including Angels, Archangels,  Angelic Host, Ascended Masters, Divine Cosmic Light Beings, Nature Intelligences, Divine Ancestors and Divine Physicians, to name a few.   This Energy is available to all beings as we become increasingly conscious of these differentiated forms of Divine Presence.

All humans are eternally connected to All That Is even if we do not know this and even if we choose anger, violence or abuse in our human lives.  We can never be separated from the Love of All That Is.  However our human choices for imbalance in our lives can feel like we are separated from Divine Love, because when we can’t see that spark of Divinity within ourselves,  so we have no way to know of the Divine Love that is all around us and within us.  This Divine Presence can become invisible to us if we choose imbalance as a way of living.

Choose Love. Choose to believe in the goodness and power of Light within yourself.  Choose to see the the wholeness that you are and forgive the imbalance, the lapse in love actions and the judgements along the way.  Choose the path of Joy, Delight, Balance and Creativity for then you are as close to Divine Energy as is possible in our human dimension.   Gift yourself with Stillness and Silence for there is a world of loving wholeness awaiting you every time you step into your spirit energy.

Silence for the Dubious

When people say, “you need to be in Silence”, there is usually a vision of sitting, perhaps cross-legged with eyes closed and breathing deeply for 30 minutes or so, while being left alone by the world.  The thought of this for many people is simply a non-starter and blocks our energy before one can even fully consider it.  Sometimes in our lives, such time is non-existent no matter how much we would love to have that experience.

Relaxing by TitaniumDreads

Still, the place to spend time with All That Is/Divine Presence/God is in Silence.  When we show up for this time together, we are the ones who are greatly blessed because we are loved, supported and calmed energetically in ways that generally don’t  happen in the world.  Silence with God is spending time with God without your own agenda.

The main ingredient we need to be successful in making time with God’s Energy is intention.  Here are some examples of how to do that.  One can dedicate 10 minutes of a walk with the dog to being with Divine Presence.

Man and his dogs by Yoshimai

Another option is to dedicate time while working in the garden or the yard to connecting with God.  Open a sacred space by calling in Divine Beings or Divine Light and call God into your time regardless of what you may be doing.   Another place I used to have time with God was in the bathroom.  That was at a time that I could reasonably count on having a few minutes to myself there.  I would seek that time and space at all times of the day and usually that was honored!

We can listen to uplifting music and intentionally invite Divine Presence into our space.  This is not Silence per se but it may get us into Silence with grace and ease.  The more we intentionally connect with Divine Energy,  the more we notice a shift in the vibration of energy around us.   This is the Holy Spirit showing up to be with us because we asked. One could read a spiritual book while asking God to enter into this space and time with you, as well.  If you are reading poetry or prose, take a section, read the piece three time out loud and then sit in the Silence of that energy.  You will be ministered to through Sacred Presence. Usually there is a great calm that comes over us even if we only have 15 minutes.

Any sacred time can be carved out and dedicated to God.  You can be watching children playing a sport and while sitting apart for the crowd, take 15 minutes to dedicate special time with God.  You can arrive early for an appointment and sit in the car listening to classical music or simply recline with eyes closed and ask God to connect with you.  The ways are infinite.

The challenge is to regularly invite God into your life.  Don’t talk about it and despair or simply close the door on it as being an impossibility.  We are in great need of the Presence of God.  That energy is incredibly calming, supportive and filled with Divine Love which is totally different from human support and love here.  However, we need to knock on the door with GREAT determination, seek without giving up and keep asking for connection and communion with God by showing up every day in one way or another.  We are the only ones who can gift ourselves with Divine Grace.  It is all around us but we have to say YES and show up.  So, do what works.

knocking to door by Daniel *1977

For those of you who are finding time in Silence, there is another step which can be taken to expand your conscious knowing of God.   After you have intentionally connected with God, you may come out of that time and realize you have something you want to pray about, ask forgiveness for, call Divine Presence into or clear some blocked energy you have become aware of.  This is not Silence.  This is working with God to call forth this energy for a specific person, situation or purpose.  This is unifying prayer.  Each of these experiences is still being with God but the focus changes to your own thoughts, questions, needs, etc.  This is a natural outgrowth of being in Silence with God.

Muriel was just coming out of a twenty minute session of Silence with God.  She immediately saw the face of her sister in front of her.  Her sister had passed away two years earlier.

Untitled by Nodlem

She did not know what the image of her sister actually meant, but the experience felt uncomfortable within.  She loved her sister deeply but there was an uneasiness when her face appeared to her.  Muriel took two minutes more in Silence and realized she needed to ask forgiveness for the way in which she had behaved when she needed to help take care of her during her illness and when she needed to suddenly do all the extra things for their parents when her sister was sick. Right then and there she asked for forgiveness for those unkind feelings, hasty words and old anger. She felt a perceptible sense of Lightness in her chest and heart area.  She knew she had actually been forgiven in that moment. She was amazed that it was so easy to release that old energy.  In fact, she had not really remembered her feelings until her sister’s face appeared to her. This was the Holy Spirit working with Muriel to help her clear her soul energy from this stagnant, stuck feeling that was still with her two years after her sister had died.

This is an example of how seamlessly this Divine Energy can work with us.  Muriel was in a deep communion with All That Is/God and she simply knew she needed to ask for forgiveness.  Without showing up for time with God, she could have carried that draining energy for years and have it show up in all sorts of unhelpful ways.

If we begin our personal relationship with God in Silence, we will be blessed in ways  we can never imagine.  Show up, dedicate time to God, keep the appointment, be in the Silence, and listen.  This is how we come to a place of balance and wholeness through Divine Grace. Even if you have no visual for God, no sense of what or who God is for you, even if you don’t even know if you believe in God Presence,  do this anyway.  There is a deep magic, that surpasses all understanding, whose doorway will open to us.  When this happens all our fears become less powerful, we become more capable of gratitude, we can release that which is not serving us or others very well.  If we have just even a few minutes, we will be ministered to.  We are deeply loved beyond anything we as humans can comprehend. However, we have to chose to enter into the Silence before we can gather this blessing for ourselves and for others.

Beloved I AM Presence

The I AM Presence is part of every person on Earth though many of us have no idea what this means.  The I AM Presence is the Oneness which exists way beyond our bodies, our lifetimes and our memories of experiences in this world.  The Oneness is the state of consciousness which manifests as connectedness with All That Is.  The I AM Presence is that which is Eternal about us, and thereby is pure love, pure wholeness and perfect balance.

Yoga Girl by Prashant Zi
Yoga Girl by Prashant Zi

The I AM Presence actually can’t be captured in words though that does not stop me nor others from trying to explain this state.  The I AM Presence is a state of consciousness which is available to all peoples, any place, all of the time.

When I call forth the I AM Presence into a sacred space, I think of this as calling the Highest Energy of the Most High.  Do I really know what this means, how it was created,  or from whence it came?  Not really.   What I do know is that when I call this energy, I and others feel compelled to speak the Truth, are touched by an energetic state of being, each sensing this in his or her own unique way.  I know there is a qualitative difference in space when I call the I AM Presence into that space.  I feel a sudden and vast support, power and infinite knowing way beyond the capacities of my own being.

Recently when working with St. Germain’s energy and teachings, I was struck again by the power of recognizing the I AM Presence in All That Is.  When we recognize an other’s birthday, contributions,  gifts, or talents, our relationship with that other person is strengthened because of this recognition.

Happy Our Birthday :) bu Hamid Saber
Happy Our Birthday 🙂 bu Hamid Saber

As we feel gratitude and appreciation for another, the goodness of the relationship grows.  What we focus on, grows.  If we walk through the halls and say hello to others, our relationships are strengthened by these acts of recognition.  This very same principle is at work when we recognize, speak with, call forth, love and honor Divine Presence.

Before we begin to recognize the Divine in specific ways, the concept of Divine Presence remains shadowy, vaguely unformed possibilities for a rainy day.  When we recognize Divine Presence, that relationship grows, is strengthened and the goodness itself expands as we take this into our heart, minds and our being.

You may ask what is the difference between the I AM Presence and God?  I really don’t know.  For me, the I AM Presence is within and without as is the “kingdom of God”.  Perhaps they are different aspects of Divine Source or perhaps they are exactly the same.  What I know is that the I AM Presence is here, now and is an integral part of me and probably has been for all my existence.  I am sure that I am moving more deeply into Divine Space when I recognize my Beloved I AM Presence. I know these connections only come through Silence and meditation.  It is not possible to know the I AM Presence with one’s mind.  I can know of the I AM Presence with my mind but in order to know the I AM Presence, my mind has to be quiet and calm.  That is the way it works.

Last week I discovered in Silence that one can be out of Right Relationship with one’s I AM Presence.  Right Relationship is defined by Divine Knowing and means being in perfect harmony with something or someone.  Being out of Right Relationship with the I AM Presence looks like not acknowledging this Presence, being skeptical that one is good enough to have a relationship with the I AM Presence, denying the Divine Presence in our life or remaining undecided about whether to believe in a Goodness beyond ourselves.  This is very similar to wanting to have a relationship with another while never accepting offers to date, to mingle or to be in the public where meeting someone might happen.  If we don’t acknowledge the Great I AM Presence, it can remain an elusive uncertainty for as many lifetimes as we would like.

St. Germain’s teachings encourage us to Love our I AM Presence.  That was a new thought.  How do I Love my I AM Presence?  I am certain that I can’t love something that I have never recognized.  So, calling forth the I AM Presence into meetings, gatherings, arguments, decisions, prayers, meditation and illness is a perfect way to have this energy take form in your life and grow in power, presence, vitality and form.

TRY THESE COMMANDS

I call forth my I AM Presence in Its full Power and Knowing

I send unbounded Love to my I AM Presence and invite this energy into every aspect of my life.

I call the Ascended Masters to teach me about my I AM Presence

I release all my blocked energy regarding the existence of my I AM Presence.

I call for the expansion of my consciousness so I can embrace the I AM Presence as a force in my life.

Recognizing the I AM Presence leads to more abundance.  Every constructive form on the Earth came from some Cosmic Being’s Love.

Just add light... by ecstaticist
Just add light... by ecstaticist

The birds, the trees, the plants, the water, the mountains, the animals and all of us came from Love.  It does not matter what we call this Comic Being.  It matters greatly what we learn from the beauty, love and power of life around us.  All life around us was created from Love because Love is the only eternal force in the Universe.  Further, Light comes ONLY from Love.   Light ALWAYS overcomes the darkness.

When we recognize our Mighty I AM Presence, we are saying YES to Love, to Oneness and therefore to Light.  Abundance is a quality of the Light.  Practice recognizing the Beloved I AM Presence and experience more Love, Light and Abundance in your life. We get all the help we need  as we begin to take steps  to bring this energy more fully into our daily lives.  As we begin to take steps towards the recognition of Divine Presence, the Love, Light and Abundance of life will show itself more frequently and completely in our day to day world.

Why Silence?

Here are some folks questioning the purpose and experience of Silence, being answered by folks who have tried Silence and find It working for them.  These answers are paraphrases from individuals in my meditation and healing practice.

Why would you ever sit in Silence when there are ever so many other more interesting things to do?

Because in Silence, nothing is expected of me.  In Silence, I feel at ease, safe with no one asking anything of me. Perhaps that is a lot like hiding but when I come out of it, I don’t feel like I have run away.  I feel like I have run towards something that perhaps I don’t fully get but I know is great and it feels trust worthy.  Also, increasingly, the myriad of “interesting things” in my life is not helping me become more peaceful.   As long as I “do things”, I feel worthy, productive, competent and focused.  I feel more in control.  However when I stop, I know I am not in control.  It feels good to sit in Silence where there are no control games going on or even the pretense of those running in the background.  I love to do this in the woods, or at the beach.   It seems like a whole other way of  being.

lecluse #1 by [le]doo
l’ecluse #1 by [le]doo

I don’t see myself ever seeking Silence because my mind won’t settle down when I stop running from one thing to another.  There never seems to be any peace in Silence for me.

When I first stopped doing, thinking, running around, working,  to enter into Silence , my mind only knew how to keep thinking thoughts.  That is exactly what it continued to do.   I focused on my breath going in and out or sometimes on a candle flame or on the blank wall, and let my mind go.  Eventually , my thoughts silenced themselves because I gave them no attention.  Then real peace set in.  I would find myself  simply swirling along, not aware of time at all.  There is a great sense of floating at times and of taking a real break from demands, lists, concerns and responsibilities.  When I come out,  I am usually more centered and less frantic.  I’d like to be free of worry and concerns,  all day long.  In the meantime, I am getting healthier, while I practice getting there.

What could possibly be in Silence that I can’t get from putting my energy and efforts on what I like to do?

…perhaps a space where just being is a nice state.   It is a great relief to be able to sit in Silence and simply be there.  It is like taking a short nap for me.  I usually come out refreshed and feeling lighter.  I have no idea how that happens but I experience it again and again.  What I find in Silence is more space to be.  If I find that I can’t get away from issues and stuff from my daily life, I name them out loud and escort them back “outside the doorway to the Silence” and leave them there.  They are always there when I finish my quiet time but they are often different in ways, less pressing or I have some clarity about how to respond.  I really don’t know how this works, but it does.   I don’t get this type of refresher in the day just running around doing things on my list.  I like the sense of entering Silence and coming out of it, both.  It works for me.

Why would I ever consider Silence, I don’t like to be alone usually and I find it boring in the extreme.

Intentional Silence is completely different from being alone.  For me, I go into Silence to connect with a Greater Whole which I don’t fully get but know is probably there.  I never feel alone because I go with the intention of connecting with Divine Energy.   I don’t know about boring.  I did have to learn to be still and listen to the Silence.  There is a different kind of knowing there which I am slowly getting.  In the beginning though, it was simply a place of Peace for me.

Silence!!! by Pardesi*

I don’t like Silence because I don’t know what to expect and I can’t really figure out what I am suppose to be doing there.

That is a great reason to keep going there.  We don’t know what to expect most of the time in life.  I often get thrown when things do not go as I expect.  In Silence, I simply sit and am quiet and things happen in that space in a very different way than in my daily life.  I get the sense that the hardest issues for me to learn can be learned there.  I often get gentle nudges or hunches which help me when I leave that space.  I don’t know what I am supposed to be doing there for sure, but I go there because I feel better when I do.  I get to be there doing nothing, having no rights or wrongs in that space.  When I come out, I am more able to roll along with things rather than feeling I need to control them.   That has been great for me.

When my doctor asked me how I brought my blood pressure down without medicine after 10 years of it being too high, I told him through spiritual clearing and healing in Silence.  He just rolled his eyes.

But really, that is what I did.  I began sitting in Silence and when things came up which were stressful, I named them usually as a fear,  called out the blocked energy around them and asked for them to be consumed from my energy field. This process has worked for me, big time. Then I usually enjoy my Silence after I do my release work.  My blood pressure I guess was related to all the stress I was  carrying when I got angry, irritated or frustrated.  Maybe my cells just settled down as all those things left my energy field, who knows.  Anyway, my doctor is happy and I think I am a lot healthier all around.  ( for more on how to name and release) http://www.robbinshopkins.com/2009/09/calling-out-impatience-part-2/

Other Responses to Why Silence?

When I finally got to entering Silence on my own, I found it amazing that when I came out, I was clearer about the issues I was facing even though they were not specifically addressed by me in that Silence.

I found myself always making excuses for myself as to why I was drinking too much until in Silence I found a place to connect in stillness and within the quiet.  I then began to be able to consider getting help for my drinking habits.

When I was really lost, in a situation I was completely confounded by, doing things that were unfamiliar and sometimes unpleasant for me, I could always take 5 minutes in Silence and know I was still connected to the Greater Whole.

When I got to Silence even for a short time daily,   I began to see that my temper was less explosive and my language was more even, even the curse words dropped out in time.  Some type of peace was coming over me just by a few minutes in Silence.

Tjosvoll Vest by Vinje
Tjosvoll Vest by Vinje

Try Silence for several days, a few minutes at the time and then keep giving it to yourself, as a gift.  You are actually giving Divine Presence/Greater Whole/All That Is/your “I AM Presence” a chance to send you Love so that you will have more Light to bring to your body, your affairs and your thoughts. Love creates Light which heals us completely.  Sometimes we just aren’t creating enough Love of our “I AM Presence”/own True Self /Core Eternal Being  for us to generate enough Light to feel balanced, centered, content and whole.  When you enter into Silence:

1. set an intention ( say it out loud)  to connect with All That Is

2. to receive healing Love

3. to experience inner Peace, with time

When you leave Silence give thanks for whatever happened for you in that time, regardless of whether you think if was good or bad, well done or botched, helpful or unhelpful.  Appearances often deceive us.  Being in Silence with these intentions is ALWAYS HEALING even if we can’t see it in the beginning or on a specific day.

One day in India

My time in India was a time of sharp contrasts and self-reflection.   I have not been surrounded by that level of ever present poverty with the exception of working in the Yucatan in the late 1960s, since I was in India three years ago.

Women in color by Robbins Hopkins
Women in color by Robbins Hopkins

The contrasts of the grinding poverty and the brilliant saris in the middle of the street seemed strange.  Isn’t poverty’s color grey or somber?  Everywhere one looks in the towns is rubble, dirt, rocks, thatch huts, make-shift housing that is not make-shift, beggars, and need.  Yet the street markets are filled with flowers, fruits, and vegetables of every rainbow color. The living things of color dot the context of  greyness like determined hope.

Preparing our meal by Liz Spiwack
Preparing our meal by Liz Spiwack

In the middle of all of this, a family serves 14 of us,  the guests, a hot lunch everyday we are in their home and invites us to bask in their cheerfulness and love.

One can see the need in the faces of the street children, their outstretched hands immediately present when we stop. More need is etched in the wrinkles of the aged women who live on the streets.

One feels the overwhelming press of people, everywhere.  When looking at the sidewalks, they are usually 4 deep with people, all the time.

Townspeople viewing an accident by Liz Spiwack
Townspeople viewing an accident by Liz Spiwack

The roads are pressed with people, all the time.  There are those permanently connected to the ground through affliction and physical impairment, at every turn.

One has to release all sense of normalcy as we move through the throngs of people, motorcycles, auto-rickshaws, bikes, cars and trucks.  All is up to God, in every single way.  My sense of order, fabric of the society and the way one makes sense out of the world does not work in India as She has her own rhythm and vibration, completely apart from what is familiar to those of us visiting.  All the assumptions we hold do not work there.  There is another order of society which is not visible to us, however hard we try to see it.  I am constantly reminded that I am a visitor, in all ways.

The best we can do is to get a driver we can speak with who can be our go-between.  The best we can do is to eat all things cooked which are put before us and to eat nothing raw.  The best we an do is to be respectful of the religions ceremonies we are invited to attend and release all thoughts of what we are doing in India.  It is not clear why one is necessarily called to India,  it just simply happens.

Nothing is familiar, but a shared love of the Divine arrived at from vastly different paths, yet shared all the same. That is the amazing walk in India.

Puja ceremony by Liz Spiwack
Puja ceremony by Liz Spiwack

Amidst an endless background of poverty, one experiences the holy shrines, the elaborate religious festivals, the chanting of devotionals, the taking of prasada, blessed holy food, the use of the vibuti, the gift of amrita and cum-cum.  All the outwards ways of worshiping, are unfamiliar but the sharing of the Energy of Divine Presence is completely familiar.

It is as if all the signals for living are completely switched around and one has to make one’s way on faith that all will be fine.  Every moment of every day, one has to walk in faith that all will be fine.  Simply the process of putting on a sari in and of itself is daunting.

Robbins dressed for the puja by Liz Spiwack
Robbins dressed for the puja by Liz Spiwack

How does one put on 8 yards of material and move through the day?  All the conflicting energy around one’s public self and one’s private self gets a good shake-up.  Who are we really at the end of the day?  What is it that makes for order and “ordinary” time.  Certainly, not anything that shows on the outside.  That is all jumbled up because of the clothing we are wearing and the process of walking barefoot through all the shrines and homes, and the process of chanting and praying in Sanskrit, or Hindi, or English.  Can we really connect when we are this far out of our comfort zone?

I am so relieved again to find that my time in Silence is a constant.  It is a constant I can find again, there,  with all those people who are so different from me.  It is a constant that sees me through, even in the strangeness of the clothing I am wearing, the sounds I am hearing, the visions I am seeing, the smells I am smelling.  The Silence is my welcoming friend of deep solace.  It is my refuge that somehow reassures me that I am fine, that I am whole, that I am in that place for something I can’t understand with my mind, only with my heart.  Silence leads me to the space of deep connectedness with All That Is, including the very strange surroundings and customs I find myself partaking in.

Am I being true to myself?  What does all that even really mean, while being in India?  Do my outside actions really reflect who I am.  Probably not, as I feel off-kilter much of the time I am there.  I welcome smiles and kind words of those helping us through all of this.  I welcome the room given to us to rest where there is an air conditioner, a western toilet and places to leave our things.

Sari Lesson from Ribini for Robbins by Liz Spiwack
Sari Lesson from Ribini for Robbins by Liz Spiwack

I am touched by the helpful hands of young woman who teaches me to wrap the sari more securely.  I welcome the intimate stories of the woman in conjunction with her husband and family, who has overseen the expansion of support for 25 rural schools in south India, the creation of an orphanage, a medical clinic and an aging folks home.  All this in the midst of overwhelming physical poverty.

Alter within a home by Liz Spiwack
Alter within a home by Liz Spiwack

In their home, there are two large shrines to All That Is, known to them and many others, as Sai Baba.  There are all sorts of stories of the pictures and statues spontaneously producing vibuti, sacred ash, which has to be scooped up regularly. There is another reality they are living with, which I thankfully know in Silence, Love and Blessing.  We connect even though we are worlds apart, we are One.  That is beyond all that I could ever imagine, really way beyond anything my mind could have thought of.  That is why I have been called to India.  We are really All One, even though we may only have a glimpse of it one day in India.

My thanks to Liz Spiwack, one of my traveling companions, for the sharing of these photos from our trip for use in this post.

Wholeness comes from the Silence

Before I learned to go, first thing, to Divine Presence when in need, I would observe an imbalance or pain in my body and immediately begin arranging whom to go see about it.  I lived in doctor’s offices often going 2-3 times a week for a number of years. I was a medical junkie, literally looking for a high.  I thought I was taking care of myself.  I was physically.  It was wearing on me completely though, looking back on that time.   This was my response to chronic pain.  I went to have all sorts of therapies tried on me, seeking some sort of relief.  Usually the relief helped for a couple of days but in some cases, I felt the pain return driving home from the appointment.   If I could have taken the practitioner home with me, perhaps that would have extended the sense of well being!

From a purely energetic point of view, the most important thing each of us can do especially when we are sick or out of balance is to go into intentional Silence in the Presence of the Divine.

Life Goes On by Peyman
Life Goes On by Peyman

What we usually do is go to the doctor, chiropractor, therapist, gym, masseuse, a movie, etc.  We don’t generally go to God as our first response when faced with a physical or mental ailment.   This is a curious reality.   Seeking Divine Presence through Silence is much easier than making an appointment, getting dressed, finding transportation, maneuvering through traffic, sitting in the doctor’s office, all to don a paper gown for examination!  Further, after getting the help, we have to get dressed again,  pay the bill, usually head for the pharmacy, and then retrace all our steps home.  Alternatively, sitting in Silence is our own private route to Wholeness.

When we go to a practitioner, we usually go because we hope for help, relief, medicine, reassurance, caring touch, attention and information.  Why don’t we go first to Divine Presence when we are out of balance?  We can get the same loving assurance, help, relief, attention, and care in the comfort of our own home with Divine Presence.

Cathy did not enter into Silence because she was afraid nothing would be there. Burton said,  ” I get in there and am afraid I won’t get out or won’t want to get out.”  Sharon shared, “I am afraid of what I will find out about myself. ” Amelia revealed, “I am always so concerned about what I need to do, I just get antsy sitting there getting none of it done.”  Rob said, “I am afraid of all the anger I am carrying around.  It might get opened up and I could not put it back in. ”

Any of these feelings familiar to you? These are strongly felt feelings, yes, but with not one ounce of lasting truth in them.  The feelings seems powerful and real, because they are charged with emotion.  However, there is a deeper truth in Silence which amazes everyone I have ever spoken with who intentionally enters into Silence.

There is Lasting Truth in Silence.  It is the core of our own True Selves. There is more love and acceptance in Silence than anywhere else in the Universe.  The more we experience this, the more we can bring that love and acceptance into our daily lives.

Another way to look at this is, we live in a spiritual world which we are trying to experience physically.  We get as many chances as we want, to try and experience this earth dimension solely on a physical basis.  Something BIG is missing  though, if that is what we keep trying to do.

Pink autumn girl by Nuuttipukki
Pink autumn girl by Nuuttipukki

When I began to meditate I sat outside up against a large walnut tree which grew up through our second story deck.  I remember days of just sitting and realizing I was just sitting.  I felt safe and supported by that old tree.  The sitting in and of itself felt like a gift to myself.  Then I began to experience currents of energy I had not experienced before.  I remember one early day of sitting,  it began to snow.  I realized I was liking the Silence.   I got up to get some cover from the cold.  I found my bright pink and blue serape and hat, bundled up and returned to sit.  I thought, I must be meditating, why else would I be sitting here in the snow?  It was a great sense of peace and calm.

Silence is a self- teaching process.  If you rest into Silence, you rejuvenate.  If you float in Silence, you set down your burdens and responsibilities and when you come out you can reexamine what you want to pick up again.   If you enter Silence and “bad things” come up, you can name them out loud and command them out of your energy field. They are already there affecting our sense of peace and balance every day, anyway.  Feelings and thoughts are not our core being.  Welcome to you own true self, that part of you that is basically Silent at the core and from that Silence all else is generated.  Most of us spend 95% of our time with the “stuff” that is generated and next to no time with the core of who we truly are.

Peace by alicepopkorn  (in and out)
Peace by alicepopkorn (in and out)

The entire idea here is when we enter into Silence, we will get the help we need, in the way we need it, when we need it. The inner space is not about being alone, it is about connecting with Divine Source, Infinite Love and Boundless Possibility.  Why are you not availing yourself of this space of Utterly Available Wholeness?  It is the shortest way I know of to health, happiness, laughter and peace.

Check in with your “stuff” around avoiding Silence.   Begin by is sitting with Divine Grace/The Oneness/Spirit of the Living God who loves us each completely, thoroughly, just exactly as we are.  Take 10 minutes (by the clock) each day to begin with or join others in Stillness and Silence.  We don’t have to put on our best Sabbath behavior, clothes or manners.  We are already loved, we just need to show up to feel it reflected back to us.  Knowing Wholeness comes from the Silence.

“There is no need to go to India or anywhere else to find peace. You will find that deep place of silence right in your room, your garden or even your bathtub.”   Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Entering Silence

Meditation in white 2 by Greenmonster

There are infinite ways to enter Silence. Success with intentional Silence is accessible to all human beings, with practice.   Silence is the space beyond conscious thought.  It is the space beyond lists, questions, concerns and fears.  It is the space of Infinite Possibility.  When first exploring time in Silence, many of us think we will find some direction, get clarity on an issue or feel safe and supported.  These things can and do occur in Silence but usually meditators have to overcome feelings of discomfort, insufficiency and sometimes even boredom when first entering intentional Silence.  Early experiences with Silence can be filled with self-doubt, fears of what we will find in Silence, and even a sense of unworthiness about communicating with The Great I AM.  Others feel afraid of the unknown or of  dark spirits which may be “out there”.   Additionally, because we come from a culture with a healthy focus on doing and accomplishing things in the outer world, we can feel guilty, disconnected from “real life” and antsy to have something concrete take place in the Silence.  The key is to keep at it, repeat the process over and over again.  It is worth any discomfort, frustration or angst you may encounter in the process.

Om Girl by Distorted Smile

So how can one intentionally enter into Silence and have a positive experience? Begin by asking Divine Source for help in entering Silence in a way that will be good for you.  Call to yourself a positive meditation experience and wait until you get a sense of how to proceed.  In other words, prepare for success.

Or if that is not your style, jump right in one day and see what happens.  You will learn a great deal from that experience of  Silence for yourself.  If you do go this route, you might first consider why you want to enter into Silence.  Then let that all go as you actually begin to enter Silence.  Leave all the thoughts, fears, judgments and uncertainties at the doorway to Silence.  Zip off the roles, the responsibilities, the shoulds, the demands,  the worries and enter as freely as you are able.  “Become as a child, to enter the kingdom of God”.

There are many reasons to enter Silence.  I work with those interested in seeking a deeper, personal relationship with All That Is.  All That Is or Divine Presence is within our own being,  so we end up coming to a deeper knowing of our own True Power, Creativity, and Knowing along the way.  This is the full course menu for entering Silence. There are a number of other menus available as well.  Knowing why you are seeking Silence is a really good place to begin.

Steps I take when entering Silence

1. I prepare for quiet time by turning off the phone, telling family members I am not available and retreating to a place where I will not be disturbed.  I select some material to read and possibly something to listen to, in my space.  I set aside a specific amount of time for being in Silence.

2.  I open the space I am in to the Highest Divine Energy of the Universe.  I invite my Highest Self, Ascended Masters, The Angelic  Host, Divine Nature Spirits, Highest Divine Cosmic Light Beings and any other forms of Divine Light who can help me hold the space of Silence that day.   Alternatively, you can call in the Holy Spirit or Spirit of the Living God.

I do this because my intention is to connect specifically with Divine Energy rather than with all the other energies in Silent space.  I also like the idea of being in the presence of  Evolved Spirits who know how to navigate the Silence.   Their conscious knowing of All That Is  helps me find my own source of Knowing within.  I like the idea of inviting knowledgeable company to join me in this process.

3.  I call for the Divine Presence of the Great I AM to lead me into the experience of  Silence.

4. I can sometimes settle right into a place of stillness and quiet. If this is the case, I sit with my back upright, legs crossed beneath me and breathe in and out, focusing on my breath until I drift into a place beyond thinking.

5.  Sometimes I can’t be still. Then I most frequently read a spiritual passage until I feel settled enough to be still.   If that does not work, I may sing, chant, om,  recite a psalm,  listen to a beautiful piece of music or recite an affirmation to calm my mind.  If that is the sum of my meditation time that day, I have simply connected with All That Is in a different way,  from entering Silence.  We have still connected.

6. In using affirmations, I select one and repeat it over and over again from my heart, until I drift into stillness.   Some of the affirmations I use are:

I AM God’s Beloved Child.

I AM One with All That Is.

I AM lovable and capable.

Upon Me God’s favor rests.

All is well and that’s the truth.

I AM safe and at peace.

I AM God breathed.

7. When I end, I give thanks for the experience, regardless of how my judging self might be seeing the experience I have just had.

Entering Silence is like learning to play the piano. In the beginning, even the simplest learned pieces bring us pleasure.  However in learning the piano pieces, we may have struggles with ourselves over setting aside time, breaking down the piece to learn it,  and mastering it to our satisfaction.  This can be exactly what we face with beginning to meditate.  We are learning something which we do not know how to do.  We are entering into unknown territory, that of Silence.  So, patience and seeking is called for.  However, the greatest counselor of all is the Great I AM, Infinite Knowing and Boundless Love.  If you continue to seek in meditation, in the Silence, all that is needed is provided.  The pathway for each person will be revealed in just perfect ways.  Our part in this is to keep seeking and trying things until we have the success we envision.

If you are trying to meditate, go deeper in your meditation or have slacked off for a while and would like to start again, send along any questions you may have and the responses can be shared on-line for the reading community. If you have a personal suggestion of what is working for you, please share those as well.

The God You Don’t Believe In

Bearded Man, 1981 by Seattle Municipal Archives

Tell me about the God you don’t believe in. Perhaps it is a God, who resembles a wise old man in the sky, with a beard who knows everything you do and is going to make you pay for most of  it. Perhaps the God you don’t believe in seems a lot like the Big Kahuna who has everything as he likes it, is none too available unless maybe when there is serious bad stuff going down.  Even then, contacting him, is an iffy proposition.  Or even better, your non-existent  God perhaps never did exist because  look at all these truly horrific things happening here on Earth.  “How can there be a God?  That God is a real myth.”  Maybe the  God you left was that one the nun spoke of  when you were seven, saying, “you better sit there and don’t even think of going to the bathroom unless you want to see this ruler imprinted on your hand.  God is watching you and you are already in serious trouble”

Perhaps your discarded God wasn’t there when you were abused or felt abandoned.  Or perhaps that  God wasn’t around when your mother suffered and died too young with cancer.  Then there are lots of folks who talk about a God found in large buildings where you dress up in your best clothes, pledge money to belong, serve on at least one committee and usher once a month. Perhaps that works for some folks.

Devon Church by
Devon Church by etrusia uk

I really tried to find God there for a long, long time.  I loved the music and the stained glass windows and loved all the sense of connectedness with other people.  I would have so loved to have found God in such a place.

I finally though, admitted to myself that I did not believe in any of those kinds of Gods either.  I was hoping God would show up somewhere along the line but honestly, I was truly adrift for a long time over this.  However, we all go through our own process of coming to a knowing of God Energy and Presence, or not.

Actually,  I prefer any of these terms, Divine Presence, Spirit, Great Oneness, All That Is, the Great I AM to” God”, because I seem to be always stepping on other people’s views of the God they don’t believe in.  The images connected with the word “God” are so loaded that it is a challenge to even use the word “God” when I am speaking about energy which is not in form, invisible, all knowing,  powerful in untold ways, eternal,  and present everywhere.

Is it just possible, that there is some type of Divine Presence which does not fit neatly into our present views and beliefs about God? Might we have our version of the God we don’t believe in, because we have never had a personal relationship with the Energy of the Great I AM?  Perhaps we have only heard about this energy from age old stories which simply can’t be true.  Or perhaps we have only experienced other people’s views of what God energy is and what it is supposed to do for us.  Perhaps what we have heard of God, we don’t like and don’t believe.  Other people’s stories seem too impossible to believe,  so God has got to be a figment of people’s imagination.

I was raised in a religious practicing family.  When I was a teenager, I became an internal skeptic.  Then I became a benevolent humanist and agnostic.  I felt better trying to be a nice, good person but I did not know if there was a God or not.  Then I ran into a few brick walls, chronic debilitating back pain, a serious family illness,  humongous fear and I became a seeker.

Meditation Begins At Birth by Premarian
Meditation Begins At Birth - in Croatia by Premasagar

One day through the “grace of God”, it seems to me looking back,   I entered into intentional Silence and something amazing happened.   I ran into God right in the middle of the Silence.  I guessed it was God.  I had not really expected to find that clarity, peace or knowing in that Silence.  But there IT was, staring me in the face.the lotus within yourself by Chris Spera

Then I began to share what I was learning with others and lots of other people also began to have similar experiences to mine and began to share them.  They also moved from seekers to knowers.  We had a movement happening.  We had moved into the space of people who know there is a God force because we spend time with that force repeatedly.  After a few months of entering Silence, we knew that Energy Force was always inside of us.

Then we began to see that after we had had that time of Silence and connecting in,  we were more loving in all ways.  We were more centered.  We were more balanced and content.  This became my own definition of God Energy then.   All the questions I had, seemed to melt away.  The experience of Divine connection which I found in the Silence was all knowing and I found that totally fascinating.  It was as if through osmosis from somewhere in the Silence,  I was learning about the real God, at least the one that was real for me.  (stay tuned)

Good Work… if you can get it.

Thoughts and feelings can balance us or unbalance us.  Where we place our attention and give our power determines whether we move towards greater balance or greater imbalance.  When we are out of balance energetically, it shows up somewhere.

How does imbalance affect us?
taken by aeu04117
MB Balances Rocks (by aeu04117)

It can show up in disturbing dreams, inability to sleep, imbalances in eating habits, impatience, “down days”, arguments or colds and infections.  If we have been out of balance a very long time, the immune system can become compromised.  We can begin to show patterns of recurring colds, chronic pain or infections, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety or even osteoporosis, cancer or diabetes and everything in-between.  We may have recurring patterns of unsuccessful relationships, jobs, financial investments or failure to generally thrive due to being out of balance.

Our bodies as well as our thoughts, feelings and sense of connectedness to the greater whole are all energy.  Further our emotional, mental, spiritual and physical bodies are all related.  We are one large, completely connected web of flowing energy.  When one area of our life does not flow, we will be given all the chances we need to attend to this.  We always have the choice to attend in the present or put it off until later.  However, as long as there are imbalances in our energy field, these will  show up in our daily lives in one way or another.

Our response to energy may not be the only reason we are manifesting imbalances in our daily life.  There may be environmental factors, situational factors or hereditary patterns which make us more susceptible to certain imbalances in our lives.  However,  if we  couple  environmental or hereditary factors with also being out of balance emotionally, mentally or spiritually, the results at the physical level will be exacerbated.  The more we are out of balance, the greater the chance this will show up in our daily lives in one way or another. This is the most practical reason for attending to our spiritual health that I know of.  Thankfully, though,  we can change how we think and feel if we can figure out what blocked energy we may be carrying and how it is affecting us.

At the park with my daddy! =) (by Photo ChicK DoraliS)
How can we change our thoughts and feelings?

The way we attend to energy directly affects our health on many levels.  Suppose you are having on-going tension with a child.  You may have tried “everything” to clear the air with this child and are having no success. Usually when we come to this place with any relationship, it is time to look inside at our own thoughts and feelings about what is actually going on.  We can affect our thoughts and feelings if we can understand the “unseen” reasons we have specific thoughts and feelings.  However clearly we can see in others what they need to change, we can only bring about such change in ourselves.  Each person has the free will to choose conflict or balance, change or status quo,  harmonious relationships or contentious ones.   When we do decide to release thoughts and feelings which are creating imbalances,  it affects everything around us including the specific relationship we are focused on.

Enter into Silence and open a sacred healing space for yourself.  Ask yourself,  “when I argued with my child, what fears were fueling my thoughts, tone, emotions and words”?  It might be the fear; for your child’s safety,  of your child’s failure,  that (s)he is making poor decisions,  that your child does not respect you,  that you do not have the relationship you want with your child, or another fear.

What do I do if I am too angry to think straight?

If you can’t get to defining fear because of the anger that is present, list the specific anger you have.  Include every type of specific anger you are experiencing.   This might include something like,  I am angry with Kevin because I ask him to clean up his room,  then he doesn’t do it until I get angry and yell at him.  List everything you can but keep your work to blocks of no more than 15 minutes.  More than that can be overwhelming.  Keep returning to this set of tasks in 15 minute blocks until you are finished. When all the specifics of your anger are listed, move on to what is behind the anger that most upsets you.

Anger almost always covers fear or doubt of some sort or another.  Ask, “what is behind the anger I am feeling” ?  Specific fears and doubts cover probably 98% of the blocked energy manifesting in contentious relationships. This is called diagnosing the situation. If you can’t figure it out yourself, go into Silence, be still and ask Divine Knowing for insight around these issues.  Listen to the guidance.

How do I get rid of these thoughts and feelings?

Diagnosis is good.  Clearing the blocked energy is better.  Take the specific fear or doubt you have identified and take it into sacred healing space.   Open the sacred healing space, ask that the fear/doubt be consumed by the Divine Presence.  Call for all core or source energy manifesting now as this fear/doubt to be release into Divine Light.  Call for the Divine Healing Presence to permeate this relationship and give thanks for this experience.  Your taking these steps will be met 100% of the way by Divine Presence/Divine Knowing/Source.  This healing energy is first experienced at the unseen level usually in the form of different feelings and thoughts.   It takes a little while for shifting energy to show up in our physical lives.   Watch for shifts.  Give thanks for the shifts both unseen and seen as they come and eventually the energetic context of this relationship under scrutiny will shift.

You may have to work on other aspects of fear or doubt over several weeks or months to completely allow you to be in relationship with this child, free of fear.  However, each time you undertake this type of healing with the Divine Presence,  you will actually change the energy around you, especially that with your child.  Keep it up.  “It’s good work… if you can get it. ” (Dave Wilcox. “Good Together”, 2002)