Oct 12 2005

I am obviously a very spiritual person, I am a minister.  For me spirituality is not dogmatic; spirituality is a journey toward a higher understanding of the nature of God, not the nature of God as man defines it to be.  For me true religion is about coming together to explore, discover and share our spiritual nature as it relates to our human nature.  Religion is about seeking to understand Universal truths; it is about discerning the loving intentions of all people that lie back of their opinions. It is about celebrating those pure intentions. 

What I share; my understanding comes through all life as it is presented to me.  Nature is a fundamental source of my learning, nature gives one a freedom to think unconstrained thoughts.  Nature listens, it quietly awaits revelation.  If one is to believe there is a power greater than we are; one that lies back of creation, then nature is Its creation in the purest state.  What happens in nature must be right in the eyes of God if it is truly God’s creation as I believe. 

My next source is the example of those who share my world today; are they happy? Are they fulfilled?  Are they well received?  Are they at peace with their lives?  What are the people like who are influenced by them?  Who were their influences?…  I seek to emulate the successes of these people, I seek to, by association, attention and discernment absorb their attributes.  I also pay close attention to their teachers.  I read the books they recommend and the sources of their favorite quotes.

The last place I look for true spiritual understanding is in the credos of organized religions, businesses and government.  I am personally very grateful that mass repetitions of the prayers of any religious teaching have been removed from our schools.   I am grateful that all uses of one religious teaching are being removed from our government and related organizations.  I am not happy that they are not replaced by simple teachings of common values such as tolerance, generosity and empowerment of others. 

In the recordings of the great teacher Jesus ‘one is more holy who prays in silence without a great show of righteousness’.  Why don’t we incorporate more opportunities for silent reflection, opportunities for each to pray after their own fashion?  Why don’t we create spaces in our schools and public places for silent contemplation, prayer and meditation; gardens and other places of nature or even just set times of silence?

We can eliminate from our society narrow perspectives without eliminating the loving intentions back of those activities.  We can make our community a better stronger healthier place while eliminating dogmas.  Our society; our world is at a point of pivot and each of us has a role to play in bringing about the world we would give to our children.  We make that world by the individual choices we make from moment to moment.

I invite you to choose with me more moments of peace of tolerance, of thanks giving this week.

Blessings, 

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Oct 5 2005

Success also takes doing the little things repetitively. Stephen Covey in his classic self help book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” points out that there are only a few things that successful people do that make them successful.  By doing those things and repeating them we create effective habits.

In my past life as a juggler I learned that my success depended on me learning to make a few basic throws and catches to a level of monotonous perfection, only then could I perform without dropping the balls.  In any field identifying those few things and making habits of them is the key. 

There were certain things I never mastered as a juggler because I could not identify the correct body movement there were other things as a performer I never mastered.  I was unwilling to do what was necessary; travel where I needed, to find the help.  My level of success was determined by my willingness. 

Another aspect of success is ‘luck’ where luck is nothing more than the point that inspiration meets opportunity.  Sooner or later with determined action the right ingredients will show up.  I called my brother the other day at supper time; he was having grouse for dinner.  The morning before a grouse flew into his window killing itself. My brother had already developed the skill to dress meat.  He had the inspiration; the grouse for him was the opportunity.  I’m a vegetarian, for me I haven’t the skills developed by inspiration to take advantage of my brothers’ opportunity.  He had a moment of luck.

Often the biggest challenge of success is identifying what it is for us.  So many of us carry an image of the wealthy neighbour and feel success is ours when we have what they have.  One of the great Philosophers of our time, Ralph Waldo Emerson, said in his poetic way: “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.  This is to have succeeded.”  His measure has nothing to do with property; it is completely the essence of mood that we identify with the wealthy neighbour that he has captured.


The spiritual leader of the “Self Realization Fellowship”, Paramhansa Yogananda, stated: “Success is not to be measured by how much material wealth is possessed, but whether you are able to create at will what you need.”

Sometimes I experience success in my life; sometimes my success is a work in progress. I choose to remember that success like life is a journey and not a destination. 

As I remember the words of each of these great people I daily grow in my greater success. 

I wish for you the same, and, ‘may you too receive your grouse this week’.

In Love and Light,

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Sept 28 2005

Here is a scenario; the story of the Stolen Goose which will illustrate my point:

Confessor: I have stolen a fat goose from a poultry yard!
Priest: That is very wrong.
Confessor: Would you like to accept it, Father?
Priest: Certainly not- return it to the man whom you stole it from.
Confessor: But I have offered it to him and he won't have it.
Priest: In that case you may keep it yourself.
Confessor: Thank you, Father.
The Priest arrived home to find one of his geese had been stolen…

What I find disturbing in our society is that we teach the value of opinions over intentions and passion on a daily basis; it is the methodology of our scholastic system for the most part.  Curriculum, class content, grades and overall averages are far more relevant than our children’s interests and passions.  In fact although we claim that our young students’ passions are important this is generally only nurtured if they discover their passion pursuing things important in our own opinions.

Recently I read an article on the challenges of communication for the ‘West’ and North Korea.  They basically came down to cultural opinions; opinions built right into the languages. 
It has often been a society’s adherence and imposition of opinions, of rights and wrongs, of good and bad that has ultimately led to war.  Throughout history it has been those people with the ability to manipulate others opinions in their favour that have risen to places of power; who have caused the great wars of the ages. 

It is time we of this world let go of our needs to be right and allow ourselves to be healed.  It is time we stopped judging others according to our opinions, our limited information and start imagining their real needs and need based intentions.  What ‘they’, those disagreeable others might really want is freedom and security to express themselves in a healthy environment and if we can just suspend our opinions we can help this to be achieved. 


Constantly laws are made based on opinions which diminish a person’s right to self determination and self expression.  The problem seems to be that we want one set of rules to apply to millions of unique individuals who want nothing more or less than to express uniquely.  We want them to behave like us.

The question then is how can we as individuals begin to change a society that is entrenched in its opinion of moral correctness.  What can you and I do to re-ignite passion in our world without inspiring conflict? 

A couple of ways I have found are, first, to let my life be an example and as much as possible ensure that I live what I believe.  Secondly, I have learned to seek always a path that is gentle; that runs in harmony with my environment, not because how people dress is right or wrong, rather simply because our appearances makes little difference next to our actions. 

I wish for all of us this week a relinquishment of the imposition of personal opinions and a stress free life.

In Love and Light,

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Sept 21 2005

Intelligence unhindered does this; it expresses an idea, imbues it with creative intention and in action brings that idea into form.

I have heard from a few in my life that intelligence is an individual thing unique to humans and possibly a few sentient creatures. Therefore they would say that life except in the individual is void of ideas. To me this is the height of egotism.  How is it that such a little being as a human could somehow be separate from the greater whole? And how could this little being have something all its own separate from the life it was created out of?

I am firmly convinced that there is a life greater than we are; something back of all life which is intelligent and loving.  I believe this intelligence is available and can be called upon at will by any individual.  I believe it responds intelligently.  To me this is an obvious conclusion that any intelligent study would arrive at.

When we look at the human body we find a chemical composition which is in balance with the Earth, containing the same elements that exist through-out our world.  This same arrangement of elements appears to exist in relative constancy throughout the galaxy.  We are, in our composition, bound by laws explicit in our atomic chart; there are not some atoms in us that don’t exist anywhere else. 

It would logically follow that if we are bound by physical laws we must also be bound by mental and spiritual laws; laws that act everywhere in equilibrium.  Just because the effects of these laws are obscure doesn’t mean they don’t exist nor does it mean that the laws themselves don’t exist.

In fact I would argue that the majority of our modern challenges come from living out of alignment with these natural laws of mind that very much do exist but are not commonly accepted or recognized.  Simply, even in our ignorance the fruits of our harvest remain bound by these laws. 

Upon close examination it apears that every idea we think is a seed planted and our tendency of thought today becomes our harvest of tomorrow. Yesterday’s tendencies are today’s crop.  A positive tendency will bring forth a productive harvest and a negative tendency will bring forth a counter productive harvest. 

In my life over the past twenty years I have consciously applied myself to these principles, to healthy thinking.  My life has transformed into a prosperous experience.  For me, my life is proof of that which I speak, I have applied a law and am experiencing a rich harvest.


This message has been the driving force behind the teachings of the spiritual masters throughout the ages.  They realized these simple truths, practiced them and brought them into their spheres of influence, teaching to those who would listen.  Often their examples appeared miraculous because laws of thinking are so vastly encompassing as to be immeasurable. 

People in awe of their powers did exactly what people through the ages have done when presented with a mystery: they started a new religion.  If we do what he did, walk where he walked, cut our hair and brush our teeth like he did and repeat his stories mantra like we will arrive where he went. 

Unfortunately mimicking the actions of another does not bring the results and so thousands of years later most of humanity is at the same place mentally that we were at the beginning.  So as Paul the apostle said to the Romans “be transformed by the renewing of your mind”. Or as we might say today; create for yourself a richer experience by thinking uplifting thoughts.

Choose today to start enriching your harvests to come.

Blessings,

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Aug 31 2005

My life has become much happier since I discovered there are certain things in life that I have an urge to do and other things that are for others.  I realized through that choice that if we all do what makes us happy all things will get done and we will all enjoy life more completely.  Life really does support us to do what we love.  It does support us to follow our bliss. 

We can each choose to do what we have passion for and with perseverance and a supportive environment, we can achieve success and enjoyment.  We must make decisions; we must make choices; first our environment and the people we associate with.  This is one of the most fundamental keys to success; there is an infinite power for good which supports us and we can use it but first we must choose it. 

In the Bible the great teacher Jesus said where ever two or more are gathered in my name there I am.  In metaphysical teaching ‘I Am’ is the presence of God in man, and any time we make the declaration ‘I am …’ we are literally invoking the power and presence of God in our lives. 

From this perspective Jesus is telling us to choose people to be in our inner circle who know our greatness for us.  When we do this a power unknown in darker times works for a good unforeseen in our lives, we achieve success in the area of our passion; we discover our passion.  But first we must choose for ourselves people who say ‘Yes’, we must eliminate the naysayers. 

Take heed that generally speaking the most powerful doubters are those who carry titles and initials, those who carry authority and our families.  Often we must look long and hard to find the ones who truly see for us our infinite potential and stand unwaveringly behind us.   

Every story of greatness illustrates this pattern whether it is the story of Jesus who sought his inner circle of disciples, the story of the pilot, Emilia Earhart and the people who stood behind her, never doubting her or the story of the Wayne Gretzkey and the Edmonton Oilers. 


Success is more often a product of affirmative friends, passionate desire and dogged determination than of any other combination.  True success is first a product of doing what we love to do; it is only in this that we will have the passion to move through adversity.  

I have found my greatest measure of success in living my passion and I have continually grown in prosperity by living in adherence to my convictions.  Many doors have opened because I have had direction, purpose and a circle of supportive friends; people who know my success in what I love to do.  This is the greatest gift I can and choose to give to those who choose my company. 

Thank you for your company and may you have joy in the work of your passison.

In Love and Light,

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Aug 24 2005

There is a great spiritual teaching in all the worlds’ great religious philosophies I heard expressed at a meditation I attend:  If you see a greater pleasure that comes from forsaking a lesser pleasure, well, be willing to forsake the lesser pleasure for the sake of the greater pleasure. (as quoted from Thanissaro Bhikkhu quoting the Buddha)

This simple philosophy has somehow been missed by all but the most dedicated spiritual seekers through the ages.  There seems to be an idea that the journey to greatness is only accomplished through suffering.  It certainly was believed by the religious teachers of my upbringing.  The idea of an Infinite Divinity has been interpreted it seems as synonymous with a stingy Deity. 

And I admit there is a sort of twisted logic to it.  How could one who has all withhold that all from us and apparently hold us in suffering.  But this is only an unfoldment of our own thought patterns, this is the bell ringing.  We by our own patterns of thought restrict the flow of abundance in our lives.

Imagine a child being given a new pencil to take notes with.  The child will continue to use that pencil until long after it becomes uncomfortably short. That is their pencil and they have had it forever.  It still works, they are unconscious that it is now a hindrance as they try to cram that last half inch into their little hands.  Likewise we outgrow continually thoughts and activities yet cling to them tenaciously.  Yet before we can replace them with a new idea we must, like that useless pencil, be willing to discard them.

Let go, let go, let go; in Christianity and other religions they say forgive, it means exactly the same thing.  Let go of your emotional investment in that old ‘pencil’, there are plenty of new ideas always available to enrich your life experience and bring you greater pleasure.

Today I wish for you a new pencil

                              … and that you remember Pavlov.

In Love and Light,

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Aug 17 2005

I don’t tend to be an idle person; my vacations are pretty much always working vacations. I don’t even visit people without a justification and I tend to last about an hour at the most in idle conversation. I presently have two streams of income; the first is this, being a minister and spiritual healing practitioner. 

My second job is as a contracted installer.  When I am not involved in one form of work I am involved in the other; for over twenty years this has been my preferred pattern.  So reading fiction has been my vacation, the only way I have truly found to escape.  It typically happens once in a couple years. 

Even though I may generally work ten to fifteen hours in a day for the rest of the year the sight of me sitting and reading for that length of time for a couple days has brought up much for myself and others.  I generally have to go into hiding when a good book finds its way into my hands; the good book delivered by the very person who then witnesses my obsession.

My compulsive need to complete a book once started has taught me much about myself, foremost it has taught me not to get too self righteous when I see others sitting when I am working.  It has also taught me to realize enjoyment in my work and from my work; the work I do is done because I love to do it.  I love to see the joy in others by the fruits of my work and I love to get lost in my work in the same way I can get lost in a book. 

My compulsive reading tendencies have also taught me to look closely at myself because as much as I become involved in a book I am still critically aware of my environment and the effect I have upon it.

I have spent a great deal of time in self analysis, coming to accept those addictive tendencies and move beyond them. 

I still have much to learn and grow through from these reading binges because at the end of theml I have still felt lingering guilt.  I have learned to laugh at myself, I have learned to give of myself, I have learned to give to myself and still there is more to learn.  Perfection is such a harsh measure to hold one-self up to yet ownership of our imperfections will be the only way to truly overcome them. 

One of my favourite quotes reads something like this: “The greatest glory of God is man, fully human, fully alive.”, I believe by Teilhard de Chardan.  For me this means in our search for perfection we must be able to revel in our imperfections.  As long as our intentions are harmless to others let us forgive ourselves and appreciate our being in our becoming.

In Love and Light,

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Aug 10 2005

The significance of this event to each of us is not in his past achievements, and I could list many, but rather the atmosphere of surrender he chose in making his transition.

Surrender is one of the most important keys to attaining a true sense of gratitude.  We must be willing to release our challenges to a higher power.  This is the point where gratitude becomes a spiritual experience rather than just a humanistic sense of acquisitiveness.  We must recognize that we are embraced in a power greater than we are otherwise we have nothing to surrender to.  We are merely giving up or giving away our power; we become the down trodden.

There is nothing disempowering to true surrender.  In fact every great and accomplished person through history has been able and willing to surrender to the God of their believing.   

One of the greatest lines in my repertoire of inspirational quotes states: “When you find you have fallen down get up, dust yourself  off and carry on.”   This is the essence of  true surrender; it is an acknowledgement of our human limitations and a willingness to continue growing and learning; to accept help.  A willingness to learn, to be teachable is paramount to feeling gratitude. It has been said that the day we stop learning is the day we start dying. 

I have been blessed to have some people cross my path leaving me with the impression that they are still very much living long after dying.  Those people have lived lives of deep gratitude, realizing that every moment is the greatest gift of their existence.  On the other extreme, some I have known died long ago and yet continue to struggle to keep breathing.  They continue living a shell of a life, empty, desperate and struggling, because they are terrified of  losing their physical life.  They usually die comparatively young despite their fear of death and have experienced very little of the richness of true gratitude.

I leave you with this final saying:

True gratitude comes with true surrender,
Dance as if nobody is watching,
Sing as if nobody is listening and
Laugh as if nobody cares.
Yesterday is forever gone and today really is the beginning of the life you would choose.  We each live according to the gifts of our passing. 

I thank you for accepting this ‘Light  Mail’ as my gift to you.

In Love and Light,

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Aug 03 2005

In honour of my surrogate family the Pruesses I share this family ritual.
Often when guests come over for a meal it is expected of me being a minister to say a grace.  Very often my guests are surprised by the form my thanks regularly take.

Almost thirty years ago Nora joined our family through marriage with my father, Harry.  She continues to bring much richness into our family from her parents and heritage.  Their custom at meal times, which I have adopted, is to come together holding hands and in unison with enthusiasm, say: “Zhite Frolic” (sp?), German for “be happy”.  The reasoning has been that a simple sense of joy aids digestion. 

Gratitude is not something that can be mouthed as a simple habit; without feeling it has no meaning.  Saying “please and thank you” is of no value when lacking feeling.  On the other hand “can I?” with  desire and passion back of it can be and is a child’s psalms to the Divine.  I have often heard parents steal their children’s enthusiasm with the demand of, “Say please!” 

Do we really listen to people or do we spend more time listening to our own inner chatter and seeking the approval of people long dead in our lives?

Ritual is a wonderful thing in our lives and can bring us much joy, but only when it is steeped in the memory of joy.  If the joy is not present release the ritual and develop new ones that do embrace the feeling.  Those rituals like close family, both hereditary and spiritual, will help to move you through times of challenge.

I have many rituals that I attend to with some sense of regularity: meditating, reading of inspiration, journaling, random acts of kindness and daily acknowledgements are just a few.  My life is a joy because I choose to be the joy in my life and passionate rituals are very much a part of that choice.

May you discover the joy of  little rituals in your life today.   

In Love and Light,

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July 27 2005

It didn’t work.  I arrived home assessed the damage and walked into a happy house.  The Universe was not about to give me one moment of good old fashioned wallowing.  As my wife determined the ding to be unnoticeable, I determined that I would have to practice my lessons in gratitude.

The first step was to let go.   I had to be willing to let go of my ‘upset’.  I may have had a right to be upset with myself, or anyone peripherally involved for that matter.  But in truth no amount of anger, hurt, resentment or self pity was actually going to help me feel better.  I had to accept that in all my perfection I was perfectly capable of blundering, and (ouch again) perfectly capable of owning it.  The only way to truly release a feeling is to first own it fully.  The only way to truly release anything is to first take ownership.

Next I chose to fill my mind with more preferable thoughts; thoughts that would allow me to feel my normal level of joyfulness.

I had to move into a place of gratitude for all the good things in my world.  My new thoughts and feelings completely obliterated any residual sense of pain.

What I was doing was not just some surface activity; I was applying a couple of the fundamental laws of physics. (No two objects can simultaneously occupy the same space and an object will maintain its current state unless operated upon by an outside force.)  Ergo, no two thoughts can simultaneously exist in the same moment in my head and it is always going to take a conscious effort to change my feelings.

My little dent still exists in my truck.  I am no longer emotionally invested in that dent.  I can deal with it in a healthy way; I won’t lose any sleep over it and at the right time I will get it fixed.

What was important for me to share here was the value of frequently and consciously, throughout the day, filling our thoughts with gratitude.  We, our thoughts, are bound by the same laws that operate throughout our physical environment.  As they like to say in the computer world “garbage in garbage out.  The same rule applies in our daily lives; if we think garbage thoughts we create for ourselves garbage experiences.

Yes; healthy thoughts do create healthy lives, we have all seen this in someone, gratitude is healthy thinking.  Choose health by saying thank you more often.

Blessings,

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