Friday, August 28, 2009

Pilgrimage as a Way of Life

Dear Angelic Blog Buddies:

I want to share inspirations I am receiving from reading a great book by Jim Forest. The book is: The Road to Emmaus; Pilgrimage as a Way of Life. Jim is going to be at Bon Secours Spiritual Retreat Center here in Maryland on October 10th. Jim resides in the Netherlands.

I have always been intrigued with the consciousness of being a pilgrim on a spiritual path. We are all truly on pilgrimages with every step that we take. I see our life as "the road" or "the path".

I have participated in many angelic adventures where I have actually made a pilgrimage to a sacred site or shrine and have come to recognize that they are simply enhanced experiences of what is occuring every day.

I am going to share here some of the thoughts Jim shares in his book. They are stimulating and thought provoking for me, and it is my hope that they may trigger some contemplation for you, too.

Human history is the history of roads.

Both the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are a celebration of roads. For Tolkein, it wasn't roads in plural but simply the Road.

Walking and praying while you are walking is a spiritual practice of a pilgrim.

"The fundamental action of a human being is walking upright." - Benedicta Ward, To Be A Pilgrim.

When we make time for prayer at the beginning and end of each day, with islands of prayer, however brief in between, daily life becomes an event of a pilgrimage.

One of the hallmarks of pilgrimage is an attitude of silence.

"We cannot find God in noise or agitation. Nature, trees, flowers and grass grow in silence. The stars, the moon and the sun move in silence." Mother Teresa

Saints mirror to us lives that were on a constant journey and the pilgrim's road is not an easy one.

St. Teresa of Avila, a true pilgrim, was the target of passionate opposition from the church hierachy. Her writings were the subject of investigation by the Spanish Inquisition. "I am really much more afraid of those who have so great a fear of the devil, she wrote in her a autobiography, "than I am of the devil himself. Satan can do me no harm whatever, but they can trouble me very much."

The Celts refer to a place where ordinary matter seems charged with God's Presence as "thin places." It is where the veil is thin. Jim discusses Iona, Scotland as an example of one of those thin places.

Just as we experience places of great light on our pilgrim's path, we also experience dark places and dark paths, i.e. battlefields, places of tortue or mass execution; the hiding place of Anne Frank and her family.

Jim also writes about the spiritual support offered by relics and labyrinths. Many of you know I have a deep fondness for both. Additionally, Jim discusses how an illness can become a pilgrim's journey for us.

Jim also includes Thomas Merton's words from Mystics and Zen Masters. Merton mirrors the thought of regarding our life as one continuous pilgrimage; filled with inner and outer journeys.

"The geographical pilgrimage is the symbolic acting out of an inner journey. The inner journey is the interpolation of the meanings and signs of the outer journey. One can have one without the other. It is better to have both."

This past weekend I had the joy of listening to a woman convey her experience as a pilgrim on the path to Santiago de Compostela. She was on the path for over a month,which included walking over mountains. She indicated that at the beginning of her pilgrimage, she shipped a lot of items home as the key was to carry as light a load as possible.

It was wonderful hearing how the people of the villages are supportive of the pilgrims. I have read of people walking this pilgrim's path; however, it was inspiring to be sitting at a table hearing someone who did it, and to experience her sharing what the experience was for her personally.

At the conclusion of the pilgrimage, there is a church where the pilgrims receive some sort of document affirming their accomplishment. There are masses held throughout the day which both tourists and pilgrims can attend. This precious woman shared that in celebration of her accomplishment she attended three masses. She radiated with the joy of fulfillment of a huge spiritual goal. You could tell that the document didn't matter to her; she was on her own God-high. I experienced God-high energies from just listening to her.

I am certain all of us have had God-high moments in perhaps exotic and far-away places. You may have had a pilgrimage experience going to New York City and seeing a Broadway show that changes your life in a literary way. These experiences are exhilirating and memorable. And equally grace-filled are the simple day to day joys of walking with God as we fulfill our daily tasks. It's all encountering God wherever we are; whatever we are doing.

Angelic blessings to you, fellow pilgrims on the road of life. May your life be lived with a divine consciousness that you are walking with God every moment; every second; every heartbeat and breath.

Love in abundance, Jayne

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Soul Mirroring Experiences

Dear Angelic Blog Buddies:

I'm certain each of us have moments in our lives when we read a book and there is a passage that gives us an experience of confirming something we have felt but had never put it in words ourselves. We have felt something but have never expressed it ourselves or have someone express it for us. When it does occur, through perhaps reading it in a book, it is as if the author is mirroring our soul to us. It can be a soul shuttering experience because of the intimacy of the thought expressed.
I want to share one of my own personal experiences.

A few years ago Chuck and I went to Niagra Falls and on our way we stayed at a bed and breakfast in Corning, New York. The owners of the bed and breakfast had obtained in an estate sale a letter that had been written by Helen Keller. The owners had framed the letter and had it on display in their dining room. I can remember to this day, reading the letter and feeling my soul resonant in oneness with Helen's words. The letter is an absolute treasure. Let me first share the letter with you:

"93 Seminole Avenue
Forest Hills, New York
October 18, 1929
Dear Miss Kinscella:

In reply to your letter received this morning, I would say, my way of "seeing and hearing" the outer world is difficult to analyze. Indeed, I am almost convinced that my impressions cannot be expressed, except in mystical symbolism. When I try to tell people my idea of natural phenomena beyond the reach of my hands, I am profoundly troubled by the remoteness of my inner life, and yet the intensity of it is fresh and throbbing as a physical reality. Things perceived by the spirit are imperfectly inarticulate. Only the greatest poets can put into words shades of soul experience.

I put my hand on the violin or the sensitive diaphragm of the radio, and my body is flooded with rhythmical vibrations. My mind transmutes the silvery nerve-thrills into bird-songs and wind-songs, the tripping of tiny streams, the fluttering of moth and bee, the tremulous lisping of leaves. Thus my conception of music is built up of association and analogy.

I am extremely sensitive not only to musical vibration, but also to the exhalation of flowers. Beside their delicate texture and fragrance, I feel a Soul in them. That is what I mean by the personality of flowers. Subtly they suggest human attributes. Some flowers are friendly, adapting themselves to our moods. The rose lends itself to all our human experiences like a versatile companion. Some flowers have shy spirits that seem embarrassed when I touch them. The mimosa actually shrinks from the human hand. Other flowers caress my palm with tenderest speech of curling petal and rustling leaf. Every one feels the modesty of the violet and the thought that looks out of the upturned face of the pansy. Who does not welcome the big laugh of the peony, the childlike gaiety of daffodils, the mystical quality of the lilacs, the pungent good sense of chrysanthemums and marigolds. Any one can see the geraniums are cheerful, good-natured, work-a-day friends of man, and that the sunflower is an optimist, keeping its face ever towards the sun.

Professor Villey, a blind Frenchman, believes that my pleasure in music and color is derived through autosuggestion rather than perception. I imagine that is true, but it is also true of every one else.
Sincerely yours
Helen Keller"

As I read Helen Keller's words, I felt I was witnessing a brilliant artisan at work painting a masterpiece of the beauty of flowers through words. In particular, her words: "I am extremely sensitive not only to musical vibrations, but also to the exhalation of flowers. Beside their delicate texture and fragrance, I feel a Soul in them." was a soul mirroring experience for me.

I am someone who is sensitive to the breath of nature. Julie Andrews sang the words, "The hills are alive with the sound of music." I love these lyrics for I experience nature's breath, in particular the exhalation of nature. If you allow yourself, you can experience the breath of nature and the outbreathing of the flowers, trees and mountains, which for me is an experience of being enfolded in a tremendous vibration of love. I love nature and whenever I am in nature and allow myself to be still, I am sensitive to the enfolding, enveloping, loving outbreath that holds me like a divine caress. I sometimes feel the exhalation of nature is to remind me, through the breath of nature, that I too, am here to grow, blossom and bloom. Nature shares its breath with me to rejuvenate me; revitalize and revive me.

I interpret creation, or worlds being created for example, as the divine breathing out. When the divine breathes out, the invisible becomes visible. It does not have to be in the form of matter immediately. For example, I can be in nature, experiencing the exhalation of the flowers' breath, and an inspiration comes into my mind, i.e a thought takes form.

I am someone who encourages people to become familiar with Scotland's Findhorn, and America's own Findhorn-type gardens, i.e. Perelandra and Green Hope Farm. Perelandra's bookstore offers the Medical Assistance Program (MAP) book which is a wonderful spiritual reference for learning how to serve with nature's devas and elementals.

Molly Sheehan, in her wonderful Green Hope Farm guidebooks, records the messages of the flowers, which is a way of capturing the energies of the holy outbreath or exhalation of the flowers.

I believe that flower essences capture the energy of the holy breath of heaven and when we take essences, we are giving ourselves the blessing of receiving healing of divine resuscitation.

You've all heard the phrase, "Make time to stop and smell the roses." When we stop and smell roses, we are making time to breathe in the rose's exhalation of the heavenly vibration of love. Another way to experience of the exhalation of the rose is through essential oils, ie. anointing ourselves with essential oils.

The frequency of a healthy body ranges anywhere from 62 to 78Hz (units of frequency) with a frequency lower than 50Hz increasing your risk for illness such as cancer. Body frequency level can be changed by our thoughts, behaviors and the way we treat ourselves.

Dramatic frequency numbers begin to appear when talking about essential oils which are the vital power of plants. Scientific research has shown that essential oils vibrate on the highest frequency levels known and can produce environments where no disease, bacteria or viruse can survive. Most essential oil frequencies start at 52Hz and reach a maximum vibration of 320Hz which is the vibration of rose oil. Rose oil emanates the highest energy vibration of all known oils. Studies have proven that a drop of essential oil placed on a human foot can deliver its information into each and every cell in your body within 21 minutes. That's the exhalation of roses in action.

Flowers are divine healers. They exhale God's healing energies. Flowers bring us back to life with their exquisite beauty and healing breath.

Love in abundance, Jayne

Monday, August 10, 2009

Pinky, the Tarot Card Reading Jack Russell

Dear Angelic Blog Buddies:

Last Thursday evening I was on the telephone teaching a tele-conference class for an hour. Pinky, my little Jack Russell Terrier, was in my office with me. Since I was not paying attention to her or playing with her, Pinky decided to create her own play and occupy herself by getting into some mischief. The mischief she chose was to reach up to a shelf where I keep my divination cards, and pull two cards out of the stack of Voyager Tarot Cards. She then proceeded to totally destroy the two cards.

When I finished the telephone class, I turned my chair around from my desk and saw Pinky sitting on my office sofa. She was so very proud of herself and her accomplishment of taking two whole cards and transforming them into a million little pieces. She flashed her big happy Pinky smile at me because I was now focused on her.

Some of you may remember one of my past blogs where I talked about divination tools such as spiritual card decks and how once at a conference where I had passed around a deck of my SPIRITUAL cards for people to use in drawing cards for messages, a man who was seated in the back of the room commented when he received the cards, that he didn't think I had a full deck. When I looked at what Pinky had done to the two Voyager cards, my first thought was that I truly didn't have a full deck.

And then I decided to see what two cards Pinky had removed from the deck. Once I did this, I was esctastic with my newly revised "minus two" deck of cards.
Thanks to Pinky there's NO MORE DULLNESS and CONFUSION.

Pinky, the Tarot Card Reading Dog, is inspiring all of us to live our lives with curiosity, enthusiasm and imagination and to release (or chew up) dullness. The word dull comes from an Old English word: dol which means foolish. Webster's describes being dull as being without spirit. So Pinky is motivating all of us to live our lives with spirit. Pinky wants us to know that quite frankly it is foolish not to live spiritual lives. Webster's describes dull as not bright. Pinky is reminding us that we are here to shine and shine brightly.

Confusion is the state of being confused. Confuse means to jumble up, mix up mentally, perturb or perplex oneself. The word confusion comes from the Latin confundere which derived from com (meaning together) and fundere (to pour). So in an essence, confusion is allowing mixed up messages to be poured into our minds and lives. Pinky wants us to live our lives without confusion. Pinky's affirmation is: I AM CHEWING UP CONFUSION. Pinky is inspiring us to remove confusion from our lives by focusing on what is important in our lives, i.e. what we truly value. For example, play is of the utmost importance to Pinky and so Pinky is very clear that every moment she isn't eating or sleeping is a moment to be spent playing.

Some years ago I did a week long class at a spiritual conference where I gave each participant a tee-shirt imprinted with the following message:


So let's embrace our divine identity, without dullness and confusion, and be the HAPPY CAMPERS we were created to be.

Love in Abundance, Jayne