Each one of us is a radiating center. Imagine, if you will, a great reservoir out of which lead innumerable small channels. As its farther end, each channel opens out into a small fountain. This fountain is not only being continually filled and replenished from the reservoir but is itself a radiating center, where it gives out in all directions that which it receives so that all who come within its radius are refreshed and blessed. Take this into the stillness and see. Stormy
According to Science News, a father’s love is one of the greatest influences on personality development. The pain of rejection — especially when it occurs over a period of time in childhood — tends to linger into adulthood, making it more difficult for adults who were rejected as children to form secure and trusting relationships with their intimate partners. Furthermore, A 13-nation team of psychologists working on the International Father Acceptance Rejection Project has determined that children and young adults are likely to pay more attention to whichever parent they perceive to have higher interpersonal power or prestige.
The rejection I experienced–and still do, on occasion–has been debilitating. It prevented me from truly enjoying this wonderful life as God intended. I blamed everything on my mother, which is common in father rejection. And to this day, I can get angry at the drop of a hat. But, if you can work through it, see it for what it really is, a defect in the father, you can get through it and do it well. I am a survivor, in the truest sense. My worth does not nor did it ever depend on my father’s love. His hatred for me is sad, but hatred in all forms is sad. Hatred is a sickness of the mind. Love is the only remedy. And with rejection, it is especially important to know that self-love is the first step in the healing process. Unless you live as a hermit, which some choose to do in order to deal with their rejection, you will often be reminded of your “not ideal” childhood. You may work very hard at loving, forgiving and healing; then one day, you will hear something on television, on the news, or in conversation and Bam, it’s back. That deep, dark, pitiful feeling inside. More work to do. For me, it’s back to the cushion, where I sit and meditate. Remembering I am one with everything, yes, I AM my father and every person who ever hurt me and I am every person who ever loved me. I am the world. That’s hard to swallow, being given eyes to see the separation and all the senses that seem to confirm that I am me. But the truth is, I am everyone. When you hurt, I hurt. When you are happy, I am happy. It is in the denying this fact that we continue to suffer. If we don’t care about one another, we will not fully grasp the essence of this statement…we are our brother’s keeper. To deny this, we deny who we really are. So, we will see what we want to see, not what is really there. That’s the way some folks like it. I know, I know. But to those who continue to suffer and are looking for a way out, here is a solution. There are no pills to take, to place to fly to, to surgery to undergo. It’s internal and it’s eternal. It is your eternal self you want to see. That is your ticket. That is the way out. – S
Once you stop clinging to the idea that your body is a thing, you realize what should have been obvious: your body is the junction between the visible and invisible worlds. Standing at this junction, you are constantly advancing into new regions of the invisible world. For every new step you take, your body follows.”
“You, right this minute, stand at the growing tip of evolution. The next thing you think, the next action you take, will either create a new possibility for you, or it will repeat the past”
She’s the loving Venus, the bold Brigit, the fiery Pele, the wise Athena, the nurturing Madonna, the furious Kali. She is the goddess, a presence of feminine divinity who has been the focus of spiritual seekers, feminists, anthropologists and historians around the world.
And she may be just what you need if you feel disconnected from the traditional gods of some religious belief systems.
In their spiritual and personal growth search, women especially find that honoring a goddess is fulfilling because she nourishes our feminine side. “We’re raised in a culture where the highest form of godhood is male, so women have developed a sense of being diminished psychologically and spiritually,” says Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D., who teaches in the Mythological Studies department of Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, Calif. “It’s as if we can’t find our own voice or spiritual maturity until we can find within us the call of the divine feminine. Turning to the goddess honors us in a way the father-god of the Judeo-Christian tradition just doesn’t do. In that system, we’re always second best; we’re daughters of Eve made from some fellow’s rib.”
Reaching out to goddess energy helps us shed the past’s old, oppressive, shaming mindsets and explore spirituality that honors and expresses the divine as a lively, creative force. “We never hear of Moses or Jesus or the Holy Spirit laughing,” muses Jenks. “Goddesses laugh. They sing songs and dance. I think both men and women really need that — and many men are also strongly drawn to the goddess movement.”
In Search of the Divine Creative
Goddesses can be creative and nurturing like good mothers, but they can also invent a plow or wield a spear,” warns Jenks. “A goddess may be a nice warm mommy figure when that’s needed, but she’s really about honoring the full, mature depth of what it is to be human.”
And goddess honoring certainly isn’t limited to women. Last year during a visit to Singapore, a young man named Desmond brought me to the Kuan Yin temple on the eve of the Chinese New Year. At midnight, throngs of devoted worshippers crowd their way into the temple — the first 10 to enter receive a special blessing from the goddess, who is famous for her mercy and compassion.
There the gold-covered goddess sits, perched on her lotus throne, surrounded by the four Gods of Heaven and sacred dragons. At her feet are offerings of marigolds, walnuts, pussy willows and pomelos; her eight arms are draped with beads that people have brought her in thanks for her blessing. Desmond, my guide, whispers to me of his special relationship with Kuan Yin. “Every time I pray to her, she answers my prayers,” he says. “Once I was in a bit of trouble and came specifically to this temple to ask for help. Later, when the trouble passed, I came back specially to give thanks.”
A goddess, Jenks continues, also knows when to push the fledgling from the nest.
Along with wisdom, goddesses embody all forms of creativity — from motherhood to the arts. “Almost every goddess is involved with the gift of language, healing and creating things like sand-paintings, music, dance, pottery, metal-crafts,” Jenks points out. “She offers a space within which all forms of creativity are safe. I think the reason people are interested in goddesses today is because the Judeo-Christian god doesn’t seem to welcome our creativity as much as our obedience.”
The Goddess: Not Just for the Ancients
Though some people consider goddesses long-gone symbols of an ancient civilization, they’re worshipped and revered by many people in the present day. “Among the Navajo, Changing Woman and Grandmother Spider Woman are as present now as they were 2,000 years ago to their ancestors,” says Jenks. “Likewise, I might study Athena as the patron of art in ancient Greece because I’m a religious historian, but a Greek goddess worshipper might have an entirely different relationship with a very real Athena who’s a strong, divine feminine in life today.”
Sometimes Anglo-Americans feel drawn to goddesses because they don’t have access to the goddess tradition in their own culture, Jenks says. Or, some people find a goddess connection as they explore their ethnic roots. “Someone of Irish heritage might discover the Celtic goddess Brigit,” she points out. “Though goddesses often date historically from an early time, it’s not uncommon for a modern person to be attracted to what Brigit stands for in the Celtic tradition. The energy of the Divine is still viable; it just needs to be activated by a human ‘receiver.’”
A World of Goddesses
Most cultures have goddesses in their pantheon. A few of the better known examples of Feminine Divinity:
Lakshmi: The Hindu goddess of good fortune and material wealth ensures human well-being and prosperity and luck. Worshippers lavish her altars with gifts of oil, milk and flowers.
Kali: This fierce, black goddess is depicted with her tongue lolling from her mouth, dripping blood. She wears a necklace of skulls, brandishes a sword, and wears the corpses of infants as earrings. She is the bringer of death and the giver of ultimate truth.
Isis: According to myth, Isis, the faithful wife of Osiris, diligently searched for his body after he was murdered, returned him to Egypt and impregnated herself with his dead body. She is the Goddess of Water, Earth, Corn, Stars and the Underworld, and she possesses healing powers. She created the Nile from her tears.
Ancient Grecian and Roman
Aphrodite (Venus): The goddess of love is associated with sexuality (eros)and fertility but also embodies the qualities of mother love, love between friends (agape), and spiritual love.
Athena (Minerva): The goddess of war and wisdom. She gave the world agriculture, the arts and is also a warrior.
Gaia: Born of Chaos, Gaia is the goddess embodiment of the earth. She gave birth to the sky and the ocean as well as the Titans, among them Chronos, father of the Olympian gods.
Kuan Yin: The goddess of mercy is popular throughout Asia. She helps childless couples conceive, heals the sick, is a patron of travelers and farmers, and protects souls in the times of travail.
Epona: This Celtic goddess is portrayed with a horse and worshipped as a warrior, guardian of the dead, a healer and the Earth Mother.
Brigit: The goddess of language and metalsmithing. She creates shields and spears. After the Roman conquest of the British Isles, Brigit became associated with Minerva, the Roman artist/warrior goddess.
Spider Woman: She is the creator and weaver of life; the sacred guardian and teacher to peoples of many Southwest Native American cultures. She appears as both a spider and an old woman.
Inanna: The Queen of Heaven, she descends into the underworld to experience her own death and regeneration. There her sister Ereshkigal hangs Inanna’s denuded and dead carcass on a hook for three days. To return to life, Inanna must appoint a sacrifice in her place — her husband Dumuzi.
This can change your life if you let it. Stormy
Though it may seem naive to some, there are persons who are optimistic simply because they choose to be that way. The cynic may ask: “Why should I be optimistic? What is there to be optimistic about?” A good answer is that we must choose to be optimistic because any other path leads to quiet desperation. It is possible to be aware of the seriousness of personal or world problems, but at the same time express optimism about the ultimate outcome. Good, solid answers come with the marriage of awareness and optimism! Words From Unity
• What did the Buddha Teach?
• What is the First Noble Truth?
The first truth is that life is suffering i.e., life includes pain, getting old, disease, and ultimately death. We also endure psychological suffering like loneliness frustration, fear, embarrassment, disappointment and anger. This is an irrefutable fact that cannot be denied. It is realistic rather than pessimistic because pessimism is expecting things to be bad. lnstead, Buddhism explains how suffering can be avoided and how we can be truly happy.
• What is the Second Noble Truth?
The second truth is that suffering is caused by craving and aversion. We will suffer if we expect other people to conform to our expectation, if we want others to like us, if we do not get something we want,etc. In other words, getting what you want does not guarantee happiness. Rather than constantly struggling to get what you want, try to modify your wanting. Wanting deprives us of contentment and happiness. A lifetime of wanting and craving and especially the craving to continue to exist, creates a powerful energy which causes the individual to be born. So craving leads to physical suffering because it causes us to be reborn.
• What is the Third Noble Truth?
The third truth is that suffering can be overcome and happiness can be attained; that true happiness and contentment are possible. lf we give up useless craving and learn to live each day at a time (not dwelling in the past or the imagined future) then we can become happy and free. We then have more time and energy to help others. This is Nirvana.
• What is the Fourth Noble Truth?
The fourth truth is that the Noble 8-fold Path is the path which leads to the end of suffering.
• What is the Noble 8-Fold Path?
In summary, the Noble 8-fold Path is being moral (through what we say, do and our livelihood), focussing the mind on being fully aware of our thoughts and actions, and developing wisdom by understanding the Four Noble Truths and by developing compassion for others.
• What are the 5 Precepts?
The moral code within Buddhism is the precepts, of which the main five are: not to take the life of anything living, not to take anything not freely given, to abstain from sexual misconduct and sensual overindulgence, to refrain from untrue speech, and to avoid intoxication, that is, losing mindfulness.
• What is Karma?
Karma is the law that every cause has an effect, i.e., our actions have results. This simple law explains a number of things: inequality in the world, why some are born handicapped and some gifted, why some live only a short life. Karma underlines the importance of all individuals being responsible for their past and present actions. How can we test the karmic effect of our actions? The answer is summed up by looking at (1) the intention behind the action, (2) effects of the action on oneself, and (3) the effects on others.
• What is Wisdom?
Buddhism teaches that wisdom should be developed with compassion. At one extreme, you could be a goodhearted fool and at the other extreme, you could attain knowledge without any emotion. Buddhism uses the middle path to develop both. The highest wisdom is seeing that in reality, all phenomena are incomplete, impermanent and do no constitute a fixed entity. True wisdom is not simply believing what we are told but instead experiencing and understanding truth and reality. Wisdom requires an open, objective, unbigoted mind. The Buddhist path requires courage, patience, flexibility and intelligence.
• What is Compassion?
Compassion includes qualities of sharing, readiness to give comfort, sympathy, concern, caring. In Buddhism, we can really understand others, when we can really understand ourselves, through wisdom.
Today I will improve myself, body mind and spirit.
Today I will refuse to spend time worrying about what might happen if….
Today I will not imagine what I would do if things were different. They are not different. I will do my best with what material I have.Today I will find the grace to let go of resentments of others and self-condemnation over past mistakes Today I will act toward others as though this will be the last day of my life. Steve Goodier..Joy Along the Way