Roses, Peace, and Good Vibrations: Healing at the Park

Roses, Peace, and Good Vibrations: Healing at the Park

I had a fun time with my son on Sunday. The weather was perfect; summer is such a beautiful season in Minnesota. Somehow my cares, worries, and burdens seem to melt away as I enjoy the warm summer sun and cool northern breeze. I spend so much of my time and energy advocating for the poor and oppressed and worrying about peace and all the greed and problems in the world. Taking a day playing outside with my son refreshes my soul from these burdens.

The Rose Garden

First we went to the rose garden. We looked at all the beautiful pink, reds, and goldens made even more vibrant by this record wet summer. I taught my son how to breathe in the fragrance of the roses, to slow down for a quiet moment and learn from the unpretentious gift of the flowers. The roses do not struggle and compete with each other in ego shows of pomp and beauty; each bloom is crafted by the hands of fairies and nature spirits guided by the love of the Creator. Each bloom contributes its own unique color and fragrance to create a rainbow garden of one. If only we humans learned to live in contentment and oneness like the flowers. Peace.

The Peace Garden

After the rose garden, we visited the peace garden. This was a timeless place of rocks and perennial flowers, standing strong through storms of nature, and the chaos of human destruction. The rocks, flowers, and trees stand in witness at the darkness of human behavior, and wait for the day when evil will end and the oppressed and the needy receive justice. In Isaiah 55, the prophet poetically spoke of the day when evil repents and the poor have all they need. Verse 12 (NIV):

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

The trees have hands, and voices. At the peace park, my son wanted a leaf. I taught him to ask the tree’s permission for the gift. We felt the tree’s pain and saw holes in its leaves. We laid our hands on the tree in a gentle exchange of Reiki. The breeze rustled through the leaves as the tree murmured its appreciation. The most poignant moment of the day came next as we walked to the peace crane memorial. This is a statue of a paper crane, in memory of a young Japanese girl who died of radiation cancer from the bombing of Hiroshima. Before she flew away from this earth, she folded hundreds of these cranes in a Japanese traditional wish for peace. My son is still too young to understand this tragedy, but we folded a crane together to add to the thousands of other wishes for world peace.

Vibrations In The Park

We left our wishes at the peace garden and headed to the park for a picnic and fun together. We took off our shoes and wiggled our toes in the cool grass and warm gravel. With feet bare, we could feel the vibrations of the earth. Good vibrations. Healing vibrations. We do not spend enough time barefoot outdoors in modern civilization. The earth is alive and constantly vibrating beneath our feet with spiritual frequencies that help us to ground and center our souls on this plane. Wearing shoes and hurrying from place to place dampens these vibrations. I enjoyed reconnecting with the earth with my son. I also enjoyed playing with my child. Play is imagination is the Spirit and is healing. We climbed ladders, went on an imaginary bus ride, and rode the swings. We ended our day with a healthy body-nourishing picnic lunch and soul-nourishing treat at the ice cream parlour. It was a wonderful day of child-like fun, learning, and healing. A day of smelling roses and touching the peace of heaven, the kingdom of Yeshua. Take time today,  friends,  to explore the beauty and vibrations that still exist in a world of pain and chaos. Embrace the park and the light.

Stories, Art, Imagination, Play

Stories, Art, Imagination, Play

What preschoolers teach us about Reiki

Amy, Amy, tell us a story!

I hear this plea many times a day from my preschool class. I love to sit with them at the lunch table, or in small group time, and tell stories together. Stories about rainbows and dragons, thunderstorms and trees, the fantastical and the everyday. Preschoolers do not yet have a firm line between the “real” and the “imaginary.” This is something we are taught as we grow older, by our parents, our culture, our school system, and our televisions and media.

Stories, along with music and art, are the heartbeat of human experience, a shared understanding composed with billions of words, notes, brush strokes. We all have something unique and beautiful to add, and children understand this innately. They create with joy and without fear.

Picasso once said,

All children are artists. The problem is how to remain one once he grows up

.

This is true of art, music, story telling, and, perhaps most importantly, it is true of spirituality. Small children are so close to heaven, some even remember being in heaven (even if that’s not what they call it). How else do they know about dragons, unicorns, mermaids? The most precious gift of children is creativity, and creativity comes from the Spirit.

Tragically, our American school system is moving further and further away from teaching and encouraging the arts, and with it imagination, creation, and the spiritual. I’m not talking about religious indoctrination, but about the spiritual part, the Holy Spirit Reiki energy, that lives in the soul of each human being and connects us to each other in a rainbow of diversity, and to the hidden secrets of the unseen. The arts open this world. Math and science, of the kind taught to the Test, close it off. There is a true beauty to math and science, a striving to understand the world, but this artistic math and science doesn’t score as well on tests.

This is the way we teach math and science in preschool. We don’t use worksheets and standardized tests. We use play. Play is imagination. Play is the work of children, but it should also be the work of adults. If adults played more, our world would be kinder, would advance spiritually and socially. Play is Reiki is healing.

Children also understand healing. They will tell you that scraped knees require “magical” band aids and bumped heads an ice pack, but they know that the secret is in the caring. When mommy kisses the owie, or I, the teacher, apply the band aid with concern, it is the love that heals. Kids know that we are all social creatures at our core. Kids embrace, adults separate.

Remember, embrace, coax out your inner preschooler, friends. Find healing through play and imagination (have you ever noticed the “magic” in “imagination”?). Take joy in this day and in your journey. Peace and light to you.

Victims, and Victory Through Perception

Victims, and Victory Through Perception

The snow falls around me,
snowflakes kissing my lashes,
tickling my nose.

I stick out my tongue
to taste the cool wetness on my lips,
and I remember the taste of peppermint
in the candy cane hot chocolate
of childhood winters.

I scoop a wet snowball
in my softly-mittened hands,
as the fast-falling flakes
circle my warm jacket
in an intimate embrace
of white.

I meditate on the moment,
knowing that, for this fleeting gesture,
this silent tick on the forward march of time,
I am at peace.

###

The snow falls around me
in a dizzying blaze of white arrows.
Sharp icicle darts,
are thrown from gray clouds
with angry, thunderous faces.

I duck my face
and cover my head against the storm.
Ice stings my eyes
as blood pounds against my reddened cheeks.

I shiver and curse the wind
that blazes through my coat and scarf,
to wraps its icy fingers around my veins.

Time ticks forward one more agonizing second,
and I wonder if I can last.
I rush forward,
blindly seeking a warm shelter,
a comforting friend,
in the frigid storm of white.

###

Victims, and Victory through Perception

This is my second Minnesota winter. I am still amazed by the vast amount of snow that falls here during the long, frigid winter months. As I watch the snow falling yet again, I am struck by the power of my thoughts.

To illustrate my point, I wrote two poems about the snow. The first is full of joy and wonder at the delights of winter; the second is full of agony and fear in the face of a winter storm. The snow remains the same, but the experiences and thoughts of the onlooker change.

Psychologists often say that your perception is your reality, and I believe this is true, for the most part. Now, some people take it so far as to say there is no such thing as a victim, there is only a “victim mentality.” I vehemently disagree with this; as long as evil exists in the world and people choose to commit evil acts, then there will be victims of the evil. I also don’t particularly like the teachings of the “The Secret.” I don’t believe that a vision board and simply thinking positive thoughts will always bring us prosperity, wealth, and happiness. YHWH, the Divine, is more interested in your spiritual prosperity, and sometimes that involves molding through the fire.

Still, when we find ourselves to be a victim of another, or of our circumstances, or even simply in pain from life’s many storms, we do have a choice how we frame the challenge in our mind. Please do not deny the pain; you must feel your emotions and listen to your heart, your inner voice, all the time. When this voice is a hurt and crying child, listen with patience and nurturing. Feel the pain, acknowledge the pain, and love yourself.

At the same time, try not to stay in the pain. With gentle words and slow, healing touches, coax that little child out to once again face the world. Re-frame the evil events in your life, the times you were victimized, and turn them into a positive. Meditate through the pain, dance over the injury, and come out victorious.

When the storm clouds gather, and the snow falls out of your sky, can you find the courage to somehow change the white daggers piercing your heart into gentle flakes kissing your eyelashes?

Peace, love, and healing, my friends.

Photo used freely, courtesy of ak-girl on stock.xchng

Insomnia: A clouding of the crown chakra

Insomnia: A clouding of the crown chakra

I look forward to resting at night. I want to enter the dream world, to visit the place where I put my physical body to sleep, and to awaken back into the spirit realm from which I came and to which I will someday return.

I have vivid dreams in colors beyond the grasp of human words. I dream of myself in the future, with children around me, souls I will guide and teach and perhaps babies I will welcome into my family. I dream of myself in the past, meditating under iridescent trees, staring into lakes mirroring depths of never-ending wisdom. I dream of fighting epic, fantastical battles of good and evil, scaling walls and jumping over roaring fires to rescue people from demonic forces. I learn secrets and explore worlds that I struggle to hang onto when I awaken once more.

But sometimes I have trouble accessing this place. Maybe I am too connected in the physical world, worrying about too many things. Is my life going the way I imagined? Am I happy here? Will I be able to pay my bills? How can I make my world better when I constantly bump up against a societal matrix that clips my wings and cages my freedom-longing soul?

I struggle with insomnia and sleeplessness, as do many people in the United States. A quick Google search shows that pharmaceutical companies rake in $2.7 billion dollars per year in sales of drugs to treat insomnia. There are many, many websites offering helpful advice to fall asleep. Much of this is good advice: keep your sleeping quarters pitch-dark, as any light can affect your sleep, turn off electronics an hour before bed, keep a normal sleep time and routine, use warm baths to calm down. I follow these tips. My favorite routine is to practice mediative yoga and drink chamomile tea before bed to calm my mind and prepare myself for a restful state.

But I think that there is another dimension to insomnia, a spiritual dimension. I believe that insomnia has to do with the clouding of the crown chakra. Our crown chakra connects our physical body with the spiritual dimensions “above” us. Physically, the crown chakra is located immediately above the pineal gland, which (among other things) regulates the sleep cycle. Some people argue that the pineal gland involves the third eye chakra, and I believe there is some involvement with that as well. Both chakras are necessary to access the spirit realm. Our souls connect “up high” through the crown chakra, and we “see” the mystical realms with our third eye. We close our physical eyes in sleep and open our third eye.

For right now, though, I will focus on the crown chakra. If there is a clouding or a closing of this chakra, then it will be hard for the person’s soul to access the spirit realm. I think this affects sleep, which is a journey into the spirit.

I personally sometimes struggle with a clouding of my crown chakra as I battle worry and worldly concerns. One of my greatest heart concerns is social justice in my neighborhood, my country, and on the whole planet. I carry in my heart the stories of struggle and injustice of friends and strangers everywhere. When I dwell too much on this and lose my awareness of the perfect peace and justice of the high dimensions of the spirit realm, my crown chakra becomes cloudy. I believe that Yeshua struggled with the same thing, and he spent long hours in mediation to reconnect with YHWH and the Holy Spirit to refresh release all of the stories and human suffering he saw and carried in his spirit.

I have the most issue with insomnia on Sunday evenings, going into Monday morning and the new work week. I have a day job as a preschool teacher. I love the children with all their raw energy, enthusiasm for life, and developing imaginations, but the job itself has many frustrations and difficulties inherent in working for a corporation. I tend to worry about this on Sunday nights as I go to bed, and the worry closes off my crown chakra causing sleeplessness.

Furthermore, I believe the Sunday night experience is compounded by group-think. We are all connected spiritually, so we feel each other’s thoughts, concerns, and pains. On Sunday night, many people are worried or upset about the end of the weekend and returning to their jobs the next day. This lack of contentment in the face of the work week is a serious problem in modern society. We have traded spiritual truth and oneness for greed and competition to the point that everyone, no matter their personal outlook, is forced to play the game. I am sure that many people toss and turn in bed on Monday night, feeling the weight of society and losing spiritual connection through the crown chakra.

If you are struggling with sleeplessness, try to calm and quiet your mind before bed. Meditate on unblocking the crown chakra and establishing a strong connection to spirit. Meditation is a great tool to open all of the chakras and balance the physical and spiritual parts of your existence. Here is a meditation for restful sleep that I will be using right along with you.

Sit or lay in a comfortable position, preferably in a darkened, cool room.

Put your hands over your heart and feel the warmth and love emanate from your heart throughout your entire being.

Slowly close your eyes and focus your vision inward and upward. Place your hands gently over your eyes. Feel the healing energy soothing your eyes to rest. Feel the energy prepare your body for sleep.

Imagine your crown chakra opening up. Soak up the brilliant moonlight, as all the clouds gently float away. Your reception to spirit is wide-open and full of light.

Now imagine your third eye opening and gazing on the beauty and wisdom of the spiritual realm. A place of peace and understanding awaits as you gently drift away from the weight of the physical realm. Let go of your grasp on the physical world, all your worries and concerns about your life. Embrace peace and love.

Let go of the past with its cares and its mistakes that were your tutors and companions on the journey.

Let go of the present with its cares. Do not worry about provision. The sacred Father looks after the sparrow. The holy Mother nurses the universe at her bosom. You are a beloved child and you have all you need.

Let go of the future with its cares. The future will bring hope and understanding, one step, one day at a time.

Now slowly move your hands up and rest them on the top of your head. Allow the healing energy and love to fully open your crown chakra and release any lingering cloudiness or misconception.

Feel the deep sense of peace, like a vast, untouched ocean, asking in the last dusky rays of the closing day. Allow your mind to stay in this place of peace. If you begin to see visions of the spirit realm, allow them to unfold. Imagine the vivid colors, the wisdom, the peace, the love. Stay there and play for a while.

When you are ready, slowly bring your awareness back to the present. Feel the heaviness of your body, the slowing of your thoughts. Slowly, slowly open your eyes and prepare for bed in your personal routine. If you are doing this meditation while you are laying in bed, you can keep your eyes closed and allow the visions of the spirit realm to carry you away to the dream world.

Enjoy the meditation, and I hope it helps to bring you sleep and restful dreams.

Photo used courtesy of milan6 on stock.xchng

The Joy of Life

The Joy of Life

I have a serious personality, too often expressed through the tears falling on my pillow. I feel the pain of others wherever I go, and I am so connected to the spirit realm that I can sometimes feel the pain of those who have crossed over. All of this is a weight on my body, and is connected to my own issues with chronic joint pain.

I am a healer in need of healing.

I am in good company. Hildegard von Bingen, a vibrant Catholic mystic, struggled with migraine headaches, violent, painful auras in which she learned deep spiritual truths. Two of my favorite authors struggled with pain and despite this, or more likely, because of their pain, they wrote deeply and brilliantly about the human condition. Fyodor Dostoyevsky, had epilepsy, perhaps due to his violent encounters with a government who tried to kill him and silence his work. Ernest Hemingway struggled with chronic pain, emotional and physical, so severe that he eventually committed suicide. Even Jesus often went away to silent places to pray, and I imagine he had great emotional and even physical pain. He was certainly an empath, and the Bible says that he bore the weight of humanity on his body.

I have been meditating on the source of my pain, and the Holy Spirit whispers to me that I need to find Joy. The Joy of Life. Even as I look at the ugly parts of human society which put people in bondage and oppression, there is another side of human love. I am reminded of this when all the children in my preschool class, which I teach, run up and gleefully yell my name as they hug me every morning when I enter the classroom. If I leave and come back only ten minutes later, they do it again, the joy of their boundless child love shared through their smiles and arms.

I am reminded of the joy of life when I see another person give change to a homeless man on the street or give a place to stay for an orphaned teenager. I know joy when I see a group of Christians embrace a group of homosexuals in a show, or even an attempt, of love and understanding. I know joy when I see a mother kiss the head of her wide-eyed newborn.

I see joy when I look at the trees and flowers on a sunny day or marvel at the cloud formations in a coming storm. Joy is all around me, a gift of nature and the Universe to help me through this earthly journey. Today, I will purpose to let go of my pain and pursue the joy of life.

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