Sunday

When I Pray...

"True prayer brings us to the edge of a great mystery, where we become inarticulate,
where our knowledge fails." – Parker Palmer

When I am deeply in prayer and meditation, I know that my beloved, angelic daughter, Ashley, is in a state of enhanced consciousness. I speak with her, and sometimes I feel her answer. She comforts me. She assures me of unconditional loving acceptance.

When I pray, I welcome God's presence. I am grateful that God and Ashley are always with me.



Feel gratitude

“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.” Søren Kieregaard

All faiths remind us that God is infinite, unconditional love. God is everywhere, in and through all things, the creator of all. God is in us. We are an aspect of infinite, unconditional love. 

Allow yourself to feel at one with this love. 

Feel gratitude for this great blessing, and let go. 

God is with me

When I pray, I am often very quiet. I breathe in unconditional love. Unconditional love is my understanding of what many referred to as God. There are times each day, when I am alone in contemplation and reflection, and I know God is with me. I also know God is with me when I walk my favorite nature trail, swim at the YMCA, and doing my daily yoga. God is also with me when I plan my masters classes, when I talk with my workmates, and when I greet strangers with a clear hello. God is in my thoughts, in my feelings, and in my actions. My prayer and contemplation with God is unceasing.

God is with me when I see beauty and when I see ugly. God is with me when I hear pleasant and when I hear static. God is with me when I think loving thoughts and when I think fearful thoughts. God is with me in sorrow and in joy.

God is with me.

God is.



Our World

Our world is facing significant challenges; war, hatred, climate change, and the lack of basic respect and dialogue skills. Our worldwide challenges ask us for worldwide solutions. Our interconnected humanity must become aware of how we think and act. Do we treat everyone, yes, everyone, with dignity and respect?

Education has always been the primary tool of transformation. We must see beyond the 3R's of reading, writing, and arithmetic. We must focus on the 3R's of respect, responsibility, and healthy relationships. We must share and celebrate our common core values.

We can begin with kindness, caring, and compassion. If you can't do that, at least do no harm.



Unconditional Love is in Everything

The wholeness of kindness, compassion, and empathy is everywhere. We can never exhaust the infinite power of unconditional love.

Unity helps us understand the only divisions that exist are those that we have created. Let us continue to evolve, grow, and change. Wherever we are in our growth process is perfect. The pulse of Divine unconditional love rises like the tides to embrace our current efforts.



Every breath

Spirituality is an awareness of the sacredness of all life and an intimate relationship with an unconditional loving Higher Power.

When we experience the loss of a loved one, we are invited to be intensely engaged in the experience of the spiritual. Our relationship with our loved one and with the spiritual moves to a new, unique, and mystical experience. There is a daily communion that is transformational.

Our awareness of an unconditional loving Higher Power brings a sense of peace and connection with our loved one and with our higher self. We can bear the excruciatingly bittersweet pain of loss, knowing our loved one is transmitting unconditional love to us with every breath we take.

There is unconditional love in every breath.



Acceptance

We need to work towards acceptance of ourselves. Acceptance leads to transformation. 

Be kind with yourself. Be gentle with yourself. Allow love to be your first choice. Listen for the still, small voice. Look for the unconditional love that is always with you. Your power is in your choice. You always have a choice. Love or fear - choose one. 

Once we have learned to accept ourselves we can then move to the miracle of accepting each other. Our intimacy with unconditional love excludes no one and includes everyone. The home of our spirituality is the whole family of humanity. It is essential that in our need for connection, we experience community. 

In our connection and community, we feel the full benefit of God’s unconditional love. 



Love. Love. Love.

 Love is all there is.

Love is flowing even when we don't feel it. Love has no limit, it has no boundary. It can warm us, cool us, lift us up, and calm us down. It is part of us. 

The current neuroscience tells us that compassion and empathy are in our DNA. Love is who we are. Love is not something we have to earn. You don't have to be talented, athletic, artistic, or even a leader. You just have to be. Let go of arguing about preferences and just love each other. 

People are crying out for connection. We want to belong. We want to feel that we matter. Slow down!

Take time to really connect. Look at each other. Put down the phone, turn off the computer, take a walk, share an ice cream, have a cup of tea and talk, face to face.

Love. Love. Love.



Breathe in

The greatest love you have ever known walks beside you. Holding your hand is the same unconditional love that lives inside of you. We search to understand this mystery and all we need to do is accept. 

Accept that you and unconditional love are intertwined. We are intimately connected. The light of love shines on us and through us.

"I am in you, you are in me, and we are both in the Father."

Sit quietly in the presence of love. Breathe in joy. Breathe in courage. Breathe in peace.

Breathe in hope.

Breathe in love.



What works?

Our lives can change in the blink of an eye. We have very little control over the challenges of life. We have complete control over how we respond to those same challenges. It is our response, our inner consciousness, that brings us joy or sorrow.

All the great stories have brought the same message, whether Shakespeare or George Lucas, the hero transforms their inner landscape. We are transformed by the challenge, or what is revealed by the challenge.

When we are transformed by challenge, we access our spiritual, social, emotional skills of resilience, empathy, compassion, courage, and love. Always love. Change and loss can still knock us out, but we get up quickly with each fall. With each fall, we rise, a little wiser, a little stronger. As life progresses, we gain more integrity and humility. Our faith in the meaning of life strengthens.

Our array of spiritual, social, and emotional tools expands. Meditation works, prayer works, therapy works, nature works, support groups work, art works, movement works, music works, stories work, science works, faith works, friendship works, love works.

Love fully.



We are all

Where? Where has the light gone? That spark, that unconditional love that saw only unconditional love. It is here. Here in our hearts.

When the breath ceases. When the blood lies still. When the chest does not rise and fall. 

Where is the person that sustained the process? They are here, in each one of us. They live in all they taught us and all we shared.

Let us find the qualities and characteristics of unconditional love in our lives.

If we listen deeply enough and gently enough, everything returns to the source.
If we look softly enough, all eyes reveal the same shimmer.
If we seek to soothe their pain, all cries reveal the same wounded heart.

We are all unconditional love, searching for our way back home to our source.



Uncover our essence

The only thing that is essential in teaching and learning is how to uncover your essence and live from that place every day.

Our hearts are masked with cell phones, apps, to-do lists, have to's, and should have's. There is a deadening of tender tissue. The journey back to wholeness brings us through loss and love.

We must unlearn our way back to unconditional love.

butterfly out of water


Welcome

We are a world of immigrants and strangers. We began our journey by leaving our country, our homes, neighbors, friends, and families. We all are in search of a safe and hospitable place to settle and raise our loved ones. We all want to live without fear in a loving community.

Let us open our hearts and minds to those we perceive to be different. We live in a time of increasing fear, defensiveness, and hatred. Our task in this life is to welcome the immigrants and strangers because they once were us, and may be again. What we do for another, we do for ourselves.

We are all siblings in the family of God.



Unconditional Love

“…from the moment you arrive, you are bound to be concerned with love because love is not just something that happens to you. It is a certain special way of being alive. Love is, in fact, an intensification of life, a completeness, a fullness, a wholeness of life.” 

- Thomas Merton

Ashley came to us from unconditional love. She was and still is unconditional love in an individual, very unique form. The entire expression of her life was solely unconditional love. When she left this life, she evolved back into universal unconditional love. 

Ashley is a ray of pure love in the universe. 

Pure love

Let us reflect on our lives as emanations of unconditional love. Let us live now and forever being aware of our oneness with unconditional love. 

There is always love

Spirituality is the intersection of the sublimely intimate with the miracle of infinity.

The human experience of birth and death are profoundly spiritual. The agony of a mother's cry becomes the joy of an infant's first cry. The spirit leaving a loved one's body transforms every soul in the room. We are witness to a passing, to a transition from body to pure spirit.

Our human experience with these miracles is a reminder that we are all a small part of unconditional, limitless, boundless love.

Let us keep our hearts and minds open.

There is always love.