Monthly Archives: December 2015

The Spiritual Message of Christmas

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Have you ever thought about the spiritual message of Christmas? Do you wonder what Christmas is about and that it might be about more than eating and drinking?

Christmas shares a number of common features with other festivals from other religions and cultures? Many religions and cultures have a common spiritual message contained within their festivals. Many festivals have similar practices the relevance of which have been lost over time to common understanding. Light is a common theme to many faiths and festivals. On a very practical note light can represent warmth and comfort against the harsh cold and darkness of long winter evenings.

 

Christmas also coincides with the winter solstice, December 21st, the point of transition at which the year draws to a close in the rhythmic cycle when nature sleeps and begins the slow awakening towards growth, warmth and summer.  Light is an important theme in the winter solstice as the transition of the seasons are being celebrated and witnessed. I believe there is a deep spiritual message contained in the concept of light that is not simply restricted to Christianity, but also to Judaism (Hanukkah), Hinduism (Diwali), Paganism (Winter Solstice) and other faiths and traditions across the world. Throughout Christian history, in an attempt to be embraced by many people, the church drew on parallels between non-Christian ideas and Christian concepts and made them their own. One example of this is Easter, where pagan ideas of the Easter bunny and Easter eggs have become as big a part of the celebration as the Christian message. It is my opinion that Christmas is no exception. The spiritual concept that so many people across the globe and throughout time have embraced during this time of year, of light being a beacon of hope and change amongst the darkness, the stale, materialistic and self- absorbed ways of old and entrenched traditions.  It is easy to get confused by dates and think that because these festivals do not fall on the same dates as each other and often do not fall on the same date each year according to the Christian calendar, that they are not related.  Reviewing these festivals and the messages of these festivals we can consider whether they might be spurring people towards similar spiritual developments and understandings?

 

The story of Hanukkah is the tale of the destruction of the Jewish temple by the Syrian King Antiochus and the miracle of the light that burned in the temple, representing the presence of God, while the Jews went about the task of making the temple holy again after Syrian occupation. This is a story of good over evil, of freedom over tyranny and of the light of hope and enlightenment over the darkness of ignorance and narrow- mindedness.

 

Jesus’ story is very similar in that Jesus was born in a time of Roman domination in The Holy Land during which the Jewish hierarchy was rigid in its interpretation of the Jewish Law. The star that led the Three Wise Kings to Jesus’ birth heralded a change for the state and the religion of the region.  Jesus himself became a beacon and light of hope for people who suffered under the tyranny of the Roman Empire and Jewish control.  Jesus marked a change towards love, forgiveness, compassion and tolerance and taught a different way to the status quo. Of course the star has great symbolic meaning to Christians. It led the way for the Kings and Jesus is the light that leads the way to God.

 

The story of Diwali has it that it is the celebration of the marriage of Lakshmi with Lord Vishnu. In Bengal the festival is dedicated to the worship of Kali (the goddess of creation and destruction).  Everyone forgets and forgives the wrongs done by others. There is an air of freedom, festivity and friendliness everywhere. This festival brings about unity.  It instils charity in the hearts of people.

 

According to the BBC website, Pagan traditions were born from ancient people’s life outdoors. “The seasons and weather played a very important part in their lives. Because of this many ancient people had a great reverence for, and even worshipped the sun. The Norsemen of Northern Europe saw the sun as a wheel that changed the seasons. It was from the word for this wheel, houl, that the word yule is thought to have come. At mid-winter the Norsemen lit bonfires, told stories and drank sweet ale.

 

The ancient Romans also held a festival to celebrate the rebirth of the year. Saturnalia ran for seven days from the 17th of December. It was a time when the ordinary rules were turned upside down. Men dressed as women and masters dressed as servants. The festival also involved decorating houses with greenery, lighting candles, holding processions and giving presents.

 

The Winter Solstice was celebrated in Britain long before the arrival of Christianity. The Druids (Celtic priests) would cut the mistletoe that grew on the oak tree and give it as a blessing. Oaks were seen as sacred and the winter fruit of the mistletoe was a symbol of life in the dark winter months. It was the Druids who began the tradition of the yule log. The Celts thought that the sun stood still for twelve days in the middle of winter and during this time a log was lit to conquer the darkness, banish evil spirits and bring luck for the coming year.”

 

There are many common themes of good and evil; light and dark; the light overcoming the darkness, destruction and creation; the emergence of the new order from the old order and rebirth. As with all spiritual messages and practice, these themes and ideas encourage us to look within to evaluate ourselves and how we are measuring up as beacons of light or dark. With respect to personal energy, this time of year is a time of contemplation and reflection. It is a time for each of us to look within and seek our own personal rebirth of new insight and understanding. I hope that this festive season leaves you renewed, having reached new perspectives that lead towards your growth and fulfilment in this New Year.

 

 

Free Meditation

A free meditation for the enhancement of human connection.

Meditation, peace and calm.

Meditation, peace and calm.

Meditation

Meditation is a beautiful practice. It can do so many things for the person. There are many reasons to learn to meditate. Meditation can be used for the enhancement of health, emotional balance and life awareness amongst other things. In the West we do not have a culture of teaching or appreciating this beneficial practice. We are largely skeptical and suspicious of it. We often view it as something a bit wacky and “out there. It is something that is not commonly of our culture and seen as a bit pagan even. It is none of those things as it is a very useful tool. I am a meditation teacher and a Hypnotherapist amongst other things and it surprises and saddens me when I come across these views of meditation or even Hypnotherapy. Meditation and Hypnotherapy are very similar practices. They both employ deep relaxation of the person for the enhancement of health and well-being.

We can all meditate as we all go through the place of meditation each time we go to sleep. So we can all do it. People over think what is needed and put a lot of does and don’ts on the practise of it and often make it too complicated. They also try to analyse the process whilst doing it and that should not be done. That will make the process very difficult.  Keep it simple and know that it is just deep relaxation without going to sleep.

 

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Before starting to meditate find a safe and comfortable place. You do not have to adopt any kind of complicated posture. Just sit or lay comfortably in a chair, on the floor on a bed.

Go down into relaxation breathe deeply to a pattern of three. So breath in 1, 2, 3 hold he breath 1, 2, 3 and slowly breathe out 1, 2, 3. Keep doing that until you are very deeply relaxed and then follow the instructions on the meditation. May I suggest you record the instructions in real time on a voice recorder and then listen to it? You have to allow yourself time to go down into relaxation and that generally will take ten minutes. Talk yourself into relaxing by saying things like relax your feet, your legs, your arms etc. Take your time and realise that it will take you time to gain a deep relaxation. You could practice on a friend first before recording to see how long it takes you to get them to relax. They key to relaxation is the breath.

Make sure you do not listen to the recording whilst driving as you will be going off to sleep and that will be dangerous to do. This may seem like the obvious but you will be surprised how many of my students and clients say “oh I can listen to this in the car.” No you can’t.

If you need further instruction on meditation then purchase Nourish the Flame Within and it will give you more instruction on it.

 

Universal connection through this meditation

This meditation does what it says and it will help to change the person’s outlook.  They only have to do the meditation a  few times. Even just doing it once will change a person to a degree. It connects you to the universal forces and just by doing this meditation those forces will balance the person and they will gain an enhanced perspective on connection as this meditation is for that purpose.

 

Teaching

If you are a meditation teacher and have violent or aggressive pupils this maybe a meditation to give them as it should have a calming effect on them. Any one of that imbalanced state should gain great benefit from this meditation. It is also good for anyone who just wants to enhance their connection to others. This meditation helps the person to feel others on a deeper level that they do at present. This is the meditation to do to enhance connection to the rest of the human race. There are many reasons to want that. To be more in tune with the rest of the human race as a collective or people as individuals can only be a good thing. Anyone dealing with people on a collective or one to one basis will gain great insight and benefit from this meditation. That has to be just about all of us. The insights may take many forms and will be individual to the individual doing the meditation. This meditation connects you to everyone. Well that is not strictly true as you are already connected, what this meditation does it give you deep insight into that connection on a intellectual and energetic level.

 

The Meditation has been taken from, “Nourish the flame within: a guide to connecting to the human soul for Reiki, Marital arts and Life.”142600546

 

 

 

 

Meditation 2: Connecting into Others and Knowing their Needs.

  1. Take yourself down into relaxation. Now take many shallow slow breaths.

Concentrate on the rhythm of your breathing. Know your own breath pattern. Listen to the rhythm of your own breath. Feel the calmness feel the beauty of each breath.

 

Know you are an individual.

Know that you are not separate.

Know that you have connection to others of your kind.

You are human and of the human kind.

Know that you have brothers.

Know that you have sisters.

Know that you are one of many.

Know that you are not alone.

 

  1. Now bring white light energy into your body. Bring in the source. Ask for the hand of God to guide you. Connect to all that there is.

 

Send out the vibration of healing. Know that it is in your power to do so. Send out to your brothers and sisters. Understand their needs.

 

As they hurt, so do you.

As they bleed, so do you.

Send out the ray of compassion; send out the ray of love.

 

Bring your attention to your own body. Now connect your spirit to others.

Understand that you are one of many.

Understand that you are connected at source.

This is universal law. This is universal truth.

 

Now send out the vibration of connection. You know this connection on a soul level. Send it out, and stay aware and connected. Walk with your brothers as one.

 

From this moment on, understand all that is.

Understand you bleed as they do.

Understand you are one of many and walk together as one.

 

  1. Now feel the thread of connection and hold in that place for ten minutes.

Now let the connection slowly diminish. However, always hold this knowledge.

 

This meditation changes you for all time.

Come back to the here and the now.

 

This meditation is taken from Nourish the Flame Within and may not be transmitted, stored or retrieved unless with written permission of the authors Lynette Avis and David Brown.

© Lynette Avis and David Brown

 

Nourish the Flame Within

book

:A Guide to Connecting to the Human Soul for Reiki, Martial Arts and Life

By Lynette Avis and David Brown

 

 

Nourish the Flame Within; a guide to connecting to the human soul for Reiki, martial arts and life has received the most excellent reviews from Kirkus, Blue Ink and Clarion book reviews.

Kirkus book Review said:

“This is an excellent resource for anyone interested in understanding and receiving practical instruction on how to explore and use energy to improve their lives and expand their consciousness. Not only will the flame within be nourished – it’s likely to ignite a wildfire of the soul.”

“A successful, well-organized meditation guide.” Read the full review…

 

Buy Nourish the Flame Within Now

 

 

 

 

Heart Energy

ThinkstockPhotos-82663378Love Energy

In the previous blog David Brown talked about the heart and its condition in relation to compassion and love. He explained how we can make sure we keep our own heart in good order. He talked about our feelings and emotions and the link they have with the heart.  He felt compelled to discuss this in the light of the recent killings in Paris. We talk in terms of being “stone hearted” or “broken hearted” and “cold hearted” in relation to emotions. This is because we store our emotions in the heart. The heart keeps our blood pumping around our body but it has a much more important job to do than that.

 

Universal Energy force of nature

The focus of the discussion that David and I are having with our readership is one of energy and the importance of it to the mind, body, emotions and spiritual aspect of the person. We have tried to illustrate the fact that universal energy is impact on all levels of your being and life. No more so than the emotional and spiritual aspect of the person.

We have said in many blogs that we take universal energy into our body and this energy feeds all aspects of our person and being. This may seem confusing, ridiculous, inconsequential or just plain not important to you. This single truth is of immense importance to your life and being. This subtle energy of which I speak, which you can just ignore if you so choose, will do many things for your being and life condition. To understand this fact and to act on it means that you have control over many aspects of your life, health and future.

 

A gift from the Universe

On a physical level this energy is electricity and magnetism but on a spiritual level it is the breath of life itself and a gift from the universe. It feeds your body, your life and being on all levels. David talked in his blog about taking this energy into your heart. I understand that for some people reading this, what he is saying to you may escape you.

In the wake of the Paris atrocities that blog and its message may well seem trivial. There is nothing trivial about that message, it is far more profound a message than it may seem at first glance. We are taught to see ourselves as separate one from the other by society and religion. We are separated on so many grounds. We separate on ideas; ideals, religion, politics, country of origin; ethnicity and skin colour are some of the factors that are used.

 

No Separation

In truth there is no separation between any of us. We are one people, the human people of the human family. That is our connection one to the other. We are one race, the human race. We have one home, the earth. This should be obvious to each of us but it is not so for most of us. Look around at the state we are all in at this point in time. So much hate, anger and killing on the grounds of things that seem important yet are inconsequential when looked at that through the lens of what truly connects us. Religion is not important unless you make it so. How we treat each other is important no matter what we may say or do. How we treat each other as part of the human family is of paramount importance. We have all been thrown into life for a time to live, love and grow. How we live, love and grow is important for at the heart of that importance is compassion for each other. Without human feeling and connection there can be no compassion.

 

Compassion starts with empathy

Compassion starts in the hearts of men. It is through empathy and seeing the other person as part of you that we have compassion. Seeing the humanity in the other person does not start and end in the intellect but it is more about a feeling in the heart of mankind.  When we connect heart to heart what do religion or ideas matter? We are connected by a greater force than any of those. We are connected through the energy of the heart.

If we feel others as part of ourselves and love them as ourselves we cannot harm them for we harm ourselves.

It is when we see others as different or less than ourselves that we can do harm. To separate the other person is to separate a part of ourselves. This is what “being spiritual” means. This is what spiritual connection is. It is a connection one to the other through the heart of you.

 

Heart connection is a wisdom and truth

Ideas and teachings come and go. There are some things that are universally valid and therefore unchanging.  Humanity’s connection through the heart is one such wisdom. It is a constant of the universe and will never change for man. When we go to pray, or talk to God or align ourselves with one religion or the other, we are seeking a strengthening of our human connection through God. I do not wish to get into discussion here on what God is or isn’t or if he exists. That is not the point of this blog. This blog is explaining there is a universal energy that ties us all together, and we can draw on this energy to strengthen our own connection to each other.

We must look to the condition of our own hearts first and condemn others if we must second. I read an article this week about a Muslim lady who was attacked verbally by a man who brought her to tears. How is this man any different from the terrorists? He was terrorising a woman who was peacefully and lawfully going about her daily life in her own country.

I remember and lived through racial abuse in the past in Britain. We have moved past that time and we should all be proud of that. We should all pat ourselves on the back for our own tolerance and sense of humanity. Britain has come such a long way. I have not walked down any British street for decades and been racially abused. To all of my country men and women who have worked hard so that I can have done that, I would like to say a personal and special thank you.

 

Taking care of freedom

Let’s all take care. Let’s all take care of each other and keep this the country we all wish to live in. Let’s keep our sense of humanity for that is part of what the terrorists hate about us; our wish for tolerance of each other because they have none. Freedom is an important part of a healthy human being. Being free to think and act in a loving and kind manner and to add positivity to life and the lives of others.

Let us make sure we keep our humanity and do whatever we need to do to stop this madness from taking a moment more of our precious lives. Life should be about love and laughter not killing and hate.  To keep the love in our own hearts healthy use meditation or just contemplation and bring in good energy into the heart.

Peace and Love Lynette.

In our next blog we are going to share a life changing meditation with you.