Tag Archives: spirit

Intellectual Spirituality

All kinds of books discuss the science- spirituality connection

All kinds of books discuss the science- spirituality connection

Three Schools of Thought

In my experience there are three schools of thought around the spiritual path. There are those that embrace it, those that disregard it and those that are undecided.  The people who embrace it feel comfortable communicating with electromagnetic energy and the spirit world.  Often they are people who have been able to do it all their lives.  Perhaps they embraced it at an early age.  There are many who try to ignore the communication when they are young and come back to it later in life.  There are others who make it a life- long denial.  Whichever camp they fall in, these people are very intuitive and sensitive to the energy of people and places around them.  Somehow their minds are wired to be sensitive to the electromagnetic energy of the world around them and they sense things that other people do not feel.  They are more tuned into their subconscious, left brain, the part that is sensitive to electromagnetic energy and the messages it conveys.  The more they use this innate skill, the more powerful these skills become.  At the opposite end of the spectrum are those that disregard it.  Often they are not sensitive to the electromagnetic energy of the world around them.  They are very right- brained, logic driven people who look for reason in all that they do.  Because they are not consciously sensitive to electromagnetic energy, to them the world of insights, intuition and spirit does not exist and so they dismiss it when people talk about it.  Then there is the range of people who are open- minded enough to consider the evidence available that points to the fact that electromagnetic energy communicates with us in the physical world all the time in the form of insights, intuition, signs and spirit interactions.  It is to these undecided people who are open to the idea of spirit, yet may be sceptical of it, that this blog is addressed.

A healthy scepticism

I fall into this latter category. I have been drawn to spirituality all my life.  Ever since my elder brother spoke to me when I was a young child of philosophy, spirituality and psychology, I have been fascinated by the power of the human mind and how we interact with the world around us.  I have been drawn to study many global religions, traditions and cultures as well as native traditions from America, Australia and Africa and found that they have a huge amount in common with the Islam, Judaism, Christianity (the Abrahamic religions), Hinduism, Taoism and Buddhism with regard to the structure of the universe and the nature of spirituality.  To me they say the same things in different ways and I fail to understand why they argue over what is fundamentally the same truth.  Religion is not the sole custodian of spiritual teaching.  In fact much of religion has no spiritual relevance at all.  Spirituality cannot be limited to any particular religion or teaching.  Even my beloved science, which I had carved a career in at Cambridge in Biochemistry and Neuroscience, talked about Quantum Physics and the parallels with spiritual teachings throughout the world.  All kinds of books such as The Tao of Physics, The Field, The Holographic Universe, Blackfoot Physics, The Dancing Wu Li Masters and our own Nourish the Flame Within discuss this science- spirituality connection.

Intellectual Spirituality

I have been exposed to an intellectual spirituality, as many people have in our modern world, with dashings of experience that tell me my intellect is pointing in the right direction. There is simply too much evidence as far as I am concerned for there not to be an electromagnetic and spirit world with which we interact and communicate.

Yet how can it be proved? This is where the intellect must take a leap of faith and build some trust.  It is precisely this fact that makes the open- minded person sceptical, suspicious that they will be taken for a ride, duped, have the wool pulled over their eyes and taken advantage of.  Indeed, the profession of spirituality is full of charlatans that prey on the needy and the hopeful.  This is not Spirituality.  Every profession is full of those with integrity and those that want to make a quick fortune at any cost.  Choose carefully.  Making a poor choice does not negate the electromagnetic, spirit world and the power and validity of intuition and insight.  It simply undermines your trust.  Finding good teachers will deepen your trust in something that you intuitively know to be true.  At least, this is the experience I have had.  We also have the throw- back to witch hunts and the fear Religion has instilled in its congregations that plague our consciousness as a society and inform our prejudice and scepticism.  All of these historic episodes influence our conscious acceptance of a spirit world.  There is mounting scientific evidence to support these notions that people throughout time have experienced.

The Limitations of a Conscious Mind

The conscious mind is a powerful tool, trained to think, analyse, consider and ponder endlessly, from the moment it wakes up to the second it falls asleep. No matter how hard you try to use it to connect to the higher vibrations of electromagnetic energy, it will not happen.  The subconscious mind holds the tools to connecting to these higher vibrations of electromagnetic energy.  It is your ability to consciously listen to the subconscious that requires cultivation.  To experience spirituality, you have to place the conscious mind aside and feel it through your subconscious senses.  Meditation, contemplation and prayer are three ways in which you can calm the conscious mind and develop the skill of listening to whatever the subconscious is picking up from the electromagnetic information all around you.  There are many other ways as well, including drumming, Reiki, dancing and movement, chanting and singing, sound and silence to name a few.

Which path should you take?

The path you are drawn to take- the kind of answer the conscious mind hates because it is too vague.  You can only truly answer it with your subconscious mind, through hunches, insights and intuitions that guide you through your life.  There are as many paths as there are people in the world, as each person takes an individual journey that brings them closer to the truth.  My journey is unlike any other person’s path.  We may walk with people for a while (teachers, mentors and guides).  Ultimately, it is each person’s responsibility to discover their journey, using the full power of the brain, both conscious and subconscious, as well as the intellect, intuition, intention and choice to find the way.

Union

Spiritually, we are meant to be unified, we are meant to think and act with the whole in mind.

Spiritually, we are meant to be unified, we are meant to think and act with the whole in mind.

I wrote this minutes after finding out the result of the UK Referendum to remain in the European Union. The decision to leave has had wide- spread ramifications for Great Britain and the world already.  These outcomes will continue to unfold for months and years ahead, and I trust that the politicians, economists, financial houses, businesses and individuals will make the best of it, in that we will find a way forward that will be to the benefit of all sides.

I voted to remain. It was a spiritual decision.  Spiritually, we are meant to be unified, we are meant to think and act with the whole in mind.  Every spiritual path, be it within religion or not, teaches and demonstrates that we are part of an indivisible whole.  Science, with it’s theory of Big Bang, acknowledges that the entire universe came from a single point in space and time and that nothing new has been created since- the energy is just recycling.  This is the rhythm and cycle of existence.

In the UK, it seems that there is some concern with the challenges that come with European unification. Of course it is challenging to live in harmony with other people and nations that think differently, want different things and act in different ways.  This is part of the struggle of being human, to find a way to hear all that must be heard and respond in a way that all peoples feel respected, cherished and honoured.

While people only think short term and do not take the larger view, separation will always appear like the better option. It comes with its own challenges.  Separation and Union both bring their own difficulties.  Separation weakens the whole.  It is seeded in fear and I think we need to be more courageous than that, globally, nationally, regionally and individually.  Union requires a totally different mind- set.  To care for our brothers and sisters, to unite the energy that feeds and sustains us.  Once people feel cared for and heard, healed and empowered, that mind- set will have already taken a huge shift.  Until then, as individuals, we must do what we can to unify our lives, so that we can demonstrate the power of living in love.  This is the message of every spiritual leader: Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Ang Sang Su Shi.

I hope that whatever the UK and the world do from this point on, we will find a way to create greater union across all nations. I do not want to sound like some naïve new- ager.  I am not one, for I know that the road ahead will be challenging, not because it has to be, but because to change hearts and minds is hard when they are driven by fear and a sense of lack.  It will take a lot of internal work, that many of us are reluctant to do at the best of times, to shift towards love and abundance.  When we do, and the tide is changing in spite of what this vote may or may not imply, the healing and Union will pick up pace.

Transportation

There is a peace and tranquility that lies beneath the turmoil of surface level existence

There is a peace and tranquility that lies beneath the turmoil of surface level existence

One of the privileges of living in Cambridge, England, is King’s College and its chapel. You may have heard about the choir that performs there throughout the academic year, particularly at Christmas and Even Song service on Sundays?

Recently we went to this Even Song service and enjoyed the power this opportunity for contemplation offered. I went along without the expectation of following the service, but rather to experience the sound of the choir. My experience with energy has shown me that part of the reason hymns, psalms and services are sung in the manner that they are, is because the energy of the sound takes you beyond the surface level thinking of the conscious mind and deeper into the calm pool of the subconscious, towards a meditative state. You have to let the sounds wash over you and you feel the calmness take over as the service progresses. This service did not disappoint. The voices and the acoustics worked their magic beautifully. I had to stop myself listening to the words so that I could be affected by the primal power of vibration and rhythm.

For me it was a struggle as my conscious mind latched on to words it recognised. I had to remind my self to let go of the meaning and feel the experience of the sound on my soul. It was beautiful. Towards the end of the service I did listen to the words and they were so much more beautiful when heard from this place of calm and serenity. Couple this feeling with the visual experience of the vaulted ceilings and stained- glass windows and the ethereal became real.

The combined affect was to calm the anxious soul and to remind me that there is a peace and tranquility that lies beneath the turmoil of surface level existence, if only I’d give myself the chance. This Sunday service was my chance. I believe all services, be they Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Pagan or whatever are a chance to reconnect to the Source of our Being. Call that Source God, Spirit, energy or whatever, the reconnection boosts your strength and resolve to do good, be good and have trust and faith. I believe yoga, martial arts, meditation, fasting, dancing, chanting or drumming for spiritual rituals strive for the same reconnection to the Source which is the essence of spiritual practice.

At last, I felt the connection between religion and spirituality. Religion I saw in the service, the vestments, the buildings and the prayers. Spirituality I experienced in the words, cadences, rhythms and sounds of all that religious metaphor. It was transporting. And where did it take me? To myself and to the Source. Perhaps that is the point of religion? Perhaps I should have learned that at Sunday school?

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If you would like to attend choral evensong, here is an article by Rupert Sheldrake who was involved in the creation of a website called Choral Evensong allowing you to find church services with free choral music across the British Isles.

The Full Human Experience

Have you ever questioned what it is to be human? Do you ever wonder whether there is more to this human experience? When you hear or read about people’s peak experiences do they seem familiar to you or are they totally alien, leaving you wondering what you are missing?

 

The work that Avis and Brown is engaged in is about energy. In particular the energy of the mind, body, soul and spirit. What does that mean and in particular what relevance does it have for the human experience? “Mind, body and spirit” is a phrase that has become common in our parlance and there are countless courses and books about these three aspects of life. The work that both Avis and Brown does  is about the three elements of the human experience: mind, body and soul, how they relate to the fourth element of our work, spirit, and the way in which these four are inter- related through energy.

 

As you can see from the diagram below it depicts that mind, body and soul are connected. Put all three of these circles in relationship with each other and you have the human experience. How full that human experience is depends of the size of the circles and how well balanced they are. You tend to favour one or two of the circles and neglect the others- which one’s they are depends on your upbringing, your training and your desire to develop and cultivate these circles. Speaking for myself I have worked hard throughout my life on the physical and mental circles and less so on the soul aspect of my being. I think Lynette would agree with me if we said she has worked hard on her mental and soul circles and less so on her physical. We work on all three to some degree- the question is how powerful is each circle and how well balanced the three are in relation to each other?

 

The human experience is more than just a physical journey through the world in which we feel the physical sensations of our environment. Neither is it simply a mental exercise to be intellectualized through or an emotional experience simply to be felt. Nor is life simply an ethereal experience in which you ignore the physical world and separate your self from others. All three of these aspects are essential to the human experience and life can feel stale, hollow and meaningless if you are lacking in any one of these. The ideal relates to what Buddha referred to as “The Middle Way”, towards connection and being centred- to your self, others and the world around you.

 

By all means enjoy the physical experience of the world as much as you wish- explore new places, meet new people, have new experiences. Enjoy food, physical exercise, sexual intimacy, stillness and movement. Become as physically strong, flexible and co- ordinated as you want, run marathons, swim oceans, wrap your leg over your head and dance the night away. The physical body is also a wonderful tool of sensation- the feeling of movement, thought, sensuality and emotion in the body is a powerful intuitive voice that could be referred to as Body Wisdom and requires a connection to, and awareness of, the body. To submit to your bodily experience connects you to something much larger, beyond thought and into pure movement and presence.

 

Your mind allows you to perceive the world through the lens of your values and beliefs, built upon the foundation of your traditions, experience and culture. Emotion gives you a richness to life that can be both joyful and painful. There is much learning and growth that can come from these emotional experiences. How and what you learn depends on your mind- set. The depth of feeling and emotion becomes limited if you are not willing to connect within or outward towards others. If you feel isolated you do not feel part of the great community of humanity that is there for us all to take part in as actively and as consciously as we choose. The mind is also creative as well as logical and reason- based. Again, we tend to favour one aspect of the mind or the other. In my experience, cultivating both the logical and creative sides of the mind gives you a greater breadth of learning, productivity and engagement. Here the mind begins to touch into intuition, instinct and the ability to connect into energies and forces that are much larger.

 

The third circle, the soul, is part of the energy centres of the being such as the chakras and meridians. Connecting to your soul connects you to your self, another route to your inner wisdom and growing experience and learning. Cultivate this with meditation, yoga, chi gong, martial arts and Reiki. Our book, Nourish the Flame Within, is full of meditations that nurture the soul and make it more powerful. The soul allows you to connect to others, facilitating empathy, compassion and connection to humanity.

The full human experience is the total integration of mind, body and soul.

The full human experience is the total integration of mind, body and soul.

There are exercises you can practice that allow to you consciously cultivate connecting all three circles at the same time. Some forms of martial arts, yoga, Reiki and dance will do this. Often it is good to cultivate one circle at a time such as some forms of meditation that get you to calm the mind and body so that you can energise the soul of your being. Often, you can work with two circles, so a workout may well work the mind and the body, or a walk in nature will cultivate the body and the soul. In truth, it is impossible to separate the three circles, as they are an integrated part of the human experience. Activities will favour one or two circles over the others.

 

Perhaps the key is being aware and working on developing the weaker circle(s) so that you become more balanced and whole. Then, you will have a more integrated experience with all the activities you do, making your life more engaging for the body, mind and soul. Only by consciously working on these circles can you work towards having a progressively more fulfilling and meaningful human experience. Get this combination of three circles right and you have deep human experience, where you become aware of something much larger than your self, perhaps even larger than the people you are sharing the experience with. You are not just engaging one circle, or even two circles. In fact you are engaging all three circles. Access your connection to Spirit through any of the circles and it will power up all three. Now you know you are connected not just to your self and to others. You are also connected to something bigger that feels powerful and makes you feel energized throughout your being.

 

We’d love to hear from you and find out how you work on developing your circles and how this has lead to you living more fully, freely and in a more connected and peaceful way. Please leave your comments in the box at the bottom of the page and share your experiences, insights and knowledge.

The Soul and the Spirit

496038383:a spiritual journey

 

I read something said about Reiki recently. I read, “Reiki is said to be a spiritual practice. However it is more than that”.

That statement implies the description of “spiritual practice” does not express what Reiki is. It implies the idea of being a spiritual practice is in some way insignificant to other considerations of what that person thinks Reiki is. What they are basically saying I think, is that if we describe Reiki as a spiritual practice it does not tell us the true worth and ability of it.

Being a spiritual practice, is the very highest of what Reiki is. It does not make Reiki less in any way. We have to take a look at the word “Spiritual” and determine what that is. Recently someone said to me that they consider themselves to be Spiritual and not religious and I asked them, what is the difference? The person could not give me an answer because they had not thought about it thoroughly enough. It was a clever and fashionable statement but did not have substance for that person. They did not have an answer to my question.

To consider the word spiritual we perhaps to look at the word religious also and look at them side by side.

Let’s start with the word religion. I feel that many people today have a negative view of religion and use the idea of spirituality in its place so as not to be associated with any particular religion but showing some reverence to something greater. Maybe religious history is partly to blame. This negative view maybe in part due to all of that fighting back stabbing, killing, abuse and downright dishonestly that many religions have engaged in over time, that have caused so many of us to just not wish to even hear the word religion spoken. It could be said that which is meant to nurture the human soul and spirit have thrown dirty water on the task. So it is not surprising that many are left feeling cold at the very thought of the word religion. Religions main task is to throw light on the path to God; instead it too can be bogged down with earthly experience. Difficult indeed to heave one foot on the earth and on in heaven.

Now what do we mean by spiritual? To consider the word spiritual we first have to understand the word “Sprit.”  What is spirit? Often the word soul and spirit are used interchangeably to mean the same thing. They do not mean the same thing. Many people if not most people think of their body as who they are. “I am my body.” “My body must be beautiful because if my body is perfect and beautiful people will perceive a beautiful me.” Are we a sum total of our body or are we more than our body? The body becomes a mess in time because it ages, and so are we now not beautiful because our body may not be so?

To find the real beauty of a person you must look deeper. It is located inside of the person that is where the beauty lay. The beauty lay in their thoughts, ideas, actions, and personality. Those things allow the person to have interaction with the world on a deeper level. What are we to call those bits of the person as a collective expression? Are those things part of the mind or are they more than just mental thinking capacity of the person? The mind is a tool by which we make sense of information on an intellectual level. We analyse the world and life with the mind. We say we think thoughts and they happen in the brain which is the mind. The soul is not the mind it does not analyse at all it just is. We will come back to all of these words and ideas latter. So that leaves the word sprit and if spirit is not the soul what is it?

Let’s recap.

We have so far spoken about spiritual practice, we started with that and also religion and the differences in those two things. We have also spoken about the difference in the soul and the spirit. We further touched on the body and what is that and our ideas of the body and who we are. What a muddled mine field it all is. Please let me give you my take on this it may help you to make some sense of it all.

 

The mindThinkstockPhotos-511136335

That defiantly is where the analytical processes of the person take place. We all think our thoughts in the brain. All information about our external life will be filtered by this part of us through the  senses. We make sense of what is around us via the senses and the brain. We analyse that information with the brain and then that information is stored somewhere in us. We think about what is coming at us via life and our senses and then store that information. We do not think consciously about every bit of information that comes at us form moment to moment as there is just too much of it for the brain to cope with. It thinks about some of it and analyses that which is new or different or previously unknown and unfamiliar. A lot of information that comes in our direction does not need the brain to analyse it as it is very familiar and  not consequential or threatening or different. It has been already stored and understood.

 

The Physical body

This needs little explanation, however it is not who we are. The body is not the person. ThinkstockPhotos-461277209The body houses the person and the person lays somewhere inside the body. I am not my body, but my body is the home that I inhabit. It allows me to move and live within the human experience on the earth. It is flesh and bone and it is easily damaged if I am not careful with it. I can work on my body to enhance its look and health. I need my body to live the human experience on the earth.

 

The soul

This part of the person is the person. The soul is who I am. I am my soul. The soul is my personality, it is my essence. I know that some of the person’s personality is governed by part of the brain. However the person is more than their brain functioning. They feel and when they feel they do not do so with their brain. It is at another part of their body that they go to for their feelings. It will be with their gut and the heart that they feel. Feelings painful and joyful go to these two places. This is where the person or the soul resides. The person resides in the gut mostly and in the heart also. The soul is the part of you that changes and develops over time. You are not the same person that you were ten years ago or even five years ago. In that time span you have had many experiences and those experiences good or bad happy or sad difficult or easy have moulded you into the human being you are today. It has given you your take on life. It has shaped your understanding of the world and what it can be to you and others. I am a therapist and very often it is this part of a person that is in the most distress when they come to me for help. I have to repair their soul, before the body will heal. Very often it is a case of sort the soul out and the body will sort itself out. This part of the person connects to all life on all levels and so it gets the biggest distress sometimes as it negotiates life.

 

The spirit

Now what is the spirit? If the brain governs the analytical process of the person and the soul is the person, what is the spirit?

The spirit does not do the same as the soul. It does not feel at all. It is dispassionate. The spirit of the person stands back and watches. The spirit part of the person is the observer. What does it observe? It observes you the person. It observes how you negotiate life. It takes note of everything and records everything about you and what you do. It is like a note book or a USB stick recording as you go. There is nothing that you ever do that you truly forget. It is all housed somewhere and this is where it is housed. We think that our memories come from our brain. In part they may, however it is in the spirit that everything about  you is stored. The spirit is like a filling cabinet and the brain retrieves the files from the cabinet. The spirit half of the soul records. The soul and the spirit of the person sit side by side within the person.

The spirit of the person is the part of the person that is pure energy. It is the part of your being that comes directly from the source of life itself. It is the part of you that on your demise will go back to the source of life. The spirit does not interact with life as the soul does. The soul is the messy part of you feeling everything and reacting to it all. The spirit just takes note of how the soul handles life. It is dispassionate.

These two jobs need to be separated. The soul very often is a mess feeling and reacting to everything that comes its way. There needs to be a part of you that stands back and is dispassionate to keep record of how you got in the mess in the first place. Your history needs to be housed somewhere. It is in the spirt that your history is housed. When you are done with life on the earth and the human experience your spirit hands over the spirit USB stick, if you will, to the source of life and your whole life is recorded in the universe for the source of life to use as information on life. Nothing is lost from the universe life takes note of everything and it is continually adapting to information. We know that life changes from generation to generation and there is development of all species that takes place within life. The universe keeps all information safe and uses it for the development of the universe and life. The spirit goes back to the universe or God. The spirit goes back to the source of all life and hands over its information to the source of life.

 

Oneness

ThinkstockPhotos-177794827In every mystical or religious path we are told we need to recognise our oneness with God. What is that for heaven’s sake? Oneness with God! Many people don’t recognise God and so go into great debate about that. God is a word used to describe the source of all life. God is all powerful and the ultimate force of nature. It is the thing that brought all life and the universe into being. It is the universe. That force is given a human face by Christianity and in other religious paths it is given other faces, as an energy force, gods, or a god of some kind. All paths put that force above everything else and say all sprang from that force.

Now there is a clue in those words “All sprang form that great force”.

So if all sprang from this great force which some call God, that means you and I did and all things did. Mystical and religious paths say all is one and has oneness. All come from one to make many.

We can use the word “spirit” to mean essence of a thing. We are all from the main essence. We could say that the spirit and the main essence being one and the same. So the spirit can be said to be that bit of you and me and all things that came from the great source of life. It is the “God spark”. It is the bit of you and me and all things that come from the main ingredient of life. We can think of God in many ways but its essence is the source of all things. So now we can see the difference between the words soul and spirit. This is why these four words, the mind, the body, the soul and the spirit  are so important to us. They describe very different aspects of the human living condition that are of great importance to the human living experience.

 

Spirituality

So now what of spirituality and a spiritual path? Well spirituality is the path that nourishes both the soul and the spirit. How can we do that? How is that done if it is done at all? If it is done will be dependent on what the person has decided for themselves. Do I ignore the whole idea of the spiritual and just exist?

Do I live the earthly life to the full and experience all that has to offer to the exclusion of nurturing the spirit? In that experience I feed the soul aheavy diet.dv787002 I may well enjoy my self for many years but at the end of it some thing may well suffer.

Do I balance my experience by nurturing both soul and spirit? Walk a religious path alongside the earthly experience. So I can have an affair or two, drink loads of alcohol, take substances that are not good for me perhaps, travel the world and have a great time, then think about the spirit from time to time as is needed. I might think about it at my religious holidays and festivals, and at whatever ways and times that connects me to the “God source.”

Do I immerse myself in the spiritual path and just live my life exclusively nurturing my God spark, feeding the spirit with the best that living can give it? Do I then pass those learnings onto others and illuminate their path to the best spiritual nurturing they can have?

Do I sit back and analyse it all using my brain to assess the validity or futility of all of these paths?

As you can see there are many paths and each path has its own merit. No path is better or worse than the other. Each path has its merits as each path will bring something positive to the person. Each path brings experience through the living experience to the person. All paths are a road back home to the ultimate force. We all return to dust or at least our body does and our soul and spirit go home. The ultimate power of the universe, that which some call God wants back that which it gave us, that piece of itself called the spirit. A spiritual path is one that nurtures that part of us. God is the ultimate energy force that houses the best in us or the light side of us. Not the dark side of the human nature. If we follow a spiritual path we wish to enhance the best side of us. That bit that is nearest to the universal perfection that we have.

Life itself is the ultimate spiritual journey. Life takes us from the universal source of life and then sends us back to it. We are on a journey of return from the moment we are born. We are thrust into life and we are given people who are our parents and wider family and we accept that situation and get on with what comes our way from that experience. We then are trust even more into the living experience and made to learn many things and are schooled by our social systems in one way or another. We start our development of the soul from the moment we are born. The situation to which we are born into starts that development for us. We are on our spiritual journey. We are working our way back home already. To be on spiritual journey you do not have to be religious or non-religious you just have to be living. Living is the ultimate spiritual journey. It is the return home for all of us with a lot of hassles and joys thrown in to make it interesting and stretching.

A spiritual journey is not about being good or bad. It is not about being the light or dark it is about a return home. How we choose to return home and with what kind of information on our spirit USB stick is our choice. The source of life gets to look it over and it will be happy or sad at the information stored on that spirt USB. The source of life needs you to experience life and no two lives are ever the same. We are all different people having our own personal human experience. There are rules to life, for life would be chaos without rules, and so the source gives some rules for us to follow. However, if we choose to follow those rules or not is up to us as above all we must experience. At the end of life we get to make our case for the life we lived. We are all on a journey of the spirt no matter what. The path we take and if we take a spiritual path on that journey is up to us. Free will and choice is at the heart of the universal desire for you. You get to choose many things each and every day.

 

Religion

Religion sheds light on the way back home. It highlights the rules to that return, or at least that is what it is supposed to do. It is there to remind us that there is a home and we are not here forever just a time and then we return home. The universe is home and the universe is what we return to. All religions give their personal explanation on how the universe is organised. It does not matter what religion you choose or if you choose none at all. You will return home one day and you will have lived a life long or short good or bad. You will return home with experience and development of your soul.

Religion or no religion a spiritual path or not is up to you and always should be your choice. So what bit of you do you most wish to nourish? Is it the soul, the spirit, the mind, or the body? We all get to choose our focus.

 

Reiki

Reiki treatmentNow let us finally go back to the very beginning of this blog and discuss Reiki. We have now come full circle. A spiritual path nurtures the spirit and spirituality is the practice of nurturing the spirit and  the soul. Living itself could be said to be the ultimate spiritual journey as it nourishes both the soul and the spirit to some capacity. Reiki is a spiritual practice and so it nurtures the spirit of the person. It enhances the practitioner’s spirit, because they connect to the source of the spirit. That is where the energy of life comes from and it is that energy that the practitioner connects too. It is that energy that the person both the practitioner and the patient or client engages with. That energy feeds the person on all levels. It feeds the body, the soul, the mind, the emotions and the spirit of the person. It enhances the person on all levels of their being. That is why it is a spiritual practice and that is why it is the very best it can be, and to be a spiritual practice does not make it less than but more than. Reiki is very effective and this is its effectiveness. Reiki connects to the source of life and it connects the person to that source, both practitioner and patient also. Reiki draws energy from that source.

We all get to choose both our focus and our path in life. We all get to choose many things each day. We get to choose if we bother to think about things and analyse things or not. All aspects of the person are important as is the method of feeding and nourishing each aspect that we choose. Each choice is a road ahead and a way forward, a method of engaging with life itself. Each choice we make is an opportunity to enhance the many aspects of ourselves.

What will you choose today? You have at the heart of your being free will and choice to do as you please.

Christmas Spirit

Intuitively we understand that light is good.  When we unite under the banner of light we are stronger.

Intuitively we understand that light is good. When we unite under the banner of light we are stronger.

What is the Christmas Spirit? Though Christmas is a Christian holiday, I believe there is a universal message that all people, Christian and non- Christian alike, can learn.  If we can get beyond the attachment of “my” religion, there are many beautiful messages to be shared throughout the religions, cultures and traditions of the world.  In fact, the Christmas message is so universal, that it appears time and again in religions and even in popular culture.

So what is this message?  Throughout history, humans have struggled with the balance of good and evil: corruption versus compassion; greed in conflict with generosity; arrogance and humility; love and apathy; hatred and tranquillity and; self- doubt compared to empowerment.  So often, we chose the dark side of our character even though it brings pain to us and our loved ones.  The message of Christmas is to choose the light, not just the light side of our character, but the light side of the universe, the forces that compel us to do good, to be the best of ourselves and to live beyond our petty fears and concerns and move into a greater future.

My understanding of the Christmas message is that Jesus was sent to show humanity the way towards the Light of God.  It is the story of the battle between light and darkness, good and evil that has been told the world over and across time.  Many cultures have stories in their traditions that represent this archetypal struggle:  The Jews have the story of Hanukkah (The Festival of Light);  The Hindus celebrate Diwali (the festival of lights) which spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair; Charles Dickens writes about it in A Christmas Carol with the lessons to Scrooge from the ghosts of Christmas’ past, present and future; George Lucas deals with it in the story of the Jedi and the Sith in the Star Wars Series and; JK Rowling discusses it in the Harry Potter books with the wizards of light fighting the dark wizard Voldemorte and his Death- Eaters.

The context of Jesus’ story is set in Roman Palestine and Jesus tried to preach a better path away from the corruption of the Jewish priests and the Roman politicians.  The story of Hanukkah, set centuries before highlighted the suppression by the Greeks of the Jewish way of life and yet somehow, despite the Greeks’ best efforts, that way of life could not be quashed.  In both stories, a greater force was sent to change the status quo, to show people that there is a force greater than them nurturing the Path of Truth, the Universal message.  The acts are often depicted as miracles: the star that led the three Kings to the baby Jesus and; the one day’s worth of oil to burn the ever- lasting light (that represents God’s presence) in the Jewish Temple that lasted for eight days.  May be they are in fact universal forces that show us we live in a supporting universe of love?

This spiritual message is important.  I think it is significant that it is often represented by light and the use of candles (Christmas and Hanukkah) and Fireworks (Diwali).  Intuitively we understand that light is good.  We must make a stand against the darkness and that when we unite under the banner of light we are stronger.  That light is an internal force, a flame burning within that is the human spirit.  It is also an external force, from beyond our self, from the universe itself, nurturing and nourishing our inner flame.  The religious festivals and cultural stories remind us of this wonderful universal spirit of giving and sharing that we all enjoy.  A plethora of Christmas movies that celebrate the Christmas spirit often make us feel warm and empowered to do our best good.  To embrace the light and its significance is a message to be held as a way of life.  The light never to be forgotten, forever nurtured.

Your unique message

The Bell

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Sit quiet.

Still the room, the body and the mind.

All that remains is Energy.

That feeling is you, the real you at this moment.

You are a silent bell ringing out,

Your vibration touching the world.

This feeling is not your clothes, your home, you car……

These things are not you

This feeling is-

The essence of your actions, your thoughts and the way you see the world.

Touch this and know it to be true

Never allow yourself to be confused again.

You can try to hide it

But you cannot stop the silent bell ringing.

Everyone hears it, so do not deny it.

Embrace it.

Express yourself fully.

You are already that vibration.

Do not be shy, do not be ashamed.

This is you in your completeness.

Hide none of it.

Explore all of it.

Discover all that you can be and become.

It is the journey of truth.

That is all life is about- listening to your own bell

And know that others have silent bells waiting to be heard.

Honour them, cultivate them and nurture them.

And though sometimes the journey may be hard

It will be fulfilling and you will do much.

I promise.

(Taken from Nourish the Flame Within- a guide to connecting to the human soul for Reiki, martial arts and life by Lynette Avis and David Brown)

I wrote this poem after I heard “All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles.  I had listened to the song many times, but this time I heard it.  The wisdom of the words echoed across time, the band members’ silent bells vibrating as they performed their beautiful message.

We are all silent bells, no different from “The Fab Four”.  They were, after all, working class lads from Liverpool.  No different than you or I.  They had a voice and were willing to share it with the world.  The world is a better place for it.

Please do not doubt that sharing your voice with the world will make it a better place.  Find your own way, discover your unique vibration and let your silent chime resonate out across the world.

The world is in dire need of people who are willing to share of themselves, just as people are in dire need to share themselves with the world.  Ring out.  It is what you do.  It is what you are meant to do.  It takes trust, compassion and love.  It may scare you- I know.  But there is so much you have to offer, and it is too good not to share.

With every chime, you nourish the flame within and make it stronger.  Let us create a symphony and build a bridge of sound that connects the world.  Let us create an inferno that warms every heart and nurture a world of peace and harmony.

All we need is love……….

 

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Lynette Avis and David Brown are the authors of Nourish the Flame Within- a guide to connecting to the human soul for Reiki, Martial Arts and Life.  You can read more about our background and interests on the “About the Authors” link at the top of the page.  If you feel moved to do so please take a few minutes to leave a comment on this article- we are always happy to discuss the topics about which we feel so passionate.  You can also join us on the Nourish the Flame Twitter account at https://twitter.com/AvisandBrown and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LynetteAvisandDavidBrown .  We look forward to hearing from you.

Food for The Soul

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Food for Thought, Food for the Body and Food for the Soul

 

We all walk a spiritual path as we are all spirit. We are spirit energy in a body. As human spirits we grow by learning. I am constantly learning new things. I like learning it brings new ideas and perspectives to my life.

I do not have all of the answers to life or spirituality for I am always learning new things from many people. I do not believe anyone has all of the answers to anything. There are people who say they have all of the answers and maybe they do for a short while. Life changes and it moves on and is in a constant state of flux. So are we.

When we learn something new we change. We replace old ideas with new ones or we may reinforce old ideas. Either way we are in a win situation with the new knowledge. As knew knowledge equals change to us on some level.

Today we will have a set of thoughts, ideas and understandings and tomorrow they will be different in some way. I am not saying that we do not have a responsibility for the things that we think do or say. I am saying that we will think do and say something no matter what that is and in time will change those understandings and actions as we live and develop. Change means development of us and our lives. We change from the moment that we are born and in fact if we think about it we changed even in the womb. We change in many ways throughout our life. We change physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally. We are not static beings.

From the moment we enter this world we are in for change. Life will change around us whether we wish for it or not. We can resist change but that is futile as change will happen never the less. All things change. The seasons change, day changes into night, the weather changes. Everything changes.

People too change, before our very eyes. They physically change day by day. Nothing about people is set in stone at all. Life seems to be static but it is not.  Change is built into life at all levels. There is wisdom in slow change. Slow change gives ourselves and life time to decide is this a good change and do we need to keep it or change it for something else. It offers us a choice as we move towards the conclusion of the new change. It offers us and life time to understand and assess that change.

Physical change to our body is inevitable and we all know that our body is designed to break down. We can slow things down a little with good food and plenty of sleep and some effective creams and potions. However even with all of that our body will degenerate. Life will move forward and we will bend to its influence. Our body is designed for slow change and the ravages of time.

But what of our soul, how do we keep that in good condition?  And what is a spiritual path? We can develop our soul in the same way we can develop our body. We can condition our soul. To have a healthy body we need to give it good things to work with, such as good food, rest and exercise. To have an active and effective mind we need to give it food for thought. It needs input and stimulation.  The soul needs the same too. It too needs food, rest and exercise.

What is food for the soul? Life is food for the soul as it helps the soul to develop. It does not matter what we do as long as we interact with life. When we interact with life we give the soul its sustenance. Good or bad, happy or sad the soul will thrive on what we give it. It will change and develop in one way or the other. The change that occurs in each of us adds to life. It adds knowledge to the wider universe. It causes us to move forward into life.

We are all part of life and life part of us. So therefore we are all important to life and life to us. From time to time it may be that we may feel insignificant and unimportant. We are just a single person in this huge world of ours. Perhaps there are some moments of despair.

These moments are part of the catalyst for our change and growth. When we reach rock bottom in any situation or interaction often it causes us to find a solution and resolve the misery. It causes us to look, listen and learn so that we may move forward. Despair can lead to change. We are required to look at the situation and our life, the path that led us to the situation, to listen to our inner voice for the truth of the situation and learn from the experience.

Despair forces our hand to give in or grow through movement. In despair we look for the solution that will take us out of the situation. Movement of any sort equals growth to the person. Even negative movement equals growth in time. Negative movement equals more pain and misery which in turn is a further learning to the person. All of life and life’s interactions facilitate growth to the soul.

Meditation, sleep and quiet contemplation are rest for the soul.  Exercise for the soul comes by way of all of the interactions that stretch the soul to grow. On all levels of our being we grow through the interactions with life and the things we put into our being.

We need food for thought, food for the body and food for the soul. Life Nourishes the flame within.

 

The Stars at Night

I am overwhelmed by the billions of stars, the vastness of the expanse before me and my connection to it.

I am overwhelmed by the billions of stars, the vastness of the expanse before me and my connection to it.

It is New Years Eve and I take a break from the festivities and walk outside into the icy night air. The silence is deafening and I enjoy the stillness and the dark. In contemplative and reflective mood I take a deep breath and look skyward.

Instantly I am overwhelmed by the billions of stars, the vastness of the expanse before me and my connection to it, a sense of being part of something universal and the fact I play a part in that and at the same time an insignificance that is humbling and releasing.

I recognise that profound moment as something special- a sense of how things truly are. A connection to something unchanging yet at the same time in constant flux, all things a manifestation of the energy of the universe, without time, beyond space, without boundaries.

Quantum Physics tells us that form and shape are an illusion. Energy moves at such speeds in confined spaces that it creates an energy field that is both powerful and fluid. We perceive these fields as particles such as protons, neutrons and electrons that themselves interact to create atoms. These atoms join together to create progressively more complex objects- but at their core they are this fluid energy field.

Delve into this energy field and you have space, the reflection of the greater universe, a reflection of life and existence itself. That New Years Eve night was a realisation of that reflected reality for me- a chance to intimately feel the quantum nature of being.

The Flame

Nourish your unique flame and enjoy your inner warmth.

Nourish your unique flame and enjoy your inner warmth.

Our lives can be dull or interesting it all depends on us. We make our own life’s choices and thus we nourish our own flame within. How we choose to nourish our flame is down to personal choice and our own likes and preferences within life itself. We can walk one road or another road all is within our own choosing.  All flames start with a single spark and all flames have the ability to grow into something bigger given the right fuel and conditions for growth. Our lives can be likened to a fire. They need to be fed with fuel to grow.

 The Spark

Before we can build a fire we need an initial spark to ignite it. By bringing two stones together and allowing them to interact in a single moment we can create a spark.  That tiny spark may then be taken to make a much large fire.

You are energy and anything that inspires you is energy also. By bringing both yourself and inspiration together there becomes an energy clash.   Life itself brought the energy of you and the energy of the inspiration together to create the clash. Once we have a clash of energy we have a spark to work with.

Once an artist saw a painting that gave him further inspiration to create a three dimensional piece called a mobile.  Mondrian was the artist of the painting and Calder was the artist of the three dimensional piece. Hey presto we had the very first mobile and an artistic genius. We have many musical geniuses also and once a musician called Brahms heard a piece of music by Schumann that inspired him to create Variations on a Theme by Schumann. Always there is the spark that takes the mind and creative juices forward.

For that initial spark to be created it requires openness for that spontaneous moment to occur.  The mind with all its rigid training may well stifle the creation of the spark by the power of its pre- conceptions.  Innovative thought cannot burgeon in such a restrictive and controlled environment.  We must be open, and freely search for possibilities of spontaneous inspiration.

The Flame

From the spark, fuel and air are required if it is to become a flame. The fuel is within each person, each person is the fuel and the air is the means by which the world is viewed.  So, if you are an artist you are visual and if you are a musician you are auditory and these are the primary filters by which you will view the world.

Of course we all have many filters and use them all in varying degrees but we do lean towards one or the other more depending on whether we are a seeing person a hearing person or a physical person.

When you are inspired, your reaction is to express that inspiration by creating through your personal predisposition and strength. This is the vehicle by which the spark becomes a flame.

The Fire

With each individual event of creation the fire is fuelled. An intense momentum occurs. If left too long between these inspirational events, the single flame weakens and may even die.

But if inspiration is sought out continually, that spontaneous moment of inspiration will happen more and more frequently.  The flame will grow stronger and the development of the fire will become and inevitable furnace of inspirational creativity. The Flame will be nourished and will grow.

Transformation

So what of you, the fuel?  Whatever was fuelled by this process was there to teach you. It was there to help you grow as a unique individual. This growth will take you further; it will be the catalyst for your next creation.

The process can only transform you.  You can only grow from it.  A life is created by work and effort as is skill itself and any work of art. All three require effort. The reward to you for effort is refinement, greater skill, more alive and you becoming more alight to life.

Creation

With each new creation, you are created anew.  You are endlessly evolving and growing day by day with your own effort. You are an active participant in your own life. Do not under- estimate the role you play and the power you exert on your own journey towards greatness.  Nourish your unique flame and enjoy your inner warmth.