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Posts Tagged ‘spiritual’

This has to be one of the most joyful pieces of music I know. I have the original album (yup, that dates me!) where this song was also the album title – Oh Happy Day by the Edwin Hawkins Singers. The video quality, due to its age, is quite poor, but the music is live and as electrifying as ever. Turn up the volume, people – it’s Christmas!

Hope yours is happy.

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LivingInTheLight-SGawain2Those of you why stop by regularly know that there are always two books to the right – most likely a novel of some sort and below that a metaphysical, spiritual or self-help book. You may also notice that the top book changes fairly regularly and the lower one may stay there for quite some time. Although it may look like I’m an inordinately slow reader, it hovers there because I usually am “working” the book, i.e., taking my time and attending to the lessons the author has to offer.

I am really savoring Living in the Light by Shakti Gawain. In the broadest terms it is about becoming more aware of and living by your own inner guidance, learning to recognize and trust our own innate intuition, thereby creating a new life and world. The book focuses on getting to know the many aspects of ourselves and at the end of each chapter, Gawain has included exercises and meditations. The chapter I have just completed is titled Authoritarian and Rebel, two aspects that are often alive and well in each of us. To the degree that we are unconscious of these qualities, we may experience related difficulties in our lives, not the least of which is interference in hearing and trusting our own intuition.

Gawain’s exercise at the end asks, after you have read the chapter, that you identify and write down some of your rules and behaviors that feel demanding and controlling, (overly authoritarian), to you. She lists the categories of work, money, relationships and sex, encouraging you to add your own if you wish. (I did.) Gawain then asks you to do the same with rebellious behaviors, and finally to drop down into a deeper place and look at what you really want, to find what is true for you.

Buddha2There can be quite a difference in what we’ve written and what we really want … surprisingly so. A brief, but related digression – on my desktop at the moment is an image of Buddha, and the following quote by him: “All that we are is the result of all we have thought.” Comparing that list to what I really want is quite an eye opener, and tells me in what way my work is cut out for me and reveals afresh how my thoughts are creating my life, as Buddha said. I want to make more changes.

There is always so much to know, so much to learn, and while a book such as Living in the Light may guide us, the work is always our own. We take many journeys in our lives and perhaps the greatest journey is the one within, for it is there we find the answers we need to know, which when brought to light, transform not just ourselves, but the world around us.

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In following an unexpected trail of  webby bread crumbs recently, I came to a YouTube video of Joan of Arcadia.

256px-JoaI always loved this show and also the show’s theme song by Joan Osbourne, One of Us. I loved the premise of Joan Girardi, (Amber Tamblyn), finding God each week in everyday people – a fellow student, a mime, a homeless man, a club DJ, a girl on the color guard at school, a soccer mom and the list goes on.  The message is ultimately about the Divine in each of us, and the essence of the greeting Namaste. The song’s refrain is this:

What if God was one of us,
just a slob like one of us,
just a stranger on the bus
trying to make his way home.

Namaste is a greeting used by many Hindu, Taoist and Buddhists which literally means “I bow to you.” It is said with the hands together in prayer position over the heart chakra and with a bow of the head. It is the divine spark in one person acknowledging the divine spark in another. To me it is one and the same as to what Joan of Arcadia was all about … acknowledging the divine in each other – finding the divine in each other – sometimes in the most unexpected places. As said in Wikipedia, (where you can also read more about the show’s premise), “No specific mention of any “true” religion is ever made, and God quotes Bob Dylan, Emily Dickinson and the Beatles, rather than any scripture or verse”  and is always very human in his/her appearances. I suppose it may be easy to look at this TV show in the light of one religion, but  in the end … the message is the same, and enlightening from any angle.

The YouTube video I described is no longer available, but you can hear Joan Osbourne singing it plus the lyrics are also here.

 

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