Help Me Grow A Spiritual Life Program at St. Mary of Mo’ili’ili

Spiritual Life Program at St. Mary's, Honolulu

Grow Spiritual Seeds

If you like the blogs I have posted giving concrete and practical information on how dreams and intuition can be used to improve health and grow spiritually, please help me grow a Spiritual Life Program at St. Mary of Mo’ili’ili in Honolulu, Hawaii.  We are just now launching a fundraising campaign to support classes on spirituality, dreamwork, meditation and mindful exercise as well as to offer a guest speaker program and other activities-all of which serve to honor the body, mind and spirit, holistically.  Under the supervision of St. Mary’s rector, the Rev. Greg Johnson, I will manage the program and teach many of the classes as money becomes available. Perhaps there will be something of interest to you. Certainly your financial help will help us grow seeds planted by the late Rev. Nancy Conley at St. Mary’s.

To go to our GoFundMe page and find out more, please click on the link below:

https://www.gofundme.com/StMary-SpiritualLife

You may also fund the conventional way by making out a check to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, for Spiritual Life Program/Ministries on the memo line.  Checks can be mailed to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 2062 South King St., Honolulu, HI  96826.

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Part II, Intention, Gratitude and Faith: Recipe Ingredients for Transformation

Recipe for Transformation

Image via Pinterest.

In my previous blog, I stated that the road to spiritual transformation is essentially an inward journey that intimately connects us with our body, minds and spirits.  Intention, gratitude and faith are the ingredients that invite miraculous changes on this transformative path, changes that cannot be achieved by just following the rules or doing some other conventional practice.  Why is this so?

The reason is that these traits prepare one for the emptying of self, the total letting go, the kenosis that is ultimately required for transformation.  The emptying of self can be made in countless little decisions or in one major gesture whereby there is a willing and loving pouring out of one’s self, the using of all one’s resources and the expending of all one’s energies to undergo a transformation.  It calls to mind one of St. Paul’s statement in 2 Timothy 4:6, “I am being poured out like a libation; and my time of departure has come.” (NOAB, NRSV)  Jesus’ own life was said to be one long emptying of self for the sake of others.

Intention

Intention sets the choice of the individual and indicates in what direction all energies will be utilized and expended, if necessary.  Usually navigating the spiritual path asks a great deal of clear-sightedness, resolve and determination from the seeker.  Setting a firm intention will martial these qualities to serve the journey.

Gratitude

Gratitude has a way of opening and expanding the heart, tuning one to the frequency of higher consciousness energy.  It also has a way of making the person buoyant in the face of adversity.  It raises one up rather than pulling one down.  Gratitude can therefore raise a person above the fray, allowing for peace and well-being.  It is absolutely essential in allowing the person to “let go” with peace of mind.

Faith

Faith is the “assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  (Hebrews 11:1, NOAB, NRSV)  It is a type of visionary knowing that instills confidence.  Without faith, one can do nothing involving risk and change.

Applying Intention, Gratitude and Faith to Our Spiritual Practices

Because intention, gratitude and faith are so important, it is very helpful when they are consciously brought into our spiritual life such as in prayers, dreamwork and meditation.  Intention sets one on the particular path.  It is very useful to intend dreams that ask for a specific piece of information or guidance.  It is good training to ask for things needed in prayer.  Faith is thereby deepened when we get answers to prayers and dream requests.  We find we have a give-and-take relationship with divinity.  Gratitude opens us to positive energies on the path because a grateful heart enriches meditation and life by connecting us to higher energies.  And believing all our requests and intentions will be heard and our gratitude appreciated opens the visionary pathway for the change that is to come.

Intention, Gratitude and Faith: Recipe Ingredients for Transformation

Recipe for Transformation

Image via Pinterest.

Many try to live a good life by following the rules and expectations of a religion, family or society.  This practice may indeed bring a “good life” in more ways than one but it is not the primarily what is called for by Jesus and other great religious leaders.  It’s not what they wanted for us.  They wanted what in Christianity was called a metanoia, a change of heart that leads to complete transformation of mind, body and soul—or as some writers call it, the Great Death.  This is not the death of the body, but the death of our former ways of looking at the world which created the negative habits and practices we previously lived by.  It entails a change of identity, a death and rebirth while alive in this body that precludes turning back.  It is transformation at the highest order which entails a great deal more than obeying rules.

Setting Oneself on the Road to Transformation

Assuming, however, that one makes the choice to move beyond following the rules to undergo the transformation, how does one do it?

A very good way to set oneself on the road to transformation is to develop a profound relationship with one’s own mind, body and spirit.  The Kingdom of Heaven is within, as they say.  Therefore, it stands to reason to look here for transformative blessings.  For many people, the Kingdom within is the last place one would look for healing and growth because of the anxiety, depression, confusion, etc. that many people feel on a daily basis.  Yet, this place of often questionable turmoil and striving is the very field of play.

Progress on this inward field can be made by working with dreams, which Freud called the the Royal Road to the Unconscious, along with regular meditation and prayer.  It helps greatly when these practices are done with:

  • great intention to heal and subsequently manifest my true self at its deepest level,
  • gratitude for the many gifts that have been given
  • a profound faith that this transformation and any attendant healing will take place

My next blog will further discussion on why intention, gratitude and faith invite miraculous changes on the transformative path, changes that cannot be achieved by just following the rules. Please click here to see Part II of this blog.

A Great Short Video on the Meaning and Necessity of Empathy

As opposed to ESP which is the ability to pick up information “out there” that is not available to the five senses (such a correctly determining what shirt a person will wear tomorrow,) intuition is based on the ability to understand what is going on with another person in a broader and deeper holistic fashion such as picking up on their emotions, viewpoint, history, experiences, etc.  Empathy is an extenuation of intuition in that because one is intuitive, one can put oneself in the shoes of the other person and “know” what that person is going through.  One can feel compassion for that person and will feel more compelled to help that person.  It is a quality that all people in the helping professions need and one we all could develop.

Our culture does a great job in teaching kids to be competitive but does little to teach empathy.  It is no wonder why there is so much behavior manifested that is based on struggling against one another rather than working together to help one another.

I highly recommend you see this short video on the meaning and necessity of empathy at this link: lifehac.kr/C2ePfNa

 

A Source of Spiritual Insight: The Appearance of Animals in Dreams and Intuitive Insight

Jesus likening himself to a mother hen

Image via Pinterest.

The animal-human relationship has had a big influence in human psychological development. One way this can be seen is the deep attachment and communication that can happen between a pet owner and the pet. Even with animals in the wild, humans have long looked on magnificent and tiny creatures and wondered at their various gifts such as speed, flight, cunning or strength. It is no wonder that animals often appear in our dreams or intuitive insight. Perhaps we are either being given, or given insight, into that animal’s energy to meet a particular challenge of the moment. It is no wonder that ancient people worshiped animals. They wanted the particular energy associated with that animal to face the tasks ahead so they called upon the spirit of that animal to help them.

Even Jesus recognized the special energy that each animal exhibits. In Luke 13:34 he resonates with the deep caring nature of the mother hen as he compared himself to that humble bird who gathers who her brood under her wings. He could have compared himself to a grand animal of any sort like an eagle or a horse. Instead, he feels great compassion for his people and wants to protect them from the many dangers. Perhaps he is calling on this energy within himself for the tasks lying ahead for him.

Notice when an animal appears in your dreams or meditation. Ask yourself what energies you associate with that animal and then ask why you might need this energy at this time in your life. As a follow-through, try to act with the energy of that animal to meet the challenge facing you.

Class on Edgar Cayce Filled! Contact me for one-on-one classes.

Know all healing forces are witihn, not without.Recently on this blogroll I advertized a class I will be teaching this summer at the University of Hawaii Osher Lifelong Learning Center on Working with Dreams and Intuition in the Tradition of Edgar Cayce.  Edgar Cayce is considered by many to be the father of holistic medicine. This course will explore how Edgar Cayce intuitively diagnosed and healed, viewed dreams and intuition and show how his tradition continues today in the methods developed by the Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies.  In this workshop, students will explore how Cayce intuitively diagnosed and healed, and learn how his approaches are used today.  Participants should be willing to do suggested dreamwork methods and intuitive methods.

This popular class quickly filled up and is now closed.  However, if you would like to have a one-on-one class of two 50 minute phone or Skype™ meetings to cover this material, please contact me (Fran Kramer) at info@healingdreamgarden.net.  Fee is $60.00 and can be paid by credit card at my website at http://www.healingdreamgarden.net. Handouts will be emailed to enrolled students before the first class session.

With aloha,

Fran Kramer, Intuitive Heart trainer certified by the Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies

Visit my new website for personalized dreamwork consulting and user manuals!

Offering Consulting Services and User Manuals

Please visit http://www.healingdreamgarden.com to learn more about the personalized phone meeting or Skype™ consulting services in dreamwork and intuitive meditation for healing and spiritual growth.  Various consulting packages are available to fit your needs.  These include a:

Two new user manuals are available on sale until May 11 at $9.99! 

Class: Working with Dreams and Intuitive Meditation in the Tradition of Edgar Cayce

Father of Holistic Medicine

Edgar Cayce circa 1910

Edgar Cayce is considered by many to be the father of holistic medicine. This course will explore how Edgar Cayce intuitively diagnosed and healed, viewed dreams and intuition and show how his tradition continues today in the methods developed by the Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies.

Sponsored by the Osher Life Lifelong Learning Institute, Univ. of Hawaii
Instructor: Fran Kramer, Intuitive Heart™ Trainer, certified by the Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies. (2011)

Dates: July 3, 17 and 31, 2015
Time: 10:30 AM to Noon
Place: Honolulu, Hawaii. For specifics, inquire on registration.

To register call:

Rebecca Goodman, Director
Phone: (808) 956-8224
Email: rgoodman@Hawaii.edu

To learn more about dreams, visit my website at http://www.healingdreamgarden.com.

Into the Dark Night: When There Seems No Response to Prayer and Intention

spiritual dark nights

Image via Pinterest

Much has been said on this website, in my classes and in other places how it is possible to intend or ask for a dream or specific piece of intuitive information to help heal or resolve an issue. All that is possible but I would be very remiss if I did not say that there are times or a long period of time when all the praying or intending seems to produce no immediate or apparent result, no matter how often one prays and intends. This can be a very difficult experience if one has become accustomed to receiving answers in dreams or meditation. Often, it is enough to make one lose heart and give up on the practice.

What to Keep in Mind

This period of darkness has had many names in spiritual practice. A common one that has held over the centuries is The Dark Night of Soul. It has also been described as a dry period when there is no productivity or creativity. A sense of being lost and or a profound feeling of emptiness are yet other descriptive characteristics. Here are some pointers to keep in mind if you are experiencing this phenomenon:

  • It often comes after one has achieved a certain degree of maturity or achievement in one’s spiritual practice, and it often itself is an indicator of progress made—which is something to keep in mind and consider as a source of encouragement to keep going.
  • It may last for a while but usually it is temporary.  One can go through many “dark nights” or a very long one in one’s life.
  • It is a very important part of the spiritual growth process because it is like a test, challenging your resolve, patience and capacity to seek more insight in difficult situations.
  • It makes one realize that getting what one wants through positive thinking and intentionality isn’t as easy as some of the New Age proponents would like you to believe. It’s not all a rose garden.
  • If undergone with fortitude, faith and patience, just as day follows the night, it often heralds a new beginning, a breakthrough or a transformation—making all the confusion, frustration and isolation and lostness all worthwhile!

I have found these dark times to be reflected in dreams with images of the full moon in a dark sky, of being lost in a foreign city, or the lack of dreams and insight altogether—even when I pray or intend them. For me these kinds of dreams or lack of dreams are clues telling I am going through a Dark Night period. It happens to all of us on the spiritual journey. But remember, answers come when they are meant to come, and when we truly need them. So keep intending and praying for the dreams and inspiration you need. Guidance will come!

Is Your Meditation Working for You?

There are all sorts of meditations out there that can be used for a variety of purposes. Each teacher of meditation seems to have one that he or she prefers, usually because that form of meditation has worked well for that person and a number or his or her students.

However, if you have tried to learn a form of meditation and have become frustrated because, after due practice, you feel it isn’t doing anything for you, don’t give up on meditation. Just try other forms of meditation!

Ask Yourself What You Want from Meditation

Are you looking to relax, lower blood pressure, or are you looking for insight or deeper spiritual experience? Some forms of meditation can do all of the above but usually each meditation is particularly good at bringing a specific outcome, especially if practiced with due diligence. Here are some meditations I use which work for me for the purposes indicated.

  1. To relax and perhaps lower blood pressure and heart rate: On a quick deep inhalation from the solar plexus, count three and on the exhalation count seven, letting the breath out slowly. Or you may trying counting two on the inhalation and four on the exhalation—just make sure the exhalation is at least twice as long as the inhalation. This will quickly give you feeling of becoming more relaxed. After a minute of doing it, you may fall asleep! This is a good practice to do for about a minute before doing another form of mediation that is better suited for something else.
  2. To gain intuitive insight: After doing a relaxing meditation such as the one above, tell yourself that you would like to receive insight about a specific and genuine concern you have , either for yourself or someone else. Follow an inspirational meditation such as the Inspired Heart™ Meditation developed by Henry Reed, Ph.D., which includes the following:
    a. Initially just observing the breath, the inflows and the outflows.
    b. Then give thanks on the inflow for the breath that is coming to you like a gift, an inspiration!
    c. After a few moments, imagine letting go of any negative energy on the outflow.
    d. For a few minutes sit observing the breath, saying thanks on the inhalation and letting go on the exhalation.
    e. Then watch of any form of insight to come: images, thoughts, sounds, impressions, feelings, physical sensations. These will be pertinent and provide inspiration to helping with the concern brought to the meditation.
  3. For a deeper experience of God: Try doing a form of centering meditation. Basically this involves sitting comfortably while meditating on a meaningful word such as Spirit or Jesus. One repeats the word when one finds one’s thoughts are wondering. What may result is something like this: you “see” your thoughts passing by like boats on a river. And below you sense something like an ocean of profound peace.