Friday, August 18, 2017

Separation

by Rev. Amari Magdalena


As strong oppositional lines were drawn recently in Charlottesville Virginia, social media was flooded with exposure to blatant prejudice and hatred.  In our world of illusion, we’d prefer not to see the underbelly of our society in such public display.  We’re more comfortable if it is hidden in small pockets of lesser towns and hills throughout the country.

One dictionary defines separation as "an act or instance of separating or the state of being separated." Certainly, we might agree that is what was witnessed in Virginia. President Lincoln's admonition of a country divided, brings to mind the question, can we stand united in this time?

Metaphysically, for me, separation represents the veils of illusion of ourselves in form from our essence.  Challenging as it may be to comprehend, I actually believe that we came here for the separation experience.  I know, damn and double damn, as we are getting exactly that in spades lately.

Even our head of state is a polarizing figure that attracts hatred and admiration in any given day, or six months, as you will.  He has thrown the political "Pick up Sticks" mightily in the air and laughed at the disarray as they fall.  And many of us shake our collective heads in dismay as we witness strong lines of allegiance being drawn.

Those of us who would label our beliefs for life order as "spiritual" are finding these savage lines at odds with our beliefs that a true world of light, peace, love and equity can exist.  It can be rattling to the core, to see hateful epitaphs spewed and marches with torches.  In my view when I can see through the veil, I believe we are witnessing the phenomena of split worlds or contiguous Universes.  We are manifesting the reality we desire.

How on earth can you say that?  Depends on your point of view.  Mine comes from two things: (a) the realization that awakened I can better see the veils of illusion and choose how I want to act and react; and (b) I have a faith that our beliefs create our reality.  The latter follows along the lines of what was aspired for in events like the Harmonic Conversion; 11:11 Gateway; Harmonic Concordance; the Lionsgate Portal; and all of the prophetic sharing's of many a year.

If the world is indeed an illusion, then where I place my magical attention is what I see.  Some believe, and I support that belief, that the ultimate gift of this time will be split worlds: El Mundo Bueno and El Mundo Mal-the good and the not so good.  Thus, as these many disturbing things unfold, we are even more motivated to err on the good side of things and return to beliefs that support that world.  No more gray fence-sitting.

Does that mean we remain silent and just relate to the Virginia malevolent march as a 'just is' and do nothing?  No!  As long as these two worlds are connected, I feel we must speak out and yet magically maintain our core belief in the goodness of humanity.  Yet we may also wish to remember to protest peacefully to keep ourselves registered for El Mundo Bueno.

The other side of our challenge is to connect, as we are able. with those on the side of history juxtaposed to ours and begin gentle dialogue.  That may be more possible on a small one-on-one scale vs. a platform and megaphone.  Meeting people in the middle, listening, and hearing what has brought them to their beliefs of this moment, may help us become more compassionate people.  We would not expect to change their minds in this endeavor or we are acting just as separate as we judge them to be.  The purpose would be to just see them through eyes of love.  Perhaps being seen in the light may soften their positions of hate and prejudice; perhaps not.  We will have tried.

Ultimately, we will be called to look through a magnifying glass at places where we are choosing separation.  In that reflection, is the work we individually and collectively still have to do to prepare for El Mundo Bueno.  See the other side of this time, through the portal of love and light.  That sight will help all of us get through.

May Light and Love of that Creative Presence always surround you.

"In the stillness of your presence, you can feel your own formless and timeless reality as the unmanifested life that animates your physical form.  You can then feel the same life deep within every other human and every other creature.  You look beyond the veil of form and separation.  This is the realization of oneness." 
Eckhart Tolle




Thursday, July 27, 2017

Having the Last Word

By Rev. Amari Magdalena



Something I’ve observed lately on social media, got me thinking.  I’m sure we’ve all done this in days when having the last word seemed to be about our opinion being most correct in conversations.  I find myself pondering and looking through the lens of my own past.  Sure enough, there was a time when I wanted to have the last word.  Perhaps because I wanted to win; perhaps I thought my view was more correct.  In hind sight, it is challenging to remember the reason. I simply acknowledge and wish to be aware of not perpetrating that tendency.

We are living in very divisive times. I doubt anyone will argue with that.  True communication and building bridges of understanding are often elusive.  I’ve seen that in my own FB posts.  Even when I’ve said that I honor someone’s truth and wish for them to honor mine, someone will have to have the last word in disagreement.  Perhaps it is softly stated; perhaps not. With it brings an argument of sorts and validation goes begging.

Yet it got me thinking about this thing of winning.  I vaguely remember a concept of New Games which passed through in the late seventies as a non-competitive way for everyone to win.  There was discussion about the importance of win/win vs. win/lose experiences. The athletic application found its way into popular psychology and communication I’m OK/Your OK strategies. As all trends do in time pass, New Games faded into the nothingness from which the concept arose.

In the recesses of my mind, I seem to recall some later discussions about the concept that not everyone can win and we need to embrace disappointment and loss. The pendulum was swinging wildly while many people pondered what was the best way to handle difference of opinion and beliefs. Even more theories were extolled. Enter it’s all about me and entitlement and poof, integration of concepts and ideas on communication flew.  In some corners babbling was evidenced.

This brings me to the present moment in time and the question of what to do about this need to have the last word.  Perhaps we might offer more epilogues in our exchanges; leaving an openness to new possibilities, a potential for a series etc.  Maybe we just need to learn more about validation.  Ultimately, we need to learn to be better listeners without agendas, I feel.

One indigenous tradition that might be of great value would be the Talking Stick.  Whether it is to be a physical stick passed in a group or perhaps an emoji to use in our discussions it might help us surrender the need to win at a communication.  The answering feather emoji could be passed on when the talking stick recipient was ready for an exchange.  A further emoji might be developed to see a circle that has ended on a discussion and that those that wanted to contribute did from the “I” own my feelings and acknowledge that you, and me and we, do not always have to agree to have a genuine exchange of ideas.

Finally, we might have a Teepee emoji to invite all participants in the discussion to come up with ideas and solutions to the original sharing of what was a seemingly unattainable consensus.  We could beta test the concept and then present it to our town halls, Sunday salons, social and political groups or in any situation where division is causing undue anger and angst. 

The essential point is that if we are to survive as a people on the planet, we do need new ways of talking and listening to one another, without an agenda that leaves one side potentially feeling less or put off.  We need to learn to listen without the need to immediately respond. Surrendering the interruption habit would be another consideration (we ADD folks are so gifted at that 😊).  And we need more quiet contemplation with our higher intelligence seeking to provide us with insight into how to mend the divisions and start constructing those bridges.

In the beginning our bridges may be made of fragile straw.  Hopefully in the future, we’ll find more permanent materials for them. Build we must.

There are some people who could hear you speak a thousand words, and still not understand you. And there are others who will understand — without you even speaking a word.” ― Yasmin Mogahed

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Gossip as Emotional Poison


By Rev. Amari Magdalena



The power of our words is immeasurable.  We are spell casting much of the time in our negative words and thoughts towards others.  Perhaps it is not our intention to harm someone; yet we surely do when we say something judgmental or false about someone to another person.

"Gossip is when you have a malice of intent or mindless, third-party conversation to someone about someone, something you haven't said to that someone."  Iyanla Vanzant

In the 1950's when many women stayed home and experienced daily coffee klatches, gossip was rampant.  The psst, psst, psst about someone not in favor with the group spread through the group. Often the gossip was then shared with contingent groups.  High school, with it's various groups, was often rift with gossip.  Many untruths and partial truths impacted a life to the detriment of the victim's overall sense of self-worth and esteem.  Gossip was a form of bullying.  The work place, became yet another place for spreading emotional poison around the water cooler.  Add gossip columns of yesterday and today's entertainment obsessional whispers and we have a whole network of damage being done daily.

"People gossip.  People are insecure, so they talk about other people so that they won't be talked about.  They point out flaws in other people to make them feel good about themselves." Blake Lively.

Probably none of us, in truth, are completely free of guilt with gossip, past or present. Yet as we understand the very real power of our word, it becomes more important to arrest that tendency.  Those who aspire to spiritual evolution and consciousness and gossip, are self-sabotaging themselves by failure to surrender an old dysfunctional behavior.  Awareness of the habit becomes imperative in expurgating it.

"How would your life be different if you walked away from gossip and verbal defamation?  Let today be the day you speak only the good you know of other people and encourage others to do the same." Steve Maraboli

At times, we may want to practice with a trusted friend something that we need or want to say to another person.  If we are clear with that person our intent and equally committed to following up that conversation with the person we need to speak with, it may be harmless.

"It's not technically gossip if you start your sentence with "I'm really concerned about __________," (fill in the name of the person you're not gossiping about)."  Brian P. Cleary

In shamanism, we have another tool.  I believe it to be even more powerful in addressing an issue with another in a harmless way: shamanic journeying.  We can choose to journey with our totem, with a stated intention to meet with the other person's totem, to resolve a presented issue.  A spiritual meeting of this nature is many times more impactful than an ego-driven material world meeting. Insights acquired on the journey can help us see the core issue and find resolution.  We often discover that the conflict finds solution in ordinary reality without further discussion or perhaps we find better words to use when a physical world meeting takes place.

"Words have no wings but they can fly a thousand miles."  Korean Proverb

Ultimately, when we surrender gossip as a communication means, we can have much more engaging conversations which present think-tank-like excitement about making positive changes in our communities.  In the world we are faced with today, finding great ideas and solutions in groups can serve as catalysts for important changes and the preservation of humanity and the planet.

"Great minds discuss ideas.  Average minds discuss events. Small minds, discuss people." Eleanor Roosevelt




Thursday, June 1, 2017

Being Grateful for What Is

by Rev. Amari Magdalena


Even though I do not have cable or satellite service to access network news, the internet takes up the gap.  If I choose, I can indulge in all the negativity and horror that is so frequently shared there. As the unfolding world, according to Yahoo, Google, Bing or another search engine’s titles glimmer at me inviting a click, I am aware of choice.  On the other hand, I do not choose to ignore that much of our small planet has its sufferings and challenges caused by war, famine, disease etc.

Exposed by my selective clicks to the sufferings of humanity, I’ve become so very aware of just how much we, in this country, take for granted.  My attention is grabbed by any random click of worldwide suffering at a level that most of us will never be exposed to.  Even if we have financial struggles and rank among the growing statistical poor in our country, we are far beyond rich compared to most of the planet.

All of this gives me a heightened appreciation for the ‘what is of my life.’  This affords a golden opportunity to remember to count my blessings and say thank you each day.  As I turn on the faucet of my apartment, I can count on sufficient, and good water, hot and cold as I choose.  My tub, showers and sinks provide venues for bathing and cleaning.  A short trip down the hallway, gives me access to electric washers and dryers for cleaning my clothing.

My apartment, though sparse by some standards without a garbage disposal, dishwasher or built in microware, is pleasant with large windows inviting light in a semi-dark Pacific Northwest environment.  My furniture, though not matched and certainly showing signs of aging, is attractive and functional.  I’ve been gifted a talent for creating beautiful art which greatly enhances the walls and making this space homey. A lovely courtyard is below me now resplendent with plants, flowers, and blooming trees.

I do not live in fear of my safety nor stress about what untoward things may be presented in my life. My shamanic training gives me a sense of protection and inner knowing as to where and when to proceed in many areas of my life.  The city I live in, compared with crowded others, is not dangerous.

Though not too close physically to my friends and family, venues like Facebook and other social media, give me a feeling of connection with those near and far.  Skype, Facetime, Google Duo, or Hangouts, afford me valuable time with my children and grandchildren. If I choose, I can engage in friendly hellos and light conversation as I collect my mail or go to the store.  My car though almost 20 years old is steady and running.  I’ve lots of low, to no cost, entertainment with my movie collection, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. My refrigerator is filled, as I choose, with nutritious or not, food beyond sufficient for nutrition, energy, and health. 

Shelves are filled with books worthy of re-reads and eBooks are gathering space on my devices. Health, though at times facing the challenges of an aging body, is generally good and I’ve sufficient energy to accomplish the things most important in my life.  I recover from the challenges and feel renewed to forge on.

Some debt tends to pile up and I may be cash short on occasion, yet compared to MOST of the world, I am wealthy beyond measure.  More importantly, I feel SO abundant in all the truly important ways in this life.  For this, I am profoundly grateful.  Life IS good!


I hope that you too, can pause in all of your busyness, and take stock of being grateful for the ‘what is’ in your own life. Being appreciative becomes a habit that brings deepening peace.  While you are expressing your gratitude, why not affirm that more of the world will know and share your experiences.  As Foster Gamble said, and demonstrated, in his movie Thrive, we were all intended to flourish.  It was/is the Divine Plan.  So, prosper and share what you can, in the ways you are able, to help others do so. And, remember what you learned in kindergarten when you are given a gift, say Thank You!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Lost and Found

by Rev. Amari Magdalena


How tight is your box of routines and habits?  How habituated are you?  Do you take the same route to your familiar places all the time or perhaps mix it up with one or two other, yet familiar, routes?  How much diversity do you have in your average day?

Why am I asking you this?  I’m exploring how willing you are to get lost; to lose your familiar bearings. How much do your trust yourself to find your way back to the familiar when you get a bit twisted around in your life?

In my own life, I’ve found that when I feel a certain stagnation or lack of newness, I usually recognize the need to move outside of my assumptions, routines, idea of stability.  In the past, I might physically move.  Now I recognize that it is not necessarily what is needed to break up stale energy.

Our Western culture tends to promote a belief in attaining some thing or goal, followed by great satiation. We are then to languish in our achievement and be completely happy.  Isn’t that what many of our advertisements suggest to us?  And, many people, reach their pinnacles and after basking, a deep dissatisfaction and perhaps a tad of depression sets in.

Why?  It is my deep belief that life is intended to be dynamic from our first splash in the birth waters to our last assignment to fire or earth.  It [sic.] life is to be lived with adventure and discovery.  Never was the design to be static.  I observe nothing in nature that is simple static.  If it were, early death would ensue.

Purposefully changing up our routines and willingness to try the untried, immeasurably contributes to a life well lived.  I’m not saying we must throw out the proverbial baby with the bath water, simply that we make some changes in how we immerse ourselves in this rather short span of life.

How many times have you passed a street that you’ve never been down? Have you seen an exit on the highway to a town you’ve never been to?  Watched a genre of movies that you normally would not choose? Read controversial opinions on subjects near and dear to you.  Do you vary what you eat? Could you put your pants on the other leg first?  Have you tried writing with your non-dominant hand until it was reasonably legible?

Have you made a bucket list, no matter your age?  Would you be willing to make such a list for each decade of your life and do what’s on the list?  Are you signing up for new courses, workshops, or seminars on topics unrelated to your primary interests?

Perhaps we do go around more than once.  Maybe reincarnation is real.  But wouldn’t you want to make the best of this life, just in case it is the only one or the completion one?  Are you willing to risk getting a bit lost to challenge yourself and discover more and more about you and this precious life?

Trust yourself.  Get lost. Go down that new street.  Explore that unknown city.  Try jumping out of a plane or go up in a hot air balloon. Do something that is completely out of the ordinary for you.  Get lost and discover the wonderful person that lives within you.  Fall in love with yourself over and over again as you find out just how magnificent you truly are.





Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Heaven or Hell: A Daily Choice


By Rev. Amari Magdalena



At some point in my life I began to surrender the story of the untoward happenings of my childhood.  I woke up to the fact that my parents probably did not roll out the bed each day, throw their legs over the side and stand up proclaiming, “How can we screw this kid up today!”  Quite the revelation and one that leads me to today’s topic.

Perhaps some of this did come out of my inculcation in childhood.  My mother always said we create heaven and hell on this earth; it isn’t some other place.  Though a lot of the early years felt more like hell, at times, than heaven, in the recesses of my mind I subconsciously absorbed that belief.

As the shamanic path became much more relevant than the formal religions I was exposed to, and I recognized the rising and falling natural rhythms, I was in a better position to accept this wisdom. I now recognize that each day, each hour, each moment, I have a choice.  I can either choose to live in the lighter mind of heaven or fall to the depths of heavy thoughts in hell.  It is MY choice.

I just got off the phone now from “push button hell.”  (Some years ago, I did an amusing skit for a University of Phoenix on this scenario.)  My anger was evidenced as it was taking me more time than I’d planned to take care of something.  Wanting a person, I finally hung up, redialed and this time waited for the prompt, “Or push 9 for another reason.”  9, got me to a human.  I had to laugh at not the failure of the push button system, rather my impatience that caused my ire.  I’m sure I’m not alone in allowing that little venture into Hell with today’s automated everything.

So very many people, in a complicated and complex world, that I know are living in Hell.  There are lots of reasons and I surely don’t offer my choice of heaven or hell when they are in the depths.  However, I do know from my personal experience of score and fifty years on the planet, that I choose my state of mind.  Further, I direct my consciousness to being more aware.

Much of the time, no matter what challenge is being presented, I recognize the choice of mind focus. As a result, I’m in an even and hopeful mood most of the time.  My anger when aroused, and other hellacious emotions, is short-lived and often laughable on the other side of its expression.

What I teach, and practice, is holding up the palms of your hands each day.  In one resides Hell; in the other Heaven.  Looking at the palms of your hands and weighing your choices, ask yourself, “Do I choose Heaven or Hell?”  When it gets down to this simplicity, I believe it is easier to see the choice and choose for a more peaceful, hopeful state of mind. 

The world will continue to unfold as it will.  There will be times of peace and times of great division. In duality, that is a reality.  The mystics, avatars and masters who walked the earth and recognized that they were on the earth, not of the earth, figured that out.  This is a temporary experiment in separation.  Once we wake up, choosing our state of mind, and enjoying the ride, becomes much easier.

So today, ask yourself: “Heaven or Hell?”  The former will bring peace and perhaps laughter; the latter confusion and depression.  The Dalai Lama with his great sense of humor personifies heaven. That’s the example to follow. I sincerely hope that today you have abundant slices of heaven!

May light in the east awaken your creativity; release in the west clear the darkness, wisdom in the north guide and renew you; childlike hope in the south restore your spirit; connection with higher mind above shine on you; deep reverence for earth below give you sustenance; and may the spirit within ignite the flame of love in all parts of your life.


[17th Blog in this series.  53 past blogs are found in “Shaman Talk,” ebook and softcover on Amazon.]

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Protection from Untoward Energies


By Rev. Amari Magdalena



Today in a meditation class, I was asked about how to protect oneself from untoward energies and how to recognize them.  This is an interesting subject as many people who are more open to the mystical and psychic phenomenon seem to perhaps be disproportionally more likely to experience darker energies.

First, I’d like to share that I basically adhere to the biblical: “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.” I believe something in our subconscious subscribes to the concept of evil rather than it actually exists.  Old superstitions often leave people in fear with a deep-rooted belief in evil.

The Course in Miracles states that the only truth is Love and all else is false.  This, for me, confirms my personal belief. Yet, I am not naïve to the fact that much of man’s inhumanity to man looks a whole lot like evil. I am also aware, and have experienced, what might be dubbed psychic attack on a few occasions.  One involved a psychic attack on one of my family members when the person felt he could not reach me. The attack was experienced as very real and scary to the person.  I too initially succumbed to fear when I felt I was receiving energies from my personal Darth Vader.

We could say then that psychic attacks are real in our perceptions of them.  When experiencing them, it helps to feel empowered.  Having tools for protection can be comforting and help each of us set up appropriate boundaries to deflect the negativity. At times the attack may be veiled in so called guides who flatter our egos to control our psyches. Yet another form of negative energy direction though perhaps subtler.

In either presentation, establishing very clear and purposeful boundaries is ultimately the best protection. Many rituals exist to rid oneself of negative energy.  We might benefit from a Limpia Smoke Cleaning with appropriate protection prayers.  Some people may have a specific chant they repeat in such a circumstance.  Others may surround themselves in bright white or violet light. The construction in one’s mind of a pyramid of impenetrable light is yet another protective devise.  The Golden Shield of St. Germaine with the Violet flame is a further example of a protection creation.

I believe the most effective devise is a demand that the entity or energies step into the Light or leave.  This is stated quite forcefully with an iron clad belief that no darkness can exist in the brilliant light of pure Spirit. Added to that is embracing one’s own power and holding one’s space. Regular smudging and airing out of a home or frequently occupied space can also provide immeasurable benefit.

If all else seems to fail, I highly recommend a prayer I was first introduced to at Unity:

The Prayer of Protection
Written by James Dillet Freeman
  
“The Light of God surrounds you.
The Love of God enfolds you.
The power of God protects you.
The Presence of God watches over you.

The Mind of God guides you.
The Life of God flows through you.
The Laws of God direct you.
The Peace of God abides within you.

The Joy of God uplifts you.
The Strength of God renews you.
The Beauty of God inspires you.
Wherever you are, God is!
And all is well. Amen.”

You can substitute your name for Creative Source instead of God as you choose.  Further realize that YOU are an aspect of Creative Source/God, and as such are fully empowered to deflect anything coming into your consciousness or presence that is in any way interfering with your peace and serenity.  Hold your power, send the energy back to where it came from releasing it into Light. Clear up the parts of your psyche that are open to the concept of evil and correct your Karma. Stand in the full power of your Divine Nature.  And, remember, the I AM is impenetrable.  May you be blessed and freed of anything, or anyone, that keeps you away from your authentic inheritance of divinity.

[53 Past Blogs are in my book "Shaman Talk" available in softcover and ebook on Amazon.com]