Sunday, August 10, 2014
LOVE, THE INTERFAITH WAY
On Thursday, I gave a presentation to the clinical staff at Hospice on interfaith beliefs about death and dying. I passed out a group of photos taken from Dr. Emoto's book, "Love Thyself." The photos are of the water crystals that formed when the names of five different religions were shown to the water. An additional crystal was photographed of water that was shown all five names written together. This crystal shows a fullness, a ripeness in its structure, demonstrating that we need all the religions to bring us to fullness of understanding about God. And a final picture shows the amazingly beautiful and intricate crystal formed when the word Love was shown to the water.
These photos clearly illustrate that all spiritual paths are beautiful and affect water in beautiful ways. Since our bodies are composed of over 50% of water, any spiritual practice you choose will have the same effect. It will make your life beautiful. So it is important to practice what you believe in and to live your daily life in a sacred way through practicing love.
Love is one of the basic principles of all the faiths. One of the earliest definitions of God I learned from my grandmother, who was a Christian Scientist. She told me that "God is Love." The thought of Love forms a beautiful crystal. The feeling of Love changes water from pollution to purity. The act of Love transforms lives. And love cannot be labeled Buddhist Love, or Christian Love, or Hindu Love or any other kind of love. Love moves beyond mere labels to that sacred place where there are no words.
One of the suggestions I gave to the Hospice group was that the best thing we can do for each other, in the Hospice work - to help patients who are dying and their families, is to hold that higher consciousness of Love, Hope and Prayer. No words are needed, no special action is needed. Simply by holding these thoughts and attitudes, we change the crystalline structure of our own bodies and send out the same energy to those around us. When others come in contact with that loving energy, that hopeful energy, that prayerful energy, their bodies begin to resonate with ours. The crystalline structure changes in both bodies.
This week there were more school shootings here in the US, more violence in Iraq and Afghanistan and in all the other countries around the world we barely hear about, more turmoil in the political world with the integrity of our leaders disintegrating , more threats of nuclear troubles. More drug trafficking right here in our area. This violence is polluting our world. And we ask ourselves what can I do about it? I'm only one person and the problems are soooo big.
The truth is we are not helpless. In reality we are powerful and each act done in the name of Love does makes a huge difference. This weekend several members of our church community came together to help Joseph and Marie move from Arrowhead to Paonia. What a loving service? And look at what happened in our greater community yesterday. People of all faiths came together to perform acts of Love. They shared themselves and while they were digging fence posts, painting houses, cleaning, raking, and cooking, they were thinking about Love and changing the crystalline structure of their bodies to beauty. And we can see what that looks like through Dr. Emoto's work. Just looking at the water which changes from pollution to beauty with the single thought of Love helps us understand the power of Love. And there are other things that we can do.
Polly shared an article with me this week from the Daily Sentinel, written by Lorraine V. Murray of Atlanta, Georgia. Lorraine Murray advocates "Drive-By Prayers," as something practical that each one of us can do. She says the idea began years ago when she and her husband were driving some of Mother Theresa's nuns around town. Just moments after everyone was settled in the car, one of the nuns pulled out her rosary beads and said, "Let's say a few prayers," and everyone joined in. As the car drove around they passed homeless people begging on the street, drug addicts slouched in doorways, children in strollers, college students on bicycles, people eating lunch on trendy restaurant porches. They were all God's children sweating under the same noonday sun. "And all unaware that our prayers were acting as mystical balm for their souls." Lorraine goes on to say, "I suspect there have been times when people have whispered anonymous prayers for me, which went straight from their hearts to the ear of God. Which would explain why I've seen bad days turn around, all of a sudden.
What a great idea! Drive-By Prayers. What a great way to radiate the energy of Love! What a great way to move out of our own misery and unhappiness back into our true beingness of love and harmony. Prayer is a two-way street with the effects coming back to us too. The minute we begin to think and feel Love and send it out on the wings of prayer, our very structure changes and so does the structure of the person or persons prayed for and everyone else within prayer distance.
Lorraine goes on to say that there are plenty of opportunities for drive-by praying. Just open the pages of the newspaper, listen to the radio, or watch television or talk to your neighbors. She says that opportunities are everywhere. I've noticed that people are really searching now for some kind of meaning to their lives because the challenges are coming faster and faster. Has anyone else noticed this?
Lorraine says that when it comes to prayer, you don't need any training or tools. Even the tiniest child can participate. You can be weeping in jail or dying of boredom in a meeting. Flat on your back in the hospital, or sitting in a nursing home. Everything can be taken away from you: your health, your youth, your freedom and your money. But you still have enormous power when you lift your heart to God in prayer.
She concludes, "Maybe, in a quiet and hidden fashion, if more folks took up the hobby of drive-by praying, they could work tiny miracles in other people's lives. And in a mystical and mysterious way, change the world forever.”
What a great thing to do while you are waiting in line at the grocery store fuming because the person in front of you needs a price check. Pray for peace for them. Or while you are waiting to pick up your child from school and the child stops to talk to friends. Pray for happiness. Or stuck in traffic while the streets are being repaired. Pray for a safe journey. Or on your way to work in Telluride. Give thanks for the beauty of the mountains. Or you have to wait a long time to have your food served to you in the busy restaurant. Be grateful that everyone around you has something to eat. And pray that all the hungry children will be fed. All you have to do is look around and see what opportunities there are for you to send out prayers of love and hope and gratitude.
As Lorraine Murray says, "It doesn't matter if you don't know the person's name, God does. It also doesn't matter if you are a Christian praying for a Buddhist, or a Jew praying for a Muslim." It doesn't matter what words you use. What matters is your intent and the higher consciousness you ascend to when you pray and your desire to help another.
And I would add one more thing to the suggestions of Lorraine Murray – the vision. Prayers are part of the creative process. The element most often left out of prayers is the element of imagination. Visioning is the purpose of imagination. As you say your prayer framed with positive words, make a vision of the highest good for the person you are praying for. If you can't figure out what kind of vision to make – simply see the person surrounded by the Light of God. When I do this kind of visioning I see in my mind's eye, a small round platform with a ray of golden light shining down on it like a spotlight. As I pray for someone I see them step out of the darkness and onto the platform illuminated by this golden light. I hold them in the Light until my Heart Self tells me the prayer has been sent. Then I see them stepping down off the platform smiling and filled with the presence of God. And as they step away I send Love from my heart to theirs. This feeling of Love is as important as the vision of the Light. You can make your own vision, your own scene and don't forget the feeling of Love to send with your prayer.
And here in our own church community, our new Healing Partners program gives us an opportunity to practice Love as our Healing Partners hold the higher consciousness for us and reach out to pass on Love with a capital "L" to all of us. Even if you don't feel comfortable coming forward, your body will naturally resonate with Love as the crystalline structures within all of us change to beauty.
Love has no religion. Love is available for everyone. Love is limitless. Love is meant to be shared and circulated. This week I invite you to double your Love practice. Dr. Emoto says that the best formula to change water follows the formula H2O, but he says it is one part Love to two parts gratitude. Let's practice passing Love forward so that we all become as beautiful as the Love crystal. We are Love. God is Love and Love is all there is.
Let us pray. God of Love and Hope, we thank you for the wonderful opportunities that come into our lives so we can practice Love. Help us to see these opportunities for what they really are. Guide us to take right action and send out our prayers of Love so that one day the world will be filled with the precious gift of Love glowing with the Light of the Divine. Amen. And so it is. Pau.