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Witchblade #02

Stuff Jeff Reads

It’s amazing what your mind can accept. Even if the toll of that acceptance will inevitably come due.

This quote from the second installment of the new Witchblade series really resonated with me. As someone who meditates and reads a fair amount of spiritual writings, I understand the importance of acceptance as a spiritual value. But I suppose there can be a dark side to acceptance, especially in cases of abuse where acceptance might lead to complacency and inaction. Too often people accept their suffering and come to see it as normal, and then fail to summon the courage necessary to make positive changes in their lives. I suppose that is why acceptance is only part of the Serenity Prayer. Acceptance must always be balanced with courage.

Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And…

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Christian Meditation is Like a Shower of the Mind

Candlemas Day

Marianne Stokes (1855–1927) Candlemas Day – Wikipedia

By Rhonda Jones

Each morning, usually before day-break, I tread to my meditation spot, an overstuffed comfy green chair in the corner of my bedroom. Some mornings it’s cold and I just want to hide under my covers, but regardless of the conditions, eventually I make my way to my chair, light a candle, wrap myself in a blanket, set my timer, and close my eyes. For the next 30 minutes I become completely absorbed by God’s word and his presence.

For me, Christian meditation is like a daily shower of my mind. It’s where I can dissolve any fears, worries, stresses, or the onset of negative or toxic emotions lingering near by. During meditation, I cast all of my cares upon the Lord and allow them to diminish in his light, Spirit, and love. To forfeit my meditation practice any one day means that my flesh has gotten the victory over my spirit and now sits on the throne. It is said that how we begin our day is how we often finish our day.

My meditation practice consists of slowly meditating on passages of scripture or inspirational texts. I call this Scripture Meditation. I meditate on the 23rd Psalms, The Lord’s Prayer, The Love Chapter, The Beatitudes and other verses that I have memorized and God puts on my heart. I begin each meditation session with the following prayer that I slightly modified from Psalm 19 of Praying the Psalms by Nan Merrill. It read it as:

‘But who can discern their own weakness? Cleanse me, O Lord, from all my hidden faults? Keep me from boldly acting in error; let my fears and illusions not have dominion over me! Then shall I become a beneficial presence, Freely and fully surrendered to your Love. Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart find favor in your Heart. O my Beloved, my strength and my joy!’

During meditation, I slowly graze over the scriptures in my mind, and as I do I sink deeper and deeper into the peace, calm, and presence of God. Each time my mind wanders off in thought, fear, or anxiety, I turn my attention back to my scripture passage, keeping my mind on the Lord. The Bible says that ‘you will keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee.’

English: A Discalced Carmelite nun sits in her...

A Discalced Carmelite nun sits in her cell, praying, meditating on the Bible – Wikipedia

Jesus tells us in the Bible that we become what we think about or meditate on. Through meditation, we hide God’s word in our heart and that planted word begins to take root and grow a harvest of godly fruit. Each time we return our wandering mind back to the scripture passage, it’s the same as plucking up the weeds that want to invade out mental garden.

The benefits of meditation aren’t generally realized during the actual practice, though dwelling in God’s presence is definitely as added reward. The real benefits of Christian Meditation are realized throughout our day when we find that we are more loving, kind, patient, and compassionate or when we squash thoughts of fear or worry that come to steal our peace and joy. Just like we divert our attention from them in meditation, we do the same as we go about our daily tasks. Through meditation, we learn that we can choose what we allow in our minds. We can choose what we allow to rule over us. Meditation empowers us to ‘cast down every thought and imagination that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

Paul said that we are a slave to whatever we allow to rule over us. Too many Christians are ruled by the whims of their thoughts. Just like watching a television commercial that tells us we want a Mrs. Smith’s Cherry Pie and we run out and buy one, our unregenerated mind rules most us of. It says stay in bed and stay in bed. It says you’re depressed and we become depressed. It says sin and we sin. It says don’t forgive and we hold grudges. Christian meditation gives us the opportunity to become slaves of righteousness as we continue to hide God’s in our heart and crowd out the voices of illusion and deception. Through Christ-centered meditation, we also experience a deeper connection with God. As our meditation practice deepens we gain a greater capacity to know God, hear his voice, and experience him in a new and real way.

James 4:8 declares, ‘Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.’ Christian meditation allows us to wash away the mental dirt and debris that we pick up each day. It helps us to break the conditioning, patterns, and falsehoods of the world and start each day clean, purified, and centered in Christ.

Teresa of Ávila, Ulm, Germany

Teresa of Ávila, Ulm, Germany – Wikipedia

Some people would never think to miss their morning shower or bath. I know people that spend at least 30 minutes in the shower or until the water turns cold. Then they spend another two hours doing their make up and hair. They wouldn’t dare leave the house until their outsides our fully together. But how much more important is it that we clean our insides from worldly contaminates. To miss this time in silence reverence to God means carrying around these mental and emotional weights for another 24 hours or until I decide to meditate again. I’d much rather wash them away, just like the water takes the dirt from my bodies and carries it down the drain. Starting my morning in meditation frees me from any encumbrances lingering in my unconscious mind. Through Christian meditation, my mind is swept clean and polished with the light of God’s word.

2 Corinthians 7:1 says, ‘Let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement that contaminates either flesh or spirit.’ Through meditation, we become the observer of our thoughts and which gives us the power to eliminate those ideas that are contrary to our faith. Mastery of the mind is the only road to true freedom, for it is in the mind and thoughts that all things are created, ‘for as a man thinks in his heart, so is he,’ and ‘a good man out of the good treasure in his heart creates that which is good.’

Jesus said, ‘Come to me all who are weary and of a heavy heart and I will give you rest. Spending time with God in meditation, whether scripture, guided, or mantra, is that place of rest for me, for it is where I lay my burdens at the cross and then cloth myself with the Lord Jesus Christ. Each time I enter meditation I am covering myself in his Word, Presence, and Love. I am dwelling under the shadow of the Almighty. Each time I leave my green comfy chair, I leave cleansed, renewed, and restored and prepared to begin my day.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/religion-articles/christian-meditation-is-like-a-shower-of-the-mind-4053446.html

About the Author

If you would like to learn more about Scripture Meditation, see Free Scripture Meditation Online Course or get a copy of the Scripture Meditation Tutorial CD that contains a 75-minutes of detailed instructions and Scripture Meditation recording.

Since this article’s initial publication articlesbase.com has undergone some changes. We have left the original links intact. 

 Take Your Destinies in Your Hands, Osinbajo Advises Youths (sundiatapost.com)

 The $35,000 ‘meditation pod’ showing up at high-end spas makes the hardest part of meditation mind-blowingly easy (businessinsider.com)

 Pope Francis calls for Lord’s Prayer to be altered as current wording suggests God is capable of leading people ‘into temptation’ (telegraph.co.uk)

 Silicon Valley executives are paying thousands to fix a ‘crisis of the soul’ at a luxury retreat – here’s what they’re learning (businessinsider.com)

Mornings (chrishancock789.com)

 Recommend guided ’emotional release’ meditations? (ask.metafilter.com)

 Discovering the ‘four prongs of wellness’ at New Zealand’s most luxurious lifestyle retreat (telegraph.co.uk)


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Silence of the heart

By chakravarthy

Silence usually is understood to be something negative, something empty, an absence of sound, of noises. This misunderstanding is prevalent because few people have ever experienced silence — all they have experienced is noiselessness.

But silence is a totally different phenomenon. It is utterly positive. It is existential, it is not empty. It overflows with a music that you have never heard before, with a fragrance that is unfamiliar to you, with a light that can only be seen by inner eyes. It is not something fictitious; it is a reality that is already present in everyone–we just never look in.

All our senses are extrovert. Our eyes open outside as do our ears; our hands move outside, so too our legs..all our senses are meant to explore the outside world. But there is a sixth sense which is asleep because we have never used it. And no society, culture or educational system helps people to make the sixth sense active.

In the East, the sixth sense is called ‘the third eye’. It looks inward. And just as there is a way of hearing in, and of smelling the fragrance within. Just as there are five senses moving outward, there are five counter-senses moving inward. In all, we have 10 senses, but the first sense that starts the inner journey is the third eye, and then other senses start opening up.

Your inner world has its own taste, fragrance and light. It is utterly, immensely, eternally silent. The mind cannot reach there, but you can reach because you are not the mind. The function of the mind is to be a bridge between you and the objective world, and the function of the heart is to be a bridge between you and yourself.

The silence is the silence of the heart. It is a wordless song without sound. Out of this silence flowers of love grow. Here you can find the Garden of Eden. Meditation is the key to open the doors of your own being.

The body knows its owns silence–that is its own well-being, overflowing health and joy. The mind also knows its silence, when all thoughts disappear and the sky is cloud free, just pure space. But the silence I am talking about is far deeper. I am talking about the silence of your being.

Other silences can be disturbed. Sickness can disturb the silence of your body, and death is certainly going to disturb it. A single thought can disturb the silence of your mind, the way a small pebble thrown into a silent lake creates thousands of ripples, and the lake is no longer silent. The silences of body and mind are fragile and superficial, but in themselves they are good. To experience them is helpful, because it indicates that there may be deeper silences of the heart, it will be again an arrow of longing, moving you even deeper.

Your centre of being is the centre of a cyclone. Whatever happens around it does not affect it; it is eternal silence. Whatever happens and whenever, the eternal silence of your being remains exactly the same — the same soundless music, fragrance of godliness and transcendence from all that is mortal and momentary.

Article Source: http:www.articlesbase.com/religion-articles/silence-of-the-heart-5564389.html

About the Author

C.S. Chakravarthy – H. No. 12-13-301, St. No. 9, Lane. No. 1, Flat. No. 203, Satya Classic, Tarnaka, Secunderabad-500017

Since this article’s initial publication articlesbase.com has undergone some changes. Original links have been left intact. 

 How to Get Out of your Own F*cking Way. (elephantjournal.com)


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Doctor Strange: Issue 04

Stuff Jeff Reads

DoctorStrange_04

This issue is very deep, and for a short installment in a comic arc, it addresses some profound concepts related to mysticism and the occult. There are two sections I want to discuss. The first relates to the physical toll of practicing the magical arts.

You threw the punch successfully, but you hurt your own hand. So what have you learned here today? …

The harder you punch, the more it hurts you. This is the most important lesson of being a sorcerer…

If a normal punch takes a physical toll on the one who throws it, what do you imagine the price of casting a spell to be?

The mental, spiritual, and physical are all connected. Whatever happens to one aspect of your being impacts the others. When we become physically sick or injured, it affects our mental and spiritual wellbeing also. When we engage in rejuvenating meditation, our…

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How Meditation Has Changed My Life

By Karen Hood-caddy

Every week day for the past 2 years, I’ve done a daily practice with others virtually. Here’s how it works. I call the others on the phone, then one of us rings a bell to start and then again at the end, after 30 minutes. When we’re done, we each wish each other a wonderful day and go about our business.

During the 30 minutes, we each do our own practice. Sometimes I do all mindfulness meditation, sometimes I add in some meridian tapping and at times I’ve done some energy work on myself during the half hour. I always state my intention for who I want to be as the day unfolds.

Having this daily practice has probably been the most significant factor in helping me be my best. I never would have stuck with it so consistently if others hadn’t been involved. Just knowing others were waiting for my call each day made all the difference. We’ve been going for 2 years now and I can really see how it’s changed me.

Here’s what I notice:

  • Instead of helping me ‘get away from it all’, my practice helps me to show up for it all. I’m clearer about who I am, so I’m not so rocked by the world and others. I can let WAY more of life in and just BE with situations that before would have been very stressful or difficult.
  • It gives me a daily reminder of a bigger picture of myself and who I am as a spiritual being. Instead of reacting like a pinball machine to things in my life, I actually feel as if I have choices.
  • I feel healthier than ever. No colds or flu this year….
  • Since I review my intentions every day, I am much more likely to act in congruence with them during the day after this reminder.
    Having a daily practice has been very rich and rewarding and I heartily encourage people to design one for themselves and then create the support to make it happen.

About the Author

My passion is to help professionals who are tired to letting their personal problems and limitations stop them from having a deeply fulfilling life.

Visit my website at personalbest.org.

Article Source: http://www.articlebiz.com/article/1051609071-1-how-meditation-has-changed-my-life/

 


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Is submission to (alleged) authority always a good thing?


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Occult and psychic powers – the curse of meditation

Saint Padre Pio stated: "Through the stud...

Saint Padre Pio stated: “Through the study of books one seeks God; by meditation one finds him”. The Rosary: A Path Into Prayer by Liz Kelly 2004 ISBN 082942024X pages 79 and 86 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Thomas Wright

A staggering amount of information can be found on the internet regarding meditation – a subject that is as vast and deep as the space itself. Most of the information caters to the requirement of glorifying the subject and sheds little light on some ‘not so bright’ aspects.

From time immemorial, meditation has been associated with spiritual development of human beings. Those who are not interested in spirituality also practice meditation for improving their mental and physical well-being. In fact, experiments have proved that meditation can greatly improve the ability to concentrate for long periods of time. Yoga, the oriental way of synchronizing body, mind and nature, also emphasizes on the importance of meditation.

Due to the sheer impact that it can create on the human psyche, meditation rightly deserves all the praise that has been bestowed on it for ages. But as with everything in this universe and beyond, meditation is not devoid of negative fall outs. Although inconsequential for ordinary mortals, these aspects can create a havoc in the mental landscape of serious practitioners and seekers of higher truth.

In essence, meditation soothes the nervous system and helps the meditator to increase his power of concentration. According to oriental philosophy and scriptures, greater the ability to concentrate more is the intensity of thoughts. For a concentrated mind, mental energies are channelized and focused at a particular point of thought.

It is this ability to focus that determines the quality of work for any person, simply because of the fact that every possible action in this universe is a gross manifestation of the subtle thoughts originated from a focused mind. Ripples of strong brain waves pervade the fabric of the cosmos and are converted into forms that are more tangible.

English: Meditation

Meditation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

However, when a person reaches advanced stages of meditation, his mind becomes extremely powerful and he gains occult and psychic abilities to the extent of influencing thoughts and actions of other individuals by merely concentrating on the subject. This is the most critical stage of one’s spiritual journey that determines whether the practitioner will be able to reach the zenith of spirituality.

Ancient scriptures have repeatedly warned spiritual seekers to ignore these special powers and move forward towards the ultimate goal of realizing one’s true self. It is permissible to exhibit some of these gifts on a few occasions, so that ordinary people can realize the significance of meditation and put their faith on it.

If anyone wishes to serve people for free through his psychic powers, then there are chances that he may get away with it without being trapped by earthly pleasures. However, these powers must not be used to earn money and fame, as these are nothing but distractions that deviates a seeker of truth from his goal. Also, the scriptures strongly advise the aspirants against indulging in shadowy activities for narrow and selfish motives. So, the next time you feel empowered while meditating, be very cautious of the slippery path that lies ahead.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/astrology-articles/occult-and-psychic-powers-the-curse-of-meditation-7207722.html

About the Author

Thomas he has drawn heavily from the experiences he has gained by interviewing Jeanette Jones – a meditation teacher and psychic in Brisbane.