Tag Archives: Spirituality

Little pearls among the ashes. Pearls of hope and faith.

The Unitarian Universalist church of Clearwater hosted an exhibit of Buddhist relics on Sunday November 2nd. The Maitreaya Project Relic Tour, consists of more than 1,000 sacred relics of the Buddha and other Buddhist Masters.

The church, decorated with Buddhist art and ceremonial regalia was filled with an ambiance of peace and tranquility which resonated in our hearts with a subtle joy as we walked in. We were greeted by a monk who told us about the significance of what we were about to find inside.

When a Buddhist spiritual master is cremated, sometimes in the ashes one can find beautiful pearl like crystals called Ringsel. The faithful believe that the Riegsel hold the wisdom and compassion of the holy masters. The belief is that these relics, much like Catholic or Eastern Orthodox relics, in the west hold spiritual qualities which can heal, help seekers find spiritual insight and even answer prayers.

“They are beautiful” I wispered. We felt their power as we walked around the large circular table with a golden statue of Buddha at its center. Some were clear like crystals, some white like pearls and a few looked like tiny specs of gold.

I knelt before the shrine and received a blessing from a monk who said a prayer and held a golden object containing some of the relics over my head. I felt hope, and a lightness of spirit. I whispered my wish, which surprisingly was not the selfish “Give me!” type of wish that usually fills my heart.

As my date and I left the church, I could not help but think. I wish more churches had the attitude of the Unitarian Universaists. I am Unitarian, nor am I a Buddhist, but I really respect a church that can open its doors to those of a different faith. I also felt grateful that my date suggested that we go see the exhibit. Thanks to her, I had an enriching spiritual experience, I learned something about a fascinating faith. As for the healing power of the relics, the cold I have been trying to shake seems to be going away.

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A Tealeaves Reading

I came across something interesting today that I thought I would share from tealeaves:

He prayed as he breathed, forming no words and making no specific requests, only holding in his heart, like broken birds in cupped hands, all those people who were in stress or grief.

~ Ellis Peters

You can pray without words. You can pray to the universe simply by holding yourself in an attitude of prayer. No matter what you believe in, you must believe in something. Believe in God, believe in a Higher Power, believe in yourself. Believe in your own power to change things, both for yourself and for the world.

This reading captures my thoughts on prayer perfectly. There is often this inner dialogue with God, but it has no words, no visual elements, just a feeling, an essence. However, to embrace this feeling, I have to shut out the noise that fills my mind and sometimes this can be difficult. Writing can be a great way to filter out the noise, but sometimes I am hesitant to capture these words to paper. Seeing my thoughts in black and white can be a wake up call. It can also be embarrassing in a way. That is, sometimes the thoughts are just a rehashing of old emotions that don’t want to perish. You think to yourself, I’ve dealt with this, I moved on yet the words on the page tell another story.

A couple weeks ago, I had a thought come to me about Christianity. One of its basic tenets surrounds the concept of forgiveness, and it wasn’t until just recently that it really hit home. All throughout my life, I have always held the belief that everything happens for a reason, the good, the bad, and the ugly, all of it holds meaning and lessons to be learned. Needless to say, this philosophy on life has helped me process those trauma events in life that otherwise might have scared me for life. However, I recently had an experience that is hard to accept, learn from and move on. The events of this situation have in raged me literally and I have a hard time forgiving those involved. I suppose in time I will be able to move on, but at the moment, I have a hard time doing so. Thus, the concept of forgiveness entered my mind. And I realized that sometimes the power of forgiveness lies within. The ability to forgive can hold greater significance for the individual that needs to forgive, and it can be hard, so hard to forgive those who have wronged us sometimes. Yet if we cannot let go and forgive, the people that have wronged us will only continue to haunt us in our dreams and waking hours. It can also turn us bitter, and that is no way to live life.

Even though life can be filled with such pain and heartache, there is much beauty and joy that life can give us if we are willing to open our hearts and minds. Taking that step to transform the pain into joy can be a journey in itself. Often there is so much emotion that must be felt, experienced before we can move on. It’s not a simple task of simply sweeping up the pain and placing in a little jar to throw out to the sea. Rituals such as this can be good, but sometimes we need more. We need to write, let those words flow no matter how ugly the page becomes. And sometimes there are not even words to capture the feeling and that is when the visual element comes into place.

Get out the finger paints and the colors tell the story. Sometimes you might be surprise by the images that comes out. And sometimes it’s just the boldness of the colors that reveals the thoughts and feelings you have bottled up.

A couple years ago, I set aside a Saturday for a healing retreat in my own home. It wasn’t anything lavishly planned just a simple little retreat to mark the passing of a painful moment in life. It started with a large sheet of paper. And I wrote little messages, empowering message on the piece of paper. Then I started to just cover the words with color. On top of the color, I placed clippings from magazines, images of things that made me smile. And to top it off, I glued pressed flowers to the collage. So in one afternoon, I was able to transform that experience into something empowering, something beautiful.

So although I am not quite ready to transcend this experience quite yet I know I will in time.

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What are your dreams made of?

When I was growing up, I use to change my mind every two seconds on what I wanted to be when I was all grown up. One day I wanted to be an interior decorator. The next day I wanted to be the architect that designed the buildings. Neither of which I ever seriously studied. While I have talent to pursuit a career in art, I never wanted to turn my art into something that had to be produced on demand. When it came to actual career choices, I became rather serious, and chose professions that were guaranteed to bring home a pay check so I turned to numbers and landed a job in accounting. My career choice in accounting has always been rather fulfilling and challenging. However, as the years go by, I have been recognizing that our career choices are not the only choices we make concerning our role in society.

While I am an accountant by day, I could be an exotic dancer by night even though I am not. Since I moved to Florida three years ago, I have been re-establishing my roles. Yes, I know it has been three years, and I should be completely established, but take a long time to re-establish myself when I make a major move. So with that aside, I still have dreams out there waiting to be experienced.

One of the dreams I ponder is a coffee house art group. The idea is inspired by one of my girlfriends back in Kansas. She titled the group, “The Artist Support Group”, it was a place you could come to once a month and share your triumphs and struggles as an artist. The group was open to artists of all shapes and sizes. It didn’t matter whether you were a poet, a painter, a musician, either way, it was all the same. You were a creator of beauty, of pain, of life. We would meet once a month, and every month, I would leave the gathering inspired to create. It was food for the artistic soul. Since it was such a positive experience, I have considered bring the concept to a local coffee house, but of course, I am hesitant. What if . . . ?

One of my dreams concerns connecting with other artists. The other dream concerns my spiritual side.

The spiritual element has always had such a profound effect on my life. If I tried to trace it back for you, I wouldn’t be able to tell you what inspired it. Maybe it’s just one of those genetic elements of life. Either you have it or you don’t (or you don’t want to recognize it).

When it comes to the spiritual element, the one oblivious talent I do have is wishing. While I won’t delve into the details, I will note that in recent years I have become more and more hesitant to use this ability. My fear is that someday my wish will occur out of negative circumstance. While this probably would not brother most people, I have a conscious. I am very aware of the fact that for every decision, there is a consequence or effect.

When it comes to the spiritual element, I wish there were like minded individuals I could speak to outside of my fiancé. But most people I encounter are not within the happy medium of spiritual knowledge. Either they are Christians without a clue or pagans on the edge.

While yes, maybe I could just wish for it all, but in recent years, I have learned that wishes can take years to evolve. Sometimes there are lessons to be learned. To have wishes occur exactly in the manner you wish for, sometimes you need to open your mind and see what the universe is trying to tell you at the time.

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