Rite of Passage

Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth’s rite of passage?

His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. Once he does this, he must not talk about it. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own. The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man. Finally after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night protecting his son from harm. We too are never alone. Even when we don’t know it, God is watching over us, sitting on the stump beside us. When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to him.

Moral of the story:  Just because you can’t see God, doesn’t mean he is not there. We walk by faith, not by sight

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Seeing God in Others

Once upon a time, there was an ashram in the Himalayas where a great sage and his disciples lived. They all respected their Guru not only for his knowledge, but also for his love and kindness towards all.

Because of his kind nature he often accepted disciples who were spiritually immature. This resulted in silly misunderstandings and quarrels among some of his disciples breaking the peace and tranquility of the hermitage.

One day the Guru was very disturbed to see their immature behavior even after his repeated advice. It saddened his good heart to see his disciples turning into slaves of jealousy and anger. His compassion did not let him throw anyone out of his hermitage. Instead, he sincerely prayed to God to give him a solution. He fasted for many days, and spent the days by himself in meditation and prayer.

After some days of fasting and intense prayers, he had a vision of the Lord. In the vision, God asked him why he was sad. He explained everything and requested Him to come to the ashram and free their minds of jealousy, anger, and desire for power. To his surprise, the Lord immediately agreed and told him that He would come to the ashram on one condition: He would come in disguise as one of the disciples, and nobody would know who was God in disguise. The Guru announced to his disciples about his vision and Bhagavan’s kind decision to come as one of his disciples.

The disciples were very happy  when they heard about Bhagavan’s plan to come and live with them in disguise. But they did not know who was Bhagavan and everybody was very gentle and considerate to each other thinking that the other disciple might be Bhagavan Himself in disguise. When they lived like that for a few months, peace and tranquility filled their hearts as well as the hermitage.

In their pure minds, they felt the Lord’s blissful presence and they started treating each other, and thinking of each other, as none other than Bhagavan Himself in disguise! The whole ashram was reverberating with blissful positive vibrations emanating from everyone! This great sage and his disciples told their experience to others and inspired them also to respect each other and to pranam to the divinity in every one.

Since then, everybody started greeting each other saying “namaste” with folded hands :  namah + te,  meaning “I bow to That (Divinity) inherent in you.”

May the Lord help us also to see His divinity in everybody!           Namaste!

The Christmas Gift

We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Justin in a high chair and noticed everyone was eating and talking. Suddenly, Justin squealed with delight and said, “Hi there.”  He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were wide with excitement and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin. He wriggled and giggled with merriment.  I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man with a tattered rag of a coat; dirty, greasy and worn. His pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map. We were too far from him to tell, but I was sure he smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists.  “Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see you, buster,” the man said to Justin. My husband and I exchanged looks, “What do we do?” Justin continued to laugh and answer, “Hi, hi there.” Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby.  Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, “Do you know patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek-a-boo.” Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk. My husband and I were embarrassed.

We ate in silence; all except for Justin, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row burn, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments. We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. “Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Justin,” I prayed.  As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Justin leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby’s “pick-me-up” position. Before I could stop him, Justin had propelled himself from my arms to the man’s.

Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love relationship. Justin in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man’s ragged shoulder. The man’s eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands, full of grime, pain, and hard labor, gently, so gently, cradled my baby’s bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time.  I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Justin in his arms for a moment, and then his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, “You take care of this baby.” Somehow I managed, “I will,” from a throat that contained a stone. He pried Justin from his chest-unwillingly, longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, “God bless you, ma’am, you’ve given me my Christmas gift.”  I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Justin in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Justin so tightly, and why I was saying, “My God, my God, forgive me.”I had just witnessed Christ’s love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes. I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not. I felt it was God asking, “Are you willing to share your son for a moment?” when He shared His for all eternity. The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, “To enter the Kingdom of God, we must become as little children.”

Unknown Author

Peace Pilgrim

During a yoga class the teacher was quoting from this saintly woman’s book.  The message was so profound that in the middle of yoga class, I began sobbing uncontrollably.  I had been struggling to find an answer to something that had just happened to me and the answer came to me through the words of this angel.  I am certain she is an enlightened soul and her missions on earth are complete.  She is with the heavenly beings assisting from the astral world now.

Here is some information on her story . . .

From 1953 to 1981 a silver haired woman calling herself only “Peace Pilgrim” walked more than 25,000 miles on a personal pilgrimage for peace. She vowed to “remain a wanderer until mankind has learned the way of peace, walking until given shelter and fasting until given food.” In the course of her 28 year pilgrimage she touched the hearts, minds, and lives of thousands of individuals all across North America. Her message was both simple and profound. It continues to inspire people all over the world:

“This is the way of peace:
Overcome evil with good,
and falsehood with truth,
and hatred with love.”

Mildred Norman Ryder, AKA Peace Pilgrim
July 18, 1908-July 7, 1981
Spiritual Teacher, Non Violence Advocate, Peace Prophet

Peace Pilgrim

Good Will by God’s Will

Several years ago, a preacher from out-of-state accepted a call to a church in Houston, Texas. Some weeks after he arrived, he had an occasion to ride the bus from his home to the downtown area. When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him a quarter too much change. As he considered what to do, he thought, ‘You’d better give the quarter back. It would be wrong to keep it.’ Then he thought, ‘Oh, forget it, it’s only a quarter. Who would worry about this little amount? Anyway, the bus company gets too much fare; they will never miss it. Accept it as a ‘gift from God’ and keep quiet.’

When his stop came, he paused momentarily at the door, and then he handed the quarter to the driver and said, ‘Here, you gave me too much change …’

The driver, with a smile, replied, ‘Aren’t you the new preacher in town?’

‘Yes’ he replied.

‘Well, I have been thinking a lot lately about going somewhere to worship. I just wanted to see what you would do if I gave you too much change. I’ll see you at church on Sunday.’

When the preacher stepped off of the bus, he literally grabbed the nearest light pole, held on, and said, ‘Oh God, I almost sold your Son for a quarter.’

Our lives are the only Bible some people will ever read. This is a really scary example of how much people watch us as Christians, and will put us to the test! Always be on guard — and remember — You carry the name of Christ on your shoulders when you call yourself ‘Christian.’

Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.

Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

The Will of God will never take you to where the Grace of God will not PROTECT you… Stay FAITHFUL and Be GRATEFUL!

 

How to be Good and Happy

by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 – 1894)

1. Make up your mind to be happy. Learn to find pleasure in simple things.

2. Make the best of your circumstances. No one has everything, and everyone has something of sorrow intermingled with gladness of life. The trick is to make the laughter outweigh the tears.

3. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Don’t think that somehow you should be protected from misfortune that befalls other people.

4. You can’t please everybody. Don’t let criticism worry you.

5. Don’t let your neighbor set your standards. Be yourself.

6. Do the things you enjoy doing but stay out of debt.

7. Never borrow trouble. Imaginary things are harder to bear than real ones.

8. Since hate poisons the soul, do not cherish jealousy, enmity, grudges. Avoid people who make you unhappy.

9. Have many interests. If you can’t travel, read about new places.

10. Don’t hold post-mortems. Don’t spend your time brooding over sorrows or mistakes. Don’t be one who never gets over things.

11. Do what you can for those less fortunate than yourself.

12. Keep busy at something. A busy person never has time to be unhappy.