Archive for the ‘World’ Category

Humming at work, unemployment…

May 1, 2009

This is an excerpt from The Path by Laurie Beth Jones.

“When I encounter teachers who are constantly complaining or meet housewives who are bitter, I quickly conclude that they are not following their divinely ordained mission.  Perhaps they are following their economically ordained mission, or their culturally ordained mission, but they can’t be following their divinely ordained mission, because bees hum while theywork – they don’t whine.

I believe it is well whithin the natural order of things to have everybody humming at work.  As a noted economist recently stated, “Unemployment is a characteristic unique to the human species only.  All the other creatures and creations seem to know what they are supposed to be doing.”

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Prayer

October 14, 2007

What prompted me to write on the above subject is that I am currently reading a book on prayers by Leonard Felder which I got about a week ago.  I would not have taken much notice of the book’s content if it were many years ago because I would not have appreciated it as much as I do now from my own personal experience.

Prayer to me is like a sacred communion with God or my higher self or the source.  Lately, whenever I raise both my hands clasped together at my heart I feel much reverence and it is so personal that it is a feeling, so profound, that words are not enough to describe it.  There is a feeling of awe, gratitude, unconditional love, compassion, serenity and comfort all in its right proportion.  It is a sense of knowing that I am being cradled and seen to, like a safety net,  despite whatever the circumstance is.  Like the rock of Gibraltar, I can access to whenever needed.  It brings about calmness and strength.   Prayer sometimes can move me to tears when I feel overwhelmed and grateful for being the person I am today and knowing that the journey is ongoing.  It is an intimate experience.

I have never felt the sacredness of prayers more fervently now compared to as in my younger days.  Maybe, because, I understand it better and have experienced it in my own way and know that it works. Having said that, while reading this book, I was reflecting on my experience in prayers from young.

My first recollection was the experience of prayer with my mum.  There are four things I recalled, one is that, there was an altar with personal portraits of my grandfather and grandmother where we lit three joss sticks everyday then and whenever there was a day of paying respect, my mum would cook a big feast where my relatives would gather at my house to pray and then shared a meal together.  She also used to bring me to the Chinese temples from time to time especially when I was sick to receive some healing. The ritual is three joss sticks, hold them in both hands, move it up and down and stick it in the joss sticks pot and then pray again with both hands, kneel down on both knees and knock our forehead three times on the ground.  Up and pray with hands again.  Probably saying things like “Thank you God for taking care of me”.  It used to flood every end of the year in my home town due to the monsoon season, so as usual we were wading through the muddy water which was fun and suddenly my mum dropped her purse in the muddy water with strong current and lost it.  So I could still remember, in her frantic moment then, she placed both her hands in prayer on top of her head hoping that her purse will be found and asked me to do the same.  A few days later after the flood had receded, a grocery shop owner nearby the incident found her purse and she got it back.  In all those experiences, it went by without me thinking much about until now, after more than thirty years.

The family I grew up with also prayed on certain important dates and I just followed suit again without much significance on my part.  Then again, in this pre World War II teak house that I stayed, there was an altar upstairs very near to my sleeping area and I remember now I used to pray very often and was often asked to place stringed jasmine flowers on the figurine.  And in my own little way, now recalling it, I did put some degree of importance in doing that and actually felt good about it.  Maybe in those days my prayers were more about doing well in my school exams.  Also, my dad and my grandma in that family used to visit the Buddhist temples very often. There are many Buddhist temples in my home state.  We as children just tagged along.  One of the things I grew used to again was the prayer ritual and was even confident enough at a young age to guide a visitor when needed.  The visit could be such a long time when the adults were chatting with the Buddhist head monk and apart from playing with friends, it can be frustrating and a boring wait for a child then like me.  Also from time to time, the monks were invited to bless the house and us. During the long chanting, we had to sit quietly, put our hands in prayers and sometimes recited after the monks in Pali language. The fun part was the holy bath where the monks dipped a branch of leaves in the water they had blessed and flicked it to all of us sitting in congregation.  Sometimes it can be really wet when the monk used a bucket.  So we prepared ourselves wrapped in sarong.  There is a Pali mantra that I  memorized and have been using it throughout the years when felt drawn to. I do not remember the meaning behind it except that I feel good when I can recite it three times in Pali.

My father’s sister and maybe in my dad’s earlier days when he attended a  Christian missionary boarding school in Penang were Catholic Christians and so I had a few experiences attending church and also attended a Christian based kindergarten St Martin but I do not recall us being guided to pray except for the Marie biscuits and rose syrup drink that I looked forward to during recess time and swinging high up in the air after school.

During my years in primary school, we sometimes had free time when the Muslim students had their religious lesson and I remember observing the teacher showing the students the steps and the prayer position and I could do the whole process and knew some Jawi alphabets and could spell some words too.  Presently, I do not recall all of them.

Doing prayers at Hindu temples is something not out of comfort zone for me either and I have many experiences too.   So what is important in prayer to me is the essence and feelings that are universal to all and the  intention.  But when you know and understand the meaning behind the prayers, it is all the more significant and powerful.

In this book, Leonard Felder is sharing the different prayers for different purpose and  the meaning behind the prayers. Here goes in a nutshell of what I have read so far in the Introduction and Chapter 1:

By praying about the issue i.e. by taking a few minutes to connect with a strong, centered, and holy place deep inside your heart – one becomes more patient and creative with the issue and with nearly everything else one faces.  Also, it makes one more successful in finding one’s strength and peace of mind no matter what the issue is.

Prayer is a subtle but powerful tool for helping a person become more connected to what matters most in his or her life. Deeply felt prayers not can only help you feel strong and more focused inside, but they can also improve how you deal with difficult people and situations in your daily life.

We can use prayers to open up the previously untapped potential of our higher selves or to God’s will but we cannot force any particular result to occur.  Quite often the result of a particular result is subtle, barely visible or not exactly what the person had intended.  Prayer is a mysterious process, yet in many cases it can dramatically change your life for the better, especially in the way it can shift your nervous system away from agitation and towards greater clarity and effectiveness.

Prayer is not about imposing your own will or your ego on a situation.  Rather it is about going deeply inside and connecting with a source of profound energy and support that is hard to describe or measure. When it comes to sitting down and thinking about prayer, each of us has our own likes and dislikes.  For many people, it is not easy to pray.  Not only does it require breaking away from the rat race of their daily lives for at least a few moments, but many people have felt skeptical or uncertain about whether prayer makes a difference and whether there is God who listens and cares.

There is so much practical wisdom and healing potential to be found in certain prayers. Divine interpretations and ideas about God can stir up your own concepts and experiences. Your spiritual life can be enhanced by your deeper understanding of the sacred words that affect you strongly.

A prayer to help you start each morning with a much better frame of mind :   ‘I am so thankful in front of you ruling force of life and existence who restores and renews my soul with compassion.  You are dependable beyond measure.’ This prayer can open your heart and mind to a day of profound clarity and purpose.  If you understand this deeper meaning, this prayer can be a powerful tool toward a life of greater connection.  It essentially lifts your mind from grumpy sleepiness or anxious thoughts about the details of the day ahead of you. This prayer gives you a moment to connect to your deeper reality – your soul – and to feel gratitude that there is a mysterious and infinite source of compassion that dependable restores and renews your soul each day. Prayer can also express a sense of fullness or completeness because something wonderful is happening or because you feel loved and connected to a best friend, a beloved partner or a child whose joyfulness makes you alive.

In 1927 at the University of Berlin, one of the first great female psychological researchers, Bluma Zeigarnik, was studying human perception in the hope of finding out how the brain decides what to focus on and what to ignore or overlook.  She showed a large number of experimental volunteers a circle that was seven-eights complete.  What your eyes and brain tend to focus on?   In a series of groundbreaking experiments, Zeigarnik demonstrated that the human brain, which operates like a problem-solving machine, tends to focus more on the unfinished part of the circle.  It is as though our brains are programmed to look at the problem, the interruption, or the deficiency and not at what is substantially correct or satisfying. Later the researchers called this the Zeigarnik effect, and it suggests that we human beings have a problem noticing what is going right in our lives. Having a problem-focused brain is both a blessing and a curse.  It is a blessing to have a problem-solving machine that helps us look for unfinished tasks to be completed.  But it is a curse in that our problem-focused brain would not let us feel satisfied, relaxed or complete. With prayers we can try to outsmart the human brain by asking us to begin each day with gratitude, wholeness and connection to the miracle of being alive.

For at least a moment each morning, send a surge of positive energy through your nerve passageways into your heart, stomach, hands and legs.  Give your weary body and soul the nourishment of noticing what a blessing it is to be renewed for another day.  Especially if your life is hard, take a moment to experience the wonder of being a spiritual human being with a soul of purity and purpose that lives inside you. If you close your eyes for a moment and say, “I am so thankful my soul is being renewed for another day,” does it make you want to do something useful, positive or purposeful with the day in front of you?  Does thinking about your soul make you want to seek more meaning and connection in your daily life?

Our task in life is to find and utilize the hidden holy spark of light or divine energy that each of us carries in our soul. These sparks of holy wisdom and purpose come from the Creator, and our task is to find what sparks or qualities of goodness we have been given.  By repairing ourselves and repairing the world, we bring these divine energies out from their coverings.  By expressing and sharing our gifts, we raise up our energies to their Source. The first part offers deep gratitude at waking up; the second part acknowledges that your soul is being renewed for another day with opportunities to have a purpose. The third part says which is dependable beyond measure or great is your faithfulness.

God’s love and concern is dependable but God’s influence is at times limited.  God is a loving presence that or source of holiness that we can connect to anytime but that override human free will or natural forces that the Creator set in motion long ago.  In other words, God cannot stop a hurricane, an earthquake, or an illness because these natural forces have birth physical properties and a degree of randomness that are part of the Creator’s design for them.  In the process, God cares deeply and inspires people to develop cures, to act with generosity, or to respond with kindness to the tragedies and vulnerabilities that are part of life. God cannot stop human being from mistreating one another.  Nor can God prevent a holocaust, a genocide or an ethnic cleansing except by inspiring people to take action to stop such human cruelty.  Part of God’s creation is that human beings have the free will, including freedom to do evil.  God can only teach, inspire and attempt to awaken our divine sparks so that we will fight against injustice and treat with compassion those who have been victimized.  God depends on human beings to finish the job of creation and to repair the problems that human free will and powerful natural forces sometimes inflict on this world.

If an innocent child dies at a young age, it might be because an all powerful God has sent this child’s pure soul into the world for a short time (possibly to open certain people’s hearts and minds or to inspire certain people to come up with a cure or proper funding for dealing with a terrible ailment). Our task is not to close our hearts when we are troubled by what God has given us but rather to find ways to heal our own brokenness and to bring about repair and healing in the world around us.  We do not know the way of God but yet we trust that God has a reason.

What is important is the intention that you carry in your heart.  Are you willing to be grateful for having a remarkable soul?  Do you want to address the needs of your soul today?  Do you long for a connection with the source who breathed this soul into you and sustain you day and night? Let there be a novelty in your prayer each day.  Otherwise you fall into empty habits and meaningless repetitions. The most powerful method to attain a strong personal relationship with God is personal prayer in one own native language. Talking with God first thing in the morning – silently or out loud – can make a huge difference in how you respond to what life presents to you that day. 

I will share more when I progress to the next few chapters.

   

An Experiential Retreat with the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, a Zen Buddhist Master.

June 1, 2007

Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh or Thay is a Vietnamese born Zen master and has written many books on Buddhism.  He was exiled from his own country by the communist government.  He has set up a monastery called the Plum Village in the south of
France.  He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by the late Martin Luther King Jnr..

I came across books on Buddhism written by Thay, about nine years ago.  I was also given a book titled the “The Miracle of Mindfulness” by Sadhana, a dear friend of mine.  Apart from Pema Chodron’s books, Thay’s writing on Buddhism appeals to me because of its simplicity, sensibility, gentle and loving guidance.  Although, I grew up in a Buddhist family, I never really understood the practice I obediently followed as a child or, rather, I took it for granted.

The understanding and practice of Buddhism did not have much impact on me until recently when I had an opportunity to attend a five days retreat led by Thay and his sangha of 90 nuns and monks from his monastery.  Reading Thay’s book titled “Peace Every Step” which came into my hand before the retreat was very helpful.  In this book, apart from the mindfulness practices, it stated that understanding is the key to wisdom and compassion.

I always have much respect for practitioners who practice what they preach and having had a first experience with Thay and his sangha, I have to say that he is a first class practioner that is true to his teachings and has a world wide impact.  When he sits, he really sits upright like  a Buddha and when he walks, he walks so silently and very mindfully and yet the simplicity is profound. For the first time, the practice in Buddhism of seeking refuge in the three jewels and the five mindfulness training really dawned on my own understanding and awareness.  His writings and teachings make the practice of Buddhism sound so simple, sensible and palatable to the laypeople and therefore appeals greatly to the Westerners.  Today, there are about seven hundred sanghas, worldwide, practising his teaching.

There were about seven hundred retreatants from Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, USA and Europe.Despite the numbers, the retreat was very well organized.  In general, everybody kept up to the schedule and regulations without much fuss.  In fact, it was adhered with much reverence, harmony, peace, unity, love, joy and an atmosphere of comraderie.  People just unconditionally cared and watched out for each other in a brotherly or sisterly manner despite having met each other for the first time.  It evoked a very beautiful and warm feeling just to witness such happenings.

The ritual during the retreat was getting up at 5am, attending a sitting meditation at 5.45am, followed by walking meditation, eating meditation, dharma talk, relaxation exercise, touching the earth, dharma group discussion, announcements, question, answer session, communal eating, noble silence and retiring at 10pm.  We were also introduced to the process of beginning anew with ourselves, the process of peaceful reconciliation with deep listening and loving speech and the sharing of monastic life experience by some of the monks and nuns.  Bells were sounded almost every fifteen minutes to remind us to  stop doing whatever we were doing, and practice mindful breathing i.e. to breathe in and out three times and to and get back into our centre and then we continued with what we were doing.

Thay’s dharma talk was so nurturing.  His voice was like a quiet whisper that you had to listen carefully and pay attention to the flow of the talk which was of divine essence. His manner of speech was like a loving and gentle prodding of a grandparent to a grandchild.  And yet the dharma rain from his talk had an impact like a thunder that probably touched some of us deeply for life.  He simply says that you too can become an enlightened person if you focus your mind on the present and become mindful or conscious of your daily activities.

To him, nirvana is not something that lies in the future or in the past but something you can experience right now, with every breath you take. Whatever Thay taught was nothing new in Buddhism but the way he conveyed it was so understandable and acceptable that it need no convincing except the openness and the willingness to practise it.  Thay said that anyone who practises mindfulness and compassion is already a Buddhist, keeping in mind that Buddhism is a way of life.

  

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Prior to the retreat, he had visited Vietnam and Hong Kong.  Following the retreat, Thich Nhat Hanh spoke on Buddhism’s contribution to good governance and development, the theme of the International Buddhist Conference on the United Nations Day of Vesak (Visakha Bucha Day) Celebrations 2007, at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok.  The following are excerpts taken from the news media and they are not in any order :

++ He said leaders will also have to learn “loving speech and deep listening” in order to restore healthy communication.  They would then be able to transform the government and parliament into a family where people can listen and learn from each other and work in harmony and with compassion.

++ “We may become victims of our own power,” he warned gently, “if we don’t have a spiritual life. If you look around us, you will see many famous people or powerful people who have become victims of their own power and suffer deeply.”   “When we ourselves suffer,” he explained, carefully and caringly, “we carry that suffering to others, whether we are leaders in a government or a business, or fathers or mothers in families”.  

He stated simply that all decision makers – whether in political or economic arenas – should take spiritual care of themselves and their families and loved ones first, as part of their spiritual exercise of loving their countries and the world.By taking care of themselves, regularly and seriously, they become more healthy, loving and wholesome so as to run their countries smoothly and work openly towards solving all problems.   “With the practice of mindful walking and breathing, they can transform their government, the parliament into a kind of family, where people can listen to each and learn from each other, and work with harmony and compassion.”“A good leader should be free from anger. They should be always knowledgeable, ready to love and forgive others,” said Mr Hanh, adding that the abuse of power might destroy a country.
 

The Zen master made the statements Monday morning at United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok in his keynote speech addressed to Buddhist leaders from 61 countries participating in the Fourth International Buddhism conference organised by Mahachulalongkorn Buddhist University in Bangkok. The gathering was to mark the world Visakha Puja Day falling on May 31. The Zen master said that the ultimate goal of national development and ruling a national government was to bring real happiness to the people.
 

A leader is likely to abuse his power if his spirit is not strong enough. A healthy spirit can be obtained by regular exercise based on Buddhist teaching emphasizing love, wisdom and avoiding anger. Leaders who take regular spiritual exercise including mindful breathing, walking meditation and the application of basic Buddhist precepts will find themselves happier.
 
In his 50-minute address, he told of teaching peacemaking, love, compassion and respect to police and prison guards, and to western politicians — as well as Buddhist audiences — as a means of helping them and their countries to find their ways to peace.

++Question and answers session during his visit to Hong Kong :

++ The way of teaching and practising Buddhism should be renewed in order to speak directly to the younger generation and the more intellectual people. If we don’t refresh our language and our practice, the younger ones won’t feel at ease.That is what we’ve been trying to do for decades in Europe, in America, and now many young and intellectual people come to practise. We believe that if it works for the West, it will work for Asia as well.

++ Tell us about “engaged Buddhism”.It can help us solve the problems of the heart by releasing the tension in the body and the mind and transforming the suffering in the heart. You establish communication and reconcile with other people. This is practice, not just prayer. Buddhism is as an art of living rather than mere belief.

++ How do you apply it in daily life? How do you advise young people to be good Buddhist in everything that they do?

They have to learn how to live mindfully, every moment. While driving, you can drive mindfully. Talking, you can talk mindfully. Otherwise your mind wanders and you’re not there to take of yourself and the people you love.

++ These young people must have asked you whether you believe in God. How do you answer?  Where do we go after we die?

Most of the people who come to us don’t feel comfortable with the Judaic and Christian churches. If people think of God as the basis of being, somehow equivalent to nirvana, that can be acceptable to Buddhism. You cannot describe God in terms of language. God is something to be experienced only. In Buddhism you can’t describe nirvana – you can only touch on it.  Nirvana is the here and now.  Not only after we die, but right now, we speak of “continuation” in terms of karma. When you talk, that is also a kind of energy, and your talk can have an impact right way on your health and on the health of theworld.

So the dissolution of our body doesn’t mean the end of what you have created. To think that after the body’s dissolution there is nothing is a very short-sighted view, and not very scientific. What we produce as talk, speech and action will continue for a long time into the future. And that is the ground of our rebirth, our continuation. This kind of teaching can be accepted by scientists. We have organised retreats for scientists, psychotherapists …

++ What about politicians?

We have also organised a retreat for congressmen in Washington. Many of them came and they enjoyed it, because their lives are very stressful, very busy. Now those congressmen know how to walk mindfully and eat mindfully to reduce the tension. They can think more clearly and do their work better.

++ Do you support Buddhists getting involved in politics?

Anything that is done mindfully and with compassion is Buddhist. If politicians live their lives mindfully with compassion, they are Buddhists.You should not distinguish too much between politics and non-politics. Sometimes you have to boycott coffee from a country because politics is involved in everything, and we have to refrain from consuming something because, if we did, it could create more suffering.

++ Do you allow your monks to take political positions?

Yes. As a monk you shouldn’t think of becoming a politician, but you do have your insights. You should be able to say, ‘What you do there, Mr Politician, is right or wrong. We support you if you do the right thing, the thing that does not create suffering. We oppose you when you do things that can create more suffering.’That is a political stance, and you don’t need to be involved in politics in order to express yourself like that.

++ What’s your position on the war on Iraq?

The day after the destruction of the Twin Towers I advised the American people not to start a war with Iraq, to be calm and ask why have they done such a thing to you. You might have done something; you might have said something that made them hateful, angry toward you. If you respond to it right away with violence, you will bring about a lot of suffering to your nation and to other nations. But it started right away, minutes after the event. Now people have found that what we said was true.

++ Have you condemned terrorism?

The word is not “condemnation”. It is about looking deeply to see why such a thing has happened. There must be a lot of anger, a lot of frustration, a lot of wrong perceptions that have led terrorism to be born. If you want to uproot terrorism, you have to remove these kinds of perceptions, and that cannot be done with bombs.

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My intention in attending this retreat was to gain clarity.  Attending this retreat has got me to be intimate with my own breath and  brings about calmness, peace and clarity.  Participating in the walking meditation, I have for the very first time, discovered my harmonious rhythm of walking and breathing and being in touch with the nature at the same time.  As a result of this, I experienced deep contentment.  Touching the earth ritual was a humbling and personal experience for me.  It brings about the awareness of oneness.  It also helps with emotional release.  I used to think that speaking the truth is good enough but according to Thay, speaking the truth is not good enough if the objective is not towards peaceful reconciliation.  And communication by itself is also not good enough unless it is carried out with deep listening and loving speech.  This according to Thay,  will help alleviate suffering.  Beginning anew is to look deeply into our own nature and transform by watering our good seeds.  Overall, being mindful brings about awareness and being aware leads to understanding and compassion.  And it all starts with ourselves first. 

If Thay’s teaching and retreat activities is of any interest to you, you can visit the following websites : www.plumvillage.org and www.mindfulnessbell.org.  The wonderful thing about the retreat is that it is also available to the children and teenagers. 

  

Wesak

April 27, 2007

When I mentioned Wesak to my friends in the West, they looked at me blankly and said “Wesak? What is that?”  Growing up in the East, I take these things for granted, as we do have a yearly Wesak day which is a national public holiday, and the date is normally either at the end of April or the beginning of May.  On this day, most Buddhists go to the temple and pray.  It is generally known as the Birthday of Buddha.  In fact, it is said to be the day of the birth and death of Buddha.  It is actually the day Buddha attained enlightenment or Buddhahood and his departure from the physical body.

Wesak is a meaningful day for me.  In my observation, almost every year, a month or two before this day, I face some challenges in my personal life.  I notice others are too, in their own ways.  When I have overcome it, Wesak is the day that I celebrate my triumph and show my gratitude.  This is the time that I participate in the Wesak festival or visit the temples to pray and receive blessings.  It is like a graduation and a reminder to continue to be vigilant in practising the buddhist way of life.

The following information is taken from two sites.

The calendar date varies as it is based on the time when the full moon is in the constellation of Taurus (usually the full moon in May).  The new and full moon periods are always times of increased communication with other dimensions. It is as if the veils become thinner between planes, and is why meditation at these times can be very fruitful. When the moon is in Taurus, a special rending of the veils occurs. As legend has it, Buddha, “The Illumination of Light,” and Christ, “The Embodiment of Love,” meet at this time for the benefit of humanity and Earth. The Office of the Christ and the Office of the Buddha work in concert for the vibrational upliftment of humanity. Wesak marks an intense period of Spiritual evaluation in all dimensions. This evaluation sets humanity’s vibrational destiny for the next twelve-month cycle.

According to tradition, Wesak is a time when the Buddha returns to Earth, to bless it. This blessing is transmitted through the Christ for renewed Spiritual life. It is further stated in the legends about Wesak, that when Buddha pours forth the blessing upon the Earth, Christ (who has remanifested upon the Earth) intones a great mantra used only at this time of year. This mantra sets up such a powerful vibration, that it reaches up from Earth directly to Spirit. This mantra is supposedly an interdimensional vibratory link that can connect all the Living Light bodies from Earth to God. Through the Office of the Buddha the Wisdom of God is poured forth, and through the Office of the Christ the Love of God is manifested. This creates a ring pass not communication effect for all active participants.  In modern times, it is common for individuals to meditate at the time of Wesak. Meditators send forth to God as much consciously gathered and focused Christed Love as they can. At the same time humanity is sending a stream of Christed Love to God, a massive down pouring of Divine Intelligence and Understanding will envelop Earth. The upwelling Love of humanity connects vibrationally to a down-pouring vibration of Wisdom; through this connection, the Hierarchy can set the karmic clocks for humanity’s unfoldment. The setting of the karmic clocks is in direct proportion to humanity’s demonstrated ability to assimilate higher Light frequencies. This ability of Earth and humanity to assimilate the higher Light frequencies is in direct proportion to the quality and quantity of focused Light that is generated from Earth. The new vibrational patterns needed for continued soul growth (karmic clocks) are set for a twelve month cycle.

The day of the Festival is to be known as the “day of safeguarding” whilst the two succeeding days are called the “days of distribution.” These words mean something different to the Hierarchy of Masters than they do to us and it is fruitless (as well as forbidden) to elucidate them in their deepest meaning. They mean, however, five days of a most intensive effort in service, leading to the renunciation of all which could hinder our usefulness as channels of spiritual force. It means that after due preparation, dedication and upward striving for the first two days, on the day of the Festival itself we simply regard ourselves as the recipients of, or the custodians of, as much of that inflowing spiritual force as we can possibly hold. As channels, we must be prepared to forget ourselves in the service of touching, containing and holding force for the rest of humanity. We must regard the Festival itself as a day of silence (I refer to an inner peace and silent solemnity that can be preserved unbroken though the individual may be serving through speech and spoken interest), a day of service carried forward entirely on esoteric levels, and of complete self-forgetfulness in the remembrance of humanity and its need. During that period, two thoughts only will hold our constant attention-the need of humanity and the necessity of providing a group channel whereby the spiritual forces can be poured through the body of humanity under the expert guidance of the chosen members of the Hierarchy.

For two days prior to the full moon, we will hold the attitude of dedication and service and seek to assume that attitude of receptivity to that which our soul will impart which will make us of use to the Hierarchy. The Hierarchy works through groups of souls, and the potency of this group work is to be tested out. These groups in their turn contact and feed the waiting dedicated attentive personalities. On the day of the full moon, we attempt to hold ourselves steadily in the light. We will not formulate to ourselves what will happen nor will we look for results or for tangible effects. On the two succeeding days, the focus of our attention will be steadily turned away from ourselves but also from the inner subjective planes to the outer world, and our efforts will be to pass on, or to pass through, that measure of spiritual energy that may have been contacted. Our work then in this particular and peculiar field of cooperation will then be ended. This effort of the Hierarchy is a five days’ effort, preceded by a most intensive period of preparation. The work of getting ready for the opportunity starts for the Hierarchy exactly at the hour when “the sun began to move northward.” But They tire not as do human beings and it is not possible for the human aspirant to keep up so long a period of preparation, no matter how deep his devotion.

When the Great Lord was on Earth, He told His disciples that successful spiritual effort of a healing nature went not forth except by prayer and fasting. Will you ponder on these words? This is a group effort towards a vast group healing and by prayer (sanctified desire, illumined thought and intense aspirational longing) and by the discipline of the physical body for a short period and for a definite objective, the work can be done. What is it that should be accomplished at each momentous full moon in May? I shall state the objective sequentially and in the order of their importance, and with as much clarity and brevity as this abstruse subject permits.

  1. The releasing of certain energies which can potently affect humanity, and which will, if released, stimulate the spirit of love, of brotherhood and of goodwill on the earth. These energies are as definite and as real as those energies with which science occupies itself and calls the “cosmic rays.” I am speaking of real energies and not of emotionally desired abstractions.
  2. The fusion of all the people of goodwill in the world into an integrated responsive whole.
  3. The invocation and the response of certain great Beings, Whose work can and will be possible if the first of the objectives is achieved through the accomplishment of the second objective. Ponder on this synthesis of the three objectives. By what name these Living Forces are called is entirely immaterial. They can be regarded as the Vice-Regents of God, Who can and will cooperate with the Spirit of Life and of Love upon our planet, the One in Whom we live and move and have our being. They may be regarded by certain thinkers as the Archangels of the Most High, Whose work has been made possible through the activity of Christ and His body of disciples, the true and living Church. They may be regarded by others as the guiding heads of the planetary Hierarchy, Who stand behind our planetary evolution, and Who seldom take an active part in the world activity, leaving it to the Masters of the Wisdom except in the time of an emergency such as this. By whatever name we call Them, They stand ready to aid if the call comes forth with sufficient strength and power from the aspirants and disciples at the time of the May full moon and the June full moon.
  4. The evocation from the inner side of a strenuous and one-pointed activity on the part of the Hierarchy of Masters, those illumined Minds to Whom has been confided the work of world direction. A responsiveness is desired and can be effective between the following three groups:
    1. The waiting and (at this time) anxious Hierarchy-anxious because even They cannot tell how humanity will react and whether men will be wise enough to avail themselves of the proffered opportunity. They stand, organised under the direction of the Christ, the Master of all the Masters, and the Teacher alike of angels and of men. He has been constituted the direct intermediary between the earth and the Buddha, Who is, in His turn, consecrated intermediary between the entire waiting Hierarchy and the attentive Forces.
    2. The New Group of World Servers, composed at this time of all those sensitive and consecrated servers of the race whose objective is world peace, who aim at the establishing of goodwill on earth as the basis for future living and world expansion. Originally, this group was composed of a handful of accepted disciples and consecrated aspirants. Its ranks have been opened – . . to all those people of goodwill who are willing to sacrifice themselves for the helping of humanity, and who see no separating bar of any kind, but feel alike to the men of all races, nationalities and religions.
    3. The masses of men and women who have responded to the ideas which have been set forth, and who react favorably to the objective of international understanding, economic interdependence and religious unity. When these three groups of thinkers and servers are brought en rapport with each other, and when the three groups can be aligned, even momentarily, much can be accomplished; the gates of the new life can be opened, and the inflow of the new spiritual forces can take place. Such is the Group objective and idea.

World Prayer

April 14, 2007
I have come across many, many dear friends who lament about the sufferings and the insatiable world situation, the inappropriateness of the decisions and actions executed by those in power or has been given the responsibility or the mandate to do so.I feel their genuineness and sincerity in their heart really aching for the condition.  For some of them, the only reality they see, is futilty.  I do have compassion for these people who personally take on the burdens of the world and dwell in misery and wish they could do more and yet feel they are not doing enough.Some even feel like giving up their life because the world condition in their view is too painful.  Some have experienced the war themselves and wish no more for others.  Some even got into the cycle of a broken record of not having to let go a day without some form of release of their frustration, criticizing and condemning.  The only thing that probably pacify them for the day is the chance to find someone who takes the same stand and have a good political discussion, maybe, over a drink.

There is no right or wrong to this as we create our own world that is around us.  The following is just my personal view.  For those who can do something about it, it would be best to take proper action.  For those who cannot do anything about it, they, actually, can still do something about it.  First, is to stop lamenting about it.There is enough misery in the world, why do we add on to it by frustrating ourselves and maybe others around us, possibly affected by the projected misery.  As crude as it may sound, why save the world when you cannot even save yourself.

How about starting by making things right and happy for yourself and around you. E.g. taking care of yourself and health first.  By being happy, you radiate happiness to those around you, your family, your friends.  Thus, the world has one happier person, i.e. you plus your others or in other words, one less miserable person, you, plus others.

If everyone has the capacity to will and do that, can you imagine, what the atmosphere will be like?  The world will have more happy people.  This happy vibration will reverbrate and perpectuate to alleviate the misery in the world and hopefully to a nil level.  The other thing that everyone can do about it is to pray for the situation or pray that those who are in power will come to their senses or get out of a stuck situation to do or allow for the highest good.  If everyone starts condemning these leaders, when will they ever get a chance to come out of it. 

This is only my humble opinion.  I would like to share this world prayer with you channelled by Ann Albers and the angels.  I amended the last sentence.  Thank you for all the blessings that is showered on us.  

earth
WORLD PRAYER
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Divine Source
We call to You with open hearts and the innocence and purity of children.Bless each of us, our families, our communities,our nations & our world with sweet peace.

Help us heal the war between our heads and our hearts so there will be no more wars between nations.

Help us soothe our own pain and anger so there will be no more violence on our streets.

Allow us to release all our lost expectations so we may walk in the beauty of the Present Moment.

Erase from us the fear of lack so we can share our resources, our time, and our stories with one another, knowing that all will come back to us tenfold.Teach us to love ourselves so we can truly love others.

Remind us we are precious in Your sight.  

Help us see our uniqueness, experience our beauty, and know our powerful ability to create.

We ask you to help us experience life as it was meant to be lived.Gift us, Dear Divine Source, with the energy, the faith, the will, and the guidance to create our dream of Heaven on Earth.


We pray for peace on earth, support for all victims of natural and unnatural disasters, healing for hurting hearts, bodies, minds, and souls, and clarity in all our decisions. We pray for quick and easy resolution to all difficult and painful situations and lessons. We ask you to guide us and those we love with Grace and assist us in learning our lessons as gently as possible so we can release the struggle in our lives.We pray especially for all our special intentions of all souls coming from pure love.