Monday, January 27, 2014

My Thoughts on the Elect

The Elect, by Luca Signorelli. Image Source

God has been trying to teach me something about “the elect” since last April. Every time I pulled a hookum from the scriptures I would open to Romans 8 or 9, and more recently D&C 25.

I studied it every which way but I still didn’t like the concept of the elect. I am a Libra. I am about equality and balance and I firmly believe, as Christ taught, that God is no respecter of persons--that all of His children are equally dear. Yet he also says that he foreordained certain people before the foundation of the world because they were special…. How could both be true?

Then one day I just got it. Call this the book of Felice, but this how I finally made sense of it.  

It’s like school. I was a high achiever in school, except for one experience in a Shakespeare class where I strove to be a low achiever, but that is another story. I believe that in the pre-mortal life there was a school; it was different than our schools here, but similar enough for the comparison. I believe we had free choice there, and we were allowed to choose what we wanted to do. We could chose classes, we could cut class, we could do ridiculously over the top extra credit that wasn’t part of the course, or not. We could even invent our own classes. And it was all okay either way, because we chose it all, and God enjoyed watching us learn. 

I imagine different spirits pursued different interests and passions. For example, some chose to pursue music. Motzart is someone I am thinking of. He composed his first symphony at 4 years old. I know some brilliant 4 year olds, but 4 years is not enough time to develop that level of skill. I’m positive that he brought some with him.

Perhaps one of the available classes was: “How To Become Like God.” Jesus Christ probably taught the class.

I don’t like to think of it in terms of grades in school, but it is the best metaphor I have.  In the area of becoming like God, some spirits advanced further than others. The best personal experience I can share is from my daughter’s Kindergarten class, where I used to volunteer once/week. I grew to love all of those kids. A few of them were problematic and weren’t learning much, but I loved them A LOT. Sometimes had to discipline them and separate them, though. The smart and well-behaved kids were also great. I didn’t love them any more than any of the others, but I knew that I could rely on them to help me and the other students when things came down to the wire. Test time.  Or whatever you want to call these times.  

In these terms is how I understand the heavenly paradox of the elect. The elect are people who were highly advanced before they came, and God knew he could rely on them for important things in the great plan of awesomeness. Of course, these people still have choice in how things play out, or whether they keep their sacred contracts or not. Many of the elect, from what I have seen and studied in the scriptures, don’t have any idea for a long time that they are elect or what their sacred contract might be. (Moses was herding sheep when the bush started burning.) This is because we all drank from the river of forgetfulness, so to speak. But eventually, through a series of divine hunches and nudges and coincidences, a person is led to their life’s purpose.

I finally accepted that I am elect. Not special, per se, but foreordained, and willing to help. It’s a strange thing to awaken to. I’m just a regular girl who likes long walks on the beach, etcetera.  But I am also a foreordained teacher, a gatherer, and am aiding God in the restoration of some things. 

But enough about me. It is so amazing to watch and interact with the other elect souls that God keeps sending to me.  Sometimes I just read their name in an email and I know that I knew them in heaven. Some are just waking up to their sacred contracts, but all are excited to build Zion. If you are wondering if you are elect, the answer is probably yes. Most people who are awake in these last days and are excited about building Zion, are the elect.

The elect are not always obvious, though. Not all of them have public presence or any outwardly detectable features. Sometimes they are just quietly living life and raising a family, and being good friends, but they are strategically placed to help and influence the influencers, and so reach thousands.  I can think of one friend of mine who is has been a bright star in my life. She is so young she can’t rent a car, and she has no public platform, but she has the wisdom and clarity of ages.  She has influenced me in so many ways. In fact, she is the one who asked me to teach meditation from an LDS perspective. I had no idea it would turn out to be my destiny. There is an old saying that our destiny is written on our foreheads. To others it may be obvious, but it is not as easy to see it yourself. I am grateful she read something there and asked and asked again until I did it.

Things got crazy at one of my writing classes. Image Source
And perhaps we can help each other awaken to our purposes in similar ways, by being the mirror, the inviter, the teacher, the student, the healer, the healed.  

Friday, January 24, 2014

Joy with a capital J

After a recent post I had a few questions about my statement that Joy has no opposite. Several people felt that I was teaching wrong doctrine and pointed out to me scriptures that say that misery is the opposite of joy. This is true, misery is the opposite of joy. I guess I need to clarify that I am talking about Joy with a capital J, which is similar to Love with a capital L--which is God.

"God is Love" is one of my favorite scriptures. I also believe God is Joy with a capital J. God has no opposite and that kind of Love and Joy have no opposite. There is nothing one can equate them with in this earthly realm. Very few people have an experience of this Love or Joy in their life times. Those who do, usually only experience it for a few seconds, but even that blink in time causes them to feel reborn. I have felt this on many occasions now and so I can tell you from experience.  As I continue on the path He has set me on, I hope with all my heart to eventually live in this light at all times.

Cloven tongues of fire. 
I believe from my limited experience that it is true what I keep stumbling upon in Romans 8:18 "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."

Though the scriptures mention many times that there must be an "opposition in all things," opposition is not an eternal concept. All these scriptures, read in context, are talking about our testing period during this mortal earthly life. And we know that some people during their lifetimes, reach a point where they no longer are subject to this test. For example, translated beings do not suffer hunger or thirst or temptation or death. And in the next life, from what the scriptures say, opposition will be a thing of the past:  God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Revelation 21:4)

Though God has no opposite, that does not mean Satan does not exist. He does. And he's nasty. He may appear to be God's opposite here on earth, but only because God allows it. God does not need an opposite to be God. And if He did have an equal and opposite, He would cease to be God and it wouldn't matter which power we chose. Nothing would matter, and Earth probably wouldn't be here because God wouldn't be God and he would be too busy fighting his own battles with opposition.

Sometimes I have wondered if God can weep for his children, then maybe he does suffer.... But I have come to the conclusion that I only understand a small fraction of things and though we know God feels emotions (that is the only earthly way to describe them) this does not mean he feels them as we do, or that he is living in a world of opposites. As I already said, but I'll say it a different way, if he was, we would not be Omnipotent. Joseph Smith says in his Lectures on Faith, that in order to have faith in God, it must be based on a God that is omnipotent. Therefore, if God has an opposite, He is not omnipotent, and we have no basis of faith.

At this point in our journey, if you are reading this, you likely still need opposition in all things. (Unless you are John the Beloved and reading this. In this case, please come visit me. I love you.) As I mentioned in my post about the Chakras and the Two Trees in the Garden of Eden, it is the clash of opposing forces that makes the vortex spin. The vortex is one of the most powerful forces in nature (tornadoes, hurricanes, chakras, etc.)  The swirling vortex motif repeats itself so often in creation: from the shape of galaxies, the chakras, the rising serpentine energy of the kundalini, and even down to the microscopic DNA double helix. And that powerful swirling force, created by opposites, is what can give us the energy to reach new heights (or can plunge us to new lows). Both happiness and sorrow are sacred and essential to our progression. But not forever.

I believe in what LDS doctrine calls Eternal Progression. Is it eternal in that is never ending, or is it eternal in that it is God's progression? I don't know. But I do know God's progression is no longer based on opposition. His increase in glory comes from increase in worlds and posterity. (There was a quote on this in last Sunday's Priesthood/RS lesson. I challenge you to go find it.)

Don't get me wrong, there may still be polarity creating this power, and if there is, I believe it may be the perfectly balanced polar energies of the masculine and feminine: Heavenly Mother and Heavenly Father.
When I think of it this way, I realize the importance of marriage and creation and why Satan works so hard in this life to thwart these two things while he has the opportunity to do so.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My Dream About Lionel Richie

A few nights ago I had this dream that I was in a piano bar of sorts and there were lots of people and lots of different pianos all over and people were forming groups around different piano players and noticed that Lionel Richie had walked in. He didn't really look like Lionel, but sort of, and he had a name tag on that said LIONEL RICHIE and so even though it didn't look like him I knew it was and I was super excited to hear him play, but no one else seemed to notice that it was Lionel Richie, despite his name tag and no one offered him their piano.

I kept saying, "Don't you get it? It's Lionel Richie!" But no one really seemed to care or even to look up.

Then I finally managed to get him a piano and he started to play and because of my excitement, I was able to get a few people to come and join me in listening, but I was surprised that we were really only a very few that were listening and enjoying hearing a master play.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Empathetic Bonding With Reepicheep

This post is about prosperity, intention, imagination, and new names. Since moving to Ojai I have seen so many miracles as it relates to prosperity. Everything I need and many things I wish for even off-handedly, come to me-- like a gorgeous place to live, help with my book from so many sources, the ideal school/homeschool hybrid, and more. Well this week I realized another prosperity miracle. It is about my car. I drive an adorable green convertible that I love. But it's old. It is going on 17 years old.

Like me, it has always looked young for its age, and for many years it gave me no trouble. I didn't drive it much, and even though I lived in LA, it had low miles. But then we ran into a few years where it started to act its age. It died about 4 times in one year and each time I thought it was going to give up the ghost. But then something would happen, and for a few hundred dollars, and sometimes only a few dollars, it was revived. But it had stopped being something I could rely on. I used to worry about driving more than an hour away because what if it broke down?
May 2011. One of my breakdowns was documented by the friend who saved me. 
So this year as I came into my full awareness of all the prosperity that was available to me if I only just asked, I began to think about my car. I could surely manifest a new reliable car. But thinking about a new car made me sad and I didn't really like what the word "reliable" implied. The things we own sometimes become a part of our identity, whether we want them to or not. So I realized I was going to have to be specific if I was asking for a new car. So I put it out there that if my car died, I would really like another car that is reliable, but also cute, and a convertible (you can't go back once you own one), and I would like to have this magical car appear with all expenses paid. I don't believe in making car payments, and why not ask God to pay the insurance, too. Oh and good gas mileage would be a plus. Then I totally forgot about it. 

Around the time we moved to Ojai, it somehow occurred to me that I had never named my car. I had tried in the past but nothing stuck. But a name chose itself this time and it was Reepicheep. If you have read the Chronicles of Narnia, you will know and love this name. Reepicheep was a talking mouse character, who was a great and noble warrior and very loyal. He sailed to end of the world with his kings and queens and I felt that it suited my little green VW who has been a good team mate for so long. 

Every now and then I find myself patting the dashboard and saying "Thanks, Reep. I love you."

Fastforward to now. It has been 6 months since we moved here and I can't think of a single problem I have had with my car and I have taken it on many long journeys. The LA temple is now an hour and a half away and I go all the time. And we we even drove to the Sequoias last fall, which ended up being a 4-5 hour drive (one way), and I haven't really worried about it. 

I realized that this rebirth of my car has been just one of many prosperity miracles. I think that God probably listened to my list of what I wanted and based on my description, saw that what I really wanted was the car I had, but for it to be more "reliable." And so that is what happened. Oh, and my insurance also went down $300 when I moved. Nice.

Love Reepicheep.

On the way to yoga.

Glamour Girl has been riding in this coach since birth. 

Convertibles are great for hauling large objects like this stick/branch she insisted on taking home.
Lani snapped this while she was here.

This miracle reminds me of/has me thinking of several different things:

Right now I am reading The Neverending Story to my daughter. It is so cool. If you haven't read the book, it's way deeper than the movie (also fun). But basically the gist is that all of Fantastica (and imaginary land inside of a book but which turns out to be much more tied in with "reality" than is first realized) is about to be destroyed unless they can get a human from the outside world to come and give the Childlike Empress a new name. This new name revives her, and then through her power and the imagination of this human, all of Fantastica is reborn. Interesting, huh?  You will have to read the book to get all the layers of meaning there. 

I am also reminded of a cool study done at Princeton University on the effects of intention on random number generating machines. The studies proved that by using only intention, people could get a random number generating machine to generate a predictable pattern of numbers. The study was repeated with 250,000 participants. Amazing I know. But what was most interesting to me was that they found that the results were better and faster when a person first spent some time doing some empathetic bonding with the machine, like people do with their cars. They also found that when a couple, who were in love, were the ones to direct their intention at it, these results were also super fast and awesome. 

Therefore: intention, imagination, and love really do have the power to heal/change all things, even machines, which we often think of as cold, or without life. And sometimes, a new name has all this power within it.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Ra Ma Da Sa Sa Say So Hung Healing Meditation Instructions and Music for You

 I have been a little silent on the blogosphere for a few weeks because I am trying to spend every free moment on my book. Well, I finally got Lani to write up the details of one of her amazing meditation stories, and she shared it here. It will also be in my book. But now I feel like I should post specific instructions on how to do a healing meditation with the mantra Ra Ma Da Sa. I shared instructions to it in one of my recent posts, but I thought I should make it easy to find without having to read my whole story about the ghosts at the house next door. So here it is: How to do a healing meditation with one of the most powerful mantras in the world. And here is a link to listen to or buy Snatam Kaur's version of this mantra. It looks like it is actually free today. I don't know how long that will last, so click over and get it asap if you want.

Ra Ma Da Sa Sa Say So Hung.

It means: Sun, Moon, Earth, Totality, Infinity, I am Thou.

Lani points out in her post that this is basically a super condensed version of D&C 88:7-13

This is the light of Christ. As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made. As also he is in the moon, and is the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which it was made; As also the light of the stars, and the power thereof by which they were made; And the earth also, and the power thereof, even the earth upon which you stand. And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings; Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space—The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God.
I've said it before. I will say it again. All the good mantras are about Christ.

This is mantra is specifically a healing mantra. Just chanting it or listening to it will bring healing. Doing a meditation for healing is even more powerful. Here is how to do several different versions of healing meditations with this same mantra.

To do this healing meditation you can sit like this:

alone or in a circle and chant the mantra for 11-31 minutes. If you are forming a circle some people can lie down in the center of the circle if thy want to do nothing but receive healing. Those on the outside will receive healing as well. You can also mentally place people or animals or situations in the circle. The healing will reach them.

You can also sit like this, alone or in a cirlce:

Sit in easy pose. Put your left hand at your navel point. The right hand is up by your side, elbow bent with the palm forward as if taking an oath. The left hand is on the navel. 

The movement is timed with the chanting. At "RA," begin slowly pushing your hand forward and continue as you chant out loud or listen silently until your arm is straight, paralell to the ground and palm down on "HUNG." 

The right arm moves as if giving a a blessing or sending blessings to yourself, others, or even a situation. Inhale the hand back to the starting position and begin again at RA. Continue for 11-31 minutes.

You could do this meditation every day for the rest of your life. It will not only heal you but can give you the power to heal.

If the person you want to send healing to is with you can hold their left hand do the right hand as described above. Or if a person is very ill, shaking or shivering, you can place your left hand on their navel point ad place your right hand on their pituitary gland and chant the mantra out loud or silently.

The same distance rules apply to this one. If the person is not present you can just mentally place them in the circle or allow the healing energy to find them wherever they are. Healing Energy has an intelligence of its own.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

End Fear Detour - Jennifer's Story

The following story was one of many I have been receiving for the book I am working on. I actually solicited this story from Jennifer, because I knew part of it and I thought it would work well as part of my mind-body chapter. When she sent it to me, I learned things about her journey I didn't know and I just thought it was a such a short and concise example of so many principles that I had to share it NOW on my blog.

My journey to mediation and yoga started  in 2012 when my family switched to eating a plant-based diet. The more we ate less junk, the more I felt the promise found in D&C section 89:19 coming true for me. "And  shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;" 
I stumbled on Felice's blog during my scripture study one day and  the more I read, the more I was drawn to mediation. I did several scripture studies on it and found that the scriptures and prophets tell us to take time to mediate. I had always used the words mediate and ponder interchangeably. I pondered the scriptures and the things of God and therefore thought I was meditating on them but I didn't fully understand what mediation was until I signed up to do the 40-Day Mediation Challenge.
I started doing  Kirtan Kriya  and Kundalini Yoga and within a week my prayers deepened and became more focused. My scripture study  was more alive with things I wanted to learn. I was also more open to learn things I haven't seen before in my scriptures, in my church meetings, and the world around me. It was great!
The inspiration I was gaining was wonderful for me. My husband was deployed to the Middle East and I was home alone with  3 little girls ages 5,3, and 1 and I was pregnant with our 4th child.  I relied very heavily on priesthood blessings from my husband for answers to my  questions and prayers and he wasn't here to do that for me.  Feeling this inspiration was such a blessing and filled the void that came from the lack of priesthood blessings.
A few weeks into the 40-day challenge I was assigned to do the meditation for healing addictions and a meditation for releasing anger and negativity in addition to  Kirtan Kriya. During the releasing anger and negativity mediation I would often bring up several minutes worth of anger and frustration about my debilitating fear of driving.  
I was in a car accident with my mother and my siblings when I was about 12 years old.  I was in the front passenger seat and saw the car coming our way and hitting us.  Ever since that day I had a fear of driving. I didn't want to be responsible for the lives of others on the road or in my car.  I never ever wanted to drive. The thought of it made me ill.  
I remember when I was 16 years old, I heard my dad tell my sister he was going to take me out to go and learn how to drive. I hid in my dad's office under the desk and behind some paper for close to  20 min as my dad called for me and looked for me. This is the only time in my life I remember specifically not  coming when called for. I felt guilty for not being obedient but  I didn't want to go. I was totally frightened.  
Some weeks later my parents convinced me that I needed to try to drive and that if I wanted to grow up and be a good mother to my children I needed to be able to  take them places.  I took drivers ED and passed , I took my drivers license test and passed but every time I had to get in a car I felt like I was going to be sick and I hated it. This fear of driving and being lost and killing or hurting others when I was in a car became my norm, part of my personality, who I was. I identified myself and others identified me with this anti-driving characteristic. But it was not who Heavenly Father wanted me to be.
For some reason though around this time I planed to take a trip to see my parents for Thanksgiving. It was to be my first road trip ever. I didn't want to spend the holidays alone with out my husband and I felt in my heart that now was the time to try and conquer this fear or at least attempt a trip. I had never even driven on a freeway before and the trip would involve 15 hours of driving. I was nervous one minute and confident the next about making this trip. 
I knew it was the right thing to do but if I wasn't careful the fear of driving made me doubt.  The more I brought it up in my mediation and the more I planed for this trip the more flash backs I would get of our accident when I was young.
I asked Felice about a different mediation or if it was the meditation at all that was bring on these constant flash backs. She recommended  doing a session with her to release some trauma before I attempted the road trip, and she said that she only had one day open before my trip. She told me to pray about it and tell her if I wanted to take it or not. I prayed and prayed and prayed. My husband had already talked to me that morning so I was not able to counsel with him or ask him what he thought I should do, or even if it was okay to spend a large amount of money on the session.  
I knew in my heart that I wanted to do it. But I also knew that my husband would feel bad if I had made a big decision like that with out talking to him.  I finally asked a neighbor for a priesthood blessing. In the blessing I was counsel to take the session and that my husband would understand and be supportive.  The blessing also said that "Satan will no longer have power over you to keep you from going and doing things, you will be  free from the debilitating affects of  the accident and be troubled by them no more."
After the session I felt so  much better. I felt more complete and more like who I am meant to be.  I made it to my parents house and back with no problems. I have also driven other places without the feeling of fear or panic. I thought of all the times I  had not gone to and activity or opted not to do something because the drive scared me. I thought of the many opportunities I had lost because I felt like it was something I couldn't do. It was so uplifting to feel free from those worries and cares.
I didn't realize how much control  Satan had over me by playing on this one fear, this one traumatic event.  Now I can GO and DO things and not hang back and have to follow someone or not go at all.  Being able to take control of my life and not let certain things control me has made such a difference in what I feel like I can do and  what I am capable of. This has also caused me to take a look at other areas of my life that I need to change in order to keep Satan from using them as tools to control me and keep me from my divine potential and eternal destiny. 
As I read the scriptures,  pray, attend the temple, and continue to mediate I feel stronger and more in control of my own life. I also feel my life being guided by God he helps me to use fears and weaknesses as learning opportunities or as ways to become more like Him instead of having those fears and weaknesses be used as  tools or ways for my life to be detoured by Satan.

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Lovely Way To Do No Harm

Phoebe took this picture this morning on her photography walk. I think it is poem worthy.
For Christmas, my dear sweet poet friend send me a book called The Poetry Home Repair Manual, by Ted Kooser.

Last year at this time when I was in my dark night of the soul, I took her poetry class, and it was often the only thing that I had to look forward to. Poetry is just one of the daily miracles that helped me through those months.

This is a book I had been wanting ever since I heard her mention the title last summer. And so far, it is brilliant. I have been drunk on reading it since New Year's Eve and I thought I would share one really great part.

By the way, Ted Kooser was the U.S. Poet Laureate from 2004-2006. Did you know that there is a national poet appointed every two years. Yep. He/she is called the Poet Laureate, and part of their appointment is to try to make the country better through poetry. This book, published in 2005, was probably part of that effort.

To preface this, I should say that I have been writing for years, and sometimes I write poems, (here is a favorite) but I have never called myself a poet, because I always believed that this would be offensive to real poets (whatever the definition of real poet was in my mind).

But Ted has a great section in which he addresses these elitist notions about poetry. Here is an excerpt:

"Considering the ways in which so many of us waste our time, what would be wrong with a world in which everybody were writing poems? After all, there's a significant service to humanity in spending time doing no harm. While you're writing your poem there's one less scoundrel in the world. And I'd like a world, wouldn't you, in which people actually took time to think about what they were saying? It would be, I'm certain, a more peaceful, more reasonable place. I don't think there could ever be too many poets. By writing poetry, even those poems that fail and fail miserably, we honor and affirm life. We say 'We loved the world but could not stay.'"

Brilliant, no?

I used to teach writing and I sort of miss it. I think I will plan some poetry readings in the near future for anyone who wants to come visit my oasis here. If you want to make my day, feel free to share or link a favorite poem in comments.

Here is a link to one that inspired the title of my other blog. Enjoy!