Posted in Agape Project, Authentic Freedom, Spiritual Practices, Virtual Church

Love – the true fulfillment

Agape meditation newsletter, supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church service for Sunday, September 7, 2014.  The theme:  LOVE

 

Scripture Reading:

Brothers and sisters: Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet, ” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.

Rom 13: 8-10

 

Additional Readings:

Ez 33: 7-9

Ps 95: 1-2, 6-9

Mt 18: 15-20

heartchakraclipart 

Love – the fulfillment of the law

As St. Paul observed, there is nothing else we need to learn in the human experience if we learn how to love. Coming to know the love that is our true and original nature, and then living as that love in the world, IS the “do-all, end-all, be-all” we are all looking for. When we know this love, we are happy, content, fulfilled and we know peace. When we live this love, we act accordingly. We no longer act out of our fearful and compulsive natures, instead acting only out of love. This is how we come to experience “heaven on earth” and how we show others to do the same. When we live out of the love that we are, we act as a mirror, causing the spark of love that lives within others to be awakened. Of course, they have to decide what to do with that spark of love. But even should they reject or turn away from that love, the love that we know within ourselves causes us to have compassion for those who are unable to accept the love that they are.

What would the world look like if everyone came to know the love that they are and then chose to live that love in the world?  

How are you called to more fully embrace the love that is your true and original nature?  

 

 

Spiritual Practices – Let’s Pretend

“Fake it ‘til you make it” is a helpful sentiment when attempting to remember the love that is our true and original nature. In embracing this sentiment, we are taking a leap of faith – entertaining the possibility that LOVE really IS our original nature….and not the fears and compulsions that tend to make up the human experience. For this exercise, you will be invited to momentarily set aside any doubts about love being your original nature and PRETEND that you believe. And if you already believe love to be your original nature, than this exercise will be even easier.

 

  • Sit in silence.
  • Believe that love is your original nature.
  • Imagine this love as a source of bright green or fuschia light originating in the center of your chest, near your heart.
  • While sitting in silence, draw your attention to this light of love in the center of your chest and rest there.
  • When you find your attention straying, bring it back to the light of love in your heart.
  • Believe that as you hold your attention on this source of love within you, that your believe in this love is growing stronger.
  • Believe that as you hold your attention on this love, that you are being healed of any inner obstacles to believing more fully in this love.
  • Believe that this love is cleansing and healing you of any places of past hurt or betrayal.
  • Continue this attention and awareness exercise for 20-30 minutes.
  • Record your thoughts, feelings and experiences of this exercise in your notebook or journal.

 

Authentic Freedom

In Authentic Freedom, we acknowledge the heart chakra as the energy center that corresponds with love. It is through the heart chakra and its related physical, emotional, mental and spiritual correspondences that love resides, along with all of our life experiences which have been a denial of this love. The effects of grief, disappointment, loss and betrayal are all housed within the heart chakra, hampering our ability to love freely. In order to know more fully the love that we are and to live that love more fully in the world, we need to find healing for the past hurts that have hindered our ability to love. Healing comes through active grieving and through diligent attention to forgiveness practices. Being freed of these past wounds, we are more able to love – both ourselves and others with the unconditional love that is our original nature.

What past hurts, losses, betrayals, disappointments are you aware of that may be compromising your ability to know the love that you are and live that love more freely in the world? 

How might you support yourself, or seek outside support for healing these past wounds?

 

Posted in Agape Project, Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Body/Mind/Spirit connection, Spiritual Practices, Virtual Church

Spiritual Beings in Human Form – Virtual Church Meditation Supplement

Please find below, the Agape’ meditation supplement for the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church for this coming Sunday, July 6, 2014.  The theme this week is FLESH – we are spiritual beings here to have a human experience.  How are we making the connection between our spiritual and our human self?  How can we more fully honor the human experience while allowing our spiritual natures to more fully inform and guide us?

 

 

Scripture Reading:

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives lifebecause of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because ofhis Spirit who lives in you.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

Romans 8: 9 -13

 

Additional Readings:

 

Zec 9: 9-10

Ps 145: 1-2, 8-9, 10-11, 13-14

MT 11: 25-30

 

Having a Human Experience

This week’s reading from Paul’s letter to the Romans reminds me of a popular saying:

We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

Paul’s words are kind of a twist on this saying. In saying that we are not “in the realm of flesh,” Paul is acknowledging that when we allow the Spirit to be the center of and guide our lives, we are able to remember our true nature and transcend the perceived separation of the human condition. We no longer live in the fear that is the opposite of our true nature which is love.

What Paul does not say, but is implied by this reading (and informed by many of his other writings), is that the flesh, in and of itself, is not evil. In fact, God made us to be human so that we could have a human experience. As such, the human experience and the flesh suits we are wearing are not to be rejected, but instead, are to be infused and informed by our life in the Spirit – which is love. When we do this, we understand the words of the Psalmist, “Darkness and Light are but one.”

How are you tempted to reject the human experience?

 

How are you invited to remember your original nature as the Spirit of Love and how does this inform your human experience?

 

Spiritual Practices – Feed My Sheep

For this exercise, you will need two sheets of paper and a box of crayons.

1)      Slowly and meditatively read the scripture above.

2)      Draw two outlines of the human form.

3)      On the first one, draw human features – hair, eyes, nose, skin, clothes, etc. While completing the drawing, reflect on the human experience. What do you appreciate about it? What challenges you? What are you tempted to reject. Then reflect on yourself as an individual human. What do you appreciate about yourself? What are you tempted to reject?

4)      On the second outline, draw your spiritual self. What does your Divine Spiritual Nature look like? What and who are you REALLY? Remember that your original nature is love, light, peace, joy, fulfillment, contentment, harmony, wholeness, health and wellbeing. Draw that.

5)      Look at the two pictures side by side and reflect on what you are seeing.

6)      Write your thoughts and reflections in a journal or notebook.

 

Authentic Freedom

In Authentic Freedom, become aware of the intimate connection between our physical form and our Divine Spiritual Nature. It is often through our physical form and experiences that our true nature tries to communicate to us. The chakras, which come to us from yoga and ayurvedic medicine provide the map that helps us to draw the connection between our physical symptoms and our deeper emotional and spiritual terrain. Following is a chart which shows the chakras and their corresponding connections.

EnergyAnatomy

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom Book

Foreword – Authentic Freedom, Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy

Time for a little shameless, self-promotion!  Today’s post is the Foreword to my upcoming book, Authentic Freedom, Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy. The Foreword was graciously and generously penned by one of my teachers and mentors, Julie Tallard Johnson and I am deeply humbled to receive these words.  I know Julie to be a person of deep authenticity and integrity and you can know that if she says something to be true….it most certainly is.  I do not take her words lightly which makes me even more humbled to receive this Foreword from her.  Thank you Julie!


FOREWORD

I only read or recommend books where I am certain the author has walked her talk.

You are holding such a book.

The moment I met Lauri, to the last page of this book, I witnessed a journey of authenticity that leads my Christian brothers and sisters to personal freedom. This book is a simple and compelling means to claim God’s inheritance. Lauri offers genuine ways to heal the separation today’s Christians often feel from themselves, God and each other. It is a journey that you take on your own but not alone.

She points the way with a gentle but firm hand encouraging us to heal the divide between us and the Divine. She calls this journey one to Authentic Freedom. There are many “freedoms” that present themselves to us that in fact lead us away from our true nature and Divine inheritance. To avoid these you need someone who has walked her talk.

Her inquiry practices and exercises guide the reader gently through a process that can only lead to one’s true birthrights of inner wisdom and happiness. She doesn’t make false promises instead relies on your willingness to heal the divide from your side and take the necessary steps toward your spiritual legacy.

She bravely challenges one’s perception of God while borrowing from her studies in Lay Ministry in the Catholic Diocese, reveals Christian practices that offer direct experience with the Divine, and presents real means to the Christian Mystical Experience incorporating the Yogic Chakra system and her studies in Reiki energy. She doesn’t hold back and boldly reveals to the reader the hidden teachings of Christ that her studies and practices uncovered.

If you feel a divide within yourself, have had a painful relationship with the church, are searching for means to heal the wounds of the past, or want a journey that uses the teachings of Jesus the Christ, you have found the perfect book. Don’t set it down until you know what Lauri knows, God has been within you all along.

Julie Tallard Johnson, MSW, LCSW author of The Wheel of Initiation: Practices for Releasing Your Inner Light.