Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Book, Forgiveness, Relationships, Spiritual Development

Spiritual Growth and Our Changing Understanding of the Divine

Below is an excerpt from my book, Authentic Freedom- Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy.  Authentic Freedom provides a comprehensive path and protocol for supporting our inner spiritual development, integrating the contemplative practices of the Judeo-Christian tradition with knowledge of the chakras.  Learn more HERE.

Buy it now on Amazon

 

In the beginning and middle stages of spiritual growth, it is helpful to perceive God as intimately personal and human-like and as something distinct from us.  At the same time, these personal images of God do not begin to touch the vast nature of our Divine Source.   Eventually, to truly embrace the fullness of the truth of Oneness, and of love as our true nature, we have to look beyond these personal images to something more infinite.  Looking to the deeper translation of the term Abwoon that Jesus so frequently used to address God, we begin to get a glimpse of the vastness of the Divine.

O Though from whom the breath of life flows and is present in all forms of vibration and light.           (Prayers of the Cosmos, Neil Douglas-Klotz)

It is difficult to grasp the transcendent, indwelling and infinite nature of God with our human mind, and so we have to reach beyond our minds to the lived experience in order to grasp this truth.  The writings attributed to John best express the fullness of this lived experience.  It is clear through these writings that the author had a deeply personal and experiential relationship with the I Am.  It is through this experience that the concept of God as love itself is most clearly articulated.

God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.  In this is love brought to perfection among us, that we have confidence on the day of judgment because as he is, so are we in this world.  There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.  We love because God loved us first.       1 John 4: 16b – 19

As the author of John experienced, God is love.  Applying this expanded understanding to our existing relationship with God, it stands to reason that if God is love, it is in fact, love that created us.  As such, the love that is God lives in and through us.  In this way, not only are we loved, we are love itself.  Love is, in fact, our rightful inheritance, our true nature, our identity.  We are able to live out of this true nature when we remember that we are One with God and hence, one in love.

HOLY VIRTUE – Compassion

As we accept the truth that we are One in love with God we become content in the love that we are and we no longer feel compelled to seek that love outside of us.  This love-filled contentment invites us to explore the rewriting of our fairytales.  As we (the protagonist) come to know the love that is deep within ourselves, we exponentially increase our ability to live in the truth of this love.  Knowing that we are comprised of love, we no longer need to build defenses around ourselves, and the fortresses around our hearts begin to disintegrate and we find that we can trust ourselves and others.  Understanding that conditional love can never be a source of fulfillment, we no longer find ourselves compelled to seek the handsome prince or beautiful princess that will be able to give us our happily ever after.  Love, we remember, is who we are. As we grow in this confidence, we are able to go out into the world reflecting the love that we now know within ourselves.  It is here that we shall experience the truest expression of the virtue of compassion.  It is here that we shall find our happily ever after.

Authentic Freedom is also available as an online course, facilitated by Lauri Ann Lumby.  Learn more HERE. 

 

Posted in Initiation, self-actualization, shame, sin, spiritual awakening

Eve’s Serpent – the Voice of the Soul

When Eve appeared to me in the early hours of Saturday morning, she arrived with her companion. This companion, I was told, represented the tools of her trade.

If Eve’s true nature is that of Awakener,

then the tools of her trade are all the ways in which the Soul seeks to be known.

In scriptural literature, this companion was given the form of the serpent and has been cast into the role of demon for luring the original humans into disobedience, thereby causing the “original sin” which forever cast human beings into a life of suffering.

The story of humanity’s “fall” is a myth. Plain and simple, it is a story which attempts to explain the nature of the human condition, while also acknowledging a deep, ancient memory of something more. It is unfortunate that when forming its doctrine, the Christian church chose to use this story as a weapon against humanity – shaming us into believing there is something inherently disordered about us and that life was about seeking approval and forgiveness for “sins” that are not even our own.  Even Jesus, it seemed, could not undo the cause of this “original sin.”  Sigh!

Let’s return to the serpent. In yesterday’s lesson, I spoke of the true nature of Eve as a metaphor for the human calling to awaken – to awaken out of our fearful nature and into the truth of our Soul.  This is what Eve metaphorically did when she chose to eat of the tree of knowledge – her eyes were open and now she could see as the “gods” and was given the ability to reason, discern and exercise her truth.  But before she could awaken, Eve had to hear the voice of her Soul.  The serpent represents that voice.

As I have described in many lessons in both my local and online courses:

Soul is the uniquely creative way in which you have been gifted to find meaning and purpose in your life and the way in which you are called to find fulfillment in service to the betterment of the world. Soul is our true self – the part of us that knows our gift and our call, and is that which compels us to seek out, discover, cultivate and nurture these gifts and this call, empowering us to share our gifts in service to the world.

-Lauri Ann Lumby

 

It is the voice of the Soul that we are here to hear and abide. It is only in listening to the voice of our Soul that we are able to fulfill our purpose for being on this human plane.  It is through the Soul that we are able to discover our unique giftedness, nurture and cultivate these gifts and then find out how we are called to share these gifts – first for the sake of our own fulfillment and second in service to the betterment of the world.  This is why we are here and it is the gentle (and sometimes forceful) whisperings of the Soul that set us forth on that journey.

The Serpent is that voice. The ancients knew this and honored the serpent as the image of the human journey toward self-actualization.  The serpent was representative of knowledge and wisdom and called humanity into its fullness.  It was only the patriarchy who stripped the serpent of its rightful place as teacher and guide – because in order to rule, authority had to be placed outside of us and in the hands of the hierarchy.  With the serpent, authority resides within – as is attested by all the ancient traditions that use the serpent as the symbol of humanity’s journey of awakening to Soul and bringing that Soul into form – the Kabbalah, the Chakra system, the Kundalini of the Yoga traditions, the ancient alchemical symbol of the caduceus – and even Moses’ staff.

The serpent has long been a symbol for human awakening and a representation of the voice and force of the Soul. Isn’t it time we reclaim it as such?

 

For support in awakening to and fulfilling the path of your Soul, check out our Magdalene Priestess Training and the Authentic Freedom Leadership Training for Men.

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Healing, Spiritual Practices

A Special Gift from Authentic Freedom

I’ve just arrived home from Muse Camp and am still in re-entry mode.  I did, however, still manage to facilitate the Authentic Freedom Sunday Service yesterday morning.  Below is a recording of yesterday’s service, featuring a guided chakra meditation for healing and wholeness.  Save a copy for yourself and use it often to heal your fears, release old wounds and enjoy spiritual, emotional, mental and physical restoration!  35 minutes in total! 

https://youtu.be/L_IQs22zIvc

CalmKundalini

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Holy Spirit, Initiation

Pentecost, Holy Spirit, Kundalini Awakening

The Holy Spirit is the Kundalini energy referred to in the Eastern Spiritual traditions.  The Holy Spirit is the in-dwelling presence of the Divine and the seed of our human potential.  In Eastern Energy medicine the Holy Spirit/Kundalini is imagined as a seed, a lotus, a flame or a serpent that lies dormant in the deepest center of our being – most frequently depicted as lying dormant at the base of our spine/root chakra.  This in-dwelling presence of the Divine is God seeking to be expressed uniquely through us through our God-given gifts and call.  As we grow spiritually, this Divine potential is unleashed within us, freeing us, liberating us, healing us to embody and live the fullness of our human potential. As we allow the Holy Spirit within us to be unleashed, we are freed to live more and more fully as the uniquely magnificent beings God created us to be.  We come to know our gifts.  We nurture and cultivate these gift, and we freely and openly share these gifts in the world.  It is through the sharing of our gifts that the love of God that seeks to be made manifest in the world is expressed through us and in sharing our gifts, others are inspired to come to know their own unique magnificence as well.

chakraart

This understanding of the Holy Spirit is present within the Christian scriptures if we take the time to seek the truth beyond the words.  The Pentecost experience depicted in the Christian scriptures described this moment of awakening as it was felt by Jesus’ disciples.  Through the Pentecost experience, the disciples who had previously been hiding in the Upper Room for fear of persecution, suddenly became empowered to freely and openly share God’s truth in the world (as revealed to them by Jesus, the Christ).  Scripture describes this Pentecost experience as flames coming down from heaven.  I think it was more like that which is described in the Eastern texts, the Kundalini is awakened at the base of the spine and moves up through the body, exploding out of the top of the head as a flame reaching towards the heavens.  Looking at the Pentacost experience from this perspective allows us to let go of our perceptions of God as outside of us, and invites us to seek the Divine that dwells within.  Setting aside these perceptions of separation opens us to a deeper and more intimate understanding of the Holy Spirit as the aspect of the Divine that dwells within and that seeks to be made known in the world through our own unique magnificence.   Think of it this way, the Holy Spirit is the acorn that holds within it the fullness of our potential, and when we allow this acorn to be open and grow within us, only then can we become the magnificent oak that we were intended to become.

What has been your understanding of the Holy Spirit?

How can you connect more fully with the Divine Potential that seeks to be made manifest through you?

How can you embody your own Divine Potential?

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, Spiritual Formation

Spiritual Teachings for Children

Years ago I was looking for a spiritual story for children that I could use to teach my own children about the chakras, and about the spiritual truths I had come to embrace.  After a fruitless search and sharing my frustration with a colleague and friend, she responded, “Why don’t you write it yourself?”  So, I did.  Below is that story, currently titled, Sons and Daughters of Freedom.  PS….it is a great story for grown ups too!  🙂

Sons and Daughters of Freedom

I’m made of God’s Spirit inside and out,

this is the truth that life is about.

Energy flowing from my head to my toes

Keeping me healthy and helping me grow.

Nurturing this Spirit will help me to be

my most true self, loving and free.

The power center at the base of my spine,

reminds me the earth is ours, yours and mine.

The gifts of creation promised to me,

blessings received most abundantly.

Food, clothing, shelter, this place feels safe.

There’s always enough, fear can’t show its face.

The center in my belly is where new life is made.

Here, nurtured dreams and visions won’t fade

When secure in the truth that support will be mine

As I create life with our Source that’s Divine.

Courage is centered where ribs separate.

Believing the truth, “I AM GREAT!”

I can be and do and live what is true.

Fear cannot stop me or make me feel blue.

At the center of my chest lies a heart filled with joy.

Love is what made me and each girl and boy.

I breathe deep of the love and the joy that is mine,

as I share it with others, their hearts too will shine.

Hearing my truth and speaking it well,

Allowing the life in me its story to tell.

Freedom is mine, not bars, ropes or chains.

My throat sings out its happy refrain.

I see with my eyes and know in my mind,

That truth is really easy to find.

A dream, a vision, a feeling a thought –

is how I know what is good and what’s not.

Through the top of my head flows the Spirit of peace –

The Divine Source within me that never will cease.

When I’m quiet and still, I know me to be

One with this Spirit and all that I see.

I’m made of God’s Spirit inside and out.

This is the truth that life is about.

Energy flowing from my head to my toes,

Keeping me healthy and helping me grow.

Nurturing this Spirit will help me to be

my most true self, Loving and Free.

copyright 2009  Lauri Ann Lumby

Posted in Holy Spirit

Kundalini and the Holy Spirit

In the Western Spiritual Tradition one of the names give to the Divine is Holy Spirit.  How do we understand this concept and come to embody it more fully?



Growing up Catholic, one of the first things I learned as part of worship and prayer was to make the sign of the cross: “In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.”  The concept of God as loving, Divine parent (as in Father) and the concept of Jesus as an expression of the Divine (Son) was pretty easy to grasp.  But understanding of the Holy Spirit tended to elude me.  Apparently this is true for the Church as well since there is very little written on the theology of the Holy Spirit.  The best I could gather was taken from the Pentecost story when the disciples experienced the Holy Spirit like a flame coming out of the heavens and coming to rest at the top of their heads.  (Acts 2: 1-4)  In my own lived experience, I was taught to believe that the I would receive the Holy Spirit through my confirmation when the Bishop layed his hands on the top of my head.  Sadly, I did not have any sort of life altering experience when the Bishop layed his hands on the top of my head, as such, the Holy Spirit remained a mystery.

As I have embarked upon and fully embraced the path of spiritual growth, however, the concept of the Holy Spirit has begun to make sense.  I am grateful for my exploration of the Eastern Spiritual traditions and my own contemplation of Hebrew and Christian scriptures that have helped to illuminate the Holy Spirit and how we can better comprehend, experience and embody the fullness of this expression of the Divine.   Here is my current working theory on the Holy Spirit and how we can come to experience this aspect of the Divine more fully:

The Holy Spirit is the Kundalini energy referred to in the Eastern Spiritual traditions.  The Holy Spirit is the in-dwelling presence of the Divine and the seed of our human potential.  In Eastern Energy medicine the Holy Spirit/Kundalini is imagined as a seed, a lotus, a flame or a serpent that lies dormant in the deepest center of our being – most frequently depicted as lying dormant at the base of our spine/root chakra.  This in-dwelling presence of the Divine is God seeking to be expressed uniquely through us through our God-given gifts and call.  As we grow spiritually, this Divine potential is unleashed within us, freeing us, liberating us, healing us to embody and live the fullness of our human potential. As we allow the Holy Spirit within us to be unleashed, we are freed to live more and more fully as the uniquely magnificent beings God created us to be.  We come to know our gifts.  We nurture and cultivate these gift, and we freely and openly share these gifts in the world.  It is through the sharing of our gifts that the love of God that seeks to be made manifest in the world is expressed through us and in sharing our gifts, others are inspired to come to know their own unique magnificence as well.

This understanding of the Holy Spirit is present within the Christian scriptures if we take the time to seek the truth beyond the words.  The Pentecost experience depicted in the Christian scriptures described this moment of awakening as it was felt by Jesus’ disciples.  Through the Pentecost experience, the disciples who had previously been hiding in the Upper Room for fear of persecution, suddenly became empowered to freely and openly share God’s truth in the world (as revealed to them by Jesus, the Christ).  Scripture describes this Pentecost experience as flames coming down from heaven.  I think it was more like that which is described in the Eastern texts, the Kundalini is awakened at the base of the spine and moves up through the body, exploding out of the top of the head as a flame reaching towards the heavens.  Looking at the Pentacost experience from this perspective allows us to let go of our perceptions of God as outside of us, and invites us to seek the Divine that dwells within.  Setting aside these perceptions of separation opens us to a deeper and more intimate understanding of the Holy Spirit as the aspect of the Divine that dwells within and that seeks to be made known in the world through our own unique magnificence.   Think of it this way, the Holy Spirit is the acorn that holds within it the fullness of our potential, and when we allow this acorn to be open and grow within us, only then can we become the magnificent oak that we were intended to become.

What has been your understanding of the Holy Spirit?

How can you connect more fully with the Divine Potential that seeks to be made manifest through you?

How can you embody your own Divine Potential?


Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries/YourSpiritualTruth

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

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