Posted in Empowerment, Holy Spirit, Jesus

Was Jesus a Shaktipat Guru?

In 2010, I posted a blog drawing parallels between Jesus and his work and the process of Shaktipat from the Siddha Yoga tradition.  Dr. Sonya Jones read my blog and shared that she was writing a book on this very topic.  Below is an excerpt from her now published work.  Congratulations Sonya (Sw. Shraddhananda)!

From Jesus Was a Shaktipat Guru, Chapter 8, “Shaktipat by Touch” by Sw. Shraddhananda aka Rev. Dr. Sonya Jones–the text also includes an Introduction by Rev. Chris Vasumti Deefholts in which Rev. Deefholts, now Sw. Prakashananda, explores her Shaktipat experience with Jesus.

JesusShaktipatbookcover

Buy it HERE.

As a Shaktipat Guru, how did Jesus bestow the precious gift?

Down to washing the feet of his first apostles, touch appears to have been the Master’s primary way of bestowing Shaktipat while still on earth. However, he also gave Shaktipat by sankalpa (will) across the distance and by infusing his sacred energy into food and wine. The ways in which Jesus gave Shaktipat are consistent with the modus operandi of Shaktipat Gurus in other traditions.

If internal conditions are ripe, seekers can receive Shaktipat simply by being in the presence  of a Jagadguru. Crowds sought out Jesus just as they did Bhagawan Nityananda and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Frequently, people say they want to be in the presence of Jagadgurus for their erudite messages and sermons when, more often than not, they want to experience the energy, or Shakti, these precious beings radiate.

“Awake thou that sleepest,” Jesus is quoted as saying in Ephesians 5:14. “Arise from the dead and Christ shall give you light.”

Christ will light the fire, Jesus said. In other words, the fire will blaze from a larger source than just one man living in a human body. The fire (or Holy Spirit) was spread from the cosmic Christ through the living apostles who acted as conduits for purified consciousness. In Indian terms, the Maha Shakti (or Holy Spirit) ignites the fire moving through the Guru, or teacher who has accepted the responsibility to act on behalf of his or her lineage.

The command from Ephesians could only have been spoken by a Shaktipat Guru who was capable of dispensing the sacred fire–whether by look, touch, or sankalpa–which leads unfailingly to freedom.

swshrandhanda-250x250-1Sw. Shraddhananda aka Rev. Dr. Sonya Jones serves as Spiritual Director of Slate Branch Ashram, located in the beautiful Lake Cumberland Valley of Kentucky, also home to Sacred Feet Yoga and the Sannyasa program of The Community of The Mystic Heart. Prior to taking retirement from academic teaching, she taught at Allegheny College and later for the Honors Program at the University of Kentucky. A member of the Saraswati Order of Monastics and Meditation Masters, she holds a Ph.D. from Emory University. She has lectured on six continents.

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Body/Mind/Spirit connection, Empowerment, grief, Spiritual Direction

Before Psychotherapy

Today’s blog explores the ancient mentoring practices that preceded modern-day psychotherapy, still exist today and in many ways are more effective than traditional therapy.

Freud

Life before Freud

I know it is hard to believe, but psychology was not born with Sigmund Freud.  Neither did it only come to exist thanks in part to Greek philosophers.  I know this is what is what academia teaches as the roots of psychology, but there have been psychologists throughout human history – perhaps as far back as our human origins.  Before Freud, however, these remarkable women and men were not called psychologists, instead, they were called such things as spiritual director, teacher, abbott, abbess, priestess, priest, elder, medicine woman, medicine man, guru, oracle, and shaman.  Throughout human history there have been powerful women and men gifted and then trained to assist people in becoming their truest self and helping individuals to find healing and transformation from their inner ills.  Depression, anxiety, panic attacks, worry, grief, loss, vocational discernment, even physical maladies were tended to through these wise and gifted teachers.  These women and men held places of honor within their communities and their needs were provided for by the community in exchange for the generous sharing of their gifts.

What Happened?

In a person – Descartes.  With his masterful separation of God from reason and matter, mystery was divorced from science – so much so that anything of mystery came to be set aside or disregarded as something only for the ignorant and foolish.  With near surgical precision, the transcendent was excised from the treatment of the human person and in the Western world, the spiritual director, shaman, medicine woman and man lost their place and psychotherapy stepped in.

It All Comes Back Around

Not anymore.  People have grown frustrated with the limitations of traditional psychotherapy – and the medical model in general.  People are tired of being reduced to something that must be “scientifically verifiable.”  Women and men are looking for depth, meaning, fulfillment and wholeness and this can only be accomplished by reconnecting with mystery. While there is still an important place in our world for traditional psychotherapy, many are searching for more.

Authentic Freedom Mentoring

This is where Authentic Freedom mentoring comes in.  As a trained spiritual director and Reiki master, I have honed the necessary skills for leading people through the mystery and for empowering them to become self-actualized.  In doing this work, many of the everyday issues of anxiety, depression, panic attack, the effects of trauma and grief, are healed and released so that the individual is free to be their original self – the person God made them to be.  As there is no talk of God or mystery in traditional psychotherapy, this might not be the path for all – but it is an effective path for many – even those who consider themselves to be atheist – for even in atheism – the mystery remains.

Lauri Lumby is available for one-on-one mentoring over the phone, via Skype  and in person. To schedule a session call (920) 230-1313 or email lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com. 

Click HERE to learn about being trained as an Authentic Freedom Facilitator or Mentor.

 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Authentic Freedom Book, Being Human, Christ Consciousness, Freedom, Gifts of Contemplation, Grace, guilt, Jesus, Lessons, Oneness with God, sin, Spiritual Practices, teachers, Virtual Church

Show Me the Way to Go Home

Through the metaphorical Adam, the human conditional was born, providing for us the (false) perception of separation and the sensation of having fallen from Grace. In birthing the human condition, we now know fear and suffering in contrast to the love and peace we knew “at home.”  Jesus (among other prophets) discovered the remedy to the human condition and through his teaching and example, shows us the way to go home. 

 

Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter for Sunday, November 23, 2014

Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service

 But first:  a little humor!  🙂 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWQ-rnXi_n4

 

Scripture Reading:

Brothers and sisters: Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through man, the resurrection of the dead came also through man. For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order: Christ the firstfruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ; then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. When everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.

1 Cor 15: 20-26, 28

 

Additional Readings:

Ez 34: 11-12, 15-17

Psalm 23

Mt: 25: 31-46

 

Jesus Shows Us the Way

“Since death came through man,

The resurrection of the dead came also through man.”

When the metaphorical Adam chose power over obedience to God, the human condition was born. Instead of the peace, love and joy experienced in our original state of Oneness with God, humans now knew fear – fear that then led to a whole host of fears and their resulting compulsions. Inside of our beings, in this place of perceived separation from God, we felt as if we had fallen from Grace. As a loving parent, understanding our need to explore and to learn, God allowed us this choice, knowing that in this choice, we would suffer and experience the burden of guilt for turning away from God. God, however, did not leave us abandoned, neither did God leave us to our own devices, instead, God sent prophet after prophet after prophet to help remind us of our original nature and to help us find our way home. The greatest of these prophets (in the Christian tradition), was Jesus. Jesus, in his own longing and search for God, found the remedy to the suffering of the human condition (the remedy didn’t alleviate the suffering, but provided a means to transcend it), and generously shared what he learned with others. Thankfully, some of his disciples remembered bits and pieces of what Jesus taught and others wrote it down. Through scripture, specifically a prayerful reading and reflection on scripture, we find glimpses of what Jesus taught and sparks of what he remembered. What is even more remarkable is that like the gurus before him and since, Jesus’ very spirit is accessible as a teacher and a guide to those who seek out and cultivate a deeply intimate and personal relationship with Jesus as the Christ. In this way, Jesus, himself, becomes our teacher – helping us to see the deeper truths beyond the words of scripture, leading us to other resources including human teachers who can guide us. We even find that Jesus can come to us himself to teach and guide us.

The “sin” of Adam allowed us to experience the human condition. Jesus helps us to find our way home.

How have you cultivated a personal relationship with Jesus?

 

 

Spiritual Practices – Inviting Jesus to be our Teacher

jesus

 

Look at the created image of Jesus above. Let it sink into your consciousness.

Close your eyes.

Imagine Jesus, as you saw him in the picture above, standing before you.

Rest with that image of Jesus standing before you. Remain in this visualization for 15 – 20 minutes.

Know that as Jesus stands before you, he is gazing back at you with unconditional love and acceptance.

Allow yourself to receive that love.

Be attentive to any thoughts, feelings, emotions that may arise as you imagine Jesus standing before you.

Record any thoughts, feelings, insights received, etc. in your journal or notebook.

 

Authentic Freedom

In Authentic Freedom, we acknowledge Jesus as our teacher and as the example of one who learned authentic freedom and taught it to others. Every story, parable, lesson, example that Jesus taught, can somehow be brought back to the core wound and the resulting fears explored through Authentic Freedom. Jesus, while experiencing the fullness of the human condition, found his way to freedom – a freedom, he discovered, was found only in God. This is the freedom we are called to discover, cultivate and embrace through Authentic Freedom. God is the remedy to the suffering of the human condition. Jesus showed/shows us the way.

 

What is the suffering you currently want to transcend or have healed?

 

How might Jesus invite you to turn toward God as a source of healing and support?

Authentic Freedom is available for purchase on Amazon.  Learn more HERE. 

 

Posted in Christ Consciousness, Discernment, God, Jesus, Midlife Journey, teachers, Truth

Who is Your Teacher?

We are interrupting this discussion on midlife, menopause and the dark night of the relationship to explore another critical topic that is also relevant to the midlife journey (and beyond).  Relevant to midlife is the search for our Soul – the uniquely gifted part of ourselves through which we find meaning, purpose and fulfillment and the way in which we contribute to the betterment of the world.  In order to discover our Soul, we need to take time to listen and hear the whispering voice of our truth.  In distinguishing the voice of our truth from the voice of our ego (which is comfortable with status quo and will at all costs resist the voice of our truth) it is sometimes, maybe even critical, to have a teacher.  Today’s blog asks the question, Who is your teacher?

Defining Teacher

Authentic teachers have worked hard at their own self-actualization and in the birth of their soul and are happy to guide and support others along that same path.  Sometimes our teachers are living.  Sometimes they have passed and guide us through their spiritual presence and through sacred teachings which they have left behind. Sometimes our teacher is simply the intimate relationship we have developed through our higher power, or that which some might call God.  Whatever form our teacher takes, it is their job to guide and support us in the journey of discovering the voice of our Soul – the divine truth that lives within us – and finding ways to live that out.

Jesus_world_christian_clipart

My Teacher/s

As a way of helping you identify your teacher/s, I want to share a bit about mine.  My ultimate teacher, is that which I call God.  I’m not talking about the old man in the sky God, my God is way too big for that.  My God is the ultimate source of all that is and all that is coming to be.  As such, my God is neither male nor female, but simply is.  Also, my God doesn’t live in a heaven light years away, my God is in everything, including me  (and you).  It is ultimately to this indwelling aspect of the Divine where I go for guidance, direction, comfort, support, healing and inspiration. God is the voice of my truth, urging, encouraging and compelling me along the path of my Soul.  Being raised Catholic, the way in which I came to know God is through my other teacher, Jesus.  Jesus was my first teacher and while I have explored the teachings of other holy men and women, it is always to Jesus that I return. I have found through Jesus, teachings and guidance which are universal and which transcend the limitations of dogma and orthodoxy.  Jesus figured it out.  He found his way beyond the veil of separation into the universal flow of compassion, love and peace.  In piercing through the veil, Jesus found his true self – his Soul- that which provided him meaning and purpose and through which he contributed to the betterment of the world.  Jesus, at first, led by example, and then left behind teachings to help others in their own journey toward peace.  And to those who turn to Jesus for personal guidance and support, he is here as the Christ, the spiritual presence of the man who once lived, and who is able to be with us in intimate and personal ways as teacher, guide, healer, friend and guru.

Now, who is your teacher?

Posted in About Lauri, Empowerment, Inspiration

No More Apologies

Today’s blog boldly goes where no woman has gone before……naming and claiming who I am and what I do without apologies!!!!!

Apologies, Back peddling, Explaining, Rationalizing

A very important mirror was held up for me yesterday.  It is the mirror that showed me the ways in which I diminish, devalue, brush off as insignificant or incomprehensible the work that I do in the world in service to humanity and in service to God.  I was reminded of the tremendous value of what I do and that I need to give the work and myself more credit.  In short, I need to stop apologizing for what I do or shying away from explaining what I do because it is so dang hard to explain, because I’m afraid people will think I’m weird (which I already know that I am), or because I think they won’t “get it.”  So, today, for those who have ears to hear, I offer no more apologies…..this is who I am and the work that I do in the world!

I am a Spiritual Director

  • I help you find new life in the losses and disappointments of your life
  • I help you move through the fears that hold you back from finding meaning or enjoyment in life
  • I help you live the life of your dreams

I am a Reiki Master/Practitioner

  • I help you release the energies in your body that cause spiritual, emotional, mental and physical dis-ease
  • I help you release the clutter in your mind
  • I help you experience deep inner peace and harmony

I am a Spiritual Teacher

  • I help you find the practices that move you through fear and lead you to inner peace and joy
  • Through the classes that I have developed and the programs I offer, I guide you in the journey of moving through your fears and living the life of your dreams

I am a writer and author

  • Through my writing, I provide spiritual inspiration, support and guidance.

I am a Contemplative, Progressive, Catholic Christian

  • Jesus is my teacher and guru
  • Through contemplative prayer practices, I find wisdom, guidance and comfort in scripture
  • I embrace ritual, mystery, mysticism, art, architecture, nature, music, commmunity and sacrament as vehicles of God’s grace
  • I was raised Catholic and recognize this as my “tribe” while feeling free to embrace what speaks truth to me and setting aside what does not
  • I am “catholic” in the sense of being universal – seeking to find the unity in the perceived separations between doctrine, beliefs and religious practice and honoring everything that leads us toward Love as grace-filled and sacred
  • I embrace love as the truth Jesus came to reveal
  • I believe in the truth of our Oneness with God in love and that this is the truth that sets us free
  • I believe that all paths lead us to God – that which is our Source and Origin in love
  •  I honor all holy men and women, regardless of their chosen beliefs, who have followed the law of love
  • I find more meaning in the search and in asking the questions than in the perceived certainties of doctrine or law.

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in Jesus, teachers, Uncategorized

Jesus and Shaktipat

Shaktipat is a word in the Hindu tradition to represent spiritual awakening – in particular, spiritual awakening that is facilitated or initiated by a guru/teacher and conferred upon his or her students.  Did Jesus confer Shaktipat and can we still be recipients of this Divine energy today?

I am currently reading Where Are You Going? – A Guide to the Spiritual Journey by Swami Muktananda, now deceased guru of the Siddha Yoga tradition.  http://www.siddhayoga.org/  In this book, Swami Muktananda describes the highways and byways of the spiritual journey from the perspective of the Siddha Yoga tradition.  As I am reading this book, I’m seeing unfold before me all the parallels between the Hindu/Siddha Yoga tradition and the Jesus story.  Kundalini/Holy Spirit;  Meditation/Prayer; Mantra/Rosary and now today, Shaktipat and Jesus.

The Siddha Yoga tradition (which has its roots in Hinduism) defines Shaktipat as follows:

Spiritual awakening, or shaktipat, lies at the heart of the mystical journey. This infusion of energy from the spiritual master to the seeker brings about the awakening of the seeker’s own inherent spiritual power, called kundalini. Shaktipat is described by the yogic texts as an initiation that activates an inner unfolding of awareness that leads to progressively higher states of consciousness.   http://www.siddhayoga.org/

 

As I read about and seek to understand more fully the experience of Shaktipat, I cannot help but image that this is what it must have been like for Jesus’ own disciples.  Something in Jesus’ touch and/or presence startled them out of their normal everyday existence and awakened them to a higher path – the path to Oneness with God.  Many felt called to leave behind their former existence to follow Jesus and learned from him the path of spiritual awakening and enlightenment and many were healed of their spiritual fears and false perceptions – some through Jesus’ physical touch and some simply through being in the presence of this remarkable man.  The Jesus story certainly rings of Shaktipat to me.  

In the Siddha tradition, Shaktipat is conferred by a living guru within the lineage of the Siddha tradition.  Shaktipat is said to be conferred upon a seeker who is willing to receive it and can be received through touch or simply by being in the presence of the guru.  It is also said that Shaktipat can be received in the absence of the physical presence of the guru through desire and intention.  This is how Shaktipat is available to those who claim Jesus as their teacher and guru.  We no longer have the gift of the physical presence of Jesus among us, and yet this does not prevent those who follow Jesus from becoming spiritually awakened – all we need to do is desire to be awakened and be open to the spiritual lessons that will then unfold.  The gift in this spiritual awakening/Shaktipat, for those who claim Jesus as their guru is the same for those among the Siddha Yoga and Hindu traditions: 

Over time, through grace and our efforts in spiritual practice, the sense of separation from divinity drops away. We come to recognize the presence of God in ourselves and in the world around us. We experience the world as a play of God’s energy.   http://www.siddhayoga.org/

If this is true, why would we not all be open to receiving Shaktipat/Spiritual Awakening and celebrating our respective teachers through whom this has been made possible?  I for one, offer a profound prayer of gratitude for the experiences that startled me out of my normal everyday existence and set me upon the path of spiritual learning, growth and transformation…and I give the credit to Jesus, the Christ,  my personal guru (while thoroughly enjoying the teachings of all the great spiritual masters!) And I thank Swami Muktananda and Gurumayi Chidvilasananda of the Siddha Yoga traditions for giving me words  through which I have been able to more fully understand the experience.

Are you open to receiving Shaktipat/Spiritual Awakening?

Through what teacher do you desire to receive this awakening?

How can you be open to the unfolding spiritual path once this awakening has been facilitate?

 

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries/YourSpiritualTruth

http://www.yourspiritualtruth.com

 

Posted in Jesus, teachers

Jesus, my teacher

In our secular, post-modern world, do we dare to call Jesus of Nazareth our teacher and guru and not end up looking like a “Jesus Freak” (not that there is anything wrong with that)?  I will attempt this dangerous feat and hope not to get burned.  🙂

Jesus of Nazareth

I cannot claim to know the ultimate truth about who Jesus was and who he continues to be as the Christ.  All I know is that I claim Jesus as my teacher, guru, counselor and guide because of the things I have learned from him, through his life and through his teaching.  The reason I call him teacher is because of what I  have come to understand as the truth that Jesus taught and continues to try to help us to understand.

  • God is unconditionally loving, kind, compassionate and merciful.
  • We are One with God and through this oneness we are one with each other.
  • God is love.  God made us out of love, for love and by love.  As such, love is our true nature.  This Divine love cannot be denied, nor does it have to be earned.
  • All people are created as equal and are valued equally by God and we are invited to do the same. There is no discrimination based on race, creed, religion, gender or sexual orientation.  All are love.
  • There is no sin, therefore, there is nothing to be forgiven.
  • The desire to be forgiven is ours alone.  We desire to be reconciled to the God that we have chosen to believe is separate from us.
  • What we call sin is merely a reflection of a deeper unhealed spiritual wound, rooted in our false perception of separation from God.  This unhealed wound is what has sometimes been called “original sin”.
  • What we perceive as sinful behavior is a cry for help.  The “sinner” needs healing, not condemnation or shame.
  • Jesus came to heal this wound that affects all of humanity.
  • Jesus was raised from the dead (though I’m not exactly sure what that means) and through the resurrection, fully embodied his own Christhood.  As the Christ, he is able to be present to each of us in an intimate and personal way as friend, counselor, teacher, healer and lover
  • Jesus continues this healing work through each of us when we allow ourselves to be vessels through which his healing love can be shared in the world.
  • Each of us is uniquely gifted to be a vehicle of God’s healing grace.
  • When we accept the call to use our gifts in service to this healing, we are participating in the Body of Christ and the very act of salvation.

I guess I would say that the above list is my personal creed.  These are the principles out of which I desire to live my life and the motivating factors for the ministry work that I perform.  Of course, I don’t always succeed in living this out, but it is my driving intention.  I do not seek to impose these principles on anyone else, neither do I assume Jesus to be everyone’s chosen guru.  While I recognize that there are many teachers who have come to share the same truth that Jesus came to reveal, it is through Jesus that I began to get a glimpse of this truth and can honestly say that it is because of my relationship with Jesus that I have found healing and freedom in my own life.  This is why I call Jesus my teacher.

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://www.authenticfreedom.net