Posted in Authentic Freedom Academy, church, Mystics, Spiritual Formation

Not That There’s Anything Wrong with That (Church that is!)

In Monday’s blog, I made it clear that the Authentic Freedom Academy Sunday Service is NOT Church. Today I want to make it equally clear, “Not that there is anything wrong with it (Church, that is).” Church, as we have (mostly) experienced it in the West, is a beneficial human practice which speaks deeply and profoundly to the needs of some. This traditional model of Church provides for a specific human need – it declares certainty in what is at best, an uncertain world. In the human condition there is suffering. Poverty, hunger, disease and death are all very real parts of the human experience. Good things happen to bad people and bad people often seem to be rewarded for their evils. All of these realities of the human experience create anxiety, worry and fear in even the most courageous and daring of human beings. In the face of all this uncertainty – the Church provides comfort in promises of a peaceful future in the afterworld – for those able and willing to fulfill the conditions necessary for acceptance into this heavenly abode. If you follow these rules, obey these commandments, live according to the regulations of the outside perceived authority, then you will be happy in the afterlife. For many, this provides great peace.

This model of Church that we have mostly known in the West is not the only way in which Westerners have experienced Church…it is just the one that gets the most attention. This model of Church that seems to get the most attention is the orthodox (concerned about doctrine, dogma, rules, enforcing rules, priest as intercessor) and exoteric (outward directed) model of Church whose greatest concern is the hereafter.

 

TeresaAvila

While the exoteric model of Church has gained prominence, developing alongside the orthodox Church, is the contemplative/mystical church (notice the lower case “c”) and its concern with personal relationship, direct knowing, personal growth and development; and whose deepest concern is experiencing heaven on earth. This is the church experienced by Francis and Clare of Assisi, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Ignatius of Loyola, Hildegard of Bingen – and many more. This is the model of church that historically been “in” the Church, but not “of” the Church. While ultimately under the jurisdiction of the papal hierarchy, these models of church have developed outside the influence of orthodoxy, guided by its founders’ intimate and personal relationship with Christ.

If the Authentic Freedom Academy Sunday Service is accused of being anything like church, it would be the latter – contemplative, mystical, concerned with personal relationship, direct knowing, personal growth and whose deepest concern is experiencing heaven on earth. In an uncertain world, with an equally uncertain future the only choice we have is to make the best of what we’ve been given and this is what Jesus originally taught. Jesus taught his disciples to actively seek peace in the midst of the only thing that is certain in the human condition – uncertainty. In the human condition we experience it all – love and hate, elation and pain, joy and suffering. Why not turn to tried and true methods for navigating the ever-changing landscape of our human experience, tools that help us find peace in the midst of suffering, comfort in the face of pain, love in the face of hate? This is what Jesus taught and what he intended his disciples to teach after him. If there is any kind of church that Authentic Freedom Academy might be called to emulate, it is this one.

Posted in Discernment, Empowerment, Inspiration, Lessons, Mystics, Superheroes

Light Workers, Shadow Workers and Middle World Workers

Today’s blog – as an offering of the Superhero Academy – explores the difference between light workers, shadow workers and middle-world workers.  Healers of every sort populate our world and deserve to be honored for their uniquely special gifts.

Please note, after January 1, 2015, the Superhero Report, Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service and Agape Meditation Newsletter will be available by subscription only.  For a very reasonable monthly fee, (about the price of your weekly cappuccino) you can receive all three.  Subscribe HERE or use the Paypal link below:

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It takes all kinds of Superheroes to heal and change the world.

In the twenty plus years that I have been involved with the world of complementary and ancient healing practices, I have learned that there are all kinds of Superheroes – men and women who are here to heal and change the world.  When it comes specifically to the people I know who are healers, they seem be of one of three varieties – lightworkers, shadow workers and middle-world workers.  Each of these varieties of healers bring their own unique gifts and talents to the fore and have their own audience to which they have been sent to minister.

Lightworkers

Galadriel-oLightworkers are easy to identify and are those who have been given the most attention as we have moved into the new age and ascension movements.  Lightworkers are just that – light.  They tend to speak the language of angels and fairies and draw our attention to things of sacred geometry, cellular healing, quantum layers, and mystical realms.  Not seeming to be “from here,” Lightworkers dress in ethereal almost mystical attire – a reflection of the light and love filled realms from whence they came.  Lightworkers are highly attuned to “the heavens” and are here to remind us of and re-attune us to our Divine, angelic and otherworldly nature.   You know when you are in the presence of a Lightworker because they are really nice and give you the impression they would not hurt a fly. The challenge for Lightworkers is just this – that they are sometimes too nice – not trusting their intuition about another’s deceit or lack of integrity.  Lightworkers can also be challenged when their quest for the light is at the expense of or privileged over the human experience – the reason all of us are ultimately here.

Shadow workers

gollum_fin2If we can think of healers existing along a continuum, Shadow workers exist on the opposite end of the spectrum from Lightworkers and as such, possess polar opposite gifts.  Shadow workers are fiery-warrior types and possess a darkness about them.  They live in the shadows and are comfortable in the darkness.  As such, they are extremely gifted in helping us to identify our shadows and bring them to the light.  Shadow workers help us dive deep into our fears, our past woundedness and traumas, our compulsions and all the parts of ourselves we have hidden from the world – and often from ourselves.  Shadow workers are relentless in their pursuit of darkness so that it can be integrated within us.  Shadow workers are masters as Recapitulation and Soul Retrieval and help people reassemble the lost parts of themselves into a harmonious, cohesive whole.  Since most people resist their shadows, Shadow workers often feel dangerous – at least at first glance.  Again, they have a darkness about them.  While this darkness can be a gift, it can also be the bane of the Shadow worker’s existence if not treated with respect.  Many shadow workers I know have struggled with addictions.  These addictions, I believe, arose because of the shadow worker’s fear of their own power – and perhaps for some – because in the past they have used their powers for their own benefit (and even to cause harm) and not for the common good.  Healing the past frees shadow workers to do what they came here to do – help people fully embrace the HUMAN that they came here to be.

Middle World Workers

Middle World Workers are those who exist somewhere between Lightworkers and Shadow Workers.  In other words, they are a little bit of both.  Middle Workers are drawn to the heavens, but are also comfortable in the shadows.  Middle Workers seek to bring light and love into the world, but also invite us to embrace and integrate the shadow.  Middle Workers understand that we are not here to avoid or transcend the human experience – instead, we are here to live it fully, while also remembering the fullness of our Divine nature.  Middle Workers invite us to remember the fullness of our Divinity while living the fullness of the human condition.  Middle Workers seek to assist people in bringing their Divine nature fully into the human experience while inviting the human experience to become Divine.  “As above, so below,” might be considered the mantra or mission statement of Middle World Workers.  You can recognize Middle World Workers in their approachability and in the way they are authentically real and how they seem to be of light and love while living the human experience.

AragornandEowyn

One ring to rule them all…

In this human experience – we need them all – Lightworkers, Shadow workers and Middle World workers.  We need those who remind us of our light, along with those who invite us to confront and integrate our shadow.  And, we need those who help us to find the glue that holds it all together.

What kind of worker are you?

lord_of_the_rings_the_ring

Posted in End of the World Prophecies, Inspiration, Mystics, world changes

Calling all the “Different” Ones

Have you always felt “different,” like you didn’t quite fit in, but have always known, on a very deep level, that you are here for a special purpose and that perhaps the time for that purpose is drawing near?  If so……this one is for you.  Your time is now.  The world needs you to wake up, to share your gifts and to start creating our world anew!  Wake up!  Wake up!  We need you and your amazing, magical, miraculous gifts!  And, we need you to find each other, to come together in communities to heal our world and to turn our world from fear to love.  This is the purpose you have been waiting for and the time is now!

orion

We Are Living in an Important Time

I believe that we are currently living in a critically important time in the history of humankind and our beloved planet, Earth.  We are at a crossroads.  Depending on which path we choose, we are either headed for our demise, or the manifestation of heaven on earth.  My hope and belief is that our choice will lead us toward the latter, but in order to get there, we have to wake up, we have to help others wake up, and we have to do so QUICKLY! 

The Different Ones

As I have mentioned before, I believe that EACH OF US has a unique, important and critical contribution to make toward the betterment of our world and that in discovering and sharing these gifts, we find joy, peace, love and fulfillment.  I have also learned that there is a unique group of humans, who have a unique set of gifts and will have a very unique contribution to make toward the manifestation of heaven on earth. These are the men, women and children who have been sent here to wake us up and to show us our way home, ushering us into a place where we will once again dwell in peace on a planet ruled by love.  For lack of any better word, and only for the sake of making a point, I am calling these people “The Different Ones.”  And I will bet my life that you already know who you are.  But, if you need some help remembering, or an affirmation of your differentness and specialness, here are some of the unique characteristics and experiences held by “The Different Ones.”

  • You have always known, in a very deep knowing, that you were different, perhaps even special.
  • You never felt as if you fit in with the regular world or society.  Perhaps you even felt like a stranger in your own home, wondering who these people were and what God did with your real family. You definitely felt like a stranger in the traditional institutions – school, church, work, etc.
  • As a child, you found yourself drawn to the mystical, magical, the world of fairies, angels, fantasy, miracles, etc.  Perhaps you believed in magic and knew, in some deep level of your being that you could do magic or at the very least, facilitate or participate in the making of something miraculous.
  • As a young child, and maybe again near puberty, you had experiences, communications, etc. with “other realms.”  Perhaps you saw or spoke with “angels,” God, saints, the deceased.  Maybe you could see dead people.  You knew these other places/beings were real – but when you shared these experiences with others, they were discounted as the workings of an overactive imagination.
  • You were very sensitive as a child and most likely still are as an adult.  You could “feel” the energy of a room, you could “feel” other people’s energies, perhaps even their thoughts.  You found yourself repelled by some people and situations based on no other information than “a feeling” and in contrast, found yourself inexplicably drawn to some people and places, because of a “feeling.”
  • You may have been sickly as a child – sensitive to the environment, ultra-sensitive to human-made chemicals, fabrics, etc.  You found yourself sensitive to light, sound, chaotic spaces, technology, etc.  It seemed anything that was not purely organic, nature-made, somehow made you ill or if nothing else, made you feel “icky.”
  • You had/have a strange way of being able to “read” people.  Specifically, you could detect truth vs. deceit and found you had no tolerance for the latter.  This often caused problems in relationships as people discovered your ability and grew uncomfortable under your gaze (even if this happened subconsciously….as it usually does.)
  • You have a keen sense of knowing that you are here for a special purpose and feel driven to pursue this purpose – often not even knowing what this purpose is, no matter how irrational this drive may appear to the “real” world.
  • You have always possessed a different way of viewing and experiencing the world.  You believe in the goodness of the world, in justice, in the right of all to be loved and cared for.  You have a deep drive to pursue the course of peace and justice and you will defend the rights of those who have none.
  • You may have a profound affinity with nature and the night sky.  You feel drawn to the earth and to the stars and find comfort there.
  • You are known by a “look” in your eyes and you know others like you through that same “look.”  There have been people in your life with whom you felt an immediate connection along with a deep knowing that this is someone like you, someone from your true “family” and someone you can trust and love without condition. These are people with whom you have an immediate and enduring affinity.
  • And here’s my favorite one “you seem to be born with a different set of rules, values and laws to abide by.  Actions that were perfectly acceptable for everyone else are harmful to you, while you are able to do things that are not permitted most of humanity. (Solara, 2012)”

No Mistaking it, You Are Different

There are a million terms which have been tossed around to categorize those who feel “different” – Indigo children, Crystal children, Rainbow children, Slackers, Starseeds, Wayshowers, Lightworkers, Healers, Star Borne, Star Children, etc. etc. etc.   Ultimately, names mean nothing, but what is important is that YOU KNOW that you have been sent here for a special purpose and that this purpose is to help usher in THE NEW WORLD.  Your ways are different because the world needs to be different.  Your ways are more sensitive, more loving, more justice-oriented, because the world needs to evolve toward this or it will destroy itself.  AND YOU ARE NOT ALONE!  In fact, there are millions like you waiting to wake up, waiting to connect and waiting to GET TO WORK.

I’ll Tell You a Little Secret

I’m sharing this with you, because all of the above characteristics are true of me and I have found a whole slew of men and women who also possess these gifts.  I have also found that the unique gifts I have been given are:

1) To wake people up. (I can’t help it, it just happens)

2) To help you overcome the inner obstacles to being and living your purpose.

3) To empower you to connect with others like you and to work together toward bringing forth our gifts for the betterment of the world.

So….toward the goal of item #3, please feel free to connect with other ones like you through the Authentic Freedom Facebook Page.  Start a conversation.  Make some connections.  And let’s get to work making the world a more loving, peaceful and harmonious place!

Love,

Lauri

Sehmi Aniyakah, Sehmi Oniyakah

Posted in Agape Project, Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Practices

The Agape’ Project – Remember Love

Today’s blog introduces you to The Agape’ Project a new venture of Authentic Freedom Ministries and a resource to help you remember your original nature as love….peace….and joy! 

Tell ’em you’re going to tell ’em; Tell ’em, then Tell ’em again!”

One of the primary guidelines from my past life in media advertising was the saying:   Tell them what you are going to tell them.  Tell Them.  Then, tell them again.  This leads into the other rule of advertising that people have to see something at least three times before they even know they saw it.  So……this is what I have been doing for the past several weeks….telling you what I am going to tell you.  Today I will tell you and tomorrow, I will tell you again!

Telling you

As  I have been mentioning, tomorrow, March 15, 2012…..The Ides of March, is the official launch of The Agape’ Project.  The Agape’ Project is a culmination of 20 years of personal spiritual practice using the tools from the Western (Christian) Contemplative (Mystical) tradition, 20+ years of theological and spiritual studies, and 20 years of sharing these tools with others.  In these 20+ years, I have found these tools to be THE MOST effective way to cultivate peace, compassion and joy in our lives.  And, the Agape’ Project makes these tools available in an easy to use, simple to understand format.

WIFM

Another “rule” from my days in outside sales:  WIFM……What is in it for me?  In other words, before we “buy” something, we need to know how it is going to benefit us.  So……here are some of the things that they Agape’ Project can do for you if you choose to subscribe:

  • Answer some of your questions about scripture, Hebrew culture, Jesus’ teachings
  • Make scripture accessible and applicable to your everyday life
  • Help you connect with the voice of truth (God) within
  • Help you find the spiritual practice(s) that work for you
  • Help you find accessible, approachable methods for meditation and contemplation
  • Help you to know peace, love and joy more fully
  • Help you to identify the spiritual fears that might be in the way of you knowing peace
  • Help you to find healing and release from those fears
  • Help you to KNOW God, not just know ABOUT God
  • Help you to find the path to fulfillment and happiness
  • Help you to find tools to help you make it through life’s challenges

Truly, the list is endless…but that’s a start.

What I’m going to tell you

So, below you will find more information about the Agape’ Project and what I will again be telling you tomorrow….with a special invitation for you to share it with your friends.  Thanks!

 

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Agape’ – The Greek word used in Christian scripture to describe the unconditional, unmerited, infinite, abundantly flowing Love of God.  Even more than that, Agape’ reminds us that God is LOVE and that we too are that Love in our connection with God, with one another and with all of Creation.  By embracing Agape’, we REMEMBER THE LOVE THAT WE ARE

The Agape’ Project seeks to get effective tools for Spiritual Formation into the hands of adults by providing a weekly resource that is available on a subscription basis.  As a subscriber, you will receive the weekly Agape’ Project newsletter which will consist of resources for your personal spiritual practice and that could eventually be shared in a small group setting.  Resources included in the weekly Agape Project newsletter:

  • A scripture reading (or two)
  • Some background on the scripture (historical and sociological context, literary genre, author, audience, etc.)
  • A brief reflection on the scripture
  • Suggested meditation/contemplation/prayer activity using the scripture
  • Questions for personal reflection or to be shared within a small group

Click to view a sample:  AgapeProjectSamplePage1   AgapeProjectSamplePage2

Flexible Payment Options:

To meet the broad range of financial accessibility, you are invited to choose from the following payment options:

$20.00 per month (for those with the financial means or who intend to share these resources within a group of up to 10 participants)

$10.00 per month (for individuals or couples who are on a tighter budget – not intended for group use)

Note:  If even the $10.00 per month is out of your reach, please contact Lauri Lumby at lauri@yourspiritualtruth.com to discuss other arrangements. 

To subscribe, click on one of the links below:

 

$20.00 per month option:

 

 

$10.00 per month option:

Posted in Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Practices

Blowing the Doors off the Vatican Vault – Unleashing Spiritual Practices

In yesterday’s blog, I promised to relieve you of some of the obstacles to beginning and maintaining a spiritual practice.  Today’s blog reveals tools for sound spiritual practice that come to us through the Judeo-Christian contemplative (mystical) traditions. 

Lucas and Spielberg had it right

Remember that scene from the movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, where they show a custodian wheeling the Ark of the Covenant, now locked up and crated deep into the bowels of the Smithsonian Institute’s basement?  The very Ark that Indiana Jones worked so hard to find and rescue from the clutches of the Nazi’s?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6-rQ6Jay6w Well, that scene is exactly how I imagine the rich tradition of Mystical (aka Magdalene) Christianity…..locked up in a steel vault somewhere deep in the bowels of the Vatican.  Some pope, a long time ago, gathered up the richness of these traditions and locked them up….far away from the reaching arms of the hungry laity.  The good news is that the monastic communities of the Christian tradition also had knowledge of the tools and practices of the mystical church and preserved them, keeping them safe and waiting for the days that someone would blow the doors off the Vatican vault, unleashing these tools for the benefit of all….and perhaps for the salvation of “Mother Church.”  (another topic for another day.)  Well, here I am…..the uppity Lay Minister, Lauri Ann Lumby.  I’ve got the keys to the vault and I’m not afraid to use them.  🙂

Dun Da Dun Dun Dun Da Dun (Sung to the opening theme from Raider’s of the Lost Ark)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vg7C9qwLoqE

So, without further ado……below you will find a resource that I developed for the students and facilitators who have crossed the threshold of Authentic Freedom Ministries.   Tools for sound spiritual practice from the Judeo-Christian mystical/contemplative tradition.  Make a copy of this and keep it as instructional material as you begin to develop or deepen your spiritual practice.  And because I’m a huge brat…..a few words to the pope and his cronies in Rome right out of this morning’s scripture:

“Therefore I say to you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit”

Matthew 21: 45 

I’m just sayin’!

So….here are the tools we have all been waiting for:

I.                   Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina is Latin for “divine reading,” “spiritual reading,” or “holy reading” and represents a method of prayer and scriptural reading intended to promote communion with God and to provide special spiritual insights.

A.    Lectio – Reading the Bible passage gently and slowly several times. The passage itself is not as important as the savoring of each portion of the reading, constantly listening for the “still, small voice” of a word or phrase that somehow speaks to the practitioner.

B.     Meditatio – Reflecting on the text of the passage and thinking about how it applies to one’s own life. This is considered to be a very personal reading of the Scripture and very personal application. Asking the question, how is God speaking to me personally through this passage?

C.    Oratio – Responding to the passage by opening the heart to God. This is not primarily an intellectual exercise, but is thought to be more of the beginning of a conversation with God. This stage can be accomplished through journaling, or offering a silent or spoken prayer to God.

D.    Contemplatio – Listening to God. This is a freeing of oneself from one’s own thoughts, both mundane and holy, and hearing God talk to us. Opening the mind, heart, and soul to the influence of God.

 

 

II.                Centering Prayer/Silent Contemplation

Silent Contemplation is allowing oneself to simply rest in God.  The goal of contemplation is “no goal.”  The practitioner is to simply be.  Repeated practice opens the contemplative to the fruits of contemplation – deepening peace, insight, creativity, guidance, consolation and compassion.

A.    Practitioner finds a comfortable place where they can sit in silence.

B.     Practitioner chooses a focal point – the breath, a sacred word or phrase (love, peace, Jesus,Om, etc.)

C.    Practitioner sits in silence.  When they find their mind wandering, they return their attention to their focal point.

D.    Practitioner continues in this manner for the period of time pre-determined for contemplation.

III.             Love Letter from God

This type of practice works best with scripture passages that seem to be God addressing us.

A.    Read through the passage slowly and meditatively.

B.     Re-read the passage as if it is a letter written to us directly from God.

C.    Practitioner allows themselves to receive the words into their heart.

D.    The remainder of the practice follows a similar pattern to Lectio-Divina.

Read, receive, respond, contemplate

IV.             Free-Form Journaling/Automatic Writing

Through this approach, the practitioner brings a question or a thought to the meditation session.   The practitioner offers the question/thought to God, then allows God to speak to them through their pen as they write in their journal.  Through this method, the practitioner allows their own thoughts, etc. to step aside to make room for the words of God.

V.                Mantra Meditation

A.    Practitioner chooses a favorite sacred phrase/mantra.  (Om Mani Padme Om; Hail Mary Full of Grace; Om Shanti; Give us this day our daily bread; Abwoon d’bwashmaya; etc.)

B.     Practitioner repeats mantra silently or aloud, over and over, allowing the mantra to draw them into a place of peaceful calm.

C.    Practitioner continues with mantra until they find it no longer necessary and are able to enter into silent contemplation.

D.    Practitioner returns to mantra when they find their mind wandering.

VI.             Prayer Beads

Practitioner engages in practice above, using prayer beads/rosary to “count” mantra repetitions.  The benefit of using prayer beads is that is adds another sense to the process – tactile touch.  This is especially helpful for those with a restless mind.

VII.          Imagination-Contemplation/Daydreaming Meditation

A.    Practitioner chooses a narrative story from scripture.

B.     Practitioner reads through the story slowly and meditatively

C.    Practitioner chooses a character from the story (named, or unnamed).

D.    Practitioner re-reads the story from the vantage point of their chosen character.

E.     Practitioner enters into their creative imagination, placing themselves as their chosen character in the midst of the story.  They allow the story to unfold in their imagination in great detail, being mindful of thoughts, reflections, emotions that may surface through the process.

F.     Practitioner writes what they witnessed through their imagination, allowing additional details to surface as they write.

G.    Practitioner reflects on two questions:

1. How is God speaking to me through what was revealed in this daydreaming?

2. How is the revealed story reflective of something going on in my current life journey?

VIII.       Art as Prayer

Practitioner is given the task of creating a visual representative of their prayer/reflection.

IX.             Music Meditation

Music is used as a vehicle through which the practitioner can find that place of peaceful calm within.

A.    Choose the musical selection (chant, classical music, instrumental music works well here)

B.     Practitioner listens to musical selection with rapt attention, allowing the movement of the music to draw them into peaceful calm.

C.    Practitioner rests in silent contemplation once music is finished.

X.                Mindful Meditation/Theological Reflection

A.    Practitioner chooses an ordinary activity or object as the focal point of their meditation.

B.     Practitioner observes the object or engages in the activity with rapt attention.

C.    Practitioner becomes aware of the object or the activity in a way that transcends their typical experience of this object/activity.

D.    Practitioner records what they observe in the object or activity, asking what how God is being revealed through the object or activity.

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com