Posted in Death, New World, Spiritual Direction, world changes

How to Survive Soul Death

The short answer to the question: “How do you survive soul death” is YOU DON’T. Soul death is what many are experiencing right now as we are facing the death of the world that we have known and the void between what we have known and what has not yet come into being.

Soul death can be recognized by:

  • Feeling as if you are weighted down
  • Life feels as if you are walking through wet cement
  • You feel heavy, depressed, unmotivated, paralyzed.
  • NOTHING seems to be happening in your outside world.
  • Inside you feel vacant and empty.
  • You feel the need to weep but you don’t know why.
  • It feels as if there is nothing to hang on to, nothing holding your attention or interest in this world.
  • You don’t want to die, but THIS doesn’t feel much like living.
  • You are SOUL WEARY. Exhausted.  Worn out.  Physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
  • The spiritual practices that normally provide some measure of comfort feel empty and lifeless. They provide no relief.

Symptoms of soul death seem to be the common theme for sensitives at this point in our human evolution. The world we have known is dying (thank God) and we are in that void between what has been and what has not yet been brought forth into our lives and world.

There is no surviving soul death because death is the point. All that we have done, been, believed, been a part of in the old (patriarchal/hierarchical) world needs to come to an end.  We cannot leave the old world behind while clinging to what gave our lives meaning and purpose in that world.  Neither can we leave that world behind while clinging to the beliefs, structures, practices or habits that supported our survival in that world. It all needs to go.  It all needs to die. And that is terrifying.

Once we have allowed the death of all that has been, we enter INTO THE VOID! This is the state of complete emptiness where we know nothing and where WE ARE NOTHING.  This can be a frightening place – especially for those (like me) who seek after some measure of surety.  We long to have something to hold on to.  In the void, there is literally nothing, so there is nothing to hang on to.  Instead, our only option is to SURRENDER. Here, instead of resisting, we enter deeply into our soul death.  We allow ourselves to courageously face the darkness, the emptiness, the nothingness and to feel the deep pain of separation, knowing that this perceived separation is only an illusion for in the perceived darkness where it appears there is nothing, THERE IS EVERYTHING.  Everything that has ever come into form came into being from this place of emptiness.  In entering into the nothing we discover EVERYTHING.

Surviving soul death requires to us surrender to it….enter into it….be with and allow it. Survival comes in allowing the death and being with it every step of the way. Only then can the new life come into being.

Online course in support of those times of soul death. Click on image to learn more and register. Only $13.00!

 

Posted in Initiation, self-actualization, spiritual awakening, Spiritual Development, Spiritual Formation

Spiritual Initiation: Standing at the Crossroads

The journey toward self-actualization is in fact, one spiritual initiation after another. Spiritual initiation takes place every time we are faced with an opportunity to remain in the perceived safety and security of what we have known or take another step toward the fulfillment of our life purpose.  The spiritual initiation is successful when we move through the fears and ego attachments that seek to keep us imprisoned within our small selves and away from the expansion we are driven toward by our Soul.  Some of these initiations are small and some are so significantly huge that we soon become aware that we are facing a major crossroad in our life.  It is at these crossroad moments that our spiritual practice becomes even more critical, as does our diligent attention to these practices.

spiritual initiation, crossroads, discernment, soul's purpose, journey of the soul, spiritual practice

Stephanie Azaria in Monday’s post in her column “Cosmic Consciousness” had the following to say about the crossroads:

“…a crossroad is a series of four very specific paths that are all equally available to us when we approach them from the observer’s perspective. We can send our conscious awareness down all four roads at the same time until the heart begins to resonate fully with one (or more) of these paths.  At that time we can take action to follow that road knowing it may or may not be permanent…..such is the way of the new world.  Nothing is permanent.”

A crossroads occurs when the life we have known has come to an end and the new life has not yet revealed itself. It is a time of spiritual initiation ripe with opportunity and danger.  At the crossroads, possibilities seem endless and many opportunities (or twinklings of opportunities) may present themselves.  At this stage, none of these possibilities are yet fully formed, so a decision (or even a discernment) cannot yet be made.  Some of these possibilities will die on the vine.  Some are not in our highest good or reflective of our soul’s purpose and therefore should not be pursued.  And some are just beginning to grow roots so are not yet strong enough to support our unfolding.  For these reasons, pursuing or chasing after possible opportunities prematurely will only end badly.  We will know that the opportunity is not yet ripe if in its pursuit we find it either drawing away, or find ourselves coming up against a brick wall. Instead of requiring effort, opportunities that are ripe and good for the soul will fall into our laps in a miraculous and effortless kind of way.

While the crossroads is ripe with possibility, it is also rife with danger. This is true for it is at the crossroads where we make our deals with the devil.  At the end of what has been, we are vulnerable and afraid. We have left behind (or are being asked to leave behind) what has been so as to replace it with something that is not yet known.  It is in our human nature to crave surety and to long for “the same.”  When we have neither of these creature comforts, we grow anxious, worried, and fretful.  Often, our first response is to bargain for the old life to be returned.  “Please let me go back to…….(insert relationship, job, home, etc. here)….at least I knew what to expect there.”  But our Soul desires nothing if not growth.  As such, as much as we might want to, we cannot return to that which has already died…or which no longer supports our growth.  (Well….actually we can…..we just end up with a zombie like life along with the constant shame of knowing we are living an unlived life…mind numbing substances and behaviors come in handy here as we try to escape our true feelings about the unlived life we have chosen).

After bargaining, we must now face the possibilities that lay before us. Some will be known.  Some will only be twinkles.  And MANY will be the paths which lead us only into the “devil’s trap.”  These are the paths which are ruled by fear and/or which tempt us through our ego attachments.  Those paths ruled by fear are the possibilities that are based in our unhealed and unresolved fears:  fears over money, time, acceptance by others, belonging, etc. etc. etc.  When we choose a path that is ruled by fear (I’m afraid that the path of my Soul won’t make me any money, so I’m going to find a path that insures at least a regular paycheck…..whether or not it has anything to do with my gifts, my mission or my purpose in this life…..), this is the devil’s trap.  The result of choosing this path will only be more fear and a deepening sense of imprisonment.  Those paths ruled by the ego are those which tempt us through our desire for fame, power, control and material wealth…..in other words, “the lifestyles of the rich and famous” – another of the devil’s games.  While fame may be an outcome of pursuing our Soul’s path, this will not be true for all, and the path of our Soul is never driven by our desire for fame. In the quest for the Soul, we must always check our ego at the door.

When we find ourselves at the crossroads or spiritual initiation we are vulnerable. We feel insecure and afraid.  The possibilities might seem overwhelming and our fears are running rampant.  The crossroads is the devil’s playground, but it is also the domain of our Soul.  At the crossroads, the Soul is seeking after and longing for its natural movement toward growth and it will not rest until the appropriate path for its growth reveals itself.  Until that happens, the Soul is restless….making us even more vulnerable to the “devil’s trap.”  At the crossroads, our spiritual practices become even more critical, along with our resilience in the face of temptation and our diligence in tending to these practices.  While at the crossroads we must not act, pursue, chase after or be tempted to make something happen.  Neither should we make any decision based in fear or arising out of the ego.  Instead, there is only ONE THING we can do when standing at the crossroads….and that is WAIT. Wait and watch.  Observe and discern.  And when the waiting and inaction become excruciating (which they will)….we wait some more.  For it is at the crossroad where we endure the greatest of all tests in our spiritual initiation …the test of whether we can wait long enough for the path of our Soul to arrive and the next stage of our life to begin.

Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS is a trained spiritual director and spiritual counselor, transformational educator, ordained interfaith minister and published author. Lauri supports the spiritual awakening and self-actualization of humanity and does so through one-on-one mentoring, writing, online classes and workshops.  Contact Lauri at lauri@authenticfreedom.love to learn more.

Posted in Lessons, Mary Magdalene, Oneness with God, self-actualization, Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Practices

Union – Available NOW!

My latest book, Union – A Year of Spiritual Lessons and Practices with Mary Magdalene is available NOW through Amazon!

Mary Magdalene is many things to many people, but to the initiated, she is the Beloved of Christ, his co-equal partner, and guardian of the mystical teachings and practices of the Western spiritual tradition. More than any other disciple, Mary understood the mystical, gnostic, and alchemical teachings of Jesus.  Mary came to embody these teachings and was empowered by Christ to deliver these teachings to the Western world.

Union – a Year of Spiritual Lessons and Practices with Mary Magdalene is a collection of lessons which when diligently applied, empowers the reader to experience the truth of Oneness (Union) that Jesus taught and which Mary Magdalene came to embody. These lessons were revealed to Lauri Ann Lumby through her intimate partnership with the Magdalene/Christ and support the reader’s journey toward remembering their original nature as Love.

Each lesson includes:

  • Scripture
  • Inspirational Reflection/Lesson
  • Suggested Meditation/Contemplation Exercise
  • Mini-lesson in Authentic Freedom™ – Lauri Ann Lumby’s Trademarked Protocol for Achieving Union.

It is suggested that the lessons be completed one per week in the order given as the lessons are laid out according to an ancient, forgotten wisdom which embraces the knowledge of the linear and cyclical process of human transformation. You may, however, complete these lessons in any order you like, perhaps making your choices, instead, according to the themes listed.  These lessons are meant to support and sustain you in the face of whatever challenges life might present to you.  It is encouraged that you return to these lessons as often as necessary and as the need arises in your life.

Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS is a Modern Magdalene Priestess, spiritual counselor, educator and author. For over twenty years, Lauri has researched, studied and put into practice the hidden teachings of the Judeo-Christian tradition and discovered within them rich and effective tools for facilitating self-awareness and self-actualization. These teachings and practices prove that beyond the doctrine resides the truth that unites all people – the truth of Oneness in Love.

As a priestess of the Magdalene/Christ, Lauri shares these teachings through her on-line and local courses, one-on-one mentoring, writing and publishing, and through her Magdalene Priestess Training program.

 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Mary Magdalene, Spiritual Practices

Union – A Year of Spiritual Lessons and Practices with Mary Magdalene. Coming Soon!

Union – A Year of Spiritual Lessons and Practices with Mary Magdalene

Coming Soon! 

Mary Magdalene is many things to many people, but to the initiated, she is the Beloved of Christ, his co-equal partner, and guardian of the mystical teachings and practices of the Western spiritual tradition. More than any other disciple, Mary understood the mystical, gnostic, and alchemical teachings of Jesus.  Mary came to embody these teachings and was empowered by Christ to deliver these teachings to the Western world.

Union – a Year of Spiritual Lessons and Practices with Mary Magdalene is a collection of lessons which when diligently applied, empowers the reader to experience the truth of Oneness (Union) that Jesus taught and which Mary Magdalene came to embody. These lessons were revealed to Lauri Ann Lumby through her intimate partnership with the Magdalene/Christ and support the reader’s journey toward remembering their original nature as Love.

Each lesson includes:

  • Scripture
  • Inspirational Reflection/Lesson
  • Suggested Meditation/Contemplation exercise
  • Mini-lesson in Authentic Freedom™ – Lauri Ann Lumby’s trademarked protocol for achieving Union.

Available soon in paperback and Kindle through Amazon.com.

Posted in Forgiveness, Lessons, Spiritual Practices, Truth

The Truth Cannot Stay Hidden

This weekend, I had the profound confirmation of a theory to which I have long-subscribed – the theory that no matter how hard one tries, truth will not stay long hidden. Truth always finds its way to the light where it can be readily seen by those who have the eyes to see, bringing justice to situations where untruths otherwise prevailed.

In this particular case, I was well aware of these truths. Although the revelations of these truths would have provided me with much vindication, I had kept silent about these truths for the sake of others who might be hurt by them.  These truths had been the cause of much pain in my own life, truths that the human part of me wanted to shout to the world as a way of “getting back” at those who had hurt me.  Instead, I chose silence, knowing and trusting that these truths would eventually find their way to the light for those who needed to know in a time that was perfect for them.

justicepixabay

And this is exactly what happened. The truth came to light bringing healing and closure where neither were previously thought possible.  In addition, the way in which these truths came to light brought empowerment for those, who through their own observations had intuited these truths.  The revelation of these truths brought great validation for me in having taken the “high road” in choosing silence and trust over revenge. It also served as a great reminder that no matter how hard one works at disguising, denying or avoiding their truth, truth cannot be hidden for long and the deceiver will always give themselves away, if not directly then by slips of the tongue or getting caught in an outright lie.

This is the advice I offer to students and clients who are faced with similar situations of untruths – where harm has been done to them, and they want to take revenge on the “other” by telling everyone the truth. I say, “Wait.  The truth will win out in the end.  Those that need to know will find out if and when they need to.”  This weekend’s experience proved my theory true.

Choosing silence, trust, and a patient heart allows us to turn away from the human desire for revenge and toward forgiveness practices – those practices that free us from the resentment, hurt, sense of betrayal, anger and hatred that we might otherwise harbor against the other. Here we are able to free ourselves of the pain of the hurt while not causing harm to another.  Choosing this path gives us freedom.

As I also advise my students and clients, “Karma is a bitch.” While I do not believe in a punitive God, I do believe in (and the human part of me takes great comfort in) the law of cause and effect.  What you put out to the world will come back to you 100-fold.  If you (intentionally) cause harm to another, that harm will come back to you.  If you betray another, you will be betrayed.  If you are a liar, you will be deceived.  If you cheat, you will be cheated, etc. etc. etc.  There is comfort in knowing that we reap what we have sown and for those who sow deceit this is what they shall reap.  Truth, on the other hand, always wins.  Choose truth.

Posted in Authentic Freedom, creativity, Freedom, Inspiration, Jesus, Lessons, self-actualization, Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Practices, Surrender, Virtual Church

The Seed of Happiness

One of the ways that Authentic Freedom Academy supports self-actualization and personal empowerment is by providing nourishment and support for psycho-spiritual development.  The Authentic Freedom Virtual Church and accompanying Agape’ Meditation newsletter is one way we accomplish this goal.  Each week, subscribers receive access to the meditation newsletter and video lesson – centered on the non-dual teachings of Christ.  Below is a sample of what you might expect to receive as part of subscribing.  To learn more, go to our Virtual Church page and Subscribe! 

June 14, 2015 – Eleventh Sunday Ordinary Time

Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter

Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service

 

 Scripture Readings:

Jesus said to the crowds: “This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and through it all the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.” He said, “To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.” With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it. Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

MK 4: 26-34

 

Additional Readings:

EZ 16: 22-24

PS 92: 2-3, 13-15

2 Cor 5: 6-10

dandelion

 

We Know Not How

This week’s gospel speaks to us of the kingdom of God – its abundance and fruitfulness. The same could be said of ourselves and the fruitful outcome of our life’s journey – its purpose and how we are called to find fulfillment within ourselves and in service to the betterment of the world.

 

The seed provides the perfect metaphor for the journey of our Soul. The seed bears deep within itself – invisible to the eye – something that says what the seed will be when it grows up. A sunflower seed has no choice but to become a sunflower (or squirrel food). The same is true of an acorn, a wheat berry, an apple seed. The seed, when given the proper protection, nourishment, water and light, has no choice but to become that for which it was made. Once the seed is planted and the resources it needs provided, the seed simply becomes its purpose. This happens of its own accord – and not because someone “made it happen.”

 

This is also true for us. Deep within ourselves is something invisible, yet concrete, that says who God intended us to be when we come into our own ripeness. We, like the seed, need the proper environment, nourishment, safety, support, water and light, to become that for which we were made. Once this is provided (often by our own hand), and we are willing to plant the seeds to make this happen….it happens on its own. Again, not because we, or someone else, made it happen. Coming into our own fruitfulness is the natural consequence of giving ourselves what we need to not only survive, but also thrive.

 

What is the seed in you that is trying to be born?

What can you do to provide safety, nourishment and support (ie: boundaries) for your own becoming?

 

 

Spiritual Practices – The Seed Inside of Us

For this week’s meditation, you will need some relaxing (or energizing) music, two blank sheets of paper and some crayons.

 

Begin by setting up a work area. A place you can comfortably engage in meditative art. Have everything in the space that you will need to complete this meditation.

 

Put on the meditative (or energizing) music. (I like Violin Concerto in D Minor by Bach) Listen intently to the music, allowing yourself to feel its movement – the rising and falling of the music, tempo changes, listening for the individual instruments, etc. Allow the music to inspire your soul.

 

While you are feeling the music, imagine a seed. Be open to whatever seed presents itself to you.

 

With your paper and crayons. Draw that seed.

 

As you continue to listen to the music, reflect on the seed. What is significant about the seed you chose? Is it large, small? What does it produce? Is it abundant in its production (like the mustard seed) or does it produce something rare? Reflect on how you are like this seed.

 

After this portion of the reflection feels complete, on the second sheet of paper, draw a picture of yourself growing out of the seed. What are you becoming? Draw this.

 

Authentic Freedom

In Authentic Freedom, we focus our attention on the kingdom of God within us (Malkuthakh), and how it is known by a state of inner peace, contentment, compassion and joy. While we may not experience the fullness of the kingdom until after we depart this life, Jesus came to teach us how to experience the kingdom here and now.  One part of enjoying Malkuthakh is to become the person God made us to be. Each and every one of us is uniquely gifted and called by God to experience fulfillment in our lives through the use of our own unique gifts – both for our own enjoyment and in service to the betterment of our world. The work of this begins in childhood through the environment provided by our parents, teachers, ministers, etc. Yes, we sometimes have to undo that which was not supportive of our Soul’s development. As grown ups, however, we now have a choice. It is our responsibility, for the sake of our Soul and for the purpose of our own inner contentment, to create and uphold the environment in which our Soul’s purpose can finds its fruition. This begins by naming and claiming our needs and setting boundaries around these needs. In doing so, we are preparing the soil in which the seed of our Soul may take root and grow. Then it is our job to feed and water it. And finally, it is our task to GET OUT OF THE WAY and let our seed grow in the way and time that it needs to….all according to God’s plan.

 

How are you preparing and environment in which the seed of your Soul may take root and grow?

Fleur_de_Lis_Tattoo_by_ladyserenity2002

Posted in Agape Project, Authentic Freedom, Empowerment, Freedom, Virtual Church

Agape Meditation Newsletter

The following is the Agape’ Meditation Newsletter in preparation for Sunday, March 23rd, 2014, the Third Sunday of Lent.  If you find this resource meaningful and want to receive a printable copy via email, please subscribe using the “Constant Contact” subscription button in the right sidebar menu.

  

Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter

Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service

Scripture Reading:

In those days, in their thirst for water, the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “Why did you ever make us leave Egypt? Was it just to have us die here of thirst with our children and our livestock?” So Moses cried out to the LORD, “What shall I do with this people? a little more and they will stone me!” The LORD answered Moses, “Go over there in front of the people,  along with some of the elders of Israel, holding in your hand, as you go, the staff with which you struck the river. I will be standing there in front of you on the rock in Horeb. Strike the rock, and the water will flow from it for the people to drink.” This Moses did, in the presence of the elders of Israel. The place was called Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled there and tested the LORD, saying, “Is the LORD in our midst or not?”

Exodus 17: 3-7

 

Additional Readings:

Ps 95: 1-2, 6-9

Rom 5: 1-2, 5-819, 20, 22

Jn 4: 5-42

Hindsight is 20/20

 

As Paul said in his letter to the Hebrews:

“Faith is the realization of things hoped for and evidence of things unseen.” (Heb 11:1)

Sometimes in order to have belief, or to strengthen a weakened belief, it is helpful to look back over our life experiences for evidence of the Presence and Action of God.  Taking the time to recall all the places in our life where we can see the loving action of God helps to strengthen us in times of struggle and gives us appreciation for all the ways in which God has been present to us throughout our lives.

 

Spiritual Practices:

On a blank sheet of paper, draw a horizontal line.  At one end of the line, put the number zero.  At the other end of the line, write your current age.  Between zero and your current age, mark along the line, significant events of your life.  Choose one of those events and place yourself back into the experience, using your imagination to recollect the details of the event.  Allow yourself to once again experience the emotions and feelings associated with the event.  Allow the story to unfold in your mind until it comes to its natural conclusion. Then reflect on the following questions:

1)       How are you now aware of the Presence and Action of God in the course of that event?  Some examples might be – significant people who accompanied you in the experience, or showed up as examples of love and support.  Other examples might be related to solutions to problems, guidance and support that seemed to come in a miraculous or startling way.

2)      How has that event continued to influence your life?  How has God continued to be present to you as you life unfolded from that event?

 

Authentic Freedom

In this week’s reading, the Hebrews were confronted with the very real fear that they would die of thirst in the desert.  From the perspective of Authentic Freedom, the fear that arose in them was the fear that there is not enough. This fear caused them to doubt the decision they had made to leave behind the life of slavery they had known in Egypt and follow Moses to the “promised land.”  Their grumbling and the remedy to their grumbling is a reminder for us as well – when we are afraid that there is not enough, to turn toward God.

How are you aware of the fear “there is not enough” as operating in your life?

Where are you tempted to doubt that God will provide for all of your needs?

How are you being invited to turn toward God when you are afraid?

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Faith, God, Spiritual Practices, the bible, Virtual Church

Virtual Church – Spiritual Practices

Below is a copy of the Agape’ Meditation Newsletter which is a supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church worship service.  If you would like to subscribe and receive this newsletter in your email every week, please click on the Constant Contact icon below. 

 

Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter

Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service

Scripture Reading:

MoseswaterrockIn those days, in their thirst for water, the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “Why did you ever make us leave Egypt?
Was it just to have us die here of thirst with our children and our livestock?” So Moses cried out to the LORD, “What shall I do with this people? a little more and they will stone me!” The LORD answered Moses, “Go over there in front of the people,  along with some of the elders of Israel, holding in your hand, as you go, the staff with which you struck the river. I will be standing there in front of you on the rock in Horeb. Strike the rock, and the water will flow from it for the people to drink.” This Moses did, in the presence of the elders of Israel. The place was called Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled there and tested the LORD, saying, “Is the LORD in our midst or not?”

Exodus 17: 3-7

 

Additional Readings:

Ps 95: 1-2, 6-9

Rom 5: 1-2, 5-819, 20, 22

Jn 4: 5-42

Hindsight is 20/20

As Paul said in his letter to the Hebrews: “Faith is the realization of things hoped for and evidence of things unseen.” (Heb 11:1)

Sometimes in order to have belief, or to strengthen a weakened belief, it is helpful to look back over our life experiences for evidence of the Presence and Action of God.  Taking the time to recall all the places in our life where we can see the loving action of God helps to strengthen us in times of struggle and gives us appreciation for all the ways in which God has been present to us throughout our lives.

 

Spiritual Practices:

On a blank sheet of paper, draw a horizontal line.  At one end of the line, put the number zero.  At the other end of the line, write your current age.  Between zero and your current age, mark along the line, significant events of your life.  Choose one of those events and place yourself back into the experience, using your imagination to recollect the details of the event.  Allow yourself to once again experience the emotions and feelings associated with the event.  Allow the story to unfold in your mind until it comes to its natural conclusion. Then reflect on the following questions:

1)       How are you now aware of the Presence and Action of God in the course of that event?  Some examples might be – significant people who accompanied you in the experience, or showed up as examples of love and support.  Other examples might be related to solutions to problems, guidance and support that seemed to come in a miraculous or startling way.

2)      How has that event continued to influence your life?  How has God continued to be present to you as you life unfolded from that event?

Authentic Freedom

In this week’s reading, the Hebrews were confronted with the very real fear that they would die of thirst in the desert.  From the perspective of Authentic Freedom, the fear that arose in them was the fear that there is not enough. This fear caused them to doubt the decision they had made to leave behind the life of slavery they had known in Egypt and follow Moses to the “promised land.”  Their grumbling and the remedy to their grumbling is a reminder for us as well – when we are afraid that there is not enough, to turn toward God.

How are you aware of the fear “there is not enough” as operating in your life?

Where are you tempted to doubt that God will provide for all of your needs?

How are you being invited to turn toward God when you are afraid?

Posted in Authentic Freedom, church, Spiritual Practices, temptation, Virtual Church

VIrtual Church – Spiritual Practices Supplement

Below is a copy of the content of the Agape Meditation Practices Newsletter which is a supplement to the weekly virtual church online services.  This newsletter is available to email subscribers through Constant Contact (see subscribe icon in the right sidebar menu).  If you find these practices meaningful, helpful and perhaps inspiring, please consider subscribing.   

Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter

Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service

Sunday, March 9, 2014

First Sunday of Lent 

Scripture Reading:

At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry.The tempter approached and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread.” He said in reply, “It is written: One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.”

Jesus tempted

Then the devil took him to the holy city, and made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: He will command his angels concerning you and with their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” Jesus answered him, “Again it is written, You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.” Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, and he said to him, “All these I shall give to you,  if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.” At this, Jesus said to him, “Get away, Satan! It is written: The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.”

Then the devil left him and, behold, angels came and ministered to him.    (Matthew 4: 1-11)

 

Additional Readings:

Gn 2: 7-9, 3: 1-7

Ps 51: 3-17

Rom 5: 12, 17-19

Imagination as Revelation

For centuries, spiritual teachers across cultures have demonstrated the power of imagination as a source of guidance, insight, knowledge, comfort and healing.  St. Ignatius of Loyola discovered this in his own journey while convalescing after a serious war injury.  Through his imagination, he was turned from a desire for fame, wealth and power to one of service to God.  Ignatius learned that God could speak to him directly through his daydreaming and came to know God and in coming to know God, came to know himself through his daydreaming.  This week, you will have an opportunity to practice this powerful form of meditation, known for centuries by spiritual teachers and formalized within the Christian tradition by Ignatius of Loyola in the practice he came to call Imagination/Contemplation.

 

Spiritual Practices:

 With this week’s scripture, you are invited to use the spiritual practice of Imagination/contemplation. Follow the steps below:

1)       Slowly and meditatively read the gospel account of Jesus’ temptation in the desert.

2)      Put yourself in Jesus’ place. Imagine that you are Jesus in the story.

3)      Placing yourself in the place of Jesus, imagine in detail the setting.  What are you wearing?  What is the environment like in the desert?  What is the weather?  How are you feeling.  When the devil shows up, what does he/she look like?  Is there anyone else there?

4)      Without censoring, allow the story to unfold in your imagination.  Allow yourself to daydream the story in your mind, letting it flow without censoring, questioning, critique, simply allow the story to unfold in your mind.  Be attentive to all the details.  Be especially mindful of any thoughts, feelings or emotions that might surface.

5)      After the story has come to a natural conclusion in your mind, write it down in a notebook or journal, being attentive to any additional details which might reveal themselves.

6)      After you have written the story, go back and read what you wrote.

7)      Reflect on the following questions:  a) How is the story that was revealed to you reflective of something going on in your own life?  b) What might God be trying to reveal to you through the story that came forth through your imagination?

Authentic Freedom

In this week’s reading, we have an opportunity to confront the role of temptation in our lives.  Authentic Freedom speaks directly to temptation in awareness of the seven core fears:

  • There is not enough
  • I am insignificant and have nothing to contribute
  • I can’t (be the person God made me to be)
  • I am not loved
  • I am not free to express my truth
  • I do not know my truth and my path
  • I am alone

Reflect this week on how you are tempted to entertain or give in to these fears.

If you find these materials meaningful and supportive, please consider making a donation to Authentic Freedom Ministries.  One-time and recurring donations are both available.  Do donate, click here:  paypaldonate

Posted in Authentic Freedom, Spiritual Practices, Virtual Church

Welcome to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church

Welcome to the Authentic Freedom virtual church!  Today is the official “soft-launch.”  The virtual church will consist of a weekly on-line worship service accessible through this site (the first to be posted this Sunday), a weekly meditation practices newsletter (a sample of which will be posted as a blog later today) and an on-line discussion forum through Facebook.  To learn more, click on the “Virtual Church” tab. See instructions below on how you can become involved!!!!!   Please join us.  All are welcome.

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1) Attend our weekly service on this site- at a time convenient to you.  Services will be posted no later than Sunday mornings and will remain posted for 2-4 weeks.  Services will be archived on YouTube for limitless viewing. You can access services by coming to the website, or receive email reminders through option #2 below.

2) Receive our weekly meditation practices newsletter as a support to your Virtual Church service.  In this newsletter you will received a copy of the upcoming scripture reading(s) along with suggested contemplative/mindfulness/creative exercises that you can practice on your own. By subscribing to this meditation newsletter, you will also receive email notification of when virtual church services are posted and information on upcoming classes and workshops facilitated by Lauri Lumby. To receive the newsletter, subscribe HERE.

3) Join our Authentic Freedom Virtual Church group on Facebook. The intention of the group is to provide a safe, non-judgmental, non-dogmatic and non-prostheletizing forum through which virtual church members can connect and share their meditation and reflection experiences with the hope of growing through each other’s experiences.  It is a “closed” group which means that you will have to request an invitation and only members can read each other’s posts.  To join, click HERE, and request to be invited.  (PS I reserve the right to ask people to leave the group who cannot play nice!)

and…

4) Subscribe to this blog!  Receive blog postings 2-3 days per week which educate and inform you, supporting the birth of your Soul – the uniquely creative way in which you have been gifted to find meaning and purpose in your life and through which you are empowered to contribute to the betterment of the world.  To subscribe, click on “Subscribe” button on the right sidebar menu.

Please note that all services are made accessible to anyone at no charge.  If you find the services and meditation resources to be meaningful and supportive, please consider making a donation.  You can choose a one-time or a recurring donation through PayPal:

paypaldonate

Thank you and we look forward to your participation!!!

“Remember the Love that You Are!”

Lauri Ann Lumby