Tag Archives: spirituality

Shifts

Copyright 2016 by R.A. Robbins

Earlier this month in my post titled Wake Up! I spoke in a brief and very general way about awakening.   Now I want to dig a little deeper and talk about what happens when people begin to wake up.

So what does happen when people start waking up?  To put is simply, the world begins to change.  But anytime anything new is born into the world there are labor pains.  Much of the anger, violence and turmoil we see in our world today is evidence of this.  But it is important to look beyond the pain to catch at least a glimpse of what is being born.

So what is being born?  We are currently going through a major shift in consciousness which will be seen in many different areas of life.

The two shifts that are the most obvious (and exciting) to me are:

A shift from the masculine toward the feminine.  Let’s face it we have lived in a world that has been dominated by men.  How has that been working for us?  Now we are beginning to see women step forward in large numbers to remind us that does not always work.  We see this in all areas of life but perhaps the most out there in the public eye right now are politics and social justice.  This will only work if women lead from their feminine energy, instead of just copying the way men have always done things.  What we need to be moving toward is not a world dominated and controlled by women, but a balance of both the masculine and feminine energies working together. All people work side by side to create a world that works for all.  History tells us this will not be easy.  It is never easy for any group to let go of power and control, and learning to handle power and control is just as difficult.  Until we let go of our all or nothing mentality and learn to develop a spirit of cooperation and work together we will continue to struggle with this shift

A shift from organized religion focused on buildings, organization and doctrine toward a personal spiritual journey.  This shift is very personal to me.  I grew up in a family that was extremely involved in the local church, so I got an up close and personal view of the inner workings of a church.  It isn’t always pretty.   We can get so caught up in doctrine and our precious buildings that we can forget that our true calling is Oneness with God and if we are Christians following the Master Teacher by living the Christ life.  I began feeling the pull of the Christ within from a young age, but I resisted.  And boy did I resist.  Even when it became clear that I was no longer wanted and actually no longer belonged in “organized religion” I held on with everything I had.  It took a long time and a car accident for me to begin to experience little glimpses of what our Oneness with God is actually like.  Now there is no turning back.  There was a religious revival in the 1730’s and 1740’s known as the Great  Awakening.  We are now experiencing another great awakening as people are beginning to awaken to who they really are and how they are called to live.  And of course organized religion is not only resisting they are fighting back.  What is required of us during this time is to stay on track, stay connected to Spirit and each other and not get caught in fighting a “war” that does not really exist.

There are of course other shifts of consciousness occurring in our world.  That is why I would really like to hear from you on this one.

What major shifts are you seeing in our world?  Do they have personal meaning for you?  Leave you comments below and let’s talk.

All My Life’s a Circle

You don’t have to look far to find circles in daily life.   From the bowl you eat your breakfast cereal from to the clock on the wall, to the sun and the moon, circles are everywhere.  Life itself can be seen as a circle from birth to death. We even talk of coming “full circle”

I think the circle is a symbol that is embedded in our spiritual DNA  there for us when we are ready to remember. I believe that spiritual art and music incorporating circles are a way of helping us to remember.  Some of the songs written about the deeper meaning of circles include The Circle by Harry Chapin to Circle Game by Judy Collins to Circle of Life from The Lion King written by Elton John and Tim Rice.

 

I love to play with sacred geometry in my artwork, especially circles.  My first attempt at this was with the form of the Rose Window for Rose of Sharon.

Rose of Sharon
Copyright 2010

Then I explored the labyrinth with my ‘Walker” series.

 

Firewalker
Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins

I created another round quilt based on the song The Circle Game by Joni Mitchell to honor my mother’s life.  It hangs on my gallery wall in my home.

Carousel of Time
Copyright 2014 by R.A. Robbins
Original quilt based on the song Circle Game

 

A few years ago I even devoted a day to working with a mandala.  The day began with meditation on the courtesy dock which actually extends over the water.  What a wonderful way to begin, sitting silently listening to the birds and feeling the gentle breeze on my face.  Then I went inside and did a bit more study on the history and process of the mandala. I wanted to work outside so I loaded up a couple of tote bags, walked back down to the lake and set up on a picnic table by the water.

I thought I had an idea of what I would do, but Spirit had something else in mind.  Instead of the extremely intricate flowing lines of the typical drawn mandala I ended us with very basic circles full of personal meaning and symbolism.  It may not seem like much to others, but to me it is a gentle, encouraging message from the Creator and exactly what I needed on that day. I am not posting a photo here because this is a very personal piece. It is hanging in my studio and is not for sale.

When we begin recognizing our connection to nature, Spirit, symbols and other people life starts to open up to us in all it’s glory.  The mandala is one tool we can use to help facilitate this. More than just an art form, Spirit will speak through it if we just listen.

To view or buy more of my artwork go to The Espirational Gallery.

For more information on  the mandala see:

http://www.mandalaproject.org/

http://peopleof.oureverydaylife.com/history-mandala-7424.html

http://www.creativedreamincubator.com/journaling-2/art-journal/how-to-draw-mandalas-and-why-you-w

Dwelling in the Secret Place

Living the Inner Mystery in the Outer World

 

Copyright 2015 by R.A. Robbins

I have been blessed throughout my life to know people with deep spiritual connections. I am talking about people who shine the light of God through their faces, who sometimes seem to not walk on this earth at all but to float above it. I wasn’t sure what these people had, but I knew I wanted it.

Believe me I chased after it with everything I had. Unfortunately, I was mistaking the outward manifestation which appears in some spiritual people, but not all, for the spiritual life itself. We are all created to be different and we are all called to live the mystery of our oneness with God and each other in our own way.

It is much easier to live this mystery in seclusion or a small group of like-minded people with nothing but time to devote to prayer and meditation, but this is not a secret we are to keep to ourselves. Jesus, the master teacher tried to teach us how to do this during his time on this earth. If we read the New Testament gospels we see that he often withdrew to spend time with his small inner circle or with the Father. Life in this world is difficult. It is confusing. It can be physically exhausting. We must have time to rest, renew and remember our spiritual connection which is always there, we just tend to forget from time to time.

So how do we do this?

  • Spend time alone in the silence every day.
  • Don’t get caught up in personality differences. Some people living the spiritual life are calm, peaceful and slow-moving, while others are more energetic and even fun loving. Some focus more on the inner life, while others are compelled to reach out to the world. There is no one form or model we all have to fit into. You are a unique manifestation of God for a reason.
  • Remember our thoughts are prayers and we create our own reality with our thoughts.
  • In everything you do, be led by love.

The way you live you life will have much more influence than your words ever will.  Live the inner mystery — the outer world needs you.

 

“They” Did it to Me

There is one thing in this world I know for sure.  We each create our own reality with our thoughts.  Unfortunately much of what we create is not real — it is simply an illusion.

One of the biggest illusions I seem to like to create is that outside forces have power over me.  Anyone else like to create that one?  The great nebulous “they” made me do it, or did it to me.  What really happens in these instances is that I do it to myself.

You see it’s not what others do or how they live that causes me problems, it’s how I react to it.  I always have a choice. Unfortunately I occasionally still chose to live on adrenaline and it doesn’t take much to get that going.  Bob being sick, a friend needing a lot of time and attention, going overboard with physical exercise can be all it takes to set off what I call an adrenaline storm.  As I am getting older and as I have been getting these under control “falling off the wagon” has become harder.  At the least, there is one heck of a “hangover.”  Just as with a storm related to weather whether it be rain, wind, snow, there is often clean-up that has to occur after the storm has passed, there is always clean-up to do and often consequences to live with when we create a reality that is out of balance and does not work.

So what do we do?  Do we give up and just “accept” our flawed reality as just the way life is?  Or do we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, be patient with ourselves, learn something from the experience and recommit to our spiritual practice?  The choice is mine.  The choice is yours.

Thought for Today

Copyright 2016 by R.A. Robbins

“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.

—. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/spiritual.html

Standing

Sometimes in the very early morning hours I find myself lying in bed silently thinking, writing or being taught. I’ve had entire written or artistic works come to me during these times, but then I have to get up and actually create them in reality before the thought or idea slips away.  This morning I woke up thinking about a current artwork I’ve been working on called “Unraveled.”  This art work was started during the Presidential campaign and continued in the aftermath as I watched what has appeared to be the foundations of American life  — democracy, freedom and even civility coming totally unraveled.

Then I started hearing the music of my Baptist upbringing — the grand old hymns and gospel songs, sung by people who sang with great gusto, proclaiming their faith and not worrying about their singing not being good enough.  One by one they played in my mind — …I’m standing on the promises of God,  …,How firm a foundation ye saints of the Lord is prepared for your faith in his excellent word…, On Christ the solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand…, Rock of Ages cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee.  Even a newer song by the late Dottie Rambo creeped in there — I go to the rock of my salvation I go to the stone that the builders rejected I go to the mountain and the mountain stand by me… 

Noticing a theme here?  These wonderful hymns and gospel songs all talk about standing and hiding in God, that firm foundation we can count on when the world seems to be falling apart.  Growing up Baptist, I believed that each person has direct access to God through Jesus, the Christ, and I still believe that.  When I pray and when I meditate there is a complete oneness with God that is beyond explanation.  Teachings and prayers from others are important in the lives of the faithful, but no one can keep us from the pure joy and comfort of connection to Spirit.

The world  may be falling down all around us but that solid rock, that firm foundation, still stands, hiding and comforting us and helping us to stand strong in our faith.  We may be called to take action in the days ahead, but first we must stand in the light, love and protection of God.  And so it is.

Now let’s all stand and join in singing the closing hymn.

 

And That Ain’t Your Sweet Little Baptist Jesus

The above was a favorite saying of John S. Reist Jr. Ph.D, , my theology professor from my seminary days.

When Jesus was asked to read the scripture in the synagogue he ended the reading from Isaiah with the words, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” — Luke 4:21 RSV  So what was fulfilled?

‘The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind,

to set at liberty those who are oppressed,

to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” 

–  Luke 18-19, Isaiah 61:1-2  RSV

Throughout his life and earthly ministry Jesus tried to teach us how to live, to be our example.  But somehow we totally missed the point.  Some churches even downplay these messages by saying that Jesus was God so it is impossible for us to live as he lived.  No, we must simply say we have “accepted Jesus as our Savior” all our sins will be forgiven then we go back to living the way we want.  We totally ignore the message and worship the messenger.

Jesus was rejected as the Messiah because he was not the political, military leader that was expected to save the Jews and vanquish the tyranny of Rome.  Aren’t we still looking for such a leader?  Doesn’t the recent election in the U.S. show this?  We were created to live in communion with God, but humanity wanted more.  Demanded more.  Over the centuries we have demanded, laws, judges, kings, even presidents.  Earthly leaders to tell us what to do and how to live.  We have forgotten that the law of God is written on our hearts.  We also have the life and teachings of Jesus, the Master Teacher to help show us how to live in this earthly realm.

So this December instead of celebrating the birth of a baby, let’s live the life the teacher taught us to live.  Shine your light for all to see.  Don’t get caught up in the drama created every year by people who want to tell everyone else what and how to celebrate.  This year when someone gives you a holiday greeting you don’t like, instead of getting angry, how about responding with Peace be with You?  We all need peace in our lives and in the world don’t we?

Stay Calm and Pray for Peace

Tuesday is election day for those of us in the United States.  While we all hope it will be an ordinary election, much like all the others, we know it may not be.  While we do not want to invite trouble, we know it could happen.  So what do we do?

  1.  Meditate on peace.  Inner peace first because that is how we create peace in the world.
  2. Pray
  3. Try to control your exposure to the media.  Don’t hang on to every minute of election coverage.
  4. During the election there have been many things said to intentionally instill fear in the people.  Over the past few months we have been talking about ways to defeat fear.  I have done this so we would all have tools to use if needed.  Use them.
  5. Don’t react immediately to “isn’t it terrible” types of stories.  Election day hasn’t even arrived yet and we are already hearing about intentionally misprinted ballots (hoax), 15 days of total darkness in November (another hoax).  Take the time to calm down and do a little research before you react.  Snopes.com is a good place to start if you suspect something may be a hoax.  Remember if something seems outrageous it probably is.

The most important thing we can do right now is stay calm and pray/mediate for peace.