Spirituality is diminishing religion and religion is trying to adapt to spirituality. We have all struggled with the difference between the two paths. That is the reason for free will.
Growing up on a farm in a small rural Christian community in Midwest US no doubt shaped my values and belief system and not from a positive perspective. I learned at a very young age that we all die. I was also taught that the only way to heaven was to follow the beliefs of my church or otherwise burn in hell forever. This did not seem right to me even at a young age and that was the beginning of my journey to seek the truth.
Religion is a system of certain beliefs, rules, and rituals that brings communities together socially. Additionally, it provides a foundation of understanding to that community regarding how they should live, worship, and achieve eternal life. There are around 4200 different religions worldwide with different belief systems.
Unlike religion, Spirituality looks outside the box with no boundaries or dogma. It is about free will, love, compassion, joy and service to others; it is specific to each individual with no set rules, beliefs or rituals. It is a personal journey to connect with our creator. Spirituality is unique to each person, but generally it could be defined as seeking to share the love of the Creator as it is known to one’s inner self. Is that the yearning that has been missing in our lives or the feeling that we were destined to do something? Maybe you are meant to do something. Pay attention and you will be surprised what you will see.
Dr. Andrew Newburg, Director of Research at the Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, provided insight into our spiritual brains. His research included how our brain changes after analyzing brain scans of people in prayer, meditation, rituals and various trance states. One of his many conclusions is that the main reason God won’t go away is because our brains won’t allow God to leave. Our brains are set up in such a way that God and religion become among the most powerful tools for helping the brain do its thing—self-maintenance and self-transcendence.
Most of us are seeking. Jesus said in the Book of Thomas “Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds. When he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished, and he will rule over the All.”
There is a movement shaking the ground we walk upon today. I’m not speaking of a movement for change, but a movement of change. This change is not positive nor is it conducive to a happy healthy world. We no longer reach out a hand to help but reach out a hand to hurt. Our words are no longer meant to comfort but meant to slash and belittle. Our hearts no longer hurt for those in pain or those who cannot help themselves; as they are too full of hatred and anger or indifference.
Yet in all this bleakness a light shines, the light of our children. An eight (8) year old boy who sees his friend unable to eat a hot lunch at school because he had no funds raises money to feed 3000 students hot meals daily at school. A thirteen (13) year old girl begins making fleece blankets to send to orphanages around the world after her brother, who served as a missionary, came home to tell his family stories of the children suffering; there are now children in ten (10) states participating in her program. A ten (10) year old girl who, after visiting her grandmother in a nursing home, starts a band that serenades the elderly to show them they have not been forgotten. Children around the world are paying it forward; making a difference in hopes of making a better world.
As parents we hold our children close, teaching and molding them into the adults of tomorrow; yet today we find we have as much to learn from them as they do from us. As adults we have become cold, callous and indifferent to our neighbors and our world. We close our doors at night locking ourselves in and the rest of the world out. Unfortunately, along with the locked doors we have locked our hearts as well.
It is time for a new movement, a movement of love, compassion, caring, and appreciation. A movement that brings a tear to our eyes again, that rattles our soul and envelopes our hearts with more happiness than we could ever imagine. The change our world needs begins with us.
To each of us I challenge to Pay It Forward, smile and hold the door open for a stranger, check on your elderly neighbor, reach the top shelf for someone at a grocery store, hold a child’s hand to comfort, pay for a meal for someone who otherwise would not eat, smile at strangers for no reason. Close your mind and live through your heart, be the person to others that you would find comfort in yourself.
Research suggests that meditation may physically change the brain and body and could potentially help to improve many health problems and promote healthy behaviors.
Scientific proof global meditation can change the world. So much so that Merseyside, England, went from being third highest recorded crime rate to the lowest-ranked city in England during the time of group meditation.
Other cities around the world had similar affects when groups of people meditated at the same time each day. In physics that affect is referred to the unified field theory (UFT), waves of vibration flow from everything in the universe affecting the collective consciousness. When the practice of group meditation stopped, the crime rate started rising again.
Based on Hindu Scripture, meditation has been practiced since 1500 BCE, starting as a religious practice. The practice spread to China and India around the fifth century BCE and other forms of Meditation developed including Taoism, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity.
From a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual standpoint, the benefits of meditation are countless. Just imagine 10,000 people meditating at the same time each day with the same intention of service to others with unconditional love and compassion regardless of differences. That is the goal of a group called Meditation Warriors. It is a small community that meditates daily in the comfort of their homes from 10-30 minutes each day at 8:00 in the morning and/or evening world wide.
The Native Americans had it right when it comes to our home, mother earth.
Native American Ten Commandments
1. The Earth is our Mother, care for her.
2. Honor all your relations.
3. Open your heart and soul to the Great Spirit.
4. All life is sacred, treat all beings with respect.
5. Take from the Earth what is needed and nothing more.
6. Do what needs to be done for the good of the all.
7. Give constant thanks to the Great Spirit for each new day.
8. Speak the truth: but only of the good in others.
9. Follow the rhythms of nature: rise and retire with the sun.
10. Enjoy life’s journey but leave no tracks.
Native Commandments Jasper Saunkeah, Cherokee
The way of the Warrior reminds us we have a responsibility to mother earth. Our home is being ravaged from the land, air and sea. Join us and become a Meditation Warriorand with just 15 minutes a day in the privacy of your home, not only to you help yourself, but our home, mother earth.