Leaf of the Tree

Finding the Divine in the Details


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Two questions, unlimited opportunity

Photo: Lara Kearns

The unceasing storms of negativity in the world can easily elicit negative reactions to go with them.

Yet life’s unfolding learning shows me that dwelling on imperfections, or berating myself or others for them, only increases the number of them that I perceive (and the misery I can consequently feel). It also saps — even squanders — the three precious resources over which I have choice: time, energy, and attention. It can lead me to  “spending” these on what is counterproductive, even destructive, when divine grace is always inviting me toward the building of the good, instead.

Photo: Lara Kearns

I can blindly imitate my past experience, including the kind of thinking that was born in earlier, fearful experiences that have led to attitudes, behaviors, assumptions, and beliefs that have no basis in current reality.

Or, I can recognize in my encounter with imperfection an invitation to accept that there is much I don’t know, or can’t change, especially about others. But I can always discover the limitless possibilities of love, of being open to the new possibilities in a situation or a moment.

Might such willingness to meet the present, rather than automatically imitate or recreate the past, be what it most truly means to “occupy” my self?

Folk Art House Silhouette

Folk Art House collage: http://leonahosack.com

 

The two service questions are conceived as a mechanism to help me focus on and clarify for myself the reality in the decisions with which I am faced each day.

Those junctures of possibility arrive moment by moment, and the goal of this pair of questions is to help me meet each one consciously as a servant of God:

~ At this moment in time, what is the act of service I am capable of giving that the other person is capable of receiving?

 ~ At this moment in time, what is the act of service I am capable of receiving that the other person is capable of giving?

Every human interaction is either an act of giving or an act of receiving. By asking questions that encompass both giving and receiving, my sensitivity to and awareness of my own needs and those of others is increased daily. Both questions are equally important because giving depends on someone willing and capable of receiving, and receiving depends on someone willing and capable of giving.

WTOEimage.phpAdapted from With Thine Own Eyes: Why Imitate the Past, When We Can Investigate Reality?

Find the book at: http://www.amazon.com/With-Thine-Own-Eyes-Investigate-ebook/dp/B00I1JPC7I/ref=pd_sim_kstore_11?ie=UTF8&refRID=0TQC490J7FVBRTJWM70H

Also available in print version from the publisher at: http://grbooks.com/george-ronald-publisher-books/spirituality/with-thine-own-eyes-1380638499


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Learning to see With Thine Own Eyes

“We are here to mirror to each other the attributes of the Creator.” As each new day arrives, that is the awareness I want uppermost in my mind, and my heart.

After George Ronald Publisher released With Thine Own Eyes last month, I remembered that this first collaborative writing experience has deep roots in my spiritual family tree.WTOEimage.php

My first glance at the publisher’s listing for the book transported me back 38 years to a cozy little apartment in York, Maine. That’s where two of the kindest people I’ve known, Ted and Marian Lippitt, welcomed me with such love that my soul could finally recognize exactly where its home always is.

They helped me, young as I was, understand – and come to believe – that the very fact that we live in an imperfect world is a Divinely inspired invitation to turn toward what is of God, especially within our own hearts, as our best remedy, and response. And to treasure it as dearly as our own sight and life.

Thank you to George Ronald Publisher for helping us share this work, and my enduring thanks to co-authors Diane Iverson and Ron Tomanio whose company on life’s path is in my heart forever. With hearts full of love, and hope, we offer this invitation to explore these life-giving possibilities in such times of burgeoning change:

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Photo: Nelson Ashberger

 ~ setting aside blind imitation of the past

~ learning to build the good rather than fighting evil

~ choosing acts of service out of our spiritual understanding

~ listening carefully to our intuitive voice

~ knowing our purpose

~ regarding our fears as illusory

~ acquiring a sin-covering eye.

GRlogo150994_10151639928471124_2036423772_nLearn more and find ordering information for With Thine Own Eyes from George Ronald Publisher at:

http://grbooks.com/george-ronald-publisher-books/spirituality/with-thine-own-eyes-1380638499

Or find the KINDLE Version at: http://www.amazon.com/Thine-Own-Eyes-Imitate-Investigate-ebook/dp/B00I1JPC7I/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1391286164&sr=1-1&keywords=With+Thine


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Created noble, to arise

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Detail from painting “River of Life” by Diane Kirkup /
D. Kirkup Designs
http://www.etsy.com/shop/dkirkupdesigns

O Son of Spirit!

Noble have I created thee, yet thou hast abased thyself. Rise then unto that for which thou wast created.

~ Bahá’u’lláh

Noble have I created thee” does not mean some of us, or most of us.

Or everyone except me. 

It means all of us.

pearls

“Pearls” by Lauren Chuslo-Shur.

The ways in which “honour and nobility” manifest themselves in us — each a unique creation of God — is a one-of-a-kind and wondrous journey.

Our human nature equips us for solving the challenges of the material world.

But that is where its powers, possibilities — and purpose — end.

It is our spiritual nature that enfolds the divine bestowals that bring forth the nobility and honour we’re created for.

What helps this nature become the decision-maker in our lives?

Are we ready, and willing, to embrace the truth that this inner reality is a presence and power in whose light all fear, and the trappings of mere survival, disappear like shadows?

Are we? WTOEimage.php

Excerpted from:

With Thine Own Eyes: Why Imitate the Past When We Can Investigate Reality?, coming January 2014 from George Ronald Publisher:

http://grbooks.com/george-ronald-publisher-books/spirituality/with-thine-own-eyes-1380638499


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Awareness unwraps the gift

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Imagine we are desert-bound souls desperately seeking water. If we are offered anything but water we will turn away. We might be offered a change of clothes, food, shelter — all good things. But the desperate nature of life-threatening thirst will cause the thirsty one to reject what is offered as if the offering were poison.

September 2007 227When we experience intense suffering personally, our world seems to narrow dramatically and become very small. Imagine the intense pain we feel when we sustain a deep burn or when we sustain a loss. Do we really care at that moment about any other needs in our life, no matter how legitimate they are? The need that seems most desperate can crowd out of our consciousness all other needs until that need is met, whether it is removing our hand from a heat source, healing from grief or quenching our thirst with life-giving water.

Israel 139If it is our desperate need to discover our authentic self and purpose, then once we know that true identity and purpose and understand the most beneficial ways to act, we’ll be ready for other things.

Without the awareness and involvement of our spiritual nature — who we truly are — our life is rather like a gift we can never unwrap nor fully receive.

Excerpted from With Thine Own Eyes: Why Imitate the Past When We Can Investigate Reality?, coming soon from George Ronald Publisher.