The Down And Dirty Church was the last one I attended. It was a place filled with broken people, some fighting addiction and others just sick of the the other churches on the menu. This wasn't a church my parents would have understood at all. There were no pews anywhere...only round tables with tattered people drinking coffee and sharing their troubles. Some were dressed in their finest and some were homeless and rarely bathed. It didn't matter to anyone what they looked like... they all blended together. I was humbled by the many acts of kindness I witnessed and yet I still remember the frustration of the pastor as he stood speaking to the people regarding the war in Iraq. He said "People wake up, don't you realize that there are mothers and fathers of our enemies that are praying to God as well to save their children from our armies? Don't you get it? God is not American and he isn't a democrat nor a republican." The people shook their heads, as this was too hard to fathom. How could God not answer our prayers and save our children? God was a Christian after all and of course He was pulling for our side…wasn’t He?
As a freelance artist I worked for many clients. In 2004 the local Jewish Community Center hired me part time creating brochures, logos and some ads. The phone rang again and suddenly I was working for a magazine called the Friends of Israel, it was a Christian magazine that was started in the 1940's to fight anti-Semitism. So, oddly enough I found my week split between these two dynamic passionate organizations. It was through this connection that I was able to arrange a meeting and they actually sat down together (unheard of in my neck of the woods) to share ideas on how they could work together. Funny, looking back at this I remember feeling as if I was some sort of ambassador - for people rather than doctrine. And then to my surprise the Jewish leaders sent me to Israel to work as an artist with their sister organization teaching them my graphic skills. Nineteen people of Jewish faith and me...the un-Jew. The leader of the organization I was attending with, asked me to lead Shabbat on the southern part of the wall in Jerusalem. Huh? I asked, hello I'm not a Rabbi and by the way I'm a woman...why me? "Because you are the most spiritual," he said. He got this impression most likely because the touring bus we were riding in would often hear me cry out “Hang on, we need to make a pit stop…Jesus did a miracle over there.” This of course made them think I was a Jesus Freak and I explained to them that my faith in God was not a religion I followed but actually just my way of life. I tried to spread that light wherever I went. I continued in my hope that men would see past their dogmatic beliefs in their personal views of who or what God was and just learn to truly help one another.
I quit the church and watched many friendships evaporate almost instantly. I am still a bit surprised by this. All of their preaching about God is love and love thy neighbor only to be tossed aside like stale wine. All of their talk of helping their communities while they pushed for bigger recreation facilities for their church members. All their talk of unemployment rising as they organized ski trips and fancy social gatherings. Incredible yet very true and still continuing.
I then walked with uncertainty...would God punish me? Would I now be counted with all of those poor sinners that were going to hell? I was taught since birth that I was born with sin and needed the blood of Jesus to wash me clean in order to be accepted by God. But now I was naked and I no longer prayed to the big J. He seemed to me a man that some powerful people put up front as a deity to make themselves more worthy than others.
Soon after my trip to Israel I developed a severe pain in my right leg. I went to many specialists and it grew worse. Two years went by and still the pain remained. On the off chance that some herbal hippie might be able to help me, I attended a symposium in northern California. Unknowingly, this was my first step toward breaking free of a belief system that had imprisoned me since birth. Something happened to me there that is still hard to explain. Let's just say I met a woman who gave me an energy massage that opened my eyes to looking deeper within. She spoke of seeing my aura, my guides and how strong I was spiritually. Um...yeah, sure right. She told me I was to ask the voice within to lead me to learn how to connect with my higher conscious and that it would all be told to me. This sounded like gypsy talk to me and I smiled and left her little tent thinking she was probably high on weed. She said she had spoken with my guides and that I was a very strong healer. Yeah? Well then why the hell was my leg racked with chronic pain? Healer... me? Maybe she didn't dial in the stars and line up the moons correctly... or maybe one of her crystals had a crack in it.
Two months later the pain had miraculously vanished and I was meditating daily. I started to listen and tune in and I became aware that a tiny voice that I had thought was just random had actually been with me as a small child. When life was hard and my parents were fighting I used to go to my special thinking spot and this voice comforted me. Years later when I was in an abusive relationship this voice helped to lead me to safety. I never gave it much attention; it was just always there.
Through meditation I was able to understand who these guides were and now I ask and receive amazing insight. I have learned that God is not an entity in human form. God IS. Lord IS. Source IS. All of this is not for one country or one species. We are ALL connected in this love of IS. Every blade of grass, every mountain, every grain of sand and every drop of water IS a part of this and every time I look into the eyes of my pet I am looking into the eyes of God or whatever you call Source. And every time I look into the mirror I am seeing a part of IS, wow, that alone would have rocked the church into burning me at the stake most likely…and in New Jersey too!
I was able to break free from the rules and regulations and words all written by man and seek this connection to the Spirits that walk beside me. No heaven or hell to fear only love and truth in knowing life is eternal. Yes, I have been visited many times by those that have crossed over (including my family and loved ones) and each time I am left with a morsel of realization. This connection to my higher conscious has allowed me to love myself in a way I have never experienced. I am worthy, I am beautiful and I have so much love to give to others.
For the many, many people that continue in their religious quest I take nothing away from that and I do not wish to have you think I have negativity towards you. Each of us has our own journey. For me I no longer live in fear of a man made deity that will smite me if I do not keep in step. I will continue to try and spread this love of myself to the planet around me. My connection to the spirit world is not new, I have always known that I would not die. I understood at a very young age that my physical self would expire yet my spirit would continue. Thoughts are... after all... LIVING THINGS. I got a little confused when I started to listen to the teachings and writings of a world where fear was used to control my thoughts and make others more powerful- after all they use our energy to make themselves greater. But that is in the past and I am able to give my energy to a planet that is crying out to all. It is through this connection to IS that I am able to move easily toward fulfilling my passion of purpose. Every day is a new challenge and every day I face a new understanding. I am so thankful I was able to escape from the man made hell and release myself from the fear that kept me from truly finding the love that awaits all of us...and it starts within.
Yes, I took a slight detour from my meditation experiences, but since most of this writing came through while meditating I wanted to bring it into the light:)
To learn how you can meditate without any CD's or guides please read http://meditationapathtohealing.blogspot.com/2011/10/how-to-begin.html
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