Tag Archives: meditation

A Song of Worship

A Song of Worship

Heavenly Father
El Shalom
Teach us the way of peace

Heavenly Father
El Shaddai
We offer praise to you

We want to be your true sons and daughters
Building your Kingdom on Earth

We want to feel your Holy Spirit
Giving our hearts new birth

Holy Spirit
Heavenly Dove
Fill our hearts with your love

Holy Spirit
Wonderful Counselor
Send us wisdom from above

We want to be your true sons and daughters
Bringing your Kingdom on Earth

We want to see your bright shining presence
Filling the world with new birth

We praise you
We give you thanks
For all your wonder
For all of your power
For all of your glory
For all of your mercy
We offer our lives to you

Heavenly Father
Holy Spirit
We give our lives to you

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I Remember the Monastery

I remember the monastery
Crashing against the rocks
On that cool spring California night

White foam spraying
As we stared intensely
At the blank walls

No thinking
No seeing
No ing

As the flames rose
And our heads exploded
Blowing great holes through the shingled roof

And you were the tiger’s claw
Hidden behind the veil

And I was the burning cauldron
Casting stars into the endless night

(Note: This is a poem I wrote in 2005 reflecting on the memory of doing zazen at a monastery in Santa Cruz with my cousin Pamela.)

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In Silence

almost-mokshaGod can minister to one’s soul in the silence.
In silence, one can experience the presence of God.
In silence, one’s questions can be answered
and new questions can be raised.
In silence, direction can be discovered.
In silence, the balm that heals
mental, emotional, and physical ailments
pours forth and one can embrace
the peace that passes all understanding.

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Filed under Confusionism, Judeo-Christianity, Philosophy, Poetry, Psychology

Message to a young “Misfit”

You are at an age of self-discovery. Part of the process is to discover who you are by dis-covering your self to the world.

Crazy is the New Normal

Crazy is the New Normal

Alas, so much vulnerability is involved. So much courage. Not to mention wisdom when one must test the waters before diving in. Some environments are conducive to openness and trust. In some environments people are fearful of disclosure, largely influenced by the power of social norms, sanctioning in subtle ways those who do not conform.

If one can not freely open oneself then art, music, writing, etc. help.

Socrates said, “Know thyself.” Polonius counseled, “And this above all, to thy own self be true…”

Listen to others to learn who is authentic. Spend time with them. Reveal yourself to them at a rate at which you feel comfortable. If you are authentic you will draw people to you who are authentic, deep, and sincere.

You have a beautiful soul and a sensitive spirit. When you are alone, allow yourself quiet time to get in touch with your soul and feel the love within.

When necessary, sleep, so that through your dreams you can replenish your soul. The streams that nourish your inner world are many and varied.

As you discover peace within, the environment around you will change and the seeds of love will bear fruit in your relationships.

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Filed under Confusionism, Psychology

Salvation Through Love

In 1986 (or maybe 1985) when I was studying Church History at the Unification Theological Seminary, I had a course in Modern Church History. One of the things we studied was the Reformation.

The Book

The Book

The seminary was a wonderful experience. Barrytown, New York was a beautiful site along the Hudson river. In a prayerful environment I was able to study and discuss sacred texts and the writings of thinkers and scholars of many religions. Sometimes, thanks to the grace of God and the ministry of the Holy Spirit, I experience illumination as I read certain works.

Such was my experience when I read some of the works of the “young” Martin Luther, especially his work “On Christian Liberty,” which he addressed to Pope Leo X in 1520.

Much study is wearisome to the flesh. So one day during this time, as I was waiting for a shuttle to take me into nearby Red Hook, I decided to rest my eyes for a few moments. I slipped into that state between waking and sleeping.


As I was sitting there, with my eyes closed, still conscious but not fully aware of my external surroundings, I sensed a man standing just behind my right shoulder. The visual aspect was very vague.  I could see him but not clearly.

There was a mutual acknowledgement that this was Martin Luther. It wasn’t a question for me as to whether this was really Martin Luther or not. It was an interesting non-ordinary phenomena.

“Ah, Martin Luther,” I thought.

Then the mental apparition spoke.

“When I was on earth, I taught salvation by faith, but if I were alive today, I would teach salvation by love.”

Was this really Martin Luther? I don’t know, but the message makes sense.

Jesus taught people to “love God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind” and to “love others as yourself.” He said that all the law and all the commandments are summed up in these two.


Jesus also taught “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”

At a church pot luck on Sunday, I asked the woman across from me “What does it mean to be pure in heart”

She answered that she felt that it meant to be loving

That reminded of a time I was sitting in a hot springs by the Pit River at Big Bend on a beautiful day gazing at the river streaming by.

“Let love flow through you so that you’re heart may be pure,” the river said.

Let love flow  through you
so that your heart may be pure
so that you may see God and experience the oneness
so that you may love others as yourself

Then you will know the Truth
and the Truth will set you free.

Salvation through Love.


Filed under Confusionism, Jesus, Love, Spirit World

Hallowed Be Thy Name

The Lord's Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer

Does God have a name? I think of God as the source of all that is — the One from which the many have come. As it says in the Tao, from the one came two and from the two came three, and from the three came the ten thousand things.

If God is the original One, then as far as I know, God has no name.

I’m using the word God to write about something that can’t really be defined in any human language because the original being is beyond time and space and therefore beyond all concepts. I am going to try to do so, using English (because that is my native tongue), even though it is impossible and will result only in linguistic nonsense.

It is possible that at some point beyond time and space God was not conscious. What the nature of God was in such a state is knowable only through direct experience. It is not comprehensible nor expressible but the experience can be approached through the imagination.

When God became conscious it was what we would call in English an “I Am” experience. God’s awareness of himself was the first duality, the knowing subject and the known object.

It was also the emergence of the first trinity: the knowing subject, the known object and the composite unified Self from which consciousness arose. As humans who reflect the nature of God we experience this on a personal level as me, myself, and I.

Wave tunnel

Wave tunnel

I would posit that perhaps this was the beginning of a learning experience for God. The experience of consciousness is itself a vibrational experience. Any vibrational experience involves differentiation and potential. In the world of non-being or potential being, God experienced the emergence of various active and passive energies.

When God manifested these energies they emerged as vibrational frequencies. In the various realities that we experience as human beings we can think of these as life, love, thought, light, sound, etc.

Within God these vibrational frequencies emerged from one center in a harmonious spectrum of mathematically perfect relationships. In terms of music all sounds come from one universal tone and all tones resolve back into that one resonant vibration which is the source and sum of them all. The Alpha and the Omega. If we think of light, reality is an interplay between light and darkness. All colors are refracted from light energy and recombine into these primary radicals.

Moses and the Burning Bush by Marc Chagall

Moses and the Burning Bush by Marc Chagall

As long as we think of God as All One, then there is no name. God is simply the primary “I Am.” That is why the Bible says that when Moses asked what God he should say sent him, God said simply, “tell them that I Am sent you.”

Now I am going to contradict myself. Saying that God has no name does not meant that God has no name. Obviously God has many names in many different languages. Just take a quick read through the Wikipedia article Names of God.

If we examine the many names of God in many different languages, we will see that most of these describe attributes of God or names that people have given to identify their apprehension of the divine.

99 Names of God in Arabic

99 Names of God in Arabic

When I emerged from my mother’s womb, I was not aware that I had a name. I simply was. My parents gave me a name. Similarly, God is aware of his existence. Human beings who have experienced God have given him names. The various names are used to try to identify what it is that they are talking about. Naming things is one of the qualities that with which human beings are endowed. Because we  name things we have developed language in order to communicate with one another.

For instance, Islam has 99 names of God which describe various attributes of God plus the one primary name Allah that simply means the God.

One of the names Judaism used to God as El Shaddai, meaning “god of the mountain” or “most high god.” Another term used to identify God was Adonai, meaning Lord. And then there is the tetragrammaton יהוה (English: YHWH), which no devout Jew has pronounced for over 2000 years. It is not even sounded within the mind. While Christian scholars argue over the pronunciation, Jewish scholars say that the original sound which was once known is now lost.

I encourage everyone to explore the Chinese and Hindu names of God as well. I’m not going to do so now because I want to follow another tangent that leads to identification of the Name of God with the Word of God or the Sound of God.

As I said earlier, all frequencies in the universe emanate from one original vibration. All frequencies also resonate with that frequency and if all are sounded simultaneously they harmonize and resolve into the original vibration.



In various cultures, mystics who practice the science of sacred sound attest that they are elevated into the presence of the divine by chanting or singing a sacred syllable. For example, many Hindus experience this through Om or Aum. Sufi orders who practice dhikr experience union with God through the singing of Hu. Both claim that these sacred sounds are the original sound from which all vibrations emanate and that they are both the Word of God and the Name of God.

It is interesting that Eban Alexander, in his recent book Proof of Heaven, wrote that when he experienced heaven while brain-dead for seven days, he associated the experience of God in the highest heaven with the sound Om.

I am not going to offer and opinion on this. I like both Om and Hu. I encourage you to try them both with like-minded friends.

Hallowed Be Thy Name

Hallowed Be Thy Name

So, when Jesus taught his disciples to pray “Hallowed be thy name,” what did he mean? Given the context within which he spoke, I assume he was referring to the sacred tetragrammaton that could not be pronounced, though I believe that Jesus himself, having ascended to the highest heaven, may have been familiar with the sound.

For all of us who love the potency of the Lord’s Prayer, I feel that on a personal level you may choose the Name that resonates most vibrantly with you and most effectively empowers you to experience the presence of the One Divine, Most-high, Compassionate and Loving Source of All. There is only one God. There is no God, but God.

If you enter into communion with God, as Moses did, and you feel a need to ask for a name, then ask and you will receive.







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Our Father who art in Heaven

the Lord's prayer in English and Aramaic

the Lord’s prayer in English and Aramaic (Click to view larger)

I love The Lord’s Prayer. I say it in my mind almost everyday. I find that it connects me to some higher realm of spirit and provides strength and solace. Saying it deepens my faith, motivates me to serve others, alleviates my anxiety, liberates me from guilt, makes me more forgiving, helps me to end unhealthy behaviors, engenders a sense of gratitude, and opens me up to new possibilities and opportunities every day.

This short prayer provides an inexhaustible well of contemplative thought and meditation. I am fascinated by each phrase.

For instance, the opening phrase, “Our Father who art in Heaven” raises many questions.

Jesus instructs his  followers to begin their prayer by addressing a personal male being who lives in Heaven. I must pause here to remind myself that Jesus did not speak English. Most probably, speaking to the common people of the time he spoke Aramaic.

If you would like to hear The Lord’s Prayer as it may have sounded here’s a recording along with transcription.

The Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic

As far as I know, there is no historical record of The Lord’s Prayer as Jesus spoke it. The Lord’s Prayer first appears in the gospels, once in Luke and once in Matthew. It was also recorded in the Peshitta in Syriac, which is similar to the Aramaic of Palestine during the Roman period. Scholars think, however, that it was translated into Syriac from the Greek.

For those interested, here is the Lord’s Prayer in the original Greek.

I am not a Biblical scholar or an authority on ancient languages so I am not going to delve into biblical and historical criticism.

The point is that Jesus did not say, “Our Father who art in Heaven.” The Lord’s Prayer was first written in Greek and then translated into Latin and other languages. Centuries later it was translated into English, of which there are several different versions.

If and when Jesus spoke The Lord’s Prayer he probably opened it with something like “Avvon d-bish-maiya,” that may translate into English as “Our Father who art in Heaven.”

Often as I recited The Lord’s Prayer, I would hastily go over the Our Father. But over time, as my spirit nursed more deeply on the prayer, I had to stop.

Why “Our Father?” My first reaction is that it reveals a deep personal relationship with a divine parental being. But it also identifies that parental being as masculine. It indicates that God is male.

Throughout all that exists there is a differentiation of male and female. Genesis 1:27 says

God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them

This statement in Genesis appears to say that God is male and female. When I looked at some of the modern translations of the Aramaic, several rendered “Abwûn” in a number of ways: one who breathes life into all being, the mother/father creator, etc. Here are some examples from The Lords Prayer – The Nazarene Way.

I will let you draw your own conclusions. I recommend whatever most effectively opens the door for you to a personal relationship with the One. When you feel this connection in mind, soul, and heart you can ask the One directly to guide you into the truth.

There is another very important issue that arises in the words, “Our Father who art in Heaven.” The saying implies that we are the Children of God.

This is a main sticking point between Christianity and Islam. The Quran does not say that people can not have a personal relationship with God. On the contrary, it tells us that God is Al Rahman, the Compassionate and Beneficent, Al Raheem, the Merciful, Al Mujeeb, the One Who Hears All Prayers. There are many more Names that imply a loving God who seeks an intimate relationship with us. Mohammed said that Allah (God) is closer to us than our jugular veins. The Sufis encourage us to be not only servants and slaves of God but also to be Allah’s friends and lovers.

However, the Quran and Islam adamantly deny that God has children. In my understanding this is because the central affirmation of Islam is that there is no God but Allah.

This is a difficult problem. I believe that it is a reaction to the Trinitarian doctrine that there are Three Gods in One – God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit – and that Jesus is both fully man and fully God. This doctrine of orthodox Christianity, which was arrived at only after hundreds of years of theological turmoil within early Christianity is indeed a stumbling block.

There are many aspects to the theological conflict between Islam and Christianity. Too many to explore in a blog of this nature.

Personally, I believe that it is possible to have an intimate relationship with the divine One. I believe that God has a parental heart and loves all his creation. Allah loves us as a parent loves his children. He also loves each and every animal, every plant, every atom, every ray of creation, because love is essential to reality.

That does not mean that I am the One – although in some sense I am. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada explains in his commentary  on the Bhagavad Gita that every person has a divine spark in his heart. That spark, the soul, is divine and comes from God. Jesus said, “Do you not know that you are gods?”

Prabhupada uses the analogy of the sun and its rays. Every ray of sunlight is connected to the sun and carries its energy, but it is not the sun itself.


These are all metaphors not worth arguing over. The important thing is for people who have lost the life-giving connection to the source of the universe “Abwûn” to regain that connection.

As I said in the beginning, The Lord’s Prayer is a profound source of inspiration, contemplation, and meditation. My experience is that it is really much more than that. I encourage you to experience it for yourself.

I have only shared a few brief thoughts on “Our Father.” I haven’t even gotten yet to “who art in Heaven.” That’s a fertile field too.

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Frost Time

It is Frost time. The totem animal is the snake. We have passed the cusp into Scorpio. The ruling planets are Pluto and Mars. It is time to rest and get in touch with the inner world. This is a time of endings and beginnings.


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Going Home With The Flawed Guru

At Aha in the Pines with Glen Horton, Nayla and friends.

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Letting Go Of Things

On the cusp of Aquarius and Pisces.

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