Wednesday, December 31, 2014

"First Light" ceremony for New Years Eve.

This can be a fun tradition to start by yourself if ure single, or with your family. You can curtail this ceremony to fit your spiritual practices. Candles are involved so be mindful of children and pets. This idea was shared to me from my long time friend and neighbour Bob. This will be my 2nd year of doing this.
   The intention you put into this ceremony is more important than following these steps exactly. Change what you need and create your own tradition.

-Place an unlit Candle in each room of the house.
    Tapers or glass jar candles are your option. Ollies sells glass jar candles for $3.99. Short Tapers are available at most new age shops. Celtic Myth & Moon if you are in the Reading, Pa area.

-Turn off/Unplug everything that you can. You want your house as dark and quiet as possible. (things like ure fridge are optional, it makes noise, it's your decision)

-Go to the end of your sidewalk/driveway/property.

-At this point your ceremony starts:

--State your intention for the coming year via prayer or meditation. Take as much time as you want for this. There is no rush to do this 'exactly' at the stroke of midnight... others will be outside banging pots and pans and whatever else neighbours do, allow these distractions to pass... enjoy the celebrations of others.

--With your intentions in mind, light a single taper candle. (If others are involved you can start with one and have others light theirs from it, 'sharing' the flame)

--At this point, start towards your now dark house with your intentions in mind.

--Enter your house and light each candle in each room from the candle you are carrying as you walk through.
        (For me, I prefer to walk through my house and start in the room farthest from my front door and ending in my kitchen....where there are snacks :)

--As a solitary practitioner, I end this with coffee and cake over meditation. I use mini taper candles and allow them to burn themselves out as you would in any magical ceremony. Yes, I put them in bowls of water for safety.

  Store the taper candles you used for your walk through in a decorative box and use them next years "First Light"

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Body is a Temple

  This encounter happened over a week ago, but I'm just getting to blog about it now.

  It was time to fill the gas can for mowing my 97 year old grandmothers yard aptly named "Gum Tree Manor" for the huge tree in the front lawn that drops thousands of little Sputnik looking seed pods.

  Top image: Sputnik
Bottom Image: SweetGum Tree Seed Pod
aka: The Sputnik Tree

  I was pulling to the pumps at the Exxon/Sunoco type place. As I got out of my car, I noticed a man standing outside by his car, parked in front of the store. I most likely smiled or said hello as I normally greet all the living creatures on this plane of existance. ...But I knew right away that something was going to happen. Not "Bad" happen, but an "important junction" was about to occur  It must be my smile, but allot of people ask me for money. I don't judge peoples reasons for asking ie. gas/food and I always give them something.

  It was just a polite conversation about "How damn hot!" it was. Then he mentioned something to the effect how "We're living in the 'End Times.... the things that are going on in the world. Jesus gona be coming back soon!

  He wasn't being pushy or preachy. He was Just stating the fact. I replied with "That's what they said in the 80's".
"But it's different now." "The things that go in in the government..." He asserted.
I wasn't going to argue his opinion, but he mentioned something about 'Jesus coming back' and how he 'still hadn't quit smoking' and how Jesus wasn't going to forgive him cause he started again...

 I knew this was the moment.  "You really believe Jesus won't forgive you because you 'smoke'?
  "The bible says the 'Body is a Temple' and smoking is bad for you" he replied. This seemed rather important to him. He had tried and succeeded, but backslid and started again.
  I got close and said to him and said "If Jesus came back today he would say." and I pointed in the guys face "I know that you know better... and I know you have at least 'tried' to quit and will continue to trying to quit. And when it's time you will."

  He seemed to take the comment well and said something more positive about trying. "When you decide it's time... You will" I told him. His wife came out from the mini mart and our encounter came to an end.

  I had to chuckle to myself as I pumped my gas....

  .....A Buddhist telling a Christian about Jesus.

  I felt it was what he needed to hear at that moment.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Why can't Christians get along?

  I visited my mom on mother's day. (like any good son should do) and as usual we discussed (complained) about our jobs. We are both long term employees of the same company, just different locations, so we tend to know who we are talking about. The only other topic my mother ever brings up is her other occupation. CHURCH. Mom has been a church organist/choir director since she was 18 or so. I have long forsaken my churchy beliefs for numerous reasons. This blog will be about one of those reasons.

 Being a choir director for so long and being a long standing member of the A.G.O. (American Guild of Organists), she is privileged to attend many types of churchy functions. She told of one such event that included Catholics, Methodists, and some other that I can not recall. It was one of the Holy Holidays, so communion was served. However they had to have 3 different communions during the service to accommodate all 3 different congregations.

  Now as a former Christian who simultaneously confirmed in 2 churches. (Methodist & Baptist, my parents went to different churches and I didn't have a choice in the matter) I fully understand the multitude of minuscule differences between different faiths, and I can respect everyone's choice to choose what they want to follow. BUT REALLY??? 3 different communions for the SAME JESUS?? What is the issue?? Why do Christians have to stroke their separate ego's in front of the SAME GOD? One of my mothers deacon friends intentionally took communion with a different congregation. His fellow constituents actually had scoffed him for taking communion with "THEM" Apparently he was told that God would not "recognize his communion" because he took it with "Christians of a slightly different persuasion."

  Allow me to repeat that last statement.

  The Deacon was told that: "God will not recognize your communion, if you take it with them."

  REALLY???? I looked at my mother and told her that, THAT was the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Why would "GOD ALMIGHTY" look down on his followers for sharing the Holy Sacraments with other followers that had a slightly different outlook on Jesus??? Wouldn't God be happy to see his followers joining together in celebration?? Or is he sitting on his Heavenly Throne shaking his head in disgust over the "petty trivialities" that his followers are squabbling over?

  WWJD? For Real? What would he have done or said if he walked in the door to see the charade in progress?

  How can Christians hope to bring non believers to the faith, when they are still so petty with each other?