What Do Squeegees Have to Do With Spirituality?

SpiritualPractice-SqueegeePerspectiveSpring cleaning brings out lots of tools — including the squeegee. A squeegee is a tool with a flat, smooth rubber blade that is used to remove or control liquid from a flat or slightly curved surface. The size of squeegees vary and their handle size varies too. The best-known of these cleaning tools is most likely the hand-held window squeegee, which is used to remove cleaning fluids or soapy water from windows and/or windshields. Some squeegees have a rubber blade on one end and a sponge on the other that holds soapy water in order to clean dirty windows. The purpose of window squeegees is to clean windows so we can see clearly out of them.

Squeegees are a perfect analogy for this spiritual practice. Our inner vision becomes clouded with doubt, fear, false beliefs, and outer appearances – and we need our spiritual squeegee to clear the view! The power of a ‘squeegeed perspective’ (spiritual discernment) calls for the clarity of an unencumbered line of inner sight. Through the powers of superior discernment, you will ‘see’ that the Christ Principle underwrites:

  • the maintenance of your purified understanding;
  • the repair of all four discordant aspects of your human encasement: emotions, physical body, etheric body, and intellect; and
  • the fine-tuning of your cranial nerves.

SpiritualEnlightenment-chakrasWith your I-Am-ness expressing Itself as the Christ Seed, you will disentangle yourself from your small ‘s’ self by aligning yourself with your capital ‘S’ Self. That means once you maintain a tight alignment with your Christ Nature, you will experience the divine power and majesty of all of the major chakras — as well as benefit from their superior metaphysical essences.

Harnessing the powerful energies and visionary capabilities of your Brow Chakra will help you capture the Universal Truth Principles you need to guarantee your eventual illumination. This spiritual practice reminds you that you will block your soul growth if you allow your material interests and over-consumptive sense appetites to trump your inner wisdom and powers of discernment.

Denying your innate divinity is blasphemy and comes from an egocentric consciousness that can short-circuit the goodness you can accomplish, because your energies may be tied up in bogus attachments and relationship minefields. The solution: bring out your Spiritual Squeegee and clear your inner view — through meditation, affirmative prayer, and other spiritual practices.

What’s In It For Me?

Why is it important to make time for spiritual squeegeeing? Superior discernment helps you:

  • stay calm and centered;
  • better manage uncomfortable feelings and difficult interactions,
  • think more clearly and compassionately,
  • discern where to direct your time and energy,
  • sustain your enthusiasm, and
  • achieve results.

These discernments will also help you:

  • take stress in stride;
  • make wise decisions; and
  • savor the joy of leadership.

The Science Behind the Squeegee Effect

Science-Spirituaity-ResearchAccording to research at Harvard University, through guided mindfulness practices and exercises, meditation techniques, case studies, personal reflection, presentations, role playing, and large and small group discussion, you will become more discerning and able to renew your commitment to action, guided by the values that inspire you to make a difference. Discernment helps you identify common patterns of overreaction, and then respond to difficulties with awareness, poise, and resilience. It helps you respond deliberately rather than react automatically, to be guided by your values rather than derailed by your discomfort. It helps you explore skills for self-awareness and self-renewal so that you can sustain your leadership and service to others with insight, wisdom, and warmth – and renew your incredible capacity for wise appraisal (Faculty, Inner Strengths of Successful Leaders Program, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Fall 2013 Session).

As your ability to discern quickens, you become free of prejudice, malice, and resentment. Instead of “setting things right,” you focus on “seeing things right.” By basing your judgments on spiritual principles, you can discern the truth and put it into action — as you walk the spiritual path on practical feet!

© Bil and Cher Holton, YourSpiritualPractice.com
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The Easter Story in the Book of Revelation

SpiritualEaster-LilyThis Easter story blogcast is the result of our belief in the deep metaphysical meaning of the Christ as Jesus’ entire ministry. The traditional Easter story is recorded in all four Gospels (Matthew 27-28, Mark 15-16, Luke 23-24, and John 19-20). However, we have approached the culmination of Jesus’ earthly ministry from a metaphysical standpoint.

We have used as the basis of our interpretation the correct translation of Jesus’ words from the cross. Traditional translations quote Jesus as saying (among other things), “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me? This comes from the original Aramaic, which is commonly written as “Eli, Eli, lemana sabachthani” — a mistranslation that has been left uncorrected for two thousand years by mainstream Western religions.In the original Aramaic translation, Jesus said, “Eli, Eli, lemana shabakthani” which means ‘My God, My God, It is for this purpose I have come!’ 

What a difference this makes! It means God did not ‘forsake’ Jesus any more than God, the Eternal Presence, forsakes us!

The Christ as Jesus’ purpose is the same as our purpose: to become the best Christ we can be! Through disciplined spiritual practice, we can all become awakened to the realization that we are God’s Essence expressing through the Christ as us. When we have become fully enlightened (our Easter experience) as Jesus was, we will be transformed into a higher, more spiritual state of being that transcends our physical bodies. Our physical bodies will become perfectly alchemicalized by Spirit and unrestrained by the limitations of our human form, as was Jesus’ ascended body.

It is that story we want to describe in this Easter blogcast. And it is that story the Book of Revelation tells as a postscript to the Gospels. We are sharing the culmination of that story in these metaphysical snapshots from parts of the last two chapters of the Book of Revelation. This Easter story is a universal Easter story. It will be your story when you become fully enlightened!

Spiritual Easter-crossFirst, Some Metaphysical Interpretations
of the Key Images of Easter

Keep in mind the Revelation account is based on the metaphysical account of the Gospels which interprets the cross we bear as our physical body. The cross bar represents human consciousness, what we call coma consciousness. The vertical bar represents Spirit’s descent into matter.

Also from this perspective, the crucifixion represents the crossing out of error from our consciousness. Every time we eliminate error thoughts, words and actions from our human experience we are saved!

Spiritual Easter - Garden TombThe stones represent the barriers of the world of appearance that lock us in a tomb of doubt, fear, unworthiness, and lack consciousness. Rolling away the stone signifies our dominion over the world of appearance, claiming our ability to triumph over anything that appears to be keeping us from our good. The resurrection represents our complete mastery over the limitations of the human experience. The ascension represents our return to Source.

We are pleased to share with you this ‘side’ of the story. We invite you to compare your favorite interpretation of Revelation from a traditional version of the Bible with the chapter-by-chapter, verse-by-verse interpretation below. :

Revelation, Chapter Twenty-One (The Easter Story for All of Us)
(Note: The words in parentheses are taken from the traditional version, to help you see the connections. If reading this aloud, you would simply omit the words in the parens.)

  1. Our conscious mind and super-conscious mind unite with our supra-conscious mind (new heaven) and our highly alchemicalized spiritual body (new earth) signifies that our pre-alchemicalized consciousness (first heaven) and physical body (first earth) have morphed (passed away) into our super-divine state of being. This also means that our subconsciousness has also served its purpose (there was no more sea).
  2. We will see that our highly alchemicalized spiritual state of being (the New Jerusalem, holy city) embodies the Christ connection we have sought for so long (comes down out of heaven). Our elevated state of being (bride) is a duplicate of our Higher State of Being (husband).
  3. It becomes even more clear to us (a great noise out of heaven) that our new state of being is a sanctuary (tabernacle of God) filled with high ideals and spiritual propensities (men). Our Christed thoughts, feelings and actions (his people) will epitomize our solid Christ connection.
  4. The outpicturing of everything we think, do and say will all be in accordance with our higher state of being (all tears will be wiped away). All of our thoughts will be Christed (there shall be no more death) and the only effects of our actions will be peace, love and joy (neither sorrow, crying, nor pain).
  5. We can feel the transformative and regenerative power of our Higher Self (Behold, I make all things new) which now occupies Its rightful place of divine expression (sat upon the throne). Our current state of heightened awareness validates our feelings because it occurs to us that the mind truly is free and unencumbered by the mental constructs of our ‘old self’ — so everything we see and sense from our newly alchemicalized spiritual status is met with new eyes.
  6. Our quest for supra-conscious awareness is complete (It is done). We have literally and figuratively come full circle by recreating the super-sensitive state of being we possessed in our pre-incarnational state (Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end). Our spiritual biography (fountain of the water of life) has become our current biology.
  7. It occurs to us that we are sensing everything from a supra-conscious standpoint (are carried away in spirit to a high mountain) and are very much aware of its effect on our alchemicalized divine nature (great city, the holy Jerusalem) which mirrors our Christ Nature (descends out of heaven from God).
  8. Our radiance is so pure and bright (having the glory of God) that we literally experience a trans-elemental moment whereby the very substance of our body is elementally identical with our etherized double. Our countenance has a translucent quality (jasper) transmitting the light of the sun.
  9. New JerusalemWhen the Crown Chakra (the angel that spoke) is trilling brilliantly it means that the spinal column (measuring rod) is in perfect (golden) operating condition. Its potently vigorous energies are bathing our receptors and effectors (gates) and aura (wall) with such high levels of transmutational energies that our body and consciousness are literally glowing.
  10. Since the I Am Presence is expressing Itself as us, there is no need for a separate personality (temple). We are consciously and cellularly one with the Eternal Presence (Lord God Almighty) and Its quantum dimension, the Christ (Lamb).
  11. That means our consciousness (city) is not hampered by a territorial ego (sun) or the emotions (moon) it generates to support its temporal rulership (shine in it). Our disciplined spiritual unfoldment (glory of God) transformed (lightened) both egocentric qualities, making our Christ Nature (the Lamb) sovereign (its lamp, the light).
  12. The levels of awareness (nations) – which we have only begun to experience – in our highly spiritualized (saved) super-consciousness and supra-consciousness shall mirror (walk in the light) our Christhood. And all of our highly spiritualized bodily functions (kings of the earth) will express (bring their glory and honor) their sacred vibrancy.

Chapter Twenty-Two

  1. We have moved completely beyond any and all divinity-denying thoughts (no more curse). All of our thoughts, words and actions (servants) honor our I-Am-ness (throne of God) which is our Christ Nature (the Lamb).
  2. We have no doubt that we are God expressing (see his face) in human form as us, so our Christ Nature (name) has been consciously realized through the disciplined use of right thoughts (forehead), right words, and right actions.
  3. The Eternal Presence is our Presence (no more night) and God Mind is our Mind (need no candle). There is no territorial or provincial ego (neither light of the sun) because God’s Nature is our Nature (God giveth them light). We realize our oneness with the Eternal Presence is real (shall reign forever and ever).
  4. The Christ as us (He) which is already the perfected essence of us (testifies to these things) is our I-Am-ness objectified (I come quickly). We can rest assured that is a permanent quality (Amen) within us.
  5. The Christ as Jesus accomplished this perfection (by grace) – and so can we!

May you truly experience the highest, most elevated essence of Easter — as you walk the spiritual path on practical feet!

Easter-Lilies

If you enjoyed this blog, you may be interested in The Book of Revelation, New Metaphysical Version: A Manual describing the Unfoldment of Our Christ Nature, by Rev. Bil Holton, Ph.D. Check it out here.

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Refrain From Tail Bonks as a Spiritual Practice

SpiritualTailBonk

In snowboarding terms, tail bonks occur when snowboarders intentionally hit and bounce off objects, either natural or manmade, with the tail of the snowboard. Spiritually speaking, a ‘tail bonk’ is intentionally upsetting a religious fundamentalist, mainstream religious literalbot,* or people who consider themselves to be more spiritual than religious by inserting a controversial, maliciously judgmental, and/or hurtful comment at the end of a conversation about religious or spiritual beliefs as a seemingly spontaneous after thought.

This spiritual practice encourages you to refrain from “tail bonking” someone’s choice to express certain religious or spiritual beliefs and values.

While there are differences in denominational beliefs, rituals, religious customs, and practices, etc., the intention of this practice is to remind you to respect another person’s right to chose his/her particular faith tradition. And it strongly emphasizes avoiding religism — which is expressing fear, hatred, and/or discrimination towards other faith traditions.

Faith and belief do not necessarily surrender to logic, nor do they acquiesce to ingrained religious and denominational biases. They can’t even be declared absolutely consistent in any given faith tradition. Believers differ in the nuances of their professed beliefs and hold on, white knuckled, to their brand of faith.

TInterfaith symbolshis spiritual practice simply asserts the right for people to believe as they choose when it comes to churchianity and spirituality. People are at liberty to retail their own beliefs for acceptance, and are plainly at risk when they seek to assault (bonk) the beliefs of others. When bonking other’s religious or spiritual beliefs escalates to wanting to harm people because of their religious convictions, it is time to demand tolerance and call for discretion and goodwill – and just plain courtesy.

It’s a 2-Way Street!

This practice also requires that you stay cool, calm and collected if you should ever receive a tail bonk from anyone intentionally bonking your spiritual beliefs. Your poise will speak volumes about your maturity and spiritual growth. Conversational tail bonks are politically incorrect ploys used to upset someone whose religious or spiritual beliefs are different from yours, and when they’re used in religious contexts they are disrespectful and flippant. And besides that, they are just impolite and uncivil rantings employed to be hurtful. Bonks are not part of a spiritually-attuned consciousness.

Learning about the major world religions, their belief systems and values doesn’t necessarily mean you will not bonk their beliefs. Going with friends of other faiths and attending a worship service with them, or going to a different church, mosque, or synagogue doesn’t necessarily mean you will not bonk their beliefs. Looking for similarities in faith traditions might not prohibit bonking either.

What does work is a consciousness of non-judgmentalness and tolerance for people’s rights to chose the religious and/or spiritual beliefs they feel led to adopt. You may not agree with how people express their stated religious and/or spiritual beliefs, but showing respect for their right to chose those beliefs and biases is what this spiritual practice is all about.
Let’s all practice what we teach about tolerance, understanding, respect, and love … as we walk the spiritual path on practical feet.

* (See the spiritual practice called Avoid Conversations With Literalbots in Vol 2).

© 2015 Bil and Cher Holton, YourSpiritualPractice.com

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Is Your Brain Wired for Awe? The Neurobiology of Spiritual Practices

brain and spiritual practiceThere is growing evidence that suggests our brains may be naturally wired — by experience or by design — for spirituality. Researchers pioneering the neurobiology of spiritual practices hope to answer questions that have challenged spiritual and religious thinkers for centuries, from the neural nature of revelatory and mystical experiences to the changes in brain function that register the neuro-chemical activity in our brains when we meditate, engage in yoga, and visualize our oneness with God.

It is becoming clear that spiritual practices have many neurological, biological, physiological, and psychological benefits. The exact neural basis of these effects is slowly coming to light, and different imaging techniques are showing the neural basis of spiritual practices. The evidence points toward the involvement of the prefrontal and parietal cortices.

Before we go too far, let’s explain the difference between spirituality and religion, as they are practiced today. Spirituality involves as its central tenet a connection to something greater than ourselves, which includes an emotional experience of that ‘something greater.’ The word religion is a combination of two words:

  • re’ meaning return
  • igare’ meaning to bind

We believe religions originated as a way of humankind as a whole meeting it’s innate need for spirituality. We also want to make it perfectly clear that spirituality and religion are not interchangeable. Spirituality is not a dogmatic religious path, nor is it a ‘worship a god in the sky who is an entity separate from you’ path. It is a path of Self-realization that acknowledges you are the human expression of the Eternal Presence (God) expressing Itself at the point of you.

A Closer Look at the Neurobiology of Spiritual Practices

Science-Spirituaity-ResearchThat said, let’s take a closer look at the neurobiology of spiritual practices. At the present time there is a paucity of evidence outlining the neural correlates of spiritual practices. Most of the current studies have concentrated on meditative practices and are using functional imaging as the investigative tool. They are actually peering inside the brain to find out what’s going on during so-called spiritual experiences. These imaging tools include the Positron Emission Tomography (PET) studies on Yoga, Tantric Yoga and Yoga Nidra; the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) study on Kundalini Yoga; and the Single Photon Emission Computerized Tomography (SPECT) study on Tibetan meditation.

Researchers are expanding their studies to include neuroanatomical and neurochemical imaging techniques to evaluate a wider bandwidth of spiritual practices such as prayer, religious singing, rituals, visualization, affirmations, mantras, etc.

Brain-imaging studies on long-time meditative practitioners and people doing contemplative prayer show their blood flow to the prefrontal cortex, which correlates with neuronal activity, revealing how their brain looks during transcendent and mystical experiences. Subjects describe being in a superior conscious state, having ‘touched infinity,’ or ‘being one with the universe,’ with the left dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, caudate, and the orbitofrontal cortex areas lighting up to record their experience.

Using a brain scanner, scientists eavesdrop on the mind of a meditating Buddhist monk. Using skin sensors, researchers measure the power of holy words by testing how brain synapses respond to sacred texts. Neuropsychiatrists assess the effects of prayer. Neuroscientists measure brain function among those who report feelings of union and oneness with God and the cosmos. Using radioactive tracers researchers probe the neurobiology of spiritual experience in search of a scientific perspective on the divine.

Researchers have even gone so far as to propose that a specific gene (VMAT2), called the ‘God gene’ predisposes us towards spiritual and/or mystical experiences, including the very presence of God. This purported ‘God gene’ appears to be involved in the transport of monoamine neurotransmitters across the synapses in the brain which produce feelings of self-transcendence.

What’s the Bottom Line?

Our own opinion is that our neurobiology registers in the brain what our mind perceives as spiritual experiences. In other words, our neurobiology doesn’t cause transcendent experiences, it just registers (records) them in our brain’s neural circuits as chemical reactions. Since we’ve been that emphatic, we may as well add that neurobiologists might want to brush up on spirituality and spiritual teachers ought to familiarize themselves with good science.

We are a tabernacleWe are convinced that one day, scientists and spiritual teachers alike will agree that each cell, every molecule, each atom in our physical bodies is a sacred tabernacle of Spirit. They might even agree these sacred tabernacles are quantumly and cosmically connected. They even might see that there is no denominational sparring and that our biology is our theology.

When they as scientists and we as spiritual beings realize the significance of this invisible connection, we will honor the human soul’s relationship to Spirit as a collective. And when we acknowledge this connection, from soul to cell, we will see that our body has always been the highly-charged sacred ground of our being.

When we achieve this perfect synchrony between science and spirituality, we will experience the inner peace, joy, health, and wholeness which are the truth of all of us as we skip down the neurobiological path of our spirituality together.

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A New Look at Affirmations: Glamour Grammar

SpiritualPractice-AlphabetThis Spiritual Practice is a great way to get in the habit of creating and stating positive affirmations emphasizing your Divine Nature.

Here’s How:

Step One: Go through the alphabet, and brainstorm several positive words beginning with each letter. For example:

A = awesome, amazing authentic

B = beautiful, bodacious, brilliant

C = creative, caring, confident

Step Two: Look back over your list, and put the words “I AM” in front of each of the words, stating the sentence out loud, with conviction! For example, you would be saying:

I AM awesome! I AM amazing! I AM authentic! I AM beautiful! I AM bodacious! …

Notice the impact this has on your energy level as well as your attitude and feelings about yourself!

LicensePlateSpiritualPractice

For example: T = Terrific; Triumphant; Thankful H=Happy; Hopeful; Heavenly V=Victorious; Valiant; Vivacious

Bonus Tip: A variation of this activity is to use it when you are stuck in traffic. Take a look at the license plates on the cars around you, and use Glamour Grammar with the letters on the plates! While it doesn’t change your frustrating situation, it does create a shift in your awareness which leads to a major shift in your attitude!

We affirm you experience powerful results with this spiritual practice … as you walk the spiritual path on practical feet!

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Spiritual versus Religious?

What’s the Difference Between Spirituality and Religion?

This question spawns a lot of late-night discussions and coffee-charged debates. But essentially it is more an issue of where we are in our journey to enlightenment! We wrote a blog article recently expressing the difficulty of attempting to merge both cultures, in which we compare Spiritual Emergence with Religious Emergency. You can read the entire article here.

Ken Wilbur, America’s most cited philosopher and founder of the Integral Institute, created an Info-graphic comparing his interpretations of spirituality and religion. We found it interesting and wanted to share it with our Spiritual Tribe, wondering what you think of his assessment. Share your comments and thoughts!  (Thanks to Mind Valley Academy for granting permission to use this graphic).

spiritual-but-not-religious-ken-wilber

Click here to take a peek at our newest publication: The Book of Revelation, New Metaphysical Version: A Manual Describing the Unfoldment of our Christ Nature.

Click here to learn about and donate to our project of creating a Cyber Community for Spiritual Folks!

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Spiritual Practice from the Beach: Grid Wire Grit

Gridwire-WrightsvilleBeachOn a recent business trip to Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina, we noticed some nylon coated wires running from the deck and pool areas up to the roof of the resort hotel we were staying in that were a novelty at first — and then became an interest. During lunch, we asked our waitress about the nylon wires and she laughed as she explained that those wires kept the seagulls and grackle birds from invading the area, stealing food and bothering tourists! Her explanation sent us to the Internet to investigate. Here’s what we found:

Numerous academic studies and the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommend grids of nylon coated wire and/or nylon monofilament lines as the most effective method to prevent seagulls from landing and roosting in resort areas, open areas like docks, restaurants, pools and ponds and flat roofs. These monofilament barricades are very good at getting rid of seagull and grackle bird infestations because they emit a sound caused by the wind moving them that disorients the gulls.

You’re probably asking the question, “Don’t seagulls learn over time to invade the space protected by the deterrent system?

In fact the opposite happens. Seagulls seem to teach each other to avoid the protected area. It sometimes takes a few days for seagulls to stop even trying to land if they’ve developed a strong habit or have used the area for feeding or nesting for a long time. However, over time the system is increasingly effective as seagulls find more gull-friendly places to roost and defecate.

The deterrent system does not injure seagulls or other birds. The Grid Wire Deterrent System is very uncomfortable for seagulls, making them feel unsafe because they prefer wide open spaces as their normal habitat. Other beneficial birds, such as swallows, martins and migrating land birds easily navigate around or through the lines (bats do fine too).

Everywhere we go, we think of everything we see as curriculum for our spiritual growth and content for our books, webinars and classes. The reason we have chosen this as a spiritual practice is that it is very similar to another ‘protection’ technique called the White Light technique, referred to by psychologists as ‘psychological shielding.’ (See the White Light Technique in Vol.3 of our series of Spiritual Practices).

The White Light technique involves visually surrounding yourself with a shield of white light, that will not allow any negative energy to penetrate it. It allows you to deny any power to someone’s negativity or sour attitudes, and affirm your oneness with your Higher Spiritual Nature!

This Grid Wire Grit practice invites you to visualize being protected by a shield of invisible grid wires that serves as a failsafe deterrent against someone else’s negativity, undue criticism, anger, hate, and overall sour attitude. It blocks all of those things from affecting you emotionally and draining the energy out of you. Like the White Light Technique it incubates you from harm. Mentally see the wire grid repelling all of the ‘slings and arrows’ thrown at you. You may even want to couple your mental image with the statement, “I believe these belong to you,” referring to the ‘slings and arrows.’

Like the White Light Technique, this practice is an excellent psychological shielding technique, as you walk the spiritual path on practical feet.

© 2015 Bil and Cher Holton, YourSpiritualPractice.com

 

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