Tag Archives: Jesus

Is World Peace Possible? Eleven Ecumenical “Guidelines” from Jesus of Nazareth

Jesus of Nazareth is respected worldwide as a prophet and teacher of universal love and peace. Often quoted by Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, and in the Quran, Jesus is respected by people of many faiths including Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Jewish people, and Humanists.

image-789389_640Christians believe that Jesus is God Incarnate, who came to earth in the flesh to share God’s message of unconditional love for all of humanity and creation.

A lot of time and effort and money is put into arguing about displaying the Jewish Ten Commandments in public places in the United States. What many people don’t realize is that Christian Scripture provides Commandments also. In Matt 5:19, Jesus introduces His commandments to His followers and the world.

As it turns out, Jesus’ “commandments” are also a prescription for healthy living, in Peace and Harmony with one’s self, others, in our families, in our communities, and World Wide. Many of these commandments are echoed in holy scriptures from other faiths as well. For anyone who desires #WorldPeace, these words that Jesus shares are a good place to start.

Many of these commandments are prefaced with “you have heard it said”, followed by “but I say dove-41260__180[do this]”. This is how Jesus “fulfills the law” (Matt 5:17), by sharing  the way that He believes the Jewish laws, the laws of His culture, should be interpreted. Using this as a guideline for reading through chapters 5, 6, and 7 of the Christian book of Matthew, 11 commandments emerge. These commandments are summarized below:

  1. Matt 5:21-26 Make peace with others, including family and strangers.
  2. Matt 5:27-30 Respect others, do not view others as objects, sexual or otherwise.
  3. Matt 5:31-32 Keep your promises, especially promises to be true and faithful to your spouse or significant other.
  4. Matt 5:33-37 Do not make promises you cannot keep.
  5. Matt 5:38-42 Be kind to others, even people who treat you badly.
  6. Matt 5:43-48 Love everyone, including your enemies.
  7. Matt 6:1-18 Practice your faith quietly, including prayer, sharing with others, and religious discipline.
  8. Matt 6:19-34 Have faith! Don’t worry so much about money and things of the flesh.
  9. Matt 7:1-5 Do not judge others.
  10. Matt 7:6-20 Be careful whom you trust. Not everyone thinks and acts they way they present themselves to others.
  11. Matt 7:21-27 Be Trustworthy. Be a person who thinks, acts, and speaks with integrity and consistency.

These guidelines are more than prescriptions for health and happiness, they are also prescriptions for success. Think of people you know, people whom you have worked with, employers you have worked for, or people who have been in your employment. People who are kind, trustworthy, slow to anger and quick to forgive, generally make better employees, employers, better partners and spouses, and better human beings.

These guidelines are great, but they can also be very difficult to follow. As humans, we are filled with pain and resentments, and desires and fears, These desires, resentments, and fears often influence our thinking, our actions, our relationships, and our health. And the sources of these negative influences in our lives are often buried so deep we don’t even know they are within us, in our minds, hearts, and cores.

So what can we do to “let go” of these negative influences that hold us back, that keep us from being the “best we can be?” How can we do our part to promote peace, love, and understanding in the world?

logolargerWe obviously need to let go of the burdens and fears that plague us. People of faith often say that “prayer is the answer”, which is true. One particular form of prayer that can be very effective is what I call a “listening prayer”, also known as Meditation. Meditation provides a method for listening to ourselves, to our “Higher Power”, and for “letting go” of things that hold us back.

Christian Tantric Meditation is specifically designed to help us to listen to ourselves and let go of the desires, resentments, and fears and burdens that hold us back. Along with letting go of burdens, Christian Tantric Meditation techniques are designed to help us grow closer to our Higher Power, and our own Divine nature, yielding self confidence. Our most advanced techniques help us to be more compassionate towards ourselves and others.

If you are interested in learning more about Christian Tantric Meditation, Atlanta area classes are being offered in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains. Registration is open now, visit our website for more information and to register on line.  The book Christian Tantric Meditation Guide is also available through Amazon.com and local bookstores.

Experiencing Jesus at Christmas

lamp_trimmed_1 As we approach Christmas, Christians anticipate the coming of Jesus in the intimate form of a baby, innocent and vulnerable. While the familiar Christmas story stands in stark contrast to the hype and commercialism that accompanies the season, for many of us, the commercial façade eventually fades and a real encounter takes place.

With regard to encountering Jesus during meditation, the book “Christian Tantric Meditation Guide” says:

“As we relax, we picture Jesus in our minds. Our friend, our teacher, and our comforter, Jesus is the One who loves us unconditionally. Jesus may appear in robes, He may appear sitting in front of us or next to us, He may appear very close, comforting and embracing us. Jesus may appear as we have seen in pictures or artistic renditions, or Jesus may appear in a different form. Jesus may even appear in female form, if we need Jesus to. Some of us have been deeply hurt by men in our lives. Jesus understands, and Jesus will come to us in any form we need in order to share God’s unconditional love.”

Recently, while practicing Christian Tantric Meditation, the vision I experienced was Jesus as a homeless person.  Recently while visiting San Francisco, I encountered fully bearded homeless men with nut brown tans laying in the grass in parks. This was the Jesus I experienced during meditation.  Some time later, I was working with a group of men in recovery when the meditation encounter resurfaced in my memory. I smiled to myself as I recognized that Jesus was among this group, reaching out to me and speaking to me, even as I worked with them.

On another occasion, while meditating I heard the voices of my family in the kitchen. Usually distractions don’t connect with my consciousness while meditating, but I heard these voices while I was practicing Divine Communion, visualizing Jesus. When I heard their voices, I recognized Jesus, reaching through them to connect with me in a warm and familiar way.

On yet another occasion, I experienced Jesus in a comforting embrace. The experience was intimate and much needed at the time, and I found my eyes tearing up in spontaneous reaction to the encounter.

Of course, meditation is one of many ways to encounter Jesus. It seems that every year, the Spirit of Christmas, the Spirit of Christ, eventually becomes a part of us. Some of us encounter the Spirit while writing cards and remembering friends and loved ones who are living away from us, some at church as the candles of Advent are lit, and for some the Spirit arrives with a glimpse of a child on a Mall Santa’s lap, eyes bright with hope and anticipation.

Whatever the reason or the situation, whether through quiet contemplation, joyful encounters with friends and family, or even in sharing a moment with a stranger, if we open ourselves to the encounter, the Spirit will come.

And this is my prayer for this Season, that we may all encounter the Prince of Peace, in whatever form that touches our hearts. Come Thou Long Expected Jesus, Come.

Christmas Blessings from Ecumenical Christian Wellness Ministries.