Tag Archives: Joy

A Christmas Meditation Gift

advent-wreath-1879730_640Another holiday season is upon us in the United States and worldwide.  For Christians, this season celebrates the birth of Jesus, whom we know as Emmanuel, “God with us.”

If we were to imagine for a second that Jesus was born at the year 0 CE (historians differ as to the actual year of Jesus’ birth), He would have been celebrating His 16th birthday 2000 years ago.  Imagine that, Jesus as a young person, with all the hopes and dreams, the fears and insecurities, the hormones and emotions associated with a 16 year old maturing human being.

Prior to that he was a child, full of curiosity and questions, and prior to that a toddler brimming nativity-scene-1807599_640with energy.  And prior to that, like any human child, Jesus was completely dependent on His parents for sustenance, nurture, love, and protection.  Jesus was born in an area of the world that was perhaps as unstable and dangerous at the time of His birth as it is today.  He was born homeless besides.

But the story of the birth of Jesus is not only about vulnerability.  Nor is the birth of any child only about weakness and vulnerability.  A newborn child has a mind that is not limited by learned rules and desires.  The heart of a newborn child is not scarred with resentments and disappointments. And the core of a newly born child is not burdened with learned fears and responsibilities.  A newborn child represents earth%20sunrise2pure, unfettered potential for a free and joyful life, filled with unconditional love and meaningful accomplishment.

And this is my prayer for this Season, that we may all take a lesson from the newborn child, and make an effort to lay down our desires, resentments, and fears so that we may see, feel, and experience the world in new joyful, hopeful, loving, and faithful ways.

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With this in mind, consider sharing the gift of Meditation for Christmas.  The Christian Tantric Meditation practice helps people to let go of desires, resentments and burdens, and realize our potential as joyful, loving, and confident human beings.

The Christian Tantric Meditation Guide book is available through Amazon at http://sunrisemeditation.org/publications/, and our next Christian Tantric meditation classes will be conducted in February of 2017.  The series of four  classes will be held on Saturdays February 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th.  In addition to the core practice classes, we will also be offering classes oriented towards addiction recovery, and advanced classes in compassion for people who have already taken the first four classes.

These classes are useful for beginners and people who are experienced in meditation alike.  Our pricing will be 25.00 per individual class, or 80.00 if all four classes are signed up for in advance.

For more information, either call us at 678-358-8775, email us at dave@sunrisemeditation.org, or register at http://sunrisemeditation.org/contact-us/  on our website.

Whatever your tradition, religion, and culture, we wish you a joyful holiday season, filled with hope, love, and peace.

Christmas Meditation Prayer Gift

This Holiday Season, we are grateful to be blessed with friends who are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Athiest-Humanist, Gay, Straight, and from many continents and many walks of life.

We were recently reminded that Jesus the Christ was born a Middle Eastern Jewish child who was raised speaking Aramaic, which was an early form of present day Arabic.  May we come full circle in recognizing that we are all God’s Children, all Beloved, and all Brothers and Sisters.

Meditation can be described and used as a form of listening prayer.  As a gift to all who read this blog, we have condensed the entire Christian Tantric Meditation process into prayer form.  We hope this prayer inspires healing, peace, and gratitude in a world that sorely needs hope.

Gracious God, Merciful Allah, Bountiful Universe,

Please receive this offering of the desires of my mind, that my mind might be clear to discern your Holy Presence.

Please receive this offering of the resentments and attachments in my heart, that my heart might be open to receive your Unconditional Love.

Please receive this offering of the fears and burdens in my core, that my core might be empty to receive your Boundless Strength.

Gracious God, Merciful Allah, Bountiful Universe,

Please fill my mind with your Infinite Awareness, that I may fully experience your Bountiful gift of Life

Please fill my heart with your healing Grace, that my heart may overflow with your Love.

Please fill my Core with your Strength and Wisdom, that I may be filled with your Peace

Gracious God, Merciful Allah, Bountiful Universe,

Please open my mind to the suffering of others, that I may be moved to Compassion, even as you are Compassionate.

Please open my heart to the brokenness of others, that I may be a Hopeful Healing Presence, even as you are a Hopeful Healing Presence

Please open my core to the fears of others, that I may be Merciful towards others, even as you are Merciful.

Joy and Suffering: Let Go or Take Control?

youth-570881_1280History bears witness to the value that chaos, in the form of diversity, can have. Happy accidents advance the sciences, diverse opinions and viewpoints enhance creativity, and biological diversity builds stronger ecosystems and living creatures.  On the other hand, having some level of control, in the form of maintaining a healthy attitude, diet, and exercise, and managing both physical and emotional challenges, can increase our enjoyment of life and the joy of others in relationship with us.

History also bears witness to chaos in the form of war and natural disasters as significant sources of suffering and death.  And history bears witness to how the quest for control and order can produce suffering and death. Oppression, enslavement, and death have been repeatedly imposed upon those who are considered different, outside the cultural norms of the “in group”.

In the beginning of Jewish Scripture, we are told that two entities existed – dark formless chaotic city-440126_1280“earth”, and God. And God brought forth order from the chaos, in the form of light and darkness, heavens and earth, water, living creatures, and humans beings. From this beginning, the idea emerged that control and order were good and resulted in enjoyment of life, and that chaos was evil and resulted in suffering and death.

Perhaps ironically, Buddhist thought later emerged taking a somewhat opposite view of the causes of suffering and death.   The Buddhist “Four Noble Truths” identify the desire for control as a source of suffering.

While their initial approaches to the problem of good and evil were different, Jewish and Buddhist views of good and evil were fairly consistent – good being supportive of joyful life, and evil being the source of suffering and death.

good-v-s-evil-1560338Contained within both approaches to the problem of good and evil were also the seeds for the opposite approaches. Within the Judeo Christian culture, surrendering control to a benevolent “Higher Power” is viewed as a valuable approach to addressing suffering, and the Eightfold Path of the Buddhist culture describes the self control required to “live a good and compassionate life”.

What can we do to increase our enjoyment of life, and increase the well being of others? Which approach should we take? Should we exercise control in the hope that others will recognize the value of control and learn from us? Or should we let go of all control and just let life happen, smelling the roses along the way and helping others when we get can?

This is one of those “false dichotomy” questions that can cause a lot of conflict and anxiety,within individuals and within communities and between neighbors. Different 20150219_065337approaches to the problem of good and evil result in a great deal of chaos, conflict, and death. How ironic is it that by trying to exert control on ourselves and others, we can end up causing suffering for ourselves and others?

The nondual answer worth exploring to any “either or” question is “yes.” Look at the merits of both approaches. A balance of “letting go” and “self control” can indeed bring peace and joy to our lives and the lives of our loved ones, our neighbors, and even our enemies.

We tend to be programmed from an early age as to what the “right reaction” to suffering should be. Whether taking control or surrendering (fight or flight), we tend to react to extreme situations with extreme thoughts and behaviors. And whatever our natural reaction is, most of us can think of occasions where extreme reactions have produced even more suffering for ourselves and others.

floating-bonsaiThe ability to react, to live, and to have relationships that are healthy and balanced, allowing for a reasonable amount of control and chaos, can require some training and practice. Meditation can be a very helpful in this regard. It is perhaps ironic that for some people “letting go” of a desire for control can be achieved through a controlled meditation practice. It is perhaps equally ironic that for others, practicing “letting go” of fears can help a person to cope better and have more self control.

With this in mind, we are happy to announce the opening phase 2 Christian Tantric Meditation classes covering “Self Emptying” practices on Saturday September 12th.  The morning session will cover “Freeing the mind and heart of harmful desires and resentments”, and the afternoon session will cover “Freeing the Core of Fears and Opening Self to Bliss”. Please visit http://sunrisemeditation.org/workshops/ or call 678-358-8775 for more information.

Phase 1 Christian Tantric Meditation classes are also being opened on Saturday, September 26th. These classes introduce core concepts and exercises that are used throughout all four phases of the practice.   These workshops introduce mindfulness, mind stabilization, and open consciousness practices.  We also introduce practices that can reduce physical and emotional pain and enhance compassion for others in our phase 1 classes. Again, please visit http://sunrisemeditation.org/workshops/ or call 678-358-8775 for more information.

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.

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.