In Caesar’s World

Neville Goddard spoke often about this physical world as the “world of Caesar“. He is referring to the passage from Matthew in the Christian Bible:

Matthew 22
Practitioner's Path
Metaphysical meaning
“Render unto Caesar,…”

17 Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 18 But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. 20 And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” 21 They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 

Matthew 22

The point that Neville was making based on the above passage is that there are different constructs in the spiritual world than exist in the physical world.

Two of Neville’s best stories highlight this point. His first – the story of being honorably discharged from the Army during WWII and the second – how he and his family got passage back to the US on a boat when there were no available tickets for months. Both are classic examples of a miraculous event coming through the people and circumstances around him.

I have written many blogs about manifesting things in my life that I wanted or needed. And in sharing my stories with students and friends, someone inevitably says: “but we should also be able to manifest a winning lottery ticket, right?

In theory, yes. In practice however, I have found that the spiritual laws I have studied and apply regularly work most often within the framework of the physical world that we live in.

What does that mean?

It means that money does show up when I use the spiritual tools shared by Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, Deepak Chopra, Neville and many others; but it comes through physical – not paranormal – means.

My needs (money and otherwise) are met – not by a disembodied hand coming down out of the clouds with a fist-full of money – but by the shifting and movement of the people and circumstances around me.

I have shared multiple stories on how this works, but my 2 favorites are the one where I needed a new roof and a storm, a tree and a part time job came my way; and the story of my student loans. The money manifested in these 2 scenarios alone totals almost $50,000 but before I could receive it, I had to be willing to accept it through the framework of the world I live in: the world of Caesar, or physical world.

If I had insisted on receiving money from a leprechaun, a disembodied hand or lottery winnings – I’d still be waiting – and likely with a leaky roof!

Two of the most important skills in manifesting in the world of Caesar are openness & willingness. We must be open to seeing the opportunities that come to us: the people, the circumstances, the information. We then must be willing to act. I’d still be paying off part of my roof (plus interest) if I had not been willing to say ‘Yes!‘ when I was approached about taking on a part time job.

This openness and willingness enables us to see signs and hear the whispers of Spirit. It’s very rare that the answers we seek show up in large, flashing lights on a billboard conveniently placed along our route to work.

My experience has been that it more often comes in someone’s passing comment, or a request from someone, or a gut feeling to go somewhere, or do something – sometimes even an email! In order to manifest, we must be willing to follow Spirit’s nudge.

While we can use the tools and techniques taught by gurus, priests and rishis for centuries; we must understand that most of us will need to work within the limits of the laws of physics that exist on this plane.

Some may say that I am closing the door to miracles, and I understand the point. But I believe that the more day-to-day magic we experience, the more open we are to even greater magic. I also know that waiting on lottery winnings and disembodied hands are long-shots – whereas the demonstration of Good that comes through the people, places and circumstances of every day life can be regular occurrences in life if we choose.

I’m certainly open to once-in-a-lifetime miraculous demonstrations, but I also know that I don’t need to sit and wait: real miracles come my way on a regular basis and I’m grateful for them all.

The point of all of this is that we can wait on a million dollars, feeling misery and disappointment each time it eludes us; or we can give thanks a million times for the crinkled, unassuming dollars that show up. In the end, the money will add up to the same amount, but the truly “richer” life will be the one lived in faith, and taken a step at a time.

When we learn to “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” – accepting that we live within the physical constructs of this world; we will not only avoid the disappointment of trying to manifest a lottery jackpot, but we can enjoy the many wonderful demonstrations of Good that come our way, every day. And so it is.

(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path

Every day miracles

The Isha Upanishad opens with this text:

All this is full. All that is full.
From fullness, fullness comes.
When fullness is taken from fullness,
Fullness still remains.
Om shanti – shanti – shanti

The concept is that when we are in alignment with the Divine, we cannot be in a state of want or lack. This spiritual Truth is repeated in many stories across multiple spiritual traditions.

In the Western canon a more familiar story is the one where Jesus fed the 5,000 with only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Here’s the story from John 6:

Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. 

Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” 10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. 

11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” 

13 So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten.  [John 6:4-13]

5 loaves 2 fishIn the Christian context, this is taught as a great miracle, which suggests that this kind of manifestation is rare. Through a metaphysical lens, however; it is seen as instruction on how to be when turning to the Divine (e.g. prayer) to receive something that you want or need.

It’s interesting that Jesus asks Philip where they are to get bread. He’s asking a question he already knows the answer to: he understands the concept articulated in the opening to the Isha Upanishad: out of fullness, fullness comes and when fullness is taken from fullness, fullness remains. He knew that he would have what he needed. He was using the circumstances as a teaching moment.

Our lives present few opportunities to feed 5,000+ people on a grassy hill with no other options available, so at a glance, it is easy to miss the guidance on prayer tucked into this story.

Knowing: Jesus was not worried about where the food would come from. He had a handle on the unlimited Supply concept.

Peace: in the face of the head count (5,000 people), Jesus was quite chill. “Have the people sit down” he tells his crew. Sitting down is a passive response – not an active one; a posture of waiting to receive.

Gratitude: don’t be fooled by the short statement attributed to this piece. If we want to understand the miracle of the 5 loaves and 2 fishes, we must remember this critical piece: Jesus gave thanks for what he had in front of him, which leads to the next point.

Available resources: Jesus took what was at hand. He did not demand that a full-course Passover meal be brought in; he worked with what he had in that moment and remained GRATEFUL for it – without hesitation.

Action: after giving thanks, they went immediately into action. They didn’t call a meeting to divide up the pieces, or examine the portions; they started handing out the food as if there would be enough.

When the passing out of the food resources was complete, Jesus told his crew to gather up the leftovers. It specifically mentions that this did not happen until people had eaten until full.

How does this apply to our world today?

Think about something you are in need of, or desire. How do you ponder and feel about the issue? Here are some examples:

  • relationship (love)
  • new job
  • increased abundance (more money)
  • healing

Are you following the steps lined up in spiritual tradition for manifesting your desire?

  1. Do you believe that your desire is achievable? Don’t wish; stop hoping – KNOW it.
  2. Are you at peace when you think about it, knowing that things are in motion making this happen?
  3. Are you giving thanks ahead of the demonstration? If you know it’s coming (step 1), be grateful now.
  4. Are you taking care not to overlook the resources right in front of you? Work with what you have (5 loaves & 2 fish) and it will expand to meet your need with plenty left over.
  5. Are you taking action today? Don’t sit around and wait for a booming voice from the clouds. Get up, get going – take a step in the direction of your desire right now.

One last point: the 5 loaves and 2 fish that fed the 5,000 came from a small boy. Take care not to overlook the small and seemingly unimportant offers that come your way (think of the status of a child in formal society – not as a child in the context of a family).  They may seem to be immature, undeveloped or not quite to the level that you were hoping – and yet, in them may lie the seeds of your next miracle.

And so it is.

(C) 2018 Practitioner's Path

Go Big with the Golden Key

The Golden Key

This morning as I was grabbing my watch off the dressing table, I came across my copy of “The Golden Key” published by Unity and based on Emmet Fox’s teaching.

In a previous blog I shared the concept of the Golden Key and I was grateful to have found it this morning and reconnect with its simple wisdom. Lately I have been pondering our culture’s tendency to focus on the negative aspect of <insert topic of choice> and how that “default” setting is one of the biggest challenges for us in manifesting a better life.

Complaining about what ISN’T working is a way of life, at least in the United States, and that way of life is counterproductive if we want to move toward our best lives.

The basic process of “turning the Golden Key” is outlined in that earlier blog. In this blog I want to suggest an enhancement to that basic step that can supercharge it.

While adjusting our perspective away from the trouble and onto the Good that is all around us; we can also open our minds to ponder the concept of “Infinite Intelligence”.

Infinite means without boundaries; no limits.

When we are trying to power through some challenge, we can sometimes get it in our head how it needs to work out. Mike Dooley calls this “messing with the cursed hows“. Never mind we’ve spent time and money on stacks of spiritual books, watched countless YouTube videos and attended a plethora of classes, seminars. We encounter one of life’s speed bumps and spiritual gurus that we are – we decide that we know what needs to happen and how it can (or can’t!) …classic spiritual #fail (and we’ve all done it once or twice).

In other words, we put the power of the Universe into a small box,…and then wonder why we’re still not getting answers to our prayers; solutions to our problems and generally a better outcome.

We can take our Golden Key – paper or otherwise – and add infinity power to it by allowing our imagination to go BIG. The “key” to our success lies in recognizing the infinitude of possibilities that exist, and in staying open to how the answer(s) we seek may show up for us so that we a) don’t miss them, and b) can be grateful.

Dig through your list of challenges, and find a stubborn one to work on. Give it the Golden Key treatment, then let your imagination wander, adopting an “allowing” posture (i.e. be the observer – not the micromanager) and watch the magic unfold.

Big dreams.jpg

(C) 2017 Practitioner's Path

Get it started

fire-starter-firelighting-squaresI regularly hear from folks at various points along their spiritual journeys who ask this question: “Does this stuff really work?

This question usually follows some “ask” that was not answered. We do live in a culture that values instant gratification and often new spiritual seekers are drawn to metaphysical spirituality in order to “manifest” something.

And while there’s nothing wrong with seeking a demonstration through prayer and affirmations; understanding the basics of spiritual law helps to move things along. But it is important to realize that we must be ready for movement – very often unexpected/unplanned & inconvenient movement – when we start this process. Recently one of my family members shared their story and it perfectly illustrates this point.

The family was living in a rented home. They liked their neighborhood, and their yard, but the house was small, and needed a lot of work that the landlord was unwilling to do. The wife felt a nudge in her heart that this was not their final destination, and so she quietly wrote out an affirmation to use for helping them to move forward.

The next day after she put her kids on the school bus, she took her affirmation to the basement, and began to clear out and pack up things, saying “I am cleaning up and clearing out in preparation for our move to our beautiful new home.”

It is important to note here that the family did not have a downpayment sitting in the bank, and had been told by a number of people that they would not qualify for a mortgage large enough to afford a house in the condition and location that they desired.

She worked on the basement for a week (1 week!) and got it cleared out. She was feeling good about the progress and planned to continue the work in the rest of the house when their landlord called and said he was coming by.

When he arrived he told them that he was selling the house, and that they needed to be out ASAP. Not surprisingly, this created instantaneous chaos! Where were they going to go? How were they going to afford to move – especially in a hurry? Would the kids be able to stay in their same school district?

It was a tumultuous time, but the woman had some tools. She immediately began to journal using John Randolph Price’s Abundance Journey process and reached out to her family for advice and assistance. They secured a real estate agent, and began to look at homes in the school district where their children were already established.

To say that they “kissed a lot of toads” (saw a lot of subpar homes) would be an understatement, and there were many nights of exhaustion, disappointment and crying. She continued to journal, and held on to her belief that all of this was working together for their Good – that this was all happening for the right reasons. She realized that she had called this change into being with her WORDS and her divine right action.

This next piece of information will come as no surprise to some reading this post: on Day 40 of the Abundance Journey (Price outlines a 40-day Abundance Journey in his book), she and her husband closed on a house in a nicer part of their community that had been listed at a price point significantly higher than their approved loan amount.

She laughs today as she recounts the swift reaction of the Universe when she put her attention and her actions/energy into a singular goal – moving out of their rented house and into their own beautiful home.

The HOW was definitely not what she had envisioned as the path, but she was wise enough to know that the “hows” are none of our concern and that to manifest our dreams, we need to learn to roll with it the way it shows up.

Many of us have set intentions, written affirmations, sought prayer and visualized our goals. Have we ALSO been willing to take that first step in faith, and then – when the chaos erupts, allow it to lead us along the path to our intended goal?

Prayer, affirmations, visualization and other spiritual practices are powerful tools in the art of manifestation. Taking directed action in combination with our intention(s) serves as a quick start method for manifesting, but be careful: while we may have planned for a tame, S’mores kind of fire; we may get a high-flame, eyebrow-singing blaze beMarshmallowfore it settles down into coals that we can approach with a marshmallow on a stick.

Nearly 100 years ago, Florence Scovel Shinn taught her students that their word is their wand. Her words and these teachings remain as powerful today as they were for her students and clients.

When we ask, we WILL receive.

Are we ready?

Just know it


photo taken by the author at Whalehead Beach, Corolla, NC

Ad executives for shoe giant Nike struck gold a few years back with their “Just Do It” campaign slogan. It’s a powerful statement for all of us contemplating a change in our habits, lives or thinking.

Sometimes, however; it feels as though we are ready but the things we need to act upon are still  taking their time to manifest. At the start of the New Year many New Thought churches and centers hold abundance and prosperity seminars, classes and other activities. Because the start of a new year is a great time to turn over a new leaf, and more practically I suspect, because the Christmas season has a way of exerting itself on everyone’s budget in a way that makes them look for ways to change that experience.

Regardless of the “why“, teaching prosperity is a wonderful way to introduce people to the concepts of spirituality and the power that each of us has – right here, right now – to effect positive change in our own lives. Still, one of the challenges in advertising and teaching spirituality is that non-schooled folks who are desperate for an injection of money are at risk for going away disappointed. If they’re not ready for the spirituality piece of it, and are expecting to learn how to pick the winning lottery numbers or to get an immediate promotion and raise at work; they’re not going to find success at the end of a Prosperity seminar or class.

Let’s face it – even schooled spiritual seekers can become frustrated with the concepts of spiritual prosperity! Who among us hasn’t had a strong desire to inspire a lottery win, or a promotion, or even some money to arrive in the mail? I have found though, that only after some time spent in the wins and losses of the prosperity journey have I learned the way that it works, and been able to impact my life for the better.

The start of that shift comes in the knowing that we are provided, regardless of what it looks like in the check register, on the screen as you check your bank balance, or on the balance due as you open bills in the mail.

Knowing, and then letting go sounds simple; but these are the skills of a Jedi. It takes practice to know something in the face of real physical evidence to the contrary, and while we don’t have to travel to Dagobah to learn these skills, we do have to change our perspective and be willing to “unlearn what we have learned“.

A good way to begin is in our attitude. The photo at the top of this post includes a quote by Florence Scovel Shinn, a wise 20th century artist and New Thought teacher.

“Now is the appointed time. Today is the day of my amazing good fortune.”

As we begin this New Year, let’s use this statement to affirm the Truth of who we are: let’s just KNOW it, and then watch it happen in our lives.

Here’s to our success in 2017 – yours and mine!



Infinite Patience

Hindu goddessIn his 1997 book, “Manifest Your Destiny“, Wayne Dyer shared the ancient principles of manifesting through the use of returning to silence, or meditation. As he did throughout his career with his many bestsellers, he spoke often about the content in this book. In one particular presentation I remember his emphasis on the concept that “infinite patience produces immediate results“.

That phrase is counterintuitive at face value, but after pondering it for a period of time, I have uncovered the lesson and the wisdom. In the Western perspective, and most decidedly from the American viewpoint, impatience is king. We’ve ramped this urgency for everything to previously-unknown heights, and it seems that everyone wants everything – and they want it right NOW!

The explosion of personal debt and the decimation of personal savings are just 2 examples of this impulse toward instant gratification, but there are implications beyond growing credit card debt. This insistence on having everything now and the impatience that fuels it are actually blocking our Good in ways most of us never consider. In addition, we often seek very material representations of our Good instead of looking past it for what we are truly seeking, and setting our intention and focus on that.

Here’s an example.

Many people report wanting financial independence and think of winning the lottery jackpot as the path to it.

If you are someone who wants money at these levels, think about WHY you want that money.

Well, I’d like a new house, and a nice car and to be able to go on vacation once in a while,” some might say. While these are reasonable desires on the physical plane, I encourage going deeper to find out what emotions, or feelings you are seeking to achieve through these acquisitions.

Do you want to prove your worth to someone, perhaps yourself? Do you want to provide a loving central environment so to bring your extended family together and see a new house as the vehicle to achieving this? Maybe you want these things for different reasons. It doesn’t matter WHY you want them, but we need to understand that WHY if we want to move forward into a consciousness that can move us toward them.

Meditation as Wayne Dyer taught in this (and other) books can absolutely bring us what we are seeking,… if we are willing to look past the material list (car, house, money, job, relationship, etc.) and focus on the FEELING we believe these physical items will help to inspire.

Then, along the way toward achieving these personal goals we will find that there are opportunities to practice this infinite patience by seeing, in small moments, the very thing we are seeking in our larger vision.

For example, if we want to be independently wealthy because we could be free from the Monday-through-Friday, boss-controlled work week, we’re not really seeking MONEY; we’re seeking what that money can buy.

For many, this is freedom: freedom to come and go as we please; not having to ASK for a day off, or consider the opportunity cost (what we might need to give up if we want to make a certain purchase or take a job with fewer hours).

Most of us are not yet living at a point where we can put our attention on independent wealth and move from working the 9-to-5 and into a life of leisure at the beach in short order; but all of us have the opportunity to recognize moments of FREEDOM in our daily life.

Do you recognize and celebrate the 3-day weekends that come along every few months? Do you take your vacation days and enjoy the FREEDOM of a day outside your regular routine?

Too often we place our focus on big material goals and entirely miss the many manifestations that show up in our lives every day. I believe this is what Wayne Dyer was teaching when he taught that “infinite patience produces immediate results“.

When we focus on the Good we desire in our lives, and avoid measuring it by the square feet of our house, or the horsepower under our hood; we open ourselves to experiencing it on a small scale. Each time that we recognize, embrace and are grateful to experience freedom, for example, when it shows up in a little way we are being infinitely patient (“this is perfect – thank you!“) and reaping immediate results!

As we acknowledge, affirm and give thanks for these seemingly small wins, the Universe conspires to bring more of the same to us because we live in a responsive Universe. When we get clear on what we want at the most fundamental levels (freedom, security, peace, happiness); spend time in silence (meditation) and then recognize when they show up – the Universe recognizes our vibration of YES! and immediately goes to work to bring more of the same into our experience.

Is it really that simple?

It’s not easy – especially from the typical American mindset – but it is, most definitely, that simple.