Blessings in Passing

When I first began to study what I refer to as “larger spirituality” – spirituality not confined within a single dogma or worldview – I got a mental picture in my head when someone would use the phrase, “daily practice“.

I envisioned a room or at least a corner dedicated to their “practice” and often I immediately moved to the many barriers I had in my life that would prevent me from being able to sit in an incensed room in yoga pants for an hour every morning.

That’s not what they were saying – that was my filter. I learned down the road that while some people may have something like that going on, many others do not. A daily practice is as unique as each person, and requires no specific accessories.

In studying the works of Joseph Murphy and Neville Goddard, contemporaries in the early part of the 20th century (Goddard passed on in 1972 and Murphy in 1981); I am always struck with the sheer simplicity of their approach to prayer, or “knowing the Truth” about someone/something. It was from this perspective that I began, unintentionally, an extension of my own daily practice.

I live in a suburban neighborhood, and as I drive to work, I pass many people walking along the streest: school children, with and without parents; dog walkers; commuters walking to public transit and others. One morning I noticed a teenaged boy walking along the street. He was alone, and did not look happy. He was on the heavier side, and walked as if he dreaded arriving at his destination.

I immediately felt compassion for him – middle school and high school can be challenging places to exist – and so I held the thought for him that today was a much better day than usual. Driving past people, even on a neighborhood street, doesn’t leave much time for a long, complicated blessing. Plus, I have no way of knowing what each person would need: so my thought that day was a knowing that the blessings of the Infinite were upon him.

I am particularly moved when I see school kids walking alone and appearing to be sad; dreading the day ahead or trying to recover from whatever they experienced at home before walking out the door.

I think of the following from one of Joseph Murphy’s prayers:

I know that (individual’s name) is surrounded by the sacred circle of God’s eternal love, and the whole armor of God surrounds her/him and s/he is watched over by the overshadowing Presence of God.

Joseph Murphy
(Archangel Michael)

Since I don’t know the names of the people I drive past each morning, an easy technique is to simply accept that they are accompanied by the holy Presence and watched over in all they do.

If I am stopped in traffic I may add a visualization of a grandmotherly angel or two if the child/children are small, or a warrior-like archangel if they are teens.

Skeptics will roll their eyes (& aren’t likely to be reading this blog), but readers across the New Thought canon know that many of the teachers whose work form the foundation of the movement taught and lived this Truth: a thought held in the human mind is connected to the Infinite Mind and will demonstrate or manifest.

Over time this simple teaching has evolved into an organized religion (at least 3 versions at last count), each of which has added dogma, regulatory guidelines and complications that are unnecessary for the process to work, but that are understandable in the world of Caesar. And yet, the truth remains that the Good that is possible requires no prescribed order of words or official interventions.

In one of his most beloved talks, “Live in the End“, Neville shared the following:

“Do you know a friend who is unemployed? Well, then, see him as gainfully employed, and don’t tell him, that you may brag tomorrow. Don’t boast. Just see him gainfully employed.”

Nevill Goddard, “Live in the End”

Neville’s life work was a testament to this process. Many have studied and applied this process – some within, but I suspect most outside of formal religious or spiritual organizational structures.

There will be those who say, “How do you know it works? What if you’re just deluding yourself and wasting your time?

I know that this works when I use it for myself, and for the people around me who seek out my knowledge on such things. For the people I pass on the street, I may never know if my simple blessing thought was helpful or not.

But let’s consider this: at one point, a VERY long time ago, everything that we see (and much more that we don’t/can’t see) was part of an infinitessimally small, dense and hot singularity…and then BOOM!

An explosion and rapid expansion, heating and cooling of matter…13.7 billion years later, here we are. The fact remains that the preponderance scientific inquiry to date suggests that we all come from the same stuff. We are indeed, all connected.

I can’t single-handedly fix all the problems carried around by the people I meet or encounter each day. There are days when I’m not sure how I’ll manage my own issues, and those within my inner circle. But I can apply the principles I’ve studied and learned and used with success in my own experience.

If nothing else, my own knowing of peace and Good for the random people I pass on my commute helps to put me into a better space, which means I show up at work in a positive and beneficial (to me and to others) state of mind. I also believe that there is Good to be planted and blessings to be harvested when we know peace, joy, healing, love and more for those we meet along our way.

And so it is.

(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path 

Manna’s modern lesson

Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions…” 

Exodus 16:4-5

Newcomers to metaphysical spirituality are often drawn to the teachings for the purpose of healing. In many cases the focus on the healing is their relationship to money, and the study of metaphysics has helped countless seekers learn how to change their perspectives around money and live in a much more harmonious relationship with it.

Unfortunately, some seekers come with misguided, preconceived notions about metaphysical teachings and attracting wealth (thanks in part to the movie The Secret and some of its Law of Attraction teachers) that can create misunderstandings and disappointment.

In my previous post I wrote that too often we pray, chant, affirm, meditate and wait on a million dollars – feeling increasing misery and disappointment as time passes and we’re still not seeing it materialize. From this perspective we are unable to recognize the crinkled, unassuming dollars that show up – millions of times across our lives. 

In this regard, while I do not draw a line in the sand and say that it’s impossible to manifest winning lottery tickets or some other giant, financial windfall; it has been my experience that the Good we seek comes to us most often as daily bread.

I feel justified in this perspective since it has some strong Biblical backing. The first and most significant reference is documented in Exodus about the Hebrew people’s journey from captivity in Egypt.

They had followed Moses across the parted Red Sea, and into the desert, where they faced much uncertainty – at least it seemed so to the average person.

Keep in mind that the concept of One God had been competing with the many gods of Egyptian culture that they had lived in for generations. And while they had been slaves in Egypt, they had more to eat than they saw available in the desert. Human nature being what it is, the many gods of Egypt were associated with enough food and this One God concept was starting to look like an iffy proposition.

Fifteen days into the second month of wandering in the desert, the unrest was growing. God then spoke to Moses and promised to provide food to the people – and the food came, but not in the form of a warehouse of food designed to last a few months, or even a week.

Quail fell from the heavens into the camp each evening, and in the morning after the dew on the ground had gone away, “thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor“. The people were told to take what they needed for their family for the day and not to hoard or store any extra. They were specifically instructed to eat that day’s manna; not to keep it overnight.

True to human nature though, some people saved a little extra, keeping it overnight. But in the morning, the manna smelled terrible and was found to be full of maggots.

I think we can all relate to the motivation. Only one day before they had been close to starvation. When the manna came they found just enough sustenance to feed them. Could they count on this God to provide tomorrow’s supply?

When we are in distress, and especially financial distress, it can be tempting to focus our meditation, prayer and affirmations on a large financial solution to our problems.

If I could just pay off <insert list of debts>, things would be OK.”

Lottery winnings, an unexpected inheritance from a wealthy relative or finding a valuable and rare coin in our change purse all seem to be pretty desirable answers to our prayers when we’re knee deep in money trouble. Like the Hebrews wandering in the desert – we want to know that we’re going to have enough, and we think we know how much “enough” it needs to be.

It didn’t work that way for the Hebrew people. The manna went BAD if they hoarded more than they could eat throughout the day. It doesn’t work for us, either.

The God portrayed in the Hebrew scriptures was teaching the people a lesson: that they needed to draw closer – to rely on God, and not once in a while when they needed something (like a quick escape out of captivity); but all the time. They were learning that God is the Source & Substance of all their Good. In this story the manna fell for 40 years, sustaining them until they entered the land of Canaan.

The lesson for the 21st century modern world is this: real abundance comes when we move beyond the excitement of manifesting amounts of money and things, and move into the knowing that no matter what we need, no matter how dire our circumstances appear to be, we are provided: always, and in all ways. There’s not a lottery jackpot anywhere that can compare.

And so it is.

(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path

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:

Caesar
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

Tools for scary times

Today’s headlines inspire unrest

Each day I think that the national news surely can’t get any worse,…and then the nightly news proves me wrong. We are clearly living in tumultuous times, where long-standing norms are being upended left and right. There is a great temptation to consider the possibility of moving overseas, but that’s more complicated than it seems with multiple generations of family to consider.

Mulling over several disturbing news reports that have emerged over the past few weeks, I began to think about what I should be doing about things. Should I be protesting, running for office, setting up a non-profit? What is it that I could or should be doing?

During this time, I’ve also been diving deep into the teachings of Neville Goddard. The intersection of these 2 subjects finally came into focus for me and I realized what my work is to do: I need to keep teaching.

In his most popular lectures, Neville outlines examples where he used spiritual principles to change things for the better in his life. He recounted multiple times how he secured an honorable discharge from the US Army during WWII, as well as securing passage on a transport ship back to the USA from the West Indies within a day when all passage was booked for months ahead.

As I listened to Neville recount his story of the trip back to New York, I recalled a story that Wayne Dyer told about a time he and his wife were trying to fly out of Istanbul (1974). A military incursion had begun to brew and the airport was in full-blown chaos. The political unrest had rendered their airline tickets invalid and there were few alternative options.

In “I Can See Clearly Now” Dyer recounted how, as everyone in the airport was panicked and frightened, he kept his thoughts and his intention laser focused on getting on a plane that morning and flying out of the region. He refused to give into the fear, and held on to the vision of himself and his wife boarding a plane that morning that he says he “stuck like Super Glue” in his imagination. As it turned out, he and his wife were able to get the last 2 seats on a military transport and leave the area. The day they arrived back in the United States, Turkey invaded Cyprus – they had made it out just in time.

One of the most important skills we can learn in these politically unstable times is how to use the spiritual principles taught by Wayne Dyer, Neville Goddard and others that can shift time and space to make seemingly impossible things happen in our favor.

I’ve blogged about things less intense than escaping a war zone, such as finding a part time job when I needed money for a roof; finding an answer to paying my student loans; being in the right place at the right time for someone in need; and more. I know without a shadow of a doubt that this works – and I have seen that the more I study and apply these principles, the more things come together for me in perfect (Divine?) time and space.

Important to consider: the time to learn these skills is not when we’re facing a crisis – but in times of low stress. Learning and practicing on small things, and then expanding our ability to use the tools to larger things builds spiritual muscles. The “muscle memory” we are creating will kick in and work when the stress of a situation or circumstance threatens to throw off our concentration. When we learn and consistently use the principles, we are able to use them no matter what is taking place around us.

If ignoring the news isn’t a likely occurrence for you; you can counter the feelings of terror or helplessness. See these times as a call to arms – as the nudge you needed to inspire you to knuckle down and really learn the spiritual principles that can help you alter time and space when you need it most.


Some recommended resources:


(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path

Pray like Neville

Neville Goddard

From the time I was a very little girl, I have been instructed on how to pray. I grew up in the traditional, “high church” Protestant tradition (quiet contemplation, not loud praise) and learned the typical Anglo-American way to approach the Divine with various wants and needs.

In the Christian tradition, this is an approach of supplication: “Please consider my plea, all my good deeds, and grant me that which I desire.”

As an adult, I questioned this for many reasons, and that questioning led me to the study of ancient, non-Anglo spiritual studies and their presentation through New Thought (which is really OLD Thought in new garments).

The organized religions in New Thought have patterned their ways after the Protestants that preceded them in formally organizing. They have high-mucky mucks in charge of this and that, and they pass out titles in exchange for investments in their organizations. And they have established a RIGHT and a WRONG way of doing various things – including how to pray.

I have to admit that I bought into this initially and I must say that I have also learned a lot along the way. Funny thing about reading, though – the more you read and learn and think for yourself; the more you see things as they really are and not as others would like you to see them. Such it has been for me on the path of understanding prayer.

While immersing myself in organized New Thought studies, I was also reading widely across the emerging spiritual teachings of the day, including Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra – whose early exposure and immersion in the Hindu tradition makes him an especially rich resource for interpreting New Thought.

These teachers (and others, too numerous to mention, including many Rishis from long ago) were opening my mind and my eyes to the simplicity of communing with the Divine even as I was being instructed that there was another “right way” to do it.

Some of these teachers spoke in ways that would be comfortably welcomed in a liberal Christian church, while others spoke of things that most ministers would claim as blasphemy. Long ago I stopped being afraid to question the commandments of men (and women) with robes and titles, so I found myself drawn to those whose perspectives were most independent from the mainstream. I was sure that they had something of value to add to my journey. Neville Goddard was one such teacher.

In a previous blog I wrote about Neville and his great gift to the world. His contention that God is not some outside force, but lives within humankind as “our own wonderful, human imagination” would make most ministers of the cloth fall faint; but if you’ve studied Neville and taken his advice to try out what he shared, you know, like I do, that there’s something to it (maybe they faint worrying about not being able to pass the offering plate if too many people figure this out for themselves!!?!?)

A year ago I was looking at my finances and doing some pre-retirement planning. I knew that my savings were on track, but I wanted to make sure that I was also addressing other factors that would be relevant, and one of these was debt.

The one significant area of debt in my life was student loans, and I decided to use the tools and techniques I had been learning to deal with them. I was tired of paying them each month, and wanted to be free of that debt, but in a way that was fair and equitable to all. I didn’t want to stop paying them and thumb my nose at the creditors, but I also didn’t want to pay them out of my existing budget any longer. I knew better than to get attached to any particular way of resolving this, such as deciding that I would win the lottery or receive a long-lost inheritance from a rich relative. I decided to undertake a Neville-esque approach, following one of the ways he described in his lecture series from the mid-20th century.

“My third way of praying is simply to feel thankful. If I want something, either for myself or another, I immobilize the physical body, then I produce the state akin to sleep and in that state just feel happy, feel thankful, which thankfulness implies realization of what I want.”

“I assume the feeling of the wish fulfilled and with my mind dominated by this single sensation I go to sleep. I need do nothing to make it so, because it is so. My feeling of the wish fulfilled implies it is done.”

Neville Goddard, Core Lecture #4

Given this construct, I set about feeling the joy I would feel if I no longer had to pay that large, student loan payment each month. I did not craft elaborate prayers, petition others to pray for me or chant affirmations. I simply felt gratitude for this debt being taken off of me, as if it had ALREADY been accomplished. I also avoided daydreaming how it would come about. I remained in the END STATE of the loans not being part of my monthly expenses any longer.

It was a Saturday, much like today, and nothing seemed to happen immediately, but I did not allow myself to know anything other than gratitude for this accomplished state – especially that night when I went to sleep.

About a month or so later, someone stopped by my office at work. As we were chatting, they mentioned that their fiance had just signed paperwork that would have our employer pay her student loans in exchange for an agreement to stay on in her job for the next few years. I was immediately intrigued, and as soon as they left my office, I made a phone call.

Long story short, I am no longer sending a student loan payment in every month: the payments are being made by my employer, in exchange for me agreeing to remain for a few years. In the world of Caesar (as Neville referred to the physical world), I knew I would be working somewhere for at least a few more years. I like my job and am well-compensated, so it was not a hard choice to make in exchange for the student loans being paid on my behalf.

Some may say that this conversation would have happened anyway. Perhaps, but I’ve seen this kind of thing happen enough times that I’m not quick to believe that is the case.

One of Neville Goddard’s great gifts to the world was his uncloaking of the simple Truth in a way that is accessible to everyone. There is no need to get up early on Sunday morning, or put a certain percentage of your money in a basket or bronzed plate that is passed around, or to find specific words (while avoiding others) and place them in a pre-ordained order of speaking. We need only train ourselves to be able to feel thankful for what it is that we desire, and then assume the feeling of the wish fulfilled – to know that it is done, and live in this knowing, period.

If this is NEW to you, don’t start with something so large that your own doubt will cloud the possibilities: start with something that you can believe could happen. Once you learn how to use this, you’ll find that no news is devastating; no situation doomed; no lack unfulfilled.

Practice, keep reading and learning and live the life you truly desire to live!

(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path
To learn more; check out this lecture (in Neville's own voice). 

Neville’s Gifts

Neville Goddard
Metaphysics
Spirituality
Manifestation
Neville Goddard

One of the most popular and compelling metaphysical teachers in the early to mid-20th century was Neville Goddard. His lectures were well-attended and he distinguished himself from the numerous preachers who were making rounds in New Thought circles by his strong command of the biblical scriptures – both the Hebrew and the Christian texts – as well as his preference for the academic lecture over the church service.

His lectures live on today and through the wonders of technology (YouTube), we can hear his teaching in his voice. I encourage all students of metaphysics to study Neville and ponder his contributions to the larger body of metaphysical spirituality.

He told many stories to illustrate the power that we have and one of his favorites, perhaps for the strength of its message, was the story of how he got himself out of active duty in the Army after being drafted.

From the site linked above:

In 1943, he was drafted into the U.S. Army at age 38, which he did not want, especially since he felt he was too old to become a soldier and had a wife and daughter at home to take care of. Through the power of imagination, as Neville told it in his March 24, 1972 lecture, he was honorably discharged after just a few weeks of training. One consequence of his brief Army training was that he received full United States citizenship, having been a British citizen up to this point.

Neville Goddard Wiki

Neville emphasized the role of our imagination in manifesting the things in life and the lives that we want. He used his own imagination when he found himself in the Army and unhappy with the circumstances and his method is worth a closer look.

He spoke of not fighting or resisting that which we don’t want, but that we should “submit to Caesar” – a biblical reference to the verse in the Christian text where Jesus is asked by the Pharisees about paying taxes to the government (ruled at the time by Caesar) and Jesus replied:

20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?21 They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

Matthew 22:20-22

Neville used this to explain that when we want to manifest things, we don’t fight against the physical realities in front of us; we are not to resist, but we must focus our mind, attention and intention on what it is that we want.

He went to sleep every night in the Army barracks imagining that he was back home in his apartment in New York with his wife and child. After about a week, he had a vision where he was told that his application to leave the Army was changed from DENIED to APPROVED. Later that morning, the Captain called him into his office and signed off on his discharge from the Army, and Neville went home with an honorable discharge.

Neville Goddard
Metaphysics
Spirituality
Manifestation
Neville Goddard – later years

We learn when we study meditation as a spiritual practice that it is difficult to train the mind. Neville is referring to a discipline with the mind in the concentration on what we want and especially at night as we are falling asleep.

One way to help ourselves get into this habit at night is to use a log. Since Neville spoke of his results in about a week, I created a grid where I can document what I desire, and log the date each night when I go to bed. This helps REMIND me at the end of a busy day, and provides me a way to document what is taking place, including the outcome.

Here’s a copy of the one I created:

I have found Neville’s perspective and great knowledge of scripture to be an enlightening adjunct to the studies I have undertaken this far. He is
at times as obtuse as Ernest Holmes, but in some ways, much clearer about the processes we can use to create lives that we truly want using ancient spiritual wisdom and techniques.

YouTube has a rich treasure trove of Neville’s lectures. Most are around 45 minutes long and all are worth the listen. Once you bring Neville’s teachings into your orbit, I know that you’ll find things changing for you in ways you may have thought unlikely if not impossible.

If you find your freedom, or your “honorable discharge” using the grid I have shared, after you stop running around and telling people that you can’t believe that it worked (smile); I hope you’ll pass on your experience (& drop me a line!).


(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path