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

Always exciting

Southern Homewares SH-10025 Shelf Basket

I never tire of hearing or sharing the stories of how things show up for those who understand Spiritual Law and are willing to be patient. In previous blogs I have written about a pair of shoes that showed up in divine perfect timing (and price!), a flute that appeared for a young musician, a chair for a new house, a tree and a part time job – and many more stories of receiving what I like to call “daily bread“.

When New Thought reemerged in popular culture in the late 1980s and blossomed into the phenomenon known as “The Secret” in the early 2000s, much of the focus was on getting stuff – often in the form of manifesting wealth. Many Law of Attraction (LOA) gurus were launched into fame and fortune by the movie. Some are still around while many others faded into history – some more infamously than others.

While I have experienced plenty of success in attracting jobs and money into my life, I have also learned that the principles of spiritual abundance work best in the area of daily bread, as opposed to winning lottery tickets. I have come to believe that the reason for this is that the Universe keeps a perfect balance sheet. There is indeed, no free lunch in life – whether you’ve learned the art of manifesting, or not. We receive in our lives what we have paid for in mental and spiritual coin.

If we are a miserable person, and see only what’s wrong in life, we are paying – in spiritual and mental coin – to receive more misery. If, however, we choose to see the good in life; the opportunities, the beauty, the peace and plenty – we are paying to receive more of these experiences in our life.

This week my daughter was searching for an under-shelf basket like the one pictured above. A quick search on Amazon for the one she wanted showed that it was $10. She didn’t want to spend $10 for a single basket, but she still wanted one, and so she let go of the desire, and settled into a knowing that she’d get one at the perfect price and in perfect timing.

The next day she was driving home from the pool with her kids when she had the urge to stop in the local thrift store bargain basement. On a table near the front of the store, piled high with castaway household goods, she spied an under-shelf basket – in perfect condition. The price? 40-cents.

This is not the first time she has manifested what she wanted with this “method” and here’s how that works:

  • She lives as much as she can in the knowing that she is provided; or as Charles Fillmore (Unity co-founder) said it:

The inexhaustible Resource of Spirit is equal to every demand.  There is no reality in lack.  Abundance is here and now manifest.

Charles Fillmore
  • She allows her attention to fall on something that she either wants or needs, imagines how it will benefit her or her family, and then she lets it go.
  • She does NOT get hung up on how much it costs, whether she has enough money to buy it, what will happen if she can’t buy it – none of that. She identifies it, sees it as hers in her mind’s eye and let’s it go, knowing that it’s going to show up and not caring where or when.
  • She remains open to the HOW, and listens to her inner guidance. Invariably, the things she and her family need show up.

Spirit’s resources are inexhaustible; it’s we who grow impatient and weary. Spiritual Law is indeed equal to every demand and lack is an illusion – a persistent one at times, but an illusion all the same.

Abundance is always here if we know how to see it. And so it is.

Charles Fillmore
Spiritual law
(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path    

Job for the New Thought audience

One of the more prominent controversies in New Thought today is the blow back against those in the movement who teach that it is consciousness and consciousness alone that creates – and that when we are ill, or have bad fortune; we have created or even invited it into our experience.

This has caused a tidal wave of backlash, and terminology like “sick shaming” and “spiritual malpractice” has emerged to push back against this largely unhelpful interpretation.

Some New Thought “purists” may scorn the push back as being evidence of a weakening commitment to the principles of spiritual living, but a deeper dive into the ancient spiritual foundations may provide more support for the push back than the purists.

In the Hebrew scriptures, the book of Job tells a story of a wealthy and prosperous man who seemingly has everything one could desire: health, wealth, family, power and stature in his community. AND,…he had a strong relationship with the Creator.

According to the scriptural canon, God allows Satan to test this man by inflicting all measure of horrors on him. Satan believes that Job’s love and devotion to God are situational, and so to prove Satan’s error, God allows him to test Job.

Those with any biblical history in their background will recall that Job suffered the loss of his livelihood, his servants, his family and then suffered horrible physical ailments.

During the trials and tribulations that Job suffered, 3 of his friends came to him and provided comfort and commentary. They also suggested that Job has created all of his own problems through his relationship with God and encouraged him to repent – or in New Thought parlance: to get his consciousness straightened out.

This is rejected in the telling of the story: we read that the reason was Satan’s desire to prove Job as a “fake” and we see in the end that Job remained steadfast in his devotion to God throughout the ordeal, and was restored and increased – no repentance or consciousness change needed.

This same Truth is reiterated in the teachings of Jesus in John 9, where Jesus and his disciples come across a blind man who was begging.

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.” 

John 9:1-3

The lesson here is clear: the blindness was NOT due to a lack of consciousness on the part of the man, or his parents – but presented instead as an opportunity to show the power of Spirit to heal.

The spiritual tools taught in New Thought are indeed powerful and life-changing. However, adherents and practitioners without an in-depth knowledge of the historical spiritual canons (Hebrew scriptures, New Testament, Bhagavad Gita, Dao de Ching, etc.) must take care to study beyond the counsel of a limited circle of teachers before pronouncing the truth as they know it and teaching it to others.

The challenges in our lives, and the lives of others, present a grand opportunity to tap into the rich spiritual history of humanity and to use the refined and modern tools of 21st century spirituality to do good works in the world.

New Thought practitioners – and their clients – benefit greatly when the perspective of first do no harm is practiced throughout the spiritual guidance process. The counsel to “first do no harm” is taken from the writings of Hippocrates and used today in the oath taken by medical professionals (physicians) upon entrance into professional practice.

Seeing lack, illness, misfortune and other trials as an opportunity to shine the Light of Spirit is a noble undertaking. Pointing out that the person experiencing these challenges has invited them into their lives is not only cruel and unusual and often harmful; it’s unsound spiritual practice and well-documented in the historical spiritual canons as wrong.

The healing benefits of spiritual living are accessible to all, but there is a responsibility for those who put themselves forward as professionals in the art that extends beyond passing the tests, paying licensing fees and hanging out a shingle. There is a responsibility to own the wisdom we are sharing and ensure that it is based on sound principles that stand the test of time and align with the teachings across the ancient wisdom canons.

(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path

A prosperous New Year

I wanted to share an online opportunity to “step up” to spiritual prosperity in 2018…

These principles work – and I have demonstrated their efficacy many times in my life, but it’s important to understand that they are not tickets to jackpots; so be prepared for deep learning, spiritual growth & yes, increased prosperity!

Start your New Year off with a gift to yourself!

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.

Coming in June: I’m presenting at SITE NITE!

If you’re local to the Pittsburgh region and looking for an interesting way to spend your Tuesday evening on the 2nd & 4th Tuesdays of each month, be sure to check out SITE NITE!

The acronym SITE stands for “Spiritual, Intuitive & Telepathic Expansion” so these evenings are dedicated to the expansion of all things Spiritual, Intuitive & Telepathic. The purpose of this group is to meet, support and share each other’s spiritual and intuitive gifts and the founding visionaries in this wonderful group have made good on that promise. Beginning with only 6 core members in 2009 they now support a mailing list of more than 400 that extends beyond Pittsburgh and across the globe.

I’m particularly thrilled to be included among the speakers who will be presenting this year at SITE NITE and sharing my presentation: Reconnecting to Source – spiritual principles for abundant living. This is a “how-to” workshop more than a lecture, and anyone who is OPEN to learning how to shift their prosperity perspective will leave with new tools to make positive changes in this aspect of their life. In addition to learning valuable principles and pointers on abundance, participants will go home with tools to use and a couple “tsatskes”  to help them remember the important points of the presentation.

Mark your calendars for the 2nd & 4th Tuesdays and come support this visionary group,…and for sure mark June 9th and join me as I present at SITE NITE and kick off Summer learning with a primer on how to shift into an abundant consciousness. See you then!