The Secrets In Plain Sight!

Spiritual Calisthenics For People Who Are Willing To Think! Not your typical religious podcast, but with something for everyone whose mind is open enough to function.

The Podcasts

In the last episode, I spoke about having sacred space, now I need to talk about claiming it!  That word "claim" has a powerful significance, from a spiritual point of view.  It means that it is yours when you use it.  Even if it's a place which has to be shared with others at other times, it is yours when you use it for sacred purposes.

There might be some people who might try to interfere with your use of your sacred space, but a few polite words will stop all but the most obstinate.  For those not stopped by politeness, there are some ways that don't involve retaliation which have proven effective.

If you're an adult, if nobody can claim that you're trespassing, you're doing it on your own time and you're not interfering with other people's rights, you should be able to make use of that sacred space.

Blessed Be!

Direct download: SIPS_PROGRAM_521.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:17pm EDT

Of all of the obstacles that you might face in growing your spirituality and making something of your spiritual life, one of the first might well be the question of a place where you can actually exercise your spirituality.  In other words, a sacred space of your own.  

It might seem a simple matter, but it can become complicated as the time I had a room set aside, but it seemed as if someone was always busting in.  Or, it might seem difficult when it is not, such as a place where other people are, but they respect what you are doing.

And as you advance and grow, you'll see what I mean!

Blessed Be!

Direct download: SIPS_PROGRAM_520.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:23pm EDT

Ten years ago, I created the first episode of this podcast.  Its title was "Can We Please Get Along?".  It seemed then (and still does) that we have more to share than we will ever have differences, and many of those differences don't even really exist!  So, then, why not?

There's bad news and good news.  There are people who are working together today who would have never thought of doing so ten years ago.  And, people are making the discovery that some differences don't matter as much as they once thought.

The problem is the folks who not only don't want to get along, but want to force division, controversy, and even raise issues to divert attention from real issues.  

Blessed Be!

Direct download: SIPS_PROGRAM_519.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:27pm EDT

Some basic ideas that have been drummed into your head can become tools, and even weapons, in dealing with the words and actions we see from politicians, candidates, business executives, and various forms of bureaucrats as well as religious leaders.  Look at the "Golden Rule" that every Christian child learns in Sunday school, and the "Threefold Law" well known to every Wiccan.  After all, if someone bullies you, does that mean that the bully really wants you to bully him/her?

Given the broad-brush statements about certain groups of people, how would someone feel if the same broad-brush were applied to them?  Not only is there a question of whether or not we can afford that kind of prejudiced thinking, it might keep us from seeing greater issues.  The Oklahoma City bombing and several other terrorist-type actions since then, for instance, had nothing to do with minority religions such as Islam.  

We have a weapon immediately available which will let each of us know what a person is advocating.  Add a little to that, and you can get an idea of what we might have to expect from that person.  We might even be able to stop a snake before it strikes!  

Blessed Be!

Direct download: SIPS_PROGRAM_518.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:28pm EDT

If there is one challenge facing us that is greater than any other, it is the challenge presented by hate.  Hate is no stranger to our history, even the history of the United States.  At least one early synagogue was equipped with an escape tunnel found necessary in European synagogues, and the Philadelphia cathedral's stained glass windows were set high enough to be out of reach of a mob's rocks.  The problem today, however, is that many of the preachers of hate are in positions which would ordinarily deserve great respect!  

If there is anything more wasteful than hate, I can't think of what it would be.  And hate is so wasteful that it can lead to the downfall of an entire country.  While some might say that if there were no hate, there would have been no war against Hitler's Germany, the fact is that enforcing and administering their policies of hate caused Germany to divert vast resources and thousands of people for the sake of enforcing their hate.

What can we do?  Much can be done and much has been discussed.  But a thought occurred to me which might work if a direct confrontation happens!


Blessed Be!

Direct download: SIPS_PROGRAM_517.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:28pm EDT

Three holidays are celebrated within days of each other, depending on a person's spiritual path.  Each is associated with a particular spiritual path, each has its own unique set of roots, yet all three are celebrating the same thing!  And why not?  It gives us all something not only to celebrate, but also to cherish!

To those who insist upon being totally mundane and secular, nothing is more final and absolute than death.  And, there is more than one way of dying.  If a person dies and is buried, if an entire people disappear into the mists of slavery, or if the world is plunged into the death known as winter, those of us who know and appreciate the spiritual see how that can and will be overcome!

Blessed Be!

Direct download: SIPS_PROGRAM_516.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:19pm EDT

Meditation has many definitions, mostly depending on the person's teacher, the person's experience, and what the person gets from it.  For me, meditation is the next logical step from prayer.  I see it as the weapon which I use to bring my spirituality to bear on a subject.

The various methods and teaching of various traditions about meditation might seem diverse, but they are very similar at the core.  And, as with anything that brings reward through effort, regular use improves the experience and the power.
   
Blessed Be!

Direct download: SIPS_PROGRAM_515.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:43pm EDT

While a military land mine can end someone's physical life, a spiritual land mine can end your spiritual life.  While a military land mine is buried in the ground by soldiers during an armed conflict, a spiritual land mine is often offered in public in what appears to be polite company.

The three kinds of spiritual land mines are divine arbitrariness, nitpicking and guilt.  I've seen some wonderful people be spiritually ruined by them.  But by recognizing them for what they are and the lies at their root, you have a remedy!
   
Blessed Be!

 

Direct download: SIPS_PROGRAM_514.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:19pm EDT

There are some words I call "F-words".  They are proper and can be used in polite company.  Unfortunately, they begin with that letter, and have been so misused that, to some folks, their real meaning has been totally obscured!  Today, I introduce you to the 5-letter F-word "faith".

Some seem to think of it as some sort of commodity, as if you might be able to buy it at a supermarket.  Many others seem to take pride in pointing out its apparent absence in some people.  It is my considered opinion that such thinking actually avoids the real definition of faith.

Once you understand it and use it, it will surprise you!   
   
Blessed Be!

Direct download: SIPS_PROGRAM_513.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:57pm EDT

February 20th is Tempest Smith Day.  On February 20, 2001, Tempest Kayne Smith died by her own hand.  She was twelve years old.  She had been tormented by her classmates for some years because she was shy, because she liked to wear black clothing, and especially because she chose to follow Wicca as her religious path.  At that age, time goes very slowly.  At that age, well-intentioned advice to confide in teachers, counselors and parents meet with trust issues.  Besides, how was it possible that the teachers and staff at her school would not have known, as blatant as some of the abuse was?

I have been promoting Tempest Smith Day since the day I first heard of her.  I see her as a martyr, and as a patron of victims of bullying, especially religious bullying.

In spite of hopes that things would get better, they have gotten worse.  We now have public officials and candidates for office who claim they want to deport people based on their religion.  What are we going to do?
 
Blessed Be!

Direct download: SIPS_PROGRAM_512.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:40pm EDT