What an inspiration you all are!
We have to tell you how very happy and invigorated it made us feel to be able to read all your responses to last week’s question ‘What does spirituality mean to you?’ These deeply thoughtful answers, each one of them quite different, together throw so much light on the many facets of spirituality and we’re sure that, if you read them all, you will find them very helpful.
We said we’d give a prize to the first person who mentioned a particular aspect of spirituality that we felt was critical. Well, just as in the last competition we held, all your answers were marvellous, and it was really difficult to choose a single winner. All of you should have ‘won’ really! So in the end we chose five winners, instead of one, and they are: Sharon Lawrey, Peter Bossom, Kerry Coppen, John Ritchie and Chrissie Batten – each of you will be receiving a £10 Cygnus voucher from us in the next couple of days. And thank you to all of you for your contributions.
A few words on the ‘missing ingredient’
In your comments, many of you said you felt that spirituality includes developing a sense of oneness with all that exists, and an ever deepening awareness of being a part of a loving universe, with all the wonder, joy and profound feelings of unconditional love that this awareness brings to us. How very true!
It sometimes seems as though many people think of this state of being as the ultimate goal of the spiritual quest. But is it really? This awareness of oneness is certainly what brings us to the doorway that leads to the spiritual life. It is, in a sense, the place where spirituality begins. But how does it continue? How do we pass through the doorway?
Well, though the awareness of oneness and universal love may come to us in a flash – and what a fabulous gift that is – the process of allowing this gift and all its implications to percolate through into every aspect of our being and life, from our perceptions and choices to our actions and even the physical structure of our cells, is the work of a lifetime, maybe many lifetimes.
And that is why many spiritual teachers have told us that ‘Service to others is the fastest and surest way to God’, or, ‘Love God above all things, and your neighbour as yourself’. The more deeply we understand and experience our connection with all of creation and with a loving universe, the more we are motivated to let the love we have received so unconditionally flow out again, through our hearts, minds and hands – not just by thought, prayer, meditation and sending out healing energy, but through our practical actions of unconditional kindness and service to others, and through our efforts to alleviate human suffering in whatever ways come to hand. Two aphorisms which express this are: ‘Love without work is dead’, and ‘Love has to impart itself; it is the reason for its existence.’
A lot of us place much of the emphasis in our spiritual quest on learning to receive love more fully. This is every bit as important as learning to give love, of course. And many of us – who were born at a time when good parenting was thought to involve a great deal of judgement and highly conditional love of the growing child – carry a whole sackful of burdens of self-judgement and low self-esteem that need to be released and cleared so that we can love ourselves and others more fully, freely and joyfully. Nevertheless, the goal is perfect balance – between receiving and giving – and in our observation it is always those who, metaphorically speaking, are prepared to ‘lay down their life for their friends’, who are able to pass through the narrow gate that leads to the spiritual life in earnest. Though our hands be ever so empty, when we ask for them to be filled for the sake of Love, they will be!
How do you think music can help us on our journey?
Your creativity and kindness in responding to last week’s question about spirituality has made us realise what a brilliant way this kind of sharing is for us to enhance our sense of soul-community, and be of service to one another, too! So this week we’d like to ask you another question: How do you think music can help us on our spiritual journey? Your answer could, for instance, be a description of some situation in which music has helped you, or about a sound healing you have received, or about some particular pieces of music or song that uplift you and enhance your feelings of wellbeing and connection to a loving universe. Click here to post your answer, and next Wednesday (8th June), we’ll choose 5 winners to whom we’ll send a £10 Cygnus voucher.
We have a special reason for asking this question: the doctor at the clinic where Ann goes for intravenous vitamin C treatment has just purchased an iPod docker for the patients to use, so that they can listen to music that helps them feel happy and inspired while they are having their treatment, so your suggestions as to what they can listen to, and ideas about how helpful sound and music can be to the healing process will be put to good use. Any suggestions are welcome – you don’t have to stick to classical or new age music unless you want to! Personally, we find Moby’s ‘We Are All Made of Stars’ amazingly uplifting!
As you can read in Anatomy of an Illness by Norman Cousins, feelings of happiness, upliftment and peace can play an extremely important role in healing from any disease, and as Masaru Emoto explains in Water Crystal Healing, music has the potential to bring much-needed harmony not just to our hearts and minds, but also to our physical cells. Additionally, you may find it interesting to read Ann’s article about how music helped her (alongside many wonderful doctors and nurses of course!) to overcome a dire medical prognosis. We look forward to reading your inspirations, too!
Offer of the week
Finally, this week’s special offer is on The Source by Ursula James, which you can buy from us at £6.99 (usual price £7.65, rrp £12.99). This offer is open for the next 7 days. The Source weaves together the stories of the author Ursula James, and Mother Shipton, a 16th century prophetess and healer, revealing rituals, rites and journeys that will guide you to the source of your power; prophecies and spells that speak of the healing of the world, of relationships, love, the power of forgiveness, and how to heal yourself. Now is the time to find your magic!
With much love from Geoff, Ann and everyone at Cygnus