Healing with Compassion

Healing Each Other and the Earth Through Compassion with Jon Ramer

Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest is a community engagement experience that invites people around the world to inspire one another to reveal and promote acts of compassion that better our lives, our communities, and all life on the planet. When Jon Ramer, founded Compassion Games and began “playing” in 2012, he had no idea how it would catalyze fun and creative ways to care for ourselves, each other and the earth. Playing together has changed the world and transformed the lives of millions through service projects, random acts of kindness, and Compassion Missions.

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On This Episode:

7:30 – You don’t need to religion to have compassion

11:00 – The most compassionate city in the world

13:30 – 4 steps to the compassion games

15:00 – Reveal as well as inspire

16:00 – Play for peace

21:00 – Strive together, co-opetition

22:00 – The people with the least tend to give the most

29:00 – Survival of the kindest

31:30 – Compassion for yourself can often be the hardest

33:00 – World Interfaith Harmony Week

42:00 – A 24 hour wave around the world

49:00 – Infinite games

51:00 – The future is borderless

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Jon Eliot Ramer is an American entrepreneur, civic leader, inventor, and musician. He is a co-founder of several technology companies and the designer of several Deep Social Networks that led to making Seattle the first city in the world to affirm Karen Armstrong’s Charter for Compassion. This birthed the International Campaign for Compassionate Cities. There are now over 450 cities around the world that have started similar campaigns. In 2012, Ramer conceived of and produced the “Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest” in response to a challenge from the mayor of Louisville, Kentucky to other cities to outdo Louisville’s compassionate action as measured by hours of community service. In 2018, Ramer co-founded SINE (Synergized Impact Network Exchange), a collaborative community that fuels collective empowerment and unprecedented unified action. SINE makes synergy happen.

An InterSpiritual Life

An InterSpiritual Life with Kurt Johnson

Movements of “oneness”—of unity consciousness—are afoot in nearly every arena. As our understanding of the true nature of reality evolves, we’re witnessing shifts in healthcare, education, economics, governance, and even religion and spirituality. Learn how you can live an “InterSpiritual” life with Kurt Johnson.

On This Episode:

6:30 – Serving a sense of unity

9:00 – Diversity within unity

12:00 – Civilization like an ecosystem

13:00 – Learning our way into globalism

18:30 – Evolution by choice, not chance

19:30 – The interpiritual age

22:15 – A deeper place in the heart

38:00 – The road to 2020

45:00 – Out of the head, into the heart

50:00 – Unity, not uniformity

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Dr. Kurt Johnson www.unity.earth, www.interspirituaity.com has worked in professional science and comparative religion over 40 years. A prominent figure on international committees, particularly at the United Nations, he is author of the influential book The Coming Interspiritual Age (2013) and two award-winning books in science: Nabokov’s Blues (2000) and Fine Lines (2015). 

Kurt has served on the faculty of New York’s Interfaith Seminary for 12 years and, for 25 years was associated there with the American Museum of Natural History. He is host for UNITY EARTH’s Convergence radio series at VoiceAmerica, a series featuring global change-makers, and an editor of UE’s two magazines: The Convergence and Light on Light.

Kurt has a PhD in Evolution and Ecology and is author of over 200 scientific articles and seven books, along with further articles at Kosmos Journal, The Contemplative Journal, Evolution Institute, Integral Life with Ken Wilber and peace studies with Philip Hellmich of the SHIFT Network.

Kurt, a former monastic, is a member or founder of The Evolutionary Leaders, The Association of Transformational Leaders, the international Contemplative Alliance, the Gaiafield and Subtle Activism Networks, the Self Care to Earth Care network, the UN NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns, the NGO Forum 21 Institute, and the UN Committee for International Yoga Day, and is President of the Friends of the Institute of Noetic Sciences. 

Exquisite Annihilation of What We Are Not

Exquisite Annihilation of What We Are Not with Pamela Gerrand

Have you been feeling vulnerable, raw, sad, or maybe downright lost and depressed? Are you allowing yourself to really FEEL into this intense, deep place and welcome what’s arising? Our personal and planetary pain is pain—and it is pain with a purpose. It’s time we meet each other in the darkness and gather in the valley, with courage and compassion, as we midwife each other through this messy, dark birthing process. Relax and let go. Pamela Jane Gerrand says, “When we come to know who we are not, that’s when we learn who we are.”

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Pamela Jane Gerrand is an ardent and acclaimed, internationally beloved singer/songwriter, poet and sound healer. Pamela kindles a powerful connection to the hearts of listeners with a voice that has been described as ‘angelic, powerful, and soulful’, and her music and lyrics as ‘uncommonly moving’. Pamela’s passion for personal and planetary healing is at the heart of her artistry and activism. She travels widely, and has performed at festivals and forums across Canada, the U.S., England, France, Sweden, Costa Rica, and India. A passionate advocate for peace and social justice, Pamela has written original songs and poems for many international initiatives, including the 1000 Goddesses Gathering in Washington, D.C. and the March for our Lives. Pamela was a speaker at the Women Economic Forum in New Delhi, India in May 2017, where she was honoured with the ‘Iconic Woman Making a Difference in the World’ award.

The Missing Piece/Peace

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A Halloween catalog came in the mail.  I don’t usually look at catalogs but my husband suggested I would enjoy the fun and creative visual feast.  I opened it and immediately spotted this image: “Rest in Pieces.”  Instantly, I had one of those moments of recognition.  It was as if a story of “unity and connection” had written itself, begging for my signature.  I chuckled out loud and thought, “How perfect is that!?”

The play on words from “Rest in Peace” to “Rest in Pieces,” with the spooky, graveyard zombies, took my mind on a whimsical, yet contemplative, journey.

One definition of peace is personal.  Inner peace, or peace of mind, refers to a mental calm, serenity, or tranquility.  This peace is considered by many to be healthy homeostasis and generally associated with bliss and happiness as opposed to stress and anxiety.  Another definition of peace is relational.  It means a freedom from disturbance, disorder, dispute, or war.  Peace is a sign of harmony and suggests the existence of healthy or newly healed interpersonal or international relationships.

Piece, on the other hand, refers to a portion of an object or something “not being whole.”  What happens when we view ourselves, and our world, as “not being whole?”

Humanity has been “Resting in Pieces” for centuries.  We have been living out a powerful and very destructive story of separation.  In developing the ego, the self-reflective mind differentiates the self and creates an illusion of separation from the earth, nature, God/Spirit/Source, other humans, the cosmos, and the whole of creation.  The mind compartmentalizes everything into pieces, including our body/mind/spirit.  As a result, we have become obsessed with comparing, contrasting, and competing.  This perpetuates an even greater sense of separation, stress and anxiety as we experience perennial failure – never measuring up or fitting in.  Feeling incomplete, we find ourselves in an epic wandering, searching outside of ourselves for the missing piece/peace.

Relationally, seeing the world from the story of separation has left us feeling threatened and vulnerable.  We have created myriad social forms – political, economic, spiritual, and so on, in an attempt to create order, a sense of belonging, and protect ourselves (from “them” – the other pieces of the whole).  This worldview of separation has led to unhealthy boundaries, beliefs, judgment, and injustice.  We have created greater disturbance and unrest by seeing the world through separation and fear.  In the pursuit of power and dominance, we are destroying each other, our planet, and ourselves.

There is no peace when we rest in our pieces.

It is time to awaken and move into action.  Let’s put our pieces back together and claim our authentic power through peace and connection.  The power of peace comes from an integral lens, seeing Creation as one living, interdependent system. It’s time to tell a new story of love, integration and unity.  We are essential pieces of an integrated whole.  We are part of one living system.  We are members of an interconnected universe.  We have never really been separate.  Remembering our wholeness, and seeing the world and ourselves in this way, moves us into greater health, harmony and yes, peace.

Peace be with you… and may we all rest in the awareness of our complete piece/peace.

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Uniting in Love

Uniting in Love – Three Practices to Ignite Authentic Love

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“All we need is love,” instructs John Lennon’s famous lyrics.  The sentiment is incredibly moving today at this pivotal time in history.  Love is a unifying force that can improve the quality of life on earth, ignite planetary healing, and create global oneness.

There are many definitions of love, but let’s discuss the universal, altruistic love that is shared by most faith-based organizations.  Love is central to many religions, spiritual expressions and indigenous traditions, as in the phrase, “God is Love.”  Love is the ultimate grace and blessing where most do see eye to eye.  This love is a divine link that can bind us together and potentially a redeeming force that can reconcile the hearts of humanity.

In the Bahá’í faith, love is the light that guides in the darkness, the living link that unites God with man, that force that assures the progress of every illumined soul.  Bahá’í’s believe love reveals, with unfailing and limitless power, the mysteries latent in the universe.

The Dalai Lama said, “Love, compassion and tolerance are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”  In Buddhism, love is unconditional and requires considerable self-acceptance. They believe this is quite different from “ordinary” love, which is usually about attachment and rarely occurs without self-interest. Instead, it refers to detachment and unselfish interest in the welfare of others.

In the Jewish tradition followers are encouraged to show mercy, love, and compassion to their brother and, as the Torah commands, love God “with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might.”  In the Christian faith, there are numerous references from “love your enemies” to the greatest commandment: love one another.  It is said, “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”

Sufism explains the essence of God as love and the Sufi path is a path of love.  Love is to see what is good and beautiful in everything.  The aim is to be accepted as a lover by the Beloved God.  Love encompasses the Islamic view of life as universal brotherhood that applies to all who hold faith.

Love can be considered an inter-faith, universal virtue.  This magnificent and beautiful imperative is swelling and pulsing within the hearts of humanity.  There is a collective awakening stirring within us and contributing to a global shift in consciousness.  The conclusion?  We are ONE.  Therefore, love ONE another.

Listen to the beautifully crafted preamble of United Religions Initiative (URI): “We, people of diverse religions, spiritual expressions and indigenous traditions throughout the world, hereby establish the United Religions Initiative to promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings.”  URI has created Cooperation Circles all around the world, who are transcending religious and cultural divisions to create inclusive, on-the-ground solutions to critical issues facing their communities and regions — at the top of the list: peace-building, global advocacy, youth, women and the environment.  Their preamble goes on to echo, “We unite…”

“We unite…”  Join hearts uniting around the world.  From, and through, this inclusive love, start with yourself.  This love is a critical key to healing the planet.  Self-acceptance and unconditional love for oneself is foundational.  They say you cannot love God or others completely without loving yourself first.  In loving yourself completely, you will activate a healing resonance greater than yourself and prepare the way for all other love.  Rumi wrote,  “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”  Love yourself and you open the floodgates for universal, altruistic love to permeate every cell of your being and every corner of the universe.  You pave the way to “Love your enemies.”

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PRACTICE HEART COHERENCE:  There’s a visceral yearning inside each of us to love.  Take a few minutes everyday and focus on universal love with the intention of increasing your electromagnetic field of love.  Breathe into your heart and allow it to expand… open… and guide you. Direct your attention to your heart and rest in the awareness of universal LOVE.  Try this Quick Coherence Technique from HeartMath:

PRACTICE LOVING KINDNESS:  Next, imagine sending love to your loved ones, neighbors, community, and expand this field of love to all beings on our planet.  Include all races, religions, and those different from you.  And, yes, include any “enemies” you may have.  This powerful intention will assist you to embody universal love.  And, there’s another benefit to this practice:  all sacred wisdom and guidance comes from this place!  You are strengthening your soul’s navigation system.  Here’s a beautiful Loving Kindness Metta Meditation by Sharon Salzberg:

PRACTICE EXPRESSING YOUR DIVINITY:  Imagine loving with so much exuberance and heart that it spills out from within.  It’s easy when we think about someone we love, a baby, a pet, or the beauty we experience in nature, art, music, etc..  Developing this kind of practice starts by aligning with our soul’s expression.  Attune to your own sense of divinity.  Stabilize the essential self and learn to express from this place with every thought, word, and deed.  When live life as an expression of your higher self, you begin moving at the speed of guidance and co-creating in the resonance of love.

“All we need is love!”  This day, right here, right now, allow your heart to embrace this world with all its amazing beauty, diversity, and need.  We are called to deeply love those who are different from ourselves.  It’s time to break down the walls that divide us, love one another, and BE in the heart of God.  Kahlil Gibran, writes:

When you love you should not say,

“God is in my heart,” but rather, “I am in the heart of God.”

Come join in the co-creative path of love… I’ll meet you in the heart of God where we will unite and ignite loving peace on earth!

A World of Love,

Julie

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An Individual Moment

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Yesterday was a Country Gospel kind of day. Maybe I needed a closer walk with Jesus? Now, after a morning filled with Simon and Garfunkel, I’ve turned to my Ed Sheeran playlist. Tonight will be some jazz and maybe a glass of wine. Tomorrow will be something different. Maybe praise music, Meghan Trainor, or uplifting chants? Maybe my “Turn It Up Loud and Sing” playlist? Top 40, or Oldies? Will it be Peruvian flute, dance music, classical, Indigenous Rhythms, or Tom Kenyon’s songs of Magdalen?

Depends on my mood. It likely may be silence.

Life is like that.  Music, art, food, cultures, traditions, wisdom… there’s so much rich beauty to be discovered when we move out of our homogenized silos and venture out to explore the vast world of our magnificent inter-being.  Janet Autherine wrote, “If we all counted our blessings and then shared them with our neighbors, near and far, all our lives would be richer.” Let us move into the richness with joy and celebration. Let us wander out beyond our safe boundaries and beliefs to gather in the space between us. Let us risk and become vulnerable enough to really get it. And dare we not just “share” with one another, but really commune in the fullness of our differences.

Can we sit in our moments of anxious-discomfort long enough to really hear the answer to “what really matters?” Can we temper the impulse to judge or criticize with enough tenacity to clearly understand? Can we hold the form of unity with enough resilience to see the beauty in our neighbor’s prayer or a stranger’s God? Can we remove the illusory walls that separate and open the gates of enlightened truth with the strength to receive the universal blessings? I want to believe so. I’m all in – knowing it isn’t always easy, but imperative and clearly, perceptively ordained.

This is our time. Let us come together and sample the varied spices of life. Let us hear the beautiful symphonic notes, tones and rhythms. Let us see the full spectrum of colors, shapes, patterns and textures. Let us smell the fragrance of the full bouquet as we admire each individual bloom. And may we get lost in the oneness of it all, all the while knowing exactly where we are. May we wake to life and play together in the flow of infinity expressing itself as us.  May we surrender to our inter-being and get drunk with possibility and potential. And in the end, we’ll remember that we are the rich blessing of all that is, simply having an individual moment.

Yesterday was a Country Gospel kind of day…

A World of Love,

Julie

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We are enjoying beautiful daily meditations, shared intention, heart attunements, resonant community, and interfaith prayers and texts over at My DAILY DOSE of SOUL CARE​. All are welcome. Come join us and turn your attention to a daily practice that supports you and brings you into alignment with your highest purpose.

My Colorful Greek Garbanzo Bean Prayer

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I love to make up my own recipes. I was in the mood for a Greek salad with “substance.” That called for my famous Greek garbanzo bean concoction: a colorful celebration of nature’s most delicious flavors beautifully combined in a visual pallet that is sure to please the other pallet.  I opened my new jar of Calamata olives and popped one into my mouth. Ugh, they were not pitted! How was I going to make my Greek salad without Calamata olives? I was not! More importantly, how was I going to pit them?  Cutting them off the pit was not efficient. And then I noticed: when I smashed them, they naturally separated from the pit. Then I could squeeze the pit out one end. It was messy, but appeared to be the solution. As I stood smashing and squeezing, the juice ran freely through my fingers and onto my cutting board. The smell was heavenly Greek. When I was done, I chopped them so no one would ever know I smashed them.

Vibrant hues filled my glass bowl as I added bright yellow peperoncini, regal red peppers, stately green cucumbers, those deep purple olives, and finely chopped red onions to my pallid garbanzo beans. Next, the aromatic mix of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, basil, sea salt, and my favorite pepper blend. Oops, I almost forgot the Feta Cheese. Yum… it was calling my name! I stirred it all together with love and lifted my spoon to my lips.  Disappointment! It tasted like nothing special. In fact, I would say it didn’t taste like much of anything at all.  The secret ingredient of many good things is time. And, like fine wine, my gregarious Greek medley deserved a moment to merge, mingle and unite in melodious glory; time to transform – imbued with delightful new succulent flavors.

Ah, yes… a little time proved to be the answer! It was delicious.  As I looked at the beautiful salad I wondered if there was a way to imbue peace, harmony and unity in a world of many colors, races, religions, beliefs, and politics. Stirred with LOVE, maybe time will tell. That is my colorful Greek garbanzo bean prayer.

I am the One

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I am the one who tends and cares for the soul.

I am the one who brings spirit to life.

I am the expression of Creation, creating Herself.

I am the art of All-Knowing; the dance of Divine;

Sweet music in the moment; and poetry of presence.

I am the one who brings life and voice to our universal knowing,

Remembering and igniting our brilliance, our beauty, our being.

I am the one expressing the One.

I am the One expanding the one.

I am the one emerging from the One into the greater one.

Embodying the voice as my own, I lose myself —

and I’m made whole; one; C O M P L E T E.

Living Expression of Namaste

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I met a Sudanese refugee this week that immigrated to the United States for work.  He is an amazing man.  I’ll call him “Steven.”  Among the many humbling and gracious words he spoke, what shined most is his deep faith in God and enduring love for ALL people.  He said he “vehemently” believes in doing things that “bring greatness” to the lives of others as well as himself.  Steven is thankful to God for granting him many gifts and abilities, especially using them for “doing right things for others.”  This brave and radiant young man gets up every morning with a smile on his face, knowing that God is always with him.

Three powerful themes emerged from my conversation with this migratory, luminous messenger.  From his own words, first, we are not restricted by anybody or anything except our own choices.  Second, a loving gracious God exists and “resides in us, with us, beside us, around us, and among us,” no matter what our race, religion, culture, gender, or life circumstances.  And third, serving the one human body of God and individuals in our local communities can bring abundant JOY!

After meeting this delightful new acquaintance, I headed to our lake house, which is a few miles from a community that has a significant new population of Sudanese and Hispanic immigrants.  I stopped at the local big box “Super Store” for a few grocery items.  When I arrived, I felt different.  As I looked around, I saw “Steven” everywhere.  I walked up and down the aisles and couldn’t get the smile off my face.  I was beaming with the grace-filled lessons of Steven’s love and joy.  My heart was expanded and with each and every immigrant I saw, it grew even more with love, compassion, and joy.   And then, something amazing happened.

As I was gathering my items and looking around, a young Sudanese child made eye contact with me, smiled, and waved.  With surprise, my heart leaped out of my chest and I felt the presence of our shared divinity and joy.  It felt like a deeply sacred moment.  There were no words between us, just a profound, yet brief surreal connection.  We needed no words.  We saw each other.  I walked off dazed and intoxicated with the lessons of Steven stirring in my heart.

A few minutes later, in the next aisle over a family passed by.  Not paying much attention, I was looking at my list when a young Hispanic girl pulled her hand away from her mom, and shouted loudly to get my attention, “Hi!”.  I made eye contact with her, returned a smile, and said, “Hi!”

Seriously?  Again?  It was as if both kids were reaching out to me to share a soul moment.  I was filled with gratitude.  There was a familiar knowing among us.  Our brief eye contact felt like an eternity of deeper seeing and recognition.  I began to feel a universal oneness with everyone in the super store.  I looked around with gentle compassion and curiosity. What was happening?

When life couldn’t get much sweeter, a third young Caucasian child laying on her daddy’s shoulder, lifted her head just a few feet from mine, grinned from ear to ear, and with the light of recognition in her eyes, greeted me with an adorable and engaging, “Hi!” I was enchanted as I stood soaking in the mystery of this unbelievable experience.

I thank Steven.  His palpable love, joy, and heart for service, created a beautiful resonant field that ignited something in me.  I believe the same gracious God, and divine spark, which resides within Steven, resides within me, and within all people, including the three children I met at the super store.  Maybe, the three children simply recognized it sooner than I did, and reached out in remembrance to reconnect in a beautiful living experience of Namaste.

Namaste.

[The definition of Namaste (pronounced na, ma, stay) is both a physical gesture and a spoken spiritual salutation, which is the recognition of the divine spirit (or soul) in another by the divine spirit in you.  The word Namaste translates simply to “I bow to the divine in you.”]

(Image found with SCiAF, Scotland’s Aid Agency sciaf.org.uk)