Sacred Connection, October 27, 2004
"God is omniscient, omnipotent; we must never limit Him.
The darkest hours may bring the brightest blessings." ~Mom,
April 4, 1968
While reading my mother's diary from the first year of my life,
I noticed that she was not only writing notes about me, she was
writing notes about God. She would describe her joys, her
experiences and her love for God. Between all these notes, my
first year appears. What a beautiful gift!
When you stop to think about it, how many individuals experience
God in exactly the same way? Finally, I've realized that God is
not limited to our ideas of who he is and at times he can
surprise us by appearing while we are exercising or making us
feel loved as we are falling asleep. In fact, I think God is
mostly found outside of Church because he wants us to worship
him in mind, body and soul.
This might mean that you worship God while exercising, while
studying or even while reviewing. Where are you the happiest?
God can meet you there. You can find God while laughing with
your best friends, while reading a book, while listening to
music. The experience of God can be similar to being in love. I
feel it as radiant energy (like the sun) glowing in my body. As
if I'm being warmed by the sun or by love.
You feel nurtured, protected and renewed. It gives you a sense
that you are in fact in control of your destiny and that God
wants the best for your life.
In this fascinating journey through the minds of 40 Well-Known
Seekers, we find 10 main questions. The answers range from
casual observations to deeply poetic descriptions.
The Main Chapters include:
How I Encounter God
What God Feels Like
Diving into the Divine
How I Pray or Meditate
What Cuts Me Off From God?
Helpful Beliefs I Have
What Does God Want?
Finding God in Daily Life
In Search of the Miraculous
My Spiritual Advice Is
Paths to God
Contributors: Lynn Andrews, Marilyn Atteberry, Pat Boone, Joan
Borysenko, LeVar Burton, Mantak Chia, Deepak Chopra, Alan Cohen,
Stan Dale, Ram Dass, Bruce Davis, Wayne Dyer, Warren Farrell,
Willis Harman, Richard Hatch, Louise L. Hay, Jerry Jampolsky,
Gurucharan Singh Khalsa, The Dalai Lama, Kenny Loggins, Emmett
Miller, Dan Millman, Edgar Mitchell, Pam Oslie, M. Scott Peck,
Peter Russell, Bernie Siegel, Marsha Sinetar, Ron Smotherman,
Brother David Steindl-Rast, Charles Tart, Mother Teresa Marianne
Williamson, Mark DeFriest, Meredith L. Young Sowers, Jim Nissley,
Robert Fulghum, John White, Doreen Virtue and Jonathan Robinson.
Through this book you can learn about why negative emotions
separate you from your experience with God, why it is good to
understand and eradicate fear, how living in a state of
appreciation for life itself allows you to love God.
While reading Pam Oslie's description of how she cleans the
house and talks to God, I had a moment where I enjoyed a good
laugh. Finally even Jesus is there to help with the housework. I
mean, you could even talk to God while you are cleaning the tub.
With a minimum of spiritual terminology, God becomes very
accessible. Jonathan Robinson has created a beautiful gift about
how wonderful the experience of God can be. I think when you
truly start to see God as a God of Love, life becomes less of a
conflict and much more of a comforting journey. Why should we
only have peace in the next life, when this life awaits?
~The Rebecca Review
P.S. Also look for "Giving
Love Away," A CD for healing in the world. The message
on that CD made me think of my life in a completely different
Yoga For You - Yoga Classic
Mental and Spiritual Yoga, October 27, 2004
"Yoga is a method, a system of physical, mental and
spiritual development." ~Indra Devi
Indra Devi's book about yoga helped me to understand yoga in a
deeper way than I could ever understand this practice through
exercise videos. I truly feel that I knew very little about yoga
before reading this book, even though I've practiced yoga for
Indra Devi introduced me to Bhakti Yoga: achieving union with
God through devotion and selfless love so you can become a
channel of God's grace. I'm sure you could incorporate various
principles into your life without having to leave society
altogether. In fact, I think yoga helps you to live more
peacefully with other people.
I also enjoy Jnana Yoga - Knowledge and study. Who knew that
there were 10 Rules for a Yoga Code of Morality or that there
were so many branches of yoga.
I also learned that Dharana is mind control and that Samadhi is
the ultimate state of bliss. Asana or "postures" are
just the beginning. While most workout videos do not introduce
you to a spiritual dimension of yoga, I found that Indra Devi's
way of exploring this aspect of yoga is not at all threatening
to anyone practicing any religion. You don't have to change your
religion to increase your flexibility, develop clear thinking or
live a more healthy life.
What I'm finding lately is that to live a more fulfilling life,
you almost have to look at various cultures and traditions and
start to incorporate beautiful knowledge into your life. Life is
a huge smorgasbord of experience and I hate to limit myself to
living in one little box. I want to find out what secrets are
hiding in many beautiful presents.
Yoga is one of those presents. Not only does it help you become
more "present," it presents an experience that leads
to a place of total relaxation you cannot get by doing almost
anything else. I have never experienced places of peace like I
have with yoga.
Indra Devi explains why you should not keep plants in your
bedroom, how you can get rid of a toxic headache and why you
should not rush out of bed in the morning. She explains various
cleansing diets and helps you understand the core causes of
illness. She explains why you should eat natural honey and why
water is best at room temperature.
While it is interesting to read about the various poses, I must
say it is almost easier to learn yoga through a video/DVD. You
may want to try the exercises in the Yoga Journal's Yoga Step By
Step DVDs as you are reading this book. You will find
Walking Breathing Exercises
Postures - Cobra, Lotus, Swan, Churning, Angular Balance,
Mountain, Bending Forward, Reverse and many more...
Understanding the Chakras
A Healthy Diet
A Reducing Diet
Making Healthy Meals - recipes included
This is one of the Yoga Classics. If you are interested in yoga
and want to move towards "Samadhi," then this book
will show you how to balance your mind, body and spirit. Until
you can control your breathing, take control of your mind and
move your body into a state of relaxation, nirvana might seem
impossible. After doing yoga for years, you will start to
realize that it is possible, if only for moments at a time.
Those moments are quite beautiful and healing. I look forward to
"corpse" pose when you just relax as the earth holds
~The Rebecca Review
30 Days to Spiritual Well-Being
Your Spirit, October 27, 2004
I've lost 150 pounds and kept it off for over 15 years with
God's help and total commitment to diet, exercise and a full
life. ~Norris J. Chumley
Norris J. Chumley was once 400 pounds. The pictures on his
website show how he has not only been able to lose the weight,
but in his new picture his face is just radiant. This is a true
success story. In his workout DVD, he also radiates a healing
energy that I found to be very comforting. Finally, someone
really seemed to care about my inner being, not just my exercise
routine. Norris J. Chumley presents a gentle and playful program
that not only helps you lose weight, you feel totally loved.
I've found that when you feel loved, your body can heal.
When I first found this DVD, I had not idea what to expect. What
happened next is truly worth telling. I spent hours on a
Saturday connecting with my spiritual self in ways I had not
done in years. I chanted, meditated in a more spiritual way,
danced, walked, prayed, breathed more deeply and sang to my
Normally when I exercise, I put in a workout video or get on my
treadmill and there is a total lack of spiritual practice 90% of
the time. Through this DVD, I realized that the addition of
spiritual elements can make you feel good for days and days
afterwards. In fact, it could change the way you view exercise.
There are many ways you can incorporate these exercises and
spiritual practices into your life. You can select individual
activities or choose from over 30 days of combined activities.
The activities are filmed in a church filled with candles and
some scenes are filmed outside in pastoral settings. The main
Yoga - Triangle, Tree of Life, Forward Bow, Cobra and Bow of
Praise. These poses and exercises are perfect for anyone just
starting a yoga practice.
Praise Dances - You may feel a little silly at first (wake-up
wiggle made me laugh), but then you feel a sense of freedom as
you dance before your creator. Make up any dancing you want and
flow with the music. Beautiful pipe organ music is a treat and
rare to find in a workout. You could also just walk during this
time. I'm learning that to grow spiritually, you have to be open
to new things, like praise dancing.
Stretching-This is a combination of mild aerobics with movements
that make you feel great. You can walk slow or fast, but you
definitely move your arms and get your circulation going.
Meditation- Beautiful contemplations near water
Prayers - Asking God to heal and help you, giving your problems
to God. Norris recites Psalm 23 which is very healing.
Eating Well - An introduction to becoming more aware of what you
Breathing - Ancient breathing techniques like Pranayam
Chants - Soul soothing chanting.
This DVD is filled with practical ways to incorporate spiritual
practices into your workout routine. Now you can worship God
while you are losing weight. You don't have to be sitting still
to pray, you can enjoy a prayer walk out in nature. Suddenly God
becomes more alive because you are moving and flowing with the
energy of the universe.
A sample day:
Each activity is different and combined in a unique way. You may
want to chant for minutes at a time or do all the yoga workouts
at once. It is really up to you.
Norris J. Chumley has wonderful gifts to give the world and I
hope he continues to create wonderful workouts that incorporate
love, healing and meditation as movement. This is highly
accessible spirituality. I went through the entire 150 minutes
in one day and felt immensely grateful to Norris for creating a
healing space where I could renew my spirit.
~The Rebecca Review
Your Daily Walk - Quotes, Thoughts & Journal
Beautiful Concept with Practical Applications, June 5,
Quote for June 5: "Every burden is a blessing."
Spiritual growth seems more accessible with a place to record
insights and relax into thoughts of a transforming nature.
Richard A. Singer Jr. has collected a world of quotes and
combined them with his thoughts on the subjects presented.
Meditation: "Life is crammed with adversity of all
intensities and kinds. These trying times are parts of life when
we truly grow and illuminate the unborn spirit within us. Take a
step back and be grateful for these opportunities to truly
evolve into who you are..."
There is also a place where you can write personal insights in a
"personal journal section" on each page.
Personal Journaling: "How will you begin to truly embrace
and realize the meaning and worthwhile experience available in
every challenge in your life?"
About one third of the page has lines where you can write your
thoughts. The topics cover everything from success to the beauty
of silence. Quotes range from the words of spiritual teachers
like Dr. Wayne Dyer to the thoughts of financial gurus like
Your Daily Walk with the Great Minds of the Past and Present is
a perfect gift any time of the year. Whether you are buying this
for yourself or for someone you wish to inspire, Richard A.
Singer's book presents intellectual and spiritual considerations
for an entire year of personal growth.
Richard A. Singer Jr. is a psychotherapist living in the Cayman
Islands and his writing has also been included in "Chicken
Soup for the Recovering Soul." He enjoys spending time at
the beach writing beautiful thoughts and wrote this book based
on his own experiences and challenges.
~The Rebecca Review
The Gospel According to Jesus
Skeptics & Sages, February 20, 2007
The Gospel According to Jesus is presented by Norris J. Chumley.
He takes Stephen Mitchell's book around American for comment and
consideration. The September 1995 edition appears frequently
throughout. While this is an intriguing way to market a book,
the DVD turns out to be profoundly beautiful, humorous or
Christ's powerful words are read by people across America in
situations that seem to give a visual reference. At times this
enhances the words and at other times gives one pause.
A woman speaking of grief, sweeps away a tear. A family quotes
passages about sowing and reaping while images from a farm are
presented. People read passages while vacuuming, while writing,
painting, sewing, working, swinging on a swing and even while
their children laugh and dance for the camera. I think Jesus
likes those sections especially well, to hear his words being
read while children were present.
There are quite a few unbelievers who are willing to go along
with reading from the book and this may cause some concern to
anyone who considers Christ's words to be sacred. For some
reason, I felt this was not a hindrance to Christ's message,
although the author's exclusion of the resurrection seems a more
serious decision. Ideas like "the Christ
Consciousness" are discussed briefly.
Famous faces that appear include Maya Angelou, Deepak Chopra,
Ram Dass, Erica Jong, Norman Lear, Susan Sarandon and Tim
Robbins. Their voices intermingle with a young girl who claims
to be an atheist, a homeless woman on the street and a truck
driver sitting in his truck with "JESUS" on a license
plate in the front window.
The first section contains mostly people reading the word's of
Christ and then in the second section many of the participants
give their ideas about what Christ's teachings and life means to
them. This crosses all cultural, religious and social
The truth is, this seems to make Christ's words more accessible
for the modern reader and it made me want to read the book. In
the brief time I have walked this earth, I've noticed references
to Jesus turning up in the most unlikely places - certain
Jesus' wisdom, love and beautiful spirit lives from generation
to generation in the heart's of anyone who is willing to look
for his message. I think that even with the author's intention
to dissolve parts of Christ's life story in his book, the people
who believe in his resurrection share this idea on the DVD.
The idea of eternal life through a belief in Christ is not swept
away in the mists of time; instead it again gives believers hope
and unbelievers something to think about. I found the almost two
hours of contemplation to be healing and comforting.
You may also enjoy:
30 Days to Spiritual Well-Being with Norris J. Chumley
The Soul in Love by Deepak Chopra
God's Blogs by Lanny Donoho
The Experience of God by Jonathan Robinson
Your Daily Walk with the Great Minds of the Past and Present by
Richard A. Singer, Jr.
~The Rebecca Review