Awake in the World

Awake in the World

Rainbow of Light: Colors and Stones for Harmony

posted by debramoffitt

A few years ago I awoke to a dream where I saw that wearing an amethyst would be beneficial. Though I lived on the French Riviera where Cartier and Van Clef displayed windows filled with exquisite giant emeralds, rubies and diamonds, I found the necklaces and jewels beautiful, but never considered the deeper powers of stones. On the day of the dream, I walked into town and found a ring with a stone about the same shape and size of the one I’d seen in the dream. I put it on and didn’t think much more of it until bedtime. 

When I laid down and slipped into that quiet space between waking and dreams, I felt my ring finger tingle. It vibrated with a soothing, gentle energy that circulated up my arm and into my body. Surprised by the calming effect, I acquired a new respect for the power of stones. Though I’ve experimented with many since then, my favorite by far is the amethyst. At a recent workshop, the space contained a five foot high amethyst “cathedral.” The violet colored stones grow inside the earth take the form of arches with the stones pointing inward. I didn’t want to move away from the cathedral, it was so soothing.

The Swiss Alps are filled with crystals and stones. A few people have licenses to mine them. I believe one of the reasons the Alps feel so vibrant with life is because of the gem-filled mountains. All around us the earth contains crystals and mineral formations that can have positive effects. As healers and scientists begin to explore the healing properties of stones and crystals, they discover that colors and vibrations can produce effects on the body, mind and spirit. In the 5.000 year-old Vedic tradition, the navratana pendant is mounted with nine different stones with the aim of balancing the mind, body and spirit. There are also nine gem mala prayer beads that may help in meditation.

If you would like to experiment with stones, find a gem shop and scan various stones using your hand or pick them up to hold them. It’s not uncommon to feel a subtle tingling, warmth or coolness emanating from them. There’s a rainbow of colors to choose from including green malachite, golden tiger’s eye, rose quartz, turquoise, sea-blue lapis and black onyx. Pearls were said by Edgar Cayce to reduce irritation. Explore what attracts you and buy some inexpensive stones to experiment with at home or to wear on the body. This is a fun way to play with the divine in nature and discover subtle properties of the natural world that can have benefits for the body, mind and spirit. You may be inspired to make your own spiritual jewelry using stone beads and gems that appeal to you.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at http://www.awakeintheworld.com.

Learning Cooperation from Loggerheads

posted by debramoffitt

The one thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation. – Bertrand Russell

Loggerhead turtles once filled the beaches of the South. Today their survival depends on conservation-minded women and men who comb the beaches for nests and mark or move them to protect them from the tides. On a recent trip to the Isle of Palms, South Carolina , friend and author of The Butterfly’s Daughter, Mary Alice Monroe, who has written about turtles in her fiction, invited me to witness two nests hatching. 

At about nine in the evening we headed to the beach. That’s the time the sand cools and the temperature signals to the turtles that it’s safe to come out. The moon was rising over the ocean and a tiny, unobtrusive mic had been placed below ground to hear the activity. The amplifier picked up the turtles digging together followed by pauses. The eggs end up on top of each other. Mary Alice, a certified turtle lady, explained that the eggs had actually hatched  days earlier, then it takes them a few days to dig to the surface. The digging is a group effort. The turtles on top, which are about the size of a silver dollar, dig upward. The turtles in the middle of the nest push the sand outward and the ones on the bottom push the sand down to create a firm surface to push off of. They dig their way out together.

When the first tiny head and flipper poked through the sand, a ripple of excitement filled the sea air. We patiently waited and watched as the periods of digging and pausing continued until all of the turtles began to appear. Their movement looked like boiling water as they struggled to make it out of the nest and rush towards the sea where the waves took them in. From there they would swim for three days to get to the Gulf Stream only to return some twenty-nine years later to lay their eggs.

It takes all of them working together to get out of the hole. This act of cooperation amazed me. Digging alone, they most likely would not have made it very far, but by pulling together through deep instinct, they made it to the top and out to the water to begin their life journey. I believe we, too have an instinct towards cooperation that is often clouded by the mind. Today, if you’d like, consider all of the ways that we cooperate with others. How can cooperation become a greater part of your life?

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at http://www.awakeintheworld.com.

Debt of Gratitude: Planting Seeds for Tomorrow’s Harvest

posted by debramoffitt

My eight grade English teacher made a surprise appearance on my recent book tour and I felt a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation. To write a book takes many years of study. Many teachers imparted knowledge and wisdom. They planted the seeds in the form of teaching me grammar and English that resulted in the 432 pages of the book. Mr. B played a particularly important role and I still recall asking him about the finer points of grammar. Without his caring and careful teaching in those formative years, my book might not have come into being. In many ways it is the fruit of all those seeds planted through the twelve years of schooling and numerous years of college education. 

Sometimes we have the illusion of independence and self-sufficiency. We imagine that we have achieved what we have through our own work and hands. These are noble ideals, but most anything we have accomplished has come with the help, care and support of hundreds and even thousands of people. Without Divine energy and the contributions and care of everyone from our parents to our partners, we could not survive and thrive.

Self-reliance is a virtue, but it’s essential to recognize the debt of gratitude we owe to society and to those who have helped us. Today, think back to some of the people who have made memorable contributions to making you who you are. Focus on the positive and uplifting and realize that whether you’re conscious of it or not, you too are forming and contributing to the lives of those around you. What will the seeds you’re planting look like in twenty years?

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at http://www.awakeintheworld.com.

Discover Natural Joy

posted by debramoffitt

Life is a series of ups and downs. It’s a pleasure between two pains. We get something we want and are happy for a little while and then something breaks down or gets in the way and we feel upset. The result can be anger, tears, hurt and despair. But nature is filled with joy and so are we, even if we can’t connect with it.

If you’ve ever flown on a plane you know that it’s possible to take off in the rain or fog on a dreary day and then soar up to 30,000 feet, high above the clouds where the sun is its usual bright self. Regardless of the weather on Earth and the clouds or anything else that may obscure it, the sun continues to be itself and shine on.

This is the nature of the sun. It’s also the nature of the spark of the Divine that shines within human hearts. Even if our troubled emotions, fears and worries obscure it, the joy or ananda (bliss in Sanskrit) is constant and unaffected. In Sanskrit that which is eternal and divine in the human being is called atma. Attuning to the Divine outside of us is a way to becoming aware of the Divine within us. May religious traditions say that God is omnipresent. I love the saying I heard in India: “God is above you, around you, belove you and in you.”

Our actions, thoughts and feelings can obscure it and make that Divine nature appear dim or nonexistent. For one who is in tune with it, a radiance shines from them giving a glow of joy.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at http://www.awakeintheworld.com.

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