There are some people who come into our lives at a point in time when we are entering a new way of being. They plant seeds and are not necessarily a regular part of our days. Kind of like music in the background that puts a smile on your face when you hear it. Such has been the case with my friend Yanni Maniates. He has been an icon in the Philadelphia community for decades and has been a teacher for many of my friends. An author, meditation teacher and highly intuitive person who shares gentle wisdom, born of his own journey, Yanni was speaking at Circle of Miracles yesterday on the topic- Life is a Gift-Open It.
That is a subject near and dear to my heart, since I too believe that we are offered gifts each day, and that the real present is the Present. When I live that way, I enjoy each precious moment. Sometimes seeing them as precious takes an attitude shift, but I have gotten adept at doing that. One of the things Yanni spoke about was that ‘here’ is not a place; that it is eternal. We live in simultaneous realities and it is up to us to choose our perception of them. He shared about his experience of witnessing the beauty around him in the form of his wife and son, the first sighting of a vibrantly red cardinal against the background of winter whiteness, the love in which he was immersed by walking into the room in which our services are held. All of these are doorways into such an exalted state of being. The door, he reminded us “Is always open.”
And yet …. sometimes we forget. I call that ‘spiritual amnesia,’ during which we lose track of the reality that not only are we created by God, but that we are inextricably One with all life and to me, that includes the Creator. As I say often here, these are my opinions and not meant to be anyone else’s definitive reality. I have no right to tell anyone what to believe spiritually. When we forget, we need only to call up those sweet memories of experiences. I call these transcendent times my “transfusion from Heaven,” as I sigh with contentment in the midst of them. Sometimes they arrive unbidden and I appreciate them all the more.
Yanni scattered bits of ribbon-wrapped wisdom such as “Anything created with love is eternal.” He reminded us that for some people LIFE is a four letter word and viewed as challenging. I prefer to think of it as Living In For-Ever, since I believe that the souls we are, don’t ever die.
One of the ideas that jumped out at me as Yanni spoke was that not only do we live in goodness when we choose this way of being, but we also live in our God-ness. In that way, we can return again to who and what we were meant to be, as we allow ourselves to be a gift to the world as well.