Articles

SPIRITUAL CORDS

Adapted from “The Teachings of Meishusama”

A Japanese Philosopher    



In your spiritual journey the term “Spiritual Cords” may seem rather new. It is however, as old as the hills and has been with humanity from the beginning of creation. The role that these cords play in your lives has mostly gone unnoticed. You may ask why? Perhaps because most religions do not quite understand this Biblical statement:  “Blessed be the tides that bind.” 


These cords, streams of invisible energy, have mysteriously influenced history and  continue to impact all areas of human existence. Spiritual cords connect us to everything. Where ever you have invested your energy cords have been created. The subject is scientific as well as religious. It resonates in the fundamental principles of relativity, the radiations which move through space and within the structure of human society. Cords are alive and active in your relationships and are also at work within religious structure.  


Let’s take a look at the cord 

connections in the life of the individual.    


There are tens, hundreds, thousands of spiritual cords attached to you. Some are thick, some thin: some are long, some short. Some of these cords are life sustaining, others have served you well and have become redundant but still sucking your energy. To varying degrees all of your cords influence and change your life one way or another.      


The cords which join husband and wife are the thickest. Next are those between parent and child, between siblings, aunts/uncles, nieces/nephews. The link between cousins moves through to friends and acquaintances in that order. The cords connecting you to the spirit world are with you always, However, new cords are formed and/or released during every lifetime.


Spiritual cords do not only connect you one to the other. They connect you to the realms above, to God, the Universal flow of love. They keep you rooted in Mother Earth’s nourishing energy. You are connected by these cords to places or situations where you have given energy; into houses, businesses, favorite articles, clothes and personal adornments. There are always spiritual cords which link the heavens to the earth below. Here’s my question to you. 


“How blessed, meaningful and relevant are the ties that bind you?”     


Peace and Blessings: 


Elder Norma – Reprogram Your Life



All Rights Reserved - Shinji Shumeikai of America     

MY NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE

It was a cold December day in London, my first day back at the office after a leave of absence of one month. We were expecting our second child, a pregnancy fraught with difficulty.  I was in discomfort for most of the day. I glanced at the clock it was 5:00 p.m. The pattern of the discomfort had shifted to that of labor pains.  I was four months pregnant. I left the office, got into the elevator.  The only other person in the elevator was a beautiful young woman from India. We rode in silence to the ground floor. The elevator stopped with a jerk and the pain in my stomach intensified. Beads of perspiration covered my brow and the young lady next to me asked in a concerned voice, “Are you all right?” “No” was my quick response.


She helped me out of the elevator, towards the main door and hailed a cab. I gave the driver general directions to my home. My companion was concerned for my safety and got into the cab with me. We exchanged first names, and she encouraged me to go to the hospital rather than home. Traffic in London during what we now call “rush hour” was painfully slow. The taxicab slowed to a halt in a traffic jam, the pain intensified, it was now almost unbearable. Two blocks later we were outside St. Bartholomew’s hospital in London. The cab driver and my companion helped me into the emergency room. I collapsed in the lobby and lost consciousness.


I regained consciousness to a hive of activity and excruciating pain. A young doctor, with urgency in his voice explained to me that I needed surgery to remove the fetus that was dead in me. The pain was so intense that I begged the attendant doctor to just end it all by giving me a lethal injection. He was too focused on dealing with the emergency at hand to take me seriously or to address my request. A young Irish student nurse, all of twenty years old, who was just getting off duty, overheard my request. She fell in step alongside the moving trolly, took my hand, and speaking to me softly, exhorted me not to go into surgery in such a frame of mind. She was Catholic and launched into “Hail Mary’s”  


I remembered a needle in my arm, heavy fog. I’m not sure how long I blacked out but my next recognizable sensation was that of peacefulness. I found myself looking down on my body lying on the operating table surround by hospital staff. I was baffled. I could not comprehend how I could be looking down at the scene below while I was still lying on the table. “How can I be in two places at the same time?” I asked myself. While I was frantic at one level of consciousness, there was a sense of peace at another level. I wanted to assure the medical staff that there was really no need for the concern they displayed for my life. I was now fine, I just needed, I thought, some answers about the two bodies. Just then the thought crossed my mind that I did not know how to get down from the ceiling. 


With the thought came mobility. I found myself standing on the ground amidst the medical staff. I looked on in shock as skillful hands worked to prepare me for surgery. When the surgeon picked up the instruments I screamed at him that I was all right; he did not need to perform the operation, nor did he have my permission to take my life. To my surprise although I was up in his face he seemed oblivious of my presence. I followed the nurses on their trips back and forth trying to get their attention but to no avail. They could not see or hear me. Suddenly there was another hive of activity as the monitor indicated that I had “flat lined.” I stared dumbly at the equipment, I knew what the position of the graph meant, I had flat lined. However, I could not believe it. When the doctor took the defilbrators in his hands I could somehow see the outline of the corona of electricity. I was surprised at the intensity. My thoughts were very clear at this point. “I’m not dead, somehow there’s a terrible mistake in this room, people are acting strange, now the monitors are malfunctioning, I’ve got to get out of here before they actually take my life by mistake.” 


In bewilderment I found myself moving upwards, out through the ceiling and into a very dark tunnel. There was the sensation of moving very fast through the tunnel. Suddenly there appeared within the darkness a speck of light.  It pulsated and expanded. My eyes became riveted to the expanding field of light. Before I knew it the end of the tunnel was before me with radiant, brilliant white light. As I drew closer to the light I remembered thinking that if I survived the experience I would probably be blinded by the brilliance of the light before me. I emerged from the tunnel into crystal, clear, radiant white light. There was a sense of merging. There are no words to adequately describe the feeling of joy, radiance and peace I experienced the moment I merged with the light. I became one with light and in so doing was acutely aware that I was also one with love.


I remember wondering how one got around in this environment. As soon as the thought appeared in my mind I found myself moving swiftly towards a vast hallway with huge pillars. I was drawn to a massive screen it lit up displaying three moving scrolls. I felt an incredible sense of peace and wellbeing. On the far left hand side of the screen was my life scrolled in scenes the way it had been planned. Standing there I “knew” that I had planned my life that way. Nothing I had read on earth had given me that information but in the moment I “knew” it. The center column contained the life experiences I had during my twenty-six years of my life. On the far right hand side of the screen were the objectives of the experiences and what I should have learned from them. My head moved swiftly from one side of the screen to the other. 


I noticed that the inscription at the end of each entry on the right hand side of the screen ended with the words: “objective not accomplished.” It was a compassionate assessment of my life as I had planned it, as well as the way in which I had lived it. I was disappointed at having been so unaware of the nature of my life experiences, of the blessings inherent in the situations represented in my life. During the review I could see the places where I had prayed and the way in which each prayer had been answered. I was surprised to discover how unaware I was that the answer had showed up in my life. I also commented that no one had taken the time to teach me to be still and listen for the answer. I was clear that my prayers worked sometimes to my advantage, sometimes against me. The things I had asked God for often became obstacles in my way. From the record I saw that some of these requests were counter-productive to the goals and objectives I had set for my life. I asked the question at the record who taught me how to pray. I was shown the many people across lifetimes who had taught me the art and the skill. I previewed many scenes. (The actual scenes that I previewed are the only part of the recollection of this experience that I’ve never been able to remember sequentially). There were scenes that related to my relationship with my parents. There were scenes from my life that seemed trifling when I lived them, now it was revealed to me the profound impact these had on my life. Try as I might over the years I still cannot recall in a sequential manner all the scenes that I reviewed. 


The first review came to an end and I was acutely aware of the unfinished nature of my life, how ignorant I had been of the true meaning and purpose of my existence. I sensed a lack of accomplishment.  The screen began to re-scroll. This time interwoven into the center screen was scenes from other lifetimes which had a direct impact on the concepts to be mastered in the life I had just left. I could see the repetition of experiences and the overlap from one lifetime to another. Different people, change of surroundings, same lesson. I began to ask myself the question “why didn’t somebody tell me there was more to life than meets the eye.” In response to this repetitive question a recurring question popped into my mind – “What have YOU done with your life?”  This question produced yet another scroll where I perceived scenes where I could easily have blamed parents or others for the outcome, but the question at the end of each scroll continued to be, “What have YOU done with your life?” It took months to get that recurring question out of my mind after I returned to earth.


The screen blanked out and my attention again moved to mobility. With the thought I found myself moving, still a part of the brilliant light, this time towards a stream. Yes for me there was a river, we sang about it all the time in church when I was a child. “Yes we would gather at the river, the beautiful, the beautiful river, gather with the Saints at the river that flows from the throne of God.” 


On the other side of the stream there were hundreds of people, all of whom I was very excited to see. I stopped at the edge of the stream and my aunt, who had recently died, stepped into the stream to greet me. Using what seemed like a net she began to clear the moss on the surface of the stream. She attended to this task assiduously. Each time she managed to create a clear pathway on the surface of the stream the two sections of moss would suddenly merge, nullifying her efforts. Finally, she looked up and addressing me directly said, “I am sorry but you cannot cross now, you must return."


With the utterance of those words I found myself falling rapidly as if from a great height, at great speed, and literally plunged consciously into my body. Excruciating pain hit my consciousness. 


Finally I awoke to emotional pain and a deep sense of loss. Over the next twenty-four hours my body felt heavy, clammy and disconnected from my spirit. I was very frustrated at the fact that I had no knowledge of how to consciously access the state of love and light that I had so recently experienced.


My recuperation was slow, the day I went home from the hospital I discovered that my “spiritual sight” had been restored. (As a child I could see the aura around all living things, I had prayed and had it removed). The light around the trees and the people around me could again be seen. I observed family, friends and even strangers closely and wondered if they had any idea, any sense of who they really were. I vowed before God that I would seek and find a way to consciously return to the joy of the Light I had experienced.


The memory of this joyous state has been the fuel for my inner seeking and spiritual exploration. I am happy to tell you that I have in this physical body, found healing, my purpose, much love and Light and you can too. 


Elder Norma Jennings Edwards  

Music and Consciousness

Rev. Dr. Norma Edwards 

Published in “Of Spirit” Magazine – July 2008 edition

  

What is your music IQ?  How conscious are you of the effects of the music you listen to on your mind, body and spirit? Our ancestors had a deep understanding of the purpose and use of rhythm and music. They knew that rhythm and toning have the power to bring about changes in consciousness and create a bridge to a more creative, intelligent and joy-filled life. They knew that sound was sacred, and that the correct combination of breathing accompanied by tone and rhythm was healing. Reclaiming this knowledge will permit us to set our spirits free.  


In every culture throughout recorded history, music has been used as a means of communication with the inner self and the outer world: to entertain, to entrain, to honor and to commemorate all the events in our lives. Why are we so moved by music? What else did our ancestors know that we might be reminded of today?


They knew that sound, properly used, especially percussive sound, can actually change neurological states, release emotional and spiritual toxins from the body as well as the spirit, and raise consciousness levels. We know that music has the ability to cultivate landscapes of our inner harmony, but how often do we consider that the music we listen to travels through the waterways of the body, the receptors of the brain, and stimulates not only our brain, but also our immune systems? From Mozart to Miles Davis and beyond, the harmonies of music may well have the potential to re-write patterns in our brain. 


Pythagoras, the Fifth century philosopher reminded us that, “There is geometry in the humming of the strings; there is music in the spacing of the spheres.” Are we as aware also that each of us is a living symphony of frequencies, a harmonious note in all creation; that all life is rhythm?


Our modern day philosopher, Deepak Chopra tells us that: “The body is held together by sound, and the presence of disease indicates that some sounds have gone out of tune.” If we even partially accept these ideas, then we also have the responsibility of making informed choices about the rhythms and music we consume, and to which we expose the next generations


Where do I begin you may well ask. First, take a long hard look at your present music collection. Ask some hard questions. Is your collection of rhythm, sound and music supporting your journey into more conscious living? What do you have in your music library to “lighten up yourself? Serious introspection requires a certain degree of light-heartedness. It is hard to break through deep layers of depression or embrace meaningful change when you are listening to music that is anchored in past indiscretions.


If you are seeking answers to the deeper mysteries of life, well-orchestrated rhythms can facilitate the upward journey to a higher consciousness. There are spiritual dimensions to music with the capacity to be the harmonic data carrier you may well need to find more joy and creativity right now. To begin this journey of expansion and healing, start with three very simple steps.   


1) Take inventory of your music collection.   

2)  Spend time familiarizing yourself with your listening patterns. How do different rhythms and drumming patterns affect you? Is your breathing pattern tied to the melody or the base line of the music? What moves you to action, what melodies take you into deep relaxation and perhaps into an altered state of consciousness? Do you feel differently when the piano, or the guitar or the saxophone is the dominant instruments of the piece? Take the time to record your answers.

3) Research the wealth of information available to you in bookstores today on the subject of “Music as Medicine”   


Let me give an example of what happened in a workshop I did several years ago. One of the participants was a woman who knew a great deal about music and had played various instruments and sung all her life. She loved music and had taken courses in music and music appreciation.   


One of the questions I asked the participants was to identify what instrument they associated most closely with their own emotions. She said it was the guitar. However, while we worked with several pieces of music, she reported that her feelings began to change and that she felt the violin and the piano expressed other parts of her, but that the trumpet lifted her up to a place in her consciousness she had never experienced before. “I never knew before that the trumpet was a spiritual instrument for me,” she said.     


She has told me since that she began to listen to her extensive music collection with “new ears,” and that now she has it grouped by what she calls. “mood and effect” rather than alphabetically. When she wants to approach a problem, she puts on music that will lift her up, such as a trumpet concerto. When she feels too serious she puts on a little Reggae, and when she needs inspiration for a task requiring energy, she will put on Bach or Mozart. To relax and search her consciousness her pick is often jazz. “I now take as much care about what I listen to as I do the food that I eat, because I understand how important it is to feed my spirit.”   


A young man I met when I was working with troubled youth, listened to whatever was on the radio; rap, hip-hop, popular music. He had many problems and could not sit still or focus on any task for more than a few minutes at a time. He had been in trouble at school and on the street, and was severely depressed. The workshop he attended was a bit unusual in that all the participants were expected to play a dual role as both participant and observer. Together we made a tape of snatches of many different musical styles – from popular tunes to Vivaldi and from rap to Mozart. Then we would play the tape and, in turn, the others observed each one in the group. They were to watch for a physical response in the chosen person.


This young man was observed to sit up the minute the Vivaldi piece came on and, over a few sessions began to realize that music, which he would never have listened to on his own, taught him something of a depth in himself he had never realized before. Over time he began to pull out of his depression. He found that his real love was jazz and he ended up teaching his own course to other young people who were in trouble. He learned to focus. He, like many of us, was trapped in time, listening to whatever the radio serves up to us, never knowing that music was a key to opening up, not just another world, but spheres beyond this one. 


 Modern day research suggests that the brain may well respond to music as it does to medicine. The Native American shaman knew exactly what sounds went with the need for each type of healing.  It has been proven more recently, however, that music has the ability to regulate body functions, synchronize motor skills, stimulate the mind, release stress, manage pain and aid in the process of healing.  


Music, medicine and spirituality are all strict and demanding disciplines. I invite you to explore with me the possibility that music, medicine and spirituality coexist together in a place that may well transcend space and time.