(Presented at the October 2020 online ANZURA conference)
COVID 19 has put the entire world through a period of great challenge. One of the reasons a virus like this is such a challenge is because it affects peoples’ lives in a very mortal sense. The threat of dying suddenly raises deep anxiety in people. They think, am I ready? Am I prepared? What about those I leave behind? Have I done enough to earn my place in the ascension scheme? While others are more worried about their government placing limiting sanctions on their freedom. There is also great concern about how the extended lockdowns have impacted our economic life.
In short, this COVID 19 episode has threatened modern society with the uncertainties of life. The Urantia Book tells us that, All creature life is beset by certain inevitabilities. (3:5.5) We cannot avoid the vicissitudes of existence, nor the uncertainties of life.
We live in an imperfect world and sometimes bad things happen but The Urantia Book tells us that these uncertainties and vicissitudes provide us mortals with the opportunities to develop qualities such as, courage, hope, faith, idealism, loyalty and unselfishness. Challenging times such as these can often ripen in us the “Fruits of the Spirit.” So, I would like you to consider that, because of COVID 19, we have the possibility of implementing changes for a better future once all this has passed.
The lockdowns that came in response to COVID 19 forced most people to stop the maddening pace of their lives. People had the opportunity to reconsidered what is really important in life. We’ve heard many people say, “Why did it take a pandemic to force us to slow down?” People discovered that slowing down felt good. Lockdown gave people time to pay attention to family, to their health, to their homes and gardens and to other important things in their lives. And hopefully, to decide to do some things differently in the future. For many of those we know, being in our bubbles was refreshing. It gave some a break from the onward march of materialistic pursuits. It was a great opportunity to focus inward.
Suddenly, there was more time for something that is sadly lacking in life, spirituality. Of the three aspects of being – body, mind and spirit – spirit is the side of our lives that gets put aside because often it seems that there just isn’t enough time for it. When asked a common question, “How was Lock down for you?” almost everyone we spoke to here in New Zealand described their experiences during lock down as wonderful, relaxing, enjoyable, a break from the fast pace of life, giving them time to enjoy the kids, to slow down and to reflect on the things that really matter to them.
The Urantia Book states that the family is the master civilizer of humans. It’s the place where we learn life’s most important lessons – physically, emotionally and spiritually. When things are going hay-wire in the world, as it has been with COVID 19, it becomes so gratifying to get involved in domestic life. Family life lends a distinct perspective to everything else – a robust sense of proportion. As we know, family life can also be demanding and sometimes exhausting. But it is also supremely constructive and purposeful. When home life interactions are good, it makes one feel emboldened and heartened. Love is the underlying vibration of family life. And love is what spirituality is all about as well.
Urantia Book readers focus on spirituality and develop a much broader perspective about life. We learn that the inner life, or our spiritual connection with our Thought Adjusters, is of prime importance. Lockdown gave us a break from the frantic pace of life. Perhaps some of us took that opportunity to focus more on our inner life and to connect more wholeheartedly and frequently with our Thought Adjusters. This inner perspective helps people realise that there are alternatives to a return to “business as usual”.
So, during this Covid experience you may have asked yourself, “What can I do to make myself and the world a better place?” It’s hard to make changes in our lives because we get stuck in our behavioural ruts and just keep on doing what we’ve always done. Sometimes it takes a pandemic to get us moving. Then with insight and a strong intention to move
forward we can successfully make the changes necessary to get us from where we are to where we want to go.
So I for one asked, “What can be done to create the spiritual balance that is so lacking in the world today?” I can’t change other people so I have to change something inside myself. The answer for me required setting aside time each day for doing things that enrich my spiritual connection. Reading spiritual writings is certainly one of the things that inspires me and gives me guidance. But if I’m honest, I’ve noticed that reading alone usually didn’t cause me to make the positive changes that I want for myself. It is daily routines such as prayer, meditation, contemplation, and worship that establishes in me a life that begins to be dominated by spirit. Establishing these routines is hard at first but with perseverance and an honest look at priorities in one’s life, I found that these spiritual practices become automatic. And for me, it is in them that I, from time to time, have had personal religious experiences.
Paper 34 of The Urantia Book, in section 6 it tells us:
“You are the temple of God and God dwells in you.” It is not enough that this spirit be poured out upon you; the divine Spirit must dominate and control every phase of human experience. [Paper 34:6.7, page 381.1]
Getting to that stage requires me to dip into the spiritual waters each day. Going inward allows me to more easily align with God’s will. We have an inner life and an outer life.
Taking time to slow down and partake of the inner life, helps us to be open to spirit leading. This is when God’s true light can shine on us through our Thought Adjuster.
So please join me in a short, prayerful, guided meditation together:
Sit up straight, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. Your breath will lead you inwards.
Make your breath long, slow, and relaxed. Have the intention of connecting with your Thought Adjuster.
Now take your focus to your chest, the area around your heart. This place is where we feel our connection to spirit and where we feel love coming into us or emanating out from us.
As you inhale, breath in divine love. Bring it into your chest.
Once your heart and chest are filled with love; let the love overflow and fill your belly and your whole body. Bring it especially to those areas that are troubling you.
Notice how the love you breathe into your body begins to soften and relax tensions, pressures, or pains. Keep breathing in love on long, slow breaths that keep you focused in your body.
Now, bring the love into your mind. Ask your Thought Adjuster to connect you to the spirit mind, gravity circuits.
Continue breathing in love and notice how this is making you feel. Feel your gratitude for this amazing grace that our Thought Adjuster freely pours out to us. Give thanks. This love is freely given. We freely receive it. Now we can bestow love on everyone we come in contact with throughout our day.
Make a commitment to God, and to your Thought Adjuster to connect often in this way and in other ways that feel natural to you.
A daily routine of connecting will make your life a reflection of your everlasting Self, your Soul Self and to the pursuit of Truth, Beauty and Goodness in your life. God’s love helps manifest these intentions. Dive in daily and fill yourself up.
Take a minute now and go back to your natural breathing. Feel your gratitude. When you’re ready, slowly open your eyes.
Thank you for participating in this connecting with Spirit experience.