Triangle Center for Spiritual Living, 16 December 2018
SONG (Bob Sima): Good Words Good Thoughts Good Deeds, currently unreleased
Well doesn’t just about everything that we say, think, and do relate to or affect our spirit? Our words, our thoughts, and our deeds. They all affect our spirit and the spirit of those around us. Because our beliefs come from our thoughts and our words and actions mirror the beliefs and opinions we hold, whether silently or expressively.
There are two definitions that we need to clarify before we jump into the message today.
Spiritual: relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul (as opposed to material or physical things)
Conviction: a firmly held belief or opinion
Therefore Spiritual Conviction can be defined as such: a firmly held belief or opinion relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul. Going back to Bob’s song, isn’t everything we say, think, and do a reflection our our spiritual conviction?
So how does your monthly theme of Happiness and Fulfillment relate to our Spiritual Conviction?
Through a knowing. Not a simple knowing, but a deep, soul-level, heart-pumping, mind-blossoming, body-shaking knowing who we are on this Earth to be and what we are on this Earth to do.
Doing does not have to be some grand and elaborate scheme! It can inspire from our bone-memory, knowing who we need to be and what we need to do in each and every moment. Knowing and choosing our words. Knowing and choosing our thoughts. Knowing and choosing our deeds. If you are here to be an Earth Angel and you know it to the core of your being, whoever you choose to be and whatever you choose to do in every opportunity that life offers you will ultimately show your true nature of angelic energy in physical earthly form. You are beyond questioning why you are here. You know it and your spiritual conviction is such that you cannot help but be it. And that, my friends, is when we experience Happiness and Fulfillment. When we are manifesting in word, thought, and deed what it is that we know we are capable of exhibiting, with every breath we are gifted in this lifetime. And when we actually do that to our full potential, that is when our soul can sit back and smile.
When you know with Spiritual Conviction, you know beyond the physical and material world. That knowing, or vision, has to come from the eye behind the eye, the sight beyond the physical eyes. The vision that sits in the memory of the stardust that breathes through our skeleton, that travels through our blood, that sets our muscles into motion. That vision allows us to re-member who we are and open us to the possibilities of connections that go far beyond this three-dimensional plane.
Spiritual Conviction is the only excuse I have for my shamanic practice. The whole of shamanism is to deepen our connection to the spirit world and to become a vessel that can receive messages beyond the human. Those messages are not littered with emotion or personality or even opinion. They are the stardust memory that transmits when I encourage my stardust to activate the same memories or knowing within me. A shamanic practitioner believes in the connection and commits to affect healing and transformation at the soul level. Spiritual Conviction — a firmly held belief or opinion relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul.
So let us allow those visions, those potentials, the possibilities, the unbelievable, the indescribable to tickle our consciousness. As we move into a personal space of meditation, I invite you to surrender to the knowing. Allow the messages, the words, the images, the colors, the shapes, the animals, the plants, the metaphors to piece together a puzzle for you. Without any specific instructions or guidance, allow the music and the lyrics of the song to take you on a journey of re-membrance. Invite your sight beyond your eyes to show you the vision that you need to see today.
SONG (Bob Sima): Kiss God, from It’s Time
Bob’s song is poetry in motion. I personally know that the first line of Kiss God was inspired by a quote translated from Hafiz:
———“When no one is looking, I swallow deserts and clouds and chew on mountains knowing they are sweet bones! When no one is looking and I want to kiss God, I just lift my own hand to my mouth.”———
That is Spiritual Conviction. Knowing that when we allow ourselves to take an inward journey, we have the power to move mountains. We have the capability to “do all this and more”. Spiritual Conviction reminds us that there are no limits because as soon as we feel we may have reached an end, we have the ability to move beyond it simply by changing our beliefs. A limit is simply the all of what we can conceive today. But tomorrow’s mystery has the potential to push us even further beyond our wildest dreams which is why our beliefs change as we move through life. We hold the mystery closer than we hold our beliefs.
Glen Thomas Rideout is the Director of Worship and Music at First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor Michigan. He offers this beautiful writing titled “god is no noun” which I hope will evoke your own Spiritual Convictions.
—— god is no noun. and certainly not an adjective. god is at least a verb, and even that shrinks her.
god is not so much a woman as she resides in the improbable hope of brown mothers. god is not so much a man as he is at work in the memory of my grandfather’s laugh.
god is not trans. god swims in the tears of the one who sees her real self, at long last, in the bathroom mirror.
god is not black; neither is he white. god is wading in the contradiction of songs from slave shacks. and I have seen god in the alabaster smiles of children at play.
we’re getting michelangelo all wrong. god is not the bearded one surrounded by angels, floating over the sistine. he is not adam with his muscled back pressing the earth. no. god is the closing inch of space between their reaching fingers.
don’t believe for a moment that god is catholic. for god’s sake, he isn’t even human. have you heard the wood thrush when the sun glistens the huron? can you see the flowers, how they speak to bees without a word?
still, god is no spring blossom, no wood thrush. god is neither the sun nor the bee. god is what you see in the blossom. god is when you hear the river and suddenly discover how much of it is part of you.
to be clear, god is not you. god is somewhere in the 14 billion years which have come to mean that you are. god is, after all, at least a verb. she is neither pharaoh’s rod nor moses’ staff. we must be the ones to cease our slavery. she is not interested in blame, neither does she offer praise. truth, gratitude are ours to breathe.
she will not have your answers. she is too large for answers. she dances too wildly to be fastened to them, and answers are nouns anyway.
god is at least a verb, twirling in the radiant reds of spring blossoms, singing in the rare silences between rapid opinions, attending the tears of dark-skinned deaths, learning in tiny, alabaster smiles.
god is waiting in the space between fingers that might connect. he is waiting for us to stop naming her. she is waiting for us to see all of him.
god is waiting
to be un-shrunk ——
God is waiting to be un-shrunk. So pull off the shrink wrap and allow a vision with full potential to define your Spiritual Conviction to lead you right up the path toward Happiness and Fulfillment. It takes our all to believe in a vision that may not appear to be a reality today in front of our physical eyes. But we would not be able to see a remote vision if it did not already or could not fully exist. So I invite you to move and shake your own Spiritual Convictions, to see beyond this limiting sight of the physical world and bring the happiness, fulfillment, and peace from the stardust of your soul into word, into thought, and into deed.
SONG (Bob Sima): The Movers The Shakers and The Peacemakers, from The Movers The Shakers and The Peacemakers