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Since this is not Fox News, we can be fair and balanced. I am Catholic and I think Catholicism can stand on its own three feet (Trinity). We don't have to bash other spiritual practises to make Catholicism better.Research studies on TM have been published in more than 600 journals the list follows of the ones where there were positive results.

Academy of Management Journal
Addictive Behaviors
AGE
American Journal of Hypertension
American Journal of Physiology
American Journal of Psychiatry
American Psychologist
British Journal of Educational Psychology
British Journal of Psychology
Bulletin on Narcotics
Bulletin of the Society of Psychologists in Addictive Behaviors
Business and Health
Circulation
Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology
Clinical Research
College Student Journal
Criminal Justice and Behavior
Drug Forum
Education
Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology
Experimental Neurology
Hormones and Behavior
Hospital and Community Psychiatry
International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice
International Journal of Neuroscience
International Journal of the Addictions
Journal of Applied Physiology: Respiratory, Environmental and Exercise Physiology
Journal of Biomedicine
Journal of Chronic Disease and Therapeutic Research
Journal of Clinical Psychiatry
Journal of Clinical Psychology
Journal of Conflict Resolution
Journal of Counseling and Development
Journal of Counseling Psychology
Journal of Creative Behavior
Journal of Crime and Justice
Journal of Criminal Justice
Journal of Human Stress
Journal of Humanistic Psychology
Journal of Inhalation Technology
Journal of Mind and Behavior
Journal of Moral Education
Journal of Neural Transmission
Journal of Personality and Individual Differences
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Journal of Personality Assessment
Journal of Psychology
Journal of Psychosomatic Research
Journal of Social Behavior and Personality
Journal of the American Association of Nephrology Nurses and Technicians
Journal of the American Society of Psychosomatic Dentistry and Medicine
Journal of the Canadian Medical Association
Journal of the Israel Medical Association (Harefuah)
L'Encephale
Lancet
Medizinische Klinik
Memory and Cognition
Motivation
Motor and Sensory Processes of the Brain
Progress in Brain Research
Neuroendocrinology Letters
Perceptual and Motor Skills
Pflugers Archiv
The Physiologist
Physiology & Behavior
Psychologia�An International Journal of Psychology in the Orient
Psychological Reports
Psychopathometrie
Psychophysiology
Psychosomatic medicine
Psychotherapie-Psychosomatik Medizinische Psychologie Respiration
Revue d'electroencephalographie et de neurophysiologie clinique
Science
Scientific American
Sleep Research
Social Indicators Research
Social Science Perspectives Journal
Society for Neuroscience Abstracts
Tijdschrift voor Psychologie (Behavior: Journal of Psychology)
Transactions of the American Society for Neurochemistry
Ugeskrift for Loeger
Verhandlungen der Gesellschaft fur Okologie
Vestes: the Australian Universities' Review Western Psychologist
Zeitschrift fur Allgemeinmedizin
Zeitschrift fur Elektroenzephalographie und Elektromyographie
Zeitschrift fur Klinische Psychologie

They studied TM at over 200 universities with positive results. The list follows

Boston University
Cornell University
George Washington University
Harvard Medical School
Harvard University
Indiana University
Lawrence Livermore National University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Maharishi University of Management
Ohio State University
Pennsylvania State University
Princeton University
Purdue University
Stanford University
State University College of New York
(at Brockport, Buffalo and New Paltz)
University of Arkansas
University of California
(at Berkeley, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego and Santa Cruz)
University of Chicago
University of Colorado Medical Center
University of Florida
University of Georgia
University of Kansas
University of Maryland
University of Massachusetts
University of Michigan Medical School
University of Michigan
University of Minnesota
University of Oklahoma
University of Pittsburg
University of Southern California
University of Tennessee
University of Texas (at Austin and El Paso)
University of Virginia Medical Center
University of Washington
West Virginia University
Western Kentucky University
Western Washington State College
Xavier University
Yale Medical School

These are credible studies at good institutions without an agenda.
 
Posts: 65 | Registered: 12 January 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Responding again to Pauline.

Now that Phil is growing weary of fighting the windmills, there seems to be different feeling on this thread.

Slightly ad hominem.

It's enough to simply trust in God and Divine Law. Anyone who truly seeks with a sincere heart will find their way if they let their hearts lead with love and use their minds to when needed to integrate and to test the teachings of ANY teacher from ANY spiritual tradition, whether they are born into it, or led to it.

Which is precisely what the Catholic Church teaches about human beings being able to be saved through fidelity to the leadings of their conscience. That's not the issue under discussion, however, nor is it the kind of principle we can use to dismiss the very real differences among the world religions.

As I mentioned before Phil, you were the one who started this thread. Contrary to your post above where you cite your reason for starting a thread on TM, as being because Shasha reported having had some 'hostile' experiences with her TM mantra....Shasha did not learn TM, Phil, but rather Siddha Yoga at age 25. (This just demonstrates how easy it is to distort and/or use facts to support our beliefs in the relative world, when approaching understanding from the intellect alone.

Slightly ad hominem again. Shasha reported having bad experiences connected with a mantra she had learned from a Hindu tradition, and that brought about the discussion of TM. So you found a technical "gotcha" in that she hadn't practiced TM . . . fine. That hardly constitutes "distorting and using facts to support my beliefs," however. Roll Eyes

I do not mean any of what I have to say next to offend or demean Shasha or her experiences, as I know her experiences were very real to her. She was very courageous to share them and I honor her journey and her responses back to me. But it was apparent to me, from the nature of her posts, that she had not had the benefit of MANY lectures from Maharishi available on residence courses.

She seems to think she's much better off now in the good hands of Jesus Christ. That was the point of her sharing.

If Shasha had the benefit of them, she MIGHT have prevented some of her experiences and would have been able to integrate any negative experiences that might have come up as a result of deep purification or unstressing, with a more objective, scientific and integrated, understanding. She would have learned some basic principles, which if successfully applied to her life, would have greatly reduced and even prevented her extreme negative experiences.

Maybe. Hypothetical. OTOH, she might have been drawn in even more into Eastern pathways, and she seems to be recognizing some essential distinctions now.

The mind can get more powerful in the subtle realms, especially in Siddha Yoga. When new consciousness of anything is gained whether it is in the relative, or in more subtle realms of the new frontiers of consciousness, it is VERY important for the mind to have the proper knowledge to integrate and name it. With out that, it's very easy to make mistakes. Unfortunately, Shasha is another one, who believes very strongly that Hindu deities are real, and that mantras.... simple Sanskrit sounds..can be "evil". C minor can sound scary, relative to other notes on the musical scale, but do we call it 'evil.? Shasha seems to have found her way to a more integrated and relational understanding her experiences and I hope it continues.

So why do you NOT believe they are real, Pauline? How can you be so sure that there are no spiritual entities corresponding to what/whom the Hindus worship and the mantras invoke? You don't know that! It's just your opinion. Hindus believe in them . . . report encountering them . . . have built their very religion around these suppositions. Catholic theology asserts the existence of dis-incarnate spiritual entities -- angelic, human and who knows what else? It's very odd indeed that you continue to argue so vehemently against this point.

And by the way Phil, for some one who doesn't place much stock in anecdotes, you certainly seemed invested in Shasha's. Personally, I've always found our stories to be revealing of deeper truths. After all, the Bible is filled with anecdotes. Thom Hartman, a Catholic renaissance man, radio talk show host, prolific writer, therapist, says it well : "History proves that when our stories change, the world changes"

I don't base anything on Shasha's experiences. Anecdotal material does have its place in evaluating spiritual traditions and practices; I've never denied that. It's just not the only nor even the best way to do this kind of evaluation.

Interesting posts you added WC. It's nice Phil has you there as back up, to help carry his torch through the darkness !

Ad hominem. Stop doing that.
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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(response to Pauline in post above)


quote:
Originally posted by soma:
[qb] Since this is not Fox News, we can be fair and balanced. I am Catholic and I think Catholicism can stand on its own three feet (Trinity). We don't have to bash other spiritual practises to make Catholicism better.Research studies on TM have been published in more than 600 journals the list follows of the ones where there were positive results.

. . .

These are credible studies at good institutions without an agenda. [/qb]
What studies? You posted a list of institutions.

But I do know there've been positive results with TM, but there've been negative ones as well -- very much under-reported.

The thread topic on "evaluation" doesn't pertain to what researchers are measuring, however, but to the three points I raised in my opening post.

If you're hearing all this as "bashing other spiritual practises to make Catholicism better," then I think you've misunderstood the purpose of the discussion. So how about if I reverse your point and ask you to explain how and why TM practice as taught by Maharishi could make Catholicism better? If it's such a good thing, then should the Catholic Church be getting behind it . . . encouraging Catholics to go the TM route: consecration ceremony, invoking Hindu spiritual entities, etc.? Good idea?
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Phil from previous post:
" How can you be so sure that there are no spiritual entities corresponding to what/whom the Hindus worship and the mantras invoke? You don't know that! It's just your opinion. Hindus believe in them . . . report encountering them . . . have built their very religion around these suppositions. Catholic theology asserts the existence of dis-incarnate spiritual entities -- angelic, human and who knows what else? It's very odd indeed that you continue to argue so vehemently against this point"

**********************************
Now these are some really good exciting questions to me and I will be happy explore them, but it may take a few days, maybe a few weeks. These are the kinds of quesions I love to talk about and ponder, and would like to know if there is anything in Catholic doctrine that equates to my musings.....

Not that I am trying to fit into the current Catholic mold of understanding, but if the shoe happens to fit, that will be very encouraging to me. Smiler

And Soma I hope you stick around for this discussion...I think we may share an intuitive understanding about this.

For starters though, and as food for thought, the answer to your first question "So why do you NOT believe HIndu Deities are real, Pauline?" .....

will be sort of similar, but a more meta-physical answer that you might give someone if asked "Why don't you believe Santa Claus is real? " Big Grin

peace, pauline

ps. Why is it 'ad homien' for me to call attention to WC for helping you carry the torch, but it's not "ad homien" for you to call it "rescuing" if Soma or someone else who might resonate with my reflections wants to add their perspective? Roll Eyes
 
Posts: 197 | Location: Austin,Texas | Registered: 18 March 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Posted by Phil:

"Slightly ad hominem again. Shasha reported having bad experiences connected with a mantra she had learned from a Hindu tradition, and that brought about the discussion of TM. So you found a technical "gotcha" in that she hadn't practiced TM . . . fine. That hardly constitutes "distorting and using facts to support my beliefs," however."

Phil you specifically said a TM MANTRA ...and for you there is not a difference, but to me and millions of TMrs there is a HUGE difference...Not because of the mantra per se, but because of the knowledge that is available to us through TM , and possibly in more ways then may meet the eye.
 
Posts: 197 | Location: Austin,Texas | Registered: 18 March 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Not that I am trying to fit into the current Catholic mold of understanding, but if the shoe happens to fit, that will be very encouraging to me.

It's way down on the list of perspectives you identified with on that beliefnet survey . . . far behind Neo-Paganism and Hinduism. Wink I suspect your profile would have been quite different 30 years ago . . . I know it was.

For starters though, and as food for thought, the answer to your first question "So why do you NOT believe HIndu Deities are real, Pauline?" .....

will be sort of similar, but a more meta-physical answer that you might give someone if asked "Why don't you believe Santa Claus is real? "


Go ahead . . . should be interesting. Note, however, that I do not consider them "deities" in the same sense that I consider the Persons of the Trinity. I've referred to them all along as "spiritual entitites," and I have no reason to believe that such are not involved in Hindu worship and practice. This is not to say that they are "evil entities," of course, but it may be that some do lead away from Christ. I don't think anything you can say can convince me otherwise, especially if your "Santa Claus" analogy is a sign of things to come.
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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FWIW, I think that test had ALOT of holes in it. There weren't even categories to adequately express my perspectives, but it's most likely just a language problem.

How we NAME our experience makes a big difference in our concepts, and therefore our realities. I don't have "very strong" attachment to any "beliefs" because so far,they have changed over time.
 
Posts: 197 | Location: Austin,Texas | Registered: 18 March 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The love of Christ presents man�s spirit with an intuitive understanding that the mysteries of faith can be brought into existence and appreciated. These mysteries are given to us to be mastered, and they seek understanding, not only in reflection, but also in prayer and meditation. God is everything, which we try to represent for the intellect and is infinitely more so we pass from philosophical understanding to faith, and then we pass from faith to spiritual understanding. Spiritual understanding is an intensification of faith transforming it into a vision, an experience and a mystical union. This spiritual vision is accomplished by suspending the mind and the ego for a moment where we give ourselves totally to God. Ego and mind are a kind of anxiety that ties the spirit down to the physical plane and allows no enlargement of consciousness.

The rosary, centering prayer, silence, contemplation can help suspend the mind. I see TM as a kind of rosary bead for the mind. Yes, it is expensive and should be free, but that is another debate. The mind is occupied with repeating the mantra, (lactivo divina)a phrase from the Bible could be used. The mind tries to wander, but is continuely brought back to the mantra. At some point similar to the stations of the cross one is no longer identifying with the mind and is in a state of witness watching the ceremony or the mind repeating the mantra. At this point I think the soul which gives life to the body starts to take control and spirit to communicate with God.

I like to meditate with Christian symbols to get to the abstract because I can identify and am moved by Jesus Christ, but a mental bead TM used to suspend the mind and ego could be the vehicle to deep Christian contemplation. Where what I like to call Christ consciousness can guide us the rest of the way.

I feel Jesus by his grace died for us and then rose again spiritually to resurrect our consciousness from our egos and if TM is given to one and one is awakened spiritually it is good. If one has a bad experience drop it, but that doesn't mean it is bad for all.
 
Posts: 65 | Registered: 12 January 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
<w.c.>
posted
"The mind is occupied with repeating the mantra, (lactivo divina)a phrase from the Bible could be used. The mind tries to wander, but is continuely brought back to the mantra."


Soma:

This is a basic misunderstanding of Lectio Divina, which has nothing to do with mantra or the repetition of scripture to still the mind. You seem to be confusing relationship with technique.

Consider this weblink for clarification re: Lectio Divina:


www.valyermo.com
 
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<w.c.>
posted
" . . . rose again spiritually."


If you mean this literally, then you are most certainly not espousing Christianity, at least in the orthodox sense.
 
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"The mind tries to wander, but is continuely brought back to the mantra. At some point similar to the stations of the cross one is no longer identifying with the mind and is in a state of witness watching the ceremony or the mind repeating the mantra."

I like the way you express your thoughts Soma...simple, universal and profound all at the same time, which resonates with how I experience Christ.

I wanted to make one distinction about the instruction on using TM Mantra..It is very much stressed in instruction, to NOT try to concentrate, but simply say the mantra, letting thoughts come if they come, and when one realizes it, simply and easily go back to the mantra. After a while..years maybe, depends on each individual and the relative purity of their consciousnes to start with, eventualy the mantra isn't even needed, or said only once or twice silently.. For some it may be just few times, and for others (like myself) it takes years...
But eventually,it becomes easier and easier to go to the state of pure awareness, until there is less and less distinction between the waking state and transcendent state of "pure awareness" And praying from this place is very deepening.

And yes TM is too expensive in the US now.....Maharishi's reasoning on that is becaues collectively, people in the US seem to value things more when they have to paid more for for them...I prefer it be different, but I trust he has his reasons and that they are well intentioned..Perhaps to help teach TM in other countries. Ther are a few renigade teachers that teach the way Maharishi originally told them to teach 40 years ago....which was not to turn anyone one away that really wants to learn...but all things once they get instiutionalized seemed loose touch a bit with the pure intentions of their origin. It's been interesting to observe that first hand actually ..

Maharishi used the example of dying cloth yellow to illustrate how daily deep innersilence can change ones consciousness
Each time ithe cloths is dipped and dryed, it is a deeper shade of yellow. By regular dipping every day there is eventually no difference in the color...it is saturated with the source of color it was dipped into.,..And so it is with the state of pure awareness. From that place, there one begins to experience others as themselves..hence the wisdom in the words..'the fact that I love you is no concern of yours"

TM is not the only regular practice I had though.. I was in a Rosary group once a week 9 years with 5 girlfreinds of mine..but some moved away or had things come up. I really miss it but it's hard to get others to commit to it.
The woman who started it, Yvonne, (Invitation to Life) She is now about 83 years old now and still going strong. She was the the daughter of a french Celtic midwife..As a child Mary often appeared to her, and her mothers "patients" always wanted Yvonne to be there with them.. She only has 6th grade education but her rosary groups are world wide now,with many professional and highly educated people who participate. And she has been very successful with youth groups in drug infested Latin American countries People use their own money to go to different troubled spots to pray...and do I mean pray..I went on a pilgrimage to Mexico . About 100 people on buses praying the rosary and singing in spanish non-stop about 14 hours a day...It was intense..but joyful. When Yvonne talked about Jesus,or the the Mayan ruins, she talks about them as though she had been there, and with great compassion......and people would listen. Even strangers would walk up and stop to listen to her. And one always felt she knew what was deep in your own heart..pain, anger, sorrow, joy..She definitely had qualiies of the Divine Mother about her.

The Rosary, if said regulary with strong intention, sincere heart and and faith really open hearts. People were always reporting little healing miracles.
 
Posts: 197 | Location: Austin,Texas | Registered: 18 March 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thank you for the link and the clarifications on lectio divina and TM mantra. I copied some of the link about the lectivo divina because they say it so well.

"NEXT TAKE the word or phrase into yourself. Memorize it and slowly repeat it to yourself, allowing it to interact with your inner world of concerns, memories and ideas. Do not be afraid of �distractions.� Memories or thoughts are simply parts of yourself which, when they rise up during lectio divina, are asking to be given to God along with the rest of your inner self. Allow this inner pondering, this rumination, to invite you into dialogue with God.

THEN, SPEAK to God. Whether you use words or ideas or images or all three is not important. Interact with God as you would with one who you know loves and accepts you. And give to Him what you have discovered in yourself during your experience of meditatio. Experience yourself as the priest that you are. Experience God using the word or phrase that He has given you as a means of blessing, of transforming the ideas and memories, which your pondering on His word has awakened. Give to God what you have found within your heart.

FINALLY, SIMPLY rest in God's embrace. And when He invites you to return to your pondering of His word or to your inner dialogue with Him, do so. Learn to use words when words are helpful, and to let go of words when they no longer are necessary. Rejoice in the knowledge that God is with you in both words and silence, in spiritual activity and inner receptivity."

Very inspiroring............
 
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Here is a lind to Invitation to Life the international rosary group I mentioned above..

The site is beautiful ... and inspiring..


www.invitationtolife.org.au/welcome.htm

(sorry, I couldn't get the URL button to work)
 
Posts: 197 | Location: Austin,Texas | Registered: 18 March 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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And yes too expensive in the US now.....His reaoning on that is becaues collectively, people in the US seem to value things they have to pay more for in the country.. I would prefer it be different, but I trust he has his reasons and that they are well intentioned..Perhaps to help teach TM in other countries.

Pauline, you literally gush with apologies for Maharishi, and have yet to acknowledge the deceptiveness of his pedagogical approach (not informing people of the Hindu nature of the practice . . . calling it "non-religious," etc.). Now you excuse his shameless gouging of naive Westerners in the name of his selling something of value, apparently ignorant of the vast financial empire he has built for himself in the process:

quote:
What most folks don't know about the maharishi is he's a big real estate investor. According to the United Kingdom's Guardian newspaper, the maharishi's combined real-estate and business holdings total out at $3.6 billion. These days, the maharishi presides over a corporate empire Indian sources have estimated to be worth more than $5 billion -- a sort of Wal-Mart of the spirit, encompassing extensive land holdings in India, hotels in Europe, and publishing houses in the United States.
http://hartfordadvocate.com/gb...ontent?oid=oid:42389

It's not all TM-oriented, and we note that the price of TM training hasn't gone down as the guru's bottom line has gone up.
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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soma, what they described about Lectio Divina isn't what I understand a mantra to be.

See http://www.focalpointyoga.com/mantra_meditation.htm

There's no dialogical, relational dynamic involved, as there is in Lectio Divina. It's about altering brain waves through the use of repetitive sound. That's what concentrative meditation is.

- - -

What's your response to w.c.'s point about you mentioning Jesus' resurrection as "spiritual." Do you also believe that his body was raised from the dead?
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Phil:

[qb] It's not all TM-oriented, and we note that the price of TM training hasn't gone down as the guru's bottom line has gone up. [/qb]
Let him who is without sin, be the first to cast a stone..."

I wonder what the net value of the Vatican is now, or was, before all the law suits and cover ups that are closing so many churches? Big Grin

I wonder HOW LONG the abuses have really been going on?

HOw many altar boys stories never got told?

I wonder how their lives were affected?

Are they gay?, bi-sexual?.. suffering?, suicidal?. Spiritually and emotionally split apart, like the movie Bad Eduction depicts so well? ..Or are they slow suiciders, through addiction like my Dad?

Does anybody else wonder about these things? :

I think these questions might have some link to the church beng so closed to the idea of women being priests myself.

I suppose they could always resort to selling indulgences, or start a Holy Wars to get more converts. But then again, bingos, cakes sales, raffles and church fairs do a good job of keeping the coifures full and the faithful busy with more mundane affairs..and they get to remain in control...
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Phil:
[qb] See http://www.focalpointyoga.com/mantra_meditation.htm
There's no dialogical, relational dynamic involved, as there is in Lectio Divina. It's about altering brain waves through the use of repetitive sound. That's what concentrative meditation is. [/qb]
I keep telling you Phil that WE DO NOT CONCETRATE Wink on the mantra...
It is a NO NO !! Roll Eyes

And that link is COMPLETELY OFF BASE...Nothining like TM..
The instructions are just like Centering Prayer. only with Mantra and the blessings and wisdom of an ancient Holy Tradition to go with it...

Smiler And ANYONE that wants to from ANY relgion, is FREE to pray in ANY WAY,that they want. Eeker

Prayer is ENRICHED,DEEPEND by TM ! Wink
 
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The body was not found in the tomb, Jesus resurrected from the dead. I was talking about spiritual resurrection because we are trying to resurect ourselves spiritually. The church says give 10% and they are not cutting any deals. What a roller coaster from the spiritual to real estate to discuss spiritual technique.

Life is not just getting a degree, a good job, settling down or raising a family; it is self-actualization and the finding out who we really are in the resurrection of our every potential.
 
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<w.c.>
posted
As I've tried to relate on recent posts, mantra is primarily a vibration of kundalini through intention, even when the k isn't an object of attention and the sound is only indirectly calming to the mind for other purposes. This is quite different than prayer that seeks first, and only, relationship with God via His uncreated grace which is bestowed beyond the faculties. Prior to graced contemplation, the faculties are drawn together in the heart as one would spontaneously do so, without technique, when spending time with a friend. The only effort is in being with a friend, and therefore it is the friendship that dictates the attachment, rather than an objectifying process of the polarizing faculties where subtle addiction can easily be generated.
 
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Amen, soma, on the resurrection part.

I would not put it that we are trying to resurrect ourselves spiritually, however. It is the power of the Holy Spirit that "raises us up." Maybe that's what you meant?

- - -

Wow, Pauline. No one on this site has denied problems in the Church, nor have we been afriad to critically reflect on some of its teaching. You just can't bring yourself to say the tee-tiniest thing critical of Maharishi or TM, though, can you?

And did you even read the link I posted on mantra meditation? That's nothing remotely close to Lectio Divina. So what you're saying is that TM is not a form of mantra meditation? Maybe you're practicing it differently than it's taught? The way my friend who studied under Deepak Chopra described it was very much more along the line that the mantra meditation site above describes. The mantra is repeated until the mind becomes silent, then it is picked up again when thoughts begin to emerge. There's no relational or dialogical dynamic, referencing one to the divine; it's just a technique for calming the mind. I notice that you don't consider it prayer, and that makes sense.

BTW, it's not like there are no concerns about centering prayer, although the way it is taught by Fr. Keating and Contemplative Outreach is not as a mantra, but as a simplified form of relational prayer. We had a long discussion about this and related topics:
- http://shalomplace.com/ubb/ult...;f=1;t=000182#000000
 
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Originally posted by Phil:

PHIL: Wow, Pauline. No one on this site has denied problems in the Church,

PAULINE: Well that's somewhat open to debate as evidenced by:

1. The many lawsuits of Bishops who were trying to cover up the clergy abuse are a strong testimony to the depth and severity of denial about some VERY SERIOUS, life damaging problems in the Church.

2. My mom being turned away for wearing my pants when she went to talk to priest about the sexual abuse of my Dad 40 years ago also gives evidence of it.

3. About a year ago, I called the local diocese 3x's to see if there were any support groups for victims of clergy abuse...,my call was never returned. (once again�.3x's a charm ...) I did find an independent group for all denominations. The times I went, there were mostly men there, all them now gay, and several others with histories of sort lived relationships. Most were former altar boys for the Catholic Church. Several of them had eventually confronted their abusers, 2 went through a court battle, as several boys had reported this one priest. But the legal battle sounded hellatious in and of itself, with the Church dragging it's feet the whole way. And more concerned about the priest then the victims. And in most cases, the priest showed no visible sign of remorse if and when confronted. Two of the boys Mothers were good family friends with the abusing priest, and had asked their sons to go with the priest to assist him with church related projects. Can you imagine that? Just think how trapped those boys sense of loyalty would be..

But despite the headlines, and the possible the need for information or discussion for vicitms who might come here looking, I didn�t find any thread on that issue when I searched.

How about a thread on Analyzing What Contribute to Clergy Abuse?
I have lots of ideas about it�..
**************************

PHIL: nor have we been afraid to critically reflect on some of its teaching.

PAULINE: I must�ve missed these, except the few that WC posted about how immature and dysfunctional priests can be
**************************

PHIL: You just can't bring yourself to say the tee-tiniest thing critical of Maharishi or TM, though, can you?

PAULINE: Oh Phil �I am LOL..If you only knew, if you only knew�

Being raised a cradled Catholic I had such HUGE issues about money. I used to feel guilty even buying a new shirt or shoes on sale. or even having dessert, or letting a man spend money on me.. I have gone round the block with some of Maharishis teachings and many other spiritual teachers concerning concepts about money, power, success, etc.

But what I have discovered for myself is that I have to �try on� a philosophy or teaching of others before I can give an critical analysis of their choices. And even then, it�s fruitless to direct my attention on them, because it�s ultimately not about them, it�s about me and my choice. I have to determine MY relationship to the ways of the world, and answer only to that. If I criticize and judge them from my own limited concepts, I limit both them and myself. If I love and accept them, I expand my own heart. I was not born with any where near the mission Maharishi was obviously born to do, so how could I possibly understand all his reasons for doing the things he does. There have been 6 million people initiated into TM. And overall I think that�s a been a very positive thing for the majority of people, otherwise it would not have grown so quickly. You think it�s bad� to each is his or her own.

PHIL: And did you even read the link I posted on mantra meditation?

PAULINE : Yes�. I did

********************************************
PHIL: That's nothing remotely close to Lectio Divina.

PAULINE : No, it�s not . But TM IS very much, if not exactly like, the first part of Lectio Divinia....as far as how you say the mantra and come back to it easily,,,, but we let the mantra take us into deep silence

********************************************

PHIL: So what you're saying is that TM is not a form of mantra meditation?

PAULINE: No I said TM is NOT CONCENTRATION meditation Phil..and several times too..
They discourage concentration.

********************************************

PHIL: Maybe you're practicing it differently than it's taught? The way my friend who studied under Deepak Chopra described it was very much more along the line that the mantra meditation site above describes. The mantra is repeated until the mind becomes silent, then it is picked up again when thoughts begin to emerge.

PAULINE: That�s a rather inadequate description of it. I described it above several times. It�s just like the first part of Centering Prayer, as F Keating led it. The sound of his voice, the tempo. letting thought come if the come�.then gently just going back to the mantra ( or the sacred word as Keating calls it�) when you become aware you are in you thoughts.
********************************************

PHIL: There's no relational or dialogical dynamic,

PAULINE: TRUE
********************************************

PHIL: referencing one to the divine;

PAULINE: Well that depends on how you define �divine� I find deep silence, pure awareness FEELS divine. But yes your correct, the silence is the goal. They tell you that if after you have been in the silence for the 20 minutes or so, and rested, that if you pray, doing so right after meditation is a good time to do it. And that has been my experience.

********************************************
PHIL: it's just a technique for calming the mind.


PAULINE: And DEEP purification of the mind and the body.
Over time, there are deeper and deeper concepts of anger, grief, etc� old concepts that can come into the awareness�. But unless there is some really deep trauma, which they try to screen for, if one goes slowly it helps make the ride through life a lot smoother and easier.

********************************************

PHIL: I notice that you don't consider it prayer, and that makes sense.

PAULINE: No I have never thought of it as prayer, but the deep silence enriches prayer.I am glad you are clear on that now.
********************************************


PHIL: BTW, it's not like there are no concerns about centering prayer, although the way it is taught by Fr. Keating and Contemplative Outreach is not as a mantra, but as a simplified form of relational prayer. We had a long discussion about this and related topics:
- http://shalomplace.com/ubb/ult...;f=1;t=000182#000000

********************************************

PAULINE: I just had time to glance at those articles, they raise some good concerns
about the unconscious which is why there are intake forms asking about ones mental
history for learning TM. My own experience with mantra�s is that the sounds are very purifying. And as that is what most of my experiences has been, I may have a bias. But I think they lost something, by not keeping the mantra, and at the very least the 15 to 20 minutes of silence before continuing into the prayer part of Lecto Divina�. It is for me like a cleansing emptying of our vessel of body temple�very feminine and receptive in nature.
I�ve done both and much prefer my having the prolonged deep inner silent time first. It seems to me this allows the dialogical, relational aspect of prayer to come from deeper layers of our being.

Peace, , Pauline
 
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quote:
PHIL: Wow, Pauline. No one on this site has denied problems in the Church,

PAULINE: Well that's somewhat open to debate as evidenced by:
Those are sorry episodes you described, Pauline, and I could add a few of my own. But your response is a non-sequitur. Read the statement by me that you're replying to; your response doesn't connect.

See this thread for an example of some of the critique of clergy abuse issues that has gone on here. And as I've noted, we've also engaged in quite a bit of critical reflection on a number of Church teachings, including birth control, ordination of women, gay issues, and many others. Use the board search tool to do a little research before making assumptions about that.

quote:
TM IS very much, if not exactly like, the first part of Lectio Divinia....as far as how you say the mantra and come back to it easily,,,, but we let the mantra take us into deep silence.
Structually, perhaps, but not substantively -- i.e., the dialogical, relational aspect, which is how one proceeds with Lectio. w.c. and I have tried to make this point several times.

quote:
No I said TM is NOT CONCENTRATION meditation Phil..and several times too..
They discourage concentration.
I've also tried to explain that "concentration meditation" is a term used in contrast to other genres of medititive practice. You're reacting to the word "concentration" without understanding what "concentrative meditation" is.
- see http://www.lifepositive.com/Sp...es.asp#concentrative for a good description of concentrative meditation.

Contrast this with other genres, like insight/mindfulness meditation, walking meditation, Zen, and Lectio Divina, which is a relational/dialogical form of mediation.

- - -

I'll be summarizing my thoughts in a brief post on this topic soon, then pretty much signing off unless something new about it comes along.
 
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I did do a search first Phil, several times.. I'll read through that thread later..

I also did search on concentrative prayer and found that link. It is NOT at all an adequate description of TM.
 
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Here's where I come out after going through the exchanges on this thread and the extended reading I've done about TM during the process. This is my final post on this thread - - unless some new angle for discussion emerges.

Gratitudes to Pauline, soma, w.c. and others who've participated in this discussion.


1. Regular TM practice has been shown to have many health benefits; a few studies have documented negative side-effects as well.

2. TM can help to quiet the mind, thus preparing one for deeper relational prayer (as Pauline has noted). Of course, for many, the quieter mind is sufficient reward, and as there is nothing in the method itself to engage one relationally with one's "Higher Power," that is as far as it goes.

3. Mahesh Yogi's vast body of knowledge and teaching about TM practice is a help to many in using the method wisely.

4. Mahesh Yogi's TM outreach to the West has contributed to an awakening of interest in contemplative spirituality in Christendom (along with the Vatican Council II, Zen missionaries, pentecostalism, and the writings of Thomas Merton, which pre-dated Mahesh Yogi's coming to the West by at least 15 years.)

- That's the positive, and it could be affirmed equally for regular practice of mantra meditation, including something like #3, if presented in a non-religious context.

5. TM advertises itself as a non-religious approach to stress relief, clarity of consciousness, creativity, etc. This is false advertising. TM is deeply rooted in Hindu assumptions and makes liberal use of Hindu terminology and ideas. U.S. Courts have ruled that this religious perspective of TM disqualifies it from being taught in public school health classes.

6. Additionally, TM training includes a dedication service to Mahesh Yogi's guru, and the Hindu mantra includes Sanskrit names for various Hindu deities (supposedly helpful spirit-entities). This is not advertised anywhere in the publicity for TM training, which (as #5 notes) promotes TM as non-religious. This is dishonest and deceptive, but Mahesh Yogi knows very well that if he mentioned this, many Christians and people of non-Hindu faith traditions would not attend TM training.

7. TM is exorbitantly expensive -- generally over $1,000 a day. The rationale given by Mahesh Yogi is that Westerners value more something they pay for. Perhaps, but there's no doubt that these fees have helped to fund his financial empire. Comparing his wealth to that of the Church is disingenuous, as popes, bishops and priests do not own the Church's resources; the Christian community does.
- The notion that Mahesh Yogi came to bring peace and heightened consciousness to the West is belied by his fees, as the vast majority of poor people (who could use such peace the most) are excluded from the training by the pricing scheme.

8. Mahesh Yogi's teaching presumes an impersonal deity whose consciousness one can "tap into" using TM. This implies a monistic, pantheistic metaphysics, which is at odds with what Christianity affirms about the nature of things. At best, what Mahesh Yogi "taps into" is a deeper realm of the human spirit itself.

9. The exposure to Hindu teaching and the use of Hindu mantras that invoke Hindu deities could seriously compromise a Christian's faith and spiritual practice if s/he is not aware of what's going on. There is a pedagogy implicit in the non-relational technique itself that draws one away from dialogical engagement with the personal God affirmed in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Additionally, there is the danger that in using mantras that invoke Hindu deities, such entities actually become attached to one's consciousness, for better or for worse.

10. It is debatable that TM is part of a cult centered on Mahesh Yogi. Partly, this depends on how one defines "cult." As we've noted in these discussions, and as one will find on other boards around the Internet, those who like TM and Mahesh Yogi seem to find it difficult to apply the same standards of critical reflection for TM and Mahesh Yogi that they do to Christianity, American politics, etc. Indeed, it almost seems taboo to express any negative sentiment about TM or Mahesh Yogi. That is very cult-like.
 
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As noted earlier this "evaluation of TM" was Phils idea because I have practiced it for a long time and happened to mention it. He's had several frieinds loose interest in Catholicism and seems to want to blame TM for that rather then looking where he needs to...at the teaching of the Church, the very thing he represents. Contrary to his Catholic Creed,( I believe in ONE God) he apparently allows enough belief in Hindu dieties to be afraid of them, and seems believe they are in part to blame for Catholicims dwindling numbers.

The question he should be asking and is maybe afraid to ask is WHY is Cathlocism not working for so many,? Why do people leave and why they are having the problems they are in the Church? And what can Phil do about it?

When Maharishi saw what was happening in the world around him, and in the West with the young people, he came up with the best solution he could based on what God had given him and he put is heart and soul into doing something about it. Contrary to Phils belief Maharishi and many Hindus have "relational" dialogue with God...He didn't criticize whe western religions for failing or not properly guiding the young...because that wouldn't have helped It is NOT a very good spiritual thing to do. It would have only caused more harm.

People who are secure in their own spiritual practices and beliefs are not in fear and don't feel the need to tear down or criticize the spiritual teachings, practices or choices of others. They trust that God is in control and all will find their way....They focus ALL their attention on doing what they know needs to be done with in the relgion of their choosing.

Strong Catholics need to figure out how to give all Catholics a good experience with the Church..Church should be a joy after all..a place where we want to be...

The holes are coming from the inside out, not the outside in....And they are HUGE. One thread on clergy abuse in 4 years is harldy addressing a very serious problem, one that has most likely been going on for centuries.

Below are my response to Phils summary:

1. Regular TM practice has been shown to have many health benefits; a few studies have documented negative side-effects as well.

PAULINE: Kind of like anything else , eh Phil? And then we'd have to rule out other factors like daily habits of the practioner, or the quality of their practice, or the biasness of the studies themselves? Anytime you start purifying the unconscious, and the body you are bound to have some side affects ranging from indidual to individual .

2. TM can help to quiet the mind, thus preparing one for deeper relational prayer (as Pauline has noted). Of course, for many, the quieter mind is sufficient reward, and as there is nothing in the method itself to engage one relationally with one's "Higher Power," that is as far as it goes.

PAULINE: Yes, prayer is an ndividual choice. Those that didn't pray, find they do get more spiritually inclined and atheists usually begin believing in., or at least experiencing God in their life...a sense of grace and being more connected to life and others.

3. Mahesh Yogi's vast body of knowledge and teaching about TM practice is a help to many in using the method wisely.

PAULINE: Yes this is true...very important to follow instructions and hopefully attend at least one residence course...That is where you there is dramatic shift in perception..things that used to bother one, just seem to roll off, like water on a duck's back.

4. Mahesh Yogi's TM outreach to the West has contributed to an awakening of interest in contemplative spirituality in Christendom (along with the Vatican Council II, Zen missionaries, Pentecostalism, and the writings of Thomas Merton, which pre-dated Mahesh Yogi's coming to the West by at least 15 years.)

PAULINE: IMO,Maharishi had a huge impact on consciousness, much bigger then Phil seems to what to admit. He came to the West in 1956- 57, and TM grew VERY quickly. He has also done A LOT to inspire research on consciousness, and the mind-body-soul connection.

a, Vatican Council II, from Wikipedi The general sessions of the Council were held in the fall of four successive years in four periods 1962�1965.
b. Zen missionaries, couldn't find dates on this. But astrologically it wouldn't surprise me if that came at the same time. from an astrological perspective.

c. Pentecostalism, from wikipedia:

From the LATE 1950s onwards, the Charismatic movement, which was to a large extent inspired and influenced by Pentecostalism, began to flourish in the mainline Protestant denominations, as well as the Roman Catholic church.
d. and the writings of Thomas Merton, which pre-dated Mahesh Yogi's coming to the West by at least 15 years

Maharishi came to the West in 1956. Mertons First book,at age 31, no less, Seven Storey Mountain was published in 1948.

That's only 6 years. Just drawing attention to how easy it is to use faulty " data" to support ones beliefs

More reflectively, Merton penned an introduction to a 1966 Japanese edition of Seven Storey Mountain saying "Perhaps if I were to attempt this book today, it would be written differently. Who knows? But it was written when I was still quite young, and that is the way it remains. The story no longer belongs to me...."

Now, see., what I wonder about is, if the thousands of people learning TM but alos thousands who were spending 6 to 8 hours a day "rounding"(meditating) during that time had anything to do with his feeling that way? It's possible you know...People were ging through BIG changes in the early days of the movement

PHIL: That's the positive, and it could be affirmed equally for regular practice of mantra meditation, including something like #3 if presented in a non-religious context.

PAULINE: Except that you greatly underestimate the magnitude and gift of what Maharishi has given to the world. Few spiritual teachers could pull off what he did during the time that he did. There are others now though and Amma is one of them. But that's ok..it's your loss, and the loss of others who can't see it.

5. Whether TM is religious gets into concepts again. By definition # 4 below, it is religious for most people. Religious, as defines in Oxford: 1. devoted to religion, pious devout, 2. of, or concerned with religion. 3. belonging to a monastic order 4. scrupulous , conscientious.. Only the 4th definition would make it religious. If only the Church could get people to be so conscientious eh?

Maharishi was raised in a Hindu culture and his Holy Tradition is Hindu. While he himself is deeply religious and spiritual, as that is the source of his vision and inspiration, he honors his teacher in the way of his culture and tradition in all he does.

Maharishi always talked about God in a way any one of any faith could appreciate and apply their knowledge and experience to their own faith life, the Absolute. And that was only on advanced courses. I never once heard him mention a Hindu deity, in any of this teachings.

The words of the ceremonial song of gratitude to his teacher are in Sanskrit, are sung only by the teacher, not by the one being initiated.

I don't care much about what our present court system deems oK. The US court officials are largely an elected body and there fore can only reflect our own collective consciousness. As far as I know group prayer is still not allowed in in public schools. Most state courts currently supports the death penalty. And the US has more prisoners per capital then any other country in the world. Stats below from google: (This would be much more fiting probem for a Christian spiritual director to focus his attention on I think, and much more in keeping with what Jesus taught too.
Some how in your very biased attempt at an EVALUTTION you failed to mention the studies done in Folsom prison and Senegal prison in Africa Phil.....Keep in mind our prison populations compared to others, especially in light of our smaller populations...It says a lot about the injustices of our justice system

1 United States of America 2,085,620 K
2 China 1,548,498
3 Russian Federation 763,054
4 Brazil 330,642
5 India 313,635
6 Ukraine 198,386
7 Mexico 191,890
8 South Africa 186,739
9 Thailand 168,264
10 Iran 133,658

6. I can see how it may appear that initiation ceremony is deceptive. These ceremonies are part of Hindu culture they do them for many events, sometimes daily,. But having been raised a Catholic, and having a few of those questions go through my head, all I can say is that MAHARISHI KNEW the western world was missing something they needed. He met them in the ignorance and gave it to them. It beats the Crusades the Inquisition and selling indulgences Phil and most mediators are very happy they learned. As there are now 6 million initiated in just 50 years, , we can only conclude that the majority of mediators are satisfied with TM and did not feel it conflicted with their religious beliefs. I don't think Centering Prayer has grown that fast.


.7. It's $2500 to learn TM in the US now Phil (not $1000 per day) (But Phil seems to have has a habit of skewing or reporting only information to support hi beliefs ) There is an introductory lecture, and 4 more days of instructions and follow up lecture. That's a one time fee for a LIFE TIME of all the benefits promised if one practices they way they are told to.. It also helps to attend weekend residence courses which run about $120...room and board included.

Admittedly though, It used to bother me about the price too..when it went up. But Maharishis intention to focus on the more educated and wealthy makes sense to me now. It's not much different the Catholic tradition of sending the brightest son off to seminary. If those in positions of relatively more influence ...teachers, l;awyers, engineers,scientists, business people got the inner experience of TM and the knowledge, they would then be in a much better position to help spread it the world. Smart plan really. Maharisi is very shrewd in his humble littlle way. This is in part both how and why there are now 6 million initiated now worldwide in just 50 years. That's quite a success story, imo.

As far as the Catholic community owning their resources, an awful lot of them are gong to help cover up the 'sins of the fathers" http://www.catholicnews.com/da...ries/cns/0403779.htm

and there's all kinds of controversial "information wars" about the church's financial affairs written by Christians
http://www.chick.com/reading/books/153/153_10.asp


8. Phil, the only thing we tap into is "pure consciousness", or unified field of all possilities. And yes I'd agree that Maharisi taps into a much deeper realm of human spirit then most of us.

9.. Most TM parishioners I know tend to live their lives in much more accordance with the principles Jesus taught....they are in short, much more loving , more compassionate, and non-judgmental. They are not threatened by others beliefs about them or TM, because they simply KNOW themselves.

10. : Phil, FWIW: Just in case you are not aware,.....Amongst some Christians, Catholicism is considered a cult Phil, .I've been hearing that from non- catholic friends ever since I was a kid. Just do a search on google. (And that is about how ridiculous your assertion that TM is a cult sounds to me.. amongst many other beliefs you have.) Here is one link, it's no more fanatical as the link on TM that you started this thread with....
wwww.rapidnet.com~jbeard/bdm/Cults/Catholicism/isitcult.htm
Just more information to clutter that oh so busy mind of yours Phil. Maybe we should both consider getting deprogrammed huh?

I know that for me and most cradled Catholics I know, we have had whole lot of negative programming to overcome from being raised Catholic. But I can't think of any 'Negative" programming from TM because the teachings are all so positive. This is one reason why why TM'rs try to focus on the postive,,because it is a very sound spiritual principle... Over time they all ot the things Maharishi taught have proven themselves to be true in my life...

I Know I appreciate the depth of Christ's teaching and all spiritual teachers, more and more over time BECAUSE the simple universality of Maharishi's teachings and the daily practice of TM, help me go find new insight wisdom at deeper and deeper levels. the Deepest Truths are Simple... Life is found in laryers. Water the root to enjoy the fruit. The whole is contained in the sum of it's parts. The whole is greater then the sum of it's parts..But there is so much more..He's brilliant clear and humble.

I woudn't know about TM'rs not showing the same standards of critical reflection toward Christianity and politics as for TM, but I do know that TM's ARE far less critical about EVERYTHING compared to most Christians, because they recognize that the underlying problem of ALL problems in the world today is IGNORANCE of Natural Law. And that is largely what gets enlivened through regulary tapping into "pure awareness" or unified field through TM. There is less and less inclination to criticize, except in cases where that is the lesser evil to say something like war, because many meditators KNOW how powerful an a effect large group meditation have group consciousness.

**************************************************************************************

My evaluation of this evaluation is could be summed up by saying, that if people would just stick to fully embracing and living the principles of his or her own religion, spiritual practices and/or philosophy or beliefs, rather then going out of their way to find fault to try to prove that yes indeed,their practice and their spirituality is different then mine, and therefore inferior, by golly , then the world would be a lot better often it is today. I shouldn't even bother to post this, being as how Phil could't even bring himself to ponder the questtions I asked him to consider in order to determine if we were on the same page about what criteria makes for a goood spiritual discussion.

Today at church someone shared this story. A group of 4 Palestinians and 4 Jews just climbed a mountain together never before climbed and called it Friendship Mountain. This is the kind of thing I had hoped might blossom in dialogue Shalom Place after being inspired by the Love Habits thread, but I don't see how it ever will when there is so much attachment to being "right" about things we have had no experience with, or as long as there continues to be anti- this or that kind of news posts here.

We're all in this together, so we might as well start acting like it...The church I go to has all creeds, races ethnic origins.. We don't EVALUTATE each other spiritual pracitice. We PRACTICE our spirituality together in loving kindness, acceptance compassion and creativty.. We celebrate the oppurtunity and miracle of the moment in loving one another..

Peace, Pauline
 
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