Dr. Julianne Hanson

Psychologist - Chaplain - Intuitive

Ask Dr. Julianne-Evolving Love

Posted by admin - April 7th, 2012

Aloha Dear Ones,

How wonderful to be back with you. I’ve taken time off to learn more of what I need to understand about the heart of love. It’s hard to know where to begin, at what point to bring you into my process of discovery.

I’ve just returned from a Lutheran Church in South Maui, where I attended their Good Friday service. Good Friday is part of Christian Holy Week, retelling the story of Christ’s last days, his death, followed by the celebration of his resurrection on Easter Sunday.

I went back to the Lutheran religion of my childhood tonight, because my beloved Unity Church doesn’t have a Good Friday service.

My former minister, Rev. Mary Omwake, told me that a group of Unity leaders once asked Matthew Fox, revolutionary theologian and defrocked Catholic (now an Episcopalian priest), for his opinion on Unity’s teachings. Matthew Fox’s analysis was that Unity reflected his understanding of the light, really had the positive truth, but that, “new thought,” churches, in general, didn’t know what to do with the dark.

Thus, no Unity service on Jesus’s crucifixion. This is a broad and deep issue for another post. Unity will indeed have a beautiful Easter service. I will be on duty as a chaplain, available to pray with anyone at the program’s close. If you are here on Maui, please come and say aloha on Sunday morning.

What touched me most at the Lutheran Church tonight was how profoundly interconnected I felt with everyone. It felt like my heart was beating in time with each heart, with the heart of the congregation. Amongst the Lutheran regulars, there’s probably a range of beliefs, from fundamentalist to very progressive (this is tolerant Maui, after all). The more conservative members would take issue with my belief that all paths lead to God, perhaps even with my identifying as a Christian.

Yet, what I heard, what I participated in with my Lutheran brothers and sisters this Good Friday, along with being deeply moving, seemed to come from an evolving, more integral perspective. The service focused on the 14 Stations of the Cross, each moments in Christ’s walk, bearing a heavy wooden cross, towards the site of his execution.

The liturgy, the language of each Station, was written in a way that evoked a deep resonance with Jesus as a man, fully human, as well as fully divine–a man who was so surrendered to the Divine, who so fully embodied God’s love, that he was willing to give his life for, as, that love. We were asked how we would have responded, had we been on that walk with the crowd following Jesus to his death. When Jesus fell the second time, under the weight of the cross, would we help him carry it, as did Simon? When, for the third time, Jesus fell, would we have tenderly wiped his brow, as did the woman who pushed through the soldiers to reach him?

We were charged with considering how we show up for God’s love, now, in this life. Can we become so aligned with Divine right action, that, like Christ, we always say, “Not my will, but Thine?” Can our identity shift from an individual self, separate from each other, separate from God, to one inter-related whole, responsible for acting as God’s only hands, only voice, on earth? Can we, like Christ, choose to act as God’s love, no matter what the cost?

Yes, I’m paraphrasing, through the evolutionary, integral lens of consciousness. But tonight, as I sat with my spiritual family (I was going to say extended family, but it conveys something one step removed, which was not the reality), the love in our hearts was separated neither by language, nor dogma. I saw the tears shed by all, and all saw mine. I felt the love of all–and all felt mine. Together, we experienced a quickening (evolutionary impulse/Holy Spirit) of our commitment to show up as God’s love on earth.

Dear ones, we cannot wait for God’s love to be revealed to us. We need to act as God’s love for each other, now, with courage, with humility, through our sorrows and our joys.

Love and blessings,

Dr. Julianne

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Ask Dr. Julianne

Posted by admin - February 6th, 2012

Aloha Dear Ones,

It’s good to be with you again. I’ve been doing a lot of reflection this past week. There are many challenges in my life right now. I’m determined to see those challenges in the light of the evolutionary perspective I’ve been studying.

Sometimes challenges seem to come all at once. Our tendency is to view these challenges the ways we always have, or the ways in which we have been taught. We round up the usual stories, tell them first to ourselves, and then repeat our stories to anyone who has the patience or kindness to listen. We remember all the details of how these challenges showed up in our lives in the past, and pour over these unpleasant details, one by one.

We develop amazingly creative ways to reinforce our previous experience of the challenge at hand. Some of us, with a highly developed visual skill, even learn how to project a movie of our past traumas and dramas onto our conscious minds,  and watch it play, over and over again. In our mind’s eye, we watch the challenge take shape, we see our ineffective response, and we safely and surely predict the unhappy result. I say, “safely,” because no matter how awful the result, there is a certain false comfort in the familiar.

If we cling to the false safety of the familiar, we are doomed to experience our current challenge as leading to the same negative result, or, to a situation even more heartbreaking. How can we break out of the familiar cycle of repeating our mistakes? How can we break free of our past conditioning?

We can start by being willing to examine our beliefs about our situation. If the choices we have been making have been consistently leading to unhappy results, then there is something wrong with the story we have been telling ourselves. We are not seeing clearly.

So, we allow ourselves to be curious about the challenge we are facing. Instead of falling back on an old story, we admit that we don’t understand the truth of our situation. We cultivate an attitude of not knowing, but wanting to know. As both the integralists and the evolutionaries might say, we enter into a process of inquiry. We hold even our most cherished beliefs around the issue lightly, leaving room for new information. We open ourselves to feedback from life. We begin to make choices based on this new information, not based on our conditioned patterns.

It takes courage to be open to the truth of life. But the good news is that the evolutionary impulse, the innate creative power unfolding all of life, is very much on our side, once we start on the path of the good, the true, the beautiful, and the holy. The evolutionary impulse, which to me is the Holy Spirit, is actually calling us to that sacred path.

In being willing to see our challenges with beginner’s mind, to become curious about them, to admit that we don’t understand everything and to desire to learn more, we open the door to a deeper wisdom. By making different choices based on the new truth life shows us, we come into closer alignment with the holy impulse moving all life forward. From that place, all goods things are possible.

Love and blessings,

Dr. Julianne

 

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Ask Dr. Julianne

Posted by admin - January 29th, 2012

Aloha Dear Ones,

I want to speak with you in a very personal way about my shift in motivation.

In previous posts, I’ve introduced the concept of awakened motivation, or motivation that has shifted from a preoccupation with individual needs and preferences, to a motivation to act for the greatest good. This can sound quite lofty and abstract. All too often, we hear a noble idea and have an inner resonance with its truth. We believe our lives would be better if we could live that truth, but we have no clue how to change, or even what the change might look like.

The best way I can imagine to give you a practical look into evolving your motivation to live a more meaningful life with more real and satisfying relationships, is to share some of my own struggles with you.

Today was challenging  for me. My physical energy was low, my brain foggy. Meditation was fraught with circular, negative thoughts. An invitation for which I was hoping did not come. A project on which I have been collaborating and in which I’ve invested a great deal of time may not go forward. I feel some fear and self-doubt around these things. Most disturbingly, I had to write a letter to an old friend, holding them responsible for behavior out of integrity, for actions injurious to me. I provided evidence of a truth they have long denied. This needed to be done, but the reality check may end the friendship. I feel both angry and sad.

It’s human nature to feel sad, scared, to create a story of victimization, when things don’t go our way, when we feel let down by another. Spiritual development can lessen our attachment to negative thoughts and feelings. We coach ourselves to see the bigger picture, to identify with a grander compassion. Sometimes, if our practice takes a confused turn, we learn to distance ourselves from realities that offer us the very information we need to heal and grow. Some people far along the path of consciousness find themselves needing a therapist to tell them how important it is to get back in touch with their feelings.

On one hand, we can’t allow ourselves to be at the mercy of our thoughts and feelings, or be defined by them. Yet, we need to tell the truth about our experiences to be authentic and fully alive. What do we do when our truth is painful, when what we want to do is run and hide, when the last thing we feel like doing is keeping our commitments, to ourselves or anyone else?

If we have had glimpses, openings about the truth of our nature, about our inter-relatedness as spirit in form, if we have allowed an awareness of our essential unity to become more real than our illusory separateness, an answer emerges. We show up, feeling how we feel, and do the right thing. More than an answer, we experience a call, a deep shift in our motivation for action. We feel how we feel. We may need more or less time to sort through it. Nothing about that keeps us from honoring our commitment to life.

Whatever the story of our experience is, life still needs us. We may not be feeling the strength, we may not have the courage to boldly go forward for ourselves alone. But we are not alone. We have an emerging identity as the breath that breathes those around us. Our motivation is no longer bound up in our own benefit. Our motivation is the well being of our family, our community, our world. Because they are counting on me, as a crucial part of their own hearts, I can do what I need to do.

Today, I felt scared, angry, sad. I had reason to experience those feelings. Some of the situations will take a while to resolve. I’m still responsible to life. Knowing that I’m going to keep my commitment to you, my readers, makes my heart lighter. Being able to trust that I’ll show up for chaplain duty tomorrow morning, at Unity’s Sunday service, releases me from being defined by my challenges. Sunday night, my core motivation will be facilitating my spiritual practice circle.

I won’t do these things because I have to do them. I certainly won’t be doing them as a perfect human, free of doubts or personal issues. In all my imperfection, I will do these right things because I am only alive in you. We are God’s only hands. Our motivation is shifting to That.

Love and blessings,

Dr. Julianne

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Ask Dr. Julianne

Posted by admin - January 26th, 2012

Aloha Dear Ones,

Just received a, “talking to,” from one of my dearest friends. This friend was amazed that even when specifically asked how someone could improve their relationships skills, I didn’t include my own counseling services in the list of referrals. My friend understands that my counseling is how I pay the bills, and, perhaps they would like me to take them to lunch more often:).

So, here is my offer to you. If you would like to have a session with me, please go to MauiSpiritualCounseling.com and click on the, “Session Request,” page. Many of my sessions are done via phone or Skype, so I’m able to have clients from around our beautiful world. Just include in your message on the, “Session Request,” page that you are responding to the offer in my blog. I will give you the same lower price usually given only to Hawaii residents, until the end of February, 2/29/12. The discount is about 15%, so please take me up on this offer now. I would be honored to be of service to you.

O.K. Had to gently talk myself through that advertisement. It’s easier for me to promote other teachers. I need to focus on the benefits my clients say they receive from our time together–perhaps that will reduce feeling self-conscious and focus my attention where it needs to be, on showing up with you.

Now can I go ahead and give another recommendation about which I’m very excited? Good:). The teacher with whom I’ve been studying evolutionary spirituality for the past two years, Craig Hamilton, is giving a free meditation this next Sunday, 1/29/12. Here is part of the notice I received today:

“Our next free, ‘Meditation for Evolutionaries,’ event will take place this Sunday, January 29th, at 8:00 AM Pacific Standard Time.

This event is a free monthly meditation gathering of more than 1,000 participants from around the world, hosted by Integral Enlightenment founder Craig Hamilton.

This 90-minute event will begin with a brief talk about meditation, followed by a 45-minute guided meditation and a 30-minute Q&A session during which you can ask your questions about meditation and receive direct guidance from Craig.

If you would like to invite family and friends to the meditation, please share the link: http://integralenlightenment.com/evolutionary-meditation.”

I passionately encourage you to attend this live, on-line meditation, with one the the leading teachers of evolutionary spirituality/enlightenment. My experience with Craig Hamilton has been truly transformative.

For the past two years, I’ve been part of an intentional on-line community created by Craig, the Evolutionary Life Transformation Program (ELTP). It has been both deeply challenging and inspiring. ELTP does not promote a specific religion or dogma. The teachings offer a path to becoming fully alive and purposeful in how we embody the evolutionary impulse that is urging humanity towards the good, the true, the beautiful, and the holy.

The sweetest part of my experience with evolutionary spirituality has been connecting with the dear souls who’ve come together to explore our essential inter-relatedness. The focus of this practice is waking up together in our relationships, communities, and our world. I hope you will share in this sacred process. Joining Sunday’s meditation would be a wonderful first step for anyone feeling a call to explore the evolutionary perspective.

Love and blessings,

Dr. Julianne

 

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Ask Dr. Julianne

Posted by admin - January 25th, 2012

Aloha Dear Ones,

A reader asked after viewing the last post, “So what do they do now,” meaning, how do the students described, one very experienced, one just beginning, take the next step in evolving their relationships?

There are many ways to develop/nurture an awareness of our natural inter-relatedness. Which pathway we choose depends on our personal preferences and depth of interest/commitment. I’ll continue to give the major references in integral and evolutionary spirituality that have been so transformative in my own experience, Craig Hamilton’s IntegralEnlightenment.com, Andrew Cohen’s EnlightenNext.org, and Ken Wilber’s IntegralLife.com. If you browse through those sites, something is sure to peak your interest, to invite you to explore deeper.

Perhaps Ken Wilber’s work provides the broadest historical, intellectual frame for integral/evolutionary thought. If you find yourself attracted to his approach, read his book, “Integral Spirituality,” published in 2006. There are many opportunities for students to engage in the various offerings on IntegralLife.com. Andrew Cohen’s work, EnlightenNext.org, presents opportunities to both study and practice the evolutionary perspective. His recently published book, “Evolutionary Enlightenment,” 2011, is an essential primer on evolutionary spirituality. Andrew’s book is thrillingly hopeful–I passionately recommend it to you.

Craig Hamilton’s (IntegralEnlightenment.com) focus has been on creating a virtual practice community, that meets twice a year for live retreats. The winter retreat was just last weekend, at Asilomar in Northern California. I’ve been studying with Craig for two years now, in his Evolutionary Life Transformation Program (ELTP). While his focus is on the practical integration of evolutionary principles into daily life, Craig also provides an intellectual foundation for evolutionary practice. My experience with him has been profoundly inspiring, and life altering. Students from all around the world, of different cultures, religions and ages have come together, committed to shifting their core identities from, “me,” to, “We,” awakening to the truth of our unity as Spirit in form.

So let’s go back to the two students from my previous post. The older, been-around-the-spiritual-block, seeker has firmly engrained beliefs, some, hard-earned wisdom, and some, continuing illusions. Short of a miraculous, bolt-of-lightening type of revelation (which can indeed occur, not often, but it can), he will need to courageously explore his conditioned patterns, be willing to challenge those patterns, and practice making very different choices. The best way to facilitate this process is by a commitment to sustained practice in an evolutionary community. We cannot evolve our relationships in solitary practice. How obvious this appears, and yet, many of us have been trying to do just that.

The younger student, just discovering the possibility of true communion with others, has many potential avenues of learning how to connect with greater depth. He can also dive into practice with an evolutionary community. The youngest members of Craig Hamilton’s ELTP continually amaze the rest of us with their insight and facility for evolving their relationships.

Our younger brother would benefit from joining any group dedicated to creating positive change together, whether that group has a spiritual, environmental, political, or artistic focus. His experiences would lead him to a higher, deeper exploration of our shared reality.

I want to give two references to teachings on evolutionary relationship that are more intuitively oriented. Some of us need a solid intellectual foundation from which to best open ourselves to an experiential awareness of that which is beyond the mind. The above teachers provide that, in a rich and liberating way. Some of us need to explore evolutionary relationship in a more intuitive, even sensory fashion, to stay engaged.

Thomas Huebl (ThomasHuebl.com) is a spiritual teacher from Austria who uses deep intuitive processes to cultivate, “the new We,” in societal transformation. Thomas facilitates an annual, “Celebrate Life Festival,” in Europe each summer, and is offering more workshops in the U.S. Patricia Albere’s site, EvolutionaryCollective.com, focuses on our relationships and ways of experiencing our divine inter-relatedness. Patricia was one of the first est facilitators, with Werner Erhart, at the beginning of the human potential movement in the 1970′s. (I did one process with her a couple weeks ago, she was very nice, and I’m pretty sure she would have let me go to the bathroom–est demanded a certain discipline, back in the day:).

It’s my honor and pleasure to learn from all these teachers. I’ll be sharing their perspectives, and my experience of their teachings, with you, as we continue on our path of evolving relationship, together. I hope you will allow the Holy Spirit, the evolutionary impulse, to guide you in your exploration, for the greatest good of us all.

Love and blessings,

Dr. Julianne

 

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Ask Dr. Julianne

Posted by admin - January 19th, 2012

Aloha Dear Ones,

Maui is a diverse island, and I tend to be in circles that include a wide range of cultures, religions, interests and ages.  Living close to many different types of  people has become a delightful norm for me.  I really don’t think I would feel as at home in a more homogenous community.

This week I had the fascinating experience of sharing some introductory material on evolutionary relationship with two very different students.

One man was in his late sixties, from Eastern Europe.  He began practicing Buddhism 30 years ago, and spent many years traveling and studying with teachers in Malaysia and Japan. He was a very sophisticated man, and an experienced seeker of truth.

This gentleman was familiar with the basic philosophical and metaphysical concepts that come forth in a discussion based on evolutionary spirituality. He interrupted me after five minutes, stating in a dismissive fashion, “There isn’t anything new in that–they’re just calling it something different.”  His cynicism seemed to prevent him from being able to consider anything from the, “beginner’s mind,” considered so important by many schools of Buddhist thought.  He spoke of feeling stuck in some key relationships, and didn’t see any way to move forward.

The second man was in his early twenties, a mix of local cultures, Hawaiian, Filipino, and Chinese.  His parents had not regularly practiced any religion when he was growing up, and he had not felt any particular call to explore spirituality on his own.  This young man was very forthright in sharing that he had never felt an emotionally intimate connection with another human being.  He was truly naive, without an understanding or experience of the quality of relationship possible between people.

I began to realize I was verbalizing integral concepts that must have sounded like a foreign language to this student.  Yet, words such as, “deeper, more real, authentic care, discovering how inter-related we truly are, waking up together,” resonate, on some level, with all souls.  I watched this young man’s face as I described the evolutionary impulse urging us to move forward into genuinely mutual, sacred relationship.  His eyes filled with longing–I could tell he was seeing with the eye of the heart, hearing with the ear of the heart.

Which of these two students, both divine embodiments of Spirit in form, one with a lifetime of spiritual practice, determined to see the future through the lens of the past, one just learning of the possibility of feeling deeply connected with others and longing to feel more, do you think will have an easier time evolving their relationships?

It’s never too early, it’s never too late.  In this now moment, becoming, we can choose a more real life, a holy life, a life deeply connected to those with whom we share this earth.

Love and blessings,

Dr. Julianne

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Ask Dr. Julianne

Posted by admin - January 15th, 2012

Aloha Dear Ones,

First, for those asking to subscribe and receive my posts (thank you very much, I love you, too:), giving you a heads up that it’s going to be another week or so until my Word Press update makes that and other new things available from the blog link on MauiSpiritualCounseling.com’s menu. I so appreciate your interest and enthusiasm!

You have sent me many wonderful, warm, inspiring comments of support. I am deeply grateful for your openness of mind and heart. Of all the comments I’ve received thus far, only one has expressed disappointment.

That reader found nothing original in my posts, rather, much whining about things that could be fixed, if we weren’t so busy looking for awareness. I was surprised when first reading the comment–nothing about the evolutionary perspective on relationship, my readers’ questions, or my answers, seems whinny to me. But there is great value in focusing a practical lens on any spiritually-oriented discussion. For this opportunity to clarify my intention, I am thankful to the reader.

The only real evidence we have of deeper understanding is how we are living in our relationships. Our relationships are a sacred laboratory, where we explore the reality of what we believe, what we think we know, how we feel, and what we are willing to do about it. Embarking on a journey of spiritual discovery is a good and noble thing. For some, it has become the necessary thing, the response to a deep longing, to a lifetime of urging from the Holy Spirit, the evolutionary impulse.

Being on a journey of spiritual discovery, and taking it seriously, is not an excuse to withdraw from the practical needs of our relationships. Indeed, each and every nuance, any glimpse we have of greater truth, makes us more responsible for bringing that awareness directly into our relationships. How else are we to know if we know anything new? If we are unable to change in the ways we say we want to, if we are not choosing differently, have we really learned anything?

It’s true that there is some confusion around the evolving paradigm of enlightenment. We are all familiar with the iconic guru on the mountain top, meditating away all awareness of life in form. Sometimes, individuals that awaken in relative isolation can become inadvertent teachers for many, and we are all beneficiaries. This model of illumination, an internal attainment of the individual, perhaps within a small religious community, has existed throughout history. Those with calls on their hearts to experience a devotional life often go off to various forms of monasteries and convents. These souls earnestly seek divine revelation, surrendered to a life of celibacy and service. How purely inspirational–if that is truly one’s path.

In reality, only a very small number of us flourish within that austere setting. Most of us are meant to live in the larger world, to have a mate, to bond deeply with a number of people in different types of relationships. Most of us are meant to love, and share love, in every way possible for humans.

An emerging model of enlightenment suggests that our consciousness has now evolved to the point where we are capable of waking up, together.  It is possible for us to experience a shared awareness of a higher, deeper, sacred oneness between us, a loving, non-dual reality. This is a potential shift in our awareness from me, to we. Small groups exploring this process are calling this shared consciousness the, “We space” (see Andrew Cohen’s, “Evolutionary Enlightenment,” 2011). For those familiar with integral terminology, the “We space,” is the fourth quadrant, the group internal consciousness (see Ken Wilber’s, “Integral Spirituality,” 2006).

This shared experience of inter-relatedness, this awareness between us of deep care, of a sacred impulse to show up as that care in the world, is real, and available. In the two years I’ve been part of Craig Hamilton’s, Evolutionary Life Transformation Program (IntegralEnlightenment.com), I have experienced the, “We space,” in practice circles and evolutionary partnerships. I’ve facilitated small groups that were able to enter that field of unified, expanded consciousness. It is beyond wonderful. I’ll tell you more about my experience in future posts.

One of the most wonderful things about the We, is the shift in motivation that occurs. Our motivation moves from a focus on our individual preferences, to a deep desire to act on behalf of the greatest good–not in a way that devalues our individual gifts, indeed, as more authentic beings free of the conditioning that can suppress our unique talents.

The cutting edge of human consciousness leads us right back to deep responsibility for the quality of our relationships. Want to be more spiritual? Got enlightenment (who said that?:)?  No need to, “get thee to a nunnery,” (and who said that?) anymore. Go on retreats, yes. But those of us with a strong urge to wake up can now choose to do it together, in marriages, in friendships, with partners at work or play. It takes commitment, it takes practice, and, in this evolutionary paradigm, becoming more conscious also requires deep commitment to our intimate relationships and friendships.

We have a sacred responsibility to show up for each other. As we become more awake, we grow an awareness of being responsible to all of humanity.

So, after taking longer to make my point than intended, here is the bottom line. My intention in inviting you to explore a deeper dimension of relationship, is not to cast you adrift on an amorphous metaphysical sea of individual seeking until you attain some certainty enabling you to swim to relational shores. My intention is to encourage you to explore deeper truths in your real life relationships, and find practical, inspirational ways of moving forward, together.

Love and blessings,

Dr. Julianne

 

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Ask Dr. Julianne

Posted by admin - January 12th, 2012

Aloha Dear Ones,

Found myself wondering–did the last post seem a little harsh?  In asking us all to become more awake in our relationships, am I asking too much?

So many of us have gone through long periods of feeling defeated by relationship–by a relationship within which we feel emotional pain, by a relationship left by our partner, by our longing for relationship.  Many of us are in that place of experiencing some kind of despair around relationship, right now.

What more understandable source of despair could there be than our knowing something is missing from the way our heart connects with another’s?  Whatever our theology might be about our origins, whether we believe we are individual expressions of a single divine mystery, inexorably linked, or not–it’s clear we need each other.  Whatever the cosmic truth may be, on this earth, we need each other deeply.

We long for the real thing–for relationships wherein we are seen and accepted and appreciated for our true selves. We want to be known, to be valued for our gifts, to share our dreams and have them encouraged. Most of us want to experience this profound connection with a mate, to have a special bond with a life partner.  This desire is so deep, so natural, we think we know what the real thing, true love, must be like, look like, feel like. We have millennia of expectations built up about our relationships, and are programmed with ample fantasies to keep us on automatic pilot.

When our expectations are not met, what are we supposed to think? So many past associations pop up to fill our heads, it’s hard for us to know what we actually think, or feel. Our defenses quickly blame the other, blame circumstances, blame some story about our own limitations. There may be some truth in any or all of these–but there is a bigger truth.

The bigger truth, the saving grace, is about who we are, really.  If we are steeped in a cultural identity of a separate self, at the mercy of past conditioning (not only ours and our family’s, but of all our ancestors), how can we be free to even know our true selves, much less another? The path to personal freedom, and the path to true love, are the same. Begin to consider an identity, a self, that is not now, and has never been, separate from its source. Allow yourself to imagine being an essential part of a divine blueprint, becoming more awake to its true nature with each moment, a nature that is inter-related to all others, to its creator, to the sacred mystery, to God.

If we can begin to wake up to this larger identity, limitations of the past begin to drop away. We begin to see with fresh eyes, to hear with the ear of a grander heart. We listen, and hear a call to serve a higher, deeper power, a sacred evolutionary impulse, that animates all that exists. Hearing that call is the beginning of our journey on the path of true love, a love that is ever unfolding, a love that needs us to help it evolve to a vibrantly awake, holy consciousness shared by all humanity.

Our freedom to experience that greater love begins with a new awareness of our ability to choose. We can only be more responsible, to ourselves, in our relationships, if we believe that we are able to choose, to make different choices than the ones that have led to heartbreak and isolation. We can choose to begin walking this path of evolving love now, together.

I’ll continue to give you the resources that are the most powerfully revelatory and inspiring for me.  I’ve been blessed to study evolutionary spirituality with Craig Hamilton for the last two years.  Craig’s site, IntegralEnlightenment.com, gives many resources for beginning on the evolutionary path, along with opportunities for deeper study and ongoing practice with an online community.  Craig Hamilton was the Senior Editor of, “What Is Enlightenment? (WIE),” magazine, founded by Andrew Cohen.  WIE is now, EnlightenNext.org, an online magazine and evolutionary network.  In addition to publishing, “EnlightenNext,” Andrew Cohen has just written, “Evolutionary Enlightenment,” (available on Amazon), an essential primer on evolutionary spirituality.

An integral perspective on life, meaning, relationship, culture, spirituality, can be widely explored on IntegralLife.com, Ken Wilber’s, “online town square,” for integral/evolutionary thought and practice.  Ken Wilber’s book, “Integral Spirituality,” addresses the deep queries of seekers and intellectuals, alike.

I’m becoming acquainted with a new site, evolutionarycollective.com, with Patricia Albere, who hosts interviews with leaders in evolutionary thought. I’m studying a course on evolutionary relationship that Patricia has begun offering, and will happily share some of the insights with you.

If you feel drawn towards any of these resources, please do take the time to check them out. It’s almost impossible for us to get underneath our conditioning on our own–we need interaction with and feedback from others on the path of true love, the path of evolving relationship. Together, we can move forward from, “me,” to the possibility of, “We.”

Love and blessings,

Dr. Julianne

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Ask Dr. Julianne

Posted by admin - December 29th, 2011

Aloha Dear Ones,

It’s a beautiful day on Maui, sky the color of the, “Sky Blue,” crayon in your childhood box of 100 Crayola Crayons.  Big, round, white clouds float above the horizon.  The trade winds have been up for the last few days, tossing palms about, fanning the sea into long, peaking waves that shine silver in the sunlight.  It’s a good day to explore the mystery.

Yesterday I was telling you about my experience as a Unity Church chaplain, and how the practice of evolutionary spirituality has been impacting the prayers I say in church.  I shared about being asked to give the opening prayer at our Christmas Eve service, held in a larger public venue than our regular meetings, attended by widely diverse mix of people.

I was grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the sacred celebration of the birth of Jesus. Christmas Eve was the most precious night my devout, Lutheran parents spent with my older brother and me each year.  Christ’s birth was proof of God’s love, manifest on earth.  For our stoic, Scandinavian family, it was the sweetest emotional connection we experienced.

The prospect of giving the opening prayer at the Unity Christmas Eve service also made me feel anxious about, “getting it right.”  I wanted to celebrate the Christ who was, “the Son of God,” and, “the son of man,” while honoring Unity’s belief that all paths lead to God, while being available to the emerging call of the evolutionary impulse.  It makes me smile, days later, the notion of being worried about getting mysteries so beyond my intellect, “right.”

My main concern was my ego casting it’s pervasive shadow on the message, of the prayer that could be for the greatest good being distorted through the lens of my egoic conditioning.  After all, this would be the biggest stage I’d been on, in the active role of chaplain.  My bravely choosing to, “not hide your light under a bushel,” would, of course, not proceed with smooth purity, however pure my intention.  Our human condition predicts our ego rising up with our altruism showing up.

Let me explain the way, “ego,” is meant in this spiritual context.  We are not referring to the ego proposed by Freud in his three part model of human consciousness.  Freud described ego as the psychic structure representing the conscious self, that mediates between the id, the unconscious, and the superego, the parental/socially-constructed conscious.  In this model, the ego is our friend, helping us sort through drives and patterns of which we are unaware, and the influence of cultural expectations.  When modern psychologists use the term, “ego strength,” they are speaking of a healthy self concept, a cohesive, resilient personality, able to function successfully in the world.

Ah–were it that simple.  For those of you who are saying, “Well, it is,” I’m feeling you. Really.  Let’s just say that functioning successfully means different things to different people at different times.  Many people brilliantly successful by worldly standards long for a deeper experience of life, for meaning, for truth, for freedom, for love–for the real thing.

People wanting more of the real thing become seekers, either diving more deeply into the philosophy and religion of their family traditions, or exploring other cultural and spiritual practices.  Sooner or later, seekers discover a teaching about humanity living in the illusion of separation, of being separate from the essential mystery that set life in motion, and from each other.

As seekers, we passionately want to break through that illusion, but how can we see clearly? We begin to de-construct the story that created the illusion of separation from God, from each other.  All the conditioning from eons of evolution, from culture, family, religion, all the defensive patterns developed as we make our way in a challenging world–this is what spiritual teachers refer to as ego.  In psychological terms, we might call this ego the false self, the conditioned personality self, automatically analyzing each moment in reference to past threats, responding with learned defenses.

Yes, we can see pieces of Freud’s three-part model of consciousness throughout the spiritual definition of ego, but let’s not make ourselves crazy.  Maybe it’s time for an article in, “Psychology Today.”

O.K., back to Christmas Eve and giving the opening prayer.  To be able to show up in the moment, free from patterns of less than/more than, deeply resonating with Christ consciousness, available to the Holy Spirit/evolutionary impulse, was my intention.

I remembered Craig Hamilton (IntegralEnlightenment.com), with whom I’d been studying evolutionary spirituality, saying something like, “As we become more aware of how our ego works, are able to see it kick in,  and then choose to act in ways more aligned with the greater good, the ego’s hold on us lessens, with practice.  But we always have to assume it’s there. We always need to be willing to see more clearly, to ask for feedback, to go forward with the humility of not knowing for sure.”

My response to this truth was mixed.  It was kind of a relief to know I couldn’t know, I couldn’t guarantee clarity.  I also felt overwhelmed by the scope of this inquiry, the complexity.  I had to release the hold my mind was taking, to let go of trying to get it right.  I said a simple prayer, “Beloved Presence, thank you for showing up on Christmas Eve for the greatest good, beyond my personality self.  I give myself to you, I lay my stuff at your feet.”

For the next week, I was aware of a caring presence, most of time just holding me. Sometimes, I became aware of a phrase, a feeling, that could be a sweet, deep part of the Christmas Eve prayer–but I had a sense of being guided towards something, rather than being given the thing whole. I meditated in an open way, intending to cling to nothing, yet gratefully receiving loving grace as I awoke to it.

On Christmas Eve, I arrived at Iao Theater early (not my pattern–I really must have been motivated beyond my usual conditioning:), hugged some friends and found the seat reserved for the prayer chaplain.  There was a flutter of nerves in my stomach, and a flood of visual and auditory sensation as I took in the preparations for the service, the musicians, the choir, the hula hui.

For a half hour, I sat in stillness.  There was a serene, expanding aliveness, that seemed to be the nature of everything.

The service started.  I knew the opening prayer was after the first carol. The woman who was platforming was also leading the carols.  After  the first verse, she motioned me to come up on stage.  I carefully climbed the steps (yes, in heels too high), and stood beside the singing woman, thinking the carol was about to end, smiling as I joined in singing what I thought was the last phrase.  We didn’t sing more than two verses of any other carol that night, but, by God, as I stood in front of 500 people, I discovered  we were going to sing all four stanzas of, “Joy to the World.”

Now, who knows those last two verses?  I certainly didn’t, but here I am, singing away, hoping my memory will be jogged.  My spirits were bright enough through the third stanza, but my memory had not been jogged much at all, and I had faked half the words as best I could.  As my partner on stage zealously began the fourth verse, I felt a sinking sensation–a decision had to be made.  Was it better to stop trying to sing, would that be more authentic?  If I didn’t sing, would it detract from the field that was being created, would it distract someone?  Would I be less connected to everyone who was also trying to make it through that tune?

As these questions are swirling through my mind, I happen to glance down and catch the eye of the only woman in our regular congregation with whom there is an ongoing discomfort (she said something nasty about me years ago, and hasn’t accepted any reconciliatory gesture).  O.K., it could have been the lens of my ego, but I could have sworn she was smirking.  She was close enough to see me faking the lyrics.

I could not go there.  I chose to stay with the carol, singing the words I could make out.  I put my focus on the woman who was leading the carol, watching her lips, letting her words be mine.  I didn’t match her all that well, but I let go of needing to get it right.  As the music ended, I gazed around the room, marveling at all the souls, at the one soul, present.

My partner on the platform introduced me.  I looked into the faces across the theater, took a breath, made eye contact with a few more people, and began, “Sweet Beloved Presence,”…all of a sudden, my friend on the platform decided the microphone needed adjusting.  She fumbled with it, finally removing the mic and in a stage whisper, told me, “I’ll just hold it.”

It felt like the whole theater held its breath, waiting to see, well, more where the energy would go, or what the quality of it would be, rather than what would happen next.

Magically, my personality self stopped being triggered, stopped worrying, stopped needing to figure out or control anything.  I gently put my hand on the mic, lifted it to me and resumed praying.  I felt connected with the soul of everyone present, in that serenely alive awareness I’d experienced meditating before the service.  I can’t recreate the prayer, but I would like to share my memory of it with you.

“Sweet Beloved Presence, we know that your love created all that is.  We know that your love, and your grace, and your mercy, are the only true powers at work in our lives.

Beloved Presence, on this night, we celebrate the birth of your love as Christ Jesus.  We know that you loved us so much, that you sent one in form to be a way show-er, to teach us how to know you more, to love you more, to teach us how to love each other more.  We rejoice in that Christ light.

Yet, even as we rejoice in the birth of Jesus, we know that there are those here with a care on their hearts.  We are aware of our brothers and sisters around the world who need our love now, and so, Beloved, we claim the power of your love for these dear ones, not only for ourselves.  We put our awareness on the space between us, knowing that in the space between, there is a deeper, higher reality, a truer experience of your love emerging.

Sweet Dear One, we lean forward, together, into the edge of that space between us, into that pure love, knowing that in that holy space, healing is possible, transformation is possible, knowing that together, the power of that evolving love is so much stronger than any challenge we could face alone.  We open ourselves to your living Presence, that we may hear with the ear of the heart, that we may truly receive your love, as we give thanks for the gift of Christ.

Beloved Presence, we release this prayer unto your deep heart–we rely not on the brilliance of our minds, nor on our conditioned personality selves. We place our trust in the perfect unfolding, on this night, in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

And so it is.  Amen.”

Love and blessings,

Dr. Julianne

 

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Ask Dr. Julianne

Posted by admin - December 28th, 2011

Aloha Dear Ones,

It’s very early in the morning on Maui.  The need for rest and reflection has been foremost since Christmas Eve.

I’ve been a Unity Church chaplain for almost 10 years.  About a week before Unity’s Christmas Eve service,  I was asked to give the opening prayer.  I immediately said yes, then the scope of the responsibility set in. I wondered if I could show up the way that was needed, if I could be available to that deep edge of my being that allows the Holy Spirit/evolutionary impulse to come forth.  I didn’t want my own personality conditioning, or my human mind, to write and deliver a prayer that would just sound good–I wanted a truer voice to speak.

Unity Church on Maui (unityonmaui.org) started having the chaplains give opening prayers for Sunday services about six months ago.  We tend to follow a format for affirmative prayer used by many, “new thought,” groups, such as Religious Science.  This form of affirmative prayer, sometimes called, “five-step prayer,” focuses on acknowledging divine presence, aligning with this holy presence, affirming one’s intention, giving thanks and releasing the prayer to divine outcome.

For the past few months, my prayers have increasingly included evolutionary language and concepts.  I find myself saying things like, “Beloved Presence, we know that there is not only this now moment–there is also this now moment, becoming–we lean forward, together, into the edge of that becoming, into the space between us, for in the space between us, there is an awareness emerging of our essential unity, of a deeper, higher love that is our true nature, a sacred reality that is so much more powerful than any challenge we might face on our own, that is becoming stronger each day.”

I pray with my eyes open, looking into the eyes of people around the room.  When my prayers at Unity became more evolutionary, some people whose heads were bowed began to look up at me, with an expression both surprised and curious.  As I continued to pray, I saw people’s faces soften, open, then seem to brighten, with a quality of hope.  I especially noticed that when words of, “leaning together into the space between us, where we are more available to consciousness emerging, where there is a love and wisdom awakening between us that is so much stronger than any trial we face alone,” that some people sat straighter, some began gently crying, all appearing to release isolation, to embrace connection.

Together, with my brothers and sisters, I felt the sweet comfort of being one heart , and with that experience of unity, a deeper motivation to do the right thing–for God, for myself, for these people who are part of me, and who, with me, are all part of God.

Each time this happened, I was left with a feeling of amazement.  I would come with a frame for the occasion on any given Sunday, but never write a prayer, always allowing it to unfold in the moment.  I grew to trust that a greater presence would show up, in this new, exciting way, and felt a precious alignment with our small congregation.

On Christmas Eve, attendance is always much larger.  Unity moves its service to the Iao Theater in Wailuku town, which seats about 500.  A wide range of people come, mainland visitors from traditional churches, new age Mauians on a variety of paths, and locals.  I felt some trepidation about giving the opening prayer with this bigger group, with such different beliefs and expectations.  The concern was about my egoic conditioning. Could my personality self get out of the way enough to express as the evolutionary impulse?  Or would the false self feel compelled to put on a show on this bigger stage?

My ego wasn’t my only concern.  There was a call on my heart to truly honor Jesus as the birth of God’s love in form, as God’s love made manifest for humanity.

Unity was founded by a passionately Christian couple, Charles and Myrtle Fillmore.  Their intention was to explore Christ consciousness under a big umbrella, accepting that all paths lead to God, welcoming people of all faiths to come together to study and celebrate a greater truth of being and living. My experience in Unity was that while every effort was made to acknowledge the beauty of all paths, there was at times a reluctance to speak of its Christian roots.  There was a sensitivity to the number of, “recovering fundamentalists,” in the Unity movement, those who had been wounded in conservative Christian churches where they experienced condemnation, and who could be offended by the mere mention of Jesus’ name.

I get this–and, there is an expanding awareness that allows us to heal, to hear with the ear of the heart.  My former Unity minister, Rev. Mary Omwake, told me about a conversation she had with Rev. Michael Beckwith, of Apage, in Los Angeles.  He said, “Maybe we are healed enough now to start talking about Jesus again.”  Amen.

So, how do I honor Jesus on the night we celebrate his birthday, on a Unity platform, being available as the evolutionary impulse, without my ego staging the gig?  What would you do?

This post is becoming so very long–I need a little food and a walk along Ma’alaea Bay.  Can I tell you tomorrow what happened?  Thank you, Beloved.

Love and blessings,

Dr. Julianne

 

 

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