Dr. Julianne Hanson

Psychologist - Chaplain - Intuitive

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 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 - January 2nd, 2012

Aloha Dear Ones,

Happy New Year’s Day.  Maui is spectacularly beautiful today.  Blues of sky and sea, greens of palm trees and exotic plants, fragrant flowers painted bright fuschia, all alive and vibrant in the soft sunshine.  Gentle trade winds blow across small waves, tease blossoms, and caress my face.  I feel a part of everything flowing and ever-changing.

Just got done watching the last half hour of, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” for the, God-knows-how-many, time.  Even with the passionate contingent of true alien believers on Maui, I’m not really a space brother/space sister, kind of new-ager.  It’s pretty logical that other beings exist in the galaxy.  I just don’t go around focusing on them.  We have plenty to do here.  Don’t get me wrong, I love SciFi.  I’d be happy giving tax dollars to NASA, so that we can, “boldly go where no one has gone before.”

That wonder of going forward into the unknown, is what resonated so deeply with me, watching, “Close Encounters.”  It seemed downright prophetic, this time–of change in motion.

How many times have thoughts like, “Things will never change.  I had dreams, goals, for 2011, the same ones I’ve had for so long. How will anything ever be different,” crossed your mind? Or is it just me?  At the end of each year, we are besieged with well-meaning emails, classes, invitations of all sorts, trying to give us a new twist on goal setting.  All these promise us that if we can just tweak the process the right way, our goals will come to fruition.

Yes, there are ways of focusing our intention that make our dreams more likely to take shape, to grow into recognizable form.  Taking small, consistent steps, day after day, and giving each step a deadline, or due date, is one.  Being willing to try something we’ve never done before is another.

There is a new, evolutionary perspective, a bigger truth I’m asking all of us to consider. Whatever we do, it’s never just about us. Our sweetest, wildest dream, if we imagine living it, are we ever alone? Isn’t there someone, or many, sharing it with us? Just imagine the most powerful manifestation of your dream impacting, blessing the earth, and everyone on it. How does it look?  How does it feel?

You may be imagining something very grand.  A multi-modal, global healing center, somehow accessible to anyone in need, is the big dream of more Mauians than I can count, and what a beautiful, altruistic dream. Here’s the thing–each choice, no matter how small, of the dreamer, is just as important, potentially just as beautiful, just as altruistic, as the grander vision.

One day, we get out of bed, and we don’t want to work on the planned step towards our goal. It’s such a small thing, not glamorous, not leading to any clear result on its own.  Maybe it’s not even an action towards the goal itself, but an internal preparation, like a daily meditation practice.  On the days when we haven’t had enough sleep the night before, or we were disappointed by a friend before breakfast, from where does our motivation come?  What does it matter?

It matters, dear ones, because we are responsible to each other in this life. If we give up, we take away from our brothers and sisters.  If we do that which is right for us to do, we contribute to the well being of our family, our community, our country, our earth, to all humanity.  This is easy enough for good, spiritual people to get on board with, intellectually, even emotionally. But when it is real for us, when this sacred interconnection becomes our lived reality, a miracle happens.

Our motivation shifts.  We may not feel like doing the right thing for ourselves, when it is especially inconvenient, or if we feel inadequate to the demand.  But, we have a deep and abiding awareness of everyone in our circles, and their circles, depending on us, needing us to show up as the very best within us. Our love for these precious ones, our commitment to them, lifts us up, makes it possible for us to act for the greater good. Then, miracle of wonders, we discover that doing what is for the greatest good, however difficult or terrifying it seemed, turns out to be our greatest happiness, also–not in abstract, but in the most real, bottom-line, fulfilling, exciting way.

More of us are waking up to our innate inter-relatedness.  A divinely inspired evolution of our consciousness is unfolding. In a world motivated by doing the right thing for the greatest good, we don’t need to worry about, “How will anything ever be different?”  For any pattern of limitation, any holding back from expressing all the love of God, becoming–its days are numbered.  Something more good, more true, more beautiful, and more holy, is emerging.

As 2012 begins, we are indeed going where no one has gone before, together.

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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Ask Dr. Julianne

Posted by admin - December 25th, 2011

Aloha Dear Ones,

It’s Christmas Eve, the most sacred night of the year for the Christian community.

If you’ve read my last couple posts introducing evolutionary spirituality and evolutionary relationship, you might be wondering, “What does Jesus have to do with it?”  For me, coming from a conservative Lutheran home, Jesus Christ is an essential part of the divine mystery.

Exactly what part of the mystery Jesus plays has been a central question of my spiritual journey.  As a child, there wasn’t a question about the role of Christ on Sunday mornings. Nor was there any question of Jesus’ role in our home on a daily basis, as my devout mother reminded the family to show the love and forgiveness demonstrated by our savior.

I remember my first questionings of the fundamentalist interpretation of Bible scripture.  It was one of the Sundays our small mid-western church had a visiting missionary.   As he earnestly shared stories of victoriously converting the poor heathens, thereby saving them from eternal damnation in the fires of hell, I experienced an unfamiliar sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.  I had heard these stories before, but somehow, on that morning, there was a malaise that gripped me, an awareness that was encroaching upon six years of the best-intentioned conditioning (yes, I was only six).

I accepted that God so loved the world that He sent Jesus to show us how to love each other. My parents tried to follow Christ’s example, and they were very loving towards my brother and me, and to our neighbors.  God must be happy with them, and me, I assured myself. Maybe God would be happier with people from other countries if they followed Jesus, too–but would God, who loved us so much, really send them to hell forever if they didn’t?

I just couldn’t buy it anymore.  The veil of separation from those who had appeared to be different from me was in place for six years, and then simply had to lift.  I remember sitting in the pew, watching the missionary’s face increasingly flush as he admonished us about the torments of hell waiting for the unconfessed, and thinking to myself, “he’s trying to be good, he just doesn’t understand that God and Jesus love everybody, no matter where people live or what kind of church their parents go to.”

So, there you have it.  I cannot pretend differently, my dear friends who subscribe to the orthodox doctrine of the exclusivity of Christ Jesus.  The condemnation of those from other religious traditions that I could not stomach as an innocent child, I cannot accept now.

Yet, my relationship with Jesus continues, grows in depth and breadth.  My capacity to understand and appreciate the miracle of his birth, his living example of  divine love in human form, his sacrifice, his promise, increases as I experience my own heartbreaks and joys along life’s path.  I identify as a Christian.  I often find myself in between cultural/ spiritual groups, not enough Jesus for some, too much for others.

During the first year of my immersion in the Evolutionary Life Transformation Program (ELTP), an online, global, evolutionary spirituality community created by Craig Hamilton (IntegralEnlightenment.com), I helped create a small, “Interest/Learning Group,” for Christians within the larger group of students. Together, we explored our relationship with Christ, and the impact of the evolutionary perspective on our personal experience of Jesus.  All of us were passionate about embracing the evolutionary impulse urging us to expanded our identity as, “We,” aligned with sacred deep care, God, and becoming responsible for living as that.  All of us discovered an even deeper, realer connection with Christ throughout this process of inquiry.

What does Jesus have to do with evolutionary/integral spirituality?  He is the best evidence of it I have found.  How, exactly, it all works, I don’t pretend to know.  I only know that on the eve of his birth, my heart rejoices.  I believe that Christ is God’s love made manifest.  My life is more aligned with his teachings now, than ever.  Even though I tremble with the enormity of that not yet known, I can tenderly, fiercely, look into the eyes of my little six-year-old self and say, “You were onto something, sweetie–keep asking, keep finding.”

Happy Christmas Eve.

Love and blessings,

Dr. Julianne

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Ask Dr. Julianne

Posted by admin - December 22nd, 2011

Aloha Dear Ones,

Tonight I’d like to begin sharing with you the essential dynamics of evolutionary relationship, as I have come to understand them.

For the past two years, I have been immersed in the study of evolutionary spirituality with Craig Hamilton, a teacher based in Northern California. Craig’s site is IntegralEnlightenment.com.  He studied for many years with the best-known proponent of evolutionary spirituality, Andrew Cohen. Andrew’s new book, “Evolutionary Enlightenment,” available on Amazon, is a great resource for those seeking to understand the evolutionary perspective.

One of the most fascinating and hopeful discoveries of evolutionary community has been the emergence of a, “We space.”  This, “We,” is an experience of mutual inner knowing between people that seems to be beyond personality conditioning, a visceral awareness of something that was previously a spiritual metaphor of unity, of us being, “all God’s children.”  There are updated metaphors referring to humanity as, “one life, ” or, “one heartbeat.”

Evolutionaries speak of the, “evolutionary impulse,” or the active face of God, the forward-moving divine intention that Mother Teresa called upon us to embody, because, “God has no hands but ours.”   My background is Christian, and my purest experience of what my ministers would call, “The Holy Spirit,” is how I experience the evolutionary impulse. For me, there is no difference in the spiritual power to which these terms seek to give expression. There is the same ever-present mystery, the quality of deep care, a sacred fire urging us to recognize each other as brothers and sisters, holding us responsible for doing the right thing, motivating us to act for the higher good, in the name of love.

Craig Hamilton has written, “Principles of Evolutionary Culture: How you can create a microcosm of Heaven on Earth.”  These 10 principles, written with inspiring clarity, offer practices relating to each other as the We beyond individual egoic conditioning, responsive to the evolutionary impulse’s call to a more passionately conscious, sacred life, to more powerfully creative, loving, mutual relationships.  The principles were intended to facilitate groups–I will paraphrase the principles as a framework for relationship.  Visit IntegralEnlightment.com to view Craig Hamilton’s original, “Principles of Evolutionary Culture.”

The first of the 10 principles is, “A Wholehearted Intention to Transform.”

Bring all of yourselves to this relationship.  Recognize that this is a place where your own deepest longing for a greater life, a holy life, can be engaged and expressed.  Have the love, trust, and courage to give your heart and soul to the way you will be learning to relate with each other, and with all others.  Do this in the knowledge that the single most transformative power in the world is the power of our intention.  If you want your life to change in a profound way, it will.  If you want your relationship to change for the greater good, it will.  With that kind of intention behind you, your relationship  can be a powerful catalyst for waking up together, for experiencing a deeper, higher love that will inspire the world.

Wow.  What a pure, powerful, righteous intention.  I feel my heart bursting open with hope for something better than I’ve ever known before when I read those words.   What would happen if you committed to relating to your partner in this light?  How would your life be different if you related to everyone with such a sacred intention?

Something to think about, to feel into, to let in.  Just receive this as a gift. Consider embarking on an amazing adventure towards the real thing, together.

Love and blessings,

Dr. Julianne

 

 

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