Enjoy Marianne’s Holiday Talk on video, The Birth of Holiness, recorded live on December 6, 2016.
Make the Holidays Holy
Our holiness means our whole mind; it is our mind when it is aligned with its oneness with God. That alignment, which is pure unconditional love, is a field of consciousness from which miracles emerge naturally.
Obviously the world we live in is not an unalloyed expression of love, but rather too often a reflection of our having separated ourselves from it. Our return to the Love that is the Source of our true being is the journey that both heals the minds and redeems our lives on earth.
This season let us claim the holiness that is the spiritual essence of the holidays. Let’s reject the illusions of separation that deflect the miracles available to us. The miracles of the season are not metaphor but actual alchemical realities, available to all of us when we are willing to embody the love in our hearts.
Such is meaning of Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Christ into the world. Join me this Tuesday and next as we seek to deepen our experience of the holiday season.
November 12, 2016
President-elect Trump was great at his meeting with President Obama at the White House this week, but then went paranoid 12-year-old again when he tweeted that night about protesters being “very unfair.” On any given day we simply don’t know what we’ll be getting; we must be nothing if not watchful.
We have reasons to be hopeful, and we have reasons to be disturbed. Information is now coming in about members of the transition team, and the kind of people being gathered to form the new administration. This is not a time to look away. Already the lobbyists, the corporate chieftains, the very types Trump said he would drain from the swamp are gathering like a swarm of locusts to constitute the new team. From new environmental chieftains who are mouthpieces for the oil industry, to communications chieftains who are known for their opposition to net neutrality, to economic chieftains who are champions of the banks, we have handed our government to the economic royalists.
Trump’s children, meanwhile, are the executive team who will oversee the transfer. and they will do so while still running their family empire. The conflicts of interest are preposterous.
In a way, I feel sorry for Donald Trump. His aides say he was shocked he won and I’ll bet that he was. He knows deep down that he is in way over his head, and I think he was being sincere when he said he would be calling on President Obama for counsel. I bet he wishes he could call him and simply ask him what to do! Call him Donald, call him! I’d rather he ask Obama what to do than the gang of Alt Righters who are now whispering in his ear.
I have no doubt that the lies Trump told on the campaign trail will come crashing back at him in karmic retribution.
Each of us will be guided as to the part we can play to save our country from this awful mess. We will grieve, we will freak out, and we will look at the painful facts very squarely in the eye. But if we put our upset in the hands of God — most particularly, if we remember that we are all going through this together — then a miracle will happen even here. Pray first of all for Trump himself, that he be healed of his mental dysfunctions. If God can heal a physical ailment, and I believe He can, then he can heal a mental ailment as well. The paranoia, the narcissism, the grandiosity, the bigoted and angry personality — dear God, please heal them all.
I have no doubt that the lies Trump told on the campaign trail will come crashing back at him in karmic retribution. The problem we have now is that we don’t want them crashing back on us. We have to hold the painful juxtaposition of what seem at the moment to be conflicting truths: that a deeply problematical and unprepared politician has won the presidency, yet we must pray for him and his administration in order to protect our government, our country, and ourselves from ruin. And we can do that. Martin Luther King Jr. once said how grateful he was that God didn’t say he had to like his enemies; he only had to love them.
Donald Trump is an innocent child of God, and the democratically chosen president-elect of the United States. We must deeply bow before the first and deeply respect the second. But we are also citizens of the United States, and in many cases our prior disengagement is what got us into this mess to begin with. We must not be disengaged now, nor in denial about the far Right takeover of the United States government now rapidly taking place in front of our eyes. Pray for Trump’s sanity and clarity, because his power to cause real damage to our country is enormous. The very idea that at this point in history the next President of the United States does not believe in climate change and has vowed to dismantle as much as he can of the Environmental Protection Agency, alone should cause all of us deep concern. But we will get through this. We are awakening from our sleep, and hopefully so will he.
On behalf of myself, and on behalf of my country, to you and all African Americans, from the beginning of our nation’s history, in honor of your ancestors and for the sake of your children, please hear this from my heart…
please forgive us.
With this prayer I acknowledge the depth of evils that have been perpetrated against black people in America.
From slavery, to lynchings, to white supremacist laws, to the denial of voting rights, to all the ways both large and small, that abuses have occurred — all of them evil, all of them wrong.
For all the oppression and all the injustice…
please forgive us.
For the denial of human and civil rights, for inequities in criminal justice, for instances of police brutality, for the denial of opportunity, for economic injustice, for all ways that racism has fostered these wrongs…
please forgive us.
With this prayer I acknowledge the beauty and genius of your culture, the power and genius of those who came before you, of your children and all your descendants. With this prayer we pray that you, your children, and especially your men be blessed and protected.
May your men be blessed and protected.
May your men be blessed and protected.
May all your men, women and children be surrounded by angels at this time.
Dear God, may a great healing occur.
We place in your hands the relationship between black and white Americans.
May we be lifted high above the walls that divide us.
May our hearts be awakened to our truth of our oneness.
May racism and prejudice be no more.
May they dissolve in the presence of Your love.
Please come upon us and heal our hearts.
To you, my African American fellow citizen, please accept my apology on this day. It is to you and your grandparents, and their grandparents before them, and their grandparents before them.
May the screams that were not allowed, be allowed now.
May the cries that were never heard be heard now.
May the tears that were never heard be heard now.
And may the healing begin.
In this sacred container, may the healing begin.
May the Light of love now heal us all.
Watch Marianne’s Full Lecture, Including the Prayer Live Here:
All of us are innocent children of God, and deserve to be honored and cherished as such. Neither our color nor our profession nor anything else about our material circumstances adds or detracts one iota from how much God loves us, and asks us to love each other.
A spiritual perspective eschews an “us versus them” mentality; that only adds to the polarization, and thus to the violence. Today we pray for everyone. The way to bring forth light is first and foremost by surrendering our own darkness, consciously giving up any judgments we have of anyone. Reject all violence, particularly in your own heart. Let us hold to the middle, in our hearts and in our minds: A golden middle that reflects the truth of who we are, and where all of us are one. As each of us holds to this, thinks of this, and prays for this, it will become a great and glorious light that dissolves all darkness from our midst.
In A Course in Miracles it says there is a limit beyond which we cannot miscreate. What this means is that when we are using our minds in a loveless, i.e. miscreative way, it will only be so long before the whole thing falls apart.
Modern civilization is in many ways predicated on miscreative thought, the realities of love and brotherhood and justice and mercy far too often pushed to the side by our blind obeisance to principles of greed and domination. In that sense, nature has needed to rebalance itself. It was an illusion to think things could continue as they were.
What we are experiencing now are signs of a reckoning, which of itself is neither good nor bad. If we place this period in a sacred context, enough of us rising to the occasion of co-creating miraculous possibilities wherever we are, then this will one day be looked back on as the time when humanity began to wake up. If, on the other hand, we allow ourselves to use contemporary dramas to simply bolster the ego, tempting enough of us to keep crouching within the self-created cages of our narrowness and fear, then this will one day be looked back upon as a time when humanity lost its mind.
If you’re wondering where the leaders are, then that’s a sign you are to rise up and be one. If you’re wondering what the Answer is, that’s a sign you are to answer Love’s call. If you’re wondering where the love is, that’s a sign you’re being called upon to look inside your heart.
The world is falling apart in many ways, because humanity has not cleaved to love. And in our modern arrogance, we thought we could get away with that. Alas we cannot, and the time has come when the moral order of the universe will re-assert self — with or without our cooperation. Denial and distraction can numb you to the revolution, but they can no longer protect you from the revolution. On the level of consciousness, it has already begun. There are only two choices for any individual: to join the revolution of love, or endure the revolution of fear.
Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, you’re imbued with a mission: to be the presence of the Alternative, the uplifter of energy, the worker of miracles, a conduit of love. No one but you can determine whether you will accept this mission. But the time has come. Nothing is more important now than that we commit more deeply, and support each other, in doing our best to go all the way… to join our forces in co-creating with God the massive wave of cosmic love that will dissolve our fear and purify our hearts, that tears shall be no more.
The light within is the light of a new horizon, if it’s the light we choose to follow now. The outer eye reveals all kinds of trouble, but the eye within reveals trouble’s end. As God said to Joshua, “Do not be terrified, do not lose hope, for I go with you wherever you go.”
April 19, 2016
If New Yorkers didn’t declare that they were Democrats or Republicans by October 9, they were not allowed to vote in yesterday’s primary. 27% of all eligible voters in the state were not allowed to cast their ballots because they are Independents. This process is so rigged, and the people of the United States can see it. It serves us to remember that political parties are not even mentioned in the founding documents of our country,and George Washington actually warned us about them in his farewell address. His predictions regarding the potential of political parties to negatively influence our democracy have come to pass.
In effect, the two major political parties now write the rules for our democracy. And no one gets to overrule them. This cannot and will not lead to anything good, because 47% of eligible voters now consider themselves Independent.
It has all become little more than theater, I’m afraid — produced by a shadowy elite for the entertainment more than the actual empowerment of the electorate. This is a sad and trying time for those who love democracy, and who fear for what will happen in this country if we continue to degrade it. All I know for sure is that we should not look away. We should not distract ourselves or divert our eyes. We should not pretend that if we disengage, the problem will take care of itself. It will not. But as we continue to recognize what’s happening, and hold in our hearts the vision of possibility that is still yet the essence of America, then answers will come. We will reclaim democracy for the people it was intended to serve — and that means all of us, not just some.
April 10, 2016
Anyone who isn’t confused or conflicted on the topic of Israel probably isn’t looking into it too deeply. There are two distinctly, almost surreally different narratives in Israel and Palestine… and to a great extent, both are right and both are wrong. Both peoples have suffered greatly and both have legitimate grievances against the other. Holding that juxtaposition is itself a challenge. But things get even thornier when one adds to the mix the most essential fact of all: that neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians are going anywhere.
The us-versus-them paradigm articulated by both far right and far left on this issue does more to exacerbate than to solve the problem. And in their own ways, they’re both delusional. The extreme right sees Israel as all angel — all victim, no demon; while the extreme left sees the Palestinians in that same light. Such positions range from the intentionally false to the ridiculously naïve. Neither position feeds the angels of our better nature, so much as the jackals of anger that inhabit the landscape of all unthinking extremes.
Anyone seeking a real solution in Israel and Palestine rejects the us-versus-them mentality entirely. The solution to the problem is not on the level of land, but on the level of consciousness. The fundamental polarity in that region is not between Israelis and Palestinians, but between those who hate and those who love. Among both Israelis and Palestinians — people actually living with the problem on a daily basis, not just spouting off about it in swank hotel ballrooms or on college campuses — there are heroes who demonstrate the true fundamentals of peace-making: that any possibility of a sustainable future belongs to those who refuse, in their hearts, to reject anyone. What we need to reject is hatred itself.
The problem isn’t just that the situation is so crazy; the deeper problem is the crazies on both sides.
The extreme right is filled with those refusing to acknowledge a legitimate right to dignity and respect for the Palestinians, much less the legitimacy of their desire for a homeland for themselves. Certain facets of the extreme right in Israel are unquestionably as racist against Arabs as extreme Arabs are racist against the Jews. They display at times a profound mean-spiritedness — the willingness to grab land that does not belong to them, tolerate oppression, and put their own perceived needs before the needs of others in a way that is neither politically nor morally justifiable. One of the most tragic aspects of their position is that it counters every core Jewish value, thus making a mockery of the spiritual legitimacy of a Jewish State.
The extreme left in America, however, often refuses to acknowledge a legitimate right to dignity and respect for the Israelis. Many Americans parroting lines about “a more balanced approach in the Middle East” are promulgating the message, whether they’re conscious of it or not, “To hell with the Israelis; if they die, they die.” One wonders how some of them would react if Al Qaeda was amassed along our border with Canada — a legitimate analogy to the presence of Hamas in Gaza, by the way — building huge underground tunnels through which they could launch a military invasion of Seattle or Detroit. One can’t help but think many of them would be the first to panic, their cries of “Save us!” drowning out any pleas to make sure the response is proportionate. It’s not Israel’s fault that Hamas forces use human shields. And oh, did I tell you? Hamas and ISIL are bros now.
So what are we to do? Some of the most intelligent people have just thrown up their hands in despair, simply assuming at this point that the status quo will have to hold. But fortunately or unfortunately, the status quo never holds forever. What we have to do is rethink this. The biggest problem in the region is a mindset, and the only answer in the region is a new one. Only when we have a new mental filter will we have a new Middle East.
On a recent trip to Israel and Palestine, I was struck not by the hatred I saw but by the love I saw. I visited a school called Hand in Hand in an Arab village in Israel — one of seven throughout the country — where every classroom is headed by two teachers: one Jewish and one Arab. All Jewish students learn Arabic, and all Arab students learn Hebrew. They learn not only each other’s language, but also each other’s culture. Their families are involved in creating a community of inclusivity, an honor for each other’s differences combined with the cultivation of shared values. Hand in Hand teachers and school administrators are committed to providing the children with that most critical aspect of peace-building: genuine affection of the other, based on familiarity and understanding — especially during early childhood.
People such as those who created and maintain the Hand in Hand schools exist all over the Middle East. They are educators, businesspeople, politicians, journalists and more. While they aren’t the ones who grab headlines in Europe or America, in both Israel and Palestine there are smart, intelligent, deeply humanistic, ready-to-do-things-differently, tired-of-all-the-fighting, know-we-have-to-compromise-so-let’s-just-figure-out-a-way-to-do-it, wanting-a-better-future-for-their-kids-just-like-we-do, wonderful human beings who don’t need any of us to support their attitudes of anger or victimization.
It’s often not people who are the problem — it’s governments that are the problem. No, we shouldn’t always agree with Benjamin Netanyahu, but neither should we kid ourselves about the deep corruption of the Palestinian Authority or the terrorist threat of Hamas.
The real partners for peace are everyday citizens — Palestinians and Israelis who represent a survivable and sustainable future, not only for their children but also for all humanity. They are those who can listen to the righteous pleas of the other, who can genuinely acknowledge the pain of the other, and can recognize the legitimate aspirations of the other.
They meet in a field of consciousness beyond the past, and beyond guilt. “Out beyond all ideas of good and bad, right and wrong, there is a field. I’ll meet you there,” wrote Rumi. And that is not just poetry. It is a description of the only place where we can meet. Those in both Israel and Palestine who are preparing that field – day after day, despite the rejection of a world that does not understand – are the true deliverers from the insanity of our times. They know the only survivable future for their children is in a land that’s called Forgiveness.
I have no further listening for the naïve and simplistic voices on either side of this argument. Only those who honor equally the aspirations of both Arab and Jew deserve credence, and the newly minted pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel stance so in vogue on the Left these days is no less imbalanced than the previously accepted pro-Israel/anti-Palestinian position it seeks to replace. Hate is hate, and it ultimately serves no one. No mother’s son is more precious than any other mother’s son. No people have more of a right than any other to a homeland. And in both Israel and Palestine, there are enough people in both places who know that. Let’s support them.
As it says in A Course in Miracles, “The holiest spot on earth is where an ancient hatred has become a present love.” I felt that holiness in both Tel Aviv and Ramallah. I saw it in the eyes and heard it in the words and felt it in the handshakes of the people I met in both Israel and Palestine.
Those who don’t understand this conversation have little to offer at this point; those who do understand it, need to start thinking about this issue and engaging it more forcefully. Politics as usual doesn’t even begin to provide a context for any real solution, because the biggest problem is inside our hearts. The last thing we need is more people pointing their fingers at either side; the greatest enemy is that pointed finger.
The struggle between Israelis and Palestinians is a perfect reflection of the struggle between fear and forgiveness that rages within us all. A spiritual perspective doesn’t choose sides in this battle, but rather hovers above the battlefield. For only there does the battle end. The relationship between Israelis and Palestinians lays bare every wound and every yearning of the human heart, encapsulating both the tragedy of our humanity and also the potential for our redemption. The search for the Holy Land is above all else an internal journey. We shouldn’t expect it to be sweet all the time; just expect it to be real.
January 30, 2016
In this election season, a yoga studio is encouraging patrons to get off the mat and into citizen activism. On Saturday, Wanderlust Hollywood is hosting “Mindful America: Creating a Mindful Policy For a Healthy, Prosperous America.”
The six experts on the panel will pose answers to a provocative question: How can the personal practices of mindful living — living sustainably, buying organically and cultivating personal spirituality — be applied to public issues such as healthcare, energy and incarceration?
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Citizens Uniting to Get Money Out of Politics. February 5-7 | Manchester, NH
During the past few decades, huge portions of the financial resources in the United States have been siphoned off into the hands of a very few. This imbalance amounts to a direct threat to our democracy, for in the words of the late Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, “You can have large amounts of money concentrated in the hands of a very few, or you can have democracy. You cannot have both.”
This economic injustice did not come about by accident. Rather, it was created year after year, one piece of legislation after another, turning our government, for all practical purposes, into little more than a handmaiden to huge moneyed forces. Time and time again, the short-term economic interests of entities such as defense contractors, fossil fuel companies, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, and big banks are placed before the health and well-being of the American people. In many ways, Wall Street has become more powerful than our government
Due to nefarious Supreme Court decisions such as Citizens United, this corruption is now legal! Money is able to exert a huge and unfair influence over the functioning of our politics, turning the U.S. government into a system of legalized bribery. Our government has increasingly abdicated its role as protector of the “common good” in favor of multi-million dollar campaign contributions from PACs and Super PACS, and none of this will stop unless we, the people, stop it. Our government now functions, for all practical purposes, not as a democracy but as a plutocracy. And it is up to the people of the United States to fix this.
Every generation of Americans is a steward of our democracy, each facing its own struggles to redirect the course of our nation when necessary. From the abolition of slavery to Women’s Suffrage, from the Civil Rights movement to marriage equality, we are heirs to a great tradition of Americans who did whatever they needed to put America on the track of liberty and justice – when in fact we were not.
Now, it is our turn. We must get the money out of politics. This problem is a cancer underlying most of the other problems we face as a nation, and dealing with it – and dealing with it now – is the great moral challenge of our generation.
For three days in early February, our movement is going to take center stage in the New Hampshire primary campaign. Just days before the first primary votes will be cast – and during the Republican presidential candidates’ debate in New Hampshire – hundreds of activists are gathering in Manchester for NH Rebellion’s We the People Convention. I am excited to join with artists and academics, faith leaders and performers, and scores of people from across the political spectrum who are working so hard to change our country’s path. Even the presidential candidates will attend.
Click here to find out more about the We the People Convention and RSVP if you can attend.
Please do not underestimate the power that you, as an individual, hold to put America back on the track to full democracy, liberty and justice for all. It won’t happen unless we make it happen.
I hope I’ll see you there!