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Spiritual Thoughts and Memories –
Collection by Susan Kramer
Photo of nearby vegetable garden in Castricum, The Netherlands
Listen to the wind within
Until it wraps around your heart
And takes you on a flight
Above this kingdom with its woes
Where in time we surely go
Together hand in hand
Into the Holy Land –
Blessed and blessings from above
Knowing at last Our Greatest Love.
Our Greatest Love © 2023 Susan Kramer
1. Taking the Moral High Road
2. Committing to Walking the Talk
4. Remembering Mama
5. Meditation for Seniors
6. Using Our Dream Body to the Max
7. Laying Down One’s Life for Another
8. Peace in Your World?
9. Hail Mary, Full of Grace
10. Is Everyone Part of the Grand Scheme?
Photo: Meditation Mount, Ojai, California
Collectively we set the
tone of humanity
Each of us together
One world family
One world consciousness.
How one acts, reflects upon the other, as all we do is interwoven into the tapestry of the whole.
If we individually maintain a high level of ethics and morality, an example is set for others. We become a bright and positive beacon by our enlightened example, creating a positive atmosphere.
We probably spend part of our day interrelating, giving us the chance to make positive change in the world.
Morality is the outcome of living for what is best in the situation, moment after moment. Maintaining morality keeps us from asserting self-centeredness to the extent that we only think about personal pleasure, without thinking about the consequences of our actions on others.
Morality is purity in action. Morality takes the high road.
The highest morality is living with a positive attitude that translates into caring actions for others. Morality is the present moment's truth, striving toward the ultimate Truth, gained by acting from caring thoughts, and feelings, and actions.
The collective morality
Is made from the moral fiber of high standards
Woven into an exquisite pattern of humanity
Taking the Moral High Road Copyright © 2022 Susan Kramer;
Photo of Meditation Mount, Ojai, California USA, 1999 by Susan Kramer
Photo: overlooking Castricum, The Netherlands
The most effective way to teach is to walk the talk. And our strength of character gets stronger when temptation to do otherwise would be easier, or unnoticed by others.
Another way of putting it, is that actions speak louder than words.
We can preach about what is right, but cannot expect anyone to give credence to those words if we are not living them.
Children observe what their parents do more than what they say. Parents must model the behavior they want and expect from their children.
A spiritual teacher, in particular, needs to follow what they say is the way to act, or be, or do. Otherwise, the teacher belies the word teacher. They are not a true teacher of what they are saying.
Walking the talk both strengthens us, and shows others it is possible to live those convictions.
Before doing as a person espouses, give weight to how they are living. Observe their actions. Are they walking the talk?
The world has many paths. Choose one that helps you develop greater consciousness, leading you to your own inner teacher, your conscience, for guidance.
Walking the talk
Develops strength of character
Committing to Walking the Talk © 2023 Susan Kramer
Photo: water filtration through the sand in The Dunes National Park, The Netherlands
Fidelity means being true to a promise. It includes living as we say we will.
What comes to my mind hearing the word fidelity, is how it’s applied to marriage.
When partners are faithful to each other, it expands the personal horizon of both. We no longer need to put energy into seeking a mate for companionship, or to have children.
Instead, we can concentrate our energy developing and being productive with our talents. This benefits the greater good of everyone we relate with.
A greater relaxation between friends and others is possible, when we are not contemplating initiating an intimate relationship.
That wonderful quality
Expanding us personally
Fidelity © 2023 Susan Kramer
Photo: Mike, Jane, Mary 1979
A few days ago I was looking at photos of my son, now over a half century old, beginning with his birth. I paused at one where he was 6 months old, sitting on a carpet at my parents’ house.
My parents passed away many years ago and I haven’t really thought about them too deeply in a long time. But as I sat looking at my sons’ photo I started missing my mother acutely and even cried a little. I was remembering my mother in that setting and how I felt back then.
While I was still feeling weepy an extraordinary globe of bright light appeared next to the right side of my face containing the animated face of my mother. And my mother in her own voice said to me “I am always with you.” This vision lasted a couple of seconds, but has remained in my memory as being real, a comfort, an unbreakable connection.
It was a day before I related this experience to my husband. And now writing about this event, I’m very grateful to see and hear that my dear mother is with me and always has been.
I realized that the astral light I saw, being much brighter than earthly light, must be of a finer substance than scientists know about at this time. I was perceiving the experience with my mind which must be traversing the physical and astral worlds. And how wonderful that the luminous astral world revealed itself to me in those moments. Further, I am old enough to know that sooner rather than later I will be transitioning to this bright world beyond physical barriers.
I have occasionally been in the luminous place of mind in deep meditation. It is not just bright light, but a warm, expansive, and joyful feeling of stretching out as much as I want, as far as I want without restraints. To finish relating this experience I’d like to share that even if we can’t physically see others, they are with us in the communion of our astral minds.
Deep meditation is one way to enjoy this inseparable union.
The worlds of mind appear divided
But in fact are one
We discover eternal unity
By relaxing into the deepest recesses
Of mind, our eternal mind in God
Remembering Mama © 2023 Susan Kramer
Photo: Susan sitting for meditation
Age and physical condition are not a hindrance to meditating. The important preparation is to find a position that can be maintained without trying to sustain it for the length of the meditation.
I’m a senior-senior now, over 75, and I find sitting on a chair with back support enables me to forget about my body for at least 10 minutes for our daily 8pm cyber meditation. This position, upright in the chair, keeps me awake. If I lay down, such as at bedtime I usually do not make it through my night prayers before sleep claims me. Meditating upright in the chair keeps me alert and awake.
I press the soles of my feet into the floor when I begin, like placing a tent stake, to keep my body balanced in place without having to consciously think about it during meditation. Positioning yourself for meditation is important, and propped in the chair is the support I use in my senior years.
If you are new to meditation here is an easy way to begin:
Position your body upright and stable in your chair. Fold your hands in your lap, close your eyes. Position your feet to keep your body in a still position.
Begin even and regular breathing like this: Counts 1, 2 inhale; counts 3,4 exhale. Counts 1, 2 inhale; counts 3, 4 exhale. Do not hold your breath. Continue this pattern without saying or thinking the numbers. Instead, observe your breath flowing in and out, in and out. If at some point you hear the stream of inner music, seemingly emanating from under the top of your skull, listen to it for the remainder of your meditation.
Different paths refer to this internal stream of vibration as the Holy Spirit, Naam, Om, Amen. It is all the same experience. The point is its calming effect allows fresh ideas to come to mind, to help situations in your life. Meditation is practical. It calms your conscious mind enough to see deeper options to situations in your daily life. And it leaves you feeling refreshed, uplifted.
The same help as always
With life’s challenges.
Meditation for Seniors © 2023 Susan Kramer
Photo at Jacob’s Pillow with Ted Shawn, Sept. 2, 1964. Susan at far right.
Back in the early 70s in my 20s, I was running the track alongside the men’s team at Anne Arundel Community College. This was because there was no women’s team at that time. It was exhilarating just to run, and I kept it up till moving to the west coast in 1975.
Fast forward to last night. After more than a 45-year break, I once again experienced that runners’ high, and this time in a dream.
I felt all the sensations in my dream body as if it was a physical body, which was nice, because when I awoke, I was not sore or even out of breath. All the highs and none of the pain. And this was even after my dream body ran all out for more than 50 miles along Rt. 101 in California, between San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria. To add to the excitement, I pushed myself and raced past a group of male runners along the way.
This was an experience that reinforced in my mind that we can fulfill our physical and mental desires in the dream state if we can’t act out in the physical. And now in my 70s I sure can’t run full speed for a block, much less 50 miles like I did in my lightweight dream body – or astral body if you call it that.
At other times I have used my dream or astral body to perform classical ballet on stage like I did in my teens and 20s. What is amazing to me, is that in dreams the execution of the steps is easier and more perfect than my physical effort ever was.
What I’m learning is that age is no barrier to experiencing what we want to in the world, if we can accept that it’s okay to enjoy our dream or astral body as a substitute, or even as better than a physical experience – because it is gain without pain.
Using our Dream Body to the Max © 2023 Susan Kramer
River Rhine going through Nijmegen NL. To the left of the bridge the Netherlands, to the right Germany.
I’ve been thinking about the phrase – laying down one’s life for another – and wondering if it meant dying for another?
The thought came to me it could mean something different, like laying aside a selfish attitude in favor of a plan that would serve the greater good. The result would make those affected happier.
I have found through experience I feel peace of mind when doing the right thing. I do not feel peaceful when acting selfishly. Does anyone?
In modern terms the phrase could read – peace comes from setting aside selfish plans and acting for the greater good.
One way I’ve thought to apply this teaching is practical: When out on a walk, I collect trash along the sidewalk in a shopping bag, disposing of it in my can at home, because it seems the right thing to do for the environment.
When we come across an old phrase that seems outdated, we must look at the meaning it was meant to teach. It may take some reflection, but why throw away a valuable teaching, just because at first it seems outdated.
Selfishness to selflessness
Spreads satisfaction all around.
Laying Down One’s Life for Another © 2023 Susan Kramer
Photo by Stan Schaap of canal leading to historic lime kiln factory on the inner sea in Enkhuizen, the Netherlands. Sailboats in the background.
Walking beside a canal I felt a sense of peace. Perhaps the easy rhythm of my stride regulated my scattered thoughts.
Having captured these moments of peace I decided to continue walking a bit longer than usual. I gave myself time to think about the inner source of my peaceful feelings.
I realized that outer events were the same during the walk as they were when I was preparing to set out. So, peace was not coming from outside events in my life.
Peace had swelled up and overtaken my mind when I got into the rhythm of harmony in a body–mind activity while regulating my breathing – evenly in and out.
This peaceful harmony can arise in other body–mind practices, and in the rhythmic breathing of meditation.
Continuing to walk and going deeper in thought I saw that events in this world continue to roll on, but my reaction to them is my responsibility to control.
I realized that if I felt upset by what’s out there, I could get back into body–mind harmony by breathing rhythmically on a long walk.
Others may choose another form of rhythmic exercise that has the same result of squashing mental turmoil, restoring peaceful thoughts.
Events in the world outside our direct control are of others’ making.
To restore and radiate your inner peace, amid surrounding busyness, take a few moments to meditate quietly, silently, peacefully, breathing evenly.
To find peace within
With body–mind rhythms –
Hold positive thoughts
Peace in Your World? © 2023 Susan Kramer
Photo by S. Kramer of Mother Mary statue in garden.
“Hail Mary, Full of Grace”
are words that come to mind when I am stressed. This short prayer and mantra
return me to my spiritual center, where I can make reasonable choices.
Mother Mary of the Hail Mary Prayer lives in my heart, safely nestled where all that is dear to me resides.
In times of need, I feel so lucky to feel Mother Mary’s grace perfuse my mind, pointing out the way to go.
While a girl, I was given a wool scapula, which I wore during the day next to my skin, and then when older (and now, too) wore a Miraculous Medal on a chain around my neck. I have felt my Heavenly Mother’s blessings most of my life.
I am grateful for the years with my earthly mother nurturing me in the ways of practical living, preparing me by example for the reception of dear Blessed Mother Mary’s graces.
For the children in your life, it is never too early to give them motherly lessons that inspire them to be good in the present, while showing them how to act in the future.
Inspirational women have come from many if not all religions. I see and feel the uplifting energy of caring love, divine love, emanating from women saints of all traditions and am eternally grateful.
From a lucid dream:
I asked the Pope (a man) why I couldn’t be a priest in the Catholic Church. He looked at me and said: “If women were priests, who would be left to nurture people?”
Okay, that was a satisfactory answer at the moment, but from a deeper point of view, I think women can both nurture and spiritually guide families and the flock as needed. Don’t you?
Hail Mary, Full of Grace © 2023 Susan Kramer
Photo by Stan Schaap
Preparing for meditation, I was sitting in the upstairs library in front of the picture window, facing east, the sun pouring in, when my thoughts turned to my mother. After 30 years since she passed on, it felt like the distant past.
Sitting for meditation
When I sit for meditation, I begin by mentally asking blessings for those family and friends who have requested prayers. My habit is to visualize a person as I think of them. That morning I reflected that since my mother had died many years before, I hadn’t kept her in my recent meditation prayer time very often.
This day, as I looked out the sunny window I once again thought of mother. Her face appeared in front of me, or as may be, in my inner vision. Hallelujah!
I realized that it is not just God who is ever with us.
It is that everyone is still present and accounted for who has ever lived or will live upon earth, in fact everywhere in every dimension and time.
This was such a comforting thought. I do not have to reach back in time in my mind to find my mother or anyone who has passed on.
I found that we are all in it together, right now, and for always. And, that quiet meditation time is a way to enjoy closeness, communion with anyone and all right now, with a full feeling of connection.
I recommend meditating to have the uplifting experience of yourself, and everyone, as part of the grand scheme of God.
In the quiet stillness
Perceive a place for everyone, everything
Is Everyone Part of the Grand Scheme? © 2023 Susan Kramer
Books, Ebooks, and International Collections
English, Dutch, French, German, Spanish
1. Meditation and Spirituality for Teens and Young Adults – Moving Into the Future by Susan Kramer
This workbook is to read and practice on your own, a primer with 24 chapters to learn how to meditate in a variety of ways, and explore your spiritual nature, including a story for everyone about bullying. Two lined pages are included after each chapter. 98 pages. 9,400 words. Copyright © 2023 Susan Kramer. Table of Contents.
98 pages; 8.5 by 11 inch with color interior
Copyright © 2023 Susan Kramer
Links to Buy: Paperback or PDF ebook
2. Rhythms, Music, Dances with Percussion Instruments for Ages 4-6 by Susan Kramer
How to teach students ages 4 to 6 in the year before kindergarten, and kindergarten, with varying abilities or special needs rhythms, floor exercises / axial movements, large motor skills, expressive dance, kinesthetic mini-lessons, and full dances using percussion instruments as music. Pictures of 9 percussion instruments are described. Basic Lesson Plan included. Perfect for Pre-Kindergarten, TK, Junior K, and K teachers, home schoolers, and dance instructors, 7,617 words. 100 pages. Many illustrations. Both editions priced low. Info page.
Links to buy: PDF Ebook | Lulu paperback | Amazon.com paperback | Amazon.co.uk paperback | Amazon.nl paperback | Barnes and Noble paperback
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