The Space Between — HeartSphere

“For some people, “the point of no return” begins at the very moment their souls become aware of each others’ existence.” ― C. JoyBell C. There is a space that lingers between souls, forever binding and separating. This brings the bond of love, and it is that which confounds it all the same. And I […]

via The Space Between — HeartSphere

Foodie Alert: EasyPeasy Cooking

No one has much time to cook during the holidays, but there’s so many events that you are expected to bring food to…so I’m going to share a not-so-secret, no-fail cookie bar that can be thrown together from simple ingredients with a minimum of effort.

Confessions of a Foodie – Cookbook to Follow!

Here’s a recipe that I’ll share here in prelude for future foodie fun…

Easy Peasy 6-Layer ChocoBars

easypeasychocobars
6-Layer ChocoBars

No one has much time to cook during the holidays, but there’s so many events that you are expected to bring food to…so I’m going to share a not-so-secret, no-fail cookie bar that can be thrown together from simple ingredients with a minimum of effort.

NOTE: Be careful to label these, if you are bringing them to a party with others who might have grain, nut and/or dairy allergies, since these contain all three.

What to buy

  • 1 small bag (8 oz) each of chocolate chips and butterscotch (or peanut butter) chips
  • 1 small box of graham crackers (you might be able to find crumbs, alternatively look for any flavor of no-bake cheesecake mixes)
  • 1 pound of unsalted butter (you only need 3 sticks)
  • 1 small bag (8 oz) of shredded coconut (sweetened or not, your preference)
  • 1 bag (at least 8 oz) of pecans (these can be found cheapest in the cooking sections, whole or chopped)
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (hint: if you buy the cheesecake mix, this will be in there already!)

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.); if using a toaster or convection oven, this won’t take long.
  2. Prepare a baking pan (9×13 inch recommended) by spreading or spraying with oil or butter.
  3. Crumb (if not already done) graham crackers.
  4. Melt 3 sticks of butter (3/4 cup).
  5. Pour melted butter over graham cracker crumbs and mix until evenly coated.
  6. Pat the buttered crumbs into the bottom of the greased baking pan.
  7. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the crumbs, then the other chips.
  8. Sprinkle the chopped pecans, followed by the coconut flakes over the chips.
  9. Drizzle the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the flakes.
  10. Bake in the 350F oven for 25-30 minutes or until the coconut is toasty brown.
  11. Let cool before cutting into squares and you’re done!

If you’re bringing the whole pan into work or to a party, you might buy a aluminum pan that can be left behind. Don’t expect leftovers! Dangerous if left around the house…you’ve been warned! Also, these are high in sugar and fat with not much in the way of nutrition, but you probably figured that out all by yourself, right?

PS: Recipes cannot be copyrighted, but the cookbook can…stay tuned to find out how you can sign up for an early copy for your kitchen!

© 2016 DeBrady.biz

Of War and the Cry for Peace

Unless we change our minds about these deeply held beliefs, Shakespeare’s words of 500 years ago will surely be as true tomorrow as it was when the ink was drying on his quill. Or, that it was an old truth when those words were penned about a time of Roman rule. All things end, but as to that end we are the ones who choose what its portents may hold for us.

Dogs of War and The Cry for Peace Beyond Human Understanding

Reflections of Opposites

We are entering a time of opposites, seeing deeply into a mirror of our own making. Pursuing that which we think we lack, but in truth, we cannot possess anything that we believe is lacking. The pursuit will be futile indeed, as the moon chases the sun into the horizon, all is an illusion in life without knowledge of how things work.

How is it that we believe that war will bring us peace of any kind? We couch the question as a need for safety, for protection of things and people we claim to hold dear. We choose the course of our lives in things that cannot possibly bring us closer to want we want or feel that we cannot live without, such is human folly.

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Shakespeare was aware of the use of the meaning of havoc and he used ‘cry havoc’ in several of his plays. The ‘cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war’ form of the phrase is from his Julius Caesar, 1601. After Caesar’s murder Anthony regrets the course he has taken and predicts that war is sure to follow.[1]

ANTONY:

Blood and destruction shall be so in use

And dreadful objects so familiar

That mothers shall but smile when they behold

Their infants quarter’d with the hands of war;

All pity choked with custom of fell deeds:

And Caesar’s spirit, ranging for revenge,

With Ate by his side come hot from hell,

Shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice

Cry ‘Havoc,’ and let slip the dogs of war;

That this foul deed shall smell above the earth

With carrion men, groaning for burial.

How many is the number of our perceived enemies? How can vanquishing their numbers ever bring us closer to that need for safety? It shall never. It has never brought us one step closer, and surely, we keep up the illusion for that is what history seems to do. Repeating itself numerous times over the many eras of so-called human development.

Unless we change our minds about these deeply held beliefs, Shakespeare’s words of 500 years ago will surely be as true tomorrow as it was when the ink was drying on his quill. Or, that it was an old truth when those words were penned about a time of Roman rule. All things end, but as to that end we are the ones who choose what its portents may hold for us.

For me, I choose to walk in the light of the knowledge that we make our own way. Only the one that made us to walk upon this world of duality. This is what is meant by “beyond human understanding”. For, as long as we remain human, we can only define our world through the hazy and uncertain mirrors that reflect back to us our own fears…or visions of beauty. This is our only choice. What do you choose to see in that mirror?

Debra E. Brady

© 2016 DeBrady.biz

[1] The Phrase Finder, “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war” http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/105600.html

A Different Kind of Light

Adonai, my God, Source of healing and hope, we dedicate this night of Hanukkah to those who are experiencing pain or symptoms. Give them and those who care for them rich blessings of strength and support, solace and determination. Illumine their lives with insight and guidance, and shine peace and serenity on their path.

Written and Presented by Rev. Debi Brady
(Originally given as Hanukkah-A Different Kind of Light on 12/7/2001 and posted on The Spiritual Spa in the early 2000s)

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The Bible passage is taken from the Living Bible, Psalm 67:

O God, in mercy bless us; let your face beam with joy as you look down at us.

Send us around the world with the news of your saving power and your eternal plan for all mankind.

How everyone throughout the earth will praise the Lord!

How glad the nations will be, singing for joy because you are their King and will give true justice to their people!

Praise God, O world! May all the peoples of the earth give thanks to you.

For the earth has yielded abundant harvests. God, even our own God, will bless us. And peoples from remotest lands will worship him.

I’m taking my topic from a book entitled “A Different Light: The Hanukkah Book of Celebration.” Hanukkah for the Jewish year of 5762 begins this evening [2001]. For those of you who are unfamiliar with how this Jewish tradition began and its deeper spiritual significance-let me illuminate you.

Hanukkah is the mid-winter holiday preceding Christmas. And, although, most Jews do not celebrate the birth of Jewish mystic and Christian savior we call Jesus of Nazareth, these two holidays do share some other common elements. For eight days, Hanukkah, which is the Hebrew term for rededication, is celebrated with ritual gift-giving and candle-lighting. Religious significance and reflection upon personal and family awareness are also integral to both holidays. And, there can be a deeper, healing significance as well.

During Hanukkah, a Menorah with its special arrangement of nine candles is lit. Eight of the candles are for each night of Hanukkah, and the highest candle, known as the Shamash or “servant”, is used to light the other candles. These eight special candles are blessed and then lit each evening, and a gift is then exchanged between family members. Eight days and eight candles are symbolic-they commemorate the miracle that a flask holding only enough oil for one night’s work burned for eight.

Noam Sachs Zion, who edited the book entitled, “A Different Light,” refers to Hanukkah in terms of his forthcoming book, “Soul Print-Our Personal Essence,” as our hidden light, which he calls the DNA of the soul. He uses the metaphor of the whirling dreidel as the dance of life which transforms our occasional lows into meaningful experiences. For those of you who are not familiar with this, a dreidel is a four-sided spinning top with Hebrew letters printed on its sides. In Israel, these letters mean “A Miracle Happened Here.” I grew up in a Jewish neighborhood where I learned to spin a dreidel as a game played during recess. At the time, I didn’t draw any special meaning from this game, but remember being fascinated with the Hebrew characters. I knew what each letter represented along with the rules of the game. Now, many years later, I’ve become fascinated by the deeper spiritual meaning.

As children, we learn things of the physical realm through games, instruction and experience. We generally take things at face value. But, as we mature, we become increasingly aware…and often distressed…about how many familiar things seem to have changed meanings. The comfortable definitions that we learned as children take on a different significance. The holidays are just one example of this. It’s important to keep in mind that we are a combination of physical and spiritual dimensions as we explore the various meanings to be found in this Jewish celebration.

In an article, Rabbi Shaya Karlisky noted that there are still a number of questions which frequently arise when discussing Hanukkah, such as, why is it important to distinguish between the Written and Oral Torahs and why is it celebrated for eight days. The answers provide a deeper understanding of how Hanukkah has shaped modern Judaism and can enhance our lives as metaphysicians.

As the story goes, after capturing the region, which included Jerusalem, the Greeks placed many restrictions on the Jewish people, referred to as “decrees.” One of these decrees was that the written Torah would be translated into Greek and thereafter the oral Torah would be banned. You should understand that Greeks actually appreciated the wisdom of the Torah. They believed in nature, and they worshipped it. They placed primary importance externals, such as the physical body and the survival of the fittest, which still have a great influence on our culture even today.

In contrast to this, the Jewish philosophy is that we are the outward revelation of God, the Divine in every aspect of creation. Rabbi Karlisky points to how modern discoveries in quantum mechanics has shown us that the physical world works on an atomic level similar to the metaphysical world of the Kabalists. It is by exploring this duality between these two ancient cultures that we can better understand our own spirituality.

The fundamental conflict between Israel and Greece is illustrated in the two dimensions of our reality: the inner dimension, or what appears obvious on the surface; and the hidden essence of “what you see is what you get.” The exterior dimension of the Written Torah is found in the Old Testament of the Bible and is the basis of three major religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It is the Oral Torah’s inner hidden dimension, which hides its Divine aspects. When studied by a scholar, the Written Torah has no real impact without its inner dimension which is found in the oral tradition. The Greeks believed that the essence of the person was not altered by external wisdom and therefore has no inner affect. They thought that by keeping the Written Torah to themselves they could eliminate the Oral Torah. It is the Torah’s inner, hidden dimensions, which Jews view as life itself.

Jews also believe in an ongoing relationship between God and man, and that the natural laws are related to our spiritual reality. As Rabbi Karlisky put so eloquently, “Without man’s input, there are holidays with no holiness. Man can actually create hidden spiritual reality.” Judaism maintains that we have the ability to transcend our natural instincts and that we are the unification of the external shell that we call our physical body and our internal dimension often called our soul.

We turn now to the significance of the use of the number eight in the celebration of Hanukkah. An important aspect of the number eight can be seen by understanding the very common use of seven found in scripture and throughout the natural world around us. Picture the six directions, north, south, east, west, above and below, of our three-dimensional world with ourselves in the center, representing seven points. We are this seventh point that represents the spiritual dimension existing within nature. It is man’s ability to transcend his nature which is represented by the number eight and celebrated by the eight days of Hanukkah.

The number eight transcends the order of nature. Our culture reflects an existence, which is limited to the dimensions of nature, and based on “seven.” All things can have a deeper meaning, if they based on this eighth dimension. It is within our ability as humans to transcend nature, to rise above those things which we can easily relate to with our five senses, and become one with the Universe. We are, in essence, God expressed in physical and spiritual forms. It is this aspect that we see embodied in the Christ. This is not a matter of being saved in the classical sense taught in most Christian churches, but rather, we are “saving” ourselves from the trap of living solely in the physical form. We can be “saved” by transcending these seven dimensions of nature in which we’ve come to put our trust.

There is another aspect of this holiday season that is inherent in both the Christian celebration of Christmas and the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah. It is the great potential for physical and spiritual healing.

Rabbi Simkha Weintraub, the Director of the National Center for Jewish Healing, said in her article called “Blessing And Extending The Light,” that beneath usual meanings of the holiday, a deep universal and personal significance may be discovered. The Temple represents the “house of God” within our bodies. If we recognize our bodies’ sacredness and offer thanks for all their inherent miracles, we can then rededicate ourselves to God and humankind.

Since this holiday takes place during the winter solstice, it is literally the darkest time of the year. By the lighting of candles, we can draw a little light into the world and appreciate it as a blessing.

We are also reminded that it is during this time that we should keep all those who are in need of healing in our thoughts and prayers. When we think of praying, we should consider any expression of sympathy or concern an act of prayer. Prayer is not only a structured verse found in religious texts, it can be as simple as a couple of words of thanks for that which we enjoy or even meditation, if our intention is one of thankfulness. Healing starts at home, with ourselves at the center of our thoughts and prayer…radiating this awareness out from the center of our being into the Universe. By meditating upon the light in a darkened room with clear intentions for healing, we can find comfort, inspiration, and perspective in this simple and personal ritual.

The Rabbi notes that greatest “Hanukkah gift” is that of light. Our prayers and deeds of loving kindness can spark hope and illuminate our lives with renewed meaning and direction. Isaiah 58:8 says, “Then shall Your light burst through like dawn, and Your healing spring up quickly.”

Let me leave you with Rabbi Weintraub’s Ritual of Healing for the First Night of Hanukkah.

After reciting or chanting the appropriate verse from Psalms, a candle is lit. And, since this is first night of Hanukkah, the following verse from Psalms 27:1 would be used:

Adonai is my Light and my Salvation – whom will I fear? Adonai is the Strength of my life – who can make me afraid?”

Let me close with the prayer blessing this night’s intentions:

Adonai, my God, Source of healing and hope, we dedicate this night of Hanukkah to those who are experiencing pain or symptoms.

Give them and those who care for them rich blessings of strength and support, solace and determination.

Illumine their lives with insight and guidance, and shine peace and serenity on their path.

Dying to Transform

This card tells us that we must shed our attachments to the appearances of this physical world in order to gain access to what lies beyond our senses. Letting go of the ego-based ideas we have of reality can and will free us to become our Risen Self…this is the key to resurrection.

Death is not the only way to transform, just the most profound.

Today, I drew Key 13. Ironically, it was also today’s card on my phone app. There are no coincidences. The deck I keep next to my office desk is Doreen Virtue’s Angel Tarot, it’s called Release.

key13-release
Release in Doreen Virtue’s Angel Tarot

Traditionally this is the Death card…one of the most feared and misunderstood of all cards. Associated with Scorpio, it represents the three stages of transformation:

  1. The scorpion – letting go of pain and protection
  2. The snake – shedding our old skin and moving on
  3. The Eagle or Phoenix – representing immortality and regeneration

On the Tree of Life, it’s the path of Nun. Connecting Tiphareth and Netzach, is about shedding the personality in pursuit of transforming ourselves into the Higher Self.

In short, this card tells us that we must shed our attachments to the appearances of this physical world in order to gain access to what lies beyond our senses. Letting go of the ego-based ideas we have of reality can and will free us to become our Risen Self…this is the key to resurrection.

After taking a photo of this card on my laptop keyboard, I trimmed and adjusted it…and noticed that two keys were at the top of the card, the question mark “?” and Shift key! Again, there are no coincidences. We’re all being asked to question who we think we are and then prepare for the inevitable shift away from what we think of as reality to become our Higher Self.

© 2016 DeBrady.biz

Seeing into the Mirror Darkly

There is a core misunderstanding among the people of this world, that we are somehow different…not from the Original Source of All Things. This is a huge error and one that is being highlighted…again…for us in these closing days before the end of 2016.

Make no mistake.

We are all being asked in a very profound way, to take a closer look at who we are…versus who we thought we were.

This is the Mirror Darkly.

This is originally a Bible passage: “For now we see in a mirror, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I have been known.” [http://biblehub.com/erv/1_corinthians/13.htm]

Here’s that passage…in context of the theme of LOVE:

And if I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profiteth me nothing.

Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own, is not provoked, taketh not account of evil; rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall be done away; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall be done away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part: but when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child: now that I am become a man, I have put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I have been known. But now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

Strange, isn’t it? That a passage we know is about the true meaning of love has within it an undercurrent of how we can fail to love?

How can we know that we are failing to love…we know by examining what that looks like in the mirror. By looking closely at how our reflection is often clouded in self-doubt, self-protection and ignorance of who and what we project into the world and how that is projected back to us by the 3D reality we understand as the physical part of the world.

We are here in physical form to love one another. Simple…or is it? In one form or another, EVERY SINGLE religious text has some form of “Do Onto Others” as one of its principle precepts. So, why are more wars started and/or continued because of religion?

There is a core misunderstanding among the people of this world, that we are somehow different…not from the Original Source of All Things. This is a huge error and one that is being highlighted…again…for us in these closing days before the end of 2016.

We are all in the process of awakening to truths that have not been a secret at all. There are no secrets, just confusion and ignorance of these truths.

Look into your own mirror…darkly. See, maybe for the first time, your shadow self. Feel how that shadow hides that which you prefer not to be revealed…not even to yourself, and certainly not to those who you claim to love. Dare I say, unconditionally.

As long as we remain in this 3D world, we will have a shadow. But, that shadow can reveal itself to you…if you allow yourself to investigate those places within your own heart and soul that scare you. That which scares you drives the light away, and, it is only by allowing the light to illuminate your darkness that you will awaken to your ability to love even those things that you fear.

…”But now abideth faith, hope, love, these three, and the greatest of these is love.”

© 2016 DeBrady.biz

Kailley Quote: Caught in the Sea of Collective Thought

The pervasive seas of collective thought that we constantly find ourselves trying to swim in, but often end up drowning out our own self-knowingness.

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The pervasive seas of collective thought
that we constantly find ourselves
trying to swim in,
but often end up
drowning out
our own self-knowingness.
~Kailley (from my next book, Lost & Found II)
© 2016 DeBrady.biz