Inspiring Quotes By Sister Lucy Bruskiewicz – 2nd Set

The Rugged Terrain of My Heart. – Painting by Sr. Lucy Bruskiewicz

Sr. Lucy Bruskiewicz is my friend and mentor. I met her when I was 21-years old. She is a Sister of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis, and she has devoted her life to teaching and providing spiritual counseling.

Here are some quotes by Sr. Lucy Bruskiewicz (from her journal notes):

Aging is passing – experience something coming through us.

The Earth has meridians, and the body has meridians.

Memory holds Truth – quest for Truth.

Something more than biology is shaping my life.

Practice by sustaining the deep presence by listening to self first, then others.

Share ways to thrive.

Divine Will – What does God what of us?

The Kingdom of God is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Strive to desire what God desires for you and respond to the call. It always seems like it’s a surprise when God creates that newness for me and you.

Gemstones are from the Angelic.

Where you turn, there is the face of God.

Creativity is the surest pathway to the Truth.

Follow your Heart. Wherever it takes you, and be happy. Life is brief and very fragile. It’s only loaned to us for a while. Wake up every morning with the thought that something wonderful is about to happen, and take one moment at a time.

Honoring

My Soul Honors Your Soul

I honor the place in you

Where the entire universe resides

I honor the light, love, and truth

Beauty and peace within you.

Because it is also in me.

In sharing these things

We are united

We are the same

We are one.

– Sr. Lucy Bruskiewicz

Sr. Lucy Bruskiewicz in 1995.
Photo by Gina M. Gafford

Namaste World.

Inspiring Quotes By Sister Lucy Bruskiewicz – 1st Set

Painting by Sr. Lucy Bruskiewicz

Sr. Lucy Bruskiewicz is my friend and mentor. I met her when I was 21-years old. She is a Sister of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis, and she has devoted her life to teaching and providing spiritual counseling.

Here are some quotes by Sr. Lucy Bruskiewicz (from her journal notes):

Always be kinder than necessary.

When you talk to anybody, just think your soul is talking to the Spirit of God.

To reach for our potential – Spirit is Medicine.

For those who are tripped up by “perfect.” When is it good enough?

How very little can be done under the Spirit of Fear!

The fondest memories are gathered when we share at the table.

The world needs our story.

I must live the life of the Gospel, understanding the way.

The original use of the word “courage” means “to stand by one’s heart.”

All of us are smarter than any one of us.

It’s odd that in our noisy and protracting world, it’s only when we come face to face with death, we experience what is often missing in life.

Go into your heart for what you desire. We are never distant from God’s heart.

When you nourish your soul, life falls into balance. Each of us creates our own “recipe,” adding the essential “ingredients” that sustain us best.

I want to encourage you to trust the mystical, divine, which comes as an intuitive pulse or rhythm. Trust your own experience of Holy.

What we don’t see is more real than what we do see. Spiritual vision is possible. What blinders must we remove to have more clarity?

From stress to strength. Every encounter with stress is a chance to turn your life around.

When you empty by sharing, you make room for more.

Follow the path that is leading us to the Best.

Leave something of value behind. What is it? I hear the call to honesty – deep honesty within myself.

Moon Goddess, I honor you and love you beyond understanding. I will stay open to your changes in me.

Explore change and how it is that we invite, resist, or learn with it and how it affects our relationships.

When we help other people get what they want, we get what we want.

Have you ever noticed the word “heart” contains the word HEAR? It is only in this way that we can learn what others want. And the words “silent” and “listen” contain the same letters. Perhaps this means we should be silent and listen with our HEARTS.

Follow the silent whispers that echo down the golden spirals through the corridors of your own being.

Spiritual Direction: I call out something that I never saw in myself.

Gina Gafford and Sr. Lucy Bruskiewicz in 1996.

Namaste World.

Living a Virtuous Life According to the Jesus Sutras

What is done in this life will shape the next life. – The Jesus Sutras: Rediscovering the Lost Scrolls of Taoist Christianity, by Martin Palmer

In the new year and beyond, we can choose to live our best lives. Never give up on your goodness. Find the keys to open your heart – to open your treasure chest. In The Jesus Sutras, written by Martin Palmer, the Stone Sutra reveals how we can live a good life.

The Jesus Sutras, in the second sutra (the sutra of cause, effect, and salvation), states the following about living a virtuous life:

  • Virtue can only be practiced in this world.
  • The One Sacred Spirit controls everything, and you should do as the Spirit demands: good deeds in this life.
  • This is the only world in which you can perform good karma.
  • All acts of merit and benevolence must be performed in this world, not the next.
  • Be charitable here because in the other world you can’t be.
  • Become open-handed and not tight-fisted and narrow.
  • You can only be charitable and generous in this world, not the next.
  • Rid yourself of the evil and poison in your heart and abandon all your bad thoughts and jealousy.
  • With peace of mind, worship God in this world, for it won’t be possible in the next.
  • You will reap the consequences of this life in the next world.
  • If people wish to be virtuous, they should follow the commands of the One and Only Sacred Spirit.
  • Understand that the One Sacred Spirit presides overall existence to be venerated; strive to do what is right and be grateful for the grace you have received.
  • In order to see the One Sacred Spirit, people must keep themselves pure in heart, and as an act of grace, all will become clear.

Just as the sun tirelessly rises each day, we, too, get another day to try our best. The world presents challenges to us. We have the pandemic situation, job issues, relationship problems, etc. Sometimes is easy to feel tired and defeated in life. However, the Taoist Stone Sutras encourages us to strive for goodness in every situation. We need to have self-compassion – it’s a lot of work living in this world!

Take time to rest and reflect. Look back on the last year and see how you want to change things in your life. How can you become more “open-handed” and generous? How can you create peace in your mind? How can you bring grace into your life and the lives of the people around you?

The Jesus Sutras are translated and interpreted throughout the text. Four of the Sutras date from ca. 640-660 and remain primarily in private collections in Japan,” says Martin Palmer. The Chinese Character for Sutra actually means, “sacred literature.” The Chinese Taoists preserved this “sacred literature” in a substance that would last forever: stone.

May you be well, happy, skillful, and peaceful.

Namaste.

Twin Forces

Together these two forces are locked in perpetual combat seeking to overcome each other. But this is impossible, for each carries the seed of the other within it. – The Jesus Sutras: Rediscovering the Lost Scrolls of Taoist Christianity, by Martin Palmer

Twin forces are needed to create life. These two forces are equal – yin and yang. The yin is the feminine force – the mother. And the yang is a masculine force – the father. The balance and blending of these energies create life.

Martin Palmer, in the book, The Jesus Sutras, says, “The Stone spells out the Chinese belief that when yin and yang were created, the lighter vapors of yang rose to form Heaven and the sun, the heavier vapors of yin sank to form the Earth and the moon. The yang sun creates day, and the yin moon creates night.” Both energies support life on Earth.

The mysteries of the moon and its strong connection to women must be honored again. The moon is like a womb – giving birth to new possibilities.

According to Taoism, the Trinity is the yin, yang, and qi (life breath).

Tao Te Ching
The Tao gives birth to the One, the Origin.
The One, the Origin, gives birth to the Two.
The Two give birth to the Three.
The Three give birth to every living thing.
All things are held in yin and carry yang:
And they are held together in the qi of teeming energy.

Namaste world.

Sun Temple

Sun Temple at the Mesa Verde National Park

Two nights ago (during a dream), I received a message about God. The simple message said, “God is light.” I felt at peace when I received that message. I’m still processing the meaning of the message.

The sun was also part of my dream. In my dream, I said, “I knew that the sun was special.” I remember seeing the Sun Temple at the Mesa Verde National Park in August 2021 (see the photo above). It was a very sacred and mystical place.

There’s so much to learn about the Sun Temple. According to http://www.nps.gov, modern Pueblo Indians said the Sun Temple was a ceremonial structure. The walls were originally between 11 and 14 feet high. Modern concrete covers the top of the walls to prevent moisture from going into the walls.

The Sun Temple has many geological features, which I find interesting. The Pueblo people took the time to make this ceremonial site. What did they think about the sun? How does it connect with sacred geometry or the cosmos?

Sun Temple at Mesa Verde National Park

In another part of my dream, I found myself in a deep hole in the Earth. I could see the light at the top. My friend Jennifer (who died two years ago) and I were almost to the top of the shaft. We had to climb up on small metal wire steps. I woke up from the dream before we reached the opening.

Dreams tap into our subconscious mind. Part of our realization is finding out who we really are. It will take time to see our brilliant souls once again – like taking a rough diamond and polishing it until it’s radiant.

Without the sun (light), there is no life on Earth. The sun is like an entity in many ways. Our ancient ancestors celebrated the sun more than we do today. Do modern humans take the sun for granted? How can we reclaim the mysteries of the sun and the moon?

Here are some examples of ancient art with the sun disk:

In ancient art, the sun disk is always near the human head. It can be referred to as a “halo.” According to the dictionary, the halo is “a disk or circle of light shown surrounding or above the head of a saint or holy person to represent holiness.” It can also mean “a circle of white or colored light around the sun, moon, or other luminous body caused by refraction through ice crystals in the atmosphere.” In both definitions, “light” is emphasized.

God is light.

Before anything else existed, there was Christ, with God. He has always been alive and is himself, God. He created everything there is - nothing exists that he didn't make. Eternal life is in him, and this life gives light to all mankind. His life is the light that shines through the darkness - and the darkness can never extinguish it. - John 1:5

Namaste world.

Connecting with Reiki during a Sweat Lodge Experience

The following article was submitted for publication – but it did not get published (until now).

Connecting with Reiki during a Sweat Lodge Experience

By Gina M. Gafford

No matter how much we experience the mysteries of life and consciousness, we will always find there is more, a next step, another doorway, a deeper level. – William Lee Rand

When I travel alone, I call on Reiki to guide me and protect me. In August 2021, I connected to Reiki during a sweat lodge experience at the Traveling Shamans Camp in Hotchkiss, Colorado. The Traveling Shamans Camp is an annual festival for healers, visionaries, artists, and storytellers. While I was at the Traveling Shamans Camp, I attended many workshops and events.

I was a little nervous about doing a sweat at the festival because I was a solo traveler. I decided to go, but I permitted myself to back out at any time. Please note that I was not allowed to take any photos during the sweat lodge experience. Also, I was aware of the risk of getting the Coronavirus. Even though I was in a small group, I took as many precautions as possible.

The sweat was on a Saturday evening. To prepare for the sweat lodge, I only ate a small breakfast and drank a lot of water. I followed the map to the sweat lodge site. When I got there, the man at the house said the map was wrong. He drew a new map for me to follow. However, if I didn’t find the sweat lodge, I would go back to my hotel. But I did find the sweat lodge site at a farm out in the country.

When I got to the farm, people were waiting around for the rocks to heat up. For most of the attendees, this was their first sweat lodge experience (a total of 14 people). For me, it was my fourth sweat. My last sweat lodge experience was 25 years ago.

While I was waiting, I befriended a young woman in her early twenties, whom I will call Sunny. She was feeling scared about the sweat. She said she didn’t like the heat – she was fair-skinned with strawberry blond hair. I told her everything that I knew about the sweat lodge, and I said I would be there for her during the sweat. I found new confidence as a mentor. I couldn’t give up now!

Sunny and I joined a small group of women standing near the sweat lodge. A Native American woman, whom I’ll call Wolf Woman, was a shaman in New Mexico. She asked us if we were on our period. Wolf Woman said that women on their menstrual flow shouldn’t join the sweat lodge. She said that women are already in a purification process – they don’t need to do a sweat. Also, during a woman’s period, she is suffering for the people. If she joins the sweat lodge, people may feel sick or get pain in their abdomen. Sunny and I reassured her that we were not on our moon cycle.

As the sun began to set, we lined up to go into the dark dome. I asked Reiki to guide and protect all of us. In my mind, I activated the Reiki symbols by thinking of their names, and I envisioned a blue light of protection around the sweat lodge. I told myself, “Here we go,” as I followed the line around the sweat lodge, and then at the door, I put my head to the Earth and said, “All my relations.”

As I settled on the blanket, I could feel the heat of the glowing rocks. The rocks are “grandfather rocks” because they are so old – older than human beings. During the sweat, the assistant who stayed outside helped bring in the rocks. The Cherokee shaman who was leading the sweat lodge asked the attendant to close the door.

It was dark. I closed my eyes to settle my nerves, and I took three deep breaths. Several fears flashed before me. I was afraid that I might faint, have to go to the hospital, or even die. I had to work through those fears. To come back to the present moment and refocus, I told Sunny, who sat next to me, to only breathe through her nose. Also, if she got too hot, she could curl into a fetal position or put her face close to the ground.

The Cherokee shaman poured water on the rocks and the rocks steamed. Wolf Woman sprinkled sage on the rocks. I could feel myself start to sweat as the smell of sage filled the lodge. The sweat lodge is like a womb – it’s dark, warm, and wet. Once inside, everyone prays, sings, and chants. The shaman uses a drum or a rattle to kick the brain into an altered state.

To start this sweat, the shaman shook his rattle and sang in Cherokee. Everyone sang with him – even if we didn’t know the words. Then the shaman passed the rattle around so everyone could have a chance to pray. When it was my turn to pray and sing, I sang the Gayatri Mantra three times. I expressed the need for people to have hope, even amid chaos – just like I saw in India. I said we need hope in our hearts, even when things get tough. Other people sang, prayed for their loved ones, and prayed for the world – especially for world peace. We passed the rattle to seven people, and then the door opened.

The door is lifted four times during the two to three-hour sweat (along with adding more hot rocks). The number four is important because it represents the four directions (North, South, West, and East). The sweat lodge is for purification. It is to let go of things we don’t need and to have a fresh start.

After the door was closed, the shaman poured more water on the rocks. It started to get very hot. The rattle was passed to seven more people to pray. I stayed in the present moment and listened to each person sing or pray. I could handle the heat if I just stayed focused.

The shaman poured more water on the hot rocks, and it was hard to breathe. I went inward to meditate. Many of the participants put their faces closer to the ground. At one point, a young man shouted out to open the door. The shaman listened to the man and opened the door. The assistant gave each of us a bottle of water.

I drank my water and chatted with Sunny, who was doing well. I thought the sweat was over. I felt so relieved! Well, the shaman ordered more hot rocks, and the assistant closed the door. Oh, man! It was already too hot! I went back into my meditation and added a mantra. I was at my edge – where things were getting tough. I told myself I could do it.

Finally, the shaman did the closing ritual, and we each crawled out of the lodge. We were wet and warm like a newborn. The air felt refreshing, and I could feel the weight of my soaked dress. I felt calm, light, and clear-headed.

Before we all departed, everyone stood in a semi-half circle as each person took their turn to shake hands (like a wedding reception line). When it was my turn to shake hands, I gave each person a message. When I saw Sunny, I told her that she was glowing like an angel. I was so proud of her for finishing her first sweat! She told me that I was a blessing, and she thanked me for helping her.

I learned from my past sweat lodge experiences to give the shaman a gift. So, I gave the shaman tobacco and money for his travels. I thanked him for leading the sweat.

When I connect with Reiki, I get a key (Ki) to open the door to self-realization – just like the door to the sweat lodge. Then I need to ask myself, “Am I brave enough to step into the dark and the unknown?” I know Reiki keeps me safe and helps me connect to the unified field of energy. William Lee Rands says, “Over time, you will learn from experience that the guidance of Reiki is worthy of your trust. Once you have surrendered completely, you will have entered The Way of Reiki.”

I am grateful to Reiki and for the sweat lodge experience. Participating in sweats encourages me to stay on my spiritual path. I also realize how brave I am! Even though the unknown is scary sometimes, it also holds an opportunity for spiritual growth. Now I can’t wait to open another door!

Namaste world!

Soul Star Chakra

Whoever departs from this world without having realized his own inner world, to him life has been of no service: it remains unlived, like an undone deed. - Brhad-aranyaka Upanishad

When you reach your arms and hands straight above your head, you will touch your Soul Star Chakra. This chakra connects you to the heavens. The Earth Star Chakra connects you to Mother Earth.

When we connect with our Soul Star Chakra, we see our potential to ascend into higher consciousness. When we walk on the Earth (Middleworld), we are presented with a psychological “Hall of Mirrors.” It is maze-like and confusing at times. However, we can learn to master the mind and have order instead of chaos. It is a fact that Mother Earth prefers order. We can also be the Master of Mirrors.

To master the mind, we need to touch the eternal part of who we are. Do not get trapped in the Hall of Mirrors. See yourself clearly, and have compassion for yourself. Look into the mirror and see your greatness.

Caitlin Matthews, in her book, Singing the Soul Back Home, says, “Each part of our soul needs to be with us, to enable us to pay proper attention to the different dimensions of our lives: to be emotionally aware, to give love, to appreciate what is true and beautiful, to respect boundaries of others and ourselves, to discern danger. If one or more soul-part is missing, we begin to find some of these things difficult or impossible.”

To heal ourselves, we need to go inward. The outside world is only a distraction – to pull us away from our true work. We can heal ourselves by looking straight into the eyes of fear. Matthews continues in her book, Singing the Soul Back Home, “Dealing with fear requires courage. Many people feel it is easier to live with the self-imposed controls of fear than to experience the liberation of the power that lies beneath the fear.”

To work with fear, you must realize your power. It is time to polish your mirror. Who are you?

You can ascend into higher consciousness with grace and gratitude. Meditate every day, practice mindfulness, and learn to balance all of your chakras.

Namaste world.

Einstein’s Formula

Einstein’s Formula

There’s a lot of transition in the world on all levels. It’s easy to feel stressed. However, we can take action to improve the energy in our bodies.

Yesterday I took a workshop with Omar (Omar’s Touch Therapy Inc), who is an Einstein Energy Healer. He has a fascinating way to look at stress in the body. He combines several modalities in his healing sessions.

The basic Einstein formula that he works with is E=mc2. The “E” is energy flowing (like water), lower case “m” is for stagnant energy, lower case “c” represents higher power (constant speed of light and access to infinite sources), and the square of “2” means power is infinite.

There are many portals in the human energetic system. We can open up the portals with acupressure, acupuncture, Reiki, yoga, qigong, Tai Chi, etc. The portals run along the meridians and chakras.

When we feel stressed, all the systems in the body become tense. However, if we can learn to relax, then we release what Omar calls “stress-energy units.” Our energy is like a battery – it can become depleted and we can charge it.

We can increase or “charge” our energy and our cells by eating from Mother Earth, sleeping, resting, and charging up by the sun or moon. We also need supplements of multiple digestive enzymes (found in raw fruits and vegetables), vitamins, and minerals. Omar says, “We are not what we eat. We are what we assimilate.”

The good news is we live in a multidimensional world. We can create and maintain the light (energy) within us. Let go and flow!

Namaste world!

Halloween Story: Lessons from the Haunted Room

The Haunted Room

I have a ghost story – perfect for Halloween. This past summer in August, I went on a solo trip to Colorado to attend a festival. While I was there, I bought a small chocolate bar with 10 mg of THC (cannabis/marijuana). My intention with the plant medicine was to relax and maybe receive spiritual transformation or insight.

For the last two nights of my trip, I decided to stay in a hotel (instead of camping). I looked on Expedia and chose the closest one to the festival. According to information online, I found out the hotel was haunted (especially Room #2).

The hotel dates back to 1905. The owner and his wife ran the hotel but never lived there. However, their son died in Room #2. Online it said that the wife probably haunts that room because she’s looking out for her son.

When I got to the hotel, the man at the desk handed me the key – to Room #2. I had a feeling that I would get that room! So, I make my way up the wooden staircase to the room. I silently said hello to the spirits that might be there.

The room was beautifully decorated with some of the original furniture from 1905 (see the photo above). I didn’t feel any spirits or ghosts. However, I couldn’t get the fact that the room was haunted out of my mind.

On the last night of my stay in Colorado, I realized that I still had that “special” chocolate bar. I thought I better try it before I leave. So, I ate half (5 mg) of the bar, and then I got ready for bed. I didn’t feel anything until about 9:00 PM. The room started to spin. Then I became anxious. I knew that if I didn’t get control of myself that I would panic!

Different feelings and thoughts started to come to my mind. I had this feeling that I wanted to get in my car and drive or knock on the neighbors door. I told myself, “You are not going anywhere!” Then I wanted to call my husband to tell him how I was feeling. I told myself, “No. Just meditate.” So, I laid down and meditated. I connected with Reiki too.

As I meditated with a mantra, I realized that I was in a haunted room. I thought I was crazy to eat that THC candy bar in a haunted hotel! And I was alone!

During my meditation, I lost track of time, and I started to hear voices in the distance and noise at the foot of the bed. I closed my eyes and didn’t dare to look!

Thankfully, after a few hours, I started to feel better. I didn’t get much sleep, and I had a plane to catch in the morning!

Now that I look back at the experience, I can see how much meditation helped me remain calm. I know I can use meditation during scary or stressful times.

I also learned that I need to have more respect and gratitude towards medicinal plants. Each plant has lessons and wisdom to share. It’s not a good idea to take any medicinal plant without guidance. I learned my lesson – do not try things just for the sake of trying them.

Many cultures around the world use psychotropic plants to achieve ecstatic and transformative states of mind. However, one must use strong intention and caution.

Here are several ways to protect (and calm your mind) from strange energy and phenomena:

  • Ask God or your higher power to protect you.
  • Connect with Reiki to guide you and protect you.
  • Call on your master teacher or spirit guides to protect you (ancestors, angels, saints, power animals, etc.).
  • Use meditation to focus your mind and call on protection. Understand the spiritual concepts of internal vs external.
  • Imagine a white or blue light of protection around your body (you can extend the light to your room or the place you are staying).
  • Ask the spirits of crystals to protect you. For example, Native Americans use crystal quartz and turquoise stones for protection.
  • Connect with the power of love to protect you. Feel your heart chakra radiate with love.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Namaste, world.

Treasure Chest

There will be a worldwide disclosure coming soon. I can feel it. What can we do to prepare? First of all, we must not be afraid. Go inward to find strength and courage. The ancient texts tell us that we have a powerful mind, so we need to find ways to train our minds to tap into that power.

We also have a treasure within us – The Chakras. Why is it called “Treasure Chest?” Inside the human chest is the heart.

Our Treasure – The Heart Chakra

You are a powerful being. Nothing can take that away. Use your time wisely – train your mind through meditation, work with your chakras, and help other people.

We are ready to face anything! We are born in this lifetime to see the “Great Awakening.” Let’s count our blessings!

Here are seven quotes about treasure:

Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will be also be. - Luke 12:34

If your profits are in heaven, your heart will be there too. - Matthew 6:21

The cave you enter holds the treasure you seek. - Joseph Campbell

Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it. - Lao Tzu

If you come here, you will find a hidden treasure. - Paulo Coelho

The greatest treasures are those invisible to the eye but found by the heart. - Judy Garland

Your heart will challenge you, but also reward you beyond your wildest dreams. - Stefan Emunds


Namaste, world.