BRDNSKY and Spiritualist Circle of Light

Your guide to improved life satisfaction

Spiritualism

It's not about talking to the dead. It's about exploring the continuity of Life.

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Creating and Directing Intention


     We all have needs and desires. How can they be fulfilled?  Sending out a call to the universe is a good way to start. The problem is the universe doesn’t always know what we need. So, it often provides us with the next best thing. Only we know what is needed, if we have the courage to speak our desire. We must be clear when we do this. Remember what happened when someone made a request in a mumble tone. We had to guess, and when that happens, we typically get it wrong. We could just write something down and forget it, but we can do more.


     Intention is about manifesting our desires and needs. Manifesting is about manipulating the subtle energies flowing around us. If we want our intention to become real, we must attract and focus the correct energy. Putting our intention in a prayer format, or even a poem is a good place to begin.


     Begin with an idea and shape it with words, shape it with an image. We can even shape it with a bulletin board and pictures. Just remember, be precise. If we generalize our idea, we get generalized results. 


     Writing our thoughts down has been a habit since grade school. So, write down what is desired. Don’t worry about grammar, just write. Later it can be distilled into a short passage that captures our idea. Myself, I prefer putting my desires in a poem. Using rhythm and rhyme allows me to memorize what is desired clearly. I say it aloud three times before meditating.


     Drawing or doodling a desire on a piece of paper also works. Refine it until the image portrays what is envisioned. When meditating, focus on the image. Visualization triggers the same areas of the brain as the actual hands-on experience. Don’t just visualize what you desire, visualize the experience. Experiencing our desire generates an emotional response. Emotions are the strongest energy we generate. Use it to attract energy associated with what is desired. 


     If a visual board is chosen, the steps are pretty much the same. The important thing to remember is to focus. Meditation by itself isn’t enough. Focus on attracting energy. Energy is found in events. Think of meditation as a high-power magnet attracting certain ideas, images, and anything else similar to what is desired.  


     When starting this process, be watchful. By this, we mean pay attention for developing events. When energy reaches a threshold, an event is triggered. The event is what we watch for, because events lead to clarifying and solidifying what we’re asking the universe for.


     We've used this method for a variety of desires. We write a short poem to be aligned with people who would benefit from what is being offered. Within several days, a basic tarot class was formed. One last thing. Do this routine for thirty days in order to build the energy.


Image from Shaeffler from Pixabay.

Some Simple Rules for Mediumship Development

Spiritualist Circle of Light presents some mediumship development guidelines. Spiritualism is a religion focusing on the demonstration of the continuity of life. Some claim this ability was active when they were born. Others, like myself, have take the time to develop this faculty. There are many books and guides on the topic. This doesn't necessary mean experience. What we share today is some of the experience of development.


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To Experience Interconnectedness

     Group meditation has demonstrated the ability to affect surrounding communities. Reductions in crime, violence, and a variety of social stressors have been experienced by some neighborhoods.[1] While small populations may benefit, does the group itself benefit? Of course, there are the obvious benefits connected to the practice of meditation. Is there something more?


     The popular practice is mindful meditation, because it has been the most studied. Mindfulness has been described in various ways, such as being fully in the present, being accepting, and mindfulness leading to enlightenment.[2] If we meditate for enlightenment, then we may have created the very act it is meant to prevent. A distraction. Thus, something more may lie deeper. Meditation also leads to increased awareness. This leads to an ability to foresee and then create potential events leading to a deeper understanding of the life experience. These experiential possibilities would only have meaning to the person creating them. Through this, we may extrapolate that mindfulness not only allows a person to extend the present through nonlocality, but also transition future potentials into present observation. How does this translate into a group experience?


     As adults, mindfulness offers the opportunity to experience the emotional exchanges of life. Often, these interactions test our knowledge of ourselves and our ability to reveal intimate aspects.[3] The typical meditation practitioner experiences the approach to mindfulness in a solitary fashion. In isolation, an awareness of interconnectedness may be one sided. Glimpses of how we are connected may tease us into a false experience. Group meditation offers an opportunity to connect with others[4] in a way that goes beyond the typical experience. Meditating in a group environment may offer an avenue to an interconnectedness that fulfills the act of becoming aware. Another way of approaching this is the perception of interdependence may exceed the solitary encounter of awareness. Such an act may reveal mutual existence with self-recognition. This may even lead to the creation of another form of identity or a more complete unification of self. After all, we are social creatures seeking like minds, companionship, and belonging. To fully accomplish this, a certain level of empathy may have to be developed in the participants.


     In the metaphysical or New Age movement, empathy brings to mind those who are sensitive to the emotions of others. Often this suggests a level of exclusivity. However, empathy is described through many viewpoints. Some of the common points are understanding, sharing and creating an internal space where we may accept others. This encourages others to feel understood and that they are not alone.[5] If we go beyond the accepted adjectives, we may even suggest it includes the ability to experience the emotional state of another through our emotional and cognitive abilities. This requires us to declutter our emotional and cognitive filters.[6] This may not be easily accomplished.


     Empathy requires us to engage others[7] on levels we may feel uncomfortable expressing. We must be emotionally engaged, which may include exposing areas of our personality that may not be as secure as we may think. The term that comes to mind is vulnerability. Only through such acts may a bond be struck. A bond is the means of connectedness through which we communicate with the Divine. If we subscribe to any of the esoteric teachings, then we are the Divine. Through others, we commune with the Divine. Such a link should not be entered into lightly, even if it is under the pretense of enlightenment. Through empathy we expose ourselves to others. More often than not, they are unaware of this communication. At the same time, many of us are unaware of such communications and through our immaturity may feel emotionally exhausted, some level of guilt, or even misplaced responsibility.[8] Such events are due to an inability to disentangle our emotions from those of another. Before we do this, we must first experience self-empathy. We must first embrace all our perceived imperfections[9] as beings of intelligence and emotion.


     Meditation experiences within groups allow us to develop the skills needed to embark upon such a transcendental endeavor. This is what being spiritual is about. The ability to examine the life experience and discover meaning. Through our discoveries, we become empathically linked to the Divine, or to each other.


     This raises mindfulness to the ability to immerse ourselves in the emotions of our environment without becoming lost. Mindfulness becomes the ability to remain at rest while being alert. Meditation within a group environment allows us to commune in a fashion that may bear no description.



References

Epstein, M. (1998). Therapy and meditation. Psychology Today, 31(3), 46.

Mantzios, M., & Giannou, K. (2014). Group vs. single mindfulness meditation: Exploring avoidance, impulsivity, and weight management in two separate mindfulness meditation settings. Applied Psychology: Health & Well-Being, 6(2), 173-91.

Park, H., Kim, E. K., Moon, K. J., & Kim, M. J. (2020). The mediating effect of spirituality between nurses' empathy and elderly care performance in the long term care hospitals. Journal of Korean Academy of Community Health Nursing, 31(1), 34-42.

Perez-Fuentes, M., Linares, G. J., Jurado, M. M., Marquez, S. M., & Martinez, M. A. (2020). The mediating roles of cognitive an affective empathy in the relationship of mindfulness with engagement in nursing. BMC public health, 20(1), 16.

Segalla, R. A. (2003). Meditation and group psychotherapy. Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 23(5), 784-99.

von Knorring, J., Semb, O., Fahlstsrom, M., & Lehti, A. (2019). "It is through body language and looks, but it is also a feeling" - a qualitative study on medical interns' experience of empathy. BMC medical education, 19(1), 333.

Walton, K., Cavanaugh, K. L., & Pugh, N. D. (2005). Effect of group practice of the transcendental meditation program on biochemical indicators of stress in non-meditatirs: A prospective time series study. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality(17), 339-373.


Image by Anja from Pixabay.

[1] (Walton, Cavanaugh, & Pugh, 2005)

[2] (Segalla, 2003)

[3] (Epstein, 1998)

[4] (Mantzios & Giannou, 2014)

[5] (Park, Kim, Moon, & Kim, 2020)

[6] (Perez-Fuentes, Linares, Jurado, Marquez, & Martinez, 2020)

[7] (von Knorring, Semb, Fahlstsrom, & Lehti, 2019)

[8] (Perez-Fuentes, Linares, Jurado, Marquez, & Martinez, 2020)

[9] (Park, Kim, Moon, & Kim, 2020)

To Love is to Act

     In the Gnostic Gospel of Philip, the author writes, faith receives, love gives. No one will be able to receive without faith. No one will be able to give without love. Because of this, in order that we may indeed receive, we believe; but it is so that we may love and give, since if one does not give in love, he has no profit from what he has given.


     While faith and love are of equal importance, our focus is upon love. Love gives. Giving is action, not inaction. When asked what love is, the responders made statements such as respect and trust. In today’s vernacular, trust and respect are earned. Does this imply that love too is earned?


     We are going to propose love be nurture. While it isn’t the grand spectacle many would have it be, nurture is the best term to describe love. To nurture is to act. Action is a verb, it is movement. Anything that describes movement, regardless of how subtle the act is a verb by our standards. When we say the words ‘I love you,’ we are pledging to nurture the one whom we direct this to. This does not mean we stand afar and observe. This means we act in a fashion that moves the other forward. We act in a fashion that assists in the growth of the other. This does not mean we withdraw under the pretense of tough love. This means if we must withdraw, we should provide the opportunity to demonstrate by example. Too many are of the opinion their children should do as they say, and not as they do. This is not love. This is confusion. This is deception. This is self-serving. There is a way to determine if our actions are truly borne of love.


     In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna informs Arjuna that, ‘You have a right to your actions, but never to your actions’ fruit. Act for the action’s sake. And do not be attached to inaction.’ When we act in love, or in a nurturing fashion, the action calls us, and we answer. However, once we begin the bargaining process, love is no longer involved, and it becomes a transaction.

Remember Love

A guided meditation that reminds us that Love is more than just an intellectualized event. Words and Narration by Brdnsky Guide.

Music: Morning After by Livio, Amato. Sugar Doesn't Replace You at All by Livio Amato. Gone by Livio Amato https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Livio_Amato/20190415152516624.

Marina by Antonio Bizarro https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Antnio_Bizarro/The_Dark_Room

Music is licensed under CC BY NC SA 4.0. Images/ video from Pixabay.


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Mediumship: Automatic Writing

     A little history about the development of mediumship within Spiritualism. This began as a series of public seances. That's what the Fox sisters brought to us with the Hydesville incident, the advent of the public séance. Today, we call them messages or spirit greetings, but they are public seances. This is how Spiritualism gained its popularity as it developed. As it progressed, so did the methods of mediumship, which is what automatic writing is. Automatic writing is one method, just as cabinet mediumship is another method. Some of the practitioners were caught up in what we can only assume to be competition, trying to outdo one another. So, we had a lot of sensational displays of mediumship. I've read where one person did automatic writing with both hands simultaneously.[1] Both sheets of paper had writing in two different styles which is expected. Have any who are right-handed tried to write with the left hand, or those who are left-handed tried to write with the right hand? They're completely different. I taught myself to write with my left hand and its very different from writing with the other. Using both hands does not make it any better, but it is a sensationalized display of mediumship. In my experience as a member of the Independent Spiritualist Association, this is something frowned upon. I did blind billets and was chastised for it. As I think about it, it is a good idea to discourage such displays. Perhaps the occasional vulgar display may be acceptable but shouldn’t be performed on a regular basis.


     During the pandemic we’ve acquainted ourselves with cybertechnology. So, it's only natural we should extend this experience towards our communications with those in Life’s Other Rooms. We've demonstrated some direct electronic means, this time we’ll use it indirectly in the form of automatic writing. We can only share what I've experienced. We can only teach what we've experienced. We can make you aware of what we’ve read and that's what we’ll begin with.


     While clearing out information on some old computer disks, I discovered a file labeled ISA literature. I'm not sure if this is material I purchased or if it's from when I was the Educational Trustee attempting to digitize and update the material. While reading through one of the teaching seminars, I believe it was the 4th Teaching Seminar when the Reverend Vavrinek was the Educational Trustee, he discussed automatic writing. This is roughly what he said.


     When developing automatic writing, it's best if you select a time that you are going to do this and follow through. Regularly once a week is adequate, twice a week is fine, and anything beyond three times a week may be considered extreme. Also, when it comes to sitting, five to ten minutes is sufficient, fifteen minutes is good, twenty minutes and beyond again is too much. He also recommends sitting with a teacher, or someone who is familiar with automatic writing. Today that may be difficult. We don't practice this very much. He also indicates this is a low form of spirit communication and cautions against becoming reliant upon it. Continuing with how to do this, set up a place to do automatic writing, set a time, and if possible, have someone who's able to sit with you. He suggests holding a soft lead pencil.


     In a separate presentation by the Reverend Cosie Allen, from the NSAC, suggests using an ink or a felt tip pen. It doesn't matter what tool you use as long as it's sensitive enough to catch the scribblings or tracings as your hand moves across the paper. The idea is that spirit takes control of the hand and writes. Rev. Vavrinek also goes on to say, expect nothing the first few settings. Eventually, you will begin to get scribblings, and then something that may be considered words. He also explains, sitting for this could take years to develop. It's become apparent, in this age of technology, that discipline is not something many want to develop. There is a method, and that's what you look for, the method toward development.


     We're going to present to you what we’ve experienced. There are a couple of approaches to automatic writing. One has been presented at the First Spiritual Church of Prayer. In preparation, we recommend meditation. We're a big fan of meditation and always recommend meditating before doing any kind of psychic work. The more you meditate, the better your ability to put yourself into the proper state.


     I agree with the Rev. Vavrinek, between five and ten minutes is sufficient, anything beyond 20 minutes isn't going to improve anything. We’re not saying it's worthless, but it's not going to make things any better. Meditate, and then set yourself up. What we did at the First Spiritual Church of Prayer was prior to a short meditation. I asked everyone to focus on a question. You can write this question down or you can speak it aloud or whisper it. I do not recommend asking questions mentally. For the simple fact, during meditation, what's the one problem we experience, particularly for those who close their eyes? Distractions, they come at us as images, snippets of conversations, arguments, plans for the day, etc. all this stuff is nothing but distractions. So, write the question down or speak it aloud or whisper it. The idea behind this is to direct our focus or intention. Then, be patient and attentive to what you may be impressed with. You may be impressed through a sound, a voice similar to your own, thoughts similar to your own or an experience of a different nature. This is where discernment comes into play. This is where you learn if you know yourself. If you do, then you’ll be able to discern your thoughts or voice from those of another. If you don’t know yourself very well, you won't be sure. Ask the question, rest, listen or watch and be attentive. Write down what comes to mind, no matter what it may be.


     That is one method, this is another. Some of you may be familiar with the guided meditations I’ve formulated. I don't just sit down and put them together, at least not the words. I'll be writing or researching, when all of a sudden, I'm impressed with thoughts that are not my own. I stop what I'm working on, close my eyes, put my hands on the keyboard, and just type. When the words slow down, or when they stop, I open my eyes, and make any necessary corrections. I'm not a perfect typist. I'm barely good enough to keep up because there are red and blue marks all over the page.


     These are two methods that allow you to develop automatic writing, three including what Rev. Vavrinek shared. We encourage you to discover which of these methods work best for you or use them as a foundation to develop your own. We also recommend using this method as a means of exploration into the deeper meaning of Spiritualism.


     We're going to have a guided meditation. Some of you may find the words and music, even the video to be distracting, we apologize for that. Think of it as a timing method. What we would like you to do, is focus on love. Don't think about it, feel it. We want you to remember the sensation. Remember when you felt love. That is the most important thing to remember, when you felt loved and to rest there. We're always taught how potent and powerful love is. Well, you’re going to find out. We don’t want you thinking about it because then you intellectualize it. Remembering how it felt and resting in it is far more powerful. That is the power we want you to experience. As we meditate, we’ll be meditating with ‘Resting on a Bench,’ because it will help with your intention. Write your question first. Direct it towards someone you are familiar with or would like to speak with or hear from. This is how you call them. That's the direction we're going to go, that's the intention. Rest in the sensation of love, remember it, and rest in it. I’m not going to call you out, because the guided meditation will do that. After it ends, listen, watch, expect to be impressed upon by another.


Image: Typewriter by Devanath from Pixabay


[1] I read this when introduced to Spiritualism. At this time, I searched for information regarding the aspects of mediumship. Unfortunately, I no longer possess the source of this information making it questionable.

Inner Voice

     Although we are responsible for our own actions, we are dependent on others for support. People give each other value and a sense of belonging. Interestingly, we don’t always get this support from just the outside. We also get support from the inside.


     Right about the time we discover imaginary friends, we develop an inner voice. Sometimes this inner voice takes on a life of its own. This isn’t always a bad thing, but for some, this voice becomes someone other than whom the person is.


     The sixth Spiritualist Principle tells us we should treat others as we would have them treat us. This is also one of the parables of Jesus and may have many different interpretations. One such interpretation may have been before this saying became the Golden Rule. Do not ask another to do something that you, yourself, would not do.[1] The principle is a belief. To believe is to hope, so we do this, hoping others will reciprocate. When we address the inner voice the question becomes, “How shall I treat myself and how shall I reciprocate?”


     Self-esteem is about being valuable to our self. Are we worthy? Yes, we are, but are we in agreement with ourselves? We may say, of course we are. However, the inner voice may disagree. Some may call our inner voice our soul. If we are all souls, then we are all equal. Some merely understand things better than others. If this is true, then we are worthy. Some of us choose not to believe this. Let’s call upon the inner voice.


     Jesus said a house divided cannot stand. Conflict is often about power. There is a victim and a perpetrator. The victim and perpetrator are easily identified, power is not. Conflict arises due to a perceived imbalance of power. Thus, when we are in disagreement with ourselves, we are divided. Our souls, being of the Divine, will never cause us to be divided. The goal of the Divine is to bring us to perfection. This does not indicate the soul is always correct. If this were true, we would always be correct. Therefore, we create our own conflict. To resolve conflict, we must restore the perceived balance of power.


     Power is the ability to influence others.[2] To restore the balance of our power, our inner voice must allow us influence, and we must allow the inner voice influence as well. This true in most conflicts. There must be a perceived equalization of power. In other words, there must be communication from both sides. Each person is not only responsible for their actions; they are responsible for their lack of action.


     What has this to do with Spiritualism? We are interconnected and dependent upon each other. We depend on each other to perceive us, to give us worth, and to provide us with support. Many claim to listen to the voice of the Divine. However, the voice heard may not always be the words of the Divine. We will benefit greatly if we learn to recognize its voice. We will also benefit when listening to the words we may be saying to ourselves. Are we praising ourselves, or criticizing ourselves? My teacher, Rev. Miller has said that Spirit, or the Divine, is given more credit than what it is responsible for.



References

Bahm, A. (1964). The World's Living Religions: A searching comparison of the faiths of East and West. Carbondale and Edwardsville, IL: Souther Illinois University Press.

Haug, I. E. (1999). Boundaries and the use and misuse of power and authority: Ethical complexities for clergy psychotherapists. Journal of Counseling & Development, 77(4), 411.


[1] (Bahm, 1964)

[2] (Haug, 1999)

Spiritualism: It's Echoes, It's Foundation

When people ask where Spiritualism came from, most likely someone will point them to Kate and Margaret Fox. They are two of many who are responsible for the development of Spiritualism. However, we can find its tendrils reaching further back than any known religion. Join us as we scan history's horizon for activities identified today as being part of Spiritualism. You may be surprised where we find the bread crumbs of this natural part of life.We'll gaze towards the dawn of history to humanity's earliest vestiges of religion. Discover how divination began compared to where it is now. Uncover the oldest belief. Discern what Spiritualism may actually be about. It's not just about talking to the departed.Join us as we take a brief tour of how Spiritualism came about. This is not an in depth look. We'll follow buried connections, and perhaps you will make some of your own.

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Spiritualism Demonstration: Seances and Circles

This is an Independent Spiritualist Association education video. This video was recorded 14 September 2019 at the Golden Light Spiritualist Church. We discuss the difference between a seance and a mediumship circle. We also encourage you to start your own mediumship circle.