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The Sufi meditation practice of Dhikr is REMEMBRANCE of the NAMES OF GOD. 

 

         “In practice it is the recitation of Holy verses and Divine Names of God.  Angels are always in the state of remembrance of God.  Saints and holy people strive to remember God with every breath.  The more a person remembers God in every moment, the more they will find peace and satisfaction in their hears.  Remembrance uplifts the Spirit and Soul. The Prophet(s) said, ‘Allah has angles roaming the earth to find people who are in Remembrance of God.  When they find a circle of such people, they call each other and encompass them in layers up to the heaven.”

         In the practice of Remembrance of the Names of God, “as each of the 99 names of God, or Divine Qualities, is prayed or ecstatically chanted, these qualities are planted deeper within the heart until the heart begins to recognize them and resonate at their frequency.”

(source: starsonadarknight.com – “Sufi Stories, The People Who Remember”)

 

In our Christian tradition, we have many names of God which will be the same as or similar to the ones listed below.  As I meditate on each of these 99 names, I allow the name to bring other familiar name(s) and scriptures back to my remembrance…to get back in touch with, mediate on and embrace the deeper meaning and feelings they bring…and allow those feelings to settle deep in my core. This anchors me to my Spiritual Center and renews my mind…it restores my soul and raises my Spirit and thinking to Christ Consciousness.

 

For instance, the practice starts with “Allah – the Greatest Name”…that reminds me how Jesus called Yahweh “Abba”…”Daddy”. How incredibly powerful and deeply calming that Name is…to know that God is my Daddy, my Mother/Father God…that His authority, His unfathomable love for and protection of me is present NOW…constant and unchanging.  It reminds me that I BELONG to God!! That “if God is for me, who can be against me!”  And…God protects me as He would the pupil of His eye. (from Psalm 17:8);  also, The Lord is my Light and my Salvation—whom shall I fear or dread? The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?  (Psalm 27). 

 

Join me in this restorative, healing meditation…and share it!  We can begin a Circle of Remembrance. 

 

The 99 Beautiful Names of God:  

 

Allah (Abba) – The Greatest Name

 

1.   The All-Merciful

2.   The All-Beneficent

3.   The Absolute Ruler

4.   The Pure One

5.   The Source of Peace

6.   The Inspirer of Faith

7.   The Guardian

8.   The Victorious

9.   The Compeller

10.The Greatest

11.The Creator

12.The Maker of Order

13.The Shaper of Beauty

14.The Forgiving

15.   The Subduer

16.   The Giver of All

17.   The Sustainer

18.   The Opener

19.   The Knower of All

20.   The Constrictor

21.   The Reliever

22.   The Abaser

23.   The Exalter

24.   The Bestower of Honors

25.   The Humiliator

26.   The Hearer of All

27.   The Seer of All

28.   The Judge

29.   The Just

30.   The Subtle One

31.   The All-Aware

32.   The Forbearing

33.   The Magnificent

34.   The Forgiver and Hider of Faults

35.   The Rewarder of Thankfulness

36.   The Highest

37.   The Greatest

38.   The Preserver

39.   The Nourisher

40.   The Accounter

41.   The Mighty

42.   The Generous

43.   The Watchful One

44.   The Responder to Prayer

45.   The All-Comprehending

46.   The Perfectly Wise

47.   The Loving One

48.   The Majestic One

49.   The Resurrector

50.   The Witness

51.   The Truth

52.   The Trustee

53.   The Possessor of All Strength

54.   The Forceful One

55.   The Governor

56.   The Praised One

57.   The Appraiser

58.   The Originator

59.   The Restorer

60.   The Giver of Life

61.   The Taker of Life

62.   The Ever Living One

63.   The Self-Existing One

64.   The Finder

65.   The Glorious

66.   The Only One

67.   The One

68.   The Satisfier of All Needs

69.   The All Powerful

70.   The Creator of All Power

71.   The Expediter

72.   The Delayer

73.   The First

74.   The Last

75.   The Manifest One

76.   The Hidden One

77.   The Protecting Friend

78.   The Supreme One

79.   The Doer of Good

80.   The Guide to Repentance

81.   The Avenger

82.   The Forgiver

83.   The Clement

84.   The Owner of All

85.   The Lord of Majesty and Bounty

86.   The Equitable One

87.   The Gatherer

88.   The Rich One

89.   The Enricher

90.   The Preventer of Harm

91.   The Creator of the Harmful

92.   The Creator of Good

93.   The Light

94.   The Guide

95.   The Originator

96.   The Everlasting One

97.   The Inheritor of All

98.   The Righteous Teacher

99.The Patient One

          God is LOVE!

 

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COSMIC RETROGRADE – Keep Your FOCUS!!
by Princella E. Graham, the Kindred Coach | Edit 12/06/2016

What is retrograde motion?
“Retrograde motion is motion in the direction opposite to the movement of something else and the contrary of direct or prograde motion.” Wikipedia

“Sometimes the planets appear to change direction in the sky. This retrograde motion is entirely an illusion caused by the Earth passing the slower moving outer planets.”
Christopher Crockett in Space | November 25, 2012

It’s 2016 and the political landscape in the US since 2008 is as tense as the pre-civil war era.  For the last 8 years, factions are taking impenetrable stances and shutting down lines of communication that seek to find a middle ground.  On the political scene, the loud voices screaming “Take our country BACK!” sharply contrast with the voices that urge us to “Move our country FORWARD!”  Those dialogues are not unusual…it’s the VITRIOL that is increasing the fodder of  HATEFUL TENSION that becomes the flame that will “burn down Rome”!!    More importantly, this tension is growing not only in the US but around the world and is only a projection of a more global cosmic reality…our earth civilization is in RETROGRADE.

But, this cosmic retrograde is an ILLUSION.  Consider the wheels on a speeding car…they appear to be moving in the opposite direction of the automobile.  Moving FORWARD is the authentic direction of our earth civilization. The book of Revelations tells us that in the last days, God will “Raise us up.”  Could that mean a literal “raising up” of our collective SPIRITUAL CONSCIOUSNESS?  Conforming us to the image of Christ!!  The “raising up to Christ Consciousness” IS  the QUANTUM LEAP FORWARD for mankind!

A global epochal change is in process.  As we approach the precipice of this universal quantum leap forward, opposing  forces are arising to try to pull us backwards and the “drag” is creating tremendous tension.

But this TENSION is MANDATORY…it’s required as propulsion for the leap forward!!  Consider that you are a seasoned, expert archer.  You grasp the grip of your bow with a steady hand, position your arrow on the rest of the arrow shelf guiding it stealthily into its rest, and locate your target with a sure eye through your bow-sight.  As your other hand pulls back on the bowstring with a strong, gradual drag, you begin to feel the tension build in the bow cable.  The more your PULL BACK, the GREATER THE TENSION…the greater the tension, the more power and force is transferred to the arrow.

Recognizing that the incredible tension of the backward pull is a critical part of the process, an expert archer will be aware of the controversial pressure, but sharpen the FOCUS ON THE TARGET, holding the bow with increasingly greater INTENTION in preparation for the arrow’s release.  This intentional focus ensures that the arrow moves forward to penetrate the bulls-eye incorporating the massive force and speed transferred to it by the creative tension of the backward drag.

We are COSMIC SPIRITUAL ARCHERS.  As Spiritual Archers we must be constantly aware of what we’re focusing on…either the DRAG or the TARGET.  Our success depends on our ability to keep our eye on the target!! If we focus ONLY on the PULLING BACK…take our eyes off the target to concentrate only on the pulling back of the bow cable because it’s causing incredible tension and pain, we won’t even come close to hitting the target when the tension peaks to the point of release.

In spite of the pain, focus on the TARGET…GOD’S DIVINE LOVE… the manifestation of OUR ONENESS WITH GOD!   Holy scripture describes “sin” as “doubt”…”missing the target”.  If we don’t AWAKEN soon, it will really be a SIN!!  “Missing the target” may mean the end of life as we know it.  We must awaken and remember  that our enemies are not of flesh and blood, but of spiritual powers and principalities. We must awaken to the reality of Scriptures that remind us  that there is but ONE GOD, and constantly meditate on sacred writings that confirm WHO we are as children of GOD…Spirit-inspired writings that remind us of the power of our Oneness and God’s Divine Love.   We must be awake and on the ready for this global QUANTUM LEAP FORWARD into the Age of CHRIST CONSCIOUSNESS.  This is not just a Christian reality, it is a wakeup call for ALL faith communities who believe in the ONE GOD!

James Alan Conlon* , Director of the Sophia Center in Culture and Spirituality at Holy Names College in Oakland, California,  speaks poetically of this as “the time of the Sacred FEMININE…the empowerment  and embodiment of Love…an age powered by compassion, nurturing, unity…a shared awakening and awareness of our oneness.”  He notes that the Sacred Feminine has nothing to do with our concept of “female domination” versus “male domination”.  Instead, “The sacred feminine is the divine principle of love in existence..”

This “Divine principle of love in existence” is the TRUE TARGET…THE REALIZATION OF GOD’S POWER AND DIVINE LOVE…THE UNFOLDING AND ACTUALIZATION of the CHRIST CONSCIOUSNESS…the awakening to our ONENESS!  As James Conlon notes, “…Together as one, the true sacredness of God is realised that is above all the dichotomies the mind has to offer.  When we are truly connected in this way, we are no longer a competing pack exploiting one another and the natural wonder of life.”

THIS…God’s Divine Love and our Spiritual ONENESS… is the FOCUS to which we are called in spite of the pain caused by the increasingly excruciating tension of the forces appearing to pull us backwards…the RETROGRADE.  Let’s stay focused…keep our eyes on the true target…and move forward.

God deserves our gratitude for our AWAKENING.  God deserves OUR REFLECTION of His SACRED LOVE into the world!!!

*(James Conlon is the Director of the Sophia Center in Culture and Spirituality at Holy Names College in Oakland, California. He is the author of Ponderings from the Precipice and Earth Story, Sacred Story. In this dramatic and exciting paperback, Conlon sets out to describe the lineaments of a spirituality that is evolutionary, holistic, and mystical. [http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/books/reviews/view/2356]    Holy Names University is a private, coeducational university located in Oakland, California. It is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church and is administered by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.  Wikipedia )

COSMIC RETROGRADE – Spiritual Archers…to the Ready!!
by Princella E. Graham, thekindredcoach | Edit 12/06/2016

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In my devotional this morning, I came across a prior journal entry about “restoring my soul”.  “Write with me, Princi Beth.” The Spirit urged me to grab a pencil and start dialoguing…just write what you “hear” God (Daddy) saying.   I heard “restore” as “RE-STORE”!  I saw in my imagination a truck pulling up to a store with a large red sign “Going Out of Business” plastered over its door as workers busily lugged out boxes of goods to a moving truck.  The workers were stoned-faced, disgruntled, confused, frustrated as they emptied the building, leaving it baron and dark.     moving pic

ANGER emptied my “soul stores”…the STORES 0f My Innerbeing!   Frustration and disappointment packed up my “goods” with soured faces, while grief, anger and distrust hauled the boxes into the darkness of the awaiting truck.  My “stores” were being emptied…my “goods” to be left in the gloomy dark.  Lights out!!  Closed for business…(busy-ness)!!  Shelves are empty…heart is hardened.  Sounds like death…ugh!!

But, You, Daddy, reminded me…(re-MIND-ed me…changed my perspective by telling and teaching me the truth)…of Your promises:  “And I will give you the TREASURES OF DARKNESS and hidden riches of secret places” (Isaiah 45:3);  “…And be not grieved and depressed, for the JOY of the Lord is your strength and stronghold.” (Nehemiah 8:10)
You remind me that You, Father/Mother God, restore (RE-STORE) my soul!!  YOU, Holy One, turn the LIGHTS back on…YOU break open the hidden truck and bring out all my “goods” that had been whisked away.  YOU give me back the treasures of my soul that had been packed away and stashed in darkness.

I can see the workers’ sincere faces…Trust, Commitment and Constancy dig through the boxes to re-pack my goods; Compassion and … (“What do you see, Princi?”…I don’t know…this is hard work!!)  (I see…) Compassion and Forgiveness are at work cleaning the shelves and turning on Lights, rebuilding the storerooms!   Laughter, Holy Expectation and Outrageous Creativity are redesigning the layout. (“What do you see?”…Uh–I don’t have a word for it.) (“What does it FEEL like?” Your Holy Breath!)  Your Holy Breath breathes New Life…a refreshing, light breeze…a warm, comforting, nurturing sigh and the boxes begin to move themsleves back into the store.  All the goodness contained inside the boxes move into their places back on the shelves!!  grocery store

My Daily Bread shelves are full again of Your fresh, sweet Word!  Your Milk of Life fills the bright, clean coolers.  The Strong Meat of Your Truth lay needly and deeply in the lighted, cooled places.  Jars of “A Good Word – like Honeycomb” sit in deep rows in my “Healing” isle.  And the Fruit of Your Holy Spirit fill all the shelves of my fresh, renewed thinking.  Love and Joy tend my store, and TRUST stands guard at my door…(“Yeshua told the synagogue official, “Don’t be afraid, just keep trusting.” Mark 5:35 – Complete Jewish Bible)

I am at HOME again!   You, Father/Mother God, have RE-STORED my soul…and MORE TRUCKS ARE COMING!!!   Truly, the JOY of the Lord is my salvation!!  And, the Lord is my shepherd; I have everthing that I want and need!!! (A psalm of David: Adonai is my shepherd; I lack nothing. He has me lie down in grassy pastures, he leads me by quiet water, he restores my inner person.)

Thank you, Daddy!!!

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LentI’m angry and I don’t really know why.  Is it because there is so much pain in the world and I’m not making a difference?  Or am I just being arrogant?  After all, who am I?

It’s Lent again and every year when others are giving up yummy sweets or gossiping or libations…beer and booze…at least until the weekend…you don’t have to fast on the weekends…I annually give up COMPLAINING…even on the weekends. Actually, I don’t just give up complaining, I take on GRATITUDE…saying “thank you” for whatever is happening instead of going into an angry rant.  Awesome things have happened year after year.  When I just hit the pause button and say “thank you that’s it’s happening this way”…good came out of it every time!   It amazes me, however, that when Lent rolls around the next year, I still have COMPLAINING to give up!!  Needless to say, every year when Lent rolls around, I have to REMEMBER to replace complaining with gratitude.  But that’s okay…the act of intentionally replacing anger and complaining with gratitude is my fast for RE-LENTING.  Ummm…”re-Lenting”??  Interesting!

I looked up the word “RELENT” since it seemed to jump off the page as I just wrote it.   Bopping over to my favorite website, dictionary/reference.com, I was awed by the following definitions:
(verb – used without object) 1.  to soften in feeling, temper, or determination; become more mild, compassionate or forgiving; 2. to become less severe; slacken.
(verb – used with object) 1. to cause to soften in feeling, temper, or determination; 2. to cause to slacken; abate; 3. to abandon; relinquish.

So…RE-LENTING has deeper meaning than I thought.  Lent is my sacred space in time to “re-Lent”…to trust God…to soften my anger toward myself and the world for causing such pain and misery.  My sacred space in time to become more mild and compassionate toward and forgiving of myself and others.  AND to bask in gratitude that will cause the anger to abate, the tightness of consternation to slacken…to abandon fear and relinquish hopelessness to the Light of God’s grace.  “What is meant for evil, God will turn to good for those who love Him and are called to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)  The Purpose…to know and trust God, and reflect God’s Love into the world.  Living the purpose with “thank you”…acceptance, mercy, forgiveness, gratitude, HOPE, creativity, renewed thought, seeing and seeking wisdom and grace…especially in the face of disappointment, fear and pain, opens my eyes to see God’s hand at work and opens my ears to hear joy.  Lent is not as much about giving up stuff as it is taking on God’s grace and the joy of salvation.

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A quick correction to my earlier story about…ANTs: it’s  Always Negative Thinking (not Thoughts).42-17098456

It’s amazing how much I have learned about ANTs, and also quite amazing how much I’ve become aware of how infested my thinking has been!  I refer to my negative thinking as “ANT Matilda”.  She has a terrible habit of shouting!!!  I had begun learning how to talk back to ANT Matilda, but I felt there had to be a better way to shut her down.  So, needless to say, when several articles about getting rid of ANTs came to my attention over the last four months, they peaked my interest.

Also, incredibly enough, I continued to battle with the REAL 6-legged creatures…ants do have 6 legs, right???…throughout the summer!  As I sat working on my computer, I noticed a steady stream of small black ants wandering along the window seal next to my desk.   At first, I shooed the little creatures along their way and back through the slender crevices in the window that allow their entrance.  After a while, however, I began to SMASH them!  What a nuisance!!! 

Around the same time, I was continuing to listen to Dr. Amen, “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life” as he lectured on how to “KILL the ANTs (Always Negative Thinking)” by talking back to the ANTs.  I used his technique with one of my coaching clients with great success!  She, too, was becoming quite adept at talking back to her “ANT Peggy” and gaining confidence listening to her PETs…Positive Energizing Thoughts…more on PETs that later! 

Dr. Amen suggests that by identifying the TYPE of ANT and defying the negative thought with positive affirmations, we actually can change the chemical pathways in the brain and STOP the ANTs from traversing their usual terrorizing trails.   Recognizing that the ANTs do not tell the truth, we  can actually ERASE the old negative pathways by CLEANSING them with TRUTH!   How about that!!!

The light went on and the great AHA! arose…that might work for my little 6-legged creatures, too!!  So, off to the laundry room I scampered and donned a few drops of laundry detergent, a cap of water and an eyedropper.  As the little buggers scurried across the window seal, I dabbed them with a drop of detergent water.  Dead in their tracks!  Every time!!!  So, using the dropper, I poured a small amount of the cleanser into the window track and along the edge of the window seal.  A couple days of doing that diligently, and VOILE’!  It was like magic!!  NO MORE ANTS!  I had erased their trail and nothing but sunshine was now streaming through that window!

As for my own “ANT Matilda”, I began to use the “detergent” of AFFIRMATIONS.  As Dr. Amen directed, I began to WRITE DOWN the negative thought, the TYPE of ANT (following his instructions) that that negative thought was, and THE TRUTH…the AFFIRMATION that effectively KILLED THE ANT and erased the pathway. 

It has taken more than just a couple of days, but I am becoming much more acute at recognizing the ANTs in my life, naming them for what they are, and talking back to them to shut them down.  More importantly, I am gratefully gaining PETs which strengthen my confidence and self esteem, heal my relationships and give me PEACE OF MIND!!

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