What power in you do you recognize?

Monday, April 25th, 2011 Choose Again No Comments

“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration; I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

FMAA Instructor’s Perform Their Outstanding Forms For Nike

Sunday, December 19th, 2010 Health & Wellness No Comments

Danni Verona performing Guang Ping Chen Tai Chi
for Nike IHM Group
Nike Event Kung-Fu Team

Family Martial Arts Academy Instructor’s Michael Alcobendas, Danni Verona and Bryce Verona gave an outstanding performance last night at Nike Headquarters in Beaverton, OR.  The special event took place at the Tiger Woods Building for Nike’s IHM staff, friends and family.  Bryce Verona started with “Yang Ban Hou” a Northern Chinese Spear yang style form he learned from lineage master Henry Look.  Danni Verona then gracefully and eloquently performed her Chen Style “Guang Ping” t’ai chi kata followed by Michael Alcobendas acrobatic performance of his Wushu Broad Sword.

Our American-Okinawan Shorin-ryu roots go back to China and it was exciting to acknowledge those roots and to see and bring these very high level performances to this Nike event.

Thank you Michael, Danni and Bryce for sharing your knowlegable and rich backgrounds in the martial arts!

Nike Photo Credits Jessica Peters

Video credit to Julie Magers:  Click Here to see our 10 minute video

Michael Alcobendas performing Wushu Broad Sword

Bryce at Nike Event doing Yang Ban Hou

Prayer and Meditation: The Song of Prayer

Friday, December 17th, 2010 Uncategorized No Comments

It has helped me to think of meditation as the calming of the mind.  A way to quiet the noise and chaos of our daily lives and to make the mind like still water.  The Japanese call it Mizoro No Korkoru, to attain a mind like still water so that you can be sensitive to every ripple.  From there you can then hear or connect with your higher self, your higher power and when you do connect that is prayer, a dialogue between you and your creator.  A song of Joy.

From The Song Of Prayer (Prayer, Forgiveness, Healing) booklet which is an Extension of the Principles of A Course in Miracles comes this beautiful introduction:

1.  Prayer is the greatest gift with which God blessed His Son at his creation.  It was then what it is to become; the single voice Creator and creation share; the song the Son sings to the Father, Who returns the thanks it offers Him unto the Son.  Endless the harmony, and endless, too, the joyous concord of the Love They give forever to Each Other.  And in this, creation is extended.  God gives thanks to His extension in His Son.  His Son gives thnaks for his creation, in the song of his creating in his Father’s Name.  The Love they share is what all prayer will be thoughout eternity, when time is done.  For such it was before time seemed to be.

2.   To you who are in time a little while, prayer takes the form that best will suit your need.  You have but one.  What God created one must recognize its oneness, and rejoice that what illusions seemed to separate is one forever in the Mind of God.  Prayer now must be the means by which God’s Son leaves separate goals and separate interests by, and turns in holy gladness to the truth of union in his Father and himself.

3.  Lay down your dreams, you holy Son of God, and rising up as God created you, dispense with idols and remember Him.  Prayer will sustain you now, and bless you as you lift your heart to Him in rising song that reaches higher and then higher still., until both high and low have disappeared.   Faith in your goal will grow and hold you up as you ascend the shining stairway to the lawns of Heaven and the gate of peace.  For this is prayer, and here salvation is.  This is the way.  It is God’s gift to you.

The Song of Prayer is published by the Foundation For Inner Peace

Difficulty In Accepting the Gifts of God – The Paradox

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 Arthur's Letters No Comments

First:  What are the Gifts of God? – Love, Peace, Spirit, Eternal Life, True Self, Creation, Oneness.  Those are words that may be understood intellectually, but hardly experientially.  What we seem to understand more easily, are the gifts of the ego.  Some of these are: the self, the me and the mine, specialness, individuality, duality, the body, the cosmos, material things, etc. —-

Lesson 166.1 in ACIM Workbook says:  “All the things are given you.  God’s trust in you is limitless.   He knows His Son.  He gives without exception, holding nothing back that can contribute to your happiness”. …

The lesson goes on:  “And yet, unless your will is one with His, His gifts are not received”What would make you think there is another will than His?  Here is the paradox that underlies the making of the world.  This world is not the Will of God, and so it is not real”.

This is the paradox faced by every student of A Course In Miracles.  We read this book as individuals – a body’s eyes that see words on a page, and a brain that interprets them.  At the same time, what we read tells us we’re not really here at all, that all things physical are illusory.  Therefore, we typically treat the paradox as the ego always does:  split it off, and then forget it is there, so it does not have to be dealt with.

The fear is – if we look at the paradox which eventually we will have to,  not only would the paradox disappear , but so would our false identity.

Then who we truly are will reveal itself.

Ref:  Ken Wapnick’s “Journey Through the Workbook”

What inspires you?

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010 Music & Lyrics No Comments

Wherever you go, go with all of your heart……………….

Burning the Koran (Quran)

Monday, September 27th, 2010 Arthur's Letters No Comments

Regardless of the outcome, Pastor James, of Gainsville, Fla., on Saturday September 11, 2010 – certainly knew how to make the ego and himself real – and Tolerance unreal.

Here we have 3 gods:  Jewish, established in 550 B.C. – Christian, est. in 30 A.D. – Islamic, est. in 600 A.D.  The fact that these gods are time bound makes them unreal.  All these religions believe in monetheism.  Each theism has one creator – the ego.  As Voltaire said so aptly:  “If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated”.  What keeps these religions going, killing millions in the process of turning people toward “god” is their strong bent towards “Fundamentalism”.  Fundamentalists are known for there “intollerance”.  Karen Armstrong, a religious writer says:  “In true fundamentalism, tolerance is sin.”

A Course In Miracles considers “Tolerance” one of the characteristics of God’s teachers. Tolerance means giving up judgment.  It does not refer to a holier-than-though, condescending attitude that “tolerates” bad behavior of individualis or groups.  It speaks of tolerance in the highest sense of not judging anyone

Manual p.12, under “Tolerance” says:  “God’s teachers do not judge.  To judge is to be dishonest, for to judge is to assume a position you do not have, … Judgement implies a lack of trust, and trust remains the bedrock of the teacher of God’s whole thought system.  Let this be last, and all his learning goes. ”

Myself- I’m with Ronald Reagan who said:  “Trust, but verify.”  Within the dream we cannot live without judgment.  I am in the dream because I believed in separation which is a thought of judgement – it’s either Him or me!  Denying that I judge is very unhealthy because it leads to further guilt.  Learning to judge with the Holy Spirit is the way to go. 

One teacher, Ken Wapanick, Ph.D explains:  ” When Jesus talks about God’s teachers and the ten characteristics,  he is describing “advanced” teachers;  those already high on the ladder”.  If I still engage in judging, it means I know what is best.  I know who’s books should be burned,  for I can distinquish between good and evil.  I thus assume a role I do not have, which is a shadowy fragment of what we all did at the beginning when we usurped God’s role of creator and became self-creators. 

The only judgement that is justified is the Holy Spirit’s:  everyone calls for love or expresses it.  It is essential that we prefer to be happy and not right.


Vive La Difference

Monday, September 6th, 2010 Arthur's Letters 1 Comment

To embrace “Diversity” is a slogan I see everywhere.  That is also the ego’s goal:  To split off, separate, divide and subdivide-anything but wholeness.  “Nothing so blinding as perception of form.” (text 476.6) – The physical world we see is all about form and differences, and these differences lead us to make judgments and establishes an order of difficulties.  The belief in order of difficulties and differences is the basis for the world’s perception…….

Manual p.24 says: It (world’s perception) rests on differences; on an uneven background and shifting foreground, on unequal heights and diverse sizes, on varying degrees of darkness and light, and thousands of contrasts in which each thing seen competes with every other in order to be recognized.”  In the entertainment industry we have high excitment and low excitment forms.  In sports we have the extreme and ordinary types.  It has been obseved that much of the world’s troubles derive from the desire for diversity and excitment rather than the quest for peace.

The above is only a myth, but we nevertheless continue to believe it.  The Manual continues:  “Illusions are always illusions of differences.  How could it be otherwise?  By definition, an illusion is an attempt to make something real that is regarded as of major importance, but is recognized as being untrue.  The mind therefore seeks to make it true out of its intensity of desire to have it for itself.  Illusions are travesties of creation; attempts to bring truths to lies.”

“The body’s eyes will continue to see differences.  But the mind that has let itself be healed will no longer acknowledge them.”  The healed mind will see sameness as real and differences as unreal. “The one answer to sickness of any kind is healing.  The one answer to all illusions is truth.”

Arthur’s Letters – A Place To Start

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010 Arthur's Letters 1 Comment

Now available to Gentle Chi® Members:

Arthur’s Letters Volume I- A Place To Start

Arthur's Letters Volume One Cover

Periodically, we post one of Arthur’s Letters for all of our visitors to Gentle Chi®.  One of the benefits to signing up for membership is a complete download to compiled volumes. Volume I is what its title says, it is simply a place to start, some basic fundamentals of the concepts presented by Arthur.  Volume II (in production now) is a correlation between Arthur’s insights and twelve step recovery process.

We encourage you to explore the writings that Arthur has provided us and to share your thoughts, questions, comments here on this blog.  The writings are based on A Course In Miracles and provide Arthur’s practical application of the Course principles and teachings.

Members can download the full volume by signing in and visiting the Member’s section.

If you are interested in learning more about Membership in Gentle Chi®, please click here:

Gentle Chi® Member Benefits

Can God Be Reached Directly?

Saturday, July 17th, 2010 Arthur's Letters No Comments

Arthur recently addressed the question:  Can God be reached directly?

A Course In Miracles Manual for Teachers page 64, paragraph 1 says:

“God indeed can be reached directly, for there is no distance between Him and His Son.  His awareness is in everyone’s memory and His Word is written on everyone’s heart.”

Ken Wapnick explains it this way in his “Journey Through the Manual”: “Even on the level of our dream of separation, (our life in the seeming world) God’s Presence is in all of us.  We not only share the wrong-minded thought system of guilt, fear, and hate, but also the right-minded Atonement, the Word that is in everyone’s mind as a memory, calling us back to the Heart we never left.

Note Jesus’ double use of the word “everyone”.  No matter how villainous others may be in our estimation, God’s memory is as present in them as in ourselves.  Otherwise it can be in no one.  That memory is of our oneness as God’s son, excluding no one.   We can thus all reach God, because that thought linking us to Him is in everyone ,awaiting only our decision.”

The Course says: “You are at home in God, dreaming of exile.”  We are part of God’s living Oneness, yet insanely dreaming of separation and alienation.  The Course enable us to change our minds, teaching us how happy we will be when we finally awaken to His Word.

Are you in touch with life’s offerings?

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010 Personal Catalyst No Comments

“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.”

–Aldous Huxley

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

–William Arthur Ward

I like these quotes because they prompt me to think about the way I relate to the day-to-day events of my life.

Perhaps there are a few steps to being fully in touch with our sense of gratitude. We must first recognize it, be aware of the existence of what life is giving to us and whether or not we choose to appreciate it.

What are the riches in your life, your opportunities for growth?

What comes next if we truly want to experience gratitude, we need to find a way to express it, either to ourselves or to someone else.  It is easiest to understand this part if someone overtly presents you with a gift. “Thank you,” you might say.  “I really appreciate that you thought of me and gave me this beautiful gift.”

But what about when life presents you with an opportunity in the form of hardship?

Can you recognize this challenge as a gift and express to your inner self the gratitude you feel for the opportunity to grow?

The next time you hit one of life’s speed bumps, I encourage you to respond to it with gratitude.  Slow down and make a genuine attempt to see the lesson in it.  Most importantly, find some way to express your appreciation for it by welcoming it, learning from it, and maybe even sharing the experience with someone else who may be inspired to do the same.

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