by Terilee Wunderman, photos by David Sand
“The willingness to look for the love, to focus on the loving, is the greatest key I know to discovering who God is. And whenever you choose loving, you bless yourself and everything around you with God’s love.”
– John Morton (From: You Are the Blessings, p. 86)
Part One: Know God & Know Who You Are
The exciting debut of the new “You Are the Blessings” webcast series began with our lovely host, Emmy-award-winning actress and long-time MSIA student Leigh Taylor-Young, introducing us to the new format — a series of interviews with John Morton, DSS, Spiritual Director of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (MSIA) and author of the new book, You Are the Blessings: Meditations and Reflections on Life, God and Us. The excitement and joy were palpable as Leigh welcomed us all with her tender devotion and delightful enthusiasm. A gorgeous new set decorated with warm, cozy backdrops and big, comfy easy chairs marked this beautiful first part of the series, and provided a divine invitation for all of us to “Know God & Know Who You Are.”
With exquisite grace and precious humor, Leigh called us forward into the Light of God, reminding us to honor who we truly are which is loving. We then chanted together Ani Hu, an ancient name for God that brings forward the quality of empathy. Along with participants gathered in two rooms in Santa Monica, the main Ballroom and an overflow room, viewers tuned in from 24 communities around the world, including: Australia, Israel, Nigeria, South America, Hawaii and throughout the continental United States. What a grand and glorious way to share the blessings of who we are!
Leigh let us know that MSIA, a nondenominational church founded by John-Roger, DSS, sponsored the webcast. MSIA is based on practical spirituality and provides a wealth of materials in several languages focusing on Soul Transcendence, which is to know ourselves as Soul and as one with God.
Many of us watched the webcast in Group Viewings. Volunteers around the world opened their homes to newcomers as well as long-time students to enjoy the webcast together and share more fully the blessings of who we are. Some groups watched on computer screens while others connected through flat screen televisions.
With my dear friend, Jean, whose home doesn’t have an internet connection, we enjoyed the webcast together thanks to my laptop, wireless aircard, and portable mini-speakers — not to mention the One who was with us as we gathered in His name. Our blessings overflowed as we shared in this happy beginning right here at home. From Jean’s comfy couch, our two-some group cheered and applauded with everyone on screen and in our hearts as Leigh welcomed John Morton to the stage.
Leigh referred to John as “The Blessings Man,” noting his unique and inspiring ability to see the blessings in all people and things. Through Leigh’s poignant questions accompanied by moving quotes from John’s new book, we enjoyed the sweet, loving repartee John and Leigh shared as they brought forward many of the powerful, endearing messages found in “You Are the Blessings.”
John referred to blessings as greater good and reminded us that The Blessings Already Are which is the title of John’s first book. Regardless of our religious beliefs, John suggested the blessings are available and all we need to do is ask to know who we are in our Divine self. John encouraged us to remember we are goodness all the time and to be open to learning how each and every situation is a benefit to us. Trust to see the good in everything, John encouraged us, and be open to becoming “Blessings Men, Women, Boys and Girls.”
John shared personal stories of his knowing God and discovering the blessings. From laying on the ground as a little boy contemplating the stars, to getting injured in a Little League baseball game, to getting fired from a job twice, John reminded us that knowing God is about knowing the truth and being willing to look for a greater truth. When we don’t know, John suggested being open to not knowing and to loving things the way they are, including ourselves. Each of us determines our own correct way to know God, John reminded us, and our awareness comes from our own personal experience. Even when we don’t like something or we react personally, John suggested we be willing turn to the loving and be the love, which we may find very humbling.
When asked about the Mystical Traveler Consciousness, John referred to John-Roger’s teachings about a wayshower that we all have within us that helps us know the purpose of our being in the world as Souls. John referred to the Traveler as a friend or inner master and reminded us that it’s not important what we call it but to remember that we are loved exactly how we are. To do so, John encouraged us to do Spiritual Exercises often and with devotion to the truth of our being.
Participants in the room and via the Internet shared blessings stories, focusing on claiming the blessings. Stories included awareness of the blessings in having health challenges, dealing with disillusionments, and enjoying the simple things in life. Much heartfelt gratitude was expressed through participant’s sharings as we all became more aware of the blessings that already are.
Sur-prizing everyone, John gave each participant who shared, both in the room and via the Internet, a new copy of You Are the Blessings. In addition, some participants received the blessings of First Year Soul Awareness Discourses, the hallmark study materials of John-Roger’s teachings.
As our webcast came to a close, Leigh encouraged us to follow-up on our awakenings by downloading the first installment of the new “You Are the Blessings” Online Journal, available for free at www.theblessings.org. The journal is filled with beautiful quotes from John’s book and useful questions for furthering our discovery of ourselves as the blessings. John then guided us in a beautiful closing meditation of knowing the truth of ourselves as one with God. Indeed, we truly are the Blessings!
To watch the Archive of “You Are the Blessings” Part One: Know God & Know Who You Are, go to www.msia.org/archives. To purchase the book, “You Are the Blessings: Meditations and Reflections on Life, God and Us,” along with its accompanying CD of meditations and blessings, go to Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.com.
Be sure to tune in to the next webcast, “You Are the Blessings” Part Two: Learn & Let Go, on Saturday, August 16, 2008 at 1:00 PM, Pacific Daylight Time, at www.msia.org/live or come be in our live studio audience at 2101 Wilshire Blvd in Santa Monica, CA.
To learn more about Group Viewings and to read and share Blessings Stories online, visit www.theblessings.org.
Baruch Bashan (which means The Blessings Already Are)