Learn and Let Go: You Are the Blessings Webcast, Part II

by Terilee Wunderman, photos by Alexandra DeFurio

John Morton & Leigh Taylor-Young

Author John Morton with Host Leigh Taylor-Young during Part 2 of the “You Are the Blessings” webcast series, August 16, 2008

Click here to view a photo slideshow by Alexandra DeFurio from Part 2 of the “You Are The Blessings” webcast series with John Morton and Leigh Taylor-Young, August 16, 2008.

Our second webcast in the new “You Are the Blessings” webcast series with author John Morton and Emmy Award Winning Actress Leigh Taylor-Young brought me back to that simple, perfect reminder that loving is a key to the blessings — loving ourselves, loving one another, and loving all of God’s creation. It’s such a beautiful, sweet and practical message — one we can use in each and every moment. What a blessing!

My webcast buddy, Jean, and I were especially touched when the lovely Leigh Taylor-Young warmly welcomed all of us together from around the world and within the room in Santa Monica. In turn, Jean and I welcomed everyone into our hearts in this special gathering of the blessings that already are.

Leigh thanked our sponsors, the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (MSIA), and its beloved founder, John-Roger, DSS one of Jean and my favorite spiritual teachers. John-Roger’s teachings include a wealth of books, study materials, workshops, seminars and classes offered throughout the world to help us know the truth of our divinity.

Leigh then introduced our beloved author John Morton, DSS to discuss the messages in his new book, You Are the Blessings: Meditations and Reflections on Life, God and Us, the basis for the webcast series. John is the Spiritual Director of MSIA and travels around the world helping people discover the good in everything. I loved how John began to explain what he considers blessings to be — greater good — and then took us right into a gentle meditation of experiencing the blessings of who we are. John’s words flowed naturally, both inspiring and comforting us at once.

Leigh Taylor-Young

Host Leigh Taylor-Young with John Morton’s book “You Are the Blessings”

Using quotes from John’s book along with provocative questions, Leigh and John engaged in a dialogue of practical wisdom about discovering the blessings in ourselves and our challenges. Participants in the room, as well as viewers from the Internet, shared touching blessings stories, useful comments and questions to spark the discussion further, encouraging us to learn more about who we are as Souls and as one with God.

Although Jean and I knew we could write in our questions, we were delighted to hear how our questions, even ones we hadn’t thought of, were answered spontaneously throughout the program. Perhaps next time we’ll choose a question to ask. Perhaps we’ll send it in, hear it read, and get a prize — not only John’s blessed response but also the free books and study materials given away so generously during each webcast. More blessings yet to unfold!

I heard John remind us that everything in God’s creation has a purpose, even difficult or challenging circumstances. John suggested we use everything for our learning, upliftment and growth — one of the groundrules of MSIA. Leigh reminded us of two more MSIA groundrules — take care of yourself so you can help take care of others, and don’t hurt yourself and don’t hurt others — simple guidelines that I find helpful in every area of my life. Leigh then shared a beautiful and comforting quote from John’s book about the perfection and enduring quality of our Souls in our learning:

“Your Soul is never diminished. It is never broken. It is never handicapped or sick. It does not die. The Soul thrives entirely, and it thrives on everything in life.”

– John Morton (From: You Are the Blessings, p. 225)

As we further explored the theme of our class, “Learn and Let Go,” I heard John remind us to “Let God” as well. John suggested that we are all learning about our relationship with God in our own individual ways. So keep choosing to let go, have patience, and ask for God’s help. I appreciated John’s suggestion to remember to have forgiveness for our humanness as we move forward in our spiritual learning and growth — a humbling and helpful reminder that forgiveness is another key to the blessings.

Regarding a question about what is the spiritual promise, John suggested we take the opportunity to learn more by exploring two of John-Roger’s wonderful books on the subject, The Spiritual Promise and Fulfilling Your Spiritual Promise. These are both precious resources filled with information and inspiration for knowing ourselves as one with God.

For a question about how to be loving in this world, John reminded us to first love ourselves and look to how we can increase our loving — more powerful keys to the blessings. Even in challenging situations or times of disappointment, John encouraged us to look for the learning, for what is of benefit to us, and how we have an opportunity to grow. John suggested that some conditions in our lives may call upon us to pay more attention and be more caring. Leigh then shared an inspiring Reflection about learning from the “Spirit” section in John’s book:

“The blessing is that you are always learning what is important for your growth and fulfillment. That is an eternal blessing by God for you and everyone. Any situation that teaches you what is important and what is not important is a blessing.” – John Morton (From: You Are the Blessings, p. 234).

In closing, Leigh reassured us of the blessings we already are with this sweet, simple yet profoundly helpful quote from John’s book:

“Most important is to remember that life itself—this moment, this breath—is a great blessing and vote of confidence that we are all doing fine.”

– John Morton (From: You Are the Blessings, p. 9).

I enjoyed the way we closed our time together with John providing another comforting meditation — this time about acceptance, letting go and letting God. After Jean and I were lulled by the sweetness of John’s words, we gave our thanks for each other, the blessings, the learning, and this wonderful opportunity again to choose the greater good. We’re looking forward to gathering together with everyone next time to discover even more how we are the Blessings!

Baruch Bashan — The Blessings Already Are

To watch the Archive of this webcast as well as Part I: Know God and Know Who You Are, go to www.msia.org/archives.

To purchase
You Are the Blessings: Meditations and Reflections on Life, God and Us, download an accompanying class journal, or listen to a meditation by John Morton, visit www.theblessings.org.

Join us for “You Are the Blessings, Part III: Love and Be Loved” on Tuesday, September 9, 2008 at 6:30 PM PDT at 2101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, California and on the internet atwww.msia.org/live.

And the Winner Is…DIVINE ESSENCE

John-Roger’s book Divine Essence wins Benjamin Franklin Award by Nathaniel Sharratt, photos by Nathaniel

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Vincent Dupont accepts Benjamin Franklin award on behalf of Mandeville Press, May 31st 2001.

May 31st, 2001 at The Chicago Hilton and Tower’s ballroom
Players: John-Roger and his book, “Divine Essence”, Vincent Dupont, Stede Barber, Angel Gibson, Marilyn Dupont, Nathaniel Sharratt, & David Sand.

The Benjamin Franklin Awards are sponsored by Publishers Marketing Association (PMA), and celebrate excellence in editorial and design for titles published in 2000. The awards are open to all, meaning that the big publishing houses (Random House, Warner Books, etc) compete alongside small independent presses (such as Mandeville Press). Judges for the Benjamin Franklin Awards come from all areas of the industry: major newspaper and trade media reviewers, bookstore and library buyers and reviewers, non-competing publishers, artists and writers who serve the industry.

My legs squirmed under the table and the temperature in the room seemed to keep rising. Hearing the names of the winners being announced for each category, our name and category seemed as distant as my home in California. The nervous anticipation was barely tolerable though I knew it was just a matter of time…

The time did finally arrive, and on the oversized screen they displayed the old and the revised editions of “Divine Essence” and its two competitors (Canoeing and Camping: Beyond the Basics, The Globe Pequot Press; The Route 66 Cookbook, Council Oak Books).

“Finally.” I thought.

The screen went black…

The opening of the envelope echoed through the microphone, while under my breath, just below the hearing level of others, I cheered for J-R’s book, “C’mon. C’mon!”

“And the winner of this year’s Benjamin Franklin award for Most Improved Redesign:

DIVINE ESSENCE by John-Roger, published by Mandeville Press.”

“Ouuuuu!” cooed Angel.

Vincent shot out of his seat and was half way to the stage before Stede recovered from the shock. Marilyn was steadily holding the video camera, capturing the moment in its fullness. As for myself, I threw my arms into the air as if I had just won the Olympic gold!

Vincent gave the acceptance speech with Angel and Stede at his side. I took some photos while my hands shook with excitement.

After the award, we called J-R to tell him the good news, to which he replied, “Tell everyone in our group that dinner is on me tonight!”

And what a night it was!

For more information about the book “Divine Essence”, click here.

To purchase the book “Divine Essence” online, click here.

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Cover designer, David Sand

Divine Essence News 03

Stede Barber & Vincent Dupont receive award

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Vincent Dupont gives acceptance speech on behalf of Mandeville Press

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Mandeville Press team (left to right): Angel Gibson, Nathaniel Sharratt, Stede Barber, Vincent Dupont, Marilyn Dupont