Believe In Yourself

Positive Thinker Will Speak, Sign Book in El Paso
by Reprinted from the El Paso Times

John-Morton

John-Morton

God is within all of us and all things, John Morton believes. “The most renewable natural resource in the world is the human being,” Morton says. “No matter how far down people have gone, or how hard a time life has given them, miraculous things happen when they open themselves to their spirit within. They have a power inside that is divine, of God, omnipotent.”

Morton is the author of “The Blessings Already Are.” A book of daily readings that inspire people to take control of their lives and to be grateful for the blessings they already have. He will discuss and sign the book at 3 p.m. Sunday at the West Side Barnes & Noble, 705 Sunland Park Drive.

People limit themselves by their own attitudes, Morton said in a telephone interview from his home in California. Too often, people complain about other people being more fortunate, skilled and smarter, instead of looking at themselves as blessed, as deserving of having good things happen to them, he said.

“One day I had a revelation that resulted in a profound truth.” Morton, 48, said. “The only way to describe this revelation is to say that life is what you make it. I know that’s nothing new, but how many really internalize that realization? Attitude plays a powerful role in what you create.”

Before becoming an author and embarking in his crusade for spirituality and world peace, Morton was a park ranger. He has a degree in renewable natural resources from the University of California at Davis.

“From the beginning, I wanted to work with people,” Morton said. “But a college adviser in high school said professionals who work with people are a dime a dozen and don’t make any money. Go into science, he told me. “After two years as a ranger, I got my master’s in counseling, and here I am.”

Morton is director of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness, an ecumenical church that teaches practical spirituality and soul transcendence, and of the Institute for Individual and World Peace. Since 1979, the Las Vegas-born self-described military brat has been conducting workshops and seminars, helping people find inner peace and have faith in themselves.

His teachings as well as his writings are deeply inspiring, said Karen Michelle Powell, a volunteer in several community organizations and the mother of three children. She has been to several of Morton’s seminars and has read his book.

“He has inspired me to continue expanding in becoming a better person, in taking more responsibility for doing good in the world around me.” Powell said. “And where better to start than at home with myself? From there it reaches out to my children, with the hope that my inner peace touches all those around me.”

Morton has been in El Paso before to conduct Insight Seminars and workshops for the Peace Theological Seminary and College of Philosophy and other organizations.

Morton is not a religious man in the traditional sense of the word, Powell said. Listening to him is not like listening to a sermon in a church. But he is a very spiritual man, who sees no boundaries in what people can do for themselves to fulfill their own destiny, she said.

For Pamela Tarrantine, Morton’s philosophy of love and peace has been a lifesaver. “He has influenced my life in a very profound way,” said Tarrantine, vice president of organizational development for Big 8 Food Stores. In February, Tarrantine, 47, was diagnosed as having a particularly aggressive type of esophageal cancer. “Less than 10 percent of those affected survive five years,” she said.

Tarrantine had gone to several of Morton’s seminars in El Paso before meeting him in 1988, during a peace awareness trip to Egypt and Israel. Since then, she made the trip again with him and has attended many more of his sessions. She credits the principles learned from him, his presence and his book for the most recent report from her oncologist. There are now no signs of the cancer.

“I’m sort of a miracle, having already survived intense chemotherapy, four surgeries from complications of the chemo, blood transfusions and more. It’s been the perfect opportunity to test my philosophy of love and peace, that something good can come out of this,” she said.

“During one of my lowest moments, when I started to hemorrhage after the chemo and the doctor did not know if he could save my leg, John Morton called me.” Tarrantine said. “He told me to be grateful all this was not happening in a covered wagon. He said I had two choices, and thinking positive was easier to work with.”

Recalling his many visits to El Paso during the past 20 years, Morton said he likes the border and it’s culture. He is learning Spanish. His book has been translated into Spanish.

“I have done a lot of work in Australia and Europe,” he said. “But a great majority of my work involves Spanish-speaking people in Mexico, South America, Puerto Rico and others. I have not yet given talks in Spanish, but I’m learning.”

 

A Perfect Debut: The New “You Are the Blessings” Webcast Series

by Terilee Wunderman, photos by David Sand

John Morton and Leigh Taylor-Young

John Morton and Leigh Taylor-Young on the set of the You Are the Blessings webcast series

Click here to view a photo slideshow by David Sand from Part 1 of the “You Are The Blessings” webcast series with John Morton and Leigh Taylor-Young, July 26, 2008.

“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 Morton

John Morton, spiritual director of MSIA and author of “You Are the Blessings”

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)