Believe In Yourself

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



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.”


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

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

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

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 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 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 or Barnes and

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 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

Baruch Bashan (which means The Blessings Already Are)

To Afghanistan and Back: Author John Morton Reports on First-Hand Experiences with Relief Efforts in Afghanistan, Pakistan

by Mandeville Press staff

January 29, 2002: John Morton D.S.S., author of The Blessings Already Are, returned this past weekend from Afghanistan and Pakistan where he was doing humanitarian aid support work. Mr. Morton’s first-hand experiences in the medical clinics and refugee camps give us a timely, inside look at the people, the culture, and the current situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Mr. Morton was assisting in the humanitarian efforts of Wheels for Humanity, a California-based nonprofit organization that provides wheelchairs to people in need, and the Pakistani Islamic Medical Association (PIMA), a relief organization in Pakistan and Afghanistan. During his visit to Afghanistan, Mr. Morton was received by a group of local doctors in association with PIMA and other nongovernmental organization (NGOs).

The doctors took Mr. Morton on an extensive tour of the hospitals and clinics that are the backbone of relief efforts in Afghanistan, and Mr. Morton returns to the United States having seen first-hand what life is like behind the scenes of news reports on TV. He has many insights and stories to share about a country and people who have endured generations of war on their own soil.

Mr. Morton has traveled the world extensively to serve and assist others, often in difficult circumstances, including the Middle East, South Africa, Nigeria, Colombia, and most recently Afghanistan. He is known for his ability to find the blessings in any situation, and to assist others in doing the same.

John Morton is available for interviews from January 28 until February 3, when he leaves the country again for Australia. Topics he can speak about include:

• First-hand experiences of the Afghani and Pakistani people, and how they related to him as an American
• Stories of the relief medical clinics, facilities and doctors, including his experiences visiting the Mir Weil Hospital while al-Qaida fighters were holed up there refusing to surrender
• The great need for charity work and volunteer assistance in Afghanistan
• Experiences traveling in Afghanistan and Pakistan
• Experiences of the refugee camps
• How Americans can come to terms with the threat of terrorism
• How to find the blessings even in the midst of difficult situations

To arrange an interview, please contact Angel Gibson at 323-737-4055, x155.