Let's start with a prayer: The presence of God within me is my peace. From the center of my being divine love flows into my life and circumstances - prospering, healing, guiding, and harmonizing any concerns. We pray this now for ourselves and for all the world. Amen
Today is Palm Sunday, a day of preparation. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and the crowds laid palm fronds before him, it was symbolic of the preparation he was making in order for him to fulfill his purpose.
Today is the day we do our sacred and holy Rose Blessing ceremony to prepare us in consciousness for living from our greater purpose and possibilities.
But before that, we will spend a few moments setting the stage by using the metaphor of the rose and that of the garden to support the idea of rising in conscious awareness of greater purpose and possibilities for ourselves and for our world.
I want to begin with a short story . . . A man was walking along a familiar street and noticed a new shop. He walked in and found an angel behind the counter.
"What does this shop sell," he asked. "Oh, everything your heart desires," the angel replied with a smile.
"Well, then I want peace on earth and unending love, health and abundance for all humankind," the man said.
"Ah, I can tell this is your first time in the store." the angel said softly, "You see, we don't sell the flowers here - we only sell the seeds."
This morning we'll look at the idea of planting and nurturing those rose seeds. Now you may never have planted roses from seeds and think I am mixing my metaphors this morning, but you can - I even learned how by doing a little Internet research!
For a few moments then, let's look at two "SACRED GARDENING PRINCIPLES" important in raising roses and in raising our consciousness of greater purpose and possibilities for ourselves and for our world.
1. CHANGE IS REQUIRED
1. Change is Required First, in order for a seed to become a flower, it must change from a seed to a seedling to a plant. The same is true in our lives -- in order for us to grow into our greater spiritual purpose and possibilities, we must expand from where we are right now.
Many of us want change in our lives, yet we don't want to change. We want our lives to be different, but we never ask, "How can I see this differently? What can I do differently?" We must not only want our lives to be different; we must be willing to BE different.
And that is what our current world situation is calling us forth, as humankind, to do now. The crises we are facing all around us are calling us forward to change.
Futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard says that "crises are evolutionary drivers." They have ALWAYS preceded evolutionary shifts because they cause us to change the way we are showing up.
Right now, globally, humankind is being called to shift what we think, what we say, how we act, how we interact with one another, how we treat mother earth, how we consume, how we handle ourselves in moments of stress, etc. etc.
If the seed does not grow and change, what happens to it? It dies. The rose never comes forth!
We are standing at a precipice - and it could be as critical that we change as it is for the seed! This can only happen one person at a time, of course.
But here's the really cool thing, when we are willing and ready to do this, the second sacred garden principle comes into play.
2. CHANGE UNLOCKS THE ESSENCE
2. Change Unlocks the Essence. As the seed changes from seed to seedling to plant, - the essence of the rose - which was there all along just hidden - becomes more fully expressed.
As we are willing to change, the more of our essence -- which was there all along - is more fully expressed.
I can hold in the palm of my hand the essence of a rose, but in seed form, it is tight, contained, restricted. Its essence is inside. But in the seed state, it's really locked inside, isn't it?
With each change of the seed, more of the essence is unlocked. The seed first opens, then sends roots down into the earth, then sends shoots up to the surface, and then those shoots form the stalk and then those stalks produce buds and then the buds become roses. In each of those stages, the essence of the seed is becoming more and more expressed.
That process takes some time; it needs the right conditions. But given time and proper conditions, an exquisite rose is formed.
So it is with us. The essence of magnificence and possibilities is already present! It was planted there by the Divine at our inception. Jesus and other great avatars have modeled it for us! But for it to be expressed through us, we must nurture our budding Godselves.
It is through REGULAR prayer, meditation, trust in God, spiritual education, contemplation, present moment awareness, communion with like-minded people that we develop a habit of spirituality that opens us up for infinite possibilities.
We change -- perhaps we crack! -- we may retreat to put down roots, but as those roots start to take hold, we begin to sprout and blossom -- and our Essence, our Divine Perfection, our Godselves begin to appear!
Those are my brief thoughts this morning, since today is more about the experience than it is about the words. As we move through the rose blessing in a few moments, your mission is to contemplate the Divinity in you that is being called to more fully express. Where is it still locked inside the seed? In what ways can you shift and change so that it can come forth and blossom into the Truth of your Being? The Truth that Jesus came to this plane to tell us about. The Truth that He role modeled so beautifully for us.
We each need to do this -- because the world needs us to do this. Can you just think what the world would be like if each and every one of us allowed our Divinity to bloom into its full magnificence? When that happens, the possibilities for goodness are infinite!
Let's pray: Father/Mother/God, we now rest in the soothing stillness of the Christ presence and feel the power of divine healing love. Our emotions are calm and our mind and body are revitalized, strengthened, and renewed. AMEN
ROSE BLESSING CEREMONY
This Rose Blessing symbolizes, in ceremony, our recognition that the human is immersed in the Divine -- that we are all truly ONE in God and that we live in the all-embracing circle of Divine Love. We recognize today that each one of you comes forth from God, that each of you is a Divine Creation, and that this Wholeness is the very being, the very life, the very essence of you. Truly you are made in God's image.
This moment is a defining moment for each one of you. In this moment, you pledge to allow your Christ Light to shine. In this moment, within the privacy of your own hearts, I invite you now to commit to yourself and to God that you will no longer allow fear, doubt, resentment, unforgiveness or any other false beliefs of lack or limitation to control you. From this moment forward, I invite you to commit to allowing God to express Itself more fully and freely through you than ever before by your choice to align yourself with the Divine Principles of peace, happiness and abundance.
Will you do this to the best of your ability? If so, say "I will."
In a moment, I will individually bless those who so desire, by dipping a rose in water. And you may have to use your imagination to accept this for yourself.
The water symbolizes the flow of life, the flow of clarity and the flow of wisdom through you.
The rose, always a symbol of love, today symbolizes the Divine Love that is always guiding you from within.
So I now dip this rose into the water to dampen it and touch the Rose to your forehead as I proclaim in this sacred and holy space:
"I bless you with the consciousness of infinite possibilities and divine purpose for yourself and for our world "
Now imagine yourself reaching out to the world, as you hold a rose in your hand, dip it in the water, and reach out and proclaimed to the world:
"I bless you with the consciousness of infinite possibilities and divine purpose."
Let's pray: Father/Mother/God, We now know, for ourselves and for the world, that we move easily in the flow of life. We are radiantly and enthusiastically alive. We are free from tension stress and strain. We allow ourselves to go forward in the flow of life, unhurried and unworried Amen