Gloria Karpinski's Center Circle

Gloria Karpinski's Center Circle

Grace

We are in many ways just like fish constantly swimming to and fro in the ocean, when all the while the ocean itself is the answer, and its name is Grace. Its bounty has never been witheld.
It is through Grace that we are able to lay down the burdens of our lives. We have only to forgive ourselves, and each other.
It is through Grace that we are given the opportunities to purify all our misconceptions.
Grace holds us in wholeness even as we see ourselves as separate.
Grace contains our darkest secrets and our greatest triumphs, judging neither.
Grace is love so profound, so unconditional, that we cannot name or limit it.
Grace transcends karma; it exists in God's time. The birth of Grace within us signals the completion of the endless round of birth and rebirth.
The Universal Christ -- by whatever name you remember it -- is the embodiment of Grace.

From Her Book

Where Two Worlds Touch

Click for more

 

The Hands Of My Mother

Photo By Kristin Hall

Photo By Kristin Hall

Her tears salted the bowl of water filling fast with the blood of my middle finger, slashed in a whirling bicycle wheel, teased there by an irresistible orange paper flying round the spokes and the boy’s taunt:

“Just put your finger in, Gloria” … and I did, I was three years old.   Her hands folded mine in her own, commanding the red flow to cease.

It is the earliest memory of my Mothers hands.


I often watched her hands gracefully skim the keys of the piano; sat on her bed while she painted the tips of her fingers red; lightly powder her face (only a little; she never needed much) clasp a necklace in place with a wink toward me as she sashayed around the bedroom, happy and ready for Friday night out with Daddy.

I though she was surely the most beautiful woman in the world.


Eye level with the counter top I waited with saliva filled mouth…alert…knowing I would soon lick the knife and spoon she deftly swirled as her hands conjured up her magic elixirs: pound cakes, lemon imaginations, chocolate drop cookies and “no-names,” always the favorite.

Well…that and the best Mac and Cheese in the South.  And, yes, those always-busy, rarely-resting hands on occasion impatiently slammed pots in the kitchen, snapped the air with unequivocal directions, demanding and getting everyone’s full attention — and obedience. But, like the occasional storm, the air was soon clear and the hands returned to shaping the world around her to be beautiful and clean.


Her hands and fingers stitched and sewed the colors and yards, silk, velvet, brocade, cotton, laces, bangles, buttons, beads and embroidery threads as delicate as a spider web.  There were clothes for dancing all night or prancing before a band; clothes practical and over-the-moon gorgeous all came together in her hands.

More than not, they ended up on my body in the “ou’s” and “ah’s” of my friends.

Despite a lack of household hard money I waltzed through my school years with the confidence of the well- dressed teen and right into my years of tight budgets and small babies.

Stalking a good fabric in a sea of bad ones, her hands caressed bolt after bolt of cloth until …. ah, ha, she found the one overlooked by those unaware or seeking the ordinary.

Like any champion claiming the hill, she marched to check-out, her hands holding tight her victory, usually savoring an “on sale” signature.

Lizzie of Carolina I called her, a fitting designer’s name, though she was too modest to claim it.

I don’t recall her ever making anything for herself.


I can see her now, hands to elbows, in another’s hair, braiding and brushing, combing, perming, coloring, shaping, patting. And listening, to someone’s pain to another’s dreams.  It was her perfect cover for comforting, healing, assuring. In process, it paid the bills and served her drive to put right and beautify all things around her, including hair….


….. Or a garden where her hands could call forth flowers from a stubborn patch of land.  She called and they came, into garden after garden, everywhere she lived – dancing daisies and long stemmed lily’s multicolored irises, green or every hue and plants with names so colorful they made you laugh to wonder who called them such in the beginning.


Rainbows of Light flowed through those hands as she massaged a neck, back and a foot, even when, toward the end, she couldn’t name the body part she served.

It didn’t matter. The direct channel was from her heart to her hands and needed no words.  Tired, overtime girls, caring for old bodies in the Home, reached for relief from her hands.

“Miz Lizabeth, would you put those hands on my shoulder.”  She always did and the blessings poured through her.


She discovered joy in a paint box, her hands becoming as skilled and at ease with brush and color as with the practical arts of the kitchen, colors or garden.

Then came the passage in time when those efficient, confident hands moved cautiously through drawers and cabinets, no longer sure of which went where with what and …. Why?  When the brain forgot to give her hands instructions, they were restless, running repeatedly over the colored pens and tubs of paint, knowing they were hers, trying to remember why she liked them.


Near the end, her hands lay quiet as we manicured them. Still, there was a faint little smile when the job was done, perhaps a reminder of her youth when lunch money was paid to the manicurist.

The last week those elegant hands lay aside her body, occasionally fluttering around the top of a sheet, reaching to hold a Teddy Bear or a waiting hand that needed her assurance, her last anointing of love.

And then, after ninety-six years of service,

they were still, at peace

Body Tyrannies: 12 ways to NEVER find peace in your body

  1. Meet the CCC standards (Current Criteria for Correctness)
  2. Avoid the A word (Aging) and refuse to accept cycles of life.
  3. Look to the media to teach you the one standard for beauty.
  4. Compare yourself to others. It will keep you sharp.
  5. Don’t eat if necessary: thin is better than well.
  6. Never accept yourself just as you are. Remodel for perfection.
  7. Define your self image by your sex appeal.
  8. Accept all Internet information about our health without question

Exercise: An Antidote for the Tyrannies

  1. Stand nude in front of a mirror. Begin with the top of your head and work way down to your toes, giving thanks for every single function of this miraculous instrument. Appreciate the design and unique beauty of each part. Bathe it in approval. If you have trouble doing this with any part, breathe and remind yourself that you have been programmed to deny or criticize. Claim your power to choose and approve. Do it again and again until you feel as a loving, parent toward your body.
  2. Anoint each part of your body evoking a holy name. Holy names, including sacred qualities, embody power. Each part of yourself that you touch in love and compassion will light up with the Presence. You can do this for another as well. “In the name of the Beloved (the Christ, Quan Yin, the Buddha, your Guru, etc.) or In the name of Truth, I bless my eyes, my head, etc.”

 

Amazing Grace

We are in many ways just like fish constantly swimming to and fro in the ocean, when all the while the ocean itself is the answer, and it name is Grace. Its bounty has never withheld.

It is through Grace that we are able to lay down the burdens of our lives. We have only to forgive ourselves and each other.

It is through Grace that we are given the opportunities to purify all our misconceptions.

Grace holds us in wholeness even as we see ourselves as separate.

Grace contains our darkest secrets and our greatest triumphs, judging neither.

Grace is love so profound, so unconditional, that we cannot name or limit it.

Grace transcends karma; it exists in God’s time. The birth of Grace within us signals the completion of the endless rounds of birth and rebirth.

The Universal Christ – by whatever name you remember it — is the embodiment of Grace.

By Gloria Karpinski

From her book: 

Where Two Worlds Touch

Click for more

 

Affirming Prayer

To:  The Creator, The Child, The Spirit of Life

I am a Being of Light

Son/Daughter of the Mother-Father-God.

I walk consciously upon the Earth,my phisical home.

I choose to Serve all Life expressing on this Holy Ground.

I open my Mind and Heart to Receive Blessings.

I pour forth Blessings from my Mind and Heart.

I invoke the protection of Divine Light.

For the Privilege of Serving and Sharing, I give Thanks.

By Gloria

Poise In Chaos

We are being called by the soul of our beloved planet to bring all of our love, insight and training to this moment. We must be poised in chaos – sending forth healing energy for the pain of transitions, holding visions while the shadows in our civilization are brutally revealed, naked before our eyes. There is no way to look away.

Poise in the midst of madness requires us to find inner peace and then share all of our resources, building anew from a foundation of peace. We must pray without ceasing, the continuous prayer that keeps us in present moment, present with suffering and needs of all of our brothers and sisters, also holding that sacred peace for our four-legged relatives as well as our winged, finned and green growing ones.

Through prayer we align ourselves with infinite possibilities. NO matter how many negative images are offered up daily, the power of “Kyra Eleison” and “Om Tara, Tutare, Ture, Svaha” echo through the mind, and I can breath again.

I release my own responses so that I can be a clearer channel for my part in our treacherous journey. As I empty, I can be filled. Here I am: guide me.

Someone wise once said “Silence is Complicity,” and I know this to be true. Anger can be collected and directed with purpose. Managing the anger; that’s the challenge. Perhaps it is as simple, and as complex, as choosing consciously to harness anger, not to divide, but to discern right action and right words. Such a conscious skill takes practice, practice and more practice, for fear would take the anger and fuel the chaos.

The question I ask myself and I ask you to consider: Can I bring love to even this moment? And now this moment? Not a mandate for the uncommitted.

The time for accountability is surely coming. And that accountability will have to include more than the obvious decision makers. It must include every one of us who has kept silent through lethargy, self interest, fear, greed or even the sense of powerlessness before institutions that seem beyond our influence. We will all have to examine our insistence – or lack of it – on environmental protection; how carefully we monitored – or didn’t –the choices our elected officials have made about our land, the use of our taxes, the appointments of our public figures. This appears to be overwhelming – and humbling – to contemplate. And yet, it is liberating to wake up, let go and participate in the reality of our world whirling in change and challenge.

Now we must speak up and act up, not only with immediate support, but with lasting changes that persistent questions, educated votes and spiritual visions can bring. We will birth the new promised for our planet regardless of the difficulty of the labor.

                   Thank you for your attention while I “preached to the choir.”

                             Bless be the Choir!

 

By Gloria

The Body Remembers Part I

The body is a library of everything that has happened to us, our ancestors, and even our species. Buried in the folds of the more primitive parts of our brains are memories of the swamp, the jungle, and the treetops. Every joy and trauma has left an imprint.

The body catalogues what is painful, un-forgiven, shamed, fearful, and blocked just as it does well-being, joy, and pleasure. It unfailingly reports the responses of our emotions to the world, the tracks of consistently held thinking patterns, and the intentions of the soul, whether freed or fettered. As a friend quipped, “my body sends faxes to my mind.”

We might forget, but the body doesn’t. It consistently files away data in the cells. We’ve all heard about people craving beer and French fries after a heart transplant, even though they never liked either one before surgery, only to discover that the heart donor had loved them. The cells remembered.

In my practice I find myself frequently saying to students and clients: “Did you notice that you just started rubbing your throat when you talked about so and so, that you crossed your legs when you mentioned this or that, dropped your voice, began breathing shallowly when a particular subject was mentioned.” My intention is to help them increase awareness of the tight connections between memory, emotions and the body.

Since we were in the womb, we’ve all been recording memories in our bodies of a world perceived as safe, or not. We learn early on where the power is, who can be trusted, whether ourneeds will be met or not. We learn about “yes” and “no” from the set of a jaw, a look in the eye, a tone in the voice.

Children raised in abusive households learn that even physical safety depended on correctly reading the energetic climate. They learn to use their bodies as detectors. They don’t always have accurate interpretative skills, and sometimes they believe their bad thoughts or behavior caused the abuse, or even a death or divorce in the family.

In ancient diplomatic training in Asia, one learned not to move a muscle during a negotiation, lest one’s position be revealed. Lots of children learn that ancient skill simply from growing up in emotional or physically dangerous environments. If the separating of feelings from the body becomes severe, one dissociates, buries the feelings deep in the cells, and then repeats the inner script over and over in the world. The body has to be reeducated in such circumstances, and that is best done by spiritually aware therapists.

Great pain can be stashed behind intellectual armor. Many bright children learn to hide in mental realities. It hurts less than feelings. The pattern then carries over into an overly intellectualized adult who is afraid of feelings and vulnerability. But we really can’t fake out our deepest feelings, no matter how much we intellectualize. The cells in our bodies know what we really believe reality to be.

Usually we have quite a collection of paradoxical beliefs.

 

By Gloria Karpinski

Considerations On Serving

1.    What if the future turned upon your next act? What then?

2.    Motion isn’t action. Choose carefully.

3.    Peak experiences touch the spirit. Serving materializes it.

4.    No one feels ready to serve life, but life is ready to use you.

5.    Look closely. The one you serve wears the face of the Beloved.

6.    Evolution has no elite corps, only those who serve it.

7.    Random acts of kindness are a start toward a life of kindness.

8.    Don’t confuse real need with misplaced desire.

9.    Cooperation instead of competition allows everyone to win.

10. Trust the process. Fruit grows naturally from seed.

11. My brother’s keeper? I am my brother and my sister..

12. All of the past served the present that I may serve the future.

 

By Gloria Karpinski

From her book:

Barefoot On Holy Ground

Click for more

 

Considerations on Enduring

1.    Endurance empowers all other aspects of discipleship.

2.    Endurance shapes by gentle insistence, not by heavy blows.

3.    Endurance makes possible the birth of visions into form.

4.    Endurance holds to truths not seen during the dark times.

5.    Endurance is unconditional. “I’m in, no matter what.”

6.    Endurance sees purpose and learning in failure and success.

7.    Endurance notices “what is,” and energizes what can be.

8.    Endurance accepts discipline in order to achieve excellence.

9.    Endurance gracefully sacrifices the lesser for the greater.

10. Endurance combines soul purpose with material muscle.

11. Endurance is patient and perseveres with process.

12. Endurance has no beginning or end. I endure because I Am.

 

By Gloria Karpinski

From her book

Barefoot On Holy Ground

Click for more

 

Considerations on Transforming

 1.    Work your edge until all that brought you to it is released.

2.    Break out of prison: Forgive everyone, everything.

3.    Even the loveliest vessel is useful only because of its empty space.

4.    Spirit transforms old or fresh mistakes with equal ease.

5.    Disciplines actualize intentions; they teach us how to fly.

6.    Resistance to discipline keeps one on the ground indefinitely.

7.    Sacrifice is a universal law. Withholding is self-destructive.

8.    We return to oneness by solitary choice, not by committee.

9.    Angels and allies lift our wings even though we fear free falling.

10. Change quickens when authority shifts from outer rule to inner rule.

11. The numinous becomes ordinary through patient practice.             

12.  Find the center of the storm. Out of chaos comes new order.

 

By Gloria Karpinski

From her book:

Barefoot On Holy Ground

Click for more

 

The Body Remembers Part 2

Usually we have quite a collection of paradoxical beliefs. We’re holding energy that is both old and wise, you and foolish, believing and doubting. Embracing all of it, we grow, gradually re-educating all the cells toward self-love, which in turn open us to the flow of our own spirit. The object is not to “be spiritual” because one miraculously stumbled across the truth. The spiritual is inherently beautiful. The object is to discover and destroy the lies that say otherwise.

The full drama between the truth of ourselves and the lies we have accepted acts out in muscle groups that relax or tense, and breathing patterns that are shallow or deep. If we feel safe, we express that freely in our body postures, our voices and movements. IF we’ve been taught that our bodies and many of our natural feelings are not acceptable, we set up complex distortions, subterfuge, and illusions. Feeling unsafe, we create masks that we hope will protect us or be accepted by the outside world.

The imagined split between body and soul is the great, great grandparent of most of the duality we experience on Earth. Through the centuries of spiritual questing, we’ve periodically pronounced the body originally sinful, a temptation, and a distraction that deduces us to explore our senses at the risk of our souls.

We’ve decreed that it must be mortified, shamed, punished, denied, hidden, or at the very least overcome. Even if we defiantly chanted “eat, drink and be merry,” afterward we often felt guilty and ran to our prayers and confessions for forgiveness. Maybe it’s not okay to feel this good, or have this much fun?

Overstatements? Probably. But ask yourself:

How often do I link laughter, dance or the sheer joy of being alive in a physical body with my spirit?

Do I experience Spirit present in my sexuality?

Am I critical or approving of my body?

Do I view the aging of the body as enemy or another rich cycle of life?

Whether we celebrate or deny it, the body is with us as vehicle, focus and record of our earth experiences. The goal is to synthesize spiritual mindfulness with awareness and appreciate of the body. All of us are spiritual beings having a physical experience. No matter how or even if we define it, or whether or not we formulize it in a religion or theology, we carry a longing to bring our physical experience in sync with our spirit.

The elements of the Earth are in our bones, the rivers and oceans run in our bloodstreams, the wind tides of life fill our lungs, fire energizes our minds and bodies. Our heart beats entrain with the beat of the earth. We need the sun as we need the great forest in order to live. From the sacrificed animal and the abundant harvest, our cells carry the life force of all that we take in. We cycle to them; they cycle to us in an interdependent, circular dance of life.

Whenever we don’t listen to the body, we don’t listen to the Earth. If we don’t regard nature, can we respect our own nature and that of all others and the life-force behind nature that is the mother of us all?

Seed Thought for Meditation

Mind exists in every cell in my body and can be contacted.

 

Considerations on Creativity

1.    Create with care; it matters. Let go gently. All things pass.

2.    Creating is inevitable. It is conscious? That’s the question.

3.    Clarity of intention is a requirement for powerful creation.

4.    Sexual energy is the golden vitality of the universe.

5.    The universe will fill whatever size container is open.

6.    Inhale the grace; exhale your gift. One breath, indivisible.

7.    Forever lovers, Yin and Yang expand/contract, give/receive.

8.    Perhaps “they” were wrong. In the silence, listen. It is good.

9.    When “How am I doing” becomes “This is a gift,” energy shifts.

10. Embrace your fears, and they will become your allies.

11. Life is movement, not a museum. Delight in risks and shifts.

12. Create with awareness of the effect unto seven generations.

By Gloria Karpinski

From her book

Barefoot On Holy Ground

Click for more

 

Considerations on Power

1.    Power is in the present moment, here and now.

2.    Vision is concretized through persistent harnessing of power.

3.    True power does no harm to self, other people, other species.

4.    Managing power well is part of Spiritual craftsmanship.

5.    Money, position, fame, and talent are resources no identities.

6.    Spiritual power seeks to uplift others, not be put above them.

7.    Both body and psyche have to be strong to handle power.

8.    Power is in choosing to act, not react.

9.    Powerful world service begins with full responsibility for self.

10.  Spirit-infused power serves then detaches from results.

11.   Words are decrees. Bless and release; curse and bind.             

12.  The chalice emptied into the world is endlessly refilled..

by Gloria

From her book

Barefoot On Holy Ground

Click for more

 

Considerations on Faith

1.    Faith invites us to dare to dream, to let go and fly.

2.    Faith accepts life cycles that create, sustain and destroy.

3.    Faith lays down the burden of being in control of everything.

4.    Faith calls forth the Light from the darkness of self and others.

5.    Faith is the declaration of belief in essence, not appearances.

6.    Faith knows. Hope, a worthy relative, is merely optimistic.

7.    Faith requires trust in inner guidance and powers not seen.

8.    Faith accepts timing, affirming the unfolding universe.

9.    Faith accepts all people and circumstances met on the path.

 10. Faith plants seeds without asking for the harvest.

 11. Faith trusts the necessity for purification, even when it is painful.

 12. Faith will dive into the deepest oceans to gather the pearls.

By Gloria Karpinski

From her book

Barefoot On Holy Ground

Click for more

 

Considerations on Will

1.    The Higher Will is to the Divine as the sunbeam is to the sun.

2.    The Will is a Divine Birthright freely given to everyone.

3.    The unconditional gift of the Will brings choice and consequences.

4.    The longing for “Thy Will” is the longing to be oneself.

5.    The Higher Wills of all are connected and can be contacted.

6.    The Will sets up an energy matrix drawing supply to itself.

7.    The Higher Will perceives pain and failure as opportunities.

8.    The Higher Will knows life is abundant; the fears lack.

9.    “My will is Thy Will” affirms the union of Heaven and Earth.

10.   Non-resistance to challenges frees the Will to learn and grow.

11.     Intention focuses the Will. Patience brings it to fruition.

12.    “I Am” is the mantra of the will, free to live its truth.

By Gloria Karpinski

From her book

Barefoot On Holy Ground

Click for more

 

The Animals from "Litany For A Peaceful Planet"

For the animals I plea

The Indians called us their four legged brothers.

They were right, you know.

HAVE WE NOT SHARED THE JOURNEY WITH YOU?

Two by two we’ve passed this way.

Just like you.

DO YOU NOT REMEMBER?

We have fed you.

Clothed you,

Carried you,

Protected you.

We have been your friend

Your scout,

Your herder,

Your sport.

Our bodies have been tormented that yours might not.

Our lives have been sacrificed that you might live.

DO YOU SERIOUSLY ENVISION YOU SHALL

CLIMB OVER US THROUGH THE DOORS OF HEAVEN?

Honor our life stream.

Bless our sacrifice.

Heal our misuse.

From:  “Litany For A Peaceful Planet”

By Gloria Karpinski

Considerations on Love

1.    Love is constant, undisturbed by shifting circumstances.

2.    Love accepts our “crazy” places, warts, foibles, and secrets.

3.    Love embraces light and shadow as the original dynamic duo.

4.    Love’s compassion serves others, but it doesn’t bind them.

5.    Love is authentic: all feelings, pain as well as joy, are real.

6.    Love is a healing mist penetrating every molecule of life.

7.    Love aspires to be harmless in thought, word or action.

8.    Love has reverence for life no matter what form it takes.    

9.    Love assists, but it doesn’t rescue or steal lessons from us.

10. Love is grateful for all experiences no matter what they bring.

11.  Love forgives even when it must discipline or say good-bye.

12. Love is poised in chaos, centered, peaceful, remembering.

By Gloria Karpinski

From her book

Barefoot On Holy Ground

Click for more

 

Considerations on the Body

1.    Mind exists in each cell and can be contacted.

2.    Breath. Say “yes” to this day. Breathe and release yesterday.

3.    The body is of the Earth. Both require respect and loving care.

4.    A healing for any one of us is ultimately a gift for all of us.

5.    Physical purification often accelerates with spiritual dedication.

6.    Surrender expands possibilities; quitting eliminates them.

7.    Remember the Infinite self; celebrate the finite self.

8.    The Mother/Father/God has no hands and feet but ours.

9.    Embraced with compassion, pain can be transformational.

10. Soul intention is fulfilled through the body, not in spite of it

11. Gratitude empowers and enhances the immune system.

12. Pain is an experience; suffering is a response.

by Gloria Karpinski

From her book

Barefoot On Holy Ground

Click for more

 

Considerations on Discernment

1.    Unflinching self—honesty is the bases for discernment.

2.    Wait to speak, believe, and act. Breathe. Wait a minute.

3.    Unquestioned assumptions are potentially lethal.

4.    Discerning disciples ask: “Do I choose to energize this?”

5.    Discernment fuses intuition, experience and knowledge.

6.    Listen. Question. Evaluate. Choose. Then trust yourself.

7.    Non-critical laughter restores perspective.

8.    Wisdom never judges, but is always discriminating.

9.    Seek inside, not outside, to discern your truth.

10. Discernment reveals the lies behind prejudices.

11. Disciples seek mentors that “walk their talk.”

12. Self-judgments are projected onto others.


by Gloria Karpinski

From her book

Barefoot On Holy Ground

Click for more

 

Considerations on Knowledge

1.    Knowledge obeys the spiritual law: “Seek and you shall find.”

2.    Knowledge provides the maps; we must make the journey.

3.    Knowledge illuminates the blindness of superstition.

4.    Myths and symbols depict dynamics, not fixed realities.

5.    A “beginner’s mind” is unbiased, and therefore teachable.

6.    Intelligence exists in every atom of life and can be contacted.

7.    Mind is a process, always interacting with other processes.

8.    Wisdom synthesizes the knowledge of mind, body and spirit.

9.    One who knows is free to say, “I don’t know” and learn more.

10.  Knowledge solves and creates mysteries simultaneously.

11. Science is God/Goddess revealed. All seekers are true scientists.

12. Knowledge prepares the vessels that revelation fills.

by Gloria Karpinski

From her book

Barefoot On Holy Ground

Click for more