Magic Words

MINDY WRITES: Our words have power, or so say the sages. What we speak about (or even think about) will increase in our lives.  So deliberately choosing words that contribute to happy outcomes is a powerful thing. Along these lines, Tad and I have always spoken positive incantations and affirmations as part of our spiritual practice, and we’re doing it much more frequently and intently than ever these days.

Tad has written two great songs on the subject: “Speak Peace” and “Affirm.” We plan to post some audio files on this website soon so you can have a listen. Meanwhile, you can hear “Speak Peace” by checking out a Youtube video made at Unity of Berkeley, which prominently features Tad and the Unity House Band.

Below are some of the phrases we repeat frequently – sometimes while walking, sometimes before falling asleep or on waking, sometimes while sitting in meditation – anytime and anywhere the feeling moves us. Just a few minutes a day of this practice can increase your inner peace, whether you speak the words in your mind or out loud. Feel free to use these or make up some that resonate with you.

Walking chants:
“Every step, healing grace. Everything breath, healing grace.”
“All is well, here and now. All is well, here and now.”

“All things work together for my good.”
“I open to receive my miraculous healing.”
“I release all obstacles to my perfect health.”

Bedtime words:
“I am grateful for another day of living.”
“I love and am loved beyond measure.”
“I am radiantly healthy, strong, and vibrant.”

“Feel the Love” – Tad’s latest song

TAD WRITES: Buddhism often talks about experience as food for consciousness. We can choose to take in good “food”, positive experiences, or bad “food”, negative experiences. These experiences can come in such forms as media, memories, thoughts, emotions, relationship encounters, etc. They can effect our well being deeply and in many ways.

I’ve always been a culture vulture and heavy media consumer, a dangerous preoccupation because media – whether it’s news or Shakespeare – relies heavily on the power of drama and tragedy to draw attention to itself, which often puts it in the negative category. When I got my diagnosis, I quickly realized that I’d taken in way too much “news” and other angst-inducing toxins in my life. I’m proud to say I recently got my two-month chip for not watching television. Now I am much more mindful of what I expose myself to, because I know my healing depends on it. Now I am much less distracted from the love that surrounds me everywhere, the gorgeousness of my steadfast partner, the precious company of friends, the beauty of the natural world, and infinite additional positive resources. Einstein said that even “gravity is love.” Yeah, he really did.

It would serve the world if we all turned our attention more and more to the universe evolving within us, rather than the manufactured one constructed for our endless consumption. Whether the physical world was designed by an invisible intelligence or not has always been a controversial question, but the “hidden hand” in your evolving inner universe is real, it’s your hand. Make your inner cosmos a balanced and joyful and you’ll have plenty of good food for thought to keep you strong.

Here is a song I wrote that encapsulates some of these notions. Audio file coming soon…

By Tad Toomay (all rights reserved)

TV, movies, news, and ads/ Keep us moody, needy, sad
Suggest the best cure-all/Is a visit to the mall
It isn’t real, it’s media/Don’t you let it feed on ya
Walk into the woods/Recalling all that’s good:
The stillness of the egret on the shore
Reminds us of a truer place deep within our core

Feel the love, healing love/We’re made of, sweet as summer rain
Feel the love, healing love/ We’re made of, rising like a flame
To consume the gloomy rumors in our heads
All confusion and illusion, tossing, turning in our beds
Feel the love, healing love/We’re made of
And breathe easy/We can breathe easy
And breathe easy/We can breathe easy

It’s like the Big Bang back again/The old order’s a smoking ruin
The future clouds of gas/How will they amass?
And as new natural laws congeal/Will unforeseen events reveal
A hidden hand involved?/A timeless mind resolved?
I see it in the challenged but unbowed
And feel it in the vibrant souls around me even now


What is Spirituality?

Here are some definitions of spirituality that resonate with us. Those without author credits were found on websites that didn’t attribute the text.

The essence of spirituality is the search to know our true selves, to discover the real nature of consciousness. This quest has been the foundation of all the great spiritual teachings, and the goal of all the great mystics.” – Peter Russell

The spirit is that part of man which is concerned with the ultimate meaning of things and with a person’s relationship to that which transcends the material.” – B. Simsen

“Spirituality is the human capacity to experience the transcendent dimensions of life. A transcendent dimension of life is anything that is immaterial and therefore cannot be scientifically observed and measured, but nevertheless is experienced as real. Love is a good example.” – David Jenkins, director of MD Anderson’s Department of Chaplaincy.

“Spirituality is an expression of how a person relates to a larger whole – that which an individual perceives as greater than him or herself.” – George A. Sprecace, MD

Here is one definition (of many possible) from Mindy: The spiritual life starts with a recognition that we human beings are more than mere flesh, blood, and bone. We are alive in a place where the extraordinary is commonplace (e.g. creativity and coincidence), where the most meaningful aspects of life often cannot be weighed and measured (e.g. dreams, generosity, aesthetic appreciation, imagination). Once one’s curiosity about the mysterious aspects of life is ignited, a passionate seeking for answers and understanding begins. If you have ever asked such questions as: “How did I get here?” “What is my purpose in life?”, “What force set the planets in motion?”, “What is the extent of human potential?”,  “What happens after death?” — you are a spiritual seeker.

One recent USAToday/CNN/Gallup Poll found that 30% of Americans call themselves “spiritual but not religious“: “Many feel free to define God in a way that makes sense to them, irrespective of how their church or family may feel about it. This is in dramatic contrast to traditional society, where the community of believers shared common beliefs and homogenous practices based on those beliefs.”

Here are the results of an online poll about what spirituality is:

  • Awareness 20%
  • Faith 12%
  • Giving 4%
  • Love 30%
  • Religion 1%
  • All of the above 29%
  • Something else 0%