Tag Archives: divine wisdom

Meeting the News of the Day

newspaper image

How are we as conscious spiritual beings to meet the news of today, where events of the world can seem to compete daily for how extreme and outrageous they can be?

One strategy used by many spiritual seekers and practitioners is to avoid the news. This strategy has the advantage that it allows us to keep our attention on that which we choose and therefore to align with a vibration more conducive to creating the world of our choosing.

Whether we choose to avoid the news or not, we are not completely untouched by it. We are still touched by the collective vibration of all that is taking place in our world.

Many, including this author, have chosen to see everything that is taking place in the world as a prayer request or as an opportunity to steep even more in the vibration of love, oneness, and wholeness.

When we realize that all beings essentially want the same things – love, respect, and honor – then we can see the most outrageous behaviors as a deep cry for those wants. While this knowledge doesn’t excuse harmful actions, it does keep us from going into a sense of separation or hatred, and it takes us deeper into ourselves to expand our capacity for love and compassion.

It is easy to get caught up in effects, or appearances, and miss the deeper underlying meaning of what they are calling us to. In saying this, I don’t mean to minimize the appearances, because they are highly impactful and at times greatly harmful to many. But as Einstein, and many others after him, said, we can’t solve the problem at the level of the problem, or with the consciousness that created the problem.

We can’t stop bombing with more bombing, hatred with more hatred, or ruthlessness with more ruthlessness. Compassion and wisdom together form the basis of what we individually and collectively are called to cultivate in order to truly create a world where all feel loved, honored, and respected. When we truly feel whole, we act whole and are incapable of harmful acts.

What we see, in so many corners of life today, is an implicit demand: see me, accept me, respect me, honor me; and an apparent desperate desire to have that demand met.

The invitation today is to give what is so desperately being asked for: really see those you encounter, notice their pain as well as their longings. Find ways to communicate “I honor you, I respect you, I have compassion for you.” When reading of atrocities, offer the same in your heart to the victims and perpetrators in the situation, “I honor you, I respect you, I have compassion for you.” Surely it is challenging to do this with those we see as the perpetrators, but wisdom guides us to remember the underlying cause of so much that is taking place – a sense of separation and isolation from one’s fellow beings.

Yes, the invitation today is big, and I know we can do it, and I know it is what is needed if we are going to truly meet the news of today.

Enjoy the journey.

Courting the Divine


“Speak to Him thou for He hears, and Spirit with Spirit can meet. Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet,” writes the 19th century poet, Alfred Tennyson in his poem, The Higher Pantheism. This passage has always resonated with me, although I never knew its source until researching it for inclusion here. The passage reminds me to go within to know God, that even in my darkest moments I am not alone. And even when appearances would suggest no hope, the power and presence of the divine is right there in the midst of it all.

While I have always liked the phrase “courting the divine” as in the title of this article, perhaps the truer phrase is opening to the divine. The divine is always there and our courtship is really about paying attention and cultivating within ourselves the space to listen, feel, and experience it. And it’s important to note that we all relate to the divine in our own unique, personal way, so it is for us to notice how grace reveals itself to us, how wisdom is known, and in what ways we feel connected to our divine source. This is all the divine courtship.

One of the most important things is validating how we uniquely experience our divine nature. Without that, there is a tendency to look outside ourselves toward how someone else experiences the divine, which is good in itself, but can only take us so far.

Ours is to know God, or the divine, right where we are, as we are.

Back in Philadelphia where I grew up, I remember as a young adult having some deep mystical experiences after beginning a meditation practice and studying J. Krishnamurti. Because no one around me was having similar experiences, I made the decision to keep them to myself, and at the same time I had some uneasiness about them. For me, I walked through life that way for 15 years before finding validation in spiritual community, validation that now is no longer needed from external sources.

If we are unable to feel validated in our own experience of the divine, it is a good idea to seek guidance from a trusted spiritual practitioner who can help us sort out and make sense of what we are experiencing, and learn how to hold and be with our experience in the most healthy and useful way for our spiritual growth.

For me, there can be no greater experience than to know God or the divine right where we are. It is to know love, faith, trust, and wisdom right where I am. It is to walk in this world knowing with certainty that there is more than just this world. Everything in life takes on different meaning and context when we know our divine nature and the divine nature of all. It doesn’t mean we don’t experience some of the same pain and challenges that others do on this earthly plane, but it does allow us to transcend the sense of finiteness and limitation that come from only seeing the material.

The invitation this day is to fully honor the way the divine shows up in us, to welcome it, embrace it, open more fully to it, and remember, as we take every step in life, that God is closer than our hands and feet, closer than our breath.

Enjoy the journey.

Is It Your Heart or Mind Speaking?

Two cards, isolated on black, clipping path included

by Gregory Toole

Often as I work with my spiritual coaching clients, the question of how to distinguish between the voice of our heart and the voice of our mind comes up. With practice and awareness, we can begin to distinguish between the two, and in doing so learn how to trust each of them for what they have to offer.

I sometimes refer to the mind as the “back and forth” because when we are engaging a question purely with the mind, we often go back and forth, saying things like “well maybe this is the best option because of such and such, or maybe this other option is better for this other reason, and then again maybe this third option is even better. That’s the mind, or what some Buddhists have referred to as the monkey mind, just running wild, and often leading us further into confusion.

The heart is more subtle, and surer, when we tune into it. We connect with it through our feeling nature. As we move closer to what is real in the heart, we feel more expansive and free. As we move away from it, we feel more contracted. I am reminded of that guessing game many of us played as kids where we hid something and we told the one trying to find it that they were getting “warmer” if they were moving closer to the hidden object, or “colder,” if they were moving away from it.

The heart is like that. We feel into it. In making a decision from the heart, we can ask, how does choosing each option feel? In other words, is there a resonance at a feeling level with a particular option or not. Unlike the mind, there’s no back and forth. The heart is more like a compass pointing the way, and we keep following it to see where it leads us.

The rational mind is a wonderful resource, and it can certainly steer us into making decisions that are reasonable, can help us avoid danger, and help us make sure we are being practical and realistic.

However, when it comes to decisions that are more about what aligns us more fully with our soul and our deeper calling, then it is only the heart that can guide us.

When I decided to leave my corporate career 20 years ago, my rational mind had previously convinced me to stay in that corporate career for years until finally I couldn’t ignore where my heart was guiding me. At some point, all the arguments of my rational mind just couldn’t overcome the intensity of pure feeling that was coming from my heart. It was less of a “yes” to something new than it was a huge “NO” to my corporate career. I had spent so much energy and effort silencing my heart in favor of my rational mind, I could hardly even access the “YES” that had been calling me for so long. At that time, I only knew there was a big “NO” to my corporate career, and it was over.

It took some time for me to really hear the voice of my heart again after pushing it down for so long, but gradually, as I began to listen more deeply, I got in touch with this great gift that is the voice of the heart. Then the “YES” came more clearly into my awareness, and I followed every expansion of clarity until it finally led me to the spiritual teaching and coaching services that I offer today.

The voice of the heart is really the voice of divine intuition, of divine wisdom and guidance. That voice is found through our feeling nature rather than our thinking nature. To hear the voice of the heart we must become still, and let the mind rest a little. The practice of meditation is the greatest aid in this process.

We need not discount the value of the mind as it has great value to us. What is important is to bring the heart and mind in balance, and to access the mind for what it is good at, such as planning and analytic tasks, and let the heart guide us in matters of the soul, our purpose, and direction.

How great that we have such powerful inner resources!

Enjoy the journey.

A Spiritual View on Marriage Equality

by Gregory Toole

As we read about marriage equality and hear arguments before the United States Supreme Court, it is easy to say, “This is a political issue; I’ll stay out of it.” In reality, this is a human and civil rights issue.

If we can move into our hearts, we can evolve humanity past its criticisms and judgments and into its deep-felt divine wisdom that has infinite capacity to guide us into higher choices. We can move from incremental evolution into that place where all that we need to know can be known now. How much suffering could be alleviated if we could come to the place where we see the full divinity of others without having to first move it through our filter of fear and ignorance? Think about how much suffering could have been alleviated in the civil rights movements of the 60s and 70s if, instead of the filter of humanity’s lowest common denominator, we saw directly into the divinity and equality of African Americans and women?

We now have the capacity to go directly to higher wisdom. Higher wisdom, the wisdom from divine knowledge, is not arrived at through debates and slaying all of our inner demons first. It is arrived at by a willingness to let go of all that, to let go of our fears and prejudices, and to open to divine knowing.

Higher wisdom calls us to see ourselves fully in the mirror, recognizing our own inherent divinity, knowing that once we see our own divinity, it will be impossible to not see the divinity of others.

When we see our own and others’ divinity, we can only want the best for others and want them to have all we would want for ourselves. For it is only in our sense of separateness, and our false belief that difference equates to something to be feared or something less than divine, that we persecute and withhold equal treatment for others.

The call is to enter into our hearts this day and ask from our deepest sense of compassion and love, who would we cast out of heaven? Who would we deny happiness and fulfillment? Who would we deny equal treatment under any human-made laws? Love will surely point us to inclusion, equality, and freedom for all. We don’t need to debate this with anyone. It is already a truth planted deeply in the heart of all whose soul springs forth from eternity. We simply need to call each other into our hearts.

May all beings everywhere be happy. May all beings everywhere be well.


Rev. Gregory Toole