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Annual Blessing Activities 2013

A couple days ago my Spiritual Teacher asked for anyone having personal spiritual experiences, such as feeling God’s presence or having a prayer answered, to share it with others. I love to share such experiences, but when I reflected on the topic, I realized that I had already blogged about all my most substantial spiritual experiences. In the past days, God, however provided me with a new batch of experiences which I will share now.

Since starting my spiritual path, every Spring I devote a day to sharing with the poorest in my community.  I got this idea from the annual blessing ceremony described in the Spiritual Treasures, Final Edition.  This year I did the same. God helped guide me to exactly the people most in need. God’s love and presence within me during these activities has grown substantially from when I first started. This presence can best be described as a stillness that brings ease to strong emotions that arise. It helps me see situations clearly, connect with people more deeply and creates a sense of physical relaxation, even in situations that are outside of my previous comfort zone.

Helping the neediest reminds me of what it feels like to share with someone who is totally open and accepting. In the past, I experienced a lot of awkwardness with this. The feeling could best be interpreted as if I was “doing something wrong”, or “up to something”. It would get so strong, that my voice would crack, and my arms shake during the exchange. It made me want to turn and run. As I would walk away, it was clear that I was experiencing intense fear. During this annual trip to Detroit, I would often notice bizarre fantasies pop into my head. They were filled with anxiety and fear. “What if I cannot find enough people to give the packages to”, “what if I get robbed or hurt”, “what if my car breaks down”, etc. These thoughts and feelings made me rush through the experience and head straight home. Afterwords, I would be frustrated that I had such thoughts and feelings, instead of just enjoying the event. The thoughts and feelings were truly irrational, as I always choose to go during the day time, in an area that has plenty of public traffic.

I am now easier on myself and my inner reactions. I recognize they are coming to the surface on purpose. I cannot stop them from surfacing, but I CAN chose to embrace them and myself. This time I was ready for such reactions! I made a conscious effort to notice them. I chose to take my time with the activity, including the moments that I engaged with the homeless people. Again I noticed the same emotions and thoughts, but they didn’t control me like before. Despite their presence, I was able to comfortable communicate with everyone, for as long as it was needed. I also felt really quite at home in the neighborhood. Because I was more relaxed, I noticed there was a vibrant community feel. There were lots of people out walking in the streets together, kids playing basketball and children playing in play grounds. I felt safe.

To help the poorest, I prepared “care packages”. Each package had a complete meal, as well as $60 in each bag. I immediately found a couple homeless people as I arrived in the city, but I did encounter one good problem this year. There were not as many homeless people around. I had brought five care packages, and after about an hour of searching, I still had one left. I decided to drive away, and had faith that I would find a needy recipient. Within fifteen minutes, I did. I developed a sudden hunger and happened to have a meal in the car with me. I noticed a highway rest area. I decided it would be nice to eat at the picnic table there and pulled over. I immediately noticed a woman sitting in her car with the door open a bit. We made contact and I offered her my last bag of food. She readily accepted it and we both ended up having dinner together.

I quickly came to realize, that she was the most neediest of all the recipients. She had no job and just lost her home. She had been living out of her car at the rest stop for a week with no solutions in mind. That day she had run out of all her money. She just enough gas to drive a couple miles. She was saving it to got to her cousin’s house where she had been going to take showers. I gave her some suggestions for job hunting. I also gave her about $400 in cash that I had just withdrawn from the bank. She wept. She said that she used to think that no one cared about her, but is now seeing that God is showing her that she is cared for. She just needed to learn to open up more and be more humble. She also realized that she doesn’t need much to be happy. She was now only wishing for a job and a simple home.

She appreciated the money and food, but she said just having dinner and talking to me was so nice. She had not really spoken to anyone at length, since this all started. I gave her a big hug and we went our separate ways. She had a hug load lifted off her shoulders and I had a deepened sense of faith in God and His spiritual guidance. He had efficiently answered my prayer to find people in need, and graced me with His presence more than ever during the process. God Bless.

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