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Expanding through Spirituality
by John Orton
I have always loved a beautiful sunrise, the joy of watching the sun come up and the city come to life. I also have a love of running, and one of the best times to run is in the early morning, waking up to an invigorating exercise followed by a relaxing shower. To start a day this way is to take charge of the day. I am reminded of the saying; “the early bird gets the worm”. There is always choice from the moment we wake up in the morning there is that choice, because I also am fond of sleep, and hiding under the covers on a cold winter day or enjoying a most pleasant dream, or even staying in bed not wanting to face what might be waiting.
I found on vacations, I could easily start a morning off early. I remember a trip to San Francisco, running down the streets watching people rushing to work, watching the vendors bringing out their merchandise at Fisherman’s Wharf. It was powerful to wake up with the city and see the city before the tourists and the masses filled the streets. I also remember spending mornings with a good friend walking a canal path, having a morning coffee before beginning our work day.
With memories of the wonderful feeling from starting a morning early, the power of the pillow is alluring. I find myself often remaining in bed in the pursuit of sleep and missing the early morning sunrise. I’d spend the rest of the day punishing myself for not getting up and having the experience of what I loved to do. A friend of mine introduced me to the School of Metaphysics and this was an education like none other. I learned about the power of purpose, and how punishment could be replaced by forgiveness. With a new awareness in my learning, I realized I needed a journey to further explore and discover who I am and how I think. I signed up for an experience that would change my perspective on how I defined life.
With the commitment to an action, I could feel the world open to infinite possibilities. I had been a city boy, in Indianapolis, for 59 years, yet this journey to learn about myself was going to include living and working on a farm for a year. On a summer night in July, I packed my van and headed to the College of Metaphysics in Windyville, Missouri. The trip itself was illuminating. I realized how imagined fear had restricted experiences in my life because I was painting negative pictures that in this care were tempting me to turn back at each exit. Eight hours later, I was on campus and my College experience began.
Now I was getting up at 5:30, before sunrise, every morning 7 days a week. It could be pitch black, cold, wet, or any combination while walking down the path to my destination, yet it didn’t matter. I was leaving my inviting bed to go to the Peace Dome on the campus and reading the Universal Peace Covenant. Next, the cows, chickens, and hogs demanded attention by 6am. The rest of the morning was comprised of working in the garden, and making cheese. The afternoons were full with wherever the farm needed attention, mending fences, clearing fields, bringing in supplies, there was never a dull moment, and the evenings were devoted to our studies in Metaphysics.
As a student, I had specific responsibilities, and mine became leading the daily 5:45am reading of the Universal Peace Covenant in the Peace Dome. In 1993, after the Parliament of World Religions, a need for a positive declaration of Peace was felt to be necessary. Two dozen spiritual teachers wrote the Universal Peace Covenant. Reading this document every day was an action that provided a motivation beyond what I had experienced with my love of running. I was now more disciplined then I had ever been before.
Current events and the media make it clear we need to recognize that Peace is an idea whose time has come as stated in the Universal Peace Covenant. Also, “We must realize that World Peace begins within ourselves”. I thought World Peace was impossible because I was thinking of the world around me and not the peace that begins within. I can’t change the world, but I can change myself and in so doing, I can impact a change within the world. The document also states, “Peace is first a state of mind”, and “Peace affords the greatest opportunity for growth and learning which leads to personal happiness”. These words were the affirmation that changed something in me giving me a powerful motivator. Reading this document was an act of aligning my heart and soul and expanding the boundaries of my physical self embracing my highest spiritual inner vibrations.
The act of giving an affirmation for Peace was my opportunity to receive in the form of growth and happiness. Being the voice for Peace filled me with energy and appreciation. I learned how the importance of finding purpose for what I did. This was the ingredient that awakened the whole self. Aligning all levels of mind and body, connected my thinking with my highest self and I felt this awakening as an infinite capacity in my ability to create a better universe. I found discipline when I committed to something that created a higher vibration in myself. I found that when I look beyond the physical world there is beauty and harmony when body and soul unite with purpose.
I am now back at home in Indianapolis and even though I do not get up as early as I once did, I have a better understanding of how to create what I desire in my life. I have a better awareness of how important paying attention to my purpose impacts the choices I make in life. Being connected with purpose and the vibrations that come from the harmony of soul and body is the path that leads to a fulfilling life.
The Universal Peace Covenant is included so you can receive the full message for Peace.
The Universal Peace Covenant
Peace is the breath of our spirit.
It wells up from within the depths of our being to refresh, to heal, to inspire.
Peace is our birthright.
Its eternal presence exists within us as a memory of where we have come from and as a vision of where we yearn to go.
Our world is in the midst of change.
For millennia, we have contemplated, reasoned, and practiced the idea of peace. Yet the capacity to sustain peace eludes us. To transcend the limits of our own thinking we must acknowledge that peace is more than the cessation of conflict. For peace to move across the face of the earth we must realize, as the great philosophers and leaders before us, that all people desire peace. We hereby acknowledge this truth that is universal. Now humanity must desire those things that make for peace.
We affirm that peace is an idea whose time has come.
We call upon humanity to stand united, responding to the need for peace. We call upon each individual to create and foster a personal vision for peace. We call upon each family to generate and nurture peace within the home. We call upon each nation to encourage and support peace among its citizens. We call upon each leader, be they in the private home, house of worship or place of labor, to be a living example of peace for only in this way can we expect peace to move across the face of the earth.
World Peace begins within ourselves.
Arising from the spirit peace seeks expression through the mind, heart, and body of each individual. Government and laws cannot heal the heart. We must transcend whatever separates us. Through giving love and respect, dignity and comfort, we come to know peace. We learn to love our neighbors as we love ourselves bringing peace into the world. We hereby commit ourselves to this noble endeavor.
Peace is first a state of mind.
Peace affords the greatest opportunity for growth and learning which leads to personal happiness. Self-direction promotes inner peace and therefore leads to outer peace. We vow to heal ourselves through forgiveness, gratitude, and prayer. We commit to causing each and every day to be a fulfillment of our potential, both human and divine.
Peace is active, the motion of silence, of faith, of accord, of service.
It is not made in documents but in the minds and hearts of men and women. Peace is built through communication. The open exchange of ideas is necessary for discovery, for well-being, for growth, for progress whether within one person or among many. We vow to speak with sagacity, listen with equanimity, both free of prejudice, thus we will come to know that peace is liberty in tranquility.
Peace is achieved by those who fulfill their part of a greater plan.
Peace and security are attained by those societies where the individuals work closely to serve the common good of the whole. Peaceful coexistence between nations is the reflection of man's inner tranquility magnified. Enlightened service to our fellowman brings peace to the one serving, and to the one receiving. We vow to live in peace by embracing truths that apply to us all.
Living peaceably begins by thinking peacefully.
We stand on the threshold of peace-filled understanding. We come together, all of humanity, young and old of all cultures from all nations. We vow to stand together as citizens of the Earth knowing that every question has an answer, every issue a resolution. As we stand, united in common purpose, we hereby commit ourselves in thought and action so we might know the power of peace in our lifetimes.
Peace be with us all ways. May Peace Prevail On Earth.
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About the Author
John Orton is retired from working for the Department of Defense in Indianapolis, IN. He is a student at the School of Metaphysics and teaches classes involving the study of consciousness. He has given lectures in the community that have include dream interpretation and a message for peace. He spent a year of his studies at the College of Metaphysics in Windyville,Missouri.