Sunday, December 28, 2014

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 16 Commentary

This is part of a series examining the Tao Te Ching from an LDS, Christ-centered perspective. I am not a spokesperson for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These are only my opinions. 

Chapter 16 of the Tao Te Ching deals with the cyclical nature of the universe and the importance of acceptance.
Chapter 16
Attain the ultimate emptiness
Hold on to the truest tranquility
The myriad things are all active
I therefore watch their return

Everything flourishes; each returns to its root
Returning to the root is called tranquility
Tranquility is called returning to one's nature
Returning to one's nature is called constancy
Knowing constancy is called clarity

Not knowing constancy, one recklessly causes trouble
Knowing constancy is acceptance
Acceptance is impartiality
Impartiality is sovereign
Sovereign is Heaven
Heaven is Tao
Tao is eternal
The self is no more, without danger
The truest tranquility

The first stanza of Chapter 16 encourages readers to attain emptiness and hold onto tranquility--watch the things that are active. A scriptural admonition comes to mind: to watch and pray. The link will take you to a list of every time that admonishment appears in the scriptures. Apparently watchful prayer is pretty important!

In the book How Evil Works by David Kupelian, there is a fascinating discussion of what it means to watch and pray. Kupelian makes the case that the "watching" part means to essentially observe your own thoughts as they come up. Watch them, without acting on them. Ok, I don't have the book with me and I last read it maybe three years ago, so please don't think I'm quoting him verbatim or something. He may not have said that exactly, but that is what I came away from the read with: the idea that to "watch" and pray meant to observe the things that come up in your mind, without acting on them.

Similarly, the Tao master here, Lao-tzu, writes about the activity of myriad things--and how he personally merely watches, observes them.

The Tao master observes, watches, from a place of tranquility.

Everything flourishes

This stanza deals with the cycle of the universe. Everything returns to its root--a concept very clear in nature. Even a Disney song has been written about it.

However, we can return to our roots and find tranquility outside of the food chain. As children of God, our roots are in Divinity. As we return to our holy roots as God's children, we find tranquility--we find peace as we return to our true nature.

"Returning to one's nature is called constancy/ Knowing constancy is called clarity," this chapter states. As we learn to see ourselves only as God's divine, regal children, joint-heirs with Christ, as the scriptures say in Romans 8:17, we begin to act consistently with that identity. When our behavior and identity are brought into alignment, we experience clarity.

One video at MormonChannel is called "Clarity through Conversion." I think anyone as a convert to the Gospel knows that feeling of clarity that comes from knowing who you are, why you are here, and God's Plan of Salvation. To me, this stanza of the Tao Te Ching is just putting into other words the phenomenon that people experience when they internalize the Holy Gospel.

Heaven is Tao

This stanza is beautiful.

When we don't know who we are, we are inconstant--and therefore reckless, causing trouble.

Knowing who we are as God's children, truly internalizing it, leads to acceptance. Yogi Bhajan once said, "If you don't see God in all, you don't see God at all." Indeed, isn't that what Jesus preached when He said "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me" (Matthew 25:40)? When we see beyond the maya, the illusion, of this life and into the reality that we are all God's children, that every person's soul is Jesus to us (our interactions with any person directly impact the Christ who suffered for those interactions)--when that understanding becomes an incontrovertible part of us, we accept.

We accept everything.

We accept the people in our lives and their choices. We accept the unpleasant events in our lives. We accept.

Chapter 16 explains that acceptance is impartiality, and impartiality is Heaven. Think of the scriptural concept that God is no respecter of persons. That kind of impartiality to crucial to the functioning of the Kingdom of God--crucial to the functioning of the universe.

Heaven is Tao, Tao is eternal--these principles are beyond time and space.

The self is no more, without danger

When we embrace the Tao completely, the ego--the part of the self that conceives of itself as separate from the rest of Creation--is subsumed in unity, oneness... one might say Zion, or a Zion Consciousness.
Moses 7:18
18 And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.
Becoming a Zion person means experiencing a true unity with everyone else who is Zion--having one heart and one mind with them. Under that sort of condition, it seems the self would be "no more," and there would be no danger.


Understanding and fully internalizing the Plan of Salvation leads to a level of tranquility and acceptance that eventually leads to a Zion Consciousness. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 15 Commentary

This is part of a series examining the Tao Te Ching from an LDS, Christ-centered perspective. I am not a spokesperson for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These are only my opinions. 

Chapter 15 of the Tao Te Ching describes the nature of the Tao masters and how they live.

Chapter 15
The Tao masters of antiquity
Subtle wonders through mystery
Depths that cannot be discerned
Because one cannot discern them
Therefore one is forced to describe the appearance
Hesitant, like crossing a wintry river
Cautious, like fearing four neighbors
Solemn, like a guest
Loose, like ice about to melt
Genuine, like plain wood
Open, like a valley
Opaque, like muddy water
Who can be muddled yet desist
In stillness gradually become clear?
Who can be serene yet persist
In motion gradually come alive?
One who holds this Tao does not wish to be overfilled
Because one is not overfilled
Therefore one can preserve and not create anew
One cannot discern them

The chapter in the first stanza is implying that because Tao masters are so deep, their depths cannot even be seen: instead we have to describe how they live as we observe them. This concept aligns with the principle of 1 Samuel 16:7, the idea that man only looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord alone looks at the heart. Since we cannot see the hearts of the Tao masters, we settle by describing their behaviors.

Like crossing a wintry river

This chapter describes those who live the Tao as being hesitant, cautious, solemn, loose, genuine, open, and opaque--their actions are measured and defined by consciousness. They are not spontaneous, despite being genuine; they think ahead cautiously and move hesitantly. Although they are open, they are also opaque. Essentially, while being open and honest, they leave enough of their thoughts to the imagination that they appear opaque. They are polite and appropriate in every circumstance.

Christians are urged to live with a similar level of mindfulness. Matthew 12:36 cautions Christians that "every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment." Christians hoping for salvation would ideally master themselves and their words in the same way as a Tao master: solemn as a guest, genuine as plain wood, cautious like fearing four neighbors. If a single idle word must be answered for at judgment day, it would surely pay to live like a Tao master in this regard!

In stillness gradually become clear

This strange and beautiful couplet addresses the way Tao masters harness the power of yin and yang: using opposites to accomplish their purposes. Muddled yet desisting in stillness, gradually becoming clear; serene yet persisting in motion, gradually coming alive. This is also a discussion of the yin-yang paradox: that through surrender, one may accomplish many things. Sometimes the counterintuitive action can be the true solution.

As an example: we are supposed to hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matthew 5:6), but also feast upon the word (2 Nephi 32:3).

We are supposed to lose our lives to find them (Matthew 10:39).

Christianity is full of "heavenly paradoxes."

One who can preserve

What does it mean to not be overfilled?

The TTC refers again and again to the virtue of emptiness. To avoid being overfilled in the modern world might translate into avoiding an overly busy schedule, for example: avoiding being overly busy would prevent unnecessary loss of energy, and prevent the problems that come with being too busy (haste makes waste, as they say).

Another helpful interpretation of this concept could be viewed through the lens of healthy sexuality and sexual energy, as Progressive Prophetess recently blogged about.

In Psalms 46:10, God counsels His people to be still. In Conference of October 2010, Dieter F. Uchtdorf counseled us to simplify and focus on the things that matter most.


Mastering the Tao involves behaviors that are wise for Christians to emulate also.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 14 Commentary

This is part of a series examining the Tao Te Ching from an LDS, Christ-centered perspective. I am not a spokesperson for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These are only my opinions. 

Chapter 14 of the Tao Te Ching examines the nature of the Tao. 
Chapter 14
Look at it, it cannot be seen
It is called colorless
Listen to it, it cannot be heard
It is called noiseless
Reach for it, it cannot be held
It is called formless
These three cannot be completely unraveled
So they are combined into one

Above it, not bright
Below it, not dark
Continuing endlessly, cannot be named
It returns back into nothingness
Thus it is called the form of the formless
The image of the imageless
This is called enigmatic
Confront it, its front cannot be seen
Follow it, its back cannot be seen

Wield the Tao of the ancients
To manage the existence of today
One can know the ancient beginning
It is called the Tao Axiom

This is called enigmatic

This entire chapter deals with the colorless, noiseless, formless nature of the Tao: the Tao is enigmatic. It is difficult to explain.

To me, this is reminiscent of the Biblical discussion of "milk and meat," and the commandment not to run before you can walk, and the idea that we learn line upon line, and precept upon precept. The nature of the Tao--the nature of the universe--is so abstract that a simple explanation will not cut it, and indeed, we may not even be ready to begin comprehending it.

The Tao is the underlying principle that governs the universe.

Wield the Tao of the ancients

Even though the Tao is enigmatic, difficult to comprehend, Chapter 14 still alleges that it can be lived. The link above, about the Tao governing the universe, explains some of the concepts involved with living the Tao, including embracing intuition over logic, and becoming the sort of person who does virtuous acts out of who you are, rather than intentions of being or doing good. Basically the same idea Jesus expressed in Matthew 23:27. Outward righteousness is not enough: righteousness needs to flow from us because of who we are.


The Tao is a principle, not a thing; therefore it is enigmatic. However, we can still live in accordance with the universal law to manage the existence of today.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

odds and ends

Things like this article make me want to vomit. Our culture of sex and death and drugs just turns my stomach.

The day after Rosh Hashanah of this year, I walked into a Chipotle with my mom and felt instantly sick. Being a freak who can see auras is weird enough, but seeing everyone in there and realizing that the only people with clean auras in the room belonged to my family... I wanted to vomit.

I thought: we're living in Sodom and Gomorrah. Our sins are tattooed on our spirits until we repent. The marks of our sins and of our faith are already on our foreheads.

I have been working like crazy to get my home in order. I've been on my feet almost all day for two solid days now cleaning things and organizing things and getting them together. I just took 5 gigantic boxes and 6 large bags to the Goodwill. I need to take another trip there today. We're paring down on the unnecessaries. Everything is getting repacked and reorganized so if we need it on short notice, it can be found--and hastily taken somewhere else. Most things are getting repacked in waterproof packaging.

Who knows what 2015 will hold for us. I don't. For me, I've had feelings that for my personal family, some changes would begin in January. Who knows what those will be. I don't. Hopefully nothing too crazy. But you never know.

In other news: order your reusable pads now before the FDA shuts that all down.

And in other other news: this guy's thoughts on 2015.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

will you be a healer?

A student of mine was studying the scriptures and came across 2 Nephi 13 (compare Isaiah 3). I'm going to quote a few verses of it. But first, some backstory: Isaiah is talking about the punishments the people will face for their disobedience to the Lord.

5 And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable. 
6 When a man shall take hold of his brother of the house of his father, saying, Thou hast clothing, be thou our ruler, and let this ruin be under thy hand: 
7 In that day shall he swear, saying, I will not be an healer; for in my house is neither bread nor clothing: make me not a ruler of the people.
We're already living in the world of verse 5. The riots in Ferguson are just one example of the sweeping civil unrest that is prophesied to come upon our nation.

Christ is the true healer. Image here
But the next two verses were what stood out to my student, and then to me as I studied this after she pointed it out. When a man goes to his brother and begs him to be their ruler, to "let this ruin be under thy hand," the brother declines with the words: "I will not be a healer."

It is an interesting connection. When everything falls apart, the people who have resources, both material and mental/emotional, will be turned to in the hopes that they will be able to heal the situation. Healing and ruling go hand in hand in that time--but many people who would otherwise be capable of healing situations will decline the responsibility.

Being a healer is a responsibility. If you feel called to the work then you have a job to do. But with responsibilities come blessings. God doesn't call the qualified: He qualifies the called.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 13 Commentary

This is part of a series examining the Tao Te Ching from an LDS, Christ-centered perspective. I am not a spokesperson for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These are my opinions and observations only.

Chapter 13 of the Tao Te Ching deals with the problems associated with the ego--ego being the part of us that views itself as separate from God and others. The chapter also cautions against putting stock in either good fortune or bad.
Favor and disgrace make one fearful
The greatest misfortune is the self
What does "favor and disgrace make one fearful" mean?
Favor is high; disgrace is low
Having it makes one fearful
Losing it makes one fearful
This is "favor and disgrace make one fearful"

What does "the greatest misfortune is the self" mean?
The reason I have great misfortune
Is that I have the self
If I have no self
What misfortune do I have?

So one who values the self as the world
Can be given the world
One who loves the self as the world
Can be entrusted with the world
Favor and disgrace make one fearful
A Yogi is a person for which success and failure are the equal.
- Bhagavad Gita (at least according to this guy)
Chapter 13 of the Tao Te Ching really drives home the idea that investing one's emotional energies in either success or failure is a sure way to spend all your time afraid--or at least really stressed out. Obviously, it's smart to work for success, but to be attached to success is a way to be "fearful," as the chapter states. When a person can un-attach from material things, the things that are impacted by earthly success and failure, they will be a lot more peaceful.

This idea is echoed in the Bible when Jesus counsels people to lay up for themselves treasures in heaven instead of on Earth. Or check out 2 Nephi 9:30:
30 But wo unto the rich, who are rich as to the things of the world. For because they are rich they despise the poor, and they persecute the meek, and their hearts are upon their treasures; wherefore, their treasure is their god. And behold, their treasure shall perish with them also.
It might be easy to dismiss this scripture with an "Oh, but I'm not rich." Yet in America, even the poorest of us have access to riches unthinkable at the time of the TTC's writing. If you have modern plumbing, sorry: in a way, you are rich. 

But beyond that, the warning of this scripture is this: if your hearts are set on treasures, treasure is your god. And treasures fail you in the end. 

Better to avoid putting stock in failure and success as to earthly things, and focus on the treasures of heaven.

The Greatest Misfortune is the Self

I think of this phrase often. It is such a concise condemnation of the ego--the part of us that experiences separation from others and from God. The part of us that experiences pride, enmity, anger, and feelings of "other."  This is the part of us that brings out all of our misfortunes. A great book about this is As A Man Thinketh by James Allen.

In the book, Allen explains that everything in life has its roots in thought--and that everything in your life has its roots in your thoughts. Your suffering has its roots in the ego.

When we divest ourselves of our investment in the ego, in being "other" from those around us, we lose all senses of misfortune. When we allow ourselves to feel at one with even our enemies, even nature, even animals, even God, we no longer have the same reactions to previously painful situations. When you empathize with your enemies, their sins against you no longer have the same gall. The greatest misfortune is the self because as long as we view ourselves as "other" and as better than, we are subject to anger, sorrow, and feelings of injustice.

Incidentally, the Plan of Salvation is all about God's children removing the unclean parts of themselves and eventually becoming unified in God-consciousness. You've probably never heard it put that way but what is the unity and selflessness of true Gospel living but a divestiture of the self in favor of a sense of oneness with God, His children, and all of creation?

Loving the World as Yourself
14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
- Galatians 5:13
When we do manage to give up our egos in favor of loving the world as ourselves, we can be trusted with the world. When we view those around us with the same lens through which we view ourselves, with the same willingness to see the best in others as we see in our selves--when we are honestly just as motivated to make sure those around us have what they need and want as we are motivated to provide needs and wants for ourselves--we can be trusted with the world.


When we eradicate the ego and stop caring about earthly success and failure, we are able to be trusted with the world.

Friday, December 5, 2014

all the modalities of the rainbow

When I was first introduced to theta healing, I went to the book's page on Amazon and read the reviews. A lot were very positive and included miraculous stories. A few said that it was crazy and that it didn't work and anyway, if theta healing was SO effective, then why did people learn it, and then learn other things too?

That's a question I've been asking myself. I've studied a variety of healing techniques: Emotional Freedom Technique/tapping, Quantum Touch, jin shin jyutsu, Rapid Eye Technology Immediate Release Techniques, theta healing, the Emotion Code, and therapeutic guided imagery--among even other things. In addition to accessing my intuition, I also use muscle testing and Chinese facial diagnostics (called mien shiang. And no, I don't make real diagnoses. I am NOT A DOCTOR. Each of us is responsible for our own medical health! All healing is valid! If you need medical attention, seek it!).

Anyway, each of these techniques can be extremely effective.

But if they're so effective, why do I learn more? Why does anyone learn more?

The answer that comes to me as I write this is: you might as well ask a painter why, if the color red is so effective, he needs orange, yellow, green, blue and violet, too.

The thing about healing is that every body is different. Every spirit is different. What works for one person is not the best answer for another.

Several of the modalities above require permission to work. For example, in the book The Emotion Code, right now I am reading about Heart Walls. Heart Walls impede our ability to give and receive love from others. To get rid of a Heart Wall with the Emotion Code requires the cooperation of your subconscious mind. It has to agree to start letting go of the issues that have come into play.

But what if your subconscious mind doesn't want to cooperate?

If the Emotion Code is your only modality, then I guess it's too bad for you! But if you know something like quantum touch, you can kind of start moving the energies associated with the Heart Wall from the back end. I have had very effective sessions addressing emotional trauma that used quantum touch and guided therapeutic imagery when the client's subconscious mind resisted more straightforward means of releasing an emotion. Sometimes the heart won't give permission to tear down the walls, but it will accept a targeted energetic massage of the area that accomplishes the same thing!

Similarly, when it comes to energy healing, the subject's intentions can matter a lot. If a person has decided that energy testing will not work on them, well, lo and behold, it won't. If they won't give their permission for a theta healing to come through, it won't.

But they can still receive and benefit from a session of quantum touch or jin shin. I've had skeptics allow me to work on them, and the quantum shifts associated with my work clearly went through (I say clearly because skeptics I have worked on have experienced spontaneous spasms as energy released, tingling, buzzing, et cetera--things that at the time were clearly linked to my simultaneous work). So while a session of theta healing might not work on a skeptic, something like quantum touch, RET, or EFT would.

Learning a variety of modalities is not a condemnation of the efficacy of one modality or another. Instead, it gives the practitioner the ability to mix and match modalities to provide each client an experience that is most appropriate for that person's unique personal needs.


Learn everything you feel prompted to. If you feel a call to learn about a particular modality for healing, you are not betraying the other modalities you've studied, and you're not betraying Western medicine. All healing is valid. The more a person knows about health, the more healing modalities they are familiar with, the more effective they can be in serving others.

Serve others. Follow the Spirit. Learn more!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

the power of gratitude in every circumstance

I didn't post a blog on Thanksgiving, but the good news is that gratitude never goes out of style.

I wanted to write about the power of gratitude. 

The Hidden Messages in Water by Masaru Emoto is an incredible book. Dr. Emoto takes photographs of ice crystals that have been exposed to different words or ideas. Enjoy the following examples:

Image here.

Image here.

And the one I particularly wanted to write about (image here): 

Water is highly responsive to intention and to its surroundings. It is a mirror of what it is near and what it is shown. 

And it turns out, the two most powerful words water can be exposed to are love and gratitude.

I don't think they tested "Jesus Christ," FYI. 

Love as a power word should not come as a surprise to anyone, but I personally was surprised at the immense power of gratitude to form complex and beautiful ice crystals. In the book, Dr. Emoto claims that gratitude crystals are even more complex than love crystals, which surprised him. From the book (page 78-79 of the 2005 edition):

I have mentioned that water shown the words love and gratitude forms the most beautiful crystals. Of course the word love alone as the ability to create wonderful crystals, but love and gratitude combine to give the crystals a unique depth and refinement, a diamond-like brilliance. 
I also discovered that the love and gratitude crystals actually look more like gratitude crystals than the love crystals. What this indicates is that the gratitude vibration is more powerful and has a greater influence. Love tends to be a more active energy, the act of giving oneself unconditionally. By contrast, gratitude is a more passive energy, a feeling that results from having been given something--knowing that you have been given the gift of life and reaching out to receive it joyously with both hands. 
The relationship between love and gratitude may be similar to the relationship between sun and shade. If love is the sun, gratitude is the moon. If love is man, gratitude is woman. 

He goes on: 
What is the relationship between love and gratitude? For an answer to this question, we can use water as a model. A water molecule consists of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, represented by H2O. If love and gratitude, like oxygen and hydrogen, were linked together in a ratio of 1 to 2, gratitude would be twice as large as love.  
I suggest that having twice the amount of gratitude as love is the balance we should strive for.  
There is sooo much in those few short paragraphs--did you catch the yin/yang references? Amazing. Just as the Tao Te Ching and the yogis teach, the feminine energy--the energy of gratitude--is the most powerful energy, despite being passive

Or perhaps because it is passive.

Gratitude used to be a very nebulous concept to me. I used to think I was grateful for stuff when I said a verbal thank-you to someone. But the reality is completely different. Gratitude is not words. Gratitude is a feeling. Now that I am more attuned to my body and how feelings feel in my body, I can tell you that for me, gratitude feels like this immense warm energy that rotates around my body in a clockwise direction: when I feel grateful, when gratitude energy is radiating from my soul into my aura, it feels almost like a wind of energy, like the area around my body is a whirlwind of joy and praises and thanks. This energetic whirlwind of light emanates from the heart chakra, which in turn is linked to the actual heart and the nervous ganglia in that region. Gratitude is a heart emotion which leads to an energetic shift.

When I feel myself radiating gratitude, I feel beautiful. It might sound dumb to say. It kind of feels dumb to write. But gratitude is the most beautifying emotion a person can create and experience.

Gratitude in Every Circumstance

And when I say it is an emotion you can create, I mean it. This conference talk from earlier this year is a great discussion of gratitude and its importance and the fact that it is possible to choose to feel that emotion in any circumstance.

So your life is falling apart. 

The good news is, it is still possible to experience the bliss of gratitude. From Elder Uchtdorf's talk linked above:

We can choose to be like the Prophet Joseph Smith, who, while a prisoner in miserable conditions in Liberty Jail, penned these inspired words: “Dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.”7 
We can choose to be grateful, no matter what. 
This type of gratitude transcends whatever is happening around us. It surpasses disappointment, discouragement, and despair. It blooms just as beautifully in the icy landscape of winter as it does in the pleasant warmth of summer. 
When we are grateful to God in our circumstances, we can experience gentle peace in the midst of tribulation. In grief, we can still lift up our hearts in praise. In pain, we can glory in Christ’s Atonement. In the cold of bitter sorrow, we can experience the closeness and warmth of heaven’s embrace. 
We sometimes think that being grateful is what we do after our problems are solved, but how terribly shortsighted that is. How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain? 
Being grateful in times of distress does not mean that we are pleased with our circumstances. It does mean that through the eyes of faith we look beyond our present-day challenges. 
This is not a gratitude of the lips but of the soul. It is a gratitude that heals the heart and expands the mind.
Look at that: gratitude can heal the heart and expand the mind. Sounds like energy medicine to me!

And now I will leave you with an exercise to experience the flow of gratitude. If you have a lot of blocks, either conscious or subconscious, to feeling truly grateful, this might be harder for you, but I encourage you to try it anyway as you go about your day.

Gratitude Exercise

1. Take three deep, comfortable, relaxing breaths. The breath is long and slow. Close your eyes and focus on the feeling of breathing in and out. 
2. While continuing this long, slow, deep breathing, think of the number one thing you love most in the world. Allow yourself to focus that love energy--focus on the feelings in your heart that you feel when you think about this thing or person that you love. 
3. When your heart feels so full of love for this thing or person that it feels almost saturated with love, command yourself to double the feeling. Just think, "And now, I feel this love twice as strongly." And feel as that command goes through and as that love energy in your heart doubles in concentration and in strength.
4. Now, end your focus on the love energy and begin to appreciate what it is that you love. Consciously acknowledge all the good things about this thing that you love and allow yourself to appreciate those aspects of this thing in your heart. Feel it as the love-peace energy transforms into even higher vibration energy of gratitude. This sensation may be located in the heart region, either in the body or both in the body and directly outside of the body.  
5. Feel as this energy begins to flow around your body, breaking up any energetic blocks of anger, negativity, hatred, bitterness, and resentment. Spend a few minutes experiencing this as you continue the long deep breathing, breathing in everything good and breathing out everything that it is time to let go of. 
If you feel so inclined, start and end this exercise with prayer--ask for help in experiencing the powerful sensations of gratitude, and when you're done, express your gratitude in prayer for the experience of gratitude! Make the gratitude cycle one that keeps on going. 


Gratitude is the most powerful emotion we can experience--modern day prophets have said that it can literally heal the soul. Thanksgiving the day has passed for this year, but thanksgiving the experience can go on forever in any circumstance. Experience healing today: experience gratitude. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 12 Commentary

This is part of a series examining the Tao Te Ching from a Christ-centered, LDS perspective.

Chapter 12 of the Tao Te Ching once again reminds us to focus on the basics and not get caught up in material things.

The text reads:
The five colors make one blind in the eyes
The five sounds make one deaf in the ears
The five flavors make one tasteless in the mouth 
Racing and hunting make one wild in the heart
Goods that are difficult to acquire make one cause damage 
Therefore the sages care for the stomach and not the eyes
That is why they discard the other and take this

The Senses and Deception

Image here.
The first stanza of this chapter allude to a theme common in religious texts: that the things of this earth--the sights, sounds, tastes--are illusory and can blind us to the things that are truly important.
1 Samuel 16:7 refers to this idea when it points out that while men look at external appearance, the Lord looks on the heart. Matthew 6:19-20 refers to this idea when it exhorts us to keep our focus on heavenly things instead of the things of the earth. As Matthew 1:35 points out, heaven and earth--the things of our senses--will pass away, but God's word will not pass away.

The TTC and the Bible and other Christian scripture exhort us to pass on materialism and make our focus the things of a better world (D&C 25:10).

Avoiding Goods That Are Difficult to Acquire

Chapter 12 of the Tao Te Ching recommends against seeking material goods that are hard to get--hunting for these things makes a person "wild in the heart." Wildness in the heart is not a good thing--the prophet Brigham Young taught in Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1997), 204:
“The [body] must be brought in subjection to the spirit perfectly, or your bodies cannot be raised to inherit eternal life. . . . Seek diligently, until you bring all into subjection to the law of Christ.”
If we place our heart's priorities on material goods, we are evidencing that our bodies are not in subjection to our spirits.

Care For the Stomach and Not the Eyes

This reminds me of how the word of God is compared to food in both the scriptures and the temple. We are to "feast upon the words of Christ" (2 Nephi 32:3). The symbolism of the Word as food is a reminder to us that just as our body constantly needs more and more food to sustain itself, so does our spirit need constant nourishment from the scriptures and word of God.

When the sages care for the stomach and not the eyes, I like to think of them caring for both the physical and the spiritual stomach--focusing on the important jobs of keeping both the body and spirit properly nourished, rather than wasting resources like time and money on the unimportant trivialities of the flesh. The sages discard materialism and choose spiritual enlightenment instead.


Both the Tao Te Ching and Christian scriptures agree: avoid materialism and instead place your focus on the things of the spirit. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 11 Commentary

This is part of a series examining the Tao Te Ching from an LDS, Christ-centered perspective.

Chapter 11 of the Tao Te Ching is another chapter that extols the virtues of emptiness. Here it is:
Wheel with spokes. Image here

Thirty spokes join in one hub
In its emptiness, there is the function of a vehicle
Mix clay to create a container
In its emptiness, there is the function of a container
Cut open doors and windows to create a room
In its emptiness, there is the function of a room 
Therefore, that which exists is used to create benefit
That which is empty is used to create functionality

 In emptiness is function

A major point of this chapter is the idea that emptiness is functionality. A wheel is nice, but it's useful because of the hole in the middle that lets it be attached to things and used. A pot is nice, but it's useful because its emptiness can be filled. A room is a room because it is an enclosed space--the emptiness of it allows it to be useful.

This is another explanation of the concept of yin and yang. The concluding couplet of this chapter explains that the yang aspect creates benefit, and the yin aspect creates functionality.

To examine this from the masculine-feminine perspective, in a scriptural context, the chapter that comes to mind is Section 25 of the Doctrine and Covenants. This special chapter is one given to Emma Smith.

In this section, Emma is counseled to empty herself. Empty herself of jealousy and skepticism of her husband (verse 4), and empty herself of desires for the things of this world (verse 10).

Emma Smith. Image here.
As she empties herself, she is eligible to receive new callings and assignments, as far as preaching and organizing the hymns. She is better able to follow the divine counsel to "delight in her husband" and support him.

Of course, men are also counseled to empty themselves of things like sin and pride and so forth, and the Tao Te Ching is clear in encouraging both men and women to adhere to the feminine aspect in this regard. Empty is important. At the same time, "existence," as this chapter calls it, is needed for benefits as well. But emptiness and existence create each other, support each other, illuminate each other.

Like in this scriptural example, as Emma empties herself, she has more opportunities for "existence," or action. As she becomes a different person (being--a yin aspect), she is able to do more (doing is a yang aspect). When she empties herself of the things that should not be there, she is given more assignments of things to do.


When we empty ourselves of the things that don't belong in us for our highest good, we become a different person who is able and expected to do more.

Therefore, that which exists is used to create benefit
That which is empty is used to create functionality

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Book of Jarom and the Plan of Salvation

My scripture study this morning was in the Book of Jarom. The following few verses really stuck out to me (emphasis mine): 
Jacob and his father, Enos. Image here.
2 And as these plates are small, and as these things are writtenfor the intent of the benefit of our brethren the Lamanites, wherefore, it must needs be that I write a little; but I shall not write the things of my prophesying, nor of my revelations. For what could I write more than my fathers have written? For have not they revealed the plan of salvation? I say unto you, Yea; and this sufficeth me. 
3 Behold, it is expedient that much should be done among this people, because of the hardness of their hearts, and the deafness of their ears, and the blindness of their minds, and the stiffness of their necks; nevertheless, God is exceedingly merciful unto them, and has not as yet swept them off from the face of the land. 
4 And there are many among us who have many revelations, for they are not all stiffnecked. And as many as are not stiffnecked and have faith, have communion with the Holy Spirit, which maketh manifest unto the children of men, according to their faith. 
5 And now, behold, two hundred years had passed away, and the people of Nephi had waxed strong in the land. They observed to keep the law of Moses and the sabbath day holy unto the Lord. And they profaned not; neither did they blaspheme. And the laws of the land were exceedingly strict.

Fighting Lamanites. Image here.
The Book of Jarom and I have a really nice history. Early on in my life I was very in favor of the so-called "War on Terror" (what does that even mean, anyway?), but after a very intense study of the Book of Jarom, I changed my tune. The whole book is only one chapter, so you can also do a very intense study of the book in not a lot of time. In the chapter, we learn about the Lamanites who "loved murder and would drink the blood of beasts," and how they "came many times against us [...] to battle." Sounds like modern-day terrorists to me.

Except the "kings" and "leaders" who "were mighty men in the faith of the Lord" did not go hunting the Lamanites out of existence, and did not take the war to them, and did not invade their lands. Instead, these mighty men in God's wisdom prepared for war by "fortify[ing] [their] cities," making "weapons of war," and "diligently exhorting with all long-suffering the people to diligence [...] persuading them to look forward unto the Messiah, and believe in him."

Verse 12: "And it came to pass that by so doing they kept them from being destroyed upon the face of the land; for they did prick their hearts with the word, continually stirring them up unto repentance."

Anyway, I read all of that and thought--gee whillickers! THAT is how to withstand modern day terrorism! Fortify your lands, prepare for war, and repent repent repent and keep the commandments. Bam.

But today, those first five verses really stood out to me. I feel like my life now--and probably many of your lives now--is characterized by a lot of revelation. I feel like almost every day I'm learning something new and amazing about something, whether it is a revelation about the nature of the universe, or about the human body, or about my specific life, or about the lives of my clients. I spend a lot of time now enjoying direct tutelage from the Spirit, and I love it.

So I really super love what Jarom teaches in verse 2. There he is, a man of revelation, having received lots of revelations, but when it comes right down to it, he opts against sharing the things that have been revealed to him, because they all pale in comparison to the importance of the Plan of Salvation.

This is so, so true. At the end of the day, all the other things we learn from the Spirit are minor in comparison.

Jesus the Christ. Image here.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is so amazing in this regard. On the one hand, it is complex enough that you can receive spiritual downloads about it every day and still barely scratch the surface of its immense complexity. There is so much to learn about how it all works!
And yet, it is so simple that a child can understand.

One reading of the Book of Mormon, and every major question you ever had about life's purpose is answered.

One discussion of the Plan of Salvation can utterly change your life.

Just yesterday I was reading about a Holocaust survivor who had some serious questions about God after his experiences--can you imagine if he and his rabbi had understood the Plan of Salvation? What a huge relief and comfort it would have been. What peace it could have brought. From the interview:
Eisenhower liberated me in concentration camp. He came with his other general, and they saw the piles of bodies that they couldn’t burn. The Jews were on the bottom, and I was the only guy because the Czechs, they didn’t march me to death because of my Czech friends. They said you are a Czech. You’re not a Jew. Stay with us. So I was the only Jew the rabbi found. He was looking for a Jew. He said, “I’m a rabbi. Are you Jewish? I’m looking for a Jew.” I said I’m a Jew. I’m a Jew. Come over here, talk to me. So he came over and talked to me. 
I said you’re not a rabbi. You’re Jewish. You’re a soldier. He says no, I’m a soldier rabbi. So I’m asking you one question. Can you do me a favor, not for me, for my 4-year-old brother that I know now that he was burned? Where was God? Not for me, because I might have sinned. Maybe I deserved to be here, but my four-year-old boy had no sins whatsoever. He didn’t live long enough. He could have been a rabbi like you. Why didn’t God help him? 
He says I can’t answer you because I’m not prepared to answer your questions, so I started crying. I started crying because I said to him who am I going to ask? You’re the rabbi. You’ve got to help me, thinking because I believe in God, save me. So I’m not asking for myself. My brother could have been a rabbi like you. You don’t know what he would have become. God didn’t know yet because he didn’t sin yet. All of us maybe have a little sin. Whatever happened, God is a busy man. I understand that.
Reading that just broke my heart. For so many reasons, but especially because no one involved here understood the plainest part of the Gospel:

That we are God's children.
Image here

That He loves us.

That we lived with Him before our mortal birth.

That we all agreed in a Council in Heaven to come to earth to learn to be more like God.

That we understood we would be tested and tried and be given growth opportunities, opportunities for growth that couldn't have happened any other way.

That that we knew we would all fail.

That God promised He would send us a Savior, Jesus Christ, to atone for our sins and enable us to repent  and heal and come home after our mortal probation.

That everything in life is for our ultimate benefit: even that hard stuff, even the indescribably hard stuff, even the stuff that seems unfair and that doesn't make sense.

That even when things seem unfair, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, everything is fair--and merciful.

Can you imagine if that rabbi had had access to that knowledge?

Or if either of them had had access to a scripture like D&C 121? Even when I was a small child, D&C 121:7 brought me so much peace. I remember being a kid and thinking of it as I struggled with physical, spiritual, and emotional health problems. What a huge comfort it was. And is.

The Plan of Salvation is the most important thing.

So I guess in keeping with my Jubilee preparedness blogging: spend some time today with the Plan of Salvation. If you've never heard of it before, read up. If you are familiar with it, spend some time feeling grateful for it, praising God for it. This is the most important thing we can know.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Life support: my story is up

A story of mine is up on Progressive Prophetess's blog. Go check it out! It's about the breath, and how my awakening began after I decided to breathe more deeply. Breath is incredible.

Instead of reading a blog entry for the next 5 minutes, I challenge you instead to just breathe intentionally for five minutes instead. Notice how you feel inside your body, breathing in light and peace and breathing out toxins and junk. Breathe in relaxation, and exhale out all the tension in your body.

Do it again.

And again.

And again.


Image here.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Tao Te Ching: Chapter 10 Commentary

This series examines the Tao Te Ching from an LDS, Christ-centered perspective.

Chapter 10 of the Tao Te Ching asks us to examine our steadfastness, our trust, our honor, our yin energy, and our wisdom. Here it is: 
Heavenly gate. Image here.
In holding the soul and embracing oneness
Can one be steadfast, without straying?
In concentrating the energy and reaching relaxation
Can one be like an infant?
In cleaning away the worldly view
Can one be without imperfections?
In loving the people and ruling the nation
Can one be without manipulation?
In the heavenly gate's opening and closing
Can one hold to the feminine principle?
In understanding clearly all directions
Can one be without intellectuality? 
Bearing it, rearing it
Bearing without possession
Achieving without arrogance
Raising without domination
This is called the Mystic Virtue

Six Virtues 

Here we find a list of virtues that Lao-Tzu (the writer) asks us to examine in ourselves. We are to be:
1. Steadfast in holding our soul and achieving "oneness," or, one might say, "union," the meaning of the word "yoke" in Matthew 11:29.
2. Childlike in our concentration and trust in the Lord (Luke 18:17).
3. Perfect in achieving an eternal perspective (1 Corinthians 13:11-12).
4. Guileless in love and governance (Revelation 14:5, John 1:47).
5. Submissive (feminine) with regards to God's will for us in His opening and closing of "the heavenly gate" (Mosiah 3:19).
6. Clear in our spiritual understanding without being nitpickingly intellectual (John 1:48-51).
Each of those virtues could have had like fifty scriptures linked to it, but I just picked one or two each. I had to use the story of Nathaniel twice because I love Christ's tribute to his purity and lack of guile, and I love how the story of him and fig tree portray trust. In the story, Christ comes up to Nathaniel, and praises him for having no guile. Nathaniel asks Him, basically, "Um, how do we know each other?" And Christ responds by referring to a secret, possibly sacred time when Nathaniel was alone under the fig tree. Rather than responding with suspicion ("How could you possibly know that???"), Nathaniel responds with trust: Rabbi, thou art the Son of God. Thou art the King of Israel.

In its way, this first part of Chapter 10 of the Tao Te Ching reminds me of a condensed version of Alma 5, kind of a series of guided questions for improving one's relationship with God.

Raising without domination

As a woman, I read the second part of this chapter in the context of children, bearing and raising children without domination, without arrogance, without possession. Our children are not ours; they are our stewardship. We do not possess them; we have only a brief time to teach them and raise them.

But this goes not just for children but all sorts of things. We don't truly own anything on the Earth; everything is God's, because He made it. He just loans us stuff. This was one of the points of the famous "Render Unto Caesar" speech in the Bible (Luke 20:25).

In this story, priests come up to Jesus to try and trick Him. They ask in Luke 20:22 if it is lawful for them to essentially pay taxes.

The tribute penny. Image here.
In verse 24, Christ asks the priests whose inscription is on the penny. They explain that it is Caesar's name and inscription. What the Bible leaves out is what the inscription actually says: on the penny, the denarius, it says, "Ti[berivs] Caesar Divi Avg[vsti] F[ilivs] Avgvstvs” (“Caesar Augustus Tiberius, son of the Divine Augustus," claiming that Caesar is actually a god.

The question was: is paying tribute to Caesar an acknowledgment of another god? Is using this coin breaking the commandment to put no other gods before the God of Israel?

Christ's response is to "render unto Caesar's what is Caesar's, and render unto God what is God's." There have been many interpretations of this over the years, but my inclination is to accept the teaching that everything is God's--see Colossians 1:16, or even just the story of Genesis. God made the world and it and everything in it are His. We are just stewards.

In the Doctrine and Covenants, we learn the importance of good stewardship over the things God is lending us. D&C 121:39-42 in particular cautions against unrighteous dominion, specifically in the context of priesthood leadership, but the same caution can apply to anyone.

The Tao Te Ching cautions against unrighteous dominion, against taking pride in or credit for our alleged accomplishments. All things are God's, anyway.


Chapter 10 of the Tao Te Ching echoes many sentiments from the Christian scriptures.

Friday, November 14, 2014

prepare: galvanized wash tubs

One thing I recently ordered for my preps was galvanized wash tubs and metal washboards. The pictures are links to the ones I bought.

I bought them sight-unseen, beyond what you see in the pictures, but when they arrived I was pleased at how large and sturdy they both were. I bought two of each--although now I'm thinking I should get at least two more washtubs. They will be useful also for washing dishes. They are just very sturdy things.

Once you have those things out of the way, you'll also need a laundry soap to wash your clothes with. Sometimes I make my own homemade laundry detergent, out of Borax, washing soda, and whatever grated bar soap I have on hand. I use cleaned kitty litter buckets to store my homemade laundry detergent. This is the recipe I use for homemade laundry detergent.

Having clean clothes will become a very serious issue--mostly for women (feminine hygiene may be significantly less hygienic) and children (diapers and potty accidents). Right now laundry is kind of more of an annoying chore, but if/when Things Get Bad, it can become a matter of life and death. You don't want to run out of clean pads or clean diapers. And in the case of plagues or sicknesses of whatever type, if someone barfs on you or you're stuck cleaning up after someone who is contagious, you will need both your skin and clothes washed.

Right now I've been focusing more on laundry, but getting a galvanized tub suitable for a bathtub has been on my backburner as something I might consider ordering in the future.

Any of you have laundry-related preps you are up to?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Prepare: muffin mix recipe

I started out my food storage packaging straight up flour--but then I realized, there's not much a person can do with just plain flour--particularly if you can only bring one container of stuff with you wherever you are going.

So now I am making and packaging my raw ingredients together, as biscuit mix and muffin mix. I write the ingredients on each bottle and instructions on how to mix everything up. I feel so much happier when I look at bottles of muffin mix than when I look at bottles of flour. I love that I can just pour it out and mix it up and not have to worry about finding where I put the baking powder or anything. It's all ready to go!

I try and make it as easy as possible on myself, so my recipes are based on 5lbs of flour (that way I can just pour in one whole bag of flour and get started--no measuring that, at least!


Mix together:
- 5 lbs flour (20 cups)
- 5.5 cups sugar
- 6.5 tbsp baking powder
- 2.25 tbsp baking soda
- 2.25 tbsp salt
- 3 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 3 tbsp nutmeg

I pour these all into my normal flour bucket, seal it, then toss it around in my arms for a minute or two to mix it all up. It smells SO GOOD.

In total, this recipe would require an additional 2.5 c of nonfat dry milk. All told, the recipe calls for around 26 cups of stuff, so as we divide the mix up, we remember that the ratio is about 1 part nonfat dry milk to 10 parts mix

So for a 16.9oz bottle that stores 2.25 cups of muffin mix, we need to reconstitute a quarter cup of nonfat dry milk when it's time to mix everything together, along with 1/3 cup oil/shortening/applesauce, and 3.5 tsp vanilla extract if you have it. A 16.9oz bottle will make 6 muffins.

When mixing to eat, you can obviously add things like berries or grated carrots or chopped nuts or chocolate or butterscotch chips or whatever else you want to put into your muffins. Whatever you want!

For a 2L soda bottle, those hold 8.5 cups of mix. If you were to mix the whole thing up for muffins at once, you'd want to reconstitute 5/8 cup of nonfat dry milk, and mix with 1.5 cups shortening/oil/applesauce/mashed bananas etc, along with 4 tbsp vanilla extract if you had any on hand.

A 2L bottle would make up about 25 muffins, by my reckoning.

I do not really plan to make these in muffin containers, by the way. In real life, you can just pour the muffin batter into a cake pan or Dutch oven and bake like that--it is like making a coffee cake. So, whew, no need to stock up on muffin tin liners!

I don't think the nonfat dry milk is essential to this recipe, by the way. I'll have to experiment but that's my understanding. Everything can be substituted. So we'll see.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Prepare: commandments and blessings

This was my hookum this morning (a hookum is when you let your scriptures fall open with the intention that the page opened to will be just right for you):
Women in the wilderness.
Image here.

1 And it came to pass that we did again take our journey in the wilderness; and we did travel nearly eastward from that time forth. And we did travel and wade through much affliction in the wilderness; and our women did bear children in the wilderness. 
2 And so great were the blessings of the Lord upon us, that while we did live upon raw meat in the wilderness, our women did give plenty of suck for their children, and were strong, yea, even like unto the men; and they began to bear their journeyings without murmurings. 
3 And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them; wherefore, he did provide means for us while we did sojourn in the wilderness.
- 1 Nephi 17:1-3 
This was just right for me.

The promise here is that if we keep the commandments, God will work incredible miracles to keep us strong and nourished. If you must live upon raw meat in the wilderness because you are keeping God's commandments, God will use it to make you strong.

If things really did Get Bad, there's no way a year of food storage would be enough. A year's supply for one person is maybe a few months' supply for a family. A family's food supply for a year would be a month or a few days for a community. But the point is obedience. By acting in faith, we show God that we are preparing our hearts to trust Him fully enough to provide for us in the wilderness.

Keep the commandments! Receive the blessings!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Follow the Spirit: learn your baseline

In the Home Healing Course I'm teaching, we spent the past week studying intuition (among other things). A bunch of people commented that they wished they'd known this one technique for their whole lives, so I'm just going to share it here in the hopes that it helps others.

The secret trick: every time I pray with a question now, I have God remind me ahead of time what yes and no feel like.

So the other night, I had this weird experience where I was supposed to go to a social event, and when I got there, I started feeling like the Holy Ghost was telling me not to go. This was basically an enrichment activity involving just a bunch of people from the ward, and so I was very confused. Why would I be told not to go to that?

So I ignored the prompting, got out of my car and headed toward the house, only to be told over and over again not to go, not to go. So I went back to my car and prayed.

Image here.
Fortunately, I had this tool in my tool belt. I prayed for God to remind me what a "yes" feels like, and I allowed myself to feel that for a few moments. Then I prayed for God to remind me what a "no" feels like, and I allowed myself to feel the difference.

Then I prayed again, asking: should I be here? (No.) Should I go home now? (Yes.)

I went ahead and phrased my questions different ways--Can I go in? Should I leave right this minute? Do I need to be at home tonight? Just testing my answers' consistency. When the answers all matched, I ended up turning the car back on and driving on home, just on faith. I wanted to go be with friends but as soon as I acted on my prompting I instantly felt better. When I got home I felt to ask my husband for a blessing, for all my confused feelings. The blessing basically was like, "Good work following the Spirit!" and that was that. So I have no idea what that all was about, but I did have a good time alone repackaging my long-term food storage and listening to Har Hari Haray Wahe Guru over and over on YouTube.

That story is just an example, though, of this principle in action. I believe I was inspired to begin asking God for these reminders of what yes and no feel like. Getting answers to prayers can be hard enough without having to guess if the feeling you're getting is a yes or a no.

So, a challenge: spend some time this week with God just learning what a "yes" and a "no" feel like. Go ahead and take it a step further, if you want, and ask what a "deceptive no" feels like--the most convincing false yes that the adversary could plant in your heart. Practice discerning the difference. Watch how much more easily you will be able to discern the yes-no answers to prayers as you live your daily life. Where it used to take me personally quite a while, sometimes, to understand if I was getting a yes or no about something, now it does not take long at all. I still ask for reminders of yes and no at the beginning of important prayers, but overall I am much more confident at knowing that when I get a feeling, I will be able to recognize it for the answer it actually is.

Yes Feeling Samples
Image here.
Talking to random people who have tried this, "Yes" feelings seem to tend to include:
- feelings of light or warmth of tingling in the lungs and face
- feelings of spiritual expansion
- feelings of energy rising in the body
- feelings of spiritual "smiling"
- open feelings in the heart area

No Feeling Samples
- feelings of being closed off
- energy sinking downward instead of upward
- tingling on different parts of the body (my guts sometimes tingle, or a friend's ears tingle)
- feelings of constriction

False Yes Feeling Samples
- dizziness
- energy moving around, but not in the same way as a yes
- different body parts tingling than you would feel in a yes or a no
Everyone Is Different

It's important to figure out for yourself what your baseline is. You might have the same yes and no feelings that I do, or you might not. I suspect it's like muscle testing. For most people, if they stand up and ask themselves what their name is, their body will sway one direction or another as an answer. But for some people, instead of swaying, their body will make, for example, the right arm tingle or lift for yes, and the left arm tingle or lift for no. That's not wrong. It's just different. There are lots of different ways a yes or a no feeling might manifest for a person, but it's up to you to discover what those manifestations look like for you.

Personal prayer. Image from
And it's so, so important to learn what a deceptive no feels like. The adversary wants us to fail when we seek answers from God. The more important the issue is that we're praying over, the more he will try and influence us falsely. If God's answer is no but the adversary's answer is yes, you need to be able to recognize what that feels like.

Similarly, you need to be able to recognize feelings of "yes" as being from God, because sometimes God tells us answers we don't want to hear. "Yes" feelings for me are not particularly comfortable. So if all I asked was a yes or no question and I got that uncomfortable sensation of yes, that buzziness in my chest, if I didn't know any better I could easily just tell myself that my answer was a no, because what would I have to compare it to? And a lot of times I think people seeking answers expect them to come in a specific way, without asking God if that specific way is appropriate for them or not.

Also, I'll mention that another thing I like to do is specifically pray that God will send me answers in a way that is unmistakeable, that I will fully understand. God will always send us answers, but there's no guarantee we'll understand them unless we ask for that understanding too!

God is not going to lead you astray with this. If you go directly to Him to get your baseline, He'll be happy to give it to you. He wants you to be able to easily discern between yes and no. I believe it's actually one of His big goals for all of His children. So I challenge you to spend some time this week practicing with this. Get on your knees and ask Him what yes and no feel like. Ask Him a question and ask Him to give you the answer in a way you won't be able to misinterpret. Notice the difference in the quality of your prayers.

Believe! Witness miracles!