Dr. John Gilmore, D. Min.
I like life. I find it enjoyable and also a playground. It is a place where you can reach for the stars, try new things that seem impossible, fail and try again until you succede. And when you have the right mindset, every failure teaches you more and more about success. I haven't always been like this, of course. I used to believe the narrative. You've probably heard it. Life is a dog eat dog world. Everybody is out to get you, everything wants to destroy you so you have to destroy it first. You have to set up boundaries. You have to look the right way and say the right things. You even have to destroy your ego to find happiness, many spiritual teachers say. You hear it so many times it starts to lose it's meaning because the whole statement is meaningless.
If you are already enlightened you don't have to do any of that. All you have to do is stop listening to people who don't have your interest at heart and enjoy your life. This may sound selfish, but after a great deal of study, meditation, and even two pilgrimages to India this is what I discovered. The funny thing is that one day when I was around 6 or 7 sitting in my kitchen looking out the window this though bubbled up from somewhere and I knew it was true. So what is all fo the spirituality stuff about? Learning to hear your own voice instead of all of those that have been packed into your head by well meaning wishers. It means reviewing your life. Finding all of the lessons learned during the joyful moments and the most painful ones. Mostly it means knowing that something in this universe is looking out for your best interest.
I started meditating just a little when I was 16 years old. I was taking Karate and Aikido. I learned about this energy called the "KI" it was supposed to be everywhere. It was the essence of every human being and the whole universe. At the time I was living in a violent ghetto where people didn't care about things like that. I was shocked to discover anything like that really existed. But I saw it demonstrated. From that time on I decided that I would explore the things I didn't know about. I would try to learn how to master them, because the world I lived in was too easy to master. It really was.
I could say I've mastered such things now, but I don't even know what matering things mean. All I can say is I am in love with the universe. I know there is magic. I know that I can create magic through my thoughts, actions and beliefs and I know that everyone else can. I know that you can if you will let go of that old narrative of a hostile universe for just a few moments a day and touch the face of the Divine, whatever you may call it. Goddess, God, Love, Shiva. What you call it doesn't matter, what it brings about in your life, the behavior you exhibilt because you believe in it, is all that matters. As a previous UU Minister, Substitute Teacher, Teaching Assistant and a Director of many non-profits, and one with a D. Min. in Reinventing Work and Spirituality, I have discovered that all things are possible. And that is what really matters in life.
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Dr. John Gilmore is a Massage Therapist, a Reiki Master Teacher, a Tai-chi and qigong instructor, a Workshop Leader, and a Certified Life Coach specializing in Reinventing Work and Spirituality. He has written several books and articles on Practical Spirituality and how we can use your belief system in creative out of the box ways to not only enhance our lives, but to build communities that will enhance the lives of others. At present he specializes in a mind, body and spirit healing practice as well as a radio show and forum he hosts on Practical Spirituality at Blog Talk Radio and on Anchor.
Rev., Dr. John Gilmore (Om Prakash) was a Unitarian Universalist (UU) Minister for more than fifteen years starting as a Parish Minister and Extension Minister and moving toward Community Ministry. He is now a retired UU Minister working to promote Health, Wellness, and Healing on the levels of mind, body, and spirit. He served as a Parish Minister for many years, and lastly as a Wellness and Social Justice Community Minister at UU Church of Bedford, MA while working as the Director of the MA Chapter of the Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community (UUJEC) and later the Co-Director and Director of the UUJEC National. Om Prakash was also a JUUST Change Consultant, and Director of Racial and Social Justice for the Joseph Priestley District. He has been a CUUPS member for several years and is now serving on the CUUPS (Covenant of UU Pagans and Earth Based Traditions) Board in the Ministerial and Right Relations position.
Om Prakash attended Eastern Theological Seminary, Meadville Lombard Divinity School and the University of Creation Spirituality, an interfaith school started by Phd. Matthew Fox. Later he studied spiritual direction for one year at Sat Yoga Yoga Institute in CR where he led a pranic healing circle and taught Tai-chi. He has studied mystical Christianity, Took a Yogic Chanting pilgrimage to an Ashram that blends together Christianity and Hinduism, and has taken a nine month course in the US on Yogic Chanting. He was also a member of Won Buddhist Temple for six years and a monthly speaker for a year.