A New Book on Gay Spirituality

Gay is a Gift is a new book on Gay Spirituality from Salvatore Sapienza, the Lambda Literary award nominee for Seventy Times Seven

Sunday, February 14, 2010

To Remind You of Your Magnificence

When I was writing my book Gay is a GIFT, I was inspired by Henri Nouwen, a twentieth-century Catholic priest, best-selling spiritual author, and gay man.

I read in Michael Ford's biography of Henri, entitled Wounded Prophet, that Henri was planning on writing a book about spirituality and homosexuality before his death. Since Henri never got to write that book, I decided I would.

I placed the icon of Henri pictured here on the desk next to me as I wrote the book. As I was writing, I kept singing two songs in my head, songs we sing at Unity.

One is "I'm Here to Remind You," which says, "I'm here to remind you of your magnificence. To help you awake to all the wonder that you are. I long to show you all the joy you're worthy of. I'm here to remind you just how much you're truly loved."

The other song is "How Could Anyone," which says, "How could anyone ever tell you you are anything less than beautiful? How could anyone ever tell you you are less than whole? How could anyone fail to notice that your loving is a miracle. How deeply you're connected to my soul."

I thought I would open and close my book with these two songs. And - in another case of Synchro-Divinity - I came to discover that both songs were written by gay people! The former by David Ault (that's his photo here) and the latter by Libby Roderick.

Shortly after that, I came across a used copy of a book David had written a few years back called "Where Regret Cannot Find Me." After purchasing it, I opened it up and found that it was an autographed copy. Inside, David had inscribed the book to a "Henri." He wrote, "For Henri - Knowing your path is filled with great love! All the best, David."

Isn't this synchro-Divinity stuff so cool?!!

Autobiography of a Yogi

One of my favorite magazines, Pure Inspiration, often features the writings of Paramahansa Yogananda, a twentieth-century Indian yogi who founded the Self-Realization Fellowship in the United States.
When I was a teacher in Encinitas, California, Iwould often pass by the Self-Realization temple where Yogananda lived and wrote his autobiography. It always seemed so mysterious to me.

Lately, I've felt called to learn more about him, so I was led to his book, Autobiography of a Yogi. About half-way through reading it, I attended Sunday service at our local Unity church, where - unbeknowst to me - the guest speaker was from the local Self-Realization group.

He spoke about the commandments in the Bhagavad Gita, translated as pleasure, prosperity, duty and liberation. When I got back home and started back up with reading the autobiography, Yogananda was discussing those very same commandments! There are no coincidences. Call it Synchro-Divinity!

I thought I'd share with you some of the widsom of Paramahansa Yogananda:

  • "A man who has reformed himself will remform thousands."
  • "The law of miracles is operable by anyone who has realized that the essence of creation is light."
  • "The deeper the self-realization of a man, the more he influences the whole universe by his subtle spiritual vibrations, and the less he himself is affected by the phenomenal flux."
  • "The more man realizes his unity with Spirit, the less he can be dominated by matter. The soul is ever free."
  • "The goal of yoga is to calm the mind, that without distortion, it may hear the infallible counsel of the Inner Voice."
  • "The Spirit of God is exhaustless Bliss. His body is countless tissues of Light."
  • "A master - one who has realized himself as the omnipresent soul, not the body or ego - perceived in all men a striking similarity."
  • "That hard core of ego is difficult to dislodge except rudely. With its departure, the Divine finds at last an unobstructed channel."