On Earth as in Heaven [SSL150]

Today, I’m reading some intriguing work from Neil Douglas Klotz’s book Prayers of the Cosmos: Reflections on the Original Meaning of Jesus’s Words.

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Esp 121: Consciousness is Not in the Brain- Guest, Eben Alexander, MD

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Today’s guest is neurosurgeon Eben Alexander, MD.

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Living in a Mindful Universe – link and info

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Soul School – Lesson 43: Locating Hell & Heaven – CS Lewis

Welcome to Spark My Muse!

It’s a beautiful thing we have going. I bring you something to enjoy and you give me some money. Thanks for your generousity, today.



Today is SOUL SCHOOL. It comes to you EACH WEDNESDAY.
(aka Midweek or “hump day”)

What do we mean, if anything, by the words heaven and hell outside of post-mortem propositions?

Could the concepts mean something for us in this world, before we die? Something about our state of mind or how we live?

I found an intriguing podcast episode about CS Lewis’ short book The Great Divorce on the Kindling Podcast and I wanted to share a piece of it with you as well as some of my own thoughts. Please listen to the whole Kindlings episode linked below when you get the chance. I hope you like this installment of Soul School. Pass it on to someone who might like it too.

(You can share a snippet of audio by using the Clammr app below. Simply click the red and white logo.)

Hear the entire podcast I’m referring to here:

• The Kindling Muse Podcast with Earl Palmer The Great Divorce: An Imaginary Story by C.S. Lewis

Get Lewis’ book for yourself!
It’s a great read!

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Soul School – Lesson 27 – Life BEFORE Death


What a delightful podcast review I got this week from Adam Narlock who is half of the duo from the fantastic podcast The Deconstructionists. Thank you, Adam! I’ll be featuring both hosts (John and Adam) in just a few weeks. We had SO MUCH FUN in our conversation. That will be a wonderful show, so keep your eyes open for that to drop soon.

If you haven’t left a review on iTunes, be cool, like Adam.
Take a moment and leave a review today.
If you are using an iPhone right now, you can use this link, HERE.

Sometimes we think so much and often of the future or of heaven that we neglect living in the now. Today is about how the life now–our life before death–is the only life we truly know much about. I invite you to rethink how to live in this very moment, and not just rethink but embrace and enjoy fully–without projecting yourself mentally elsewhere or escaping your lived reality.

• After you listen to PART I (click the audio button below) be sure to watch the video lesson, PART II.

• It also comes with a handout and extras. It is part of Varsity Club–the way learners and listeners support the show.
Find that here.

• Quick details about Varsity Club:
People, like you, support Spark My Muse and keep it going. I love you for it. You are generous and kind and lovely!

• You help make all this Spark My Muse stuff work and are rewarded with weekly extras and other perks that even include the option of 15 minutes of exclusive time with me, (each month if you so desire) to ask any questions related to any podcast or Soul School episode. We can have some fun and take a deeper dive together.

• Live events, and live and exclusive online member-only events are included too. Access video lessons and handouts go all the way back to Lesson 18! 

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Excited? READY?

To go Lesson 27–PART II, get the companion worksheet, and the links to resources (aka join Varsity Club) just…


Thanks for listening today. Be sure to subscribe (see below) and listen to the Friday episode with my special guest: celebrated podcaster Eric Zimmer from “The One you Feed” podcast–rated as a Top Podcast by iTunes in 2014.  

Episode 8 – How to Let Your Wine and your Creative Soul Breathe


Episode 8 – How to Let Your Wine and your Creative Soul Breathe

This spacious episode features some great (creative commons) music and concerns the aerating of wine and (more importantly) of your creative soul.

(Yes, I have asthma and you can tell! Please forgive all my gasping for breath. It’s been a hard few weeks for me.)
Click to listen now:

This episode is brought to you by…

Life As Prayer: Revived Spirituality Inspired by Ancient Piety
(on the life and legacy of Brother Lawrence’s habit of “practicing the presence of God”)

How can YOU find an enduring sense of God’s presence with you? Learn about 16th century Brother Lawrence and how his understanding of God’s presence continues to enrich lives today.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast AND to my newsletter!

Both your wine and your life must be able to to breathe!

Full and aware breathing can inspire your creative muse and enrich your life in so many ways.

minute 1:00

I excitedly announce two upcoming interviews:
• Daniel J. Lewis interview (a virtuosic creator who’s received national awards for podcasts he produces).

• Sarah Bessey (Jesus Feminist author) Interview (discussing her new Out of Sorts book).


WINE SEGMENT: Letting wine breathe!

minute: 5:00

In wine terms “aeration” is the process of bringing air into wine.

The term dumb (i.e. “dumb wine”) refers to a wine that has little flavor or fragrance.
• Swirling wine mixes it with air and allows it to both breathe and speak!
• Flavor and aroma and the beauty and richness of the wine emerges as space for air gets in (just like us).

TIPS to make a better speaking wine:

(If buying excellent wine isn’t an option….which is most of us!)

Option 1.

Use a blender.

Option 2.

Use a hand blender (this is a method I use)

Option 3.

A cheap and simple solution:
Pour wine into a bowl and whisk it with a fork or whisk (like you would for scrambled eggs).


minute 5:50
Sparking your muse

• Aeration of the soul

• (a short recording) Insights from the middle of my retreat time at the Jesuit Spiritual Center in Wernersville, PA.

Forgetting how to breath.

My asthma and stress; and tightness of breath and soul.


Sprit of God = breath of life


On slowing down.


The fantastic 4-7-8 second breathing exercise I learned to get your breath (and life) back.


Retreat invitation
(click link to learn more)


Giving breath to the creative soul…

Creating space and breath for the Creative muse/your soul to truly thrive


The Scriptural inspiration, history, and meaning of “Breath Prayer”
(as a Christian devotional practice)

Luke 18:9-14

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable:10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

minute 15:00

Breath Prayer: A simple cry for help and connection

• How to do “breath prayer”

• My important adaptation to breath prayer (that helps me identify as a loved child of God).


Did you enjoy the podcast?
I hope you’ll share this episode with friend or family member who might need more space and air for her soul to breathe.

Cheers! Here’s to your health.

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