Thursday, May 21, 2015

Love is the Answer

"Love is patient and kind. Love knows neither envy nor jealousy. Love is not forward and self-assertive, nor boastful and conceited."  St Paul,  1stCorinthians 13:4
Sunday before last, Susan Russel, one of our priests at All Saints, delivered a sermon on “What is most simple is the most difficult.” Meaning Jesus’s message is very simple, but not easy for us humans to consistently practice: Love one another as I have loved you and love your neighbor as yourself.
One problem being that many of us don’t feel loved and don’t feel loving towards ourselves. So love of Self and allowing God to love us is actually one of the foundational spiritual practices. If we know that we often experience shame, guilt, depression, self rejection, and chronic fear, then the practice of Self Love would be highly beneficial for our souls.
Whenever one of these negative feelings arises within our consciousness, it would be good to go directly into Self Loving. We can do this by placing our hands over the places in our body where we feel these emotions, often the heart space and the gut. And as we connect to these hurting places in our body we send loving to them. This is simple spiritual first aide that is so simple, straight forward and provides great consolation and healing.

Saturday, May 2, 2015


 Have you longed for a small group where you could keep learning new ways to serve others as you continue your own spiritual and psychologically development? Do you wish you had a group of fellow practitioners with whom you could be totally real and work on your own personal growth with their support? Have you dreamed of the possibility of integrating spirituality with your professional healing work? Well, wait no longer! This is the future of our fields; come join us!
 Soul Work is accomplished in small groups. We gather together from many schools of healing and faith traditions to engage in deep spiritual practices such as Contemplation, Lectio Divina, Forgiveness, Loving Kindness Meditation, Enneagram Work and a combination of psychological processes such as Gestalt, Inquiry, Somatic Processing, Emotional Freedom Technique, etc. 
 Robert Cornell, Counselor & Spiritual Director is a former Zen Buddhist monk and has practiced and taught Buddhist and Christian meditation techniques for over forty-five years. He has a Masters degree in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica and is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. His particular passion has been to create small groups that engage in Integral Practice.
 Anthony Glenn Miller, Servant & Soul Friend is an Episcopal Priest in the Diocese of Los Angeles with over 20 years of experience in parish ministry. Anthony holds degrees from General Theological Seminary (M.Div.), Yale Divinity School (S.T.M.), and Harvard University (Ed.M.).  Anthony has a passion for ministering to people on the margins as well as those looking to live a heart-centered life.
 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION OR TO CONTACT US:           Phone: 626-398-5581.

Friday, April 24, 2015


The Perfect Way knows no difficulties except that it refuses to make preferences; Only when freed from hate and love, It reveals itself fully and without disguise.
A tenth of an inch's difference, and heaven and earth are set apart; 
If you wish to see it before your own eyes, have no fixed thoughts either for or against it. To set up what you like against what you dislike, this is the disease of the mind: When the deep meaning [of the Way] is not understood, peace of mind is disturbed to no purpose.                         “On Believing in Mind” by the Third Chinese Patriarch of Zen     - Translated by D. T. Suzuki
Much of the time we human beings are trying to make our experience “good” and not “bad.” There is perfect sense in this. For example, we should get out of the sun when we feel it is too hot so we don’t get sunburned or have heat stroke. Our body sends us messages constantly that this hurts, that tastes good, etc. and it does this for a very good reason: survival.  But if our life only revolves around making ourselves feel good, we start shrinking from a spiritual standpoint.
One of the things that meditation as a non-dual practice helps us to do more skillfully is to learn to be with our experience AS IT IS, without the overlay of reactions of aversion, clinging or zoning out. Buddhism develops this practice in spades. A core teaching of Buddhism is that we experience unnecessary suffering because we resist “bad” experiences, hold onto “good” experiences and space out when experience is neutral (“boring”).
When we meditate, the “goal” is to have no goal. Not to set up anything (even great enlightenment) as the desired endpoint. Otherwise, we keep ourselves trapped in dualistic thinking where one thing is desirable (good) and another is undesirable (bad.) But this goes so counter to our usual way of relating to our life and, frankly, is a very hard sell in our culture of “every day getting better in every way.”
best wishes, Robert Cornell

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


As I write this, I am experiencing a bad cold: sinus congestion, copious sneezing, sore throat, and an achy feeling running through my body. In practicing being with it, as it is, my sneezing subsides, and I am aware of the achiness from a non -judgmental, non resisting place. Interestingly enough, from this place, the ache doesn’t seem “bad. ” Yes, it has a certain intensity, but the achy feeling has no hard edge produced  by resistance to it. I could say from this vantage point I am not suffering - meaning I’m not adding any judgment or resistance to the normal experience of having a cold.

 When we are experiencing something painful, it is so common for us to complain, judge the experience as bad and to resist experiencing it by tensing up our body and trying to distract ourselves. Some of this is innocent enough: we watch TV, we listen to music, etc. so as to not be so aware of what we are feeing. And other attempts are more likely to do us harm - when we take heavy doses of pain killers or anti anxiety medications to not feel the pain or anxiety. In the long run, heavy medication and avoidance do not let us befriend our experience just as it is.

 I don’t mean that we should be masochists and not take medication when it is too much to bear. It’s learning to befriend our pain when it comes to us as it inevitably will as long as we have a body. It’s learning to tolerate the shaky, vulnerable feeling of being present with our experience in the moment, just as it is. If we are control freaks in some way, this is what we strive at all costs to avoid. So letting go means letting be – it’s as simple as that. Simple but not necessarily easy!

Monday, March 16, 2015



Stop. Listen.
Your Soul is calling to you.
But you are busy with the too many things
some bright and beautiful,
others heavy and dark.

But go below this.
Go deeper:
your Soul is calling to you.
You are larger than you think
and your Soul knows.

It knew before
you were even born.
It knows that the world waits for you-
for the one precious thing
you were born to do.

Listen to the silence
that is below the too many things.
It too knows what
you were meant to be.

Let go of fear, let go of shoulds
Your Soul is calling to you,
inviting you into the great world
that is waiting for YOU.

blessings, Robert Cornell

The Beloved

We look for the Beloved, but                                               
we look for Her in all the wrong places.                         
Until, at last, trusting in ourselves,                                          
 far beyond the wiles of the World,                                     
our Heart rests in its heart of hearts,                                 
 where true love is found.         

 One of the most beneficial spiritual practices we humans can do is to give ourselves self love. For some of us , this may be easy but for others of us it is very challenging to practice because of childhood wounds and hurts where our very lovability was called  into question. Also for men (and I’m talking specifically about straight men), because of our enculturation into being strong and invulnerable, this practice seems quite off putting, sissified, suspect. As straight men, we are often afraid of anything that would imply that we are anything less that virile and masculine.

 In any case though many of us have parts of ourselves that we reject and push underground. So in our meditations this week, we are going to be making friends with all of ourselves, even those parts – especially those parts  - we don’t like. There is real courage in this; the root of the word “courage” is “cour,” the French word for heart. For indeed this is work of the heart.


Because we are different people with different personalities, different issues, and different strengths the spiritual practices that will work best for us will be different as well. That is why I do not teach one style of meditation practice. Now that makes it hard for some people because they want someone to just tell them,” Here do it this way. This is the best way to meditate.” So that may relieve you from some uncertainty initially; the problem being that later on, you may find that another style of meditation works better for you and you have spent a lot of time struggling with a type of mediation practice that you find frustrating and which may cause you to give up.

 I like to encourage newcomers right off the bat to try on different practices to find the one that fits them best. Some practices such as mindfulness are very helpful for developing a somewhat detached observer awareness that can see more clearly past the waves of emotion / thought. Other meditation practices such as Zen plunge the practitioner directly into the experience of formlessness. Still others like Christian contemplation bring you to a centering in the heart space.

 All of these practices have their strengths and their weaknesses. What they have in common is a stilling and taming of our scattered and distracted monkey minds which keep us from seeing deeply into the nature of Life and Reality.still