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Spiritual Tool Series - Touching Jesus' Garment - Stories/Myth/Parables
Gathering spiritual tools for your personal and spiritual empowerment practices
In my book, Finding Home Breaking Free from Limits, I talk about the benefits of having a toolbox full of spiritual tools available to fit every human need. As time goes on, the spiritual practitioner will find that certain tools fit them perfectly and they begin to use them daily, or at least consistently to fit specific areas of focus.
A spiritual tool is anything we can rely on to help us in many areas of our lives, but especially in the area of spiritual empowerment. Keep in mind that a tool is an assist; it is not the “way”, or even the path itself that we may be seeking, but certainly our spiritual tools can enhance and assist us on our journeys. We may choose to have tools that we use to help us in such areas as:
· · Comfort and Peace
· · Healing
· · Re-energizing
· · Deeper Understanding and Wisdom
· · Growth and Awakening
· · Relaxation
You will find that in using your tools to support your spiritual empowerment, that other areas of your life will also be improved, such as:
· · Improved Relationships
· · Stress Relief
· · Expanded Experiences
· · Better Sleep and Enhanced Energy
· · Improved Focus
This article series will explore various spiritual tools to add to your spiritual toolbox. Going forward in the series, bear with me as we repeat this introductory information prior to each new tools introduction for those that join us later. Remember, any one of the tools can be a tremendous support, but only if we can “feel” an interest in the tool and see a practical way to integrate the tool into our lives for any need we might have. I encourage you to try many of these tools and you will clearly begin to notice which ones are a good fit for you.
Using Stories/Myth/Parables in your spiritual toolbox
The use of stories, myths & parables has been one of the most significant spiritual tools utilized by ancient spiritual teachers in all areas of the world. In both Eastern and Western religious traditions, the use of myth, stories, and parables has helped to shape our cultures, societies, and ideologies. Here are a few of the major examples of their use:
The Bhagavad Gita – (Song of the Divine or Divine Song of God) – Written almost 2,000 years ago, the Bhagavad Gita is the most widely read of the Hindu scriptures. These beloved scriptures provide inspiration and practical instruction on daily life, spiritual growth and enlightenment by using a powerful story and dialogue between Lord Krishna and his disciple Arjuna during the preparation of a great battle.
Greek Mythology – Beliefs and ritual observances of the ancient Greeks, who became the first western civilization about 2000 BC. Greek mythology consists of a body of diverse stories and legends about a variety of gods. Most of the Greek myths were passed on through oral traditions, but one of the earliest recorded versions of Greek mythology was Homers classic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey.
The Bible – The use of stories, symbols, mythology, and parables in the Bible is enormous. Using the traditions of the day, which was again primarily oral traditions, the Bible evolved to written scripture using a diversity of methods to relay its spiritual messages. Some of the most famous uses of imagery in story to relay messages are in Jesus’ parables, of which there are many.
The use of story/myth/parables as a tool for spiritual guidance can be applied for many different purposes. Below are a few examples of using these powerful tools as a part of your spiritual toolbox.
- · Story/Myth/Parable to gain wisdom and knowledge about a spiritual concept
- · Story/Myth/Parable to seek comfort, guidance or healing
- · Story/Myth/Parable to gain inspiration and enlightenment
- · Story/Myth/Parable to invite and encourage deep spiritual contemplation
- · Story/Myth/Parable to entertain in an uplifting manner, provide joy or a special meaning to something
A few quick examples of how you might apply using story/myth/parable into your spiritual practices are:
Parable – Jesus provides the most prominent example of using parable as a spiritual tool. Revisiting some of Jesus’ parables, which are scattered throughout the gospels are a wonderful way to gain spiritual grounding and wisdom, especially when used to focus on a specific area of growth. Here are a few examples of Jesus’ parables and their summary meaning.
- Prodigal son – loss and redemption
- Tares and Wheat – wisdom and discernment
- Good Samaritan – love and compassion
- Mustard Seed – abundance and faith
Buddha also utilized parables and storytelling to share deep insights to his followers. Buddha tells the parable of the poison arrow, which illustrated the idea that one should look directly to self for self realization, as opposed to outside metaphysical quandaries. He also told the parable of the raft, emphasizing the point that the raft (which carries the protagonist across the river to safety), is pointing to the way, it is NOT the way.
Pick a theme that you wish to focus on in your spiritual development and collect a few powerful parables to review as a part of your nightly ritual. You will find joy in reviewing your selected parables and as your contemplate them even further, you may find expanded meaning and/or meaningful experiences in your life. The internet is a powerful resource for seeking parables in all religious or spiritual traditions.
Story – Not only can you find stories in ancient texts to provide spiritual guidance and inspiration, but even today there are many great stories that may powerfully resonate with you due to their modern adaptation of universal themes. Through either written word or with movies you can now relax and enjoy a story that will uplift, motivate and “move” you in many areas of your spiritual journey. I encourage you to have some fun finding books and movies to explore.
Here are a few of my favorite stories to provide spiritual inspiration and insight. I love them because of their creative use of symbolic references and their overall themes of spiritual inspiration
- The Wizard of Oz
- Star Wars – The Empire Strikes Back
- The Matrix
- The Truman Show
- The Secret
- Finding Joe
- Alice in Wonderland
- Chronicles of Narnia, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
- The Pursuit of Happiness
Some of these stories may seem geared towards a younger audience, but I strongly encourage you to watch and see the rich symbolism and meanings in these stories.
Myth – Take one or several mythical characters that appeal to you and do a deep study of the origin of the myth and find some personal meaning to the symbolism in the character. For instance, one of the more popular characters today is Perseus, with the modern publications of the youth series Percy Jackson, which highlights demi-god Perseus adventures, and in the movie “Clash of the Titans”, again chronically Perseus struggles between being human and a god. Perseus symbolizes courage and persistence and within some circles Perseus symbolizes the unconscious mind. Have some fun studying the Greek gods and their meaning and relating to how these symbolic meanings can provide guidance in our lives today.
Stories-Myth-Parables #1 - Touching Jesus’ Garment
There are many stories in the Bible that have provided life altering guidance and soulful inspiration to millions of spiritual seekers. Several of these stories have a special meaning to me, because along the path in my personal spiritual journey, I have reached out to them repetitively for guidance or strength and I have never been disappointed with this choice.
I chose this particular story to present first, as the stories/myth/parable spiritual tool, because it has been an important spiritual tool for me. When I am in serious need of help, comfort, healing or peace, I remember this powerful story of love, faith, and healing and it always comforts me.
As the story goes; One day, while walking through a crowd of people, a woman with an issue of blood that had caused her suffering for many years, heard that Jesus was going to be coming through. She said to herself, (and this is the powerful stuff here), “If I may just touch his garment, I shall be made whole" - Matthew 9:21. When Jesus came her way, the crowd was surrounded about him and she had a tough time getting near him, but finally she was able to reach out to just touch the hem of his garment and immediately she was healed. The story goes on to say that when Jesus realized that she had done this, he confirmed to her that her faith had made her whole.
To me this story has many symbolic overtones that provide incredible spiritual insight and energy. Here are some lessons to take with you to cherish from this wonderful Bible story.
- The moment we know that the Christ consciousness is available to us, always, then our recognition of this Christ consciousness makes us free, whole, and healed. The touching of Jesus’ garment is a metaphor for knowing we are God’s child, whole, right now, and that we always have a connection to this knowing. The “hem” is there for any one of us to touch, at anytime.
- The faith this women had was not a blind faith or wishful thinking about maybe feeling better if she were able to come into contact with Jesus. She KNEW! When she could let go of her fear and the illness in her mind and just touch that divine power, she knew she would see and experience her wholeness. And Jesus confirmed it for her and blessed her.
- The final important metaphor that this story holds for me is the concept that by just touching a garment, which seems like such an insignificance act, we can transform our lives through the love of God. Sometimes we feel that in order to experience God’s love and grace, that some huge awakening or harp strung epiphany must be made available to us. But this story demonstrates to me that the tiniest faith, that deep knowing and trusting in a higher source, is all that it takes. Just a touch! Secondly, this woman had to push through a crowd of people surrounding Jesus. She could barely get close to him and all she could manage to do in her determination to reach him, was touch the “hem” of his garment. The lowliest part of a garment. But it was all she needed, just to touch that “hem”.
When I feel lost in stress, anxiety or in pain because of a hurt someone has made towards me, or because I am sick or feeling down, I say to myself, “I just need to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment”, and immediately I feel that graceful touch. Sometimes I close my eyes and literally visualize myself touching the hem of Jesus’ garment and then I am filled with light and “relief” and I feel so grateful. When we can let go of whatever is bothering us and I mean really let go, and walk in 100% faith to touch that garment, then we will be whole. And you will know it.
You can find this story in three of the gospels of the New Testament. See if you can find additional meaning in these three versions and share your insights to another friend or neighbor so they can experience the blessings in this wonderful story as well.
- Matthew 9:20-22
- Mark 5:24-34
- Luke 8:43-48
Blessings - Joleen
Nice to meet you!
Joleen Halloran is the author of under the pseudo name of Joleen Bridges. This book represents over 10 years of research and inspiration in personal and spiritual empowerment and provides readers with a pathway to overcome limits and discover authentic divine qualities in their lives and to live a life of unbounded freedom. . Finding Home - Breaking Free from Limits
Additionally Joleen is the owner of ZoomIT Marketing, a social media and internet marketing coaching and training company. Joleen's business background includes extensive experience in project management, leadership, specializing in motivational techniques and corporate culture.
Beyond Joleen's professional life, she is an avid reader and researcher of books and other materials related to her profession, but also to her special passion, which is metaphysical and spirituality topics. You can find out more about Joleen's book at her books website,www.breakingfreefromlimits.com. Additional articles of a spiritual and inspirational nature can be found at the book's website as well. The book is available for purchase at Amazon and at a discounted price directly from the books website.